Posted on: Mon 17 Sep 2012

With domestic football across Europe back in full flow at the weekend following the international interruption, the official Chelsea website takes a look at the news, including our players out on-loan, the form of our midweek opposition, and what to look forward to in the coming days...

There was a personal, if not a team success for Kevin De Bruyne this weekend over in Germany. The Belgian scored his first goal for Werder Bremen but it was in a 3-2 loss at Hanover. He arrived late in the box to lash home a shot with his left foot to give Werder what was then a 2-1 lead. The Bremen outfit sit 11th in the Bundesliga. De Bruyne has started in all three of Werder's league games this campaign.

Our Czech Under-21 central defender Tomas Kalas also found the net over in Holland, scoring the second goal in Vitesse Arnhem's 3-0 win at FC Groningen. Patrick van Aanholt played the full 90 minutes in that game too, assisting Vitesse's first and third goals from his left-back position. They rise to an impressive second in the Dutch Eredivisie.

Elsewhere in Holland, Amin Affane, who was part of our FA Youth Cup-winning side last season, made a significant step in his development when he started his first game for Roda JC in their 4-0 defeat at AZ Alkmaar.

Over in Belgium, Thorgan Hazard made his debut for SV Zulte Waregem in their 1-0 win at OH Leuven. The attacking midfielder impressed during his first game back in his native Belgium and helped propel the Flanders club to second in the Belgian league.

In Spain, Michael Essien remained an unused substitute during Real Madrid 1-0's defeat at Sevilla. He could make his debut tomorrow against Manchester City at the Bernabeu, especially as Jose Mourinho's side are having a disappointing start to the season. The Spanish champions have picked up just four points from their opening four league games and are already eight points behind Barcelona. They will be keen on a good start to their Champions campaign with their group also featuring the Dutch champions Ajax and the German champions Borussia Dortmund.

Thibaut Courtois conceded three late goals to Rayo Vallecano but with Atletico Madrid 4-0 up at the time he still ended up on the winning side.

Back in England, Yossi Benayoun made his second West Ham United debut on Saturday, featuring as a late substitute in the Hammers' 0-0 draw at Norwich.

Romelu Lukaku was introduced at half time by West Brom manager Steve Clarke but with the Baggies already a man and two goals down, the damage was done. Fulham ran out 3-0 winners by the end with a well-saved Lukaku shot proving one of the visitors' best efforts. West Brom's first defeat of the season sees them drop to sixth in the table.

In the Championship, important time on the pitch is being clocked up with both Josh McEachran and Sam Hutchinson playing 90 minutes.


McEachran again impressed in Middlesbrough's 2-0 win over Ipswich, while Hutchinson helped Nottingham Forest come from two goals down to draw with Birmingham City, for whom Ben Gordon did not feature. In their previous league game a fortnight earlier Hutchinson not only started, he also scored the winning goal.

None of Chelsea's League One representatives played this weekend. At Yeovil, Archange Nkumu and Rohan Ince were unused substitutes, as was Conor Clifford at Portsmouth where his one-month loan is now at an end. In League Two goalkeeper Sam Walker was on the wrong end of a 4-0 defeat, Bristol Rovers suffering at the hands of in-form Gillingham. Mark McGhee's side have yet to win this season.

Turning our attention to former Blues, Eidur Gudjohnsen is on trial at our summer tour opponents Seattle Sounders, having agreed to terminate his contract with AEK Athens at the end of last season. The Greek club have financial problems. Gudjohnsen had a broken leg during most of his time there.


Our former youth and reserve team midfielder Tom Taiwo has moved to Hibernian on a two-year deal following his departure from Carlisle United.

Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked on Thursday by Palmeiras with the club second from bottom in the Brazilian top division. Unfortunately Dan Petrescu is currently struggling in his first season as manager of Dinamo Moscow. They are bottom of the Russian Premier League having lost seven out of their opening eight matches. In contrast, his and Roberto Di Matteo's former midfield colleague Gustavo Poyet is third in the Championship with Brighton, one point from the top.

Looking at the week ahead, Di Matteo and one of the Chelsea players will be speaking to the media late on Tuesday afternoon ahead our Champions League opener against Juventus. The Italians will be holding their media conference an hour later. The game is on Wednesday evening.

Juventus maintained their 100% start to the season with a 3-1 win at Genoa on Sunday afternoon. The Turin outfit trailed to Ciro Immobile's 18th-minute opener and might have found themselves further behind soon after, but a combination of poor finishing, the woodwork and Gianluigi Buffon came to The Old Lady's rescue.

The Italian champions weathered that storm and produced three goals of their own in the final half hour. Emanuele Giaccherini equalised with a sweetly-struck shot from range before a Mirko Vucinic penalty and a Kwadwo Asamoah tap-in completed the turnaround. Suspended Juve manager Antonio Conte continued to watch from the stands as he serves a 10-month ban.

Prior to our weekend Barclays Premier League game against Stoke, Chelsea's all-time highest appearance makers, Ron Harris and Peter Bonetti, will be appearing in the Museum at Stamford Bridge.

In the morning on the same Saturday, our Under-18s side will be looking to make it four wins out of four this season when they take on Crystal Palace at Cobham.

Our Under-21s are not in action until next Monday evening, theirs an away fixture against Palace at Selhurst Park.