THE 2012/13 SEASON IN PICTURES: DECEMBER
The official Chelsea website is taking a look back at the 2012/13 season through images taken over the course of the campaign, capturing the action as it unfolded, including goals scored, team celebrations, supporters' reactions and behind-the-scenes shots.
It was a season which saw the Blues play an astonishing 69 matches, and there was no busier month than December...
Chelsea and West Ham United players shake hands ahead of the London derby on 1 December at Upton Park. We led 1-0 courtesy of a Juan Mata goal midway through the first half and should have been out of sight. The home side, however, turned the game on its head after the break and ran out 3-1 winners.
Juan Mata addresses the media ahead of our final Champions League group game against Nordsjaelland. We won the game 6-1, but with the result going against us elsewhere in the group we found ourselves eliminated at this stage of the competition for the first time.
We headed up to Sunderland in desperate need of a win in order to get our faltering league campaign back on track. A Fernando Torres brace before the break put us in the ascendancy, and Juan Mata added a third in the second half as we won our final match ahead of the FIFA Club World Cup 3-1.
Our Japanese supporters were permanently camped outside the players' hotel during our stay. Here, Frank Lampard makes their day by signing autographs before climbing on to the team bus.
While the focus was heavily on winning the competition, there was a brief relaxation period for the players, and they spent it by playing a (very competitive) game of 10-pin bowling. It kept them occupied as waking hours were adjusted to avoid jet lag.
Juan Mata celebrates scoring the opening goal in our 3-1 semi-final win over Monterrey. He holds six fingers up in support of his team-mate Oriol Romeu (whose squad number is six) after the young midfielder was ruled out for the season. He sustained a knee injury in the game against Sunderland.
The competition ended in disappointment for the Blues, as we were beaten 1-0 in the final by Brazilian outfit Corinthians. To compound our misery, Gary Cahill was harshly dismissed in the closing minutes.
On our return to the UK, we faced a potentially tricky Capital One Cup tie at Leeds United, but having fallen behind early on our class told, with the Blues running out comfortable 5-1 winners.
The scoreboard at the end of our game against Aston Villa emphasises the manner of our win over Paul Lambert's side. The 8-0 scoreline was our joint-highest in the Premier League, equalling our previous best, which was set on the final day of the 2009/10 campaign against Wigan Athletic.
Ashley Cole salutes the travelling supporters at the end of a hard-fought Boxing Day win away at Norwich when Juan Mata scored the only goal of the game. It was our third straight league win, and a sign we were coming back into form.
Another away game, and another away win, this time at Goodison Park, a notoriously difficult fixture. Everton had taken the lead inside the opening two minutes, but after equalising shortly before half-time as pictured above, Frank Lampard scored the winner late on to secure a huge win on Merseyside.