THE CHELSEA WEEK HOME AND AWAY
The official Chelsea website takes a look at how current and former Blues are doing away from Stamford Bridge, finds out how our Champions League opponents are getting on domestically, before previewing the week ahead closer to home…
Our two players out on loan in the Barclays Premier League went head to head on Saturday in a thrilling Merseyside derby. Romelu Lukaku started and scored twice for Everton, the first a calm finish with his right foot and the second a powerful header from a corner. Prior to his second-half brace the Belgian had gone close on a number of occasions, with his compatriot Simon Mignolet denying him three times when the striker was in goal.
Victor Moses was introduced from the bench with 68 minutes played and with Liverpool leading 2-1. Lukaku then scored twice in 10 minutes to turn the game on its head before Daniel Sturridge equalised with two minutes remaining, heading in a free-kick that Moses had won. The Nigerian almost found a winner in injury time but he headed over from close range having beaten Tim Howard to the ball.
In the Championship there were 90 minutes for Todd Kane as Blackburn drew 0-0 at home to Reading, while Nathaniel Chalobah came on at half-time in Nottingham Forest's 1-1 draw with league leaders Burnley, both goals scored prior to the England Under-21 midfielder's introduction.
Josh McEachran played the whole of Watford's disappointing home loss to Bolton on Saturday, a result which sees the Hornets slip to 10th, ahead of 14th-placed Blackburn but five places behind Chalobah's Nottingham Forest.
Patrick Bamford, fresh from his England Under-21 debut on Tuesday, scored for MK Dons in their 3-2 loss at home to Bradford. With his side a goal down he latched onto a through ball and coolly slotted past the Bantams' keeper for his 13th goal of the season.
George Saville played in Brentford's midfield for the first 79 minutes of their goalless draw at Wolves, while Milan Lalkovic was denied a second goal in six days for Walsall in their stalemate at Crawley. The Slovakian earned the Man of the Match award for his performance against Peterborough last Monday, when he scored the opening goal after a slalom run through the Posh backline before laying on the second in a 2-0 win.
Our other player out on loan in League One, goalkeeper Sam Walker, was again on top form for Colchester, denying a barrage of Preston efforts as the U's left Deepdale with a point after snatching a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
There was more joy for our contingent on loan at Vitesse yesterday, with Lucas Piazon netting two penalties and Gael Kakuta adding gloss to the scoreline in a 3-0 win away to 10-man Go Ahead Eagles. Patrick van Aanholt played the full 90 minutes while Christian Atsu was replaced with a quarter of an hour remaining. Kakuta had come on during the interval for Vitesse, still clear at the top of the Eredivisie.
Elsewhere in Holland, Stipe Perica was introduced with 63 minutes played and his NAC Breda team 3-2 down away to third-placed FC Twente, but the two further goals in the game went to the home side.
Thibaut Courtois had a quiet day in the Atletico Madrid goal on Saturday, with most of the action down the other end. Atletico thumped Getafe 7-0 in Madrid and are still sandwiched in between Barcelona and Real Madrid, just three points off the league leaders.
Staying in Spain, Ulises Davila played 90 minutes for Cordoba in their 3-1 loss at Mirandes.
Thorgan Hazard played the whole of Zulte Waregem's come-from-behind victory against KV Mechelen that moves the Flanders side to the top of the Jupiler League, albeit having played a game more than nearest challengers Standard Liege. Hazard and Zulte travel to England this week to play Wigan at the DW Stadium in a crunch Europa League clash.
Former Blues and Champions League opposition
There was cause for celebration for Didier Deschamps last week after his France side turned around a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to defeat Ukraine 3-0 in Paris and qualify for the World Cup finals in Brazil next summer. Deschamps took over Les Blues after their Euro 2012 exit last summer.
Eidur Gudjohnsen's Iceland, meanwhile, fell at the final hurdle of qualification, losing 2-0 in Croatia.
All three of our Champions League group opponents came from behind to get a positive result from their games this weekend. Tomorrow's opponents Basel fell behind to an early FC Thun goal but hit back with four of their own for a resounding home victory that keeps them top of the Swiss league.
Schalke threw away a two-goal lead away to Freiburg and trailed 3-2 with four minutes remaining before Benedikt Howedes netted a late leveller that leaves Schalke sixth.
Steaua Bucharest recovered from conceding first to draw 1-1 away to Pandurii Targu. They are second but with games in hand. They host Schalke tomorrow evening.
The Chelsea week ahead
It's another busy seven days for all at Chelsea. The first team train this morning at Cobham before flying, along with the Under-19 squad, to Basel this afternoon. Upon arrival Jose Mourinho and one of his players will address the media.
The Under-19s are in action first tomorrow, aiming to make it five wins out of five in the UEFA Youth League. They play Basel's youngsters behind closed doors at the Swiss club's academy training ground, kick-off is 2pm English time. Please note, spectators will not be admitted. The first teams then face off at 7.45pm at St Jacob-Park. The teams are staying overnight in Basel before flying back to England on Wednesday morning. They will train upon arrival at Cobham.
On Thursday evening Eden Hazard, Demba Ba and Kevin De Bruyne will be taking part in a special 'An Audience With' at Stamford Bridge. Tickets cost £20 and include entry and a drinks voucher. Click here to book your seat.
On Friday, the club is hosting its 18th Annual Lunch at the Great Hall at Stamford Bridge, where fans and past players come together to celebrate the club's illustrious history while enjoying a delicious three-course gourmet lunch. There is complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks. Tickets are still available and cost £140 + VAT. Click here to book online for this year's event.
On Saturday our Under-18s have an away game against Leicester City before the first team are back in action at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, taking on Southampton at 4.10pm.