THE CHELSEA WEEK HOME AND AWAY
In this round-up the official Chelsea website checks on the progress of our players out on loan before looking ahead to another busy week for the Blues...
Stipe Perica scored his fifth goal for NAC Breda 15 minutes after coming on in a 2-0 win over Roda on Saturday. The young Croatian striker (pictured above) superbly slid to intercept a clearance from the Roda keeper and calmly placed the ball into the empty net with a couple of minutes remaining. The win moves NAC into ninth place in the Eredivisie.
Elsewhere in Holland there was disappointment for our contingent at Vitesse after they dropped more points in two home games last week. They lost 2-0 at home to AZ Alkmaar on Tuesday, a game in which Lucas Piazon and Christian Atsu started and were both replaced, the former by Bertrand Traore. Then on Friday evening they were held to a goalless draw by bottom side ADO Den Haag when all three of our players began the game. Vitesse slide to fourth in the table, five points behind leaders Ajax.
Chelsea Academy graduates Nathaniel Chalobah and Todd Kane faced off at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday, with Chalobah's Middlesbrough failing to find a way past Kane's Blackburn in a goalless draw that hasn't helped either side's play-off hopes. Kenneth Omeruo was an unused Boro substitute.
Patrick Bamford will be hoping to maintain his excellent recent form tonight (Monday) when Derby host QPR.
In Spain, Thibaut Courtois's Atletico lost twice in five days, hampering their chances in league and cup. In the Copa del Rey Real Madrid put three past their city rivals without reply. Two of the goals were heavily deflected, and the Belgian's disappointing evening was compounded by an injury which ruled him out of his side's 2-0 loss at Almeria on Sunday, his replacement making a mistake for the first goal before getting sent off and giving away the penalty from which the hosts scored the second. Wins for Real Madrid and Barcelona means there is now a three-way tie at the top of the La Liga.
Also in Spain, Oriol Romeu has been ruled out for around a month after picking up an injury in Valencia's win at Barcelona last weekend.
Kurt Zouma kept another clean sheet for Saint Etienne in a goalless draw at Toulouse, but there was no such luck for Ryan Bertrand and Aston Villa, who lost 2-0 at home to West Ham. The left-back injured ribs colliding with a post in the first half and was withdrawn with 74 minutes played. He is a doubt for Villa's trip to Cardiff tomorrow evening.
Gael Kakuta was an unused substitute in the Rome derby, which ended goalless.
Champions League opponents
Galatasaray kept up their fine recent form with a comfortable 3-0 home win over Eskisehirspor on Saturday. Roberto Mancini's side are now just four points behind leaders Fenerbahce, who have lost their last two league games.
The Chelsea week ahead
Our first team are on the road twice in five days this week, starting with a Barclays Premier League trip to West Bromwich Albion tomorrow night. The game at the Hawthorns kicks off at 8pm.
Our Under-18s are also in action tomorrow. They host Wolves at Cobham with a noon kick-off and you can follow all the action on our Twitter account.
On Friday, our Under-21s will be hoping to follow up their fine victory at Fulham with a win at home to Liverpool. The match is being played at Aldershot FC with tickets priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions, while season ticket holders will have free entry on production of their valid 2013/14 season ticket. The game will also be broadcast live on Chelsea TV.
The following day we travel to the Etihad for the second time in as many weeks for a mouthwatering clash with Manchester City in the FA Cup fifth round. That starts at 5.15pm, with a press conference to preview the game being held at Cobham on Friday.
Also on Saturday, our Under-18s host Arsenal at Cobham with an 11am start.
If we avoid defeat at Man City on Saturday then our name will be in the hat for the sixth round of the FA Cup, the draw for which is on Sunday at around 3.30pm following the Everton v Swansea tie.