Chelsea’s win at Arsenal last weekend continued our fantastic recent record in Premier League away matches played in August. Ahead of our game against Liverpool on Saturday, find out why Blues fans should be looking at the trip to Anfield with plenty of optimism.
After goals from Romelu Lukaku and Reece James gave us a comfortable victory at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, it got us thinking – how do we typically fare on our travels at the beginning of a campaign?
Well, we’ve crunched the numbers and it appears that when it comes to Blues matches at the start of the August, we’ve got a fairly formidable record this century.
Going back 20 years to 2001, which covers 30 Premier League away matches played in August, we’ve lost only three times!
Two of those to inflict defeats upon us will not surprise you, as the two Manchester clubs were responsible for losses in 2019 and 2015, but the identity of the third may come as a shock: Middlesbrough. The man sitting inside the home dugout on that evening in 2006 was none other than Gareth Southgate, who recorded his first victory as a manager, having taken the reins from England-bound Steve McClaren.
Setting aside those defeats, we’ve also recorded four draws, which means a whopping 23 victories for the Blues. Some of them were pretty memorable, too.
In 2019, there was a first win for Frank Lampard as Chelsea boss, when Tammy Abraham’s brace saw us past Norwich City at Carrow Road. Maurizio Sarri had also started his Blues tenure with an away victory 12 months early, as we defeated Huddersfield Town in a game which saw Jorginho get off the mark in a Chelsea shirt with a first sighter of his unique penalty kick style.
Perhaps the most celebrated August triumph of the lot came in 2017, though, as we travelled to Wembley Stadium for the first Premier League game held at the national stadium. Tottenham Hotspur were technically the home side that day, while their new ground was being built, but we all know new Wembley is a home from home for the Blues.
Marcos Alonso scored twice, including a spectacular free-kick, to secure a memorable win over our London rivals.
There have been plenty of dazzling debuts in August away days, too. Pedro marked his first Chelsea appearance with the opener at West Brom – a game in which Cesar Azpilicueta netted his maiden Premier League goal – back in 2015, while Eden Hazard ran the show at Wigan at 2012 as we burst into a two-goal lead in our first competitive game after being crowned champions of Europe.
Going back a little further, Tiago scored a stunner at Crystal Palace to mark him out as an early fans’ favourite in 2004 – he definitely comes from Portugal and we think he hates Arsenal – and the previous year we began the Roman Abramovich era with a 2-1 win at Anfield which featured a debut goal for Juan Sebastian Veron. Alas, that was as good as it got for the Argentinian playmaker.
Wigan Athletic hated hosting us in August, as Deco and Hernan Crespo scored spectacular goals in 1-0 victories, while we also hammered the Latics 6-0 in 2010, which meant we began the campaign with back-to-back victories by that scoreline!
Another six-goal showing came at Goodison Park in 2014, a season which had started with a 3-1 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor when Andre Schurrle netted an early goal of the season contender after finishing off a stunning team goal. Incredibly, there were nine goals in total in that game against Everton, which set the tone for a wonderful campaign on our way to winning the Premier League title.
So, August has long been a month of cheer for those Blues fans following the team over land – if not sea – but the question remains: will we add to the record at Anfield on Saturday? Follow every kick against the Reds via our match centre on the 5th Stand app.