PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: FC NORDSJAELLAND V CHELSEA – PART ONE

02.10.2012

PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: FC NORDSJAELLAND V CHELSEA – PART ONE

From north London to northern Europe as the Blues look to carry good domestic league form into our defence of the cup with the big ears…

01.10.2012

DI MATTEO: PRESSURE TO PERFORM

Roberto Di Matteo used the old adage that there are no easy games when discussing Tuesday night’s Champions League group game against FC Nordsjaelland in Copenhagen.

01.10.2012

CECH: STRIKING EARLY

Petr Cech has stressed the importance of securing our first win of this season’s Champions League when we take on FC Nordsjaelland in Copenhagen tomorrow night…

01.10.2012

CHELSEA TV HEADLINES: DAVID LUIZ FIT FOR DENMARK

The latest Blues News bulletin, which can be viewed here, comes from Copenhagen where the team are now located ready for Tuesday’s Champions League match…

01.10.2012

CECH: JOB WELL DONE

Having played a significant role in our 2-1 win at Arsenal, Petr Cech believes the result will have sent out a warning to our title rivals…

01.10.2012

MATA: GOOD TO BE BACK

Juan Mata played a starring role in our 2-1 win at Arsenal on Saturday…

01.10.2012

RADIO CLIVE’S FIVE: ARSENAL V CHELSEA

Throughout the season former player Clive Walker provides radio and TV commentary on Chelsea’s games. Here he selects five aspects from the derby delight in north London that caught his eye…

01.10.2012

THE DATA DAY: ARSENAL V CHELSEA

Saturday’s game was a finely balanced one based on time with the ball, but Chelsea were more accurate in front of the net. The weekend’s statistics also show a different Eden Hazard from the previous

01.10.2012

SWIFT SUCCESS WITH ENGLAND UNDER-19S

Chelsea Academy product John Swift was part of the England Under-19 squad progressing to the next stage of the European Championship qualification process as group winners in a tournament completed today (Monday)…

01.10.2012

CHARLTON LOAN FOR YOUTH PRODUCT

James Ashton, a full-back or attacking midfielder who has come through the age groups at the Chelsea Academy, has joined Charlton on loan until the end of the season…

01.10.2012

CHARLTON LOAN FOR YOUTH PRODUCT

James Ashton, a full-back or attacking midfielder who has come through the age groups at the Chelsea Academy, has joined Charlton on loan until the end of the season…

01.10.2012

PRE-ORDER YOUR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SOUVENIR BOOK NOW

You can now pre-order the new official club book, Kings of Europe, which documents our journey through the Champions League last season.

01.10.2012

DI MATTEO MAKES HIS CHOICE

Voting closes today (Monday) for Chelsea magazine’s quest to select the 100 greatest Blues players of all time. Here Roberto Di Matteo has his say…

30.09.2012

TORRES: HITTING TARGETS

It wasn’t just the fact Chelsea collected three points to stay top of the league and he scored the opener that had Fernando Torres smiling at the end of the 2-1 win at Arsenal…

30.09.2012

GETTING TO KNOW: COPENHAGEN

Roberto Di Matteo and his squad face our first Champions League away game of the season on Tuesday when we take on FC Nordsjaelland…

30.09.2012

WIN A VIP EXPERIENCE AT THE BRIDGE

How does the idea of meeting a Chelsea superstar before being wined and dined at Stamford Bridge sound?

29.09.2012

FINAL WHISTLE VERDICT: WORK IN PROGRESS

At this early stage of season Roberto Di Matteo was not drawn into talk of title credentials, but he was clearly satisfied with how his team had matched up with and defeated an Arsenal side

29.09.2012

MATCH REPORT: ARSENAL 1 CHELSEA 2

The two-year wait for an away league win in London is over as a high-quality derby is decided by strikes from our Spanish contingent…

29.09.2012

TEAM NEWS: ARSENAL V CHELSEA

Frank Lampard begins the game on the bench so Ramires joins John Mikel Obi as two deeper midfielders with Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard playing further upfield…

29.09.2012

YOUTH REPORT: CHELSEA 4 MIDDLESBROUGH 2

Chelsea’s youth team earned a late victory at home to Middlesbrough on Saturday morning, despite relinquishing s two-goal lead.

29.09.2012

TORRES: POSITIVE IN POSSESSION

Fernando Torres believes another disciplined display, combined with slick counter-attacking, could be the key to three points at Arsenal on Saturday…

29.09.2012

PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: ARSENAL V CHELSEA – PART TWO

Joining club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton to complete their in-detail derby build-up is former player Clive Walker…

CECH: STRIKING EARLY

Petr Cech has stressed the importance of securing our first win of this season’s Champions League when we take on FC Nordsjaelland in Copenhagen tomorrow night.

The Blues head into the game as big favourites, but having let a two-goal lead slip in our opening game against Juventus a fortnight ago, there is now no margin for error.

Our opponents – who were beaten 2-0 by Shakhtar Donetsk two weeks ago – are enjoying their first spell in Europe’s elite competition, but Cech is adamant we will not be underestimating the Danish champions.

If you are interested in a players rewards card click here. ‘At the start of every campaign it’s important to get as many points as possible early on to qualify, then you can concentrate on the other games, that’s the ideal situation,’ said the Chelsea goalkeeper.

‘We will treat the game exactly the same as our last games. Whether it’s a final or not, you have to be ready if you want to win matches.

‘This is the Champions League, we take every opponent seriously. We want to win, that’s clear, we’ve done our homework, and we have an idea, but we want to put our own style on the game.’

The quarter-final first leg win away in Benfica last season was our only victory away from home over the course of what was ultimately a successful campaign.

Our three matches in the group stages – against Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen and Genk – saw us take the lead on every occasion, before eventually having to settle for either a point or, in the case of the German side, nothing at all.

Cech was at a loss to explain why we struggled so much on the road in the tournament, but takes heart from the fact that our fortunes took a positive turn when it really mattered.

‘It’s difficult to explain and find out why,’ he explained. ‘In the knockout stages we managed to shrug it off, which was the important part of our winning campaign.

‘In the group stages it wasn’t the case, but in the knockouts a lot of things changed, even the results away from home, and we would like to continue from there.’

Three wins in the space of a week domestically, including what could prove to be a pivotal result against Arsenal at the Emirates, ensures Roberto Di Matteo’s side head into the game full of confidence.

Cech admits that a camp high in spirits is of little surprise given our impressive start to the season, but with a fervent home crowd behind them, the game against Kasper Hjulmand’s men is likely to provide yet another tricky test.

‘I like coming here because of the passion,’ said the 31-year-old. ‘When we played Copenhagen [in 2011] it was an interesting game, the whole town was right behind the team and I expect the same.

‘It’s a huge event in the history of Nordsjaelland, that’s why we’re playing here at Parken Stadium, so more people can come, they will want to show that they can play football and they deserve to be here in the group stage.

‘With a great start the atmosphere is very good, but it’s only a start, the campaign is very long and nothing is secured. We are empty handed but enjoying the moment.

‘We have been doing well and getting the results we wanted, we are top of the league, which is a great position, but it’s early days.

‘Any victory will be good for us, but we know it won’t be easy. We’ve come for three points, we are the favourites for the group as reigning champions, and all we can do is play our game and hopefully get the result we want.’

DI MATTEO: PRESSURE TO PERFORM

Roberto Di Matteo used the old adage that there are no easy games when discussing Tuesday night’s Champions League group game against FC Nordsjaelland in Copenhagen.

The manager knows that as reigning European champions, we will be heavy favourites against the first-time qualifiers, despite the game taking place on Danish soil, but has warned we must be on top of our game if we are to take anything from matchday two.

There is also pressure to win, having surrendered a two-goal lead at home to Juventus a fortnight ago in our opening Group E fixture.

‘For us it’s probably the most important game in the group because we drew the first game at home so it’s important we gain points away from home,’ Di Matteo said. ‘For us it’s a crucial game and I want the team to be focused. It’s going to be a strong team and there might be some changes because we played a very intense game on Saturday. A win would certainly help and that’s what we are aiming for.

‘We know from the past in the Champions League that there are no easy games, especially away from home. It’s very difficult and Nordsjaelland have shown how good they are when they went to Shakhtar and had the majority of possession. They’re not afraid to play their football and it’s going to be difficult for us. We are probably favourites on paper but we have to show that on the pitch.

‘We watched Nordsjaelland a lot and I had the pleasure to meet their coach Kasper Hjulmand in Switzerland at the Uefa elite coaches conference. It’s a fantastic story winning the league for the first time with a young coach and developing a brand of football the coach likes, [but] we like to have the ball as well.

‘We are putting a big emphasis on possession and as long as we have the ball then the opposition can’t score, so hopefully we will have more of the ball than Nordsjaelland and will try and create chances, but their philosophy is on possession and it will be an interesting game.’

It was put to Di Matteo that games like this provide validation of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play policy, and the Italian admitted he was all in favour of sanctions that create a level playing field.

‘We as a club are in favour of Financial Fair Play,’ he commented. ‘We are doing everything to be within those new laws and rules, and I think we are on course for it. Also I do think it’s unsustainable the way clubs have been run in the past.

‘Every year you see some club going into administration or out of business which is not good. The amount of debt football clubs have in England and around Europe is unsustainable, so everybody welcomes these new rules.’

Di Matteo also suggested Frank Lampard may return to the starting line-up on Tuesday, and stressed the 34-year-old remains a key figure despite not starting since Juventus.

‘He is a very important player for us. I’ve had conversations with him, which I do on a regular basis,’ confirmed the manager. ‘I like to exchange opinions and he is very supportive of the team when he is not in it, and when he is in it he is a great performer.

‘We’re fortunate to have a very strong squad with very good players. Going forward with a busy schedule it’s important we can use these players.’

Di Matteo also suggested Lampard will not be restricted to a deeper holding midfield role, despite the 4-2-3-1 shape.

‘He’s been playing that role but I don’t think I’ve ever taken [the forward running] away from him or said he’s not allowed to.

‘It’s his strength, but in that role sometimes we need to be disciplined and it’s important for the balance of the team. He’s played magnificently last season and this season too so there are no concerns about him.’

You will be able to know who Di Matteo selects for his team first on Tuesday with Chelsea Mobile.

CHELSEA TV HEADLINES: DAVID LUIZ FIT FOR DENMARK

The latest Blues News bulletin, which can be viewed here, comes from Copenhagen where the team are now located ready for Tuesday’s Champions League match.

The channel reports David Luiz travelling, the defender overcoming the injury that forced him off early against Arsenal, and that Daniel Sturridge remains unavailable.

There is more on the squad in the bulletin and there will be more news from Denmark on Chelsea TV at 6.30pm this evening. 

CECH: JOB WELL DONE

Having played a significant role in our 2-1 win at Arsenal, Petr Cech believes the result will have sent out a warning to our title rivals.

The Chelsea goalkeeper made two stunning stops midway through the second half to keep us in front, firstly to deny Lucas Podolski, whose header looked destined for the top corner, and soon after from a deflected Olivier Giroud cross.

Both teams went into the game unbeaten in the league, but with Arsene Wenger’s side already having emerged unscathed from trips to Liverpool and Manchester City, we were the team with it all to prove, and Cech feels we responded in the perfect manner.

‘It’s a great win, we wanted to stay top of the league,’ said the 31-year-old. ‘Everybody was saying that it would be a big test for us because Arsenal have been playing really well.

‘We knew that if we didn’t win we could have been behind for the first time this season, but we got the three points and I thought it was a good performance.

‘We did really well over the 90 minutes, you expect Arsenal to have a few chances at home. It’s just a pity because in the second half we had so many good counter-attacks, but we didn’t pick the right pass to kill the game off, that’s why it was still in the balance.’

With a new-look Blues side gradually beginning to take shape, nobody would expect to see Roberto Di Matteo oversee a change in playing style without a few creases to iron out to overcome. However it has been as positive a start to the league campaign as anybody could have wished for, with the Blues top of the table having dropped only two points.

‘It’s a team in construction but, because we have a lot of good players, we’ve been doing well, but I hope we can still improve,’ said Cech.

‘There are some new lads in the team who are discovering Premier League football, and as they get more experience, they will become better players.

‘We’ve had difficult games so far and managed to come through them really well, we’re taking it step by step, game by game. Everybody was saying we’ll see what they can do, and we did well, so that’s pleasing.’

Cech went on to praise the contributions of Juan Mata, who looks a player reborn following his recent two-week break, and the skipper John Terry, who went into the game having barely trained following his appearance at an FA hearing.

‘For us, the important thing is to have Mata for the whole season, not to have him for three months and then see him burn out,’ said the Blues goalkeeper.

‘If you play 60 games and then go to the Euros and Olympics, it’s easy to burn out. He needed a break, and it was well done by the coaching staff.

‘All through his career, John Terry’s shown that playing football is what matters to him. He’s playing and focusing on his game. All the other things are unfortunate, but he’s on the pitch doing well, and that’s where we need him.’