Chelsea Women begin next month with a visit from Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday 3 November for our second Continental Tyres League Cup fixture.
Kick-off is at 7pm with the match being shown live on The 5th Stand app, the Chelsea website, Chelsea FC Women’s Facebook page and our official YouTube channel. More information can be found here.
We then welcome Everton to Kingsmeadow on Sunday 8 November for a 12 noon kick-off and you can watch this live on the BBC Red Button.
The following weekend, Chelsea have another big Women’s Super League game against Arsenal and this London derby will take place at the Gunners’ patch with a 2pm kick-off.
The Blues end November with a trip to Kent to face London City Lionesses for our final Conti Cup group stage match. This fixture will be on Wednesday 18 November with a 7.30pm kick-off.
Last Saturday’s clash against Derby County was full of action as Andy Myers’s men ran out 3-2 winners following a flurry of second-half goals. Tino Anjorin opened the scoring but we were soon behind after a quick-fire Derby double.
Forward Bryan Fiabema was then introduced for the final 20 minutes and bagged a late brace to clinch the win and send the young Blues top of the early Premier League 2 standings.
He was travelling back with friends from watching the team play a League Cup game away at Bolton Wanderers when his helicopter crashed. His fellow passengers Ray Deane, Tony Burridge, John Bauldie and Mick Goss also lost their lives.
A supporter from a very young age, Harding got involved with the club he loved more directly in the early 1990s, and his legacy lives on. After playing a significant role in helping to finance the reconstruction of the stand at the north end of the stadium, it was named after him following his passing. Fondly remembered at Stamford Bridge, his name is still sung by supporters.
His financial investment also helped us acquire the likes of Ruud Gullit, Mark Hughes and Roberto Di Matteo, but he tragically died before he could see his beloved Blues win major silverware in the form of the FA Cup.
To find out more about Harding’s life, death and legacy, listen to the podcast below. It is one of five episodes of Blue Days, covering the dramatic 1996/97 campaign. In this episode celebrating Harding, we hear from his children, those who worked closely with him at Stamford Bridge, like Glenn Hoddle and Colin Hutchinson, as well as former players who remember his presence around the club.
Gone, but never forgotten. Rest in peace, Matthew.
‘He’s very happy here,’ added Jorginho. ‘He’s a big personality, a big player, with big experience.
‘He’s helping all of us a lot, the group, the young players, everyone because he has personality. He is helping everyone with what he feels and what he feels is the right thing to say. He is doing very well and we are happy to have him here.’
Thiago Silva’s two most recent appearances have yielded clean sheets for the team, and shoring up defensively remains a key target for Lampard and the coaching staff, as well as the players.
‘We are trying to be a solid team, not conceding goals,’ says Jorginho.
‘Details can make the difference: being aggressive, defending inside the box, how to press, 50/50 balls, not switching off on set plays.
‘We need to be aware all the time and we are trying to do that. We are on the right way.’
‘He is very fit, he is still relatively young, he probably could have carried on playing,’ Lampard continued.
‘He has taken on his role at Chelsea which he does very well, he is very helpful to me and we work very closely. Whether we will see him [playing] much this season I am not sure. It depends on how the season goes and on Covid and isolation, but I certainly felt it was a no-brainer to have Pete in the squad for that reason. It can only help the goalkeepers we have to see one of the world’s best in the modern era amongst us.’
Cech of course won a huge number of honours during his Chelsea playing career spanning 2004 to 2015, including Premier League titles and the Champions League.
‘It is definitely not done for the romance,’ Lampard said of his former team-mate being down as a player once more.
‘Pete certainly enjoys the training because that is how he is. I would enjoy training more if my calves didn’t go tight every time I try to sprint these days. With Pete it [playing] is something I wouldn’t expect to happen this year, but I do know with the way he is and how fit he is that if we were in crisis times then of course we couldn’t ask for something much better than having Petr Cech around. I don’t expect it but nobody expected what we have seen in the last six or seven months around the world.’
In the corresponding fixture last time around his side lost at home to another Spanish side, Valencia, and he remembers the effect of that defeat and the pressure it put us under to get through the group, even though we eventually did. That contrast with this season, and the way team responded to the defensive failings seen in the weekend’s 3-3 draw with Valencia, are why Lampard considers this latest draw a positive result.
‘I was pleased with the professional element to it,’ he said. ‘I spoke to the players about game management, and the Southampton game was a hit for us, and the reaction today was a really positive one.
‘Seville are a top team in European football, of that there is no doubt, and the concentration and the focus you need in the Champions League to get a clean sheet was big from the team. The decisions we made when we defended well, the decisions we made when we played longer as opposed to keeping possession, there were a lot of good ones and it is a nice base for us to build from.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Mendy; James, Thiago Silva, Zouma, Chilwell; Jorginho (c) (Kovacic 64), Kante; Pulisic (Hudson-Odoi 90+1), Havertz, Mount (Ziyech 61); Werner (Abraham 90+1).
Unused subs Kepa, Caballero, Azpilicueta, Tomori, Rudiger, Christensen, Emerson, Giroud.
Booked Jorginho 14, Mount 36, Chilwell 64
Sevilla (4-3-3): Bono; Navas (c), Gomez (Jordan 33), Carlos, Acuna; Rakitic (Vazquez 80), Fernando, Gudelj; Suso (Oliver 58), De Jong (En-Nesyri 80), Ocampos.
Unused subs Vaclik, Rekik, Escudero, Oscar, Fernandez, Munir.
Booked Acuna 43, Jordan 87
Referee Davide Massa from Italy
As part of this it is important to recognise and celebrate the diverse past, present and future of the club. In Black History Month, with a collection of words and video, we mark the contribution of some of our black players to the success of our club.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck says: ‘Through the work of Chelsea Foundation and Building Bridges, our campaign to celebrate diversity and inclusion across the club, Chelsea FC has for many years supported Black History Month. We are very aware many players of black heritage have been writing – and continue to write – our own club’s history, which will be remembered for decades to come. To continue our support for Black History Month, we are pleased to showcase some of that history here.’
Visit our Celebrating Black History Month page to read about current squad members from our men’s and women’s teams, superstars of the past, those who were important firsts, and to watch video of history makers, innovators and players who have risen through the ranks.
However, one of the areas Azpilicueta wants to see improvement in is our ability to defend as a team and be more ruthless in closing out games when we need to.
‘What is very clear is that if we want to improve and fight for everything we have to improve the defensive side and obviously this is a problem that we have to fix collectively and individually, because when you concede so many goals, one day you can get away with it and you can score four goals but you cannot rely on every single game to score four goals.
‘I think it’s key moving forward and we have to start getting this consistency of winning games, of not conceding goals.
‘When you have the solidity defensively I think it gives a boost for the whole team. I always see football as a collective. When we don’t score goals I try to see even as a defender, how we can put our dangerous players, attacking players, in better positions, because sometimes they don’t get the service that they should get. And as a defender I feel bad when you concede as many goals, but sometimes we have to improve our personal mistakes that have been an issue and also collectively sometimes we have to take decisions and say “we all defend together right now”.
‘Through the season you’re not going to be playing beautiful football every single day and winning 4-0, even if it’s what we wish. When we can’t, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter your position, we must do this to win the game because football is about results.’
Lampard acknowledged that is not good enough for a team wishing to challenge towards the top end of the table, but he also pointed out that some of our defensive numbers are more impressive, and perhaps more enlightening.
‘I’m aware of that stat,’ started Lampard, ‘and the other stat I’m aware of since I have been here is that we have conceded the second-fewest shots in the Premier League, behind Manchester City.
‘It helps to sometimes narrow down some of the issues. The issues are we don’t concede many shots on our goal, but when we do we concede goals.
‘It’s something we’re aware of when we look at recruitment, and more importantly you’re aware when you work every day on the pitch with the players to make sure we are set up well.
‘We want to concede less, as do all teams at the moment. There are teams in the Premier League that are conceding a lot of goals at the moment, we are all in a similar position to a degree. It will always be something we work on, as much as we do our attacking play.