FA announce plans to resume FA Youth cup competition

Chelsea’s Under-18s progressed into the fourth round of this season’s competition by defeating Barnsley 8-1 in December. Our next opponents will be the winners of Cambridge United versus AFC Fylde, a tie which was postponed upon the competition’s suspension.

The statement from the FA reads:

We confirm that The FA Youth Cup shall recommence following its temporary suspension due to COVID-19 restrictions, in consultation with the relevant stakeholders, as follows:-

Revised Schedule

Third Round Proper 12 outstanding matches to be played by Saturday 20 March
Fourth Round Proper To be played by Saturday 3 April
Fifth Round Proper To be played by Saturday 17 April
Quarter Final To be played by Saturday 1 May
Semi Final To be played by Saturday 15 May
Final To be played by Saturday 29 May

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Win a Nintendo Switch with Play Predictor!

Sunday’s fixture against Manchester United not only brings excitement on the pitch, but also off it, with fans having the chance to win a Nintendo Switch in our Play Predictor game, presented by Carabao.

Fans can be in with a chance of winning by making their predictions on The 5th Stand app before 3.30pm (UK time) on Sunday 28 February, selecting who they think will score first, what the final score will be, when our first goal will be scored, plus other match events.

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Chelsea coach Barry adds Ireland role

Barry, who joined Chelsea at the start of this season, will remain in his existing position at the club and link up with the Ireland squad in the international windows.

‘I’m delighted to join the Republic of Ireland coaching staff ahead of the start of the FIFA 2022 World Cup campaign,’ said Barry.

‘The opportunity to work in international football is something I’m thoroughly looking forward to and I’m looking forward to working with manager Stephen Kenny, his staff and the squad. I’d also like to thank Chelsea for helping facilitate this opportunity.’

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Chelsea vs Man United – the stats

Man Utd’s January transfer window

IN
Amad Diallo Atalanta

OUT
Timothy Fosu-Mensah Bayer Leverkusen
Jesse Lingard West Ham, loan
Marcos Rojo Boca Juniors

Discipline

There are no suspensions.

The suspension for five bookings has now passed. Players who accumulate 10 yellow cards in Premier League matches up to and including our 32nd fixture will serve a two-match suspension in the competition.


Premier League bookings list

Chelsea: Kante 6, Azpilicueta 4, James 3, Thiago Silva 3, Ziyech 3, Alonso 2, Chilwell 2, Havertz 2, Kovacic 2, Mount 2, Pulisic 2, Christensen 1, Giroud 1, Zouma 1

Man Utd: Maguire 6, Fernandes 5, Shaw 5, Pogba 3, Rashford 3, Fred 3, Bailly 2, James 2, Matic 2, Tuanzebe 2, Cavani 1, Fosu-Mensah 1, Greenwood 1, Henderson 1, Van de Beek 1, Wan-Bissaka 1

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Foundation providing virtual programme to support students in further education

Foundation staff would usually spend up to 10 hours with students either out on the training pitch or attending fixtures but due to the country being in lockdown, this has not been possible.

Therefore, the Foundation has adapted to the new Government guidelines and is currently delivering a seven-week virtual programme to more than 600 of our college academy students from around the south-east of England.

A series of seminars and workshops have been made available for students, with topics including UCAS, scouting and player identifications, performance analysis and coaching in the female game.

Students have also been given challenges to complete and been provided with resources linking to health and wellbeing and nutrition and diet.

James Phillips, Chelsea Foundation senior officer of football projects, said: ‘Through the Foundation College Academy steering group we have developed this virtual programme for the players to ensure they remain engaged throughout this lockdown period.

‘Having missed most of the season’s football due to previous lockdown, we knew this period would be the most difficult for the players, so we had to ensure that the programme provided those players with the maximum opportunity to engage with it.

‘The seminars and challenges have proved to be hugely popular, providing an element of competition between colleges and also internally between team-mates.’

Chris McGinn, head coach of the Chelsea Foundation College Academy at Uxbridge College, said: ‘The virtual college programmes have really catered for everyone here at Uxbridge College.

‘It has been fantastic to be able to offer everything from fitness, exit routes to university, support with their course work, workshops on becoming a coach and so much more.

‘These types of things have kept the players engaged socially, which in the current circumstances has been so important.

‘Where they can’t meet friends and family it can be such a hard time for everyone, so to have things which engage students and socially, educationally and physically has been so important.

One student that has felt the benefit of the virtual programme provided by the Chelsea Foundation is Uxbridge College student Rhys.

He said: ‘After attending the Becoming a Coach and the St Mary’s University workshops, I have decided to get my FA Coaching qualifications to join Chelsea Foundation as a coach, and to join St Mary’s University in September 2021.’

For more information on the Foundation’s 16-18 football and education programmes, click here

Find out how the Chelsea Foundation is supporting the community during lockdown through the delivery of a range of programmes here

As we continue to help those most in need, the Foundation has now called on fans to help support our wider communities and increase the number of people helped. You can donate to the Chelsea Foundation appeal here

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Gallery: Blues return to work at Cobham

The Blues had Wednesday as a well-earned day off following the impressive victory over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League but were back on the training pitches at Cobham today as attention quickly turned back to the Premier League.

United visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon in a meeting between second and fifth, with Thomas Tuchel’s side hoping to cut the gap to the Red Devils to just three points.

As our exclusive pictures show, there were a selection of footballs of varying sizes on show in today’s session, as well as plenty of smiles on recharged faces. We’ve selected our pick of the snaps for you to enjoy…

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Women’s Champions League dates confirmed

The Blues will host Atletico Madrid at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday 3 March, with the first leg to kick-off at 7pm.

Chelsea will then travel to Italy for the second leg against the Spanish side the following week, with the game to take place on Wednesday 10 March.

Due to Spanish government restrictions on travellers entering the country from the UK due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been decided by UEFA and Atletico Madrid that the match will be staged in Monza, Italy

The fixture will be played at the Brianteo Stadium, Monza. The kick-off time will be confirmed in due course.

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Azpilicueta: There is still a lot to do

‘We play every game to win. We scored one away goal and it is important, we won, we didn’t concede any chances or goals. We’ve played the first leg and it’s a positive result, but we know there is lots to do and we work to improve and go through.’

So, while the Spanish defender was pleased with the performance, much like on the domestic scene he insists there is still plenty more work and improvement needed if we are to reach the standards the team expects of themselves and have a chance of ending the season with silverware.

‘We are here so, of course, every team that is in the last-16 stage has a chance to win it, so let’s go step by step,’ added Azpilicueta. ‘We cannot get too carried away about this result. It’s positive, we are in a good dynamic, but we know that as a team we can still go further.

‘We have an amazing squad with the quality, number of players, competition inside of the team, so let’s go and keep progressing and improving.’

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Defying gravity – Bicycle-kick goals by the Blues

Olivier Giroud produced such a moment to secure a 1-0 victory for Chelsea in our Champions League Round of 16 clash with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday as the France striker emulated these other gorgeous strikes by the Blues.

Eidur Gudjohnsen vs Leeds United – Jan 2003

In terms of execution, Eidur Gudjohnsen’s magnificent strike in our 3-2 win over Leeds United at Stamford Bridge in 2003/04 could be the Blues’ best-ever bicycle kick goal.

With Chelsea trailing 1-0, Frank Lampard chased the ball down the right flank and sent a high cross into the box as two Leeds defenders tried to close him down.

Gudjohnsen was lurking just outside the six-yard box but as the cross drifted away from the Icelandic striker towards the penalty spot, he adjusted himself brilliantly and met the ball with a perfectly timed right-footed effort which flew past goalkeeper Paul Robinson.

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Watch highlights of Chelsea’s win over Atletico Madrid

Olivier Giroud’s overhead kick that gave the Blues a first-leg win plus other key action from the match can be watched above. 

To hear from the goalscorer himself, watch his post-match reaction below, and there are the thoughts of Thomas Tuchel on the match plus much more in our Videos section

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