Gallery: Pre-season preparations continue at Cobham

The Blues will look to continue building on their summer work when we end our week with a game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. As the build-up began for that fixture, which you can watch live on the 5th Stand app, the boys were out at our Surrey training base working hard following our comeback by the seaside against Bournemouth on Tuesday night.

Armando Broja and Tammy Abraham were pictured as they look to add to their goal tallies up front this pre-season, while the German duo of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz were both involved as they build up fitness with an eye to featuring for the first time since Euro 2020.

Take a look at these pictures from our latest training session below…

Statement issued following legal proceedings brought by Mr Abramovich

The following statement was released on Wednesday 28 July:

Today the first hearing took place in London, in the High Court, following the proceedings issued in March by Mr Abramovich over the defamatory claims made about him in the book ‘Putin’s People’, published by HarperCollins.

We have now had an opportunity to make our concerns clear to the Court and to explain why Mr Abramovich has brought this claim. The Defendants have also clarified their position regarding a number of the false and defamatory statements made about Mr Abramovich in the book.

Today the defendants argued, amongst other things, that they do not suggest that Mr Abramovich has acted in an illegal or unlawful manner and that, in fact, their portrayal of Mr Abramovich was intended ‘as someone able to do business in the US and the UK and as a person considered suitable to own a major football club.’ The defendants told the court that they consider Mr Abramovich to be separate to the main themes explored in the book and that ‘Putin’s inner circle comprises almost exclusively current Russian security service or former KGB personnel’, of which Mr Abramovich is clearly not a part.

The defendants also emphasised that the named individual who suggested that Chelsea Football Club was purchased at the direction of President Putin was someone ‘prone to overstating his role’ and argued that readers would take his credibility into account when reading the book. They did however not explain why this individual has such a central role in the book.

Although it is helpful to have the defendants’ clarifications – their position in today’s hearing does not correspond to what is actually written in the book, and further underscores the need for the false and defamatory claims about Mr Abramovich to be corrected as soon as possible.

Spokesperson for Mr Abramovich, July 28th, 2021

Chelsea Women’s first pre-season friendly to be streamed live

Emma Hayes’s side travel to north London for our first pre-season friendly of the summer as preparations continue for the start of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League in five weeks’ time.

The game will kick-off at 12.15pm and our men’s fixture against Arsenal, which is part of The Mind Series, will then follow at 3pm. Supporters have the opportunity to watch both games and you can find out more information about the live stream here.

Sunday’s fixture against Arsenal will be the first outing for Hayes’s side since the conclusion of our successful 2020/21 campaign, during which the Blues won the WSL, Continental League Cup, FA Community Shield and reached the Champions League final for the first time in our history.

Chelsea will begin our WSL title defence by facing Sunday’s opponents on the opening day of the new campaign and will be hoping to get our pre-season campaign underway with a win against the Gunners this weekend.

A number of players won’t be available for the game due to participation at the Tokyo Olympics, but supporters will get to see the likes of Pernille Harder, Erin Cuthbert, Bethany England and Guro Reiten back in action for the Blues.

Find out how you can watch the double header here

Bettinelli signs for Chelsea

Back in the Premier League, Bettinelli made his top-flight debut in a 4-2 victory against Burnley in August 2018, the start of a run of seven straight league starts. The first international break of the season saw the goalkeeper’s form rewarded with a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad, an achievement he repeated the following month in October, albeit without making an appearance for the Three Lions.

Yet after a promising start to the season, six games without a win meant Sergio Rico took the gloves for the remainder of the campaign. The Whites only won seven league games and received an immediate return ticket to the Championship.

A further 14 appearances followed in 2019/20 as injury disrupted his flow once again before he spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough, making 42 appearances and keeping 13 clean sheets for a side that finished 10th in the second tier.

All Star Legacy match at Stamford Bridge moved to March 2022

The event, in partnership with the charitable organisation Equality is Legacy, will be used to drive meaningful social action and aims, in turn inspiring a new generation of leaders amid the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly among marginalised communities.

The event will feature some of the most recognisable names in sport and entertainment, and to ensure their participation and guarantee their travel from all over the globe it will now take place in March next year.

Ticket sale details will follow, with all funds raised by the All Star Legacy Match to go directly to funding and mentoring for underprivileged and BAME communities, and to support those with less opportunity.

Berger talks new contract with Erin Cuthbert

Emma said last season that you are one of the best goalkeepers in the world, what’s it like to hear your boss say that?

It’s nice to hear. I still don’t feel that way because there are a lot of good goalkeepers out there. If a manager tells you that or tells the media, for me and my confidence, it plays a huge part.

You’ve been here for two years now, how do you feel you have developed as a goalkeeper during that time?

I’ve improved with a lot of different things. With Stuart [Searle], he helps me a lot. In small areas, I thought I was good, but he actually gave me more percentage in every single area, both as a goalkeeper and as a person. The last two years, I’ve improved quite a lot and I was surprised that I could improve that much.

Last season was a successful one, how do you reflect on last season now you have had some time away?

We had a really good season and I’m proud of what we did. With the Champions League, it was a little bit bitter and sweet, but it was a good feeling. I know now where we need to be, so I’ve got more hungry to get the big trophy.

Match report: Bournemouth 1 Chelsea 2

Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa (Mendy h-t); Sterling (Miazga h-t), Baker (Chalobah h-t), Sarr (Clarke-Salter h-t); Hudson-Odoi (Zappacosta 63), Drinkwater (Loftus-Cheek h-t), Gallagher, Alonso (c) (Baba 63); Ziyech (Barkley h-t), Abraham (Ugbo 63), Pulisic (Broja h-t).
Unused sub Bergstrom
Scorers Broja 71, Ugbo 76
Sterling 36

Bournemouth (4-2-3-1): Travers; Stacey (Camp h-t), Ibsen Rossi, Kelly (c) (Greenwood 82), Smith (Zemura 60); Marcondes (Glover 82), Kilkenny; Brooks (Saydee 71), Billing (Moriah-Welsh 82), Taylor (Edwards h-t); Solanke (Surridge 82).
Unused sub Dennis
Scorer Marcondes 66

Chelsea line up vs Bournemouth

Kepa starts in goal with Edouard Mendy among plenty of players on the bench and changes are expected to be made as the match progresses.

The match is taking place at Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, and in front of fans for the first time in this pre-season.

Chelsea: Kepa, Sterling, Baker, Sarr, Hudson-Odoi, Gallagher, Drinkwater, Alonso (c), Ziyech, Abraham, Pulisic.

Subs: Mendy, Bergstrom, Baba, Zappacosta, Chalobah, Clarke-Salter, Miazga, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Broja, Ugbo.

Bournemouth: Travers; Stacey, Ibsen Rossi, Kelly (c), Smith; Marcondes, Kilkenny; Brooks, Billing, Taylor; Solanke.

Subs: Dennis, Surridge, Edwards, Zemura, Glover, Saydee, Moriah-Welsh, Greenwood, Camp. 

Tokyo Olympics Round-Up: 11 Blues through to quarter-finals

Millie Bright and Sophie Ingle both started today’s clash against Canada, with Ingle named as captain. Fran Kirby, who missed Team GB’s last two fixtures due to injury, took her place on the bench.

Both Carly Telford and Niamh Charles were not included in the Team GB matchday squad, while Jessie Fleming was named amongst the substitutes for Canada, but the midfielder entered the action at half-time with the game goalless.

Ten minutes into the second half and Fleming’s Canada broke the deadlock to give them the advantage and put them top of the group.

Still 1-0 down, Kirby came on for her first appearance at the tournament, replacing fellow Blue Ingle.

With five minutes to go Caroline Weir netted an equaliser for Team GB to secure top spot in Group E.

Great Britain will face Kerr’s Australia, while Canada will take on Brazil in the last eight on Friday.

Goalkeeper completes League One loan

The 21-year-old embarks on his second spell away from Stamford Bridge following a successful campaign at Stevenage in League Two last term.

After quickly establishing himself as first choice between the posts at Broadhall Way, the Chelsea Academy graduate made 47 appearances in total and kept an impressive 18 clean sheets, playing a big part in Stevenage ending the campaign with the division’s third-best defensive record despite finishing 14th.

Prior to that maiden loan move, Cumming spent the 2019/20 season as third-choice keeper at Chelsea behind Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero, deputising on the bench on five occasions.

He also kept goal in two triumphant FA Youth Cup campaigns and performed penalty shoot-out heroics in a memorable UEFA Youth League semi-final victory against Porto in 2018.

The Winchester-born keeper joins a Gillingham side that finished four places outside the play-offs last season in England’s third tier. Their campaign begins at home to Lincoln City on Saturday 7 August.