Teenage Kicks: Derrick Abu

Were there any other sports you were into as a kid?

I was pretty good at tennis and gymnastics. I enjoyed gymnastics and wasn’t afraid to try anything. Football was still my go-to sport though and the one I took part in the most. When I’m on holiday now I play tennis and basketball.

Did you play in any other positions as a youngster?

Full-back and in midfield are my two favourite positions. When I joined Chelsea, I was a midfielder but I quickly moved out wide and eventually into defence, which is where I play now.

What one footballing memory stands out in your career so far?

Making my international debut. Playing for England was a big moment for me and it would have to be the highlight of my career so far. It was in Marbella and we played against Russia – it was an honour and I hope to be able to represent the country again.

Let’

Mount: We’ll be ready for anyone in semis

‘We’re ready for the fight, we’re ready for the battle. Now we get to sit down and watch it and really analyse it and the best team will go through, so we’ll be ready for anyone.’

The 22-year-old also discussed the second leg against Porto, when a determined performance from the Blues stifled our opponents and defended our aggregate lead, despite a late goal giving them a 1-0 win on the night, and the scoreline didn’t seem to dampen his excitement about reach the semi-finals.

‘It doesn’t get better than that. Last night the most important thing was getting through. We could have done better on the day, we could have played better, but performance was probably at the back of our minds. Getting through to the semi-finals of the Champions League was at the forefront and we did that.

‘We had a few chances, I had a couple, but the most important thing was defending, staying strong. We all knew that as a team and us three up top – me, Kai and Christian – we knew we had to work our socks off the whole game, keep going.

Let’

Chelsea line up vs Porto

Porto coach Sergio Conceicao has made just one change to the team from the first leg in Seville, with this season’s top scorer Sergio Oliveira returning from suspension in midfield, in place of Luis Diaz. Defender Malang Sarr, currently on loan from Chelsea, is on the bench.

Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta (c), Thiago Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell; Mount, Havertz, Pulisic

Substitutes: Caballero, Kepa, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso, Emerson, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Abraham, Giroud, Werner

Porto: Marchesin; Manafa, Pepe (c), Mbemba, Sanusi; Oliveira, Grujic, Uribe; Corona, Marega, Otavio

Substitutes: Ramos, Diogo Liete, Loum, Diaz, Taremi, Romario Baro, Martinez, Evanilson, Nanu, Sarr, Vieira, Conceicao

Referee: Clement Turpin

Let’

Tuchel on pursuing the same approach and why the tie isn’t over yet

A 2-0 win told only part of the story of last week’s first leg, with Porto having twice as many shots as the Blues and forcing Edouard Mendy into a busy if not overly troublesome evening. Their quality, evidenced by knocking Juventus out in the Round of 16, means they will always cause problems for opponents, according to Tuchel.

‘You have to accept against Porto that it’s a little bit up and down in some minutes and we experienced that in the first leg,’ he added.

‘We managed to control the match in some minutes, to create half-chances, to find some space for acceleration and to have good counter-pressing. But in some minutes they escaped the pressure and they can be very dangerous with runs and dribbles and individual quality. They overload the sides and they are very strong on set-pieces so they give you a lot of questions to answer.

‘They can shift the momentum but it’s a totally normal thing because it happened in all their matches against Manchester City and Juventus [earlier in the competition]. They have quality, they are a proud club and a very emotional team so this is what we have to accept.

‘We should not over-expect from ourselves or lose our temper and patience because of these moments where it’s getting difficult. If it happens again, don’t worry because it’s normal.’

Let’

Pressing home an away advantage – examining Chelsea’s European history

2010/11

Another brace on the road, this time from Nicolas Anelka in Denmark, gave Carlo Ancelotti’s men a useful cushion and there were no issues back in west London as a 0-0 draw did the job against Copenhagen.

Unfortunately, our journey ended in the following round as defeats at home and away to Manchester United knocked us out.

2011/12

Nothing ever felt measured or comfortable the following season, particularly after the rollercoaster Round of 16 tie against Napoli, but our quarter-final victory over Benfica was actually quite routine. Salomon Kalou’s late goal in Lisbon was vital in giving us a 1-0 away win and then Lampard’s penalty in the return made life even more difficult for the Portuguese visitors.

True to form, it ended up being a nervy final five minutes after Javi Garcia had scored for Benfica, which meant a second away goal would have knocked Robbie Di Matteo’s side out, but up stepped Raul Meireles with a stoppage-time thunderbolt to keep Blues fans dreaming. The rest, as they say, is history.

Let’

PL2 Report: Chelsea 3 Southampton 1

What’s next?

Up next for Myers’ men is a trip to Tottenham. Kick-off on Sunday is 12:30pm and the game is live on our platforms.

Chelsea Ethan Wady; Dujon Sterling, Dynel Simeu (c), Sam McClelland; Declan Frith (Xavier Mbuyamba 66), George McEachran Thierno Ballo (Bryan Fiabema 77), Silko Thomas (Alfie Gilchrist 86); Tino Anjorin, Marcel Lewis, George Nunn
Unused subs Karlo Ziger, Luke Badley-Morgan
Booked Frith 64
Scorer Anjorin 60, Thomas 68; Mbuyamba 70

Southampton Jack Bycroft, Zuriel Otseh-Taiwo, James Morris (Kam Ledwidge 71), Allan Tchaptchel, Kayne Ramsey, Ethan Barnett, Sam Bellis, Ryan Finnigan (Dare Olufunwa 67), Dan Nlundulu (Jayden Smith 71), Ramello Mitchell, Kazeem Olaigne
Unused subs Ollie Wright, Seamus Keogh
Booked Ramsey 31
Sent off Ramsey 50
Scorer Olaigne 51

Referee Matthew Russell

Let’

Update on Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final fixture

The FA’s statement reads:

‘The FA has consulted with Her Majesty’s Government in relation to the funeral arrangements of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and sporting fixtures on Saturday 17 April 2021.

‘As a mark of respect, The FA will be recommending that no football fixtures take place between 14:45 and 16:15, a minute’s silence is observed before matches are played and black armbands are worn. All flags at Wembley Stadium and St. George’s Park will also fly at half-mast.

‘The Emirates FA Cup Semi Final between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium will be played as scheduled at 17:30 and the Vitality Women’s FA Cup Fourth Round fixture between Manchester City Women and Aston Villa Women will be brought forward to 12:00 in agreement with both clubs.

‘Fixtures scheduled for 15:00 in the Buildbase FA Vase Fourth Round Proper will also be moved and we have asked participating clubs to agree a suitable revised kick off time outside of 14:45 and 16:15. Should clubs not be able to mutually agree on a new kick off time, this shall be determined by The FA.

‘The FA’s thoughts continue to be with Her Majesty the Queen, our president, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, and the wider royal family during this difficult time.’
 

Let’

Chilwell on a job half done, learning from Tuchel and his mate Mount’s talent

Since Tuchel arrived at Stamford Bridge in late January and immediately switched to a system deploying wing-backs, Chilwell has been in and out of the side with Marcos Alonso back in the frame.

‘When the manager came in it was a clean slate for everyone,’ acknowledged the 24-year-old.

‘I didn’t play the first three or four games which could have got me down, but I used it as an opportunity to work harder, and ask the manager questions in training about where he thought I could improve my game to get more game time.

‘When I get the opportunity to play I want to prove to him I should be playing more regularly. I’m sure the other players, Marcos included, are doing the same thing.

‘That competition is very healthy,’ added Chilwell.

‘With the stage of the season we are at, with quarter-finals and semi-finals in the cups, and our league positioning trying to finish in the top four, it’s very important we have everyone in the squad challenging each other for 11 shirts, training hard and playing hard because they want to be in the team.’

Chilwell went on to say he has improved a lot since learning more about the left wing-back position and it has made him a ‘different player’ with an added skillset.

Let’

Pulisic: It was a big response

‘We’re not going to win every game and we had a tough game against West Brom for sure. We didn’t play to our usual standard, but that’s going to happen and we were able to respond well.

‘The way we responded this week and got the results, we’re definitely happy.’

Despite that setback, the three points well earned against Crystal Palace mean we are still very much in the frame for top-four finish in the Premier League. Having had to battle to the end of last season to reach that goal, our number 10 is expecting a tight race again this time around.

‘It was tough last season, you have to battle if you want pick up results and finish in that top four,’ added Pulisic.

‘It’s going to be tight I think. We need to put some good results together for sure, so we take every game seriously, go game by game. That’s our strategy for now so we’re ready for the challenge.’
 

Let’

Chelsea Women internationals: All the action so far

Friday

On Friday night,  Canada’s Jessie Fleming and Welsh captain Sophie Ingle came face-to-face for Wales’ friendly with Canada in Cardiff. The Canadians were leading 2-0 when midfielder Fleming bent one from the top of the box into the top corner in the 62nd minute to seal the deal with a 3-0 triumph for Canada over Wales.

Five of the Blues travelled with the Lionesses for their friendly away at France with Bethany England, Carly Telford, Fran Kirby, Millie Bright and Niamh Charles all making the trip. The Lionesses were on the front foot early on at the Stade Michel d’Ornano but the French keeper Peyraud-Magnin was on top form, preventing them from taking the lead.

At the half-hour, Baltimore took France 1-0 up, which they maintained up to half-time. Charles came on in the second half to make her international debut for England wearing the number 12 but France had the momentum and a penalty from Asseyi increased the pressure from France taking them to 2-0.

England found a way back into the game with Kirby converting her penalty in the bottom left-hand corner, Kirby’s 14th international goal, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to take the win with Katoto’s goal sealing their fate, ending the night 3-1 in Caen.

Let’