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Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1 - FA Cup Final - 27 May 2017

It wasn’t our day and we didn’t play well enough, and the referee got a vital decision wrong which set the tone for the game. But no excuses, the best team won on the day. Grrrrrrr!

A perfectly observed minute’s silence for the victims of the Manchester attack.

Referee Anthony Taylor goes to see why his assistant is flagging furiously….and totally disregards him.

Diego and Taylor having a joke at Eden’s expense?

Poor Victor sees red.

Bit too friendly for my liking, save it for later, boys.

Ola tries to console David Luiz

A bad day at the office, we all looked and felt like Thibaut and Antonio.

Chelsea 5 Sunderland 1 - Sunday 21 May 2017

It was always going to be an emotional day, JT’s last appearance at Stamford Bridge, his home for so many years. In many ways the game was incidental, both sides having accomplished their respective destinies, so nothing riding on the outcome except a small matter of the Golden Gloves for Thibaut Courtois and a record 30 wins out of a possible 38 in a Premier League season. We were there for the trophy presentation and the celebrations, but let the game commence.

In team news, apart from the one distinguished exception, a tried and trusted lineup were getting a final run out before our FA Cup final; Courtois in goal, protected by the phenomenal Azpilicueta, David Luiz and captain, leader, legend JT. With Moses and Alonso on the flanks, we had Kante and Fabregas holding the midfield. Up front, Willian and Hazard with Costa the target man. On the bench were Begovic, Cahill, Zouma, Matic, Chalobah, Pedro and Batshuayi.

Sunderland clearly hadn’t read the script and took the lead after just 3 minutes, Manquillo the fortunate recipient of the loose ball following a free kick that bounced off the wall and into space where he couldn’t miss. But nothing was going to spoil our party and we all felt pretty relaxed about it with plenty of time left to play.

And it wasn’t long until equilibrium was restored, a free kick that saw Alonso clatter the woodwork and following a series of side to side passing, trying to find any gap in that red and white wall, it was Willian who decided he’d had enough of the farting about and blasted the ball at keeper Pickford and through into the back of the net at his near post. Right, let’s start again….

We were all over them, shooting practice and fancy football the order of the day. And JT was itching to get on the score sheet as a succession of corners and attacks on their goal involved our club captain as he looked to turn his swan song into that fairy tale ending. But it wasn’t to be this week as the inevitability of his departure finally arrived; Costa ushering (bullying) Pickford to kick the ball out of play as we approached 26 minutes on the clock.

With hugs and tears all round, JT, an ever present for so many years, so much achieved by our beloved Chelsea since he made his debut over 700 appearances ago, left the pitch through a guard of honour formed by his teammates, as the appreciative applause reverberated around the whole stadium. A moment to cherish. He was eventually substituted by Gary Cahill as the captain’s armband was ceremonially exchanged.

Back to the game, and we continued to dominate, continued to look to take the lead as we worked the ball upfield, while all the Sunderland lads could do was chase our boys around the pitch. But our Diego didn’t much like the close attentions of O'Shea (and who would) getting into a bit of a scrap that held the game up for what seemed like an age while the ref Neil Swarbrick sorted them out. Load of handbags!

A frustrating first half, we should have been in a commanding lead but we went in 1-1 at the break.

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Chelsea 4 Watford 3 - Monday 15 May 2017

Still on a high from our title winning exploits just three days earlier, the celebrations continued at Stamford Bridge as we played host to Watford in our penultimate league game of the season.

In an unsurprisingly changed team lineup, we had Begovic in goal with Zouma, captain, leader, legend JT and Ake making up the back three. In midfield were Kante and Chalobah, flanked by the ever present Azpilicueta and a welcome return for Kenedy. Up front, Willian and Hazard were supporting title goal hero Batshuayi up top. On the bench were Eduardo, Cahill, Aina, Alonso, Fabregas, Pedro and Costa.

A guard of honour from the Watford team greeted our boys, fittingly led out by JT. We kicked off to the resounded chorus of Campeones, and Antonio, Antonio as the boys set about their business on the pitch. To be fair, it did seem like a bit of an end of season kick about, except the Watford players seemed to want to kick about our players rather than the ball, Watford boss Mazzarri was clearly letting his previous with Conte do the talking on the pitch.

We were moving the ball around with confidence, the assured look of a team on top of their game, and we were dominating the play. And it was a fitting breakthrough just after 20 minutes when JT’s legs got the ball over the line, a scramble following a corner ball dropped into the box. But straight up the other end and an unfortunate header from JT back towards Begovic in goal found Capoue lurking as he nodded the ball into an empty net. Lack of communication there, but you had to feel for JT, not the sort of double double double he would want to be remembered for. Moving swiftly on….

We continued to play with style, Hazard taking receipt of some superb long passes that created chances on goal. We kept knocking on the door until it was finally answered by Azpilicueta, another corner, this time finding our ever reliable defender on the edge of the box as he planted the ball into the far corner of the goal. Our dominance was rewarded as our lead was restored, HT 2-1.

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West Brom 0 Chelsea 1 - Friday 12 May 2017

The day finally arrived, the one where the Premier League title could be sealed, our first attempt of three games available. But now was the time, to keep the winning momentum going and not let any doubt creep in. I felt excited and nervous, but pretty confident.

In the same team that started against a sorry Middlesbrough, we had Courtois in goal, with Azpilicueta, David Luiz and captain Cahill in the back three, supported by the revelationary Moses and Alonso flying up and down the wings. No start for Kante again, Fabregas and Matic getting the nod, with Pedro and Hazard providing the legs for Costa up top. On the bench were Begovic, JT, Zouma, Ake, Kante, Willian and Batshuayi.

No surprise at the home team tactics, heavy challenges, a six man defence, hand balls, and time wasting from early on, in an attempt to bring the game down to their level. And McClean was a constant source of entertainment, the nasty little sh!t! And as for that C…Brunt! 

We had the majority of the possession in the first half but sometimes we had to resort to long range shots, with Fabregas and Pedro going oh so close. The opportunities for a counter attacks were limited, and although we had a couple of scary moments, they were well dealt with by our defence. Half time 0-0.

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