John Terry

John Terry Signs Contract Extension Until 2016

John Terry

Image Credit: mooinblack /

John Terry has signed a one-year extension to his current contract with Chelsea, which will keep him at the club until 2016.

The skipper’s previous contract was due to run out at the end of the season, but with JT being in inspired form this year it seemed like a no-brainer for the club to reward him with this extension.

Having already captained Chelsea to two titles in Mourinho’s first spell in charge at The Bridge, it seems likely that he’ll be adding a third to his list in May, making it four titles since joining the club in 1998. Terry has also won the Champion’s League, the Europa League, five FA Cups and three League Cups during his time with the Blues.

One of those League Cups came just weeks ago, when he captained Chelsea to a 2-0 win over local rivals Tottenham. Mourinho, talking about the contract extension, said, “I am happy that he completely deserves his new contract after a season where he has already played forty games…[The contract] is because John continues to perform. He is a top defender”.

Speaking to Chelsea TV the 34-year-old defender said, “Hopefully there is many more [trophies]…I am delighted to be here and hopefully there could be a few more years after this”.

It was feared that Terry’s best years were behind him when interim manager Rafa Benitez didn’t see him as a first choice defender during an injury hit season in 2012-2013. But since Mourinho returned to Chelsea in 2013 the Chelsea captain has re-found his form.

Having made 661 appearances so far for the Blues, the contract extension means Terry can start to set his sights on the all-time Chelsea appearance record currently held by Ron Harris. Harris played 795 games for the North London club, and Peter Bonetti sits in second place with 729 games under his belt.

Terry would undoubtedly deny that such a personal accolade would mean as much to him as winning more trophies with the club he joined as a 14 year old, but there’s little doubt it would still be a source of immense pride should he finish his career as Chelsea’s leading appearance holder.

Diego Costa Hamstring Injury

Diego Costa Out Of Action After Hamstring Injury

Diego Costa Hamstring Injury

Image Credit: Laszlo Szirtesi /

Chelsea’s prolific forward Diego Costa looks to have picked up a hamstring injury in the Blues’ recent game against Hull City. The injury will see him sit out Spain’s Euro 2016 Qualifier against Ukraine, as well as their International Friendly against the Netherlands.

Costa has notched up 19 goals in his 23 league appearances since signing for Chelsea from the Spanish side Atletico Madrid. He is leading the way in the race for the Golden Boot, with Harry Kane having also scored 19 goals but after 26 appearances, meaning that Costa has a goal every 0.83 games compared to Kane’s 0.73.

It isn’t the first time the striker has suffered a hamstring injury, with the same problem – mixed with a viral infection – causing him to miss four matches earlier in the season.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho isn’t overly concerned about the injury, however. With his team sitting six points clear of Manchester City with a game in hand, the Portuguese chief said, “If he cannot play in the next game against Stoke in 15 days, we have [Loic] Remy, we have Didier Drogba”.

Costa’s hamstring issues were well known to Chelsea when they signed him, given that the same thing also caused him to leave the pitch within just nine minutes of last season’s Champion’s League Final.

Costa’s appearance in the Final was surrounded by controversy, having spent the week before the game undergoing intense treatment – including his hamstring being massaged with horse placenta – in order to see him start the match. But it was to no avail, with the injury striking again before Real Madrid went on to beat their neighbours by four goals to one.

The £32 million signing was well and truly over the disappointment by the time he made his first start for the Blues, however, as he went on to score the equalizer against Burnley at Turf Moor in Chelsea’s opening game of the season.

With 10 games left, and a maximum of 30 points available, Mourinho will be hoping that this time the injury doesn’t last too long – and that they won’t need to get the horse placenta out any time soon, either.

Chelsea still have to face Arsenal, Liverpool and a resurgent Manchester United before the title race is run and, whatever Mourinho might say to the contrary, the Blues will definitely be a weaker prospect without the Spanish front man leading the line.

Hull 2-3 Chelsea match report – 22nd March 2015

Chelsea held on to their six point lead at the top of the Premier League after something of a scare against struggling Hull. Eden Hazard and Diego Costa put the visitors ahead, before Ahmed Elmohamady got one back and Abel Hernandez equalised for Hull. The Blues’ blushes were saved, however, as Loic Remy grabbed a fortunate winner, keeping the league leaders comfortably ahead of City in the race for the title.

There were few changes for Chelsea between the draw with Southampton and this trip, with Cesar Azpilicueta being replaced by Filipe Luis. Oscar made way for Ramires, with Cesc Fabregas being pushed forward into the number 10 position. That aimed to get Fabregas in the middle of the action, but he wasn’t the man to break the deadlock early in the first half.

Eden Hazard scored the opener less than two minutes into the game, giving the Blues the perfect start. After back to back draws in their last two games, Chelsea needed that start to recover from their recent below par performances. After seeing Manchester City win the day before, a victory here was necessary to keep up their advantage at the top of the league. Luckily, Costa added another goal to that lead just minutes later.

The Spaniard cut inside while in possession and drove the ball home to give his side a two goal lead, capping off an excellent start to the match. After three consecutive 2-0 wins over Hull, that goal made it look like the match was over almost before it had got going, but in truth it was just beginning. After bursting to two goal lead, Chelsea’s players seemed to relax a little too much, which allowed Elmohamady to pull a goal back. The Egyptian’s effort looked like a probable consolation at the time, but it was part of a swift comeback.

Seconds later, Thibaut Courtois handed Hull an equaliser, passing straight to Hernandez who levelled the scores. The Belgian keeper had been looking to pass to Ivanovic, but he played it too short and it landed at the Uruguayan’s feet. While it was a horrible error, he did make up for it with three quick reaction saves in the second half when Hull were dominating the game. That kept the Blues in it, and then they grabbed a winner with a rather fortuitous effort.

Loic Remy replaced Costa, and just four minutes after coming on he fired home the winner. Remy’s shot squirmed under Alan McGregor, and that strike handed them a huge three points in the title race. With just nine games left to play, Chelsea have a six point lead with a game in hand over City, and the title is within sight for the Blues.

With no other competitions to focus on, Chelsea’s main aim is to end the season as champions. While their recent performances haven’t been great, this result will surely boost morale, and it should be the kick they need to go on to secure the Premier League title.

LCN Man of the Match: Eden Hazard

Hull v Chelsea preview (Premier League) – 22nd March 2015

Chelsea will be extremely eager to get back to winning ways when they travel to Hull on Sunday. After two consecutive draws, the league leaders need three points as they look to close out the Premier League title. They have 10 league games left ahead of this meeting with Hull, and a six point lead over challengers (and current champions) Manchester City to protect.

This trip is one of just three fixtures outside London in their run in, which should make things a lot easier for them with so little traveling required. Jose Mourinho guaranteed that his side would win the Premier League title last week, and with their current situation looking rather rosy they are certainly heavy favourites. The big worry is that the side might just become complacent, with most pundits suggesting that the title race is already over.

We’ve saw a glimpse of complacency creeping in during the matches against Bradford and Paris Saint-Germain that resulted in FA Cup and Champions League exits respectively, and it goes hand in hand with the lack of ruthlessness the players and manager have pointed out on several occasions. It cost their title hopes last year with points thrown away against smaller sides, and it can’t be allowed to happen again. A win at Hull would send them into the last nine games in a fantastic position.

A big performance would also clear the PSG result and poor display from people’s minds, as things haven’t really picked up since then. A win at Hull would help everyone move past that, as it sets up the run in with the title firmly marked as the top (well, only) priority, and within touching distance. Given City’s tougher fixture list and the Blues’ game in hand, the gap is likely to get bigger if anything.

A few win in this game and further victories in the early April fixtures, and City could end up even further behind, ending the title race with a month or so to spare. Luckily for Chelsea, they have an excellent recent record against the struggling Tigers. In every meeting between the teams since Hull got back into the top flight, Chelsea have run out 2-0 winners. That seems to be Mourinho’s favourite scoreline, and he’d happily take the same result again over his friend Steve Bruce.

Hull are in need of the points themselves, as they sit just three points above the bottom three. Aston Villa below them are hitting form, Burnley seem to be as well, while Sunderland have recently changed manager which could produce a “bounce”. Hull are far from out of danger right now, and they need to start getting points on the board. After Chelsea’s recent performances, the Tigers will believe a result is possible here. They’ve taken points off City, Arsenal and Liverpool this season, so they enjoy these big games.

That’s the task that the Blues face here, having to get back to winning ways and their early season performances. A few key players aren’t playing as well as they were early in the season, and if they get back to their best then Mourinho’s title promise should be fulfilled.

LCN Verdict: Chelsea to win 2-0

Jose Mourinho

Mourinho Penalty Conspiracy Theory Gains More Evidence

Jose Mourinho

Image Credit: Laszlo Szirtesi /

Jose Mourinho’s conviction that Chelsea have been on the receiving end of a refereeing conspiracy this season appears to have gained some more evidence, according the club’s official website.

In an article entitled “Penalty Puzzle”, the Chelsea website explores the idea that the club’s penalty count this season is “abnormally low”, both in comparison to previous seasons and in relation to their rivals for the top spot in the Premier League.

Chelsea have only been awarded two penalties this season, both at home, against Arsenal and QPR. They failed to receive one when Branislav Ivanovic appeared to be tripped by Dusan Tadic in the penalty area in the game against Southampton, and this prompted a member of the press to ask Mourinho if he thought the Blues would be awarded another penalty this season.

In typically acerbic style, Mourinho replied that his opinion was not important. “Important is Mr. Mike Dean. His decision was a penalty, and his decision was no penalty on Ivanovic”.

The article goes on to point out that in the Double winning season of 2009/2010 Chelsea were awarded 12 penalties. Last season they were given 7 – the same number that Arsenal and Man City have been awarded so far this season, with 9 games left to play.

Indeed, over the previous 6 seasons Chelsea’s penalty tally has been 7, 11, 5, 8 and 12, meaning that the 2 they have received so far does seem to be on the small side.

Perhaps, the article argues, it is simply because opposition teams have been deliberately careful inside their own area when they have come up against the league leaders; though it also suggests that there have been plenty of times when this doesn’t seem to have been the case.

As always in football, supporters of every team could put forward an argument as to why their team is being harshly treated by referees. This season in particular the standard of refereeing has been a topic of fierce debate, with many critics arguing that refereeing is the poorest it has been for years.

This, in turn, has led to Howard Webb reportedly being promoted to the post of Performance Director for the Select Group of Referees – meaning he will decide which referees will take charge of which matches.

Will Webb’s appointment result in the Champion’s Elect being awarded more than the two penalties they’ve received so far before the season is over? Only time will tell.

Chelsea 1-1 Southampton Match report – 15th March 2015

Chelsea ended a tough week by going six points clear at the top of the league with a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton. The Champions League chasing Saints frustrated Chelsea, denying them a win for the second time this season. Diego Costa gave the hosts the lead, but Dusan Tadic equalised from the spot to give his side a share of the points. That may not have been the result Jose Mourinho was hoping for, but it does send his side further clear at the top.

After their Champions League exit against PSG on Wednesday, Mourinho kept faith with mostly the same side. The only change to the starting line up here was Willian replacing his countryman Ramires wide on the right. Nemanja Matic made a first Premier League appearance since being sent off against Burnley three weeks ago.

The team will have started this game with the PSG result fresh in their minds, as well as the fact that Manchester City slipped up to Burnley less than 24 hours before. With the chance to move eight points clear with a game in hand, Chelsea started the game brightly. That was capped off when Costa scored his 18th of the season to put them ahead. He got on the end of a ball from Branislav Ivanovic to find the net for the first time since January. That also sent him above Sergio Aguero in the race for the golden boot.

That lead for the hosts was short lived, however, as the Saints were back on level terms within eight minutes. Saido Mane found himself stuck between Ivanovic and Matic, and the referee judged he was fouled. Tadic stepped up to take the penalty, and dispatched it with ease to get his side back level. After that, the Blues struggled to make anything much of note in the remainder of first half, and they gave the visitors chances to take the lead.

Mourinho’s switch at half time was replacing Matic with Ramires, and it seemed to do the trick, as the athletic Brazilian added pace and power to Chelsea’s game. They poured forward with menace after that, but they came up against a goalkeeper at his very best. Fraser Forester pulled off a string of fantastic saves to keep his team level, putting in the kind of performance that could worry Joe Hart.

In the end, the two sides had to settle for the draw. While it wasn’t the best way to respond to the poor display on Wednesday night, it was an improvement. This has been an incredibly tough few days for the team, after their European exit and then being denied a win at home, but they’ve come out of it having extended their lead over City in the race for the title. While their main rivals for the premier League crown can’t seem to have anything fall for them, the Blues are clutching at positives from below par performances. The match against the Saints may not have been the performance of champions, but it’s clear that they’re on the verge of claiming that accolade, especially if City keep slipping up.

LCN Man of the Match: Eden Hazard

Chelsea v Southampton Preview (Premier League) – 15th March 2015

Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing Champions League exit to PSG with a win over Southampton on Sunday. After their 2-2 draw with the French champions last Wednesday, they crashed out of Europe on away goals, so this is the only competition that the Blues have left to play in this season.

With the side still top of the Premier League and the Capital One Cup already won, Jose Mourinho is still on course to guide his team to a successful campaign. The manner of the exit against PSG wasn’t just disappointing, it was worrying, especially ahead of the title race run in. With a five point lead and a game in hand the trophy should be as good as won with a few more wins, but progress looked just as certain on Wednesday until they threw it away.

With an away goal lead, home advantage and a man advantage for much of the game, Chelsea should have come through their last 16 game against PSG. The side just didn’t play well enough, they weren’t ruthless enough. That has been identified as a failure of the team on many occasions before, and it still hasn’t been fixed. The big worry now is that the side coast towards the title like they did against the Parisians. That kind of lazy display would allow City right back in with the chance to retain their crown.

Focus will be the key aspect of the last few weeks of the campaign, as the Premier League does seem to be Chelsea’s to lose from here. This weekend’s game will be a big test of their mettle, as they face Champions League-chasing Southampton at Stamford Bridge. The Saints have been in impressive form this season, shocking most with their consistency, but they’ve hit a bit of a rough patch of late. They’ve found scoring goals a problem, and they’ve dropped out of the top four after a few poor results.

They held the league leaders to a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s over the festive period, a result which contributed to City closing the gap early this year. Mourinho will be hoping for a better result and performance this time, and he’ll be looking for a few of the out of form players to step up. While no one is expected to be 10/10 every time, the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa have dropped off massively in recent weeks. That may be just to the lack of a winter break, but the team can’t carry those two while they’re playing below par.

We may see a few changes for this game, with the likes of Costa or Fabregas sitting a game out. Loic Remy is waiting in the wings to come on up front, but there isn’t as many options in midfield. After this game, the Blues will have just 10 games left this season, and this is the time when they need to show just how much they’ve improved since last year.

LCN Verdict: Chelsea to win 2-0

Chelsea 2-2 Paris Saint Germain (after extra time) Match report – 11th March 2015

Chelsea crashed out of the Champions League on away goals after a disappointing clash against PSG. After a tense night and a lacklustre performance from the hosts, Gary Cahill made the breakthrough from a corner. David Luiz struck late on to level on the night and on aggregate, forcing the Blues into extra time for the first time since the 2012 final. Eden Hazard’s penalty ruled out the prospect of penalties, but then Thiago Silva headed in from a corner to send the French champions through on away goals.

Jose Mourinho started the game with Ramires out wide on the right, a decision that his predecessor was widely criticised for. Nemanja Matic played for the first time since being sent off against Burnley, which saw Kurt Zouma drop down to the bench.

The game was physical from the off, and the heated atmosphere spiralled after a coming together between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Oscar. Both players slid in just outside the home side’s box, but Oscar won the ball and came out of it in pain. The referee went straight to his pocket, although Chelsea players crowding the referee was blamed for what seemed to be a harsh red.

It was then Mourinho’s men who felt hard done by, as they had a penalty waved away. After dancing past half the Parisian defence, Diego Costa was brought down by Edinson Cavani. The referee waved away the appeals, just one of a number of mistakes he made over the course of the game.

Chelsea dropped off in the second half, and their performance got more and more leggy. Cahill’s volley handed them a lead to protect in the 81st minute, even though it was far from deserved. From that position, a Mourinho team would usually be expected to hold out, but all was not well with the side. Luiz popped up to haunt his former team late in the game, scoring from a corner to force extra time.

The Premier League leaders made the perfect start to extra time, after being almost literally handed a penalty by Silva. The Brazilian leapt up and went at the ball hand first, and the slightest of touches had the referee pointing to the spot. Eden Hazard was as cool as usual with the penalty, stroking it home to give the home side the lead once more.

That looked like it would be enough for Chelsea, until Silva made up for his mistake with another headed goal. John Terry completely abandoned the opposition captain at a corner, giving him space to score from 12 yards out. After that, time wasting and nerves seemed to end all hopes the hosts had, as they failed to threaten and crashed out in hugely disappointing fashion.

It was a result deserving of the performance, both on the night and over the two legs. The Blues turned up for just 45 minutes of the 210 and PSG took advantage. It’s a disappointing defeat, one that shows how Mourinho hasn’t added the necessary ruthless edge this season. Steps have been taken, but this side aren’t the finished article yet. However, with a trophy in the bag and a comfortable lead in the league, they’re still on course for a good year.

LCN Man of the Match: Eden Hazard

Chelsea v Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) Preview (Champions League) – 11th March 2015

Chelsea face PSG on Wednesday night as they look to book a place in the Champions League quarter finals. The two sides finished the first leg in Paris all-square, so everything is on the line in this one, and both managers will be expected to get their sides into the next round. Chelsea hold a slight advantage with their away goal, but that could be turned on its head on Wednesday night.

Just as they had in the first leg, Chelsea come in to this game with a week-long break. They played at Upton Park last Wednesday and, with no weekend game, they should be pretty fresh for the visit of the French champions. After a week which saw them lift a trophy, overcome a difficult obstacle in the league and then take a few days off, morale should be pretty high within the Blues’ camp at the moment too.

As for PSG, they had league action on Saturday before they made the trip to London. They beat Lens 4-1 at home, and moved top of Ligue 1 as a result. While that will be a boost for PSG, it won’t match up to the week of training and rest that Jose Mourinho put his men through. With an away goal, Chelsea could really just sit back early on in this game, before pushing forward and picking off the visitors later on when they have the physical advantage.

This game is a complete reversal of the quarter final meeting between the two sides last season, when Chelsea had to push for the win in the second leg. They trailed 3-1 and needed a 2-0 win, which they finally got late on. This time, the Premier League leaders know they are currently in the driving seat with their away goal, so not conceding here is key. Of course they’ll have to push forward due to the players in the team and the fact that they’re at home, but don’t expect to see the Blues going all out here.

It suits Mourinho’s team to play a patient game, as the longer this game goes the more desperate PSG will become. As long as they can keep it tight early on, there will be chances for the likes of Oscar, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa on the counter attack. The key will be not to get too defensive, as we saw how difficult the first leg became when PSG came roaring back after going behind, and the visitors couldn’t get out of their own half.

Nemanja Matic is back for this game, and his presence will be a big factor in winning the midfield battle. That will leave Mourinho with a decision to make at the back. Keep Gary Cahill, or play Kurt Zouma who was been fantastic in the holding midfield role of late. Whoever gets picked, they’ll have to be at the top of their game to stop the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani.

LCN Verdict: Chelsea to win 2-1 (3-2 aggregate)

West Ham 0 – 1 Chelsea Match Report – 4th March 2015

Chelsea came through a hard fought battle at Upton Park to keep themselves five points clear at the top of the Premier League table. Eden Hazard scored the only goal of an end to end game to secure the three points, and only magnificent saves from the two goalkeepers prevented more goals on the night.

The league leaders started with almost the exact same side that won the League Cup on Sunday, with Oscar coming in for Willian in the only outfield change. Thibaut Courtois was back in goal for Petr Cech, while Kurt Zouma continued to play in midfield in place of the suspended Nemanja Matic.

After playing a cup final on Wembley and celebrating success after, there were real questions about what kind of shape the Blues would be in for this game. So few changes hinted that they were ready for this, and that was proven as the visitors started the better of the two sides. They dominated the first 20 minutes and then finally made their control pay. Ramires’ cross was met by Hazard, a rare headed goal for the diminutive Belgian.

West Ham believed he was offside, and they had a point, but luck rarely goes with a side who are as out of form as the Hammers. With just one league win since losing at Stamford Bridge last December, Sam Allardyce’s side have seen their season start to tail off after an excellent start. That didn’t seem to affect them here, as they came roaring back after the opening goal.

Courtois did well to deny Diafra Sakho, and from there the Belgian keeper had to stay on his toes as the game opened up and both sides were given more and more chances. Ramires hit the post in the second half, while Diego Costa was involved a lot. At the other end it was Sakho and Enner Valencia who were most threatening for the hosts.

Despite the open nature of the game, and those chances, there weren’t any more breakthroughs, and that had a lot to do with Chelsea’s resilient defending. All of the Blues’ players put in a shift as they looked to protect their lead. With Man City winning comfortably over Leicester elsewhere, there was no room for slip-ups here.

In the end West Ham couldn’t force a way through, and they ended up with another defeat. They played well, but Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea side know how to get games won at this stage of the campaign. While this wasn’t as easy as he would have liked, the manager will certainly be glad of the points. After the game he praised his side’s defending, which helped to churn out another victory.

After sealing one trophy on Sunday, this is another big step to landing a second. The lead is still five points with a game in hand, and now attention turns to the meeting with PSG in a week’s time.

LCN Man of the Match: Eden Hazard