Date: 31st December 2017 at 8:52am
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Chelsea are not famed for having great results in the month December. This year, though,has not been pretty good in terms of results.

The month started with a home game against Rafael Benitez`s Newcastle United. Despite going behind to an early goal, the Blues secured a 3-1 victory thanks to an Eden Hazard brace and Alvaro Morata.

Chelsea then had a Champions League game at home to Atletico Madrid. Having already qualified for the last sixteen, victory would secure top spot in the group. As it turned out the game, which Chelsea should have won, ended in a 1-1 draw. Madrid`s keeper turning the ball into his own net following a Hazard cross. With Chelsea tied with Roma at the top of the group, it was the Italians who qualified in first place for the round-of-sixteen by virtue of having a better head-to-head record against Chelsea.

The only real blip of the month came at the London Stadium, when an early kick-off against West Ham, saw them take an early lead, that Chelsea simply couldn`t recover. It was an off day, but they do happen.

Having tasted defeat, the last thing Antonio Conte needed was a trip north just three days later to Premier League new boys Huddersfield Town. Despite the freezing conditions, the result of the game was never really in doubt. Chelsea won the game 3-1 with goals from Tiemoue Bakayoko, Willian and Pedro.

Another potential banana skin followed when Southampton were the visitors to Stamford Bridge. Although the Blues created many chances, it took a Marcos Alonso free-kick to beat Fraser Forster in the Saints goal. That goal, in injury time of the first half being the only goal if a game Chelsea dominated.

Attention then turned to the Carabao Cup, and the visit to the Home of the Champions, of another south coast team. Bournemouth came looking to progress to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, England`s second cup competition, more traditionally known as the League Cup. Chelsea led for a long period of the game through a Willian goal.

Bournemouth equalised late on and as their fans wildly celebrated, mocking Chelsea fans, Alvaro Morata promptly banged in the equaliser as Chelsea retaliated from the re-start. The Bournemouth fans quietened down. Next up in the tournament a two legged semi-final against Arsenal.

Back to league action and the Christmas period. A trip north to Liverpool and a game against a resurgent Everton side under the management of Sam Allardyce. Chance after chance went begging from Chelsea, but they couldn`t make the breakthrough. Everton held out for 0-0 draw, from Chelsea`s viewpoint, it was two points dropped.

Chelsea`s game on Boxing Day was at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, like Huddersfield, Premier League newbies. Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso secured all three points with two second half goals following an uninspiring, dour, first half. It was three more points and Chelsea were knocking on second placed Manchester United in the race for league glory.

The final game of 2017 was also at home. This time the visitors were a Stoke City side, struggling with injury. From Chelsea`s point of view, the game was a formality. They won 5-0 and after Jose Mourinho`s United failed to beat Southampton at home, Chelsea leap-frogged United, to end the year in second place in the Premier League.

⦁ Played 9
⦁ Won 6
⦁ Drawn 2
⦁ Lost 1
⦁ Goals For 17
⦁ Goals Against 5

Chelsea moved up into 2nd place in the league, won through to the last 16 of the Champions League and made it to the semi-final of the League Cup. Not bad for a club in crisis every other week.

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