Due to, well, less than unequivocal but certainly more than not popular at all demand, we're going to try something new: a daily open thread for all your off topic, not-necessarily-Chelsea-related whatevers (as long as they stay within the confines of our no politics/religion/illegal/etc.). For now, I shall call this the Daily Hilario (following on from last season's hypothetical Daily Malouda), despite a few pretty good suggestions for catchy titles from all y'all yesterday.
These will also serve as your new home to discuss any non-Chelsea matches that may be going on during the day (e.g. League Cup semifinal today). We will aim to provide a few links - a la Steve's non-Chelsea link dump yesterday or Cartilage Free's daily Hoddle of Baconators - but the number one aim of the threads will be that ever elusive concept of "community building."
So, be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes.
Courtois saves Atletico's bacon | SB Nation
By all accounts, Valencia dominated the first leg of the Copa del Rey round of 16 match-up but couldn't find a breakthrough until the 94th minute to salvage a home 1-1 draw. Courtois came up with several monster saves in the second half, none better than than the full-stretch wonder in the 76th minute.
Moyes blames the referee Illuminati | SB Nation
I fear he may be very, very, very, VERY close to cracking.
Superb reaction from Charlton and Ferguson. No words needed. https://t.co/6jlXOKX7GI— Connor Armstrong (@ConnorArmstrong) January 7, 2014
Radja Naiggolan signs with Roma | AS Roma
I suppose the jury is still out on whether the 25-year-old should truly be considered part of Belgium's "golden generation" or if he's just another "next Makélélé" poseur, but Roma sure do have a tasty options for their midfield, no? DDR, Strootman, Bradley, now Radja, and I suppose you could throw Pjanic in there, too. Sheesh. In true Italian style, it's €3m up front, with an option to buy for €6m more at the end of the season.
Golden Years: Life on the terraces | Daily Mail
Wouldn't bother too much with the words, but the pictures are cool, including one from Stamford Bridge from 1935 on the day of the highest ever "official" attendance (82,905). They did estimate that over 100,000 crammed in to watch the exhibition against Dynamo Moscow after World War II.
WBA to make decision on new manager soon | Birmingham Mail
Apparently Gianfranco Zola may still be in with a shout, and Paul Clement (ex-Chelsea coach and Uncle Carlo's right-hand man at PSG and Real Madrid) has been name-dropped as well.
FOOTBALL (all times GMT):
19.45: League Cup, semifinal first leg: Manchester City vs. West Ham United
19.45: Ligue 1, Kurt Zouma-watch: ASSE vs. Evian TG
21.00: Copa del Rey, round of 16 first leg: Barcelona vs. Getafe