Authors Posts by Francesca Ceciarini

Francesca Ceciarini

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Despite a valiant performance at Stamford Bridge Paul Clement‘s side Swansea left the West London stadium with a 3-1 defeat yesterday.

The English manager didn’t want to talk about the “clear” penalty that, if awarded, could change the history of the game but, like a real sport-man and gentleman, praised the Blues for their performance and their impressive season:

Chelsea could have scored more and probably deserved the win but at 1-1 it was game on. Based on chances they deserved to win, but that was a big moment that didn’t go our way, and who knows what might have happened?

“We defended resolutely but the second goal was a soft one.

“The third goal was quality. They have fantastic players in Kante, Hazard and Costa. They are a young side and are in good form but in three or four years they could be formidable.”

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A lucky manager, this is how Antonio Conte defines himself: the reason of this is the group of player he’s got at Chelsea, true winners that already lifted many trophies in their careers and know how to stay at the top:

“I have a lot of players who played and won titles in the past,”

“They know very well the way that we must continue to try to keep at the top of the table, to try and win the title.

“For this reason, I’m lucky. I’m lucky to have a lot of players who, in the past, won a lot.

“If, sometimes, I can see some of them relaxing, it’s right for me to try and help them be focused for every moment. But, honestly, it wasn’t necessary for me to keep the concentration and focus of the players.”

 

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Chelsea legend Frank Lampard was invited as a special guest by the club for the game against Swansea.

The former Blues midfielder completed a Stamford Bridge lap of honour at half time at the end of which he gave an emotional speech to the crowd that was paying tribute to him.

Here is the video of his emotional words:

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Chelsea captain John Terry wrote a touching note on today’s match program in honour of his former team-mate Frank Lampard.

The Blues legend, that is good friend with Terry, was back at Stamford Bridge as a special guest and the club and the fans paid him tribute when he completed a lap of honour at half-time:

“Lamps is back at the Bridge today and will be on the pitch at halftime.

“For me he is the best to ever play for this club and getting to see first-hand the work he put in day in, day out, at the training ground and in games, was an absolute pleasure.

“I wish you all the best for your next steps in life and football.

“A proper Chelsea legend. Love ya, Lamps.”

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Antonio Conte started Cesc Fabregas against Swansea today and the Spaniard repaid him with a great opener and a massive performance.

The Italian coach admits he cannot assure the ex Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder will be a regular starter from now on, but he claimed that he’s making his way into the Blues team for what is left in this season:

“Cesc played a really good game, but it’s important for me to have these solutions and also to analyse the games, game by game, to understand when we need to have a player with more quality (on the ball), and to lose something in height and physique.

“For me, I consider Nemanja Matic a top player, and also [N’Golo] Kante, but also Fabregas. He’s a really good player. 

“I’m really pleased to see him in this form despite not starting the last game in the league. This is the right way to continue. 

“The other example is Pedro and Willian. I’m pleased to have this type of players. They’re putting themselves in the team. To have this type of player is fantastic for a coach.”

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte revealed his half-time pep talk to his players in the game against Swansea: the Blues were dominated the game but ex Juventus and Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente equalised some seconds before the end of the game first part.

The Italian boss knew his team deserved more and this is what he said to his players in the Stamford Bridge dressing room to motivate them:

“I told them we are playing very well, we are dominating the game, we are creating chances, but it’s 1-1. We don’t deserve it but it’s the reality. So go to the second half and push because we need to win.

“They did this. We started the second half and Hazard did a great combination with Costa and Fabianski made a great save, then Fabregas hit the crossbar, then we scored the goal.

“After the first half it was a bit frustrating for us to be drawing. But in this situation, when the tension starts to increase, it’s important to see the right answer of my players. Today I saw a lot of right answers from my players.”

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The one against Swansea was a well deserved win for Chelsea according to Blues boss Antonio Conte:

“For sure we dominated the game. We played very well, it was a good performance and we created many chances to score,” the Italian coach said to BBC after the final whistle.

“We conceded at the end of the first half, after the time was finished, so in this case there was a bit of luck, but we showed great character in the second half. 

 “We deserved a lot to win the game, now it’s important to continue in this way. To look at ourselves and to think to win, to continue with great focus and concentration.”

 

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Cesc Fabregas © Francesca Ceciarini
Antonio Conte proved himself right, starting Cesc Fabregas against Swansea this afternoon: the Spaniard re-paid his trust with an impressive performance and the cherry on top was his opener, that helped the Blues to get another win in this crucial moment of the title race:

“After one week of work, I try every game to take the best decision for the team and the opponent that we face,” Conte said about his decision.

“I know I can count on these players and for me, every game I have to take the best decision.”

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Chelsea won 3-1 over Swansea in this afternoon clash at Stamford Bridge, with goals by Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Diego Costa. The Swansea temporarily equalized in the end of the first half with Fernando Llorente.

The win, anyway, didn’t come so easily as the score might say, as the Paul Clement side were well organised on pitch and was tough to overcome for Chelsea forwards.

The 2-1 goal by Pedro only came with 18 minutes to go with the contribution of ex Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who couldn’t stop a shot that didn’t seem irresistible.

The opener was scored by Cesc Fabregas at 19′, with the Spaniard being the man of the match in one of the few Premier League games he started this season.

Llorente leveled the score in the injury time of the first half with a perfect header and Swansea was keen to keep the point in the second half, but Pedro’s goal changed the Chelsea’s game, that then found more motivation and energy to seal the match with Costa’s goal at 84′, a nice volée after being assisted by Eden Hazard in the middle of the box.

Antonio Conte‘s side now lead the table with 63 points, 11 more than Manchester City (52), whose match against Manchester United ( 48) in this fixture was postponed due to the Red Devils involvement in the EFL Cup Final at Wembley tomorrow.

The same happened to Arsenal ( 50), that was due to play Southampton, the team that will face José Mourinho’s side in the League Cup final.

Spurs ( 50) will face Stoke City at White Hart Lane tomorrow at lunch time, while Liverpool ( 49) will visit Leicester City on Monday night.

 

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