Authors Posts by Francesca Ceciarini

Francesca Ceciarini

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New Blues signing N’Golo Kante joined his new team-mates and manager in Los Angeles yesterday and underwent his first training sessions with them at the UCLA, where Chelsea worked for their pre-season in the past days.

Now the team will transfer to Michigan, where tonight they will face Real Madrid in a friendly game, to continue their USA tour.

Here are some pictures of Kante during the training:

kante_cfc_training kante_cfc_training2 kante-cfc-training3kante_cfc_4

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Liverpool lost their first pre-season game of the year on Wednesday when Chelsea beat them 1-0, a goal from Gary Cahill sealed the victory for the Blues.

After the game, Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on the Italian manager. He told ESPN FC Conte is brilliant and will succeed at Stamford Bridge as the pair both gear up for a full season in charge of their respective teams.

“I saw him [Conte] actually at the European Championships and, yeah, he was quite emotional [on the touchline and] I thought, ‘sometimes am I like this?’

“He’s a brilliant manager and it will be a tough season for both of us.”

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Chelsea forward Diego Costa is going to miss the seasons Premier League opener due to a minor injury.

The Blues are set to face West Ham United on August 15th but the Spanish international will not make it onto the team sheet after suffering a back injury in training last week, because of the injury, Costa has missed out on vital training sessions with Antonio Conte and the Italian manager told the Evening Standard that he will only use players that have participated in training.

“It’s important to see the players doing the training session. If I don’t see a player doing the training session I can’t put them in the game. These are my rules and it’s important to understand this.

“My concept is very clear. I want to see my players doing the work in the training session.

“If someone is injured or there is some problem and I don’t see the player in the training session it is impossible to think of putting him in the starting 11 or on the bench.”

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According to reports in the USA, we understand that Cesc Fabregas offered his apologies to Ragnar Klavan and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for the terrible challenge on the Estonian centre-back in the friendly played at Pasadena that provoked a red card for the Spanish midfielder and could cause a serious injury to the Reds player.

Everything happened after the final whistle, when Fabregas went to the Reds dressing room to offer his apologies that, of course, were accepted.

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After being targeted by Juventus and other top clubs around Europe following a disappointing season Nemanja Matic seemed on his way out of Stamford Bridge.

But after the arrival of Antonio Conte and a meeting with the Italian manager the Serbian midfielder is set to stay at Chelsea.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport Matic revelaed that Conte made him feel very important:

“What he said gave me a special feeling. It was important for me to know I am a big part of his plans. I was happy to hear that.

“Like every player here, I have a good relationship with the manager. I respect what he said about me and of course I liked what I heard.

“I have been at the club for two and a half years and have always given my best every day. Until I am here, I will continue to give everything to the team.”

The Serbian midfielder was full of praise for his new boss:

“He played football at a very high level. It helps him to know things, to understand us and to show us on the pitch what we can do better, how we can improve.

“We have worked together for two weeks and I can already see he is a great manager, with a great team of coaches. I am sure this team will improve under him.”

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After a more than disappointing campaign last season with Chelsea, winger Eden Hazard told the British media that he wants to regain the form he had 2-years ago when he seemed unstoppable on the pitch for the Blues.

“I want to be the best, like I was two seasons ago. I said – after the season like this – I wanted to stay at Chelsea because I didn’t want to finish like this.

“We’ve got to show to everybody we are Chelsea, we’re big players, we’re a big team and we didn’t finish in a good place last season. Now we want to do better and win the Premier League. We need to do this.”

The Belgian went on to say that if he was ever to leave Stamford Bridge, he would leave as a champion.

“When I was in France [with Lille], I finished my last game with a hat-trick and that was a good time to leave. And if I must leave one day, I hope I can finish good here and be a champion again.”

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Chelsea won 1-0 over Liverpool in their first International Champions Cup game, that just ended in Los Angeles, USA.

The winner was scored with a header by Gary Cahill, who was assisted by Cesc Fabregas on a corner, after ten minutes.

The same Spanish midfielder was shown a red card at minute 70 for a late challenge on Ragnar Klavan, but anyway it seemed an harsh decision.

Liverpool had a gol disallowed for offside in the end of the fist half but, anyway, it wasn’t a great game, with few emotions, but Chelsea showed already a good solidness in defense.

The Blues will play Real Madrid in the next game, on Saturday 30 July at Michigan Stadium, with kick off at 8.30 pm BST.

 

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Last year Chelsea were part of the worst title defence in the history of the Premier League. After being crowned champions in 2015 under Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese manager couldn’t find similar form in the early stages of the following season and was dismissed before the turn of the year, leaving Guus Hiddink to pick up the pieces as interim boss.

Hiddink could only muster 10th place in the league and now everyone involved with the Blues will be hoping that new manager Antonio Conte can produce something much better in the upcoming campaign.

Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta told Sky Sports that the bosses at Stamford Bridge will not accept anything outside of the top four and challenging for the title will be their target.

“Our minimum target is to reach the top four but we have to challenge for trophies and we have to challenge for the title.

“We are coming from a very low position and we are not happy with that.

“We want to come back to our real position, which is fighting for the title.

“Last season was very hard for us and our fans also but they were behind us all season.

“We were suffering but now is the time to start from the beginning.

“We have to show that we are back and that we can challenge for a title.”

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After the appointment of Sam Allardyce as the new England manager, every England international will be looking to impress him during the early stages of next season for their respective clubs.

Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill is one of those players. He told the Evening Standard his excitement of working under Big Sam and hopes he can remain in the England first-team with what he hopes to be some impressionable performances for the Blues in the Premier League.

“I am excited to be working under Sam.

“I’m looking to impress him at the start of the season and looking to impress him, if I’m fortunate enough to be involved in the squad.

“I’m looking to keep involved and keep that shirt. I’ve very passionate to play for my country.

“His appointment is an exciting one for us. It’s going to be a change. It’s going to be interesting to work under him, have his ideas and take them on board.

“It’s down to me to impress him and make sure I hit the ground running so that I am in the squad when he selects them.”

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