Authors Posts by Francesca Ceciarini

Francesca Ceciarini

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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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Chelsea found Thibaut Courtois‘ replacement, should the Belgian join Real Madrid next summer: it’s Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

The Merengues have been following him for a couple of years and are ready to splash a world-record fee for him, at least £ 70m.

Oblak, meanwhile, would not be allowed to leave Atletico on the cheap as he has a €100m (£85m) buy-out clause in his contract.

The Slovenian stopper, who was signed in a £12.6m deal from Benfica in 2014, has also attracted interest from Arsenal and Manchester City.

 

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Antonio Conte was the guest of honour of last night annual dinner for Chelsea Pitch Owners.

Interviewed by Pat Nevin during the event he hailed two of his defenders, Cesar Azpilicueta and Victor Moses, for the incredible they have been doing during this season:

“Azpi is incredible in his new role, one of the best in the world in this role. Also Moses, to run with this quality. Fantastic”

Conte was also asked how he has reinvigorated the Stamford Bridge atmosphere and the Italian manager replied smiling: “I don’t know. passion!” 

The Chelsea boss said he sometimes watches Match Of The Day and sees his own reaction to the game:

“I am sometimes a bit ashamed. But for me it is life.”

Can Conte stop the passion? “No. I live the moment with great passion. And I want to share it with the players, the fans, the staff.”

The former Italy coach revealed that, although London is an amazing place to live, he doesn’t have much time to enjoy the city, since he is very focused on his job:

“I think London is fantastic. To live and work here is great.”

Antonio concluded his interview claiming that there is only one target for Chelsea Football Club:

“When your name is Chelsea, you must fight always to win!”

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Chelsea captain John Terry expressed his support to former Blues boss Claudio Ranieri, who was sacked by Leicester City yesterday, only ten months after winning a shocking Premier League title with the same club.

The Blues skipper wrote on his Instagram account:

Absolutely gutted for Claudio. A great Man, Manager and Friend

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Roberto Mancini won the league with Manchester City in 2012 and was sacked in 2013, José Mourinho won the league in 2015 with Chelsea and was sacked six months later, Claudio Ranieri won an incredible title with Leicester City in 2016 and was sacked ten months later: now Antonio Conte got good chances to win the Premier League title with Chelsea, since the Italian manager is 8 points clear of the team sitting in the second place ( Man City) with 13 games to go.

Manchester United legend Gary Neville joked about this on his Twitter account and wrote:

Winning the Premier League, the ‘new Poisoned Chalice’…Conte sacked next season!!

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Chelsea loanee Andreas Christensen was one of Borussia Mönchengladbach heroes in Europa League Round of 32 tonight.

The German side was travelling to Italy after losing 1-0 against Fiorentina at home last week and set an incredible comeback at Franchi Stadium: Borussia was 2-0 down at 29′ but a penalty scored by Lars Stindl right before half-time gave them hope to level the tie.

The same Stindl scored a brace in the beginning of the second half, between 47′ and 55′: ‘Gladbach was already qualified with a 2-3 for the away goals rule, but Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen- that has been on loan to the Bundesliga side for two years- scored the 2-4 definitive goal at 60’, giving his team the tranquillity they need to end the match, becoming one of the two heroes of this special night.

Borussia will know their rivals for the competition’s last 16 tomorrow after the UEFA draw.

 

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Former Ballon d’Or Michael Owen gives us some interesting stats regarding Chelsea next Premier League rivals, Swansea.

The ex Liverpool and Real Madrid forward analysed the Swans performance under former Chelsea coach Paul Clement – who won the PL Manager of the Month in January- and they are outstanding, a reason more to keep the concentration high for the Blues:

“Paul Clement’s Swansea have picked up one more point in 2017 (12) than league leaders Chelsea in 2017 and the Swans’ boss returns to Stamford Bridge with a confident and improving side,” Owen told Betvictor.

“Clement was, of course, assistant to Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea between 2009 and 2011 and should be warmly applauded for the great job he has done at the Liberty Stadium since taking over the reins.

“After the trip to Chelsea, the Swans’ next four games are against Burnley (H), Hull and Bournemouth (A) and Boro (H) and there is an argument that those four games will define their season rather than what happens at the Bridge on Saturday. 

“I don’t agree and think Swansea and Clement will give it a real go at his former club although I expect the Blues to keep the points in West London.”

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Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck met some of the richest Chinese businessmen as many companies from the Asian country are ready to invest in a Premier League club.

As Sportsmail reveals “The HNA Group — a Fortune Global 500 company with annual revenue of more than £20billion — have sent representatives to Stamford Bridge as they continue to search for an avenue into English football.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck met several members of HNA’s mergers and acquisitions team on January 7, the day before Chelsea beat Peterborough United 4-1 in the FA Cup.

The group also attended the Peterborough match, sitting in the directors’ box and posing for pictures with a replica Premier League trophy in an executive bar at Stamford Bridge.

It was the second meeting between the Chinese group and Chelsea, with Buck believed to have travelled to Asia for talks.

A source confirmed HNA are ‘serious about buying a club’ and it is thought they have made formal representations to at least one other Premier League side in recent years.

The content of the conversations with Buck remains unclear but Chelsea have grand plans which could benefit from outside financial support — most notably the Stamford Bridge expansion project that was given the go-ahead last month. The regeneration of the stadium, taking capacity to 60,000, is expected to cost £500million.”

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New Serie A sensation and Chelsea target Franck Yannick Kessie reveals his dream is to play for Manchester United.

The Ivorian midfielder is impressing in this season, where he already scored 6 goals in 18 Serie A appearances, helping Atalanta to sit on 5th position in the Italian league table.

Antonio Conte eyed him in the past months and was keen to sign him for Chelsea, but Kessie dreams to be a Red Devil:

“I didn’t hear any voice in January regarding Roma,” he said at a media event on Wednesday.

“I was away at the Africa Cup of Nations and then I was just thinking about playing.

“Chelsea? They’re also a great club, nobody would refuse them, but I dream of United.”

 

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After failing to sign him during the recent January transfer window, Bournemouth will try again to bring Asmir Begovic to England southern coast this summer.

The Bosnian goalkeeper was keen to leave the Blues one month ago, when he received the Cherries‘ offer, but Antonio Conte didn’t let him go because Chelsea couldn’t find a valid substitute.

But next summer things can change: to find a “number two stopper” could be easier and Eddie Howe‘s side are ready to place a £ 10m offer to convince Chelsea to let him go.

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