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Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri celebrates with the trophy after the UEFA Europa League final at The Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

Chelsea assistant coach Gianfranco Zola believes “all the players believed in what we were doing” despite Maurizio Sarri had some issues during his first season abroad as manager.

Zola told journalists after the victory of Europa League trophy: ‘It’s football, no? During a season you can have good moments or bad moments,

What is important is always believing in your work and always giving your best. That’s what we did”.

He added: “Fortunately the players believed in what we were doing, they helped us a lot, and we went through all the problems and difficulties that we had. We are all here celebrating and I think we deserved something”.

 

 

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Inter Milan have announced the appointment of Antonio Conte as their manager after the Italian put the pen to paper on a three-year-contract.

The former Chelsea boss led the Blues to the Premier League title in 2017 before lifting an FA Cup back in 2018.

Current Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri could join Conte in Italy as he reportedly received a massive offer from Serie A champions Juventus following the victory in Europa League final earlier on Wednesday in Baku.

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Chelsea secured third place on the Premier League table as Maurizio Sarri’s men end up the season with a goalless draw at King Power Stadium against Leicester City. Only Liverpool and Man City earned more points and the Citizens were crowned league champions today.

The Blues, who are expected to fly to Boston tomorrow to take part of a charity match, will face Arsenal in the Europa League‘s final on 29th May.

CHELSEA (4-3-3) Caballero; Zappacosta, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Alonso; Barkley (Kovacic 76′), Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek; Pedro, Higuain (Giroud 84′), Willian (Hazard 69′)

LEICESTER CITY (4-4-1-1) Schmeichel; Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell; Choudry, Ndidi (Okazaki 66′), Albrighton (Simpson 77′), Tielemans; Maddison (Barnes 83′); Vardy

Bookings: Jorginho

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Chelsea were forced into extra-time after producing another 1-1 at Stamford Bridge, which meant 2-2 on aggregate in the Europa League’s semi-final.

The Blues opened the scoring thanks to Ruben Loftus-Cheek, whose goal was equalized through Luka Jovic (10 goals in the competition) a few minutes before the beginning of second half.

Eintracht Frankfurt went close to scoring the second even in the extra-time, but David Luiz and Davide Zappacosta were both crucial to deny with goal-line clearances.

A missed penalty from Azpilicueta was canceled out after both Hinteregger and Paciencia’s shots were denied by Kepa. Eden Hazard kept his cool from the spot to send Chelsea to Europa League final.

Maurizio Sarri’s men will face Arsenal in Baku on May 27th.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is expected to be starting in Chelsea‘s XI which will take on Eintracht Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge tonight.

The England international midfielder could replace N’Golo Kante after the Frenchman picked up an injury against Watford last time out.

The Blues have a chance to book a place into the Europa League‘s final after getting a vital away draw in Germany earlier on Thursday.

Loftus-Cheek, speaking ahead of the clash, told journalists: “As Chelsea, we want to win trophies so this is a massive opportunity for us. We won’t relax,” 

“It will feel different for me to win a trophy this season because I have helped the team so much in the Europa League campaign.

“This is the best spell of my Chelsea career in terms of games and goals.”

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Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri spoke ahead of tonight’s Europa League second-leg of semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian boss said: “I am delighted at achieving the club’s target of making the top four. We want to reach the Europa League final and win it because we deserve a trophy this season”.

“It’s not easy because we have to play a dangerous team as we saw in the first leg. They’re dynamic and aggressive and when they can find spaces, it’s a dangerous match. In a semi-final you have to play against a strong team with very strong players. It’s difficult to be the favourite in a semi-final.”

 

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Chelsea transfer ban for the next two transfer windows has just been confirmed.

The club will be allowed only to sell players, while both Mateo Kovacic and Gonzalo Higuain could be signed on a permanent move before the end of June, when their season-long loan expires.

Also USA international star Pulisic will join the Blues at the end of current season. However, Chelsea will be prevented from signing any new player until January 2020.

An official statement from the club reads: “Chelsea FC has today received the decision of the FIFA Appeal Committee.

‘The Club notes that the FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to partially uphold the appeal lodged by Chelsea FC against the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. However, the Club is very disappointed that the transfer ban of two consecutive registration periods was not overturned.

“Chelsea FC categorically refutes the findings of the FIFA Appeal Committee. It acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)”.

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Chelsea defender and captain Gary Cahill has played his last game with Blues at Stamford Bridge in the 3-0 win against Watford on Sunday afternoon.

The England international defender came off the pitch in the 89th minute to get a deserved farewell by Chelsea fans and several players.

Cahill, who has barely featured under Maurizio Sarri‘s management this season, eventually labelled his last campaign with Blues as “terrible” after the Italian boss reportedly refused to explain reasons behind his decision to left the 33-year-old defender out of starting XI on a regular basis.

He added: “It will just be erased out of my head when I leave Chelsea. My last memory will be last season’s FA Cup final.

“It’s been very difficult. I have played on a regular basis over the previous six seasons and I’ve won everything with Chelsea, so to be watching from the stands is something I didn’t expect”.

“I know how the whole club works, I’ve got a big relationship with all the players and staff, and yet none of that has been utilised. If you are not playing a player, any player, for two, three, four games, then you don’t have to give a reason for that. But if it gets to eight or nine games, then you have to explain the situation. What’s going on? But the manager hasn’t done that.”

Sarri was coy on Cahill’s words and refused to make further comments on it: “I don’t know the situation, I’m sorry” he said.

“It’s not important for me. Cahill, during the season, was really very professional. He played only five, six or seven matches, but he was really very important in the training ground, in the dressing room.

Today was his last match for Chelsea, so it was important for him to be on the pitch, only for a few minutes but I still think it was really very important for the fans and for him.

Here, Gary won everything. And so I think he had to say goodbye to the stadium, to the fans, to the club.”

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Further good news for Chelsea as Blues will play in the Champions League next season after both Arsenal and Manchester United were held to draws against Brighton and Huddersfield earlier on Sunday.

Maurizio Sarri completes a massive turnaround, having been 6th on the league table at some point before climbing up the table, despite some huge defeats.

Chelsea have still to face the second-tie of Europa League semi-finals against Eintracht (at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night) after getting a vital away 1-1 draw in Frankfurt last time out. More positive news to come?

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, David Luiz and Gonzalo Higuain score as Chelsea earn a vital win to move up above Tottenham Hotspur and go third on the Premier League table.

The Blues produced a brilliant second-half getting an early lead and doubling the score with the Brazilian defender in the 51st minute.

Maurizio Sarri suffered an injury blow earlier in the first period, when N’Golo Kante was limped off the pitch and was replaced by Loftus-Cheek, who headed home securing the lead.

Chelsea take control of the top four race moving one point ahead of Spurs and five points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal.

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