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CFC

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Olivier Giroud broke the deadlock with a superb slalom as he danced past Saints’ defenders beating their goalkeeper in the 2-0 win at Wembley Stadium today. The Frenchman told BT Sports his “second passion is actually skiing” when asked to describe his stunning goal.

Giroud said: “My second passion is actually skiing! Eden Hazard gave me good ball, I saw a lot of players in front of me, I just tried to dribble a little bit and had a bit of luck but that’s what I wanted to do so at the end of the day I’m very pleased for the team”.

“We are in a very good momentum and we want to keep it up. I told the team I really want them to enjoy the FA Cup because I know what kind of feeling it is. Wembley? It is like my garden and I love to play here. Hopefully for the final we’re going to keep it up.”

 

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Alvaro Morata scored a crucial goal in FA Cup semi-final win against Southampton today.

The Spaniard was full of praise towards Chelsea fans on Twitter: “We are in the final!”

“I am very happy for the qualification and for my goal! Thank you very much for all your support!”

 

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During the press conference after the win of the semi-finals of the FA Cup against Southampton, Antonio Conte explains all his happiness for this results, a gift to Blues’ supporters for this season. Despite next and last step is Manchester United, hard opponent, Conte is proud about this final.

‘The most important thing in this type of game is to reach your target, in this case the final of this competition,’

‘It’s very important for the players, for the club and especially for our fans. I’m delighted for them. Always this season they showed great passion and pushed us in every moment, difficult moments and positive moments’

‘This final will be a game between two great teams. Last season we arrived in the final as favourites; this season we will arrive not as favourites, but last season we lost the final despite being favourites at that moment.’

The game was solved in the second half thanks Oliver Giroud and Alvaro Morata, who substituted Giroud two minutes before go in goal.

I knew we had to play against three central defenders who are very strong physically, so I decided to start with Olivier, but when Morata came on his impact was impressive, in the same way as Pedro and Bakayoko’s impact was.’

About Giroud: ‘He has been a good signing for us, for sure. I needed a player with his characteristics: strong physically, able to hold the ball up allow our no.10 to make combinations with him’.

About Morata: ‘He is an important striker. He is younger than Olivier and has less experience. He is less strong physically, but he is very fast to attack the space. I’m pleased for both of them.’

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CHELSEA – Caballero; Azpilicueta, Cahill (c), Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Hazard.

Subs: Eduardo, Christensen, Zappacosta, Bakayoko, Barkley, Pedro, Morata.

Manager: Antonio Conte

SOUTHAMPTON – McCarthy, Cédric, Hoedt, Yoshida, Bednarek, Bertrand (c), Romeu, Højbjerg, Lemina, Austin, Long.

Subs: Forster, McQueen, Tadić, Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Gabbiadini, Carrillo.

Manager: Mark Hughes

Venue: Wembley Stadium

Kick-off: 3PM BST

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois earned his 150th appearance for the Blues in the 1-2 win against Burnley at Turf Moor. The Belgian international failed to celebrate the occasion with a clean sheet as Burnley scored at 64′ with Ashley Barnes.

Courtois, who conceded 44 goals from 42 games this season so far, recently told Belgian newspapers: “I feel at ease, knowing that I will still be at Chelsea next year”.

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Chelsea loanee Kenedy, who’s enjoying a fruitful spell at Newcastle United, has confirmed he would be open to discuss a permanent move with Magpies at the end of current Premier League season.

The Brazilian winger told The Daily Mail“I am enjoying my time at Newcastle, but obviously I have a contract at Chelsea. If something occurs then I will be more than happy, it is a good place for me. I like it”.

“Rafa helps me a lot, every day. But the thing I am most thankful for is that he had belief in me and gave me this chance. I never imagined it would have gone so well. They have amazing fans, they are crazy for the team — fanatical, beautiful, I feel privileged to be around them.

“My first goal was an amazing sensation. When I saw the celebration in the stand, that gives you the energy to do whatever it takes.”

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Arsene Wenger will leave his managerial role at Arsenal when the 2017/18 campaign comes to an end, the Frenchman has announced through an official statement this morning.

We read: “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.
 
“I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special.
 
“I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.”

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More from Antonio Conte. The Blues’ manager confirmed Chelsea must win every single game remaining to keep their Champions League hopes alive, as gap on Tottenham has been reduced again. The Spurs are 5 points above ahead of their home clash against Watford, while Chelsea will visit Swansea City in Premier League next week.

Conte said: “It won’t be easy. There is a gap of five points with Tottenham. If we think in the past we have missed great chances to stay closer to them. Now the only way that we have is to get three points every game. It won’t be easy, because we have to play against teams fighting away from the relegation zone”.

“We have to try and for sure tonight I saw a great team spirit, we must be pleased because we performed very well with a great desire and will to fight”.

 

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When asked if Alvaro Morata‘s mistakes from a close range in the game against Burnley influenced his decision to take the Spaniard off with 20 minutes left to go, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte stand firm to back the striker.

The Italian manager said: “No, no, no. Honestly. Around 70 minutes I thought that it was better to put fresh strength with Hazard. He is a player that has different characteristics to Morata. But I must be honest I am very pleased for Morata and Giroud’s performances, they played very well.”

“To see Giroud and Morata, to play in this way and see good combination and link with them and then the desire to run and press with and without the ball, this is the right way to have satisfaction in the future.”

When asked about Morata’s reaction on the bench, he added: “I am not angry at him, Alvaro must be angry, because when you have the chance to score you have to score, especially for a striker because it can change your confidence. I think he was very angry with himself for his missed chance. But I have to see his whole performance and also even if he didn’t score I was very happy”.

“It was a situation I had in my mind and it wasn’t possible in the past to play with two strikers. They played very well and did a great job, as did the whole team. It is not simple to see two strikers and we must be pleased to see them sacrifice without the ball.”

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Hazard, who served assist to Giroud added: "We played a very good game, especially in the second half. We created a lot of chances and...