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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte spoke after the Blues’ comeback win against Manchester City, which means that his side are now 4 points clear at the top of Premier League table.

The Italian manager told Chelsea TV: “It’s a big win and a big result against a really strong team,”

“With the quality of players in their squad I think it’s the most complete in this league. For this reason, I am pleased with the result, and with the players. They showed me great character”.

“We were lucky at the start of the second half because there was one crossbar, and also a good save from Thibaut kept the result at 1-0,”

“Then we found great strength to score the goal to draw, and then to score the second goal and the third goal. It’s fantastic this because I repeat, it’s not easy to come here and win this game. Now we have to continue.”

When asked about the title race, Conte added: “We have to wait for the first part of the season because we know this league is not easy. Now we are playing very well. We are playing good football, we have good confidence, but it’s important to continue to work and improve. There is room to improve.”

About Cesc Fabregas, who played again this afternoon: “I’m pleased for Cesc above all because this game wasn’t easy for him. The last game he played for Chelsea in the line-up was against Arsenal, and then he had an injury. He recovered and I’m very happy for his performance”.

“Now he must continue to improve – Conte stated – For me to have more options is good. It’s important to have the whole squad available”.

About the final stage, when Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho were both sent off by referee Anthony Taylor: “The final [stage] wasn’t good. I hope only Luiz is not injured after this tackle. It’s very difficult to explain this final part of the game. I support the referee. It is important that the referee whistles and we ‘finish’”.  

“I’m happy because I always tell my players to be focused on the game on the pitch, and always to keep calm. It’s normal when you play these big games it’s not easy to keep calm in every single moment, but I’m pleased because all my players tried to keep calm.”

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Chelsea board released a new statement about the sexual abuse scandal that emerged in the past days.

The statement read: Everyone at Chelsea Football Club has been profoundly shocked by news of historical child sex abuse across British football and our heart goes out to all the victims.

We pay tribute to the enormous courage of the people who have spoken out about the horrific abuse which they endured, including former Chelsea player Gary Johnson. We recognise that to do so, after carrying the burden of those events for so long, must have been an extremely difficult thing to do.

This is a challenge for all clubs and everyone involved in the game. As a club, we are absolutely determined to do the right thing: to fully support those affected, and the investigations being carried out. We are working with the Premier League, the Football Association and the police in helping all victims.

As we announced earlier this week, we have retained an external law firm to carry out an investigation into historical sexual abuse claims. If further evidence is uncovered we will ensure that we help victims in any way we can.

Although this abuse took place many decades ago, the last week has also highlighted decisions made more recently in relation to the case of our former player Gary Johnson. We are therefore asking the external law firm to review the way we handled Mr Johnson’s case and make recommendations as to how we can improve our procedures in future. We are determined to learn from any mistakes that were made.

It is clear that Gary Johnson suffered unacceptably while in our employment in the 1970s for which the club apologises profusely. In the summer of 2014 we received a letter of claim from Slater & Gordon, a prominent law firm which handles sexual abuse claims. They informed us Mr Johnson had been sexually assaulted by Eddie Heath, who had been employed by the club in the 1970s, and that Mr Johnson would bring a claim seeking compensation due to the fact he considered that the club was liable for the abuse.

Slater & Gordon confirmed that prior to bringing the claim to the club, the allegations of abuse had been reported to the Professional Footballers’ Association in 2013 and then subsequently to the police. We treated Mr Johnson’s claim very seriously and immediately instructed external solicitors. After requesting some further information, settlement negotiations commenced between Mr Johnson’s lawyers and a firm of solicitors, which specialises in abuse claims, appointed by our insurer.

It was stated by Mr Johnson’s solicitors that Heath had inappropriate relationships with other young boys/men from the club although no names were given to us. With the limited information the club received, we were unable to identify any further individuals who may have been subject to abuse. When dealing with this matter, the club operated on the basis that the incidents occurred in the 1970s and Heath had died in the early 1980s. Accordingly, Heath was no longer a risk to children. The extent to which the club should, notwithstanding this, have commenced a more detailed investigation and reported it to the Premier League and FA is an issue that will be addressed in detail in the club’s external law firm review. 

At the time that the settlement was reached, the Board understood it was a usual practice to include mutual confidentiality provisions as part of all settlement agreements and accordingly requested that one be included. The clause bound both parties and ensured that neither could reveal details of the case, including details which claimants might reasonably want to keep private. Mr Johnson’s solicitors did not raise any objection to the draft confidentiality clause and the terms of the settlement were quickly agreed.

More recently, against the current backdrop of wider revelations and other victims coming forward bravely to tell their story, we no longer felt it appropriate to keep the confidentiality agreement in place. It was therefore removed.

The decision to have a confidentiality clause in this case has been subject to significant scrutiny. We have asked the external law firm to review what was done and to make recommendations about best practice for settling claims of this nature in future. In advance of that, however, the Board would like to make clear that, in light of what we know now about the widescale abuse in football clubs in the 1970s and 1980s, it now believes that the use of such a clause while understandable was inappropriate in this instance. We certainly have no desire to hide any historic abuse we uncover from view. Quite the opposite.

Chelsea today is a very different club than it was in the 1970s. We are fully committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all children and young people who are in our care or attending our premises. Their welfare is of paramount importance. The safeguarding policies and procedures that are implemented at the club, and similarly with the Chelsea Foundation, are robust, continually reviewed and the club-wide safeguarding provision is audited regularly each year by the Premier League.

We are determined to learn from this case and will do everything we can to investigate these horrific events. We owe that at the very least to those who suffered unacceptable abuse from the people that were entrusted with their care.

 – The FA has commissioned a dedicated NSPCC helpline for adults who were victims of sexual abuse in childhood within the football industry. The helpline is available 24 hours a day on 0800 0232642

If people would prefer to speak to the club directly, they can do via safeguarding@chelseafc.com<mailto:safeguarding@chelseafc.com> or on 01932 596188

The Board of Directors of Chelsea FC plc

Bruce Buck, Marina Granovskaia and Eugene Tenenbaum

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Chelsea winger Willian scored in the Blues’ comeback win against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon. Chelsea are now four points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

The Brazil international said: “Diego Costa laid on a great pass for my goal, playing with him is great.”

Willian paid tribute to Chapecoense when he scored: “I wanted to dedicate my goal to the victims and their families – he claimed  – They have to stay strong.”

Also centre-back David Luiz spoke after the game, saying: “I want to dedicate this win to the people who died in Brazil.

“It was difficult to get my head together as I had some friends there. We just need to pray for the victim’s families.”

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola analysed his team’s defeat against Chelsea.

First of all, he gave his opinion about Aguero’s horrible challenge on David Luiz in the injury time:

“It was not intentional, I don’t think so. If it’s a red card, it’s a red card. We accept that,” Guardiola said in his post-match press conference.

It’s a pity it finished like this. It’s the way the referee decided but it’s a pity. I don’t like that, I apologise for what happened. Fernandinho went to defend his team-mate.”

“We didn’t win because we missed a lot of chances, not because of the referee. Never in seven years have I blamed that referee,”

“My team have to be proud of what they did and the way they tried to play. In the box we are not strong enough. We arrive in the box and don’t score, the opponents arrive and they do score.”

 

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Gary Cahill is back to his top form this year © Francesca Ceciarini

After Antonio Conte also Gary Cahill claims that this Chelsea‘s best quality is character

“We were 1-0 down but we had a lot of pressure to soak up in the first half,” the English defender said.

We knew we were in the game: we got to 1-1 and started building the momentum and showed a lot of character.

“We’re not at Christmas yet but it’s encouraging to have eight wins (in a row) now and it was a test.

“We showed another side to our football and we’re delighted.”

 

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This is how Chelsea boss Antonio Conte viewed the match against Manchester City, that eventually brought the Blues three points:

“I think today was very tough and the game was open until the end,” Conte told Sky Sports.

“There were lots of chances for both teams to score.

“I saw lots of character from my team and that’s very important to grow.

“But we must continue to work and improve.”

Cesc Fabregas today made his first appearance since September and Conte admitted he was delighted with the midfielder’s performance.

“He played a good game – I know I can always count on him,” Conte said.

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Diego Costa explains Chelsea’s success at Manchester City after a thrilling come-back.

Pep Guardiola side were leading 1-0 at the end of the first half but were also inconsistent in front of the goal, and eventually the Blues took advantage of Citizens’ forwards poor form today:

“We are working very well tactically, everyone know what we have got to do,” Costa explained after the game.

“Man City had opportunities to score second goal but they missed and when we scored we had more confidence then had opportunity to score and we did. It was a great game.”

Costa also opened up on his improved discipline in recent weeks.

“I want to be on the pitch and I want to be cool.”

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Manchester City hosted Chelsea in a top of the table mouth watering clash at the Etihad Stadium.

City headed into the clash haven’t not one a home game since september,but momentum was with Antonio Conte‘s men who came into this fixture at the back of seven straight wins. There was the surprise inclusion of Cesc Fabregas who haven’t starred for Antonio after the humbling 3-0 defeat at the hands of London rivals Arsenal.

Pedro Chelsea

 

But Manchester City bossed early proceedings and controlled the middle of the pack and went into the lead courtesy of a Gary Cahill own goal just before half time. But Antonio Conte’s men wouldn’t back down after going into the game as favorites,and they didn’t disappoint as Fabregas who hadn’t seen much of the ball in the first half found Diego Costa with a sublime pass which the Chelsea striker coolly controlled while brushing Nicholas Otamendi apart to finish off nicely.

Numerous chances fell to Pep Guardiola‘s side with Sergio Aguero going close and Kevin De Brunye “doing a Torres”, missing an open goal from five yards. Pep Guardiola would have been left unimpressed as his side failed to be clinical in front of goal as the Diego Costa goal sparked a Chelsea revival as Pedro who has been instrumental for Chelsea was brought off for Willian and Antonio Conte’s sub paid of with the Brazilian lashing out onto a lay off by Diego Costa to put Chelsea 2-1 up.

Man City pressed high to get an equalizer but were left exposed at the back as Marcos Alonso found Eden Hazard with a long ball and the Belgian punished the City defense putting Chelsea 3-1 up.

But the game was marred by violence during the closing stages as Sergio Aguero lunged into a challenge on David Luiz while Fernandinho was involved in an altercation with Cesc Fabregas which resulted in both players being sent off. Antonio Conte’s men go top of the table with 4 points away from their closest rivals,and this win made it eight on the bounce for the Blues.

Chelsea Diego Costa

Chelsea (3-4-3): CourtoisAzpilicuetaDavid LuizCahill (c); Moses, KanteFabregas, Alonso; Pedro (Willian 49), Diego Costa (Chalobah 80), Hazard.
Unused subs: BegovicAinaIvanovicOscar, Batshuayi
Scorers 
Diego Costa 60, Willian 69
Booked 
Kante 49, Chalobah 90+5

Manchester City (3-4-3): Bravo; Otamendi, Stones (Iheanacho 78), Kolarov; Navas, Fernandinho, Gundogan (Toure 76), Sane (Clichy 69); Silva (c), Aguero, De Bruyne.
Unused subs: Cabalero, Sagna, Zabaleta, Toure
Scorers Cahill (own-goal) 45
Booked 
Otamendi 17, Navas 81
Sent off Aguero 90+6, Fernandinho 90+6

Referee Anthony Taylor

 

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