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CFC

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Chelsea Ladies vice-captain Gilly Flaherty has insisted that the pressure of winning the treble was not a factor in their Continental Cup defeat.

The Blues lost 1-0 in the quarter finals to fellow WSL1 side Birmingham City thanks to Jo Potter’s freekick, with Birmingham currently languishing second from bottom in the domestic table.

Chelsea have however already won the FA Women’s Cup, and are two points clear at the top of the WSL1 table with two games remaining (Liverpool away and Sunderland at home).

Despite the somewhat disappointing defeat, Flaherty has insisted that the pressure coming into the game wasn’t on any of the Chelsea players’ minds:

We approached this cup in the same way that we approached the league and the FA Cup,” the 24-year old told BBC Sport.

“It was something that we took seriously. Last year we got to the semi-finals – we wanted to go one more this year and get to the final.

“If you are up there with the best, you have to accept that pressure. I don’t think it affected us.

“We weren’t really at the game. Birmingham showed up and we didn’t.

“Don’t take the credit away from Birmingham. They were the better team and deserved to get into a semi-final.

“It’s tough to break down that (defensive) wall. But we’ve got to find a solution because we might face it again, in the next two games in the league.”

 

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Legendary Arsenal player Martin Keown says, that Saturday clash between Chelsea and Arsenal will be vital for both teams. Jose Mourinho must win to return to the Premier League race while Wenger needs to forget about the shocking defeat against Dinamo Zagreb.

Former Arsenal midfielder has no doubts, that both teams will do everything possible to win Saturday’s clash at Stamford Bridge. As both teams are yet to find their best form this season.

Keown told Daily Mail :

”Both teams’ confidence is brittle going into this,”

“Chelsea will feel that they are bouncing back – suddenly this has become a different game for Arsenal.”

“It’s then how they apply themselves. They got a drubbing in early kick-offs at Anfield and Chelsea, and there can’t be any hangover even though they’ll come back late from Zagreb.”

“Mourinho’s team will start like a house on fire. Victory rescues their season. ”

“Arsenal don’t want Mourinho talking afterwards about how special he is again and how Arsenal have failed again.”

“Wenger needs to create that urgency that their season hinges on this match.”

 

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Chelsea summer signing Abdul Baba Rahman made his first appearance for the Blues in last night’s Champions League match against Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

Baba Rahman started yesterday’s game at left-back while Cesar Azpilicueta has replaced Branislav Ivanovic at right back. Ghana international was delighted to make a debut win. However, he hopes being able to secure himself more minutes after his performance last night.

Rahman said :

“It was great,”

“The supporters and the stadium were very nice.”

“The team played good and the most important thing was the win and that’s what we did.”

“I think I can adapt more but I leave it up to the coach to judge my performance.”

“I’m very happy to be here. If I push hard I can make it and enjoy myself here.”

“My main aim is to play as many games as I can. I’m really working hard to keep the momentum going.”

Chelsea left-back admits he’s desperate to help the Blues win at least as many trophies as last year :

“Last year Chelsea won the Premier League and I’m itching for us to win it again, and also do well in the Champions League, the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup,”

“We want to win as many trophies as we can.”

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Chelsea striker Diego Costa has no doubts, that beating Arsenal on Saturday could fix their difficult situation at Premier League.

The Blues have failed to impress at the beginning of the new Premier League campaign. After five games, Chelsea have collected only four points while the current leader Manchester City have 15. Nevertheless, the Chelsea striker is convinced that a victory over the Gunners will rectify their problems and fix the situation.

Costa told Express :

“There’s nothing better than a game against Arsenal to win and fix this situation.”

“If we win then we’ll take a step forward in terms of confidence and points; we know about the importance of the game.’

“We have to remain calm. We have enough quality to fix the situation.”

 

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EDEN HAZARD
Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier commented on Eden Hazard’s moment.

According to the former striker the Belgian star is not performing at the level of the past season, where he won the PFA Player of the Year Award after leading Chelsea to win the Premier League and the Capital One Cup.

Signs of the real Eden Hazard appeared last night in the match against Maccabi Tel Aviv but the Belgian showed he’s not at the top yet when he missed a penalty after just five minutes:

This boy does not look like the same person that shone so brightly last season.

 “He really is out of sorts. You could see that from the penalty. With his penalties he always looks at the goalkeepers anyway but this time he looks at the ‘keeper, looks down, then looks up again.

As he’s going to take this penalty and I don’t know if he’s seen the goalkeeper move the way he’s going to hit the ball and panics slightly but he skies it miles over the crossbar. There’s a real lack of confidence in his play at the minute.”

 

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Chelsea have begun the search for Branislav Ivanovic’s replacement,reveals Daily Mail.

According to the paper, Jose Mourinho has instructed the scouts to create a list of potential right back signings.

Ivanovic contract with Chelsea expires at the end of the season and there are many indications that it will not be extended.

The Serbia international was benched by the Portuguese coach during yesterday’s clash against Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Also his performance during Saturday’s clash against Arsenal is doubtful.

 

 

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Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek without any doubts grabbed the opportunity given to him by Chelsea manager José Mourinho against Maccabi Tel-Aviv. 

In the 4-0 UEFA Champions League Group G victory over Maccabi Tel-Aviv, the young midfielder has proved, that he has a lot of potential. Loftus-Cheek was one of the players that Mourinho wanted to use to “change the dynamic” and bring his team a change of fortune. And it seems that once again the Portuguese coach made no mistake.

Speaking after the match, he told UEFA.com :

” I am really happy about it. It’s so good achievement for me, I will remember it forever. So yes it’s a good start”

”I know what my jobs are so I felt comfortable in the game so I just tried to like I said be confident and just play my normal game”

“I said to myself to try and enjoy the game but I’ve got to keep my feet on the ground. Being named key player is something I will always remember and I really want to push on, train well, and try and get better every day so I get more minutes on the pitch.”

” I really to push on, try to get better everyday ”

During the pre-season he was criticised by Mourinho for not working hard enough. But the young player, has admitted, that Mourinho’s words has motivated him :

“I listened to that,”

“If he says I have to work harder, then I have to work harder.”

“He is the boss and has won so many trophies and he’s one of the best managers if not the best manager in the world, so I will listen to him in any situation and try to better myself. “I went with away the [England] under-21s, so coming on I had to do my best and not dwell on the situation. So in that case I had to react to that.”

 

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During the post match press conference, Maccabi Tel-Aviv manager Slavisa Jokanovic spoke about his club performance after falling to Chelsea 4:0 at Stamford Bridge.

What did you think about your first match coaching in the Champions League:

“We arrived here and we’ve advanced positively throughout qualifying to reach this point. Hopefully the next game we will be more competitive and we can see how we do on Matchday Two. It’s an important competition and Maccabi hasn’t competed in the Champions League in 11 years and Chelsea is a very strong club.”

How do you feel Maccabi played:

“We tried to be as organized as possible on the pitch but Chelsea moved the ball very fast and they were stronger than us, dominated us and scored the goals. Chelsea plays at the highest level and we have five more games and we will improve as there are many things within the game to work on.”

Even if Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Champions League campaign started with a 4-0 defeat at Chelsea in Group G, coach Jokanovic remains positive about his team future at the tournament.

Jokanovic told UEFA.com :

“It’s positive, this is a new competition for us.”

“The first game we play away against one of the most important teams in the world.”

“They dominated us and they deserved to win the game, but we must learn and over the next five years I expect us to improve. ”

“This is the Champions League, it’s a different level. In front of us we are fighting against a very important and a very strong team. My team were probably a little bit impressed to begin with, with what was around them and we made a few mistakes. ”

“I expect a different game [when we play them again] and I expect a different result. But there is a long time in front of us before then.”

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Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas is convinced, that after Maccabi Tel-Aviv victory yesterday, the Blues can now take that form into the league campaign.

The Spanish player scored the fourth goal in the 4-0 in yesterday’s victory and had a big hand in the third one. He admitted that he is aware of the importance of the victory for the team spirit. But,he revealed, that Jose Mourinho has warned everybody in the dressing room, that Champions League have nothing to do with their Premier League performances.

Fabregas told Chelsea official website :

‘‘He said this is a different competition, nothing to do with the Premier League so we just have to focus on it, and we want to be first in the group,’’

‘‘This was a vital win, a top performance from start to end and we need Chelsea to play like this week in and week out. Hopefully it is the start of a long run for us to put smiles back on our faces and get the confidence back.”

‘‘I believe in myself more than anyone. Everyone has their doubts when you are not playing well and you don’t get the results you want but I have been playing too long to worry about stuff that is not important. What is important is my form, getting that good and to be confident.”

‘‘My confidence is always high, that is not a problem, but sometimes things don’t go well for you for many reasons, but as soon as we realise like we did in this game that we are a fantastic football team, we can compete against the top teams. We won a lot last year and we have to show it this year.”

‘‘Against Maccabi Tel Aviv we put high pressure and high intensity on and we pressed higher up the field, and that is how it is in modern football. It was a good performance, a clean sheet, a lot of goals and good football so I am happy.’’

The Spaniard turned his thoughts to the next game against Arsenal on Saturday :

‘‘We didn’t start the season well and when you see Chelsea so far down the table you have to check twice to make sure this is happening. We have a big game again on Saturday so we must not rest and enjoy this week’s win, we just want to get another win and then we will see what happens.”

‘‘We just have to win. It is a London derby, we know Arsenal are a quality team, they play top football and it will be tough but we want to win and we can achieve that on Saturday.’’

 

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