Tags Posts tagged with "Champions League"

Champions League

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N’Golo Kante, Chelsea’s defensive midfielders since 2016 and bought for £32m, is one of the best midfielders in Europe. During this season, the French player has attracted interest from several clubs, especially from PSG who has confirmed his wish to bring him back in France but Blues’ number 7 explained his will to stay in London with Blues: “I am at home. It is my club, I am a Chelsea player”

“This is my second year at Chelsea. After what happened last season, it was a very good one for us because we got to celebrate winning the title.

He also commented Chelsea’s season and Blues’ goals: “In the second season, I have got to play in the Champions League and we are going again to finish in the top four.

“We will fight until the end to finish in the top four and to get in a Champions League position.

“We also have the FA Cup to play for – it is a good competition. Last season we failed in the final. It is the only trophy we can win this season, so we have to give everything to get to the final and win it.”

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Few years ago, Willy Caballero helped Manchester City when they won the League Cup at Wembley vs Liverpool.

Now the Argentinian goalkeeper is performing very well in the Blues’ run in the current Fa Cup and he hopes to lift another trophy at Wembley in just a couple of months.

For me, it’s a fantastic competition and I don’t have this trophy, so for sure I want to win the FA Cup,” Caballero told Chelsea official website.  “Everyone at Chelsea and our supporters want this too. Southampton will be a tough game for us, like Leicester were. We will head to Wembley to play them and have to fight as we did against Leicester and then hopefully we can reach the final. I think we now have a good break [the international break] but the most important thing for the team would be to finish in the top four and get into the Champions League. But of course we have the chance to win a trophy in the FA Cup and that is what we want to do. So we will go to Wembley for the semi-final and hopefully we can do both things – finishing in the top four and winning the FA Cup.” 

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Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen admitted he sought John Terry‘s advice after his mistakes vs Barcelona in the Champions League last 16.

I try to keep it inside the club and not bring it home with me,” Christensen told Eurosport in Denmark. “My team-mates have also seen all my other performances, so they know that these mistakes aren’t typical for me. I have had a smaller talk with John Terry, he has also experienced setbacks, and it is always nice to talk to someone watching it from the outside and to learn that they have experienced the same. He told me that it is natural to make mistakes. And he tried to put it in perspective for me saying that if a forward misses a chance he can make it good again by scoring when he gets the next opportunity, but we can’t change a goal scored against us. So when we make mistakes it is more crucial and it is easy to point fingers at. I have realized it, looked at it and now I have moved on. It has been difficult to get out of. You are not doubting yourself, but you might get a bit more cautious in what you do, and that can make things even worse. So it is difficult to get out of it; move on from. I’ve been annoyed at myself, and that is difficult to get rid of – especially when there is a week between the matches, because then you have a whole week to think about it. You just want to move on to the next match so that you can play a match without mistakes. I can’t avoid making mistakes, but in some games the mistakes have been decisive, so now I am just waiting for the next games to come, so I can prove that the mistakes aren’t typical for me. I thought about it after making two mistakes in two matches, that I might be out of the next one. But I try to tell myself that before these matches I have played all the other ones almost with no mistakes at all. I hope that is the reason that I get to start, because he knows that – besides the last couple of matches – he can trust me, I haven’t made any mistakes, but been very solid for a long period. I am focusing on all the good games I have played this season.”

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte claimed he will do everything to play another semifinal and final at Wembley this season.

Last year his team beat Spurs in the semifinal and then was defeated by Arsenal in the final:

This is a great competition one of the most important in the world,” the Italian coach said.

“Last season we were very good to reach the final at Wembley, playing the quarter finals against Manchester United and semifinal against Spurs. Now we will try to do the same.

“To win a trophy in England is always very tough, before winning it you know that you have to face strong teams. In this competition there are United and Tottenham but also other teams that want to try to make the history in the cup

“I think every trophy is important for us, we started the season to try to fight until the end for every competition, in the Carabao Cup we were in the semifinal, in the Champions League we reached the last 16, if we win we can play another semifinal at Wembley in this competition, this must be our target.

“To try to go to next round to reach the semifinal in the FA Cup won’t be easy, Leicester are a good team, in the last game we played agains them at home we suffered. We will do our best to qualify for the next Champions League, we still have targets.”

Asked who is the favourite goalkeeper to start on Sunday, Conte replied:

“I think that we’re talking about two good goalkeepers, Thibaut [Courtois] and Willy [Caballero], tomorrow I will try to make the best decision, because we want to go to next round.”

Eden Hazard has failed to score in the last three games:

“Maybe he could score on Sunday,” Conte replied.

On tomorrow’s rivals:

“We’re talking about a team that two years ago won the title, they want to fight a lot, we suffered a lot in the last game, we ran a lot, they are dangerous, we must pay great attention to them.

“Special plans are to try to defend well, we all know Vardy‘s characterstics, he’s very clever, he’s good in finding the right time to attack the space. They have other dangerous players like Ineacho and Okazaki.”

Speaking about the Champions League knock out against Barcelona he said:

“It was a pity to go out, especially because we made two good performances, we have to try move on.

“It’s true we played against Barcelona the other night, but we could rest, so I will pick up the best solution for Sunday’s game.”




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After defeat against Barcelona and consequent Champions League exit, Antonio Conte declared himself proud of his guys. He analyzed the match admitting the bad beginning, also spoke about his tactic choices, about referee’s judgments considering penalty the foul on Alonso and speaking about Messi he abounded with praises.

Our start was terrible, to concede after only two minutes, but after we tried to play football and at times we dominated the game and had chances to score. Over the two legs we have hit the post four times and this is very strange. I think a fantastic player moved the final result and the qualification because in these two legs, Lionel Messi moved the final result. He scored three goals and made an assist for Dembele.

It is a pity but I must be very proud of the commitment of my players. They gave everything and we have to continue in this way, with this will to fight and desire to fight together.’

About Messi: ‘When you have the opportunity to make a great complement to Messi, it is right to recognize a super, super, super top player,’ he explained. ‘You are talking about a player who every season can score 60 goals, not just in one season. I am very pleased to have the opportunity at the end of the game to give him my complement. We are talking about an extraordinary player, the best in the world.’

About tactics choices and referee’s judgments: ‘For sure when you take this decision to play with Eden, Willian and a striker as a point of reference, you must be very good to have a great balance and not lose this balance. I saw great commitment from all the players, who wanted to play with all our potential. We were a bit unlucky over the two legs and we showed we can play in both ways. For sure in the first leg, defensively we were more compact. Tonight they scored three times but I think we did not deserve this type of result.

I think there was a penalty for Alonso and if it is 2-1 you can put a bit of pressure on Barcelona and I repeat, in the end I must be pleased with the commitment of my players. I saw great work.’

About the environment situation out of stadium before the match: ‘We are aware of reports of incidents outside the ground before the game where a number of Chelsea fans were hurt. We ask that our supporters contact us with accounts of their experiences of this evening’s arrival at the stadium so that we can take this up properly with the authorities.’

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Marcos Alonso spoke about defeat against Barcelona and consequent Champions League exit:

“We had to take advantage of our opportunities and the pole. Against this type of team it becomes hard when don’t take advantage of the opportunities you have”.

They are a great team and they also have Messi, I think maybe they were the better team even though I think we competed well in both games”

“We could have done better, if we concede these easy goals then we make our chances very difficult against this team. We knew they have top players and we cannot give them one metre because they can create and score”

“They were the better team but we were unlucky. We competed well and we have to improve. When you lose you have to keep training and get better.”

“They were not comfortable in the first half and we just missed the chances.

“It could have been 2-2 at half-time at least but it was 2-0 and in a stadium like this, against a team like this, it is not easy to come back.”

“I think we were a little bit unlucky, also, with the first two goals. We hit the post three times, we had so many chances in both games. Now we have two important matches in Premier and we want to win FA Cup”.



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Also Davide Zappacosta said his personal opinion about defeat at Camp Nou: “Of course there’s much regret because in the two games we deserved something more. Anyway they were stronger than us, Messi is very strong and Barca as team is really hard to deal with”

Conte? We are all with him, our fans, staff and players. We listen to him and try to always do what he asks”

National Team? All of us aim at calling, for me would be a proud but to make it possible it is important do well with my club. The coach came also to visit us but I don’t now anything about an eventually call”

FA Cup is a goal but we also want return in Champions League places”

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Reports in Italy this morning claim Antonio Conte is not going to include Alvaro Morata in Chelsea’s starting XI against Barcelona tonight.

The Spaniard had a stunning start to the season but his performances have been declining over the last few months. The former Juventus star has had physical issues as well and Conte is not going to start him against the Catalans tonight.

According to Tuttosport Conte will pick up the likes of Pedro, Willian and Hazard to play up front with the Belgian ace who is expected to play as ‘false 9’ as in the game at Stamford Bridge in February.

Chelsea will have to score one more goal then their rivals or obtain a draw with 2 goals or more to go through the next round, as the first leg played in London three weeks ago ended with a 1-1 draw.


​Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Paulinho, Suarez, Messi.

​Chelsea (3-4-3): Courtois; Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Christensen; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Marcos Alonso; Pedro, Hazard, Willian.

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Chelsea star Willian, surely the Blues best man in this period, spoke ahead of tonight crucial Champions League clash at Camp Nou:

“Firstly it was good to get back to winning ways and it gives us confidence for the game against Barcelona,” the Brazilian winger said.

“In football, when you win you always get confidence for the next game. Now we have confidence to go there and do a job.

“Playing against Barcelona is never easy. The pitch there is big and we expect a difficult game but I think if we play the same way as we did in the game at Stamford Bridge we can go through.”

Speaking about game tactics and plan he said:

“We have to stay compact and fight together without the ball because Barcelona, in every game, have a lot of possession”

“In this game, when we have the ball we have to be more clinical. We can’t afford to make any mistakes with our final pass and we have to be decisive in front of goal by shooting or doing what we want to do. If we go into the game with this mentality I think we can do something special.”

And speaking about himself he claimed:

“Everyone knows my best qualities are with the ball, not without it.”

“But I try to help the team and work hard. I’m not a specialist in that area but I try.

“When I go on the pitch I always try to do my best and in some games I have the opportunity to shoot more, in others not so much, but in the last few games I’ve created a lot of chances and I think my performances have been good.

“I want to play better and better, to help my team-mates and help the club. I want to win titles. I think we can do something special between now and the end of the season.

“We have the Champions League and FA Cup, and we can reach the top four in the Premier League. We have some targets to reach so that’s why I want to always do my best.

“I’ve had a lot of good moments in my career and this one, right now, is a special one. I’m very happy with my form.”

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Former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has expressed his opinion about Champions League clash between Barcelona v Chelsea:

 “After the first leg, I think Barcelona are the favourites but you can’t be sure. Chelsea have shown that they are a very organised team with clear ideas about how they want to play and players up front who are very dangerous and very quick. They can hurt you a lot on the counter-attack, so Barcelona will have to put in a serious performance and try to score a goal because if they don’t Chelsea could hurt them on the counter”.

The Barca’ legend also spoke about Eden Hazard, Alvaro Morata and about former teammate Lionel Messi.

Praise for Messi:

“For me, Messi is the best player in the world and in history. It’s impressive what he’s doing every year at an exceptionally high level, breaking records, getting better and better in more aspects of his game”.

About Belgian star said:

“He’s an incredible player” but he doesn’t think possible yet make comparisons with Messi: “To compare him with Messi or Ronaldo is difficult, I don’t think he’s at their level yet, but Eden Hazard is a fantastic player. He’s a player who makes the difference and has plenty of time to grow”.

About Morata he added:

“I think he’s a very good player, he has scored goals. He has had back problems but he is a dangerous player. He is powerful. He could do damage to Barcelona. I don’t know what his physical condition is – whether he is at 100 per cent – but he is an important player and Chelsea are missing him”.


Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa spoke about the end of his professional relationship with Chelsea: "It is very clear that it was not my fault...