Tags Posts tagged with "Champions League"

Champions League

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Cesc Fabregas shared his impressions after the FA Cup final, claiming it was a well deserved trophy for Chelsea but also admits the real target of the season was another one:

“It hasn’t been the best of seasons, objective was to play Champions League but sometimes these things happen. But look at the fans having fun enjoying the day, it’s important for them.  

“It was important to keep it tight, we know when we play with five defenders it’s more difficult to put a press higher up the pitch, for the midfielders it’s tough you have to run a lot. We were compact and disciplined.”

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Chelsea hero Roberto Di Matteo is convinced Roman Abramovich should keep faith with Antonio Conte also in the next season.

The manager brought the Champions League to Stamford Bridge on this day in 2011/12 campaign. Di Matteo has no doubt it will be a “fantastic clash” at Wembley with “Mourinho against his past”, as Hernan Crespo told us in mixed zone as well.

 

“Who will win the final? Of course I will cheer for Chelsea, Robbie said to ChelseaNews24 reporter after the legends game at Stamford Bridge last night “But I am sure it will be a great game, the two clubs have got a great history in this competition.

“It will  be a great game, Wembley is always a wonderful stadium where they play big matches, I hope Chelsea will win.

“I say, again, that would be fair to continue with Antonio [Conte] for the stability of the club and also because he gave a good foundation to the team and the club itself.”

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Eden Hazard has warned Chelsea to sign players who will let them challenging in the title race if they want him to commit his future to the club.

Hazard has two years left on his present contract and is considering whether to sign a lucrative extension that would keep him at Stamford Bridge for the remaining prime years of his career.

The Belgian star, anyway, is frustrated by Chelsea’s failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League and, as we explained also yesterday, he is also a real target for clubs like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain.

 Asked what it would take to stay with Chelsea in the long-term, Hazard replied:
“I’m waiting for new players next season. We will see.

“I want good players because I want to win next season the Premier League. I want to win a lot of things.”

This would be Hazard’s last big contract and the forward has no intention of rushing his decision, despite reports that Chelsea are willing to pay him around £300,000 ( € 430,000 ) per week.

That’s why I’m taking my time. It’s something big. I need to think of a lot of things. One thing for sure is I’m happy here.

“We can’t be in the Champions League next season so we need to win trophies. That’s it.

“I say many times before I think it is not my last game. It’s the last game of the season, that’s it.

“After the World Cup then we will be ready for the next season.

“But for me, in my mind, I’m here, I have one week to play now. Saturday is a massive game. I just want to win for me and them also.”

Hazard reveals the uncertainty surrounding Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has had no impact on the squad.

Conte is expected to leave at the end of the season after his relationship with the club’s board was ruined by their failure to back his transfer plans.

“We don’t think about that. We’re just focused on the game,” Hazard claimed.

“We have one game to play and then we’ll see what happens at the end of the season.”

“I need two more trophies, Champions League and FA Cup. That’s it,” Hazard said about the trophies he is missing in his personal cabinet.

“We’re Chelsea. We need trophies at the end of the season.

“At the moment we have nothing. We have not qualified for the Champions League. So the season has been bad.

“If we can’t be in the Champions League we need the trophy.

“It’s up to us to save the season with the FA Cup. I’ve never won the FA Cup. I hope this year is for me and for Chelsea. We will give everything.”

Chelsea and Hazard will face their former boss José Mourinho this weekend and the Portuguese has been criticised for conservative tactics this season, but Hazard expects United to pose a stern test.

“We know how he will play. We all know that. That’s why we need to be ready,” he concluded.

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Eden Hazard wants to leave Chelsea after the team failed to qualify for next Champions League tournament.

According to Spanish news outlet Don Balon, the Belgian doesn’t want to stay at Stamford Bridge because he reckons one season out of the European most important competition could ruin his career.

Don Balon reports that the winger feels it’s time to move on and there are several teams ready the 27-year-old: Manchester City are among the teams that have enquired about his situation ahead of the summer transfer window.

PSG and Bayern Munich have also asked to be kept informed about Hazard’s plans, while Real Madrid are still linked with the Belgium star.

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Antonio Conte claims Chelsea season is not finished today: the Blues conquered a disappointing 5th place, that will leave them out of Champions League next year, but they still have to play for one title, the FA Cup, against Manchester United next Saturday at Wembley:

“In the FA Cup final we play for a title, I don’t know what it’s fundamental in life but we have to prepare this game properly to obtain the maximum we can against a great rival,” the Blues boss said to Sky Sport Italia.

“We have to finish this campaign in the best way possible.”

Speaking about his future Conte said:

“A return to Juventus? We are speaking with IF, I don’t like to speak with IF.”

“I am committed to this club and I’ve got another year of contract here, we focused on the present and on a season that will end in six days then we will understand if we have to plan the next season or if we will have another final.”

 

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Conte celebrates at the end of the FA Cup semifinal against Spurs © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea have almost lost all their chances to qualify for the next Champions League with Wednesday’s draw vs Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues, however, can still win the Fa Cup, but in any case, Antonio Conte believes this is a good season for him and his team:

I’m very happy. I’m very happy for last season. I’m very happy for this season. You learn in this job. If you are clever you continue to learn and improve yourself, to try and be better in the future.” Conte said during his pre-game press conference. It’s a great experience, we had two hard seasons, this season and last, but a fantastic season for me. It’s OK. I think this league is great, is the toughest league in the world. To compete in this league, with so many teams and so many clubs very strong, it’s always a great chance you have”.

As the Premier League is the toughest league in the world, Conte has always been aware of the chance of finishing out of the top-four:

You must know that there is this possibility because you play in a strong league. For this reason, you have to know this and prepare in the right way”. Conte explained. “There are six top teams at the start of the season ready to fight for a place in the Champions League. It can happen. In the past, it happened the same. Don’t forget two years ago, Chelsea ended the season 10th and not in the FA Cup final, not in the semifinals of the Carabao Cup, and they were eliminated in the last 16 against PSG in the Champions League. It can happen.”

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After the 1-1 against Huddersfield tonight Champions League qualification and Antonio Conte are further from Stamford Bridge.

Questioned about his future after the end of the game, the current Chelsea boss replied:

“I think for this season this is my last [home] game, it’s always the same and I don’t have anything to add.”

The Italian coach was then pressed again about his future, to which he replied:

“This is not my task, there is a club to judge the situation and then to take the best decision.”

According to both English and Italian sources Chelsea are trying to appoint current Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri, even if the Azzurri are not really keen to release him after a campaign where he challeged Juventus for the Scudetto until the last matches.

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was clearly disappointed after the draw at home with Huddersfield: this result both sends the Champions League tournament and Italian coach further from Stamford Bridge.

”The only hope and intention was to keep our hopes alive and win the game. We tried with all of our strength to win but the result penalised our team a lot,” the Blues manager commented after the final whistle.

For sure we had so many chances and you must be good to take them. It is not the first time that we are not clinical, there are many circumstances for this.

“We must accept the final result and the commitment was impressive of the players. We tried to win the game until the end. We were a bit unlucky in many situations.

“As you know very well you have to score one goal more than your opponent to get the points and a lot of times this season we have made chances but not taken them.

“It is not a situation only for the strikers but the whole team. We must try to improve for the future.

“Every team deserves the points that they have in the table. We are fifth and we must accept this.”

 

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Chelsea fail to get a vital win at Stamford Bridge as Huddersfield produced a brilliant defensive display following Depoitre’s controversial opener in the 56th minute. The Belgian striker ran towards the penalty area, with Caballero off the line, and the two collided. Antonio Rudiger and Alvaro Morata had two huge chances missed previously in the first half.

Just an incredible defensive clearance which hit Marcos Alonso‘s face secured Chelsea a very bizarre equalizer. The Blues pushed for a further reaction, but the visitors’ defense has been able to resist until the final whistle.

If Spurs are mathematically qualified for next Champions League’s group stages (thanks to their home win over Newcastle United), Chelsea will need a win against the Magpies at St.James’ Park next week to keep the hope alive. On the other hand, if Liverpool get at least one point against Brighton at Anfield on Sunday, this would mean that Antonio Conte’s men will play in the Europa League next season.

Huddersfield are safe from relegation following away draw against Chelsea

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Chelsea are still chasing a place in the next Champions League: the Blues have to defeat Huddersfield Town and Newcastle and hope Liverpool or Tottenham will drop points.

It won’t be easy, but Marcos Alonso claimed Antonio Conte‘s side must do what they can to reach their goal and win both their games.

We have to do our part and win both games and see what happens, but we have to have faith until the end and win our two games,” Alonso told Chelsea official website. “It’s not on us. We have to do our part and win the two games we have left and wait for one of the other teams to lose one game and get there.”

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