Tags Posts tagged with "Champions League"

Champions League

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Tomorrow night Chelsea take on Eintracht Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge in the Europa League‘s semifinal second leg.

After last week’s draw in Germany, the Blues are favourite to reach the final, but speaking during his pre-game press conference, Chelsea’s manager Maurizio Sarri warns his team they have to forget the first leg’s result: “We have to play to win, without managing the results. That’s too dangerous (to do). It’s not easy because we play a very dangerous team, as we saw in the first leg”. Sarri explained. “They are very dynamic and aggressive in the defensive phase, and dangerous in the offensive phase especially when they find spaces on the counter-attack. So it’s a dangerous match.”

Chelsea have already qualified for the next Champions League, now the Europa League can allow the Blues to reach their second target for this season: “We reached the target of the club. And so we are really very happy with this”. Sarri went on. “Now we have to play in another competition and the target is to reach the final – the first target – and the final target will be to win the competition. Our feeling is that we deserve to win a trophy, so it’s a very important match, of course.”

Finally, Sarri gives an injury-update, revealing N’Golo Kante will be back only if Chelsea will reach the final: “Kante had a problem with his hamstring, not really a very serious one but he needs to rest for a couple of weeks. So we can try to recover him only in case we reach the final.”

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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Gonzalo Higuain of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge on February 2, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Gonzalo Higuain helped Chelsea yesterday to defeat Watford and secure a place in the next Champions League.

Speaking to BBC, Blues manager Maurizio Sarri has urged the club to confirm the Argentina international, who arrived at Stamford Bridge on loan from Juventus, also next season.

If he’s staying then we can do very well in the next season” Sarri said “I don’t know about Higuain’s future, you have to ask the club. But for a striker it is not easy to play here, when you’re used to playing in Spain and Italy. It’s not easy to adapt to this competition because it’s different physically.”

Since his arrival in January, Higuain has scored 5 goals in 13 Premier League‘s appeareances.

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Further good news for Chelsea as Blues will play in the Champions League next season after both Arsenal and Manchester United were held to draws against Brighton and Huddersfield earlier on Sunday.

Maurizio Sarri completes a massive turnaround, having been 6th on the league table at some point before climbing up the table, despite some huge defeats.

Chelsea have still to face the second-tie of Europa League semi-finals against Eintracht (at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night) after getting a vital away 1-1 draw in Frankfurt last time out. More positive news to come?

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Speaking during his pre-game press conferenceChelsea‘s manager Maurizio Sarri gave some injuries’ updates and there are good news regarding German defender Antonio Rudiger.

Rudiger is okay,” Sarri reported. “We are trying to recover Kante but I am not sure at the moment”.

Also, the Italian spoke about Callum Hudson-Odoi surgery: “The operation of Callum went in the right way. He will be back here in one or two days”. Sarri went on. “He needs time now. Callum is a very strong young man, physically and mentally. I am sure he will be able to return better than before.”

Also, Maurizio Sarri underlined the importance of Sunday’s game vs Manchester United as the Blues want to qualify for the next Champions League. “The match is clear. At this moment it’s a very important match, probably more than important for our target. We will try to win of course, but we need not to lose. It’s a very difficult match for both”. Sarri explained. “We have to play against opponents with a very high level of motivation after the Manchester derby. They have a chance of the top four. Of course they need to win all the last three matches. But we need to gain points too. We need to fight and try in every way.”

 

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Loftus Cheek

After yesterday evening draw vs Burnley at Stamford Bridge, Ruben Loftus-Cheek reveals how Blues’ players are frustrated by this result.

It feels like a loss in a way because we could have got three points and made a massive jump in the league, but in a way it is a point gained as well because the other teams did not get points at the weekend,” Loftus-Cheek told Chelsea official website. “Burnley did well set-piece wise but we spoke about that in the build-up to the game, so it was disappointing to concede from two set-pieces. It was frustrating because they time-wasted really well but we have to take it and move on. There were some emotions flying at the end because of what was on the line in the game, so I can understand why a lot of players and staff were frustrated, it is why we love football, you get these emotions flying but like I say, move on.”

Despite the draw, Chelsea can still hope to finish their Premier League in one of the top four spots and qualify for the next Champions League. “I don’t think we are in a bad position but it is just down to us to produce our best football in the run-in to the end of the season”. Loftus-Cheek went on. “These games coming up are massive and we need to be at our best. The focus has to be really sharp and we have to be really on it because this is where it really matters.”

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Chelsea take on Burnley tonight at Stamford Bridge in a very important Premier League game as Maurizio Sarri‘s men try to take advantage of Arsenal and Manchester United‘s defeats.

Chelsea: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Luiz, Emerson, Kante, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Higuain, Hazard

Subs: Caballero, Cahill, Kovacic, Zappacosta, Pedro, Barkley, Giroud

Burnley: Heaton (c); Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Barnes, Wood.

Subs: Hart, Gibson, Ward, Long, Gudmundsson, Brady, Vydra.

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Loftus Cheek

After Sunday’s draw vs Wolverhampton at Stamford BridgeChelsea are sixth in the Premier League table.

However, the Blues midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is confident Maurizio Sarris team can achieve one of the top-four spots.

“It’s still all to play for. It’s been up and down for us but we will keep going, keep working hard in training.” Loftus-Cheek told The Mirror. “The points gap is not too big, so we will keep going to try to get those wins. We must keep believing.”

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Speaking ahead of tonight’s Europa League clash vs Dinamo Kiev, Chelsea‘s manager Maurizio Sarri said the competition is one of the club’s target for this season:

The Europa League is a very important competition. It is the second competition in Europe”. the Italian said. “It’s a very important trophy, and then there is a spot for the next Champions League, so it’s a very important target for us.”

However, Sarri himself believes Chelsea can reach the next Champions League by finishing the current Premier League in one of the top-four spots: “I think we can gain the spot in the Champions League through the Premier League,” Sarri explained. “We are fighting. We are only two points [behind fourth-placed Manchester United] at the moment. We have to play one match [in hand]”.

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Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger said the Blues now control their destiny in the race for a spot in the top-four and the qualification for next season’s Champions League.

We have things in our own hands now. It depends only on us”. Rudiger told The Mirror. “We can play ­different styles but it’s always best to find the golden middle. That’s the ­difficult thing”.

According to the German defender the Blues have improved in the last few games: “We have now found a balance. It is a learning curve for the coach as well,” he said. “He learned from that game against Manchester City. There we went to press, we wanted to win the ball, and ­everyone knows what happened”. Rudiger went on. “Now everyone has adapted. People saw the way we played against Tottenham and against Manchester City (Carabao Cup final). It was different from the way we played in the first three months. How we play depends on the coach.

 

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Speaking during his pre-game press conference, Maurizio Sarri explained how his team can beat Manchester City on Sunday, as they did some weeks ago at Stamford Bridge.

I think that we were lucky because we scored in a very difficult moment of the match. Maybe we deserved to win in the second half, but we were lucky in the first as we scored in a difficult moment. In that match we defended really very well as they had only three goal opportunities, no more”. Sarri said. “It is not easy against City to give them three or four opportunities. They had scored 43 goals in 15 matches, so it is difficult and we need to defend well. We need to be very fast when we are able to recover the ball. They are able to press really very well so it is difficult to exit that situation. If we can do that then we can do well”.

The good news is that all Chelsea’s players will be available for Etihad Stadium’s game: “We have only some little problems with Odoi, he had fever for one day. Yesterday we had a little problem with Cahill, his back, but nothing serious”. Sarri revealed. “I think every player will be available. I hope so. We have to do another two trainings”.

Whatever will be the result of Sunday’s match, however, Sarri is aware that there is still a big gap between Chelsea and Manchester City: “I think we can fight for the top four this season, no more”. the Italian claimed. “We can win something, of course, but Premier League there is fighting between Manchester City and Liverpool. I think City are the best team in Europe, it is difficult to win the Champions League. I think that we need to work. You are the most competitive in the market or you need to work, I don’t know another way. We need to reduce the gap”.

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