Tags Posts tagged with "Champions League"

Champions League

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Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso is thrilled to face Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 and he believes he knows how the Blues can overcome their rivals.

We know they’ve been one of the best teams in the world in recent years, if not the best, and it will undoubtedly be a very tough tie,” Marcos Alonso told Chelsea official website. “I think we’ll have to defend very well and take our chances because, like I said, they’re a very tough team to beat, let alone over two legs. Still, we will prepare as best we can and give it a shot, and we’ll see how the tie unfolds. The general consensus has been that it’s better to be at home in the second leg, but I don’t think it matters much. Obviously, it will be important to acquit ourselves well on home turf in the first leg so that we’re in with a good chance going to the Camp Nou, which is a very difficult place to win.”

Also, Marcos Alonso claimed that the fact Chelsea won the Premier League last season, made him desire to win a trophy also on European stage.

Yes, of course,” Alonso responded, when asked if last season’s title triumph has inspired him to want to achieve even more. “Especially considering how hard it will be for us to win the Premier League at this point. The whole team are raring to do well in the Champions League and we’re looking forward to a fantastic tie against Barça. Now that I know how amazing it feels to win an important trophy such as the Premier League, I’m hungry for more. This year we’ll fight until the end.”

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Chelsea's Spanish defender Marcos Alonso (R) celebrates with Chelsea's Spanish striker Alvaro Morata after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on December 26, 2017.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, speaking after his side’s 4-0 win over Hull City in the FA Cup eight-finals last night, was also asked to give an injury update ahead of Champions League clash against Barcelona.

I don’t think Tiemoue Bakayoko will be available for the Barcelona game, but Marcos Alonso is ready to play” Conte told journalists after the game.

Both players didn’t feature in the FA Cup last night as well in the last Premier League clash against West Bromwich Albion last time out, another comfortable win for the Blues at Stamford Bridge.

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After taking care of the “Hull City practice” Antonio Conte‘s mind is already focused on next three massive clashes that are waiting for Chelsea, who will play Barcelona, Manchester United and Manchester City in ten days.

“Good game, good performance, it was great for us,” the Italian told BT Sport 2 after tonight’s final whistle.

“The most important thing is that we are in the next round. Now we have to prepare for the game against Barcelona.

“You hope to always have a game that you can dominate. Our start was impressive. We started with great focus and concentration, will to score and wanted to go to the next round. I’m really pleased with the commitment of my players.

“It was a positive night for us because we had the opportunity to rest some important players. At the same time, I saw players in good form. I have different options. Now we have three days to make the best decision for the game against Barcelona.

“We lost two games at the end of a busy period. Now we have the right confidence again. But in the next two weeks we have to play massive games and we must be strong, Barcelona, United and City. We are ready.”

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Speaking ahead of Barcelona game vs Eibar in La Liga on Saturday, manager Ernesto Valverde says the fact Chelsea (who face tonight Hull City) will have one more day of rest can influence the first leg of the Champions League Last 16 which the two teams will play on Tuesday at Stamford Bridge.

That day is enough of a difference in terms of recovering physically,” Valverde said. “I would have liked to play against Eibar on Friday, too, to have an extra day before the game against Chelsea. But [the Eibar] game is an important one as well. The only game we’re thinking about right now is that one. We’re not thinking about Tuesday’s game.”

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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill claimed he is tired by the way the Blues are criticised every time they lose a game or things go wrong and not only he underlines the fact that the club have won many trophies in the last few season, but also that the team has found everytime the strenght to bounce back from the difficult moments.

I’m not knocking Liverpool and Spurs whatsoever because they have played some fantastic football and have some terrific players,” Cahill told the London Evening Standard. But you put it into context — we are sandwiched in the middle of those two and yet everything seems rosy there and it’s all drama and a disaster here. It’s been that way a lot of the time since I have been at Chelsea and it does get tiring. In 2016 we finished 10th, then the next year we dominated the league. Things like that stick in your memory when you have difficult times like this. When there has been a down at this club, we have bounced back in a fantastic manner and going forward I see no issues.”
 

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Spanish striker Alvaro Morata was back in action on Monday night vs West Bromwich Albion and now his physical condition is improving, as the Blues’ manager Antonio Conte confirmed.

Alvaro has been training with us regularly every day. His physical condition is improving. Conte said. “He will play a part of the game and he will be ready for the Champions League game against Barcelona”.

During his press conference ahead of tomorrow’s night game vs Hull City, Antonio Conte also spoke about the effect Olivier Giroud could have on Morata and about the possibilities the two will play together in the future:  “Alvaro is a player with a good maturity. The competition is good for the team. A great team must have competition in every position and every role. – Conte said – “Giroud is a good option as he’s very strong and powerful. He can help us for the rest of the season.”

And about the two playing together Conte went on: “In the future it could happen if we decide to play with three midfielders. Now I think it’s very soon to answer this question. We are playing with a system from last season and in this case it means Hazard, Pedro and Willian are out. In this moment it’s very important to have all your players available. To have Morata and Giroud as two options is very important for us. For a lot of time we did play with Hazard as a number nine.”

 

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Chelsea will play vs Barcelona next week in the Champions League last 16 and according to Spanish striker Alvaro Morata they need to play a very careful game if they want to get a good result.

If we can get a good result here, we have to play a defensive game with spaces and try to bother them as much as possible.” Morata told Movistar.

Also, the Blues forward has his say on Lionel Messi, admitting that “Messi can’t be stopped.”

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New Manchester United striker Alexis Sanchez reveals that Chelsea made Leo Messi cry.

It happened in 2012, after the Champions League semifinal the Blues won on a 3-2 aggregate, before flying to Munich to lift the trophy.

With a 1-0 lead from the first-leg, Chelsea produced a great defensive display in the second-leg in Barcelona. After seeing captain John Terry sent off early in the game, the Blues managed to draw 2-2 at Camp Nou with Fernando Torres scoring late in the game for Chelsea.

 

“You might cry during a game if you lose a final,” said Sanchez.

“That’s all part of football. In the Barcelona dressing room after the Chelsea game, I saw Leo Messi cry.

“That’s because players demand so much from themselves. People don’t see that.”

 

 

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Antonio Conte comes out in this delicate moment for Chelsea claiming his commitment to the club hasn’t changed lately:

“I’m not thinking for only one moment about the possibility of going away from this club. I repeat, my commitment is totally for this club, like that of my players,” the Italian said in today’s press conference.

“But, as you know very well, because we are talking about football a lot of times – I don’t agree with this – the coach depends on the results.

“For this reason, we have to pay great attention.

“When you have this period with such poor results, you have to divide the responsibility between me, the players and the club.

“We have to try to stop this bad run and to try to get three points against West Brom.

“It won’t be easy because in this type of situation the confidence is not high but we have to trust in our work.”

Conte opted to give his players three days off following Monday’s humilation against Watford when they conceded three goals in the final six minutes.

With a two-legged Champions League tie against Barcelona coming up, the Blues boss felt this week was a rare opportunity for his players to have a break.

“I think it was the only moment in the season to give them a rest. I think in the future it will be very important to try (to create) a little space, a little room with the federation (FA) to try to give rest to the players,” he said.

Speaking about the disappointing performance at Vicarage Road, he added:

“I think Watford was a really bad game but it can happen. Our performance was totally negative.

“The performance was negative from the start and we didn’t create the chances to score. I think that the coach has to understand and try to find the best solution to avoid this type of situation. I didn’t like the Watford performance.”

 

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Last year Chelsea won the Premier League, while this season the Blues are having a lot of difficulties in their title’s defence.

Belgian star Eden Hazard seems to know why, as he claims that playing in the Champions League has made things more complicated.

I think the Premier League is difficult,” Hazard told ESPN. “It’s hard to win every year. Last year we didn’t have the Champions League. This year we have less time to be ready for the games. Every week there are three games. “We changed a couple of things, we lost players, we brought some new ones and every year is different, That’s why we love football — if there is only one team that wins it would be boring. That’s why football is special. You never know what’s going to happen, especially in England.”

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