Tags Posts tagged with "Champions League"

Champions League

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MOURINHO
MOURINHO © Francesca Ceciarini

Jose Mourinho has admitted that Chelsea can not afford another loss of points in the Premier League games. The Blues will face Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday at White Hart Lane and Mourinho hopes for a good performance of his players.

Chelsea who surprising currently occupies 15th place in the Premier League table will do anything to win the three points during the London derby. Despite the rather distant vision of playing in the Champions League or even the Europa League next season, Mourinho promises that his team keep on battling.

Mourinho said:

“We have to play every match as if we are fighting for the title.”

“The reality is that we need points the same way as last season when we were top of the table and fighting to be champions.”

“In this moment we are far from even the European positions.”

“We have to play every game with ambition and determination. Every point at the end of the season can make a difference.”

“We’ve lost so many points already, now we have to fight for every point even more.”

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Drogba and Cech have been teammates for several seasons at Chelsea

Didier Drogba has admitted he may want to be Chelsea manager one day, insisting that he wants to one day return to the club in some capacity.

Drogba, currently at MLS Montreal Impact, left Chelsea at the end of last season having helped the club regain the Premiership title. It is unlikely that at the age of 37 he will return to the Premiership as a player but he does think he is capable of contributing in a managerial or technical role.

Speaking to BBC Africa, the Ivorian said this:

“I want to give back to the club which has given so much to me. I have agreed that with the club directors.

“Why not manager? Why not sporting director, trainer at the academy or maybe an advising role for strikers?”

Drogba did, however, give his backing for current Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, whose fortunes appear to be turning round after wins at home and abroad this week.

“If the club has kept him that means owner Roman Abramovich thinks that he is the right man.

“I think the players trust him and he is giving his best to change the situation.

“They have quality when it comes to the players, and quality when it comes to the management. This is a club which usually doesn’t have a bad season twice.”

 

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HARRY KANE ENGLAND
Harry Kane is one of few good prospects of England national team

Chelsea’s search for extra attacking firepower will take them to Spurs’ Harry Kane, according to reports in the British press this morning.

Chelsea have been left exposed after injuries and suspensions to Diego Costa meant they were forced to rely upon Loic Remy and the unimpressive Radamel Falcao, meaning that they have struggled for goals this season.

This morning’s papers are linking the Premiership champions to England international Harry Kane, against whose Spurs side Chelsea take on this Sunday. Kane scored twice in the 5-3 win for Spurs in this fixture last season, perhaps Chelsea’s worst league result in a campaign where they won the title by eight points, with a summer move being suggested.

There has been speculation in the last day and a half following Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the Champions League on Tuesday in regards to Costa’s future. A reported argument with Jose Mourinho came after an underwhelming performance from the Spain international, and Chelsea may be looking to Kane to replace Costa as opposed to accompanying him up front.

A failure to bolster the forward line is one of many reasons why Chelsea currentrly sit 15th in the Premiership table. Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, who recently equaled a league record for 10 goals in 10 matches for the Foxes, is being spoken about as potential January signing.

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Chelsea centre back Gary Cahill admits that yesterday’s victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv in the group stage of the Champions League is another positive signal of the return to the winning mold of the Blues.

The England international was particularly satisfied with yesterday’s outcome and 4-0 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv because thanks to this team controls the situation in their group in the Champions League. He admitted that another consecutive victory builds self confidence, and this is now what the team need most.

Cahill told Chelsea’s official website:

”We knew what we had to do coming in to this game”

”We knew we had to get a result to take it into the last game at Stamford Bridge and we’ve done that. It’s going to be an important game for us. We can’t be worried about what’s going on elsewhere.”

”We need to build confidence, we need to build momentum, and we need to get a run of wins together, so it was important for a number of reasons. I was pleased not just with the result but the performance as well. We played some good football on a difficult pitch and I thought we dominated from start to finish.”

The England defender has also praised his teammate Willian for his stunning performances:

”From the start of the season he has been fantastic”

”He’s taken it up to another level. When he gets a free-kick anywhere around that 18-yard box you get the feeling there is going to be a goal now. I said that to him after the goal. We see him in training practising them and it’s not luck, he works hard on them.”
 

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is convinced that the consecutive victories of his team are the result of the hard work of all the players. Portuguese coach recalled the recent good results the team for confirmation of the rise in performance level of the Blues.

Mourinho told Chelsea’s official website:

”We started the season as a team that concedes more goals and now we lost in Stoke 1-0, we drew at Stoke in the Capital One Cup 1-1, we beat Norwich 1-0, Dynamo Kiev 2-1, so defensively as a team we had a significant improvement and also individually the defensive players had an improvement. The quality of our game improved a lot.”

”When the players are top, you want always more, you are never satisfied”

”We are never happy with the way we are playing. Even when we are playing very well there are always things to improve. We put ourselves in the position where the result became more important than anything.”

”In the Premier League the most important thing was to get better results. In the Champions League we have been always balanced, never an amazing position but never a position to scare us. Now the most important thing is to get results and with results the confidence is now coming. If you can develop better results, at the same time come better performances”

The Special One has also explained why he decided to replace Eden Hazard with Pedro:

”I had Pedro on the bench, and that is important”

”If I did not have Pedro on the bench then I don’t think I could improve on Hazard’s performance for the last 20 minutes of the match. But when I have Hazard with 90 minutes against Norwich on Saturday and 70 minutes against Maccabi on a pitch that doesn’t help, and I have Pedro fresh and I see the Maccabi right-back in trouble, tired and with cramps, I decided to give a hard time to him and bring Pedro on. I made the change because I had Pedro.”

 

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jose mourinho

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has said he needs a calculator to understand how Chelsea can qualify for next Champions League stage after his side easily overcame Maccabi Tel Aviv 4-0 in Israel.

Goals from Gary Cahill, Willian, Oscar and a late goal from substitute Kurt Zouma ensured an easy win, the Blues beating Maccabi by the same scoreline at Stamford Bridge in Septmeber.

Maccabi also had former Chelsea midfielder Tal Ben Haim sent off for a wild lunge on Diego Costa in the first half.

The win pushes Chelsea to the top of Group G, with Porto losing 0-2 at home to Dynamo Kiev.

And speaking after the game, Mourinho said:

“The result is too nice to us, Maccabi did not deserve a 4-0 defeat,” stated the Portuguese in his press conference.

“They competed well in the second half with 10 men and resisted for a long time. They had a shot for goal when Begovic saved from Zahavi which was a great hand from our goalkeeper so the result was too much for them.

“We played very well in the first half but the pitch didn’t help. Only that stopped us playing better and cost us more goals. It was difficult to finish some of the actions which were beautiful.

“The second half for the first 15 to 20 minutes we slept, we were over confident and were waiting for the second goal to come. Only when we felt we were in danger did we have a good reaction.

“There are no doubts about the victory and the three points but Maccabi deserved something more than they got.”

Mourinho believes the pitch caused both Ramires – yesterday in training- and Terry’s injuries:

“I said in an interview before the match that such a beautiful stadium and such a fantastic public deserve a better surface because it was bad and dangerous. We tried to protect ourselves by only training a little bit on it but to my surprise Maccabi trained on it after us, plus there was the warm-up before the game, so the pitch was really bad.

“Ramires slid and had a muscular injury and John has an ankle problem that we don’t know yet the damage.

“The score was 1-0 when John left the pitch and for that to happen, I know already that he is in trouble. My medical department is really good and John is a professional guy with a special desire to recover but to leave the pitch with the result 1-0, I don’t believe too much that he can play at Tottenham on Sunday.

“The Oscar goal for me was the one that I was really happy with because finally we had someone arriving in the box, attacking a cross and finishing a good combination because apart from that it was set pieces, even this game, that gave us goals.

“With Diego I wanted him to do a certain movement that he didn’t and I was disappointed and reacted and he reacted too, but at half-time in the dressing room there were a few kisses and cuddles.”

About the qualification for next Champions League stage, he said:

“For the group I need a calculator. I know if we win we finish first and I know if we lose we are going to the Europa League, and with a draw I know it is complicated. I just have to think that we need to win our match.”

 

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mourinho_diego_costa

It was reported that José Mourinho and Diego Costa screamed at each other while entering the dressing room tunnel at half time, with the manager complaining for the striker lack of anticipation.

Mourinho was then questioned in the post match press conference about this and, relieved by the good result, he said:

I wanted him to do a certain movement that he didn’t. I reacted. He did too. At half-time in the dressing room, a few kisses and a few cuddles. No problem.”

Pure Jose’s way to close the matter.

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WILLIAN
Willian © Francesca Ceciarini

Begovic 7- Had little to do other than make two very good saves that kept the clean sheet.

Azpilicueta 7- A good performance overall, defended and got forward well.

Cahill 7- Defended well and scored the first goal.

Terry 7- Commanded the defence but was taken off shortly before the second goal to be replaced by Zouma.

Baba 7- Looked bright down the left and set up the third with a very good cross.

Fabregas 6- Started well but often gave the ball away, and did so more and more in the second half.

Matic 7- Dominated the pace of the game in the first half.

Willian 7.5- Another superb performance and another great goal.

Oscar 7.5- Energetic in the first and second half. Scored the third goal.

Hazard 7- Played well but did give the ball away a few times. Could have scored if it wasn’t for a good save.

Costa 6- Didn’t take his chances when they came his way and is still finding his spatial position.

 

Substitutes:

Zouma 6- Came on for Terry and scored the final goal late on.

Pedro 7- Came on for Hazard and gave new energy when the team was tiring.

Remy 6- Came on for Willian, almost scored late on.

 

Manager:

Jose Mourinho 7- The team played well save a few scares and should now qualify in top spot in the group. The changes had a positive effect when they were made.

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JOHN TERRY
Chelsea captain John Terry can end his adventure with the Blues at the end of the season © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea boss José Mourinho spoke to BT Sport right after the game.

The Portuguese coach was satisfied for the result, but he’s concerned for John Terry’s injury:

“Very important three points, especially with what happened in Porto, we really needed to win this match.

“Two wins in few days for us is very important, I hope moral comes, tranquillity comes, confidence comes. We haven’t had two consecutive victories for a while, to do that is great, despite this everything is open for the last game, but in this moment we are in a good position.

“I think Maccabi don’t deserve such a hard punishment, tI think hey did ok for some periods of the game to be fair, even in ten men they had a very good chance and Begovic was very good to keep the clean sheet, they fought for the result.

“The pitch didn’t help the team with the best quality, we had an injury here yesterday with Ramires, today another one with John Terry, and I am happy that is just two because the pitch is really bad.

Terry is a big doubt for Spurs game, I don’t want to speak about the injury now because he will do some tests tomorrow in London, but of course he is a big doubt for Sunday’s clash.”

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Chelsea have beaten Maccabi Tel-Aviv 4-0 in their latest Champions League group stage game to put them within one point of qualification to the second round.

Chelsea were vulnerable in the 2nd minute as Maccabi missed a good chance when Peretz headed over the bar from a Ben Haim cross. Good play from Hazard and Oscar at the other end of the pitch put in Azpilicueta, marauding forward from right back, for Chelsea’s first sight on goal but the Spain international could only curl the ball wide from inside the box.

It was clear from the opening minutes that this would be a game where the away side had the bulk of the possession with the home trying to catch their more affluent opponents on the counter attack. Baba and Azpilicueta frequently got forward as the attacking central players dominated the pace of the game, but couldn’t fashion any clear chances on Rajkovic’s goal in the first 20 minutes. Fabregas tried to chip the Serbian ‘keeper on 19 minutes but put the ball over the bar.

It didn’t take long thereafter for Chelsea’s pressure to pay off. An out swinging corner from Willian was met by Gary Cahill, whose header was pushed onto the post by Rajkovic with the England international following up the rebound with a firm finish into the centre of the goal.

Chelsea’s dominance was only given greater impetus by scoring first. Great build up play from those that have let their team down for most of this season very nearly cut open Maccabi again- Costa not being able to finish from inside the box with the Israeli side defending desperately at times. Costa had an overhead kick that almost found the top corner as Chelsea proved their infinite superiority to their hosts with attack after attack on the Maccabi goal.

Chelsea’s technical advantage became a numerical one five minutes before the break as former Chelsea defender Tal Ben-Haim was given a straight red card for a wild kick at Costa’s standing leg. Ben-Haim, who played for Chelsea close to a decade ago, didn’t complain in the slightest as he was sent off as he probably expecting it.

Chelsea went into Half Time a goal and a man up after  dominating the first half.

The second began with chances for both teams. Maccabi very nearly drew level when Hazard didn’t track the run of Dasa on the right hand side and Begovic was forced to make a good save after narrowing the angle. Chelsea’s first foray into the Maccabi after resuming play came down the left when Matic found Baba on the overlap who then played it back to Hazard who failed to get his shot away.

The second half was far more open than the first, largely due to Maccabi’s greater sense of adventure as they sought an unlikely equaliser, but also due to lapses in concentration from Chelsea high up the pitch, namely from Hazard and Fabregas. Hazard could have doubled Chelsea’s lead in the 62nd minute when he received the ball on the right hand side of the penalty area but his shot was saved well by Rajkovic as he got down low. Seconds later an even better save was made by the Serb when Azpilicueta tried to finish from close range.

His heroics were matched by Beogvic at the other end as Maccabi broke away with Zahavi on the right hand side, and the Bosnia and Herzegovina ‘keeper saved brilliantly to tip the ball away from the far post. His save meant even more just a few minutes later as Chelsea got that critical second goal, and it came from a familiar source. A free-kick won by John Terry 25 yards from the Maccabi goal was dispatched superbly by Willian into the bottom corner, the Brazil international adding to his goal against Dynamo Kyiv and the four other free-kicks that he has scored this season.

The second goal relaxed all nerves and essentially meant Chelsea could cruise to the final whistle. They added a third with just over 15 minutes left when Oscar headed into the goal from a Baba cross on the left, and Zouma, on for Terry, a fourth in stoppage time from a corner, his header lower than Oscar’s and off the glove of Rajkovic.

The result means Chelsea are in a superb position to qualify from the group stage of the Champions League, and Porto’s loss to Dynamo Kyiv tonight means they also have a chance to finish top, something that was almost unthinkable just a few weeks ago.

The performance was not perfect by any means, but it was commanding and demonstrative of the team’s slow rehabilitation back to top form. There were good performances from a number of the club’s best players- Hazard and Fabregas played well in the first half before tailing off slightly in the second, Hazard replaced by Pedro- and the defence looked relatively solid throughout. Chelsea’s season should push on from here.

 

MACCABI TEL AVIV: Rajkovic, Dasa, Ben Haim, Garcia Badias, Ben Harush, Igiebor, Alberman (Azulay, 85), Peretz, Ben Haim (Ben Basat, 80), Zahavi (Itzhaki), Rikan.

Unused subs: Lifshitz,  Tibi, Mitrovic, Vermouth.

Manager: Slavisa Jokanovic

Red Cards: Ben-Haim (40)

 

CHELSEA: Begovic; Baba, Cahill, Terry (c) (Zouma, 72), Azpilicueta; Matic; Willian (Remy, 79), Oscar, Fabregas, Hazard (Pedro, 68); Diego Costa.

Unused subs: Blackman, Ivanovic, , Mikel, Loftus-Cheek.

Manager: José Mourinho

Scorers: Cahill  (20), Willian (73), Oscar (77), Zouma (90)

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)

Venue: Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel.

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