Tags Posts tagged with "Champions League"

Champions League

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Chelsea Ladies got their Champions League campaign off to a dream start as they beat Glasgow City 1-0.

In the first leg of their round of 32 tie, Fran  Kirby scored the winner to give the Blues an advantage in the second leg.

Fresh from winning the WSL1 title last Sunday, Emma Hayes’ side failed to create many clear cut chances in the first half.

However, five minutes before the interval, Kirby struck with Chelsea’s first shot on target to put the home side into the lead, turning defender Cheryl McCulloch before striking via the crossbar.

Ji So-Yun went close to doubling Chelsea’s lead when she fired over after being found by Gemma Davison’s cross.

The Scots rarely threatened on the night, with visiting keeper Lee Alexander producing a number of saves, including a late stop to deny substitute Ana Borges from close range.

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JOSE MOURINHO
Ex Chelsea manager José Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

In a short interview to Italian famous newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport Chelsea manager José Mourinho spoke about the club’s backing in the past days to show the unity in this difficult moment for the Blues:

“I’m really proud of it. It shows the faith [Roman] Abramovich has in the manager who has won three Premier League titles with this club. I thank him and continue my work.

About the bad results of the team he stated:

I don’t know what’s wrong. Chelsea’s results right now are truly awful. I cannot, nor do I want to hide the reality. And I’m struggling to find an explanation.

But I can assure you this: I’m working harder than ever before and we will get through this. And then there is the Champions League, which I’m certainly not going to abandon.”

On the currrent Serie A situation, where Fiorentina  – managed by Portuguese coach Paulo Sousa- is top of the table with 18 points and Mourinho’s “Italian team” Inter follow with 16, Jose said:

Paulo [Sousa] is a great coach and I’m happy for him. He worked a lot and hard to get at this point. There are some managers that started from big clubs, without doing some fundamental experiences. He was really humble: he travelled and worked in Hungary, in the English Championship, in Switzerland. And only now that he is ready and prepared he arrived in Italy. He studies. He keeps himself updated. You can see his work in Fiorentina.

On Inter: “I wouldn’t be disappointed if I were an Inter supporter. Compared to the last years Inter is doing very well and they started to be in the title race.

On Inter’s chances to win the title: “In this moment we cannot have an answer, they are in the challengers group: [I guess that] Serie A’s title race has never been so open to many teams like now. Juve seem to be playing a bit like Chelsea, with fatigue, and like Chelsea will recover. It is only a matter of time. Roma and Napoli are two sides that can take advantage of a season without the Bianconeri as super favourites.

On Capello, that a bunch of days ago stated that Mourinho is a top manager but “burns out” his players after 18 months:

I could have commented on his work when he was manager of England or Russia, but I never did. That’s because I prefer to respect the negative moments my colleagues might go through.

I prefer to talk about Fabio Capello for the many great moments of his career filled with extraordinary successes.

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Chelsea striker Loïc Rémy ensures that you do not feel overlooked by Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. The French player recently faces time on the bench but he claims that he has the mentality of being professional.

Remy is convinced that he will get opportunities to get more minutes on the pitch, only needs to wait and waiting is a part of the mentality of being professional.

Remy told the London Evening Standard:

“That’s the mentality of being professional. Of course I’m upset not to be playing but at the same time I work hard in training to be ready.”

“I try to fight to play more and for me there is no problem. I’ll just stay the same and keep working. I know there are many games in the season and I’m sure I will play more. Some in my situation may be very angry and a troublemaker but I can’t be selfish.”

“We are three different strikers. Diego is a really good finisher and is a bit aggressive in a good way. Falcao is technically very good and can keep the ball, I’m more of a runner. We have different characteristics and that’s really good for the manager.”

 

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Carlo Ancelotti has ruled himself out of the running to become Liverpool manager and revealed he won’t return to management until next season at the earliest.

Rumours have been amok over who would take over at Anfield following the sacking of Brendan Rodgers at the weekend with the former Chelsea boss heavily linked with the job along with ex-Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Ancelotti effectively cleared the path for Klopp, who won two Bundesliga titles and reached a Champions League final with Dortmund, by saying he did not want the job, but that he did want to return to management soon.

He said:

“I enjoy my time now but, of course, I want to come back to manage – to work – because it is my passion.

“I want to take my time to rest, but next season I am ready.”

Ancelotti has been out of work since being sacked by Real Madrid at the end of last season, despite leading the club to its tenth European Cup in 2014. He was dismissed following a trophy-less campaign in which fierce rivals Barcelona won the treble.

The Italian is well known in England having managed Chelsea for two seasons, the first in which he won the League and Cup double in 2010, and was dismissed after failing to retain either the next year. He took charge of French club PSG in between Chelsea and Real Madrid. He is one of the most successful managers of his generation with three European Cups to his name.

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Jose Mourinho seven minute speech following Chelsea’s  defeat to Southampton- a mix of warnings and repeated accusations- was not quite enough to take his team’s woes out of the news, though they did, as eve, deflect the responsibility from the team onto him.

It was perhaps a good thing from Chelsea’s perspective that the England Rugby team went out of the World Cup, even if it was a dreadful sporting Saturday all round in South-West London, because if nothing else the Sunday papers went with something else on their back pages and the news channels had a different first bulletin other than Chelsea’s fourth defeat in eight games.

Similarly, Liverpool’s sacking of Brendan Rodgers has closed the book on, and any speculation that Mourinho will be the first coach to be lose his job this season months after winning the Premiership title, but speculation is still rife that the Portuguese, undoubtedly Chelsea’s greatest manager, as the man himself said on Saturday, will be gone before long.

Chelsea have played appallingly all season. There have been brief moments where it looked likely that the team will change its rotten form: the signing of Pedro when it looked certain that the Barcelona forward would sign for Manchester United was followed by the side winning for the first time, where Pedro scored one and set up another, against West Brom and the win over Arsenal two weeks ago.

Both of these games were followed by dropped- one defeat against Crystal Palace and a 2-2 draw with Newcastle. Both straight forward games, both ending badly because of Chelsea’s fecklessness in defence and impotence going forward. It has been a pattern in most, nay all of Chelsea’s games this season. One can’t accuse them of missing chances because they are hardly making any, and nobody can say they have in some strange way been left behind by their opponents because the mistakes that have led to the goals conceded have been so basic.

Chelsea won’t get out of their terrible run of form until they cease making these mistakes, such as failing to mark attacking opponents in the box in both open play and at set pieces to name just one. As the form of their excellent creative players from last season- Hazard, Fabregas, Oscar etc- has for some reason vanished, Mourinho must go back to what it was that made Chelsea such a difficult team to beat for so long. Abandon the high line and the marauding full-backs- and please, replace Ivanovic with Azpilicueta on the right and put Baba on the left- and make sure that if nothing else Chelsea get at least one point from a game. In short, Chelsea need to be boring again, if only for a while. There is no way of knowing how a dull 1-0 win, probably from a Willian free-kick, where the defence looks stable and the, hopefully Jon Obi Mikel-less, midfield don’t persistently give the ball away could do to the team’s confidence.

Chelsea have tried to play the counter attacking game this season, but it has too often been in a defensive panic with Hazard running into nowhere in partciular. Chelsea need to keep the ball better than they currently are, and by that they mist pass it quicker and not leave themselves exposed if it is indeed lost. The truth is there are no easy answers, despite this prosaic advice, but one can only think that as Mourinho, who this author continues to support entirely, complains about the treatment his team gets from referees and the effect they are having on his team when they subsequently make stupid mistakes, that his own concentration should be on what he can control rather than what he can’t.

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terry falcao

John Terry will return to the Chelsea team on Saturday against Southampton, if reports in today’s press are to be believed.

Terry, 34, had not played a league match for Chelsea since the 3-1 defeat away at Everton and didn’t feature in Tuesday’s Champions League loss to Porto, having being dropped in favour of the Kut Zouma-Gary Cahill partnership.

It has been a sudden fall from grace for a player who did not miss one minute of Chelsea’s Premiership winning campaign last season- Terry won widespread praise for his form last season, but Chelsea’s defending this season has so far been terrible, with and without Terry.

A number of teams have found the net twice in a game against Chelsea and, according to reports, Terry is just one of several senior players to have felt Jose Mourinho’s wrath so far this season with Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic and Oscar all having been criticised by the manager

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RONALD KOEMAN

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman thinks Chelsea will react well following their 2-1 defeat to Porto in the Champions League and will provide his team with a very difficult this weekend. 

Chelsea play Southampton tomorrow and will be looking to reverse their alarmingly poor form which has seen them make their worst start to a season in a generation. They currently sit 14th in the Premiership table, 8 points behind leaders Manchester United and having just recorded two wins this season.

Speaking ahead of Southampton’s trip to west London, Koeman intimated that the Premiership Champions’ rotten season shouldn’t mean his players are complacent.

The Dutchman said this:

“They will go up in the table because they don’t stay that low for so long. We know what they can bring. We know the qualities of them. We have to be good and on a very high level to get a good result.”

Southampton are currently 10th having beaten Swansea City 3-2 last weekend.

 

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has admitted that he is a bit frustrated for not being able to help the Blues to achieve better results both in the Premier League and Champions League.

The Belgian player has suffered his first major injury of his career and has been ruled out for at least three months. But his absence in Chelsea’s first team is very visible, even if Asmir Begovic is doing all his best to replace him.

Courtois himself admitted that it is not easy for him to watch Chelsea problems with the position of the viewer.

Courtois told RTBF:

“It is not easy, no, to see all that, and not be part of the team at the moment, and being unable to help.”

“Tuesday, in the Champions League, they lost, playing a good game. [But] we will progress. And Saturday, we have to win at home. There is pressure, and I hope we will win. After that, there is the international break, and then I hope Chelsea win a series of matches.”

“We have tough matches, but we must do better than now.”

“Hopefully early December. If there are complications, I will work quietly to return.”

“For now, I cannot give a date.”

The Belgian spoke also about the upcoming clash against Southampton:

”And Saturday we have to win at home”

”There is pressure, and I hope we will win. After that, there is an international break,and then I hope Chelsea win a series of matches”

”We have though matches, but we must do better than now”

 

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes that the Premier League needs to do more to help its clubs in European competition, and that the recent bad results in the Champions League are a result of other leagues helping their clubs where the Premiership does not.

Both Chelsea and Arsenal lost on Tuesday night to Porto and Olympiakos respectively, results that have seriously dented their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages- in particular Arsenal who now have no points from their two games so far.

Rodgers, whose Liverpool side play Swiss side FC Sion in the Europa League tonight, points to the Portuguese league who allowed Porto to play on Friday, a day earlier than Chelsea, which gave them crucial rest time before the game on Tuesday night.

The intensity of the Premiership, the Liverpool manager thinks, makes this especially pertinent, and it is an argument that has been used by managers of Champions League clubs in the past, namely Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson.

Speaking ahead of his side’s game, Rodgers said this:

“I think they could do more to support the teams in Europe. It happens with the other federations and in other countries. They help. That doesn’t happen in this country.

“You see Porto. Porto played on Friday, they had dispensation to move their game, so that keeps them fresh. I also think the big teams abroad can sometimes win games at 70% and conserve their energy and be fresh. There is no game in the Premier League where you can do that.

“Chelsea will come back and have a tough game at Southampton this weekend. There is no easy game in the Premier League. The physicality and the intensity of the games is like no other league.

“In other countries, some of the big teams can change five, six, seven players and still win the game and field a real strong team for the next game. They have got a domestic competition less too. We have two cup competitions in this country, the others have one. It all adds up to it being difficult for the Premier League teams.

“But it is something that we have to cope with and we respect that challenge. It means you have to monitor your players and get the best out of the ones who are available.”

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john terry

Chelsea captain John Terry has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge following his apparent fall from favour with Jose Mourinho, with Turkish club Fenerbache the most prominent suitor, according to reports. 

Terry was dropped for Chelsea 2-1 defeat to Porto on Tuesday night having also sat on the bench for the 2-2 draw with Newcastle the previous Saturday. Chelsea’s defending in both games was terrible and ultimately led to the conceding four avoidable goals.

Rumours have been abound for weeks that Chelsea’s poor form this season may lead to a gradual change at the back and as Terry has been dropped in favour of Frenchman Kurt Zouma it could be that the man who played every single game in Chelsea’s Premiership title success could be about to make way for good.

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