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Chelsea CFC

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Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek reacts

Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 are said to be preparing an offer to sign Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek next January but will face competition from Crystal Palace.

The Mirror reports that both the Eagles and the German side will try their luck with bids after failing to sign the player over the summer.

It has been suggested that Loftus-Cheek will be on the move in January in order to get regular playing time.

Chelsea turned down offers from Palace for Loftus-Cheek last summer as they were keen re-sign him after the England international impressed on loan last season and Roy Hodgson has never hidden his intention to bring the player back to the South London club.

However, the arrival of Mateo Kovacic on loan from Real Madrid and the emergence of former Everton midfielder Ross Barkley under Maurizio Sarri has made game time hard to come by at Stamford Bridge.

Loftus-Cheek has been forced to settle for minutes in the Europa League and cup competitions, with Premier League chances coming few and far between.

For this reasons both the club and the player are keen for a loan move in the next winter transfer window.

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AC Milan wanted to cancel Tiemoué Bakayoko‘s loan next January due to his poor performances in this start of the season but recently the Italian club changed his mind.

The 24-year-old improved in his playing but, furthermore, the Rossoneri suffered a lot long-term injuries in the past weeks and cannot reduce their squad anymore.

Giacomo Bonaventura underwent a knee-surgery yesterday and will come back next season, Argentine international Lucas Biglia will be out for 4 months and Calahnoglu is a doubt for the next games for an old foot issue.

All the starting defenders are out as well ( Caldara for 3 months, Musacchio for 2, Romagnoli for 1 and Calabria is a doubt for the next games).

Because of this difficult situation and Bakayoko’s improvements in Serie A the Italian side decided to keep him for the rest of the season.

 

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Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri said the Blues were unlucky against Everton today. The Italian coach believes the Blues did their best to get three points against Toffees today, despite he ‘did not like the first 25 minutes’ at Stamford Bridge.

Sarri said: “To be honest I didn’t like the first 25 minutes very much. Like against Crystal Palace we started the game moving the ball very slowly so it was impossible for us to be dangerous and easy for Everton to defend.

“Then we played a good match in the last part of the first half and for 40 minutes in the second half. We were a bit unlucky. I’m not happy of course but we are going the right way.”

The Chelsea manager was asked if his team was ruthless enough in attack: “I don’t know. Usually, yes. Not in the last three matches because as I said to my players, we created few goal opportunities in relation to how much we played. So in this moment maybe it’s a little problem. We have to be careful because in the last three matches you are right.

“I think we played very well for 65 minutes today. Maybe in this period we are not able to create for how much we played. For example in the last match in the Europa League we played 81 balls in the BATE box but created only four opportunities, and I think we can do better, but we are playing very well, just not at the beginning.”

Sarri also spoked about the Premier League record he set today after going unbeaten in his first 12 matches in charge: “What can I say? I’m very proud. I have to say thank you to the club because they gave me a very good team. I have to say than you to my players and also my staff. But today I would have preferred three points to the record.”

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An important win in Belarus allowed Chelsea to book a place into the Europa League last 36, however Blues boss Maurizio Sarri highlighted the best things from the game against Bate Borisov was the result.

The Italian admitted “Chelsea did not play very well” last despite getting an away victory thanks to Olivier Giroud‘s header:

“I think the best thing of the game is the result, I think. We didn’t play very well” Sarri said.

“I didn’t like the first half. We moved it too slowly. It was very difficult to be dangerous, better in the second half. We didn’t manage the last 15 minutes well. The best thing is the result. It wasn’t very easy to play a good game here, with the conditions. I think we could have done better”.

“I am pleased for [Olivier] Giroud. He is a very important for us. I know very well a striker wants to score. For his confidence I think it is very important.”

Sarri was also asked about the importance of being qualified with two games still to go:

“I think the first aspect is the qualification” he said.

“We need one point more to win the group, that is the next target. Then we can think about the next round in February. They attacked very well in the last few minutes. They played much better than at Stamford Bridge.”

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Most of Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge were waiting for tonight’s clash more to welcome back Blues legend Frank Lampard than for the game itself against Derby County, who Chelsea all time top-scorer has been coaching since the start of this season.

Nobody had doubts that the former midfielder would have got a rapturous reception from his ex supporters ahead of the match and even got a standing ovation from the fans of both sides at the end of the game, as shown in the video below:

Lampard, besides being Chelsea all-time top scorer having netted 211 goals in 648 appearances for the club, also won 13 trophies while playing for the Blues, including the Champions League and three Premier League titles.

Chelsea loanees Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount, who were granted permission by their parent club to play, started the game but the defender was one of the two Rams players who scored an own goal in the first half.

Before the game Lampard claimed:

“I realise how important Chelsea were in my life and what I owe for that in terms of thanks.

“I’ll be proud and honoured to be taking my team to a club that was my home for 13 years and still feels like home.

“I’ve got great affiliation with Derby already, I’m working hard to do something good here and I love it, but I can’t forget 13 years of my career.

“I was lucky to be part of a strong era, the infrastructure that was laid by Roman Abramovich, it’ll be special to be back there and feel that atmosphere again.”

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A lucky Chelsea get through Carabao Cup last 16 and qualify for quarter finals.

Sarri’s lads won 3-2 over Derby County with two own goals- Fikayo Tomori at 5′ and Richard Keogh at 21′- and Cesc Fabregas,who netted the winner at the end of the the first half, 41′, after the Rams had levelled twice with Jack Marriot, 9′, and Martyn Waghorn, 27′.

In the end of the game first Willy Caballero with a couple of great saves and then the post saved Chelsea from penalty shoot-outs or even a defeat.

The night was also marked by Frank Lampard return to Stamford Bridge: the Derby manager received a fantastic welcome back from his old fans and club.

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Despite a clear-cut win at Turf Moor Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri claims he still misses Eden Hazard, that today couldn’t play because of a fitness issue:

“I want Hazard in every match if it’s possible because we have a lot of very good players but Hazard I think is something different,” the Italian coach said.

“I am very happy because the team was able to score seven goals in two matches without Hazard. It’s a very good sign. I want Eden as soon as possible. I don’t know for Wednesday but I hope for Sunday.”

Ross Barkley in particular has stood out in recent games and, after earning a point against Manchester United last weekend, the England midfielder played a superb pass for Alvaro Morata’s goal before sending a 25-yard effort fizzing into the bottom corner.

“Barkley is doing very well in this period. He improved in the defensive phase, improved very much,” Sarri said.

“He improved his physical condition because the last season for him was really very difficult. He’s a very good player from the technical point of view. Now I think Ross is complete.”

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek was clearly over the moon after his special night at Stamford Bridge: the England international gave Chelsea the three points against Bate Borisov with a wonderful hat-trick.

The 22-year-old shared his happiness with the fans on Twitter:

 

In another video posted on his Twitter account Loftus-Cheek claimed the atmosphere at the stadium was great and thanked the fans for their support.

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Today’s hero Ross Barkley spoke after the match stating his confidence is growing game after game

“My confidence is growing, but our aim was to get three points so it’s disappointing, but to get the draw I thought we showed great attitude. When I got sent on the manager just told me to help the team win the game, and get back in it, try to get the result.

“We conceded a goal we should’ve stopped, really, but we came back and showed a great attitude. I’m happy with scoring today, but we came for three points so I’m disappointed.”

 

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Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 are said to be preparing an offer to sign Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek next January but will face competition from Crystal Palace. The Mirror...