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Chelsea FC

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was delighted both for the incredible win and for keeping another clean sheet with their new formation against Manchester United:

It is important for the manager to find the right solution for your team,” the italian coach said to BBC Sport.

“It was not a good situation when Chelsea conceded in every game, we change and now we are playing good football.

“We scored the early goal but we continued to play good football, intensity and possession create many chances.

“Today we didn’t concede which was important. It was a type of win that increases the confidence.

“We wanted to show our ambition and give the satisfaction to our fans and show last season was very bad.”


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A stunning performance by Chelsea who won 4-0 against Manchester United in a game with no history: Pedro scored after only 30” , then Cahill, Hazard and Kante saled the game, giving Jose’ Mourinho a huge humilation in the day of his Stamford Bridge return since he was last sacked by the Blues last December.


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Wayne Rooney didn’t travel to London with the rest of Manchester United squad for an injury he picked up while training in the last days ahead of Chelsea clash.

His current manager, José Mourinho, had nice words for the Red Devils captain when he decided to drop him for technical reasons:

“I will never make that decision. A player of his stature, a player of his history in the club will never go to point where club or manager want to make that decision for him

“I put him [Rooney] on the bench for three matches in a row. That is hard for him, hard for me, so that is being ruthless, to put in my mind the interests of the team in front of the player, prestige, status. In this case even legend. To put on bench a player with the numbers he has for club and country is hard.

“But as we were saying before, this is an industry where the people who leads, sometimes in a correct decision, sometimes not correct decisions, but in our mind the decisions we think is the best for the team.”

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Last months at Chelsea were a nightmare for José Mourinho but, when asked by Manchester United website ahead of his return to Stamford Bridge, the Portuguese manager admitted that spell didn’t help him to become a better manager:

“No, that period came at a period of my career when I was already a grown man. I was already a stable manager, emotionally strong. I was not a kid. It didn’t happen in the first years of my career. It happened when I’d already had so many years, so I think I got it in a positive way.

“I was lucky to have a big club like Man United that focused on my career and not on my last three months. I was lucky enough to have the chance to stay in the competition that I most love and to stay in a big club like Man United, with a big project and a big challenge like I have in my hands. So everything is positive.”


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Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

José Mourinho is back at Stamford Bridge for the first time since his departure from Chelsea, a familiar face at the Bridge and amongst the fans. A three time Premier League winner and an important part of the clubs history with title wins in (2004-05, 2005-06, 2014-15) and an FA Cup in 2007 with League Cup wins in (2005, 2007,2015) and the Community Shield in (2005) Highly endeared by the fans even during his last season struggles was still back and cheered on by the Stamford bridge faithful but on Sunday afternoon every love,respect and sentiment will be put aside as his United side tackle Chelsea at the bridge. It is the second occasion Mourinho has faced Chelsea as an opposing boss.

The first was with Inter back in 2010 when he eliminated the Blues out of the round of 16 albeit the defeat his name was still chanted around the bridge an evidence of how highly he’s regarded at the club. Although he returns to the Bridge with Chelsea’s fierce rivals, Manchester United, Mourinho is still expected to receive a warm reception from the fans,at a ground which he held an almost unachievable home record winning streak with 77 home games unbeaten which was eventually broken by Sunderland in 2014 but he’d end up winning the league title the following season without losing at home.

Speaking on his return, he said: “I knew that, working in England and staying in the Premier League, sooner or later I had to play against Chelsea and go to Stamford Bridge,’ he said. ‘The computer has decided it is to go now. And here we go.’ ‘When I played there with Inter, before that, I never lost a match at Stamford Bridge because I had that home record,’ he explained. ‘Now I have lost a few matches at the Bridge. Last season I lost two or three matches at the Bridge, so I cannot use the same words because now I have lost there.’

It hasn’t been an easy ride for Mourinho at Manchester United after the signings of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for mega bucks with the duo failing to live up to the required expectations, after a non-stellar draw with Liverpool he goes into the game facing a rejuvenated Conte side that have been impressive lately with his new tactical switch to the 3-4-3 formation which has yielded results if the last two games are anything to go by and Sunday afternoon will provide a fiesty encounter between this two heavyweights.


Manuel Delph

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– John Terry is fully recovered from his ankle injury

– Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic are both out for minor muscular injuries

– Kurt Zouma is still not fully fit to join the first team squad: he will start to train with them next week

– Willian and Oscar recently travelled to Brazil to mourn the loss of mother and grandfather respectively and it’s not sure if they will be able to play


Manchester United

– Wayne Rooney was dropped at last minute for small training injury

– Chris Smalling is a doubt after suffering a minor injury in Europa League clash against Fenerbahce

– Henrikh Mkhitaryan has recovered from his thigh injury


Possible Line-Ups

CHELSEA – Courtois; David Luiz, Terry, Cahill; Moses, Matic, Kante, Willian,  Marcos Alonso; Hazard, Diego Costa.

MANCHESTER UNITED - De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Shaw; Herrera, Pogba, Mata, Fellaini;  Rashford, Ibrahimovic.

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Antonio Conte reflected of many aspects ahead the clash against Manchester United, the first one, of course, was the return of Mourinho to Stamford Bridge, explaining that he would like to write history with the Blues as well:

Jose was a very important manager in the history of this club, I hope to work with this club for many years and to build something for the present and for the future. It’s important to have time to work and to build and we have to work very hard to build success with this club.

“In my mind, it is always to give the maximum in my work. When you, the players and the staff do this – that is the most important thing. I give my maximum so I can go home with a clear conscience that I gave my all, every day. Only one club can win the title. We have to work, work, work and build – then, we will see at the end of the season.

He also analysed what is the role of John Terry as Chelsea captain:

“John is our captain, he has been at this club for many, many years and he deserves great respect. For me he is a great help whether I call him to start the game or if he doesn’t start the game – he is an important player for us, both on the pitch and in the changing room.

“When you are captain, it is important to put your commitment in the team, not only on the pitch but also in other ways. The captain usually always helps the coach. I was captain at Juventus, I did this for five years and I know this type of role.

“In my past when I was a player and I was captain, quite often it happened that I did not play, but I always helped the team and the coach, and created the right atmosphere. But John is also a good player and when I call him to play, my expectation is always very high.”

Conte also spoke about two players that did very well in the last games, Victor Moses and David Luiz:

“I think that Victor is playing very well, not only now, but at the start of the season. I’m pleased to have him in our squad, because he’s a fantastic player and he is a fantastic man.

“David Luiz came back to Chelsea and this is a great challenge for him. He has started very well, with great concentration and focus, and also a great will to show he has come back to play for this shirt and that it’s the right choice for him.

“He has good experience because in his career he has won a lot and played with good teams. He has good technique and when you have David Luiz you can play from the back and I love this. He is also a good defender and we are working a lot with him, but also with the other defenders, to always stay focused in every single moment of the game.

Asked about which tactical system he prefers to play, he answered:

“Every single system gives good opportunities and bad opportunities. The most important thing for me is  to understand the right suit for the team, because you can start with an idea, then you understand that the idea is not good because it doesn’t give you the right balance, the right offensive situation or the right defensive situation and then you have to change. In this case, we are working on this tactical aspect and I think it is a good suit for us.

“I won two championships with 4-2-4, with Bari and Siena, and then at Juventus I arrived at 3-5-2, because I had players more adaptable to this type of system. It is important for the coach to understand the right suit, then you find the right system, but my preferred system is the one that helps my team win.”

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Today, Saturday 22 October 2016, marks 20 years since the death of Matthew Harding and Chelsea will remember him with a series of tributes before the game against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

Harding was travelling back from Chelsea away game at Bolton in the League Cup when his helicopter crashed, killing him as well as fellow passengers Ray Deane, Tony Burridge and John Bauldie, and pilot Mick Goss.

A lifelong Blues fan, Harding joined the board in 1994 investing £ 26.5 in the club, playing in this way significant role to finance the reconstruction of the North Stand at Stamford Bridge, which was renamed the Matthew Harding Stand after his death at the age of just 42.

His family, as the ones of the other people that died with him, still hold season tickets at Chelsea stadium and tomorrow they will be honoured along with other families’ members invited over by the club before the kick off.

Chelsea, anyway, will remember Matthew Harding also dedicating the match program to him, but this is not the only thing to pay him tribute in this special weekend: general admission tickets also mark the anniversary, while a new banner will be displayed in the MHL stand for him before the match.


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Manchester United striker and new wonderkid Marcus Rashford spoke ahead of the Red Devils visit to Stamford Bridge, explaining which tactic his team will play to try to stop Chelsea:

“You never know how the game is going to be until you get out there but I think it’s important we get into the game and start fast,” Rashford told MUTV.

“That’s what we did against Liverpool – we got into their faces and showed we weren’t going to be pushed around, and we need to go there with a similar attitude. The bigger the games are, the better for us.

“We have to try to keep them quiet and give ourselves the freedom to play as well, but it’s a difficult thing to do, especially away from home, so we have to have the same mentality and mindset as we did at Anfield.

“In these games, it’s a lot to do with one-v-ones and, if you get the better of your opponent, maybe you get the better of the game; that could be the situation on Sunday, so I think we have to work hard individually and collectively to get a result.”

Speaking about Chelsea, Rashford said:

“They have a very strong squad. They’ve been a bit up and down but the manager has got them in a good shape and structure, and I think they’ve got a good plan of where they want to be.

“I think they’re in a similar situation as us. But if we can go there, produce a good team performance and hopefully get the three points, that will give us a good boost and could set us up for the rest of the season.”

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José Mourinho© Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea legend José Mourinho spoke about his relationship with Chelsea fans ahead his return to Stamford Bridge and he feels it has always been wonderful.

First of all, the current Manchester United boss doesn’t think he will have a negative recepetion:

“I don’t expect a negative reaction, even going with a United badge and going to fight for points. There is no reason for a bad reaction. If they give me a good reception, I don’t know. I’m not their manager anymore. I represent a rival club.

“It doesn’t matter their reaction. I’ll be grateful always. We started so many happy moments, historical moments for the club. When people talked about me being sacked, they always sung my name. I could walk home from  games and never had a bad word said to me.

“We share some unbelievable moments. So many happy and historical moments. What I keep is the bad moments where they stick with me.

“I’m not their manager anymore. I’m defending a rival club. It doesn’t matter their reaction but I will be grateful always,’ reflected the Manchester United boss.

“When the game starts, I’m going to forget it, the fans will forget it. They’ll focus on the match.”


Antonio Conte did not speak in the Etihad Stadium press room after the win over Manchester City. The Italian manager only spoke to the TVs...