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Chelsea FC

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Chelsea striker Diego Costa has landed in Madrid today to finalize his move to Atletico after being AWOL with the Blues for a couple of months.

The Spanish forward arrived from Brazil to undergo a medical and discuss his deal, that will be signed only in January 2018, when the Colchoneros ban on the transfer market will end.

Meanwhile, Costa will train with his new team-mates to be ready to come back in action next year.

The Diego Simeone‘s side will pay £ 50m to Chelsea, £ 10m more of what the Blues paid in 2014 to sign him, and will earn £ 6m-per-year, ChelseaNews24 exclusive sources reveals.

This is the end of a summer-long saga that started when the Brazilian-born striker fell out with manager Antonio Conte in the end of the last season, with the Italian boss telling him that he was not in his plans anymore via sms before holidays.

After failing to sign Romelu Lukaku, who preferred a move to Manchester United, the Blues completed the signing of Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid to replace Costa.

 

 

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Today new Chelsea technical partner from this season, Nike, launched third kits for this campaign and they all look so similar.

In fact, the Blues third match shirt looks almost the same of the ones of Atletico Madrid, AS Roma, Manchester City, Inter and Barcelona.

Curious fact: Chelsea, Atletico and Roma are all in the same Champions League group.

Here you can find the picture of each of them:

Chelsea 


Manchester City

Atletico de Madrid

FC Barcelona

FC Internazionale

AS Roma

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Chelsea legend Frank Lampard is convinced the Blues have got an advantage on their Premier League rivals to face Champions League.

According to the Stamford Bridge legend, who was one of Chelsea heroes in Champions League success back in 2012, the Blues structure is better than other English teams – Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs – facing the same competition:

“When I look at the other English teams in the Champions League, some of them will struggle at the back, whereas Chelsea have a great base.

“The structure that Conte set up last season with three at the back clearly works as they won the title and they have added a few players in midfield”.

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Eden Hazard is back after recovering all summer from a broken ankle injury and, despite Conte claiming he needs to be 100% fit to perform, he feels excited thinking he can make his seasonal debut with Chelsea tomorrow night in Champions League clash against Qarabag:

“I feel ready, ready to be part of the team,” said Hazard who came off the bench in the later stages of the 2-1 at Leicester City on Saturday.

“I had the chance to play with the national team also last week, I did a good job there. Since one month now, I’ve been working hard to be fit.

“On Tuesday, we have the Champions League so I’m just happy to be on the pitch.”

Asked how tough was it last season not playing in the Champions League, the Belgian replied:

” As a player you want to play In the tournament.

“Last year we just watched on TV,  it’s not a good feeling, you want to play in this kind of games because every time you play Champions League, it’s a big game. Everyone is watching you, so, yeah, happy to be back”

Hazard was asked if it was painful to watch those clashes on TV, and replied:

“I don’t like to watch game, I just like to watch my brother play. That’s why I watched the Champions League . But of course as a player, like I said before, we want to play.”

The Belgian star has never hidden the Champions League is a trophy he wants to add to his cabinet and he considers it the team main goal this season:

“Yeah, this year is important. I have only got to the semi-final when we lost to Atletico Madrid. So it’s in my head to win this trophy, I won the Premier League and the same in France. Now all the big players want to win the Champions League. I think now is time to win this. We have a good squad, good manager, so now we are ready for that.”

What if he doesn’t succeed in winning it?

“No problem. I try to give everything on the pitch, if I win, I’m happy, if I don’t win, no regrets.”

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Antonio Conte speaks to Chelsea official website ahead of the club’s return to Champions League tomorrow night after one year of absence.

The Blues will face Qarabag at Stamford Bridge:

“We are excited for the Champions League and we are looking forward to playing this game,” said the Italian manager.

“My job is to think only on the pitch. It is important to work with my players to try to do our best. Don’t forget at the start of last season, not one person thought that Chelsea could win the league.

“It is not important for me if somebody is saying we are not favourites or we are not so strong to play in the competition. We have to only focus on the pitch and try to do our best.

“When you are the coach of a great team, or a player in a great team, expectation is always very high and I think we must be prepared to have this type of pressure. I always like to have the pressure and I put the pressure on myself.”

Speaking about last weekend win over Leicester City, Conte praised N’Golo Kante, not only for his goal but for his all-round display against his former club.

“It was an amazing performance and he played a fantastic game. He scored but he made a lot of good runs and I think N’Golo is a top player. He is always improving because I think now he is also very good with the ball.

“Before a lot of people told me that without the ball he has great stamina and he is an amazing worker. Now with the ball he is improving a lot. I am happy for this because we are working a lot with him. Now I think he is a top player.

“To be the best player in the Premier League last season is a great thing and this season he is confirming this. N’Golo is a very important player for us, but every single player can improve and you must have the will to work and to improve. Until the end of your career you can always improve.”

The Blues boss praised also Chelsea new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko:

“Baka is 23 years old, he is younger than N’Golo. Last season he played in France and now he is adapting to a new type of football, which is not easy.

“And also he is trying to adapt himself to our idea of football. I think he has great quality. Now he is very strong without the ball, but with work, I think he can improve a lot with the ball, like N’Golo.”

Eden Hazard returned after recovering a broken ankle injury: he stayed on the bench in the last game, but he can be one of the protagonists against Qarabag:

“Eden is another top player and I am pleased for him because it is not easy to recover from surgery after a bad injury. He needs a bit of time to be 100 per cent fit, but he is a very strong player.”

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Antonio Conte was obviously happy to see Eden Hazard back onto the pitch, but the Blues boss is cautious about the Belgian star who recovered all summer long from a broken ankle injury:

“This is good news for us,” said Conte after his side’s win against Leicester City.

“For sure he needs time to be 100 per cent but for us his recovery is very important.”

Chelsea are in action again on Tuesday night at home to Qarabag in and Hazard could get another run-out in the Champions League group game opener:

“We all know very well the importance of Hazard for us.

“Now we must have patience to give him the possibility to improve his form, but I am pleased for him because after a bad injury it’s great to see him with us”.

 

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Manchester City's Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on September 9, 2017.

A quick recap of other Premier League clashes over the weekend, starting from the teams in the title race with Chelsea.

Manchester City trashed Liverpool 5-0 in the fixture opener with Agüero, Gabriel Jesus ( brace) and Sane ( brace).

Manchester United was stopped by Stoke City away, confirming the Britannia Stadium is a hostile field for the Red Devils: Rashford responded to Choupo-Moting‘s opener, Lukaku scored the 2-1 for Mourinho’s side, but Choupo-Moting netted the equaliser and fixed the result on 2-2.

The two Manchester sides, anyway, remain top of the table with 10 points each, while Chelsea follow with 9 in third place.

Arsenal won 3-0 at home against Bournemouth, with a brace by Welbeck and a goal by new signing Lacazette.

Harry Kane was, again, Spurs‘ hero in the 3-0 win at Goodison Park against Everton: the English striker scored a brace, with the other Tottenham goal netted by Eriksen. Spurs are 5th in the table with 7 points, the same of Huddersfield Town, Liverpool, WBA and Burnley, should the Clarets win as they are 1-0 over Crystal Palace in a game still going on at Turf Moor.

The start of the Premier League sensation, anyway, is Watford, that sit 4th in the table after securing a 2-0 win away at Southampton with goals by Doucoure and Janmaat.

The full time scores of Fixture 4 Saturday games:

Manchester City v Liverpool 5-0

Arsenal v Bournemouth 3-0

Brighton and Hove Albion v WBA 3-1

Everton v Spurs 0-3

Leicester City v Chelsea 1-2

Southampton v Watford 0-2

Stoke City v Manchester United 2-2

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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill missed the last three Premier League games for a suspension after a controversial red card in the defeat against Burnley.

The English defender was back on duty with the national team during the international break:

“It was nice to get back out there and play for England.

“I was just happy to play. Selfishly, it was great to get two 90 minutes under my belt.

“My reflection on the two games is that it’s job done. It’s difficult when you go to places like Malta and you’re expected to win the game comfortably. We could have had one or two in the first five minutes – we didn’t but in the end the result was convincing.”

Cahill relished every minute of international duty following his frustrating start to the Premier League season and now he is ready for Champions League clash against Qarabag:

“Watching the games has been painful to be fair, because obviously you want to be involved and it kills you when you’re not involved.

“And obviously the period that it has been spread over, it has felt massive. The internationals have broken it up and it has been great to get some time on the pitch for England, which is always an honour.”

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Chelsea striker Pedro seemed enthusiastic after the important 2-1 win at Leicester yesterday:

It’s one more win for us, a very important three points and we are continuing in the right way. The team are playing very well,” the Spaniard said after the game.

“Every game in the Premier League is difficult, Leicester are very good on the counter attack and in transitions, with players like Vardy and Mahrez, so it was very important for us to win.”

Speaking about Chelsea’s goals, he claimed:

“They were two very good goals, Morata scored the first from a good Azpi cross, and N’Golo’s was a nice shot from outside the box. We are moving up the table which is very good for us.”

Pedro also paid tribute to Kante after a great display by the Frenchman against his former club.

“He’s a very important player for the team, a very good midfielder.

“He’s always running and recovering balls. He also scores goals and he’s a complete player.”

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First reactions from Chelsea boss Antonio Conte after the important win at King Power Stadium this afternoon.

The Italian manager looked, of course, very pleased after beating Leicester City 2-1 away:

“We must be delighted because we had a good performance,” said Conte.

“We played very well. We were in total control and could have scored more goals.”

Jamie Vardy scored for the Foxes on penalty with 30 minutes to go, putting pressure on Chelsea in the last part of the game:

“After the penalty it changed the situation.

“They tried to push but despite this we had chances to improve the score. It is a good result and a good performance.

“After the international break it is not easy.

“I am happy for N’Golo Kante. He performed very well but this is not news,” Conte said about the French midfielder, who scored the winner.

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