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Chelsea FC

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New Chelsea defender Matt Miazga made his debut in the first team and Premier League yesterday, being the first American player to wear the Blues shirt in an official game.

He had a good performance and shared his feeling and impressions with Chelsea official website after the game:

“The boys were fantastic today. The starting 11 were brilliant and the guys who came in were flawless,” he commented after the final whistle.

“Aston Villa just lost their manager, so we knew they would be energetic trying to show their fans they are still in it, and the first 20 minutes was a bit like a chess match, but we settled down and got the first goal from Ruben. From there it was cruise control for us, we dominated the midfield with Cesc [Fabregas] and Obi [Mikel], and it was a comfortable win.

“It was a good debut for me, I’m happy to contribute to the team and now I have to work hard in training to keep trying to get more chances.

“I found out in the morning I would be in the starting 11. It’s my job, my profession and I have to be ready when I am called upon and show the manager I can contribute and help the club”

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STAMFORD BRIDGE

Chelsea responded to Dr Bonar doping accusations that in a Sunday Times exclusive revealed that he doped several Premier League footballers and other sport persons, among them players from Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City and Birmingham City.

After the front page story was published this morning in the Sunday Times, a spokesman from Chelsea explained:

“The claims The Sunday Times put to us are false and entirely without foundation.

“Chelsea Football Club has never used the services of Dr Bonar and has no knowledge or record of any of our players having been treated by him or using his services.

‘We take the issue of performance enhancing drugs in sport extremely seriously and comply fully with all anti-doping rules and regulations.

“Chelsea FC players are regularly and rigorously tested by the relevant authorities.”

Also Arsenal responded to these accusations through a spokesman:

“Arsenal Football Club is extremely disappointed by the publication of these false claims which are without foundation.

“The Sunday Times knows that these allegations are baseless but has preferred to publish regardless.

“The club takes its responsibilities in this area very seriously and our players are well aware of what is expected.

“We strictly adhere to all guidelines set by the World Anti-Doping Agency.”

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Alexandre Pato looked really enthusiastic after his good debut against Aston Villa.

The Brazilian striker entered at minute 23 in the first half to replace Loic Remy, that got injured.

After twenty minutes he won a penalty and scored it with great coldness.

He then started the playing of Pedro’s first goal seconds after the beginning of the second half with a beautiful pass to Oscar.

After the game, he wanted to share his feelings with this post on his Facebook page, that we can translate:

GO CHELSEA! MY FAMILY, MY BASE

Schermata 04-2457481 alle 16.25.25

 

Today Chelsea got one more player to trust in the final of this season.

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pedro chelsea

Chelsea win 4-0 at Villa Park and climb up to a temporary 9th place in the table with one game in hand ( the one against Liverpool that will be played on 11 May).

It was a quiet afternoon for Hiddink’s lads in Birmingham, with the Dutch coach doing some – announced- experiments and letting three players debut in the Premier League: Matt Miazga, who started along with captain Branislav Ivanovic in the centre of the defence, Alexandre Pato, who entered in the 23rd minute as a substitute for Loic Remy who got injured, and another academy youngster, Jake Clarke-Salter, who entered in the 74th minute to replace Pedro, who was on fire and scored a brace in the first minutes of the second half.

Instead, it’s hell for Aston Villa: a season to forget for them, two sacked managers and the first relegation in their glorious history that is coming closer and closer every fixture: the Villans can be mathematically relegated in two weeks if they don’t get any points like in the last six games.

Of course Villa’s fans are really disappointed and a protest went on throughout the entire second half, with banners against the current directors “Proud of our History, but which future?” said one, while another one read: “No Fight, No Pride, No Future”.

Hiddink made a lot of changes to the starting XI, giving his trust to youngsters like Matt Miazga, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Baba Rahman and Kenedy and was repaid by them, but the English midfielder- today a playmaker- made a real impact, basically being in every dangerous Chelsea attack.

The youngster scored after 25 minutes, after good play by Obi Mikel, Pedro and Azpilicueta: he was found alone in the middle of the box, shooting on the near post: the ball had a decisive deflection by Joleon Lescott.

Loftus-Cheek was on fire in the first half, the best player on the pitch without doubt: right before Pato’s penalty, he also went close to scoring his personal brace with a shot similar to the first goal.

Chelsea looked confident and organized in the first half and created dangerous chances, especially with Pedro ( a beautiful shot from outside the box that was slightly high on the crossbar).

Loic Remy got injured around minute 20, and was substituted for Pato a couple of minutes later: the Brazilian finally made his debut at Chelsea two months after his arrival: not a great game in the first minutes, but he then gained and scored a penalty in stoppage time of the first half.

Villa,  looked organised too but with no passion on the pitch, they were dangerous only when Jordan Ayew decided to play: the Ghanian player created a great chance for Carles Gil five minutes after Loftus-Cheek’s goal but Courtois made a great save.

Oscar entered at the beginning of the second half to replace Kenedy and the Brazilian, along with Pato, was the protagonist of beautiful quick play on the left that led to Pedro’s first goal in the 46th minute.

After five minutes the Spanish striker scored the fourth goal after a terrible mistake by Aston Villa’s keeper, Guzan, who spilled an innocuous strike from Pato, with another tap-in right in front of the goal.

Game over and Chelsea had total control of the game, with Villa’s players trying to score at least a goal for their pride. The Birmingham side were actually denied a clear penalty after Azplicueta fouled Grealish in the box.

Chelsea defenders wanted to maintain a clean sheet and despite Villa attacking for all the rest of the second half and their comfortable score they kept the focus on the match and didn’t concede a single goal.

At the end of the game Villa’s fans praised their players, but the protest against the club went on.

Chelsea next week are away again at Swansea: another possible step towards the European competitions next year.

 

ASTON VILLA – Guzan, Hutton, Lescott, Richards, Cissokho, Sanchez (Bacuna 67′), Westwood, Gana (Lyden 82′)  Gil ( Grealish 66′), Gestede, Ayew

Unused Subs: Okore, Sinclair, Veretout, Bunn, 

Manager: Eric Black

CHELSEA – Courtois; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic (c), Miazga, Baba; Mikel, Fabregas; Pedro ( Clarke-Salter 74′), Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy ( Oscar 46′) ; Remy ( Pato 23′)

Unused Subs: Begovic, Matic, Traore, Falcao

Manager: Guus Hiddink

 

Scorers: Loftus-Cheek 26′, Pato 45+1, Pedro 46′, 59′

Yellow Cards: Gueye 28′, Fabregas 29′, Cissokho 45′, Sanchez 61′, Hutton 78′, 85′, Westwood 87′

Red Cards: Hutton 85′ for double yellow card

 

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Venue: Villa Park

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek celebrating his first official goal with Chelsea against Scunthorpe © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea are leading 1-0 at half time at Villa Park thanks to a goal by their wonderkid Ruben Loftus-Cheek and penalty by Alexandre Pato in the extra time, that made his debut just twenty minutes before.

The youngster scored at minute 25, after good playing by Obi Mikel, Pedro and Azpilicueta: he was found alone in the middle of the box by the last one, shooting on the first post: the ball had a decisive deflection by Joleon Lescott.

Loftus-Cheek was on fire in this first half, the best player on the pitch with no doubt: Guus Hiddink trusted him and other youngsters like Matt Miazga – at his debut- Baba Rahman and Kenedy and was repaid by them, but the English midfielder- today a playmaker- made a real impact, basically being in every dangerous Chelsea attack.

Right before the Pato’s penalty, Loftus-Cheek also went close to score his personal brace with a shot similar to the one of the 1-0 goal.

Chelsea looked confident and organized in this first half and created dangerous chances, especially with Pedro ( a beautiful shot from outside the box that was slightly high on the crossbar).

Loic Remy got injured around minute 20, and was substituted by Pato a couple of minutes later: the Brazilian finally made his debut at Chelsea two months after his arrival: not a great game in the first minutes, but he then gained and scored a penalty in the extra time of this first half.

Villa, that looked organised too but with no passion on the pitch, was dangerous only when Jordan Ayew decided to play: the Ghanian player created a great chance for Carles Gil five minutes after Loftus-Cheek goal but Courtois made a great save. Baba cleared on Ayew that tried to score but was unlucky.

Other 45 minutes to play at Villa Park, but the Black side need a miracle today to beat Chelsea.

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Minute 23′ of Aston Villa v Chelsea, an historical event for the Blues – disappointing- season: Alexandre Pato finally make his debut after arriving two months ago in the last days of the January transfer window.

Pato entered after that Loic Remy, who started due to Diego Costa‘s suspension, got injured a couple of minutes before.

The Brazilian striker was also a lucky charm for Chelsea: after two minutes Ruben Loftus Cheek scored the 1-0 goal, the first one for him in  Premier League.

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TEAM NEWS

Aston Villa

Gabby Agbonlahor is suspended by the club after pictures of him smoking shisha in Dubai last week emerged. He will join back the squad once the internal investigation is over.

– Three injured players are back: Micah Richards (groin) Jack Grealish (ankle) and Adama Traore (foot)

Chelsea 

Eden Hazard is still injured and was not selected

Diego Costa recovered from his injury but, anyway, he is still suspended ( last game of two)

– Long term injured Kurt Zouma still out

Willian, Oscar and Bertrand Traore not sure to be fit and fresh because they came back from their international duties only yesterday ( Friday 1 April).

PREDICTED LINE UPS

 

ASTON VILLA – Guzan, Hutton, Richards, Lescott, Cissokho, Veretout, Westwood, Gueye, Gil, Gestede, Ayew.

Manager: Erick Black

CHELSEA – Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Obi Mikel, Fabregas, Pedro, Oscar, Willian, Remy.

Manager: Guus Hiddink

 

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Kick Off: 12.45 pm

Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham, UK

 

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Chelsea legend Frank Lampard got a feeling that Antonio Conte can be the right man to bring Chelsea back to a top level:

“I don’t know him too well but he’s got a great pedigree, a great recent record with Juventus,” Super Frank said to BT Sports.

I spoke with Andrea Pirlo about him and he has nothing but good words to say about him.

I think he’s hard working, he’ll have the players working hard. He has what fans and players like to see – that determination, that will to win.

“It’s a difficult job at Chelsea now considering what’s happened this year, so we’ll see. If it is him, I think he has the pedigree to do it, but the decision has not been made.

 

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Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink praised his captain, John Terry, claiming that being already a leader on the pitch and in the dressing room will help him to become a good manager.

“Of course he can be a good manager, but he needs time. Maybe he can be an assistant before…some players they think they can do it overnight, but I think the best thing is do practice and make experience. To be on the other side is different.

“I like to have players that are leaders, I like- as a manager- to have players that help you to do your game plan. He can be one of those players that help you in the game plan, that are tactically prepared.”

“In my younger career I had some of those players too, you could see also on the pitch, like Ronald Koeman and Quique Sanchez Flores, they were leaders and tactical leaders on the pitch, now they are good managers. Of course also these players need extra courses to become managers, but they got what they need.”

Hiddink spoke also about Terry’s contract, that has not been extended yet by the club:

“It’s not up to me in this moment, I think about his contract you should ask to the directors.”

“In every club there are legends, of course he is and he will be a leader, but for me it’s difficult to give a judgement.”

 

In the past days Chelsea’s captain was also rumoured to be back again to an international career with England, that he suspended in 2012, Hiddink spoke also about this:

“I think it’s a little bit over, I think there was no issue for either of them, John is doing to do his job for Chelsea and he decided four years ago to end his international career, whatever the reason can be. You should ask him if he is interested about that, we didn’t talk about it.”

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Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

Guus Hiddink press conference ahead of Aston Villa game at Villa Park

ASTON VILLA SITUATION – “Now I’m not surprised about their situation anymore, they have been struggling all season, yes, they are one of the biggest club in England so it’s kind of shocking to see them there.

“It’s a difficult situation, you cannot compare it to our situation, but in December – when I came in- we were very close to them, so we were in a similar situation, when you are in trouble it’s difficult to manager that. Fortunately I haven’t had that experience, but of course it will affect the confidence of the team and everyone.

“It’s very important to have consistency, stability in a club, if you are stable in your philosophy to buy and sell players, you can do well.

“I saw the last Villa game with the old manager, I saw that they were playing with a lot of ambition, they were looking very fresh. ”

TERRY/ENGLAND – “I think it’s a little bit over, I think there was no issue for either of them, John is doing to do his job for Chelsea and he decided four years ago to end his international career, whatever the reason can be. You should ask him if he is interested about that, we didn’t talk about it.”

TERRY’S CONTACT – “It’s not up to me in this moment, I think about his contract you should ask to the directors.”

“In every club there are legends, of course he is and he will be a leader, but for me it’s difficult to give a judgement. I like to have players that are leaders, I like- as a manager- to have players that help you to do your game plan. He can be one of those players that help you in the game plan, that are tactically prepared.

“In my younger career I had some of those players too, you could see also on the pitch, like Ronald Koeman and Quique Sanchez Flores, they were leaders and tactical leaders on the pitch, now they are good managers. Of course also these players need extra courses to become managers, but they got what they need.”

TERRY FUTURE CHELSEA MANAGER – “Of course, but he needs time. Maybe he can be an assistant before…some players they think they can do it overnight, but I think the best thing is do practice and make experience. To be on the other side is different.”

PATO – “He can be involved, we’ll see tomorrow. We have eight games coming up, we have not much to win anymore, but we can do some experiments.

“When I started we had just Diego Costa, that is one of the reasons why Pato came on loan, but meanwhile Bertrand Traore progressed very quickly and there was space for him. Then Loic Remy came back from a long time injury, but in these games there might be some options.”

HAZARD’S INJURY – “I have to talk to the medical staff today, but he’s not available for tomorrow. Eden is training on the pitch with physios, not with the group.”

DIEGO COSTA’S INJURY – “Diego is not injured anymore, he trained very well and with enthusiasm.”

CLASICO –Real Madrid v Barcelona is huge, all the country is involved, it’s also a political thing. I think also the death of Johan Cruyff will bring emotions, it will be a special clasico.

CRUYFF – “Cruyff was among the top three- four of all time players. I met him when I was in Spain, for professional reasons, but also privately. He renewed the way of playing and thinking football, what I liked very much is that he was very accessible for everyone. That’s why for me he was a very nice person, I liked him.”

COURTOIS – “I don’t know about what he recently said , he and his family like to be in London, in the club. I don’t know if something was mis-translated.”

“When I talk about an issue, it can be tricky, I think some times things can be mis-communicated.

AGBONLAHOR SUSPENDED – “I haven’t read of that, but if the new manager thinks this is the right thing to do…It’s dififuclt for me to comment facts I don’t know.”

CHELSEA REST OF THE SEASON – “Not having targets it’s difficult, not having the chance to enter Champions League is not good, but we have to have to joy and the pride to play for what it’s still a big club. I am trying to motivate them, but I see all of them are enthusiastic to play, they don’t play just by obligation but also by heart.

“I would like to be here to break my head to understand how to get players fresh every three days for Champions League and FA Cup games, so this situation is not preferable.”

BRAZILIANS PLAYERS – “Today the Brazilians, Oscar and Willian,  and Traore came back, we see if they are fit and fresh, but after a long journey we have to see if they can play tomorrow.”

 

 

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