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Chelsea FC

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Leicester City boss Claude Puel welcomes rumours linking Riyad Mahrez to Chelsea and Arsenal.

The Algeria international seems keen to move to London, or even to Liverpool, as the Reds are looking for a talented player to replace Philippe Coutinho, who transfered to Barcelona for a £ 140m record fee.

After the Watford game, Puel was quizzed about Mahrez’s future.

“It is a good thing people always ask me about Riyad because it shows he is playing well.

“I get asked about his future and it is a good thing because we have a good feeling.

“He gave an assist and scored a goal, and he is showing good consistency with and without the ball. He is a good player.

“Because he is an experienced player with good maturity and he can give a good example with his play also.”

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Speaking exclusively to Evening Standard after Brighton win Chelsea winger Victor Moses praised his team-mate Eden Hazard, who scored a brace yesterday:

“He does that in training and, on his day, he’s probably one of the best players in the world,” the Nigerian champions said.

“We all saw it today. He’s unbelievable. He’s so talented. We’re very happy to have him here and we’re happy that he’s enjoying his football. Hopefully, he’ll keep scoring goals.”

With Pedro suspended for the game Antonio Conte decided to start Willian on the right flank and the move paid off as the Brazilian also got on the scoresheet.
Moses insists Willian remains a key player for Chelsea, claiming:
“The second goal [for Chelsea] was a great goal, one touch from Michy [Batshuayi], Hazard and what a goal from Willy. He’s a very important player for us and he done very well.”
Moses also had the chance to add his name to the scoresheet as well:

“I got one today, five more to go!” he claimed.

“We are enjoying our football. Marcos [Alonso] is doing very well by scoring goals, and I want to contribute too. I’m happy to score my first goal this season. but hopefully I’ll score more in the future.”

“Much was made about Chelsea’s recent three-game goalless run, which was the first time in the club’s history that they had recorded three 0-0 results.

“Any one of us can score. We definitely will have chances [in games] but it’s just about converting them. 

“We showed that we have good enough players to score us goals. We are pleased that Willian, Eden and myself were on the score-sheet. The most important thing is that we are happy.”

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte analysed the Blues win at Brighton and, of course, he noticed his team improved respect to the performances of the last month, where they barely scored a goal:

“[It was] A good game, a good result for us. In the last period, we didn’t score a lot. Instead today we scored four goals, we created other chances to improve the final result,” the Italian claimed.

“We kept another clean sheet, which is very important for us, despite Brighton creating chances to score. Before the game, a lot of people had a lot of apprehension for suspensions and injuries.

“But, during the game, we showed a great personality to be a team. We started the game very well, scored twice quickly with good combinations between our strikers. This is very important and we must be happy for this.”

Speaking about man of the match Eden Hazard, he said:

Eden Hazard scored twice. For us, it’s important Hazard, Willian and Moses all score. But, from tomorrow, every single player that scored today has to forget he scored and must try and score again against Arsenal.

“This is the most important thing: to be happy for today’s performance but, from tomorrow, to think about another important game against Arsenal, another important situation to try to help the team to win.”

Then, his answer to the people who said that Chelsea were in a “crisis”:

“Whoever said this has to pay attention to the stats. We’re unbeaten in 14 games. It’s normal that the press try to see the negative aspect and don’t see the positives.

“But this team, with many problems, are unbeaten in 14 games in every competition. This means means we are performing important work with these players to win in this way, despite five players less: Fabregas, Drinkwater, Courtois, two suspensions in Pedro and Morata. Despite this, we won 4-0.

“That means that every player deserves his chance, and every player has to fight to play. Now we have to continue in this way. I’m pleased with the responses of all the players today. You could see on our bench there were Charly Musonda and Sterling and Ampadu, the present and future of Chelsea.

“The club has committed to work with the young players to improve, and I’m doing this. Christensen is only 21 and playing every game. We are doing an important job for this club. We have to continue in this way. Every player today showed a great responsibility.

“For this reason, I’m very happy because every player felt this responsibility. To grow in this aspect is very important for us.”

Conte also explained why Danny Drinkwater was ruled out of the game:

“Danny had a kick on his ankle in the game against Norwich. He’s not so lucky this season (with injuries).

“He’s having many problems from the start of the season. I hope to recover him very quickly.”

About the two penalties that referee Jon Moss didn’t concede to Brighton when the score was still 0-2, Conte said:

“I think that, in England, seeing a penalty is not simple. It’s very difficult to see a referee whistling for a penalty. You can see what happened in the last game against Norwich.

“In this league, there is this type of valuation for one team, for another team. I don’t know because I didn’t see these two situations, so I can’t give an evaluation about this.

“But, at the same time, I can tell you that the new system – if we learn to use it very quickly – can help a lot to avoid big mistakes if there are big mistakes. This system will be very important for every team because, in this way, you won’t have doubts.”

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Edin Dzeko is furious at AS Roma after the Italian club forced him to accept Chelsea move.

The former Manchester City striker recently bought a house in Rome with him and his wife expecting to spend a long time in Italy.

Chelsea interest in him was sudden surprised both Roma and the player but the speed in which the club agreed to sell the Bosnian goalscorer has angered him.

There is no suggestion Dzeko will reject a move to Chelsea and demand to remain at Roma, but the player has made his feelings known to the Italian club.

The Italian capital side are almost forced to sell players to fulfill FFP agreement with UEFA before the end of June, otherwise they could find themselves in trouble and even out of next European club competitions, should they qualify.

Reports from Italy say the current AS Roma forward has agreed to the switch to Stamford Bridge, but that the two clubs are still deciding on a transfer fee.

Dzeko will join Chelsea alongside his current Roma team-mate, full-back Emerson Palmieri, and the Serie A pair are expected to cost the Blues a combined £ 44m.

Antonio Conte will finally have the striker he asked for after Chelsea failed in several pursuits this month.

 

 

 

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Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson revealed the main reason why Chelsea haven’t tried to hijack Alexis Sanchez‘s move to Manchester United in the past week.

The Chilean striker is set to move to Old Trafford in a swap with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who will sign for Arsenal, and he’s going to receive a wage of £500,000-a-week AFTER tax.

Merson believes handing a player that sort of money at Chelsea would have caused problems with the likes of Eden Hazard – who is in talks with the club directors to extend his contract and increase his wage- Cesc Fabregas and Willian.

“They needed Sanchez,” the pundit said.

“If they would have got Sanchez I think they get in the top four.

“But if you go and get Sanchez, you bet your bottom dollar come what two days later, Hazard’s agent’s knocking on the door, Willian’s is knocking on the door, (Cesc) Fabregas, (N’Golo) Kante.

“They’re all knocking on the door and before you know it, that £100m signing for his package turns into £200m.”

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Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Willian (L) celebrates with Chelsea's Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard (C) after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Huddersfield Town and Chelsea at the John Smith's stadium in Huddersfield, northern England on December 12,

Eden Hazard was, without any doubt, the man who led Chelsea go get the three points against Brighton and Hove Albion today.

The Belgian put his name on the score-sheet for the first time today after 3′ with a masterclass finishing on a ball deflected by a Brighton defender after Moses assist.

Hazard himself and another Belgian, Michy Batshuayi, were the protagonists of the 2-0 play after only three minutes, well finished by Willian. Only 6′ and the Blues were already 3-0 up.

But instead of surrendering Brighton had a great reaction and tried to level the score, giving Willy Caballero the chance to show his skills.

The Argentine goalkeeper also took a huge risk with a tackle on Ezequiel Schelotto, surely the best among the Seagulls today, that could have cost a penalty against to Chelsea.

Brighton, indeed, didn’t have the best of luck today and hit also the post in the beginning of the second half.

After another great save by Caballero, Willian hit the post as well but some minutes later, at 77′, Eden Hazard scored his second goal of the game, sealing it with thirteen minutes to go.

Before the final whistle there was also a moment of glory for Victor Moses, who netted the ball for the 4th goal of Chelsea.

In this moment the Blues are second in the table with 50 points, reaching Manchester United who are playing Burnley away in some minutes.

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Chelsea star Eden Hazard reached an important personal milestone after scoring the opener against Brighton and Hove Albion today: in fact, the 27-year-old secured the 100th goal of his career.

The Belgium international later reached also goal 101, after sealing the game with the 3-0, for a total of 65 Premier League goal for Chelsea.

Hazard reached three figures having found the net 36 times for Lille in Ligue 1.

 

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Everything happened in three minutes, between 3′ and 6′, when first Eden Hazard and then Willian beat Matthew Ryan with two fantastic finishings. Therefore, Chelsea are leading 2-0 on Brighton at half-time.

The Blues were in control most of the first part but the Seagulls complained for a couple of tackles on Ezequiel Schelotto in the box – the first one by Willy Caballero and the second one by Tiemoué Bakayoko– that could have given two penalties, but referee Jon Moss didn’t concede them.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is facing emergency in his squad with both Thibaut Courtois and Danny Drinkwater forced out in the last 24 hours for injury after losing Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas during the week both for minor injuries and Alvaro Morata and Pedro both under suspension after the red cards in the FA Cup clash against Norwich on Wednesday night.

 

 

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Chelsea beat Norwich City 5-3  in FA Cup replay only at penalty shoot-outs after ending 1-1 in the 90′.

After a really disappointing first half, where the only highlights were the crossbars hit by  Danny Drinkwater and …., the Blues were able to take the lead with Michy Batshuayi with 10 minutes into the second half.

Norwich, anyway, didn’t surrender and after hitting the post with Murphy at 61′ they kept attacking, with Willy Caballero saving an effort by Maddison at 65′.

Meanwhile, Pedro received his first yellow card for diving in the penalty box.

The Canaries got their reward in the last minute of injury time, at 94′, when Murphy finally found the equaliser in front of his fans, that erupted in celebration as well as Norwich bench.

The first extra rime started with a doubtful situation: Willian goes down in the penalty box after under a sliding challenge but the referee says it’s a free-kick to Norwich and the Brazilian winger is booked by referee Graham Scott.

However, worst is yet to come for Chelsea: in the last minutes of the second extra time both Pedro and Alvaro Morata are sent out.

The first one after receiving the second yellow card for a foul in the midfield, the second one after being booked for diving in the very last minute of the game and then for shouting in the referee’s face.

After this crazy period the penalty shoot-outs are going to decided who is going through this round.

Willian scores, but Caballero immediately shows his skills saving Nelson Oliveira’s kick.

David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kante and eventually Eden Hazard all score, so the Blues are finally through the fourth round, where they are going to face Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle in ten days.

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Another disappointing display for the Blues, 345 minutes without scoring a single goal in the last games.

Not an enthusiastic balance for Chelsea after 45 minutes against Norwich City in the FA Cup third round replay.

Only two things to mention from this boring first half: two crossbars hit, one for each team: the first one for Chelsea with Danny Drinkwater and the second one for the Canaries with Nelson Oliveira.

Antonio Conte will have to find some new weapon to use in his team if he wants to go through the next round in the next 45 minutes.

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