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Chelsea FC

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yaya toure

Manchester City captain Yaya Toure was clearly satisfied after the good win his team obtained this afternoon at Stamford Bridge, closing a wonderful week for Citizens that started with the historical qualification to Champions League semifinals:

“We played very well and started by trying to control the game and I thought the whole team played really well,” the Ivorian champions said after the game.

“I think it was one of the best games we’ve played this season because it is not easy to dominate the way we did when playing at Stamford Bridge where it is always difficult.

“When Samir [Nasri], De Bruyne and Aguero are on the field together they play very well and can hurt the opposition.”

“I like to play everywhere to help the team,” he said.

“I was delighted to help my team-mates because I’ve missed two or three games through injury and it’s always difficult for me to watch my team-mates play without me.

“So today was fantastic and I really enjoyed it. I always want to be involved and help my team whenever I can. I always want to work hard and that’s what I will continue to do because we want to finish the season as strongly as possible.”

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Ivanovic, Aguero and Fabregas challenging for the ball in last year game at Stamford Bridge © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink was disappointed after the defeat Manchester City but didn’t agree when a journalist in the press room made him notice there was a lack of spirit in his team:

“I don’t fully agree with that: if you play against intelligent players it is very difficult to get into duels and get into a fight.

“There was no lack of fighting spirit. When you have intelligent (opposing) players playing around you, it is difficult to have those duels.

“Of course it is a bad defeat. But we were playing against a very strong team. Not for nothing are Manchester City in the last four in Europe.

“We made some mistakes. We had control in the first half but were warned they could harm us on the counter-attack and that is what they did to score after our corner.

“The second half I think was similar. We were in control but we did not have the ultimate ‘bite’ to kill it off.

“Of course when you are 2-0 down against a team with a lot of experience it is very difficult, and then we got a red card.

“We are disappointed, but that (City) team is very experienced.”

He then prasied Ruben Loftus-Cheek, that started for the third time in a row, gaining first team playing experience:

“For Loftus-Cheek, it was his third game starting and he is gathering the experience to be grown up,” Hiddink said.

“It’s good to see younger players coming through. He’s developing himself rather okay.”

 

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A disappointed Guus Hiddink spoke after the bad defeat against Manchester City:

“Chelsea are a difficult situation this season. We managed to get out of the relegation zone but Chelsea need to be in the first four places,” the boss said to BBC after the match.

“We were knocking on the door but we didn’t create open chances. They outplayed us on 60-70 yard counters.

“The fans have had a very disappointing season. We’ve got out of near the relegation zone in a relatively short period of time.

“I told the boys you cannot let it slip away. Man City you have to recognise they are having a very good season.

“Man City are a rather strong opponent and have a lot experience playing in semis and finals.

“To win silverware you have to be in very good shape in April.”

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CHELSEA - Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic (c), Baba Rahman; Mikel, Fabregas; Willian, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro; Diego Costa.

Subs: Begovic, Miazga, Matic, Kenedy, Traore, Pato, Falcao.

Manager: Guus Hiddink

MANCHESTER CITY - Hart; Zabaleta, Mangala, Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Toure (c), Navas, De Bruyne, Nasri, Aguero

Subs: Caballero, Sagna, Demichelis, Fernando, Delph, Bony, Iheanacho.

Manager: Manuel Pellegrini

 

Referee: Mike Dean

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, UK

Kick Off: 5.30 pm GMT

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Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

The Daily Mail reports that Eden Hazard is set to stay at Chelsea next summer despite rumours of him moving to Real Madrid or PSG.

The Belgian star had a very disappointing season after being the best player in the last Premier League, helping Chelsea to get the title, and it was understood he would move to Spain or France at the end of this season.

But after a meeting held last week with Chelsea next boss, Antonio Conte, now Hazard is set to stay also for next season.

The Italian manager considers him a very important player and never hid his admiration for the Chelsea number 10.

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Piet De Vissier is the scout who discovered Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne some years ago in Belgium.

The Belgian talent was signed by Chelsea in 2012, but after spending a season on loan and struggling to have first team playing time was sold to Wolfsburg in January 2014.

A decision that now the club regrets, since De Bruyne is becoming a top player and no more than three days ago scored the goal that allowed Man City to make history, accessing the Champions League semifinals for the first time.

The Belgian star is back to Stamford Bridge today, and the De Vissier explains how he discovered him and what he said to Chelsea, that didn’t pay much attention to his prediction:

“One of the best players I’ve scouted, is Kevin De Bruyne . About six years ago I was for a while in Belgium to look around, because then already got some talent. Especially regular at Racing Genk, because the club had very good childhood. I saw De Bruyne for the first time,” de Visser revealed in a new book about his career.

“Kevin was eighteen. Even then he had a great technique and at the same time outline. I had rarely seen such a thing. He was an attacking midfielder with a superb first touch and immediately moved the game, made openings. He was for me an instant revelation.”

“I had to take action, I plucked up courage and took a tape to the big boss of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich. Roman is a true football fan, who wants to not only win, but also want to see good football. He looked at that tape, said nothing, but went straight to call the scouting. “That De Bruyne has to come,” he said. If the big boss looks down at you, then that is of course a fantastic entry.

“Chelsea decided in early 2012 to take him anyway and paid around nine million euros. That was a lot of money for a young footballer, but in the meantime there were a lot of clubs after him. I told Abramovich that De Bruyne would end up being worth tenfold and that’s true today.”

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Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

Ahead of the game with Manchester City Guus Hiddink focused his attention on some of the players in Chelsea squad.

The first one is Baba Rahman:

“He’s one of the guys who, when I came in, I had an impression after a few days he was too quiet, but very skillful with both feet.

“He’s left-footed by nature but he can handle his right foot very well, which is unusual for left-footed players.

“This week I played him right-back in an exercise game because I was curious how he’d do, and he had no problem.

“To survive in the Premier League he must make it very difficult for a coach to put him out of the team. He has the skill to be very dominant defensively in his area and he’s working on that.

“He’s a very nice person and I told him to be nice off the pitch but less nice on the pitch. He’s getting the experience and I hope he can make the next step.”

Then he spoke about Eden Hazard, who’s missing for injury since the second leg game against PSG:

“Last year everything was beautiful and this year everything has been dark for him, so the contrast is huge,” Hiddink explained.

“In the last few days I’ve seen him training very spontaneously, and I think that’s the road he must try to go down, but it’s not easy.

“I think you come back by playing how kids play. Just think in the moment, not in the past or future. Just go and play.

“There are different characters. If you see his skills in training, his spontaneous actions and his movements, by nature they are perfect. The conditions are there but how do you cope with the season he’s had? How does he react? He can be at a very high level but it’s not just about natural skill, also the experience in your career.”

The Dutch manager also revealed why Willian missed the trip to Swansea:

Willian came back from Brazil [from international duty] and was devastated because he had a little complaint in his calf,’ he said. ‘We gave him last weekend off, he recovered and he’s available for the game.”

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Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson gave a prediction of tomorrow’s Premier League clash Chelsea v Manchester City with a column for the sport TV broadcaster website.

Here is his opinion:

The gap between Manchester City in fourth and Manchester United in fifth is just four points and I fully expect Louis van Gaal’s side to close the gap by the time kick-off comes around at Stamford Bridge. It’s a massive game for City.

They had a brilliant result in midweek and you have to hand it to them after they reached the Champions League semi-finals, but they cannot take their eye off the ball against Chelsea. It’s still a huge ask to win the Champions League so the league is crucial. However, I think Chelsea will win this and blow the top four wide open.

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1

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Chelsea youngsters conquered again the Youth League final after beating Anderlecht 3-0 in the semifinal that finished moments ago in Nyon, Switzerland.

The goals were scored by Kasey Palmer at minute 21, Charlie Colkett at minute 56 and Tammy Abraham at minute 75.

The other semifinal between Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain will be played this afternoon at 5 pm.

The winner will face Chelsea U18 in the final in Nyon next Monday.

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Guus Hiddink press conference ahead of the Premier League match with Manchester City at Stamford Bridge:

TERRY, HAZARD, REMY OUT - “I think we had a good week, I am especially happy that some injured players came in, not all of them because Terry, Hazard and Remy are still out.

“It’s good to see of what they are able to do, I think I will play some youngsters, so they will get the experience, they have to go into tomorrow’s match with ambition and desire, we want to to do a good row until the rest of the season.

MAN CITY“For Man City is good to be in the last four of Europe, it’s a reward for their season, Liverpool was able to qualify after a crazy game and  for English football is good to have two teams winning in the European games.

“If City can be distracted from the Champions League? They had a wonderful week and they have still some days before they play Real Madrid, it’s encouraging for us, it’s one reason more to expect a strong opposition.”

CHELSEA SEASON“You have to consider all season: half way in December Chelsea was one point from the relegation, it was difficult to imagine that you could compete for the title at the end. These games are normally the ones that decide the championship, unfortunately this time not.”

DE BRUYNE-LUKAKU“They are quality players, it would not be nice to neglect that, they got huge qualities, their career has improved so far, it’s good to see them performing well, also for the upcoming EURO.”

EDEN HAZARD - “It’s been a long period [ since he has been injured] it hasn’t been alarming, but now he is coming back. It’s difficult when you are the player of the year, and then you have this drastic fall of form.

“I was breaking my head too to understand how to have him on track, I think he fell to match into injuries and it was difficult for him to come back.”

DIEGO COSTA - “He could take a break since he was missing some games but he didn’t, he worked very hard, he was in Cobham working with the staff, he is very ambitious, very eager to play.”

CHELSEA MOTIVATION FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON - “It’s strange, because this club used to be involved in the last weeks of the season in some fight for some title. You are a little be empty because there is no silverware to go for, this has been a very difficult season, but we made a great step out of relegation zone, some days you think about the thing you don’t fight for nothing, but then you have to react.

You see a little bit of [bad] reaction from the players, going a little bit more on injuries, now they must show what they are capable of.”

NEXT SEASON - “Of course there is a lot of work to do, they have to restart their energy.”

HIS FUTURE - “If I am asked I am available for this club.”

WHY SEASON WAS WRONG - “You have to go back to the start of the season, to August, untile December… We can make an analysis, of course I’ve got my opinion, but I think it’s not good for me to do it here.”

REACTION - “I want a reaction after the setback with the first defeat in the Premier League. For them it’s important to show what they can do, to show that they are happy to play for this big club. Some of them are going to play in the EURO, and they must arrive prepared, because it’s a tough competition.”

COMPETITION“Some clubs will have more money to spend in the next years, I think for the football is good that also smaller clubs will have the chance to sign better players.

Teams that were used to compete for the title or the Champions League spot will be chased.”

FALCAO- PATOLast week we brought many youngsters also because of the injuries. That’s good to go on that, to use this strategy, to permit to the youngsters to have more playing time.

“Pato deserved to start one game at least, to give him the chance to show what he is able to do not just in training.”

INJURIES -Cahill and Matic are in, Kenedy suffered a small injury but he will be able to be selected.”

 

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