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chelsea

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Chelsea secured just their fifth win in 17 league games after overcoming fellow strugglers Sunderland 3-1 at Stamford Bridge.

In what was the first game without Jose Mourinho at the helm, two goals in 10 first-half minutes from Branislav Ivanovic and Pedro, as well as a penalty from Oscar were enough to sink the Black Cats, who remain in a relegation battle despite Fabio Borini’s consolation goal.

After several Chelsea players were booed by the home crowd when the lineups were read out, the Blues started strongly, opening the scoring after just five minutes.

A Willian corner from the right was headed into the roof of the net by Ivanovic, who himself was booed pre-game.

The hosts, who announced Guus Hiddink as their interim manager until the end of the season, then doubled their advantage eight minutes later.

Ivanovic became scorer-turned-provider, whipping in a low cross from the right which deflected off Sunderland defender Sebastian Coates, Pedro rifling the ball past Costel Pantillimon in the visiting goal.

Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce brought on midfielder Adam Johnson after just 22 minutes in place of Coates, thus switching to four at the back.

However, it seemed to have little effect as Oscar almost scored after dancing through the Sunderland defence.

The first half passed without further incident, Chelsea bossing th at half time.

Despite the distraction of loud chanting of Mourinho’s name throughout the match, Oscar made amends for his earlier miss by putting the Blues 3-0 up on 50 minutes.

In a swift attack, Willian latched on to Pedro’s pass, rounded and then was caught by the onrushing Pantilimon.

Oscar stepped up and coolly converted to put the game beyond doubt.

However the hosts couldn’t preserve their clean sheet as substitute Borini netted for Allardyce’s men.

Younes Kaboul’s header was fumbled by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, and Borini was on hand to tap home.

As the game ticked on, Sunderland did indeed threaten a second, Jermain Defoe and Borini both firing wide of goal.

Nonetheless Chelsea held on to their three points, resulting in the perfect start to life without Mourinho.

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Here are the official line ups for today’s game at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Sunderland. The Blues are led by Steve Holland who replaces dismissed Jose Mourinho.

CHELSEA: Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Fàbregas, Matic; Willian, Hazard, Pedro; Diego Costa

Substitutes: Begovic, Cahill, Mikel, Baba, Ramires, Traore, Remy.

 

 

SUNDERLAND: Pantillimon, van Aanholt, O’Shea, Jones, Kaboul, Coates, Toivonen, M’Vila, Watmore, Rodwell, Defoe.

Substitutes: Mannone, Yedlin. Graham, Borini, Fletcher, Johnson, Gomez.

ManagerSam Allardyce

 

Referee: Roger East

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, UK

Kick Off: 15:00pm GMT

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Hiddink

Chelsea Football Club has confirmed that Guus Hiddink has been appointed first-team manager until the end of the season.

The official Chelsea statement read:

”The owner and the Board welcome back a coach with a wealth of top-level experience and success, including his previous spell with the club in 2009 when we lifted the FA Cup.”

In his first words as Chelsea new manager Hiddink said:

”I am excited to return to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world but is not where it should be at the moment. However, I am sure we can all turn this season around.”

”I am looking forward to working with the players and staff at this great club and especially renewing my wonderful relationship with the Chelsea fans.”

However, the Dutch manager will not occur in today’s match as Chelsea coach, as it was agreed before, today the team will be lead by Steve Holland.

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Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is confident that his team is able to win against Chelsea not only because of the turmoil in their team but also because of this that Sunderland are not favorites in the match.

Allardyce said:

”The encouraging thing is that Bournemouth have just beaten Manchester United and Chelsea and Newcastle United have beaten Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur,”

“On the basis of that if we go and play our very best on the day and the opposition aren’t on song then you can get a result in the Premier League and that’s what makes it so interesting across the world.”

“We’ve got to try and push on and try and get as many points from this group of fixtures. On any given day if we hit our best form and the opposition aren’t quite on song then we can get a result and upset them.

“We’ve got to believe that we can do that and then come out of the Christmas period in January and be around certainly trying to gain a few more points.”

“Our job on Saturday is to try and continue that cloud they are under at the moment and try and make that cloud bigger and try and get a result and not give them anything if we possibly can.”

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Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher has warned his team not to underestimate Chelsea because despite the problems in their team and confusion after the release of Jose Mourinho, they are still current Premier League champions and they are really motivated to win today’s clash at Stamford Bridge.

Fletcher told safc.com:

“The game was a bit more relaxed last time,”

“We had just managed to stay up and they had just been crowed as champions but we managed to take the lead before they got a nice deflection to take it back off us.”

“It will be a very different game due to the situation both teams are in.”

“Because of previous years we’re used to this situation but it’s a whole different ball game for them and they aren’t used it.”

“We can’t go there and underestimate them because they’re still Chelsea and they still have the same players they did last year, so they’re a world-class team and we need to go into the game with a good game plan.”

“It was a bad start last weekend and the goal put us on the back foot straight away, but the second half was a lot better and we should have taken the chances we created because you get punished if you don’t take them.”

“The performances have been there every game – the first 25 against Watford wasn’t but we came back into it – but it’s coming down to luck and our luck will change because we’re putting in good performances.” 

 

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Chelsea face Sunderland at Stamford Bridge today afternoon  ( KO 15.00 GMT) in a game they must win if they want to avoid the relegation zone. What is more, all the eyes of the football world will be directed on how they will cope without Mourinho on the bench.

Predicted line ups:

Chelsea (4-2-3-1):

Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Rahman; Matic, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Pedro; Diego Costa

Sunderland (5-3-2):

Pantilimon; Jones, Coates, O’Shea, Kaboul, Van Aanholt; Toivonen, M’Vila, Rodwell; Fletcher, Defoe

 

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Assistant first team coach Steve Holland who overseen training following the departure of Jose Mourinho in a few words commented on the mood in the team after the departure of the Portuguese coach. He pointed out, however, that Chelsea must go forward and is now focusing on the match against Sunderland at Stamford Bridge.

Holland told Chelsea TV:

”They have reacted totally professionally as we would have expected. It really is a case now of what has happened has happened, we can’t affect that, we have to look forward and we have an important game, a game we have to do everything possible to try to win.”

”It is always important. When the manager changes it is a reflection of a bad period, a period that I am sure everybody, players and staff, take responsibility over. It is a collective thing, whether you are a coach or a player.”

”You have to have some responsibility in your life, whether it is in association with something that is positive in your life or whether it is something negative. I think they accept their responsibility and will be determined to do something about it.”

Asked about the plans of the team for the nearest future he said:

‘We are in trouble, we can talk around it or deal with the reality. We are in December and we are one point above the line of relegation, so we are in trouble and there is no alternative, everybody has to focus on giving their total commitment to the club moving forwards and first and foremost to our game against Sunderland. We have to be ready with everybody pulling in the same direction to try and move the club up the league which is what I am sure everybody wants.”

Sunderland coach Sam Allardyce said he wanted to take advantage of confusion in the Chelsea to win today’s match. Holland also commented on this statement:

”Sam is a guy I have great respect for and I have known him for a long time. When I worked in the north-west he was at Bolton Wanderers and his teams are always very competitive and difficult to beat. He prides himself in the defensive organisation of the team and clean sheets, so it will be a game where we have to play well to break them down but they are also a team that have a threat in counter attack and we will need to be always well-balanced and with high concentration, because they are a team that also has a threat. They are obviously not doing well, they are down at the bottom but they have picked up a little bit since Sam has arrived albeit they lost their home game last week. We are expecting nothing other than a difficult game. In this league every game is difficult. ”

Assistant first team coach has praised all Chelsea fan for their unbelievable support for the team:

”It is good to be at home. Our supporters have been really fantastic. I think our away support is second to none in the country in terms of numbers and the support that they give the team but our home support has been really exceptional in recent games as well, better than normal and that is not a criticism of normal, and we need everybody onside for this game. We are all part of the same club and we all want the same objective and we need to all be pulling in the same direction to hopefully get the result everybody wants”

 

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Guus Hiddink, who is the main favorite to take over Chelsea after Jose Mourinho, has revealed that he won’t  rush to sign the deal with the Blues.

 It is no secret that the Dutch manager has already talked to Roman Abramovich and the Stamford Bridge hierarchy over a deal but according to his last words he is in no rush to accept the role as Jose Mourinho’s successor.

Hiddink told Fox Sports:

“We are still talking, exchanging stuff… It is possible that we would still use this weekend to discuss,”

“It could take hours or days before I say yes or no. The news is fresh. I first want to take a good look.”

Those words are similar to his Friday interview for  De Telegraaf where he admitted that as long he won’t be able make a full appraisal of the situation he won’t accept the deal.

“I want to get some good insight before I make my decision,”

“I want as much information as possible. Chelsea are in a bad situation and there are reasons for that.”

“I want to gain some good insights on that before I make my decision. Whether or not I’m visiting their next match depends on my first conversation. Then I’ll decide if I should stay in London longer.”

 

 

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Paul Merson has no doubt that Jose Mourinho has been betrayed by his players and they are fully responsible for his sacking.

The former Arsenal player is convinced that the disastrous Chelsea form in the Premier League this season is not accidental. Mourinho has several times drawn attention to the fact that players do not obey his orders, and at first everyone thought he was overreacting but in Merson opinion, players deliberately did not apply to his game strategies because they wanted him to be released as soon as possible.

However, Merson also recalls that Mourinho has also harmed himself in some situations.For example, after he came into conflict with Dr Eva Carneiro, or when announced to fans that Chelsea certainly will not find themselves in the Premier League top four.

Merson wrote in his column for the Daily Star:

”They’ve downed tools on him and got him the sack. It’s their fault he’s gone.”

”I understand totally why he said what he did and he was right to say it. They let him down, and they’ve been letting him down for weeks.”

”Even I know that Riyad Mahrez likes to cut inside and shoot with his left foot. What happened? Chelsea let him cut inside and score with his left foot.”

”Mourinho was saying: “I told them. We worked on it. They didn’t listen.”

”For Cesar Azpilicueta to be told that and let Mahrez do it anyway is unbelievable.”

”The players have not stuck to his gameplan – and not for the first time either. That’s why they’re not winning games.”

”They’d given up on their manager. And now Chelsea have given up on him too.”

”They have not looked to me like a team willing to run through brick walls for their manager.

” I can’t remember another team going from champions to this so quickly. It’s unbelievable. The players have to take a look at themselves

”It’s not like they have any injuries either. This is their best team! I said five or six weeks ago he’d lost the players”

”I think his days have been numbered for a long time. But some of his decisions do seem strange when you look back”

”There was all the stuff with Eva Carneiro and with referees. He didn’t cover himself in glory with any of that”

”But then to come out and say they can’t make the top four is not going to motivate your players or get the fans flocking to Stamford Bridge is it?”

”If you’re a fan, what’s the point in going? You’re hoping they turn it around but he’s said, ‘No chance’. I don’t think Abramovich will have enjoyed hearing that”

”I feel sad for Mourinho. He’s not just one of the best managers Chelsea have ever had. He’s one of the best ever – anywhere in the world

”Chelsea’s next manager has a massive job on now. But it will be very interesting to see how the players react to him.”

”Because they haven’t been running through brick walls for Mourinho, so it’s going to look odd if they suddenly start now.”

According to the Guardian, former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has agreed a contract with Bayern Munich to replace Pep Guardiola at the end of the season.

The Spanish manager refused to renew his contract after three years at the Allianz Arena and after Bayern’s match against Hannover intends to publicly announce its decision about the departure from Munich.

While the Bundesliga giants hope to announce the signing of a contract with the Italian in the next few days, after Guardiola’s official statement.  It is said that Ancelotti will sign a three-year contract.

However, Bayern’s board hopes that Guardiola’s decision to leave the club won’t affect on the players as Thomas Müller, Xabi Alonso, Jérôme Boateng and Javi Martínez are all signing new contracts on Friday.

Guardiola certainly will not be long unemployed given the interest in his services by Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

 

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