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Jose Mourinho is grateful for the lack of injuries after Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Fiorentina tonight, and described the game as a “training session” in his press conference following the 1-0 defeat to Fiorentina tonight. 

On how his team are playing ahead of the new season, Mourinho claimed to be satisfied.

“I am happy where we are. “

On Radamel Falcao, who put another poor performance following the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday, Mourinho said that he was happy with the form the Colombian was showing. He went on to speak about his counterpart Paulo Sousa, Mohammed Salah and whether or not Diego Costa will be fit for next Satuday’s match against Swansea.

“He is very good (Falcao) for the situation. He has only had one week of traning, and not many minutes. I took him off at the right moment and I am very happy with the revolution.”

When asked about tonight’s opponents, Mourinho continued:

“It isn’t up to me to comment on Fiorentina but I thank them them for a good training session.”

“Paulo doesn’t need me to speak about him. He is doing his career and nobody gave him anything for free. Some people of his generation got big jobs for nothing.”

“He (Salah) has arrived at a good club like Fiorentina because he has done something good. I have no idea about Salah, all I know is that he left a few months ago to play for Fiorentina to play games because that is the objective of a loan.”

On Costa’s fitness:

“I don’t risk my reputation again, you asked me before the last weekend and I told he was ready to play, but he wasn’t. I don’t know, ask me on Friday and I will tell you for sure. I really don’t know.

 

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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has said that he is certain that his side will lift the Premier League title next season.

The Chilean saw City fall eight points short of Chelsea last season as the Blues won the title with three games to spare – meaning that City couldn’t defend the title they won in the 2013-14 campaign.

Despite shipping four goals against both Real Madrid and Stuttgart in pre-season friendlies this summer, Pellegrini has said that he is happy with how his squad is shaping up.

The 63-year old was speaking at the club’s season launch party on Wednesday night, and was in optimistic mood ahead of his third season in Manchester:

“I am absolutely sure that we are going to have a very successful season. We must bring back the title here to our fans,” he said.

“All together, we must win game by game to try to do it. We need to play in the way we know how to play to continue with our attacking style and score the most amount of goals.

 “We are sure, as I have just said, that we are going to bring it back. We had a good pre-season . We have been working for around 30 days and we are going to arrive next Monday in our best shape.”

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Chelsea have lost their final pre-season match of the summer 1-0 to Fiorentina in a match that leaves questions of the team’s preparation to defend its Premiership title.

It was the visitors who had the first chance when Fernandez found himself just inside the area with plenty of space and forced Begovic to make a good save down low in the second minute. It was clear from as early on as that, a friendly it may be, it was certainly going to be a competitive one, the way both managers had hoped it would be.

Both sides spent the first ten minutes probing their way forwards, and Chelsea’s first piece of effective approach play came when Loftus-Cheek found himself on the left side of the area and was able, after taking the ball past two defenders, to fashion a shot that was blocked.

Chelsea were eager to get forward, the younger players on display clearly keen to use this chance to impress manager Jose Mourinho. It was the Italian side, however, who grew into the game as the first hit the bar with a shot from Vecino, and took the lead with a tap in from their captain Gonzalo Rodriguez in the 36th minute. Begovic failed to handle a shot from the edge of the box, leaving the goal almost open.

A definitive lull took hold of the home side as the first half drew nearer to its end. Chelsea didn’t create any more chances and went into the break a goal down.

When the second half began, it was with the double substitution of Matic and Azpilicueta on for Mikel and youngster Ola Aina respectively. The changes did have a positive effect, with the team suddenly more assured of itself as it went forward.

The first chance of the second half came from an Oscar free-kick that Ivanovic, usually so assured in the air headed wide. The manager made further changes before the hour mark as Hazard, Fabregas and Willian came on for Cuadrado, Oscar and the impressive Loftus-Cheek. Loic Remy also came on  for the out of touch Falcao.

The attacking changes put extra zip into Chelsea’s attacks- Remy did better than the man he replaced in coming in deep to collect the ball, and Hazard was able to produce some his flair- but it was still tough to break down a resilient Fiorentina side. The attacks were still too narrow, and even predictable, showing that some of the bad habits of last season still haven’t been corrected.

A Gary Cahill header, from a Fabregas free-kick, was easily saved and Chelsea were almost caught out when Fiorentina broke away, only for Rebic’s shot to be saved by Begovic.

Remy was almost clear on goal in the 78th minute, but Ricardo Bagadur got the ball before the Frenchman could shoot, but Chelsea were dominating the final exchanges. Fabregas and Matic were controlling the midfield and Hazard drifted in from both wings. Another chance was missed as Cahill again guided a brilliant free-kick into the goalkeeper’s arms. Remy wasn’t quite in the right position to attack Hazard’s cross, and he missed another chance on 85 minutes- curling a right foot shot wide on the left side of the box.

Kurt Zouma was lucky to not receive a red card for jumping in Fiorentina’s Bagadur in stoppage time as he tried to reach a loose ball in the middle of the pitch, and the game ended 3 minutes later in defeat for the Blues.

It was a game that confirmed much of the suspicions Chelsea fans had after the defeat to Arsenal on Sunday. One hopes that necessary adjustments are made before Saturday’s match against Swansea City.

 

 

 

Chelsea: 

Begovic, Kurt Zouma, Terry, Aina, Oscar, Jon Obi Mikel, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Juan Cuadrado, Victor Moses, Traore, Falcao

Fiorentina:

Sepe, Rodriguez, Moraes, Roncaglia, Alonso, Diakhate, Tomovic, Vecino, Fernandez, Suarez, Rebi

 

Attendance: 41,435

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Ahead of the 2015/16 Premier League season, this is the first part of a comprehensive preview of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals, and their goals for the season ahead.

The Blues won their fourth Premier League title with three games to spare last season, their first since 2010, and the third under Jose Mourinho’s leadership.

But after yet another summer of intense transfer business, along with three new teams, we round up the key info and goals of all of the A-C clubs that Chelsea will face in the next campaign:

 

Arsenal

Manager: Arsene Wenger – Ground: Emirates Stadium (11 miles to Stamford Bridge)Position last season: 3rd (75 points)SQUAD RATING: 8

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: WIN THE TITLE

DOMESTIC CUPS GOAL: WIN THE CUPS

EUROPEAN GOAL: SEMI-FINALS

Lifting the Premier League is the only goal now for Chelsea’s London neighbours – Mourinho said that there will be no excuses for Arsenal if they don’t win the league next season – he’s right. The Gunners have conducted one of the best bits of transfer business this summer with the signing of Petr Cech, and Theo Walcott has also returned. The title is their biggest priority, but domestic cup successes are also very much achievable, as well as much more European success than last year.

 

Aston Villa

Manager: Tim Sherwood – Ground: Villa Park (126 miles to Stamford Bridge)Position last season: 17th (38 points) – SQUAD RATING: 6

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: MID-TABLE

DOMESTIC CUPS GOAL: SEMI-FINAL

After a near-disastrous season last year, Sherwood will hope to build from the ground up this campaign. But, without Christian Benteke, who has just moved to Liverpool, the Villains’ attack may be slightly blunt. Thus, their defence will need to be much more watertight than last season. Avoiding relegation is the main concern, but the club has the potential to resurrect itself in the Premier League. It would be an incredible feat for the Midlands club to repeat last year’s club success, but it almost came at a heavy cost last year, so is less of a priority.

 

Bournemouth

Manager: Eddie Howe – Ground: Vitality Stadium (103 miles to Stamford Bridge)Position last season: Championship Champions (90 points) – SQUAD RATING: 5

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: AVOID RELEGATION

DOMESTIC CUP GOAL: GET THROUGH THE FIRST FEW ROUNDS

Eddie Howe has conducted his summer transfer business the same way he has steered the Cherries’ rise to the top flight – extremely smartly. Signing Lee Tomlin from Middlesbrough and Sylvain Distin from Everton are two good deals amongst others, but the squad may not have the experience to keep the club up. With survival in mind, the cup will probably mean little.

 

Crystal Palace

Manager: Alan Pardew – Ground: Selhurst Park (nine miles from Stamford Bridge)Position last season: 10th (48 points)SQUAD RATING: 7

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: TOP 10 FINISH

DOMESTIC CUP GOALS: QUARTER FINALS

Last season was a very good one for the Eagles, and the signing of players such as Yohan Cabaye from PSG this summer shows true intent to repeat that feat – or indeed better it. The competition for top 10 places will be tough, but Alan Pardew will not be wanting to do worse than last season. The cup is something that Palace could do well in, but again, isn’t a top priority.

 

 

 

 

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Chelsea captain John Terry has said that the growth of women’s football at the club and nationwide can only be a positive thing, and that the female game has rapidly improved since his early days.

Terry is the president of Chelsea Ladies, who won their first ever piece of silverware last Saturday with a 1-0 win over Notts County in the FA Women’s Cup Final.

The 34-year old has said that only more success will come as women’s football in England grows stronger for the future generations, compared to the limited opportunities for women in his own childhood:

“It’s great to see the growth in women’s football and obviously the Chelsea women in the FA Cup Final was a great feat, the first Chelsea ladies side to do that, and hopefully going on to bigger and better things.

“We are seeing after the World Cup in the summer, not only my daughter that plays but the young girls that are playing, are being accepted to play. Growing up in a different era, it was unfortunate but girls football wasn’t accepted when I was growing up. Now its accepted and rightly so as the standard of football is first class. We’re seeing what the girls are doing on TV and its a great start for young girls.”

Speaking at a launch event for the Chelsea Foundation ahead of the new season, Terry said that these improved opportunities benefit all, especially his own nine-year old daughter Summer:

“She’s a defender like dad and she’s quite aggressive, but she loves it and that’s the main thing for me, that she enjoys it, and that she plays with a smile on her face.

“For me that’s what its about when they’re kids, there’s so much pressure if you do go on to succeed and make it as a professional, not only in mends football but ladies football, so the main thing for me is that she enjoys it and her friends are enjoying it.”

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Here is the official line ups for today’s game at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Fiorentina.

Chelsea:

Starting XI: 1.Begovic; 11.Cuadrado, 5. Zouma, 26.Terry (c), 34.Aina, 12. Mikel, 36.Loftus-Cheek,14.Traore, 8.Oscar, 20.Moses, 9.Falcao.

Subs: 13. Courtois, 2.Ivanovic, 4. Fabregas, 7. Ramires, 10.Hazard, 18.Remy , 21. Matic, 22.Willian, 24. Cahill, 27.Blackman (GK), 28. Azpilicueta.

Fiorentina:

Starting XI: Sepe, Rodriguez, Junior, Tomovic, Alonso, Vecino, Fernandez, Suarez, Roncaglia, Rebic, Babacar.

Subs: Tatarusanu, Lezzerini, Hegazy, Bagadur, Badelj, Joaquin, Valero, Ilicic, Bernardeschi, Fazzi, Rossi

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Salah’s agent, Remy Abbas claims, that Fiorentina have no reasons to start legal actions against the Egyptian forward. What is more he is convinced that Viola have no rights to demand anything from his client.

According to the latest informations, Salah is on a verge of signing for AS Roma. The Egyptian player has already arrived to Rome and even took part in Giallorossi training.

Fiorentina’s board got furious, after finding out, that Chelsea have agreed on the transfer. That is why, the team from Tuscany does not exclude starting some legal actions against Salah. However his agent, Remy Abbas claims that his client is innocent.

Abbas said:

“Salah does not need the approval of Fiorentina,”

“The last day of his contract with Fiorentina was June 30 2015 and they have always known that.”

“We do not need agreements with Fiorentina or anyone else.”

“Comments on Salah getting a disqualification for six months are absolutely ridiculous.”

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Arsenal’s shareholder, Alisher Usmanov is convinced, that only severe injuries can exclude the Gunners from the fight for the Premier League trophy with Chelsea.

According to Arsenal’s shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, the Gunners are able to challenge the Blues in the upcoming season. In his opinion, only serious injuries may exclude the team from the fight for the trophy.

Usmanov told CNN:

”If there aren’t (any) severe injuries, (manager Arsene Wenger) has got a great chance to compete with teams like Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City,”

“The championship will be decided between these four teams.”

“With the team that Arsene has put together, except for one position, I think it’s a club that’s ready to successfully fight for European cups.”

Usmanov has also praised Arsene Wenger’s work, hoping that the French manager will stay at Emirates as long as possible.

“If I had the right, I would keep Arsene until he wants because until he cannot perform his activity as a manager, it is a gift for any club to have a coach like Arsene Wenger.”

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Chelsea captain, John Terry is convinced that the Blues will be able to retain the Premier League title.

Chelsea centre-back seems to be fully confident that Chelsea are able to win the upcoming Premier League season.

Terry told London Evening Standard:

“I am excited to go again and I am looking forward to retaining the Premier League title.”

”It is going to be tough because other teams have strengthened. Not only the physical side but mentally we have to be ready, too.”

“The manager feels we have a good enough and big enough squad to do a job and we will put up a fight.”

In the same interview, Terry has praised Mourinho’s influence on the team:

“We are very lucky to have him,”

“He pushes us on a daily basis. He hates losing and the intensity is 100 per cent. If you do not give everything you will not fit into his regime and that is why we have seen players come and go over the years.”

“His desire is to win on a daily basis and that hunger is what sets him apart. He pushes people to the maximum and gets what he deserves from his players.”

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Oscar’s agent, Giuliano Bertolucci has denied all the rumours linking the Brazilian with a move to Juventus.

There was a time, when Oscar has been heavily linked with a move to Juventus. Especially when coach Allegri called him ,,a footballing inventor”.

However, Oscar’s agent has claimed today that nobody from Juventus board have contacted with him. According to his words, all the negotiations were invented by press.

Bertolucci told Tutto Mercato:

”Negotiations between Oscar and Juventus have never had evidence in reality, but only in the newspapers.”

”Marotta and Paratici have not spoken to him, nor have any Italian team tried”

”Apart from that, Mourinho has no intention of selling him”

 

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