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crystal palace

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek has confirmed he will make a decision over his Chelsea future at the end of the World Cup.

The England international, who’s been selected from Gareth Southgate in the 23-man squad which will travel to Russia, played 22 games for Crystal Palace in 2017/18 campaign.

“Going forward I’ve really realised the importance of playing regularly for my own progress and development,” he told Mirror Sport. 

“I felt like I got better and better every game at Palace so playing regularly is the key going forward and that will help me make my decision after the World Cup.”

Loftus-Cheek recently added Chelsea would remain his first choice if regular first-team football is guaranteed.

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22-year-old midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has confirmed Chelsea would remain his first choice if regular first-team football is guaranteed. The England international, who’s been selected from Gareth Southgate in the 23-man squad which will travel to Russia next month, played 22 games for Crystal Palace in 2017/18 campaign.

Loftus-Cheek said speaking at a press conference: “I always try to improve my game but this was my first real season as a Premier League player. I didn’t play as much as I wanted because of the injuries, but I am excited for next season and just want to play a lot again”.

“I’m not thinking about going on loan again too much right now. I’m trying to focus on this summer and what’s to come. This tournament is too big to be overlooking and not giving my full focus. Right now my mind is on that”.

The midfielder suffered an ankle injury which kept him out for three months earlier this season.

“I have to go back to Chelsea for pre-season anyway, that is where I will be after the World Cup. So I will decide, when that time comes” Loftus-Cheek added.

“I’m not too worried about future. It will get sorted. But I’m focused on training well now and looking to get as fit as possible for the World Cup.”

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Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek told Standard Sport he spoke with England National Team head coach Gareth Southgate to persuade him he should be included in the 23-man squad for the World Cup.

Loftus-Cheek said: “Of course the World Cup has been in the back of my mind. At the start when surgery was mentioned I thought, ‘That sounds bad’. It was very scary because we did not know how long it would take and it was waiting to decide what was the best road to go down”. 

“I went back to Chelsea for physio and rehab. We did not know what I had done at first. My right ankle took a little bit of a fracture. It was either surgery or try and let it heal by itself. It was tough but I knew if I got back I could get into the World Cup squad.” 

“There was a period when it just did not feel like it was getting better and I was wondering how long it was going to take. But we made the decision that we would go with the conservative route and after a couple of weeks it did start to feel better. I am back now and raring to go. Right now I am focused on Palace, playing well and I have got seven games to get as much playing time as possible.”

He added: “I have always been confident in my ability, getting the opportunity has been the big thing for me. As long as I get an opportunity, with my ability, I can do well. My England debut was an opportunity for me to show that and I was really happy with how I did.”

Loftus-Cheek, who suffered a serious injury earlier in January, has confirmed “the ankle is feeling much better”. He said: “I feel fitter than I thought I would feel, I feel sharp in training so I am not too worried about my fitness. If I do get all seven games it is enough for me. I have spoken to Gareth. He did not say much, he just asked how my injury was. He wished me all the best for the games to come. It would be massive for me to go to a World Cup. That is what I am aspiring to but that will come from my performances with Palace at the end of the season”.

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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill believes the Blues should remain focused on a top four place as “qualifying for the Champions League is the ambition”. 

The England international told Chelsea’s official website: “We had to show a lot of determination, the three points was all that mattered today, however we got them. In the first half, we could have got three or four. By the end they were throwing everything at it, as you’d expect. They made it difficult late on”.

‘We have to show a lot of courage and ambition to finish the season strongly. Qualifying for the Champions League is the ambition. We have put ourselves in a difficult situation, and we have to work hard to get ourselves out of it”.

Then Cahill added: “Up until the Bournemouth game things were fine, and since then results haven’t gone our way. We have to show the character and work-rate we did yesterday to finish in the top four”.

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Chelsea winger Willan reckons Crystal Palace “created some problems” to the Blues, despite a brilliant performance from the Brazilian star secured a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge for the Premier League champions.

Willian told Chelsea’s official website: “Anyway, we did a good job. It’s always a good feeling to be back winning after some not good results. We played very well; we could have scored more goals and the result could have been 4-1 or 5-1. In the Premier League you have to kill the game, otherwise you have problems, but we deserved the three points”.

‘I’m happy with my performance and my form,’ he added. ‘I hope to continue like this, but the most important thing is to win the games. We have to carry on in this way. We cannot go down any more – we have to stay high”.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was full of praise when asked to provide a comment on Willian, Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud’s performances against Crystal Palace this evening.

On Willian, he claimed: “I think Willian is playing in a fantastic way. But I want to underline not just with the ball, but without it. He is working very hard and helping the team without it. I hope to see him in this level, to continue this performance as he is playing well off and on the ball. It is important to have the balance”.

On Hazard: “He played a good game and also had chances to score. We didn’t take a lot of chances that we created today. The commitment was good and for this reason we must be very happy. For Barcelona we have to prepare in the right way. This will be completely different to today”.

On Giroud: “Olivier like other players, many players had chances to score. We must be pleased for his comittment. He hit the post and in the first half the defender cleared a chance. He was a bit unlucky but we must be pleased”.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte gave his thoughts following today’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

He said: “Important win for us, not for me. We speak always with the we and not the I. It was very important because if we want to fight for a place in the Champions League it is important not to drop points. We played really well, especially in the first half. We dominated the game and controlled the game, we created many chances to score. It was a pity to concede and play the last three minutes a bit nervy. At the same time the players managed the last few minutes in the best way”.

“In this league you must keep the focus for the whole game. In the mind of my players we tried to score the third goal and created many chances. When you are managing the game and have it in your hands you can think it is easier. I think today we played a good game with great intensity, desire and will to win the game”.

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Crystal Palace head coach Roy Hodgson spoke following today’s 2-1 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Eagles managed to score a late goal in the extra-time, before conceding two goals from the Blues in a poor first half, as the manager himself confirmed.

Hodgson said: “It was a shame we didn’t play the whole match as we did the second half. Their pace and power on the counter attack it was difficult. The second half was much better. We were more aggressive and the introduction of Zaha gave us a bonus. In the end we could have drawn the game. We feel aggrieved about the goal that was disallowed”.  

About Chelsea loanee and Crystal Palace midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek: “We know he can be in terms of his quality. He was in contention for a World Cup squad. I see no reason why he can’t get back to that fit. He has been passed fit and should be back in training. My squad should be hopefully looking the way it was before Christmas. It is a credit to the players and the back four in particular, who have been”.

When asked if Wilfried Zaha in the starting XI could have been a better choice, Hodgson added: “No, I do not regret not starting him today. If he would have started and then broken down, you would be asking if you regretted starting him. We balanced it out well”.

 

 

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One of the positive things in Chelsea‘s success for 2-1 against Crystal Palace tonight is the 3 points, because the Blues won after two straight defeats in Manchester but weren’t really able to control the game and almost allowed the Eagles to come back in the end of the game.

Surely the man of the match was Willian, 12 goals and 5 assists in the last 18 games, that scored the opener and was in all the dangerous chances created by the Blues.

The Brazilian scored the opener at 25′ and after seven minutes Martin Kelly deflected the ball in his own goal after a rebound in the middle of the small box after Zappacosta shot from the right.

In the beginning of the second half Sorloth hit the post after a bad clearance from Christensen and Palace looked sharper with Wilfred Zaha back in action after recovering from an injury.

Olivier Giroud missed a good chance at 67′ and after five minutes was replaced by Alvaro Morata.

Sorloth scored at 86′ but referee Anthony Taylor disallowed the goal for a foul on Gary Cahill that was non existent.

At 90′ Patrick van Aanholt scored the 2-1 for the Eagles and, despite trying it with all their efforts until the last second, they weren’t able to finalise their comeback.

A worrying sign just three days before the second leg clash against Barcelona the Camp Nou: there Chelsea won’t have to lose concentration not even for a minute.

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Willian has been Chelsea main man again in this first half against Crystal Palace: the Brazilian scored the opener at 25′ with a low shot from the box limit.

An own goal by Martin Kelly fixed the score on 2-0 at 32′, with the defender netting the ball in a rebound after a shot by Zappacosta.

Everything seems smooth for Chelsea at the moment, only 45′ separate them to get the first 3 points of the last month in the Premier League.

 

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