Tags Posts tagged with "fa cup"

fa cup

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Football analyst Garth Crooks warned Chelsea they have only one chance of silverware this season: this chance is called FA Cup and not Premier League, as the two Manchester sides are obsessed in winning the title.

Naming Cesc Fabregas in his BBC team of the week, the English pundit claimed:

“Fabregas came back into the team [following suspension] and played like he had never been out, and scored an opening goal which oozed pure class.”

“With both Manchester clubs obsessed with the Premier League title I can see Chelsea winning the FA Cup. They are very capable of winning that but I can’t see Cesc Fabregas, or Antonio Conte for that matter, winning anything else, even with the Spaniard in this mood.”

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Speaking after the defeat against Arsenal in the FA Cup final Chelsea star Diego Costa dismissed China’s move speculations revealing the only club he would leave the Blues for, and it’s not Chinese:

“I will only leave Chelsea for Atletico. If not, I will stay here,The Daily Telegraph quote Costa as saying after Chelsea’s FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal on Saturday.

“I’m not interested in other clubs. I know Chelsea wants to sell players, but I told them, I have two years left in my contract and I won’t go somewhere else just because they want so.

“I will only sign for another club in Europe, they know that. Otherwise I’ll stay with my current contract. I have a contract and no intention of leaving, but if there are changes to be made that might reduce my chances, if the coach won’t count on me anymore or is to give space to another striker, I know that I’ll have to leave. But only to where I’m willing to.

“Everyone knows what my preferred club is, there’s nothing to hide. Money is good, but I’m grateful for what I have right now and I have other things to look forward to, like playing the next World Cup. I know that I have a chance to be called if I’m playing well and at a high level, that’s something I want.

“If I have to move to another City or another country than Spain, I don’t think I’ll go, I’d rather stay at Chelsea. If the club wants to sell me, they know where I want to go.”

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ARSENAL –  Ospina, Holding, Mertesacker (c), Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck.

Subs: Cech, Elneny, Coquelin, Iwobi, Lucas, Walcott, Giroud.

Manager: Arsene Wenger

CHELSEA – Chelsea team: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Pedro, Diego Costa, Hazard.

Subs: Begovic, Zouma, Ake, Terry, Fabregas, Willian, Batshuayi.

Manager: Antonio Conte



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Nemanja Matic wants to add another trophy to his collection tomorrow when Chelsea will face Arsenal in the Fa Cup final at Wembley.

“It’s true, The FA Cup is a very important competition,” – Matic told the Fa official website – “I found that out quickly when I came here the first time and recognised it is something special for the fans and the club. It has similar importance to the league for the supporters of every club, and now we’re here in the Final, there’s a chance and we have to take it. But we’ll be respectful of Arsenal, we know this will be their last chance to win something this season so they will be ready for us and will have been focused on this game since the semi-final, because they know The FA Cup is very important.”

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Antonio Conte is concerned for the game that is waiting for Chelsea tomorrow: the Italian tactician reckons Arsenal will fight hard onto the pitch as – after missing all the targets in this season, including the Champions League qualification- the FA Cup will the only way to save this campaign:

“We have to pay great attention in modern football,” Conte said in today’s press conference.

“Honestly I saw a lot of attention, a lot of concentration for my players, we trained very well this week.

“I can stay calm because I trust my players, it’s impossible for me not trusting my players for what they did this season.

“We don’t have to forget this target, it’s a fantastic target and we don’t know if in the future we will have again the chance to win this trophy.

“In this game I think we must think about ourselves, to be very focused on the game and to do what we know, it’s important to do it, this is the most important thing.

“If you start to think players can miss next game, it’s not right, Arsenal got many good players, we need to pay attention.”

Asked if he can imagine his feelings playing a final in Wembley, he replied:

“I had this feeling already in the semifinal against Spurs, to play in Wembley it’s a fantastic experience, if the stadium is full it’s great, tomorrow we have another chance to play there, we have to do our best for our fans. To have all these emotions in my first season here is a fantastic opportunity for me.”

“Maybe we started the season as underdogs, but then we won the league and it was right to enjoy. On the other side we have a team that have lost also champions league spot, they have only this target to save the season, so we must be focused.

“But I trust a lot my players, because they’ve always showed me to have the right concentration. For sure tomorrow it will be a tough game for both team, but we will try to win the trophy.

Earlier this week many young people unfortunately lost their lives in a terroristic attack in Manchester, after kamikaze blew himself up at the entrance of Manchester Arena, while people were leaving after popstar Ariana Grande’s concert.

Asked if he is worried about this situation, with terrorists targeting big events like football games and big gigs, he said:

“Honestly I lived another similar situation when I was with the Italian national team and we were playing in Belgium, when they tried to place a bomb at England v Germany game.
I think this can condition your mind, but you have to go on, you must live with passion, enthusiasm, when there are these situations you are a bit scared, but we must continue to live and face the situation.”

John Terry will play his last game for Chelsea tomorrow, but Conte admitted is unlikely for the Blues captain to start:

“I don’t know, it’s very difficult to answer, for sure John will be with us, for sure will be on the bench, and then we will see what the game requests, it depends on the moment of the game, we will play also to see him lift this trophy. My players have this dream as well, tomorrow anyway will be a tough game.”

Asked again about his future plans, Conte reaffirmed he will stay at Chelsea despite a huge offer he received from Inter:

“At the moment the situation is very clear, if the club give the possibility to stay here and extend my contract, it’s great for me. We have the same idea, to improve the squad, I am happy for this season, I am happy to stay here, I want to stay here for many years.”

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The Fa Cup final on Saturday at Wembley will give Chelsea the chance not only to complete the Double, but also to revenge their 3-0 loss at Emirates Stadium last September.

“We still think about it”, – Victor Moses said. – “We lost two games in a row then, against Liverpool and Arsenal. We felt very sad after that game. They beat us at the Emirates but we switched to 3-4-3, which is the manager’s favourite formation, and it’s worked for us this season. Teams are finding it very hard to break us down. We’ve got the league title and they’re going to want to win because they missed out on the top four. We’re going to try and stop them because we want the Double”.


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In his pre-match press conference, Arsenal‘s manager Arsene Wenger said that winning the Fa Cup final will be a good and deserved reward for what the team has done in the last few months:

“I think the team has redressed very well the situation on the sporting side. That will be a good crowning of what we have done in the last two months. The team has given so much, I think they really want to win something”.

Arsene Wenger reflected also on the fact Arsenal will not be favourites on Saturday at Wembley. “The pressure was of course very high against Hull in 2014 and Aston Villa in 2015, but especially against Hull because we had not won a trophy for a while”. – the French manager said – “This time we are not favourites, it’s quite even or maybe Chelsea are even ahead, so it’s a bit similar to what happened in the semi-final against Manchester City”.

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Chelsea winger Willian spoke ahead of his side’s FA Cup Final against Arsenal.

The Brazilian star told Standard Sport: “It has been the toughest season of my career. Everyone knows what happened to my mother. It was very hard to play football after my mother passed away. I was so emotional and physically I didn’t feel good”. 

“I lost weight, around 4kg. – he added – I was still eating similar things, but I didn’t know what was happening. Of course there were occasions I didn’t want to eat because I was thinking about things so much. It was the stress of what I’d been through, mentally I didn’t feel well”.

“Now it feels like there have been two sides to the past year. One was very difficult, but the other side has been amazing because Chelsea have won a trophy and we hope to add another. I feel like the sun is shining again. I still have to go day by day, but I always try to look forward, not behind.”

“But my team-mates and everyone at the club were great with me also. They did so in little ways, with a hug or just by talking to me. They would give me the words to help me be strong and it was important for me.

“I spoke with the coach and he was very supportive. He sent me a message when it first happened and did other things to get me through it. 

“I was given the time to come back, to recover. After one or two months I started to play again, started to play well. I want to thank everyone so much.”

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John Terry and Chelsea were criticised for the way the legendary captain stepped out of the pitch last Sunday in his last game with the Blues shirt at Stamford Bridge, with a guard of honour by all his team-mates.

The episode criticised by some pundits with the BBC’s Garth Crooks saying: “This isn’t Hollywood, this is a Premier League fixture.”

But Terry claimed he doesn’t care about critics and renew his love for the fans:

“I couldn’t care less, I promise you,” the Blues skipper said.

“All I care about is celebrating with my Chelsea fans. Me and them have a wonderful rapport and have done for 22 years.

“Nothing that people write or say can ever get in the way of that.

“If that’s the way I want to go out, that’s the way I go out because I’ve been here 22 years, I’ve won so many trophies – so if I wanted to play one minute and come off, I would have done.

“I wanted to play 26 minutes because the shirt number means a lot to me and the supporters so as long as they are happy – and I was over the moon with the reception – I promise you I could not care less.”

Terry hopes to make his 718th and last appearance for the Blues in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Arsenal.

But the former England captain says he will never forget the ovation he received from the Stamford Bridge faithful.

“It was an unbelievable send-off from the supporters to help me to celebrate 22 years at the club.

“I’m very grateful to them, and it was something I will never forget. It was so emotional after the game, I was in bits.”

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Cesar Azpilicueta played every minute in every game of Chelsea‘s Premier League campaign.

The Spanish player knows the title was a big achievement for himself and all his team-mates, but now he is ready to get another reward on Saturday, in the Fa Cup final vs Arsenal.

“Obviously it’s not easy to play every minute and win the league,” – Azpilicueta told Chelsea official website – “It’s a big achievement. I’ve tried to do my best to get in the team but I have to be thankful to the manager, he’s trusted me a lot. I was always in the team and the only way I could repay his confidence was by working hard which is what I’ve tried to do since pre-season. In the end we got a big reward but we want a bigger one next Saturday”.


Chelsea manager Antonio Conte praises his players after today's win at Stamford Bridge vs Watford which guaranteed three points to the Blues in the Premier League table.   "We show good character, good spirit, we...