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Tomorrow night, France and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud will try to score his first World Cup‘s goal and help the Blues to reach the final.

However, Giroud himself knows it won’t be easy as the Belgium goalkeeper is his club’s team-mate Thibaut Courtois: Thibaut has an impressive wingspan. It’s hard to beat him on the sides. He can stop balls in any area. Giroud told beIn Sports. “I have scored a few goals against him in training with Chelsea and I hope I can do it on Tuesday”.

Then Giroud went on comparing Courtois with France and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris: “They’re both great keepers”. the striker explained. “And they both deserve to be elected as best keeper of the tournament, even if I have a preference for Hugo. The best is Hugo. Sorry Thibaut”.

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Real Madrid won their 13rd UEFA Champions League after beating Reds in Kiev last night. Loris Karius‘ gift to Karim Benzema (1-0) could have costed Liverpool the final, but Sadio Mané reached an equalizer in the 54th minute. Gareth Bale put ahead Los Blancos again with a superb finish before Karius’ failed to keep hold of another shot from the Wales international.

Former Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah limped off the pitch with a shoulder injury suffered earlier in the firs half, following a clash with Sergio Ramos.

Zinedine Zidane managed to lift the trophy for a 3rd time in a row after beating rivals Atletico Madrid and Juventus respectively in 2016 and 2017.

 

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Chelsea finished their season with a high note, winning the Fa Cup last Saturday vs Manchester United.

A day to remember also for the Blues defender Cesar Azpilicueta: “I really enjoyed that, for our last game of the season it was a great effort to win the FA Cup,” Azpilicueta told Chelsea official website. “We had to defend well and we did just that to ensure it was a great final day of the season”.

It was important to win this trophy because Chelsea had some difficult weeks during the Premier League campaign this year: “I think for the first part of the season we were really good, but then we had a couple of weeks where we weren’t at our best and we dropped off a little”. Azpilicueta admitted. “So it was very important for us finish the season and to win a trophy for the club and for the fans. They deserved this.”

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was pretty relaxed when asked to give a comment on 2017/18 campaign, which looks a fiasco if compared with last season’s Premier League title.

The Italian told journalists:

“I always try to protect my work and I am very pleased of my job. I worked harder and better than last season. Obviously I like to win trophies and being winner but at the same time – even if you work very hard trying to give the 120%,  miracles do not always happen. Sometimes it happens, sometimes not. And taking decisions about future is not my task”.

When asked if he will go o holiday following the FA Cup Final, Conte assessed: 

“Yes, the club told us we could go home after the FA Cup Final. I did not change my commitment for the club, which has been always the same. I don’t know if something has changed: last season we were heroes for Chelsea’s fans. And now has my status changed? I do not know. However, in my soul and in my heart I am an hero, because I gave always my 120%. In every season you must divide responsibilities with club, manager and players: last season we were heroes, this season I don’t know. It does not care for me”.

Conte: “FA Cup final is a great achievement and Chelsea will be focused”

Royal Wedding in London? No, thanks.

“I hope my family will be more interested in the FA Cup final” said Conte. “I am sure of this also because they know the importance of my job, my work. They’ve always backed me in every moment of my life”.

Will the FA Cup result be decisive to judge Antonio Conte’s work at Stamford Bridge? The Italian said:

“I repeat, other people have the task to judge my season and I am not the right person to tell you how the situation is expected to be going. I must be honest, I am not interested. I am only focused on my job”. 

If you don’t win a trophy, does it mean you did not work very well? It’s right to separate the two aspects, because if you don’t win it does not always mean you did not do a good job. In Italy [Juventus], Germany [Bayern Munich] and France [PSG] is there only one team who worked well?”

About last year’s FA Cup final against Arsenal:

“Last season has been a wonderful season, I think we did a fantastic work with the players and I think last season we reached an important success. If you are winning and you are going with normal velocity, you do not risk to break your engine. It does not happen if you are running too fast. Last season we won and we divided this big achievement with players and the club, this season we finished 5th in the table and we still have to play an FA Cup final, then we’ll have to divide again”.

“I do not like to speak about myself, we are a team and we win and lose together. If I am frustrated all my players feel in the same way. Obviously, I like to win trophies and being winner, but when you try to do everything you can’t be satisfied every time. I did not change the commitment to the club”.

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Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has his say ahead of tomorrow’s Fa Cup final at Wembley.

Many believe Paul Pogba can make the difference in favour of Manchester United, but the former Blues’ midfielder thinks in a different way.  “I don’t know what Pogba is. He makes bad decisions but then does fantastic things which must wreck Jose’s head”. Lampard said as reported by The Mirror. “Pogba is naturally more talented than I was, he would run all over me and has better feet, but there’s no point dribbling in your own half. All that ‘flick and roll of the studs’, I’m not an advocate of that. A lot of young players see it on YouTube and think it’s amazing but I don’t like it.”

So, according to Frank Lampard is another player who can shine tomorrow at Wembley. “If the right Eden Hazard turns up he can be the match-winner.” the Blues legend said.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte spoke out in Cobham this afternoon, following his side’s training session ahead of FA Cup final. The Italian pointed out some aspects will be crucial to face Manchester United at Wembley on Saturday after switching off his mobile phone…just in case

“I do not like to speak about me but I like to speak about us, about our season together. About this season: we have a chance to win a trophy and it will be a great achievement for the club and for our fans. In my career I played other cup finals, in Italy during my first season at Juventus and also last season we lost against Arsenal: we win and we lose all together. I remember last cup final against Arsenal, in which the first goal was not good. Then we were able to comeback and finish the game with 10 men after Moses was sent-off. It was a pity and a strange final. We had the possibility to clinch the Double last season, this season we have another chance and we want to fight, to win because we deserved this achievement”.

“For sure tomorrow I will shake Jose Mourinho‘s hand. I don’t want to provide you the starting XI, tomorrow we will see also if Caballero starts in goal. We only have Emerson Palmieri out. No more news”.

My last game at Chelsea? For sure I can say this will be my last match in this season. I have a contract and I am committed to the club. We must be focused on tomorrow’s game, which is a very difficult game and we want to end up the season with a trophy. For players, the manager and our fans: we are focused on our target and we want to win this game”. 

“We need to be focused because we have an important game to play. Don’t forget we are talking about the oldest trophy in the world, the FA Cup. This is a final, when you play a final the most important thing is to win: it will be a tactical game, but I don’t know what kind of game we will see. Having a chance to play for the second time in a row a final at Wembley, I think this is a great achievement. The most important thing is to lift the trophy tomorrow night. I can tell you this season we worked really hard, even harder than last season, I am sure of this and is enough for myself”.

Manchester United have the possibility to pick many important player, I don’t know which will be Mourinho’s decision for tomorrow but if Lukaku misses the game there will be other good players to replace him. I won’t change my plan only for one player, I prepare every game against the whole team. There’s always a difference if you are manager or a player in a Final. A manager has great responsibilities and have to think about all, a player knows there’s a staff around him: I know the situation. I will sleep in the normal way. I do not sleep a lot in general, however I’ll sleep in the best way for the team”.

More to follow tomorrow…

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On Saturday, Chelsea will face Manchester United in the Fa Cup final at Wembley and the Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois knows very well Jose Mourinho will study something special to beat his former team and lift the trophy.

He always has surprises in the games he has played against us,” Courtois told the London Evening Standard. He has different systems to play. Sometimes he played three at the back, sometimes four. He will always find something. I think it’ll be a good game, lots of familiar faces on both sides. I hope it’ll be a good game with Chelsea as the winner. We can know a little bit how he set up in the last two years against us, but that’s it.”

Chelsea gained just one point in their two last Premier League games, but Courtois thinks these results are not having a negative effect on the Blues’ confidence: “The confidence is all right,” the Belgian goalkeeper added. “It was not a good performance from us. But we’ve showed we can bounce back the game after. This is a different cup, different to the Premier League and we just have to go for it. That’s most important. After a season of ups and downs, we can finish on an up.”

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While Antonio Conte keeps saying he is focused on his present and the Fa Cup final, pundit Jamie Redknapp believes the Italian manager won’t be at Stamford Bridge at the beginning of next season.

For Conte, I’d be amazed if we see him on the touchline at Chelsea from next season”. Redknapp said. “I think he looks like he wants to get away now.”

The former Liverpool player claims today, during the game vs Newcastle, Conte himself sent clear “signals” he doesn’t want to be Chelsea manager anymore: “Normally you see him on the touchline leading from the front,” Redknapp explained. “He’s the one that signals all the pressing actions you want to get from a manager. But you can see now, even he looks like a beaten man. It certainly doesn’t mean he’s a bad manager if it doesn’t work out here because managers seem to have one or two years, they come in, instant impact then they go. Someone else comes along, they get success – that’s Chelsea’s model if you like. It works for them, it won’t work for others”.

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What an incredible night for Chelsea as both Under-18’s and Ladies lifted their trophies respectively in the Premier League Final and FA Cup Final.

Two goals from Ramona Bachmann and Fran Kirby’s curling effort secured a comfortable 1-3 win at Wembley.

Arsenal – Van Veenendaal; Evans (Carter 84′), Williamson, Quinn, Mitchell (McCabe 84′); Janssen (O’Reilly 63′); Van de Donk, Little; Nobbs, Miedema, Mead

Chelsea – Lindahl; Bright, Mjelde, Eriksson; Blundell, Ji, Chapman, Andersson (Thorisdottir 69′); Spence (Cuthbert 75′); Kirby, Bachmann (Aluko 85′)

Scorers Miedema 73′ (ARS) Bachmann 48′, 60′, Kirby 76′ (CHE)
Bookings Jannssen 39 (ARS)

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Martin Keown, former Arsenal defender, believes the Fa Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United will be very thrilling and both managers have different reasons to try to lift the trophy at Wembley.

We are in for a cracking final. There is so much at stake for these two managers,” Keown told the Daily Mail. Jose Mourinho likes to count his trophies and point to his success. ‘Antonio Conte, on the other hand, is yet to win a domestic cup competition having lost last year’s FA Cup final and the final of the 2012 Coppa Italia with Juventus. ‘His team won 30 of their 38 league games last season but for some reason he is yet to find a way to be successful in one-off showpieces. ‘If this is to be Conte’s final game in charge at Chelsea, he will want to go out a winner. A Premier League and an FA Cup in two years would be a very good return. During Chelsea’s semi-final with Southampton, Conte did not sit down for the whole match. There is still plenty of fight left in him. ‘Eden Hazard was electric against Southampton and in Alexis Sanchez, United have a player who scores at Wembley every time he plays there. ‘I just hope that this final does not become a tactical war of attrition. I would like to think the brilliance of the individuals on show will shine through.”

 

 

 

 

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