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Alvaro Morata was surprisingly left out of Chelsea selected squad to face Manchester City tonight: the Spanish forward had some really disappointing performances in the last few games, so it is possible the former Real Madrid striker was sent to the stands because of his lack of form.

Blues boss Maurizio Sarri explained his choice:

“I guess we needed someone up there to have more pace and speed, so Pedro plays as a 9 today: I preferred to bring Olivier Giroud on the bench, it’s a tactical choice, Morata is not injured”.

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Following the sacking of Mark Hughes from the managerial role at Saint Mary’s Stadium, Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger has confirmed the appointment of former RB Leipzig boss Ralph Hasenhuttl as new manager.

Hasenhüttl has put the pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year deal and will take over at the club tomorrow.

Southampton are struggling in 18th position as they collected just 9 points from 14 Premier League games so far.

Chelsea, who won against them earlier in October (0-3 with goals from Eden Hazard, Ross Barkley and Alvaro Morata), will host the Saints at Stamford Bridge next month, on 2nd January.

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An important win in Belarus allowed Chelsea to book a place into the Europa League last 36, however Blues boss Maurizio Sarri highlighted the best things from the game against Bate Borisov was the result.

The Italian admitted “Chelsea did not play very well” last despite getting an away victory thanks to Olivier Giroud‘s header:

“I think the best thing of the game is the result, I think. We didn’t play very well” Sarri said.

“I didn’t like the first half. We moved it too slowly. It was very difficult to be dangerous, better in the second half. We didn’t manage the last 15 minutes well. The best thing is the result. It wasn’t very easy to play a good game here, with the conditions. I think we could have done better”.

“I am pleased for [Olivier] Giroud. He is a very important for us. I know very well a striker wants to score. For his confidence I think it is very important.”

Sarri was also asked about the importance of being qualified with two games still to go:

“I think the first aspect is the qualification” he said.

“We need one point more to win the group, that is the next target. Then we can think about the next round in February. They attacked very well in the last few minutes. They played much better than at Stamford Bridge.”

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Today’s hero Ross Barkley spoke after the match stating his confidence is growing game after game

“My confidence is growing, but our aim was to get three points so it’s disappointing, but to get the draw I thought we showed great attitude. When I got sent on the manager just told me to help the team win the game, and get back in it, try to get the result.

“We conceded a goal we should’ve stopped, really, but we came back and showed a great attitude. I’m happy with scoring today, but we came for three points so I’m disappointed.”

 

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Just ahead of Red Devils trip to Stamford Bridge manager José Mourinho admits he would love to reunite with Chelsea star Eden Hazard at Manchester United but he is sure the Blues board won’t allow the Belgian star to move to Old Trafford:

“I would love to have him in Manchester United but I don’t think Chelsea will sell him to Man United so it’s a not problem. Chelsea is led by intelligent and experienced people in football and they would never sell Eden to Man United.”

The Special One continued to praise the Belgian during his pre-match press conference, claiming that when he plays at top levels, Chelsea are usually league champions:

“Very good results, top of the league and of course lots of good players, but history says that when Eden Hazard is the best player of the Premier League, Chelsea is the champion.”

“It happened with me and Antonio [Conte], and this season, it is still the beginning of course, but if he is the best player of the Premier League until now, which I think he is until now, Chelsea is top of the league because he is the kind of player who can make a huge difference.”

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Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has given his availability ahead of a potential move to Real Madrid if their current boss Julen Lopetegui is sacked, according to Italian publication Corriere dello Sport.

The Italian has reportedly rejected a move to Stamford Bridge last summer, when Zinedine Zidane suddenly announced his resignation from the managerial role at the club.

However, Conte would consider to become the new Real Madrid manager after just three months without leading the Blues.

Conte’s contract with Chelsea expires in 2019 and is entitled to £9m compensation, with additional money to his backroom staff.

The Italian newspaper believes Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has given three more games to current manager Lopetegui to avoid the sacking after less than six months at the La Liga giants.

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Last season, David Luiz fell out of favour with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and was forced to watch from the sidelines as the Blues failed to qualify for Champions League.

The Brazilian defender told BT Sport how close he was to leaving Chelsea if the former Juventus boss had stayed:

“I had a contract with Chelsea. I had two offers from different clubs but I said to Chelsea I want to stay and so I’m going to wait and if Chelsea take a different manager I’m going to show them and stay in Chelsea and that’s what I did.”

Luiz is now a regular starter under new boss Maurizio Sarri and seems to have gained his confidence back.

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Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata has cited again Antonio Conte’s style of play as one of the reasons of his fickle first season at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking to Spanish radio Cadena Ser he was asked about whether he enjoys life under Maurizio Sarri more, he was pretty emphatic in his answer.

“Yes, yes, yes. For me, yes,” he replied.

Morata also went into his injury problems which seemed to go under the radar.

He explained that he should have taken time off instead of forcing himself to play through it:

“A player they pay for can’t finish the season with 15 goals. People think we’re machines.

“If I had stopped for three months, I would have come back with a clear head, but I was professional and I wanted to give everything.

“If I could go back, I would stop for two months.

“I was in pain, I went to Germany to see the doctor, paying for private planes.

“People believe the false life of Instagram, what it shows you; they thought I was at home with my wife.

“Someday, I’ll write a book about what I’ve been through.”

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Brazilian midfielder Jorginho joined Chelsea from SS Napoli some days ago and at Stamford Bridge he will work again with Maurizio Sarri.

Speaking with website Football Italia Jorginho himself admitted the influence Sarri had on his as a player:  “He is someone who does wonderful work, he is right on top of everything that is going on on the pitch”. Jorginho said about Sarri.

When the weekend comes around and you have a game, you start that game knowing how every situation is going to pan out on the field offensively and defensively, and that is something that really helps you in your work. He is a very straight-forward person, he is easy to communicate with, he is very approachable and that is something that also helps the players. 

“I think he had a really big influence on my development as player. He teaches a lot about the game and how you see the game on the field of play, and that helped me to grow.

I think I have the right characteristics as a footballer for the type of football that he likes to play, and the type of football that he teaches and passes on to his team. When we were together at Napoli, it was a case of me taking on his mentality and putting that together with the characteristics I have as a footballer.”

Then, Jorginho said he hopes his style of play will be good for English football and the Premier League: “Perhaps my style of play is not something that is seen in England,” Jorginho explained. “I really hope that it is a good fit for the game over here and I will certainly be doing everything I can to make sure it works out. I like playing just outside of my own penalty box, the player who receives the ball and organises the game”.

 

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Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia has confirmed everyone at the club is confident Maurizio Sarri will bring “his football philosophy” at Stamford Bridge as soon as possible.

Granovskaia told the club’s official website: “We are delighted to welcome Maurizio and are looking forward to him bringing his football philosophy to Chelsea,

“Maurizio’s Napoli side played some of the most exciting football in Europe, impressing with their attacking approach and dynamism, and his coaching methods significantly improved the players at his disposal”.

She added: “He has plenty of experience in Serie A and the Champions League and we know he is relishing the chance to work in the Premier League”.

Chelsea have also completed the signing of midfielder Jorginho from Napoli on a £50m move today.

“We are delighted Jorginho has chosen to join Chelsea” said Marina Granovskaia.

“He was one of the most coveted midfielders in Europe and will become an important member of the playing squad. He has demonstrated his quality working under Maurizio Sarri and we are convinced his signing will help bring further success to Stamford Bridge”.

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