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Manchester United

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Speaking ahead of tonight’s Europa League clash vs Dinamo Kiev, Chelsea‘s manager Maurizio Sarri said the competition is one of the club’s target for this season:

The Europa League is a very important competition. It is the second competition in Europe”. the Italian said. “It’s a very important trophy, and then there is a spot for the next Champions League, so it’s a very important target for us.”

However, Sarri himself believes Chelsea can reach the next Champions League by finishing the current Premier League in one of the top-four spots: “I think we can gain the spot in the Champions League through the Premier League,” Sarri explained. “We are fighting. We are only two points [behind fourth-placed Manchester United] at the moment. We have to play one match [in hand]”.

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Chelsea head-coach Maurizio Sarri spoke following tonight’s defeat against Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round tie. The Italian boss said:

“I think so. Of course I’m not sure, but I think so. I think the situation with the players is very good in terms of our relationship but that’s not so important. What’s important is to play and get good results but my relationship with the players at the moment is good”.

“I’m worried about the results, not the fans. Of course I can understand the situation and I can understand our fans because the result wasn’t good and we are out of the FA Cup, but I’m worried at the moment about our results”.

Sarri added: “It’s very easy (to create a more positive feeling). If we are able to win three or four matches in a row it will be very easy. It’s difficult to win five matches in a row”.

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Maurizio Sarri reckons Chelsea could have been luckier tonight’s first half against Manchester United, claiming they were punished over their real faults:

“Tonight we were unlucky because we played a very good first half and at the end of the half the score was 2-0,” the Italian manager told BBC after the final whistle.

“We gave them a few opportunities. We played confusing football in the second half.

“After the first half it wasn’t easy to play with that score. We played very good first half.

“We have to work, we have to speak, we have to find more aggression and determination in both boxes.”

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Chelsea lose 2-0 at home against Manchester United and are out of FA Cup at last 16.

Very bad display from the Blues, with no heart or character shown by the players on the pitch and some disappointed fans leaving the stadium way before the end of the game, even at half-time.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is now on the brink, as it seems he’s not able to lead the team properly anymore and his last signing, Gonzalo Higuain, is far from impressing at Stamford Bridge.

Goals for United were scored by Ander Herrera ( 31′) and Paul Pogba ( 45′).

 

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CHELSEA – Kepa; Azpilicueta (c), Rudiger, David Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Higuain, Hazard.

Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Zappacosta, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Willian, Giroud.

Manager: Maurizio Sarri

 

MANCHESTER UNITED – Romero, Young (c), Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw, Herrera, Matic, Pogba, Mata, Lukaku, Rashford.

Subs: De Gea, Bailly, Dalot, Fred, McTominay, Perreira, Sanchez.

Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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Tonight Chelsea will face Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in a crucial and difficult Fa Cup game.

It’s a huge game, a very difficult game as well,” Willian  told Chelsea’s official website ‘They are in a good moment and playing very well but we play at home and we have to do our job, which is to try to win the game in front of our fans. It will, for sure, be a difficult game for us. They have technical players, a strong team and they are Man United so we have to respect that. It will be a big game”.

Also the Blues want to win the game because the Fa Cup is one of the trophies they can win this season: “We know it’s a different game, not the Premier League but the FA Cup, and we want to win something this season”. Willian went on. “We have great opportunities to win something. We have this one, against them, we have the Carabao Cup, we have the Europa League, and the Premier League is very difficult but we can reach the top four. So we can go from now until the end of the season and do great things.”

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Spanish attacker Pedro explained Chelsea can implement Maurizio Sarri‘s ideas of football, even if sometimes this can be difficult and tricky.

All the team follows the idea of Maurizio: press really high, stay compact, and to create chances. With good possession, a lot of the ball. We can do this as a team,” Pedro explained. “But sometimes it’s so difficult to play in this way. It depends upon the opponents. City played very well, so it was so difficult to press, to create between the lines and to defend. But it’s Maurizio’s idea, and I prefer to press high when we recover the ball to create chances, not to wait for 90 minutes to recover the ball and run 60 metres to score the goal”.

Today’s match vs Malmoe in the first leg of Europa League‘s last 32, can be a good chance for the team to improve under this aspect: “In the last few games it’s not been in very good condition for the results. Now is a good opportunity tomorrow to win and get our best confidence. It’s not good for [Sarri] and the team because the results have not been good, but it’s good for us to change this dynamic now.” Pedro went on. “It’s good for us going into the final against City, the FA Cup against United. In the league, it’s difficult for us to hit our targets, but we’re still in four competitions. That’s good for us. It’s too early to analyse the season. We do that at the end of the season. Malmo is a good opportunity.”

 

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The draw for the last 16 of the FA Cup took place tonight and Chelsea will face Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

As the tournament enters its business end with places in the quarterfinals at stake, Manchester City travels to either Middlesbrough or League Two’s Newport County, while Crystal Palace face a trip to Doncaster Rovers after ousting Tottenham.

Ties will be played between Friday, Feb. 15 and Monday, Feb. 18.

The draw can be seen in full below:

Bristol City vs Shrewsbury or Wolves
AFC Wimbledon vs Milwall
Doncaster Rovers vs Crystal Palace
Middlesbrough or Newport vs Manchester City
Chelsea vs Manchester United
Swansea City vs Barnet or Brentford
Portsmouth or QPR vs Watford
Brghton or West Brom vs Derby County

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German defender Antonio Rudiger explained he plays in a different way from last season as Italian manager Maurizio Sarri has asked him to do.

Last season I mostly played only long passes,” Rudiger told Chelsea official website. “This season it has changed of course with another coach and another system. For me it was very important to adapt very quickly to it and in that case I think I am doing very well. He told me you have to try to build the game up from behind and not only play long balls, and I took that seriously and that’s what I am trying to do: play from the back. I want to play so I have to try! In life everything is about adapting quickly.”

Rudiger tried to play from the back also during Chelsea’s win vs Newcastle on Saturday at Stamford Bridge: “It was an important win [against Newcastle]. Now we run away a bit from Arsenal and next week we are playing against them. It’s a derby and also a very important game for staying in the top four”. Rudiger explained. “We have to secure the top four as quickly as possible. If something different happens we can still be title contenders then why not, but if we have the chance to go ahead of Arsenal and also Man United we have to win our games.”

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LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on May 7, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Speaking during his pre-game press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game vs Leicester City at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea‘s manager Maurizio Sarri commented on José Mourinho leaving Manchester United when asked if the Premier League will miss him.

I think so. Mourinho won everything, won everywhere so I like him very much as a coach and as a man. I think he is right when he said that Manchester has a future without Mourinho, but he has a great future without United”. the Italian explained. “I would like to see him on the bench as soon as possible. Maybe in England…. not here!”

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