Tags Posts tagged with "Premier League"

Premier League

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Manchester United tried to score with Henrikh Mkhitaryan before Chelsea went close to scoring twice in a frenetic first half, with both Eden Hazard stunner and Gary Cahill‘s shot from a close range denied by Spanish goalkeeper De Gea.

Ander Herrera was shown a red card after being booked twice in a short while; Antonio Conte and José Mourinho had an altercation stopped by the fourth official following following Valencia’s late challenge on Alonso.

Chelsea Conte Mourinho

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insists he will select the best squad to face Manchester United tonight, when the Blues will try to go through the semi-finals.

“The FA Cup is a great competition and for this reason I want to try to make the best decision for the game against United, - Conte said – We didn’t play in the week, our last game was Monday, and then we play again on Saturday. I don’t see the necessity to rest players and also, because United will do the same against us”.

“This game is important for us and for them. I think their formation will be very good because I think that United, along with City, have the best squad in this league – with the number of players in the squad and the quality also”.

“Also because they have had four days to recover [from their Europa League trip to Rostov]. We could have played this game on Sunday or Saturday, but we are playing on Monday and I think the FA have shown great respect for Manchester United to play the last day we are able to play this game”.

Then, when asked about Chelsea’s ambitions for the current season, Conte added: “For me, it is not important to think about winning the Double,’ he said. ‘It is important for me and the players to play game by game, to see what we reach at the end of the season”.

“Now, this game is the most important game, because you either go through or you stop your run in the FA Cup. For this reason, it is the most important game for us in this moment”. 

“Then, after tonight, our most important game will be against Stoke - the Italian manager ended - We have to build our way to try to arrive at the end of the season to celebrate something. But the way is very long”.

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Antonio Conte spoke ahead of his side’s home clash against Manchester United in the FA Cup Quarter-Finals.

The Chelsea manager showed his full respect towards former Blues’ boss José Mourinho, as the Italian manager knows all about the Portuguese’s history at Stamford Bridge.

“For sure, he is one of the best in the world, – Conte told the club’s official website – I think that Jose Mourinho wrote a good part of the history of Chelsea. He won a lot with the players and he did a great job here. It is important not to forget this and I have great respect for him because he is a winner and I like his winning mentality”.

“His history with Chelsea is great and I know very well he is in the hearts of the Chelsea fans and this is great because he deserves this. For sure, I hope in the future to try to emulate his wins here”.

About the importance of counter-attack in football: “Not only here, but I never, never, never train and prepare for the counter-attack. I think the counter-attack is an option, only if you have these types of players – players who are very, very fast. When there is this situation to have space, it is normal and the players know very well what they have to do”.

“For me it is important to try to train the other aspects. When we have the ball, when we stay almost always in the opposition half, to find a solution, to prepare when we are attacking – I train this. I think the counter-attack is very difficult to train”.

“We all know that during the game there are different situations and you must be prepared for different games, and also to play in different parts of the pitch. If you have a game where you stay for 70 minutes in the opponents’ half, you must know what you have to do, otherwise you are in trouble”.

Then Conte added: “Sometimes you find teams that force you to defend in your own half of the pitch, and you must know how to behave in this moment. It’s important to make sure the players are prepared to face this situation”.

 

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Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan told the club’s official website that his side will try to beat Chelsea as the Red Devils want to stay in both F.A. Cup and Europa League after winning the EFL Cup last week.

The Armenia international said: “We have to play with everyone. It doesn’t matter whether we’re playing away or at home, we just have to do our best and to keep playing very well. That’s the most important thing”.

“There is no sense to think about avoiding Chelsea or someone else [in cup draws] because you’re probably going to meet them in the final”.

“I think it’s better to play them now, to see if you can win or not and then you move forward” Mkhitaryan added.

The Manchester United star confirmed that José Mourinho‘s main goal is to stay in three different competitions after lifting the EFL Cup at Wembley against Southampton.

“It’s going to be very important to stay in three different competitions [Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup]. We’re going to try to do that. It’s not going to be easy because as you go further it gets difficult but we have to try”.

“We’re having a good time now, we’re having good games, we have a good squad and we can reach the maximum that we want.”

Then Mkhitaryan ended: “We just have to get ready for that game. It’s not going to be easy as everyone knows but we know how we’re going to play and we’re hoping for a good game and a good result for us”.

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Chelsea star Eden Hazard gave his thoughts ahead of Monday night’s quarter-final clash with Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.

The Belgium international told Chelsea TV: “The FA Cup for all the fans does mean something special. They won a lot in the past 10 years. Since I signed for Chelsea I never won this cup”.

“The FA Cup is something we want to win, but when you play for Chelsea it is not something you think about a lot because you want to win every game. – Hazard added - My target is to give everything and only if we win the trophies will I be relaxed.”

Chelsea are still 10 points clear at top of Premier League table and Hazard himself confirmed that ‘it is a key moment in the season’.

“If we want to be champions we have to give everything, – Hazard added – All the games from now until the end of the season will be difficult because everyone wants to beat the team that is at the top of the league, so we have to be ready for that. All the opponents will give everything and we have to do our best.”

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Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is confident that his side can bounce back from their disappointing defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier in October.

“That game at Chelsea completely knocked us – it was definitely one of our worst performances of the season, - The England international told United’s official website – But from then on we have kicked on and done a lot better”.

“I think we all learned a lot of things from that game and, not only do we have progress in this competition to play for, we also have our pride as well”.

Then Smalling added: “The FA Cup is a tough trophy to defend and looking at previous records, not many people have been able to do it and I know United haven’t.

“We are on a good run and we will give a much better account of ourselves than we did last time,” added the centre back”.

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte praised midfielder N’Golo Kante ahead of next F.A. Cup clash against Manchester United.

The Frenchman will face a compatriot on the pitch tomorrow night, Paul Pogba, which Conte manager for two campaigns at Juventus.

Conte told the club’s official website: “My job is to try and improve my players and I want to improve my players through working very hard. We are talking about a great player – he played very well in the past, last season with Leicester, and he is playing very well also this season with us”.

‘We are working in some aspects to try and improve him, to make him a more complete player, but we are talking about a great player. N’Golo is also a fantastic person, with great commitment and he is a great example”.

‘He’s a really good guy – he always has a smile on his face and this is fantastic. During training sessions, he works a lot, but with a smile. To see this is great for the other players, for the staff, for me and all the people who work at Chelsea. He’s a great player and, I repeat, he always puts 100 per cent in the game but also in the training”.

‘In my career I like a lot this type of player, also because I was this type of player! I always appreciate this player, with great generosity, with great ability to work for the team. I think it’s important to have this type of player if you want to win. Not only great talent, but also players that run a lot during the game.’

Then, when asked whether he sees something of himself in Kante, he added: “He’s stronger than me! I think I was perhaps stronger than him to score the goal, but in the other aspects, there isn’t a competition with him – he is stronger than me”.

When asked about the importance of Red Devils’ star Pogba: “I don’t like to talk about the players of the other teams, but in this case, with Paul, I have had the opportunity in the past to train him and, yeah, we are talking about a top player in all the situations.’

“Also, in his commitment during training sessions to try to improve himself, with great technique, physically strong and great stamina – I can tell you that Paul Pogba is a top player”.

“We are working to try to find the right solution for the whole team, not only for Pogba or for one individual player. We are studying Manchester United to try to find the right solution. Paul is a really good player, we must pay great attention to him, but it’s right to think about the whole Manchester United team because this team is very strong”.

Trying to compare Kante and Pogba, Conte ended: “They are two different players with different characteristics. It’s very difficult to try to compare Paul and N’Golo – two top players but with different characteristics”.

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West Bromwich Albion head coach Tony Pulis has confirmed January interest in Chelsea defender John Terry, adding fuel to fire over a possible move next summer.

“It January’s enquiry was just finding out what the situation was and then it was whether we moved on it or we didn’t – Pulis said speaking at press conference - There was more than one player we enquired about in January”.

“You’ve mentioned John, but there was most probably three or four others of that ilk that we were enquiring about – and I think enquiry is the word”.

Anyway, the Baggies’ manager has confirmed that West Bromwich did not place an official bid in January transfer window for the Blues’ captain. “There was no approach made, it was just finding out what the situation was, and the situation was that John wanted to stay at Chelsea” Pulis added.

“I think he wanted to be there and stay there and be part of going out as a champion.

“If he becomes available in the summer we’ll sit down then and have a little think about what we’ve got and what we haven’t got and then we’ll take it from there.”

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Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini is confident ahead of Red Devils’ clash against Chelsea in the F.A. Cup Quarter-Finals.

The Belgium international claimed: “Of course Hazard and Courtois are confident, but let’s go there and see what we can do”.

Chelsea beat Manchester United 4-0 in October at Stamford Bridge, but Fellaini believes his side can bounce back from that defeat: “Obviously we lost there a few months ago, but now it is the FA Cup, a new game and a different competition”.

Then he ended: “It will be tight. They are top of the league, they have confidence, they have great players, but we will show our quality there and see what happens.”

 

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