Tags Posts tagged with "Premiership"


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Chelsea’s attempts to sign Antoine Griezmann have taken a blow after Atletico Madrid refused to compromise on their price for the Frenchman. 

Chelsea have been trying to sign the winger all summer and have intensified their efforts after their dreadful start to the season. The 3-0 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday damaged the team’s title defence as they looked insipid and slow going forward.

The Champions have been reluctant to pay over £40 million for Griezmann and had hoped Madrid’s second club might negotiate on the price. Spanish media outlets are reporting that Atletico will do no such thing and that the price, as Griezmann’s buy-out clause, is the bare minimum they will accept for him.

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

Jose Mourinho was defiant following Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat at Manchester City and insists his team were the better one in the second half.

“The best team in the first half won the game. The best team in the second half was Chelsea for sure. We had a difficult first half, we didn’t create a lot and our goalkeeper made a few important saves. 

“Second half everything was different. If the 1-0 was a doubtful result at minute 70, 3-0 is completely fake. At 1-0 Chelsea were the best team for the whole second half.

“They make a change because they feel 1-0 is in danger and we concede a second goal. If 1-1 a different story, their team is in trouble.

“Their decision to bring on (centre-back) Martin Demichelis is an intelligent change, the sort of change I get criticised for all the time. 

“Their midfield was in trouble, probably they should finish the game with nine men. In the end I have to be happy with the second half we did. That is not enough to win the game.”

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Chelsea are 1-0 down at the Etihad Stadium in their top of the table clash against Manchester City.

The game started brightly for City, and the home side created the first chance after only a few seconds where Silva was able to play in Aguero who turned away from Terry and found himself clear on goal but unable to finish past Begovic who made a good save down low.

The quick start from Pellegrini’s side didn’t appear to fluster Chelsea much and they were happy to venture forward with Willian and Hazard seeing most of the ball in City’s half. Their first foray into the penalty box resulted in a penalty appeal in the sixth minute when Costa was felled but it was unclear whether it was from the trailing leg of Mangala or the already on the floor Ramires. Costa was convinced it was the former.

It was still the home side that by and large took the initiative, and whose attacks appeared the more likely to result in a goal. Begovic was forced to make another good save down low when Aguero turned quickly in the penalty area, and then again a minute later when Navas found him in the same position. Chelsea’s play was too narrow and City were time and again finding space on the wings.

The champions were able to create half a chance of their own when Hazard fired in a cross on the half volley which one wishes Costa had connected with instead of Matic- the header went over the bar- before Aguero missed his fourth chance in 20 minutes when failed to convert a left side cross from close range.

They paid the price, however, for their fecklessness in defence and Aguero got his goal at the fifth attempt from a similar position that he had missed two others from, turning Cahill left and right before finishing low into the left hand corner of the goal. It is perhaps ironic that the goal came in a time when Chelsea were coming into the game for the first time, after they had prolonged periods of possession.

That being said, there is no doubt that Jose Mourinho’s team deserve to be a goal down, and could possibly deserve to have conceded a few more. Mangala missed a good chance shortly before half-time when he didn’t connect to a free-kick from the right, something that Cahill took a knock to the face for from Begovic as the ‘keeper came out to clear it.

Chelsea were down to nine men briefly when Fernandihno should have been sent off for elbowing Costa in the side of the head, but they were able to get to half-time without conceding any more.Vast improvements are needed if they are going to get back into this game. They have appeared timid by their opponents attacks and have little to offer in return.





Chelsea :

Asmir Begović; Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, Terry (c), Cesar Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Cesc Fàbregas, Eden Hazard; Diego Costa.

Subs: Blackman, Kurt Zouma, Mikel, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Juan Cuadrado, Falcao, Remy.

Manchester City :

Hart, Sagna, Kompany, Mangala, Kolarov, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Navas, Silva, Sterling, Aguero

Subs: Caballero, Zabaleta, Clichy, Nasri, Demichelis, Bony, Iheanacho

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toure fabregas

Chelsea’s match against Manchester City this afternoon will be laden with world class footballers, as well as two managers that have achieved so much in the game.

While it won’t decide which team will win the Premiership title, today’s game will be significant as whichever team wins will most likely carry the momentum for the first half of the season. Such is the abundance of class on offer it is almost easy to forget the inevitable tactical side, as well as the individual battles all over the pitch that will ultimately decide the outcome.

Below are three huge clashes all over the pitch that will decide which team in blue has the advantage at 6pm this evening.

Costa vs Kompany

An interesting one; Costa has been suffering with a recurring hamstring injury since the spring and missed the end of last season. His preparations for the coming campaign were blighted once again by a knock picked up in the last match of the American tour, meaning me missed the Community Shield against Arsenal. He did play against Swansea last week and looked sharp, but today will be a far bigger test. Kompany has started the season well with a cleans sheet and a goal against West Brom.

Terry vs Sterling

Sterling had two of his best Liverpool performances last season against Chelsea in the League Cup where he was deployed down the centre. His pace and turn on the ball make him one of the most difficult opponents for a centre-back not famed for his speed. Chelsea may sit back deep in order to prevent too much on this front, or even play Zouma, who was Sterling’s equal in the second leg at Stamford Bridge, as an extra holding midfielder to support Terry and Cahill.

Fabregas vs Yaya Toure

These two have had contrasting starts to the season, almost the complete opposite of 12 months ago. Fabregas failed to find his range in either the Community Shield against his former side Arsenal or Swansea. Toure, however, scored against West Brom and was as commanding as he was in his best days at City. It is a clash of styles to an extent, Fabregas liking to take more time on the ball than the typically marauding Toure, and both will no doubt be assisted by their midfield teammates- Matic and Silva, both of whom are equally important for supporting the attack and covering the back- and whoever wins the battle between these two groups will no doubt win the three points.

Of course, perhaps the biggest of them all will be the tactical duel between Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini. The Portuguese has a superb record over the Chilean and has undoubtedly got the better of him since they both came to England, with two victories and two draws from the four matches since 2013. Pellegrini is famed for his expansive play, something that Mourinho may wish to take advantage of by defending and then counter-attacking the way he did in this fixture last season.

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea travel to the Etihad Stadium tomorrow afternoon in what is bound to be one of, if not the most, important matches of the season against Manchester City.

The events of last weekend have made it more so- Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Swansea City in which the the Blues twice gave a lead away and ended up with ten players after Thibaus Courtois was sent off, and Manchester City’s win at West Brom.

Should Chelsea lose it will leave them five points behind City and without a win after two games. A win, however, will take them above City, such is open state of the Premiership table. This early on in the season it is probably wrong to suggest that this game, although between the two favourites for the league title, will have a bearing on who comes first at the end of the season, but it is safe to say that being five points back st any time is a very bad thing and something Mourinho will avoid above anything else.

Last season Chelsea won the title thanks to their dominance over their direct rivals; they were unbeaten against Manchester City, United, Arsenal and Liverpool, and took 14 points in total against those teams. The only blemish against the other top sides in the league was the horrendous 5-3 defeat at White Hart Lane against Spurs, but that game was remarkable for being unusual as much as it was humiliating for Jose Mourinho’s side.


It is notable that despite the massive points advantage Chelsea had over tomorrow’s opponents, did not beat them last season. Both games were overshadowed by the presence of Frank Lampard, playing for City after leaving Chelsea. This time there is no such situation, neither side has lost a player to the other, and there is no chance of Lampard hurting Chelsea with a trademark delayed run into the penalty area. Had Chelsea beaten Swansea City and not suffered a red card then it is likely Mourinho would put more emphasis on the two draws last season and the need to show once and for all that his group of players trump Manuel Pellegrini’s.

The result last weekend, and the second choice ‘keeper Asmir Begovic, means that this game must not under circumstances end in defeat. It will be of no surprise if Mourinho adopts the same approach that he did away at City last season and at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal when Chelsea settled for a draw after a bright start, the latter of those being the last big game Chelsea played before winning the title.

Against Arsenal Chelsea started quickly and could, had the referee made a different decision, had the lead through a penalty, but the team sat back to guarantee the draw late on. Earlier on in September at City they sat back to begin with and almost won the game having taken the lead with 12 minutes left through Andre Schurrle, before the infamous Lampard equaliser.

Tomorrow’s game will be tense, and probably more exciting for its lack of goals as opposed to the quality of the attacking play from England’s two best sides, and ultimately Chelsea’s approach may be out of their hands if, probably when, the home side take the initiative. To win the game is undoubtedly a bigger prize for City, one does think that they will need a lead to give themselves the momentum into the Autumn and Winter given Chelsea and Jose Mourinho’s experience in winning league titles. The game itself will not decide the title, but it could well determine the first half of the season, with either side having an early advantage.

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David de Gea’s future is even more unclear after esteemed Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague claimed that Man Utd boss Louis van Gaal was incorrect to say the goalkeeper was happy to sit out the 1-0 win over Spurs last weekend.

De Gea, who has been at Old Trafford since 2011, is wanted by La Liga giants Real Madrid and their bid to sign him is the biggest transfer story of the summer. Van Gaal suggested that the Spaniard was happy to not play for the club anymore after confirming he wants to join Real. He was subsequently left out of the opening match of the season and is expected to miss out on the away game against Aston Villa tonight.

Ballague, often considered the authority on matters concerning La Liga, does not think to be the case and took to Twitter to say so. He tweeted this afternoon:

“No idea why Louis Van Gaal has said that De Gea “agreed fully with our decision” about not playing vs Spurs. He’s never wanted not to play.”

Man Utd are thought to want €40 million for de Gea, with Real reluctant to go over €30 million.

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eva carneiro

Eva Carneiro, the doctor who is the centre of such controversy, could appear on the next series of Celebrity Big Brother, according to reports.

Carneiro, 41, has been demoted from her position on the Chelsea bench after a public dispute that took place following her running onto the pitch to treat Eden Hazard in the last minute of Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Swansea City when the Blues were chasing a winning goal.  The medical department was criticised by Jose Mourinho afterwards for not working to the team’s advantage and leaving just nine players on the pitch during stoppage time.

Reports that Carneiro, who is prominent on social media and took to Facebook to thank those supporting her  since Saturday, may appear on the popular reality show have come about after bookmakers Paddy Power put odds at 12-1 for her to appear. A spokesman for the company said this:

“I was certain Ramadel Falcao was going to be first out the door at Stamford Bridge but it looks like poor old Eva has beat him to it.

“It’s not all doom and gloom though – we’ve seen punters backing her for a stint on CBB.”

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that neither Carneiro or Jon Fearn, the club’s physiotherapist, who also ran on the pitch to treat Hazard, will be present for the game against Manchester City on Sunday.

Neither Chelsea FC or Channel 5, Big Brother’s broadcaster, have yet commented on the reports.

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Everton are preparing to let go of John Stones and have lined up the AC Milan defender Christian Zapata as replacement. 

Everton have as of yet been adamant that Stones is not for sale, despite Chelsea putting forward two bids for the Englishman. The Premiership champions are preparing a third bid, believed to be roughly £30 million.

It is likely that the latest bid will be rejected as well, but the Toffees are making plans should Stones, who is believed to want the move to happen, leave for Stamford Bridge.

Zapata is thought of as Roberto Martinez’ first choice to replace Stones.

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Mickey Hazard believes Spurs could challenge for a Champions League spot this season, saying that the North London club aren’t far behind the likes of Manchester United.

Speaking to TalkSport, Hazard, who played for Chelsea and Spurs in the 90s, said that his former side are only a few signings away from being one of the best in England.

He is quoted as saying:

“With a couple more signings, certainly a centre forward and maybe a midfielder, I feel we can challenge [for a top four spot].

“We are not that far behind.

“If Man United are going to be in there, there’s no reason we can’t be because they were very average on Saturday and we maybe should have got three points.

“I think we will challenge but whether we get in the top four or not will depend on what signings we make.

“I’m totally convinced there will be one new centre forward coming in before the window closes.

“Everyone knows it is an absolute necessity and if we don’t get someone in we risk blowing the season before it starts.”

Spurs lost their opening game of the season 1-0 to Manchester United on Saturday.

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Jose Mourinho will not back down in the row with Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro despite reports that the 41-year-old is seeking legal advice following her demotion from the first team bench.

Mourinho was outraged by Caneiro and physio Jon Fearn running onto the pitch to treat Eden Hazard when the team was searching for a winning goal. He criticised his medical staff afterwards and a public dispute has subsequently broken out with many condemning the Portuguese for making Carneiro a scapegoat for his team’s poor performance and disappointing result.

Carneiro was told by Mourinho that she is no longer permitted to attend first team matches or training sessions, although she is still in her job as team doctor. Her response, according to reports, is to seek legal advice with the possibility of suing Chelsea FC for constructive dismissal, but a public apology from Mourinho might be sufficient to make retract.

The Chelsea manager’s actions and words in regard to the incident are “extreme”, according the Premier League Doctors group.

Mourinho is said to be unwilling to apologise, and that his view on the matter has not changed despite the bad the PR for him and the club. The club, although anxious about the publicity, support the manager and are said to be wholly unimpressed by Carneiro taking to social media to thank those supporting her.


Chelsea head-coach Maurizio Sarri had his say following his side's 2-2 draw against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. The Italian boss told SkySports: "I only saw the match...