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reaction

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Branislav Ivanovic was Chelsea captain tonight but he didn’t enjoy very this privilege very much, with a bitter defeat that came in the end of a beautiful match.

The Blues still got hopes to knock PSG out after scoring a goal at Parc des Princes in this 2-1 defeat:

“We lost concentration in the end,” Ivanovic said.

“We were a little bit open.

“With top strikers like PSG have, they take every single chance. 

“We have to be more compact and more careful, these small details can decide a game.”

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PSG defender Marquinhos was interviewed by Italian TV Calcio Premium after Chelsea clash:

“Today I played in a different role, I always try to help my team-mates and to do a good job.

“It’s true, 2-1 is not the best result when you have to play the return match away, but anyway we managed to score the second one and we wait for the game at Stamford Bridge.

“Why a player like Cavani is often on the bench? Here you have to challenge with many players, it’a great team, he has to challenge with Ibra for a number 9 shirt but he [Cavani] works a lot and when he enters he always tries to help the team, I am happy for him, he deserved this goal.

“I know my offensive playing is not my best skill, but today I could try sometimes and I tried to help, I was a little tired in that chance I had in the last minutes.

“A win is always important, we know the result is dangerous, if we take a goal at Stamford Bridge they got already an adavantage: everything is open, we have to stay very focused for 90 minutes. If we score it will be very important.”

 

 

 

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Guus Hiddink during last year's spell at Chelsea © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink spoke to Sky Sports right after the end of the game:

“I am happy with the reaction of the team.

“Manchester United did a good job in the first half and in the beginning of the second, they are not an easy team to beat. But we deserved a point.

“We dropped too far back after the first 20 minutes when they dominated us but later on we closed a little more.

“They made a beautiful goal – without good marking from our side – but after I think the team reacted very well.”

On Kurt Zouma‘s horrible injury he said:

“Tomorrow we know more, but if you have this injury – and everyone has seen how bad it is – hyper-extension is always bad. I had this same problem once and it hurts. But let’s hope and see tomorrow what the MRIs will show.”

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois expressed some frustration after the 0-0 draw at Watford.

The team hasn’t lost a game since Guus Hiddink took charge of it, but the points Chelsea gained in the last six weeks are still not enough to yearn for the fourth place, the last one available for the Champions League ( through playoff).

Chelsea are still 13th in the league with 29 points, 16 points behind Arsenal, currently fourth with 45:

“Being unbeaten is always important but obviously we would have preferred to win than draw,” Courtois said to Chelsea website.

“We could have won, it’s a pity we didn’t but now we have an important game against Manchester United. We want to win every game and move up the table, it’s another big one.”

He praised also his colleague Gomes, that made two super saves, keeping a clean sheet for Watford:

“We’re not happy, we had the biggest chances and Gomes made two big saves. We cannot be happy with a point but it was a solid performance.

“He’s a very good goalkeeper and he proved that, the last save from Diego was terrific and he saved them the points. That save was really good; it was a close-range header, I was in line with the ball and I thought it was going in but then I saw his arm going across.”

Courtois also analysed the game:

“It was a game where they were solid at the back and when we tried to play the ball into midfield they put pressure on us so it wasn’t easy to find the gaps,’ said the Blues goalkeeper.

“It was a close game, in the end I think we had the better chances. Gomes made two big saves and it could have been three points for us.”

 

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Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink © Francesca Ceciarini

Guus Hiddink press conference after Watford game:

“I’m disappointed because we didn’t get the deserved three points.

“My former goalie Gomes was given man of the match and he highly deserves it because he made some tremendous saves in the last period of the game when we were threatening to go for the win.

“We dominated and controlled the game more in the second half than in the first, when they had some periods of danger with their set-pieces. Although they were not big chances it was the only period we had a little problem.

“Second half we deserved to win and regarding that we would have loved to have the three points here, but this is a not a league where you can easily win.

“Step by step we are getting more and more to the way we would like to play in terms of organisation and creating chances. We were not rewarded as we should have been tonight but I think the team is going into another state of play.

Hiddink also analysed what has changed since the last game with Watford in the Boxing Day, his first one in charge of Chelsea in his second spell at the club:

“Our team was a little bit more insecure at the time of the 2-2 at Stamford Bridge. We are a little better organised and a bit more creative though tonight we didn’t reward ourselves. There is more stability and consistency now in the team.

Hiddink spoke about Diego Costa’s yellow card:

“It was very clear because it was just 10 yards from our bench. Paredes punched Diego in his back and after that they stumbled and Paredes put his hands to his head, but Diego was nowhere near his head. It was provocation to get someone off the pitch. Happily the ref and the assistant saw it.

“Diego was calm and in control at half-time. There was nothing needed from me or the other players to calm him down.”

Hazard was on the bench today and came on the pitch on the second time:

“Eden played in the FA Cup for a longer period. He is coming back from a difficult time with two injuries. We are being careful with him as we have a lot of games coming up now.

“I am happy with the way he played when he came on. The judgement is when to bring him on. We were in control and then we tried to get him to make the final punch which we almost did. For himself it’s good to go step by step and we have a lot of games coming up when we need all the players.”

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PETR CECH ARSENAL

Chelsea legend Petr Cech reacted to his current team, Arsenal, yesterday’s defeat at the Emirates Stadium.

He started speaking about Per Mertesacker red card:

The referee was very close. He had a clear view of the situation and he decided straight away to give a red card. There was no hesitation from anyone. We just had to deal with the fact. You just go on. He can’t change the decision anyway by protesting for three minutes.

“We had to regroup, we had to make sure that we reorganised and try to continue with 10 men. Unfortunately we conceded too early after the sending off.

“We are disappointed because we lost a game at home. We wanted to compete, we wanted to take advantage of playing at home, but unfortunately the decisive moment came quite early on in the game.

“Unfortunately Chelsea took advantage of that and scored. From there, they tried to control the game and playing 11 against 10 for 70 minutes is always an advantage [for Chelsea].

“I thought that, even with 10 men, we came back very strongly in the second half,” Cech added.

“We could have actually scored the equaliser but we were missing a little bit of the last touch inside the box and around the box. There were always moments where we almost got there, but we didn’t find a real opportunity to put the ball in the net.”

Cech concluded: “I thought for 70 minutes we were brilliant, in terms of the team effort and the organisation. We were not far from getting something out of the game.”

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After Chelsea’s much needed away win against Arsenal yesterday, Branislav Ivanovic spoke about Diego Costa’s influence in the game, saying he was “dominant”.

“Today Costa was dominant mentally against the Arsenal defenders because every time he made a difference they started provoking him, and when they started kicking him, he was calm, which is good”.

Costa, the Chelsea front man, can be known to ‘lose’ his head in the big games and allow the opponent to frustrate him. Yesterday he showed great composure and fantastic desire to win the game.

Chelsea won the game 1-0 after Arsenal centre-back Per Mertersacker was shown a red card in the 18th minute and Costa capitalised with a goal in the 23rd. A fantastic result and something the Chelsea supporters will be hoping the Blues can build on.

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Man of the Match Cesc Fabregas believes that his sharpness has returned after struggling to find last seasons’ form during the early part of this campaign. Playing against his former club, Fàbregas put in a very good shift in midfield and was handed the man of the match champagne to reward his efforts.

“I’m nearly there, I think I’m feeling very sharp I think my brain is much quicker than maybe the last few months”, he said to Sky Sports

“I struggled for a little but I don’t know really why but the sharpness is back. I feel that under pressure I’m much more in control I’m not shaky . My team-mates made it always easier for me, but definitely in the last year probably I’m in the best form right now.

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A huge boost for Chelsea today, beating Arsenal 1-0 away from home at the Emirates Stadium. Guus Hiddink had plenty to say in his post match interview.

I’m proud of the guys who performed as they did. We had a good first half, we played well.

He spoke about Diego Costa in particular.

He’s focusing on his first job that he is good at. We had conversations, don’t waste any energy, you need to put it where you are good at and he’s focusing on that and finally it paid off.

The Blues boss then went on to discuss whether the title race in still in contention for his side.

“If we stay unbeaten then its a positive but its a big gap. A big gap, the team knows that it’s big gap but I want to see the ambition of the team always there.”

A very pleased Guus Hiddink talking about his teams win today but trying to take it step by step and not look too far into the future as far as challenging for the title is concerned.

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Arsenal legend Thierry Henry reacted to his former team’s defeat to Chelsea.

The Gunners relinquished top spot, dropping to third place, with Leicester capitalising, the Foxes now lead with 47 points while Arsenal have 44, the same of Manchester City that occupy second spot due to goal difference.

According to Henry, this game will have a huge impact in the title race:

There’s always an expectation when Arsenal play Chelsea… are they going to finally beat them?” said the ex Gunners striker that now is a Sky Sports pundit.

“Again, it’s Diego Costa and Chelsea having the last laugh.

“It’s difficult to point to things after the sending off but they didn’t start the game well enough to be able to be on top of it.

“So are we going to talk about the same thing? Is it going to have a massive impact on the title? Yes, in a way. But on the other side, no one is really capitalising on taking advantage of mistakes from other teams.

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