Tags Posts tagged with "semifinal"

semifinal

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Chelsea wonderkid Dominic Solanke will soon join Liverpool but meanwhile he’s the hero of the U20 World Cup semifinal game against Italy that England won 3-1 thanks to a brace of his and a goal of Ademola Lookman, who completed the come-back after the opener of Riccardo Orsolini after just 3 minutes.

Now the English youngster will face Venezuela, who beat Uruguay in the other semifinal at penalty shoot-outs, in next Sunday final.

Other two Chelsea players were protagonist in this important game for England U20: Fikayo Tomori and Jake Clarke-Salter, who both started and played 90 minutes in this clash and are set to play in the final as well.

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Chelsea star Eden Hazard came off the bench in the FA Cup Semifinal against Tottenham, when the Blues’ reached the final with a 4-2 win at Wembley.

Hazard, who scored a crucial goal before Nemanja Matic secured Antonio Conte’s men the victory, told the club’s official website: “It’s a good feeling, especially when you play in this stadium with two great teams”.

“We lost in the league against them so we needed revenge for us, for the fans and we did well. It is always good to score a goal as well”.

“When you play in this kind of game you have something exciting inside you and you want to shine. We did shine, Nemanja scored a fantastic goal also and all Chelsea fans are really happy so life is good”.

Then Hazard added: “This win maybe gives us more confidence for the rest of the season, we have six games to play in the league and we need to win five if Tottenham win all of theirs, so we will see”.

“We lost last weekend against a great team and for the rest of the season, it is always good to have the confidence up. Now we play on Tuesday and we need to win to go seven points clear at the top of the league”.

When asked about Conte’s decision to start the game with Willian and Batshuayi instead of the Belgian star and Diego Costa, he said:  “It is the choice of the manager, he told me and Diego on Friday, because on Tuesday we play such an important game. We have a lot of players in the squad, and the players who started deserved to play this game”.

 

Brazilian teammate Willian was outstanding as he scored twice helping Chelsea in a frenetic first half. “Willy played in my position and scored two goals. – Hazard ended – When I am on the bench and I go on the pitch my feelings are always the same. I try to win games, to create some chances and score some goals and I did today.”

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Antonio Conte explained his game plan against Tottenham, where he left Eden Hazard and Diego Costa on the bench at the beginning and then used them to close the game in the last twenty minutes:

“It’s not easy, for sure, to start the game without two really important players: Hazard and Diego,”the Italian coach said after the win over Spurs.

“You must take the responsibility and involve the players in your plan and take this risk.

“Our plan was this. I tried also to tell my player to stay in the game because if we pass more time it’s better for us.

“So I decided in the last 30 minutes to bring on Eden and Diego and then Cesc. Let’s not forget Cesc, he was very important for us.”

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Despite losing 4-2 to Chelsea in today’s FA Cup semifinal Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is proud of the display of his team at Wembley:

4-2 looks like a big result for Chelsea but it’s a game I feel proud of,” he said after the game.

“We gave all that we had. It’s true we lost but it’s the way we wanted to play.

“We respected our philosophy. The team showed great personality and character.

“If you see the game without emotion you will see that Tottenham played much better but they were clinical.

“We are disappointed but now we move on and try to be calm.

“We forced them to play deeper and play the counter attack.

“Congratulations to them and we will try to fight for the Premier League.”

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He was the game changes, as it often happens: Eden Hazard, who started from the bench today, entered at 61′ on 2-2 and after ten minutes – with Spurs pushing to find the 3-2 and trying to control the game- he found an incredible surgical shot that found the opposite corner of the net: 3-2 for Chelsea and Blues on the lead, with Tottenham giving up their hopes to come back to Wembley in one month for the final.

After the final whistel, Hazard commented what happened:

“It is always good to win this game, this sort of game – a semi-final against a London team – so the following from the fans is good.

“We reached the final, which will be my first final in five years with Chelsea for the FA Cup, so I hope to win this cup.”

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Conte celebrates at the end of the FA Cup semifinal against Spurs © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte spoke after reaching the FA Cup final with the Blues after beating Tottenham 4-2 at Wembley this afternoon:

“I am proud for this achievement. It is great for the players for me. This is my first season in England and it is great to fight for the title and reach the final of the FA Cup, a great competition. I am pleased for my players and for our fans. Today they were great from the start until the end. Now we have to continue, on Tuesday have another tough game, I hope our fans push us a lot,” he told BBC Sport.

During the season there is a moment as a coach you must take a strong decision. You have to take a risk. If you win the plan worked, if you don’t the responsibility is on you. I think today our plan worked very well.

 “I am very happy for my players and for Michy Batshuayi, he played from the start in an important game. I am happy for Nathan Ake, a young player from our academy. I am happy for Willian, two goals today in a difficult season. For me it is a great achievement.

“Today I also showed I trust all of my team. Eden and Diego knew very well my plan because in this situation it is important to be clear to all of the players. Now I hope on Tuesday to get a great performance from Eden and Diego and the other players.”

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Chelsea are in the FA Cup final after beating Spurs 4-2 this afternoon at Wembley.

It was a spectacular match in North West London, with the Blues finding the lead after just 5 minutes with a wonderful free-kick by Willian, Kane equalised with a perfect low-header ( 18′) and Willian again take Chelsea to lead 2-1 right before half-time ( 43′) with a penalty conceded after a foul of Son on Moses.

Tottenham leveled on 2-2 with Dele Alli in the beginning of the second half ( 52′) but Eden Hazard, a real game changer, found a perfect shot from outside the box minutes after entering the pitch ( 75′).

Matic sealed the match and the qualification with a stunning shot from 30 mt that found the post crossing.

Chelsea will come back to Wembley on Saturday 27 May to try to lift the cup against the winner of Arsenal v Manchester City, that will be played tomorrow afternoon at 3 pm UK time.

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Chelsea will play against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup first semi-final at Wembley today (BST 5.15 PM)

Team News

CHELSEA

  • Chelsea captain Gary Cahill has been ruled out of the game after being admitted to the hospital three days ago; 
  • Nathan Ake is the favourite to replace the England international, with Kurt Zouma expected to start from the bench;
  • Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is available again, with Asmir Begovic still confident for a chance.

TOTTENHAM

  • Defender Danny Rose is not fully-fit as he’s still recovering from a knee injury;
  • Erik Lamela and Harry Winks are both out with hip and ankle injuries;
  • Also Spurs’ backup goalkeeper Michel Vorm is unavailable for a knee problem.

Tottenham Kane Eriksen

Predicted Line Ups

Chelsea (3-4-2-1) – Courtois; Ake, David Luiz, Azpilicueta; Alonso, Kante, Matic, Moses; Hazard, Costa, Pedro.

Tottenham Hotspur (3-4-2-1) – Lloris; Dier, Alderweireld, Verthongen; Walker, Wanyama, Dembele, Davies, Eriksen, Alli, Kane.

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Before the FA Cup semifinal against Spurs Blues boss Antonio Conte was asked if he was concerned about Diego Costa’s lack of form of the last two months.

The Spaniard was outstanding in the first part of the season but now he’s facing his longest run without goals in his Chelsea career: six games and one month and half without scoring for the Blues.

Conte, anyway, thinks that the Brazilian born striker is saving his best for the end of the season:

No, no. I am not worried about his form. I think he is keeping the goals for the finale of the season. It is the right moment to score.

About the pressure the team and him are having in this end of the season, he said:

The pressure is normal in our job. When you arrive at the end of the season and you are in a good position to reach a good target, or a fantastic target, because a good target is to reach the Champions League and a fantastic, extraordinary target is to win the league.

“It is normal to have this pressure, but I prefer to have this pressure instead of fighting for sixth, seventh, eighth place and to have this pressure.”

Chelsea will have a tight calendar in this last month of the season, with seven or eight games to be played in one month:

 

It’s not a simple situation now for us, because you have to consider that you have to play a semi-final in a great competition and then after two days and a half you have to play against Southampton, and Southampton have rested for 10 days.

“But sometimes it is very strange to face these types of situation, because I think the FA Cup is a great competition. There is a great tradition for this competition, it is the oldest competition in the world, and we want to respect this.

“I think also when you get to quarter-final, semi-final and there is a clash with a game that you have to play in the league, this is a situation very clear for us, that we are in trouble, to face this situation.

“Anyway, we are ready, and then also I have to take the best decision, to find the right balance. Don’t forget we have to play Saturday against Tottenham, Tuesday versus Southampton and then against Everton. This week is very heavy for us and I think it’s very important for us.”

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After John Terry’s departure in the end of the season Chelsea will have to find another leader in the dressing room and, according to Blues boss Antonio Conte, that will a tough job:

“It’s not easy. Don’t forget this season some very important players for this team, people that made history here, like Ivanovic or Mikel, left and the next season also John Terry will be gone.

“It’s not easy to find the right replacement, for this season I say we are starting to build something important, now we have to find together the right players to replace these players and write again the history for this club. It’s not easy, people have to understand this.”

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