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Stamford Bridge

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Maurizio Sarri is happy about is first few months in England as a Premier League manager.

The Italian boss, in an interview with Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport revealed what he likes most about English football: “Eighteen games unbeaten, in a competitive reality like ours, shows we’re on the right track. I’m even happier because we’re playing a lot of games and it’s harder to make headway like this”. Sarri explained. “It’s very tight and playing so much takes away some of the work we do in training, but I always knew that would be the case. Right now I’m trying to find middle ground between training and competitions. What won me over and what would I like to improve? The thing that wins you over immediately is the high level of football at fantastic stadiums. There’s an infinite amount of passion and, from what I have seen so far, it’s expressed in the right way”.

Chelsea‘s manager then also underlined an aspect which, according to him, needs to be improved: “The aspect that needs improving is timing. The limited time to train doesn’t help Coaches or players. We mustn’t only think about the physical component but also the mental one.” Sarri said.

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Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata have often been criticised so far during this season and their difficulties have been underlined again after Chelsea‘s goalless draw vs Everton on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.

However, the French striker claims he and his team-mates not only have been useful for the Blues in many other ways, but also he promises both will score again soon. All the speculation is part of the sport, part of the job. We must expect good players, good strikers at big clubs. But the both of us just need to carry on and show the team is doing well with us. It’s true that at times we didn’t score. But, as I always used to say, some strikers need to do the runs for team-mates, to do the things that people don’t see”. Giroud told the Evening Standard. “We are fully committed to Chelsea. Even if sometimes it wasn’t perfect, I will always give my maximum. I’m not worried about the future and I’m sure we will score more goals for the team. It (the talk of Chelsea signing another forward) doesn’t trouble me, no. I am a competitor and I will do my best until the end of my contract.”

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Chelsea's Spanish defender Marcos Alonso (R) celebrates with Chelsea's Spanish striker Alvaro Morata after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on December 26, 2017.

Chelsea have 15 players on international duty, not including (Batshuayi, Aina, Pasalic, Miazga, Omeruo, Angban, Kalas) loanees and youngsters contracted with the club.

Both Blues’ striker Alvaro Morata and wing-back Marcos Alonso have been called back in Spain squad earlier this week. Also goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has been named in the 25-man list.

The Chelsea trio will face Mateo Kovacic and Mario Pasalic as Luis Enrique’s men will travel to Croatia for a UEFA Nations League game, before an international friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina at home.

Also Jorginho and Emerson Palmieri will be involved in the European tournament as the Azzuri face Portugal on Saturday. France see Chelsea stars Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante named in the squad list which will take on Netherlands on Friday (UEFA Nations League as well).

Andreas Christensen has a chance to get the promotion with Denmark, while England’s qualifications for the final stage will depend also on Spain result against Croatia. Chelsea duo Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be involved in the Three Lions’ home games against USA and Croatia.

 

 

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Former Chelsea and Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has been appointed as new Fulham coach earlier this morning.

The Italian coach replaces outgoing Slavisa Jokanovic at Craven Cottage, with the West London side currently struggling at the bottom of Premier League table with just a win from 12 games so far.

Ranieri, 67, had been linked also with a move to several Serie A outfits before joining Fulham, as chairman Shahid Khan announced via the club’s official website.

Ranieri told Fulham’s official website: “It is an honour to accept Mr. Khan’s invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history”,

“The objective at Fulham should never be to merely survive in the Premier League. We must at all times be a difficult opponent and should expect to succeed. This Fulham squad has exceptional talent that is contrary to its position in the table”.

“I know this team is very capable of better performances, which we will work on straight away as we prepare for Southampton at the Cottage.”

Chelsea and Maurizio Sarri will take on Fulham on December 2nd at Stamford Bridge.

 

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Former England international and Chelsea legend Joe Cole has today announced his retirement from professional football.

The 37-year-old, who ended-up his career in U.S.A., spent seven seasons at Stamford Bridge and made 716 professional appearances, scoring 104 goals for seven clubs.

He wrote: “Winning trophies at Chelsea was particularly special for me. Those memories will live with me forever, as will the chance I had to share them with my family. My wife, Carly, and our three amazing children, my Dad, George, my Mum, Susan, are what I’m most proud of. 

Looking to the future, I want to stay involved in the game. I feel I can offer a lot as a coach and have really enjoyed the opportunity to undertake some of these duties with the Rowdies. To lend my experience to help other young footballers achieve their dreams, just like I did, is a big passion of mine.

Whatever is next, I hope the next two decades are as special as my last 20 years as a professional have been. Again, a huge thanks to everyone who helped me along that path”.

Joe Cole won 3 Premier League titles (2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2009-2010), 2 English League cups (2004-2005, 2006-2007), 3 FA Cup (2006-2007, 2008-2009, 2009-2010). He also lifted twice the Community Shield with the Blues (2005, 2009), was included in the ‘PFA Team of the Year’ in 2006 and was named ‘Chelsea Player of the Year’ earlier in 2008.

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Chelsea’s defender Antonio Rudiger was furious after the referee booked him during the Premier League game against Everton at Stamford Bridge last time out.

Speaking after the match, Rudiger himself explained the reason behind his disappointment showed towards the referee and Everton’s midfielder Bernard. “It’s annoying because I don’t even tackle someone, do something and I get booked for being head-butted. Sorry but that’s a joke”. –

Rudiger said: “He [Bernard] was diving and I told him to ‘stand up’. Then he came with a lot of speed and hit me with his forehead, so for me to get a yellow card — to me that’s a joke. 

The referee didn’t see anything. Perhaps it’s the fourth official who was outside [the pitch], maybe he said something to him [Friend] that I had provoked [the player] or something but I just said ‘stand up’.”

Antonio Rudiger also believes things would have been different if the VAR was available: “If there is VAR in England, then Bernard has a problem. He would be sent off.”

 

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It could have been a win, however Maurizio Sarri has set a new record after Chelsea‘s goalless and entertaining draw against Everton at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.

The Italian manager has now broken the record for the longest unbeaten run at the start of a managerial career in the English Premier League.

Sarri, who has already faced Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United in the first 12 games of the season, only suffered a defeat in the Community Shield clash against Manchester City

Nottingham Forest boss Frank Clark was the manager who set the previous record at the start of the 1994-95 season.

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CHELSEA (4 3 3) Kepa, Alonso, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, Willian, Hazard, Morata

EVERTON (4 2 3 1) Pickford, Coleman, Digne, Mina, Keane, Gueye, Andre Gomes, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Bernard, Richarlison

FIRST HALF – Chelsea and Everton produced a vivid first half at Stamford Bridge so far. The visitors had an early chance (Bernard’s effort goes wide), while Marcos Alonso went close to opening the score with a fine volley from the left of the six-yard box, which was deflected by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Chelsea’s midfield duo Jorginho and Kante was booked before both Bernard and Rudiger were shown a yellow card following a controversial quarrel behind the referee’s back. The German international went down touching his face. Also Everton defender Yerry Mina, who’s making his first start for Everton today at Stamford Bridge, was booked earlier.

SECOND HALF – The Blues were denied twice by the woodwork, Morata had a goal disallowed for offside while the visitors defending style had a successful effect. Marco Silva brought in defender Jagielka to stop Chelsea’s efforts. Everton goalkeeper Pickford (time wasting), as well as Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata (dissent), were both booked in the second period. Maurizio Sarri‘s choices Pedro and Ross Barkley failed to make an impact and the lads miss the chance to go top of the table ahead of Manchester derby.

 

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CHELSEA – Kepa, Alonso, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, Willian, Hazard, Morata

Subs: Caballero, Fabregas, Barkley, Pedro, Giroud, Zappacosta, Christensen

Manager: Maurizio Sarri

EVERTON – Pickford, Coleman, Digne, Mina, Keane, Gueye, Andre Gomes, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Bernard, Richarlison

Subs: Stekelenburg, Baines, Jagielka, Tosun, Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman

Manager: Marco Silva

Kick-Off: 2:15pm

Venue: Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud was the protagonist of the match against BATE Borisov. His header gave to Chelsea the passage to the next stage of the Europa League.

The Frenchman, who spoke at the end of the game, admitted the best thing to get from the clash is the result.

Giroud sais: “The best aspect is the result, I think. We didn’t play very well. I didn’t like the first half. We moved it too slowly. We could have been more efficient

“We defended very well and they defended cohesively so it was difficult to find solutions at times and stop them on the break.”

He also spoke about his goal, the first one of the season: I was hoping to score soon because I came back late from the World Cup and I was lacking maybe a bit of efficiency and luck but you always need to keep working hard and keep the faith and that’s what happened tonight”

 

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