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team news

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Chelsea are keen to land both striker Edin Dzeko and full-back Emerson Palmieri to Stamford Bridge, and look set to place a €50m bid, in which could be included also unsettled star Michy Batshuayi.

AS Roma reportedly want a fee in the region of €65m, anyway talks are still ongoing as Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is willing to bolster his squad before the Deadline Day.

Dzeko scored 50 goals in 130 appearances with Manchester City from 2011 to 2015.

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Eden Hazard, who was crucial as he scored the decisive penalty in Chelsea clash against Norwich City at Stamford Bridge, believes the Premier League champions did not perform as they usually did during the season so far.

“We had chances to kill off the game – Hazard told BBC sport  but the FA Cup is always not easy. The first game away was a bad game and also today it was not our best game of the season, but we gave everything at the end of the game when it was nine versus 11″.

“We showed great character after the draw at the end of time so we are happy, but also sad that we lost two players. But we are ready for the next step.”

“Today is a replay and with a replay you have to win the game, with extra-time and penalties it’s not easy, we got two red cards which is the bad thing for today but at least we go through and we are ready for Brighton at the weekend.

 Chelsea face Newcastle United in the next Premier League game, as the Belgian star underlined: “We can focus on the league and also be ready for the next round against Newcastle” he said.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte had his say also on Pedro and Alvaro Morata, who were both sent off during extra-time in FA Cup clash against Norwich City tonight.

The Italian said: “If there is diving it is right to give a yellow card. I don’t want an advantage, especially if you know there is this system. If someone gives a punch or an elbow, you must also pay great attention”.

“I am not happy with the second yellow card for Morata. The first was for a doubtful situation, but I haven’t seen it again”.

Conte added: “The second yellow card was for dissent. You must pay great attention at this moment of the game to stay calm and to make the best decision”.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes V.A.R. still needs improvement as ‘there was a very clear situation with Willian at the start of extra-time’ in the dramatic FA Cup clash against Norwich City tonight.

“I watched it again and this is a very clear penalty” the boss said.

“The referee took the decision quickly to book Willian. It means you don’t have doubt. Instead, if you want to improve this new system, you have to wait to check with the person watching the game. Then, if this person is 100 per cent sure, and says it is simulation, you go and book Willian”.

“The person who was watching the game must have had a doubt. There was a kick to Willian. In this case you have to call the referee and say there is a doubt. Maybe it’s not a penalty, but it’s better you watch the situation because the final decision is for the referee on the pitch. Otherwise we have another referee and this is not right”.

The new V.A.R. system has been introduced also in the Italian Serie A and Bundesliga at the start of the current season, as Conte underlined: “In Italy, before using this new system, they tried and tried it. When you introduce a new system, you need a bit of time before finding the best way of using it. It is not right if the referee doesn’t go to watch a doubtful situation, because the final decision is for the referee on the pitch”.

Conte added: “This is my opinion to help the new system. In Italy we have been using this system for six months and I think you can reduce a lot of the referees’ mistakes. I like to accept the referee’s decision, but if we want to use a new system, I can’t accept a big mistake. The Willian penalty was a big, big mistake, not of the referee on the pitch but the one watching on the TV”.

“I hope it wasn’t a referee because if you don’t see this when you are watching on TV, maybe it will be impossible to see this type of situation when you are on the pitch”.

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Chelsea are considering to place a January bid to sign left-wing Emerson Palmieri from AS Roma and made an enquiry to ponder a potential move for the Italian, according to SkySport in Italy.

It is understood the Italian international and Brazil-born defender struggled to get first-squad football with the Giallorossi this campaign, as he recovers from a knee ligament injury and former Man City star Aleksandr Kolarov impressed so far.

Marcos Alonso needs a back-up and Emerson Palmieri could represent a key player in Chelsea’s team.

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Ethan Ampadu will play in the defensive third tonight, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed when asked at a press conference ahead of FA Cup replay against Norwich City at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian manager, speaking about the Wales international 17-year-old, stated: “He will start as one of the three central defenders, he deserves to play. He’s showing that in every game I make this decision, like against Everton and Bournemouth”.

“He’s shown me he is ready to play with the right concentration and be ready physically and tactically to play at this level”.

He added: “It’s unusual for a player who is only 17 but that shows age is not important if I give you the chance to play and you repay me with a great performance. We are talking about a really great prospect for Chelsea for the present and future”.

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Speaking at a press conference after the Leicester game, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte also provided an injury update on captain Gary Cahill, who limped off the pitch in the first half with a suspect of hamstring injury: “Cahill has a muscular problem, but not a serious problem” Conte said.

“I don’t know how much time he needs to recover but the doctor told me that not serious”.

Andreas Christensen was the centre-back who replaced Cahill following his injury, playing alongside Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta in the defensive third.

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“We tried to create chances to score without suffering defensively and win the game, but in the end I think the result was fair” said Chelsea manager Antonio Conte reflecting on the goalless draw against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian manager also provided an injury update on captain Gary Cahill, who limped off the pitch in the first half with a suspect of hamstring injury: “Cahill has a muscular problem, but not a serious problem” Conte said.

“I don’t know how much time he needs to recover but the doctor told me it’s not serious”.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte spoke after the goalless draw against Leicester City at home.

The Italian manager said: “I think to find an excuse or alibi, today we paid for our effort against Arsenal,”

“To play on Wednesday and then against a really good, physical team like Leicester, after only two days, is tough. We played with almost the same players as we did against Arsenal”.

‘”My plan was to play with one team against Norwich and then these last two games with the same team. I saw a lot of players who were very tired”.

Willian and Pedro came off the bench to replace Fabregas and Hazard earlier in the second half: “We suffered a lot in the first half and at the start of the second half” said Conte.

“When I decided to put on fresh energy the game changed. We tried to create chances to score without suffering defensively and win the game, but in the end I think the result was fair.”

Manchester United fans are mocking Antonio Conte and Chelsea claiming the Blues boss was distracted following his well-known argument with former Blues’ manager Jose Mourinho:

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Chelsea are keen to land both striker Edin Dzeko and full-back Emerson Palmieri to Stamford Bridge, and look set to place a €50m bid,...