Tags Posts tagged with "title race"

title race

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ARSENE WENGER

Speaking to TalkSPORT Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn said that Arsenal is still to weak to challenge teams like Chelsea and Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

The former Gunners defender, in fact, claimed:

If you look at it, he has got to spend money because the Premier League is the one.

Chelsea were better this year and more consistent. He’s not missing too many players, he just needs two or three players – they still need a leader.”

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fellaini

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has said that he is confident of his side’s credentials for next season.

The Belgian thinks his side can challenge the champions, Chelsea, in the title race in the 2015-16 campaign, after finishing a disappointing fourth in Louis van Gaal’s first season in charge at Old Trafford.

Speaking to Goal.com, the 27-year old admitted:

“Of course we can catch Chelsea. We have the quality, I think we will sign some new players, so why not? We have to.

“We have the quality and we are a big team, so we have to.”

 

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NEMANJA MATIC
Nemanja Matic was a key player for Chelsea last season © Francesca Ceciarini

Speaking to the Chelsea website, Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic rounded up his thoughts on the club’s post-season tour of Thailand and Australia.

Firstly, he spoke about the victory against Sydney FC, with Loic Remy’s goal the decider in a 1-0 win at the ANZ Stadium.

Despite the season now being over for the Blues, Matic has said that the hunger to win remains the same even in friendly matches:

“We are professional football players and we always like to win. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friendly game or a league game.

‘It was nice to see 80,000 people in the stadium so we enjoyed it and we won which is good for us. We had a great time here.

“They are a good team. To be honest I didn’t know a lot about them but they showed they have good players. They played very well and especially in the last 10 minutes they created some problems for us. I’m sure next season they will fight for the title again”

About the tour, which also saw Chelsea beat a Thailand All-Stars team 1-0 in Bangkok, Matic said:

“It was my first time in Thailand and Australia and I liked both Bangkok and Sydney.

“The only problem was the time difference – I didn’t sleep a lot! We are a little bit tired but we enjoyed the trip.

“Now we need to put new batteries in, relax a little bit and rest. After one month, which I think is more than enough time to rest, we will be fresh and have big motivation to go again next season.”

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Pellegrini
Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini has conceded the Premier League title and congratulated Chelsea on winning it from them.

Chelsea are thirteen points ahead at the top of the table and will secure the league title with a victory at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Pellegrini, who won the league last season with Manchester City, albeit in a less commanding manner than Chelsea have this, accepts that Jose Mourinho’s team has been the best this year. Speaking ahead of his team’s trip to White Hart Lane to play Tottenham Hotspur, which they must win to maintain a Champions League qualification place, Pellegrini had this to say:

“I think that Chelsea was the best team. He (Mourinho) deserves to win the title because they have been the most consistent team with very good players.”

Pellegrini’s comments could be interpreted as a criticism of Manchester City’s owners who failed to strengthen the squad whilst remaining within the laws of Financial Fair Play (FFP). He praised Chelsea’s benefactor Roman Abramovich.

“I congratulate his owner because he is always improving his squad,’ he said. ‘And I congratulate his fans and Jose Mourinho and the players because they deserve absolutely the title.”
Pelegrini responded to criticism from Mourinho. with who the Chilean has clashed several times in Spain and England since the Portuguese replaced him as Real Madrid manager, regarding the Citizens’ breach of FFP laws in a typically prosaic manner.

“Every manager can say what he wants about Financial Fair Play rules.”

Mourinho has suggested City should be docked points for breaking the laws on spending.

 

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CAHILL

Gary Cahill was enthusiastic while speaking to TalkSport after Leicester important win.

Chelsea are just 3 points away from the title, and they can secure it on Sunday against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge:

“The atmosphere is going to be unbelievable. The lads can’t wait to get out there”

“It is such an important game for us. Obviously, you need no motivation for it. It is a cup final for us”.

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Sky Sports pundit and Manchester United legend has dismissed claims that champions-elect Chelsea are boring and claimed that only winners are remembered.

Neville, who spent his whole career at Old Trafford where he won several Premiership titles, was commentating on Chelsea’s 3-1 win away at Leicester City when he praised the Blues style of play earlier in the season and used his own experience to emphasise the point.

“It’s absolute nonsense,” he told Sky Sports. “People called the Newcastle team of 1996 with Kevin Keegan exciting but they were exciting losers; nobody remembers them now.”

Manchester United famously chased down Newcastle United who had a 12 point lead in the 95/96 season to deny them the league title. Many at the time considered Newcastle to be the better side.

Neville continued:

“The fact of the matter is that people remember winners. People will remember this Chelsea team. They were exciting earlier in the season, the style was good.

“They have hit a blip in terms of the rhythm in their game and what you would call ‘football form’ in the last couple of months but their run of results is fantastic and that’s all that matters, as far as I’m concerned. You’re never going to go through a full season [playing] brilliant.

“The rest of the league has been poor. It doesn’t say a lot about the rest of the league that they’re going to get an easy ride at the end. It’s a poor reflection on the other teams that are chasing them or supposedly competing with them.”

Chelsea were jeered off the pitch by Arsenal ans after the 0-0 draw at the Emirates on Sunday, thus ensuing a wider debate about the aesthetics of football and whether the team at the top of the table has a responsibility to entertain as well as win.

Last night’s result means they will claim their first Premier League title in five years with a win over Crystal Palace on Sunday.

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Leicester City winger Marc Albrighton found it hard to take positives from their 1-3 loss against Chelsea.

Albrighton put the Foxes ahead in first half stoppage time, but goals but Didiet Drogba, John Terry and Ramires secured a vital three points for the visitors, who are now just three points off the title.

Albrighton said: “We gave ourselves a good foothold in the first half and we couldn’t see it through. So it is difficult to take heart from the game to be honest.

“They scored the early goal and it got them back in the game. We will look to redeem ourselves in a couple of days against Newcastle.”

The defeat ended a four match winning run for Nigel Pearson’s side, which saw them climb out of the relegation zone last weekend after beating fellow strugglers Burnley.

But, with four games left of the current season, former Aston Villa winger Albrighton knows that what happens next is up to them:

“You can take a little bit from the performance but we have put ourselves in a position where we need points. Performances aren’t important – we just need the points and obviously we haven’t taken any tonight.

“Staying up is still in our hands, we have got a massive game against Newcastle here at the King Power and the fans will be behind us.”

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TERRY CAHILL
Terry has played every minute of every game in Chelsea's league campaign this season

Chelsea captain John Terry praised the performances of his side after Chelsea beat Leicester 1-3 at the King Power Stadium.

Marc Albrighton put the Foxes ahead just before half time, but Didier Drogba, Terry and Ramires all scored in the second half to put Chelsea 13 points clear at the top, and one win away from the title.

Terry said: “We are almost there. They were a tough side and they kept fighting. We got a telling off at half-time and we came out and played excellently in the second half. It wasn’t good enough in the first half but listen, we got the three points.”

Terry’s rather unconventional finish meant that he has now scored in 15 consecutive seasons, but he says it has been a team effort:

“We’ve been the best side all season. We deserve a lot of respect, we’ve been very good all year. Let’s hope we win it on Sunday.”

 

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In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, José Mourinho sought to remind viewers that Chelsea are focused on winning the title, regardless of how far ahead they are:

Prior to the game, Mourinho commented on the state of potential relegation survivors: “we are in form and we fight for our lives too” – a sign that Mourinho aims to stay disciplined until Chelsea are officially champions

After an exciting second half leading a 3-1 win, the manager stated: “It’s phenomenal what they’re doing… I think it’s fantastic”

“I think, in a very pragmatic way, I think we are what every team would like to be” – the fact that Chelsea have never left the driving seat in the premier league this season shows that the champions elect are role-models to winning a league title.

However, Mourinho yet again notified the importance of staying disciplined leading into a weekend game that, given a win, would declare them champions: “I think Stamford bridge must be ready to push the team…we need to win and we need Stamford bridge to not be celebrating we need bridge to push us.”

 

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Injuries dictate the team selection once more as Mourinho has decided to play it safe with the benching of Courtois and Oscar, leaving Costa off the sheet entirely while Leicester’s starting eleven is unchanged in their fight to escape relegation.

Although a point will not necessarily have either team reach their campaign goal, it will be valued by a Leicester side without the striking experience of David Nugent, as well as a Chelsea side who are perhaps privileged to have PFA player of the year Eden Hazard while notable members of the attack force battle with injury issues.

The line ups are as follows:

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Wasilewski, Huth, Morgan (c), Albrighton, King, Cambiasso, Drinkwater, Konchesky, Vardy, Ulloa.

Substitutes: Schwarzer, De Laet, Hammond, Mahrez, James, Wood, Kramaric.

Manager: Nigel Pearson

 

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Hazard; Drogba.

Substitues: Courtois, Filipe Luis, Zouma, Ake, Mikel, Oscar, Cuadrado.

Manager: José Mourinho

 

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Venue: King Power Stadium, Leicester, UK

Kick Off: 7:45pm BST

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