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Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri believes his side has yet to take “another step to be at the same level” of Premier League rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.

The Italian boss told journalists, speaking at a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game at Cardiff City“At the moment I can answer City or Liverpool.”

“We need another step to be at the same level. I think this season is too soon, but I hope not. The gap was 30 points at the beginning of the season. to cover 30 points in only one season is very difficult.

“We need to improve, and we can improve. My feeling is that now we are not a very solid team in the defensive phase. My feeling during training is that this team can improve”.

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Eden Hazard will be one of the stars of the Russia 2018 World Cup and, this summer, he will also be the target of many European top clubs, with Real Madrid in the front line in the race to sign the Belgian striker.

However, the Blues player confirmed he is focused on Chelsea and he is already thinking about winning the next Premier League with the London club: “We have a lot of top players, players who are used to winning trophies. We will be ready next season,” Hazard told the London Evening Standard. I think all of the players and the club want one thing and that’s to win the title. Of course we will see if we can bring in some new players. But we will be focused on winning the title.”

Hazard also claimed it will be difficult for Manchester City next season, as it was for Chelsea after winning the 2016-2017 title: “If City keep playing like this, it is going to be hard, but you never know in football,” Hazard went on. “It is always hard to win the league one season and then win it again the next year.”

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Chelsea defeated Manchester United today and they won the Under-18 Premier League title as they did in 2017.

The Blues won the National Final 3-0 with goals from Dujon Sterling, Billy Gilmour and Tariq Lamptey.

For the first time in history, Jody Morris‘ side complete a “Quadruple” of trophies as, earlier this season Chelsea also had won the Fa Youth Cup, the southern section of the Under-18 Premier League and the Under-18 Premier League Cup.

The Under-18 Premier League title allows Chelsea to take part in the next edition of Uefa Youth League.

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On Sunday Chelsea will face Manchester City: Pep Guardiola‘s side are top of the league and they are just few weeks away from winning the Premier League title.

On the other hand the Blues are fighting for a spot in the top four and in the next Champions League, but Chelsea manager Antonio Conte want to be closer to Manchester City beginning from next season and so he invites the London club to share his ambitions.

It is not a question for me about ambition, the club has to show ambition. The coach works every day every hard, but the club has to show ambition”. Conte said and then added about Manchester City:  “We must have great admiration for them, because they are having a fantastic season, it is very difficult to find a weakness in this team. When you work very well and there is great feeling, then you can work the way you want to improve your team. Also City have chance to spend a lot of money, and when you link a good manager and that much money, this is the final result.” 

 

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Speaking to French media, Olivier Giroud admitted he regrets he never won the Premier League title with Arsenal and then he claimed next season he will do all he can to lift this trophy with Chelsea.

“I don’t know if we can really call it a regret but I have a little feeling of unfinished business because I would really have liked to have won the Premier League with Arsenal”.  Giroud told SFR Sport. You don’t just wipe away five-and-a-half years like that. I have said it often enough — it was my ultimate goal. Having said that, it’s not over, I’m still in the Premier League, now I’m at Chelsea. For this year, I think it’s over for the title, but next year, we’ll come to it with great ambitions. I still want to win it before I end my career.”

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Nemanja Matic last summer was sold by Chelsea to Manchester United so, yesterday’s game at Old Trafford was special for the midfielder who won two Premier League titles with the Blues before joining the Red Devils.

After the game, however, Matic himself claimed he just wanted to show his quality and not to prove anything to Chelsea or Antonio Conte.

I played for Chelsea for three-and-a-half years and I gave my best to win against them and show my quality again,” Matic said. “I didn’t have anything to prove to them. I wanted to show my new club that I deserve to wear this Manchester United shirt. I don’t want to speak about why I left Chelsea. I will keep that to myself. I’m happy in Manchester and that’s it. Moving to United was good for me. I play for a big club.”

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Last year Chelsea won the Premier League, while this season the Blues are having a lot of difficulties in their title’s defence.

Belgian star Eden Hazard seems to know why, as he claims that playing in the Champions League has made things more complicated.

I think the Premier League is difficult,” Hazard told ESPN. “It’s hard to win every year. Last year we didn’t have the Champions League. This year we have less time to be ready for the games. Every week there are three games. “We changed a couple of things, we lost players, we brought some new ones and every year is different, That’s why we love football — if there is only one team that wins it would be boring. That’s why football is special. You never know what’s going to happen, especially in England.”

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Pundit Gary Neville has his say on Chelsea‘s strategy during this January transfer window: the former Manchester United player doesn’t understand why Blues boss Antonio Conte wants to sign a striker.

Chelsea seem to be hell-bent on getting anybody that’s over 6ft 3in and a target man,” he told the Gary Neville Podcast.There is no doubt that Conte likes a target man. Graziano Pelle was a big favourite of Conte’s when he was in charge of Italy so he does like someone up front who is a presence. But, are they really that desperate to have somebody for the last three months of the season? I don’t see it personally. I think Chelsea are having a good season. People will say they are not reaching the heights of last season but my view would be that for managers at Chelsea, the season post winning the title is not easy and Conte is doing very well this season to keep the team and the momentum going. So I’m not quite sure why they are so hell-bent on getting a big striker. I know Conte does like a target man but I’m not sure why they are so desperate.”

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Despite falling out with him last summer Chelsea boss Antonio Conte claims he maintains good memories about Diego Costa, who was unveiled as a new Atletico Madrid striker today, a return for the Brazilian born forward, who already played for five years in the Spanish side until 2014, when he signed for the Blues:

“It’s not right to talk about players who are not in my team and squad,” Conte told Sky Sports.

“But I thank him for his commitment and behaviour during the season.

“We won together, so I will always remember him in a positive way. We fought together and won together.”

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Speaking to Chelsea official website, the Blues manager Antonio Conte claims his players must stay focused on their target in the Premier League.

Winning the title seems very difficult, but Chelsea must fight until the end.

“I think in this league there is great motivation for all to try to stay there and fight until the end”. – Conte said – “I don’t know if we can do this for the title because it depends on Man City who are doing something extraordinary. To win every game and draw one means you are having a fantastic run. There is great motivation to find a place in the Champions League next year, there are four places for six top teams.”

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