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TransferMarket

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Former Liverpool and Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy has praised Manchester United’s performance against Chelsea after José Mourinho’s side beat Antonio Conte 2-0 at home yesterday.

“The spare man for Manchester United was at the back, – Murphy told Match of the Day – It meant Costa went 2 v 1 with Bailly, Rojo and Herrera did a man-for-man on Hazard wherever he was on the pitch. It didn’t matter where he went, he followed him – that was his job”.

“Matteo Darmian pushed in, even though he was like a third centre-half, and followed Pedro everywhere. You had Pogba and Fellaini in the middle of the park, matched up with Kante and Matic”.

Chelsea were stopped on the flanks as “Young and Valencia, with their athleticism and pace, were against Chelsea’s wing-backs”.

“Then, of course, it was two players against the three instead of one, which many teams do against Chelsea in Lingard and Rashford: the front two caused them all sorts of problems”.

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Former Spurs and Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov is not surprised by recent performances of Mauricio Pochettino’s men, as they deserve to be where they are.

The Bulgarian star, who is currently a free-agent looking for a new team, told Sky Sport’s Goals: “Tottenham are one of the challengers [for the title]. They are where they’re supposed to be,” 

“Spurs goals aren’t lucky, they play from defence to midfield to the strikers with accuracy…I would love to play in this team”.

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Chelsea goalkeeper Asmit Begovic came back to the Blues’ starting XI yesterday, when he replaced Thibaut Courtois, who suffered an ankle injury ahead of Manchester United clash.

“I think the defeat is down to a combination of things. United were more aggressive, they won second balls and probably wanted it more, – he told the Telegraph – They got a great start and then went on from there. We need to be better going forward. We have a lot of match-winners, it was not just a case of Eden Hazard being man marked and taken out the game”.

Now Tottenham are 2nd with 71 points on Premier League table and put pressure on Chelsea, anyway the Bosnia-Erezegovina star is confident that his side ‘can bounce back’ from the last disappointing defeat at Old Trafford.

“We weren’t at it today but we have a lot of character and can bounce back. – Begovic added – We have a four-point advantage and at the start of the season we would have taken it at this stage. If win our games it doesn’t matter what Spurs do.”

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Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has admitted he didn’t suffer extra pressure despite replacing Zlatan Ibrahimovic in their 2-1 victory over Chelsea today.

“It’s not so much stepping up to the plate in Ibrahimovic’s absence, everyone is together and we grafted to put the work in to get the result – the Man of the Match told SkySports after the game – It was a clever pass from Herrera, we made eye contact and he put the ball exactly where I want it. It’s something we need in this team.”

“Today took a lot of discipline to carry out the game plan and actions,” Rashford ended.

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Chelsea legend Frank Lampard is confident that Blues will bounce back from their disappointing period after losing against Crystal Palace and Manchester United, with Tottenham only 4 points behind Antonio Conte’s men at this stage.

“It’s tough because losing games brings an element of doubt, – Lampard said – You can see that even in their faces walking off the pitch, the manager’s thinking and they’re all a bit upset, it’ll be a big week for them now”

“It needs characters in the team and I think they are there but it needs the big characters in the team to settle the ship, work hard in the week, get ready for their next games and put in the performances that they have put in all season.”

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Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, speaking to Sky Sports after Manchester United clash, has admitted that Antonio Conte‘s side need to ‘wipe out’ the defeat as title race is not over yet.

“They weren’t there today at all, the Chelsea that we know – he said – Credit to Manchester United, they came out the blocks and I think they were first to every ball”.

“Everything seemed to drop for Manchester United players. That wasn’t luck – that was because they were sharper than Chelsea players. The only thing I can say for Chelsea is to just wipe it out of their memory, it’s one of those games”.

“They’ve been fantastic, they’ve been winning games regularly. They played Arsenal earlier on in the season and they kicked on from that with a similar kind of performance”.

“I think today there’s no way they can dwell on that now because they’ve got an important run-in and now it’s game on, because it’s four points.”

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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill helped compatriot and rival Jesse Lingard in the penalty area just before Manchester United goal today and was blasted on social media.

 

Chelsea

“I don’t see how it could have cost me because it was nowhere near the goal, – Cahill told Sky Sports speaking after the game – My instinct on that situation was I was nervous 50/50 whether it was a penalty or not”.

“He come across and I grabbed hold of him. It was instinct to pick him up. Sometimes you have that”.

Then Cahill added: “In hindsight it probably looks silly now. But I had the instinct the sooner I get him up on his feet the sooner he tries to stop the referee thinking otherwise. That was the situation there”.

“Like I say, in hindsight it probably looks silly now but if that’s all there is to pick up on from all the incidents in the game then it was irrelevant in the goal”.

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Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic put his thoughts ahead of Red Devils’ clash against Chelsea.

“We have one month to go, it’s many games we play, – the 35-year-old told the Daily Telegraph – I have been playing almost all the games. But we are still grinding, we are still pushing because we have this Europa League and the end of the Premier League. We fight for it.”

About Chelsea Ibrahimovic added: “I think they are a good team. Overall a good team and then of course they are playing once a week which makes a difference also because at the end of the season, I don’t know how many games we have in total but I think we have much more than them”.

“They haven’t been playing in Europe this season and they went out from the League Cup early. But they have a great team, or else they would not be number one.”

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte underlined the importance of cohesion in Blues’ backroom, especially in a crucial moment for the title hopes of Premier League current leaders.

“It is very important to speak with your players, – the Italian boss explained – I think also it is very important to find the right moment to speak with them. For sure the start of the season is a crucial moment, but also during the season when you understand that there is less hunger, there is less concentration – because don’t forget when you have a good result it is normal that the concentration, the focus is a bit less than before – and I think it’s right to speak with your players and try to find the right moment to speak with them”.

About Hazard and Kante, who are both candidates for the PFA Player of the Year in Premier League this season, Conte claimed: “Both players are having a good season. You are seeing N’Golo performing and Hazard performing and I am very pleased for this because my task and the task of all my staff is to put every single player in the best situation – technically, physically, mentally – to give the best of himself, and I think we are doing a great job with my players”.

“I think all my players are performing very well and this is the reason we are on top of the table, I’m pleased for them for this nomination, but I’m pleased for all my players because they are doing a good job”.

eden_hazard_ngolo_kante

“During the game you can see their commitment and I think it is great with the ball, without the ball. Eden is working very well for the team when we are in ball possession and when we are without the ball. Eden is becoming a complete player and it’s great for him”.

“N’Golo is improving a lot, not only to win the ball, to recover the ball, but also we are working to improve the last pass”.

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Chelsea defender David Luiz told the club’s official website that Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a massive player in the Premier League.

“Zlatan is great player, a great personality, everybody was talking bad about him before he came here but he has showed everybody already he has quality. I had a great opportunity to play with him, it was great for me – the Brazilian star said – I learned a lot with him and we won a lot of titles but now he plays for Man United and me for Chelsea, and for sure I try my best and he tries his best”.

 

Chelsea scored several times from free-kicks this season so far, with David Luiz himself, winger Willian and wing-back Marcos Alonso.

About the Spaniard, David Luiz added: “That shows the free-kick potential of the team. Lots of players have qualities,”

“At Liverpool I had the idea to see the referee when he whistled and to take a quick free-kick. Willian had the idea because he saw the space, that was a bit different, it was a different angle and position on the pitch and normally the players cross the ball, so he tried to surprise the goalkeeper in a different way. That was good, especially somewhere where it is so difficult to play like Stoke”.

“I said to Marcos in the Bournemouth game to take the ball because he has been taking free-kicks very well in this position. I said today you are going to score now and he did, and it was great for us because it was an important game and an important moment in the game”.

Chelsea Alonso Willian Luiz

 

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