Chelsea

  • Mourinho insists Man Utd won't copy Man ...

    Jose Mourinho has criticised the FA Cup scheduling, but insists Manchester United will not follow Manchester City's example and play a weakened team against Chelsea. After beating Saint-Etienne 4-0 on aggregate in the Europa League round of 32, the Red Devils moved on to the ro...

    Mourinho insists Man Utd won't copy Man City's example at Chelsea

    Jose Mourinho has criticised the FA Cup scheduling, but insists Manchester United will not follow Manchester City's example and play a weakened team against Chelsea. After beating Saint-Etienne 4-0 on aggregate in the Europa League round of 32, the Red Devils moved on to the round of 16 against an opponent that has yet to be determined. The second leg of that tie will take place three days after United face Chelsea on Monday March 13 in their FA Cup quarter-final match after that fixture was switched for television purposes. And Mourinho is frustrated the scheduling for that FA Cup clash has already been made without any consideration for travel concerns ahead of that Europa League tie. “Of course, and I feel really surprised that the decision is made before our draw for the next round in Europe, because at the moment who knows who we will play against?” Mourinho said in his post-match news conference after the 1-0 win away to Saint-Etienne. “Nobody knows where the first match will be and where the second match will be. "Imagine we play Chelsea on the Monday and then we have to go to a second leg in the Europa League in Russia, in Turkey, in Greece. So I think once more their interests go in front of the clubs and the English football interests. Nobody cares about it.” While Mourinho has played weaker or reserve sides in matches in the past when he felt the schedule in England had become too condensed, he insisted he could not do that this time, given the stature of Manchester United and the FA Cup. Last season, United's local rivals City picked an under-strength team in the fifth round of the FA Cup against Chelsea and were thrashed 5-1 just days before a key Champions League tie. “This is what we have. I cannot play against Chelsea with a second team. I cannot play against Chelsea with under-21s like Manchester City did last year I think. We are Manchester United, I cannot do that. I cannot do that as Manchester United manager, I cannot do that to the FA Cup because the FA Cup is not guilty of these decisions. The FA Cup is beautiful, the competition is historical. “I have to treat Manchester United supporters and the FA Cup in the right way. I cannot go there with the under-21s. Probably they deserve it but I don’t do that.” The packed programme now leaves Mourinho fearful of injury, especially given his side lost Michael Carrick and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to injury in the second leg against Saint Etienne. “So what is going to happen is an accumulation of matches, people playing a lot of matches. I have to make some rotation, but some of the boys will have to play in all of these consecutive matches and if situations like the Mkhitaryan one or the Carrick one happen, they happen.”

  • Kessie couldn't turn down Chelsea but dr...

    Franck Kessie has named Manchester United as the club he would like to play for most. The midfielder has been linked with various clubs over the course of the season due to his starring role for Atalanta, with the Serie A side said to have rejected offers for him in January. C...

    Kessie couldn't turn down Chelsea but dreams of Manchester United move

    Franck Kessie has named Manchester United as the club he would like to play for most. The midfielder has been linked with various clubs over the course of the season due to his starring role for Atalanta, with the Serie A side said to have rejected offers for him in January. Chelsea and United have both been touted as having an interest in him and he admitted he had been flattered by the Premier League sides, though his team-mate Alejandro Gomez believes the Ivory Coast international is on his way to Roma. Kessie, though, says he knows nothing of a move to the capital unfolding and admitted that he would love to end up at Old Trafford. “I did not hear any rumours around Roma, as I was at the Africa Cup of Nations and so focused only on playing,” the 20-year-old told Tuttomercatoweb. “I like the Premier League and in particular Manchester United, the club I dream of playing for. “Chelsea? That is also a big club, nobody would turn them down, but I dream of United.” Kessie is contracted to Atalanta until 2021 and has scored seven goals in 21 games in all competitions this term.

  • 'Some teams are beaten before kick-off' ...

    Eden Hazard believes Chelsea's fine home record this season has some opponents beaten before the game has even kicked off. Lallana signs new Liverpool deal The Blues lead the Premier League table by eight points, having won 11 of their 12 home games this term - in stark contras...

    'Some teams are beaten before kick-off' - Hazard hails Chelsea's super home form

    Eden Hazard believes Chelsea's fine home record this season has some opponents beaten before the game has even kicked off. Lallana signs new Liverpool deal The Blues lead the Premier League table by eight points, having won 11 of their 12 home games this term - in stark contrast to last season, where Chelsea tasted victory only five times in front of their own fans. And Hazard has welcomed the return of the fear factor at Stamford Bridge, suggesting the league leaders are able to win matches without playing well on their home turf. "Yes, [the home record] is significant," he told the London Evening Standard. "It's difficult for the opponent to come here and win games. "Do I get that feeling that some teams are beaten before kick-off? Yes. We are playing better than last season. It's a little like two years ago when we won the league. Leipzig may face CL ban "I remember the second part of the season back then - sometimes the team didn't play well, but we always scored at least one goal and Thibaut Courtois would make at least one good save, like against Arsenal." Hazard also praised the influence of the Chelsea supporters in their home turnaround. "We are in full confidence here on this pitch," he continued. "You know the fans bring everything, they support us.  "I remember against Tottenham earlier in the season when they scored, but the supporters kept going, they kept singing. It's great and we feel very good on this pitch. CSL side confirm Rooney approach "We know everything can happen in football, but we have self-belief and that is very important in football." And the Belgium international expects that a continuation of Chelsea's fine form at Stamford Bridge will be key to wrapping up the league title. "We are also good away from home, that's why we are first in the table," Hazard added. "But obviously it's a completely different challenge when you play at home compared to away.  "We just need to keep the same concentration. It's more difficult to play away because of the fans, but we are ready, we are professional. We can deal with the pressure. Everything is going good. "We know if we want to be champions, in our home stadium we have to win most of our games. We can't say all 19 because we have already lost to Liverpool, but we have to win 16 to 17 because it's our place. We are ready to deliver."

  • Hazard: I'm back to my best thanks to Co...

    Eden Hazard feels he is enjoying his best period at Chelsea after fighting hard to regain the form that made him a Premier League winner. Pep names the 'best coach in the world' Hazard was a key figure in the Blues' title success under Jose Mourinho in 2014-15, but, along with ...

    Hazard: I'm back to my best thanks to Conte

    Eden Hazard feels he is enjoying his best period at Chelsea after fighting hard to regain the form that made him a Premier League winner. Pep names the 'best coach in the world' Hazard was a key figure in the Blues' title success under Jose Mourinho in 2014-15, but, along with many of his team-mates, was hugely disappointing last season, as a collective downturn in performance levels saw the Portuguese manager sacked in December and the team ultimately finish a distant 10th. The west London side have responded emphatically following the arrival of former Juventus and Italy coach Antonio Conte, sitting eight points clear in first place. And the contribution of Belgium international Hazard has been a big reason for their march back to the top of the standings. "Last season everyone knows I was not good enough," he said. "But you learn from your mistakes. I gave everything to come back and now I am in my level. "So I started this season well – fit, with no injuries and it is better to play when you are ready. I want to enjoy being on the pitch. So this is the key. "It is always a difficult to come back after a bad season, but the boss changed something and tried to give us more confidence. "This is the best moment for me at this club since I've been here. I'm happy." Sutton goalie defends pie-eating antics Hazard was named Premier League Player of the Season and PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2014-15. Next up for Chelsea is a league match at home to Swansea City on Saturday.

  • 'John Terry had a brand new knife and fo...

    Dundalk midfielder Conor Clifford has recalled fond memories of his time with Chelsea, all the way down to John Terry's eating habits. Clifford, spent a large chunk of his time on the Blues' books out on loan, but asserts that what little time he did have with the Stamford Brid...

    'John Terry had a brand new knife and fork brought to him every day'

    Dundalk midfielder Conor Clifford has recalled fond memories of his time with Chelsea, all the way down to John Terry's eating habits. Clifford, spent a large chunk of his time on the Blues' books out on loan, but asserts that what little time he did have with the Stamford Bridge stars was well spent. Mingling with the likes of Chelsea legend Frank Lampard played a big part in Clifford's development as a player both mentally and physically, but he says there was only one alpha dog in the pack. “John Terry was the main man there,” the 25-year-old told RTE. “He was the king of the place. “Even down eating his lunch he would have a brand new knife and fork brought over to him every day. “Lampard really took me under his wing when I was there. I looked up to him and I used to speak to him and ask him a lot of questions. “We'd sit down together at lunch. I'd try to get in his ear and talk to him. I did a lot of staying back with him and finishing and all of that stuff.  “When Ancelotti was there I was training with the first-team every day. Lampard, Terry, all of them.  “It was a brilliant experience to have that. I was telling my friends back home and they would think I was having them on!” Clifford will be in action for Dundalk this weekend, with the SSE Airtricity League resuming business as usual on Friday.

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