Chelsea

  • Stoke City 0 Chelsea 4: Magic Morata hit...

    Alvaro Morata continued his stunning start to life at Chelsea with a hat-trick as the Premier League champions sealed an impressive 4-0 victory away to Stoke City. Chelsea scored from their only two shots in the first half, Morata putting them in front after just 82 seconds befo...

    Stoke City 0 Chelsea 4: Magic Morata hits hat-trick

    Alvaro Morata continued his stunning start to life at Chelsea with a hat-trick as the Premier League champions sealed an impressive 4-0 victory away to Stoke City. Chelsea scored from their only two shots in the first half, Morata putting them in front after just 82 seconds before fellow Spain international Pedro netted his second goal in his last three games. Stoke increased the pressure after the break, but former Real Madrid striker Morata doubled his tally with a brilliant solo goal to end home hopes of a revival. And Morata then made it six goals in as many Premier League appearances for Chelsea as he sealed his hat-trick with eight minutes remaining. Antonio Conte's side remain three points behind the two Manchester clubs at the top of the table as they continue the defence of their title. Stoke took four points from two home games against Arsenal and Manchester United, but this heavy defeat leaves them with only one win from their opening six fixtures. With Kurt Zouma ineligible to face his parent club and Kevin Wimmer out injured, Stoke fielded a patched-up defence that included Glen Johnson as part of the back three.  And the hosts' new backline was caught out almost immediately, with a long ball from Cesar Azpilicueta – deputising as captain with Gary Cahill on the bench – allowing Morata to race clear and beat Jack Butland with a simple finish. After a spell of relative quiet, Chelsea pounced to make it two on the half-hour mark. Darren Fletcher's mistake proved costly, the former Manchester United midfielder chesting the ball straight into the path of Pedro, who took one touch and sent an early finish past a helpless Butland from 18 yards. Stoke's initial response was strong and Xherdan Shaqiri should have done better with a free-kick from 20 yards, while Mame Biram Diouf's acrobatic overhead kick narrowly missed the target as the hosts went into the break two behind. After Joe Allen sent a drive just over, Stoke tested Thibaut Courtois for the first time with Shaqiri's shot from the edge of the area. Conte then brought on Cahill for Marcos Alonso after the wing-back got away with a challenge on Diouf shortly after being booked for a foul on Allen. Mark Hughes, meanwhile, added Peter Crouch to the mix and the veteran striker made an instant impression, setting up a stretching Diouf to fire over. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting had a penalty claim turned down after blocked by Cahill while the defender was on the ground at the corner of the box, before Courtois received treatment after an awkward landing from an aerial duel. Stoke continued to press, with Fletcher's poor afternoon continuing as he somehow failed to convert Shaqiri's deep free-kick from six yards. It was game over at the other end with 13 minutes remaining, as Morata capitalised on another defensive mistake. This time Johnson was guilty, his error allowing the Spain striker to gather possession just inside the Stoke half, charge into the box almost unchallenged and beat Butland from a tight angle. A last-ditch Stoke clearance stopped substitute Eden Hazard's cross-shot from finding Morata, but the 24-year-old was not to be denied his hat-trick. The goal of the game saw another sub Cesc Fabregas chip a precise pass into the box, which Azplicueta chested across goal for his second assist of the match, with Morata bundling in from close range. The in-form forward almost had a fourth before the match was over, firing inches wide after another Fabregas pass before Johnson's vital goal-line clearance stopped him from converting Victor Moses' cross at the far post. Crouch was perhaps fortunate only to see yellow for a high tackle on Fabregas, but the accolades will go to Morata, with his six goals and two assists from his first six top-flight games equalling Diego Costa's club record for goal involvements.   Key Opta facts: - Stoke City have lost more Premier League games (14) and conceded more goals (42) against Chelsea than they have against any other side in the competition. - Indeed, Mark Hughes has lost 16 times and conceded 47 goals as a Premier League manager in 25 meetings against the Blues – his worst record against any top-flight club. - The Potters have lost seven of their last 11 Premier League games at the Bet365 Stadium against the 'big six' – winning once and drawing the other three. - Chelsea have won eight of their last nine league away games (L1), their best run over a nine game period on the road since September 2009 when they also won eight and lost one.

  • Morata scores hat-trick to equal Costa's...

    Alvaro Morata is showing that Chelsea were right to trust him with succeeding Diego Costa, with the striker continuing his impressive start in the Premier League. The Blues spent big to lure the Spain international away from Real Madrid once the decision was taken to move in a d...

    Morata scores hat-trick to equal Costa's record start at Chelsea

    Alvaro Morata is showing that Chelsea were right to trust him with succeeding Diego Costa, with the striker continuing his impressive start in the Premier League. The Blues spent big to lure the Spain international away from Real Madrid once the decision was taken to move in a different direction. Chelsea 5/2 to beat Atletico Antonio Conte opted to freeze Costa out, despite being a two-time Premier League title winner, and turn to a man with no prior experience in the English top flight. Morata has, however, justified that show of faith, with his hat-trick against Stoke further highlighting that he is capable of filling some big boots at Stamford Bridge. After his early opener, Morata netted an impressive solo goal, charging through Stoke's half before beating the keeper. He then managed to nudge Cesar Azpilicueta's chested pass in to put his side 4-0 up. With six goals and two assists, he has now been involved in as many goals in the Premier League as Costa had in his first six games. 17 - Alvaro Morata is the 17th player to score a @premierleague hat-trick for Chelsea - only Arsenal have had more (19). Collection. — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 23, 2017 Morata marked his Premier League debut with a goal in a 3-2 defeat to Burnley. He then netted against Everton and Leicester, while laying on two efforts for grateful team-mates. The 24-year-old was also able to shake a scoring monkey off his back against Stoke, as he found the target for the first time with his feet. That's the perfect way to start and Morata has that goal with his feet he's been wanting! #STKCHE — Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 23, 2017 While Morata is quickly cementing a standing as the new darling of Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have sanctioned the sale of Costa to Atletico Madrid and he will embark on a second spell with the La Liga giants from January.

  • 'I didn't feel like a footballer at Chel...

    Ryan Bertrand insists he had to leave Chelsea for Southampton because he “didn’t necessarily feel like a footballer” at Stamford Bridge. The 28-year-old emerged through the Blues' youth system and started in the final as the club famously defeated Bayern Munich on penalties to w...

    'I didn't feel like a footballer at Chelsea' - Bertrand insists he had to leave Blues for Southampton

    Ryan Bertrand insists he had to leave Chelsea for Southampton because he “didn’t necessarily feel like a footballer” at Stamford Bridge. The 28-year-old emerged through the Blues' youth system and started in the final as the club famously defeated Bayern Munich on penalties to win the 2012 Champions League. Chelsea 17/2 to beat Man City 2-1 However, Bertrand was used sparingly during his time at Chelsea before sealing a switch to Southampton in 2015, where he has since gone on to become one of the Premier League's finest left-backs. And he says he needed to leave Chelsea in order to further his career, revealing he never truly felt the west Londoners' “full support”. Recalling his move to Southampton from Chelsea in an interview with the Daily Mail, Bertrand said: “I wanted to feel like a footballer. I didn’t necessarily feel like a footballer at Chelsea. “It was emotional in terms of Chelsea being the club I had been at since I was young and taken part in one of their most historic moments. “There was the emotional attachment but from a football perspective it was a no-brainer [to leave]. “When I was there (Chelsea), whenever I did get the chance to play I never felt the full support to relax and enjoy my football. “The times I did play it was like an audition. And that is never healthy. “As a young player coming through you want the club to be stable enough to say, “We trust in you, go out there and play”. “You don’t want to make a young player feel on edge. I wanted that consistency — and for people to judge you they need to see you consistently. “Southampton has given me a fantastic base in being able to do that and progress.” Bertrand was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the 2014-15 campaign after playing a key role in helping Southampton finish seventh. He has also become a regular in the England national team setup since joining Southampton, scoring in the Three Lions' 4-0 victory over Malta earlier this month.

  • Gnagnon explains decision to snub Premie...

    Joris Gnagnon turned down the opportunity to join Chelsea over the summer as he feared a lack of game time would stunt his development. The 20-year-old Rennes defender has emerged as one of the most highly sought-after talents in French football. 12/5 for Chelsea and Man City t...

    Gnagnon explains decision to snub Premier League champions Chelsea

    Joris Gnagnon turned down the opportunity to join Chelsea over the summer as he feared a lack of game time would stunt his development. The 20-year-old Rennes defender has emerged as one of the most highly sought-after talents in French football. 12/5 for Chelsea and Man City to draw His potential has been noted by clubs across Europe, with Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund among those to express an interest during the most recent transfer window. Gnagnon, however, was happy to snub the Premier League champions and Bundesliga heavyweights in favour of furthering himself in his homeland. He told FootMercato: "It happened very quickly. Two years ago, I was in CFA [French amateur league]. "I played my first season [at Rennes], then the second. I hear we're talking about Chelsea and many other clubs, for sure it's very flattering. I was happy." Pressed on whether he found it difficult to ignore the advancers from afar, Gnagnon added: "It was really not easy to be honest. "After that, I had to look the truth in the face, that is, if I went to Chelsea right away, I was not sure I would be playing. You're going to Dortmund, you're not sure you're playing either. Whether I went to the right or left, I was not sure I was playing. "I weighed up the pros and cons with my entourage and my agent and we thought that it was better to do one more season at Rennes. It was not easy but we had to make a choice." Gnagnon will hope that the next 12 months bring opportunities on a domestic and international stage. Despite having represented France’s Under-20 side, the youngster has committed himself at senior level to the Ivory Coast.

  • Chelsea legend Terry pays emotional trib...

    Chelsea legend John Terry has branded Diego Costa “an unbelievable player” and a “born winner” as he prepares to re-join Atletico Madrid. After three productive years at Stamford Bridge, the Spain international has been cleared to return to the club that sold him to the Blues fo...

    Chelsea legend Terry pays emotional tribute to 'born winner' Diego Costa

    Chelsea legend John Terry has branded Diego Costa “an unbelievable player” and a “born winner” as he prepares to re-join Atletico Madrid. After three productive years at Stamford Bridge, the Spain international has been cleared to return to the club that sold him to the Blues for £32 million in 2014. Chelsea 9/1 to beat Man City 1-0 Costa won two Premier League titles during his time at Chelsea, netting 20 times in each of those campaigns, but was deemed surplus to requirements by Antonio Conte at the end of 2016-17. The 28-year-old has had to wait patiently for a sale to be sanctioned, with the issue forced as he remained AWOL in Brazil, but Terry has paid an emotional tribute to his former colleague. He posted on Instagram: “Good luck Diego Costa in your next journey my friend. “An unbelievable player and one of the nicest and funniest guys I have met in football, playing against him in training and games was an absolute nightmare, one of the best and underrated players I have played with and against. “He gave everything for our club every time he wore a Chelsea shirt and was a born winner. “Going to miss you mate. Good luck to you and your family.”   Good Luck @diego.costa in your next journey my friend An unbelievable player and one of the nicest and funniest guys I have met in football, playing against him in training and games was an absolute nightmare,one of the best and underrated players I have played with and against. He gave everything for our club every time he wore a Chelsea shirt and was a born winner. Going to miss you mate Good luck to you and your family JT @chelseafc A post shared by John Terry (@johnterry.26) on Sep 21, 2017 at 11:10am PDT Goal revealed on Thursday that a deal to take Costa back to Atletico had been struck, with Chelsea later confirming the agreement. A £57m fee will return him to the Spanish capital and offer him a clean slate at the end of a testing period in his career. Costa admits that his exit from Stamford Bridge has been far from ideal, but he is delighted to be heading “home”. He told the BBC: "It's not the way I wanted to leave, ever. "I have special affection for the people at Chelsea. I'm not a person who is going to smear the image. They know the person I am." Costa will not be freed to make his second debut for Atletico until January, as he waits for the next transfer window to officially open and for Atletico to finish serving a ban on registering new players. The likes of Antoine Griezmann and Filipe Luis have, however, already taken the opportunity to welcome a proven frontman back to the club.

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