Category Archives: Chelsea

Antonio Conte to consult Chelsea players on tactics for Barcelona return

• Eden Hazard likely to be spared false No 9 role this time
• Olivier Giroud may be preferred to Álvaro Morata in attack

Antonio Conte intends to consult his players over how best to overcome Barcelona on Wednesday, a move which should allow Eden Hazard to argue against his deployment as a false No 9, as he seeks to “share responsibility” before the game at the Camp Nou.

Related: Lionel Messi breaks his duck against Chelsea to earn draw for Barcelona

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Chelsea need Liverpool’s anger to save precarious position at Barcelona | Paul Wilson

Jürgen Klopp has given Antonio Conte the template: Chelsea must banish defeatism and be ‘hungry, alert and aggressive’ in season-saving Champions League second leg at Camp Nou

People are predicting the end of the Premier League as we know it just because Chelsea showed so little ambition against Manchester City when they had a chance to at least lay a glove on the champions elect.

It is one thing for a team like Newcastle to attempt to keep the score down against top sides in the hope of a favourable goal difference at the end of the season but if the defending champions are now at it the game has obviously gone.

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Bernardo Silva secures easy Manchester City victory over tame Chelsea

By the time it was all done, with Manchester City easing 18 points clear at the top of the Premier League table, it was difficult to remember that it was actually the team wearing the darker shade of blue who could legitimately call themselves champions of England. For City, that honour is just a few weeks away now – quite possibly when Manchester United visit here on 7 April – whereas Chelsea are becoming little more than a spec in the wing-mirrors of Pep Guardiola’s team. For a big club with supposedly lofty ambitions, there was something very wrong, startling even, to see such a pathetically lame performance from Antonio Conte’s team.

They barely laid a glove on a team that, lest it be forgotten, finished 15 points below them in Conte’s first season at the club. His second will reputedly be his last and for long spells here there were all the tell-tale signs that the Chelsea players knew it. This was the first time on City’s run of 14 successive league wins at home that Guardiola’s team have failed to score at least twice. Don’t be fooled, however, into thinking Chelsea should warrant acclaim just for keeping the score down. The two sides were poles apart.

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Chelsea’s Antonio Conte confirmed as Italy’s No 1 choice to be national coach

• Alessandro Costacurta planning talks with Conte
• Former Italy defender in charge of selecting next manager

Chelsea’s manager, Antonio Conte, is Italy’s top choice as national coach. “I haven’t chosen yet but I think Conte is the one who could do the best,” the Italian football association’s vice-commissioner, Alessandro Costacurta, told Tuesday’s Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’ll definitely talk with him in a couple of months.”

Related: Antonio Conte says he needs to settle differences with Chelsea board to stay

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Premier League and Carabao Cup: 10 talking points from the weekend

England hopefuls have a mixed afternoon, confusion for Serge Aurier and Romelu Lukaku finally does it against a top-six team

The weight of goals that Sergio Agüero has scored against Arsenal, with Sunday’s strike a fifth in five matches, should have raised Shkodran Mustafi’s awareness of the Argentinian to red alert. Instead, Agüero was allowed to scamper on and score a route one opening goal from Claudio Bravo’s goalkick. It was a hideous lapse in concentration and application from the Germany defender, by no means the first of a type that frequently costs Arsène Wenger. Arsenal have suffered a drought of gold standard defenders since the loss of Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole as long ago as 2006. There have been quality creative players and forwards galore since then but Wenger’s blind spot for defenders and defensive organisation has been a crucial factor in his team’s multiple failures. John Brewin

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Manchester United go second after Jesse Lingard secures win over Chelsea

Jesse Lingard caused Old Trafford to reverberate with noise after his 75th-minute header sealed a win that took Manchester United back into second place ahead of Liverpool.

The creator was Romelu Lukaku, his neat cross finding the substitute, after the No 9’s first goal for United against top-six opposition had cancelled out Willian’s opener.

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Manchester United v Chelsea: Premier League – live!

1.11pm GMT

These are, on paper, both very attacking teams – albeit in hands that are more than capable of turning this into a stultifying borefest if they wish. I, like you I’m sure, hold optimism for the former.

1.08pm GMT

Man Utd: De Gea, Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Young, McTominay, Matic, Pogba, Martial, Lukaku, Sanchez. Subs: Bailly, Mata, Lingard, Carrick, Rashford, Shaw, Joel Pereira.

Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Moses, Kante, Drinkwater, Alonso, Willian, Hazard, Morata. Subs: Caballero, Fabregas, Pedro, Giroud, Zappacosta, Cahill, Emerson.

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José Mourinho loses special feeling for Chelsea and talks up Liverpool rivalry

The Manchester United manager says, with time passing, he demotes match against Antonio Conte’s side to ‘any normal game’

It is the fixture that releases an adrenaline rush at Manchester United according to José Mourinho, the game that carries extra significance for supporters and the rivalry of the Premier League. According to Mourinho that fixture is Liverpool. He has demoted Chelsea to the ranks of “any normal game”. The ramifications of Sunday’s result at Old Trafford ensure it is anything but.

The United manager will find few dissenters to his argument that Chelsea’s visit has lost an edge as neither team is competing for the title, despite sitting second and fourth at the start of the weekend. On a personal level he claims the memories of delivering three Premier League titles to Stamford Bridge fade with every encounter against his former club. The importance of victory over a Champions League rival and competitor has not diminished, however, not when those supporters who Mourinho claims have Liverpool’s arrival on 10 March circled in their diaries are craving signs of genuine progress at Old Trafford.

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Mourinho says Chelsea games mean ‘less and less’ as Conte feud cools

• Two managers had angry exchange of words earlier in the season
• Portuguese admits emotional ties to Stamford Bridge are loosening

José Mourinho has admitted meetings with Chelsea mean “less and less” as his emotional ties with his former club steadily recede, with neither the Manchester United manager nor Antonio Conte prepared to reignite their feud before Sunday’s collision between their teams at Old Trafford.

The pair clashed towards the end of last year when Conte interpreted Mourinho’s criticisms of managers who “behave as a clown” on the touchline as a personal attack. The Italian responded by suggesting his counterpart might be suffering from “demenza senile”, with their war of words escalating further after the United manager appeared to reference the Chelsea head coach’s four-month ban for failing to report alleged match-fixing while working in his native Italy. Conte went on to call his opposite number “a little man” and “fake”.

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Willian takes centre stage as Chelsea turn on style to destroy Hull

Quite what the scouts dispatched from Barcelona to this corner of south-west London, charged with casting their eyes over next week’s opponents, could hope to glean from this mismatch is anyone’s guess.

Chelsea barely broke into a sweat in sweeping aside Hull City to secure their passage into the FA Cup quarter-finals. This was a stroll. Maybe the best the scouting reports might confirm is that the Premier League side will be fresh next week.

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