Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has admitted that summer signing Alvaro Morata is improving a lot in terms of his physical condition.
The Spain international scored on his league debut for Chelsea earlier this month as he came on as a second-half substitute in the 3-2 defeat to Burnley.
Owing to his impressive performance, Conte handed him his first league start against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, and he put in a commanding performance, although he missed a glorious opportunity to score in the first period.
Prior to the Everton game, Conte spoke about the positives of his summer signing, who he still believes is adapting to Premier League football, he said: “Morata is improving a lot. Also Bakayoko is working with us for only 10 days. To go into a different style of football is not simple. You have to understand the movement, when you attack the space, whether you stay to receive the ball, there are many situations to understand. Morata is improving a lot in physical condition and is also adapting to the football.”
In the absence of Gary Cahill, Cesc Fabregas (both suspended) and the injured Eden Hazard, the Blues put in a strong performance against Spurs, who succumbed to yet another defeat at the Wembley Stadium. Chelsea host Everton in their next league outing on Sunday, and they will go with a bit of positivity into the game, having not lost at home to the Toffees in their previous 22 outings. Continue reading
Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has reportedly turned down a move to the Chinese Super League his summer.
The star was offered a mega deal worth £147 million to move Far East but he turned it down without batting any eyelid, preferring the competitive European football.
Marca reports that the player would have earned almost £30 million in annual wages for five years had he agreed to the deal. The player is an interest of Premier League giants Chelsea. Coach Antonio Conte managed him while he was on loan at Juventus and they could reunite at Stamford Bridge after this season.
Morata has netted 20 times in all competitions this term, despite Coach Zinedine Zidane favouring Karim Benzema in the pecking order. If the Spaniard stays at Madrid, he could get to take over from Benzema but he would get fewer chances before then. At the Bernabeu, he is assured titles too while leaving Spain might be a gamble.
With the future of Blues striker Diego Costa not certain, and with Chelsea set to play more competitions, the club requires a top striker. Morata has the youth and experience and he would be a good fit but for now no definite decisions seem to have been made. Continue reading
Eden Hazard has said that he will draw on his previous experiences playing against Paris Saint Germain when Chelsea face the French champions in the last eight of this season’s Champions League.
The Belgium international came up against PSG a number of times during his five years in Ligue 1 with Lille, most notably in the 2011 Coupe de France final, and in a 2-2 draw at the Parc de Princes, which clinched the championship for Rudi Garcia’s side.
The Blues head to the French capital for the first leg of their Champions League quarter final tie next Wednesday, before the return leg at Stamford Bridge the following Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Express understand that PSG midfielder Yohan Cabaye has urged Hazard to join him in Laurent Blanc’s side.
The pair played together at Lille, and the former Newcastle United man is keen on a reunion with the Belgium international next season.
Elsewhere, Arsenal dropped more points in their pursuit of the Premier League title after only managing to draw 2-2 with Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium yesterday evening, while Manchester City moved to within three points of the Blues after beating champions Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford.
Premier League leaders Chelsea will hope to put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack as they welcome third place Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
Victory for Jose Mourinho’s men will see them regain a seven point advantage over their London rivals and Liverpool, who travel to Cardiff City later in the day while Manchester City in fourth face Fulham at Craven Cottage.
David Luiz may return to the Blues starting line-up after being fit enough to be named on the bench for Tuesday evening’s Champions League last sixteen second leg victory over Galatasaray, though Ashley Cole is set to remain on the side-lines with the knee problem that saw him miss out midweek.
Brazilian internationals Willian and Ramires miss out having both been sent off in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa.
Should Chelsea lose to the Gunners in what is Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game in charge, it would give all of the three sides below them the chance to overtake them in midweek.
Arsenal host Swansea City and Manchester City travel to neighbours Manchester United on Tuesday evening, while Liverpool host a struggling Sunderland side twenty-four hours later.
Chelsea eased into the Champions League quarter finals after beating Galatasaray 2-0 in the second leg of their last sixteen tie at Stamford Bridge yesterday evening.
With the sides having drawn 1-1 in Istanbul three weeks ago, it was the Premier League leaders who made the breakthrough through Samuel Eto’o after just four minutes.
Gary Cahill doubled the hosts’ advantage three minutes before the break, thumping in after John Terry’s initial effort was saved by Fernando Musilera.
Didier Drogba, who was given a rousing reception by the home supporters on his first return to Stamford Bridge since leaving the club at the end of the 2011/12 campaign, had a chance to pull one back for Roberto Mancini’s side late on which he failed to convert.
The Blues will discover who they will face in the last eight of the competition on Friday, twenty-four hours before they return to domestic action with their top of the table clash with Arsenal.
Manager Jose Mourinho has told Sky Sports that “it doesn’t matter who” the club are drawn against in the quarter finals.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint Germain and holders Bayern Munich are already in the hat for the draw along with the Blues, and they will be joined by either Manchester United or Olympiakos and Zenit St Petersburg or Borussia Dortmund, with the final round of last sixteen ties taking place this evening.
Tags: Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Didier Drogba, Galatasaray, Gary Cahill, Manchester City, Manchester United, Olympiakos, Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid, Samuel Eto'o, Zenit St Petersburg
Chelsea’s hopes of winning a first league title in four years were dealt a blow at the weekend as they lost 1-0 at Aston Villa.
Fabian Delph’s back-heel eight minutes from time was enough to secure all three points for Paul Lambert’s side, who moved into the top half of the table.
However, the Blues’ lead at the top has been cut to four points, with second place Liverpool and third place Arsenal winning at Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively, whilst fourth place Manchester City, who also took all three points from their game at Hull City, are a further two behind.
All three of the chasing pack have games in hand over Chelsea; one in the case of Liverpool and Arsenal and three for Manuel Pellegrini’s men who have been reinstalled as favourites by the bookmakers.
The Blues will now turn their attention to tomorrow evening’s Champions League last sixteen second leg with Galatasary, before returning to league action against Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime.
Lose to the Gunners, they could fall to as low as fourth by the time of thier game at Crystal Palace the following weekend, with the other sides in the Champions League places all playing in midweek.
Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points by beating Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
After a goalless first half Samuel Eto’o, who was only on the field as Fernando Torres withdrew after picking up an injury in the pre-match warm up, put the hosts in front eleven minutes after the break.
Eden Hazard fired in his fifteenth goal of the season from the penalty spot shortly after to double the Blues’ advantage before a late brace from substitute Demba Ba put the result beyond doubt.
Jose Mourinho’s men are now seven points clear of Liverpool and Arsenal in second and third place respectively, though both have a game in hand, while fourth place Manchester City are nine points off the top with a three game advantage on the leaders.
The Blues’ boss has insisted that Manuel Pellegrini’s men are still favourites to reclaim the Premier League from their neighbours, saying that he would ‘prefer to be in City’s position’.
The club will now turn their attention to next weekend’s visit of Aston Villa, before facing Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of their Champions League last sixteen tie.
With no other sides in the top four playing in the Premier League this weekend, Chelsea will be looking to increase their lead at the top as they take on fifth place Tottenham Hotspur.
The Blues, who will increase their unbeaten home league run under Jose Mourinho to seventy-five games if they avoid defeat, should have top scorer Eden Hazard available after he declared himself fit despite suffering an ankle injury in Belgium’s 2-2 draw with Ivory Coast.
Midfielder Marco van Ginkel, who is still some weeks away from returning to action, is Jose Mourinho’s only injury concern.
Chelsea can move seven points clear of both Liverpool and Arsenal, and nine clear of Manchester City if they take all three points though the latter will have three games in hand.
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho has hinted that he may make a move for Mario Balotelli at the end of the season, according to the Metro.
The AC Milan striker, who played under the Blues boss at Inter where together they won three league titles, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League, is reportedly unhappy with life in Italy leading to speculation that he could be set for a return to the Premier League.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has once again reiterated his belief that Manchester City are favourites to win the Premier League this season, Sky Sports understands.
The Blues opened up a six point lead over Manuel Pellegrini’s men with victory over Fulham at the weekend, though City, who are currently in fourth place, have played two games fewer.
That gap will extend to nine points if Chelsea win their home match with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday afternoon, with the Manchester side turning their attention to their FA Cup quarter final against holders Wigan Athletic, though Mourinho has insisted that he would prefer be in control of his, and the clubs destiny, as City are.
However, it is the Portuguese manager’s side who are favourites with the bookmakers to finish in first place, despite their inferior goal difference, which currently stands at twelve less than the side managed by his Chilean rival.
Meanwhile, Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has stated that he is “not scared” of Chelsea ahead of his sides final twelve league games, according to Sky Sports.
The France international, who scored in Sunday’s Capital One Cup final victory over Sunderland, is confident that City have what it takes to wrestle the Premier League trophy back from neighbours Manchester United.
Andre Schurrle bagged a second-half hat-trick as Chelsea opened up a four point lead at the top of the Premier League by beating local rivals Fulham 3-1 at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.
The Germany international broke the deadlock seven minutes into the second half, while just sixteen minutes later, the Blues were out of sight with a comfortable three-nil lead.
Jonny Heitinga soon pulled one back for Felix Magath’s side, who remain rooted to the bottom the table while Jose Mourinho’s men are now four points clear of both Liverpool and Arsenal, and six clear of Manchester City, who now have two games in hand due to their involvement in yesterday’s Capital One Cup final, which they won by three goals to one against Sunderland.
Liverpool secured a comprehensive 3-0 win at Southampton in Saturday’s late Premier League kick-off, while Arsenal fell to a 1-0 defeat at Stoke City.
Chelsea will have the chance to extend their lead at the summit to seven points when they host Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday afternoon, with the rest of the top four not in league action.
Arsenal and Manchester City face Everton and holders Wigan Athletic respectively in the FA Cup quarter finals, while Liverpool don’t play until their league clash against champions Manchester United on Sunday week.