Lampard Focused On Finishing Third Rather Than Crowning Liverpool

Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard gestures during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge in London on December 14, 2019.
OLLY GREENWOOD / AFP

 

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard will happily play a part in crowning Liverpool champions for the first time in 30 years, but only because it would mean his side have taken points from Manchester City on Thursday.

Should Liverpool beat Crystal Palace on Wednesday, City will need to win at Stamford Bridge to keep the title race alive for another week before they host Liverpool on July 2.

Chelsea are in need of the points themselves to cement their place in the top four, with Lampard keen to catch Leicester in third before the season is over.

“I have had absolutely no thought of Liverpool’s situation, it makes no odds to us at all,” said Lampard.

“We respect Liverpool and Manchester City as two fantastic teams, in the last two to three seasons they’ve been dominant, but we can only look at what this match means for us.”

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Chelsea famously played a big part on the night Leicester clinched the league in the 2015/16 season, coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Tottenham in what became dubbed “The Battle of the Bridge” after nine of the Spurs side were booked.

“I don’t think you can compare a Chelsea-Tottenham game to potentially stop Tottenham winning the league,” added Lampard on the rivalry between the London sides.

“I am aware of the situation, but I can only focus on us.

“We have a job to do and our job is to go up against one of the best teams in the world over the last few seasons and try to get a result.”

AFP

Chelsea Manager Sarri Charged With Misconduct

 

Fourth official Roger East (R) directs Chelsea’s Italian head coach Maurizio Sarri from the technical area during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Burnley at Stamford Bridge in London / AFP

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association following his late dismissal in Monday’s 2-2 draw with Burnley.

The 60-year-old Italian has until Friday to answer to the charge.

Sarri’s assistant Gianfranco Zola claimed after the match that the decision to send his compatriot to the stands was unfair as he “was just trying to tell our players to get in position”.

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“Maurizio Sarri has been charged with misconduct in relation to his behaviour in the 94th minute of Monday’s (22/04/2019) Premier League fixture between Chelsea and Burnley,” read an FA statement.

“The Chelsea manager has until 18:00 (1700 GMT) on Friday (26/04/2019) to provide a response.”

Sarri’s expulsion comes as pressure mounts on him to deliver Champions League football for next season. His compatriot Antonio Conte was sacked after failing to do so last season.

Chelsea occupy the fourth and final qualifying place but the two dropped points at home against lowly Burnley could prove costly.

They are only a point better off than Arsenal, who can leapfrog them later on Wednesday if they get at least a draw at Wolves.

Sarri’s last resort may come in winning the Europa League — Chelsea play German outfit Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals — with Arsenal as potential opponents in the final should the Gunners beat Valencia.

Chelsea Finally Put An End To Conte’s Tenure As Manager

In this file photo taken on April 14, 2018 Chelsea’s Italian head coach Antonio Conte waits for kick off of the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on April 14, 2018. PHOTO: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Antonio Conte’s two-year tenure as Chelsea manager which began with a bang last year after winning the Premier League title ended sourly on Friday with the club announcing they had parted company with him.

The 48-year-old Italian had been seen as vulnerable despite winning the FA Cup last term having fallen out with both the board and senior players.

The former Italy national coach returned to take training this week but the writing was on the wall and the drawn out process was reportedly due to how much compensation the club should pay Napoli for his likely successor Maurizio Sarri.

“Chelsea Football Club and Antonio Conte have parted company,” the club said in a terse statement.

“During Antonio’s time at the club, we won our sixth league title and eighth FA Cup.

“In the title-winning season, the club set a then-record 30 wins in a 38-game Premier League season, as well as a club-record 13 consecutive league victories.

“We wish Antonio every success in his future career.”

Conte leaves with the best win percentage 65.1% of any of Chelsea’s managers in the Premier League era.

Former banker Sarri, 59, will be Chelsea’s eighth manager inside a decade as Russian owner Roman Abramovich has never shown a sentimental side to his nature regarding them, no matter the trophies they won the preceding season as Roberto di Matteo found just months after delivering Abramovich’s holy grail the Champions League.

Conte — who had a year to run on his contract — is seen to have contributed to his own demise by falling out both with the players and the board as the sheen of the title victory quickly disappeared.

His intense training methods angered senior players and he alienated the board with disparaging treatment of Spanish striker Diego Costa and constant carping over the club’s failure to replace top players with those of similar ability.

‘Thank you Boss’

However, while present players may have had issues with Conte, former Chelsea legend John Terry, who left after the league title-winning campaign had nothing but praise for him.

“Thank You Boss,” Terry posted on Instagram alongside a photo of the two of them holding the Premier League trophy.  “Great man, Great manager. I wish you every success in the future.”

Sarri has been favourite to succeed his compatriot after impressing as manager of Serie A side Napoli, who have replaced him with former Chelsea handler Carlo Ancelotti.

Sarri, who split his time between banking and playing football before he took up coaching aged 40, has not won a major honour in three years at Napoli but has guided the club to finishes of second, third and second again.

The chain-smoking former Empoli manager — who will have to restrain himself on the touchline in England where smoking is banned — was named Serie A Coach of the Year in 2016-17.

The main reason for the prolonged saga has been compensation.

Conte is due to a reported £9million ($11.9million) if he remains out of work for the season and with the major jobs such as Real Madrid and the Italy national post — which he occupied for two years till after Euro 2016 — filled it is likely he will sit the year out.

Napoli are also expecting compensation of around £4.5million for Sarri, who is under contract even though he is no longer their coach.

Sarri is believed to have agreed to bring former Chelsea favourite Gianfranco Zola — whose managerial career has stalled after a series of failures — along as one of his backroom staff.

Sarri has also presented a list of players he would like to sign.

They reportedly include Brazil-born Italy international midfielder Jorginho from Napoli, CSKA Moscow’s Russian playmaker Aleksandr Golovin and Italian defender Daniele Rugani from Juventus, the side that edged Napoli in the Serie A title race.

AFP

Kante Fit After Fainting Incident, Says Conte

Source:www.chelseafc.com

 

Chelsea Manager Antonio Conte said Friday that midfielder N’Golo Kante has trained all week and is showing no ill-effects after passing out briefly in the dressing room last week.

The French midfielder missed Sunday’s match against Premier League leaders Manchester City after the incident, which shocked teammates.

“N’Golo is fine,” Conte said at his pre-match press conference. “He trained the whole week. He’s in good form. He’s fine.

“Last week, on Friday, it was very cold. After the training session he passed out briefly in the dressing room.

“The doctor brought him to have many check-ups, to understand his physical condition. But it was all clear. I think that on Sunday he was well, but at the same time it was right not to take a risk, to give him the opportunity not to play and to rest. He’s OK. Every check-up is OK, it is perfect.”

Conte said he had the option of playing either Olivier Giroud or Alvaro Morata up front against struggling Crystal Palace on Saturday. Neither started against City.

“I trust them both and for sure I’m working with them both to bring them in the best physical form and best condition,” he said.

“Morata is coming (back) from a strange injury in his back. He was for a long time out. Giroud is in good form now, is working very well, is working every day and is in good physical condition. I trust a lot in all my players.”

Asked about his team’s confidence after four defeats in their past five Premier League matches, the Italian replied: “For sure, when you lose many games in a row it’s not simple.

“We have to regret the games against Bournemouth, Watford, (Manchester) United. When you play against City there is the possibility to lose the game. Our confidence is normal. We are working very well as always.”

Conte said David Luiz and Ross Barkley were injured and he had to “check a couple of situations”, without going into further detail.

AFP

Chelsea Manager, Antonio Conte Italy’s Top Choice As New National Coach

Chelsea’s Italian head coach Antonio Conte gestures on the touchline. Photo: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Chelsea Manager, Antonio Conte is Italy’s first choice to succeed Gian Piero Ventura as national team manager, the Italian Football Federation confirmed on Tuesday morning.

Italy have been searching for a new manager since Ventura was fired after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

And Conte – who previously managed the national team and reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 – has emerged as their first-choice replacement.

“We plan on appointing the new coach by June. Conte, Mancini or Di Biagio? These are the names, it won’t be anyone else,” said Costacurta at Italy’s Coverciano training camp outside Florence.

Former AC Milan star Costacurta has been given the task of finding a replacement for Gian Piero Ventura, who was sacked after Italy’s World Cup exit.

All three are former Italian international players. Costacurta did not mention former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri, who has said he would leave French club Nantes if offered the Italy job.

Conte, 48, coached Italy from 2014 to the quarter-finals of the 2016 European Championship before taking over at Chelsea.

“I never said I preferred Conte,” continued Costacurta, who had said in an interview this week the Chelsea boss was the number one choice.

“I only said that having already worked with the national team, he has the right characteristics.

“Given we don’t have any outstanding talents at the moment, we need a very good coach, and the names I’ve mentioned are good coaches.”

Zenit Saint Petersburg coach Mancini, 53, has said he wants the job to fulfil his dream of winning the World Cup.

Mancini has won silverware with all clubs he has managed. He led Manchester City in 2012 to their first English title in 44 years and won three Serie A titles with Inter Milan and Italian Cups with Inter, Fiorentina and Lazio, and a Turkish Cup with Galatasaray.

Italy Under-21 coach Di Biagio, 46, a former Roma and Inter Milan defensive midfielder, has little coaching experience and has been appointed as interim national coach for friendlies against Argentina and England next month.

Costacurta added that he agreed with Di Biagio, who wants to call up Italy goalkeeping icon Gianluigi Buffon, 40, for the friendlies.

“I agree with Buffon’s final contribution for Italy not being that evening against Sweden,” he added of Buffon’s decision to retire after Italy lost two World Cup playoffs.

“We gave Di Biagio the chance of choosing what he thinks is best for these two friendlies.”

AFP

Pep Guardiola Named Manager Of The Month

Pep Guardiola, Eden HazardPep Guardiola has won the Premier League Manager of the Month award for February.

Guardiola guided Manchester City to three straight wins last month, winning 4-0 away at West Ham, 2-1 at home against Swansea and 2-0 away at Bournemouth.

He defeated Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, Manchester United boss, Jose Mourinho and West Brom manager, Tony Pulis to win his first accolade in England.

Meanwhile, Eden Hazard clinched the Premier League Goal of the Month for February with his solo goal against Arsenal.

Hazard glided past three Arsenal players in a run that started inside his own half before beating Petr Cech in a 3-1 victory at Stamford Bridge on February 7.

His goal beat off competition from Danny Drinkwater’s thunderbolt for Leicester against Liverpool and Robbie Brady’s stunning free-kick on his full Burnley debut against Chelsea to pick up the award.

Chelsea Beat Manchester United 4-0

Chelsea, Manchester United, EPLFormer Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho was humiliated on his return to Stamford Bridge on Sunday as the Blues thrashed Manchester United 4-0.

The Blues led after just 30 seconds when Pedro capitalised on slack defending. Smalling hesitated as a long ball flew in, De Gea charged out and Pedro stole in to whip the ball round the ‘keeper into an empty net for what is now the fastest goal of the season.

The evening got worse for Jose Mourinho 20 minutes later. From a corner, the ball broke to Gary Cahill six yards out and he volleyed high into the net past De Gea.

United offered little sign of making a comeback after failing to capitalise on their good spell in the second half and they fell further behind when Eden Hazard drilled in a precise 15-yard strike to make it 3-0.

It was no way back at this point for the Reds. N’golo Kante sealed victory with a stunning goal; his first for Chelsea.

He took the ball after a clever flick from Pedro, brilliantly dribling past Chris Smalling and then rolled sublimely into the corner past David de Gea.

Chelsea with the victory, moved within a point of English Premier League leaders Manchester City who had earlier played a 1-1 draw with Southampton at the Etihad Stadium.

 

Conte Demands Focus After Chelsea’s Loss To Liverpool

Antonio Conte, Chelsea, LiverpoolChelsea manager, Antonio Conte, has called on his team to learn valuable lessons from their defeat to Liverpool in the English Premier League.

The defeat was Conte’s first since taking charge of the Blues and the former Juventus boss was disappointed with the two goals his side conceded.

He asked them to pay attention to details if they want to think like a great team.

Liverpool centre-back, Dejan Lovren, feels The Reds have become fully accustomed to the ‘tactical blueprint’ of their coach, Jurgen Klopp, for trips to the homes of their rivals.

Since Klopp’s arrival at Anfield in October, Liverpool have returned unbeaten in six league visits to Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City.

They also claimed a 1-1 draw at Manchester United in last season’s Europa League last-16 second leg, following a 2-0 first-leg win at Anfield.

“We know what we need to do when we come to away games, especially against big teams like Chelsea.

“We are a team who wants to play, who wants to win – we are not a team who will defend deep and await our chances,” 27-year-old Lovren told Liverpool website.

Chelsea had lost 1-2 to Liverpool in a premier league cracker-match on Friday at the Stamford Bridge.

The much talked about game started with both teams hoping to pick at least a point but Liverpool emerged winners after a perfect first half performance saw them race into a 2-goal lead that Chelsea could not recover from.

EPL: Conte Disappointed As Chelsea, Swansea Play 2-2

Antonio Conte, Chelsea,Chelsea on Sunday evening dropped their first points of the English Premier League season as Diego Costa struck twice to rescue a draw at Swansea City.

Costa capitalised on woeful Swansea defending to fire the dominant visitors into a 1-nil half-time lead.

But Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty and Leroy Fer’s bundled goal two minutes later turned the game on its head.

Costa scored an acrobatic late second to salvage a point for Antonio Conte’s team, who stay second in the table.

In spite of the heroic fightback however, Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, saw the result more like two points lost, rather than a point gained.

“It is difficult to talk about the game because I think today we lost two points.

“We were dominant in the game, were leading 1-0 and we created a lot of chances to score the second and third goal. Just in two minutes the match changed.

“I am disappointed because, when you have the opportunity to kill the game, you must kill the game but then, this is the English league,” he said.

Chelsea Announce Antonio Conte As Head Coach

Antonio ConteChelsea Football Club has announced the appointment of Antonio Conte as First Team Head Coach.

Conte, who is currently the manager of the Italy national side, has signed a three-year contract. He will begin work in London following his country’s participation in this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament.

The 46-year-old said: “I am very excited about the prospect of working at Chelsea Football Club. I am proud to be the coach of the national team of my country and only a role as attractive as manager of Chelsea could follow that.

“I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and the day-to-day challenge of competing in the Premier League.

“Chelsea and English football are watched wherever you go, the fans are passionate and my ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy.

“I am happy we have made the announcement now so everything is clear and we can end the speculation. I will continue to focus on my job with the Italian national team and will reserve speaking about Chelsea again until after the Euros.”

Conte will be the fifth Italian to manage Chelsea, following on from Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo. In common with the first three of those names, he was formerly at Juventus, in his case as both a player and a manager.

Having played more than 400 games for the Italian giants, Conte’s three years in charge of the team between 2011 and 2014 yielded three straight Serie A titles – Juventus’s first league championships in eight years and their first three-in-a-row since the early 1930s. They had finished seventh the two seasons prior to Conte.

The Bianconeri also won two Italian Super Cups with him in charge. Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Carlos Tevez and Arturo Vidal were among his signings during a spell so productive he was named Serie A Coach of the Year in all three seasons there.

Chelsea Director Marina Granovskaia said, “We are very pleased to have recruited one of the most highly regarded managers in world football and we are equally pleased to do so before the end of the current season. This aids our future planning.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Guus Hiddink, who has done a great job since he joined us in December.”

Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck added, “Antonio Conte has a record of consistent success in his career as a manager and as a player. We look forward to welcoming him to Stamford Bridge and are confident he will find all he needs to maintain that high standard of achievement.”

Hiddink Stresses Joy As Element Of Success

HiddinkChelsea manager, Guus Hiddink, has highlighted ‘joy’ as the important element of success required to get his players performing at their best.

Speaking during an interview ahead of Sunday’s Manchester City clash, the Dutchman said that ‘the best comes out of a player when he plays with joy’.

“Players, even if they are high-profile, well-paid professionals as they are at this club, deep down they must play with joy,” the manager said on Chelsea’s website.

Hiddink pointed out that Joy is not always laughing but “enjoying being a professional, enjoying training and enjoying doing your job”.

“When you feel that naturally, the performance is unconditional,” he said while he described the blues” FA Cup tie with City as an ‘early final’.

Meanwhile, Manchester City boss, Manuel Pellegrini, had resolved to rest several senior players in the team, so that youngsters such as Bersant Celina and Manu Garcia could feature.

He hinted that Bacary Sagna was back in training and might return from a knee problem.

Chelsea Appoint Hiddink As Interim Manager

Chelsea Appoint Hiddink As Interim ManagerTwo days after Chelsea sacked Jose Mourinho, the Blues have confirmed that Guus Hiddink will take over as manager until the end of the season.

The 69-year-old also managed the Blues on a temporary basis for the final three months of the 2008-2009 campaign.

The Dutchman left his role as Netherlands Manager during their unsuccessful European qualifying campaign.

Chelsea sacked Mourinho seven months after he led them to the Premier League title.

The 52-year-old Portuguese had been in his second spell at the club as the Blues are currently 16th on the EPL table.

Chelsea finished eight points clear last season and also won the League Cup, but have endured a terrible start to their defence, losing nine of their 16 league games so far.