It’s the end of the road for Lampard,Cole at Chelsea with Benitez as coach

Just two days into his new job as Chelsea manager, Rafa Benitez has started to break-up the Champions League-winning team by telling legends Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole that they are to leave at the end of the season.

Both players are out of contract next summer and Chelsea’s new coach said they won’t stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season.

Chelsea captain John Terry is already on his way out of Stamford Bridge with the European champions not prepared to renew his current contract.

Chelsea on the verge of losing Neymar to Barca

London club Chelsea may have to do without Brazilian playmaker; Neymar (possibly to replace Ivorien Didier Drogba) if nothing extra is done to lure the player to England, as his Brazilian team-mate Dani Alves urged him to join Barcelona.

Neymar a long-term target of Chelsea may move to Spain instead of the Premier League after Barcelona right back Alves said he would be a success at the Nou Camp.

Chelsea also has Brazilian stars such as Oscar who could sway Neymar to join Stamford Bridge, if the need arises.

Alves said “Obviously anybody would want to play for Barcelona,” Alves said.

“If Barcelona is interested in Neymar and if next month, next year or in two years he comes, I don’t know.

“I hope he does come here because, as I’ve already said, he would get better as a player and he would also improve the team.”

20-year-old Brazil striker would have been signed by the Blues last summer but according to report, the deal didn’t go well.

Chelsea’s bid for Paulinho rejected

European champions; Chelsea got a disappointing news on what would have been  another move to fortify their 2012 squad after it was announced by Brazilian club Corinthians that Brazilian midfielder Paulinho whom Chelsea has been after for a while now has signed a new contract with the club.

Although, speculations are that the move is to find ways to increase the stakes on the  24-year-old, that is larger fee for his services in the future.

Corinthians dismissed the thought of selling their star to the Premier League club, as  Corinthians’ President Mario Gobbi Filho insisted that no bid will be consider for the midfielder as they want to hold on to their man.

“We have renewed his contract and we have adjusted it, now it is at a level appropriate for Paulinho and the market’.

We have no intention to sell him; it is out of the question.

“We have a cycle that lasts until July and we renewed his contract to keep him, not to sell him”

“We do not want to transfer any player in January.”

The midfield anchor man has been in impressive form of late attracting the interest of many European clubs.

Alongside the Blues, Inter Milan are rumoured to be monitoring the situation closely with the club’s bosses keen to add depth to their squad.

Paulinho, who won his first international cap last year, has made six outings for Brazil notching two goals.

Mikel Obi apologises for Champions League blunder

Mikel Obi, Nigeria and Chelsea midfielder apologised for his blunder that caused his club Chelsea the much desired win in the first match to launch their campaign to defend their champions’ league title.

In a match that was almost won with a perfectly executed game plan, the Stamford Bridge club was on course to finish the game with a 2-1 score line when Mikel carelessly gave the ball away in the build-up to the equalizer  cancelling the two goals from Brazil midfielder Oscar.

Nigeria midfielder Mikel Obi has apologised for the Champions League blunder that allowed Juventus to snatch a 2-2 draw against holders Chelsea.

With just 10 minutes remaining at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, Chelsea were on course to open their title defence with a victory after two goals from Brazil midfielder Oscar gave them a 2-1 lead over the Italian champions.

Mikel said in a brief interview with Sky Sports after the game said he thinks Chelsea switched off that it was a pass meant Eden Harzard but unfortunately it didn’t get him that was when everything went awry but he felt Chelsea would have dealt with it properly.

Mikel then apologised thereafter saying “If I want to make up an excuse, I can, but for me, I gave the ball away. I put my hands up, we move on.

“I’m sorry about the mistake, but there are no excuses” Mikel concluded.

The Nigerian had been encouraged, however, by Chelsea’s energetic beginning to the match, adding, “I think we started the game well, we scored two goals and we had more possession of the game. We had the game under control but they scored one goal.

“We came out in the second half trying to do something in the way that we started the first half but their second goal was a cheap goal to give away.”

It could have been even worse for Chelsea as Quagliarella hit the crossbar with a looping shot just after his equaliser.

Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo was frustrated with the way his team lost control after taking a two-goal lead, but he could at least take heart from Oscar’s wonderful display on his debut for Chelsea.

We have ourselves to blame for Juventus draw – Di Matteo

Chelsea Manager Roberto Di Matteo reacted to the poor finish of the Blues at home in Stamford Bridge against Italian club Juventus in their first game of the UEFA Champions League Campaign for the 2012/2013 season.

Di Matteo said Chelsea is blaming itself for blowing a two-goal lead and making the title defence sloppy from the start of the campaign after giving up the lead to settle for a draw against Juventus ending the game 2-2.

From the start, Chelsea proved to be ready for their title defence with debutant Oscar scoring a stunning first-half double, but the Italian champions ruthlessly exposed the holders’ defensive deficiencies to snatch a Group E draw at Stamford Bridge, with Arturo Vidal and Fabio Quagliarella on target.

Chelsea’s defending was bad enough when Juventus pulled a goal back through Vidal before half-time. But just when it looked as if the holders had done enough to hang on, they went missing again, with John Obi Mikel giving the ball away and failing to track back with David Luiz straying away making impossible to stop Quagliarella whose goal drew level for Juventus.

Di Matteo said he thinks Chelsea should have dealt with it a little bit better as there was no pressure on the ball and it was pretty difficult to play offside.

The Chelsea Manager said Chelsea lost possession just beforehand and should have reacted much quicker to losing the ball than his team did even though Chelsea played some good stuff but loose the ball a bit too cheaply.

Oscar was sensational in term so good football in a two-minute spell just past the half-hour mark. Di Matteo raised eyebrows by handing the £25million Brazil star his full debut but it proved an inspired selection.

The 21-year-old’s opening goal owed a lot to the kind of luck Chelsea enjoyed in spades en route to their Champions League triumph but his second was the kind of spectacular strike that would have had billionaire Roman Abramovich drooling.

Di Matteo said it was a great debut for Oscar and he thought it was the right game to start him and he did a perfect job tactically because he proved that by scoring two goals and the second one was a wonderful goal. He is a big talent and he has got a bit of everything.

Champions League: Juventus 2-2 draw dampens Chelsea

European champions, Chelsea were left stunned by Italian Club Juventus last night at Stamford Bridge as the visitor rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 2-2 draw, thanks to Fabio Quagliarella’s brace in the 80th minute souring the Blues’ Champions League title defense.

Chelsea’s Oscar scored on long-range shots in the 31st and 33rd minutes, the first deflecting off Leonardo Bonucci into the corner of the net and the second a superb curler from the edge of the penalty area.

Arturo Vidal reduced the deficit in the 38th for Juventus, making its return to the competition after a three-year absence. Quagliarella tied the score six minutes after entering the match.

Chelsea Manager lamented saying “We are disappointed and a little bit deflated to get in a great position to win the game and come away with only a draw,”

The Manager said further that Chelsea should have closed the game.

Esteban Granero ready for Chelsea in weekend derby

Esteban Granero said he cant wait to make his home debut for QPR in this weekend’s derby clash with Chelsea.

Rangers face a tough task against the in-form Premier League leaders, who have made a brilliant start to their campaign.

And the midfielder, recently signed from Real Madrid, says he is well aware that local pride will be at stake when Roberto Di Matteo’s side visit Loftus Road.

“Chelsea is one of the great teams and also our neighbours. QPR supporters are very excited by this game and expect a good game,” he said.

“It’s a great game for our supporters against our neighbours. It’s not just about three points – it’s more important than that.

“The supporters of QPR are looking forward to this game and so am I – my first game at Loftus Road.”

New-look Rangers have drawn at Norwich and lost at Manchester City since being thumped 5-0 at home by Swansea on the opening day of the season.

But Granero insisted: “At first it’s normal to take time to get to know each other as we have a lot of new players. We will have a good season.

“We have only one point but it’s not the way it’s going to be. This season is going to be great – I can see it.”

 

 

Essien moves to Real Madrid on season-long loan

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien joined Spanish champions Real Madrid on loan on transfer deadline day.

The Ghanaian re-joins former Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who brought him to England in 2005, at the Bernabeu.

The 29-year-old has often been touted as a box-to-box midfielder for his ability to exert boundless energy in supporting offensive and defensive play.

Essien can also play as a centre-back.

Essien began his career playing for Liberty Professionals in his home country. In 2000, he moved to France joining SC Bastia. Essien spent three seasons at the club appearing in over 60 matches before joining league champions Olympique Lyonnais in 2003.

At Lyon, Essien won back-to-back league titles in 2003–04 and 2004–05 and also played in the UEFA Champions League for the first time. During his five-year stint in France, he acquired French citizenship.

In 2005, Essien signed with Chelsea for a fee of £24.4 million and, at the time of his signing, was the most expensive African footballer in history.

At Chelsea, Essien helped the club win the Premier League in 2006 and 2010, as well as three FA Cups and one Football League Cup. In 2008, he appeared in the UEFA Champions League Final. He has won the Chelsea Goal of the season award twice, in the 2006–07 and 2008–09 seasons.

A Ghanaian international, Essien started at youth level as he represented his country at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship and 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship with the latter team finishing as runner-up.

Essien made his senior team debut in January 2002 and has represented his nation at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where Ghana reached the Round of 16. He is often referred to as the Bison for his tough tackling style, boundless energy and physical presence on the pitch.

Barcelona pushing for David Luiz

Chelsea and Brazilian defender David Luiz has attracted Spanish giants; Barcelona and they are ready to test Stamford Bridge’s decision on the Brazilian as Chelsea has made it known that David is not going to be sold as the player just joined Chelsea in January of 2011 so there no immediate plans to sell him to any club and this is coming a week before the transfer window closes officially.

With his present value around £30million by the London club, there’s been a speculation that Barcelona has strong interest in Luiz who has been touted as not a guaranteed starter.

Meanwhile, a photograph of David Luiz on private plane was posted by him on twitter saying that he was preparing to fly to Barcelona, but the club responded saying he was on his way to attend a Nike event in Barcelona with the permission of Manager Di Matteo.

Luiz, before the EPL clash between Chelsea and Reading which ended in favour of Chelsea declared himself injured and that he will be missing the match on Wednesday night via twitter.

The player has had a divided opinion at the club since he joined from Benfica for a deal worth around £25m. An unorthodox defender who has been prone to the occasional mistake had his taken by Tim Cahill on Wednesday night against Reading, the England international scored Chelsea’s second goal in a performance that question the defence of the team in terms of discipline.

Chelsea would looking to sign up a right-back rather than a centre-back as Branislav Ivanovic told Di Matteo that he wants to be considered as a centre-back and not as a right-back, where he has found himself playing for much of last season.

There’s already a likely replacement for the Brazilian in the event of leaving Chelsea as Marseille right-back Cesar Azpilicueta is one candidate regarded as a suitable option which the Blues’ have signed on.

 

Chelsea cruises to second EPL victory against Reading

Chelsea, on Wednesday evening got their second EPL victory at home after recording the first victory against Wigan.

Fernando Torres ensured the path to victory with his goal after Blues’ trailed behind the visitor throughout the later part of the first half before Cahill scored a 30-yarder and the pressure doubled on the part of the new European champions and it brought about Torres’ goal which he tapped in from to give Chelsea 3-2 lead at Stamford Bridge.

Pavel Pogrebnyak had cancelled out Frank Lampard’s penalty opener and Danny Guthrie had seen his tame free-kick spin in after a Petr Cech error.

With the score line at halftime, Di Matteo rearranged his game plan by throwing on attacking players – Oscar and Daniel Sturridge – in the second half, the ‘youth squad’ had a neat move which left Ashley Cole with the simplest of jobs to cross for Torres to do a clean finish.

Reading tried to respond in the final few minutes but paid the price for their ambition, as Branislav Ivanovic swept home deep into injury time following a quick counter-attack after Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici had gone up for a corner at the other end to give Chelsea a comfortable win of 4-2.

EPL games from next weekend were re-arranged due to Chelsea’s participation in the European Super Cup.

Defender David Luiz ruled out of Chelsea-Reading clash

David Luiz Chelsea defender revealed today that he will not be kitting up for Chelsea against Reading in a Premier League clash taking place on tonight as he has picked up a knee injury.

The 25-year-old who partnered John Terry in the centre of the west London outfit’s defence at the DW Stadium during their 2-0 win over Wigan on Sunday passed this information via the social media network Twitter explaining why he had to pull out of Chelsea’s second league game of the season.

David Luiz said in his message that he is a bit sad today, because he will not be playing tonight, revealing that he has a pain in his knee and there is every possibility that Gary Cahill will take up his position in his absence.

He moved to Benfica at the age of 19, remaining with the club five seasons (three complete). He joined Chelsea in January 2011, winning the Champions League and the FA Cup in the following season.

On 31 January 2011, Luiz completed a move to Chelsea for an undisclosed fee, which Benfica confirmed to be €25 million [£20m], on a five-and-a-half-year contract, with Nemanja Matić joining Benfica at the end of the season after his transfer spell away at Vitesse in the Netherlands.

He made his official Premier League debut on 6 February, replacing José Bosingwa in a 1–0 home loss against Liverpool. He made his first start for Chelsea, in a 0–0 draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage, eight days later.

Instantly becoming a cult hero amongst the Chelsea fans, David Luiz was awarded the Barclays Man of the Match award for his performance, despite giving away a penalty in the 93rd minute of the game, which was saved by Petr Čech.

On 1 March, David Luiz scored his first goal for Chelsea, firing in a half volley to help the Blues come from behind to win 2–1 against Manchester United, at Stamford Bridge, with Frank Lampard scoring a late penalty winner.

On 20 March, he scored his second goal for the Blues, heading in from a free kick against Manchester City (2–0 home win), and again receiving the Man of the match award, as well as the Player of the Month for March.

Di Matteo mum over Chelsea transfer targets

Roberto Di Matteo has insisted that Chelsea’s potential targets this summer henceforth will not be for public divulgence as the Chelsea Boss further revealed that the English club is not backing out of spending in the transfer market this summer.  

With fresh signings like midfielder Marko Marin of Germany and Belgian international Edin Hazard in their kitty, the Blues are so fired up in the transfer market towards the end of last season and into the summer as the club has been linked to Brazilian striker Hulk as despite the large transfer fee being placed on him by Porto and the move on the Brazilian is to allow Di Matteo to build a side capable of challenging the two Manchester clubs for the Premier League title next season.

The Chelsea Boss, 42 was full of praise for the two new recruits, Hazard and Marin as he weighed the impact they could have next season as he kept mum concerning other new signings billed for the club.

“Hazard is a wonderful player, a fantastic player and has achieved a lot at such a young age, winning the Ligue 1 player of the year,” said Di Matteo.

“Marin is another talented young player who can play in a variety of positions, which is helpful for the team.

“I’m pretty happy with the team but we will look at the market and if there are any opportunities to improve the team then we will pursue it.”

On Florent malouda and Benayoun Yossi, Di Matteo said nothing has been decided yet on their future with the club as the two were linked to moving away from the Bridge as he went further to say the guys are still part of the squad and they definitely will report for duty at the start of the pre-season.