West Ham Defeat Chelsea At Stamford Bridge

Chelsea’s US midfielder Christian Pulisic (CL) vies with West Ham United’s English defender Ryan Fredericks (CR) during the English Premier League football match at Stamford Bridge in London on November 30, 2019. Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

 

Aaron Cresswell eased the pressure on Manuel Pellegrini as the West Ham defender fired his struggling side to a shock 1-0 win at Chelsea on Saturday.

Pellegrini was reportedly given two games to save his job this week, but the Hammers boss might have earned much-needed breathing space with a first win in eight Premier League games.

It was West Ham’s first victory at Stamford Bridge in 14 visits dating back to 2002.

The Hammers had lost their last three matches, increasing the speculation that former Manchester City manager Pellegrini was set for the sack.

Now Pellegrini goes into Wednesday’s trip to Wolves with renewed hope of avoiding the axe after West Ham moved six points clear of the relegation zone.

Inflicting a second successive Premier League defeat on Chelsea made the hard-fought result even sweeter for West Ham fans.

After last weekend’s loss at Manchester City, fourth-placed Chelsea’s momentum has stalled a little following one of the least coherent displays of Frank Lampard’s maiden season in charge.

West Ham’s slump has coincided with the poor form of reserve keeper Roberto following an injury to first-choice Lukasz Fabianski.

Pellegrini finally lost patience with Roberto after he conceded nine goals in his last three games, handing 33-year-old David Martin his debut after his pre-season move from Millwall.

It proved a successful gamble and Martin cried tears of joy after keeping a clean-sheet on his first top-flight appearance.

When Martin was called into action for the first time, his save from Mason Mount’s low drive drew extra loud cheers from the West Hams crammed into the Shed End behind him.

Chelsea were dominating possession without finding the final touch needed to break down West Ham’s massed defence as Christian Pulisic headed Pedro’s cross wastefully over.

Martin then misjudged Reece James’ deflected cross and watched in panic as it clanged off the near post, with the resulting corner headed woefully wide by Kurt Zouma.

– Lack of cutting edge –

Despite Chelsea’s territorial superiority, they remained creaky at the back.

No top-10 team had conceded more than the 19 goals Chelsea had allowed heading into the latest round of fixtures.

Pellegrini’s men almost took advantage of the holes in Chelsea’s defence when Robert Snodgrass swung over a cross and Michail Antonio found space for a diving header that Kepa Arrizabalaga pushed away at full stretch.

Martin fumbled Mateo Kovacic’s long-range effort before recovering quickly to block Olivier Giroud’s attempt to knock in the rebound.

With Tammy Abraham ruled out with a hip injury suffered in the midweek Champions League draw at Valencia, Giroud was making his first start since August 18.

But the France striker was totally anonymous for long periods and Chelsea lacked a cutting edge as a result.

When James whipped over a teasing cross, Giroud arrived too late to make contact and Pulisic, just behind him, scuffed it wide to cap a frustrating half for Chelsea.

There was even more angst for Chelsea after the interval as a penalty appeal for handball against West Ham’s Fabian Balbuena was turned down before the visitors snatched the lead in the 48th minute.

Felipe Anderson and Pablo Fornals worked the ball wide to Cresswell on the edge of the Chelsea area and the left-back tricked James with a clever cut-back before curling a fine finish into the far corner.

Chelsea’s defensive vulnerability had been laid bare and the Hammers nearly capitalised again when Balbuena’s header from Snodgrass’s corner was saved by Kepa.

As Chelsea ran out of ideas, Antonio thought he had doubled West Ham’s lead when he bundled in Snodgrass’s cross, but VAR disallowed the goal for handball by the forward.

It didn’t matter as West Ham held firm in the closing stages to win for the first time since beating Manchester United on September 22.

AFP

Pochettino Hails Alli As Tottenham Break Chelsea Jinx

Tottenham Hotspur’s English midfielder Dele Alli celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on April 1, 2018. PHOTO: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Mauricio Pochettino saluted Dele Alli as Tottenham ended their 28-year wait to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge with a 3-1 victory, while Arsenal left it late to seal their 3-0 win over Stoke on Sunday.

Defeat for Chelsea shattered their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League as Tottenham opened up an eight-point lead over their closest challengers for fourth place.

Ending their long wait for a win at their London rivals is just the latest sign of the progress made under Pochettino.

And it was even more impressive as they came from behind as a huge error from Hugo Lloris gifted Alvaro Morata the opening goal when the Tottenham goalkeeper misjudged a cross in the 30th minute.

Christan Eriksen’s sublime long-range strike drew Tottenham level in first-half stoppage time.

Alli took centre stage to end a barren run with two smart finishes in the 62nd and 66th minutes.

Tottenham could even afford the luxury of doing the damage without Harry Kane, who made his return from a three-week layoff with ankle ligament damage 16 minutes from time.

It was a sweet moment for Alli, who has endured criticism for some erratic performances this season.

“He’s a great talent and I have no doubts about him. Young players need room to breath,” Pochettino said.

“There’s pressure on their shoulders. But he has nothing to show to me or Tottenham.

“It’s more about the expectation being so high. I’m so happy for him.”

After a long run of poor results in away fixtures against their top four rivals, Tottenham finally proved they can win when the stakes are highest.

Pochettino, yet to win a trophy with Tottenham, said: “After 28 years it is important to win here. It’s a happy day for everyone – fans, players. We feel very proud.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte admitted Eriksen’s equaliser was a hammer blow after his side had dominated for much of the first half.

“The goal at the end of the first half it wasn’t good for us and our confidence. We deserved to go in 2-0 up but football is this and Eriksen scored a fantastic goal,” he said.

“Second half we tried to score again but Tottenham have been more clinical than us. In this season we are not so clinical and then we lost the game.”

Conte rues Chelsea flop

Failing to qualify for the Champions League could trigger Conte’s departure at the end of the season after he spent much of the campaign feuding with the club’s hierarchy over their failure to back his transfer plans.

But Conte wouldn’t concede Chelsea are out of the race for the top four.

“For sure we lost a great chance today to reduce the gap with Tottenham,” he said.

“There are seven games to go and we have to do our best until the end. At the end of the season, you finish in the position you deserve.”

At the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal warmed up for Thursday’s crucial Europa League quarter-final against CSKA Moscow with three goals in the final 15 minutes against second-bottom Stoke.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the first two, including a penalty opener.

Alexandre Lacazette netted the third, also from the spot, after Aubameyang passed up the chance of a hat-trick to give his out-of-form team-mate a welcome confidence boost.

Asked if he was surprised Aubameyang did not take the second penalty, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said: “No, because I know they have a good understanding.

“I like that because it can only make the team stronger. That shows well the state of our society because when people are generous we are surprised.”

Frustrated by the first penalty decision, Stoke manager Paul Lambert called for the Premier League to introduce the Video Assistant Referee system that has so far only been used in cup competitions in England.

“I’ve seen VAR work. I saw it in Germany and it worked seamlessly, absolutely no problem at all,” he said.

AFP

Tottenham In Historic Win Over Chelsea At Stamford Bridge

                                                                                                                                                                       Tottenham Hotspur’s English midfielder Dele Alli (L) celebrates with Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean striker Son Heung-Min after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on April 1, 2018. PHOTO: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Dele Alli scored twice in four second-half minutes as Tottenham Hotspur beat Chelsea 3-1 on Sunday to end a 28-year wait for a Premier League win at Stamford Bridge.

Defeat for the hosts all but ends Chelsea’s hopes of Champions League football next season as Spurs opened up an eight-point lead over their closest challengers for fourth place.

Ending their long wait for a win at their London rivals is just the latest sign of the progress made under Mauricio Pochettino as Spurs look set to seal a place in the Champions League for a third straight season.

And it was even more impressive as they came from behind as a huge error from captain Hugo Lloris gifted Alvaro Morata the opening goal.

Christan Eriksen’s wonder strike levelled in first-half stoppage time before Alli took centre stage to end a barren run by his standards with two smart finishes just after the hour mark.

Spurs could even afford the luxury of doing the damage without Harry Kane, who made his return from a three-week layoff with ankle ligament damage 16 minutes from time.

Alli was pushed into a more advanced role than his usual roving role behind Kane and had the first chance but couldn’t direct Eriksen’s cross goalwards.

Chelsea was the side far more in desperate need of the points and that began to show as the first-half developed.

Willian and Victor Moses forced Lloris into comfortable saves, whilst Marcos Alonso also saw a goal ruled out for offside.

However, the French number one was clearly at fault when the opener arrived on the half-hour mark.

Morata hadn’t scored in the Premier League since Boxing Day, but no one has scored more headed goals in the league this season and he was left with the easiest of tasks to nod into an empty net as Lloris flapped at Moses’s cross.

Symbolic Spurs win

Lloris was also far from secure when he parried Alonso’s driven cross back into the danger area and relied on Jan Vertonghen to make a crucial clearance.

Eriksen’s shooting ability from long range had been Spurs’ only real threat before the break.

Willy Caballero, deputising for the injured Thibaut Courtois, got a strong hand to the Dane’s first warning shot.

However, Caballero was helpless when Eriksen’s fierce dipping effort clipped the bar on its way past him in first-half stoppage time.

The Argentine goalkeeper was forced into a brilliant save from another long-range effort, this time from Son Heung-min, on the hour mark as Spurs started to take control.

And two minutes later they led when Alli brilliantly controlled Eric Dier’s long pass before slotting inside Caballero’s near post.

Alli had scored just two goals in his previous 19 games in 2018 but soon had as many in four minutes as Spurs set the seal in a hugely symbolic win.

Son was again denied by Caballero but Alli pounced on the pinball inside the Chelsea area before slotting into the bottom corner.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte kicked a water bottle into his dugout with the frustration of a man who knows his days in charge.

Failure to make the top four is likely to seal the Italian’s fate no matter what comes of Chelsea’s run to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

However, Spurs too are in the last four and on this evidence are more likely to end their wait for a trophy under Pochettino, particularly with Kane back to lead the line.

AFP

Crystal Palace Stun Chelsea At Stamford Bridge

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Christian Benteke’s 11th minute strike has helped Crystal Palace stun league leaders, Chelsea, by two goals to one at Stamford Bridge.

Cesc Fàbregas gave the Blues a 5th minute but two goals in two minutes from Wilfred Zaha and Benteke ensured the Eagles took home all three points.

Elsewhere, Tottenham beat Burnley 2-0 to close the gap on Chelsea to seven points.

Hull City edged West Ham 2-1, Super Eagles midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, scored Leicester City’s opening goal in their 2-0 win over Stoke City.

Manchester United and West Brom drew goalless at old Trafford.

Watford pipped Sunderland 1-0, while in the day’s lunchtime kickoff, Liverpool beat Everton by three goals to one at Anfield.

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 Offer John Terry One-Year Contract

John Terry, ChelseaChelsea captain, John Terry, has been offered a new one-year contract on Friday.

The Blues confirmed the English professional footballer’s extension on its website and twitter handle.

Interim manager, Guus Hiddink, who is preparing for his final Premier League match against champions, Leicester City, at the Stamford Bridge on Sunday said that Terry was considering the offer.

The 35-year-old former England defender would be out of contract at the end of the season.

He made his debut in 1998 and has played more than 700 games for the West London side.

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.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Confirms Offers From EPL

Zlatan-IbrahimovicSweden captain, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has confirmed he has gotten offers from the English Premier League (EPL) ahead of the new season.

Ibrahimovic’s contract with French champions, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) runs out in the summer.

The Swede had been linked to a move to Major League Soccer earlier in the season but his brilliant form has opened up other possibilities.

He has scored 35 goals in 40 games for PSG so far this season.

Ibrahimovic helped the French side progress to the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions league after beating English side, Chelsea 2-1 both at the Parc des Princes stadium and Stamford Bridge.

Petr Cech Named Czech Republic Player Of The Year

Petr CechArsenal goalkeeper, Petr Cech, has been named Czech player of the year for the eighth time.

The award was announced on Monday after votes by coaches, players and club officials. Football federation officials and journalists also participated in the poll.

Sparta Prague striker David Lafata, finished second while Hertha Berlin midfielder Vladimir Darida came third.

The 33-year-old Arsenal player has been capped 118 times since making his international debut in 2002.

Cech joined Arsenal from Premier League champions Chelsea last June after making over 400 appearances in 11 years at Stamford Bridge.

Petr Cech has helped Czech Republic qualify for Euro 2016 in France where they play Spain, Croatia and Turkey in Group D.

However, a calf muscle injury he sustained earlier in March has ruled him out of the forthcoming international matches against Scotland and Sweden.

National team coach Pavel Vrba was voted best coach for the sixth straight year.

Chelsea Manager Reacts To Champions League Exit

ChelseaChelsea’s interim manager, Guus Hiddink, says his side showed too much respect to Paris St-Germain (PSG) as the Blues exited this season’s UEFA Champions League.

Hiddink lamented that the hosts lost their cutting edge when Diego Costa went off injured in the second half of the game.

Chelsea, who are currently 10th in the English Premier League, now have the FA Cup as their only hope of a trophy this season.

It was a dream come true for the League One side PSG, as they beat Chelsea 2-1 in Wednesday night’s second leg round-of-16 tie at the Stamford Bridge.

Midfielder Adrien Rabiot opened the scoring for Paris st-Germain (PSG) before Costa fired a fantastic shot to level the score board in the first half.

The morale of the French side went high in the second half as Zlatan Ibrahimovic set PSG on the lead with an assist from Angel Di Maria.

Eden Hazard has been largely criticised for his role in the defeat and was booed by some Chelsea fans when he was substituted 13 minutes from time.

Hazard swapped shirts with PSG winger Angel Di Maria as the players left the field at half time and this did not impress the fans.

But defender, Branislav Ivanovic has jumped into the defence of the midfielder, arguing that the Belgian showed his commitment to the cause by playing.

“People have to think about the fact he started the game injured,” Ivanovic told Evening Standard.

“Did that show how committed he is? Yes. Of course when you lose a game the fans are not happy and they have to be like that.

“But in my opinion it was one of his best performances so far. He was very strong and quick. He wanted to score and had a couple of actions where he looked like last season.”

UCL: PSG Humble Chelsea At Stamford Bridge

PSGIt was a dream come true for the League One side, PSG, as they beat Chelsea 2-1 in Wednesday night’s second leg round-of-16 tie of the UEFA Champions League (UCL).

Midfielder Adrien Rabiot opened the scoring for Paris St-Germain (PSG) before Chelsea forward, Diego Costa fired a fantastic shot to level the score board.

Subsequently, both sides held their grounds to defend their goals which lasted till the end of the first half.

It seemed the morale of the French side increased in the second half as Zlatan Ibrahimovic set PSG on the lead with an assist from Angel Di Maria in the 67th minute.

PSG have led Chelsea out of the champions league and have also progressed to the quarter finals after thrashing Chelsea 2-1 both at the Parc des Princes stadium and Stamford Bridge consecutively.

EPL: Chelsea Set For Norwich, Leicester Loses Kante

EPLChelsea manager, Guus Hiddink, has confirmed Brazilian Alexandre Pato could make his debut soon for his side but that there is competition among the strikers.

The English Premier League champions signed Pato from Corinthians in January on loan until the end of the season but the 26-year-old has lacked match fitness.

Chelsea will face Norwich City in Tuesday night’s EPL clash and Hiddink says he is pleased with the progress of his squad since he took over in December.

Leicester City manager, Claudio Ranieri, says midfielder, N’golo Kante, will miss the night’s English Premier League clash against West Bromwich Albion with a hamstring injury.

Coach Ranieri said that the defensive midfielder would also miss the trip to Watford on Saturday.

Leicester lead second-placed Tottenham Hotspur by two points with 11 games left and Coach Ranieri admits his side still has a lot to play for.