CHELSEA ARE EIGHT WINS FROM WINNING THE EPL TITLE SAYS ANTONIO CONTE

IMG_20170317_191633_663

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes his side need 24 points from their remaining 11 fixtures to win the Premier League title.

Leaders Chelsea, who are yet to face four other teams from the top seven, appear to be running away with the league title as they sit 10 points above the chasing pack but Conte was not thinking too far ahead.

“Now I think we need 24 points to win the league. It’s important for us to go game-by-game without looking forward,” Conte said on Friday.

Conte played down reports suggesting he was stalling over a new contract in the hope of gaining more control of transfers.

“For now it is important for me and the players to be focused on the present to reach our target. I repeat I’m very happy to be Chelsea’s coach,” the Italian added.

“Honestly I have a good relationship. When I need something I speak with the club and we find always to try and find the right solution. Always together.”

Midfielder N’Golo Kante, who joined from Leicester City last year, has had a stellar debut campaign at Chelsea and is being touted to win the player of the year award.

Read More

CHELSEA VS MANCHESTER UNITED: JUDAS IS STILL NUMBER ONE SAYS MOURINHO

IMG_20170314_101032_631

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho told Chelsea fans “I’m still number one” after being heckled during his side’s FA Cup loss at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho, sacked twice by Chelsea, was called ‘Judas’ by fans during United’s 1-0 defeat, responding by pointing three fingers in reference to the three league titles he won with the club.

He said: “Until the moment they have a manager that wins four Premier Leagues for them, I’m the number one.

“Until then, Judas is number one.”

N’Golo Kante’s low shot was enough for Chelsea to beat holders United – who had Ander Herrera sent off in the first half – and set up a semi-final against Tottenham at Wembley.

Mourinho, 54, is Chelsea’s most successful manager after winning titles over two spells in 2005, 2006 and 2015.

He said: “They can call me what they want. I am a professional. I defend my club.

“I’m really proud of my players, I’m really proud of Manchester United fans.”

Mourinho would not discuss the Herrera red card, calling referee Michael Oliver “a referee with fantastic potential”.

He said: “I don’t want to go in that direction. In four matches he [Oliver] has given three penalties and a red card. I cannot change that. I shook his hand and said many congratulations.

“Mr Oliver goes home and he can do his own analysis, because I don’t want to analyse his work.”

Also, Mourinho’s Blues counterpart Antonio Conte accused United of targeting Hazard during the match.

Read More

CHELSEA PLAYMAKER EDEN HAZARD WINS PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY

IMG_20170310_212635_530

Chelsea star Eden Hazard has picked up the February award for Premier League Goal of the Month after his brilliant run and finish put Arsenal to the sword in the 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge.

Hazard was a popular selection chosen from the combined votes of a panel of experts and the public, seeing off competition from Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater and Burnley new boy Robbie Brady to scoop the second prize of the year.

Hazard has been instrumental in helping the Blues develop a commanding lead at the top, and after scoring a sublime opener in the 2-1 win at West Ham, the diminutive playmaker has been recognised for another excellent strike.

With the Blues leading 1-0 against the Gunners on February 4, Hazard picked up the ball on the halfway line with plenty of work to do.

He looked up and embarked on a solo run which took him past Laurent Koscielny and then left Francis Coquelin on the floor before skirting beyond the Arsenal captain again and firing past Petr Cech for his third goal in his previous four home games.

It was a decisive contribution from the Belgian in what could prove a season-defining moment, with his celebrations after the magnificent effort showing the significance of the strike.

‘It is one of the best Premier League goals I have scored for sure,’ Hazard said. ‘I was not thinking about scoring but step by step I came close to the goal and in the last 10 metres I was alone.

‘When the ball went in I felt that I created something special so I was happy.’

Hazard is the second Chelsea player to win the award this campaign, after Pedro’s goal against Tottenham earned the November prize.

Chelsea are 10 points clear of Tottenham and Manchester City and need 24 points from their last 11 Premier League games, but they will turn their focus on sealing a FA Cup semi-final place against Manchester United on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Belgian has underlined his commitment to the Blues amid renewed interest from Real Madrid.

The 26-year-old stated earlier this season that he would only entertain the idea of leaving Stamford Bridge if he won the Premier League title again – an eventuality that could come to fruition this May.

Hazard said: ‘If I ever leave, it’ll be after winning a championship. You need to go out on a high so that people remember you for the right reasons.’

But despite the likelihood of Antonio Conte’s side not being caught at the summit, Hazard will not push through a move to the Bernabeu this summer, with three years remaining on his current Chelsea contract.

Read More

CHELSEA 3-1 ARSENAL: RAMPANT BLUES SAW OFF ARSENAL TO MOVE 12 POINTS CLEAR

Marcos Alonso opened the scoring before a superb solo goal from Eden Hazard and a strike from Cesc Fabregas sealed victory for Antonio Conte’s men

An Eden Hazard-inspired Chelsea extended their lead at the Premier League summit with a dominant 3-1 win over title rivals Arsenal.

Marcos Alonso gave Chelsea a 13th-minute lead, heading home the rebound when Diego Costa’s header looped up off the crossbar.

The wing-back’s robust challenge on Hector Bellerin that allowed him to score is likely to draw post-match rancour from Arsene Wenger, but the suspended Gunners manager could have no complaints when those alongside him in the stand were brought to their feet in the 53rd minute.

Hazard made his mazy way from his own half to the edge of the Arsenal six-yard box to score the kind of goal that can come to define title triumphs.

Arsenal could muster little in the way of a response as they limply succumbed to a defeat more chastening than the one they dealt out to Antonio Conte’s men in September, when the prospect of Wenger besting an elite opponent in the dugout briefly re-emerged.

At Stamford Bridge, as substitute Cesc Fabregas collected Petr Cech’s woeful clearance and lobbed into an unguarded net, it was nowhere to be seen.

By the time Olivier Giroud headed a stoppage-time consolation from Nacho Monreal’s centre, the fact Liverpool can shave Chelsea’s advantage to 10 points by beating Hull City later on Saturday felt of greater significance.

Chelsea’s measured playing out from the back has been a feature of their transformation under Conte but goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and David Luiz passed their way into trouble in the second minute.

Mesut Ozil intercepted and Alex Iwobi’s low drive deflected agonisingly wide with Courtois beaten.

The hosts’ first opening came from a set-piece when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain brought down Victor Moses and Gary Cahill headed into the turf and over.

Arsenal failed once more to deal with their opponents’ aerial threat when they fell behind.

Costa planted a header from Pedro’s excellent right-wing cross against the crossbar and, with Cech peeling himself off the turf, an onrushing Alonso emphatically beat the stationary Bellerin to the rebound.

The groggy Spain right-back was substituted shortly afterwards after failing to recover and Costa fired into the side netting as Chelsea scented blood.

Shkodran Mustafi was redeployed to right-back and earned a booking for clattering Hazard, although the Belgium playmaker recovered sufficiently to orchestrate a flowing 32nd-minute move that ended with Cech unconvincingly spilling Pedro’s attempt behind.

Bellerin’s replacement Gabriel had a glorious chance to equalise before the break but could not keep his free header down and Courtois acrobatically clawed to safety.

Early in the second period, Laurent Koscielny made a vital challenge on Hazard as the last man but, shortly afterwards, the mercurial Belgian effortlessly shimmied past the France centre-back – having unceremoniously shrugged off Francis Coquelin – to score a stunning solo goal.

Wenger shuffled his pack to little effect – as if rearranging the deck chairs on a once-famous ocean liner – and an increasingly understaffed midfield appeared ever more to Hazard’s liking.

His old protege Fabregas applied the final insult in the 85th minute and declined to celebrate. The midfielder was in a small majority as Stamford Bridge lapped up a famous triumph – Giroud offering the briefest punctuation to the party atmosphere.

Read More

Eden Michael Hazard

Eden Michael Hazard (born 7 January 1991) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays for Chelsea and the Belgium national team. He primarily plays as an attacking midfielder and a winger. Hazard’s creativity, speed, and technical ability are widely acknowledged. He has been described as “a superb passer” and has earned critical acclaim for his playing style, which has led to the media, coaches, and players drawing comparisons to FIFA Ballon d’Or winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Hazard is often ranked by coaches, colleagues, and commentators as one of the best players in the world.

Hazard is the son of former Belgian footballers and began his football career in Belgium playing for local clubs Royal Stade Brainois and Tubize. In 2005, he moved to France joining first division club Lille. Hazard spent two years in the club’s academy and, at the age of 16, made his professional debut in November 2007. He went on to become an integral part of Lille under manager Rudi Garcia, racking up over 190 appearances. In his first full season as a starter, he won the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Young Player of the Year award becoming the first non-French player to win the award. In the 2009–10 season, Hazard captured the award again becoming the first player to win the award twice. He was also named to the league’s Team of the Year.

In the 2010–11 season, he was a part of the Lille team that won the league and cup double and, as a result of his performances, was named the UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year becoming the youngest player to win the award. Hazard was also given the Bravo Award by Italian magazine Guerin Sportivo for his performances during the 2010–11 season. In June 2012, after spending over eight years at Lille, Hazard signed for English club Chelsea, where he went on to win the UEFA Europa League in his first season and the PFA Young Player of the Year in his second. In the 2014–15 season, he helped Chelsea win the League Cup and Premier League, earning him the FWA Footballer of the Year and the PFA Players’ Player of the Year awards.

Hazard has been credited as being “possibly the outstanding talent in Europe right now”. At Lille under former manager Rudi Garcia, Hazard often played in the latter role in the team’s 4–3–3 formation and regularly switched flanks because he could use both feet.

Hazard is a Belgium international, having represented his nation at under-17 and under-19 level. Hazard made his senior international debut in November 2008, aged 17, in a friendly match against Luxembourg. Nearly three years after his debut, Hazard scored his first international goal against Kazakhstan in October 2011. He has since earned over 70 caps, and was a member of the Belgian squad which reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Due to the absence of Kompany, Hazard was named captain of Belgium for the UEFA Euro 2016 finals and reached the quarter finals before bowing out to Wales.

Read More