Daily Archives: August 14, 2017

Premier League Champions Chelsea loses opening day game to Burnley

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Premier League Champions Chelsea suffered a stuttering start to their new Premier League season after a 2-3 defeat to Burnley and having two players sent off in the match.

Blues Captain Gary Cahill was quickly removed from the pitch on 13 minutes for a late studs up challenge on Steven Defour.

With numerical advantage, Burnley quickly exploited the newfound space With Sam Vokes netting twice — a header and a volley — on either side of a lashing angled drive from Stephen Ward.

However, Chelsea did came back into the game in the second half, with summer signing Alvaro Morata scoring his first goal for the club before Cesc Fabregas was also sent off after being shown a second yellow card.

David Luiz then fired home for Chelsea from inside the box after being set up by a Morata header to set up a frantic final few minutes, during which Burnley struck the post through Robbie Brady before holding on to take the three points.

However, as title defenses go the Blues were off to their worst start — it was their first opening-day league defeat since 1998 and they have now had four men sent off in their last three competitive games, dating back to last season’s FA Cup final.

For Burnley, it was a rare away win from Turf Moor — they had only one playing away from home last season in their battle against relegation — a 2-0 win against fellow survivors Crystal Palace on 29 April.

Their survival then had also heavily depended on their form at Turf Moor. Although they picked up 33 points at home, they mustered just seven away — and just one between the start of the season and the end of February, with a goalless draw at Manchester United on 29 October.

Jurgen Klopp says that Philippe Coutinho’s future is out of his hands

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Jurgen Klopp has made it clear that any decision about Philippe Coutinho leaving Liverpool is out of his hands.

The Liverpool boss, who is keen to keep the Brazilian playmaker within the rank of the Reds, claimed that his “bosses” have the final say on any players going in or out of the club.

Coutinho, 25, is reportedly desperate to join FC Barcelona and has already submitted a transfer request to Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards on Friday to try to force the move through, with Liverpool already rejecting an 80 million Euro bid for the player.

On the same day, Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group said its “definitive stance” was that “no offers will be considered”.

But speaking after Liverpool’s 3-3 draw at Watford, Klopp said “As a manager of a football club I have bosses, and if bosses decide, for example, just in general, if we sell a player or we don’t sell him, then I have to accept it. I cannot say anything about it [the transfer request].”

“I am responsible for the whole team, all the players, so I need to be focused on the players who are available. The players who are not available, I have no influence over it.”

Liverpool would be disappointed with Coutinho especially after having him sign a five-year contract extension last season, and even though the club had previously made it clear to him in face-to-face meetings that a move to Barcelona would not be entertained at the moment.

Asked whether he was upset with Coutinho’s conduct, Klopp said: “First of all, if I would be upset with the player, I would tell him.”

Cristiano Ronaldo scored and then sent off in Spanish Super Cup

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Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo had a mixed day in the Camp Nou after scoring and then sent off as his team defeated FC Barcelona by 3-1 in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

Gerard Pique had scored an own goal early in the second half to give Real the lead in the annual curtain raiser between the Spanish Liga champions and the Copa del Rey holders.

Lionel Messi then came to Pique’s rescue and looked to have saved his blushes by scoring a controversial penalty in the 77th minute after Luis Suarez tumbled easily to a challenge from Keylor Navas.

Ronaldo, who started the game on the bench, was subbed in for Karim Benzema 12 minutes after half-time.

He then struck a wonderful curling shot to score from from outside the area three minutes after Messi’s penalty, thus restoring the Liga and European champions’ advantage but was quickly cautioned with his first yellow of the game for removing his shirt — a mimic of Messi’s celebration at the Santiago Bernabeu in last April’s Clasico.

The Portuguese captain was quickly given a second yellow just moments later for diving to attempt to win a penalty and he will miss Wednesday’s second leg at the Bernabeu.

But Real seemed unperturbed from losing their star man and, far from letting Barcelona back in, Marco Asensio then extended Madrid’s advantage with a scorching shot from outside the area in the 90th minute.

The 3-1 advantage for Real, with Zinedine Zidane’s side also holding the home ground advantage makes his Los Blancos squad — who have lifted at three trophies in the past three months — huge favourites to lift the trophy going into Wednesday’s Super Cup second leg at the Bernabeu.