Tag Archives: Chelsea

Man United striker Romelu Lukaku expected to be fit for Chelsea game

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Romelu Lukaku had a scan on his injured ankle on Monday, with the hope being that the Manchester United striker should be fit for the FA Cup final against Chelsea on 19 May.

The Belgian is expecting the scan results on Tuesday, although the initial diagnosis from the club’s medical department allowed optimism that the problem is minor and Lukaku can recover in time to face Antonio Conte’s team.

Lukaku, 24, is usually a quick healer and as he came off as soon as suffering the problem in the 50th minute of the 2-1 win against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday it was not unduly aggravated.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho said after the game: “When a player is injured I’m not immediately going for good or bad news.”

If Lukaku does recover as expected it will be a major boost for the United manager as he aims to claim a third major trophy in two seasons in charge. Lukaku is the club’s top scorer with 27 goals in all competitions, 16 of which have been in the Premier League.

United require four points from their three remaining matches to be sure of a second-place finish, which would a highest since the title win of five years ago.

Chelsea beats Southampton to set up FA Cup final with Man United

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Olivier Giroud’s brilliant semi-final goal helped Chelsea beat Southampton by 2-0 as the Blues go on to set up a FA Cup final with Manchester United.

Giroud, 31, received the ball from Eden Hazard and jinked his way past two Southampton players in a crowded area before he stabbed the ball home.

It was a goal which provided the game’s memorable moment as the player showed superb balance, poise and technique to finish as Southampton defenders dropped like dominoes.

The scored stayed the same, before Giroud was replaced by Alvaro Morata with 10 minutes to go and the substitute sealed safe passage with Chelsea’s second when he headed in at the back post from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross.

Southampton went close with Nathan Redmon’’s low drive from distance while Charlie Austin hit the post, meaning that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will come up against managerial adversary Jose Mourinho at Wembley on 19 May.

French international Giroud won the FA Cup three times as an Arsenal player and his fondness for the competition continued against the Saints with the crucial first goal.

He now has a hand in 22 goals in 26 appearances in the competition since January 2012, with 15 goals and seven assists — more than any other player in the competition during that period.

He also had scored twice as Southampton squandered a two-goal lead against Chelsea to lose 3-2 in their Premier League fixture at St Mary’s last weekend.

After his strike at Wembley he has now scored eight goals at Southampton’s expense, against no other side has he scored more since he arrived in England.

Dele Alli brace secures first Spurs win at Stamford Bridge in 28 years

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Dele Alli scored a braced for Tottenham Hotspurs to helped his team rally from a goal down and win at Chelsea for the first time in 28 years.

While Alvaro Morata headed in Victor Moses’ cross to give the hosts the lead, Christian Eriksen hit a stunning equaliser on the stroke of half-time as his dipping effort from 25 yards caught out Blues keeper Willy Caballero and dropped just under the bar.

Alli then putt Tottenham ahead just after the hour mark when he produced a sublime first touch to bring Eric Dier’s long ball under control before slotting beyond Caballero.

The England midfielder was well-placed four minutes later to stab in following a goalmouth scramble to wrap up a win that moves fourth-placed Tottenham eight points clear of Chelsea, who are fifth.

Before the game, Spurs held a horrible record at Stamford Bridge in the league, losing 18 of their 27 games since a late Gary Lineker header secured a 2-1 win in February 1990.

Initially, it looked as if their miserable run would continue as, despite dominating possession, they fell behind to Alvaro Morata’s goal.

But Eriksen’s goal was all they needed to rally, and it was also the perfect response by Alli after a disappointing couple of weeks with England on international duty — after failing to make an impact in a 22-minute substitute appearance in the 1-0 win against the Netherlands and was then left on the bench for the 1-1 draw with Italy.

“I’m very, very pleased,” said Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino of his key midfielder. “It’s been a tough period for him, but for no doubt about his talent, his character. He’s a fighter; very competitive.”

“If he doesn’t play for the international team he needs to fight and win trust and confidence again. (But) In the end, he’s a great talent, only 21 years old, and sometimes we lose the focus on that.”

Andreas Christensen: defender sought John Terry advice after slump

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Andreas Christensen had sought out former Chelsea captain John Terry for advice this month after experiencing a first slump since establishing himself in the first team amongst the Blues.

The Denmark international returned from a two-year loan spell with Borussia Monchengladbach last summer and immediately found himself a place in Antonio Conte’s backline, effectively ousting David Luiz.

However, the 21-year-old centre-half, 21, was culpable for Barcelona’s equaliser in the first leg of Chelsea’s Champions League knockout tie last month and for concessions in subsequent defeats by Manchester United and Manchester City.

Therefore, Christensen had duly sought out Terry, now at Aston Villa but a visitor to Chelsea’s training ground this month, for reassurance.

“I try to keep things inside the club, not bringing anything home with me,” Christensen said. “I have had a smaller talk with John Terry: he has also experienced setbacks and it is always nice to talk to someone watching it from the outside and to learn that they have experienced the same.”

“He told me that it is natural to make mistakes and he tried to put it in perspective for me saying that, if a forward misses a chance, he can make it good again by scoring when he gets the next opportunity. But (as defenders) we can’t change a goal scored against us, so when we make mistakes it is more crucial and it is easy for people to point fingers. I have realised it, looked at it and now I have moved on.”

Christensen subsequently impressed in Chelsea’s 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win at Leicester City on Sunday — where he was substituted for Gary Cahill in extra time following his midweek exertions at Camp Nou, and continues to benefit from his head coach’s support.