FC Porto finished the Champions’ League group phase with an unbeaten record after earning a 3-2 victory at Galatasaray on Tuesday.
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Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has indicated that he is unsure what had struck the team during the second half of the Premier League clash at Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Blues opened the scoring after a deflected shot via Ruben Loftus-Cheek and they went into the break holding a handy advantage.
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Eden Hazard says he is torn between signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge and a “dream” move to Real Madrid. The Belgian forward has two years left on his contract with the Blues but was associated with a move to the European champions in the summer. Hazard has scored seven times in the Premier League this season.
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With the pressure on the former Real Madrid talisman at Juventus, is this the reason for the snub at the international level? The forward would not skipper Portugal when they meet Croatia and he would not be available for the very important game against Italy in the UEFA Nations League.
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Chelsea have said they would not sell England international Ruben Loftus-Cheek. There have been claims that the player would seek a permanent shirt somewhere else as he faces career crossroad. The 22-year old had a nice season at Crystal Palace last term and has said he would return to Stamford Bridge for the pre-season before deciding on the next course of action.
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Ukraine were overwhelming favourites to get three points in the opening Euro 2016 qualifying match against Slovakia. However, the first suffered a shock 1-0 defeat that has threatened to derail player tournament qualification hopes even after just one match. Ukraine were also sensationally denied an equaliser from the goalkeeper in the dying minutes of the match. Goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov had gone up for a set piece in the last few seconds of the match and he turned out to provide an unlikely point for his team, who had been struggling up until then.
Despite having the ball in the back of the net, Ukraine were left disappointed after the referee ruled it out as a foul. Ukraine coach Mykhaylo Fomenko was not pleased with the decision of the referee, as he felt that his team had scored a fair goal. He said that Pyatov collision with his opposite number was not a foul and simply an accident. Fomenko realising that he could no longer change the match, stated that one the reasons for Ukraine’s poor performance was the large injury list that he had to contend with ahead of the match. Slovakia had only one shot on target and they scored their goal through Mak in the 17th minute with Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik being the provider.
“We scored a fair goal in the end and I was surprised the referee cancelled it. We did not foul in the penalty area, Slovakia’s keeper simply collided with his team mate. We had at least three key players missing due to injuries which affected our performance,” said the Ukraine coach. The troubled eastern European team will now be hoping to get back on track in the next round of qualification matches in October. They face Belarus and Macedonia in the next international round of fixtures.
In the last season of the Premier League, Chelsea lacked a consistent striker that could score goals and threaten the defensive sides of any club but during the transfer window they have managed to sign Diego Costa from Athletic Madrid and this has turned Chelsea into heavy favorites of winning the English League next time around.
Diego Costa was one of the most sought out players in the summer transfer window and despite having received interest from clubs all around Europe, it was Chelsea the club that managed to sign him after paying Athletic Madrid €32 million and Costa signed a 5 year long contract that will see him earning €150,000 each week.
There is no doubt that the attacking department of Chelsea is one of the best and maybe even the best out of all the clubs that are currently performing in the Premier League with the likes of: Diego Costa, Andre Schurrle, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Oscar all of which are expected to be lined up.
There is however a position in the squad of Jose Mourinho that still remains undecided as to which player will be taking up the position and this is the goalkeeper position. During the pre-season matches of Chelsea, Mourinho has switched between Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech on a number of occasions but it still does not seem like the Portuguese manager has definitely elected or announced his preferred player.
Chelsea kicks off their Premier League season on Monday, August 18 when they play against Burnley and according to Jose Mourinho, Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech will receive the news of who is going to be elected as the main goalkeeper on Sunday.
Mourinho said: “the players don’t know who’s first choice. When will I tell them? On Sunday.”
Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech are both world class shot-stoppers but unfortunately one of them will be seeing the sidelines for a substantially long period of time during the approaching Premier League season unless Jose Mourinho decides to switch them around in each match