The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on Thursday, with the tournament hosts Russia hammering Saudi Arabia 5-0 – but there some big news regarding the Premier League. The fixtures for the 2018/19 season have been announced, and Chelsea have been handed with a trip to Huddersfield on the opening day.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take centre stage across the globe when it begins tomorrow. However, while the opening game between Russia and Saudi Arabia should be the main talking point, the shock sacking of Spain manager Julen Lopetegui has stolen the headlines on the eve of the tournament.
After winning his third consecutive Champions League winners’ medal, Zinedine Zidane shocked the footballing world by resigning just five days after Los Blancos’ 3-1 victory over Liverpool in Kiev. Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino were the original front-runners but with both managers ruling themselves out, the Spanish giants turned to Antonio Conte.
Despite picking up the Players’ Player of the Season accolade at the end of season awards at Stamford Bridge, last season wasn’t Willian’s best since his arrival in London. After spending a lot more time on the bench than he would’ve expected, the Brazilian has admitted it was ‘difficult‘ as it was something he hasn’t had to get used to.
Some football fans were surprised when Gareth Southgate announced Gary Cahill in his England squad, especially with an in-form James Tarkowski missing out. However, the Chelsea defender started the friendly against Nigeria last Saturday, earning the man of the match award with the opening goal and a solid defensive display in the 2-1 win.
Roman Abramovich has been facing legal troubles over the last few weeks as the news came to light that the renewal of his UK investor visa was being delayed.
On the back of Derby County’s Championship play-off semi-final exit, Gary Rowett has chosen to fill the vacant manager’s position at Stoke following Paul Lambert’s departure.
Ever since Chelsea got their hands on the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season, there has been talk about Antonio Conte losing his job as Blues manager. Despite their FA Cup triumph last week, a fifth-place finish in the league is expected to be enough for the board to sack the Italian.
On a day where a royal wedding dominated proceedings in London, Chelsea came away from Wembley with the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Manchester United. Eden Hazard’s first-half penalty was enough to separate the sides in what could turn out to be Antonio Conte’s final game in charge of the Blues against their former boss, Jose Mourinho.
The Premier League confirmed that the transfer window, in line with its earlier finish this summer, will start six weeks before it usually does. Opening on Thursday at midnight, top-flight sides will be itching to get deals done before the beginning of the World Cup next month.
With the 2018 FIFA World Cup less than a month away, the 23-man England squad was announced on Wednesday. There were places for two Chelsea players as Gary Cahill and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were both selected for the tournament in Russia. The former has been to a World Cup before in Brazil four years ago but it will be a completely new experience for his younger teammate.
While it certainly hasn’t been the best season for Chelsea men’s team, it has been quite the opposite for the ladies side as they have signed off a great campaign with a fantastic double.
It’s been a season for Chelsea that can only be described as underwhelming and as is the way with modern football, a below-par campaign often results in the manager losing his job. That’s the harsh truth for Antonio Conte despite his fantastic influence over last season’s Premier League title-winning side.
A substandard Premier League season has ended in the worst possible way for Chelsea as they confirmed their place in the Europa League next term with a truly awful 3-0 loss against Newcastle.
Wednesday night saw Chelsea dealt a huge blow in their race for the top four as they could only muster a 1-1 draw with a Huddersfield side that secured their top-flight status for next term.
On a night where Chelsea could keep their pursuit of a top-four finish on the right track with a win, they faltered and had to accept a 1-1 draw with Huddersfield, who confirmed their Premier League safety with a point. Laurent Depoitre put the unlikely visitors in front before Marcos Alonso pulled the scores level.
45 Minutes Lacking Intensity and Effort
Starting the game with Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud on the bench got the alarm bells ringing amongst the fans at Stamford Bridge as an underperforming Alvaro Morata led the line for the Blues. Regardless of the attacking changes, it looked as though it would be one of those nights for the Terriers’ goalkeeper, Jonas Lossl as he kept out early strikes from Willian and Alonso with relative ease.
Antonio Rudiger than came close with the hosts firmly on top, volleying wide after Cesar Azplicueta had flicked on Cesc Fabregas’ corner. Huddersfield stood extremely firm and looked incredibly organised until N’Golo Kante sparked an opening with an inch-perfect ball through to Morata. The former Real Madrid striker rounded Lossl but the angle was too tight and his cross trickled across the six-yard box.
The first-half came to a close with tensions high as Chelsea were denied the opportunity to take a corner earned in stoppage time, unbelievable really considering the amount of time-wasting done by David Wagner’s side.
Relentless Pressure Fails to Earn Three Points
Despite the visitors rarely even making their way out of their own half in the opening 45 minutes, they got themselves in front just five minutes into the second-half. It was a calamitous goal as Aaron Mooy’s lofted ball caused problems in the Chelsea backline, allowing Depoitre to get the better of Willy Caballero in the first exchange and to calmly lift the ball into the gaping net.
This left last year’s champions with plenty to do. Giroud and Hazard were brought onto the field and it wasn’t long before it was 1-1. The ball was worked out wide to Azpilicueta courtesy of Fabregas’ fabulous switch where it was fizzed into the penalty area. Mathias Jørgensen attempted to clear the ball but could only hit the side of Alonso’s head and the ball found its way inside the corner of the net.
It was time for the kitchen sink to be thrown at the Terriers and that’s exactly what happened as waves and waves of Chelsea attacks flooded into the 18-yard box. With less than 10 minutes to go, it looked as though Andreas Christensen had done enough to turn the game on its head but his well-placed header was stupendously saved by Lossl in what must be one of the saves of the season.
The pressure increased as the Champions League hopefuls desperately searched for a winning goal but it was to no avail and the match finished 1-1, much to the delight of the Huddersfield supporters. The Blues must now beat Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday and hope that Brighton come away from Anfield with all three points to make the top four.
On a Super Sunday dominated by Arsene Wenger’s last ever home game in charge of Arsenal, Chelsea managed to keep their chances of a top-four finish alive with a 1-0 win over Liverpool. Olivier Giroud scored the only goal of the match as his former boss bid farewell to the Emirates with a 5-0 battering of Burnley.
The race for the UEFA Champions League in the Premier League season will go right to the wire as Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea are still in the running for the final two places. While whichever side manages to secure third spot will be guaranteed Champions League football next year, if the Blues or Spurs finish fouth, they could miss out on Europe’s elite competition.
Chelsea managed to keep up the pressure on Liverpool and Tottenham in their unlikely race for a top-four finish with a win over Swansea on Saturday afternoon. However, it was an extremely narrow victory as Cesc Fabregas’ sweet strike in the third minute separated the sides.
This season has been the first ever where an English club side has used the national stadium as their home ground, with Tottenham using Wembley for all of their home fixtures. It was also the second campaign where West Ham had used the London Stadium (previously the Olympic Stadium) for their home games.
In their late-season push for the top four, Chelsea took advantage of Liverpool’s goalless draw with Stoke by beating Swansea 1-0 courtesy of an early goal from Cesc Fabregas at the Liberty Stadium.
The 2017/18 Premier League season is nearing its climax and after a weak title defence from Chelsea, it seems as though they are looking to strengthen their side in an attempt to reclaim their crown. The Blues’ slim chance of making the Champions League might make it harder for them to attract new players.
In the Wembley sunshine on Sunday afternoon, Chelsea booked their place in the Emirates FA Cup final after beating Southampton 2-0. Antonio Conte’s side will face Manchester United after the Red Devils came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 on Saturday. Goals from Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata after half-time confirmed a comfortable victory in the end.
Just three days before their FA Cup semi-final with Southampton, Chelsea travelled to Turf Moor to face an in-form Burnley side. The Blues made sure they didn’t slip up with a 2-1 victory thanks to Victor Moses’ winner after Ashley Barnes had cancelled out Kevin Long’s first-half own goal.
As Chelsea came from two goals down to rescue a brilliant 3-2 win against Southampton in Saturday’s early kick-off, one of the main talking points was a challenge from Marcos Alonso on Shane Long that many deemed he should have been sent off for.