Borussia Dortmund stunned by lowly Union Berlin in Bundesliga clash (Match Report)

Union Berlin recorded their first ever Bundesliga victory by beating their more illustrious opponents Borussia Dortmund 3-1 on Saturday at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

Fischer opted for two strikers from the start with Ujah and Andersson as a partnership.

Marius Bulter gave the hosts on 22 minutes, who were promoted to the top flight via the play-offs, the lead when he turned home Christopher Trimmel’s corner.

From a corner kick, Bülter found a yard and scored his first goal in the top-flight having come through Germany’s lower leagues. Dortmund responded well with an excellent passage of play leading to Alcacer’s equaliser three minutes later.

Union continued to give everything after the interval against a strong Dortmund side and Bülter’s strike on 50 minutes put Urs Fischer’s men into the lead. Sebastian Andersson turned home a third to put Union into a commanding position and secure all three points on a memorable night in Köpenick.

Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Trimmel, Friedrich, Subotic, Lenz; Becker, Schmiedebach (Gentner 62), Andrich, Bülter (Mees 75); Andersson, Ujah (Kroos 79)

Borussia Dortmund: Bürki; Hakimi, Piszczek, Hummels, Akanji; Delaney (Dahoud 46), Weigl (Guerreiro 67); Sancho, Reus, Brandt (Bruun Larsen 86); Alcacer

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Rudiger makes remarkable recovery from injury, features in Chelsea U23s draw against Tottenham U23s

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has practically shown his readiness to return to the Stamford Bridge first team as he played 90 minutes for his club’s Under-23s against their Tottenham counterparts.

The German is returning to full fitness having undergone surgery on his left knee four months ago.

He played the entirety of a 2-2 draw on Friday night and Frank Lampard will be delighted to see the strides he is making.

Rudiger got involved in the game straightaway as he got on the ball and kept things nice and simple with a few neat passes.

However, he couldn’t do anything about Spurs’ opener as Phoenix Patterson converted Shilow Tracey’s cross from close distance. He was then involved at the other end of the pitch as he headed a corner into a dangerous area but George McEachran saw his shot blocked by the defence.

Rudiger was the old head in a youthful line-up and a recall to the first team squad surely beckons, the Daily Mail report.

He has not played for the senior side since April and made his comeback on August 19 against Liverpool’s Under-23s.

The 26-year-old will be hoping Lampard can start to feature him in his plans as a contender for a starting berth.

Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen have been entrusted at the heart of defence so far but Rudiger was a mainstay in the side before his injury.

The Blues take on Sheffield United in their next Premier League clash on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea fans protest, blast UEFA for crowning Eden Hazard Europa Player of the Year instead of Giroud

Chelsea fans have taken to the social media to lampoon UEFA for bypassing their striker Olivier Giroud to crown Eden Hazard Europa League Player of the Season.

The Blues beat London rivals Arsenal in the final in Baku, Azerbaijan at the end of May.

But fans were far from impressed with the decision given Giroud had a much bigger influence on Chelsea’s road to glory.

And it proved to be Hazard’s final competitive appearance for the club after he left for Real Madrid in the summer in a deal worth £130m.

Despite Hazard’s undeniable importance to Chelsea, experienced hitman Giroud proved to be even more influential in Europe last term.

The 32-year-old scored 11 goals in 14 games in the Europa League as he came away as the leading scorer in the tournament.

He also bagged a goal against his old club Arsenal in the final, where Hazard scored twice after hardly featuring in the early stages of the competition.

While Giroud only scored twice in 27 Premier League appearances for the Blues in the 2018/19 campaign, he proved to be prolific under Maurizio Sarri in Europe.

But UEFA’s decision to award Hazard as the tournament’s star man did not go down well, even with some Chelsea supporters, the Daily Star report.

Fans took to social media to protest Giroud being snubbed for Real’s record signing.

One posted on Twitter: “Smtn is wrong with this Uefa. Giroud was the best player by a mile. Hazard literally played under 6 matches”.

Another said: “Feel sorry for this guy (Giroud), had a top run in Europa league still favoritism prevails”.

A third said: “Yall rob giroud so much …. i love hazard but come on uefa”.

“Greatest injustice to Giroud,” a fourth added.

“Giroud should’ve won it,” another said.

One fan suggested: “Once you move to Spain, UEFA becomes nice to you”.

Another said: “Really should have been Giroud”.

One fan identified: “man had the most goals, while hazard played 3 games. his PR team is strong”.

Eden Hazard beats Giroud to Europa League Player award

Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard has beaten Olivier Giroud to the Europa League Player of the Season (2018/19) award.

The Belgian international propelled Chelsea to last season’s title – including scoring twice in a 4-1 final victory over London rivals Arsenal – before a €100m summer move to Los Blancos.

Former Chelsea teammate Giroud finished second and Luka Jovic, another summer arrival for Madrid, finished third after scoring eight goals in the continental competition.

Hazard could not attend the ceremony, which coincided with the group stage draw as he is recovering from injury in the Spanish capital, report Football Espana.

“Thank you very much for the prize. It is an honour for me and I want to wish all the players who play this season in the Europa League a lot of luck,” the Belgian said in a pre-recorded video, as cited by Marca.

Hazard played eight games in the Europa League and scored two goals, both in the final. In addition, he gave two assists.

Photo Credit: Daily Express

Frank Lampard confirms three key players will be missing Sheffield United clash

Frank Lampard has confirmed that three Key members of his team will play no part in the Premier League clash against Sheffield United this weekend.

The Blues got back on track with a win against Norwich City last weekend after an uncertain start to the campaign, with N’Golo Kante coming off the bench in the 4-0 loss to Manchester United and played the a full part in the UEFA Super Cup loss to Liverpool and the home draw against Leicester City.

An ankle problem kept Kante out of the game against Norwich, and he looked likely to miss the game against Chris Wilder’s side after being left out of the France national squad for the upcoming international break, report

Lampard has now confirmed that the midfielder is out of the game at Stamford Bridge, along with Pedro and Antonio Rudiger.

The Spanish winger should be fine to return to action after the international break, while Rudiger is continuing his comeback from a knee injury in the Under 23s, who face Spurs on Friday evening.

“N’Golo Kante is not fit, so the continuation of his ankle problem and he won’t be travelling with the France squad either,” Lampard told reporters.

“I had a conversation with Didier Deschamps and we both agreed it’s the best thing for him. Let’s try and get him fit over the break.

“Pedro is not fit – should be the other side of the international break. Rudiger will play in the U23s tonight for the final time in terms of proper match fitness, then in serious contention after the break.

“[Kante’s injury is] a setback, of course. My focus is then to make sure he’s okay. He’s had four years of constant football at an incredibly high energy and output level. We have to get that right.

“It’s the right thing to do, we have a strong squad and the performance last week was very good. We have to be strong as a squad, and hopefully we’ll show that.”

OFFICIAL: Chelsea starlet joins Ajax

Chelsea winger Juan Castillo has completed his season-long loan move to Dutch giants Ajax.

The 19-year-old has played most of his football for Chelsea development squad and Under-19s, helping the latter team to the UEFA Youth League final in each of the past two campaigns.

Since his move to London, Castillo has represented the Netherlands up to Under-19 level and helped the London club’s Under-18s win a number of trophies, including back-to-back FA Youth Cups in 2017 and 2018.

He originally joined the Blues from the Dutch champions in 2016.

N’Golo Kante dropped from France squad as Chelsea duo Giroud, Zouma earn return to team

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has been left out of Didier Deschamp’s 23-man squad for two upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers, after Chelsea boss Frank Lampard implored France to drop him amid concerns over several injury setbacks.

Kante has been having injury challenges since the tail end of last season, and was subsequently benched for the Premier League opener at Manchester United after falling short in a race to be fit.

He has made a handful of appearances under Lampard so far, but missed out entirely on the trip to Norwich because of a sprained ankle picked up at Old Trafford.

The string of concerns led to the new Blues boss appealing to Deschamps to allow Kante to remain at the club and continue rehabilitation during the international break.

‘It is a difficult one. He has had four years of constantly playing,’ Lampard had said.

‘[The] injury from the Europa League final has affected his pre-season. Then he hurt himself against Man United.

‘We are trying to get him through it. The international break will be great for him to get the injury right. It would be great for everybody [if Kante stays] because he’s been playing game after game after game.’

Meanwhile, Kante’s teammates at Chelsea, Olivier Giroud and Kurt Zouma were handed a call-up to the Les Bleus squad.

France take on Albania and Andorra in successive Euro 2020 qualifiers next month, with Les Bleus currently sitting at the summit of Group H.

Rafa Benitez finally opens up on his problem with Chelsea fans during his reign at Stamford Bridge

Former Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez has dismissed the suggestion that he was unpopular with the fans at Chelsea six years after leaving the club.

The Spaniard was appointed interim manager at Chelsea back in 2012 when Roberto Di Matteo was sacked and enjoyed a win ratio of 58 per cent, only marginally worse than his successor Jose Mourinho.

However, he was booed by a portion of the Blues support because of his strong association with rivals Liverpool and comments about how Reds fans did not need ‘stupid plastic flags’ and that Chelsea supporters ‘lack passion’, report the Metro.

But in a Q & A session on The Athletic, the 59-year-old insisted that he did not regret his move to Stamford Bridge in the slightest.

‘It was a very easy decision because it was a top club with top players,’ Benitez said.

‘What I have to say is that the board, the players and the staff were always very supportive.

‘I think the majority of the fans appreciated what we did at this time. ‘I was really happy to perform and do what we did.

‘I hope that history will look back and see we did a good, professional job and that we were successful.

‘I still have a great relationship with a lot of people there.’

Benitez ended the season having guided Chelsea to a third-place finish in the Premier League and their highest points total in four years.

He also lifted the Europa League, Chelsea’s second European trophy in as many years, a victory he still holds very dear.

Lucky Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham avoid Group of Death in Champions League draws (Check all the groups here)

Contrary to speculations that one or two English clubs, especially Chelsea would be grouped in one of the tough groups in the draws for the Champions League group stages, all of them managed to avoid a Group of Death.

There was a case of history repeating itself as Manchester City got drawn with Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk for the third season in a row. Pep Guardiola’s side will also face Dinamo Zagreb and Champions League debutants Atalanta.

Liverpool will renew a familiar rivalry as were paired with Serie A runners-up Napoli for a second successive season. Red Bull Salzburg and Genk complete Group E for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea were handed the best draw from the English sides as they complete Group H with Ajax, Valencia and LOSC Lille.

Photo Credit: Twitter

Chelsea third kit leaked

Chelsea’s third kit has been leaked online with a black and orange strip set for release on September 4.

The Blues released their Stamford Bridge inspired home jersey in May, with Eden Hazard modelling the launch before his £130million summer move to Real Madrid.

Chelsea then brought out their white away kit which included a subtle dig to their local rivals with the message ‘Pride of London’ printed on the inside at the neck area of the collar, report The Sun.

Now the wait for the third kit to be released looks to be over as Footy Headlines released leaked images of the proposed black and orange jersey.

They claim the new strip is set to be released for September 4.