HALF-TIME REPORT: Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea… Giroud gives Blues the lead

After their usavoury performance in their Premier League opener against Manchester United, Chelsea have, against all odds, deservedly gone into the break in the lead and it’s Olivier Giroud who handed another European goal.

The Frenchman banged in 11 goals in the Europa League last season, and he has proved to be Chelsea’s hero once again in this first half.

Chelsea have been superb – especially summer recruit Christian Pulisic, who has been pulling the strings for the Blues.

Pulisic set up Giroud in the 36th minute to give Chelsea the lead in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup at Vodafone Arena, Istanbul.

Liverpool started off well, but Chelsea grew into the game as the half went on and are unlucky not to be two in front after Pulisic’s goal was ruled out.

Three minutes after Giroud’s goal, the United States international fired home from just outside the box after he twisted and turned.

Liverpool have threatened on occasion but the likes of Salah and Mane have largely been kept quiet.

But the Champions League winner looked vulnerable to any slide-rule passes. Chelsea have been outstanding with their quick play around the halfway line and then the cutting-edge pass to put players in.

Photo Credit: Twitter/chelseafc.com

Jurgen Klopp rates Frank Lampard’s team as Pedro identifies Liverpool’s hatchet man ahead of Super Club showdown

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claims that Frank Lampard’s Chelsea “are really strong, young and fresh” as the two Premier League clubs clash at the Besiktas Park in Turkey.

Despite Chelsea’s 4-0 hammering at the hands of Manchester United at the weekend, the German believes Lampard will ‘100 per cent’ succeed at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea booked their place in the all-English encounter by virtue of winning the Europa League, while Liverpool’s Champions League triumph secured their spot in Istanbul.

‘If people really think Chelsea are not a real challenger, I can’t help these people,’ Klopp said.

‘You only have to watch that team and what they have – they are really strong, young and fresh and everything is exciting in the moment because Frank is there new, the club legend, [and can] make himself a name as a manager, which will happen 100 per cent.

‘You could see that immediately when he took over at Derby and now doing the job at Chelsea, so it will be really interesting.’

Meanwhile, Chelsea star Pedro has drawn comparisons between Virgil van Dijk and Sergio Ramos, two defenders ‘at the top’, The Metro reports.

Van Dijk – the world’s most expensive defender before Harry Maguire’s £80million move to Manchester United – was monumental in Liverpool’s success in Europe last season.

‘They are very good central defenders, probably at this time at the top,’ the Chelsea winger said.

‘Sergio Ramos is very good. I know him very well: great defender, great with the ball.

‘Van Dijk is also the same: so strong, very good in the air, scores goals. Two big players.

‘He’s in a good moment. Last season with Liverpool, he had a great season winning the Champions League and the best player in the Premier League. He’s in a good moment and he’s a good defender.’

AS Roma hunt for Chelsea star after move for Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez collapsed

Reports in England and Italy claim AS Roma are on the hunt for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi after the Serie A club failed in their pursuit of Alexis Sanchez.

Roma could not secure a deal for the Manchester United forward due to his staggering £505,000-a-week wages.

The Italian club wanted him on loan but refused to pay his huge salary, and have consequently turn their attention to Batshuayi.

The 25-year-old Belgium international is under contract at Stamford Bridge until June 2021, but spent last season on loan at Valencia and then Crystal Palace.

He struggled for form and playing time, managing nine goals in 36 competitive games between those clubs.

According to Sky Sport Italia transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio, Roma have approached Chelsea to ask about Batshuayi’s availability.

The Blues paid €39m to purchase him from Olympique Marseille in 2016, but mainly sent him out on a series of loan deals.

Football Italia suggest that the Giallorossi would try to bring in Batshuayi on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season.

Photo Credit: Twitter/chelseafc.com

Barcelona’s offer for Neymar REVEALED as Real Madrid circle

Reports in Spain claim Barcelona have offered Paris Saint-Germain €80m plus Philippe Coutinho for the transfer of Neymar.

Blaugrana president Josep Maria Bartomeu has reportedly given the green light for the club to go all out for a deal, with rumours that negotiations have been ongoing all week.

El Mundo Deportivo cite a report from Le Parisien that it was the Blaugrana’s opening offer, but PSG believe it was not enough upfront cash and they do not value Coutinho at €120m.

Catalan radio station RAC1 outline, the Parisian club have ruled out a loan deal with an option to buy for the player, while Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho are the players who could leave.

This may hand La Liga rivals Real Madrid the advantage to sign the Brazil

Neymar has continually been linked with a return to Spain since his departure with the Catalan giants and Madrid said to be keen on a future transfer.