Jose Mourinho continues mind games, turns heat on Frank Lampard ahead of Sunday showdown

November 28th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Mourinho has deployed his latest bout of mind games towards Chelsea, saying he no longer has to worry about pressure being the Spurs coach.

Chelsea became the first English side to spend £230million in a single transfer window this year, an outlay that followed a transfer ban and the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid in a deal worth up to £150m in the previous summer.

Mourinho said he knows how it feels to work under great expectations, after two spells with Roman Abramovich and top jobs at Manchester United, Real Madrid and Inter Milan.

Mourinho said ahead of Sunday showdown: “When you are favourites, you know why you are favourites.

“And you have to accept that and you have to deal with that kind of pressure and responsibility. I was at clubs which were, let’s say, champions in the market because of their powerful investments.”

“I had to deal with that pressure. So now it’s not for me to deal with that pressure. It’s for others to deal with that pressure. That’s not for us.”

Lampard responded to Mourinho by saying: “If you look at the spending over the last couple of seasons, what Tottenham did in the summer I came to Chelsea and what they’ve done in this break, compared to us, you will see it has been very similar.

“The only thing that will get you success is hard work. The pressures are huge anyway. The pressures at Tottenham will be big, because Jose built a fantastic squad and has incredible players.

“It’s very comparable if you look at the spending for sure, since I have been at the club.”

Mourinho, however, insisted: ‘I’ve been at Chelsea and I know the difference. I enjoyed this first market with Tottenham.

“I enjoyed the kind of wise market where with less money you try to give a good balance to the team, not to make mistakes, choose the right guys. And I am really happy with what we got. Every one of them is answering well and giving his best.”

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Frank Lampard says his relationship with Jose Mourinho has changed as Tottenham travel to Chelsea on Sunday

November 28th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says that the relationship between him and his former boss Jose Mourinho has changed, stating that “we are managers of big clubs that are rivals, I think it does change the relationship.”

Lampard enjoyed some of the greatest success of his illustrious career during Mourinho’s first spell as Chelsea manager, with the duo collecting two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups in just over three seasons together.

Both teams have enjoyed impressive starts to the season, with Spurs two points above Chelsea in the Premier League table, and Lampard accepts that managing clubs with such a strong historic and competitive rivalry has affected his relationship with his former boss.

He said: “I left Chelsea in 2014 and my life went in different directions, and when you are a professional generally you are so consumed and busy in your life that the relationship changes.

“We were always very cordial. If I see Jose, if I talk about him or if we send messages to each other, we’ve always had a good relationship.

“Naturally now, when we are managers of big clubs that are rivals, I think it does change the relationship. Not in a bad way – I’ve got no problem with him. We are very competitive people and we both want to do well.

“I think when I speak about Jose I always show how much respect I have for him. I’ve always felt that back from him.”

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(Watch Highlights) Brighton deny Liverpool away victory at the death (Match Report)

November 28th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Pascal Gross’s stoppage-time penalty earned Brighton & Hove Albion a 1-1 draw with Liverpool, whose away form continued to stutter.

Diogo Jota’s outstanding second-half goal looked to have secured three points for the Reds at the Amex Stadium but Pascal Gross converted from 12 yards in the 93rd minute when Andy Robertson was judged to have fouled Danny Welbeck.

Liverpool had two goals disallowed for offside by VAR but looked to be holding on when the technology intervened again moments into stoppage time.

Welbeck was fouled in the box and referee Stuart Attwell changed his mind after he was advised to check the pitch-side monitor. Gross kept his cool and drilled the penalty low into the bottom corner to secure a 1-1 draw.

An eventful encounter had earlier seen Neal Maupay miss a penalty midway through the first half, while both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane had efforts disallowed.

The result did move Jürgen Klopp’s side to the top of the Premier League table, a point clear of Tottenham Hotspur ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.

Brighton’s Aaron Connolly put an early shot wide before Neal Maupay missed a 20th-minute penalty.

Mohamed Salah thought he had put Liverpool in front on 33 minutes but VAR ruled he was offside.

Jota did so in the 60th minute, collecting Salah’s pass to beat three players and find the corner.

It was a sensational exhibition of skill from Jota. After Robertson kept a move alive on the left and Salah nudged the ball to his fellow forward, Jota deftly slalomed into the opposition box and dragged a precise finish back inside the left post.

Klopp introduced Mane from the bench and was then forced into a final substitution when Milner went down with an injury. On came Curtis Jones as the side’s third right-back of the day.

Back came Brighton and Solly March’s dangerous cross towards two waiting teammates was, perhaps with a touch of fortune, diverted over the bar by Robertson.

The Reds then had a second effort chalked off following a VAR check, with Mane clearly offside as he headed home Robertson’s free-kick seven minutes from the end.

And, halfway through stoppage time, a VAR review of Robertson’s challenge on Welbeck confirmed a second penalty for the Seagulls, which Gross guided beyond Alisson.

Photo Credit: premierleague.com

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Arsenal hero explains why Chelsea are genuine title contenders

November 28th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Frank Lampard’s decision to settle on his back four makes Chelsea genuine title contenders, according to Martin Keown.

Keown wrote in the Daily Mail: “Lampard was chopping and changing his defence. It felt like everybody was on trial.

“But Lampard has found his most reliable back four in Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma and Reece James and it’s paying dividends.

“Whereas previously he could not decide on his centre back pairing, Silva and Zouma have become his regular partnership.

“Since the start of October, they have started together seven times. Chelsea are unbeaten in all of those and have kept five clean sheets.

“Previously, the Blues’ habit of ball-watching was getting them into trouble.

“Their naivety was on show in a 3-3 draw with Southampton, which took them to 65 goals conceded in 43 Premier League games under Lampard. Now, they’ve shut that door.”

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Inter Milan fans put pressure on club to sack Antonio Conte

November 28th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Reports in Italy claim that Inter fans are already asking the club to sack their manager Antonio Conte despite reports that the club and the former Chelsea boss seem confident they will continue together.

The Nerazzurri are practically out of the Champions League after their 2-0 home defeat to Real Madrid.

With just two points from four games, they also run the serious risk of crashing out of Europe altogether, as Shakhtar Donetsk are well clear in third place.

They are also stuttering in Serie A, but despite reaching the Europa League Final in August and finishing last season just one point adrift of Scudetto winners Juventus, Conte’s experience is already being called a failure by some.

The hashtag #ConteOut is trending on Twitter in Italy, although the Corriere della Sera newspaper assures, as cited by Football Italia, Conte has no intention of resigning, nor do Inter consider the possibility of a dismissal.

Inter do not traditionally have much patience with their tacticians, as in the last 43 years, only three coaches managed to stay on the bench for over two seasons in a row – Eugenio Bersellini, Giovanni Trapattoni and Roberto Mancini.

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Liverpool star lavishes praise on Reece James, says he’s “up there with some of the best in the league”

November 28th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

England colleague Trent Alexander-Arnold has lavished praise upon Chelsea starlet Reece James.

The Liverpool star told the Evening Standard: The 20-year-old has cemented his place in Frank Lampard’s side ahead of Cesar Azpilicueta in recent weeks and has been capped four times by England after making his senior debut last month.

James and Alexander-Arnold are both vying for the same spot in England’s team. And the Liverpool defender says he welcomes the competition from his Chelsea rival.

“I remember him always being good for Chelsea youth teams, remember watching him in the Youth Cup,’ Alexander-Arnold told the Evening Standard.

“Chelsea is probably the hardest team to break into as a local lad and as a young English player. For him to be able to do that is a statement itself.

“He has shown since he came in over the last year or so that he is a good player, solid defensively and good going forward.

“He is an all-round right-back and probably up there with some of the best in the league.

“He is still young and has a lot to learn but as for his talent and potential he is a very good player.

“Competition for places is always exciting. It is always something that helps me, I think helps a lot of players get better.

“I think right-back is the most populated position for England, there are a lot of really good players going for one position so it is always going to cause headaches for the manager.

“I think there are maybe five, six who could easily play that position and do it to a high level. It is tough.”

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