Jurgen Klopp reveals why it’s tough for his team to defeat ten-man Chelsea during Anfield clash

August 28th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Jurgen Klopp has identified the reason it was tough for Liverpool to defeat Chelsea, saying the west Londoners had ‘eight players back’ defending, and claimed that the Reds drew against the ‘best team of Europe’ after being held to a 1-1 draw against ten-man Chelsea.

Kai Havertz gave Chelsea the lead before Reece James was sent for a handball allowing Mo Salah to score from the penalty spot.

Liverpool had the whole of the second half to find a winner against ten-man Chelsea, but Thomas Tuchel’s side valiantly held on for a point.

Klopp took the positives from the game though and said that Chelsea deserved a point.

He told Sky Sports after the game: “I saw a really exciting game; fast, hard for both teams. We conceded a goal – that’s not cool – but the goal we scored, the penalty we got was very deserved.

“I feel for Reece because it was tricky but it’s a clear penalty. Second half, we played good; everyone thinks against 10 men, ‘Come on!’ – there’s an advantage in possession but not in terms of the defensive structure.

“They were playing slightly deeper but they had eight players [back] with Lukaku up. We couldn’t use it – our shots were from distance – but it was a good game, a high-intensity game. Chelsea deserved a draw and we got a point as well.”

When asked whether Liverpool would have fared better against Chelsea without a sending off, he said they drew against the ‘best team in Europe’ of last year.

He said: “I don’t know what the result would have been 11 versus 11 but it’s really okay it’s early in the season.

“We drew against the best team of last year in Europe that’s okay. ‘Seven points from three games – let’s go. We are in good shape, we just have to carry on.”

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Thomas Tuchel heaps praise on ‘super talented’ Chelsea star for his performance against Liverpool

August 28th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has singled out ‘super talented’ defender Andreas Christensen for his performance against Liverpool on Saturday, while he also provided an injury update on N’Golo Kante.

The west Londoners took an early lead through Kai Havertz at Anfield and looked very dangerous, but the game flipped on its head just before half-time when Reece James was adjudged to have handled the ball on the line.

After consulting VAR, referee Anthony Taylor showed the young defender a red card and awarded Liverpool a penalty, which they scored, with Chelsea forced to play the rest of the game with 10 men.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Blues gave a hard-fought and dogged display to draw 1-1 and Tuchel was delighted with what he saw, giving particular praise to Christensen who was named Man of the Match for his performance.

“Andreas has been very strong for us from day one. He started in the central position and finished the game in the right position, because we decided to bring on Thiago Silva and stay with the back five,’ said Tuchel at his post-match press conference.

“Andreas is very strong, he’s super talented. He loves Chelsea, he’s a Chelsea boy from the academy, this has a huge impact in the moment.

“I think he feels the trust, he knows what to do, he can absolutely help, he’s a top defender and a top guy.

“I have the feeling he’s growing every week in confidence and personality, which is good and he’s doing fantastic since day one and getting better and better.”

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Chelsea Player Ratings vs Liverpool: Azpilicueta, Mendy, others shine in pulsating Premier League cracker at Anfield

August 28th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Edouard Mendy

Since the appointment of Thomas Tuchel in January, there have been several games in which the Senegal international has been a virtual bystander. This wasn’t one of those games.

Throughout the 90 minutes, Mendy was kept busy but he stood up to most of what Liverpool had to offer. He had no chance with the penalty converted by Mohamed Salah, however. 8

Cesar Azpilicueta

Chelsea’s most experienced defender was needed throughout the first half; one clearance denied Sadio Mane an easy finish. Azpilicueta also led the rage towards Anthony Taylor after Reece James’ red card.

The Spaniard played at right wing-back in the second period and defended well against Mane and closed off any space between himself and Andreas Christensen. 8

In the middle of the back three or on its right, Christensen didn’t put a foot wrong. He stepped in when required, got his body in the way when needed, and was composed on the ball. He’s become vital. 9

Antonio Rudiger

There were times in the opening period that Rudiger was slack with his passing. Defensively, though, he was switched on against the threat of former Roma teammate Salah.

The backs-to-the-wall approach Chelsea inevitably played with in the second half meant Rudiger’s strengths came to the fore. He handled Salah well and didn’t let any Liverpool attacker get beyond him. 8

Reece James

It’s not easy to judge the academy graduate’s display. He had trouble in the early stages keeping track of Mane but delivered the corner from which Kai Havertz headed home. Then came his red card.

There was no intention on the part of James to handle the ball on the line from Mane’s shot, but it resulted in his dismissal and a Liverpool penalty that swung the balance of the game. 5

N’Golo Kante

The consistency of the French midfielder’s performances are astounding. For 45 minutes at Anfield, he closed off passing avenues, reclaimed the ball several times, and started Chelsea attacks.

Unfortunately, Kante’s ankle was landed on by Sadio Mane shortly before the half-time interval and the 30-year-old didn’t return for the second period. 8

Jorginho

The frantic nature of the game didn’t lend itself to the Italian’s talents.

Jorginho attempted to control Chelsea’s possession game but was often harassed by Liverpool’s midfielders. And in the second period, he barely got onto the ball.

He did, however, work very hard to close off space in front of the Blues’ back in the second 45 minutes. 7

Marcos Alonso

Many expected the game at Anfield to be one for Ben Chilwell, yet Thomas Tuchel kept faith in Alonso.

In the opening half, Alonso was given problems by the movement of Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harvey Elliott. But he showed several neat touches on the ball.

Yet had he not jumped alongside Mendy just before half-time in an attempt to clear a Liverpool corner, perhaps the incident that led to James’ dismissal doesn’t take place. 7

Mason Mount

The England international started on the left of the Chelsea attack and was a constant threat in the first half. One touch, in particular, to ease beyond Joel Matip was sublime.

Mount played a more reserved role in the second period with the Blues down to ten men, dropping into central midfield alongside Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho. 7

Kai Havertz

The German was caught out by the pace of the game in the opening minutes but made up for that in a big way in the 22nd minute as he looped a header from a Reece James corner over Alisson and into the corner.

Started then to have a bigger influence on Chelsea’s attacking play but was brought off at half-time as Tuchel reshuffled his pack. 7

Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian would’ve been hopeful of building on his debut goal. That didn’t happen, partly due to circumstance, of course.

Lukaku, however, wasn’t as sharp with his passing as at the Emirates last week. There was one instance he should’ve slipped in Kai Havertz on goal but instead played his pass to Mount.

The 28-year-old had very little of the ball in the second period but did have a rare Chelsea shot, which was blocked. 7

Chelsea substitutes

Thiago Silva (for N’Golo Kante, 45)

Brought on to add another experienced head to the backline, Silva was assured and showed no sign that this was his first competitive action of the season. An excellent display. 8

Mateo Kovacic (for Kai Havertz, 45)

His fresh legs were needed in the second period to help Chelsea contain Liverpool. Forced Alisson into his own save of the second period. 7

Trevoh Chalobah (for Jorginho, 85)

Given the final five minutes to help Chelsea get over the line. N/A

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Furious Chelsea players in fierce bust-up with Liverpool stars after referee controversially issues Reece James red card

August 28th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea players reacted furiously with referee Anthony Taylor after Reece James was sent off for a controversial handball.

And then the Blues got themselves into a huge bust-up with Liverpool’s stars in a dramatic end to the first half at Anfield.

Leading 1-0 in injury time, Chelsea failed to defend a corner properly as Joel Matip hit the bar and then James appeared to make a stunning goalline clearance to deny Sadio Mane.

But Taylor consulted the VAR monitor and saw the ball ricocheted off James’ thigh and up on to his arm before he thumped the ball clear.

And with that, the ref brandished the red card for the denying of a goalscoring opportunity.

Perplexed James could do nothing as his team-mates surrounded the man in black to make their feelings clear.

Antonio Rudiger earned himself a yellow card for dissent.

As the ball came back out of the net, he attempted to swing a foot at it and almost caught Reds skipper Jordan Henderson who reacted angrily and sparked a shoving match between the two sets of players.

Things calmed down, allowing the final seconds of the first half to be played out.

But as soon as the whistle went, Jorginho, Mason Mount, Marcos Alonso and captain Cesar Azpilicueta surrounded Taylor once again to remonstrate and reason – still to no avail.

And then after Mo Salah kept his cool to dispatch the spot-kick, Edouard Mendy found himself in the book, too.

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(Video) Kai Havertz scores! 21’… Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea

August 28th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

At first, it seemed as if Reece James’ corner was undercooked because it didn’t have enough fire power on it to beat Harvey Elliot at the near post.

However, Kai Havertz had other ideas.

The German was quickest to react by beating Elliot to the ball and his header looped over Alisson in between the Liverpool sticks.

https://t.co/Nnk25Qp608 pic.twitter.com/gJHIVe4K1L

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Thomas Tuchel reacts to Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Manchester United

August 28th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admits he would rather see Cristiano Ronaldo stay in Italy than return to the Premier League at Manchester United.

Tuchel was reacting to confirmation by Juventus boss Max Allegri that Ronaldo is on his way out after three seasons in Turin.

“I don’t know if it’s good if he plays for any of our rivals,” said Tuchel.

“I could handle the loss very well when he was playing in Italy and not playing for us.

“If he ends up in the Premier League, it’s good for the Premier League and shows how competitive and how difficult this league is. At the same time, it will make life harder for us.”

Chelsea paid £97.5million to sign their top target Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan and are still in the market, with an interest in versatile France defender Jules Kounde from Sevilla and Spain midfielder Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid.

“We have some ideas and we are trying,” said Tuchel. “Not all decisions are taken. I am happy with the squad like it is and I have a lot of confidence that we are absolutely competitive on a high level but all eyes are open and we are aware of all situations.

“You never know in football but at the moment we are focused on the game at Liverpool and then there are not many days left.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend reacts to star’s return to Manchester United

August 28th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez seems happy with his Manchester United return.

United have confirmed they reached an agreement with Juventus to re-sign Ronaldo after the star forward informed Bianconeri manager Massimiliano Allegri that he is leaving.

The Red Devils appear to have paid a fee in the region of £21million for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, which caps a stunning summer transfer window that has seen the Manchester giants landing Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Tom Heaton.

And Rodriguez appears to be ecstatic by this development as she took to social media to express her joy.

The Spanish-Argentine model posted a story on Instagram in which she shared United’s announcement and filled it with heart emojis.

The 27-year-old then shared Ronaldo’s farewell to Juventus where he spent three years following his arrival from Real Madrid.

She captioned it with the following statement: “Thanks for all, family.”

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Mason Mount reveals life with Romelu Lukaku as Chelsea face Liverpool

August 28th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Romelu Lukaku has slotted in quickly at Chelsea because he shares his new team-mates’ insatiable hunger for success.

Mason Mount is already forging an understanding with the £97.5million Belgian centre-forward.

Chelsea head up to Liverpool for a pop at one of their main Premier League title rivals this evening.

And midfielder Mount says the club’s record buy is like one of the family after just two league games — both victories.

Mount said: “We are all on the same path. He never stops working hard in training, or in the gym.

“With his vision, his goals, it doesn’t take long to understand each other’s game. It doesn’t feel like a new guy’s come in.

“We know he has been here before but that was a long time ago. Even so, like us, he wants to win big things with Chelsea.

“It doesn’t just happen. We have been working on drills around the box, trying to understand each other’s movement. It hasn’t taken long.”

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REVEALED: How Man United legends Sir Ferguson, Ferdinand, Evra phoned Cristiano Ronaldo to snub Man City but to return to Old Trafford

August 28th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Fresh reports have emerged as to how former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, former teammates Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra influenced Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational return to the Old Trafford.

According to The Sun, 36-year-old had been in secret talks for months to rejoin the Red Devils — despite rumours he would sign for rivals Man City.

Ronaldo, whose glittering first spell included a European Champions League and three Premier League titles wins, will put pen to paper on a two-year deal worth £480,000 a week, or £25million a year.

He is expected to earn millions more in a cut of replica shirt sales, having apparently made sure he will again wear the famous No7 after making a fortune from his CR7 brand.

Currently back in Portugal, he is expected to fly into Manchester this weekend with Argentinian model girlfriend Georgina Rodríguez, 27, and his four kids to look for a mega-mansion near the city.

Yesterday, it emerged his mentor and former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson — who signed him as an 18-year-old and has a special “father and son” relationship with him — phoned to urge him to return.

Sir Alex, 79, hopes it will get one over City and help restore the glory years.
Red Devils chief Ed Woodward also spent two months wooing the club legend before the huge coup.

According to ESPN, the Portuguese “was only convinced to consider a return to Old Trafford following contact from a number of former teammates.”

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand revealed he phoned and urged Ronaldo not to sign for City.

And, another Former United defender Patrice Evra appeared to verify the claim by sharing a screengrab of his recent WhatsApp conversation with the Portugal international.

After receiving a voice note from the Frenchman, Ronaldo replied: “You the man. I’m gonna play in our club.”

Ronaldo broke his silence on his imminent departure from Turin on Friday afternoon, penning an emotional message to Juventus fans on Instagram.

The announcement saw United’s share price leap eight per cent, increasing its value by around £181million.

The club website crashed as millions of fans tried to learn more about the comeback.

United are understood to be paying a £21.4million transfer fee for Ronaldo once he has completed a medical and agreed personal terms.

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Juventus target Chelsea hero to replace Cristiano Ronaldo

August 28th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Juventus are targeting Real Madrid star Eden Hazard to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, who returned to Manchester United, according to reports.

United have confirmed they have reached an agreement with Juve to re-sign Ronaldo, who is heading back to Old Trafford 12 years after he left for Real.

According to Marca, Hazard is the Bianconeri’s top target to fill in the major void left behind by the five-time Ballon d’Or winner ahead of transfer deadline day.

The former Chelsea star has started in both of Los Blancos’ first two games in LaLiga following an injury-laden three-year stint in the Spanish capital.

But the winger is worried that his game time could be affected by the imminent arrival of Kylian Mbappe at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Reports suggest Real are on the verge of agreeing a staggering £154million deal with Paris Saint-Germain for Mbappe.

Hazard wants to stay in Madrid but if the PSG superstar does move to Spain then that could see the Belgium international falling down the pecking order.

But Juventus would only be interested in a deal that wouldn’t financially hamstring them.

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