Tuchel says he doubted referee’s decision to send Reece James off, reveals what Chelsea did to minimize Liverpool’s effect in second half

August 29th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel doubted the referee’s decision to send Reece James off with a straight red card after he handled the ball in the area.

Tuchel told Sky Sports: “The red card – I’m not even sure any more if it’s the rules or not the rules.

“You have to accept the decision. He maybe would have changed his mind with moving pictures.

“With pure will, resilience and team effort at its very best. Never lose the shape, try to close the half spaces.

“We decided to stay active in the back five because of all the runs in half spaces, the fluid runs from Liverpool and their high full-backs.”

The west London club’s boss described James’ dismissal against Liverpool as a “double punishment”.

He continued: “A double punishment is super hard and it’s a bit of a spoiler for the game. If the referee says he denies a clear chance, then it’s a red card.

“It’s a spoiler of the game, nobody wants to say that for 45 minutes. I’ve not solution now for it and no better idea. In general, it’s a spoiler.

“I can understand the decision and I’m not saying it’s wrong. I didn’t like the way the referee checked it because he was only shown the image. The image only shown the clear contact.

“I’d have liked a longer consideration. Maybe the decision stays the same. But I have to live with it. Some decisions stay with the responsibility in the moment”

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Pep Guardiola praises Mikel Arteta’s quality after Gunners’ horror show at Etihad

August 29th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Pep Guardiola has praised Mikel Arteta’s ‘quality’ after yesterday’s 5-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City.

Arsenal suffered a heavy 5-0 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad, which marked their worst start in 67 years.

The City man has been gracious in defeat though, and pointed out that City’s near full strength team helped his side to victory.

He said: “In football, people want result, result, result. Sometimes, you have the squad – look at us, except for Phil [Foden] and Kevin [De Bruyne], all the other people are ready.

“It is easy for me. The players make our job good. The moment he has the full squad, everything is going well.

“I know him perfectly and know the quality he has as a person and as a manager.”

He also told BT Sport: “All I can say is I worked two or three years together [with Arteta], I learned many, many things.

“He is above and beyond a good manager. The correct personality, he is incredibly loved by all of us. We were sad when he left. Sometimes people expect and want results immediately.

“The squad he played today is not the team he dreamed because they have six, seven, eight injuries – really important players.

“Ben White, Thomas Partey, he cannot use the players that he needs to. All the managers need their squad.

“Absolutely, I am a big fan of him and I’m pretty sure, if they trust him, he will do a good job at Arsenal.”

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Under-fire Mikel Arteta confident of turning things around at Arsenal amid calls for his dismissal

August 29th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta insists he is still the right man to turn things around at the Emirates.

The Gunners were beaten 5-0 by Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday eliciting calls for the removal of the Spaniard as manager of the club.

The north Londoners have lost all of their first three matches in the Premier League and have conceded a total of nine goals without scoring once.

However, the current situation is highly likely to increase scrutiny and pressure on the under-fire head coach.

Arteta addressed the recent criticism he has received during his post-match press conference.

The Spaniard said: “I always said and I will be the one, I’ve been more critical of myself and taking the blame every single time only when we have defeats.

“I stand here today and I question myself and I have to try to have the right people around me and look at every decision that we make, that I make and try to improve it and change it if we believe that we should have done something different of course.”

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Sheffield United set to sign former Chelsea star

August 29th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Sheffield United have opened talks with keeper Willy Caballero about a return to English football.

Argentine Caballero, 39, is a free agent after leaving Chelsea and previously played for Manchester City.

The Blades have just sold Aaron Ramsdale to Arsenal and are looking for a replacement.

Their first choice, QPR’s Seny Dieng, may be too expensive.

The R’s shot-stopper was also targeted by West Ham and Crystal Palace earlier this year.

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Jose Mourinho reacts to Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United

August 29th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

AS Roma manager, and former Manchester United boss, Jose Mourinho had little to say about Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford.

Mourinho worked with Ronaldo for three years after the Portuguese coach took over at Real Madrid in 2010.

The former Chelsea and Tottenham manager said: “What I can say is basic, it’s logical.

“If Juventus are happy, if Ronaldo is happy and Man Utd are happy, then it’s a perfect deal – he has written history for the last 20 years.

“I have nothing more to comment”

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Desperate Willian agrees to forfeit £20million to seal Arsenal exit

August 29th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Reports in England claim Willian is ready to walk away from over £20million in wages to seal his Arsenal exit.

Corinthians want to sign the former Chelsea star, but his wages – which are in-excess of £220,000-per-week – have proved an obvious stumbling block.

However, according to the Mail on Sunday, the Brazilian is ready to forgo the remainder of his hugely lucrative contract to ensure his return home can go ahead.

Willian will be paid significantly less if his deal to join Corinthians is completed.

The midfielder accepts that he does not fit into Mikel Arteta’s current plans and would rather leave the Emirates with his integrity in tact than enter potentially ugly discussions over a substantial pay-off.

The news should pave the way for Willian to join Corinthians this week.

Arsenal were faced with a similar scenario earlier this year ahead of Mesut Ozil’s move to Fenerbahce.

Ozil earned £350,000-per-week at Arsenal, but the north London clubs are believed to have continued paying the German a portion of his wages to ensure his exit.

But Willian has taken an alternative approach to his exit and is set to leave the club without a penny, saving Arsenal millions in the process.

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REVEALED: Crucial reason Saul Niguez’s Chelsea move collapsed

August 29th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Reports have revealed why Chelsea’s pursuit of Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez collapsed just days before the end of the transfer window.

The Spanish midfielder is thought to be reluctant to moving to Stamford Bridge because Thomas Tuchel can’t guarantee game time.

According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, via The Sun, Chelsea were on the verge of agreeing a deal with Atletico before the 26-year-old rejected the Blues.

Saul is said to have wanted guarantees over his playing time with Tuchel already having several top midfielders at his disposal.

N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho and Ethan Ampadu are among those battling it out for central midfield role.

Jorginho, who was recently named Uefa Men’s Player of the Year after winning the Champions League, Super Cup and Euro 2020.

It’s believed the LaLiga champions were willing to let Saul leave during the transfer window but he will now stay in the Spanish capital.

The 19-cap international has been linked with several teams throughout the summer and Chelsea were reportedly his last chance to secure a move.

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Thomas Tuches provides injury update on N’Golo Kante

August 29th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has provided an injury update on N’Golo Kante after Premier League encounter against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.

Chelsea had to sub off Kante at half-time after he picked up an injury, with Tuchel confirming that the Frenchman twisted his ankle, though he does not expect the midfielder to be sidelined for very long.

Tuchel said: “He is injured. He missed the Arsenal game because of some pain in the ankle and some inflammation, but it was nothing serious obviously because he was back in training and he started today.

“In winning the ball in this situation I think the opponent fell on his ankle and he twisted it again and he had immediately the same pain he had before the Arsenal game and he was lacking force to accelerate and we had to take him off.

“Can there be any harder challenges than going one man down and taking N’Golo Kante off at the same time at half-time at Anfield and having Liverpool playing towards the Kop? It’s a pretty tough one but we did excellent and I’m super happy with how we did and we feel like we deserved a point very well.”

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Premier League legend blasts referee over Reece James red card, says “such a shame” as Azpilicueta queries Anthony Taylor’s decision

August 29th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Gary Lineker insists that referee Anthony Taylor ruined the pulsating encounter by sending Reece James off and awarding penalty to Liverpool.

Chelsea dug deep to score a 1-1 draw at Anfield as they spent the entire second half down to 10 men.

James was sent off for handball on the line and denying a goalscoring opportunity before Mo Salah scored an equaliser.

The rules of the game state that if a ball touches a players arm AFTER it has come off any other body part, it is not an offence.

But Anthony Taylor’s one-second glance at the VAR screen decided that Reece James doing just this was not only a penalty, it was also a red-card offence.

The legendary pundit Lineker was not happy with the referee’s decision to send James off.

He said: “A wonderful end to end game of football ruined by the ever changing silly handball laws.

“The game is about entertainment and the laws should bear this in mind. Red cards should be for obviously deliberate goal line handballs, not what we saw tonight. Such a shame.”

In the same vein, the Chelsea skipper was quizzed on whether he thought Reece James was fairly sent off and he responded by wanting to know why Anthony Taylor didn’t have a longer look at the situation.

He told SkySports: “The ref gets information from the VAR. He just goes and see’s one image and that is enough for him to give the penalty and red card.”

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