Chelsea set to truncate Liverpool, Manchester United move for Premier League star

Chelsea can scupper Liverpool’s reported interest in Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi with a clause to match any bid for the England international.

Liverpool are weighing up a summer approach for Guehi, but the Reds could face competition from Manchester United, reports The Telegraph.

Guehi is under contract at Selhurst Park until 2026, however it is reported that the chances of the 23-year-old renewing his deal is low, which may see Palace part ways with him this summer.

Liverpool are reportedly keen on the England international, but rivals Manchester United could also make a move. The outlet says that if Dan Ashworth is to join the Red Devils as sporting director, the chances of United attempting to lure Guehi to Old Trafford could increase, with Ashworth previously plotting a deal for the player at Newcastle United.

Alongside Manchester United, Liverpool’s interest could be rivalled from Guehi’s former club Chelsea. The report reveals that Chelsea are believed to have a “matching option” for any approaches for the Cobham graduate and, with Thiago Silva set to depart Stamford Bridge in the summer, the Blues could be tempted into making an offer.

Chelsea could hijack any deal, though, due to a clause inserted into Guehi’s contract when he signed for the south Londoners nearly three years ago. The Blues will be notified if an offer is ever made for Guehi, allowing them to match the proposal.

They do not have a buy-back agreement, as they do with several other players, but will also receive a chunk of any figure Palace receive for Guehi in the future. The deal that took the former Swansea loanee to Selhurst Park is believed to have been in the region of £18m.

Premier League manager leaves club, gives reasons for decision

Roy Hodgson has stepped down as manager of Crystal Palace just hours before their Premier League game against Everton on Monday.

The 76-year-old managed the side first between 2017 and 2021, before returning for his second stint last year. Palace have won just six league games this season.

Hodgson, who was taken ill last Thursday at the club’s training ground, said he has “taken the decision to step aside so that the club can bring forward their plans for a new manager, as intended for this summer”.

In a statement, he said: “This club is very special and means so much to me and has played a big part in my footballing life.

“I have fully enjoyed my time here across six seasons, as it has given me the chance to work with top class players and staff doing what I love every day.

“However, I understand, given recent circumstances, it may be prudent at this time for the club to plan ahead, and therefore I have taken the decision to step aside so that the club can bring forward their plans for a new manager, as intended for this summer.”

Palace chairman Steve Parish added: “Roy has a special place in Crystal Palace history and this will never be forgotten.

After four years in which he led the club to maintaining Premier League status season after season, he once again joined us nearly a year ago to steady the ship, and worked wonders.

“That he then agreed to continue in the summer speaks volumes about his commitment to our club. Quite simply, we owe our continued Premier League status to Roy.”

Eden Hazard identifies manager he didn’t like working under at Chelsea

Eden Hazard has opened up about the one manager that he didn’t like working under at Chelsea.

Hazard played for Chelsea between 2012 and 2019 and enjoyed plenty of success, winning a haul of trophies at Stamford Bridge.

The winger featured under various different managers including Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Rafa Benitez, Maurizio Sarri, Roberto Di Matteo and Guus Hiddink.

Hazard revealed that despite his difficulties with the manager in question, the coach was also the one that got the best out of him during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking on the Obi One Podcast with his former Chelsea team-mate John Obi Mikel, Hazard said: ‘I think my best time at Chelsea was with Antonio Conte.

Mikel commented that Hazard didn’t like training under Conte, and the Belgian concurred stating: “Not at all”.

Hazard added that playing matches was the only time he could enjoy himself under Conte as it gave him a break from training.

Mikel and Hazard also recalled how Conte would frequently stop training sessions to give out tactical advice.

Hazard said: “All the week training. I was going out Saturday, I need to enjoy a little bit because I know the day after is going to be back on the training ground. I have to do something, it’s my only 90 minutes I can enjoy.

“You remember him, stopping, tactics, ‘no we have to do that’. Saturday was the best day for me.”

Conte was in charge of Chelsea between 2016 and 2018, with the Blues winning the Premier League title in 2017 and the FA Cup in 2018.

In the 2016-17 season Hazard was named in the PFA team of the year and contributed with 16 league goals.

Hazard scored the only goal from the penalty spot as Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup final in 2018.

In total, Hazard played 94 games under Conte and scored 34 goals, while he provided 21 assists.

Pep Guardiola aims dig at Mauricio Pochettino’s comments after Man City draw

Pep Guardiola has seemingly had a dig at comments made by Mauricio Pochettino after Manchester City’s draw with Chelsea.

City were held to a 1-1 stalemate at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League. Raheem Sterling opened the scoring for the London club in the first half, and it took a Rodri strike in the final minutes of the contest to rescue a point for Guardiola’s team.

The draw means City are now four points behind leaders Liverpool in the Premier League table. City’s game in hand comes against Brentford in midweek, before travelling to face Bournemouth next weekend.

Pochettino spoke to BBC Match of the Day after the game, where he explained how “pleased” and “proud” he was of Chelsea’s performance. The remarks from Pochettino were put to Guardiola, and the City boss appeared to aim a dig at the Chelsea manager.

“Good, congratulations,” Guardiola told BBC Match of the Day when informed of Pochettino’s comments. “If he believes that, that is good for his team.”

“We knew it [Chelsea would be a challenge],” Guardiola added. “That was a good game.

“We played incredible in the second half. The first half was not our levels but to compete against them teams you have to play 90 minutes not just one half.”

Pochettino explained why he was happy with Chelsea’s performance against City, particularly in the first half. The former Tottenham Hotspur boss went on to label City as the best team in world football with his analysis of the performance.

“I’m so pleased. I told the players I feel so proud,” said Pochettino. “In the last three games we’ve started to create a very good spirit. That’s the way we want to build our team. Today was a very good opportunity to show we’re going where we want.

“The first half was really, really good. We only conceded one chance – against a team like Manchester City who, for me, are the best team in the world.

“In the second half they force you to go deep, but we created chances to score the second goal and things could have been different. It’s important that the players realise that football is really competitive and to reach the level we want, we need to suffer.”

Chelsea Player Ratings vs Man City: Disasi, Sterling, Gusto, others shine

Djordje Petrovic – 7.5 – Pulled off a brilliant save to deny Haaland soon after being cautioned for wasting time. Unlucky not to finish with a shutout.

Ben Chilwell – 7 – Enjoyed a fascinating battle with international teammate Foden down Chelsea’s left flank.

Levi Colwill – 6.5 – Produced a big saving block after the hour mark. “I can’t quite work out how Man City haven’t got a goal,” enthused Carragher afterwards.

Axel Disasi – 8.5 – Made three vital goal-saving clearances on the stroke of half-time. He never let up after the break. Disasi was nothing short of immense at the back this evening.

Malo Gusto – 7 – This was a strong outing for the young full-back, who competed in 10 duels, winning seven.

Enzo Fernández – 6 – Was up for the fight and even squared off with teammate Jackson after taking the ball away from his feet and sending a shot high, wide and handsome.

Moisés Caicedo – 5.5 – Fortunate not to have been sent off this evening. Referee Andrew Madley or the VAR team didn’t see his reckless stamp on Doku. He did go into the book after going through De Bruyne.

Raheem Sterling – 8 – Punished his former club, and it was coming. After again finding himself staring down Ederson via another Blues counter-attack, the ex-City forward sent Walker for a walk before finding the far corner. Only Sergio Agüero (106) has scored more Premier League goals at the Etihad Stadium than him (52). Didn’t finish the game, but this was among his better showings this season. He’s also the first player in the competition to score home and away against City having previously played for them.

Conor Gallagher – 6 – Unsurprisingly, this was another combative performance from Chelsea’s distance runner, but he was on his behaviour, not adding to his yellow card collection.

Cole Palmer – 6.5 – Returning to his former stomping ground, Palmer was part of the build-up for Chelsea’s opener, which was as good as it got for the City academy graduate.

Nicolas Jackson – 7 – Kicking himself after Ederson thwarted him. The much-maligned Senegalese forward, in fairness, needed an extra touch as Gusto’s cross wasn’t perfect. However, no side has missed more big chances in the Premier League this season than Chelsea (48), with Jackson missing 14 (the fourth most of any player in the division). He did, though, produce the ideal cross for Sterling’s go-ahead goal.

Substitutes:

Christopher Nkunku (for Sterling 64) – 4 – Had the one real chance in front of goal.

Trevoh Chalobah (for Palmer 71) – N/A – A late sub.

Cesare Casadei (for Jackson 82) – N/A – A late sub.

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/ X

Unhappy Pep Guardiola reacts to Erling Haaland missed chances against Chelsea at Etihad

Pep Guardiola has insisted Erling Haaland was not to blame for Manchester City dropping points against Chelsea despite having nine shots without scoring.

City and Chelsea drew 1-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday to slip behind Liverpool and Arsenal, who both won earlier in the day in the Premier League title race.

Haaland had nine of City’s 31 shots and missed a golden chance in the second half when his header from Kevin De Bruyne’s cross flew over the bar. It was the highest number of shots that Haaland has had without scoring in any game with Manchester City.

“It’s good to have nine shots, and next time he’s going to score,” said Guardiola. “I was a football player for 11 years and scored 11 goals. I’m not a proper man to give advice to strikers.

“We create the chances, he had the chances and next time he’s going to score. I don’t blame him. It’s football, it’s human beings.”

Guardiola was unhappy with City’s first-half performance against Chelsea, who took the lead just before half-time through Raheem Sterling.

Éderson made a crucial save from Sterling in the second half before Rodri scored a late equaliser to maintain City’s unbeaten home record, which stretches back to November 2022.

“As a team and a group, the first half was not like we are,” said Guardiola.

“The demands are so high because no-one is going to give it to us, we have to do everything.

“We are Man City so we have to do it for ourselves all the time. From Day 1 I said that. We have to improve the first half and the second half was unbelievable. In general, it was really good after we conceded from Raheem.”

Chelsea, meanwhile, might have gone away with more than just a point had they taken more of their chances while they were on top, but afterwards manager Mauricio Pochettino was happy with one of the better performances of his time in charge.

“So pleased,” he said.

“The effort was massive and the spirit is the way we want to compete with the talent we have. I think we will reach, one day, the levels we expect. To play the best team in the world is never easy and today the character and personality made me very happy.”

Revealed: How Raheem Sterling disobeyed Mauricio Pochettino during 1-1 draw against Man City

Raheem Sterling did not celebrate scoring Chelsea’s goal during their 1-1 draw against Manchester City on Saturday evening.

In the pre-match press conference, Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino had asked Sterling and Cole Palmer – two former Man City players – to celebrate if they scored at the Etihad.

But when Sterling cut inside Manuel Akanji before curling a shot around Ederson into the bottom far corner after 42 minutes, he did not celebrate his goal.

Sterling was mobbed by his Chelsea teammates, who were a lot more jubilant about taking the lead, but he chose to remain calm on his return to the Etihad.

He was also roundly booed by Manchester City fans on his return to the club, where he was on the books from 2015 to 2022 before his move to London.

Sterling’s goal was the only difference between the two sides at half-time, but the game finished all square after Rodri salvaged a point for the hosts ten minutes from time.

Palmer and Sterling both scored in November’s exhilarating 4-4 draw with Man City at Stamford Bridge, though their celebrations were somewhat muted then.

On Friday, Pochettino said: ‘If they celebrate, it’s football. If they don’t celebrate and want to show respect, OK, but I think when you score a goal you need to celebrate.

“You kill your former club and after you say “sorry”. When you play for different shirts and badges and clubs, you cannot stop your feelings.

“When you score, it’s the most beautiful feeling in your body and you cannot go, “Argh, no, I don’t want to celebrate.” You need to. You are now playing for another team.

“You showed respect when you were there and you gave everything to the club and the badge and the people. But now you defend another shirt, you need to celebrate because you are part of another history.”

Chelsea’s next match is the League Cup final against Liverpool, another one of Sterling’s former clubs.

The 29-year-old spent a couple of years in the youth system at Liverpool, before becoming a senior player for the Reds between 2012 and 2015.

Photo Credit: sterling7/ X

(Watch Video) Enzo Fernandez scores! 90+4’… Crystal Palace 1-3 Chelsea

As Palace send players forward trying to get an equaliser, they get caught out on the counter attack once again.

Palmer runs into acres of space before threading a ball into the path of Fernandez.

He lifts the ball into the net, beating Henderson at his near post.

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/ X

(Watch Video) Gallagher scores again! 90+2… Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea

Sterling sets Palmer away down the right wing.

He cuts inside and holds the ball up, waiting for some support and spots Gallagher just inside the box.

Gallagher hits the ball first time and into the bottom corner of the goal.

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/ X

(Watch Video) Gallagher scores! 48’… Crystal Palace 1-1 Chelsea

Gusto does well down the right flank and gets a cross into the box.

The ball comes to Gallagher, bouncing just in front of him.

He reacts well and volleys the ball past Henderson in the Palace goal.

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/ X