Happy Birthday to Didier Drogba as he turns 39

The Ivorian born football player has been voted among the best 100 foreign players, and today March 11, Didier Drogba turns 39-years-old.

Here’s what we know about the iconic goal scoring hero.

  1. He has made 381 appearances
  2. He’s scored 164 goals
  3. He’s won 12 major honors

Didier Drogba

What are some of the amazing facts you know about him? Do share with us, and we will be happy to post it.

Happy 39th Didier.

Arsenal don’t have Chelsea block, says Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger dismissed suggestions that his side have a mental block regarding London rivals Chelsea following a 1-0 home defeat that carried an air of deja vu.

Arsenal were bidding to return to the top of the Premier League table in Sunday’s game, but they were left in third place after Per Mertesacker was sent off and Diego Costa scored to give Chelsea a clinical 1-0 victory.

Arsenal have not beaten Chelsea in nine league games and have not scored against them in the league in nine hours and 32 minutes, but Wenger said that Mertesacker’s 18th-minute dismissal, for a last-man foul on Costa, meant it impossible to compare the game with previous fixtures.

“I think today (Sunday) was a special game. We played with 10 men, we were 1-0 down straight away. Normally you lose a game like that 3-0 or 4-0,” he told reporters at the Emirates Stadium.

“When you have to chase the game, (there’s) nothing more dangerous than being down to 10 men. Overall we come out with a lot of regret because we feel we couldn’t play with our team.

“And looking at Chelsea today, I think there was a lot of room to beat them if we had played with 11 players.”

Mertesacker was shown a straight red card for felling Costa after he had latched onto a through-ball from Willian.

The Chelsea striker immediately made his side’s numerical advantage count by converting Branislav Ivanovic’s cross with a near-post volley in the 23rd minute.

Costa had goaded Gabriel into kicking out at him in September’s reverse fixture, earning the Arsenal centre-back a red card, and Wenger told a TV interviewer: “He has got two (Arsenal) players sent off this season.”

Addressing the print media shortly after, the Arsenal manager backtracked, saying that he had only been stating “facts”, but maintained that referee Mark Clattenburg’s decision had been “harsh”.

Chelsea’s interim manager Guus Hiddink said that Mertesacker’s lunge had merited “a red card without any discussion”.

– ‘Follow the captain’ –

Wenger reacted to Mertesacker’s dismissal by sending Gabriel on for striker Olivier Giroud, which drew a chorus of boos from the home supporters.

But he was unrepentant, saying: “Do you want to make a poll for every decision to see who does what? I make the decision and for me it was a normal decision.”

While Arsenal were left three points below leaders Leicester City, Chelsea put seven points between themselves and the bottom three to ease any worst-case-scenario relegation fears that their fans may be harbouring.

The champions, unbeaten in seven league games since Jose Mourinho’s dismissal, remain 14 points below the top four, but captain John Terry said that Champions League qualification was still “doable”.

“If the captain says yes, then we’ll follow the captain! You always follow the captain,” Hiddink said in response.

“It’s a gap. If you see the results in the Premier League, you see how competitive all the teams are, whether you’re down at the bottom or high in the ranking.

“All teams can beat all teams. With this gap, it’s difficult to go into fourth position, but when the captain is saying that, I will follow my captain.”

Hiddink also revealed that Costa, withdrawn in the 68th minute, would undergo tests on a knee injury.

“I don’t know if it’s slight or more severe, but we’ll check on it,” said the Dutchman. “It was a little bit on the knee.”

Arsenal host second-tier Burnley in the FA Cup at the weekend before resuming their title challenge at home to Southampton on February 2 and Wenger said that time was on his team’s side.

“There is a long way to go,” said the Frenchman, who welcomed Alexis Sanchez back after two months out with a hamstring injury.

“What we take from today is that we are disappointed, but have a lot of positives from our attitude and spirit.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Post-Mourinho era at Chelsea overshadows title tilts

Jose Mourinho’s abrupt departure from Chelsea has put the crisis-torn champions’ clash with Sunderland on Saturday firmly in the spotlight on a weekend that would otherwise have been dominated by Premier League title tilts.

Mourinho will be gone but not forgotten at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea’s players and fans get the chance to respond to the polarising Portuguese coach’s sacking.

Dismissed on Thursday just days after a 2-1 defeat at Leicester left the Blues languishing one point above the relegation zone, Mourinho had apparently lost the support of a significant section of the Chelsea squad.

Suggestions that several players, Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic reportedly among them, had grown unhappy as a result of feeling the lash of Mourinho’s acerbic tongue were substantiated by Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo’s talk of “palpable discord between the manager and players”.

Mourinho had claimed after the Leicester loss that he had been “betrayed” by his players and, with that in mind, it will be fascinating to see how Chelsea’s underachieving stars perform now.

There will be also be plenty of focus on the Stamford Bridge stands, where Chelsea’s fans had remained loyal to Mourinho right until the bitter end.

Even at Leicester they were chanting his name and their reaction during the Sunderland game will show whether Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s move has the support of the masses.

Abramovich was said to be keen to secure an interim replacement for Mourinho in time for Sunderland, with Dutchman Guus Hiddink — who has already successfully performed the same role at Chelsea for three months in 2009 — high on his shortlist.

But regardless of who is in charge this weekend, Chelsea can ill-afford a 10th league defeat of the season, especially against a Sunderland side only three points behind them, as the west Londoners aim to climb away from the relegation zone.

“I cannot explain why consistency has been so difficult to achieve. I don’t know what happened to us against Leicester,” Matic said.

“In the game against Porto, a very good team, we played very well, we scored two goals and created chances, but we were like another team on the pitch against Leicester.”

Mourinho’s exit has overshadowed a big weekend in the title race as second-placed Arsenal host third-placed Manchester City on Monday, while surprise leaders Leicester travel to Everton on Saturday.

Arsenal are two points behind Leicester and one ahead of City and a victory over Manuel Pellegrini’s side would be the perfect boost heading into the busy Christmas programme.

The Gunners’ chances of beating City would be greatly improved if Chile forward Alexis Sanchez is fit to feature after a hamstring injury and boss Arsene Wenger is cautiously optimistic.

“Maybe there is a slight chance for Alexis to be in the squad again, but it is too early to be sure about it,” Wenger said.

City seem more likely to have a key figure back in time for the Emirates Stadium showdown after Argentina striker Sergio Aguero, who has missed the last four games in all competitions, returned to full training on Wednesday following a heel problem.

Aguero’s return would be timely for City boss Manuel Pellegrini, who once again had to endure speculation this week that Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola is being lined up to replace him at the end of the season.

Guardiola has long been a target for Chelsea and has also been linked with fourth-placed Manchester United, whose manager Louis van Gaal desperately needs a win against struggling Norwich on Saturday to silence the critics of his conservative tactics and keep pace with the leaders.

But, with just one defeat from 16 league matches, Everton manager Roberto Martinez insists overhauling Leicester will be easier said than done for all their title rivals.

“Leicester deserve to be top of the league,” Martinez said. “I think Claudio Ranieri deserves all the credit for developing the belief in that team.

“Of course they are title contenders. I don’t see why they shouldn’t be. It’s not because they are top of the league, it’s because they’ve been so competitive in every game.”

Fixtures (1500 GMT unless stated)

Saturday

Chelsea v Sunderland, Everton v Leicester, Manchester United v Norwich, Southampton v Tottenham, Stoke v Crystal Palace, West Brom v Bournemouth, Newcastle v Aston Villa (1730 GMT)

Sunday

Watford v Liverpool (1330 GMT), Swansea v West Ham (1600 GMT)

Monday

Arsenal v Manchester City (2000 GMT)

Photo Credits : AFP

Chelsea head to Israel amid new security fears

Chelsea head to Israel amid new security worries in the region as they try to seal a spot in the last 16 of the Champions League against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho’s team currently sit in second place in Group G and could advance with a victory against the already eliminated Israeli champions provided Dynamo Kiev do not win their game against Porto.

A draw would also suffice if Dynamo lose at the same time in Portugal.

But Chelsea travel to Israel where they will find a country racked by violence.

On Thursday, five people, including an American, died when Palestinian attacks targeted Israelis in a Tel Aviv stabbing and a West Bank gun and car-ramming assault.

In one of the attacks, a 36-year-old Palestinian stormed into an office building in commercial capital Tel Aviv with a knife, killing two Israelis and wounding one.

“I think you just have to rely on people who know a lot more than me about the whole situation to make sensible decisions,” said Chelsea defender Gary Cahill when asked to discuss the prospects of travelling to the country.

Chelsea enter Tuesday’s crucial clash in good spirits after ending their three-game winless streak in the Premier League by defeating Norwich City 1-0 on Saturday thanks to a Diego Costa goal.

Despite the victory, Chelsea have been struggling to regain last season’s majestic form in the Premier League which saw Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa form a dynamic attack that many clubs feared.

But captain John Terry was pleased with the win over Norwich and is focused on Tuesday night’s match, which will be played an hour up the coast from Tel Aviv in Haifa.

“We have three points on the board now in the Premier League and switch focus to the Champions League again. With that in mind and the importance of qualifying it’s all there for everyone to see,” said Terry.

Chelsea won 4-0 when the two clubs met earlier this season at Stamford Bridge in their opening Champions League game.

Terry, Nemanja Matic, Branislav Ivanovic and Costa were omitted from the starting XI due to their poor start in the Premier League but all should play a major role on Tuesday.

– ‘Nothing to lose’ –

Chelsea have only faced one Israeli side other than Maccabi in their history — during the 2001/02 season, Hapoel Tel Aviv stunned the Blues in the UEFA Cup, beating them 3-1 over two legs.

Maccabi, who have won three straight domestic titles, geared up for this clash by beating Hapoel Haifa 3-0 on Saturday to take over top spot in the Israeli top flight.

Striker Dejan Radonjic is doubtful with a nagging calf injury, while midfielder Tal Ben Haim II is expected to feature despite not fully recovering from a calf injury.

Former Chelsea defender Tal Ben Haim I is expected to return to the line-up after being rested on Saturday.

Despite Maccabi’s poor start in the Champions League, their leading goal scorer in Europe, Eran Zahavi, is staying optimistic.

“It’s realistic to hope for points against Chelsea. It’s our time to go all out, because we have nothing to lose in the Champions League,” he said.

Serbian manager Slavisa Jokanovic, a former Chelsea player who last season led Watford to promotion to the Premier League, expects a difficult match for his team who have lost all four of their group games, managing just one goal.

“The Champions League is the highest level of European football. Chelsea may not have played well this season but they are still Chelsea, we have to show our best and I expect that we will do this,” he said.

Radamel Falcao and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois are missing for Chelsea due to injury.

Photo Credits : AFP

Mourinho facing uncertain Chelsea future

The future of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho remained clouded in doubt on Sunday following the Premier League champions’ latest setback against Liverpool.

Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat on Saturday, their sixth in 11 league games, left them four points above the relegation zone and prompted more lurid newspaper headlines about the possible fate awaiting Mourinho.

Citing sources in Portugal, The Sunday Mirror said that Mourinho was “on the brink” and could be sacked before Wednesday’s Champions League home game against Dynamo Kiev, while The Sun on Sunday claimed that he has been given two games to save his job.

The Independent on Sunday, meanwhile, reported that he will be given until the end of November to get Chelsea back on track.

Mourinho was defiant after Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge, dismissing suggestions that he had presided over his last match as manager and saying that he expected to be given more time by owner Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea gave Mourinho a public vote of confidence last month, but the team have won just one of their five matches since and saw their defence of the League Cup ended by Stoke City.

Nevertheless, Mourinho appears to retain the support of the club’s supporters, who chanted his name throughout the defeat against Liverpool, which was the club’s third home loss of the campaign.

“The fans aren’t stupid,” said Mourinho, who returned to Chelsea for a second spell in charge in 2013 and last season led the club to a league and League Cup double.

“They know how much myself and the players are trying.”

Avram Grant, who succeeded Mourinho after he was sacked by Chelsea in September 2007, only to be himself dismissed eight months later, believes the end is not yet nigh for the Portuguese.

“Normally Roman gives the manager space,” Grant told BBC Radio 5.

“He’s not day-by-day wanting to know what’s happening. He’s not a guy who will pick up the phone every five minutes and ask what you are doing.

“Even when the situation is not so good, he will want to show everything is calm.”

Mourinho was expected to take training as scheduled on Sunday, having told reporters after the Liverpool game that he would soon begin preparations for Wednesday’s match with Dynamo.

Chelsea’s Brazilian playmaker Oscar said that the only way to turn the situation around was to string a run of wins together.

“We need to win — doesn’t matter if it’s Champions League or Premier League,” he told Chelsea TV.

“We need to start winning games, because we played well against West Ham, played well against Stoke, played well today (Saturday), but we don’t win. We need to win the games.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Mourinho and Klopp seek League Cup bounce

Besieged Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and his Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp are both in pressing need of a change of fortune going into this week’s League Cup fourth-round matches.

Cup holders Chelsea, dealt a fifth Premier League defeat of the season at West Ham United on Saturday, visit Stoke City on Tuesday, while Liverpool, who have drawn all three games since Klopp’s appointment, host Bournemouth the following evening.

Chelsea’s 2-1 loss at Upton Park was a damaging affair for the league champions, with Nemanja Matic sent off and Mourinho banished to the stands alongside assistant Silvino Louro, and full-back Cesar Azpilicueta says that he and his teammates are itching to make amends.

“We want to play as soon as possible,” the Spaniard told Chelsea TV. “We have the game against Stoke.

“We want to get through and our mentality has to be to recover as quick as possible and to get into the next round on Tuesday.”

With Chelsea 11 points off the pace in the league and in third place in their Champions League group, the trip to the Britannia Stadium offers an opportunity to sweep talk of crisis from the back pages.

But Mourinho must balance pursuit of victory with the need to avoid over-exerting his players amid a sequence of six games in 19 days that continues on Saturday with a home match against Liverpool.

Klopp was appointed to great fanfare as the successor to Brendan Rodgers, but Sunday’s 1-1 home draw with Southampton was Liverpool’s third successive stalemate since his arrival.

The German will hope that the tide turns at Anfield on Wednesday and will draw encouragement from the fact that opponents Bournemouth have shipped 10 goals in their last two outings, courtesy of back-to-back 5-1 beatings at the hands of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

– Life after Sherwood –

“We can work with this result,” Klopp said after the Southampton game. “We can work with this performance of the team.

“If I sit here and have to say, ‘These guys are not ready for fighting,’ or what not, then it would be bad news. But everybody saw how ready they are and that’s the most important thing.”

Following a dreary goalless stalemate in Sunday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford, Manchester City and Manchester United continue their League Cup campaigns on Wednesday.

United entertain second-tier Middlesbrough, while City welcome Crystal Palace to the Etihad Stadium.

Antonio Valencia is a doubt for United after manager Louis van Gaal revealed that the right-sided Ecuadorian player sustained a foot injury against City, which saw him replaced by Matteo Darmian late in the game.

The point earned at Old Trafford took City back to the top of the table above Arsenal, but Arsene Wenger’s side otherwise had little to complain about following a week in which they resurrected their Champions League campaign by beating Bayern Munich 2-0 and then defeated Everton 2-1.

“It is a perfect week and it is not easy to have that,” said the Arsenal manager, whose team visit second-tier Sheffield Wednesday.

“The only negative is that we lost some players through injury during the week, but I will have to rest some players Tuesday night against Sheffield. I think for some players it will be one game too many for them.”

Aston Villa will begin life without Tim Sherwood, sacked as manager on Sunday, with a trip to Southampton, where Under-21 coach Kevin MacDonald will be in temporary charge of the visitors.

Leicester City, fifth in the Premier League after a 1-0 win over Palace, travel to Championship side Hull City, while Everton host Norwich City in one of the five all-top-flight ties.

Fixtures (1945 GMT unless otherwise stated)

Tuesday:

Everton v Norwich City, Hull City v Leicester City, Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal, Stoke City v Chelsea

Wednesday:

Liverpool v Bournemouth, Manchester City v Crystal Palace, Manchester United v Middlesbrough (2000 GMT), Southampton v Aston Villa

Photo Credits : AFP

Mourinho all but throws in Premier League title towel

Jose Mourinho admits Chelsea’s hopes of defending their Premier League title have all but disappeared.

The 3-1 home defeat to Southampton left Mourinho’s side in 16th place and trailing leaders Manchester City by ten points just eight games into the new campaign.

The defeat increased the pressure on the Blues manager, who insists he has no intention of walking away from Stamford Bridge.

But the Portuguese conceded his side’s most realistic target for the season is now to finish in the top four –- with top spot already looking beyond them –- and called for stability as the club goes through its most difficult spell in years.

Mourinho said: “Three months ago we were on the bus showing off the cups so I think it is time for all of us to be together now at the bottom of the league.

“And I think in December, January, February we are top four. To be champions would be very, very difficult.

“We are ten points from Manchester City and we could be 11 points behind Manchester United tomorrow. In football it is not impossible but it is very difficult.

“But top four is completely… not easy, but completely do-able.

“When you are in such a bad season after such a bad start, if you finish top four at the end of the season it’s because you kept a balance in a difficult season.

“So, for me, everything is clear. I cannot say more than this. I’ve been in football for a long time.”

Mourinho is confident he still has the backing of the Chelsea squad, but he admitted he understood the reaction of the home supporters who booed the decision to withdraw Willian midway through the second half.

The manager added: “Do the players trust me and feel I am the man for the job? This week we spoke about it and the answer was undoubtful.

“The supporters, when they booed today, the Willian decision, I’d have done the same as them if I didn’t know Willian was ill and vomiting in the dressing room at half-time.

“The doctor told me it would be difficult for him to carry on. The fans didn’t know what was going on.

“If they have some negative reaction, I’d do the same because the result wasn’t what we wanted.”

– No Matic humiliation –

Mourinho also insisted he had not intended to risk humiliating Nemanja Matic when he withdrew the midfielder just 28 minutes after introducing him as a half-time substitute.

He said: “It was not humiliating. I don’t do that to anyone in football or in life. It’s something that, if I do, I do without any intention. It was not the case.

“With the players, I live a situation that is not easy which is that I like them. I trust them. I know they are good players. But some of them are really in a difficult moment.

“Matic is one of them. He’s not playing well. He’s not sharp defensively and is making mistakes with the ball, not the best decisions.”

Willian put Chelsea ahead but Southampton leveled through Steven Davis and went on to claim victory through goals from Mane and Graziano Pelle.

Saints manager Ronald Koeman said: “It was a long time ago that we won an away game. This is one of the best players to get that first win away. But we have to keep working.

“We showed a great second half today, and it’s now an international break. We hope everyone comes back in good shape and we can try and play good football. That’s the key for us to win games.

“It was a difficult start this season, but the spirit of the team has stayed strong even after that difficult start. The changes needed time. Everyone understands that and, every week, we play better football.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Man City manager Pellegrini backs Toure to be on top form

Manuel Pellegrini is confident Manchester City will see Yaya Toure back to his best after insisting the problems the player faced last season are now behind him.

Toure was on the scoresheet as City showed their Premier League title credentials with an impressive 3-0 opening-game win away to West Bromwich Albion on Monday.

Having seen rivals Chelsea and Arsenal both slip up over the weekend, City manager Pellegrini’s team took full advantage with a dominant display which will give them confidence ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Jose Mourinho’s champions.

Having struggled to find his best form for a variety of reasons last term, the performance of Ivory Coast star Toure stood out as he gave signs he is fit and focused with a dominant display at the heart of City’s midfield.

“I always said last season it was a strange season for Yaya, he started with a lot of problems, the death of his brother, his agents, I think he was not focused maybe on what he had to do last year,” Pellegrini explained.

“We spoke a long way before the start of the season and I am very sure we will see the Yaya from two years ago. He is a very important player for us,” the Chilean added.

“I don’t think Yaya deserved the amount of criticism he received last season. It was not his best season but he did not play so, so bad like everyone said.

“But he is an important player for us. I am sure last season his head was not in his best moment. It is very difficult for a player when you have so many problems.”

– More trust –

Toure and David Silva combined to hand City the initiative just nine minutes in, with the Spain international flicking home his team-mate’s shot with the aid of a deflection before midfielder Toure curled home a fine second goal 15 minutes later.

With Vincent Kompany making the points certain, City’s old guard overshadowed £49 million ($76 million) record signing Raheem Sterling on his competitive debut.

The former Liverpool forward twice had good opportunities to join them on the scoresheet only to be foiled from close range by Baggies goalkeeper Boaz Myhill.

“I’m not disappointed because Raheem plays 70 minutes very well (before he was substituted),” said Pellegrini. “If he continues to play like this I am sure he will be the player we bought.”

Pellegrini played down the significance of this weekend’s meeting with Chelsea, who already trail City by two points following Saturday’s draw against Swansea.

“It is important to have a difference with them at the start of the season because they are one of the five teams who have the most chance to win the title.

“Every point is important but the gap after the second game is not decisive… It is important to beat the champions of last year to give you more trust.”

West Brom boss Tony Pulis refused to blame his players for the defeat. “I take responsibility for the way we set up and the fact we had (two strikers) Saido Berahino and Rickie Lambert both playing,” said Pulis.

“I have to look at it and say if I did it again I would probably do it differently. The pivotal moment was when I decided to play the two up front instead of an extra man in midfield.”

Pulis hopes the arrival of West Brom’s own record signing, £12 million Venezuela forward Salomon Rondon, will signal a marked improvement after his capture from Zenit St Petersburg on a four-year deal was sealed hours before kick-off.

“Speaking to Manuel (Pellegrini) and Andre Villas-Boas (the Zenit coach) who have both worked with the lad, he comes highly recommended,” said Pulis. Pellegrini had previously coached Rondon at Malaga

“He has played a good level, has a good goalscoring record, he is quick and powerful and at that price hopefully it turns out to be a good deal for us.

“The reason Zenit had to sell him is their quota of foreign players had been cut.”

Photo Credits : AFP

The five best Premier League games of 2014-15

The Premier League season came to an end on Sunday after serving up nine months of thrills and spills that ended with Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea top of the pile.

Here, AFP Sports selects the five most exciting matches from the campaign:

Everton 3 Chelsea 6, August 30

Sweeping forward with an almost reckless abandon, Jose Mourinho’s reshaped Chelsea struck twice in the first three minutes as they fired a warning to their title rivals at Goodison Park. Sparked by the astute signings of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea showed why they were already established as the pace-setters in a title race they would eventually win at a canter. Brazil-born Spain striker Costa netted in the first and last minutes at Goodison to provide a fitting coda to a result that foreshadowed Chelsea’s march to their first Premier League title since 2010.

Arsenal 2 Manchester City 2, September 13

Displaying an abundance of attacking talent and more significantly, the frailties that would eventually undermine their respective title challenges, two of the league’s most eye-catching teams served up a cracker at the Emirates Stadium. Sergio Aguero gave City the lead mid-way through the first half, but Jack Wilshere and Alexis Sanchez — giving an early glimpse of what would prove a fine debut season — struck after the interval for the Gunners. That should have been enough to ensure a winning Arsenal debut for Danny Welbeck, fresh from his transfer from Manchester United, but City defender Martin Demichelis bagged an 83rd-minute equaliser for the defending champions.

Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3, September 21

Louis van Gaal’s startled expression spoke volumes after the new Manchester United manager’s first real experience of the chaotic nature of the Premier League. It had already been a rocky start for Van Gaal in his first season in charge, but even the well-travelled Dutchman could not have expected a meltdown of the magnitude that United experienced against promoted Leicester at the King Power Stadium. Leading 3-1 after a dominant opening, featuring a superb scooped strike from club-record signing Angel di Maria, United then capitulated, leaking four goals in 21 second-half minutes as they were run ragged by former non-league forward Jamie Vardy. Incredibly, it was the first time in 853 Premier League matches that United had let a two-goal lead turn into a defeat.

Queens Park Rangers 2 Liverpool 3, October 19

With three minutes left at Loftus Road, Liverpool looked on course for a fairly unmemorable 1-0 victory courtesy of a Richard Dunne own goal — then all hell broke loose. First, Chile forward Eduardo Vargas equalised with his first goal for QPR, then Philippe Coutinho restored Liverpool’s lead in the 90th minute. There was still just enough time left for a sensational twist in the tale when Vargas levelled deep into stoppage time, only for Steven Caulker’s own goal to hand Liverpool the points with virtually the last touch of a breathless finale.

Tottenham Hotspur 5 Chelsea 3, January 1

A brilliant demolition of Chelsea’s previously impregnable defence served as a spectacular coming-of-age party for Tottenham striker Harry Kane. Playing as though they were still suffering a hangover from the New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Blues could not cope with the power and lethal finishing of 21-year-old Kane in just their second defeat of a season with few other bum notes. Kane struck twice either side of a Danny Rose goal and an Andros Townsend penalty, giving rampant Tottenham a lead that even their occasionally porous back four could not squander. Nacer Chadli sealed victory for Spurs, with Costa, Eden Hazard and John Terry netting in vain for the visitors.

Photo Credits : AFP

Former Chelsea star David Luiz reveals he is still a virgin at 28

Former Chelsea defender David Luiz has revealed he is a virgin and plans to abstain from sex until he marries his girlfriend Sara Madeira. The 28-year-old made the announcement alongside a photograph he posted on Instagram showing him being baptized in his teammate Maxwell’s swimming pool. He has often spoken of his Christian faith, and in declaring that he had ‘chosen to wait’, captioned the photo with a bible verse.

Now plying his trade for Paris St Germain in France, the Brazilian international has been dating Portuguese student Sara Madeira for several years after he met her during his stint with Benfica. The two have rarely been pictured in public together, although they were spotted court side at a 2011 basketball game in London not long after he transferred to Chelsea.

In the post, alongside his reported declaration he had ‘chosen to wait’, he cited a verse from Corinthians: ‘Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.’

He then added: ‘How wonderful to live with you Lord, thank you for loving me so much and [taking] care of me! My life is yours, and I am your servant! What’re [sic] always in the center of all my decisions. I love my God! Amen.’ The fiercely religious footballer is proud of his his Christian beliefs and has links with the Atletas de Cristo (Athletes of Christ) – a non-profit organisation that is made up of sportsmen and which was started in Brazil in 1984.

-dailymail.co.uk

Chelsea boss Mourinho outraged by Fabregas red card

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho expressed his frustration after Cesc Fabregas was sent off in bizarre fashion as the champions were defeated 3-0 at West Bromwich Albion.

The Spanish midfielder is set to miss the first two matches of next season plus the final game of this campaign at home to Sunderland on Sunday following his first half dismissal after he kicked the ball against Chris Brunt.

Mourinho felt that a more experienced referee than Mike Jones would have resolved the situation with a mere lecture after tempers flared following a Diego Costa and Gareth McAuley off the ball coming together 29 minutes into the action at the Hawthorns.

“I’ve not seen a sending off like that,” said Mourinho.

“I would like to see it again. What is this for a sending off? Where is the danger of the situation to get a red card in a friendly game almost?

“I don’t understand. Darren Fletcher was aggressive yes, he pushed in the chest. He’s experienced. It was much more aggressive than what Fabregas did.

“A top referee with big personality has a few words and controls the game. It’s a bizarre red card.

“Three game ban for this? Jesus Christ. Of course it’s harsh. We lose all the time (when we appeal) but I’ve not spoken to him.

“Diego Costa was targeted, of course. But it’s the same story.

“It depends on the referee. If the referee wants to protect the talent and punish the bully it is easy for him.

“Congratulations to West Brom for the season and this three points. And let’s go home.”

Mourinho felt this first defeat in 19 matches was the net result of claiming the title three games ago as Saido Berahino scored on nine minutes and added a penalty two minutes after the break before Brunt scored a third on the hour.

“The ideal scenario is to be champions and don’t play again, go home and have holidays,” he said.

“When you have three more matches it can happen with Bayern Munich three defeats in three and we claim one point in two.

“When you play since August with motivation and commitment and feeling the pressure, when you are champions you breathe and everything changes.

“It is difficult to play. Let’s blame the players a bit, myself and the top contenders for the title as they were not good enough to fight with us. This is a consequence of being champions so early.”

West Brom manager Tony Pulis insists any criticism of Chelsea is unwarranted.

“It’s a great finish, we will finish 13th in the table but I don’t think anything should be taken away from the team we played,” he said.

“The team we’ve played have been by far the best team in England. They have won the league by a country mile and they have been much better than anyone else.

“Although we have won this game, all the praise should go to Jose, his coaching staff, the people of Chelsea and the players.

“Jose was very good. I’ve managed against him twice and managed to beat him twice with Palace and West Brom.

“He was very gracious in defeat and for all what we have done, they have been worthy champions. They are a fantastic football club with wonderful players and for some people to criticise them is unbelievable.

“We were so on edge after we lost at home to QPR and Leicester but the lads have bounced back.

“The attitude has been wonderful, we got the breaks in this game, we played really well at times and defended well. The discipline was good and we made it very difficult for Chelsea.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Chelsea seal swoop for Brazilian starlet Nathan

Chelsea confirmed the signing of highly-rated Brazilian teenager Nathan from Atletico Paranaense on Thursday.

The newly crowned Premier League champions have moved quickly to bolster their squad for next season and the 19-year-old attacking midfielder will officially move to Stamford Bridge on July 1.

Nathan, who flew to England for his medical last month, is reported to have cost Jose Mourinho’s side £4.5 million ($7 million) and he will join young fellow Brazilians Ramires, Willian, Oscar and Filipe Luis at the west London club.

The Blues also have young Brazilians Wallace and Lucas Piazon currently out on loan.

“I am very happy to be joining Chelsea, the champions of England, and I hope I will be able to learn a lot and develop my game,” Nathan told Chelsea’s website.

The teenager, whose full name is Nathan Allan de Souza, impressed Chelsea scouts while representing Brazil at under-17 and under-20 level and scored five goals in five games at the Under-17 World Cup in 2013.

In a message posted on his Instagram page, Nathan added: “A dream is coming true! Thank you Chelsea for trusting in me, I will do my best to support my team on reaching new achievements.”

Photo Credits : AFP

The best Mourinho quotes of Chelsea’s season

The best quotes of the past season from Jose Mourinho manager of new English Premier League champions Chelsea:

Chelsea fans

“At this moment it’s difficult to play at home because playing here is like playing in an empty stadium. When we scored was when I realised, ‘Woah, the stadium is full. Good.'”

Criticising Chelsea’s supporters for the lack of atmosphere during a 2-1 home win over Queens Park Rangers in November

Pressure on referees

“That’s a campaign, that’s a clear campaign. People, pundits, commentators, coaches from other teams, they react with Chelsea in a way they don’t react to other teams. They put lots of pressure on the referee and the referee makes a mistake like this. We lose two points, Fabregas earns a yellow card. In other countries where I worked before, tomorrow in the sports papers it would be a front-page scandal. Because it is a scandal.”

Mourinho hits out after Cesc Fabregas was booked for diving during a 1-1 draw at Southampton in December, for which he was fined £25,000 ($38,310, 34,900 euros) by the Football Association

52-year-old kid

“For me, it’s very important to feel that I’m a kid. Before the game I had the same feelings as my first final, I don’t know how many years ago. It’s important for me to feel the same happiness after the victory. It’s important for me to feel that I am a kid at 52 years old.”

After Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the League Cup final, ending Mourinho’s 914-day wait for silverware — the longest of his career

The price for Hazard

“Plus one of their three best players. £100 million for each leg, because he’s very young.”

In response to a question about whether £100 million would be enough for Real Madrid to sign their reported transfer target Eden Hazard

Arsenal rivalry

“Boring I think is 10 years without a title. That’s very boring. You support the club and you’re waiting, waiting, waiting for so many years without a Premier League title, so that’s very boring.”

Responding to chants of ‘Boring, boring Chelsea!’ during a 0-0 draw at Arsenal — who last won the league in 2004 — in April

Keeping the ball

“I ask myself if in the future, when I am a granddad and I am at home with my grandsons, and maybe the future of football is a beautiful green grass carpet without goals. And in that beautiful grass pitch the team with more ball possession wins the game. Because everybody says, ‘Oh, my team plays fantastically well, we had great ball possession.’ Good. ‘Oh, we build very well.’ Good. It looks like the goals are not there … Football started a few centuries ago and the objective was one, but now it looks like the objective is another one. For me, I am very simple in my analysis. Football is about putting the ball in the net of your opponent and stopping your opponent.”

On the modern obsession with possession

Photo Credits : AFP

Maina Kageni pays Shaffie Weru 10k for losing a bet (Photos)

Maina placed a ten thousand shilling bet with Kiss fm’s Shaffie Weru for the match between Manchester United and Chelsea played on Saturday 18th April.

Initially the bet was to be five thousand shillings but Maina, an avid Manchester United supporter  increased the amount to ten thousand because he was sure that his team would beat Chelsea.

While collecting the money  Shaffie said that each of the ten notes represented the Chelsea team players.

The game ended Chelsea 1- Manchester 0 with a goal from  Eden Hazard.

DSC_1365
Maina Kageni counting the money
DSC_1366
Shaffie Weru confirms the amount
DSC_1368
Shaffie picks one note after the other while mentioning the players names
DSC_1367
Maina gives away 10k for losing the bet
DSC_1375
Shaffie shows off his winnings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chelsea ‘almost’ champions, says Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said that his team were “almost there” in their pursuit of the Premier League title after they beat Manchester United 1-0 at home on Saturday.

Eden Hazard put Chelsea ahead against the run of play in the 38th minute and his goal proved enough to end the visitors’ six-game winning run and open up a 10-point lead over second-place Arsenal.

Louis van Gaal’s United are a point further back in third place, having played a game more, and Chelsea will be champions if they win their next two matches against Arsenal and Leicester City.

“I feel we are almost there, but there are no ‘almosts’ in football,” Mourinho said. “We need eight points to be champions. It is pure mathematics.

“Six games to play; three at home, three away. Every game is difficult, every team needs points. But out situation is very good.”

Chelsea won despite enjoying only 30 percent of possession at Stamford Bridge, but Mourinho felt that his team were worthy winners.

“The game was exactly the game we want,” he said.

“The only thing we couldn’t do was to kill the game with a second goal. We were able to make their important players disappear. Nobody saw them. They were in our pockets. Football is talent, but strategy is also important.”

But United manager Van Gaal disagreed, arguing that the result failed to reflect the away side’s dominance.

“I’m not frustrated — I’m very proud of my team,” the Dutchman told reporters.

“We played the best match of this season. But in football, you can lose in spite of being the better team.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Larry Asego Predicts Manchester United’s Win Against Chelsea Tonight

“Manchester United teaches special one a lesson”, one of the sports pages will read after the Chelsea versus Manchester Game tonight according to a prediction by Larry Asego. The Classic 105 Overdrive presenter  is a Manchester United die hard, he even penned a love letter to United when they lost 2-1 to Arsenal in March, you can read all about it here.

Larry is predicting that Manchester United will topple Chelsea tonight at Stamford Bridge. He is even giving suggestions for headlines on stories after the win.

Check out the suggested headlines for sports stories posted by Larry on his Facebook page;

  1. Man Utd dents Chelsea’s title hopes
  2. Man Utd teaches Special One a lesson
  3. Man Utd thrashes Chelsea
  4. Chelsea see Blue as they’re walloped by on song United

Here’s is a screenshot of Larry’s post on Facebook

Screenshot from 2015-04-18 15:19:18

Chelsea captain Terry signs one-year contract extension

John Terry has signed a one-year contract extension with Chelsea, the Premier League leaders announced on Thursday.

Terry’s current deal was due to expire at the end of the season, but Blues’ boss Jose Mourinho had insisted earlier this month there was no chance Chelsea’s captain would be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge and the club have followed through on that promise.

The 34-year-old centre-back has been a key figure as Chelsea have opened up a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League, as well as winning the League Cup.

His new contract, which runs until the end of the 2015-16 campaign, is in line with Chelsea’s policy of offering those over the age of 30 only one-year deals and he is keen to celebrate the agreement by leading his club to their first league title since 2010.

“I’m delighted to have signed an extension to my contract with Chelsea,” Terry told the club’s website.

“After adding another major trophy to my collection this month I hope myself, the players and manager can continue to bring success to our club.

“Playing for this great club makes me so proud. And as always I would like to thank the fans who have continually supported me.”

Since his debut in 1998, Terry has established himself as a Chelsea legend, making 661 appearances and scoring a club record 63 goals for a defender.

The League Cup final win over Tottenham this season secured his 13th major honour with the west Londoners.

The former England international has won the Champions League, Europa League, three Premier League titles, five FA Cups and three League Cups.

“This new contract is not to say ‘thank you very much’. It is because John continues to perform,” Mourinho added.

“He is a top defender. I am happy that he completely deserves this new contract after a season where he has already played 40 matches.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Chelsea won’t relax says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho insists there is no chance of complacency at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea opened up a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Mourinho’s side extended their advantage over second-placed Manchester City after a 1-1 home draw with Southampton on Sunday and have still played a game less than the chasing pack.

With just nine games remaining, the English title appears destined for the Bridge unless Chelsea make a dramatic collapse.

But while Blues boss Mourinho claims he would have taken his side’s current standing at the start of the season, he maintains the title race is far from over.

“I keep saying our situation is much better than if it was the start of the season. But it’s not easy. Every match is difficult,” Mourinho said.

“Remember our two matches against Southampton. In one game there was one penalty that is not a penalty; in another game, a penalty that was not given.

“So you are speaking about six points and getting two. So the danger is always there. But I keep saying, we are there.

“If someone had told me in August that, at the end of March, we’d be six points in front with a match in hand, I’d have signed for that immediately.

“We are not complacent. It is something I cannot accuse my players of in every game, of being complacent. I’m not afraid of that.”

– Title momentum –

Manchester City’s challenge was dented by the shock defeat at struggling Burnley on Saturday and Manuel Pellegrini’s side now lie just one point ahead of Arsenal in third.

Mourinho accepts Arsene Wenger’s side are contenders but questioned whether the Gunners are the side with momentum given their recent Champions League defeat to Monaco.

“Of course Arsenal are contenders. Seven points behind Chelsea, and one less match to play than Chelsea,” he said.

“I keep thinking our opposition is better than them. Both teams are in the race but who has the momentum?”

Diego Costa gave Chelsea the lead against Southampton before a contentious penalty from Dusan Tadic brought Ronald Koeman’s side level.

Chelsea’s performance improved in the second half but Mourinho admitted to mixed feelings about his side’s display.

“There are two perspectives, and I have both with me. I’m not happy with the result, but I am with the six point lead,” he said.

“I’m not jumping with happiness and not crying in disappointment. I have both these perspectives.”

Mourinho also took the opportunity to deliver another barb in the direction of those television pundits who had criticised his side after the Champions League exit to Paris Saint Germain.

He had previously condemned Graeme Souness, the former Liverpool player and manager, for his comments.

Maintaining the theme, he said: “Pundits are pundits, managers are managers. Pundits are paid to wear my suit, but I’m not paid to wear their suit or comment on their comments.

“If, one day, I become a pundit I will wear a manager’s suit and win every game, because that’s what pundits do. And then I can be critics. I can be phenomenal like they are.”

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman praised the display of goalkeeper Fraser Forster, although he refused to debate whether Forster should replace Joe Hart in the England team.

“I’m very happy and pleased that we have Fraser in our team. Not only today: the expectation for today is much bigger than normal, and he had fantastic saves in the second half, but he has played an unbelievably high level for the team,” he said.

“Goalkeepers are always key players in a team, in a good defence, and that’s one of the qualities we have.

“Hart is a good goalkeeper, Fraser is a good goalkeeper. I’m happy to have him in the team. It’s not my decision to make (who the best English goalkeeper is at present).”

Photo Credits : AFP