February 16 2023

Owen Hargreaves reveal the only secret Chelsea needs to defeat Dortmund

Former Manchester City midfielder, Owen Hargreaves, has told Chelsea that they need to get one of their forwards to sort out their finishing if they are to qualify ahead of Borussia Dortmund in the next round of the UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea suffered a 1-0 Champions League round of 16 first-leg defeat against Dortmund on Wednesday night.

Karim Adeyemi scored the only goal of the match at Signal Iduna Park to give Dortmund a first-leg advantage ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge next month.

All Chelsea fans are idiots and they’re blind – Keown

But Hargreaves believes there is still hope for Chelsea to qualify for the quarter-final of the Champions League despite their first-leg defeat to the Bundesliga side in the last-16.

“I think the tie is far from over. I think Chelsea can easily go to the Bridge and win the game in the second leg, but again Dortmund are a threat, we saw that,” Hargreaves told BT Sport.

“They dominated the game in the first half, they had really good possession, they have really good attacking players and they look a bit more solid defensively.

“So, it is far from over, but if Chelsea sorts their finishing out and find someone to play up top there, they could easily go through to the next round.”

Chelsea fixtures before Borussia Dortmund showdown

With just two wins in 14 matches Chelsea’s form has continued on a downward spiral with just one win coming in 2023 so far. Their away Champions League trip to Borussia Dortmund offered the chance to forget some of the domestic woes.

Instead, the match was a stark reminder of what the Blues are still missing and also the frustration that is still lingering for fans. Despite a much improved performance from recent weeks the 1-0 loss at the hands of Edin Terzic’s side still bites.

We’re still hopeful this season – Chelsea

Chelsea have accumulated an xG of 11.06 in their last seven games but scored just three times. Against Dortmund they had more shots, shots on target and shots per half but still fell short when it mattered in the box. Joao Felix spurned two massive opportunities in the first half, hitting the bar with one before Kalidou Koulibaly couldn’t convert his second half drive either.

It left fans and players alike with their heads in their hands throughout. One of those nights it may have felt like but it’s a consistent theme now in the past month.

The good news is that Chelsea have three matches to get it out of their system. Here, football.london looks at what is to come before welcoming Dortmund back to Stamford Bridge.

Managerless Southampton are up next for the Blues. If pressure is on Graham Potter right now then it could turn beyond repair should they fail to beat bottom of the league Saints.

Although Nathan Jones boasted more wins than Potter across all competitions since taking over the south coast side remain rooted to the bottom of the league. Southampton have already beaten Chelsea once this season though, shocking Thomas Tuchel’s side at St Mary’s.

As far as bounce-back games go, this is a favourable one but could also come with irreversible consequences.

Tottenham (A) – February 26

From a game that may be the perfect come down from a European disappointment to one that is the fans’ pride and joy. Chelsea are yet to do anything but win in away games at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Like earlier in the season there is bad blood to clear having been seconds from winning at Stamford Bridge before Harry Kane’s header secured a draw, coming after Marc Cucurella’s hair was pulled at a corner.

Now, Spurs are stuttering in their bid to get a Champions League spot but will be keen to add to the dark clouds hanging over Potter.

Leeds (H) – March 4

In a continuation of the collection of bad early season repeats, Tuchel also fell foul to the now departed Jesse Marsch at Leeds. On a terrible day at Elland Road the Yorkshire side won 3-0, now they are in a relegation battle and currently without a manager.

It is once more a fixture that Chelsea will still head into as firm favourites despite their continued plight. Albeit with plenty to fight for, the run of matches coming into the Dortmund second leg is favourable to Chelsea.

Borussia Dortmund (H) – March 7

And then to the return leg. A special night under the lights at SW6 as Chelsea look to overturn their 1-0 defecit. Without away goals the tie is very much in the mix.

A similar performance to their away leg would give them a good chance at going through, too. There are three weeks to solve the goalscoring issues and give the fans optimism heading into the game.

Liverpool next four fixtures:

Newcastle United (A) – February 18

Real Madrid, Champions League (H) – February 21

Crystal Palace (A) – February 25

Wolves (H) – March 1

Newcastle next four fixtures:

Newcastle United (A) – February 18

Real Madrid, Champions League (H) – February 21

Crystal Palace (A) – February 25

Wolves (H) – March 1

Newcastle next four fixtures:

Liverpool (H) – February 18

Man United (N), Carabao Cup final – February 26

Man City (A) – March 4

Wolves (H) – March 12

Manchester United next four fixtures:

Barcelona (A), Europa League – February 16

Leicester (H) – February 19

Barcelona, Europa League (H) – February 23

Newcastle, Carabao Cup final (N) – February 26

Tottenham next four fixtures:

West Ham (H) – February 19

Chelsea (H) – February 26

Sheffield United (A), FA Cup – March 1

Wolves (A) – March 4

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February 11 2023

Mohamed Salah is a terrible player – Jamie Carragher

Liverpool legend, Jamie Carragher has likened forward, Mohamed Salah to former Reds star, Fernando Torres.

Carragher believes Salah reminds him of Torres, adding that the Egyptian international is not a great player.

Salah has struggled this season but has still scored 17 goals and provided seven assists in 31 games across all competitions for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Speaking about Salah on the Across the Park podcast, Carragher said, “He will end up with 25, close to 30. We judge Salah so highly. Yeah, the team is not playing well, so Salah isn’t going to be at his best.

“I have never believed Salah is a great player as such, he is a great goalscorer. He is very direct, and everything is about the goal, he runs to the goal, so at times, he can have games where – a little bit like Torres – where he can get the ball, and he runs into people and loses possession.”

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February 8 2023

It’s the first time I’m seeing this kind of a thing – Thiago Silva

Thiago Silva told Chelsea new signings he was seeing "this" for the first time in his career

Thiago Silva has said that it was the first time he is seeing a club spend the way Chelsea did in summer of 2022 and the just concluded January transfer window.

He then told Chelsea’s new signings that they must hit the ground running.

According to him, they must start showing the stuff they are made of if Chelsea are to finish the season strong.

The Blues broke various transfer records in January as they recruited eight new players.

The Blues are currently 9th in the table, 10 points off the top four.

But Silva has remained a class act at Stamford Bridge despite the team’s troubles.

He told the club’s official website: “It’s the first time I’ve seen something like this in my whole career,” he said of Chelsea’s spending.

“We know we’re not having the best season, but I really believe that the positive thing is if we don’t start well, we can finish well.

“So, that’s what we need to learn as a lesson, try to get settled in as soon as possible, because there’s no time left, because the Champions League will start again soon.”

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February 4 2023

All Chelsea supporters are idiots to have allowed Jorginho leave – Keown

Arsenal legend, Martin Keown has said the supporters of Chelsea will soon realize the mistake of letting one of their best players, Jorginho join the Gunners.

In a rather surprising move, the Blues allowed the Italy international to move to the Emirates on the last day of the winter transfer window for £12 million.

Jorginho became the fourth Chelsea star to join Arsenal in the last decade following the footsteps of Petr Cech, David Luiz, and Willian.

Keown believes that the Blues will miss the Italy international, adding that the Blues’ players will be surprised by the decision to let such an important player leave.

“Deep down, I think the Chelsea fans will realize what he has brought to the club, he passes the ball really well and he sits deep in the midfield.

“I think there will be players in the Chelsea dressing room who will be a little bit surprised that he has been allowed to leave.”

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February 4 2023

Mark Lawrence predicts results of Man UTD, Totteham matches in EPL

Former Liverpool player, Mark Lawrenson, has predicted the results for this weekend’s English Premier League (EPL) match-day 22.

Manchester United will tackle Crystal Palace on Saturday evening at Old Trafford, while Everton will host Arsenal.

Tottenham Hotspur will take on Manchester City on Sunday evening at home, and Wolves will clash with Liverpool on Saturday.

Providing his predictions, Lawrenson was quoted by Paddy Power as saying:

Everton 0-1 Arsenal

Brighton 2-1 Bournemouth

Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace

Brentford 2-1 Southampton

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Liverpool

Aston Villa 1-1 Leicester City

Newcastle United 1-1 West Ham United

Nottingham Forest 0-2 Leeds United

Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Manchester City

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