Posts Tagged ‘Chelsea’

Report: Ba breaks PSG hearts as Chelsea scrape through

“London (AFP) – Demba Ba scored in the 87th minute to give Chelsea a last-gasp 2-0 win at home to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday that swept them into the Champions League semi-finals.”

My AFP report on a night of knife-edge tension at Stamford Bridge can be read here.

Reaction: Spirited Chelsea leave Mourinho aiming high

Analysis: Stars align for Chelsea and José Mourinho

“City’s games in hand — away to United, and at home to Sunderland and Aston Villa — will also be complicated by the pressure of knowing that Chelsea have already bagged the points that Manuel Pellegrini’s side are trying to make up. Furthermore, whereas only half of City’s remaining 12 league games are against teams currently in the bottom half of the table, Chelsea will face teams in the bottom 10 in seven of their last nine fixtures. For both Arsenal and second-place Liverpool, meanwhile, only four of their 10 remaining opponents are in the bottom half.”

I’ve written a piece for AFP on why the fates may be conspiring in Chelsea’s favour in the Premier League title race. You can read it here.

Report: Chelsea raid robs Man City of home comforts

“Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Chelsea defied Manchester City’s scintillating home form with a superb 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Monday that injected fresh intrigue into the Premier League title race.”

My AFP match report on Chelsea’s victory at the Etihad can be found here.

Reaction: Mourinho talks down title chances for ‘little horse’ Chelsea

Report: Eto’o hat-trick sees United sink deeper

“Manchester United’s Premier League title defence died another death on Sunday as Samuel Eto’o's hat-trick earned Chelsea a 3-1 win that left the champions 14 points off the pace.”

My AFP match report on another chastening day for Manchester United and David Moyes can be read here.

Reaction: United won’t give up on title, vows Moyes

Feature: Ferguson exit sparks England’s year of change

“The year had started in familiar fashion, with United romping to an unprecedented 20th league title, but at 09:17 on the morning of Wednesday, May 8, everything changed. A tweet published by the United press office confirmed the jaw-dropping rumours that had first emerged on the Daily Telegraph website the previous night: Ferguson, the father of the modern United, the most successful manager in British football history, was stepping down after 26 and a half record-breaking years.”

My AFP review of the year 2013 in English football can be found here.

Analysis: Mourinho still searching for winning formula

“Upon returning to Chelsea, Mourinho pledged that he would introduce a more proactive, passing style, but he is struggling to find an alternative to the counter-attacking approach that is his trademark. Chelsea have averaged a healthy 56.9 percent of possession in their 12 league games to date this season, but they seem happier when they have taken an early lead and can pick off their opponents on the break. Of their 12 victories in all competitions, 10 have come after they went ahead inside the first 33 minutes and on the five occasions when they have conceded the opening goal, they have come back to win only once, in last month’s 4-1 win at home to Cardiff City.”

I’ve written a piece for AFP on José Mourinho’s search for a winning formula at Chelsea, and you can read it here.

Soccer Central podcast: Champions League preview

I put on my posh podcast voice to speak to Sportsnet’s Soccer Central podcast about Laurent Blanc’s winning formula at Paris Saint-Germain, Olivier Giroud and Arsenal, Frank Lampard and Chelsea, and David Moyes’s tactical conundrums at Manchester United. You can listen here.

Report: Hildebrand blunder leaves Chelsea in command

“London — Chelsea shook an unexpected loss to Newcastle United out of their system by overcoming Schalke 3-0 on Wednesday to close on a place in the Champions League knockout phase.”

My AFP match report on a night to forget for Timo Hildebrand at Stamford Bridge can be read here.

Related link: Agüero, Negredo fire Man City into last 16 

Report: Torres accepts gift to send Chelsea second

“London — Fernando Torres exploited a 90th-minute horror show from Manchester City to earn Chelsea a 2-1 win on Sunday that sent them up to second place in the Premier League.”

My AFP match report on a potentially significant victory for Chelsea can be read here.

Reaction: Mourinho indebted to Torres determination

Analysis: Open season in Premier League as big guns misfire

“The topsy-turvy opening weeks of the Premier League campaign have fuelled pre-season optimism that the 2013-14 title race would be one of the most open in years. With Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all under new management, and a glut of new players having arrived during the close season, the English top flight is in the throes of transition, and the off-pitch upheaval has been mirrored in the results.”

I’ve written a piece for AFP asking if we are set for the most competitive Premier League title race in recent memory, and you can read it here.

Report: Rooney tries in vain as United, Chelsea draw

“MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — Wayne Rooney may have played his way out of a transfer to Chelsea after a committed display in Manchester United’s 0-0 draw against their Premier League rivals on Monday.”

My AFP match report on the first major head-to-head encounter of the new Premier League season can be read here.

Related link: Ramsey rubber-stamps Arsenal progress

Report: Chelsea sink Hull on Mourinho’s return

“LONDON — José Mourinho made a winning return as Chelsea manager with a 2-0 success at home to promoted Hull City in the club’s opening Premier League game on Sunday.”

My AFP report on José Mourinho’s Stamford Bridge homecoming, as well as a successful Premier League debut for Roberto Soldado, can be read here.

Fergie’s last stand, José’s return, Becks’ adieu and Der Klassiker

The closing weeks of the 2012-13 season represented one of the most seismic periods in the recent history of English football: Sir Alex Ferguson sensationally retired as Manchester United manager, bowing out after an astonishing 5-5 draw at West Bromwich Albion; David Beckham called time on his perpetually headline-grabbing career; Wigan Athletic stunned Manchester City in the FA Cup final; Chelsea claimed a last-gasp victory over Benfica in the Europa League final; Arjen Robben netted a dramatic late winner for Bayern Munich to settle a pulsating Champions League final at Wembley; and then shy, retiring José Mourinho returned to Chelsea.

I was privileged to report on all of it, and below are links to some of the pieces I produced for AFP as the season reached its crescendo:

Sir Alex Ferguson
Profile: Alex Ferguson, the man who rebuilt United
Analysis: Following Ferguson, United’s impossible job
Report: Ferguson bows out as United share 10-goal epic
Reaction: United look forward after Ferguson says goodbye

Premier League
Analysis: Late-season retirements hint at Premier League flux

FA Cup
Report: Wigan stun Man City in FA Cup final upset

Europa League final
Report: Chelsea claim last-gasp Europa League triumph

David Beckham
Report: Beckham calls time on stellar career

Champions League final
Report: Redemption as Robben gives Bayern fifth European crown

José Mourinho
Report: I return to Chelsea as a fan, says Mourinho
Profile: José Mourinho, Chelsea’s scheming showman
Report: Mourinho returns as the ‘Happy One’

Report: Chelsea overcome Basel to reach Europa final

“LONDON — Chelsea reached the Europa League final for the first time in their history after surviving a first-half scare to defeat Swiss champions FC Basel 3-1 in the second leg of their semi-final on Thursday.”

My AFP match report from Stamford Bridge can be read here.

Report: City hold on to end Chelsea’s FA Cup defence

“LONDON — Manchester City withstood a valiant fightback from Chelsea to win a gripping FA Cup semi-final 2-1 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday and knock the holders out of the competition.”

My AFP match report on Manchester City’s engaging win over Chelsea at Wembley can be read here. You can also read my report on the first semi-final, and the shocking violence that scarred it, here.

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