Azpilicueta defends Mount and Abraham after Jose Mourinho criticism

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has defended the performances of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham in the aftermath of the Blues’ embarrassing 4-0 loss at Manchester United. The pair were impressive during the course of pre-season and they could not replicate their performance during the Premier League opener at Old Trafford.

Lampard impressed with Christian Pulisic’s brace against RB Salzburg

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has admitted that he has been impressed with the performance of Christian Pulisic against Red Bull Salzburg. The USA international scored his first non-competitive goals for the club during the 5-3 friendly win over the Austrian champions and he was also able to win a penalty, which was converted by Ross Barkley.

Speaking after the game, Lampard spoke positively about the forward’s performance but stated that there is room for improvement with the greater demands of the Premier League, he said: "I was very impressed with the way that he took the goals. As a winger in the Premier League, he has to adapt to that league. He is young but with huge potential and I am happy for him."

Azpilicueta defends Mount and Abraham after Jose Mourinho criticism

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has defended the performances of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham in the aftermath of the Blues’ embarrassing 4-0 loss at Manchester United. The pair were impressive during the course of pre-season and they could not replicate their performance during the Premier League opener at Old Trafford.

As such, ex-Blues boss Jose Mourinho had criticised the selection of the young duo while speaking for Sky Sports, but Azpilicueta has no concerns regarding the same. In a report covered by Goal.com, Azpilicueta said that Mount and Abraham were picked on the basis of strong pre-season performances and the team trusts them to do the job.

Pedro impressed with Frank Lampard’s influence on the Chelsea team

Chelsea attacker Pedro has said that the players are enjoying the opportunity of working under new boss Frank Lampard. The Blues favourite was announced as the new head coach earlier in the month and since then, he has managed the team through the opening pre-season friendly against Bohemians, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Speaking after the game, Pedro said that the team were lacking fitness for the friendly while they have just begun to adapt to the manager’s style of play. The Spaniard added that he has been satisfied working under Lampard and the players should prepare themselves better for the forthcoming run of pre-season matches.

Jorginho could reunite with Sarri at Juventus, claims Agent

The representative of Jorginho has acknowledged that Maurizio Sarri could seek a reunion with the Chelsea midfielder during this summer’s transfer window. The Italian tactician recently parted ways with the Blues to return to the Serie A with Juventus and Jorginho has been fancied to head in the same direction owing to the close association with the manager.

Speaking to Sport Mediaset, Jorginho’s agent revealed that Sarri requires a player of the midfielder’s attribute at the Bianconeri and a reunion could be on the cards this summer. He added that the Italian giants have yet to make an approach but even then, they would have to first find a breakthrough with the Blues before discussing terms for the midfielder, he said: "He needs a player like Jorginho to play as he wants. I don't know Juventus' strategies, we'll see. I know Sarri has just joined Juventus. Paraticiwill decide what to do. I imagine they are talking about transfer targets. Juventus' director won't call us without calling Chelsea first."

Loftus-Cheek admits disappointment after season-ending Achilles injury

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has admitted disappointment after finding himself on the sidelines for an extended period after an Achilles surgery. The England international ruptured his Achilles tendon during the 3-0 friendly win over New England in midweek and it has now been confirmed that he could be out for around six to nine months due to the setback.

Writing on his official Instagram account, Loftus-Cheek admitted sadness after the unforeseen injury but vowed to come back stronger next season, he penned: "Difficult to describe how I'm feeling right now, more confusion than sadness. My surgery went very well so I'm off to a good start! I'll be watching from the sidelines for a little while now so I wish the boys all the luck in the Europa League final and of course the Nations League Finals. Coming back strong from an injury is something I've had to do all my life and I'll do it again."

Sarri insists Olivier Giroud will stay put with Chelsea next season

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has indicated that Olivier Giroud won’t be parting ways with the west London side when the transfer window reopens in the summer. The France international has largely played as a back-up striker for the Premier League duties and he has publicly expressed his frustration regarding the same in local interviews.

As such, there have been reports that Giroud could push for a fresh challenge elsewhere ahead of next season, but Sarri has stressed that won’t be the case. Speaking in a press conference, Sarri indicated that the marksman has a 12-month option available on his existing contract and the club have already assured him that the Frenchman won’t be leaving on a Bosman this summer, he said: “He [Giroud] is sure [to stay] because the club has an option for another year, another season. I spoke to the club two days ago and we agreed to exercise the option. So, he will remain.”

No clear favourites for the African Cup of Nations, says Essien

Chelsea and Ghana legend Michael Essien has said that it is difficult to pick a favourite for the summer’s African Cup of Nations in Egypt. The veteran midfielder failed to get his hands on the continental crown during his international career with the Black Stars, but believes his country should offer a good challenge for the title.

In an interview with Goal.com, Essien refused to pick a genuine winner for the forthcoming tournament but hinted that hosts Egypt could hold the edge with Mohamed Salah in their ranks, he said: “That [question on the favourites] is a difficult one because there are so many good teams these days – it’s very difficult to choose the eventual winner. You cannot rule out the North African teams, especially the host nation Egypt with Mohamed Salah. Then Ghana and the West Africans like Nigeria, Senegal, and Cameroon are all strong teams, so the winner could come from there. "It’s too close to call, so may the best side win.”

David Luiz says Chelsea must be prepared to tackle Europa League challenge

Chelsea defender David Luiz has said that the Blues must be prepared to tackle the challenge ahead in the Europa League as the competition could be crucial to their Champions League prospects. The west London side are currently just three points behind the top four of the Premier League but judging by the recent domestic form, they seem to have a better chance of prevailing in Europe.

Speaking on the club’s official website, Luis said that the Blues have to be ready for every moment in the forthcoming months, if they are to end the season with a trophy in their hands, he quipped: "To understand we have to be ready for every single moment. Bad moments can arrive, emotional moments can arrive, hard moments can arrive, and we have to be ready for that. To win a tournament is not just flowers. I have learned a lot in my career, and football is nice because there is always something new, and you also have to be ready for that."

Pedro admits difficulty in adjusting to Maurizio Sarri’s style of play

Chelsea attacker Pedro has said that the Blues players continue to have difficulties in adjusting to Maurizio Sarri’s style of play and their result is sometimes dependent on how the opposition line up against them. The Blues have been in a poor run of form on the road in 2019 and they are yet to score a goal while conceding a staggering 13 in the past four matches.

In a report covered by Goal.com, Pedro has acknowledged that the team fully understand the philosophy brought upon by Sarri, although they can’t replicate the same whenever they are on the playing field. The former Barcelona went on to suggest that the opposition’s game plan could affect their performance which was the case during the recent embarrassment at the hands of Manchester City, he said: "All the team follows the idea of Maurizio. It is simple. Stay high, compact, create chances, keep possession, and create chances. The team knows this but it can be difficult to play this way, it depends on the other teams, City played well"

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