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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Chelsea: Jose Mourinho seeks more trophies after League Cup

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho and John Terry
Jose Mourinho is determined to chase more trophies after victory in the Capital One Cup on Sunday, the first of his second spell with Chelsea.
A John Terry strike and a Kyle Walker own goal secured a 2-0 win for the Blues against Tottenham at Wembley.
The trophy is the 21st of Mourinho's managerial career.
"I am like a kid winning the first one," the Portuguese said. "It's hard for me to live without titles. I need to feed myself with them."
Mourinho, who first managed Chelsea between 2004 and 2007 before returning in 2013, has now won seven trophies with the London club.
His first title was the 2005 League Cup, with Chelsea going on to the win the Premier League title that season and they are in a strong position to replicate that feat this year.
The Blues are five points clear of second-placed Manchester City and have a game in hand over their title rivals, who lost 2-1 at Liverpool on Sunday.

Mourinho's Chelsea trophies

Premier League
2004-05, 2005-06
FA Cup
2006-07
League Cup
2004-05, 2006-07, 2014-15
FA Community Shield
2005
"It is the start of something," Chelsea skipper Terry said.
"We always said we had to win trophies to be up there with the great sides.
"Back in 2004 and 2005 it inspired us and kicked us on, hopefully this will do the same.
"We've got a great squad, with some great young players, and hungry and experienced players too. It's a great mix.
BBC

Liverpool 2-1 Man City: Philippe Coutinho the hero as Reds march on

Philippe Coutinho celebrates after scoring the second goal for his side.
Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho netted a sumptuous winner for Liverpool as they beat Man City 2-1 to continue their surge up the table.
Brendan Rodgers' side are top of the Premier League form standings since the turn of the year after taking 20 points from a possible 24 and are up to fifth in the table, above Southampton.
After netting a scintillating opening goal last week against Saints, Coutinho was at it again at Anfield on Sunday, curling home a majestic effort from 20 yards with 15 minutes left to play.
Jordan Henderson had given Liverpool a first-half lead with an equally brilliant strike on 11 minutes before Edin Dzeko rounded off a fantastic team move to equalise 14 minutes later.
Despite both sides' European exertions in midweek, the pace of the game was frenetic throughout and Adam Lallana had two goals disallowed for the hosts while Sergio Aguero hit the post for City, who remain five points behind Chelsea in the title race. The Blues now have a game in hand.
Both teams made fast starts but it was Liverpool who crafted the better early chances, with Lallana heavily involved.
The England international drew a save from Joe Hart with a low toe-poked shot after eight minutes and then had a goal disallowed for offside 60 seconds later after brilliantly controlling Raheem Sterling's pass and finishing from a tight angle.
City did not heed the warning though, because the net was rippling again in the 11th minute - and this time, the goal stood.
After Vincent Kompany had lost a 50-50 with Coutinho, the Brazilian fed Henderson, who picked out Joe Hart's top left-hand corner with a superb strike.
City responded well and could have levelled two minutes later when Aguero capitalised on a mix-up in the Liverpool defence, but his hooked left-foot shot cannoned back off the post.
The chance lifted City and they deservedly equalised with a fine team goal after 25 minutes.
David Silva fed Aguero in the right channel, and the Argentina striker brilliantly slipped in Dzeko, who beat Simon Mignolet with a low right-foot shot.
Lallana had another goal disallowed on 54 minutes when Martin Skrtel was in an offside position when nodding down a free-kick to Lallana, who finished from close range.
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, who was on co-commentary duty, described the way City were playing as "embarrassing" as they repeatedly were cut open in midfield by a relentless Liverpool attacking unit.
Coutinho was the spearhead and it was he that conjured up the match-winning moment on 75 minutes. 
It was an effort very similar to Henderson's as Sterling fed Coutinho on the left corner of the box, and he then cut inside and swept a brilliant right-foot shot into the far corner.
City stepped up their intensity after the goal as Liverpool tired slightly and with the clock ticking down, Silva shot agonisingly wide from inside the area after Yaya Toure had bulldozed his way through the Liverpool midfield and defence. 
But an equaliser would have been harsh on Liverpool, who restricted City to just one shot on target throughout the game - the fewest they have had in any Premier League game this season. 
Liverpool march on, with Burnley next up at Anfield on Wednesday night, when Manuel Pellegrini's City host Leicester at the Etihad.
Player Ratings
Liverpool: Mignolet (7), Can (7), Skrtel (7), Lovren (6), Henderson (8), Allen (7), Moreno (6), Markovic (6), Lallana (7), Coutinho (8), Sterling (7).
Subs: Sturridge, Toure.
Man City: Hart (6), Zabaleta (6), Mangala (5), Kompany (6), Kolarov (6), Fernandinho (5), Yaya Toure (6), Silva (7), Nasri (6), Dzeko (6), Aguero (6)
Subs: Lampard, Bony, Milner. 
Man of the Match: Philippe Coutinho.
SkySports

Friday, 27 February 2015

Manchester United’s David de Gea dismisses ‘lies’ over Louis van Gaal relationship

  • Reports in Spain said pair have not spoken ‘for months’ 
  • De Gea: I am playing the best football that I’ve ever played
David de Gea
David de Gea believes he is playing the best football of his career at Manchester United.
 Photograph: Craig Brough/Action Images

David de Gea has refuted reports that he and Louis van Gaal do not enjoy a good relationship.

The goalkeeper’s contract expires in summer 2016 and he is yet to sign a new one,with reports in Spain this week stating that he has not spoken to the Dutch manager for months. But speaking to MUTV on Friday, De Gea denied there was any truth in those reports.

“Everything that has been written in the press about us not getting on is a lie,” he said.

“We both want the best for the club and the team, and the stories are complete lies.”

United are hopeful the 24-year-old will agree terms and the club was offered encouragement by De Gea stating he is currently particularly happy. “I think this is the best period of my career,” he said. “I am playing the best football that I’ve ever played. I’m really enjoying it at the moment and I’m just trying to improve with every training session and every game that goes by, giving 100% and concentrating to the maximum. That’s the way I want to continue.”

After United lost 2-1 at Swansea City last week De Gea is keen the team bounces back instantly by defeating Sunderland at Old Trafford on Saturday.

“Yes, we were on a good run of results and winning some important games but, the other day at Swansea, we lost the game. I don’t think we deserved to lose, but football can be like that,” he said. “You go to tough away grounds and you lose points sometimes. We have to move on from that as now we face Sunderland and we need to concern ourselves with that test.”

Ángel Di María, the British record £59.7m signing, admits he is has not always been at is best since joining from Real Madrid. “I’ve had a couple of games where things haven’t gone as well as they could have,” said the forward. “I think it’s part of that settling in process to the English game. I started off quite well but I think that made expectations then rise and everyone thought that I would just carry on in the same way.

“It took me a while to settle in fully in each of the countries where I’ve played before. But I just have to keep working hard and focussing on what I want, which is to do as well as I possibly can.”

Of United’s campaign so far Di María said: “I think it’s been going quite well. We’re in fourth place, fighting for a Champions League spot, which was the main aim, bringing Manchester United back into that competition. We’ve got a tough game coming up in the FA Cup against Arsenal, so we are there or thereabouts in both competitions, fighting hard to achieve something big.”

The Guardian

Clyne to Chelsea FC? Man Utd lose striker? Van Gaal to ditch defender?

Robin van Persie (credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
The top stories making Friday's back pages in the UK...

The Sun: Robin van Persie could miss Manchester United’s next four league games through injury.


Daily Mirror: Chelsea have joined the race for Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne.

Also: Liverpool teenager Jordon Ibe will be rewarded with a new five year contract.
Daily Star: Manchester City are poised to open talks with Yaya Toure about a new contract.

Also: Burnley boss Sean Dyche has told Ashley Barnes to ignore Jose Mourinho and play it his way.

Daily Mail: Cheick Tiote will miss the remainder of the season following knee surgery and could have now played his last game for Newcastle United.

Also: Gus Poyet has reassured Emanuele Giaccherini that he has a future at Sunderland after a nightmare two seasons at the Stadium of Light.

Daily Express: Diego Costa believes he is a marked man but is not going to change his game for anyone.

Metro: Manchester United could be set to lose Robin van Persie for a crucial period in their season after the striker was reportedly ruled out for a month with an ankle injury.

Also: Chelsea are said to be leading the chase for the signature of highly-rated Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi.

Daily Telegraph: Manchester United will listen to offers for Rafael da Silva at the end of the season, with Louis van Gaal holding talks with senior figures this week over the Old Trafford futures of a further 10 players.

Also: Arsenal's board expects rapid progress to be made after recent investment but will sanction £50 million more for signings this summer to help crack Europe's elite.

And: Liverpool are expected to avoid Uefa sanctions, despite being in breach of Financial Fair Play regulations, as they have managed to persuade European football's governing body there were mitigating circumstances for their failure to comply.
CrunchSports