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Author Archive for Barney Ronay at Stamford Bridge

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Jürgen Klopp shows signs of strain at prospect of extreme late swing | Barney Ronay

The possibility of Liverpool’s season turning sour at its end seemed to prey on the mind of their manager at Stamford BridgeAs the final minutes ticked away in the glare of Stamford Bridge, Jürgen Klopp appeared to be stuck in a pose of oddly touching …

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Ray Wilkins given a fond farewell on a day for goodbyes at the Bridge | Barney Ronay

At Chelsea on Sunday, as at many other clubs over the weekend, it was all about Ray Wilkins. But in the background it was hard to avoid the feeling of change and uncertainty to comeFarewell, then, to all that. A rainy Sunday on the Fulham Road, a humdr…

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Dele Alli’s incision and touch of playground genius inspires Spurs | Barney Ronay

Tottenham’s visit to Chelsea began mundanely but by the end was a stage for Dele Alli to deliver two exhilarating goals brimming with imaginationThere was a fascinating moment towards the end of a slightly dull opening half-hour at Stamford Beige. Dele…

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Lionel Messi breaks the shackles and his non-existent Chelsea hoodoo | Barney Ronay

The little genius changed the gravity of this tie with a piece of classic unforgiving skill to score his first goal against Chelsea, but until then the hosts had been a match for BarcelonaWith 11 minutes gone at Stamford Bridge Lionel Messi did his fir…

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Olivier Giroud the well-groomed, half-speed Costa, looks an ideal fit | Barney Ronay

The striker, signed by Chelsea from Arsenal in January, has a physical presence and is a good foil for Eden HazardSquint a little as Chelsea despatched West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge and at times it was as though the champions’ attack was doin…

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Arsène Wenger squeezes into the press box for a hack’s view of the action | Barney Ronay

Watching Arsenal’s manager watch the goalless first leg of a cup semi-final was more interesting than watching the goalless first leg of a league cup semi-finalOf all the indignities foisted on Arsène Wenger during his time in English football, this wa…

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Cesc Fàbregas keeps calm amid the chaos to steer Chelsea towards a worthy win | Barney Ronay

Aided by the return of N’Golo Kanté, the Spanish midfielder stood out by doing what Manchester United could not: pass the ball with maturity, patience and craftAnd then there was one. With just over an hour gone at Stamford Bridge and Manchester United…

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Eden Hazard cameo underlines Chelsea’s need for extra source of flair | Barney Ronay

Belgian forward comes on to give his side creative edge they had been lacking but too late to find way through Arsenal in claustrophobic game of fine details

On a rowdy, bruising, enjoyably intense afternoon at Stamford Bridge Chelsea showed two sides to their game. First came the one that doesn’t involve Eden Hazard. For the opening 70 minutes of this 0-0 draw the champions were neat, focused, disciplined and aggressively blunt in their attacking rhythms, the gears a little gummed.

After which, in glimpses, they played the other version, the Hazard-remix, the one where Chelsea’s No10 provides a vital free radical element in Antonio Conte’s hard-running 3-5-2, somebody to see the angles between the angles, to create space rather than simply applying relentless physical pressure.

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Antonio Conte denies team selection was a message to Chelsea hierarchy

• Manager insists side wasn’t chosen to highlight lack of signings
• ‘My choice was to put out the best players that we have’

Antonio Conte denied that his team sheet was intended as any kind of message to the Chelsea hierarchy after a lineup stocked with kids on the bench and a 20-year-old making his first start lost to Burnley on the opening day of their title defence.

Related: Nine-man Chelsea shocked by Sam Vokes double for Burnley

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Hero worship and mayhem mark John Terry’s exit as grand old man of Chelsea | Barney Ronay

Chelsea’s captain has been little more than a motivational henchman this season but Stamford Bridge rose to honour a club legend for perhaps the final time

“It’s not going to be a fairytale ending,” John Terry had sighed shortly after announcing his own premature Chelsea exit in January last year. And yet here we were all the same 16 months later. With the league title already in the bag this messy, fun 4-3 win against a feisty Watford provided Chelsea’s departing captain with a farewell that had its own elements of dreamily staged celebration.

Related: John Terry makes his mark in last-gasp Chelsea win over battling Watford

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Eden Hazard’s brilliance lifts Chelsea as view from the Bridge improves | Barney Ronay

Belgian playmaker has been inspirational all season and was once again in scintillating form to lead Chelsea to a 2-1 victory against Manchester City

T here was an unusual sound just before half-time in this bustling, full-body collision of a Premier League match. For most of the opening 45 minutes the usual snorts and surges of rage had barrelled around the ground, most of it directed at the ongoing Sergio Agüero-David Luiz vendetta.

As the interval approached Eden Hazard picked up the ball near the centre circle one last time. Chopping the turf with his heel to stop his momentum, Hazard swayed one way, darted back the other and left John Stones looking strangely lost, wandering vaguely in the general direction of Earls Court, as Hazard spurted off down the line behind him.

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Mourinho’s cynical Eden Project falters at Hazard’s twinkling feet | Barney Ronay

Manchester United’s strategy was to shackle Chelsea’s main creative force by any means and Phil Jones could have been sent off before Ander Herrera was

Midway through a thrilling, slightly wild first half at Stamford Bridge Phil Jones could be seen bumping and jouncing into the back of Eden Hazard on the edge of the Chelsea box like a middle-aged man performing an aggressively drunken conga at the office party. As Hazard fell Jones also stood on his hand, no doubt balancing up the throb in Hazard’s right cheek, where Ander Herrera had left his shoulder a few minutes before.

The match facts will reveal that this 1-0 FA Cup quarter final victory was decided by N’Golo Kanté’s clinching goal just after the break, and nudged one way by the red card shown to Herrera towards the end of the first half. But it was fear of Hazard that dominated United’s game plan here, that dominated the active parts of this game, and which led indirectly to both these decisive events.

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Hot-blooded Costa takes his revenge for Chelsea against Spurs – and serves it cold | Barney Ronay

Chelsea’s chief provocateur is a master at pushing the right buttons, especially against Spurs, but it was his craft that was most notable at Stamford Bridge

So much for the battle of The Bridge. This was a more controlled kind of warfare. Not to mention a more controlled, cold-blooded kind of Diego Costa, who led by stealth from the front as Chelsea came from one down to beat Tottenham 2-1 in a thrilling, high-tempo match.

So often at times like these Costa has found himself at the centre of a kind of José-flavoured theatre of hate. Here he took his revenge served cold. In April Chelsea’s centre forward had his eye gouged by Moussa Dembélé in a match that simmered and spat before ending in authentic unbound rage.

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Diego Costa discards mask to show he is no fraud but PSG have real superhero | Barney Ronay

Chelsea’s warrior striker answered but this was a night that felt like an ending as much as an exit for Guus Hiddink’s side

Goodbye to all that then. Chelsea exited the Champions League at Stamford Bridge for the last time in some time, outgunned by a high quality Paris Saint-Germain team with strength in reserve in midfield and scalding pace on the flanks.

On a chilly night in west London Chelsea threw what they had at PSG. Diego Costa mustered up an hour of heartfelt chasing. Beyond that this was a committed but ultimately doomed performance against the highest-paying sports team in the world, a pedigree group of players who simply had too much control and too much incision in Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lucas and Ángel Di María.

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José Mourinho must feel this is a special achievement even by his standards

Chelsea’s championship success is an eighth league title for the Portuguese who disproved the theory you should never go back Continue reading…




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Chelsea’s Mourinho-led aggressivity not enough to keep PSG at bay

A relentlessly combative match had José Mourinho’s fingerprints all over it, but 10-man Paris Saint-Germain were more than a match for his game plan
• Daniel Taylor’s match report from Stamford Bridge
• As it happened: Paul Doyle’s minute-by-minute on the game Continue reading…



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Chelsea and Manchester City look weary as Champions League looms

Top two in Premier League need some fresh legs if they are to progress when European football resumes in February
Match report: Chelsea 1-1 Man City Continue reading…



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Sergio Agüero provides the guile to keep Manchester City in title chase

Argentinian combined with David Silva to supply champions’ goal and creative spark at Stamford Bridge and the duo’s form will be vital if Chelsea are to be caught
Match report: Chelsea 1-1 Manchester City
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Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek gives glimpse of future against Sporting

José Mourinho is hoping academy product will be first of many to break into the first team after coming on for Cesc Fàbregas
Match report: Chelsea 3-1 Sporting Lisbon Continue reading…



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Nemanja Matics craft and muscle helps Chelsea to humble Arsenal again

Weve got Cesc Fàbregas Chelseas fans chanted by way of a taunt as the players left the field, but the Spaniard is not the most obvious missing piece in the Arsenal team Continue reading…