Chelsea superstar Luiz, Willian up for Samba Gold trophy

Chelsea v Watford - Premier League

David Luiz, Chelsea Fc

Huddersfield Town v Chelsea - Premier League

Willian, Chelsea Fc

CHELSEA SUPERSTARS DAVID LUIZ, WILLIAN UP FOR SAMBA GOLD TROPHY

Chelsea’s Brazilian duo of Willian and David Luiz nominated for Samba Gold award

David Luiz and Willian are among 30 nominees for the Samba Gold trophy, an annual award given to the best Brazilian footballer in Europe. Chelsea’s Brazilian pair were key to Chelsea’s 2016-17 England Premier League title triumph earlier this year, as well as their run to the final of the FA Cup. Winning the Premier League silverware with Chelsea was David Luiz’s first EPL success and Willian’s second, and the efforts of both have been recognized by a website dedicated to Brazilian football, Samba Foot, which is running the ‘Samba d’Or’ award for the 10th year. The award is decided by votes from journalists, former players, and fans. Chelsea fans can go online and vote for David Luiz and Willian today!

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Qarabag FK v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League

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David Luiz and Willian, Brazil, Chelsea Fc

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David Luiz and Willian, Brazil

Chelsea v Watford - Premier League

David Luiz, Brazil, Chelsea Fc

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Willian, Brazil, Chelsea Fc

Huddersfield Town v Chelsea - Premier League

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CHELSEA - 2017 ENGLAND PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPS!

Chelsea's team players (from top left): Chelsea's Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea's German defender Antonio Rudiger, Chelsea's English defender Gary Cahill, Chelsea's Spanish defender Marcos Alonso, Chelsea's French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, Chelsea's Brazilian defender David Luiz, Chelsea's Spanish striker Alvaro Morata, Chelsea's Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea's Spanish midfielder Pedro, Chelsea's Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas and Chelsea's Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard.

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PREMIER LEAGUE UPDATE – BIG SIX ON TOP

Watford v Manchester City - Premier League

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has led his side to the top of the Premier League Table

PREMIER LEAGUE UPDATE – BIG SIX ON TOP

England Premier League: EPL Big six are top on table after Man United, Man City, Arsenal win

Last Saturday's Premier League fixtures featured another win for both Manchester City and Manchester United. After 10 fixtures the Premier League's six giant clubs are all on top in a fierce battle for the league silverware. Liverpool kept a clean sheet in their victory over Huddersfield, The Gunners won their 10th home game moving into fifth place.

Premier League holders Chelsea edged past Bournemouth in their battle to retain their title, as Eden Hazard scored the only goal of a match Chelsea completely dominated and thoroughly deserved to win. Hazard’s strike allows Chelsea to reclaim fourth place on the EPL Table. Bournemouth remain a point and three goals below the relegation line in 19th place. Next week, Jose Mourinho’s United side pay a return visit to Stamford Bridge in a not to be missed match.

“I always see the right attitude from my players, every day and every moment,” said Chelsea manager Antionio Conte. “Cahill is on the bench as part of rotation. We have to play in the Champions League. When I can do rotation, I will do it.”

Before the game, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe talked about winning.

““Winning is the only thing that truly gives confidence, so we’re buoyed by the week we’ve had and hopefully we can finish it off,” said Howe. “You have to prepare for every game in this league separately, so we do have to tweak things for specific teams and specific games, and hopefully we’ll have got it right. We’ll see if Defoe can complete 90 minutes; he’s trained well but how long he plays will be dictated by his performance.”

Squads

Bournemouth

Begovic, Francis, S Cook, Ake, A Smith, L Cook, Surman, Daniels, Stanislas, Afobe, Defoe. Subs: Boruc, Gosling, Pugh, Arter, Wilson, Mousset, Ibe.

Chelsea

Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Zappacosta, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Alonso, Pedro, Morata, Hazard. Subs: Caballero, Drinkwater, Willian, Batshuayi, Cahill, Christensen, Ampadu.

Tottenham Hotspurs suffered a surprise defeat.

Defensive midfielder Darren Fletcher scored the goal of the weekend sending home a volley direct from a corner. It was the only goal of the match as Stoke beat Watford 1-0.

Star England goalie Joe Hart ended up without a win on Saturday despite his efforts at West Ham. Hart made several fine saves including an impressive one-handed stop that denied James Tomkins in the second half as West Ham drew 2-2 at Swansea.  Twenty-eight-yer-old Michail Antonio tossed a lethargic cross in the 97th minute from the touchline. The cross was easily claimed, and then Crystal Palace went up the other end and scored the equalizer – costing West Ham 3 points. Hart called him "unprofessional" in public. Meanwhile Martial was Man of the Match for Manchester United as their Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho's bold substitution led to the 1-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur in an otherwise dull match. Most fans did not agree with Mourinho's decision to withdraw Marcus Rashford to send in Anthony Martial on Saturday with scattered boos and grumbling heard around Old Trafford. But Anthony Martial’s fresh legs won the match leaving Eric Dier floundering. United’s No. 1 goalkeeper David de Gea launched the ball, Romelu Lukaku nodded into a "position of maximum opportunity", and Martial tucked it away proving Mourinho right.

Error of the MatchWeek goes to Everton’s Jonjoe Kenny who mistimed a clearance so badly that it went over his head and into his own goal against the Foxes. Final score, Leicester City 2-0 Everton in a comfortable win with goals from Jamie Vardy 18 and Demarai Gray 29 at King Power Stadium.

Everton boss for the match David Unsworth was interviewed before the game.

“A whole deal of positivity. We want to be positive, we want to play on the front foot. I want to play with width, to create numerous chances and to produce the kind of football the Everton fans want,” said Unsworth about his strategy. “The message to the players is, play on the front foot and have a right go. We’re here to win football matches. Play with freedom, try to stick together, and try to create the chances that we need to score goals. Is it a big day for me personally? I think when you’re Everton manager it’s always a big day. Our Everton fans, they demand that. We do it for them and we hope to produce a winning game for them.”

After the loss, interim manager of the struggling Everton side, Unsworth had his post-match chat.

“Second half, much better. The positivity and the way we wanted to play, on the front foot, was there for all to see. First half we didn’t start. Formations, tactics can go out the window if your players don’t play on the front foot. Our performance was certainly a lot better second half,” said Unsworth. “At half-time I wanted an extra man in midfield. You have to tinker with your formations, and it gave the full-backs some extra space to go into. For whatever reason first half it didn’t work. You’ve got to be reactive, and you’ve got to show the players that you’re on the front foot as well. We had a couple of half-chances, but nowhere near – first half – the performance level that I would expect. We’ve just picked a team, the last two games. Fresh eyes, and what we felt was the best team to win a game of football. Today, first half unacceptable but we’ve reacted and second half we’ve dominated without getting the reward. I’ll pick teams that’ll win a game of football, it doesn’t matter about the reputation and the value of the player.”

Jamie Vardy talked about his new boss, Claude Puel.

“The gaffer’s come in this week and to be fair to him he said for this game he didn’t want to change too much, just a few tactical tweaks, and it’s paid off today,” reported Vardy. “We’ll be in this week looking forward to next week’s game and we’ll see if he brings in a few more changes.”

Demarai Gray, the Man of the Match also was interviewed about his goal.

“I’ve had to wait a long time for my opportunities but it’s a new start,” responded Gray. “We’ve had momentum off the back of the last two games and we’ve brought it into today’s game. The second is 100% my goal. 100%. I’ll take it, and take the three points. The boys know once we score the first goal we’re going to be fine from there. Second half they put pressure on us which was to be expected but we’ve seen it out.”

Squads

Leicester City

Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi, Iborra, Chilwell, Gray, Vardy. Subs: Iheanacho, King, Albrighton, Hamer, Dragovic, Slimani, Okazaki.

Everton

Pickford, Kenny, Jagielka, Williams, Baines, Mirallas, Davies, Gueye, Lennon, Rooney, Calvert-Lewin. Subs: Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Holgate, Lookman, Robles, Niasse, Beningime.
Referee: Andre Marriner.

Arsenal continue to look good and are among the top contenders for the Premier League trophy this season. The Gunner’s have only lost once since the Anfield Incident, played well in their Europa League group, and have fought back from a goal down to win on three occasions in six days. Arsenal may only be 6 points off Manchester City next week if they can defeat Manchester City.

Manager Slaven Bilic’s job is on the line going into West Ham’s next match. If Bilic wants to save his job, he needs a win badly. In the second half of their last game against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium, West Ham fought hard to win in an admirable showing after making nine changes to his squad. Bilic should reward the players who did the job for him against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup by givng them a spot on the squad he selects to play against Liverpool at Olympic Stadium London.

Roy Hodgson is helped by Crystal Palace’s 4-1 defeat by Bristol City in midweek as Palace went out of the Carabao Cup. Hodson’s last place side need as many clear weeks as possible to prepare for Premier League games to stay up. Palace did not deserve to lose in their 1-0 defeat at Newcastle, because they were the better team. In the upcoming London Derby against Crystal Palace they need to play with the same energy and determination that they did when they beat Chelsea 2-1.

Manchester City v SSC Napoli - UEFA Champions League

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has led his side to the top of the Premier League Table

ENGLAND PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE

As of October 30, 2017, Manchester City are sitting on top of the England Premier League Table with 28 points – Manchester United is in second with 23 points, Tottenham Hotspur is in third with 20 points, Chelsea is in fourth with 19 points tied with Arsenal. Liverpool is in sixth with 16 points. At the bottom of the EPL Table are West Ham with 9 points, Swansea City and Everton with 8 points, and Bournemouth with 7 points, and Crystal Palace at rock bottom with 4 points. Watch the battles at the top and bottom of the England Premier League Table in upcoming matches! Buy Premier League tickets for Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, West Ham, Swans, Everton, Cournemouth, and Crystal Palace at LiveFootballTickets.com!

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Harry Kane. Tottenham Hotspur

Sergio Agüero. Manchester City

Romelu Lukaku. Manchester United

Raheem Sterling. Manchester City

Leroy Sané Manchester City

Álvaro Morata. Chelsea

Gabriel Jesus. Manchester City

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has led his side to the top of the Premier League Table

Pep Guardiola

Spanish manager Pep Guardiola's side Man City side are sitting atop the English Premier League, 5 points above their cross-town arch rivals, Manchester United, after scoring 35 goals in 10 games and dropping only two points to date. Manchester City finished 3rd in Guardiola's first season at his new EPL titan club. In Pep’s second season, City spent in excess of £200m on new players in the summer transfer window. And this season, Pep is focused on getting the best out of the new and old footballers on his team.

Summer arrivals include goalkeeper Ederson and full-backs Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy. Key Manchester City summer signings are: £43m - Bernardo Silva (Monaco), £26.5m - Danilo (Real Madrid), £35m - Ederson (Benfica), £52m - Benjamin Mendy (Monaco), and £45m - Kyle Walker (Tottenham).

"The talent on show and even the talent on the bench at times is frightening for most teams," said Shay Given who has documented his two seasons at Etihad Stadium in his new autobiography Any Given Saturday. "The team Guardiola has built now is really exciting to watch. He's been there a season and was in a sense feeling his way around the Premier League in his first campaign, strengthening again in the summer. It's all good having that talent, but it's getting the best out of the players and how they play, and Guardiola has got the balance absolutely spot on at the minute."

Prior to his hiring by Manchester City, Guardiola's honors at titan Spanish La Liga Barcelona included two Champions Leagues titles and three Spanish La Liga trophies, before winning three German Bundesliga titles in a row with Bayern Munich. Of interest, to date Manchester City have scored more goals than any other Guardiola side at this stage of a league season.

"Pep Guardiola has brought his brand of football to Man City now and people are likening it to the Barcelona of old," continued Given. "That was some team they had then, so if they are likened to that then they are doing something right. Even neutral fans must love watching Man City play and how they attack teams, their movement and they can score goals from all over the pitch - they are great to watch at the minute. The brand of football they are playing is very special and it excites people - not just the Man City fans, but people all around the world who love the Premier League."

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

Claudio Brava, Man City goalie and Kun Aguero, Man City superstar striker

Manchester City were in first place in the Premier League at this time last season and Guardiola's club are amazingly 5 points better off this time around. They finished 3rd in 2016-17 and Given has warned that a strong start does not guarantee success. City conceded more than a goal a game during last year's campaign, but have kept six clean sheets in their opening 10 Premier League fixtures this season.

"Hopefully Pep Guardiola will be trying to keep their feet on the ground, and keep their heads balanced," added fourty-one-year-old former Newcastle and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Given. "Last year, they were still very good going forward but they were conceding too many goals," said Given. “Ederson has looked very comfortable. Guardiola's goalkeepers playing with their feet is well documented, but he is super confident with the ball, he never panics and his decision-making and his starting position is very positive. He has a belief in himself with the ball at his feet. He doesn't panic when people are closing him down, the defenders around him are always making angles and the midfielders are dropping in to try and receive it off him. They have got that signing right this year.

Manchester United is currently owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group who are reportedly worth £450 billion. The wealthy club has since purchased world class superstar football players. Manchester City’s fierce rivals are their cross-town neighbors Manchester United. Man City won the FA Cup for the fifth time in their history in 2011. In the 2011-2012 season, Manchester City won their first England Premier League title in 44 years. Man City have finished their EPL seasons in a top of the table spot for the last four campaigns to earn a place in the prestigious European UEFA Champions League tournaments. In 2014 Manchester City won the Premier League silverware once again. Last season Man City finished 3rd on the Premier League table with 78 points, 15 less than champions Chelsea.

Next, Pep Guardiola’s exciting Manchester City side will battle Italian Serie A side Napoli in the prestigious Champions League tournament on Wednesday before hosting Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola with City's top goalscorer Sergio "Kun" Aguer

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Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola with top goalscorer Sergio Aguero

CHELSEA TICKETS & UPDATE

Atletico Madrid v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Atletico Madrid’s Juanfran battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group C match at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid on September 27, 2017

CHELSEA FIGHTING TO RETAIN THEIR EPL TITLE A SECOND SEASON!

In MatchWeek 7, EPL Champions Chelsea were sunk by Belgium striker Kevin De Bruyne’s winner for Manchester City.

After his side’s crucial defeat, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte admitted Chelsea had lost “the complete player” Kevin De Bruyne who scored the winning goal against his former club to return Manchester City to first place on top of the England Premier League.

De Bruyne’s former teammate Frank Lampard talked about why former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho allowed Kevin De Bruyne to leave Chelsea in 2014.

"It was a difficult time for the club, you had Eden Hazard, Oscar, and Willian had just signed. He wasn't as good as he is now,” said Lampard. "Of course, it's easy to look and say 'why did you let him go?', but he's gone away and made himself a world-class player."

De Bruyne’s second-half winner left Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola naming him among the world’s elite footballers and left Chelsea boss Conte facing questions about Chelsea’s decision to sell the Belgian during José Mourinho’s second term at Stamford Bridge. Conte did not criticize Mourinho’s decision directly but acknowledged it was Chelsea’s loss.

“I don’t know, honestly, what happened in the past,” said Conte. “But for sure we are talking about a top player, the complete player. He’s good, technical, fast, and he works hard for his team. He is the complete player.”

De Bruyne’s goal was key to an impressive performance by an in form, well coached Man City side performances in the Guardiola era. The victory made it eight straight wins in all competitions.

“He is doing a lot of great things,” said Guardiola. “Last season he hit the post 12 or 13 times and this season they are going in. He can do absolutely everything. With the ball he can assist short and long. Without the ball, he’s the most humble person, the most shy guy.

“If I have to run 100km for the team, I will do that, no problem,” said De Bryune.

“It is not easy to find that work ethic with this type of talent,” continued Guardiola.

City’s 1-0 defeat of Chelsea moved them back above Manchester United who enjoyed a 4-0 victory at home to Crystal Palace, to the top of the league on goal difference. Tottenham Hotspur are in third position.

“It’s still only September,” added Guardiola. “We still have United and the Harry Kane team. United is a José Mourinho team. With José, it will be so tough. But it’s important to show we can play like that. We showed in the first minute that we were coming here to win the game and Kevin showed, once again, how good he is.” 

After their goalless draw with Arsenal, Chelsea have now failed to score in back-to-back league games at Stamford Bridge for the first time since November 2012.

“We played against a really good team,” Conte continued. “We created chances but didn’t take them and in this type of game it’s very important to score first. Great compliments to Manchester City.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte recently talked about the pride he has being manager of his Chelsea side. Conte has only praise for the commitment his men show on the training field as well as in games.

Conte was obviously disappointed with Saturday’s result against Manchester City. But the Italian manager Conte wants to remind people of the magnitude of last season’s achievement of winning the Premier League title and other honors. Conte talked about his strong desire to achieve even more success.

“I see my players every day and I am proud to be their coach because I see their commitment in every training session and every game and I am pleased for this,” said Conte. “For sure, to defend the title is very difficult because the past has shown it is very difficult to win two titles in a row. Our motivation must always be high, in every competition. We must put all of ourselves into trying to do the best in every game. Last season was a great satisfaction because the year before we finished 10th and then we won the title and reached the final of the FA Cup. I think we had a fantastic season and this time we have to try to do our best and try to have great satisfaction again. For sure, it won’t be easy but last season also was not easy.”

Before becoming Chelsea boss, Conte won three consecutive Serie A titles with mighty Juventus. Conte is well aware that the task of retaining a Premier League crown is possible, but difficult as the top EPL sides strengthen their squads.

‘At Juventus we won the title against a really strong side like AC Milan, but the next season Milan sold Thiago Silva and Ibrahimovic, and they were weaker. It wasn’t simple, but it was easier,” added Conte. “Here, if you compare this season with last season, you can see that you have big teams last season and now they are bigger. I think last season we did a really great job because we won the league against really strong teams. Manchester City last season was also a fantastic team. Now, after a great transfer market they improved a lot. It’s not simple to play in this league, but we have to try to do our best in every game, with great ambition, because we must always have the right ambition.”

With international fixtures coming up, Chelsea next see EPL action against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on 14 October.

“I think we can’t have regrets and we gave everything,” said Conte. “All my players gave 120 per cent to try to make a good result, but it wasn’t so. Sometimes you have to accept a bad result, but I think the most important thing is to see the fantastic attitude and commitment of my players because they gave everything.”

Chelsea head into the October international break having won 4 of their 7 league games to date, drawn 1 and lost the other 2. It is exactly the same record Chelsea had this time last season on the road to lifting the EPL trophy with the second-highest number of points in Premier League history.

Chelsea’s loss to Man City was not due to a lack of effort. The Blues knew it would be a difficult week, starting with the trip to Stoke last Saturday. Then there was the trip to Atletico Madrid, arriving back early the next morning at 5am, with practically only one day to prepare for the match. City team came well prepared. They had home games and one extra day of rest. Reportedly Chelsea made no excuses. City won their last two games, much in the same manner as Chelsea did.

"This was without a doubt the same Chelsea of last season, but what happened was that we came up against a City side who went into the game much better rested than we did," said Conte. "Nothing more. This time last year we were eight points behind, but it doesn’t mean anything. There is still a long way to go in all competitions.”

Chelsea 0-1 Manchester City

Manchester City goal: Kevin De Bruyne 67

Clean sheet: Courtois

Squads

Courtois, Rudiger, Christensen, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso, Hazard, Morata. Subs: Caballero, Pedro, Moses, Kenedy, Zappacosta, Willian, Batshuayi.

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva, Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Sterling. Subs: Bravo, Danilo, Gundogan, Mangala, Bernardo Silva, Alexander Zinchenko, Toure.

Italian Chelsea boss Antonio Conte reportedly may quit at the end of the 2017-18 season. Conte took Chelsea to their surprising Premier League title last season. However his relationship with Chelsea’s board is difficult, made worse by a failure to land a number of his priority transfer targets in the summer transfer window. Conte missed out on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Sandro. Danilo, and Romelu Lukaku. Chelsea landed Alvaro Morata paying a club-record £58million fee. However Chelsea were still scrambling around on deadline day of the window to sign Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater, who is still yet to make his debut. The former Italy national team boss was close to quitting during the frustrating summer window. Inter Milan launched an effort to hire him away from Stamford Bridge. Conte sounded an alarm earlier this week when he admitted he missed Italy and did not intend to manage abroad for much longer.

“I miss Italy, there is no doubt,” said Conte. “It is not in my mind to stay abroad for a long time. Italy is my country. I will return, I don’t know when but that is the aim.”

When asked what other countries he would enjoy working in, he ruled out a move to China.

 

“China? No, absolutely not,” he added. “Bundesliga? It’s always difficult to predict the future. Let’s just say that a coach is a temporary worker. It depends on the results, but there’s desire on my part to try to do the best I can, finishing one project and then finding the right one to continue. I miss Italy, that’s a fact. Still, this experience is helping me so much. I would also like to change role, maybe become a sporting director in the future. Are we better than the English? There are practically no English managers in the Premier League. There are so many parts of the world here, but everyone here is good, prepared and among the best in the world.”

Conte signed a new contract in the summer that runs until 2019.

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Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Chelsea - Premier League

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League

Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso celebrates scoring the 1st Chelsea goal during the England Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on August 20, 2017

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League

Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso scores the 1st Chelsea goal during the EPL match between Spurs and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League

Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso celebrates scoring the 2nd Chelsea goal during the England Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on August 20, 2017

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Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Chelsea - Premier League

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said he would be happy for Chelsea to continue to move up in the England Premier League title race following their crucial, clinical, impressive 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur in EPL Week 2 after the Blues were stunned 3-2 by Burnley in the opening game of their title defense. Chelsea, full of character, stood up to heavy pressure to ruin Tottenham’s Wembley first home match at their tempory stadium on Sunday thanks to a stellar performance by left wing-back Marcos Alonso who scored a brace.

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane battles Chelsea's David Luiz and Andreas Christensen for the ball

Marcus Alonso opened the scoring for Chelsea with a magnificent 24th-minute free-kick and then netted the winner two minutes from time after substitute Michy Batshuayi’s own goal rescued a point for Spurs. 

Remember that Chelsea started last season by losing two of their first six matches before the Blues went on a 13-game winning run on the path to glory. Conte sees no reason why the same formula should not work again.

“It’s not important if we are not favorites in this league,” said Chelsea manager Conte.“It was the same last season. We know we are trying to improve our team, our squad, and the club is trying to do its best in the transfer market. But I’m very happy when I see this type of game. I’m not speaking about football, but this spirit, this heart, this desire.I must be satisfied because my players gave me everything today. They did the same last season.”

Due to Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas being suspended, Eden Hazard injured, and Diego Costa wanting to leave, Conte was forced to innovate. Conte chose a new-look 3-5-1-1 system that featured David Luiz in midfield alongside new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko. After the match, Conte described both players’ performances as “amazing” and said Chelsea’s ability to withstand Spurs’ pressure had been a display of “champions”.

A sold-out crowd of 73,587 Spurs and Chelsea fans made for a high energy and at times deafening atmosphere. Conte suggested the excitement of the supporters at Wembley had benefited Chelsea.

“In this fantastic stadium, to feel this atmosphere is amazing,” said Conte. “Our fans tried to push the same, despite 70,000 Tottenham supporters. But honestly, I think to see this atmosphere is great also for the opponents.”

Tottenham’s loss ended their run of 14 successive home EPL wins. They have now lost 8 of their last 10 games they have played at Wembley, their home this season while White Hart Lane is rebuilt. But Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino put down talk of a ‘Wembley curse’, asserting that his team had been “much better” than Chelsea and saying he was “very happy” with their performance.

“I think the ‘Wembley effect’ is not the reason we lost the game,” said Pochettino who has had a pitch at Spurs’ north London training ground enlarged to Wembley’s dimensions to help his players adjust to the increased size “The team played really well. It’s not fair to blame Wembley. For me, Wembley is one of the best places in the world to play football. We need to stop. I think today it was clear: if you love football and watch football, and want to watch the game again, you will see that Wembley was not the problem. We have to accept they were more clinical than us in front of goal. The opportunities we created, we didn’t score.”

Spurs went through all of the last season without losing a single home match at White Hart Lane. Despite seeing his side experience a first home defeat since May 2016, Pochettino believes his team has improved.

“We are in a position much better than how we started last season,” said Argentinian Conte. “The team is one step higher than last season. It’s true it’s disappointing to lose our first home game, but the character and performance were there. I’m not worried about the team.”

Squads

Tottenham Hotspur

Lloris; Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Trippier, Wanyama, Dembele, Davies; Eriksen; Alli, Kane. Subs: Vorm, Walker-Peters, Wimmer, Son, Sissoko, Janssen, Winks.

Chelsea

Courtois; Christensen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Moses, Bakayoko, David Luiz, Kante, Alonso; Willian; Morata. Subs: Caballero, Musonda, Batshuayi, Pedro, Kenedy, Tomori, Scott.

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League

Chelsea's David Luiz celebrates victory against the Spurs

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Chelsea v Burnley - Premier League

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Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League

Chelsea's Marcus Alonso scores brace to give the Blues their first win of the season

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League

Superstar goalie for the Blues, Thibaut Courtois was key in Chelsea victory against the Spurs

Chelsea's Marcus Alonso celebrates victory with his side

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Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte's Chelsea v Arsene Wenger's Arsenal in 95th annual Emirates FA Community Shield

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The 2017 FA Community Shield is the 95th annual FA Community Shield tournament. This year’s edition will be played between the winners of the previous season’s England Premier League, Chelsea, and the winners of the 2016-17 FA Cup, Arsenal.

Proceeds from the upcoming Community Shield match between Chelsea v Arsenal at Wembley Stadium in London will be donated by the Football Association to those affected by the horrible Grenfell Tower fire. The FA hopes to raise around £1.25m for the victims and their families. Eighty-nine people died in the fire, including those classed as missing or presumed dead.  The FA has invited survivors, emergency service personnel, and the families of the victims to the game between Arsenal and Chelsea on Sunday 6 August. FA chairman, Greg Clarke, talked about the terrible fire.

“Like the rest of the country, we were all deeply saddened by the terrible incident at Grenfell Tower. The suffering and loss for those involved is unimaginable,” said Clarke. “Whilst only a football match, we hope that in some small way through the Community Shield we can help. Two great London clubs will come together to play at the city’s most famous stadium just a few miles from Kensington. They will be united in their passion for football, grief at this tragic loss and support for their community. Football is for all, and we hope that on 6 August it can in its own way give something back to those who are most in need.”

The FA Cup winners Arsenal and Premier League champions Chelsea have also donated their club match fee to the Grenfell Tower support fund.

Chelsea’s chairman, Bruce Buck, said: “We believe it is appropriate and timely that the first major football match involving top-flight clubs to take place in our city since the tragedy will be dedicated in such a way to the victims and survivors, and to the enormous number of heroes of the rescue operation, especially given this occasion’s long history of being played for the benefit of the wider community and people in need of support.”

Arsenal’s chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, said his club stands with Chelsea in reaching out to the fire victims’ families.

“The club stands side by side with Chelsea in reaching out to the community and expressing our support and solidarity for those who have lost friends and family, their homes and their sense of security in the wake of this tragic event,” said Gazidis. “We also pay tribute to our city’s emergency services who showed immense courage and bravery. We play the FA Community Shield on Sunday, August 6, with the victims and the heroes of this terrible tragedy close to our hearts.

The English Football League said its clubs would give up their share of Community Shield proceeds, with the EFL adding to the sum to make a £175,000 total donation.

Arsenal v Chelsea - The Emirates FA Cup Final

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger celebrates winning 2017 FA Cup

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte poses with England Premier League trophy

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Chelsea celebrates winning 2016-17 England Premier League title

Arsenal v Chelsea - The Emirates FA Cup Final

Arsenal celebrates winning 2017 FA Cup

Arsenal v Chelsea - The Emirates FA Cup Final

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger celebrates winning 2017 FA Cup

Leicester City v Manchester United - the FA Community Shield

Community Shield 2016

Manchester United are currently the Community Shield holders, after beating Premier League champions Leicester City in the 2016 match.

Match Report

Leicester City 1-2 Manchester United

Leicester goal by: Jamie Vardy 52’min

Man United goals by: Jesse Lingard 32’min, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 83’min

Leicester City v Manchester United - the FA Community Shield

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring the winning goal for Manchester United against Leicester City

In last year’s Premier League season opener Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the winning goal for his new club Manchester United and the striker who kidded about becoming a footballing god to the United fans, began his career with the Red Devils by coming through for his side in stunning style.

The curtain-raiser to the Premier League season was marked by Jesse Lingard’s marvelous solo goal and a well deserved Leicester City equalizer from the Premier League high goal scorer in the 205-16 season, Jamie Vardy.

Zlatan, a free-agent signing from Paris Saint-Germain had successfully executed a back-heel with his first touch for United. Then the Swede scored with a header past Kasper Schmeichel in the 83rd minute.

Ibrahimovic was overtaken by delight as United won the Community Shield to start the season in grand style. Man United manager José Mourinho’s mission is to win silverware for Old Trafford and after losing his previous three Community Shields with Chelsea, Mourinho achieved his goal as the trophy was hoisted to the sky.

Leicester City v Manchester United - the FA Community Shield 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Manchester United celebrate after winning the FA Community Shield match between Leicester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on August 7, 2016 in London, England.

Leicester City v Manchester United - the FA Community Shield