Tag: Willian

Premiership: Chelsea 1-0 Everton

Willian struck an 89th-minute winner as Chelsea beat Everton 1-0 but the Premier League leaders could face disciplinary action once more after Branislav Ivanovic appeared to headbutt James McCarthy.

The flashpoint occurred after Nemanja Matic thought he had scored four minutes from time, only for the deflected strike to be ruled out for offside against Ivanovic, who had blocked the view of Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Tempers flared when Gareth Barry then tripped Willian, earning a second yellow card, and Ivanovic motioned his head towards McCarthy in the resulting fracas.

The Everton substitute was booked for his part in the melee, but Ivanovic avoided censure from referee Jonathan Moss and could face retrospective action from the Football Association.

There was still time for Willian to net after Howard was unconvincing in clearing a cross as Chelsea remained seven points clear of Manchester City.

It could have gone either way until a frantic final four minutes.

The suspended Diego Costa scored twice in August’s 6-3 win at Goodison Park and would have relished the chances created by Chelsea, but the Blues struggled to test fit-again goalkeeper Howard.

Instead it was Petr Cech who had to show his enduring quality after being selected ahead of Thibaut Courtois.

He twice saved from Romelu Lukaku, the second time when the former Chelsea striker was four yards out, and Mourinho made a point of going to Cech at full-time.

Mourinho, who was last month fined B£25,000 for saying there was a “clear campaign” against Chelsea, continues to imply his side are unfairly treated and two decisions went in favour of Everton in the opening quarter of the contest.

Chelsea might have had a fourth-minute penalty when the ball hit Steven Naismith’s arm and Everton had another reprieve when Barry fouled Juan Cuadrado and Eden Hazard in quick succession, but was booked only for the first offence.

The FA Cup loss to Bradford gives Chelsea a rare weekend off and Costa will be available for next Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 clash at Paris St Germain following his disputed three-match suspension, before returning to aid the title tilt.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Chelsea 3-0 Watford

Chelsea finish strongly to knock Watford out of FA Cup

Chelsea powered into the fourth round of the FA Cup as second-half goals from Willian, Loic Remy and Kurt Zouma completed a 3-0 victory over Watford.

The first half finished goalless and, with the Championship visitors enjoying moments of promise, tension was beginning to build on a freezing afternoon at Stamford Bridge.

But the interval arrival of Willian and Diego Costa from the bench had the desired impact, with the Brazilian plundering the opener and the Spaniard involved in two of the three goals.

The Premier League leaders played most of second half with strikers Didier Drogba, Costa and Remy on the pitch and the fire power eventually told, with Watford’s defence cracking for the first time in the 58th minute.

Remy and Zouma put the result beyond doubt to keep under-strength Chelsea in the hunt for silverware on four fronts and, for all Waford’s endeavour, there was a gulf in class between the rivals.

The underdogs barely touched the ball as Chelsea made a brisk start, almost taking the lead in the seventh minute only for Gary Cahill to stab Andre Schurrle’s free-kick over the crossbar.

Oscar, along with Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta the only three survivors from the New Year’s Day defeat by Tottenham, needed treatment following a heavy collision with keeper Jonathan Bond before groggily rising to his feet.

The one-way traffic continued to flow unchecked into Watford’s half, with Ramires tumbling beneath a well-timed tackle as he darted into the area.

For all their possession, Chelsea were unable to create any clear cut chances as the third-round tie neared the half-hour mark and there were even occasional signs that Watford were warming to the task of claiming a high-profile cup victim.

Sharp reflexes from Bond kept Drogba out as he sought to nod home Remy’s cross and home fans chanted the name of Jose Mourinho after the incensed Blues boss had stalked down the touchline to demonstrate over a clumsy challenge on Ramires.

Mourinho then added his voice to a dispute between Drogba and fourth official Lee Collins – the Ivorian needed a replacement shirt because of a large rip and was forced to wait before rejoining play.

The imposing figure of Drogba continued to cause Watford’s defence the greatest problems, but it was at the home end that panic reigned at the end of the half after Odion Ighalo pulled a low shot inches wide.

Oscar and Schurrle were withdrawn for Costa and Willian at half-time, but the Championship team barely noticed as they surged out of the blocks, with burly captain Troy Deeney making his presence felt.

It was Deeney’s shot that Filipe Luis almost turned into his net as Chelsea were opened up by an incisive attack, although a moment later Bond was forced to deal with an attempt by Drogba.

The keeper could nothing to prevent Willian’s thunderous 58th-minute shot from the edge of the area after Costa and Remy had set up the Brazilian playmaker, who picked his spot and drilled the ball home.

Watford’s hopes were as good as over 11 minutes later when Costa’s shot was blocked by Craig Cathcart, the ball falling for Remy to blast past Bond.

And the nerves evident earlier in the half were a distant memory soon after as Chelsea added their third, Zouma heading home Ramires’ pinpoint cross.

Read more at ESPN

Champions League: Schalke 0-5 Chelsea

Blues romp into knockout stages

Roberto Di Matteo played down the talk of a revenge mission as Chelsea visited Gelsenkirchen to take on his Schalke side – but it was embarrassment that greeted the Italian as the Blues eased into the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Current Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho insisted in the build-up to this clash that his side needed to keep up their good form to avoid blowing their place at the head of Group G and ending up playing in the Europa League.

But he need not have worried as his ruthless side blew Schalke away – dominating throughout and eventually running out clear 5-0 winners.

The Portuguese was also steadfast that he did not want to talk about Di Matteo’s achievements at Stamford Bridge but did question whether the side the 44-year-old led to European Cup success was a good one.

The two exchanged a cursory handshake before kick-off that lacked the warmth of a meeting of friends but that was in stark contrast to the travelling Chelsea fans, who sang Di Matteo’s name as the game got under way – and that was as good as it got for their former midfield favourite.

John Terry was suspended when Di Matteo oversaw Chelsea’s memorable European Cup success in 2012 but the two celebrated together in Munich like the captain had been one of those out on the pitch.

And it was Terry who quickly took the sting out of any kind of payback mission Di Matteo was mounting having been axed by Roman Abramovich just six months after the biggest night in the club’s history.

The 33-year-old rose to nod home a corner supplied by the impeccable Cesc Fabregas inside 60 seconds to silence the Veltins Arena.

Willian added a second and, when Jan Kirchhoff headed in an own goal two minutes before the break, the writing was on the wall.

Chelsea took their foot off the gas during times in the second half but switched on and decided to go for the kill with 15 minutes remaining, as substitutes Didier Drogba and Ramires got in on the goalscoring act.

Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs said earlier this week that Mourinho’s side are “head and shoulders” above everyone else in the Premier League, and it shows on the continent too.

Uncertainty remains over the immediate futures of Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal in Europe’s elite club competition, but this win means the Blues are already assured of their place in the knockout rounds.

Chelsea stormed into a lead as Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann did well to turn a Diego Costa effort behind for a corner in the opening minute, only to see Terry head home Cesc Fabregas’ set-piece.

The hosts were hemmed inside their own half for much of the opening exchanges and, when they did finally mount something of an attack, Kevin-Prince Boateng was robbed by Willian and only a smart challenge from Felipe Santana denied Costa a clear run on Fahrmann’s goal.

Schalke faired much better on their next foray forward and Eric Choupo-Moting was unlucky not to level as his shot hit Gary Cahill, looped over Thibaut Courtois and came back off the crossbar.

A lull in play allowed Chelsea’s fans to burst back into ‘One Di Matteo’ chants and this time the Italian gave them a wave of appreciation as his side continued to grow into the contest.

But they were two down before the game was 30 minutes old as Willian exchanged passes with Eden Hazard before firing a low shot which Fahrmann failed to keep out as the ball squirmed underneath him.

Schalke’s fans soon turned on their side as they were caught dawdling on the ball and Costa intercepted an under-hit back pass but was unable to keep his balance as he tried to round Fahrmann and was eventually crowded out.

Chelsea continued their domination as Fabregas’ cute ball over the defence allowed Oscar to volley at goal, with the busy Fahrmann able to push the ball behind.

But once again the respite was short-lived as Fabregas delivered another corner into the danger area and Kirchhoff mistimed his headed clearance under no pressure from a Chelsea shirt and it flashed into his own net to put the visitors well and truly in command.

The second half started in much the same vein as Costa robbed Santana of possession, only for the Brazilian defender to atone for his error by getting back to poke the ball away as the in-form Chelsea man looked to strike.

Di Matteo altered both his system and his personnel at the break and, although Schalke were able to keep better hold of the ball, it was Chelsea who were still carving out the better chances.

Branislav Ivanovic fired a well-struck volley wide having been found free inside the box by a clever Willian pass before Costa, still without a European goal for Chelsea, fluffed his lines when played in by Oscar.

That was the last piece of action for Costa as he was replaced by Drogba, the man who scored the decisive penalty in the final against Bayern Munich, shortly afterwards.

The experienced forward netted his first chance of the evening as both he and Willian beat the offside trap and the Brazilian unselfishly squared for Drogba to tap home.

Fellow substitute Ramires headed home just 73 seconds later as Drogba turned provider and Chelsea moved further ahead.

Chelsea decided enough was enough at five and saw out the remainder of the contest to leave Mourinho no doubt happy with progression and, in all likelihood, inwardly delighted at putting one over on Di Matteo.

Read more at ESPN