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Mourinho reveals Kane is ahead of schedule and Son could play this season

Guardian - 3 timer 29 minutter siden
  • Kane could play ‘three, four or five’ Tottenham games
  • Manager sees ‘good possibility’ Son will return too

José Mourinho has said Harry Kane is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hamstring injury and has raised the prospect of Son Heung-min easing Tottenham’s selection crisis in attack by making a swifter return than expected from a fractured arm.

Spurs were forced to play without a recognised striker during their defeats by Chelsea and RB Leipzig, leaving Mourinho downcast, but the manager delivered a more positive update before the home game against Wolves. Kane, who had surgery on a torn hamstring, started on-field rehabilitation this week and Mourinho suggested that Son, who had an operation this week, could play with a cast.

Related: Premier League and Carabao Cup: 10 things to look out for this weekend

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Jose: Kane recovering ahead of schedule

Sky Sports - 5 timer 27 minutter siden
Tottenham striker Harry Kane is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hamstring injury and could return for as many as five matches at the end of the season, according to manager Jose Mourinho.

Premier League and Carabao Cup: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Guardian - 17 timer 47 minutter siden

Villa try to break Manchester City’s League Cup stranglehold, Vardy needs a goal and Moyes must rouse Hammers

Since he scored 14 goals in 12 league games between late September and 21 December, in which he failed to find the net in only two matches (one of them against Norwich), someone has turned off Jamie Vardy’s scoring tap. In that free-scoring period there seemed to be no stopping him: he may not have been on the scoresheet against the Canaries, for example, but he played excellently and threatened constantly, and it was his (off-target) header from James Maddison’s corner that Tim Krul flapped into his own net for the equaliser in a 1-1 draw. But since Christmas he has not scored at all, and in six league games this calendar year he has had only eight shots – 50% of them against Manchester City last weekend – and only four on target, the most recent against Chelsea on 1 February, 235 pitch minutes ago. Brendan Rodgers’ priority must be to turn that tap back on. SB

Related: Moyes plays percentages game but West Ham need inspiration soon

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Tottenham vs Wolves preview

Sky Sports - tor, 27/02/2020 - 19:01
Team news, key stats and ways to follow ahead of Tottenham vs Wolves in the Premier League.

Tottenham's Dele Alli charged by FA over coronavirus video on social media

Guardian - ons, 26/02/2020 - 19:23
  • England midfielder has until next week to answer charges
  • Alli posted video on Snapchat mocking Asian man

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has been charged with misconduct over his social media post regarding the coronavirus outbreak, the Football Association has announced.

Alli posted a video on Snapchat in relation to the deadly virus while also singling out an Asian man in an airport. The FA wrote to him seeking his observations and has now decided to charge him with misconduct.

Related: Solskjær: Manchester United 'suffer' with Champions League absence

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Alli charged over coronavirus video

Sky Sports - ons, 26/02/2020 - 19:20
Tottenham's Dele Alli has been charged by the FA with misconduct for a breach of rules in relation to a social media post concerning coronavirus.

MNF: The greatest English club side?

Sky Sports - tir, 25/02/2020 - 07:00
It is one of the oldest debates in football but Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have tried to settle it with the help of their own points system.

Ref watch: Why was Lo Celso not sent off?

Sky Sports - man, 24/02/2020 - 14:02
Why was Giovani Lo Celso not sent off? Should David Coote have been taken out of the spotlight? Did Kevin De Bruyne handle the ball? Dermot Gallagher has all the answers...

Chelsea's Antonio Rüdiger says racism won after abuse goes unpunished

Guardian - søn, 23/02/2020 - 23:30
  • Germany defender was booed during win over Tottenham
  • ‘If you boo me because of that then you are poor people’

Antonio Rüdiger has said racism won when no one was punished for allegedly racially abusing him at Tottenham in December and the Chelsea defender has hit out at the Spurs fans who booed him at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, calling them “poor people”.

Related: Chelsea’s Frank Lampard furious after VAR admits error over Lo Celso stamp

Related: Diogo Jota double seals easy win for Wolves over Norwich

Chelsea have put the finishing touches to their deal to sign Hakim Ziyech in the summer after the Ajax winger agreed terms on a five-year contract. Ajax reached an agreement in principle to sell Ziyech to Frank Lampard’s for €40m (£33.6m) plus add-ons earlier this month and the 26-year-old is set to play a key role in reshaping Frank Lampard’s attack next season. The Moroccan is regarded as one of the finest playmakers in Europe and is capable of drifting inside from the right flank or playing through the middle. Lampard tried to sign him in January but Ajax resisted a mid-season sale as they chase the Dutch title and hope to progress in the Europa League. "I am delighted and proud to have signed for such a huge club as Chelsea," Ziyech said. "I am looking forward to next season and hope we can achieve great things together." Jacob Steinberg

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Supplement: VAR 'feels made up as they go along'

Sky Sports - søn, 23/02/2020 - 12:58
VAR in the Premier League has felt "made up as they go along" after another spate of controversy, the Sunday Supplement panel agreed.

Chelsea’s Frank Lampard furious after VAR admits error over Lo Celso stamp

Guardian - lør, 22/02/2020 - 18:45
• No action taken after Spurs player stamps on César Azpilicueta
• ‘It’s another huge question mark over VAR,’ says Lampard

Frank Lampard was fiercely critical of VAR after Giovani Lo Celso escaped a red card for a stamp on César Azpilicueta. The Chelsea manager, who could revel in a 2-1 home victory, felt that the challenge had put his player at risk of injury and he was astonished that after the match referee, Michael Oliver, took no action, the VAR, David Coote, did likewise.

It was reported by BT Sport that, after further reviews, Coote conceded he ought to have recommended a dismissal but that cut no ice with Lampard, who had watched the replays on a pitch‑side monitor. When Lo Celso was allowed to continue Lampard threw his hands into the air and made a stamping gesture, clearly indicating that he felt there was violence to the tackle.

Related: Olivier Giroud ends goal drought with stunner in Chelsea’s victory over Spurs

Related: Olivier Giroud enlivens Chelsea and Tottenham’s mediocrity derby | Jonathan Liew

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Lampard does the double over Mourinho

Sky Sports - lør, 22/02/2020 - 18:37
Frank Lampard's done the double. Saturday's 2-1 win over Tottenham means his Chelsea boys are the first team ever to beat a side managed by Jose Mourinho home and away in the same league season.

Olivier Giroud enlivens Chelsea and Tottenham’s mediocrity derby | Jonathan Liew

Guardian - lør, 22/02/2020 - 18:04

The striker made up for lost time and Giovani Lo Celso added bite but the lasting impression was expensive disappointment

There was still plenty to love, of course. There always is in this fixture: whatever the standard, whatever the stakes. Here, it was Chelsea’s two smartly taken left-footed goals, the first a sharp chance for the irrepressible Olivier Giroud, the second a thunderous finish by Marcos Alonso, a player who for all his manifold qualities never looks happier than when trying to leather a football as hard as he possibly can.

Giroud was a delightful, puppyish presence: starved of a first-team start since November and eager to make up for lost time. Perhaps his greatest quality is the disruption he creates: the awkward elbows, the outstretched toes, the way he shovels defences out of shape, burrowing space from which teammates can profit. Often this is referred to as “ugly work”. In the grappling hands of Giroud, it is elevated to something approaching high art.

Related: Olivier Giroud ends goal drought with stunner in Chelsea’s victory over Spurs

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‘Not good enough': Chelsea’s Lampard on VAR after Spurs red card fiasco – video

Guardian - lør, 22/02/2020 - 17:32

The Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, raised concerns about the use of VAR after his side’s 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur, in which Giovani Lo Celso escaped a red card for a stamp on César Azpilicueta.

Lampard argued that the way the technology is being used is 'not good enough’ after Stockley Park admitted the challenge warranted a red card. Tottenham's José Mourinho said he 'hopes the noise is the same' as when his team have suffered at the hands of VAR.

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Lampard: VAR excuse 'not good enough'

Sky Sports - lør, 22/02/2020 - 17:29
Frank Lampard blasted the video assistant referee for failing to advise a red card for Giovani Lo Celso during Chelsea's win over Tottenham and said the incident raises "more question marks" about how the technology is being used in the Premier League.

Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Premier League – as it happened

Guardian - lør, 22/02/2020 - 15:55

Olivier Giroud returned to the Chelsea starting XI and inspired the Blues to victory

2.55pm GMT

David Hytner was our man at Stamford Bridge. His verdict has landed, so you know what to do: click and enjoy. Thanks for reading this MBM!

Related: Olivier Giroud ends goal drought with stunner in Chelsea’s victory over Spurs

2.54pm GMT

“I am proud of the players and their efforts. I am proud to see them fight until the last second. It is very difficult to do better than what we did, especially conceding a goal before we score. We had our opportunities to score but when we are 1-0 down it is very difficult because we don’t have that power. And with minutes going on and on, the fatigue of people like Lucas and Bergwijn is going to be bigger and bigger. How can I search more than we are doing? There is nothing more to search. The hopes are always the same hopes. The boys fight until the end and if we can score before the opponent, the game can be a little bit different. But when an opponent scores before us, they compact, and it’s very difficult. We don’t have the presence, the movement, the creation.” As for the Lo Celso incident: “I feel sorry VAR don’t admit more times, especially when things go against us. I don’t want to speak about it.”

2.48pm GMT

And now a cast-iron promise from Jose: “I am going to be very repetitive. You are going to be bored of me, because I am going to be very, very repetitive.” Here it comes, then ...

2.47pm GMT

Frank Lampard’s verdict on the latest VAR farce, five days after Harry Maguire survived his lashing out at Michy Batshuayi. “It’s not good enough. I’m sorry. It’s two VARs in two games. It’s always harder to speak about it when you’ve lost, because people claim you’re just shouting, but maybe you need to shout. Everybody in the world saw that it was a red. But it’s too late [to say they made a mistake]. The game should be over. I hate to call for red cards, but when they’re endangering players ... it’s a leg-breaker. VAR has been brought in to get the right decision. I’m not saying anything about referees on the spot, it’s not easy on the spot, VAR is here to clear it up. I’m not surprised that they’ve put it right, but it’s not good enough.”

2.38pm GMT

Man-of-the-match Olivier Giroud speaks! “It was a very important game for us. We have shown great character. We knew it was a turning point, we had lost a bit of confidence so it’s nice to bounce back and get a hard win against a rival. Scoring was a good feeling for me, a good moment. It was a special day for me, and for all of us.”

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, an ice pack taped to his leg, is then asked about the Lo Celso challenge: “I’m not a player who likes to be on the floor. I am tough. But it was a clear stamp on my shin, I felt it straight away and was surprised it wasn’t a red card. It wasn’t even a yellow card! Everybody can make a mistake but when you have a lot of replays it should be easier.”

2.30pm GMT

A deserved victory for Chelsea. They weren’t at their best, but they did score two fine goals to illuminate an otherwise scrappy game. Spurs by contrast were a complete non-event. Giovani Lo Celso was fortunate not to walk after standing on Cesar Azpilicueta’s leg, but as it didn’t affect the outcome, that doesn’t matter now and I’m sure we’ll hear no more about it. Eh?

2.22pm GMT

The whistle goes. Frank Lampard punches the air in celebration of a big victory. They’re four points clear of Spurs, in the final Champions League spot.

2.21pm GMT

90 min +3: Lo Celso loops a ball into the box. It’s deflected, but the absurd arc doesn’t fox Caballero. Imagine if he of all players scored a last-gasp equaliser, though.

2.19pm GMT

90 min +2: Mount dances down the right, getting the better of Winks, but can only scoop his cross into the arms of Lloris.

2.17pm GMT

90 min: There will be four added minutes. Spurs aren’t going to complete an absurd smash and grab, are they?

2.17pm GMT

So having said that, Lamela dribbles into the Spurs box down the left. He tries to roll a cross inside for Alli. The ball clips off Rudiger’s heel, and into the bottom left, past a wrong-footed Caballero. Game on! Finally!

2.15pm GMT

87 min: In the dugout that was once his stomping ground, Jose now looks fairly relaxed. A man who has accepted his fate. Spurs have barely threatened.

2.13pm GMT

85 min: Really, whatever your opinion of Lo Celso’s challenge, we can surely all agree on one thing: let’s unplug the VAR box, let it cool down, recycle whatever bits we can, pop the rest in landfill, and forget this ever happened. We don’t need to mention it ever again. Move on. No blame culture.

2.12pm GMT

83 min: This is preposterous. After a review, the folk in the VAR bunker have admitted that Lo Celso should have been sent off for standing on Azpilicueta’s leg. They’re claiming “it’s not a VAR error, but a human error”. Sweet baby Moses, what a fiasco.

2.09pm GMT

82 min: Alonso takes, and curls powerfully towards the top right. Lloris is beaten all ends up, but instead of nestling in the top right, the ball twangs off the crossbar.

2.08pm GMT

81 min: Mount prepares to bring down a high ball on the edge of the Spurs box, and is clumsily brought down by Lo Celso, who finally goes in the referee’s notebook. This will be a free kick, just to the right of the D.

2.07pm GMT

79 min: Mount spins Vertonghen with ease down the right. He curls a low ball into the centre for Abraham, who pokes cutely towards the bottom left. It looks like it’s heading in, but Lloris somehow grabs a ball that’s behind him. What a save! That’s kept Spurs in it. Just.

2.05pm GMT

78 min: Spurs make a double change, their last roll of the dice. Aurier and Alli replace Bergwijn and Alderweireld.

2.04pm GMT

77 min: Chelsea make their second switch, replacing Barkley with Willian, who ran Tottenham ragged in December.

2.03pm GMT

76 min: This is scrappy nonsense right now. Here’s Mary Waltz: “A penny for Jose’s thoughts (50 mins)? How many points can I squeeze out of the season in a series of 0-0 and 1-0 fixtures?”

2.01pm GMT

74 min: Winks bustles in from the right and falls over in the general environs of Rudiger. He wants a penalty but he’s not getting it. He was fairly brushed off the ball.

2.00pm GMT

73 min: Not much going on. Chelsea will be perfectly happy as the clock ticks on.

1.59pm GMT

71 min: Giroud goes off to a standing ovation. A message from the fans to Frank. He’s replaced by the equally popular Abraham.

1.58pm GMT

70 min: Lamela slips a pass down the right for Bergwijn, who is brushed off the ball by Christensen with ease. Bergwijn hasn’t featured at all today.

1.55pm GMT

68 min: Spurs stroke it around the back. They’ve had more possession in this second half, though they’ve done very little with it. In the dugout, Jose Mourinho has a face on. His post-match interview could be interesting if the score stays this way.

1.53pm GMT

66 min: Lamela looks for the top right, attempting a curler over the wall. The wall does its job, deflecting the ball out for a corner. The set piece is punched clear by Caballero, then returned by Alderweireld. The keeper claims well, under pressure from Sanchez on his line.

1.52pm GMT

65 min: Some pre-free-kick faffing.

1.51pm GMT

64 min: Moura dribbles his way down the inside right and is blocked crudely by Christensen, who picks up his fourth booking of the season for his trouble. A free kick just to the right of the D.

1.49pm GMT

62 min: The first switch of the afternoon, as Lamela replaces Ndombele.

1.48pm GMT

60 min: Ndombele sashays down the inside-left channel and enters the box. He’s got time to shoot, but hesitates, allowing James to brush him off the ball. Was he waiting for the sort of clumsy challenge that’d gift a penalty? If so, it wasn’t coming. Great defending by the ever-impressive James.

1.46pm GMT

58 min: Incidentally, during the first half, BT Sport cut to a shot of Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Mancini, looking on, both men sporting fashionable flat caps. But both broadcaster and your hapless MBM hack missed the really big news, as Paul Neilan reports: “They were only sitting in front of Bobby Bloody Davro and no-one appears to have told them.” Bobby Davro, a star of Saturday light entertainment once more. It’s like TVS never lost their licence.

1.44pm GMT

56 min: Frank Lampard isn’t happy with that decision at all, and is currently involved in a heated exchange of views with the fourth official. You can see his point; red cards have been awarded for much less.

1.42pm GMT

54 min: VAR decides there’s no foul play, deeming the challenge accidental. Lo Celso is a lucky boy. So is Azpilicueta, who has suffered no serious damage.

1.40pm GMT

52 min: Lo Celso stands on Azpilicueta’s outstretched leg as the pair contest for a ball in midfield. VAR will have a look at this. It’s not a pleasant one, with the Chelsea captain’s leg bending in sickening fashion. Is it accidental, though, rather than a stamp? Possibly, though it’s one of those that can be argued either way.

1.38pm GMT

50 min: That goal represents a full house for Frank Lampard, as it involved all four of the players he recalled to the starting XI. Penny for Jose’s thoughts. Barkley nearly makes it three with a power curler from the left. Lloris tips over; the corner comes to nothing.

1.36pm GMT

What a strike this is! The ball’s worked across the face of the Spurs box, right to left. Giroud to Mount to Barkley to Alonso, who strides in from the left and pearls a first-time daisycutter across Lloris and into the bottom right. That’s a stunner.

1.34pm GMT

47 min: James has a wander down the right and has a dig from distance. He drags his shot across the face of goal. Lloris had it covered.

1.32pm GMT

Spurs get the second half underway. Mystic Dom doesn’t have much confidence in their ability to turn this around. “Is there any more chilling sentence to a Spurs fan than ‘If Spurs win this game, they will <insert very positive outcome here>’? To be honest, I don’t know why Jose bothered to send a team out.”

1.21pm GMT

Half-time entertainment. Max Rushden celebrates the legendary Jimmy Greaves, whose brilliance is one of the few things Chelsea and Spurs fans can agree on.

Related: From Greaves in '66 to Manchester City, many football fans live in alternative reality

1.17pm GMT

It’s not been much of a spectacle, though Chelsea won’t care. As things stand, they’ll go four points clear of Spurs in fourth, thanks to Olivier Giroud’s expertly taken goal. The best you can say for Tottenham: they’re still in it.

1.16pm GMT

45 min: As this half peters out painfully, the officials show us some mercy. There will be just one additional minute.

1.14pm GMT

44 min: Might as well beat the queue for a pint and a pie.

1.12pm GMT

42 min: It’s not been a classic so far, this.

1.10pm GMT

40 min: Lo Celso is barged - fairly - off the ball by Kovacic, allowing Chelsea to break upfield at speed. Barkley breaks into the box from the left and shanks wide. He should have done much better.

1.08pm GMT

38 min: Chelsea reestablish some control in midfield. But that was much better from Spurs, who are finally showing a little ambition.

1.08pm GMT

36 min: Alderweireld, quarterbacking from deep, sprays a pass down the right for Tanganga, who comes in from the flank and takes one touch to bring Alonso out of the game. The ball also flies past Caballero, who is way off his line. But it’s flying at speed, and bobbles out of play to the left of goal before Tanganga can poke into an empty net. Nearly as direct as it gets.

1.05pm GMT

35 min: Spurs finally show in attack. A few passes and Moura is gifted space in the box on the left. His shot is deflected over the bar by Azpilicueta’s lunge. From the corner, Sanchez flashes a header towards the top left, but it’s tipped over spectacularly by Caballero. The second corner comes to nothing.

1.04pm GMT

33 min: Kovacic slides a ball down the middle. Barkley takes up possession, his back to goal 30 yards out, and very nearly backheels Mount free down the inside left. Sanchez blocks. Spurs were very nearly opened up with a rapier thrust.

1.01pm GMT

31 min: Giroud has a dig from the best part of 30 yards. Ambitious, bordering on downright disrespectful. An international team-mate of Lloris as well.

1.00pm GMT

29 min: Lo Celso gets up and takes the resulting free kick. It’s not very good.

1.00pm GMT

28 min: Lo Celso dribbles down the left and is clattered by Mount. He extends his leg as he falls, and catches the Chelsea player. It’s not exactly Harry Maguire on Michy Batshuayi, but it is a little bit saucy. Neither referee nor VAR is interested, though.

12.56pm GMT

26 min: Spurs haven’t responded to falling behind at all. They’re barely able to string two passes together. Chelsea are enjoying the lion’s share of possession.

12.54pm GMT

24 min: The set piece is worked towards Alonso, to the left of the D. He chests down and pearls a stunning volley towards the top right. It’s beaten Lloris and is inches away from nestling in the top corner. That was Le Tissieresque.

12.53pm GMT

23 min: But here comes the first yellow card of the afternoon. Winks loses control and is robbed by Jorginho. He responds by tugging on the Chelsea midfielder’s shirt, and that’s a booking and a free kick out on the right.

12.52pm GMT

21 min: Giroud and Sanchez clatter into each other. No whistle, and no recriminations either, the pair shaking hands after a short period of hopping around in pain. Adults playing hard but fair.

12.49pm GMT

19 min: Jorginho tries to release Barkley down the inside left, but Sanchez snuffs out the attack. Chelsea are first to everything in the centre of the park right now.

12.48pm GMT

17 min: VAR pokes its neb in. Of course it does. But there’s nothing wrong with the goal, and eventually we’re allowed to continue. The Stamford Bridge faithful break into a chorus of the traditional English folk song Fuck VAR. No manners, but cogent analysis nonetheless.

12.46pm GMT

Jorginho curls a glorious pass down the inside right channel for Giroud. A poor first touch takes him a bit wider than he’d like, but he powers a shot towards the bottom right anyway. Lloris parries. Barkley gets onto the rebound and slams a shot against the right-hand post. Giroud latches onto that rebound and drives home, beating Lloris, the ball flying into the bottom right.

12.44pm GMT

14 min: Barkley powers his way down the inside right and fires a low diagonal shot wide of the left-hand post. A more-than-decent effort.

12.43pm GMT

13 min: Seems Giroud’s header took a nick off a Spurs player. Another corner. James hits it long. Too long. Goal kick. Ah well, at least this match has finally sparked into life after a slow start.

12.42pm GMT

12 min: Chelsea respond by whisking up the other end, Alonso sliding a glorious pass down the inside left to release Mount, who whistles a shot towards the bottom left. Lloris turns the ball around the post. From the resulting corner, Giroud flashes a header wide left at the near post.

12.40pm GMT

10 min: The first corner leads immediately to the second. Lo Celso’s low delivery is cleared by the first man, but Spurs come back quickly at the home side, Moura dropping a shoulder 20 yards out and slamming a shot towards the bottom left. It’s a fine effort, but well met by Cabellero.

12.39pm GMT

9 min: Bergwijn busies himself out on the left, and earns the first corner of the game off Azpilicueta.

12.37pm GMT

7 min: Rudiger dallies in the midfield and is robbed by Winks, who should really send Moura clear down the left. But his pass is a clunker, and flies out for a goal kick. Shame for Spurs, as Chelsea were light at the back there, and Moura had plenty of grass in front of him.

12.36pm GMT

6 min: A slow, scrappy start to this game, which is why I’ve been droning on about bugger all.

12.34pm GMT

4 min: Spurs have hardly had a touch yet. Maybe they’re pining for the yellow winter ball, which is back in its box for another year, replaced by a white-and-red number. Spring has sprung.

12.32pm GMT

2 min: Alonso crosses from the left. James crosses from the right. Spurs clear without too much fuss. It’s all Chelsea in the opening exchanges, Spurs happy to sit back.

12.31pm GMT

And we’re off! Chelsea get the ball rolling, and ping it around the back for a bit.

12.28pm GMT

The teams are out! Chelsea wear their famous blue, Spurs are in their trademark lilywhite. A derby-day atmosphere at Stamford Bridge. We’re one reggae instrumental away from kick-off.

12.09pm GMT

And now it’s the turn of Frank Lampard. “It’s a big moment for us. We understand how close the battle for fourth is, and it’s a big rivalry anyway. This game always has a lot on it, regardless. Our players need to show something, our home form hasn’t been what we want it to be, we are very honest about that. It’s a time to change that, a good opportunity. Olivier Giroud’s professionalism has been brilliant. He needed some weeks to get fit, and today he is ready, so he gets the nod. We have a squad for a reason, players have to come in and do their jobs. I expected Jose to know how we were going to go, so the match-up is a test, a challenge for us.”

11.54am GMT

BT Sport have a word with the ever-spiky Jose Mourinho. “I cannot demand more than I do in every game, which is to give everything they can give. We have had only two days to prepare but we prepared the best we could. As I was more than expecting, Chelsea come with a system and with Alonso playing, we prepare ourselves tactically for that. And with what we have available, we are going to fight for the points.” As for leaving out Dele Alli? “I am not sure you ask every manager in the Premier League when one player stays out. Do you do the same question for them? For other managers it is normal to leave out any player they want. It looks like to me any time I make a decision of this type, there is always a big story so I prefer not to answer. I think Ndombele can give us creativity, we need a bit of risk, he is in condition to give us a good hour.”

11.41am GMT

Chelsea hand Olivier Giroud his first start in three months. He’s one of four changes to the side that went down at home to Manchester United. Ross Barkley, Mason Mount and Marcos Alonso also step up, taking the places of Michy Batshuayi, Pedro, Willian, and the injured N’Golo Kante.

Meanwhile there’s no room in the starting XI for Tottenham’s bottle-and-boot-juggling malcontent Dele Alli. He drops to the bench, one of three changes made in the wake of the Leipzig defeat. Serge Aurier and Gedson Fernandes also make way; Jan Vertonghen, Tanguy Ndombele and Japhet Tanganga take their places.

11.31am GMT

Chelsea: Caballero, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso, Barkley, Mount, Giroud.
Subs: Arrizabalaga, Abraham, Willian, Loftus-Cheek, Zouma, Emerson Palmieri, Gilmour.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Tanganga, Ndombele, Winks, Lo Celso, Davies, Lucas Moura, Bergwijn.
Subs: Lamela, Dier, Sessegnon, Alli, Gazzaniga, Aurier, Fernandes.

5.50pm GMT

It’s fair to say Chelsea have the upper hand in this fixture: Tottenham Hotspur have won it once in the last 30 years. Look at it another way, though: Spurs have won one of their last two Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge, having triumphed here 3-1 in April 2018. So depending on your cut-off point, and the angle at which you’re holding the prism you’re peering through, Spurs either have a win ratio of 50 percent or a slightly less impressive 3.33 percent. It’s all up to you.

However you want to spin it, this is a big one. When Chelsea did a number on Spurs in north London last December, an eventual finish in the Champions League places looked likely for Frank Lampard’s side. For Spurs, such an end-of-season prize seemed a pipe dream. But Spurs have won three of their last four league games, drawing the other, while Chelsea are without a win in four. And suddenly, having made up eight points in short order, Jose Mourinho is breathing down his old club’s neck. They’re just a point behind!

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Olivier Giroud ends goal drought with stunner in Chelsea’s victory over Spurs

Guardian - lør, 22/02/2020 - 15:41

The last time that Chelsea enjoyed themselves like this was on 22 December in what felt like the statement result of Frank Lampard’s tenure. It was the 2-0 victory at Tottenham, which finished with the manager slinging his coat into the travelling enclosure and joy bursting from every pore.

This was another comprehensive triumph over the team that Chelsea most love to hate and Lampard showed what it meant with another round of lusty post-match celebrations. After a sticky run of form, he needed this, Chelsea needed this, and it was a result to reinforce their grip on fourth place in the Premier League.

Related: Chelsea v Tottenham: Premier League – live!

Related: Irrepressible Giroud enlivens Chelsea and Tottenham’s mediocrity derby | Jonathan Liew

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Chelsea boost top-four hopes with Spurs win

Sky Sports - lør, 22/02/2020 - 15:27
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard masterminded a crucial 2-1 win over Jose Mourinho's Tottenham, as recalled pair Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso fired the Blues to a victory which strengthens their hold on fourth place.

Officials: 'Human error' as Lo Celso avoids VAR red

Sky Sports - lør, 22/02/2020 - 15:21
VAR officials at Stockley Park have admitted they made a mistake over the decision to not send off Tottenham's Giovani Lo Celso in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.

Mourinho: Chelsea favourites for top four

Sky Sports - fre, 21/02/2020 - 23:30
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has heaped pressure on former club Chelsea by insisting they remain favourites to finish fourth in the Premier League.
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