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Edouard Mendy Avoids Bobby Reid Tactic To Record Another Chelsea Clean Sheet



Edouard Mendy was superb for Chelsea in their win over Fulham on Saturday.

Whilst the 2-0 scoreline suggests a comfortable evening for the Blues in the west London derby, it was anything but as the Senegal international had to be at this best to ensure the visitors didn’t get back into the game.

Mendy made a wonderful stop in the first half to deny Ivan Cavaleiro an equaliser and then made an even better one from Ola Aina’s deflected effort.

Those two stops helped the Chelsea goalkeeper record a 16th clean sheet in the Premier League this season – only Man City’s Ederson (18) has more – and 23rd across all competitions.

To keep 23 clean sheets in just 39 appearances since arriving from Rennes last summer is quite impressive, although Fulham did everything in their power to score past Mendy.

Aside from Cavaleiro and Aina’s efforts, Bobby Reid tried and, ultimately failed, with a unique tactic to put the Chelsea stopper off his game.

Early in the second half, after Kai Havertz’s second goal had given the Blues a 2-0 lead, they came under pressure when the visitors were awarded a corner.

And whilst Thiago Silva was busy organising the Chelsea defence, a rather hilarious moment between Mendy and Reid was spotted.

As seen in the image above, the latter appeared to be attempting to distract Mendy by taking off his gloves.

Of course, this tactic had little effect on the Chelsea no.16 as he went on to record yet another clean sheet and help his side move closer to sealing a top-four spot.

The Blues now have a five-point cushion over West Ham United, but head coach Thomas Tuchel insists the job is not done yet.

“No, I feel we have nothing to lose. We are in the middle of the race,” Tuchel said in his post-match press conference. “I think it will continue but it was such a big match to keep the advantage, we have worked so hard in the last week and like I said it is very important that we have a clear mind and nothing to regret for the Wednesday game.

“Then comes the Wednesday game and then look at our fixtures, you see how tough it is. We take nothing for granted, we work hard and keep our head down, feet on the ground and try to the best we can.”

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Why Thiago Silva Shouted At Billy Gilmour As Chelsea



The German manager has lost just twice in 23 games since replacing Frank Lampard in January, which has catapulted Chelsea from ninth in the Premier League to having a six-point cushion in fourth place.

Not to mention the Champions League semi final with Real Madrid which will come to a conclusion next week and also the FA Cup final against Leicester in a fortnight’s time.

The turnaround that Tuchel has managed in such a short space of time has been remarkable. Yes, he has got a very strong squad to work with it but he has managed to get such an impressive tune out of them all so quickly.

It’s not been rocket science, either. Tuchel has changed formation and maybe some components here and there to get the most out of the players but apart from that, it’s not much else.

Sure there are subtle tactical tweaks that Tuchel makes pre-match and during games but for the majority, it’s the five-man defence, two central midfielders in front him, two numbers tens and a striker/false nine.

Whoever has been playing there, for the most part, has been doing their job to the letter. That doesn’t stop Tuchel launching verbal volleys at his players, he does that regularly during games, but it is having the desired impact and the results speak for themselves.

Tuchel said after the 2-0 win over Fulham: “It is the perfect match and the boys get a lot of credit from the coach for this. You can get easily confused in two big matches from this.

If you look at the table, see Fulham are bottom of the table, you can get confused because they are stronger than the table shows, they prepare matches the whole week, so it was absolutely necessary that we prepared the match with full focus. It was important that we invested fully physically and mentally.

That’s why the team gets full credit, it was a big win and we arrive with a clear mind with nothing to regret or think about ahead of Wednesday’s game.

You get the impression that the German head coach seems to be absolutely loving life at Chelsea. He’s barely been able to see London either yet due to lockdown.

What Thiago Silva shouted at Billy Gilmour
Here are two players who are very much at different stages of their career. One is a veteran of nearly 100 appearances for his country and more than 500 for a variety of clubs, and another who is just starting out and making just his 20th appearance for Chelsea.

With the injury to Mateo Kovacic and Tuchel wanting to rest Jorginho and N’Golo Kante ahead of the Champions League game in midweek, that meant Gilmour made a belated first Premier League start since January when Tuchel arrived.

The young Scotsman was understandably rusty having played precious little football, to the chagrin of some and probably himself, since the club opted not to send him on loan in January to get some regular minutes.

But he got through the 90 minutes which will have thrilled Tuchel, who oddly brought Kante on midway through the second half but kept Jorginho firmly planted to the bench.

His teammate Silva was at his Rolls Royce best against Fulham, more than comfortably shutting out Josh Maja, Ivan Cavaleiro, Ademola Lookman and company as the Blues kept yet another clean sheet.

As is expected of a leader, he was always on hand to offer advice. While the Brazilian defender is not fluent in English having only been in the country for ten months, he has learned enough football slang to get by on the pitch.

When defending a free kick late in the first half, Silva shouted “HERE!” and pointed to exactly where Gilmour should be standing as he was making up part of the defensive line that was biding to keep Fulham out.

When Gilmour moved, Silva then shouted “GOOD!” to his young teammate and would you believe it, Chelsea cleared the free kick.

Kai Havertz didn’t need to announce himself – but he did
Two goals for the German international took his tally to eight goals for the season and while it has been an up and down campaign for the summer signing, he reminded us all of just what he is all about.

Lampard was unable to work out what was the best position for Havertz when he arrived at the club but Tuchel has worked it out – a false nine.

Sometime, even an actual number nine though Havertz isn’t the kind of frontman to play on the shoulder of the last time and make late, darting runs into the box. His game is more about elegance and dropping deep to receive the ball. In fact, his average position throughout the game was far deeper than Timo Werner.

Both of Havertz’s goals were expertly put away and with typical finesse but also, aplomb. The first, after Mason Mount’s simply sublime control and immediate through ball, was a bit too close to Alphonse Areola but he had enough power in the shot that it squirmed under the Fulham stopper.

His second goal was a picture. It was a finely timed and inch-perfect through ball from Werner back to Havertz, who had started the move by taking down Ben Chilwell’s raking diagonal perfectly, and he clipped the finish back across Areola into the far corner to double the advantage.

The young German has had to battle a big price tag, settling into a new country, being struck down by Covid and two managers in his first season in the Premier League so yes, he gets some leeway.

Speaking after the game, the attacker said: “We have to come in the top four, that’s our goal. This win is crucial for us and now on Wednesday another tough game.

“To be honest, it felt good to score early. It gave me confidence. For me it’s always good to score and I’m happy to help the team. I hope to continue like this one Wednesday.

“We have a lot of quality players in our team and for us it is easy to create chances. I think that’s the aim for the strikers, to score goals. When you have midfielders like this behind you it’s always good. I’m lucky they helped me today like this.

“To be honest, it’s very hard [the schedule]. You have to concentrate every three games on another game, another competition. When you go home, you have three days to recover and then play again. We have three days to recover, it’s very hard. But we are professionals and we have to be professional.”

His manager also said after the victory that there is still room for improvement with the 21-year-old as well. That is a scary thought and if he finds his shooting boots early next season, the Premier League will be put on notice.

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Thomas Tuchel Reveals what Wakes Mason Mount So Special



Thomas Tuchel has heaped praise on Mason Mount following the attacking-midfielder’s 100th appearance for the club against Real Madrid on Tuesday evening.

The 22-year-old only made his competitive debut for the Blues in August 2019, but has been a key figure under both Frank Lampard and Tuchel.

Mount has now established himself as one of the most exciting attacking talents in the Premier League and looks almost a certainty to be a key member of Gareth Southgate’s England squad this summer’s European Championships.

Tuchel has hailed the “special” Mount, who has been one of the most consistent performers for Chelsea during this campaign.

“It’s outstanding and it makes him special, to be capable of playing so consistently and producing performances at this level so consistently,“ Tuchel told Chelsea’s official website.

“It’s very special because he’s very young and he never seems to be distracted too much from praise and critics.

“He’s a super reliable person, he behaves very maturely on and off the pitch. He’s a very down to earth person, I have the impression that he handles it all very maturely and he knows where he comes from.

“He knows why he is capable of playing so much because he takes good care of his recovery and it seems to be effortless for him.

“There is hard, hard work behind it and I’m happy that he has this huge impact.

“He played on the left side because he helped us in midfield against the ball.

“He’s done this many times where he’s played against the ball and in defence, in a bit of a different shape to when we attack.

“Sometimes against Madrid, he was a bit too deep, deeper than what was needed, but it’s his personality – he wanted to help.”

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Chelsea To Announce First Summer Transfer As Deal For Striker Confirmed



Chelsea appear to be closing in on their first signing of this summer’s transfer window.

The Blues have been linked with a number of players as head coach Thomas Tuchel looks to bolster his squad ahead of the 2021/22 season.

Romelu Lukaku, Erling Haaland, Niklas Sule, and Gianluigi Donnaruma are just some of names being tipped to arrive at Stamford Bridge at some point in the summer.

However, whilst all those names would no doubt make Chelsea stronger and almost certainly Premier League title contenders next term, the player they are seemingly closing in on is one for the future.

Jayden Wareham has been on trial with Chelsea’s youth set-up for a month – netting a goal for the U18’s against Aston Villa on April 10 – and appears to have won a permanent contract.

The 17-year-old’s manager, Alan Dowson, at National League side Woking has confirmed that a deal with an unnamed Premier League team is all but done.

“Yeah I believe things are getting done,” he told the Woking YouTube channel. “I don’t think they want to publicise it massively but I believe everything’s in order, it just needs clearance from the Premier League and all that.

“I don’t think there’s any problems with it, I think everything will be getting done and good luck to the lad. Whatever club he goes to, it should get done.

“Every day we think it’s getting done, today whatever, we can’t really say the name but I think everybody will know anyway to be honest.

“But the bottom line is good luck to the kid, I hope he does well, I hope he does very good. It will be good for him, I think he’s got a couple of years to kick on.

“Fair play to the lad.

“It’s done I think but I think when you go there you’ve just got to get permission off the Premier League and all that. That’s the only snag and I think everything else is done.”

Given Wareham has been on trial at Chelsea, it’s only natural to assume they are the club Dowson is referring to and he’s also revealed Woking are in negotiations over a transfer fee.

“He’s been here for a few years now so we’re negotiating, that’s what we’re doing at the minute, I’m sure they’ll be very fair,” Dowson added. “Especially with how the top six clubs are at the minute, [they’ve] been hammered, it would be a massive good thing because we’ll tell everybody how great they’ve been.

“They have been fair. We’ve been very good to them so hopefully they will be very good to us as well.”

All that remains is for Wareham to sign his contract and for Chelsea to announce the deal.

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