Chelsea lost 3-2 to league champions Manchester City yesterday at Villa Park after having Branislav Ivanovic sent off in the first half for a two-footed challenge on Aleksandar Kolarov. Chelsea took the lead through Fernando Torres but following Ivanovic’s dismissal Manchester City scored three goals in twelve minutes to put City firmly in the lead. Ryan Bertrand scored his first senior Chelsea goal but it was not enough as City lifted the first piece of silverware of the season.
Eden Hazard spoke after the game French newspaper l’Equipe and was relatively happy in his first competitive game in England. "I've already found what I came for in England - beautiful stadium, beautiful pitch and big atmosphere.”
The Belgian stated that he does not mind what position he is asked to play and is comfortable with how he has settled in England.
Speaking of the game he said: "The red card killed the match. Manchester City are a team playing very well and - down to 10 - we had difficulties against their pace early in the second half. But the first half was encouraging.”
Goalkeeper Petr Cech concurred with Hazard’s view that the sending off changed the game. However the goalkeeper is confident the team have made a step forward and will be ready for Chelsea’s opener against Wigan on Sunday. The goalkeeper has also backed captain John Terry to not be distracted by taunts from opposing fans. Terry was heavily jeered in the Community Shield match but Cech has no fears that it will affect Terry’s performances on the pitch.
John Terry has had his suspension reduced by UEFA to two games. Terry missed the Champions League final and will miss the Super Cup against Atletico Madrid later this month due to his sending off in the semi final second leg tie against Barcelona but he will be back for the group stages in Chelsea’s defence of their Champions League trophy.
Branislav Ivanovic will not miss any games due to his sending off in yesterday’s Community Shield match after the FA confirmed it does not view the season’s curtain raiser as a competitive first-team fixture. Yellow cards attained by any player yesterday will likewise not be accounted for in their disciplinary record.
Victor Moses’ agent Neil Fewings has asserted that no agreement has been reached with Chelsea and denied that Wigan and Chelsea had agreed a £9m fee.
Porto’s Hulk has admitted publicly that he is tempted by a move away from the Portuguese club with the Premier League being his preferred destination. Chelsea have reportedly had a £30m offer rejected but will not be held to ransom with Porto wanting £40m. It has been reported too that Chelsea cooled their interest on the forward in hope that the Brazilian’s demands and public manoeuvrings might compel Porto to reduce their valuation of the player.
image: © Ben Sutherland