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Chelsea star names teammate who will help beat Man United in FA Cup semi-finals



Antonio Rudiger claims Olivier Giroud will be key to beat Man United

As reported by the Manchester Evening News, Chelsea start Antonio Rudiger believes Olivier Giroud could hold the key to beating Manchester United this weekend.

Chelsea and Manchester United take on each other in the FA Cup semi-finals this evening at the Wembley Stadium. The winner will face off against our London rivals Arsenal in the final, after they defeated Manchester City on Saturday.

Chelsea haven’t had the best of records going up against Manchester United this season, with Frank Lampard losing all of his three matches against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Olivier Giroud firing on all cylinders
Olivier Giroud firing on all cylinders

With the Red Devils currently on a 19-game unbeaten run across all competitions, things will be anything but easy for us this evening, which Rudiger acknowledged. (h/t MEN)

“Man Utd are in great form – I mean, they haven’t lost in 18 or 19 games. They beat us twice in the league, too, so they’ll come into it with a huge amount of confidence.”

However, Rudiger, is of the belief that in-form man Giroud could get us over the line later today. (h/t MEN)

“It’s going to be a tough fight, but the good thing for us is that Olivier Giroud is firing again. He struggled for a while and some had already written him off.”

Giroud has scored four times in seven league games since restart
Giroud has scored four times in seven league games since restart

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Indeed, Giroud has been firing on all cylinders of late. The World Cup winning striker has found the back of the net four times in seven league games since the restart, including the winner against Norwich City last time out.

The veteran has made the most of his opportunities after having had to bide for his time when Tammy Abraham was scoring for fun early on in the campaign. But given the form that the 33-year-old has been in, he can certainly prove to be the difference maker at Wembley later today.


Chelsea dealt major blow in hopes of landing top-class South American star from Serie A giants



Chelsea are keeping tabs on Paulo Dybala

Paulo Dybala was a target for Chelsea but he is set to sign a new deal with Juventus

Tuttomercatoweb (h/t Express) claim that Paulo Dybala is set to sign a new deal with Serie A champions Juventus.

The 26-year-old was in great form last season and scored 17 times in all competitions. The Argentine even racked up 14 assists to help the Old Lady to the league title.

However, the report claims that Dybala did not make the best of starts under new manager Andrea Pirlo.

Paulo Dybala is a star for Juventus
Paulo Dybala joined Juventus from Palermo

The former Juventus and AC Milan midfielder took over the manager’s role this season and Dybala has been barely used.

Dybala only has two starts to his name across three competitions, though he has been a regular for Argentina.

However, any talks of him leaving the club seem to be over as Juventus head Fabio Paratici confirmed contract talks were on the way (h/t Express):

“We’re in talks to extend Paulo Dybala’s contract.

“He wants to stay and we want to keep him, he’s part of our future. We’ll continue the negotiations to find an agreement.”

Dybala is not in Andrea Pirlo's plans
Andrea Pirlo is the new Juventus manager

Another attacker for Lampard?

The report adds that Dybala was a target for us after the falling out but it is to be seen if we make a serious move for him.

Chelsea are blessed with several attacking options and we strengthened it further by signing Timo Werner and Kai Havertz in the summer.

Hakim Ziyech is waiting in the wings to make a big impact while the team already has stars such as Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Timo Werner
Timo Werner was brilliant against Southampton (Getty Images)

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Dybala is a fantastic footballer and landing him would only increase our attacking options. However, we seem stacked in the attack and it will be interesting to see what our plans are for the winter window.

Chelsea have been extremely busy over the summer but we are yet to click after bringing so many fresh faces.

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Chelsea-linked PL star set to make a career-defining decision in coming weeks



Chelsea target Declan Rice set to be offered lucrative new contract by West Ham United

Declan Rice could close the door on a Chelsea move with this decision

According to The Daily Star, Chelsea target Declan Rice looks set to make a decision on his future in the coming weeks.

The 21-year-old, despite his young age, is an experienced Premier League player. He already has 105 appearances for West Ham United and has scored three goals during this time.

While the Blues have shown they are a force to be reckoned in the attack, the same cannot be said of the defence.

Selling Rice to Chelsea a big gamble for West Ham even at £40m' – Cole  calls on Gold & Sullivan to resist offers |

The likes of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho are all excellent players in their own right. However, adding Rice to the mix will add traits to the midfield that the three players lack.

The Englishman will bring with him a calmness in possession and he also reads the game well. Add to it his ability to play forward passes and he will be a fantastic fit for our system.

The Hammers, however, are not keen to lose their star man. They are readying a new contract that will see Rice double his current £60,000-a-week wages. His current deal runs until 2024 with an option for another year.

Declan Rice - Player profile 20/21 | Transfermarkt

Signing the new contract will make it harder for us to secure his signature. Rice is someone who is familiar with Chelsea. He was on the club’s rolls before being released at the age of 14.

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A number of youth stars who played with Rice at Chelsea have made their way up to the first-team. This also includes his close friend Mason Mount.

It remains to be seen what the midfielder decides to do. He will do his career no harm if he decides to return to the club where it all began.

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Chelsea star thanks new summer signing for key role in Old Trafford stalemate



Chelsea star N’Golo Kante praises Edouard Mendy for match-saving performance against United

Speaking to the club’s official site, Chelsea star N’Golo Kante has praised Edouard Mendy for his performance against Manchester United.

The Blues and the Red Devils played out a 0-0 draw in the standout fixture of the weekend. While we did have our chances, so did United.

New signing Mendy was at the fore once again as he kept his third clean sheet of the season. Finally, the club appears to have a keeper they can depend on.

“He made some decisive saves. He helped us keep the clean sheet. It’s good for him, for his confidence, and good for the team.”

Chelsea 'Optimistic' N'Golo Kante Will Be Fit for UEL Final After Injury |  Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

It is fair to say that Kepa Arrizabalaga’s troubles extended to his defence as well. Playing in front of an indecisive keeper is not the best of situations to be in for a defender.

With Mendy now in goal, we have hopfully put those days behind us. Thiago Silva was also excellent and did well to organize the backline against the United frontline led by Marcus Rashford.

Mendy was twice at hand to deny the United striker what could have been a game-winning goal. Both attempts came in the latter stages of either half.

Edouard Mendy is already my No 1, says Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard |  Football News | Sky Sports

Kante, for his part, was impressed to see his new teammate play a key role for the club on the field. He hopes that the Senegalese star can keep up his good form going forward.

“I hope he can keep going in this way and continue not conceding any goals.”

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Chelsea have now kept back-to-back cleansheets. While our defence still has work to do, this upturn in form is a positive sign.

With things secure at the back, it will hopefully give the frontline more confidence to contribute at the other end.

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Lampard left frustrated after VAR denies obvious Chelsea penalty



Frank Lampard was taught a harsh lesson at Sheffield United

Frank Lampard unhappy with VAR after Chelsea were denied a penalty against Manchester United

Speaking to the BBC, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has been left frustrated by VAR following the goalless draw against Manchester United.

Blues skipper Cesar Azpilicueta was grabbed by his United counterpart Harry Maguire when challenging for a header in the first half. However, VAR dismissed our penalty claims after reviewing the incident.

“I thought it was a clear penalty.”

While Lampard admits officials on the pitch may miss things, he is perplexed that VAR has not been able to correct such things.

Chelsea season a success, but Lampard has room to improve - Sports  Illustrated

While the introduction of VAR has been an excellent step. The implementation has been far from impressive.

“They should have taken time and advised the referee to look at the monitor. If he watches the monitor, he has to give the penalty, so it’s confusing.”

With the monitors being made available by pitchside, Lampard believes on-field officials should play a more proactive role in decision making.

This is not the first time that Maguire has got away with a foul against us. He was let off after what looked like a deliberate hit on Michy Batshuayi in the game at Stamford Bridge in February.

Chelsea press conference live: Frank Lampard on Man Utd draw, Edoaurd  Mendy, Kai Havertz -

He stayed on and went on to score the opener for United that night. Unless implementation of the technology is done right, the whole point of using VAR becomes moot.

Chelsea next face Krasnodor in the Champions League group stage fixture on 28th.

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It was hardly the single mistake officials have made in recent times, let alone the same night. A foul that occurred outside the penalty area was given as a penalty for Sheffield United at Anfield.

One cannot accuse VAR of being inconsistent. After all, they appear to be making the wrong decisions on a regular basis.

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