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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel shares dressing room message that sparked 3-0 Tottenham win



Thomas Tuchel has revealed that he was unhappy with Chelsea’s first half performance against Tottenham and demanded that they showed more intensity in the second period.

The Blues boss withdrew Mason Mount at the break and has made clear that he was furious with his players. 

A tense and cagey first half involved Chelsea failing to have a single shot on target. It was the first time that had happened since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in January.

But the German’s side were far superior in the second period. The excellent Thiago Silva headed in from a corner within two minutes of the second half starting and N’Golo Kante scored 10 minutes later.

The Frenchman’s strike took a huge deflection off Eric Dier before rolling into the net via the post. 

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Antonio Rudiger struck a third in added-time but Chelsea could have had a couple more goals. Romelu Lukaku twice attempted to play in Timo Werner when he should have shot himself. 

“It was a hard decision for Mason and seemed a bit more defensive to go from Mason to N’Golo. I wanted to give the sign from the talk that I was not happy with the energy,” Tuchel told Sky Sports.

“I was not ready to talk about the spaces here and the spaces there. It was about winning duels and about sending signals. I wanted our confidence to grow with energy and with ball wins and by higher work rate and by closing players down. We were too reactive. 

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“That was the signal of the talk [in the dressing room].”

Asked if the second half performance was far different to the opening period’s display, Tuchel continued: “It was, you are right. Me personally, I was absolutely not happy with the first 45 minutes.

“There were individual performance which were already great – like Kepa [Arrizabalaga], Thiago [Silva]. That was the first half. Even more players were just… good. 

“In general, we lacked intent and we lacked energy. We lacked [the ability] to be more relentless in the duels and to win 50-50 balls for us. 

“I had the feeling that we wanted to win by pure skills. But in a game like this in the Premier League, in a derby and against Tottenham, it is not only about skilful play.

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“It is about aggression and it is about winning duels. We didn’t perform as a team. We lacked energy and we spoke clearly about it at half-time. 

“The second half was a very good performance. It was a very good win in the second half. It was a very good reaction and I was absolutely delighted with the performance in the second half.”

According to ESPN, Tuchel was ‘visibly frustrated’ by midfielder Mount’s performance in the first half. The 22-year-old scuppered one counter-attack when his pass to Lukaku was behind the Belgian striker. 


Erik Ten Hag demands Man Utd ‘be fast’ about getting £43m signing over the line




Erik ten Hag has told Man Utd to hurry up over a potential deal to sign Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez, according to reports.

The Red Devils are looking for a new centre-back this summer to give Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane some competition.

Man Utd have been linked with a number of defenders but a potential transfer for Martinez seems to have legs with a number of respected journalists revealing Ten Hag’s interest in a deal.

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The Argentina international was one of Ajax’s best players under Ten Hag last season with the 24-year-old playing 37 times in all competitions for the Eredivisie champions.

Ajax have been holding out for €50m (£43m) for Martinez but reports yesterday indicated they are ‘willing to cooperate’ with Man Utd after the Red Devils put an offer of €41m plus €4m in add-ons on the table.

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And that will be music to Ten Hag’s ears with journalist Fabrizio Romano claiming that the Dutchman has told Man Utd ‘to be fast’ over sealing a deal for Martinez with competition coming from fellow Premier League side Arsenal.

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It is understood that Martinez is ‘pushing to leave Ajax’ this summer and Ten Hag wants the Argentine as his next signing after Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia.

Arsenal are described as ‘still there’ in the race for Martinez but Romano adds that Man Utd boss Ten Hag ‘wants him strongly’.

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Barcelona do not want to sign Ronaldo, Lewandowski is the priority



Following the meeting between Barcelona and super-agent Jorge Mendes on Monday, there has been non-stop speculation that the Catalans have been offered a chance to sign Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old is intent on securing an exit from Old Trafford this summer, just a year after returning to his old stomping ground.

The lack of Champions League football and the failure to sign any players so far have been cited as reasons for the Portuguese maverick to seek a move.

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There have been talks with Chelsea, while a move to Bayern Munich has also been mooted. And following the meeting between his agent Mendes and Barcelona president Joan Laporta, it is being heavily speculated that Ronaldo has been offered to the Blaugrana.

However, as per a report from journalist David Bernabeu Reverter, there is zero chance that Barcelona will sign Ronaldo this summer.

The Spanish journalist claims that Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski remains the utmost priority for the Blaugrana this summer and their stance on the matter is non-negotiable.

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Barça have been pursuing Lewandowski for months and even have a three-year contract agreement in place with the Poland captain.

However, Bayern Munich’s unwillingness to negotiate with the Catalans is proving to be a major hurdle.

In spite of that, the Blaugrana remain intent on signing Lewandowski and are not considering bringing in Ronaldo, as per the aforementioned update.

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Despite being 37, Ronaldo remains in tremendous shape and scored 24 goals in all competitions last season. However, he has a rich history with Real Madrid.

The Portugal captain is Los Blancos’ all-time leading goalscorer and a club legend. So, it is hard to fathom that a move to Camp Nou can materialise.

As things stand, at least according to what David Bernabeu Reverter’s sources are stating, Lewandowski is the absolute priority for Barcelona.

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Barcelona looking to renew La Masia midfielder before loaning him out



A report from SPORT has offered a fresh update on the future of Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig. The 22-year-old finds himself out of favour at Camp Nou and is widely expected to depart this summer.

Puig has been courting serious interest from clubs in Spain and the rest of Europe. In particular,

Benfica and Fiorentina have been showing the strongest in signing the La Masia midfielder despite his struggles to establish a foothold in the Barça first-team setup.

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Benfica have been long-term admirers of the Spaniard and continue to retain an interest. As for Fiorentina, they are already believed to be in advanced negotiations with Puig over a possible move this summer.

While it was largely expected that Barcelona would sell Puig permanently, the report from SPORT claims otherwise. Indeed, as per the latest update, the Catalan giants do not plan on selling the 22-year-old outright.

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Instead, Barça plan to extend his contract and send him out on loan so that he can play regularly and kickstart his development which has stalled in recent seasons due to a lack of game-time.

Puig’s current contract with the Blaugrana expires in 2023 and the Catalans want to ensure that they extend the deal before he is sent out on loan.

The 22-year-old, for his part, has always desired to succeed at Camp Nou. However, he has accepted that a move away to a team where he can get regular minutes under his belt would be in his best interests.

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A loan move would likely appeal more to Puig than a permanent transfer as it would allow him a chance to return to Barcelona and prove himself next year.

With no shortage of takers for the 22-year-old La Masia graduate, it remains to be seen where he ends up.

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