PSG win 6 goal thriller against Lyon as brilliant Lille close in on 3rd place

A meeting between the two most successful sides in French football over the last 20 years was always going to garner the most attention and PSG and Lyon who have won 14 league titles between them in the last 17 league seasons didn’t let anyone down.

The game in Paris ended 4-2 to the league champions and whilst Lyon played their part they simply could not handle just how good PSG were. Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe had seemingly wrapped up the game early on as PSG went in at half time 2-0 up. In the first half they had dominated possession and allowed no shots on target for the visitors.

The game was, in effect, over just a few minutes into the second half when PSG went 3-0 up courtesy of a bizarre own goal scored by Fernando Marcel. It was bizarre in the fact that it was such a good clinical goal- had it been a PSG player we would have been talking about it for some time. The player was obviously devastated and sunk to the ground in disbelief, he knew the game was over.

But then a miracle almost happened as Lyon’s Martin Terrier and Moussa Dembele who has been so good for Lyon this season both scored in the space of 7 minutes and suddenly Lyon were back in the game it was 3-2 with half an hour still to play. But PSG showed quality as they took down the level of the game and controlled the pace. Finally with ten minutes to go Edinson Cavani scored for the home side to win the game 4-2 and it was an important redemption goal for the Uruguayan who has felt left out of the side and was so close to leaving in the January transfer window. PSG remain on top with 61 points and are 12 points clear of Marseille.

Marseille did win at the weekend but they were quite disappointing at home against the bottom side Toulouse winning just 1-0 through a Dimitri Payet goal, Payet is on great form lately but Marseille had just 3 shots on target against a club who have conceded 49 goals this season and more was expected of them. Nonetheless a win is a win and it was actually a decent weekend for Marseille because Rennes in 3rd place could only draw 0-0 at home to Brest.

Rennes have put unnecessary pressure on themselves now to claim a top 3 place, they have no wins in their last 2 games and only 1 victory in their last four. The pressure was maximised because Lille won their 3rd straight game in a row to move within one point of Rennes. Lille beat Angers 2-0 away from home and the club have started to improve on the road after a nightmare start, in form Victor Osimhen opened the scoring for Lille who eased to a win.

Montpellier are in 5th after a 1-0 win over Bordeaux as Andy Delort scored his 9th goal of the season. The win was even more impressive for Montpellier as they played a large section of the game with 10 men after Solomon Sambia was sent off.

Strasbourg’s good form continued and they have now won 3 games from their last four to go into 6th place after they easily beat Reims 3-0, a direct rival for a European finish. The club got their revenge over Reims after the side had knocked them out of the Coupe de la Ligue at the quarter final stage with a penalty shoot out. Reims had zero shots on goal in the whole game and they have slipped to 10th place as a result.

Are Monaco recovering and starting to show what they can do under new coach Robert Moreno? Well the club did win their 2nd game in a row as they beat Amiens away from home 2-1. It was only Monaco’s 3rd win on the road and a first for Moreno away from home. However Monaco were heading for defeat, with just a few minutes left of the game Amiens were winning 1-0. But Ligue 1 top goalscorer Wissam Ben Yedder struck for the equaliser and then Islam Slimani became the hero of the day scoring in injury time. Cesc Fabregas had only been on the pitch for 4 minutes as he came off of the bench to assist in the winning goal. That moves the club up to 7th place.

Bordeaux moved to 8th after they beat Metz 2-1 away from home and the club have now gone their last 4 matches unbeaten. Remi Oudin a new signing from Reims got the winner for Bordeaux with just five minutes remaining to start his career with his new club in memorable style.

There is just 3 points between 8th and 5th and so much to play for in the league regarding European places. Marseille have taken a large step in the right direction to qualify for the Champions League and now have an 8 point lead over Rennes in 3rd place. PSG look like they have won the league, but will the upcoming Champions League games distract the team, if so it is only Marseille who have the smallest of chances of catching them. Watch this space as the league hots up with just 14 games and 42 points left to play for.

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When you invest in football at the right time & it pays off

Football is a strategy game and if you play your cards right you can keep your winning streak. Most clubs ensure that the managers and players just do that since it is a result-driven industry and business. With all the money that is at stake and all the investments made, no one can afford to let it go to waste.

But how do you put a winning strategy into place? Well, it encompasses more than just putting eleven men on a pitch. You have to think about the team's formation, select the right players for each game, make sure there is great chemistry within the team but also between the players and managers.

You make choices prior to starting the competition wishing it would just work fine. You select the best people available out there and aim for another successful season. Sometimes it does work perfectly and other times the contrary happens. And this is the time where you need to be smart and act fast if you want drastic changes. Being by acquiring new players or changing managers if needed.

We have seen it recently with the sacking of José Mourinho by Manchester United in mid-season. Following a bad start for the club, he has been replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer which has proven to be a successful decision. This type of change paid off in Premier League but some investments have been profitable in other European teams as well this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus is probably the most illustrating example. After 9 years with Real Madrid and more than 300 goals scored, he decided to take on a new challenge. In the 30 games he has played with the Bianconeri, he already scored 19 goals. The most notorious being the only goal against Milan allowing the team to win the Supercoppa final.

Another phenomenon of the Italian League is Krzysztof Piatek. The young Polish pistolero, is worth every penny the club spent during the winter transfer window. He replaced Gonzalo Higuaín that was not showing enough results for the club (8 goals in 22 games). It seems like the Argentine striker is doing a way better job at Chelsea where he already scored 2 goals in 3 games.

Piatek had already scored 19 goals for Genoa before his transfer. After only 3 games with his new club, he already showed tremendous skills and scored 3 goals. Not to mention that he scored twice for Milan against Napoli, a decisive win that sent them through the Coppa Italia semi-finals. According to Gattuso, Milan’s coach, he is a far better striker than Higuaín and the fans already adore him.

In the Bundesliga, Paco Alcácer is another impressive player. The Spanish striker had been loaned by Barcelona to Borussia Dortmund at the beginning of the season. He made a great debut with the club on top of securing decisive wins in his early games. Management was so impressed by his amazing performances that it decided to sign him on a permanent basis. So far he has scored 12 goals in 15 games.

In Monaco, there has been a lot of drama going on lately with the dismissal of Thierry Henry and the return of Leonardo Jardim. Cesc Fàbregas joined the club in mid-January and already illustrated himself. The player scored the winning goal for Monaco against Toulouse. This was his first one but an important one. This gives Monaco its first win in seven league games and allowed them to get out of the relegation zone.

These few examples show the importance of investing in the right people at the right time. If a team is not performing well then someone has to ring the alarm and make the necessary adjustments. When done properly it can have a huge positive impact on the team’s success.

Can Cesc Fabregas save Monaco from Ligue 2 football?


Cesc Fabregas left Chelsea and the Premier League after many successful seasons to join Monaco, and the Ligue 1 club really need his services- but can the ex Barcelona and Arsenal star save Monaco from relegation?

Monaco have been languishing near the bottom of the league for most of the season and started 2019 in 19th place. Just before Fabregas joined Monaco enjoyed a very narrow 1-0 win in the Coupe de France against non league Canet Rousillon FC which just underlined how far the 2017 Ligue 1 champions have fallen. But with Fabregas in the ranks and Franck Passi now as Thierry Henry’s assistant the future might be bright for the side.

This as evident when Monaco travelled to the Stade Velodrome at the weekend to play Marseille- a game that everybody was expecting Marseille to win. The match finished 1-1 and Monaco came back from a goal down. It was a fantastic team effort and one wonders if the club buoyed on by the signing of Fabregas can now turn a corner?

Fabregas had a great game as he was drafted straight into the squad and manager Henry had this to say about the Spaniard. “Cesc Fabregas got better as the minutes ticked by. He managed to take the match in his grasp and read between the lines. We could have finished certain moves off better, but we’re on the right track.”

What was evident was how Fabregas teamed up so well with the Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans who ended up getting the equaliser for the team. But of course there has to be some degree of caution and Monaco clearly are not out of the woods yet.

Even though they got a great result at Marseille the club are still in 19th position and are 4 points from safety. The good news is that they have reached only the halfway stage of the campaign and they have plenty of time to escape from the bottom three. You’d have to think now with the capture of Fabregas and Passi in the wings that as long as the player stays fit and there is calm at the club that Monaco should have enough to stay up.

On Wednesday we will find out more about the club in the second half of the season as they face Nice in the derby at home. Nice already have double the points of Monaco and are good form having lost just one game from their past five, so this match will be a great indicator if things are going to change for them.

For now getting Fabregas on a 3 year deal could be a lifesaver.

Chelsea stars who should consider their futures in January

Victor Moses

Chelsea lie second in the Premier League table after winning eight and drawing three of their first 11 league games under Maurizio Sarri.

The Blues’ Italian boss has managed to get the best out of the likes of Eden Hazard, David Luiz, Jorginho and Ross Barkley during the club’s unbeaten start to the 2018-19 campaign.

However, only Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has used fewer players so far in the league this season, which means there are several players at Chelsea who have been unable to break into the team since Sarri’s arrival in the summer.

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Player profile – Andrés Iniesta (Spain)



Former World Champions Spain will be looking towards Russia this summer as a chance to regain their place at the top of world football. Having won three consecutive tournaments prior to the last World Cup (they won the Euros in 2008 and 2012, with the 2010 World Cup in between) they then dropped into the second pot of seeds at the draw for this one. With that aim in mind, head coach Julen Lopetegui took one or two gambles in the selection of his squad. Out were the likes of recognised internationals such as Alvaro Morata and Cesc Fabregas, as well as the inexperienced Marcos Alonso. Instead, some younger talent such as Marco Asensio and Saúl  were included.

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Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata not included in Spain’s World Cup squad


Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata has been omitted from Julen Lopetegui’s World Cup squad for this summer’s trip to Russia. The former Real Madrid and Juventus star has scored 11 goals in his first season at Stamford Bridge since arriving from the Spaniards last summer, but after a bright start to the campaign struggled to find his form. He did appear as a last minute substitute in last weekend’s FA Cup final win over Man United, but Morata seems to be out of Lopetegui’s plans. The 25-year-old was not the only top Premier League star to be kept at home this summer, though, with the likes of Marcos Alonso, Hector Bellerin and Cesc Fabregas also missing out.

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Does Luke Shaw deserve the ‘Mourinho treatment’?

Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 20.23.27

The Special One. It would have to be Jose Mourinho christening himself with that moniker, because those within the game have something far more descriptive to call him, unrepeatable in this column.

The Portuguese has made more enemies than friends during his time in the game, but his relative success has allowed many of his failings to be masked.

Failings that he prefers to foist upon those players unlucky enough to get on his bad side. When all else fails, blame the players.

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Served: A timely reminder of Fabregas’class


Euro 2016

Prior to Chelsea’s third round League Cup tie against Leicester City, Cesc Fabregas had endured a difficult start to the season, whereby was unable to establish himself within Chelsea’s starting XI.

The 29-year-old midfielder is yet to start an English Premier League game this term and has made just three substitute appearances in the division for Antonio Conte’s side.

The reason for that is the Italian manager’s preference to play N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic and Oscar ahead of Fabregas, with the exception of Chelsea’s 3-2 victory over Bristol Rovers in the 2nd Round of the League Cup, as the Spaniard started that game.

However after doing so, alongside Matic, Fabregas returned to the bench for Chelsea’s next three Premier League games.

Despite featuring in two of those – against Swansea and Liverpool – Fabregas did so as a substitute and played for a combined total of approximately 25 minutes.

Fabregas’ omission from recent Spain squad

As such Fabregas’ recent exposure to playing first team football has been extremely limited, whilst he was also omitted from Julen Lopetegui’s first Spain squad as La Roja beat Belgium 2-0 in a friendly and opened their 2018 World Cup Qualification campaign with an 8-0 win over Liechtenstein.

The youthful duo of Marcos Asensio and Saul Niguez, along with Juan Mata were given the chance to impress Lopetegui in Fabregas’ favoured central midfield role.

In order to feature among Lopetegui’s future plans for Spain, Fabregas, who has been capped 105 times for his country must initially start playing regularly and performing well at club level, since of late he has struggled to do either.

Fabregas’ wonderful return to form

However in defiance of that, Fabregas served a timely reminder of his class when optimising the opportunity he was given to start Chelsea’s League Cup tie against Leicester, by scoring twice, whilst delivering an assured and composed display to play an influential role in his team’s 4-2 victory.

In addition to masterfully orchestrating his team’s play, by exercising his wonderful awareness, touch and vision, Fabregas also worked tirelessly throughout the match to impact positively upon both Chelsea’s offensive and defensive performance.

Predominantly renowned for playing with a wealth of creative craft and flair, against Leicester Fabregas portrayed that he is capable of doing that whilst also covering sufficient ground to efficiently honour his defensive responsibilities.

In doing so he provided a clear indication that he possesses both the flexibility and physicality to adjust to Conte’s style of play, which is of a greater intensity than that of any team which Fabregas has previously played in.

Nevertheless Fabregas still faces a difficult challenge to full complete his integration into Conte’s starting XI, although the former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder took an extremely progressive step towards doing that during Chelsea’s 4-2 win over Leicester.

Not only did Fabregas score twice, with two expertly taken finishes but he also provided a goal scoring assist, to showcase his prodigious technical ability, which he combined with a strong work ethic to clearly illustrate that he has the potential to firmly re-establish himself as a major asset for Chelsea and help Antonio Conte enjoy a successful debut season in English football.

Fabregas strives to deliver his best form for Chelsea

Since joining Chelsea in June 2014 for £30m from Barcelona, Fabregas has scored 13 goals in a century of appearances.

However he has struggled to reproduce the wonderful form, which characterised both, the three seasons he spent with Barcelona and the eight years that he played in Arsenal’s first team.

Whilst with the Gunners, Fabregas developed into one of the best creative midfielders in Europe, whilst he strengthened that reputation at Barcelona before leaving the Catalan giants for Chelsea.

In his maiden campaign at the club, then managed by Jose Mourinho, Fabregas helped Chelsea win the English Premier League and League Cup, although last season he, along with the majority of his teammates endured a disappointing season.

Abramovich assigns Conte the task of guiding Chelsea back to success 

Specifically whilst Chelsea failed to win a trophy, they ended the English Premier season in 10th position, their worst finish since season 1995-1996 when they placed 11th.

In an attempt to spark a revival of his club’s on field fortunes, owner Roman Abramovich instilled Antonio Conte as manager.  Subsequently the 47-year-old’s reign commenced promisingly, as under his guidance Chelsea won each of their first three league games.

However the strength of the momentum that winning run created has weakened, since Chelsea are without a win in two league games having drawn 2-2 with Swansea and lost 2-1 at home to Liverpool.

Fabregas in line to feature more prominently

In the latter of those games, Chelsea were completely outplayed in midfield.

That is the trio of Kante, Matic and Oscar could not contend with the dynamism of Liverpool central midfield unit, which was comprised of Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Given that, along with the quality of Fabregas’ performance against Leicester, it is entirely conceivable that Conte will award the Catalan with a first Premier League start of the season in Chelsea’s next game against his former club Arsenal.

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Could Cesc Fabregas leave Chelsea amid Serie A links?

cesc fabregas chelsea

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has endured a season to forget. The Spanish international has struggled for form with the Blues, and has found himself the recipient of ire fom the supporters due to rumours about his involvement of the sacking of former manager Jose Mourinho. While further reports suggests the ex-Barcelona man was in fact an ally for the Portugese coach, his form certainly didn’t help matters, and it would hardly be surprising  if he seeked greener pastures elsewhere in January.

While Guus Hiddink’s arrival means a clean slate for Fabregas, the 28-year-old could well take matters into his own hands if the rumours linking him to the Serie A are true. Italian giants Inter Milan and Juventus are reportedly keen on the playmaker, and the slower style of play could well suit the tiring midfielder, who has struggled with the fast pace of the Premier Leauge since winning the title. Fabregas has suffered burnout in 2015, and such was the reason his return to Barcelona didn’t go as planned in the long-term.

Many past-their-peak footballs had made the switch to the Italian Serie A due the slower paces style being easier to contend with, and a talented passer of the ball like Fabregas could certainly shine. He’s not at his best when having to chase down the opposition, but instead when he’s controlling possession with a like-minded midfield alongside him. He wouldn’t break the bank either given his poor form this year, and Chelsea could be considering letting him and many others go to rebuild with a youthful eye.

Fabregas is one of many players currently in the latter years of their career and players underperforming for the Blues this season. The Spaniard has struggled the entire year, and it would be hard to see Chelsea turning down a fair offer for the 28-year-old when the January transfer window opens. The Londoners have been heavily criticised for ignoring the up-and-coming talents at the club, while loaning out so many players rather than utilising them, and a Fabregas replacement could be in the youth side now.

Prior to his move to Chelsea, Arsenal were linked with the midfielder, with Cesc having played for the latter between 2003-2011, but opted against bringing him back. Manager Arsene Wenger felt he was no better than what he already had, and he has so far been proven right. With Fabregas short of form and being linked with clubs that would allow him to operate in his perferred playmaker role, rumours won’t die down of a possible move in January, so could he leave Chelsea this season?

Fabregas: “This Season Has Been ******!”


In an exclusive interview with Spanish newspaper Marca, Cesc Fabregas has described in no uncertain terms how he believes his club side Chelsea are performing at the moment.

“The season is ******,” the 28-year-old said. “The results aren’t doing our performances justice. We’re playing better but aren’t having any luck.”

The former Arsenal midfielder was regarded as a key figure in his side’s Premier League triumph of last season; becoming the English top flight’s highest ever goal creator in a dazzling campaign.

But the Spaniard has failed to live up to those heights this term, and has been roundly criticised for a series of lethargic displays. Tabloid rumours also speculated that he was at the centre of a dressing room coup against boss Jose Mourinho following a run in which Chelsea have lost seven of their 12 domestic matches.

Fabregas was moved to comment that he was ‘extremely happy at Chelsea’ and enjoyed an ‘excellent relationship’ with Mourinho, and he expanded on those points further in his chat with Marca.

“Things with ‘Mou’ are good. Obviously when you’re not winning things always get said, whereas when you’re winning everything’s rosy,” he said. “But all of us – the players, fans and the coach – have to pull together and hang tough.

“We’re the only ones who can turn things round. Nobody is going to give us a helping hand. We’re still in a position to challenge the big boys in the Champions League, but in the Premier League we need to get our act together right away.”

The start of the 2015/16 campaign has been the worse in over a decade for Chelsea, with the club all but out of the title race and battling to finish in the top four of the EPL; which would book their place in next season’s Champions League. They are already 13 points behind Manchester United in fourth, and just three points clear of the relegation zone.

Even so, reports would suggest that Mourinho’s job is safe for now, and the international break has given the Blues ample time to take stock and plan their assault on the upper reaches of the Premier League. That quest begins with an eminently winnable home fixture against Norwich City on Saturday (November 21).

And Fabregas himself recognises the important of his side getting back on track with victory there. “When things are going your way, you flick the ball with your heel and it flies into the top corner, whereas now every piledriver is going off target.

“Either way, we need to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later.”