Thomas Tuchel omits under fire Lukaku from matchday squad against Liverpool (According to The Athletic)

According to The Athletic, Chelsea’s manager,Thomas Tuchel, has dropped under fire striker, Romelu Lukaku, from the matchday squad to face Liverpool.

The 28-year-old striker has scored in his last two Premier League appearances for Chelsea but found himself at the centre of a controversy this week after an interview was broadcast in which he said he was unhappy with his role at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has not hidden his displeasure at the unauthorised interview and said during his most recent press conference that he would hold “behind closed doors talks” with Lukaku, who is Chelsea’s record signing.

Lukaku, who arrived at Stamford Bridge from Inter Milan in a deal worth €115 million (£96.4 million) this summer, only returned to training last week having previously suffered from an ankle injury and a bout of COVID-19.

He scored in recent fixtures against Aston Villa and Brighton, but frustrated the club with an interview recorded several weeks ago but aired on Sky Italia on Thursday, in which he said he would like to return to Inter Milan in the near future and was “not happy with the situation” at Chelsea.

“I don’t like it,” Tuchel said in a press conference after the interview had aired.

“But I don’t want to make more out of it than it actually is. It is very easy to take lines out of context.”

Lukaku’s absence for such an important game will surely come as a blow. Chelsea are 11 points behind leaders Manchester City and need to beat Liverpool at home on Sunday to realistically have a chance of competing for the title.

Tuchel reacts to Lukaku’s revelation about being unhappy with the system in Chelsea

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has said he did not like Romelu Lukaku’s decision to speak out about his unhappiness at Stamford Bridge, claiming the striker’s comments were a “surprise” and “not helpful”.

Tuchel admits he is disappointed with the striker’s comments and says the club will be dealing with the matter internally.

“We don’t like it because it brings noise that we don’t need, but on the other side we don’t want to make noise, it’s very easy to make headlines or shorten lines,” said Tuchel, speaking ahead of Sunday’s crucial match against Liverpool.

Lukaku rejoined Chelsea in a £97.5m move from Inter in the summer but has struggled for consistency this season, scoring seven goals in 18 matches.

An ankle injury has hampered his progress and the Belgium international has played the full 90 minutes just once in Chelsea’s last 12 league games – Wednesday’s frustrating 1-1 draw with Brighton.

Speaking earlier this month, Lukaku admitted he is not happy with his current role under Tuchel.

“Physically I’m doing great. I’m just not very happy with the situation, but that’s normal,” Lukaku said.

Lukaku scored 24 league goals last season to help Inter win the Serie A title and the striker says he is keen to move back to Italian football at some point in the future.

Speaking about his departure from the San Siro, Lukaku added: “I don’t think any of it should have happened the way it did. The way I left Inter and the way I communicated with the Inter fans. I’m annoyed about that because it’s not the right time now but it wasn’t the right time when I left either.

FT: Man U 3-1 Burnley: Ronaldo scores his 92nd EPL goal, McTominay stunning goal & Sancho effort ensures Red Devils end year on a high!

Full Time

After a goalless second half, Manchester United have secured the three points at Old Trafford.
Ralf Rangnick’s team are now six games without defeat in the Premier League.
That win lifts United to sixth in the table and level on points with West Ham, who have a marginally better goal difference. Burnley, however, end 2021 in the relegation zone.

McTominay running the show!

Second Half Begins!

We are back on at Old Trafford!

Halftime

That was a cracker of a first half!

Burnley pull one back – Man U 3-1 Burnley

Aaron Lennon is among the scoring.

He wins the ball in the middle of Manchester United’s half, goes on a diagonal run and sends it bouncing into the net from outside the box.

Ronaldoooo – Man U 3-0 Burnley

Scott McTominay is SO close with a stunning effort and Cristiano Ronaldo is there to tap in the rebound.

27′ Goooal – Man U 2 -0 Burnley

Sancho squeezes between two Burnley defenders and sneaks it into the far post.

Manchester United lead 2-0.

Just in!

Timely Goal

8′ Goaaaaal! – Man U 1-0 Burnley

Ronaldo heavy touch trying to control gave McTominay chance to hit it first time from edge of area. Good finish.

Tribute to Fergie

Birthday banner for Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford. The Manchester United great turns 80 on New Year’s Eve.

KICKOFF!

For the final time in 2021, referee, Jonathan Moss, blows the Kickoff whistle!

Manchester United vs Burnley – Starting XI

Welcome to our coverage of the last English Premier league game in 2021. It is Manchester United vs Burnley at Old Trafford.

Chelsea Legend, John Terry, set to return to the club in Academy role

The Chelsea icon was confirmed to have returned to west London in an academy role and has now spoken on his appointment

Amid the announcement on his appointment in the new role, Terry took to Twitter to express his thoughts at what is sure to be an emotional reunion.

He wrote: “I’m delighted to announce that I’m coming home, and have taken up a consultancy role @ChelseaFC academy.

“As well as delivering on field coaching sessions I will be involved in coaching discussions and mentoring our academy players.”

Whilst not in an official managerial role, Terry is the latest in a number of former players to have returned to the club to offer their expertise.

Speaking on Terry’s Chelsea return, the Blues’ head of youth development Neil Bath said: “We are delighted to be welcoming John back to Cobham in a role that will involve coaching and mentoring the next generation of young players in our Academy.

“It goes without saying that John’s experience in the game, both as a world-class player and more recently as an assistant coach in the Premier League, will be invaluable for everyone in the building.

“He will be a great mentor for our players and a fantastic asset to our coaching staff. We can’t wait for him to get started.”

Arsenal coach, Mikel Arteta, set to miss Clash against Man City after testing positive for COVID-19

Mikel Arteta will miss Arsenal’s New Year’s Day clash with Manchester City after testing positive for Covid, nearly two years on from first contracting the virus. 

The Spaniard previously tested positive in March 2020, shortly before English football was shutdown as the country tried to get a grip of the pandemic.

And Arsenal have confirmed that the manager will not be on the touchline for their game with the Premier League leaders at the Emirates Stadium having tested positive again. 

The Gunners were due to play Wolves on Tuesday but the game was postponed after the Molineux outfit were unable to field a side owing to Covid cases and injuries to Bruno Lage’s squad. 

An ’emergency meeting’ is set to be held on Friday among Premier League chiefs as football continues to battle with a surge of Covid outbreaks across the country. 

FT: Leicester 1-0 Liverpool, Lookman goal enough for Foxes to snatch victory from Liverpool!

Full-time

It is over at the King Power Stadium! It ends Leicester 1-0 Liverpool.

Liverpool still searching for a way through

Liverpool have just a few minutes left to salvage a draw against Leicester.

The visitors are pushing ahead and creating chances, but the Foxes have done well to keep them out so far.

Goooooaaal – Leicester 1 – 0 Liverpool

Ademola Lookman has given Leicester the lead!

Shortly after coming off the bench, Lookman passes to Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in the middle of the park and charges forward to receive the ball back.

The 24-year-old gets into the box and blasts into the net.

Second Half

Second Half is underway!

Half-time

It’s all square as the teams head in at the break.

Leicester have given Liverpool some trouble but the defining moment of the half was Salah’s missed penalty.

SAVED!

Salah’s penalty is saved by Schmeichel and his follow-up hits the bar.

PENALTY to Liverpool!

Salah is fouled by Ndidi…

Kick Off!

We are underway at the King Power Stadium.

150th appearance for Virgil

Leicester vs Liverpool – Starting XI

Welcome to our match of the day coverage! It is Leicester vs Liverpool at the King Power Stadium.

Messi leaves Barca, Ronaldo returns to Man United, Italy beat England at Wembley and some of the TOP headlines of 2021

The year 2021 was quite an eventful year in the world of football. We at Apex Football took a look back to see all the major headlines that rocked the world of football and we ranked the TOP 10!

10. Aguero retires from football due to heart problems

Sergio Aguero’s move to La Liga was hit with a snag after he had difficulty breathing in Barca’s game against Alaves. Medical exams showed that Aguero suffered an arrhythmia and although those around him have tried to play down scenarios regarding a potential retirement, the Argentine has decided to call it a day with his football career.

He had made 5 appearances for the Catalans and scored 1 goal against Real Madrid.

9. Inter Milan wins the Serie A for the first time in 11 years 

It took a lot for Inter Milan to end Juventus’ 9-year reign in Italy but Antonio Conte’s side did not relent in their pursuit of the title. They clinched their 19th “Scudetto” on the 2nd of May 2021. Romelu Lukaku was named the player of the year for his contribution towards Inter lifting the trophy. 

8. Lionel Messi wins a record 7th Ballon D’or trophy

Leaving Barcelona was not the only major headline for Lionel Messi this year, he also won a record 7th Ballon D’or! Messi scored 41 goals and registered 17 assists in 56 appearances in all competitions for club and country and led Argentina to a long-awaited Copa America win in the summer.

He also scored two goals as Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 4-0 in the Copa Del Rey final in April. 

7. Argentina wins the Copa America after 28 years! 

Prior to the Copa America tournament in Brazil, Argentina had not lifted the trophy for 28 years! There was so much talk about how Lionel Messi had never won an international trophy. Angel Di Maria’s goal was enough to change the course of history when Argentina met the host Brazil in the final. 

6. Chelsea wins the Champions League 

The 2020/21 season was already looking gloomy for the folks at Stamford Bridge. The Chelsea board were forced to sack club legend, Frank Lampard, after a series of losses that saw the team drop to 10th position on the Premier League table. 

Thomas Tuchel was appointed as the new coach for the Blues and he led them all the way to the Champions League final! It looked impossible against a city side under the management of Pep Guardiola, but Chelsea defeated the Citizens thanks to a lone goal by Kai Harvertz.   

5. European Super League debacle  

This was a major event that rocked world football in 2021. The idea behind forming the Super League was to create a sure-shot big-money competition that would have 15 permanent teams and five additional qualifiers based on their performances in the previous domestic season. Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus and Liverpool were reportedly the four key forces behind the idea of the European Super League. The other teams involved were AC Milan, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City. 

The idea was met with a lot of criticism which had social media rocking with different debates. Chelsea fans held a protest outside Stamford Bridge preventing the team from going in for their game against Brighton. Similar sentiments were echoed across the fanbase of the so-called ‘top six’. 

4. Italy beats England in Wembley to lift Euro 2020 trophy

One of the most dramatic UEFA Euro finals happened this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe during 2020, the tournament was postponed to the summer of 2021, while retaining the name UEFA Euro 2020 and host venues. 

The final took place at Wembley Stadium between Gli Azzuri of Italy and the Three Lions of England on the 11th of July 2021. The event was marred with massive hooliganism but that did not deter the Italians from snatching victory from England. 

The Italians successfully turned the English chant from ‘It’s coming HOME’ to ‘It’s going ROME’. We are sure many English fans want to forget that day in a hurry. 

3. Ronaldo returns to Manchester United 

Another fairy tale story in 2021 was the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United. The Portuguese forward signed a 2-year contract on transfer deadline day. 

He stated that Manchester United has always had a special place in his heart and he could not wait to get the ground running at Old Trafford. Ronaldo scored a brace against Newcastle United in his triumphant return to the Premier League.

2. Messi leaves Barcelona after 21 years

Football fans around the globe were stunned by an unexpected headline on the 5th of August 2021. Barcelona announced on their website that Lionel Messi would leave the club after 21 years. The club cited that Messi was ready to take a 50% pay cut but regulation by La Liga did not permit his inclusion to the team. He had won 35 trophies for the club and 6 Ballon D’or which cemented his legendary status. 

Messi confirmed his exit in an emotional press conference that had fans and lovers of the Argentine forward in tears. The story shook social media to its core with fans debating the next possible club for the Argentine legend.

PSG signed Messi on a 2-year contract and he reunited with his former teammate Neymar in Paris. 

1. Eriksen’s near-death experience at UEFA EURO 2020

Christian Eriksen collapsed whilst representing his country at the UEFA EURO 2020 game against Finland. The whole world watch as Eriksen fought for his life on Live television.

His teammates rallied around him whilst the doctors tried to resuscitate him. It was a touching story that had the football world on standstill! The Danish midfielder could not continue the tournament but he has since been out of harm’s way and looking forward to playing football with a heart-starting device.

Honourable Mentions 

Lukaku’s return to Chelsea (A record £90 million deal)

The takeover of Newcastle by Saudi Arabia

Do you think we missed a top headline? Please share in the comment section below.

FT: Man City 6-3 Leicester; Sterling, KDB, Laporte, Gundogan & Mahrez on targets as Cityzens extend lead at the top; Norwich 0-5 Arsenal; Five-Star Gunners wreak havoc on the Canaries; Tottenham 3-0 Crystal Palace; Kane, Moura & Son ALL score as Zaha is SENT OFF; West Ham 2-3 Southampton; Hammers fall at home

But the surprising result of the afternoon sees Southampton claim all three at the London Stadium, as they beat West Ham United 3-2.

Joy for the Gunners who are still in the hunt for a UEFA Champions League slot. The Arsenal are currently holding on to fourth position.

AT CARROW ROAD, IT FINISHES: Norwich City 0-5 Arsenal

These are good times for the entire Spurs faithful!!!

FULL-TIME AT THE TOTTENHAM HOTSPURS STADIUM: Tottenham Hotspurs 3-0 Crystal Palace

Pep Guardiola’s men increase their lead at the top of the Premier League standings to SIX points, pending when Liverpool plays their game in hand.

FULL-TIME AT THE ETIHAD: Manchester City 6-3 Leicester City

GOOOAAALLLL!!! Manchester City 6-3 Leicester City (R. Sterling)

GOOAALLLL!!! Manchester City 5-3 Leicester City (A. Laporte)

GOOOALLL!!! Manchester City 4-3 Leicester City (K. Iheanacho)

GOOALLLL!!! Manchester City 4-2 Leicester City (A. Lookman)

GOOAALLL!!! Manchester City 4-1 Leicester City (J. Maddison)

SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT THE ETIHAD: Manchester City 4-0 Leicester City

HALF-TIME AT THE ETIHAD: Manchester City 4-0 Leicester City

GOAL: Man City 4-0 Leicester

A fourth for City, and their second penalty of the afternoon. Mahrez took the first, but Sterling steps up this time and picks out the same spot. Foxes falling apart.

GOAL: Man City 3-0 Leicester

Game over at the Etihad. Gundogan puts the finishing touches to a flowing move that puts City in complete control against Leicester – who had been showing signs of life.

GOAL: Man City 2-0 Leicester

Nightmare start for Leicester as they fall two goals down inside 14 minutes. Mahrez makes no mistake from the penalty spot to double Manchester City’s lead.

PENALTY: Man City awarded spot-kick

VAR check at the Etihad Stadium, with a penalty awarded for a tug inside the box from Tielemans at a corner. Looked a bit harsh, but he did take a risk by grabbing at his man.

GOAL: West Ham 0-1 Southampton

No messing around at the London Stadium either, with Elyounoussi putting the Saints in front.

GOAL: Norwich 0-1 Arsenal

There has also been an opener at Carrow Road, with Saka firing the visitors in front. Perfect start for the Gunners.

GOAL: Man City 1-0 Leicester

It has not taken long for the leaders to make a breakthrough, with De Bruyne firing them in front against Leicester.

KICKOFF!

The first three Boxing Day fixtures are underway!

Manchester City vs Leicester City – Starting XI

Norwich vs Arsenal – Starting XI

Tottenham vs Crystal Palace – Starting XI

Welcome to a special Boxing Day live blog! We look forward to some mouthwatering games today.

FT: Liverpool (5) 3-3 (4) Leicester; Jota and Kelleher the heroes as Leicester squander a two-goal lead to suffer elimination; Tottenham 2-1; Brentford 0-2 Chelsea; Madrid win, PSG draw >>>

Carabao Semi Final is set

Arsenal vs Liverpool

Chelsea vs Tottenham

Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Real Madrid

Benzema brace ensures away win for Los Blancos. Real Madrid now have an 8-point cushion at the top of the La liga table going into Christmas.

Liverpool WINS

Jota buries from the spot, sending Liverpool to the semi-final round.

They win 5-4 with Jota and Kelleher the heroes as Leicester squander a two-goal lead to suffer elimination.

What. A. Game.

FT: Lorient 1-1 PSG

Difficult to overstate how lucky PSG got to take something from this game.

Another rudderless display that was lit up by the odd moment of brilliance from Messi.

Ramos see red!

Sergio Ramos has been sent off in the 85th minute with PSG down a goal to Lorient.

Two yellow cards in quick succession for the Spanish star and he’s off with his first dismissal since moving to Paris this summer.

Full time

The final whistle has blown across England, but we’re not done yet…

Spurs and Chelsea are through, having won 2-1 and 2-0 respectively, but Liverpool and Leicester will need to survive penalties to join them in the semi-final round of the Carabao Cup.

3-3 oh my word!

Liverpool have come from 2-0 and 3-1 down, levelling the score at 3-3.

Minamino with the goal in stoppage time and Anfield is going crazy as penalties seemingly loom…

GOAL! Brentford 0-2 Chelsea

Jorginho surely secures Chelsea’s place in the final four from the Penalty spot!

Own Goal! Brentford 0-1 Chelsea

Super footwork from Kante sets in James down the right and his cross is turned into his own net by Pontus Jansson! 😁

Liverpool Again! Liverpool 2-3 Leicester

Liverpool are right back in it, and it has been coming to their credit.

Minamino plays through Jota, who rips a shot past Schmeichel and into the back of the net for his seventh goal in eight matches.

The goal brings the scoreline to 3-2 as the Reds now have 22 minutes or so to find an equalizer.

Anfield is rocking, but can they find a third?

Carabao Cup is back on!

The three games in England are back for the start of the second half.

PSG IS LOSING

A tough start for PSG, who find themselves 1-0 at the half against Lorient.
Thomas Monconduit has fired the hosts ahead as Ligue 1’s leaders will need to battle back away from home.

Madrid Leading Atletic Bilbao 0-2 Madrid

Meanwhile, Benzema brace has given Real Madrid a fantastic start.

Half-time in the Carabao

What a start, at least in two of the games.

Leicester are up 3-1 against Liverpool thanks to a Vardy brace and a Maddison stunner, with Oxlade-Chamberlain the goalscorer for the hosts.

Spurs are also leading, as they sit up 2-1 against West Ham after a pair of quickfire goals in that one.

Finally, there’s Chelsea and Brentford, who remain deadlocked at 0-0 after 45 minutes.

KICKOFF IN SPAIN

Atletico Bilbao vs Real Madrid game is underway!

Goaaaal!!! – Liverpool 1-3 Leicester

A 30-yard screamer from Maddison! What a goal from the Leicester man!

Goal – Tottenham 2-1 West Ham

Absolutely incredible footwork from Bergwijn who puts it on a plate for Lucas!

Goal – Tottenham 1-1 West Ham

Brilliant goal from Bowen after Dier gives ball away trying to play out. West Ham fully deserve that, they had three good efforts in the few minutes between Spurs going ahead and Bowen’s equaliser.

Goooooaaal – Tottenham 1-0 West Ham

Bergwijn scores but he owes a lot to Hojbjerg. Drives forward into the box, plays a one-two with Bergwijn. Hojbjerg then squares it back to Bergwijn, who squeezes a shot into the net.

Goal – Liverpool 1-2 Leicester

Really good play from Tsimikas and Firmino in particular, Oxlade-Chamberlain fires home from the edge of the box. Liverpool back in it!

Vardy Again!! – Liverpool 0-2 Leicester

This time Dewsbury-Hall feeds Daka, his low ball across is slotted home by Vardy – his second in a matter of minutes!

Gooooooaaaal – Liverpool 0-1 Leicester

Clinical finish from Vardy low past Kelleher from Maddison’s pass. Came after Tsimikas couldn’t find Oxlade-Chamberlain on the break and Leicester sprung quickly.

KICK OFF!

The Carabao Cup games are underway!!!

Liverpool vs Leicester Starting XI

Salah and Mane do not make the Liverpool squad for the Carabao Cup. Vardy starts in attack for the Foxes as they look to progress to the next round.

Tottenham vs West Ham Starting XI

The Spurs team also see a heavy rotation with players like Doherty and Bergwijn coming into the fold. Moyes field senior players like Bowen, Masuaku and Rice.

Brentford vs Chelsea Starting XI

Tuchel makes eight changes to the team that filed out against wolves. Academy players, Simons, Vale and Soonsup-Bell make their first-team appearance for the Blues while Webster and Hall are on the bench.

Liverpool vs Leicester

Tottenham vs West Ham

Brentford vs Chelsea

WELCOME!

Welcome to another Live Blog by Apex football. We would be covering a number of exciting games today so be sure to tighten your seatbelt for the long ride! 

Our coverage begins with the remaining Quarter final fixtures of the Carabao Cup in England. Brentford would play host to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, Liverpool will slug it out with Leicester at Anfield, while Spurs have the Hammers to worry about in London. 

In the French Ligue 1, Messi would have to contend with Lorient himself as PSG would be without Neymar (injured) and Mbappe (suspended). In Spain, Madrid would faceoff with Atletico Bilbao in an away encounter that would solidify their grip at the top into the NEW YEAR! 

🎥 Video: Watch Kylian Mbappe’s best goals as the PSG Forward turns 23!

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JULY 15: Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates with the World Cup Trophy following his sides victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

We celebrate the birthday of one of the most outstanding attackers in football today, Kylian Mbappe, with a quick look at some of the best moments of his career. 

There are players that find it difficult to break into first-team action in their early twenties but Mbappe’s story is not like that. Instead, he has seen a blazing start to his career with wonderful goals and important trophies. 

At the age of 23, Kylian Mbappe is a World Cup winner, 4-time Ligue 1 winner and countless individual accolades.

Here is a look at some of his best goals: