UEFA Boss Aleksander Ceferin gives update on Champions League Semi-finals – OhMyArsenal
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UEFA Boss Aleksander Ceferin gives update on Champions League Semi-finals

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There is only a “small possibility” that next week’s Champions League semi-final between Real Madrid and Chelsea will not take place, claims UEFA boss, despite European Super League fallout

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has assessed the likelihood of next week’s Champions League semi-final between Real Madrid and Chelsea taking place.

The two clubs were among the 12 founding members of the European Super League although the Blues subsequently pulled out alongside all other five Premier League clubs.

However, Spanish champions Madrid are one of the four clubs – alongside Barcelona, Juventus and AC Milan – who have not yet announced their withdrawal from the project, of which their president Florentino Perez is the chairman.

The Super League proposals had led to suggestions those clubs could be excluded from European competition as early as this season; Manchester City are in the other semi-final tie while Manchester United and Arsenal are in the last four of the Europa League.

However, the boss of UEFA has now explained that – whilst there is a “small possibility” that the games may be cancelled – the nature of the TV deals make that unlikel

Ceferin told the TV channel 24UR in his native Slovenia, as per the Mail : “The key is that this season has already started, so broadcasters would come at us for damages if we don’t play the semi-finals.

Despite the Super League project seemingly falling apart, there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the possible ramifications for the clubs involved and if the plans will be revived.

 

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Latest Chelsea News

Just In: UEFA Changed Champions League Final Venue, See New Venue & Date

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The Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City will be moved to Porto’s Estadio do Dragao from Istanbul, UEFA is set to announce.

UEFA had wanted to move the final to Wembley and was in talks with the UK government, but there was a considerable sticking point over waiving quarantine rules for the 2,000 staff, sponsors, VIPs and foreign media.

The fixture was due to take place at the Ataturk Stadium on May 29, but pressure mounted for the venue to be changed after the UK government placed Turkey on its ‘red’ list of at-risk countries and urged fans not to travel for the fixture. UK citizens returning from red-list countries are required to quarantine at a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

The capacity at the Estadio do Dragao is 50,000 and UEFA is in talks with the Portuguese government to allow 20,000 to attend the final. That would mean up to 6,000 tickets for fans of each club.

Fans have not been allowed to attend games in Portugal this season but the Portuguese league announced on Wednesday that they would be able to watch the final round of league games next Wednesday with stadium capacities capped at 10 per cent.

Portugal is on the government green list so UK visitors will be able to travel there from Sunday. They will not need to quarantine but they will have to take Covid-19 tests before and after they travel.

It would have been cheaper and easier for UEFA to host the game at Wembley – which already has the infrastructure set up to be a UEFA European Championship venue next month – but the governing body felt it could not do so without the guarantee of government waivers.

As far as UEFA is concerned, fans would not be able to attend at all if the final had remained in Istanbul so it believes it has tried to do the best in difficult circumstances.

As far as Chelsea and City supporters are concerned, the final should be at Wembley.

This will be the third final in Portugal in eight years but the first in Porto.

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Latest Chelsea News

It is on me’ – Thomas Tuchel admits he made too many mistakes to his Chelsea side against Arsenal

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Thomas Tuchel has admitted making too many changes to his Chelsea side cost them the game against Arsenal.

 

The Blues fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Arsenal on Wednesday night with Emile Smith Rowe scoring the game’s only goal.

 

Tuchel made seven changes to the side that beat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium at the weekend with one eye firmly on Saturday’s FA Cup final against Leicester City.

 

Speaking after the defeat, Tuchel conceded he had made a mistake in making so many changes – also suggesting he had fears over certain players coming into the match after recent training sessions.

 

Tuchel told Sky Sports: ‘We could not put up the same intensity and energy as usual.

 

‘It is on me, I think it was too many changes from the last match and I take full responsibility for that and maybe it is the last wake up call for all of us.’

 

He added: ‘I felt it coming a little bit yesterday in training and I’m a bit unlucky that it has proven today on the pitch.

I regret that, but it’s like this. It’s ‘we could have, we could have, we could have’, but we didn’t and that’s what it’s all about.’

 

Defeat drags Chelsea firmly back into a battle for a top four finish.

 

Following their FA Cup meeting with Leicester, they head to the King Power Stadium for their penultimate league match of the season next Tuesday.

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Video Highlights, Full Match Analysis: Chelsea 0 – 1 Arsenal

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Emile Smith Rowe denied Chelsea the chance to cement their top-four status as he took advantage of Jorginho’s howler to give Arsenal a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues would have all but secured their Champions League qualification with a victory which would have taken them 10 points clear of Liverpool, who have four games left to play, but after making seven changes ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final, struggled to create clear-cut chances.

Kai Havertz should have put them ahead 10 minutes in when he intercepted Gabriel’s loose pass for Pablo Mari and raced clean through, but then fired over Bernd Leno’s bar with only his compatriot to beat. Moments later Jorginho’s equally poor back-pass was kept out by Kepa Arrizabalaga at full stretch, but Smith Rowe was on hand to bundle home after being teed up by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Chelsea were dominant for the large majority of the remaining 75 minutes without forcing Leno into any uncomfortable saves until the final minute. They did beat him through Pulisic’s close-range header from a corner, which was swiftly denied by a VAR review, before the German produced a stunning stop to tip Kurt Zouma’s header onto the crossbar, which was then rattled by Olivier Giroud’s shot on the rebound.

Player Ratings

Chelsea: Kepa (6), James (6), Azpilicueta (6), Silva (6), Zouma (6), Chilwell (5), Jorginho (4), Gilmour (5), Pulisic (5), Mount (6), Havertz (5).

Subs: Hudson-Odoi (6), Giroud (6), Ziyech (5).

Arsenal: Leno (7), Gabriel (6), Mari (7), Holding (6), Tierney (7), Partey (6), Elneny (8), Saka (5), Odegaard (6), Smith Rowe (7), Aubameyang (5).

Subs: Bellerin (6), Lacazette (5), Chambers (6).

Man of the match: Mohamed Elneny

What the managers said…

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel told Sky Sports: “We had three days, we are on a good run, we had a good mood. The choices were not so good today from my side for the line-up so that’s on me. We were unlucky, of course. But we did everything today to lose.

“I’m not happy with my line-up. It’s easy to say afterwards. But it was too many changes, I should not have done it like this. It’s something in particular – but I will not tell you!”

 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports: “I don’t know how they’re going to try from the outside but from the inside, nothing is broken.

“They’re going to put things on me that I never said, you can see the spirit of the team from the first minute. You can never doubt their efforts and how much they try.”

Match stats

  1. Arsenal completed their first Premier League double over Chelsea since the 2003-04 season, while this was their first league win at Stamford Bridge since October 2011, ending an eight-game winless run there (D2 L6).
  2. Chelsea suffered only their third defeat in 26 matches in all competitions under Thomas Tuchel (W17 D6), with all three defeats coming at Stamford Bridge.
  3. Arsenal have won three consecutive away Premier League matches without conceding for the first time since May 2013 under Arsène Wenger.
  4. Arsenal have had a different player aged younger than 21 score in each of their last three Premier League matches against Chelsea – Gabriel Martinelli in January 2020, Bukayo Saka in December 2020 and Emile Smith Rowe tonight.

What’s next?

Chelsea are off to Wembley in the FA Cup final on Saturday, where they will face Leicester City; Kick-off at 5.15pm.

Arsenal’s penultimate game of the season is also in London, with a trip to Crystal Palace next Wednesday night; Kick-off at 7pm.

📽️ Watch The Video Highlights:

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