Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Cracks could be beginning to form in the Chelsea squad as they lost out on a chance to compete for the UEFA Champions League title.
Following Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat on Wednesday evening, winger Eden Hazard seemed to take a shot at Jose Mourinho’s tactical approach as a reason for the loss.
“Chelsea are not made to play football, we are good on the counter-attack, a bit like Real against Bayern Munich,” Hazard told BeIN Sports. “Often, I’m asked to do it all by myself and it’s not easy.”
Mourinho was criticized by fans and media alike after the first leg against Atletico Madrid and against Liverpool because of their negative and defensive style that isn’t as crowd pleasing as a more open, free-flowing style.
Hazard has been a key player for Chelsea since joining in June 2012, but the club is on the verge of failing to bring home any silverware this season. The chance to win the English Premier League is still alive, though Chelsea’s destiny is not in their hands.
Here are some more stories to start off your Thursday:
JUVENTUS TO MEET WITH POGBA’S AGENT
With the summer transfer window coming soon, Juventus are looking to lock down their best young player.
Juventus are attempting to negotiate a new contract for midfielder Paul Pogba and his agent, Mino Raiola, is expected to be in attendance at Juventus Stadium for Juve’s Europa League match against Benfica on Thursday. Juventus are offering improved terms of around 4.5 million euros ($6.2 million) but according to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Raiola is asking for 8 million euros per season.
If Juventus and Raiola can’t come to an agreement, Paris Saint-Germain is in prime position to sign the French midfielder, having made a reported 70 million euro offer to Juventus.
Pogba is currently earning a reported 1.5 million euros on a contract through June 2017.
CLUB AMERICA ROUT SANTOS LAGUNA, CRUZ AZUL DRAW LEON
Raul Jimenez played the hero at Estadio Azteca for Mexico last year against Panama, and he did it again for his club side on Wednesday night.
The Club America forward scored a second-half hat-trick in 27 minutes to lead his team to a wild 5-3 first-leg victory against Santos Laguna in the quarterfinals of the Clausura Liguilla. Two of Jimenez’s goals came off headers and the third came from a cheeky back heel that deflected in to give America the lead for good in the 87th minute.
America were on the board first when Osvaldo Martinez scored in the 12th minute before Santos scored three straight goals to seemingly take control of the tie. The second goal from Darwin Quintero was controversial as a ball played to him looked to have deflected off the hand of teammate Oribe Peralta into Quintero’s path.
But in the 60th minute, Jimenez and America sprang to life with the first of four straight goals, finished by Rubens Sambueza’s goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time. America lost Francisco “Maza” Rodriguez to a straight red card in stoppage time as well.
Also in action on Wednesday evening, Club Leon tied Cruz Azul, 1-1, in their first-leg quarterfinal match-up.
Chivas fired head coach Ricardo La Volpe after just four games in charge due to alleged “inappropriate conduct” toward a female staffer. (REPORT)
Jack Wilshere is still on track to be fit for the 2014 World Cup but Andros Townsend has been ruled out with an ankle injury. (REPORT)
Barcelona are eying Fiorentina full back Juan Cuadrado as a potential successor to Dani Alves. (REPORT)
Former Juventus, Italy, and Republic of Ireland head coach Giovanni Trapattoni is close to taking over as manager of the Morocco National Team. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you agree with Hazard’s sentiment? Think that Pogba could leave Juve this summer? What did you think of America’s comeback?
Share your thoughts below.