Romelu Lukaku is out to prove Jose Mourinho wrong

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Romelu Lukaku has told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad that he is determined to show Jose Mourinho that his decision to send him out on loan was a mistake.

When asked why the Chelsea manager decided to loan him out, Lukaku replied: “I can not do much. The coach decides and as a player you have to respect that. I then chose to leave and it’s up to me to prove wrong the trainer.”

This by no means sour grapes by Lukaku as it was clearly his decision to leave Stamford Bridge, likely after being informed of the stiff competition he’d be facing with Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba all on the books. Whether or not Lukaku was told where he lay in that pecking order, however, remains unclear.

Nevertheless, Mourinho obviously provided him with enough information to decide that a loan deal was the optimal choice.

So far, Lukaku has being doing an excellent job of proving Mourinho wrong. Three league matches into his Everton loan and the Belgian has already scored four times, which is four more times than Eto’o, Torres and Ba.

In the meantime, Lukaku maintains a positive attitude on his two year wait at Chelsea. “It’s been two years already and then you go you ask. But, c’est la vie . The only thing I can do is play well and score a lot. And then I think people will say that I’m a good player.”

As for Mourinho, though, Lukaku holds no ill sentiment. “I hope the best for Chelsea. Mourinho is a good coach. I think he makes his choices in good faith. I do that too. The performance that I deliver at Everton, are the proof.”

So is there a Chelsea striker that can come close to the goal haul that Lukaku will see assuming he stays healthy?

Last year the Belgian scored 17 goals in 35 league matches with West Brom while Eto’o put away 7 in 12 league matches at Anzhi, Torres scored 8 in 36 games and Ba netted twice in 14.

AT THE HALF: Manchester derby scoreless after 45 minutes

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After 45 minutes, the final Manchester derby of the 2016-17 Premier League season — the one that’ll go a long, long way toward deciding which of the city’s sides will finish in the top-four — is scoreless, but not without incident.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

The game’s best chances thus far fell Manchester City’s way, as Sergio Aguero missed a clear-cut chance after 10 minutes — Kevin De Bruyne whipped in the perfect ball to the back post, and Aguero put it wrong side of David De Gea‘s post.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ander Herrera has, once again, be Manchester United’s danger man, combining well with Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but Claudio Bravo made the one save he was forced into during the first half. One thing to keep an eye on during the final 45 minutes: Rashford picked up a knock very early on, and struggled to move around the field after that.

STREAM LIVE: The Manchester Derby

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The third Manchester Derby of the season is the first away from Old Trafford, as Manchester United visits Manchester City (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

There’s much on the line, as the sides sit just two points apart in the race for the Top Four. Man City would leapfrog third-place Liverpool with a win, while United could join the Reds on 66 points with a match-in-hand.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

Sergio Aguero starts for Man City, with Gabriel Jesus on the bench.

On the other side, it’ll be a physical middle-third guarded by Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, and Marouane Fellaini. Wayne Rooney and Jesse Lingard start on the bench.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Bravo, Zabaleta, Kompany (C), Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Sterling, De Bruyne, Sane, Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Sagna, Fernando, Navas, Clichy, Gabriel Jesus, A. Garcia

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Darmian; Herrera, Carrick, Fellaini, Mkhitaryan; Rashford, Martial. Subs: Romero, Shaw, Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe, Young, Lingard, Rooney.

Ex-Liverpool CEO shares biting story of Suarez transfer

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Ian Ayre’s got jokes.

The former Liverpool CEO lifted the lid on some transfer stories during a Merseyside lecture this week.

Of note, Ayre admitted that the club thought Dele Alli demanded too much given what he had produced when the Reds has the chance to sign him as a 16-year-old, and said that Liverpool could’ve landed Alexis Sanchez but the player wanted to live in London (“We couldn’t move the football club to London, unfortunately,” he quipped).

The best part relayed by Sky Sports had to do with Luis Suarez, and shows the relentless nature of the transfer market. Clearly Barcelona had interest in Suarez before the fiery striker bit Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, because, well…

“I remember the sporting director of Barcelona calling me during that game, immediately as Suarez bit the player, and he said to me ‘my friend, he’s bitten somebody, how can this be the price?’ I said ‘he’d already bitten somebody when you first bid!'”

We’re sure there’s a certain amount of storytelling in there, but undoubtedly some truth.

Given Barca paid a reported $84 million for the striker, the asking price couldn’t have started that much higher.

Men in Blazers podcast: Chelsea tops Spurs, Top Four predictions

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Rog and Davo return to discuss Chelsea’s FA Cup semifinal victory over Spurs, update their Top Four predictions (again), and dive into the depths of the relegation zone. Plus, the very important movement to change “Hudson Street” to “Ray Hudson Street.”

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