chelsea

Championship Sunday focus: Chelsea

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Story so far… So close but yet so far. Both domestically and in Europe the Blues have come up just short as Jose Mourinho led the West Londoners to the UEFA Champions League semifinals, where they lost to Atletico Madrid, and points dropped against Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Norwich in the closing weeks have cost them a shot at the Premier League title. Eden Hazard won the PFA Young Player of the Year award and has been Chelsea’s main goal threat. It has been an up and down season, as no silverware for the ‘Special One’ must be a concern. Over the course of the season we’ve seen his infamous cynicism surface on many occasions, no more so than when he lost his 77-game home unbeaten record in the PL to Sunderland.

Mourinho demands success and he hasn’t delivered silverware in his first season back in charge at the Bridge. New signings Willian, Andre Schurrle and Nemanja Matic are finding their feet and Mourinho’s “kids” are alright.

MORE: Head here for all things Championship Sunday

 Who do they play and where can I watch it: Chelsea travel to already relegated Cardiff City, as the Blues head to the Welsh capital with their title hopes dashed. You can watch the match live on CNBC at 10 a.m. ET and stream it online via NBC Sports Live Extra.

Form guide: The Blues beat Cardiff 4-1 at Stamford Bridge back in October after going 1-0 down. In recent weeks they have struggled against the lesser teams and their form has been patchy at best heading into the finale.

March 29 – at Crystal Palace, L 0-1
April 5 – vs. Stoke City, W 3-0
April 13 – at Swansea, W 1-0
April 19 – vs. Sunderland, L 1-2
April 27 – at Liverpool, W 2-0
May 4 – vs.  Norwich City, D 0-0

What’s at stake: Chelsea have already qualified automatically for the UCL group stages next season, which is what Mourinho kept saying was the goal. They could finish second if they win and Liverpool lose on Sunday, while Arsenal can overtake them only by winning and scoring 18 goals in the process and a defeat for Chelsea. The Blues are looking at third for the second-straight season.

When the final whistle blows: They will still be in third place after facing already relegated Cardiff City on the final day of the season in South Wales. The big question will be if Diego Costa seals his much rumored transfer to West London as Mourinho looks to add two or three key signings.

VIDEO: T&T women’s team gives away one of the most bizarre PKs

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Play until you hear the referee’s whistle. In theory, so simple. In practice, it only takes a single second of concentration lapse to become an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons.

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Such is life for Karyn Forbes, member of the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national soccer team. In the above video, you’ll observe Forbes, a 24-year-old midfielder, giving away perhaps the most bizarre penalty kick you’ll ever see. You’ll have to watch for yourself to believe it.

[ MORE: USWNT opens Olympic qualifying with 5-0 victory ]

Unfortunately for Forbes, though the whole of the ball might have crossed the whole of the end line, the referee did not blow her whistle… not until Forbes picked the ball up with her hands and carried it to her goalkeeper.

Bundesliga to go ahead with video replay tests over two years

FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, file photo, a Hawk-Eye camera is set up at Toyota stadium in Toyota. For the first time at a World Cup, technology will be used to determine whether a ball crosses the goal line during matches at the upcoming tournament in Brazil. With vanishing spray also being used to prevent encroachment by defenders making up a wall during free kicks, officials at the highest level of the world’s most popular sport are finally getting some assistance. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)
AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama
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BERLIN (AP) The German Football League (DFL) has given the go-ahead for the possible testing of video replays in the Bundesliga over a two-year pilot phase.

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The DFL says it will be lodging an application with FIFA to take part if the pilot phase is approved by the International Football Association Board at its next annual general meeting on March 5.

The DFL says video replays could be used by a “team of impartial match officials for the purpose of avoiding any evidently incorrect decisions” and that the pilot phase would be preceded by “intensive preparations.”

[ MORE: 17-year-old American MF Pulisic gets Bundesliga debut for Dortmund ]

These would include the settlement of costs among FIFA, the IFAB, the DFL and German football federation, as well as training for the candidates.

West Ham extend Payet’s contract in “enormous show of faith”

West Ham’s Dimitri Payet celebrates after scoring while soap bubbles are blown during the English Premier League soccer match between West Ham and Newcastle at Boleyn Ground in London, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
AP Photo/Frank Augstein
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West Ham United hope Dimitri Payet is going absolutely nowhere after the club announced on Thursday the 28-year-old Frenchman has signed a contract extension through the summer of 2021.

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Payet’s current contract was scheduled to keep him at the Premier League club through the summer of 2020, but a series of standout performances (6 goals, 4 assists so far this season, mostly during the season’s opening three months) and rumors of interest from “bigger” clubs meant tacking on another year — and plenty more cash — was the best way to keep Payet in east London for the foreseeable future. The club confirmed earlier this week that negotiations over an extension were underway.

“He’s the best player I’ve signed in 25 years,” said West Ham co-owner David Sullivan. “He’s a [$43 million] player. He’s a supreme footballer. He makes every player in our side play better. On his day, he’s world class, he’s unstoppable.”

Payet, who’s been at West Ham just eight months after signing last summer, could still depart in the summer should he finish the current season strong and/or show up and show out at the European Championship, which kicks off in June. In that event, West Ham would now bag a much heftier transfer fee than they would have done prior to the extension.

VIDEO: Dele Alli’s magnificent juggling goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon

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Remember that Dele Alli goal? No, not that one… that one. Of course you remember it. How could you not?

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How often does a player receive the ball out of the air, flick it over his head, spin 180 degrees and hit an inch-perfect volley from 20 yards out to secure all three points for his team? The answer is, of course, not very often.

[ MORE: Top 5 Premier League storylines — Sunday’s top-four battle royal

Thus, a goal such as Alli’s stunning winner against Crystal Palace last month has been, and will continue to be, immortalized through numerous recreations in this Digital Age. Above is Alli’s goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon.