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Alvaro Morata’s comments concerning for Chelsea?

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On Monday Alvaro Morata backtracked quicker than a man moon-walking.

[ MORE: Now or never for Tottenham? ]

The Spanish international was quoted by an Italian newspaper saying that London fascinated him but that “I do not see myself living here for very long. Too much, too much stress, too many metropolises.”

Add to that his glowing praise of the lifestyle in Italy from his time spent at Juventus in the past — “for a Spaniard is the best country to live. You have everything: beauty, history, art, cooking, fashion. I would never have left Italy and Juve” — and Chelsea’s fans were correctly concerned.

Morata, 25, addressed the media ahead of Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League group stage game with AS Roma and wanted to put the record straight as he blamed a “connection problem” for the less than complementary quotes attributed to him.

“I’m really happy here and enjoying London with my wife,” Morata said. “When I finish my career, I prefer to come back to my country. I prefer the place where I was born, that’s normal. When I say London is a stressful city, I’m talking about the traffic and a lot of people. It’s an incredible city. If Chelsea proposed 10 years, I’d probably sign it. I’m happy with everything. If I make good and improve, I can stay here more than five years.”

So, we may not see Morata sipping on tea along the River Thames or raving about the transport system in England’s capital city anytime soon, but should we really be concerned about that?

No.

Morata is a human being with opinions and if he and his wife (who is Italian, by the way) prefer living in Italy to England, that’s fine. I’m sure most English people would probably prefer to hang out in the Italian Alps or on the Amalfi Coast given the chance.

That’s what makes this the most perplexing. Morata’s comments suggested he wouldn’t be at Chelsea for long, but he signed a five-year contract in the summer and nowhere did he say he wouldn’t at least honor that. His overzealous denial was a little cringe-worthy but at least he tried to rectify the situation with Chelsea’s fans having their noses put a little out of joint.

Morata’s ability is undoubted and Chelsea’s fans shouldn’t be too concerned about his comments. I’m sure if you asked most Premier League players about their long-term plans of where they will live, not many will say where they currently reside. That’s the way it is. Let’s move on.

The added issue when it comes to Morata’s comments is that his manager at Chelsea, Antonio Conte, continues to be linked with a move back to Italy and has also been quoted as saying similar things in the Italian media. Chelsea’s fans, understandably, don’t want to lose their manager and star striker in one fell swoop.

Plus, coming after Diego Costa left for Atletico Madrid after he admitted to not settling in England (to go along with his spat with Conte), Morata’s comments were perhaps a little too close to home for Chelsea’s fan to handle.

Was it ill-advised for Morata to talk negatively about the city and area where he plays? Yes. Of course. Should he be lambasted for being honest? No.

Chelsea’s fans should only be worried once he stops scoring goals.

Wigan player races off for son’s birth after scoring 2 goals

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WIGAN, England (AP) It was better than a hat trick.

A player for English soccer team Wigan had a night to remember when he scored his second goal before dashing off the field and to the local hospital, where his girlfriend was in labor.

[ MORE: Chelsea advances to UCL Round of 16 after win over Qarabag ]

A picture of Ryan Colclough holding his new-born baby, Harley, while still in his soccer uniform was shared on social media by Wigan chairman David Sharpe.

Colclough said his father, sitting in the stands on Tuesday for Wigan’s 3-0 win over Doncaster in the second division, “gave me the action that the waters had broken,” but he didn’t want to come off until the ball was out of play.

“My head was a little bit battered, but I went and scored, looked at the manager and he said we’ll bring you off now,” Colclough said Wednesday of his 58th-minute goal, which he celebrated by pretending to rock a baby. “I came off and was straight down the tunnel, grabbed my keys and my phone, and went to hospital.”

Colclough had visited the midwife that day, and was told the baby was unlikely to arrive for “another couple of days.”

Lille suspends coach Marcelo Bielsa

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LILLE, France (AP) French club Lille has provisionally suspended coach Marcelo Bielsa following a string of poor results in the top tier.

[ MORE: Basel stuns Man United late to keep UCL hopes alive ]

The northern side said in a statement that Bielsa has been suspended “as part of a procedure started by the club.” Lille did not elaborate.

Bielsa joined Lille this season but has failed to make the club competitive again, with the team second to last after 13 matches.

The 2 Robbies podcast: PL sides in the UCL, Pulis sacking and more

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In today’s Euro Pod Edition, the Robbies breakdown the latest Champions League action. Man United lose at Basel, Chelsea cruise at Qarabag, Spurs impress against Dortmund, Man City continue to win, Liverpool surrender a 3-goal lead against Sevilla. Plus, the guys weigh in on the Oumar Niasse ban for diving and the Tony Pulis sacking.

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

Europa League preview: Arsenal looks to wrap up Group H and more

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While several teams have already booked their place in the knockout phase, the Europa League reaches its penultimate round on Thursday with many big matches in hand.

[ MORE: Yannick Bolasie finally returns to Everton training ]

Of the two Premier League sides in the competition, only one will advance to the Round of 32, as Arsenal have all but assured themselves of the top spot in Group H. The Gunners can do so tomorrow with a win over Koln or a Red Star Belgrade defeat.

The other end of the spectrum features Everton, who has already been eliminated from reaching the next round after acquiring just one point in its first four matches.

European giants AC Milan can lock up a spot in the knockout phase on Thursday despite the club’s ongoing struggles in Serie A, while fellow Italian side Atalanta can move a step closer to the Round of 32 in Group E along with Lyon.

Here’s the full rundown of Thursday’s UEL matches.

Astana vs. Villareal — 11 a.m. ET
Konyaspor vs. Marseille — 1 p.m. ET
Rosenborg vs. Real Sociedad — 1 p.m. ET
Lazio vs. Vitesse — 1 p.m. ET
Viktoria Plzen vs. Steaua Bucuresti — 1 p.m. ET
Lokomotiv vs. Copenhagen — 1 p.m. ET
Zenit vs. Vardar — 1 p.m. ET
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Vitoria — 1 p.m. ET
Athletic Bilbao vs. Hertha Berlin — 1 p.m. ET
BATE vs. Red Star Belgrade — 1 p.m. ET
Ostersund vs. Zorya — 1 p.m. ET
Koln vs. Arsenal — 1 p.m. ET
Nice vs. Zulte Waregem — 1 p.m. ET
Lugano vs. Beer-Sheva — 1 p.m. ET
Ludogorets vs. Istanbul — 3:05 p.m. ET
Braga vs. Hoffenheim — 3:05 p.m. ET
AEK vs. Rijeka — 3:05 p.m. ET
AC Milan vs. Austria Wien — 3:05 p.m. ET
Lyon vs. Apollon — 3:05 p.m. ET
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Slavia Praha — 3:05 p.m. ET
Sheriff vs. Zlin — 3:05 p.m. ET
Partizan vs. Young Boys — 3:05 p.m. ET
Skenderbeu vs. Dynamo Kyiv — 3:05 p.m. ET
Everton vs. Atalanta — 3:05 p.m. ET