David Luiz

AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Chelsea 3-3 Roma – Thrills at the Bridge

Leave a comment
  • Luiz, Hazard put Chelsea up 2-0
  • Kolarov, Dzeko brace flip lead
  • Hazard nabs equalizer
  • U.S. U-20 mid Scott on bench for Chelsea

Eden Hazard scored twice as Chelsea overcame the sacrifice of a 2-0 lead and the Blues drew AS Roma 3-3 at Stamford Bridge in UEFA Champions League action on Wednesday.

David Luiz also scored for Chelsea. Ex-Man City men Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov starred for Roma, with Dzeko scoring twice and Kolarov adding a goal and an assist.

Chelsea has seven points to lead Group C, two more than Roma and five ahead of third-placed Atletico Madrid. The sides will meet again in Rome on Halloween.

[ MORE: Landon Donovan, USSF prez? ]

Luiz started the scoring with a delightful strike. Call it a second bite at the proverbial apple if you must, but then admit he sunk his teeth into it.

Eden Hazard made a darting run to double Chelsea’s lead, but Kolarov pulled Roma within one with a deflected strike past Thibaut Courtois.

Diego Perotti curled a shot that hardly troubled Courtois in the 63rd minute, the Chelsea keeper just leaving his feet collect it.

Dzeko and Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Then the former Man City striker struck again, seeing a long diagonal ball over his shoulder and whizzing a perfect left-footed volley through the flailing arms of Courtois.

Dzeko then made a late move before a Kolarov free kick to lose his mark and nod home a go-ahead goal.

It wasn’t over, as Hazard found his way to space and a cross from Pedro.

The Belgian headed his chance beyond a diving Alisson, and it was 3-3 with 15 minutes to play.

American-English midfielder Kyle Scott did not make his Chelsea bow. The 19-year-old has represented England at the U-16 level and the U.S. at the U-18 and U-20 levels.

Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images
2 Comments
  • Away team has won five of six
  • Palace goalless, winless through seven
  • Chelsea leads all-time 21W-15D-10L

A fixture that has been anything but predictable gives moribund Crystal Palace a bit of hope versus Chelsea this weekend, though being at home has not been a boon to either London side in this series (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE ONLINE AT 10 A.M. ET SATURDAY

The visitors have claimed all three points on four-straight occasions between Palace and Chelsea, and the Blues will be keen to strike following a loss to Man City which dipped them six points back of the throne.

Both teams have their star attackers the fittest they’ve been this season, with Eden Hazard ready to roar for Chelsea and Wilfried Zaha‘s Palace return imminent.

But Chelsea has concerns with Alvaro Morata and N'Golo Kante out, though David Luiz returns from suspension.

What they’re saying

Palace’s Zaha on life at Selhurst Park“Players are not robots. You have got feelings. Bad games, good games, your emotions change all the time. Having someone who is just going to ask you now and then how you are makes a big difference, especially for me. It [feeling loved] is massive. I am a confidence player. So even just having the fans signing, “he’s just too good for you!” . . . these people proper love me. When my confidence is high I am able to do things that I do not even think I could do.”

Chelsea’s Hazard on his return“I missed football for three months [and] it’s not easy to come back after a big injury but I did. I worked out during the summer. I just want to play football. I will miss some games, I will play bad for some games. I just want to play football and try to bring the best of me.”

Prediction

It’s difficult to keep a straight face and pick Palace to get anything from a match right now, and even Zaha’s probable return coupled with some Chelsea injuries won’t lead us down that path. Chelsea 3-0.

Batshuayi scores at the death as Chelsea wins at Atleti

AP Photo/Francisco Seco
Leave a comment

Michy Batshuayi‘s stoppage time goal lifted Chelsea to a dramatic comeback 2-1 win over hosts Atletico Madrid 1-1 in UEFA Champions League action at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday.

Alvaro Morata’s second half goal offset a David Luiz-conceded penalty as Chelsea equalized vs. Atletico Madrid, setting the stage for Batshuayi.

Antoine Griezmann scored Atleti’s PK.

Atleti next plays Oct. 18 at Qarabag, while Chelsea hosts AS Roma at Stamford Bridge.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

It didn’t take long for Chelsea to show promise of an opener, and Eden Hazard was among the Blues to challenge Atleti backstop Jan Oblak.

Yet it was Atleti who’d go ahead in the 40th minute through a penalty, with David Luiz conceding the opportunity with a shove on a corner kick. Griezmann finished his chance because, well, Griezmann.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Morata kept paying Chelsea back for their massive purchase, bagging an equalizer off a nice feed from Hazard.

And Morata was knocking on the door again, but missed wide of the post after beating Oblak.

Chelsea would’ve been content with the point, but Batshuayi buried a Marcos Alonso cross to keep the Blues atop Group C.

Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal: Chippy affair ends scoreless

1 Comment
  • Ozil out
  • Sanchez, Hazard don’t start
  • Luiz sent off, 88′

Arsenal supporters will be heartened by its club’s even performance at Stamford Bridge as the Gunners drew reigning champions Chelsea 0-0 on Sunday.

Chelsea’s 10 points are three back of leaders Manchester City, while Arsenal’s seven place it 12th.

David Luiz was given a straight red card in the 87th minute, and will miss the next three matches.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Petr Cech was tested twice in the first three minutes, the second a low lash from Pedro, as Chelsea came out of the gates with vigor.

Alvaro Morata then turned a header toward goal off a cross from the right in what’s becoming a trademark for the Spaniard, but the flag was up.

Arsenal hit Chelsea on the counter, and Danny Welbeck came very close to heading Hector Bellerin‘s cross into the upper 90. And Thibaut Courtois had to get low to block an Alexandre Lacazette shot moments later.

The Gunners had grown into the game, and Sead Kolasinac troubled Courtois with a shot through traffic in the 20th minute.

That said, Pedro soon looked to be 1v1 with Cech, though his trouble in controlling the ball helped Laurent Koscielny hamper the breakaway and keep things scoreless.

Aaron Ramsey‘s incredible, physical dribble found him hitting the post in the 41st minute, with Lacazette missing horribly with a wide-open doorstep rebound.

David Luiz plowed into the advertising boards before halftime and needed help to stand while tenderly holding his wrist.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

He returned, and saw yellow when his overhead kick attempt made contact with Koscielny’s head.

Willian dribbled into a dangerous place off a quickly played free kick by Cesc Fabregas, but hit an arrow over the bar.

Shkrodan Mustafi claimed to have Arsenal ahead with a header and wild celebration in the 75th minute, but the flag was up.

Substitute Eden Hazard forced Cech into a save in the 79th.

Forget a second yellow, Luiz was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Kolasinac in the 87th minute. The Brazilian chopped at the Arsenal defender, catching his ankle studs-up.

David Luiz “took a risk” to return to Chelsea, PL — and it paid off

Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images
Leave a comment

You should always bet on yourself, and that’s exactly what David Luiz did last summer in returning to Chelsea and the Premier League.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Whether or not you succeed is secondary to believing in and backing yourself to to do well in an situation, no matter how difficult. When Luiz left Chelsea in the summer of 2014, he did so as something of a joke in PL circles — his eccentric playing style had caused him to commit a number of memorable sometimes-hilarious gaffes which eventually branded him a liability as a “defender.”

After two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain, where he won everything that French football has to offer, Luiz was given an opportunity to return to England and prove wrong so many who had doubted him. It was a “risk,” according to Luiz, but an opportunity he couldn’t pass up — quotes from the Guardian:

“I was winning everything in Paris. I was there for two years and won all the titles in France. I had a great life, great credibility with the club. … I had everything.

“But then I took a risk to come back to the one country that was not that happy with me. Where they always criticized me a lot even after winning the Champions League, the Europa League or where I’d played all the games. That’s why it was a risk. And I love the risk. If you don’t take risks in your life — in your professional life but also in everyday life — you never feel anything new, so I [chose to] taste something new. I don’t like to stay always with the easy life, but I’m happy now because I took the right decision.”

Antonio Conte, the manager who sought to bring Luiz back to Stamford Bridge, heard what everyone was saying about the 30-year-old Brazilian international, and he couldn’t believe his ears — quotes from the Guardian:

“I heard a lot of bad things when he arrived, that he was ‘not a defender.’ But we were sure we were signing a really good player we could lift up again to be one of the best defenders in Europe and, I hope, in the world. He has good technique, he’s strong, he starts our possession and has the personality to do this.”

[ MORE: Terry “couldn’t care less” about criticism of his farewell ]

Luiz was a standout performer for a title-winning side with the third-best defensive record in the PL this season.

Conte and Luiz – 1, Everyone else – 0.