Thibaut Courtois

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Courtois shakes off rumors of player unrest at Chelsea

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With defending champions Chelsea struggling to piece together consistent positive results, rumors of player unrest have cropped up as Antonio Conte comes under fire.

According to one first-team player, that couldn’t be less true.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s EFL Cup wrap as Swansea, Palace fall ]

“When a top team has a few bad results the first thing they try to say is that the players are not happy and we’re not behind the coach,” Courtois told reporters ahead of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup match against Everton. “But against Watford you saw we fought for every moment and we fought when we were down, so everybody can see we’re behind the coach. Those rumors are easy to spread but I don’t think they are true. If somebody is unhappy, instead of going to the press I think they would say it internally, so it’s not true.”

Courtois doubled down, adding that Conte isn’t to blame, and the players need to be the ones to pick up the slack with the results not going their way.

“First of all, it’s the players that have to do it on the pitch so it was important to win, to fight. At the moment it’s more running, fighting and battling for every ball than maybe the best football.”

Courtois has played every minute of Chelsea’s Premier League season so far, but could get some time off on Wednesday. Last Carabao Cup match, Conte chose to rest Courtois in favor of backup Willy Caballero. In fact, Conte left Courtois completely out of the squad, with third-stringer Eduardo named to the bench behind Caballero.

Chelsea 3-3 Roma – Thrills at the Bridge

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  • 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.

Leicester City 1-2 Chelsea: Blues hang on to win

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  • Morata opens scoring
  • Kante scores vs. old mates
  • Vardy draws, converts PK

Alvaro Morata and N'Golo Kante staked Chelsea to a two-goal lead, and the Blues held on tight for a 2-1 win over Leicester City at King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Chelsea goes third with the win, nabbing nine points since an Opening Day loss to Burnley.

Jamie Vardy won and scored a penalty kick for Leicester, which sits 17th with three points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Riyad Mahrez played Jamie Vardy through to trouble Thibaut Courtois with a 25th minute shot that dragged wide of the diving keeper and the far post.

Alvaro Morata had a 34th minute chance blocked by a sliding Wes Morgan as Chelsea bid to take an away lead.

N’Golo Kante has sprung a few counters at the King Power Stadium, but it was his Chelsea giveaway sprung a three-man counter for Leicester. Riyad Mahrez slid the ball to Islam Slimani, but Thibaut Courtois made a terrific stop.

Morata scored moments later, rising over Morgan to meet Cesar Azpilicuta’s cross with a header beyond the reach of Kasper Schmeichel.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Schmeichel will have wanted to do better with Kante’s goal, hit low and across goal from 25 yards.

Thibaut Courtois’ sliding clearing attempt cleaned out Vardy, who converted a penalty kick chance to bring the Foxes back within one.

Harry Maguire was fortunate not to concede what might’ve been a knockout blow PK with an 82nd minute handball.

Willian had a late shot smothered by Schmeichel, as Leicester remained alive into four minutes of stoppage time.

Chelsea signs Willy Caballero on free transfer

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Chelsea has completed its first summer signing, grabbing veteran goalkeeper Willy Caballero from Manchester City on a free transfer.

Caballero served as a backup for most of his City career, playing second-fiddle first to Joe Hart and then to Claudio Bravo, but earned plenty of first-team action both in Cup action and also during stretches where each first-teamer was benched for poor performances. Overall, Caballero made 48 appearances for City since arriving from Malaga in 2014.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

With the presence of Bravo at City plus the arrival of Ederson to challenge the Chilean for his first-choice position, there was no place for Caballero at the Etihad.

The 35-year-old Argentinian will likely again serve as a backup at Chelsea, with Thibaut Courtois firmly entrenched in the first-team role. Last season Asmir Begovic backed up Courtois, but he was sold to Bournemouth this summer. Begovic only earned eight appearances for the Blues last season across all competitions, but that was skewed slightly due to the lack of European competition.

There were reports that Newcastle United was interested in bringing Caballero in to be their starting goalkeeper, including from Lee Ryder of Newcastle paper The Chronicle, but he has chosen to join the defending champions instead.

Chelsea has done most of its early business on the outgoing end this summer, netting nearly $82 million on the sale of players such as Nathan Ake, Juan Cuadrado, Bertrand Traore, and Begovic.

Courtois aiming at new Chelsea contract after strong season

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There’s a wide range of players that were integral in Chelsea’s Premier League-winning season in 2016/17, but one of the most underrated was arguably goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

[ MORE: PL clubs may miss on Celtic’s Dembele and more transfer news ]

The Blues shot-stopper started all but two PL matches this past campaign, and now the Belgian international is seeking an extension with the London club.

“Contract talks haven’t opened but I am happy at Chelsea,” Courtois told Sky Sports after Chelsea’s loss to Arsenal at Wembley.

“I hope they reward me with a good contract, then there will be no doubt I will sign it.”

The 25-year-old keeper has been in at Stamford Bridge since arriving from Genk in 2011, but Courtois spent three seasons in Spain on a loan spell.

Courtois likened this PL campaign to his time on loan at Atletico Madrid, stating that while his side’s achievements in the league were everything Chelsea could have hoped for that there was still more the Blues could have done.

“It’s not a good feeling now,” Courtois told Chelsea’s official website. “I had the same thing in Spain when I won the league and then lost the Champions League.

“We wanted to end on a high, now we feel sad. Winning is everything so this is hard to face but we have to try to forget it.”