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Chelsea blame “tiredness” for West Ham loss; title hopes over?

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Chelsea simply didn’t show up against West Ham United on Saturday.

The reigning Premier League champs lost 1-0 at West Ham as Antonio Conte‘s men looked lackluster from the start and never truly recovered from Marko Arnautovic‘s early goal.

Speaking after the game, Conte revealed his disappointment at the defeat and revealed that fatigue played a big part in his team not performing.

“Our start was bad but today we played a bit tired. To face one game every two games always with the same players is very difficult,” Conte said. “And we have just started this period. You have to move the ball quickly. But I repeat, we saw today a bit of tiredness in my players, especially in the last pass, we did a lot of mistakes. We must be disappointed.”

Conte also seemed to suggest that his focus will no be on Chelsea finishing in the top four with Man City able to go 14 points clear of Chelsea with a win on Sunday.

“I repeat, we create many chances but were not able to score. We have to go and to play game by game, to be focused. Don’t forget in this league it is very difficult. There are six top teams and four go to Champions League. We have to fight and do our best,” Conte said.

Chelsea’s captain Gary Cahill echoed Conte’s sentiments and he didn’t want to blame having too many games for their poor display.

“We were well off it, we allowed them to get the early goal, we have been tight at the back recently and that was a poor one to concede. We just didn’t play our stuff. It’s frustrating,” Cahill told Sky Sports. “We were just not at the races – for whatever reason that is. It’s disappointing to come off and feel like that… This was a huge game for us. We needed to win this game. We have to reflect and try and freshen up.”

You could certainly point the finger at Conte for his team selection on Saturday.

Chelsea made just one change from their midweek draw with Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday and had the likes of Michy Batshuayi, Pedro and Willian all on the bench.

With a midweek trip to Huddersfield coming up on Tuesday, you’d have to think Conte will switch things up to try and get a reaction from his players.

Chelsea’s title hopes seem all but over and now it’s all about going far in the Champions League and finishing in the top four of the PL.

Having a small squad and being unable to cope with the rigors of European action and the PL was always likely to bite Chelsea this season. It has. And hard.

Liga MX wrap: Xolos beats Chivas as Apertura begins

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Liga MX’s Apertura season is off and running with all 18 clubs partaking in a match this weekend.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

Club Tijuana 2-1 Chivas Guadalajara

Scoreless at the half, the weekend’s marquee match sprang to life in the final 45. Juan Martin Lucero gave TJ a 54th minute lead before Jose Van Rankin knotted it up five minutes later.

Lucero assisted Jose Rivero’s 75th minute winner, which was helped in its status when Michael Perez took a red card in the 80th.

Cruz Azul 3-0 Puebla

Elias Hernandez scored a goal and added an assist, and Milton Caraglio put one of his five shots on goal into the net. Andres Renteria also scored in the win.

Tigres 2-0 Leon

Andre-Pierre Gignac scored, and Lucas Zelarayan marked a goal and an assist in the win.

Elsewhere
Necaxa 2-1 Club America
Toluca 2-0 Morelia
Santos Laguna 2-1 Lobos BUAP
Pachuca 0-1 Monterrey
Veracruz 0-2 Pumas UNAM
Atlas 0-0 Queretaro

Report: Colorado acquires USMNT mid Acosta for Badji

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The West’s first place team is switching it up in a big way.

FC Dallas is sending Homegrown Player and USMNT midfielder Kellyn Acosta to Western foes Colorado Rapids in exchange for striker Dominique Badji, according to a report by The Dallas Morning News.

[ MORE: Pulisic rips up Liverpool ]

Acosta, 22, has 17 caps and a goal for the U.S., and is primarily a defensive midfielder. He’s also played right and left back.

He’s appeared 139 times for Dallas, scoring 13 times with nine assists, but had fallen out with head coach Oscar Pareja. He’s also struggled mightily on the field, according to WhoScored.

Badji, 25, has seven goals and three assists in 16 matches for the Rapids this season, building on an eight-goal, five-assist campaign last season.

FCD has gotten six goals out of forward Maxi Urruti, and there’s been little production from anyone else. Cristian Colman is out with an ankle injury and managed just a pair of goals in 399 minutes.

The risk of trading Acosta is mitigated by the continued speculation that he may test the waters of European soccer. Badji’s a quality player, but Colorado may’ve gotten a bargain in its push to escape the dregs of the West.

Quintero, Loons pick LAFC apart in five-star win (video)

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Minnesota United throttled LAFC on Sunday, using a Christian Ramirez brace to batter the hot expansion team 5-1 in Minnesota.

Darwin Quintero had a goal and two assists for the Loons, who took advantage of LAFC’s decision not to start dominant forward Adama Diomande and center back Walker Zimmerman.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

Quintero ripped off seven shots, putting five on goal. He now has 10 goals and five assists since joining the Loons after scoring two and eight in 29 matches for Club America last year.

Miguel Ibarra recorded a goal and an assist, while Rasmus Schuller also scored. LAFC’s goal came courtesy Benny Feilhaber.

Minnesota’s Bobby Shuttleworth and LA’s Tyler Miller each made six saves in their goals.

LAFC fails in a bid to make up points on Western Conference first seed FC Dallas, while the Loons now can eye a playoff spot in the West.

Already-thin Liverpool center back corps loses Matip to quad injury

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Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund featured an injury to a position with very little depth.

The Reds lost Joel Matip to what Jurgen Klopp said could possibly be a “small tear” in one of his quads.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

If Matip, 26, needs any significant time to heal up, he’ll put a major question mark into Liverpool’s opening day center back pairing.

Virgil Van Dijk, who scored against BVB on Sunday, already won’t have Dejan Lovren as a partner thanks to a post-World Cup vacation.

That leaves Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan as options next to Van Dijk.

Matches at Crystal Palace and home to Brighton and Hove Albion follow the Aug. 12 visit from West Ham.