Willy Caballero

Bournemouth holds Chelsea for critical point

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Marcos Alonso scored twice but Chelsea could only get a point from relegation-threatened Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

It will feel a vital point for Bournemouth but also a chance lost; The Cherries sit 17th with 27 points.

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Bournemouth’s goals came via Joshua King and Jefferson Lerma, while Aaron Ramsdale made five saves.

Chelsea only gains one point on third-place Leicester City and opens the door for the chasing pack. The Blues have 45 points to the Foxes’ 50.


Three things we learned

1. Little-used Alonso saves the day: Look at Alonso’s stat line this season and you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s not a left wing. Little used by Frank Lampard, the Spaniard has four goals and three assists in 10 league appearances.

2. Caballero disappoints: Just as one of Chelsea’s veterans bailed out Lampard with a late equalizer, another did not justify his continued place ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga. Caballero got his hands on King’s header but couldn’t handle the power, but the second goal saw the goalkeeper nowhere near a pass through the six (though it was certainly more the fault of his lackluster back line).

3. Chelsea’s finishing betrays formm: Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic were absent, and no one picked up the slack in terms of the final move. Chelsea took 23 shots to Bournemouth’s nine, but only six were on target on a day the Blues maneuvered well in the final third.

Man of the Match: Alonso.


Philip Billing had two early chances, the first parried by Willy Caballero.

Billing then stole the ball of Fikayo Tomori in the Chelsea box, but the Bournemouth man slashed the clear-cut chance into the side of the goal.

Chelsea then got an eighth-minute chance when Mason Mount‘s speculative drive from distance was unable to beat Aaron Ramsdale.

The Blues broke through in the 33rd minute, Alonso lashing inside the back post after Reece James’ cross took a few turns.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Bournemouth’s Lerma rose high to beat Caballero with a 54th-minute header, the keeper failing to do anything but slow the ball’s path.

King was back post to pass a Stacey cross into the goal after Caballero failed to claim a pass through the six.

Then came the downpour.

Chelsea had to compete with the elements in order to find an equalizer, and Pedro came close in the 78th.

Ramsdale then stymied Mason Mount with a fine 82nd-minute save, and Azpilicueta zipped one wide moments later.

Caballero backs Kepa, Sarri moves on after Chelsea win

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Chelsea’s Willy Caballero must’ve been feeling some pressure after sliding into Kepa Arrizabalaga‘s shoes following the fallout from the latter’s refusal to leave Sunday’s League Cup Final loss to Manchester City.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 2-0 Spurs ]

While the Blues’ backstop didn’t actually have to stop a Spurs shot on target, he kept the clean sheet and managed to big up his young goalkeeping partner in the post-match press conference.

“Always a clean sheet for me is satisfaction,” Caballero said. “We spoke about what happened and the very good news … is we are ready. Kepa was fantastic today supporting me. I think he learned and we learned and we are improving as a team.”

Pedro scored and was a general force for the Blues, and has seen his share of drama between his time at Barcelona and Chelsea.

He was not worried after the game, as Chelsea rebounded from a bad run to beat a big rival. And more importantly, he says the team is unified in its pursuit of its goals.

“It’s good to stay all together,” Pedro said. “It’s a big team. From here until the rest of the season, we aim for Top Four and also to win the Europa League.”

As for the man closest to the center of the Kepa incident, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri said Wednesday’s match and the punishment to move Arrizabalaga to the bench were both victories for the club.

“It was really very easy because Kepa made a big mistake and then paid with the club. In this match he has to pay for the team. It was only a message for all the team, the dressing room, we are a team, not 25 individuals. Now we stop the question, it is behind us and in the future Kepa will be with us.”

Pedro leads Chelsea to win over Spurs (video)

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  • Pedro scores 8th of PL season
  • Trippier passes in own goal
  • Spurs drop nine back of PL lead

Pedro was a difference maker at both ends of the pitch as Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to effectively end their London rivals’ title hopes.

Willy Caballero posted the clean sheet for Chelsea in place of embarrassed starter Kepa Arrizabalaga, and Kieran Trippier completed the score line with a Spurs own goal.

Trippier’s own goal was one more ball on frame than his entire attack managed at the other end.

Tottenham is now nine points back of Liverpool and eight back of Man City, sitting just four points clear of Arsenal ahead of the North London Derby.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The first quality chance belonged to Gonzalo Higuain, who hit a ball with the outside of his boost that plunked the inside of the post but bounded away from goal.

Eden Hazard laid off for Higuain after a terrible giveaway from Hugo Lloris, but the Argentine spun his shot wide of the far post.

For Spurs, Heung-Min Son was lively in producing a pair of moments in the first 25 minutes. The second was handled neatly by Marcos Alonso.

Spurs continued to grow into the game, and Harry Kane earned a corner when his left-footed shot was blocked by the Blues. And Harry Winks hit a ball over the hand of Willy Caballero but off the cross bar.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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Pedro gave Chelsea its breakthrough, dribbling down the end line and hitting a shot between two defenders and past Hugo Lloris. It wasn’t a howler given the power, but the Spurs backstop will have expected to do better.

And the Spanish goal scorer turned tackling hero in the 64th when he slid to dispossess Christian Eriksen in the Chelsea box, then taking off on a 50-yard dribble.

Toby Alderweireld had the next chance, popping a header wide of the goal in the 67th minute.

Trippier’s own goal was a clinical finish, as Hugo Lloris charged forward to collect a big header from Olivier Giroud and Trippier never noticed the keeper’s unavailability to receive a pass.

Croatia smashes disheveled Argentina

AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan
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Ante Rebic, Luka Modric, and Ivan Rakitic have Croatia in the knockout rounds and Argentina on the verge of World Cup disaster.

Croatia scored a trio of second half goals, one aided by a Willy Caballero howler, in a 3-0 win in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday.

Argentina will enter its final match against Nigeria on the outskirts of the knockout rounds regardless of how Nigeria-Iceland ends on Friday.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Ivan Perisic forced a big save out of Wily Caballero for an early Croatia corner kick that came to nothing.

Messi had a chance stopped inside of 10 minutes, then started a play that Dejan Lovren blocked for a corner in the 13th.

Enzo Perez missed an open goal off a poor Croatia giveaway in the 30th minute.

There were a pair of fouls not out of place on a red card lowlight reel, one for each team, but neither resulting in a sending off.

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Croatia took the lead through Caballero’s gaffe and Rebic’s smash in the 54th.

Argentina nearly answered moments later. After a mazy Messi dribble, Argentina regained possession in the 64th minute, spearheaded by a Gonzalo Higuain run that led to a corner.

Croatia came close to making it 2-0, as Mario Mandzukic couldn’t turn a flick on frame and instead saw it glide into the outside of the goal.

Then Modric put the match to bed as the clock hit 80, an absolute beauty. Another huge defensive mistake allowed Mateo Kovacic to cue up Rakitic for the third.

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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.