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    ‘Chelsea are the best team we played’ – Leicester boss Rodgers claims not having ‘top players available’ has cost Blues

    BRENDAN RODGERS claimed Chelsea are the best team his Leicester side have faced this season.And the Foxes boss insists having key players unavailable has cost the Blues dear.
    Ben Chilwell has not played since injuring his knee in NovemberCredit: Reuters
    Reece James ran riot at the King Power earlier in the season but has missed matches through injuryCredit: EPA
    Rodgers, a former coach at Chelsea, heads back to Stamford Bridge with Leicester in their rearranged Premier League clash on Thursday.
    And despite Thomas Tuchel’s men being out of Sunday’s title showdown, the Northern Irishman was full of praise for the stricken Chelsea.
    Rodgers – whose side were outclassed 3-0 at the King Power in October – said: “I would go as far as to say Chelsea are the best team we have played this season.
    “When we played them early on in the season, they were at the top of their game. I thought they were outstanding.
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Sun;font-size:24px;line-height:1.1666666666666667;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:semi-condensed;padding:1px 0px;}.css-1x7hydu::before{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-bottom:calc(-0.24520833333333342em + -0.5px);}.css-1x7hydu::after{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-top:-0.2333333333333334em;}.css-1lobn43{display:inline;font:inherit;margin:0;color:rgba(0,0,0,1);}.css-1lobn43 svg{fill:rgba(0,0,0,1);}READ MORE ON CHELSEA.css-1gojmfd{margin-bottom:16px;}.css-gmec1d{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;height:auto;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;-webkit-align-content:center;-ms-flex-line-pack:center;align-content:center;-webkit-box-flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-wrap:nowrap;-ms-flex-wrap:nowrap;flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;-webkit-box-pack:start;-ms-flex-pack:start;-webkit-justify-content:flex-start;justify-content:flex-start;margin-left:calc(-20px/2);margin-right:calc(-20px/2);}.css-fh9577{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;margin-left:calc(20px/2);margin-right:calc(20px/2);}.css-65fvqt{max-width:302px;max-height:294px;}.css-1exhbll{box-sizing:border-box;overflow:hidden;background-color:rgba(237,245,242,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;position:relative;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;max-width:302px;max-height:294px;}.css-bk55po{box-sizing:border-box;display:block;position:relative;margin-bottom:0;}.css-1shocxe{box-sizing:border-box;}.css-1a2irou{box-sizing:border-box;padding:0;}.css-1a2irou 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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-n392go{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(155,201,183,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-1p5s3t0{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(155,201,183,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-i1acvs{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,99,73,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-i1acvs:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}BLUES CLUES .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Chelsea aim to shake off Wembley nightmare with win over Foxes
    “Not long after that moment, they lost some players. I’ve said it before, even with squads like Chelsea’s, you need your top players available.
    “Over the course of the time, they have had players out, key players who make the systems function to the highest level.
    “Then obviously, there’s the distractions behind the scenes, and of course, that’s a challenge.”
    Chelsea have been without ex-Leicester duo Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante for large chunks of the campaign – the former since November with a knee injury that required surgery.
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    Reece James, Mateo Kovacic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner, Romelu Lukaku and Christian Pulisic have all been sidelined for various lengths of time.
    Chelsea were unable to add the FA Cup to their Super Cup and Club World Cup trophies at the weekend.
    And the season looks set to end with the future of the club still not confirmed – as Todd Boehly’s £4.25billion takeover is yet to go through.
    Rodgers, though, is backing Tuchel to continue to succeed in the dugout next season.
    The Leicester boss added: “What I do know is they’ve got an outstanding manager who has done a fantastic job since he’s been there.
    “They’ve got a group of really good players, top, top talents.
    “I saw them lose in the FA Cup final, but they have so much courage because they keep getting there.
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    “And you’d rather be in there and losing finals – of course, you want to win – but you’d rather be arriving there knowing it’s going to drop your way and you’re going to win in the future.
    “So they are a top team, with top players, and they are in the Champions League next season, and I expect them to be up there challenging again next season.”
    Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for Chelsea and Thomas TuchelCredit: Reuters More

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    Best players who left Chelsea on a free transfer as Antonio Rudiger heads to Real Madrid, including Lampard and Drogba

    CHELSEA face a free transfer exodus.German international Antonio Rudiger is Real Madrid-bound, after failing to agree a contract with the Blues.
    Antonio Rudiger is heading for the exit door at ChelseaCredit: Getty
    Fellow defender Andreas Christensen is also set for LaLiga – with Barcelona leading the chasing pack for the Denmark star’s signature.
    But the Premier League giants have done this dance before – losing a host of great players on free transfers in the past.
    Here’s the best who have left for nothing over the years.
    Frank Lampard
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Sun;font-size:24px;line-height:1.1666666666666667;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:semi-condensed;padding:1px 0px;}.css-1x7hydu::before{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-bottom:calc(-0.24520833333333342em + -0.5px);}.css-1x7hydu::after{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-top:-0.2333333333333334em;}.css-1lobn43{display:inline;font:inherit;margin:0;color:rgba(0,0,0,1);}.css-1lobn43 svg{fill:rgba(0,0,0,1);}Read more in football.css-1gojmfd{margin-bottom:16px;}.css-gmec1d{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;height:auto;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;-webkit-align-content:center;-ms-flex-line-pack:center;align-content:center;-webkit-box-flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-wrap:nowrap;-ms-flex-wrap:nowrap;flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;-webkit-box-pack:start;-ms-flex-pack:start;-webkit-justify-content:flex-start;justify-content:flex-start;margin-left:calc(-20px/2);margin-right:calc(-20px/2);}.css-fh9577{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;margin-left:calc(20px/2);margin-right:calc(20px/2);}.css-65fvqt{max-width:302px;max-height:294px;}.css-1exhbll{box-sizing:border-box;overflow:hidden;background-color:rgba(237,245,242,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;position:relative;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;max-width:302px;max-height:294px;}.css-bk55po{box-sizing:border-box;display:block;position:relative;margin-bottom:0;}.css-1shocxe{box-sizing:border-box;}.css-1a2irou{box-sizing:border-box;padding:0;}.css-1a2irou 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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-n392go{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(155,201,183,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-1p5s3t0{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(155,201,183,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-i1acvs{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,99,73,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-i1acvs:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}CHELSEA NEWS .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Chelsea takeover to be CONFIRMED this week, Azpilicueta to Barca latest
    Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer, Lampard signed for MLS side New York City in 2014.
    However, rather than wait till January for the US season to start, he was controversially loaned out to Manchester City for match fitness.
    Astonishingly, his first goal for City came against Chelsea – which moved Lampard to tears.
    Didier Drogba
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    Legend Drogba’s last kick in a Chelsea shirt won the West Londoners their first ever Champions League against Bayern Munich with the final penalty in a shootout.
    His next kick, after moving for nothing, was for Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.
    But in 2014, he returned to Stamford Bridge under Jose Mourinho’s blessing to “make more history”.
    Hilariously, he left again on a free for Montreal Impact after 40 appearances and seven goals.
    Frank Lampard became Chelsea’s highest goalscorer before he was released on a freeCredit: Getty
    Chelsea legend Didier Drogba departed the club twice for freeCredit: Getty
    John Terry
    Loyal servant Terry left Chelsea for Aston Villa in 2017, following 717 appearances for the Blues.
    His final season in football nearly earned his new side promotion from the Championship.
    He later joined the Aston Villa coaching staff, before departing the club in 2021.
    John Terry’s time at Stamford Bridge ended in 2017Credit: Getty

    Ashley Cole
    After winning Premier League titles, FA Cups, a Champions League and Europa League, among other trophies, Cole’s work was done in 2014.
    He had already lost his place in the first team to César Azpilicueta in his final season at the club, so it was no surprise he was on the list of players leaving the club once their contracts were up.
    Embarking on a new adventure, he spent a season at Roma – before a stint at LA Galaxy, and then finishing his career at Derby County.
    Ashley Cole won the Premier League with the Blues before departing for pastures newCredit: Getty
    Claude Makelele
    The France midfielder won two league titles with Chelsea before leaving the club in 2008.
    It appeared he had run his race in the Premier League, but at new club PSG he found a new lease of life.
    He won the Coupe de France in 2010, and was then appointed assistant manager to Carlo Ancelotti from 2011-2013.
    Claude Makelele left the Blues after five seasons at Stamford BridgeCredit: Getty
    Salomon Kalou
    Super-sub Kalou was often the unlikely hero at Chelsea.
    But, wanting regular first team football, he was released in 2012 and soon joined French side Lille.
    In Ligue 1 he was a hit, scoring 34 goals across two full seasons.
    The Ivory Coast star finished his career at Hertha Berlin – where he played 172 games and scored 53 goals.
    Interestingly, he never won anything after leaving our shores.
    Super sub Salomon Kalou moved to Lille for regular first team footballCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Branislav Ivanovic appeared 377 times for the BluesCredit: PA
    Branislav Ivanovic
    In ten seasons at Chelsea, Ivanovic hardly ever let the club down.
    In 377 appearances, he won it all – Premier League titles, FA Cups, a League Cup, Champions League and Europa League too.
    But, in his final season cracks were beginning to show – and the Blues made the heartbreaking decision to cut the Serbian.
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    A spell at Zenit Saint Petersburg followed, where he won back-to-back league titles and a cup.
    Ivanovic returned to the Premier League with West Brom, before he was released in 2021. More

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    Roman Abramovich accused of putting Chelsea in danger over £1.6bn loan with just TWO WEEKS until final takeover deadline

    ROMAN Abramovich has been accused of blocking the final sale of Chelsea – and putting the club’s future in danger.In a remarkable cranking up of pressure, sources close to the Government have turned their fire on the Russian over the proposed sale condition.
    Roman Abramovich could be preventing Chelsea being sold over the £1.6bn loanCredit: AP
    Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly and his consortium were hopeful of completing a £2.6bn initial deal with a promise to spend a further £1.65bn on the stadium, academy and team-building by the end of this week.
    But the ongoing spat between Chelsea and the DCMS over the final structure of the agreement has now broken out into a serious issue.
    A Government insider expressed “considerable alarm” at the flare-up, suggesting the very viability of the Blues could be at threat.
    The source said: “There’s quite serious concern in government that the deal may fall apart and that Roman Abramovich is ultimately willing to let Chelsea go under.”
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CHELSEA.css-1gojmfd{margin-bottom:16px;}.css-gmec1d{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;height:auto;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;-webkit-align-content:center;-ms-flex-line-pack:center;align-content:center;-webkit-box-flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-wrap:nowrap;-ms-flex-wrap:nowrap;flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;-webkit-box-pack:start;-ms-flex-pack:start;-webkit-justify-content:flex-start;justify-content:flex-start;margin-left:calc(-20px/2);margin-right:calc(-20px/2);}.css-fh9577{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;margin-left:calc(20px/2);margin-right:calc(20px/2);}.css-65fvqt{max-width:302px;max-height:294px;}.css-1exhbll{box-sizing:border-box;overflow:hidden;background-color:rgba(237,245,242,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;position:relative;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;max-width:302px;max-height:294px;}.css-bk55po{box-sizing:border-box;display:block;position:relative;margin-bottom:0;}.css-1shocxe{box-sizing:border-box;}.css-1a2irou{box-sizing:border-box;padding:0;}.css-1a2irou 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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-n392go{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(155,201,183,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-1p5s3t0{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(155,201,183,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-i1acvs{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,99,73,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-i1acvs:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}CHELSEA NEWS .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Alonso to LEAVE, Chelsea ‘line up £42m Casemiro transfer’
    The sticking point remains Government demands that the entire £2.6bn from Boehly be placed in a holding account until officials are satisfied all the money will then go to a foundation to help victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
    But Chelsea and Abramovich maintain their wish for the £1.6bn debt owed by the club’s parent company Fordstam – effectively money owed to the Russian owner over his 19-year reign – be sent to a Jersey-registered investment company before being sent on to the foundation.
    Chelsea’s demand is that the money would be frozen after being transferred to Camberley International Investments ahead of being moved to the foundation.
    But the Government believes that would break the sanctions imposed on Abramovich and other oligarchs for their alleged support on Vladimir Putin and his war machine in March.
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    Officials have told Chelsea such a move would leave them with no legal guarantees that cash would not end up in the hands of Abramovich or his associates and family.
    The source added: “There’s alarm about the gap between what Abramovich has said he will do publicly and what he’s willing to commit to legally as part of the sale process. 
    “There are pressing deadlines this week, and if there isn’t a breakthrough, we’re quite concerned that the sale of Chelsea could be timed out by certain sporting deadlines.
    “Chelsea are saying to us they don’t know who owns Camberley International and can’t talk to them. We cannot contact Camberley International to talk about this.
    FREE BETS AND SIGN UP DEALS – BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS
    “Our understanding of the structure is that Camberley International is an affiliate of a trust fund which is owned by his children or goes to his children with an individual in Cyprus acting as the trustees’ signatory.
    “Abramovich seems unwilling to give the legal commitments that neither he nor his affiliates could stake a claim to that unpaid debt between Fordstam and Camberley.
    “A deal which would allow the cash to be diverted would be a breach of sanctions and would be a red line for ministers.”
    Abramovich wants to establish an independent charitable foundation and has approached a former United Nations executive to run it once the money has been released.
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Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-i1acvs:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}ON THE LADDER .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}The new first-time buyer schemes – you can get a house with a tiny deposit
    Chelsea’s current operating licence runs out on May 31, which is the deadline for registration – through the FA – for next season’s European competitions.
    But the club have been accused of holding a “ludicrous position” over their relationship with Camberley, adding to the sense of conflict between the two sides. More

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    Chelsea chief hails Blues ‘gutsy and aggressive’ FA Cup defeat of Manchester City

    EMMA HAYES quashed any ideas of leaving Chelsea after claiming her 11th major trophy at the helm with their FA Cup defeat of Manchester City. The jubilant Kingsmeadow boss paid tribute to her players after stating she was f**king happy with her team’s 3-2 victory.
    Emma Hayes and goalscorer Cuthbert helped Chelsea to their fourth FA Cup winCredit: �MI News & Sport Ltd
    An extra-time goal from Sam Kerr led to a 3-2 Blues defeat of Manchester CityCredit: Getty
    An Erin Cuthbert boomer and a brace from Sam Kerr saw Chelsea bring joy to Blues fans after their Prem side suffered FA Cup heartbreak against Liverpool on Saturday.
    And the team claimed their fourth trophy in the competition under Hayes in dramatic fashion in front of a contest record crowd of 49,084.
    A stunning extra-time solo effort from Kerr sealed the victory for her side.
    Hayes said: “That was so amazing for the women’s game, two teams that respect the crap out of each other going toe-to-toe…we were so gutsy.
    “I loved the game plan I thought it was really aggressive, but we had to grind, we had to work.
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Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-i1acvs:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Mounting pressure .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Chelsea boss Tuchel demands investigation into abuse aimed towards Mount
    “I’m just so f**ing happy. I’m being dead honest! Those women will go down in history.
    “I will look back in 10 years’ time and will be like ‘that group was immense’.
    “They are the best team I have ever coached. We have a group of people that won’t be on the losing team. They will find a way.”
    The Kingsmeadow chief paid tribute to Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia and club chairman Bruce Buck.
    The duo reportedly expected to remain in their roles under prospective new owner Todd Boehly.
    .css-qu9fel{border-top:1px solid #dcdddd;}.css-b9nmbi{margin-bottom:16px;border-top:1px solid #dcdddd;}.css-1qsre5o{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;height:100%;-webkit-align-items:flex-start;-webkit-box-align:flex-start;-ms-flex-align:flex-start;align-items:flex-start;-webkit-align-content:flex-start;-ms-flex-line-pack:flex-start;align-content:flex-start;-webkit-box-flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-wrap:nowrap;-ms-flex-wrap:nowrap;flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;justify-content:space-between;}.css-q8gelu{margin-bottom:24px;}.css-7ysxcx{padding:0;text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-7ysxcx:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-jkwlot{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;height:100%;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;-webkit-flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;justify-content:space-between;padding:0;text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-jkwlot:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1x7hydu{font-family:The Sun;font-size:24px;line-height:1.1666666666666667;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:semi-condensed;padding:1px 0px;}.css-1x7hydu::before{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-bottom:calc(-0.24520833333333342em + -0.5px);}.css-1x7hydu::after{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-top:-0.2333333333333334em;}.css-1lobn43{display:inline;font:inherit;margin:0;color:rgba(0,0,0,1);}.css-1lobn43 svg{fill:rgba(0,0,0,1);}Most read in Football.css-1gojmfd{margin-bottom:16px;}.css-zdjvqv{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;height:100%;-webkit-align-items:flex-start;-webkit-box-align:flex-start;-ms-flex-align:flex-start;align-items:flex-start;-webkit-align-content:flex-start;-ms-flex-line-pack:flex-start;align-content:flex-start;-webkit-box-flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-wrap:nowrap;-ms-flex-wrap:nowrap;flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;-webkit-box-pack:space-around;-ms-flex-pack:space-around;-webkit-justify-content:space-around;justify-content:space-around;margin-top:calc(-12px/2);margin-bottom:calc(-12px/2);}.css-zdjvqv:before,.css-zdjvqv:after{content:”;display:block;}.css-1meuhfk{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;margin-top:calc(12px/2);margin-bottom:calc(12px/2);}
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    And she dismissed any notion of calling it day with the club having led them to double silverware triumph.
    Hayes added: “Everyone knows I have a contract at Chelsea so what is the speculation about?
    “Is there a job you guys are telling me I am going for that I know nothing about?
    “As far I am concerned, I don’t have to kill any speculation, I am under contract and there is nothing to talk about.”
    Ji So-Yun made her final Chelsea appearance ahead of her departure from the clubCredit: PA
    Hayes saluted outgoing players Ji So-Yun, Drew Spence and Jonna Andersson.
    The trio all played their last games in Chelsea shirts sealing their exits with a trophy double.
    The Blues chief said: “I’m so gutted to lose three brilliant people.
    “I’ve coached Drew since she was 19/20 years of age. I watched her grow up and I’m so proud of her and Jonna.
    “I said the same thing to all three of them at the end of the game, ‘this is your legacy’.
    Chelsea took the lead with Kerr heading them in front off the back of Millie Bright’s curled free-kick in the 33rd minute.
    .css-16e4f55{margin:16px 0;}.css-1546w7m{background-color:rgba(237,245,242,1);margin:16px 0;}.css-1tapza8{padding:20px 15px;}.css-1bk4jdt{padding:20px 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Stories.css-1gojmfd{margin-bottom:16px;}.css-gmec1d{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;height:auto;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;-webkit-align-content:center;-ms-flex-line-pack:center;align-content:center;-webkit-box-flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-wrap:nowrap;-ms-flex-wrap:nowrap;flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;-webkit-box-pack:start;-ms-flex-pack:start;-webkit-justify-content:flex-start;justify-content:flex-start;margin-left:calc(-20px/2);margin-right:calc(-20px/2);}.css-fh9577{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;margin-left:calc(20px/2);margin-right:calc(20px/2);}.css-65fvqt{max-width:302px;max-height:294px;}.css-1exhbll{box-sizing:border-box;overflow:hidden;background-color:rgba(237,245,242,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;position:relative;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;max-width:302px;max-height:294px;}.css-bk55po{box-sizing:border-box;display:block;position:relative;margin-bottom:0;}.css-1shocxe{box-sizing:border-box;}.css-1a2irou{box-sizing:border-box;padding:0;}.css-1a2irou 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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-n392go{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(155,201,183,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-1p5s3t0{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(155,201,183,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-i1acvs{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,99,73,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-i1acvs:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}RON THE ONE .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Incoming Man Utd boss Ten Hag drops huge hint he will keep ‘giant’ Ronaldo
    Man City levelled with Hemp walloping past Ann-Katrin Berger before Cuthbert’s second-half thumper restored Chelsea’s lead.
    But a late equaliser from Hayley Raso took the match into extra time before Kerr bagged the winner jetting down the wing before firing home a 99th-minute winner.
    Despite the loss, Gareth Taylor said he was proud of his team’s endeavours.
    The City boss said: “My feeling isn’t really one of disappointment. Of course, we have lifted the trophy before and wanted to do it again 
    Gareth Taylor is proud of his team’s recent performances the ‘disappointment’ of their FA Cup loss to ChelseaCredit: �MI News & Sport Ltd
    “But my feeling is pride in the way the team has played at times.
    “There are areas we have to improve on and there were mistakes made – the only thing of disappointment is that if you give Chelsea three goals you will have to do a lot to win the game.
    “We know we have areas to improve but we have a lot of good young talent coming through at the club so the future is bright.” More

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    Chelsea ‘line up £42m Casemiro transfer’ whilst being ‘in hunt’ for Lewandowski, Perisic ‘prefers’ Juve move – updates

    CHELSEA are lining up a summer move for Real Madrid sensation Casemiro according to reports.Thomas Tuchel is hoping to bolster his midfield for next season and the Brazilian is being considered as one of many options.
    Meanwhile, Ivan Perisic reportedly prefers a move to Juventus despite claims that the Croatian has agreed terms with the Blues.
    However, rumours suggest that Chelsea have set their sights on Robert Lewandowski instead who has made it clear to Bayern Munich that he wants out as soon as possible.
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    Keep up to date with all of the latest gossip from the takeover in our live blog…
    Tuchel wants Mount investigation
    Thomas Tuchel called for an investigation into abuse aimed at Mason Mount after having his FA Cup final penalty saved.
    The 23-year-old Chelsea midfielder was subjected to four-letter rants and branded a ‘bottle job’ by online trolls on social media.
    Mount’s spot-kick was stopped by Alisson moments before Kostas Tsimikas stepped up to clinch a first FA Cup in 16 years for Liverpool in a 6-5 shootout win.
    Chelsea boss Tuchel said: “Nothing I can say will stop these guys doing it. I don’t understand social media anyway. It has a huge impact and I don’t get it.
    “I’m not on social media and it keeps me healthy, more healthy than I would be on it. It’s a very thin ice for everybody who is in such a spotlight to be out there. Abuse is not acceptable, be it here or on social media.
    “If someone thinks he has the right to write it, we will not be able to stop him — but maybe we can investigate.”

    Christensen shock
    Andreas Christensen pulled out of Chelsea’s FA Cup final squad just hours before kick off – leaving team-mates stunned.
    The defender told boss Thomas Tuchel that he was not ready to play.
    Christensen had played the whole 90 minutes of the previous match at Leeds.
    Surprised Tuchel was forced into an emergency reshuffle of his Wembley plans and started rookie Trevoh Chalobah in the Denmark centre back’s absence.
    Chelsea went on to lose the final 6-5 on penalties to Liverpool after extra time.
    An hour after the final whistle Tuchel confirmed that Christensen is leaving Chelsea when the season finishes next Sunday.
    Perisic prefers Juve move
    Transfer target Ivan Perisic would reportedly prefer a move to Juventus, despite claims the Blues have agreed a deal with the Croatian.
    The 33-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season, and has yet to agree to a deal with his club, Inter Milan.
    According to Sports Mediaset, Chelsea have agreed a deal with the midfielder on a free transfer as his contract draws to a close.
    But now Get Football News Italy report that Perisic is said to favour staying in Serie A.
    And it has been claimed that Turin would be his preferred destination, instead of West London.
    Guess who
    This Chelsea legend and serial trophy winner looks unrecognisable with a new hairstyle and trendy goatee beard.
    But can you guess who it is?

    This former Stamford Bridge favourite used to run the show from midfield each week.
    Making an instant impact in London, he spent five-and-a-half years with Chelsea.
    And he also won an impressive 52 caps for his country.
    Guessed who it is yet?
    It is Blues icon and former Brazilian midfield ace Ramires.
    Rudiger’s exit
    Antonio Rudiger wanted his Chelsea career to end on a high, following a disappointing campaign.
    The giant defender has agreed a contract with Real Madrid after the Blues failed to agree a new deal with the German international.
    Rudiger told The Athletic: “There was a chance but sanctions are not the problem. I don’t want to go too deep in things. At the end of the day it’s not only about one side (helping the other), it’s both sides — Chelsea have been great to me, I have been great to Chelsea.
    “As always, I am very, very thankful me, my family. I became a man here. My kids were born here and everything. London and especially Chelsea will always be special to me.
    “It’s been five years as normal with ups and downs, but with a lot of positive things. That’s why I’m even more frustrated because I wanted to have a different ending.”
    Chelsea in Lewandowski hunt
    Chelsea are reportedly in the chase for Poland legend Robert Lewandowski.
    According to Jan Age Fjortoft, the Blues could add the Bayern Munich striker to their ranks next season.
    However, the ex-Norway striker revealed that Barcelona are still the favourites for his signature, if he is to leave the Bavarians.

    Chelsea Women win Cup
    Chelsea Women did what the men couldn’t by winning the FA Cup.
    Emma Hayes’ side recorded a 3-2 win over Man City after extra time – thanks to a Sam Kerr strike.
    Credit: Reuters
    The Aussie striker had given the Blues the lead in the first half, only for Lauren Hemp to equalise.
    Erin Cuthbert put Chelsea ahead again, before Hayley Raso scored a dramatic 89th minute equaliser.
    However, it was Kerr who would decide things in the 99th minute and break City’s fans’ hearts.
    Shearer’s Werner claim
    Alan Shearer believes Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel went wrong by not playing Timo Werner against Liverpool in the FA Cup fina.
    “With Chelsea, Havertz is injured. But I’m surprised Werner’s not playing, because of his pace, because of the high line we know Liverpool play,” Shearer said.
    “I know he gets offside a lot but it would have been a huge threat for him to be running behind.”
    Tuchel explains Loftus-Cheek decision
    Thomas Tuchel has revealed why he subbed Ruben Loftus-Cheek ahead of the ill-fated penalty shoot-out against Liverpool.
    Loftus-Cheek had barely got involved in the action having being brought on shortly before getting subbed for Ross Barkely as penalties loomed.
    And explaining his decision to do so, Tuchel said: “No, that was purely for penalties.
    “Ruben has not got a good history, statistically, and Ross has so it was purely because of the penalties.”
    Rudiger’s Real choice
    Antonio Rudiger was so intent on a move to Real Madrid he reportedly turned down more lucrative offers from a number of European heavyweights.
    Both PSG and Bayern Munich tried to snatch Rudiger from Real’s clutches by offering him more money, according to Diario AS.
    And Bayern were the most keen on Rudiger after getting dumped out the Champions League by Villarreal, the report also states.
    However, the chance to play for Real was too good to turn down and the defender ultimately opted for a move to the Bernabeu.
    Perisic wants Juve transfer
    Chelsea transfer target Ivan Perisic is reportedly eyeing a move to Juventus.
    Reports have claimed that the Inter Milan star has worked out a deal with Chelsea.
    But according to GetfootballnewsItaly, Perisic would prefer a move to Juve.
    Salah will make final
    Mo Salah will be available to play in the Champions League final despite picking up an injury on Saturday.
    The winger, 29, was forced off with a groin injury 33 minutes into the FA Cup final against Chelsea.
    While it looked very concerning for the Reds at the time, Salah has since confirmed that it is nothing serious.
    When asked if he was okay after the game, he replied: “All good” and reassured fans that he would be available for the Champions League final against Real Madrid later this month.
    Vidic names toughest opponents
    Man United legend Nemanja Vidic has named the four toughest opponents he faced in the Premier League.
    Peter Crouch was the first Liverpool striker Vidic bemoaned facing.
    Vidic also mentioned Chelsea great Didier Drogba and his lethal combination of strength and intelligence.
    Vidic’s watchlist finished with Manchester City legend Sergio Aguero and former Reds star Luis Suarez.
    Vidic made the admissions to The Athletic.
    Ten Hag wants Kante
    Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has been linked with a sensational swoop for N’Golo Kante this summer in a bid to bolster his midfield options next season.
    According to The Mirror, chiefs at Manchester United, including Ten Hag, believe a swoop for Kante is a realistic proposition.
    The news comes after SunSport exclusively revealed that the Blues were fearing Kante would be one of a number of players on their way out of the club.
    Wright’s sympathy for Mason Mount
    Ian Wright has admitted that he feels sorry for Mason Mount after the player missed a penalty in Chelsea’s FA Cup final loss to Liverpool.
    Wright said: “I’m disappointed for Mason Mount because when a player misses a penalty at this level with so much on the line.
    “You’ve got to feel gutted for him.”
    Tuchel on Chelsea’s season
    Thomas Tuchel reckons Chelsea have had a good season despite losing to cup finals to Liverpool thus far.
    And he pointed to Chelsea’s success in the World Club Cup and European Super Cup as proof that the Blues are capable of challenging for trophies.
    He said: “I think we have what it takes to win trophies and we proved it.
    “Somebody wanted to convince me that we had a trophy-less season but we have the World Club Cup and the European Super Cup.
    “We did everything to win these two matches but we have to accept that our opponents deserve also to win these matches and they did it.”
    Keane’s disdain for Fabregas
    Roy Keane once threatened to ‘smash Cesc Fabregas in’ when the midfielder clattered into him.
    Fabregas risked Keane’s wrath after tackling the Irishman really hard when Arsenal played Man United in the FA Cup final.
    Keane let Gerard Pique know just how close Fabregas was to a beating a few years later.
    Fabregas recalled to The Times: “I tackled Roy Keane really hard and I felt really good about it because he was always giving me a tough time.
    “A few years later, Gerard Pique [his friend from Barcelona’s La Masia academy] said to me that at half-time Keane said, ‘That Spanish friend of yours, I will smash him, he killed me.’”
    Suarez praises Liverpool
    Luis Suarez took the time to congratulate former club Liverpool for their FA Cup final win over Chelsea.
    The Reds edged a thrilling penalty shoot-out to lift the cup.
    And Suarez was full of praise for his old club.
    He wrote on social media: “Congratulations to @LiverpoolFC for winning the FA Cup! YNWA.”
    Alisson’s plan to stop Mendy
    Alisson devised a secret plot to stop Edouard Mendy from playing mind games on Liverpool’s FA Cup Final penalty takers – by hand delivering the ball to his teammates.
    The Chelsea ‘keeper has a history of interfering during penalties when helping Senegal to beat Egypt via spot-kicks in the Africa Cup of Nations final in February.
    Alisson was adamant that would not happen again, and he scooped up the ball after each Chelsea kick and walked straight to his pal to give them it.
    Only Sadio Mane, Mendy’s international teammate, missed a penalty for Liverpool.
    Rudiger speaks on frustration
    Antonio Rudiger is frustrated that he hasn’t left Chelsea with a FA Cup winner medal after yesterday’s loss to Liverpool.
    Rudiger said after the game: “It’s been five years as normal with ups and downs, but with a lot of positive things,” the Germany international said.
    “That’s why I’m even more frustrated because I wanted to have a different ending.”
    Terry reveals FA Cup pain
    John Terry revealed he was devastated after witnessing Chelsea’s FA Cup final loss.
    But the Blues legend still found the time to praise Liverpool’s Luis Diaz who was the game’s Man Of The Match.
    Terry said on Instagram in a message that Diaz shared: “Absolutely devastated, but you are a fantastic player my friend.”
    Rudiger explains quitting reasons
    Antonio Rudiger has dismissed the theory that Government sanctions are behind his decision to quit Chelsea.
    The German defender is leaving for Real Madrid on a free transfer once the Premier League season finishes on Sunday week.
    Strict rules imposed due to owner Roman Abramovich’s links to Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin have banned Chelsea from negotiating new contracts with existing players but Rudiger insists it was other issues which stopped him staying.
    But Rudiger, who suffered FA Cup Final defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, said: “There was a chance but sanctions are not the problem. I don’t want to go too deep in things.
    “At the end of the day it’s not only about one side (helping the other), it’s both sides – Chelsea have been great to me, I have been great to Chelsea.
    “As always, I am very, very thankful me, my family. I became a man here. My kids were born here and everything. London and especially Chelsea will always be special to me.”
    Mo Salah’s classy gesture
    Mohamed Salah invited former Egypt team-mate Moamen Zakaria into the Liverpool dressing room to celebrate their FA Cup win over Chelsea.
    Salah was forced to watch a large part of Saturday’s final from the sidelines after being forced off through injury.
    Liverpool’s epic dressing room celebrations where shared with former Egypt star Zakaria, who has motor neurone disease, after he was invited in by Salah.
    Hav some of that
    Kai Havertz, was also another absentee from the squad due to a hamstring injury.
    Discussing the problems afterwards, he said: “Kai did not train because of hamstring problems and we thought he would injure himself.
    “We did a test on Saturday morning but it was not better.”
    Tuch and go for Werner
    Thomas Tuchel has revealed Timo Werner told him he did not want to play in the FA Cup Final after suffering a problem in the warm-up.
    Chelsea fans were shocked as the German forward was left as an unused substitute during the penalty shootout defeat to Liverpool at Wembley.
    He said: “Timo felt uncomfortable in the warm-up and said he could not play.
    “A hamstring as well. We had no options.”
    Load more entries… More

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    Chelsea ace Andreas Christensen PULLED OUT of playing FA Cup final just hours before kick-off leaving team-mates stunned

    ANDREAS CHRISTENSEN pulled out of Chelsea’s FA Cup final squad just hours before kick off – leaving team-mates stunned.The defender told boss Thomas Tuchel that he was not ready to play.
    Andreas Christensen pulled out of Chelsea’s FA Cup defeat to Liverpool just hours before kick-offCredit: Getty
    Christensen had played the whole 90 minutes of the previous match at Leeds.
    Surprised Tuchel was forced into an emergency reshuffle of his Wembley plans and started rookie Trevoh Chalobah in the Denmark centre back’s absence.
    Chelsea went on to lose the final 6-5 on penalties to Liverpool after extra time.
    An hour after the final whistle Tuchel confirmed that Christensen is leaving Chelsea when the season finishes next Sunday.
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    Head coach Tuchel said: “We are losing Toni, we are losing Andreas, so this is tough.”
    Spanish giants Barcelona have agreed a deal to take Christensen on a free transfer this summer.
    A source close to Christensen claimed the player had felt unwell in the days leading up to the biggest domestic match of the season.
    Fellow Chelsea stars were left bewildered when Christensen left the team hotel.
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    It now looks like the former youth team star has played his last game for Chelsea.
    They are at home to Leicester on Thursday and then Watford on Sunday and Christensen is unlikely to feature at all.
    Chelsea still need three points to guarantee third place in the Premier League.
    The sour end to Christensen’s time as a Chelsea player is a blow to Tuchel who is losing Rudiger and facing the uncertainty of new ownership taking over the club after it was hit by Government sanctions. More

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    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel may complain about a lack of depth – but Liverpool have built their squad like few others

    AS the Roman Abramovich era draws to a close, Thomas Tuchel complained Chelsea lacked Liverpool’s squad depth.It was an incredible comment from the most recent beneficiary of the billions of Vladimir Putin’s crony — but it wasn’t inaccurate.
    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel believes the Blues’ squad depth is inferior to Liverpool’s – but Jurgen Klopp has built an incredible side without spending as much as othersCredit: EPA
    When Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk limped out of the FA Cup final, Diogo Jota and Joel Matip hardly weakened the Reds.
    After the ineffective £97.5million Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku was withdrawn, Tuchel employed Ruben Loftus-Cheek as an emergency  centre-forward.
    Yes, Tuchel suffered injuries to Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in the build-up.
    But it is still remarkable Liverpool’s nine-man bench looked stronger than Chelsea’s. Jurgen Klopp’s sub options are usually more experienced and diverse than Manchester City’s, too.
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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-n392go{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(155,201,183,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-1p5s3t0{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(155,201,183,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-i1acvs{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,99,73,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The 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    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, a 28- year-old, three-time FA Cup winner with 35 England caps, didn’t even make the matchday squad of 20.
    Tuchel had just seen Liverpool’s reserve left-back Kostas Tsimikas slot home the winning penalty which clinched the first FA Cup in 16 years for the Reds.
    And Tsimikas, who was excellent in last Tuesday’s win at Aston Villa and is pressing Andy Robertson hard for a place in  Klopp’s best XI, has been a fine addition for a  modest £11.75m.
    To head into the final fortnight of the season, still capable of winning the Quadruple, would be astonishing even for a team who were the wealthiest in their nation.
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    Yet Liverpool’s net transfer spend under Klopp — around £30m a year — is dwarfed by both Manchester clubs and is also less than that of Everton, Aston Villa, Arsenal and Tottenham.
    While football’s opaque transfer system means such figures can vary, Klopp’s Kop spend a similar amount each year to West Ham, Wolves and Brighton.
    If there had been one criticism of Klopp before this season, it would have been his lack of success in domestic knockout competitions — and often his dismissive attitude towards them.
    But his perceived ‘disrespect’ for the cups was only voiced because Liverpool didn’t lift either trophy in the previous six seasons.
    Look at the starting line-up for the defeat of Leicester  in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals, for example, and only Jordan Henderson would be in Klopp’s strongest side.
    Yet the Reds won, thanks to some shootout heroics from back-up keeper Caoimhin Kelleher.
    In the FA Cup quarter-final at Nottingham Forest, Klopp started with Tsimikas, Joe Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Harvey Elliott, as well as Roberto Firmino — the one-time mainstay as a deep-lying centre-forward — who has become peripheral.
    Klopp’s squad building, and his rotation of resources, has been exceptional.
    NEW DYNAMICS
    Now the longest-serving manager in the top flight, Klopp trusts every man in his squad.
    Like Sir Alex Ferguson — the  only other manager to win the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup with the same club — he constantly improves from a position of strength.
    Since the title win of 2020, Liverpool have brought in  Jota, Thiago Alcantara, Ibrahima Konate, Luis Diaz and Tsimikas. All  played important roles in Saturday’s Cup triumph.
    None cost anywhere near as much as Lukaku.
    Of course, all praise of Klopp’s team is currently tinged with the bizarre idea that the entire country is cheering them on.
    This is a spectacular misreading of the national mood from Tuchel and Pep Guardiola.
    If we’re all Liverpool supporters now, then I’m sure you’d have been jeering and whistling the gospel choir singing the traditional Cup Final hymn ‘Abide With Me’ before kick-off.
    The crowing banner ‘Imagine Being Us’ is read by most of us with an entirely different tone to that with which it was written.
    TUCH AND GO
    In reality, few who do not actively support the ‘This Means More’ brigade are revelling in their outstanding campaign.
    But we are going to have to get used to it. Klopp has signed up for another four seasons and Liverpool aren’t going away.
    A club whose recruitment system was derided under Klopp’s  predecessor Brendan Rodgers — and disliked by Rodgers himself —  has thrived since the German arrived in 2015.
    Klopp has already started next season’s rebuild by agreeing to  sign the gifted Fulham attacking midfielder Fabio Carvalho, who, at 19, already looks capable of playing regularly for Liverpool.
    And we’re yet to witness the  full ability of Elliott, the last  kid Liverpool poached for a minimal compensation fee from Craven Cottage.
    Some, including supersub striker Divock Origi, will leave Anfield this summer.
    But like so many Liverpool fringe players, the big Belgian has frequently stepped up at crucial moments for them. Usually in Merseyside derbies.
    So as Chelsea pass into American ownership, Tuchel can only hope that Todd Boehly runs the club similarly to Liverpool’s Fenway Sports Group.
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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-n392go{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(155,201,183,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-1p5s3t0{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(155,201,183,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-i1acvs{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,99,73,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-i1acvs:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}HAIR THIS .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}I’m a hair doctor & hair loss is caused by how it’s styled – like putting it bun
    Because the gap between the Reds, second in the Premier League, and Chelsea, in third, is 16 points.
    And like Tuchel’s complaint  about squad depth, that is not an inaccurate reflection of where these two clubs are currently at. More

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    Chelsea legend and serial trophy winner looks unrecognisable with new hairstyle and goatee beard

    THIS Chelsea legend and serial trophy winner looks unrecognisable with a new hairstyle and trendy goatee beard.But can you guess who it is?
    This Chelsea legend looks unrecognisable with a new hairstyle and goatee beardCredit: Instagram @chelseafc
    This former Stamford Bridge favourite used to run the show from midfield each week.
    Making an instant impact in London, he spent five-and-a-half years with Chelsea.
    And he also won an impressive 52 caps for his country.
    Guessed who it is yet?
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    Yes, it is Blues icon and former Brazilian midfield ace Ramires.
    He spent his time at Chelsea with a smooth, shaved head – as well as no facial hair.
    But Ramires revealed a new look ahead of the club’s FA Cup final defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.
    Sending a message of good luck to Chelsea, Ramires declared: “Hi guys, Ramires here.
    Ramires won multiple trophies at Chelsea during a five-and-a-half year spellCredit: Getty Images – Getty
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    “Just wanted to wish you best of luck before the FA Cup final.
    “Let’s have a repeat of our final win 10 years ago against Liverpool. Good luck guys.”
    Chelsea fans went wild for Ramires’ sharp new style, with one saying: “How much your face has changed. First I did not know you!”
    Another noted: “Looking very handsome my bro.”
    One cried: “Your face changed a lot, couldn’t figure it out at first. You look great.”
    Another added: “Ramires’ glow up is unbelievable.”
    Ramires joined Chelsea from Benfica in 2010 for £18million, having just won a Portuguese league and cup double.
    And he went on to score 34 goals in 251 games as a dynamic box-to-box midfielder.
    Ramires won a Premier League title, FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League during his Stamford Bridge spell.
    But he was shown the door in January 2016 when he joined the Chinese Super League revolution with Jiangsu Suning for £25m.
    Ramires played 71 times for the Far East side before returning to Brazil with Palmeiras.
    Making 43 appearances, he won the 2020 Treble before departing soon after.
    Ramires has been without a club ever since, although he has not officially retired.
    And in 2018 the star admitted he’d love to play again for Chelsea one last time.
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    Ramires said: “I’ll always have special affection for them and I want to play for them again before finishing my career.
    “I know the doors of Stamford Bridge will always be open to me and that wearing their jersey again would be spectacular.” More