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    Romelu Lukaku says Chelsea situation is ‘hot’ in message to Tim Howard ahead of showdown talks with Tuchel on Monday

    ROMELU LUKAKU described his situation at Chelsea as ‘hot’ and is due to meet with manager Thomas Tuchel on Monday.That is according to a text he sent ex-Everton team-mate Tim Howard, which the American former keeper, 42, shared live on air.
    Romelu Lukaku and Tim Howard at EvertonCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    In the alleged message, Howard claimed it said: “I can’t talk too much about it. It’s very hot.
    “There will be another meeting on Monday. I have another meeting on Monday, then I can talk more.”
    It comes after Lukaku, 28, was dropped from Chelsea’s squad that host Liverpool at Stamford Bridge this afternoon following his bombshell interview.
    Speaking to Sky in Italy, the striker admitted he wants to return to Inter Milan one day, would never have left had he been offered a new deal and named Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich as the world’s biggest clubs.
    The words come less than six months after Lukaku re-joined Chelsea from Inter in a club record £97.5million move.
    He has since been omitted from Chelsea’s team completely, with Kai Havertz, 22, starting up front in replacement.
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    Lukaku had admitted he was “not happy with the situation” at Stamford Bridge, in the interview he gave three weeks ago, while out injured.
    But since then, he returned to the side and scored in his last two matches, in Chelsea’s 2-1 win at Aston Villa and 1-1 draw at home to Brighton.
    However, following the shock quotes, manager Tuchel criticised the impact it could have on his Chelsea squad.
    He said: “We don’t like it. It brings noise that we don’t need and it’s not helpful. We don’t want to make more out of it than it actually is.
    “It is easy to take lines out of context, shorten lines, make headlines and then realise later that it is not so bad.
    “We need a calm environment and focus and this does not help.”
    Romelu Lukaku has been dropped from Chelsea’s squadCredit: Rex More

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    Barcelona board and Xavi split on raiding Chelsea for Azpilicueta and Christensen despite duo ‘willing to join for free’

    BARCELONA are pondering a move for Chelsea pair Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen, Spanish reports say. The Blues defensive duo are both out of contract at the end of the season, and yet to renew their deals.
    Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are both linked with BarcelonaCredit: Andy Hooper-The Daily Mail
    Unless they sign a contract extension, in January they are allowed to start negotiating a free transfer abroad.
    According to Sport, both Azpilicueta, 30, and Christensen, 25, are keen on a move to Barca, with the LaLiga giants also interested.
    But it is claimed no official offers have been made to the pair.
    Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt, 22, is said to be Barca boss Xavi’s preferred choice, but a far more expensive one at that.
    That means the club legend oculd soon be at odds with his cash-strapped bosses.
    Especially with fund now even lower after the club somehow funded the £55million deal for Man City’s Ferran Torres.
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    Chelsea also face losing Antonio Rudiger, 28, with the German also facing six months left on his deal.
    And there is growing concern from Stamford Bridge that the German will not renew, with Real Madrid a heavily linked alternative.
    Contrary to reports in Spain, club captain Azpilicueta on the other hand is willing to stay and fight for his place, The Athletic say.
    But Chelsea have long had a policy of only offering players over 30 one-year extensions.
    Christensen meanwhile could be closing in on a new deal, along with Thiago Silva, journalist  Gianluca Di Marzio reported.
    Silva, 37, signed on a free from PSG in 2019 and was handed one year with the option to extend.
    That was triggered, but the Brazilian is set to now sign another 12-month deal.
    Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger are both out of contract at the end of the seasonCredit: Reuters More

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    Chelsea’s clash with West Ham called off as Covid cases kibosh second Women’s Super League fixture

    COVID continues to wreak havoc across football with Chelsea’s WSL duel with West Ham becoming the latest top-flight clash to be postponed.And the call-off of the match comes hours after Manchester City revealed their game against Reading will be rescheduled.
    Chelsea’s game against West Ham is being rescheduled due to CovidCredit: Reuters
    The announcement comes with the Citizens and the WSL champs reporting a number of positive Covid-19 test results in their sides before games that were due to happen on Sunday.
    A statement shared on the Blues said: “Chelsea FC can confirm that Sunday’s fixture against West Ham United Women will be rescheduled.
    “The decision was agreed between both teams and the FA after a number of positive tests for Covid-19 were returned within the women’s team set-up after the last round of testing on return to the UK.
    “Those affected immediately began a period of self-isolation in accordance with Public Health England and Government guidelines.
    “The health and safety of our players, support staff and fans remain paramount.
    “The Women’s squad will now begin their winter break, returning to training in the New Year.”
    It has been reported that 28 fixtures across the WSL, the Women’s Championship and the Premier League and EFL have been scrapped due to outbreaks.
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    Crystal Palace Women announced their second-tier duel with Lewes has been postponed ‘due to illness and Covid’ protocols.
    And Bristol City’s away clash with London City Lionesses has also been shelved.
    Emma Hayes warned the ‘stress and anxiety’ coronavirus is causing within her Chelsea squad with the team suffering a Champions League group stage exit following a 4-0 away loss to Wolfsburg.
    The club were without first-choice keeper Ann-Katrin Berger and midfielder Drew Spence with both testing positive for Covid before their match in Germany.
    Emma Hayes’ team will play next WSL on January 7 when they face TottenhamCredit: Reuters
    On Thursday night the Blues chief, 44, said:  I just feel like this is deja vu and we’re here again 12 months on after a really, really bad Covid outbreak at exactly the same time last year.
    “We had 20 cases last year that saw my entire team struck off and unable to go home to see their families.
    “They don’t earn hundreds of thousands of pounds every week. A few days ago, we had two players struck down with Covid.
    “Our heads are all over the place. We are human beings.”
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    Chelsea legend Diego Costa lined up for shock transfer back to LaLiga after winning double with Atletico Mineiro

    DIEGO COSTA is subject to transfer interest in Spain after helping Atletico Mineiro to silverware this season. Costa had returned to Atletico Madrid from Chelsea in 2017 but two years later hit the headlines after being banned for eight games after abusing a referee.
    Diego Costa playing for Atletico MineiroCredit: AFP
    The striker in December 2020 agreed to terminate his contract and was left without a club for seven months.
    And despite almost signing for Benfica in Portugal, Costa moved back to Brazil with Atletico Mineiro, signing till December 2022.
    It proved an inspired deal as the forward hit five goals in 19 games and helped them to a league and cup double.
    According to Mundo Deportivo, Cadiz and Elche are monitoring Costa’s situation.
    Spain is where he made his name with 83 goals in 216 appearances with Atletico Madrid over two spells.
    He moved to Chelsea in 2014 and scored 58 in 120 games, winning the Premier League title twice.
    @font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:400;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:500;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:400;font-stretch:semi-condensed;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:700;font-stretch:normal;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:700;font-stretch:condensed;font-display:swap;}.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-zkaekv{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-zkaekv::before{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-bottom:calc(-0.24520833333333342em + -1px);}.css-zkaekv::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);}LATEST OFFERS.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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    But Costa was sold by Antonio Conte and re-joined Atletico Madrid.
    Controversy still surrounds the Spanish international, though, after he was probed by police over alleged links to an online betting scandal.
    Costa, 33, was identified in October as the footballer being investigated when detectives went public with their operation.
    They say they were probing the practice of alleged crimes including money laundering and foreign exchange fraud involving online betting site Esportenet.
    His lawyer Aurelio Belem said the footballer had done nothing wrong and would be contacting police himself to give a statement voluntarily.
    Diego Costa pictured next to HulkCredit: Getty More

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    Chelsea boss Hayes says Covid ‘stress’ affected players after Blues suffer Champions League knockout

    EMMA HAYES was ‘gutted’ to see Chelsea suffer a shock Champions League group stage exit with Wolfsburg thumping her aces 4-0. And the Blues boss reckons the Covid surge – wreaking havoc across the sport in recent weeks – may have affected the mindset of her players.
    Chelsea fell to their second defeat in a week following their 4-0 loss to WolfsburgCredit: Reuters
    Tabea Wassmuth scored two of the goals that led to Chelsea’s exit at the contest’s group stageCredit: Rex
    A clinical Tabea Wassmuth brace was among the efforts that helped the German giants stun the WSL champs, avenging their March quarter-final loss to last term’s finalists.  
    The result comes in a week that has seen two Chelsea stars – Ann-Katrin Berger and Drew Spence – test positive for coronavirus.
    After the game, Hayes said: “I’m gutted for the players because we all know that was nowhere near a performance that represents my team.
    “I’ve got players being sick, they’ve got diarrhoea, they’re exhausted, and maybe some of that mental anxiety plays a part in it.
    “But I just feel like this was deja vu and we’re here again 12 months on after a really, really bad Covid outbreak at exactly the same time last year.
    “I think that played a major part in our performance tonight.”
    Chelsea’s loss to Wolfsburg comes days after a Conti cup game between Manchester City and Leicester called off due to a number of Covid-19 cases in City’s squad.
    On how the virus has affected her side, Hayes added: “We had 20 cases last year that saw my entire team struck off and unable to go home to see their families.
    “They don’t earn hundreds of thousands of pounds every week. A few days ago, we had two players struck down with Covid.
    “Our heads are all over the place. We are human beings.
    “The stress, the anxiety, the worry of having to perform in a game when you’re thinking, ‘I just want to go home. I haven’t seen my family, I’ve been to an Olympics. Oh, no, another Christmas alone.
    @font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:400;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:500;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:400;font-stretch:semi-condensed;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:700;font-stretch:normal;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:700;font-stretch:condensed;font-display:swap;}.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-zkaekv{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-zkaekv::before{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-bottom:calc(-0.24520833333333342em + -1px);}.css-zkaekv::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 Champions League.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);}
    “I’m not making excuses for the players, but I can tell you in the last three days their heads have been all over the place.”
    The Blues defeat was compounded by the WSL aces’ losing skipper Magda Eriksson to injury early on in the second half
    At our usual best we wouldn’t be 4-0 worse off against a teamEmma Hayes
    And the result means the Blues have now gone three matches without scoring.
    Hayes added: “We’ve had lots of fantastic moments. In this club and this is not one of them.
    “When you’re faced with having to get the right result everything has to be so right and unfortunately it was not.
    Svenja Huth netted a brace for the Women’s Bundesliga leaders to help them reach the Champions League quartersCredit: AP
    “At our usual best we wouldn’t be 4-0 worse off against a team.
    “My team has been amazing for so long. Now’s not to leave each other we have to stick together in a really, really tough moment.”
    Chelsea came into the game needing to draw or win to book their place in the competition’s quarters.
    But Wolfsburg harried their visitors from the get-go with Svenja Huth latching onto a rebounded ball from a Shanice van de Sanden shot to put the hosts 1-0 up in the 16th minute.
    Fran Kirby prompted a comfortable save from Almuth Schult moments later before the German side doubled their lead.
    They did so with skipper Huth bagging her brace with a 23rd-minute tap-in past Zecira Musovic.
    Sam Kerr hit the woodwork near the half-hour mark shortly before Pernille Harder forced a save at the near post.
    Hayes looked to boost her attack by bringing on Ji So-yun close to half-time in place of Sophie Ingle.
    And the South Korea playmaker tested Schult from distance shortly before the whistle.
    The second spell saw Chelsea attempt to up the tempo of their play with a Kirby shot prompting a fine save from the keeper.
    Emma Hayes hopes to see her side bounce back from their loss and Champions League exitCredit: Reuters
    And they were forced to bring on Aniek Nouwen in place of Eriksson with the captain still the effects of her awkward landing earlier.
    The Blues’ efforts to fight their way back took a huge dent with Wassmuth slotting the ball past Musovic after Huth’s flicked on header around the 60th minute.
    And the Bundesliga goal ace sealed the 4-0 victory smashing in her second with around a quarter of an hour of normal time left.
    The German title-chasers saw out the win to book their place in the contest’s last eight with Chelsea having lost two of their last three games across all competitions. 
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    Watch Mason Mount score for FOURTH Prem game in a row to level Fernando Torres’ Chelsea tally… in only two more games

    MASON MOUNT buried his FOURTH consecutive Premier League goal and in doing so equalled Fernando Torres’ overall Chelsea tally. The England midfielder is the youngest player in the Blues history to achieve the feat.
    Mount celebrates his record-breaking strikeCredit: Getty
    Torres’ Chelsea tally has been matched already by the midfielderCredit: Action Images – Reuters

    He was slid in on goal by right-back Reece James and smashed home past Jordan Pickford, who had denied Mount with a similar chance earlier on.
    It was his 20th league goal for Chelsea, the same amount Spaniard Torres managed in his whole Stamford Bridge career.
    And it took him only two more games than Torres, who was at Chelsea from 2011-2015.
    The striker hit the 20-goal mark after 110 league games, before then moving to AC Milan.
    Mount had only hit the back of the net for the first time in October, but scored a hat-trick in the 7-0 thrashing over Norwich.
    Goals against Watford, West Ham and Leeds then followed on the bounce before his opener against Watford.
    @font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:400;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:500;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:400;font-stretch:semi-condensed;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:700;font-stretch:normal;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:700;font-stretch:condensed;font-display:swap;}.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-zkaekv{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-zkaekv::before{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-bottom:calc(-0.24520833333333342em + -1px);}.css-zkaekv::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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    But Chelsea’s celebrations were short lived as just minutes later Jarrad Branthwaite equalised, latching on to an Anthony Gordon cross.
    Unlike against Leeds, when they needed a late Jorginho winner from the spot, Thomas Tuchel’s men failed to hit back.
    It leaves them conceding further ground on the Premier League title race, now four points behind champions Manchester City.
    Even more concerning, Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chillwell all tested positive for coronavirus.
    And Kai Havertz, yet to officially test positive, was also out with illness.
    Chelsea are due to travel to Wolves on Sunday, but amid a hike in positive cases among Premier League sides, games face being postponed.
    Mason Mount looks on as Chelsea drop pointsCredit: AFP More

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    Chelsea stars Lukaku, Hudson-Odoi, Werner and Chilwell all test positive for Covid-19 but Everton game still on

    CHELSEA have been rocked by a string of positive coronavirus tests in their squad. The Blues host Everton with key names missing from their match day squad, causing keeper Marcus Bettinelli to join Kepa Arrizabalaga on the bench.
    Chelsea have been rocked by a string of positive coronavirus tests in their squadCredit: Getty
    Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell have all tested positive for Covid.
    And to make matters worse, Kai Havertz is also awaiting his results, and has been left out of the squad to face Everton.
    Despite the outbreak, Chelsea’s match is still due to go ahead, on a day five games were confirmed to be off for the weekend.
    Chelsea had only just welcomed back forwards Werner and Lukaku to their squad, both of whom scored in Zenit last week.
    Left-back Chilwell was still recovering from an ACL injury suffered in their 4-0 win against Juventus in November.
    Hudson-Odoi in March 2020 was one of the first Premier League players to have tested positive for coronavirus.
    @font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Regular.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:400;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Medium.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:500;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:400;font-stretch:semi-condensed;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-Bold.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:700;font-stretch:normal;font-display:swap;}@font-face{font-family:’The Sun’;src:url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.woff’) format(‘woff’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),url(‘/assets/fonts/the-sun/TheSun-HeavyNarrow.svg#’) format(‘svg’);font-style:normal;font-weight:700;font-stretch:condensed;font-display:swap;}.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-zkaekv{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-zkaekv::before{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-bottom:calc(-0.24520833333333342em + -1px);}.css-zkaekv::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);}
    And Havertz, also fearing a second positive test, was hit hard with the illness in November last year.
    Tuchel said: “Except for Kai they’re positive including Chilwell. Kai feels unwell but isn’t positive yet, we are awaiting results.
    “We had some extra tests today to make sure we were  alright at lunch and from there we had to pick the team.
    “The situation started yesterday with players feeling unwell and we had to await PCRs.
    “It’s a strong squad that should be able to compete. We’ll focus on guys who are there.”
    Chelsea manager Thomas TuchelCredit: PA More

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    Edouard Mendy reveals first game family saw him play live for Chelsea was Champions League final due to Covid lockdown

    EDOUARD MENDY revealed the very first game his family ever saw him play live for Chelsea was their heroic Champions League final win. The stopper signed for Chelsea in September 2020 from Rennes, during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
    Edouard Mendy with the Champions League trophyCredit: The Sun
    During the time, all matches were played behind-closed-doors, with Premier League fans only partially returning in the December.
    Chelsea later went on to sack club legend Frank Lampard – who brought Mendy to Stamford Bridge – and German Thomas Tuchel came in as replacement.
    Tuchel later guided the Blues into the Champions League final against Manchester City at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao.
    Up to 16,500 spectators were allowed to attend and allowed players’ family and friends to be there.
    For Mendy, who was unemployed only seven years ago, it was the first time his closest fans got to see him in Chelsea colours.
    He said: “I was thinking, first of all, of my family because they hadn’t been able to watch the games in London up to that point due to lockdown.
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    “So the first game for them was the Champions League final. I think it was the best game for them to watch me for the first time in a Chelsea shirt!
    “I also thought about the period when times were difficult, when I was without a club, and I thought about my journey.
    “It was a mix of feelings, but I was super happy.”   
    Chelsea won the game thanks to a Kai Havertz’s opener, giving the club their second Champions League trophy.
    Edouard Mendy leads Chelsea’s Champions League final winning celebrationsCredit: The Sun More