Sometimes football simply doesn't make sense. The cliché that a club's name is on a trophy can't have any truth, and yet it was hard during Chelsea's Champions League final victory not to feel it had some greater power behind it.
Carlo Ancelotti paid the ultimate price for failing to deliver trophies at Chelsea last season, being sacked by the English club's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich just hours after a defeat on the final day.
Manchester United beat Chelsea 3-1 at Old Trafford Sunday in an English Premier League top of the table clash which mixed superb attacking play with comical misses by star strikers Fernando Torres and Wayne Rooney.
The timing was typical Carlos Tevez. Within hours of Manchester City confirming their first signing of the summer, Gael Clichy, the controversial club captain had released yet another statement declaring his wish to leave the club. His comments overshadowed the new arrival but of the two stories, it was Clichy's signing that was the more surprising.
In moments of crisis, return to basics. Carlo Ancelotti wrote his dissertation for his coaching diploma on the 4-3-2-1, and it was to the Christmas tree he returned against Manchester United at Old Trafford. It might have been an inspired reversion -- and indeed it did address some of the problems Chelsea had suffered in the first leg -- but in the harsh light of a 2-1 defeat it may seem like a doomed manager scrabbling desperately for the comforts of the familiar.
Any conversation about left backs that does not begin with Giacinto Facchetti has already taken a wrong turn. At Internazionale under Helenio Herrera in the 1960s, Facchetti defined the European imagining of an attacking fullback: When Inter crushed Liverpool's hopes of a first European Cup final (on its way to a second successive title) in 1965, the Guardian's David Lacey reported that the break for Facchetti's winning goal "was carried out at top speed and took Liverpool's defense almost completely unawares .. Facchetti burst through and beat Lawrence with a splendid low shot." The innovation was Herrera's, Facchetti, as immaculate playing the ball as winning it, the perfect manifestation.
If this match had been played when originally scheduled, in December, top-of-the-table United would kickoff only three points ahead of its host. Instead, Chelsea is 15 points back and struggling just to make certain of a Champions League spot ... if Carlo Ancelotti is going to turn this ship around, he needs to sound the horn long and loud with a performance here.
England soccer star Ashley Cole received the backing of his club manager on Monday in the wake of reports that the Chelsea player had shot a work-placement student with an air rifle.
Italy have admitted they do not know when star goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will be able to return to action at the 2010 World Cup.
OK, so we all feel very sorry for Wayne Bridge. The mother of his child, Vanessa Perroncel, and John Terry allegedly had an affair. Terry is not just Bridge's former teammate at Chelsea; he is also his teammate on the England team. And, until Terry was stripped of the England armband last month -- as a direct result of his alleged affair with Perroncel -- he was the national-team captain, too.
England coach Fabio Capello has warned his players to behave or face the risk of missing out on a trip to the World Cup finals.
As Chelsea and Inter Milan prepare to face each other, their players and managers make headlines off the pitch.
English Premier League title chasers Chelsea and Manchester United have suffered injury blows on Thursday, with the news that key players Ashley Cole and Ryan Giggs face lengthy spells on the sidelines.
English Premier League leaders Chelsea smashed seven goals past hapless Sunderland on Saturday, while second-placed Manchester United kept up the pressure with a 3-0 victory at home to Burnley.
It seems the world of the golf cart is changing if certain industry manufacturers are to be believed. By shedding their normal surroundings, improving their dowdy image and hitting the streets -- "pimped up" carts may increasingly be seen away from the course.
Didier Drogba scored twice as Chelsea re-established a five point lead at the top of the English Premier League with a 3-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Chelsea have been rocked by a leg injury to England left-back Ashley Cole, which threatens to keep him out of action for several weeks.
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson admitted he is losing faith in referees after he disputed the decision which led to the decisive goal in his side's English Premier League defeat to Chelsea.
Chelsea moved five points clear in the English Premier League after claiming a controversial 1-0 victory at home to defending champions Manchester United on Sunday.
Ukraine claimed a 1-0 victory over 10-man England which boosted their hopes of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa via the playoffs.
Manchester United substitute Michael Owen broke Manchester City hearts with a dramatic winning goal deep into injury-time at Old Trafford on Sunday, but Chelsea stayed top of the English Premier League with a 3-0 crushing of London rivals Tottenham.
English Premier League side Chelsea have said they will mount the "strongest appeal possible" following the transfer ban placed on the club by world football's governing body FIFA.
Chelsea recovered from falling behind to the fastest goal in FA Cup final history to beat Everton 2-1 at Wembley on Saturday in coach Guus Hiddink's final game in charge of the English club.
Chelsea will be without midfielder Deco and defenders Ricardo Carvalho and Ashley Cole for tonight's Champions League semifinal first leg against Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
Chelsea and England defender Ashley Cole has apologized to London police for a foul-mouthed tirade that led to him being arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Silverware, iPods, playground spats, free booze and nights in jail. Confused? You should be, but it's all in a day's work for Team Limey in the reporting of what's happening in English soccer.
Wayne Rooney led the way with two goals as England ultimately ran riot against Kazakhstan at Wembley with a 5-1 win to stay firmly on course for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
England midfielder Joe Cole scored in injury time to salvage a 2-2 friendly draw against the Czech Republic at Wembley.
Is a fullback primarily an attacker or a defender? It's not an easy question, and there's no right or wrong answer. The word "back" might point strongly to the latter option, but soccer is a dynamic sport, and one of the reasons for its global popularity is that it's open to so many different interpretations.
Chelsea's England international left back Ashley Cole is fit to play in the Champions League final against Manchester United in Moscow, despite suffering a last-minute injury scare.
David Beckham's 100th cap ended in disappointment as France beat England 1-0 in their friendly international at the Stade de France on Wednesday.
Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan is pleased that Chelsea's Ashley Cole apologized for turning his back on referee Mike Riley when he was booked during the 4-4 draw with Tottenham this week.
Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole has apologized to Tottenham defender Alan Hutton for his high, studs-up challenge in Wednesday's 4-4 draw at White Hart Lane.
Welcome to the Fabio Capello era. England's players got their first taste of the new headmaster's regime leading up to Wednesday's friendly with Switzerland in a situation reminiscent of the opening half of Full Metal Jacket.
Chelsea's Ashley Cole and Aston Villa's Zat Knight failed with appeals against their red cards in Wednesday's Premier League game at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's hopes of regaining ground in the English Premier League title chase have been dealt a double blow with captain John Terry ruled out of action for up to three weeks and fellow England defender Ashley Cole sidelined for a month.
England coach Steve McClaren has been forced to call up defender Luke Young for Wednesday's vital Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia after Ashley Cole was ruled out.
England maintained their bid for Euro 2008 qualification with a routine 3-0 win over Estonia on Saturday, but had defender Ashley Cole stretchered off in the second half at Wembley.
Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar saved all three penalties he faced in the shootout as Manchester United beat Chelsea 3-0 on spot-kicks after a bruising 1-1 draw in the FA Community Shield match at Wembley.
Central defenders Rio Ferdinand and Michael Dawson have pulled out of England's prestige friendly with Brazil and the crucial Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia through groin injuries.
Germany midfielder Michael Ballack volleyed Chelsea into the Champions League quarterfinals in a stirring 2-1 comeback victory at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Chelsea captain John Terry will miss Sunday's League Cup final after damaging his ankle against in the 1-1 Champions League draw with Porto on Wednesday.
Michael Essien's explosive swerving shot from well outside the penalty area enabled Chelsea to preserve their long unbeaten home league run by drawing 1-1 at home to London rivals Arsenal.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will rest left back Ashley Cole and midfielder Claude Makelele for Tuesday's Champions League game against Levski Sofia.
Teenage defender Micah Richards will make his England debut and striker Andy Johnson will get a rare start in their friendly against the Netherlands, coach Steve McClaren has revealed.
English Premiership referees chief Keith Hackett has said that he will be investigating Chelsea's claims that Graham Poll told their players they needed to be taught a lesson in discipline during Sunday's game at Tottenham.
British football agent Jonathan Barnett has been banned for nine months and fined 100,000 pounds ($189,500) by the Football Association for his role in the transfer of England defender Ashley Cole to Chelsea.
England defender Ashley Cole has fanned the flames of his acrimonious departure to champions Chelsea by accusing former club Arsenal of betraying him.
England star Ashley Cole moved from Arsenal to Chelsea with French defender William Gallas going in the opposite direction late on Thursday, ending one of English football's most protracted transfer sagas.
Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has confirmed the club have turned down a bid from Atletico Madrid for their want-away Spain striker Jose Antonio Reyes.
Arsenal defender Ashley Cole has made himself available for their Premier League opener against Aston Villa on Saturday despite the widespread belief that he is headed across London to Chelsea.
Chelsea have said their attempts to sign Ashley Cole from Arsenal have reached deadlock with the clubs unable to agree a fee for the England left-back.
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes is close to completing a much publicized transfer to Real Madrid, news reports said on Wednesday.
Arsenal have confirmed they have held informal talks with fellow-Premier League side Chelsea over the possible transfer of England left-back Ashley Cole to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will let Damien Duff leave the English champions because he cannot guarantee the Republic of Ireland winger a regular place in his side.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted he wants Ashley Cole to stay at the English Premier League club.
A scrappy last-minute goal from Henrik Larsson saw Sweden draw 2-2 with England in Group B -- a result that sees them go through to play hosts Germany in the last 16 with group winners England facing Ecuador.
Striker Wayne Rooney, whose chances of playing at the World Cup hinge on a scan on Wednesday, joined his England team-mates in a training session in Germany on Tuesday.
England suffered a faltering start to their World Cup preparations as an experimental 'B' side slid to a 2-1 defeat to Belarus on Thursday night and reserve goalkeeper Robert Green was ruled out through injury.
Ashley Cole's agent has been charged with breaching English FA and FIFA rules over the Arsenal player's illicit talks on a possible move to rivals Chelsea.
Injured Arsenal left back Ashley Cole will be ready to play for England in the World Cup in June, according to his manager Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal and England leftback Ashley Cole will be out for at least three more weeks with a sprained ankle.
Arsenal's French defender Gael Clichy has been ruled out for three to four months by a stress fracture of his right foot.
Arsenal full back Gael Clichy could be out for several weeks after suffering a suspected broken foot during France's Under-21 playoff against England on Friday.
Arsenal's injury woes have increased after manager Arsene Wenger revealed that Belarus midfielder Alexander Hleb needed knee surgery and would be out for eight weeks.
Arsenal's Ashley Cole has been ruled out of England's World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Poland with a stress fracture to his foot.
England kept their World Cup qualifying hopes on track but were made to work hard for a 1-0 victory over Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
Arsenal defender Ashley Cole has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have his quilty verdict overturned for breaking Premier League transfer rules.
England defender Ashley Cole has signed a one-year contract extension with Arsenal - the player's agents have revealed.
Chelsea have accepted their 300,000 ($542,900) fine for "tapping up" Arsenal's Ashley Cole but their manager Jose Mourinho will appeal the verdict.
Tottenham Hotspur have suspended sporting director Frank Arnesen after claiming that he has been approached by Chelsea, without permission.
Chelsea will find it hard to forget Arsenal's role in the Ashley Cole tapping-up affair, chairman Bruce Buck has said.
Statement by the Premier League disciplinary committee after Chelsea, manager Jose Mourinho and Arsenal defender Ashley Cole were found guilty of breaking rules governing the transfer of players still under contract:
Chelsea and manager Jose Mourinho plus Arsenal defender Ashley Cole have been found guilty of breaking Premier League rules and fined a total of 600,000 pounds ($1.088m) on Wednesday.
The verdict in the "tapping up" enquiry involving Arsenal fullback Ashley Cole and Chelsea will be announced on June 1.
The verdict in the Ashley Cole `tapping-up' inquiry has been delayed until after Saturday's FA Cup final between Cole's Arsenal and Manchester United.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and chief executive Peter Kenyon appeared at a Premier League hearing Tuesday to answer allegations they tried to lure Ashley Cole away from Arsenal.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is "100 percent certain" England defender Ashley Cole will not be joining London rivals Chelsea next season.
Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia saved two penalties in the shootout and Ashley Cole fired in the decider as the Gunners scraped into the quarterfinals of the FA Cup after a goalless 120-minute replay away to Sheffield United.
Arsenal central defender Sol Campbell will miss the Champions League knockout round game at Bayern Munich on Tuesday due to an ankle injury.
Shaun Wright-Phillips's first international start was a major disappointment as England were held to a goalless draw by an inexperienced Netherlands at Villa Park.
The English Premier League is to investigate allegations runaway leaders Chelsea made an illegal approach for Arsenal's left back Ashley Cole.
The English Premier League has launched an investigation into an alleged illegal approach by Chelsea to Arsenal and England defender Ashley Cole, according to newspaper reports on Saturday.
Newcastle striker Patrick Kluivert will miss Wednesday's Premier League match at home to champions Arsenal.
Arsenal defender Ashley Cole is ready to open talks on a new contract despite Real Madrid showing an interest in the England left-back, the player's agent said Wednesday.
The English FA has received a letter of apology from the Spanish FA after fans racially abused England players during Wednesday's match in Madrid.
Arsenal and England defender Sol Campbell has sustained a calf injury and will miss the Premier League match against Southampton on Saturday.
The English Football Association has launched an inquiry into the aftermath of Sunday's controversial clash between Manchester United and Arsenal, when an Arsenal player was alleged to have thrown soup and pizza at United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Michael Owen's first half header kept England on course for the 2006 World Cup with a 1-0 win in qualifying group six.
A rare goal from Ashley Cole fired Arsenal to a 1-0 win at Manchester City as the Gunners maintained their slender advantage over Chelsea at the top of the English Premier League.
Jose Reyes inspired Arsenal to a 3-1 victory over fierce rivals Manchester United in the Community Shield - the traditional curtain-raiser to the English season.
Chelsea's Dutch striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has been cleared of violent behaviour after an incident in an FA Cup match against Scarborough in January.
England captain David Beckham may miss his side's friendly international against Sweden next week because of heavy bruising to his right leg.
Ashley Cole is out of Arsenal's Premiership clash against Manchester United on Sunday due to a knee injury and faces a scan to determine how long he will be on the sidelines.
Frenchman Robert Pires scored a vital away goal as Arsenal earned a 1-1 draw at London rivals Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal.
Arsenal full back Ashley Cole has been ruled out of Saturday's Premiership game at Chelsea after failing to recover from a back injury suffered with England.
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