Barney Ronay at Stamford Bridge

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Feb 12

Olivier Giroud the well-groomed, half-speed Costa, looks an ideal fit | Barney Ronay

The striker, signed by Chelsea from Arsenal in January, has a physical presence and is a good foil for Eden HazardSquint a little as Chelsea despatched West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge and at times it was as though the champions’ attack was doin…

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Nov 05

Cesc Fàbregas keeps calm amid the chaos to steer Chelsea towards a worthy win | Barney Ronay

Aided by the return of N’Golo Kanté, the Spanish midfielder stood out by doing what Manchester United could not: pass the ball with maturity, patience and craftAnd then there was one. With just over an hour gone at Stamford Bridge and Manchester United…

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Sep 17

Eden Hazard cameo shows Chelsea are too reliant on him for match-winning flair | Barney Ronay

Belgian forward comes on to give his side creative edge they had been lacking but too late to find a way through Arsenal in claustrophobic game of fine details

On a rowdy, bruising, enjoyably intense afternoon at Stamford Bridge Chelsea showed two sides to their game. First came the one that doesn’t involve Eden Hazard. For the opening 70 minutes of this 0-0 draw the champions were neat, focused, disciplined and aggressively blunt in their attacking rhythms, the gears a little gummed.

After which, in glimpses, they played the other version, the Hazard-remix, the one where Chelsea’s No10 provides a vital free radical element in Antonio Conte’s hard-running 3-5-2, somebody to see the angles between the angles, to create space rather than simply applying relentless physical pressure.

Related: David Luiz sees red as Arsenal hold Chelsea in stalemate at Stamford Bridge

Related: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal: Premier League – as it happened

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Aug 12

Antonio Conte denies team selection was a message to Chelsea hierarchy

• Manager insists side wasn’t chosen to highlight lack of signings
• ‘My choice was to put out the best players that we have’

Antonio Conte denied that his team sheet was intended as any kind of message to the Chelsea hierarchy after a lineup stocked with kids on the bench and a 20-year-old making his first start lost to Burnley on the opening day of their title defence.

Related: Nine-man Chelsea shocked by Sam Vokes double for Burnley

Related: Chelsea looking ill-equipped after a summer of stagnation | Jonathan Wilson

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Aug 12

Nine-man Chelsea shocked by Sam Vokes double for Burnley

There are title defences. And then there are Chelsea title defences. As an exercise in exploring just how quickly a steamrollering champion team can be reduced to a frazzled, meandering rabble, Chelsea’s opening half of the season against Burnley at Stamford Bridge is likely to take some beating.

A red card for the captain, Gary Cahill, on 13 minutes was followed by goals from Sam Vokes, Steven Ward and Vokes again as Burnley produced a performance as controlled and purposeful as Chelsea were flaccid.

Related: Everton v Stoke and more – Premier League clockwatch: live

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