Nemanja Matic takes a dig at Chelsea, claims Manchester United are ‘definitely’ a bigger club

Nemanja Matic has had a dig at his former employers Chelsea, insisting Manchester United are “definitely” a bigger club.

The midfielder made the switch to Old Trafford this summer in a £40million deal, ending a three-and-a-half year stint in his second spell with Chelsea.

Matic was awarded man-of-the match in his Premier League debut for United as they ran out comfortable 4-0 winners over West Ham.

Asked if United were the biggest club he has played for, Matic told Sky Sports:

“Definitely, everyone knows what Manchester United is about. “When you say Manchester United, it is different.

“Also Chelsea is a big club, Benfica are the biggest club in Portugal. But Manchester is Manchester.

“When I came here for the first day, I could feel that the people at the club help you every day if you need something and supporters are very important for this club.

“After every training session, they are waiting for us outside the training ground to take pictures, to give a signature so I think the club is one of the biggest in the world.

“Maybe you have two or three clubs similar to United, but Manchester is one of the biggest clubs in the world for sure.”

Matic also revealed that Mourinho was a big factor in convincing him to swap blue for red.

“He was very important for me,” Matic said of Mourinho. “He bought me to Chelsea from Benfica and now when I decided to come to Manchester, he was a reason to come here.

“Mourinho was the reason and so was the club, Manchester United, so you don’t need to think a lot about if you are going to come. “My decision was very quick and very clear.”

EPL results – Lukaku scores twice as United cruise; Champions Chelsea shocked by Burnley; Liverpool held by

SUNDAY

  • Manchester United 4 – 0 West Ham United

Romelu Lukaku announced his arrival at Old Trafford by scoring twice on his Premier League debut for Manchester United as they embarrassed West Ham.

Jose Mourinho’s team were a constant threat against a poor Hammers side, offering excitement and encouragement to their supporters on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season.

Lukaku, a £75m summer signing from Everton, put the Red Devils ahead with a rising drive off the post after racing onto Marcus Rashford’s pass.

The Belgium international doubled the lead after half-time, glancing in a header from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s inswinging free-kick.

United teenager Rashford curled against the inside of Joe Hart’s left-hand post before substitute Anthony Martial ended the match as a contest with a slick finish.

There was still time for a fourth, however, as Paul Pogba curled in from distance.

The Hammers offered little going forward in a passive performance, although new signing Marko Arnautovic did flick a header onto the top of the home crossbar at 2-0.

The Red Devils have now lost only one of their 14 opening-day Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford, while West Ham’s season began with a record 11th defeat.

  • Tottenham 2-0 Newcastle United

Tottenham made a winning start to the 2017-18 Premier League season as 10-man Newcastle endured a difficult return to the top flight.

The Magpies, promoted as winners of the Championship last term, had captain Jonjo Shelvey sent off early in the second half for standing on Dele Alli.

The Spurs attacker then put his side ahead with a close-range finish before Ben Davies finished off a neat move for Tottenham’s second.

It was a harsh re-introduction to life back in the Premier League for Newcastle, who were relegated from the division at the end of the 2015-16 season.

Rafael Benitez’s side did not really threaten Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal until late on, Christian Atsu forcing the goalkeeper into a low save and Ciaran Clark going close with a volley from 12 yards.

Instead, Spurs could have added to their lead as Harry Kane, last season’s Premier League top scorer with 29 goals, struck the post in injury time.

SATURDAY

  • Chelsea 2 – 3 Burnley

Champions Chelsea suffered a nightmare start to their Premier League title defence, having two men sent off as Burnley claimed a superb win at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea were down to 10 men with 14 minutes gone when captain Cahill was dismissed for a lunging challenge on Steven Defour, and they fell behind with 24 minutes gone as Sam Vokes guided the ball past Thibaut Courtois.

Burnley’s lead was doubled when, with a little over five minutes remaining until the break, Jack Cork set up Stephen Ward to hammer home, and it was 3-0 before the interval when Vokes scored his second with a header.

Marcos Alonso had an effort saved by Burnley keeper Tom Heaton early in the second half before Alvaro Morata was brought on for Michy Batshuayi, and Alonso had a free kick saved soon afterwards.

Morata dived to head home his first Premier League goal from a Willian cross and bundled the ball home moments later only to see an offside flag deny him.

Fabregas then saw red for a second booking — but David Luiz pulled another one back to set up a frenetic finish in which Burnley’s Robbie Brady hit the post and Morata failed to touch home late on.

There was no Diego Costa (on his way out), no Eden Hazard or Pedro(injured) and, after 24 minutes, no Cahill, exposing the decisions to let Nathan Ake join Bournemouth and fellow defender Kurt Zouma go on loan to Stoke.

Cahill’s red card ended Jeremie Boga’s shock debut early, as he was replaced by Christensen, and handed the initiative to Burnley, whose three-goal salvo added disbelief to the list of negative emotions ripping through the home support.

  • Everton 1 – 0 Stoke City

Wayne Rooney scored on his Premier League return to Everton as they beat Stoke 1-0 in their opening fixture of the season.

It was a fairy-tale return to his boyhood club as Rooney headed home the winning goal in the added minute of injury time in the first half, and sealed the three points for the hosts.

The Toffees had drawn their last four opening day matches but managed to hold out for the victory against a Stoke side who had very few clear-cut chances, with Xherdan Shaqiri almost snatching a draw late on, only to be denied by a superb Jordan Pickford save.

  • Watford 3 – 3 Liverpool

Liverpool conceded an injury-time equaliser as they were held 3-3 at Watford in their Premier League opener.

Mohamed Salah looked to have netted a winner on his Liverpool debut, but Miguel Britos headed home from point-blank range in the dying moments to secure a share of the spoils.

Liverpool — without Philippe Coutinho, who was ruled out with a back injury amid intense speculation over his future — fell behind on eight minutes, with Stefano Okaka taking advantage of some poor defending from a corner to head past Simon Mignolet.

Sadio Mane hit back on 29 minutes, but Liverpool’s defensive weaknesses were exposed again as Abdoulaye Doucoure slotted in for 2-1.

Liverpool turned it around early in the second half, with Roberto Firmino equalising from the penalty spot after Salah was brought down in the area by goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes on 55 minutes and then Salah nudging home.

  • Brighton & Hove Albion 0 – 2 Manchester City

Sergio Aguero was on target as Manchester City denied Brighton any hope of a shock on their Premier League debut.

Pep Guardiola’s side, for all their riches, took time to get into their groove in a 2-0 win at the Amex Stadium.

But the moment they did it was ruthless as striker Aguero converted 20 minutes from time.

Lewis Dunk turned Fernandinho’s cross through goalkeeper Mathew Ryan grasp and into his own net soon afterwards as City prevailed after previously being frustrated.

  • Bromwich Albion 1 – 0 AFC Bournemouth

West Bromwich Albion made another set piece pay as they opened the season with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth at The Hawthorns.

The visitors produced plenty of neat football throughout, but were unable to create much threat and fell behind after 31 minutes when Ahmed Hegazi headed in a Chris Brunt free kick.

Jermain Defoe came on for Bournemouth after the break, replacing Benik Afobe, but the former Sunderland striker had little to work with as West Brom held firm.

  • Crystal Palace 0 – 3 Huddersfield Town

Two goals in three minutes set Huddersfield up for a dream start to life in the Premier League as they defeated Crystal Palace 3-0 at Selhurst Park.

Tom Ince missed an early chance to give the Terriers the lead when he sent a bouncing effort from Tommy Smith’s cross straight at keeper Wayne Hennessey.

But they were ahead after 23 minutes when Palace failed to deal with an Aaron Mooy corner and the ball deflected in off Joel Ward — and with Palace rocking Mooy crossed again and Steve Mounie headed home. Palace made a half-time change, with Andros Townsend coming on in place of Luka Milivojevic, and Christian Benteke almost pulled a goal back — but Huddersfield made sure when Mounie struck again.

  • Southampton 0 – 0 Swansea City West

Southampton suffered a frustrating afternoon as they were held 0-0 at home by Swansea City.

Watford 3 – 3 Liverpool

Chelsea 2 – 3 Burnley

Crystal Palace 0 – 3 Huddersfield Town

Everton 1 – 0 Stoke City

Southampton 0 – 0 Swansea City West

Bromwich Albion 1 – 0 AFC Bournemouth

Brighton & Hove Albion 0 – 2 Manchester City

Tottenham 2-0 Newcastle United

Manchester United 4 – 0 West Ham United

Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi denies laughing at Alvaro Morata penalty miss

Michy Batshuayi has denied claims that he enjoyed teammate Alvaro Morata’s penalty miss after TV footage appeared to show him stifling laughter during Chelsea’s shootout defeat to Arsenal in the FA Community Shield.

Chelsea lost 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Wembley as both goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and striker Morata — the club-record signing who came on for Batshuayi in the 74th minute — failed to convert in the first use of the new ABBA shootout system.

Batshuayi and Morata are expected to compete for one starting spot as the central striker in Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 formation this season, but the Belgium international dismissed any suggestion that he revelled in his rival’s disappointment on Sunday.

“Wow lol some people really believe I laughed at my teammate and/or us losing ? Sorry to disappoint but I wasnt,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I’m enjoying every goal for us scored by anyone in the team, thats the only thing you have to know. Have a blessed day.”

Batshuayi signed for Chelsea in a £33 million deal from Marseille last summer but the presence of Diego Costa restricted him to just one Premier League start in his debut season season, though he did come off the bench to score the goal that clinched the title for the away at West Brom in May.

Costa has since been exiled as he seeks to force through a return to Atletico Madrid, but Morata’s arrival from Real Madrid for an initial fee of £58m this summer appears likely to maintain Batshuayi’s status as a backup option.

Antonio Conte backtracks on his comment on Eden Hazard

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte appears to have backtracked in his comments regarding Eden Hazard’s Chelsea future.

The Belgian winger has been linked with Barcelona to replace Neymar, with Conte responding by rubbishing the speculation, insisting that Hazard was “happy” at the club.

However, he has now admitted that heis powerless to influence Hazard’s future – if the club decide to sell him.

“Eden Hazard is a really top player, but I repeat I am the coach and I can give my opinion.

But the final decision is always the club’s,” Conte told reporters.

“I expect Eden to play for Chelsea. It is not the right moment to lose a player or players.”

2017 Community Shield: Courtois and Morata miss penalties as Arsenal beat Chelsea to win community shield

Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea (PK 4-1)

Alvaro Morata and Thibaut Courtois missed penalties as Arsenal won the Community Shield with a dramatic 4-1 shootout victory over 10-man Chelsea.

Premier League champions Chelsea had gone ahead through Victor Moses, before Pedro was sent off for an ugly lunge on Mohamed Elneny.

From the resulting free-kick, debutant Sead Kolasinac headed the Gunners level to take the match to penalties.

The shootout – the first in English football to follow the ABBA format- saw Chelsea miss back-to-back penalties to allow Olivier Giroud to win the match from the spot.

Trailing 2-1 in the shootout, Courtois took Chelsea’s second kick but failed to equalise, blazing over, before club-record signing Morata fired wide.

That handed Arsenal the initiative, allowing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to score before Olivier Giroud netted the decisive strike to secure the Shield, and a timely boost ahead of their Premier League opener against Leicester on Friday Night Football.

Alexis Sanchez was present as a spectator, as was Eden Hazard but Diego Costa remained in exile.

Manchester United sign Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for £40m

Manchester United have completed the signing of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for £40m on a three-year deal.

Matic, 28, becomes United’s third summer buy, following £31m defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica and £75m striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton.

The defensive midfielder joins for a fee believed to be £40m and re-joins manager Jose Mourinho, who brought him back to Chelsea in January 2014.

Matic told the club’s website: “I am delighted to have joined Manchester United. To work with Jose Mourinho once again was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

“I have enjoyed my time at Chelsea and would like to thank the club and the fans for their support. I cannot wait to meet my new team-mates and to start training with them. “This is a very exciting time for the club and I am looking forward to playing my part in creating more history for this great club.”

As well as winning the title with Mourinho two years ago, he also won another Premier League crown last season.

His departure this summer was made possible by the London club’s signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco.

Mourinho said: “Nemanja is a Manchester United player and a Jose Mourinho player. He represents everything we want in a footballer; loyalty, consistency, ambition, team player.

“I would like to thank him for his desire to join us because without that, it would be impossible to have him here. I am sure our players and supporters will love him. A big welcome to our new number 31.”

The move ends Matic’s second spell at Chelsea. He first joined the Blues in 2009 but left the following year.

After making his name at Benfica, he was brought back to Stamford Bridge by Mourinho in a £21million deal in 2014.

The Serbian replaces Bastian Schweinsteiger in wearing the No 31 shirt for the coming campaign.

Matic could make his debut in Wednesday’s clash with Sampdoria in Dublin.

Forward Izzy Brown joins Brighton on a season-long loan after new Chelsea four-year deal

Brighton have signed Chelsea forward Izzy Brown on a season-long loan.

Brown has also agreed a new contract with Chelsea which runs until 2021.

The 20-year-old helped Huddersfield to promotion via the play-offs while on loan last season and the Terriers were understood to be keen to re-sign him. But Brown has instead signed for fellow Premier League new boys Brighton and becomes their sixth signing of the summer. Pascal Gross, Josh Kerr, Mathew Ryan, Markus Suttner and Mathias Normann have also signed for the club.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton said: “The natural progression for Izzy, having enjoyed such a successful season in the Championship last season, was to step up to the Premier League. “And we are delighted he will be doing that with us, here at Brighton. “He is a player with great potential and will bring a different dimension to our attacking options for the season ahead, alongside our existing strikers.”

He began his career with West Brom before moving to Chelsea in 2013. Although the 20-year-old has been with the Blues since 2013, he has made only one substitute appearance.

Brown has had loan spells at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, Rotherham United and Huddersfield.

Brown has won the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League with Chelsea and made his first appearance for the senior side in May 2015.