EPL

Broja signs new five-year deal at Chelsea

By Sports Desk July 18, 2021

Armando Broja has signed a long-term contract at Chelsea that commits him to the European champions until June 2026.

Albania striker Broja, who turns 20 in September, has progressed through Chelsea's youth ranks and made his first-team debut as a substitute against Everton in March 2020.

He spent last season on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, scoring 11 goals in 34 appearances for the Eredivisie side.

Olivier Giroud's move to Milan, which was finalised on Saturday, and speculation linking Tammy Abraham with a move away from Stamford Bridge means Broja could play his way into Thomas Tuchel's plans for the 2021-22 campaign.

"I am really excited to be signing a new contract with Chelsea. Having come through the academy here it was a special moment for me to make my first-team debut last year, before gaining further experience on loan at Vitesse last season," he told Chelsea's official website.

"I want to build on these foundations and I am really looking forward to progressing and making an impact at Chelsea in the years to come."

Chelsea begin their Premier League campaign at home to Crystal Palace on August 14, three days after taking on Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup in Belfast.

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  • Madrid didn't deserve to lose – Ancelotti frustrated by shock defeat to Sheriff Madrid didn't deserve to lose – Ancelotti frustrated by shock defeat to Sheriff

    Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti bemoaned one of the biggest upsets in Champions League history, the Italian believing his side did not deserve to lose to giant-slaying debutants Sheriff.

    Sheriff caused a boilover at the Santiago Bernabeu, where the Champions League debutants and Moldovan visitors won 2-1 on Tuesday.

    Jasurbek Yakhshiboev opened the scoring with a powerful header in the first half, before Karim Benzema's emphatic penalty levelled the scores for Madrid.

    But Sebastien Thill rifled home a stunning effort from the edge of the box in the 89th minute to hand the Moldovan outfit a dramatic win in Madrid.

    Los Blancos had 31 shots, hitting the target with 11, and recorded over 75 per cent possession, while Sheriff took just four shots, but came away with all three points in the Spanish capital.

    The result leaves Madrid second in Group D, three points behind Sheriff, who have won their first two games in the competition.

    "More than worried, we're sad," Ancelotti said after the game. "We played with intensity and were looking good. We lost because of small details, even though the side played well. We could've been better when it came to the final third but it's tough to explain.

    "It's small details that cost us this game. It's a lesson for us in the future as it's a defeat we didn't deserve. We had chances, we were creating out wide and [Luka] Jovic came on and had a couple of opportunities. I think that in the end, everything went well for them and bad for us.

    "We've missed out on three points and the group is wide open. We need to win our next game."

    Madrid were beaten for just the second time in their last 32 group-stage games in the Champions League when playing at the Santiago Bernabeu (W25 D5) – losing against CSKA Moscow in December 2018 and Sheriff on Tuesday.

    Los Blancos star Casemiro lamented the team's defensive lapses and profligacy in front of goal on a humbling night for the LaLiga leaders.

    "That's football for you," Casemiro said after the full-time whistle. "One team has more than 20 shots on goal and plays well and the other team that comes here to defend and had two shots go and score twice.

    "That's how things go in football and you've got to be more focused defensively. We fully dominated the game and had the chances to have made it 1-0, then 1-1 and they’ve ended up scoring a screamer.

    "You've got to win in football, but this year we've already produced some poor performances and won, but that wasn't the case tonight. If you're not clinical, you end up paying the price at the back."

    Madrid face Shakhtar Donetsk away from home on October 19 in their next Champions League outing, where they will seek to right the wrongs of their defeat to Sheriff.

  • Giant-slaying Sheriff targeting Champions League last 16 after 'dream' win at Real Madrid Giant-slaying Sheriff targeting Champions League last 16 after 'dream' win at Real Madrid

    Sheriff's win over Real Madrid was a "dream come true" but captain Frank Castaneda warned the Champions League debutants will not dwell on the upset as they target the last 16 amid their giant-slaying run.

    In one of the biggest shocks in Champions League history, Sheriff claimed a late 2-1 victory at Spanish giants Madrid on Tuesday.

    Jasurbek Yakhshiboev's first-half header was cancelled out by Karim Benzema's spot-kick after the interval in the Spanish capital, given following a VAR check after Vinicius Junior went down in the box.

    However, Sheriff had the final say to maintain their 100 per cent record in Group D, Sebastien Thill's thunderous strike in the 89th minute earning the Moldovan visitors a remarkable triumph.

    "For us this is a dream come true to have won here," Castaneda said. "We're so happy, and just enjoying it. We have full faith in what we've been doing and things are going well for us.

    "We came here to win. We didn't just come here to sit around, we know how good our players are and luckily for us Madrid weren't able to take their chances and we took ours.

    "Thill's goal is out of this world. It's one you dream of. I thanked him at the end of the game!

    "We are dreaming of getting into the last 16 and that's our objective. Our attention now turns to Inter and we'll work hard in order to ensure we keep getting positive results." 

    Sheriff – who beat Albanian champions Tueta Durres, Armenian titleholders Alashkert, Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade, Croatian titleholders Dinamo Zagreb and Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk during their European campaign this term – became the first team to win their first two games in the Champions League since Premier League outfit Leicester City in the 2016-17 campaign.

    This was just the third ever away victory by a Moldovan team in a major European competition, following Zimbru Chisinau in the UEFA Cup in 1995 and Sheriff themselves in the UEFA Europa League in 2017.

    Sheriff head coach Yuriy Vernydub said: "I'm happy to play a game like that against Madrid. I'm so full of emotion and thankful to my boys for what they've done. They went out there as a side, and we deserved it.

    "Of course we knew that we were going to have to defend. We did that well and we countered really well too, and we were able to score a winner right at the end.

    "I'm happy and proud of my side, these boys. We're on the right path and we'll continue to follow it."

    Sheriff are three points clear of Madrid atop of Group D, while they are five points ahead of Inter and Shakhtar.

    "We aren't thinking about the last 16 yet as we still haven't done anything extraordinary, we're just going forward step by step," said Vernydub. "We have four very important games to go, and when it comes to the final group stage game then we'll talk about the next round."

    Sheriff match-winner Thill added: "We're so happy today. We played a really good game. The side were so brave with how we played and luckily enough I was able to score a bit of a stunner.

    "It's the best and most important goal of my career, that's for sure! We'll go game by game. We've got a tough group, and we'll give our all in what's left of it."

  • Referee Cakir 'certainly not the best on the pitch', says frustrated Milan boss Pioli Referee Cakir 'certainly not the best on the pitch', says frustrated Milan boss Pioli

    Milan head coach Stefano Pioli was left frustrated that key decisions went against his side in their 2-1 Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid.

    The Rossoneri were deservedly ahead through Rafael Leao after 20 minutes at San Siro before Franck Kessie received a second yellow card for catching Marcos Llorente on the foot.

    The home side survived until the 84th minute when substitute Antoine Griezmann swept home a fine first-time finish to level the scores on Tuesday.

    Then, deep into injury time, referee Cuneyt Cakir awarded a penalty against Pierre Kalulu for handball, allowing Luis Suarez to net the 97th-minute winner.

    "More than anger, there's disappointment. We were close to an important result," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

    "At 11 versus 11, we played much better. It's a shame because a little more attention was needed for the first goal. The boys made an important effort and losing complicates qualification for us.

    "We're still missing that piece that can make the difference. We're not missing much. We played great football for half an hour, [and] we suffered when outnumbered. It's a performance that must give us confidence."

    He added on the Kessie red card: "Franck had already been booked. It didn't look like a second-yellow offence in the 30th minute of the first half. The referee was certainly not the best on the pitch tonight."

    The result put Atleti two points behind group leaders Liverpool and four clear of Milan, who lost to Jurgen Klopp's side on matchday one.

    Diego Simeone admitted Atletico had been second best until Kessie's dismissal changed the course of the contest.

    "In the first 30 minutes, they put us under pressure and we didn't have the tools to get out," he told reporters.

    "Then, they were left with a man down and the game changed from there. We managed to impose ourselves in the second half.

    "We have great room for improvement. We need to find that consistency in creating play and doing the right actions."

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