Chelsea manager Frank Lampard speaks as Kawasaki Frontale manager Toru Oniki looks on during a press conference in Yokohama on Tuesday. Associated Press
Frank Lampard was appointed Chelsea head coach on Thursday, confirming a dramatic return for one of the club’s greatest ever players.
Pedro Rodriguez starred as Chelsea withstood a spirited Slavia Prague fightback in a wild 4-3 victory to qualify for the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday, while Arsenal knocked out Napoli after an assured display in Italy.
Eden Hazard’s magnificent double earned Chelsea a 2-0 win over West Ham on Monday and moved Maurizio Sarri’s men up to third in the Premier League. Reports continue to link Hazard with a summer move to Real Madrid with the Belgian refusing to extend his contract at Stamford Bridge beyond 2020.
Arsenal will play Chelsea in the Europa League final after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the hat-trick that ended Valencia’s hopes of another dramatic European comeback on Thursday. Chelsea entered the Europa League final after scraping past Eintracht Frankfurt 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 semi-final, second leg draw on Thursday.
Cross-code star Sonny Bill Williams was benched and fellow centre Ryan Crotty missed out altogether as New Zealand named their team for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Ireland.
Bottom club Ittihad Kalba will look to bounce back to give their new coach a winning debut when they take on Fujairah in the fourth round match of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Friday.