Courtois & Hazard prove worth but Morata misfires again

first_imgChelsea Courtois & Hazard prove worth to Chelsea but Morata’s misses becoming increasingly costly Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 06:28 1/4/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Thibaut Courtois Chelsea Arsenal Getty Images Chelsea Premier League Arsenal v Chelsea Antonio Conte Eden Hazard Morata Arsenal Opinion The Blues stopper was pivotal to ensure his side weren’t beaten in the London derby at the Emirates having produced several world class saves On a night of high drama at the Emirates, Chelsea duo Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard illustrated just why Real Madrid are so desperate to sign them. Unfortunately, Alvaro Morata showed why los Blancos were willing to let him leave last summer.In a wonderful spectacle that finished 2-2 but could easily have gone either way, Courtois and Hazard were decisive. Indeed, when a goalkeeper concedes twice and is still a contender for man of the match, then you know he’s had a great game. Hazard left his mark on the game, winning and converting the penalty that cancelled out Jack Wilshere’s emphatic opener but Courtois outshone his compatriot with an all-star display similar to the one Manchester United counterpart David de Gea produced at the same venue a month ago. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The most remarkable moment of an absorbing contest came 16 minutes in when Courtois denied Alexis Sanchez what looked a certain goal by getting his fingertips to a shot that saw the ball bounce off the inside of both posts, and then back into his arms.He would go on to make two further fine saves from Alexandre Lacazatte in a ridiculously open encounter packed with action – there were 33 chances in total.Thibaut Courtois Chelsea ArsenalThibaut Courtois Chelsea ArsenalCourtois was ultimately beaten twice, by Wilshere and Hector Bellerin, but there was nothing he could do about either strike and if it hadn’t been for Belgium’s No.1, Chelsea would have lost the game. Sadly, if it hadn’t been for Morata, the Blues would have won it, with the £60 million signing from Real guilty of squandering a number of great opportunities before saving the worst for last by shooting straight at Petr Cech when put clean through in the dying seconds.At times, Hazard looked visibly frustrated with his partner in the Blues attack and it was easy to understand why. The 26-year-old was once again Chelsea’s only reliable outlet in attack.Hazard’s penalty was his first goal in seven games but it meant that he has now been involved in 100 league goals (62 goals, 37 assists) since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2012.The key now for Chelsea’s short to medium-term success is keeping a hold of both Hazard and Courtois, who have both been targeted by Real. The Blues, though, are quietly confident that the pair will renew their contracts in 2018, though Courtois wants to wait until the end of the season before opening talks over a new deal.Alvaro Morata Calum Chambers Chelsea Arsenal 03012018Eden Hazard ChelseaCourtois currently earns half of what De Gea does at Old Trafford and Chelsea are very keen to tie him down to a bumper new extension. The sooner that happens, the better, as far as Chelsea fans are concerned, given their first-choice shot-stopper will be out of contract in 18 months.Hazard has two-and-a-half years left on his Chelsea deal but his father has said he is cautious about renewing it with Real Madrid interested. Of course, the Blues want to see their most marketable and exciting player stay at Stamford bridge. They face Barcelona in the Champions League and have a real fight on their hands to finish in the Premier League’s top four, as this tit-for-tat clash with sixth-placed Arsenal underlined.However, the biggest fight they have on their hands is persuading the brilliant Belgium duo to remain in west London for another season. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

If Kinder Morgan bails feds would back new Trans Mountain investors Morneau

first_imgIf Kinder Morgan wants to abandon plans to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, there are plenty of other investors out there willing to take up the cause — and they will have the backing of the federal Liberal government, Finance Minister Bill Morneau says.The government is willing to “provide indemnity” to any investors, be they the project’s original architects or otherwise, to ensure the controversial Alberta-B.C. project is able to proceed, Morneau told a news conference Wednesday.The announcement, coming on the very day when the company’s Calgary-based Canadian operation is scheduled to hold its annual meeting, bore the hallmarks of an effort to ratchet up the pressure in advance of Kinder Morgan’s May 31 deadline.Amid mounting opposition from the B.C. government, environmental groups and protesters, not to mention skittish investors, the company last month halted all non-essential spending on its $7.4-billion plan to double an existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C.“We are willing to indemnify the Trans Mountain expansion against unnecessary delays that are politically motivated,” Morneau said — a reference to B.C.’s ongoing refusal to allow the project to proceed, despite federal jurisdiction.“If Kinder Morgan is not interested in building the project — we think plenty of investors would be interested in taking on this project, especially knowing that the federal government believes it is in the best interest of Canadians and is willing to indemnity to make sure it gets built.”He said investors need certainty in order to back a project that the government has repeatedly insisted is in the national interest, but steadfastly refused to say what sort of dollar figures are currently on the table.The finance minister had been engaged in intensive talks with Kinder Morgan officials up until Tuesday, but the two sides have yet to declare any common ground on the amount of federal money involved.“Discussions with Kinder Morgan continue — and we are striving to get to an agreement by the May 31 deadline.”Morneau’s talks with Kinder Morgan had their genesis a month ago, when Trudeau promised to deploy both financial and legislative tools to ensure the disputed expansion is able to proceed.During a remarkable eight-hour stopover in the national capital, an unscheduled break from a busy overseas travel itinerary, Trudeau convened a summit in Ottawa with B.C.’s John Horgan, who has staked his government’s survival on opposing the pipeline, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, whose province’s economic health depends on it.Trudeau instructed Morneau to sit down with Kinder Morgan to find a financial solution that would soothe their investors. He also promised legislation that would reaffirm Ottawa’s authority to press ahead with a development deemed to be in Canada’s national interest.The Liberal government position is that it approved the project in 2016 after a rejigged environmental assessment and Indigenous consultation process, and in concert with the its climate change and oceans protection plan. Approval came in consultation with the previous B.C. Liberal government, which gave its consent to the project after its own conditions were met.Horgan’s election last year changed that. His minority government exists at the pleasure of the Green party, and on condition of his continued opposition to the project.last_img read more