Thomas Tuchel has been dismissed by Chelsea following Tuesday's Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb, ending a near-20-month stay at Stamford Bridge.

The German arrived midway through the 2021-22 season as Frank Lampard's successor, and steered the Blues to an improbable Champions League triumph just weeks later.

But despite success for the former Paris Saint-Germain boss in Europe, domestic glory has been harder to come by.

This week's defeat to Zagreb was the final straw for new owner Todd Boehly, after a slow start to the new Premier League season that has seen Chelsea win just three of their first six games.

In the wake of his departure, Stats Perform takes a look at the highs and lows of the Tuchel era at Stamford Bridge...

HIGH: European glory from the ashes

Having stepped in to replace Lampard with Chelsea ninth in the Premier League and slipping away from European qualification, Tuchel did more than steer them back on track – he pulled off a shock silverware smash-and-grab.

Not only did he drag them to an eventual fourth-place finish, he oversaw two-legged wins over Porto and Real Madrid to reach the Champions League final – and there, shocked favourites Manchester City to claim the Blues' second title in Europe's biggest club competition.

LOW: Ignominy on the continent

For that high-water mark, however, Chelsea have also had issues at continental level, perhaps best exemplified by two disparate results – this week's loss to Zagreb and last season's Champions League quarter-final exit to Madrid.

Defeat to the Croatian side came with a toothless attack that failed to gel for the German, but the crash against Madrid – when they allowed Karim Benzema to find an extra-time winner – showcased their struggle to close out games.

HIGH: Final delights...

In the time Tuchel has been in charge at Stamford Bridge, he reached all three domestic cup finals available to him, with FA Cup showpiece appearances in 2021 and 2022, and an EFL Cup trip to Wembley, too.

That saw him stand alone in the history of the club and cemented his reputation as something of a cup specialist.

LOW: ...and failures

But on each occasion, he failed to guide the Blues over the line, losing last season to underdogs Leicester City before suffering a pair of defeats against a quadruple-chasing Liverpool side this year.

While he has enjoyed greater success abroad, the struggles at Wembley have haunted his reputation – and may well have played a part in his ultimate dismissal.

HIGH: Champions of the world

Chelsea's Champions League triumph qualified them for a shot at two more major prizes last season – and credit is due for Tuchel guiding them to both, allowing them to stake a claim as the greatest club team in world football.

A nervy Super Cup win over Villarreal was aided by Kepa Arrizabalaga's penalty shootout heroics, while Kai Havertz' extra-time penalty helped the Blues sink Palmeiras to be crowned Club World Cup winners.

LOW: Lukaku lethargy

If there is to be a player that marks Tuchel's legacy at Chelsea outside of his Champions League triumph though, it will almost certainly be Romelu Lukaku – one of the worst transfer flops in recent memory.

Returning to Chelsea after a Serie A title win with Inter, hopes were high for the Belgian's homecoming, but his poor form and difficulties within the German's system saw him frozen out over the latter half of the season.

Lukaku returned to Inter on a year-long loan over the off-season, with just eight Premier League goals in 26 games, and it remains to be seen whether he ever steps foot back in Stamford Bridge again or, if like Tuchel, his time at the club is now over.

The EFL Cup third round will see Premier League champions Manchester City host Chelsea while holders Liverpool will play League One Derby County at Anfield.

Erik ten Hag's Manchester United are set to welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford and there is another enticing all-Premier League clash between Nottingham Forest and Tottenham.

Brighton and Hove Albion will travel to Mikel Arteta's Arsenal as one of the seven games to feature two top-flight teams facing each other.

League Two Crawley knocked out Premier League Fulham on Tuesday, and they are rewarded with a visit to Championship outfit Burnley.

Meanwhile, last season's Europa League semi-finalists West Ham United will face second-tier Blackburn Rovers.

EFL Cup third-round draw in full:

Stevenage v Charlton, Leicester City v Newport County, West Ham United v Blackburn Rovers, Wolves v Leeds United, Nottingham Forest v Tottenham, Manchester United v Aston Villa, Bournemouth v Everton, Liverpool v Derby County, Burnley v Crawley Town, Bristol City v Lincoln City, Manchester City v Chelsea, MK Dons v Morecambe, Newcastle United v Crystal Palace, Southampton v Sheffield Wednesday, Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion, Brentford v Gillingham.

Ties will be played week commencing November 7.

Newcastle United will travel to League Two side Tranmere Rovers in the second round of the EFL Cup.

The Magpies, who are one of the richest clubs in the world, will travel to Prenton Park later this month after Micky Mellon's men beat Accrington Stanley on penalties in the first round on Tuesday.

Frank Lampard's Everton travel to League One outfit Fleetwood Town, while Leeds United host Barnsley at Elland Road.

Aston Villa travel to Bolton Wanderers, Brighton and Hove Albion visit Forest Green Rovers, and Fulham are on the road to Crawley Town.

All fixtures will take place during the week commencing August 22, with the seven Premier League sides in European competition set to join in round three. 

EFL Cup second-round draw in full:

Northern Section

Bolton Wanderers v Aston Villa
Derby County v West Brom/Sheffield United
Wolves v Preston North End
Leeds United v Barnsley
Fleetwood Town v Everton
Sheffield Wednesday v Rochdale
Tranmere Rovers v Newcastle United
Rotherham United v Morecambe
Barrow v Lincoln City
Stockport County v Leicester City
Bradford City v Blackburn Rovers
Grimsby Town v Nottingham Forest
Shrewsbury Town v Burnley

Southern Section

Stevenage v Peterborough United
Norwich City v Bournemouth
Newport County v Portsmouth
Oxford United v Crystal Palace
Watford v MK Dons
Colchester United v Brentford
Wycombe Wanderers v Bristol City
Walsall v Charlton Athletic
Crawley Town v Fulham
Cambridge United v Southampton
Gillingham v Exeter
Forest Green Rovers v Brighton and Hove Albion

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool will head into the 2022-23 season "as confident as possible" about the prospect of challenging on all fronts once again.

Liverpool fell short of an unprecedented quadruple last season, faltering in both the Champions League final and on the last day of the Premier League season after lifting the EFL Cup and FA Cup.

Liverpool relied on penalties in both of their cup successes as they failed to score in five and a half hours of football in major finals last season, which led to concerns over their ruthlessness in front of goal.

Darwin Nunez has since arrived at Anfield from Benfica in a deal reportedly worth £64million (€75m), with a further £21.4m in potential add-ons, in a move that Klopp will hope provides greater reliability in attack.

Star forward Mohamed Salah has also penned a contract extension and, despite Sadio Mane leaving for Bayern Munich, Klopp remains convinced Liverpool can compete with Manchester City once more.

"As confident as possible. You never know obviously but I saw today on the plane a squad full of quality," he told reporters at Sunday's news conference in Thailand, where Liverpool are on a pre-season tour. 

"You always need a little bit of luck, how we all know, if you want to win a trophy. But to play a good season you need first and foremost consistency, that's what it's all about and that's what we will try.

"I have no doubt about the quality of the boys. We brought in new players – yes, we lost a few players – but we brought in new players; if you want, fresh blood, really helpful.

"There are no places already sorted, who will play where. The boys will make pressure, which is important.

"We have five subs from now on in the Premier League as well – we have to get used to that, we have to adapt to that. I'm really looking forward to it.

"There are no guarantees in football but there's a good chance that we play another good season, I would say."

Liverpool face fierce rivals Manchester United in Bangkok on Tuesday in what will be Erik ten Hag's first game in charge of the Red Devils.

The Reds hammered United by an aggregate scoreline of 9-0 in the Premier League last season, and Klopp insists there will be no such thing as a friendly between the two teams.

"Manchester United, a new manager, trained a little bit longer than us so might be, I'm not sure, in a better situation in the moment," he added.

"But we see it as an important test because it's against United and we don't play friendlies, obviously both teams don't play friendlies against each other, so we will see what we can do.

"We never prepare for one match, we prepare for a full season. That means the boys who started Monday last week had a proper start so far, we could train in the way we wanted.

"We had now a full week already and we are now here to play two games in Asia, first this one and then in Singapore against Crystal Palace. So, we have to see.

"We have to train and we have to play, it means the games are actually like a session as well but the boys have to go really hard.

"Let's see where we stand in this specific moment and then we can go home to England and then we go from there to Austria for another camp."

Mohamed Salah wants to emulate George Weah as only the second-ever African to win the Ballon d'Or, and was "shocked" by his seventh-place finish last year.

The Egypt international posted sixth and fifth-place finishes in 2018 and 2019 in the annual awards ceremony to crown the best men's footballer in the world.

But he saw his standing slip two years later after a 2020 cancellation, placing outside the top six as Lionel Messi extended his record haul.

Since then, Salah has helped fire Liverpool to a domestic cup double, plus a second-place Premier League finish and another Champions League final during 2022 as he recorded 46 goal involvements in 2021-22 (31 goals, 15 assists).

In addition, he has already picked up a slew of individual prizes, including another Premier League Golden Boot, the FWA Footballer of the Year and - most recently - the PFA Player of the Year.

But it may not be enough for the forward to emulate Liberia star Weah, who is the only African to previously lift the Ballon d'Or.

"I want to win it to join George Weah, the only African [in 1995]," Salah told L'Equipe.

"It's true that I was shocked by my ranking in 2021 (seventh). For this year, the defeat against Real Madrid is a disadvantage, even if I played a good game in the final.

"But it doesn't cancel out everything I've achieved for months. Let's wait for the vote. And if I'm not Ballon d'Or in 2022, I'll do everything I can to be the next one."

Salah's disappointment at losing in the Champions League final to Madrid last month has not dimmed his appreciation for fellow attacker and Ballon d'Or frontrunner Karim Benzema.

Salah admits he sees himself in the France forward, and feels a kinship in his approach to how he imposes himself upon the wider team.

"I understand what Benzema says. He doesn't just see himself as a goalscorer, he knows he influences every aspect of Real Madrid's game," he added.

"Like others, I want to be seen as the best player in the world.

"At Liverpool, everyone runs for everyone else. If I don't fight for the defence, they won't fight for me.

"I have to be an example, to be the first to press, to sacrifice myself for the team."

Mohamed Salah says he would sacrifice all the personal awards he has won this season to have another attempt at the Champions League final with Real Madrid.

Vinicius Junior's second-half strike proved the difference as Madrid secured a 1-0 victory in Paris on Saturday, defeating Liverpool to lift their 14th European Cup.

Liverpool were repeatedly thwarted by Thibaut Courtois at the Stade de France, the goalkeeper making nine saves – a record in a Champions League final since Opta began recording data in 2003-04.

That ended Liverpool's season, which saw the Reds come close to an unprecedented quadruple, with a whimper and just the EFL Cup and FA Cup to their name.

Manchester City pipped Jurgen Klopp's side to the Premier League title, but Salah still claimed individual accolades for joint-most English top-flight goals, assists, goal of the season, and both the FWA and PFA Fans' Player of the Year awards.

No Premier League player could match the Egypt international's 36 goal involvements (23 goals, 13 assists), setting him a class above his competitors.

But the 29-year-old insists he will look back on the 2021-22 campaign with regret after failing again to beat Madrid, who also lifted the 2017-18 Champions League trophy with 3-1 victory over Liverpool.

"Being recognised by the fans and by the sports journalists in the same season is something special that I will never forget," Salah posted on Twitter. 

"I would however give all those personal awards up for a chance at replaying that final, but that is not how football works.

"I cannot express in words how much we wanted to bring that trophy back to Liverpool but in the end we couldn't. I cannot thank the fans enough for your support.

"It has been a very long season but a part of me wishes the next one starts again tomorrow."

One of the worst-kept secrets in football is out in the open after Manchester United confirmed Paul Pogba's second stint at the club is coming to an end.

The France star departed for Juventus back in 2012 before returning to Old Trafford in an £89million deal four years later.

Few Premier League players have proven as enigmatic as Pogba, with the 29-year-old capable of incredible individual brilliance but frequently subjected to fierce criticism throughout his difficult second spell at United.

From a World Cup success to sparring with Jose Mourinho, Stats Perform looks back on the highs and lows of Pogba's second spell with United.

High: Cup glory in triumphant first season

Pogba played his part as Mourinho, also in his first season at the club, led United to what remain their most recent major trophies.

The Frenchman made 51 appearances in all competitions as the Red Devils scooped an EFL Cup and Europa League double, ensuring Champions League qualification despite a sixth-placed Premier League finish. 

After starting United's 3-2 Wembley triumph over Southampton in February 2017, Pogba opened the scoring as United beat Ajax 2-0 to lift their second piece of silverware of the season in May, as the Red Devils won their sixth major European honour.

High: Conquering the centurions as City's celebrations put on hold

Manchester City's 2017-18 Premier League campaign was record-breaking in many ways, with Pep Guardiola's men becoming the only side to pick up 100 points in the competition, the first to win 32 of their 38 games, and the first to win 18 consecutive matches as they romped to the title.

They also, however, missed out on wrapping up the sweetest of title triumphs in a Manchester derby – a fact which owed primarily to a rampant performance from Pogba.

With City 2-0 up at half-time and seemingly cruising to the win they required to wrap up the title at a jubilant Etihad Stadium in April 2018, Pogba scored twice in two second-half minutes before Chris Smalling completed a sensational comeback, as United put the City celebrations on ice. 

High: World Cup glory with France

United finished the 2017-18 season as Premier League runners-up, with Pogba registering six goals and 12 assists in 37 appearances throughout the campaign.

And the midfielder carried that form into the 2018 World Cup in Russia, scoring in a 4-2 final win over Croatia as Les Blues were crowned world champions for the second time – his strike was the first goal scored from outside the penalty area in a World Cup final since Italy's Marco Tardelli did so against West Germany in 1982.

Pogba started six of the seven games France played during their triumphant campaign, but any hopes he may have harboured of building on those displays with his club were soon proven to be misplaced…

Low: Sparring with Mourinho as the world watches on

Reports of Pogba and Mourinho possessing a strained relationship were widespread during the Portuguese boss's time at the club, and such tensions were laid bare for the world to see in September 2018.

After an Instagram post appearing to show Pogba laughing with team-mates Luke Shaw and Andreas Pereira while United fell to an EFL Cup loss to Derby County, Sky Sports' cameras captured Mourinho discussing the incident with a visibly irked Pogba on the training ground.

It was not a good look as United struggled desperately in Mourinho's final months at the helm, with the former Chelsea boss relieved of his duties with the Red Devils sat sixth in the Premier League in December 2018.

Low: Penalty woe in 2021

Pogba enjoyed a renaissance of sorts under Mourinho's successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, ending the Norwegian's first half-season in charge with 13 league goals and nine assists, making 2018-19 his most productive campaign in a Red Devils shirt.

But Solskjaer's men frequently fell short on the big stage, most notably in their 2021 Europa League final loss to Villarreal, as David de Gea missed the vital kick at the end of a long penalty shoot-out after Pogba had been substituted for Dan James during extra-time.

That was not the only penalty heartache Pogba would experience in 2021, as France crashed out of the delayed Euro 2020 after a round-of-16 shoot-out loss to Switzerland, with Kylian Mbappe failing from the spot as Pogba's stunning 25-yard strike counted for nought. 

 

Low: Seeing red in Liverpool rout

Pogba's final season at Old Trafford was one to forget, as United finished sixth in the Premier League with their lowest-ever points tally in the competition (58), and interim manager Ralf Rangnick ended his six-month tenure with the worst Premier League win rate of any United boss (41.7 per cent – 10 wins from 24 games).

But before Rangnick entered the United dugout, Pogba endured the ignominy of being sent off as Solskjaer's Red Devils fell to a dire 5-0 home loss to Liverpool in October 2021 – their heaviest home loss without scoring since a 5-0 thrashing by Manchester City in February 1955.

Pogba's dismissal came just 15 minutes after he entered the fray at the break, making him the first substitute to be sent off in a Premier League for over three years (since Marcus Rashford in September 2018).

 

Quadruple-chasing Liverpool have confirmed plans for an end-of-season victory parade the day after the Champions League final.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds do not yet know how many trophies they will finish the campaign with, but they have already secured the EFL Cup and FA Cup.

The Premier League could yet be added to that haul if Manchester City slip up on the final day of the season, while European glory is the target when Liverpool take on Real Madrid in a Paris final.

That showpiece match takes place on May 28, with Liverpool now intending to return home in time to celebrate their potentially historic season on May 29.

Liverpool Women will also be involved in the parade, having won the FA Women's Championship.

City mayor Joanne Anderson said: "We're delighted that we can now confirm the club will definitely parade around the city on May 29 – and I'm pleased we will be celebrating the achievements of both the men and women’s teams.

"A huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes in preparation for an event of this size and scale, so it's fantastic that the city is now going to be able to experience this.

"Lifting the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and the FA Women's Championship trophy is an incredible achievement that deserves to be acknowledged, and we have everything crossed that they won't be the only trophies they are lifting on the day!

"Whatever the outcome of the end of the season and the Champions League final, Liverpool FC and Liverpool FC Women have already done us proud, and we will give both teams the homecoming celebration they deserve."

With the parade set for 4pm local time, a Liverpool statement added the club would spend the morning of May 29 paying tribute to the 39 supporters who lost their lives in the Heysel Stadium disaster, of which it is the 37th anniversary.

Jurgen Klopp has become only the second manager to win the European Cup, EFL Cup, the top-flight title and the FA Cup with the same English club, joining Alex Ferguson.

Klopp's Liverpool side triumphed on penalties over Chelsea for the second time this season on Saturday, as they won 6-5 in the shoot-out after a 0-0 draw to seal the club's first FA Cup success since 2006.

While Chelsea were left to reflect on a third straight FA Cup final defeat, after losses in 2020 and last year to Arsenal and Leicester City respectively, Liverpool's hunt for an unprecedented quadruple continues.

The victory means Klopp has now won the Champions League (2018-19), the Premier League (2019-20) and both of England's domestic cup competitions during his time at Liverpool.

Only Manchester United's managerial great Ferguson, who retired in 2013, had managed that feat with the same English club before.

In a good omen for Liverpool ahead of their clash with Real Madrid in Paris on May 28, they have won both of England's domestic cup tournaments for the first time since 2001, when they also went on to win a European trophy.

Only United (12) and Arsenal (14) have won the FA Cup on more occasions than the Reds (eight).

Jurgen Klopp was overjoyed after seeing Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-2 to reach the FA Cup final in their pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple, convinced they beat the world's best team.

Liverpool secured their spot in the English football showpiece for the first time since 2012 with a thrilling victory at Wembley on Saturday, though for a while it looked set to be far more comfortable than it ultimately proved.

The Reds were 3-0 up at half-time thanks to an Ibrahima Konate header and Sadio Mane's double – his first punished a Zack Steffen lapse, before then lashing in an excellent volley for his second.

City pulled one back through Jack Grealish and forced a tense finish when Bernardo Silva made it 3-2 in stoppage time, but Liverpool held on to leave Klopp jubilant.

"Oh absolutely proud, it's incredible," he told BBC Sport. "I think the first half was one of the best we've ever played.

"We did all the right stuff, scored at the right moments, we played an incredible game in the first half, I have to say. I loved every second of it.

"The second half started with the City goal and then it opens up. The quality of City is insane and you could see it was a much more open game.

"We had our situations. [TV pundit] Micah Richards said it was all City situations, but we had our counter-attacks and we could have closed the game there, but we respect the quality of City so much.

"It's so difficult to win against them, but because of these boys in my dressing room, we have a chance. It's enough for me to give it a try."

The victory means Liverpool remain on course for the quadruple. They have already won the EFL Cup, are into the Champions League semi-finals and continue to push City in the Premier League title race.

Klopp stressed that prolonging their season makes winning the quadruple tougher even if it is the only way to secure a clean sweep, but he appeared to be relishing the challenge after defeating the team that he believes sets the bar for everyone else in world football.

"Quadruple talk… I can't believe it," he continued. "With this game now, I'm not sure we have another full week before the last matchday, so it's all difficult.

"But who cares, we came here wanting to go to the final, we knew about the problems, but the quadruple – qualifying for this kind of final makes it even more difficult.

"It's the only way to do it but makes it more difficult too, so it's a strange situation. But all good, we are over the moon. We beat the best team in the world and that's a pretty special moment."

Liverpool will find out their opponents for next month's final on Sunday, when Crystal Palace and Chelsea tussle at Wembley.

Liverpool players are not discussing the possibility of an unprecedented quadruple because the Premier League title race is out of their hands, says Andy Robertson. 

Manchester City retained their one-point advantage over Liverpool at the summit after the teams drew 2-2 in an enthralling encounter at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. 

The Reds will take on City again on Saturday with a place in the FA Cup final on the line at Wembley, where Jurgen Klopp's side lifted the EFL Cup earlier this season. 

Liverpool could also meet Pep Guardiola's side in the Champions League semi-finals if they overcome Benfica and Atletico Madrid in their respective quarter-finals, the second legs of which take place on Wednesday. 

Mohamed Salah said prior to the City game that Liverpool wanted to win all four trophies, but Robertson insists there is no such talk between the players. 

"We literally just talk about the next game. As it comes. You can't look too far ahead, you think of the next game and that's Benfica then we move on from there. Definitely no chat like that in our changing room," said Robertson. 

He added: "We just need to keep winning games. We had to do it that year [2019] and we have to do it this year. We need to keep winning games. It's out of our hands [the Premier League]. If they win all their games then it is their league but if they do drop points we need to be ready to pounce. 

"The only way of doing that is by winning games. If we do that then let's see where we end up in May. The points tallies we've racked up in the last couple of years has been incredible but there can only be one winner, so we need to keep fighting and see what happens. 

"We are still fighting on all fronts, we still have a lot of games to play and if we win hopefully it ends with silverware." 

None of City's remaining Premier League games are against teams in the top five, while Liverpool still have tricky fixtures against Tottenham and Manchester United to navigate. 

"I think we have got a really tough run-in, all games are tough in the Premier League especially when you get to the end bit," said Robertson. 

"But we have some really tough games and we need to try to win them, we need to be at our best, we need to be better than we were [against City] and if we do that then let's see where we end up and hopefully we can win something." 

Roman Abramovich has decided to sell Chelsea.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Russian-Israeli businessman announced his decision to sell the London club, which he purchased in 2003.

Abramovich has said his decision is "in the best interest of the club", as it comes against the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has put him under intense scrutiny.

The 55-year-old oligarch has been photographed with Russian president Vladimir Putin in the past, and while it was claimed last week that Abramovich has no involvement in politics, a spokesperson for the Blues' owner suggested to the Press Association on Monday that he was "trying to help" achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Russian businesses and high-profile individuals have been hit with crippling financial sanctions by nations all over the world since the attack began last Thursday, and there have been calls in the United Kingdom for Abramovich to be targeted next.

Should Abramovich secure a sale, he leaves Chelsea as a footballing superpower...

The trophies

Chelsea have won 19 major trophies since Abramovich bought the club, with the Blues succeeding in every single available competition at least once.

Their haul includes five Premier League titles (2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10, 2014-15, 2016-17) and two Champions League triumphs (2011-12, 2020-21).

The Blues have won the FA Cup on five occasions since 2003, last doing so in 2018, while they have added a further three EFL Cup titles to their honours list, too.

Chelsea's success in Europe has not just been restricted to the Champions League. They won the Europa League in 2012-13 and 2018-19, and the Super Cup last year.

February brought Club World Cup glory for the first time, completing the set under Abramovich.

Since the owner arrived in 2003, Chelsea have accumulated 1,449 points in the Premier League, more than any other side.

Of the 709 top-flight games during Abramovich's ownership so far, they have won 432, drawn 153 and lost 124, scoring 1,309 goals and conceding 621 for a hugely impressive goal difference of 688.

The managers

Chelsea have flitted through managers during Abramovich's tenure. Indeed, current incumbent Thomas Tuchel is the 15th different coach (including caretakers and interims) to work at Stamford Bridge since 2003.

After dismissing Claudio Ranieri in 2004, Abramovich landed a superstar manager in Jose Mourinho, who would go on to lead Chelsea to their first top-flight crown since 1955 and defend the title the following season.

Mourinho's first stint really was special. He won 124 games, losing just 21 times, and turned Chelsea from pretenders into a true superpower. Of any permanent manager during Abramovich's ownership, the Portuguese's first spell produced the best win ratio (67 per cent).

Yet past success means little as soon as things turn sour for Abramovich, and Mourinho was replaced in 2007-08. His successor, Avram Grant, led Chelsea to their first Champions League final, but John Terry's penalty shoot-out slip proved costly.

Luiz Felipe Scolari proved a bust but Guus Hiddink, in his first, more successful interim spell, subsequently delivered FA Cup joy in 2009, and a 72.7 per cent win rate from his 22 matches in charge (16 victories). 

Carlo Ancelotti was next through the door. He claimed a Premier League and FA Cup double in 2009-10, while Roberto Di Matteo secured the club's first Champions League title with a penalty shoot-out defeat of Bayern Munich.

Mourinho's return yielded a fourth Premier League success, but the Special One's second spell deteriorated quickly and he was sacked in December 2015 with Chelsea sitting 16th. Hiddink came in for a second interim spell but won just 10 out of 27 matches (a 37 per cent win ratio).

Chelsea won a trophy in each season under Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri. Club great Frank Lampard was given the job in 2019 but lasted just 18 months, finishing with the lowest win ratio of any permanent Chelsea boss under Abramovich (52.4 per cent). Tuchel took the same side to Champions League glory.

The players

Superstar managers must have superstar players to manage, and Chelsea have certainly had their fair share of those during Abramovich's time at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard made 354 league appearances from 2003 to his departure in 2014, scoring 136 goals, but John Terry tops the top-flight appearances list during Abramovich's reign, with 411.

Petr Cech was arguably the best goalkeeper in world football in his prime, and he ranks third on that list (333), while current captain Cesar Azpilicueta will go down as a club great, even if he will never be considered among world football's true elite.

Eden Hazard scored 85 league goals in 245 games across his seven years with the Blues. Michael Essien was a superb player for Chelsea after joining in 2005, while Claude Makelele, signed in 2003, was crucial to Mourinho's initial success.

Only Lampard scored more goals than Didier Drogba (104), though Diego Costa was brilliant in Mourinho's second spell. Jorginho, Antonio Rudiger, Edouard Mendy and N'Golo Kante have proved superb signings in recent years.

There have been flops, perhaps none more so than Fernando Torres, while the world-record fee for a goalkeeper splashed out on Kepa Arrizabalaga does not seem so wise and Timo Werner has struggled since his move from Germany in 2020. Romelu Lukaku could well be added to that list if he does not discover his best form.

Jurgen Klopp expects Thiago Alcantara to be in contention to face Inter after the Liverpool midfielder was forced to miss the EFL Cup final due to a hamstring injury.

The Spain international was in tears after dropping out of the starting line-up against Chelsea at Wembley.

Liverpool went on to win 11-10 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes, Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who was brought on for the shoot-out, missing the decisive spot-kick.

Thiago will miss Wednesday's FA Cup clash with Norwich City at Anfield and will likely sit out the Premier League game with West Ham on Saturday, but Klopp hopes he will be available for the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie with Inter, in which Liverpool hold a 2-0 lead after the first leg.

"He's not crying any more," the Reds manager told reporters on Tuesday. "This was a very emotional moment.

"We were all surprised. I watched the whole warm-up, didn't see anything, and I came in the dressing room and he's on the bed, telling me he feels something in his hamstring, which is not good obviously.

"We had to make the decision that he could not start at this moment, when you are that close to playing a final.

"For the one player who won probably the most silverware in the whole squad, or as much as the whole squad together, to show this emotion... I didn't like that he didn't feel that good, but the desire to play the final I liked a lot.

"He's fine again but not fit again. For the weekend, I'm not sure; maybe Milan. After that, definitely."

Thiago has made 20 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions this season.

Jurgen Klopp is not thinking about a historic quadruple this season as he says Liverpool are "close to nothing" after winning the EFL Cup.

Liverpool beat Chelsea 11-10 on penalties at Wembley on Sunday after a gripping goalless draw –  the standard of which Klopp described as "insane".

The Reds' attention quickly turns to the FA Cup and a fifth-round tie against Norwich City on Wednesday.

And Klopp will not look further ahead than that match, despite his side now being candidates for an unprecedented English quadruple.

With one trophy secured and the other domestic cup entering its final stages, Liverpool are also six points behind Manchester City in the Premier League with a game in hand and a trip to the Etihad Stadium to come, as well as leading Inter 2-0 after the first leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter.

"The quadruple? It's a wonderful story," Klopp told a pre-match news conference. "No team yet in the history of English football ever won the quadruple, right? That's because it's really difficult.

"We won the Carabao Cup, we are behind City in the Premier League, we play Norwich tomorrow night after playing 120 minutes on Sunday, and we play West Ham.

"The fun part of [the media's] job is you count the points before we play the games, but we still have to play them.

"It's not that we are even close to think about any crazy stuff like that. We just want to try to make sure the boys are fit enough to face Norwich in a proper way."

Pressed further on others backing Liverpool for a potential quadruple, Klopp said: "That people see us as having a chance, you could see it as a compliment, but I don't need these kinds of compliments.

"It doesn't feel like that. We don't think, 'oh, we are close to winning the quadruple'. We are close to nothing at the moment.

"We are still involved in now three competitions, that's all we are – like some other teams as well.

"It's better that people think we can do good things than people think we are useless, but it's not very important or even helpful, because we face a lot of really good football teams between now and the end of May."

Manchester United won a treble in 1998-99 but exited the EFL Cup to eventual winners Tottenham in the quarter-finals.

City finished the 2018-19 season with three trophies, too, but similarly saw a quadruple bid ended by Spurs, this time in the last eight of the Champions League – which Liverpool won.

"I'm not sure how you get to that story," Klopp said. "Okay, the only team that could win the quadruple is us, because we won the first competition – that's easy.

"But even City, with all the quality they have, in the last few years couldn't win the quadruple. That says pretty much everything."

Jurgen Klopp is heading towards becoming the "best Liverpool manager just for what he has achieved", according to former Reds striker Robbie Fowler.

The German boss added the EFL Cup to his growing list of trophies after Liverpool overcame Chelsea on Sunday in the highest scoring penalty shoot-out between two English top-flight teams.

That was Klopp's 10th crown of his managerial career, winning five with Dortmund and adding his fifth with Liverpool, who have triumphed in the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup and EFL Cup during his tenure.

Victory over Thomas Tuchel's European and world champions also kept the Reds in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple.

Liverpool sit six points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, who have played a game more, face Norwich City in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday and are 2-0 up at the halfway point of their Champions League last-16 tie with Inter.

Fowler, who scored 120 times for the Reds between 1993 and 2001, believes that Klopp will soon claim the title of Liverpool's greatest manager if he can add a few more trophies to his cabinet.

Asked whether Klopp is potentially the Reds' best ever boss, Fowler told Stats Perform: "Yes. It's hard to sort of sit here when you think of the great Liverpool managers of the past. 

"You're looking at Bill Shankly, who achieved so much for Liverpool. We're not even talking about Bob Paisley, who won the trophies that he won and was a great manager. 

"But I think Jurgen, potentially in a year or two if he gets a few more trophies, could conceivably be the best Liverpool manager we've seen just for what he has achieved. 

"Certainly, over the last four years he's been here, he’s got to two Champions League finals, a Europa League final and [won] a Premier League [title]. So, I think he's exceptional. 

"He's a manager I would have loved to play under because he ticks every box. I think we, as players, love managers who are technically or tactically very good.

"And we also love managers who are great man managers. And I think he ticks every box and is the epitome of an excellent and great manager."

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