A frantic 48 hours in the transfer market provided Chelsea with a timely lift after last weekend’s Community Shield defeat to Manchester City.
The 2-0 loss left new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri to rue the difference between the two teams, with Pep Guardiola’s champions looking sharper and fitter than the Italian’s side.
Sarri has been in post for less than four weeks and the last thing he needed was to go into the first game of the new season at Huddersfield on Saturday against the backdrop of a protracted stand-off between the club and keeper Thibaut Courtois.
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Courtois’s decision to stay away from the club this week in a bid to force a move to Real Madrid could have had a negative impact at Stamford Bridge, reviving memories of the dispute with Diego Costa 12 months earlier.
But Chelsea moved…
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