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Roosters hitting form when it matters

NRL premiers the Sydney Roosters have hit form at just the right time of the season after hammering a dangerous Warriors side 46-12 in Auckland on Sunday.


On a weekend when leaders Manly were shocked by a rejuvenated Parramatta and second-placed South Sydney were stunned at home by North Queensland, the Roosters took full advantage to consolidate third spot on the ladder.

Trent Robinson’s side sit behind Souths on points differential and could potentially knock them out of the top two by beating them in round 26 when the teams meet at Allianz Stadium, should they beat Melbourne at home next week.

Robinson had labelled the Auckland match to play the Warriors, whose finals hopes took a huge dent with the loss, as one of their toughest of the season and was delighted with how his side is shaping up for the finals.

“We’ve built over that period and I knew our first real big test was coming here especially with the position the Warriors were in,” Robinson said.

“We need to play these games and we need to prove ourselves away from home on trips like this and then at home against teams like Melbourne and Souths,” he said.

“We’ll know where we’re at in a couple of weeks.”

St George Illawarra kept their season alive with a crushing 34-6 win over an injury-hit Gold Coast, who are already out of finals contention.

The win marked Paul McGregor’s first game as permanent coach in style and although their destiny is not in their own hands, they can knock the Broncos out of contention with victory over the ninth-placed Queenslanders in Brisbane on Friday.

Anthony Griffin got one over Wayne Bennett, the man who will replace him next season, on Saturday with an impressive 48-6 win over a woeful Newcastle.

It was the sixth time in eight games that Griffin has beaten Bennett with a Ben Barba hat-trick doing most of the damage to the Knights.

The Eels were impressive in beating Manly 22-12 on Friday and registered all of their points in the second half to keep the Sea Eagles scoreless.

They sit on 28 points in eighth spot and will play in the finals for the first time since 2009 if they win their last two games of the season away to Newcastle and Canberra.

Des Hasler’s Canterbury did enough to see off the injury-stricken Wests Tigers 30-10 on Thursday in a low-key encounter at ANZ Stadium.

Fourth-placed Penrith host Melbourne (seventh) on Monday night.

Australian ambulance officers in London’s sights

The London Ambulance Service wants Australian paramedics to join its ranks to help meet an ever-growing demand for emergency care.


More paramedics are needed in the city due to year-on-year increases in demand and a move to more registered healthcare professionals overseeing patient care.

The shortage of skilled British paramedics has prompted an aggressive bid to entice Australian paramedics to make the move. The London Ambulance Service is hoping to sign up 250 new recruits at a series of interviews in Australia next month.

Some Australian ambulance officers have already taken the plunge.

Verity Reinke describes the move from Adelaide to Europe’s biggest city as “an incredible change”.

“There are better opportunities for career progression here than anywhere else and being exposed to more diverse cases and more exciting challenges is really improving my clinical skills.

“Nothing can beat the experience of working in this city. It’s busier, faster and more exciting than anywhere else.”

Claire Anderson says working Europe’s largest and most densely populated city – with a population of 8.3 million people – is a different feeling. 

“The jobs in Australia would probably be different to the jobs in London,” she told SBS World News.

“One minute you go to someone who has cut their finger or grazed their knee after falling off a skateboard; and the next minute you can go to a cardiac arrest in a public place, say in the middle of Oxford Street, where there is a couple of hundred people watching you.”

Ben Jones says the emergency calls are unpredictable and keep the officers on their toes. 

“You never know what is going to come down the screen next and what you’re going to be sent to. It’s really busy so you build up a lot of experience really, really quickly.”

The push for Australian paramedics is a practical approach to meeting London’s shortfall. While training a new paramedic from scratch takes up to three years, retraining those from overseas is far quicker, requiring only a short four-week conversion course.

London Ambulance Service director of operations Jason Killens says the service deals with about 3,000 emergencies everyday. 

He says the growing demand has forced them to actively recruit overseas for the first time.

“We’re looking to recruit paramedics from Australia where the skills and training closely match those in the UK,” he said.

“Aussie paramedics coming here to London can of course benefit from great opportunities and experience that we can offer as the biggest ambulance service here in the UK and indeed globally.” 

He says the breadth of tasks are diverse as staff are divided into teams: special events, flight paramedics, cycle response unit and fast response cars. 

“As the largest city in Europe and one of the most densely populated, the work of London paramedics is fast paced, but nowhere else will you experience such diversity. This month alone, we’ve treated tens of thousands of patients, including those at music concerts in Hyde Park and at Tour de France which came through London.”

Australian paramedics who make the switch can expect to earn around $75,000 a year.

To register: 南宁夜网.noordinarychallenge广西桑拿, 

AFL top-eight fight down to the wire

Port Adelaide’s AFL top-four hopes are still alive and Richmond have surged back into the eight, setting up a tantalising final round of action next weekend.


Richmond beat bottom side St Kilda 15.8 (98) to 10.12 (72) at the MCG on Sunday.

The Tigers take on ladder leaders Sydney next Saturday at ANZ Stadium, where an upset victory would probably allow the Tigers to sneak into the finals.

Ninth-placed Collingwood are equal on 44 points with Richmond but trail by 8.4 per cent.

Richmond’s emotion-charged, eight-game winning streak began the week after their clash with Sydney in round 14.

In Sunday’s other two games, the Swans belted the Western Bulldogs 20.10 (130) to 9.13 (67) at Etihad Stadium and Fremantle were untroubled at the Gabba, recording a 15.16 (106) to 6.12 (48) win over Brisbane.

Fourth-placed Fremantle are likely to face stronger opposition at home next Saturday against Port Adelaide, who can claim fourth spot with victory in Perth. Dockers coach Ross Lyon says he welcomes a shootout for fourth place.

“The reality is it’s sudden death for top four next week. We’re really thrilled by that,” Lyon said.

Top-three rivals Geelong and Hawthorn put on another entertaining show on Saturday night at the MCG as the Hawks recovered from a 31-point halftime deficit to win 14.10 (94) to 11.5 (71).

Geelong will consider shifting All-Australian defender Harry Taylor forward against Brisbane next Saturday night after Shane Kersten suffered a hamstring injury against Hawthorn.

Essendon are on track for a possible elimination final against North Melbourne after finishing strongly to beat Gold Coast 16.12 (108) to 13.11 (89) at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Michael Hurley was a match-winner at both ends of the ground for the Bombers, who drew praise from their coach Mark Thompson for a courageous effort in a season dominated by ASADA’s controversial investigations into the club’s use of supplements in 2012.

North Melbourne guaranteed themselves a home elimination final with a solid 14.17 (101) to 13.16 (94) win over Adelaide in Hobart on Saturday. Midfielder Jack Ziebell went forward and booted four goals for the Kangaroos.

The loss was devastating for the Crows who slip from eighth to 11th.

Hamstring injuries to Clinton Young and Dane Swan and Brent Macaffer’s heartbreaking second ACL knee drama couldn’t stop Collingwood scoring an 11.9 (75) to 9.13 (67) win over Greater Western Sydney at Spotless Stadium on Saturday.

West Coast stayed in the hunt for a top-eight finish by handing Melbourne a 66-point thumping in Perth on Saturday. Mark Le Cras and Josh Kennedy scored four goals each for the Eagles who won 18.11 (119) to Melbourne’s 8.5 (53).

Tenth-placed West Coast, on 40 points but with a superior percentage, could leapfrog Richmond and Collingwood if West Coast can beat Gold Coast next weekend and Richmond and Collingwood lose to the league’s two top sides Sydney and Hawthorn.

Collingwood will host Hawthorn next Friday night at the MCG.

Port Adelaide showed some encouraging pre-finals form by crushing a tired-looking Carlton side 20.20 (140) to 5.7 (37) on Friday night at Adelaide Oval.

Poroshenko rallies thousands in Ukraine

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has decried Russian “aggression” as Kiev staged a symbolic Independence Day parade while battling pro-Moscow rebels in the east of the country.


Army cadets and military hardware crossed Kiev’s Maidan, or Independence Square, as thousands rallied in an emotional show of strength aimed at boosting morale in the strife-torn nation.

Crowds of Ukrainians, many sporting the national colours of blue and yellow, sang the ex-Soviets state’s anthem as the flag was raised.

“I am convinced that the battle for Ukraine, for independence, will be our success,” Poroshenko told the crowds in a speech ahead of the parade.

“War has come to us from over the horizon where it was never expected,” he said, referring to Russia.

“In the 21st century, in the centre of Europe, there is a flagrant attempt to breach the border of a sovereign state without declaring war,” he said. “It is as if the world has returned to the 1930s, the eve of World War II.”

Poroshenko pledged to allocate 40 billion hryvnias ($A3.25 billion) to its cash-strapped army over the next three years in what he called “only the modest beginning” in the rebirth of the Ukrainian military.

The money will be used to purchase warplanes, warships and helicopters, he said.

Crowds, many people wearing traditional embroidered shirts or flower wreaths, densely packed the Maidan and surrounding streets for the first time since the pro-European rallies in the winter that eventually toppled former leader Viktor Yanukovych.

It was the first military parade in Kiev in five years, and some said it helped boost the nation’s spirits as the Ukrainian army is engaged in a bloody conflict in the east of the country.

But while Kiev was gripped by patriotic fervour, fierce clashes continued to ravage the industrial east with mortar fire hitting a hospital in the main rebel hub of Donetsk.

The city of a million people before the conflict tore through it, has increasingly seen fighting in the streets. On Saturday shelling attacks killed six civilians in residential neighbourhoods, including a child.

Kiev’s conflict with the pro-Russian rebels in the separatist regions of Lugansk and Donetsk has claimed more than 2,200 lives since April, and increasingly moved into populated areas in recent weeks as the army surrounds separatist strongholds.

Poroshenko is under pressure ahead of a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and EU officials in Minsk on Tuesday, where the two are expected to try to take a step toward resolving the bloody conflict.

Earlier this week Moscow set off alarm bells by driving in a convoy of more than 200 trucks in a unilateral aid mission to war-torn Lugansk, where people had been without power or communication for three weeks.

Riewoldt’s six lifts Tigers into top eight

Two months ago the idea was folly but with just one match left in the regular season, Richmond have entered the AFL top eight with a 26-point win over St Kilda.


While next week’s trip north to play Sydney will determine whether the Tigers stay there, Richmond’s best streak in 34 years was cause for celebration in itself.

Led by six-goal Jack Riewoldt, the Tigers made short work of St Kilda for their eighth straight victory, winning 15.8 (98) to 10.12 (72) in front of an impressive 47,188 at a wet MCG on Sunday.

Having restored parity in their win-loss record last weekend in Adelaide, Richmond improved to 11-10 with their demolition of the hapless Saints.

The rout was on early, with Riewoldt’s first-minute conversion followed by Ben Griffiths’ impressive running checkside in the second minute.

When Brett Deledio stole the ball in midfield soon after, shrugged a tackle and goaled from the top of the 50-metre arc, the roar of the Tiger faithful told the story.

Richmond had six goals before the Saints had their first, all but ending the contest.

Chris Newman and Bachar Houli powered Richmond from defence, with the re-signed Anthony Miles and Shaun Grigg doing the grunt work in midfield.

Up front, Riewoldt raised eyebrows by opting to kick around the corner instead of lining up traditional drop punts from the pocket.

But it didn’t affect his output, with 6.2 his best return since an 11-goal bag against GWS in May.

After Richmond’s electric start, St Kilda did rally with two unanswered goals either side of quarter-time.

Nick Riewoldt’s fine goal started from a run-up on the MCG fence reduced the Tigers’ lead to seven points but Richmond responded.

The Tigers kicked the next seven goals to open up a 50-point lead, taking their foot off the pedal late to leave St Kilda with a flattering scoreline.

Damien Hardwick’s side was full of winners, with Troy Chaplin prolific, Brett Deledio busy, and Shane Edwards impressive in his 150th game.

David Armitage and Nick Riewoldt were St Kilda’s best on another learning curve for the young side.

First-gamer Spencer White showed strong ability, kicking three goals in a hopeful debut.

Hardwick said it was pleasing to finally sit inside the top eight.

“Hopefully at the end of next week as well,” he said.

“You’ve got to give the guys some credit, they’ve shown a lot of heart to get back and put our head above water for the first time this year.”

St Kilda boss Alan Richardson said while he was still encouraging his younger breed to believe in themselves and White was impressive.

“You can certainly say he made the most of his opportunities,” he said.

“It’s important he comes through… when he was in a contest he looked positive.”

Franklin boots six as Swans crush Bulldogs

AFL ladder leaders Sydney won’t be doing Richmond any favours by resting star players for their final-round clash next Sunday.


While Richmond have leapt back into the top eight with Sunday’s win over St Kilda – their eighth victory in a row – Sydney have posted 16 victories in their past 17 matches and could hardly be in better shape.

The Swans burst out of the blocks in Sunday’s round-22 clash with the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium, kicking seven goals to the home side’s one in the opening term.

Sydney’s 20.10 (130) to 9.13 (67) victory included six goals from Coleman Medal leader Lance Franklin and four from fellow big forward Kurt Tippett.

The Swans had the luxury of subbing out Tippett at three-quarter time.

Sydney coach John Longmire says injured quartet Josh Kennedy, Craig Bird, Ben McGlynn and Sam Reid, who was a late withdrawal on Sunday with a hip complaint, are all pushing for selection this week.

The Swans will host Richmond at ANZ Stadium on Saturday and despite being a win and almost seven per cent clear in top spot, there’ll be no resting going on against the Tigers.

“To be able to jump out of the blocks and have that seven-goal first quarter and reduce their scoring impact was critical,” Longmire said.

“The longer the game went, we were able to make a few decisions which a good start allows you to do.

“We had four blokes back in Sydney who missed today.

“They’re all a chance. Reid and Kennedy would be huge chances.

“We’ll play our players who are fit and ready to go. I don’t think there’s many teams who rest players.”

Longmire said his stars such as onballer Kennedy were desperate to play.

“They want to keep going and continue to be in good touch and good form,” Longmire said.

“That’s the other consideration to take into it as well.”

Luke Parker and Jarrad McVeigh were two of the headline acts in Sydney’s dominant midfield, and All-Australian half-back contender Nick Malceski kicked two goals in another fine performance.

Tom Liberatore, Jack Macrae and Nathan Hrovat were prominent for the under-siege Bulldogs, who have lost four of their past five games.

The 14th-placed Bulldogs face the 16th-placed Giants at Etihad Stadium next Sunday.

Coach Brendan McCartney says 15-minute lapses continue to cost his side.

“We’ve been beaten up a bit by three really strong clubs in the last month, all going into a pretty optimistic finals campaign, Hawthorn (62 points), Sydney and North Melbourne (50),” McCartney said.

The coach says the Bulldogs are determined to give 264-game veteran Daniel Giansiracusa an appropriate send-off.

McCartney has guaranteed the 32-year-old he won’t have to suffer the embarrassment of starting his final game on the bench as the sub.

Iraq crisis: As violence continues, UN fears massacre in Amerli

Nikolay Mladenov, the UN secretary general’s representative in Iraq, said immediate action is needed to “prevent the possible massacre” of civilians in the northern town of Amerli.


He urged the Iraqi government and other countries to implement concerted action to end the siege in Amerli, 177 kilometres from the capital, Baghdad.

“The town is besieged by ISIL and reports confirm that people are surviving in desperate conditions,” he said in a statement.

“I urge the Iraqi Government to do all it can to relieve the siege and to ensure that the residents receive lifesaving humanitarian assistance or are evacuated in a dignified manner.

“Iraq’s allies and the international community should work with the authorities to prevent a human rights tragedy.”

The town has a population of nearly 18,000 Turkmen Shiites, who have been cut off from food and water supplies after Islamic State fighters launched an offensive in the Salaheddin province in early June.

Local media reports say government helicopters have been able to drop supplies infrequently but added that the government is still facing difficulty in reaching civilians trapped by the fighting.

Dr Ali Albayati at Turkmen Saving Foundation said many children are dying in the town due to dehydration and disease.

He says children have only been eating one meal every three days.

“It is a humanitarian disaster. Twenty-thousand people in Amerli are fighting off death.

“After the attack of Mosul, all the Shiite Turkmen villages around Amerli were captured by the Islamic State. They killed the people and displayed their bodies outside the village,” he told the BBC.

“We are depending on salty water, which gives people diarrhea and other diseases. Since the siege started more than 50 sick or elderly people have died,” he said.

Earlier this month, ISIS attacked Mount Sinjar, home to tens of thousands of the Yazidi ethnic minority. The fighting forced many from their homes, with an estimated 500 people killed during the siege.  

Iraq’s most influential cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani used his speech atfer Friday prayers to voice concern over the situation in Amerli.  


British foreign secretary Philip Hammond on Friday offered in-principle support for an international operation to help people in Amerli, saying the government would be closely watching events.


Devastation in Iraq’s Kirkuk following car bombs

It comes on a day when dozens have died after three near-simultaneous car bombs exploded in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Saturday, killing 21 people and wounding 118, a senior police officer and a doctor said.

Two of the bombs exploded near buildings under construction that were used as observation positions by security forces, while the third struck the entrance to a market.

The bombings come as Iraqi federal and Kurdish security forces battle a jihadist-led militant offensive that was launched in June and has overrun large areas of five provinces.

In the early days of the onslaught, Iraqi soldiers left their positions in oil-rich Kirkuk province, the capital of which is the city of the same name.

This cleared the way for Kurdish forces to take control of it and other disputed northern areas that they have long wanted to incorporate into their autonomous region, over the strong objection of Baghdad.

‘Red alert’: Flights banned from flying over Iceland volcano after eruption

Iceland has raised its alert over the nation’s largest volcano to red, banning all air traffic in the area, after detecting a small eruption.


A major explosion at the Bardarbunga volcano could signal a replay of the global travel chaos triggered when another Icelandic peak blew four years ago, creating a massive ash cloud across Europe.

On Saturday afternoon the Icelandic Met Office (IMO) said it believed there was a small sub-glacial eruption, but by late evening it confirmed there was no evidence of volcanic activity.


“Presently there are no signs of ongoing volcanic activity,” IMO said.

“The aviation colour code for the Bardarbunga volcano remains red as an imminent eruption cannot be excluded.

Airports in Iceland remain open

Although airspace was closed in the affected area, all airports in Iceland were open, authorities said.

The assessment came after three hours of aerial surveillance.

“It’s clear that there are no signs of melting that follows an eruption under a glacier, so the magma has probably not reached the surface yet,” geophysicist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson told publicbroadcaster Ruv.

Tourist area evacuated

Police said 300 people had been evacuated from a tourist area north of the Bardarbunga volcano, which lies in central Iceland.

“It is only in the canyons themselves, not in the inhabited area,” Husavi chief of police Svavar Palsson told local media.

“Most of the people were foreign tourists.”

The authorities earlier this week evacuated tourists and hikers from the area around Bardarbunga, which kicked into seismic action on Monday with the biggest earthquake registered since 1996.

However, police said there was no sign of a change at the surface of the erupting area and that the ice layer was between 150 and 400 metres thick.

“The eruption is considered a minor event at this point,” Icelandic police said in a statement.

“Because of pressure from the glacier cap it is uncertain whether the eruption will stay sub-glacial or not.”

Not the first time volcano eruption triggers air traffic ban

The eruption of Eyjafjoell, a smaller volcano, in April 2010 caused travel mayhem, stranding more than eight million travellers in the biggest airspace shutdown since World War II.

“There’s nothing we can do if we get another big eruption like that of Eyjafjoell except to interrupt air traffic in the dangerous areas,” Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration spokesman Fridthor Eydal was quoted as saying earlier this week.

“It’s really the only thing we can do,” he said.

The volcano is located in southeast Iceland under the country’s largest glacier Vatnajoekull.

The area around it is uninhabited, with only trekking cabins and campsites used by tourists and hunters in the summer months.

Iceland’s second-highest peak, Bardarbunga rises to more than 2000 metres, and caps the country’s largest volcanic system.

On Monday, seismologists recorded an earthquake of 4.5 on the Richter scale in the area.

Scientists believe its explosion would be large enough to disrupt air traffic over northern Europe and the northern Atlantic, as well as causing major damage on the island nation from volcanic ash and glacial flooding.

In 2010, the Eyjafjoell volcano shot a massive plume of volcanic debris up to nine kilometres into the sky, blowing ash across to mainland Europe.

And in 2011, Iceland’s most active sub-glacial volcano Grimsvotn erupted, forcing Iceland to temporarily shut its airspace and sparking fears of a repeat of the Eyjafjoell flight chaos.

Hunters stalk debut finals berth

The PNG Hunters have just won their last fixture and confirmed their reputation as formidable newcomers, downing the the South Logan Magpies 44 to 14 in Brisbane.


Their runaway success in the Queensland Rugby League Intrust Cup is dream come true for a country that worships the game.

“It’s our national sport up there, everyone talks rugby league, everyone speaks rugby league,” said team coach Michael Marum.

With a bye next week, they now need the Ipswich Jets and Tweed Head Seagulls to lose their last games.

“I think it was the way we want it to be. We get our two points and go on a bye (next week) and hopefully those teams lose and we get in,” said Hunters captain Israel Eliab after the game.

Either way the team will end the season with the cup’s top try scorer, Gary Lo, coming from their ranks. 

Queensland Rugby League said the Hunters have been a huge boon to the competition, boosting game attendances into the thousands instead of the few hundred seen last season.

“It’s the brand of footy they play, it’s care free, it’s the way it should be played, the ball’s throw around, there’s excitement, they can score tries from inside their own ten and from the opposition’s ten,” said QRL competitions manager Jamie O’Connor.

The team suffered setbacks during the season when players, including Eliab, were struck down with malaria, some left over discipline issues and then there was Queensland’s cold weather.

One thing that never wavered was their fan base both at home and in Australia.

“Everyone follows this (in PNG), on Saturdays and Sunday’s they just sit in front of their tellies and watch us, the boys play,” said Eliab.

“We have lots of fans around here (Queensland), at the airport, lots of people asking us, just cheering us.”

Torres still in Mourinho’s plans despite Chelsea absence

Fernando Torres, Chelsea’s record 50 million pound ($82.


84 million) signing, could not even command a place on the bench as Costa was scoring on his Stamford Bridge debut in the 2-0 win over Leicester City on Saturday, a victory which maintained the club’s perfect start to the season.

At the launch of his fifth season for Chelsea and having turned 30 in March, the dropping of Torres felt almost symbolic of his slide from the giddy heights of his Atletico Madrid and Liverpool heyday.

With the 32 million pound man Costa marking his territory with a second goal in as many games and as the returning 36-year-old hero Didier Drogba was being welcomed back ecstatically, was Mourinho preparing to consign Torres’ largely disappointing Chelsea career to history?

Not at all, according to the manager.

Chelsea still needed three top strikers in their squad and Torres, even if his record of five goals in 28 league appearances last season contrasts starkly with Costa’s immediate 100 percent strike rate, would be that ‘third man’.

Happy to dispel persistent rumours that Torres might be on his way to a loan spell with a top Italian club, Mourinho instead offered an unforced tribute to both the player’s abilities and character, insisting Spain’s former World Cup winner still had plenty more Chelsea goals in him.

“I want three strikers in the team. I can’t do a season without three strikers so our squad was made carefully, with great balance, great work by the top structure of my club to try to give me with what I want,” Mourinho explained.

“Torres is one of those three strikers. “I believe he’ll stay. I want him. He will play, he will score goals, he will be very useful for us. He’s a fantastic guy, a fantastic professional. So no problem. “At this moment, we are playing one game a week but in September, October, November, December, there’ll be three matches a week and then everything is much easier for the players because all of them will be playing. So there is not stories with Nando or anyone.”


Asked what Torres had to do to establish himself as the club’s number one striker, Mourinho’s message, delivered with a smile, was stark.

“Score more goals than the first one,” he said.

For the moment, that ‘first one’ is Costa and Mourinho was delighted with his initial impact.

“He’s a goalscorer,” the Portuguese added.

“The goals he scored against both Leicester and (in the 3-1 win at) Burnley are striker goals. He smashes and he scores. This is what we need. We need a striker to score goals and Diego is doing that for us.”

Costa’s old Atletico team mate Thibaut Courtois is also making a major impact for Chelsea with Mourinho having entrusted the goakeeping duties to him ahead of the long established Petr Cech.

His excellent save from Leicester’s David Nugent ultimately proved as important as Costa’s breakthrough goal in the victory.

Talking of the difficulty of having to choose between the experience and excellence of the 32-year-old Cech and the exciting promise of the young Belgian, Mourinho told the BBC “Match of the Day” programme: “I love my players and respect them but I try always to be super professional and try always to think about my club before my players.

“The point here is not the quality, because Petr is an amazing goalkeeper. What made me have this decision was the fact that the kid (Courtois) is 22, a kid who has only two years on his contract.

If he doesn’t play for Chelsea, he is a free agent. I made a decision for the team. The kid is answering in a fantastic way.”

(Editing by John O’Brien)