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Media Watch: Chelsea supporters give strong display of unity at Old Trafford, Willian reportedly close to a return from injury, Ashley Cole ranked as top star to play for Chelsea and Arsenal

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Chelsea fans give a strong display of unity in defeat at Manchester United, Willian could be back in action this week after recovering from a hamstring injury and Ashley Cole is ranked as the top player to have worn the colours of Chelsea and Arsenal in the Premier League.

These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.

Chelsea fans show strong display of unity

The Evening Standard recognised the exceptional support which Chelsea fans showed to Frank Lampard at Old Trafford during our disappointing opening day loss to Manchester United.

While noting the 4-0 scoreline ‘misrepresents the gap between these two teams on the day’, the paper felt there were positives the Blues could take from the defeat, not least the backing which the travelling fans showed to the new head coach.

‘The ceaseless backing he received here even as the game drifted away from the Blues was a clear indication of the unifying effect the former midfielder has had,’ stated the paper.

‘This ended up being a chastening afternoon but Lampard’s iconic status combined with a commitment to youth and a recognition of how tough life will be without Eden Hazard while under a transfer ban will ensure he gets more time than most Chelsea managers to make it work.

‘He made a point of acknowledging the travelling supporters at full-time. The reception at Stamford Bridge against Leicester City will be something else.’

Willian close to returning

According to the Sun, Willian could be back in action for the Blues this week after recovering from the hamstring injury which he picked up during the Copa America.

The Brazilian, who has not played since he suffered the injury during Brazil’s semi-final victory against Argentina on 2 July, was not included in the squad which played at Old Trafford on Sunday.

However, the Sun’s report suggests the experienced winger ‘is ready to declare himself fit’ for the Super Cup clash against Liverpool on Wednesday.

‘Willian has been working separately from the main group as he tried to regain full fitness following his return from the Copa America,’ the paper adds.

‘Now he is ready to hand Lampard a boost by returning to action in Turkey.’

Cole ranked as top Blues and Gunners star

The Daily Mirror has ranked Ashley Cole as the top player to star for both Chelsea and Arsenal during the Premier League era, ahead of Cesc Fabregas and Petr Cech.

In the wake of David Luiz’s departure for north London, the paper compiled a list of the nine players who have previously worn the colours of both clubs in the Premier League and ranked them according to their performances for the Blues and Gunners.

While he had strong competition from the likes of Fabregas, Cech, Nicolas Anelka, Olivier Giroud and William Gallas, Cole’s good form at both clubs and his impressive trophy haul of three Premier Leagues and a record seven FA Cups saw him finish in first place.

‘Cole became arguably the best left-back in the world for a time, and his impressive trophy haul sees him take the number one spot,’ added the paper.

Fabregas and Cech, who did not win league titles with Arsenal, were close behind in second and third place while Anelka and Emmanuel Petit rounded off the top five.

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