Brentford’s Toney faces Ban Over Betting Breaches

Brentford striker Ivan Toney celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Brentford at the Etihad Stadium on November 12, 2022. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Brentford striker Ivan Toney faces a lengthy ban after being charged by the English Football Association for 232 alleged breaches of betting rules over a four-year period.

The 26-year-old, who had been in contention for England’s World Cup squad, last week admitted he was assisting the FA with its investigation into historic breaking of gambling rules.

The alleged breaches stretch from 2017, when Toney was on Newcastle’s books, to 2021, after he had joined Brentford from Peterborough.

In a statement, the FA said: “Ivan Toney has been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of the FA’s betting rules.

“It is alleged that the Brentford FC forward breached FA rule E8 232 times between February 25, 2017, and January 23, 2021.”

READ ALSOMan Utd ‘Considering Response’ To Ronaldo’s ‘Betrayal’ Claims

The rules ban players from betting on any football match, even games in which they are not involved.

England right-back Kieran Trippier was banned for 10 weeks by the FA in December 2020 for giving out information for others to bet on his transfer from Tottenham to Atletico Madrid.

Toney had been called up to England’s recent Nations League in September but was omitted when Gareth Southgate named his travelling party to Qatar.

He responded by scoring twice in a shock 2-1 win for the Bees over Manchester City on Saturday.

“The club has been in discussion with Ivan and his legal representatives about this matter and those conversations will continue privately,” Brentford said in a statement.

“We will make no further comment until the matter has been completed.”

When news of the FA probe broke on November 6, Toney wrote on Twitter: “I’m aware of a story about me in a national newspaper today.

“I have been assisting the Football Association with their enquiries and will not be making any comment until such investigation has reached its conclusion.”

AFP

Man City Crash Against Brentford, Slip In Premier League Title Race

Brentford’s Ivan Toney celebrates with teammates in front of their supporters after scoring their late winner during the English Premier League match between Manchester City and Brentford at the Etihad Stadium on November 12, 2022. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Ivan Toney bounced back from missing out on the England World Cup squad by scoring twice as Brentford stunned Manchester City to win 2-1 at the Etihad on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola warned before the game that his stars could have “one eye” on staying injury free before the World Cup and the City boss’ fears were realised as the champions slipped to a first home defeat since February.

City could now go into the World Cup five points off the top of the table should Arsenal win at Wolves later on Saturday.

Guardiola’s concerns did not stop him from naming a starting line-up containing 10 players going to Qatar.

Erling Haaland was the only exception as Norway failed to qualify and he returned to the starting line-up for the first time in six games due to a foot injury.

But Haaland was for once upstaged by his opposite number as Toney produced the perfect riposte to being overlooked by Gareth Southgate.

Toney should have opened the scoring when he fired too close to Ederson with just the goalkeeper to beat early on.

City did not heed the warning, though, as Ben Mee nodded on a free-kick and Toney got above Aymeric Laporte to head in his 10th goal of the season.

READ ALSO‘Devastated’ Reece James Rues World Cup Miss Over Injury

Brentford’s Mads Roerslev (L) vies with Manchester City’s English Phil Foden (R) during the English Premier League match between Manchester City and Brentford at the Etihad Stadium. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Going behind awoke the hosts from their slumber but frustration grew inside the Etihad as a series of VAR reviews for penalties were waived away.

Rico Henry escaped the biggest claim as his handball took place just outside the area, while Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne were adjudged to have gone to the ground too easily.

City did finally level in first-half stoppage time as Phil Foden connected perfectly on the half-volley to drill a De Bruyne corner into the top corner.

The start of the second period was disrupted by a seven-minute stoppage for Aymeric Laporte to receive treatment for a head injury.

Laporte played on with several bandages covering a cut and he came to City’s rescue with a remarkable goal-line clearance to deny Bryan Mbuemo a tap-in from Henry’s cross.

City struggled to find their usual passing rhythm but did cut Brentford open with one stunning team move that Ilkay Gundogan should have finished after exchanging a one-two with Haaland.

Toney looked like he may have missed his chance to win the game when Ederson spread himself brilliantly to narrow the angle in a one-on-one and block at his near post.

But City were caught out by a clinical counter-attack from the visitors as Yoane Wissa and Josh Dasilva combined to tee up Toney to tap home.

Brentford’s captain should then have had a memorable hat-trick to savour only to be denied by De Bruyne chasing back to clear off his own line.

The Bees, though, were not to be denied their first away win of the season to set up an intriguing title race once league action gets back underway after the World Cup.

AFP

Brentford End Chelsea’s Winning Streak 

Chelsea’s US midfielder Christian Pulisic (front) runs with the ball next to Brentford’s Danish defender Zanka during the English Premier League football match between Brentford and Chelsea at Gtech Community Stadium in London on October 19, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)

 

Chelsea’s five-match winning run came to an end as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Brentford in Wednesday’s west London derby.

Graham Potter’s side were unable to secure their sixth successive victory in all competitions, but they did at least extend their unbeaten run under the former Brighton boss to seven matches.

Chelsea consolidated their hold on a top-four place in the Premier League with the hard-earned point at the Brentford Community Stadium.

Encouragingly for Potter, the Blues have now gone five games without conceding a goal after their defensive frailties under his predecessor Thomas Tuchel earlier this season.

However, there was also an injury concern for Potter after England midfielder Conor Gallagher limped off in the first half, a fitness blow that came just days after N’Golo Kante was ruled out for several months.

READ ALSO: Nunez’s Strike Sinks West Ham, Extend Liverpool’s Revival

Potter had made five changes from the side which beat Aston Villa 2-0, with Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropping to the bench.

Brentford threatened early on when Ivan Toney had a header from Mads Roerslev’s cross tipped over the crossbar by Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Chelsea had a let-off with 10 minutes of the first half remaining when Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s back-header from a free-kick inadvertently let Toney in.

The striker got to the ball before Kepa but was unable to direct his header on target.

The closest Chelsea came to scoring in a low-key half was an angled drive from Cesar Azpilicueta which Bees keeper David Raya tipped around the far post.

The Blues wanted a penalty for a Rico Henry handball, and another when Kai Havertz tumbled under pressure from Ben Mee, but they got neither.

Brentford should have taken the lead five minutes into the second half when Bryan Mbeumo had a free header from another Roerslev cross, but the Cameroon forward planted his header straight at Kepa.

From the corner, Mbeumo found Toney at the near post but his attempt at a glancing header flew wide.

Potter made a triple substitution on the hour but there was still no sign of Aubameyang, with teenager Carney Chukwuemeka sent on along with Sterling and Christian Pulisic.

It was Brentford who were closest to snatching all three points when Henry’s shot crashed into the side-netting.

Aubameyang was finally sent on with 10 minutes remaining but his only half-chance was a low drive from outside the area which was easily gathered by Raya.

Spanish keeper Raya also beat away a swerving drive from Pulisic and saved with his feet from Chukwuemeka in stoppage-time to preserve a deserved point.

AFP

Ten Hag Demands Attitude Change From Man Utd

Ajax's Dutch coach Erik ten Hag talks to journalists during the Toto KNVB Cup Press Conference prior to the cup final against PSV Eindhoven at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on April 15, 2022. Koen van Weel / ANP / AFP
Ajax’s Dutch coach Erik ten Hag talks to journalists during the Toto KNVB Cup Press Conference prior to the cup final against PSV Eindhoven at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on April 15, 2022. Koen van Weel / ANP / AFP

 

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag lambasted the attitude of his players in an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Brentford last weekend as he demanded a response in Monday’s clash with Liverpool.

The Dutchman is off to the worst start of any new United manager in over 100 years after losing both his opening games to leave the Red Devils rooted to the bottom of the Premier League for the first time in 30 years.

Brentford players covered 13.8 kilometres more in a famous win for the Bees and Ten Hag reportedly responded by cancelling a planned day off to make his squad run that distance the day after defeat last Saturday.

“I was definitely not happy,” Ten Hag said at his pre-match press conference on Friday. “The basic stuff has to be good and that has to start with the right attitude.

“You need fighting spirit on the pitch and I didn’t see it from minute one.

“The players didn’t play good, a lot went wrong. You don’t have to talk about anything (tactical) when the attitude is not right.”

United’s disastrous start to the season on the field has followed a frustrating summer in the transfer market as a drawn out pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong looks set to end in failure.

However, the English giants do seem set to land another midfielder from La Liga with Real Madrid’s Casemiro on the brink of a move that could rise to 70 million euros (£51 million, $61 million).

Ten Hag refused to comment on the arrival of the Brazilian international, but did offer support for the club’s embattled owners, the Glazer family.

A mass protest is planned outside Old Trafford ahead of the Liverpool match with supporters pointing the finger at the Americans for a decade of decline since legendary former manager Alex Ferguson retired.

“I can only say the owners want to win,” added Ten Hag. “The fans, we want them behind the club.

“I can understand sometimes but I am not that long in the club that I can see all the backgrounds, but we have to fight together so we have to be unified and fight together.”

Even if Casemiro is signed before Monday, he will not be registered in time to make his debut.

Anthony Martial is fit to return, leaving Ten Hag with another big call to make on whether to start Cristiano Ronaldo.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has featured in United’s opening two games of the season but still appears to be trying to orchestrate a move away from Old Trafford before the transfer window closes.

AFP

Man Utd Bottom Of Premier League After 4-0 Thrashing By Brentford

(L-R) Manchester United's Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United's English defender Harry Maguire, Manchester United's Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes and Manchester United's Scottish midfielder Scott McTominay await a corner kick during the English Premier League football match between Brentford and Manchester United at Gtech Community Stadium in London on August 13, 2022. (Photo by Ian Kington / AFP)
(L-R) Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire, Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes and Manchester United’s Scottish midfielder Scott McTominay await a corner kick during the English Premier League football match between Brentford and Manchester United at Gtech Community Stadium in London on August 13, 2022. (Photo by Ian Kington / AFP)

 

Erik ten Hag’s bad start as Manchester United manager descended into an embarrassment as a 4-0 thrashing by Brentford on Saturday left the Red Devils bottom of the Premier League.

The former Ajax boss’ reign began with Brighton’s first ever win at Old Trafford last weekend, but much worse was to come as the Bees punished a series of errors to score four times in the first 35 minutes.

Josh Dasilva’s strike slipped through David de Gea’s grasp to open the floodgates before Mathias Jensen pounced on United’s attempt to play out from the back to make it 2-0 inside 18 minutes.

Ben Mee then exposed the visitors’ frailty from set-pieces for his first Brentford goal and Bryan Mbuemo rounded off a stunning counter-attack 10 minutes before half-time to sink United to the bottom of the table for the first time in 30 years.

The jubilant home support taunted Ten Hag with chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning.”

But the Dutch coach has inherited a rabble rather than being the root cause as United lost a seventh consecutive away league match for the first time since 1936.

“We all have seen the game. I think Brentford were more hungry and we conceded goals to individual mistakes,” said Ten Hag. “You can have a good plan but that puts the plan in the bin.”

United have now conceded four goals or more seven times in the Premier League since the start of last season.

The arrival of £57 million ($69 million) centre-back Lisandro Martinez from Ajax has done little to shore up United’s leaky defence and questions will be asked of why Ten Hag has left Raphael Varane on the bench in favour of the Argentine and the out-of-sorts Harry Maguire.

Ten Hag did recall Cristiano Ronaldo to the starting line-up, but the wantaway five-time Ballon d’Or winner played a part in the opening goal.

Ronaldo went to ground too easily seeking a foul as he was surrounded by Brentford bodies. Dasilva’s shot should still have been a comfortable save for De Gea, but the ball squirmed underneath the Spaniard.

“It was a horrible day,” said De Gea. “I feel like I cost the team.”

‘Memories for life’

De Gea compounded that mistake eight minutes later with an attempted pass to Christian Eriksen, who was outmuscled by his former teammate Jensen, and the Dane coolly slotted home to double Brentford’s lead.

Martinez’s diminutive 5ft 9in (1.8m) frame was raised as a red flag for his ability to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League.

And the Argentine was beaten at the back post by Mee for the third goal after Ivan Toney headed a corner across goal.

Credit to Brentford in just their second season in the English top-flight for 75 years may get swept away in the waves of criticism coming United’s way.

But Thomas Frank’s men produced a stunning move to tear United open again for their fourth goal.

Toney was released down the left wing and picked out Mbuemo with a precise first-time pass for the Frenchman to race in behind Luke Shaw and finish low past De Gea.

“These players keep giving me and the fans memories for life,” said Frank.

Ten Hag made his feelings clear at the break with a triple substitution with Shaw, Martinez and Fred the scapegoats.

United did at least stop the bleeding after the break and should have had at least one consolation as Ronaldo looped a header over before Eriksen’s effort lacked the power to beat David Raya.

The damage, though, was long since done for Ten Hag and worse could still be to come.

United host Liverpool, who beat their historic rivals 5-0 and 4-0 last season, in their next game on August 22.

 

AFP

 

Ronaldo Scores As Man United Record Morale-Boosting Win Against Brentford

Ronaldo: Source: [email protected] Utd

 

Manchester United took the sting out of their fans’ latest protest against the Glazer family as they eased to a 3-0 win against Brentford on Monday.

Ahead of a summer of change for troubled United, Ralf Rangnick’s side won for just the second time in seven games to keep the atmosphere from turning toxic at Old Trafford.

Bruno Fernandes struck early in the first half and Cristiano Ronaldo converted a second half penalty before France defender Raphael Varane bagged his first goal for United.

Despite winning their last home game of the season, United remain in sixth place in the Premier League with two games left.

They sit five points adrift of the top four with no realistic hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Fittingly, it was under grey, rain-filled skies that fans protested against despised owners the Glazers for a third successive home match.

Outside the stadium before kick-off, a group of supporters held up anti-Glazer banners, set off red smoke bombs and made offensive chants about the club’s owners.

United fans had been urged by the protesters to leave the stadium with 17 minutes left in the match — one minute for every year the United States-based Glazers have owned the club.

But that idea proved a damp squib as only a handful left their seats.

There were more empty seats by the time United embarked on a post-match lap of appreciation, but no overt signs of dissent towards their underachieving stars.

“In possession that was one of our best performances this year. It was the type of performance we wanted to show to our supporters,” Rangnick said.

Regardless, there is no doubting the overall level of frustration at another trophyless season for United, who haven’t won the Premier League since 2013 and last lifted a major trophy five years ago.

 ‘Lacked Consistency’ 

Aside from a few scathing comments about the club’s direction, Rangnick has done little to jolt United out of their malaise since replacing the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.

“In the end I’m not happy with the results, especially in the last four or five weeks. In general we have lacked consistency,” Rangnick said.

“It’s obvious quite a few players will leave and there is a need for top quality players.

“Other clubs only needed two or three transfer windows to challenge. I strongly believe that if everyone works together we can bring Man Utd back to where we need to be.”

Rangnick was in charge of his last home game as United interim manager before the recently-hired Erik ten Hag arrives from Ajax to start his rebuilding job next season.

After such a wretched run, United needed a fast start to lift the gloom a little and they took just nine minutes to go in front.

Anthony Elanga beat Brentford’s offside trap as he raced onto Diogo Dalot’s pass.

He reached the ball just before it went out for a goal-kick and whipped a superb cross towards Fernandes, who volleyed home from six yards for his first league goal since February.

After several listless displays, this was a more energetic effort from United and Juan Mata fired narrowly wide from Ronaldo’s flamboyant pass.

Ronaldo won a penalty in the 60th minute as he powered past Rico Henry and was crudely barged to the turf by the Brentford defender.

Picking himself up, Ronaldo sent David Raya the wrong way from the spot.

The Portugal striker has scored nine of United’s last 11 league goals, taking his tally for the season to 24 in all competitions.

With the United fans’ much-hyped walk-out just seconds away, Varane volleyed the third goal from a corner in the 72nd minute.

That appeared to take the sting out of the revolt, with Mata and Nemanja Matic — both likely to leave in the close-season — departing to standing ovations when they were substituted.

It was a rare feelgood moment in a season of strife at Old Trafford.

AFP

Eriksen-Inspired Brentford Thrash Chelsea 4-1

Brentford's Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen scores past Chelsea's French-born Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (R) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Brentford at Stamford Bridge in London on April 2, 2022. Glyn KIRK / AFP
Brentford’s Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen scores past Chelsea’s French-born Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (R) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Brentford at Stamford Bridge in London on April 2, 2022. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Chelsea slumped to a first defeat to Brentford since 1939 as Christian Eriksen inspired the Bees to a 4-1 win that should seal their Premier League survival.

The European champions had gone in front early in the second half at Stamford Bridge through Antonio Rudiger’s sensational long-range strike, but they collapsed to lose for the first time since owner Roman Abramovich was hit by UK government sanctions.

Vitaly Janelt levelled just a minute later to spark a three-goal spree in 10 minutes for the visitors.

READ ALSO: Premier League Glory Is Priority, Liverpool’s Klopp Says After Watford Win

Eriksen has been in fine form since making his return to competitive football since suffering a cardiac arrest on the field during Euro 2020.

The former Tottenham midfielder scored twice in as many games during his international comeback for Denmark and continued his scoring streak by lifting the ball over Edouard Mendy to complete the turnaround.

Janelt then made it 3-1 with a deft dink over Mendy on the hour mark.

Third-placed Chelsea remain on course to finish in the top four but will need a major improvement for the visit of Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Yoane Wissa rounded off a memorable afternoon for Thomas Frank’s men when he took advantage of more comical Chelsea defending to drill home a fourth.

A third win in four games takes Brentford up to 14th and 11 points clear of the relegation zone.

 

AFP

Brentford Sign Eriksen Months After Euro 2020 Cardiac Arrest

In this file photo, Denmark’s midfielder Christian Eriksen runs during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group B football match between Denmark and Finland at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on June 12, 2021. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel / various sources / AFP)

 

Christian Eriksen has completed a remarkable return to the Premier League, signing for Brentford just seven months after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at last year’s European Championship.

The 29-year-old playmaker, who has been fitted with a pacemaker, has signed a contract with Thomas Frank’s side until the end of the season.

The ex-Tottenham player left Inter Milan last month by mutual consent. The pacemaker meant he was not allowed to play in Italian football, but other leagues do not have the same rules.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s Eriksen Part Ways With Inter Milan ‘By Mutual Consent’

“Brentford FC can confirm the signing of Denmark international midfield player Christian Eriksen, subject to international clearance,” read a club statement, saying he had joined after completing a medical assessment.

Frank, who worked with Eriksen while in charge of Denmark’s Under-17s squad early in his career, welcomed his compatriot to the club.

“We have taken an unbelievable opportunity to bring a world-class player to Brentford,” he said.

“He is fit but we will need to get him match fit and I am looking forward to seeing him work with the players and staff to get back towards his highest level.

“At his best, Christian has the ability to dictate games of football. He can find the right passes and is a goal threat.”

AFP

Brentford Offers Christian Eriksen Six-Month Contract – Reports

Christian Erikson has been reportedly offered a six-month contract by Premier League side Brentford
A file photo of Christian Eriksen during the Euro 2020 tournament

 

Former Inter Milan midfielder, Christian Eriksen, has been reportedly offered a deal by Premier League side Brentford. 

Eriksen has been a free agent after his mutual release by Inter last month and has been eager to resume his career after suffering a cardiac arrest during his country’s Euro 2020 game against Finland.

According to reports, Brentford have proposed an initial six-month deal to the Danish playmaker, despite this, the club has revealed that talks with Eriksen’s agents have been on a hiatus for more than a week.

Other clubs are also in contact with Eriksen but Brentford are favoured to be one of four from the Premier League to sign the player.

His unveiling is expected to happen in a month’s time with the player keen on making an England return with speculations of a London move to Tottenham not ruled out.

Eriksen would, however, need to be monitored by a cardiac specialist before he is given the green light to play in England.

Liverpool Beat Brentford To Move Up To Second

Liverpool’s English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (L) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Brentford at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on January 16, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

Liverpool kept their slim hopes of reeling in Manchester City at the top of the Premier League alive by seeing off Brentford 3-0 at Anfield to move up to second in the table on Sunday.

Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino scored the goals as the Reds coped without the absence of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Victory lifts Jurgen Klopp’s men to within 11 points of the runaway leaders, but they also have a game in hand on City.

Liverpool failed to take advantage of an extra man for over an hour as Thursday’s League semi-final, first leg against Arsenal ended 0-0, sparking fears of how they will cope for the rest of the month without two of their main sources of goals.

But a Brentford side that have not won a league game away from home since early October never threatened to cause an upset.

Klopp made just two changes from the Arsenal stalemate as Curtis Jones and Oxlade-Chamberlain were recalled to add extra creativity and dynamism to the midfield.

He was rewarded with a bright start as Diogo Jota headed over, Trent Alexander-Arnold flashed a shot just off target and Alvaro Fernandez made a brilliant save to deny Virgil van Dijk.

However, the crowd were growing restless until Brentford allowed Alexander-Arnold’s corner to bounce inside the area and Fabinho headed in at the back post.

The Bees went toe-to-toe with Liverpool in a pulsating 3-3 draw when the sides last met in September.

But the visitors only created one big chance to get back in the game when Bryan Mbuemo turned Joel Matip and shot inches wide.

Jota hit the post and then should have scored when firing too close to Fernandez in a one-on-one.

There was no doubt over the outcome, though, once Oxlade-Chamberlain’s diving header turned Andy Robertson’s perfect cross into the bottom corner.

Brentford were architects of their own downfall for the third goal as Fernandez’s pass out from the back was seized upon by Roberto Firmino and he teed up Minamino to slot home from close range.

The home fans could relax for the final 15 minutes and pointedly took the chance to chant the name of former manager Rafael Benitez, who was sacked by rivals Everton on Sunday.

The Toffees are in danger of falling into a relegation battle after one win in 13 league games.

Brentford, by contrast, still enjoy a 10-point cushion over the bottom three in their first season in the top-flight for 74 years but remain in 14th.

Man United, Brentford Match Postponed Over COVID-19 Concerns

Fans sit in the stands during an English Premier League football match at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 5, 2021. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Manchester United’s match at Brentford on Tuesday was postponed as the English Premier League reported a record number of Covid-19 cases, with the virus threatening to disrupt the busy Christmas fixture list.

It came hours after the Old Trafford club closed their Carrington training complex because of several players and staff members testing positive for coronavirus.

The Premier League Board took the decision to postpone the Brentford clash “based on guidance from medical advisors”, said a Manchester United statement.

United’s fixture in west London was the second Premier League game to fall to the virus in three days after Tottenham Hotspur’s match at Brighton on Sunday was called off.

“Manchester United can confirm that our Premier League fixture at Brentford FC, on Tuesday 14 December at 19:30, has been postponed and will be rescheduled in due course,” a United statement late Monday said.

READ ALSONFF Sacks Rohr, Appoints Eguavoen As Super Eagles Interim Manager

With the Omicron variant sweeping across Britain, there are growing virus issues at several Premier League clubs.

The Premier League on Monday reported 42 new Covid-19 cases in the past week — a seven-day record since testing figures started being released in May 2020 — up from 12 cases the previous week.

More fixtures could come under threat with Brighton, Tottenham, Leicester City, Aston Villa and Norwich City all reporting confirmed Covid-19 cases in recent days.

Norwich are due to host Villa on Tuesday, while Tottenham are scheduled to travel to Leicester on Thursday.

All of United’s players tested negative before Saturday’s match at Norwich, but it was reported a group of players and staff tested positive on Sunday.

“Following PCR confirmation of positive tests among the first-team staff and players, the outbreak requires ongoing surveillance with individuals who tested positive isolating in line with Premier League protocols,” added the United statement.

Emergency Measures

The Premier League last week instructed all clubs to reinstate Covid-19 restrictions, including a return to social distancing and mask-wearing.

“With the health of players and staff the priority, and in light of the recent rise in Covid-19 cases across the country, the Premier League has reintroduced emergency measures,” the Premier League reiterated in a statement late Monday.

“These include protocols such as more frequent testing, wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing, and limiting treatment time.”

Brentford expressed disappointment for their supporters at the postponement, but said the “health and safety of both clubs’ players and staff must always come first”.

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard said that his team had a virus outbreak involving “a couple of staff members and a couple of players” which led to the club cancelling training on Sunday.

However, the squad trained as normal on Monday ahead of their trip to Carrow Road, where United won 1-0 on Saturday.

“We retested this morning and we have got a couple of staff and a couple of players missing for the foreseeable future,” said Gerrard.

“But the vast majority have come through the test this morning and we look forward to competing against Norwich.”

Brighton manager Graham Potter said there were “three or four” positive tests among his squad, but their match against Wolves on Wednesday was not currently under threat.

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte admitted he had been “scared” by the outbreak at the north London club, which also caused their European fixture against Rennes last week to be called off after eight players and five members of Spurs’ staff tested positive.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta last week called for the Premier League to issue clearer guidelines on how many positive tests should trigger a postponement.

Arteta’s side lost at Brentford on the opening weekend of this season when their game went ahead despite four positive tests.

Mendy Shines Against Brentford As Chelsea Go Top Of Premier League

Chelsea's French-born Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (C) keeps an eye on the ball as it pings around his goal mouth during a period of Brentford pressure toward the end of the English Premier League football match between Brentford and Chelsea at Brentford Community Stadium in London on October 16, 2021. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP
Chelsea’s French-born Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (C) keeps an eye on the ball as it pings around his goal mouth during a period of Brentford pressure toward the end of the English Premier League football match between Brentford and Chelsea at Brentford Community Stadium in London on October 16, 2021. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

 

Thomas Tuchel saluted Edouard Mendy as the Chelsea goalkeeper’s superb display sealed a hard-fought 1-0 win at Brentford on Saturday.

Tuchel’s side had been knocked out of pole position by Liverpool’s 5-0 rout of Watford a few hours earlier.

But Chelsea had the perfect response with a gritty victory in their first league meeting with their west London neighbours for 74 years.

Ben Chilwell’s fiercely-struck goal in first half stoppage-time was enough to give Chelsea their sixth win in eight league games.

But Chelsea had to rely on a series of fine saves from Mendy in the closing stages before they could move one point clear of second placed Liverpool.

READ ALSO: Leicester Pile Pressure On Solskjaer As Man Utd Collapse

“They trouble you with long throws and set pieces. They created big chances and Mendy was the key to the clean sheet,” Tuchel said.

At the start of a five-game run of winnable league fixtures, Tuchel had warned his players not to expect an easy ride from Brentford and the Chelsea boss was proved right.

“We were very strong for 70 minutes and very lucky for 20 minutes, to sum it up,” Tuchel said.

“We escaped with the three points thanks to Edouard. It was like a cup game at the end; they took risks and the atmosphere gave them a lot of courage.

“It is better to be there at the top but there are way too many teams who are close.”

Just five months ago, the gulf between the clubs appeared huge as Chelsea won the Champions League on the day Brentford earned promotion to the top-flight for the first time since 1947.

However, Brentford had already bloodied the noses of two supposedly superior opponents this term, with Arsenal beaten at the Community Stadium and Liverpool held to a draw.

They pushed Chelsea to the brink as well with another spirited showing.

Romelu Lukaku was without a club goal in his last five games and the Belgium striker misfired with Chelsea’s first shot of the game, bending a free-kick well off target.

Brentford nearly snatched the lead when a set-piece caused havoc in the Chelsea defence and Bryan Mbeumo slammed his shot against the post.

Brentford barrage

Tuchel’s men weren’t at their most fluent as Brentford worked tirelessly to deny them time and space.

Timo Werner held his head in frustration after curling inches wide with a strike from the edge of the area after Lukaku teed up the German.

Chilwell finally broke Brentford’s stubborn resistance in the first minute of stoppage-time as the left-back extended his unexpected hot streak.

Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross towards Lukaku was only cleared to the edge of the area, where Chilwell was waiting to lash a superb strike high past Raya.

Chilwell’s second goal in his last two Chelsea games came after he also netted for England against Andorra during the recent international break.

Chelsea were without defenders Thiago Silva and Toni Rudiger, with Malang Sarr making his Premier League debut.

The Blues had conceded just one goal from open play in the league this season and the stand-ins somehow held firm amid Brentford’s second half barrage.

Mendy had to make his first save in the 73rd minute when the Senegal keeper repelled Ivan Toney’s snap-shot.

Mbeumo almost grabbed a Brentford equaliser with a low drive that beat Mendy, only to cannon back off the post before Chelsea cleared the danger.

With Brentford pouring forward, Mendy had to save again from a Saman Ghoddos effort before Trevoh Chalobah cleared Christian Norgaard’s shot off the line.

Mendy made yet another great stop, diving at Pontus Jansson’s feet to keep out the Brentford captain’s close-range shot.

Inevitably, there was more work for Mendy to do in stoppage-time and he rose to the challenge with a brilliant tip-over from Norgaard’s overhead kick.

AFP