Chelsea Sack Commercial Director Over ‘Inappropriate Messages’

A sign is pictured outside Stamford Bridge, home ground of Chelsea football club, in London on May 24, 2022. (Photo by CARLOS JASSO / AFP)

 

Chelsea have sacked recently appointed commercial director Damian Willoughby over “inappropriate messages” he sent before he joined the Premier League club.

It is understood the messages were sent to Catalina Kim, a football agent who is the founder and chief executive of C&P Sports Group.

C&P was involved in a bid by British property tycoon Nick Candy to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich before American Todd Boehly’s consortium completed a takeover in May.

Willoughby was appointed as commercial director earlier this month, returning to the club he had previously worked at from 2007 to 2010.

“Chelsea Football Club confirms that it has terminated commercial director Damian Willoughby’s employment with immediate effect,” said a club spokesman.

“Evidence of inappropriate messages sent by Mr Willoughby, prior to his appointment at Chelsea FC earlier this month, has recently been provided to and investigated by the club.

“While they were sent prior to his employment at the club, such behaviour runs absolutely counter to the workplace environment and corporate culture being established by the club’s new ownership.”

AFP

Potter Gets Early Introduction To Issues He Faces At Chelsea

Chelsea’s English head coach Graham Potter reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match between England’s Chelsea and Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg at Stamford Bridge in London on September 14, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

 

Graham Potter got an early indication of the reasons Thomas Tuchel was sacked as Chelsea were held 1-1 by Red Bull Salzburg in the English coach’s debut in the Champions League.

The Blues have just one point from their opening two games in Group E and Potter has little time to settle in ahead of a crucial double-header against AC Milan next month.

However, Potter does have 16 days before Chelsea play again to get his ideas across after their match with Liverpool this weekend was postponed due to policing arrangements around Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in London.

AFP Sport looks at the issues at Stamford Bridge that Potter must find answers to.

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Score more goals

Even in the heyday of the Tuchel era when Chelsea won the Champions League in 2021, goals were not free-flowing.

In eight games this season, the Blues have scored just nine times.

Raheem Sterling has four of them, including the first goal of Potter’s reign, as the England international has quickly delivered on his £50 million ($58 million) move from Manchester City.

But Chelsea need Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang to do likewise despite the shock of seeing his reunion with Tuchel last just one game.

The former Arsenal captain was replaced just after the hour mark on Wednesday by Armando Broja, who impressed during a loan spell at Southampton last season.

But Broja, who was handed a new six-year contract earlier this month, is yet to score a goal at senior level for Chelsea.

Potter will also need the quartet of Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic to start bearing some of the goalscoring burden.

However, there is some concern for Chelsea fans that Potter’s time at Brighton was often littered with impressive performances that lacked a killer instinct in front of goal.

Settle on right defence

The difference between Tuchel’s early success and difficult last few months was Chelsea’s declining defensive record.

The club’s new owners cannot be accused of not throwing money at the problem with £165 million spent on defenders during the transfer window.

But Potter left over £100 million worth of centre-backs on the bench against Salzburg as Wesley Fofana and Kalidou Koulibaly were dropped in favour of a centre-back pairing with a combined age of 70 in Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Both were at fault for Salzburg’s late equaliser and Potter must settle on a system as well as the personnel.

Tuchel used a back three and the squad seems built for that formation with an abundance of centre-back and wing-back options.

Potter, though, started with a back four on his first night in charge, which also limited the threat of Reece James and Marc Cucurella from full-back.

Use Kante wisely

Arguably the biggest factor in Chelsea’s decline under Tuchel was N’Golo Kante’s ongoing fitness problems.

The French midfielder won man of the match in both Champions League semi-finals and the final in 2021 against Real Madrid and Manchester City, providing the perfect screen that an exceptional defensive record was built on.

In Kante’s only two games this season, Chelsea won at Everton and were leading Tottenham before he limped off with a muscle injury and Spurs snatched a late equaliser.

But injury issues are nothing new for the 31-year-old, who will also be key for France’s chances of retaining the World Cup later this year.

“He is our Mo Salah, he is our (Virgil) Van Dijk, he is our (Kevin) De Bruyne, he is simply that player,” Tuchel said in May.

“He is our Neymar, he is our Kylian Mbappe; he is the guy who makes the difference. And if you only have him 40 per cent (of the time) it’s a huge problem.”

Kante is closing in on a return and could be fit by the time Chelsea take the field again.

But Potter faces the awkward balance of managing his minutes during an exhausting schedule for the rest of the season to prevent more prolonged periods on the sidelines.

AFP

Graham Potter Frustrated As Salzburg Hold Chelsea

Chelsea’s Albanian forward Armando Broja reacts at the end of the match in the UEFA Champions League Group E football match between England’s Chelsea and Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg at Stamford Bridge in London on September 14, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)

 

Graham Potter admitted Chelsea have to “improve the little details” after Red Bull Salzburg spoiled his first match in charge with a late equaliser in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw in the Champions League.

Potter was on course for a winning debut when Raheem Sterling put Chelsea ahead early in the second half at Stamford Bridge.

But the former Brighton boss, who replaced Thomas Tuchel last week, had to settle for a point as Noah Okafor punished sloppy defending to equalise in the closing stages.

It was a largely underwhelming performance from Chelsea, underlining the work Potter must do to repair the flaws in the expensively assembled squad left behind by Tuchel.

“It’s always irritating when you concede a goal. Overall the defensive performance was quite good, it’s just the little details we will have to improve,” Potter said.

“We’re disappointed with the result. We scored a good goal, but lost a bit in the second half.”

Tuchel was dismissed last Wednesday in the aftermath of Chelsea’s embarrassing 1-0 loss at Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League opener.

Having taken just one point from their first two Group E matches, Chelsea now face a fight to qualify for the knockout stages with two matches against AC Milan looming.

“It is what it is, we have to dust ourselves down. Personality and application was good, we will get better,” Potter said.

“It has not been easy for the boys. They have responded to us really well over the last few days. The attitude has been fantastic. No complaints apart from the fact we have not taken three points.”

With Sunday’s Premier League game against Liverpool postponed due to the forthcoming funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, Potter will have to wait until October 1 for his second game when Chelsea travel to Crystal Palace after the international break.

At least that will give Potter time to find his feet after he was appointed just 24 hours after Tuchel’s shock exit — sparking what the 47-year-old described as a “whirlwind” week as he starts the biggest challenge of his career.

Potter earned widespread admiration for his impressive work with Brighton, who enjoyed their highest Premier League finish last season when the Englishman led them to ninth place.

But thriving on a limited budget at Brighton provides only scant preparation for the unique demands of handling a club of Chelsea’s ambition.

Potter had never even been to a Champions League game before walking into Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Defensive Mishaps

Surprisingly used at left wing-back in Potter’s 3-4-3 formation, Sterling spent much of his time more concerned with attack than defence.

The England forward had a close-range volley blocked and Marc Cucurella’s cutback reached Mason Mount, whose shot fizzed wide from the edge of the area.

In the first game since Tuchel was sacked, Chelsea supporters, many shocked by his ruthless dismissal, paid tribute to the German in the 21st minute.

If that display of affection might have made Potter feel uncomfortable, he was shifting awkwardly again when Salzburg nearly snatched the lead late in the first half.

Benjamin Sesko was the dangerman with a 25-yard drive that forced a scrambling save from Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Potter’s men failed to muster a single shot on target in the opening 45 minutes of his reign.

But the cutting edge they missed in the first half was provided by Sterling in the 48th minute.

Reece James’ raking pass sent Mount away down the right flank and his low cross reached Sterling, who curled a fine finish into the far corner from just inside the area.

Yet Sterling’s fourth goal since his close-season move from Manchester City didn’t serve as a springboard for victory.

Bedevilled by defensive mishaps in the final weeks of Tuchel’s reign, Chelsea folded far too easy in the 75th minute.

With Sterling out of position, they squandered possession in midfield before Thiago Silva failed to clear Junior Adamu’s cross as Okafor converted with a low finish that deflected off Cesar Azpilicueta.

Chelsea Appoint Graham Potter As Head Coach

In this file photo, former Brighton’s English manager Graham Potter applauds at the end of the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Leicester City at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on September 4, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP).

 

Graham Potter was appointed as Chelsea’s new manager on Thursday after leaving Brighton to replace the sacked Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge.

Potter has agreed a five-year contract to take charge of the Premier League club, who praised his “progressive football and innovative coaching”.

The 47-year-old earned widespread admiration for his work at Brighton.

He led Brighton to a ninth-place finish last season and took them up to fourth in the table this term, while demanding entertaining and tactically astute performances from his players.

Potter’s first game as Chelsea boss will be a derby at west London neighbours Fulham on Saturday.

READ ALSO: Chelsea Sack Manager Tuchel After Dinamo Zagreb Defeat

“I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club,” said the Englishman.

“I am very excited to partner with Chelsea’s new ownership group and look forward to meeting and working with the exciting group of players and to develop a team and culture that our amazing fans can be proud of.

“I would also like to place my sincere thanks to Brighton and Hove Albion for allowing me this opportunity.”

Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly, who axed Tuchel just seven games into the new season, believes Potter will fit perfectly with his vision for the future at Stamford Bridge.

“We are thrilled to bring Graham to Chelsea. He is a proven coach and an innovator in the Premier League who fits our vision for the club,” Boehly said.

“Not only is he extremely talented on the pitch, he has skills and capabilities that extend beyond the pitch which will make Chelsea a more successful club.

“He has had a major impact at his previous clubs and we look forward to his positive impact at Chelsea.”

A Boehly-led consortium completed its takeover of the club earlier this year, bringing to an end Roman Abramovich’s reign.

AFP

Graham Potter ‘Verbally Agrees’ To Become New Chelsea Boss

Brighton’s English manager Graham Potter applauds at the end of the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Leicester City at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on September 4, 2022. – Brighton and Hove Albion won 5 – 2 against Leicester City. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

 

 

Graham Potter has agreed in principle to become Chelsea’s new manager after the shock sacking of Thomas Tuchel, according to widespread reports on Thursday.

Chelsea’s new US owners are understood to have met a release fee in the Brighton boss’s contract, with his club allowing the Blues to talk to their manager.

The former Swansea City and Ostersunds coach is expected to have his Chelsea deal finalised in time for him to take charge of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Fulham.

Chelsea are understood to have made initial contact with former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim, as well as considering Zinedine Zidane and Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers.

Potter was reportedly at Brighton’s training ground on Thursday.

The 47-year-old, who has been touted as a future England manager, has won many admirers for his attractive playing style and has Brighton sitting fourth in the early Premier League table despite operating on a limited budget.

Tuchel was axed by Chelsea on Wednesday after a third defeat in just seven matches this season.

Reports said the German’s relationships with his players had deteriorated and there were tensions with the Stamford Bridge owners.

Tuchel, a former Paris Saint-Germain boss, led Chelsea to the 2021 Champions League title and the Club World Cup crown earlier this year.

Chelsea, bought by Todd Boehly’s consortium in late May, defended the timing of the decision, which is understood to have been agreed before the shock 1-0 loss at Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League group stage opener on Tuesday.

Chelsea are sixth in the Premier League after six matches, three points adrift of the top four and five behind leaders Arsenal.

UPDATED: Chelsea Sack Manager Tuchel After Dinamo Zagreb Defeat

Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel looks on during a press conference at the Maksimir stadium, in Zagreb, on September 5, 2022, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League group E football match between Dinamo Zagreb and Chelsea. (Photo by Denis LOVROVIC / AFP)

 

Chelsea on Wednesday sacked manager Thomas Tuchel just seven games into the season following a chastening 1-0 Champions League defeat at Dinamo Zagreb.

The London club said in a statement they had “parted company” with the German, who led them to Champions League glory in 2021 and the Club World Cup crown earlier this year.

The former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain boss, 49, leaves Stamford Bridge after less than 20 months in charge.

“On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the club would like to place on record its gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the club,” the Premier League club said in a statement.

“Thomas will rightly have a place in Chelsea’s history after winning the Champions League, the Super Cup and Club World Cup in his time here.”

The Stamford Bridge club, under new owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali, defended the timing of the decision.

“As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the club, and as it continues its hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition,” the statement said.

Chelsea are sixth in the Premier League table after three wins, one draw and two defeats in their opening six matches.

Chelsea’s coaching staff will take charge of the team as the club “moves swiftly to appoint a new head coach”.

Boehly’s consortium paid a world-record fee of £4.25 billion ($4.9 billion) for a sports franchise to buy Chelsea from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in May.

The ambitious US magnates are in the process of overhauling the club and have acted quickly to unseat Tuchel.

Champions League Glory

The German’s time at Stamford Bridge got off to a dream start as he picked up an expensively assembled but under-performing squad under Frank Lampard and turned them into European champions within months.

Tuchel revealed he was offered a two-year contract extension on the pitch by Abramovich after beating Manchester City 1-0 in Porto to win the club’s second Champions League title.

But things quickly unravelled for Chelsea on and off the pitch last season.

Abramovich was hit with UK sanctions after the government described him as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

Tuchel kept the Blues afloat in trying circumstances as Chelsea reached the League and FA Cup finals, losing both on penalties to Liverpool, won the Club World Cup and finished third in the Premier League.

The new owners backed Tuchel heavily in the transfer market, with more than £200 million spent on players including Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

But Boehly has followed Abramovich’s playbook in acting quickly to fire managers after a string of disappointing results.

Tuchel is the second Premier League manager to be fired this season after Bournemouth sacked Scott Parker last week.

Dinamo Shock Chelsea To Ruin Aubameyang’s Debut

Dinamo Zagreb's Croatian forward Mislav Orsic (L) scores a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match between Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) and Chelsea (ENG) at The Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb on September 6, 2022. (Photo by Damir Sencar / AFP)
Dinamo Zagreb’s Croatian forward Mislav Orsic (L) scores a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match between Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) and Chelsea (ENG) at The Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb on September 6, 2022. (Photo by Damir Sencar / AFP)

 

Thomas Tuchel admitted Chelsea are “missing everything” after Dinamo Zagreb ruined Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s debut with a shock 1-0 victory in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Tuchel’s side were expected to cruise through Group E after being drawn with Dinamo, Red Bull Salzburg and AC Milan.

But Chelsea’s task might not be so simple after Mislav Orsic’s first-half strike punished the Blues for another sloppy display in their group opener in Zagreb.

Having spent £250 million ($280 million) on new signings since the end of last season, Tuchel is under pressure to deliver silverware in return for that huge investment.

But Chelsea’s spending spree has yet to pay dividends, with no eye-catching performances in the Premier League and now three successive away defeats in all competitions.

“It’s an underperformance from us. We have the same story as always. We have an OK start, but don’t finish our half chances,” Tuchel said.

“We don’t feel it when the game is already there to put to bed in the first 20 minutes. Then we concede one counter-attack, which is far too easy, and from there we struggled.”

It was a debut to forget for Aubameyang, who joined Chelsea in a £10.3 million deadline-day deal from Barcelona just months after the acrimonious end to his time at Arsenal.

The 33-year-old had played for just eight minutes this season and only trained with Chelsea for the first time on Sunday.

Aubameyang recently suffered a fractured jaw during a violent robbery at his home, forcing the Gabonese striker to fly to Italy to have a custom-made protective mask fitted last weekend.

Whether it was the mask or his unfamiliarity with his new team-mates, Aubameyang looked uncomfortable as he struggled to escape the Croatian champions’ stifling defence.

“I will not talk about individuals today. We play as a team, we lose as a team,” Tuchel said of Aubameyang.

“Too much to analyse. I’m a part of it. We are clearly not there, where we need to be and where we can be. So it’s on me, it’s on us, we need to find solutions. At the moment, everything is missing.”

The first ominous sign came when he didn’t attack the near post as Kai Havertz whipped in a tempting low cross.

Moments later, Aubameyang ran clean through on goal, but took too long to decide whether to shoot or pass to Raheem Sterling, allowing Zagreb to avert the danger.

Chelsea monopolised possession in the early stages, but they were caught cold by a ruthless Dinamo counter in the 13th minute.

Underwhelming Aubameyang

Despite spending a combined £100 million on Wesley Fofana and Kalidou Koulibaly, who both started in Chelsea’s defence, Tuchel’s men have had a soft centre so far this term and Orsic exploited that weakness.

When Bruno Petkovic headed Robert Ljubicic’s pass into Orsic’s path, Fofana was left trailing in the Croatian’s wake as he raced half the length of the pitch to flick a composed finish past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Tuchel had dropped Edouard Mendy after his shaky start to the season, with Kepa replacing the Senegal keeper, who is also dealing with a patella tendon injury.

Dinamo were pressing tirelessly, giving wing-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell little space to make the buccaneering runs that usually provide such quality service to Chelsea’s forwards.

Aubameyang tapped in Chilwell’s pass immediately after the interval, only for the goal to be disallowed as the defender had strayed offside to reach Mateo Kovacic’s pass.

Dinamo were unfazed by that escape and almost doubled their lead when Stefan Ristovski’s 25-yard rocket was tipped onto the bar by Kepa’s brilliant save.

Aubameyang’s underwhelming debut lasted an hour before he was replaced by Armando Broja.

Chelsea grew increasingly desperate as the match wore and their luck was out in the closing stages.

James hit the post with a ferocious drive before Mason Mount’s close-range effort was repelled by Dominik Livakovic as Dinamo won for only the sixth time in 43 matches in the competition.

Havertz Seals Controversial Chelsea Win, Pickford Denies Liverpool

Chelsea's German midfielder Kai Havertz (L) celebrates after scoring his team second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London on September 3, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)
Chelsea’s German midfielder Kai Havertz (L) celebrates after scoring his team second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London on September 3, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

 

Kai Havertz scored the late winner as big-spending Chelsea fought back for a controversial 2-1 win against West Ham, while Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp praised Everton keeper Jordan Pickford’s “spectacular” display in Saturday’s goalless Merseyside derby.

Having embarked on a £250 million ($280 million) spending spree in the summer transfer window, Chelsea are expected to deliver on their new owners’ eye-watering investment.

The early returns had been mixed as Chelsea crashed to defeats against Leeds and Southampton.

So when Michail Antonio gave West Ham a shock 62nd minute lead with a close-range finish, the critics were sharpening their knives at Stamford Bridge.

But Ben Chilwell equalised in the 76th minute, just three minutes after the England left-back replaced Marc Cucurella.

Chilwell headed Thiago Silva’s lofted ball past his marker, spun around and poked his shot through Lukasz Fabianski’s legs from a tight angle.

Kai Havertz cleverly finished off Chilwell’s cross to complete Chelsea’s escape in the 88th minute of a thrilling finale.

There was still more drama as Maxwel Cornet appeared to equalise in stoppage-time, only for the goal to be controversially disallowed by VAR for Jarrod Bowen’s foul on Mendy.

Thomas Tuchel’s side remain unconvincing but they are up to fifth place after their third win in six games, while West Ham boss David Moyes was livid with the officials for denying his team a point.

At Goodison Park, there was more VAR intrigue as Conor Coady thought he had put Everton ahead with a close-range finish from Neal Maupay’s shot in the second half.

But Coady’s goal was correctly disallowed for offside after a VAR check.

There could easily have been goals aplenty but for a man of the match display from Pickford and some fine stops from his Liverpool counterpart Alisson Becker.

“Wow, what can you do? It was a great derby, super intense, with a lot of really spectacular saves,” Klopp said.

“We hit the post three times and Pickford made so many saves. I don’t know how many derbies I’ve been in, but it’s quite a few and they’re always difficult here.”

Everton are now without a victory in their first six games this term, while Liverpool’s momentum was checked after winning their previous two matches.

Kane reaches milestone

Unbeaten Tottenham made it four wins from six games with a 2-1 victory against Fulham in north London.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg broke the deadlock for Tottenham in the 40th minute, sweeping home from Richarlison’s pass.

Harry Kane increased Tottenham’s lead in the 74th minute from Ryan Sessegnon’s cross to become the third highest goal-scorer in the Premier League history, with 188 goals taking him past Andy Cole.

Only Alan Shearer (260) and Wayne Rooney (208) are now above Kane in the scoring chart.

Kane’s goal also moved him level with Thierry Henry’s tally of 43 in Premier League London derbies.

Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic curled home in the 82nd minute, but Tottenham held firm.

Managerless Bournemouth came back from two goals down to win 3-2 in a thriller at Nottingham Forest.

The Cherries, who lost 9-0 at Liverpool last weekend, looked on course for another thrashing as Forest led at the break through Cheikhou Kouyate’s header and Brennan Johnson’s penalty.

But Philip Billing’s long-range blast and Dominic Solanke’s acrobatic effort drew them level before Jaidon Anthony sealed the points in the 87th minute.

Ivan Toney scored a hat-trick as Brentford beat Leeds 5-2 at the Community Stadium.

Daniel Podence scored as Wolves beat Southampton 1-0 at Molineux for their first league victory this season.

Podence’s simple finish in first-half stoppage time lifted Bruno Lage’s side out of the relegation zone.

Newcastle striker Alexander Isak wasted the opportunity to mark his home debut with a goal as Crystal Palace drew 0-0 at St James’ Park.

The £60 million ($69 million) man, who scored in his first appearance at Liverpool in midweek, missed two good chances to leave Newcastle without a win since the opening day of the season.

AFP

Chelsea Boss Tuchel Fined For Referee Criticism

Chelsea's German head coach Thomas Tuchel looks on during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Chelsea at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on January 18, 2022. Glyn KIRK / AFP
In this file photo, Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel looks on during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Chelsea at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on January 18, 2022. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Thomas Tuchel was fined £20,000 ($23,000) and warned about his future behaviour on Wednesday after the Chelsea manager suggested referee Anthony Taylor should not be allowed to take charge of the club’s matches.

Tuchel admitted a Football Association charge of improper conduct following his comments about Taylor after Chelsea’s stormy 2-2 draw with Tottenham in the Premier League in August.

“An independent regulatory commission has ordered Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel to be fined £20,000 and warned about his future conduct for breaching FA Rule E3.1 during a post-match press conference on Sunday, August 14 2022,” an FA statement said.

“The manager admitted that his comments after their Premier League match against Tottenham constitute improper conduct as they imply bias, question the integrity of the match referee, and bring the game into disrepute.”

READ ALSO: Arsenal Defeat Aston Villa, Maintain Premier League Winning Streak

Tuchel was furious after two key decisions by Taylor went against Chelsea and led to Tottenham goals in the London derby.

Taylor failed to award a free-kick for a foul on Chelsea forward Kai Havertz in the build-up to Tottenham’s first equaliser by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, whose shot was allowed to stand despite a strong case for offside against Richarlison.

Harry Kane’s stoppage-time equaliser for the visitors came after Tottenham defender Cristian Romero had avoided punishment for pulling Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella to the ground by his hair despite a VAR check.

Tuchel and Tottenham boss Antonio Conte were both sent off after the final whistle following a pair of touchline clashes, with the German given a one-game ban.

Asked if Taylor should not referee the Blues again, Tuchel said: “Maybe it would be better, maybe it would be better.

“I don’t think that just some of the fans think that; I can assure you that the whole dressing room of us, every person thinks that.

“Not only the fans. You know the players, they know what’s going on when they are on the pitch. They know it.”

VAR official Mike Dean later admitted he should have asked Taylor to review the Romero-Cucurella incident.

AFP

Chelsea Confirm Signing Of Wesley Fofana From Leicester

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 13, 2022 Leicester City’s French defender Wesley Fofana gestures during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on August 13, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)

 

 

Chelsea have completed the signing of France Under-21 international central defender Wesley Fofana from Leicester City, the two clubs announced on Wednesday.

Fofana, 21, has signed a seven-year deal at Stamford Bridge, the London outfit said.

The transfer fee is undisclosed but reports in the UK said Chelsea would pay their Premier League rivals £70 million ($81.3m) plus bonuses for the former Saint-Etienne player.

“Wesley is a hugely promising defender who has already proven his quality in the Premier League at a young age,” said Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly.

“We are delighted we were able to bring one of Europe’s most exciting talents to Chelsea and further strengthen that area of our squad, both for this season and many more to come.”

Fofana is the latest player signed in this transfer window to bolster Chelsea’s defence, following the arrivals of Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli and Marc Cucurella from Brighton and Hove Albion.

Thomas Tuchel’s side have also added England forward Raheem Sterling from Manchester City in the transfer window, which closes on Thursday.

“I trained this morning with the team and it’s a dream for me. I’m very excited to start playing games for the fans and the club,” Fofana said.

Fofana made 52 appearances for Leicester after moving to the Foxes in October 2020 for a reported £32 million from Saint-Etienne, winning the FA Cup in 2021 when they beat Chelsea.

He made his Saint-Etienne debut as an 18-year-old and played alongside current Arsenal and France centre-back William Saliba for Les Verts.

Fofana follows goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in leaving Leicester this summer, with the Foxes yet to make any major new signings.

“He departs with the thanks of everyone at Leicester City and the Club’s best wishes for the next phase of his career,” Leicester said in a statement.

Southampton Inflict Fresh Misery On Sloppy Chelsea

Southampton's English striker Adam Armstrong (L) scores the team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England on August 30, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)
Southampton’s English striker Adam Armstrong (L) scores the team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on August 30, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Chelsea crashed to a shock 2-1 defeat against Southampton as their rocky start to the Premier League season took a turn for the worse on Tuesday.

Thomas Tuchel’s side blew the lead at St Mary’s after Raheem Sterling put them ahead midway through the first half.

England forward Sterling bagged his third goal in two games with a close-range strike in the 23rd minute.

But Chelsea had squandered a host of chances before Sterling’s opener and, not for the first time in Tuchel’s reign, their profligate finishing came back to haunt them.

Romeo Lavia equalised in the 28th minute with his first goal for Southampton, curling home from the edge of the area after Chelsea failed to clear a corner.

Adam Armstrong put Southampton ahead on the stroke of half-time as he took Romain Perraud’s pass and drilled a deflected shot past Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy.

Chelsea, beaten 3-0 at Leeds in their previous away fixture, were unable to muster a response as they slipped to a second defeat from their last three games.

With just two wins from their first five matches, the Blues are already five points behind leaders Arsenal, who play their game in hand against Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Despite a significant close-season spending spree, which is set to continue with several more signings mooted before Thursday’s transfer deadline, Chelsea are struggling to find any sustained momentum at present.

While it is too early to write them out of the title race, Tuchel will be concerned by his team’s latest sloppy display — with key mistakes at both ends of the pitch — having already criticised them publicly after the Leeds loss.

Everton frustrated

Everton’s wait for a first win this season goes on after Luis Sinisterra’s first league goal for Leeds earned a 1-1 draw at Elland Road.

Frank Lampard’s team went ahead when Alex Iwobi’s incisive pass was flicked through the legs of Diego Llorente by Anthony Gordon, whose clinical finish capped a superb move in the 17th minute.

But Colombia winger Sinisterra marked his first start for Jesse Marsch’s men in memorable fashion with a composed finish from Brenden Aaronson’s pass in the 55th minute.

Fulham ended Brighton’s unbeaten start to the season with a 2-1 win at Craven Cottage that lifted them to sixth place.

Fourth-placed Brighton had won three of their first four games, but Marco Silva’s promoted side broke the deadlock in the 48th minute through Aleksandar Mitrovic’s fifth goal this season.

Neeskens Kebano provided the pass and Serbia striker Mitrovic tapped in at the far post for his 100th league goal for the Cottagers.

Fulham doubled their lead seven minutes later as Brighton defender Lewis Dunk diverted Andreas Pereira’s cross into his own net.

Alexis Mac Allister converted a 60th minute penalty for Brighton after Pervis Estupinan fouled Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

Yoane Wissa’s late leveller rescued Brentford in their 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

Wilfried Zaha showed why Arsenal and Chelsea have been linked with him as the Ivory Coast forward gave Palace the lead with a brilliant strike from the edge of the area after 59 minutes.

But Wissa was left unmarked to equalise with a close-range header in the 88th minute.

AFP

EPL Roundup: Haaland Hits Man City Hat-Trick Against Crystal Palace

Manchester City's Norwegian striker Erling Haaland celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on August 27, 2022. (Photo by Nigel Roddis / AFP)
Manchester City’s Norwegian striker Erling Haaland celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on August 27, 2022. (Photo by Nigel Roddis / AFP)

 

Liverpool equalled the Premier League’s record win with a 9-0 demolition of Bournemouth, while Erling Haaland’s hat-trick inspired Manchester City’s comeback 4-2 victory against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

On a remarkable day in the top-flight, 10-man Chelsea beat Leicester 2-1, while Manchester United’s revival continued with a 1-0 win at Southampton.

Liverpool stole the spotlight as they recovered from Monday’s lacklustre 2-1 loss at Manchester United in astonishing style.

After three games without a win, the Reds rebounded by equalling Manchester United’s 9-0 wins against Ipswich in 1995 and Southampton in 2021, as well as Leicester’s thrashing of Southampton in 2019.

It took just three minutes for Luis Diaz to strike at Anfield as the Colombia winger headed home Roberto Firmino’s cross.

Three minutes later, Liverpool moved further ahead as Harvey Elliott bagged his first Premier League goal with a  20-yard curler.

Trent Alexander-Arnold rifled into the top corner from 25 yards in the 28th minute.

After providing three assists, Firmino scored himself with close-range volley to put the result beyond doubt by the 31st minute.

Virgil Van Dijk headed in Andrew Robertson’s corner on the stroke of half-time as Liverpool scored five in the first half of a Premier League game for the first time.

Chris Mepham’s own goal from Alexander-Arnold’s 46th minute cross was followed by Firmino grabbing the seventh in the 62nd minute.

Fabio Carvalho’s first goal since his summer move from Fulham made it eight in the 80th minute.

Diaz notched the historic ninth from Kostas Tsimikas’ corner with five minutes left as Liverpool equalled their biggest ever top-flight margin of victory, set against Palace in 1989.

Champions Manchester City staged another impressive rally as they came from 2-0 down to beat Palace at the Etihad Stadium.

Palace went ahead in the fourth minute as Eberechi Eze’s free-kick deflected off John Stones into the net for an own goal.

City fell further behind in the 21st minute when Palace defender Joachim Andersen was left unmarked to head in Eze’s corner.

But the champions came from 3-1 down to draw at Newcastle last weekend and Bernardo Silva gave them hope of a repeat with a 53rd minute effort that deflected in off Jeffrey Schlupp.

City equalised in the 62nd minute when Phil Foden’s cross reached Haaland and the former Borussia Dortmund striker headed his first home goal since joining in the close-season.

In the 70th minute, Haaland got his fifth in four games, prodding home from Stones’ pass after a flowing move. The Norwegian sealed his hat-trick from Silva’s pass in the 81st minute.

Raheem Sterling scored his first goals for Chelsea in a dramatic win over Leicester.

Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher was sent off in the 28th minute for a needless foul on Harvey Barnes just moments after being booked.

Sterling struck in the 47th minute, the former Manchester City forward’s shot deflecting off Daniel Amartey into the net.

Sterling doubled his tally in the 63rd minute as he tapped in from Reece James’ cross before Barnes squeezed in a low shot three minutes later.

Erik ten Hag said Manchester United have learned from their dismal start to the season after Bruno Fernandes clinched a hard-fought win against Southampton.

‘More compact’

Ten Hag’s side sat bottom of the Premier League after losing their opening two games.

But United have recovered from that embarrassing start to secure successive league victories for the first time since February.

Fernandes netted in the 55th minute when he met Diogo Dalot’s cross with a volley from just inside the area.

“I think the players learnt some lessons from Brentford. We were more compact on the long balls. Of course we were really happy,” Ten Hag said.

Vitaly Janelt scored an 85th minute equaliser as Brentford drew 1-1 with Everton, who took the lead through Anthony Gordon’s 24th minute opener.

Brighton beat Leeds 1-0 with Pascal Gross’s 66th minute goal at the Amex Stadium.

Arsenal will go back to the top if they beat Fulham in Saturday’s late game.