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.

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“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

Mendy Will Have To Wait For Chelsea Debut- Lampard

Edouard Mendy. Credit: Chelsea FC

 

Frank Lampard has revealed Chelsea’s new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is not ready to make his debut in Saturday’s Premier League clash at West Bromwich Albion.

Mendy joined Chelsea from French club Rennes on a five-year contract this week, strengthening Lampard’s goalkeeping options following Kepa Arrizabalaga’s dismal form.

Kepa is the world’s most expensive keeper but has rarely lived up to his £72 million ($91 million) price tag since arriving from Athletic Bilbao in 2018.

The Spaniard’s costly mistakes are likely to see him replaced by Senegal international Mendy and he could even leave Chelsea in a loan deal before the transfer window closes in October.

But Lampard believes it is asking too much to give Mendy his first taste of English football following a hectic week in which he has hardly trained.

That leaves the door open for Kepa, who was at fault for goals in Chelsea’s first two Premier League games against Brighton and Liverpool, to be handed one last chance to save his job.

Lampard, who could also select Argentine veteran Willy Caballero against West Brom, told reporters on Friday: “Mendy to start tomorrow is not going to happen. He’s had a long week where he hasn’t trained.

“He flew in yesterday, it just feels too tight of a turnaround to put him in contention to start the game.”

Mendy’s £22 million move could well spell the end of Kepa’s reign as Chelsea’s number one.

Lampard is yet to hold a face-to-face meeting with the 25-year-old about his future, but will discuss his plans with Kepa and Caballero in the coming days.

“I have a very open line of communication with both of them,” he said. “The goalkeepers have their own small union at the training ground because of the way they work together.

“There is good competition there now and that is how we move forward.”

– ‘Winning mentality’ –

After spending around £220 million to revamp his squad, Lampard has seen several of his players linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge.

Jorginho is reportedly a target for Arsenal, while Antonio Rudiger is said to be interesting Paris Saint-Germain.

Lampard said there were no plans to offload anyone at present, adding: “Every one will be a case-by-case situation. At the moment players remain ours.”

Lampard will take Chelsea to the Hawthorns without Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, who are both expected back in a week or two after injuries.

But he will be able to give Premier League debuts to close-season signings Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell after the pair featured in Wednesday’s League Cup win against Barnsley.

After Chelsea’s defensive struggles last season, Lampard needs a big impact from Brazil centre-back Silva and England left-back Chilwell.

“I’ve been very impressed with Thiago and Ben on and off the pitch,” he said. “They have both added to the dressing room. Thiago, albeit not speaking the language great, his winning mentality is something that comes across in gestures and actions rather than talking at the moment.

“With Ben in terms of character and how quickly he has settled in the dressing room, those have been really big positives for me.

AFP

Chelsea Sign Rennes Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy

Edouard Mendy. Credit: Chelsea FC

 

Chelsea on Thursday announced the signing of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Rennes on a five-year deal.

The Senegalese international will compete with Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero for a starting spot at Stamford Bridge.

“I am so excited to be joining Chelsea,” said Mendy. “It’s a dream for me to be a part of this exciting squad and to work with Frank Lampard and all of his coaching staff.

“I look forward to meeting my team-mates and can’t wait to get started.”

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “As soon as Petr Cech and our technical team identified Edouard as the most suitable goalkeeper to complement our existing group, there was only one player we wanted to bring in.”

AFP

AFCON 2019: Senegal ‘Keeper Mendy Out For A Month With Hand Injury

 

Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy will be sidelined for a month with a hand fracture sustained at the Africa Cup of Nations, his club Reims announced.

Mendy, 27, left Egypt on Tuesday to return to France for treatment on a broken left finger suffered during the warm-up ahead of Senegal’s 3-0 victory over Kenya in their final group game.

He was replaced in goal by Alfred Gomis of Italian club SPAL. Mendy’s injury comes as a big blow to a fancied Senegal side looking to win the Cup of Nations for the first time.

They face Uganda in the last 16 in Cairo on Friday, while Reims will hope to have Mendy back fit for the start of the Ligue 1 season against Marseille on August 10.

AFP