premier league – Michmutters

Premier League, Chelsea transfers, rumor mill, transfer flops, Fernando Torres, Timo Werner, number nine jersey curse, Romelu Lukaku

Heavy spenders Chelsea have already been busy during the transfer window, and are almost certainly not finished despite spending €186.59m ($A270m) so far.

According to reports, the club are reportedly prepared to sign both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, ​​as well as Wesley Fofana from Leicester.

Chelsea have already signed Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Gabriel Slonina, Carney Chukwuemeka and Marc Cucurella in their squad overhaul.

World-class striker Aubameyang, a former club captain of London rivals Arsenal, would represent the latest in a long line of superstar strikers to have joined Stamford Bridge – although many have struggled to make their mark.

Indeed, Chelsea’s number nine jersey has been worn by so many flops in recent years that coach Thomas Tuchel revealed that no-one will wear the number this season.

“It’s cursed, it’s cursed, people tell me it’s cursed … nobody wants to touch the No 9,” he said.

But it’s not just the number nine jersey that has been a curse at Chelsea. Dating back to the end of the last century, many of Chelsea’s big-name attacking signings have failed to make their mark.

Here are some of the great Blues flops of the modern era.

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Transfer fee: £10m ($17m AUD) from Blackburn in 1999

Playing record: One goal in 28 Premier League games

Chelsea reached deep into their pockets to lure Sutton to Stamford Bridge from relegation stricken Blackburn, for what was then a club record fee.

The striker had signed from the Rovers, where he starred alongside Premier League icon Alan Shearer, after they placed second-last in the 1998-99 season.

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But the former England international had a forgettable debut campaign with the Blues, scoring just one goal from his 28 Premier League appearances.

Sutton’s sole contribution on the scoresheet came in a 5-0 thrashing of English giants Manchester United, which was a highlight in an otherwise quiet tenure in London.

His season went from bad to worse when he failed to make Chelsea’s bench for the 2000 FA Cup Final against Aston Villa, which the Blues won 1-0.

Sutton was a one season flop at Chelsea, though, after securing a transfer to Scottish giants Celtic.


Transfer fees: €22.5m ($32m AUD) from Parma in 2003

Playing record: 10 goals from 38 games

Mutu began his Chelsea career in fine form, scoring four goals from his first three appearances for the giants of English football.

Playing in front of new fans for the first time, the Romanian scored the winning goal on his club debut against Leicester City.

But drama ensued as his relationship with Jose Mourinho reportedly reached its boiling point, with Mutu facing backlash from his manager after he claimed to be injured.

Chelsea later fired the striker after he tested positive for cocaine use in 2004, and was suspended for seven months.

Although he was not at the London club anymore, Mutu failed another anti-doping test in January of 2010, as reported by the Guardian.

Mutu, who also wore the number seven jersey at Chelsea, was handed a nine-month ban for that incident.

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Transfer fees: €43.9m ($63m AUD) from Milan in 2006

Playing record: Nine goals from 48 Premier League games

Chelsea splashed the cash once again to sign Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko, who became the biggest signing in English football at the time.

Shevchenko, who was 30-year-old when he moved to London from Milan, was handed the number seven jersey under decorated coach Jose Mourinho.

But he failed to live up to the hype, scoring just 14 goals from 51 games during his first season with the famous London club.

Andriy Shevchenko had a forgettable spell with Chelsea.
Andriy Shevchenko had a forgettable spell with Chelsea.Source: AP

Shevchenko was loaned out to AC Milan, the club he’d signed from, during the 2008/09 season after failing to hit his stride at Stamford Bridge.

As reported by The Guardian, manager Carlo Ancelotti believed that Shevchenko was the fourth best striker at the club, just three years after he secured his record transfer.

Shevchenko was left out of Chelsea’s squad for the 2009/10 Champions League, and later returned to Dynamo Kyiv.


Transfer fees: £50m ($85m AUD) from Liverpool in 2011

Playing record: 20 goals in 110 Premier League games for Chelsea

Fernando Torres rose to footballing stardom during a successful stint at Liverpool, where he truly embodied the phrase ‘human highlight reel’.

Torres had already made his name in Spain, after being handed the Atletico Madrid captaincy at just 19 years of age.

The Spaniard left Madrid for Liverpool, although he’d return to the club at the back end of his career, and quickly proved himself to be one of the most exciting players in England.

Fernando Torres struggled to find some form after completing his move to Stamford Bridge. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

But drama struck early in 2011, as Torres completed a sensational transfer to Premier League rivals Chelsea.

The Blues again broke the British transfer record for a reported fee of £50 million, as the striker completed a mid-season move sent shockwaves throughout the league.

Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it better, though, as Torres made his club debut for Chelsea after Liverpool.

The Blues lost that 1-0 and maybe it was a sign of things to come, as Torres went on to score just 20 goals in 110 Premier League appearances for Chelsea.

But while he failed to fire, these big money moves are all about making an impact when it counts, and Torres did that in the biggest competition that world football has to offer.

While he was far from an overwhelming success at Stamford Bridge, Torres did score a game sealing goal against Barcelona in a Champions League semi-final.

Chelsea went on to win their first ever Champions League crown in the 2011-12 campaign, beating German powerhouse Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties.


Transfer fee: £11m ($18m AUD) from Basel in 2014

Playing record: Two goals from 13 games

Mohamed Salah has cemented his legacy as a Premier League legend after a stellar career with Liverpool, but his career in England wasn’t always so successful.

The ‘Egyptian King’ made just 19 appearances for Chelsea, before he was loaned out to Fiorentina just 13-months after moving to London.

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Salah’s two best Premier League games in Blue came in a 6-0 win over rivals Arsenal, where he scored, as well as a promising showing against Stoke.

Salah was later loaned out to Roma, before securing a permanent move to the Italian capital soon after.

But the scintillating winger really took his career to the next Liverpool after he secured a well-known transfer to Liverpool.

Not only has Salah tasted success in both the Champions League and Premier League with the Merseyside club, but he’s widely considered to be one of the best footballers on the planet.

In fact he’s become so popular, the Economist revealed that more than one million Egyptians spoiled their ballots by trying to vote for Salah during the presidential election in 2018.

With many noteworthy individual accolades on the football field to speak of as well, Salah is certainly another gem that Chelsea failed to cherish when they had the chance.


Transfer fees: Around £60m ($103m AUD) from Real Madrid in 2017

Playing record: 24 goals from about 72 games

After impressive spells with European giants Juventus and Real Madrid, Morata was brought into the club as a replacement for Diego Costa.

Costa, who won two Premier League titles and scored 59 goals for Chelsea, returned to Atletico Madrid after being told he was free to look elsewhere.

Morata was another striker who had the weight of the world on his shoulders when he moved to Stamford Bridge, due to the hype surrounding his arrival.

But the Spaniard failed to make an impression on the scoresheet, scoring just 15 goals in his 48 games.

After initially signing for the club on a five year deal, Morata was eventually loaned out to Atletico Madrid on an 18-month deal.

Atletico signed him on a permanent deal later, although he was loaned out to Juventus soon after in September, 2020.


Transfer fees: €60m ($87m AUD) from RB Leipzig in 2020

playing record 23 goals in 89 appearances

Werner was one of the hottest properties on the football transfer market as European giants came looking to sign the star striker after an incredible spell at RB Leipzig.

During his four years at the German club, Werner scored 90 goals and had 40 assists from 156 competitive games.

Liverpool were also believed to be in the hunt for his signature, before he completed an expensive move to Chelsea on a five-year deal.

But the German quickly fell out of favor at Chelsea, having scored just 23 goals in 89 appearances.

With Chelsea reportedly looking to sign some strikers in the ongoing transfer window, the 26-year-old left the club and returned to RB Leipzig.


Transfer fees: £97.5m ($167m AUD) from Inter Milan in 2021

Playing record: 15 goals in all competitions from 44 games

Belgian Romelu Lukaku may have had a fairly expensive price tag to his name last year, but that didn’t stop Chelsea from making another mind-blowing investment in their future.

Once again, the Blues broke their transfer record to sign the striker from Italian giants Inter Milan.

Romelu Lukaku was a marquee signing for Chelsea, but he failed to make his mark on the scoresheet. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

With their Champions League glory still fresh in the minds of football fans, Chelsea managed to lure the powerful striker back to Stamford Bridge on an incredible transfer.

Despite their European success, Chelsea had come fourth in the Premier League the year before, but this signing was widely considered to be a difference maker.

Many believed that Lukaku could fire for the Blues after a previous stint at the club earlier in his career, before more well-known and successful stints with the likes of Everton and Manchester United.

But it was a disastrous return to the Premier League for Lukaku, who scored just eight goals before completing a loan move back to Inter Milan – and leaving the number nine jersey vacant.



Manchester United results, UK media reaction to defeat to Brentford, Cristiano Ronaldo, Erik Ten Hag, Liverpool

Manchester United slumped to a 30-year low as their shocking start to their Premier League campaign continued, proving again when it rains it really does pour.

And monsoon season might be rolling in at Old Trafford ahead of a crunch clash with fierce rivals Liverpool next week.

After losing their opening match of the season at home against Brighton, United were heavily favored to bounce back against Brentford on Sunday morning (AEST).

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PL wrap: Mixed results for ‘Top 6’ teams | 03:06

But disaster struck, with a goalkeeping howler from David de Gea allowing the Bees to strike first in what would become a 4-0 first-half riot at the Gtech Community Stadium.

It’s safe to say few saw that coming.

Manager Erik ten Hag, much like the rest of the world, was left stunned as the halftime whistle marked both a moment of reprieve and realization for the Red Devils.

The damage had already been done by that point, though, as a scoreless second period saw United languish at the bottom of the Premier League table for the first time in 30 years.

This is also the first time since 1936 United have lost seven straight away league games, while Brentford recorded the biggest win in the top division since 1938.

Premier League greats Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp reached their boiling points after the abysmal display, as the extent of the defeat added more chaos to the existing drama the club.

“At this moment in time, it’s really desperate. There’s no leadership, there’s no voice, you can’t blame the individual player or the manager, you’ve got to look above and look to the very top,” Neville said on SkySports.

“This week, they’re going to get peppered those players, the coach, the sporting department, the new CO – they’re all going to get peppered. But there’s a family over there in America who are just literally letting their employees take all the hits for them – and that is unforgivable.”

Frustration, shock and disappointment was felt across the country with many of the UK’s leading football scribes weighing in on the reality facing the English giants – if they’re still worthy of that moniker.


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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was at the wheel for the Red Devils until he very much wasn’t, as a poor run of form saw the former United star fired.

Louis van Gaal and David Moyes, another two managers who promised so much before they were sacked, still hadn’t sunk as low as Erik ten Hag after just two matches in charge.

Ten Hag is the first United manager to lose his first two league games since John Chapman in 1921.

Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton told the BBC United have “hit rock bottom”, while Sky Sports pundit Karen Carney believes that the club “can’t get any lower”.

Premier League legend Alan Shearer believes that issues have been festering for years at the famous club.

Shearer added that the Red Devils are currently “miles away” from the level that they should be playing at — and even suggested recent speculation about a shock move for 33-year-old striker Marko Arnautović may have been an inside job.

“I’m convinced that someone from Man United’s leaked the story linking them with (Marko) Arnautovic, just to see what the reaction was,” Shearer said on Match of the Day.

“I think that sort of sums up where United are.

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“They’re in a mess and it’s going to take time, an unbelievable amount of money to get things right inside the football club and in terms of the right recruitment and it’s going to take a lot of patience from the Manchester United fans because of where they are now to where they want to be – miles away.”

The Telegraph’s Jim White didn’t mince his words as he provided his analysis of United’s “humiliation”, saying that it was the worst performance he’s ever seen by the club.

“Having watched Manchester United for over 50 years, this performance against Brentford is without question the worst I have ever seen them deliver,” White wrote.

“The grim times of Dave Sexton, the misery of the David Moyes era, the negativity of Louis van Gaal, all looked like halcyon days compared to this performance.

“No joy, no coherence, no spirit: this was a team in name only, delivering the kind of performance that Frenkie de Jong would have had on the phone to his agent with instructions to quickly follow up any interest from Chelsea.

“Mistakes happen. But it was the response to that setback that spoke so damagingly of what is going on at Old Trafford. Instead of launching the kind of fight back that once characterized the club, United folded.

“Everywhere they looked hapless, hopeless and haunted.”

Goalkeeper David de Gea, who was once considered to be one of the best players in the world in his position, had an outing to forget in what is becoming a key issue for the club.

Two mistakes from goalkeeper David de Gea saw Manchester United trail 2-0 to Brentford early in their clash on Sunday (AEST).  (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Two mistakes from goalkeeper David de Gea saw Manchester United trail 2-0 to Brentford early in their clash on Sunday (AEST). (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

The Guardian’s Jonathan Wilson said that while de Gea was still an “excellent shot-stopper”, that his inability to play with the ball at his feet was an issue.

“Can you play out from the back with De Gea? De Gea remains, despite Saturday’s howler, an excellent shot-stopper, which is why last season he was named United’s player of the year for the fourth time,” Wilson wrote.

“But there is a reason he has not played for Spain since October 2020 and why he has apparently fallen behind Brentford’s David Raya in the pecking order.

“He is simply not comfortable on the ball. Last season he completed just 71.3% of his passes. By comparison, Ederson completed 88.1% and Alisson 87.1%.

“While it’s true that’s partly because De Gea was encouraged to play more longer balls, it’s also true that one of the reasons United played more longer balls is De Gea.

Man U HOWLERS gift Brentford goals! | 01:17

“This is a major problem for United: De Gea is one of the few United players who has performed consistently in recent years and yet those struggles with the ball at his feet make it very hard for them to switch to a modern style.

“That, perhaps, is the most disconcerting thing for United. This is supposed to be ten Hag’s honeymoon period, but already he looks in danger of being overwhelmed by just how shambolic the club is … And they’ve got Liverpool next.”

The Athletic’s Adam Crafton said “each week manages to conjure a new sense of stupefying shock” when it came to United, with their fans ruthlessly mocked at half-time.

“At halftime, Brentford, who had not beaten Manchester United since 1938, led their opponents. And this was more than a lead. This was 4-0 and deservedly so,” Crafton wrote.

“There was, in the press box, almost a numbing madness to it all. Brentford’s supporters, too, stared at one another, open-mouthed.

“They taunted their United opponents, telling them they’d be ‘going down with the Fulham’. Fulham, on two points after two games compared to United’s zero, may be offended by the comparison.”

The Red Devils appear to be at a crossroads after failing to sign Arnautovic, as well as other players during the English summer.

Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford for what feels like forever, although Chelsea have since emerged as another potential destination.

According to the BBC, United have spent £672 million ($1.14 billion AUD) since winning their last major trophy in 2017, which was the Europa League.

So far during the transfer window, United have signed Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez.

Club great Rio Ferdinand said that he feels “sorry” for ten Hag after an uneventful transfer window has so far failed to add key players to a struggling squad.

“I don’t feel sorry for the players, I feel sorry for ten Hag,” Ferdinand told the Vibe with Five podcast.

“He’s coming under false pretenses. He’s coming expected new signings.

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“He’s probably sitting there thinking, ‘I’ve been sold a dummy here. I didn’t know I was coming into this’.

“This is an indefensible situation right now because it’s so bad, it’s terrible.

“I mean, we’re only two games in, but we’re two games in on the back of what happened last season as well by the way.

“I wouldn’t blame ten Hag right now. You can pick at his team selection or whatever but this is a bigger problem, a wider problem.”

Midfielder Bruno Fernandes, meanwhile, has been accused of getting “away with murder” on the football field by a former Premier League striker.

Gabby Agbonlahor blasted the Portuguese star on the well-known British radio station talkSPORT.

“For me, Fernandes, since he’s been in the Premier League, yes he’s had great stats, goal scoring and assists but he looks like the worst teammate,” Agbonlagor said.

“Every time a player gives it away, every time he gives it away, he throws his arms up at his teammates, he throws his arms up at the bench.

“I’ve played with players like him, you’d be smoking at him. He’ll press now and then. If that was Paul Pogba they would be slaughtering Pogba in the media.

“Fernandes gets away with murder. Did you see Fernandes do anything? It’s easy to say (Harry) Maguire, (Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Marcus) Rashford, (Jadon) Sancho.”

The Red Devils failed to qualify for this year’s Champions League after finishing sixth in the 2021/22 Premier League season – 35 points behind champions Manchester City.

While they appear set to sign Adrien Rabiot from Juventus, French journalist Julien Laurens also slammed United’s transfer strategy.

“They are not helping themselves,” Laurens told BBC Radio 5 Live’s EuroLeagues podcast.

“The non-existence of a transfer strategy, not just now but since Fergie (Sir Alex Ferguson) left, is not just baffling, it’s outrageous.”

The club have reached a new low as a non-league side threw a jab, literally laughing in the wake of United’s horror loss.

Oldham Athletic’s chairman Frank Rothwell was interviewed after his side’s 3-2 win over Dorking Wanderers, where he made the most of his chance to have a dig.

“Do you know what’s happening to United?” Rothwell said, before he reportedly began to laugh.

Manchester United face rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on Tuesday week and when it comes to their future



A-League: Joe Lolley joins Sydney FC

Sydney FC has added further English Premier League experience to its squad with the signing of attacker Joe Lolley.

Lolley, 29, made six appearances for Huddersfield Town in the 2017-18 Premier League season.

Since then he has spent the past five seasons in the second-tier English Championship with Nottingham Forest, helping then gain promotion the Premier League for the 2022-23 campaign which started this month.

However, having been deemed surplus to requirements at Forest, he grabbed the chance to move to Sydney FC, where he will team with another ex-Premier League player in former Everton, Manchester City and Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell, who joined the Sky Blues last week after a season with Western Sydney Wanderers.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining Sydney FC,” said Lolley, who has signed a two-year deal with his new club.

“I know there’s a lot of expectation to win every season, which is a great challenge,

and they’ve got a fantastic plan in place to do that, which really attracted me to

make the move.

“I really appreciate the intent shown by the club in bringing me to Sydney.

“The club expects to win and I’m looking forward to getting on the pitch with the lads

ahead of the season starting in around eight weeks.”

Sydney FC coach Steve Corica said Lolly had “proven quality at a high level in England”.

“He is the type of player we were targeting and we had to be patient to secure him,” Corica said.

“He brings a goal threat with his ability to cut inside and can also pick a pass.

“He’s got great energy, an amazing ability to carry the ball and works hard for the


“Fans love him because he gives his all and I know he was hugely popular at

Nottingham Forest, so I’m sure he will be here.”

Read related topics:sydney



Manchester City bans sunscreen at Etihad Stadium, shocking cancer charity

Temperatures topped 30 degrees Celsius in parts of England over the weekend, but fans of Manchester City were still not allowed to bring sunscreen into their stadium for the team’s most recent game.

The sun was beating down on the crowd at the Etihad Stadium, during Saturday’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth, but according to City, fans were not permitted to bring any sunblock into the ground.

The club’s supporter services Twitter account flagged the importance of staying hydrated at the game, but when a fan asked if they could bring sun protection to the game, they were told no.

“We advise supporters to apply this before coming and to bring a hat and water,” the account replied, linking to a ‘Matchdays at Etihad Stadium’ page on their website that did not detail the sunscreen policy.

The account later tweeted that the city’s metro rail was struggling due to the heat, advising people to walk home from the afternoon game “where possible.”

Charity Melanoma UK jumped into the replies dumbfounded.


When one Twitter user pointed out that this was not a unique policy at major sporting events, the charity suggested a simple answer.

“Dispensers in all the stadiums,” it tweeted.



Tottenham and Chelsea managers Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel sit off after Premier League sideline scuffle

The latest London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham was a thriller that ended in a 2-2 draw because of a goal deep into stoppage time by Harry Kane, but that ended up as an afterthought.

The managers stole the spotlight after an explosive end to the game at Stamford Bridge, just like there was in 2016 when Tottenham’s title challenge ended with a 2-2 draw against Chelsea and both sets of players and coaches clashed repeatedly on and off the field.

Six years on, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and Tottenham boss Antonio Conte shook hands on the field after the final whistle, but Tuchel seemed to not let go of his grip and intimated that Conte look him in the eye.

They squared up and shouted in each others’ faces, before players and coaches from both teams piled in, pushing and shoving.

Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel shouts at Tottenham coach Antonio Conte after a Premier League match as people hold them back.
Thomas Tuchel (left) says both managers were “fighting for [their] teams”.(Getty Images: Marc Atkins)

Tuchel and Conte were then shown straight red cards and there is the potential for a further ban.

The pair had clashed during the match, too, when Conte celebrated Tottenham’s first equalizer by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg in the 68th minute.

Conte went up to Tuchel and barged into his chest, sparking a melee among the coaching staff and substitutes as Tuchel pointed to Conte and told him to stay in his part of the technical area.

Then, after Reece James put Chelsea back in front in the 77th, Tuchel set off on a sprint past Conte and down the touchline, clenching his fist in delight.

“I thought when we shake hands you looked in each other eyes, but Antonio had a different opinion,” Tuchel said of the post-match clash with former Blues manager Conte.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel holds onto Tottenham manager Antonio Conte's hand as they pass each other.
Conte (right) says next time he will make sure he looks his opposing manager in the eyes when shaking hands.(Getty Images: Marc Atkins)

“He was happy when they equalized and it got a bit heated, but nothing big… I think it was not necessary but a lot of things were not necessary.”

Conte said the referee “didn’t understand the dynamic of what happened … it would be a pity if, for this situation, we miss the next game.”

The Italian manager said he would “pay more attention” next time when he shakes hands with his German counterpart, but both managers said they “enjoyed” the clash.

Tottenham coach Antonio Conte tries to pull away from Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel's handshake.
Thomas Tuchel (left) holds on a bit longer than Antonio Conte (right) may have liked when the pair shake hands after the game.(Getty Images: Marc Atkins)

“I think that, for what happened we did enjoy it,” Conte said, agreeing with an earlier statement from Tuchel.

“Next time we’ll pay more attention, just shake the hand and solve the problem. I’ll stay on my bench, he’ll stay on his bench.”

Tuchel also played down the clash, saying they were simply “fighting for our teams.”

“Nobody got insulted, nobody got hurt, we didn’t have a fist fight or something,” he said.

“For me, it’s not a big deal. It was part of it today and it boiled of course and it featured us. Both nothing bad.”




Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel sat off, fight, video, reaction, Tottenham vs Chelsea, score, Harry Kane goal

Harry Kane snatched a 96th minute equalizer to salvage a 2-2 draw for Tottenham from a feisty London derby against Chelsea.

Both managers Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel were sent-off after the full-time whistle for their second physical altercation of the match.

Chelsea looked set to get a new era at Stamford Bridge off to the best possible start as they twice led through Kalidou Koulibaly and Reece James.

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Ben Davies (R) celebrates with Ivan Perisic (C) after Harry Kane scores their late equaliser.  (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)
Ben Davies (R) celebrates with Ivan Perisic (C) after Harry Kane scores their late equaliser. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source: AFP

Tottenham were well off the level required if they are to live up to hopes of challenging Manchester City and Liverpool for the title, but showed the newfound character instilled by Conte to fight back for a point.

The Italian and Tuchel were both booked in the aftermath of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s first equaliser.

Tempers then flared again during a handshake after Kane hesitated in with virtually the last action of the game.

“It is the Premier League and why we love it. It is emotional coaches on the sidelines,” said Tuchel.

“I think it (the red card) was not necessary. But a lot of things were not necessary today so it is another poor decision from the referee.

“It’s emotional. You like it. We don’t need comments now. It was heated up and heated up.

“I thought when you shake hands you look into each other’s eyes. Antonio (Conte) had other ideas.”


Legends clash in fiery live TV exchange after Man Utd loss

Star’s extraordinary confession, ‘disgraceful’ flaw exposed as ‘toxic’ Utd hits ‘a new low’

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Antonio Conte (R) and Thomas Tuchel (L) shake hands then clash. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source: AFP
The game finished 2-2. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source: AFP

Tottenham have still only won once at Stamford Bridge in 32 years in the league, but Conte will be delighted to escape with a share of the spoils against his former club.

“There is a difference between Chelsea and Tottenham but we are here to reduce this gap,” said the Italian. “Last season we lost three times, this time we drew so it’s a little step forward.”

New Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly was welcomed by a huge banner from the Chelsea support and saw an early return on the near £170 million ($206 million) investment in the transfer market since he sanctioned a £2.5 billion takeover to buy the club from Roman Abramovich .

Despite the drastic changes in the boardroom, on the field it was like the old times under Abramovich as Chelsea outthought, outplayed and outmuscled Spurs for the first 45 minutes.

Two of their new signings combined for the opening goal as it was from Marc Cucurella’s corner that Koulibaly found space to volley home.

Man U HOWLERS gift Brentford goals! | 01:17

Conte again resisted the temptation to start any of his six new signings, but it was not until the introduction of Richarlison just before the hour mark and a switch of formation that Tottenham began to threaten.

Kane had a glorious chance to level when he uncharacteristically dragged wide with only Edouard Mendy to beat.

Spurs did level 22 minutes from time in controversial fashion to light the spark between the two managers.

Kai Havertz looked to be clearly fouled by Rodrigo Bentancur before Tottenham broke forward and the ball eventually fell to Hojbjerg to fire low and hard past Mendy.

Tuchel reacted furiously to the decision and Conte’s overzealous celebration. The German fought fire with fire as he sprinted down the touchline to celebrate when James thrashed home Raheem Sterling’s pass to restore Chelsea’s lead 13 minutes from time.

However, Kane had the final say as he flicked in Ivan Perisic’s corner deep into added time.

De Bruyne scores spectacular solo goal! | 00:37


Earlier, Nottingham Forest celebrated their first home game in the Premier League for 23 years by beating West Ham 1-0.

The two-time European champions have made 14 new signings in a bid to maintain their top-flight status and two of those making their home debuts were the heroes as Taiwo Awoniyi scored the only goal and Dean Henderson saved Declan Rice’s penalty.

Forest had fortune on their side as the Hammers also had a first-half goal controversially ruled out and hit the underside of the crossbar twice after the break through Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma.

But that mattered little to a capacity 30,000 crowd at the City Ground, who roared the home side over the line.

West Ham have now lost both their opening two games of the season, but in stark contrast to a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City last weekend, they should have taken at least a point back to London.

Taiwo Awoniyi of Notts Forest celebrates scoring the first goal (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Benrahma’s cool finish from Rice’s pass was ruled out after a VAR review for a foul by Michail Antonio as he blocked off Moussa Niakhate.

On top of nearly £100 million in transfer fees, Forest have splashed out a reported £200,000-a-week to secure Jesse Lingard on a one-year deal.

Lingard had been long linked with a return to West Ham after a successful loan spell in the 2020/21 season.

And he played a part in the winner as his shot was blocked by Ben Johnson but rebounded in off Awoniyi’s knee.

Bar a Brennan Johnson goal that was ruled out by VAR for offside, it was the visitors who had all the best chances after the break.

Fornals smashed an effort of the bar seconds into the second period before Benrahma did likewise from a nearly inch-perfect free-kick.

Rice had the best chance of all from the spot after Scott McKenna handled Tomas Soucek’s effort.

However, Henderson made himself an instant hero by diving low to his right to save the penalty.

More desperate defending was needed by Neco Williams to clear Kurt Zouma’s header off the line late on, but Forest held out for a famous win



Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel handshake sparked wild scenes after Tottenham-Chelsea draw

Tottenham and Chelsea played out a controversial English Premier League draw but that was only half the show as both coaches were sent off in wild scenes after full-time.

After a running battle throughout the match, things got truly heated after the final whistle when Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and Tottenhal boss Antonio Conte were both awarded red cards after an intense handshake sparked wild scenes following the 2-all draw.

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Earlier in the match, Conte’s overexuberant celebrations of Spurs’ first equalizer resulted in the two coaches being booked for squaring up.

Tuchel then responded by running down the touchline in celebration when Chelsea retouched the lead through Reece James 13 minutes from time.

But Harry Kane’s 96th minute equalizer meant Conte had the last laugh.

Tuchel was not happy at the Italian for not making eye contact during a handshake at full-time, which sparked another melee between both sets of coaches and players.

Conte looked to be going for a quick shake, while Tuchel held onto the Italian’s hand and dragging him into the confrontation.

Conte could be heard over the pitch mics saying “What do you want?” as both sides returned to the pitch in defense of their managers.

As players and staff rushed in, security was forced to separate the pair and break up the wild scenes on the pitch.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Tuchel said the issue was sparked as Conte did not look at him in the eye during the handshake.

“I thought when we shake hands you looked in each other eyes, he had a different opinion,” said Tuchel.

“It (the red cards) was not necessary but a lot of things were not necessary. Another poor decision from the referee.”

Tuchel revealed his main source of anger due to the fact both of the Tottenham goals could have been disallowed.

Tuchel was unhappy the Spurs’ Rodrigo Bentancur sliding challenge on Kai Havertz went unpunished, while Tottenham’d Richarlison was off-side and in the eyeline of Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy in the first goal.

In the second goal, Cristian Romero dragged Marc Cucurella to the ground by his hair which led to the corner for Kane’s last-gasp equaliser.

“Both (Tottenham goals) cannot stand. Only one team deserved to win,” Tuchel added.

“We dominated for 90 minutes. We were sharp, we were hungry, it was a top performance. I’m sorry for all my players that we didn’t get the result we deserved.

“There was a clear foul on Kai Havertz and the situation goes on and on. Clear off-side on Richarlison off-side and since when can you pull hair on a football field? It’s ridiculous.”

However, after the match, Tuchel admitted it got too heated on the sidelines.

“It was hot from the temperature and hot between the benches and hot on the field and hot between the spectators,” Tuchel said with temperatures soaring above 30 degrees Celsius in the English capital.

“There’s no hard feelings. I feel like it was a fair tackle from him and a fair tackle from me.

“We did not insult each other, we did not hit each other, we were fighting for our teams and from my side there’s absolutely no hard feelings. I’m surprised that we both got a red card for that.”

Conte batted away several questions about his tete-a-tete with Tuchel, but admitted a gap between the sides remains despite Spurs’ improvement.

Chelsea won all four meetings between the sides last season, three of them after Conte took charge in November.

“In my opinion it is better to talk about the game,” Conte said. “Chelsea showed to be a really good team, but compared to last season we did a bit better.

“The difference is clear. This team won the Champions League two years ago, last year won the Club World Cup, got to the final of the FA Cup and Carabao (League) Cup.

“There is a difference between Chelsea and Tottenham but we are here to reduce this gap. Last season we lost three times, this time we drew so it’s a little step forward.”



Manchester United loss to Brentford, Gary Neville reaction, Joel Glazer, David de Gea interview, Erik ten Hag press conference

Manchester United legend Gary Neville says his former team hit “a new low” during its embarrassing loss to Brentford before unleashing on the club’s owners for a hands-off approach that has created a “toxic” environment.

Erik ten Hag’s bad start as Manchester United manager descended into an embarrassment on Sunday morning (AEST) as a 4-0 thrashing by Brentford left the Red Devils bottom of the Premier League for the first time in 30 years.

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

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Brentford, who only ended a 74-year absence from English football’s top flight with promotion to the Premier League in August 2021, punished a series of errors to score four times in the first 35 minutes to spark joyous scenes at their west London ground.

United fell behind in woeful fashion when goalkeeper David de Gea somehow let a Josh Dasilva shot slip through his grasp before Mathias Jensen struck as the visitors failed to play out from the back. Ben Mee then exposed United’s frailty from set-pieces for his first Brentford goal and Bryan Mbuemo rounded off a stunning counter-attack 10 minutes before half-time.

David De Gea of ​​Manchester United acknowledges fans following the defeat in the Premier League.  Picture: Catherine Iville
David De Gea of ​​Manchester United acknowledges fans following the defeat in the Premier League. Picture: Catherine IvilleSource: Getty Images

De Gea took the extraordinary step of voluntarily fronting the media post-game to take responsibility for the loss, telling Sky Sports: “I think I cost three points to my team today to be honest. It was a poor performance from myself… It was a horrible day.”

But ten Hag said he was the “main responsibility” for a humiliating loss.

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.”

Liverpool legend Jamie Redknapp pointed to stats from the game that showed Brentford covered 109.4km during the match compared to Manchester United’s 95.6km

“That for me is just not good enough by any stretch of the imagination,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.

Manchester United’s striker Cristiano Ronaldo reacts as Brentford players celebrate. Picture: Ian KingtonSource: AFP

“You’re not always good, you can’t always play great – but you can always run around. That is so damning for that Manchester United team – I don’t care who the manager is, I don’t care who the owners are, that has got nothing to do with it. That is running for the shirt.

“That is a disgrace from their point of view. If you’re the manager and you go into the dressing room and you show them that, I would be so embarrassed a footballer

“From the players that started and finished that game, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more abject performance from a club that I would regard as one of the biggest in the world to play like that.

“I just don’t think they showed they cared.”

Neville said Manchester United players had now come under three different managers “they don’t work as hard as the teams they’re playing against”.

“How long have we been saying in football ‘hard work will beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard’? That Manchester United team don’t run hard enough, they don’t run fast enough,” Neville told Sky Sports.

Manchester United’s manager Erik ten Hag. Picture: Ian KingtonSource: AFP

“They are absolutely drained of all confidence, they’re struggling badly – ​​and they have been now for 12 months.

“Today was a new low. It seems that continually Manchester United can surpass their previous lows – and when is the lowest low going to come? Because the reality of it is this is really, really bad.”

United were last crowned champions of England in the 2012/13 season in manager Alex Ferguson’s final campaign before retirement.

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

While Ten Hag was keen to bolster his squad, he was adamant the team he sat out at Brentford was far better than this result indicated.

“It is clear we need players but I don’t want to think about that at this moment,” he said.

“The good players we had should have been better. I hoped for a better start, but still I have to believe because I have seen good things but the two games from now are disappointing.”

Former England full-back Neville – a longstanding critic of the Glazer family, the club’s US-based owners – slammed the hierarchy at Old Trafford for failing to give Ten Hag adequate support.

United fans are fuming. Picture: Catherine IvilleSource: Getty Images

“Manchester United have known for eight to 10 months they needed to rebuild the squad for the summer,” said Neville, now to Sky pundit.

“To not get the players in early, the quality of the players, the number of players that Erik ten Hag needed to be able to start the season, is baffling and difficult to forgive.”

Neville said the only money spent by Manchester United on players was from cash generated or borrowed “through its incredible fan base and a great commercial operation”.

“There’s a family over there in America who are just literally letting their employees take all the hits for them – and that is unforgivable,” Neville said.

“Joel Glazer has got to get on a plane… get over to Manchester and he’s got to start to divert the issues away from the club and tell everybody what the hell this plan is with the football club. What is he doing?

“You can look at the players all you like, but there are that many big things that need to be put right first, they’ve got to show up and basically face the music. Now’s the time. You can’t keep hanging over in Tampa and thinking that nothing’s going to come back to you.

Manchester United’s defender Harry Maguire. Picture: Ian KingtonSource: AFP

“These owners since Sir Alex Ferguson have proven in 10 years they cannot manage a forward-thinking football club. It’s been overtaken in every single department and it’s painful and it’s woeful.

“At this moment in time, there has been a toxic culture and atmosphere created at the club over a 10-year period without its leader, Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill, who were propping the club up whilst the family sat there in America glorifying the fact that they were part of it. We’re now seeing what has happened without Sir Alex Ferguson, without David Gill, without leadership. We’re now seeing what’s happening and it’s a mess.

“It cannot continue to go on.”

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



Premier League results, scores, table, Manchester United loss to Brentford, Arsenal, Manchester City

Manchester United suffered an embarrassing 4-0 thrashing by Brentford to sink to the bottom of the Premier League.

As soaring temperatures across England meant water breaks were introduced at all this weekend’s Premier League games, United melted away in the first-half in West London to continue Erik ten Hag’s nightmare start as manager.

The Red Devils were 4-0 down after just 35 minutes as Josh Dasilva, Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee and Bryan Mbuemo put Ten Hag’s men to the sword.

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“I feel really sorry for the fans, we let them down,” said Ten Hag.

“I think Brentford were more hungry and we conceded goals to individual mistakes. You can have a plan but that puts the plan in the bin.”

Cristiano Ronaldo was selected in the Dutch coach’s starting line-up after starting last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton on the bench, but rather than riding to the rescue, his presence only compounded United’s problems.

Manchester United's manager Erik ten Hag.  Picture: Ian Kington
Manchester United’s manager Erik ten Hag. Picture: Ian KingtonSource: AFP

United have now lost seven consecutive league games away from home for the first time since 1936. They finished the day on the bottom of the Premier League table for the first time since August 1992.


Manchester City went top as the champions rolled over Bournemouth 4-0, while Arsenal also have a maximum six points from two games after Gabriel Jesus starred in their 4-2 win over Leicester.

Erling Haaland failed to score on his home debut for City but the Norwegian showed there is more to his game than goals as he used his strength before sliding in Ilkay Gundogan to open the scoring at the Etihad.

Kevin De Bruyne then took center stage with a scintillating finish with the outside of his right foot to find the far corner before the Belgian turned provider for Phil Foden to make it 3-0 before half-time.

“I think we can go up a level,” warned De Bruyne. “Leading 3-0 fairly quickly makes it easy.”

City eased off after the break but added to their lead 11 minutes from time when Jefferson Lerma turned Joao Cancelo’s cross into his own net.

Haaland’s arrival at City was one of the factors behind Jesus’ departure and the Brazilian is already looking like a bargain for the Gunners as he marked his home debut with two goals and two assists to maintain Arsenal’s perfect start. Jesus’ became the first Arsenal player to score two goals on home Premier League debut.

Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal. Picture: Julian FinneySource: Getty Images

Jesus was often deployed in wider areas by City boss Pep Guardiola, but was brought to Arsenal to be a number nine as he aims to secure a place at the World Cup later this year with regular games as a centre-forward.

“I’m really enjoying playing number nine for Arsenal,” said Jesus. “I wasn’t not happy at City, but I just wanted to play.”

The 25-year-old showed his eye for goal with a sumptuous chip over Danny Ward to break Leicester’s resistance and doubled his tally by heading home a corner at the back post.

Twice Leicester were given a lifeline by Arsenal mistakes through William Saliba’s own goal and James Maddison’s strike that squirmed under Aaron Ramsdale.

However, on both occasions, Mikel Arteta’s men hit back quickly to restore a two-goal lead through Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli.


Steven Gerrard won his first managerial clash with former England teammate Frank Lampard as Aston Villa beat Everton 2-1.

Goals from Danny Ings and Emi Buendia eased the pressure on the former Liverpool captain after a run of two wins in their previous 12 games dating back to last season.

However, Villa had to survive a nervy finish as Lucas Digne’s own goal gave Everton hope before Emi Martinez twice denied Anthony Gordon.

Aston Villa Manager Steven Gerrard and Everton Manager Frank Lampard shake hands after full time. Picture: Marc AtkinsSource: Getty Images

Leeds missed the chance to join City and Arsenal on six points, blowing a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Southampton.

Brighton and Newcastle failed to build on their impressive starts last weekend as both missed chances aplenty in a 0-0 draw at the Amex.

It was also scoreless between Wolves and Fulham at Molineux after Aleksandar Mitrovic saw a late penalty saved by Jose Sa in the home team’s goal.



Manchester United thrashed by Brentford, bottom of the ladder for first time in 30 years, crisis

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 halftime 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,” Ten Hag said.

“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 ($A97 million) centre-back Lisandro Martinez from Ajax has done little to shore up United’s leaky defense and questions will be asked of why Ten Hag has left Raphael Varane on the bench in favor 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,” De Gea said. “I feel like I cost the team.”

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 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,” Frank said. 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.