Chelsea manager Frank Lampard praised striker Tammy Abraham’s growing influence as the Blues rediscovered their winning touch against Aston Villa.
Abraham reinforced his importance to Lampard’s side, scoring the opener and setting up the second on his return from injury in Chelsea’s 2-1 Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge.
The 22-year-old England international missed the Blues’ home defeat by West Ham with a hip injury and put them ahead against Villa with a firm header from Reece James’ cross.
After Villa equalised against the run of play when Trezeguet bundled in, Chelsea regained the lead shortly after the restart when Abraham neatly chested Willian’s cross into the path of Mason Mount who thumped home a volley.
“Tammy is a personality that’s growing in our dressing room every day with his enthusiasm and his will to win,” said Lampard.
“He is a striker that’s near the top of the goalscoring charts in the league, he’s showing his all-round game, stretches defences and he starts our press.
“And of course if a player’s on such a good run it’s normal that if they go out of the team that you can miss them, and he came straight back in as he left off.”
Chelsea, like they did in the first half before Trezeguet’s leveller, dominated possession and territory as they looked to increase their advantage.
Abraham twice came close to adding a third against the club he helped fire to promotion last season, while Willian – one of Chelsea’s other star performers – hit the post with an exquisite free-kick.
The Blues ended a run of back-to-back defeats with a victory which helps them consolidate fourth place, moving them six points clear of nearest rivals Wolves, while narrowing the gap on third-placed Manchester City to three points.
Villa, who have won just once on the road this season, remain in 15th place, a point above the relegation zone after Southampton’s win.
Abraham’s return lifts Chelsea
Following a tough week in which Premier League defeats by Manchester City and West Ham came either side of a Champions League draw at Valencia, Chelsea were looking to avoid three top-flight defeats in a row for the first time in four years.
They did that against a toothless Villa side, albeit with a tighter margin of victory than their performance deserved.
Mount’s stunning finish proved the difference but, with a refreshed Blues line-up featuring five changes from Saturday’s defeat having 25 attempts at goal, they should have been out of sight.
While England attacking midfielder Mount will take the plaudits for the winner, it was Abraham’s return from injury which was the real catalyst for change.
The Blues had been wasteful against West Ham and Abraham provided a clinical edge after holding his line to head in from 12 yards.
It was a richly deserved lead for the home side with Villa rarely having ventured into the Chelsea box, but it was greeted with muted celebrations from the striker, who scored 25 league goals in 38 Championship matches for Villa in his season-long loan.
“I said the club will always be close to my heart, last season was a long, hard season so I pay all my respects to them,” he said afterwards.
Blues boss Lampard said before the match that Abraham was still suffering some pain in his hip, yet he worked tirelessly throughout in a physical battle against muscular Villa centre-backs Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa.
After showing exceptional awareness and composure to tee up Mount’s winner, he was unfortunate not to score another himself – clipping wide of the left-hand post and being hustled out of a close-range chance by Mings – before departing to a standing ovation with seven minutes left.
Abraham looked to walk off gingerly after taking a knock a few moments earlier, although Lampard played down any injury concerns.
Battling Villa fall short again
Villa have performed admirably against the Premier League’s leading lights since returning to the top flight, without earning the rewards their performances have merited.
Dean Smith’s side opened the scoring in four of their five matches against established top-six opponents this season, pushing Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United close, with only defending champions Manchester City beating them with relative comfort.
Although these displays provided plenty of encouragement, Villa earned a solitary point.
At Stamford Bridge, they again showed the basic prerequisites of hard work and organisation, but were unable to stretch Chelsea as their forays into the opposition half were limited.
A quick-thinking pass from skipper Jack Grealish, who Smith complained afterwards needs more protection from referees, was key in the attack which led to Villa’s equaliser, allowing Ahmed Elmohamady to cross to Trezeguet who bundled in at the second attempt.
Other than that, Villa rarely threatened as they managed just three shots on target in the whole match, although Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was required to deny Douglas Luiz what would have been an undeserved equaliser late on.
“We’re not far away, I don’t want to keep using the word ‘competitive’, we can be as good as these teams, we showed that in pockets,” Smith said.
“We need to be more consistent in what we do and braver on the ball.”
Man of the match – N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard:
“I thought we were great. I’m pleased because that was us again, we had a blip against West Ham and today we were back.
“Our character at half-time was important and we carried off where we left off. The disappointment of the day is we didn’t score two or three.
“Villa are stubborn, have picked up results on the road and you can see why. They have good players and are well organised.”
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith:
“I thought it was a fair result, the better team won.
“We had pockets of play throughout the game but not enough relentless pressure. We didn’t start either half well and they put us under pressure. We gave the ball away too cheaply, but got back into the game and when we showed a bit of belief we showed we could give them problems.
“They had the initiative, we knew they would start well after losing a London derby on Saturday.
“You don’t get much from officials here and I wasn’t happy with their performance tonight. Jack Grealish must have been the most-fouled player on the pitch, there were five or six not given.”
Chelsea continue to dominate Villa – the stats
- Chelsea have lost just one of their last 56 Premier League home games against newly promoted teams, winning 45 and drawing 10.
- Aston Villa have picked up just one point from their last 42 available in away games against sides starting the day in the top four.
- Chelsea have won nine of their last 10 Premier League meetings with Aston Villa, losing the other in March 2014.
- Chelsea have won five consecutive home league games against Aston Villa for the first time in their history.
- Tammy Abraham has scored 11 goals in 14 Premier League appearances this season – the only Chelsea players to score more in their first 14 appearances in a single Premier League season are Diego Costa (12) in 2014-15 and Nicolas Anelka (12) in 2008-09.
- Only Jamie Vardy (17) has been directly involved in more Premier League goals this season than Abraham (14 – 11 goals, 3 assists).
- Trezeguet is the first Aston Villa player to score in three consecutive Premier League starts since Tom Cleverley in May 2015.
- Trezeguet’s goal, assisted by Ahmed Elmohamady, is the first Premier League goal to be scored and assisted by Egyptian players.
Chelsea go back on the road with a trip to struggling Everton on Saturday (12:30 GMT), before Villa host second-placed Leicester City on Sunday (14:00).
Arsenal have identified Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo as a potential replacement for Unai Emery if the Gunners decide to sack the Spaniard.
Head coach Emery is under pressure after a winless run of six matches across all competitions.
Arsenal have only won four of 13 Premier League games this season.
BBC Sport understands that if Emery is sacked and Nuno is allowed to speak to Arsenal, then the Portuguese would be a strong contender to take over.
Nuno said it would be “disrespectful” to talk about being linked with Arsenal when asked in a news conference before his side’s Europa League tie against Braga on Thursday.
“I wouldn’t ever mention an issue which is not a reality,” he said. “Speaking about a job which has a manager would be disrespectful and I will not do so.”
Emery said he still has the full support of the club, having been warned results must improve while being offered public backing by the Arsenal hierarchy earlier this month.
“Really the club is supporting me,” he said. “I feel the club, everyone responsible in that area, is backing me. Really I appreciate it a lot.
“I feel strong with that support and know my responsibility to come back and change that situation.”
The former Sevilla and Paris St-Germain boss added he is only focused on “today and tomorrow” as he prepares for his side’s Europa League match at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.
“My job is to prepare for the match, to show the best performance in front of our supporters,” he said.
Arsenal go into Thursday’s game top of Group F, four points clear of both their German opponents and Standard Liege.
On Sunday, a number of Arsenal fan groups called for “urgent action” over the “state of things” at the club.
“My focus is only today and tomorrow, to do all the things that we have worked on here at the training ground,” Emery added.
“We know our supporters were disappointed by the draw against Southampton, but we have the perfect chance to reconnect with our supporters.
“Our wish is that every supporter tomorrow helps the team, we need them.”
Arsenal are also eight points adrift of the top four and 19 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Chelsea became the first team through to the Women’s Continental League Cup quarter-finals after beating Tottenham 5-1 at Kingsmeadow.
Beth England scored two of Chelsea’s five second-half goals to ensure Chelsea progressed and extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 10 games this season.
Elsewhere, there were also wins for fellow WSL sides Brighton and West Ham.
Brighton’s 5-0 win over London Bees moved them top of Group B.
The Hammers’ 3-1 win over Lewes moved them up to second in Group D behind Chelsea.
In the only all-WSL fixture of the night, Drew Spence’s early second-half goal set Chelsea up for a convincing win.
The London derby defeat was Spurs’ second in four days, having gone down 2-0 to Arsenal in front of a Women’s Super League record crowd of 38,262 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
There was nothing like that crowd at Kingsmeadow, a ground with a capacity of less than 4,900 – which itself attract a record attendance for a WSL game held at a non-Premier League stadium when 4,790 watched Chelsea overcome Manchester United on Sunday.
In the all-Championship fixtures, Charlie Estcourt scored a late winner for Charlton Athletic against London City Lionesses, while the second tier’s bottom side Coventry United held division leaders Aston Villa in a 2-2 draw before going on to earn an extra point with a penalty shootout win.
- Coventry United 2-2 Aston Villa (Coventry won penalty shootout 3-1)
- Charlton Athletic 1-0 London City Lionesses
- London Bees 0-5 Brighton
- Chelsea 5-1 Tottenham
- West Ham 3-1 Lewes
BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC in 2019, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.
Saracens have brought in a major communications company to help manage the public fallout of the salary cap scandal, with the Premiership champions yet to formally appeal against their points deduction and fine.
Sarries are set to be docked 35 points and fined £5.36m after an inquiry into business dealings between owner Nigel Wray and some of the club’s players.
Journalists were banned from asking director of rugby Mark McCall questions about the salary cap breach during Wednesday’s regular media briefing.
The news conference was called to preview their match against Racing 92 on Saturday, when they will begin the defence of their European Champions Cup crown.
FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firm, were present at the briefing and will oversee how Sarries manage the situation publicly.
McCall confirmed the club have until Monday, 18 November to officially lodge their appeal.
In a statement issued on the same day the sanctions were announced, owner Wray said it felt as though “the rug is being completely pulled out from under our feet” and vowed to “appeal against all the findings”.
Premiership Rugby has said a review “can only be on the basis that there has been an error of law, the decision is irrational or that there has been some procedural unfairness”.
What did McCall actually say on Wednesday?
Former Ireland international McCall said it will be a “heck of a challenge” if the 35-point deduction stands, adding that it would be about the Premiership holders “trying to avoid relegation”.
“It’s a challenge we haven’t had to experience before as a group and I think one that we’ll get our head around and relish if we have to do that,” he told BBC Sport.
“We’re in a bit of adversity at the moment and I think over the years when adversity has come our way we’ve dealt with it pretty well.
“This is obviously probably adversity at a different level to what we’ve been used to before.”
Saracens have won six of their opening eight games in all competitions and are likely to be without most of their England World Cup players for their European opener in France, with several yet to return to training.
“I genuinely don’t think it’s realistic that people can jump from being away for five months into something completely different,” McCall added.
“For us to try and tell them playing against Racing’s the biggest game – they played a World Cup final two weeks ago – so we’ve been having some individual conversations to see how they genuinely feel and try to make some decisions with them, rather than for them, as to when they come back.”
What does it all mean for their European campaign?
Saracens centre Alex Lozowski, who spoke to the media after McCall, insisted the club can “absolutely” defend their European crown, adding they are “not going to lie down and give it away”.
But European Professional Club Rugby director general Vincent Gaillard earlier said the sanction “isn’t good news” for their tournament.
“Our concern rests in their capacity to put everything into the European Cup knowing that they will have to fight all the way to avoid relegation,” said Gaillard.
“Perhaps other clubs will be happy that they are going to be a bit wounded but it’s not good news for us.
“We would prefer that they are thoroughly behind the competition.”
England international Lozowski said the Saracens squad had become accustomed to not being popular within the sport, after the silverware they have won over recent years.
“Since I’ve been here we’ve been pretty much been universally disliked so it’s not really new to us,” he said.
“That’s what happens when you have success and win championships. What happened has, I guess, made that a bit worse but we are used to being disliked so it’s nothing new for us.
“The target on our backs may be a little bit bigger now but looking at the people we have I’m pretty sure everyone’s ready to deal with that.”
What’s the background?
The charges relate to a failure to disclose player payments in each of the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
Saracens previously claimed they “readily comply” with salary cap rules and were able to spend above the £7m cap because of the high proportion – almost 60% – of home-grown players in their squad.
The Allianz Park outfit have several of the game’s biggest stars on their books, including seven of the 31-man squad that represented England at the World Cup in Japan.
One of the dominant forces in northern hemisphere club rugby, Sarries have won five Premiership titles and three European Champions Cups since 2010-11 – with two of those domestic titles coming in the timeframe that Premiership Rugby have been investigating.
Their three European successes have all come within the past four seasons.
Son Heung-min scored twice following a difficult few days to take Tottenham towards the Champions League knockout stages by thrashing Red Star Belgrade.
Spurs lie second in Group B, four points clear of Red Star in third, knowing one victory from their final two games will ensure progression to the last 16.
Forward Son, who was left “devastated” by his foul that led to a horrific ankle injury for Everton’s Andre Gomes on Sunday, netted twice in the second half, lashing home a finish from an angle and tapping in from close range.
The South Korean did not celebrate his first goal; instead he clasped his hands and bowed his head.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side went ahead in the first half courtesy of the impressive Giovani Lo Celso, who clipped home a finish on his first start for the club following an almighty goalmouth scramble in which Spurs hit the post and bar. Christian Eriksen added a fourth late on.
Red Star had chances of their own but could not find a way past Paulo Gazzaniga, with the Spurs goalkeeper saving sharply off Milan Pavkov and Rajiv van La Parra.
It was Spurs’ first away win since their thrilling Champions League semi-final comeback against Ajax last season.
Son on song for Spurs
Tottenham’s overall form this season has been poor, losing four of their 11 matches in the Premier League and suffering a 7-2 humiliation at home by Bayern Munich.
But the north Londoners have recovered from that demolition in outstanding fashion, scoring nine goals in back-to-back games against Red Star.
Their victory in Belgrade was all the more impressive as the home side tend to provide a stern examination for the visitors, losing just twice in their previous 21 games in Europe at the Rajko Mitic Stadium, including an impressive victory over eventual winners Liverpool last season.
Son was sent off for tripping Gomes in the 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Sunday and was visibly distraught by the injury but Pochettino said he was “in a very good way” to play and his two goals showed it.
For the first, he received a pass inside the area from Dele Alli, worked it onto his left foot and smashed a finish into the roof of the net. With the events of Sunday still on his mind, Son opted to remain subdued.
His second finished off a neat team move, converting from close range following Danny Rose’s low cross to the back post.
Midfielder Eriksen came off the bench to round off an excellent night for Spurs by deftly clipping in with five minutes remaining.
Lo Celso displays his potential
Argentine midfielder Lo Celso joined Spurs on loan – with an option to buy – from Real Betis on transfer deadline day in August, but has been restricted to six substitute appearances having struggled with a hip problem.
In Serbia, he showed a glimpse of his potential with an all-round, energetic performance, seemingly shaking of his early season injury issues.
During his 86 minutes on the pitch, Lo Celso touched the ball more times (102) and made more tackles (five) than any other player on the pitch, while he won the ball back eight times. He made 79 passes with an accuracy of 90%.
The former Paris St-Germain player finished off the opening goal well, taking a touch and stroking in from six yards out but not before an incredibly chaotic period of play.
Lo Celso had slipped Harry Kane through on the goal and the skipper toe-poked his effort against the post, while Son saw his follow-up cleared off the goalline.
The Red Star defenders failed to clear and the ball eventually reached Kane again at the back post, but his volley across goal was somehow diverted onto the crossbar by Son from a yard out.
Again Red Star were unable to get the ball to safety, allowing Lo Celso to claim his first goal for Tottenham.
We need to keep going – Pochettino
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino told BT Sport: “We are happy for the performance of the team. It is a very difficult place and we spoke a lot before the game about Liverpool, PSG and Napoli not winning here, but the team was fantastic.
“We controlled the game after we scored and we were much better. We have a big squad and when you have plenty of options you have problems too because someone is happy and someone is not.
“This season is different to the previous season and now we need to keep going. It is only a game and we need to add three more points to qualify but it is a good feeling after Everton.”
Man of the match – Son Heung-min (Tottenham)
Spurs’ scoring run – the stats
- Tottenham’s victory was their first away win in any competition in nine games this season (D5 L3).
- Red Star Belgrade have suffered their heaviest home defeat in their European Cup/Champions League history.
- Tottenham have become the first English team to beat Red Star away from home in a Champions League/European Cup tie.
- Red Star have conceded more goals than any other side after four rounds of matches in this season’s Champions League (13).
- Tottenham have now scored in each of their past 13 Champions League away games – only Chelsea (13 between March 2000 and April 2005) can match such a run among English sides in the competition.
- Giovani Lo Celso scored his sixth goal in his past eight appearances across the Europa League/Champions League.
A man has been arrested for attempted murder after a police officer was run over during an “intelligence-led stop”.
The car was stopped by armed police in White Hart Lane, Tottenham, north London, at about 11:30 GMT on Tuesday, then struck the officer when it was driven off “at speed”.
The injured firearms officer has since been discharged from hospital.
The 25-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and remains in custody.
Two 17-year-old boys and two men, aged 18 and 19, have also been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
A 23-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice
Det Chf Insp Linda Bradley said: “This was an extremely serious incident whereby the safety of the public, as well as the life of the police officer, was endangered.”
Josh Brownhill scored a dramatic 98th-minute winner as 10-man Bristol City came from behind to beat Charlton and go fourth in the Championship.
The game looked destined to finish as a draw until midfielder Brownhill latched on to substitute Kasey Palmer’s lofted pass and drilled a left-foot shot past Charlton keeper Dillon Phillips.
After a lacklustre first half, the Addicks took the lead when Macauley Bonne beat Daniel Bentley to Beram Kayal’s through ball at the corner of the box, took the ball past the Robins keeper and slid it home from a tight angle.
But Bristol City levelled when the visitors failed to cut out a looping cross by Brownhill and another substitute, Famara Diedhiou, headed home from close range.
The Senegal striker was then shown a straight red card four minutes from time for kicking out at Jason Pearce while the Charlton defender was on the floor.
Before Brownhill’s late winner, Bristol City looked set to slip to 10th. Instead, they moved within three points of leaders West Bromwich Albion and are only behind third-placed Sheffield Wednesday on goal difference.
Brownhill registered the only effort on target – a tame long-range shot – of a cagey first half, which was interrupted by injuries to Charlton midfielders Sam Field and Jake Forster-Caskey.
But there was no shortage of chances after the break, with Bonne curling a shot wide of the far post and Kayal and Conor Gallagher both being denied by Bentley.
Bonne’s opener on the counter-attack came after the home side’s best spell of pressure as Andi Weimann saw a shot from eight yards turned over the bar by Phillips, while Diedhiou and Rodri both had efforts scrambled off the line following a corner.
Phillips then pulled off two more fine stops to keep out a fierce Weimann drive and a Palmer header, before Diedhiou nodded in the equaliser.
Brownhill then popped up in the box to slam home to winner and spark wild celebrations around Ashton Gate.
Vivianne Miedema scored four times as Arsenal beat Slavia Prague to go within touching distance of the Women’s Champions League quarter-finals.
The Netherlands striker completed a hat-trick inside 39 minutes to give the Gunners a 3-0 half-time lead away from home against the Czech Republic outfit.
Miedema added a fourth after the break and Kim Little’s penalty made it 5-0.
The hosts’ Katerina Svitkova and Mia Persson pulled goals back late on but Arsenal take a 5-2 lead back to London.
The Gunners will progress to the last eight if they avoid a heavy home defeat on 31 October.
Arsenal – last season’s Women’s Super League champions – were 6-0 aggregate winners over Italian side Fiorentina in the previous round to reach this stage.
Miedema, 23, also scored three goals over the course of that last-32 tie.
A “dangerous” drug addict has been found guilty of murdering his friend in a pub doorway in London.
Joe Gynane fatally injured Mohamed Elmi, 37, with a large kitchen knife in the doorway of the Coach and Horses pub in Soho, at about 06.00 GMT on 3 March.
Hours later he used the “blood-stained blade” to seriously injure a 16-year-old boy near Tottenham Court Road.
The 34-year-old, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of Mr Elmi’s murder at the Old Bailey, on Wednesday.
Gynane was also found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to the unnamed teenager.
Gynane and Mr Elmi had spent parts of the early morning together walking around Soho, smoking and taking drugs with a group of people, the court heard.
The defendant admitted he had taken heroin, crack cocaine and spice.
Prosecutor Gareth Patterson QC told jurors: “In his first knife attack he fatally stabbed a man called Mohamed Elmi in Soho.
“In a short but deadly assault in the doorway of a pub he stabbed him repeatedly using a large kitchen knife.”
The court heard Gynane was a “dangerous” man with previous convictions for robbery and several assaults.
Gynane, of Wimbledon, south-west London, denied murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
He claimed diminished responsibility on the basis he was suffering from “misuse syndrome” – the effects of the misuse of drugs – and a personality disorder.
Judge Richard Foster remanded the defendant into custody to be sentenced on Thursday afternoon.
|2019 World Athletics Championships|
|Venue: Khalifa International Stadium, Doha Dates: 27 September-6 October|
|Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website and app; Listen live on BBC Radio 5 Live; Live streams, clips and text commentary online.|
Dina-Asher Smith became the first British woman to win a major global sprint title as she stormed to victory in 200m at the World Championships.
The 23-year-old, who won silver in the 100m, was the outstanding favourite and outclassed the field to take gold in a British record of 21.88 seconds.
“I’m lost for words. I dreamed of this and now it’s real,” she told BBC Sport. “I don’t think it’s properly sunk in.”
Brittany Brown took silver (22.22) and Swiss Mujinga Kambundji bronze (22.51).
Asher-Smith is also the first Briton to win a world or Olympic sprint title since Linford Christie at Stuttgart 1993.
“I woke up today thinking, ‘This is it. This is the moment you did all your work for’. The tiredness disappeared,” she added.
“[My coach] John [Blackie] and I knew I could do it, it means so much.”
There was no light show as seen in some other showpiece finals here in Doha, but instead a loud cheer greeted Asher-Smith as she smiled on her way to her starting blocks.
The race itself was formality. Asher-Smith came off the bend with her nose in front before powering away from the rest of the pack in the final 60m.
Like on the celebration lap following the women’s 100m final there were rows of empty seats in the Khalifa Stadium, but Asher-Smith – who paraded the flag after winning silver on Sunday – enjoyed her victory with a large British contingent in one corner.
Many had already placed the gold medal around the European champion’s neck after the pre-event withdrawal of 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce followed by that of fellow Jamaican and Olympic champion Elaine Thompson. And before the championships Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo, unbeaten in the 200m this season, opted only to run in the 400m because of the tight scheduling.
But bar the Bahamian, Asher-Smith had got the better of her other rivals during the Diamond League season. The lack of competition simply made the task easier for the Kent athlete.
It has been a six-year period for the Briton between winning the European youth 200m title in 2013 to becoming the senior world champion in the Doha event.
By her side since the age of eight has been coach John Blackie, who had spotted her potential at the Blackheath and Bromley Athletics Club.
Their partnership has produced titles at European and now global level.
More to follow.