Antonio Conte was disappointed that Chelsea couldn’t hang onto its late, come-from-behind lead against London rivals Chelsea on Wednesday.
And while Arsenal certainly more than deserved its point based on performance, Chelsea may’ve walked away a decisive winner had Alvaro Morata finished a number of gold-plated chances in the draw.
[ ARSENAL-CHELSEA: 4 things | Player ratings ]
That his misses came on the day Diego Costa scored — and was injured — for Atletico Madrid won’t escape the majority of Chelsea supporters, and Conte is pleading for patience (which isn’t a lot to ask for considering he’s adjusting to a new league). From ChelseaFC.com:
‘This is not a lucky period for him because at the last game versus Stoke I said it is very important for the striker to have the chance to score, and here today he had chances to score but it is football. I am very happy for his commitment and his effort for the team, this is the most important for me but for the striker it is important to score because then your confidence is up. In this case his confidence can do down but he is very young and he has to continue to work to improve and he will see that the goal is coming.
‘The only things I can tell him are to stay calm and continue to work in this way for the team because then the chances will arrive for him and for the other players. This is the first season he is playing with regularity. He has to stay calm and to continue to play in this way and the goal is coming.”
Morata has bagged 10 Premier League goals, 12 overall, for Chelsea since arriving from Real Madrid. That’s a bit down from his 20 goals in 43 for Real last season, though goals are traditionally a bit easier to come by in attack-driven La Liga.
Paris-Saint Germain has established itself as one of Europe’s best sides, but their opponent on Sunday isn’t playing scared against Neymar and Co.
[ MORE: Spurs, Saints play to 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s ]
Lyon has taken a 1-0 lead inside the opening two minutes against the Parisians after a stunning free kick by Nabil Fekir caught PSG keeper Alphonse Aréola off his line.
The hosts could move all the way up to second place today with a victory over PSG, who holds the league lead in Ligue 1 with a nine-point advantage.
The 24-year-old Fekir has been a revelation for Lyon in his fifth season with the club, scoring his 19th goal in all competitions on Sunday.
That total has already surpassed his career-high from the 2014/15 season, when he eclipsed 15 goals.
Look away, U.S. Men’s National Team fans.
American and Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie was forced out of Sunday’s 1-1 Bundesliga draw against Hanover 96 after the 19-year-old collided with Felix Kraus.
McKennie, who entered the match in the 62nd minute for Leon Goretzka, managed to stay on the field for nearly 20 minutes before being substituted out.
To this point there has been no indication that the young USMNT player’s injury is serious.
More to follow…
Watford’s replacement for fired manager Marco Silva is indeed veteran Spanish boss Javi Gracia.
[ MORE: Watford fires Silva, blames Everton ]
The Hornets announced the 47-year-old’s hiring on Sunday, hours after firing Silva and blaming Everton’s pursuit of the manager for the club’s fall from European contender to the fringe of a relegation battle.
Watford is still four points clear of the drop following Southampton’s draw with Spurs on Sunday.
Gracia led Malaga to eighth and ninth place finishes in La Liga between 2014-16 before spending last season at Rubin Kazan.
Gracia, 47, has led promotion campaigns in Spain and has plenty of experience with perceived smaller clubs battling the drop zone.
Watford will hope the Hornets don’t reach that point after flirting with the Top Seven for the first quarter of the Premier League season.
Mauricio Pochettino knows St. Mary’s well, and the ex-Southampton boss has managed a rainy, sloppy match or three there in the past.
[ RECAP: Saints 1-1 Spurs ]
So he knows it’s possible to play well in those circumstances, leaving him feeling like Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday was a wasted opportunity against a struggling Saints side.
“It is temporary that Southampton are in the relegation zone, for sure they will push up the table,” Pochettino said. “It is two points we are going to miss at the end of the season because it is so tough between six or seven teams.”
[ MORE: Bertrand reacts to draw ]
So why couldn’t Spurs find their foothold? Well, aside from sickness keeping Christian Eriksen and Hugo Lloris out of the lineup, a bug that may’ve affected more on the team, Spurs just weren’t up to snuff.
“We struggled to play,” Pochettino said. “It was in possession, we made mistakes which allowed them to play. To win the game we should do better and play better. It wasn’t great.
Pochettino was also asked about Spurs’ reported pursuit of 20-year-old Bordeaux star Malcom, who has seven goals and five assists in Ligue 1 this season.
“That is a rumor and I don’t want to speak about it. I am happy with our squad. We are open to quality players but you know very well it is difficult in this transfer window.”