Kepa

Newcastle stuns misfiring Chelsea

Leave a comment

Chelsea couldn’t find a clinical edge and Isaac Hayden scored in stoppage time as Newcastle United beat Chelsea 1-0 at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

The visitors had 70 percent of the ball and a massive edge in shots, but couldn’t capitalize on the few chances they found behind the back line.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Isaac Hayden powered a header home off a stoppage-time set piece to give the Magpies a shocking win and 29 points, seven clear of the Bottom Three.

Chelsea stays on 39 points, five ahead of fifth-place Manchester United. The Red Devils play Liverpool on Sunday.


Three things we learned

1. Fortunate Magpies get big payoff late: Hayden had not scored in a year and turned Saint-Maximin’s desperate cross of a poorly-cleared corner kick past Kepa Arrizabalaga. A solid if unspectacular midfielder, Hayden has dealt with a lot and might’ve left the Northeast due to family reasons. He’s stayed, Steve Bruce has him confident, and the Magpies have a win against all odds.

2. Newcastle’s low block heroics highlight Chelsea need: Frank Lampard‘s attackers were limited to shots from distance, as Steve Bruce’s men might be even better than they were under Rafa Benitez when asked to defend deep. A lot of this is due to spending on attackers who keep defenders honest, but that doesn’t excuse Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi‘s inability to produce much. The former had Dubravka beaten but failed to find finish on the day.

The defense-first style can be boring to, well, everyone including the home fans and managers loathe when it’s employed against them. But Newcastle has now beaten Chelsea, Spurs, and Manchester United this year, also drawing Man City. The expected goals table says Newcastle is having one of the luckiest seasons on record, but don’t bother the Geordies with that right now.

3. Lampard waits for Abraham: Related to point No. 1, Lampard showed faith that his struggling striker would show up late. After all, the 22-year-old has 13 goals and three assists this year. Abraham got behind the Magpies back line twice and also flicked a ball off the bar, but it was the right move to get Michy Batshuayi out there. Alas, it probably should’ve come before the 80th minute.

Man of the Match: Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez were the key parts of the aforementioned low block, and we’d give the honors to Clark. But Hayden, man.


Newcastle loan star Jetro Willems are stretchered off the pitch with his head in his hands are an innocent play out wide, a new worry for the injury-ravaged Magpies.

Then Isaac Hayden pulled up lame after being stretched in a 50-50 with Mason Mount.

The best scoring chance of the early stages came in the 22nd minute, as Kepa Arrizabalaga may have got a finger to Joelinton‘s header off the bar.

Chelsea took hold of the match at the half-hour mark, an offside Tammy Abraham flicking off the bar before Martin Dubravka saved N’Golo Kante’s effort in the 34th.

Newcastle held firm against the attack through five minutes of stoppage time.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

The Magpies opened up a little bit in the second half, and Willian missed a chance to open the scoring in the 53rd.

Cesar Azpilicueta was lively in both halves, and hammered a shot to Dubravka in the 55th.

Newcastle’s physical and aggressive back line held firm, big challenges and clearances from Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez on show.

Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin teamed up to tee up Joelinton, but the Brazilian drove his 88th minute shot wide of the goal.

Soon after, Saint-Maximin sent a half-desperation, half-pinpoint cross to the back post for Hayden to turn past Arrizabalaga. Insane.

Chelsea records $128-million loss, turnover up

Frank Lampards on Chelsea draw and Zaha links
Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images
Leave a comment

LONDON — Chelsea has recorded a loss of $128 million for the year ending June 30.

[ MORE: Mourinho was “rude to an idiot”; talks injuries, transfers ]

The loss was revealed Tuesday in the Premier League club’s latest financial results.

After two profitable years, Chelsea insisted it’s still compliant with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

The club cited a lack of Champions League football, costs associated with changing manager and a record outlay on players Kepa Arrizabalaga, Christian Pulisic, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho for the loss.

Turnover grew slightly to $592 million.

[ MORE: Solskjaer: Pogba “out for a few weeks” with ankle injury ]

“Consistent revenue growth and careful financial management over recent seasons has allowed the club to make significant levels of investment in the playing staff whilst maintaining compliance with UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations,” Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said on chelseafc.com.

“This has contributed to another Europa League victory at the end of the 2018-19 season and a return to the highest level of European competition.

“This solid commercial foundation, allied to a young and exciting team now led by Frank Lampard, means that the club is well placed to sustain its pursuit of success both on and off the pitch as well as maintain its financial stability over the coming years.”

Chelsea made a $82 million profit in the previous year.

Brighton peg back Chelsea

Leave a comment

Brighton and Hove Albion drew 1-1 with Chelsea at the Amex Stadium on New Year’s Day, as a stunning late goal from Alireza Jahanbakhsh grabbed the Seagulls a point.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Chelsea lead early through Cesar Azpilicueta but the Blues wasted several chances and Brighton improved in the second half as they were unlucky not to grab all three points.

With the point Brighton have 24 points, while Chelsea now have 36.


3 things we learned

1. Jahanbakhsh in fine form: The Iranian playmaker was emotional when he scored his first PL goal against Bournemouth on Saturday and he lost the plot again after his amazing overhead kick goal. With two goals in two he has added cutting edge to his game and on the ball he has always shown plenty of quality. What a goal and what a few days for Jahanbakhsh.

2. Chelsea can’t find consistency: They haven’t won back-to-back games in all competitions since October and this is starting to become a concern for Frank Lampard. They followed up their big win at Spurs by losing against Southampton and their win at Arsenal has been followed up by a draw at Brighton. As Spurs, Man United and Wolves continue to find consistency below them in the table, Chelsea need to become ruthless or they risk blowing their top four chances.

3. Pulisic bright but snatches chances on return: Pulisic’s return to the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 14 was a good one as the USMNT winger cause Brighton plenty of problems with his dribbling and crosses into the box, but his final pass and shot was just a little too frantic and rushed. It seemed like he was trying to do a little too much instead of letting his instincts take over. He played well in his 66 minutes on the pitch and his hamstring looked fine, which is a huge plus.

Man of the Match: Kepa – Made some superb stops to deny Connolly and Maupay late on as Chelsea could have easily lost this game.


The first big chance of the game arrived but Reece James shanked his effort wide as the away team started well

But then Brighton youngster Steven Alzate burst into the box but his shot trickled just wide via deflection.

Chelsea then took the lead as a corner was kept alive by Abraham and Azpilicueta pounced to make it 1-0.

Moments later Dan Burn went down with a lengthy injury to his shoulder as Bernardo replaced him.

Chelsea continued to be a threat on the break in the first half as Abraham went close and Brighton hung in there, with Leandro Trossard denied by a flying save from Kepa.

Right on half time USMNT star Pulisic whipped an effort just wide of the far post as he was so close to doubling Chelsea’s lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Brighton brought on Aaron Connolly at the break and looked more of a threat on the break, while Pulisic had a flurry of chances but Ryan saved one and the other two were off target.

Kepa denied Connolly with a fine save from close range after the Brighton forward controlled a low cross well as Brighton pushed hard for a late equalizer.

It arrived in spectacular fashion as Jahanbakhsh sent home a wonderful acrobatic overhead kick to make it 1-1 to send the Amex wild. What a goal.

Brighton could have nicked all three points late on but Kepa denied Maupay brilliantly as Chelsea had a great chance themselves but sub Callum Hudson-Odoi fired just wide.

Top Premier League saves of 2019

Leave a comment

2019 was a season full of spectacular goals, but also a year of amazing saves.

Goalkeepers were up to the task all year long, keeping their teams in the game or in the lead thanks to their heroics. The likes of David De Gea, Ederson, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Kasper Schmeichel and others are featured in NBC’s top saves of 2019.

[ MORE: 2019 PST Roundtable ]

And the best part? The top save of the year will have your jaw on the floor for more than just the incredible nature of the action.

Southampton shock Chelsea

Leave a comment

Southampton shocked Chelsea by winning 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day as Frank Lampard‘s Blues continued their Jekyll and Hyde form.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

After winning at top four rivals Tottenham last time out, Chelsea were sluggish against Saints and were punished as Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond scored in each half to lead Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s side to a big victory.

With the win Southampton move on to 21 points, while Chelsea stay on 32 points.

The defeat marked the first time Chelsea have lost back-to-back home games in the Premier League since 2011.


3 things we learned

1. 3-4-3 not the way forward for Chelsea: Frank Lampard stuck with the 3-4-3 formation which worked so well at Spurs on Sunday, but it was a surprise he went with it at home against Southampton. Chelsea have now lost 2-0 to Saints and 1-0 against West Ham and Bournemouth in their last four home games at Stamford Bridge and their young team has been a little naive. Lampard’s admission that they will be in the transfer market in January seems to have unsettled some of his players as their transfer ban is now over.

2. Saints alive and kicking: Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have now won four of their last six games but this was the most impressive victory of the lot. Away from home against Chelsea, Saints took the game to the Blues and their high-pressing style unnerved Chelsea. Danny Ings, their leading goalscorer, was left out and the young forward duo of Che Adams and Michael Obafemi delivered with grit and the latter with a fine goal. This was Southampton’s first clean sheet in 14 games and back-to-back wins have taken them from the relegation zone to eyeing a top 10 finish. There is still a long season ahead but Saints have finally got going.

3. Pulisic’s lack of game time concerning: When USMNT winger Pulisic didn’t start against Spurs on Sunday we assumed he was being rested to play against Southampton. He came on for the final 25 minutes and did well, winning free kicks and firing just wide, and you have to imagine he will start against Arsenal on Sunday. If he doesn’t that will be even more concerning.

Man of the Match: Jack Stephens – Won the battle against Tammy Abraham and he led the Southampton defense calmly. What a turnaround in his career over the last few months.


Early on Southampton were comfortable enough without having a clear chance on goal and the first big chance of the game came to Chelsea.

Callum Hudson-Odoi‘s shot was deflected wide by Jack Stephens and from the resulting corner Fikayo Tomori headed straight at Alex McCarthy.

Saints frustrated Chelsea in the first half and then took the lead as 19-year-old Obafemi turned, settled himself and curled home a stunner into the top corner.

Cesar Azpilicueta’s flick at the near post from a corner almost snuck in as McCarthy tipped the ball away.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Mason Mount came on at half time for Kurt Zouma as Chelsea switched their formation to a 4-2-3-1 and Tammy Abraham slammed a shot into the side-netting from close range.

At the other end Nathan Redmond broke free and crossed for Che Adams but Tomori cleared superbly at the back post.

Redmond then spurned a great chance as he was clean through but Kepa saved down low.

USMNT’s Christian Pulisic came on for the final 25 minutes to try and salvage something for Chelsea but then Southampton killed the game off.

A break found Redmond and he calmly dinked over Kepa and in to seal a shock win for Southampton at Stamford Bridge.