Kepa

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De Gea limps off for Spain ahead of Man Utd-Liverpool tilt

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Here’s the good news for Manchester United supporters: David De Gea played incredibly well for Spain in its EURO qualifier on Tuesday as La Furia Roja clinched a place in EURO 2020.

The bad news? The performance was truncated, with De Gea limping off the pitch and replaced by Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga in the 60th minute.

[ MORE: EURO qualifying wrap ]

De Gea appeared to injure himself while attempting a goal kick of all things, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be wondering what fresh hell awaits him next.

Perhaps that’s simply the fact that Liverpool visits Old Trafford on Sunday in a match that Solskjaer previously said was perhaps ideal for his reeling Red Devils.

Solskjaer would turn to Sergio Romero should De Gea been unable to play at the weekend. Lee Grant is United’s third goalkeeper with Dean Henderson on loan to Sheffield United.

United was already going to need a lot of help to beat back the unbeaten Reds.

EURO 2020 qualifying: Spain slips up in final seconds; Danish delight

Photo by LISELOTTE SABROE/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images
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A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in 2020 European Championship qualifying…

[ MORE: Italy qualifies for EURO 2020 with win over Greece ]

Norway 1-1 Spain

Spain led for the entirety of the second half and was mere seconds from a victory that would have extended their perfect record through qualifying (now 6W-1D-0L) and seen them move to within two points of qualification to EURO 2020. La Roja conceded a 93rd-minute penalty when Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga clattered into Omar Elabdellaoui. Bournemouth attacker Joshua King stepped up and converted to keep Norway in touching distance of automatic qualification.

Alas, Spain remains in control of Group F with a six-point advantage on third-place Romania, but they now require a victory of their own and points dropped by Romania to book their place in next summer’s tournament during the current international window.

Saul Niguez had put Robert Moreno’s side ahead in the 47th minute, but the 2008 and 2012 European champions were unable to see their one-goal advantage over the finish line. Sergio Ramos overtook Iker Casillas as Spain’s record holder for all-time appearances, winning his 168th cap.

Denmark 1-0 Switzerland

Yussuf Poulsen scored the only goal in a colossal six-pointer between Denmark and Switzerland. The two nations entered Saturday’s clash separated by a single point in the race for second place and automatic qualification. Denmark sat on nine points, Switzerland on eight.

For 83 minutes, a scoreless deadlock ensued. Switzerland would have been the far happier side, not only as the away side but also the side with a one-point disadvantage and a game still in hand. Instead, they trail the Danes by four points after Poulsen slotted home to complete a lethal counter-attack in the 84th.

Elsewhere in EURO 2020 qualifying

Group D

Georgia 0-0 Ireland

Group F

Liechtenstein 1-1 Armenia

Group J

Bosnia-Herzegovina 4-1 Finland — FULL RECAP
Malta 0-4 Sweden
Faroe Islands 0-3 Romania

Dominant Chelsea beat Brighton

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LONDON — Chelsea beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as Frank Lampard‘s side secured their first home win in the Premier League this season and their first clean sheet too.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Jorginho and Willian struck in the second half to secure the victory, as Brighton barely threatened in attack.

With the win Chelsea move on to 11 points, while Brighton remain on six points.


3 things we learned 

1. Blues wasteful: Chelsea could have won 5-0 on another day, and Lampard will be concerned with their poor finishing. However, he will be happy they cut Brighton to shreds time and time again. Had Barkley, Alonso and Pedro been more clinical in the first half, this would have been even easier than it already was. 17 shots in the first half was their highest in a single 45 minutes since 2013. If they can start to convert a few more of these chances, they will be a force.

2. Brighton played for the draw: The Seagulls were only really in this game for about 10 minutes in the second half. At 1-0 down they hit the bar and went close on a couple of occasions, but Graham’s Potter’s men played for the draw and were totally lacking any cutting edge in attack. It wasn’t too difficult for Chelsea to record their first clean sheet of the season.

3. Lampard breathes sigh of relief: A first PL home win for Lampard sees Chelsea in sixth place on 11 points and all of a sudden things aren’t looking too bad. Mount, Hudson-Odoi and Willian have taken their chances out wide, while the likes of Jorginho is back to his best and the duo of Tomori and Christensen have struck up a nice partnership at center back.

Man of the Match: Jorginho – He scored the crucial opener from the penalty spot and oozed class all game long, clipping over lovely balls and bringing a calm to Chelsea’s display. Without the injured N’Golo Kante alongside him he had to do more of the dirty work too.


Chelsea dominated the early stages and both Abraham and Willian lashed off target after patient build-up play.

On the break Brighton were a threat but Chelsea were inches away form taking the lead. Mount’s free kick from the left found Abraham but his header bounced onto the far post and out.

Kepa was sharp off his line to deny Brighton after a clever attack, while Chelsea went close again through Barkley twice. His first effort was deflected inches and then Alonso picked him out with a wonderful cross but the England international saw his tame effort saved well by Mat Ryan.

Pedro was then denied twice, first by Ryan and his second shot was blocked by Webster, as Chelsea piled on the pressure at the end of the first half and Jorginho was pulling the strings.

Pedro’s cross then picked out Alonso in the box but he somehow smashed well wide from close range.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

At the start of the second half Chelsea were handed a gift as Webster slipped when in possession in the box and then fouled Mount to give away a penalty kick.

Jorginho dispatched the spot kick calmly in his trademark style and the Blues deservedly led. Moments later Pedro was set free but Ryan saved as Chelsea threatened to run away with things.

In a rare chance for Brighton a cross into the box saw Neal Maupay challenge for the ball as it flashed over the bar, and at the other end Abraham nearly get in on goal after a poor back pass but Ryan saved bravely.

Brighton pushed forward in search of an equalizer late on and Alzate’s deflected shot almost snuck in at the near post.

From the resulting corner Dan Burn‘s header hit the crossbar as the Seagulls were inches away from making it 1-1.

But just when it looked like Brighton would grab one back, Chelsea finished them off. A

Substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi surged forward and fed Willian and his shot deflected off Burn and in to seal the win.

Abraham had another chance late on but Chelsea held on comfortably to secure a first home PL win of the season and a first clean sheet too.

Liverpool hangs on for win over wasteful Chelsea

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Liverpool built a two-goal lead, then rode its luck to keep its perfect season alive.

Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold scored first half goals as the Reds beat Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

N’Golo Kante scored a sensational goal to bring the Blues within one, but Chelsea couldn’t finish several terrific opportunities to tie the match.

Now 6-0, the Reds restored their five-point lead over second place Man City, while the Blues sit 12th with eight points.


The main takeaways

1. Alexander-Arnold at both ends: TAA’s exceptional work in the attacking third is nothing new, and it says something that it comes as little surprise when he produces something sublime like the opening goal off a set piece, but Alexander-Arnold’s goal line clearance in the 68th minute adding some icing to the cake as Chelsea looked pull a goal back from its 2-0 deficit. A fine performance from the right back.

2. Liverpool gets big let-off: Liverpool’s defending and passing was poor over the final 30 minutes or so, and if the Reds have something resembling a weakness it is their overall back line when the opposition is in the Liverpool half. Michy Batshuayi and Mason Mount should’ve both troubled Adrian in the latter stages, but were let off the hook by a Chelsea team with only one sub available to it after the break. More on that below.

3. Bats, not the Yank: Frank Lampard opted against starting Christian Pulisic again on Sunday, and two defensive subs in the first 42 minutes meant there was only one left for the second half. Lampard chose target forward Michy Batshuayi over Pulisic, Ross Barkley, and Pedro. Batshuayi drew a free kick upon introduction, and coudn’t flash an opener header on frame in the 88th.

Man of the Match: Firmino, whose steady presence, strong dribbling, and — most importantly — powerful header steadied the match for a time, moments after VAR denied the Blues an equalizer.

Honorable mention: Kante was everywhere, stopping Mohamed Salah‘s long dribble toward goal late as a highlight. Another highlight, this. See ya later Fabinho.


[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

A foul-heavy, physical start yielded a free kick atop the Chelsea 18 after Andreas Christensen got tangled with Sadio Mane.

A training ground play had Salah roll a shot pass for Alexander-Arnold to belt past Kepa Arrizabalaga in the 15th minute.

An injury to Emerson Palmieri then introduced Marcos Alonso to the match, a 16th minute substitution adding insult to the, well, you know.

Adrian saved Tammy Abraham‘s 1v1 chance in the 24th minute, a misstep from the youngster and great moment for Liverpool’s No. 2 backstop.

Azpilicueta looked to have leveled when he mopped up a sloppy final third performance from the Reds celebrated back line, but VAR ruled Mason Mount as offside.

Liverpool then made it 2-0, adding insult to insult, when unmarked Firmino hammered a header into the goal.

A calamitous first half continued with Christensen waylaid by an injury, as he subbed off for Kurt Zouma. Forty-two minutes in, two subs down.

The game could’ve been effectively put to bed on a 46th minute set piece, but Virgil Van Dijk‘s back post effort tame and allowed Arrizabalaga to make a fine save.

Chelsea found some footing in the second half, and Liverpool was cautioned for time wasting. N’Golo Kante dragged a shot wide in the 59th minute.

Kante was the next man on the score sheet, turning Fabinho and dribbling free into the 18 to blasting a 71st minute effort past Adrian. Game on.

But Batshuayi couldn’t flash a late header on goal, and Mason Mount butchered a difficult near-post chance to make it 2-2 late. Liverpool escaped, and is starting to feel a bit like the dreaded term: Team of Destiny.

AT HALF: Alexander-Arnold’s sensational goal highlight of wild 45 minutes

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An insane first half between Chelsea and Liverpool yielded three goals, two that counted, and one that was a thing of pure beauty at Stamford Bridge.

Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s goal was the beautiful part, while Roberto Firmino has also scored and Mason Mount‘s toe couldn’t skip past VAR in the run-up to Cesar Azpilicueta’s overruled goal.

A free kick atop the Chelsea 18 came Liverpool’s way after Andreas Christensen got tangled with Sadio Mane.

[ STREAM: Chelsea v. Liverpool (NBCSN) ]

A training ground play had Salah roll a shot pass for Alexander-Arnold to belt past Kepa Arrizabalaga in the 15th minute.

The goal is Alexander-Arnold’s first in 10 months for the Reds, who are bidding to go 6-0 to start the season. That’s above, and here’s Firmino’s below: