Abraham scores twice on Chelsea return to down Hammers

Tammy Abraham scored twice on his return to the Chelsea starting line up as Chelsea bagged all three points in a London derby that stops Frank Lampards “Blues Blip” becoming a full-blown crisis.

Abraham’s brace was the icing on the cake in a match which saw Chelsea withstand some continuous West Ham pressure after Thiago Silva had put them ahead in the 10 minutes.

Thiago was the star at both ends of the pitch with a strong performance seeing off the ariel threat of West Hams big men as the Hammers gained confidence after conceding the early goal.

West Ham had a few promising moments but lacked a little quality and failed to create any real clear-cut chances throughout the game.

Frank Lampard started the game without Reece James, out with an injury and he was soon joined by Ben Chillwell early on who went off with an ankle problem but it was another defender in Silva who got the early plaudits after pulling away from the attentions of Aaron Cresswell and heading home from near the penalty spot to the left of Lucas Fabianski.

West Ham tried to find a reply but David Moyes decision to reinstall Mark Nobel to the starting line up creating a defensive looking midfield 3 of Tomas Soucek, Declan Rice and the club captain left Sebastian Haller isolated alone upfront.

The visitors did have their moments with Jared Bowen denied a goal on the half-hour mark and a Silva block on a Soucek shot seemingly preventing a goal a few minutes later and Chelsea held their lead into the break.

West Ham remained on the front foot in the second half, but Edouard Mendy had yet to be tested by the hour mark with the returning Cesar Azpilicueta producing a superb block to deny Pablo Fornals.

With the game fizzling out it wasn’t until the 78th minute that Chelsea wrapped things up: Timo Werner cut inside and tried his luck with a poor shot but Tammy Abraham found himself in the right place at the right time to tap home for 2-0.

Two minutes later it was 3-0 when Pulisic led the Chelsea attack and while he was denied from Mount’s cross by Fabianski, who claimed he was fouled in the build-up. Abraham was there again to tap home and take his tally for the night to two.

After a five-game drought, the 23-year-old was back on the scoresheet and rewarded the decision by Lampard to bring him back in the team for his first league start of the month.

Chelsea are now up to 5th in the Premier League ahead of their boxing day clash at Arsenal whilst West Ham have now lost two on the bounce and host Brighton next time out.

Premier League: Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur

Both sides have made excellent starts to the season, putting busy European schedules aside to mount early title challenges.

Spurs are the leaders of the pack at the minute, and come into the game having rested many of their big names in a routine 4-0 win over Ludogorets on Thursday night.

With that in mind, Spurs should have a fully-fit Harry Kane to call upon, as he continues his excellent start to the season looking for his 17th goal involvement in just his tenth game. The England striker has seven goals and nine assists so far, most of which have been laid on for Son Heung-Min, who also enjoyed a night off on Thursday.

Despite their packed schedule, Spurs actually won’t have too many injuries to contend with when they visit the Bridge, with Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela the only definite absentees. Japhet Tanganga made a return from injury in the win over Ludogorets and could return to the squad to contend with Joe Rodon and Davinson Sanchez to partner Eric Dier at centre-back.

Giovanni Lo Celso is also a doubt with a knock, but after scoring 35 seconds after coming on as a sub in the win over Manchester City last weekend, could still make the squad from the bench.

Chelsea had to work a little harder than Spurs on Tuesday night, needing a late winner from Olivier Giroud to edge past Rennes and qualify for the Champions League last 16 with a 2-1 win.

Manager Frank Lampard also has practically a full squad to choose from for the visit of Spurs, with Christian Pulisic available after recovering from a hamstring injury which has seen him miss most of the start of the season.

Thiago Silva played 90 minutes against Rennes and should continue alongside Kurt Zouma, after missing last weekend’s win over Newcastle through fatigues from international duty.

Sunday will mark Roman Abramovich’s 1000th game in charge of Chelsea and also the last game the Blues will have to play in front of an empty stadium, with 2,000 fans ready to be allowed into Stamford Bridge when Leeds United are the visitors on December 5th.

And they could come back as their team tops the league, as a win over Spurs could send Chelsea top of the pile if Liverpool fail to beat Brighton on Saturday.

Chelsea take on Spurs at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, November 29th. Kick-off is at 4.30pm.

Premier League: Newcastle United vs Chelsea

Both sides are feeling the effects of the break though, with injuries and fatigue from travelling set to affect both managers’ team selections.

Steve Bruce is unlikely to be able to call upon Miguel Almiron from the start after he only arrived back from Paraguay on Thursday night, roughly the same time as Thiago Silva landed after being part of Brazil’s World Cup Qualifying campaign.

At 36, Silva is set to miss out as Chelsea embark on three games in seven days, meaning Antonio Rudiger or Andreas Christensen could partner Kurt Zouma at the back for the Blues.

Newcastle have had Jonjo Shelvey back in training for the past few days after a hernia operation, although he’s unlikely to start the game as he regains match fitness, and Ryan Fraser is also out after missing Scotland’s qualification for Euro 2020 with a thigh issue.

There’s better news on Callum Wilson though, who Steve Bruce says is desperate to play after coming off with a hamstring worry in the 2-0 defeat to Southampton before the break. The Magpies boss says if there is a risk with his fitness he won’t play, but has looked comfortable in training for the past few days.

Matt Ritchie could make his return to the squad after a shoulder injury picked up earlier this season, but Paul Dummett remains unavailable despite returning to training over a fortnight ago. Dwight Gayle and Martin Dubravka are both still missing also, with the goalkeeper hopeful of returning before Christmas.

With injuries aplenty, you’d think Bruce would be in favour of the five-sub rule coming into effect like it has in the Football League, but he has explained that he’s not in favour of the rule change, saying he doesn’t think fatigue is the real reason players are picking up injuries.

He went on to explain that he thinks it’s the amount of games being played so quickly that’s the problem. Sounds like something five subs could help with if you ask us Steve…

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard confirmed on Thursday that Christian Pulisic remains out for the trip to Newcastle, despite stepping up his training after a hamstring injury. Kai Havertz is also likely to miss out after only rejoining training late in the week after self-isolating at home for two weeks as a result of exposure to COVID-19.

Ben Chilwell missed England’s win over Iceland with a back injury, but should be fit to start against Newcastle, while Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and N’Golo Kante all came through international games comfortably and will be involved again.

Chelsea will go top of the Premier League table with a win at St James’ Park, ahead of Tottenham vs Man City later on Saturday, and Leicester’s game against Liverpool on Sunday night.

Newcastle will be hoping to repeat last season’s result against the Blues though, when Isaac Hayden’s late header earned them a 1-0 win.

Newcastle United take on Chelsea at St James’ Park on Saturday, November 21st. Kick-off is at 12.30pm.

Lampard admits life as a manager is harder than his playing days

Lampard, speaking to Eddie Hearn on the boxing promoter’s No Passion, No Point podcast, explained that he loves management, even if it does present different challenges to the ones he faced during his playing days.

The 42-year-old, who went to the same school as Hearn, explained that the relationships a manager must have with his squad are different to the ones you have as playing colleagues, and that a manager regularly gets 50 problems a day to deal with.

Lampard is in his third full season as a manager, having spent a year at Derby County before taking the reins at Chelsea, where he guided the Blues to a fourth-place Premier League finish last season.

After a summer of spending, Chelsea are currently fifth in the league, three points off surprise leaders Leicester City after eight games.

The international break may have presented more challenges for Lampard this week though, with Thiago Silva and Christian Pulisic set to miss Saturday’s trip to Newcastle.

Silva played for Brazil as they beat Uruguay in World Cup qualification on Tuesday night, but won’t be back until Thursday. At 36 years old, the defender will continue to be managed carefully with two games in four days on the horizon for Chelsea.

Pulisic initially met up with the USA squad over the break, but returned to England to continue rehabilitation work on a hamstring injury that has interrupted his season.

Chelsea power to impressive 4-1 Premier League win over Sheffield United

The result moves Frank Lampard’s team up to third in the table as the struggling Blades lost their sixth game of the season.

Chris Wilder’s side cannot buy a win at the minute, but they started as the brighter of the two teams at Stamford Bridge as David McGoldrick edged them in front.

A quick corner caught the Chelsea back line short after nine minutes and the Irishman reacted quickest inside the box to backheel past Eduoard Mendy.

But despite struggling to get a foothold in the opening stages of the game, Chelsea levelled things up with a lucky equaliser.

Hakim Ziyech released Mateo Kovacic in behind and the Croatian’s clever pass found Tammy Abraham in space at the far post.

But despite the best efforts of Enda Stevens, Abraham’s miscued effort ricocheted into the ground past the flailing Aaron Ramsdale.

However if there was a touch of fortune about Chelsea’s equaliser, the Blues second goal was a horror show from the Blades defence.

Ziyech’s ball into the box was missed by Max Lowe and Ben Chilwell stole in behind to poke past Ramsdale for a quick fire second.

That rapid one two from Chelsea turned the tide after the break as United looked to hang on for a late equaliser.

But with the Blades clinging on in the closing stages, the pressure of Chelsea’s all-star attack eventually told.

Thiago Silva bulleted home a header from another Ziyech cross with 15 minutes to go before Timo Werner got in on the act following another Blades defensive blunder.

Full Time at Stamford Bridge it’s Chelsea 4 Sheffield United 1

Chelsea fight back to secure 3-3 Premier League draw at West Brom

The big news ahead of kick off was Frank Lampard’s decision to drop the under fire Kepa for the trip to The Hawthorns, but his replacement Willy Caballero fared no better, as the Argentinian keeper conceded three goals inside the 30 minutes.

The hosts were excellent in the opening stages, as Lampard’s big money stars were simply unable to cope with them.

Callum Robinson got the ball rolling for the Baggies after just four minutes, as he lashed home Matheus Pereira’s pass.

Chelsea did look to offer up a speedy response to Robinson’s opener, with Tammy Abraham denied by Sam Johnstone and Timo Werner firing off the crossbar.

Those misses were immediately punished by the hosts, as Robinson raced onto Thiago Silva’s error to make it 2-0 before former Arsenal defender Kyle Bartley tapped in a third.

Lampard must have tore the paint off the walls in the dressing rom during the break, as his side came out as a different beast in the second half.

With the Baggies digging in for the win, Chelsea dominated after the restart, with Mason Mount kick starting their comeback with a rocket of a finish.

It was one way traffic in the closing stages, as Kai Havertz slipped Callum Hudson-Odoi in for a second goal to set up a tense finale.

But just as West Brom seemed to be hanging on for the points, England international Abraham popped up inside the box to fire home the equaliser.

FULL TIME AT THE HAWTHORNS IT WEST BROM 3 CHELSEA 3

Premier League Preview: Brighton and Hove Albion v Chelsea

Roman Abramovich has allowed Frank Lampard to flex his transfer muscles this summer, with over £200m worth of talent rocking up at Stamford Bridge.

However despite the excitement of his new players, Lampard can only call on half of his new signings, with Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva both sidelined.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Christian Pulisic should both be fit after picking up injuries in the FA Cup final, but Croatian international Mateo Kovacic is banned after being sent off against the Gunners.

With the visitors throwing money around in recent weeks, Brighton’s summer spending pales in comparison, with Graham Potter spending less than £2m in fees.

England international Adam Lallana will add some experience to Potter’s side following the exit of Aaron Mooy.

But after a low-key summer on the south coast, the biggest news for Potter has been tying Ben White to a new long-term contract at the club.

The 22-year old returned to the AMEX after a brilliant loan spell at Leeds last season he’s expected to replace Shane Duffy at centre back this season.

It’s a late one for both sets of fans tomorrow night, with an 8.15pm kick off at the AMEX Stadium.

Chelsea after PSG’s Thiago Silva

That’s according to Sky Sports, who claim the 35-year-old Brazilian is being targeted by the Blues in an attempt to shore-up their back line.

Silva, who turns 36 in September, is being tipped to sign a one-year deal at Stamford Bridge just a mater of days after his current club PSG were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich in Sunday’s Champions League final.

The defender, who has been capped nearly 90 times for his country, has been in Paris since 2012 and enjoyed immense success in the French capital.

However, there are question marks over Silva’s age and whether he has the ability to perform in the Premier League, especially considering Chelsea allowed the vastly experienced and younger duo of Gary Cahill and David Luiz to depart the club last summer.

Elsewhere, Chelsea’s long-anticipated swoop for Leicester City left back Ben Chilwell could hit a roadblock if the England defender is unable to get a solid diagnosis on a plaguing heel injury which has been niggling him for large parts of the season.

That’s according to British newspaper The Sun, who claim the Blues are ready to pull the plug on the £50m switch for the Foxes man if scans reveal his fitness may be in question for the start of the new Premier League season.