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.

Everton secure dramatic 2-2 Merseyside derby draw against Liverpool

With local pride at stake at Goodison Park neither side were in any mood to back down as the hosts twice came from behind to secure a vital point.

Jurgen Klopp’s side flew out of the traps against their neighbours as Sadio Mane raced in behind to fire them ahead after three minutes

The visitors were almost handed a golden opportunity for a second two minutes later, but referee Michael Oliver made the first of a string of bizarre decisions.

Blues keeper Jordan Pickford clattered into Virgil van Dijk from a corner and despite the Liverpool’s screams for a penalty, Oliver pulled it back for an offside against the Dutchman.

That call knocked Liverpool’s first half focus as Everton grabbed an equaliser on 20 minutes.

With van Dijk off injured, there was no one to marshall the defence at a corner, and Michael Keane got up highest to bullet home.

The hosts then picked up the pace after the break with James Rodriguez beginning to pull the strings and Richarlison firing against the post.

And with the Blues unable to edge in front the ever efficient champions ruthlessly punished them.

Yerry Mina’s clearance on the edge of the box was a poor one and Mo Salah powered home the loose ball.

But despite the balance tipping in Liverpool’s favour, Everton have proved themselves to be a different beast this season as man of the moment Dominic Calvert-Lewin nodded them level.

However, with both sides going hammer and tongs in the final few minutes it was to be Oliver that decided the outcome.

He didn’t even blink before flashing a red card at Richarlison for scything down Thiago.

And with Klopp screaming on from the sidelines, skipper Jordan Henderson benefitted from another Pickford mistake to put the Reds in front.

But Oliver was determined to be the headline act as after long long VAR check he controversially ruled it out for a marginal offside.

FULL TIME AT A BREATHLESS GOODISON PARK IT’S EVERTON 2 LIVERPOOL 2

Liverpool Cruise To 2-0 Premier League Win At 10-Man Chelsea

Sadio Mane was the Reds hero in West London with two second half goals, but in truth, Chelsea’s focus will once again be centred on under fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Neither side created much in a tight opening half hour, with half chances for Timo Werner and Mo Salah the closest either came to a breakthrough.

But despite creating nothing in terms of goalscoring excitement, the first half ended on a huge moment of controversy.

Andreas Christensen found himself the wrong side of Mane on the edge of the box, and as just as Mane was about pull the trigger, the Dane decided to give him what looked like a very very awkward hug.

Referee Paul Tierney initially flashed him a yellow card, but after a quick VAR check, Christensen was eventually given his marching orders.

Liverpool took full advantage of the extra man immediately after the break, as Salah, Roberto Firmino and
Mane all combined with the latter to nod them in front.

That goal hinted at the floodgates opening for the Reds, but in reality, Mane’s second was a gift from Kepa.

The Spaniard tried a tricky pass out to Kurt Zouma, but Mane read him like a book, and tucked home the Reds second.

Despite facing a mountain to climb in the closing stages, Chelsea were handed a lifeline with 20 minutes left, as Reds debutant Thiago barged Werner over inside the box.

But on a day where nothing went right for the Blues, Jorginho’s normal hop skip and goal technique came up short, as Alisson produced a fine save.

Kepa did manage to claw back some pride with vital late stops from Salah and Mane, but Frank Lampard looks set for another raft of questions about his Spanish stopper.

FULL TIME AT STAMFORD BRIDGE IT’S CHELSEA 0 LIVERPOOL 2

Liverpool handed Thiago transfer boost

The Reds have been heavily linked with the 29-year-old, who won the Champions League with Bayern on Sunday following a 1-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in Lisbon.

Reports in The Athletic claim the Bundesliga champions are willing to accept offers in the region of £27m for the player, rather than £36m as initially suggested.

Thiago is out of contract at the German club next summer and it’s understood that Bayern would rather cash in on the Spain international now than allow him to leave on a free.

This opens up a window of opportunity for Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp’s side said to be preparing an offer in the coming weeks.

Alcantara falls outside of the Reds’ usual transfer strategy, being slightly older than a typical Anfield signing – however, clubs might not be able to afford to be picky with the uncertainties surrounding the impact of coronavirus on football finances.

Thiago has an unusual backstory – having been born in Italy, his father Marzinho played for the Brazil national side, whilst the player himself has chosen to represent Spain in the international arena.

Transfer Latest Round Up

It is very much silly season when it comes to Premier League transfer rumours and Jim Salveson is going to round up the best from across the week including big potential signings at Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham.

The Transfer Rumours Mill is heating up nicely.As we head into the weekend here's our round up of the biggest stories….

Geplaatst door Sport Social op Vrijdag 21 augustus 2020

Arsenal face competition for Gabriel Magalhaes from Manchester United. The Brazilian defender was looking to make the switch from Lille to North London in a rumoured deal but a late swoop by Ole Gunnar Soljkear could derail the bid.

Jurgen Klopp is eyeing up a move for Bayern Munich playmaker Thiago Alcantara who is said to be available for around £30million. The red need to move out some of the deadwood first and one of those players could be Georginio Wijnaldum who new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman wants to bring to the Nou Camp.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is turning his attention from offence to defence in an attempt to sure up the back line that conceded 54 goals last season. He wants to do that with a trio of English recruits worth over £100million. Ben Chillwell (Leicester City), Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) and John Stones (Manchester City) are all reported targets.

Finally, Gareth Bale could be heading home. According to the Spanish media Jose Mourinho wants to bring the Welshman back to White Hart Lane but, as always, his wages are going to be an issue with 2 years still to go on his Real Madrid contract.

There is more transfer chat on the latest Football Social Daily podcast.

Thiago deal still on, but the price is going up

Most of the transfer gossip surrounding Liverpool is around Thiago, who is on his way to helping Bayern Munich to their sixth European Cup, they will demand an expensive fee for a Champions League-winning player from the Anfield side.

An article in The Guardian claims that Liverpool do not want to pay the 30 million euros asking price to sign Thiago – they could even wait to agree on a pre-contract with him in January.

The German champions are prepared to sell the 29-year-old midfielder to Liverpool but they hope to sell him as expensively as possible.

It’s thought that 30 million euros would just be the lower limit at which the Bayern bosses would let the player leave – ideally, they will demand 40 million euros (£36million).

The Bundesliga side are in no rush to sell and know the pressure is on the Premier League champions with their new season less than a month away.