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3 things we learned as Chelsea overcome dismal Spurs side in VAR dominated clash

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New left back no longer needed? 3 things we learned as Chelsea overcome dismal Spurs side in VAR dominated clash

Chelsea advance to Wembley

It was always going to be an unhill struggle for Tottenham to get any foothold back in the Carabao Cup tie, after suffering a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, and so it proved as Chelsea marched on to Wembley, albeit in slightly less comfortable fashion than the first leg may have suggested.

Tottenham were better second time around. In truth, it was hard for them not to be, but VAR was forced to come to Chelsea’s rescue on three occasions (though correctly) as Antonio Conte’s side showed more fight in front of their own fans.

The result, however, was never in doubt.

Chelsea added a third to their tally early in the first half thanks to an Antonio Rudiger goal, bundling in from a corner. And from there, while it was relatively even on the pitch, Tottenham could never get a foothold in the scoreline as they looked for a remarkable comeback.

The result means that Chelsea will now face one of Arsenal or Liverpool in the final of the competition, with the pair of clubs set to do battle on Thursday night.

But it remained a night of learning for both managers, and 101 takes a look at three things we learnt from the encounter.

1. Have Chelsea found their left-back replacement?

All the recent attention has been on Chelsea’s search for a fullback in the transfer market following the season-ending injury to Ben Chilwell

And while they may still look to bring Emerson back from his loan at Lyon, Malang Sarr proved that he was more than capable in the position should Tuchel opt for a back 4, as he did for both legs in this tie.

The defender, traditionally a centre-back, did himself no disservice either as an orthodox left back or, when Marcos Alonso entered the fray, on the left side of a back three.

And with so many defensive issues potentially facing Chelsea this season, and the futures of Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both in the air, Sarr may yet prove a brilliant addition to the squad.

2. VAR prevents farce

VAR was, for once, the hero of the evening, as it prevented a pair of farcical penalties being awarded to the home side.

With Chelsea 1-0 up and cruising, a challenge from Rudiger on the edge of the area saw Andre Marriner point to the spot, only for VAR to correctly show that the foul was a couple of yards outside the area.

Then, ten minutes into the second half, it was forced to intervene again after a perfect challenge from Kepa on Lucas Moura was deemed a penalty on field.

Without the technology, so often criticised (justifiably), it could have been a very different tie. As it was, Chelsea got the result they deserved.

3. Tottenham need investment

To compete with the big boys, Tottenham need investment.

More than that, they need investment in the right ares- it is difficult to think of a single transfer since that of Heung Min-Son that has been a success, and while the combined 100 million for Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy N’Dombele sometimes go under the radar, they are symptomatic of the major problem at the club. The money is spent in the wrong places.

New left back no longer needed? 3 things we learned as Chelsea overcome dismal Spurs side in VAR dominated clash

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 19: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Tanguy Ndombele of Tottenham Hotspur controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and RB Leipzig at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 19, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Now, with reportedly little to spend in January, they cannot afford to skimp or get it wrong. Antonio Conte’s team selection showed this, with a lack of creativity from central midfield, a right back playing at left-wing-back, and no recognised striker to partner Harry Kane.

And with Conte’s notoriously short fuse if he feels that the club isn’t backing him, there could yet be fireworks if Daniel Levy doesn’t pull his chequebook out.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 21 40 53
2 Chelsea FC 21 29 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
5 West Ham United 20 10 34
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 19 3 31
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 19 0 28
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 19 0 27
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Southampton FC 20 -6 24
12 Crystal Palace 20 -1 23
13 Brentford FC 20 -6 23
14 Aston Villa 19 -5 22
15 Everton FC 18 -9 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 18 -14 13
18 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
19 Newcastle United 19 -23 11
20 Norwich City 19 -34 10
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 6
Jorginho Chelsea FC 6
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 6
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 6





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Bielsa provides update on Bamford’s status for Leeds vs Newcastle

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Marcelo Bielsa on Patrick Bamford’s status for Newcastle & latest Leeds double blow

 

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has, on Sunday, provided an update on the fitness of star striker Patrick Bamford, as well as several other members of his squad.

Harrison bags hat-trick

Bielsa, of course, guided his troops back into action a short time ago.

After seeing the club’s FA Cup hopes brought to an end at the hands of West Ham last weekend, the Whites returned to the London Stadium, this time eyeing a 2nd successive victory in the Premier League for the first time all season.

And, when all was said and done, make it six points from six is precisely what Leeds went on to do.

A game of the season contender, featuring drama, chances and goals galore, ultimately culminated in the visitors emerging on the right side of a 3-2 scoreline.

Jack Harrison proved the star of the show, bagging all three of Leeds’ goals, to deal a hefty blow to West Ham’s top-4 hopes.

‘Could be an option’

Whilst they eventually emerged victorious on Sunday, though, Leeds’ endeavours at the London Stadium came at a cost.

This came as yet another pair of key members of Marcelo Bielsa’s squad were added to the lengthy list of walking wounded in west Yorkshire.

Remarkably, in the space of 60 first-half seconds, both Junior Firpo and Adam Forshaw pulled up with hamstring problems, eventually resulting in the pair limping out of proceedings.

Speaking to the media post-match, Leeds’ boss was therefore inevitably asked for an update on the wellbeing of the latest additions to the treatment table at the club.

And Bielsa simply went on to confirm that Firpo and Forshaw have picked up ‘muscular problems’:

Even more significant, meanwhile, was an update on the fitness of Patrick Bamford.

Hitman Bamford, who missed out once more this afternoon as a precaution, ‘could be an option’ to feature in Leeds’ next outing versus Newcastle, Bielsa confirmed.

Also in with a shot of facing the Magpies, albeit less likely, are both Jamie Shackleton and Tyler Roberts:

‘(Patrick) Bamford could be an option [for the next game], but also after a long period of inactivity and slightly less chance (Jamie) Shackleton and (Tyler) Roberts.’

 

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This article was edited by
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Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Ward Prowse, James Southampton FC 6





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How close Liverpool pair are to breaking all-time PL defender assist record

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How close Liverpool pair are to breaking all-time PL defender assist record after Brentford

 

The latest assists bagged by Liverpool pair Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold during the club’s meeting with Brentford have seen the defenders inch ever closer to an impressive Premier League benchmark.

Minamino amongst the goals

Jurgen Klopp’s under-manned Reds were of course back in action earlier today.

Sans the services of the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita, Liverpool welcomed Thomas Frank’s Brentford to Anfield, eyeing a return to winning ways on the back of just two points secured from the club’s last three Premier League outings.

And, when all was said and done on Merseyside, emerge with a comfortable victory is precisely what the day’s hosts managed.

On the back of a disappointing first-half display, Klopp’s men returned for the 2nd-half looking revitalised, eventually culminating in all of Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino finding the net en route to a 3-0 result:

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As so often proves the case for Liverpool, the club’s full-backs proved central to their eventual triumph on Sunday afternoon.

Both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson looked attacking threats throughout, with the stoppers having eventually been rewarded for their efforts courtesy of the assists for Fabinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain respectively.

And, in the process, both inched ever closer to etching their names indellibly into the history books of the Premier League.

As per William Hill, Robertson, despite having played less than half the number of games, is now just nine assists off breaking Leighton Baines’ record as the all-time top assisting defender in the Premier League.

Alexander-Arnold, meanwhile, in 56 games fewer than teammate Robertson, sits just two assists back of the Scot:

 

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This article was edited by
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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 22 41 56
2 Chelsea FC 22 28 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 West Ham United 21 12 37
5 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 20 3 32
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 2 31
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 20 0 28
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford FC 20 -6 23
15 Everton FC 19 -10 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Ward Prowse, James Southampton FC 6





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Kurzawa clarification & a hint over loanee’s return

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Chelsea left-back latest: Kurzawa clarification & Hint dropped over loanee’s return

 

A fresh insight into the efforts of Premier League giants Chelsea to secure a new left-back, has, on Sunday, been forthcoming online.

Chilwell’s untimely blow

The subject of personnel woes has of course taken its place front and centre when it comes to the headlines at Stamford Bridge of late.

This comes with Thomas Tuchel and co., at such a crucial point in the campaign, having been forced to deal with a remarkable stretch of bad luck.

Owing to a combination of Covid-19 and injuries, Chelsea have navigated the last couple of months, at one point or another, without all of Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Trevoh Chalobah.

Of all of their woes, however, none have hit the Blues quite as hard as the loss of left-wing-back Ben Chilwell.

Just as the English international appeared to have rediscovered his best, an ACL injury picked up during a meeting with Juventus late in November ultimately culminated in Chilwell being ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.

Chelsea left-back latest: Kurzawa clarification & Hint dropped over loanee’s return

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 23: Ben Chilwell of Chelsea lies injured during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Chelsea FC and Juventus at Stamford Bridge on November 23, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Kurzawa ruled out/Emerson hint?

Chilwell’s absence, in turn, has left Chelsea alarmingly light at left-back, with Marcos Alonso, as things stand, the sole natural senior option at the disposal of Thomas Tuchel.

It therefore shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to hear that, on the back of the winter transfer window swinging open, the transfer chiefs at Stamford Bridge have begun seeking out reinforcements.

And now, on Sunday, a fresh insight into the situation has been provided.

First up comes clarification regarding the Blues’ rumoured interest in bringing in out-of-favour Paris Saint-Germain defender Layvin Kurzawa.

As per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, despite reports to the contrary, those in a position of power in west London have not opened discussions with their PSG counterparts over a surprise deal:

And this could well be linked to the day’s other major news surrounding the left-back situation in Thomas Tuchel’s squad.

This comes in the form of Pensioners loanee Emerson Palmieri being completely omitted from Olympique Lyonnais’ matchday squad to face Troyes in Ligue 1.

Chelsea are understood to be keen to cut Emerson’s loan stint in France short this month, with his absence on Sunday perhaps hinting that the club’s efforts towards precisely that are moving in the right direction.

 

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 22 41 56
2 Chelsea FC 22 28 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 West Ham United 21 12 37
5 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 20 3 32
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 2 31
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 20 0 28
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford FC 20 -6 23
15 Everton FC 19 -10 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Ward Prowse, James Southampton FC 6





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