Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel praised Reece James’ performance in the Blues 3-0 away win over Newcastle.
The England international enjoyed a man-of-the-match having scored twice against interim manager Graeme Jones’ side.
The west Londoners were really struggling to hit the target but man-of-the-match Reece James broke the deadlock on 65 minutes when he picked up a cross by Callum Hudson-Odoi from the left wing and sent the ball to Darlow’s top right corner from a tight angle.
That opened the floodgates as James sealed the win for the visitors 12 minutes later from the exact same angle.
The wing-back has left his mark in a big way as he is now officially involved in more goals than any of his team-mates.
Tuchel said: “Reece is allowed to come inside, that’s not a problem. All the spaces we want to attack from, we have all the players in the spaces we want to be dangerous. So if there is a winger waiting wide, the wing-back is allowed to attack the half space.
“I think every team does this in this system. We need the wing-backs to arrive in our box to increase the chance of scoring and create goal chances.
“The first goal, it was brilliant dribbling from Callum [Hudson-Odoi] on the left side. Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] arrived, Kai [Havertz] was in the box, and this is what it takes in the end to have a rebound and a chance for a goal.
“Reece took it brilliantly. It’s a complex game and I don’t think Reece can score if Callum does do the dribbling and Chilly [Ben Chilwell] opens the space.
“We have Kai attacking the space and then Ruben. This is why sometimes our strikers are sacrificing space. We don’t need exercise shooting with Reece, he shoots like a horse”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Edinson Cavani’s training performance four days prior to Manchester United’s win at Tottenham was the best he has seen from a player in his time as manager of the club.
Cavani made his second Premier League start of the season and scored United’s second goal in an emphatic 3-0 win against a disjointed Spurs side.
The 34-year-old partnered Cristiano Ronaldo in a 3-5-2 formation as United kept just their second clean sheet in the last 22 games and ended a run of four league matches without a win.
Ronaldo volleyed in the opener before he played Cavani through for his goal and Solskjaer revealed he had settled on a front two early in the week.
“Both of them have been really really good,” Solskjaer said. “Tuesday morning’s training session by Edinson Cavani is the best I’ve seen by an individual since I came here.
“He led the line as a good example for everyone, how to go about changing the mood, changing the performance. The two were told early on they would play up front as a two and they have been like two peas in a pod. It worked today, two excellent goals.
“They’re fit lads and the experience showed through today. Both of them have led the line well this week, all week from training on Tuesday morning to tonight.
“The performance was really good from the start, it was really good from Tuesday morning when we worked on something we thought would work and it did.
“Every man to a tee did their job, we kept a clean sheet and kept the ball away from David. He didn’t have a save to make. it’s great going over to your fans to celebrate with them because they deserve this as well.”
Chelsea’s goalkeeper was barely tested in the opening 45 minutes; a Callum Wilson header that fell at the Senegal international’s feet was his only meaningful moment of action.
It was a similar story after the interval as the Blues remained in total control. Mendy has been made to work hard in several games this term, but today at St James’ Park was as easy an afternoon as he will have. 6
Drafted into the starting XI late on due concern over Cesar Azpilicueta’s fitness, Christensen’s main duty was to help Chelsea progress the ball, which he largely did well.
When called upon to deal with Wilson, the Dane did so with a combination of subtly and physicality. 7
There’s not much else left to say about the 37-year-old. Whenever called upon, Silva produces. Although let’s face it, Newcastle offered very little in the way of a sustained threat.
Silva’s main role was to keep the ball moving in the Newcastle half. He had very little in the way of defending to but was calm when required, even amid rare pressure from the hosts. 7
The German defender produced a trademark performance. There was a surge forward, a shot that comfortably cleared the crossbar, a couple of inch-perfect crossfield passes, and plenty of excellent defending.
Rudiger’s consistency is one of the pillars of Chelsea’s excellent defensive record. He simply does not have a bad game. 7
The 21-year-old is having some season. Started at right wing-back, James was a constant outlet for Chelsea during the contest, although his crossing was unusually poor in the opening period.
After the interval, though, he improved in the final third and made two telling contributions. It was James who broke the deadlock midway through the second period; a Callum Hudson-Odoi cross fell at the feet of the academy graduate and he lashed home from a tight angle.
Minutes later, he repeated the trick. Only this time off his right foot. It was a quickfire brace that altered the outcome of the contest.
James also defended well, which has become the norm. It’s no exaggeration to state James has blossomed into one of the Blues’ most important players. 9
This wasn’t a game for Kante’s talent. Back in the starting XI after a couple of games out due to injury, the French international had very little in the way of defensive work to do and spent much of his hour on the pitch trying to unlock Newcastle’s defence.
That isn’t Kante’s forte and it wasn’t a huge surprise that, with Chelsea still searching for an opener, he was replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek midway through the second half. 6
Given Chelsea dominated possession, the Italian was able to showcase the full array of passes in his armoury.
There were short, attack-progressing passes, incisive balls into the feet of attackers, and one crisp, defence-splitting ball that resulted in Hakim Ziyech finding the net. But the goal was ruled out due to offside. Jorginho also pressed effectively throughout as the Blues tried to sustain attacks in the final third.
Jorginho was given an opportunity to get on the scoresheet with ten minutes remaining after Kai Havertz was felled in the penalty area. He did the necessary from the spot to give the scoreline extra sheen. 8
Chelsea’s left-wing back came into this game having scored four times in his last four outings in the Premier League. He was, though, unable to maintain that record.
Chilwell was largely snuffed out of the game by the Newcastle defence. Even when he drifted into central areas, a Newcastle player was in close proximity. 6
With Mason Mount ruled out due to an illness, Ziyech was drafted into the starting XI. It was an opportunity for the 28-year-old to prove a point, to lay down a marker as to why he should be starting more high-profile games.
His opening 45 minutes was a mixed bag. There were loose passes and poor touches, but he did curl home an excellent finish only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.
After the break, Ziyech saw a deflected effort strike the post. Yet too often Chelsea attacks passed him by. Was no great surprise he was replaced shortly after the hour mark. 6
Newcastle’s deep block meant it was very difficult for the German star to have a huge influence on the contest. No matter if he stayed central or drifted wide, Havertz was largely restricted.
He did, however, make an impact when space emerged following James’ double. It was Havertz who managed to nip beyond Darlow only to be brought down by the goalkeeper. Jorginho did his duty from the spot. 7
The academy graduate was given another chance to impress on the left of the Chelsea attack but struggled to open up Newcastle’s low block.
There were a couple of nice runs forward from Hudson-Odoi and he showed a willingness to play forward when possible. However, far too often he was crowded out by the Newcastle backline.
Did start to have more joy and it was his run to the byline and cross that resulted in James’ opening goal. 7
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (for N’Golo Kante, 64)
Gave Chelsea greater presence in the final third but didn’t have a huge impact. 6
Ross Barkley (for Hakim Ziyech, 64)
Added impetus to Chelsea’s possession game. Likely to get a start against Malmo in midweek. 6
Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale produced a brilliant performance as Mikel Arteta’s side extended their unbeaten run to nine games with two early goals to record 2-0 victory at Leicester City on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors started brightly and scored in the fifth minute when Gabriel headed in from Bukayo Saka’s corner.
Gabriel turned in Bukayo Saka’s corner in the fifth minute before Emile Smith Rowe ghosted into the box to finish confidently and double the Gunners’ lead.
Leicester were second best by a considerable margin but improved later in the first half, with Aaron Ramsdale called into action to deny James Maddison’s free kick and Jonny Evans on the follow-up.
Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers responded with two substitutions and a change of formation after the interval as forwards Harvey Barnes and Ademola Lookman were introduced.
Leicester benefited from the switch to a four-man defence and left-back Luke Thomas went close to pulling one back shortly before the hour mark with a driven effort which flew just wide of the far post.
The hosts went on to create more than enough chances to battle back and even win, only to be denied time and time again by Ramsdale.
The Gunners’ summer signing was at full stretch to touch Kelechi Iheanacho’s drive around the post and somehow he palmed James Maddison’s free-kick on to the crossbar, before spreading himself to stop Ademola Lookman and Harvey Barnes from scoring in the second half.
Arsenal are now unbeaten in seven Premier League matches and have 17 points, the same as fourth-placed West Ham United. Leicester’s first defeat in five drops them to 10th.
Cesc Fabregas believes Timo Werner is being let down by his Chelsea team-mates and looks ‘fed up’ as a result.
The German striker completed his £47million move from RB Leipzig to Stamford Bridge last summer but has since struggled to settle in west London.
After becoming a goal-scoring machine in the Bundesliga, the 25-year-old hasn’t been able to replicate that same form in England just yet, managing six goals in his first Premier League campaign.
His performances have left many Blues supporters frustrated given how Werner has missed plenty of guilt-edge chances in front of goal, leading to the club to splash the cash once again and bring Romelu Lukaku back to the club for £98m.
But while Werner’s struggles have continued in front of goal this season, scoring just once in seven appearances, Fabregas believes the Germany international can offer a whole lot more – only if his club team-mates give him the ball.
During a Q&A on his Twitter page on Thursday, one Chelsea fan asked Fabregas what he made of Werner, to which the Spaniard replied: “He makes so many good runs but sometimes they either don’t see him or don’t play the pass. He looks fed up sometimes.”