Zinedine Zidane snubs Newcastle offer to succeed Steve Bruce

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has reportedly turned down an offer to become the next boss of Newcastle United, according to RMC.

Zidane won two LaLiga titles and three back-to-back Champions League trophies during his time at Madrid. He left the job earlier this year as Carlo Ancelotti returned to the Bernabeu and has now attracted the attention of Newcastle after their Saudi-backed £300m takeover.

Newcastle took the unusual step of releasing a statement ahead of the weekend’s game to say that manager Steve Bruce would still be in charge.

“We have had an extremely busy week reviewing the business and getting to know people and it is imperative that we continue to be patient and considered in our approach,” new part-owner Amanda Staveley said.

“Change does not always happen overnight. It demands time and that we follow a carefully considered plan and strategy.

“Steve has been very professional in our dealings with him and he, and his coaching team, will take the team on Sunday. If we make any changes going forward, Steve will be the first to know. But, in the meantime, we wish him the best of luck in his 1,000th match as a manager and will be joining you [the fans] in getting right behind the team.”

(Watch Highlights) Ben Chilwell on score sheet as Edouard Mendy’s heroics saves day for Chelsea at Brentford

Ben Chilwell’s goal and Edouard Mendy’s heroics helped Chelsea regain top spot with a 1-0 victory at Brentford.

Bryan Mbeumo’s shot against a post after 22 minutes was the hosts’ best first-half chance but it was Chelsea who took the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross was cleared only as far as Chilwell, whose rising shot marked his second goal in successive league matches.

The visitors were dominant in the first half, not letting Brentford get a foot hold of the game and when Ben Chilwell put Chelsea in front, it looked as if it was going to be a long evening for the Bees.

However the last 20 minutes of the game, Thomas Frank’s men were superb.

Brentford were all over their West London rivals, hitting the post THREE times and carving out fantastic opportunities.

Christian Noorgaard had five shots on goal himself and he’s a defensive midfielder so that is saying something.

However Edouard Mendy was determined to keep a clean sheet and that is exactly what the Senegalese keeper did pulling off some fantastic saves which eventually led to Chelsea leaving the Community Stadium with all three points.

Brentford can look back at tonight’s game with their heads held high but they’ll all be wondering how not one of those chances flew into the back of the net.

Thanks for sticking with us tonight and I hope you enjoyed that just as much as I did.

Brentford boss reacts to Chelsea win, reveals what he told Edouard Mendy after the match

Brentford manager Thomas Frank was proud of his team’s performance and was adamant that there was only one winner on the field today.

Ben Chilwell’s first half goal was all that Chelsea needed to claim the three points in the match for the west London club to return to the top of the Premier League.

However, the Bees boss could not quite wrap his head around how not one of those countless attempts on goal hit the back of th net.

Frank told BBC: “It is difficult to believe we dominated Chelsea, particularly in the last 30 minutes, and they are very lucky. That is crazy. Four months ago, they won the Champions League and we got promoted through the play-offs.

“They dominated without creating anything in the first hour, and after we made changes we created chances. We kept them to five shots, five shots, I’m talking about Chelsea. That is impressive. I can’t ask for more; if we play this game 10 times, we win nine.”

On Edouard Mendy: “He is a top goalkeeper, too good for us, and I said that to him. Well done to him. It is what it is, I’m very pleased.”

On Brentford’s start to the season: “We are here to be assets to the Premier League and play exciting stuff and go toe to toe with the big teams. That is the third time we’ve shown it; of the three, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, this is the game we deserved to win most, but that is just how football is.”

Photo Credit: BrentfordFC/Twitter

Chelsea Player Ratings vs Brentford: Mendy, Loftus-Cheek, Christensen, Chilwell, others shine in west London derby

Edouard Mendy – 9
He didn’t have too much to do in the first half but his distribution was good and he did what he needed to do.

He made a great save in the 72nd minute to keep Chelsea ahead as Brentford upped the intensity and followed that up with two world class saves, including one at the death.

Trevoh Chalobah – 6
As expected, he slotted in like he has been playing for this Chelsea team for many years and was very comfortable receiving the ball and great defensively.

Got into too many tussles with Ivan Toney though and started to look a bit unsteady late on.

Andreas Christensen – 8
Mr Calm and Casual did his job superbly as the most experienced centre back in Chelsea’s line up.

He was great on the ball and great at organising his back line. Looking more and more world class by the day.

Malang Sarr – 8
Stepping into Antonio Rudiger’s shoes is a massive ask, but he did well and did all that was asked of him and actually looked very comfortable coming into the defence.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 7
He did very well for Chilwell’s opening goal and was his usual reliable self at the back.

Another captain’s performance from him and his was an asset all over the park.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 9
He was colossal again in the holding midfield role and he was doing it all. Very calm collecting the ball in tight spaces, and carrying the ball superbly beating players with no effort.

Very good at keeping possession and winning free kicks.

N’Golo Kante – 6
He had some good moments but also looked a little rusty at times in the first half at least.

Wasn’t quite up to his usual world class standards as Brentford took a hold in the last half an hour.

Mateo Kovacic – 6
Silly booking early on, but he was an influential player in midfield for trying to make things happen and trying to find that pass in the final third when others lacked it.

Not his best asset though trying to play forward or shoot unfortunately.

Ben Chilwell – 8
Scored a fantastic goal to put Chelsea 1-0 up with his trusted left foot. Very good game out on the left for him and he was one of Chelsea’s more attacking threats.

Timo Werner – 8
Tried hard to make things happen and did seem to be playing with a lot more confidence after his good run of form. A real menace in the box and a danger for the Brentford back line.

Romelu Lukaku – 7
Frustrating again for him at times not getting the service he was demanding.

And when he did get it, he did very well to set up Chilwell for the opener. But other than that, another frustrating night for him.

SUBS
Mason Mount for Kovacic (64 mins) – 7

Injected some needed intensity and direct play for Chelsea.

Kai Havertz for Lukaku (75 mins) – N/A

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/Twitter

Half-Time Report (Watch Goal on Video): Ben Chilwell’s goal makes the difference HT: Brentford 0-1 Chelsea

Ben Chilwell’s sweetly struck shot makes the difference at the break after Bryan Mbeumo had hit the post for Brentford.

After some decent hold up play from Romelu Lukaku, the ball bounced around before it bounced into the path of Ben Chilwell for him to hit.

And hit it he did. The Englishman smashed the ball on the half-volley into the roof of David Raya’s net.

Chilwell displayed sublime technique by arching his left peg high into the sky to leather a finish into the back of the net.

The defender on the goal trail, his second of the season for Chelsea and netted for England in the international break too.

The timing of that goal was perfect, right on the stroke of half-time.

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/Twitter

Brentford boss Thomas Frank declares readiness to face Chelsea’s “huge challenge”, reacts to Arsenal, Man United speculation

Thomas Frank says his side are ready for a “huge challenge” as they take on European champions Chelsea in a scarcely contested west London derby Saturday evening.

While Chelsea head to the Brentford Community Stadium as League leaders, the Bees are also riding high, currently seventh, having mixed it with the big guns by beating Arsenal and drawing with Liverpool already this season, but Frank is under no illusions as to the scale of the task against Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Frank said: “[On the day] we won our promotion in the play-off final, they won the Champions League!.

“I think that’s a very good picture of the difference between the two clubs. To face the European champions and the No1 in the Premier League, it is a huge challenge.

“The derby is a big thing, definitely, but it’s just as much that Chelsea is a massive club. That’s important, and because we haven’t faced Chelsea that much in recent years, it’s not the same as Fulham or QPR. That’s my take on it — maybe the fans see it differently.”

In an interview with a Danish publication during the international break, the 47-year-old was forced to deny speculation linking him with the Arsenal and Manchester United jobs and ahead of the anniversary reiterated his commitment to the club he has led into a new era of Premier League football at a state-of-the-art new home.

“I’m at a club I’m extremely privileged to be at and I’m happy when I go to my job every single day,” he said, via Evening Standard.

“We are in a very positive development and there are still things we can improve to reach our full potential.

“I can’t see any reason why any of our players should want to leave or why I should leave. We’re in a fantastically well-run club with still a lot of things to reach out for, so life is good.”

Liverpool star rules himself, Brazilian teammate out of Watford clash

Liverpool star Fabinho believes that neither he or Alisson will be available for Jurgen Klopp’s side, in their Premier League clash against Watford at the weekend.

The Reds could briefly go top of the table, should they beat the Hornets in the lunch time kick-off on Saturday afternoon.

However, they are likely to miss the Brazilian pair who are still away on international duty and set to face Uruguay at 1.30am British time on Friday morning – just 35 hours before kick-off at Vicarage Road.

Speaking to Brazilian press, Fabinho has admitted he can’t see himself or Alisson taking part in the game due to the quick turnaround required to participate.

He also claimed the club are deciding whether they should stay in a hotel in England while they quarantine, or whether they should stay in Spain before the Reds face Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

The midfielder said, via Daily Mail: “I believe that this first match against Watford it will be very hard for us, I don’t think we will play. Neither Alisson or myself.

“The match against Uruguay will be Friday overnight there (in the United Kingdom) and the match against Watford will be half past noon.

“With all of what is involved, travel, I don’t know how much time we will have between one game and the other.

“I believe that we won’t be playing. We will also be in quarantine, but the club is still studying whether it is better to go straight to Spain to play against Atletico Madrid and quarantine there, without staying in a hotel in England.”

Ronaldo says Lionel Messi should not be awarded Ballon d’Or this season, reveals star deserving award

Ronaldo doesn’t believe Lionel Messi should win a seventh Ballon d’Or this season.

Instead, the legendary Brazilian striker reckons Real Madrid star Karim Benzema should win the illustrious award for the first time.

Writing on Facebook, Ronaldo explained, via the Mirror: “Without a doubt, my candidate for the Ballon d’Or is Benzema. The best striker, brutal level for 10 years and champion above all. Don’t you think?”

The Ballon d’Or shortlist was recently announced and contains 30 names including Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as well as candidates from the Premier League, including, Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling.

Messi is the favourite to scoop the award with Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Chelsea midfielder Jorginho also strong contenders.

Benzema is one of only two candidates from Real Madrid, alongside former Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric, showing the La Liga giant’s decline in recent seasons.

Atletico Madrid “contact” Genk for Nigerian striker Paul Onuachu

Reports in Spain claim Atletico Madrid are angling to bring young Genk striker Paul Onuachu to Wande Metropolitano to strenghten their attack.

According to Marca, the La Liga champions’ sporting director Andrea Berta is said to have contacted Genk in the club’s bid to commence the process of acquiring the services of the Nigerian.

The 27-year-old is averaging a goal a game so far, with nine to his name after nine appearances.

The tall striker – 2.01 metres/6’7” – enjoyed a similarly impressive campaign last term, scoring 35 goals over the course of 2020/21.

Atleti have to consider the timing of any signing they make in attack. They might make a move for him in January to add another option, or they could hold off until next summer. At the moment, Luis Suarez is the only clinical finisher at the club.

His price tag of around 20 million euros is one that Atletico can afford and is seen as reasonable, with the club having watched him closely enough to be confident he would improve their side.

Photo Credit: KRCGenkofficial/Twitter

Tammy Abraham hands Jose Mourinho injury scare after Tuesday appearance for England against Hungary

Roma striker Tammy Abraham limped off just a few minutes into his substitute appearance for England against Hungary.

The forward was on target in the last World Cup qualifier against Andorra and was introduced by Gareth Southgate at Wembley Stadium at the 76th minute, replacing Harry Kane, in the 1-1 draw with Hungary this evening.

However, he only lasted until the 92nd minute, when he was helped off the pitch limping badly after a knock.

Roma will be in touch with the England international medical staff and hope it is simply a bruise rather than anything more concerning.

The Giallorossi will play Juventus in Serie A this weekend.

Abraham turned 24 this month and has made a wonderful start to his Serie A career, scoring four goals and providing two assists in 10 competitive appearances for the Capital club.

He completed the transfer from Chelsea at a cost of €40m plus bonuses and a percentage of the sell-on fee.

Photo Credit: Reuters/Carl Recine