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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL PHOTOS: Chelsea Hammered as wait for win continues

EPL PHOTOS: Chelsea Hammered as wait for win continues

August 21, 2023 08:42 IST
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Images from the English Premier League matches played over the weekend.

West Ham's Nayef Aguerd celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal against Chelsea at  London Stadium, London on Sunday

IMAGE: West Ham's Nayef Aguerd celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal against Chelsea at London Stadium, London on Sunday. Photograph: Premier League/Twitter

New Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino's wait for a first victory will go on for five more days at least as his side flattered to deceive in a 3-1 away loss at West Ham United on Sunday.

A header by Nayef Aguerd, Michail Antonio's goal on the break and a late penalty by Lucas Paqueta secured victory for West Ham who finished with 10 men after Aguerd was dismissed for a second yellow card midway through the second half.

West Ham's first two goals were assisted by debutant James Ward-Prowse who signed from Southampton this month.

 

Chelsea cancelled out Aguerd's goal with a well-taken equaliser by Carney Chukwuemeka in the 28th minute and only had themselves to blame for defeat as they dominated possession, missed chances and saw a penalty by Enzo Fernandez saved.

Pochettino sent on the club's latest big-money signing Moises Caicedo in a bid to salvage something but he gave away the penalty which sealed his side's fate.

West Ham have four points from their opening two games with Chelsea, who host Luton Town next Friday, on one.

Chelsea have spent around 325 million pounds ($414 million)on eight players so far in the transfer window, taking their total spending since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital took over in May 2022 to close to 800 million pounds.

Blending them together will be a challenge, however, for the former Tottenham Hotspur and Paris St Germain manager.

"It is the start of the season and it is the process," Pochettino said.

"At the moment we need to be more clinical and score more goals when we create the chances."

His side pinned West Ham back at times on Sunday, especially in a dominant opening half, but whereas the hosts trusted their system, Chelsea are clearly in need of an identity.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino cut a frustrated figure during the match 

IMAGE: Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino cut a frustrated figure during the match. Photograph: Tony Obrien/Reuters

All the spending in the world cannot legislate for poor defending and West Ham's first goal came from the most simple of formulas. Ward-Prowse swung over a corner and Aguerd rose unmarked to nod the ball past Robert Sanchez.

Chukwuemeka cut in to equalise with his right foot and when Chelsea were awarded a penalty in the 42nd minute after Raheem Sterling was brought down, it seemed they would take control.

But Alphonse Areola guessed right to keep out Fernandez's effort and it proved to be a pivotal moment.

Chelsea were undone too easily again early in the second half when West Ham turned over possession and Ward-Prowse sent Antonio away to out-muscle Levi Colwill and beat Sanchez with a clinical right-foot effort.

Aguerd gave his team a problem with a needless second yellow card for a foul on Nicolas Jackson but West Ham responded well and Chelsea's day was to go from bad to worse as Caicedo, whose fee could become a British record, fouled Emerson in the box and Paqueta's stutter-run penalty deceived Sanchez.

Chelsea impressed against Liverpool in last week's draw, but defeat at West Ham showed that they will have to gel quickly if they are to challenge for the top four.

"I cannot change my speech after Liverpool," Pochettino said.

"We needed to believe in the process and we need to keep being calm."

Man City see off Newcastle, Man Utd lose at Spurs

Manchester City's Julian Alvarez, Ruben Dias and Mateo Kovacic celebrate after the match against Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium, Manchester, on Saturday

IMAGE: Manchester City's Julian Alvarez, Ruben Dias and Mateo Kovacic celebrate after the match against Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium, Manchester, on Saturday. Photograph: Ed Sykes/Action Images via Reuters

On Saturday, Premier League champions Manchester City racked up a club-record 17th successive home win in all competitions but had to graft to a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday.

A superb strike from Julian Alvarez sealed the points for Pep Guardiola's side, but the relief they showed at the final whistle said a lot about a strong Newcastle display.

City's win lifted them to six points from two games alongside Brighton and Hove Albion who earlier in the day thumped Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 away.

Manchester City made light of the absence of Kevin de Bruyne, who had surgery this week after damaging a hamstring in the 3-0 opening win over Burnley.

In their first home game since clinching the treble last season, City's stunning feat was honoured in grand fashion before kickoff at The Etihad Stadium.

City will be contending for multiple trophies again this season, but Newcastle showed why Guardiola has tipped them to be amongst the contenders for their Premier League crown.

That said, City were comfortably the better side in the opening half in which Alvarez broke the deadlock with a powerful strike in the 31st minute after being picked out by Phil Foden.

Newcastle grew in belief after the break but they discovered that for all City's attacking attributes, they also possess one of the tightest rearguards in Europe and Eddie Howe's side could find no way through to goal.

"There was a moment around 60-70 minutes in and I thought we could get control but they are a very good team and played through the press a few times," Howe said.

"They strangle you with the ball to a degree. You tire yourself out getting it back and with fatigue the decision making goes slightly."

Tottenham Hotspur's Ben Davies scores their second goal past Manchester United's Andre Onana during their match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, on Saturday 

IMAGE: Tottenham Hotspur's Ben Davies scores their second goal past Manchester United's Andre Onana during their match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, on Saturday. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images via Reuters

Manchester United were unable to join City and Brighton at the top of the fledgling table though as they went down to a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in what was Ange Postecoglou's first home game in charge of the London club.

Tottenham continued to banish the clouds of gloom that had preceded the new campaign as they proved there is life after Harry Kane with a vibrant display against a sloppy United.

Pape Matar Sarr's maiden Premier League goal, struck high into the net from a deflected cross just after halftime, and a late own goal by Lisandro Martinez sealed the victory which gave Tottenham four points from two games.

"We want to entertain for sure but in terms of being successful," Postecoglou said.

"The atmosphere was incredible today. The energy the fans created was amazing."

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Source: REUTERS
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