Nicolas Jackson nets a hat-trick as Chelsea come from behind to beat nine-man Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 in a chaotic London derby.
Chelsea have condemned London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to their first Premier League defeat of the season after coming from behind to win 4-1 on a naughty night in North London.
An astonishingly evening of chaos and carnage began with a 57-minute-long first half – including 12 minutes of stoppage time – that contained two goals, four more disallowed for offside, one red card and two players forced off through injury.
Dejan Kulusevski’s deflected opener was cancelled out by a Cole Palmer penalty after Cristian Romero was sent off for a reckless challenge inside the area following one of many VAR reviews at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Spurs were reduced to nine men just 10 minutes after the break after Destiny Udogie received two yellow cards, before Nicolas Jackson netted three goals in the final 20 minutes, amidst more goals disallowed for offside at both ends, to help Chelsea claim maximum points in an all-time Premier League classic on Mauricio Pochettino’s return to his former club.
Chelsea have climbed into the top half of the table after beating Tottenham, who have seen their 10-game unbeaten start in the Premier League under new manager Ange Postecoglou come to an end; Spurs subsequently remain second and one point adrift of reigning champions Manchester City at the summit.
Postecoglou made two changes to the Tottenham side that beat Crystal Palace last weekend, with Udogie passing a late fitness test to come in for Ben Davies at left-back, while attacker Brennan Johnson was handed just his second Premier League start of the season at the expense of Richarlison.
As for Chelsea, Pochettino made three changes to the starting lineup that beat Blackburn Rovers in the EFL Cup in midweek, with Levi Colwill, Thiago Silva and Moises Caicedo all coming in for Marc Cucurella, Benoit Badiashile and Lesley Ugochukwu.
Chelsea would have hoped to settle down the home supporters and frustrate Spurs in the opening exchanges, but the Blues found themselves a goal down inside the first six minutes courtesy of a deflected strike from Kulusevski.
The Swedish winger found himself in acres of space down the right flank and was able to cut inside before firing a shot towards goal that took a wicked deflection off the back of Colwill as it travelled into the bottom corner.
However, Chelsea responded well after conceding and almost restore parity in the 11th minute, but Guglielmo Vicario denied Jackson with a strong left hand after the Chelsea striker did brilliantly to sit a couple of Spurs defenders on their backsides and generate a decent chance inside the box.
Son Heung-min thought he had doubled Spurs’ lead at the other end, tapping home from close range following a superb sweeping move from the hosts, but the South Korean was marginally ruled offside following a VAR review.
The VAR officials were regularly called into action throughout the first half, and Udogie did well to escape a red card following a reckless two-footed challenge on Raheem Sterling despite winning the ball, and that tackle changed the tone of the game in Chelsea’s favour.
Romero was also at risk of receiving red when he appeared to petulantly kick out at Colwill during an off-the-ball incident, before Sterling wriggled his way into the box and place a shot beyond Vicario, only to be denied a leveller by VAR as the ball struck the Chelsea forward’s arm in the build-up.
Shortly after the half-hour mark, Chelsea’s club-record signing Caicedo was then denied his first Blues goal – hitting a rocket right-footed strike from the edge of the area into the bottom corner – as Jackson, who was stood in an offside position, was deemed to be interfering with play.
However, the drama continued to unfold, as VAR advised on-field referee Michael Oliver to head over to the pitchside monitor to assess another nasty challenge in the build-up to Caicedo’s strike, this time from Romero who followed through with a high boot when challenging Enzo Fernandez inside the penalty area.
Oliver opted to point to the spot and handed Romero a straight red card, before Palmer – who had scored two penalties in his previous three Premier League appearances – converted the resulting spot kick on the 35-minute mark, squeezing a left-footed strike in off the post despite the best efforts of Vicario who got his fingertips to the shot.
Things went from bad to worse for Spurs as an unsavoury grown echoed round the stadium when centre-back Micky van de Ven pulled up with a hamstring injury before being carried down the tunnel, while chief creator James Maddison – another standout summer signing – was all forced off with an ankle problem.
Eric Dier, who was brought on following the dismissal of Romero, was partnered by Emerson Royal at centre-back, while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg strengthened Postecoglou’s midfield in the absence of Maddison.
Chelsea needlessly lost their heads in the closing stages of the first half, with Colwill booked for a heated confrontation with Pape Matar Sarr, before Reece James avoided punishment for a raised elbow during an aerial challenge with Udogie.
The frantic nature of the thrilling contest showed no signs of slowing down after the break, and Tottenham’s hopes of restoring parity were made all the more difficult when Udogie received his second yellow card on the 55-minute mark for a late tackle on Sterling, again, following a dangerous-looking three-versus-two counter-attack by Chelsea.
Jackson missed a sitter from the resulting free kick, with James initially feeding Sterling down the right before he set up Chelsea’s No.15 for a close-ranger header, but his tame effort was somehow directed over the crossbar by Hojbjerg standing on the goalline.
Tottenham had Vicario to thank in the second half as the Italian made a number of crucial saves to keep the scores one apiece, firstly making a double stop to deny Jackson and Palmer before keeping out substitute Cucurella who could only fling a weak right-footed effort on target after racing through on goal.
While Vicario deserved plenty of plaudits, Chelsea continued to threaten Tottenham’s extremely high line and their persistence in the final third eventually paid off in the 75th minute when Sterling beat the offside trap before expertly setting up Jackson for a simple first-time finish from around eight yards out.
Just three minutes later, Dier thought he had restored parity for the hosts with a marvelous side-footed volley from a tight angle, but the defender was caught offside, before Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez was at full stretch to keep out a huge chance form Son in the closing stages.
The West Londoners then caught Spurs on the break and sealed the victory in the fourth minute of stoppage time, with Jackson meeting a Conor Gallagher cross to tap home his second of the night.
The Senegalese summer signing then completed his hat-trick and increased his Premier League goal tally to five in the 97th minute, rounding Vicario and slotting home another close-range finish, after Chelsea carved through Tottenham’s backline like a knife through butter, to cap a remarkable night in North London – one for the Blues to remember and for the Lilywhites to forget.
Chelsea will now turn their attention to Sunday’s Premier League trip to the Etihad Stadium to face Man City, while Spurs will endeavour to return to winning ways when they take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday.
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Mikel Arteta praises ‘really consistent’ Martin Odegaard
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on captain Martin Odegaard amid his impressive form following the November international break.
The Norway international was sidelined with a hip problem last month and it was followed by another absence due to a head collision in training.
Odegaard made his comeback after the internationals. He had a quiet evening at Brentford last weekend, but was on the scoresheet against Lens on Wednesday.
He carried over the good form into the Wolves game, scoring the vital winning goal in the end.
Aside from his strike, the 24-year-old created three big chances for his teammates and was unlucky to not register an assist or two due to poor finishing.
Speaking after the 2-1 victory over Wolves, Arteta said that Odegaard has had two ‘very very good’ games and he is a ‘really consistent’ player.
The Gunners head coach added that the playmaker tends to fare best against high-pressing sides such as Wolves and he was ‘really good’ today.
He told Arsenal.com: “I thought he had two very, very good games and he’s a really consistent player, he gives a lot especially against teams like that, they didn’t want to defend very close to their own box and I think he was really good today.”
Odegaard has not played with the same creative freedom as last season, but he has still netted seven goals and provided two assists from 18 games.
The Norwegian appears to be picking up his form at the right time and he will be crucial to the Gunners’ chances of challenging for the league title again.
Today’s win has taken the Gunners to 33 points from 14 games. They are four points ahead of second-placed Manchester City, who have a game in hand.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.co
Martin Odegaard was back to his best vs Wolves
Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard was back to his best during the 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Gunners made it three league wins on the bounce after beating Wolves at the Emirates Stadium. Bukayo Saka opened the scoring in the sixth minute.
A wonderful bit of team play contributed to Odegaard doubling the lead in the 13th minute.
Arsenal should have been out of sight with the chances in the final third, but they had a nervy finish in the end after Matheus Cunha scored, four minutes from time.
A defensive mishap from Oleksandr Zinchenko paved the way for the goal, but the Gunners managed to hang on for a well-deserved victory over Gary O’Neil’s side.
In our view, Odegaard was clearly the man of the match with one of his best performances of the season.
The Norwegian was inconsistent with his form earlier this campaign, but he appears to be finding his feet at the right time for the Gunners in their title pursuit.
Against Wolves, he had 97 touches with 77 passes at an accuracy of 89 per cent. He had no defensive work to do, but was brilliant with his attacking display.
Odegaard managed six key passes and created three big chances for Gabriel Jesus, Leandro Trossard and Eddie Nketiah respectively, but they failed to extend the lead.
The Gunners should have been out of sight with at least a five-goal margin, but they were made to work hard for the victory after a late consolation strike from Cunha.
The win over Wolves has seen the club extend their lead at the top of the table to four points.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com
Serbia’s Hamad Medjedovic crowned Next Gen ATP Finals champion
Twenty-year-old Serbian sixth seed Hamad Medjedovic is crowned the Next Gen ATP Finals champion with a captivating victory over Arthur Fils in Sunday’s final.
Twenty-year-old Serbian sixth seed Hamad Medjedovic was crowned the Next Gen ATP Finals champion with a captivating victory over Arthur Fils in Sunday’s final.
Emulating the feats of his compatriot Novak Djokovic in November’s ATP Finals, Medjedovic brought home another trophy to Serbia with a 3–4, 4–1, 4–2, 3–4 , 4–1 victory in just after two hours.
Medjedovic’s success caps off a stellar breakthrough year for the 2003-born protege, who reached the first round of Wimbledon and the French Open for the first time in 2023 and came close to breaking into the top 100, getting as high as world number 102 in October....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
“I can’t believe I have won this title, but it’s going to give me a lot of confidence for 2024. Arthur is an amazing player; he’s Top 40 for a reason, so I’m really happy,” Medjedovic said on the court.
“It was tough after the first set. I changed my clothes and recovered and started to play good again. I didn’t play good when I had match points in the fourth set. I wasn’t relaxed, I was very stiff. Thank God I recovered and I was just trying to stay relaxed as much as I could and I managed to do it in the end.”
2023 ATP Finals Champion: Novak Djokovic 🇷🇸2023 Next Gen ATP Finals Champion: Hamad Medjedovic 🇷🇸Learning from the best 👀 pic.twitter.com/ie284rcZ3M— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) December 2, 2023
Making a name for himself throughout the tournament with his blistering serves, the Serbian fired 19 aces past Fils throughout the contest and won 88% of points behind his first serve in total.
Medjedovic also kept his mistakes to a minimum, only producing nine unforced errors and 32 winners, as well as saving all four break points he faced against his French foe.
The 20-year-old recovered from a couple of early unforced errors in the fourth-set tie-breaker to bring up two match points, although he failed to take either of them as Fils took the contest to the distance.
However, an inopportune unforced error from Fils on break point allowed Medjedovic to establish an early two-game lead in the fifth set, and the Serbian quintessentially confirmed his champion status with an ace on match point.
Alongside his Next Gen supremacy, Medjedovic also took home three Challenger level titles in the 2023 season, as well as getting to the semi-finals of the Astana Open and Swiss Open on the ATP Tour.
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