Having conceded 10 goals in their previous 22 games from the start of the season, Chelsea have seen eight go past them in their last three — against West Ham, Zenit St Petersburg and Leeds.
Ahead of Thursday’s game against Everton, Tuchel said: “It shows us that we were spoilt. It shows us how hard it was. It teaches us this lesson. Maybe we over-expect clean sheets.
“In the last three games we conceded eight goals. This is more concerning than not having a clean sheet, because for a clean sheet in these kind of competitions we play, you need luck, you need an extraordinary goalkeeper, you need a certain momentum.
“This is what we had in the beginning of the season. So, one goal is always possible, even if you do everything right, it is possible. But three, three and two is a bit too much.
“We are on it. It makes you appreciate how hard we worked before and what it takes to be so consistent in not conceding. It shows us how much the details matter. How much individual top level in every situation matters and hopefully we get this consistency in not conceding back into our game.”
A man in a white outfit was spotted carrying his daughter and stood close to the billionaire who kept dumping bundles of money into the hands of the girl. The girl, however, dropped the bundles on her father’s chest and guard it jealously.
A video spotted on social media has shown the moment Nigerian billionaire Jowi Zaza sprayed his friend’s daughter the sum of N5m. Jowi was said to have attended his friend’s baby party and decided to be a good guest by spoiling the little girl.
Newcastle United are growing increasingly confident of signing England defender Kieran Trippier, 31, from Atletico Madridnext month. (Football Insider)
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says he will contact Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the Gabon striker, 32, was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy. (Mirror)
Barcelona are preparing a move for Borussia Dortmund’s Norway striker Erling Braut Haaland, 21. (Sport)
Manchester City are also interested in Haaland but may not be willing to spend enough money to get him. (Manchester Evening News)
Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United are all set to move for Dusan Vlahovic after news that the 21-year-old Serbia striker rejected the “highest contract in Fiorentina history”. (Talksport)
Chelsea’s Germany defender Antonio Rudiger, 28, who has six months remaining on his contract, has confirmed he was considering leaving the club before Thomas Tuchel was appointed manager in January. (Sky Sports, via Mirror)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says English defender Joe Gomez, 24, will not be leaving to join Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa in the January transfer window. (Express)
RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara, 23, has fuelled rumours linking him with Manchester United after praising the club’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick. (Bild, via Express)
West Ham are among the European clubs interested in signing Feyenoord’s Argentine defender Marcos Senesi, 24. (90min)
Inter Milan forward Alexis Sanchez, 32, could return to Barcelona on loan, with 31-year-old striker Luuk de Jong, who is currently on loan at Barca from Sevilla, moving to Inter. (Sport)
It is quite the habit to develop. Mikel Arteta has his flaws as a coach, those blind spots that threaten to undermine the genuine and clear progress he has overseen in north London. But as far as managerial traits go, the ability to make seismic decisions that are immediately justified and validated is thoroughly useful.
There was a suggestion at the start of the week that the situation surrounding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had allowed a divide to form in the Arsenal dressing room. The erstwhile captain is a popular figure, after all, whose most recent transgression alone did not fit the public punishment he had received. But the club made it expressly clear that this was his ‘latest’ breach, that the line of trust had been crossed one too many times. And if Aubameyang does have his supporters and sympathisers behind the scenes, it was certainly not obvious throughout a watershed win.
That was a proper victory, the first inflicted upon West Ham by more than a single goal since January, and Arsenal’s first of the campaign against an accomplished team that does not need to be followed with an asterisk, such as Tottenham *but Nuno*. It had all the ingredients for something more unsavoury: the Aubameyang furore; the captaincy doubt; the opposition which had beaten both Liverpool and Chelsea in the past five weeks; the fact it was Arsenal. Yet the hosts ignored that recipe for disaster in a professional and deserved win.
For the first time this season, Arsenal are in the top four. For the first time this season, Arsenal have a positive goal difference. For the first time this season, Arsenal seemed to engender trepidation and anxiety in their opponents. West Ham afforded the Gunners an undue amount of respect and were subsequently taken advantage of.
The deep defensive line they deployed was naturally inhibiting and only allowed Arsenal to grow in confidence and stature. Arteta’s side have rarely played better than in those opening 45 minutes when West Ham gave them both possession and the time to do something with it, only really applying pressure when the ball came within 30 yards of Lukasz Fabianski’s net.
Arsenal’s own energy, pressing and intensity only compounded West Ham’s meekness. Four Gunners had made two tackles by half-time. Four more managed one. The exceptions were Gabriel and Kieran Tierney, who both completed at least one clearance and interception each.
If Aubameyang was sacrificed to underline the importance of teamwork and cooperation, this proved that it was not an offering made in vain.
But Arsenal have done this before: played well, created chances, failed to convert them, grew frustrated and made mistakes. Craig Dawson’s singular mission to block everything could easily have exasperated a more mentally frail team. It was notable that they instead maintained their composure and control to score within three minutes of the second half.
Gabriel passed through the lines. Alexandre Lacazette read in between them, flicking a few chapters ahead of everyone else as West Ham suffered an untimely bout of collective defensive illiteracy. Those who squinted hard enough might have been reminded of Dennis Bergkamp: a centre-forward dropping deep with his back to goal, controlling the ball and turning in the same movement, looking up and sliding a pass as delicate as it was flawless into the path of an onrushing striker. Martinelli ignited the illusion by opening up his body and caressing his finish into the far corner with a shot the club’s record goalscorer might as well have trademarked.
Lacazette and Martinelli had five touches between them in that move. None were too extravagant or ostentatious. The beauty was in the destructive simplicity.
Arsenal rather vexingly retreated somewhat thereafter, inviting West Ham onto them in the hope of defending their hard-earned lead. It has cost them before and will again if Arteta insists on adopting the defensive approach instead of hunting a wounded animal, but not on this occasion. Emile Smith Rowe confirmed that with a brilliant breakaway goal as the time slipped away. The 21-year-old had been brought on 21 minutes prior as Arteta’s golden touch paid dividends again.
There was also an element of luck with Vladimir Coufal’s red card, his fair tackle in the area deemed a second bookable offence. Lacazette won and took the penalty, saved by Fabianski in the current captain’s only misstep of a brilliant evening performance. The man advantage took the sting out of any West Ham revival.
Before that second goal and even after the sending-off, the hosts indulged in a spot of timewasting as Aaron Ramsdale was booked for taking his time at a goal kick, and Arteta actively dragged a cramped-up Martinelli back to his feet and threw him back onto the pitch so he could receive treatment there and disrupt the visitors. The perception of Arsenal as soft and naive is archaic and there is a reason no club has picked up more Premier League points at home so far this season.
Perhaps that imperious record played on the mind of Moyes, who would surely have tweaked his tactics in retrospect. Arsenal are not nearly as good as West Ham feared, although they are absolutely better than most of us think.
The Argentine striker, who moved to the Catalans from Manchester City earlier this year, was diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia after experiencing chest pains on the pitch and has now made the heartbreaking decision to hang up his boots.
In an emotional press conference at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, Aguero revealed to an audience that included Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola that he made the decision a week ago after being told by doctors to end his career.
‘This conference is to communicate that I have decided to stop playing football,’ the tearful Aguero said in a statement. ‘It is a very difficult moment. The decision I have made I have taken for my health, that is the main reason, because of the problem that I had a month-and-a-half ago.
‘I was in good hands of the medical staff who have done their best and have told me the best thing would be to stop playing. So I made that decision about a week ago and I want to tell everyone I did everything possible to have hope, but there wasn’t very much.’
‘I am very proud of the career I have had, very happy. I always dreamt of playing football from five years old. I want to show my gratitude to everyone, all of the clubs I played at and, of course, my love, Argentina.
‘I don’t know what awaits me in the next life, but I know there are a lot of people who love me and want the best for me.’
Barcelona president Joan Laporta added: ‘It is as if all the reps of the teams you have played for are right here next to me too. We are left with the joy and excitement of what you could have been here at Barca.
‘You have all of our support, anything you need we are here at your disposal. You have been an amazing player and everywhere you have played you have achieved so much, not just the talent but also the friendships you made.
‘On your first day at Barca, we wished you had come here earlier. We always wanted you to play for our club but a new journey awaits and I hope it will be just as successful, you deserve it.’