Chelsea

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  1. 'Chelsea have to go and get back-to-back wins now', published at11:48

    Thomas TuchelImage source, EPA

    Thomas Tuchel needs to nip current issues with his Chelsea side in the bud, says former Premier League left-back Scott Minto.

    Chelsea have one win from their last four games in all competitions and Tuchel said his players "changed their behaviours" after taking an early lead in their final Champions League group match with Zenit St Petersburg.

    "The standards that he’s set since he’s come in have been nothing short of incredible," he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Football Daily.

    "I don’t care if he plays the academy side almost, he would expect his side to go out and if not win, then do the basics.

    "If he isn’t seeing the effort being put in then that’s not right and that is the problem. That’s something which he’s got to be careful doesn’t drift from game to game to game.

    "We know the Premier League title race is a three-horse race and Liverpool and Manchester City have shown in recent years you can’t afford to drop too many points.

    "If you talk about this game as a one-off you can take that, but if you look at games where they haven’t seen games out you don’t want to take that forward into league games. Chelsea have to go and get back-to-back wins now."

    Hear more reaction to Chelsea's draw with Zenit from 14'20 on BBC Sounds

  2. Chelsea v Leeds: Last time out, published at11:18

    Patrick Bamford sits hurt on the Elland Road pitchImage source, Getty Images

    Chelsea face Leeds this weekend but what happened last time they met each other?

    Back in March, Chelsea made it 12 games unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel but could not pierce the stubborn Leeds rearguard in a high tempo encounter at Elland Road.

    The Blues almost took a freak lead when Luke Ayling's clearance cannoned off Diego Llorente, looped over Illan Meslier but bounced off the crossbar.

    At the other end, Tyler Roberts forced Eduoard Mendy to tip his attempted chip onto the bar and Raphinha further tested the Frenchmen late on.

    With Kai Havertz struggling upfront, Champions League-chasing Chelsea were grateful to their keeper, who after this match had only conceded two goals under Tuchel's management.

    The result continued Leeds' promising return to the Premier League but was marred by injury to 10-goal top scorer Patrick Bamford who limped off in the first half.

  3. Zenit St Petersburg 3–3 Chelsea: The pick of the stats, published at08:02

    Romelu Lukaku v Zenit St PetersburgImage source, Getty Images
    • Chelsea have finished second in their Champions League group in three of their last four campaigns (first in the other), having won their group in six of their previous seven participations.

    • Zenit St Petersburg remain unbeaten at home to English sides in European competition, winning their two previous fixtures before today’s draw.

    • The Blues conceded as many goals against Zenit (three) as they did in their previous 12 Champions League matches under Thomas Tuchel.

    • Meanwhile, Timo Werner scored Chelsea’s fastest ever goal in the competition after just one minute and 23 seconds, overtaking John Terry who held the record from November 2014 against Schalke (1:26).

  4. Much-changed Chelsea troubled by Zenit , published at07:02

    Emma Sanders, BBC Sport

    Thomas Tuchel made eight changes for the game in Russia, saying fresh legs were needed to manage a heavy fixture schedule in December.

    Romelu Lukaku, returning to the side for the first time since October after injury, lacked sharpness but was in the right place to tap in Timo Werner's cut-back in the second half.

    Werner thought he had given Chelsea victory when he slotted in his second late on - anxiously awaiting a check from the video assistant referee for a potential offside.

    But Zenit, who had threatened Chelsea on numerous occasions in the first half, remained a threat deep into stoppage time.

    Earlier misses from Mason Mount, Werner and Saul will add to Chelsea's disappointment but Zenit also had chances of their own - Sardar Azmoun was denied in a one-on-one with Kepa Arrizabalaga in the first half and again from a header in the second.

    Chelsea end the group stage with four wins from six games, two points off Juventus.

  5. Zenit St Petersburg v Chelsea - confirmed team news, published at16:45 8 December

    .Image source, BBC Sport

    Thomas Tuchel has made eight changes to the Chelsea side from Saturday's league defeat to West Ham.

    Mason Mount, Andreas Christensen and Reece James retain their places.

    Striker Romelu Lukaku starts after returning from injury, alongside Saul Niguez and Malang Sarr.

    Chelsea XI: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Sarr, James, Mount, Barkley, Saul, Hudson-Odoi, Werner, Lukaku.

    Subs: Bettinelli, Mendy, Alonso, Rudiger, Silva, Loftus-Cheek, Havertz, Pulisic, Ziyech.

    .Image source, BBC Sport

    Meanwhile, former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren captains Zenit St Petersburg.

    Zenit XI: Kerzhakov, Santos, Barrios, Lovren, Azmoun, Wendel, Malcom, Claudinho, Kuzyaev, Karavaev, Rakits'kyy.

    Subs: Odoevski, Byazrov, Krugovoi, Mostovoy, Sutormin, Erokhin, Dzyuba, Ozdoev, Kravtsov, Kuznetsov, Khotulev.

  6. Zenit St Petersburg v Chelsea: Team news, published at15:02 8 December

    Artem Dzyuba & Ruben Loftus Cheek

    Chelsea will be without several players because of injuries, including defenders Ben Chilwell and Trevoh Chalobah and midfielders Jorginho and N'Golo Kante.

    Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic is also missing after testing positive for Covid-19.

    It could mean another start for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who said he had to be patient for his opportunities at Chelsea after making 15 appearances so far this season.

    Pick your Chelsea XI to face Zenit

  7. Transfer news: Fenerbahce deny Szalai deal, published at07:14 8 December

    Gossip banner

    Fenerbahce have denied that the club's 23-year-old Hungary centre-back Attila Szalai is close to joining Chelsea. (90min), external

    Barcelona have contacted Chelsea over possible deals for Morocco midfielder Hakim Ziyech and Germany forward Timo Werner, but Blues manager Thomas Tuchel is reluctant to let either leave. (Sport - in Spanish), external

    Real Madrid are favourites to sign Germany defender Antonio Rudiger, who is getting closer to leaving Stamford Bridge as a free agent at the end of the season. Premier League rivals Manchester United and Tottenham have also expressed an interest in the 28-year-old. (Independent), external

    Want more transfer news? Read Wednesday's full gossip column

  8. Zenit St Petersburg v Chelsea: Who makes your Blues starting XI?, published at17:02 7 December

    Chelsea split picture: Timo Werner, Reece James, Hakim Ziyech, Trevoh Chalobah

    Chelsea take on Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday, but who makes it into your starting XI?

    The Blues are top of Group H but defeat could see them drop into second place, depending on Juventus' final result. So will Thomas Tuchel choose to rotate his squad after a 3-2 defeat by West Ham and before hosting Leeds on Saturday - or does he need to go with his strongest team to guarantee a first-place finish?

    You can pick - and share on social media - your own starting line-up. You could go for the team you WANT the boss to pick or the one you THINK he will.

    Either way, it's time to choose your Blues team to face Zenit

  9. Spurs dominate fantasy football team of the week, published at15:55 7 December

    Fantasy football team of the week (GW15): Dubravka 6, Konsa 17, Davies 15, Sanchez 12, Tierney12, Schar 11. Silva 15, Mount 13, Son 13, Fred 11, Maupay 9

    Another round of Premier League fixtures is done and dusted, so how did your fantasy football team perform in gameweek 15?

    Do you have any of this week's highest point scorers? Or was it a fantasy football flop?

    Aston Villa's Ezri Konsa was the top performer with 17 points, followed closely by Ben Davies and Bernardo Silva on 15.

    A 3-0 win over Norwich earned Tottenham three players in the team of the week, while Newcastle's first win of the season meant Martin Dubravka and Fabian Schar also made the line-up.

  10. Tuesday talking point: Maybe not the finished article so 'get right' performance needed, published at15:16 7 December

    Ross Mooring, Chelsea Fancast, external

    Last weekend was a good weekend if you were a fan of the women's team, but less so for their male counterparts.

    A fine performance at Wembley from Emma Hayes' team to beat Arsenal 3-0 won the Women's FA Cup and secured a 2021 domestic treble.

    Meanwhile, at London Stadium, a Chelsea team missing N'Golo Kante put in an uneven performance to drop from top spot in the Premier League, despite twice taking the lead - the second goal an absolute beauty from Mason Mount, showing just why he was worthy of being voted the 19th best player in the world in the Ballon d'Or.

    Unfortunately, some slack defending, an extremely rare error from Edouard Mendy and a freak winner from West Ham underscored that this team might not quite be the finished article.

    Chelsea now head to St Petersburg for a game they have to win to ensure topping their Champions League group, which would arguably lead to a kinder draw (Bayern Munich, Ajax and Real Madrid also lead their groups, although PSG are ensured of finishing second in theirs). But more than that, the team needs a 'get right' performance.

    The club has again been linked with the excellently named Hungarian centre-back Atilla Szalai, who plays for Fenerbahce. Not only is Antonio Rudiger in the last year of his contract, but Andreas Christensen too. Talks with the Danish international and academy product are believed to have become a little acrimonious and with neither he nor Germany international Rudiger commanding a fee, wage demands are high.

  11. Zenit v Chelsea: The key stats, published at15:03 7 December

    Romelu Lukaku is tackled by Zenit playersImage source, Getty Images
    • Chelsea have won each of their three away games against Russian opponents in the Champions League and kept a clean sheet, most recently a 4-0 win against FK Krasnodar in October 2020.

    • Since Thomas Tuchel’s first Champions League match in charge of Chelsea in February 2021, the Blues have only conceded three goals in 12 games in the competition. Their nine clean sheets in this period is the highest total of any team.

    • Chelsea have had 14 different goalscorers in the Champions League under Tuchel; the most of any team in the competition since his first game in February 2021.

    • Chelsea have won their past three games in the Champions League without conceding a goal – the only previous English team to win four consecutive games in the competition while keeping a clean sheet on each occasion is Manchester United in 2003-04 and 2010-11.

  12. 'I've had to be patient', published at14:37 7 December

    Ruben Loftus-CheekImage source, Getty Images

    Ruben Loftus-Cheek is ready to fight for a regular place in Chelsea's starting XI after patiently waiting for his chance.

    The 25-year-old has featured more regularly under Thomas Tuchel recently and he says he is ready to repay the manager's faith.

    He said: "I came back pre-season and felt really good, the most physical I’ve been. That gave me a good platform to train well. I knew it was going to be very difficult with the players in midfield and how good they are but I wanted to give it a go and see how things panned out.

    "It turns out I'm playing a lot. That's through injuries and playing well when I play. You can never know how football turns out, it changes a lot - you just have to be ready for it.

    "I’ve had to be patient. There’s a lot of good players at Chelsea, especially in midfield. I have to be ready and I feel like I am ready.

    "I feel good physically and it’s time for us to step up as a team and as an individual when players are injured and do a job and I feel ready to do that."

  13. Tuchel on Kovacic, squad rotation and quick turnaround, published at13:39 7 December

    Thomas Tuchel has been speaking to the media before Chelsea's Champions League match against Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday.

    Here is what he had to say:

    • Mateo Kovacic was back in training on Monday but has now tested positive for Covid, which is a "huge setback".

    • Tuchel said his other players "look fresh" and anyone can play on Wednesday, but the problem is the quick turnaround for Saturday's match against Leeds United.

    • On rotating players, Tuchel said there’s a “huge chance” some players will be rested, but more importantly other players will be given minutes to find some rhythm.

    • On bouncing back from defeat, Tuchel said: "You have a certain anger in you to turn things around."

    • Tuchel said his side "need to step up" in details no matter what the occasion is.

    • On N'Golo Kante, Tuchel said he is the player who makes the difference and everyone in the world wants in their midfield.

    • Tuchel said Saul Niguez "needs minutes" and has struggled with intensity, but he will keep encouraging him.

  14. Chelsea draw 'a dream come true', published at11:20 7 December

    Chesterfield manager James Rowe says drawing Chelsea in the FA Cup third round is a dream come true.

    Chesterfield were one of five non-league sides to be in the hat for the draw and will face last season's runners-up at Stamford Bridge after beating League Two Salford City in the second round.

    "Unbelievable. To draw them out is a dream come true for everyone back at the club," Rowe told BBC Sheffield.

    "There have been a few phone calls back and forward to board members and players and we are really excited.

    "It goes without saying that it secures the future of the club for the foreseeable future. For everyone’s hard work off the field, and on the field, it’s a credit for what everyone has done this season.

    "You make your own luck sometimes, but it feels like something special is happening."