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West Brom Hammer Chelsea 5-2

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel suffered the first defeat of his reign as struggling West Bromwich Albion took advantage of Thiago Silva’s red card to earn a stunning 5-2 win on Saturday.
Tuchel had overseen a 14-match unbeaten run in all competitions since replacing the sacked Frank Lampard in January.
But that impressive start came to an embarrassing end as West Brom ran riot at Stamford Bridge.
Christian Pulisic put Chelsea ahead early in the first half, only for Brazil defender Thiago to get his marching orders moments later for a second booking.
That proved the turning point as Albion’s Matheus Pereira struck twice in first half stoppage-time.
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Mbaye Diagne grabbed West Brom’s third goal and Callum Robinson netted twice to leave Tuchel shell-shocked.
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Mason Mount’s reply was no consolation as Chelsea’s bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top four finish in the Premier League suffered a significant blow.
The Blues, beaten for the first time in 10 league games, remain fourth for now, but both West Ham and Tottenham would go above them if they win on Monday and Sunday respectively.
After conceding just two goals in Tuchel’s reign, with seven consecutive clean-sheets since the defence was last breached at Southampton in February, this was a rude awakening for Chelsea.
For the first time since 2011 against Arsenal, Chelsea conceded five goals at home in the league.
It was the worst possible preparation for their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Porto on Wednesday.
West Brom remain second bottom but their first league win at Chelsea since 1978 gives them a glimmer of hope in the fight to avoid relegation.
Sam Allardyce’s team are seven points from safety with eight games left.
Thiago was making his first Chelsea start since February 4 after recovering from a thigh problem, but he was completely out of touch on his return.
The early signs were ominous when Jorginho’s wayward pass was intercepted by Pereira on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area, forcing Thiago into a cynical foul that earned him a yellow card.
Despite their sloppy start, Tuchel’s men took the lead in the 27th minute.
Marcos Alonso’s 25-yard free-kick cannoned back off the post and Pulisic was first to react as he alertly steered his shot past Sam Johnstone from close-range.
But Thiago gifted Albion a lifeline two minutes later when he jumped into a rash two-footed foul on Okay Yokuslu.
The 36-year-old could have no complaints about his first dismissal since he saw red while playing for Paris Saint-Germain in 2013.
In keeping with their erratic display, Chelsea were punished for some dismal defending in first half stoppage-time.
A long punt forward by Johnstone should have been dealt with easily, but Kurt Zouma allowed Pereira to run behind him and guide a superb lob over the exposed Edouard Mendy.
Suddenly incapable of getting out of their own half, Chelsea fell behind with virtually the last kick of the half.
James surrendered possession and Diagne found Pereira, who danced through the shambolic Chelsea defence before guiding cool low finish past Mendy from 10 yards.
Chelsea nearly drew level immediately when Johnstone made a hash of James’ cross, forcing Semi Ajayi to turn Alonso’s shot onto the post.
Mount, on as a half-time substitute, nearly caught out Johnstone with a clever free-kick, but Chelsea suffered a hammer blow in the 63rd minute.
A flowing move from the visitors ended with Robinson running onto Darnell Furlong’s cross to smash a superb volley past Mendy from 12 yards.
Chelsea were in tatters and West Brom compounded their misery with a superb 68th minute break that featured a flurry of deft passes before Diagne slotted home.
Mount reduced the deficit with a close-range finish from Timo Werner’s pass in the 71st minute.
But Tuchel’s misery was complete in stoppage-time when Robinson struck again with a dinked finish.
(AFP)

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Tottenham Appoint Conte As Manager — Hours After Sacking Nuno

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Tottenham Hotspur have announced Antonio Conte as their new manager — less than 24 hours after the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo.

The club announced Conte’s appointment in a statement released on its official website on Tuesday.

The Italian, who had been out of work since he parted ways with Inter Milan in the summer, is now back in the English Premier League (EPL) to take over the reins at the White Hart Lane.

The statement revealed that Conte, who won the EPL with Chelsea in 2017, had penned a deal that will see him lead Spurs till 2023.

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Antonio Conte as our Head Coach on a contract until the summer of 2023, with an option to extend,” the statement read.

“Antonio has won titles in Serie A, including a hat-trick of Scudettos with Juventus, the Premier League and also managed Italy, leading the Azzurri to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

“Born in Lecce, Antonio began his playing career at his hometown team (1985-1991) before achieving legendary status at Juventus (1991-2004). A midfielder, he won five Scudettos with La Vecchia Signora, the UEFA Cup in 1993 and the Champions League in 1996. He earned 20 caps for Italy and was part of squads that achieved runners-up status in the 1994 World Cup and Euro 2000.

“Antonio began his coaching career as an assistant in Siena in 2005 and had spells at Arezzo, Bari – where he won Serie B – and Atalanta before returning to Juventus in 2011. He won the title in his first season, 2011/12, completing the campaign unbeaten and equalling a club-record 28-match unbeaten run set by Fabio Capello. He completed a hat-trick of titles with success in 2012/13 and 2013/14 when Juve amassed a Serie A record of 102 points.

“Antonio took charge of the Italian national team in 2014 and led them to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, topping their group and beating Belgium and Spain along the way.”

Conte won Serie A with Inter Milan last season before departing, reportedly due to issues with the club’s hierarchy.

“I am extremely happy to return to coaching, and to do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist again,” Conte said.

“Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world.

“I can’t wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach.

“Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent and emotionally too involved with the end of the season, so I felt that it wasn’t yet the right time to return to coaching. But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction.”

Nuno was sacked by Tottenham on Monday after failing to produce the type of football that births convincing results.

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World Cup Qualifiers: Ighalo Makes Rohr’s Final List Amid Criticism

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Gernot Rohr has included Odion Ighalo in the Super Eagles final squad list for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Liberia and Cape Verde later this month.

Ighalo had announced his retirement in 2019, shortly after picking up the golden boot at the AFCON in Egypt.

But last week, Rohr had revealed that he included the 32-year-old in the Eagles provisional squad for the next World Cup qualification fixtures.

The revelation has spurred an avalanche of criticism among fans and former Nigerian footballers.

Mutiu Adepoju, former Super Eagles forward, said the Franco-German has no reason to recall Ighalo back to the team as other young strikers have stepped up since his retirement.

“I like Ighalo as a player and he is a very good striker. He retired from the Super Eagles about two years ago and I believe we presently have strikers that are good enough in the team,” he had said.

“If we have players! Who are doing very well and scoring goals in their clubs, do we still have to recall Ighalo? It’s just my opinion.”

Despite the backlash, Ighalo has been named in the final Eagles squad list, which was released in a statement on Monday.

Wilfred Ndidi and Alex Iwobi will also be returning after being sidelined from the last two matches of the qualifiers with injuries.

Samuel Chhukwueze was handed his first Eagles call-up since May when he damaged his knee in Villareal’s Europa League game to Arsenal at the Emirates.

Super Eagles will face Liberia on November 13 before hosting Cape Verde three days later as they push to book a place in the final round of qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

FULL LIST:

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn 07, Germany); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany)

Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Shabab Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

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Iheanacho Shines As Leicester Beats Spartak Moscow 4-3

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Patson Daka scored four goals as Leicester revived their Europa League campaign by fighting back from two goals down to beat Spartak Moscow 4-3 in the Russian capital on Wednesday.

Zambia striker Daka, a close-season signing from Salzburg, became only the fifth player to score four goals in a Europa League game since the competition was rebranded from the UEFA Cup, and the first since Willian Jose for Real Sociedad in 2017.

Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester moved up to second place in Group C behind leaders Legia Warsaw, a point above third-placed Spartak.

“It’s been an amazing few days for me and the team,” Daka told BT Sport. “It was a very good effort from the team. I’m just happy I was able to help the team.”

Goals from Aleksandr Sobolev and Jordan Larsson put Spartak in control, but Daka netted his first European goal for the visitors just before half-time.

Less than three minutes after the break, Kelechi Iheanacho claimed his second assist, crossing low for Daka to tap in from close range.

Leicester, and Daka, made it three goals in the space of nine minutes when the 23-year-old slid the ball under home goalkeeper Aleksandr Maksimenko.

He completed his four-goal haul with 12 minutes remaining by picking out the corner of the net after collecting James Maddison’s pass.

That goal made Daka, who also netted in Leicester’s 4-2 win over Manchester United on Saturday, the Foxes’ all-time joint-top scorer in Europe.

Sobolev gave Spartak hope in the 86th minute, but Leicester held on.

AFP

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