EPL

Chilwell hails marvel Mendy as Chelsea survive 'Hell on Earth' at Brentford

By Sports Desk October 16, 2021

Ben Chilwell kept up his scoring streak but gave all the credit to Edouard Mendy after the Chelsea goalkeeper defied Brentford with a string of vital saves, securing a valuable three points. 

Chelsea's 1-0 win against their west London rivals came thanks to Chilwell's fine strike in the 45th minute, his third goal in his past three games. 

Mendy produced six saves to preserve what Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel described as "not the cleanest sheet we ever had". 

The shutout was Mendy's 20th in the Premier League from just 38 starts. In the competition's history, only Petr Cech (26), Pepe Reina (32), Alisson (36) and Roy Carroll (37) have needed fewer starts to reach 20 clean sheets, Opta said. 

"It was pretty much Hell on Earth for the last 20 minutes but we did well," Chilwell said. 

"I think we've got Edou to thank. In the last 25 minutes he was superb. He's amazing. We see it every day in training, but he's getting the credit he deserves in these sorts of games where he makes the big saves and gets us the three points in the end." 

Using Opta's expected goals on target model, Mendy can be shown to have prevented 3.5 goals this season, more than any other keeper in the Premier League. 

Chelsea lead the way in the Premier League with 19 points from eight games, just the start they were seeking as they attempt to follow up last season's Champions League triumph with a strong domestic campaign. 

Chilwell, back in favour and showing his value with two goals for Chelsea either side of a maiden strike for England against Andorra, said: "I'm happy to get on the scoresheet. Defensively it was tough today, but we showed our steel and showed how strong we are defensively." 

Tuchel told Sky Sports that Chelsea could have managed the last quarter of the game in a better way, rather than allowing Brentford to dictate the tempo. 

Brentford's Bryan Mbeumo hit the post twice in the match. He has now been denied by the frame of the goal six times in the Premier League this season – more than any club in the competition. 

"In the end, the last 20 minutes, it was suddenly a cup game. They had nothing to lose and they felt the belief and felt the momentum with the crowd," Tuchel said. 

"Suddenly it seemed like we had one player less on the field. They brought six or seven guys into the box constantly. We were not clear enough in the challenges. They played with the energy like in a cup game. We focused too much on defending. 

"I was very, very happy with the first 65 or 70 minutes. We should have maybe scored one more but it can happen – respect to Brentford in the end. 

"It was not the cleanest sheet we ever had but very, very important to get the three points, so it was up to Edou." 

Tuchel is not reading much into his team's lofty standing in the league table, given Liverpool and Manchester City are in close pursuit. 

He said: "It's better to be there than the other way round. But it's too early, and there are way too many teams that are close, so with every draw and every loss you can lose three or four positions, so it's not the main point now in October. 

"It was a late win but a deserved win today. We needed a bit of luck in the last 20 minutes but I'm happy with the energy – I can recognise us and I'm happy with the way we play." 

Related items

  • Rennes return to France following Spurs postponement Rennes return to France following Spurs postponement

    Rennes have confirmed their squad is returning to France after their Europa Conference League match with Tottenham was postponed.

    Spurs stated on Wednesday that Thursday's encounter with the Ligue 1 side at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium had been called off due to an outbreak of COVID-19 within Antonio Conte's squad.

    Conte said that eight players and five members of staff had contracted the virus in what he labelled a "serious problem".

    Spurs have reportedly asked the Premier League to postpone Sunday's meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion.

    However, Rennes released a statement on Wednesday claiming Tottenham had made a "unilateral" decision to postpone Thursday's clash without UEFA ratification.

    Confirmation from the governing body has now been given to Rennes, though, with the visiting club's squad and coaching staff travelling back to France following full negative coronavirus test results.

    In a statement published on their official website, Rennes, who play Nice on Sunday, made clear that the rearranged fixture must not further congest a hectic schedule or disrupt their mid-season break.

    The statement read: "After being informed of the cancellation of tonight's match by UEFA, Stade Rennais FC decided to return to Brittany. The entire delegation that will board at London City Airport has tested negative.

    "Stade Rennais FC hope that the interests of the club will be respected given the important sporting deadlines that await the Rouge et Noir this December. 

    "Stade Rennais FC is deeply sorry for the Rennes fans who decided to come to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to cheer on the Rouge et Noir."

    Rennes have two Ligue 1 matches and one Coupe de France game before they take a break over Christmas, resuming their season on January 8.

  • RB Leipzig appoint former Schalke coach Tedesco as Marsch's successor RB Leipzig appoint former Schalke coach Tedesco as Marsch's successor

    Domenico Tedesco has been appointed as RB Leipzig's new head coach, replacing Jesse Marsch.

    Former Schalke boss Tedesco comes in less than a week after Marsch left the club following a third successive Bundesliga defeat.

    Marsch joined Leipzig from sister club Salzburg in the off-season, but the task of replacing Julian Nagelsmann proved too great for the American.

    A defeat to Union Berlin on Saturday has left them 11th in the table, though Leipzig responded under Achim Beierlorzer by beating Manchester City 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

    That victory ensured Leipzig drop into a two-legged play-off for a place in the Europa League last 16.

    Tedesco has now been handed the reins, signing a contract until June 2023. Leipzig also confirmed assistant coach Beierlorzer has left the club.

    The 36-year-old was last in charge of Spartak Moscow, spending two seasons in Russia after he was dismissed by Schalke in 2019.

    Tedesco, who graduated from the DFB coaching school in the same class as Nagelsmann, finished second in the Bundesliga in his first season with Schalke in 2017-18 but was unable to maintain that form the following season.

    Despite Tedesco's dismissal, Schalke's slide continued and they were relegated from the top flight last term. 

    His first task will be to fix Leipzig's defensive issues. They have already committed six errors leading to shots in the Bundesliga - an increase of one from the entirety of last season - and three of those have ended in goals. None of their mistakes directly resulted in goals conceded under Nagelsmann in 2020-21. 

    Leipzig have let in 18 goals in the top flight but have an expected goals (xG) against of 23.6. Their xG against in the 2020-21 top-flight campaign was 29.6.

    Tedesco's first game in charge will come against Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

  • Wolff: Formula One title battle is amazing for the sport Wolff: Formula One title battle is amazing for the sport

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes this year's dramatic Formula One title race is "amazing for the sport".

    Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen head into the final grand prix of the season level on points at the top of the drivers' championship.

    Mercedes, meanwhile, are bidding to win their eighth constructors' title. The gap between themselves and Red Bull is 28 points, though Wolff's team could still lose the crown to their rivals.

    With such drama promised in Abu Dhabi this weekend, Wolff thinks it can only serve as a boost to F1, which had become predictable due to Mercedes' dominance. 

    Indeed, Hamilton is aiming for a record eighth world title and a fifth consecutive championship triumph.

    Since 2014, Hamilton has only failed to win the championship on one occasion, finishing second to team-mate Nico Rosberg in 2016, while Verstappen and Red Bull are bidding for a maiden title.

    "The final race will be intense, but it's important to not get distracted, to just keep our heads down, our feet on the ground and bring the performance that we had last time out," Wolff said in a release on Mercedes' official team website.

    "We're grateful to still be in this fight. The fact that both championships will be decided at the season finale proves just how hard both sides have been challenging each other and pushing each other forward.

    "It's all or nothing for the season finale and that's amazing for the sport, amazing for the fans and amazing for all of us, too.

    "We're also relishing the challenges of racing in Abu Dhabi this weekend, at a circuit that has gone through quite a few changes since we last raced there.

    "There are new sections of track to understand and that really is a step into the unknown for everyone. So, it's going to be another exciting weekend!"

    Verstappen won the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and in the unlikely event both he and Hamilton finish outside of the points, it will be the Dutchman who wins the title courtesy of his nine race victories for the season.

    Mercedes had won the previous six races in Abu Dhabi prior to Verstappen's victory last year. The Red Bull star is aiming to become the first F1 champion from the Netherlands, and he would be the fourth-youngest champion at the age of 24 years, two months and 12 days.

    Emerson Fittipaldi and Clay Regazzoni, in 1974, are the only other F1 title rivals to have gone into the last race of a season level on points. Never in the history of the championship has a season ended with two drivers tied at the top of the standings.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.