Jadon Sancho has been tipped to swap Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United, but he remains in Germany.

Sancho's valuation has proved a stumbling block for United, who have made the England international their number one transfer target.

United, though, are not giving up hope as they reportedly make one last attempt to sign the 20-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED SET FOR FINAL SANCHO OFFER

Manchester United will make a take-it-or-leave-it offer for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Star and the Mirror.

United have so far been unable to prise Sancho from Dortmund, who refuse to budge on their €120million (£108m) asking price.

But United are preparing a final and non-negotiable £90m (€98m) offer, with £75m (€82m) up front with an additional £15m (€16m) in add-ons.

 

ROUND-UP

- AS reports Real Madrid face competition for Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga. Eyeing a move for Camavinga in 2021, Madrid are set to face a battle from Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

Kylian Mbappe could be available for around €100m, says L'Equipe. The PSG star, who is reportedly seeking an exit, is wanted by Madrid and Liverpool.

- The Sun claims Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is set to leave Stamford Bridge on loan following Edouard Mendy's arrival.

- Madrid forward Borja Mayoral has agreed to join Serie A side Roma, reports DiMarzio.

- Alfredo Pedulla says Juventus are weighing up a €60m move for Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa, who has also been linked to Milan.

- If Milan Skriniar leaves for Tottenham, DiMarzio claims Inter could target Schalke star and Liverpool target Ozan Kabak.

- According to Marca, Barcelona are making a late push to sign long-time target and Inter forward Lautaro Martinez following Luis Suarez's switch to Atletico Madrid.

Barca are confident they will sign Ajax full-back Sergino Dest ahead of Bayern, says Fabrizio Romano.

- Romano also reports that Atletico will not negotiate with Arsenal regarding Thomas Partey as they believe he will stay in the Spanish capital.

Chelsea made Kepa Arrizabalaga the world's most expensive goalkeeper when they shelled out £71.6million to sign him in August 2018.

Club director Marina Granovskaia said upon the announcement of his arrival: "Kepa is a talent we have admired for a long time and we are extremely excited about his arrival.

"He has already demonstrated fantastic quality and consistency and will be a big part of any success Chelsea have in the coming years. His long-term contract reflects the belief we have in him and we look ahead to the coming seasons with an enormous sense of optimism."

Just over two years later, though, and Kepa's long-term future at the club is far from certain, with the Blues having paid £22m to bring in Edouard Mendy from Rennes.

Chelsea said Mendy had joined to "complement our existing group" of keepers, but he will be expected to swiftly make the starting spot his own after Kepa committed two errors leading to goals across the opening two games of the Premier League season.

With the help of Opta, we look at what Chelsea can expect from Mendy and how he compares to Kepa.

Safe hands

Mendy (24) made nine fewer league appearances than Kepa (33) in 2019-20, with the coronavirus pandemic having curtailed the Ligue 1 season when most teams still had 10 more fixtures to fulfil.

He conceded 19 goals and kept nine clean sheets as Rennes qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history, while Kepa let in 28 more and shut out the opposition one time less.

Mendy registered a far higher save percentage than the Blues keeper (76.3 per cent to 53.5 per cent) and blew him out of the water in terms of goals prevented.

According to expected goals on target data (xGoT), the shots on target faced by Mendy were enough to concede 21 goals. However, he only let in 18 (excluding own goals) and was therefore responsible for preventing three goals.

For Kepa, the numbers tell a far different story. An xGoT value of 34 compared to the 45 goals he let in (excluding own goals) means he conceded 11 more than expected.

On that basis alone, it is easy to see why Chelsea were keen to seek out an alternative.

On the deck

The move to Chelsea means Mendy may have to adapt to a different style of goalkeeping, though.

In the Premier League last season, 51 per cent of Kepa's 198 goal-kicks ended inside his own box.

 

However, Mendy sent far more of his long, with only 21 per cent of his 163 goal-kicks finding a recipient in his area.

Furthermore, over half of Mendy's passes (56.7 per cent) were classified as long balls, with Kepa's ratio down at 33.7 per cent. Despite that, though, his average of 20.1 successful passes per 90 minutes was just 2.6 fewer than the Spaniard.

Unless Chelsea specifically want greater emphasis on long-range distribution, Mendy could require some time to adjust to playing a shorter passing game.

But if he is able to adapt, Kepa may find his game time at Stamford Bridge severely limited.

Chelsea have signed Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Rennes on a five-year contract, the Premier League club said on Thursday.

The big-spending Blues have reportedly paid just over £20million to bring 28-year-old Mendy to Stamford Bridge.

Mendy's arrival in London will cast doubt over the future of the error-prone Kepa Arrizabalaga, who made another costly mistake in Chelsea's Premier League defeat to Liverpool last weekend.

The towering Mendy helped Ligue 1 side Rennes qualify for the Champions League for the first time last season and now becomes Frank Lampard's eighth new recruit in the transfer window.

Mendy said: "I am so excited to be joining Chelsea. It's a dream for me to be a part of this exciting squad and to work with Frank Lampard and all of his coaching staff.

"I look forward to meeting my team-mates and can't wait to get started."

Blues director Marina Granovskaia explained that Petr Cech, Chelsea's former goalkeeper and current technical and performance adviser, picked out Mendy as an ideal candidate.

Granovskaia said: "As soon as Petr Cech and our technical team identified Edouard as the most suitable goalkeeper to complement our existing group, there was only one player we wanted to bring in.

"Edouard arrives following a season of real success with Rennes, he is ambitious for more, and we welcome him to our club."

Mendy, who will also compete with Willy Caballero for a starting berth, impressed during a three-year spell at Reims before making the switch to Rennes.

He kept 13 clean sheets and conceded just 31 goals in 33 matches in his only full season with Rennes before the French campaign was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cech also moved from Rennes to Chelsea, making that switch 16 years ago.

Chelsea have signed Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Rennes on a five-year contract, the Premier League club said on Thursday.

Bayern Munich or Barcelona?

Two of the world's biggest clubs are going head-to-head for Ajax sensation Sergino Dest.

And the club from LaLiga are reportedly favourites to land the teenager.

 

TOP STORY – DEST WANTS BARCA

Ajax full-back Sergino Dest has pushed aside an offer from Bundesliga and Champions League holders Bayern Munich as he looks to join Barcelona, according to Sport.

Bayern and LaLiga giants Barca are both interested in the 19-year-old United States international.

But Dest has his heart set on Barca, where a principle agreement is reportedly in place between the player and Ajax.

 

ROUND-UP

Tottenham and Inter are in talks regarding centre-back Milan Skriniar, reports Sky Sport Italia. Skriniar is wanted by Jose Mourinho's Spurs but the Premier League club are unwilling to match Inter's £55million (€60m) valuation. Benfica's Ruben Dias remains a serious alternative.

- Diario AS claims Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernandez is wanted by Serie A trio Napoli, Roma and Milan.

- The same outlet also reports that Manchester United and Arsenal are two possible destinations for out-of-favour Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti. Former club Lyon, Rennes and Inter have also been linked.

Aston Villa are eyeing Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley on loan, according to the Telegraph. Barkley is down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

- Kicker says Barca and Roma have joined Paris Saint-Germain in looking at Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, who looks set to leave London.

Manchester City are still pursuing Atletico Madrid's Jose Gimenez, says the Daily Star. An alternative to Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, City's interest in Gimenez could be scuppered as the Uruguay international isolates and recovers from coronavirus.

- Despite already signing Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi, Le10 Sport claims David Beckham's Inter Miami remain keen on free agent Edinson Cavani. However, the former PSG forward is still hoping to remain in Europe.

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard promised Kai Havertz's three-goal haul against Barnsley will be the first of many impressive displays from the club's new signing.

Havertz put in some underwhelming performances in his first two Premier League appearances, but came to the fore with a hat-trick in Wednesday's 6-0 EFL Cup demolition of Championship side Barnsley at Stamford Bridge.

The Germany international star also played a part in another goal as Lampard's side made light work of Barnsley in London midweek.

Lampard has consistently urged patience with the 21-year-old, and suggested his treble showing is merely a sign of what is to come.

"I was delighted with Kai and everything of the night that I wanted from him," Lampard told a news conference.

"It was a great exercise for him, another game to see how we want to work off the ball, but also have freedom on the ball and combinations.

"It's the first of many great nights for him."

Tammy Abraham played ahead of Havertz and opened the scoring, with Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud also getting in on the act.

In defence, Lampard handed a debut to former Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva, while Ben Chilwell came on for Havertz midway through the second half.

"It's exciting for us," Lampard said of Silva's debut, which lasted just over an hour.

"He has just had a weeks training with us. But he gave something off for us with a leader of authority. At the minute, the fact he can't speak the language doesn't matter too much."

Antonio Rudiger and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were both left out of Chelsea's squad, and Lampard acknowledged the duo could move on before the transfer window closes if it suits Chelsea.

"They weren't in the squad and that was just a choice," Lampard said. "There may be movement, but don't read too much in to them not being in the squad. It will have to be right or the club."

Kai Havertz scored a hat-trick as Chelsea sealed their progression into the EFL Cup fourth round with a dominant 6-0 win over Barnsley.

Havertz had struggled to stamp his authority in his first two Premier League appearances, but the former Bayer Leverkusen star got up and running in English football in style on Wednesday.

With Tammy Abraham opening the scoring, Havertz doubled Chelsea's lead before playing his part in Ross Barkley putting the hosts 3-0 up.

Havertz added to his tally with a superb finish soon after, subsequently rounding off his first senior hat-trick 10 minutes later – Olivier Giroud making it six for Chelsea late on.

Callum Hudson-Odoi squandered a great chance in the opening two minutes and Chelsea were fortunate not to be made to pay when debutant Thiago Silva gifted possession to Patrick Schmidt, whose cross just evaded Cauley Woodrow.

Yet it was the hosts who struck first – Abraham slotting in after dispossessing Aapo Halme.

Mason Mount should have put Chelsea 2-0 up but Havertz made no mistake from the next opportunity, coolly dispatching beyond Bradley Collins from close range.

Willy Caballero kept Barnsley at bay three more times before the break, though hopes of a comeback were ended when Havertz forced Alex Mowatt into an error and Barkley drilled home.

Havertz had his second six minutes later, picking out the bottom-right corner with a wonderful strike.

His hat-trick goal came courtesy of a Collins howler – Barnsley's goalkeeper caught stranded on the edge of his box as Havertz nudged it past him and slammed into an empty net before being subbed off.

Barkley missed a glorious opportunity to add a sixth, but Giroud was on hand to pile further misery on Barnsley when he headed in Ben Chilwell's cross late on.

 

What does it mean? Mourinho reunion next up?

Tottenham may receive a bye to the fourth round due to several Leyton Orient players testing positive for coronavirus, and Chelsea's reward for their victory would be a meeting with their former manager if that proves to be the case. Frank Lampard's side came out on top in both league clashes with Spurs last season.

Havertz arrives with a bang

Lampard has urged patience with Chelsea's new signing and Havertz repaid his manager's belief with an excellent display. Across Europe's top five leagues, only Robert Lewandowski (35), Lionel Messi (32) and Cristiano Ronaldo (31) have been involved in more goals in all competitions in 2020 than the 21-year-old, who has 18 goals and eight assists.

Barnsley no match for the big boys

Gerhard Struber set his side up to attack, but though the Tykes caused Chelsea problems at times, they have now lost 15 of their last 17 EFL Cup matches against top-flight opponents.

What's next?

Chelsea travel to West Brom in the Premier League on Saturday, while Barnsley are in action against Coventry City in the second tier.

First Juventus, now Atletico Madrid.

For so long, Luis Suarez appeared set to leave Spain for Italy.

But a proposed move to Juve did not materialise as the Barcelona forward stands on the cusp of uniting with Diego Simeone in the Spanish capital.

 

TOP STORY – SUAREZ TO JOIN ATLETICO

Luis Suarez will swap Barcelona for LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid, according to widespread reports in Spain.

Suarez had been tipped to join Serie A champions Juventus after being told he could leave Camp Nou.

But the 33-year-old Uruguay international forward will now sign a two-year deal with Atletico as he dominates the front pages of Wednesday's Marca, Diario AS and Mundo Deportivo.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United have progressed talks with Barca regarding forward Ousmane Dembele, Record Sport reports. Having so far failed to prise Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, United are eyeing an initial loan move for Dembele.

- Esport3 claims Barca are set to sign Ajax right-back Sergino Dest, who was also wanted by Bayern Munich.

Milan have offered €20million for Nikola Milenkovic but Fiorentina have said no, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Celtic's Kristoffer Ajer and Schalke centre-back Matija Nastasic are also options for the Rossoneri.

- Tuttosport claims Wolves are circling Juventus winger Douglas Costa, who has also been linked to United.

Fulham and Newcastle United have entered the race to sign Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Tottenham have also been linked to the Poland international, while Roma are believed to be in talks as Milik enters the final year of his Napoli contract.

- Sky Sport Italia says Tottenham have opened talks for Inter defender Milan Skriniar, while Benfica's Ruben Dias is another option for Spurs.

- Torino are battling Atletico for Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira, according to Sportitalia. The former Sampdoria star has also been linked to Milan.

- Telefoot says Paris Saint-Germain are in talks with Chelsea over the possible signing of midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko. Discussions with Milan over a return have become complicated and PSG are now eyeing an initial loan deal for the former Monaco star.

Thiago Silva is proud to have joined Chelsea at the age of 36 after his career was threatened by tuberculosis.

While on loan at Dynamo Moscow from Porto in 2005, Silva experienced chest pains and was hospitalised for five months after being diagnosed with the illness.

The centre-back opted against an operation on one of his lungs that would likely have brought a premature end to his time in football and returned to boyhood club Fluminense the following year.

He has since gone on to win the Serie A with Milan, 23 trophies at Paris Saint-Germain – with whom he lost the Champions League final to Bayern Munich last month – and the Copa America with Brazil.

Asked about the serious illness he suffered a decade-and-a-half ago, Silva said: "It was one of the worst experiences in my life because you have a dream as a child to be playing as a professional footballer and when I got TB, it seemed the dream would be over. But, thank God, I had the strength to overcome it and get well.

"It's difficult to talk about it because it brings back these memories, these moments. I remember my last day in the hospital, the doctor told me that I hadn't been cured, that I needed an operation on my lung and that my football career would be over.

"But, thank God, thanks to the qualified people and the specialists, little by little I got better. Little by little, with dedication I managed to return to playing football.

"Definitely it's something that not many people have gone through in their lives and a lot of people didn't recover from a similar illness, so I think about it a lot, these moments and what I've been through and I thankfully had the strength to overcome it.

"I'm very grateful to my family, to my wife, who was very supportive. At the time she was my girlfriend and she was 17, and she helped give me the strength to get over it so I was able to then chase my dreams. Now I can say today that I'm a champion, not just in football but also in life."

With health at the forefront of many people's minds amid the coronavirus pandemic, Silva said: "I'd like to send a message to the young people to tell them to really make the most of their lives.

"If someone is playing football, to really dedicate themselves to playing football. Some people have football as a hobby, but football is a job and life is short and goes by quite quickly.

"In 2005 my life could have been over, but thank God I overcame that illness and today I can now say that I am victorious, both personally and professionally. It's a wonderful experience to now be 36 and a player in the Premier League and to put on a Chelsea shirt at 36. It's immense responsibility and a great source of pride."

Silva was signed to provide experience to Frank Lampard's youthful squad and it is not weighing on his mind that he is on a one-year contract at a club that does not typically hang on to older players.

The veteran defender - who could make his debut against Barnsley in the EFL Cup on Wednesday - hopes to prove he is still capable of being an asset at the highest level and earning a place in the Brazil squad for the 2022 World Cup.

"I think when you get to a certain age, the tendency is that you sign this type of contract. I have no doubt that I will give everything and do my best and contribute," Silva added.

"I prepare and work really hard in everything I do. I love football, I love preparation, and it's not a case of preparing on a Friday for the Saturday, this type of preparation goes way back, so I'm totally relaxed about the contract.

"Whether Chelsea will want to renew it or not, I don't know. If Chelsea feel I haven't met expectations or contributed, we'll sit down and talk about that. I'm not worried at all and I will prepare to do my best possible and really help to contribute to this new team and new project.

"I've accepted this new challenge. It's going to be really good for me. Everyone knows my ambition is to play in the World Cup in two years, when I'll be 38 years old."

Real Madrid and Liverpool reportedly lead the race for Kylian Mbappe if the France star decides to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

Mbappe, 21, is contracted at PSG until 2022, making his future a talking point heading into next year.

It seems the France international's future lies at one of three clubs.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID, LIVERPOOL LEAD RACE FOR MBAPPE

Mbappe's future will be decided next year and the forward will be at PSG, Real Madrid or Liverpool, according to L'Equipe.

The World Cup winner has been heavily linked with Zinedine Zidane's Madrid previously, while Jurgen Klopp's Premier League champions have also reportedly been interested in the past.

The report says Liverpool and Madrid are in regular contact with Mbappe.

 

ROUND-UP

- Luis Suarez is set for a Barcelona exit, but the forward's next club remains unclear. Sport reports Suarez has an agreement with Atletico Madrid, apparently for two seasons, but Barca are said to be intending to block him joining a direct rival for free.

- Manchester United could strengthen as soon as this week. The Guardian reports Porto left-back Alex Telles hopes to seal a move to United this week and it says the Premier League club are hoping to get the 27-year-old's price down to £23mllion (€25m).

- With Kepa Arrizabalaga again coming under fire, Chelsea are set to welcome a new goalkeeper. RMC Sport reports the Premier League club have finalised a deal worth £22million (€24m), plus £5.5m (€6m) in bonuses, with Rennes for Edouard Mendy.

- Staying at Chelsea and N'Golo Kante is reportedly wanted by Inter. Corriere dello Sport reports Inter coach Antonio Conte wants the midfielder, but a €50million (£45.9m) asking price is unthinkable for the Serie A club unless Christian Eriksen or Marcelo Brozovic are sold.

- There could also be movement at Real Madrid. EFE reports Luka Jovic is pushing for a return to Eintracht Frankfurt on loan after struggling in his first season with the LaLiga giants. Meanwhile, Marca says former Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani has been offered to Madrid.

- While Suarez may arrive, Atletico Madrid are also considering their transfer options. AS reports they are waiting for offers for Diego Costa, while Marca says the LaLiga club need to see a player leave before potentially signing Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira.

After an impressive close season in the transfer market aiming to bridge the gap to the top of the Premier League, Chelsea got an uneasy look at how that chasm appears on the field as Liverpool eased to a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Even before Andreas Christensen's game-changing red card for a professional foul on Sadio Mane during first-half stoppage time, Jurgen Klopp's champions had dictated matters.

That state of affairs only became more skewed after half-time as Thiago Alcantara announced his Premier League arrival with a passing clinic against depleted opponents.

Mane gave his own lesson in clinical opportunism with both goals, even if Kepa Arrizabalaga's problems were almost as influential - on both Chelsea's demise and, in all likelihood, his immediate future.

Frank Lampard claimed afterwards that the 90 minutes were not without plus points for the Blues, with another lively Timo Werner showing giving a tantalising indication of how much the Germany forward might enjoy England's top flight.

PASS MASTER THIAGO MARKS HIS ARRIVAL

Losing skipper Jordan Henderson at the interval might have compromised Liverpool's strong position in the match, but former Barcelona and Bayern Munich playmaker Thiago demonstrated the extra dimension he can lend to Klopp's winning machine, albeit in a match where the pattern was already established by Chelsea's numerical disadvantage.

Thiago completed 75 passes of 83 attempted (90.4 per cent), more than any Chelsea player over the course of the contest. Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic - the closest thing to Thiago equivalents in Lampard's line-up - were both substituted in the 79th minute having completed 43 and 58 passes respectively.

Since Opta began collecting full passing data in 2003-04, the Spain international's 75 passes are the most made by a player to have played a maximum of 45 minutes.

Thiago's impact helped Liverpool to improve their 53.5 per cent share of first-half possession to 68 per cent in the second period. The visitors outstripped their 301 first-half passes with 458 after the break.

ALISSON UNDERLINES TALE OF TWO KEEPERS

Despite the free-scoring nature of the season, Opta's metric tracking errors leading directly to goals has only recorded three overall. Kepa is now responsible for two of those.

As Edouard Mendy seemingly closes in on a move to Stamford Bridge from Rennes, the Spain goalkeeper's race appears to be run.

At the other end of their home pitch, Chelsea's hierarchy were able to look ruefully at how things might have panned out. Alisson was understood to be a target to replace Thibaut Courtois before Liverpool got their man.

The Brazil number one made three saves, including an exceptional stop from Jorginho's 75th-minute penalty.

It was the first time Jorginho failed from the spot in nine attempts for Chelsea, excluding shoot-outs, and Alisson's first such stop from three faced since signing from Roma in 2018. In this age of the VAR keeping an eagle eye on keepers straying from their goal line, it was no mean feat.

WERNER SOUNDS ANOTHER WARNING AS MANE SETS STANDARD

As was the case when Jorginho converted his spot-kick against Brighton and Hove Albion, Werner drew a foul in the area to land the opportunity. The former RB Leipzig star is the first player to win a penalty in each of his first two Premier League appearances since Stamford Bridge favourite Eden Hazard back in 2012.

An early dart inside from the left channel suggested Werner might get plenty of joy out of makeshift centre-back Fabinho. However, the Brazilian's four tackles, four interceptions and 12 instances of gaining possession were the best of those numbers returned by any Liverpool player.

Werner's pace and directness is a huge part of his appeal and he has been quick to bring those attributes to Chelsea. His 20 sprints were more than any other player on Lampard's side, with his top speed of 32.27 kilometres per hour quicker than any of his team-mates.

If the £47.5million acquisition can hit the heights that have become customary for Mane, Lampard will be a very happy man indeed.

The Senegal star has scored in each of his past three Premier League away games for Liverpool and his match-winning brace was the 13th time he has converted more than once in a top-flight fixture.

Jurgen Klopp acknowledges Thiago Alcantara will need time to adapt to Liverpool's system but felt the 2-0 win over Chelsea was the "perfect" opportunity for a debut.

Thiago signed from Bayern Munich this week in an initial £20million transfer and was named on the bench at Stamford Bridge.

When captain Jordan Henderson had to be replaced at half-time, the Spain midfielder was introduced for his Premier League bow and played his part as Sadio Mane scored twice against Chelsea's 10 men.

Thiago completed 75 passes, more than any Chelsea player managed in the entire match and more than any Premier League player when on the pitch for only 45 minutes since Opta passing data began in 2003-04.

On the other hand, he conceded a penalty for a foul on Timo Werner, but Alisson saved Jorginho's spot-kick and Klopp was pleased overall with the performance of his new man.

"It was top timing," Klopp told Sky Sports. "He trained. He had eight days off or whatever. He played with Spain, he trained with Munich, he's fit, so that's not a problem.

"But of course, he's not used to our things. We play a different system, but that's how it is, that's how football is. You need to get used to your mates next to you.

"But then when they have one man down, it's pretty much the perfect game. And with Hendo feeling a little bit, we had to react and we decided to bring him on.

"I liked it, I liked his game a lot. Defensively was tricky for him because we set it up differently, but offensively, with the ball, yeah, that's him. He wants to pass the ball."

Thiago played at the base of the midfield, where Fabinho would usually be stationed.

The Brazilian was shifted into the centre of defence due to injuries to Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, and Klopp was delighted with the way he dealt with Werner.

"Timo is a top player. With space, there is no real football tactic that can defend him when he has the ball," Klopp said.

"But Fabinho obviously is a pretty good challenger, really good in one-on-one situations. He did outstandingly well.

"He can play the position and obviously today enjoyed it a lot, so it was good, a really good performance. If Sadio doesn't score two goals, I think a man of the match contender would have been Fabinho."

Thiago was followed into Anfield by Diogo Jota, signed from Wolves, and Klopp was asked to reflect on a positive week for the champions.

"We've had a lot of good weeks in the past, to be honest, but this was a good one as well," he replied.

Sadio Mane scored twice as Kepa Arrizabalaga made another calamitous error in a 2-0 victory for Liverpool over 10-man Chelsea, with Thiago Alcantara conceding a penalty on his debut.

Frank Lampard's side hardly laid a glove on the Premier League champions at Stamford Bridge and their cause was not helped by Andreas Christensen's red card late in the first half, with Mane then scoring twice in the space of four minutes after the restart.

Mane's second was a gift from the much-maligned Kepa, whose days as Chelsea's first choice seem numbered with Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy supposedly close to joining.

Thiago – who came on as a half-time substitute following his £20million move from Bayern Munich – marked his Liverpool debut by fouling Timo Werner to give away a penalty, but Alisson saved Jorginho's spot-kick to cap a miserable day for Chelsea.

Kepa needed Christensen to block Roberto Firmino's goal-bound flick after the goalkeeper left his line and was beaten to a loose ball by Mohamed Salah in the 13th minute.

Momentum swung in Liverpool's favour on the cusp of half-time when Christensen brought down Mane and was sent off by referee Paul Tierney, who changed his initial decision to book the defender after a VAR review.

With new arrival Thiago thrown into the fray due to a reported thigh problem for Jordan Henderson, it took just five minutes for the Reds to make their numerical advantage count – Salah and Firmino combining to set up Mane, who headed in from six yards.

While Liverpool's quality crafted their opener, their second was handed to them as Kepa's pass was intercepted by Mane and he fired home.

Thiago's clumsy tackle on Werner handed Chelsea a lifeline, but it was one Jorginho failed to take with his tame penalty easily saved by Alisson.

Kepa went a small way to making amends for his mistake late on, pulling off two saves in swift succession from Mane and Salah to keep Liverpool's winning margin down to two.

 

What does it mean? Big-spending Blues no match

Much was made of Chelsea's transfer spend of approximately £200m heading into this season, but on Sunday's evidence Lampard's men are far off mounting a title tilt.

All 11 Chelsea starters had average positions inside their own half throughout the encounter, and they managed just three shots on target, including Jorginho's failed spot-kick.

Mane off the mark

Salah was the star for Liverpool in their victory over Leeds United last week, but it was Mane who took centre stage this time. The Senegal forward is only the third Liverpool player to score a Premier League brace at Stamford Bridge, after Steve McManaman in December 1995 and Philippe Coutinho in October 2015.

Christensen's moment of panic sets Chelsea back

Thiago Silva's introduction cannot come quickly enough for Chelsea. Christensen's mistake handed Liverpool the impetus, as he became the first player since his boss Lampard – back in 2009 – to be sent off in a league fixture between the sides. He was also the first Blues player to see red at Stamford Bridge since David Luiz in 2017.

What's next?

Liverpool visit Lincoln City in the EFL Cup on Thursday, while Chelsea are in action against Barnsley a day prior.

Davide Zappacosta and Marko Pjaca have joined Genoa on loan from Chelsea and Juventus respectively.

Zappacosta, 28, spent last term in Serie A with Roma but made only nine league appearances, having suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury while in the capital.

The right-back joined the Blues in 2017, yet, having featured regularly across his debut campaign, he earned just one Premier League start in his second term.

He appears to have fallen down the pecking order under Frank Lampard following the emergence of Reece James, but is under contract until 2022.

Winger Pjaca, 25, has been at Juventus since 2016 after signing on a five-year deal from Dinamo Zagreb.

However, the Croatian has failed to establish himself in the Bianconeri's first team – for whom he last played a Serie A game in March 2017 – and his spell at Genoa will be his latest loan away from the club after stints with Schalke, Fiorentina and Anderlecht.

Genoa, who finished 17th in Serie A last season and narrowly avoided relegation, begin the new campaign at home to Crotone on Sunday.

Andrea Pirlo was untouchable at the height of his playing career, a footballer whose grace and prowling presence drew widespread admiration and struck fear into rival teams.

As a coach, we can surmise but really it is a guessing game as to what we will be getting from Pirlo as the dugout rookie leads Juventus into the 2020-21 season.

On Sunday evening in Italy, the man who was a World Cup winner in 2006 takes charge of his first Serie A game with Juve, who play Sampdoria in Turin.

Maurizio Sarri's Juve reign lasted just one season, albeit another Scudetto-yielding campaign for the most successful club in the league's history. Pirlo will be expected to deliver at least that level of success, and encourage a swagger too.

He joins a host of significant former players plucked for leadership roles at an elite level, typically on a hunch rooted in familiarity, the chosen ones often still fresh from their playing days and with scant experience to call on. Top marks in coaching exams provide no guarantee that success will follow.

Many times, the gamble on a colt coach has paid off, with presidents and owners rightly sensing the novice harbours the innate expertise to lead and to inspire, and crucially to bring results. On other occasions, it has ended in frustration and tears, and in some instances the jury remains out.

Here is a look at just some of those cases, illustrating how there are no guarantees attached to such appointments.

PEP GUARDIOLA

The go-to example for any club that wishes to justify appointing a club legend to sudden seniority on the coaching side, former midfield general Guardiola was just 37 when he took charge at Barcelona in 2008, after a year coaching the B team. He departed four years and 14 trophies later, including three LaLiga titles and two Champions League triumphs, and was vaunted as the world's best coach.

Further successes have come with Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Plainly, Pep was born to lead and Barcelona were wise to the fact.

ZINEDINE ZIDANE

How would Zidane, the mercurial playmaker – the only rival to Brazil striker Ronaldo when assessing the greatest player of their generation – take to coaching? Could the erstwhile Galactico tease out the best from those who can but dream of matching the twinkling feet and god-gifted balance with which he was blessed? Could the former Real Madrid maestro really be a suitable fit for the Bernabeu job that has swallowed up many an experienced coach?

Three Champions Leagues and two LaLiga titles later, we probably have a decent idea of the answer to those questions. There have still been ups and downs, and a brief split along the way, but 18 months in charge of Madrid's B team – Castilla – hardened Zidane for the obstacles he would face in the top job. His Madrid sides have at times lacked the verve that was his signature as a player, but they have delivered results and abundant trophies, and ultimately that is what counts.

MICHEL PLATINI

Before there was Zidane, France had Platini. A wonder of an attacking midfielder with Nancy, Saint-Etienne and Juventus, Platini was also a goalscoring titan of the France team that won Euro 84 and reached semi-finals at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups. It followed, to those that knew him, that Platini would go on to become a great national-team coach too, and at the age of 33 he was appointed to lead France, having retired as a player a year earlier. Platini took over with France already at a low ebb and defeats under his charge against Yugoslavia and Scotland meant they missed out on reaching the 1990 World Cup.

Could Platini bounce back? It seemed he might when France reached Euro 92 in style, with eight wins from eight qualifiers, Platini nurturing the likes of Didier Deschamps and Laurent Blanc, but Les Bleus flopped at the tournament itself as they and England bowed out of a group from which Sweden and Denmark advanced. Platini resigned not long afterwards, began to forge a solid reputation in football administration, and by the late 1990s had built a strong, ultimately fateful, alliance with the then FIFA secretary general Sepp Blatter. He would never coach again.

DIEGO MARADONA

If there were ever a case of being blinded by celebrity, then some of the presidents who have given Diego Armando Maradona coaching work surely have fallen victim. The biggest star of his generation, Maradona retired from playing in 1997 and, with barely a sniff of coaching experience and just about as much baggage as an airport carousel, was named boss of his native Argentina in 2008, tasked with taking the Albicelestes to the World Cup two years later. Argentina scraped their way into the finals and were thumped 4-0 by Germany in the quarter-finals. Maradona's contract was not renewed.

He has continued to pick up coaching work, one curious-looking appointment after another, most recently with Gimnasia in the Argentinian top flight. Maradona the coach has been no match for Maradona the player, and it was naive surely for anyone to think that was ever remotely possible.

FRANK LAMPARD

Pirlo was an artist of the 21st century game, and he is considered a deep thinker, while the common theory is that English midfield counterpart Lampard achieved much of his success through hard graft and maximising his rather more rudimentary talent. Whether either categorisation fits the bill is a moot point, but Lampard has a wiser head on his shoulders than many footballers, was top of the class in his school days, and his IQ is reputed to be through the roof.

Derby County gave him a first break in coaching but it took Chelsea just a year to pounce and parachute Lampard into his first Premier League manager's job. A Stamford Bridge great as a player, Lampard had an acceptable first season as Blues boss but the acid test comes in this new term after a spree of big-money signings. A high-stakes London gamble will play out in the coming months.

ALAN SHEARER

As Pirlo takes charge of those in the Bianconeri stripes he once wore – Cristiano Ronaldo and all – it bears remembering that returning black and white messiahs can fail. Former Newcastle United striker Shearer returned to St James' Park in April 2009, the club's record goalscorer aiming to rescue the team from the threat of relegation, but a dismal return of five points from eight games saw them sink out of the Premier League.

Shearer left and has not coached since, happily staying in his niche as a television pundit. There are pressures but also a certain comfort to that studio role. Two months at Newcastle was the sum of Shearer's coaching career: as Pirlo may yet find out, that can be all it takes to destroy the notion of it being a natural next step.

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