Chelsea won their first game in Champions League Group E as goals from Wesley Fofana, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Reece James sealed a resounding 3-0 victory over Milan on Wednesday.

Graham Potter's side had picked up just one point from their opening two games against Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb, but victory at Stamford Bridge against the Serie A champions has revived their bid to reach the knockout stages.

Fofana scored his first goal for the club since joining from Leicester City in September after 24 minutes, slotting home after a goalmouth scramble.

Aubameyang and James, who set up the former's strike, made sure of the three points in the second half as Chelsea made it back-to-back wins following the weekend triumph over Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Ciprian Tatarusanu kept out Mason Mount's whipped effort from outside the penalty area after four minutes, while the Milan goalkeeper pawed over Thiago Silva's header midway through the first half.

Tatarusanu denied Silva again soon after, yet the rebound made its way into the path of Fofana, who stroked home to put the Blues ahead.

Mount saw an effort ruled out for offside as Chelsea continued to dominate, although only a smart stop from Kepa Arrizabalaga prevented Rade Krunic from pulling Milan level on the stroke of half-time.

Former Rossoneri youth player Aubameyang doubled the Blues' advantage 11 minutes after the restart with a close-range finish from James' sublime cross. 

James wrapped up the scoring five minutes later, the England international slamming into the roof of Tatarusanu's net after being played in by Raheem Sterling. 

What does it mean? Chelsea breathe life into Champions League campaign

Failure to secure three points here would have severely damaged Chelsea's hopes of reaching the last 16, yet a superb display – and result – saw them leapfrog Milan into second in the group, just a point behind Salzburg.

Milan, who had only one shot on target, were well off the pace and have now won just one of their 21 away European matches in England.

James shines

James was at the heart of everything good about Chelsea and at the age of 22 years and 301 days, he became the youngest Chelsea player to both score and assist a goal in the same Champions League game.

Fofana's joy turns to disappointment

It was a game of mixed emotions for Fofana. The 21-year-old opened his account for his new club with a close-range finish, but his participation ended just 14 minutes later when he hobbled off after appearing to hurt his knee in a clash with Rafael Leao.

What's next?

Both sides are in domestic action on Saturday ahead of next week's return fixture, with Chelsea at home to Wolves and Milan welcome Juventus to San Siro.

Gabriel Jesus is setting the standard that is driving Arsenal's early-season charge at the top of the Premier League, and he came up trumps in his first north London derby.

Arsenal's win over Tottenham came in Saturday's early game and was followed by plenty of drama later, as Liverpool were held by Brighton and Hove Albion in a rip-roaring match at Anfield featuring a Leandro Trossard hat-trick.

Newcastle United earned a second win of the season, brushing off Fulham at Craven Cottage, while Graham Potter's Chelsea had substitute Conor Gallagher to thank for their late winner at Crystal Palace.

With goals and drama in abundance, here Stats Perform unpacks the pick of the data.

Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham: Ton up for Kane, but it's Partey time for Arsenal after derby win

Harry Kane became the first Premier League player to reach 100 away goals in the competition, but that was scant consolation for Tottenham after this derby defeat.

Arsenal were able to celebrate a third successive home league win over Spurs – the first time that has happened since 2013 – and they are unbeaten at home in this fixture for 12 games now (W8 D4).

It was a win to savour for Arsenal, with Thomas Partey's opening goal rounding off a 21-pass move, going down as the Gunner's sixth goal since December 26, 2019 to have come from a sequence of 20 or more passes. Only Liverpool and Manchester City have had more in that time. 

Jesus restored the Gunners' lead after Kane's penalty brought Spurs level, with Arsenal's close-season signing from City having managed five goals and three assists already in the Premier League. Only Erling Haaland (12) has had more goal involvements in the early weeks of this season.

It fell to Granit Xhaka to put the seal on the win, after Emerson Royal was sent off. The Arsenal midfielder grabbed his second Premier League goal of the season, with this the first campaign where he has managed more than one league strike since he netted four times in the 2018-19 season.

Liverpool 3-3 Brighton and Hove Albion: Trossard heroics stun Reds

Leandro Trossard became just the third opposing player to score a Premier League hat-trick at Anfield, joining former Coventry City winger Peter Ndlovu and ex-Arsenal forward Andrey Arshavin in that curious club. Arshavin famously hit four in a 4-4 draw in April 2009, the highest-scoring Premier League draw at Liverpool's home ground.

Saturday's feat meant Belgium international Trossard became the first Brighton player to score a Premier League hat-trick, and it left Liverpool four points behind the Seagulls after seven games each, with this game quite the baptism for new boss Roberto De Zerbi.

Liverpool have just two wins from seven games, and they were thankful for Roberto Firmino's sharp finishing as he scored twice, taking his tally for the season to five Premier League goals, all coming at Anfield. He scored five across the 2021-22 season, all away from home.

Mohamed Salah remains stuck on two goals in this campaign but he marked his 200th Premier League appearance with a 50th assist when he set up Firmino to trim Brighton's lead to 2-1 in the first half. Salah becomes just the third African player to reach 50 assists in the competition, after Didier Drogba (55) and Riyad Mahrez (51).

 

Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea: Gallagher returns to rock Eagles

Conor Gallagher came off the bench to deliver a 90th-minute knockout blow with Chelsea's winner against the side they loaned him to last season.

It meant Crystal Palace's losing run against Chelsea extended to 10 Premier League matches, and also boosted the Blues' record to nine wins in their last 10 away London derbies against all teams.

New Chelsea boss Graham Potter watched on in his first Premier League game since joining from Brighton, and he saw former Barcelona and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang mark his league debut for the visitors with a first-half equaliser. Aubameyang also scored in his first game for Arsenal (against Everton in February 2018).

Odsonne Edouard's opener in the seventh minute was the earliest goal Chelsea have conceded in a Premier League away game since January 2021, when Wilfred Ndidi scored for Leicester City in the sixth minute.

Fulham 1-4 Newcastle United: Magpies take flight thanks to Almiron's capital double

Miguel Almiron had been Newcastle's home boy of late, with his last seven Premier League goals coming at St James' Park, so Saturday's double at Craven Cottage bucked a trend.

A fine volley followed by a close-range finish from the Paraguayan helped Newcastle to their joint-biggest victory under Eddie Howe in the Premier League (also 3-0 vs Norwich City in April), and a biggest league win in London since beating Fulham 4-0 in May 2019.

Almiron last scored away from home in the Premier League in another 4-1 win for Newcastle – against Howe's Bournemouth in July 2020.

Fulham were hindered by a red card for Nathaniel Chalobah after seven minutes and 26 seconds, the earliest a player has been sent off for the club in the Premier League since Ian Pearce against Palace in October 2004 (sixth minute).

Conor Gallagher's sublime last-minute strike earned Chelsea a 2-1 win against his former club Crystal Palace to give Graham Potter a winning start in the Premier League.

Second-half substitute Gallagher, who spent last season on loan at Selhurst Park, curled home in the 90th minute to win a game that Chelsea trailed early on.

Odsonne Edouard had given Palace the lead on home soil in Saturday's contest, only for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to net his first goal for Chelsea before half-time.

Palace felt Thiago Silva should have been sent off before assisting that Aubameyang equaliser, and their mood was not helped by former player Gallagher's late winner.

It's 22 days since Graham Potter took over from Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, and yet he's only just about to take charge of his first Premier League match when they go to Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Potter's one game at the helm came in the 1-1 Champions League draw with Salzburg on September 14, with the postponements following Queen Elizabeth II's death and the subsequent international break ultimately making it a fairly quiet introduction to life at Stamford Bridge.

But with 13 matches across all competitions to fit into the next seven weeks before top-flight football pauses for the World Cup, Potter can ill afford to not inspire some momentum.

Arguably Chelsea's chief problem in the early weeks of the season was a lack of goals, scoring more than once in just three games, and on each occasion they never managed more than two goals.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's arrival at the end of the transfer window was seen as a welcome relief, particularly given how effective he'd been under Tuchel in the past.

Well, that reunion didn't last long, but Potter knows Aubameyang could be the key to kick-starting their season.
 

A player with baggage

Any concerns Chelsea fans might have about Aubameyang will likely revolve around his attitude and professionalism – few will have forgotten the circumstances that led to his Arsenal exit.

But for those who have, here's the overview.

Last March he was dropped ahead of the north London derby due to a disciplinary issue, perhaps something you wouldn't expect of the club captain – although he was "reminded of his responsibilities" a month earlier after reportedly flouting COVID-19 restrictions to get a tattoo.

Either way, Mikel Arteta continued to give him the benefit of the doubt until another breach of club rules in December was essentially the end of his stay with the Gunners.

Arteta excluded him from the team, ended his reign as captain and made his stance on the player crystal clear when allowing Aubameyang to join up with the Gabon squad early ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The fact many coaches and managers routinely bemoan the timing of the AFCON should highlight how unusual – damning, even – this was.

On February 1, Arsenal confirmed Aubameyang had left the club by mutual consent, paving the way for him to join Barcelona – talk about failing upwards.

"I am living the dream," he said in a Guardian interview published two days later.

In the same interview, Aubameyang suggested Arteta was the only person to have an issue with his conduct. Perhaps he'd still be at Arsenal were it not for his tardiness in December.
 

A point to prove

He is back in London, however. Aubameyang's stay in Barcelona was little more than a sojourn.

After joining them officially in February, he must've been aware there was always a chance Barca could look to cash in on him quite quickly if the opportunity arose.

President Joan Laporta was desperately trying to raise cash in order to register their swathe of pre-season signings, and the combination of Aubameyang retaining decent market value and being on high wages made him a very sellable option on their part, they just needed someone to come calling.

Given his rather scattergun approach to being an interim sporting director, new Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly probably should've been the obvious candidate, though Aubameyang's links to Tuchel helped the deal make sense.

What made slightly less sense was the fact Boehly sacked Tuchel only a week after Aubameyang signed. Granted, the German isn't the only coach who'd be able to get a tune out of the forward, but you have to wonder what the player was thinking.

Tuchel's familiarity with Aubameyang from their time together at Borussia Dortmund was evident in how he spoke of the 33-year-old shortly after the signing was confirmed.

He said: "Auba, from my point of view, has always been happy to fight for something and to accept the challenge, so the more challenges he has the better it is.

"I know him as [being] very focused and in general a person with a very open heart and very happy to be on the pitch every day. This is what we wanted, he's a very positive influence on the training group.

"He's up for any challenge, he's happy to be on the pitch to score goals and this is what we want."

The "challenge" Tuchel was initially referring to was ending the so-called number nine curse at Chelsea, though it could now extend to winning over a new coach.
 

A striker out of left field

One of the first things Aubameyang highlighted after joining Barcelona was how Xavi said he'd been earmarked to play specifically as a number nine.

Let's not forget, he spent a great deal of his time at Arsenal operating from the left, and for the most part he was effective there. Yet, you could argue his finishing abilities weren't maximised in that position.

Between the 2015-16 and 2020-21 seasons, Aubameyang averaged at least 0.7 goals per 90 minutes every campaign for Dortmund and then Arsenal, bettering or matching his expected goals (xG, per 90 mins.) in all but one season. Even then, the one term he fell short, he was still scoring at a rate of 0.8 every 90 minutes. Over the short term, one might suggest outperforming xG is a sign of luck, but over a prolonged period it is surely a product of quality.

Aubameyang certainly cannot be accused of being ineffective as a central striker for Barca. His average of 0.8 non-penalty goals per 90 minutes was his best record since 2016-17 (0.8), and he helped Barca enjoy a fine second half of the season to eventually finish runners-up in LaLiga.

His form for Arsenal had been less convincing before his departure. He'd scored only four league goals from 6.6 xG – a comparison of his shot maps last term does show much greater localisation to the centre of the area while at Barca, perhaps understandable given his use as a number nine, though that doesn't completely explain why he underperformed in relation to xG while still at Arsenal.

Aubameyang will hope that spell with Barcelona was something of a palate cleanser. He said himself he has unfinished business in the Premier League.

Uncertainty and intrigue definitely surround his move to Chelsea given Tuchel is no longer there, but if Aubameyang does return to silence his critics then there's every reason to suggest Potter will hit the ground running as well.

Graham Potter opted for Cesar Azpilicueta ahead of recent arrivals Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana as Chelsea switched to 4-3-3 in their new head coach's first game.

The Blues operated in a 3-4-3 system for most of Thomas Tuchel's tenure, but the German was dismissed after an underwhelming start to the season.

Potter was convinced to leave Brighton and Hove Albion for Stamford Bridge and made three changes ahead of his first game at home to Salzburg in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Thiago Silva returned to the starting line-up, with club captain Azpilicueta partnering the centre-back as Potter decided to leave out Koulibaly and Fofana, who were recruited from Napoli and Leicester City respectively.

Jorginho came in to the midfield trio, along with Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount, while former Brighton defender Marc Cucurella replaced Ben Chilwell at left-back.

Chelsea continued with the same front three, though – Raheem Sterling, Kai Havertz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up top, the latter making his home debut for the Blues.

The Blues lost 1-0 at Dinamo Zagreb in their Group E opener, which was Tuchel's 100th game in charge, and also his last.

Chelsea have reportedly held an emergency call with new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to reassure him of his future with the club after Thomas Tuchel's surprise sacking.

Tuchel was removed from his position after Chelsea's 1-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League opener, in a move that will carry a heavy financial cost, according to reports from the Daily Mail and The Mirror.

Tuchel and his backroom staff are said to be receiving £15million in pay-outs, and Brighton are set to claim £20m in compensation after Graham Potter took over.

One of the main selling points for Aubameyang to come to Stamford Bridge was his relationship with Tuchel, who had coached him at Borussia Dortmund, and the Telegraph claims Chelsea's ownership group went out of their way to reassure the 33-year-old striker about his decision after cutting ties with Tuchel.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA OWNERS REASSURE AUBAMEYANG OF HIS ROLE AFTER TUCHEL FIRING

According to the Telegraph's report, controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Egbali addressed the Chelsea squad on Wednesday after Tuchel's sacking took place that morning, but there was also a separate individual chat with Aubameyang.

They reportedly told the signing from Barcelona that they "believe he can flourish under new head coach Graham Potter", and the Gabon international is said to have no second thoughts about his decision.

While he was clearly a player Tuchel pushed for, Aubameyang was assured he was "a club signing", and the report claims he "is thought to have been appreciative of the explanation".

In his one game for Chelsea under Tuchel, Aubameyang was substituted in the 59th minute.

 

ROUND-UP

– BILD has confirmed once again that Liverpool have their sights set on a massive move for Borussia Dortmund's 19-year-old English midfielder Jude Bellingham in 2023. 

– A report from Sport claims the rise of 18-year-old Barcelona left-back Alejandro Balde has complicated the arrival of Marcos Alonso, who was brought in to be the main competition to Jordi Alba, but he is now behind Balde as well.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting 21-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk wants a move to Arsenal alongside his Ukrainian compatriot Oleksandr Zinchenko, and that it could be possible in January.

– JuveLive claim Juventus are prepared to offer 22-year-old striker Moise Kean to Aston Villa in a straight swap for 24-year-old midfielder Douglas Luiz.

Todd Boehly has made his first appointment as Chelsea owner, drafting in Graham Potter from Brighton and Hove Albion to succeed Thomas Tuchel.

The decision to axe Tuchel just a week after the close of the transfer window was a bold call but problems have reportedly stemmed throughout the summer, with defeats to Southampton and Leeds United proving to be problematic, and a decision is said to have been made before the surprise defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.

In Potter, Chelsea have appointed one of the most highly-rated young managers within English football, the 47-year-old guiding Brighton to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League last season – the highest in the club's history.

He will inherit a talented and staggeringly expensive squad at Stamford Bridge, with key decisions to be made across the squad. Here, Stats Perform looks at the winners and losers of his appointment.

Winner – Marc Cucurella

Signed from Brighton for a reported £60million ahead of the 2022-23 season, many eyebrows were raised as to whether the Spain international was a worthwhile addition given Ben Chilwell's position in the squad already.

After a 15-minute cameo on the opening weekend, Cucurella has subsequently started all five of the following Premier League matches, with Chilwell demoted to the bench after he started the curtain-raiser against Everton.

Cucurella's position as first-choice down the left should be even more secure following the appointment of Potter, a player he brought to Brighton from Getafe in 2021 and one that was a staple in his side last season, appearing in 35 of the 38 league matches in a variety of position.

Loser – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Brought back to the Premier League on deadline day from Barcelona, former Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang spoke about his delight of playing under Tuchel again following the pair's time together at Borussia Dortmund.

That reunion proved to be short lived, though, with Aubameyang now having to prove himself to Potter and potentially having to shake off the troublesome reputation he earned from Mikel Arteta in his time in north London.

Potter is a manager who has a set approach to play and Aubameyang must fill into that fully, though the new boss may not have the patience to try to make it work, instead looking to younger options that can be crafted to fill that role.

Winner – Armando Broja

Having impressed on loan with Southampton last season, Armando Broja was linked with further loan moves for the 2022-23 campaign but opted to remain at Stamford Bridge and fight for regular football.

The Albania international could secure exactly that under Potter if he quickly learns his style of play, with Potter's time at Brighton showing he is fully prepared to trust in the youth to fill voids in the squad – shown by Moises Caicedo's meteoric rise following the sale of Yves Bissouma to Tottenham.

Finding a long-term solution to Chelsea's striker woes is likely to be one of the biggest tasks on Tuchel's agenda after his arrival in west London and Broja should get the chance to prove he is exactly what is needed.

Loser – Ageing defenders

Chelsea spent heavily to bolster their defensive ranks after losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, with Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana brought in as replacements.

The duo reportedly cost just over £100m and those fees will likely ensure they are Potter's first-choice pairing this season, with Chelsea keen to ensure they don't sustain another huge loss in the transfer market like they did with Romelu Lukaku.

That could be bad news for 37-year-old Thiago Silva and 33-year-old club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, both of whom will be vying for regular football ahead of the World Cup in Qatar but face considerable competition for a starting berth.

Chelsea made a dismal start to their Champions League campaign as Mislav Orsic guided Dinamo Zagreb to a shock 1-0 win over the disjointed Blues on Tuesday. 

Orsic handed the hosts a surprise lead with a neat finish after racing onto Bruno Petkovic's flick-on just 13 minutes in, as Chelsea produced yet another toothless attacking display.

Chelsea debutant Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struggled before being withdrawn on the hour, with Dinamo keeping Thomas Tuchel's men at arm's length with a superb defensive performance.

Having made a below-par start in the Premier League, Chelsea must now play catch-up in what could prove an awkward Champions League group, with games against Milan and Salzburg to come.

Chelsea should have gone ahead when Aubameyang failed to reach Kai Havertz's early cut-back, and paid the price when Dinamo hit the front shortly thereafter, as Orsic beat Wesley Fofana for pace before stabbing into the bottom-right corner.

Kepa Arrizabalaga saved well from Arijan Ademi's volley as Dinamo grew in confidence, and Chelsea recorded just one effort on target before half-time as the hosts defended in numbers. 

Aubameyang was denied by the offside flag when he tapped Ben Chilwell's cut-back home five minutes after the break, before Chelsea were indebted to Kepa for tipping Stefan Ristovski's sweet strike onto the post.

Substitute Hakim Ziyech was unable to turn home an enticing right-wing cross as the visitors became more desperate, and Kalidou Koulibaly was perhaps fortunate to avoid a second booking for a foul on Petkovic. 

Tuchel introduced Armando Broja and Christian Pulisic in search of a leveller, with Dominik Livakovic finally called into action with five minutes left, his reflex save denying Ziyech seconds after Reece James struck the right-hand post, as the Blues failed to find a way past the stubborn hosts on a chastening trip to Croatia.

What does it mean? Chelsea's blues continue 

After a meek showing in Zagreb, Chelsea have suffered defeat in their opening Champions League match for just the third time in their 19 participations (W11 D5), also losing to Basel (2013-14) and Valencia (2019-20).

While Chelsea's ponderous attack has been criticised in the season's early weeks, they have also failed to keep a clean sheet in six outings across all competitions, their joint-longest such run since Tuchel took charge (also six in November-December 2021).

Orsic troubles English visitors

Orsic did brilliantly to bring down Petkovic's flick-on before his clever finish gave Dinamo a the lead, and he is beginning to carve out a reputation for tormenting Premier League sides.

He has scored five goals in his last four games against English teams in European competition (three v Tottenham, one v West Ham and Chelsea). Orsic is Dinamo's all-time top scorer in continental action with 18 goals (excluding qualifiers).

No fast start for Aubameyang

Tuchel backed Aubameyang to "prove a point" ahead of the trip to Zagreb, but the new arrival failed to record a shot on his first Blues outing, enjoying just three touches in the Dinamo area.

It was a far cry from Aubameyang's last Champions League appearance, when he scored a brace for Borussia Dortmund against Real Madrid in December 2017. While the former Barcelona man could yet solve Chelsea's attacking issues, he may need time to hit his stride.

What's next?

Chelsea go to Fulham for a London derby in the Premier League on Saturday. Dinamo, meanwhile, face HNK Gorica in the Prva HNL on the same day, before travelling to Milan in the Champions League next Wednesday. 

Thomas Tuchel declared Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is hungry to prove a point as he weighed up whether to throw Chelsea's new striker in from the start at Dinamo Zagreb.

Aubameyang, who only left Arsenal for Barcelona in January, became one of the final major signings of a busy transfer window at Stamford Bridge, and has made the trip to Croatia for the Blues' Champions League opener.

The striker was unable to feature in a 2-1 Premier League win over West Ham on Saturday after suffering a broken jaw when his home was invaded by burglars ahead of his transfer.

But Aubameyang could be set to make his debut while donning a protective mask on Tuesday, and Tuchel believes the 33-year-old is desperate to hit the ground running.

Asked whether Aubameyang was the type of character to thrive in difficult situations, Tuchel said: "He is the sort of player. He's very ambitious, he's very focused and hungry to play for us. 

"He's hungry to prove a point still, that's why he's here. That's what we felt from the first moment and he's happily invited to prove a point tomorrow."

Pressed on whether Aubameyang could start, he added: "If an issue would come up today [on Monday], we will not put him tomorrow, but there was no issue for him [on Sunday] and I hope there will not be an issue.

"Is he ready to start? Of course, I think he cannot play 90 minutes so it's on us to take a decision on how we manage the minutes, he needs minutes to get his full fitness and rhythm, it's clear.

"So it's on us to find a solution, if he comes from the bench or if he starts."

Aubameyang scored 56 goals in just 63 league games under Tuchel's management at Borussia Dortmund, averaging a goal every 94 minutes of league action under the German.

His new team-mate Mateo Kovacic, meanwhile, believes the Gabon international fills a clear void in the Blues' attack. 

"I haven't seen him yet in training because he only trained yesterday with the team, so I haven't seen him yet, but he is a great player as we know, he scored goals everywhere," he said.

"We're looking forward to having him in our squad and he will be a big addition to Chelsea.

"He's a proper striker, a goalscorer, which we missed in the last years. We haven't had that goalscorer that scores 20 or 25 goals per season, which you obviously need to win the title.

"So like I said, we're looking forward to having him in our squad, and he will be a big addition, that's for sure. He's a proven goalscorer, for him it's normal to score goals and I hope he will do it here as well."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in the squad for Chelsea's Champions League opener against Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday.

The Gabon international was one of the final major signings of a busy transfer window for Thomas Tuchel's Blues, as they seek to offset the loss of Romelu Lukaku.

The former Barcelona forward arrived at Stamford Bridge with a broken jaw however, throwing into doubt when he would be able to participate.

But with confirmation of Chelsea's 23-man party for their European opener in Croatia comes the news he could be in line for his debut, alongside fellow new recruit Denis Zakaria.

N'Golo Kante and Thiago Silva are the two men who drop out for the Blues, as the Premier League side look to take the momentum from their victory over West Ham at the weekend into an opening continental win.

Thomas Tuchel professed his support for out-of-form goalkeeper Edouard Mendy after he produced an erratic display in Chelsea's 2-1 win over West Ham, insisting the Senegal international has been unlucky recently.

Mendy was rooted to his goalline from a West Ham corner when Chelsea fell behind on Saturday, Michail Antonio capitalising on a goalmouth scramble to put the Hammers ahead.

Although substitutes Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz scored a goal apiece to turn the game around, Mendy was again involved late on as Maxwel Cornet had a fierce right-footed finish chalked off.

Referee Andy Madley was advised by VAR to check the goal, and eventually ruled that Jarrod Bowen had fouled Mendy in the build-up.

Visiting manager David Moyes labelled that decision "scandalous" and "rotten" as he accused Mendy of feigning injury, but Tuchel insisted the goalkeeper was suffering after the incident.

"He was in a lot of pain, and we have to see. It's too early to comment on that," Tuchel said post-match.

"I think at the moment he is a bit unlucky in what he is doing. In training, he is fantastic, and he is, in general, a very calm and self-reflective guy who is aware that he lacks a little bit of luck at the moment.

"Things do not go in his favour. If he has maybe a situation where his action isn't 100 per cent clear, he gets punished for it massively. 

"He is just in this moment, and it feels like it's not so much his fault. I have the feeling because he tries everything, he is very calm and focused. We will keep on supporting him."

Despite eventually clinching a much-needed victory, Chelsea toiled for long periods at Stamford Bridge, and Tuchel will hope the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang provides an attacking spark.

Aubameyang was in the stands at Stamford Bridge and is set to begin training with the Blues imminently, though Tuchel is unsure when he will be able to play after sustaining a jaw injury when his home was invaded by burglars.

"He trains tomorrow, but I cannot tell you if he trains with full contact or individually," Tuchel revealed.

"We'll need to see. He has the [protective] mask, and the doctors tell me the mask is good and he feels comfortable with it.

"So he would be okay, but we need to check it, and we need to check it with no contact, half-contact, and then full contact.

"We need to see how he feels about it. It's too early to make a prediction, but he'll be in training tomorrow morning, and we'll see."

Chelsea were the Premier League's biggest spenders in the transfer window, shelling out substantial fees for the likes of Aubameyang, Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella, Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly.

But Tuchel thinks the stability offered by the closure of the window will benefit his team, adding: "For us, it's an immense boost to have the window closed. It's simply like this. 

"We now have the chance to demand full commitment. There is no way out anymore. We are the group for Chelsea that wants to have the best possible results and outcomes. 

"We have to take responsibility now from here. I am happy with everybody who is in the group. There is a reason for everyone to be in the group."

Kai Havertz came off the bench to seal a much-needed victory for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, as the Blues came from behind to beat London rivals West Ham 2-1.

Thomas Tuchel's team were booed off after failing to manage a single shot on target in a dismal first half, and fell behind shortly after the hour when Antonio converted following a goalmouth scramble.

But Ben Chilwell poked past Lukasz Fabianski to level the scores with 15 minutes remaining, and Havertz was on hand to turn the full-back's cross home to put the Blues ahead late on.

There was still time for Maxwel Cornet to see a fine strike disallowed for West Ham, but Chelsea ultimately held on to bounce back from Tuesday's loss to Southampton after an enthralling match.

Barcelona have landed defender Marcos Alonso from Chelsea as part of the latter's deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the left-back joining on a one-year deal and a release clause set at €30million.

The 31-year-old, who arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2016, was a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League winner with the Blues during his six-year tenure in London.

Having previously played in the English top-flight for Bolton Wanderers, and then Sunderland during a loan spell from Fiorentina, the 31-year-old returns to LaLiga for the first time in over a decade.

A product of the Castilla academy system at Real Madrid, Alonso only played one competitive game for the club before he left for England in 2010.

His arrival comes following the termination of his contract with Chelsea, which came following the Blues' capture of Aubameyang - bringing an end to his short spell in Catalonia.

He is the second defensive arrival at the end of the transfer window, with Hector Bellerin having arrived from Arsenal on Thursday after similarly seeing his contract cut-short.

Alonso has been handed the number 17 shirt at the club, with Bellerin given number two, and neither player was signed in time to feature in this weekend's LaLiga clash with Sevilla.

Erling Haaland could become the greatest player in Premier League history after making an astonishing start to his Manchester City career, according to Jamie Carragher.

Haaland has been in electrifying form for Pep Guardiola's champions since arriving from Borussia Dortmund, hitting nine goals in his first five league appearances for City.

That haul is the best managed by any player in their first five Premier League outings, and the towering Norwegian became the first player since Harry Kane in December 2017 to score back-to-back hat-tricks in the competition against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.

The City striker has averaged a goal every 43 minutes of league action this season, and Carragher believes Premier League fans are witnessing something special.

"I'd probably say Man City have had a really good window, with the players they've brought in," he told Sky Sports.

"They lost a lot of attacking players, but you look at Haaland… [Julian] Alvarez's start already, he looks [to have] real quality.

"Haaland's the one that jumps out at you, he just looks absolutely amazing.

"We know we've got a great player in the league, but I think we've got something really, really, special, where when he's finished his time at Man City or in the Premier League, we'll be taking about him alongside Thierry Henry.

"I think this lad could end up being the best player we've seen in the Premier League, I really do. He's that special and he's made a brilliant start." 

Should Haaland find the net when City travel to Aston Villa on Saturday, he would become just the fifth player to score in his first three away Premier League games (after Peter Beardsley, Jurgen Klinsmann, Francesco Baiano and Alen Boksic).

Given the 22-year-old's incredible form, he will likely also have his eye on becoming the first player in the competition's history to score a hat-trick in three consecutive appearances.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is another former Dortmund striker to have made a Premier League move, reuniting with former BVB boss Thomas Tuchel by swapping Barcelona for Chelsea.

While the 33-year-old's time at Arsenal ended in acrimonious fashion in January, Carragher believes his arrival represents a welcome boost for Chelsea.

"He's a quality player, there's no doubt about that, and I think it's a good signing," he said.

"People may question Arsenal's role for this, the fact they've let him go for free and Chelsea are paying money for him [less than] 12 months later.

"I think it's a good signing for Chelsea, but I also think it was the right decision for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal, look where they are right now.

"Aubameyang, we know what he brings, goals and quality. Thomas Tuchel knows him, he's worked with him at Borussia Dortmund as well, and as a neutral, I'm delighted he's in the Premier League. He's a brilliant player."

Chelsea have farewelled Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso, announcing on Thursday that it was "mutual consent" leading to his departure.

It has been widely reported that Alonso was included along with a €14million fee in exchange for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona, although the Spanish giants are yet to announce Alonso's arrival.

He totalled 29 goals and 23 assists over his six seasons, winning the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Europa League, Super Cup and Club World Cup in the process.

In the statement from Chelsea – which calls Alonso "a thoughtful and extremely likeable man off the pitch" – they highlight how he followed his father's and grandfather's footsteps in representing Spain on the international level.

"Deployed at left wing-back for 60 per cent of his 212 appearances, and at left-back for the rest, Alonso was confident in possession, strong in the air and an excellent set-piece taker," it reads.

"His performances for Chelsea earned him a call-up to the Spain squad for the first time in March 2018, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps. The youngest Marcos Alonso leaves having represented his country on nine occasions.

"Everyone at Chelsea Football Club would like to thank Marcos for his service to the Blues and wish him all the very best for the rest of his career."

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