Erling Haaland has enjoyed a remarkably prolific start to life in England with Manchester City.

Ahead of Sunday's derby with Manchester United, Haaland has netted 14 goals in 10 appearances in all competitions for City since his off-season move.

The Norwegian joined City from Borussia Dortmund in June on a five-year contract, following interest from several top clubs.

TOP STORY – MAN CITY CONSIDERING IMPROVED HAALAND DEAL

It is only a few months into Erling Haaland's first Manchester City contract, but the English champions are ready to offer him a new and improved deal, reports the Daily Star.

City have gone early on revised contracts in the past to shore up key players before they become transfer targets for rivals and they will do the same with their star striker if he can keep up his goalscoring prowess.

Haaland is already one of City's top earners alongside Kevin De Bruyne, pocketing around £375,000 per week.

City may opt to bump that up with an improved extension in May, with reports that Real Madrid are planning to chase him in 2024, when they can trigger his termination clause.

ROUND-UP

– PSV's hot property winger Cody Gakpo is attracting interest from Milan, claims Calciomercato. The 23-year-old Dutchman was pursued by Manchester United and Leeds United during the last transfer window, and has also been linked with Southampton and Everton.

– The Sun reports that French Ligue 1 outfit Nice are in the lead in the race to sign Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk. The Ukrainian club are demanding £50million (€56.86m) for him.

Arsenal are in the race for Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, claims the Express, and are hoping to win him over amid rival interest from Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester United.

West Ham United are the latest club to be interested in Club Brugge winger Noa Lang, reports Calciomercato. Milan are also credited with an interest in the 23-year-old.

Arsenal are weighing up a move for Bayer Leverkusen's Ecuadorian defender Piero Hincapie, according to Teamtalk.

– Marca claims Sevilla could bring back former boss Jorge Sampaoli, who led the club from 2016 to 2017, if they dispense with current head coach Julen Lopetegui after their poor start to the campaign.

The Premier League returns now the September international break is done and dusted, and it will be foot to the floor until the World Cup comes around.

With two disrupted months of the season almost gone, some teams are settling down at this stage, while others are continuing to tinker in the hope of igniting their campaigns.

The Qatar 2022 break is on the horizon, adding an extra dimension as many players jostle to earn tickets on the plane with their national teams.

Opta data points to familiar faces who may be primed to deliver those all-important fantasy football goals and assists this weekend, as well as a couple of less-vaunted prospects who could boost your points tally.

Jose Sa (West Ham United v Wolves)

Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa has seen his side struggle this term, with just one win so far meaning they sit a spot above the bottom three – but it has not been down to his own form, with only Manchester City's Ederson having kept more clean sheets than his three this term.

No side have scored fewer goals than Wolves' weekend opponents West Ham this season (three, tied with Wolves themselves) which suggests Sa could be on course to bank another strong performance between the posts.

West Ham have been wasteful with their chances, and are underperforming against their expected goals (xG) tally by 4.6 goals, the worst such record in the Premier League.

Kenny Tete (Fulham v Newcastle United)

Sitting sixth coming out of the international break, Fulham already look on course to avoid the drop back to the Championship, and that has come with a handy assist from their Dutch right-back.

No Premier League defender has more assists than Tete this season (three), with only Kevin De Bruyne (six) and Bukayo Saka (four) providing more among all players.

In addition, two of those assists from Tete have come in his last two games for the Cottagers, suggesting a rich chance he could maintain his form.

Son Heung-min (Arsenal v Tottenham)

Having endured a dramatic goal drought to start the season, South Korea international Son's freewheeling hat-trick off the bench last time out likely pushes him back to the forefront of Antonio Conte's plans.

If he bags three goals again in the north London derby, he would become the eighth player to achieve the feat in consecutive Premier League games.

What's more, he can continue to build on an exceptional 2022, where only team-mate Harry Kane leads him for overall Premier League goals (18) and involvements (24).

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City v Manchester United)

While team-mate Erling Haaland has been tearing up the goalscoring charts, the Belgian heart of Pep Guardiola's side remains a surefire bet for any fantasy football player.

No player has provided more assists (6) or created more chances (25) than De Bruyne this season – and after his prior exploits against United in March, he'll be eyeing up another superb performance.

In a 4-1 City win on that occasion, he scored twice and assisted once. Only against Wolves in May, when he scored four times, has De Bruyne had more goal involvements in a Premier League game.

Declan Rice has described Jude Bellingham as "the future of English football", claiming his international midfield partner is the most talented 19-year-old he has ever seen.

Although England suffered relegation from the top tier of the Nations League last week, Bellingham has done no harm to his chances of starting at the upcoming World Cup during the international break. 

With Manchester City's Kalvin Phillips enduring an injury-blighted campaign, Bellingham started alongside Rice in matches against Italy and Germany, impressing in a box-to-box role.

In Monday's 3-3 draw with Germany, Bellingham led England's charts for passes completed (41), touches (67), touches in the opposition box (six), duels won (eight), tackles won, interceptions and fouls won (all three).

Rice believes the Borussia Dortmund star's all-round ability is unique for someone of his age, telling the Daily Mirror: "I don't think I've seen anyone as good as he is for 19.

"I look at a lot of 19-year-olds, whether it's at a club, around the world, around the country. To have the whole package is a hard thing and I feel like he's got that.

"He's 19 but he's got the body of a 28-year-old – he's a man. He thinks like a man, plays like a man and shows personality and character. 

"I've been around and played so many more games than he has in my career, but you can just tell as a 19-year-old what he brings to the team already, the energy he's got.

"He can play in a holding role, he can play as an eight, he can play as a 10.

"He's a man – you can see it when he plays for Dortmund. As a 19-year-old, you're normally scared to talk to the referee but he's in the referee's face demanding answers, demanding decisions and he leaves himself on the pitch constantly. 

"He really pushes you on the pitch. We push each other on and it's a privilege to play next to him.

"Every time I play with Jude, we're building that connection and I say to him; 'you go and bomb on and do your attacking stuff and I'll sit here and defend for you'. So we're getting that good connection, he's great to play with.

"Hopefully, he keeps flourishing. He's the future of English football to come for the next 15 years."

While Bellingham's individual displays have earned rave reviews, England will begin the World Cup – against Iran on November 21 – having gone six games without a win (D3 L3).

This is their longest such run going into a major tournament, but Rice believes the Three Lions were much improved against Germany, adding: "We're sticking with a formation that needs work and we're working on that in training all the time. 

"I feel like there's positive signs there. It's just a blip at the moment but that was a massive, positive step."

Arsenal are preparing for a busy January transfer window, with reports they are planning a £100million move for Juventus duo Dusan Vlahovic and Fabio Miretti.

Vlahovic, 22, arrived in Turin in January this year in a €70m transfer from Fiorentina, and after netting nine goals for his new club during the tail end of that campaign, he has hit the ground running with four goals from six starts this season.

Miretti, 19, is a product of Juventus' youth academy, and with three appearances for Italy's under-21 side under his belt, he has broken into Massimiliano Allegri's team, with four starts from their past five Serie A fixtures.

Both are likely seen as key pieces moving forward, regardless of Allegri's future with the club, so to pry them away Arsenal understand they will need to pay-up in a big way.


TOP STORY – ARSENAL TO LAUNCH £100M DOUBLE MOVE 

Arsenal have been linked with a number of significant January targets, with the Mail reporting they have made contact with Eintracht Frankfurt's Jesper Lindstrom, while Sport claim they are weighing up activating a €35m release clause for Villarreal's Alex Baena.

What separates the Calciomercato report about the Juventus duo is that they are the only team named in the story, while it also claims Mikel Arteta is pushing for a bid to be made.

Despite the pair's coveted status within the Juventus squad and the desperation for the team to turn their results around following five matches without a win, Calciomercato states that an offer of £100m would be "difficult to refuse".

ROUND-UP

– Corriere dello Sport is reporting Jose Mourinho's Roma will make a move for Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah in January.

– According to Birmingham Mail, Juventus are keeping an eye on Wolves striker Adama Traore for a potential January move, while Football Italia add that their wish-list includes Antoine Griezmann, Marco Asensio and Christian Pulisic

Newcastle United "retain an interest" in Leicester City midfielder James Maddison, and he could be a January target, according to the Leicester Mercury.

– Manchester Evening News is reporting Manchester City have joined Chelsea in their interest for potential £100m Milan forward Rafael Leao.

– According to 90min, scouts from Premier League teams including Arsenal, Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham and Wolves made the trip to Scotland to get a closer look at 21-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk playing internationally for Ukraine.

Harry Kane remains at the centre of significant transfer speculation after the Tottenham striker failed to secure a move to Manchester City last year.

The England star appears more settled under Antonio Conte but has been linked with Bayern Munich recently.

Kane has started this Premier League campaign strongly, netting six goals in seven appearances.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA PLOTTING KANE-LUKAKU SWAP

New Chelsea boss Graham Potter wants to bring Harry Kane across town from Tottenham, claims Calciomercato.

The Blues boss is ready to offer Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, currently on loan at Inter, as part of an exchange for Kane. The England forward's contract at Tottenham expires in 2024.

Chelsea are at the start of a new era after Potter replaced Thomas Tuchel, while they are set to appoint Salzburg's Christoph Freund as their new sporting director.

 

ROUND-UP

– Fichajes reports Atletico Madrid are desperate to add a versatile attacker to their squad next year, with Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, Brighton and Hove Albion's Leandro Trossard and Liverpool's Roberto Firmino on top of their wish list.

– Calciomercato claims Liverpool are considering a move for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk. Newcastle United, Sevilla, Bayer Leverkusen and Ajax are also tracking the Ukrainian, according to CBS' Ben Jacobs. TalkSPORT reports that the Reds are also keeping an eye on Flamengo midfielder Joao Gomes .

– Manchester City are interested in a big-money move for Milan winger Rafael Leao next year, according to the Manchester Evening News.

– Football Insider reports West Ham have informed Manuel Lanzini he is free to leave the club in January.

– Former Italy international Fabio Cannavaro is close to a return to management with talks to take over at Serie B club Benevento progressing well, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Manchester United have identified Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans as a key target in January, filling one of the three gaps the club reportedly believe they need to address at the next opportunity.

Tielemans, 25, has already earned 52 international caps for Belgium and fits the bill as a creative technician in the middle of the park, with Fichajes claiming United feel Christian Eriksen is their only current option for that role.

Leicester have been unwilling to part ways with one of their best players, but with his contract set to expire at the end of this season, January will be their last chance to cash-in before he can leave on a free transfer.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED EYE TIELEMANS AS THEIR NEXT MIDFIELD MAESTRO

Due to Tielemans' contract situation, United may be able to scoop him up for well under his market value, although the player himself will ultimately have all the leverage if he chooses to wait things out and become a free agent.

As well as a central midfielder, the report also includes United are aggressively hunting another right-back – particularly in the Dutch market – and a forward.

Their January budget is said to be at £70million, but if they can find a team to take Cristiano Ronaldo off their books then that number will rise to £100m.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Liverpool Echo is reporting a bidding war is set to break out between United and Liverpool over 21-year-old Flamengo midfielder Joao Gomes, who is believed to be valued at over £30m.

– According to Ole, Moises Caicedo is keen to follow former Brighton manager Graham Potter over to Chelsea

Chelsea are locking up 18-year-old midfielder Lewis Hall on a contract that will keep him tied to the club through 2025, per Football London.

Arsenal are joining Manchester City, Juventus, Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the hunt for Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Jesper Lindstrom, who Calciomercato are reporting is worth £17m.

– Transfer Tavern is reporting West Ham will make another run at Torino full-back Ola Aina in January after having their interest rebuffed the last time around.

Todd Boehly's suggestion for the creation of a Premier League 'All-Star' game attracted plenty of ridicule, but he certainly can't be accused of a lack of vision or creativity.

The new Chelsea co-owner – and chairman and interim sporting director – was speaking at a conference on Tuesday when he proposed the Premier League 'Americanised' (or should that be 'Americanized'?) itself a bit.

A relegation play-off tournament between the bottom four teams was one idea; but the other, which attracted most of the headlines, was for a North v South 'All-Star' game, pointing out Major League Baseball (MLB) in his native United States made $200million from such an event this year.

A potential Premier League 'All-Stars' game was the talk of football media on Tuesday, so at Stats Perform we decided to have a look at who might line up for the North and South.

It was decided the north-south cut-off point would see Nottingham Forest qualify for the North, ensuring each All-Stars team had 10 clubs to select from.

First up, we have unrestricted squads, so essentially the very best teams possible; then, we have squads that are limited to three players from each club and every single Premier League must have at least a single player selected. So, without any further ado, let's see who made the cut…

NORTH ALL-STARS (unrestricted)

4-3-3: Ederson (Manchester City); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool); Rodri (Manchester City), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Phil Foden (Manchester City); Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Erling Haaland (Manchester City), Luis Diaz (Liverpool).

SUBS: Alisson (Liverpool), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Raphael Varane (Manchester United), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Fabinho (Liverpool), Casemiro (Manchester United), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United).

You knew the starting XI was going to look like that even before reading, didn't you? Manchester City and Liverpool obviously dominated the first team here, but it feels difficult to argue with almost any selection here.

The goalkeeper choice was probably the toughest, but only because Ederson and Alisson are both so strong and simultaneously significantly better than any other eligible shot stoppers in terms of their all-round game – Ederson ultimately got the nod owing to 13 more clean sheets over the past three-and-a-bit years, but either could've got the gig.

Similarly in defence, many of the North's options pick themselves. The centre-backs, Van Dijk and Dias, have each won the Premier League Player of the Season award in the past four years, while Alexander-Arnold and Robertson have at least 12 most assists than any other defender since the start of the 2019-20 season.

While the defence had a distinctively Liverpool look to it, City dominate the midfield because… well, they tend to dominate the midfield. Rodri provides the control and defensive protection, while Foden and De Bruyne can wreak havoc going forward and towards the flanks.

Salah and Haaland were obvious picks in attack. The Egyptian has been involved in 96 goals (66 scored, 30 assisted) since the start of the 2019-20 season, more than anyone else, while Haaland is arguably the most in-form striker in world football, having already netted 12 times in seven games for City.

Luis Diaz was perhaps the most uncertain one, but he's quickly become a key figure at Liverpool. His ability to cut inside or head for the byline makes him an unpredictable asset, and he's something of a double threat in terms of goals and creativity.

Cristiano Ronaldo's appearance on the bench owes much to his solid goal-scoring form last season.

SOUTHERN ALL-STARS (unrestricted)

4-2-3-1: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham); Reece James (Chelsea), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal); Declan Rice (West Ham), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea); Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Son Heung-min (Tottenham); Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal).

SUBS: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Marc Cucurella (Chelsea), Jorginho (Chelsea), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Martin Odegaard (Arsenal), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Ivan Toney (Brentford).

This team has it all. A World Cup-winning goalkeeper, a defence with an ideal blend of youth and experience, a combative midfield and four world-class attackers.

Lloris gets the nod in net. He's been one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the league since his arrival from Lyon 10 years ago, and based on Opta's expected goals on target (xGOT) conceded metric, Lloris has prevented 3.8 goals since the start of the 2020-21 season, significantly better than his South All-Stars back-up, Chelsea's Edouard Mendy (-3.8).

Chelsea star James is the right-back, with his 16 goal contributions (six goals, 10 assists) since the start of last season topping the charts for a defender. Koulibaly and Romero are a formidable centre-back pairing, while Zinchenko has four Premier League titles to his name from his time at Manchester City.

James and Zinchenko are brilliant attacking full-backs, but the defence will need screening, and that is where Kante and Rice come into their own. Both super ball-winners, Kante's relentless energy will be complemented by Rice's ability on the ball, as he has demonstrated at West Ham.

That midfield protection will be needed, with a four-pronged attack ready to lay waste to the North's defence.

Sterling might not have made a flying start at Chelsea but is the best pick on the right wing, with Son – who shared the league's golden boot award last season – on the opposite wing. Kane will play a slightly deeper role, behind Jesus, who has had more touches in the opposition box (66), attempted more dribbles (34), more dribbles in the box (8) and won more fouls (21) than any other player in the Premier League this season.

NORTHERN ALL-STARS (restricted)

4-2-3-1: Jordan Pickford (Jordan Pickford); Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Vigil van Dijk (Liverpool), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool); Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle United), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City); Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Pedro Neto (Wolves); Erling Haaland (Manchester City).

SUBS: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Diego Carlos (Aston Villa), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Renan Lodi (Nottingham Forest), James Maddison (Leicester City), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City), Jack Harrison (Leeds United), Antony Gordon (Everton), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United).

Our self-imposed restrictions of no more than three players from a given team gives the North All-Stars a distinctly different feel – nevertheless, Van Dijk, Dias, Robertson, De Bruyne, Salah and Haaland retain their places, for obvious reasons.

Probably the biggest casualty is Alexander-Arnold, but the North benefits from having another excellent forward-thinking option at right-back in Trippier, while Jordan Pickford starts between the posts – David de Gea was another option here, but the England international is better with his feet.

Bruno Guimaraes comes into the midfield, offering a valuable combination of bite and craft, while Fernandes will take up the number 10 position with De Bruyne dropping a little deeper – this shouldn't stifle the team's creativity too much given the Belgian is the only player with more chances created (239) than Fernandes (224) since the latter's Premier League debut.

The other new face in attack is Pedro Neto. Perhaps a wildcard choice, but the Portugal international is an exciting winger with lots of pace and trickery. While Salah will cut in off the opposite flank, Neto looks to get crosses into the box, and that could be an effective route to goal knowing the predatory instincts Haaland has.

Again, Ronaldo is held back in reserve.

SOUTHERN ALL-STARS (restricted)

4-3-3: Robert Sanchez (Brighton and Hove Albion); Reece James (Chelsea), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Joachim Andersen (Crystal Palace), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal); James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Declan Rice (West Ham), Mason Mount (Chelsea); Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Son Heung-min (Tottenham).

SUBS: Neto (Bournemouth), Ben Mee (Brentford), Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion), Joao Palhinha (Fulham), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford).

Robert Sanchez has been a standout performer for Brighton under the now Chelsea boss Graham Potter, and he replaces Lloris now the restrictions have come into play. He has kept 24 league clean sheets since making his debut in November 2020, which trails only four other goalkeepers.

James, Romero and Zinchenko all keep their places in defence, though Koulibaly does not. He makes way for Joachim Andersen, who has been excellent since signing for Crystal Palace in 2021.

We have switched to a midfield three for this side, with Rice staying in the team but playing a deeper, anchoring role. Alongside him are two new faces in the form of England team-mates Ward-Prowse and Mount. Both provide energy and creativity in abundance.

Ward-Prowse's set-piece quality – no midfielder has scored more goals or created more chances from set plays since the start of last season as the Southampton captain – is a huge threat, while Mount has contributed to 21 league goals since the beginning of 2021-22.

Jesus is the unlucky striker to drop out of the starting XI, though he is on the bench, with Sterling, Kane and Son leading the line.

Manchester United and West Ham have confirmed their European fixtures will go ahead, despite the announcement of the death of Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II.

The news of the passing of the Queen at the age of 96 was confirmed by Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

Manchester United will play Real Sociedad in their opening Europa League group stage game at Old Trafford at 8pm local time, while West Ham host FCSB at London Stadium at the same time in their first outing in the Europa Conference League group stage.

Both clubs released similarly worded statements shortly after the announcement of the Queen's death confirming their games will go ahead on the direction of the Football Association and UEFA.

It was also revealed that a minute's silence will be held before kick-off of both games.

Arsenal held a minute's silence and wore black armbands at the start of the second half of their Europa League group stage game against FC Zurich to pay respects.

West Ham forward Michail Antonio has declared VAR should be "binned" following a weekend of controversy in the Premier League.

The Hammers saw an equaliser against Chelsea ruled out after Jarrod Bowen was perceived to have fouled goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, which stood among several contentious VAR decisions in England's top-flight.

Newcastle also saw a Tyrick Mitchell own goal against Crystal Palace chalked off for a foul on Vicente Guaita, with the PGMOL admitting on Sunday that both decisions were incorrect.

Those incidents have sparked a debate around the application of VAR in England and Antonio has made his feelings clear by suggesting the technology should no longer be used.

 "It was a madness, that's what I am going to call it. An actual madness. I have said this many times. It needs to be binned," he told the BBC's Footballer's Football Podcast.

"As a player we all knew it [the incident] was nothing. It is all about opinions - about the referee's opinion, about the fourth official's opinion and about the opinion of whoever is watching.

"If the referee makes a decision, then there is another person who goes 'that might not be the right decision'. He goes to the referee 'you might have to have another look at that'.

Thomas Tuchel claimed Reece James' development is "far from over" after the right-back signed a new long-term contract with Chelsea.

James has emerged as a key player in Tuchel's Chelsea side since he took over last January, driving forward from a wing-back role or filling in on the right of the German's favoured three-man backline, and has made five Premier League appearances this season.

The England international penned a new five-year contract with the Blues on Monday, which reportedly makes him the highest-paid defender in their history. 

Speaking ahead of Chelsea's Champions League opener with Dinamo Zagreb, Tuchel expressed his delight at the Blues' ability to tie down one of their prized assets.

"Of course, he's a very decisive player for us and he's an academy player, and we told you many times how important he is," Tuchel said.

"I think his development is far from over, there's a lot to learn for him and there's a lot to come,

"But of course, we're happy to have a key player with us for so many years."

On the domestic front, Chelsea have claimed 10 points from their first six Premier League outings, which have contained a series of controversial decisions.

Last month, the decision to allow two contentious Tottenham goals in a fiery 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge led Tuchel to declare referee Anthony Taylor should no longer officiate Chelsea's games, comments which saw him fined by the Football Association (FA).

On Saturday, meanwhile, West Ham had a potential last-gasp equaliser against the Blues denied by a VAR review after a collision between Edouard Mendy and Jarrod Bowen, a decision David Moyes described as "scandalous" as he accused Mendy of feigning injury.

Asked to comment on the plethora of perceived mistakes made in recent weeks, Tuchel asked: "What can I say now to be clear and not pay a fine again? Where is the line? 

"Maybe it's better if other people talk about it, our last three home games were like… I don't need that anymore. Red cards, VAR decisions, goals given, decisions not taken where it's obvious to take them.

"Speaking about the last game, I understand the frustration, I understand the discussions about this decision. For me, it's not a 100 per cent decision. It was against Tottenham, it was not now.

"I was happy that the referee got the chance to have a review on the pitch and then it is his decision, we will never have a game without mistakes but at least he gave everyone the feeling that he took the decision.

"I understand the frustration, now it's maybe not on me to comment on it too much but I think the quality of the mistakes, nobody is happy with that."

Pressed on Moyes' comments about Mendy, Tuchel highlighted the FA's refusal to punish the Irons boss, adding: "I did not hear the accusations and you know what happened to me when I spoke about the referee… it was pretty expensive.

"I told you after that I will not comment anymore. I can understand his frustrations, his point of view, and we'll leave it there."

Chelsea have been inconsistent throughout the season's early weeks, and Tuchel believes Tuesday's trip to Zagreb is an ideal opportunity for the Blues to kick-start their campaign.

"We are ourselves in a moment where we need to improve. We are not fully happy with the results," he said.

"We are not fully happy with our performances, so we need to take the next step and it's Champions League so it's very exciting. 

"We are very aware of what the challenge is, to play the first match away in a group stage is always difficult, it can always end up in complicated situations, but I think it's very important that we accept it and play a humble match.

"We will accept the challenge and we will accept the fight, and then we can also have the belief and trust that we are able to win, but we need to perform, for sure."

Premier League officials are seeking an explanation from refereeing body PGMOL after controversial VAR decisions to disallow goals by West Ham and Newcastle United.

The operating of the video assistant referee system faced stiff criticism on Saturday, with West Ham boss David Moyes saying the ruling that denied Maxwel Cornet a 90th-minute equaliser at Chelsea was "scandalous" and "absolutely rotten".

West Ham lost 2-1 at Stamford Bridge, while Newcastle were held 0-0 by Crystal Palace at St James' Park but were convinced an own goal from Tyrick Mitchell should have been allowed to stand.

Andy Madley was the referee in West Ham's game, while Michael Salisbury was the man in the middle at Newcastle, and both were told by the VAR official to review their decisions to award the goals, leading to both being disallowed.

West Ham's Jarrod Bowen was ruled to have impeded Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, while Newcastle's Joe Willock was adjudged to have fouled Palace keeper Vicente Guaita after the VAR intervention, although Willock himself appeared to have been pushed by Mitchell.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe said he considered it a "perfectly good goal", and former Magpies striker Alan Shearer told the BBC that to overturn the initial decision was "shocking, abysmal, disgraceful".

It is understood the Premier League will ask PGMOL – Professional Game Match Officials Limited – to detail its rationale for directing the on-field referee to overturn those goals.

The issue is being treated as a priority matter by the Premier League, although it is not known at this stage whether details of what emerges from its discussions with PGMOL will be made public.

PGMOL is independent of the Premier League and was set up in 2001 when referees became professional, allowing it to become a full-time occupation.

The VAR system was introduced to the Premier League in the 2019-20 season, with the aim of cutting down on mistakes and controversial decisions.

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has hit out at a VAR call that went against the Hammers on Saturday, labelling it a "shambles".

Chelsea came from behind to beat West Ham 2-1 at Stamford Bridge, where the visitors saw a 90th-minute Maxwel Cornet effort ruled out.

VAR looked at the goal and the strike was ruled out due to a foul from Jarrod Bowen on goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, sparking a furious response from the Hammers.

David Moyes declared it was "scandalous" in his post-match comments and West Ham captain Rice agreed, taking to social media to share his thoughts in a series of tweets.

"That's up there with one of the worst VAR decisions made since it's come into the game. Shambles," read the first post, alongside a laughing emoji.

"Can't believe the referee has even been asked to go take a look at the monitor! Cannot see how they've come to that decision."

"Sorry for the frustration but there is so much at stake! To have that go against you in the 90th minute is gutting! Onto the next one we go."

The defeat maintained West Ham's slow start to the season, in which they've won just one of their opening six matches.

The Hammers will turn their attention to Thursday's UEFA Conference League group stage opener against Romanian side FCSB, before hosting Newcastle United next Sunday.

That’s up there with one of the worst VAR decisions made since it’s come into the game. Shambles 

— Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) September 3, 2022

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."

David Moyes railed against a "scandalous" VAR decision after West Ham were denied a dramatic equaliser in a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, though Thomas Tuchel agreed with the call to disallow Maxwel Cornet's late strike.

Chelsea were staring at back-to-back defeats when Michail Antonio gave West Ham a second-half lead at Stamford Bridge, but Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz stepped off the bench to turn the contest around with a goal apiece.  

The drama was not done there, however, as Hammers substitute Cornet had a fine right-footed effort chalked off after Jarrod Bowen was adjudged to have fouled Eduoard Mendy at the death. 

Moyes has now failed to win in 18 Premier League trips to Chelsea – the joint-longest winless streak managed by any coach at a single team in the competition (also Moyes at Arsenal).

The West Ham boss was furious with the decision and accused Mendy of feigning injury after the incident, declaring: "You have seen it, it is a scandalous decision.

"It's absolutely rotten from one of the supposedly elite referees - it doesn't say much about whoever sent him over from VAR as well - it is an unbelievable decision against us.

"We feel we got back to 2-2 and it [the loss] was not down to anything we have done. I support a lot of the VAR stuff.

"I actually think the goalkeeper dives, he is faking an injury because he cannot get to the next one, he did the same on the first goal as well. The referee somehow gets that so wrong it is incredible."

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice also made his displeasure clear on social media after the match, tweeting: "That's up there with one of the worst VAR decisions made since it's come into the game. Shambles."

But Moyes' counterpart Tuchel backed Andy Madley's decision to overturn the goal, telling the BBC: "The momentum of luck is always present, you can never plan things, you can never be sure in a league like this, anything can be turned upside down in any second.

"We were lucky today to get the VAR decision in our favour, which was for me the correct decision. But as we have discussed many times, the decisions don't always go your way."

Chelsea came back to win a Premier League match after conceding the game's first goal after the break for the first time since January 2009 (2-1 v Stoke City), and Tuchel was delighted with the Blues' response after they were beaten at Southampton on Tuesday.

"We wanted to restart the season, turn the game around and keep the three points here," he added.

"I never see a spectacular game against them. It's so, so hard to find spaces, to create spaces, to create chances. They defend deep, they defend with bodies, discipline and physicality.

"It's so, so hard to find a consistent rhythm, and if you lack a little bit of belief like we do, it's even harder. Then you go 1-0 down, this is almost impossible.

"To keep believing is very important, and to get the opener from the bench from Chilwell, and then from Kai the decisive goal, is so good.

"We wanted to define ourselves as a team who play with team spirit and to have a huge influence from the bench, which he had today, so full credit.

"I think it's also down to the situation that the transfer window is closed, now everybody knows that he is in the group, and we need to set the standards again.

"One of the standards was to toughen up and not be soft, to block shots, to give everything to defend our goal. We need to improve consistently and this is not over."

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.

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