Chelsea v Brentford: Premier League – live | Premier League
57 min: The free kick’s no good. Then Caicedo has a dig that earns him a chant questioning his transfer fee.
56 min: Mbeumo stands on Cucurella’s heel out on the left touchline, and is lucky not to go into the book at the very least. Just a free kick, but before Palmer can take it, the substitute Maupay, warming up, cheekily steps onto the pitch and nudges the ball. Palmer doesn’t see the funny side and Maupay picks up a yellow card.
55 min: Sterling crosses from the left. The ball hits a Brentford hand but the referee’s not interested and neither is VAR.
54 min: Sterling shoots from the edge of the box. Pinnock sticks out a leg to block, then heads his own deflection away from the path of Sterling, who was looking to take a second swipe at goal. Pinnock clears calmly. Brentford look a bit more energised in this second half.
52 min: Madueke earns a corner down the Chelsea right. Silva rises but heads down into a thicket of players. Brentford clear.
50 min: Brentford play out from the back. Flekken starts a passing move that takes them all the way up the pitch. Ajer cuts back from the byline on the right for Janelt, in space on the penalty spot. Janelt creams a shot goalwards, but straight at the keeper, who parries. To be fair to Sanchez, he still had to stick out his left arm to stop the goal. A fine reaction save, but what a patient team move by the visitors!
48 min: Palmer dinks a diagonal pass towards Cucurella on the left-hand corner of the six-yard box. Cucurella crosses low and Collins does very well not to walk the ball into his own net. Adroitly bundled out for a corner, from which nothing comes.
47 min: A slow start to the second half, like the one before it.
Chelsea get the second half underway. No changes.
Half-time entertainment. Big game coming up later this afternoon!
Chelsea go off ranting, Madueke claiming he was about to scamper free when the half-time whistle blew. Mauricio Pochettino has a moan as well. The hosts have been the better side; Brentford are unquestionably the happier.
45 min +2: Gallagher plays a simple pass straight out of play. One last opportunity for the Stamford Bridge faithful to have a good old first-half groan.
45 min +1: The first of two added minutes. Caicedo scrapes down the back of Jensen’s leg and is lucky to escape censure.
45 min: Some fine Brentford pressing forces Palmer all the way back from the halfway line to his own six-yard box! In the background, you can hear Thomas Frank screaming his appreciation.
44 min: Palmer curls towards the top-right corner. He gets the up, but doesn’t get the down. Harmlessly over the bar. Goal kick.
43 min: … so having said that, Chelsea counter and Wissa drags down Caicedo 25 yards from the Brentford goal. Palmer fancies this one, just to the right of the D.
42 min: More good work from Mbeumo down the right to win a Brentford corner. The set piece is a waste of everyone’s time, but the visitors have finally turned up as an attacking force.
40 min: A rare Brentford attack sees Mbeumo dummy to release Jensen down the right. Jensen crosses long for Hickey, who is clear 12 yards out, but has to stretch to meet the ball and, in two minds, ends up chesting down and running it out of play for a goal kick.
39 min: Another Brentford free kick on the halfway line; another long punt into the box by Flekken. Sanchez comes to the edge of his box to claim, keeper to keeper. Chelsea counter, and Madueke’s cutback from the right is met by Cucurella, who fails to showcase a striker’s touch from the penalty spot. The ball balloons into the possession of Flekken.
38 min: Cucurella crosses from the left. The ball drops to Madueke on the right-hand corner of the six-yard box. He shoots. Deflection. Corner. And it’s all for nowt. Brentford clear.
37 min: On the touchline, Mauricio Pochettino looks fairly relaxed. Hands in pockets, kidding on he doesn’t care. Transmitting not a jot of anxiety to his team.
35 min: Disasi very nearly finds Jackson with a slide-rule pass down the inside-right channel. One drop of juice less, and he’d have teed up his man. As it is, the ball rolls through to Flekken.
34 min: Sterling looks dangerous every time he starts running with the ball. He tears off down the left at speed, but his attempt to find Jackson with a cutback is easily intercepted and cleared.
32 min: Corner for Chelsea down the right. Gallagher taps it short to Palmer, who goes nowhere. Chelsea have played well, but they’ve not broken through, and their fans are beginning to groan at each misplaced pass, albeit lightly right now. Still, that’s what a run of one win in 12 home league games will lead to.
31 min: Disasi slips Gallagher into the box down the right. Gallagher can’t handle the slightest of touches from Collins, who gently ushers him out of play for a goal kick.
30 min: … nothing much occurs.
29 min: Chelsea ping it around. Brentford hold their shape. Suddenly Sterling steps on the gas down the left and wins a corner. From which …
27 min: The free kick comes to nought, and Brentford quietly fume.
26 min: A free kick for Brentford on the halfway line. They’d have rather played on, because Collins was about to tear off into space down the left. Instead, Flekken will pump it into the Chelsea box from distance.
24 min: Palmer is everywhere. He curls in from the right. Sterling tries to meet the ball in the middle, ten yards out. Roerslev shoves him in the back, but neither referee nor VAR shows any interest in giving a penalty kick. You’ve certainly seen those given. Then again, nobody knows anything any more.
22 min: Chelsea continue to probe and press. Brentford are struggling to get out of their final third.
20 min: Now Palmer plays a cute first-time pass down the inside-right channel to release Sterling, who leans back and blazes over. It feels like a Chelsea goal is in the post.
19 min: From the inside-right position, Palmer wedges a delicious diagonal pass into the box for Cucurella, who meets the dropping ball and sidefoots it straight at Flekken. A yard either side and it was the opening goal. What a fine ball by Palmer, who has begun his Chelsea career confidently.
18 min: Palmer and Gallagher nearly one-two their way into the Brentford box down the middle, but there are simply too many players to get past.
17 min: On the touchline, Thomas Frank issues some tactical advice to his players in the firm style. He’s clearly not happy with the way this is going.
15 min: Madueke chases after a long ball down the right and very nearly gets past Hickey. Had he managed to do so, he’d have been clear on goal. Hickey did extremely well to stick to his man and force a goal kick. Flekken then takes his sweet time over the restart, to the annoyance of the home faithful.
13 min: Chelsea continue to press Brentford back. The pressure is released when Caicedo needlessly clatters into Janelt. They’ll be happy with their lively start, though.
12 min: Chelsea are looking bright in attack. Gallagher combines with Caicedo down the middle and shoots from distance. His effort towards the bottom left forces Flekken to extend at length and parry clear.
11 min: Pinnock slips Mbeumo into space down the right. He twists and turns and tries to shock Sanchez at his near post. Sanchez handles brilliantly, making sure the ball doesn’t go out of play for a throw before setting Chelsea away on the counter. Madueke makes off down the right, enters the box, and aims a curler towards the top left. His effort caroms off the underside of the bar and away. What a goal that would have been!
9 min: Sanchez kicks again. The Brentford fans ooh and aah sarcastically. He’s not going to be allowed to forget the mistake that led to Declan Rice’s goal last week, is he.
7 min: Cucurella sends Jackson into space down the left. Jackson makes it to the edge of the area, where he tries to shape a shot into the bottom right. It’s always heading wide of the target, and Flekken had it covered anyway.
6 min: Some pantomime cooing when Sanchez has the ball at his feet. The Brentford fans referencing last week’s Arsenal game no doubt.
4 min: Flekken hits a free kick long. Wissa wins a throw out on the right. Jensen flings it long. Brentford win another throw. Jensen flings this one long, too. It drops to Mbeumo, who scuffs his shot. Chelsea counter swiftly through Sterling, who rampages down the left before finding Palmer down the inside-right channel. Palmer tries to return it to Sterling, but his team-mate can’t control. Goal kick. Had Sterling stunned the pass, he’d have been one on one with Flekken, ten yards out.
2 min: A fairly scrappy start, all told.
Brentford kick off. They’re kicking towards the Shed End in this first half.
Before kick-off, a moment of applause in appreciation for the life and work of Sir Bobby Charlton. Sir Bobby played his 751st and last match for Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in April 1973. Before the game Chelsea presented him with an inscribed silver cigarette case and formed a guard of honour; after the hosts won by a single Peter Osgood goal, the 35-year-old Charlton rode off into the sunset (via Preston, where he’d spend a couple of seasons as player-coach). Charlton’s innate modesty and sense of honour led to him apologising for what he considered a below-par personal display … like anyone would ever have loved or respected him any less.
The teams are out! Chelsea wear their royal blue, while Brentford will buzz around in red and white stripes. We’ll be off once the Liquidator has been and gone.
Mauricio Pochettino talks to TNT regarding the absence of Fernandes and Mudryk. “Yesterday both feel small muscle injury … hopefully for the next game they can be available … it’s not a big issue, hopefully it can be fixed in the next few days … yes Enzo had a baby, maybe that’s the reason he could not train and felt uncomfortable … now he’s going to rest and recover … we are going to miss both but we have a big squad to find a solution.”
Brentford boss Thomas Frank speaks to TNT Sports. “We have been so good in this formation against the bigger teams … we know we are difficult to play against as a defensive side … touch wood that is still the case today … we know we are good and have a chance today, but we also know we can lose today to an unbelievably good side.”
Chelsea make three changes to their starting XI after the 2-2 draw with Arsenal last Saturday. Nicolas Jackson, Axel Disasi and Noni Madueke are in; Malo Gusto drops to the bench, while Mykhailo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandes miss out altogether, the latter looking after a brand new baby.
Brentford make two changes after the 3-0 rout of Burnley. Aaron Hickey and Mads Roerslev are in; Neal Maupay and Frank Onyeka drop to the bench.
Chelsea: Sanchez, Cucurella, Disasi, Thiago Silva, Colwill, Gallagher, Caicedo, Sterling, Palmer, Jackson, Madueke.
Subs: Badiashile, Ugochukwu, James, Gusto, Petrovic, Maatsen, Deivid Washington, Beach, Matos.
Brentford: Flekken, Ajer, Pinnock, Collins, Roerslev, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Hickey, Mbeumo, Wissa.
Subs: Maupay, Jorgensen, Ghoddos, Onyeka, Mee, Strakosha, Yarmolyuk, Olakigbe, Brierley.
Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire).
Chelsea are back, baby! Well, sort of. Mauricio Pochettino’s box-fresh side are slowly beginning to find their groove, and were 13 minutes away from a fourth consecutive victory in all competitions until a late implosion against Arsenal. They finished that match smarting, having played excellently for the most part against bitter rivals only to somehow magic three points into one, but nevertheless the mood music at Stamford Bridge is, for the first time in a while, upbeat.
Well, sort of. There are two fairly big caveats to that analysis: Chelsea have only won one of their last 12 Premier League matches at home, and that against a callow Luton side; and they’ve won just two of their last 12 Premier League matches against fellow Londoners, a run that includes two successive defeats to Brentford at home. Can Brentford make it three out of three at the Bridge since their promotion? We’ll find out soon enough. Kick-off is at 12.30pm BST. It’s on!