European champions Chelsea had a day to forget especially on the defensive front as they blew the chance to extend their lead at the Premier League summit against West Ham United on Saturday afternoon. The recently displaced Premier League leaders missed out on the opportunity to move four points and five points clear of title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool respectively after they were beaten 3-2 by their hosts thanks to their poor showing defensively.
Without a shadow of doubt, Chelsea have shown that they are genuine title contenders this season in the first four months. However, injuries and mistakes are threatening to derail their bid for a first league title in five years.
Chelsea bounced back from their first league defeat of the season at home to Manchester City with four straight wins that took them to the top of the table, but dropped points from three of their last five games have given advantage to Liverpool and Manchester City in the title race.
The run of just two wins in the last five matches started with the 1-1 home draw with Burnley who are in the bottom three. Chelsea missed out on the chance to beat Burnley for a fifth successive league victory and a five-point lead at the summit. The European champions created enough chances to win the game, but they were denied by poor finishing from their attackers. In the last five games, the West Londoners also dropped points against a struggling Manchester United side via a 1-1 home draw thanks mainly due to mistake from Italian international Jorginho. His mistake gifted Jadon Sancho a goal at the start of the second half beforehe redeemed himself with the equaliser from the penalty spot.
Chelsea were on an eight-match unbeaten run in the league when they visited the London Stadium to take on West Ham. In the end, individual mistakes from the likes of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and the aforementioned Jorginho gave the Hammers a comeback win. It must be pointed out that injuries to important players such as Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku have not helped Chelsea in the current run of eight points from the possible 15 points.
With the defeat at West Ham, Chelsea lost the Premier League summit to Manchester City. They have dropped to third on the log as they now trail Liverpool by one point and new leaders Manchester City by two points.
Premier League holders Manchester City are on the trail of RB Leipzig attacker Christopher Nkunku who gave the team a lot of problems when the two teams met in the Champions League this season.
The interest of Manchester City in Nkunku was revealed by German newspaper Bild. The RB Leipzig star scored three goals for his German Bundesliga sideduring the 6-3 defeat to the Premier League holders. Nkunku was a thorn in the flesh of several Manchester City defensive players including Brazilian goalkeeper EdersonMoraes and star defender cum club skipper Ruben Dias.
Bild is one of the most reliable newspapers on the European scene and a report from the outlet stated that Manchester City have already made an enquiry for Frenchman Nkunku. Ex-Paris Saint Germain (PSG) star Nkunku has been able to show his numerous qualities on the Champions League stage this season.
Nkunku has scored five goals in four games for RB Leipzig in the Champions League this season. In addition to his hattrick against Manchester City, Nkunku also scored one of the goals against his former club PSG in a game which ended in a share of the spoils. RB Leipzig and PSG have met twice in Group A of the Champions League this season. In their first game, the great Lionel Messi scored twice to lead PSG to a 3-2 comeback win over the Germans, while Nkunku scored in the second meeting which ended in a 2-2 draw at the home of RB Leipzig.
RB Leipzig have already slapped an asking price of €60m (£51m) on Nkunku amidst the interest from Manchester City and others. Apart from the English champions, Italian Serie A giants Juventus and former team PSG are also monitoring his situation at Leipzig. In total, Nkunki has an attacking output of 11 goals plus four assists in 17 games in all competitions.
The Philippines Football League (PFL) is forging on despite the threats of the Corona Virus. Six Clubs will enter the bubble at the league’s National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite. The event kicks off this Sunday, so the teams are at the league’s Seda Nuvali Hotel in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
The tournament is supported by Qatar Airways, with all the players and coaching crew in the bubble, undergoing regular tests and preventive measures. Per the league commissioner Coco Torre, all team members will undergo mandatory swab tests, and if all goes well as per the results, then things would go on as planned this weekend. Practice begins on Friday and Saturday, but the results are critical to going forward, the league clarifies.
Azkals Development Team, Kaya FC-Iloilo, Stallion-Laguna, Mendiola FC, United City FC and Maharlika FC make up the six teams in the bubble.
Azkals and Mendiola will begin the affair on Sunday morning while Stallion-Laguna and Kaya will clash in the evening. United City and Maharlika will face off by 8.30pm, per the roaster in the single-round series adapted in the face of a tough year. The team with the most points will be declared the champion on November 6, 2020.
The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) President Mariano Araneta is excited that professional football is back in the country after a draining process to get permission from the Games and Amusements Board (GAB). Nonong says the tournament is an important one for the teams and the fans who have been waiting for long.