Chelsea have confirmed Hakim Ziyech has agreed a five-year contract and will join from Ajax at the end of the season.

Ajax announced last week that the 26-year-old would be moving to Frank Lampard's side in a deal potentially worth €44million.

The forward, who will spend the rest of 2019-20 with the Eredivisie champions, told Chelsea's official website: "I am delighted and proud to have signed for such a huge club as Chelsea. I am looking forward to next season and hope we can achieve great things together."

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia made clear the club's delight at signing a player who has taken the Champions League by storm in recent seasons.

"We are delighted Hakim will be joining us in the summer, having been a key target of the club's in this last window," she said.

"He has consistently been one of the most dangerous attacking players in Europe in recent years, which we saw first-hand in our two games against Ajax in the Champions League.

"We wish Hakim and Ajax all the best for the rest of the season and look forward to welcoming him to Stamford Bridge in the summer."

Ziyech joined Ajax from Twente in August 2016 and was a star performer as Erik ten Hag's men reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and secured a domestic double last term.

The Morocco international is the first major signing confirmed by Chelsea since Lampard took over as head coach from Maurizio Sarri prior to the start of the season.

Deals to bring in Christian Pulisic and loanee Mateo Kovacic permanently had been agreed prior to Lampard taking charge, and the Blues were then forced to endure a one-window transfer ban after they were found guilty of breaching FIFA rules regarding the signing of minors from overseas.

Their initial two-window suspension was reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in December, however, allowing Chelsea to sign players in January, but they failed to secure any new arrivals.

Speaking at the start of this month, Lampard said his side had become "underdogs" in the battle to finish fourth in the Premier League because their rivals had strengthened their own squads.

Frank Lampard fears he may have a mole among the Chelsea ranks after Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho correctly predicted how the hosts would line up at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Mourinho said the Blues would play with a back three and they did just that, doing so to great effect as Lampard oversaw a 2-1 victory to tighten their grip on fourth spot in the Premier League.

With Mourinho having enjoyed two successful spells at the Bridge, Lampard raised the possibility the Portuguese had been tipped off about Chelsea's formation.

"That's the world we live in," he said, having become the first manager to complete a league double over Mourinho in a single league season.

"I am not being sinister about it, but it is the world we live in. When someone has worked at the club previously, I think that can happen.

"When you have been working on a back three for two or three days, I am not that trusting always in terms of everybody but that's life."

Spurs lined up to match their opponents' shape but Chelsea were much the better side, with efforts from Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso ensuring Antonio Rudiger's late own goal counted for little.

Lampard allowed his players to take all of the credit, rather than citing his tactics, insisting he did not outwit his former mentor.

"I wouldn't say tactically outwitted because he matched us up," he said.

"Maybe that's a bit of credit because he [Mourinho] knew we played it well at Tottenham. Then it is up to the players, so we have got some previous of playing the system.

"The system only works if the players play it the way they play. The system only works if Ross [Barkley] and Mason Mount are so mobile around Oli [Giroud] up front and get in behind them.

"The system only works if our back three don't sit off and allow people to turn on the ball because they are playing with two kind of false strikers. So it is the players that enforce it. We work on it but the players make the system."

Frank Lampard slammed VAR as "not good enough" after Giovani Lo Celso avoided a red card for an awful challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta in Chelsea's win over Tottenham.

The Blues ran out 2-1 winners at Stamford Bridge, with goals from Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso before Antonio Rudiger put through his own net as Spurs threatened a scarcely deserved fightback.

But prior to Tottenham's goal, the visitors might have been reduced to 10 men as Lo Celso might have been dismissed after planting his studs into Azpilicueta's shin.

VAR assessed the incident and decided against a card, although it was reported the official concerned later backtracked on this opinion.

The failure to make the correct call at the time did little to improve the mood of head coach Lampard, who was furious with the challenge.

"It's not good enough. It's not good enough, I'm sorry," he told BT Sport. "It's two VARs now in two games [after two goals were disallowed in the defeat to Manchester United].

"It's harder to speak about it when you've lost because people are claiming you're just shouting, but maybe you need to shout, because that's not good enough.

"Everybody in the football world saw that that was a red. And it's too late, too late to do that. The game should be over [at 2-0].

"I hate to call for red cards, but when they're endangering... That's a leg-breaker of a tackle.

"You get VAR brought into the game to see it and give the right decision. I'm not saying anything about the referees on the spot - it's not easy  on the spot - VAR's here to clear those up. I'm not surprised they've put it right, but it's not good enough."

Opposite number Jose Mourinho had little to add, although he saw acknowledgement of mistakes from the officials as progress.

"I feel sorry that they don't admit [mistakes] more times, especially when things go against us," he said. "I don't want to speak about it [VAR]."

Lampard was rather more positive about Chelsea's application, suggesting they had set standards to take forward in terms of their intensity.

"The aggression in our game, the pressing off the ball, the work-rate [was aggressive]," he said. "We've been having a tough time at home for different reasons.

"And when you're having tough times, there's only one option, and that's to fight. Sometimes, fighting [when it is] difficult, hanging on in the last few minutes when you shouldn't have been, those are the moments.

"We have to bottle that up now, that feeling, understanding that needs to be our behaviour daily. The way we played today needs to be our daily behaviour in training and the games coming up."

Frank Lampard guided Chelsea to an unprecedented achievement in Saturday's 2-1 win over Jose Mourinho's Tottenham.

The Blues became the first side to beat a team managed by Mourinho both home and away in a single league season.

Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso were on target at Stamford Bridge, with Antonio Rudiger's late own goal providing scant consolation for Mourinho as Spurs slipped four points behind their London rivals in the Premier League.

Chelsea boss Lampard also got one over Mourinho when his Derby County team won at Manchester United in the EFL Cup last season. 

Frank Lampard insists inexperience is not the main reason for a downturn in form which has seen Chelsea's lead for the fourth Champions League qualification spot reduced to a single point.

Chelsea host Tottenham – and their former boss Jose Mourinho – on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, heading into the encounter on the back of one win in their past six league matches.

Should Spurs win, they will move above Chelsea into fourth, while Sheffield United and Manchester United are also within touching distance.

However, Lampard does not believe Chelsea's struggles are down to a lack of experience, adding that young players have to come through the tough patches to prove their top-flight credentials.

"I don't think it's inexperience," Lampard told a news conference. "You can look at the youth in the squad and perhaps that's an easy conclusion.

"Perhaps that's part of it but it's not easy to pinpoint. The clinical nature of not scoring, the sloppy nature of having a lapse which gives a team with one or two shots a goal, which has happened a couple of times at home. Is it experience, quality? There's a lot of things to it.

"This period is what all Premier League clubs suffer. As young players you have to be even more aware that it can affect their confidence, because they're new to the team and the eyes of the world are on them.

"It's a big deal and a test for the younger players and I think with the physical nature of the league over the course of the season then there were always going to be little dips.

"The players will certainly come out of it better. It's how they train, how they play. I believe in all of them and think they're all going to be top players for this club, but they have to keep pushing and get out of moments like this."

Should Manchester City's two-year ban from the Champions League be upheld, fifth place would be enough to secure qualification for Europe's elite competition next season.

However, Lampard was not concerned by the suggestion a failure to qualify for the Champions League would result in Chelsea losing their best players, such as N'Golo Kante, who will miss Saturday's match through injury.

"We obviously want to keep our best players. Kante is an incredible player, everyone knows that," Lampard added.

"At the end of the day, no matter what the quality of the player, you want players who want to be here at Chelsea and push to close the gap upwards.

"It's a question for the end of the season. The player you mention [Kante] – we want to be adding to players like that."

N'Golo Kante is set to miss up to five games during a vital spell in Chelsea's season as Frank Lampard's side prepare to host Jose Mourinho's Tottenham on Saturday.

Midfielder Kante has suffered several injury setbacks this season, the latest of which came when he was forced off after just 12 minutes of the defeat to Manchester United on Monday.

Blues boss Lampard confirmed a "muscle injury" for the Frenchman, putting his recovery at around three weeks, which would rule Kante out of the home Champions League tie against Bayern Munich, as well as the visit of Liverpool in the FA Cup and three Premier League fixtures.

"N'Golo is not fit. It's a muscle injury, similar to the one he came off against Arsenal [on January 21] with," said Lampard.

"It should hopefully be three weeks."

The news will come as a bitter blow for Chelsea, whose loss to United left them looking increasingly vulnerable in fourth spot.

Indeed, this weekend's visitors would overtake them with a win as former Stamford Bridge favourite Mourinho seeks a victory on his latest return to west London.

Lampard won two Premier League titles under Mourinho at Chelsea but does not see their personal duel as being pivotal in the outcome of a match that could have a big say in who qualifies for the Champions League.

"Our relationship changes," said Lampard. "I wished him well when he got the job and he wished me well. We are amicable but we want to win.

"I have got respect for him but I am not considering the personal battle between me and him. I am just trying to win the game."

The ex-England midfielder described the 2019-20 season as a "transitional" one for Chelsea and insisted injuries had made progress tougher.

Asked if missing out on the Champions League would represent a failure, Lampard said: "That is for everyone else to judge. The injuries have been a big issue. What we do know is we are in fourth and we have it in our hands. It is going to be tough. Teams around us are strong.

"This season is a transitional year, and fans appreciate that. Not many teams have had our injuries. Kante has played 50 per cent of the games.

"The fans respect that and they see what we try to do. They will be there to support us. It is tight at the moment and we need the fans behind us. The players will give everything."

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard lamented his side's failure to take their chances after a 2-0 loss to Manchester United on Monday.

Goals from Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire saw Chelsea's winless run in the Premier League extend to four games.

Chelsea hold just a one-point advantage in fourth, ahead of Tottenham, while seventh-placed United are within three.

Lampard wants to see his team capitalise on their opportunities, with their tally of 43 Premier League goals well below the top three of Liverpool (61), Manchester City (65) and Leicester City (54).

"I don't like losing games," he told a news conference.

"I don't like the way we are losing games because we're losing games that clearly, particularly at home, where we have had big share of possession, big chances in the game, lots of shots on goal, at goal, around goal and we're not finishing them and it is a reality that is getting clearer all the time.

"We are not getting enough goals from striker areas. Tammy [Abraham] had his period earlier in the season, now we are not getting enough. We're not getting enough goals from wide areas. That is a fact.

"It is hard to win games. You can dominate them as much as you want, but this Premier League not many teams can keep clean sheets week in, week out.

"You have to score goals to give you a feeling of superiority in the game and we start a lot of games very well. I can hardly ever really look at the team and go 'started slow, bit sloppy today'. There was a couple of games but not that many."

While Abraham has scored 13 Premier League goals this season, he has just one in 2020, while Christian Pulisic – who alongside Mason Mount has five – is out injured.

Lampard added: "We start pretty well but if you don't score you leave teams in the game.

"Obviously we made a couple of silly moments in terms of allowing them headers in our box, particularly the set-piece that obviously changed the result."

Chelsea are next in action with a crucial clash at home to Tottenham on Saturday.

Chelsea's season has to "start now" according to Frank Lampard, whose side wasted chances and endured VAR frustration as they lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United.

The Blues, who face Tottenham next, have now won just one of their past six Premier League matches after Monday's defeat at Stamford Bridge, with their place in the top four under serious threat.

Manchester City's ban from the Champions League – should it be upheld – will mean fifth place could be enough for a Premier League side to qualify for Europe's top-tier competition for next season.

However, just seven points separate Chelsea and Arsenal in 10th in what has become a congested race for Europe.

Lampard felt aggrieved that VAR was not on Chelsea's side against United, with Harry Maguire escaping a possible red card for a clash with Michy Batshuayi and the Blues seeing two goals disallowed in the second half, but he again pointed to his side's profligacy in front of goal as a factor in their defeat.

"It's tough to take on lots of levels, some footballing, some others," Lampard, who was without leading scorer Tammy Abraham due to injury, told Sky Sports.

"It's frustrating, but that's life. I'm not upset with the work ethic or input. Their heads are down in there and I have to correct that. It's not a 2-0 game but the reality of football is that it is a 2-0 game because of moments. 

"We have a feeling of Groundhog Day, whatever you want to call it. There are footballing things, which get clearer every week.

"There's always work to do every day. At the minute, we're fourth and the season starts here. There are things I can criticise; I'm not soft. If we're not going to have productivity to finish, it's very difficult to win games."

Anthony Martial gave United a half-time lead but Kurt Zouma thought he had restored parity early in the second half, only for the goal to be ruled out for a foul by Cesar Azpilicueta, who was deemed to have pushed Brandon Williams.

Olivier Giroud's header was then disallowed for offside after Maguire had made it 2-0 from a Bruno Fernandes corner.

"Maguire should get a red card and then he scores the second goal, and the game changes off that," Lampard, who also confirmed N'Golo Kante had suffered an adductor injury, said in a news conference.

"That's a major part of what VAR was for. The referee can't see all the angles and if you're not going to use the monitor, I don't understand it.

"The Zouma goal should have stood. Azpilicueta gets shoved in the first place. It's certainly not clear and obvious. It's just a wrong decision, isn't it, which is harder to take with the presence of VAR than it would have been before.

"Love it or hate it, if something happens and they don't make the right decision, it's very confusing to say the least. Everyone I've spoken to has said the same thing."

Eric Bailly was set to make his first start of the season after being named in Manchester United's line-up to face Chelsea, who were without Tammy Abraham.

Bailly has been gradually making his way back from a knee injury sustained in pre-season and was included in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's XI for Monday's Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.

The Ivory Coast defender replaced the unwell Victor Lindelof for his first appearance of the season across all competitions and his first in the top flight since April 2019.

Bailly was named alongside Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw in what appeared to be a back three for United, with Daniel James partnering Anthony Martial up front and Odion Ighalo on the bench.

United, who beat Chelsea 4-0 on the opening day of the season, have also been boosted by Abraham's absence for the home side, with the Blues' leading scorer missing out due to an injury suffered in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal in January.

Abraham played with a painkilling injection in Chelsea's draw with Leicester City prior to the mid-season break but did not make the cut this time and Michy Batshuayi came in for his first league start of 2019-20.

Frank Lampard also kept faith with Willy Caballero in goal as Kepa Arrizabalaga once again started on the bench, while Mateo Kovacic and Willian replaced Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi respectively.

One win in five, two in seven, three in 10, four in 13: it is fair to say Chelsea's form in the Premier League has been well below what is expected of a 'big six' team.

However, the poor run of results has combined with missteps from Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham, leaving Chelsea ahead of them in the race for the top four - though a two-season European ban for Manchester City is set to offer fifth place a route to the Champions League.

Despite leading Arsenal to just one win in his seven Premier League games at the helm, it is widely accepted that Mikel Arteta's impact since taking over the Gunners has been positive.

Questions were asked of Jose Mourinho's influence at Tottenham amid a run of four wins in 10 in all competitions, but a defeat against Chelsea on Monday could deal a huge blow for for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at United.

The Red Devils have won three of their past seven in the top flight and five of their previous 11, so why is Frank Lampard not receiving the same level of scrutiny as his Norwegian counterpart?

 

A consistent approach

Although Lampard arrived at Chelsea with just one Championship season of managerial experience under his belt, he has implemented an attacking system with an increased passing tempo.

The players are comfortable in the positions they are deployed and can operate to the head coach's instruction, while he's also proved to be adaptable. A switch to a three-man defence and a high press earned a 2-0 win at Mourinho's Tottenham in December, while an in-game move away from that system after falling behind at Arsenal preceded a dramatic late turnaround for a 2-1 triumph.

A tactical switch resulted in United becoming the only team to deny runaway leaders Liverpool a Premier League victory this season, but, in contrast to Chelsea's front-foot approach, Solskjaer’s sides tend to offer more on the counter, with his focus appearing to be on speed and hard running.

Lampard's stock with fans was already high due to his status as a club legend and that has improved by laying on a more positive style than what was witnessed under Maurizio Sarri. Solskjaer, in contrast, has failed to move enough away from the defensive football that resulted in Mourinho's sacking at Old Trafford.

 

Market movements

A transfer embargo at the start of his tenure meant Lampard was unable to make any new signings after taking over from Sarri.

His focus on youth was a necessity, rather than out of choice, but he has still been bold in making Tammy Abraham his first-choice striker and trusting Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James to make the step up to first-team regulars a season after successful loan spells in the Championship.

Abraham, Mount and Tomori have experienced dips in the quality of their individual displays, but that is only to be expected from young players.

Solskjaer has also shown faith in academy products - Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood are regular fixtures in the first-team squad.

However, their transfer policy has become the subject of much consternation. Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward's house was attacked before a big-money deal for Bruno Fernandes was wrapped up in January, finally bringing an end to a saga that had been drawn out since the previous window. The arrival of Harry Maguire in the close season was similarly long-winded.

United appear to make a meal out of any major signing and are still yet to appoint a director of football to aid the process.

The structure at Chelsea is far clearer and while Solskjaer has been at pains to talk up his role in transfers, Lampard has made it clear such matters are largely out of his hands. By voicing his displeasure at a lack of signings in January, he cleverly moved to absolve himself of any blame.

 

Great (or not so great) expectations

The season was essentially a write-off for Chelsea before it had even started, a place in the top four would likely have been considered an overachievement.

Since being appointed permanently in March, Solskjaer has had to contend with failing to keep United at the level he inspired them to during his initial interim reign – he won his first eight games and 14 out of 19, while also securing a place in the Champions League quarter-finals before being appointed permanently in March. It took him until December to rack up another 14 victories.

The availability of Mauricio Pochettino, so often linked with United, has only served to sharpen the focus on the Norwegian and increase the speculation over his position.

A poor result against Chelsea will no doubt ramp it up further.

Frank Lampard is hopeful Hakim Ziyech can make a "big impact on the Premier League" and improve Chelsea's productivity in the final third when he joins from Ajax in July.

Ziyech's impending switch to Stamford Bridge was confirmed earlier this week, with Chelsea agreeing to pay just over £33million up front and a further £3.34m in add-ons for the 26-year-old playmaker, who will remain in Amsterdam for the remainder of this season. 

In a news conference on Friday, Lampard highlighted the qualities that attracted him to Ziyech, revealing he had tracked the player closely since he starred in Ajax's 1-0 Champions League semi-final first-leg win over Tottenham at Wembley last May.

"Since then I've watched him a lot," said Chelsea's head coach. "He ticks lots of boxes and I'm delighted that we're in a position where we can say he'll be our player next season.

"He'll have to obviously fit in to the way we want to work here ... and the energy we want in our team as everybody does, but the quality he's got hopefully will be there for the fans to see.

"We've spoken a lot this season about games where we've maybe had a lot of ball but haven't had that final bit. And I think hopefully he's a player next season that can [provide that], with the quality he has with his crossing, passing, that final pass and shooting and scoring.

"At times we have struggled to have the finishing touch and hopefully he can be a part of that puzzle. I see a player that can hopefully have a big impact on the Premier League and our team."

Ziyech's scheduled arrival has seemingly reduced the chances of both Willian and Pedro remaining at Stamford Bridge next season.

However, Lampard insists the deal does not affect the respective futures of his experienced wingers, adding: "No, it doesn't. Those conversations are ongoing with both players.

"They've both been [here] in successful periods for this club. Both I've found to be very professional and willing and wanting to work this year and help the younger players and obviously get results, which is the main thing.

"Regardless [of what happens next], what they've done at this club is very well received from our end.

"We've brought in a quality player who can play in various positions so it certainly doesn't have a one-on-one effect on any player."

Frank Lampard has been pleased with Kepa Arrizabalaga's reaction to being dropped, but Chelsea's head coach has refused to confirm whether the world's most expensive goalkeeper will return to the starting XI for Monday's home game against Manchester United.

Kepa - a £71.6million signing from Athletic Bilbao in 2018 - was surprisingly left out for the trip to Leicester City a fortnight ago, with the veteran Willy Caballero handed a rare Premier League start for a game that finished 2-2.

Asked whether his usual number one would return against United, a smiling Lampard told a news conference. "I've decided. You'll find out [on Monday]."

He added: "The reaction has been good, as I'd expect. [He has been] training hard, head down. I haven't had lots of conversations with him this week and it'll be a decision for me to make."

When it was suggested he may have been looking to give Kepa a "wake-up call", Lampard replied: "I wouldn't say that. I wasn't looking for that necessarily. I think I spoke around the Leicester game and said that I have to pick the team as I see it on form in every position, so it was just a selection on that day.

"Now I know with goalkeepers there's a bit more to it than that. We know it's a slightly different role than everybody else. But I want everybody's reaction all the time to be spot on and he came out the team, I know what that means, I know how that will feel for him.

"Every player has it, maybe [Lionel] Messi is the only one who doesn't, or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, but the rest of us do. And I had it in my career many a time, it's part and parcel of being a footballer and you have to show character in those little moments.

"I've been pleased with the reaction."

Lampard confirmed Christian Pulisic and long-term absentee Ruben Loftus-Cheek will not be fit to face United, while Tammy Abraham's availability remains unclear.

"Tammy is still feeling the effects [of a recent injury], to be honest," he explained. "We've had to take him out of training a couple of days this week. He trained today [Friday], so we're hopeful, but he will be assessed over the weekend.

Chelsea have promoted highly rated midfielder Billy Gilmour to their first-team squad on a permanent basis.

Gilmour, 18, has made five appearances for Chelsea's senior side this term but been predominately used in the club's Under-23s.

However, the Scotland youth international has demonstrated such great promise to the coaching staff that they have decided his talents will be better served solely in the first-team squad.

Frank Lampard has been praised for his use of young players this term and Gilmour is regarded as one of Chelsea's brightest prospects.

Lampard made Gilmour aware of his decision during Chelsea's trip to Leicester City at the start of February.

"It's a massive moment for me and I'm really happy," Gilmour told Chelsea's official website.

"I went with the squad to Leicester and, even though I wasn't involved, the gaffer [Lampard] pulled me afterwards to tell me that after the winter break I'd be with the first-team permanently.

"It's a dream come true for me. It's the first big step I think, moving into the first-team dressing room at a club like Chelsea. It's massive for me.

"Knowing that the manager has such faith in you is massive, it gives me so much confidence when I step onto the field. It's really good knowing that he trusts in you and likes the way you play, and I think that's the same for everyone here.

"Age isn't really an issue here. The gaffer has shown that if you work hard and perform well, then you will get opportunities. Hopefully I can keep pushing on and work hard every day in training."

Chelsea are next in action at home to Manchester United on Monday.

While Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to record-breaking levels with an easy win over Southampton, the battle beneath them for places in the top four heated up.

The Reds thumped the Saints 4-0 at Anfield to open up a 22-point gap over Manchester City - the biggest lead any team has ever held at the top of the English top-flight - and Pep Guardiola's men lost 2-0 in a chaotic game at Tottenham a day later.

Fourth-placed Chelsea looked set to narrow the gap to Leicester City above them when they took the lead at King Power Stadium but the Foxes fought back in a 2-2 draw, while Sheffield United briefly moved up to fifth before Spurs' win after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

Two sides just outside the European qualification places, Manchester United and Wolves played out a goalless draw at Old Trafford but there was no shortage of goals at West Ham or Watford.

The weekend's Opta data tells the story of 15 goals across four of the most entertaining clashes of matchweek 25, with fortunes affected at both ends of the table.

BUTTERFINGERED FOXES FRITTER LEAD AGAINST BLUES

Leicester City came from behind to lead 2-1 against Chelsea but the trend that has seen them regularly drop from winning positions continued.

Antonio Rudiger, who opened the scoring after 46 minutes, became the first defender to score twice for Chelsea in a Premier League match since John Terry against Fulham in April 2013 to ensure the points were shared.

Leicester have dropped eight points from winning positions in their last four league outings, more than they had in their previous 59 matches since the start of the 2018-19 campaign (six).

Chelsea have failed to win six of the games in which they have scored the first goal this season (D5 L1), pegged back as they were by Harvey Barnes' third goal in three league games and Ben Chilwell's 64th-minute strike.

Those goals took the Blues' tally of goals conceded on the road to 22 in 13 games, and manager Frank Lampard must address his side's defensive frailties if they are to keep their place in the Premier League top four.

CHERRIES EXPLOIT VILLA'S PROBLEMS ON THE ROAD

Back-to-back victories have moved Bournemouth up to 16th and they leapfrogged Aston Villa after beating Dean Smith's men 2-1 at Vitality Stadium.

Prior to their wins over Brighton and Hove Albion and Villa, the Cherries had only won two of their previous 17 Premier League matches but Eddie Howe's side took advantage of a defence that does not travel well to make it two wins from two.

Villa are the only side in the division yet to register a clean sheet away from home this season and they fell behind when Phillip Billing scored his first league goal for Bournemouth in his 23rd appearance for the club.

Nathan Ake extended Bournemouth's lead before Mbwana Samatta scored Villa's first headed Premier League goal in almost four years.

The consolation strike came on Samatta's league debut, making the Tanzanian attacker Villa's first first player to score on his league bow since Rudy Gestede scored against Bournemouth in August 2015.

JOY OF SIX FOR MOURINHO AFTER BERGWIJN'S DEBUT DELIGHT

Jose Mourinho enjoyed his sixth victory over Pep Guardiola after goals from Steven Bergwijn and Son Heung-min helped Tottenham beat the champions at home.

Mourinho has now beaten Guardiola's sides with Inter, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Spurs, with Sunday's victory Tottenham's first over City in the Premier League since they won by the same scoreline in October 2016.

City had Oleksandr Zinchenko sent off as they slipped to a sixth Premier League defeat of the season - their joint-most in a single campaign under Guardiola (six in 2016-17).

Bergwijn became the Premier League's 13th Dutchman to score on his debut and the competition's 250th player to do so, before Son scored his fifth goal against City in all competitions since the start of 2016-17 - only Jamie Vardy (six) has scored more against them in that period.

 

HAMMERS IN THE DROP ZONE AFTER POINTS SHARED IN THRILLER

West Ham were 2-0 up at half-time against Brighton but left London Stadium still winless in the Premier League against the Seagulls, who fought back to draw 3-3.

The Hammers have drawn three and lost three of their six Premier League clashes with Brighton and this was not the first time they have dropped points from a winning position this season.

In fact, David Moyes' team have lost more points from winning positions than any other top-flight team this season (19) but the last time they failed to win a game in which they led by two goals was back in October 2017 when they drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace.

Brighton have avoided defeat after trailing by two goals on three occasions, the first two coming in September 2018 when they drew 2-2 with Fulham and Southampton.

Frank Lampard felt Willy Caballero had no chance with either of Leicester City's goals as Chelsea earned a "well-fought" away point at one of their top-four rivals.

Having started the FA Cup tie at Hull City the previous weekend, goalkeeper Caballero surprisingly kept his place - picked ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga - for the Premier League trip to the King Power Stadium.

Lampard explained prior to kick-off that he had not taken the decision lightly to leave out the world's most expensive goalkeeper, with Kepa having come in for criticism after the 2-2 home draw with Arsenal last month.

While Caballero conceded twice in his first league outing since May 2019, Lampard felt there was little he could do with either strike, particularly the first as Harvey Barnes' drive was deflected beyond him.

"I thought his performance was pretty good, he makes a good save and was comfortable with his feet," Lampard told BT Sport.

"I was right behind the Harvey Barnes goal and it was typical, the deflection and instantly it was in. There was not much he could do with either goal, so I'm pleased."

Antonio Rudiger scored both goals for Chelsea, the defender twice heading home set-piece deliveries from Mason Mount.

Lampard revealed they had been working hard to improve in dead-ball situations and was happy enough with the final outcome, even if they missed out on the opportunity to close the gap to Leicester.

"I think a fair point, on play," the former England international said in his post-match media conference.

"The first half I think we were the better team. I know they had some good chances, we gifted them a few, but I think our work off the ball and some of it on it was good. To play with that personality.

"But that second half they had the opportunity of course late in the game. I think it evened itself out. I am pleased with a point."

On Rudiger, Lampard added: "He brings an aggression and a presence in everything that he does, which is good because we have young players in that area as well.

"I was delighted with his two goals, we need to score more from set-pieces, particularly in these games against good opposition where it is tight. I am really pleased with Toni."

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