Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta insisted he had "no doubt" goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga would bounce back.

After several mistakes by Kepa, Chelsea signed Edouard Mendy from Rennes in September, but the Senegal international suffered a thigh injury earlier this month.

Kepa returned to the starting XI against Southampton on Saturday, but made another error as Chelsea drew 3-3.

Ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Sevilla, Azpilicueta backed Kepa to respond.

"In football we have difficult times. In my position as a captain, obviously Kepa, I know him from a long time ago, I always try to help him," the defender told a news conference.

"And it's true that it's difficult and sometimes you feel like everything goes against you. You have to have the character and personality to face it and to work hard. I have no doubt Kepa will work hard and give everything to reverse the situation.

"The whole squad are fighting for targets as a collective and we need everybody.

"When you are a goalkeeper it’s a completely different situation. But I don't have any doubt he will keep working hard and giving his best."

Chelsea are eighth in the Premier League after earning eight points from their opening five games.

Hakim Ziyech's official Chelsea debut will have to wait for at least a couple of weeks after Frank Lampard confirmed the new signing has a knee injury.

Media reports began circulating on Wednesday suggesting Morocco international Ziyech was a doubt for Monday's trip to Brighton and Hove Albion for the Blues' Premier League opener.

Ziyech arrived from Ajax in pre-season after a £33.3million deal had been agreed last term, with the forward boosting his reputation in 2018-19 after a number of impressive performances en route to the Champions League semi-finals.

But Chelsea fans will have to wait a bit longer to see him in competitive action, as Lampard confirmed the reports he has sustained an injury.

Ziyech's fellow new signings Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell are also not yet ready for their debuts.

"Ziyech took an injury to his knee in the friendly against Brighton and he won't be fit," Lampard said in Thursday's pre-match news conference.

"We are working on him and hope it will only be a matter of weeks, a couple of weeks, we hope, but we'll have to wait and see on that.

"Chilwell is working towards fitness. He won't be fit for Brighton. He has developed and improved this week and going in the right direction, which is good news for us.

"Thiago Silva is in London but won't be training until the weekend, so I doubt very much that he's in contention for the Brighton game.

"Out of the new ones, that's where we are at. Billy Gilmour is a longer-term injury, but other than that we are in decent shape."

Regarding Cesar Azpilicueta and Christian Pulisic, who were both forced off in the FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal in August, Lampard added: "I missed them off earlier – yes, I am certainly very happy to have them both back.

"Yesterday [Wednesday] was their first day fully training with the team, so they're in contention for Monday.

"I have to be careful and I have a squad to pick from, but the way they're training and their attitude to come back, it looks like they are over their injuries. I just have to make sure I manage them both back in their own ways."

Christian Pulisic is set to miss the start of next season after Chelsea boss Frank Lampard estimated a hamstring injury will keep the United States star sidelined for six weeks.

Pulisic sustained the problem during the FA Cup final at Wembley, where he opened the scoring before the Blues subsided to a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in his absence.

Up next for Lampard's men are Bayern Munich in the Champions League, with the Bundesliga champions holding a 3-0 advantage going into Saturday's last-16 second leg.

While Pulisic heads an injury list which also includes captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and N'Golo Kante are back in the travelling party to bolster Lampard's midfield options.

"With Christian, we're looking at a six-week injury. With Azpilicueta not quite so much, hopefully a three-week injury," he said.

"Willian's injury is improving but he's not right for this game. Pedro is moving on as you know, but he had surgery earlier in the week and I believe it's a six-week injury."

"With Pulisic, it will be touch and go for the start of the season. We have to treat it [the injury] right.

"In the big scheme of things, when Christian reflects on his first season here he should be very happy.

"We'll get him fit and we'll get him ready. If he misses the start of the season, the first one or two games, we'll then have a fit and firing Christian like he was for the restart." 

Life without both of his two more long-serving wingers looks increasingly likely for Lampard, with Willian extensively linked with a move across London to Arsenal.

"I read a headline earlier that said 'disappointment'. There's no disappointment in this situation, from any party," Lampard said, before repeating his glowing assessment of the Brazil international.

"I haven't got an answer for you [on his future]. He's injured and was injured for the cup final. He would have given everything to play in these games.

"I know Willian well. He's carried this injury a little bit. As a club we've done everything we can and mine and his relationship is really close.

"I'd have no disappointment if he moved on. He's a fantastic player and a fantastic man.

"When I came in this year and we had a lot of experience in terms of transitional elements with the whole group, Willian was one you looked at and relied on.

"He has his own decisions to make and we as a club will always want to look forward. Eden Hazard left last year, the club continues to move forward. That remains the same whatever player leaves the club."

One of the finest nights of Lampard's decorated playing career came in Munich, when Chelsea overturned the odds to defeat Bayern on penalties and lift their maiden Champions League trophy.

Nevertheless, he would rather his players write their own history rather than dwell upon his former deeds.

"I won't use that for this game. I think if I tried to use short stories from my career, the players would be very bored of me," he chuckled.

"I will speak to the players and make them aware of the opportunity they have here to show that they want to turn this game around. They believe they can.

"It's been a long season, successful in many ways, now we have a chance in a one-off game to do something special

"All I want to see is an attitude from the players that will attempt to do something special. I know it will be difficult."

Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta will miss Chelsea's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich after limping off in Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal.

Captain Azpilicueta pulled up with a hamstring injury five minutes after giving away a penalty that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted to kickstart Arsenal's comeback.

And Pulisic, the scorer of Chelsea's early opener at Wembley, also made way four minutes into the second half with an identical issue sustained as he was charging through on goal.

Pedro then suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder late on and Frank Lampard has ruled the trio out of next Saturday's last-16 second leg with Bayern, which Chelsea will start trailing 3-0 on aggregate.

"I don't know the full extent of the injuries, but I know its the hamstrings with Azpi and Christian," he said at his post-match news conference.

"They have to be scanned and assessed over the next few days. They clearly won't be fit for next week."

Pedro, who was given oxygen as he was stretchered off the field, is expected to join Roma on a free transfer when his Chelsea contract expires later this month.

"I believe it could be a dislocated shoulder but don't go too soon on that," Lampard said when asked for an update on the forward's condition.

"I've not seen him yet as he was whisked away so it's a disappointing end as that's probably going to be his last game for Chelsea.

"He's been an incredible servant and I'm disappointed for him."

Chelsea got off to a flyer through Pulisic's fifth-minute strike but Aubameyang added to his penalty with an impressive second to take Arsenal's record tally of triumphs in the competition to 14.

The Blues' hopes of scoring an equaliser were dented by a controversial second yellow card shown to Mateo Kovacic for a challenge on Granit Xhaka.

Replays showed Kovacic barely made contact with his opponent and Lampard questioned referee Anthony Taylor's decision to reach into his back pocket.

"The penalty was rightly awarded, but it wasn't a sending off, that was pretty clear," he said.

And Lampard insisted on another day the outcome could have been different for Chelsea, who finished fourth in the Premier League in the club legend's first season in charge.

"Today was not about not showing up. We made a great start and had control of the game," he said.

"Then we got sloppy and got slower in our game and that changes the tone of it. 

"If Christian goes through and scores instead of pulling his hamstring then things are different, although we didn't play well enough.

"I can't criticise the players and their approach in their desire to win this game. We can't be stuck on today - we have to look at the season."

Aubameyang ultimately proved the difference in the all-London final and Lampard admitted his side's defending could have been better on the day.

"He's scored two goals, one of those being a penalty which he earns," he said.

"I was clear with the players about the threat of Arsenal's long balls behind them. We allowed him in easily.

"Aubameyang's a top-class player. His second goal showed his ability. In moments like that Aubameyang can finish you off."

Whatever your thoughts on modern-day Jose Mourinho, you cannot deny his legacy in football. For one thing, he wouldn't let you.

Eight league titles across four different countries, domestic cups with Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and Manchester United, one Europa League, two Champions Leagues, the 2009-10 treble... Mourinho has a trophy cabinet that would be the envy of most coaches in the game.

His teams have, of course, boasted their fair share of star names who have helped him on his way to greatness - even if he didn't get on with them all. In fact, last weekend, Marca published a series of ideal XIs from football figures across the world, including one selected by Mourinho himself from his best club sides.

It's a pretty formidable line-up, but we at Stats Perform think we might have one to match. Each one contains a notable Opta fact for each player.

See which team you think is best...

MOURINHO'S BEST XI (according to the man himself):

Petr Cech
In Mourinho's first season in charge at Chelsea, Cech kept 24 clean sheets in the Premier League (2004-05), a record in the competition.

Javier Zanetti
Zanetti was the only outfield player to play every minute of Inter's 2009-10 Champions League-winning campaign under Mourinho.

John Terry
Chelsea's former captain has made more Premier League appearances under Mourinho (187) than any other player, scoring 15 goals.

Ricardo Carvalho
The centre-back played under Mourinho for three different sides (Porto, Chelsea and Real Madrid) – indeed, no player has made more Champions League appearances under the Portuguese than Carvalho (54).

William Gallas
Only John Terry (15) has netted more Premier League goals among defenders under Mourinho than Gallas (seven – level with Branislav Ivanovic).

Claude Makelele
In Chelsea's title-winning campaign of 2004-05, Makelele made 140 interceptions from the heart of Chelsea's midfield. Only Patrick Viera (156) made more among outfield players that season.

Frank Lampard
Lampard scored more Premier League goals under Mourinho (49) than any other player. In 2004-05 Lampard became the first Premier League midfielder to reach double figures for both goals (13) and assists (18) since Matt Le Tissier in 1994-95, whilst only Thierry Henry (39) registered more goal involvements than the Englishman (31).

Eden Hazard
During Mourinho's second tenure in charge at Chelsea, Hazard scored in more Premier League games than any other player for the club (24 – 28 goals).

Mesut Ozil
Ozil provided more assists (47) and created more chances (314) than any other player under Mourinho in LaLiga.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo scored 153 LaLiga goals under Mourinho, 83 more than any other player for Madrid during this period. He also scored 12 Champions League goals in 2012-13: at that stage, only Lionel Messi (14 goals in 2011-12) had scored more goals in a single Champions League campaign.

Didier Drogba
Drogba won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2006-07 under Mourinho (20 goals), despite Chelsea finishing second that season behind Manchester United.

AN ALTERNATIVE BEST MOURINHO XI (according to Stats Perform):

Iker Casillas
Only Victor Valdes (42) kept more clean sheets among LaLiga goalkeepers than Casillas (35) while Mourinho was in charge at Real Madrid.

Cesar Azpilicueta
Azpilicueta was Chelsea's Players' Player of the Year in Mourinho's first season back at the Blues in 2013-14.

Sergio Ramos
In Mourinho's three seasons at Real Madrid, only Guilherme Siqueira scored more LaLiga goals among defenders than Ramos (10).

Marco Materazzi
The treble-winning defender's only Champions League goal came in the 2008-09 season under Mourinho, against Anorthosis Famagusta in the group stages.

Marcelo
The Brazilian completed more dribbles in LaLiga than any other defender during Mourinho's stint as Real Madrid boss (154).

Esteban Cambiasso
Only captain Javier Zanetti (75) and keeper Julio Cesar (74) played more league games for Inter under Mourinho than Cambiasso (65).

Paul Pogba
No United player was involved in more Premier League goals than Pogba while Mourinho was in charge at Old Trafford (31 – 14 goals, 17 assists).

Deco
Deco was involved in more goals than any other Porto player in their successful 2003-04 Champions League campaign (seven – two goals, five assists), also creating more chances than any other player at the club (38).

Wesley Sneijder
Sneijder was involved in more goals than any other Inter player during their successful 2009-10 Champions League campaign (nine – three goals, six assists), also creating more chances than any other player at the club (33). After leading Inter to the treble and Netherlands to the World Cup final in 2010, he somehow failed to make the Ballon d'Or top three.

Samuel Eto'o
Only Eden Hazard (14) scored more Premier League goals for Chelsea than Eto'o in Mourinho's first season back at Chelsea in 2013-14, with the Cameroon striker netting a hat-trick against reigning champions Manchester United.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Ibrahimovic was top scorer in Serie A in Mourinho's first season with Inter, scoring 25 goals.

With football no closer to being resumed as the coronavirus pandemic continues, players across Europe's top-five leagues have lots of time to pore over their performances from this season.

Using Opta data, we have already examined some of the worst attacking numbers from 2019-20, so now it's the turn of those ball-playing technicians: the pass-masters.

We have analysed nine key metrics for outfield players to play in at least 10 league games this season, thereby giving us a good summary of those whose passing could use some improvement. Those metrics are focused on the number of passes (overall, in a player's own half and their opponent's half), the accuracy of those passes, corners and crosses, and losing possession.

As always when it comes to data, context is key. For instance, we have included overall accuracy percentages to give balance to the simple number of passes. A team's playmaker or set-piece taker, for example, is arguably more likely to have a larger number of misplaced passes than team-mates simply because he will be attempting more of them, and often in difficult areas.

It's also worth noting that the number of times possession has been lost excludes 'Hoofs' (which, by their nature, make losing the ball more common), while corner and crossing accuracy is taken only from those to attempt, on average, at least one per game.

That said, the below gives a good indication of some passing figures that need improvement - and there are one or two surprising names...

THE WORST PASSING STATS IN EUROPE'S TOP-FIVE LEAGUES 2019-20:

BUNDESLIGA:

Most passes failed: Robert Andrich (291)
Worst passing accuracy: Anthony Modeste (55.4 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Jamilu Collins (110)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Kai Proger (60.5 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Sebastian Andersson (215)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Anthony Modeste (42.1 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Filip Kostic (199)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Wendell (0 of 22)
Most times possession lost: Filip Kostic (616)

LALIGA:

Most passes failed: Leandro Cabrera (352)
Worst passing accuracy: Enric Gallego (48.6 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Pervis Estupinan (94)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Sergio Leon (57.1 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Joselu (283)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Leandro Cabrera (43.5 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Jesus Navas (134)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Karim Benzema (0 of 19)
Most times possession lost: Pervis Estupinan (534)

LIGUE 1:

Most passes failed: Issiaga Sylla (281)
Worst passing accuracy: Suk Hyun-jun (44.8 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Fabien Centonze (111)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Suk Hyun-jun (50 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Andy Delort (238)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half:  Suk Hyun-jun (44.4 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Mathieu Dossevi (142)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): M'Baye Niang (0 of 11)
Most times possession lost: Angel Di Maria (539)

PREMIER LEAGUE:

Most passes failed: Trent Alexander-Arnold (480)
Worst passing accuracy: Christian Benteke (52.4 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Cesar Azpilicueta (132)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Matej Vydra (50 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half:  Trent Alexander-Arnold (359)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Christian Benteke (48 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed:  Trent Alexander-Arnold (246)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Gabriel Martinelli (0 of 22)
Most times possession lost:  Trent Alexander-Arnold (867)

SERIE A:

Most passes failed: Stefano Sabelli (324)
Worst passing accuracy: Lautaro Martinez (59.5 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Stefano Sabelli (94)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Stefano Sabelli (230)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Florian Aye (58.5 per cent)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Roberto Inglese (54 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Erick Pulgar (134)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Kevin Lasagna (0 from 13)
Most possession lost: Stefano Sabelli (494)

AND THE TOP NINE:

Most passes failed: Trent Alexander-Arnold (480)
Worst passing accuracy: Suk Hyun-jun (44.8 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Cesar Azpilicueta (132)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Suk Hyun-jun and Matej Vydra (50 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Trent Alexander-Arnold (359)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Anthony Modeste (42.1 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Trent Alexander-Arnold (246)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Wendell and Gabriel Martinelli (0 of 22)
Most times possession lost: Trent Alexander-Arnold (867)

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."

Olivier Giroud was delighted to mark his return to the Chelsea XI with a goal and said he was "so happy to help the team" in the victory against Tottenham.

World Cup winner Giroud was linked with a move away from Chelsea in January but stayed when no replacement was signed, while he had not scored a club goal since August.

But the veteran striker was handed a rare start on Saturday - just his third in the league this season - and opened the scoring en route to a 2-1 win.

Marcos Alonso added to Chelsea's advantage before a late Antonio Rudiger own goal, with the Blues holding on to leave Giroud to reflect on a hugely positive day.

"Wow, yeah, it was a good feeling for me, a good moment," Giroud told BT Sport of his goal. "I'm so happy for the team, to help the team to win this game today.

"It had been three months I didn't start, so it's a special day for me and for all of us."

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta added: "We have a squad and we need to be ready for every game. It's true that, when you don't play, it difficult.

"Everybody wants to help the team. But everybody keeps training hard, fighting to be in the team.

"The competition is what gives the team that extra per cent where everybody can push to the limit. Today it worked perfectly."

Azpilicueta was involved in one of the game's flashpoints as Giovani Lo Celso appeared to stamp on the defender's legs in an awful late challenge.

He avoided a red card following a VAR review, although the official in charge of the system reportedly later acknowledged Lo Celso should have been sent off.

"I'm not a player that likes to be on the floor, because I'm a defender, I'm tough, and I make fouls," Azpilicueta said.

"But it was not a normal foul. It was a clear stamp on my shin. I felt it straight away and I was surprised that it was not a red card and not even a yellow card.

"Obviously everybody can make mistakes, but when you have a lot of replays, I think it could be easier."

Cesar Azpilicueta said Chelsea lost their grip and control in the FA Cup win at Hull City, claiming players were too eager to put themselves before the team's best interests.

The Spaniard played the full 90 minutes against the Championship side, as Chelsea battled out a 2-1 victory on their travels.

Chelsea were dominant for the first 70 minutes and should have added to goals from Michy Batshuayi and Fikayo Tomori, but they allowed Hull too much of the ball after that point and almost paid the price.

A fortunate reply from Kamil Grosicki, whose free-kick took a big deflection off Mateo Kovacic to wrong-foot Willy Caballero, saw the Tigers claw their way back into the match with 12 minutes remaining.

Hull had chances to force a replay too, with Chelsea forced into some desperate and often untidy defending to remain ahead.

"With the chances we had, we cannot concede in these kind of circumstances and we have to control better," Chelsea captain Azpilicueta said.

"We know we have to improve our game if we want to improve as a team and go far, because tonight was a night we could have handled much better.

"It's not the first game where we didn't manage the game well, and at the end there we were on our box suffering. Sometimes we can be punished but tonight not, but we know we have to improve."

Speaking on BT Sport, Azpilicueta added: "For moments we stopped playing as a team and we started doing individual actions that is not our game and we got punished.

"And if we want to play against the best teams and to fight for trophies, we have to improve."

The absence of top scorer Tammy Abraham, who has an ankle injury, meant Chelsea were reliant on the likes of Batshuayi and Pedro – the latter could have scored at least twice but failed to convert chances.

Goalscorer Tomori, who headed in a free-kick from Ross Barkley to put Chelsea 2-0 up after 64 minutes, said Frank Lampard's men would have been able to cruise home if they were able to finish the openings they carved out when on top.

"In the first half we probably could have killed the game, but we didn't take our chances," Tomori said.

"We said at half-time that because we hadn't taken our chances we had to be solid at the back, try to score another one, but we need to be more clinical.

"I think my goal came at a good time, but it got a bit difficult towards the end when they scored the free-kick.

"It's a one-off game and teams want to go for it. They were never going to stop and we knew that.

"If we'd got a third goal it would have been a lot easier for us but we didn't manage to get that so we had to ride it out."

Frank Lampard was frustrated "basic errors" saw Chelsea twice surrender the lead against 10-man Arsenal to draw 2-2 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Jorginho opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 28th minute after David Luiz was shown a red card for sending Tammy Abraham, who had pounced on a slack backpass from Shkodran Mustafi, to ground in the box.

Gabriel Martinelli sprinted from well inside his own half to score a classy counter-attacking goal after the hour mark, but Cesar Azpilicueta looked to have clinched all three points when he turned home Callum Hudson-Odoi's cross with six minutes remaining.

However, Hector Bellerin, making his first start in over six weeks, got the better of a hobbling Abraham and found the bottom-left corner in the 87th minute.

"I am disappointed given the situation of the game. We completely deserved to go 1-0 up. For a little bit after that we were getting used to them with 10 men," Lampard told BT Sport.

"We created enough in the second half, it was the same story for us that we don't finish our chances and we made errors to give them two goals on the break. It probably shows where we are at. These sort of things don't lie.

"We work hard but basic errors when you should control the game can end up losing you points.

"It's not the slip from N'Golo [Kante], that can happen, it's that they get away from the edge of our box. That's a moment sleeping, people should know their jobs.

"And then the last goal, so easy to cut back. It's the sort of goal you see over the park, a right-back that moves it slowly onto his left foot and rolls it in the far corner. That can't happen."

Mikel Arteta moved Granit Xhaka to centre-back after David Luiz's dismissal and believes the spirit his team showed can help them close a 10-point gap to Chelsea and challenge for the Champions League places.

"Time will tell [if it's a turning point], but at least I saw a reaction. I demand from the players that they never give up, the circumstances don't matter, we have to keep playing with the spirit we showed in every game," Arteta said.

"I'm so proud of the team and how they reacted, how they stepped up when a team-mate makes a mistake, someone gets sent off, and they have to have their back.

"We thought about taking everybody off because the energy was going down and every five minutes somebody was cramping, so we changed our mind a few times. But it's a good point in the end considering the circumstances of the game.

"We are hoping to fight to stay in the race for the Champions League until the end and if you want to do that you have to come here and to win and they way they did it was brilliant."

Hector Bellerin marked his Arsenal return with a dramatic late goal for the 10-man Gunners as they salvaged a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Chelsea.

After six weeks out with a hamstring injury, Bellerin – named captain for the game by Mikel Arteta – curled home from 18 yards with three minutes remaining after Cesar Azpilicueta thought he had won the game for the Blues.

Chelsea took the lead in the 28th minute when Jorginho slotted home a penalty after David Luiz was shown a red card for bundling over Tammy Abraham in his attempt to bail Shkodran Mustafi out for a loose pass.

Arsenal did well to stay in the game and after Gabriel Martinelli cancelled out the opener, and Bellerin ensured Chelsea's jubilation following Azpilicueta's 84th-minute volley was short-lived.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh stunned Chelsea with a late overhead-kick to earn Brighton and Hove Albion a hard-fought 1-1 draw on New Year's Day.

The Iran winger ended his long wait for a first Brighton goal against Bournemouth on Saturday, celebrating with joyful tears, and his second quickly followed in a stylish start to 2020.

Chelsea looked to be easing towards a third straight Premier League away win after Cesar Azpilicueta's early strike, failing to add to their lead but largely comfortable at the other end.

However, Jahanbakhsh leapt into an outstanding volley with six minutes of normal time remaining, and Frank Lampard's fourth-placed side were clinging on by full-time.

Chelsea coach Frank Lampard confirmed Antonio Rudiger and captain Cesar Azpilicueta discussed the alleged racist abuse by Tottenham fans towards the former with Premier League officials after Sunday's match.

The Blues ran out 2-0 winners at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but the contest was marred by an incident in the second half.

Spurs' Son Heung-min was sent off for kicking out at Rudiger and the German reported to Azpilicueta that he had been targeted by racist chants soon after.

Lampard subsequently confirmed the pair raised the issue with Premier League officials after the fixture, while Spurs have launched their own investigation.

"My understanding is that there was a racist comment, gesture or whatever that may be," Lampard told Sky Sports.

"I've not spoken to Toni about it, but I know Cesar was there as well and now they're speaking to the officials, as they should do afterwards.

"From our point of view, whether here or at Stamford Bridge, we want the right procedure in place, so we'll leave that to them [the authorities] to get it sorted."

It had been suggested Rudiger overreacted to Son's kick, but Lampard is adamant it was deserving of a red card and he also thinks Spurs goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga was fortunate to stay on the pitch when conceding a first-half penalty for a wild and high challenge on Marcos Alonso.

"I think the penalty probably should've been a red card, because he's flown out at him with a sort of kung-fu kick.

"I don't think he meant it, so I think that was the answer from the referee [in terms of why he was only booked]. When you take someone out at that level, it can be a red, but fine we get the penalty.

"The Son one I think isn't that heavy, but it's a kick out and a kick out is a red card."

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta described his concern at continued occurrences of racist abuse after team-mate Antonio Rudiger reported an incident during the 2-0 win at Tottenham.

The Blues outplayed Spurs and scored twice through Willian, but an intense London derby was overshadowed by what occurred away from the pitch.

Rudiger was on the end of a petulant kick from Son Heung-min that saw the Tottenham player sent off, with the defender then reporting to Azpilicueta that there had been racist chanting directed at him.

Referee Anthony Taylor was informed and paused the game to inform the two coaches, with supporters also addressed inside the stadium with a message condemning racism.

"It's very clear every time we have meetings with the Premier League and with the referees before the game, we are told to report any incident with racism straight away to the ref," Azpilicueta told Sky Sports.

"Toni [Rudiger] came to me and told me he was listening to some racist songs towards him, so I just reported it to the ref immediately and left the ref to do his job.

"We are very concerned and very aware of this behaviour and, all together, we need to stop it.

"We went straight to play [after the red card], and the incident with Son and his red card was in the area where it happened.

"I hope everything gets clear and we eradicate [racism] as soon as possible. It is an issue not only in football but in life. Together, we need to work towards the eradication of the problem."

Reflecting on the win, Azpilicueta added: "It's amazing. It feels very good for us, for the fans, to come here and win after a run that was not the best, to keep a clean sheet. It's a very good win."

After his two-goal display, Willian said: "I'm happy, of course, with the two goals, but the most important thing is always to win the game. We did a brilliant job today and I'm happy for that."

Ashley Cole hopes Arsenal appoint interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg as their permanent new boss because "he knows the club inside out".

Ljungberg was put in temporary charge following Unai Emery's sacking two weeks ago, celebrating his first win on Monday with a 3-1 triumph at West Ham.

The 42-year-old is reportedly in contention to stay on at the Emirates Stadium helm until the end of the campaign while the club continue their search for Emery's successor.

However, Cole has called on Arsenal chiefs to consider sticking with Ljungberg - whom he played alongside for seven years - for the long term, rather than looking elsewhere.

"Every club has to change. They're in another transition period at the minute where they tried Emery and for whatever reason it didn't work out," Cole, speaking on behalf of Nissan, told Omnisport.

"Now Freddie is there and hopefully he can take over as permanent manager because he knows the club inside out. Freddie was my friend when I was at Arsenal and hopefully he can change some things there."

Another of Cole's former clubs, Chelsea, are also going through a transition period after appointing club legend Frank Lampard as head coach in July.

Lampard has showed faith in young players such as Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James, who all spent time on loan in the Championship last term.

And Cole, currently working as an academy coach at Chelsea, is full of praise for the work Lampard has done so far in the early stages of his Stamford Bridge tenure.

"I'm delighted," he said. "I was lucky enough to work with him at Derby County before he came here and I knew how good he could be.

"He's obviously come here and changed a few things, brought his own philosophy here, the way he wants to play. I think the team has done brilliantly so far, so no, no surprise how good he's done.

"The youth players have been great. A lot of people were probably saying he had no choice to play them, but I think he knows if they weren't good enough he wouldn't play them.

"But they've been brilliant, they've adapted well from playing in the Championship as most of them did last season and I think they are the driving force of this team at the minute."

The emergence of young talent has come at a cost for some players, though, with captain Cesar Azpilicueta recently losing his place at right-back to James.

"I wouldn't say his time is coming to an end," Cole said when asked about Azpilicueta's future. "Tactically sometimes maybe the manager wants fresh ideas, fresh players.

"It comes with the job, you can't play every game. It happened to me: Cesar took my place. He's still the Chelsea captain.

"It's not about just what he does on the pitch, it's how he motivates the players off it and I've been around that and seen how good he is at that. 

"I don't think it will worry him. It will probably spur him on to be even better and train even harder, which is hard to do because he is a beast at training."

Nissan are proud partners of the UEFA Champions League. UEFA ambassador Ashley Cole was at the Chelsea FC v LOSC Lille match on Tuesday 10th December, along with the UEFA Champions League Trophy, which is being driven around the UK by the next generation Nissan Juke.

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