Son Heung-min returned to scoring form to help Tottenham claim a 2-0 victory over West Ham, propelling them into the Premier League's top four.

With Antonio Conte back in Italy recovering from emergency gallbladder surgery earlier this month, stand-in head coach Cristian Stellini was again charged with leading Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Stellini made it two wins from two games in temporary charge as substitute Son sealed the points with his first league goal since January 4 after Emerson nosed Spurs ahead in the 56th minute.

West Ham's defeat leaves them in the bottom three while Spurs, who lost heavily to Leicester City last week then went down to Milan in the Champions League, leapfrogged Newcastle United into fourth place.

There were warning signs for Spurs when Jarrod Bowen blasted wide in the opening minute, though a refereeing decision was the main talking point from a sluggish first half.

Eight days on from Tomas Soucek getting away with a similar incident against Chelsea, team-mate Thilo Kehrer was perhaps fortunate not to concede a penalty when Richarlison's pass struck his outstretched arm.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Richarlison were denied by Lukasz Fabianski before Cristian Romero headed over, with Spurs keeping up the pressure after the restart when Harry Kane went close.

That pressure told before the hour – Emerson coolly slotting into the bottom left corner after combining with fellow wing-back Ben Davies.

Bowen almost found an immediate response for West Ham but Fraser Forster was equal to his snapshot.

And West Ham's hopes of a comeback were all but dashed when Son, who had lost his place in the starting XI to Richarlison, finished calmly after linking up with Kane.

Liverpool are reportedly keeping a close eye on Chelsea's Mason Mount as negotiations for a contract extension continue to stall.

Mount, 24, has been with Chelsea since he was six years old, racking up 190 appearances and 33 goals for the club since breaking into the first team for the 2019-20 season.

An England regular with 36 international caps, Mount is a crucial part of Chelsea's midfield options, although his minutes have been far less secure under Graham Potter than previous managers.

Of his 19 Premier League starts this campaign, Mount has been subbed off 12 times, and the club are reportedly hesitant to meet his contract demands.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL MONITOR MOUNT AS HIS CONTRACT WINDS DOWN

Mount only has one more season remaining on his deal before he will be able to leave on a free transfer, and the Daily Mail is reporting Liverpool are hovering for an opportunity to pry him away.

The report claims Mount is aiming to triple his current £80,000-per-week wages, which would bring him in line with recent transfer acquisitions, as well as 23-year-old team-mate Reece James, who was rewarded with a £250,000-per-week deal in September.

If Chelsea are not able to lock up their talented midfielder by the end of the season, they will likely be forced into a sale.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to 90min, Manchester City have renewed their interest in 24-year-old West Ham midfielder Declan Rice as they plan a midfield rebuild.

– The Evening Standard is reporting Chelsea and Juventus have mutual interest in converting Denis Zakaria's loan move into a permanent deal, with an optional buy-clause set at £27m (€30m).

Aston Villa will try to sign 25-year-old Roma striker Tammy Abraham at the end of the season, who is believed to be valued around £40m (€44m), per 90min.

– Footmercato is reporting Paris Saint-Germain have been in contact with Roma boss Jose Mourinho about potentially taking over from Christophe Galtier, although the French giants prefer Zinedine Zidane.

Son Heung-min is receiving no guarantees regarding his starting role at Tottenham amid a disappointing campaign on an individual level.

The South Korea star was one of the Premier League's standout players last season, sharing the Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah after scoring 23 times.

But in the 2022-23 season Son has netted just four in 21 league appearances, meaning he looks likely to fall short of 10 top-flight goals for the first time since his debut campaign in England (2015-16, four goals).

Son's per-90-minute averages of 0.2 goals, 0.26 expected goals, 1.0 open-play chances created and 0.36 goal involvements this season are all new lows for him in the Premier League.

Tottenham's lack of options in attack has perhaps contributed to Son keeping his place, but with the fit-again Richarlison pushing for a first start since before the World Cup after returning to action last month, the former Bayer Leverkusen man might find himself benched soon.

Certainly, Stellini – who is standing in for Antonio Conte again after he was ordered to return home to recover from surgery – does not appear to be offering Son any assurances over his place in the team.

"Every time when you pick the team, you have to leave someone on the bench, and normally it is not important the player you have to maybe leave on the bench, it is about the team that has to play," Stellini told reporters ahead of Sunday's visit of West Ham.

"It is important also that some important players stay on the bench for their effort when they come in. This is very important.

"We have experience with Sonny; we have experience with Richarlison; we have experienced with [Dejan] Kulusevski from the bench, they change the game.

"This is normal and it is normal for everyone, not because you have an important player he has to play compulsory.

"If he needs to play sometimes, also he needs to rest because we have a tough fixture [list]. We have a tough moment and we play many times. Sometimes you have to change the player and also to perform better."

Richarlison has made four substitute appearances since recovering from the hamstring injury he sustained in Qatar.

Stellini is "absolutely" convinced the Brazilian is now 100 per cent fit, hinting he sees him as a viable weapon as Spurs look to further their cause for a top-four spot.

Asked if he was looking for a way to fit Richarlison into the side, Stellini said: "Yes, this is our expectation for Richy.

"We were very unlucky with him because [of the injury] in the World Cup. We've missed Richy now for a long time. We missed Richy.

"In the best moment we had him at the start of the season, he was a player who changed our game.

"He changed the pace of the game during the game and when he started. He scored two goals in the Champions League and that was important.

"We've lost him sometimes and we have to accept it and work to have him back at the top, and his performance now I think could be good."

Tottenham's stand-in boss Cristian Stellini said Antonio Conte feels he underestimated the seriousness of his gallbladder surgery. 

Conte had the organ removed at the start of February after experiencing severe abdominal pain and took a short break from Spurs to begin his recovery.

The Italian returned to duties on the training pitch last week before the 4-1 defeat to Leicester City in the Premier League and then oversaw a Champions League defeat to Milan at San Siro.

However, Conte has since had his recovery progress checked out, and it was decided he will need more time away from frontline work.

Stellini will take charge for Sunday's home clash with West Ham, and asked if Conte might need an extended break, he told reporters: "Health is more important than football and this is the reason why the club, Antonio and the doctors decide to take this responsibility and leave Antonio in Italy after the last game.

"We don't know the time. He needs to rest. The doctor thinks about the timing and they have an idea but it is really a feeling from Antonio.

"[The doctor] explained very well that surgery was not an easy surgery. It was an emergency surgery. The inflammation was big and maybe they underestimated this situation. He needs time to be 100 per cent and Antonio not at 100 per cent is not Antonio.

"That creates stress and overstress and this is dangerous after a surgery like that.

"We have a call every day, many times in a day, probably three times per day, but he wants to come back."

Quizzed on the level of authority he has while in temporary charge, Stellini replied: "I have the same authority before he came back but since the moment he came back, Antonio's feeling was that maybe he underestimated the procedure after the surgery.

"Coming close to the [Leicester] game, the stress, the tension he had before the game created some problems. When they checked with the doctor, with the club, they spoke for a long time about this and the decision was this.

"He needs to take it easy again. He will come back soon."

On the pitch, Stellini – who oversaw a 1-0 win over Manchester City earlier this month – is looking for a reaction after the successive defeats.

"I want to see the reaction from the start," he said. "The first minute will be very important for us because we have to show the desire to play the best game we can."

Spurs were dealt another blow this week, with midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur ruled out for the rest of the season due to an ACL injury.

Tottenham are in need of a lift following back-to-back defeats, and history would suggest it might come at the expense of West Ham in the absence of Antonio Conte.

Head coach Conte made a swift return to the touchline last weekend following gallbladder surgery and watched his side suffer a 4-1 Premier League defeat at Leicester City.

The Italian then oversaw a 1-0 Champions League defeat at Milan on Tuesday, but he has remained on his homeland in order to take time to make a full recovery from his operation.

Cristian Stellini will once again step up to take charge of Tottenham for the foreseeable future, and Conte's assistant's first task is to mastermind a home derby victory over West Ham this weekend.

Stats Perform previews the clash between the London rivals by picking out the standout Opta data.

Five-in-a-row frustration for Hammers

West Ham have lost five consecutive away London derbies since beating Crystal Palace 3-2 on New Year's Day in 2022.

That is their longest such run since a streak of six defeats on the bounce between April 2009 and October 2010.

David Moyes' men draw 1-1 at home to Spurs in August but only once in the past eight seasons have they avoided defeat in both Premier League meetings with Spurs – that being in the 2020-21 campaign.

More home comforts for Spurs?

While Tottenham are smarting from back-to-back losses in all competitions, they beat Premier League leaders Manchester City 1-0 in their last home game.

Although they lost 2-0 in their own backyard to fierce rivals Arsenal in their last London derby, they were unbeaten in five encounters with fellow capital clubs at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before that painful setback.

Not since November 2004 have Spurs lost consecutive home London derbies,

Antonio to torment Tottenham again?

Michail Antonio should be licking his lips at the prospect of facing Tottenham.

The striker has scored in four of the Hammers' past five wins over Spurs, including the only goal of the game in three of those contests.

No player has ever scored in four 1-0 victories against the same opponent in Premier League history.

Hammers can snuff out Spurs set-piece threat

No side have scored from more corners in the Premier League this season than Tottenham's 11.

They might be hard pressed to bring up a dozen this weekend, though, as West Ham have not conceded from a corner this term.

If they are to turn the corner this weekend and get their bid for a top-four finish back on track, Spurs may have to be more creative in open play after firing a blank at San Siro.

Roses are red, violets are blue, have we got the perfect Valentine's Day content for you!

(Very) questionable rhymes aside, love is in the air as long-standing couples and newly formed relationships celebrate the day of romance on Tuesday.

The Premier League is certainly no stranger to the language of love, so while cracking open a bottle of red and exchanging cheap tat with your significant other, why not get some inspiration for love with our Valentine's Day facts with some help from Cupid!

Well, maybe not Cupid, but Opta – and the team at Opta are full of love!

MATT LE KISS-IER'S FOND VALENTINE'S DAY MEMORY

Valentine's Day is of course a day for love (and overpaying for those last-minute flowers and cards you almost forgot to buy…).

Three players who've enjoyed a particularly joyous February 14 in the past are Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier, ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who have each scored three times in the Premier League on this date – no one has managed more.

All three of those were Valentine's Day hat-tricks as well.

 

Le Tissier registered three against the Reds back in 1994; Owen took home the match ball with a treble for Liverpool versus Sheffield Wednesday four years later; Aubameyang broke Leeds United hearts in 2021 with Arsenal.

COUPLE GOALS

Sharing's caring, as they say.

Mutual support is a key component of any healthy relationship, particularly the relationship between a striker and their fellow forwards…

If there's any Premier League pairing that sums up "couple goals", it has to be Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

The Tottenham duo have directly linked up for 44 goals in the league, more than any other pairing in Premier League history.

No couple have ever combined for more than one goal on Valentine's Day, though Philippe Coutinho and the late Jose Antonio Reyes have shared the love on the most romantic day of the year – they have tallied two assists each on February 14, more than anyone else.

CARDS GALORE

Whether from a partner or a secret admirer, it's always nice to receive a card or two on Valentine's Day.

Unless of course you're playing in the Premier League, in which case you want to see the referees keep their cards in their pockets.

In this regard, Leicester City have been the most prolific, their nine yellow cards on Valentine's Day being more than any other team have received. Arsenal follow with six.

The Foxes also fare badly when it comes to red cards, having earned two on February 14 – Danny Simpson (2016) and Hamza Choudhury (2020) account for those dismissals.

The only other player to receive a red card on Valentine's Day is Everton hero Duncan Ferguson ... no, we weren't shocked either.

LOVE IS BLIND'S TEAM-MATE

Donald Love's name gets a good airing all over social media every February 14 given it's ripe for Valentine's Day punnery.

The defender, who now plays for Morecambe in League One, made his Manchester United debut the day before Valentine's Day in 2016, coming on as a substitute in a 2-1 defeat to Sunderland, who he would also go on to play for.

In that game, he slotted in on the right of a back four that also included another pun-magnet in Daley Blind. So, on Valentine's Day 2016, you could have legitimately said Love is Blind...'s team-mate.

Love never went on to play a Premier League game on Valentine's Day, which for obvious reasons is rather regrettable.

SHORT AND SWEET

Valentine's Days come and go, but in football as in life, not every relationship stands the test of time.

In the Premier League, there have been three players to make their only appearance in the competition on February 14.

Neil Cutler's brief fling with Aston Villa resulted in a one-off appearance in 2000; Shay Logan appeared for Manchester City seven years later; and in 2021 the fittingly named Niall Huggins got his sole outing for Leeds United.

It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all… and our heart goes out to those in that singles club.

Joao Felix has had a mixed start to his loan spell at Chelsea, but the Premier League club are eager to make his stay permanent.

The 23-year-old Portugal forward joined Chelsea on loan from Atletico Madrid in January, getting sent off on debut before scoring on his Premier League return against West Ham on Saturday.

Felix signed for Atletico from Benfica in 2019 on a seven-year contract for a transfer fee of €126 million and extended his deal until 2027 prior to the move to Stamford Bridge.


TOP STORY – CHELSEA WANT PERMANENT JOAO FELIX STAY

Chelsea want to make Joao Felix's stay at Stamford Bridge permanent, according to Relevo.

The Portuguese is on loan with the Blues for the rest of the season from Atletico Madrid, with Chelsea willing to pay €100 million (£88.3m) for his services.

The Spaniards were originally asking for more, believed to be around €130m-140m (£115m-£124m) but may be willing to accept a reduced fee.

Meanwhile, Christian Pulisic could be heading in the opposition direction with Atletico considering a cut-price bid for Chelsea's United States international, according to Fichajes.

 

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid are monitoring Tottenham forward Richarlison and Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic, reports ESPN. Los Blancos are looking for long-term replacements for 35-year-old Karim Benzema.

- Neymar's future at Paris Saint-Germain is uncertain with the French champions to place him on their transfer list in the upcoming off-season, claims Foot Mercato. PSG paid a staggering €222m for Neymar in 2017 but are set to move on.

- Chelsea's pursuit of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice could lead them to sell Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to raise funds for the deal, claims Football Insider.

- Barcelona have reached a verbal agreement with Eintracht Frankfurt centre-back Evan Ndicka for a free transfer at the end of this season, claims German journalist Christopher Michel.

- Bayern Munich want to sign Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo for a reduced fee, rather than trigger the €70 million buy option, reports 90min. The report claims a fee around €60m is more realistic.

Real Madrid are eager to bolster their forward options, with a quality striker wanted to deputise for Karim Benzema.

Benzema, who is now 35-years-old, has battled injuries this season and played in 12 of their 20 LaLiga games.

Los Blancos have been regularly linked with Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, while there have been reports of a big-money bid for Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani in recent days.

Instead of signing another French forward though, there is a report that Madrid are eyeing up a Brazilian.


TOP STORY – ANCELOTTI WANTS FIRMINO

Real Madrid want to sign Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino on a free transfer at the end of this season, claims Gazzetta dello Sport.

Liverpool are bullish on re-signing Firmino but no extension has yet been agreed, with his contract due to expire in June.

According to the report, Atletico Madrid and Inter are also interested in the 31-year-old, who has been battling a calf injury in recent months.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona president Joan Laporta is determined to sign Julian Alvarez from Manchester City, reports Fichajes. The report claims "Laporta will do everything in his power" to land the Argentinean World Cup winner.

- Manchester City are monitoring Southampton full-back Tino Livramento, claims the Evening Standard. The English 20-year-old is viewed as a long-term successor to Joao Cancelo, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich.

- Tuttomercatoweb reports that Bayer Leverkusen will compete with Juventus to sign Alex Grimaldo from Benfica. The Bianconeri want the left-back as a replacement for the departing Alex Sandro.

- Chelsea have joined the contenders to sign Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, writes Football.London. Raya's contract expires in 2024, with interest also from Tottenham and Manchester United too.

- West Ham United are circling for Brazil international striker Pedro, who plays for Flamengo, according to Fichajes.

- Former Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch is being considered for the vacant Southampton job following Nathan Jones' dismissal, claims The Athletic. Football Insider reports Southampton and Leeds both want Marcelo Gallardo, while the Mail adds that Saints are also interested in Torino boss Ivan Juric.

Arsenal and Brighton and Hove Albion were victims of "significant" human errors during Saturday's Premier League action, according to the body responsible for match officials in English football.

Ivan Toney equalised against the Gunners at Emirates Stadium to ultimately secure Brentford a 1-1 draw, but the goal should not have stood due to Christian Norgaard – who nudged the ball across goal for the assist – having previously been in an offside position.

VAR Lee Mason failed to spot it despite the goal going to a review to check if Ethan Pinnock had been offside.

Also on Saturday, Brighton were denied a winning goal when Pervis Estupinan had his strike ruled out for offside – the VAR seemingly deemed the wrong Crystal Palace defender to be the deepest player.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) admitted there were mistakes.

A statement read: "PGMOL can confirm its chief refereeing officer Howard Webb has contacted both Arsenal and Brighton and Hove Albion to acknowledge and explain the significant errors in the VAR process in their respective Premier League fixtures on Saturday.

"Both incidents, which were due to human error and related to the analysis of offside situations, are being thoroughly reviewed by PGMOL."

PGMOL did not comment on the controversy that occurred at London Stadium, however, where Chelsea were denied a late penalty when West Ham's Tomas Soucek handled the ball in the box.

Chelsea boss Graham Potter sarcastically praised Soucek for a "good save" after the game.

Arsenal dropped points in the title race on a busy Saturday in the Premier League, denied by an Ivan Toney equaliser as Brentford drew 1-1 at Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta's had a better day of it than north London rivals Tottenham, though, as Spurs were thrashed 4-1 at Leicester City, despite taking an early lead.

Elsewhere, Chelsea were denied a win at West Ham after Emerson Palmieri equalised Joao Felix's first goal of his loan spell from Atletico Madrid.

Southampton's woes continued as they were beaten 2-1 at home against Wolves, despite taking the lead and having a man advantage for over an hour after Mario Lemina was sent off for the visitors.

Newcastle United's run of draws continued as they were held 1-1 at Bournemouth, while Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion also could not be separated, and Fulham beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 at Craven Cottage.

Here, Stats Perform looks at Saturday's biggest games, with the guidance of Opta data.

West Ham 1-1 Chelsea: Blues struggle to handle Hammers

Graham Potter's Chelsea were left frustrated after a late claim for handball was denied at London Stadium, and this draw was the first in nine Premier League encounters between West Ham and Chelsea since a 0-0 in September 2018.

The Blues have drawn three consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since February 2012, and remarkably, there were no shots on target in the second half from either side, being just the second Premier League match where that has occurred this season after Southampton v Nottingham Forest in January.

Emerson became the first former Chelsea player to score his first Premier League goal for a club against the Blues since Frank Lampard for Manchester City in September 2014.

On his return from suspension, Joao Felix became the 12th different player to score for Chelsea in the Premier League this season, with no side having had more in 2022-23 (excluding own goals), which perhaps is not a surprise when you consider the number of players they now have.

Arsenal 1-1 Brentford: Toney time dents Gunners' title push

It seemed like business as usual when Leandro Trossard gave the hosts the lead, but this ended up being the first time Arsenal had failed to win a Premier League home game in which they scored first since January 2022. They had won 10 in a row at Emirates Stadium when opening the scoring before this game.

Brentford showed great resilience and have now scored 15 goals from set-pieces in the Premier League this season, with no side netting more (including penalties).

That could also be something for Arsenal to work on, as each of the last three Premier League goals the league leaders have conceded have come from headers, despite not conceding any beforehand this season.

Only Harry Kane (nine) has found the net away from home more often in the Premier League this season than Brentford striker Toney (seven), whose equaliser broke Gunners hearts.

Leicester City 4-1 Tottenham: Lloris-less Spurs hammered by Foxes

A high-scoring game was hardly a shock at King Power Stadium. There have been 128 goals scored in 34 Premier League matches between Leicester and Tottenham, with the average of 3.8 per game the highest such ratio among fixtures to be played more than 20 times in the competition.

Spurs, who were without injured goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, have lost two of their last three away games in the Premier League (W1), conceding four goals in each defeat, having only lost two of their previous 14 such games beforehand (W7 D5). The other recent heavy loss was 4-2 at Manchester City.

Despite having a disappointing campaign so far, Leicester here became the first team in Premier League history to score three first-half goals in back-to-back matches when conceding first in each game, having also done so at Aston Villa last time out.

Leicester's James Maddison, who was linked with a move to Antonio Conte's Spurs this week, scored and had an assist. Maddison has been directly involved in 11 goals in his last 10 Premier League starts (seven goals, four assists), scoring in each of his last three league appearances against Spurs.

Southampton 1-2 Wolves: Jones under pressure as Saints lose to 10 men

Head coach Nathan Jones is not the first Jones to struggle at Southampton. Saints have lost five consecutive Premier League home games for the first time since April-August 1998, when they were under the leadership of Dave Jones.

Wolves fought from a goal and a man down to win against their favourite Premier League opposition, having won each of their last five meetings, the first time they have ever been victorious in five consecutive games against a specific opponent in the competition.

It is clear where a big problem lies for Saints, having only kept one clean sheet in their last 28 Premier League matches (1-0 v Bournemouth in October).

Jan Bednarek found his own net, again, and has now scored four own goals as a Southampton player in the Premier League; the joint-most of any player for the club in the competition, along with Jos Hooiveld.

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter sarcastically commended West Ham's Tomas Soucek for a "good save" that mystifyingly did not lead to a penalty in Saturday's 1-1 draw.

Former Chelsea defender Emerson Palmieri cancelled out Joao Felix's opener at London Stadium before the VAR took centre stage.

First, the technology came to Chelsea's rescue in the 82nd minute as Soucek tapped in a rebound, the goal disallowed due to Declan Rice being offside with the initial headed effort.

Then, Chelsea were convinced they were due a penalty as Soucek blocked Conor Gallagher's effort with his hand in the area.

According to reports, PGMOL – the body responsible for match officials in English football – has since said the decision was correct because it perceives Soucek's arm to have been outstretched to break his fall.

The incident did not go to a VAR review as referee Craig Pawson's decision was deemed satisfactory, and although Potter was initially surprisingly calm about the controversy, he could not resist a pop or two in his post-match press conference.

"I thought it was a good save so you need your goalkeeper sometimes to get you the points," he told reporters.

"It hasn't been given so there's nothing for me to say. I've only seen it briefly as I walked across. It looks like one of those where if it was given, I don't think it would be overturned but it hasn't been given, so I don't know."

He added: "It looked quite a handball to me. I didn't know Tomas could get down that easily and save like that. It's a good stop from him. It's not for me to say about VAR."

Potter was then asked if he just wanted more consistency with such decisions, but the Chelsea boss was sceptical about that even being possible.

"You won't [get consistency] because they're human beings," he said of the VAR officials.

"A different human being in the room and every single decision and action, you won't get the same one again, so it's very hard to get consistency.

"Sometimes they go for you, sometimes they don't. You just have to accept that."

The draw leaves Chelsea ninth in the Premier League.

Graham Potter thinks Chelsea were falsely denied a late penalty in Saturday's draw with West Ham, but the head coach refused to openly call out the officials.

The Blues were held to a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium, with former Chelsea defender Emerson Palmieri cancelling out Joao Felix's opener.

VAR then came to Chelsea's rescue in the 82nd minute as Tomas Soucek tapped in a rebound, the goal disallowed due to Declan Rice being offside beforehand.

But Chelsea were adamant they should have then been given a penalty soon after, as Soucek blocked Conor Gallagher's effort with his hand.

The incident did not go to a VAR review, with referee Craig Pawson's decision ultimately final despite it looking a glaring error.

Potter did not appear as angry as some might have expected, however.

"It looks it [a penalty] but these are the little things you need to go in your favour and at the moment they are not, so that's life," he told BT Sport.

"There is nothing to complain about there. We have to keep working. There were positives and some good attacking moments from players who are adapting to the Premier League.

"That's where we're at. We just have to keep moving forward."

Joao Felix was making his return after receiving a red card on his debut last month, while fellow new arrivals Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke joined him and Kai Havertz in attack.

The first 25 minutes were arguably as fluent as Chelsea have ever been in the league since Potter's appointment in September, with Joao Felix at the centre of many of their most threatening passages of play.

Enzo Fernandez also caught the eye in midfield, with his sumptuous cross teeing up the 16th-minute opener, and Potter felt there were certainly positives to take in despite the disappointing result, a third successive league draw that leaves them ninth.

"I think you saw the potential in the first half," he said to BBC Sport. "You can't control what people say from the outside, you see it how it is and carry on working.

"They are a good group and we are excited with the team and the potential, but it is still a work in progress.

"The second half was more of a reflection of where we are in terms of integrating new players and getting players up to speed in the Premier League."

On Fernandez, he added: "It is his second game. He is a young player but you can see his quality and his personality.

"Like Joao Felix, Madueke and Mudryk, he will get better the more we understand them and they understand us. It is a process that you can't really short circuit."

Chelsea now turn their attention to the Champions League with a trip to Borussia Dortmund up next on Wednesday.

Late VAR drama saw Chelsea spared and then angered as they drew 1-1 away to London rivals West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday.

Tomas Soucek had what briefly looked to be a late winner chalked off before the midfielder got away with a clear handball in his own box to leave the visitors stunned.

Chelsea had earlier enjoyed arguably their best spell since Graham Potter's appointment during the first 25 minutes, Joao Felix netting a well-worked opener on his return from suspension.

But former Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri levelled soon after, and while the visitors dominated much of the following hour, their woes in front of goal meant they were at the mercy of VAR towards the end.

Chelsea's purposeful start had West Ham struggling, surviving an early scare when Joao Felix saw a goal disallowed for offside.

But he did put the visitors in front in the 16th minute, tapping in Enzo Fernandez's curling cross from deep on the left.

Kai Havertz's ruled out goal soon after seemed to jolt West Ham – who lost Lucas Paqueta to a shoulder injury – into life.

The equaliser arrived before the half-hour, Emerson pouncing after Jarrod Bowen flicked on Vladimir Coufal's right-wing delivery.

Chelsea were back in the ascendancy after half-time, but clear-cut chances were hard to craft.

It briefly looked like Chelsea would pay for that.

Rice headed on a free-kick delivery and Soucek converted the rebound, but the England man clearly strayed offside.

West Ham had an escape of their own a few moments later when Conor Gallagher's shot struck the hand of the falling Soucek, but no penalty was awarded as Chelsea drew a third straight league game for the first time since February 2012 under Andre Villas-Boas.
 

What does it mean? Chelsea's problems in front of goal continue

They at least managed to avoid going three league games without scoring, which would have been their first such drought since 2007 (four games), but this was hardly an emphatic response.

Joao Felix was sharp and they did of course have a couple of goals ruled out for offside, but otherwise big chances were rare – their opener was Chelsea's only opportunity worth more than 0.14 expected goals.

Chelsea won their first three Premier League games under Potter, scoring seven goals in the process, but they have now won just two of their subsequent 13 (D6 L5), netting only eight goals in this run.

Joao Felix shows his class

His red card against Fulham last month was a big blow to Chelsea, as demonstrated by this performance.

Joao Felix was particularly lively in the first half, scoring after having one chalked off. On top of that, his three shots was a match high, while none of his Chelsea team-mates tallied more key passes (two) either.

Madueke off the boil

Noni Madueke was another who looked quite busy, but his decision making in the final third was poor before he was withdrawn in the 68th minute, having not created a chance for a team-mate.

Key Opta Stats:

- West Ham and Chelsea have shared the points for the first time in nine Premier League encounters since a 0-0 draw in September 2018.
- The Hammers have failed to win 10 of their last 11 London derbies in the Premier League (W1 D2 L8), conceding at least once in every game in this period (20 goals against in total).
- There were no shots on target in the second half between West Ham and Chelsea, the second Premier League match with none after half time this season, after Southampton v Nottingham Forest in January.
- Emerson became the first player to score his first Premier League goal for a club against Chelsea having previously appeared for the Blues in the competition since Frank Lampard for Man City in September 2014.
- Joao Felix became the 12th different player to score for Chelsea in the Premier League this season, no side have had more in 2022-23 (excluding own goals).

What's next?

Chelsea go to Germany in the Champions League on Wednesday to face Borussia Dortmund. West Ham have another derby on February 19 as they travel to play Tottenham.

A late VAR reprieve came to Chelsea's rescue as they drew 1-1 away to London rivals West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday.

Tomas Soucek appeared to have secured the Hammers a comeback win in the 82nd minute, but a review showed Declan Rice was offside just before a crucial flick-on to spare Chelsea another defeat.

The Blues had earlier enjoyed arguably their best spell since Graham Potter's appointment during the first 25 minutes, Joao Felix netting a well-worked opener on his return from suspension.

But former Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri levelled soon after, and while the visitors dominated much of the following hour, their woes in front of goal meant they were at the mercy of VAR at the end.

Liverpool and Newcastle United are reportedly among the Premier League teams exploring a potential move for Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Jonathan Tah – and the interest could be mutual.

Tah, 26, is in his eighth season in Leverkusen after arriving ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, racking up 283 appearances in all competitions and earning 16 senior international caps for Germany.

After five consecutive seasons finishing in the Bundesliga's top-six, Leverkusen have struggled this campaign, with just seven wins and a negative goal difference after 19 games, leaving them 10th.

Facing an uphill battle for any European football next season, the club will reportedly struggle to convince Tah to stick around, especially with plenty of interest from his desired landing spot in the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – TAH SETS HIS SIGHTS ON THE PREMIER LEAGUE

According to 90min, Tah is "keen to take his talents to England at the end of the season".

He has two more seasons on his contract, tying him to Leverkusen until 2025, leaving the club with a difficult decision about whether to hang on to one of their top players or cash in and use the funds to improve the squad.

As well as Liverpool and Newcastle, West Ham are also understood to have touched base with Leverkusen about Tah's availability in January, while his name also came up in discussions with Tottenham, but they are said to prefer his centre-back partner Piero Hincapie.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Mirror is reporting Tottenham are admirers of 26-year-old Leicester City midfielder James Maddison

– According to El Nacional, Real Madrid have held talks with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp about potentially taking over from Carlo Ancelotti at the end of the season, and Klopp is said to have requested the Spanish giants pursue Jude Bellingham and Kylian Mbappe.

Milan have an interest in signing 27-year-old Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita, per the Mirror, while the Daily Mail adds the Italian side are also impressed by 21-year-old Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun, who has 14 Ligue 1 goals for Reims this season.

Manchester United and Newcastle are said to be two of many clubs keeping a close eye on 18-year-old Royal Antwerp prospect Arthur Vermeeren, per the Daily Mail.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting United, Arsenal and Liverpool have all held talks with the agent of 20-year-old Barcelona forward Ansu Fati.

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