Arsenal’s Smith Rowe reveals his winner at Chelsea was the result of hard work on the training pitch

Emile Smith Rowe reveals his winner was the result of hard work on the training pitch after Arsenal pounced on mistake by Jorginho to secure victory at Stamford Bridge

  • Jorginho’s misplaced back-pass left Arrizabalaga scrambling across goal 
  • Aubameyang collected loose ball and teed up Smith Rowe to slot home
  • The victory meant the Gunners completed the double over the Blues 

Emile Smith Rowe revealed his goal had been the result of hard work on the training pitch after Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Jorginho’s misplaced back-pass left the out-of-position Kepa Arrizabalaga scrambling across goal, with the Spain stopper forced to parry off the line.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang teed up Smith Rowe to slot home in the 16th minute and secure Arsenal’s third-straight Premier League victory.

Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe celebrates scoring the only goal of the game in the win at Chelsea

Afterwards Smith Rowe told Sky Sports: ‘Important result, we had to dig deep, it was a tough test but important for our season.

‘We worked on the pressing in training, high press and we did well to make them make the mistake and Auba [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] set me up which was good.’

Asked if his goal was lucky, he added: ‘That happens sometimes, I’m happy it went in but it was a slightly lucky finish. It means so much to score for this fantastic club, I just want to keep pushing on.

Smith Rowe scored from a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (not pictured) cutback in the first half

Smith Rowe scored from a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (not pictured) cutback in the first half

‘I’m so tired but I feel like we played well, we looked tired at times but we got the three points and showed our character, we defended really well in patches and after this tough season it was a good performance from us today.

‘We’re working really hard in training and showed this season how good we can be, but we need to keep pushing forward.’

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Jamie Redknapp says the top-four race has been ‘blown wide open’ following Chelsea’s defeat

Jamie Redknapp says the top-four race has been ‘blown wide open’ following Chelsea’s defeat by Arsenal as former Liverpool star claims Reds could be favourites to ‘sneak’ a spot should they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford

  • Jamie Redknapp believes the top four race has now been blown wide open 
  • Chelsea slipped up on Wednesday night after losing 1-0 to rivals Arsenal 
  • The defeat leaves the door ajar for their chasing rivals to catch up with the Blues
  • And Redknapp says that Liverpool could be favourites to ‘sneak’ a top-four spot

Jamie Redknapp says the top four race has been ‘blown wide open’ after Chelsea slipped up against Arsenal on Wednesday night to leave the door ajar for their nearest rivals. 

Thomas Tuchel’s side are viewed as favourites to clinch fourth spot come the end of the season with the German overseeing a remarkable transformation in the club’s fortunes since taking over in January.

However, an Emile Smith-Rowe goal – caused by a costly error from Jorginho – handed Mikel Arteta’s Gunners all three points to deal a blow to the Blues’ top four aspirations.

Jamie Redknapp says that the top-four race has been ‘blown wide open’ after Chelsea’s defeat

West Ham, Liverpool and Leicester are vying for the final two spots for Champions League football next season, with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds taking on Manchester United on Thursday night.

And Redknapp believes that the race is ‘wide open’ after Wednesday’s result, adding that Liverpool could be favourites to clinch a spot if they leave Old Trafford with all three points. 

‘If Liverpool win tomorrow I think the rest of the games they can get maximum points from there and it might actually make them favourites to sneak into one of those top four positions,’ he said on Sky Sports.

The Blues fell to a 1-0 defeat at home by Arsenal in a boost to their top-four chasing rivals

The Blues fell to a 1-0 defeat at home by Arsenal in a boost to their top-four chasing rivals

And Redknapp believes that the race is not over due to 'unpredictable' results this season

And Redknapp believes that the race is not over due to ‘unpredictable’ results this season

‘It’s so unpredictable you don’t know what is going to happen. It’s a brilliant night for Leicester, it’s a brilliant night for Liverpool, it’s a brilliant night for West Ham – they’ll still believe now that they have got a chance. 

‘I think we all based it on the fact Chelsea would get three points tonight. It has been blown wide open. Tomorrow Liverpool have such a big game and if they get three points you start to believe they can actually do it.’

Ashley Cole noted that the return of fans for the final two games of the season could give the Champions League hopefuls an extra boost to give it their all. 

‘Hopefully that atmosphere will give that little spark which I’m sure these players have missed,’ he said. 

Redknapp added that Liverpool could be favourites should they beat Man United on Thursday

Redknapp added that Liverpool could be favourites should they beat Man United on Thursday

‘Who can do it? Liverpool have a big game tomorrow they have got to take care of their own business. Chelsea have dropped points today and if they would have won today they’d have gotten into a great position.’

Tuchel took full responsibility for his side’s lacklustre display against their London rivals, but Redknapp and Cole said that the Blues’ busy run of games in which they have competed on three fronts may have taken its toll. 

‘Games are starting to take their toll,’ Redknapp added. ‘They have got a cup final on Saturday and normally you have a week to prepare for it but games are coming thick and fast. For Chelsea every game means so much.’

‘[It is] certainly a missed opportunity to put that bit more daylight between themselves and other teams below them,’ Cole said. 

‘They have got to take it game by game. They have got four massive games left in the season and have to get it right. If they win the Champions League the top four is safe.’ 

Redknapp and Ashley Cole said a busy run of games may have taken its toll on Tuchel's side

Redknapp and Ashley Cole said a busy run of games may have taken its toll on Tuchel’s side 

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Jorginho left red-faced after midfield maestro’s miscued pass leads to Emile Smith-Rowe’s goal

‘You never pass it back between your posts’: Jorginho left red-faced after his ball back to Kepa led to Arsenal’s opener at Chelsea… while Jamie Redknapp praises ref Andre Marriner for playing on when keeper could have been sent off for goalline save

  • Jorginho was left red-faced after the Italian made a costly error against Arsenal 
  • The Chelsea midfielder miscued a pass leading to Emile Smith-Rowe’s goal  
  • It was an uncharacteristic error from Thomas Tuchel’s disciplined side
  • Jamie Redknapp said players should never direct a pass between the posts 
  • He praised referee Andre Marriner for allowing play to continue after the error 

Jorginho was left red-faced on Wednesday night after the Chelsea midfield maestro miscued a back pass to Kepa Arrizabalaga, leading to Arsenal’s opening goal at Stamford Bridge. 

The Italian, 29, was selected by Thomas Tuchel as Chelsea sought to make it eight games without defeat as Mikel Arteta’s Gunners arrived in west London looking to finish the season with a flourish after a poor campaign.

However, the midfielder got it all wrong midway through the first half, misdirecting a pass to goalkeeper Kepa that was directed towards his own goal with the Spaniard some distance from the ball.

Jorginho was left red-faced on Wednesday as his poor pass led to Arsenal’s opening goal

The Chelsea midfielder's back pass was aimed goalwards and Kepa just kept the ball out of net

The Chelsea midfielder’s back pass was aimed goalwards and Kepa just kept the ball out of net

Kepa scampered across to claw the ball away from goal but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang picked up the rebound before coolly finding Emile Smith-Rowe who made no mistake in finding the net. 

It was an uncharacteristic error for Jorginho, who is renowned for his ability on the ball, and Jamie Redknapp reflected that the 29-year-old made the ‘unfortunate’ error of playing the ball between the posts.

‘It was one of those things, a mistake from a midfield player that is normally so good on the ball, so accomplished,’ he said on Sky Sports. 

‘There is a rule when you pass it back you never pass it between the widths of the posts, he does that, they thought they got away with it. 

However, Arsenal latched onto the mistake and scored through youngster Emile-Smith Rowe

However, Arsenal latched onto the mistake and scored through youngster Emile-Smith Rowe

Jorginho has long been a trusted ball-playing midfielder at the heart of Chelsea's midfield

Jorginho has long been a trusted ball-playing midfielder at the heart of Chelsea’s midfield

‘Aubameyang does great, plays it back to Smith-Rowe. He sort of scuffs it. They force the mistake to a certain extent but it is just one of those things. It is a slightly scuffed finish, he is just praying that one goes in off the post and it does.’ 

Technically, Kepa’s stopping of the ball rolling into the net meant that Jorginho had committed a back pass offence, and the Spaniard could have been in hot water for denying a goal scoring opportunity.

But referee Andre Marriner allowed play to resume and Arsenal went onto score thereafter.

‘We give refs a hard time but he did well there he let it breathe, let the game flow,’ Redknapp said in praise of Marriner’s decision to play the advantage for Arteta’s side. 

Former Arsenal defender Ashley Cole outlined that Chelsea’s lack of ‘unforced errors’ under Thomas Tuchel was reason behind their impressive form, but Jorginho’s mistake was a rare calamity under the German coach.

Jamie Redknapp reflected that you 'never' pass the ball between the width of the goal posts

Jamie Redknapp reflected that you ‘never’ pass the ball between the width of the goal posts

The Sky Sports pundit also praised referee Andre Marriner for allowing play to continue

The Sky Sports pundit also praised referee Andre Marriner for allowing play to continue

And the Englishman says that Jorginho’s mistake was ‘one of those unfortunate things’ and suggested Kepa may not have been well positioned. 

‘I highlighted it before, under Thomas Tuchel not too many unforced errors. It is one of those things,’ he said. ‘Arsenal press well, blocked the playing lines so they couldn’t play through but it is one of those unfortunate things. 

‘Can you look at Kepa and say positionally is he in the right place? They [goalkeepers] are always willing and trying to show angles when you try to play out. 

‘It is unfortunate, you trust him [Jorginho] in and around your own box because he has quality to find passes but it happens.’ 

Chelsea have been strong defensively under German coach Thomas Tuchel since his arrival

Chelsea have been strong defensively under German coach Thomas Tuchel since his arrival

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Chelsea vs Arsenal – Premier League: Live score, lineups and updates

LIVE: Chelsea vs Arsenal – London derby action from Stamford Bridge as Blues look to take step closer to securing top-four finish, with Mikel Arteta’s side battling to keep slim European hopes alive

  • Chelsea starting XI: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Zouma, James, Gilmour, Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Pulisic, Havertz
  • Arsenal starting XI: Leno, Holding, Gabriel, Pablo Mari, Tierney, Thomas, Elneny, Saka, Odegaard, Smith-Rowe, Aubameyang
  • Chelsea could take one big step to securing top four place in the London derby
  • Arsenal are looking to keep alive their hopes of reaching Europe next season
  • Latest Premier League news, including fixtures and results 
  • Premier League table – as it stands 

Chelsea and Arsenal face off in a London derby, with both sides having ambitions concerning European football next term ahead of the Premier League clash.

While Chelsea can secure a place in the Champions League next term by winning the competition at the end of the month, Thomas Tuchel’s side will be keen to gain a safety net of a top four place which they hold by six points over West Ham.

Arsenal meanwhile are in danger of going a season without European football for the first time since 1995-96 and need three points to keep up their push for continental action next term.

Follow Sportsmail’s DAN RIPLEY for live EPL coverage of Chelsea vs Arsenal, including scoreline, lineups and build-up for the 8.15pm BST clash

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Lahoz appointed Champions League final referee… the official who sent Guardiola off in 2018

Antonio Mateu Lahoz appointed as Champions League final referee… the Spanish official who sent Pep Guardiola to the stands in Liverpool defeat in 2018, before furious Man City boss described him as a ‘special guy who likes to be different’

  • Antonio Mateu Lahoz will referee the Champions League final later this month 
  • Man City face Chelsea and Lahoz has previous with City boss Pep Guardiola 
  • The Catalan confronted him during City’s quarter-final exit by Liverpool in 2018 
  • He was also unimpressed with his display the previous year against Monaco 

UEFA has appointed Spaniard Antonio Mateu Lahoz to referee the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea on May 29.

However, the news may well not go down very well at the Etihad Stadium, with Pep Guardiola having previous with the official, who has refereed City three times before and awarded three penalties against them. 

Lahoz sent the Catalan boss to the stands at half-time of City’s quarter-final second leg defeat by Liverpool in 2018, having been confronted by Guardiola who was incensed that Leroy Sane’s goal had been ruled out for offside after James Milner had touched the ball into the German’s path.  

UEFA has appointed Spaniard Antonio Mateu Lahoz to referee the Champions League final

Pep Guardiola has previous with Lahoz, confronting him at half-time against Liverpool in 2018

Pep Guardiola has previous with Lahoz, confronting him at half-time against Liverpool in 2018

The Catalan was consequently sent to the stands as City went out at the quarter-final stage

The Catalan was consequently sent to the stands as City went out at the quarter-final stage

The Reds had won the first leg 3-0 at Anfield and goals from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino overturned Gabriel Jesus’ opener to seal their passage through courtesy of a 5-1 aggregate scoreline.

But Guardiola continued his war with Lahoz after the game, having held on to frustrations with the same referee regarding his failure to award a penalty in the previous year’s quarter-final exit at the hands of Monaco.

Asked why he was sent off after confronting the referee, Guardiola said: ‘I said it [Sane’s effort] was a goal. I didn’t insult him, I was polite, I was correct. But Mateu Lahoz is a special guy, he likes to be different, he likes to be special.’

In 2017, Guardiola was fuming that Lahoz booked Sergio Aguero for diving in that game rather than awarding a penalty after the City striker was taken down by Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.

Guardiola was furious that Leroy Sane's goal that night had been ruled out for offside

Guardiola was furious that Leroy Sane’s goal that night had been ruled out for offside

‘I know what happened in Monaco last season, at 1-1, with an incredible penalty from Sergio Aguero,’ Guardiola added.

‘He’s special. When everybody sees things, he likes to decide the opposite. I didn’t say any wrong word.’ 

In a separate press conference later that night, Guardiola said: ‘I know [the referee] from Spain. We spoke about that. We know him.’  

Lahoz has also awarded three spot kicks against City when he has been in charge of their games, with two coming in group games against Napoli in October 2017 and against Monaco the season before. 

Guardiola was also unimpressed with Lahoz's performance against Monaco the previous year

Guardiola was also unimpressed with Lahoz’s performance against Monaco the previous year

Recalling the incident against Monaco 12 months later, Guardiola said: ‘I remember what happened last year.

‘We were 1-1 at home against Monaco when there was a clear penalty to Aguero and a red card that a Spanish referee did not whistle for. 

‘We went from a possible 2-1 to 1-2. These types of situations are really important.’

But speaking to Spanish outlet Las Provincias in August 2019, Lahoz claimed that Guardiola has told him behind closed doors that he is a fan of how he referees.

Lahoz booked Sergio Aguero for diving as City were defeated by the Ligue 1 side in 2017

Lahoz booked Sergio Aguero for diving as City were defeated by the Ligue 1 side in 2017

‘I have refereed Barcelona a lot and I’ve always felt respected,’ he said.

‘I’ve had conversations with Carles Puyol that are on the record, whilst Pep Guardiola has privately told me he likes how I referee, both when he was at Barcelona and with other clubs.

‘Another thing is I want the players at the likes of Getafe and Alaves to see that I treat them with the exact same respect as those of Real Madrid and Barcelona. It’s not true that referees favour Real Madrid and Barcelona.’

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin meanwhile has announced no decision has been made on where this year’s final will be held after a coronavirus outbreak in Turkey forced the governing body to look for alternative venues, with Porto in the running.

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Thomas Tuchel lauds  ‘crazy’ Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

‘It’s hard to be really mad with the guy… he has a big heart’: Thomas Tuchel lauds ‘crazy’ Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he fondly recalls their time at Borussia Dortmund, even if his timekeeping was awful!

  • Thomas Tuchel and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be reunited on Wednesday 
  • The Chelsea boss will come up against the Arsenal striker at Stamford Bridge 
  • The pair were manager and player at Borussia Dortmund between 2015 and 2017 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s pace and engaging personality made a lasting impression on Thomas Tuchel.

So did his punctuality. Or rather his lack of it, which prompted Tuchel to develop a ploy to make sure the striker arrived on time when they worked together for two years at Borussia Dortmund.

‘It was a pure pleasure to have him in the squad,’ said Chelsea’s head coach, as he prepared to face Arsenal and Aubameyang at Stamford Bridge, on Wednesday night.

Thomas Tuchel has delivered a glowing reference ahead of facing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

‘A fantastic striker, a fantastic finisher but more than that, a fantastic worker off the pitch. Always with a smile on his face. Very, very honest. A bit of a crazy guy but nice crazy.

‘He did not miss one single training session in two years. Maybe he arrived five minutes late, that can happen with him, but if he does this, he is in a hurry, he has excuses, he is sorry and he has still a smile on his face. That’s him, and it’s hard to be really mad with the guy. He has a big heart.

‘When we wanted him to be on time, we told him the meeting was 10.45am when the meeting was 11am so there was a good chance he would be there with everyone else. You could hear his car from a kilometre away. We could prepare everything, start the video because he will arrive soon.

‘I still don’t know how he managed to keep the driving licence in his pocket because from the sound of the car I don’t know if he was always on the speed limit.’

In March, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta axed Aubameyang for the derby against Tottenham because he was late for a team meeting.

Tuchel and Aubameyang enjoyed a fruitful period together while at Borussia Dortmund

Tuchel and Aubameyang enjoyed a fruitful period together while at Borussia Dortmund

It has been a difficult campaign for the Arsenal captain. The goals have dried up and his flow has been disrupted, first missing games when his mother suffered a health scare and, later, when he caught malaria while on international duty with Gabon.

In Dortmund with Tuchel he thrived, scoring 79 goals in 95 appearances from 2015-17, including the winner, a penalty, in the German Cup final in 2017.

‘He delivered an unbelievable amount of goals,’ said Tuchel. ‘His speed was unique in the Bundesliga and he was a crucial player.’

Chelsea’s head coach admits surprise that the 31-year-old has not collected more major trophies. ‘Yes, because he is a winner,’ he said. ‘I never had a feeling he lacks a certain edge of mentality. But clearly he cannot do it alone. He also needs a top squad to play in to compete for the highest level.

The Gabon striker has endured a tough season at Arsenal since signing his new contract

The Gabon striker has endured a tough season at Arsenal since signing his new contract 

‘In my experiences with Auba, you could push him to the limit and he was always up for a challenge, open to the next step, open to stay hungry, never lazy, never satisfied with one goal, two goals, always going for a third. I had a strong feeling that he is a real winner and you can rely on him.’

Tuchel refused to offer his thoughts on Aubameyang’s recent struggles at Arsenal. ‘That would not be correct,’ he insisted, and he is not sure they will work together again.

But he is looking forward to tonight’s reunion. ‘We exchange messages when one of us has a big win,’ said Tuchel. ‘In some ways, it feels like he will always be my player, so you want him to succeed and have a good time. It will be nice to see him because he’s always on for a hug and it’s nice to see him laugh, but, of course, we want to stop him.’

Tuchel has had a huge impact at Chelsea, reaching the FA Cup and Champions League finals

Tuchel has had a huge impact at Chelsea, reaching the FA Cup and Champions League finals

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Chelsea set to reward Thomas Tuchel with new three-year deal in the summer

Thomas Tuchel set to be rewarded with new Chelsea contract in the summer after guiding the club to Champions League and FA Cup finals as well as Premier League top four

  • Chelsea are set to offer Thomas Tuchel a new contract at the end of the season
  • The German has done spectacularly since taking over from Frank Lampard
  • There are clauses in his deal that entitle him to an extension if he hits targets
  • However, Chelsea want to give him a new two-year deal with an option for a third
  • The Blues also want to tie down Kante as he enters the final two years of his deal

Chelsea are set to offer Thomas Tuchel a new contract at the end of the season as a reward for his spectacular success in leading the club to the Champions League and FA Cup finals as well as returning them to the Premier League’s top four.

As previously revealed by Sportsmail, there are clauses in the 18-month deal Tuchel signed in January entitling him to an extension if he hits certain targets, but the club want to tie him down to a new two-year contract with the option for a third year. 

Tuchel is keen to sign the new deal as he initially had reservations about the short-term contract Chelsea offered him after sacking Frank Lampard at the beginning of the year. It will also bring him an increase on his current £7million salary.

Chelsea are set to reward Thomas Tuchel with a new contract at the end of the season

The impetus for the new contract talks has come from the club, however, with the German focused on two cup finals and securing a Champions League place, which will move closer if they beat Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening. 

Tuchel stands to collect major bonuses if Chelsea win the Champions League and finish in the top four, although the pay-out for beating Leicester in Saturday’s FA Cup final is less substantial.

Such incremental contracts have become standard practice at Stamford Bridge in recent years with the club eager to reduce pay-outs made to sacked managers. Lampard signed a three-year contract as manager, but there was a break clause after two years.

Chelsea will also look to tie down N’Golo Kante (right) as he enters the last two years of his deal

Chelsea will also look to tie down N’Golo Kante (right) as he enters the last two years of his deal

Kante won back-to-back man of the match awards in Chelsea's two-legged win over Real

Kante won back-to-back man of the match awards in Chelsea’s two-legged win over Real

Chelsea will also seek to tie down N’Golo Kante — who starred against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final — as he enters the final two years of his contract, with Inter Milan said to be interested in the midfielder. The Blues are also set to trigger a one-year extension for Thiago Silva.

Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta called on owner Stan Kroenke to stump up the funds his side will need for a squad revamp this summer.

‘I think is clear that if we want to improve the team we need some resources,’ said Arteta.

Arsenal have also frozen season ticket prices for next season despite having no European football for the first time since the 1995-96 campaign.

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Thomas Tuchel hails Frank Lampard for setting up a Champions League and FA Cup double at Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel hails ‘amazing’ Frank Lampard for ‘laying the foundations’ for a Champions League and FA Cup double at Chelsea… but reveals he hasn’t spoken to his predecessor since their initial contact after his sacking

  • Chelsea head into Wednesday’s London derby against Arsenal in imperious form
  • Chelsea, who beat City 2-1 last time out, are in pole position for top-four finish
  • The Blues are gearing up for their FA Cup final against Leicester this Saturday
  • Then two weeks later, they take on City in the Champions League final 

Thomas Tuchel has hailed former manager Frank Lampard for ‘laying the foundations’ to get Chelsea into both the Champions League and FA Cup finals.

The Blues are gearing up for a massive three weeks before the season comes to a close, taking on Leicester in the FA Cup final this weekend before facing Man City in the Champions League final on May 29.

Chelsea are in imperious form under Tuchel and are in pole position for a top-four finish too considering they found themselves ninth in the Premier League after 19 games, 11 points behind then leaders Manchester United and five points off Liverpool in fourth when Lampard was sacked.

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea head into the London derby against Arsenal in imperious form

Chelsea boss Tuchel has hailed the work of predecessor Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea boss Tuchel has hailed the work of predecessor Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge

But Tuchel has credited his predecessor for helping Chelsea – who forked out £230million in the summer on Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell and Co – get into such a promising position.

When asked if Lampard deserves credit ahead of Wednesday night’s London derby against Arsenal in the Premier League, Tuchel replied: ‘Frank had an amazing record in the group stage of the Champions League.

‘Won all the FA Cup games. He’s laid the foundation to get us to finals and we don’t feel ashamed or have any fear to speak it out loud. It felt like that on the first day. 

‘I am aware Frank created his own legacy as a player and make it bigger as a coach.

‘We stepped in halfway through the season and tried to fulfil the job he had began.’

Despite his glowing tribute on Tuesday, Tuchel did also reveal that he hasn’t spoken to Lampard since their initial contact following his sacking at the end of January. 

The German added: ‘Frank resembles everything you think about Chelsea. You think about Frank Lampard, the way he is, how he played football. 

‘This shows his character and the message he sent was a pleasure to receive. We had a message a couple of days after we arrived but nothing more.’

More to follow… 

Chelsea overcame champions-elect Manchester City 2-1 last time out in the Premier League

Chelsea overcame champions-elect Manchester City 2-1 last time out in the Premier League

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Gary Neville attributes Premier League’s resurgence in Europe to the ‘unbelievable’ managers

Gary Neville attributes Premier League’s resurgence in Europe to the ‘unbelievable’ managers as Jamie Carragher insists that an English club should get to EVERY final after Manchester City and Chelsea reached this season’s showpiece event

  • Gary Neville has heaped praise on the Premier League’s ‘unbelievable managers’ 
  • The Champions League final will be an all-English affair at the end of the month 
  • It is the second time in three seasons that two English teams meet in the final
  • Neville says that the influx of world class manager has resulted in success
  • Carragher says an English team should reach every final with these coaches 

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher insist that the reason for English clubs’ recent success in Europe is due to the ‘unbelievable managers’ in the Premier League. 

The final of this season’s Champions League will be an all-English affair after Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea advanced to the showpiece event earlier this month. 

It is the second time in three seasons that two English teams have contested in the final of European football’s premier competition, after Liverpool beat Spurs to triumph in Madrid in 2019.

Thomas Tuchel has taken his Chelsea side to the final this season

Gary Neville says English clubs’ success in Europe is due to top flight’s ‘unbelievable’ coaches

This season's Champions League final will be contested between Manchester City and Chelsea

This season’s Champions League final will be contested between Manchester City and Chelsea

English football enjoyed a golden period between 2005 and 2012 in the competition, with Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea all being crowned kings of Europe in that spell. 

However, the past decade has seen the Champions League dominated by Spanish clubs, despite the vast money spent by Premier League clubs. 

And Sky Sports duo Neville and Carragher believe that the arrivals of the likes of Guardiola, Tuchel  and Jurgen Klopp is the reason for the transformation in performances on the continent. 

Two years ago, Liverpool defeated Tottenham Hotspur in the showpiece event in Madrid

Two years ago, Liverpool defeated Tottenham Hotspur in the showpiece event in Madrid 

‘We should be proud that at this moment in time English football, the Premier League, is starting to dominate in Europe again,’ Neville said on Monday Night Football. 

‘I was going to Champions League games in that period of 2013-17 and I remember saying to Martin [Tyler] “what the hell is going on?” we were spending all this money and yet LaLiga and the Bundesliga were absolutely ripping us apart in Europe. 

‘We were the laughing stock in Europe as the Premier League. They were taking loads of money off us for players but then they were still winning and getting to the finals. But now if you look at the last few years we have got it back.

Neville says English clubs' upturn in fortunes is due solely to the influx of world class coaches

Neville says English clubs’ upturn in fortunes is due solely to the influx of world class coaches

Neville likened the quality of managers to that of Sir Alex Ferguson (right) and Arsene Wenger

Neville likened the quality of managers to that of Sir Alex Ferguson (right) and Arsene Wenger

‘The big difference is the managers. We have got absolutely unbelievable managers in this league. Pep Guardiola is a genius. Jurgen Klopp is absolutely outstanding. Tuchel in six months what he has done at Chelsea is out of this world. Pochettino, what he did at Tottenham was an unbelievable coaching performance.

‘I would say that, for me it proves that if we can keep the best managers in the world in this country, we will succeed. It is important for everyone to understand how important the managers are in football.’ 

Carragher concurred with the former Manchester United defender, insisting that with the best managers at the helm, confidence will be high among the English clubs that they can win the top prize.

Jamie Carragher added that an English team should get to every final with these coaches

Jamie Carragher added that an English team should get to every final with these coaches

‘I think the feeling with Pep, Klopp, Tuchel – we will see who ends up in Europe actually – all those clubs will have the belief that they can win in Europe because of the managers. 

‘I think this is only just the start for Manchester City, especially. They have got to the final, whether they win or not we will see, but they will have that feeling because they have got there now that that they can do that year in, year out.

‘Someone in England should get to the final year in year out because of the money but also right now we have got the managers, and we had them in 2005-12, that every other top club in Europe would take those managers.’  

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Prince William to attend FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium

Prince William to attend FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium along with 20,000 supporters as part of the last pilot event for return of fans in stadiums

  • Prince William will attend this weekend’s FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium
  • The Duke of Cambridge is the president of the FA and attend the final every year
  • The final will be contested by Chelsea and Leicester City on Saturday afternoon
  • The Duke will be joined by 20,000 socially-distanced supporters at Wembley 
  • This year’s final is the last UK Government pilot event ahead of the return of fans

Prince William will be attending this weekend’s FA Cup final along with 20,000 supporters at Wembley Stadium. 

The final, which will be contested by Chelsea and Leicester City, is the final pilot test event ahead of the regular return of fans from May 17, as per the UK Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. 

The Duke of Cambridge is the president of the Football Association (FA) and attends the Wembley showpiece event every year and presents the winning team with the trophy. 

Prince William will attend this weekend’s FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester City

More to follow.  

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