West Ham United host Chelsea on Saturday evening in a game that is set to have a huge say in the Premier League’s top four race.
The Hammers have been flying this season and have dreams of a first foray into the Champions League as the season reaches its climax. However, a damaging defeat against Newcastle a week ago has checked momentum with manager David Moyes surely desperate to right the ship against one of his side’s biggest rivals for one of the four qualification spots.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have been in fine form since the German’s arrival in January but again, a poor result last time out, this time against Brighton has tightened things up. It has been a trying week for the Blues with supporters raging against the club’s plans to break away into a new European Super League leaving Tuchel in need of a positive result for reasons both on and off the pitch.
The Chelsea boss conceded the fan protests around the now failed competition affected Tuesday’s performance at Stamford Bridge.
“Yes it has been distracting, but it’s the owner’s club, it’s not my club,” he said in a press conference. “I’m part of the club, but it’s the owner and the club’s decision, and now they change that decision. There’s no need to apologise to me directly, my job is to adapt to the circumstances. And were we distracted? Yeah clearly.
“Me personally I arrived in a state of mind on Tuesday at the stadium that was clearly not the mindset that I normally arrive in, for a match. But that’s already in the past, and like I said, I don’t think they need to apologise to me.”
We will have all the latest updates and analysis for you throughout Saturday evening here:
West Ham vs Chelsea: Team news coming up
Joe Willock scores late to dent Liverpool’s Champions League hopes
Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle United: Mohamed Salah’s early opener was cancelled out in dramatic fashion with the last kick of the match
JURGEN KLOPP SPEAKS TO BT SPORT
“I don’t think you can create better chances than we did today. We don’t finish the game off. We kept them alive and in the end they deserve the goal because they score a minute before. Unlucky for Wilson, and we don’t even take this present. Today we were lucky and we give another chance away. Really tough to take. Why it happened, I don’t know. We just have to keep the ball, in a specific way we don’t fight enough. We had 70 percent of the ball but we should have 80 percent. We create a lot of chances, didn’t score with them, so we have to create more. That’s how it is. We don’t do that well in the moment. You look at the stats and think ‘how can that happen?’. We got nothing and it feels like a defeat. If you deserve it, you deserve it. I didn’t see today that we deserve Champions League next year. We learn or we don’t play Champions League. That’s it”
FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED
Five things we learned as last-gasp Newcastle deny Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp’s side missed a chance to move back into the top four
HOW IT STANDS
Liverpool move up a place to sixth, but they’re a point behind West Ham and Chelsea having played a game more than both London clubs.
Newcastle are now nine points clear of 18th-placed Fulham, so that might well be safety secured for Steve Bruce and his players.
FULL-TIME: LIVERPOOL 1-1 NEWCASTLE
And that’s it! Liverpool completely throw away what would have been a vital victory in the race for the top four. Newcastle get a valuable point thanks to that last-second Willock equaliser, moments after Wilson’s goal had been ruled out. It’s more disappointment in a season of underachievement for the champions, who failed to heed the warning signs here.
GOAL! LIVERPOOL 1-1 NEWCASTLE (WILLOCK 90+5’)
Incredible! Liverpool thought they’d escaped after that disallowed Wilson goal, but Newcastle’s wont be denied this time. A long ball is flicked into the feet of Willock, who gets the ball out of his feet in the box. His low shot deflects off Fabinho and wrong foots Alisson.
NO GOAL! LIVERPOOL 1-0 NEWCASTLE (90+3’)
Heartbreak for Newcastle! Wilson, having been played through on goal, saw his first shot saved by Alisson. The ball bounced up, hit him on the arm, and then he converted the rebound. But the decision, after a VAR check, is handball. Relief for Liverpool.
GOAL! LIVERPOOL 1-1 NEWCASTLE (WILSON 90+2’)
Newcastle level with seconds remaining!
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