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Mauricio Pochettino’s troubled start at Chelsea continues as Brentford inflict more home misery

October 28th, 2023

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There can be no more poignant image of the Chelsea shambles than the doomed pursuit of Brentford striker Neal Maupay bearing down on an empty home goal – chased by none other than Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.

An extraordinary end to an extraordinary afternoon – the second Brentford goal in the 96th minute came as they broke away from a corner for which Sanchez had advanced. When Maupay motored away, it was Sanchez who was closest. He could not catch up in time for the generous pass Maupay knocked sideways for the outstanding Bryan Mbeumo to finish.

Brentford celebrate Bryan Mbeumo's goalBrentford celebrate Bryan Mbeumo's goal

Brentford celebrate Bryan Mbeumo’s killer goal – Getty Images/Alex Broadway

Mauricio Pochettino may take no consolation in another shattering defeat, but Brentford have won every Premier League game they have ever played at Stamford Bridge in three remarkable visits. His team were booed by their own fans at the final whistle.

This time was no different despite the £1 billion spent in transfer fees by the new ownership of Chelsea, humbled anew by a west London side once not even on their radar. The Pochettino project struggles again, without a striker worthy of the name and a defence vulnerable to pressure. Even his mild-mannered assistant Jesus Perez lost the plot and was sent off by referee Simon Hooper.

It was the excellent Jamaica international, by way of south London, Ethan Pinnock, who leapt above the Chelsea defence to snap a header past Sanchez for the first goal of the game. Chelsea had plenty of the ball, of course, but little idea what to do with it and even less once Pinnock had scored and the minutes ticked by.

Their brief revival is over. After the run of three wins, they have now taken a single point from two Premier League home games.

Without the injured Enzo Fernandez for the first time this season, and a newly reorganised side also missing Mykhailo Mudryk, it felt chaotic. Pochettino seemed to exchange words with a home supporter behind the home benches at the end of the first half. By the end his assistant Perez was in the Brentford technical area and taking issue with his Brentford counterparts.

Pochettino threw on the Brazilian teenager Deivid Washington for a debut in the final minutes, but it was Brentford who created the better chances and should have scored more on the counter-attack as Chelsea sought an equaliser. Against Manchester United at Old Trafford three weeks earlier, Brentford had seen a famous win transformed into a defeat in the closing stages, but this time it never looked in doubt.

There were two more chances for Brentford before the Maupay breakaway and the goal for Mbeumo. He deserved it. Thomas Frank now has his hat-trick of Stamford Bridge victories: 4-1 in 2021-22; 2-0 last season and now this.

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Chelsea vs Brentford: As it happened…

02:58 PM BST

Great day for Brentford, bad day for Chelsea

Brentford made it three straight Premier League wins at Stamford Bridge with a 2-0 victory at Chelsea in the lunchtime kick-off. Chelsea controlled possession in the first half and had a couple of big, early chances. Noni Madueke hit the bar and Marc Cucurella should have converted from a Cole Palmer cross.

But an hour into the game Brentford took the lead. Bryan Mbeumo crossed to the far post where centre-back Ethan Pinnock met the cross with a powerful header to give the visitors the lead. Chelsea continued to be frustrated by resolute Brentford defending and deep into added time Brentford broke from a Chelsea corner. With Robert Sanchez up from the Chelsea goal, Neal Maupay broke towards the Chelsea goal and despite Sanchez’s best efforts, Maupay was able to lay it across to Mbeumo to seal the victory for Brentford. Another great day for Brentford at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s home woes continue.

02:55 PM BST

Brentford like London derbies

02:48 PM BST

Man of the match Ethan Pinnock talking to TNT Sports

02:45 PM BST

The thoughts of former Brentford midfielder Chris Hargreaves

“I’m sure the Brentford fans are pinching themselves, the rise the club have had and the job Thomas Frank has done since his arrival has been magnificent.

“Chelsea are such a huge football club with fantastic players but this away win for the Bees today was thoroughly deserved and shows what can be achieved if everyone is pulling in the right direction.

“Tactically Brentford packed their midfield and played with a deep block which stifled Chelsea, and when they had any sustained passages of play they still looked dangerous going forward. I wouldn’t call it ‘smash and grab’, more of a perfect away performance.”

02:42 PM BST

Celebrations in the away end

02:39 PM BST

Bryan Mbeumo speaking to TNT Sports

02:37 PM BST

Former Brentford manager Mark Warburton on BBC Radio 5 Live

“In all honesty a well deserved victory for Brentford. We expected them to score more than Chelsea today and that is a damning indictment of the home side’s attacking form.

“Strong performance, resolute defending, Ethan Pinnock has been excellent today we must highlight his performance, he also scored today too.

“The physicality and solidity they have in their back three is at the core of results like this. Such astute signings in that area have added value to what they were already doing.”

02:35 PM BST

Brentford have fun again at Stamford Bridge

02:33 PM BST

Full time thoughts

What did you make of that game? Great result for Brentford, another bad day at the office for Chelsea. You can have your say in the comments section at the bottom of the blog.

02:32 PM BST

Home woes continue

Chelsea’s home record has been terrible recently. They have only won one of their last 13 league games at home and the home fans let their team know what they thought of that result at full time.

02:28 PM BST

FT: Chelsea 0 Brentford 2

Boos ring around Stamford Bridge as Brentford win away at Chelsea for the third straight season. Goals from Pinnock and Mbeumo have sealed the victory for Thomas Frank’s side. They go ahead of Chelsea in the table.

02:26 PM BST

GOAL! Brentford seal the victory

Brentford break from the Chelsea corner and they seal the victory! Three straight victories for them away at Chelsea. Maupay is running through on goal with just his teammate Mbeumo alongside him. Sanchez tries everything to get back but Maupay lays it off to Mbeumo who slots into an empty goal. VAR did check for offside but the goal stands.

02:24 PM BST

90+5 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Chelsea will have a corner with just over a minute of added time to go. Sanchez is up from his goal for Chelsea…

02:23 PM BST

90+3 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Time is ticking away for Chelsea and Brentford are edging closer to a third straight win at Stamford Bridge. Pinnock has been named man of the match.

02:20 PM BST

90 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

We are into six minutes of additional time.

02:20 PM BST

89 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Brentford should have this game wrapped up. They counter from a Chelsea corner and they have a four-on-one. But Yarmolyuk’s shot is well saved by Sanchez. He really should have buried that. Moments later Mbeumo comes agonisingly close to Brentford’s second, just past the post.

02:19 PM BST

88 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Chelsea should have been level. James plays it across the box, but Palmer does not get much contact on it and Washington’s contact was poor as well. That should have been buried by either Palmer or Washington. Jesus Perez, Pochettino’s assistant has been shown a red card by the referee.

02:16 PM BST

86 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Gallagher sends in an outswinger from the left. Silva meets it at the front post and flicks it on but no Chelsea player is there to meet it. Silva looks annoyed that none of his teammates were there to get on the end of his header.

02:14 PM BST

85 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Brentford have brought on Ghoddos to replace Hickey. Onyeka has just gone into the book for a foul on Jackson.

02:12 PM BST

83 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Sterling plays a dangerous cross to the back post but Gallagher cannot quite get on the end of it.

02:11 PM BST

Live from Stamford Bridge

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“Mauricio Pochettino is really short of options to make changes in order to get this equaliser. He has not brought on a striker yet despite Nicolas Jackson’s struggles. Deivid Washtington is the only conventional striker on his bench.

02:10 PM BST

81 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Mauricio Pochettino has taken off Caicedo and Cucurella and brought on two teenagers in Ugochukwu and Washington. No coincidence that Pochettino brings Caicedo off immediately after he should have been sent off.

02:09 PM BST

78 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

How has Caicedo not gone for that? A late, late challenge on Norgaard is only punished by a yellow card. That was dangerous and could have led to a serious injury for Norgaard. Caicedo is a lucky boy.

Moises Caicedo fouling Christian NorgaardMoises Caicedo fouling Christian Norgaard

Should Moises Caicedo have gone for that? – Hannah McKay/Reuters

02:05 PM BST

76 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Double change for Brentford as Maupay, who remember has already been booked, replaces Wissa and Janelt comes off for Yarmolyuk.

02:04 PM BST

74 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

VAR is checking for a possible handball but that hit his chest, not his arm! No penalty.

02:03 PM BST

73 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

James plays a good cross from the right into the centre of the Brentford penalty area but the ball bounces off Jackson and Brentford clear. Jackson has to do better there with his touch. A better touch would have created a good goalscoring opportunity.

02:01 PM BST

71 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Brentford look comfortable. They are defending well and unlike in the first half, they are more composed in possession and posing more of a threat on the counter-attack.

01:56 PM BST

66 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Chelsea make a double change as Maatsen and James come on for Madueke and Disasi.

01:55 PM BST

65 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Chelsea have a free-kick in a dangerous area on the left which Palmer whips in, but Brentford deal with the danger again.

01:54 PM BST

64 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Having scored the opening goal of this game, Pinnock puts in a great challenge on Palmer in a dangerous area which goes out for a corner. Brentford clear their lines.

01:53 PM BST

63 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

The Chelsea fans are growing more and more frustrated with their side.

Chelsea players react to conceeding the opening goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Brentford at Stamford BridgeChelsea players react to conceeding the opening goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Brentford at Stamford Bridge

Are Chelsea heading towards three straight defeats at home against Brentford in the league? – Justin Tallis/Getty Images

Thomas Frank has decided now is the time for a change as Jensen comes off to be replaced by Onyeka.

01:50 PM BST

60 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Remember Brentford have won on their previous two Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge by an aggregate score of 6-1. Will they make it three wins on the trot away at Chelsea?

01:48 PM BST

GOAL! Pinnock gives Brentford the lead!

Brentford are ahead! Mbeumo’s cross is stood up to the back post and it is Pinnock who powers in the header at the far post. How did he find himself that far forward?

01:46 PM BST

57 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Jackson has a shot from just outside the penalty area which goes high and wide. Chelsea are getting more and more frustrated.

01:46 PM BST

56 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

VAR checked for a potential handball inside the Brentford box but that was never a penalty. Chelsea have a free-kick right on the touchline and Maupay has gone into the book despite not having come on yet for kicking the ball. How stupid! The free-kick is cleared away.

01:42 PM BST

53 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Chelsea now have their fifth corner of the game. It is played to the back post and Silva wins the header, but it is blocked and cleared away.

01:41 PM BST

50 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Brentford should be ahead. The ball is cut back right from the byline and Janelt’s shot is straight at Sanchez. That should have been buried either side of the Chelsea goalkeeper. A let-off for Chelsea and that is Brentford’s first big chance of the game. That should have been 1-0 to the visitors.

01:38 PM BST

47 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Palmer has been the best player on the pitch so far today and he plays a delightful ball to the back post where Cucurella meets it. His cross is deflected behind for a corner, but nothing comes from that.

01:34 PM BST

Second half underway

The players are back out for the second half and play is back underway.

01:30 PM BST

The thoughts of former Brentford manager Mark Warburton on BBC Radio 5 Live

“I think Thomas Frank will be delighted going in 0-0 at half time after the pressure Brentford have held off in that first half. He will also be pleased that they have offered a good threat on the counter.

“For Mauricio Pochettino he will be concerned that Chelsea have yet to score again after dominating a long period of that first half. Plenty of him to think about at the break.”

01:30 PM BST

The thoughts of Alan Shearer on BBC Radio 5 Live

“Cole Palmer has something about him this season, as if he has arrived at Chelsea with a point to prove. He looks like he belongs there and is thriving, he has had a really good start to life at Chelsea.

“He has this confidence, and that is tough given the situation he arrived into, with Chelsea being really poor last season. To go in there and stand out and produce quality performances, is some going at his age.

01:27 PM BST

HT stats

Chelsea have had 67% possession, with 10 shots and two on target. Madueke hit the bar early on and Cucurella should have converted from a Palmer cross. Meanwhile Brentford have had just two shots, one on target. They have not created many chances but Thomas Frank will be content with the way his side have defended.

01:25 PM BST

HT thoughts

What have you made of that first half? Who will be the happier of the two managers? You can have your say in the comments section at the bottom of the blog.

01:19 PM BST

HT: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

The whistle is blown for half-time and it remains goalless at Stamford Bridge.

01:17 PM BST

45+2 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Jensen is back up and going again.

01:17 PM BST

45+1 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Play is stopped after Jensen goes down and is now receiving some treatment. No free-kick was given to Brentford but it looked like they should have been given one after a foul by Caicedo.

01:16 PM BST

45 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

There will be two minutes of additional time at the end of this first half.

01:15 PM BST

44 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Palmer does take it but he cannot find the target. He cannot get his free-kick to come down in time and it goes over the bar.

01:14 PM BST

43 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Chelsea have a free-kick in a dangerous area after a foul on Caicedo. It is around 25 yards out and it looks like Palmer to take it…

01:13 PM BST

42 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Brentford have their first corner of the game with a few minutes to go until half-time but they waste it as a short corner routine does not work. Thomas Frank will be really angry with that.

01:11 PM BST

40 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Cucurella makes another run into the Brentford box but his shot is blocked. Brentford go down the other end and Hickey has a good chance. He meets a cross at the far post in space but his touch on his chest is too heavy and rolls out of play.

01:10 PM BST

39 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

It is interesting to see that every opportunity Brentford get from a free-kick around the halfway line they go long from goalkeeper Flekken. A clear tactic from Thomas Frank.

01:09 PM BST

38 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Chelsea have a corner after Madueke’s volley comes off Hickey. A few appeals for handball but never in a million years. It is a really poor corner and Brentford clear their lines.

01:07 PM BST

35 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Brentford are defending well but not offering much in attack at the moment. Thomas Frank will want his side to show more quality in possession. Chelsea are having a lot of possession but cannot break Brentford down.

01:01 PM BST

29 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Thomas Frank has his side well drilled out of possession in their 5-3-2 formation without the ball. They are making life difficult for Chelsea with no space in behind the Brentford defence and it is looking difficult for Chelsea to break them down at the moment. Chelsea will feel though that Cucurella should have taken that early opportunity from Palmer’s cross.

12:55 PM BST

24 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

No penalty. Right decision.

Chelsea's Raheem Sterling goes down wanting a penaltyChelsea's Raheem Sterling goes down wanting a penalty

Raheem Sterling wants a penalty but nothing given by VAR – Matthew Childs/Reuters

12:55 PM BST

24 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Chelsea want a penalty for a push on Sterling. VAR is going to check but that does not look like a penalty…

12:52 PM BST

20 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Another big opportunity for Chelsea, this time for Sterling. Palmer finds Sterling in the box but he blazes his shot well over the bar. It did look like Sterling was slightly offside so even if the ball ended up in the back of the net it probably would have been ruled out.

12:50 PM BST

18 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Good chance for Chelsea. Palmer, who signed from Manchester City over the summer, floats a delightful ball into the centre of the penalty area where Cucurella meets it. But his volley is straight at Flekken. He probably should have scored with so much space to take that shot.

Chelsea's Marc Cucurella has his shot saved by Brentford's Mark FlekkenChelsea's Marc Cucurella has his shot saved by Brentford's Mark Flekken

Marc Cucurella wastes good early opportunity for Chelsea – Hannah McKay/Reuters

12:47 PM BST

16 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Madueke has stayed down after a challenge from Hickey. No free-kick given but the referee eventually stops play. Madueke is now back on his feet and looks fine to continue.

12:43 PM BST

12 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Gallagher takes aim from range and Flekken has to get down to his right to parry the ball away. It was not the best contact from Gallagher but Flekken had to dive to make the save.

12:41 PM BST

10 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Good play from Brentford. The ball is fed through to Mbeumo running down the right. His cross is just about saved by Sanchez and he stops it from going for a corner. Chelsea then break, which they have already had some success doing today already. Madueke dribbles into the box, cuts in from the right and his curling shot cannons off the bar. So close to giving Chelsea the lead.

12:38 PM BST

8 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Chelsea break from a Brentford free-kick. Cucurella feeds it down the line to Jackson in the left-hand channel. He cuts in from the left onto his right and shoots from just outside the Brentford box, but his shot does not trouble Flekken’s goal.

12:36 PM BST

6 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

That was close for Sanchez. He has the ball just outside his own goal and he is nearly intercepted. Talk about taking a risk a few yards out from your goal! If that goes wrong it is a goal for Brentford.

12:35 PM BST

4 minutes: Chelsea 0 Brentford 0

Brentford have their first long throw-in of the day nearly level with the Chelsea penalty area but the hosts deal with it. But moments later Brentford will have another one which results in a Mbeumo shot that is blocked. Chelsea then counter through Sterling. He finds Palmer on the right, who cuts onto his left foot and tries to find Sterling but he cannot do so.

12:30 PM BST


We are underway at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea take on Brentford in the lunchtime kick-off.

12:30 PM BST

Minute applause

We have a minute’s applause at Stamford Bridge to remember Sir Bobby Charlton, who passed away last Saturday.

12:26 PM BST

Nearing kick-off

The players have emerged from the tunnel at Stamford Bridge and kick-off is fast approaching.

12:23 PM BST

Reminder of the team news

Chelsea: Sanchez; Disasi, Silva, Colwill, Cucurella; Caicedo, Gallagher; Sterling, Madueke, Palmer; Jackson.

Brentford: Flekken; Ajer, Collins, Pinnock, Janelt; Roerslev, Norgaard, Jensen, Hickey; Mbeumo, Wissa.

12:18 PM BST

Mbeumo preparing

In Ivan Toney’s absence, the importance of Bryan Mbeumo to Brentford is even bigger.

12:17 PM BST

Chelsea getting ready

12:14 PM BST

Brentford warming up

Brentford are looking to make it three straight league wins away at Chelsea. Can they do it?

12:02 PM BST

Should Chelsea pursue Ivan Toney?

11:58 AM BST

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino speaking to TNT Sports

On bringing in Nicolas Jackson up top: 

“I think it was an easy decision. Nico Jackson is much better after his recovery and he is ready to start the game.

“Cole Palmer is going to adopt a different position that suits the team but I was happy with the performance against Arsenal. He knows the role from his time playing at the Man City academy, and I think he will play well for us there.

On absence of Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk:

“Both of them felt a small muscle strain yesterday, but I hope they will be available for the next game. It’s not a big issue, should be fixed in the next few days. We are going to miss both of them as they are very good players, but we have a very big squad to cope with that.

“Yes maybe the arrival of the new baby for Enzo Fernandez was the reason he could not train and felt uncomfortable yesterday. But he is going to rest now and recover as quick as possible.

On Chelsea’s home form this season:

“It is so important to start winning here consistently. The fans feel like we can and should be beating any team, and today is a good opportunity with their support to get the three points for them and to keep improving.”

11:54 AM BST

No Fernandez or Mudryk for Chelsea

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that the reason why both Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk are not in the squad this afternoon is due to small muscle strains.

11:50 AM BST

Your predictions

How do you think today’s game at Stamford Bridge will go? Will Brentford make it three wins from three away at Stamford Bridge or will Chelsea make it four Premier League games unbeaten? You can have your say in the comments section at the bottom of the blog.

11:46 AM BST

Brentford manager Thomas Frank speaking to TNT Sports

11:41 AM BST

Fancy a bet

Having a bet on today’s match? First take a look at these free bets and betting offers.

11:39 AM BST

Full team news

It is three changes for Chelsea after last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal. Nicolas Jackson makes his first start since September after recovering from a wrist injury. Axel Disasi and Noni Madueke also return to the starting XI. Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk are not in the squad.

Chelsea: Sanchez; Disasi, Silva, Colwill, Cucurella; Caicedo, Gallagher; Sterling, Madueke, Palmer; Jackson.

Brentford make two changes to the side that beat Burnley last weekend. Aaron Hickey returns from a one-match ban, with defender Mads Roerslev replacing forward Neal Maupay.

Brentford: Flekken; Ajer, Collins, Pinnock, Janelt; Roerslev, Norgaard, Jensen, Hickey; Mbeumo, Wissa.

11:34 AM BST

Marc Cucurella speaking to TNT Sports

11:32 AM BST

Brentford team news

11:30 AM BST

Chelsea team news

11:29 AM BST

Battle of West London

The lunchtime kick-off comes from Stamford Bridge for a West London derby as Chelsea take on Brentford. Going into today’s game, Chelsea sit 10th on 12 points, four places and two points ahead of Brentford.

Brentford have a great recent record away at Chelsea; they are looking to make it three Premier League wins out of three at Stamford Bridge. No team has ever won each of their first three matches away to Chelsea in the Premier League.

Chelsea’s 3-0 win against Luton in August is their only victory in their previous 12 home league games, drawing six and losing five. Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino will know his side’s home record will have to improve.

“It’s really important. I think we need to create our run at home. We need to try to win, we need to start to project the image that we are solid and consistent in front of our fans. We are desperate to show our fans that we can get three points.”

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino giving instructions to his players on the sidelinesChelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino giving instructions to his players on the sidelines

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino is looking to build some strong home form – John Walton/PA

They have won just two of their last 12 Premier League London derbies, drawing four and losing six. Last weekend, Chelsea went 2-0 up against London rivals Arsenal thanks to goals from Cole Palmer and Mykhailo Mudryk but were pegged back as they drew 2-2.

Chelsea will be without a number of senior players this afternoon including Christopher Nkunku, Ben Chilwell and Wesley Fofana. Brentford themselves have a number of long-term absentees including the suspended Ivan Toney and injured Rico Henry.

Brentford beat Burnley 3-0 last Saturday to end a run of six Premier League games without a victory, drawing three and losing three. Both of their league wins this season have come in West London – 3-0 away to Fulham in August and last weekend’s home victory.

Who will get the win at Stamford Bridge this afternoon?

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