Saturday, June 22, 2024

EPL: Christian Eriksen-inspired Brentford thrash Chelsea 4-1

Brentford’s Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen scores past Chelsea’s French-born Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (R) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Brentford at Stamford Bridge in London on April 2, 2022. Glyn KIRK / AFP

LONDON, April 3: Chelsea slumped to a first defeat to Brentford since 1939 as Christian Eriksen inspired the Bees to a 4-1 win that should seal their Premier League survival.
The European champions had gone in front early in the second half at Stamford Bridge through Antonio Rudiger’s sensational long-range strike, but they collapsed to lose for the first time since owner Roman Abramovich was hit by UK government sanctions.
Vitaly Janelt levelled just a minute later to spark a three-goal spree in 10 minutes for the visitors.
Eriksen has been in fine form since making his return to competitive football since suffering a cardiac arrest on the field during Euro 2020.
The former Tottenham midfielder scored twice in as many games during his international comeback for Denmark and continued his scoring streak by lifting the ball over Edouard Mendy to complete the turnaround.
Janelt then made it 3-1 with a deft dink over Mendy on the hour mark.
Third-placed Chelsea remain on course to finish in the top four but will need a major improvement for the visit of Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday.
Yoane Wissa rounded off a memorable afternoon for Thomas Frank’s men when he took advantage of more comical Chelsea defending to drill home a fourth.
A third win in four games takes Brentford up to 14th and 11 points clear of the relegation zone.
Fred earns sluggish Manchester United draw against Leicester City
A lacklustre Manchester United needed a rare goal by midfielder Fred to salvage an unconvincing 1-1 Premier League draw with Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Kelechi Iheanacho had put the visitors ahead, nodding an inch-perfect James Maddison cross past David de Gea after Fred was dispossessed on a United counter-attack.
But the Brazillian levelled three minutes later after Leicester failed to clear the ball, Bruno Fernandes shooting from the edge of the box and Fred tapping home the rebound after Kasper Schmeichel pushed it out.
United struggled for fluency throughout and remained sixth in the table and in serious danger of failing to finish in the top four and earn a Champions League spot next season.
“Everyone gave everything,” Fernandes told Sky Sports. “I don’t believe there’s anyone who didn’t give everything in the game. Nobody lacked intensity. We have to keep fighting. As I said before, we have to keep looking at our own games.”
Leicester continued to run at a disorganised United defence and had the ball in the back of the net again through Maddison, but it was ruled out due to a foul in the build-up.
“It’s one of them: you’ve seen them given. I’m obviously going to be biased, I don’t think it’s a foul,” Maddison said.
“It was a great feeling for about three minutes! But as soon as you see them going over the monitor … there’s no point them even going over any more. Even after that, we had chances on the counter, but we’ll take a point.”
United had only one other real chance when Fernandes, running through on goal, was denied by Schmeichel.
They had seemed lethargic throughout, looking a shadow of the side who beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 before the international break when Cristiano Ronaldo was leading the line.
The Portugal forward was absent on Saturday through illness and with Edinson Cavani also absent and Marcus Rashford on the substitutes’ bench, United started without a proper striker.
Ralf Rangnick’s team could be overtaken in the standings by West Ham United if they beat Everton on Sunday. Leicester moved up to ninth. (AFP/Agencies)