Chelsea’s horror start continued after a dismal goalless draw with Bournemouth, but coach Mauricio Pochettino insisted he would not condemn the fans who again booed his team.
Meanwhile Arsenal dominated struggling Everton in a 1-0 win to remain in the top four.
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Arsenal break Goodison Park drought | 02:19
BLUES BOOED AFTER HORROR START CONTINUES
Troubled Chelsea had to settle for a disappointing 0-0 draw against Bournemouth on Sunday as their dismal start to the Premier League season showed no signs of improving.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have won just once in five league games this term and they were booed off after lacking any semblance of a cutting edge at the Vitality Stadium.
The Blues are without a goal in their last two matches and have scored only five times in the league this season.
They are languishing in 14th place, closer to the relegation zone than the top four, as Pochettino comes to terms with the size of the task facing him at Stamford Bridge.
“I cannot say that I am happy but it was a very competitive game. We should win 1-0 or 2-0 easily because in the first 30 minutes we had the chances,” Pochettino said.
“With 12 injuries and only three players that started today who were with us for these two weeks I think I need only need to say it was a really good effort.”
The former Tottenham and Paris Saint Germain boss was hired in the close-season to clean up the mess left by Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Frank Lampard, who all had spells in charge of Chelsea during last season’s wretched campaign.
But Pochettino has so far been unable to make an impact despite Chelsea’s £350 million spending spree on new signings.
A rash of untimely injuries haven’t helped but Chelsea’s decision to largely sign younger players has left Pochettino with an inexperienced squad that lacks the maturity to close out games.
“We need to prove our efficiency in front of goal. We need to be calm also but these circumstances are not always easy for the players. We cannot blame anyone,” Pochettino said.
“The fans are disappointed because of the situation but I am not worried about that because we really know what we are doing.”
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Challenging for a place in the Champions League was Pochettino’s target this season, but that ambition already seems overly optimistic on the evidence of this drab display against winless Bournemouth.
While it is too soon to say Pochettino is in danger of the sack, he will be well aware Potter lasted less than seven months before being sacked by co-owner Todd Boehly.
Despite an injury crisis that forced Pochettino to name three outfield players aged 19 or under on the bench as well as two goalkeepers, the Argentine said he couldn’t complain about the fans’ jeers.
“What can we do? For me, I have nothing to say. The fans can do whatever they want,” he said.
“We know what we need to do, we are strong in our belief. We have 12 injured and today we had three or four young guys and two keepers on the bench.
“I’m going to cry? I’m going to complain? To who? I need to accept this, the challenge and keep being positive.”
Pochettino made two changes from the side that lost to Nottingham Forest in their previous game, with big-money summer signing Moises Caicedo left out of the squad and teenager Lesley Ugochukwu given his first Premier League start.
Chelsea thought they had finally taken the lead early in the second when Raheem Sterling’s free-kick bounced off the bar to Levi Colwill, who slotted into the empty net only to see his effort disallowed for off-side.
But it was Bournemouth who finished stronger and Axel Disasi narrowly avoided conceding a penalty when his despairing lunge brought down Justin Kluivert just outside the area.
Sanchez came to Chelsea’s rescue in the 80th minute, saving with his legs to keep out Dominic Solanke’s strike.
Sterling could have won it with a close-range header that lacked the power to beat Neto, who also made a fine instinctive save to repel Cole Palmer’s close-range volley.
GUNNERS END SIX-YEAR STREAK
Arsenal ended their six-year wait for a Premier League victory at Everton as Leandro Trossard fired the title-chasing Gunners to a 1-0 success on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta’s side had to work hard for their first win at Goodison Park since 2017, with Belgian forward Trossard settling a scrappy encounter midway through the second half.
Arsenal were not at their fluent best but they earned their fourth win in five games this season by matching Everton’s physical approach.
Arteta has warned his players they would only end their Everton curse if they are willing to put their bodies on the line and they rose to that challenge.
After leaving it late to beat Manchester United in their previous game before the international break, this was another tense affair for Arsenal.
But Trossard’s goal lifted unbeaten the north Londoners into fourth place, two points behind leaders Manchester City as they aim to avenge last season’s late collapse in the title race.
“It was a long time without a win here. We played a great game and didn’t give anything away. We dominated and the score should probably have been bigger,” Arteta said.
“Everton haven’t created a single chance. It’s about intelligence but also about the fight.
“Against Manchester United I saw my face after and it was a bit of relief. This was enjoyment. We were patient and Leandro produced an incredible finish to win the game.”
100th-minute miracle does it for Spurs | 00:48
Winless Everton remain in the relegation zone as they face up to another relegation battle after narrowly beating the drop in the last two seasons.
Sean Dyche’s team headed into the game on the back of the news that the club is set to have new owners after Farhad Moshiri agreed to sell his 94 per cent stake to American investment fund 777 Partners.
The takeover would bring to an end the tumultuous tenure of British-Iranian Moshiri, who first invested in 2016.
Man City perfection, Man Utd pain | 03:28
Everton’s new owners got an early glimpse into the size of the task facing them as the Toffees suffered a fourth defeat in their opening five league games for the first time since 2005-06.
Arteta, a former Everton midfielder, has no such worries as Arsenal prepare for their return to the Champions League after a six-year absence against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday.
The Spaniard was rewarded with a clean-sheet from keeper David Raya, who made his Arsenal debut following his move from Brentford as Aaron Ramsdale dropped to the bench.
Raya was one of two changes, with Fabio Vieira making his first start since April in place of Kai Havertz.
“It is nothing different. I have 11 players to pick and no-one is different,” Arteta said of his ruthless decision to axe Ramsdale.
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