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Chelsea 2-1 Aston Villa: Tammy Abraham scores on return from injury

Tammy Abraham scored his 11th goal of the season with the opener, the most by an Englishman for Chelsea in a single Premier League season since Frank Lampard (15) in 2012-13.

Tammy Abraham reinforced his importance to Chelsea by scoring the opener and setting up the second on his return from injury as the Blues returned to winning ways against Aston Villa.

Abraham missed the Blues’ home defeat by West Ham with a hip injury and put them ahead against Villa with a firm header from Reece James’ cross.

After Villa equalised against the run of play when Trezeguet bundled in, Chelsea regained the lead shortly after the restart when Abraham neatly chested Willian’s cross into the path of Mason Mount who thumped in a volley.

Chelsea, like they did in the first half before Trezeguet’s leveller, dominated possession and territory as they looked to increase their advantage.

Abraham twice came close to adding a third against the club he helped fire to promotion last season, while Willian – one of Chelsea’s other star performers – hit the post with an exquisite free-kick.

The Blues ended a run of back-to-back defeats with a victory which helps them consolidate fourth place, moving them six points clear of nearest rivals Wolves, while narrowing the gap on third-placed Manchester City to three points.

Villa, who have won just once on the road this season, remain in 15th place, a point above the relegation zone after Southampton’s win.

Abraham’s return lifts Chelsea

Following a tough week in which Premier League defeats by Manchester City and West Ham came either side of a Champions League draw at Valencia, Chelsea were looking to avoid three top-flight defeats in a row for the first time in four years.

They did that against a toothless Villa side, albeit with a tighter margin of victory than their performance deserved.

Mount’s stunning finish proved the difference but, with a refreshed Blues line-up featuring five changes from Saturday’s defeat having 25 attempts at goal, they should have been out of sight.

While England attacking midfielder Mount will take the plaudits for the winner, it was Abraham’s return from a hip injury which was the real catalyst for change.

The Blues had been wasteful against West Ham and Abraham provided a clinical edge after holding his line to head in from 12 yards.

It was a richly deserved lead for the home side with Villa rarely having ventured into the Chelsea box, but it was greeted with muted celebrations from the 22-year-old striker, who scored 25 league goals in 38 Championship matches for Villa in his season-long loan.

“I said the club will always be close to my heart, last season was a long, hard season so I pay all my respects to them,” he said afterwards.

Blues boss Frank Lampard said before the match that Abraham was still suffering some pain in his hip, yet worked tirelessly throughout in a physical battle against muscular Villa centre-backs Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa.

After showing exceptional awareness and composure to tee up Mount’s winner, he was unfortunate not to score another himself – clipping wide of the left-hand post and being hustled out of a close-range chance by Mings – before departing to a standing ovation with seven minutes left.

Villa assistant manager John Terry returned to Stamford Bridge for the first time – in an official capacity, at least – since leaving Chelsea at the end of the 2016-17 season

More to follow.



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Joseph McCann trial: Alleged rapist ‘threatened to chop up girls’

Joseph McCann

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Met Police

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Joseph McCann is accused of 37 offences against 11 women and children aged 11 to 71

An alleged serial rapist threatened to “chop up” two 14-year-old girls who he snatched off a street in Greater Manchester, a court has heard.

Joseph McCann is accused of stealing a Fiat car belonging to a 71-year-old woman and then forcing the girls into the vehicle on 5 May.

The Old Bailey was shown CCTV of him buying petrol and a pack of condoms at a garage while they waited in the car.

Mr McCann, 34, of Harrow, London, denies 37 offences against 11 victims.

The jury heard a petrol attendant who served the defendant in the Shell garage thought he appeared to be “angry, nervous and in a rush”.

After leaving the garage, Mr McCann was spotted by a police patrol who were already on the look-out for the vehicle.

Police chase

PC Michael Jennings saw two girls in the back and one of them appeared “terrified” while the other raised a hand to attract attention, the Old Bailey heard.

Dashcam footage of the subsequent police chase was played in court which showed the Fiat going the wrong way around a roundabout and colliding with a bronze Mercedes.

Despite being damaged it carried on at speeds of up to 60mph (97km/h) in a 40mph (97km/h) zone, the court was told.

Jurors heard Mr McCann then abandoned the car, leaving the two girls by the road, and was later seen on CCTV running past a man who was cleaning a driveway.

He was then seen riding a bicycle having swapped his T-shirt and later he got a taxi from a restaurant in Stoke, which was stopped by police.

At 20:40 BST, Mr McCann was seen running through a field, having fled from the taxi when he was challenged by an officer.

He was finally arrested after climbing a tree, the court has heard.

Mr McCann, who was not in court, is charged with the following offences against women and children aged 11 to 71, between 20 April and 5 May this year:

  • Ten counts of false imprisonment
  • Seven counts of rape
  • One count of rape of a child
  • Two counts of causing or inciting a person to engage in sexual activity without consent
  • Seven counts of kidnap
  • One count of attempted kidnap
  • Three counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity
  • Three counts of assault by penetration
  • One count of sexual assault
  • Two counts of committing a sexual offence with intent

The trial continues.

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Jose Mourinho: Tottenham’s new manager says he will bring passion and happiness

Mourinho took training for the first time on Wednesday

New Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has promised to bring “passion” and “happiness” to the club.

The Portuguese, 56, was appointed on Wednesday morning, following the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday night.

Former Chelsea and Manchester United boss Mourinho praised the quality of Spurs’s squad and their “world class” stadium and training ground.

“I couldn’t be happier and look forward to the challenge,” he said.

In his interview with Spurs TV – his first since being appointed – Mourinho said: