A survivors’ group has welcomed a report on the Grenfell Tower fire, calling for the government to treat its response as “a national emergency”.
The report, published on Wednesday, followed the first phase of an inquiry, looking at what happened on the night of 14 June 2017, when 72 people died.
It was critical of the London Fire Brigade’s response and said the tower did not meet building regulations.
The LFB said it was “disappointed” by some of the criticism of individuals.
Campaign group Grenfell United said the report showed “the immediate and real dangers” of “highly combustible cladding and insulation”.
“Lives are at risk and the government need to treat this as a national emergency,” the group said.
The report made 46 recommendations, including improvements in training for fire brigade staff and the development of national guidelines for evacuating high-rise buildings.
Grenfell United called for the recommendations to be implemented in full, saying they would save lives.
The report condemned the LFB for “serious shortcomings” and systemic failures in its response to the fire.
Inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said the absence of a plan to evacuate the tower was a “major omission” by the LFB and more lives could have been saved had the “stay-put” policy been abandoned sooner.
Grenfell United responded: “It is heartbreaking to read that more of our loved ones could have been saved that night if the building was evacuated earlier.”
At an emotional press conference, relatives of 20 victims of the fire called for an overhaul of the LFB, saying its leadership should resign and even face prosecution.
Nazanin Aghlani, who lost two family members in the fire, said some firefighters displayed a “serious lack of common sense” and failed to see “what was so vivid in front of them”.
“If a fire happened tonight the same thing would happen again,” she said.
‘Too little too late’
The report said evidence from London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton that she would not have changed anything about the brigade’s response was “insensitive”.
Ms Cotton said many of the recommendations were welcome and would be “carefully considered”.
She expressed her “deepest sorrow at not being able to save all those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire”.
She added: “We welcome the chairman’s recognition of the courage, commitment and bravery of firefighters on the night, but we are disappointed at some of the criticism of individual staff members who were placed in completely unprecedented circumstances and faced the most unimaginable conditions while trying to save the lives of others.”
However, Natasha Elcock, chairwoman of Grenfell United who was rescued with her six-year-old daughter from the 11th floor, said Dany Cotton’s statement was “too little too late”.
“She stood up in the inquiry, in a room full of bereaved and survivors and said there’s nothing she would do to change that night,” she told the BBC.
“If she’d expressed that sorrow that day in that room, that potentially would have washed with us today.”
Grenfell United expressed concern at the report’s finding that the LFB were “at risk of not learning the lessons from Grenfell”, adding that firefighters were “let down by their training, procedures, equipment and leadership”.
Other issues highlighted in the report included:
- A lack of training in how to “recognise the need for an evacuation or how to organise one”
- Incident commanders “of relatively junior rank” being unable to change strategy
- Control room officers lacking training on when to advise callers to evacuate
- An assumption that crews would reach callers, resulting in “assurances which were not well founded”
- Communication between the control room and those on the ground being “improvised, uncertain and prone to error”
- A lack of an organised way to share information within the control room, meaning officers had “no overall picture of the speed or pattern of fire spread”
In the House of Commons, MPs held a minutes’ silence to remember victims of the fire, before a debate on the inquiry.
Boris Johnson told MPs that survivors and the bereaved had been “overlooked and ignored” before the fire and “shamefully failed” afterwards.
The second phase of the inquiry will focus on wider circumstances of the fire, including the design of the building.
While this was not the focus of the first phase, the report found there was “compelling evidence” external walls of the building failed to comply with building regulations and “actively promoted” the spread of fire.
It said the principal reason the flames shot up the building so fiercely was the combustible aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding with polyethylene cores which acted as a “source of fuel”.
Grenfell United said the second phase of the inquiry “must now focus on where responsibility for the devastating refurbishment [of the building] lies”, with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the tenant management organisation and the companies involved facing “serious questions”.
League One side AFC Wimbledon have appointed caretaker boss Glyn Hodges as their new permanent manager.
The ex-Wales midfielder, 56, has been in charge since Wally Downes was suspended by the club last month, after being charged by the Football Association over bets placed on games.
Downes left Wimbledon on Sunday, two days after being given a four-week FA suspension for admitting the charge.
Former Wimbledon player Hodges had been assistant to Downes at Kingsmeadow.
More to follow.
A brain-damaged girl has arrived in Italy after her parents won a High Court battle to take her abroad for treatment.
Five-year-old Tafida Raqeeb had been on life support at the Royal London Hospital since suffering a traumatic brain injury in February.
Health bosses had tried to block attempts to take her to the Gaslini children’s hospital in Genoa.
Her mother said she was seeking Italian citizenship for her daughter.
Shelina Begum and her husband Mohammed Raqeeb, from Newham, east London, were met outside the hospital in an official welcome organised by CitizenGo Italy, a community organisation which paid for Tafida’s transfer.
Dr Andrea Moscatelli is head of intensive care at Gaslini children’s hospital and said what Tafida needs is time.
“We don’t know if we can make her improve but if we optimise the support of the vital function we might give her the opportunity for a spontaneous recovery.
“Maybe just a little bit. Even if we find it very unlikely because the brain injury is devastating,” he said.
At a press conference, Mrs Begum thanked the hospital for “believing in my daughter’s recovery”.
“I visited Tafida this morning, she is stable, she was awake, fully awake, turning her head from side to side,” she said
“I am feeling emotionally drained. I think I will burst into tears very soon.”
She added: “I just believe that since Tafida is in Italy it will be wise for her to have Italian citizenship.”
Mrs Begum said the family was crowdfunding for Tafida’s treatment but added it had sponsors in place and the money “should not run out”.
UK specialists had previously argued any further treatment of Tafida, who suffered a brain haemorrhage, would be futile.
Bosses at Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital in Whitechapel, had said ending Tafida’s life support was in her best interests.
By Fergus Walsh, BBC health correspondent in Genoa
The treatment in Genoa is centred on keeping Tafida alive.
But doctors here say although Tafida has suffered devastating brain damage they cannot rule out some small spontaneous recovery in the months ahead.
Dr Andrea Moscatelli denied his team was giving Tafida’s parents false hope.
The Genoa medical team told the High Court they did not foresee any therapies that might improve Tafida’s neurological condition.
But doctors now intend to give Tafida a tracheostomy – meaning she’ll have a tube inserted in her windpipe, connected to a ventilator – which will hopefully allow her to be cared for at home by her parents.
Tafida – deemed by the High Court to have minimal awareness and being unable to feel pain – has a sleep-wake cycle and opens and closes her eyes.
Doctors in London had argued it was near-impossible for Tafida to derive any benefit from continued life and she should be allowed the “dignity of dying peacefully”.
Tafida’s parents, both practising Muslims, argued Islamic law said only God could take the decision to end her life.
The High Court ruled on 3 October there was no justification to stop the child being taken abroad.
A drug dealer has been jailed for stabbing a police officer who tried to apprehend him in a park in Portsmouth.
PC Russell Turner, 56, suffered a collapsed lung after being stabbed twice by Michael Enzanga in February.
Enzanga, 20 was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of a knife and drugs offences following a trial in August.
He was jailed for 16 years and ordered serve at least two thirds before consideration for parole.
Prosecutor Dale Sullivan said the case was made more serious because the stabbing took place near to a nursery, and because it was against a police officer.
In an emotional statement, PC Turner told the court on Wednesday he felt anger towards Enzanga for leaving him lying in his “own blood”.
“Most of all I can never forgive him for the upset, pain and emotional trauma he caused my family,” said PC Turner.
‘Thinking all sorts’
“On the day I was stabbed my wife was at home and my sergeant knocked on the door and told her what happened.
“During that half hour car journey her mind was thinking all sorts, wondering if I was going to live.”
A father-of-two, PC Turner was not able to return to work for 10 weeks and has now left Hampshire Constabulary.
During the trial jurors heard how PC Turner was stabbed during a “full-on fight” with Enzanga while investigating reports of drug dealing in Stamshaw Park.
The plain clothes officer got out his warrant card out and identified his colleague and himself as police officers when Enzanga tried to run away and the struggle broke out.
‘Hiding under tarpaulin’
His colleague PC Clare Parry broke down in tears as she described Enzanga as like a “caged animal fighting for his life”.
After the stabbing, Enzanga fled in the direction of a block of flats but was seen by members of the public and on CCTV carrying a knife before being Tasered by officers.
He was eventually found hiding under a tarpaulin in a back garden with the barbs from the Taser still lodged in his back.
Enzanga, of Ashfield Road, Tottenham, was also convicted of four charges of possessing crack cocaine and diamorphine (heroin) with intent to supply, and a charge of possessing criminal property in the form of £1,000 in cash.
The sight of Jason Donovan in his underpants tackling a fire was certainly a surprise for one crew of firefighters.
Officers called to Notting Hill, London came across the Australian actor and singer tackling the fire with an extinguisher.
Donovan, 51, who lives across the road spotted the flames from his home.
The London Fire Service quipped, “everyone needs good neighbours”.
On social media the artist posted his views on his firefighting attire:
Watch manager Thomas Wolfe explained: “When we arrived a gentleman was tackling the fire using a fire extinguisher. We took over from him and quickly dealt with the blaze.
“It soon transpired that it was Jason Donovan who noticed the fire from his property over the road.”
Asked if the good “neighbour” would get a commendation, the watch commander quipped: “He looks good for his age.”
The fire, on 22 September, was located in the side passage next to a house and was believed to have been caused by a fault in electrical cabling.
A man stabbed to death at a London Underground station was an Arsenal fan on his way to a match.
Tashan Daniel, 20, was fatally wounded in an “unprovoked attack” on the platform at Hillingdon station on Tuesday shortly before 16:00 BST.
He had been heading to the Emirates Stadium to see the Gunners face Nottingham Forest in the third round of the Carabao Cup.
It is the third murder investigation on the Tube network this year.
A spokesman for the Premier League club said: “Everyone at Arsenal Football Club is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Arsenal fan Tashan Daniel.
“Our thoughts are with Tashan’s family and friends at this sad time.”
Mr Daniel, who had recently celebrated his birthday, was on the platform waiting for a Piccadilly Line train into central London when he was attacked by two men, British Transport Police (BTP) said.
Attempts were made to save Mr Daniel who was pronounced dead inside a Tube carriage.
Det Ch Insp Sam Blackburn said no arrests had been made, but both suspects left the station in the direction of Auriol Drive and a knife was recovered nearby.
“Tashan did not deserve to lose his life during this senseless attack,” he said.
“His family are completely broken by this news and we are doing everything we can to offer them support.”
Extra officers are going to be carrying out patrols in the Hillingdon area, Det Ch Insp Blackburn added.
Danielle Foster, who was driving past Hillingdon station at the time of the stabbing, said upon “hearing so many sirens, I knew something terrible had happened”.
“Lots of people were being turned away from the station as it had been closed,” she said, adding: “Then the police helicopter began circling the scene.”
The station was closed by Transport for London (TfL) while police searched the area.
It remained closed for the rest of Tuesday evening and reopened at 05:45 on Wednesday.
So far in 2019 more than 100 murder investigations have been launched across London by the Metropolitan Police and BTP.
|Jimmy Peters – The first black England rugby international|
|Date: Tuesday, 24 September Time: 18:00 BST Listen via: BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Sounds|
From his father being mauled to death by a lion, to his abandonment, to representing his country and then ultimately being banned by his sport, the life of Jimmy Peters was nothing short of remarkable.
As the first black man to play rugby union for England, between 1906 and 1908, he was a pioneer.
But Peters – known as “Darkie” by followers of the game in what were less enlightened times – was hardly a trailblazer. It was 80 years before a black player would wear the red rose again.
How did the son of a Jamaican circus showman overcome tragedy, disadvantage and prejudice to became the only black player in the first 117 years of England’s international rugby union history?
From early-life tragedy to Fegan’s Orphanage
Born in Salford in 1879, the first child of a black father and a white mother, Peters’ early life saw the family moving around with a travelling zoo, but by the time his third sibling was born in 1886, his father George – a lion tamer with Cedric’s Menagerie – had been killed by a lion while performing.
Peters was then moved to another circus to entertain as a bareback rider, but was abandoned when he broke his arm in an accident and was no longer able to perform.
Left tied to a wagon, he was found and cared for by Lord and Lady Portman, who came from one of the richest families in Britain in the late 19th Century.
The Portmans sent him to Fegan’s Orphanage in London in November 1890, where boys were taught printing, carpentry, shoemaking, tailoring and – crucially – sports.
It was there that Peters would learn the game of rugby and play matches at the nearby Blackheath FC, before leaving the orphanage in September 1898.
|2019 Rugby World Cup|
|Hosts: Japan Dates: 20 September to 2 November|
|Coverage: Full commentary on every game across BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.|
‘The organiser, the general’ – Peters’ rugby career blossoms
Peters took a job as a carpenter back in Bristol, living in St Phillip’s Marsh, where he was reunited with his family, and he soon began playing rugby for the city’s club.
“He was quite an athletic player, with a sharp, fast pass. He was a very good ball-handler,” Bristol Rugby historian Mark Hoskins told BBC Radio Bristol.
After representing Bristol 35 times over two seasons, Peters left the city in 1902 and moved to Plymouth.
“He was a half-back so nowadays we would describe him as a fly-half or a scrum-half, but those positions hadn’t been ascribed yet,” rugby historian Tom Weir said. “He was one of the smaller players on the pitch.”
Author and historian Tony Collins added: “He was seen as the fulcrum around which the teams he played in revolved. He was the organiser, the general.”
County Championship success followed with Devon in 1906, and he made his historic England debut against Scotland soon afterwards on 17 March.
Many commentators felt his call-up should have come sooner, with the Western Times saying on 5 February that year it was a “pity” he had been overlooked for a meeting with Wales and that “colour was the difficulty” in the matter and he had been “sacrificed”.
Controversy, injury and a ban
Four more caps would follow before his final England game at Ashton Gate in Bristol in 1908, against Wales, but not before reports of racism during the visit of a touring South Africa side, who were said to be unhappy to play against a black man when they faced Devon.
Peters was dropped by the Rugby Football Union for England’s match against the tourists and not even selected among the top six half-backs for the national trials just months later.
He did eventually make two further England appearances after that tour, and carried on playing for Devon and Plymouth until he badly injured his fingers in a workplace accident.
He was subsequently given a testimonial by Plymouth, but this was seen as an act of professionalism that was against the RFU’s amateur regulations at that time, so he was banned from the sport.
Peters’ injuries would prove not to be as bad as first feared, but his ban meant he was unable to return to rugby union, so he accepted an offer from rugby league team Barrow for 18 months, before joining St Helens in 1914.
But the outbreak of World War One meant Peters could not play for Saints, as he was recalled to work in Plymouth’s naval dockyard. He would eventually marry and start a family in Plymouth, being described as a “gentleman” teetotal publican who would often quote Bible passages. He died in 1954 aged 74.
It was 80 years after Peters’ final cap before another black man played for England, when Chris Oti appeared in a 9-6 win over Scotland in 1988 (he scored a hat-trick against Ireland in his next game) – something that has been described as a “lost opportunity” for English rugby.
But with England’s 31-man squad taking part in the Rugby World Cup in Japan featuring 10 players of colour, it would seem that the prejudice faced by the man they called Darkie is an issue the English game has tackled.
Listen to the full documentary with John Inverdale on BBC Radio Bristol from 18:00 BST on Tuesday, 24 September, and for up to 30 days afterwards on BBC Sounds.
Researched and produced by BBC Radio Bristol’s Tom Ryan.
James Maddison’s first league goal of the season helped Leicester come from behind to beat Tottenham in an absorbing encounter at the King Power Stadium.
Maddison drilled a superb low effort into the far corner from distance to lift Brendan Rodgers’ side back into the top four of the Premier League at the visitors’ expense.
Ricardo Pereira had put the Foxes back on level terms, moments after Spurs had been denied a second goal when Serge Aurier’s low drive was disallowed for a marginal offside call against Son Heung-min.
Harry Kane’s fourth league goal of the campaign had given Spurs the lead in the first half, the England striker slotting Son’s clever flick beyond Kasper Schmeichel despite being knocked off balance by Foxes defender Caglar Soyuncu.
Leicester thought they had opened the scoring themselves when Wilfred Ndidi scored on the rebound after Paulo Gazzaniga spilled Youri Tielemans’ effort, but the goal was ruled out for offside by the video assistant referee.
Tightest of VAR calls denies Spurs
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino accused his players of “lacking fight” after they surrendered a two-goal lead to draw with Olympiakos in the Champions League midweek.
The result mirrored their 2-2 draw with north London rivals Arsenal in their previous away league game, with Kane admitting after Wednesday’s Group B opener that Spurs had failed to learn from recent mistakes.
Pochettino made six changes to the team that started in Greece, with Hugo Lloris unavailable due to his wife giving birth and Dele Alli left out of the squad altogether. Christian Eriksen, Lucas Moura and Eric Dier all had to settle for places on the bench.
Perhaps as a result, the visitors looked disjointed in the early stages and were fortunate not to fall behind when Ndidi’s effort was chalked off.
There was nothing fortunate about Kane’s opener 13 minutes later, however.
The England striker managed to latch on to Son’s back-heel and despite losing his balance under Soyuncu’s challenge, he somehow managed to knock the ball past Jonny Evans before lifting it over Schmeichel into the far corner.
Spurs thought they had doubled their lead when Aurier drilled a powerful drive into the far corner, but Son was adjudged to have been marginally offside in the build-up and the goal was chalked off.
Buoyed by that narrow decision, Leicester threw bodies forward and restored parity through Pereira, before Maddison struck with five minutes remaining to extend Spurs’ winless league run away from home to nine games.
Leicester prove top-six credentials
After watching the Foxes slip to their first defeat of the campaign at Old Trafford last weekend, Leicester fans were hopeful that their team could continue their impressive home form against a Spurs side who have looked vulnerable on their travels of late.
They had lost their last three meetings with Tottenham in the Premier League prior to today’s game, but this latest performance provided further compelling evidence that Rodgers’ team can mount a serious challenge for a top-six finish this season.
Maddison was heavily involved early on, the 22-year-old curling an effort narrowly off target from the edge of the box before firing straight at Gazzaniga from a tight angle after twisting and turning to find room for the shot.
Rodgers’ side did not let their heads drop after falling behind, with Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy both going close to equalising before Pereira’s strike midway through the second half.
Just as the game appeared destined to end in a draw, Maddison collected Hamza Choudhury’s pass before firing low into the bottom corner from a central position – all in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate.
The result was no less than Maddison and his team-mates deserve and lifts the Foxes – temporarily at least – to second in the Premier League.
Man of the match – James Maddison (Leicester)
VAR takes centre stage – the stats
- There were two goals disallowed by VAR in this match, while no other game in the Premier League in 2019-20 has had more than one chalked off.
- Tottenham have failed to win three consecutive away Premier League games when they were leading at half-time for the first time since March 2008.
- Leicester have suffered just one defeat in their last nine Premier League home games (W6 D2), after losing four in a row directly before that.
- Tottenham are without a win in their last nine away games in the Premier League (W0 D2 L7) – they last had a longer winless away run between April and December 2006 (10).
- Leicester’s Ricardo Pereira scored his third goal in 41 Premier League appearances – all three have come at the King Power Stadium.
- Tottenham striker Harry Kane has scored 14 goals in 13 games in all competitions against Leicester, four more than he has versus any other side in his professional career.
- Since the start of last season, Kane has scored 13 Premier League away goals, more than any other player in this period.
- Leicester’s James Maddison ended a run of 31 shots in the Premier League without a goal, since netting versus Huddersfield in April.
- Spurs’ Son Heung-min has been directly involved in seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances versus Leicester (4 goals, 3 assists).
‘A wonderful performance’ – what the managers said
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers on BBC Sport: “It was a wonderful performance. I thought the players were outstanding. We started the game with a great tempo, which sets the emotion in the stadium.
“It was just a case of preparing the players mentally for the second half. We had to adapt the system at half-time. The players deserve huge credit. The quality we showed was top-class against an outstanding team.”
“Some of the offside decisions – it’s fine margins. Whatever the decision, you have to adapt and keep your focus on the game. The players did that very well.”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino on BBC Sport: “We dominated the game and we deserved more but that’s football. It can change quickly. We need to keep working. We have a lot of games coming and we need to be ready.
“I’m always saying that sometimes it (VAR) benefits you and sometimes it goes against you. You can’t complain afterwards. You have to accept it.
“Today, we were the better side but I hope they (Leicester) have a very good season. I admire Brendan Rodgers and wish them the best.”
Leicester travel to Luton Town in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, 24 September (19:45 BST), while Spurs visit Colchester United at the same time.
Goals from academy gradates Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka helped Arsenal overcome a difficult test against Eintracht Frankfurt and begin their Europa League campaign with a victory.
Willock put the Gunners in front with a deflected shot in the first half before Saka smashed in his first senior goal for the club in the 85th minute.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added a third two minutes later as Arsenal ended their three-game winless run.
The Gunners had created further chances but also relied on goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to come to the aid of their fragile defence.
The Argentine produced excellent low saves to deny Filip Kostic and Andre Silva in the first half.
The second period was frantic in front of a vociferous home crowd with Arsenal’s late goals only coming after Dominik Kohr was shown a second yellow card for a cynical foul.
The Gunners, beaten finalists in last year’s Europa League, are top of the early Group F table on goal difference after Standard Liege beat Vitoria in the night’s other game.
Youngsters star in attack
Manager Unai Emery opted for a mix of youth and experience for the game in Germany, despite it arguably being Arsenal’s toughest test in Group F, and it was their young players who stood out.
Eighteen-year-old Saka, playing for the first team for the first time this season and fifth time in total, was excellent on the left flank, scoring once and setting up the other two goals.
He created Willock’s goal by beating his marker with fine skill in midfield and was the main threat for the Gunners in the first half.
The only criticism was he spurned a number of chances to increase Arsenal’s lead but he silenced those doubts with an emphatic finish from the edge of the area late on.
Willock played as the Gunners most advanced central midfielder and offered a goal threat but also linked play well, notably with a fine driving run in the second half which ended with Martin Hinteregger excellently blocking an Aubameyang shot.
The scoreline flattered Arsenal in the end but the game will be most memorable for the performance of their youngsters.
Defensive issues remain
The Gunners came into the game on the back of their disappointing 2-2 draw against Watford, after which their defensive display was heavily criticised as they spurned a two-goal lead.
Although Arsenal kept a second clean sheet of the season, they still looked uncertain at the back and allowed Eintracht 24 shots on goal – seven fewer than the Hornets’ 31 on Sunday.
Arsenal’s deeper midfielders Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira failed to control proceedings with the second half end-to-end until Kohr was dismissed.
Eintracht, who reached the semi-finals of the Europa League last season before losing on penalties to Chelsea, lost strikers Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic to West Ham and Real Madrid respectively in the summer and had either been in their line-up on Thursday, Arsenal’s slack defence may have been punished.
Kostic caused right-back Calum Chambers significant problems but was wasteful, as was AC Milan loanee Silva, who shot well wide in the second half when given another good opportunity.
That said, Martinez, brought in for first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno, impressed with key saves in the first half and assured handling when called upon.
Man of the match – Bukayo Saka
‘A dream come true’ – reaction
Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka: “I’m so happy to score for Arsenal, it’s a dream come true – I have been dreaming of this moment since I was a kid.
“I just want to keep working hard to make sure I can feel this feeling again.”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery: “We knew tonight was going to be difficult, they fell back very deep and caused us problems early on.
“We recovered the ball well and the young players showed the confidence to take their chances.
“Everybody can be happy and continuing in this competition is important, so it was good to get a good win, especially away from home.”
Eintracht coach Adi Hutter: “It’s a bitter defeat for us, because the performance does not reflect that result.
“When it was still 1-0 for Arsenal, we tried to score the equaliser but then conceded another one.
“The important thing is for us to create chances, I have seen enough of those. A goal can help open some doors, give you a boost, that did not happen today.”
Aubameyang’s goal-scoring run – the best stats
- Arsenal have only lost one of their 13 group stage games in the Europa League (W10 D2), while this was their sixth consecutive clean sheet in the group stage of the competition.
- Arsenal picked up their first European away win against German opposition since November 2013 (1-0 v Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League), having failed to win on any of their previous five trips (D1 L4).
- Eintracht Frankfurt suffered their heaviest home defeat across European competitions – in what was their 74th such game on home soil.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has netted seven goals in his last seven Europa League appearances for Arsenal, with four of those coming away from home.
- Bukayo Saka is the youngest player to score for Arsenal in the Europa League/Champions League since October 2008, when Aaron Ramsey (17y 300d) netted against Fenerbahce.
Chelsea’s return to the Champions League ended in disappointment as Ross Barkley missed a late penalty that ensured Valencia claimed victory at Stamford Bridge.
Frank Lampard’s first game as a manager in the tournament he won as a player with Chelsea in 2012 turned into a night of frustration as Valencia took advantage of slack marking at a free-kick for Rodrigo to score the winner on 74 minutes.
Chelsea, who lost in-form youngster Mason Mount to injury early on, had the chance to rescue a point when referee Cuneyt Cakir awarded a penalty for handball after consulting VAR when Daniel Wass blocked Fikayo Tomori’s header.
Barkley had only come on as a substitute eight minutes earlier but insisted taking the spot-kick instead of the Blues’ regular taker Jorginho and Willian, who argued his own case to take it before relenting.
It was a tight and tense encounter with chances at a premium and a tricky Group H, which also includes Lille and last year’s semi-finalists Ajax, has got even tougher for Chelsea after starting their campaign with a damaging home loss.
Chelsea lack touch of class
This was a tough start to life in the Champions League for Lampard and a Chelsea side robbed of the ‘X Factor’ given to them for so long by Eden Hazard.
The mood in the camp will not have been helped by Barkley’s insistence on taking that ill-fated late penalty when it appeared Jorginho, who scored in the Super Cup final against Liverpool, was stepping forward for the task.
Barkley’s determination came at a heavy price, glancing a poor effort off the bar and high into the Matthew Harding Stand. He took the kick after conversations with Jorginho, Willian, Tammy Abraham and captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
It ended with a handshake from Jorginho before the spot-kick but it was a chaotic scene with an almost inevitable conclusion.
It was a night when not much went right for Chelsea, starting with what looked like a nasty ankle injury to Mount, who was caught by a reckless follow-through in a challenge by former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin.
Chelsea had their moments, especially when Jasper Cillessen saved from Willian and Marcos Alonso – but Lampard’s side simply could not produce the touch of quality to break down Valencia and were too static as Daniel Parejo’s free-kick released Rodrigo.
This means Chelsea are on the back foot only 90 minutes into their return to the Champions League and are still to win at Stamford Bridge this season.
Valencia lift the gloom
Chelsea’s disappointment will be even more acute as this looked like the perfect opportunity to get their Champions League campaign off to a winning start against a Valencia side who arrived in London amid turmoil.
Valencia’s players and fans had been infuriated by the decision to sack coach Marcelino last week after he won the Copa del Rey last season and took them back into the Champions League.
Marcelino’s successor Albert Celades started his reign with a 5-2 defeat at Barcelona on Saturday – but his Valencia side showed plenty of resolve here and were always a threat, which was realised by that free-kick that was just too quick and too smart for Chelsea and resulted in Rodrigo’s goal.
This was a real morale booster for Celades and Valencia but a serious blow for Chelsea as Ajax signalled their threat in Group H with a 3-0 win over Lille.
Tough night for Chelsea’s young guns
Chelsea’s young brigade have taken the Premier League by storm with Tammy Abraham scoring seven goals and Mason Mount on the mark three times.
Abraham found this a much tougher assignment although he still had moments of threat, particularly a glancing first-half header that was off target.
The 21-year-old never lost heart but he was starved of decent service and this was not to be his night.
It was even more painful for Mount, literally, as he never recovered from Coquelin’s early challenge and his attempts to carry on ended in despair. He and Chelsea will now anxiously await the medical verdict.
Defender Tomori did well in defence and also made his contribution in attack with a surging first-half run that brought danger and a header that resulted in the penalty.
There will be better nights than this but the Champions League will be adding layers to their learning experience.
Rare losing start for Chelsea – key stats
- This was only Chelsea’s second defeat in their past 42 Champions League group games at Stamford Bridge (W30 D10), with the other against Basel in 2013.
- Chelsea lost their opening Champions League match of a campaign for only the second time – the first was against Basel in 2013-14.
- Frank Lampard became the first Chelsea manager to lose his opening Champions League match in charge – 10 of the previous 11 had won, while Gianluca Vialli drew with AC Milan in 1999.
- Chelsea became the first team since Liverpool in December 2008 against PSV (Darby, Kelly, Spearing) to hand three Champions League debuts to Englishmen aged 21 or younger in the same game (Abraham, Mount, Tomori).
- Valencia registered only their second away Champions League win in England (D7 L3) – their first was a 1-0 win at Liverpool in October 2002.