NSW Waratahs under injury clouds as ACT Brumbies’ Tom Wright sidelined for six rounds


“While it’s extremely disappointing, Tom is the ultimate professional and is already doing everything he can with his rehab to make sure he’s back on the field as soon as possible.”

There were no major injuries to report for the Waratahs after their 45-33 trial victory over the Queensland Reds in Narrabri but several key names including international back-rowers Lachie Swinton and Jack Dempsey weren’t on the team sheet.

Swinton was shown a red card on his Test debut against the All Blacks last year and subsequently received a four-week ban.

Coach Rob Penney confirmed Swinton is “no chance” of taking on the Reds, but he can consider himself a tad unlucky. Had the Waratahs not been forced to cancel their January 30 trial against the Brumbies, Swinton’s four match ban would have elapsed by round one.

Meanwhile, Penney said Dempsey is recovering from appendix surgery and has been taking it easy at training recently but rest assured, there is fire in the belly less than two weeks out from the season. “He was looking like a bit of a caged lion towards the end of last week,” Penney said.

The more complex case, however, is that of winger James Ramm, who had a breakthrough year in 2020. The 22-year-old was one of the Waratahs’ best in Super Rugby AU before earning a call-up to an extended Wallabies squad.

Penney said Ramm came back from Wallabies camp “pretty sore and beaten up” and has been managing a groin injury. “It’s an ongoing issue for him to be fair,” Penney said. “He needs careful management.”

Jack Dempsey takes a carry against the Force last year.

Jack Dempsey takes a carry against the Force last year.Credit:Getty

If Ramm isn’t right for round one, the Waratahs could go with Izaia Perese and Alex Newsome on the wings, with Tepai Moeroa (No.12) and Joey Walton (No.13) in the centres.

“The combinations in the midfield are yet to be determined but we’ve got the ability to mix and match really nicely,” Penney said. “Joey Walton stepped up again – what a talent he is – and we know what Izaia can do and what Teps can do. It’s exciting we have the ability to have those three, along with Nobby [Alex Newsome], to build an attack and defence system around.”

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Midfielder Lalakai Foketi (shoulder) and hooker Robbie Abel (ankle) are still on the sidelines, while another hooker in Dave Porecki has a neck issue – he was a late scratching from the Narrabri trial – but is said to be improving.

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Tampa Bay Buccanneers v Kansas City Chiefs how to watch Australia, start time, halftime show, scores, odds, stream


Welcome to the self-proclaimed BBQ capital of the USA for the Super Bowl showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I’m in the self-proclaimed rugby league capital of the world in Brisbane to bring you live and commercial free coverage of one of the biggest (and longest days) in sport.

Only a smattering of fans in the stadium, a miracle there are any there at all, so it’s going to be a very different feeling Super Bowl. Even so, we have a reading from youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman and a halftime show by The Weeknd, so that’s a little something for the true believers.

Here’s another one: The Boss has done what may well be his first ever commercial – certainly his first Super Bowl commercial – in collaboration with Jeep. I’m just ducking out to buy one so enjoy.

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Parts of WA impacted by flooding



Highways have been washed away and dozens of people evacuated in a once in a 10 year flooding event in parts of Western Australia.

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The new Surface Pro 7+ brings versatility to business tech


Partner
Content

With
digital innovation becoming more important to businesses, Microsoft’s latest
hybrid device aims to provide everything SME’s need to succeed.

In-store
technology has come a long way in the last decade. Alongside the massive jumps
in consumer technology, what customers expect from devices has changed
significantly.

As
mobile point-of-sale technology takes off and as customers become more used to
being served away from the traditional cash registers, hybrid devices that can
fulfil the roles of a laptop, a desktop, and a tablet are increasingly useful
in the business environment.

And
with digital transformation fast becoming the lifeblood of every business
post-pandemic, big or small, Microsoft’s latest stab at the hybrid market, the
Surface Pro 7+ for Business, brings a number of features together to make life
easy for the tech-focused entrepreneur.

Surface
Pro 7+ has improved all-day battery life, utilising the latest 11th Gen Intel®
Core™ Processor with up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, ensuring a business
owner can get what they need to get done quickly and won’t run out of space or
power right when they need it.

And
with optional LTE connectivity, you no longer need to worry about whether
you’re connected to Wi-Fi in order to get the work done. A removable hard drive
also means it’s easier to control who has access to your sensitive financial
information and can retain data, should the device need a repair.

But as
with all technology, the specs are only half the equation.

Versatility is the name of the game

Where
the Surface Pro 7+ really shines is in its ability to be what you want it to
be, when you need it.

“When we first introduced Surface Pro, we wanted to challenge the concept that people should have to choose between the portability and convenience of a tablet, and the power and productivity of a traditional laptop,” Robin Seiler, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Devices, said.

“In the past seven years, Surface Pro has become known for its versatility, power, and performance…it is by far our most widely adopted Surface device across business and education customers.”

In
fact, Surface Pro usage in enterprise organisations nearly doubled in the last

year, according to Microsoft.

And with 82 per cent of managers saying they’ll give more flexible work-from-home policies beyond the pandemic, and 71 per cent of employees wanting to continue to work from home some of the time, according to research commissioned by Microsoft, the ability to take work with you wherever you are becomes incredibly valuable.

The Surface
Pro 7+ enables users to jump on important video calls with clients, jot down
notes (either in a traditional word processor or literally, using the Surface
Pen), show off product images and videos to customers, and plug into a monitor,
keyboard, and mouse to power the rest of their business.

Despite the versatility, it isn’t tethered to a power cable. The Surface Pro 7+ has 15 hours of battery life and can charge from five per cent to 80 per cent in just under an hour – making it easier than ever to take work on the go.

And,
it comes in at speeds of up to 20 per cent faster than an iPad Pro when tested
on GeekBench 5, due to using the latest Intel® Processor and enough RAM to keep
programs loading quick.

“From small and medium size businesses to the largest organisations, Surface Pro 7+ is purpose-built with the needs of our business customers in mind,” Seiler said.

“This next generation of Surface Pro stays true to its ethos – delivering top customer requested updates while maintaining the same iconic design so customers can continue to leverage their existing investments.”

The Surface Pro 7+ for Business brings power and versatility together like never before so you can get it all done, from anywhere.

Visit microsoft.com/surface/business, or speak to your Microsoft partner for details.

Writer’s note: Some data/quotes pulled from this Microsoft blog revealing the product.



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Buying a cafe and live music venue at the height of COVID-19 restrictions paid off for these Canberra brothers, but how have other small businesses fared?


In the winter of 2020, dining out in Canberra — like most of Australia — was a rare occurrence.

Takeaway became par for the course, the live music scene ceased, and even when COVID-19 restrictions began to lift, numbers were strictly limited.

But when things were looking their most dire, three brothers decided to buy a cafe in the city’s inner north.

“There were definitely moments where we were like, ‘This is silly’,” Sam Conway, one third of the trio, said.

“We doubted it, especially throughout the process, and there were so many moments where we thought, ‘We have absolutely no idea what we’re doing’.

With backgrounds in music, but none in running a hospitality business, the brothers ultimately took the leap to buy Downer’s Gang Gang cafe because of their love of live performance.

And the live music void left by the larger venues, who until recently were not operating, meant people were hungry for an in-person show.

“It was just immediately a perfect vibe — we could only have 25 people but we put candles around and it felt really good,” Mr Conway said.

“People just like to have a place they can come and hang out.”

Live gigs are held outdoors at Gang Gang to accommodate COVID-safe crowds.(Supplied)

Live music revival in the suburbs

For local musicians, Gang Gang is one of the few live music venues available to them in the capital.

Singer-songwriter Jamie Kentwell’s first gig after lockdown was at Gang Gang — quite a change, after months of livestreaming her performances on Facebook.

“I used to be so nervous and so awkward on stage but I feel like after that big break, coming back on stage, I’m just so excited about it all the time and not as nervous anymore,” she said.

She said finding somewhere to perform was “slim pickings”, so having Gang Gang’s local space was ideal.

“Gang Gang is also just a really safe place where you can come if you’re feeling anxious or stressed,” she said.

“It’s such a nice, calm environment.”

Jamie looks at the camera seriously, holding a guitar. She has peroxide blonde hair and sits on a couch in the cafe.
Jamie Kentwell spent most of 2020 performing via social media due to the pandemic.(ABC News: Niki Burnside)

While the combination of a cafe and live music has made the business a success, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

“The reality of buying the business is a bit different to what we were expecting,” Mr Conway said.

“I thought I would be doing more of the planning behind the scenes, but it really is all hands on deck most of the time.

“Luckily everyone just seems really supportive, including the government. We’ve made some pretty decent-sized little mistakes and they’ve been supportive.”

The suburban location has also helped the brothers turn their risky beginnings into reward.

“I think the location has been a massive positive for us,” Mr Conway added.

Inner city cafe closes after 21 years

Gang Gang has benefited from a phenomenon that has punished other businesses in inner-city areas.

According to Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell, the move to working from home over the last year has had a two-fold effect.

While some suburban businesses have thrived, for others, working from home could be the death knell for businesses who don’t have the option to adapt.

“There’s coffee shops in suburban areas that are doing quite nicely because people are at home, but in those town centres or CBDs, a lot of them are still struggling,” Ms Carnell said.

London Circuit and Northbourne as viewed from City Hill.
Foot traffic has not returned to the same levels as before the pandemic in Canberra’s inner city.(ABC Canberra: Michael Black)

For some inner-city businesses, the end has already come.

Dobinsons has closed its Bunda Street cafe after 21 years of operation, and are taking the business in a new direction.

While foot traffic has slowly returned to the CBD, co-owner Andrew Leggett said it was not what it was before the pandemic.

“The offices aren’t as full as they were and the retail shops aren’t doing as much business as they did before the pandemic,” Mr Leggett said.

Instead, like the team behind Gang Gang, they are investing in the suburbs.

The business will focus on its retail offerings in other parts of Canberra, including Woden and Belconnen, and will open a new bakery in Gungahlin later this year.

“Basically our business has taken a really huge, evolutionary twist since the pandemic, the pandemic sort of facilitated that and we’ve moved into food retail, as opposed to traditional seated hospitality,” Mr Leggett said.

Andrew makes a coffee behind the counter, looking into the camera.
Dobinsons closed its city cafe due to a downturn in foot traffic after the pandemic started, co-owner Andrew Leggett said.(ABC News: Niki Burnside)

Many Government office workers still at home

Ms Carnell, who is a former ACT Chief Minister, said more needs to be done to ensure small businesses in the CBD and town centres are supported when JobKeeper ends in March 2021.

She said some small businesses could be saved if more ACT Government workers returned to the office.

“The Federal Government have made that call, but the ACT Government hasn’t.

“It’s absolutely essential [they return]. And in a reasonable manner, but I think we have to start that process and start it quite aggressively.”

Kate wears gold earrings and a dress suit, and red lipstick, she looks bright-eyed, staring into the camera.
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell says the loss of office workers is still hurting businesses.(ABC News: Niki Burnside)

The ACT Government said its workplaces were managed in a way “that prioritises work health, safety and wellbeing”.

“In some instances, this involves reduced capacity to accommodate physical distancing,” a Government spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said many staff had adopted a “hybrid” working pattern.

“Of the remaining ACTPS staff who are able to work from home, many continue to do so, often as part of a ‘hybrid’ work pattern where part-time attendance in the physical workplace is supplemented by part-time working from home.  

“These patterns of work can vary significantly between directorates based on the specific workplace, service delivery and working environments of the directorate.”

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Australia stalling on electric vehicle policy


As the US and other nations accelerate electric vehicle manufacturing and policy, Australia sits quietly in neutral, argue Jake Whitehead, Dia Adhikari Smith and Thara Philip. 

The Morrison government on Friday released a plan to reduce carbon emissions from Australia’s road transport sector.

Controversially, it ruled out consumer incentives to encourage electric vehicle uptake. The disappointing document is not the electric vehicle jump-start the country sorely needs.

In contrast, the United States has recently gone all-in on electric vehicles. Like leaders in many developed economies, President Joe Biden will offer consumer incentives to encourage uptake of the technology. The nation’s entire government vehicle fleet will also transition to electric vehicles made in the US.

Electric vehicles are crucial to delivering the substantial emissions reductions required to reach net-zero by 2050 – a goal Prime Minister Scott Morrison now says he supports.

It begs the question: when will Australian governments wake up and support the electric vehicle revolution?

A do-nothing approach

In Australia in 2020, electric vehicles comprised just 0.6% of new vehicle sales – well below the global average of 4.2%.

Overseas, electric vehicle uptake has been boosted by consumer incentives such as tax exemptions, toll road discounts, rebates on charging stations and subsidies to reduce upfront purchase costs.

And past advice to government has stated financial incentives are the best way to get more electric vehicles on the road.

But government backbenchers have previously warned against any subsidies to make electric cars cost-competitive against traditional cars.

Releasing the government’s Future Fuels Strategy discussion paper on Friday, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said subsidies for electric vehicles did not represent good value for money.

(As argued here, the claim is flawed because it ignores the international emissions produced by imported vehicle fuel).

The Morrison government instead plans to encourage business fleets to transition to electric vehicles, saying businesses accounted for around 40% of new light vehicle sales in 2020.

The government has also failed to implement fuel efficiency standards, despite in 2015 establishing a ministerial forum to do so.

The approach contrasts starkly with that taken by the Biden administration.

Biden’s electrifying plan

Cars, buses and trucks are the largest source of emissions in the US. To tackle this, Biden has proposed to:

And by committing to carbon-free electricity generation by 2035, the Biden administration is also ensuring renewable energy will power this electric fleet.

This combined support for electric vehicles and renewable energy is crucial if the US is to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Made in America

US companies are getting on board to avoid missing out on the electric vehicle revolution.

The day after Biden announced his fleet transition plan, General Motors (GM) – the largest US vehicle manufacturer and a major employer – announced it aimed to stop producing fossil fuel vehicles by 2035 and be carbon-neutral by 2040.

This aligns with plans by the US states of California and Massachusetts to ban the sale of fossil fuel vehicles by 2035.

GM is serious about the transition, committing $US27 billion and planning at least 30 new electric vehicle models by 2025. And on Friday, the Ford Motor Company said it would double its investment in vehicle electrification to $US22 billion.

A General Motors ad for its electric vehicle strategy which aired during the US Superbowl.

Opportunities and challenges abound

Using government fleets to accelerate the electric vehicle transition is smart and strategic, because it:

  • allows consumers to see the technology in use
  • creates market certainty
  • encourages private fleets to transition
  • enables the development of a future second-hand electric vehicle market, once fleet vehicles are replaced.

Biden’s fleet plan includes a clear target, ensuring it stimulates the economy and supports his broader goal to create one million new US automotive jobs. Prioritising local manufacturing of vehicles, batteries and other components is key to maximising the benefits of his electric vehicle revolution.

On face value, the Morrison government’s business fleet plan has merit. But unlike the US approach, it does not involve a clear target and funding allocated to the initiative is relatively meagre.

So it’s unlikely to make much of difference or put Australia on par with its international peers.

Man inspects an electric vehicle battery
Australia is well placed to capitalise on demand for electric vehicle components.
Shutterstock

Australian governments must wake up

Compounding the absence of consumer incentives to encourage uptake in Australia, some states are mulling taxing electric vehicles before the market has been established.

Our research shows this could not only delay electric vehicle uptake, but jeopardise Australia’s chances of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

Australia is already a world leader in building fast-charging hardware, and manufactures electric buses and trucks. We could also lead the global electric vehicle supply chain, due to our significant reserves of lithium, copper and nickel.

Despite these opportunities, the continuing lack of national leadership means the country is missing out on many economic benefits the electric vehicle revolution can bring.

Australia should adopt a Biden-inspired electric vehicle agenda. Without it, we will miss our climate targets, and the opportunity for thousands of new jobs.

Jake Whitehead, Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellow & Tritum E-Mobility Fellow, The University of Queensland; Dia Adhikari Smith, E-Mobility Research Fellow, The University of Queensland, and Thara Philip, E-Mobility Doctoral Researcher, The University of Queensland

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Conversation

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EU Must ‘Draw Consequences’ From Controversial Moscow Trip, Says Top Diplomat


The European Union’s top diplomat Sunday said Russia was rejecting constructive dialogue with the EU and that Europe must draw the consequences, including the possibility of new sanctions.

In a blog post, Josep Borrell said the shock expulsion of three EU diplomats during his two-day visit to Moscow, showed that Russia “did not want to seize this opportunity to have a more constructive dialogue with the EU.”

The bloc “will have to draw the consequences” he wrote, insisting that “it will be for member states to decide the next steps, and yes, these could include sanctions.”

Borrell’s trip, which ended on Saturday, had been a controversial journey that divided the EU’s 27 member states, with France and Germany backing dialogue with the Kremlin.

Other countries backed a harder line after the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and a crackdown on pro-Navalny protesters that has seen more than 10,000 people arrested in recent weeks.

Borrell’s trip took a negative turn when Moscow expelled diplomats from Poland, Germany and Sweden just hours after he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss ties.

The former Spanish foreign minister described the trip as “very complicated” and said he returned to Brussels “with deep concerns.”

“It seems that Russia is progressively disconnecting itself from Europe and looking at democratic values as an existential threat,” he said.

Borrell, whose views do not necessarily represent the 27, defended his visit arguing that criticizing Russia from a distance “will not bring greater security to the EU.”

“We have to face challenges, including meeting others in their home turf, just when negative events are unfolding” in order to better assess the action to take.

“If we want a safer world for tomorrow, we have to act decidedly today and be ready to take some risks,” he said.

Borrell will debrief his trip to foreign ministers from the 27 member states on February 22 and EU leaders will discuss their strained ties with Moscow at a summit in March.

Drawing up EU sanctions are strictly up to the member states and require unanimity among the 27.

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With proposed Port Authorities law, major ports may be privatised


The new Public Sector Enterprise policy approved by the Cabinet has excluded the 11 major port trusts from its scope (read strategic disinvestment/privatisation), but a new law designed to convert these “port trusts” into “port authorities” may still facilitate this goal.

Once the Major Port Authorities Bill is passed by the Rajya Sabha (it has already got Lok Sabha nod), the government could attempt corporatisation of the 11 ports by invoking Section 50 of the proposed law, feel workers unions.

“Without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this Chapter, the Board (of each Port Authority) shall in discharge of its functions under this Act, be bound by such directions on question of policy as the Central Government may give in writing from time to time: Provided that the Board shall be given an opportunity to express its views before any direction is given under this sub-section. The decision of the Central Government on whether a question is one of policy or not shall be final and binding on the Board”.

Unless the ports are converted into companies, the government cannot list them on the stock exchanges and potentially disinvest or privatise them.

Reaping dividends

Corporatisation will also help the government receive dividends from these ports. In March 2020, Chennai Port Trust acquired the government’s 67 per cent stake in Kamarajar Port Ltd — the only State-owned port that is run as a company — for ₹2,383 crore, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The transition of ‘port trusts’ into ‘port authorities’ would also facilitate privatisation of cargo handling terminals operated by the State-owned port itself.

This is because the ‘port authority’ formed under the new law will play the role of a landlord – a model widely followed globally — while private firms carry out port operations, mainly cargo handling activities.

Seven operational projects in major ports worth more than ₹2,000 crores will be offered on PPP mode in FY22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in her Budget speech.

With coastal States preferring the privatisation route to building new ports, privatising ports owned by the Centre could be considered once they are corporatised, said a port industry consultant.

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Chelsea defender Thiago Silva is targeting a return to action in two weeks, reveals Thomas Tuchel


C

helsea defender Thiago Silva is targeting a return to action against Southampton on February 20.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed Silva will definitely miss this Thursday’s FA Cup tie at Barnsley and he is likely to also be absent for their game against Newcastle on February 15.

But Chelsea hope Silva will return against Southampton in two weeks’ time.

Speaking after the win against Sheffield United, Tuchel said: “With Thiago, we are fighting for him every day but he will be for sure out for the FA Cup so it will take time.

“It will be several days but we set the goal, I would like him back for maybe Southampton, that’s realistic but also ambitious. I know Thiago, he will do everything to be ready as soon as possible but it is a muscle injury so you cannot take any risk.”

Tuchel also revealed that Christian Pulisic missed Chelsea’s win against Sheffield United due to “family issues”.

Pulisic was not in the Chelsea squad for the trip to Bramall Lane and Tuchel explained why the American midfielder was absent.

“Christian has some family issues to resolve and family is always first so we decided to give him a rest for this game,” he said.

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Sheffield United 1-2 Chelsea: Visitors maintain unbeaten start to Tuchel reign


Mason Mount’s first-half strike was his fourth goal of the season

Chelsea recovered from Antonio Rudiger’s own goal to move up to fifth in the Premier League, as Thomas Tuchel’s unbeaten start as manager continued with victory at Sheffield United.

The German, who took over from Frank Lampard last month, watched as his side struggled in the opening half hour on a freezing night as Oliver Burke fired wide in the opening minute.

But the visitors went ahead before the break when Mason Mount found the bottom corner following Timo Werner’s cross from the left.

Chelsea then conceded the first goal of Tuchel’s four-game reign in calamitous circumstances when Rudiger poked past Edouard Mendy into his own net.

The winner arrived in bizarre circumstances.

Werner was brought down by goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale for what looked like a clear penalty, but referee Kevin Friend ignored Chelsea’s appeals and waved play on.

The action continued for almost two minutes before the video assistant referee intervened, but despite the delay, Jorginho kept his cool from the spot for his sixth goal of the season.

Coming after Liverpool’s 4-1 defeat by leaders Manchester City, the win put Chelsea’s Champions League ambitions back on track after they had slipped to ninth under former boss Lampard.

Sheffield United, who had won three of their previous five games, pressed for a late equaliser but found Rudiger in the way and missed out on the chance to move above second-bottom West Brom.

Werner plays part either side of Rudiger error

Chelsea are a team still coming to terms with a change in manager and a new style.

They are now looking to assert their authority with controlled possession football, and they have quickly recovered from the decline under Lampard to move within a point of the top four.

Having drawn with Wolves and beaten both Burnley and Tottenham, this was a test of character for Tuchel’s side after Rudiger’s mistake threatened to throw them off course against a Sheffield United outfit buoyed by their recent upturn in form.

Key to the victory, also, was Werner, who failed to end his 14-game goal drought in the Premier League, yet had a hand in both goals.

The Blades’ early pressing led to a shaky start from the visiting defence, with some careless Chelsea passing almost leading to a first-minute deficit.

But after Ben Chilwell, selected ahead of Marcos Alonso, twice missed with back-post headers, they began to get a grip on the game.

That was in part down to Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic feeding the ball more quickly to the front three of Olivier Giroud, Werner and the energetic Mount.

And it was Kovacic’s driving run which allowed Chilwell and Werner to combine for Mount’s opener, his fourth goal of the season.

Rudiger, who has described how he was racially abused on social media for his supposed part in Lampard’s downfall, then handed the Blades a lifeline when he stroked the ball past Mendy into his own net following Oliver McBurnie’s surging run.

But fortunately for the Germany defender, Chelsea quickly recovered and four minutes later they were ahead again.

Werner latched onto a poor Blades’ back pass and was clattered by Ramsdale in the penalty box as he tried to round the goalkeeper.

And although referee Friend decided not to award the spot-kick, much to Tuchel’s protests, VAR eventually intervened before Jorginho stroked home.

Rudiger then made up for his earlier error with some fine defending to deny the hosts an equaliser and a injury-time save by Mendy thwarted substitute Billy Sharp as Chelsea held on.

Blades return gift as they miss chance to move off bottom

Since winning their first game of the season, against Newcastle, last month the Blades have won twice more, against Manchester United and West Brom.

However, the gap to survival has grown from nine points to 12 as the teams above the bottom three have also started to find form.

That has not disheartened Chris Wilder’s team though, as they chase an unlikely escape from the bottom three, and although Chelsea were on top after a poor start, it did not stop the hosts asking questions of their expensively-assembled opponents.

That began from the first minute when Burke should have scored and they could have had a penalty in the 11th minute when Chilwell brought down Chris Basham, but the United defender was caught offside from the initial cross.

Under instruction from the bellowing Wilder on the touchlines, the Blades were making the Chelsea defence look shaky, and Jayden Bogle almost cut through them with a mazy run.

Although their equaliser was fortunate, Sheffield United will argue they had shown enough willing to deserve a goal – but having been provided with a gift via Rudiger, they then returned the favour.

Bogle, who was otherwise excellent, left his back pass short, allowing Werner to nip in before Ramsdale, who needed treatment to a resulting head injury.

The hosts tried to get back into the game once more as Wilder introduced David McGoldrick and Sharp, but Rudiger and latterly Mendy stood in their way.

‘We’re fighting and we’re punching’ – what they said

Sheffield United manager Wilder: “It’s an incredibly tough division that we’re competing in and when you’re up against the likes of Chelsea, with the quality they’ve got, and can call off the bench.

“We’re always underdogs – massive underdogs. We were fighting with one arm behind our backs last year and maybe two now, plus half a blindfold.

“We’re fighting and we’re punching and the boys believe they can win a group of games between now and the end of the season and we’ll keep that belief.”

Chelsea boss Tuchel on Werner: “I feel he is stronger and stronger every day and he is more and more free. Today I could really feel him on the pitch, absolutely in the game mentally and physically.

“And he was decisive, and this is the most important because if he can continue like this the goals will come. I’m very sure.”

On the top four: “We are close to where we want to be. We want to try everything to reach the top four.

“And we said this very clearly when we started. So now, the guys put themselves in a situation where we are versus the hunters of teams up in front of us, and we are close, but it still changes nothing because the next league game will be at home, and we will be like everybody else, under pressure to continue our run and to build on the momentum.”

Werner’s proves value with another assist – the best stats

  • Timo Werner has made more assists than any other Chelsea player in all competitions this season (6), while his five in the Premier League is also the best for the Blues.
  • Nine of Chelsea midfielder Jorginho’s 11 Premier League goals have come from the penalty spot (82%) – this is the highest ratio of any player with 10+ goals in the competition’s history.
  • Chelsea have won each of their past three Premier League games, equalling their longest winning streak of the season (three between October-November). This was also only the second time they have won consecutive Premier League away games this term.
  • Since beating Chelsea at Bramall Lane in July 2020, Sheffield United have only won two of their past 13 home games in the Premier League (D1 L10).
  • Sheffield United have kept just one clean sheet in their past 25 Premier League games, with that lone shutout coming at home to Newcastle last month.
  • Since the start of last season, Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger is one of only five players to have scored multiple own goals in the Premier League (2) – the German has done it in the fewest appearances (28).
  • Aged 22 years and 28 days, Mason Mount is the second-youngest player to score 10 Premier League goals for Chelsea, after Arjen Robben (21y 342d).

What next?

Sheffield United are at home to Bristol City in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday before travelling to West Ham in the Premier League next Monday.

Chelsea travel to Barnsley in the FA Cup fifth round on Thursday before hosting Newcastle in the Premier League on Monday.

Player of the match

WernerTimo Werner

Sheffield United

  1. Squad number10Player nameSharp

  2. Squad number4Player nameFleck

  3. Squad number12Player nameEgan

  4. Squad number17Player nameMcGoldrick

  5. Squad number6Player nameBasham

  6. Squad number20Player nameBogle

  7. Squad number1Player nameRamsdale

  8. Squad number24Player nameBrewster

  9. Squad number7Player nameLundstram

  10. Squad number14Player nameBurke

  11. Squad number13Player nameLowe

  12. Squad number29Player nameBryan

  13. Squad number16Player nameNorwood

  14. Squad number9Player nameMcBurnie

Chelsea

  1. Squad number11Player nameWerner

  2. Squad number19Player nameMount

  3. Squad number16Player nameMendy

  4. Squad number4Player nameChristensen

  5. Squad number28Player nameAzpilicueta

  6. Squad number20Player nameHudson-Odoi

  7. Squad number24Player nameJames

  8. Squad number17Player nameKovacic

  9. Squad number5Player nameJorginho

  10. Squad number7Player nameKanté

  11. Squad number21Player nameChilwell

  12. Squad number3Player nameAlonso

  13. Squad number18Player nameGiroud

  14. Squad number2Player nameRüdiger

Line-ups

Sheff Utd

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 6BashamBooked at 17mins
  • 12Egan
  • 29BryanSubstituted forSharpat 68′minutes
  • 20Bogle
  • 7Lundstram
  • 16NorwoodSubstituted forBrewsterat 86′minutes
  • 4Fleck
  • 13Lowe
  • 14BurkeSubstituted forMcGoldrickat 62′minutes
  • 9McBurnie

Substitutes

  • 10Sharp
  • 15Jagielka
  • 17McGoldrick
  • 18Foderingham
  • 23Osborn
  • 24Brewster

Chelsea

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 16Mendy
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 4Christensen
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 24James
  • 5Jorginho
  • 17Kovacic
  • 21ChilwellSubstituted forAlonsoat 62′minutes
  • 19Mount
  • 18GiroudSubstituted forHudson-Odoiat 62′minutes
  • 11WernerSubstituted forKantéat 75′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 3Alonso
  • 7Kanté
  • 9Abraham
  • 15Zouma
  • 20Hudson-Odoi
  • 22Ziyech
  • 23Gilmour
  • 33Emerson

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