Manchester United’s Ashley Young has called for greater protection for players after his team’s 2-0 Premier League defeat at Arsenal was disrupted by a fan running on to the pitch and shoving his teammate Chris Smalling.
The incident was one of several involving rogue fans over the weekend, with pitch invasions occurring in the Scottish Premiership, the English Championship (second-tier) as well as the Premier League.
A fan confronted Rangers captain James Tavernier in their 1-1 draw with Hibernian in Scotland on Friday, while Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish was punched in the face by a fan during Sunday’s 1-0 win at derby rivals Birmingham City.
“That’s the third time a fan has managed to get on the pitch (this weekend),” Young told reporters. “What if they are carrying something? The players will be in danger. Bet Now on NaijaBet
“It’s definitely something the FA, the Premier League and Fifa have got to do something about. I don’t know if it’s extra stewarding or what but it’s a concern with the one earlier today and the one on Chrissy. Something has got to be done.” Continue reading “Young called for more protection for players after pitch invasion”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was Wednesday handed a two-match touchline ban and fined £10,000 ($13,000) by the Football Association following an angry clash with a referee.
The Argentine, whose side reached the Champions League quarterfinals with a 1-0 win at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, was sanctioned over the incident involving referee Mike Dean after last month’s 2-1 Premier League loss at Burnley.
It means he will have to sit in the stands when Spurs visit his former club Southampton on Saturday and also for the league game against Liverpool on March 31.
“Mauricio Pochettino has been fined £10,000 and will serve a two-match touchline ban following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing,” said a statement from the FA.
“The Tottenham manager accepted an improper conduct charge from the FA, which resulted from his language and/or behaviour – both on the pitch and in or around the tunnel area – at the end of the game against Burnley on February 23.”
Pochettino, whose side have slipped out of the title picture after dropping eight points in their past three matches, apologised to Dean after the incident, saying he would accept the charge.
Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez is facing up to an eight-week spell on the sidelines due to a knee ligament injury, according to the physiotherapist of the Chilean national team.
Sanchez, 30, injured the medial ligament in his right knee during United’s 3-2 Premier League victory over Southampton on Saturday but is expected to be fit to represent Chile at the Copa American, which starts on June 14, physio Pedro Onate told Chilean newspaper El Mercurio.
Sanchez could return for United’s last two league games against Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City, but any setback in his rehabilitation would mean he has played his last match this season.
United are already without a host of players for Wednesday’s Champions League last 16 second leg at Paris St Germain due to injury, while midfielder Paul Pogba is suspended for the tie.
They trail PSG 2-0 on aggregate after losing the first leg at Old Trafford.
Liverpool will fight to the end to win the Premier League title, left-back Andy Robertson has said after his team were overhauled by defending champions Manchester City at the top of the table following Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Everton.
Liverpool’s fourth draw in six league games saw them slip into second place, a point behind City with nine games remaining, with the Merseyside club having squandered a seven-point lead over the defending champions.
“We will fight for every last ball until the whistle is blown at the end of the season,” Robertson told British media after Liverpool’s latest setback. “We become the chasers now and all the pressure is on Manchester City.”
City have not been at their best in recent weeks but have still maintained momentum, extending their winning run to five league games in a row with consecutive 1-0 wins over West Ham United and Bournemouth in their last two matches.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson reinforced the message that his team were still in the hunt to win a first league title since 1990. Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet
“You’ve got to stay confident, stay positive,” the midfielder said. “We’ll take it game by game and there’s still quite a few games to go, so that’s what we’ll keep doing from now until the end of the season.” Continue reading “Liverpool will keep fighting for the title after derby setback – Robertson”
Pep Guardiola has challenged Riyad Mahrez to play a key role in Manchester City’s quadruple bid as the club’s record signing struggles to live up to his £60 million ($79 million) price tag.
City were far from their imperious best in Wednesday’s narrow 1-0 win over West Ham, but the result kept the champions just one point behind Premier League leaders Liverpool ahead of their trip to Bournemouth on Saturday.
Guardiola has stressed his concerns over fatigue affecting his squad, with last weekend’s League Cup final win over Chelsea coming at a cost as Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte both suffered injuries that will sideline them for several weeks.
The City boss attempted to rotate his squad against West Ham, handing Algeria winger Mahrez just his 11th league start of the season.
However, the former Leicester star turned in a sub-par performance and it was not until he and fellow wide man Leroy Sane were taken off early in the second half – replaced by Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva – that City looked anything like their best. Bet Now on NaijaBet
City have the international break in mid-March to look forward to, and a relatively kind run of domestic league fixtures either side of it. Continue reading “Guardiola challenged Mahrez to step up as City chase quadruple”
Maurizio Sarri insists Kepa Arrizabalaga is still Chelsea’s first choice goalkeeper despite dropping the rebellious Spaniard for Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Tottenham.
Sarri axed Kepa following his star’s astonishing mutiny in the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday when he refused to be substituted after suffering an extra-time injury at Wembley.
With Argentine veteran Willy Caballero in goal while Kepa languished on the bench, Sarri’s side recorded a vital Premier League victory against their London rivals at Stamford Bridge.
Kepa was fined one week’s wages by Chelsea for his behaviour, but Sarri appeared keen to draw a line under the damaging row when he faced the media after the Tottenham game.
Asked if Kepa was still his No 1, Sarri said: “Of course. I think it was the right decision. Kepa made a big mistake, he paid with the club and then he had to pay with the team. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
“Caballero is a good goalkeeper with great experience and he’s a great man for us, he’s very confident on the pitch and in the dressing room. Continue reading “Axed Kepa will remain Chelsea’s first choice goalkeeper – Sarri”
New Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has promised his players there are “special things on the horizon” after watching them beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 in the Premier League on Tuesday.
Rodgers’ appointment was confirmed an hour before kickoff, with the Northern Irishman replacing Claude Puel, who was sacked on Sunday after a seven-game winless run in all competitions.
The former Celtic boss was given a warm reception by Leicester’s fans as he took his seat in the King Power Stadium and watched on from the stands as Demarai Gray and Jamie Vardy both scored for the Foxes.
“He spoke to the lads in the dressing room. He was proud of them and liked the spirit. He promised them there are special things on the horizon,” interim Leicester manager Mike Stowell said. NaijaBet
“The atmosphere has lifted with a win and with the new manager. I’m sure he’ll bring a lot of good things and he’s got a lot of staff with him. It’s exciting times.” Continue reading “Leicester New Manager Rodgers predicts exciting times ahead”
Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku must both take their opportunity to impress as an injury crisis cuts through Manchester United’s squad, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says.
Both players have struggled for form for much of the season, with Sanchez having started just one Premier League match in 2019, and Lukaku having gone 10 matches without scoring.
The two forwards were heralded as major signings when they arrived at Old Trafford, but neither would now be considered an automatic starter.
However, United’s squad is stretched to the limit as they prepare for Wednesday’s Premier League trip to Crystal Palace, with 10 players either unavailable or doubtful because of injury.
That list includes four frontline forwards, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Lingard and Mata both had to be substituted during the first half of Sunday’s 0-0 draw at home to Liverpool, while Rashford played to the finish despite an ankle injury caused by Jordan Henderson’s challenge early on.
France forward Martial missed the game with a groin problem. Continue reading “United Injuries blow open way for Sanchez, Lukaku to shine”
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has been fined a week’s wages by the club after defying manager Maurizio Sarri and refusing to be substituted during the League Cup final on Sunday.
“Although there was a misunderstanding, on reflection, I made a big mistake with how I handled the situation,” Kepa said in a statement on Chelsea’s website which announced the fine.
The club simultaneously published a statement from Sarri in which the manager said the pair had spoken following the row, which occurred in extra time of the match which Manchester City won on penalties.
“He has apologised to me, his teammates and the club,” said Sarri.
“It is up to the club if they want to discipline him according to the club rules, but for me this matter is now closed.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Sarri, who reacted furiously when Kepa refused to be substituted after needing treatment in the closing stages, said the incident had been a “misunderstanding”. Continue reading “Chelsea’s fined Kepa for refusing to be substituted during Cup final”
Gary Neville has warned there will be “mutiny” among the Manchester United supporters if the club hierarchy do not appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the permanent manager at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer’s impact on a United side that was labouring under Jose Mourinho until last December has surpassed expectations, with the team unbeaten in 10 Premier League games and have also secured a place in the FA Cup quarterfinals.
“I don’t think you can give it to someone else, otherwise there would be mutiny,” former United defender Neville, who was Solskjaer’s teammate from 1996 to 2007, said.
“The fans were singing for him. I think it’s very close now – I can’t see the club going away from it.” Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Injuries forced the Norwegian to make all three substitutions before halftime in Sunday’s 0-0 league draw with Liverpool but Old Trafford was in full voice throughout the 90 minutes, singing the name of their manager. Continue reading “Neville support Solskjaek to get United’s permanent job”
Pressure is part and parcel of playing for a team with title ambitions and Liverpool must embrace it as they pursue a first league crown in almost 30 years, forward Mohamed Salah has said.
Liverpool trail leaders Manchester City on goal difference though they have played a game less than the reigning champions. They will reclaim top spot if they avoid defeat at Manchester United on Sunday.
“I said in November that there is pressure and it will be there until the end of the season, because when you play for the Premier League you have to accept that there is pressure,” Salah said.
“When you go home you can take it with you, but it can help you to work harder and focus on your game. Start forecasting your weekend games Now
“At the end of the day you have a target in your mind, you have a dream, you want to win the Premier League. I even said that two years ago when I came – it is a dream to win the Premier League.” Continue reading “Salah backs Liverpool to embrace Premier League title pressure”
Chelsea’s season hangs in the balance after Monday’s FA Cup exit but they must stay calm and recapture their best form in the next two games to turn things around, winger Pedro has said.
The FA Cup holders were beaten 2-0 by Manchester United in the fifth round, piling the pressure on under-fire manager Maurizio Sarri.
With a Europa League clash against Malmo and the League Cup final against Manchester City up next, there is no time to dwell on the disappointment, the Spaniard said.
“The most important thing now is to stay calm, train really hard and recover our best football and our best feeling, because if not we are in trouble,” Pedro told Chelsea’s website. Bet Now on NaijaBet
“There is an important game in the Europa League for us and, after, the final against City.” Continue reading “Chelsea must stay calm to recapture this season – Pedro”
Chelsea acasualtyre making a nasty habit of breaking records for the wrong reasons under Maurizio Sarri, with time running out for the Italian to avoid becoming the latest coaching at Stamford Bridge.
A 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City on Sunday was Chelsea’s heaviest defeat since 1991.
Just 11 days previously, an embarrassing 4-0 loss at Bournemouth had set the bar at a new low in the Roman Abramovich era.
The Russian billionaire, who bought the club in 2003, is not renowned for his patience with managers once the rot sets in and just eight months into a three-year contract, Sarri could soon find himself on the Chelsea scrapheap.
Even winning league titles was not enough to save Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho or Antonio Conte from Abramovich’s firing line and the gulf between Chelsea and City on Sunday showed just how far Sarri’s side are from the Premier League’s best right now. Various champions league odds are available on Site
The scale of the defeat also dropped Chelsea below Arsenal down to sixth on goals scored.
Continue reading “Sarri under firing line for breaking Chelsea’s Unwanted records”
Much has changed at Manchester City in the three seasons since Pep Guardiola took charge tasked with turning the wealth of the club’s Abu Dhabi backers into domination of English football.
However, if Guardiola’s men are to reel in Liverpool to become the first side in a decade to retain the Premier League, Sergio Aguero is likely to be the primary source of goals just as the Argentine has been for the past seven seasons.
Aguero was a City legend from the moment he won the club’s first title in 44 years with virtually the last kick of the campaign in his debut season.
But the 30-year-old is now staking a claim to be regarded as one of the Premier League’s greatest ever imports, particularly if he spearheads a fourth title triumph in eight years in England. Don’t miss today’s games Bet Now on NaijaBet
Already firmly established as City’s all-time leading scorer, Aguero’s hat-trick in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Arsenal was his 14th for the club, his 10th in the league – just one short of Alan Shearer’s all-time record. Continue reading “Aguero still Man City’s main go goal getter”
West Ham have conceded seven goals in their last two matches in all competitions, which does not bode well given they have conceded exactly four goals in each of their last four meetings with Liverpool.
Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League was cut to two points on Sunday after Manchester City beat Arsenal. Pep Guardiola’s side also play on Wednesday and could leapfrog Liverpool into first if Jurgen Klopp’s side slip up here.
West Ham- Scan results have revealed Marko Arnautovic has not broken his foot, but suffered heavy bruising. Monday’s match may come too soon for the forward. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Lukasz Fabianski is also a doubt with an arm injury and West Ham will be desperate to have their first-choice goalkeeper available here.
Manuel Pellegrini would ideally like to make changes but injuries will prevent that from happening. Andy Carroll could replace Arnautovic in the starting XI to face his former club.
Arthur Masuaku will start at left-back once again if Aaron Cresswell does not recover from a hamstring problem in time. Continue reading “Premier League Match Preview: West Ham vs Liverpool”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola feared last week’s defeat at Newcastle United had all but ended their Premier League title hopes but said the defending champions were back in the hunt after Sunday’s 3-1 win over Arsenal.
City are on 59 points from 25 games, two points behind league leaders Liverpool who will face West Ham United tonight and Guardiola was relieved the gap was not wider after Jurgen Klopp’s side drew with Leicester City last week. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 online
“After the Newcastle game everybody was convinced, myself too, that Liverpool were going to beat Leicester and it would be seven points and it would be almost over,” Guardiola said.
“Now we’re on two points and that’s why we don’t have to look too much at the table… I cannot deny we would prefer West Ham to beat Liverpool, but Liverpool would have preferred Arsenal to beat us.” Continue reading “Man City back in title hunt after defeating Arsenal- Guardiola”
Liverpool wasted a chance to take complete control of the Premier League title race as Leicester earned a 1-1 draw against the leaders, while Chelsea’s bid for a top-four finish was rocked by a humiliating 4-0 thrashing at Bournemouth on Wednesday.
After second-placed Manchester City lost at Newcastle on Tuesday, Jurgen Klopp’s side would have moved seven points clear at the top with a win over Leicester.
But Liverpool, chasing a first English title since 1990, had to settle for a frustrating draw that left them five points ahead of champions City.
Following a warm-weather training break in Dubai, Liverpool were ahead in the third minute at snowy Anfield.
Senegal winger Sadio Mane wriggled through the Leicester defence and slotted a clinical finish into the far corner for his 11th goal of the season. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Liverpool’s quickest league goal since April 2016 had the Kop belting out songs of praise for their former manager Rafael Benitez, who masterminded Newcastle’s victory against City. Continue reading “Chelsea humiliated, Liverpool held in title blow”
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has said Eden Hazard is free to leave the club if he wants to but the Italian hopes the forward stays at Stamford Bridge.
Hazard has been linked with a move to Spanish side Real Madrid in recent months and the Belgium international had said in October last year that it was his dream to play for the reigning European champions.
Chelsea are looking to renew his contract, which expires next season, and the west London side risks losing him for free in the close season in 2020 if he does not extend his current deal.
“Eden is 28. If he wants to go, I think he has to go,” Sarri told reporters ahead of today’s Premier League clash at Bournemouth. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“Of course, I hope the opposite, I hope he wants to stay here. He has the potential to be the best player in Europe at the moment.” Continue reading “Sarri gives Hazard permission to leave Chelsea if he wants”
Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he will not be satisfied with a top-four finish in the Premier League as he targets success in two cup competitions in the second half of the season.
Sixth-placed United have won all six league games since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho to close the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea from 11 points to three, while they are still in the FA Cup and Champions League contentions.
“For Man United, you should always aim to win the league,” he told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s league clash against Burnley.
“We can’t do that this year, but we have to get back to the challenge. We’ve got the Champions League, we’ve got the FA Cup, we can’t just say we’ve got top four and that is it.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
United’s last trophy – the Europa League – came in 2017 but they have not won the Premier League since former coach Alex Ferguson’s final season at Old Trafford in 2012-13. Continue reading “Winning Trophies main target for Man United than top four – Solskjaer”
Chelsea signed Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus until the end of the season on Wednesday as boss Maurizio Sarri looks to ignite his spluttering attack.
Higuain will be reunited with Sarri, who managed the 31-year-old at Napoli and made him his top target in the January transfer window.
After spending the first half of the season in a disappointing loan spell at AC Milan, Higuain admitted he was keen to move to Stamford Bridge.
“When the opportunity to join Chelsea presented itself I had to take it,” he told Chelsea’s website.
“It’s a team I’ve always liked that has a lot of history, a wonderful stadium and they play in the Premier League, a league I’ve always wanted to play in.
“I now hope I can give back that trust Chelsea have shown me out on the pitch. I can’t wait to start and I hope to adapt as soon as possible.” Continue reading “Higuain reunite with Sarri in Chelsea on loan until end of the season”
Marcos Alonso has challenged his Chelsea team-mates to prove they are motivated to arrest their alarming slide in Thursday’s League Cup semi-final showdown against Tottenham.
Furious with the latest in a growing list of punchless displays, Blues boss Maurizio Sarri launching a scathing attack on his Chelsea stars after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.
Questioning their mental strength and revealing he finds it “extremely difficult” to motivate his players, Sarri risked alienating a squad that had already rebelled against his predecessor Antonio Conte last season.
The Italian’s blast was entirely understandable after so many tepid efforts from Chelsea this term. Bet Now NaijaBet
But Sarri must shoulder some of the blame himself after making a pair of tactical decisions that have contributed to Chelsea’s malaise. Continue reading “Chelsea must hit back in Spurs EFL Clash”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is “optimistic” his team can beat Chelsea to reach the League Cup final despite injuries to Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
The 46-year-old Argentine remains focused and upbeat even though Kane likely to be missing until March while Alli is being assessed after going off late in the 2-1 win over Fulham on Sunday with a hamstring problem.
Pochettino is also without South Korean forward Son Heung-min, who is away on Asian Cup duty.
Pressure is growing on the manager and his talented young Spurs side to translate attractive football into silverware – a loss in the 2015 League Cup final and two FA Cup semifinal defeats have led to questions over their mental strength.
Spurs take a 1-0 lead into Thursday’s second leg at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, who beat them in the League Cup final and the 2017 FA Cup semifinal. Naija and Bet
“I am so optimistic,” Pochettino was quoted as saying -. “We are going to prepare for Chelsea, try to find solutions. Try to be solid, aggressive, offensive and keep our identity. Continue reading “Mauricio Pochettino remains positive despite injury blows”
Marcus Rashford was in danger of seeing his dream of becoming Manchester United’s star striker turn to dust but the England forward is flourishing again after escaping Jose Mourinho’s shackles.
Three years after exploding onto the Premier League scene, Rashford marked his 150th United appearance on Saturday with a memorable goal that underlined his vast potential.
Smoothly turning away from Brighton’s Pascal Gross, Rashford curled a fine shot into the top corner as United sealed a seventh successive win since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as interim manager.
Solskjaer’s arrival in December to replace the sacked Mourinho has proved a catalyst for United’s surge, and Rashford has been at the heart of their success.
Rashford has scored five times in six league matches following the Norwegian’s appointment, earning comparisons from his manager with former United stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. Place bet on Live games 24/7 on NaijaBet
“Definitely he can be absolutely top-class. He is only 21 but the maturity he is showing at times is more than 21,” Solskjaer said when asked if Rashford was capable of emulating Ronaldo and Rooney. Continue reading “Rashford comes in from the cold at Manchester United”
Bernardo Silva says Manchester City’s squad is approaching full strength at the right time as they mount a four-pronged trophy assault
Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy have missed large chunks of the campaign through injury, while David Silva, Fernandinho, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan have had spells out recently.
But the Premier League champions are now getting close to full strength, with Mendy the only key player sidelined with a serious injury, and there are hopes he could be back in action before the end of the month.
City illustrated the depth of their squad as they named De Bruyne, Aguero and Riyad Mahrez on the bench for Monday’s clash with Wolves and still eased to a 3-0 win.
“It feels like we have all the squad, which is important because we need all of them,” said playmaker Silva. “It is good finally to be back together.
“Of course until this moment of the season we have had so many injured players, we never played with the whole squad. To have almost the whole squad available is fantastic for us and it is very good to try and go for all the competitions.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Silva, 24, has no issue with the fact that means increased competition for his own place. Continue reading “Silva welcomes the return of Man City big guys”
Chelsea are facing disciplinary action over alleged anti-Semitic chanting by their supporters during a Europa League match against Vidi FC in Budapest last month, Uefa said in a statement on Tuesday.
The European soccer body said it had completed an investigation and that “in relation to the alleged racist incidents that occurred at the…. match, Uefa has announced that disciplinary proceedings have been instigated against Chelsea FC.”
The hearing will take place on February 28., Uefa added.
Media reported some Chelsea supporters chanted offensive songs about Tottenham Hotspur fans early in their 2-2 draw in Hungary.
Chelsea issued a statement following the game describing anti-Semitism as “abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans.” Continue reading “Chelsea face Uefa disciplinary action over racist chanting”