Arsenal’s Rob Holding ruled out for up to nine months with knee injury

Arsenal centre-back Rob Holding has been ruled out for up to nine months after he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Wednesday. The 23-year-old suffered the injury in the Gunners’ 2-2 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Holding had made 16 appearances for Unai Emery’s side this season. “Rob will undergo surgery in the coming days and rehabilitation is expected to take between six to nine months,” said an Arsenal statement. “Everyone at the club will now be working as hard as we can to…

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Paul Clement sacked as manager by Championship strugglers Reading

Reading have confirmed the sacking of Paul Clement as manager after a dismal start to the season. Clement, who was appointed in March and helped Reading escape relegation from the Championship last season has led his team to just four wins from 20 matches this campaign to leave the club just above the relegation zone on goal difference. “Owners Mr Yongge Dai and Ms Xiu Li Dai have made the difficult decision that the time is now right to make a change,” read a statement on the club’s website on Thursday. “We would like to…

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AC Milan Keeping Champions League Dreams Alive

Even though AC Milan have gone through a bad spell in the few past seasons. The once Italian giants are back to claim their spot in Europe. Their brave and fierce performances have led them to become competitive in the Serie A. Numbers don’t lie mind you, so that means from where they are this season it clearly shows great progress. This is actually brilliant compared to the other previous seasons. According to some USA sports betting sites, AC Milan is currently sitting on the fourth position in the Serie…

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The light from Wolves’ bright start fades away

A run of six games without a win for Wolves has created great concern for their manager, Nuno Espirito Santo.  He has been unable to prevent a decline in his team’s form, which begun with a 2 – 0 home loss to Watford.  Since that occasion, Wolves have secured only one point from a possible 15.  It was from a 1 – 1 draw with Arsenal, during which many of the qualities that defined their bright start to the 2018 – 2019 English Premier League season were evident. Indicative of…

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Emery’s Arsenal gradually click into gear

Successive finishes in the English Premier League outside the top – four indicated that there was the need for change at Arsenal.  Their supporters, because of too many inept performances, especially defensively, had lost belief, faith and trust in Arsene Wenger.  To succeed him, there were many candidates listed in the betting at ladbrokes, including former players Mikel Arteta and Patrick Viera or Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers. Instead of any of them, the challenge of replacing Wenger was assigned to Unai Emery. The scale of the job ahead of him, to make…

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Southampton appoint Ralph Hasenhuttl as manager

Southampton have confirmed the appointment of Ralph Hasenhuttl as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal. The Austrian takes over from Mark Hughes, who was sacked on Monday. Hasenhuttl will attend the match at Tottenham on Wednesday night but will officially take charge on Thursday and his first game will be at Cardiff on Saturday. The coach Kelvin Davis, who is in interim charge, will be his assistant. Hasenhuttl, 52, a former Austria international, had been out of work after leaving RB Leipzig in May. His previous coaching jobs include a spell…

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Luka Modric wins Ballon d’or to end Ronaldo and Messi dominance

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade. Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final. Former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win it. Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, came second. Barcelona forward Messi finished fifth, with…

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Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta signs new contract until 2022

Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has signed a new four-year deal, extending his stay at the club to 2022. The 29-year-old Spain international has made 298 appearances since arriving from Ligue 1 side Marseille in 2012, in a transfer package worth an initial £6m. Azpilicueta, who has won the Premier League twice with Chelsea, has captained the Stamford Bridge side in the league this season. Delighted to be a blue until 2022. Since I arrived in 2012, my desire has been always to give my best and fight for this club, and…

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Sergio Aguero suffers injury setback in training and misses Watford trip

Sergio Aguero suffered an abductor injury in training on Monday, ruling him out of Manchester City’s game at Watford on Tuesday night and making the striker a doubt for Saturday’s trip to Chelsea. The 30-year-old was rested by Pep Guardiola for last Saturday’s visit of Bournemouth because of muscle fatigue. After taking a full part in training with the first-team squad on Sunday Agüero suffered the muscle injury during Monday’s session. He will have tests to determine whether he can play against Chelsea. It is thought the injury may sideline him…

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Jurgen Klopp charged with misconduct for on-pitch celebration in derby win

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association over his celebratory pitch invasion in Sunday’s Merseyside derby. Klopp sprinted onto the Anfield pitch to embrace goalkeeper Alisson following Divock Origi’s dramatic 96th minute winner against Everton. He later admitted his reaction was “not cool” and claimed to have apologised to Marco Silva on the final whistle. The Everton manager countered there had been no apology from Klopp but he may have reacted the same under similar circumstances. Following receipt of referee Chris Kavanagh’s match report on…

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England drawn to face Netherlands in Nations League semi-final

England will play the Netherlands in the semi-final of the Uefa Nations League on 6 June 2019 at Estadio D Afonso Henriques in Guimaraes. Hosts Portugal face Switzerland on 5 June at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao. The final will be played on 9 June in Porto, with the third-place play-off game taking place the same day. Uefa confirmed Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology will be used in the competition. The winner of the tournament will receive £6.67m in prize money while the fourth-placed nation will earn around £4m. Gareth Southgate’s side…

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Southampton sack Mark Hughes after slow start to season

Southampton have sacked manager Mark Hughes, the club confirmed on Monday afternoon. Hughes leaves the club after winning just one of 14 matches so far this season. “We would like to express our thanks to Mark and his staff for all of their efforts during their time at St Mary’s,” a statement read. The search for a new manager to take the club forward is already underway. “First team assistant coach Kelvin Davis will lead the team for Wednesday’s Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.” #SaintsFC can today confirm it…

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Uefa announces introduction of ‘Europa League 2’ from 2021

A third European club competition with the working title ‘Europa League 2’ will be introduced from 2021. One English team will enter the play-offs of the new tournament, while Scottish sides may miss out on Europa League places in a reshuffle. As part of Uefa’s 2021-2024 cycle, the Europa League will be halved in size to 32 teams with an extra play-off round between the group stage and last 16. The new tournament will be played on Thursdays alongside the Europa League. Every country’s champions will still enter the Champions…

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Tottenham face FA inquiry after fan throws banana skin at Aubameyang during fiery derby

Tottenham face a Football Association investigation after one of their supporters was arrested for throwing a banana skin at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during Arsenal’s 4-2 derby win at the Emirates Stadium. The Arsenal striker had scored the first of his two goals from the penalty spot when he ran to celebrate in front of the travelling supporters. A host of projectiles were thrown at him, with still photography showing that a banana skin was among them. CCTV footage was used to confirm the identify of the fan who threw it and he was arrested. The…

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Respect shown to UEFA’s Europa League by British clubs

In the fifth round of group stage matches of the 2018 – 2019 UEFA Europa League, Britain’s four participants gave a strong showing by not conceding a single goal in the competition. It is secondary to UEFA’s Champions League and widely regarded as being less prestigious. Such a view is often reflected in team selection for UEFA Europa League games. They can be seen by many managers as an opportunity to use either players on the periphery of their squads or youngsters. Not all choose to, instead they field the…

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Klopp stays through several different Everton managers

The first Merseyside derby of the 2015 – 2016 English Premier League season. It was to be the final game of Brendan Rodgers’ reign as manager of Liverpool. Ahead because of a Danny Ings goal, Romelu Lukaku equalised for Everton to earn a 1 – 1 draw. The result left Liverpool in 10th place, which prompted a decision to replace Rodgers with Jurgen Klopp. The German’s first counterpart at Everton was Roberto Martinez. They met for the one and only time in a Merseyside derby on 20 April 2016. It…

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Postponed Copa Libertadores final to be played at Santiago Bernabeu

Conmebol has confirmed that the postponed second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors will be played at the Bernabéu stadium, more than 6,000 miles away from the original venue, on 9 December. Fans of both sides will be given an equal allocation of tickets. Argentina’s two biggest teams drew the first leg 2-2 at Boca’s ground and were due to play the second match in South America’s equivalent of the Champions League final at River’s El Monumental stadium on Saturday. However, three Boca players, including the former Manchester…

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Manchester United activate one-year extension on David de Gea contract

Manchester United have triggered the one-year option on goalkeeper David de Gea’s contract to avoid any uncertainty over his future heading into the January transfer window, according to a report in the BBC. His contract was due to end in the summer, allowing him to talk to overseas clubs from 1 January and sign a pre-contract agreement. However, United have extended his deal for another year. As manager Jose Mourinho confirmed after Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Young Boys, United are keen to hold on to the keeper, who has won…

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Silva continues to transform Goodison Park into a fortress

For a fourth consecutive home game, Everton won as Marco Silva’s transformation of Goodison Park into a fortress continued.  A solitary goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson sufficed for his team to beat Cardiff 1 – 0. Although Everton dominated possession, they had to be patient for their goal.  It arrived shortly before the hour mark as Sigurdsson finished calmly. He did so to score his first home goal since a 3 – 0 win over Fulham.  That victory was the beginning of a fine run of form for Everton. They have won their…

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Maddison’s misjudgement tarnishes growing reputation

A moment of mindlessness. The anticipation from James Maddison was that Brighton & Hove Albion’s defender Shane Duffy would foul him. To try to win his team a penalty, he fell to the ground without being touched. Referee Chris Kavanagh was not fooled.  He immediately saw that Maddison was being deceitful and issued the player a second yellow card of the game.  It was necessary for Leicester City to play for over an hour with 10 men because of Maddison’s dismissal. It has created unwanted attention for him which contrasts sharply with…

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Arsenal’s Europa League match with Vorskla Poltava in doubt after venue switch

Arsenal’s Europa League match against Vorskla Poltava on Thursday is in doubt after the Ukrainian side said they could not guarantee they would be able to fulfil the fixture after a late venue change. Thursday’s fixture was moved from Poltava to Kiev on Tuesday after the Ukrainian parliament voted to introduce martial law in parts of the country, not including either city. Vorskla vice president Oleh Lysak says the club hasn’t received confirmation from the Olympic Stadium that it will host the game. There are also unresolved questions about how…

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Chelsea’s Eden Hazard to miss Europa league clash

Chelsea will be without Eden Hazard as they look to secure first place in their Europa League group. The Blues qualified for the last 32 with a 1-0 win against Bate Borisov earlier this month so there is no need to risk the Belgian forward, who has an ankle injury. Victor Moses – who has only played 176 minutes all season – is out with a back injury. Chelsea need a point from their final two games to win Group L. Hazard should be fit to face Fulham on Sunday but…

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Robbie Keane announces retirement from football

Republic of Ireland’s record goalscorer Robbie Keane has officially confirmed he has hung up his boots days after being unveiled as part of Mick McCarthy’s management team. The 38-year-old netted 68 goals in 146 appearances for the Boys in Green and enjoyed a decorated career that included spells at Wolves, Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur (twice), Liverpool, Celtic, West Ham, LA Galaxy, Aston Villa and most recently, ATK in India. In a prolific club career, Keane scored 325 goals in 737 club appearances. The Dubliner was confirmed as…

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Borussia Dortmund bus attacker sentenced to 14 years in prison

A German court has convicted a man on 28 counts of attempted murder during last year’s attack on the Borussia Dortmund bus. The defendant, identified only as Sergej W in line with German privacy rules, was sentenced to 14 years by the Dortmund state court on Tuesday. The Dortmund defender Marc Bartra and a police officer were injured when three explosions hit the team’s bus as it left a hotel for a Champions League home game on 11 April 2017. Prosecutors alleged that W took out a loan to place a bet that Dortmund’s…

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LA Galaxy release Ashley Cole as contract expires

Former England left-back Ashley Cole has been released by LA Galaxy after his contract at the Major League Soccer club expired. The club decided not to exercise an option to re-sign Cole, 37, along with seven other players. The former Arsenal and Chelsea defender joined LA Galaxy in 2016 and was named captain in March, two months after signing a one-year contract extension. Cole scored three goals in 86 appearances for the club, who narrowly missed out on progression to the MLS playoffs this season. Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was one of…

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