West Ham midfielder Robert Snodgrass charged by Football Association

West Ham midfielder Robert Snodgrass has been charged with allegedly abusing anti-doping officials, the Football Association has said. The alleged incident took place at the Hammers’ training ground on 6 February. The 31-year-old Scotland international, who faces a one-match ban and an £8,000 fine, has until 18 March to respond to the charge. “Robert Snodgrass has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3(1),” the FA said in a statement on Monday. “It is alleged the player used abusive and/or insulting words towards UK anti-doping officials who were visiting…

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“We miss Cristiano,” Luka Modric admits Real miss Juventus talisman

Real Madrid’s failure to replace Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals has contributed to their struggles this season, says midfielder Luka Modric. Real, chasing a fourth European title in a row, host Ajax in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday having won 2-1 in Amsterdam. But they come into the game on the back of three consecutive home defeats – including two by Barcelona last week. “Given what he did for us and this club, we miss Cristiano,” said Modric. Ronaldo was top scorer, or joint top scorer,…

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Alexis Sanchez suffers suspected ligament damage in Manchester United win

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he fears Alexis Sanchez has suffered ligament damage in his knee after he was forced to substitute the forward in Manchester United’s win over Southampton on Saturday. Sanchez went down following a collision in the Saints’ penalty area, and was forced off shortly afterwards, with Diogo Dalot replacing him. “It might be his ligaments. We’ll do the scan tomorrow. Hopefully, it won’t be too bad but we won’t know until we’ve done the scans,” Solskjaer said. Sanchez’s injury could force him to miss two of United’s biggest…

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Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos gets two-game European ban for ‘deliberate booking’

Sergio Ramos has been given a two-game ban by Uefa “for clearly receiving a yellow card on purpose” during Real Madrid’s Champions League tie at Ajax. Ramos fouled Kasper Dolberg in the 89th minute with Real 2-1 up, meaning he is suspended for the last-16 second leg. The Spain defender, 32, told reporters afterwards he would “be lying if I said I didn’t force [the booking]”. Uefa opened an investigation and gave him an additional one-match ban for obtaining a booking deliberately. By picking up a suspension at this stage, Ramos reduced…

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Fulham sack manager Claudio Ranieri with club 19th in Premier League

Fulham have sacked manager Claudio Ranieri, with Scott Parker taking caretaker charge of the London club who are 19th in the Premier League. The Italian’s last game was Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat by Southampton, which left the Cottagers 10 points from safety with 10 league games remaining. Ranieri, 67, took over in November after the sacking of Slavisa Jokanovic. He was in charge for 16 league games but won only three, including a 3-2 win over Southampton in his first match. Ranieri led Leicester City to a miraculous Premier League title triumph in…

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Sergio Ramos charged with getting booked deliberately against Ajax

Sergio Ramos has been charged by Uefa with “receiving a yellow card on purpose” in Real Madrid’s Champions League last-16 first leg with Ajax. Ramos fouled Kasper Dolberg in the 89th minute with Real leading 2-1, meaning he is suspended for the second leg. Uefa opened an investigation into the Spaniard when, after the match, he told reporters he would “be lying if I said I didn’t force [the booking]”. The case will be dealt with on 28 February. By picking up a suspension at this stage Ramos reduces the risk of…

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Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho to miss five vital games

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed that Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte could miss the club’s next five games through injury. Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho hobbled off late into City’s Carabao Cup final win over Chelsea after Laporte, 24, was withdrawn at half-time with a hamstring problem. And Guardiola has now suggested that he will wait until after the international break to bring back the injured duo, meaning they would miss games against West Ham, Bournemouth, Watford, Schalke, and Swansea City. “We were without Gabriel and John Stones, and they are still out, and now we are without…

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Leicester appoint Brendan Rodgers as new manager

Leicester City have announced the appointment of Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers as their new manager in the wake of Claude Puel’s sacking on Sunday. The Northern Irishman has signed a contract until June 2022 after leaving his job at the Scottish champions. It marks a Premier League return for Rodgers, who previously managed Liverpool and Swansea City. “I’ll give my life to make the supporters proud of their club,” Rodgers said. Neil Lennon replaces Rodgers at Celtic as interim manager until the end of the season. Rodgers will be joined at Leicester…

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Former Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby retires after injury-plagued career

Former Arsenal and France midfielder Abou Diaby announced his retirement from professional football on Monday after an injury-plagued career. Diaby, 32, last played competitively in August 2016, when he lined up for Marseille in Ligue 1. However, injury woes disrupted and cut short his career, which included nine and a half seasons at Arsenal – the club he arrived at from Auxerre in January 2006. “I put an end to my professional career,” Diaby told RMC Sport. “It was time. For a number of years, it has been difficult for me to come back. I had a…

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Kepa Arrizabalaga apologises and is fined by Chelsea for Wembley brouhaha

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has been fined a week’s wages and apologised for refusing to be substituted during Sunday’s Carabao Cup final defeat by Manchester City. The Spaniard refused to be replaced by Willy Caballero at Wembley. “Although there was a misunderstanding, on reflection, I made a big mistake with how I handled the situation,” Kepa said in a Chelsea statement. Manager Maurizio Sarri said he and Kepa had since had “a good conversation”. Kepa, the club’s record £71m signing, defied Sarri’s attempt to substitute him for Caballero before Manchester City won…

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Mike Dean removed as fourth official in Spurs game over Pochettino incident

Mike Dean will no longer act as fourth official for Wednesday’s Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham after being confronted by Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino on Saturday. The Argentine walked over to Dean after the 2-1 defeat at Burnley and reacted angrily towards the referee. The body responsible for the appointment of officials decided it was best for Dean to be taken off the game. Andre Marriner will act as fourth official at Chelsea instead. Professional Game Match Officials Limited has moved Dean so he will instead be on the touchline…

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Mauricio Pochettino charged with improper conduct by FA

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association for his behaviour at the end of the 2-1 defeat at Burnley. The Argentine angrily confronted referee Mike Dean and also argued with the fourth official during the match. A statement from the FA read: “Mauricio Pochettino has been charged with two breaches of FA Rule E3 following the game against Burnley on Saturday [23 February 2019]. “It is alleged the Tottenham Hotspur manager’s language and/or behaviour at the end of the fixture – both on…

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Leicester City sack manager Claude Puel 16 months into tenure

Leicester City have sacked manager Claude Puel after 16 months in charge. City were beaten 4-1 at home by Crystal Palace on Saturday in what proved to be Puel’s final game. Puel, 57, leaves the club 12th in the Premier League having lost five of their last six league games. Leicester City Football Club has today (Sunday) parted company with Claude Puel, who leaves his position as First Team Manager with immediate effect.https://t.co/VoZnGBJ8Up — Leicester City (@LCFC) February 24, 2019 The Frenchman guided Leicester to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League…

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Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette suspended for Europa League tie against Rennes

Alexandre Lacazette will miss Arsenal’s Europa League last-16 tie with Rennes after being given a three-match ban. The France striker, 27, was sent off for elbowing Aleksandar Filipovic in the first leg of Arsenal’s tie with Bate Borisov. Lacazette served the first match of the ban in Thursday’s second leg but will miss the Rennes tie after receiving a further two-game ban from Uefa. Arsenal beat Bate 3-1 on aggregate to progress after losing the first leg.

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Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte extends contract to 2025

Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte has signed a two-year contract extension at the Premier League champions, taking his deal to 2025. The French centre-back joined City from Spanish La Liga club Athletic Bilbao for a club record £57m in January 2018. He's staying! 🙌 🔥 @Laporte 🔥 🔵 #mancity pic.twitter.com/ozEJrkfCGC — Manchester City (@ManCity) February 22, 2019 Laporte, 24, has established himself at the heart of Pep Guardiola’s defence, making 36 appearances in all competitions this season. “This club offers me everything I need to improve my game,” he said.…

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Europa League draw: Arsenal face Rennes and Chelsea play Dynamo Kiev

Arsenal will play French side Rennes and Chelsea face Ukraine’s Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 of the Europa League. Rennes are 11th in Ligue 1 while Kiev are second behind Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian Premier League. The Premier League clubs avoided Serie A’s second and third-placed sides Napoli, who face FC Salzburg, and Inter Milan, who play Eintracht Frankfurt. Sevilla face Slavia Prague and Celtic’s conquerors Valencia play FC Krasnodar. Arsenal and Chelsea will both play at home in the first leg on 7 March with the return games a…

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp fined £45,000 by FA for comments about referee

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been fined £45,000 after accepting a Football Association charge for comments he made about referee Kevin Friend earlier this month. He said Friend’s performance during the 1-1 draw with West Ham was affected by the decision to allow Liverpool’s goal. “I heard our goal was offside. I’m pretty sure the ref knew it,” he said. The FA said Klopp was charged as the comments “questioned the integrity of the referee and/or implied bias”. Sadio Mane put the Reds ahead in the first half of the match on…

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Chelsea given two transfer-window ban after breaching FIFA rules

Chelsea have been banned from signing players for two transfer windows after being found guilty of breaching rules about signing minors by FIFA. The Premier League club have also been fined more than £460,000, while the FA face a £390,000 sanction. The FA will appeal the fine, citing “concerns” with FIFA’s disciplinary processes. The club were found guilty of 29 incidences of breaching article 19, which relates to the transfer of players aged under 18. FIFA have given the club 90 days to rectify the situation concerning the players signed.…

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Chelsea’s Gianfranco Zola back in hospital after gallstone surgery complications

Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola had to be readmitted to hospital after suffering complications from gallstone surgery. Zola initially had surgery last week and was not on the bench for Monday’s FA Cup fifth-round defeat at the hands of Manchester United. Maurizio Sarri’s assistant had been expected to return for Thursday’s Europa League last-32 second-leg clash with Malmo but he was not alongside his fellow Italian on the bench at Stamford Bridge. The club is not putting a timescale on his return to training and as part of Chelsea’s matchday…

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Sadio Mane’s house burgled while on Champions League duty for Liverpool

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane’s house was burgled while he was playing in the Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich on Tuesday. Items including watches, mobile phones and car keys were stolen. The incident happened at Mane’s house in Allerton, south Liverpool between 18:00 and 23:45 GMT – while the 26-year-old was at Anfield. No-one was in the property at the time. Forensic examinations are underway and a police investigation is ongoing. This is the second instance of Mane’s home being burgled while playing for Liverpool in the Champions League.…

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Tottenham’s Harry Kane could face Burnley after ankle injury

Tottenham have been handed a boost after striker Harry Kane returned to training ahead of schedule in his recovery from an ankle problem. The England captain, 25, injured an ankle in the defeat by Manchester United in January. It was initially thought he would not be fit to train until early March but could be set to feature at Burnley this weekend. In Kane’s absence, Spurs have won all four league games and beat Borussia Dortmund 3-0 in the Champions League However, they lost to Chelsea in the EFL Cup…

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Sami Khedira set to miss a month with heart problem

Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira is expected to be out for about a month after having treatment for an irregular heartbeat. Khedira, 31, had further tests after being ruled out of Wednesday’s Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid because of atrial arrhythmia. The condition causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. It can lead to issues including dizziness, shortness of breath and tiredness. The Germany international tweeted: “Everything went perfectly well and I will be able to get back to work after a short rest. Thank you so much for all your…

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Manchester clubs drawn apart in FA Cup last eight

Manchester rivals United and City have been drawn apart in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup. United defeated holders Chelsea in Monday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie and will face Wolves at the Molineaux. Premier League champions Manchester City are at Championship side Swansea City, with Millwall – another second-tier side – at home to Brighton. Watford host Crystal Palace in the other last-eight tie. The quarter-final games will be played from 15-18 March, with winning clubs receiving £720,000 in prize money. FA Cup quarter-final draw in full Swansea City v Manchester…

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New four-team Supercopa de Espana set to be played abroad

The Supercopa de Espana – Spain’s version of the Community Shield – is set to take on a four-team format and be played abroad. The 2018 edition between Barcelona and Sevilla was played as a one-off game in Morocco, having previously been staged over two legs in Spain. The new proposal would see the Copa del Rey finalists and top two in La Liga meet in a four-team tournament. Spanish football bosses hope the new format would generate more interest. “In this way, we get the brand of the Spanish…

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Chelsea fans turn on Sarri as manager clings onto job after FA Cup exit

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is under pressure from the fans after the club exited the FA Cup in a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United. Sarri has overseen a poor run of form from the Blues which has seen them lose three of their last four games – with their only wins coming against Malmo and Premier League basement side Huddersfield. The Blues have been on the receiving end of a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Bournemouth and a 6-0 hammering by Manchester City last weekend. And the frustration from the stands over the abysmal…

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