Shaw ‘piegate’ resignation ‘a nightmare’ says Sutton boss

Posted by Warren Fyfe on February 22, 2017 with No Comments
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Wayne Shaw

Wayne Shaw has stated that he didn’t place a bet himself

Sutton United’s FA Cup fairytale turned into a “nightmare” with the resignation of ‘piegate’ keeper Wayne Shaw on Tuesday, says manager Paul Doswell.

Shaw was seen to eat a pie on the bench during Monday’s FA Cup loss to Arsenal, after a bookmaker offered odds of 8-1 that he would do so on camera.

The Gambling Commission and Football Association are investigating if there was a breach of betting regulations.

“He’s made a bad error of judgement,” Doswell told BBC Radio 5 live.

Shaw, 45, resigned from the National League side less than 24 hours after the cup tie.

“I spoke to him on the phone and he was crying. In the end we had to almost stop talking to each other because it was that type of conversation,” added Doswell.

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Sutton substitute keeper enjoys in-game pie

“We are going to be investigated, and it has turned into a bit of a nightmare.”

The bookmaker involved tweeted that it had paid out a “five-figure sum” on the bet.

Shaw, who first joined Sutton in 2009, said he had been aware of the betting promotion before the match but insisted the incident in which he ate the pie – which he later insisted was a pasty – was “a bit of fun”.

BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker claimed the incident showed “football has lost its sense of humour”.

But Doswell said that while he had sympathy for Shaw, he also felt he had been “naive”.


Wayne Rooney not guaranteed to stay at Manchester United, says Jose Mourinho

Posted by Warren Fyfe on February 22, 2017 with No Comments
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Wayne Rooney

Rooney has been at Manchester United since 2004

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has not ruled out the prospect of Wayne Rooney leaving the club this month.

The 31-year-old England forward, who scored his 250th United goal last month to become the club’s record scorer, has been linked with a move to China in recent weeks.

The Chinese Super League’s transfer window shuts next week and Mourinho was asked if the club captain would still be at Old Trafford by then.

“You have to ask him,” Mourinho said.

“Of course I can’t guarantee [he will be here]. I can’t guarantee that I’m here next week, how can I guarantee that a player is here next season?”

  • Rooney to miss Saint-Etienne trip

Rooney is contracted to United until 2019 and had previously said he was committed to seeing out his deal.

He has not been a first-team regular this season and has scored just five goals.

However, Mourinho said in October that Rooney was “going nowhere” and reiterated on Tuesday that he did not want him to leave.

“I would never push – or try to push – a legend of this club to another destiny,” added the Portuguese coach.

“So you have to ask him if he sees himself staying in the club for the rest of his career or if he sees himself moving.

“It is not a question for me because I am happy to have him. I don’t want him to leave.”


BBC Sport’s Simon Stone

There is a clear sense now that time is ticking down on Rooney’s Manchester United career.

Less than a month after Rooney eclipsed Sir Bobby Charlton to become the club’s record goalscorer, manager Jose Mourinho delivered the kind of response he came out with when he was asked about the futures of Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay during the January transfer window.

Schneiderlin and Depay ended up leaving for Everton and Lyon respectively. And at 31, with 549 United appearances and 250 goals to his name, Rooney seems destined to experience the same fate.

It might not happen now. Rooney is known to be coveted by the Chinese Super League, who would offer vast sums to get the England captain to join Carlos Tevez and Oscar in the exodus east, but twice over the past few days I have been told such a move before the 28 February deadline is unlikely.

However, the end is in sight and Rooney’s camp will doubtless spend the next few months exploring options.

Rooney has the carrot of knowing if he can remain in the England fold until next year’s World Cup, he is likely to become his country’s most-capped player, in addition to its record goalscorer.

Whether he can do that from China is doubtful, and though former team-mate David Beckham eked out the end of his England days in Major League Soccer with LA Galaxy, it is by no means certain Gareth Southgate would offer the same opportunity to a player who has plenty of competition for his number 10 role.

This is the reality that is likely to focus minds because, four years after it seemed to be happening under Sir Alex Ferguson, it now seems a question of when, not if, Rooney leaves Old Trafford for good.

Martial determined to stay at Old Trafford


Man City rally to beat Monaco 5-3 in epic first leg

Posted by Warren Fyfe on February 22, 2017 with No Comments
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Manchester City

Leroy Sane scored his fourth goal of the season for Manchester City to put the hosts two goals clear

Manchester City came from behind twice to secure a crucial two-goal advantage after a classic Champions League last-16 tie against Monaco at Etihad Stadium.

On a night of fluctuating fortunes and thrilling football, Pep Guardiola’s side were on the precipice in this tournament before dragging themselves back to ensure they go into the return in Monaco with a priceless lead.

Raheem Sterling gave Manchester City a 26th-minute advantage after fine work by Leroy Sane but Monaco proved their threat to lead before half-time through Radamel Falcao’s header and Kylian Mbappe’s powerful rising drive.

Falcao then saw a penalty saved by Willy Caballero just after the break before Monaco keeper Danijel Subasic’s blunder gave Sergio Aguero his first goal.

Colombian Falcao, back to his best after failed loan spells at Manchester United and Chelsea, then lifted a brilliant chip over Caballero to put Monaco back in front – but this was the signal for City to launch an enthralling attacking salvo.

Aguero – who felt he was denied a first-half penalty after he tumbled under a challenge from Subasic – volleyed in another equaliser before John Stones made amends for poor defending in the build-up to Falcao’s second by putting City ahead on the night with a sliding finish at the far post after 77 minutes.

Man of the match Sane handed City that two-goal cushion with a simple tap-in from Aguero’s pass eight minutes from time – but Monaco’s vibrant attacking ambition means this tie is far from over.

Relive Manchester City’s entertaining win against Monaco

Indispensable Aguero


Saudi-bound Clattenburg to referee West Brom v Bournemouth

Posted by Warren Fyfe on February 20, 2017 with No Comments
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Mark Clattenburg

Clattenburg had been expected to leave his role before the next round of Premier League fixtures

Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has been named among the match officials for this weekend’s fixtures.

Clattenburg, 41, is to become the new head of referees in Saudi Arabia and was expected to leave immediately.

However, the Premier League has confirmed he will take charge of Saturday’s match between West Brom and Bournemouth at The Hawthorns.

Clattenburg, a Fifa referee since 2006, is widely considered to be one of the best officials in world football.

He took charge of the Euro 2016 final, the Champions League final and the FA Cup final last season.

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Women’s FA Cup: Arsenal Ladies to host Tottenham in fifth round

Posted by Warren Fyfe on February 20, 2017 with No Comments
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Arsenal Ladies

Arsenal Ladies won the Women’s FA Cup for a record 14th time in 2016

Holders Arsenal Ladies will host Tottenham in the fifth round of the Women’s FA Cup when top-flight sides enter at the last-16 stage.

Spurs, one of only two sides from below the Women’s Super League left in this season’s competition knocked out Brighton of WSL 2 on Sunday.

There will also be a Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, plus two all-WSL 1 matches.

All the fifth-round ties are scheduled to be played on Sunday, 19 March.

Champions Manchester City will host fellow-top-flight side Reading, while Notts County host Yeovil in the other all-WSL 1 meeting.

Chelsea, winners in 2015, will be at home to WSL 2 side Doncaster Rovers Belles, while Birmingham City – who finished fourth in WSL 1 last term – will host West Midlands counterparts West Brom, who play in the third tier.

The fifth-round draw in full

Notts County Ladies v Yeovil Town Ladies

Liverpool Ladies v Everton Ladies

Arsenal Ladies v Tottenham Hotspur Ladies

Sunderland Ladies v Aston Villa Ladies

Birmingham City Ladies v West Bromwich Albion Women

Bristol City Women v Millwall Lionesses

Manchester City Women v Reading Women

Chelsea Ladies v Doncaster Rovers Belles

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Critics will ‘kill’ Man City if we lose

Posted by Warren Fyfe on February 20, 2017 with No Comments
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Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has won the Champions League twice as a coach

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants his players to embrace the pressure of their Champions League last-16 tie against Monaco – even though he knows the club’s critics will “kill them” if they do not progress.

Ex-Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola has won the competition twice as a coach, and never failed to reach the semi-finals in seven attempts.

“To be here is not easy,” he said.

“I want to convince the players to enjoy that moment. It is beautiful.”

While Guardiola’s previous two employers have been European champions 10 times between them, City reached their first semi-final last season and have progressed to the knockout round only four times.

“People can think Manchester City have to be here but a lot of big clubs are not here,” said the 46-year-old. “We are lucky guys.

“Our recent history is quite good but over the long history, Manchester City was not here for a long time.

“All of Europe will watch us, to analyse us, to kill us if we don’t win or say how good we are if we do.”

De Bruyne ‘doing well’ despite fewer goals


Claudio Ranieri: Leicester City manager calls for ‘soldiers and gladiators’

Posted by Warren Fyfe on February 19, 2017 with No Comments
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Highlights: Millwall 1-0 Leicester

Leicester City need “soldiers and gladiators” to save their season, says manager Claudio Ranieri.

Last season’s Premier League champions are fighting relegation and were beaten in the FA Cup by League One side Millwall, who had a player sent off.

Leicester, with one win in eight games, face a Champions League last-16 first-leg trip to Sevilla on Wednesday.

“I want to speak again with the players and say we have to fight every match,” Ranieri said.

“I need the soldiers, I need the gladiators, because Millwall, with 10 players, showed they are fantastic gladiators.”

Millwall won with a last-minute goal from Shaun Cummings, despite playing for most of the second half with 10 men after Jake Cooper was dismissed.

With the visit to Sevilla and a Premier League home match against Liverpool to come, Leicester made 10 changes, but Ranieri still expected better from the players he selected at The Den.

“It is strange because last season we won like this, by being more determined than the opponent and playing with more heart than the opponent,” he said.

“We could also lose but we would fight every match. I want to see this, the fight until the end.

“This defeat could be good for us because when you lose against a team who fights, you have to say well done to them but why did we lose?”

Leicester have not won an away match in the Premier League all season, and are just one point above the relegation zone.

They are in danger of becoming only the second defending English champions to be relegated, after Manchester City went down in 1938.

Match of the Day analysis – ‘embarrassing’ decline

Former Wales striker John Hartson: “Leicester have been embarrassing, how far they have fallen this season is shocking.

“The manager is changing the team every other week. They are doing well in the Champions League, but in terms of fight and desire they are showing nothing.”

Ex-England winger Trevor Sinclair: “Leicester played quite well, were competitive and looked like they were going to score. Unfortunately for them, all the chances fell to Shinji Okazaki but he did not have his shooting boots on. Millwall goalkeeper Jordan Archer was outstanding all afternoon though.

“We all know the Leicester players can play, having won the Premier League last season. They now have to look at each other in the eyes and ask, ‘can we play under pressure in a dogfight?’”

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Cummings gives Millwall shock win, plus watch the rest of the day’s action

Posted by Warren Fyfe on February 19, 2017 with No Comments
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American Football

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Lincoln achieve ‘miracle’ & Lions stun Foxes

Posted by Warren Fyfe on February 19, 2017 with No Comments
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Highlights: Burnley 0-1 Lincoln City

Lincoln achieved a “football miracle” as they knocked out Burnley on a dramatic day of FA Cup fifth-round action, with 10-man Millwall beating Premier League champions Leicester.

The Imps became the first non-league side in 103 years to reach the last eight with their win over the Clarets.

“Football at our level is not romantic and this moment in the limelight is special,” Imps boss Danny Cowley said.

“It was a one in 100 chance and thankfully we got that opportunity.”

It is the first time in Lincoln’s 133-year history that they have reached the quarter-finals.

“It’s a football miracle for a non-league team to be in the last eight. The boys were excellent, playing against a Premier League team,” Cowley said.

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“The last eight of the FA Cup sounds pretty good. We work hard and we are mightily proud of the players.”

Cowley appeared as a guest on Match of the Day on Saturday night and said: “It is a great day for us and the football club. I am immensely proud of the players and they probably do not understand what they have achieved.

“We are in North Ferriby on Tuesday night. It becomes a harder game on the back on this win. It will be good to go back to proper football.”

Cowley’s assistant manager, his brother Nicky, was also on the show and said: “It has not sunk in. I definitely think the magic of the cup is still alive where we live. If it a football miracle, then we will take that.”

The quarter-final draw will take place at 18:30 GMT on Sunday and can be seen on the BBC News channel and the BBC Sport website, with commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

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How big an achievement is this?


Gareth Bale: Real Madrid & Wales forward set to return from ankle injury

Posted by Warren Fyfe on February 17, 2017 with No Comments
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Gareth Bale

Bale has scored seven goals in 16 games for Real Madrid this season, providing four assists

Gareth Bale is set to make his first appearance since November after being passed fit for Real Madrid’s match at home to Espanyol on Saturday.

The 27-year-old Wales forward has been out since having surgery on ankle tendon damage suffered in November.

Wales’ next match is a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Republic of Ireland in Dublin on 24 March.

“He will be in the squad and the plan is for him to have some minutes,” Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said.

Madrid are top of the Spanish league by one point from Barcelona, but Zidane’s side have two games in hand. Barca play at home to fourth-from-bottom Leganes later on Saturday.

“Bale is a very important player for us. We know the quality and speed that he has, and the damage he can cause the opposition,” Frenchman Zidane added.

“He’s very happy to return to the team, to be with us, and be able to play again.”

Espanyol, managed by former Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores, are ninth in La Liga, 17 points behind Madrid.