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Five talking points ahead of the weekend’s Premier League action

Manchester City and Tottenham provided a spectacle for the ages in their midweek Champions League clash and the two teams will meet again at the Etihad Stadium – this time with both needing Premier League points. Here, Press Association Sport looks at the fixture and four other talking points ahead of this weekend: Can City and Tottenham go again? Mauricio Pochettino’s side reached the Champions League semi-finals in midweek (Mike Egerton/PA) Even before these teams provided an instant classic on Wednesday night, the Saturday lunchtime kick-off looked to be the defining fixture of the weekend. But the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final has amped that up several notches, not least because of its dramatic denouement. The question now is: are both teams physically and ment...

Kick It Out demands “serious action” after Ashley Young racist abuse

The United full-back is the latest player to be targeted. Ashley Young has become the latest footballer to be subjected to racist abuse on social media following Manchester United‘s Champions League exit at Barcelona. The 33-year-old full-back was targeted on Twitter in the wake of Tuesday night’s 3-0 second-leg defeat at the Nou Camp which saw United exit the competition at the quarter-final stage after a 4-0 aggregate defeat. Anti-discrimination campaigners Kick It Out have called upon the social media platform to act following a series of incidents. The organisation said via its own official Twitter account: “Yet another black player, this time Ashley Young, targeted with racist abuse on social media after tonight’s Champions League game. “Again, we’r...

Premier League: Five talking points ahead of the weekend’s action

With the FA Cup semi-finals taking centre stage this weekend there are only a handful of Premier League games on the fixture list for Saturday and Sunday. The pick of them comes on Sunday when Champions League-chasing Arsenal head north to face a rejuvenated Everton, who are hoping to build on back-to-back victories over Chelsea and West Ham. Here Press Association Sport looks at five talking points for the weekend’s games. Can Arsenal prosper on the road? Crucial fixtures await us. 🔴 #WeAreTheArsenal pic.twitter.com/lB4zwpiqiO — Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 5, 2019 With the four-way battle for the final two Champions League berths hotting up, it is Arsenal who have moved into pole position with seven wins from their last nine. They begin the weekend in fourth place, but Sunday’...

UEFA urged to take stronger action against racism

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Montenegro, including a charge of racist behaviour, following England’s 5-1 Euro 2020 qualifying victory in Podgorica on Monday night. Several England players – including Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose and Callum Hudson-Odoi – were the target of racist abuse during the match. Montenegro also face charges relating to crowd disturbances, the throwing of objects, setting off of fireworks and the blocking of stairways at the Gradski Stadion. Best way to silence the haters (and yeah I mean racists) 🙉😘 #2019 #getsomeeducation pic.twitter.com/ohhkOJtdey — Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) March 25, 2019 UEFA said the case would be heard by its Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on May 16, prior to the next round of qualifying fixtures in June. Montenegr...

Raheem Sterling demands action after racist chanting in Montenegro

Raheem Sterling has called on stadiums bans to be doled out as punishment for any acts of racism. The 24-year-old pulled his ears in a gesture to the Montenegro supporters who had racially abused England‘s black players during the 5-1 Euro 2020 qualifying win in Podgorica. There were suggestions of some issues early in the game but it was clear in the closing stages as monkey chants were aimed at Danny Rose following a late tackle which earned him a yellow card. Best way to silence the haters (and yeah I mean racists) 🙉😘 #2019 #getsomeeducation pic.twitter.com/ohhkOJtdey — Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) March 25, 2019 Sterling has spoken out about racism in recent months and, speaking after the match, called for stronger punishment for such incidents. “It is a shame really becaus...

5 talking points ahead of this week’s Champions League action

The Champions League returns this week with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in last-16 action. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s revived Reds take on Paris St Germain at Old Trafford, while Borussia Dortmund and their in-form England winger Jadon Sancho head to Wembley. Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of the main talking points surrounding this week’s games. Solskjaer’s big test Roll on Tuesday. #MUFC #UCL pic.twitter.com/RpqUYpJ5S8 — Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 10, 2019 When United were paired with PSG during the final days of Jose Mourinho’s reign this tie was seen as nothing more than a formality for the French champions. How times have changed. United have since won 10 and drawn one of their 11 games under interim manager Ole Gunnar Sols...

Hughton calls for FA action after derogatory chants were aimed at Gaetan Bong

Brighton boss Chris Hughton has called for the Football Association to clamp down on derogatory chanting after Gaetan Bong was targeted by West Brom fans. The defender was subjected to boos and chants when he came on as a substitute in the Seagulls’ 3-1 extra time FA Cup fourth round replay win. It was his first return to The Hawthorns after he accused Baggies striker Jay Rodriguez of a racist comment last season. Rodriguez was charged by the Football Association but the allegation was “not proven” having claimed he told Bong his breath smelled, with Albion fans singing Bong was a “smelly b******” on Wednesday. “It’s down the authorities and governors of our game, and what we see and hear, for people to deal with,” said Hughton, who called the booing of Bong by Burnley fans in support of f...

Which Premier League side in FA Cup action made the most changes?

Premier League teams rung the changes once more for the FA Cup but Everton showed making few alterations was not a guarantee of success. The 13 remaining top-tier clubs made an average of 5.8 changes to their line-ups and only five made sure of their places in the fifth round. Everton fielded nine of the players who started in their last league fixture but they were still beaten 3-2 by Championship side Millwall. Everton 2 Arsenal 3 Manchester City 4 Manchester United 5 The study looked at changes made from each team’s last Premier League game, ignoring the midweek Carabao Cup second legs that involved Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City. Nine of the teams replaced at least half of their line-ups from their last league fixture but only three of them won, with two of those victories gain...

Cardiff City consider legal action over Emiliano Sala plane disaster?

Cardiff City are considering their legal options as they continue to come to terms with the presumed death of club-record signing Emiliano Sala, according to a report. Cardiff City are reportedly contemplating whether to launch a negligence claim over the tragic Emiliano Sala plane disaster. The Bluebirds’ club-record move for the Argentinian striker was rubber-stamped just hours before the plan transporting him to the Welsh capital went missing. The search operation for Sala was called off by rescue workers on Thursday, all but ending the slim hopes of finding the player – and pilot Dave Ibbotson – alive. Cardiff are believed to have paid Nantes £5m upfront for Sala and agreed to a commitment of two further £5m instalments, taking the total fee up to £15m. However, The T...

Garry Parker hopes Hibs can take cup form into league action

Hibs returned from the three-week winter break with a 4-0 victory. Hibernian assistant manager Garry Parker is hoping Saturday’s comfortable Scottish Cup fourth-round victory over Elgin will stand them in good stead for Wednesday’s return to Ladbrokes Premiership action. The Leith side did not show any signs of rust following a three-week winter break after making light work of the League Two part-timers in a dominant 4-0 victory. Flo Kamberi opened the scoring after 21 minutes before Daryl Horgan and Steven Mallan, from the penalty spot, found the net before the break. Horgan completed the scoring in the 53rd minute to ensure Neil Lennon’s side head into the Fir Park clash at Motherwell full of confidence. And Parker admits Hibs are desperate to improve on their current ...

Nadal to test out new service action at Australian Open

Rafael Nadal will test out his new service action for the first time in his opening round clash with James Duckworth at the Australian Open on Monday. The Spaniard has not played a competitive match since retiring from his US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro last September due to pain in his knee. An abdominal strain then prevented a comeback later in the season and he took the opportunity to have minor ankle surgery before a thigh issue saw him pull out of last week’s tournament in Brisbane. Rafael Nadal faces James Duckworth in the Australian Open (Mark Schiefelbein/AP) But, amid all the physical challenges, Nadal and his coaching team of Carlos Moya and Francisco Roig found time to remodel his serving action in a bid to take some of the strain off the 32-year-old’s body. Mo...

Hibs to take action against fan after “unacceptable” abuse

The fan was caught on camera apparently shouting abuse at Hearts defender Clevid Dikamona. Hibernian vowed to take action after a fan was caught on camera apparently aiming racist abuse at Hearts defender Clevid Dikamona. Hibs branded the behaviour “unacceptable” after the fan was seen on live television shouting abuse as the French-born Congo international was being told to leave the pitch by the referee following treatment for an injury during Hearts’ 1-0 win at Easter Road. A Hibernian spokesman said: “The club will do everything we can to identify the individual concerned and we will take the appropriate action. It’s unacceptable.” The previous Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle saw Hibs head coach Neil Lennon struck by a coin and other missiles thrown at Hibs players and match officials, w...

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