• FIFA boss Gianni Infantino distances himself from European Premier League talk

    Reports emerged regarding a breakaway competition earlier this week.

    22 Oct 2020, 11:24 CEST

    FIFA president Gianni Infantino says he is not interested in a European Premier League. Reports emerged regarding a breakaway competition earlier this week when it was claimed American investment bank JP Morgan was prepared to provide financing to get the league off the ground to the tune of GBP 4.6billion, and that the project had FIFA's backing. However, Infantino told Swiss media outlets on Thursday that the revamped Club World Cup was his focus. "As FIFA president, I'm interested in the Club World Cup, not the Super League," said Infantino. "For me, it's not about Bayern Munich against Liverpool, but Bayern against Boca Juniors." The first edition of the new-look Club World Cup had been due to take place in China next summer before it was indefinitely postponed due to the knock-on effect of the coronavirus pandemic. Infantino added: "Liverpool have 180 million fans worldwide. Flamengo have 40 million fans and 39 million of them are in Brazil. Liverpool have maybe five million fans in England and 175 million fans around the world. "I want clubs from outside Europe to have global appeal in the future. That's my vision: to have 50 clubs and 50 national teams who can become world champions."


    UEFA has expressed its strong opposition to the proposed competition, which is reportedly backed by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. European football's governing body said any such Super League would "inevitably become boring". The reports emerged as negotiations continue between clubs, leagues, national associations and UEFA over the future shape of European club competition from 2024. Manchester United were reported to be one of the clubs in talks over the new breakaway league, but their executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward denied it on a call to investors on Wednesday. "I saw the reports on that and candidly don't know where that story came from, but there isn't really anything for us to say," he said. "We are engaged on a very regular basis through my role with the ECA (European Club Association) and UEFA with those two entities, talking about potential changes to the Champions League from 2024 onwards. "You might have read a story about whether the Champions League may go to 36 teams. They're the conversations that we're actively involved in so I can't comment on your question."

  • John McGinn delighted to return to full fitness amid Aston Villa’s great start

    The midfielder spent six months recovering from an ankle injury last term before returning for the delayed conclusion.

    22 Oct 2020, 11:21 CEST

    John McGinn is loving being "back to 100 per cent" amid Aston Villa's superb start to the Premier League season. The midfielder spent six months recovering from an ankle injury last term before returning for the delayed conclusion and helping Villa avoid relegation. This season Dean Smith's men have won each of their opening four league games – the first time the club have achieved that since 1930-31 – and McGinn has contributed four assists and a goal. Ahead of Friday's home clash with Leeds, McGinn said on Villa's official website: "I knew post-lockdown that criticism would come. I wasn't going out there to play for myself, I was going out there to try and help Villa stay in the league. "The manager knew that, I knew that and everyone around me knew that I wasn't going to be anywhere near the player I know I can be. "The main thing at the time was not for me, it was if I could bring 60-70 per cent of what I can be and maybe pop up with a goal or assist. "I spent the summer trying to become pain-free because for a long, long time I was in pain. It's great to be running around without pain, and I'm loving the fact that I'm back to 100 per cent."


    The Scotland international added: "The humility needs to stay and we can't get ahead of ourselves. We've got 12 points now and 28 more points will get us safe, and then we can move on from there. "In the first season (back in the top-flight, last term) we probably tried to look a bit too far ahead too soon. It's an exciting time to be a part of Aston Villa and hopefully that can continue." Villa face a Leeds outfit who have claimed seven points from five games so far following their promotion. "I think I speak for most Premier League teams when I say that Leeds is one of the most difficult fixtures on the calendar," McGinn said. "You need a couple of days off after you've played them but hopefully they'll be tired from their game against Wolves (a 1-0 loss on Monday)."


    The sides meet for the first time since the memorable 1-1 Elland Road draw in April 2019, when Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa instructed his players to let Smith's visitors walk in an equaliser. At his press conference ahead of Friday's match, Smith said of his counterpart: "I have total admiration and respect for him and what he and his team have done. "I sent him a congratulatory message when they got promoted. He's improved players at that club and is rightly getting plaudits. "I've seen all five of their games so far. They will win more games than they lose this season. I don't see them being in a relegation scrap at the end of the season. They're the fittest team in the league." Smith has also spoken about Henri Lansbury being left out of Villa's Premier League squad. "It's been tough for Henri," Smith said. "He's a really likeable character and a good footballer, but there's just been too many injuries and players in front of him at the moment. "He was looking in the window to try to get a move out and it didn't happen, but we've brought in Ross Barkley and other players. Hence, he's not in the 25-man squad."

  • Fabinho praised in centre-back spot as Liverpool manage without Virgil Van Dijk

    The Brazil international was man of the match in the 1-0 victory over Ajax in their Champions League opener in Amsterdam.

    22 Oct 2020, 11:08 CEST

    Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum believes Fabinho's performance as a makeshift centre-back is a sign they can manage without Virgil Van Dijk. The Brazil international was man of the match in the 1-0 victory over Ajax in their Champions League opener in Amsterdam, only their third clean sheet in their last 14 matches. In the last four matches the holding midfielder has dropped into central defence and Liverpool have yet to concede against the likes of Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski and Chelsea's Timo Werner. Manager Jurgen Klopp will hope Joel Matip has recovered from a minor problem to be fit to face Sheffield United on Saturday night but Fabinho's display suggests he will be a more-than-adequate fall-back option. "Fabinho is a great centre-back.


    The games he has played there, you can see he is comfortable in that position and he has done well each time," said Wijnaldum. "We haven't conceded any goals when he has played at centre-back, so that's a good sign. It is great he can play in different positions and he is doing a good thing for the team." Van Dijk, set for several months out with a knee ligament injury which requires surgery, sent a good luck message to the team ahead of the match but his Holland team-mate admits there is not too much football chat between the pair now. The centre-back will have watched the game but he has not posted anything on social media about the performance and Wijnaldum said it was more important for his friend to focus on his recovery. "Virgil sent a message, he wished us good luck in the group chat on WhatsApp," added the Dutchman. "For me I don't think it is the right time to speak with Virgil about football, because football at this time is not important. "I think for him and for me when we speak together, the most important thing is his rehab and those things. "So when I speak to him it is more about Virgil Van Dijk, more about life than about football. "It might change in a few months because then he will be much further into his rehab, but it is not the right time to speak about football with Virgil because at this moment it is not a good time for him and not the time to remind him of these things."


    Liverpool's victory was a confidence booster as they had lost eight of their previous 14 away games in Europe. It was, in fact, the first time they had won their opening away Champions League match since beating Marseille in 2008, having lost away at Napoli in the last two seasons and drawn against Spartak Moscow in Russia prior to that. "It was good, we showed we are ready for the games. We had some problems but we controlled most of the game against a strong side," said Wijnaldum. "They are a good team so to start the Champions League campaign with a win is good – we lost against Napoli last season so it is better than that."

  • Watford trio set to miss Bournemouth clash

    Troy Deeney, Andre Gray and Will Hughes remain sidelined.

    22 Oct 2020, 11:07 CEST

    Watford are likely to be missing a trio of key players once again when they host Bournemouth in the Sky Bet Championship. Striker Troy Deeney has been unavailable since the Luton fixture in late September and remains sidelined with a knee issue. Andre Gray has made progress since suffering a hamstring issue late last season and may find the fixture comes too soon for his return. Midfielder Will Hughes is also closing in on a comeback after a minor pre-season operation but is unlikely to be risked. Bournemouth could be boosted by the return of three players. Norway striker Josh King has been struggling with a dead leg but should be fit to feature. Defender Lloyd Kelly has been recovering from a hamstring strain and may be in contention again. David Brooks pulled out of the Wales squad for their recent matches due to injury and he will be assessed.

  • FA charges Rotherham and Norwich following ugly melee

    The incident happened during the Canaries’ 2-1 win in South Yorkshire.

    22 Oct 2020, 10:46 CEST

    Rotherham and Norwich have been charged with failing to control their players following an ugly melee during their Sky Bet Championship clash last weekend. Football Association disciplinary chiefs have taken action over an angry confrontation after Millers' defender Angus MacDonald was sent off for a dreadful challenge on on-loan Tottenham midfielder Oliver Skipp during the Canaries' 2-1 win at the AESSEAL New York Stadium last Saturday. An FA statement said: "Rotherham United FC and Norwich City FC have been charged with a breach of FA Rule E20 following their EFL Championship fixture on Saturday 17 October 2020. "It is alleged that both clubs failed to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the 70th minute of the fixture. The clubs have until Monday 26 October 2020 to provide their respective responses." MacDonald was dismissed by referee David Webb minutes after Michael Ihiekwe's own goal had cancelled out Freddie Ladapo's early strike and set the stage for Jordan Hugill to win it for the visitors at the death from the penalty spot.

  • Chris Wilder says Blades’ current injury plight is worse than Liverpool’s

    Jack O’Connell, Lys Mousset and John Fleck are lengthy absentees for Sheffield United.

    22 Oct 2020, 10:33 CEST

    Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder believes the injuries to his key players is a bigger blow than Virgil van Dijk's absence for Liverpool. The Premier League champions are set to be without their talismanic central defender for a lengthy period after he damaged an anterior cruciate ligament during the Merseyside derby. Van Dijk requires knee surgery after being clattered by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford last weekend. However, ahead of the Blades' trip to Anfield to play Liverpool on Saturday, Wilder has injury issues of his own, with Jack O'Connell (knee) likely to be out for the rest of the season and Lys Mousset (toe) and John Fleck (back) several weeks away from making a return. Wilder revealed when he expects striker Mousset to step up his recovery, before putting the two club's injury problems into perspective. "We are hoping to get Lys back on the grass, that's about six to eight weeks away, while John Fleck will hopefully be back next month," said the Blades boss. "There's three big players missing for us, with Jack O'Connell probably out for the season too, but it's all relative. There are always players that are going to be out injured, and you just have to get on with it and cope as best you can. "But us losing O'Connell, Fleck and Mousett are huge blows for us and I would say bigger blows to us (than) what Van Dijk is to Liverpool, in my opinion, relatively, as we look as a football club. "We all have to go through these situations but there are still some world class players (at Liverpool) and though they have lost one world class player for a lengthy period of time, they have other world class players to come in. "We all want our best and most consistent team out there as injuries affects consistency and rhythm, it certainly has for us, and it doesn't make the task any easier. Their performance levels didn't dip last night (in the Champions League against Ajax) and I'm not expecting it to on Saturday." Record signing Rhian Brewster could make his full debut for Sheffield United against his former club. The 20-year-old striker, who joined the Blades earlier this month in a deal that could be worth up to GBP 23million, made his first appearance for Wilder's side as a second-half substitute in the draw with Fulham. Max Lowe had to be withdrawn with a head injury in that game and the Blades are awaiting a doctor's report before deciding if he travels to Merseyside.

  • Ellen White out to chase down ‘incredible’ WSL record breaker Vivianne Miedema

    Arsenal striker Miedema made it 52 goals from 50 appearances with a hat-trick last Sunday.

    22 Oct 2020, 10:16 CEST

    Ellen White has her sights set on chasing down Vivianne Miedema's new Women's Super League scoring record. The Arsenal forward struck a hat-trick against Tottenham on Sunday to make it 52 goals in just 50 appearances for the Gunners, putting her top of the WSL's all-time scoring chart. Miedema, 24, had previously shared the record of 49 with Nikita Parris, while Manchester City's White is one further back. White said: "Obviously it's incredible stats. She's come into the league and (achieved) phenomenal stats for Arsenal and she's still quite young as well. I'm sure she's got many years in front of her. It's an incredible achievement and definitely one I'm chasing as well." Dutch international Miedema, who has already scored 10 goals this season, is one of the biggest names in the WSL, and the league's star power increased substantially during the summer with an influx of top talent, particularly from the United States. World Cup winners Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, Christen Press, Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis have all moved to England, along with France striker Valerie Gauvin and Denmark captain Pernille Harder, while England star Lucy Bronze has returned from France.


    Bronze, Lavelle and Mewis are all team-mates of White at City, and the 31-year-old hopes a stronger league will help the England national team as well. She said: "Sam and Rose are the most lovely people you could ever meet, so we're very privileged to have them in our squad and what they bring is that competitiveness, that winning mentality. "It's great to have them in our league, the profile of our league getting bigger, more people wanting to watch our league in America and across the world. To be training alongside the best is only going to improve us and hopefully it really helps our national team as well." City have an FA Cup final against Everton to look forward to on November 1, but first White's attentions are on England and next Tuesday's clash with Germany in Wiesbaden. Phil Neville's squad have been training together at St George's Park this week, with youngsters Millie Turner, Esme Morgan, Niamh Charles and Ella Toone all given second call-ups.


    The core of the squad remains hugely experienced, with White, the joint top scorer at last summer's World Cup, a central figure. She said: "We've got a really lovely group. The young players are always wanting to learn, to be competitive, be better and better. For us more experienced players, we like being driven, we want to develop as well, so they're always pushing us too. "Ultimately that's going to make our team better. It is really exciting that we've got so many youngsters coming through that are so talented, and also they're great people as well, which is a key factor in a winning culture. "I want them to do great things. When I do retire, I want them to go on and play in major tournaments, win things, and I'll be there cheering in the crowd." White scored England's goal in a 2-1 defeat by Germany at Wembley last November, when they were dealt a sucker punch by a last-minute winner in front of a record crowd.


    England have not played an international fixture since March, and White is looking forward to seeing how they match up. "I'm very patriotic, I always love playing against Germany and what those games bring is competitiveness – they have some incredible players and it's always a tight game," she said. "They're the second best team in the world so it's great for us to be playing against the best and seeing where we're at. Obviously we're coming off the back of a global pandemic lockdown so it's a big game for us. It's exciting."

  • Ian Holloway ready for change after Grimsby setback

    Opponents Carlisle could hand a debut to Micah Obiero.

    22 Oct 2020, 09:29 CEST

    Grimsby boss Ian Holloway may look to change his team and formation against Carlisle after a disappointing defeat to Harrogate. Holloway suggested a tweak to the side's shape could be required, but personnel alterations are also likely. Owura Edwards lasted just seven minutes before injury struck last time out and if he misses out there could be a first start for Nottingham Forest loanee Virgil Gomis. Danny Rose (hamstring) and Ludvig Ohman (knee) will be assessed, but Max Wright and Elliott Hewitt are out. Micah Obiero has made his belated arrival at Carlisle and will be pushing for a debut. The loan signing has spent much of the last week training with parent club Huddersfield but has now started work with the Cumbrians. Manager Chris Beech has named an unchanged starting XI for the past two matches but admits Daniel Devine, Jack Armer, Lewis Bell and Taylor Charters are all doing their best to force their way in. Brennan Dickenson (hamstring), Omari Patrick (leg), Ethan Walker (shoulder) and Josh Dixon are still out.

  • Burnley defender Ali Koiki joins Bristol Rovers

    The 21-year-old left-back turned down a new deal at Burnley.

    22 Oct 2020, 09:14 CEST

    Ali Koiki can "achieve his full potential" at Bristol Rovers, according to boss Ben Garner. The 21-year-old left-back turned down a new deal at Burnley at the end of last season and spent part of the summer on trial at Charlton. Koiki has now joined the Pirates, much to Garner's delight. He told the club's website: "Ali is a player that we have tracked for a long time and he has the attributes that suit our style of play. "From my conversations with him it was clear that he has the right attitude and determination to be a success here. "Ali is a quick and powerful player who is defensively strong but who also provides a strong attacking threat. "He will have the opportunity here to grow as both a player and a person in order to achieve his full potential."

  • Villa forward Keinan Davis set to be fit for Leeds clash

    Leeds are without the injured Kalvin Phillips.

    22 Oct 2020, 09:07 CEST

    Keinan Davis is expected to be available for Aston Villa's home clash with Leeds on Friday. The forward was absent from the matchday squad for Sunday's 1-0 win at Leicester following a calf problem. Kortney Hause, Tom Heaton and Wesley remain out of action. Goalkeeper Heaton (knee) is set to return to training with the group next week.


    Pascal Struijk will move into midfield to replace the injured Kalvin Phillips as Leeds look to bounce back from Monday's defeat to Wolves. Phillips has been ruled out for a number of weeks with a shoulder injury, while Liam Cooper, whom Struijk replaced after he was injured in the warm-up against Wolves, is a doubt with a groin injury. Diego Llorente (also groin) is definitely ruled out, and joins long-term absentees Adam Forshaw (hip) and Gaetano Berardi (knee) on the sidelines.


    Villa provisional squad:


    Martinez, Steer, Cash, Taylor, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Engels, Guilbert, Elmohamady, Luiz, McGinn, Grealish, Hourihane, Trezeguet, Nakamba, Barkley, El Ghazi, Watkins, Traore, Davis.


    Leeds provisional squad:


    Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Klich, Alioski, Costa, Bamford, Rodrigo, Poveda, Roberts, Raphinha, Caprile, Struijk, Shackleton, Davis.

  • Injuries beginning to bite for Manchester City, admits Pep Guardiola

    City lost Fernandinho in Wednesday’s Champion League win over Porto.

    22 Oct 2020, 09:00 CEST

    Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City's injury list is a concern as their busy schedule continues with three away games in the space of eight days. Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League win over Porto ended on a sour note as substitute Fernandinho limped off in the closing stages and the veteran Brazilian is expected to miss four to six weeks with a muscular problem. Summer signing Nathan Ake was missing from the match squad with what Guardiola described as a niggle in his groin. Aymeric Laporte and Kevin De Bruyne were due back in training on Thursday, but resources are stretched ahead of a week in which City will travel to West Ham, Marseille and Sheffield United before facing Olympiakos at home on November 3. "On Thursday we'll start with Kevin and Laporte training again, but I don't know how they'll come back," Guardiola said. "We get players back and others we lose. In three days we go to London (to play West Ham) and then to France to play Marseille (on Tuesday) and then Sheffield (on Saturday). It's so demanding." With Ake out, Guardiola turned to Eric Garcia as the wantaway 19-year-old made his third appearance of the season, leaving John Stones to make do with a late substitute appearance after Fernandinho's injury.


    Garcia is wanted by Barcelona and has said he will not sign a new contract with City before his existing deal expires in the summer, but Guardiola has not given up hope of him changing his mind. "I know he wants to leave, but maybe we can seduce him to extend his contract with us," Guardiola said with a smile. "He is a guy who is so stable in many, many things and I'm so happy (with him)." City were made to work hard for Wednesday's win, falling behind to Luis Diaz's strike in the 14th minute before a Sergio Aguero penalty, Ilkay Gundogan free-kick and Ferran Torres strike turned things around. Gundogan's 65th-minute free-kick was the Germany midfielder's last contribution, with Torres and Phil Foden already waiting on the sidelines to replace him and Aguero. "As for the fact Pep was about to substitute me, I'm glad he didn't," Gundogan said. "I was actually quite sure he was going to take me off, but he maybe saw an opportunity for me and waited."


    The 29-year-old admitted he does not regularly work on free-kicks but, having been felled by Fabio Vieira to earn the opportunity from a central position, he felt the chance was in his range. "I have to admit, I don't practise free-kicks a lot, but there are certain distances that I feel comfortable from and, for me, this was the perfect range," he added. Gundogan is among those to have already missed time for City this season and said he was not yet back at full speed after testing positive for Covid-19 a month ago. "If I'm honest, we are struggling a little bit with injuries and to lose Fernandinho towards the end of the game is another blow," he said. "There are others, of course, plus some who have just come back and I myself am not fully there yet after having Covid-19. "We are in different kinds of moments fitness-wise and that's the challenge this season and I don't think it will end for a while."

  • Marcelo Bielsa urges Leeds to make their possession count

    Whites head to Aston Villa on Friday.

    22 Oct 2020, 08:46 CEST

    Marcelo Bielsa has warned his Leeds players it is crucial they retain their attacking reputation or risk failing to establish themselves in the top flight. Bielsa believes his side's failure to convert their chances against Wolves on Monday night handed their opponents the belief they required to escape with a 1-0 win at Elland Road. And a repeat performance at unbeaten Aston Villa on Friday could further threaten the aura which accompanied Leeds into the Premier League, and was enhanced by their opening-day performance at Liverpool. Bielsa said: "In a team like us that attacks, it is not good when our attacks don't create danger. "When this happens the opponent feels that we are not able to cause them much danger, and this makes the game more even. "The conclusion is that we understand why we lost the game even though we shouldn't have, and we dominated the large majority of it."


    Bielsa has injury problems ahead of the trip to Villa Park, with Kalvin Phillips ruled out for a number of weeks after picking up a serious shoulder injury. Phillips will be replaced in midfield by Dutchman Pascal Struijk, who had stepped in for Liam Cooper on Monday after the centre-back suffered a recurrence of a recent groin injury. Cooper remains a doubt for the trip to Villa while Diego Llorente is definitely out, also with a groin strain which he sustained on international duty. The flexibility offered by Struijk is key to Bielsa's approach as he seeks to get the best from a squad which he insists retains strength in numbers despite the recent injury blows. "We have many players who can play in a number of positions," added Bielsa. "Being able to play in more than one position always helps the manager. "The squad is not small because we have two players per position, and there are no big differences between the two players who occupy each position. "At the moment we currently have injuries in the same positions but that doesn't mean we have a small squad. We can also count on the players from the academy who deserve their spot in the squad."

  • Football rumours from the media

    A replacement for Virgil Van Dijk and Lucas Torreira’s future were being discussed on Thursday.

    22 Oct 2020, 06:07 CEST

    What the papers say


    Liverpool could look to enter the transfer market in January to shore up their defence after Virgil Van Dijk's injury, the Sun says. The paper reports that Brighton's Ben White will be among their top targets, with the Seagulls demanding at least GBP 50m for the 23-year-old. Sticking with rumours from the south coast, and Danny Welbeck turned down a move to Turkey over the summer – and a GBP 140,000-a-week pay packet – to stay in the Premier League with Brighton, says the Sun. A permanent deal for Ross Barkley, who scored in Aston Villa's 7-2 demolition of Liverpool, is yet to be discussed, says the Birmingham Mail. Barkley, on loan from Chelsea, has scored two goals in two games so far this season. Lucas Torreira, who is on loan from Arsenal at Atletico Madrid, is looking to make his move permanent, says the Daily Star. Meanwhile, Gedson Fernandes is likely to return to Benfica after failing to impress during his loan spell at Tottenham, according to the Sun.


    Social media round-up


    Players to watch


    Kylian Mbappe: The 21-year-old could leave Paris St Germain in the summer, with Liverpool or Real Madrid among the likely destinations for the forward, says Le Parisien.


    Danny Rose: Tottenham will look to terminate the contract of the England left-back and will open talks with the 30-year-old, Football Insider reports.


    Florian Thauvin: The Marseille forward, who is out of contract in the summer, has caught the eye of Leicester, according to the Leicester Mercury.

  • On this day in 2000: Peter Taylor named England’s caretaker manager

    Taylor lost his only game 1-0, but handed David Beckham the England captaincy for the first time.

    22 Oct 2020, 05:00 CEST

    When the Football Association was looking for a short-term stand-in to lead the Three Lions in the autumn of 2000, Peter Taylor was the man who ticked all the right boxes. While Sir Bobby Robson had been the first-choice, Taylor's CV was a good fit – not only had he completed a highly-distinguished stint in charge of the under-21s, losing just one match in three years, he was also enjoying a honeymoon period in his first Premier League assignment with Leicester. On this day 20 years ago he was handed the keys to the national side for a friendly against Italy, bridging the reigns of Kevin Keegan and Sven-Goran Eriksson. That game would take place in Turin the following month with Taylor assisted by future England boss Steve McClaren. Inspired by his time with the next generation of Three Lions stars he focused on youth, naming a relatively-callow XI which had Gary Neville and a certain Gareth Southgate as its most experienced campaigners.


    Most striking was his decision to hand the captain's armband to a 25-year-old David Beckham, just two years after the nadir of his World Cup red card against Argentina. That decision would prove to be a wise one, with the midfielder going on to become a distinguished skipper for his country during a glittering career. The final result did not go in Taylor's – or Beckham's – favour, with a wonderful Gennaro Gattuso strike settling a 1-0 win at Stadio delle Alpi, but the starting pistol had been fired on a new generation of players that would form the backbone of Eriksson's tenure. Taylor stayed on to assist Eriksson for a short period but his coaching career had already peaked. He has travelled far and wide since – from Bradford to Bahrain – and twice returned to the FA for further stints with the under-21s and under-20s.

  • Jose Mourinho rejects ‘Spursy’ label after West Ham collapse

    Spurs shipped three goals in the final eight minutes.

    22 Oct 2020, 03:30 CEST

    Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is refusing to accept tags of 'Spursy' being aimed at his current team as he embarks on his attempt to win a third Europa League on Thursday. Spurs kick-off their Group J campaign against Austrian side LASK in north London, four days after their Premier League capitulation against West Ham. Mourinho's men were coasting to the three points against the Hammers, leading 3-0, until they shipped three goals in the final eight minutes. It saw them thrown with labels of 'Spursy' – a term that has become synonymous with the club for being flaky or failing to deliver when they should.


    Mourinho has rubbished those tags this time, though. "To be honest, what happened is a little bit out of context from what happened the rest of the season," he said. "Against Southampton we were losing and we were strong enough to change the result. "At Manchester United the worst thing happened, which was after one minute we were losing and we were strong enough to change that result. "Against Newcastle, we were solid, we weren't playing amazing, we were solid, and then what happened is one of the beauties of the VAR this season. So this game was completely out of context. "I believe that winning 3-0 in minute 80 we could play 50 more matches and it's not going to happen again. So I don't want to be sticking on this and stories about 'Spursy', or this kind of thing." Spurs have a chance to put things right against LASK on Thursday. It is the third time Mourinho is playing in the competition and, having won it twice previously, the Portuguese is targeting a hat-trick. "We're going to try," he said. "It's the third time I played the competition and the other two times, one with Porto and one with (Manchester) United, we managed to win it. "So the record in the Europa League is great, never knocked out. Of course, lost a few matches in the group phase but managed always to win it."


    LASK head coach Dominik Thalhammer has revealed one of his squad has not travelled after testing positive for coronavirus. Thalhammer is content that all protocol has been followed and says it has caused no disruption to their plans for the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The unnamed player is at home in quarantine and is showing no symptoms. "It was yesterday evening," he said at his pre-match press conference. "It did not disrupt us. This particular player, he did not travel with the team, we have done lots of coronavirus testing and it was all negative, but when I discovered that one player was positive then we tested again. "Only players with negative tests were able to travel to London. "We wanted to give the English the security that we have done everything and it is important for us. "Other clubs we hear about individual cases but we were very cautious and for this reason we aren't particularly concerned, but we did change the plan and travelled earlier."

  • Steven Gerrard calls on Rangers players to prove they are worth new contracts

    The Ibrox boss is inclined to reward his team for delivering the Premiership title.

    22 Oct 2020, 03:30 CEST

    Steven Gerrard has challenged his players prove they deserve bumper new contracts by leading Rangers to the title. The Ibrox boss hopes to deal in Glen Kamara after watching the Finland international run the show against Celtic during Saturday's Old Firm triumph. But Gerrard admits he is in no rush to extended defender Connor Goldson's contract beyond its current expiration date of May 2022 despite seeing the Englishman prove to be the derby hero with his Parkhead brace. Instead, he would prefer to do his negotiating from a position of strength once the Light Blues have finally banked the Premiership silverware they long for. Asked if Gers planned to rush through the signing talks to stave off interest in Anderlecht target Kamara, Gerrard said: "I don't know is the answer to your question. If it was my decision the answer would be yes. "I've made my feelings known to Ross (Wilson, sporting director) and the board on that situation. "We want Glen around us for as long as possible and everyone knows my feelings on that situation."


    On Goldson, he added: "I think Connor is on a good contract as we speak, there is certainly no rush on that one "I can name probably a dozen players that in the back of my mind, I am certainly thinking about in terms of extensions and different contracts. "I don't think there is any rush at the moment, there is nobody whose time is running out that we are desperate to chase to put pen to paper. "I think we are in a good place. I think the message to all the players is to win football games and reward the club come the end of the season – and then we will certainly look after those individuals."


    Gers will look to use the soaring confidence produced by their Parkhead victory to springboard them back to the Europa League knock-out rounds after their march to the last 16 last term. They kick-off their third consecutive group stage campaign against Standard Liege in Belgium on tonight and Gerrard is well aware the riches produced by those European runs have bankrolled the improvements he has been able to make since taking over three summers ago. "Without giving too much information away, this club needs to be in Europe for financial reasons and I have probably had the backing and support I have had up to date because we have been so successful in terms of manoeuvring through the three qualifying campaigns," he said. "This year is different because of Covid and having no fans in the stadium but, without a doubt, I think as a staff we have earned the support that we have got and it has enabled us to go and try and bring certain individuals in to support the good players that we have got. "That needs to continue. We are not a finished team, we are not a finished group and there are still some areas where we need to keep trying to strive to be better. But we have to play our part as well by trying to play as many games as we can because it certainly helps and gives the board confidence to go and back up."

  • Mikel Arteta content with decision to freeze out Mesut Ozil at Arsenal

    The midfielder has not played a single minute for the Gunners since March 7.

    22 Oct 2020, 03:30 CEST

    Mikel Arteta insists his "conscience is very calm" after taking the decision to axe Mesut Ozil from Arsenal's Premier League squad. Ozil released a statement on Wednesday saying he was "deeply disappointed" not to have been included in the 25-man group and believes his loyalty to the club has not been reciprocated. The 32-year-old is the highest-paid player in Arsenal's history but has now been omitted from both the Premier League and Europa League squads. Ozil has not played a single minute for the Gunners since March 7, having initially been a mainstay of the team following Arteta's appointment last year. "This is a difficult message to write to the Arsenal fans that I've played for over the past few years," Ozil wrote in a statement posted on social media. "I'm really deeply disappointed by the fact that I have not been registered for the Premier League season for the time being. "Upon signing my new contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated."


    Arteta's side face Rapid Vienna away in their Europa League opener on Thursday night and the Spaniard took full responsibility for Ozil's absence as he said only football reasons were taken into account in making the decision. "Everybody is free to express his feeling," he said. "What I can say from my side is that it is just a football decision. My conscience is very calm because I have been really fair with him. "My level of communication with him has been really high and we know what to expect with each other. "Obviously a player of that dimension, with the career he has had, everything that happens around him has a big impact. It has been the case for the last eight years, it is nothing new that is just happening now. A lot of things have happened over these eight years. "My job is to get the best out of every player, to contribute to the team performance. Here I feel at the moment, today, that I have failed. "I want the best possible Mesut for the team. And in some moments I was able to get close to that, and at the moment I have not been able to do it because I have to make the decision to leave him out of the squad."

  • Diego Laxalt urges Celtic to bounce back against parent club AC Milan

    The Hoops lost their Old Firm derby clash with Rangers on Saturday.

    22 Oct 2020, 03:30 CEST

    Diego Laxalt wants Celtic to bounce back from their Old Firm defeat when they take on his parent club AC Milan in the Europa League. The Uruguay wing-back made his debut on loan from the Serie A giants in the home 2-0 Premiership loss to Rangers on Saturday. Speaking through an interpreter, the 27-year-old looked forward to the Group H opener at Parkhead on Thursday night against a side he knows well and who sit at the top of the Italian league with four wins out of four. He said: "Obviously it feels bad like any defeat and especially worse in a derby but we've got a great chance to play again and make things right. "We have got to have faith and believe in each other and we are looking forward to a great battle. "Everybody I met told me what the Rangers game was going to be like, how important it is for everybody. "I understood all that but again I am just looking forward and we have a great chance to put things right against a really good team. "Everyone can see the games globally now. Everyone knows what Milan are like. They are obviously having a great season but every game is different and we will be looking to bounce back. "Every team has its weaknesses, I don't need to tell the staff here how AC Milan play. "We are well prepared. Our coach has told us exactly how he wants us to play. We also have a great coach and we are looking forward to how it is going to work out."

  • Shandong Luneng vs Beijing Guoan

    22 Oct 2020, 00:00 CEST

    There is a 20.3% chance of a draw. In simulations where the game is not a draw Beijing Guoan, at 68.1%, are heavy favorites to beat Shandong Luneng who have a 11.5% chance. In simulation wins, Shandong Luneng upsets Beijing Guoan by averaging 5.1 shots and 2.9 shots on goal. They average 2.1 goals in simulated victories vs just 0.6 in simulation losses. Overall, the average simulation score is Beijing Guoan 2.3 to Shandong Luneng 0.9.

  • Dalian Yifang vs Shijiazhuang Ever Bright

    22 Oct 2020, 00:00 CEST

    There is a 18.2% chance of a draw. In simulations where the game is not a draw Dalian Yifang, at 73.6%, are heavy favorites to beat Shijiazhuang Ever Bright who have just a 8.2% chance to win at home. Overall, the average simulation score is Dalian Yifang 2.2 to Shijiazhuang Ever Bright 0.6. In simulation wins, Shijiazhuang Ever Bright upsets Dalian Yifang by averaging 4.2 shots and 2.3 shots on goal. They average 1.7 goals in simulated victories vs just 0.4 in simulation losses.

  • Assat vs Tappara

    22 Oct 2020, 00:00 CEST

    Team Tappara are heavy 71.7 percent favorites over the Assat. The Tappara are favored by AccuScore simulations partly because they have a +5 edge in shots on goal and are projected for 33 shots on goal vs 28 shots for the Ässät. The Tappara goalie(s) have the edge in save percentage at 93.6% compared to the Ässät goalie(s) who have a forecasted save percentage of 91.1%. KEY PLAYER STATISTICAL DATA --- SAVES: Söderström Linus 23, Hrachovina Dominik 21 SHOTS: Hirvonen Roni 3.5, Bertrand Charles 4.3 GOALS: Tiivola Peter 0.27, Bertrand Charles 0.43 PTS: Hirvonen Roni has a 38% chance of scoring at least 1 point and Kuusela Kristian has a 56% chance of 1+PTs

  • New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles

    22 Oct 2020, 00:00 CEST

    The Philadelphia Eagles are a solid favorite with a 69% chance to beat the New York Giants. Boston Scott is projected for 80 rushing yards and a 62% chance of having at least 1 rushing TD. In the 30% of simulations where New York Giants wins, Daniel Jones averages 2.28 TD passes vs 0.41 interceptions, while in losses he has a ratio of 1.51 TDs to 0.79 interceptions. Devonta Freeman averages 47 rushing yards and 0.38 rushing TDs when New York Giants wins and 32 yards and 0.18 TDs in losses. The Philadelphia Eagles has a 66% chance of forcing more turnovers than they commit. Positive turnover margin helps them win 82% of the time.

  • Sheffield Wednesday 1 - 2 Brentford - Match Report

    Ivan Toney at the double as Brentford down Sheffield Wednesday

    21 Oct 2020, 23:11 CEST


    Prolific striker Ivan Toney scored twice as Brentford recorded their first Championship away victory of the season, winning 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday.


    Jack Marriott made his full debut for Wednesday after signing on loan from Derby County last week.


    Brentford head coach Thomas Frank handed first starts to Samman Ghoddos – signed from Amiens SC last month and Germany Under-21 international Vitaly Janelt, who joined the Bees from VfL Bochum earlier this month.


    Marriott put a low shot on target early on which was comfortably saved by David Raya.


    Brentford took a seventh-minute lead when Henrik Dalsgaard’s low drive was parried by Cameron Dawson and Toney was the first to react, seizing on the loose ball and firing into the net.


    Toney threatened again at the end of a good move, hitting the side netting after being forced wide.


    Raya made a good save to keep out a well-struck shot from Adam Reach, who had made a strong run into the area.


    Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo also went close with an effort from inside the area, cutting inside before firing in a curling effort which just cleared the bar.


    The hosts equalised when Barry Bannan found Kadeem Harris on the right and his cross was met by a stooping header from Callum Paterson after 25 minutes.


    Brentford regained the lead when Toney scored his second goal of the night six minutes later, meeting Janelt’s corner with a near-post header.


    A good build-up in the latter stages of the half led to Mathias Jensen finding himself through on goal with Cameron Dawson coming to his side’s rescue with an important block.


    Dalsgaard also posed a threat with a rasping drive which was only just off target.


    Wednesday boss Garry Monk made a change for the start of the second half with Joey Pelupessy replacing Alex Hunt.


    There was a second change for the home side soon after the re-start when Josh Windass appeared to pick up a knock and made way for Fisayo Dele-Bashiru.


    Brentford lost skipper Pontus Jansson, who looked to have suffered a hamstring injury, with Mads Bech Sorensen taking his place.


    Toney spurned a chance to complete his hat-trick, scuffing a shot wide after connecting with Sergi Canos’ low cross.


    Wednesday made a change in attack with Jordan Rhodes taking over from Marriott.


    Josh Dasilva went close for Brentford with a curling effort from inside the area.


    Wednesday never threatened to draw level in a second half which failed to match the quality of the first as they went down to their first home defeat of the season.


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  • Queens Park Rangers 0 - 2 Preston North End - Match Report

    Preston strike twice from the spot to beat QPR

    21 Oct 2020, 23:09 CEST


    Preston secured a 2-0 away victory at QPR thanks to two penalties both conceded by Lee Wallace.


    Daniel Johnson tucked away the first and Scott Sinclair dispatched the second just before the hour mark to give North End a deserved three points.


    They took the lead on 24 minutes following Wallace’s foul on Sinclair near the edge of the box.


    Referee Kevin Friend initially gave a free-kick but changed his mind and instead awarded a penalty, which Johnson calmly slotted past keeper Seny Dieng.


    The visitors might have have been awarded another spot-kick soon afterwards but their protests were waved away by Friend despite Rangers defender Rob Dickie appearing to tug Emil Riis Jakobsen’s shirt.


    Dieng was called into action shortly before half-time, gathering a shot from Brad Potts as Preston continued to have the upper hand.


    And Jakobsen squandered a glorious chance to double their lead early in the second half.


    The Danish forward was found unmarked by Alan Browne’s ball in from the left but miscued his shot, which drifted harmlessly wide.


    However, he atoned by winning his side’s second penalty.


    As QPR struggled to clear a long ball, Jakobsen got in front of the otherwise impressive Dickie and was then tripped by the much less impressive Wallace, who struggled throughout.


    This time Sinclair stepped up and, like Johnson, he calmly sent Dieng the wrong way.


    Ebere Eze, who left QPR for Crystal Palace during the summer, was back at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium watching from the stands.


    His flair is much missed by Rangers, who struggled to create clear-cut chances and failed to even muster a shot on target.


    They also missed the physical presence of Lyndon Dykes up front – the Scotland striker has sat out the past two matches with a thigh problem.


    Mark Warburton will want him back as soon as possible because QPR lack a goal threat without him.


    R’s boss Warburton made attacking changes in the second half, introducing recent signings Albert Adomah and Chris Willock, but Preston saw the game out comfortably.


    Rangers had plenty of possession but rarely looked like finding a way past a well organised defence.


    Adomah did go close in injury time when he found himself through on goal, but he fired against the post after holding off a challenge from Andrew Hughes.


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  • Stoke City 2 - 2 Barnsley - Match Report

    Tommy Smith salvages point for 10-man Stoke against winless Barnsley

    21 Oct 2020, 23:08 CEST


    Tommy Smith scored his first league goal since March 2017 as 10-man Stoke twice fought back from behind to draw 2-2 at home to winless Barnsley.


    Elliot Simoes fired the visitors ahead in the 18th minute before Tyrese Campbell levelled for the hosts a minute before the break.


    Less than two minutes later Dominik Frieser restored Barnsley’s lead with a cool finish.


    But Smith netted three minutes after the restart after keeper Jack Walton made a hash of a routine cross.


    Defender Nathan Collins was then sent off for violent conduct for an off-the-ball incident with Frieser, but the home side managed to navigate their way through the final half an hour with a man short.


    Stoke boss Michael O’Neill made two changes to his side which beat Luton 2-0 away on Saturday, with James Chester recalled in the centre of defence and midfielder Jordan Thompson handed a start.


    Winger Sam Clucas missed out and defender Danny Batth dropped to the bench.


    Barnsley caretaker boss Adam Murray opted for three changes to his team after a miserable start to the league season which saw the South Yorkshire side without a league win.


    Simoes started alongside Frieser and new signing Callum Brittain made his club debut.


    And it was Frieser who had a hand in a good early chance for the visitors. He collected skipper Alex Mowatt’s pinpoint long pass and squared for Cauley Woodrow, but the striker saw his powerful volley blocked by Collins at the near post.


    The opening goal was not long around the corner – and it was a moment of magic from Woodrow which provided it.


    The striker bamboozled centre-back Harry Souttar with a lovely turn and duly squared the ball to Simoes to slot home into the bottom-right corner.


    Stoke grew into the contest and should have equalised shortly after the hour mark, but Campbell somehow fired wide from close range after a dangerous delivery into the box by Josh Tymon.


    Strike partner Steven Fletcher had an even better chance to level matters, but Walton thwarted him with an excellent low save.


    Midfielder Romal Palmer tried his luck from distance as the Tykes looked to double their advantage, but his powerful left-foot strike flew wide of the target.


    Stoke were level a minute before the break. Souttar made amends for his mistake with a defence-splitting pass which allowed Campbell to rifle right-footed into the bottom-right corner.


    However, the Potters’ joy was short-lived as Mowatt picked out Frieser with a delightful cross and the Austrian midfielder poked home to restore Barnsley’s lead.


    Smith was caught daydreaming as Frieser fired home unchallenged.


    Smith, though, made amends for his error, powering into an open net three minutes after the restart after Walton dropped a cross into his path.


    Fletcher had a good opportunity to put Stoke ahead but he blazed well over when he should have done much better in the box.


    Collins was then given his marching orders for his clash with goalscorer Frieser and the hosts had to soak up the pressure.


    Former Barnsley keeper Adam Davies denied Brittain with a point-blank save with quarter of an hour remaining and, just a minute later, blocked a deflected shot from the same player.


    Davies held a Woodrow piledriver in stoppage time as Stoke held on for a point.


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  • Cardiff City 1 - 1 AFC Bournemouth - Match Report

    Harry Wilson earns Cardiff a point against former club Bournemouth

    21 Oct 2020, 23:03 CEST


    Harry Wilson earned Cardiff a point against Bournemouth on his first Bluebirds start as the two sides shared an entertaining 1-1 Championship draw in the Welsh capital.


    Dominic Solanke tapped home in the first half to give the Cherries the lead after they had responded impressively following some sloppy passing early on.


    But they were made to pay for not extending their lead when Liverpool loanee Wilson – who spent last season at Bournemouth – equalised.


    The game’s key moment came when outstanding Cardiff goalkeeper Alex Smithies produced an outstanding save to stop Solanke making it 2-0 and Wilson went straight up the other end to level the scores.


    Wilson was joined in making his first Cardiff Championship start by 19-year-old left-back Joel Bagan, who stepped in with Joe Bennett and Greg Cunningham both out injured.


    Wilson shot wide after only 18 seconds in an even opening period during which Arnaut Danjuma and Adam Smith had Bournemouth ‘s best chances.


    Cardiff’s Junior Hoilett and Will Vaulks blazed over as the opportunities continued. Wilson was the home side’s main threat at the centre of their attacking trio behind striker Robert Glatzel.


    Jefferson Lerma forced Smithies into action and Jack Stacey could notconvert Smith’s cross, but Stacey made up for the miss just before the break after being played in by Lerma.


    His cross was perfect and, with the Cardiff defence passive, Solanke opened the scoring in the 35th minute.


    Wilson fired just wide before the break as Cardiff began their search for an equaliser, but Bournemouth were straight on the attack in the second half.


    Junior Stanislas fired in a low cross which narrowly evaded his team-mates and Stacey shot wide.


    Smithies was the hero when he stopped Solanke from doubling the Cherries’ lead – Stacey was in acres of space down the right and his cross found Solanke, only for Smithies to somehow get something on the strike to deflect it on to the bar.


    Cardiff went straight up the other end and Wilson hit the woodwork. A trademark free-kick from the Welsh international was flicked on to the bar by Asmir Begovic.


    Vaulks’ header worked Begovic again and it was that man Wilson who levelled as he converted Hoilett’s cross.


    Stanislas was next to strike the bar with a ferocious set-piece which left the woodwork rattling and Smithies motionless.


    The chances kept coming and Solanke missed a sitter of a header, but the sides could not be separated despite late Bournemouth pressure.


    Wales defender Chris Mepham appealed for a late penalty as the Cherries built up a head of steam before settling for a point.


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  • Jurgen Klopp impressed with centre-back pairing of Fabinho and Joe Gomez

    Liverpool are set to be without defensive talisman Virgil Van Dijk for some time.

    21 Oct 2020, 22:23 CEST

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was delighted with how his untested centre-back pairing of Fabinho and Joe Gomez performed in the 1-0 win over Ajax in their Champions League opener. A Nicolas Tagliafico 35th-minute own goal decided an untidy match in Amsterdam as only the Reds' second clean sheet in 13 European games as the away team on an opponent's ground proved decisive. Midfielder Fabinho, in particular, was exceptional filling the hole left by Virgil Van Dijk's long-term knee injury – hooking a Dusan Tadic lob off the goalline to keep the score at 1-0 – but he also had a positive influence on Gomez alongside him. "Good but even Fabinho can play better," Klopp said on the performance of the Brazil international, whose partnership with Gomez was the 35th centre-back pairing used by the German. "This combination had not played together so they need to get used to each other, the verbal commands, what you need to say to the midfield. "Fabinho can play the position, he likes playing it actually. If I asked him to play right-back I don't think he would enjoy it as much. "I'm not surprised Fabinho plays in the position, otherwise I would have thought about a different solution. "It was a good performance but there is a lot to improve, that is good. It was absolutely good tonight and we'd like it to carry on. "We are not dumb enough to think we didn't need a bit of luck as Fabinho needed to make a proper stretch to get that ball from the line and they hit the post. "A clean sheet is one information but we could have done better. I don't care in the moment as we wanted to win the game and we have done that."


    Klopp played down concerns about more injury worries, insisting Sadio Mane had been carrying a dead leg for a couple of days and that was the reason he had an ice pack on after being substituted. Youngster Curtis Jones' full Champions League debut lasted just 45 minutes but that was because Jordan Henderson was not fit enough to play more than half a game. "It was not the most easy-on-the-eye performance from both teams, both teams can play much better football," Klopp added. "Pretty much the medical department made the line-up – and then you have to win the game and that is what the boys did and I think it was pretty much deserved. "They had their moments but apart from that we were pretty dominant on a difficult pitch. "It will not be on the front page of our history book but it is an important moment and I am pleased with that." Ajax coach Erik Ten Hag felt his players wasted an opportunity against a Liverpool team missing Van Dijk and obviously not at their fluent best. "It was a good team performance. We didn't score but we did have enough chances," he said. "They (his players) had Liverpool around their finger for a while and we are very happy about that. Liverpool were fragile tonight but we didn't take advantage of that."

  • Neil Harris hails ‘excellent’ Harry Wilson after Cardiff draw with Bournemouth

    Wilson denied his former club victory by cancelling out Dominic Solanke’s effort.

    21 Oct 2020, 22:04 CEST

    Harry Wilson and Alex Smithies earned the praise of Cardiff manager Neil Harris after the Bluebirds came from behind to earn a 1-1 Championship draw with Bournemouth. On his first start Cardiff start, Liverpool loanee and former Cherries man Wilson cancelled out Dominic Solanke's opener for the visitors on a drizzly night in the Welsh capital. But the key moment came when, with Bournemouth 1-0 up, home goalkeeper Smithies produced an outstanding save to deny Solanke from doubling his tally. before Wilson promptly equalised at the other end. "You saw two really good teams and a point was fair," said Harris. "It was toe-to-toe in the second half particularly. Credit to my players for coming back. "Harry showed his class and quality and you can talk about his free-kicks and creativity, but it's what he does without the ball as well which is important. I thought he was excellent. "It was a great, great save from Alex. You need your goalkeeper against the best sides and Alex showed he's up there with the best in the league. "I think any team which finishes above Bournemouth will be promoted. They have pace and power with the ball. They are a good side, but we will get better. "We had to dig in and show resilience and we have to back it up against Middlesbrough on Saturday."


    Bournemouth took control and deservedly moved ahead when Solanke tapped in from Jack Stacey's cross. Wilson was Cardiff's bright spark, but Bournemouth should have been out of sight through Junior Stanislas and Solanke in the second half. Smithies worked wonders when he somehow got something on Solanke's attempted finish which deflected on to the bar. Wilson then hit the woodwork with a trademark free-kick before the Wales international – who joined Cardiff on deadline day – equalised with a low finish from Junior Hoilett's ball. Stanislas hit the bar with a set-piece effort of his own which left Smithies motionless and Solanke missed a sitter of a header as the two sides shared the spoils in an entertaining game. Bournemouth boss Jason Tindall said: "I'm disappointed we have come away with only a point because I felt we deserved all three. We should really have scored three or four goals. "The save their keeper made was outstanding so full credit to him. We limited Cardiff – who are a very good side – to very few chances in the game, but we know all about Harry. "If you give him room from that kind of distance, then nine times out of 10 the ball will end up in the back of the net. We have played well, but I know we can get much better."

  • Stoke boss Michael O’Neill bemoans poor decision to send off Nathan Collins

    The Potters had to play 30 minutes with 10 men.

    21 Oct 2020, 22:00 CEST

    Stoke boss Michael O'Neill was unhappy with referee Michael Salisbury after his side were held 2-2 by winless Barnsley. Tyrese Campbell and Tommy Smith cancelled out goals from Elliot Simoes and Dominik Frieser, but the big talking point was the disputed sending-off of defender Nathan Collins. Collins was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident with Frieser on the hour mark, a decision which did not sit well with Northern Irishman O'Neill. "It's a really poor decision," wrapped O'Neill. "I've watched it back and I didn't believe it was a red card at the time. It was the assistant who notified the referee, we can tell that from hearing his shout. "What's happened really is there's a coming together and our centre-back has tried to block his run a little bit and the Barnsley player has thrown himself to the ground holding his face. "The assistant has deemed that a red card, but it's disappointing that the player would do that. "And secondly disappointing that it was given because it was a really poor decision. "We have footage from our own analysts, so we're looking at what our options are for an appeal tomorrow. "However, the players deserve enormous credit for the injustice of the decision and then to come back to make sure we took something from the game."


    Stoke rode their luck at times but Smith's first goal since March 2017 made sure of a point. "When we lost the first goal, which was a poor goal for us to concede, we started to get a grip on the game," admitted O'Neill. "We knew Barnsley would come and press us, but we still tried to continue and build the game from the back which was a positive. "Our final ball was a little bit weak at times, but our reaction to losing the goal was good. "But the most concerning thing is the second goal. We just switched off. "We didn't defend well on two or three occasions where we should have been tighter. Ultimately, we go in 2-1 down – and that should have never been the case. "But we got ourselves level again and I think we were in a strong position to go on and win the game until, obviously, the red card. "We haven't looked like conceding goals like that this season, it was out of character. We were too open at times and missed tackles at key moments." Frustrated Barnsley caretaker boss Adam Murray admitted his side missed a trick as they remain winless in the Championship so far this term. "It's more frustration than anything that we haven't come away with a win," admitted Murray. "I thought overall the performance was very good. I think we were in control for a lot of the game, I thought we had a game-plan which worked. "We scored two very good goals. We've got a squad of players who can score goals, especially in those forward areas. "We've spoken a lot over the last couple of weeks about getting into better areas and turning chances into very good chances. I think we did that tonight. "But unfortunately in the last 20 minutes we were just lacking that finishing touch. It's frustrating." Goalkeeper Jack Walton spilled a routine cross to gift Smith Stoke's second equaliser, but Murray stressed: "It's one of those things. Goalkeepers make errors and they always get punished, but we won't speak about it again. "Jack's obviously frustrated, but if it wasn't for Jack I don't think we'd still be in the Championship. We move on."

  • Thomas Frank lauds Brentford players for performance against Sheffield Wednesday

    Ivan Toney scored twice as the Bees won 2-1.

    21 Oct 2020, 22:00 CEST

    Brentford head coach Thomas Frank praised his side after they recorded their first Championship away victory of the season, winning 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday. Ivan Tony got both Bees goals to leave his manager delighted with his side's performance. Jack Marriott, making his full debut for Wednesday after signing on loan from Derby, put a low shot on target early on which was comfortably saved by David Raya. Brentford took a seventh-minute lead when Henrik Dalsgaard's low drive was parried by Cameron Dawson and Toney was the first to react, seizing on the loose ball and firing into the net. The hosts equalised when a Kadeem Harris cross was met by a stooping header from Callum Paterson with 25 minutes gone. Brentford regained the lead when Toney scored his second goal of the night six minutes later, meeting Vitaly Janelt's corner with a near-post header. Toney spurned a chance to complete his hat-trick, scuffing a shot wide after connecting with Sergi Canos' low cross but his manager was still happy. Frank said: "I was very pleased with the performance. I liked very much the way we handled the ball today. "I think we found some good solutions and had some dangerous counters throughout the game. "I was very pleased with how we defended, except for that spell for around five to 10 minutes around their equaliser. Apart from that I thought we did very well and gave no chances away. "We knew that he (Toney) was a goalscorer and that he'd suit the way we played. "To score seven goals in four games speaks for itself. I'm very pleased with that but him and I want even more. We know that there are things we need to work on to make him even better. "The link-up play and the runs around him were superb and the effort was also up there. "I'm very pleased and it is on to the next one." Wednesday boss Garry Monk felt his side did not reach the heights he had been expecting. He said: "I think overall, especially in the first half, we didn't get the levels of performance that we have been doing. "We were just a yard or two off them and when you're playing against a good side like Brentord are, that can prove costly. "The goals they scored were goals that could have been avoided. In the second half we were much better at getting up to them and that intensity was at the level we wanted. "We just need that little bit of composure, but we didn't quite get that right. "It's always fine margins in this league. You need that bit of composure and we lacked that a little bit tonight overall. "We can't dwell on it. We know we've been performing well and we need to bounce back again at the weekend. "This is a tough, tough season for us. We'll keep working and get ready for the weekend."