Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Philippe Auclair and Lars Sivertsen discuss Solskjær’s stumble, Wembley’s rumble, a momentous first Champions League VAR, Declan Rice’s defection to England and the passings of two football legends
We look back at the last couple of days of football, starting with PSG inflicting the first defeat of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s tenure as Manchester United boss, as they take a 2-0 scoreline back to the Parc des Princes in three weeks time.Continue reading...
The FA wants to see more English and fewer foreign players in the Premier League. Here’s how each team could be affected
Brexit-anxiety has engulfed businesses across the UK over the past few months, and when it comes to English football, the Premier League is not shielded from the uncertainty. For decades, England’s top tier has become increasingly international, with clubs sourcing the best talent from around the world. But this has meant playing time has been reduced for English players, something that hasn’t sat well with the game’s governing body.
The FA sees Brexit as a chance to increase the number of English players in the Premier League, which it says will boost the chances of the national team by exposing more players to the best football. But the Premier League has rejected this view, saying there is “no evidence” it would work.Continue reading...
Rafael Benítez must hate it when the fourth official holds up the board for added time against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Just as Matt Doherty had headed a winner in the 94th minute at St James’ Park in December, so Newcastle United were again undone by a last-gasp goal as Willy Boly headed in Adama Traoré’s deep cross in the 95th.
Boly was able to head beyond a flapping Martin Dubravka in an aerial duel at the back post but once Benítez had moved beyond his disappointment, the Newcastle manager should still take great heart from the resolve his side displayed as Isaac Hayden’s rare goal earned United the draw that lifts them a point above the relegation zone.
Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sportContinue reading...
Willy Boly scored a last-gasp equaliser to leave Newcastle a point above the bottom three despite a spirited effort at Molineux
Here’s Peter Lansley’s report from Molineux. That’s all from me tonight. Thanks for reading and emailing. Bye!
Isaac Hayden speaks! “It’s difficult to put into words, the feeling we’ve got. We thought we deserved the points. It looked a foul from the bench. I think the referee had played 94 and 52 seconds. It’s another bit of bad luck. I thought we deserved the three points. It’s one of those disappointing moments. Martin Dubravka’s a top class goalkeeper. There’s going to be no blame laid at his door. I made a mistake at the beginning of the season against Cardiff away and got sent off and almost cost the team.”
Newcastle might be annoyed about five minutes of added time, but everyone knows it’s a minimum. They wasted the first minute with the Manquillo substitution and can have no complaints that Graham Scott kept playing after the allotted four minutes were up.
Rafa Benitez looks absolutely furious, though it’s not clear whether it’s because of how much added time was added on, because he thought the equaliser should have been ruled out or because he’s just annoyed with another costly error from Martin Dubravka.The Newcastle manager is livid. He’s fuming as he walks off. It was a heartbreaking end for Newcastle, who were moments away from a crucial win before Willy Boly’s 95th-minute equaliser. They were on course to rise to 13th thanks to a strike from Isaac Hayden; instead they find themselves a point above 18th-placed Southampton with 12 games to go.
That’s your lot!
Adama Traore goes on one last surge down the right. He reaches the byline and hoicks a high cross to the far post. It should be Dubravka’s. He should punch it away. But he tries to catch it and isn’t strong enough. He makes a complete mess of it and that allows Boly to bundle it in with a combination of his head and chest! Dubravka appeals for a foul. There was no foul. Lascelles is furious with him.
90 min+5: Wolves pump the long ball forward. Jimenez sees a volley blocked. Then Ritchie blocks Traore’s shot. And then...
90 min+4:One final corner for Wolves, won by Cavaleiro. It’s headed away.
90 min+1:Newcastle eat some time with their third substitution, Ayoze Perez making way for Javi Manquillo. “Just to add a woman’s two penn’th (a wife not a fiancée), I would suggest mustard,” Jill O’Donnell says.
90 min: Almiron’s cross is headed over by Perez. There will be four added minutes.
89 min: Moutinho’s corner, Bennett’s header, Dubravka’s ball.
88 min: A corner to Wolves on the left. Boly almost gets his head to it in the six-yard box. Newcastle survive. Another corner....
86 min:Mo Diame replaces Isaac Hayden, Newcastle’s goalscorer.
82 min:Adama Traore replaces Matt Doherty. Wolves attack down the left, Cavaleiro twisting, turning and lifting a deep cross to the far post. Traore sidefoots it back into the middle and Jimenez heads woefully wide from close range!
81 min:Cavaleiro blasts over from 25 yards. Wolves are running out of ideas.
80 min: Wolves are getting Adama Traore ready.
78 min: Moutinho gives Almiron a rude introduction to English football, sliding to bring him down. A good old-fashioned reducer from, er, the silky Portuguese creator.
75 min: Hayden’s receiving treatment after being fouled by Moutinho, which gives everyone a chance to have a breather.
72 min: This is what the Newcastle fans wanted to see: Miguel Almiron coming on to make his debut. The Paraguayan’s given a huge cheer as he replaces Christian Atsu.
69 min: Helder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro come on for Diogo Jota and Leander Dendoncker.
68 min: Lascelles picks up a booking for a cynical trip on Jimenez.“If there’s one thing I’ve learned today it’s that David Dein is in the habit of making assumptions,” JR in Illinois says. “Now he’s assuming how my theoretical fiancee would react?! Also, while I’m here, I can’t let his calling Newcastle’s kit “teal” go unchallenged. It’s not teal. It’s closer to cyan or possibly electric blue.”
66 min: Helder Costa will be on for Wolves soon.
65 min: Jimenez manages to bustle to the byline on the right and pull a cross into the area. A ricochet sees the ball run to Doherty, whose shot hits his own man! Newcastle survive again.
61 min:“Simon Kirchin’s link confirms something I’ve always thought, the best football kits were worn during the sixties,” Tom Shaw says. “Smart, trim and clean looking with no graphics apart from a club crest. Worth checking your club’s out and comparing it with the cluttered monstrosity they probably were today.”
59 min:Jota with the shot again, Dubravka with the shot again. This could be a long 30 minutes or so for Newcastle.
57 min: Wolves look for an instant response, but Jota sees his shot from 18 yards saved by Dubravka, diving low to his right.
This is a really well worked goal, though Rui Patricio has let himself down here.The move begins with Fabian Schar setting off on one of his trademark runs from deep. This time he decides not to shoot. Instead he slides a brilliant pass through to Hayden on the right, cutting Wolves open, and the midfielder’s shot manages to squirm past Patricio, who really should have kept it out. Not that Newcastle care. That could be a huge goal for them.
Newcastle snatch the lead!
53 min: Dubravka claims the corner.
52 min: Wolves are setting a brisk pace and Jota wins a corner on the left.
51 min: There’s a minor row between Schar and Jota, both of whom get yellow cards after jutting heads together.
48 min: Wolves are o the front foot straight away, Jimenez playing a one-two with Jota and bursting into the area, but Lascelles manages to deflect the Mexican’s shot wide for a corner. From which a flick-on from Jota at the near post should lead to the opening goal for Doherty. The Irish wing-back’s only a yard out, but he’s under pressure from Longstaff and manages to head over the bar! What a miss!
46 min: Wolves get the second half underway.
“Here you go, Wolves kits through the ages,” Simon Kirchin says. “Knock yourself out......”
It’s been very tight. Not too many chances at either end. I’ve seen worse games, though. See you in 15 minutes.
45 min: Perez slips a pass through to Rondon, who runs at Coady and tries to make room for a shot. Just when Rondon seems ready to blast home with his left foot, Coady sticks out a leg to divert the shot over!
44 min: Ritchie goes down in the Wolves area after running into Doherty, enraging the home fans. The Newcastle player’s also not too happy. He thought it was a penalty and tells the referee as much in no uncertain terms. All that gets him is a booking for dissent.
43 min: A cross from Ritchie from the left somehow reaches Rondon at the far post, but the Newcastle forward can’t sort out his feet and loses the ball. To belabour the point about newcastle’s kit,” Neil Hattersley says. “Every time the TV cuts to a close up of one of their outfield players I just assume they have a new keeper I’ve never seen before.”
41 min: Jonny smacks a low shot through the mass of bodies from 20 yards, but Dubravka plunges to his right to make a good save. He even holds on to the ball. A good goalkeeper, Dubravka, despite that mistake against Spurs last week.
40 min: Newcastle creep forward, pressing on the right, and Hayden sends a cross into the area. Rondon’s more alert than anyone - but the former West Brom striker can only glance a header straight at Patricio.
37 min: “The bigger issue surely is what colour is the Newcastle kit?” Steven Franklin says. “You called it blue in your preamble but I’d be inclined to call it turquoise.”
35 min: The second corner comes to nothing. Moments later Jimenez almost makes something out of nothing on the left after being picked out by a raking pass from Neves. He tricks past Yedlin brilliantly, drives back from the byline, on to his right foot, and slams a low shot through the bodies. The ball’s heading towards the far post, but Dubravka gets down to make the save. Jota can’t do anything with the rebound.
34 min: Another Newcastle error in possession sparks another Wolves attack, which ends with Jimenez winning a corner on the right. Jota sends it in and Boly runs to the near post, only to see his header hit a Newcastle man and fly over.
32 min: Newcastle have their first decent attack of the evening. Sort of. Schar sends one wide from 25 yards.
30 min:Newcastle haven’t been out of their half in any constructive way for a while. It’s all Wolves. But Dubravka hasn’t had to make a save yet. “That definitive guide to football kits, the 1960’s Subbuteo catalogue lists Wolves shirts as Old Gold,” Tom Shaw says. “That’s good enough for me.
27 min: Wolves have had quite a few promising situations on the edge of the Newcastle area, only to botch the final pass. Their latest attack ends with Dendoncker curling over from 25 yards. They need more composure.
25 min:Wolves have had a good few minutes and are making most of the running. Newcastle’s objective, you sense, is to kill the game. There’s a danger it could run away from them if Wolves get the first goal soon.
23 min: A fascinating development is taking place in my inbox. “Not to throw a monkey wrench (or “spanner” as you would call it) into David Dein’s world view but I’m not from (and have never even been to) the U.K. and I would not say Wolves are wearing orange,” says JR in Illinois. “I’d call it amber.” What have you done, David Dein?
20 min: “If you are hurting for quality emails let me express my retort to emailer David Deon that many in the states would rule that Wolve’s kits are indeed old gold,” Alex Alfonso says. “In fact, my university loved the color so much they named an entire alumni weekend after it (because that’s what you do in middle-of-nowhere Indiana).”
18 min: Now Wolves have a saunter down the right. The excellent Doherty pings in a cross and this time Jimenez has room to get a shot away, only to slash over the bar. He should have scored.
17 min:Wolves, dangerous down the left, attack down that flank again, Jonny breaking free and pulling a cutback towards Jimenez. The striker seems poised to stroke home, only for Atsu to steam in and make the tackle. Wolves scream for a penalty as Jimenez goes to ground, but a replay shows Atsu got the ball.
16 min: This is exactly like a game of chess.
13 min: Lejeune makes a poor error, gifting the ball straight to Wolves on the halfway line, but the centre-back’s relieved to see Lascelles step in and stop Jimenez’s charge towards goal.
11 min: Wolves have struggled to deal with defensive sides at home a few times this season and they will have to work hard to break down Newcastle. That said, the visitors are more ambitious than they were against Tottenham last week.
9 min: Ritchie has a saunter down the left and sends an absolutely hopeless cross into the Wolves area.
7 min:Jota collects a long ball into the Newcastle area, turns Yedlin and tries to cross. The ball floats over for a goal-kick.
4 min:Wolves have a look down the left, Jota combining with Jonny, who tries to sweep a clever pass to the far post for Jimenez, who can’t quite make up the ground. Up the other end, Rondon has a go from the edge of the area. Straight at Rui Patricio.
3 min: “Allow me to get something off my chest,” says David Dein. “Why do you insist on perpetuating the myth that Wolves play in old gold? You ask anyone that isn’t native to the UK what colour that shirt is and they will tell you it’s orange. I can understand when textiles weren’t capable of producing the colour gold cost effectively that but that was a time that is quite literally decades ago.”
Just because, to be honest.
Peep! Newcastle, kicking from right to left in the first half, get the game underway. Mike Ashley is at Molineux tonight.
Here come the teams! Wolves are in gold and black, Newcastle are in blue.
An email!“Supporting a failing team, like having a pet as a kid, is a necessary way of getting used to the fact of death,” Ian Copestake says. “Man City fans no longer have such an incessant exposure so let’s top our hats to Newcastle’s rabbit owning supporters.”
Wolves: Rui Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Neves, Jonny; Jota, Jimenez. Subs: Ruddy, Cavaleiro, Costa, Gibbs-White, Saiss, Vinagre, Traore.
Newcastle: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lejeune, Schar, Lascelles, Ritchie; Hayden, Longstaff, Atsu, Perez; Rondon. Subs:Woodman, Fernandez, Manquillo, Diame, Almiron, Kenedy, Joselu.
Hello. With Rafael Benitez still defying very logical calls from Richard Keys to pump some of his own money into Newcastle United, special praise must be afforded to Mike Ashley for signing Miguel Almiron for £21m. Times are hard, but Ashley’s generosity knows no bounds. A mere 12 years since he pitched up in the north east, the owner has reached into his wallet to shatter the club’s transfer record, further cementing his status as a club legend. Hurrah for Big Mike...
... said absolutely nobody in a black and white shirt. For while Almiron does look like a good signing, it’s difficult to be that effusive about Ashley when Newcastle find themselves out of the bottom three on goal difference, weighed down by yet another relegation battle and at risk of losing Benitez at the end of the season. Newcastle’s manager may well need to see a bit more ambition before he decides to extend his contract and stay at a club whose vast potential continues to be quashed by a joyless ownership. Benitez has done a brilliant job so far - the man beat Manchester City the other day! - and it’s clear that he could bring back the glory years if he receives proper backing, but at the moment it’s hard not to feel that this is all going to end in tears.Continue reading...
The undisputed star of the ‘celebrity refs’ gave another vintage display this weekend. But is he the Premier League’s greatest ever performer?
Sarri is heading into Chelsea danger zone, Martial is showing up Mourinho’s poor judgment and is Mee ready for England?
Maurizio Sarri is heading into the shark-infested waters that did for Luiz Felipe Scolari and André Villas-Boas, who were sacked midway through their first seasons in charge of Chelsea. They were removed by Roman Abramovich once his team’s place in the following season’s Champions League was endangered and this weekend ended with Manchester United in fourth spot. Villas-Boas lost his job on 4 March 2012 while Scolari departed on 9 February 2009. At least Sarri has now lasted longer than the Brazilian, but ‘Sarriball’ has lately looked as poor a fit for Chelsea as his laissez-faire attitude and Villas-Boas’s overly methodical stratagems. Sarri’s displacement of N’Golo Kanté to play everything through Jorginho and the cold shoulders given to youngsters such as Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek may end up being his deepest Chelsea legacies. John Brewin
The three-way gallop to the lineContinue reading...
Ederson 8Retained concentration, made sharp saves when required and hit precise long balls.Continue reading...
Maurizio Sarri feels he is 'always at risk' of being sacked by Chelsea after watching them succumb to their heaviest defeat in almost 28 years.
The pressure intensified on the Italian after Sergio Agüero's 11th Premier League hat-trick, Raheem Sterling's double and Ilkay Gundogan's goal wrapped up an incredible 6-0 win for Manchester City.
Sarri made an encouraging start to his tenure. Chelsea were unbeaten after their first 12 top-flight matches under him but the Blues have faded out of title contention and face a battle to finish in the top four.Continue reading...
Emiliano Sala was given an emotional tribute during Nantes' first home game since the footballer was confirmed to have died in a plane crash.
The 28-year-old's former teammates wore black shirts with the name 'Sala' on the back and Nantes fans also held up the number 9 in memory of the Argentinian.
Sala, who had spent four seasons at Nantes, was travelling to his new club Cardiff City with pilot David Ibbotson, when their plane went missing over the English channel on 21 January.Continue reading...