Daily Archives: March 8, 2017

Zlatan Ibrahimovic handed 3 match ban after elbow incident

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Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be banned for 3 matches for elbowing Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings.

Ibrahimovic, 35, has accepted his Football Association charge for violent conduct and will miss Manchester United’s next three domestic games, which includes their FA Cup quarter-final fixture at Chelsea and the Premier League fixtures with Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion.

However, Zlatan, who was also United’s leading scorer this season with 26 goals, will be eligible to play in the Europa League tie against Rostov in Russia on Thursday. He is due to return in the Premier League against Everton on 4 April.

While Ibrahimovic denied intent behind his action, he looked prepared to accept any punishment meted out by the FA under retrospective inspection.

“In my situation, I jump up, I jump high,” Ibrahimovic said in the post-match interview. “At the same time I protect myself and unlucky he jumps into me. Many times this occasion happens.”

“I respect every decision,” he added on the possibility of retrospective action being taken against him. “I am not here to attack anybody. My purpose was not to do that. The game is hard.”

Meanwhile, Mings could be sanctioned with a ban of his own for an alleged stamp on the Ibrahimovic’s head. He landed on the United forward’s head with his studs before his rival caught him in the face with his elbow at a corner.

Deliberate stamping and elbowing are both red card offences, but the FA suggested that Mings could face an increased ban for his offence, claiming in an official statement that the standard punishment that would otherwise apply for the misconduct committed by the Bournemouth defender is ‘clearly insufficient’.

UCL: Arsenal capitulates as Bayern repeats damning scoreline

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Arsenal capitulated against Bayern Munich once again as the Bavarians repeated their first leg scoreline to win 5-1 against the Gunners (10-2 on aggregate).

Arsene Wenger’s team had managed to dominate the first-half and led through Theo Walcott’s 20th-minute stunner, before Bayern were awarded a penalty that also resulted in the sending off of defender Laurent Koscielny.

The Frenchman was initially shown a yellow for his foul on Robert Lewandowski, but it was upgraded to a straight red after referee Anastasios Sidiropoulos decided Koscielny’s effort was not aimed at the ball.

It was a controversial judgement, but it essentially killed Arsenal’s hopes of making it through to the quarter-finals for the first time in seven years as Lewandowski converted the ensuing penalty.

Arsenal home fans watched in silent horror as their team submitted to their fate and let Bayern added four more to their tally.

Arjen Robben put the Bundesliga champions in front after stealing the ball off Alexis Sanchez and beat David Ospina. Douglas Costa then ran from the halfway line before cutting inside and curling in a fine left-foot shot to make it 3-1. Arturo Vidal’s first goal was a cheeky chip over Ospina and the second was teed up by Costa after the two players had run clear.

But even for all their goals, Bayern seemed hardly stretched and looked to be simply biding their time before punishing Arsenal, a team they ousted three times at the Champions League round-of-16. It was mercy when the final whistle sounded, and unfortunately for Wenger and the Gunners it did not come quick enough.

Craig Shakespeare is Leicester manager until end of season

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Leicester City caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare will be offered the role of permanent manager at the club until the end of the season.

Shakespeare, 53, was former manager Claudio Ranieri’s assistant until the title-winning manager was sacked in February.

After failing to register a single goal in the Premier League since the turn of the calendar year, Shakespeare took charge of the Foxes from Ranieri and the team won both their league games since — beginning with a 3-1 victory over 4th placed Liverpool.

Previously lagging at the relegation zone, the wins lifted Leicester 3 places above and five points above 18th place Middlesbrough.

Shakespeare, who was brought to Leicester by Ranieri’s predecessor Nigel Pearson, has no experience in managing at full-time capacity. Nonetheless, the instant turnaround of player performances and match results would ease pressure on the club owners and Jon Rudkin, the director of football, as they look to recruit a permanent and long-term replacement for Ranieri before the end of the season.

On the other hand, while it is clear that Shakespeare’s appointment is a temporary solution and primarily to ensure Premier League survival, he could yet improve his chances to stay on as Leicester takes on Sevilla in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie next week.

With a precious away goal in the first leg, a 1-0 victory over Sevilla at the King Power stadium could send the Foxes into the Champions League quarter-finals in what will be the most important fixture in their 133-year history.