Daily Archives: September 13, 2017

Liverpool appeal against Sadio Mane ban rejected by FA

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The Football Association has announced that the three-match suspension of Liverpool’s Sadio Mane will be sustained for his red card at Manchester City after his claim of excessive punishment was rejected.

Mane was sent off for raising his foot in a challenge with the City goalkeeper Ederson in the first half of Liverpool’s 5-0 Premier League defeat on Saturday, with the Senegalese international catching Ederson in the face on the edge of City’s penalty area, and the 25-year-old was shown a straight red card by the referee Jon Moss.

Ederson was subsequently quickly taken off the pitch on a stretcher with facial injuries following the incident in the first half. Although he returned to watch the final stages of his side’s victory, a photograph released since has shown eight stitches in wounds on the side of his face.

The Brazilian was able to return to the City bench in the second half, and trained — wearing protective head gear — on Tuesday before Wednesday’s Champions League match at Feyenoord, and was also included in the squad for the match.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said initially that it would be a waste of time to appeal against the sentence, albeit adding that Mane had been unlucky to be given the straight red at the Etihad.

“It would be another waste of time, like the game today,” he said. “I think everyone knows [Mane] didn’t see the goalie. There was not one second he looks on the goalie. He just wanted to get the ball as soon as possible.”

“Hopefully the goalie is not seriously injured. Sadio is very upset. We couldn’t keep him – he was shocked about the situation. I am sure also about the decision.”

The sustaining of the sentence meant that Mane will miss the home league game against Burnley on 16 September, as well as two trips to Leicester City — the League Cup tie on 19 September and the Premier League match four days later.

World Cup 2018: tickets for finals to go on sale on Thursday

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The first wave of tickets for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia will go on sale on Thursday this week.

The tournament , which begins on 14 June next year with Russia playing the opener at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, already has seven countries booking their places alongside the hosts — which includes five-time winners Brazil, Belgium, Iran, Mexico, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

With the offer of tickets prices that range from £79 for a second-round group match to £829 for the final in Moscow, fans will be able to submit their applications via FIFA’s website and tickets will be sold in two phases.

Those applications, which can be made up to 12 October 2017, will enter into a random selection draw if there are not enough tickets available to fulfil all requests, and each applicant will be subsequently notified of the outcome of their applications by 16 November 2017.

The first phase of sales then concludes in the period from 16 November to 28 November, during which tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Another phase will begin on 5 December after the draw is made and there will also be a “last-minute” sales phase from 18 April to 15 July, the day of the World Cup final.

The most expensive ticket for the 2018 World Cup final, £829 is a £151 increase on the equivalent ticket at the Brazil 2014 final in Rio de Janeiro. However, Russia residents will enjoy a special price category with tickets starting at £17 in line with previous ticketing policies.

Messi brace gives Barca perfect Champions League start

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Lionel Messi scored a brace against Juventus in a 3-0 win over last season’s Champions League finalists for a perfect start to FC Barcelona’s European campaign.

Messi opened the scoring on the last minute before the interval.With the ball clipped towards summer signing Ousmane Dembele who, back to goal, controlled and turned away from his markers. The pitch opened up before him and finding Messi to his left, Argentinian exchanged passes with Luis Suarez on the edge of the area before guiding the ball into the far corner.

Ivan Rakitic then scored Barca’s second after Messi’s shot was cleared off the line, with the Argentine then wrapping up victory with a superb left-footed goal from 20 yards.

It was not to be a night for Juve’s veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon, who, despite equalling the Champions League record for most appearances by an Italian player with 109 (level with Paolo Maldini) had to suffer the ignominy of finally conceding against Messi, whom he held three clean sheets against.

This also marks a continuous perfect start for Barca to their new season, who now have won all four games played without conceding.

There was also icing to their cake as Juventus had been the team that knocked them out of Europe last season with a 3-0 aggregate score in the quarter finals, although the Italians were without six of the men who defeated them last season.

On top of that the Serie A champions had to play an injury depleted squad, with Giorgio Chiellini, Sami Khedira, Mario Mandzukic, Benedikt Howedes and Claudio Marchisio were all missing through injury.

Other key players such as Juan Cuadrado was suspended, and right-back De Sciglio was forced off with an injury in the first half, leaving Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri with a very mismatched side.

Still, there is much for Allegri to look ahead as Juve could back themselves to have too much for Olympiacos and Sporting Club in their upcoming group games, while they’ll also fancy their chances at home to Barca. After all, it’s only been barely half a year since Juventus so convincingly beat the Blaugrana en route to the final last season.