Daily Archives: September 15, 2017

Sadio Mane regrets Ederson incident but will not change play style

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Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has expressed regrets for injuring Ederson’s face at Manchester City, but insisted he would not change his playing style despite being handed a straight red for the incident.

The red card also meant that Mane will miss Liverpool’s next three domestic matches, after an appeal against the length of his suspension rejected by the Football Association.

The Senegalese International will not be available for selection in Liverpool’s Saturday’s home game against Burnley plus two trips to Leicester City, in the Carabao Cup and league next week.

Mane had since apologised to the City goalkeeper for what he says was an accidental collision, one that forced Ederson off on a stretcher after eight minutes of treatment and also required eight stitches to a gruesome facial injury, but was clear in that he would not back off in the case of another challenge against an opposing goalkeeper.

“I think the next time I will get the ball before him, I will do my best,” Mane said. “My intention was not to hurt the goalkeeper. It was bad and I wish him the recovery to come back healthy. I am happy for him that he could play again [against Feyenoord on Wednesday] and help his team.”

“It is not what I wish. I think it was a challenge for the ball. I made contact and it was not what I wanted to do so I apologised to him. It is part of football and I cannot change anything. I don’t have his number so I just posted messages for him and I think he has seen them.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool may just be able to fill the void left by Mane with the returning Philippe Coutinho, who made his first Liverpool appearance in this season against Sevilla mid-week since Pushing for a move to FC Barcelona.

“It is always nice to welcome him back because he is one of our best players,” Mane said of Coutinho. “He will not only help my game but I think he is a very important player for Liverpool and he will help us to get better and better.”

Prediction:

Liverpool (3) — (1) Burnley

Europa League: Arsenal half-time rally earns opening day win

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Arsenal came from behind to beat Cologne by 3-1 in their Europa League encounter that had to be delayed for an hour following crowd trouble.

Arsenal had fell behind early when, after receiving a poor clearance from Gunners keeper David Ospina, Cologne’s Jhon Cordoba controls the ball then fires the ball towards the Arsenal goal with Ospina out of position, who could only look in despair as Cologne led after just 10 minutes.

The Gunners mustered a reply but only after half-time, when Arsene Wenger brought in Sead Kolasinac in place of Rob Holding. Theo Walcott’s attempt to cross from the left side of the box was blocked, but it ricocheted into Kolasinac, who made no mistake in his first-time volley effort and equalized.

Finding the winds in their sails, Alexis Sanchez then doubled Arsenal’s lead with an incisive run infield, culminating with a successfully converted curling effort from the edge of the box.

Bellerin then sealed the win for Arsenal from close range, tapping in a rebound after another Walcott effort was saved.

Before the game started, the match had to be delayed by an hour “in the interests of crowd safety”.

There had been thousands of ticketless away supporters who turned up outside the ground, and scuffles had ensued between fans and stewards inside after the gates opened. Police later said that five people had been arrested on suspicion of public order offences.

However, there was no reports of trouble during the game itself, where the German side had only been given a ticket allocation of 2,900.

Malaysia set to host World Cup qualifier playoff for Syria

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Syria will be playing a vital World Cup qualifier playoff against Australia after receiving confirmation from the Asian Football Confederation.

This meant that the first leg between both national teams will be played at Hang Jebat Stadium in Malacca, Malaysia, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, the preferred locations for Syria.

The return leg is set for ANZ Stadium five days later on 10 October, with the winner advancing to another playoff. This time around their opponents would be one of three picks: Panama, Honduras, or the US.

That particular playoff would in turn be played in November, with the winner claiming a place at next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Thus far in their bid to qualify for Russia 2018, Syria have played their “home” games in Malaysia due to the on-going conflict in country.

After this fashion, the middle-east team “hosted” three qualifiers against Uzbekistan, Qatar and China at the Hang Jebat stadium, winning the former two and drawing against the latter.

Australia had missed out on their chance to secure automatic qualification to Russia when they beat Thailand 2-1 and Saudi Arabia overcame Japan 1-0 last week.

The results meant that the Saudi Arabia team secured their automatic qualification spot in the World Cup alongside group winners Japan, whereas Australia was left to struggle through the playoffs.