Daily Archives: November 24, 2017

Robinho handed nine years sentence in jail for rape

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An Italian court has sentenced the former Manchester City and Brazil forward Robinho in absentia to nine years in prison after convicting him of taking part in a gang rape of an Albanian woman in 2013.

Robinho and five other Brazilians was found guilty of assaulting the woman, who was 22 at the time, after plying her with alcohol in a discotheque.

The whereabouts of Robinho’s five companions is not known, so their trial has been put on hold, with Robinho’s own sentence being be put on hold until the appeals process is completed.

Robinho, 33, who played for Milan from 2010-2015 and is currently with Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, pleaded not guilty via his lawyer and did not appear at any of the court hearings in northern Italy.

“We would like to clarify that he has already defended himself against the accusations, affirming that he did not participate in the episode,” said a statement posted on Robinho’s Instagram feed. “All legal measures are being taken.”

Robinho has a right to two appeals and Italy would seek extradition only once this legal process is exhausted, a source said. However, Brazil does not allow for the extradition of its own citizens, meaning he would risk arrest and deportation only if he was stopped in a third country.

The Milan court ordered the victim receive 60,000 euros ($71,000) as compensation for her suffering.

Robinho began his career at Santos, where he starred in a side that won the league in 2002 and 2004. His performances won him a move to Real Madrid in 2005 but he stayed only three years before moving to City in a British-record £32.5m transfer.

But failing to make an impact saw him loaned back to Santos in January 2010, and although he won Serie A during his subsequent spell at Milan he returned to Santos for another loan spell in August 2014.

The player then joined Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande in July 2015, and when his sixth-month deal expired he moved back to Brazil, joining Atletico Mineiro on a two-year deal.

Late Basel goal denies Manchester United 100% record

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A late goal from Basel’s Michael Lang saw Manchester United being denied a 100% record in the Champions League group stages as Jose Mourinho’s team fell 1-0 to the Swiss side.

The defeat came despite the United domination of the first half in their penultimate group game, with Marouane Fellaini and Marcos Rojo hitting the woodwork.

The first half also saw the Red Devils enjoyed 74% in possession and denying the hosts even a shot on target, but they could not translate that dominance to the scoresheet and soon were stretched out of shape from the start of the second half.

Basel, seven points off the top of their domestic league, wore down the United resistance in midfield, and the pace of Lang, Dimitri Oberlin and Mohamed Elyounoussi helped them grow in danger.

The home crowd increased in volume and chances for their team increased, with Geoffroy Serey Die bringing a good save out of Sergio Romero before Lang’s decisive blow by turning in Raoul Petretta’s cross at the back post.

“We played against a team that played with five defenders,” Mourinho said after the game. “We tried to play with three attacking players and that worked in the first half because they couldn’t handle us.”

“We didn’t score in the second half probably because of the fact that we know one point is enough.”

While anything better than a seven-goal defeat by CSKA Moscow in their final group game on 5 December would still guarantee United their place in the last 16, the team could still have used the rest that would come with the guarantee of their spot in the playoffs.

But being denied that, they would now have to deal with the Manchester derby five days after CSKA’s visit to Old Trafford in the final group game — indeed, Jose Mourinho could have done with a truly dead rubber against the Muscovites.

Eden Hazard: Chelsea did not give chance to Mohamed Salah

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Eden Hazard has conceded Mohamed Salah “did not get his chance at Chelsea” as the Belgian captain prepares to meet his former club-mate on the opposing team when the Blues face Liverpool on Saturday.

The Belgian had been impressed by the impact made by the winger at Liverpool since the Egyptian’s return to England. “He is still my friend and we are still in contact,” said Hazard. “He’s a top, top, top player. He did not get his chance at Chelsea – maybe because of the manager, because of the other players? I don’t know.”

“He’s a top player, for sure, and we know as a team the quality he has. He is a fantastic striker and this season he has scored a lot of goals. It is always good to play against a friend but Liverpool is not only about Salah. They have a lot of quality players.”

Chelsea had beaten Liverpool back in January 2014 to Salah’s signature from Basel for around £11m when the Egyptian was in effect replacing the departed Juan Mata, only for him to find opportunities limited under the management of Jose Mourinho.

He only made six Premier League starts under the Portuguese, and, with his top-flight career failing to extend beyond nine hours of football he was loaned to Serie A clubs Fiorentina and Roma before making a permanent move to the Stadio Olimpico eventually.

“I watched him when he played for Roma,” Hazard added. “Now he is still at the top. And then even with his country he did well to reach the World Cup. At Liverpool he is still doing well, so I think we need to be careful with him. I want to ask him for his shirt, for sure, on Saturday.”

Chelsea will only have one training session ahead of their game against Liverpool, but with Hazard’s penalty against Qarabag in the Champions League on Wednesday coming as a sixth goal in seven matches they are in fine form. “I am feeling good, 100%,” The Belgian added. “A lot of players didn’t play on Wednesday and I played only 60 minutes and N’Golo [Kanté] also came off, so we can be fresh on Saturday, even if the game is close. We are professional; we can deal with this.”


Liverpool 1:3 Chelsea