Tag Archives: Wembley

Wembley to host four additional Euro 2020 group stage matches

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Wembley will host seven games at Euro 2020 after UEFA handed the stadium an additional four matches that was previously scheduled for Brussels.

Euro 2020 is poised to be staged across 12 countries as former UEFA president Michel Platini’s idea of a one-off gesture to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the tournament.

UEFA had decided to reallocate the three group fixtures and one last-16 game previously given to the Belgian capital due to delays in the building of a 60,000-capacity stadium on the site of Heysel. Belgian authorities failed to provide guarantees the stadium would be ready.

Speaking in Nyon, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said the decision of UEFA’s executive committee had been unanimous as waiting on Belgium was deemed “high risk”.

“We don’t know if they can build a stadium or not,” Ceferin had added.

In addition to deciding where the first game, on 12 June, will be and what to do about the difficulties in Brussels, the UEFA executive committee has also announced where each of the six groups’ games will be played.

Baku and Rome will host group A, group B games will take place in Copenhagen and St Petersburg, Amsterdam and Bucharest get group C, Glasgow and London will share group D, group E will be staged in Bilbao and Dublin, while group F’s fixtures will be in Budapest and Munich.

The English FA chief executive, Martin Glenn, said: “We are delighted to help UEFA by hosting the additional four matches at Wembley Stadium. It’s an honour to be one of the 12 nations that will play a part in this prestigious Euro for Europe tournament and I would like to thank the UEFA executive committee for giving us the opportunity to stage these games.”

Marcos Alonso strikes twice for Chelsea victory over Tottenham

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Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso struck twice to help the Blues rebound from their opening-day defeat to Burnley with a 2-1 derby victory over Tottenham.

Despite missing key players in Eden Hazard, Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas through either injuries or suspension, the defending Premier League Champions nonetheless grabbed the lead through a perfectly driven free-kick by Alonso in the first half.

However, Spurs responded and, despite missed chances looked to have at least earn a point when Blues substitute Michy Batshuayi headed Christian Eriksen’s free-kick into his own net with eight minutes left.

When it looked as if Tottenham would be able to finish the game with a point, Alonso struck once more with a powerfully struck shot inside the near post that slid underneath Hugo Lloris to earn Chelsea the full three points.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who had to endure a week of scrutiny after their opening day defeat to Burnley and a difficult summer transfer window thanked and praised his depleted team’s response in the face of incredible adversity.

“I want to thank every one of my players,” Conte said. “They showed me great desire, great spirit, great will, great heart, great will to fight.

“I saw fighters in a moment that’s not easy for us with the suspensions and the injuries. We suffered during the game, but we were always dangerous in every moment.”

““I must be satisfied because my players gave me everything today,” Conte added. “They did the same last season. There will be more great difficulties in this season, but the only way we can get through these difficulties is to work.”

Defeat for Tottenham also meant that their 19-game home Premier League unbeaten run — a streak maintained since Southampton in May 2016 — ended, and their Wembley curse continues in that the London club have lost their past four games against Chelsea at Wembley.

FA Cup scraps quarter-final replays

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FA Cup scraps quarter-final replays

Manchester United won the FA Cup last Saturday after defeating Crystal Palace by 2-1.

The Football Association (FA) had decided to scrap FA Cup replays for the quarter-finals starting next season as plans of the competition were approved.

The governing body said that the decision was part of its “ongoing review” of the competition.

Under the new rules, the remaining eight clubs will battle it out over one weekend. Each tie will be played to a finish on the day; should normal time ends with a draw, extra-time and subsequently, penalties will be used to decide a winner.

Replays in earlier rounds remained; meaning lower-league clubs will still have the opportunity to make amends to first game failures by winning second matches against higher-ranked clubs.

Manchester United beat West Ham in a replay in this season’s quarter-finals – with Marouane Fellaini scoring the game winner – before going on to lift the trophy in the final at Wembley.

Semi-final replays were scrapped too albeit two decades earlier. Manchester United was also responsible then, as their 1999 victory over Arsenal sped on their way to winning their historic treble.

The new plan comes as part of the FA’s commitment to ease the congested fixture schedule that Premier League teams are constantly burdened by and help the development of the England national team.

The FA chief executive, Martin Glenn, said: “The Emirates FA Cup remains at the heart of English football and this change adds to the excitement of the competition and will benefit the wider game in general.”

“In a demanding calendar and with increased pressures on fans it is important we move with the times and consider new innovations such as last week’s successful Non-league finals day which saw 50,000 fans at Wembley for the Vase and Trophy.”

“While fully respecting tradition and history, this new development will help the Cup retain its status as a much-loved and world-renowned competition.”

Hull City set to meet Sheffield Wednesday in playoff final

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Hull City set to meet Sheffield Wednesday in playoff final

Hull City is set to meet Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship playoff after preserving their 3-goal lead against Derby County to advance by 3-2 on aggregate.

But even in front of a sell-out home crowd, Hull had looked nervy from the start. They failed failed to get up to speed as Cyrus Christie was allowed time and space to send over a cross from the right which Chris Martin headed back across the six-yard box.

It was met by Johnny Russell, whose initial effort was blocked, but the Scotsman was alert to the rebound and followed up to score from close range.

Hull conceded just 12 times in 23 home games in the regular season, but they looked anything but secure as the nail-biting match progresses.

A second arrived for the Rams nine minutes before the break, as Andy Robertson, the player who had scored Hull’s third goal in the first leg during the weekend, deflected Craig Bryson’s low cross past Eldin Jakupovic.

But as Bryson missed a point-blank chance and the game ended at the final whistle, Hull manager Steve Bruce breathed a sigh of relief – his team had put their foot in to the Wembley final for the third time in two years.

In the meantime, Derby will spend a ninth consecutive season in the Championship.

Earlier, Sheffield had already booked their place in the final as they held off a spirited Brighton team to win 3-1 on aggregate.