The nightmare summer continues for Liverpool as Daniel Sturridge has been ruled out for up to four months after suffering an ankle injury in England’s 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland last week.
Sturridge suffered the injury during the first half of the match and was replaced in the 33rd minute by Jermain Defoe. Sturridge has since undergone scans that revealed ankle ligament damage, an injury that typically takes anywhere from three to four months to overcome.
Since arriving at Anfield from Chelsea in the January transfer window, Sturridge provided Liverpool with a goal scoring option to compliment Luis Suarez. Sturridge managed an impressive 11 goals in 16 appearances following his $18.4 million (£12m) move, prompting many to believe that the England striker could provide cover for Suarez this fall when he serves the remaining six matches of his ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic.
The loss of Sturridge and Suarez – who has announced his intent to leave Liverpool in favor of a move to Real Madrid – leaves Brendan Rodgers’ team incredibly thin up top. Looking ahead to the start of the season only the oft-injured Fabio Borini and new-boy Iago Aspas, who signed from Celta Vigo on a $11.8 million (£7.7m) deal last week, are available for selection.
Normally, Liverpool could include Andy Carroll in that group but the big man went down with a heel injury during his final match of the season while on loan at West Ham and he too faces four months on the trainer’s table.
. Liverpool have not yet placed a time frame on Sturridge’s recovery but there are concerns he will be out for between three and four months, meaning it could be September before the England international is available.
Rodgers expects to add to his striking options this week by completing a €9m (£7.7m) deal for Iago Aspas, who helped Celta Vigo earn a final-day reprieve from relegation from La Liga with victory over Espanyol on Saturday, but the news on Sturridge and Suárez’s discontent represent a serious setback for the Liverpool manager.
Come for the goal, stay for the “Gol” call.
Or should we say the “Gol. Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Gol” call.
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USMNT defender Omar Gonzalez has opened his account for Pachuca with this 88th minute header, and it’s worth it if just for the auditory performance.
Gonzalez also pulls out the high-capacity weapon celebration, though he’s apparently opted to do the version closer to the “Scarface” finale (Spoiler alert).
In a week where defenders scored critical goals, it’s no surprise to see a 4-3-3 in the Premier League’s Team of the Week.
Robert Huth‘s brace while blanking Manchester City leads the way for the PL’s top XI from the weekend, while Southampton’s vaunted back line and keeper have two in mix.
[ MORE: Ailing Chelsea, Man Utd showcase obvious deficiencies ]
Liverpool and Arsenal both put offensive forces on the team, while big goals for safety hopefuls Newcastle United and Aston Villa found three players between the two in the XI.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Premier League Team of the Week — Round 25 [ ARCHIVE ]
Goalkeeper: Fraser Forster (Southampton)
Defenders: Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Robert Huth (Leicester City), Joleon Lescott (Aston Villa)
Midfielders: Aaron Lennon (Everton), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
Forwards: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa)
Score one for the Midlands.
In a season for lowlights, Aston Villa captain Gabriel Agbonlahor is celebrating a bit of hope for his beleaguered club after his classy finish gave the 29-year-old his first goal of the season.
[ REACTION: Agbonlahor says Villa now ready to produce great escape ]
It also inspired Villa to consider that eight points off the Premier League safety chase isn’t unrealistic if it can put together some more gritty performances like the 2-0 defeat of Norwich City on Saturday.
Premier League Players of the Week
Week 1: Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City
Week 2: Romelu Lukaku, Everton
Week 3: Callum Wilson, Bournemouth
Week 4: Bafetimbi Gomis, Swansea City
Week 5: Steven Naismith, Everton
Week 6: Anthony Martial, Manchester United
Week 7: Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal
Week 8: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City
Week 9: Raheem Sterling, Manchester City
Week 10: Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur
Week 11: Arouna Kone, Everton
Week 12: Jesse Lingard, Manchester United
Week 15: Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City
Week 16: Ayoze Perez, Newcastle United
Week 17: Odion Ighalo, Watford
Week 19: Xherdan Shaqiri, Stoke City
Week 20: Jermain Defoe, Sunderland
Week 21: Jermain Defoe, Sunderland
Week 22: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City
Week 23: Dele Alli, Tottenham Hotspur
Week 24: Fraser Forster, Southampton
Week 25: Gabriel Agbonlahor, Aston Villa
Napoli fans showed their support for Kalidou Koulibaly on Sunday after the Senegalese center-back was the subject of racial abuse in a match against Lazio last week.
[ MORE: La Liga & Serie A roundup ]
The Lazio match was temporarily stopped in the second half as Lazio supporters hurled racial insults at Koulibaly.
At Napoli’s match against Carpi on Sunday, fans wore Koulibaly masks and painted signs in his honor to show their support for the 24-year-old defender.
A statement from Napoli’s supporters’ group read: “Everyone in Naples is offended by what happened to our young star. Because of this, we want to show our full support to Koulibaly.”
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Lazio was fined more than $50,000 and will be forced to close certain sections of their stadium for the next two league matches because of the incident.