Newcastle boss “deeply regrets the incident” as Pardew accepts FA ban

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With the FA handing Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew a seven-game ban on Tuesday for headbutting Hull City midfielder David Meyler, the 52-year-old boss has shown plenty of remorse.

Speaking after hearing of his seven-game ban, the first three of which will be from the entire stadium and the next four will just be a ban from the touchline, Pardew insisted he doesn’t plan an appealing the ban from the FA and wants to move on and help Newcastle finish the season strongly.

In a statement on Newcastle’s official website, Pardew had the following to say.

“As I have made clear, I deeply regret the incident and again wholeheartedly apologize to all parties for my conduct, which I understand was not acceptable. I will accept the punishment handed down by the FA today. My focus now turns to preparing the team for this weekend’s game against Fulham and finishing the season as strongly as possible.”

(WATCH: Pardew sent off for headbutt on Hull’s Meyler, as Newcastle manager loses the plot)

With previous discrepancies — which included Pardew pushing a linesman in 2012, verbally abusing Manuel Pellegrini and a full-out brawl between the benches of Southampton and Newcastle earlier this season — many would say the Newcastle boss has got off lightly with the seven-game ban and $90,000 fine.

After already being fined by $167,000 by Newcastle directly after the incident occurred, Pardew will certainly pay his penance for a mindless act, financially and morally, which will see him go down in PL folklore for all the wrong reasons.

Now, as he said, it’s time for Pardew to prepare his team the best he can for the rest of the season, as the Magpies have a great chance of grabbing a top six finish with nine games to go. Will Pardew get a hero’s return when he’s back on the bench for the final few games?

We’ll have to wait and see. However for the next few months, we won’t be seeing much of Pardew.

CCL: Lodeiro from 45; Royer’s diving header — SEA, RBNY lead (video)

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After 45 minutes of their respective CONCACAF Champions League knockout-round quests, things are going unnervingly well for the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls.

[ MORE: FC Dallas disappoint in CCL; Club America flying ]

If you’ve watched Major League Soccer teams try, try and try again — only to eventually fail in spectacular fashion — in CCL over the years, you might say things are going a little too well.

There’s still another 45 minutes to be played on Thursday — plus the return legs next week — but both the Sounders and Red Bulls hold 1-0 halftime leads, and the vitally important away goals which come with it. Nicolas Lodeiro’s 45-yard, first-time lob of the Santa Tecla (El Salvador) goalkeeper in the 15th minute has already been eternally etched into the memories of Sounders fans.

Just 15 minutes later, Daniel Royer perfectly executed the diving header and got on the end of Bradley Wright-Phillips’ curling ball into the box to Jesse Marsch’s side ahead of Honduran side CD Olimpia.

Villarreal DF Semedo charged with attempted murder

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MADRID (AP) A Spanish judge has charged Villarreal defender Ruben Semedo with attempted murder and ordered him to be temporarily detained without bail.

Court officials in Lliria say on Thursday the Portuguese player is also charged with assault, robbery, illegal detention, and illegal possession of firearms.

Semedo testified before a judge on Thursday, and left the court in handcuffs.

The 23-year-old Semedo was detained early Tuesday, accused of tying up, assaulting and threatening another man last week. Authorities say he and two other men allegedly held the victim captive while they robbed his apartment.

Semedo’s agents told Spanish media the player denies any wrongdoing.

Villarreal on Tuesday said it was investigating Semedo and would take appropriate disciplinary action.

Villarreal signed Semedo from Sporting Lisbon last summer for a reported fee of $17 million.

Wenger: Arsenal “complacent, had no ideas” in Ostersunds loss

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Perhaps Sunday’s League Cup final had already reached the forefront of their minds, but Arsene Wenger admonished his players, whom he said were “complacent, not focused” and “had no ideas” for much of Thursday’s Europa League defeat, at home, to Swedish side Ostersunds.

[ MORE: Premier League TV schedule | Man United vs. Chelsea ]

The Gunners advanced to the round of 16 on the back of their 3-0 first-leg victory last week, but Wenger was understandably displeased by the effort he saw and expressed such feelings in no uncertain terms, before quickly easing up and praising the fact they were able to pull back a goal against the current fifth-place team from Sweden — quotes from the BBC:

“We were not at the races in the first half,” said Wenger, who saw his side booed off at half-time and full-time. I think in the second half it was much better and we should have scored a few goals.

“In the first half, we were in trouble and in danger because we were complacent, not focused and were open every time we lost the ball. We had no ideas with the ball and that’s why we were in trouble.

“We responded very well because we did the job to qualify, but that’s what we have to take from the night and that’s all.”

With Arsenal now trailing fourth-place Chelsea by eight points (and seven back of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur), winning the Europa League might just be the Gunners’ last chance at qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Batshuayi racially abused by Atalanta fans

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Borussia Dortmund striker Michy Batshuayi says he was subject to racist chants from Atalanta fans during a Europa League game in Italy.

The Belgium international, on loan from Chelsea, tweeted:

Dortmund advanced to the round of 16 by drawing 1-1 to beat Atalanta 4-3 on aggregate on Thursday.

The game was played at Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia because Atalanta’s home stadium is unsuitable for UEFA games.

There have been several incidents of racism at Serie A matches this season.