Manchester United face an anxious wait to find out the severity of Robin van Persie’s knee injury, after an initial scan proved inconclusive.
Van Persie, 30, was injured in the 90th minute of United’s incredible comeback win over Olympiakos in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. RVP scored all three goals as United overturned a 2-0 first leg deficit to book their place in the quarterfinals, but Dutch international van Persie may now face a lengthy spell on the sidelines which would be a huge blow for David Moyes’ side.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Moyes confirmed that RVP will not play against West Ham United on Saturday (Watch live on NBCSN, 1:30 p.m. ET and online via Live Extra) and is getting another scan on his injured knee.
“We are getting him rescanned again today because there was nothing conclusive,” Moyes said. “He won’t be available for Saturday’s game at West Ham. We’ve got a lot of games coming up, we need to make sure that the squad’s ready for all the games. That’s big for us, that we have all our players fit and available.”
With Moyes’ men being drawn against reigning European champions Bayern Munich in the last eight of the UCL, it’s clear he isn’t going to take any risks when it comes to van Persie’s fitness. The Dutchman, as he did so often in the Premier League last season when United lifted the trophy, came up big when it truly mattered against Olympiakos to single-handedly drag his team to victory by bagging the match ball. But leaving the match on a stretcher wasn’t part of the plan.
However even if it’s just a routine knock, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to injuries like this. Especially when RVP is the man involved, as his form and fitness will be the key if United are to stun Bayern and reach the Champions League semifinals.
Wrap that man up in cotton wool, Moyesy.
The implementation of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in Italy has been controversial, but according to a look at the statistics, it has for the most part done its job to fix clear and obvious errors.
Italian sports paper Gazzetta Dello Sport compiled all the times VAR has been used through 346 matches, 330 in Serie A and 16 in the Coppa Italia. There were 1,736 checks (916 goals, 464 penalties and 356 red cards) with 105 corrections and just 17 errors where the referee and assistant made the wrong decision. Eight of those errors did affect the result, which is an issue that will surely be addressed by the Italian officiating organization.
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But overall, Gazzetta found that in the VAR era, referee errors only amounted to 0.98 percent during a match, as opposed to 6.03 percent in the past. In addition, fouls are down 8.8 percent, red cards are down 6.4 percent, and yellow cards are down 14.7 percent. On the flip side, penalty kicks are called 4.3 more percent of the time.
The Premier League voted recently not to add VAR to its league matches next season, while top leagues in Germany, Italy and in Major League Soccer and the United Soccer League continue to use it.
Whoever takes the helm as Arsenal’s next manager will have to do some math gymnastics this summer to stretch every penny available.
According to a report from The Telegraph, Arsenal is giving Arsene Wenger‘s successor a little less than $70 million to work with in this summer’s transfer market, citing back-to-back transfer windows with club-record signings (Alexandre Lacazette last summer and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January) and three raises given to players. Arsenal paid around $78 million alone to sign Aubameyang and around $65 million for Lacazette.
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That means whoever comes in next to lead Arsenal will likely have to sell one or two players this summer to raise additional money for world-class signings.
For the last decade, Arsenal has been crying out for a new pair of centerbacks and a holding midfielder in the mould of Patrick Vieira. In addition, with Petr Cech getting older, the prospect of needing a new goalkeeper is also on the horizon.
Luckily for Arsenal, they seem to be just fine up front. From Aubameyang and Lacazette to Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey, the club has the talent to challenge for a title next season in that department.
A dozen different names have been bandied about as to who will be Arsenal’s next manager, with out-of-contract and former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique reportedly on the shortlist. Vieira, former Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta, Germany National Team coach Joachim Low, Juventus boss Max Allegri and Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsman have all also been linked with the job.
MADRID (AP) Spanish third-division club Toledo says a Tunisian player who collapsed from heart failure during practice 10 days ago has regained consciousness.
The club says doctors removed sedative medication and Lassad Nouioui was responding well to treatment on Monday.
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They will consider removing the 32-year-old Nouioui from the intensive care unit if his condition keeps improving. Nouioui has played for a number of clubs during his 14-year professional career, notably a four-year stay at Deportivo La Coruna and a one-year spell with Celtic.
Nouioui collapsed on April 14.
The game against Real Madrid B the following day was postponed because of the problem with Nouioui.
GENEVA (AP) FIFA is forcing the pace on talks over a $25 billion offer to revamp the Club World Cup and create a global national team competition.
FIFA says President Gianni Infantino hosted a meeting last Friday with invited officials from some top European clubs.
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The European Club Association has strongly opposed FIFA’s hope for a four-yearly club tournament starting in 2021, which could rival the UEFA-organized Champions League.
UEFA has also proposed a Global Nations League. A similar project is tied to the FIFA-controlled $25 billion, 12-year offer from a consortium including investors from Saudi Arabia and China.
FIFA says it’s holding “informal ongoing discussions with different stakeholders on the topic of the future Club World Cups.”
Infantino is set to meet confederation presidents and general secretaries “in the near future,” FIFA says.