The six nominees for the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Players of the Year award have been announced on Friday, with Liverpool Football Club dominating the list.
After their sensational season at Anfield, Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge have been nominated for the PFA award. Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, Chelsea winger Eden Hazard and Southampton’s Adam Lallana round off the six nominees. The winner will be announced on April 27.
Also revealed were the six players up for the PFA Young Player of the Year, as Sturridge and Hazard again got the nod, while Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling, Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal, Everton’s Ross Barkley and Southampton’s Luke Shaw were also nominated.
Liverpool’s star trio are likely to scoop both awards, as Suarez leads the Premier League scoring charts with 29 goals this season. Inspirational captain Gerrard has been the heartbeat of the Reds’ title charge, as they are just four games away from lifting their first league title in 24 years. As for Sturridge, the England international has scored 23 goals for Liverpool this campaign and has combined with Suarez to create the deadly S.A.S. strike partnership.
Man City midfielder Yaya Toure has been a monster in midfield, as the box-to-box Ivorian has also netted 18 times in the PL with plenty of stunning strikes. Eden Hazard has been rejuvenated under Jose Mourinho, as the Belgian magician has scored 17 times this season and bamboozled opponents with his silky skills. Another playmaker to make the top six is England international Lallana, as the Southampton academy product has been the leader of Saints’ impressive season which currently sees them sitting in eighth.
If Liverpool go onto win the title, you have to think Gerrard or Suarez will pick up the top award, with perhaps Sturridge scooping the Young Player of the Year accolade. That said, you could argue cases for all 10 players nominated to win the awards after a season of stunning individual performances in the PL.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.