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Steinhaus making history as Bundesliga’s 1st female referee

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BERLIN (AP) Bibiana Steinhaus will make history in Germany on Sunday when she becomes the first woman to referee a Bundesliga game.

The German football federation announced on Thursday that the 38-year-old police officer is to take charge of Hertha Berlin’s home game against Werder Bremen, confirming her place among the league’s elite group of 24 referees.

“She deserves it through her great performances,” Bremen coach Alexander Nouri said.

[ MORE: World Cup prognoses for all confederations ]

Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann added, “I’m happy. It’s all the same to me if a man or a woman is refereeing – the main thing is that they do the job well.”

Steinhaus has already spent a decade refereeing in Germany’s second division and she has plenty of experience with many of the country’s top stars from taking charge of German Cup games, too.

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has already showed she may be treated differently to her male colleagues when he played a trick on her during the side’s cup tie at Chemnitzer FC in August.

Ribery untied one of her bootlaces as he pretended to put the ball in place for a free kick. Steinhaus passed it off by giving Ribery a couple of playful punches in response, but it is debatable whether the French forward would have attempted the same trick had he been dealing with a male referee.

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The daughter of a ref, Steinhaus began by officiating women’s games for the DFB in 1999. Steinhaus then became a FIFA referee in 2005 and earned her place in the second division in 2007, as the first female ref in German professional football.

Steinhaus has handled women’s World Cups and European Championships, along with the 2012 Olympic women’s final between the United States and Japan. Last June, she took charge of the women’s Champions League final between Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain.

Male players have mostly treated Steinhaus with respect, but any incidents involving her receive greater attention.

Defender Peter Niemeyer, who was playing for Hertha at the time, accidentally swiped her breast when he meant to pat her on the shoulder during a game in 2010.

In 2015, after Steinhaus sent off Kerem Demirbay, the then-Fortuna Duesseldorf midfielder reportedly told her: “Women have no place in men’s football.”

Demirbay was roundly criticized for the remark and handed a three-game ban with two further games suspended. Duesseldorf also made Demirbay referee a girls’ game to ensure he understood the message.

Demirbay apologized both publicly and to Steinhaus directly for his comment, and said he was “very happy that she accepted my apology.”

The two will likely meet again this season if Steinhaus takes charge of any games involving his current club, Hoffenheim.

More AP German soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/Bundesliga

Manchester United to seek out those who continue offensive Lukaku chant

Andrew Matthews/PA via AP
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Some Manchester United supporters persisting in singing a chant glorifying Romelu Lukaku which has been deemed racist by many for its depiction of the player’s penis size.

Lukaku was among those to ask that fans stop singing the song, as did the club, but it was heard from the away end at St. Mary’s during Manchester United’s 1-0 win on Saturday (where Lukaku scored the winner).

[ WATCH: Coutinho’s gorgeous free kick ]

United responded with vigor after the match, releasing a statement claiming it would request closed circuit footage of the fans in attempts to ban those singing the song based on The Stone Roses’ “Made of Stone.”

WATCH: Coutinho spins gorgeous free kick past Schmeichel

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Minutes after setting up Mohamed Salah for a back door header for a 1-0 lead at Leicestwer City, Liverpool wizard Philippe Coutinho tacked on a goal of his own.

WATCH LEICESTER-LIVERPOOL ONLINE, HERE

Coutinho scored a beauty in the 23rd minute, as the Brazilian lorded over a free kick before spinning a goal just off the top of the wall and past a flying Kasper Schmeichel.

It looked like it was headed for the upper 90 even had it not taking its tiny deviation. The kick was a masterful effort from Coutinho.

Everton’s comeback win puts Koeman “in a totally different world”

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A quiz for you. Oumar Niasse‘s two goals:

  • A) Saved Ronald Koeman‘s job
  • B) Led Everton’s come back win
  • C) All of the above

Koeman admitted “there were a lot of emotions” in Everton’s 2-1 home win over Bournemouth on Saturday, as the Toffees got off the mat to post their first Premier League win since Aug. 12.

[ RECAP: Everton 2-1 Bournemouth ]

After a summer of spending, the Toffees were expected to compete for another berth in a European competition. Instead, a murderer’s row of early fixtures had Everton very low on the PL table.

Was Koeman able to stay calm as his team struggled at home against Bottom Three side Bournemouth?

“Calm after the game, yes. There were a lot of emotions. It was a difficult game, we did not create many chances and we took the right decision after 1-0 down to try something different – play two strikers and go more direct.

“It is a totally different world after winning. You have key moments during the season and this was a big win that will give everyone a boost.”

Apollon Limassol is next for the Toffees, followed by matches against Burnley and Brighton.

Jose Mourinho responds to sending off, Man United win

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho saw his side battle to a 1-0 win away at Southampton on Saturday as they kept their unbeaten start to the Premier League season going.

Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal of the game after 20 minutes and although Saints had the better of the play in the second half, United’s defense held firm.

Towards the end of the game Mourinho was sent to the stands by referee Craig Pawson for encroachment as he stepped onto the pitch during the action.

What happened?

“I don’t know, you have to ask the referee,” Mourinho said.

He then wasted more time by shaking the hands of every member of Southampton’s coaching staff before he briefly went into the stands before the final whistle was blown.

It remains to be seen if he will face a touchline ban or fine for his actions but speaking to Sky Sports, Mourinho focused on the performance of his team.

“It is not always possible to operate at high quality but fought hard. We did what many teams in the Premier League do for 90 minutes, which was play with five defenders at the back. Credit to Southampton, they tried to play. Pellegrino changed the team and sent on another striker to play more direct.

“It was a hard game but I am really happy. Romelu Lukaku’s work is so important for us. He scored his goal and worked hard like everybody else. Nobody feels the pressure to play always attacking football because so many teams play always defensively. I felt some of the boys were not sharp. I didn’t feel like we could score three or four goals like we sometimes do so the option was to make sure we got the points.”