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Rodriguez racial abuse charge found “not proven”

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West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez will not face punishment for an alleged racist incident against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Gulls’ Gaetan Bong claimed that Rodriguez racially abused him during a Jan. 13 match, and Rodriguez was charged by the Football Association.

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Fired manager Alan Pardew reportedly spoke up for Rodriguez at the hearing, after which the charge was found to be “not proven.”

The club released a statement following the verdict, with West Brom director of football administration Richard Garlick saying:

“Everyone at the Club is delighted for Jay because this has been a trying period for him. He has always maintained his innocence and we are naturally pleased the Commission has dismissed the charge.”

Everton 2-0 Brighton and Hove Albion: Toffees rebound

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  • Bong o.g. opens scoring
  • Tosun makes it 2-0
  • Everton rises ninth

Cenk Tosun scored to help Everton arrest its slump with a 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Gaetan Bong also recorded an own goal against Brighton and Hove Albion, which fails to pass Everton and sits 11th with 34 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Everton had a pair of penalty shouts, with Tom Davies taken down  in the box and Yannick Bolasie as well. Neither was clear-cut, but an award would not have been absurd.

The goal was coming, and the Toffees found it via a Yannick Bolasie cross for Theo Walcott which was turned into the goal by Walcott’s marker, Bong.

Tosun got Big Sam a goal off an Everton man, with Leighton Baines combining beautifully with the Turkish striker to give Everton a two-goal lead.

Mat Ryan stopped Wayne Rooney‘s late penalty to prevent an inflated score line.

Anthony Knockaert was sent off late for a studs-up tackle.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Lukaku dodges kicking ban (video)

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Intent versus result could decide Romelu Lukaku‘s status for a series of big games.

Reports say Lukaku is under investigation for aiming a pair of kicks at Brighton and Hove Albion’s Gaetan Bong on Saturday.

UPDATE: Lukaku won’t be suspended, according to Simon Peach of the Press Association.

Manchester United scored the lone goal of the match on the play in question, after Lukaku did battle with Cameroon defender Bong in front of the goal on a corner kick.

[ MORE: Man City sets points record ]

The ball made its way outside the 18 as Lukaku maneuvered toward an onside position after swinging his right and then left leg at Bong, who appears to block a very sensitive region with his hand.

Ashley Young‘s shot then turned hard off Lewis Dunk to give United its only goal.

Lukaku could’ve received a three-match ban for violent conduct, putting a lot of pressure on new-old striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford for matches against Watford, Arsenal, and Manchester City, with an important UEFA Champions League match against CSKA Moscow mixed into the fray.

Did Lukaku’s failure to significantly land either of his kicks make a difference? It shouldn’t, but results are prioritized over intent often in sports discipline.