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Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso handed three-game ban

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After being named in the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year on Wednesday, it has been a mixed few days for Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso as he has received a three-game ban with immediate effect after being found guilty of violent conduct.

Alsono, 27, stamped on Shane Long‘s calf in Chelsea’s 3-2 comeback win at Southampton last time out but referee Mike Dean missed the incident completely.

Since then Alonso has received a retrospective charge from the English FA and although the Spanish left back appealed the decision and the length of the ban, it was upheld and he will now miss Chelsea’s next three games.

Alonso will miss the clash at Burnley on Thursday, the FA Cup semifinal against Southampton on Sunday and the trip to Swansea City on Apr. 28.

Who will come in for Alonso?

Antonio Conte has already stated that Emerson Palmeri, a January arrival from AS Roma, will start at Burnley on Thursday and if the Brazilian full back impresses then it is highly likely he will stand in for Alonso in the big FA Cup semifinal on Sunday against Saints. Other options would be Davide Zappacosta playing as the left wing-back or even Cesar Azpilicueta out there.

As for Saints, they feel hard done by after Dean didn’t spot Alonso’s foul even though he was standing yards away from the incident and looking straight at it. At the time of the incident they led 1-0 going into half time and their manager Mark Hughes believes it would have made a big difference as Alonso’s cross set up Olivier Giroud to make it 2-1 and the Spaniard made a big difference from left back in the incredible 3-2 comeback victory. Still, at least Saints won’t have to play against Alonso on Sunday with revenge in the air…

Marcos Alonso charged by English FA

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Marcos Alonso has been charged with violent conduct by the English Football Associaton after stamping on Shane Long during Chelsea’s 3-2 win at Southampton on Saturday.

The Spanish left back lunged in at Long just before half time and referee Mike Dean missed the incident despite being close to the scene with a clear view.

Below is the statement from the FA as Alonso could miss the next three games for Chelsea, which include the Premier League trip to Burnley on Thursday, the FA Cup semifinal against Southampton on Sunday and the league game at Swansea next Saturday.

Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso has been charged with violent conduct following an incident with Southampton’s Shane Long. It happened in the 43rd minute of Saturday’s game [14/04/18] and was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.

He has until 6pm on Wednesday [18/04/18] to respond to the charge.

Off the ball incidents which are not seen at the time are referred by The FA to a panel of three former elite match officials. Each panel member will review the video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it a sending-off offence. For retrospective action to be taken, and an FA charge to follow, the decision of the panel must be unanimous.

If the charge is upheld on Alonso, then Southampton will at least know he will be missing for the FA Cup semifinal as Chelsea will have their options at left wing back limited.

Yet the fact that Dean didn’t see the incident and send Alonso off at the time hurt Saints, as the Spaniard was pivotal in Chelsea’s comeback as his cross found Olivier Giroud for the first goal and playing against 10-men would have certainly helped Saints to victory in their desperate battle against relegation.

 

Alonso, Pedro have Morata’s back despite Spain omission

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Alvaro Morata having his troubles keeping his spot in the Chelsea lineup, and his omission from the Spain squad has a couple of his teammates speaking up on his behalf.

Marcos Alonso, himself called up to Spain, and Pedro (not called up) have Morata’s back after the big striker scored at the weekend in FA Cup action.

[ MORE: Rojo’s hilarious Alexis signing reaction ]

Alonso admitted that Morata was less than pleased to miss the call-up so close to the World Cup.

“Alvaro wasn’t happy,” Alonso said. “He has gone through a difficult few months with a back injury. He is now 100 per cent and the other day he scored.He is a very important player for us. I hope he will do well from here until the end of the season and he gets to go to the World Cup.”

It’s not like Morata hasn’t performed for Spain; The 25-year-old has 13 goals in 23 caps for La Furia Roja.

But Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has opted for just four traditional strikers, with Chelsea outcast Diego Costa leading the way in caps (16) and goals (6). Also in the squad: Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas (7 and 3), Valencia’s Rodrigo (3 and 1), and Real Madrid’s Lucas Vasquez (3 and 0).

Pedro pointed to Morata’s goal against Leicester City as a milemarker, via ChelseaFC.com.

“I’m very happy for Alvaro to score again and hopefully that will give him the confidence to score more. Alvaro is a very good player and an important part of our team. It’s important for him to score and to help the side and hopefully he can continue to do that until the end of the season.He had a back injury but now he’s in a very good condition and it’s a good time for him. I think his back is perfect now and hopefully he can keep scoring, because we all know just how good he is.’

Morata has been on the rise for several seasons, but hasn’t performed at a consistent level in his last three seasons at Juventus, Real Madrid, and Chelsea.

He had more of a playmaking streak at Juve, but has been a straight-up target man for both Real and Chelsea. His 13 goals and five assists certainly aren’t poor, but Antonio Conte clearly expected more from the Spaniard. Will his confidence be boosted before the end of the season?

Conte, Courtois, Alonso know why Barca beat Chelsea: Messi

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Marcos Alonso gave a lot of answers in his post-match comments following Chelsea’s ouster at the hands of Barcelona on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League.

Turns out he only really needed the first four words.

[ MORE: Match recap | Quarterfinal field set ]

“They have Lionel Messi and I think they were the better team even though we competed well in both games. If we concede easy goals and miss the chances, then it is very difficult against this team,” Alonso said.

Messi had two goals and an assist in the 3-0 second leg win, and scored in the first leg after entering the tie goal-free in his career versus Chelsea.

In a word, he was incredible.

Italian defender Alonso was one of several players, with Willian and N'Golo Kante sure to be mentioned by many, to put in industrious efforts in the loss, but the critical focus will be on a near invisible Eden Hazard and off-balance goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Both of Wednesday’s goals were put between the legs of Courtois. He wasn’t pleased.

“I don’t think we deserve to be out, but individual mistakes cost us in both legs. The first goal, I did not expect Lionel Messi to shoot from that angle and I was too late in closing my legs. It was a mistake on my part.

“I played against Messi a lot of time. I have already conceded goals like that before. The weakest point is between the legs or a goalkeeper, it is annoying, I cannot hide inside, I have to be a man and come out. I made some good saves too but we go out with conceding four goals from four mistakes.”

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte pointed to a possible penalty when Alonso was taken down in the box, but mostly lavished praise on the Argentine wonder.

“Tonight (and) in the two legs, Lionel Messi made the difference,” Conte said. “We are talking about the best player in the world.”

“Over the two legs we were a bit unlucky,” he continued. “We hit the post four times. In our best moment today they scored. They were very clinical. We created many chances. We are talking about a player (Messi) that every season he scores 60 goals. We are talking not about a top player but a super top player. He made the difference. We have no regrets. I must be pleased for the commitment. They gave everything tonight. We didn’t deserve to lose 3-0.”

In the film “Billy Madison,” Billy forces an awkward noise out of his instrument and points to his rival Eric after the latter’s virtuoso violin performance and just says, “He’s good.”
Something like that.

Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle: Blues onto 5th round

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Antonio Conte and Co. shook off their disappointing midweek effort against Arsenal with a convincing outing at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup fifth round.

[ MORE: West Brom stuns Liverpool at Anfield ]

Chelsea picked up a 3-0 victory against Newcastle on Sunday, behind a pair of Michy Batshayi goals and Marcos Alonso‘s second-half free kick.

Significant pressure early and often from the hosts proved to be a lot to handle for the Magpies, who conceded twice in the first stanza.

Batshuayi opened the scoring in the 31st minute, when he tapped home a close-range effort that started from a clever Pedro long ball into the path of Eden Hazard.

12 minutes later, the Belgian international secured his brace with a thunderous strike that deflected off the leg of Jamaal Lascelles and over goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

The clincher came in the 72nd minute from a familiar spot on the field, when Alonso scored another brilliant free kick to extend the Blues lead to 3-0.

With the match already swaying in favor of Conte’s group, the Italian manager opted to bring on 17-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi in the closing minutes.

The England Under-17 international played a role in the team’s World Cup triumph in 2017, in addition to winning an FA Youth Cup with the Blues.

Chelsea is the sixth Premier League side to book its place in the fifth round, with several clubs needing to play replays to determine their FA Cup fate.