Neil Taylor

Getty Images

Neil Taylor banned two games for Coleman tackle

4 Comments

ZURICH (AP) Wales defender Neil Taylor has been banned for two World Cup qualifying games for a red-card tackle that broke the leg of an Ireland opponent.

The Welsh soccer federation said Wednesday that the FIFA disciplinary panel imposed the ban. Taylor, who plays for Swansea, will miss matches at Serbia on June 11 and against Austria on Sept. 2.

FIFA rules require a ban of at least one match for serious foul play.

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman‘s right leg was broken by Taylor’s challenge during the teams’ 0-0 draw in Dublin on March 24. The Everton defender’s leg was visibly damaged before he was carried off on a stretcher.

Ireland is second in Group D, level with Serbia. Third-place Wales trails by four points with five games left.

Liverpool 1-0 Swansea City: Milner’s PK the difference for Reds

Leave a comment

Jurgen Klopp‘s resurgent Liverpool is within four points of the Top Four after a second-half penalty helped the Reds to a 1-0 win over Swansea City at Anfield on Sunday.

James Milner converted a Jordon Ibe-won PK to boost Liverpool to 23 points, good for sixth place.

Swansea is in 15th place with just 14 points, having cooled off considerably.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Liverpool nearly opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Adam Lallana slipped Jordon Ibe in on goal, but Kyle Bartley slid to tackle the ball off the goal post.

The opening 20 minutes belonged to the Reds, with timely tackles and deflections saving Swansea on several occasions.

Nothing got through.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score ]  

Liverpool went ahead on a PK, as Milner converted the chance after Ibe’s cross was handled by Neil Taylor.

Swansea looked better from the goal onward, but couldn’t find an equalizer as Liverpool held on to secure their third-straight win in seven days.

Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Swansea City

Leave a comment
  • Chelsea swept season, scoring nine goals
  • Swans last league W vs. Chelsea came in 1981
  • Blues lead all-time series 14W-9D-6L

Chelsea’s run for another title begins with a visit from very tricky Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon (12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra).

[ WATCH LIVE: Stream every PL game via Live Extra ]

Two points in four years, that’s what Swansea has been able to pull from its four campaigns back in the Premier League. That includes the blowouts from 2014-15, 4-0 and 5-2 losses to the Blues.

[ MORE: Latest PST Extra episodes ]

Diego Costa’s hamstring threatens to be a storyline for another season, and whether the Brazilian-born forward can go or not remains up for discussion.

‘There is nobody to blame,” said Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. “I can’t blame the player because he works hard. I completely trust the medical department.  I am calm, positive, and I believe he will be with us for many matches.”

What they’ve said

Mourinho on the early start to the season: “During the season we have to play three times a week almost every week, so I don’t think it would be a problem to start one week later and then one of these weeks have two fixtures. It would be better for everybody to have a proper holiday and a proper pre-season. Some did, some didn’t. It’s a choice you have to make but the ideal thing for the players, who have to play so many matches during the season, is to have proper holidays and a proper pre-season.’

Swans defender Neil Taylor on the task at hand: “We know that if we go there and play to the best of our ability then we’ve got a chance of getting a result. We’ll be right up for it, the game is on TV and we’ve got nothing to lose. There’s no good or bad time to play Chelsea, so it’s exciting to start the season there.”

Prediction

The Blues were not humming in the preseason, but look for them to be buoyed by their Stamford Bridge return. Maybe Swans break through for a goal, but Eden Hazard’s going to be the difference (as usual). Chelsea 2-1.

VIDEO: Premier League Team of the Week — Stars of Round 30

Leave a comment

Sometimes a player comes out of “nowhere” to affect a team’s fortunes, and this week that was certainly the case in Southampton’s win.

Elder states-keeper Kelvin Davis was called into the fray after an injury to Fraser Forster, and responded with a Team of the Week performance between the sticks.

[ MORE: Robben tears abdominal muscle ]

Who else made the list? A series of the usual suspects at forward, and a Manchester-heavy group in the midfield.

Thoughts? Questions? Agreements? Disagreements? (Of course not). Leave them in the comments section, as always.

Matchday 30

Goalkeeper: Kelvin Davis (Southampton)

Defenders: Daley Blind (Manchester United), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Neil Taylor (Swansea City)

Midfielders: Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham Hotspur), Juan Mata (Manchester United), David Silva (Manchester City)

Forwards: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Diego Costa (Chelsea)

Watch Live: Swansea City vs. Norwich City (Lineups and Discuss)

Leave a comment

Norwich’s visit to Swansea isn’t quite a relegation six-pointer, but three points for either side would sure help the winners sleep a little easier at night (Watch live on NBCSN at 1:30 p.m. ET and online via Live Extra).

Swansea, currently in 15th, are winless in their last six – but they’ll be feeling pretty pleased after an own goal from Mathieu Flamini secured a last-minute draw at Arsenal midweek. Will it be enough of a boost for the Swans to grab their first victory at Liberty Stadium since February 8?

The visitors are just two points above the table, and although a win won’t take them to the magical 40 point mark, it may put them ten points clear of the drop. Then again, the Canaries’ solid win over Sunderland last weekend just may have been enough to save them. This season, who knows?

WATCH LIVE ONLINE VIA NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

Just one change for the hosts from the side that came back against Arsenal: Neil Taylor drops to the bench as Ben Davies returns. Chris Hughton also makes just one change for the Canaries, with the injured Joseph Yobo replaced by Ryan Bennett.

Fortunately for the neutrals, Alexander Tettey remains in the Norwich starting lineup. Think there’s any chance of another incredible goal this week?

LINEUPS

Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Britton, Shelvey, de Guzman, Michu, Routledge, Bony

Subs: Tremmel, Amat, Taylor, Canas, Hernandez, Dyer, Vazquez

Norwich City: Ruddy, Martin, Bennett, Bassong, Olsson, Snodgrass, Howson, Tettey, Hoolahan, Elmander, van Wolfswinkel

Subs:  Bunn, Whittaker, Johnson, Hooper, Gutierrez, Becchio, Redmond.