Matic ban reduced to two matches, Chelsea “appalled”

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Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has had his suspension reduced from three to two matches today, as announced by the FA.

[ RELATED: Sean Dyche defends Barnes’ tackle ]

Matic was sent off following his reaction to a harsh tackle from Ashley Barnes in Chelsea’s match against Burnley over the weekend. With the Blues down to ten-men, Burnley equalized and stole a draw from Stamford Bridge.

While Barnes’ original challenge was extremely dangerous and should have warranted a straight red card itself, the Burnley player will not be charged for his actions.

Here’s part of the statement released by the FA:

The violent response of Mr. Matic to the nature of the tackle cannot be condoned and does not vindicate his subsequent actions. The members of the Commission did, however, accept the mitigation in respect of the level of force used by Mr. Matic and the nature of the contact he made with Mr. Barnes of Burnley FC.

Having made those considerations we determined that the standard punishment of a three-match suspension would be clearly excessive and, therefore, ordered that the suspension be reduced to two matches.”

With the reduced ban, Matic will miss Chelsea’s upcoming Capital One Cup final match against Tottenham, as well as a Premier League match against West Ham.

Despite getting the ban reduced, the club was still not happy with how the matter was handled. Chelsea released its own statement, in which the club said it was “appalled” with the FA’s decision.

The Chelsea Football Club Board is extremely disappointed and frustrated that the FA Regulatory Commission has today decided not to reduce Nemanja Matic’s suspension to the maximum extent permitted under FA rules.

Chelsea FC challenged the standard three-match suspension which automatically followed the red card issued to Matic by referee Martin Atkinson during Saturday’s Premier League match against Burnley.

There has been universal condemnation of the reckless challenge made by Ashley Barnes on Matic and it is the club’s view that he has been unjustly punished with a two-match ban for his reaction to a career-threatening tackle.

It is Chelsea’s opinion that referees and the football authorities must do more to protect players at all levels of the game from dangerous challenges. This decision also clearly demonstrates a need for consistency and fairness in the disciplinary process.

The club awaits The FA’s written reasons, prior to commenting further.

Arsenal vs Liverpool: How to watch live, stream link, TV, team news

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Arsenal vs Liverpool: The Premier League leaders will try to keep pace with Manchester City when they welcome the Reds, mired in a mid-table slump, to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (watch live, 11:30 am ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com). 

STREAM LIVE ARSENAL vs LIVERPOOL

The Gunners (7W-0D-1L – 1st place) are winless in their last five meetings with Liverpool (2W-4D-1L – 9th) in all competitions, without scoring a single goal (and conceding 11). Arsenal are winless (without penalty kicks) in their last eight head-to-head matchups (0W-3D-5L).

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Arsenal vs Liverpool

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Arsenal vs Liverpool live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11:30 am ET, Sunday
TV channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & star players

Last weekend’s north London derby was billed as a massive test of Arsenal’s early-season title credentials, and they passed with flying colors. Still the youngest team in the Premier League (average age of 24.5, tied with Southampton), the young Gunners have grown and improved far more quickly than was expected of them, now they must show they can beat a side of Liverpool’s caliber — even in their struggles, the quality and highs-stakes experience remain and incredible advantage —  at the very top of the Premier League hierarchy, and a side so dominant in recent times. Gabriel Jesus’ arrival (and team-leading five goals to start the season) has lifted spirits and tide alike, getting the rest of the attacking unit (Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka) heavily involved in the goal-scoring, too. Nine different players have scored a PL goal, but the above quartet is responsible for 12 of 20 goals and 8 of 13 assists thus far.

As for Liverpool, scoring goals hasn’t been a problem (18 in seven games – 4th-most in the PL) and their nine goals conceded (tied-5th-fewest) is hardly appalling either, but their performances have largely matched the disappointing 9th-place start: uninspiring, unremarkable and a bit worrying. Last weekend’s 3-3 draw with Brighton was certainly thrilling, but the Reds not only slow out of the starting gates (2-0 down after 18 minutes), but also not up to the task of closing out an undeserved victory (conceded an 83rd-minute equalizer). Injuries have made things rather difficult for Jurgen Klopp, but the impending returns of Ibrahima Konate and Andrew Robertson are good cause for optimism as Liverpool try to reverse course and keep within touching distance of the top of the table.


Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Emile Smith Rowe (groin), Mohamed Elneny (thigh)

Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Naby Keita (undisclosed), Arthur Melo (undisclosed), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring) | QUESTIONABLE: Andrew Robertson (knee), Curtis Jones (calf)

Follow @AndyEdMLS

England beats USWNT 2-1 in statement victory at Wembley

England vs USWNT
Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images
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LONDON (AP) — Ten weeks after conquering Europe, England proclaimed themselves ready for even more after beating the world champion USWNT 2-1 in a friendly at Wembley Stadium on Friday.

Lauren Hemp and Georgia Stanway scored to help England beat the USWNT for the first time since 2017 and less than 10 months before the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Stanway’s penalty in the 33rd minute put the hosts in front for good before 76,893 fans. Victory extended England’s unbeaten run to 23 games under coach Sarina Wiegman.

England took the lead in the 10th when Beth Mead sent a low cross into the box. USWNT defender Alana Cook tried to make a sliding block but the ball wiggled through to Hemp, who finished from close range.

The Americans equalized just before the half-hour mark. Millie Bright tried to pass out of the back to a tightly covered Stanway, and Lindsey Horan poked the ball forward to Sophia Smith, who turned and fired low to the left corner past a diving Mary Earps.

Stanway made amends from the spot, though, shooting the ball into the right corner as goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher went the wrong way.

Minutes later, the visitors thought they tied the game again but Trinity Rodman’s strike was ruled out for offside.

England and the USWNT wore teal armbands in solidarity with sexual abuse victims and together held a banner that read “Protect the Players” just before kickoff. A report this week into the scandals that erupted in the National Women’s Soccer League last season found emotional abuse and sexual misconduct were systemic in the league.

There was also a moment of silence for the victims of the deadly crush of fans at a soccer match in Indonesia.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard were among the stars in attendance. The Packers play the New York Giants on Sunday in an NFL game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. “Ted Lasso” actor Jason Sudeikis was also on hand.

USWNT wing Crystal Dunn went on as a second-half substitute — less than five months after giving birth to her son. It was her 124th international appearance and first in nearly 13 months.

The draw for the World Cup will be in Auckland on Oct. 22.

Bournemouth vs Leicester: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Bournemouth vs Leicester: The Cherries will try to make it five games unbeaten when they host the one-win Foxes at Vitality Stadium on Saturday (watch live, 10 am ET on Peacock Premium). 

STREAM LIVE BOURNEMOUTH vs LEICESTER

Leicester (4 points. 19th place) hammered Nottingham Forest 4-0 to pick up that first win of the season last time out, seemingly buying manager Brendan Rodgers a bit more time following an incredibly rocky start (0W-1D-6L). Bournemouth (9 points – 13th), meanwhile, are unbeaten (1W-3D-0L) since firing Scott Parker in late August (1W-0D-3L to start).

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Bournemouth vs Leicester

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Bournemouth vs Leicester live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10 am ET, Saturday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines & star players

The Cherries had turned their season around by tightening the defense (just three goals conceded in four games, including two clean sheets) to compensate for their inability to create, let alone finish, scoring chances (two goals scored in four games under Parker; four in four games under interim boss Gary O’Neil). Half of their six goals came in the 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest (a common them emerges as well), all in a 36-minute period in the second half. Aside from those 36 minutes, it’s been a barren wasteland of offensive output (0.48 xG per game – last in the Premier League, by a wide margin).

The Foxes kept their first clean sheet of the season in the win over Forest, after conceding a PL-high 22 goals in their first seven games (they are still last in the PL, just ahead of — you guessed it — Forest). Leicester were, however, fortunate to escape the opening half-hour without conceding (maybe twice), most notably when Taiwo Awoniyi hit the post of an open goal. Saturday’s battle with Bournemouth will offer the perfect opportunity for another clean sheet.


Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: David Brooks (fitness), Lloyd Kelly (knee), Junior Stanislas (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Joseph Rothwell (thigh), Benjamin Pearson (undisclosed), Ryan Fredericks (undisclosed)

Leicester team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Wilfried Ndidi (hamstring), Ricardo Pereira (achilles), Ryan Bertrand (knee), Nampalys Mendy (knee)

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Premier League injury news, 2022-23 season

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Premier League injury news: It’s time to take a look at which players might be unavailable for matchweek 10 of the 2022-23 Premier League season, due to injury.

[ MORE: How to watch the Premier League on NBC ]

Prior to every matchweek this season, we’ll update this Premier League injuries page with the latest news and update, so make sure to check back regularly to see how your favorite — or least-favorite — club is getting on.

Let’s check out the latest Premier League injury news, below.


Arsenal injuries

OUT: Emile Smith Rowe (groin), Mohamed Elneny (thigh)

Aston Villa injuries

OUT: Diego Carlos (achilles), Lucas Digne (ankle), Boubacar Kamara (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Leon Bailey (undisclosed), Calum Chambers (illness)

Bournemouth injuries

OUT: David Brooks (fitness), Lloyd Kelly (knee), Junior Stanislas (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Joseph Rothwell (thigh), Benjamin Pearson (undisclosed), Ryan Fredericks (undisclosed)

Brentford injuries

OUT: Pontus Jansson (hamstring), Christian Norgaard (achilles), Keane Lewis-Potter (knock) | QUESTIONABLE: Ethan Pinnock (knee)

Brighton & Hove Albion injuries

OUT: Jakub Moder (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Moises Caicedo (undisclosed)Enock Mwepu (illness)

Chelsea injuries

OUT: Wesley Fofana (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Carney Chukwuemeka (illness)

Crystal Palace injuries

OUT:  Chris Richards (leg), Jack Butland (hand), Nathaniel Clyne (ankle), Nathan Ferguson (foot), James McArthur (groin)

Everton injuries

OUT: Ben Godfrey (broken leg), Nathan Patterson (ankle), Andros Townsend (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (knee), Yerry Mina (ankle), Mason Holgate (knee)

Fulham injuries

OUT: Harry Wilson (knee), Nathaniel Chalobah (suspension), Layvin Kurzawz (calf), Manor Solomon (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Antonee Robinson (ankle), Willian (calf), Kenny Tete (undisclosed)

Leeds United injuries

OUT: Luis Sinisterra (suspension), Stuart Dallas (thigh), Adam Forshaw (ankle), Archie Gray (ankle)

Leicester City injuries

OUT: Wilfried Ndidi (hamstring), Ricardo Pereira (achilles), Ryan Bertrand (knee), Nampalys Mendy (knee)

Liverpool injuries

OUT: Naby Keita (undisclosed), Arthur Melo (undisclosed), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring) | QUESTIONABLE: Curtis Jones (calf), Andrew Robertson (knee)

Manchester City injuries

OUT: Kyle Walker (groin), Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), John Stones (hamstring), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE)

Manchester United injuries

OUT: Harry Maguire (hamstring), Aaron Wan Bissaka (knock), Donny van de Beek (knock), Brandon Williams (undisclosed), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Raphael Varane (ankle)

Newcastle United injuries

OUT: Jonjo Shelvey (thigh), Matt Ritchie (calf), Emil Krafth (knee), Karl Darlow (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE: Aleksander Isak (leg)

Nottingham Forest injuries

OUT: Omar Richards (calf), Moussa Niakhate (thigh)

Southampton injuries

OUT: Valentino Livramento (knee), Romeo Lavia (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Adam Armstrong (undisclosed), Juan Larios (undisclosed)

Tottenham Hotspur injuries

OUT: Dejan Kulusevski (undisclosed), Emerson Royal (suspension), Lucas Moura (achilles), Japhet Tanganga (knock)

West Ham United injuries

OUT: Nayef Aguerd (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE: Maxwel Cornet (calf)

Wolverhampton Wanderers injuries

OUT: Ruben Neves (suspension), Raul Jimenez (groin), Pedro Neto (ankle), Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Nathan Collins (suspension), Chiquinho (knee)