Premier League injury report: Manchester clubs hit hard

1 Comment

Premier League managers would have been watching international games nervously over the last 10 days, as they hoped players representing their nations would return home fit ahead of Week 9.

[ MORE: U.S. lose to Costa Rica ]

Two teams were hit particularly hard by injuries, with Manchester City and Manchester United both suffering several setbacks to star names. PL fantasy players, adjust your lineups accordingly.

[ MORE: United to spend big again ]

Here’s a list of injuries to PL players during the international break and a look at how long they could be out for.

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – The Argentine striker suffered yet another hamstring issue and could be out for up to five weeks. Shame, as he scored five times in one game before the break. Big blow for City in the PL and UEFA Champions League.

David Silva (Manchester City) – Aguero’s teammate and another key cog in City’s attack, Silva could be missing for quite some time after suffering an ankle injury in Spain’s win over Luxembourg. No official update has been given on Silva — although three to four weeks out has been mentioned in the latest reports — and losing him and Aguero would be a big hit for Manuel Pellegrini to manage.

Tim Krul (Newcastle United) – Devastating blow for the big Dutch goalkeeper, as Newcastle will be without their star stopper for the rest of the season after he ruptured the ACL in his right knee. Krul suffered the injury in Holland’s 2-1 win away at Kazakhstan as he was caught by his own defender and landed awkwardly.

Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) – The Serbian skipper limped off during their win over Albania with a hamstring issue and is a doubt for Chelsea’s game against Aston Villa. Could be out for three weeks.

Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) – Another Serbian defender is struggling with injury, as Kolarov was sent off against Portugal from the bench after he suffered a hamstring issue. He is unlikely to feature against Bournemouth this weekend and with Gael Clichy also injured, Pellegrini has problems at left back too.

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) – The England and United skipper pulled out of Roy Hodgson’s squad with an ankle injury he suffered in training with the Three Lions. It is not deemed serious, as Rooney could well start for United at his former club Everton this weekend.

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United) – Another mild injury concern for United, as Schweinsteiger opted to not play in Germany’s 1-0 defeat to Ireland or the 2-1 victory over Georgia with a thigh complaint. He is expected to be back in action this weekend.

Paddy McNair (Manchester United) – A worrying injury for McNair looks to be under control as the Northern Ireland defender spent three nights in hospital in Helsinki after a challenge left him with a suspected ruptured liver. The youngster is set to be out for at least two weeks and with Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo already missing, Louis Van Gaal‘s strength at the back will be tested.

Shane Long (Southampton) – Ireland’s hero against Germany last week won a penalty kick against Poland in their crucial EURO 2016 qualifier but was carried off on a stretcher in the second half in Warsaw. He suffered a hefty blow to his right ankle but scans have shown no significant ligament damage and he could be back in action in two to three weeks time.

Bilbao’s Williams: ‘I suffered racist insults’ at Espanyol

Getty Images
Leave a comment

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams says that he was a victim of racial abuse from fans while playing at Espanyol in a Spanish league game on Saturday.

Williams said after the 1-1 draw that “I suffered racist insults, something that no one wants to hear and has no place here.”

Williams, who is black, played 82 minutes of the match before being substituted.

“People should come to enjoy themselves, to help their team. This is a sport about friendship,” Williams said.

More AP soccer https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

FA Cup: Chelsea survive trip to Hull, advance to 5th round (video)

Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images
Leave a comment

With their 2-1 victory away to EFL Championship side Hull City, Chelsea joined Leicester City, Sheffield United and Norwich City as Premier League sides to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

[ FA CUP ROUNDUP: West Ham bounced; Sheff Utd, Norwich advance ]

Frank Lampard‘s side got off to a flying start courtesy of Michy Batshuayi‘s deflected finish in the 6th minute, and the Blues were well on their way to a first half of total dominance.

Hull looked more prepared for a fight after halftime, but it mattered very little after Fikayo Tomori was gifted a free header two yards off the goal line. Ross Barkley‘s free kick was well placed at the back post and there was nothing that anyone could do to stop it.

[ MORE: Report: Spurs, Inter close to deal for Christian Eriksen ]

Hull pulled the game back to 2-1 in the 78th minute, and they were more than a little fortunate in how they managed to do so. Kamil Grosicki smacked a free kick with plenty of power and got the deflection of all deflections to wrong-foot Willy Caballero and find the back of the net.

The draw for the fifth round will be held on Monday at 2:20 p.m. ET, prior to kickoff of Bournemouth v. Arsenal.

FA Cup roundup: West Ham bounced; Sheff Utd, Norwich advance (video)

Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A roundup of all of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round (early) action…

[ MORE: Saints hit Spurs late to force 4th-round replay ]

The draw for the fifth round will be held on Monday at 2:20 p.m. ET, prior to kickoff of Bournemouth v. Arsenal.

West Ham United 0-1 West Bromwich Albion

West Ham were the lone Premier League side to be knocked out by a lower-division side on Saturday, as David Moyes‘ side failed to find the back of the net and were beaten 1-0 by EFL Championship leaders West Brom.

Conor Townsend scored the game’s only goal in the 9th minute, and though the Hammers controlled possession the rest of the way, they created very little in terms of scoring chances and finished the game with just three shots on target. West Brom finished the game with 10 men, but West Ham could do nothing with their 18-minute advantage following Semi Ajayi‘s second yellow card in the 72nd minute.

Millwall 0-2 Sheffield United

Sheffield United’s dream season continued with a comfortable 2-0 victory away to Championship side Millwall. Both goals came inside the final half-hour, but the Blades were unquestionably the better side even before breaking the deadlock.

That came in the 62nd minute, when Muhamed Besic placed a stunning curler inside the far post for 1-0. Not long before full-time, in the 84th, Oliver Norwood drove his effort hard and low and into the corner to make it 2-0.

Burnley 1-2 Norwich City

Norwich and Burnley were largely inseparable for the majority of Saturday’s clash at Turf Moor, save for a four-minute period early in the second half in which Norwich scored twice and booked their place in the fifth round.

Grant Hanley made it 1-0 in the 53rd and Josip Drmic added to the advantage in the 57th minute. Erik Pieters pulled Burnley back to within a goal in the 73rd, but that’s as close as the Clarets would get.

FA Cup fourth-round scoreboard

Southampton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur — FULL RECAP
Newcastle United 0-0 Oxford United
Portsmouth 4-2 Barnsley
Coventry City 0-0 Birmingham City
Reading 1-1 Cardiff City

RB Leipzig beaten, Bundesliga title race thrown wide open

Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images
Leave a comment

BERLIN (AP) Eintracht Frankfurt defeated Bundesliga leader RB Leipzig 2-0 to throw the title race wide open on Saturday.

[ MORE: Report: Spurs, Inter close to deal for Christian Eriksen ]

Frankfurt defender Almamy Toure scored a brilliant goal just after the break and Filip Kostic sealed the win in injury time to deal Leipzig its first defeat since a 2-1 loss at home to Freiburg in October.

Borussia Monchengladbach cut the gap at the top to two points with a 3-1 win at home over Mainz, thanks largely to goals in each half from French striker Alassane Plea.

Bayern Munich has the chance to cut the gap to one point with a win at home over Schalke in the late game.

[ FA CUP: Saints hit Spurs late to force 4th-round replay ]

Borussia Dortmund is just four points off the top after its 5-1 win over Cologne on Friday.

Also Saturday, Union Berlin defeated Augsburg 2-0 at home, Hertha Berlin came from behind to win 2-1 at Wolfsburg, and Paderborn moved off the bottom with a 2-0 win at Freiburg.