Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has never been one to hold back words, but this one’s quite the accusation. He thinks one of his chief Serie A rivals is in cahoots with a top Premier League side.
“I always had a suspicion that the real owner of Roma is the same as Liverpool, and if this were the case, the two clubs should not be allowed to play in the Champions League,” De Laurentiis said to La Gazetta dello Sport.
Both owners are American, with Liverpool owned by John Henry-led Fenway Sports Group and Roma held chiefly by Massachusetts-born James Palotta. It’s not surprising that De Laurentiis would think this, considering the roots of both men in close proximity. What is surprising is that he’d actually say it in public.
De Laurentiis said that “a little bird has told me a few years ago” that Henry and Palotta were secretly working together, and Napoli’s Italian rivals didn’t take kindly to that.
Roma responded vehemently, with the official Twitter account tweeting a quote from Palotta. “What do you think @ADeLaurentiis is smoking over there in Naples? If he finds that little bird again, he’ll find out we also own Barca and Bayern.”
Roma then released a quote from managing director Mauro Baldissoni, who said jokingly, “He [De Laurentiis] said that this was all suggested to him by a little bird. I don’t know who: I can only think that perhaps Aurelio is listening to the wrong birds! Perhaps we could suggest to him that he should speak a bit with songbirds, who deliver nice melodies rather than speaking nonsense. For our part, we send our best wishes to president De Laurentiis and to Carlo Ancelotti, their coach who remains in the hearts of all Roma fans, along with everyone else at Napoli. We wish them good luck for the new campaign, as we do all the other clubs and players.”
Maurizio Sarri is frustrated after his Chelsea side couldn’t find a way past West Ham United on Sunday.
[ RECAP: West Ham 0-0 Chelsea ]
It was the Blues first setback of the season, Sarri’s men failing to meet Liverpool’s 6-0 start to the season.
The scoreless draw saw Sarri try a few things, including the second half introduction of Alvaro Morata for Olivier Giroud. Morata proved more of a threat but his luckless run continued in London.
“Giroud is very important to be a point of reference for mates, but in that moment they were handling this kind of pass. So I preferred Morata, a player with movement off the ball.
“Save maybe the last 20-25 minutes of the first half, (West Ham) are really a very good team. Now that they have won away at Everton, there’s confidence.”
Sarri said he was “not happy” with the result, which came after Chelsea had a similar performance but managed a 1-0 win at PAOK in the Europa League.
- Chelsea no longer perfect
- Blues have most of the ball…
- But dangerous chances fairly even
Lukasz Fabianski made some solid saves including a terrific stoppage time stop on Ross Barkley, as West Ham United and Chelsea staged a 0-0 draw that betrayed its scoreline at the London Stadium on Sunday.
The draw is Chelsea’s first setback of the season, and leaves them in second. The Blues are two points behind Liverpool and level with Man City.
West Ham remains 17th with four points.
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Manuel Pellegrini‘s decision to counter led to some wide open chances for West Ham when the Irons managed to collect the ball, even without the injured Marko Arnautovic.
Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko found plenty of joy on the wings, and West Ham challenged young Chelsea backstop Kepa Arrizabalaga more than once. Michail Antonio was a change of pace from Arnautovic but certainly up for the role of center forward.
Maurizio Sarri would’ve been frustrated with the lack of danger given his tactical decision to rest Eden Hazard, Mateo Kovacic, and David Luiz at midweek for this very reason. Aside from an N'Golo Kante header, there was little to worry Lukasz Fabianski.
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Alvaro Morata subbed into the game and brought immediate life to the Blues attack, and also raised the question of whether the finish-lacking chance-monger is just snake bit when Fabianski made a terrific 67th minute save with his face.
David Luiz hit a free kick to Fabianski at one end, and Yarmolenko couldn’t get on the end of Robert Snodgrass‘ inviting cross at the other.
Barkley curled a pretty effort toward goal in stoppage time, but Fabianski got low to slap the effort wide of the frame.
Richarlison returns for Everton as the Toffees head to North London for a match against Unai Emery‘s Arsenal (Watch live at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
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Cenk Tosun is on the bench for Everton at the Emirates Stadium, while Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both start for Arsenal.
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Torreira, Ramsey, Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang. Subs: Leno, Elneny, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Iwobi, Guendouzi, Welbeck.
Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Zouma, Keane, Digne, Gana, Davies, Walcott, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin. Subs: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Baines, Tosun, Schneiderlin, Bernard, Lookman.
Bradley Wright-Phillips would like referees to consider his adulthood.
The New York Red Bulls’ super striker is going to miss a massive MLS clash with Atlanta United last weekend due to yellow card accumulation. RBNY is four points behind Atlanta in the race for the Supporters’ Shield with four matches each to play.
[ MORE: 2 Robbies on Mourinho, Man Utd ]
BWP was given a yellow for swearing at a linesman during RBNY’s 2-0 win over Toronto FC on Saturday.
Though we don’t know what he said and certainly don’t condone swearing at officials, the player didn’t make a show of it (something that earned Jozy Altidore a second yellow in a USMNT shirt a few years ago).
A fine is coming Wright-Phillips’ way for this one:
“It’s ridiculous man, it’s too big. We’re men. If you can’t take a swear word and what really happened then we’re in the wrong sport man, it’s ridiculous,” he said. “If someone said that to me, I wouldn’t even be like…I’d be like ‘Sorry, I missed.’ It’s a yellow card. The guy was having a nightmare all game. Nightmare.”
One thing that BWP is missing: It’s not the AR’s duty to know you’ll miss a game with a yellow. Still, this is a huge disadvantage for the Red Bulls on Sept. 30 at home.