Aston Villa drew Championship basement-dwellers Preston North End in a wild match that featured a blown 2-0 lead, a goal for either side after the 86th minute, and a 97th-minute missed penalty that would have given the home side a last-gasp win.
Yet somehow, after all was said and done, a head of lettuce was the headline story from Villa Park.
Police are teaming up with the club to pinpoint the fan who threw a cabbage at Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce in the moments before the match started. “A cabbage was thrown at the dugout from the stand. We are working with the club to identify the person,” said the West Midlands police in a statement.
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“To say it’s disappointing is an understatement for a club like this,” said Bruce in his post-match press conference. “Unfortunately, it sums up the society we are in at the moment. There’s no respect for anyone.”
The cabbage did not make contact with its intended target. It’s unclear how the vegetable made its way past security and into the stadium.
Villa has won just one of its last 10 league matches, falling to 12th in the table. Fans came into the season hoping to challenge for promotion after just missing out to Fulham via the playoff final. Bruce has faced plenty of backlash from fans, including this past weekend when visiting fans chanted “you don’t know what you’re doing” as the final minutes ticked away on a road draw at Bristol City.
N'Golo Kante is set to miss Chelsea’s Europa League final showdown with Arsenal on Wednesday after suffering a knee injury during a training session this weekend.
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Kante missed Chelsea’s two most recent fixtures — their Premier League finale and the second leg of the UEL semifinals — due to a hamstring injury suffered on May 5, but was on course to be fit and available from the start when the London giants meet in Baku, Azerbaijan. Now, though, the Frenchman’s latest injury has all but ruled him out with one final piece of silverware on the line.
According to a report from the Guardian, the injury occurred when the 2018 World Cup winner made a challenge to win the ball during Saturday’s training session. He left the field in “clear discomfort” and will undergo the requisite examinations to determine the severity of the injury.
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In the unfortunate event that Kante’s injury turns out to be serious and keeps him out of action into the start of next season, the Blues would find themselves in a world of trouble. The club’s season-long transfer ban would prevent them from signing even a single replacement for one of the Premier League’s most influential figures.
Antonio Rudiger (knee), Callum Hudson-Odoi (achilles) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (achilles) will also miss out on Wednesday’s final due to long-term injuries.
As fallout begins from Barcelona’s losses in the UEFA Champions League semifinals and Copa del Rey Final, players are being linked with moves away from the Camp Nou.
Andre Gomes, 25, already spent a year away from Barca, playing around 2000 minutes on loan to Everton this season.
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The Times says that Everton would like to keep the player, but West Ham has made a $22 million bid for the EURO 2016 winner.
Meanwhile, Metro says that Xherdan Shaqiri could be one-and-done at Liverpool, making room for another Reds’ buy.
Samuel Chukwuese is the name, and the 20-year-old Nigerian plies his trade at Villarreal.
The Yellow Submarine flirted with relegation this season, taxed by the Europa League, and Chukwuese was a bright spot. He scored seven goals and added three assists in 38 matches across all competitions.
Tobin Heath, Mallory Pugh, and Christen Press all scored and then United States women’s national team was rarely threatened in a 3-0 win that stands as the final tune-up for the World Cup in France.
The U.S. will meet Thailand, Nigeria, and Chile in Group F play beginning on June 11.
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The match was barely 10 minutes old when Heath took advantage of terrible miscommunication between Mexican goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago and Rebeca Bernal.
There was still work to do when Heath got the ball, finding the angle to make it 1-0.
Carli Lloyd nearly slid a ball home after dribbling Santiago in the 48th minute, but was defied by a goal line clearance.
The second goal came when Lloyd dribbled toward the near post from a tight angle, sliding a pass to Pugh for a 2-0 lead.
Press completed the scoring with a classy finish in the final minutes.
Two of the biggest names in United States soccer history have been voted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Legendary scorer Abby Wambach and former federation president Sunil Gulati have their place in the hall, and will be inducted in September (via NationalSoccerHoF.com).
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Wambach scored 184 times for the USWNT, winning two Olympic gold medals and the 2015 World Cup. She added 75 club goals between Washington Freedom, Ajax America Women, magicjack, and The Western New York Flash.
Along the way, the 38-year-old Wambach has been an outspoken voice in the fight for equality, and admitted to struggles with addiction. She has a three-goal lead over Canada’s Christine Sinclair for most international goals.
Gulati’s legacy is in American infrastructure. The 59-year-old helped organize the 1994 World Cup and was the deputy commissioner of Major League Soccer before his time as a three-term U.S. Soccer Federation president from 2006-18.