Serge Aurier

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Aurier reportedly breaks lockdown rules for third time

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Tottenham right back Serge Aurier has reportedly broken lockdown rules for the third time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Aurier, 27, has posted a photo on Instagram with a barber, the day after Tottenham’s first team returned to small-group training under strict social-distancing rules.

Tottenham said: “We are investigating the circumstances and will deal with the incident appropriately.”

The Ivory Coast full back has issued a statement on Instagram, saying that both he and the hairdresser have tested negative for COVID-19.

Aurier has previously been caught out twice on social media as he separately posted videos out running with Spurs midfielder Moussa Sissoko and a friend.

Tottenham players and staff have been in the headlines for breaking lockdown rules throughout the Premier League suspension as Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon went running together, while Jose Mourinho was seen putting Tanguy Ndombele through his paces in a London park.

Premier League clubs unanimously agreed to a return to small-group training from Tuesday, as players and club staff from 19 clubs were tested on Sunday and Monday for COVID-19 and six tests out of 748 came back positive. 40 tests will take place on players and staff at clubs twice per week.

Next week is a key week for the Premier League ‘Project Restart’ plan as clubs are due to meet on Tuesday (May 26) to discuss a return to full contact training, then again on Thursday (May 28) to vote on whether or not to restart the season.

Phase One of the return to training protocol is now well under way and that means players and staff have to strictly adhere to social-distancing rules inside and outside of the training grounds. If they don’t, then the entire ‘Project Restart’ plan will fall down as more positive tests will be found and individuals will be forced to self-isolate for seven days at a time.

Sissoko, Aurier apologize for breaking government guidelines

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A pair of Tottenham Hotspur players apologized Tuesday after breaking government protocol this week.

Moussa Sissoko and Serge Aurier posted videos training with each other, breaching coronavirus pandemic guidelines that restrict exercise to solo activity or with housemates.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

The apology comes just 13 days after Spurs boss Jose Mourinho apologized for running an individual training session for Tanguy Ndombele in the same park where Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon were running.

Here’s part of the Aurier and Sissoko apology, via Sky Sports:

“We recognize that as professional footballers we have a responsibility to be role models, particularly during this uncertain period that everyone around the world is facing,” they said in a statement. “We wish to apologize for not setting the right example here. We must all respect the government advice to minimize the number of lives lost during this pandemic.”

Making this mistake this late in the game is school boy stuff from two men who know better.

Stay and Play Cup: Start time, live stream info, more

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We are still some time from seeing Trent Alexander-Arnold lead Liverpool against Phil Foden and Manchester City, but the players and their clubs will be on screen in competition this week.

Players from 20 clubs are participating in the EA Sports FIFA 20 Stay and Play Cup beginning Wednesday, including professional footballers from Premier League sides Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, and Tottenham Hotspur.

There’s an American in the fray, too, as Sergino Dest will lead Ajax into the fray as one of four clubs with a first-round bye.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Alexander-Arnold will lead Liverpool versus Vinicius Junior’s Real Madrid, while Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta meets the winners of Marseille versus Brondby.

Foden and City also have a bye and will meet either PSV Eindhoven or AIK, while Serge Aurier leads Spurs versus FC Porto (Full bracket below).

Telemundo Deportes will have Spanish-language coverage of the FIFA 20 Stay and Play Cup through the tournament’s conclusion on Sunday.

START TIME and STREAM LINKS: The FIFA Stay and Play Cup will be live stream on the Telemundo Deportes and Telemundo Deportes’ TwitterFacebookTwitch and Youtube, starting Wednesday at Noon ET.


Mourinho apologizes for training session with Ndombele

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has been forced to apologize after he was pictured conducting a training session with Spurs midfielder Tanguy Ndombele on Hadley Common in London, against government regulations during the coronavirus lockdown.

The British government’s orders specify that outdoor exercising is forbidden with anyone other than oneself or members of one’s immediate household.

“I accept that my actions were not in line with government protocol and we must only have contact with members of our own household,” Mourinho said in a statement released through the club. “It is vital we all play our part and follow government advice in order to support our heroes in the NHS and save lives.”

In addition to Mourinho and Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon and Davinson Sanchez were also pictured running together in another area of the Hadley Common at the same time, failing to respect the government order or the required social distancing guidelines. Serge Aurier also posted a picture of himself to social media running with another unidentified individual.

“All of our players have been reminded to respect social distancing when exercising outdoors,” a Tottenham spokesperson added to Mourinho’s statement. “We shall continue to reinforce this message.”

“My concern is people, particularly children, who might support Spurs or follow football, may see these images, pick up a paper, watch the internet and think ‘well if it’s ok for them, why isn’t it ok for me?’” said London mayor Sadiq Khan to the BBC Wednesday morning. “I don’t think it is necessary to be training in close proximity with another player who may be carrying the virus. And what you’re doing is inadvertently, unintentionally, potentially spreading the virus – you shouldn’t be doing that.”

Mourinho’s workout with Ndombele is especially notable as Mourinho has harshly criticized Ndombele’s performances in the recent past, most notably after substituting the midfielder off at halftime of Tottenham’s 1-1 draw against Burnley in early March, just before the coronavirus shutdown.

Opportunistic Spurs top 10-man Man City

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Steven Bergwijn and Heung-Min Son scored second-half goals on Spurs’ only two shots of a 2-0 defeat of Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

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It’s a statement win for Jose Mourinho, whose Spurs climb into fifth place on 37 points. City maintains a two-point edge on third-place Leicester City.

City outshot Spurs 17-2 and produced four big chances to Spurs one, but that’s not going to bring any comfort to the two-time champions sitting 22 points back of Liverpool.

Three things we learned

1. Bergwijn announces himself: The 22-year-old Dutchman arrived from PSV Eindhoven, and certainly carried a lot of promise in the long-term. Lucas Moura‘s no-look chopped cross came to Bergwijn inside the 18, and he had plenty to do. Bergwijn settled it for a hard volley inside the far post. He had been more of an assist merchant at PSV this season, but starting life in North London with a goal recalls more of his 14-goal, 12-assist 2018/19 season.

2. Tanganga the new McTominay: Follow us here. Scott McTominay was a surprise youngster that Mourinho brought into the first team at Manchester United, and is now a locked-in starter when healthy. Japhet Tanganga doesn’t turn 21 until March, and all but one of his senior appearances have come in the Mourinho era.

He was very decent again on Sunday, playing fullback against one of the most explosive attacks in the world. Tanganga made four tackles, three interceptions, and three clearances while blocking a shot. He won nine of 12 duels.

3. Lloris the beast: Spurs’ captain returned to the pitch last match after 15 weeks off, and he reminded the world of his incredible skill set on Sunday. Lloris saved a penalty and made a remarkable kick save on Aguero early in the contest. On a day City had an 11-1 shots advantage at the break.

Man of the Match: You could go one of three directions here. Bergwijn scored on debut and it was a beauty, and Tanganga was a big part of the win. But looking past what Lloris did to keep Spurs alive during the first half onslaught would be an error.

There was an early Dele Alli chance for Spurs and a fine intervention by Ederson on another long through ball, but most of the frame took place in Tottenham’s half.

Raheem Sterling was fortunate to not be sent off for a studded tackle, and VAR somehow concurred with the on-field ruling.

Sergio Aguero was stymied by an incredible Hugo Lloris save and the goal post on the best effort, while both he and Kevin De Bruyne lashed contested wide of the near post from three yards.

The flash point of the match came when Serge Aurier clipped Sergio Aguero and Mike Dean pointed to the spot. It was one of those decisions which wasn’t going to be changed conclusively either way.

Ilkay Gundogan stepped to the spot, and Lloris denied him with a sprawling save. Raheem Sterling pushed the rebound out of bounds just before Lloris caught his foot, causing a ruckus and another VAR review. No penalty, no red cards.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

The tone and tenure of the match changed when Harry Winks picked off a terribly played corner and zipped down the pitch. Oleksandr Zinchenko ran into the charging Englishman, and Winks hit the deck for a second yellow card.

City would play 30 minutes down a man.

It was all downhill from there for City, who conceded two goals in 10 minutes Bergwijn scored an incredible goal off Lucas Moura’s clever assist.

Then Heung-min Son saw his shot from the edge of the box take a deflection to fool an already-flying Ederson.

Lloris made a stunning save on a De Bruyne improvisation in the 89th minute.