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Sheffield Wednesday

Jury fails to reach verdict in trial for Hillsborough match commander

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The trial of David Duckenfield, South Yorkshire Police’s match commander on the day of the Hillsborough disaster, and Graham Mackrell, former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary and safety officer, concluded on Wednesday.

The jury made up of six men and six women was unable to reach a verdict on Duckenfield on the charge of manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 men, women and children on April 15, 1989.

Duckenfield, 69, could not be charged for the death of one man, Tony Bland, because he died more than one year and one day after the disaster occurred. Prosecutors will seek a retrial.

Mackrell was found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for failing to have sufficient turnstiles available for the match, which resulted in dangerous overcrowding in the Leppings Lane stand.

From Sky Sports:

Sue Hemming, director of legal services for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This trial, which relates to events from almost 30 years ago, has been incredibly complex and, after lengthy deliberations, the jury has found Graham Mackrell guilty but has been unable to reach a verdict in respect of David Duckenfield.

“We have discussed the matter carefully with counsel and I can confirm the CPS will seek a retrial against Mr Duckenfield for manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 men, women and children.

“I recognise that these developments will be difficult for the families affected by the Hillsborough disaster.

“We have remained in regular contact with them throughout these proceedings and spoke with those present in Preston and Liverpool before informing the court of our decision.”

New investigations into the disaster began in 2014, resulting in an April 2016 determination of unlawful killing of all 96 victims. Original inquest verdicts were overturned in June 2017 and criminal charges were authorized against six individuals, including Duckenfield and Mackrell.

The three other men — former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent Donald Denton, former SYP detective chief inspector Alan Foster, and the force’s then-solicitor Peter Metcalf — are set to go on trial for obstruction of justice later this year.

Liverpool have since released a statement, which can be read in full here:

“Liverpool Football Club would like to reiterate our support and admiration for the Hillsborough families, survivors and campaigners in light of today’s verdicts at Preston Crown Court.

While forthcoming legal proceedings restrict comment on the outcome of the trial, we acknowledge the guilty verdict for Graham Mackrell and can empathize with the frustration shared by everyone affected by the Hillsborough tragedy that the outcome was not definitive.”

Willian scores 2, Higuain starts as Chelsea tops Sheffield Wednesday

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Willian scored twice and Callum Hudson-Odoi also scored as Chelsea beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 on Sunday to advance to the FA Cup Round of 16.

The early stages of the match included two awarded penalties, though only one would make it to the spot thanks to Video Assistant Referee.

[ MORE: Giovinco leaving TFC? ]

Joey Pelupessy kicked Ethan Ampadu‘s back leg and was awarded a penalty by Andre Marriner, but VAR reversed the decision.

Less than three minutes later, Sam Hutchinson took down Cesar Azpilicueta in the box with a clumsy tackle, and Willian had no problem with his effort to make it 1-0.

Hudson-Odoi made it 2-0 when he coolly collected an Andreas Christensen pass and cut inside to double the advantage.

Then Willian made it pretty with his second, taking a flick from Olivier Giroud and curling a vicious strike off the far post and into the goal.

Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.

FOLLOW LIVE: Higuain starts in FA Cup

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Having clinched a spot in the League Cup Final, Chelsea aims for the next round of the FA Cup when it hosts Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.

Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET in London.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores ]

It’ll be the Chelsea faithful’s first chance to see Gonzalo Higuain in their blue, with the ex-Napoli man starting for Maurizio Sarri.Youngsters Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi also start for Chelsea, the latter reportedly handing in a transfer request earlier this week.

[ MORE: Giovinco leaving TFC? ]

Ex-Premier League strikers George Boyd and Steven Fletcher start for Wednesday, who is managed by Steve Bruce.

Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.

FOLLOW LIVE: Crystal Palace-Spurs in FA Cup

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Fresh off a battle in the League Cup, Premier League powers Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea aim for spots in the next round of the FA Cup with Sunday matches.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores ]

Spurs open the day’s pair of ties by visiting Crystal Palace, while Chelsea will host Sheffield Wednesday two hours later at 1 p.m. ET.

Tottenham is without Harry Kane and Dele Alli, with Kyle Walker-Peters and Oliver Skipp getting starts for the North London side.

Regulars Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Mamadou Sakho, and Luka Milivojevic are on the bench for Palace.

Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.

Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday draw on pair of beautiful goals

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Who says the Championship is all a grind?

Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds drew 1-1 at Hillsborough Stadium on Friday as a pair of spectacular goals shared the spoils. First, it was Adam Reach who put the home side in front on the stroke of halftime with an incredible volley from almost 35 yards out, letting the ball bounce once before swiping at it with his left foot, catching the absolute top-left corner and cannoning into the back of the net.

It was the second Championship goal of the season for the 25-year-old, his third overall.

With Sheffield Wednesday up past halftime, Leeds pressed for an equalizer and struck just nine minutes after the break. Tyler Roberts laid the ball off to Mateusz Klich, and the 28-year-old Polish midfielder unleashed a curler after being given plenty of space. Klich’s effort bent around Wednesday goalkeeper Cameron Dawson and into the top-right corner, evening the scoreline at 1-1.

It’s the fourth goal of the season for the former Wolfsburg man, a vitally important goal as Leeds pushes for a spot at the top of the Championship standings.

The match is an important one, as Leeds came into the match atop the Championship table, level on points with Middlesborough and one above West Brom. Sheffield Wednesday sat in 10th upon kickoff, just four points back of the leaders. The result will be disappointing for both sides, allowing others around them an opportunity to pull ahead.

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