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Ex-Chelsea star Didier Drogba's substitution into the match ignited a spark for what had been a dormant attack for the Ivory Coast and they proceeded to score twice in two minutes to defeat into a 2-1 victory.

Drogba did not score or assist either goal but his influence was felt and the resulting scores were no coincidence. Both headers were from crosses delivered by Ligue 1 phenom Serge Aurier, the first to Swansea City's Wilfried Bony, the next to ex-Arsenal winger Gervinho. Ivory Coast join Colombia with three points but the South American side have the goal difference on their side as they face each other next.
Sat, Jun 14, 2014 11:02:00 PM

Burnley manager Sean Dyche said he does not expect Tom Heaton to be ready to return to the first team this weekend.

The 31-year-old keeper has missed the last five months after suffering a dislocated shoulder in September, but recently returned to play for the U23s this week in his first match action. However, given Nick Pope's form since taking over in Gameweek 5 (nine clean sheets) and Heaton's lenghty layoff, Dyche said he prefers to take his time with reincorporating Heaton back into the first team: "Tom’s not there yet to worry about that. Tom’s main thing is to get fit...Now it’s about true fitness and as a keeper it’s about timing, getting your eye in and about reminding yourself about game awareness and game management and all the different things that add into a goalkeeper’s performance. He’s not under any pressure to be considered at the moment because we want him to be right, not just on what you see, but right in himself and that’s an important factor for us."
Feb 22 - 5:25 PM

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is hoping to be available for the League Cup final on Sunday against Manchester City.

The Welsh international has been in good form of late, most recently scoring a hat-trick against Everton in Gameweek 26. But Ramsey suffered a minor groin injury in training soon after and has been sidelined for the past two weeks with his eyes on the final at Wembley. Said manager Arsene Wenger: "He had a good training session but he's a bit short for tomorrow [against Ostersunds]. We'll see how his evolution goes from now until Sunday, I don't rule him out yet, it depends how well he improves."
Source: Sky Sports
Feb 22 - 5:19 PM

The FA confirmed that Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has been cleared after allegations of making a racist comment.

The issue at hand arose during Liverpool's 2-1 win against rival Everton in the FA Cup at the beginning of January. After the match, Everton defender Mason Holgate alleged that Firmino made a racist comment to him during an altercation. But after a lengthy review, the FA cleared the Brazilian of any wrongdoing, making him available to face West Ham this weekend. "Having considered all of the available evidence, we consider it is not sufficient to raise a charge against Firmino," said the FA in a statement. "However, we are completely satisfied that the allegation was made in absolute good faith by Holgate and that there is no suggestion of this being an intentionally false or malicious allegation."
Source: Sky Sports
Feb 21 - 9:08 PM

Everton officially announced the signing of midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye to a new contract through summer of 2022.

The central midfielder has started all but three Premier League matches this season for the Toffees and has made 64 appearances for the side since arriving from Aston Villa in the summer of 2016. The 28-year-old, who is preparing for his first World Cup this summer with Senegal, is second in the Premier League in tackles this season with 85, a welcome stat in advance metric fantasy leagues. Said manager Sam Allardyce: "I’m really pleased that Idrissa has signed a new deal at the Club. He’s been terrific since I’ve been here and it’s fantastic for the Club. I love his attitude, the way he enjoys his football, the dedication and focus with which he trains every day and always with a smile on his face. It’s great that he’s committed long-term to Everton and he will enjoy some of his best football here in the years ahead."
Feb 21 - 9:12 PM

Jose Mourinho couldn’t resist taking a swipe at his backroom staff after Ander Herrera limped off just 17 minutes into his return from injury.

The 2016/17 Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year has endured a disappointing campaign on the back of what was arguably one of his best for United. With just 8 Premier League starts, this year will prove to be his lowest return since joining from Athletic Bilbao in 2014, and the Spaniard is set to miss more games. Herrera had been cleared to resume full training on Saturday and was named in the starting line-up against Sevilla in the Champions League. However, his evening was cut short following a recurrence of the hamstring injury which has hampered him since January. "It didn't look like he was fully fit," said Mourinho. "I think he has a bad injury. He had a small injury that stopped him for the last couple of matches, but the medical department gave him 100% ready. Then it was a back-heel, and a back-heel creates a contraction in the muscular area."
Source: BBC Sport
Feb 22 - 4:25 AM

Jermain Defoe is edging closing to a return after taking part in full training this week.

The Bournemouth striker has been sidelined since fracturing his ankle at Stamford Bridge in December, but has made excellent progress, and he could be included in matchday squad taking on Newcastle this weekend. In the 11 games Defoe has missed, the Cherries have only tasted defeat twice in the league – at Man City and Huddersfield – a run of games which includes victories over Arsenal and Chelsea helping Eddie Howe to a Manager of the Month award in January. During that time, Callum Wilson has really stepped to the fore along with teammates Josh King, Junior Stanislas and Ryan Fraser to carry the Cherries from the relegation places up-to 10th. However, a hugely disappointing result last time out [a 4-1 defeat at the John Smith’s Stadium] may see changes and Defoe could be named amongst the substitutes to add some attacking threat from the bench.
Source: Daily Mail
Feb 22 - 4:55 AM

Swansea have been given a double injury boost following the news that Leon Britton and Alfie Mawson are expected to rejoin the main group in training on Thursday.

The Jacks travel to the south coast this weekend and Carlos Carvalhal will be hoping to make it 11 games unbeaten to keep his side out of the relegation zone. Britton has responded well to treatment, and following an injection in his pelvis, the midfielder is pushing to be included in the matchday squad for the first time since January. Further tests also cleared Mawson of serious injury after his knee locked while warming up at Hillsborough a week ago. The defender met with a specialist and had an MRI scan which confirmed he was able to return to normal activity. Angel Rangel [groin] and Renato Sanches [hamstring] aren’t due back until late March while Leroy Fer [Achilles] and Wilfried Bony [ACL knee injury] face a race against time to return for the beginning of 2018/19 after undergoing surgery.
Feb 22 - 5:18 AM

Manchester United left Seville with a 0-0 draw after their first Champions League knock-out game in four years.

However, were it not for the heroics of goalkeeper David de Gea, the scoreline could have been very different. The Spaniard was called upon a number of times, particularly in the first half, to keep his side in the game. He was equal to efforts from former Stoke midfielder Stephen N'Zonzi and Joaquin Correa before his most startling contribution. That was a point-blank save from a Luis Muriel header from 6.6 yards which he stopped with one hand just 0.18 seconds after it left the attacker's head. United had a single shot on target and never looked like they had aspirations of scoring an away goal, though Lukaku and Rashford could have done better with the best chances which fell to them.
Source: BBC Sport
Feb 22 - 7:16 AM

Eddie Howe has been very complimentary about Nathan Ake in the media this week, labelling the central defender as "a model of consistency" owing to his recent form.

The Dutchman has been ever present for the Cherries this term since returning to the south coast club in a £20 million deal in the summer, playing a part in all of Bournemouth's PL games this term with just one of those coming off the bench. Aside from his usual critical defensive contributions, Ake has found his way onto the scoresheet in recent weeks, scoring 2 PL goals in his last 8. However he is not a prolific shooter by any means, having taken just five shots in that whole period and three of those came against West Ham. The Cherries' great run of form came to a shuddering halt at Huddersfield in GW27 when they were thrashed 4-1 though they have a good chance to put things right in GW28 when they play Newcastle, fresh after a week-long training camp in Portugal.
Feb 22 - 7:28 AM

Mesut Ozil faces a race against time to be fit for this weekends Carabao Cup final at Wembley.

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger was speaking ahead of his sides Europa League second-leg tie versus Ostersunds FK on Thursday night, and the Gunners boss provided a mixed injury update. Aaron Ramsey has made a timely return to the training pitches, and despite reports to the contrary, the Wales international still has a chance of making the squad. "He had a good training session but [his fitness] is a bit short. We’ll see how his evolution goes. I don’t rule him out yet, it depends how well he can improve his intensity," said Wenger. Alexandre Lacazette is also ahead in terms of his recovery from knee surgery which could see him return in early March. Mesut Ozil "should" be okay for the final having just re-joined the squad, the German playmaker was bed-ridden on Monday and Tuesday in what was his 6th reported illness within the past year [the most reported of any Premier League player].
Source: ESPN.co.uk
Feb 21 - 9:08 AM

Alfie Mawson has returned to full training for Swansea City ahead of their weekend match against Brighton, following a knee injury that the club feared would cause the defender to miss significant time.

Mawson has had an ongoing knock in his knee and it flared up on him in the warmups before Swansea's FA Cup tilt against Sheffield Wednesday. The Swans, who are moving in the right direction in the PL table, dodged a bullet though after a visit with a specialist and and MRI revealed no significant damage. Mawson is vital to the cause, having a breakout season and has yet to miss a minute of action. With several fixtures upcoming against sides in the bottom half of the table, he will be raring to get back on the pitch. He still carries a probable tag until Carlos Carvalhal's presser but Mawson owners can breathe a sigh of relief.
Source: Sky Sports
Feb 21 - 5:13 AM




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