mardi 21 novembre 2017

Barcelona to appeal Suarez, Pique yellow cards

La Liga leaders Barcelona will appeal the yellow cards handed to defender Gerard Pique and striker Luis Suarez during Saturday's 3-0 win at Leganes, the Spanish club has said.

Pique was booked in the first half for fouling Leganes midfielder Nordin Amrabat and will miss Barcelona's league game against second-placed Valencia through suspension if his yellow card is not repealed.

Suarez, who scored twice against Leganes to end a five-match goal drought, was cautioned for impeding goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar in the second half.

"FC Barcelona appealing yellow cards shown to Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez during Saturday's 3–0 win at Leganés," the Catalonian team said on their Twitter.

If the appeal is unsuccessful, Barcelona will have to rely on their only two fit centre-backs -- Thomas Vermaelen and Samuel Umtiti -- as they try to maintain their four-point lead at the top of the standings when they visit Valencia on Sunday.

Liverpool have duty to give Coutinho reasons to stay - Klopp

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said on Monday it was up to his team to ensure key players like Philippe Coutinho want to stay at the club as rumours continue to swirl that Barcelona will try again to tempt the Brazil midfielder away from Anfield.

Liga leaders Barca spent most of the last transfer window trying to lure Coutinho to Catalonia but their attempts were in vain, with sporting director Robert Fernandez saying Liverpool demanded 200 million euros ($234.64 million) for the player. Speaking at a news conference ahead of Liverpool's Champions League Group E game at Sevilla, Klopp said he was unmoved by new media reports in Spain stating that Barcelona will make a fresh approach for Coutinho in the January transfer window.

"I'm not worried about it. The only opportunity for us to be successful is to have good players in the team. It is our job to make sure these players want to stay at Liverpool and don't want to go somewhere else," the German coach said.

"If players still want to go somewhere else they can have different reasons, but it is not my problem in this moment because it is a long season to go. We have this team together now and we want to be as successful as possible."

Coutinho did not play until a month into the Premier League season after all the speculation but is back on top form. He has scored five goals, including one in Saturday's 3-0 home win over Southampton, and provided four assists in his last seven games.

"Phil is 100 percent at Liverpool. After all the talks it's possible not only for him but all the other players (to leave). When the market is open there are discussions and when the market closes we're all professionals and do the job again," Klopp added.


The winners of Tuesday's game at Sevilla's atmospheric Sanchez Pizjuan stadium will seal a place in the last 16 of the Champions League, a feat Liverpool have not achieved since 2009 when Rafael Benitez was in charge.

The Merseysiders will also be guaranteed top spot in Group E if they beat Sevilla at the third time of asking.

Klopp's side lost the 2016 Europa League final to the Spaniards and drew 2-2 with them at Anfield in September due to a late equaliser by Sevilla's Joaquin Correa.

"In the group stage you cannot choose where you get the points. The closer you get to the end the more decisive the games are. Everybody knows if we hadn't conceded that goal the situation would be even better," Klopp added.

"I played twice here with Mainz and (Borussia) Dortmund. This is a really famous atmosphere. It is always good but it depends on the performance of the away team. It is our job to make the game not so enjoyable."

Sevilla are missing captain Nico Pareja and fellow defenders Martin Montoya and Daniel Carrico through injury, while Klopp has a full squad to choose from except for defender Nathaniel Clyne, who has been out all season with a back problem.

Everton's Niasse charged with 'deception', facing two-game ban

Everton striker Oumar Niasse became the first Premier League player to be charged with "successful deception of a match official" on Tuesday after diving to win a penalty in a match against Crystal Palace on Saturday, and could be banned for two games.

The Senegal international threw himself to the ground after minimal contact from Palace defender Scott Dann, allowing Leighton Baines to equalise from the spot.

To rub salt into bottom club Palace's wounds Niasse later scored Everton's second equaliser as the game ended 2-2.

Players 'conning' match officials into awarding decisions in their favour has long blighted world football.

Blatant simulation is often punished immediately with yellow cards -- notably when Chelsea's Victor Moses was sent off in last year's FA Cup final after a dive earned him a second booking and therefore a red card from referee Anthony Taylor.

However, Niasse's potential retrospective punishment, the result of a new law introduced in May, opens up a new front in the battle to stop cheating.

"Incidents which suggest a match official has been deceived by an act of simulation are referred to a panel consisting of one ex-match official, one ex-manager and one ex-player," the Football Association said in a statement.

"Each panel member will be asked to review all available video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it was an offence of 'Successful Deception of a Match Official'.

"Only in circumstances where the panel are unanimous would the FA issue a charge."

While Niasse is the first Premier League player to be charged under the new law, Bristol City defender Bailey Wright was banned for two games this month after being found guilty of simulation in an off-the-ball clash with Fulham's Aboubakar Kamara during a Championship (second-tier) fixture.

Aboubakar was initially shown a red card after Wright fell theatrically to the ground but it was later rescinded.

Niasse, who also faces a two-match ban, has until 1800 GMT on Tuesday, to respond.