Chelsea striker Mia Fishel will be out for a significant period after sustaining an ACL injury while on international duty with the United States.

The 22-year-old is the second Blues player to pick up such an injury this year after striker Sam Kerr was ruled out in January.

Fishel signed from Mexican side Tigres in the summer and has scored once in 10 Women’s Super League appearances this season.

In a statement the club said: “Mia will be assessed by a specialist in the coming days and will then begin her rehabilitation with the club’s medical team at Cobham.

“Everyone at Chelsea would like to wish Mia the very best for her recovery.”

Emma Hayes’ defending WSL champions were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City on Friday and now lead the table only on goals scored.

Ilkay Gundogan believes Barcelona face a “harder” test against Napoli following the Italian club’s change of manager.

The Serie A champions sacked Walter Mazzarri on Monday and immediately brought in former coach Francesco Calzona until the end of the season.

His debut in the dugout comes at home to Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Wednesday night.

Speaking to La Vanguardia, Gundogan said: “This is what the Champions League is all about, making big demands.

“I love this kind of pressure. Every game starts from zero. The fact they have just changed managers won’t make it any easier for us. If anything, it makes it even harder.

“There are other teams in the competition with more of a chance and better experience, but if we can reach the quarter finals, we are entering special territory. I am a realist, but I also know it’s difficult for everybody.”

Barcelona will see their boss Xavi leave the club at the end of the season.

The 44-year-old confirmed the news last month, with Barca falling behind rivals Real Madrid and Girona at the top of the LaLiga table.

Gundogan, who joined the club from Manchester City last summer after completing the treble, admitted he “didn’t expect” Xavi to leave.

He said: “Xavi played a huge role in me coming to Barcelona. If our conversations had gone another way, I wouldn’t be here.

“He made the difference and I’m grateful for that. I didn’t expect him to announce he was leaving at the end of the season, but I respect his decision.

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“He should get a lot of credit. He thinks about his family, the players and the club before himself. Xavi loves Barca.”

Despite their struggles in the league, Xavi steered Barcelona to top spot in Champions League Group H.

Napoli finished second to Madrid in Group C and are also having a far from happy time of things domestically.

They lie ninth in Serie A and have won just twice in their last eight league games.

Barcelona have Joao Felix and Sergi Roberto fit again after spells on the sidelines.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has been fined £11,500 by the Football Association for his biting remarks about a sandwich-eating assistant referee.

Wilder was offended when he spotted one of referee Tony Harrington’s assistants chowing down when the Blades manager went to see him after their 3-2 defeat at Crystal Palace last month.

Wilder, who has accepted the charge, branded the sight as a “complete lack of respect” and also called Harrington’s performance “ridiculous” in an interview with BBC Radio Sheffield after the game.

An FA statement read: “Chris Wilder has been fined £11,500 for media comments that came after Sheffield United’s game against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Tuesday 30 January.

“It was alleged that the manager’s comments constitute improper conduct in that they imply bias and/or attack the integrity of the referee, or referees generally, and/or bring the game into disrepute.

“Chris Wilder accepted this charge, and an independent Regulatory Commission imposed his fine following a hearing.”

Wilder’s fine follows a charge issued to him on Valentine’s Day over the rant, in which he said: “It’s yet again another ridiculous performance from the referee.

“Every 50/50 or tight decision goes against us and if that’s what we’re going to have to deal with between now and the end of the season, we’re going to deal with it.

“But I’m not just going to go under the radar and not say anything. I’ve been to see the referee and I’ve told him that.

“One of his assistants was eating a sandwich at the time, which I thought was a complete lack of respect. Hopefully he enjoyed his sandwich while he was talking to a Premier League manager.”

Liverpool’s injury crisis continues to deepen with forward Diogo Jota ruled out for “months”, while there is no return date pencilled in for midfielder Curtis Jones or goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

Jota and Jones were added to a list which now extends to nine senior players unavailable and is less than ideal with the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea to come on Sunday as the club continues to fight on four fronts.

“We have Diogo with a knee issue ruled out – it will obviously take months,” said manager Jurgen Klopp ahead of the midweek visit of Luton.

“Not available are Ali (Alisson), muscle injury – we don’t know how long it takes but it will take some time to come back – and Curtis with a bone/ligament issue is ruled out.

“Then we have the others where we think we will deal with it day by day. Longer term like Trent (Alexander-Arnold) and Dom (Dominik Szoboszlai) are on their way back but are not in team training yet so they are not available.”

Other players absent include midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic and centre-back Joel Matip (ACL), while striker Darwin Nunez was replaced at half-time of Saturday’s win at Brentford as a precaution.

AC Milan have expressed support for winger Rafael Leao after a supporter told him to leave the club in a racist social media post.

The Portugal international was targeted following his side’s 4-2 Serie A loss at Monza on Sunday.

An Instagram message allegedly directed at Leao read: “I can’t see you anymore, I can’t stand you on the pitch anymore, I’m becoming racist, you really p*** me off, leave as soon as possible, you and whoever follows you.”

Leao came on as a half-time substitute during the weekend defeat, which ended Milan’s nine-match unbeaten run in the league.

He shared the abuse, along with the words: “Unfortunately the world continues to have this type of people with small minds.”

The 24-year-old player later received support from his club.

A post on AC Milan’s X account read: “@RafaeLeao7 we stand with you. In our fanbase and in football, there’s no room for racism.”

Leao, who has won 23 caps for his country, joined Milan from French side Lille in 2019.

He has scored seven goals in 30 appearances for the Italian club this season.

Marseille have appointed Jean-Louis Gasset as first-team coach after dispensing with the services of Gennaro Gattuso.

Gasset, who was sacked as boss of host nation Ivory Coast in January during what proved to be their victorious Africa Cup of Nations campaign, takes charge with the club sitting ninth in Ligue 1, six points adrift of the top six after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Brest.

The 70-year-old counts Bordeaux, St Etienne and hometown club Montpellier among his former managerial posts, having spent his entire playing career at the latter. Gasset was also an assistant coach with Paris St Germain and France.

A statement on the club’s official website said: “Olympique de Marseille has announced the appointment of Jean-Louis Gasset as first-team coach.

“An experienced coach with both club and country, Jean-Louis Gasset has spent over 30 years on the bench in the French league and abroad.

“His experience as assistant or head coach at Girondins de Bordeaux, St Etienne, Montpellier and PSG has made him one of France’s most experienced coaches, and has seen him win four French Championships, two French Cups and four League Cups.

“Renowned for his tactical expertise, his ability to interact with players, his ability to mobilise the different groups he has coached and his hard-working culture, the Montpellier native has also had the opportunity to put his skills to good use at international level with the Côte d’Ivoire national team, France and Espanyol.”

Gasset added: “It’s a huge honour for me to be joining this legendary club, Olympique de Marseille. I can’t wait to start working with this group to prepare for the upcoming fixtures and give the best of ourselves.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the club has announced that former Italy international Gattuso, who was appointed in September, was leaving his role after a run of six league games without a win.

A statement said: “Olympique de Marseille announces the end of its collaboration with Gennaro Gattuso.

“Olympique de Marseille would like to extend its special thanks to Gennaro and his entire staff for the unfailing commitment and professionalism they have shown on a daily basis, and wishes them all the best for the future.”

Humble Lion FC have been punished by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) competitions Committee for its use of an ineligible player in their Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League encounter against Montego Bay United on Sunday.

The game which ended 2-1 to Humble Lion at Wespow Park, has now been awarded to Montego Bay United by a 3-0 scoreline, after the Clarendon-based team was found in breach of Article 17.2 and 18.3.i of the Jamaica Premier League regulations.

This follows an appeal by Montego Bay United's management, after documents in an email from the Jamaica Football Federation’s Competitions Committee pointed out, in red highlighted letters, that the player in question had accumulated five yellow cards and was not eligible to play against MBU on Sunday.

As a result of the ruling, Montego Bay United moves up to 26 points, but remain eighth, while Humble Lion has been relegated to 11th position on 18 points.  Cavalier continues to head the standing on 43 points, one ahead of Mount Pleasant Football Academy, on 42 points, with Portmore United in third on 39 points.

Tivoli Gardens (37 points), Arnett Gardens (35 points) and Waterhouse FC (27 points), currently occupies the other playoff positions.

 

After clinching a 1-0 preliminary phase win over Guyana, Caribbean representative Dominican Republic will bow into group stage action at the inaugural Concacaf Women's Gold Cup on Tuesday evening.

However, their task will be as tough as it can get to kick off a tournament, as they are up against four-time World Champions United States in the feature contest of a Group A double-header at the Dignity Health Sports Park. Mexico and Argentina will lock horns in the curtain-raiser, with the games scheduled for 7:30pm and 10:15pm Eastern Standard Time.

United States vs. Dominican Republic

Having won all there is to win in the Concacaf region and also on the world stage, there is no doubt that United States, the reigning Concacaf Women's Championship title holders, start as one of the favourites, if not the overwhelming favourite to become the first champions of this Women's Gold Cup. That basically underscores the difficulty of Dominican Republic's assignment to get things underway.

Rated as the most decorated team in the world, United States qualified to the Women's Gold Cup after topping the 2022 Concacaf Women's Championship, with victory in all five games played. They’re returning to the main stage after they exited the 2023 Women's World Cup at the Round of 16 stage and will be under the guidance of interim coach Twila Kilgore, until new Head Coach Emma Hayes takes the reins.

With this new leadership, United States women's outfit will try to get another Concacaf trophy under their belt, and players like striker Sophia Smith, who has 15 goals within major tournaments like the World Cup and Women's Championship, will be integral to their chances of achieving the feat.

Midfielder Lindsey Horan, who captained the team in Australia/New Zealand, where she scored two goals, and was one of the difference-makers during the qualifying tournament, will also be a key factor in a stacked United States team.

Still, Dominican Republic will be optimistic of giving a good account of themselves, as rubbing shoulders with United States will certainly give their women's programme a great deal of confidence going forward.

In fact, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean women have grown in confidence since their Gold Cup qualifying run, where they amassed five wins and a solitary loss in six League B games, with 24 goals to their credit. The likes of Kathrynn González, who scored the banger against Guyana in the preliminary, and Mia Asenjo, who had nine shots on Saturday, will be key to Dominican Republic's chances of possibly finding the net.

Goalkeeper Paloma Pena, who made key saves against Guyana, will be hoping to repeat her clean sheet feat on this occasion.

 

Mexico vs. Argentina 

Prior to the United States and Dominican Republic clash, Mexico and Argentina will square off. The two are familiar with each other, having shared the pitch at the Pan American Games, where Mexico won 2-0 in the semi-finals to improve to an overall record to four wins and a loss against Argentina.

Under Head Coach Pedro Lopez, Mexico registered victory in all four games in Group A of League A, and with the disappointment of missing last year's World Cup still fresh in their minds, they will be hoping to make amends to an extent, with a deep run in this tournament.

Players like Maria Sanchez, who scored two goals and had the most shots (13), and Natalia Mauleon, who made an impression with the Under-17 and Under-20 National Teams, will again be aiming to make an impact as they did in the qualifiers.

Argentina, who placed third at the CONMEBOL Copa America Femenina in 2022, with four wins and two losses, will be intent of showing their class to get a win on North American soil.

Head Coach German Portanova has generational talent in players like Yamila Rodriguez, who was the top scorer of the 2022 Copa America with six goals. Another Argentinian sensation is Sophia Braun, who got on the scoresheet at last year's World Cup.

 

Crystal Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone hopes different ideas from new manager Oliver Glasner will help lift the club clear of relegation danger.

Monday evening’s 1-1 draw at Everton came just hours after it was announced that Roy Hodgson, who had fallen ill during training last week, was stepping down and former Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Glasner was taking over.

Palace, with their new boss watching from the directors’ box alongside chairman Steve Parish, had looked on course to register only their third win in the last 14 Premier League matches until Amadou Onana’s 84th-minute header cancelled out Jordan Ayew’s opener.

Victory at Goodison Park would have lifted the visitors eight points clear of the bottom three and given Glasner some much-needed breathing space, but the draw left them only five ahead of Luton, who dropped to 18th as Everton edged out of the drop zone on goal difference.

“It’s sad to see Roy leave and the way it happened, but we’re excited to see a new manager come in,” Johnstone said.

“He (Glasner) will be in this week and we are all excited for the new direction which will bring new ideas.

“He will put his own print on the team and hopefully that can take us up the table.

“The only thing that will change is he will give us new ideas to freshen us up. We go out to train every day to give 100 per cent, we go out every game to give 100 per cent which we will carry on doing.

“It will just be a case of some different ideas, a different way of playing and everyone is up for that.

“That is the only change really because as professional athletes, footballers, we go out every day and give 100 per cent.”

Johnstone paid tribute to his former manager and the impact Hodgson had made during five years over two spells at Selhurst Park.

Asked about the 76-year-old’s legacy, he replied: “Massive. The club has been in the Premier League for 10 years and Roy has been manager for four or five years of them,” he added.

“He’s a great person, first and foremost, and a great manager, so obviously it was tough but we are all glad to see he is well.”

The squad only found out about Hodgson’s departure on the day of the game and, considering the uncertainty in the build-up, Johnstone felt the players coped well.

“It’s been in the media for a few days,” he said. “The focus really was to put that behind us as well as we could, get on with the game and try to get a result for him, for Crystal Palace, the fans and the new manager.

“We’re obviously disappointed we didn’t get three, but at a place like this you could always come away with none.

“It was a tough game and the lads worked hard, so a good point.”

Brighton’s head of recruitment Sam Jewell has been placed on garden leave after accepting a new position at Premier League rivals Chelsea.

Jewell took up the role with the Seagulls in 2022 following the departure of his predecessor Paul Winstanley to Stamford Bridge.

The 34-year-old, who is the son of former top-flight manager Paul Jewell, joined Albion in May 2016 as recruitment manager for the men’s under-21 side and became emerging talent manager in March 2019.

Brighton’s assistant technical director Mike Cave, supported by scouting and intelligence manager George Holmes, will assume Jewell’s responsibilities at the Amex Stadium with immediate effect.

Jewell is set to join a long list of Brighton staff to move to west London in recent years, which includes Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, who are Chelsea’s co-sporting directors, and former Seagulls boss Graham Potter.

The Blues have also signed defender Marc Cucurella, goalkeeper Robert Sanchez and midfielder Moises Caicedo from Albion during that time.

“Sam Jewell has accepted a new position at Chelsea FC,” read a short Brighton statement.

“Sam has now commenced a period of gardening leave. We thank him for his long service to our club.”

Andreas Brehme, who scored the winning goal for West Germany in the 1990 World Cup final, has died aged 63.

The defender scored from the penalty spot late on to give his country a 1-0 win over Argentina in Rome.

He played for Bayern Munich and Kaiserslautern, winning the Bundesliga with both and also lifted the Serie A title with Inter Milan.

Bayern said the former left-back will be remembered as a “very special person”.

The club posted on X: “FC Bayern is deeply shocked by the sudden death of Andreas Brehme. The German record champion is united in mourning with his relatives and friends.

“We will always keep Andreas Brehme in our hearts – as a world champion and even more so as a very special person. He will always be part of the FC Bayern family. Rest in peace, dear Andi!”

What the papers say

The Sun reports that Gareth Southgate has his eye on three uncapped midfield players – Manchester United teen Kobbie Mainoo, Everton’s James Garner and Fulham’s Harrison Reed – as concern grows over the form of Kalvin Phillips.

Coach David Moyes’ future with West Ham looks fraught as the club is understood to be sounding out Julen Lopetegui, Steve Cooper and Graham Potter to lead the Hammers, writes the Daily Mail.

Steve Bruce is keen to move abroad, with the ex-Newcastle boss looking to become the next manager for South Korea, writes the Daily Mirror.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Kylian Mbappe: The  Paris Saint-Germain star put pen to paper with Real Madrid weeks ago, reports the Daily Mail.

Liel Abada: According to the Daily Record, Celtic will speak to the winger’s agent this week to sort out his future.

Yann M’Vila: West Bromwich Albion has signed the former France international, but only until the end of the season, says the BBC.

Crystal Palace caretaker manager Paddy McCarthy believes new boss Oliver Glasner will have seen plenty to excite him in the Eagles’ battling 1-1 draw at Everton.

Hours after being confirmed as the successor to veteran Roy Hodgson, who stood down earlier in the day, Glasner was watching from the stand at Goodison Park as Palace claimed a point on Monday night.

McCarthy, who took charge of the side along with fellow assistant Ray Lewington after Hodgson was taken ill last week, feels the team being handed over is in fine shape.

McCarthy said: “He’s seen a team with spirit and commitment to the cause. It’s a good point in the right direction at a difficult place to come.

“I’m sure he will take a lot of positives from the game and I bet he can’t wait to come and work with the lads.”

Glasner, 49, inherits a side 15th in the Premier League and hoping to avoid being pulled into a relegation battle after a poor run of form.

The Austrian led Eintracht Frankfurt to Europa League glory in 2022 and McCarthy feels he is a strong appointment.

The Irishman said: “He is a manager with great pedigree, a European winner. He is coming into a group that I’m sure he will enjoy working with.

“It is a positive move for the football club and one I’m sure will excite the fans.”

McCarthy revealed he had not yet had the chance to meet Glasner and admitted he did not know if he himself had a future at Selhurst Park.

He said: “It was just announced as we arrived for our pre-match meal. I’ve not had chance to meet him.

“It has been a whirlwind couple of days. I’ve had no communication about myself and my future.”

In terms of the game, a dull encounter was lit up when Jordan Ayew broke the deadlock with a superb long-range strike after 66 minutes.

Everton responded well and their pressure eventually paid off when Amadou Onana headed an equaliser six minutes from time.

McCarthy said: “We created some great situations, Jordan took his goal well. We knew the questions that would be asked coming here.

“I thought we defended resolutely for the majority of the game but unfortunately we couldn’t hang on.”

Everton manager Sean Dyche bemoaned the number of chances the hosts wasted but nevertheless felt the point, which lifted the Toffees out of the bottom three, was a valuable one.

Dyche said: “First half it looked like we were off and they were a side where the new manager was sitting in the stand. They had a bit of edge about them and they played well.

“We weren’t miles off but we weren’t brave enough in possession, were too timid, played backwards too much.

“They scored a good goal, a clean strike, but I thought the mentality then was good to get on the front foot. We certainly did enough to get a point and it was a fine delivery and a fine finish.

“It’s another point on the board and we’ve just popped out of the relegation zone but there were chances – we’ve got to start taking them. There were a couple of golden chances we didn’t take.”

New Crystal Palace manager Oliver Glasner watched from the stand as substitute Amadou Onana grabbed Everton a crucial late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.

Jordan Ayew’s 66th-minute goal was greeted with a beaming smile from the former Eintracht Frankfurt coach, who was sandwiched between Eagles chairman Steve Parish and ex-striker Mark Bright in the directors’ box.

The 2022 Europa League winner had no input into the game, having only been announced as Roy Hodgson’s successor less than three hours’ before kick-off, but the change looked to have had the desired effect.

However, Onana came off the bench to nod home from an 84th-minute corner to snatch the point which lifted the Toffees out of the bottom three.

Defeat would have been calamitous for Sean Dyche’s side but the draw at least ensured Palace, with just two league wins in their last 14 matches, were denied a victory which would have pulled them eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Glasner said he was looking forward to working with a talented squad and this display, without the stardust provided by the injured duo of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, will have given him some encouragement.

Assistant managers Paddy McCarthy and Ray Lewington took charge for the game after Hodgson, who was hospitalised after falling ill at training on Thursday, confirmed his decision to step down earlier in the day.

Their futures have yet to be decided as no announcement has been made on Glasner’s backroom staff but if this was their last involvement they at least did their former boss proud with an organised performance after days of uncertainty.

Everton will feel this was a missed opportunity but they were far from their best and the returning Abdoulaye Doucoure, making only his second appearance in 12 matches after injury, looked rusty – none more so than when he somehow failed to convert from six yards.

But in terms of missed opportunities, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, in particular, was culpable with headers in either half which he would have buried at the height of his powers but a lack of confidence saw his goalless run stretch to 19 games.

A nondescript first half ended with the home side being booed off after failing to register a shot on target, with Doucoure’s volley wide and Calvert-Lewin’s header from Dwight McNeil’s cross off target.

The visitors’ Odsonne Edouard had shot straight at Jordan Pickford and Jean-Philippe Mateta’s header was cleared off the line by Ashley Young.

Things improved slightly after the break and it required Pickford to charge down a Tyrick Mitchell effort with his chest and opposite number Sam Johnstone to parry James Tarkowski’s goalbound header.

The mess Doucoure made of trying to divert Idrissa Gana Gueye’s miscued drive from the loose ball suggested it was not to be Everton’s night.

And that seemed to be the case when Mateta held off Jarrad Branthwaite to tee up Ayew to strike an angled drive past Pickford for only his third goal of the season.

Another Calvert-Lewin header went wide and James Garner’s shot was parried before Onana rose above Johnstone to head home McNeil’s corner, but Everton’s winless run was extended to eight league matches and they remain in trouble pending the imminent outcome of their appeal against a 10-point deduction for breaching profit and sustainability rules.

Girona’s hopes of reducing the deficit to LaLiga leaders Real Madrid were dashed by a 3-2 defeat to Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames Stadium.

The surprise early-season pace-setters had only themselves to blame after two defensive blunders handed the home side the chance to stretch their unbeaten league run to four games.

The visitors, who remain six points behind Real Madrid, got off to a nightmare start when a rash cross-field ball by Aleix Garcia fell to Alejandro Berenguer, whose cool strike gave Bilbao the lead with just over two minutes on the clock.

Girona hit back to level when Viktor Tsygankov turned the ball home from close range four minutes after the interval, but moments later Berenguer grabbed his second after a mistake from Miguel Gutierrez on the right flank.

Inaki Williams made up for a series of missed early opportunities when he fired home from the centre of the box on the hour mark to move the home side to the brink of victory.

But Girona showed some of the fight that has served them so well this season as they reduced the deficit to 3-2 on 75 minutes when Eric Garcia met a cross into the box.

And the visitors came agonisingly close to pulling level five minutes into injury time when Savio failed with his initial effort only for the ball to fall to team-mate Jhon Solis, whose shot on the rebound was brilliantly blocked on the line by Bilbao defender Daniel Vivian.

 

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