Leah Williamson has withdrawn from her first England squad since last April due to injury, with Millie Turner called up in place of the Euro 2022-winning captain.

Arsenal described the 26-year-old’s problem as a “minor hamstring injury” ahead of Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United, less than a month after Williamson returned to action for the Gunners following a nine-month recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament rupture.

World Cup runners-up England travel to Spain on Monday ahead of two friendlies against Austria and Italy, with Manchester United defender Turner replacing Williamson in Sarina Wiegman’s squad.

A Football Association statement read: “Millie Turner has been called up to the England squad for this month’s fixtures with Austria and Italy being played in southern Spain.

“The Manchester United defender replaces Leah Williamson, who has withdrawn after missing out for Arsenal at the weekend with an injury.”

Leicester came from behind to heap more misery on Women’s Super League bottom side Bristol City with a 5-2 win at the King Power Stadium.

Ffion Morgan put the Robins in front in the 20th minute with a long-range effort after she capitalised on a mistake from Foxes goalkeeper Lize Kop.

Leicester were level through Japan international Nicole Momiki in the 33rd minute and then Saori Takarada bundled in a second during first-half stoppage time.

Bristol City equalised four minutes after the restart through Denmark forward Amalie Thestrup, her eighth WSL goal of the season.

Janice Cayman, though, had the hosts back in front after 55 minutes before Jutta Rantala drove in a fourth and 16-year-old Denny Draper, on as a substitute, stabbed home a fifth in stoppage time for her first senior goal.

Bristol City remain five points adrift at the bottom, while Leicester sit seventh.

Liverpool captain Ceri Holland scored and was later sent off as her side closed out a 1-0 win over strugglers Brighton at Broadfield Stadium.

Holland made the breakthrough eight minutes after the interval when she capitalised on a sloppy clearance by Brighton goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley.

The Reds skipper, though, was dismissed deep into stoppage time for a second yellow card after a poor foul on Julia Zigiotti, but Liverpool closed out a first win of 2024.

Liverpool remain fifth in the table, now within two points of Manchester United, while interim Brighton head coach Mikey Harris is still searching for his first WSL win.

Everton eased their own relegation worries after beating West Ham 2-0 for a first home win of the season.

Italy forward Martina Piemonte, on as a substitute, broke the deadlock when she glanced in a free-kick in the 83rd minute.

Aurora Galli wrapped up the points with a second for the Toffees just three minutes later with an angled effort into the top corner.

Jordan Nobbs’ fine second-half goal helped Aston Villa beat Tottenham 2-1 at Brisbane Road.

Adriana Leon, filling in for the suspended Rachel Daly, put the visitors in front after 23 minutes, but Spurs defender Amy James-Turner headed in an equaliser just before the break.

Nobbs, though, settled matters when she drilled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area following a corner.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder revealed Mason Holgate apologised to his team-mates after his red card in the 5-0 home defeat to Brighton.

Holgate was sent off in the 13th minute for a reckless thigh-high challenge on Kaoru Mitoma, with the VAR advising referee Stuart Attwell to upgrade an initial yellow card to red.

The Blades were put to the sword in the remaining 77 minutes as goals from Facundo Buonanotte and Danny Welbeck, Simon Adingra’s double and a Jack Robinson own goal gave the Seagulls their second victory at Bramall Lane in three weeks after a 5-2 fourth-round FA Cup romp last month.

Things might have been different had Holgate, who looks set to be fined by the club, kept his cool and Wilder says the defender knows he “got it wrong”.

“He has apologised to the boys, he understands it and he is an experienced pro,” Wilder, whose side conceded five goals at home for the third successive game, said.

“He has got it wrong, I want us to be competitive, I want us to win tackles, we can’t have a passive game.

“It is a competitive game, it is a not a non-contact game but we have to get that right, Mason has to get that right. It is huge setback for us in the approach to the overall game.

“I am torn, I am a competitor and I understand that it was a very, very strong challenge and the game has moved on.

“Some people won’t want the game to move and on and expect physical contact, excessive force or whatever you call it.

“Winning the ball and challenging in that way is deemed not acceptable. We have got no excuses, or nowhere to hide, the referee gave it a yellow card straight away but obviously when he went to the monitor and saw it slowed down and has somebody in his ear saying it’s a red card.

“Better managers than me, quite a lot of them around at the moment I should imagine – bigger, better clubs than Sheffield United would have found it difficult to go down to 10 because of they way they play.

“The game was decided on that, I could say 100 per cent we would not have gone done 5-0.”

The Seagulls made hay at Bramall Lane for the second time in three weeks and took advantage of Holgate’s indiscipline.

They kept the pressure on Manchester United in sixth place but boss Roberto De Zerbi would have preferred to have played 11 versus 11.

“We played very well, especially in the first half, it was very difficult to find the right moment to shoot, to score,” the Italian said.

“The first half was a very good performance, I am sorry for the red card, sincerely, because I would like to play the game 11 v 11 and it is not always an advantage to play with one player more.

“Especially if the characteristic of the opponent is like Sheffield United because you can find it more difficult to score.

“The second part of the first half they defended the last 25 metres with nine players behind the ball.”

Fans have a right to be concerned over the proposed introduction of blue cards in football, according to former FIFA referee Duarte Gomes.

Football lawmakers IFAB announced this month it would trial the implementation of blue cards, which would see players sin-binned for 10 minutes should they commit dissent or a cynical foul.

The announcement was met with concern, with the Premier League stating it would not be part of any trial, while FIFA also distanced itself from the proposals.

Gomes understands the concerns, although he also feels the introduction of blue cards could help to clamp down on dissent in the game.

"Yes, I understand fans' worries," Gomes told Stats Perform. "I understand that they are very emotional sometimes.

"They are very close to their teams, which kills the clarity in their minds. That's perfectly normal, and they have some right to be worried because this is something very strong.

"I think the idea is to prevent more things happening, not to be punished all the time. Maybe we pass the message in the first matches with a yellow, with a blue card, and then the players understand that when they go out for 10 minutes, they will be out of the match without participating.

"They will hurt their teams because they will be with one less player, and it will change a lot. So, this will be the good part, to make a statement to tell them 'don't do that'."

Gomes compared the proposals to VAR, which has undergone many teething problems since its introduction, saying: "I am sure that at this point, in what concerns for example, VAR, everybody with some distance and some clarity can say it was a very good measure because thousands and thousands of situations were corrected using VAR. So maybe this will happen with the blue card."

Gomes has reservations of his own, though, particularly in regards to how impacted teams will potentially look to shut the game down to get through their numerical disadvantage without their chances of victory being hurt.

"We need to balance that, because maybe one solution can create many problems for the referee and become the opposite of the spirit that is trying to be done," Gomes said.

Another worry is the impact of the blue cards on the tempo of the game, which is already under the spotlight with VAR. Gomes shares this view, too.

"I do have some worries about breaking time," Gomes continued. "Again, making the game less fluid and impacting on the emotions of people, because the match will depend on 10 and then 11 and then 10. And it stops and somebody will have to count the 10 minutes.

"There may be a small problem concerning the spectacle, so let's wait and see."

Gomes also highlighted football's uniqueness as a sport in relation to the intensity of emotion as another reason for fans' concerns, adding: "We cannot compare any other indoor sports that have the blue card with football, which is very different in the bigger atmosphere with lots of emotions involved, many, many people.

"Football is very peculiar, very sensitive, it's a world phenomenon, and when you want to change something, you have to do it very carefully, not to hurt the match, not to hurt the spectators, the emotions, but also the players and the teams, and the referees."

Brighton strengthened their top-six Premier League hopes as they inflicted a second successive 5-0 home defeat on 10-man Sheffield United.

Goals from Facundo Buonanotte and Danny Welbeck, Simon Adingra’s double and a Jack Robinson own goal gave the Seagulls their second victory at Bramall Lane in three weeks after a 5-2 fourth-round FA Cup romp last month.

Their task was made easier by Mason Holgate’s 13th-minute red card for the Blades, who also lost 5-0 to Aston Villa a fortnight ago and have now conceded five goals in three successive home games including that cup loss to the Seagulls.

Roberto De Zerbi’s side kept the pressure on sixth-placed Manchester United by putting the 10 men to the sword and they look in good shape as their European campaign soon resumes.

After winning at Luton last weekend, United briefly raised hopes of launching a great escape but they are dented and, sitting seven points adrift of safety, a return to the Championship looks almost certain.

They battled hard for much of the game but three goals in the last 15 minutes put a damaging slant on the scoreline.

Just 22 days ago the Seagulls came to South Yorkshire and made hay in the FA Cup and they enjoyed themselves again.

It had been an open start until the game changed in the 13th minute when Holgate saw red for a wild thigh-high challenge on Kaoru Mitoma. Referee Stuart Atwell initially gave a yellow card but quickly upgraded when he was told to watch it again by VAR.

The Seagulls went ahead seven minutes later as Buonanotte turned in from close range after Blades goalkeeper Wes Foderingham was bullied on the goalline.

Gus Hamer almost brought the hosts immediately level as his jinking run which saw him beat three players ended with a deflected shot.

But that was as good as it got for the Blades as Brighton seized control with a second goal.

Mitoma forced Foderingham into a good save at the far post but Welbeck was on hand to slam home the rebound from eight yards.

It could have been three but Mitoma and Pascal Gross had shots blocked by Robinson in quick succession.

United thought they had got themselves back into the game on the stroke of half-time when Ben Osborn flicked in from close range.

Atwell immediately ruled it out for a foul but Blades hopes were raised when Atwell was advised by VAR to go to the monitor.

However, during replays it was ruled Osborn was actually in an offside decision and the goal did not stand.

The Blades were spirited in the second half but could not test Brighton, who eventually finished strongly with three goals in the final 15 minutes.

They had to wait until the 75th minute for their third when Blades defender Robinson diverted Mitoma’s cross into his own net.

And three minutes later Adingra swept home Gross’ centre to make it four before adding a second with an effort which deflected off Andre Brooks.

Real Madrid’s title push faltered in the absence of injured top scorer Jude Bellingham as they surrendered a lead to draw 1-1 at struggling Rayo Vallecano.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men looked set to cruise to victory against their lowly city neighbours following a third-minute finish from Joselu.

But the LaLiga leaders missed the chance to move eight points clear after Raul de Tomas’ 27th-minute penalty earned Rayo a deserved derby point in their first match under new boss Inigo Perez.

Real’s advantage at the top could be cut to three points on Monday evening when nearest challengers Girona travel to fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao.

An underwhelming outing for the 14-time European champions was compounded in added time by the dismissal of substitute Dani Carvajal for two quickfire yellow cards.

Following a 1-0 Champions League win at RB Leipzig, Real were once again without 20-goal England star Bellingham due to an ankle issue as they made the short trip to out-of-form opposition who changed head coach in midweek.

Rayo appointed 36-year-old Perez on Wednesday after sacking Francisco Rodriguez the previous day on the back of just one win in 14 league games dating back to October.

The hosts endured a nightmare start to the new era as Real edged ahead inside three minutes thanks to a rapid counter-attack.

After visiting goalkeeper Andriy Lunin survived a nervy moment, Brahim Diaz released Federico Valverde down the right and his low cross was dispatched into the bottom right corner by a first-time finish from the unmarked Joselu.

Former Stoke and Newcastle forward Joselu, who was forced to wait for an incorrect offside call to be overturned for his opener to be awarded, had the ball in the net again in the 19th minute.

However, on this occasion, his close-range header was ruled out as the assistant referee was correct in adjudging the ball had gone out of play prior to Valverde crossing from the right.

Real at that stage appeared in complete control but Rayo took advantage of a VAR-awarded spot-kick to level.

Replays showed Oscar Trejo’s powerful effort was deflected over by the right fist of Eduardo Camavinga and former Real forward De Tomas confidently converted high down the centre of the goal to open his account for the season.

Real struggled to regain their rhythm, albeit the lively Valverde struck the outside of the left post with a long-range volley after Luka Modric’s corner was partially cleared.

Defensive dithering from Aurelien Tchouameni almost let in Alvaro Garcia immediately after the restart as Real’s unconvincing afternoon continued.

The away side enjoyed plenty of possession but lacked penetration as time ticked away.

Toni Kroos brought a superb save out of Rayo goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski with a direct free-kick from distance, while fellow Real substitute Rodrygo had penalty appeals waved away after going to ground easily.

Spain full-back Carvajal, who came on in the 75th minute, then departed prematurely after petulantly lashing out at Kike Perez.

And the lacklustre visitors could have few complaints about dropping points for only the sixth time this season as Rayo marked the start of Perez’s reign with a surprise result.

Philippe Clement spoke about James Tavernier helping him stop the “fire” when he took over at Rangers after the Light Blues went top of the cinch Premiership with a 3-0 win over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

Ivorian midfielder Mohamed Diomande opened the scoring in the 37th minute and a late penalty double from skipper Tavernier, which took his Rangers tally to 120, moved Clement’s side two points clear of Celtic with 12 fixtures remaining.

Rangers were trailing their Old Firm rivals by seven points when Clement took over from Michael Beale last October and the Belgian’s first port of call was a chat with the 32-year-old, who arrived at Ibrox in 2015.

Clement, who described Tavernier’s goal tally for a full-back as “crazy”, said: “I am happy with Tav, he was the first player I talked with, that’s normal when you come into a building and you know the fire is going on.

“I wanted to see how to stop it as fast as possible so I wanted all the information, it’s normal to speak first with the captain.

“He was really open and honest about all things in the club, dressing room and himself also.

“He feels good also, there is a divided leadership with several players who take responsibility but they have a really good connection together.

“If you’re all alone you can be alone in the desert, now he has a few lieutenants around him that help also and are very influential. It’s important to have that.

“If I see how they are playing now compared to four months ago we cannot speak about a beginning because that was the beginning. There is a lot of room for progression.

“It’s clear they all are growing in these past couple of months without exception.”

St Johnstone were still in the game until the 79th minute when veteran defender Andy Considine fouled Rangers substitute Dujon Sterling inside the box and although referee Matt MacDermid did not point to the spot at first, when he was asked to view the pitchside monitor, he awarded the penalty and Tavernier gave keeper Dimitar Mitov no chance.

Then Rangers substitute Tom Lawrence’s shot struck the arm of Luke Robinson, who had spun in the air and had his back to goal inside the box.

After consulting his pitchside monitor again, MacDermid again pointed to the spot and this time Tavernier sent it high into the other corner.

St Johnstone manager Craig Levein’s first remark in the post-match press conference was “that’s VAR 8-0 up on us now” and on the second penalty decision, the former Scotland boss said: “It’s unbelievably unfair. When you spin your arm comes out.

“I don’t know how you are supposed to keep your arm in like that when you are spinning. The referee hasn’t seen it and it’s the people in the booth that call it.

“It’s these guys in the booth making calls that are baffling at times. We didn’t lose the game just because of VAR today, but it certainly made life much more comfortable for Rangers and took some of our energy away after they were awarded a couple of goals.

“I don’t know what the best (handball) rule is to have – but could we have one that applies to everybody? That would be nice.

“Supporters come along and pay their money. They have to sit for five minutes with a feeling of dread in their stomach but everybody knows what’s going to happen.

“The referee’s going to make whatever decisions has been made in the booth. The referees aren’t really refereeing the game anymore – maybe they should just get half their money.

“It’s quite depressing sitting here every week and talking about stuff that should be helping but isn’t.”

Gary O’Neil welcomes Wolves supporters dreaming of Europe even if he is happy to play down such talk.

Wolves completed a Premier League double over Tottenham on Saturday with a 2-1 away win that moved them on to 35 points for the campaign.

It was Wolves’ fourth win from their last five matches and they are now only two points off seventh spot, which has earned Europa Conference League qualification in each of the last three seasons.

O’Neil said: “I haven’t seen the league table but I don’t really set goals in league table positions, especially with a group that I didn’t know when I joined and most of the talk at that point was around relegation!

“To switch talk from relegation to Europe is a big jump.

“I’ll keep pushing them until the final whistle at Anfield at the end of May or hopefully beyond that if we’re able to keep a cup run going.

“Yeah, I love the fans dreaming. One of my favourite parts of the job is I am not allowed to get carried away and think about things that might happen, but I love them being able to think about it.

“If we were on 22 points right now, they would be worrying about, ‘how we get our next win and are we going to stay up?’.

“The fact we’ve got to 35 already, they can talk about a title charge for all I care!

“I am delighted they are enjoying themselves and we got to share another fantastic moment with them, which was really special.

“You can see the connection between the players and the fans, but we just need to keep trying to push it and improve everything.”

Joao Gomes was the two-goal hero for Wolves and the midfielder produced his stellar display in front of Brazil head coach Dorival Junior.

“Was Joao aware of the Brazil manager being here? I’m not sure,” O’Neil admitted.

“I think you know what you’re going to get with Joao whether there is one man and his dog watching or the Brazil manager or the Real Madrid manager or whoever else might want to watch Joao.

“I hope he’s just trying to impress me! It was a good day for him.”

Tottenham will have to lick their wounds for the next fortnight after next Friday’s scheduled match with Chelsea was postponed due to their opponents’ involvement in the Carabao Cup final.


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Spurs will stay in England over the next two weeks and prepare for the visit of Crystal Palace on March 2 when Ange Postecoglou will hope to have Pedro Porro (muscle) and Destiny Udogie (knee) fit again.

The duo have produced 13 goal involvements between them this season, but the Spurs boss played down their absence.

Postecoglou said: “We’ve had a lot of injuries this year, we’ve certainly performed better than that when we have had injuries.

“So, I don’t think that’s the reason. Like I said our general level of performance wasn’t where it should be.”

Eddie Howe has challenged his players to ride out the wave of chaos which has engulfed the club as Newcastle attempt to rediscover their best form.

The Magpies sailed serenely through last season as they gatecrashed the Premier League’s top four to secure a first Champions League adventure for two decades.

This time around, Howe’s expensively-assembled squad is riven by injury and suspension and the control they exerted for much of the last campaign has deserted them.

Speaking after Saturday’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Bournemouth, in which they trailed twice, Howe said: “I’m well aware and I think people who watch us regularly are aware, that we’re not at full power at the moment, we’re not at our fluent best but I think the reasons for that are obvious.

“We are a bit disjointed. We had players playing today who maybe wouldn’t be in their best positions given a free hand. But everyone is giving as much as they can to get consistent results.

“We have to look at the positives: it’s another game unbeaten for us; we’re getting points where we went through a spell when we weren’t.

“That was a big late goal for us. It just keeps that momentum. Of course we’re looking for three points in every home game, so we’re disappointed with certain aspects as well.”

Newcastle went into the game without a recognised striker after Callum Wilson joined Alexander Isak on the sidelines alongside key midfielders Joelinton and Sandro Tonali and first-choice goalkeeper Nick Pope.

The balance of the team has been affected significantly by those and other absences – they have scored 17 goals in their last seven league games but conceded 19, four of them against Luton in their last game at St James’ Park a fortnight ago when they had to come back from 4-2 down to claim a point.

This time around, they trailed to Dominic Solanke’s opener after he pounced upon a slip by keeper Martin Dubravka and then Antoine Semenyo’s sweet strike.

Anthony Gordon had cancelled out Solanke’s 16th goal of the season from the spot and substitute Matt Ritchie levelled at the death.

Howe said: “We never know when we’re beaten. At 2-1 today, it would have been easy to not respond – just as it would have been at 4-2 down against Luton. That’s down to the character of the players.”

Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola left Tyneside proud of a creditable performance, but fuming at the outcome.

He said: “Today for me, it’s difficult to feel happy. I’m really happy with the performance. I think we deserved the three points.

“We came to a very difficult stadium with tough opposition and I think we did really well. We played very brave with high energy, we had the better chances, we were in front twice and to end with just one point, it’s not what we deserved today.”

Rodri wants Manchester City to move on quickly from the frustration of Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea.

The champions dropped two points in the Premier League title race after spurning a succession of opportunities in the second half of a compelling encounter at the Etihad Stadium.

It might even have been worse had Rodri not finally made a chance count by cancelling out Raheem Sterling’s first-half opener with a deflected strike in the 83rd minute.

The result ended City’s six-game winning league run and left them third in the table, four points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand, which they play on Tuesday against Brentford.

Midfielder Rodri said: “We could do better in some situations. We have to learn from the mistakes and try to move on. Sometimes a point is not bad.

“We are frustrated we didn’t win but after a few hours that is it. We move on.

“We keep fighting but we have to perform well in the next game against Brentford.

“It is one of the most important games because we can be there again at the top of the table with Liverpool, with one point (difference). This has to be the mentality.”

Chelsea were also guilty of wasting chances during a first half in which City proved vulnerable to the counter-attack.

Sterling eventually made them pay with a well-taken goal against his former club two minutes before the break.

City dominated the second period but could not find a way through until Rodri drove home after a Kyle Walker shot rebounded into his path.

Erling Haaland proved particularly profligate, even missing a free header from six yards, but Rodri was quick to defend the normally clinical Norwegian.

He said: “You have to be precise and effective and we weren’t, to be honest. We weren’t ourselves.

“But that is normal. It is not always (perfect).

“Erling always helps us with his goals but he had three chances and it couldn’t be possible. We’ll just support him and we know he is going to give us everything for the next ones.”

Chelsea have been inconsistent throughout the season but their confident performance offered plenty of reason for optimism heading into next week’s Carabao Cup final against Liverpool.

Goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic told chelseafc.com: “We didn’t realise our chances and we didn’t kill the game, maybe to make a two-goal lead and have a better chance.

“So we are a little disappointed but also happy because we showed to everyone we can play against a top team.

“It is a big motivation to everyone. We showed we can play and we will show that against Liverpool.”

Bukayo Saka is targeting his first Arsenal hat-trick after the in-form winger scored braces in back-to-back emphatic away wins for Mikel Arteta’s title challengers.

The 22-year-old and his team-mates are in electric form and followed up last weekend’s 6-0 win at West Ham by battering Burnley 5-0 on Saturday.

Saka scored a spot-kick and a goal from an open play in each of those emphatic triumphs but the academy graduate’s wait for a first Arsenal hat-trick goes on.

“I’m really pleased,” Saka said after the Gunners’ Turf Moor triumph. “I’m enjoying my football, but obviously I need to keep focused.

“But yeah, of course I’m happy to score two, two weeks in a row and hopefully the third one will come soon.

“It’s coming. It’s coming, but I need to be patient!”

Saka’s only senior hat-trick to date came at Old Trafford last June in England’s 7-0 victory against North Macedonia in a Euro 2024 qualifier.

The winger is likely to have a starring role for his country in Germany at the end of a season that all connected to the north London club hope ends in memorable fashion.

Arsenal are vying for the title and currently sit second, two points behind leaders Liverpool, having started a year with five straight league wins for the first time in club history.

“It was a lot of fun out there,” Saka told club media. “I really enjoyed it and it’s nice to see the fans coming up with new chants and stuff. I just loved it, so I enjoyed it.

“The boss has told us we’re the first Arsenal team to win five in a row at the start of the year, so it’s a nice achievement and we’ll definitely build momentum going forward.”

Arsenal have scored 21 goals in that five-game winning run and will look to take that form into the Champions League at Porto in Wednesday’s last-16 first leg.

“I think it’s really good,” Saka said of the Gunners’ free-scoring form.

“Definitely now that, not only that I’m playing well, the team’s playing well and we’re scoring a lot of goals because we’ve got some really important fixtures coming up, starting on Wednesday and I can’t wait to go there.

“I’m really excited. So yeah, looking forward to it and hopefully we can take this form into that game as well.”

While all connected to Arsenal left Turf Moor with a smile on their face, the home fans’ mood reflected the grim Lancashire weather on Saturday.

Vincent Kompany’s side’s hopes of survival are fading fast as Burnley turn their attention to next weekend’s trip to Crystal Palace.

Skipper Josh Brownhill said: “We’ve just got to review that game, the stuff that we can do better and work on that for this week.

“We’ve got a great chance to go away to Palace and put in a performance.

“But it’s the Premier League, you can’t expect any result in this division. They’re a good team, especially at home.

“They’ve got some really quality players so it’s not going to be easy at all.

“It’s one that we’re going to have to have a big week and go into that game and get our confidence back, that belief back and go on and put on a show.”

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) presidential candidate Raymond Anderson has expressed concern about the recent developments surrounding the Jamaica Women's Premier League (JWPL).

This, as three days post-launch, the league has encountered notable setbacks, including the cancellation of its opening ceremony, the withdrawal of two participating teams, and widespread confusion regarding the match fixtures and venues.

Anderson in a release through his Real Solid Action (RSA) team on Saturday, argued that the initial presentation of the JWPL lacks a coherent vision for the growth of women's football, as details on the league's strategic plans, as well as the announced sponsor, Sherwin Williams, were both absent from the launch. Furthermore, he said there was no information on the support to be extended to the participating clubs or efforts to promote the games and foster interest in women's football.

The inconsistency in messages regarding the inclusion of a knockout competition, Anderson believes further contributed to the perception that the launch was merely a superficial attempt to garner positive public relations.

"This approach mirrors the ongoing issues faced by the Senior Reggae Girlz, underscoring a pattern of inadequate management and planning by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). In light of these challenges, the RSA urges the General Secretary to promptly address these critical issues. Immediate action is necessary to rectify these flaws, which threaten to demoralize players and undermine the clubs' stability," Anderson's statement read.

"I firmly believe in the potential and significance of women's football in Jamaica and pledge to ensure the establishment of a well-structured, Tier 1 women's league, complete with substantial sponsor support, under his leadership. This commitment is a cornerstone of the manifesto (launched December 2023), reflecting our dedication to elevating the standard and visibility of women's football in Jamaica," it added.

Anderson, who is challenging incumbent Michael Ricketts, pledged that the JFF under his leadership would commit to revolutionizing women's football in Jamaica through a multifaceted approach. He also promised to prioritize and invest the necessary resources and effort into the development of the local women's football league, ensuring it reflects the high standards set by the national team's accomplishments on the global stage.

"Our manifesto emphasizes the importance of grassroots development, aiming to significantly increase girls' exposure to football from an early age, thereby laying a solid foundation for the future. Recognizing the critical role of competitive play in development, the initiative includes the establishment of a properly organised Professional Football of Jamaica Women’s League and support for annual competitions across various age groups and technical levels. This framework is designed to enhance skill development, experience, and national representation opportunities.

"The achievement of a women's squad qualifying for the World Cup twice would presumably serve as a significant incentive for investing in the local women's league. However, this expectation appears to have been unmet," the statement ended.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag does not think a six-match unbeaten run means their season has turned a corner but he believes they are “back in the race” for the top four.

Having won just twice in nine matches and lost five in December, United have now won five and drawn one of their last six.

Last weekend’s victory at Aston Villa was important as it kept them within six points of fourth-placed Tottenham and with games to come against Luton, Fulham, Everton, Sheffield United and Brentford – not withstanding the Manchester derby in that sequence – maintaining that sort of form will push them closer to Champions League qualification.

“First of all I think it is too quick to say we turned a corner. We are not there yet. We are still not in a position,” said Ten Hag.

“We are back in the race but we are not in the position we want to be because this club definitely wants to be a minimum of top four so we have to catch up. But I think we are now in a good direction.”

The priority has to be securing Champions League football again as Ten Hag admits United are not at the level of Manchester City, Liverpool or Arsenal.

However, he knows taking the next step and re-establishing them as title challengers will take longer due to the investment they have made in young players with potential.

“In the summer I think we were in a very good moment: we were third, winning one final and in another final,” he added.

“Then you choose young players for the future and that has to do with FFP (Financial Fair Play – now Profit and Sustainability), then also you know it will take longer before you can go into the competition for the top position in the Premier League.”

The Dutchman was asked whether, during the toughest parts of the season, he had any doubts he would be able to get back on track a team which finished third last season and reached two cup finals, winning one.

He said: “I was convinced. Once the (injured) players are available then I knew the players have the quality to play for the top four and now we have to prove it. Across the whole season I was convinced of that.”

Contributing to their improvement has been the form of youngsters Alejandro Garnacho, 19, and 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo.

Ten Hag admits if they continue their current progress they could end up saving the club millions in the transfer window.

“Manchester United will always be a buying club but I think the club’s history, in its DNA, is to give opportunities to players from the academy,” he added.

“There are players with potential and we have given them the time to develop and progress and we are mentoring them too because we saw their potential was higher.

“We also take into account that they couldn’t bring the levels in that moment but you see when you give them the opportunity they progress so quickly and they bring the team to higher levels in the long term.

“You assess the potential of the player and we were convinced of those players and I think we still have in the back of our squad young players who can make the step, like Kobbie and Garnacho have made in the last couple of months.”

Robert Lewandowski scored an injury-time penalty at the second time of asking as Barcelona secured a nail-biting late win over Celta Vigo to stay in touch with the LaLiga title race.

Lewandowski had already given his side the lead with an emphatic finish on the stroke of half-time but Iago Aspas put his struggling side on course for a draw with a deflected effort soon after the restart.

Lewandowski eventually won it from the spot in the seventh minute of added time, but only after the referee ordered a retake when his first attempt was saved by an encroaching Vicente Guaita. The result leaves them two points behind Girona in second and seven shy of rivals and leaders Real Madrid, having played one game more than both.

At the Metropolitano Stadium, fourth-placed Atletico Madrid ran out 5-0 winners over Las Palmas. Marcos Llorente and Angel Correa scored two apiece and Memphis Depay rounded things out in a one-sided contest.

Osasuna beat Cadiz 2-0 and Sevilla took a goalless draw from Valencia on their visit to the Mestalla.

In Ligue 1, departing Paris St Germain striker Kylian Mbappe found himself left out of the starting XI against Nantes only to step off the bench and bury a penalty.

Having announced his summer departure from PSG, Mbappe had to wait until the 62nd minute to see action but was ready to slot home from the spot to put the finishing touch to a 2-0 win. Lucas Hernandez had earlier put the runaway league leaders ahead on the hour.

Elsewhere, Lille moved back into third on goal difference as hat-trick hero Jonathan David put away Le Havre 3-0.

In Germany, Bundesliga’s relentless leaders Bayer Leverkusen banked another three points with a 2-1 away win at Heidenheim.

Xabi Alonso’s title-chasers have now won seven of their last eight matches, with Jeremie Frimpong and Amine Adli on target this time. Tim Kleindienst set up some late tension with an 87th-minute reply but the hosts could not force a second.

Third-placed Stuttgart fought for a 2-1 win at bottom club Darmstadt despite Pascal Stenzel’s red card at the end of the first half. They now sit five points above Borussia Dortmund, with the latter held 1-1 at Wolfsburg after substitute Yannick Gerhardt responded to Niclas Fullkrug’s early effort.

RB Leipzig won 2-0 against Borussia Monchengladbach, Union Berlin scored the only goal away to Hoffenheim and strugglers Mainz recorded a 1-0 win over Augsburg.

Juventus’ hopes of chipping away at Inter’s Serie A lead were stifled as they were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw at Verona. Juve twice dragged themselves back from a goal down, Dusan Vlahovic’s penalty and Adrien Rabiot’s second-half strike squaring efforts from Michael Folorunsho and Tijjani Noslin.

A point left Massimiliano Allegri’s men nine points behind the Nerazurri, who have a game in hand.

Napoli’s disappointing season continued to underwhelm as they were held 1-1 at home by Genoa. Morten Frendrup put the away side in front and it was not until the 90th minute that substitute Cyril Ngonge grabbed an equaliser.

Mario Pasalic, Teun Koopmeiners and Mitchel Bakker all found the target as Atalanta strengthened their grip on fourth spot at the expense of Sassuolo.

Kylian Mbappe stepped off the bench to convert a penalty as Paris St Germain won 2-0 at Nantes to extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 14 points.

Mbappe, who told PSG on Friday of his intention to leave in the summer when his contract expires, struck his 21st league goal of the season from the spot after Lucas Hernandez had given his side a second-half lead.

Amid mounting speculation that Mbappe will join Real Madrid in time for next season, the 25-year-old, along with Ousmane Dembele and Achraf Hakimi, were left out of Luis Enrique’s starting line-up.

Mbappe, who started and scored in PSG’s 2-0 win against Real Sociedad in Wednesday night’s Champions League last-16 tie, was in dispute with his club over his contract last summer.

The France forward refused to sign a one-year extension clause and was subsequently exiled from the first-team squad, and left out of their pre-season tour to Asia.

But he was all smiles with boss Enrique as he waited to enter the action at the Stade de la Beaujoire just after Hernandez had broken the deadlock, and was handed the captain’s armband after going on.

At the end of a first half of few clear-cut chances, Nantes twice went close and had a goal ruled out for offside.

Hernandez’s last-ditch tackle thwarted Douglas Augusto and was deemed legitimate by VAR before Marquinhos blocked Nicolas Cozza’s shot after Gianluigi Donnarumma had saved Mostafa Mohamed’s effort.

Nantes thought they had broken the deadlock when defender Nicolas Pallois turned home a corner, but his effort was ruled out by the referee assistant’s flag.

Pallois’ dipping 30-yard volley was comfortably saved by Donnarumma early in the second half and PSG took the lead on the hour-mark through Hernandez’s deflected shot.

Mbappe, Dembele and Hakimi were all sent on by Enrique straight after Hernandez’s opener and the visitors put the result beyond Nantes with 12 minutes remaining.

Augusto tripped Mbappe in the penalty area and the France forward picked himself up to slam home the spot kick for his 26th goal in 28 appearances for his club in all competitions this season.

Nantes went close to a late consolation goal when Donnarumma pushed substitute Moses Simon’s effort on to a post as PSG extended their unbeaten league run to 17 matches.

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