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Chelsea book FA Cup final date with Man Utd

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud’s brilliant semi-final goal helped Chelsea beat Southampton to reach the FA Cup final and set up a meeting with Manchester United.

Chelsea striker Giroud received the ball from Eden Hazard and jinked his way past two Southampton players in a crowded area before he stabbed the ball home.

Giroud was replaced by Alvaro Morata with 10 minutes to go and the substitute sealed safe passage with Chelsea’s second when he headed in at the back post from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross.

Southampton went close with Nathan Redmond’s low drive from distance while Charlie Austin hit the post.

It means Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will come up against managerial adversary Jose Mourinho at Wembley on 19 May.

There is no love lost between Conte and former Chelsea manager Mourinho, who have traded insults throughout the season.

The final is also repeat of 2007 when Mourinho guided Chelsea to a 1-0 victory over United in the first to be played at the rebuilt Wembley.

Victory over Mourinho could save Chelsea’s season

Conte’s Chelsea were beaten in last season’s FA Cup final by Arsenal, albeit as a club which appeared much more harmonious.

Chelsea went into that final as Premier League champions and a domestic double would have put the gloss on a fine campaign.

This season has been a stark contrast with the London club struggling to finish in the top four and secure a Champions League place.

Rumours have also swirled over Conte’s future at Stamford Bridge.

Victory in the FA Cup final will allow Conte to potentially provide a silver lining to what has been a difficult season.

To do so against Mourinho would also be particularly sweet for both Conte and Chelsea’s fans, with the Portuguese’s relationship with his former club having become strained since he took over at Old Trafford.

Encouragingly for Conte, there were flickers of the kind of form Chelsea showed at their best in that title-winning season in this game as they deservedly progressed.

Willian struck the crossbar after a rapid counter-attack, Hazard forced Alex McCarthy to tip the ball over the crossbar, while Morata twice went close at the end.

They will face much sterner opposition in United and Mourinho, though.

Giroud continues FA Cup love affair

Giroud won the FA Cup three times as an Arsenal player and his fondness for the competition continued against the Saints with the crucial first goal.

It ensured that since January 2012 the France striker has had a hand in 22 goals in 26 appearances in the competitions with 15 goals and seven assists.

Giroud had scored twice as Southampton squandered a two-goal lead against Chelsea to lose 3-2 in their Premier League fixture at St Mary’s last weekend.

It was a goal which provided the most memorable moment. He showed superb balance, poise and technique to finish as Southampton’s players dropped like dominoes.

The 31-year-old was substituted by Conte with 10 minutes left and the hearty congratulations he received from the Italian resonated as a job well done.

His replacement Morata could have had a had a hat-trick as Southampton pored forward as they attempted a dramatic comeback.

In the end the Spain striker had to settled for one goal two minutes after he came on to the pitch when he nodded in from close range.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Chelsea

  • 1Caballero
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 24Cahill
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 15Moses
  • 4FàbregasSubstituted forPedroat 76′minutes
  • 7Kanté
  • 33Emerson
  • 22WillianSubstituted forBakayokoat 64′minutes
  • 10E Hazard
  • 18GiroudSubstituted forMorataat 80′minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Barkley
  • 9Morata
  • 11Pedro
  • 14Bakayoko
  • 21Zappacosta
  • 27Christensen
  • 37Eduardo

Southampton

  • 13McCarthy
  • 35BednarekSubstituted forGabbiadiniat 78′minutes
  • 3YoshidaBooked at 40mins
  • 6HoedtBooked at 65mins
  • 2Soares
  • 18LeminaBooked at 55mins
  • 14RomeuBooked at 50mins
  • 23HøjbjergSubstituted forTadicat 63′minutes
  • 21Bertrand
  • 7LongSubstituted forRedmondat 63′minutes
  • 10Austin

Substitutes

  • 9Carrillo
  • 11Tadic
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 20Gabbiadini
  • 22Redmond
  • 38McQueen
  • 44Forster
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
73,416

Match Stats

Home TeamChelseaAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home17
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home6
Away15

Live Text

Posted at

Match ends, Chelsea 2, Southampton 0.

Full Time

Posted at90’+6′

Second Half ends, Chelsea 2, Southampton 0.

Posted at90’+4′

Pedro (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at90’+4′

Foul by Oriol Romeu (Southampton).

Posted at90’+2′

Foul by Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea).

Posted at90’+2′

Charlie Austin (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Posted at90’+1′

Attempt missed. Pedro (Chelsea) with an attempt from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

Posted at88′

Álvaro Morata (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at88′

Foul by Maya Yoshida (Southampton).

Posted at87′

Attempt missed. Charlie Austin (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Posted at86′

Attempt saved. Álvaro Morata (Chelsea) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.

Posted at85′

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at85′

Foul by Cédric Soares (Southampton).

Posted at84′

Attempt missed. Charlie Austin (Southampton) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Nathan Redmond with a through ball.

Posted at84′

Attempt blocked. Álvaro Morata (Chelsea) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

Posted at84′

Charlie Austin (Southampton) hits the left post with a right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right. Assisted by Ryan Bertrand.

Posted at83′

Foul by N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea).

Posted at83′

Dusan Tadic (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Posted at82′

Goal! Chelsea 2, Southampton 0. Álvaro Morata (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by César Azpilicueta with a cross.

Substitution

Posted at80′

Substitution, Chelsea. Álvaro Morata replaces Olivier Giroud.

Posted at79′

Offside, Southampton. Dusan Tadic tries a through ball, but Charlie Austin is caught offside.

Substitution

Posted at78′

Substitution, Southampton. Manolo Gabbiadini replaces Jan Bednarek.

Posted at78′

Attempt blocked. Emerson (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Posted at77′

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Maya Yoshida.

Substitution

Posted at76′

Substitution, Chelsea. Pedro replaces Cesc Fàbregas.

Posted at75′

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Chelsea).

Posted at75′

Wesley Hoedt (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at74′

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.

Posted at74′

Attempt saved. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Victor Moses.

Posted at73′

Willy Caballero (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at73′

Foul by Charlie Austin (Southampton).

Posted at73′

Attempt saved. Oriol Romeu (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Dusan Tadic with a cross.

Posted at72′

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Willy Caballero.

Posted at72′

Attempt saved. Nathan Redmond (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Posted at71′

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Ryan Bertrand.

Posted at70′

Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at70′

Foul by Jan Bednarek (Southampton).

Posted at69′

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Antonio Rüdiger.

Posted at68′

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Olivier Giroud.

Posted at67′

Attempt blocked. Charlie Austin (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Dusan Tadic with a cross.

goal

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Watch: Morata's header doubles Chelsea's lead

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Watch as Alvaro Morata’s downward header doubles Chelsea’s lead against Southampton in the FA Cup semi-final.

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Barnes earns Burnley a point to deepen Stoke drop fears

Ashley Barnes’ sixth goal in eight games underlined Burnley’s European credentials as they earned a point to dent Stoke’s hopes of preserving their Premier League status. Paul Lambert’s team, now four points adrift of safety and winless in 11 matches, …

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Arsenal put four past West Ham in dominant display

Alexandre Lacazette

Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal farewell started in the perfect manner as the Gunners scored three goals in seven second-half minutes to ease to victory against West Ham at the Emirates.

This was the first match since Wenger announced he would be leaving the club at the end of the season on Friday, after almost 22 years.

Victory was also the perfect warm-up to Thursday’s Europa League semi-final first-leg against Atletico Madrid.

The Gunners had taken the lead on 51 minutes after Nacho Monreal volleyed in from a corner, but Marko Arnautovic equalised just after the hour mark, rifling a shot past David Ospina.

Aaron Ramsey put the hosts back into the lead in the 82nd minute when his tame cross was not dealt with by Hammers’ defender Declan Rice and Joe Hart could only watch as the ball rolled in at his far post.

Alexandre Lacazette made it three as his close-range shot beat Hart at the near post in the 85th minute, before the Frenchman sidefooted in his second four minutes later.

One negative for Wenger will be an injury to Mohamed Elneny, who was taken off the pitch on a stretcher after injuring his foot in a 50-50 challenge with Mark Noble towards the end of the first half.

Victory keeps Arsenal sixth, 11 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with four games remaining, but while they can still mathematically finish in the top four, their most likely route into the Champions League is by winning the Europa League.

West Ham, who had dominated much of the first half, drop to 15th place, six points from the drop zone.

Arsenal turn on the style

Wenger made five changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Newcastle last week. Some were enforced, while others were made with the Europa League in mind.

Record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started on the bench and Petr Cech missed out with a hip injury.

Mesut Ozil missed the game with illness, while Jack Wilshere and Sead Kolasinac had ankle injuries.

Despite Wenger’s impending departure, the Emirates lacked a celebratory mood as the teams came out. There were empty seats, no fanfare and the Frenchman snuck into his dugout.

The first half gave Arsenal fans little to cheer about as the visitors dominated the early exchanges.

Granit Xhaka had their only shot on target as his free-kick stung the palms of Hart, while Danny Welbeck wasted a number of chances.

Shkodran Mustafi struggled in defence against Arnautovic and there were warning signs ahead of a meeting with one of the world’s best strikers in Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann.

Despite deservedly taking the lead after half-time, their defensive frailties were exposed again for the equaliser.

The introduction of Aubameyang in the 70th minute lifted the team and the fans.

Hart was twice forced into action, first by Xhaka and then by Welbeck, before Ramsey’s goal started a late flourish as Arsenal finished in style.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 13Ospina
  • 24Bellerín
  • 20MustafiBooked at 74mins
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 35El NenySubstituted forMaitland-Nilesat 45′minutesBooked at 62mins
  • 29XhakaBooked at 41mins
  • 8Ramsey
  • 17IwobiSubstituted forAubameyangat 70′minutes
  • 9Lacazette
  • 23WelbeckSubstituted forChambersat 88′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Mertesacker
  • 14Aubameyang
  • 16Holding
  • 21Chambers
  • 30Maitland-Niles
  • 54Macey
  • 61Nelson

West Ham

  • 25Hart
  • 41Rice
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 3Cresswell
  • 5ZabaletaBooked at 50mins
  • 8Kouyaté
  • 16Noble
  • 26MasuakuSubstituted forCarrollat 86′minutes
  • 31FernandesSubstituted forLanziniat 60′minutes
  • 18João MárioSubstituted forHernándezat 60′minutes
  • 7ArnautovicBooked at 87mins

Substitutes

  • 9Carroll
  • 10Lanzini
  • 12Hugill
  • 13Adrián
  • 17Hernández
  • 27Evra
  • 33Cullen
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
59,422

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamWest Ham
Possession
Home68%
Away32%
Shots
Home20
Away11
Shots on Target
Home8
Away4
Corners
Home8
Away6
Fouls
Home11
Away9

Live Text

Posted at

Match ends, Arsenal 4, West Ham United 1.

Full Time

Posted at90’+5′

Second Half ends, Arsenal 4, West Ham United 1.

Posted at90’+4′

Foul by Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal).

Posted at90’+4′

Chicharito (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Posted at90’+2′

Attempt missed. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Alexandre Lacazette.

Goal!

Posted at89′

Goal! Arsenal 4, West Ham United 1. Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

Substitution

Posted at88′

Substitution, Arsenal. Calum Chambers replaces Danny Welbeck.

Booking

Posted at87′

Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at87′

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Posted at87′

Foul by Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United).

Substitution

Posted at86′

Substitution, West Ham United. Andy Carroll replaces Arthur Masuaku.

Goal!

Posted at85′

Goal! Arsenal 3, West Ham United 1. Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Posted at84′

Attempt blocked. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

Goal!

Posted at82′

Goal! Arsenal 2, West Ham United 1. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left to the bottom right corner.

Posted at81′

Foul by Nacho Monreal (Arsenal).

Posted at81′

Cheikhou Kouyaté (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at80′

Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at80′

Foul by Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United).

Posted at79′

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Joe Hart.

Posted at79′

Attempt saved. Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Posted at76′

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at76′

Foul by Mark Noble (West Ham United).

Posted at74′

Attempt saved. Chicharito (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Pablo Zabaleta.

Booking

Posted at74′

Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at74′

Foul by Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal).

Posted at74′

Chicharito (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Posted at72′

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Joe Hart.

Posted at72′

Attempt saved. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Danny Welbeck.

Substitution

Posted at70′

Substitution, Arsenal. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang replaces Alex Iwobi.

Posted at70′

Foul by Alex Iwobi (Arsenal).

Posted at70′

Arthur Masuaku (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at66′

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Shkodran Mustafi.

Posted at66′

Foul by Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal).

Posted at66′

Arthur Masuaku (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Posted at64′

Goal! Arsenal 1, West Ham United 1. Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Manuel Lanzini.

Posted at64′

Attempt blocked. Cheikhou Kouyaté (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Chicharito.

Posted at63′

Attempt missed. Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Chicharito with a headed pass following a corner.

Posted at63′

Attempt blocked. Mark Noble (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Posted at63′

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Héctor Bellerín.

Booking

Posted at62′

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

goal

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Chelsea v Southampton: FA Cup semi-final – live!

3.00pm BST

1 min Southampton kick off from left to right. They are in red-and-white Rank Xerox; Chelsea are in blue.

2.54pm BST

The players are in the tunnel, ready for action. It’s soccer o’clock!

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Mauricio Pochettino: ‘Spurs fans need to be realistic’ – video

Mauricio Pochettino urged realism from Tottenham fans after the side crashed out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage again. 

Dele Alli had given the London side an early lead, but goals from Alexis Sánchez and Ander Herrera ensured that it was Manchester United who progressed to the final for a record-equalling 20th time.

Spurs are now without any silverware since 2008, with Pochettino insisting a top four Premier League finish would still represent a successful season

Continue reading…

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FA Cup: Chelsea v Southampton – rate the players

Follow coverage of Chelsea v Southampton

helpHow to play

Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.

Rating range key1 = Give it up10 = Pure perfection

Chelsea

Starting XI

Avg

  1. Squad number1Player nameCaballero
    Average rating

    5.20

  2. Squad number28Player nameAzpilicueta
    Average rating

    6.02

  3. Squad number24Player nameCahill
    Average rating

    5.27

  4. Squad number2Player nameRüdiger
    Average rating

    5.35

  5. Squad number15Player nameMoses
    Average rating

    5.50

  6. Squad number4Player nameFàbregas
    Average rating

    5.91

  7. Squad number7Player nameKanté
    Average rating

    6.64

  8. Squad number33Player nameEmerson
    Average rating

    5.35

  9. Squad number22Player nameWillian
    Average rating

    6.79

  10. Squad number10Player nameE Hazard
    Average rating

    6.58

  11. Squad number18Player nameGiroud
    Average rating

    6.31

Substitutes

Avg

    No players have been substituted yet

Southampton

Starting XI

Avg

  1. Squad number13Player nameMcCarthy
    Average rating

    6.12

  2. Squad number35Player nameBednarek
    Average rating

    6.16

  3. Squad number3Player nameYoshida
    Average rating

    6.24

  4. Squad number6Player nameHoedt
    Average rating

    6.21

  5. Squad number2Player nameCédric Soares
    Average rating

    6.33

  6. Squad number18Player nameLemina
    Average rating

    6.39

  7. Squad number14Player nameOriol Romeu
    Average rating

    6.36

  8. Squad number23Player nameHøjbjerg
    Average rating

    6.36

  9. Squad number21Player nameBertrand
    Average rating

    6.77

  10. Squad number7Player nameLong
    Average rating

    6.62

  11. Squad number10Player nameAustin
    Average rating

    6.80

Substitutes

Avg

    No players have been substituted yet

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José Mourinho: ‘The season is successful if we finish second’ – video

One game does not define a season, insisted José Mourinho after Manchester United beat Spurs 2-1 to reach the FA Cup final. 

Spurs took an early lead through Dele Alli, but goals from Alexis Sánchez and Ander Herrera sent Manchester United into a record-equalling 20th FA Cup final. 

With Manchester City having already won the league, the Manchester United manager was clear that his side could still consider their own season a success  by finishing in second place. 

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Tottenham need time 'with me or another' – Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says the club “need more time with me or another” following their FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester United.Spurs have not won a trophy since 2008 and have now lost eight successive times in the last four of th…

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Arsenal v West Ham: Premier League – live!

1.34pm BST

4 min: Aaron Ramsey, who’s probably the best player in this Arsenal 11, goes on a power surge through the middle. But he’s crowded out by a posse of West Ham defenders.

1.32pm BST

3 min: James Collins, West Ham’s hamstrung centre-back, is in the away end this afternoon.

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Wilfied Zaha denies diving against Watford, blaming ‘agenda’ against him

• Crystal Palace forward had two penalty appeals turned down
• Zaha claims Adrian Mariappa admitted his challenge was a foul

Wilfried Zaha has responded to being involved in another diving controversy by claiming there is an agenda against him and that people want him banned.

The Crystal Palace forward had already seen a penalty appeal turned down in the 0-0 Premier League draw at Watford on Saturday when he fell under Adrian Mariappa’s second-half challenge.

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'Win Europa League for Wenger', says 'emotional' Mertesacker

Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker wants the club to win the Europa League for departing boss Arsene Wenger.The Frenchman, 68, will leave the Gunners at the end of the season after nearly 22 years.The Europa League remains Arsenal’s only chance for silver…

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Sunderland’s feckless decline was coming. At least fans have a parrot

The club’s drop to the third tier is far worse than that of 1987 and for many locals it got to the point where staying in the pub become more appealing than going to the Stadium of Light

The King’s Arms perches on the south bank of the Wear behind the waste ground where the Vaux brewery used to be. It’s a proper pub, at least 150 years old, with a fine range of beers, ancient octagonal tables and draughty toilets widely rumoured to be haunted. We always go there before the home game nearest to Christmas. Nothing much changes. You notice the odd dad who isn’t there any more, the odd kid who’s joined the group, but essentially it’s the same group of blokes catching up, having much the same conversation they have every year. Except this season, there was something different. This season there was a parrot.

I’m not sure anybody had realised the King’s needed a parrot but now it’s there it’s obvious it belongs. This is a pub that reeks of the docks and the shipyards and the city’s seafaring heritage. Of course it should have a parrot. And so Peter now sits on top of his cage, cynical and grey, brutally assessing the drinkers in his domain.

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London Marathon 2018 – live!

Race through capital set to be hottest on recordSign up for the Recap, our weekly sport round-upAnd email Daniel or tweet @DanielHarris 10.34am BST Farah is in a row with a cameraman, giving him a proper telling for something or other. He gets angry! …

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Mourinho shows why he is a serial winner – Shearer analysis

Manchester United need to win the FA Cup for their season to be a success but, whoever they face in the final, I would back Jose Mourinho to find a way to beat them.United totally deserved their win over Tottenham in Saturday’s semi-final because Mouri…

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Everton v Newcastle: match preview

Rafael Benítez’s in-form Newcastle can leapfrog Everton with a fifth consecutive league victory. The onus will be on Jonjo Shelvey to show the watching Gareth Southgate that he is worth considering, and trusting, for a late inclusion in England’s World Cup squad. For Sam Allardyce, the visit of his former club brings reminders of an unhappy spell at St James’ Park and a massive pay-off. With Evertonians calling for something similar at Swansea last weekend, albeit in harsher terms, he could do with another home win to keep the restless supporters at bay. Andy Hunter

Monday 8pm Sky Sports Premier League

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Trump ‘considering full pardon’ of Jack Johnson – thanks to Sylvester Stallone

  • President says Rocky star called about black world champion
  • Obama did not respond to campaign for African American hero

Donald Trump said on Saturday he is “considering a full pardon” for Jack Johnson, the great African American boxer who was a victim of racially motivated injustice.

Related: Jack Johnson was a pioneer who gave hope to black boxers everywhere | Kevin Mitchell

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Pochettino’s success at Tottenham cannot be judged on trophies alone | Jonathan Wilson

Despite FA Cup semi-final failure against Manchester United, the progress the Argentinian is making at Spurs is undeniable

It feels as though Mauricio Pochettino’s career at Tottenham has been a battle with the club’s essential nature, with the need to end the curse of Spursiness. Spurs had this game in the bag, then they did not and the result was yet another semi-final defeat.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Pochettino’s reign is that every time he has been set a problem he has responded.

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‘Winning netball gold is a game changer’: Housby basks in surprise win

Goal scorer Helen Housby hopes Commonwealth triumph will lead to boost for her sport

It’s one week on from the sensational last-second goal that could change English netball for ever. Scorer Helen Housby has hardly removed her Commonwealth gold medal. Inside a coffee shop at Sydney’s Olympic park, she passes it over the counter so two baristas can feel the weight. “I’ve worn it everywhere,” she says, “it’s the first one of these I’ve had so I’m going to make the most of it.”

England’s surprise victory over hosts, world champions and overwhelming favourites Australia is not only a first gold medal for Housby – it is the nation’s only major netball title, which many predict will prove a transformative moment for the sport at home.

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I survived Hillsborough: now I say let’s bring back standing at football | Adrian Tempany

Ministers have rejected plans for safe standing areas. But the idea, backed by thousands of fans, deserves a fair hearing

Football supporters call out a Tory government for “declaring war on fans”. No, not a headline from the 1980s but a rallying cry last week from the Football Supporters’ Federation after sports minister Tracey Crouch vetoed an application by Premier League side West Bromwich Albion to trial safe standing in a section of their home ground, the Hawthorns.

Crouch further angered campaigners for rail seating – the model widely used in Germany and around Europe, and introduced in 2016 by Celtic in Scotland – by claiming that only a “vocal minority” back the move and confirming that the government had no plans to change the current all-seater policy at top-flight stadiums.

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