Headline news…

Thursday 19th March


Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has ended speculation over his future at Anfield by signing a new deal that will keep him at the club until 2014. The 48-year-old put pen to paper after protracted negotiations which put a doubt over his tenure at the club. But Benitez said: “My heart is with Liverpool, so I’m delighted to sign this new deal. “I love the club, the fans and the city and with a club and supporters like this, I could never say no to staying.”

The FA

The FA has written to Hull’s managerial team over allegations that Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas spat at Tigers assistant manager Brian Horton. They have requested manager Phil Brown and Horton’s accounts of events following Tuesday’s FA Cup quarter-final. The match officials did not mention the alleged incident in their match report from the Emirates Stadium. Fabregas has strenuously denied the allegation.

Scottish Cup

Dunfermline shocked Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup, knocking out the Dons after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory in their sixth-round replay at Pittodrie. After a goalless 120 minutes, Graham Bayne fired home the winning penalty after Scott Severin and Richard Foster missed for the hosts.


A controversial penalty from Ross McCormack in the third minute of injury time fired promotion-chasing Cardiff to fifth in the Championship table with a 2-1 win over Watford. Tommy Smith had put the visitors in front, but Cardiff’s Jay Bothroyd equalised within the opening 15 minutes.

Craig Bellamy

Manchester City’s Wales striker Craig Bellamy will not feature in their UEFA Cup tie against AaB Aalborg in Denmark tonight. Robinho is fit, Vincent Kompany (toe) faces a late test and Nigel de Jong is not registered to play as City take a 2-0 lead into the second leg.


An extra-time goal from Tyrone Mears, the only Englishman playing for a French club, took Marseille into the UEFA Cup quarter-finals last night. On loan from Derby, Mears’s 110th-minute header gave Marseille a 2-2 draw with Ajax for a 4-3 aggregate victory.

Chris Coleman

Coventry City boss Chris Coleman has been charged by the FA over comments he made after the club’s FA Cup defeat by Chelsea. He has been charged with improper conduct and/or bringing the game into disrepute for criticising referee Steve Bennett’s performance in the game. Coleman described Bennett as “smug” and claimed the referee was “very friendly” towards some of the Chelsea players.

Van der Sar

Manchester United keeper Edwin van der Sar has turned down a request from Dutch manager Bert van Marwijk to come out of international retirement.

Cesc Fabregas


Cesc Fabregas insists he’s done nothing wrong in The Sun’s ‘exclusive interview they all wanted’. He denies spitting at Hull City assistant manager Brian Horton as well as doing the same to Michael Ballack in a Champions League game in 2005. The Daily Mirror also pick up on that past event and the Arsenal midfielder is quoted as saying: “I did not spit at him. It happens during matches that sometimes you have heated exchanges with your opponents. I am not proud of it but I was 17 years old.” The FA are looking into the Horton incident and The Daily Star reckon they’ll rule against Fabregas, giving him a four-match ban. The Daily Mail think he’ll get off though because the match officials were not monitoring the tunnel at full-time. The Daily Express say it’s Horton and Phil Brown who are going to get in trouble. The paper writes Brown could be punished for criticising referee Mike Riley, while Arsenal are considering taking action against Horton for using foul and abusive language to their players. Meanwhile, The Telegraph look at the day’s other big news story: Rafa Benitez’s new contract. “The removal of chief executive Rick Parry, who leaves in May, is understood to have been the key in persuading Benitez to extend a relationship than began in 2004,” the paper writes.


~ by awbroady on March 19, 2009.

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