Controversy! Scandal! Accusations! We just love digging up some saucy headlines for you and today’s have their fair share. From Fernando Torres’s controversial game-winning goal against Reading to Juventus coach Antonio Conte’s suspension, and an accusation of San Jose playing dirty, we’ve got a wide range of hot topics today.
Juventus coach Antonio Conte tried to appeal his 10-month ban by the Italian Football Federation for match-fixing, but yesterday the ban was upheld by an Italian soccer court:
Conte’s implication in the scandal involved match-fixing charges in two Serie B matches that took place in the 2010-11 season.
“It was decided to acquit Conte for his role in the Novara-Siena game, but the 10-month disqualification stands as a disciplinary commission sanction concerning Albinoleffe-Siena,” the statement said.
Ever wonder what music pumps your favorite players up before a game? AS Roma’s digital business division has extended its relationship with Apple by launching iTunes playlists curated by the club’s players:
Pablo Osvaldo is the first to let the world know his music tastes, as Roma update the music page on a weekly basis. Osvaldo’s musical tastes include everything from Leonard Cohen up to Metallica. Music has always been a huge part of the beautiful game - with terrace chants and anthems ever popular. Furthermore, in recent years the image of footballers equipped with headphones as part of their pre-match ritual has become standard.
English Premier League
Chelsea didn’t have an easy time of it today against Reading, but managed to pull out a 4-2 win after trailing at the half, thanks to late heroics from – you guessed it, Fernando Torres. But should Torres’s 81st minute game-winner have counted? Reading head coach Brian McDermott was livid after the play, in which he thought Torres was clearly offside.
Chelsea now sits atop the EPL table with six points but are they good enough to challenge the Manchester duo?
Manchester United may have added a key veteran up top in Robin van Persie, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t relying on the team’s home-grown youth going forward. Young striker Danny Welbeck, a lifelong Red Devils fan, just signed new contract to keep him with the club through 2016, and Sir Alex Ferguson has high hopes for his future with the club:
“He has become an important player at international level as well, as the maturity of his performances at the European Championships showed.
“This year is another important one for him. He has a bright future ahead of him.”
Good news for Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, who suffered a knee injury last weekend against Southampton. ESPN is reporting that Aguero could be back within a month, after an initial fear that the injury could be much worse and sideline him for a greater part of the season.
The first clash of the La Liga titans will be upon us this weekend, and ESPN’s Graham Hunter reflects on the recent history, the magic and the importance of the Clasico, matches he described as “the most explosive, most technically brilliant, most consistently entertaining and most rewarding anywhere in the world.”
Major League Soccer
San Jose has impressed this season with late comebacks and a rise to the top of the MLS standings, but are they playing dirty to get there? Quakes coach Frank Yallop embraces their physical style of play, but was “mystified” by the red card on Steven Lenhart in last Saturday’s match against Montreal.
“Does [Lenhart] get into people’s heads? Sure,” Yallop said. “Is he a nightmare to play against? Yes. But he’s not elbowed, punched or head butted anybody. And he got that all Saturday night, and he got red-carded as well.”
There’s no question with Lenhart and Alan Gordon as a pair of target men to use up top, San Jose plays a physical brand of soccer. To Yallop, however, there’s an important difference between being hard-nosed and crossing the line into dirty.