EPL

Balbuena controversial red card rescinded, FA confirm

By Sports Desk April 27, 2021

West Ham defender Fabian Balbuena has had his three-match ban overturned after an independent commission accepted his sending off against Chelsea was "wrongful".

Thomas Tuchel's Blues clinched a potentially vital win in the race for a top-four finish against surprise Champions League hopefuls West Ham, with Timo Werner's goal enough to seal all three points at London Stadium.

West Ham's hopes of pushing for a late equaliser were dashed when Balbuena saw red in the 81st minute.

While clearing the ball down the line on West Ham's right flank, Balbuena – seemingly inadvertently – caught Ben Chilwell on his follow-through.

Referee Chris Kavanagh initially booked Balbuena but, after consultation with the VAR, went over to assess the incident on the pitchside monitor and subsequently changed his decision to a straight red card – a call that infuriated Hammers boss David Moyes.

However, the FA has revealed an independent panel has deemed Kavanagh's decision to be erroneous.

An FA statement read: "An independent regulatory commission has removed Fabian Balbuena's three-match suspension following a successful claim of wrongful dismissal.

"The West Ham defender was dismissed for serious foul play during a Premier League fixture against Chelsea on Saturday."

As such, Balbuena will be able to feature against Burnley on Monday, as West Ham resume their quest for a top-four finish.

The defeat to Chelsea left them three points adrift of Tuchel's men in fourth.

Related items

  • Arnautovic agent hints at Man Utd transfer offer Arnautovic agent hints at Man Utd transfer offer

    Marko Arnautovic's agent says they have received an offer from "a well-known club" amid reports linking Manchester United with a move for the Bologna forward.

    The Austria international joined the Serie A outfit last term, having spent two years with Shanghai Port in the Chinese Super League, and remains under contract until 2024 with them.

    But news broke over the weekend that United, who suffered an opening Premier League defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, were exploring a remarkable move for the 33-year-old.

    Bologna have reportedly rejected an opening offer from the Old Trafford club, but now Danijel Arnautovic - both agent and brother to the star - has confirmed the existence of a bid and says they are working for a result.

    "It's true that there is an offer from a well-known club," he told Kurier. "I'm in contact with Bologna to see if that can be realised."

    Arnautovic previously spent a six-year spell in the English top-flight, with four years at Stoke City and two at West Ham, where he was voted Hammer of the Year in 2018.

    Since arriving at Bologna last year, the attacker has arguably been in the best form of his career, netting 14 goals in 33 Serie A games last term.

    News of a potential move for the star however has been met with a broadly negative reaction by many fans and figures associated with United, including former captain Gary Neville, who labelled them as "desperate".

  • Deschamps confident Pogba will make World Cup, dismisses Zidane talk Deschamps confident Pogba will make World Cup, dismisses Zidane talk

    Didier Deschamps remains confident Paul Pogba will be fit to play a big role for France at the World Cup despite missing the start of the season through injury.

    Pogba sustained a knee problem in pre-season after returning to Juventus from Manchester United on a free transfer.

    There were early suggestions surgery could see the World Cup winner miss Qatar 2022, but he has opted instead for therapy that aims to ensure a far swifter return.

    Pogba is set to again be paired with N'Golo Kante in the France midfield in November, although the Chelsea man has not been without his own injury issues in recent seasons.

    "We're talking about players who are in high demand – two players who have a big experience, leaders," Deschamps told Le Parisien of the duo.

    "It is important that they are there, but we are never safe – hence the need to prepare younger players.

    "I am obviously in contact with Paul. His participation in the World Cup, today, is not questioned."

    Antoine Griezmann is another player still seen as key to Deschamps' plans, despite scoring only three goals in LaLiga last season.

    "He's not a robot. Obviously the head controls the legs," Deschamps explained. "But every player encounters, sooner or later, a period of playing less well.

    "This translates, then, into a loss of confidence.

    "Antoine has had high-intensity seasons. Before his physical issue at the beginning of the year [a thigh injury], he had always been spared from injuries during his career.

    "A few months earlier, he had changed clubs. External elements may also have impacted it.

    "I know him well. He has a big mind. He needed to regenerate and will do everything to return to his best level. He represents a plus for the France team."

    For now the focus is on getting France in the best condition heading into the World Cup, even as former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane continues to be linked to Deschamps' job.

    The France boss, for his part, is not worried, saying: "I've always put the France team above me, above everything.

    "Today, the place is not free, since I occupy it with my staff. Afterwards, everyone has the freedom to say what he wants and how he wants. On me, it has no impact.

    "The interest, today, for the players and the whole squad, is to be efficient at the World Cup. Anything that can defeat this common goal is not necessarily a good thing."

  • Rumour Has It: Wolves in final stages of £35m move for Valencia's Goncalo Guedes Rumour Has It: Wolves in final stages of £35m move for Valencia's Goncalo Guedes

    After the best goalscoring season of his career, Valencia's Goncalo Guedes has reportedly earned a move to the Premier League, with Wolves said to be finalising a transfer worth up to £35million.

    After arriving at the Spanish side back in 2017 from Paris Saint-Germain, the 25-year-old forward has established himself as a regular in Portugal's international side, collecting 32 senior caps and scoring the only goal in their 1-0 Nations League final win against the Netherlands in 2019.

    Having never previously scored more than five league goals in a season, Guedes racked up 11, as well as six assists, in Valencia's last LaLiga campaign, and helped his side through to the final of the Copa del Rey.


    TOP STORY – WOLVES CLOSE IN ON GUEDES

    Wolves have no shortage of talent, boasting arguably the strongest Portuguese contingent in the Premier League, including manager Bruno Lage, and four starters from their opening fixture against Leeds United – Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence, Ruben Neves and Jose Sa, with Joao Moutinho and Nelson Semedo among the others in their ranks.

    According to the Daily Mail, all signs point to Guedes being added to that list, while at the same time a starting position may be opening up as Morgan Gibbs-White's name continues to be included in heavy transfer speculation, with Nottingham Forest keen to sign him for a similar price Wolves will fork out in this reported deal.

    Flipping an unproven talent like Gibbs-White into an established international performer like Guedes would likely be seen as a win by the club, but if they do wish to retain their English midfielder, the Daily Mail is also reporting they should be able to collect £12m from Everton in exchange for centre-back Conor Coady.


    ROUND-UP

    – The Guardian is reporting Leicester City and Southampton are interested in Callum Hudson-Odoi after the 21-year-old informed Chelsea he would like to leave on loan, and the Daily Mail claim Borussia Dortmund are also a potential landing spot.

    – The Mail is also reporting that Chelsea's Timo Werner is close to a permanent deal to return to RB Leipzig, with the fee said to be around £30m.

    – According to the Northern Echo, Newcastle United have decided to make a run at in-demand 19-year-old striker and Manchester United target Benjamin Sesko from Salzburg.

    Feyenoord have accepted a £12.6m bid from Bournemouth for 25-year-old Argentine defender Marcos Senesi, per The Sun.

    – The Athletic is reporting United have made a £6.8m bid for 33-year-old Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic, who has previously spent six seasons in the Premier League between Stoke City and West Ham.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.