Reds hit back after shaky start, while Brighton and Brentford also win

By Sports Desk August 19, 2023

Liverpool survived Mohamed Salah’s penalty miss and Alexis Mac Allister’s red card to surge to a 3-1 Premier League victory over Bournemouth.

The Cherries took a third-minute lead through Antoine Semenyo, but Luis Diaz levelled before Salah converted the rebound after Neto had repelled his spot-kick.

Summer signing Mac Allister’s dismissal had little impact as Diogo Jota secured the points.

Solly March’s double helped Brighton climb to the top of the table after the 3pm kick-offs following a convincing 4-1 win at Wolves.

Goals from Kaoru Mitoma and Pervis Estupinan put the Seagulls in charge, and March struck twice before substitute Hwang Hee-chan pulled one back for the home side.

Bryan Mbeumo also scored twice to help Brentford to an impressive 3-0 victory at Brentford.

Yoane Wissa opened the scoring and after defender Tim Ream had been sent off for a second bookable offence, Mbeumo converted the resulting penalty before adding a second in stoppage time.

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  • Premier League seeks ‘urgent’ resolution to Everton appeal before end of season Premier League seeks ‘urgent’ resolution to Everton appeal before end of season

    The Premier League says it will seek to ensure the outcome of Everton’s appeal against a two-point penalty imposed earlier this month is known before the last round of top-flight games on May 19.

    Everton were docked points by an independent commission last week for an admitted breach of top-flight profitability and sustainability rules (PSR), and have now formally lodged an appeal.

    It means PSR appeal processes involving Everton and Nottingham Forest, who sit just above the Premier League relegation zone in 16th and 17th respectively, are ongoing.

    Forest’s hearing against a four-point PSR sanction is understood to have been scheduled in the week beginning April 22, and the league has now indicated it will do all it can to ensure Everton’s appeal outcome is known heading into the final round of matches.

    “Everton Football Club has appealed (against) the decision of an independent commission to impose a two-point deduction on the club following its admission of a breach of the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules,” a league statement read.

    “An appeal board has been appointed to hear the case after the club lodged the appeal to the chair of the judicial panel today. The case will be heard on an expedited basis, in accordance with the league’s standard directions.

    “For clarity and certainty for all clubs and fans, the Premier League will be seeking to have the appeal resolved urgently with the outcome confirmed in advance of Sunday May 19, the last day of this season.”

    The league’s standard directions were agreed by clubs at last summer’s Premier League annual general meeting, and their purpose is to ensure PSR case outcomes are known in the same season as any charge is laid, and before Premier League ‘shares’ change hands between relegated clubs and those coming up from the Championship.

    Everton admitted breaching the permitted loss threshold under the PSR by £16.6million for the assessment period ending with the 2022-23 season.

    The independent commission which imposed the sanction disclosed in the written reasons for its decision that the Premier League had initially sought a five-point penalty.

    This was reduced to two by the commission, after mitigation was taken into account – notably it felt the club were being punished twice in the same overlapping period. In February Everton had a 10-point penalty for an earlier PSR breach, up to the end of the 2021-22 season, reduced to six on appeal.

    Everton will now be aiming to achieve a further reduction to the two-point penalty via the latest appeal.

    The commission which issued the two-point penalty will also hold a separate hearing to settle a dispute between the club and the league around costs which Everton contend are associated to the construction of their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

    This dispute is not covered by the standard directions, so any sanction imposed in relation to that matter would almost certainly apply next season.

  • Saudi FA and PFA criticise whip attack on Al Ittihad forward at Super Cup Saudi FA and PFA criticise whip attack on Al Ittihad forward at Super Cup

    The whipping of a player by a spectator after the Saudi Arabian Super Cup final has been condemned by the country’s football federation and players’ union.

    Al Ittihad’s Morocco forward Abderrazak Hamdallah was struck by the spectator at the end of the match in which Al Ittihad lost to Al Hilal in Abu Dhabi last Thursday.

    “The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) and Football Players Association of Saudi Arabia (PFA) are shocked with the disgraceful scenes involving a physical attack by an individual spectator on a member of the team from Al-Ittihad Club at the end of the Diriyah Saudi Super Cup final in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE),” a joint statement said.

    “Like all other AFC and wider FIFA member associations, the priority of SAFF is to preserve the safety and enjoyment for everyone who loves watching and playing the game.

    “Football in Saudi Arabia is a family game and thankfully, fan disorder is extremely rare. It’s why the actions of this so called ‘fan’ go against all that Saudi football represents and we completely condemn the incident.

    “There will be a thorough review of the spectator code of conduct. The review will ensure updated rules and regulations are put in place to swiftly and effectively impose suitable penalties to help avoid any repeat of such incidents.”

    The governing bodies said that even though the match took place outside Saudi Arabia, they “stand united in their commitment to prioritise safety and well-being at stadiums and will keep implementing comprehensive measures to maintain a secure environment for everyone involved in the game”.

  • Issues facing Newcastle as they look to balance on-field ambition with PSR rules Issues facing Newcastle as they look to balance on-field ambition with PSR rules

    Newcastle could face a challenging summer as they attempt to managing the competing demands of their ambition and financial rules which prevent them from fully exercising their spending power.

    In-form striker Alexander Isak and influential midfielder Bruno Guimaraes are coveted by rivals at home and abroad and the Magpies, who are determined to hang on to their biggest names, will have to negotiate a balancing act as they go about the latest phase of their recruitment drive.

    Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the issues they may have to contend with.

    Aren’t Newcastle’s owners fabulously wealthy?

    The Magpies’ Saudi-backed owners may have eye-watering amounts of money at their disposal, but the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules – of which Everton and Nottingham Forest have fallen foul – limit the extent to which they can use it. Clubs are not allowed to lose in excess of £105million over rolling three-year periods, meaning Newcastle cannot simply flex their financial muscle.

    Why might they have to sell this summer?

    Head coach Eddie Howe has been allowed to invest around £400million in his squad since taking up the reins in November 2021, but sacrifices have already had to be made – most notably Allan Saint-Maximin’s £25million departure for Al-Ahli last summer – in order to balance the books. Chief executive Darren Eales has admitted player trading is inevitable at some point, and Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson were linked with January moves to Bayern Munich and AC Milan respectively as potential suitors dipped a toe in the water.

    Who are their biggest assets?

    Isak, who has already been touted as a target for north London duo Arsenal and Tottenham, is the man of the moment having taken his tally for the season to 21 goals with a double against Spurs on Saturday.  The Sweden international, who became Newcastle’s record signing when he joined them from Real Sociedad for £63million in August 2022, has pace, skill and an eye for goal, all of which has endeared him to the Toon Army.

    Midfield general Guimaraes, who has been linked repeatedly with Paris St Germain, enjoys similarly elevated status on Tyneside, where the continued presence of his great friend and Brazil team-mate Joelinton, who signed a new long-term contract last week, could prove a telling factor.

    What has Howe said?

    The Newcastle boss has been unequivocal on the need to retain his best players if the club is to realise its dreams. Asked in particular about Isak’s retention in the aftermath of the Spurs game, he said: “We are trying to build a team, we are trying to grow everything, really, upwards and to do that as quickly as possible and as efficiently as you can, you need to keep your best players, otherwise you enter a different period where you go into transition and you have to start again.”

    What are the alternatives?

    Behind the scenes, the club is working hard to boost commercial revenue with lucrative new kit and shirt sponsorship deals already signed and the benefits of their return to the Champions League stage to be factored in. However in the short term, they may still need to be creative and Paraguay international Miguel Almiron also attracted interest in January.

    Alternatively, selling a home-grown player, reluctant as Howe would be to do so, would yield pure profit in PSR terms, while moving on fringe members of the squad might reduce the wage bill, but otherwise have little financial impact.

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