Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 20th 2017 Contents A44 sports
guardian.co.tt Thursday, April 20, 2017
UEFA gives suspended
bans to Lyon, Besiktas
club Lyon and Turkey's Besik-
tas have been given suspended
one-season bans from Euro-
pean competition following
crowd trouble at their Europa
UEFA said in a statement yes-
terday that both clubs would be
excluded from the next compe-
tition for which they qualified -
with the ban being deferred for a
probationary period of two years.
The clubs were also fined
100,000 euros ($107,000) each
after fireworks were lit and mis-
siles were thrown at Lyon's sta-
dium before the first-leg match
on April 13.
The trouble followed fighting
among French and Turkish fans
in the city earlier in the day.
About 20 minutes before the
scheduled kickoff, Lyon fans
spilled on to the field for their own
safety after the fireworks were set
off and missiles were lobbed from
an upper section of the stadium
containing Besiktas supporters.
The game finally began 45 min-
utes late after police intervened in
UEFA's control, ethics and dis-
ciplinary body considered "that
the supporters of both clubs were
responsible for the crowd distur-
bances" at the match.
"The charges against the French
club were related to crowd distur-
bances, setting off of fireworks,
stairways blocked, insufficient
organization and field invasion
by supporters after their second
goal," UEFA said.
The charges against Besiktas
were related to crowd disturbanc-
es, the setting off of fireworks and
the throwing of objects. (AP)
Rashford proving viable
alternative to Ibrahimovic
himovic has been many
things for Manchester Unit-
ed this season: A leader, a
guaranteed source of goals,
an inspiration to the club's
youngsters on and off the
But, in one way, has he been
holding the team back?
Ibrahimovic was dropped to
the bench for United's Premier
League game against Chelsea on
Sunday and his replacement,
19-year-old Marcus Rashford,
produced an electric, goal-scor-
ing display in a 2-0 win.
Rashford did what Ibrahimovic
doesn't do---stretched the op-
position defense, chased long
balls, worried his markers with
his pace and directness.
He illuminated Old Trafford
with his energy, making for the
best atmosphere in the famous
stadium all season.
Everything about United was
quicker and more vibrant, and
it all stemmed from the move-
ment of Rashford and his strike
partner on the day, Jesse Lingard.
It is unlikely to stop United
manager Jose Mourinho recall-
ing Ibrahimovic to the starting
lineup today for the second leg
of a Europa League quarterfi-
nal against Anderlecht that is
well poised at 1-1 after the first
game in Belgium last week. But
Mourinho knows now there is a
thrilling and viable alternative to
the Swedish striker, which may
even benefit the team.
"With his quality," United
defender Matteo Darmian said
of Rashford, "he can be one of
the top players, one of the most
important players, in the world."
Ibrahimovic has scored 28
goals this season, proving a reve-
lation in his first year in England
and a man for the big occasion---
notably his double in the victory
over Southampton in the English
League Cup final.
But there have also been many
matches where United has lab-
ored in attack and been unable to
break down packed teams, with
everything going through Ibra-
himovic and sometimes making
Mourinho's side predictable.
There are echoes of Rash-
ford's situation over at Paris
Saint-Germain, where Edinson
Cavani has come into his own as
the team's main striker---scor-
ing 43 goals this season---since
Ibrahimovic left last summer.
Cavani often had to settle for a
place on the wing when Ibrahi-
movic played at PSG, limiting his
Like many teams that visit Old
Trafford, Anderlecht, the Bel-
gian champion, will likely be on
the defensive on Thursday and
look to frustrate United's play-
ers before hitting them on the
It might need a piece of genius
from Ibrahimovic to break open
the game. Or will it be Rash-
ford, from the wing or off the
substitutes' bench, who shines
Here's a look at the other sec-
ond legs in the quarterfinals:
BESIKTAS vs LYON
(Lyon leads 2-1)
What a week it has been for
Lyon---for all the wrong reasons.
Against Besiktas last week,
there was widespread fight-
ing as rival fans clashed inside
and outside the stadium. A few
days later, Lyon's players were
attacked on the field by angry
Bastia fans in a French league
match, with goalkeeper Anthony
Lopes trading blows.
The last thing Lyon needs
is more incidents in Istanbul,
where the atmosphere is likely to
be tense and security high, given
what happened in the first leg.
Lyon's players will need to
find some away form. Lyon has
scored freely at home all season
but struggled away with only two
wins on the road since the turn
of the year.
Still, Lyon will be favourite to
reach its third European semifi-
nal after reaching the last four of
the Champions League in 2010
and the now-defunct European
Cup Winners' Cup in 1964.
SCHALKE vs AJAX
(Ajax leads 2-0)
Schalke's season is starting
to unravel. After losing to Ajax
in Amsterdam, Markus Wein-
zierl's side lost 2-1 at last-place
Darmstadt in the German league
for a third defeat in four games,
leaving the team in 11th place and
struggling to qualify for Euro-
pean competition next season.
In a way, it's typical of the
club's dysfunctional season,
which began with five straight
losses in the Bundesliga.
Ajax warmed up Sunday with a
5-1 win over Heerenveen to keep
its Dutch title hopes alive.
GENK vs CELTA VIGO
(Celta Vigo leads 3-2)
A draw against Genk in Bel-
gium will secure Celta Vigo a
spot in the semifinal of a top
European club competition for
the first time.
The Spanish club is boost-
ed by victories in its last three
away games in European com-
petitions. Genk, also seeking its
first semifinal appearance, is un-
beaten in eight home matches in
European competitions. (AP)
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring his side's first goal
during the English Premier League football match against Chelsea at Old Trafford
stadium in Manchester on Sunday. AP PHOTO
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