Everton appeal against 10-point deduction, Howe wants less VAR: football news – live

Key events

Lunchtime reading (GMT department)

If you’re eating at your desk, here are some fresh pieces to get your eyes stuck into.

Taylor appointed Bristol Rovers manager

Some news from League One: Matt Taylor – who was very successful at Exeter and very unsuccessful at Rotherham – has replaced Joey Barton as Bristol Rovers manager.

✍️ Matt Taylor announced as Bristol Rovers Manager.

Click below to read the full story. ⬇️

— Bristol Rovers (@Official_BRFC) December 1, 2023

Chelsea v Brighton team news

The brilliant Christopher Nkunku, who suffered a bad knee injury in pre-season after joining from RB Leipzig, is back in training. Mauricio Pochettino said he could be involved on Sunday, though it seems unlikely.

Man City v Spurs team news

When he wasn’t dying inside, Pep Guardiola told the press that John Stones is “much better” and will be involved against Spurs on Sunday, probably from the bench. Mateo Kovacic is also back in training; Matheus Nunes is not.

“That Swansea game (12.06pm) is scant consolation for the Liverpool one further down (11.47pm),” weeps Matt Dony. “The Dudek spill is still writ large in my mind. Although, in fairness, he did leave the club with a substantial amount of credit in the end! What a period that was for Swansea, though. Such good football, a raft of likeable players, and a few fantastic victories along the way.

“I’ve got particular fondness for the home win against Man City at the start of that year. I remember pacing up and down outside Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest with a newborn Master Dony in a pram while my father was inside to recover from a stroke. My family were gathered around the bed, but I was trying to get the young ‘un to sleep. Stressful times, and at that moment, Swansea beating the mighty City felt like The Biggest Thing. (And Mr Dony Senior recovered remarkably well.)”

My word, that’s the definition of mixed emotions. It’s fascinating how often recalling a random match from the past takes us to a specific time and place. I remember the City game too – nothing to do with family, but it moved me to write some utter pretentious tosh. Good times!

What were you doing at the age of 17? Lewis Miley is playing central midfield, with aplomb, against some of the biggest teams in the world.

Pep Guardiola hearts press conferences, part 4965236236235413

“I encourage our fans to come to the stadium because we will have fun.”

Pep Guardiola with a message the Man City supporters!

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 1, 2023

I wish somebody would develop a technology that allows us to hear an internal monologue. Pep’s press conferences alone would justify a monthly subscription of £500.

Euro 2024 draw: England could face Scotland and Wales

The draw for the European Championships takes place in Hamburg tomorrow. Here’s a primer from the Press Association.

The Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg will host the draw ceremony, which gets under way at 5pm UK time.

Gareth Southgate’s England, runners-up at Euro 2020, will be one of the favourites to win the tournament and are among the top seeds.

Scotland are in Pot 3, while Wales are one of the 12 play-off hopefuls occupying three spots in Pot 4.

Rob Page’s side still have two big hurdles to overcome in order to join England and Scotland at the finals. They must first beat Finland on 21 March then also see off Poland or Estonia on 26 March to book their passage to Germany.

The placing of England, Scotland and Wales in different pots keeps open the possibility of them all being drawn together.

From an England perspective, a Group of Death might include Denmark, the highest-ranked side in Pot 2, the Netherlands or Croatia from Pot 3 and Italy from Pot 4.

  • Pot 1 Germany, Portugal, France, Spain, Belgium, England

  • Pot 2 Hungary, Turkey, Romania, Denmark, Albania, Austria

  • Pot 3 Netherlands, Scotland, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic

  • Pot 4 Italy, Serbia, Switzerland + three playoff winners

Those playoff winners will be:

  • Poland, Wales, Estonia or Finland

  • Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine or Iceland

  • Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan or Luxembourg

And if you want to learn about/relive the last European Championships to be played in Germany, this podcast should do the needful.

Local hero Mainoo bringing cheer to Old Trafford

Nothing lifts the mood at Old Trafford quite like the emergence of a young player or three. Never mind the Busby Babes and the Class of 92; even false dawns like January 1989 are part of United folklore. So in the context of a ramshackle season, you can understand why everyone is so excited about Kobbie Mainoo.

He’s apparently the youngest person ever to appear in central midfield, the most demanding position on the pitch, for the club. And he has already received the Manchester United equivalent of a papal blessing: effusive praise from Roy Keane.

Will Unwin has profiled the most exciting teenage central midfielder to emerge at Old Trafford since, who? Paul Pogba? Darren Fletcher? Nicky Butt? Duncan Edwards? (Paul Scholes was a No10 as a teenager.)

Everton appeal against 10-point deduction

Breaking news that isn’t really news at all: Everton have officially appealed against the Premier League sanction for their profit and sustainability transgressions.

This is the full statement.

Everton Football Club has today lodged with the Chair of the Premier League’s Judicial Panel its appeal of the decision by a Premier League Commission to impose a 10-point deduction on the Club. An Appeal Board will now be appointed to hear the case.

And here’s what the ever impressive Sean Dyche had to say on the subject yesterday.

On this day in 2012… whatever happened to Michu gives Swansea a famous victory at the Emirates.

Women’s football

This is a fascinating piece from Ryan Baldi, whose new books are also well worth checking out, on the fall and potential rise of the Chinese national team.

Women’s Nations League

It’s a big night for the Lionesses, woh must beat the Netherlands at Wembley to maintain their hopes of qualifying for the Nations League finals.

Mary Earps will captain the team in the absence of Millie Bright, while Beth Mead is also back in the squad.

Sports quiz of the week

I got the first three answers, and we won’t dwell on the rest.

And on this day in 2002… resurgent Manchester United win at Anfield in a tale of two goalkeepers.

On this day in 2001… crisis club Manchester United are thrashed again, this time by Chelsea.

Manchester United department

A bit of transfer news here. A striker isn’t top of Erik ten Hag’s shopping list, but we all know that some bargains are too good to resist. Have you used that air fryer yet?

This weekend’s Premier League fixtures

Saturday (3pm unless stated)

Sunday (2pm unless stated)

  • Bournemouth v Aston Villa

  • Chelsea v Brighton

  • Liverpool v Fulham

  • West Ham v Crystal Palace

  • Man City v Spurs (4.30pm)

On this day in 1991… a young Gianfranco Zola scores a last-minute equaliser in a thrilling game between Lazio and Napoli. You didn’t get many 3-3 draws in Serie A before the backpass law.

Eddie Howe: Would you like to see more or less VAR?

I’d like to see less VAR. I don’t have an issue with offsides because that is as close as it can be to being right, whether you agree with the decision, the lines give you a black and white yes or no. The rest, I’m not in favour.

I still think it’s just another person’s opinion against another person’s opinion. It’s very subjective. I’d like to see less. I definitely wouldn’t want to see more because I think it would ruin the game.

[On the PSG handball] That for me, with VAR is an issue – not enough power is given to the on-field decision, which in this case was correct. I still believe, and I’m old-fashioned in this, that the on-field decision should be given a little bit more strength because the referee is there, he’s feeling the game, he’s managing the game in the middle and I think that is worth something.

Newcastle United v Manchester United

Eddie Howe says Newcastle have no new injury concerns ahead of tomorrow’s big game. He was also full of praise for 17-year-old Lewis Miley, who played remarkably well against Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain in the past week.

He has had a very early taste of high-level football which can only be a good thing for him. If he was a different kind of character, I might question that but he’s not.

He is able to take everything in his stride as you have seen with his performances. For someone so young, he’s got a very good perspective on professional sport and life.

He is very calm, polite and respectful but very keen to show his qualities. He has obvious qualities that he has displayed in the past two games.

On this day in 1994… the Intercontinental Cup stays in South America.

FA Cup second round

This is a lovely piece from Ed Aarons on Horsham, the lucky losers who are one game away from the FA Cup third round proper.

Thanks Yara, hello everyone. There isn’t much news, so let’s go back (yikes) 21 years. On this day in 2002, Alan Shearer leathered an equaliser against Everton.

Read Gregg Bakowski’s superb piece, watch the goal, do what you need to do.

That’s all from me for now. Thanks for joining me on this short morning stint. I leave you in the capable hands of Rob Smyth.

Video: Police injured as violence erupts outside Villa Park before Legia Warsaw match

Police injured as violence erupts outside Villa Park before Legia Warsaw match – video

Ten things to look out for this weekend in the Premier League, including a possible relegation six-pointer in Burnley v Sheffield United, a rivalry from La Liga reignited in Bournemouth v Aston Villa, and what has historically been an exciting match-up in Manchester City v Tottenham.

Elsewhere in Europe, Liverpool beat Lask 4-0, avoiding the play-off route in the Europa League. Cody Gakpo scored a brace and Mohamed Salah scored his 199th goal in all competitions for the club.

Andy Hunter, who was at Anfield, writes:

There was nothing wrong with Lask’s ambitious approach given they had to win to retain any hope of reaching the last 16 but the gulf between the sides was evident every time Liverpool rampaged forward. Lask were constantly exposed. It appeared almost too comfortable for Liverpool at times, given how often they took an extra touch in front of goal when a more ruthless approach was required. Not that the home side paid a price for over-elaboration.

West Ham left it late in Backa Topola. The snooze-fest looked to fittingly end 0-0 but Tomas Soucek extended his goal streak to five matches to secure the knockouts for the Hammers.

Brighton’s European adventure will also continue after João Pedro’s penalty earned the Seagulls victory against 10-man AEK Athens.

And Rangers have given themselves a glimmer of hope with a 1-1 draw against Aris Limassol. Ross McCausland drilled the ball low into the net off the far post to score for the hosts.

On the pitch, Aston Villa beat Legia Warsaw 2-1 to top their Europa Conferece League group.

The side had already qualified for the knockout stages ahead of kick-off but the win put them above their opponents in the table, who won the reverse fixture 3-2 in September.

Moussa Diaby gave the hosts an early lead with a clever left-footed finish before Ernest Muci equalised 16 minutes later.

Alex Moreno scored the winner from a Douglas Luiz free-kick after returning from a six-month hamstring injury.

How beautiful today has been, I want to thank all the people who have made it possible to be playing today, teammates, Staff, club, friends, family, fans…, and how nice it is to feel the goal🥰.

Thank you fans!!!

massive win today!!🦁❤️ #UTV y

— Álex Moreno (@AlexMoreno) November 30, 2023

Villa’s final group game will be away to Zrinjski who sit bottom of the group, with only one win.

Aston Villa condemn Legia Warsaw after fan trouble

The main news from last night was the violence at Villa Park before Aston Villa’s Europa Conference League match against Legia Warsaw.

Police officers were injured with missiles that were thrown by the away fans.

The West Midlands Police confirmed the number of arrests this morning on X, formerly known as Twitter.

#UPDATE | We’ve now got 46 people in custody following last night’s violence involving away fans outside Villa Park.

Officers faced 90 minutes of sustained violence, and four were injured.

We’re proud of our officers, and thank #AVFC fans for their support.

— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) December 1, 2023

Of the suspects, 41 of those were arrested for violent disorder, four for possession of a knife/offensive weapon, and four for assaulting emergency workers.

All of those arrested are away fans, and we’ll be working hard to charge and remand those suspects where we can today.

— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) December 1, 2023

Last night, Aston Villa put out a statement that read:

Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that no away fans were allowed into Villa Park for this evening’s UEFA Europa Conference League fixture with Legia Warsaw on the advice of West Midlands Police following large-scale disorder outside the stadium caused by visiting supporters.

In spite of numerous requests for cooperation from Legia Warsaw concerning their travelling supporters, especially in the last two days, no assistance on the serious safety matter of away fans attending Villa Park was forthcoming from the visiting club. The club has repeatedly, including this morning, raised concerns in conjunction with UEFA and all the relevant authorities to Legia that ticketless away supporters were attempting to attend Villa Park.

Approximately an hour before kick-off, Legia fans engaged in planned and systematic violent acts against West Midlands Police officers and a decision was then made by West Midlands Police to exclude all Legia supporters.

Aston Villa strongly condemns the behaviour of those visiting supporters and would like to thank West Midlands Police for their professionalism in very difficult circumstances.


Hello and welcome to our Friday football blog. Let’s start by saying many happy returns to Neil Warnock, the anagram we all grew to love (OK, most of us). He was born in 1948, and you know what that means: he’s 75.

We’ll have news and manager quotes ahead of this weekend’s games, plus reaction to last night’s Europa League matches.

Have any thoughts, questions, complaints, grievances, etc? Send me an email!