They burned Sergio Aguero’s shirt during a Europa League game against the Norweigan side Stromsgodset in 2011 after the forward left them for Manchester City. They were celebrating thanks to Drogba, their reliable cup final scorer, who thundered in a header from Arjen Robben’s cross with six minutes of normal time left. He was the one who persuaded me to come back so he can’t leave me now,’ said Costa recently when asked about his team-mate’s possible move. It was a classy Arsenal team – not quite as good as the Invincibles vintage that would come two years later, but nonetheless boasting Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Sol Campbell and Dennis Bergkamp. Years later, Parlour admitted he drank 10 pints of Guinness with his brothers later that night when out of Wenger’s stern gaze and struggled somewhat in training the next day. Contrast that with a distinctly youthful Arsenal team with an average age of less than 21 years – the youngest to play in a major English cup final.
This was actually the first leg of that success, the Cup final taking place on the strangely early date of May 4. Four days later, Wenger’s side won 1-0 at Old Trafford to clinch the Premier League crown as well. The English will be taking an important step towards European glory, but winning is just a step out of reach for the Three Lions. Given the progress the Three Lions made at the 2018 World Cup, England are perfectly capable of being crowned European champions for the first time. They did win the FA Cup in May 2018 but Conte’s future was the subject of speculation all summer, with a huge bust-up with Diego Costa proving the catalyst for his downfall. Chelsea and Arsenal meet this Saturday evening in the FA Cup final at what will be an eerily empty Wembley. This will be the fifth time the two clubs have met in a cup final this century and the third time in the FA Cup final. There will be one this tournament.
In 2009, the fleet-footed, left-sided winger trialled, or some would say auditioned, for a new reality football show on Sky One called Football’s Next Star. I can remember at Liverpool how the weight lifted from my shoulders when I finally got one against Wigan after waiting 19 matches — the first goal was the spark for a run of seven goals in eight games. Whereas the 2020-21 Liverpool home jersey used green as an accent colour — presumably inspired by the famous Shankly Gates outside Anfield — the 2021-22 jersey introduces a lighter shade of red, almost orange or pink. The jersey combines two-toned blue checkerboard and zigzag patterns, warped and skewed into a positively psychedelic design that’s destined to polarize their fanbase. Indeed, surrounded by blue shirts, the odds were stacked against him. The socks are white with yellow and blue trim. Referee Howard Webb flashed red cards at Mikel, Toure and Adebayor, where Lampard, quickly dragged away by Cesc Fabregas, got away with a yellow. Unfortunately for France, they have been dealt an incredibly poor hand of cards in regards to their group.
If he had actually head-butted him, he would have been rightly vilified and been facing something like a 10-month suspension. Wolves currently have 18-year-old Fabio Silva as their main striking option but the teenager has scored just once since stepping into Jimenez’s shoes. Wolves could also move for the 32-year-old as the Midlands club look for a replacement for Raul Jimenez, who is currently ruled out with a fractured skull. Joao Mario is also a player who could be walking out the exit doors, and he has already received plenty of offers that don’t meet Inter’s asking price. In terms of what has been offered as an explanation, Trippier revealed ‘behind the scenes’ issues caused his exit while Pochettino claimed the right back wanted a new challenge. But while the supporters must stay away, it promises to be an entertaining contest with both Frank Lampard and Mikel Arteta desperate to win their first trophy in management. Lampard revealed that Terry, despite only waking up in the ambulance, recovered sufficiently to make it to Chelsea’s post-match celebrations.
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