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Lia Walti: le milieu de terrain d’Arsenal signe un nouveau contrat



Lia Walti
Lia Walti a raté la victoire d’Arsenal sur Brighton mercredi soir pour cause de maladie

Le milieu de terrain d’Arsenal Lia Walti a signé un nouveau contrat.

L’international suisse Walti a rejoint Arsenal en 2018 et a fait 128 apparitions dans toutes les compétitions.

La joueuse de 30 ans a remporté le titre de Super League féminine avec Arsenal en 2019 et la Coupe de la Ligue féminine cette saison.

“C’est un moment spécial pour moi d’engager mon avenir à Arsenal. Je suis très heureux et excité”, a déclaré Walti, qui a participé à 17 des 19 matchs WSL des Gunners cette saison.

“Arsenal signifie tellement pour moi – je me suis senti comme chez moi dès mon arrivée et au fil des années, j’ai construit des liens si forts avec ce club et la communauté qui l’entoure.


“C’est une période passionnante pour faire partie d’Arsenal et je veux continuer à créer de nouveaux souvenirs avec ce groupe.”

Walti a fait plus de 100 apparitions pour la Suisse, capitaine de son pays depuis 2019.

Le patron d’Arsenal, Jonas Eidevall, a ajouté : “Elle est l’une des meilleures milieu de terrain du football mondial et nous apporte beaucoup en termes de leadership et de présence.

“Lia a joué un rôle central au sein de cette équipe pendant mon séjour ici et je suis impatient de continuer à travailler ensemble pour atteindre nos objectifs.”

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Ross County 3-0 Motherwell: County coast to victory over dreadful Motherwell



Purrington goal
Ben Purrington’s goal put the icing on the cake for Ross County

Manager Stuart Kettlewell suffered his “sorest night in football” as Motherwell’s horror run continued with a lacklustre defeat at Ross County.

Simon Murray’s header and Yan Dhanda’s wonderful long-range effort put Derek Adams’ side in control at the break, before Liam Kelly’s error allowed Ben Purrington to tap in a third in the second half.

Will Nightingale was sent off for a second bookable offence late on, but the result was never in doubt for the Dingwall side.

It is now 12 games without a win for Motherwell, who fall below County to ninth in the Scottish Premiership.

“Disappointed doesn’t begin to sum it up,” Kettlewell said.


“County were better all over the pitch, man for man, every facet of the game. This is by far the worst performance in what has been a terrible run for us.

“It was miles worse than anything we’ve seen until this point. Quite simply, they’re coming up short.”

Kettlewell would have wanted a bright start after his side fought back to snatch a point against Dundee last time out, but they got off to the worst possible start in the Highlands.

Murray got on the end of James Brown’s corner to glance a header into the far corner inside two minutes, with Motherwell’s defenders left appealing for a foul that was never there.

There were signs of life for the visitors in attack, but at the back they were all over the place, and County took advantage to double their lead with a wonderful goal.


Dhanda picked the ball up 30 yards from goal, shifted it onto his right foot, and smashed it beyond a static Liam Kelly.

It almost got better for the hosts just moments later, but Murray’s deflected shot bounced clear off a post.

Kettlewell showed his displeasure at half-time with a triple substitution, but the changes did not change the pattern of the game.

Motherwell continued to struggle with balls into the box, and that was what brought about the third goal.

Jordan White got on the end of a sumptuous cross from Dhanda, who was the standout performer, but Kelly would have expected to save the striker’s tame header.


Instead, the Scotland international palmed it straight into the path of Purrington, who didn’t need a second invitation from close range.

Motherwell created chances throughout, but were unable to convert. Georgie Gent had a header well saved by Ross Laidlaw, and Mika Biereth flicked wide from close range before having a left-footed strike cleared off the line.

Will Nightingale was sent off after catching Blair Spittal late on the ankle, but that was the only disappointing note for County, who will have few easier wins this season.

Player of the match – Yan Dhanda (Ross County)

Simply the best player on the park. Nutmegs, a great goal, and a constant threat in the final third

Kettlewell under serious pressure after defensive disasterclass – analysis

Kettlewell’s comments on his players post-match would suggest he sees no way to arrest this current slide. There seems to be no end in sight for Motherwell’s winless run, especially if they continue to defend as they did in this game.

It seemed like every County set piece led to a chance after the early concession, and the hosts didn’t have to work particularly hard to get into Motherwell’s box.

Liam Kelly, the club captain and senior figure at the back, looks completely devoid of confidence, and injuries to Calum Butcher and Dan Casey limit Kettlewell’s defensive options further still.


The away end let the players and manager know exactly how they felt at full-time – it will take a remarkable upturn in both results and performances to change the mood at Fir Park.

For County, back-to-back wins now have them looking up the table rather than nervously looking over their shoulders.

Adams’ arrival appears to have injected new life to the club, and they played some excellent stuff at times, led by Dhanda’s creativity in the centre of the park.

What the managers said

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell: “I said coming in, I didn’t see a gulf between the teams. But tonight there was.

“I don’t feel we got levels from individuals or the collective. Quite simply, the travelling support got nowhere near what they were due.”


Ross County manager Derek Adams: “I was delighted for the players, because we started quickly – as we have done in all three games.

“What Dhanda did was get a goal and an assist. He needs that. He’s got undoubted talent and off the ball he was very good too. Defensively we were sound. The only downside was Will getting sent off late in the game.

“You always look at your former team and former players, but I’m only concerned with Ross County. Tonight was about beating Motherwell, and let’s be honest – they wouldn’t care about us.”

What’s next?

County are away to St Mirren on Saturday (15:00 GMT), while Motherwell host St Johnstone at the same time.


Ross County

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 35NightingaleBooked at 90mins
  • 5Baldwin
  • 42Leak
  • 4Brown
  • 2RandallSubstituted forLoturiat 71′minutes
  • 6Allardice
  • 3Purrington
  • 10DhandaSubstituted forTurnerat 76′minutes
  • 26WhiteBooked at 43minsSubstituted forSimsat 76′minutes
  • 15MurraySubstituted forSamuelat 87′minutes


  • 7Turner
  • 11Sims
  • 12Sheaf
  • 14Loturi
  • 16Harmon
  • 21Munro
  • 25Samuel
  • 30Smith
  • 43Reid


Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 1Kelly
  • 15Casey
  • 5MugabiSubstituted forGentat 45′minutesBooked at 69mins
  • 20BlaneySubstituted forZdravkovskiat 45′minutes
  • 8Slattery
  • 22Spencer
  • 99WilkinsonSubstituted forButcherat 45′minutesSubstituted forShawat 71′minutes
  • 7SpittalBooked at 20mins
  • 2O’Donnell
  • 14BairSubstituted forObikaat 59′minutes
  • 24Biereth


  • 3Gent
  • 9Obika
  • 13Oxborough
  • 17Zdravkovski
  • 18Shaw
  • 37Wells
  • 39Ross
  • 42Ross
  • 66Butcher

David Dickinson


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Player of the match


MurraySimon Murray

Ross County

  1. Squad number15Player nameMurray

  2. Squad number10Player nameDhanda

  3. Squad number2Player nameRandall

  4. Squad number1Player nameLaidlaw

  5. Squad number4Player nameBrown

  6. Squad number42Player nameLeak

  7. Squad number6Player nameAllardice

  8. Squad number7Player nameTurner

  9. Squad number35Player nameNightingale

  10. Squad number3Player namePurrington

  11. Squad number25Player nameSamuel

  12. Squad number11Player nameSims

  13. Squad number5Player nameBaldwin

  14. Squad number14Player nameLoturi

  15. Squad number26Player nameWhite


  1. Squad number2Player nameO’Donnell

  2. Squad number24Player nameBiereth

  3. Squad number17Player nameZdravkovski

  4. Squad number7Player nameSpittal

  5. Squad number9Player nameObika

  6. Squad number3Player nameGent

  7. Squad number22Player nameSpencer

  8. Squad number8Player nameSlattery

  9. Squad number18Player nameShaw

  10. Squad number20Player nameBlaney

  11. Squad number5Player nameMugabi

  12. Squad number15Player nameCasey

  13. Squad number66Player nameButcher

  14. Squad number1Player nameKelly

  15. Squad number99Player nameWilkinson

  16. Squad number14Player nameBair

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Scotland 0-6 England: Beth Mead says England are ‘devastated’ after missing out on the Nations League finals



Beth Mead said England are “devastated” while manager Sarina Wiegman said it “really hurts” after her side agonisingly missed out on a place in the Women’s Nations League finals on goal difference.

England’s game had finished when the Netherlands scored their decisive fourth goal in the 95th minute, ending the Lionesses’ Nations League campaign and also meaning Team GB will not be in the Paris 2024 Olympics football competition.

“We thought we’d got over the line but it wasn’t to be,” Mead told BBC Sport.

England needed to better the Netherlands’ result by three clear goals to reach the Nations League finals and keep Olympic hopes alive, as the nominated nation to qualify on behalf of Team GB.


In the end, both England and the Dutch finished on 12 points in Group A1, with the Netherlands advancing because of a superior goal difference of plus eight. England finished with plus seven.

“We’re devastated. We did everything we possibly could on the pitch,” said Mead.

“It’s a tough one. The girls have worked incredibly hard. We let ourselves down maybe earlier in the competition.”

Wiegman, who oversaw a 30-match unbeaten run when she first took charge of the Lionesses, said she was “proud” of the performance but “gutted” not to get over the line.

“We scored six goals, and we were so close. In the dying seconds the Netherlands scored a goal, you can’t control that,” she said.


‘I thought it was going to happen for us’

When Lucy Bronze’s header hit the back of the net in the 93rd minute at Hampden Park – England’s sixth goal – Wiegman said she thought her side had secured their progression to the finals and the noise from a pocket of fans inside the stadium echoed that feeling.

Alex Greenwood had opened the scoring before goals from Lauren James, Beth Mead and Fran Kirby put the finals in sight.

But the elation of Bronze’s sixth was quickly forgotten as the players gathered in a huddle at full-time and discovered the news that the Netherlands had scored a fourth to end Team GB’s Olympic dream.

“It was about two minutes I think but they took forever,” said Wiegman. “I did think actually that as they [Netherlands] had just scored the third goal, in extra time just as we scored, that wow, it’s going to happen for us. I really thought that.

“I actually don’t know what to say because I’m really proud of this performance but we’re not through and I’m very disappointed.”


‘Players are not robots’

Mistakes earlier in the campaign have ultimately proved costly for England with the 3-2 loss to Belgium in October giving them an uphill task for these December fixtures.

Another loss away to the Netherlands despite periods of dominance was also key and even just one more goal in their 3-2 win over the Dutch on Friday would have put qualification in England’s hands this week.

“This is part of football, it’s not easy to keep performing, we need a high level and sometimes it dropped,” said Wiegman.

“After the Belgium game we had a very good camp, because the result against Belgium was not related to how we trained as a team.”

But while the players will undoubtedly reflect on this campaign as a missed opportunity and feel disappointed to miss out on another chance to win a title, a hectic schedule in recent years means they may also be thankful for the rest.


“On the back of the World Cup going again, having injuries, being unlucky at moments and pushing ourselves,” said Wiegman.

“Hardly any rest and going again. We conceded in September, players were tired, some more injuries, but we were building and building.”

England won the Euros in 2022 before reaching a historic World Cup final this summer and fatigue and injuries have clearly been factors in what has ultimately been a difficult campaign.

“Of course it hurts because you want to be in major tournaments and we wanted to win the Nations League group but if you see the bigger picture, what we have done over the last say two and a half years,” said Wiegman.

England have also missed key players Mead, Kirby and Leah Williamson through serious injuries, with captain Millie Bright also missing the latter stages of the Nations League campaign through injury.


“You want to go to every major tournament so every player wants that,” said Wiegman.

“But in the bigger picture we have to look at the calendar and think that the players are not robots and they need some rest too, that’s very obvious.”

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Luton 3-4 Arsenal: Gunners ‘showing spirit’ with another late winner



Declan Rice celebrates his late winner for Arsenal against Luton
Declan Rice’s goal was the second time this season he has scored in the 90th minute

“Great teams find a way to win a game of football.”

Premier League leaders Arsenal were seconds away from leaving Kenilworth Road with a draw that would have given Liverpool the chance to move above them when they play Sheffield United on Wednesday.

Instead, Mikel Arteta’s side have gone five points clear – at least for 24 hours – as they continue to show the sort of fight needed to ensure they are in the title battle for longer than they were last season.

“That that could be an absolutely vital three points at the end of the season,” McCoist, commentating on the game for Amazon Prime, added.

Former Everton boss Roberto Martinez said: “It is a winning mentality. Luton were going to make it difficult but Arsenal found away.”


Gunners boss Arteta called it “a beautiful win”, adding: “Luton are so good at set pieces and they made us really fight for the game.”

Arsenal showing the right mentality?

Injuries and fatigue played a key role as Arsenal’s title challenge fell away last season as Manchester City were crowned champions, but the players’ mentality also came into question after they twice gave away two-goal leads in the crucial latter stages of the campaign.

This time, however, they are displaying a never-give-up attitude that has seen them score a number of late winners.

Rice’s goal against Luton was the second he has scored after the 90th minute, having also done so in the 3-1 win against Manchester United back in September.

The Gunners have taken nine points thanks to goals scored in the final five minutes of matches.


“It is another late winner and you have to admire and respect that because that is a team that doesn’t give up,” former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer said on Amazon Prime.

It was an assessment Arteta agreed with.

“The team showed spirit, quality, courage to go and go again,” he added. “We never gave up and tried to the end.

“Big credit to the team, the way they go every three days is remarkable.”

Raya errors remain a concern

David Raya lets Ross Barkley's shot go under him and into the goal
David Raya let Ross Barkley’s shot go under him to make it 3-2 to Luton

Despite the battling display, Arteta was understandably disappointed his side had to score four goals to get the three points.

“It’s something we have to improve, conceding three goals from home makes life difficult,” he said.


“Credit to the opponent, they did really well and cause problems to any team.”

No team has made more mistakes leading to goals than Arsenal this season (five) and their cause was not helped by an error-strewn display by goalkeeper David Raya.

Aaron Ramsdale played in all 38 of Arsenal’s Premier League games last season but was dropped early into this campaign as Arteta favoured Raya, who joined in the summer on loan from Brentford.

But Raya made two mistakes against Luton, failing to deal with a corner as Elijah Adebayo headed in and then allowing Ross Barkley’s shot to go under his legs.

“It is the obsession with having a footballing goalkeeper nowadays that the fundamentals are forgotten – shot stopping and coming to collect crosses and we saw them punished this evening,” Shearer added.


“It would’ve been far more difficult if his team hadn’t bailed him out but sometimes you need that. His team-mates have helped him out big time tonight.”

Martinez feels the scrutiny on which goalkeeper Arteta picks is now putting the player in question under additional pressure.

He added: “The goalkeeper is the only position you can’t have doubt. It’s a position you need to be full of confidence but now what we’re seeing is whoever’s in goal for Arsenal, they’re not feeling confident. They’re so fearful.”

But despite those defensive concerns, Arsenal’s fourth consecutive win in the Premier League puts the pressure back on their rivals at the top of the table.

However, Gunners legend Thierry Henry accepts it is still far too early to entertain title talk.


“They were behind the eight-ball tonight and managed to win the game… but we saw it last year,” he said. “They won at Aston Villa in the last minute and everyone said ‘it’s our year’.

“Let’s relax, it’s great and you can carry momentum. “It allows the team to believe they can do it. It allows the team to believe if they go down they can come back in a game. But it’s a long road.”

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Luton Town 3-4 Arsenal: Last-gasp Declan Rice goal snatches win for Gunners in seven-goal thriller



Declan Rice scores
Arsenal have won eight points from losing positions in the Premier League this season

Declan Rice’s last-gasp header snatched victory for Arsenal in a seven-goal thriller at Luton to move them five points clear at the top of the Premier League.

It was the conclusion to a compelling encounter in which the hosts twice fought back and threatened to win when Elijah Adebayo and Ross Barkley scored in an eight-minute period after the break, with Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya culpable for both goals.

However, the Hatters were denied a valuable point when Rice met Martin Odegaard’s cross in the seventh minute of stoppage time, 23 seconds after the six official minutes added on had expired.

Arsenal had dominated a largely uneventful opening to a game which sparked into life when Gabriel Martinelli steered Bukayo Saka’s pass into the bottom-left corner.

Gabriel Osho’s header from Alfie Doughty’s corner brought the hosts level shortly after, but when Gabriel Jesus nodded in Ben White’s cross from close range the Gunners looked to have regained control.


But in a chaotic period after the interval, the league’s best defence suddenly appeared flustered with Adebayo leaping above Raya to head in another Doughty delivery from a corner.

And with Luton in the ascendency, Barkley collected an Andros Townsend pass and beat White before driving a low left-foot shot under Raya.

The momentum swung back towards Mikel Arteta’s side when Kai Havertz prodded in from the impressive Jesus’ pass to equalise, but Luton looked to have held the visitors at bay until Rice’s dramatic intervention.

The result leaves Luton 17th, two points above the relegation zone. Liverpool, who sit five points adrift of Arsenal in the table will play their game in hand at Sheffield United on Wednesday (19:30 GMT).

More to follow.


Player of the match

Gabriel MartinelliGabriel Martinelli

Luton Town

  1. Squad number6Player nameBarkley

  2. Squad number45Player nameDoughty

  3. Squad number7Player nameOgbene

  4. Squad number19Player nameBrown

  5. Squad number2Player nameOsho

  6. Squad number30Player nameTownsend

  7. Squad number11Player nameAdebayo

  8. Squad number15Player nameMengi

  9. Squad number17Player nameMpanzu

  10. Squad number14Player nameChong

  11. Squad number12Player nameKaboré

  12. Squad number29Player nameBell

  13. Squad number24Player nameKaminski

  14. Squad number9Player nameMorris

  15. Squad number18Player nameClark

  16. Squad number26Player nameGiles



Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 24Kaminski
  • 15Mengi
  • 2Osho
  • 29Bell
  • 12Kaboré
  • 17MpanzuSubstituted forClarkat 88′minutes
  • 6BarkleyBooked at 44mins
  • 45DoughtySubstituted forGilesat 88′minutes
  • 30TownsendSubstituted forOgbeneat 62′minutes
  • 19BrownBooked at 33minsSubstituted forChongat 61′minutes
  • 11AdebayoSubstituted forMorrisat 61′minutes


  • 7Ogbene
  • 8Berry
  • 9Morris
  • 14Chong
  • 18Clark
  • 23Krul
  • 26Giles
  • 38Johnson
  • 43Nelson


Formation 4-3-3

  • 22Raya
  • 4White
  • 2Saliba
  • 6Gabriel
  • 15KiwiorSubstituted forZinchenkoat 64′minutes
  • 8Ødegaard
  • 41Rice
  • 29Havertz
  • 7Saka
  • 9Gabriel JesusBooked at 45mins
  • 11MartinelliSubstituted forTrossardat 64′minutes


  • 1Ramsdale
  • 14Nketiah
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 19Trossard
  • 20Jorginho
  • 24Nelson
  • 25Elneny
  • 35Zinchenko
  • 76Walters

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Alfreton Town 0-0 Walsall: Non-league side earn FA Cup second-round replay after battling draw



Walsall's Liam Gordon controls the ball whilst under pressure from Alfreton Town's William Fewster
Walsall’s Liam Gordon comes under pressure from Alfreton Town’s William Fewster

Alfreton Town held League Two Walsall to a battling stalemate to earn an FA Cup second-round replay at Bescot Stadium next week.

The National League North part-timers are 38 league places below the Saddlers, but their direct approach and the prodigious long throw of midfielder Adam Lund made it an uncomfortable night at North Street for the Black Country side.

The non-league side survived a contentious early refereeing decision as Ryan Stirk’s inswinging corner eluded goalkeeper George Willis to find the top corner, only for official Sam Allison to rule out the ‘goal’ for what seemed to be minimal contact on Willis by Walsall striker Freddie Draper.

Walsall went into the game, rearranged after an icy pitch forced a postponement six minutes before kick-off on Saturday, having lost three of their past four to slip towards the League Two relegation zone, and they failed to make their superior fitness and full-time status count.

Alfreton themselves have hit a rocky patch in their season, with no wins in their past four matches, but with the majority of the bumper 3,000 crowd behind them they gave a good account of themselves.


Willis was in the thick of it again a few minutes after his disallowed goal let-off, this time with a superb save as Draper burst clear and shot across him, aiming for the far corner.

Billy Heath’s Reds, however, matched them blow for blow as Donervon Daniels hooked the ball to safety at the far post after another dangerous Lund throw, and then defender Shaun Brisley stole forward to get on the end of Dwayne Wiley’s cross only to send it straight at Walsall goalkeeper Jackson Smith.

Willis was the home side’s hero again when Stirk met David Okagbue’s cross, the goalkeeper saving at point-blank range before his defence smuggled the ball to safety.

Walsall were expected to make their full-time conditioning tell as the game wore on, but they were wasteful as Isaac Hutchinson landed their best chance in the garden of a house behind the Alfreton goal, Willis produced another fine save to deny the same player, and defender Priestly Farquharson looped a lazy shot wide of the post.

It was increasingly Lund’s booming long throws that looked most likely to break the deadlock, but with the Walsall defence standing firm, the only real chance fell to Harry Perritt at the far post, with Smith getting his body in the way of the Alfreton man’s shot.




Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 1Willis
  • 2Clackstone
  • 14Brisley
  • 6Wiley
  • 23NewallBooked at 85mins
  • 8Cantrill
  • 4Lund
  • 22Fewster
  • 12Perritt
  • 29TaylorSubstituted forDayat 66′minutes
  • 7ThewlisSubstituted forSalmonat 65′minutes


  • 5Digie
  • 9Day
  • 10Waldock
  • 11Salmon
  • 13Askew
  • 16Stacey
  • 17Oliver
  • 21Grewal-Pollard


Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 22Smith
  • 2Okagbue
  • 6Farquharson
  • 5DanielsBooked at 90mins
  • 3Gordon
  • 10KnowlesBooked at 85mins
  • 4McEntee
  • 25Stirk
  • 8Hutchinson
  • 26TierneySubstituted forEaringat 78′minutes
  • 15Draper


  • 9Matt
  • 11James-Taylor
  • 12Foulkes
  • 14Comley
  • 17Earing
  • 19Williams
  • 21Allen
  • 32Barrett
  • 42Griffiths

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Nations League: Lauren James curls in England’s third against Scotland



Lauren James puts England 3-0 up against Scotland with a stunning curled effort from the edge of the area in their crucial Nations League game at Hampden Park.

FOLLOW LIVE: Scotland v England – watch on BBC iPlayer, text updates and live clips

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Northern Ireland 1-6 Republic of Ireland: Katie McCabe stars as visitors end campaign unbeaten



Katie McCabe scores a goal
Katie McCabe scored the pick of the goals at Windsor Park

Katie McCabe scored a stunner as the Republic of Ireland made it six wins from six in the Nations League with a 6-1 victory over Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.

Lucy Quinn and Heather Payne hit a quickfire double in the first half.

Kyra Carusa netted 50 seconds after the restart before McCabe fired in a superb effort to make it four.

Louise Quinn and Caitlin Hayes scored from corners either side of Kerry Beattie’s 75th-minute consolation.

Hungary’s 4-0 win over Albania means Northern Ireland will face a relegation play-off against a League C team in February.


The Republic had already topped Group B1 and earned promotion to League A but end their campaign and the tenure of interim manager Eileen Gleeson in style.

After a historic first as the Republic of Ireland’s anthem, Amhran na bhFiann, was played at Windsor Park for the first time, the game had a derby feel with plenty of challenges coming in from both sides, albeit with little goalmouth action.

However it was Quinn, who scored the opening goal between the sides in the reverse fixture in Dublin, who broke the deadlock on 36 minutes when she cut inside Sarah McFadden and her strike deceived Maddy Harvey-Clifford as it curled into the net.

Quinn turned into provider when her back post cross found Everton full back Payne, who started the move and charged up field to fire into the roof of the net just two minutes later.

The Republic made the perfect start to the second half when Carusa got in front of McFadden to head in McCabe’s cross less than a minute after the restart.


Arsenal’s McCabe had the pick of the goals on 50 minutes as she cut inside and let fly on her weaker right foot, which flew into the top corner and left Maddy Harvey-Clifford with no chance.

Defender Quinn’s bullet header made it five as the Republic turned on the style but Beattie grabbed a consolation with 15 minutes to play as the half-time substitute diverted Rebecca Holloway’s effort into the net.

The Republic would have the final say when Caitlin Hayes slid home Megan Connolly’s corner with four minutes to play.

Clincial Republic

Lucy Quinn
Lucy Quinn, as she did in Dublin in the first match between the sides, opened the scoring midway through the first half

Before the goals, there was little to split the sides as Northern Ireland frustrated their higher-ranked opponents, who had already won promotion to League A and could only create half-chances.

Northern Ireland had efforts of their own through Holloway, whose looping effort dipped over, and Marissa Callaghan, who could not keep a first-time strike down from inside the area.

The Republic’s quickfire double all but ended the game, but the hosts were almost handed a lifeline when Republic goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan almost spilled Marissa Callaghan’s cross into her own goal.


Carusa’s goal 50 seconds after the restart and McCabe’s superb solo goal ended any Northern Irish hopes.

Ruesha Littlejohn curled a free-kick well over and Harvey-Clifford pushed Payne’s long-range effort over the bar and Quinn was on hand to head home from the resulting corner.

Holloway put in a goal-saving block to deny Carusa a second before Beattie touched home a consolation for the hosts, which was only the second goal the Republic conceded in their six matches.

Megan Connolly blazed over from inside the area and Lucy Quinn fired straight at Harvey-Clifford but the visitors got their sixth when Hayes netted.


Northern Ireland

Formation 4-3-3

  • 23Harvey-Clifford
  • 2McKennaSubstituted forVanceat 45′minutes
  • 4McFadden
  • 6Rafferty
  • 15HollowayBooked at 64mins
  • 16CaldwellSubstituted forMaxwellat 67′minutes
  • 7McCarronSubstituted forBellat 82′minutes
  • 8Callaghan
  • 17Hamilton
  • 9MagillSubstituted forBeattieat 45′minutes
  • 14Wade


  • 1Turner
  • 3Vance
  • 5Mason
  • 10Halliday
  • 11Maxwell
  • 12Norney
  • 13McLaren
  • 18Bell
  • 19Wilson
  • 20Andrews
  • 21Beattie
  • 22Magee

Republic of Ireland

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Brosnan
  • 5Hayes
  • 4QuinnSubstituted forMustakiat 81′minutes
  • 6Connolly
  • 14PayneSubstituted forLarkinat 63′minutes
  • 17FinnSubstituted forAggat 85′minutes
  • 8LittlejohnSubstituted forStapletonat 63′minutes
  • 11McCabe
  • 10O’Sullivan
  • 15QuinnSubstituted forAtkinsonat 81′minutes
  • 18Carusa


  • 2Stapleton
  • 3Mustaki
  • 7Caldwell
  • 9McLaughlin
  • 12Toland
  • 13Nolan
  • 16Moloney
  • 19Larkin
  • 20Dolan
  • 21Agg
  • 22Atkinson
  • 23Whitehouse

Veronika Kovarova

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Trent Alexander-Arnold: Jurgen Klopp says England international will play ‘wherever it’s best’ for Liverpool



Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrating his late winner against Fulham
Trent Alexander-Arnold has scored two goals in his last three appearances for Liverpool

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Trent Alexander-Arnold will play “wherever it’s best for us” sfollowing his late winner from midfield against Fulham.

Alexander-Arnold started at right-back but pushed into midfield late on, sparking a debate about whether he could permanently play there.

But Klopp does not want to pin the England international to one position.

“We still have to make decisions on what is best for the team and Trent sees it exactly the same way,” he said.

“Trent can play midfield, we all knew that and he can play the role really well.


“If he wants to be good he has to be influential from all different areas because it makes us better.”

Alexander-Arnold’s attacking instincts have led to some criticism of his defensive attributes and questions over whether he would be more effective further forward.

He started both of England’s European qualifiers against North Macedonia and Malta in central midfield during the November international break.

The 25-year-old was back at full-back when Liverpool resumed Premier League action at champions Manchester City, but did score a late equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Etihad Stadium.

“Trent became one of the most successful players in the history of Liverpool. In the recent history, he became a Premier League player as a right-back so he will play wherever it’s best for us and that’s just how it is and Trent sees it exactly the same way,” added Klopp.


“I’m not stubborn and don’t want to play him midfield, not at all, but I am not part of the discussion. You [the media] can discuss it as much as you want but it will not have any influence.

“He wants to play and from my point of view he has to be influential and we have to make sure we help him with the positioning.

“If you want to be good he has to be influential from all different areas because it just makes us better if he plays a good game.”

Joel Matip getting treatment by a physio on his knee injury
Joel Matip was forced off after 67 minutes against Fulham and replaced by Ibrahima Konate

Meanwhile, defender Joel Matip could be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after Klopp said his knee injury “doesn’t look good”.

Matip was forced off during the second half of Sunday’s win against Fulham at Anfield.

“The scan is not done yet so we don’t know exactly but it is not great,” said Klopp, whose side travel to Sheffield United on Wednesday.


“I don’t know the exact timescale but it doesn’t look good. That is something we can say.

“I spoke to him and said: ‘Ah no, that is not good’. But how long [he will be injured for], we don’t know.”

Forward Diogo Jota and goalkeeper Alisson suffered muscle injuries during last month’s draw at Manchester City, though they are not expected to be out long-term.

The Merseyside club are also without full-back Andy Robertson as he recovers from shoulder surgery, while midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic have yet to make an appearance this season because of hip and adductor injuries respectively.

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Sheffield United: Chris Wilder says relationship with Prince Abdullah ‘repaired a long time ago’



Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder during training
Chris Wilder took charge of training on Tuesday before his first game against Liverpool on Wednesday

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says his relationship with owner Prince Abdullah was “repaired a long time ago” after he replaced Paul Heckingbottom.

Wilder led the club from League One to ninth in the Premier League during his first spell, but left by mutual consent as they neared relegation in 2021.

They are bottom of the Premier League and four points from safety after losing 11 of their opening 14 games.

“I didn’t have to think about it,” said Wilder.

“People know what this club means to me, and the task now is to try and provide a boost to improve our current situation.


“My relationship with Prince Abdullah and the board was repaired a long time ago.

“After some time passed following my initial departure, we spoke, met in person and there was an amicable ending.

“There were certain things that I shouldn’t have been involved in, but things over time have been repaired and there is a reason Prince Abdullah wants me to come back to the football club.

“He feels I am the best man to do the job and I am delighted he thinks that. The biggest positive for me is that the relationship between him and myself is good.”

There had been issues between Wilder and Prince Abdullah behind the scenes, with the manager feeling not enough had been done to strengthen his squad.


Prince Abdullah told Talksport that Wilder was “the best guy on Planet Earth to take over the club right now”.

Heckingbottom, appointed on a permanent basis in November 2021, guided the club back to the top flight by finishing second in the Championship last season.

But after Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at fellow promoted side Burnley, and United’s drop to the bottom of the table, the 46-year-old has become the first Premier League manager to be sacked this season.

Heckingbottom’s scheduled news conference on Monday afternoon was cancelled amid morning reports that he had been sacked.

But the news had not been announced by the Blades as of Tuesday morning, with the finer details of his departure still being finalised.


It was not until Prince Abdullah’s appeared on Talksport that the change was confirmed, with an official statement following more than one hour later on the club’s website.

‘Sheffield United are getting me at my best’

Since leaving Bramall Lane, Wilder has had spells at Championship sides Middlesbrough and Watford.

He has also done some media work and now believes he is a better manager than when he left the Blades in March 2021.

“I am going to give it my all, I am more enthusiastic and determined than I have ever been, Sheffield United are getting me at my best as well,” he said.

“For me, this is a huge challenge personally, and I am rubbing my hands together to try and help the club get out of the position we are in. We are up against it, everyone in the world thinks we are done and dusted. We have always had that underdog tag, that mentality.


“I have come back to help the football club. I have been given a great opportunity to hopefully make a difference.

“It is going to be a long hard season, we know that, we are going to have some difficult moments and we are going to have to suffer. I am into the players and hopefully we can get a reaction.”

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Manchester City: Pep Guardiola says his side will win fourth straight Premier League title



Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says his side are going to win a record fourth straight Premier League title this season.

City have slipped to third, three points off leaders Arsenal, after draws with Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham.

Guardiola’s side have conceded eight goals in those games and thrown away leads in each, but are still favourites with the bookmakers for the title.

“My feeling today is we’re going to win the Premier League,” said Guardiola.


“If we play at the levels that we showed against Liverpool and Tottenham, we’re going to win it again.

“People don’t believe it already after three draws but we feel we’re going to do it again, knowing that it is not easy because no team has done it yet [won four in a row].

“The difficulty is there and was last season but, if you ask me today what I’m feeling, we’re going to do it again.”

City matched Manchester United’s record of three straight Premier League titles when they won the Treble last season.

At one stage they were eight points behind Arsenal last season, but won the league by five points.


The previous season saw City edge Liverpool out by a point, coming from 2-0 down against Aston Villa on the final day to win the league by a single point.

They finished 12 points clear of Manchester United the season before.

‘We never use these situations’

Guardiola’s side were incensed in the closing stages of their 3-3 draw with Tottenham on Sunday when referee Simon Hooper blew for a free-kick after initially playing advantage for a foul on Erling Haaland.

Haaland got back to his feet and clipped the ball over the top, releasing Jack Grealish, but Hooper brought play back for the foul.

However, Guardiola does not think his players need that incident to fuel their fight for the rest of the season.


“We never use these kind of situations. Today the motivation is to try and do better,” he said.

“Sometimes decisions help you, sometimes they don’t. I learn that if you want to win something you have to do it much, much better than the opponents.”

City have been charged with failing to control their players by the Football Association after their players surrounded Hooper following the incident.

Haaland went on to criticise Hooper in a social media post, but the Norwegian is not facing any individual action from the FA.

Guardiola said his side have “behaved incredibly this season” and pointed to comments by his players that highlighted they needed to do better as a group on the pitch.


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