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Author Archive for Dominic Fifield at Wembley

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Gareth Southgate says England hat-trick hero Raheem Sterling was devastating

• Southgate: ‘Sterling is a role model for younger players’ • Standing ovation for his part in 5-0 win over Czech RepublicGareth Southgate praised Raheem Sterling’s “devastating” performance and the manner in which he has turned around his internationa…

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England 5-0 Czech Republic ratings: Who caught the eye at Wembley

Raheem Sterling stole the show but Harry Kane and Ben Chilwell also impressed in England’s first qualifier for Euro 2020 Continue reading…

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Sarri and Kepa try to play down substitution ‘misunderstanding’

• ‘In no moment was it my intention to disobey,’ claims keeper• Italian says Arrizabalaga ‘was right, but in the wrong way’Maurizio Sarri’s grip on his position as Chelsea’s head coach has been further loosened after Kepa Arrizabalaga appeared to under…

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Lively Dele Alli stifles Jorginho to put Chelsea’s title hopes on hold

The Spurs midfielder was at his effervescent best in nullifying Maurizio Sarri’s playmaker and, in turn, the visitors’ attackIt was left to Spurs’ Dele Alli to lay bare a tactical approach, which has punctured the optimism around Maurizio Sarri’s previ…

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Harry Kane strikes late to take England through to Nations League finals

• England 2-1 Croatia• Lingard 78, Kane 85 | Kramaric 57The delighted din at the final whistle told its own story. England, a team who had been flirting with relegation as this critical contest lurched into its latter stages, have ended a calendar year…

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Jadon Sancho lights up Wayne Rooney’s farewell match for England against USA

There were glimpses for the majority inside this arena to cherish, flashbacks to the skill and vision Wayne Rooney had delivered for England over a career now complete, and celebrated, at 120 caps. The former captain’s final cameo amounted to 32 minute…

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Marcus Rashford shines but ruthless Spain teach England harsh lessons | Dominic Fifield

Manchester United striker’s slick opener and a frantic finale cannot mask the deep-rooted problems England still face when playing against top-grade opponentsGareth Southgate must have feared the homecoming might turn out this way, with a slap in the f…

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Marcus Rashford shines but ruthless Spain teach England harsh lessons | Dominic Fifield

Manchester United striker’s slick opener and a frantic finale cannot mask the deep-rooted problems England still face when playing against top-grade opponentsGareth Southgate must have feared the homecoming might turn out this way, with a slap in the f…

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Harry Kane says Wembley referee ‘bottled it’ when England denied goal

• England striker says late ‘goal’ against Spain should have stood• ‘In big moments you need a firm referee’Harry Kane suggested the referee had “bottled it” as England were denied a stoppage time equaliser and opened their Nations League campaign with…

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Antonio Conte likely to leave after delivering parting gift to Chelsea | Dominic Fifield

Italian coach is set to depart Stamford Bridge despite winning the FA Cup, as he remains at odds with the club’s hierarchyBy the time talk turned to Antonio Conte’s future on Saturday night, the Italian’s hair was lank with champagne, silverware was ac…

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Antonio Conte likely to leave after delivering parting gift to Chelsea | Dominic Fifield

Italian coach is set to depart Stamford Bridge despite winning the FA Cup, as he remains at odds with the club’s hierarchyBy the time talk turned to Antonio Conte’s future on Saturday night, the Italian’s hair was lank with champagne, silverware was ac…

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Olivier Giroud dances past Saints to send Chelsea into FA Cup final

For Chelsea, a season that has underwhelmed could yet yield major silverware. Antonio Conte was back to his animated best on the touchline at the national stadium as his side, inspired by Olivier Giroud’s wonderfully pilfered opening goal and Eden Haza…

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Gareth Southgate: Italy’s penalty was not ‘clear and obvious’ for VAR

• Manager concerned by ‘debatable’ decision late on• Dele Alli did not play due to injury niggle in trainingGareth Southgate has expressed doubts over whether James Tarkowski’s challenge on Federico Chiesa should have been referred to the video assista…

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Who is on the plane to Russia and whose World Cup dreams are at risk? | Dominic Fifield

Raheem Sterling, Jesse Lingard, Jordan Pickford and Harry Maguire have shone during England’s two friendlies but others failed to impressOf the 27-man squad selected for the friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy, who should make the final 23 for…

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jordan Pickford head ‘real positives’ for England

• Gareth Southgate praises midfielder and goalkeeper after Germany draw• England manager: ‘There’s been an energy about the group this week’Gareth Southgate praised the contribution of his England debutants, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jordan Pickford promi…

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England 0-0 Germany: five talking points from the friendly at Wembley

England’s starting debutants impressed, Gareth Southgate’s three at the back needs more work and Leroy Sané can light up the World Cup finals in RussiaAll England’s starting debutants impressed in phases. Jordan Pickford’s saves from Timo Werner were s…

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England 1-0 Slovenia: Five talking points from the 2018 World Cup qualifier | Dominic Fifield

A late goal against Slovenia was enough for England to qualify for Russia 2018 but the 1-0 win masked a humdrum performance lacking in subtlety

So England have booked their place at the World Cup in Russia and, before the final group game in Lithuania on Sunday, have now qualified for the past four major tournaments without losing a match. Yet the level of choking anticlimax in evidence here should not be masked by Harry Kane’s stoppage‑time winner, and will ensure no one departs for the team retreat outside St Petersburg next summer expecting too much. This campaign has been a plod and, while the set-up might spy reasons for optimism, the nation still seeks evidence of clear development and, indeed, real progress. There was precious little to enjoy at Wembley. It says much that, Kane’s goal aside, the crowd here was only whipped up into a frenzy while amusing themselves arrowing paper aeroplanes down on to the turf.

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Dele Alli could face Fifa disciplinary action for offensive gesture at Wembley

• Tottenham player pictured making one-finger salute in direction of referee
• Alli says it was directed at his team-mate Kyle Walker, not the referee

Dele Alli has risked disciplinary action from Fifa after cameras caught him making a one-finger salute, sparking suggestions it had been directed at the referee, Clément Turpin, late in England’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Slovakia.

The Tottenham midfielder was visibly frustrated after the official waved away his appeals for a free-kick following a foul by Martin Skrtel on the edge of the Slovakia box 13 minutes from time. Turpin had his back turned at the time and subsequently penalised Jordan Henderson for a foul on the other side of the pitch, failing to notice Alli’s gesture, though world football’s governing body may still choose to scrutinise the incident.

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England 2-1 Slovakia: five talking points from the 2018 World Cup qualifier | Dominic Fifield

Patience pays off again for Gareth Southgate and co as Marcus Rashford, initially pinned to the right flank, eventually inspires victory amid banks of empty seatsPatience, they had all chorused. From Gareth Southgate to Jordan Henderson to Harry Kane. …

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Frenzied Antonio Conte improvises to ensure Chelsea find a way to win | Dominic Fifield

Chelsea’s manager picked Tiémoué Bakayoko despite fitness doubts and put David Luiz in midfield and it all paid off to get their season up and running

The reaction at the final whistle told its own story. Antonio Conte, fists pumping and that same frenzied look in his eye that marked the latter stages of their successful title pursuit last season, was at the heart of the throng of visiting players gathered in the corner of this arena to celebrate in front of a raucous away support. After a summer of painful politics and festering frustrations, this served emphatically as a lancing of the tension, and a reminder of the calibre of champions. Chelsea, defiant and still with time to add to their squad, are far from a spent force just yet.

Their prospects will feel rosier as the dust settles on this win. A derby of this ferocity, and staged in such grandiose surroundings, was always likely to have the juices flowing and those back at Cobham had sensed all week that, while the world obsessed over the messy divorce with Diego Costa and the hierarchy’s laboured manoeuvring in the transfer market, Conte believed the recovery from that comical capitulation to Burnley would begin at Tottenham’s expense. In truth, few on the outside had shared his optimism given how fragile everything had been made to feel by the intrigue behind the scenes. But the scrapper in Conte was always going to relish the daunting nature of this particular challenge.

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