World Sports News in Brief

Arsenal sack Emery and name 'invincible' Ljungberg as interim boss

Saturday, 2019-11-30 08:00:44
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Soccer Football - Europa League - Group F - Arsenal v Eintracht Frankfurt - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - November 28, 2019 Arsenal manager Unai Emery looks dejected. (Photo: Reuters)
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Arsenal have sacked manager Unai Emery after the Premier League club’s worst run in more than a quarter of a century and appointed former player and fans’ favourite Freddie Ljungberg as interim coach, the Premier League club announced on Friday.

Emery’s final match in charge was Thursday’s 2-1 Europa League home defeat by German side Eintracht Frankfurt which extended their winless run in all competitions to seven games, the worst streak since February 1992 under George Graham. Ljungberg, a member of Wenger’s “Invincibles” team that went an entire season unbeaten en route to the 2003-04 Premier League title, was appointed assistant coach in June and will now take over while the club searches for a new head coach.

* Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday he was open to the idea of signing a new contract with the Premier League champions. The 48-year-old Spaniard, whose team have twice won the league title plus the FA Cup and two League Cups since he joined in 2016, last year signed a contract extension through to 2021.

* Olympique de Marseille's Nemanja Radonjic struck in the last minute for a 2-1 home win against Brest as they moved within five points of Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain on Friday. Second-half substitute Radonjic found the top corner a minute after Irvin Cardona had cancelled out Bouna Sarr's second-half opener to put second-placed OM on 28 points from 15 games ahead of PSG's trip to AS Monaco on Sunday.

* Schalke 04's Suat Serdar scored an 86th-minute winner as the Royal Blues beat Union Berlin 2-1 on Friday to provisionally climb into second place in the Bundesliga. Schalke are level on 25 points with leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach who welcome Freiburg on Sunday. Champions Bayern Munich, a point behind, host Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

* Barcelona's France forward Ousmane Dembele has been ruled out for over two months with his third muscle injury of the season. A statement from the Catalan club on Friday said Dembele, 22, had injured his right hamstring and would be sidelined for approximately 10 weeks. The Frenchman was in tears as he hobbled off in the first half of Barca's 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday.

* Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is the first to admit that there is room for improvement after making errors this season but he is satisfied with his work ethic. Kepa saved a penalty in Wednesday's 2-2 Champions League draw at Valencia but came under criticism for failing to stop the two goals, especially the equaliser when he seemed to pull out of a save when Daniel Wass shot from distance.

* Newly-appointed Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho said he would not swap his job for any other club after rivals Arsenal sacked Unai Emery on Friday and began the search for a successor. Asked if he might have been interested in the job at the Emirates had the vacancy occurred two weeks earlier, the Portuguese made clear there was no point in pursuing that line of questioning.

* Real Madrid's Brazilian teenager Vinicius Jr. is not about to leave the club on loan or permanently despite struggling to get game time, coach Zinedine Zidane said on Friday, urging the player to wait his turn to get back into the side. Vinicius, 19, had an explosive first season at Real after bursting into the team under Zidane's predecessor Santiago Solari but has fallen out of favour this campaign due to the arrival of Eden Hazard and his teenage compatriot Rodrygo Goes.

* Liverpool midfielder Fabinho suffered an ankle ligament injury in Wednesday's Champions League draw with Napoli and will be out of action until the New Year, the Premier League club said on Friday. Fabinho was injured in a collision with Napoli winger Hirving Lozano and the midfielder limped down the tunnel in the 19th minute as Klopp took off the Brazilian and replaced him with Georginio Wijnaldum.

* Bournemouth forward Joshua King is out injured for Saturday's Premier League trip to Tottenham Hotspur but winger Ryan Fraser and striker Dominic Solanke should be fit to play, manager Eddie Howe said on Friday. Norwegian forward King, who has been involved in five league goals this season - the highest alongside Callum Wilson -returned from international duty with a hamstring injury and sat out the home loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend.

* Valtteri Bottas was fastest in the final Friday practice session of the season in Abu Dhabi, leading team mate and six-times Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes one-two. The Finn, who was also fastest in the opening session, improved on his afternoon benchmark with a lap of one minute 36.256 seconds under the Yas Marina floodlights. The 30-year-old was 0.310 seconds quicker than Hamilton, who was third in the morning, and looked strong around the 5.5km layout.

* Olympic champion Mo Farah is getting back on track to chase more gold in the 10,000m at next year's Tokyo Games, the Briton announced on Friday. The 36-year-old, a four-times Olympic champion and six times world champion over 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres, retired from track athletics in 2017 to focus on road marathons, going on the break the British record.

* Brighton & Hove Albion forward Aaron Connolly has recovered from a groin injury and will be available for Saturday's Premier League match at table-toppers Liverpool. The Republic of Ireland international picked up the injury during Brighton's 3-1 loss at Manchester United on Nov. 10 and missed international games against New Zealand and Denmark earlier this month.

* Stephan Schrock's lone goal helped the Philippines U-22 men's Olympic football team beat Malaysia at 30th Southeast Asian Games football tournament group stage on Friday. In the must-win match against 2017 SEA Games silver medalists Malaysia, the hosts took the game from the beginning and their pressure was duly rewarded with captain Schrock's game-winning goal. Schrock floated in a corner that swerved in the 72nd minutes and crept into the back of the net directly.

* To ensure that many Filipinos will enjoy the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, the organizers of the biennial meet announced on Friday that most of the 56 sports events and the closing ceremony will be opened for the public for free.

Reuters, Xinhua