Tuesday 16 January 2018

Soccer In Brief: 'Pool and Fulham face Europa treks

Liverpool and Fulham have been told they must travel to Madrid and Hamburg respectively this week after their Europa League semi-final first-leg games were given the go-ahead despite the problems with flights.

The disruption caused by volcanic ash had led to fears the games would be postponed, but UEFA say that while they will continue to monitor the situation, both matches are still scheduled to take place.

The announcement does not rule out the matches being postponed nearer the time if the travel situation continues to be such a problem.

Meanwhile, Fernando Torres has insisted he did not put country before club in deciding to undergo knee surgery that has ruled him out for the rest of the season, including Thursday's game against former club Atletico. "The injury happened in the second minute against Benfica and I played injured for 85 minutes," he said. "If I had been thinking about Spain I'd have asked for a change."

Keane voted Celtic's Player of the Year

Robbie Keane has been voted Celtic's player of the year by the club's fans, despite playing for just two and a half months of the campaign so far.

The Ireland striker collected his award at the club's annual dinner after taking his tally to 13 goals in 15 games during Saturday's 3-2 SPL win over Hibernian.

Keane joined Celtic on loan from Tottenham amid a display of public adulation hours before the transfer window closed in February.

Toon take title in cruise control

Newcastle United secured the Championship title last night with a 2-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle ensuring the Magpies go back up to the top flight in style.

Adam Carroll scored the opening goal with a 20th-minute header and nine minutes later Wayne Routledge secured the points with a stunning strike which also condemned Plymouth to League One.

Mutu in drugs ban

Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu has been banned for nine months after failing an anti-doping test in January. The ruling was confirmed yesterday after an Italian Anti-Doping Tribunal hearing. Mutu's ban will run until October as he has already spent two months on the sidelines.

Delph sidelined

Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph has been ruled out for up to eight months after suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.

Delph suffered the injury in training on Saturday. The 18-year-old, who joined from Leeds in August, is set to undergo ACL reconstruction.

Irish Independent

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