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    Gareth Bale ‘not happy’ after training but NOT injured, reveals Jose Mourinho as Spurs star misses Everton clash

    GARETH BALE was left out of Tottenham’s squad for their FA Cup game at Everton because he was ‘not happy’ after training, according to Jose Mourinho.
    But the Spurs boss insisted the Welshman was NOT injured.

    Gareth Bale was left out of Spurs’ FA Cup game at Everton despite seemingly not being injuredCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    The winger, 31, has struggled for form and game-time since joining the North Londoners on loan from Real Madrid.
    And he was axed from Tottenham’s squad again on Wednesday despite a lot of his minutes coming in the cups this season.
    Speaking ahead of the game, Mourinho was asked why Bale had not travelled.
    And he said: “Gareth is not on the bench because he wasn’t happy with his training session yesterday.

    “I wouldn’t say an injury, not at all, but some feelings he wasn’t happy with.
    “So it was better for him to stay back and to be working with the sports science guys.”
    Spurs were dumped out of the Cup on Wednesday as Everton won a classic 5-4 after extra-time at Goodison Park.
    And, speaking after the loss, Mourinho added that Bale had asked for a scan on Monday.

    That was despite him training on Tuesday and posting on Instagram that day that it had been “a good session”.
    Mourinho said: “We played against West Bromwich on the Sunday and he didn’t play.
    “On Monday I was a little bit surprised by him wanting to have a scan because he was not comfortable with some muscular area.

    “So he didn’t train on Monday and then on Tuesday he trained with the team but I was informed that his desire would be to work with the sports science for a couple of days to strengthen that area. That’s the reason why he’s not here.”
    Last week, SunSport revealed Bale earns £9k-a-minute on the pitch and £28k-a-pass having spent most of his time at Tottenham on the bench.
    Bale earns a jaw-dropping £650,000 at the Bernabeu, with Tottenham agreeing to pay half of those wages this season.
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

    Gareth Bale has not quite provided value for money at Tottenham

    Mourinho heard giving Gareth Bale brutal warning in training about being sent back to Real Madrid to ‘play no football’ More

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    Sheff Utd 1 Bristol City 0: Sharp penalty sends Premier League basement boys into FA Cup quarters against ten-man Robins

    CAPTAIN fantastic Billy Sharp is now just one game from experiencing the real thing at Wembley. 
    The home hero watched from the stands when Sheffield United agonisingly lost 5-3 to Hull in the 2014 semi-finals.

    Billy Sharp coolly smashed home the penalty following Mawson’s handballCredit: PA:Press Association

    On loan at Doncaster back then, Sharp must have thought the dream of leading his boyhood side out at the home of football was gone. 
    But now, after showing nerves of steel from the penalty spot to see off Bristol City, the veteran is just one game from doing so. 
    Boss Chris Wilder was managing Northampton back then but was at Wembley too to cheer his beloved club on.
    And while their time in the Premier League looks set to come to an end in a couple of months, there is a real chance to do a Wigan and go down with some major silverware in the FA Cup.

    With plenty of the big boys left in the hat for the quarter-finals, the odds will be against them. 
    But Wilder and Sharp, 35, will back themselves to make this otherwise miserable season a memorable one. 
    United – who have not lifted the famous old trophy since 1925 – reached the quarters last year but were dumped out by Arsenal.
    And they are there again thanks to Sharp’s emphatic 66th minute spot-kick. 

    Sheff Utd celebrated after Sharp’s spot-kick gave them a crucial leadCredit: Reuters

    In an otherwise dreary tie, Robins defender Alfie Mawson saw red after blocking David McGoldrick’s goalbound shot with his outstretched hand. 
    Ref Robert Jones did not spot it, but VAR did – with Sharp taking advantage with his fifth of the season. 
    Dean Holden’s Championship side were hardly outplayed but barely threatened so cannot feel hard done by. 
    Wilder was leaving nothing to chance, selecting three forwards in Rhian Brewster, David Mcgoldrick and Billy Sharp. 
    Robins youngster Ryley Towler was in for his debut at left wing-back, while midfielder Henri Lansbury missed out because of a family bereavement. 
    City beat Portsmouth and Millwall to reach the last-16 but arrived in grim form having lost three on the bounce in the Championship. 
    Decked out in a questionable purple shirt and lime green short combo, the Bristolians had the first chance. 
    A free-kick deep on the right was half-cleared to the ex-Chelsea defender, who hit it first time and forced Aaron Ramsdale into a smart stop down to his right. 

    Alfie Mawson was sent off for handling McGoldrick’s goal-bound shotCredit: Reuters
    At the other end, Max Lowe squandered a golden opportunity nine minutes in. 
    Set up by former Derby team-mate Jayden Bogle, the wing-back’s first touch beat the last man but his sidefooted effort clattered off the bar and away.
    Bogle then fluffed his own lines, heading Ethan Ampadu’s superb cross into the ground and straight at Max O’Leary unmarked from seven yards. 
    The Blades had all the ball and territory in the first-half but were hardly hammering away at City’s door. 
    John Lundstram fired straight at O’Leary, while Bogle skied his next chance from the top of the box. 
    Holden will have been the happier of the bosses at half-time. 
    His side were dogged and resolute at the back while carrying a set-piece threat. 
    And the Robins had the first opening of the second-half as well, with Nahki Wells testing Ramsdale from 18-yards.
    The South Yorkshiremen reasserted themselves but, once again, lacked quality where it mattered in the final third. 
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

    Referee Robert Jones consulted the VAR monitor before sending Mawson offCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Billy Sharp uncharacteristically spurned a chance to hit it on his left peg, instead playing a ball across the six-yard box to nobody. 
    Lowe then flashed a teaser across but goal-shy Rhian Brewster failed to divert it home. 
    It was another fruitless outing for the £23.5million club record signing from Liverpool, barely featuring until then other than awkwardly clattering into the advertising hoardings. 
    And just when it started to look like the Blades could carry on all week without scoring, they had a penalty. 
    McGoldrick fired off Alfie Mawson onto the bar, with John Lundstram’s rebound shot cleared off the line by Kalas. 
    But VAR had different ideas, spotting that McGoldrick’s effort had come off Mawson’s outstretched hand just yards out. 
    Ref Robert Jones went over to his monitor and agreed, sending off Mawson for good measure. 
    The centre-back clearly blocked it with his hand but from point-blank range could do little to get out of the way. 
    And Sharp made no mistake from the spot in the 66th minute, shooting low to his left beyond O’Leary for his fifth of the season. 
    City huffed and puffed but failed to test Ramsdale, making it as comfortable an end as possible for Sharp and the Blades.

    Barnsley vs Chelsea FREE – Live stream, TV channel and kick-off time for FA Cup clash More

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    Swansea 1 Man City 3: Walker, Sterling and Jesus earn record 15th win in a row as City ease into FA Cup quarters

    MANCHESTER CITY are reaching new levels of excellence after becoming the first English team in history to win 15 consecutive games in all competitions.
    Now Pep Guardiola’s unstoppable side are eyeing up an historic quadruple of Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Champions League.

    Kyle Walker celebrates after opening the scoring in a 3-1 win over SwanseaCredit: PA:Press Association

    Raheem Sterling swept the ball home to double City’s leadCredit: Reuters

    Gabriel Jesus celebrates netting City’s third at the Liberty StadiumCredit: PA:Press Association

    And you certainly wouldn’t bet against them achieving that fab four considering the irresistible form they are in right now.
    They are already clear at the top of the table, through to the Carabao Cup final and now they have booked their place in tonight’s FA Cup quarter-final draw.
    It was only two seasons ago that they secured the domestic treble but the European Cup eluded them that year when they lost to Spurs in the quarter-finals.
    Now it is Borussia Monchengladbach who are standing in the way of City’s Champions League ambitions and the Germans certainly won’t be sleeping easy at the prospect of that one.

    This was Guardiola’s 200th victory as City boss in only his fifth season in charge and there are plenty more to come.
    Three seasons ago his team actually won 20 games on the trot but one of them was achieved in a penalty-shoot after a goalless FA Cup draw at Wolves so technically doesn’t count as a victory.
    But there was never any danger of this one requiring spot-kicks, which was probably a good job considering City’s poor record from 12 yards this season.
    That was probably Swansea’s only hope of causing an upset in spite of Guardiola making seven changes to the team which won 4-1 at Anfield on Sunday.


    Walker’s cross got past Ferran Torres, Gabriel Jesus and Swansea keeper Freddie WoodmanCredit: Reuters

    The City boss clearly remembered the major scare he had suffered at the Liberty two years ago, when his team were 2-0 down in the FA Cup quarter-finals before snatching victory with an 88th minute winner from Sergio Aguero.
    There was no Aguero this time as he is still recovering from the knee injury and coronavirus which have restricted him to just 141 minutes of Premier League action all season.
    But the visitors still had more than enough attacking quality to cause promotion-challenging Swansea all sorts of problems.
    There were less than two minutes on the clock when Gabriel Jesus was able to cut inside to sting the palms of keeper Freddie Woodman with a fierce strike from the edge of the area.
    And they should have been ahead after quarter of an hour when Benjamin Mendy’s low pull-back picked out Rodri right in front of goal.
    But the Spanish midfielder sent his first-time shot wide when he really should have hit the target. 
    There was another let-off for the Swans midway through the first-half when Woodman got just enough of a hand to the ball to divert Ferran Torres’ goal-bound effort past the far post.

    Sterling celebrates finding the net in the FA CupCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Morgan Whittaker bagged a consolation for SwanseaCredit: Alamy Live News
    Swansea are widely acknowledged as playing the best football outside of the Premier League but they were finding it hard going to keep up with City’s intricate passing game.
    They kicked-off on the back of a ten-game unbeaten run and seriously fancying their chances of automatic promotion after missing out in the Championship play-offs last season.
    Yet this was a struggle for them to even get across the halfway line as they were penned back by their opponents’ overwhelming possession.
    It was only a matter of time before their resolve was broken but when the breakthrough finally arrived in the 30th minute it was anything but a classic. 
    Kyle Walker’s low cross into the penalty area was supposed to be aimed at Torres, but the winger’s air shot was enough to deceive Woodman, whose belated dive wasn’t enough to prevent the ball from rolling inside his far post.
    That was Walker’s second goal of the season but his first in the FA Cup since January 2011.
    And it finally provoked a response from Steve Cooper’s team as Jay Fulton headed an instant equalising chance wide.

    Phil Foden shares a joke with Swansea boss Steve Cooper after the gameCredit: PA:Press Association

    Man of the match Jesus salutes after a superb finishCredit: PA:Press Association
    Ben Cabango was also unable to get a close-range header on target from a 41st minute corner.
    But it was City who inevitably ended the first-half the stronger when Raheem Sterling was just unable to slide in from Jesus’ low cross to the back post.
    And if Swansea thought they were still in it at the interval, those illusions were well and truly shattered when City scored twice more within five minutes of the restart.
    First Sterling was left in far too much space to sidefoot in at the back post from Rodri’s peach of a pass.
    Then Jesus was allowed to swivel onto Bernardo Silva’s delicate header to put the tie well and truly beyond Swansea’s reach.
    The hosts were finally thrown a crumb of comfort when substitute Morgan Whittaker netted with their first shot on target in the 77th minute.
    But City already had their feet up by then as they contemplated Tottenham’s visit to the Etihad on Saturday and the chance to stretch their winning run even further.
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

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    Man Utd stars ‘don’t TRUST’ Donny van de Beek who has been ‘disappointing’ since £40m transfer, claims Mark Hughes

    MANCHESTER UNITED’S players ‘don’t trust’ summer signing Donny van de Beek yet, according to Old Trafford legend Mark Hughes.
    The Dutchman was handed a rare opportunity to impress in the Red Devil’s extra-time fifth-round win over West Ham.

    Mark Hughes has claimed that Manchester United’s players don’t trust Donny van de BeekCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Van de Beek was making just his 11th start of the season in all competitions following his £40million move from Ajax.
    But he struggled to have an impact on the contest and was handed 73 minutes before Bruno Fernandes was stripped and ready to come on.
    Footage of Van de Beek’s substitution has since gone viral with the midfielder looking resigned as his number went up.

    And former United striker Sparky admitted he has been disappointed by the 23-year-old’s performances in a Red shirt so far.
    Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “You just sense… it looks like they don’t trust him with the ball yet.
    “When the likes of Fred and (Nemanja) Matic look up and they see Rashford, they see (Anthony) Martial, they see (Mason) Greenwood, who is still a young player but has great talent, it’s like they defer to them, their first thought is to pass to them.
    “Van de Beek, I haven’t seen a great deal of movement, I haven’t seen little movements to get in pockets of space, even though you suspect that’s the player he is and those are the areas he wants to work in.

    “He’s been disappointing again. He’s playing for Manchester United, a huge club, he’s got to show more than he’s showing at the moment.”

    Donny van de Beek has failed to shine this season

    He added: “You want to give the boy a chance, and he probably feels a bit aggrieved that he hasn’t had a run of games, he’s probably feeling a bit hard done by.
    “But you have to say, given what he’s produced in the time he’s had, he doesn’t deserve more than that.
    “So he’s got to show more.”

    Man Utd star Donny van de Beek’s looks heartbroken as he to sees he is about to be subbed against West Ham More

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    Mark Wright subbed 45 minutes into horror debut as boss blasts ‘farcical’ display with Crawley 3-0 down by half time

    REALITY TV STAR Mark Wright suffered a disastrous full debut for Crawley Town as he was substituted at HALF TIME.
    The 34-year-old’s team were 3-0 down to newly-promoted Harrogate Town at the break.

    Mark Wright had a nightmare EFL debut against HarrogateCredit: Rex Features

    The 34-year-old was taken off at half-time by Crawley boss John YemsCredit: Rex Features

    Wright started alongside his brother Josh, 31, who previously played for Championship side MillwallCredit: Rex Features

    Wright was making his first start for Crawley since signing for the League Two side in December.
    It was also the left-back’s long-awaited EFL debut.
    The game started terribly for Crawley as goals from Aaron Martin, Josh March and Simon Power gave Harrogate a 3-0 lead.
    Crawley manager John Yems decided to take Wright off at the break in a triple substitution.

    To make matters worse for the reality TV star, his replacement Tom Dallison scored as it finished 3-1 to Harrogate.
    The Crawley boss was keen to defend Wright despite hauling him off.

    The former TOWIE star would have been buzzing during the warm-up, but his full debut didn’t go to planCredit: Rex Features

    Wright’s impressive performances at Soccer Aid have encouraged him to try and become a professionalCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    He is married to former Corrie star Michelle KeeganCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Yems said: “It wasn’t Mark’s fault, but today it was farcical first half, absolutely farcical.

    “It’s easy for me to say that players have got to stand up and be counted, but they have now, if not there’ll be changes and there will be changes.”
    Crawley fans watching remotely were sympathetic to Wright’s plight, acknowledging the entire team were to blame.
    One fan tweeted: “You’ve been absolutely awful. Don’t think Mark Wright has played particularly badly, but the other 10 players have been dreadful.”
    Another said: “Can’t just blame Wright, whole team completely lifeless.”
    Not all were convinced, though, as one tweeted: “He was lost out there and should be no where near our club.”

    Decided to watch your lot today. You’ve been absolutely awful. Don’t think Mark Wright has played particularly badly, but the other 10 players have been dreadful.
    — Scott Eaglen (@ScottEaglen) February 6, 2021

    Brutal half from Crawley. Very easy to lump all the blame on Mark Wright but he was far from the biggest problem. Performance from some of those players was nothing short of disgraceful.
    — Alex Burke (@AlexBurke1) February 6, 2021

    Wright will need to improve significantly if he is to make it as a professional.
    He had been semi-pro at Crawley in 2006/07 before shooting to fame on The Only Way Is Essex.
    Wright left the game after becoming a household name as Crawley went on to achieve promotion to the EFL.
    But his desire to play football never diminished and he has starred at Soccer Aid, with Chelsea legend John Terry encouraging him to go professional.

    Wright joined the League Two side on a non-contract basis in December.
    He made his professional debut as a late substitute in Crawley’s shock 3-0 win against Leeds in the FA Cup last month.
    But the former TOWIE star had to wait until yesterday for his EFL debut after a coronavirus outbreak at the club forced him to self-isolate with his wife Michelle Keegan.
    Wright’s brother Josh is also a professional footballer and joined him at Crawley in January.

    Mark Wright shows off his six pack as he works out in gym at home he shares with Michelle Keegan More

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    Everton vs Tottenham FREE: Live stream, TV channel, kick-off time and team news for TONIGHT’S FA Cup fifth-round tie

    EVERTON welcome Tottenham to Goodison Park in an all-Premier League FA Cup 5th round clash.
    The Toffees are going well in the league this season and are targeting a first trophy since lifting the FA Cup way back in 1995.

    The pressure is on Mourinho to deliver silverware in North LondonCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

    Spurs meanwhile have faltered in their title bid and Jose Mourinho will be desperate to keep up momentum in the cup competitions.
    When is Everton vs Tottenham?
    This FA Cup fifth round tie will take place on Wednesday, February 10.
    Kick-off is at 8.15pm GMT.
    When the sides met earlier in the season, a Dominic Calvert-Lewin goal gave the Toffees a 1-0 victory.
    What TV channel is Everton vs Tottenham on and can I live stream it?
    You can catch this game live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate.
    Coverage begins after the clash between Swansea vs Man City.
    If you’re a BT Sport subscriber or have BT Broadband, you can stream on a number of devices using the official app.

    How can I watch for free?
    EE customers can get BT Sport INCLUDED to their plan at no extra cost if they are on a plan with Smart Benefits – simply log in to EE and choose BT Sport app.
    And then get it on the big screen by texting SPORT to 150 to get a FREE three-month trial of Large Screen so you can cast all the action on your TV.
    At the end of the three months you will automatically roll onto the £5 per month BT Sport Large Screen subscription unless cancelled.

    What is the team news?
    Niels Nkounkou and Jordan Pickford remain out for the Toffees, who cruised past Sheffield Wednesday in the last round.
    Allan remains a doubt and will likely not be risked despite resuming training earlier this week.
    Gareth Bale could get the nod in attack for Spurs who welcomed back Harry Kane against West Brom.
    Sergio Reguilon, Giovani Lo Celso, and Dele Alli all remain sidelined.

    Match odds
    Everton to win – 8/5
    Draw after 90 mins – 21/10
    Spurs victory – 9/5
    *All odds from Ladbrokes and correct at time of publication. More

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    How Chelsea could line-up at Barnsley in FA Cup with Thiago Silva OUT and doubts over Werner, Pulisic and Havertz

    THOMAS TUCHEL could be without a trio of forwards for Chelsea’s FA Cup trip to Barnsley.
    Blues fans eagerly await the team news for Thursday night’s fifth-round clash, to get a glimpse at how seriously he will take the competition.

    How we expect Chelsea to line up at Oakwell

    Timo Werner is a doubt ahead of the trip to YorkshireCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    At Paris Saint-Germain, Tuchel would regularly introduce fringe first-team players into his cup sides and a similar route can be expected this week.
    Thiago Silva continues to be sidelined with the defender suffering from a hamstring injury.
    While Timo Werner suffered a knock against Sheffield United and may miss the game, along with Kai Havertz who sat out the win at Bramall Lane.
    Christian Pulisic was absent for personal reasons, putting his involvement on Thursday in doubt.

    Should the American be available, he could be given a run out up front in a new false-nine role.
    Pulisic described his new training plan earlier this month: “It’s a kind of a false striker.
    “It’s been good so far. We’ve got a new outlook on things, we have had a really good win so it’s been a positive start.
    “It’s been some crazy times recently and just to get a win left all the guys in the changing room really excited.”


    How Chelsea could line up if Tuchel is handed a number of fitness boosts
    If Werner and Pulisic are absent, Tammy Abraham could return to the XI with Olivier Giroud still yet to score under Tuchel.
    Hakim Ziyech will hope to start after three games out of the side.
    And the midfield could be completed with weekend scorer Mason Mount in front of N’Golo Kante and Billy Gilmour, both of whom were benched in Yorkshire.
    Emerson Palmieri may be favoured at left wing-back in Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1 for his first outing under the new Chelsea coach and Callum Hudson-Odoi may come in on the opposite flank to allow Reece James a rest.
    At the back, Kepa Arrizabalaga should be handed another cup start.
    If Tuchel sticks with his three-man defence, Silva’s absence means there is limited choice in changing things around.

    Kurt Zouma is another yet to feature for the German and he may replace either Antonio Rudiger or Cesar Azpilicueta in the 8pm kick-off.
    Barnsley are monitoring a number of players, including Aapo Halme, Ben Williams and Liam Kitching, as the Championship side look to repeat their famous cupset of 2008 when they stunned the Blues 1-0 in the FA Cup.
    An extra incentive may be laid down for both teams on Thursday night with the quarter-final draw taking place in the minutes before kick-off.
    ⚽ Read our Chelsea live blog for the very latest news from the Bridge

    Barnsley vs Chelsea FREE – Live stream, TV channel and kick-off time for FA Cup clash More

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    West Ham star Issa Diop becomes first concussion sub in English football history after head knock at Man Utd in FA Cup

    ISSA DIOP became the first concussion sub in English football history on Tuesday night.
    The West Ham star was subbed off in the FA Cup loss at Manchester United after a clash of heads.

    Issa Diop became the first concussion sub in English football historyCredit: Rex Features

    Diop, who came on to replace injured Angelo Ogbonna in the 16th minute, collided with Anthony Martial.
    He didn’t return for the second half as Ryan Fredericks replaced him.
    And West Ham confirmed via Twitter that they used a concussion sub.

    Their tweet read: “Another enforced change, this time Yarmolenko is replaced by Odubeko.
    “As the Diop substitution was due to concussion, we have two changes remaining.”
    The extra concussion sub meant West Ham were allowed six changes – one more than the five allowed on Tuesday.
    The new rule was brought in for Premier League matches last weekend and added for the FA Cup fifth round ties.

    The Hammers star is checked by team medics after his clash with Anthony MartialCredit: Rex Features

    It also states that the opposing team are also allowed an extra change if a concussion sub is used.
    West Ham boss David Moyes said: “We think he’s (Diop) fine but he had a bump on his head at half-time, so I chose to take no risks and took him off.”
    Man Utd won the tie 1-0 in extra-time with a goal from Scott McTominay after Marcus Rashford’s assist.


    Peter McCabe – chief executive of Headway brain injury charity:

    “The decision to allow Issa Diop to return after being assessed for concussion in just two minutes while still on the pitch shows just how deeply flawed this new protocol is.
    “When this rule was introduced, we warned that it would make very little difference in terms of protecting players from the risk of more serious injury.
    “Had the FA followed advice by introducing temporary substitutes, as successfully used in other sports, Diop would not have been at risk of exacerbating the injury to his brain during the seven minutes he was allowed to play on.
    “Instead he could have had a longer assessment in a quiet treatment room.
    “The new protocol has failed its very first test. FIFA and IFAB must act now to alter the rule and introduce temporary concussion substitutes to avoid such unacceptable risk being taken.”

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