Luton and Barnsley promoted to the Championship after Portsmouth slip up against Peterborough

30 Apr

Luton and Barnsley sealed promotion to the Championship without them kicking a ball as Portsmouth and Sunderland both slipped to defeat.

Pompey, who were hoping to close the gap on the second-placed Tykes to a single point going into the final day on Saturday, fell two goals behind at home to Peterborough.

Luton manager Mick Harford has guided the Hatters to the Championship

Lee Tomlin swept in his first goal since January and Ivan Toney powered in a header to double Posh’s lead.

Portsmouth hauled themselves level with a deflected effort from Ben Close and Christian Burgess’ close-range finish, only for Toney to rifle in a 75th-minute winner.

At Highbury Stadium, Sunderland went ahead through Lee Cattermole’s header from a corner, but Paddy Madden slotted home an equaliser before Ashley Eastham slammed in a last-gasp winner.

Bury will play in League One next season after their promotion was confirmed following a 1-1 draw at Tranmere, who clinched a play-off spot.

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With MK Dons and Mansfield facing each other on the final day, a point was enough for the Shakers, who levelled through Danny Mayor after James Norwood had scored his 30th goal of the season.

Newport moved into the top seven with a 2-0 win against Oldham, with Mark O’Brien and Robbie Willmott scoring.

Tottenham 0-1 Ajax: Spurs stunned as Dutch minnows seize control of Champions League semi-final

30 Apr

Tottenham became the latest club to be stunned at home to Ajax in the Champions League, suffering a damaging 1-0 defeat in the first leg of their semi-final.

Spurs have it all to do in Amsterdam next Wednesday after Donny Van de Beek grabbed a crucial away goal for the fearless visitors without reply.

Donny van de Beek celebrates

Mauricio Pochettino’s men could’ve had a mountain to climb following a disastrous first-half during which they barely saw the ball.

And while they steadied the ship after the break, the hosts failed to seriously test Andre Onana – and the absence of Heung-min Son and Harry Kane was notable.

But the best chance of the second-half fell to Ajax’s David Neres, who came inches from doubling the lead when he hit the post late on, and that might prove a crucial moment ahead of Son’s return for the second leg.

More to follow…

Millwall 1-2 Bristol City: Lee Johnson’s side keep their play-off hopes alive when they came from behind to win at The Den

30 Apr

Bristol City can still secure a play-off place as they picked up a 2-1 victory against Millwall at The Den on Tuesday.

Lee Johnson’s side needed to come from behind to win and give themselves a chance of still reaching the Championship top six.

Lee Johnson’s side still have a chance of making the top six
Getty

Lee Gregory scored for Millwall after 41 minutes to give the home side the lead.

Jamie Paterson then equalised for Bristol City in the 76th minute and looked like they would earn a draw but Famara Diedhiou scored late on to complete the comeback.

The win for Bristol City sees them just one point behind sixth place until Derby County play on Wednesday.

More follows…

 

Tottenham 0-1 Ajax: Jan Vertonghen suffers horror injury in collision with Toby Alderweireld and helped off the pitch by Pochettino

30 Apr

Jan Vertonghen was left with blood pouring from his face after a sickening clash of heads with team-mate Toby Alderweireld during Tottenham’s semi-final defeat to Ajax.

The Belgian defender appeared nauseated and appeared to be on the verge of collapsing as he left the pitch at the new White Hart Lane.

Jan Vertonghen suffered a horror injury
Vertonghen’s legs appeared to give way and he is caught by medical staff and manager Mauricio Pochettino

Vertonghen and Alderweireld both challenged for a cross with Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana during the first-half and Vertonghen’s nose smashed into the back of his team-mate’s head.

The centre-back’s face was bloody but he did not appear to be knocked out – and Tottenham medics deemed him fit to play on after several minutes of treatment.

Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz was reluctant to let the defender return to the action, and after a few brief moments, it was clear Vertonghen was in no fit state to carry on.

Vertonghen could barely walk

The 32-year-old quickly signalled to the bench that he needed to be replaced and Moussa Sissoko was brought on.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and members of his coaching staff grabbed hold of Vertonghen as his legs appeared to give way, with the Belgian eventually hauled down the tunnel.

Questions will be asked of Spurs’ medical team after they allowed Vertonghen to return to the field under such a serious risk of concussion.

That soured Spurs’ night even further as they went down 1-0 to Donny Van De Beek’s 15th-minute goal, leaving them with it all to do next week in Amsterdam.

Tottenham vs Ajax: Some Spurs fans convinced Donny van de Beek’s goal was offside despite VAR review

30 Apr

Some Tottenham fans were left convinced that Ajax’s goal should have been ruled out for offside.

Donny van de Beek put the Dutch side 1-0 up after 15 minutes in the Champions League semi-final when he finished off a brilliant move.

Replays showed the Ajax goal was onside
BT Sport

Ajax carved open the Spurs defence and Van de Beek seemed to have an age to slot home past Hugo Lloris.

The visitors were dominant in the open stages of the match, enjoying large spells of possession, and got their rewards.

Donny van de Beek celebrates scoring for Ajax
Getty

There was a suggestion that the goal was offside after seeing initial replays.

The goal was checked by the VAR team but it was decided it was a fair goal and it was awarded.

It was a close decision but this one did not go in Tottenham’s favour, unlike the Sergio Aguero goal that was disallowed in the quarter-final.

Later replays showed that Van de Beek was just onside but some fans were left convinced the goal should have been ruled out.

Here is some of the reaction from Twitter after the goal went in.

 

Ederson: Manchester City goalkeeper forced to deny he supports Tommy Robinson after being pictured with the far-right extremist

30 Apr

Ederson has been forced to deny he supports far-right extremist Tommy Robinson after a picture of the pair appeared online.

The Manchester City goalkeeper posed for a photograph with the co-founder of the English Defence League (EDL).

Ederson was asked to pose for a picture by Tommy Robinson
@RealDannyTommo

The image was then shared on social media with the message: “Tommy Robinson meeting city’s golden boy @edersonmoraes93 last night, has his full support while in Manchester.”

The Brazil international, however, insists he was unaware of who Robinson was when asked for a picture.

He has since been informed and categorically denied he supported him or his ideas.

Ederson wrote on Twitter: “People have made me aware of who this guy is. I definitely not support this guy or his ideas.

“He stopped me for a picture. I had no idea who he was. (Do not be a liar).”

Ederson signed for Manchester City in 2017 for £35million and has gone on to make 87 appearances for the side.

He won the Premier League with the club in his first season and could make it back-to-back titles as his side are currently top of the table.

Tottenham vs Ajax: Glenn Hoddle admits he can’t believe Spurs are in a Champions League semi-final

30 Apr

Tottenham legend Glenn Hoddle admits he can’t quite believe that Spurs have reached the last four of the Champions League.

The north Londoners welcome Ajax to their new stadium on Wednesday night for the first leg of their semi-final clash.

Tottenham warm up ahead of the huge clash

It’s the first time Tottenham have been in a Champions League semi-final, although they did reach the last four of the European Cup in 1962 before it was rebranded, losing out to eventual winners Benfica.

After amassing just one point from their opening three group games, it was a minor miracle that Spurs even escaped the group, but two incredible knockout triumphs over Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City have put them within touching distance of history.

“I’m pinching myself, like the fans out here!” Hoddle told BT Sport.

“It’s fantastic and they deserve it after that performance up at City. They deserve to be here.”

Tottenham will have to make-do without their two biggest goal threats, with Harry Kane injured and Heung-min Son suspended for the first leg.

Ajax can no longer be considered underdogs after downing European giants Real Madrid and Juventus on their route to the semi-final, but Hoddle still believes his former club have an incredible opportunity.

He added: “There’s not a lot between these two teams, either. So they [Spurs] are in with a very good chance.”

Tottenham vs Ajax: Fernando Llorente starts in Champions League semi-final first leg with Son Heung-min and Harry Kane unavailable

30 Apr

Fernando Llorente starts for Tottenham in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final with Ajax.

The striker is starting his first match of this year’s competition after making an impact from the bench.

He scored a crucial goal for Spurs as they dumped out Manchester City in the quarter-final.

Fernando Llorente scored the winning goal against Manchester City
Getty

Tottenham knew they would be without their two main forwards for this clash as both Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were unavailable.

Son has been in superb form this season, scoring or assisting 29 goals, and has filled the hole left by the injured Harry Kane.

He is suspended for the first leg, though, as he picked up his third yellow card in this year’s competition.

Ajax wonderkid Frenkie de Jong

Kane has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury but fans were convinced he might make a comeback for the Ajax game.

There were no real surprises in the rest of Mauricio Pochettino’s side while Ajax named a strong team that included Barcelona bound Frenkie De Jong and Manchester United target Matthijs De Ligt.

Tottenham team: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Wanyama, Rose, Eriksen, Alli, Lucas, Llorente

Ajax team: Onana, Veltman, De Ligt, Blind, Tagliafico, Schone, Van de Beek, De Jong, Ziyech, Tadic, Neres

Ajax fans march through London and take over Leicester Square ahead of Champions League semi-final clash with Tottenham

30 Apr

Ajax fans were out in force in central London ahead of their Champions League clash with Tottenham on Tuesday.

Pictures and video on social media show Leicester Square being brought to a standstill by the Dutch supporters.

Ajax supporters march through central London
Getty

One shirtless fan climbed some scaffolding and proceeded to open a can of beer and sprayed it in the air.

A video posted by the club’s Twitter account shows a sea of Ajax fans in the centre of the city enjoying the sights ahead of the semi-final match.

One Tottenham fan even had his shirt vandalised by a visiting supporter while he was sleeping.

The Ajax fan drew an Amsterdam coat of arms on his Spurs shirt and turned the AIA sponsors logo into Ajax.

The police are reportedly on high alert, according to The Sun, as Ajax fans have a reputation for causing trouble at big games.

Before their quarter-final with Juventus, 54 Ultras were arrested before kick-off and were found in possession of knuckle-dusters, mouth guards and pyrotechnics.

The supporters all appear to be in good spirit in London, though, ahead of the first leg at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Lio Rush looks set for WWE exit – here’s the weird reasons why he has so much heat backstage in the company

30 Apr

Things haven’t been going good for Lio Rush in the WWE lately.

According to multiple reports, the 24-year-old has been in the doghouse in the WWE pretty much ever since he started on the main roster last year as Bobby Lashley’s hype man.

Bobby Lashley with Lio Rush

While Rush’s microphone abilities and in-ring prowess cannot be denied – two things Vince McMahon loves – it seems that, reportedly, his attitude doesn’t match.

It’s been said Rush has a high opinion of himself backstage that boarders on arrogance and his constant moaning to upper management and refusal to take advice from company veterans has landed him in hot water with few allies.

PW Insider’s latest report says the heat started on the European tour almost 12 months ago.

Mike Johnson reported: “As the junior member of the tour, he blew off what has long been considered standard backstage etiquette for the junior member of the roster on overseas tours, including being at the gorilla position after matches to provide water to talents as they returned from the ring as well as carrying coolers and drinks into the hotels where the roster was staying in order to set up a common area where everyone could socialize privately together.

Lio Rush is one of the best talkers in WWE

“These sorts of menial jobs are often done to show respect to the locker room and the business and are usually passed on to the next junior member of the locker room when someone else is brought up to the main roster. Given that this was his first European tour, those responsibilities would have technically fallen on Rush’s shoulders.”

It has also been reported that Rush has a habit of bringing unauthorised family backstage and when Finn Balor tried to warn him off this backstage faux pas, his advice fell on death ears.

In reality, Rush is an ultra-talented 24-year-old who really shouldn’t be punished for simply failing to give some elder talent water. Still, respecting those that have come before you is a big part of wrestling and perhaps Rush should have worked harder to fit in, a la The Miz.

As noted in our gossip column today, Lashley appeared without Rush on Raw this week and there was no mention of his hype man, so he could well be done with the company.

Here’s to hoping that isn’t the case.