Injured Volland out for rest of year
Bayer Leverkusen forward Kevin Volland has been ruled out for the rest of the year after picking up a thigh muscle injury in training, the Champions League club said yesterday.
The 24-year-old Germany international, who joined Leverkusen this season from Hoffenheim, injured his right thigh and will be out for at least eight weeks.
“Volland has already started work on his recovery at the rehabilitation centre at the BayArena,” the club said.
Leverkusen have qualified for the Champions League knock-out stage but have been erratic in the league and sit 10th, having lost three of their last five Bundesliga matches.
Toronto to play Seattle in MLS final
After 90 minutes of possibly the best play-off game in Major League Soccer (MLS) history, few were complaining that 30 minutes more were needed to separate rivals Toronto FC and Montreal Impact.
Benoit Cheyrou and Tosaint Ricketts scored in extra time as Toronto (TFC) beat Montreal 5-2 in the second leg of the MLS Eastern Conference final, sealing a 7-5 aggregate victory as TFC advanced to its first MLS Cup final.
Toronto, the first Canadian team to reach the MLS title game, will host the final on Dec. 10 against the Western Conference champions Seattle Sounders.
Wenger bemoans lack of urgency
Arsene Wenger said Arsenal’s lack of urgency early in the match and not his team selection was to blame for the London club’s 2-0 League Cup quarter-final loss to Southampton on Wednesday.
Southampton will take on Liverpool in the semi-finals after first-half goals from Jordy Clasie and Ryan Bertrand got them past a weakened Arsenal side and into the last four for the first time since 1987.
“We didn’t have enough urgency in the first half. We were weak in some departments and we paid for that,” Wenger told reporters.
Bayern duo Alonso and Vidal doubtful
Bayern Munich midfielders Xabi Alonso and Arturo Vidal are both injury doubts for tonight’s Bundesliga match (20.30) against Mainz 05 with coach Carlo Ancelotti set to decide whether they can play after their final training session, he said yesterday.
Vidal has been working his way back to fitness after he picked up an injury on international duty with Chile last month.
He was first injured in their goalless draw against Colombia on Nov. 10, but started in their 3-1 win over Uruguay five days later, angering Bayern bosses.
Ancelotti did not give any details about Alonso’s injury but said he had been struggling for the past few days.
Kane signs six-year contract with Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has signed a new contract that runs until 2022, the Premier League club said on their website yesterday.
Kane, the league’s top scorer last season, has struggled with an ankle injury for much of the current campaign, making eight Premier League appearances, but made a scoring return in the north London derby against Arsenal on Nov. 6.
The England international followed that up with two late goals to give his side a 3-2 home win over West Ham United and another in their 2-1 Champions League defeat by Monaco.
British media reported his new deal was worth around £125,000 a week.
Penalty awarded after nine seconds
Fans were barely in their seats at the Bucharest derby between Steaua and Dinamo when the referee awarded one of the fastest penalties ever in professional football after nine seconds.
League leaders Steaua went ahead after referee Ovidiu Hategan pointed to the spot when Dinamo keeper Jaime Penedo clattered into Brazilian midfielder William De Amorim moments after kick-off on Wednesday.
Another Brazilian midfielder, Fernando Boldrin, made no mistake from the spot, but Dinamo overcame the early setback to complete a 3-1 victory.
Southampton close Black investigation
Southampton have cleared assistant manager Eric Black of wrongdoing and closed an internal investigation after he was named in a newspaper sting that cost England boss Sam Allardyce his job in September.
Black had denied making any suggestion, to undercover reporters from The Daily Telegraph posing as representatives of a Far Eastern firm, about payments to club officials during transfer negotiations.
“Despite numerous requests to provide the club with any evidence relating to the allegation against Mr Black, none has been forthcoming,” the Premier Lea-gue club said in a statement.
“There is no evidence of any wrongdoing, and as such, the club now considers the matter closed. Eric Black retains the full support of Southampton FC.”