EPL: Rejuvenated Arsenal Thrash West Brom

Arsenal's French striker Alexandre Lacazette (L) scores their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on January 2, 2021. Michael Regan / POOL / AFP
Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette (L) scores their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on January 2, 2021. Michael Regan / POOL / AFP

 

Alexandre Lacazette scored twice as Arsenal further eased their early season struggles by thrashing West Brom 4-0 at a snow covered Hawthorns on Saturday.

After seven Premier League games without a win, the Gunners have now won three in a week to dampen talk of a relegation fight and move back into contention for the European places.

Kieran Tierney’s stunning solo goal opened the floodgates as Sam Allardyce’s men have now conceded nine times in two games.

Bukayo Saka rounded off a brilliant team move to double the visitors’ lead before Lacazette struck twice in four second-half minutes.

West Brom are yet to win in four games since Allardyce took charge and the former England manager needs to quickly instill the defensive discipline he has made his trademark at previous clubs if the Baggies are to have any chance of survival.

Just over a week ago Allardyce said Arsenal were in a battle against the drop, but Mikel Arteta’s decision to finally put faith in his crop of talented youngsters has turned his side’s season around.

Saka was again the shining light, while Tierney and Emile Smith Rowe also impressed.

Arsenal’s poor run was principally caused by a struggle to score goals, but they were a threat from the off despite the treacherous conditions.

Sam Johnstone denied Hector Bellerin and Saka inside the first 10 minutes, but he was powerless to stop Tierney’s stunning opener on 23 minutes.

The Scotland international left Darnell Furlong trailing in his wake before cutting inside onto his weaker right foot and curling into the top corner.

Arsenal’s second was reminiscent of their flowing football at the height of the Arsene Wenger era as Saka fed Lacazette, whose brilliant pass played Smith Rowe in behind the West Brom defence and he squared for Saka to tap into an empty net.

The one way traffic continued after the break and some comical West Brom defending led to the third as Semi Ajayi smashed a dangerous cross off his own post and the ball broke to Lacazette to apply a simple finish.

Moments later another raid from Tierney down the left teed up Lacazette for another finish from point-blank range.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has missed out on Arsenal’s return to scoring form over the past eight days as he turned a glorious chance from Willian’s mishit shot over before Johnstone produced another fine save from the Gunners’ captain.

However, four goals were more than enough to prove Arsenal’s return to form as they moved to within six points of the top four with two favourable fixtures against Crystal Palace and Newcastle to come.

West Brom on the other hand remain six points adrift of safety and showing little sign of life since Allardyce’s arrival.

 

AFP

West Brom Sack Slaven Bilic, Allardyce Among Favourites To Take Over

 

Slaven Bilic became the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season when he was sacked by struggling West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.

The 52-year-old Croatian’s sacking comes with the side 19th in the table but on the back of an encouraging 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Tuesday.

Bilic had been at the club for only 18 months but had earned the admiration of the fans after leading West Brom to automatic promotion from the Championship last season.

Although results had been generally poor this term Bilic had been given little funding to bring in players in the close season. His budget for transfers was limited to £20 million ($27 million).

 

READ ALSO: Zidane Hails Benzema As Best Ever French Centre-Forward

West Brom have garnered seven points from their 13 matches so far and have the worst defensive record in the Premier League, having conceded 26 goals.

Bilic’s relations with the board appeared tense from the start of the campaign with no discussions talking place about extending or renewing his contract which was due to run out at the end of this season.

“West Bromwich Albion have today parted company with Head Coach Slaven Bilic,” read a club statement.

“Albion would like to thank Slaven and his coaching staff for their efforts in achieving promotion last season and wishes them all well in the future.

“The club will make no further comment at this time.”

Former England manager Sam Allardyce is among the favourites to fill the vacancy.

The 66-year-old’s last managerial post was with Everton, who he left in 2018.

Media reports suggest Allardyce will be offered an 18-month contract. In a sign that his appointment may be imminent, he has cancelled scheduled work with a radio station.

Bilic’s sacking makes him the latest first managerial departure in a Premier League season for six years, since it took 18 games for Cardiff City to dismiss Neil Warnock in the 2014-15 season.

-AFP

Chelsea Snatch Late Draw At West Brom In Thrilling Comeback

Chelsea's English striker Tammy Abraham (R) celebrates with Chelsea's English midfielder Mason Mount (L) after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on September 26, 2020. Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s English striker Tammy Abraham (R) celebrates with Chelsea’s English midfielder Mason Mount (L) after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on September 26, 2020. Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP

 

Free-spending Chelsea came from 3-0 down to salvage a 3-3 draw at newly-promoted West Brom on Saturday.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard handed the captain’s armband to Thiago Silva on his Premier League debut, but the Brazilian had a nightmare first 45 minutes as the Blues’ defensive deficiencies were easily exposed.

Callum Robison pounced on errors from Marcos Alonso and Silva to fire twice beyond Willy Caballero, who replaced Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea goal.

READ ALSO: Fernandes’ 100th Minute Penalty Hands Man Utd Win At Brighton

Kyle Bartley then made it 3-0 to the Baggies, who had lost their opening two games back in the top flight.

Chelsea have spent a reported £220 million ($280 million) to try and close the gap to Liverpool and Manchester City in the title race and even a spirited second-half fightback could not hide the embarrassment of his side’s defending for Lampard, who have taken just four points from their first three games.

Mason Mount got the comeback started to a swerving long-range effort.

Substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi then swept home 20 minutes from time after a neat one-two with Kai Havertz.

And Tammy Abraham secured a point in stoppage time when he rolled in the rebound after Sam Johnstone had parried Mount’s initial effort.

Iwobi Features, Calvert-Lewin Nets Hat-Trick As Everton Wallop West Brom

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the lone goal against Tottenham to inflict the first opening day managerial defeat on Jose Mourinho. Photo: [email protected]

 

Super Eagles star Alex Iwobi came on as a substitute Saturday in Everton’s 5-2 win over West Brom, a game that saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin bagging a hat trick for the Toffees.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side fell behind to Grady Diangana’s early goal at Goodison Park. But Calvert-Lewin equalised and James put them ahead before West Brom imploded. Kieran Gibbs was dismissed for pushing James in the face in first-half stoppage-time.

Then Albion boss Slaven Bilic was sent to the stands after storming onto the pitch for a furious rant at referee Mike Dean.

Matheus Pereira equalised for Albion after the interval, but Michael Keane restored Everton’s lead and Calvert-Lewin sealed the points with his second and third goals.

At 23, Calvert-Lewin is the youngest Englishman to score a Premier League hat-trick for Everton.

Everton’s English striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin scores their fifth goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north-west England on September 19, 2020. / AFP / POOL / Michael Regan

 

 

After a summer spending spree, Ancelotti is under pressure to deliver a big improvement on last season’s 12th place finish and the early signs are promising.

Having beaten Tottenham in their opening game last weekend, Everton have started a Premier League season with consecutive victories for the first time since 2012-13.

Calvert-Lewin already has four goals and Colombia midfielder James, making his first home appearance since his £12 million from Real Madrid, looks a quality addition.

If West Brom are to avoid an immediate return to the Championship, they will have to improve their defence rapidly after shipping eight goals in successive defeats.

Diangana put West Brom ahead in the 10th minute when he advanced from inside his own half before drilling a long-range drive past Jordan Pickford.

Calvert-Lewin equalised in the 31st minute with a back-heel from virtually on the goalline after Albion defender Darnell Furlong inadvertently headed Seamus Coleman’s cross into his path.

The goal was initially disallowed for offside before a VAR review changed the decision in Everton’s favour.

James put Everton in front in the 45th minute when he took Richarlison’s pass and lashed a fine low finish into the far corner from 20 yards.

Gibbs added to West Brom’s woes when he was sent off for lashing out at James in retaliation for a challenge by the Colombian.

West Bromwich Albion’s English defender Kieran Gibbs (2R) is handed a red card during the English Premier League football match between Everton and West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north-west England on September 19, 2020. / AFP / POOL / Alex Livesey /

 

Bilic lost his cool as well moments later, angrily telling Dean that his decisions could “kill” his team.Now watching from the stands after his dismissal, Bilic saw Pereira equalise with a superb free-kick in the 47th minute.But Keane poked Everton back in front after Richarlison’s header was pushed out by Sam Johnstone in the 54th minute.Calvert-Lewin struck again in the 62nd minute, the striker sliding in to meet Richarlison’s cross with a close-range finish.

And Calvert-Lewin’s red-hot start to the season continued four minutes later when he completed his hat-trick as the ball bounced off his back into the net.

AFP

Vardy Nets Brace As Leicester Start Season On Winning Note

Vardy has scored in all five of his away Premier League appearances against West Brom. Photo: [email protected] League.

 

 

Leicester bounced back from a disappointing end to last season to get their new campaign off to a winning start as Jamie Vardy scored two penalties in a 3-0 win at West Brom.

Belgian international Timothy Castagne opened the scoring on his debut as West Brom were given a harsh lesson on the step-up in quality they face on their return to the Premier League.

Leicester won just two of their last 10 games to miss out on a place in the Champions League on the last day of last season and Brendan Rodgers had voiced his frustration at a lack of funds to help their chances of success in four competitions this season.

But the one new signing the Foxes have added made a big impact as Castagne’s towering header from Dennis Praet’s cross opened the floodgates 11 minutes into the second half.

Despite Leicester’s drop-off in the second half of the campaign, Vardy still won the Premier League’s golden boot last season and the 33-year-old launched his challenge to be top scorer once more with two expertly taken spot-kicks in the final 16 minutes after he and James Justin had been felled inside the area.

AFP

FA Cup: West Ham Suffer Defeat As Southampton Relish Draw Against Tottenham

West Ham United’s French striker Sebastien Haller (L) controls the ball during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion at The London Stadium, in east London on January 25, 2020. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

 

West Ham crashed out of the FA Cup as their former manager Slaven Bilic led West Bromwich Albion to a surprise 1-0 win, while Tottenham were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton in Saturday’s fourth-round action.

Albion boss Bilic, sacked by the Hammers in 2017, made eight changes as he prioritised the Championship leaders’ push to return to the Premier League.

But Albion took a shock lead at the London Stadium when Conor Townsend drilled in his first goal for the club after nine minutes.

West Ham, struggling in the top-flight under new boss David Moyes and now without a win in four games, were given a lifeline when West Brom’s Semi Ajayi was sent off in the 72nd minute after his push earned a second yellow card.

Sebastien Haller should have equalised with a headed chance and Manuel Lanzini then dragged his shot wide, but Albion held on.

West Ham were jeered off by their furious fans, while Croatian Bilic, who also played for the east Londoners, celebrated a sweet success with his Albion players.

At St Mary’s, Christian Eriksen was left out amid reports in Italy suggesting the Tottenham midfielder has agreed to a move to Inter Milan, while Gedson Fernandes made his full debut for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Tottenham’s last visit to Southampton was a painful one, with Harry Kane suffering a torn hamstring in a Premier League defeat on New Year’s Day, a clash that saw Mourinho embroiled in a touchline row with a member of the Saints’ coaching staff.

Mourinho’s side struck in the 58th minute on their return to the south coast.

South Korea forward Son Heung-min fired home from Erik Lamela’s pass for his 12th goal of the season.

But Southampton hit back to equalise through Sofiane Boufal’s powerful strike from Danny Ings’ cross in the 87th minute.

 Newcastle frustrated 

Newcastle had to settle for an embarrassing 0-0 draw with third tier Oxford at St James’ Park as their wretched FA Cup form haunted them again.

Steve Bruce’s side are looking to make the fifth round for the first time since 2006, but they needed a replay to beat minnows Rochdale in the previous round and they will have to go the distance again after this limp display.

Burnley and Norwich made a combined total of 12 changes at Turf Moor, with the Canaries running out 2-1 winners.

Grant Hanley’s 53rd-minute goal and a 57th-minute strike from Josip Drmic put Norwich in control before Erik Pieters reduced the deficit in the 74th minute.

Cardiff fans were warned not to sing “racist or homophobic songs” after two incidents were reported during their 1-1 draw at fellow Championship side Reading.

Sheffield United won 2-0 at second-tier Millwall through Muhamed Besic’s 62nd-minute goal and Oliver Norwood’s 84th-minute strike.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s early goal sealed a 1-0 win for Leicester at Championship side Brentford.

Brendan Rodgers’ team are chasing a trip to Wembley on two fronts and they took the next step in the FA Cup after surviving a hard-fought fourth-round clash in west London.

Leicester, who have never won the FA Cup, are hoping to reach the final for the first time since 1969.

In the League Cup, they are through to the semi-finals and head to Aston Villa in the second leg on Tuesday after being held to a 1-1 draw in the first match at the King Power Stadium.

Despite Jamie Vardy’s absence with a glute injury, it took Leicester just four minutes to go ahead when Nigerian striker Iheanacho met James Justin’s cross with a clinical close-range finish.

Chelsea travel to second-tier Hull in Saturday’s late game.

AFP

West Brom Suffer Late Penalty Pain As Leeds Held In Championship

 

Ten-man West Brom missed the chance to extend their lead in the Championship as Charlton forced a dramatic 2-2 draw in stoppage time at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

The Baggies went ahead in the 10th minute through midfielder Matt Phillips but Charlton equalised on the hour from Macauley Bonne’s header.

In the 67th minute, West Brom saw defender Nathan Ferguson shown a straight red card for a foul on Chris Solly.

Substitute Hal Robson-Kanu then looked to have secured the hosts’ victory with just nine minutes left but Charlton were awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time and Josh Cullen kept his cool from the spot.

Earlier, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds both spurned the opportunity to move to the top of the table.

The Yorkshire rivals had to settle for a point from a 0-0 draw at rain-soaked Hillsborough.

Preston took advantage to move up into second place after coming from 2-0 down to beat Blackburn with a late goal from Tom Barkhuizen.

Rovers had taken the lead inside the opening minute when Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd spilled Sam Gallagher’s header. The forward then curled home a second.

Barkhuizen’s header reduced the deficit early in the second half following a mistake by Rovers keeper Christian Walton.

Preston were level in the 65th minute through a penalty from Dan Johnson after Elliott Bennett had fouled Alan Browne.

Barkhuizen completed the turnaround when he curled in a shot from the edge of the penalty area to send Preston above Leeds on goal difference.

At the other end of the table, Huddersfield moved out of the bottom three with a 2-1 win over struggling Barnsley.

New Millwall boss Gary Rowett got his first win with a 2-0 defeat of former club Stoke and Birmingham beat Luton 2-1 with a late goal from Lukas Jutkiewicz.

In-form forward Jarrod Bowen scored both goals as Hull beat Derby 2-0.

Middlesbrough dropped into the bottom three after a goalless draw at home to Fulham.

Nottingham Forest’s home game against Reading was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

AFP

Aston Villa Beat West Brom On Penalties To Reach Playoff Final

Source: Twitter

 

Aston Villa progressed to within one game of a return to the Premier League after edging West Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion 4-3 on penalties in the Championship playoff semi-finals on Tuesday.

West Brom won 1-0 on the night at the Hawthorns to level the tie at 2-2 on aggregate thanks to Craig Dawson’s first-half header.

However, the Baggies’ hopes of an immediate return to the top-flight were dented when captain Chris Brunt was sent off 10 minutes from the end of normal time.

The hosts held out manfully during extra-time, but Villa goalkeeper Jed Steer saved West Brom’s first two penalties of the shootout from Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi.

“There’s obviously a lot of luck involved but wow,” Steer told Sky Sports. “We practise penalties, so I think I must’ve faced a 100 a day the last few days.”

Conor Hourihane, Mile Jedinak, Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham kept their cool from the spot as Villa set up a May 27 Wembley meeting with Leeds or Derby for a lucrative place in the Premier League.

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds hold a 1-0 first-leg lead over Frank Lampard’s Rams ahead of the second leg at Elland Road on Wednesday.

Villa missed out in the playoff final last year, losing 1-0 to Fulham and Grealish, who has been linked with a summer move to Tottenham, is keen to make amends in what could be his final game for the club.

“The crowd made it tough with the atmosphere but in the end I felt we ran out worthy winners,” said the midfielder.

“It’s no good getting to Wembley and falling at the final hurdle again, so fingers crossed. All of us are very hungry.”

Four-Goal Leeds Return To Top Spot In English Championship

Leeds United moved back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table with an emphatic victory over fellow promotion rivals West Bromwich Albion. Credit: Leeds United Website

 

Leeds ran out impressive 4-0 winners over promotion rivals West Brom on Friday to return to the top of the English Championship.

Pablo Hernandez opened the scoring after just 17 seconds while Patrick Bamford doubled the advantage before the break at Elland Road.

Bamford added his second midway through the second period with Ezgjan Alioski making it 4-0 in stoppage time.

READ ALSO: Premier League: Tottenham Hold Arsenal To A Draw At Wembley

“For me the most important thing was the effort, attitude and state of mind of the whole team during the whole game,” Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa told BBC Radio Leeds.

Leeds have a one-point lead over Norwich who go to struggling Millwall on Saturday.

AFP

West Brom Slump To Defeat On Championship Return

Wolves Seal Premier League Promotion With Birmingham Win
Photo: LLUIS GENE / AFP

 

Bromwich Albion suffered a blow in their bid to bounce straight back to the Premier League on Saturday, conceding late to slip to defeat against Bolton as fancied Middlesbrough scored a last-gasp equaliser against Millwall.

Bolton nearly slipped back into League One last season but they were able to celebrate a 2-1 victory at The Hawthorns on the opening weekend of the season.

Josh Magennis’ opener was cancelled out on the stroke of half-time by Harvey Barnes, and Magennis looked like he might have missed Bolton’s chance to win it.

But Yanic Wildschut, making his debut after signing on loan from Norwich, scored the winner in the 89th minute, and Bolton survived a late onslaught from West Brom, which included Ahmed Hegazi heading against the bar.

Middlesbrough staged a late fightback to claim a 2-2 draw with Millwall, who dominated much of the match and led through goals from Aiden O’Brien and Lee Gregory.

But Martin Braithwaite pulled one back in the 87th minute and there was still time for George Friend to level up in the 97th minute.

There were mixed fortunes for Championship new boys Wigan, Blackburn and Rotherham.

Wigan were promoted back to the second tier as League One champions and made a winning start with a 3-2 victory against Sheffield Wednesday.

Michael Jacobs scored twice in the first half for Paul Cook’s men, with Atdhe Nuhiu, who was later sent off, briefly equalising for the visitors. Jacobs then created a third for Nick Powell on the hour mark and, although Fernando Forestieri pulled one back, Wednesday could not find an equaliser.

Blackburn pushed Wigan all the way in League One last season but they had to settle for a point at Portman Road after debutant Tayo Edun’s late equaliser in a 2-2 draw.

Winger Gwion Edwards scored five minutes into his Ipswich debut but goals from Danny Graham and Bradley Dack put Rovers ahead inside half an hour.

Rotherham also bounced back at the first time of asking but, after their struggles of 2016-17, when they managed just 23 points, they endured a sobering first match against Brentford, which ended in a 5-1 loss.

There was late drama at St Andrew’s, where Birmingham drew 2-2 with Norwich.

Jacques Maghoma put the Blues ahead in the 56th minute but his goal was cancelled out by Onel Hernandez seven minutes from time. Viv Solomon-Otabor looked to have won it for Birmingham only for Hernandez to grab a stoppage-time equaliser.

Alan Browne’s 50th-minute effort earned Preston a 1-0 win over QPR while Bristol City drew 1-1 with Nottingham Forest.

Frank Lampard’s Derby County beat Reading 2-1 on Friday.

AFP

West Brom Relegated From Premier League

West Brom Relegated From Premier League
West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on May 5, 2018. Geoff CADDICK / AFP

 

West Brom were relegated from the Premier League on Tuesday following Southampton’s 1-0 win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium, joining Stoke in the Championship next season.

Darren Moore’s side needed a draw between the Saints and Swans in south Wales to take West Brom’s fight to avoid relegation into the final day of the season on Sunday.

After more than 70 minutes of frenetic action, substitute Manolo Gabbiadini provided the decisive moment for Southampton when he reacted quickest to Charlie Austin’s parried shot in a crowded goalmouth.

Gabbiadini had only been on the pitch for four minutes and it was only his fifth goal of a difficult season for the Italian.

The result means Southampton move up to 16th in the table, three points clear of 18th-place Swansea, who are favourites to be the third side relegated.

Southampton’s win confirmed West Brom’s return to the Championship after eight seasons in the top flight, with an eighth-place finish the best the Baggies managed during the 2012/13 season with Steve Clarke in charge.

West Brom’s season started well, with six points taken from a possible six after successive 1-0 wins at home to Bournemouth and away to Burnley.

However, after picking up just four points from a possible 30, Tony Pulis was sacked two days after losing 4-0 at home to Chelsea and was replaced by Gary Megson, who temporarily took charge of two games.

Alan Pardew was named permanent manager but his arrival failed to deliver the improvement needed to guide the side away from relegation.

Pardew, who led the Baggies to an FA Cup fourth-round victory at Liverpool, only had a 2-0 home win against Brighton to show for his efforts in the Premier League.

Problems off the pitch added to the disappointment on it when a mid-season trip to Barcelona made the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Four senior players, including captain Jonny Evans and England midfielder Jake Livermore, were forced to apologise after a taxi was stolen from outside a fast-food restaurant.

On April 2, Pardew’s time was up and he was replaced by Moore until the end of the season, becoming West Brom’s fourth manager of the campaign.

Since Moore’s appointment, West Brom have taken 11 points from a possible 15 to keep alive the hope of a great escape.

 

AFP

West Brom Express Dismay Over British Govt’s Stance

FILE PHOTO West Bromwich Albion’s caretaker manager Darren Moore arrives ahead of the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England. Photo Credit:  Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

The British government’s decision to reject Premier League strugglers West Bromwich Albion’s proposal to have a safe standing area is “surprising” and “disappointing” said a club director.

West Brom staff had visited both Scottish champions Celtic and German outfit Hoffenheim who both have safe standing areas — ‘rail seats’, which can be locked in an upright position with safety barriers separating each row.

West Brom’s plan had been to install 3,600 rail seats in one end of the Hawthorns ground.

However, British Sports minister Tracey Crouch says there are no plans to change the all-seater policy at football stadiums which was brought in as a result of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans.

West Brom’s director of operations Mark Miles, who has led the proposal, described the decision as “surprising” and “disappointing”.

“I think the minister has taken a short-sighted view and is preventing the club from creating a safer environment for supporters,” he said.

“The all-seater policy was developed over 25 years ago and football is a very different place now.”

Miles said the safe standing deployed by Celtic and Hoffenheim had worked well.

“The system we proposed is well tested across Europe and has also worked successfully at Celtic, who are governed by different legislation than in England and Wales,” he said.

“We were prepared to run a pilot which would enable the club to gather data and feedback to further inform us in the issue of crowd safety.

“But I have become convinced that rail seating would enhance safety. The club is extremely disappointed with this decision and we have written back requesting a review.”

The thorny issue of standing areas appeared to get a boost last year when Liverpool fans overwhelmingly supported it.

AFP