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Football News

Monday 20th May 2019

Wolves qualify for Europa League after Man City win FA Cup

Wolves will play European football next season for the first time since 1980 following Manchester City's FA Cup victory against Watford at Wembley.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side finished seventh in the Premier League but would have missed out on the Europa League if Watford had lifted the FA Cup.

Wolves will start their campaign in the second qualifying round.

Manchester United, who finished sixth in the league, will now go straight into the Europa League group stages.

They avoid having to go through the qualifying rounds in July and August, which would have happened had Watford won.


Santi Cazorla named in Spain squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers

Former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has been named in the Spain squad for the first time since 2015 after recovering from 11 operations.

Cazorla, 34, was sidelined for 668 days during a two-year period in which he had knee, foot and ankle surgery.

He also suffered from bacteria "eating" eight centimetres of his ankle tendon.

Spain begin their European 2020 qualifying campaign in the Faroe Islands on 7 June, before hosting Sweden on 10 June in Madrid.

Cazorla has scored 14 goals in 77 games for Spain, the most recent of which was a 2-0 friendly win against England in November 2015 in which he scored the second goal.

Having joined Villarreal from Arsenal on a free transfer in July 2018, he helped them avoid relegation from La Liga this season. He has scored four goals and had 10 assists and missed only three of their 37 league games.


Manchester City beat Chelsea to win the Community Shield

Sergio Aguero scored both Manchester City goals as the Premier League champions beat Chelsea to win the Community Shield on a sweltering day at Wembley.

Aguero's first - his 200th goal for the club - came after 13 minutes, when he collected the ball on the edge of the area after Phil Foden surged forward, and fired into the bottom corner.

His second came after the break, when he latched on to Bernardo Silva's pass and beat Willy Caballero with another precise low finish.

Chelsea, less than a month into Maurizio Sarri's reign as manager, lacked a presence in attack and managed only one shot on target, a long-range strike by 17-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi which Claudio Bravo fumbled to safety.

Some of their lethargy going forward could be put down to the heat, which made it difficult for both sides to sustain any sort of tempo.

Players were allowed water breaks during the game and some City players sitting on the bench had wet towels over their heads to try to protect them from the intensity of the sunshine.

Sarri was without his best forward player, with Eden Hazard due back for post-World Cup pre-season training on Monday amid speculation Real Madrid want to sign him.


Eden Hazard penalty settles FA Cup final as Chelsea edge past Man Utd

Eden Hazard's first-half penalty decided the FA Cup final in Chelsea's favour at Wembley to leave Jose Mourinho and Manchester United empty-handed this season.

Hazard - in a moment which did not bode well for the World Cup meeting between England and Belgium in Russia in June - twisted and tore past Phil Jones before drawing a clumsy foul from the United defender after 22 minutes.

He calmly dispatched the penalty which was to prove to be the decisive moment in a final that was hard fought rather than distinguished.

United, with striker Romelu Lukaku only fit enough for a place on the bench, raised their game after the break.

Alexis Sanchez had a goal ruled out for straying just offside, with referee Michael Oliver using VAR to confirm the call, and Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois excelled with a succession of fine saves, while Paul Pogba wasted their best chance late on when he headed wide of an open goal.

This may well be Antonio Conte's last game as Chelsea manager and if he leaves, he does so after delivering the FA Cup to follow on from last season's Premier League title triumph.