LIVE Man City v Arsenal postponed, Spurs out of Champions League – reaction

LIVEMan City v Arsenal postponed, Spurs out of Champions League - reaction

Live Reporting

By Michael Emons

    1. ‘Atleti can defend for their lives’

      Liverpool v Atletico Madrid (20:00 GMT, 0-1 after first leg)

      Guillem Balague

      Spanish football journalist on BBC Radio 5 Live

      Liverpool seem human – knocked out of the FA Cup and a loss to Watford.

      Atleti have Joao Felix, he’s playing well, they have no problems with injuries and they look more solid.

      The only doubt is Alvaro Morata, the former Chelsea player, but Diego Simmoene says he will be fit.

      They just need to score one goal and then Atleti can defend for their lives.

    2. Quiz time: Name every Spaniard to play for Liverpool in the Premier League

      Right, it’s been a very full-on serious live page so far. Time for a few minutes off with a quiz to test you out.

      Liverpool host Spanish side Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie tonight.

      A handful of players have featured for both clubs while a total of 20 Spanish players have appeared for Liverpool in the Premier League.

      All have arrived since the appointment of Spanish coach Rafael Benitez in 2004 – but how many can you remember?

      You have three minutes to name them and you can take on our quiz here.

      Good luck

    3. ‘The associations must find a way of delaying the season’

      Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville is another one who is not in favour of matches taking place in empty stadiums.

    4. Get Involved #bbcfootball

      What should football’s governing bodies do about coronavirus?

      Vishnu J Ladwa: I feel that with this Coronavirus outbreak, we cannot stop the season or postpone matches as we are so close to Euro 2020 which would give little to no time to play rearranged matches. The most sensible thing to do is play behind closed doors.

      Melissa Magargal: Postpone. Football is as much about atmosphere as it is the results. Fans are a major part of the culture and it won’t be the same without them.

      Soteri Christodoulou: So with virus spreading @premierleague must surely postpone weekend fixtures?

    5. Mbappe cleared after coronavirus test

      Paris St-Germain v Borussia Dortmund (20:00 GMT, 1-2 after first leg)

      Following reports Paris St-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe was tested for coronavirus, it has been confirmed he has been cleared.

      PSG manager Thomas Tuchel described Mbappe as having a sore throat in the build up to tonight’s Champions League tie at home to Borussia Dortmund, which will be played behind closed doors because of the spread of the virus.

      But, after tests done as part of the usual checks on Mbappe, they found he did not have coronavirus but a sore throat/high temperature.

      PSG hope the France striker will play in the second leg of the last-16 tie against Dortmund as they try to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg.

      Kylian Mbappe
    6. Champions League games in Paris, Turin and Barcelona also affected

      Tonight’s Champions League last-16 second-leg game between Paris St-Germain and Borussia Dortmund will be played behind closed doors, with the Germans holding a 2-1 lead after the first leg.

      Next week’s ties between Juventus and Lyon, Barcelona and Napoli and, as mentioned, Bayern Munich v Chelsea will also be played in empty stadiums.

      Therefore, the only two remaining Champions League last-16 ties where fans will be present will be the two games in England – Liverpool v Atletico Madrid tonight and Manchester City v Real Madrid on 17 March.

  1. More games behind closed doors

    Pep’s not keen on matching taking place behind closed doors (see 08:31 GMT), and we’ve already mentioned that Wolves away game at Olympiakos will be played with no fans watching on Thursday.

    It’s the same situation for Manchester United as the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie at LASK on Thursday will be played behind closed doors because of coronavirus concerns.

    Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 tie at Bayern Munich on 18 March will also be played without fans present, as will Rangers’ Europa League second-leg tie at Bayer Leverkusen on 19 March.

    LASK made the decision following advice from the Austrian government.

    United have sold their allocation of just under 900 tickets but the game is one of several European fixtures that will have no spectators.

  2. Get Involved #bbcfootball

    What should football’s governing bodies do about coronavirus?

    Dave: And Arsenal have played Portsmouth and West Ham since their clash with Olympiacos, so what of their next games? And Forest’s clash at Sheff Wed and Millwall’s cash with Derby must also be in doubt this weekend.

    Mrs Nesbitt: Best option at this point would surely be: postpone International comps for a year (eg Euro 2020) to allow all the major leagues to postpone games for a few weeks. Then, when all clear is given, play out fixtures in the order planned, just shifted back a few weeks.

    John Rushton: The season can’t be scrapped, the financial implications for clubs would be devastating. As a last resort is it possible to finish the season in August and September, roll straight into the next and have a longer mid-season break? Mad times.

  3. There’s no reason to play without fans – Guardiola

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he would prefer matches to be postponed rather than played behind closed doors, adding there “is no reason to play without the people”.

    Watch his news conference from yesterday below.

    Video content

    Video caption: There’s no reason to play without fans – Guardiola
  4. ‘All the tests came out negative’

    Olympiakos v Wolves (Thursday, 20:00 GMT)

    The Greek side themselves have just issued a coronavirus statement and that says…

    “Olympiacos FC informs that after the required medical exams to which all the members of the football staff, as well as board members and staff, were submitted, all the tests came out negative for the COVID-19 virus.”

  5. Wolves unhappy at ‘unnecessary risk’

    With the Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis having coronavirus, one knock-on effect of that is that the Greek side are set to be playing Wolves on Thursday.

    And Wolves are not happy, saying their Europa League last-16 first-leg match in Greece is an “unnecessary risk”.

    Uefa have rejected Wolves’ request to postpone the game, which will be played behind closed doors.

    Wolves said they respect the decision by European football’s governing body and will travel to Greece on Wednesday to take part in the fixture.

    “There are some things that are more important than football,” they added. “The good health of our pack and the general public is one of them.

    “Our position is that the trip poses an unnecessary risks to our players, staff, supporters and the families of all who travel, at such critical and uncertain times.”

    Nuno Espirito Santo
  6. Get Involved #bbcfootball

    What should football’s governing bodies do about coronavirus?

    Dave G: It’s “keep calm and carry on” surely. But if not, play out the season when possible. Liverpool have the title, there’s no doubt about that, but top 4 and relegation still need to resolved (as well as promotion!). Double gameweeks or a longer season – make it happen.

    James: Carry on and do nothing. If sporting events are getting cancelled but schools, colleges and universities are still open and trains are still crammed then what difference will it make cancelling sporting events?

    Silvio di Fede: I just don’t care about sports in this moment. Stop everything. To continue to play is dangerous for fans and players and not many people will have fun (Juventus v Inter behind close doors was a struggle to watch). Just stop and see what happens in three-four weeks.

  7. ‘During his stay in Nottingham, he did not show any symptoms’

    Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis is also the majority owner of Championship side Nottingham Forest and was at the City Ground for Forest’s 3-0 loss to Millwall on Friday.

    “Mr Marinakis was diagnosed after showing the first symptoms on his return to Greece,” said Forest. “During his stay in Nottingham he did not show any symptoms of the virus. The club are seeking advice from medical professionals and the relevant governing bodies to ensure the correct measures are taken.”

    Marinakis had earlier revealed he had been diagnosed with coronavirus on social media platform Instagram.

    “The recent virus has ‘visited’ me and I felt obliged to let the public know,” he said. “I feel good as I take all the necessary measures and I discipline to the doctor’s instructions.”

    Millwall have said that “senior club representatives who came into contact with Mr Marinakis have begun a period of self isolation”.

    A club spokesman added: “This is purely a precautionary measure and no individual has displayed any symptoms. The club will continue to follow all necessary guidance from the appropriate bodies.”

    Evangelos Marinakis
  8. Saturday’s Brighton v Arsenal match is still on

    Arsenal played Olympiakos on 27 February – 13 days ago.

    However, the Gunners have since played Portsmouth in the FA Cup on 2 March and West Ham in the Premier League on 7 March.

    Arsenal are scheduled to be in action away at Brighton on Saturday, and the Seagulls have today said that it is still on as it stands.

    Social embed from twitter

    Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️


    Albion’s match against Arsenal this Saturday remains scheduled to go ahead as planned, in line with government advice, and following consultation with the Premier League and medical advisors. 🔵⚪️


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  9. Get Involved #bbcfootball

    What should the footballing governing bodies do about coronavirus?

    As always we want you to get involved.

    Our question today is…What should the footballing governing bodies do about coronavirus?

    Postpone games? Stop the season? Carry on?

    Tweet us using #bbcfootball to have your say

  10. Arsenal say players are self-isolating at home

    A statement from Arsenal, released at 00:47 GMT this morning, said the following…

    “Following yesterday’s news that Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis has recently contracted Covid-19, we have been taking medical advice and tracing any individuals who had what the guidelines define as close contact with him at the game 13 days ago.

    “As a result of this exercise we identified that a number of players met the Olympiacos owner immediately following the game.

    “The medical advice we have received puts the risk of them developing Covid-19 at extremely low. However, we are strictly following the Government guidelines which recommend that anyone coming into close contact with someone with the virus should self-isolate at home for 14 days from the last time they had contact.

    “The players will remain at their homes until the 14-day period expires. Four Arsenal staff – who were sitting close to Mr Marinakis during the match – will also remain at home until the 14 days are complete.”

    Arsenal players

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