Hungary, Dec 14 (AP/UNB) — Chelsea has issued a harsh condemnation of its supporters after several were heard singing an anti-Semitic chant during the 2-2 draw against Vidi in the Europa League on Thursday.
The chanting occurred just days after Chelsea suspended four fans from attending its matches after police launched an investigation into their racial abuse of Manchester City's Raheem Sterling during a Premier League game on Saturday.
Chelsea says, "Anti-Semitism and any other kind of race-related or religious hatred is abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans. ... Any individuals (who) can't summon the brainpower to comprehend this simple message and are found to have shamed the club by using anti-Semitic or racist words or actions will face the strongest possible action from the club."
The chants began just minutes into the game as the traveling supporters recited a chant about Tottenham fans.
UEFA says it will wait for a report from the referee to react.
Dhaka, Dec 13 (UNB) – Defending champions Dhaka Abahani Limited reached the semifinals of the 13-team Walton Independence Cup Football Tournament 2018 eliminating Saif Sporting Club by a solitary goal in the 3rd quarterfinals at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Thursday.
With the day’s feat, Dhaka Abahani are now poised for a 2nd major soccer title in the ongoing season having clinched the Federation Cup Football crown last month.
Dhaka Abahani will play in the 2nd semifinal on Thursday (Dec 20) against the winners of newcomers Bashundhara Kings and Rahmatganj MFS, who will meet each other in the 4th quarterfinal on Friday (Dec 14) at the same venue.
Sheikh Russel KC will face Brothers Union in the first semifinal on Wednesday (Dec 19).
Haitian forward Kervens Belfort scored the match-winner for the popular sky-blue Dhanmondi outfit Abahani in the 81st minute from close range as a cross from Sohel Rana came his way flicked on by Nigerian striker Sunday (1-0).
Earlier, Sunday was deprived of a goal in the 32nd minute as his good side volley was saved by Saif SC custodian.
Promising national striker Jafor Iqbal of Saif SC came close to score twice in the 33rd and 50th minute but failed to capitalize.
Lisbon, Dec 13 (AP/UNB) — Benfica finished its Champions League campaign with a 1-0 win over AEK Athens on Wednesday.
Both teams were out of contention for the knockout stage, and Benfica had already secured third place and a spot in the round of 32 of the Europa League.
Alex Grimaldo scored the winner in the 88th minute with a well-struck free kick over the wall.
"We had a good match, deserved the win," Grimaldo said. "We tried until the end, I am happy that we did it."
Bayern Munich won Group E with 14 points, two more than Ajax. Benfica finished with seven points, while AEK Athens had zero after losing all of its games. Bayern and Ajax drew 3-3 in Amsterdam on Wednesday.
With nothing at stake in Lisbon, both teams took risks in what was an entertaining match at the Stadium of Light. The teams created several chances back-and-forth in the second half, with the hosts coming closest to scoring.
Haris Seferovic hit the crossbar with a header in the 70th, and about 10 minutes later Gedson Fernandes entered the area free from markers but had his shot saved by AEK goalkeeper Vassilis Barkas.
AEK went a man down in the 86th when Kostas Galanopoulos pulled Fernandes' jersey and was shown a second yellow card. Coach Marinos Ouzounidis was sent off a few minutes later after complaining excessively.
"We knew beforehand we were the minnows of our group and unfortunately we were constantly reminded of it in every match," Ouzounidis said.
Benfica had won 3-2 in Greece.
Dhaka, Dec 13 (AP/UNB) - Two of European soccer's grandest clubs paid the price for fielding weakened teams on the final night of Champions League group play, with Real Madrid slumping to a record home loss and Manchester United squandering a surprise opportunity to top its group.
On an evening when Lyon celebrated becoming the 16th and last team to qualify for the knockout stage, Madrid's players were jeered off the field at the Santiago Bernabeu after a 3-0 defeat to CSKA Moscow — its heaviest loss in more than 250 home games in European competition.
"It's a painful result," Madrid left back Marcelo said.
At least that embarrassing loss didn't stop the defending champions from topping their group. United didn't have that luxury.
Like Madrid, United selected a largely second-string lineup with qualification secure, even though Jose Mourinho's team still had a chance of climbing above Juventus to first place with a win.
With Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus surprisingly losing 2-1 at Swiss club Young Boys, United could have finished top — only to lose by the same score line at the Mestalla. Adding to United's misery, Phil Jones scored an own-goal from outside his own area and Paul Pogba missed a great chance from around four yards out.
"Tonight, it is job done in a difficult group," said Mourinho, whose team is now assured of facing one of the following group winners: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Porto or Paris Saint-Germain.
United was one of four English teams to reach the knockout stage for the second straight season. This was the first year when 16 group-stage places were guaranteed for the Big 4 leagues in Europe — Spain, England, Germany and Italy. The four countries put 12 teams in total into the round of 16, the draw for which is on Monday.
With the Club World Cup only a week away, Madrid coach Santiago Solari rested most of his key players and used several others who hadn't started much this season, including Francisco "Isco" Alarcon and Marco Asensio.
There was no intensity to Madrid's play CSKA capitalized, completing a home-and-away double over the titleholders that still didn't lift the Russian team off last place. Viktoria Plzen beat Roma 2-1 to finish in front, with CSKA needing to better Plzen's result in the Czech Republic.
Fedor Chalov and Georgi Schennikov scored late in the first half for CSKA, and Arnor Sigurdsson added another after the break.
"It's sad ... to beat Real Madrid, earn seven points, but finish bottom and get eliminated from Europe," CSKA coach Viktor Goncharenko said.
Mourinho might also have had one eye on an upcoming game, with United playing great rival Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.
His understrength team still featured Pogba, France's World Cup-winning midfielder who has fallen out of favor with Mourinho and started on the bench for the last two Premier League games.
Pogba's chances of getting back in the starting lineup for the weekend won't have been helped by his bad miss when the score was 0-0, prodding the ball wide from inside the six-yard box.
Carlos Soler put Valencia in front with a driven first-time finish after latching onto Jones' clearing header in the 17th, and the United center back made an even bigger error for the second goal in the 47th. Jones slid in to clear the ball as he chased down Valencia striker Michy Batshuayi, but only succeeded in slotting it past Sergio Romero from 20 meters with the goalkeeper having come off his line.
Marcus Rashford pulled a goal back in the 87th for United.
Ronaldo played the whole game for Juventus, which was undone by goals from veteran Young Boys forward Guillaume Hoarau in the 30th and 68th minutes. Paulo Dybala cut the deficit in the 80th.
Only one qualification place was up for grabs on the final night of group play and it was a straight shootout in freezing sleet between Lyon and Shakhtar Donetsk, which was forced to play its home game in Kiev after it was relocated due to martial law in various regions of Ukraine.
Nabil Fekir's 65th-minute goal earned Lyon a 1-1 draw that preserved second place in Group F behind Manchester City, which beat Hoffenheim 2-1 thanks to Leroy Sane's double to seal top spot.
Shakhtar dropped into the Europa League
Bayern Munich's wild 3-3 draw at Ajax — featuring four goals from the 82nd minute, including an equalizer for Ajax five minutes into stoppage time — earned the German champion first place in Group E above the Dutch team. Both sides had already qualified.
Benfica was already assured of third place and a Euroa League spot before beating AEK Athens 1-0.
Valencia, Dec 13 (AP/UNB) — Manchester United missed the chance to finish top of its Champions League group as an understrength team lost 2-1 at Valencia on Wednesday, with an embarrassing own-goal by Phil Jones proving decisive.
With first-place Juventus losing 2-1 at Young Boys, United could have jumped above the Italian team in Group H with a win at the Mestalla but manager Jose Mourinho's decision to play a virtual reserve lineup backfired.
Valencia secured a place in the last 32 of the Europa League by finishing third in the group — and it was mainly thanks to Jones.
The center back slid in to clear the ball as he chased down Valencia striker Michy Batshuayi, but only succeeded in slotting it past Sergio Romero from 20 meters with the goalkeeper having come off his line.
That made it 2-0 for Valencia in the 47th minute, after Carlos Soler put the home side in front with a driven first-time finish after latching onto Jones' clearing header in the 17th.
Substitute Marcus Rashford pulled a goal back in the 87th for United, which had sealed qualification for the knockout stage with a game to spare.
"I think that to qualify in this group is a success," Mourinho said. "Never a failure. To finish second in this group is always a success.
"Before the game, I told the players that if we win tonight and Juventus win, we did our job. If we don't win and Juventus doesn't win, we can blame ourselves."
Mourinho said he didn't think the draw for the last 16 would be "significantly different" by finishing first or second.
However, United is now assured of playing either Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Porto or Paris Saint-Germain.
Paul Pogba, France's World Cup-winning midfielder, has fallen out of favor with Mourinho and started on the bench for the last two Premier League games. He was recalled for the game against Valencia but didn't improve his chances of retaining a place in the starting lineup for Sunday's league game at Liverpool, United's great rival.
Pogba missed a great chance when the score was 0-0, prodding the ball wide from inside the six-yard box following Marouane Fellaini's header at a corner.
Pogba failed to shine once again, while Eric Bailly and Andreas Pereira also struggled to make an impact.
Asked if he had learned anything about his players, Mourinho said: "No, maybe you did. Not me. I didn't learn anything from this game. Anything. Nothing that happened surprised me at all."
It was a cutting response from Mourinho, who said Nemanja Matic and David De Gea were the only players rested for the trip to Spain.