Football: Desailly plans to join Lazio next summer
Tuesday 21 December 1999
Desailly has always had a career plan and his next step - after two seasons in England - is a pounds 6m move back to Italy.
The powerful Desailly, who suffered a dislocated shoulder during Sunday's calamitous home defeat against Leeds United, has performed well for Chelsea in Europe this season, but neither the physical demands nor the style of the Premier League have been to his liking since he arrived for pounds 4.6m from Milan.
Chelsea could be glad of the money, but Vialli must be wondering what is happening to his dream squad. Leboeuf has apologised to his team-mates for the moment of madness that looks to have ended Chelsea's Premiership challenge. But that apology will probably cut little ice with Vialli as he contemplates a central defensive crisis at Christmas that threatens even his now limited league ambitions.
The Football Association is equally unlikely to be impressed his words of regret once the match report from the referee, Jeff Winter, has arrived with the details of Leboeuf's second-half dismissal.
The Frenchman was dismissed for a second bookable offence on Harry Kewell in the space of seven minutes before stamping on the Australian. He then argued with Leeds players and officials on the bench before belatedly accepting his inevitable punishment.
Already facing a two-match ban for his second red card of the season - he will miss the FA Cup fourth round and the Premiership visit to Coventry City - Leboeuf can now expect further punishment after Winter confirmed he had noticed the stamp on Kewell, although Leboeuf had already been dismissed for the second yellow card.
The dismissal was the last thing Vialli needed after losing his other two main central defenders to injury during the 2-0 defeat that left the Blues 17 points behind Leeds, the Premiership leaders.
Desailly's replacement, Jes Hogh, pulled up with a torn hamstring midway through the second half, forcing Chris Sutton to be pressed into service as an emergency centre-half. Vialli now has only Bernard Lambourde as experienced defensive cover for a vital run of Premiership games over Christmas and into the new year against Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry. Those games could have a bearing on whether Chelsea can finish in the top three and make sure of a Champions' League place next season.
"Frank knows he should not have done that and he has apologised to everyone," Chelsea's full-back Jon Harley said. "Luca thought we played well, he was reasonably happy with the performance but it's the result that counts and we are all gutted. For the first 60 minutes everyone was really enjoying it and then we just went. Down to 10 men and 2-0 down, you don't know what to do."
The FA will wait for a report from another referee, Graham Barber, before considering taking any disciplinary action against Emmanuel Petit, the Arsenal midfielder. The French international is alleged to have spat towards the Wimbledon striker John Hartson during Saturday's game at Highbury .
An FA spokesman, Adrian Bevington, said: "Clearly, if any evidence of this is brought to our attention, we will look very closely at it because anything of this nature is a serious offence. However, at this stage, we have had no reports to suggest anything has taken place."
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo could return against Manchester United - but it won't be like previous reunions
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: New £16m signing put through Arsenal initiation as he sings The Kooks in front of team-mates
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Daley Blind and Thomas Vermaelen on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
Seydou Keita refuses Pepe handshake before throwing water bottle prior to Roma vs Real Madrid match
New Liverpool signing Dejan Lovren forced to train with the under-21s after US visa mix-up
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: **MS Dynamics N...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading organisation...
£9 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Warrington a...
Unpaid Voluntary Work : Cancer Research UK: We need motivational volunteers to...