Football in Brief: Shevchenko ready to quit Chelsea in search of first-team action

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Ukrainian striker Andrei Shevchenko has decided to leave the club. Ancelotti, speaking ahead of their Premier League clash with Burnley today, revealed Shevchenko had decided to move on because there was no guarantee of first-team football at the club.

Shevchenko, who is expected to be allowed to leave on a free transfer, spent last season on loan with Ancelotti at Milan but returned to Chelsea this summer. He made an appearance as a substitute against Sunderland in their 3-1 win at the Stadium of Light.

He is now almost certain to leave before the transfer window closes in a few days' time. "I spoke with Shevchenko," said Ancelotti. "He would like to play here for me but it is difficult for me to give him the possibility to play a lot of matches."

Stunning Smith goal keeps England alive

Kelly Smith, playing with a knee injury which required a cortisone injection, scored a remarkable goal to cap a dramatic comeback by England in Helsinki yesterday. England looked like being eliminated after conceding after two and 22 minutes to trail Russia 2-0. Three US-based players came to the rescue. Karen Carney (24) and Eniola Aluko (32) levelled the tie, before Smith brought down a clearance by Elena Kochneva, then half-volleyed it over the goalkeeper from the centre circle. A draw against Sweden on Monday will ensure England progress to the last eight.

Punish the hooligans but not true West Ham supporters, says Zola

Gianfranco Zola insists it would be unfair to West Ham's genuine supporters if the club were to be punished heavily for the Carling Cup trouble in midweek. Footage of violence in and outside the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday during the Hammers' victory over London rivals Millwall was beamed into the homes of millions across the globe.

It was a throwback to the 1970s and 1980s when English football became synonymous with hooliganism in many people's eyes. Calls have been made to expel the club from the competition, or force them to play the next tie behind closed doors, and a Football Association probe could also see them heavily fined.

But Zola insisted the match, which also saw repeated pitch invasions, had to be put into context. He said: "You have to be very balanced because if the punishment is very hard you will penalise all the genuine fans. It would be unfair to those who support football in the right way. A good way would be to punish those who did cause problems. They should be hard on them but not the club."