Evra faces ban over Bridge row
Friday 05 December 2008
Patrice Evra will discover today the outcome of the FA's hearing into the so-called "Battle of Stamford Bridge", with the prospect of him facing either a hefty fine or ban if he is found guilty of improper conduct by the Association's commissioners.
The Frenchman was charged after his part in a 20-man melee involving United players and Chelsea groundstaff following the London club's 2-1 win in April and though he denies a charge of improper conduct, his admission that he was provoked into responding presents a real prospect of punishment. Whether that might be a fine or a ban is at the FA Commission's discretion. The same commission, which sat for the first day of the two-day hearing yesterday, will hear the cases against both Evra and Chelsea.
There was a happier day for Carlos Tevez yesterday, who learned he is likely to be awarded all four of the goals he had claimed during the 5-3 Carling Cup quarter final win over Blackburn.
Neither United nor Rovers are likely to challenge the ruling by adjudicators that the South American almost certainly got the final touch to Aaron Mokoena's header, diverting it goalwards to put United in front and the dubious goals panel used in the Premier League has no jurisdiction over Carling Cup games. That left Tevez free to celebrate the first four-goal haul of his career. His team-mate Jonny Evans hailed Tevez's response to uncertainty over his United future. "The goals were the best way for Carlos to respond," Evans said. "He is a real fighter and he will never shy away from that.
"The fans know what Carlos is all about. He works hard every time he is on the pitch and it will do him good to get his name on the scoresheet. No matter what is happening, his work-rate is always phenomenal. He just can't help himself, which is great for the team."
Another player with something to prove is Nani, with the new Serbian signing Zoran Tosic's arrival from Partizan Belgrade on the horizon. Tosic is a left sided midfielder which creates uncertainty for Nani, an individual whose name was uttered in the same breath as Cristiano Ronaldo's when he arrived from Sporting Lisbon last season but who has struggled for consistency and started just two Premier League games this term, though he is an ever-present in Europe.
"I have not started that many games and I would like to play more often," Nani said. "It is difficult when you play one match and then miss two or three. But if I want to play here, I must work very hard. I have not scored that often but now I am getting my confidence." Nani's first-half goal on Wednesday reflected the substantial possession which was his. But his vision remains way short of his compatriot Ronaldo's and he is still inclined to shoot when a pass is the better option.
Tevez said of his contribution: "For the players who do not play very often, it was a very good night because we showed we can play in any game that's to come in the Premier League or Champions League."
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