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GUARDIAN – The Gallery: Jordan Henderson

This week’s winner is Morgan Jones, who gets a copy of Shirt Tales & Short Stories: the lost world of football kits. Get in touch to claim your prize. Next week we’d like your takes on Paul Pogba. Send your efforts to gallery@theguardian.com by noon on Monday 27 April as a jpeg, complete with a caption. Anyone who forgets will be drafted on to Bayern Munich’s medical staff Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Aston Villa magnificent against Liverpool, says Tim Sherwood – video

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood says his team’s 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win against Liverpool at Wembley was a great occasion for the club. Sherwood says his team were undeterred by their underdog status and played magnificently thanks to the support of the fans and his players’ hard work. Aston Villa will now face Arsenal in the FA Cup final on 30 May at Wembley Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool couldn’t handle pressure against Aston Villa

• Manager says Liverpool must show more courage in big games• Tim Sherwood: we can cause Arsenal problems in FA Cup final• Match report: Aston Villa 2-1 Liverpool • Sportblog: Sherwood deserved his Wembley touchline celebration • Michael Cox: Liverpool fail to cope with Villa’s triangular threat• In pictures: Tom Jenkins’ best images from the semi-finalBrendan Rodgers admitted Liverpool’s big-game mentality needs to improve and conceded that his players were unable to handle the pressure of the occasion after Aston Villa ended any hopes Steven Gerrard had of bowing out of English football with an FA Cup final appearance.Despite going behind to a first-half goal from Philippe Coutinho, Villa levelled six minutes later through Christian Benteke and secured their first FA Cup final appearance in 15 years when the outstanding Fabian Delph scored early in the second half. Gerrard had a late header cleared off the line by Kieran Richardson and Mario Balotelli saw a goal wrongly disallowed for offside in the 88th minute but Rodgers refused to use that “bad decision” as an excuse and admitted Villa deserved victory. Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Aston Villa’s Tim Sherwood deserved his touchline celebration at Wembley

Manager turned a prosaic, dull, one-dimensional team into the dynamic attacking outfit that was a joy to watch as they beat Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-finalTim Sherwood walked calmly over and shook hands with Brendan Rodgers and the Liverpool manager’s backroom staff at the final whistle, embraced a couple of his own coaches with no hint of what was to come and then the euphoria took over. Running down the touchline, punching his fist, the Villa manager could not contain his delight as he celebrated, with a grin from ear to ear, in front of 32,000 delirious supporters. Who could blame him?This was a day for Sherwood, his players and those long-suffering Villa fans to cherish. Rank outsiders beforehand – the bookmakers had Villa as long as 5/1 – Sherwood’s side produced a performance full of self-belief and bristling with attacking intent to vanquish Liverpool and reach their first FA Cup final appearance in 15 years. They were unrecognisable from the team that laboured so painfully under Paul Lambert two months ago. Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe warned over future conduct

• Duo were photographed smoking shisha pipe earlier this season• Melwood meeting with Brendan Rodgers took place on Thursday• No laughing matter with Raheem Sterling in danger of bursting balloonRaheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe have been reminded of the strict code of conduct that Brendan Rodgers demands at Liverpool following a meeting with the manager at Melwood.Rodgers questioned Sterling’s professionalism after footage emerged of the 20-year-old taking nitrous oxide prior to Liverpool’s Premier League win over Newcastle United on Monday. Images of the England international with a shisha pipe also appeared on Sunday and Tuesday, with the 19-year-old Ibe included in the second set of photographs taken earlier this season. Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Raheem Sterling awaits fate as video shows Jordon Ibe with shisha pipe

• Liverpool forward faces meeting with Brendan Rodgers• New pictures show Jordon Ibe holding shisha pipe with Sterling• Players’ union official says people should understand his actions • Raheem Sterling facing Liverpool reprimand over nitrous oxide video• No laughing matter with Sterling in danger of bursting balloonRaheem Sterling may not discover until Thursday what disciplinary measures, if any, Brendan Rodgers intends to take over pictures of the Liverpool forward inhaling nitrous oxide and smoking a shisha pipe – with the latest images released on Tuesday showing him smoking with team-mate Jordon Ibe. The England international’s use of legal highs prompted a stern warning from the Liverpool manager on Monday. The latest photographs, taken earlier this season, present an additional headache for Rodgers as the 20-year-old’s Liverpool team-mate Ibe is also shown holding a shisha pipe in what is believed to be a London bar.Rodgers had claimed Sterling’s behaviour was unbecoming of a professional sportsperson after footage emerged of the player appearing to pass out having allegedly taken the legal high known as laughing gas at his home near Southport. Sterling had also been pictured in a Sunday newspaper with a shisha pipe 24 hours before the nitrous oxide clip emerged. Tuesday’s pictures suggest Rodgers has an issue to address. Continue reading…

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