Arsenal staged a stirring comeback to earn a point in a chaotic, thrilling north London derby against Tottenham at Emirates Stadium.
Spurs looked to be in complete control when Christian Eriksen pounced to put them ahead in the 10th minute after Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno pushed out Erik Lamela’s shot.
Leno then saved superbly from Son Heung-min before the South Korean was senselessly hacked down in the area by Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka to allow Harry Kane to score his 10th goal in 11 derby games.
Arsenal started the revival when Alexandre Lacazette pulled one back on the stroke of half-time before they laid siege to Spurs’ goal after the break.
Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris saved superbly from Matteo Guendozi’s low shot and from substitute Dani Ceballos before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang showed the poacher’s instinct to turn home the equaliser with 19 minutes remaining.
Kane struck the inside of the post and Sokratis had a goal ruled out for offside but neither side could make the decisive breakthrough and this entertaining encounter ended with honours even.
The result lifts Arsenal to fifth in the Premier League with seven points from four games, while Tottenham head into September’s international break four places behind their rivals in ninth on five points.
Arsenal show fighting spirit
Arsenal showed real character amid the mood swings of this north London derby to fight back from a precarious position to earn a point.
Unai Emery’s side found themselves in big trouble at two goals down but never felt sorry for themselves, fighting their way back to parity and pinning Spurs back for most of the second half.
The Gunners were guilty of poor defending and moments of carelessness but no-one could question their heart.
Lacazette’s goal with seconds left of the first half was vital, lifting the spirits of Arsenal’s players and supporters and setting the perfect platform for a second half that was low on moments of high class but full of fervour and entertainment.
The action swung from end-to-end but Arsenal looked stronger after the break with 20-year-old Guendouzi performing with great maturity in midfield.
Guendouzi certainly showed greater composure than his captain Xhaka, who was guilty of a moment of crass stupidity when diving into a sliding challenge on Son to concede a penalty.
The young Frenchman almost scored only for Lloris to make a brilliant save and it was his intelligent, probing ball into the box that was diverted in by Aubameyang.
It is already becoming clear the title is a two-horse race between Liverpool and Manchester City but Arsenal will feel they can make a serious top-four challenge – although once again questions must be asked about their defending.
Spurs still looking short
Spurs will be disappointed at only getting a draw after establishing such a position of strength at 2-0 but in the end there was almost a sense they should be grateful for a point.
It continues an indifferent start to the season as they have five points from their first four games, with just one win at home to Aston Villa.
Spurs, to give perspective, have also had tough away assignments at Manchester City and Arsenal and come away with points but they are not yet back to their best.
The experiment of using Davinson Sanchez at right-back was not an unqualified success and on several occasions manager Mauricio Pochettino could be seen showing his exasperation, both at moments of poor defending and also when Spurs were wasteful in attack.
Spurs were grateful for a superb display of shot-stopping by Lloris but Pochettino will be frustrated that his side looked to have Arsenal where they wanted them before the break, then ended hanging on for long periods in the second half.
‘A great job’ – what they said
Arsenal manager Unai Emery, speaking to BBC Sport: “It was an amazing match. We are proud of our work and our supporters. The result isn’t the best for us.
“The key was the first goal to give us confidence and give us more chances in the second half. We deserved it. We did a lot of good things. We made some mistakes in the first half and they have good players.
“Before their first goal we were playing well. Sometimes our heart is more strong than our head.”
Tottenham striker Harry Kane, speaking to BBC Sport: “I feel like were coming off disappointed. We expect to see the game out. The goal hurt us with momentum just before the break. It was an end-to-end game, especially last 10-15 minutes but the players left everything on the pitch.
On his late penalty shout: “As a striker, if it is on halfway it is a definite foul. In the box you don’t always get them. He’s come through the back of me but it is 50/50. VAR would probably have backed the ref in this.”
Man of the match – Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal)
Spurs continue to stutter on the road – stats
- Tottenham have dropped 42 points from winning positions in the Premier League against Arsenal – 11 more than against any other side in the competition.
- Spurs are winless in their last eight away league games, drawing two and losing six. They last endured such a run on the road in their eight games between December 2011 and April 2012.
- Arsenal have lost just one of their last 27 Premier League home games against Tottenham, a 2-3 defeat in November 2010 after being two goals ahead.
- Since his Premier League debut in August 2016, no player has conceded more penalties in the competition than the five by Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka.
- Arsenal have recorded 13 errors leading to goals in the Premier League since the start of last season – the most of any club in the competition. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno is responsible for six of those errors.
- Spurs’ Christian Eriksen has now scored 50 Premier League goals – the first Danish player to reach this landmark – whilst also becoming the first Spurs player to register both 50-plus goals and assists for the club in the competition.
After the international break, Tottenham resume their Premier League season with a home match against Crystal Palace on Saturday, 14 September (15:00 BST).
A day later, Arsenal travel to Watford in the late Sunday kick-off (16:30 BST).
England one-day captain Eoin Morgan scored 83 not out off 29 balls to help Middlesex to a record T20 Blast run-chase and seal a quarter-final spot.
Somerset set Middlesex a target of 227 to win at Taunton, with Tom Abell finishing 101 not out for the hosts.
Coming in during the ninth over with his side 111-3, Morgan’s superb knock helped Middlesex to victory with three overs to spare.
Middlesex’s successful chase was also the fourth-highest in T20 history.
Meanwhile, Essex beat Kent to secure the final place in the last eight as the group stage reached its conclusion on Friday.
Five teams had gone into the final round of South Group fixtures with hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.
- Lancashire Lightning v Essex Eagles
- Notts Outlaws v Middlesex
- Sussex Sharks v Worcestershire Rapids
- Gloucestershire v Derbyshire Falcons
Lancashire’s quarter-final will be held at Emirates Riverside, with Emirates Old Trafford hosting the fourth Ashes Test between England and Australia from Wednesday.
More to follow.
|US Open 2019|
|Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep|
|Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.|
Johanna Konta and Dan Evans – Britain’s remaining players in the US Open singles – face first-time opponents in the second round on Wednesday.
British number one Konta faces Margarita Gasparyan, although the scheduled 16:00 BST start was delayed by rain with no play on the outside courts before 22:00.
British men’s number two Evans plays world number 27 Lucas Pouille.
Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic is up against Juan Ignacio Londero.
Before that five-time champion Roger Federer, who last won the title in 2008, plays Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Damir Dzumhur in one of the two early matches inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. The other match sees women’s third seed and 2016 finalist Karolina Pliskova take on Georgia’s Mariam Bolkvadze.
Serena Williams, a six-time champion and last year’s runner-up, is last up on the main court where she faces fellow American Catherine McNally.
After her first-round win over Maria Sharapova, Williams, 37, revealed she had been tweaking her game in the build-up to this tournament.
“I’ve been working on a lot of new things,” she said. “I don’t really talk about what I’ve been working on so much. I definitely have been working on a lot of new stuff to incorporate in my game.”
Other highlights on day three include two Louis Armstrong Stadium matches – fifth seed Elina Svitolina against two-time champion Venus Williams, and French Open champion Ashleigh Barty facing world number 73 Lauren Davis.
A teenager has been stabbed to death in Newham, east London.
The Metropolitan Police said the man, believed to be 18, was found critically injured with stab wounds at 15:30 BST in Chadd Green.
Officers and London Ambulance Service attended. The teenager was pronounced dead an hour later.
The Met said the next of kin had been informed. A post-mortem examination and formal identification are being arranged.
An investigation is under way, but there have not yet been any arrests.
Liverpool maintained their place at the top of the Premier League and their 100% start to the season as Arsenal were well beaten at Anfield.
The Gunners, the only other side in the top flight to win their first two games, had opportunities to shock Liverpool in a tight first half, especially when record £72m signing Nicolas Pepe shot straight at keeper Adrian after running clear.
Liverpool took control when Joel Matip put them ahead with a powerful header from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner four minutes before the interval.
And any hopes manager Unai Emery had of watching his side mount a recovery were snuffed out in the 49th minute after a moment of madness from new signing David Luiz, who needlessly dragged Mohamed Salah back in the area.
Liverpool’s Egyptian attacker drilled home the penalty and then embarrassed Luiz again out on the touchline at the start of a dazzling run that ended with a low, curling finish into the bottom corner just before the hour.
Arsenal substitute Lucas Torreira pulled one back late on, but nothing was getting in the way of Liverpool’s 12th successive Premier League victory, equalling their best sequence in the top flight under Kenny Dalglish between April and October 1990.
Liverpool back in the old routine
Liverpool had moments when they stuttered against Southampton and their defence has looked unusually fallible – but this was a movie we have seen many times before at Anfield under Jurgen Klopp.
Arsenal have suffered badly here in recent seasons, losing 5-1 last season and 4-0 in Arsene Wenger’s final season. Once again, despite taking their time to hit top gear, Liverpool’s ruthlessness and intensity simply proved too much for Arsenal.
True, they gratefully accepted Luiz’s gifts but once Matip put Liverpool ahead the pressure and intensity applied to Arsenal was simply too much for the Gunners to resist.
And, as Arsenal discovered, when you fail to take chances to punish Liverpool, the inevitable outcome is that you will be punished yourselves.
Liverpool do not simply have a prodigious work ethic that makes life permanently uncomfortable for opponents; they also have world-class attacking options as illustrated by Salah’s brilliant weaving run and slide-rule finish for their third.
Klopp’s side missed out on the title by a single point despite only one loss, to champions Manchester City, last season – and three wins from three has quickly put the marker down that they intend to go one better and claim that first title in 30 years.
Liability Luiz kills Arsenal chances
Luiz has a track record of success that suggests he may be able to bring moments of quality to Arsenal’s defence after his surprise £8m move from Chelsea – but there is no escaping he has the enduring capability to be a complete liability.
The Brazilian, at 32, is not going to change and so it proved as he delivered a moment of crass stupidity that killed stone dead Arsenal’s hopes of taking anything away from Anfield.
It is a stretch to say Arsenal had Liverpool on the ropes but, despite the overall domination of the European champions, the Gunners certainly had moments of threat through the pace and menace of Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. They would have started the second half with hope.
Luiz made it all count for nothing when he felt his best method of dealing with Salah’s 49th-minute raid into the penalty area was to blatantly drag him back by the shirt in a red-mist moment that did not even seriously require the intervention of the video assistant referee.
Salah, despite some ludicrous protests from Luiz, drilled home the penalty before taking him to cleaners when scoring Liverpool’s brilliant third.
Too much of the Arsenal’s playing out from the back was asking for trouble against this Liverpool side. Throw in the act of stupidity from Luiz and ultimately they got what they deserved, despite some areas for Emery to admire.
Man of the match – Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
‘We are not in Disneyland’ – what they said
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, speaking to Sky Sports: “It was a brilliant game from my side so early in the season. It was outstanding. It was a performance full of power, energy, greed and passion, which I think you need to have against a team like Arsenal.
“The last 10 minutes I saw the possession – 53 to 47 or something like that – but over 80 minutes it must have been completely different. We were completely in charge of the game. We are not Disneyland, we do not need to excite everyone in every second.
“We had enough bodies and legs to put them under pressure. We had the full-backs really high. The boys did what we wanted them to do and scored wonderful goals. The penalty decision I think was absolutely obvious. Mo’s third goal was absolutely amazing, but the pedigree of the boys is sensational. Our identity is intensity, and we showed that today.”
Arsenal boss Unai Emery, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: “Today, the first half, we worked together. We were doing some transition very good and we had some chances but, the second half, the penalty was very soft. After 2-0 our reaction was good. We needed to attack and take a different moment in the match.
“Yes, we are disappointed we lost 3-1 but watching some players we can be optimistic. We need to improve in possession and countering the pressure but Liverpool is the best team with this.
“We have to be realistic but we can fight closer to them. For me, today, without the result there were some good periods.”
Arsenal’s Liverpool woe – the stats
- Since Jurgen Klopp took over in October 2015, Liverpool have scored 26 goals in eight Premier League games against Arsenal – the most one side has netted against another in the competition in that period.
- Only Everton at Arsenal (64) have conceded more away goals against a single opponent in the Premier League than Arsenal at Liverpool (62).
- Arsenal have now failed to win any of their past 23 away league games against fellow ‘Big six’ sides (D8 L15) – during this run they have conceded 53 goals while keeping just one clean sheet.
- Since the start of last season, Arsenal have given away eight Premier League penalties – only Brighton (10) have faced more.
- Liverpool have scored 22 headed goals in the Premier League since the start of last season; seven more than any other side. The Reds have scored three in this campaign already, while no other side has scored more than one.
- Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has faced Arsenal eight times without defeat in the Premier League (W5 D3).
- Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in more Premier League goals against Arsenal than against any other side (eight; six goals and two assists). He has scored in all four of his home games against them.
- Trent Alexander-Arnold has assisted nine goals in his past 10 appearances at Anfield for Liverpool in all competitions, including assisting once in each of his past five competitive home games.
- Nicolas Pepe has become the first player to successfully dribble past Virgil van Dijk in the Dutch defender’s past 50 appearances in the Premier League, since Mikel Merino in March 2018 for Newcastle.
Liverpool travel to Burnley in their next Premier League fixture on Saturday, 31 August (17:30 BST). Arsenal resume league action when they host Tottenham in the first north London derby of the season, on Sunday, 1 September (16:30 BST).
Brentford have signed Greece international striker Nikos Karelis on a one-year deal.
The 27-year-old was a free agent after leaving Belgian side Genk earlier in the summer.
“Nikos is a player that will reinforce our options in attacking areas,” boss Thomas Frank told the club website.
“He is fit now and while he may take a while to be 100% ready to start in the Championship, I know he will have an impact.”
Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.
Tomer Hemed and Erhun Oztumer could both debut for Charlton when they host Nottingham Forest at The Valley.
Defender Chris Solly will be assessed after he suffering a head injury in Saturday’s draw with Barnsley.
Joao Carvalho will travel with Forest as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury, but will not feature.
There are no new injury concerns for Reds boss Sabri Lamouchi, who is not expected to make many changes following Saturday’s win against Birmingham City.
- Charlton Athletic are unbeaten in their past six league games against Nottingham Forest (W2 D4 L0).
- Forest are looking for their first away league win at Charlton since a 2-0 victory in February 2013 under Billy Davies.
- Since the start of last season, Charlton have won 16 penalties in league matches, with Lyle Taylor scoring nine of those spot-kicks. Indeed, only Luka Milivojevic and John Akinde (10 each) have netted more within England’s top four tiers since August 2018.
- Both Charlton and Forest have scored three goals from set-pieces so far this season, the joint most in the competition in 2019-20 (alongside Luton and Preston).
- Charlton are looking to win their opening two home matches of a Championship season for the second successive campaign in the competition, having beaten QPR and Hull in 2015-16, before they were ultimately relegated to League One.
- Forest striker Lewis Grabban has scored three goals in six previous league appearances against Charlton. He scored one goal and created another for Norwich on his last visit to The Valley, helping his side to a 3-2 victory in February 2015.
Frank Lampard said managing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for the first time was the “stuff of dreams”, despite Wilfred Ndidi’s second-half header earning Leicester City a deserved point.
Chelsea took the lead when 20-year-old midfielder Mason Mount scored a memorable first goal for the Blues after robbing Ndidi of possession just outside the Foxes penalty area before beating Kasper Schmeichel with a low drive.
Lampard’s side started with real intent, Spain forward Pedro volleying into the side-netting and France midfielder N’Golo Kante denied a goal against his former club by Christian Fuchs’ fine challenge either side of Mount’s goal.
Leicester were much better after half-time and secured the point their second-half dominance warranted when Ndidi got between Spain right-back Cesar Azpilicueta and France defender Kurt Zouma to head in from a corner.
Both teams remain without a win, with Leicester on two points from two games, one more than Chelsea.
“It felt great, it is a special moment for me to come back to the club and manage them at Stamford Bridge,” said Lampard, who was appointed Blues boss in the summer.
“For me it is a huge thing, but my focus today was on the match and trying to win.
“Thanks very much to the fans, I appreciate that, but I am here to do a job and here to try and win for the club and we can do better than we did today.”
Blues fade again on Lampard’s homecoming
Despite opening the season with their biggest Old Trafford defeat against Manchester United since 1965, there was a carnival atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge to welcome a Chelsea icon returning to manage the club he spent 13 years playing for.
Lampard’s image adorned the front cover of the programme, while the 41-year-old was greeted by the sight of a huge blue-and-white ‘Welcome Home Super Frank’ banner when he emerged from the tunnel before kick-off.
Flames from black boxes leapt into the sky as Stamford Bridge reverberated to the sound of Chelsea fans singing ‘Super Frank Lampard’.
There were placards and scarves too and it was not long before the veteran of 648 Chelsea appearances was punching the air in celebration after Mount punished Ndidi’s hesitancy after the Nigeria midfielder received the ball from Jonny Evans.
Despite the heavy 4-0 defeat, Chelsea had started the game well at Old Trafford last week, hitting the woodwork twice before falling away badly.
Chelsea faded in this game too, especially in comparison to the aggressive start they made in the upbeat atmosphere created by Lampard’s return – although their midweek Super Cup exertions in Turkey may have been a factor.
While Leicester failed to muster a shot on target in the first-half, Chelsea managed three in the opening seven minutes including Mount’s goal, a superb low finish that left Schmeichel flat-footed.
Fuchs’ challenge to deny his former team-mate Kante was pivotal, while Mount headed another opportunity at Schmeichel before Leicester responded strongly to take the shine off Lampard’s return.
Maddison inspires Leicester
Leicester are without a Premier League win in four games in a run that stretches back to last season, but their impressive second-half showing will leave Brendan Rodgers with optimism for the season ahead.
As poor as the Foxes were in the first half, they dominated after the interval and there will be a touch of disappointment they did not go on to seal victory.
Having managed just one shot in the opening 45 minutes, Leicester had 11 attempts in the second half of the match.
There are now few survivors from their legendary 2015-16 title-winning side, but in James Maddison, Rodgers has a player around whom he can build another impressive Foxes team.
The 22-year-old was the stand-out player in the game, not just content to distribute the ball intelligently but also threaten in the Chelsea box himself.
Maddison, who was called into the England squad last season, rounded Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga but from the byline could not pick out a team-mate to apply the finish.
However he then delivered the corner that Ndidi headed home for the equaliser as Chelsea were caught cold.
The former Norwich player blazed a late chance to win the game over the bar but, while the game seemed to pass title-winning hero Jamie Vardy by, Maddison’s energy and creativity bodes well for Leicester’s future.
Man of the match – James Maddison (Leicester)
‘We need to be more clinical’ – what they said
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, speaking to BBC Sport: “It’s very early for us. We have to be patient as we are working towards something.
“Two or three nil would have taken the game away from them but we didn’t take those chances. That’s the story of our season so far. We need to be more clinical, for sure. It is defining.”
On the reception he received from Chelsea’s fans: “This is home for me and I really appreciated the support. It’s my club, I played here so long and I’m slightly disappointed we didn’t get the win but I’m thankful to the fans.”
Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers, speaking to BBC Sport: “It is my fault, the mistake [that led to Chelsea’s goal], because I ask my players to build in the game. But it was a brilliant response.
“We were outstanding in the second-half but didn’t win the game. We came out with a positive mindset and had chances to put it to bed. The most important thing is getting the players into those positions.”
Mount makes Chelsea history – the stats
- Mason Mount became the first English player to score on his first home appearance for Chelsea in the Premier League since Paul Hughes did so against Derby County in January 1997.
- Mount became the first English player to score for Chelsea under an English manager since Dennis Wise against Blackburn Rovers in May 1996 (Glenn Hoddle as manager).
- Frank Lampard is the first Chelsea boss to fail to win any of his first three games in charge of the club since Rafael Benitez in the 2012-13 campaign.
- Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has faced Chelsea on 13 occasions as a manager but is yet to register a victory against the Blues.
- Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi’s goal was just his fifth in 90 Premier League appearances, and his first away from home.
- After winning their first Premier League home game in 12 consecutive seasons between 2003-04 and 2014-15, Chelsea have failed to win three of their last five opening home games in the competition.
Both teams are in action against newly promoted teams next, with Chelsea at Norwich on Saturday (12:30 BST) and Leicester at Sheffield United (15:00) on the same day.
“These conditions suit Adam Peaty more than Adam Lyth.”
That post on Yorkshire’s Twitter account referencing the Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer summed up the situation at Headingley and several other county grounds hoping to stage T20 Blast matches on Friday.
Rain caused the abandonment of all eight scheduled games without a ball bowled:
- Essex v Glamorgan
- Hampshire v Surrey
- Kent v Sussex
- Lancashire v Birmingham Bears
- Northamptonshire v Leicestershire
- Nottinghamshire v Derbyshire
- Somerset v Gloucestershire
- Yorkshire v Durham
All 18 counties have either three or four group games left to play as they bid to reach the final at Edgbaston on 21 September.
Lancashire are four points clear at the top of the North Group, despite having four of their 11 matches rained off, and will qualify for the quarter-finals if they win one of their last three group matches.
Below them, the other eight teams are separated by only five points.
“This group’s very tight and I’d take getting three points off the top team,” said Jim Troughton, whose Birmingham Bears side beat Lancashire at Edgbaston on Sunday and saw their reverse fixture at Old Trafford washed out.
“Everyone has a chance if they string together some performances. But, if you can get some momentum at this stage, it gives you a really good chance of getting to the quarter-finals.”
The South Group is evenly poised too, with just four points between leaders Sussex and fifth-placed Somerset.
The player who suffered the first recorded case of racist abuse in women’s professional football has no regrets about reporting it despite “sinking into depression” as a result of subsequent online abuse.
An independent Football Association regulatory commission found that Tottenham defender Renee Hector was racially abused by Sheffield United’s Sophie Jones during a Championship match in January.
Jones was banned for five games and fined £200 but denied allegations she made monkey noises towards Hector.
The forward, whose contract at Sheffield United was terminated by mutual consent in March, told the BBC: “I’m not a racist.”
Hector, who has since joined Charlton Athletic, says that, as a result of the case, she was was sent pictures of baby gorillas and abused about her weight.
The 24-year-old believes harsher punishments should be administered for racist abuse in football and more support should be offered to semi-professional players like her.
But she hopes Jones, who was found by an FA hearing to have lied to “conceal wrongdoing”, can learn from her mistake.
Speaking about the incident for the first time, Hector says the abuse started with accusations of her of “playing the race card” and increased when “unflattering pictures” of her appeared online.
“The online abuse affected me really deeply, but it wasn’t just me, it affected my family and really affected my mum,” Hector told BBC Sport.
“I was just spiralling out of control, basically, I started sinking into depression because there were lots of insecurities that I had already and it was highlighted for the world to see.
“I had spent years struggling with my weight, it first started when my mum got diagnosed with breast cancer and I also tore my anterior cruciate ligament in my knee so I couldn’t play for a year.
“All the comments online sparked all those stories back in my head, and I was my own worst enemy.
“My lowest point was when I had to have a week off work, because I couldn’t physically leave my bed and didn’t really leave the house. Every time I looked in the mirror I felt disgusted with myself.”
‘Raheem Sterling shouldn’t be the only one fighting racism’
Hector says she reported the incident to the referee and her mum at half-time of the match, and she later posted a Tweet detailing what happened without naming Jones.
But despite all the online abuse, she “would do exactly the same thing again”.
“One thing I do know if I stay true to myself,” she said. “If it gets one more person off the pitch who has said something racist then I’ve done what I can to help the cause.
“Take Raheem Sterling, for example. He’s out there as a bit of an advocate to fight racism against football, but it shouldn’t just be him.
“What I went through was difficult, but I’d say don’t be scared in stepping forward because the more that people step forward, the more seriously racism will be taken.”
Since the incident, the FA has increased its sanction for racism involving players to a minimum six-game ban, but Hector said: “I think the punishment needs to be a bit stronger.
“Players need know they are going to be punished significantly, and think twice about doing it because to some people a month out from playing matches isn’t really that long.”
‘I have no hatred towards Jones’
Hector says she was “shocked” to hear racist abuse, given it is almost unheard of in women’s football.
She says she heard monkey noises just before half-time as she contested a corner.
“I was so in shock,” she said. “I thought ‘did I just hear that right?’ And then I could hear my team-mate complaining to the referee about it, so it confirmed I did hear correctly.
“I had to run back into my position but when the whistle blew [to end the half], that’s when it sunk in.
“I went to tell the referee what I heard and my team-mate confirmed it. When we got back to the changing room my team-mate told me who it was. Then I began to get a bit more emotional and angry about it.
“On the way out for the second half I told the referee who it was and she said she would listen out for anything else. Then I just had to get to get back out there and make sure I played the second half to the best of my ability.
“It was probably one of my best games of the season. So obviously I channelled my anger in the right way. It wasn’t until the final whistle that it all hit me. I felt quite emotional and just sat on the floor, reflecting on the situation.
“I couldn’t believe it because I think this is probably the only incident that’s been reported anywhere in women’s football.”
Following the FA verdict, Jones described the hearing as a “kangaroo court”, said she was quitting football and was “unable to play under an organisation that I do not have any confidence in”.
Jones has since told the BBC: “It’s been very mentally challenging. I still struggle today.
“I’ve become a lot more anxious, paranoid and people still stare at me now even though it’s in the past. What really gets me is I’ve had to give up a sport that I love due to somebody’s allegation.”
Asked how she felt towards Jones now, Hector added: “I don’t have any hatred, I just hope she’s learned from the incident and can move forward and obviously try to better herself to make sure she doesn’t make those mistakes again.
“But all the abuse and stuff like that, I wouldn’t wish on her on anybody. I don’t want a life to be ruined.
“It’s just when you do something so wrong, you deserve what comes your way in terms of the punishment by the FA. I just hope she can move forward and make a better choice.”
Players need more support
Despite leaving Tottenham, Hector says she felt supported by “individuals at the club”, her team-mates and coach.
The team, who are semi-professional, were involved in a promotion push and reached the Women’s Super League, where they will become a fully professional club.
But Hector, who will play at Championship level again with new club Charlton, says she would have benefited from access to a psychologist, as away from matches and training she was “a mess”.
“It was difficult because they didn’t have the resources, a sports psychologist or anything like that,” she said.
“In terms of counselling, the coaches offered their support but at the same time, the main concentration was promotion so it was probably quite difficult for them to completely focus their attention on me.”
She added: “Becoming a professional will always be my dream until I’m too old to run around a pitch any more.
“Hopefully we can achieve that this season.”