Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso will miss his side’s next three matches after the Football Association ruled he committed an act of violent conduct with a challenge on Southampton striker Shane Long.

Marcos Alonso Banned, Chelsea, FA Cup, Southampton

TV footage showed Alonso catching Long on the calf with his studs shortly before half-time in Chelsea’s 3-2 victory at Southampton on Saturday, but referee Mike Dean and his assistants missed the incident and consequently took no action.

The hosts had led 2-0 for 70 minutes, but the tide turned when substitute Olivier Giroud headed home Alonso’s pinpoint cross.

An FA statement reads: “Marcos Alonso will miss Chelsea’s next three matches after an Independent Regulatory Commission ruled he had committed an act of violent conduct against Southampton’s Shane Long.

“Alonso denied the charge and further submitted that if found proven the suspension would be excessive, however, this was rejected following Wednesday’s hearing.”

Alonso now misses Chelsea’s next three games — Sunday’s FA Cup semifinal against Southampton at Wembley and Premier League games against Burnley and Swansea.

On Wednesday, Chelsea coach Antonio Conte said January signing Emerson Palmieri would be given the chance to deputise for Alonso against Burnley, with Davide Zappacosta the favourite to start at left wing-back against Southampton.

Alonso has been one of the few consistent performers for Chelsea in their disappointing Premier League title defence, and was named in the PFA Team of the Year.

The left wing-back appeared to stand on the back of Southampton striker Shane Long’s leg during their Premier League game on Saturday, but the incident went unpunished by referee Mike Dean.

Southampton boss Mark Hughes was disapproving of the tackle at the time.He said: “It was a poor challenge, it should have been a red card in my view.

“The disappointment was the officials didn’t see it, they were all within a 10 to 15 metre radius. One of them should have seen it.

“It was a poor tackle, and one that could have been more severe for Shane.”


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