Marcos Alonso Suspended for 3 Matches, Will Miss FA Cup Semi-Final

Alex Keble@alexkebleFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2018

Chelsea's Marcos Alonso, left, competes for the ball with Southampton's James Ward-Prowse during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge in London, Saturday Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Tim Ireland/Associated Press

Chelsea's Marcos Alonso has been handed a three-match ban for "an act of violent conduct" in his side's 3-2 victory over Southampton on April 14, meaning he will miss the FA Cup semi-final against Saints on April 22, per the Football Association.

Alonso appeared to stamp on the leg of Shane Long during the first half at St Mary's when the home side were leading 2-0, but the referee Mike Dean did not see the incident and the Spaniard was subsequently charged by the FA.

Alonso, who was named in the PFA Team of the Year on Wednesday, went on to set up Olivier Giroud's first goal as Chelsea fought back to win the game.

Mark Hughes' side are five points adrift of Premier League safety, and so the referee's failure to spot the incident could have dramatic consequences for the south coast club.

"It was a poor challengeit should have been a red card in my view," Hughes said after the game, per the BBC. "The disappointment was the officials didn't see it. They were all within a 10 to 15-metre radiusone of them should have seen it."

The Spaniard's retrospective punishment will perhaps simply make Southampton fans even more bitter that Alonso remained on the pitch at St Mary's, although his three-game ban does directly affect Hughes' team. Southampton play Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup semi-final on April 22 with Alonso now unavailable.

FILE PHOTO (EDITORS NOTE: GRADIENT ADDED - COMPOSITE OF TWO IMAGES - Image numbers (L) 502479390 and 648790080) In this composite image a comparison has been made between Mark Hughes, manager of Southampton (L) and  Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea.  Che
Getty Images/Getty Images

Chelsea will most likely play Victor Moses on the left and Davide Zappacosta on the right, which could give Southampton a crucial edge. Alonso has started 31 of Chelsea's 33 league matches this season; Antonio Conte is not used to coping without him.

The 27-year-old will also miss Thursday's trip to Burnley and an away match against Swansea City on April 28, both of which are Premier League games.

Having initially denied the charge, Alonso will be disappointed to miss such a crucial FA Cup game—especially in the same week in which he was acknowledged by his fellow professionals as the league's best left-back.

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