Monday Kickoff: Donovan blasts Red Bulls, Hazard to leave Lille and more

Monday Kickoff: Donovan blasts Red Bulls, Hazard to leave Lille and more

MLS- New York Red Bulls

Monday Kickoff: Donovan blasts Red Bulls, Hazard to leave Lille and more

Scuffle bros

By CALEB SONNELAND

The New York Red Bulls are "cheaper" than any team that Landon Donovan has ever played against in MLS.  

The USMNT attacker laid seige to Hans Backe's Red Bulls following the post-game fracas that ensued after Rafa Marquez took the ball and flung it at Donovan which resulted in a mass scuffle.  

Donovan claims that New York has been displaying that kind of behavior all year and was quick to cite Thierry Henry's recent red card for kneeing Sporting Kansas City's Roger Espinoza in the back of the head when the two sides clashed.

The brawl at the end of the game saw New York's Rafa Marquez red carded along with Los Angeles' Juninho, meaning both players miss the return leg to the Home Depot Center in California.

Despite Donovan's clear disapproval at the behavior of the Red Bulls, he wasn't dwelling on the issue for long.

"You just deal with it, and at the end of it, the cream rose to the top and the better team won," Donovan said.

Here are some other stories to kick off your Halloween Monday:

HAZARD EXPECTING LILLE EXIT

The European elite have been put on high alert after in-demand Belgian winger Eden Hazard revealed that he fully intends to leave Lille once the current season concludes.

Hazard, long touted as one of the most promising young talents in the game, has been the focus of immense transfer speculation for several seasons but has always remained at Lille.

Not only is the winger prepared to leave the Ligue 1 champions, he is eager to leave the country and ply his trade abroad, which rules out big-spending Paris Saint-Germain, who was reportedly ready to offer £43.5 million for Hazard's services in January.

The player has long been linked with top clubs like Real Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal, Inter Milan and Liverpool.  

"I am ready to go to the next level at a big club," said Hazard.

LIVERPOOL'S GERRARD FACES ANOTHER SPELL OUT

Only just returned from a six-month layoff due to a groin injury and infection, Steven Gerrard is set to spend a little more time on the sidelines — this time with an ankle infection.

Liverpool topped West Brom 2-0 over the weekend, and the club had fully expected its captain to play, but his ankle flared up just before kick off, forcing him out of contention.

It's unclear at this point how long Gerrard will be out of action, but after having his ankle treated at a Liverpool hospital, the Liverpool native was seen leaving on crutches with a knee-high cast on his right leg.

Despite awaiting results on his infection, it seems virtually certain that Gerrard will miss Liverpool's upcoming fixture against Swansea, England's friendlies with Spain (Nov. 12) and Sweden (Nov. 15) and possibly beyond.

VAN PERSIE CALMS NAZI CELEBRATION CLAIMS

What Arsenal striker Robin van Persie claims was a "showing of joy and celebration" to him was thought to be potentially offensive to others.

After bagging the fourth Arsenal goal to put his side one up over Chelsea, van Persie appeared to celebrate with a hand motion similar to the Nazi salute.

Once allegations began to circulate that he had indeed celebrated in such a fashion, the striker took to Twitter, suggesting that it is "totally ludicrous," "insulting" and "absolutely absurd" to even think he had performed a Nazi gesture.

Here's the celebration in question

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Think New York is deserving of Donovan's blast?  Where do you see Hazard ending up?  Can Liverpool launch a Top 4 bid without Gerrard?

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