Ryan Giggs hails Gareth Barry's Premier League record achievement, tips him to play for "another few seasons"

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Record-breaker: Gareth Barry.

Manchester United icon Ryan Giggs has backed battling Gareth Barry to keep on going for another “two-three years” after he beat his Premier League appearance record this week.

Barry, 36, ran out for a historic 633rd time during West Bromwich Albion’s 2-0 loss at Arsenal on Monday night. This saw the 53-times-capped England defensive midfielder surpass the previous figure, although his celebrated former opponent featured in 672 top-flight matches for the Red Devils from 1990-2014 when you include games played in the old Football League’s First Division.

Speaking in Dubai’s Al Wasl Club on the sidelines of the ongoing Premier Futsal finals, Giggs congratulated the new benchmark setter.

“It’s a great achievement to play in the Premier League so long,” said the retired 43-year-old Wales winger, who is the second-most-decorated player in football history with 35 trophies.

“I did it that long, it’s difficult especially when it comes to the later years as you need to manage yourself and he’s done that right – he’s playing top level as well, still.

“I think he can go on another two-three years, as well. He looks a good professional.

“I don’t know him that well. But when you look after yourself, especially in the later years, and have the right manager to look after you, then you can play two-three more years.

“He’s 36, so he’s got another few seasons at least.”

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

Barry debuted as a 17-year-old for Aston Villa in a 3-1 win at Sheffield on Wednesday May 2, 1998. He went on to further feature for Manchester City and Everton, winning the 2010/11 FA Cup and 2011/12 Premier League with the former.

He joined West Brom for an undisclosed fee in August.

“My earliest memories of him are as a left-back, sometimes centre-back at Aston Villa as they played three at the back at that time,” commented Giggs, who skippered Mumbai Warriors to a 10-7 victory against lethal ex-Argentina and Internazionale striker Hernan Crespo’s Chennai Singhams on Tuesday night. “He then moved into a midfield role for England and his club.

“He was just always a solid performer, probably a manager’s dream because you know what you’re going to get week in and week out.

“He’s somebody you can trust that you are going to get performances from.

“When you get a player like that, they are always going to be in the reckoning when it comes to picking your team.”

The Premier Futsal finals are taking place in Dubai until Sunday, October 1. Deco, Ronaldinho, Paul Scholes and Michel Salgado will also feature.

Day tickets are priced from Dh50-500, with packages available from Dh150-1,650.

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Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny in our Arab footballers Premier League watch

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In this column, we track the best Arab football talents plying their trade in the Premier League and round-up their accomplishments every week.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is never far from the headlines after a series of glittering displays for the Reds, and he features this week in Jurgen Klopp’s 3-2 win at Leicester.

Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny impressed as well and Abdelhamid Sabiri also flickered in class during Huddersfield’s 0-0 draw at Burnley.

Here’s a look at how these Arab footballers fared this weekend.

MOHAMED SALAH | LEICESTER 2-3 LIVERPOOL

Another virtuous display from the Egyptian.

He opened the scoring after 15 minutes when slipping in behind Ben Chilwell to meet a well timed cross by Philippe Coutinho and send a powerful header into the net from a tight angle.

Still settling into life at Anfield but crucial at scoring goals, with four strikes in five Premier League appearances.

Rating – 8/10

KEY STATS

Minutes – 90

Goals – 1

Shots – 4

Shots on target – 1

Assists – 0

Key Passes – 1

Passing Accuracy – 61.1%

Touches – 50

Passes – 36

Dribbles – 0

Mohamed Salah.

Mohamed Salah.

MOHAMED ELNENY | ARSENAL 2-0 WEST BROM

Although he was a surprise name in the starting line up against West Brom, the Egyptian produced another industrious performance, always providing an option for the midfield.

He generally made the right decisions throughout the game with his neat passing, especially in the second half when West Brom started to increase the pressure at 0-2 down.

He may never be a star attraction at the Emirates Stadium but his ability to keep it simple and sharp remains a solid outlet for Arsene Wenger’s side.

His pairing with Granit Xhaka looks promising.

Rating – 7.5/10

KEY STATS

 Minutes – 90

Shots – 1

Shots on target – 0

Assists – 0

Key Passes – 2

Passing Accuracy – 93.5%

Touches – 86

Passes – 77

Dribbles – 0

Mohamed Elneny.

Mohamed Elneny.

ABDELHAMID SABIRI | BURNLEY 0-0 HUDDERSFIELD

The Moroccan blazed a shot over the crossbar from the edge of the area early in the first half, but besides from that, he failed to get into the game before being substituted after 62 minutes.

Although he showed a willingness to go for the ball, he was booked for a poor challenge on Burnley’s Matthew Lowton after just six minutes.

The 20-year-old has shown flashes of class in his first two Premier League appearances, offering David Wagner another potent attacking option alongside Thomas Ince and Elias Kachunga.

Rating – 5/10

KEY STATS

Minutes – 62

Shots – 2

Shots on target – 0

Assists – 0

Key Passes – 0

Passing Accuracy – 70.8%

Touches – 36

Passes – 24

Dribbles – 1

Abdelhamid Sabiri.

Abdelhamid Sabiri.

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West Brom manager Tony Pulis accuses Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez of cheating

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Alexis Sanchez.

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis branded Alexis Sanchez a cheat after accusing the Arsenal star of diving to win a free kick in Monday’s Premier League clash.

Pulis was furious that Sanchez went unpunished after winning a first-half free kick on the edge of the Albion penalty area with a theatrical fall after a challenge from Craig Dawson.

Referee Bobby Madley later turned down Albion penalty appeals when Jay Rodriguez was brought down by Shkodran Mustafi with the scoreline at 0-0, and also gave Arsenal a spot-kick which was converted by Alexandre Lacazette.

Arsenal won 2-0 thanks to Lacazette’s brace and Pulis was quick to make it clear he was unhappy with Chile forward Sanchez.

“The disappointing thing is Sanchez falls for the first free kick, that’s cheating,” Pulis said.

“Jay is very honest and does not get rewarded. Everyone saw what happened. Sanchez actually dives for the first free kick and he should be booked for diving.

“Then you see the tackle in the box. The referee had a great view. Everyone has seen it and can make their minds up.”

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