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Showing posts from January, 2021

Lionel Messi's Barcelona contract revealed: Reports

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 Reigning Superstar footballer Lionel Messi's Barcelona contract has been revealed by Spanish newspaper El Mundo. Lionel Messi is regarded as one of the best footballers to have played the game, and his contract with Barcelona highlights his importance to the club. According to El Mundo, Lionel Messi's contract with Barcelona ensures €138 million per season, not including the variables. Messi signed a new contract with Barcelona in 2017, which runs till the summer of 2021. During this period, the Argentina international could pocket up to €555,237,619. This news comes at a time when Barcelona are struggling financially, with the club now in a precarious condition. Lionel Messi set to leave Barcelona in the summer? Lionel Messi's current Barcelona contract expires in the summer, with the forward now free to talk to European clubs regarding a move. There have been no signs from Messi or his camp about wanting to sign a new deal with Barcelona. Even if there was interest, rumo

"We do not rely on him" - Andrea Pirlo insists Juventus don't need Cristiano Ronaldo to win games

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  Portuguese superstar   Cristiano Ronaldo   has been going through somewhat of a goal-drought at   Juventus   recently. The forward has failed to find the back of the net in the Bianconeri's last three games. However, Juventus manager Andre a Pirlo is adamant that his side can win games without Ronaldo having to score in every match, as evidenced by their 2-0 victory over Sampdoria on Saturday. Following the win, Pirlo was asked about Ronaldo's supposed goal drought, to which he replied: "Ronaldo goals are not always important for us. He made a good assist for the second goal and it's okay to score without his goals. We do not rely on him." Pirlo continued: "We did very well throughout the game but we can do even better. Slowly we are growing, we begin to absorb things. It wasn't easy without much (pre-season) preparation, as I had to see what so many players were like in matches, rather than on the training pitch." Ronaldo has been in stunning form

No Ranji Trophy, after 86 consecutive years

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  NEW DELHI: After staging Ranji Trophy for 86 consecutive years since its inception in 1934-35, India's premier first class cricket national championship will not be held for the first time in 2020-21 domestic season. Interestingly, in a letter addressed to all its affiliated state associations dated January 29, the Indian cricket board is mum on not organising the Ranji Trophy this season. It merely says that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to conduct the Vijay Hazare Trophy 50-over tournament and Senior Women's One Day tournament after the completion of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament. The president of a state association said that all the indications of the BCCI not being keen on staging the Ranji Trophy had been there for a long time. "The writing on the wall was there since Day One, that the BCCI would not hold the Ranji Trophy this season. It is sad and unfortunate that the Ranji Trophy will not be played. It is a sad news an

NorthEast United Steals 3 Points From Mumbai City

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  GOA: NorthEast United got the better of Mumbai City yet again, doing a double over the Islanders with a 2-1 win in the Hero Indian Super League at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim, on Saturday. The win also ended Mumbai's chances of creating history with a record 13th-straight unbeaten game. Interestingly, NorthEast is the only side who have managed to win against the might of the table-toppers. Interim coach Khalid Jamil also maintained his perfect run since taking charge of NorthEast and has now recorded his third straight win, taking his side back into the top four with 21 points. Deshorn Brown's first-half double was enough to see Mumbai off, despite Adam Le Fondre pulling back a late goal.

Pak's win against SA was 'very necessary' for team: Babar Azam

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  KARACHI : Pakistan's win in their first Test against South Africa was necessary for the team after a difficult overseas season, captain Babar Azam said. Pakistan beat South Africa by seven wickets in their first Test in Karachi in a two-Test series that comes after they were swept aside by New Zealand. "This win was very necessary for our group. The last series in New Zealand didn't go very well. Yes, this was in home conditions but South Africa is a top Test side. Everyone from our fast bowlers, fielders, spinners and batsmen contributed," Babar said after their win against South Africa. The results against New Zealand had led to questions being raised over the support staff, particularly about head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis. Azam had missed the series due to a fractured thumb. He, however, said that Misbah and Waqar were not worried before the start of the first Test in Karachi. IANS

Huesca record 2nd win in La Liga

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  MADRID : Forward Rafa Mir scored a hat trick to lead last-placed Huesca to a much-needed 3-1 victory at Valladolid in their La Liga match. Mir, who is at Huesca on loan from Wolverhampton, ended a four-game scoreless slump for the modest team from northeast Spain when he headed in a cross from Pablo Maffeo in the 37th minute on Friday. He doubled his tally in the 50th when he used nice control to pull in a lobbed ball from Maffeo. He held off two defenders before poking the ball past goalkeeper Jordi Masip before creating his third goal in the 57th when he headed on a long ball to Dani Escriche, charged forward, and fired the return pass from Escirche just inside the post. Huesca remained bottom of the table after just its second win of the La Liga season. Valladolid was left in 16th place, two points above the relegation zone. Agencies Andrea Belotti's 100th Torino goal in vain as Udinese win five-goal thriller

Torino draw with 9-man Fiorentina

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  MILAN : Andrea Belotti netted a last-gasp goal to help relegation-threatened Torino draw with nine-man Fiorentina 1-1 at home in their Serie A match on Friday. Belotti slid in at the far post to redirect a cross from Simone Verdi in the 88th minute, after Franck Ribery scored from a tight angle for Fiorentina on Friday. Ribery finished off a give-and-go with Giacomo Bonaventura in the 68th, shortly after Gaetano Castrovilli was sent off for a last-man foul. Then Nikola Milenkovic was sent off, too, following a clash with Belotti, who was shown only a yellow. Both sides hit the woodwork in the first half. Torino moved one point clear of the drop zone while Fiorentina was 12th. Agencies

Man Utd 'very serious' about Argentina international Facundo Medina

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 Manchester United are reportedly serious about signing Argentina international Facundo Medina from RC Lens this winter. Medina, who plays as either a centre-back or left-back, joined the recently promoted Lens last summer for £3m from Argentine side CA Talleres. The 21-year-old has impressed in the top flight of French football this season, with Lens sitting comfortably in mid-table. Medina has recently recovered from a knee injury, and will be targeting a return to the starting line-up at Lens. But according to La Voix du Nord, Premier League giants United are keen on the versatile defender, and are ‘very serious’ in their approach. It is claimed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seeking defensive reinforcements, and could pay more than £10m to land Medina. Lens are not thought to be keen to let Medina go, and United could include a clause that allows him to see out the rest of the season in Ligue 1. Arsenal took a very similar approach when picking up William Saliba from Saint-Etienne 1

Transfermarkt: Alaba joins Real Madrid on a free transfer in July

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 Transfermarkt: Alaba joins Real Madrid on a free transfer in July David Alaba has reached an agreement to join Real Madrid on a free transfer in the summer, bringing to an end an 13-year spell at Bayern Munich.  The Austrian’s dream has always been to play for Real Madrid and he will go there having turned down approaches from, among others, Liverpool and PSG. Bayern have made three separate contract extension offers but the player had made his mind up and wanted a new challenge. A pre-contract agreement has been drawn up and will be signed after the player has passed his medical.

OFFICIAL: Lionel Messi handed two-game ban for Supercopa red card

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 Lionel Messi has been handed a two-match ban after being sent off for the first-ever time in his senior Barcelona career in the Spanish Supercopa final on Sunday. Messi, 33, was shown a red card in the final minute of extra-time after swinging his arm at Athletic Bilbao's Asier Villalibre. Referee Jesus Gil Manzano was alerted to the incident by VAR and after watching a replay on the pitchside monitor decided to give Messi his marching orders. The Royal Spanish Football Federation's competition committee met on Tuesday and deemed the challenge to be worthy of a two-game suspension. Messi will miss Thursday's trip to third division Cornella in the Copa del Rey and Sunday's La Liga game away at Elche. Should Barca beat Cornella, he will return for a potential round-of-16 tie in the Copa del Rey next week and will also be available for the league match at Camp Nou against Athletic, who beat Barca in Sunday's final, on Jan. 31. Messi had only previously been sent off

OFFICIAL: AC Milan confirm the signing of Mario Mandzukic

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 OFFICIAL: AC Milan announce the signing of Mario Mandzukic. The Club and the striker have agreed on a deal until the end of the current season with an option to extend the contract for the next one Born in Slavonski Brod (Croatia) on May 21, 1986, Mario Mandzukic started his professional career in 2004 with NK Marsonia before joining NK Zagreb and GNK Dinamo Zagreb. In Summer 2010, he moved to Germany to play for VfL Wolfsburg (60 appearances and 20 goals) and Bayern Munich (88 appearances and 48 goals). In the 2014/15 season, he went on to play for Atletico Madrid scoring 20 goals in 43 appearances before joining FC Juventus. In his five seasons with FC Juventus, he made 162 appearances and scored 44 goals. In January 2020, he joined Qatari side Al-Duhail with one goal in 7 appearances Mandžukić has won 24 trophies including 1 UCL, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 1 FIFA Cup World Cup, 9 championships and 12 between national Cups and Super Cups. He is the second-best scorer ever of the Croatian na

Solskjaer warns his Man Utd team against complacency ahead of Liverpool clash

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 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer evoked the spirit of mountaineering to warn his Manchester United players not to become complacent now they have reached the Premier League summit. United lead the way as they head to reigning champions Liverpool on Sunday afternoon in what will serve as an acid test of their aspirations to win a first title since 2013. But their manager was at pains to stress that United have achieved nothing yet with the Premier League season not even at its midway point. He said: 'There's been loads of hard work and loads of patience to get to the position we're in now, but it's like if you climb Kilimanjaro or Mount Everest and you get to the top and you sit down and relax - what happens then? You'll freeze to death. 'So now is the time to push on and go again. Thee is a definite shift in mentality of the boys that we believe we can go on to bigger and better things.' Paul Pogba's winner at Burnley in midweek moved United three points ahead of

Who will Valverde be supporting in the Supercopa?

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 For Ernesto Valverde, Sunday night's Supercopa de Espana final will be extra special, but will he be supporting Athletic Club or Barcelona? The man known as 'El Txingurri' - Basque for 'ant' - has not only played for and coached both sides, but was the last boss to win a trophy with either of them. Athletic's Supercopa win, against Barcelona no less, in 2015 was Valverde's first trophy as a coach in Spain, having previously won three league titles and two cups with Olympiacos in Greece. In 2017, he left Athletic for Barcelona and in his two-and-a-half years at the Camp Nou won two LaLiga Santander titles, one Copa del Rey and one Supercopa de Espana. The 56-year-old could be forgiven, therefore, if his loyalties are somewhat split tonight when Athletic Club take on Barcelona in the Supercopa de Espana final at 21:00 (CET) in Seville. It is likely, however, that Valverde will be pulled towards rooting for his boyhood club, Athletic, looking at comments he m

Messi takes part in shooting drill hours ahead of Supercopa final

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 The question on everybody's mind is whether Leo Messi will be able to feature in Sunday night's Supercopa de Espana final against Athletic Club. The Argentine missed the semi final against Real Sociedad due to injury but his appearance on the training ground just hours before the showdown with Athletic has sparked optimism that he could play. Barcelona underwent a light training session on Sunday morning, and Messi was seen firing shots on goal. Ronald Koeman's side are intent on winning the first piece of silverware up for grabs in Spain and Messi's presence is certain to boost those hopes.

Mesut Ozil hints that he could wear number 67 shirt for Fenerbahce

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 Mesut Ozil has hinted that he will wear the number 67 shirt as his Arsenal exit draws ever nearer with Fenerbahce set to snap up the Gunners outcast. The 32-year-old's seven-and-a-half-year stay in north London is almost over with the midfielder understood to have reached an agreement with the club over the terms of terminating his £350,000-a-week contract by mutual consent. Sportsmail revealed earlier this month that Ozil was in talks to cut his deal short with Mikel Arteta continuing to omit him from the first-team squad. And Ozil revealed earlier this week that he is edging towards joining his boyhood club, responding to a Fenerbahce tweet with two love heart emojis consisting of the club's colours as well as an hourglass symbol, indicating the announcement could be made soon. The World Cup winner shared another tweet on Sunday afternoon that hinted towards life in Turkey, tweeting the number 67 along with a love heart emoji. Earlier in the week, the midfielder spoke of hi

The VAR incident wasn't shown on broadcast: Should Real Madrid have a penalty?

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 Yet more VAR controversy arose in stoppage time of Real Madrid's Supercopa de Espana elimination against Athletic Club on Thursday. Unai Nunez, on his way to ground after a struggle with Marco Asensio, appeared to handle the ball, but play continued until Sergio Ramos went to ground himself in search of a penalty. VAR started a review and the focus appeared to be on the incident involving Ramos. However, it was the handball incident that was being checked, even though that wasn't shown on the live broadcast of the game. Asensio himself commented on the incident after the game. "It hit him on the hand," the winger said. But, after more than a minute, the decision was made that there was no handball and the game continued.

Zidane claims that Eden Hazard is low on confidence after Real Madrid defeat

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 Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane admitted Eden Hazard was low on confidence after the Belgian delivered another poor performance in his side's 2-1 defeat by Athletic Bilbao on Thursday to exit the Spanish Super Cup. The Belgian, Real's record signing, has only scored two goals in all competitions this season and offered little in attack after failing to create much danger in last Saturday's 0-0 draw at Osasuna. 'He needs to recover confidence, play a great game or score a goal, just to do something different. We know what a great player he is and we need to be patient with him as he is working hard,' Zidane told reporters. 'We are behind him and we must give him time. The fans want to see the best version of Eden so we must be patient. We're sticking with him and he really wants to step up. But today it wasn't just Eden, we're all in this together.' Real won last year's Super Cup but they were caught out by an intense Athletic side improvi

OFFICIAL: Bruno Fernandes wins Premier League's Player of the Month for December

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 OFFICIAL: Bruno Fernandes wins Premier League's Player of Month for December. This is the 4th POTM award he has won since joining Man Utd. There are only 5 players in PL history with more Player of the Month awards than him - Aguero, Gerrard, Kane, Van Persie, and Rooney. Fernandes scored three goals in six Premier League appearances in December as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side went unbeaten, winning four games and drawing the other two. The 26-year-old scored twice in Manchester United's 6-2 drubbing of Leeds and also found the net in the 2-2 Boxing Day draw with Leicester. Fernandes also provided four assists in December, including a defense-splitting pass for Marcus Rashford's injury-time winner against Wolves. The Portugal midfielder has scored 15 goals in 26 games this season across all competitions, helping Manchester United move three points clear of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.

OFFICIAL: Derby County appoint Wayne Rooney as the permanent manager

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 Derby County confirm the appointment of Wayne Rooney as the club’s new manager. The 35-year-old takes up the position on a two-and-half-year deal which will run until the summer of 2023. Rooney stepped up to lead Derby’s coaching team towards the end of November after former manager Phillip Cocu parted company with the club earlier that month. He was supported by follow coaches Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker, who will retain their positions on Rooney’s staff moving forward.

Inter 'target Lingard loan move after Lukaku & Young put a good word in

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 Inter Milan are interested in signing Jesse Lingard on a loan deal this month, as Antonio Conte bids to land another Manchester United player to bolster his side's title chances. The 28-year-old's Old Trafford career has stalled dramatically in the last 12 months, with the academy product barely used by Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following the arrival of Bruno Fernandes. A January departure would appear favourable for all parties, with Sheffield United reportedly interested in landing the creative player. However, an opportunity in Italy may be available for Lingard. The Mirror reports that Inter boss Conte is a huge admirer of the former England international, and will make a move this month if the club can offload Christian Eriksen. Lingard has been spoken highly of by former United team-mates Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young, who both left Old Trafford to move to the Italian capital and play for Conte. But the ex-Chelsea boss can only watch from afar for as long as

Bruno Fernandes insists Man United NEED Pogba as he 'has the quality to help us'

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 Bruno Fernandes admits he gets on well with Manchester United team-mate Paul Pogba and that the Red Devils need the Frenchman to achieve success this season. Midfielder Pogba is enjoying a purple patch at Old Trafford this season, starting five out of United's last seven league games as they look to challenge champions Liverpool for the Premier League title. Fernandes' arrival in Manchester, along with his excellent Red Devils form, meant Pogba started many games on the bench last season - but the Portuguese international admits the pair have enjoyed a good friendship over the past year. Speaking to NBC Sport about his first 12 months at United , Fernandes said: 'The relationship I have with Paul is good. He speaks Italian and I speak Italian. 'When I arrived, he was injured. I saw him recovering and training on the pitch away from us. 'He was calling me sometimes when I was training and he said, "I’m seeing the games, I’m seeing your movement, don’t worry. W

Ozil 'open to leaving Arsenal this month if they pay him £68k-a-week until 2023'

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 Mesut Ozil is happy to leave Arsenal this month but only if the club continue to pay the remainder of his salary over the next two years, according to reports. The Arsenal midfielder has not featured for the club under current manager Mikel Arteta since March and is expected to depart the Emirates Stadium this years as his £350,000-a-week contract comes to an end in June. Reports have recently linked the 32-year-old with a move to Turkish club Fenerbache and Major League Soccer side DC United. And according to The Sun, Ozil is willing to cut his big-money contract at Arsenal early, but only if the club pay him £68,000-a-week until the summer of 2023. Meanwhile, reports in Turkey say both the club and Ozil have entered talks over his remaining wages, which could pave the way for him to move on this January transfer window. Should Ozil stay at the club until his contract expires, he would earn roughly £7.2m, and it is understood that the outcast will not leave for a penny less than wha

Chelsea transfer round-up: Mount hint, Caicedo latest, Rice problem

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 Chelsea have several transfer rumours surrounding them as Frank Lampard eyes incomings. Signing new players this January will prove difficult, though, with the squad currently too large. Many have been linked with transfers away, including Marcos Alonso, Fikayo Tomori and Antonio Rudiger. That has not stopped Lampard eyeing deals for new players such as Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo Mason Mount is the West Ham star's best friend and would love the England international to come back to the club he left at 14 while the other transfer ventures have proved not successful. Here are all the latest Chelsea transfer rumours. Mount's hint An edited picture of Rice was posted on Instagram of the 21-year-old in a Chelsea kit. And Mount, a close pal of the midfielder, gave the post a cheeky like. The Portsmouth-born ace has made no secret of his desire to have Rice at Stamford Bridge, who left Chelsea at the age of 14. Caicedo latest Chelsea have been linked with a move for Independient

Media watch: Theo in Chiesa’s pocket

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 Federico Chiesa was the undisputed man of the match of Milan-Juventus while his direct opponent on the right wing, Theo Hernandez, was the worst player on the pitch, according to Italian media. Chiesa scored twice in the Old Lady’s 3-1 win over Milan and created all sort of trouble for the French left-back who is rated 5 by La Gazzetta dello Sport and Tuttosport and 4.5 by Tuttosport. Alessio Romagnoli was another disappointing player for Milan. La Gazzetta dello Sport suggests he was “too soft” when Juventus scored their first and third goal. “He is not the same leader he used to be,” writes the paper. Davide Calabria, who played in central midfield and scored the equaliser in the first half, is the best player for the Rossoneri alongside Rafael Leao. Juventus players are all rated highly. Curiously, the only exception is Cristiano Ronaldo who is rated 5 by Gazzetta dello Sport and Il Corriere dello Sport. Milan-Juve: Italian sport papers ratings Gazzetta Milan: G Donnarumma 6.5; Da

Depay dismisses Barcelona transfer talk: I feel good at Lyon

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 Memphis Depay has poured cold water on rumours of a January move to Barcelona.a The Lyon forward declared that he would stay with the French side until the final day of his contract - which expires in the summer - and seems more willing to negotiate with Barcelona at that stage when there will be more certainty. "I'm focussed on what I'm doing with Lyon," he said. "I don't want to make a decision yet because I feel good here. "I don't want to create a mess. "We've got a good team, I like the president, we'll see what happens. "But the president and I know what happened in the past four seasons. "We'll carry on enjoying things as they are until the end of the season. "All I'm thinking about is Saturday's game. "That's all I'm going to say." Despite the uncertainty, Depay has continued his good form with the team, scoring a double on Wednesday night against Lens in Ligue 1. Depay almost moved

Klopp makes transfer decision as he fails to heed Carragher's title warning

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 Jurgen Klopp's latest January transfer window decision will come as a shock to Jamie Carragher. Liverpool are starting to toil in the Premier League after going three matches without a win. It has allowed Manchester United the chance to leapfrog them into first, if they manage to get just a point from their game in hand. The Reds have looked toothless in attack but they are also starting to feel the effects of the injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip. Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have been forced to go into the back four. And rookie starlets Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams have also been thrown into the limelight. Earlier this month, Liverpool legend Carragher insisted that his former club would be in serious trouble if they do not dip into the transfer window. Carragher said on Sky Sports: “I can’t see Liverpool winning the league if they don’t buy a centre-back. “I said that after the Everton game when (Virgil) van Dijk was injured but I think it’s a really toug

Arteta warns Ozil he will NOT be allowed to leave unless the deal is right

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 Mikel Arteta has said Mesut Ozil’s future at Arsenal will be resolved in the next few days, with the manager insisting he will keep the exiled playmaker if the right deal cannot be found during the January transfer window. As reported by Sportsmail, Arsenal are trying to clinch Ozil's early departure this month. The World Cup winner was not included in Mikel Arteta's Premier League or European squads for the opening half of the season and has not played for the club since March. Fenerbahce and a number of MLS clubs - including DC United - are interested in the 32-year-old, who earns £350,000 a week. His contract ends in July - but negotiations are underway from both parties to seal an early exit this month. 'I will decide what is happening in the next few days,’ Arteta said on Thursday. 'I don’t know what will happen, now he is free to negotiate with other clubs. We will discuss internally what is the best situation for him for the near future. And obviously with the

Solskjaer praises Man City after Carabao Cup loss and makes dig at Liverpool

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 Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was gracious in defeat after missing out on the Carabao Cup final to Manchester City, while making a subtle dig at Liverpool by branding Pep Guardiola's side 'the best team in England.' Solskjaer watched on at Old Trafford as his resurgent side failed to outclass City with goals from John Stones and Fernandinho bringing the cup run to an end. The United boss feels his side have improved greatly from last year, but admitted the level of performance wasn't high enough to come out on top against neighbours City, particularly when it came down to set pieces. Speaking to Sky Sports at the final whistle Solskjaer said: 'Manchester City can score many great goals. You can accept that. 'When you concede two simple set-plays, it's very disappointing. Just not good enough in those moments. 'We didn't create enough big chances. They didn't either. We didn't have the extra finesse we've had in the games l

Umtiti returns to Barcelona squad

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 Barcelona and Ronald Koemanhave been given a boost ahead of their LaLiga Santander meeting with Athletic Club, with Samuel Umtiti returning to the matchday squad. The former Lyon defender has been included in Koeman's squad list for Wednesday's match, after having missed the last fixture due to a stomach issue. Carles Alena, though, will not be involved on Wednesday after being left out of the squad, although it's likely his loan move to Getafe will have been made official by that juncture. Injuries have been a major problem for Barcelona in 2020/21, and Koeman will not be able to call on any of Ansu Fati, Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto or Coutinho, with all four players out injured. The Barcelona squad for the trip to Bilbao is as follows Goalkeepers: Ter Stegen, Neto, Inaki Pena Defenders: Dest, Araujo, Alba, Umtiti, Firpo, Mingueza Midfielders: Busquets, Pjanic, Riqui Puig, De Jong Forwards: Pedri, Griezmann, Braithwaite, Messi, Dembele, Trincao, Konrad

Athletic Club vs Barcelona: No time for parties

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Neither Athletic Club nor Barcelona are in the mood to throw a party as they meet on Wednesday evening in LaLiga Santander. The Basques, having changed coach, will be hoping to kick start a new stage, while the Catalans will be desperate to show a better image of themselves after their recent performances. Barcelona have had extra complications though, as two members of the club's coaching staff tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday. After another round of testing, no new positives in the squad were detected, but Barcelona have enough uncertainty surrounding them on the pitch at the moment. Ronald Koeman's side ended 2020 with a disappointing draw against Eibar at the Camp Nou, and they then struggled in their win at Huesca to open 2021. On Three Kings' Day, e Catalans will be desperate to improve the mood surrounding the club. They currently sit fourth in the table, 10 points off leaders Atletico Madrid, and another setback would be fatal. It looks as though Koema

Pep Guardiola: Man City don't have many players for Man United cup tie

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 Pep Guardiola says Manchester City "don't have many players" for Wednesday's Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester United due to Covid-19. Guardiola was without six players for the Premier League game at Chelsea on Sunday and although his side ran out convincing 3-1 winners, the Spaniard fears City's busy schedule will take its toll. "We don't have many players," Guardiola told Sky Sports. "To play one, two games is okay but if sustained for a long time - and you can use just 14 or 15 players - it will be more difficult. "But like everyone in the world, we have to adjust in our lives and our profession as much as possible. We don't have an alternative. "The important thing is there guys who have Covid recover well and the others try to avoid it as much as possible."

Ramos' talk with Perez: At PSG they will make a team with me and Messi

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 Sergio Ramos' future, like Lionel Messi's, could be at Paris Saint-Germain. After two decades of the Real Madrid centre-back and the Barcelona forward going head to head, the two could unite in the French capital when their contracts expire on June 30, 2021. In fact, El Chiringuito presenter Josep Pedrerol revealed on Monday night that Ramos spoke with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez in a hotel before Los Blancos faced Elche on December 30. "Florentino Perez believes that no offer will come from Paris Saint-Germain for Sergio Ramos, at least as a result of what PSG's leaders are saying to Real Madrid," Pedrerol explained. "But according to Ramos, Paris Saint-Germain have told him that they are going to put a great team together, with him and Messi." Pedrerol noted that Florentino's position is such that he believes Ramos should accept the hypothetical offer PSG are making if it is better than the one Real Madrid have put forward, given the c

Carragher claims Reds won't win the league without a new centre-back in January

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 Jamie Carragher is alarmed about Liverpool's recent form after their defeat at Southampton and claims they will not win the league if they don't sign a centre-back in January. Jurgen Klopp's Reds went down 1-0 to Southampton to Manchester United the chance to go three points clear at the top of the Premier League if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side beat Burnley in their game in hand next week. Liverpool drafted in captain Jordan Henderson as a makeshift centre-half in Monday night's defeat at St Mary's but Carragher says Klopp's side will not be champions if they do not recruit in this month's transfer window. Carragher told Sky Sports after the Southampton match: 'I can't see Liverpool winning the league if they don't buy a centre-back. 'I said that after the Everton game when (Virgil) van Dijk was injured but I think it's a really tough ask if they don't bring anyone in. 'The fact they played Jordan Henderson at centre-back is

Klopp blames defeat on missed penalty appeals and Alexander-Arnold error

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 Jurgen Klopp was unhappy with some Liverpool defending and refereeing as the champions lost by the minimum at Southampton on Monday night. Jurgen Klopp felt that Liverpool's defeat at Southampton on Monday night was down to an early mistake by Trent Alexander-Arnold and a failure to award his side penalties. A goal from former Reds striker Danny Ings in just the second minute was enough to secure a 1-0 win for Saints at St Mary's Stadium on Monday. Ings left free James Ward-Prowse chipped a free-kick into the penalty area and, after Alexander-Arnold failed to intercept, Ings looped a clever finish over goalkeeper Alisson. Liverpool pushed hard in the second half but only hit the target with one of their 17 shots, while they had penalty appeals waved away when Sadio Mane tangled with Kyle Walker-Peters and when a Georginio Wijnaldum shot struck the arm of Jack Stephens. Those incidents rankled with Klopp, even though he accepted their poor start gave the champions a difficult

Angry Klopp bemoans Liverpool's 'very frustrating' display in Southampton defeat

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An 'angry' Jurgen Klopp admitted he is worried by Liverpool's blip after they were beaten by Southampton on Monday night. Klopp accused his players of throwing the game away after Danny Ings' stunning second-minute winner extended the champions' winless run to three games. Saints are now four points off league leaders Liverpool, who could be overtaken by Manchester United before they meet at Anfield on Sunday week. Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl sunk to his knees, with tears in his eyes, after a 'perfect night' which ended with a first win over Liverpool for nearly four years. Klopp said: 'I know they are great guys and players but they were not good tonight. 'When I think they should do better, I get angry. Not for long but I do. We don't have to make it bigger but it's big... (it's) all our fault. My fault but the boys had a hand too.' He added: 'It's very frustrating because it's so unnecessary... we gave the game aw

Barcelona postpone training after two test positive for Covid-19

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  Two members of staff at Barcelona have tested positive for Covid-19, causing training to be cancelled ahead of their league clash with Athletic Club. Barcelona called off their scheduled Tuesday training session as a precaution after two members of first team staff tested positive for coronavirus. Ronald Koeman’s side were due to be preparing for their LaLiga match against Athletic Club at San Mamés on Wednesday. The Catalan club informed sports and health authorities after Monday's test results. A club statement read: "The whole squad will undergo further PCR testing on Tuesday morning local time in line with La Liga protocol. As a result the training session planned for tomorrow Tuesday at 11.00am CET has been postponed. The new time for training and the subsequent press conference ahead of Athletic Club v FC Barcelona will be announced tomorrow [Tuesday]."  Koeman’s team are fifth in the table ahead of their trip to Bilbao to meet Athletic, who are eighth. Barca, who