Crotone 0 Napoli 1: Hamsik adds to record haul for Serie A leaders Dom Farrell 06:01 12/30/17 Getty Images A week on from breaking Diego Maradona’s Napoli scoring record, Marek Hamsik made it three goals in as many games in a 1-0 win at Crotone. Marek Hamsik celebrated his new status as Napoli’s all-time record goalscorer by netting decisively in the Serie A leaders’ 1-0 win at Crotone.Napoli wore shirts adorned with commemorative patches to honour Hamsik scoring his 116th goal for the club against Sampdoria last weekend – surpassing Diego Maradona’s long-standing record.The Slovakia midfielder continued a current purple patch to score his third in as many matches with an assured finish after 17 minutes, extending the advantage over Juventus for Maurizio Sarri’s men at the summit to four points ahead of the weekend action. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Hamsik had number 117 in his sights after 10 minutes when he exchanged passes with Lorenzo Insigne but saw his effort deflected behind by Stefan Simic.It arrived soon enough when, following another one-two – this time with Allan – Hamsik broke into the Crotone box and drilled an unerring low shot beyond Alex Cordaz.0 – Napoli are the only team in the Top 5 European Leagues who haven’t lost an away game in 2017 (W18 D2). Commuter. pic.twitter.com/dT8cZEtk3q— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 29, 2017It was a swashbuckling display at times from the Serie A leaders, who were denied a second when Cordaz extended himself to tip over when a brilliant dummy from Jose Callejon set up Insigne.Crotone, who will see in the new year in the relegation zone, improved after the break and a sloppy clearance from Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina almost allowed Marcello Trotta to equalise from out on the right flank.Reina’s opposite number Cordaz was busy excelling himself, getting a vital touch to a curing Insigne strike from 25 yards that came back off the barA magnificent double save from substitute Amadou Diawara’s long-ranger and Callejon on the follow-up concluded a fine night’s work from Cordaz.Napoli take the informal title of campioni d’inverno or winter champions, with victory ensuring they are leaders at the halfway stage of Serie A. Two seasons ago, Napoli became the only side over the past decade to earn this distinction and not claim the title in May. read more
Chelsea Chelsea’s Premier League title hopes are not over – Drinkwater Alex Fisher 01:39 12/31/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Getty Images Chelsea Premier League Antonio Conte Chelsea v Stoke City Stoke City The former Leicester City midfielder scored a wonderful goal to get off the mark for the Blues, and he believes they can still retain their crown Chelsea have not given up hope of catching Manchester City and retaining their Premier League crown, according to Danny Drinkwater.Antonio Conte’s men moved into second place in the table on Saturday after a comprehensive 5-0 thrashing of Stoke City at Stamford Bridge.The hosts raced into a 3-0 lead midway through the first half thanks to Antonio Rudiger, Pedro and Drinkwater as Stoke were brushed aside with ease. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Willian and Davide Zappacosta completed the win late on to fire Chelsea above Manchester United and to within 13 of leaders City – who face Crystal Palace on Sunday.”We’re doing well. The more wins we pick up in a row, the better it is for us,” he told BBC’s Match of the Day.‘It’s alright I suppose!’ – A modest Danny Drinkwater watching his goal back ahead of a post-match interview! #CHESTK pic.twitter.com/TlupSSMKIj— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 30, 2017″We managed the game well. We got off to a good start. We can take confidence from this into the Arsenal game – but it’s a totally different game.”It [the title race] is not over until it’s over. So we have to keep on winning.”Drinkwater’s sumptuous strike from the edge of the area was his first for Chelsea since moving from Leicester City, and he was delighted to finally break his duck.He added: “I’m happy with my goal, it’s a nice feeling to score.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Transfers ‘No place for you, Alexis!’ – Arsenal’s Elneny trolls wantaway Sanchez Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 22:48 12/30/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Transfers Manchester City Arsenal Premier League A. Sánchez The Chilean forward wants out of Emirates Stadium, with a Manchester City move being sought, and he has now been reminded he won’t be at the World Cup Mohamed Elneny has trolled wantaway Arsenal team-mate Alexis Sanchez as he pushes for a move to Premier League rivals Manchester City.Goal revealed earlier on Saturday that the Chilean is desperate to secure a switch during the January transfer window, having missed out over the summer.Since seeing the Gunners block a £60 million transfer, Sanchez has continued to run down his contract at Emirates Stadium while sparking endless rounds of rumours regarding possible moves and dressing room disharmony. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player He has also missed out on a place at next summer’s World Cup finals after failing to inspire Chile to a spot at a 2018 showpiece in Russia.Elneny has taken the opportunity to remind Sanchez of that fact, with the 29-year-old clearly being excluded from one particular group at Arsenal.Who will come with me Russia @MesutOzil1088 @MustafiOfficial @_OlivierGiroud_ @LacazetteAlex @6_LKOSCIELNY @HectorBellerin @_nachomonreal @D_Ospina1sorry my friend Sanchez There is no place for you @Alexis_Sanchez pic.twitter.com/LftdGE9AJn— Mohamed ELNeny (@ElNennyM) December 30, 2017Sanchez has been accused of rowing with team-mates over recent weeks, with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry suggesting that he has caused a divide within Arsene Wenger’s squad.Martin Keown, meanwhile, has claimed that the South American, along with fellow contract rebel Mesut Ozil, has been “overindulged” while refusing to commit fully to the cause in north London.That may not be an issue for too much longer, with Sanchez looking to trade top-four hopefuls for runaway title challengers when the transfer window opens.Whatever happens, though, there is seemingly no chance of him being an Arsenal player by the time Elneny and Co return from Russia with tales of their World Cup endeavours – with free agency set to be reached if no winter sale is sanctioned.
Manchester United 0 Southampton 0: Slim title hopes fading fast for Mourinho Jack Davies Last updated 1 year ago 03:27 12/31/17 Getty Images A third successive draw dealt Manchester United a further setback in their Premier League title challenge, held 0-0 by Southampton. Manchester United’s faltering pursuit of runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City hit another bump in the road on Saturday as they were held to a goalless draw by Southampton.United welcomed Southampton to Old Trafford having failed to pick up a win from their previous two top-flight fixtures, drawing 2-2 at Leicester City before labouring to the same result at home to Burnley on Boxing Day.The hosts lost Romelu Lukaku to a head injury after only eight minutes and, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic omitted from the squad by Jose Mourinho, introduced Marcus Rashford to lead the line. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player But United failed to cause goalkeeper Alex McCarthy – in for the dropped Fraser Forster – any real problems, although they did have a goal disallowed late on after an offside Paul Pogba got a touch to a Nemanja Matic effort that could have snuck inside the post without his intervention.United could now start the new year 17 points adrift of City if their fierce rivals extend their winning run to 19 matches at Crystal Palace on Sunday.FT: #MUFC 0 Southampton 0. A disappointing end to 2017 for the Reds as the game ends goalless. #MUNSOU pic.twitter.com/gyI5RjVOKy— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 30, 2017The home side had already lost second spot to Chelsea following a 5-0 win for Antonio Conte’s side against Stoke City earlier in the day, while Southampton are now without a win in eight league matches, although they will be happy to take this point.As Mourinho elected to leave Rashford and Anthony Martial on the bench and Ibrahiovic out entirely, Lukaku remained the focal point of the United attack and should have done better when he headed over from close range following a left-footed Juan Mata cross, before James Ward-Prowse drew a diving save from David De Gea with a low drive towards the bottom right-hand corner.Lukaku’s match lasted only eight minutes as a clash of heads with Wesley Hoedt forced Mourinho to introduce Rashford, with the Belgian striker receiving treatment on the pitch for several minutes before leaving the field on a stretcher, seemingly in some discomfort.@PaulPogba in first-half action for #MUFC. #MUNSOU pic.twitter.com/6O8zH0VQYM— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 30, 2017Ward-Prowse was on target once more with from a 19th-minute free-kick – De Gea again equal to the effort – before McCarthy was called into action for the first time to keep out a Mata daisy-cutter.Calls for a penalty against Maya Yoshida went unrewarded by referee Craig Pawson after the ball made contact with the Southampton defender’s arm in the box, and Jesse Lingard sent a glancing header just wide of the target from a Henrikh Mkhitaryan cross as half-time approached.Shane Long was denied by the outstretched leg of De Gea after stealing a march on Matic at the start of the second period, before Ashley Young curled a free-kick wide of the left-hand post.Dusan Tadic headed over and then guided an effort wide as the Saints began to look most likely to make the breakthrough, but United managed to withstand their advances.Matic’s late strike looked to be heading for the left-hand upright when Pogba made the touch that saw the effort disallowed, although it could well have crept in had the France international left the ball alone.But United will be left to wonder what might have been as their already slim title hopes faded further in their last action of 2017. Key Opta stats: – Manchester United are now winless in four competitive matches (W0 D3 L1) – their worst run since May 2017, when the fourth game in that run was also against Southampton.- This match ended a 20-game scoring run for Manchester United at Old Trafford in all competitions, since last failing to score there on April 1st v WBA (also 0-0).- Southampton have lost just one of their last five trips to Old Trafford to face Manchester United (W2 D2 L1).- Since Jose Mourinho’s first game in charge of Manchester United in August 2016, the Red Devils have won 113 points from 59 Premier League games – fewer than Chelsea (138), Man City (136), Spurs (123) and Liverpool (117). Arsenal have played a game less (58) and have won just one point fewer (112). read more
Premier League Germany to win World Cup, Neymar to break world record again & 18 thoughts for 2018 Peter Staunton Click here to see more stories from this author 06:00 1/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(7) Getty Premier League World Cup Lionel Messi Cristiano Ronaldo Neymar Guardiola José Mourinho Zinédine Zidane Antonio Conte Raheem Sterling Mario Balotelli Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern München Celta de Vigo v Real Madrid Barcelona v Levante Crystal Palace v Manchester City Manchester City v Watford Manchester United v Southampton Everton v Manchester United PSG v Lille Napoli v Hellas Verona Chelsea v Stoke City Fiorentina v Milan Nice v Αμιάν Germany v Mexico Real Madrid Bayern München Barcelona Manchester United Manchester City PSG Napoli Nice Fiorentina Milan Αμιάν Stoke City Chelsea Germany Mexico Primera División Femenina Coupe de France Féminine Serie A Primera División Bundesliga Ligue 1 Opinion Transfers From the World Cup to the Champions League, from the Ballon d’Or to the Golden Boot, it’s going to be an epic year in the world of football
Premier League Klopp delighted with ‘perfect’ Liverpool after Leicester victory Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 17:46 12/31/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Premier League Liverpool Leicester City Liverpool v Leicester City Mohamed Salah Jürgen Klopp The Reds drew gushing plaudits from their manager after Mohamed Salah’s brace overhauled Jamie Vardy’s early opener at Anfield Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool’s response to conceding an early Leicester City goal as “the best I’ve ever seen” following Saturday’s Mohamed Salah-inspired 2-1 win at Anfield.Jamie Vardy continued his familiar habit of scored against Liverpool by dispatching Riyad Mahrez’s third-minute cutback – the England striker’s seventh in his past five outings against Klopp’s men.Leicester held firm under relentless pressure before the interval and Liverpool’s reward arrived during the second period, courtesy of two expertly taken strikes from Salah that take the Egypt winger on to 23 goals for the campaign in all competitions. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “It is a maximum satisfaction to win like this and on perfect days we win football games. Today was pretty much perfect,” Klopp told BBC Sport. “When we were one goal down our reaction was the best I’ve ever seen in this situation.”The crowd were unbelievable and we needed them to score these two goals.”Mo was fantastic with his dribbling and his vision. I couldn’t ask more from him.”Klopp added: “Staying in the game is the real deal of football in this league but I am happy for Mo, I am happy for the team because this group is a fantastic group of players.”It’s a good team performance and a well-deserved win.”Liverpool lie fourth in the Premier League after extending their top-flight unbeaten run to 12 matches and travel to Burnley on New Year’s Day, while Leicester host Huddersfield Town.”Of course, after a defeat it is a disappointment but Liverpool played their best,” said Leicester manager Claude Puel. “We did well to score first and we tried to keep that in the second half. We need to continue our work but it is important to concentrate on the game on Monday and forget this game to move forward.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Arsenal Wenger record won’t be beaten, says old adversary Ferguson Matthew Scott 03:54 1/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Arsenal Premier League Arsène Wenger The United icon’s record tally of Premier League games managed has been surpassed, and he believes it is the last time a manager will reach the mark Alex Ferguson believes Arsene Wenger’s record for Premier League games managed will never be beaten.Arsenal boss Wenger clocked up 811 Premier League fixtures in the dugout during Sunday’s controversial 1-1 draw with West Brom, surpassing the benchmark previously set by his old foe Ferguson at Manchester United.Wenger is widely seen as the last of a dying breed, having managed the Gunners for more than 20 years, into an era that has seen sackings become much more commonplace. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player And the Old Trafford icon believes Wenger’s tally, wherever it ends, will stand the test of time.”I applaud Arsene on surpassing my record of managing 810 Premier League games,” Ferguson said via the League Managers’ Association.”It is a fantastic milestone which has required the highest standards of dedication and professional management to achieve. I doubt his record, whatever it turns out to be, will ever be beaten.”Congratulations on a truly remarkable career and great service to football and Arsenal FC.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Liverpool Klopp: Did Liverpool deserve to win? I don’t care Harry West 02:51 1/2/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Liverpool Premier League Jürgen Klopp Burnley v Liverpool Burnley The Reds battled to a last-gasp 2-1 win at Burnley that left their manager relieved to pick up maximum points from two games in three days Jurgen Klopp was relieved to come away from Burnley with a hard-earned 2-1 victory as Liverpool were indebted to Ragnar Klavan’s 94th-minute winner.The Reds were without Philippe Coutinho (thigh) and Mohamed Salah (groin) at Turf Moor on Monday, but Sadio Mane’s stunning opener just after the hour had them in front.Johann Berg Gudmundsson equalised for the Clarets in the 87th minute. However, Klavan stole in at the back post deep into stoppage time to head home from point-blank range and leave Klopp satisfied with a second win in three days following Saturday’s defeat of Leicester City. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “It was a very difficult game, these fixtures are really difficult to take,” Klopp said. “We did brilliant, the weather made it so hard, windy, rainy.”Burnley are dong well, we denied them to do what they usually like to do. It took a while to score and then the next two goals were very similar.”It was a deserved three points and if people say [otherwise], I don’t care.Happy New Year, Reds. pic.twitter.com/ZBjLHrXTnL— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 1, 2018″Six points in two days – I’ve never had that before. A fantastic finish to the game. This is one of the toughest places to play all season.”I like rotation, I love the quality of my squad and I am really pleased. It was not fantastic football but it was a fantastic attitude.”Today it wasn’t possible to play brilliantly but it was an open game, we had a massive setback with the equaliser but we changed it again – we haven’t done that too often this year.”Adam Lallana was great, after four or five months out, performing like this. It’s not easy at this time, and the whole team applauded Sadio Mane when he came in because we needed that goal. He is not playing at his most fluent but a great goal.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Swansea City 0 Tottenham 2: Llorente scores on return as Spurs weather the storm Ryan Benson Last updated 1 year ago 05:41 1/3/18 Getty Images Tottenham just about coped with the sodden conditions as they left Swansea City with a 2-0 win. Fernando Llorente came back to haunt former side Swansea City as he started in place of Harry Kane and scored the opener in Tottenham’s 2-0 win at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday.Llorente left Swansea for Spurs at the start of the season and was making a first league start for his new side due to Kane’s recent illness, scoring early on before Dele Alli doubled the advantage with a fortuitous effort in the closing stages on a sodden evening in south Wales.The pouring rain meant the pitch was not exactly ideal for a considered, passing approach, so it came as little surprise to see the breakthrough arrive via a free-kick, as Llorente headed in a pinpoint delivery from an offside position that went unpunished. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Chances were fairly rare for the remainder of the first half, but Luciano Narsingh, Jordan Ayew and Mike van der Hoorn all went close as Swansea rallied after the break.30 – Awful conditions here as the rain continues to come down in Wales. We have been in control though and deservedly lead after half an hour.#Swans 0-1 #THFC pic.twitter.com/bLY3DON2uv— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 2, 2018However, Alli’s 89th-minute effort ended Swansea hopes and Spurs secured a win that takes them back above Arsenal to fifth, while it proved to be a disappointing home debut for new Swansea coach Carlos Carvalhal.Kane’s absence did not appear to have any kind of negative impact on Spurs during the early exchanges, as the visitors wasted no time in taking control.11 – Fernando Llorente has scored 11 goals in his last 12 Premier League appearances at the Liberty Stadium (10 of those for Swansea). Stomping.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 2, 2018And the opening goal arrived after just 12 minutes, as Llorente met Christian Eriksen’s left-wing free-kick with a glancing header to beat Lukasz Fabianski, despite being well offside.Swansea initially failed to produce much of a response, with Spurs remaining well on top without appearing to exert a great deal of effort.For all Spurs’ possession, however, they created precious few opportunities and the only other meaningful chance that fell their way was wasted just before the break.Another Eriksen free-kick caused havoc in the Swansea defence and Llorente rose to meet it, prodding it over from close range when it arguably made more sense to use his head.Carvalhal introduced Luciano Narsingh – who scored the winner from the bench against Watford – as a substitute early in the second period, with Swansea looking rather more purposeful than before the break.The visitors survived a scare when Davinson Sanchez caught Martin Olsson late and avoided a second booking, only to be withdrawn for the returning Victor Wanyama soon after.Swansea’s first genuine chance then fell to Narsingh in the 65th minute, blasting at Lloris from a tight angle after being played through by Renato Sanches.And two more glorious opportunities went their way shortly after – Ayew thwarted at the last second by Wanyama after evading challenges from Eric Dier and Hugo Lloris, before Van der Hoorn hit the post with a header from the resulting corner.But Swansea’s onslaught came to nothing, as Kane – a 68th-minute replacement for Llorente – produced a stunning ball over the defence to pick out Alli and the midfielder netted at the second time of asking after his initial effort came back off Fabianski to wrap up a hard-fought win.Key Opta stats:- This was Swansea’s 11th defeat at the hands of Spurs in the Premier League (P14 W0 D3 L11); their most against any opponent in the competition.- The Swans have won just one of their last 20 games against “top six” sides in the Premier League (D4 L15), with that win coming just under a year ago against Liverpool (3-2 at Anfield).- Mauricio Pochettino’s side have scored at least two goals in five of their last six Premier League games (18 overall – an average of three per game). – Fernando Llorente has scored 11 goals in his last 12 Premier League appearances at the Liberty Stadium (10 of those for Swansea).- Since the start of last season, only Romelu Lukaku (9) has scored more headed goals than the Spaniard (8) in the Premier League. read more
Transfers Inter rule out Mkhitaryan move as Spalletti prepares for frugal January Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 02:02 1/5/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Internazionale Premier League Ligue 1 Fiorentina v Internazionale Fiorentina Manchester United PSG Bologna Serie A The Serie A side’s manager says his club are not in a position to bring in big-money players, including the Manchester United man Luciano Spalletti insists he will not look to remedy Inter’s current slump in form with big-money January signings such as out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.Inter led the way in Serie A after a 16-game undefeated start to the season, but have slipped behind Napoli and Juventus after failing to win their past four top-flight games.The run began with a 0-0 draw at Juve, the second-placed side they now trail by six points, with subsequent back-to-back losses to Udinese and Sassuolo contributing to the Nerazzurri being seven shy of league leaders Napoli. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Spalletti’s former club Roma are just two points behind in fourth but the head coach will continue to respect Inter’s obligations with regards to Financial Fair Play, given their expected return to UEFA competition next season.As such, the 58-year-old maintains speculation linking Inter with the likes of Mkhitaryan, Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Javier Pastore or Bologna forward Simone Verdi will remain just that.”To keep saying we need to have a big transfer campaign, after the club has made it clear there are certain parameters to be respected, seems to me the best way to get hurt,” he told a news conference ahead of Friday’s trip to Fiorentina — Inter’s last before Serie A’s mid-season break.”You can say names — Mkhitaryan, Pastore, Verdi. But they’d cost €30 million and we don’t have that.”We need to go and play our game, show all of our quality again. We need to focus on individual quality and make it available to the team. It will be needed in a match such as this.”The players need to know that I’m absolutely certain of their quality and I know that they have potential. Things have to be fixed on their own as they have been so far.”In these times, we rediscover the strength of the group, the family.”| #Spalletti: “We need to improve the quality of our play a bit, we’ve got what it takes and I can see that. We must do something better in this regard.” #FiorentinaInter pic.twitter.com/K3BlBgaqAF— Inter (@Inter_en) January 4, 2018While Spalletti was happy to give a glowing assessment of the quality at his disposal, he warned his players that this is no time to sulk and shed tears.”We can’t make excuses. First of all, we can’t cry about things. Whoever does that won’t reach their objectives,” he said.”We need to improve the quality of our play a bit, we’ve got what it takes and I can see that. We must do something better in this regard.”
MLS MLS to take abbreviated World Cup break as league releases full 2018 schedule Thomas Floyd @thomasfloyd10 Last updated 1 year ago 04:02 1/5/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Andrew Nelles MLS World Cup The league will go on hiatus from June 14-22 during the showpiece event in Russia MLS released its full 2018 schedule on Thursday, with the league taking an abbreviated break for the World Cup from June 14-22.In the wake of the U.S. national team’s failure to qualify for Russia 2018, the nine-day hiatus marks a slight decrease from the 13-day break the league took for the 2014 tournament in Brazil.The 2018 campaign will kick off March 4 and conclude Oct. 28, with the playoffs running from Oct. 31 to the MLS Cup final Dec. 8. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player MLS, which previously announced each club’s home opener for the 2018 season, confirmed the first match between the LA Galaxy and expansion side Los Angeles FC will be held March 31 at StubHub Center.D.C. United will open its new soccer-specific stadium, Audi Field, against the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 14. The club will play 12 of its first 14 matches on the road before that contest, with two home games set for temporary venues.LAFC, meanwhile, will play its first match at the new Banc of California Stadium against the Seattle Sounders on April 29. This year’s MLS Cup final rematch will see defending champion Toronto FC host the Sounders on May 9 at BMO Field.The MLS All-Star Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will be held Aug. 1 against an opponent to be announced.Following the midseason break, MLS will have five matches televised on Fox immediately after World Cup contests.In addition to three double-headers with round of 16 matches and one with a quarterfinal clash, MLS will feature a match between Atlanta United and the Sounders following the World Cup final July 15.
FA Cup Liverpool vs Everton: TV channel, stream, kick-off time, odds & match preview Goal Last updated 1 year ago 17:00 1/5/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty FA Cup Liverpool v Everton Everton Liverpool The Merseyside rivals face off at Anfield with a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup – as well as local bragging rights – at stake For the second time in less than month the two giants of Merseyside football face off, this time in the third round of the FA Cup.Everton picked up a 1-1 draw when they travelled to Anfeld back in December as the Toffees frustrated Liverpool for long periods before Wayne Rooney’s equaliser from the penalty spot.Since then, though, the Reds have won four of their six matches, though injuries to key players could be vital to whether they can progress to the next stage. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Game Liverpool vs Everton Date Friday, January 5 Time 19:55 GMT / 14:55 ET Stream (US only) fuboTV (7-day free trial) TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM In the United Kingdom (UK) the game is being shown live on television on BBC One and can be streamed live online on the BBC Sport website. UK TV channel Online stream BBC One BBC Sport website In the United States (US), the FA Cup can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.SQUADS & TEAM NEWS Position Liverpool players Goalkeepers Mignolet, Karius Defenders Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Matip, Van Dijk, Lovren, Klavan Midfielders Can, Milner, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coutinho, Lallana Forwards Firmino, Salah, Mane, Sturridge, Solanke, Ings, Woodburn Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho are both major doubts having missed Monday’s win over Burnley with injuries.Virgil van Dijk is eligible to make his Reds debut following his £75 million move from Southampton, but it remains to be seen whether he will be thrown into such a big match.Potential Liverpool starting XI: Mignolet; Gomez, Matip, Klavan, Robertson; Milner, Can, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Oxlade-Chamberlain. Position Everton players Goalkeepers Pickford, Joel Defenders Martina, Kenny, Keane, Jagielka, Holgate, Williams Midfielders Schneiderlin, Gueye, McCarthy, Sigurdsson, Barkley, Davies, Besic, Klaassen, Vlasic, Baningime Forwards Rooney, Calvert-Lewin, Niasse, Bolasie, Lennon, Lookman, Mirallas, Sandro Idrissa Gueye sat out Monday’s defeat to Manchester United and faces a race against time to be fit for the trip across Stanley Park.Ross Barkley is closing in on a return to action having missed the first half of the season with a hamstring injury but is unlikely to be risked at Anfield.Potential Everton starting XI: Pickford; Kenny, Holgate, Jagielka, Martina; Schneiderlin, McCarthy; Lennon, Rooney, Sigurdsson; Calvert-Lewin.BETTING & MATCH ODDS Liverpool are 2/5 favourites to win according to dabblebet, with Everton priced at 13/2 to beat the Reds at Anfield. A draw is available at 7/2.Mohamed Salah is priced at 3/1 to score first, while Wayne Rooney is the favourite among the Everton players to open the scoring at 17/2.Click here to see all of dabblebet’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.GAME PREVIEW Just when Liverpool’s season looked to be picking up momentum it again threatens to come crashing down yet again in January.Though they snuck past Burnley thanks to a 94th minute goal from Ragnar Klavan, the Reds were disappointing without Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho, and Jurgen Klopp will be hopeful he can count on both of them against Everton.Coutinho, in particular, will be under sharp focus should he start given the speculation that his dream move to Barcelona may actually come to fruition in the January transfer window.Across Stanley Park at Everton, the optimism with which Sam Allardyce’s first matches in charge were met has quickly evaporated, with the Toffees failing to register a win over the festive period.The Toffees failed to register a shot on target against Chelsea and Manchester United in their two home games around Christmas while a draw at West Brom and defeat at Bournemouth suggested Allardyce still has plenty of work to do over the January window. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Thierno Ballo Who is Thierno Ballo? Meet Chelsea’s new 16-year-old Austrian wonderkid Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 19:14 1/5/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Chelsea Premier League The Blues won the race to sign the striker who announced himself as a special talent with two goals against England’s Under-17s as a 14-year-old Thierno Ballo is just 16 and only arrived at Chelsea three days ago. However, the striking sensation does not lack confidence.”I hope to make it to the first team soon,” he revealed in an exclusive interview with DAZN, “maybe even next year.”It would not come as too much of a surprise, either. After all, we are talking about a prodigious talent who was just 14 years of age when he netted twice for Austria’s Under-17s in a European Championship qualifier against their England counterparts. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player It was a performance of such quality that all of Europe’s top clubs stood up and took notice, but it was Chelsea who won the race to sign one of the most exciting young players in Europe by wowing the Viktoria Koln starlet with the facilities at their Cobham Training Centre.Chelsea will this week finalise the signing of Austrian Under-17 international Thierno Ballo, who turns 16 today. He’ll join the Under-18 squad. #CFC pic.twitter.com/WqVv6D51tb — Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) January 2, 2018 “I have seen the youth academies of all the clubs who had an interest in me,” he explained. “And Chelsea has the best youth system.”The Blues certainly have an excellent pedigree in that regard. Chelsea have claimed four of the past five FA Youth Cups, won the UEFA Youth League in 2015 and 2016, while they also became the first club to record an ‘academy treble’ last season.Ballo will begin his Blues career working with Jody Morris and his highly competitive Under-18s side but the early signs are that the attacker will have little trouble adapting to the English game.Although Ballo only arrived in west London when he turned 16 on January 2, he has already played several friendlies for Chelsea and netted five times in one outing against West Ham.Ballo, though, is aware that adjusting to life in London may not be straightforward but, given he was born in Guinea and moved to Austria when he was five, he is confident he will quickly acclimatise.”For me, it’s the best thing to go abroad early,” he enthuses. “And I believe that this is the best way for other Austrian talents. I want to make the next step in England.”I have to concentrate totally on football. I am confident. Football really means everything to me. It’s my dream to play at a professional level.”Of course, it’s sometimes hard to move that often and learn new languages. But, when your parents support you, it’s way easier. You get used to the circumstances.”Ballo, who started his career with Bayer Leverkusen before moving to Viktoria Koln on the advice of his former youth-team coach Peter Huemerlehner, has proven just as adaptable on the field as he is off it. The Linz native is a fast and versatile No.9 capable of playing in wide areas. However, he prefers to operate as a more modern wideman, cutting inside to shoot rather than hug the touchline. It is, therefore, unsurprising for a teenager who grew up in Germany that his idol is a player who achieved fame with a similar skill set.”Lukas Podolski is a role model for me because he is a very strong offensive player,” Ballo enthuses. “He was and is one of the best players in Germany.”Podolski, of course, became a popular figure in the Premier League at Arsenal and Ballo is now hoping to follow in his hero’s footsteps by achieving even more with one of the Gunners’ London rivals.”Some people can’t believe that I have really joined Chelsea,” he admits. “I did not expect it either. But now the dream has come true.”It’s totally cool and I am looking forward to playing with all the top players at Chelsea. I can make it to the professional level if I continue with my hard work and train even harder.”With that kind of attitude, coupled with his considerable talent, maybe Ballo could indeed force his way into Antonio Conte’s first-team plans by next year.
Transfers Carroll to Chelsea? I’ve no idea – Moyes in the dark over transfer link Robin Bairner 17:33 1/5/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images Transfers Chelsea Arsenal v Chelsea Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United West Ham United Premier League The former Manchester United manager says Heung-Min Son’s late equaliser on Thursday will not change his transfer plans for the month ahead David Moyes has admitted that he has “no idea” if there is any truth to reports linking striker Andy Carroll with a January switch to Chelsea.The England international was on the bench as West Ham drew 1-1 with Tottenham at Wembley on Thursday, rotated out of the squad after scoring a match-winning double against West Brom two days earlier.In the wake of that contribution, the 28-year-old striker was associated with a move to Stamford Bridge, yet Hammers manager Moyes is in the dark if there is a deal brewing. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “I’ve no idea about that,” he said when quizzed on Carroll’s situation by Sky Sports after the Spurs draw.He did hint, however, that he has more than enough offensive options at his disposal to lead the side away from trouble.“We need some extra players, we’re quite well endowed in certain areas – upfront we’ve got a lot of players to choose from – but we don’t have it in other areas,” he said.Moyes has started to lead West Ham up the Premier League standings, yet their situation would have looked so much more comfortable had they held onto the 1-0 lead given to them by Pedro Obiang’s stunning goal. Heung-Min Son instead levelled matters with five minutes left, but despite squandering two points, the Scot says his plans for the month ahead have not been altered.“No, it doesn’t affect my thinking,” he said.”I’ve been here for seven or eight weeks, so the club should have an idea what is required as well.”West Ham are now 15th in the standings, two points clear of the drop zone. Had they held on to victory on Thursday, they would have climbed as high as 11th.
Transfers Barcelona January transfer news LIVE: How Messi could leave Barca on a free transfer Goal Last updated 1 year ago 02:30 1/6/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Transfers Barcelona Primera División Goal brings you all the latest news, rumours and deals related to the Blaugrana as the January transfer window heats up How Messi could leave Barca on a free transferBarcelona could see Lionel Messi depart the club without a release payment if Catalonia is successful in its bid for independence, El Mundo reports.The Argentine star’s contract has a clause written into it indicating he can leave for free if there is a secession, although if Barca were to go on playing in either Spain, England, France or Germany’s top flight, he would remain tied to the Camp Nou outfit.Messi currently has a €700 million release clause in his contract, which was signed late in 2017, but if the Catalan independence bid was to be successful, the 30-year-old would become available on a free transfer. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Mina wants immediate Barca moveColombian defender Yerry Mina has requested an immediate transfer to Barcelona, Palmeiras sporting director Alexandre Mattos has confirmed.Barcelona have an option to buy the centre-back after the 2018 World Cup, but La Liga’s leaders are hoping to conclude an early deal.Read the full story on Goal!David Luiz offered to MadridDavid Luiz’s representatives have offered the Chelsea defender to Real Madrid, in addition to Barcelona, reports Mundo Deportivo .The Brazil international is looking to leave Chelsea during the January transfer window, so that he can play regularly before the World Cup in Russia in the summer.Barcelona have already twice turned down the chance to sign the centre-half, with Madrid also offered the opportunity of a deal. Arsenal have also been linked with a January approach for Luiz.Barca want Mina this winter Barcelona want to sign Colombia centre-back Yerry Mina in January, according to Palmeiras sporting director Alexandre Mattos.Mina, 23, has been linked to the La Liga giants, who have an option to buy the defender until after the World Cup.Read the full story on Goal! City want Real Sociedad defenderManchester City have been linked to Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez by the Manchester Evening News .With reports floating around the Pep Guardiola wants to spend £50 million to bring in Alexis Sanchez and a centre-back, the 26-year-old’s relatively low £28m release clause makes him a more affordable option than Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti.Morata sends Coutinho warning to MadridReal Madrid have been warned of the threat a Barcelona deal for Philippe Coutinho would offer by none other than former Blancos’ striker Alvaro Morata, claims Diario Gol . According to the Spanish outlet, the former Madrid striker has sent a firm warning to his old club that the Brazilian would be a perfect fit for their rivals, and that Barcelona landing him would lead to improved performances for both Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. The report claims that Morata’s first-hand experience against Coutinho has wowed him, and he fears a move to Barcelona will make the Catalans, who are already 11 points clear in La Liga, even more dominant. Coutinho close to record Barcelona dealPhilippe Coutinho is close to completing a club record €150 million move to Barcelona from Liverpool, Goal understands.The Brazilian is set to become the third most expensive player in history, surpassed only by Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who signed for Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona and Monaco respectively.Read the full story on Goal! Puel insists Mahrez is happy at LeicesterLeicester City manager Claude Puel believes Riyad Mahrez is happy at the club and rejected claims the winger will seek a move away in the January transfer window.Many of Europe’s biggest clubs have been monitoring the Algerian attacker, who handed in a transfer request this summer that ultimately went unfulfilled. “He is happy with the squad, it is speculation but for me it is no problem. He is happy to play with this team, he enjoys his football and this is the most important thing,” Puel said.Read the full story here . Messi calms outraged Barca stars over Coutinho pay Barcelona’s leading players have been left outraged by the personal terms offered by the club to Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, Diario Gol reports.Many of the club’s first-team stars disagree with the prospect of the 25-year-old leapfrogging them on the pay scale and it has taken moves from Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta to calm them down. However, Gerard Pique, the third captain of the Catalans, stands with the bulk of the squad, widening the rift. Coutinho could cause FFP issues for BarcaSpanish outlet Gol Digital claims Barcelona could find themselves in a world of trouble if they complete the signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.The report suggests the wages being offered to the Brazilian by the Catalan side could have Financial Fair Play implications that could see Barca fined and banned from Champions League football for more than a year.Umtiti not interested in Man City moveManchester City target Samuel Umtiti is not interested in leaving Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo .Pep Guardiola reportedly was interested in signing the French defender, but Umtiti’s agent has told City the player is not looking to leave the Camp Nou.
Puebla v Tigres UANL Puebla vs. Tigres: Live stream, team news, kick-off time, & match preview Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon Last updated 1 year ago 03:18 1/6/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Alfredo Estrella Puebla v Tigres UANL Liga MX Puebla Tigres UANL Liga MX action returns with Puebla welcoming reigning champion Tigres in the first match of 2018 Liga MX returns Friday with the Clausura set to begin with a battle between Puebla and Tigres in the Estadio Cuauhtemoc. Tigres are the reigning champions after seeing off rival Monterrey in the first-ever Clasico Regio final.Puebla’s biggest concern is relegation. La Franja currently sit third-from-last in the table ahead of May’s cutoff. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Game Puebla vs Tigres Date Friday, January 5 Time 8:00 p.m. ET Stream (US only) fuboTV (7-day free trial) LIVE STREAM Watch Puebla vs. Tigres live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.SQUADS & TEAM NEWS Position Tigres players Goalkeepers Guzman, Fernandez, Ortega Defenders Kolodziejczak, Ayala, Juninho, Meza, Torres Nilo, Acosta, Jimenez, Estrada, Rodriguez Midfielders Carioca, Duenas, J. Torres, Vasquez, R. Torres, Zelarayan, Aquino, Alvarez, Sosa, Damm Forwards Valencia, Gignac, Vargas Tigres have few changes to their title-winning squad with Damian Alvarez’s retirement the biggest offseason story for the club. Jurgen Damm suffered burns on the right side of his face from New Year’s fireworks and will miss Friday’s contest.Potential starting XI: Guzman; Torres Nilo, Ayala, Meza, Rodriguez; Duenas, Carioca; Aquino, Vargas, Valencia; Gignac. Position Puebla players Goalkeepers Munoz, Villasenor, Rodriguez Defenders Angulo, Gutierrez, Venegas, Rojas, Pimentel, Zamora, Rodriguez, Mondragon, Santamaria Midfielders Araujo, Escoboza, Acuna, Micolta, Marrugo, Guerrero, Torres, Enriquez, Tabo, Chumacero Forwards Cavallini, Fernandez, Carreno Puebla will need attacking help with forward Lucas Cavallini and midfielder Francisco Torres both suspended from Friday’s match.Torres was sent off in Puebla’s final match of the 2017 season while Cavallini was booked and has reached the yellow-card accumulation limit.Potential starting XI: Munoz; Angulo, Venegas, Rodriguez, Zamora; Guerrero; Enriquez, Marrugo, Escoboza, Acuna; Tabo.GAME PREVIEW Two teams coming off very different seasons meet to kick off the 2018 Liga MX Clausura.Tigres are the champions after topping Monterrey in the final, while Puebla finished 15th, winning just three times in the Apertura.Puebla, Friday’s host, did show improvement after veteran manager Enrique “Ojitos” Meza arrived to take over the team midway through the tournament, with the 69-year-old overseeing an upset of Monterrey.With suspensions to captain Francisco Torres because of a red card and forward Lucas Cavallini because of yellow-card accumulation, Meza will need someone to step up to provide a threat against Tigres’ staunch defense.He may need to turn to new addition Christian Tabo, who joined from Atlas, while Bolivian midfielder Alejandro Chumacero will look for his first start wearing La Franja.Tigres have had little rest since winning the title the second weekend of December.The club was back in training during the holidays and suffered through below-freezing temperatures to practice this week.While Jurgen Damm will miss Friday’s match because of a mishap with fireworks while celebrating New Year’s, the club has the depth to overcome an absence.The attacking group of Enner Valencia, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Eduardo Vargas and Javier Aquino will be eager to start 2018 where they left off in 2017.Despite playing on the road – often a difficult proposition in Liga MX – manager Tuca Ferretti will expect his team to come out of the season opener with all three points before they head home to take on Santos Laguna in week two.
Transfers Conte hails Barkley signing: ‘We are talking about a player with great potential’ Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 06:30 1/6/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty Transfers Chelsea Premier League Antonio Conte The Blues boss is happy to welcome the club’s latest recruit and says the midfielder has all the attributes to be a success at Stamford Bridge Antonio Conte is delighted that Chelsea have signed Ross Barkley from Everton for £15 million, hailing the midfielder as a “player with great potential.”Barkley has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal at Stamford Bridge, finally moving to Chelsea after a summer transfer collapsed on deadline day due to a hamstring injury. Chelsea have given Barkley the No.8 shirt that was once worn by the club’s all time top goalscorer Frank Lampard, and Conte seemed pleased with the attributes his new signing will bring. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “We are talking about a player with great potential,” Conte said at Cobham Training Centre. “He is a complete player but at the same time he is very young and he has just started his career.”He has this great opportunity to play in a great club, with ambition and great targets, and also to put yourself in this new challenge. [He’s a] complete because he has it all. He has stamina, strong physically, good technique and he is a complete player.”He is a modern footballer. I have to still see him and then we have the opportunity to work together and understand how much time he needs [until he makes his debut].””The most important thing is these players must be good [not just English]. Then, for sure, when I was in Italy we had a great base of Italian players. I think that this could be positive because English players understand this league because they grow up in this league.”For Chelsea also it would be positive to buy English players because we lost important players like John Terry, Frank Lampard from this club, this country. This could be positive.”Conte earlier responded to criticism from Jose Mourinho that fellow coaches act “crazy,” with the comments seemingly directed at the likes of the Chelsea head coach. He also commented on Arsene Wenger’s complaints about Eden Hazard’s alleged dive to win a penalty on Wednesday as Chelsea drew 2-2 with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.Conte said he’s not looking to create the “cinema” that other managers seem interested in amid the renewed war of words between coaches in the Premier League. “I must be honest, I don’t read [comments from other managers],” he added. “The only opportunity to know about these situations is during the press conference. I am not prepared like other people to make cinema because there are other people who prepare to have a cinema in the press conference. “Before the game and during the game, I am not this type of person. At the same time, when I start to listen with regularity to this situation it is right to answer because it is funny and I laugh a lot.”Now it is very difficult to do only cinema. Maybe in the past with the cinema it was enough. Now you have to show football knowledge and the cinema is not enough for the coach. In my one year and a half I never talk about other coaches — if I did, only to make compliments, if I saw a well organised team.”Normally when I speak about other coach it is only to make compliments — otherwise I stay silent. But in this situation you must have respect.”I think I do have this, but at the same time I am starting to be a bit annoyed because once, twice [I am attacked], and then the people who know me well in Italy [know how I react]. For this reason you must. If you want to go to fight with me, I am ready.”I am improving a bit my English because this is the real problem for me — otherwise we can go to fight. I am ready to fight for me, my players the club, with everyone. I have no problem.”Chelsea face Norwich City on Saturday evening in the FA Cup third round.
Transfers Tevez’s Shanghai Shenhua contract terminated Zhicheng Hu Last updated 1 year ago 17:06 1/6/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Chandan Khanna Transfers Liaoning Kaixin v Shanghai Shenhua Liaoning Kaixin Shanghai Shenhua CSL The Argentine’s disappointing spell in Asia is officially over, 12 months before his contract was due to expire Shanghai Shenhua have terminated the contract of Boca Juniors-bound Carlos Tevez by mutual consent, the Chinese Super League (CSL) side announced on Saturday.The former Manchester United and Manchester City forward had another 12 months to run on his deal, and long-drawn negotiations with the struggling giants led to the decision.”The club would like to place on record our gratitude to Tevez for his contributions last season and wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” read a statement. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The 33-year-old joined Shanghai Shenhua in December 2016, notching only four goals in 20 appearances for the Chinese outfit.The Argentina international is expected to return to Boca Juniors, where he started his professional career in 2001.He spent season 2005-06 with Corinthians in Brazil before departing for West Ham, where he teamed up with international colleague Javier Mascherano.His stay at Upton Park was short lived, however, with Manchester United swift to snap him up after a promising debut season in England.With the Red Devils, he played two seasons, netting 19 Premier League goals, but it was with local rivals City where his career really took flight. He netted 43 league goals in his first two seasons at the Etihad, but it was in his third, when he managed only 13 appearances, that he helped the club to the Premier League title of 2012.A year later, he was on his way to Juventus, where he played two seasons before switching back to Boca Juniors. He made a shock move to Shanghai at the beginning of 2017, but his adventure in the CSL lasted less than a year.
Philippe Coutinho Massive mistake or masterstroke? Liverpool risk their season with Coutinho sale Melissa Reddy Liverpool FC Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 21:04 1/8/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(24) Getty Philippe Coutinho Liverpool Premier League Opinion Cut through the noise of the circumstances around the Brazilian’s exit and the Reds have an unenviable task of filling his creative void There was the intelligence to wait for the wall of players to jump, before expertly tucking his free-kick under them at the Amex. By then, Philippe Coutinho had already provided two assists against Brighton and Hove Albion, with his improvisation from the deadball situation making it 4-1 to Liverpool on 87 minutes.Only 120 seconds passed from that bit of splendour, before the Brazil international was tormenting the opposition again as his curler was deflected in by Lewis Dunk.Done deal! @Phil_Coutinho #CoutinhoDay pic.twitter.com/8djvhmytAO — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 8, 2018 The orchestration of that demolition came at the start of December, a month in which Coutinho was at his most prolific, scoring seven goals in total – and the one in which he played his final game for Liverpool. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player It included his first hat-trick for the club – in the Champions League against Spartak Moscow – as well as his only header, which came at Arsenal.The discussion around how the playmaker exited Anfield, mid-season, to become Barcelona’s record signing in a £142 million deal will be long and heated.Coutinho was desperate for his departure to such a degree that he committed to paying £11.5m of his transfer fee to meet Liverpool’s valuation after continuously repeating his intention to move to Camp Nou since July. That he was documented during the final days of negotiations as though it was an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians – him posing for pictures in a London hotel room watching the Merseyside derby and on a private plane laughing away as the talks progressed – will understandably and rightly have garnered negative PR, instead of the positivity intended.Cut through the noise, though, and from a purely football perspective, the 25-year-old waved farewell wondrously. Just ask Swansea City trio Federico Fernandez, Roque Mesa and Kyle Naughton, who were flummoxed as to how to thwart him, all trying and failing as Coutinho whipped his foot around the ball to curl his effort into the top corner in a 5-0 victory.There will have been high-fives aplenty in dressing rooms around the Premier League with players relieved that he is no longer around to conjure their embarrassment.All-conquering Manchester City, Liverpool’s next opponents, will be turning up the music. The man Pep Guardiola labelled “extraordinary” scored more goals against them – five – than he managed in meetings with any other club and the Spaniard will be relieved that he was one less difficulty to worry about on Sunday.It cannot be lost, in the fury of the why now? and how?, that the Reds have ceded one the division’s supreme performers as they prepare for the Champions League knockout stage and the exigent push for a top-four finish.There are statistics floating around to illustrate that Liverpool have fared well without Coutinho this season, and as a reminder, that kind of data also circulated when Luis Suarez left for the same destination in July 2014.It cannot detract from the reality that the Reds have ceded their chief creative force, their free-kick king, the co-ordinator of their attacking cannonry, who directly contributed to 20 goals in as many games this season. A player not just capable of excellence and the unbelievable, but one of experience too; his five years at the club resulting in 201 appearances and increasing responsibility in each annum.Liverpool have parted company with a reference point in the dressing room and a differential in the squad. Yes, they still have the explosiveness of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane coupled with the intelligence and industry of Roberto Firmino, but they no longer possess their standout supplier.While Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who can operate as a wide forward or in central midfield like Coutinho, has settled in nicely – his willingness to be aggressive in possession and his deliveries from set-pieces impressive – the England international’s strength is his dynamism, not filling the architect role.Adam Lallana’s return from injury has been timely, but he has never been as prolific as ‘O Magico’ while at Liverpool.There is an attempt to bring Naby Keita’s July move forward, and while that would inject greater vigour and vision into the midfield, the task of convincing RB Leipzig to part with their lynchpin sooner than agreed would be a sizeable one.It is undoubtable that the Reds’ recruitment team have learnt from transfer mistakes of the past and have been surgical in recent windows, producing stellar business like securing the Guinea international, Firmino, Joe Gomez, Mane, Salah and Virgil van Dijk, to name a few.There can be no question, either, that they have spent the past five-and-a-half months plotting the best path to take post-Coutinho, assessing both the immediate and long-term options.Liverpool now have the third biggest transfer fee in world football and a new British record to invest back into the squad.That they have bought wisely recently will be a source of comfort, but ultimately, how they press on will be the real measurement of their skills.A position of weakness has to be transformed into an unmistakable show of strength.Jurgen Klopp tends to get agitated when he has to discuss matches or momenths that have already passed. His usual response is a variation of “I’m much more interested in what comes next.”That rings true as Liverpool find their feet for the rest of the season and beyond, without the player that was blessed with magic in his. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Transfers Hamburg’s Walace still optimistic about Flamengo loan Ronan Murphy Last updated 1 year ago 02:07 1/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Flamengo Hamburger SV Bundesliga Serie A The 22-year-old midfielder could still leave the Bundesliga for his native country, even though the clubs failed with their initial negotiations Hamburg midfielder Walace has not given up hope on joining Flamengo despite talks between the two clubs breaking down, Goal understands.The Brazil international moved to the Bundesliga from Gremio for €9.2 million in the summer, but has only played 12 games for HSV and is already eager to find a way out of the club.Hamburg had been in negotiations with Flamengo about a loan deal, but the two sides could not agree on the length of the temporary, switch with the Brazilian club looking to keep the 22-year-old until December. Hamburg were only willing to loan him until the end of the season, leading sporting director Jens Todt to confirm that the move had been called off. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “We will not lend the player to Flamengo,” Todt told Kicker. “The player is of course massively disappointed. We now assume that he will stay with us.”Hamburg had hoped to sell the defensive midfielder and recoup some of the money they spent on him last summer, and thus were unwilling to let him leave for 12 months. However, Goal understands that Walace is still confident a deal can be brokered.Walace is eager to join Flamengo, having supported the club as a child, and would like to represent them in the Copa Libertadores. It is believed that if Hamburg can bring in a replacement for him during the transfer window that they would be willing to re-open talks with Flamengo, and let him leave for longer than six months.Hamburg have been linked with RB Leipzig midfielder Dominik Kaiser, and a move for the 29-year-old would pave the way for Walace to join Flamengo.Atletico Mineiro were also reportedly interested in signing Walace, but do not seem able to buy him on a permanent deal, with Todt and Hamburg resigned to a loan should he leave the club during the transfer window.