Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers A-League Review: Victory’s Barbarouses settles five-goal thriller Russell Greaves 19:42 1/13/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory Melbourne Victory Wellington Phoenix Western Sydney Wanderers Perth Glory A-League Having fallen to a late defeat in their previous outing, Melbourne Victory bounced back in style to win an A-League thriller. Kosta Barbarouses’ last-gasp strike secured a dramatic 3-2 win for Melbourne Victory over Perth Glory in the A-League on Saturday.Victory suffered a 2-1 loss to Wellington Phoenix last time out and had to come from behind to see off a Perth side who had suffered defeats in their last three games without scoring.Scott Neville netted the opener in the second minute, heading home at a rain-soaked AAMI Park. 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 hosts equalised before the break when James Troisi rammed home a loose ball, with Mark Milligan putting them ahead after turning in a free-kick delivery early in the second half.The full time stats from @HarveyNormanAU Saturday Night Football. #MVCvPER #ALeague pic.twitter.com/xswXNaypq1— Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) January 13, 2018But Glory refused to surrender and looked to have earned a share of the spoils when Diego Castro brilliantly lobbed goalkeeper Matt Acton seven minutes from time. However, Barbarouses had the final say as he coolly finished past Liam Reddy in the 90th minute to lift Kevin Muscat’s men up to fourth. In Saturday’s other A-League clash, rock-bottom Wellington drew 1-1 with Western Sydney Wanderers.Matija Ljujic’s stunning strike cancelled out Brendon Santalab’s opener, with the Wanderers hanging on after Brendan Hamill saw red late on.
Liverpool Move over Man City: Liverpool reclaim Champions League record after just one day Seth Vertelney 06:37 2/15/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Liverpool UEFA Champions League Porto v Liverpool Porto Pep Guardiola’s men set a record on Tuesday that lasted just 24 hours before it was topped by Jurgen Klopp’s high-flying Reds Manchester City set a Champions League record with their 4-0 thrashing of Basel on Tuesday. It lasted one day. The four-goal win for Pep Guardiola’s side was the largest margin of victory ever for an English team away from home in the Champions League knockout rounds. But on Wednesday, Liverpool did them one better with a stunning 5-0 victory at Porto in the first leg of a Champions League last-16 tie. 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 Jurgen Klopp’s side breezed to the win at the Estadio do Dragao, behind the strength of a hat-trick from Sadio Mane – the fourth Liverpool player to score a Champions League treble (Michael Owen, Yossi Benayoun and Philippe Coutinho are the others).The Reds also became the first English side to score five goals in an away Champions League knockout match.The five-goal margin tied Liverpool for the largest away Champions League knockout win for any side, levelling Bayern Munich (5-0 over Sporting in 2009) and Real Madrid (6-1 over Schalke in 2014). Liverpool have scored more goals (28) than any other side in the Champions League so far in 2017-18. The Reds will have the chance to add to that total in the second leg against Porto on March 6, with progress into the last eight of the tournament all but assured. Jurgen Klopp’s side return to Premier League action on Saturday with a match against West Ham. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Mexico Layun: I’m going to World Cup with mentality of being champion Francisco Rico Last updated 1 year ago 01:23 5/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Mexico Mexico v Wales Wales Sevilla Friendlies The Mexico defender says El Tri are going to the tournament not to play five games, but to fight for the trophy Mexico defender Miguel Layun says he’s headed to Russia with the goal of lifting the World Cup, not simply getting to the fifth game.While El Tri has been denied in the round of 16 in each of the last six editions of the tournament, there’s optimism within the squad that not only will they be able to put an end that curse, but also make a historic run.”With an enormous hope, with a huge desire to break through and achieve the goals we have in mind, and, above all with the desire to enjoy it a lot,” Layun told Goal when asked how Mexico is heading into the World Cup. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now “I’m not going with the mentality of getting through the round of 16. I’m going with the mentality of being champion. I think in any competition you participate in, you do so to win it, and this isn’t different. I know it’s a tournament where the best players in the world are there and the best national teams, but ultimately I always compete to win.”The versatile ex-America player has lined up in various places for Juan Carlos Osorio’s squad, normally playing left back but also playing on the right and pushing up as a winger. He’s done the same at Sevilla, the La Liga side he was loaned to in January after his playing time diminished at Porto. Since the winter move, Layun played more than 1,000 league minutes for the club and said he hoped his future will be in southern Spain.”It was a really positive experience. I’m happy with what I experienced this season,” he said. “Lord willing, the things that need to will happen for me to be able to continue here next year and several years more. Now, I’m waiting. I already expressed my desire to continue and I’ll be waiting for any update on the part of the people who make the decisions.”Sevilla reportedly has an option to buy Layun’s rights from Porto for around €6 million.Layun will join up with the rest of the Mexico squad Tuesday in Mexico City, with FIFA’s seven-day mandated rest period after a player finishes their club season keeping him from playing in Monday’s friendly match against Wales.
By BEN HARRIS“Queenslander, Queenslander, Queenslander” were the words echoing around the Port Macquarie Regional Sports Stadium following one of the most dramatic Men’s Open games in State of Origin history.Queensland, the underdogs, the team that no one, except for the players and coaching staff, thought could knock off New South Wales – laden with Australian Men’s Open representatives.But fairy tales do happen.“It’s pretty unbelievable, not many people expected us to win,” Queensland captain Nathan Jones said.“We have a young team with plenty of enthusiasm and belief, and we got it.”Queensland stunned the Touch Football community by winning the Men’s Open division with a gripping 8-7 victory in the deciding game.Both sides exchanged touchdowns throughout the entire match.New South Wales held on to a 5-4 lead at half-time but the Queenslander spirit came to the fore in the second half as they scored four touchdowns to two.With the scores levelled at 7-7, any sort of mistake could have drastic ramifications on the match.Each team tried to use spectacular diving to score their touchdowns but as impressive their attempts were, the dedication by the defenders to stop any attack was better.With the strong 1000-plus crowd on the edge of their seats, Queensland’s Kristian Congoo stepped up to the plate.His bullet-like pass was beautifully snatched in the air by Peter Norman who dived over to give the Queensland the lead – the only time they had it all match.The final minute of the match felt like it went for an hour as the Blues set-up for their final tilt at levelling the scores.To no avail.Queensland winning their first Men’s Opens division in six years.“It’s right up there (highlight of my Touch Football career) because basically we weren’t given a chance. They are the Australian team and we showed what we can do,” Jones said.The skipper labelled the team’s coach Patrick Grehan, who has won 10 State of Origin games from 11 attempts as a player and coach, as the driving force behind the Maroons.“We have a passionate coach. Patty loves State of Origin and he instilled it in all the boys.“He loves Queensland. We all do.”Despite losing the two big divisions – Men’s and Women’s Open – New South Wales claimed the State of Origin overall series with seven division wins to six.For more on the State of Origin series, check out these websites: State of Origin – www.soo.mytouchfooty.comTouch Football Australia – www.austouch.com.auTouch Football Australia’s YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausTwitter: www.twitter.com/touchfootyausFacebook: www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaRelated LinksQueensland win men’s opens
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say AC Milan coach Gattuso: We’re talking about Sevilla striker Murielby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan coach Rino Gattuso admits they’re interested in Sevilla striker Luis Muriel.A loan move has been mooted for Muriel.“I don’t know if we’ve got him, but we have talked about him,” confessed Gattuso on Sky Sport Italia.“We talked about him, as we did about other players.“Muriel can play wide, but you need to make the most of his characteristics and get him to attack the goal. He can play as a support striker too.”
Watford midfielder Doucoure: I’d be happy to join PSGby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure admits he’s flattered by interest from PSG.Doucoure is under consideration at PSG as a replacement for wantaway midfielder Adrien Rabiot.He told RMC: “If the interest of PSG is flattering? Yes, it’s true that hearing from a club interested in you, it’s nice, after I think a club like PSG are looking for a lot of players, they have a lot of tracks, I’m not the only one. So inevitably there will be few elected, but it’s true that my performances are seen, I’m happy to evolve in Watford, the club trusts me and I give back. “It’s flattering and I’m happy. If my profile is missing at PSG? As I always said, with my characteristics, there are not many players with these qualities. After, if Paris Saint-Germain learns about me and wants to make me one of their players, I will be very happy. I have my qualities, I also have my faults to erase.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Berbatov warns Man Utd of West Ham testby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov says West Ham will prove a huge test.Berbatov has warned United about the dangers West Ham will pose.He said, “Going to West Ham as a player, I never knew what I’d be up against. Sometimes they played like a team who could be anyone but, on other occasions, they were a team that would lose to anyone. It will be interesting to see which West Ham turn up on Sunday.“The same could be said of United. A third consecutive 1-0 win would be a fantastic result for them but this will be a test. Paul Pogba is a doubt so, if he isn’t fit, I’d start Matic in the midfield because he’s a real team player and United will benefit from his experience away from home.“United are on the up and I don’t think they will lose this one. If forced to choose between the draw and an away win, I’d back United.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Barcelona legend Stoichkov in tears discussing Bulgaria racial abuseby Paul Vegas9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona legend and former Bulgaria coach Hristo Stoichkov broke down in tears while discussing the racial abuse England players suffered during the Euros qualifier against his country on Monday night.The match in Sofia was halted twice as England’s black players were subjected to shocking racist chants and monkey noises from the home supporters.UEFA have since opened disciplinary proceedings against Bulgaria for a number of charges and it remains to be seen how severe their punishment will be.”What is the solution?” the presenter asked before Stoichkov replies: “That fans are not allowed in the stadium or even heavier punishments.”Like in England for years. Five years without going to stadiums. People don’t deserve to suffer.”The 53-year-old then leaned forward and appeared to start to cry as the conversation moved on to the other guests.Bulgarian football legend Hristo Stoichkov, who now works as a TV pundit in the US, broke into tears while commenting on the racist incidents during #BULENGpic.twitter.com/LNDJa44RiL— mshumanov (@shumansko) October 16, 2019
COLUMBUS, OH – MARCH 18: Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans wipes sweat off the floor late in the second half against the St. Louis Billikens during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men’s basketball tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 18, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)Thursday morning, it was discovered that someone – presumably a Michigan fan – had defaced Michigan State’s Magic Johnson statue ahead of the Spartans vs. Wolverines football game this Saturday. Naturally, MSU fans and athletes are feeling disrespected. Former basketball star Draymond Green is apparently among them.Thursday afternoon, Bay Area News Group’s Diamond Leung talked to Green about the incident. Green made it clear that the act upset him.Draymond Green on vandalism of Magic Johnson statue: “Yeah, that pissed me off too. *Smiles* Scum. It’s crazy. Whatever.”— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) October 15, 2015Draymond Green on vandalism of Magic Johnson statue: “Is that what u resort to? You just keep painting on statues?..Stop wasting your time.”— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) October 15, 2015Vandalism isn’t cool – even when it furthers an already-great rivalry. Green clearly agrees.
EAST LANSING, MI – OCTOBER 29: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines looks on during warm ups prior to playing the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on October 29, 2016 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)As long as Jim Harbaugh is coaching at Michigan, it appears that he will be at constant odds with the SEC. Harbaugh plans to take Michigan football to Florida’s IMG Academy for a week of spring football, which will take place during Michigan’s spring break. IMG is one of the most talent-rich schools in the country, making it an incredibly shrewd recruiting move by Harbaugh. Naturally, the SEC does not like that UM will be infringing on its grounds, similar to the satellite camp issue from last off-season, and the conference would like to block Michigan from making the trip.The result is a back-and-forth war of words between the two sides, and early this morning, Harbaugh posted another cryptic tweet with a link to a Detroit Free-Press article calling the SEC “silly” for raising the issue. Talented Magicians are masters of deception, they divert attention w/ 1 hand to conceal & deceive w/ the other hand. https://t.co/GGUSlIDdNc— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 15, 2016Based on the content of the article, it appears that the “talented magician” in question is the SEC, which almost certainly cares more about the recruiting advantage Michigan will gain at IMG than players having time off during spring break. Until the NCAA weighs in on the issue, which probably won’t happen in time to block Michigan’s trip, expect a few more shots to be fired from each side.
Christian Pulisic is joining Chelsea in a £58 million (€64m/$73m) deal that will see him loaned back to Dortmund for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.The USA international has impressed since making the breakthrough for the Bundesliga side during the 2015-16 campaign and has since made 115 appearances for the first team, scoring 15 goals and creating another 24.He has, however, struggled to hold down a regular starting place in Lucien Favre’s side that have charged to the top of the league standings this season, opening a six-point gap to Bayern Munich. Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Indeed, the 20-year-old has featured only four times from the beginning of matches in the league, with his last start coming on September 29.With the player unable to agree new terms with the club on a deal that would have expired in 2020, BVB were content to allow him to leave.”It was always Christian’s dream to play in the Premier League. That certainly has to do with his American background, and as a result we were unable to extend his contract,” BVB sporting director Michael Zorc told the club’s official website. “Against this background, we have decided to accept an extremely lucrative bid by Chelsea, given the low contract maturity.”Zorc holds no fears that the youngster will allow his level to drop in the coming months, despite his big move being secured.”He’s a player of perfect character,” he added. “I am sure that in the coming months he will do everything in his power to bring his high quality to the team and to achieve his sporting goals with his Borussia Dortmund team-mates.”Commenting on the move, Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia told the Blues’ official club website: “We are delighted to have signed one of Europe’s most sought-after young players.”Christian has shown his quality during a fantastic spell in Germany and at just 20, we believe he has the potential to become an important Chelsea player for many years to come.”We look forward to welcoming him to Stamford Bridge in the summer and wish him and Dortmund every success for the remainder of the season.”As revealed by Goal, Pulisic is a player that the Blues have been tracking for several months amid concerns over the future of star man Eden Hazard, who continues to be linked with Real Madrid.The club are keen to tie the Belgian down to a new deal and make him the highest-paid player in their history, although he is yet to sign on the dotted line and has consistently stated his dream of featuring for the Liga giants.Maurizio Sarri’s side were also monitoring the progress of Lyon’s Nabil Fekir and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele as a potential replacement for the Belgium star.Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool were two of the other clubs looking at Pulisic, but the Reds dropped their interest at the end of November.
Robin van Persie says he is looking forward to being the coach of his own life as he prepares for his retirement, but has not decided if he will return to the game.The 35-year-old started his career with Feyenoord and went on to represent Arsenal, Manchester United and Fenerbahce before returning to the Rotterdam side in January 2018.A Premier League and FA Cup winner as well as his country’s all-time top scorer, Van Persie said he will “probably” call time on a successful career at the end of the season, but he is excited to step into a new life, even though he does not know what he will do next. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “I was on a good holiday in Dubai – 12 days with friends and family,” he told NOS. “Nemanja Vidic was there as well. He has been retired for three and a half years and said very fittingly: ‘When you retire, you have to be the coach of your own life’. “Everything is arranged for [players], a team manager and a coach tell you what to do, we are just children often going on school trips. If that disappears, you have to become the coach of your own life. Is that difficult when your whole life is thought out for you? Yes, but I’m going to try it.”I won’t have to do anything anymore, I’m going to swim, play table tennis, tennis, football. I like that a lot. Then when there is a time I can’t do anything, without thinking: there will be another competition soon.”The Dutchman has not decided if he will return to football as a coach, but has already talked to the Dutch Football Association director Eric Gudde about the possibility of getting his certificates.”I think [coaching] is nice, but I don’t know,” he said. “I had contact with Eric Gudde and he provided options for my eventual trajectory, but nothing has been decided yet.”Van Persie has scored seven goals in 13 Eredivisie appearances for Feyenoord this season. Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men sit third in the table, 12 points behind leaders PSV.
Jadon Sancho would not mind seeing Chelsea starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi come to Borussia Dortmund, but warned the teenager the path to success in the Bundesliga is not an easy one.Sancho has arguably become a model for young English players to follow after he departed Manchester City permanently in hopes of securing first-team football.The 18-year-old received that opportunity with Borussia Dortmund, and has emerged this season as one of the best players in the Bundesliga, scoring six goals and adding seven assists in 17 league games so far. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Meanwhile, Sancho’s former England youth international team-mate Hudson-Odoi has found playing time difficult to come by with Chelsea, while Bayern Munich have made four bids to bring him to the Bundesliga.As Hudson-Odoi and Sancho were both highly-rated youth players who are the same age, there is a thought he could benefit with a move to Germany the same way the Dortmund star has.But while Sancho would love to see Hudson-Odoi make an unlikely move to Dortmund, he warned the road he has taken in the Bundesliga is not an easy one.“I could try speak to him!” Sancho told reporters when asked if there was a chance the Chelsea teen could come to Dortmund.“Everyone has different pathways… coming to Germany is not easy. People might think it’s easy because I’m doing so well, but it’s not easy at all.“You have to have a strong mentality. Focus, sacrifice a lot of things like family – that’s a very hard thing to do.”Sancho and Hudson-Odoi were part of the England Under 17 team that won the Under-17 World Cup in India in 2017, while England also won the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea the same year.It has raised hopes of an even stronger Three Lions side with young players coming in to supplement the team that made it to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.And though Sancho does not quite know how England has managed to produce such a strong crop of young players, he believes that he and others have shown they are deserving of a chance to shine.“I’m not sure what happened!” Sancho said. “I think every young player in England wants to do well and just want to help their families and just be someone that their children or their families will remember.“The World Cup showed that young players are coming through and working hard and trying to get a chance. My chance was to come out to Germany and play football.”That chance has blossomed into Sancho not only showing he can do it with the Bundesliga leaders, but also earned him a chance to feature for the England senior side.He credits Dortmund for that unforgettable moment, for both providing him playing time but also giving him the experience to calm his nerves during it.“When I came on at Wembley I was relaxed. I didn’t know anyone there when I was playing. Dortmund has really helped me.“Playing for England is something I’ll never forgot, I need to thank Dortmund for that. Without this opportunity I wouldn’t have made my debut.”
Though there were few surprise results during the Premier League weekend, there were still plenty of intriguing storylines for fans to get their teeth into.Manchester City got back on track with victory over Arsenal while Chelsea and Manchester United also returned to winning ways after underwhelming midweek results.AdChoices广告But, looking past the scorelines, what were the main tactical lessons to be taken from the latest round of fixtures? Goal takes a look at the biggest talking points… Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Higuain offers Chelsea hope with Hazard link-upsLooking beyond the highlights reel of Gonzalo Higuain’s performance against Huddersfield, there were encouraging signs in his early relationship with Eden Hazard, as well as some sloppy touches that suggest it may take the Argentina international a while to get up to the speed of Premier League football.Higuain frequently held up the ball (or, without touching it, held off a defender to free up space for a team-mate) much like the man he replaced, Olivier Giroud, but unlike the Frenchman, Higuain showed a superb ability to dart into space out of nowhere.That sharp turn – most notably seen for his first goal, in which two centre-backs were taken out of the game in the blink of an eye – is what makes Higuain a top striker. It is also what makes him perfect for the sudden vertical one-two passing that is essential to Sarriball.The new Chelsea striker’s link-up with Hazard was also Giroud-esque.Throughout the opening 45 minutes, Hazard turned the ball round the corner with his first touch, instinctively finding his team-mate and moving to receive the lay-off.However, too often, Higuain’s final pass was wayward (13 in total), and twice from promising two-on-two situations he made the wrong run. It may take some time before Higuain shows the fitness, consistency, and teamwork that made him so ruthless at Napoli.PIC: Passes between Higuain & Hazard vs Huddersfield Llorente the key as Spurs leave it late againFor the opening 60 minutes at Wembley, Spurs laboured badly, with Lucas Moura failing to make an impact as a false nine while Son Heung-min toiled down the left, partly because Jan Vertonghen lacks the technical ability to combine with him on Spurs’ favoured flank.In short, their 4-2-3-1 was too disconnected to trouble such a well-drilled Newcastle 5-4-1.But the game changed when Mauricio Pochettino brought Fernando Llorente on for Lucas and instructed Son and Erik Lamela to move infield to support the Spaniard.Llorente was typically inconsistent, and yet his mere presence meant the Magpies’ centre-backs could not come out and meet the Spurs attackers as they darted around the edge of the D.Son and Lamela combined superbly to create a good opportunity within 10 minutes of Llorente’s arrival, finally taking advantage of Newcastle’s under-staffed central midfield after previously looking to attack predominantly down the wings.Eventually, the goal came thanks to a Llorente knock-down and a Son strike from the edge of the area – a simple move that epitomised Spurs’ change of tack.It was a minor tweak, and a fortunate goal, but nevertheless here was an example of Pochettino’s tactical flexibility and willingness to give detailed attacking instructions from the touchline.Guardiola goes full Cruyff to get City back on trackPep Guardiola unveiled a new hybrid 4-3-3/3-2-2-2-1 for the game against Arsenal on Sunday, taking everybody by surprise with a system that asked Fernandinho to replicate the Johan Cruyff teams of old by alternating between centre-back without the ball and central midfield with the ball.When City were in possession, Aymeric Laporte and Kyle Walker tucked in to make a flat back three, Fernandinho moved up alongside Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne ran the half-spaces, and Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva hugged the touchline, as detailed in the image below.This created a spread formation that allowed City to hog the ball in that 3-2 base, widen the Arsenal formation with touchline-hugging wingers, and then use De Bruyne and Silva to capitalise on the gaps created between the stretched Arsenal lines.The original intention behind Guardiola’s unusual tactics may have been to counteract Unai Emery’s diamond 4-4-2 (Fernandinho’s flitting role could have suffocated Aaron Ramsey while leaving three defenders free to track Arsenal’s two strikers), but in the end the Gunners were predictably unpredictable in their own approach.The hosts won fairly comfortably regardless, and Laporte deserves particular praise for his positional play in a complex left-back/centre-back role; it was his cross that handed City a 50-second lead.Bizarre Emery tweaks holding Arsenal backFor 25 minutes or so in the first half at the Etihad Stadium, Arsenal were competitive, with a superb Matteo Guendouzi out-battling the City midfield in an organised, ultra-deep 4-4-2. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sat on top of the City midfielders and troubled the hosts.But when analysing the 90 minutes as a whole, Arsenal were roundly beaten: knackered in the second 45 largely because the gaping holes in their 4-4-2 had required endless running in the first half just to keep up.Fielding only two central midfielders against Man City is bold, to put it kindly. A sharper, slicker City performance would have brought plenty more goals on Sunday, as De Bruyne and Silva frequently made simple runs off the back of the Arsenal midfield into acres of room in the half-spaces.Emery has made a habit of wild, unexpected tactical decisions during his debut season in English football – and it is starting to hold Arsenal back.The diamond 4-4-2 deployed against Chelsea in January could have worked well on Sunday, but instead he chose a brand new system for arguably the most challenging fixture of the campaign. Very bizarre. Sanchez sluggishness stalls Solskjaer revolutionFollowing Tuesday’s ambling 2-2 draw against Burnley, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needed a vibrant, fluent performance from Manchester United against Leicester City.Instead, he got another worryingly low-tempo display that was not dissimilar from the Jose Mourinho era, and the interim manager must find a way to re-energise his players or risk falling back down the shortlist.In the opening stages, United’s forwards were frequently swapping positions as the team looked to play quick one-touch forward passes, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba pressing high and weaving through a Leicester City midfield that – with Nampylis Mendy in it – was always there for the taking.But things quickly went stale. In the first 12 minutes, United had four shots, played three key passes, and attempted two crosses. In the final 85 (including injury time) they had just six shots, played six key passes, and attempted six crosses.The answer may be to remove Alexis Sanchez from the starting XI as the Chile international cannot offer the same piercing turn of pace as Anthony Martial.However, Solskjaer must also find a way to get more out of his full-backs, both of whom were stunted by Leicester. Diogo Dalot deserves another shot at right-back, for example.PIC: Sanchez touches vs Leicester City Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Kylian Mbappe always wants more, says Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, amid speculation the striker could move to Santiago Bernabeu. Varane has responded to the rumours surrounding his France team-mate which escalated after the 20-year-old hinted he could look for a new project away from Paris Saint-Germain.Mbappe picked up the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award this season and finished the campaign as the league’s top scorer with 33 goals. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? And Varane, whose employers are looking to do some major business in the transfer window following a disappointing season, thinks the talented forward’s ambition will take him a long way.“I don’t want to talk about potential signings. I am focused on France,” insisted Varane ahead of France’s clash with Bolivia. “I have not talked to Kylian directly. We are focused on our preparation and on tomorrow’s game and upcoming ones, so I won’t talk about possible transfers.“Kylian is very important for France. We count on him very much.“During a career there some steps we need to take growing up, that’s natural. Kylian keeps learning and going forward, which he does very quickly.“It’s good that he is ambitious.“He is self-confident, it’s good. He always wants more. Things come naturally in a career.“From experience, I know that things progress season by season. It’s never easy but it’s good, and with France he is always growing in confidence.”Varane has developed into one of the best centre-backs in the world since emerging as a talented youngster for Lens in 2010, and starred as France won the 2018 World Cup in Russia. But his club side endured a difficult 2018-19 campaign, finishing third in La Liga and surrendering their Champions League crown after crashing out in the last-16 stage to Ajax.Los Blancos also showed two head coaches the exit door as Julen Lopetegui was dismissed after three months in charge and Santiago Solari was sacked in March. Real are now plotting a number of summer signings with Mbappe and Eden Hazard among their top targets, and Gareth Bale rumoured to be on his way out after a break down in his relationship with Zinedine Zidane.
The U.S. women’s national team rolled up a record-shattering 13-0 win over Thailand on Tuesday to get the side’s World Cup defense off to a flying start. Alex Morgan scored five goals as seven different U.S. players got on the scoresheet against a team that was clearly overmatched. The USA took a 3-0 lead into the break, scoring 10 times in the second half on the way to their dominant win. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? And while USWNT players were quick to point out that there was little reason for them to dial back the scoring late in the match, it their celebrations for the goals scored late on caught some negative attention, particularly from former Canadian national team stars Clare Rustad and Kaylyn Kyle. “I just think they could have won with some humility and grace, and they just couldn’t manage to do that,” Rustad said on TSN ‘s broadcast of the match. “Celebrating goals later in the game like this is just completely unnecessary. What is this?”Kyle was even less pleased, ripping the U.S. players, in particular Morgan, who could be seen counting goals on her fingers, saying she was “disgusted” seeing those kinds of antics from one of the World Cup favorites. “They’re the No.1 team in the world and for me, I’m disgusted, honestly,” she said. “You’re going up against a team that’s first time in the World Cup, they’re just happy to be there. Celebrate, I get it, like a Mallory Pugh. But these people counting their goals, this … I’m embarrassed. I was a female professional athlete; there’s kids watching this and to be celebrating when it’s eight, nine, 10 …”I said in the pre-game, yes, you want to score a lot of goals, yes, you want to make your mark because of the goal difference. But there’s a way to do it, and that is not the way for me.”Despite the critics, USWNT legend Abby Wambach, the USA’s all-time leading scorer, was quick to jump to the defense of her former team, claiming that they were drawing unfair criticism from some circles. For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is there first World Cup goal, and they should be excited. Imagine it being you out there.This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate.Would you tell a men’s team to not score or celebrate?— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) June 11, 2019 “For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is there first World Cup goal, and they should be excited,” 2015 World Cup winner Wambach wrote via Twitter. “Imagine it being you out there. This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate. Would you tell a men’s team to not score or celebrate?”While Wambach asked the USWNT to continue to do its best to find more goals, she called on FIFA to give more resources to countries that need it. She also questioned whether the men’s national team would be under fire for a similar result.”Really respecting the game and what you’ve worked for is to do your best at ALL times,” Wambach said. This is a call to @FIFAcom to do more and give more resources for some of these countries. It’s the World Cup folks. Would you say this about the men? Didn’t think so.”Wambach, 39, added: “With all due respect: did you see @alexmorgan13 last two goals and her last assist?!!! They were world class. And this isn’t rec league soccer. This is THE WORLD CUP!!!!!!!!! Stop judging these women with patriarchal glasses. You would never say this about a men’s team. Period.”
Benin took advantage of John Boye’s red card to secure a 2-2 Africa Cup of Nations draw against Ghana at the Ismailia Stadium on Tuesday.Mickael Pote had handed Benin a surprise lead after just 103 seconds, but Kwesi Appiah’s side hit back through goals from Andre and Jordan Ayew before the interval.Boye was dismissed after a controversial second booking in the 54th minute for apparent time-wasting, giving Benin the impetus to secure a point nine minutes later through Pote’s second of the game. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ghana face Cameroon in Group F on Saturday, while Benin face Guinea-Bissau on the same day.FULL TIME | Ghana – Benin 2-2 #TotalAFCON2019 #GHABEN pic.twitter.com/yPfJrVqCne— CAF (@CAF_Online) June 25, 2019Benin started in stunning fashion, taking the lead inside two minutes when Pote latched onto Cebio Soukou’s throughball, cut inside Lumor Agbenyenu and poked past Richard Ofori.Their joy was short-lived, however, as Andre Ayew unleashed a powerful drive inside Fabien Farnolle’s left-hand post in the ninth minute to draw Ghana level.Despite Benin looking more threatening in attack, it was Ghana who struck again before the interval. Kasim Adams found Jordan Ayew and the forward thundered a right-footed strike into the roof of Farnolle’s net in the 42nd minute.Yet any hope Ghana had of a routine second half were blown apart nine minutes after the restart when Boye received a yellow card from referee Youssef Essrayri after stepping over a free-kick to leave it for goalkeeper Ofori to take.Benin took full advantage of their numerical superiority shortly after the hour when Pote flicked home Jodel Dossou’s low cross from the left.Only a superb save from Farnolle prevented Thomas Partey’s 25-yard free-kick finding the back of the net, forcing Ghana to settle for a point from their opening outing at the tournament.Key Opta Facts:- This is only the second time that Benin have avoided defeat in an Africa Cup of Nations game (D2 L8). – Ghana have lost only two of their last 14 group games in the tournament (W9 D3).- Mickael Pote is the first Benin player to score a brace in an Africa Cup of Nations game.- The Ayew brothers have scored seven of Ghana’s last nine goals in the Africa Cup of Nations.
College football is back. Finally.Are you excited? Kirk Herbstreit certainly is.The ESPN college football analyst took to Twitter this afternoon to write about how jacked he is for the start of the season.“It’s here!!!” Herbstreit wrote.“CFB IS BACK! Left Nashville yesterday where it has been hot and humid for months and landed in West Lafayette where it’s 72 DEGREES!!!!!!! As excited about that as the game itself tonight between @BoilerFootball and @NUFBFamily 8pm ET on @espn!!”It’s here!!! CFB IS BACK!Left Nashville yesterday where it has been hot and humid for months and landed in West Lafayette where it’s 72 DEGREES!!!!!!! As excited about that as the game itself tonight between @BoilerFootball and @NUFBFamily 8pm ET on @espn!!— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) August 30, 2018There are a couple of interesting college football games on tap for tonight:No. 21 UCF at UCONN at 7 on ESPNUNorthwestern at Purdue at 8 on ESPNTexas A&M vs. Northwestern State at 8:30 on SEC NetworkLet’s. Go.
TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 09: A general view during the national anthem prior to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)Most teams are at the mid-way point of this college football season. After a chaotic Week 7, Week have four Power Five teams that stand out as the College Football Playoff favorites.Obviously, Alabama is the clear No. 1 at this point. Tua Tagovailoa injury concerns aside, the Crimson Tide offense is otherworldly, and even if Jalen Hurts is thrust into action, ‘Bama is the team to beat.From there, Clemson and Ohio State look like the clear best teams in their leagues. The Tigers should have a pretty painless path to the playoff once again, while the Buckeyes still need to deal with the Michigan schools and potentially Wisconsin in the conference title game.Notre Dame is currently team No. 4, undefeated after surviving a big shot from Pitt. CBS Sports‘ team put in new College Football Playoff predictions for the midway point of the season.Three writers believe that the current top four will hold. Dennis Dodd, Jerry Palm, and Ben Kercheval have the Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Notre Dame field.Based on how college football generally goes, they’re probably wrong. Odds are that one of those teams will stub their toes enough to fall out of the playoff picture.The other four writers each have at least one different pick from the “Big Four” currently established:WriterTeam 1Team 2Team 3Team 4Tom FornelliChip PattersonBarton SimmonsBarrett SalleeAlabama and Clemson are the only consensus picks here.Barton Simmons appears to have Ohio State losing to Michigan, vaulting the Wolverines into the picture.Tom Fornelli and Barrett Sallee have Notre Dame out, and like the Big 12 and Pac-12 to get back in the mix, respectively. Oklahoma and Oregon each have losses, but are the most likely teams to be able to crash the party.Chip Patterson goes out on the biggest limb here. He puts in UCF out of the AAC. That would require the Knights to be undefeated, and it would likely require pretty much every other contender to lose two games. It’d definitely be fun, but it would take a lot.[CBS Sports]
CHAPEL HILL, NC – SEPTEMBER 23: The North Carolina Tar Heels take the fiels for their game against the Duke Blue Devils at Kenan Stadium on September 23, 2017 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)UNC is the latest opening on the coaching carousel. Larry Fedora was let go as head coach earlier this morning after seven seasons.The Tar Heels are just 5-19 over the last two seasons, but should still attract plenty of quality candidates. After all, it was three years ago in 2015 that they won 11 games and played in the ACC Championship Game.In the eyes of USA Today columnist Dan Wolken, there is one “obvious” pick for the Heels: Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield.Don’t overthink this, North Carolina. Scott Satterfield is the obvious hire, the smart hire and the right hire.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 25, 2018Satterfield has won 39 games the last four seasons at App State. He had the Mountaineers ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time ever earlier this season.Satterfield would obviously be a quality hire, but there are other names to watch, per ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg.Candidates for North Carolina include Memphis coach Mike Norvell (worked with AD Bubba Cunningham at Tulsa), Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield, North Texas coach Seth Littrell (former UNC offensive coordinator) and Troy coach Neal Brown. ESPN… https://t.co/bFJCoD70mY— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) November 25, 2018Another name suggested by FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman is Ohio State offensive coordinator Ryan Day.One of the coaches I expect #UNC to give a lot of consideration for as its new head coach is #OhioState OC Ryan Day. His stock in coaching circles is soaring this year and he’s likely to have some good options this winter. https://t.co/csYyliWnDA— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 25, 2018We should get some more clarity on this search sometime soon.