Friday, 15 December 2017
Sports

Sports (190)

Chelsea substitute Willian scored a late goal to earn the Blues a draw with Liverpool at Anfield.

The forward, who scored twice in a 4-0 win at Qarabag in the Champions League in midweek, struck in the 85th minute as what appeared to be a cross looped over Simon Mignolet and into the far corner.

It denied Mohamed Salah a dream outcome against his former club after the Liverpool winger had opened the scoring just after the hour with a close-range finish.

That was Salah's 10th goal in just 13 Premier League games this season in what has been a superb start to the Egyptian's Liverpool career.

Salah could even have won it for Liverpool in final minute but his powerful drive was saved by Thibaut Courtois.

Chelsea are unbeaten in their past seven visits to Anfield, a run stretching back to 2013.

Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah has now scored 15 goals in all competitions this season

Salah, understandably, was the centre of attention in the build up to the match as he faced his former side for the first time since leaving Chelsea for Roma in the summer of 2016.

The 25-year-old made just 17 appearances and six league starts during his two-year spell at Stamford Bridge but has returned to England a much improved player.

Already the Premier League's top scorer, Salah has been at his most effective when alongside Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in attack but against Chelsea he had Daniel Sturridge and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for company in Liverpool's front three.

The triumvirate may have been different but Salah still showed his class. He was Liverpool's most dangerous player in a first half light on chances, flashing an effort over the bar early on while a promising run along the edge of the box deserved more but there was no team-mate waiting in the box to meet his cut-back.

It felt, though, that Salah's name was destined to be written into the story of the game and so it proved. He showed great instinct to anticipate Oxlade-Chamberlain's poked pass and when presented with a clear sight of goal there was little doubt over the outcome.

Salah did not celebrate the strike, which saw him become Liverpool's highest scorer in a single season since Luis Suarez hit 31 goals in the 2013-14 campaign.

Chelsea had won two and drawn four in their past six Anfield visits, but despite that record Antonio Conte's team selection suggested this was a must-not-lose game rather than a must-win.

The Blues lined up with eight defensive-minded players - five defenders along with three holding midfielders as Tiemoue Bakayoko started alongside former Leicester duo Danny Drinkwater and N'Golo Kante in the middle.

That meant Eden Hazard carried all the creative responsibility, a task he grasped fully whenever the visitors had the chance to get forward. His darting runs and sudden changes of direction had the home side's defence on almost constant edge. It was from his through-ball that Mignolet had to race off his line to deny Drinkwater and it was from his pass that Davide Zappacosta forced the Liverpool keeper to tip over the bar.

However, he visibility tired in the second half, weakening Chelsea's attack, and when Salah scored it seemed a Liverpool win was inevitable.

Willian was unlucky not to have started after scoring twice and providing two assists in Chelsea's midweek win in Azerbaijan and it took just 144 seconds for him to make a telling impact in this game.

His three goals in two games is as many as in his previous 25 combined. The Brazilian has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge but his impressive recent form suggests he could still play a part for the Blues this season.

Man of the match - Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah
Once again Liverpool's best player. With his 10th league goal for Liverpool in his 13th game, no player has scored more in their first 13 Premier League appearances for the Reds (level with Daniel Sturridge).LIV
Posted On Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:46 Written by

Lionel Messi ended months of speculation when finally putting pen to paper on Saturday to extend his contract with Barcelona until 2021, the club announced, making official an agreement reached in July.

The Spanish giants had announced in the summer that Messi, 30, had committed his future to the club but the Argentine had not signed the new deal.

With his previous contract set to expire in 2018, Messi could have left Barca for free next summer had he not extended his deal.

“FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi signed on Saturday morning a new contract that will keep the Argentinian superstar at the club through the 2020/21 season,” read a club statement. “The buyout clause was set at 700 million euros ($835 million).”

The steep rise in the five-time World Player of the Year’s buyout clause from 300 million euros in his previous contract is designed to avoid any repeat of Paris Saint-Germain’s capture of Neymar from Barcelona by paying the Brazilian’s 222 million euro buyout clause in August.

Pressure has been mounting on beleaguered Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu to get Messi to put pen to paper.

Bartomeu was heavily criticised for his role in Neymar’s departure and a haphazard search for replacements in the final weeks of the transfer window.

However, Bartomeu saw off a vote of no confidence measure launched by disgruntled fans thanks to Barca’s fantastic start to the season, in large part inspired by Messi’s form.

And Bartomeu now has the image he craved of a smiling Messi tying the remainder of his peak years to the club.

Messi’s 30 trophies are along with teammate Andres Iniesta the most in Barca’s history, including eight La Liga and four Champions League titles.

The diminutive Argentine, who joined Barca at the age of 13, has also smashed 523 goals in 602 games to become the Catalans’ all-time top goalscorer.

News of Messi’s renewal also comes as a huge boost to the La Liga leaders ahead of Sunday’s top of the table clash at Valencia (1945GMT).

Barca lead a revitalised Valencia by four points, with both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid a further six points adrift, thanks to a club record start of 11 wins and one draw from 12 games.

Posted On Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:34 Written by

Manager Ronald Koeman says he can turn Everton's fortunes around after they slipped into the Premier League relegation zone with a 5-2 defeat by Arsenal at Goodison Park.

Everton were embarrassed in front of their own fans, and have now not won in five games in all competitions.

Koeman said the "rumours" about his position are "normal".

"The team is underperforming. It is in a difficult situation mentally," the Dutchman said.

"That is what we need to change. I still believe I can change the whole situation but everybody knows how it works in football. That is all I answer about this situation so ask somebody else.

"It is how you look to the situation. If you start to think negative then maybe there is no solution. I am not like that."

With only two league wins this season, Everton were given early hope when Wayne Rooney re-enacted his famous goal against Arsenal from 2002 as a 16-year-old with a brilliant 20-yard curling finish past Petr Cech.

It was to prove a false dawn as only Everton keeper Jordan Pickford kept his side on terms before Nacho Monreal reacted to a rebound from his save to draw Arsenal level.

Arsenal never looked back and it was no surprise when the outstanding pair of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil combined for the German to head past the besieged Pickford eight minutes after half-time.

Everton collapsed in humiliating fashion, Idrissa Gueye making matters worse when a senseless tackle on Granit Xhaka earned him his second yellow card.

Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey increased the agony for Koeman and Everton with goals in the final 16 minutes.

Even when Everton substitute Oumar Niasse pulled one back in stoppage time, there was still time for Sanchez to end a slalom run with a fifth to bring the curtain down on a desperate day for Koeman, who is now surely fighting to save his job.

Is this the end for Koeman?

The eerie silence that descended on Goodison Park for the majority of the match was the most ominous symbol of all for Koeman.

Goodison Park is normally the most hostile of arenas but the air of resignation was a clear sign how the life and hope has been sucked out of Everton's season after the optimism of that busy and big-spending summer in the transfer market.

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who stood alone between Everton and an even more serious beating here, has been a shining light since his £30m summer from Sunderland, and, for all the questions about his signing, Rooney still possesses more class and vision that just about any of his team-mates.

Other than that, Everton look a tactical and technical mess, the muddled thinking graphically illustrated by the movable feast - or famine - that is Koeman's team selection.

So assured last season, he does not appear to know his best formation or his best team - or, as one wag put it, he does not know his worst team.

When Tom Davies replaced Ashley Williams at half-time, it was the ninth time in 17 games this season that Koeman has made a substitution at the interval. This is a telling statistic.

Wayne Rooney
Rooney's opener came 15 years to the week since he scored against Arsenal for Everton as a 16-year-old

Gylfi Sigurdsson, Everton's £45m record signing, looks lost and the swathes of empty seats that Koeman looked out on at the final whistle will also have resonated with major shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

Everton are now so rudderless and lacking in inspiration that it is hard to see where Koeman goes from here.

Moshiri gave Koeman his backing two weeks ago, but this was such a desperately poor performance that it is impossible to believe he is not revisiting that support.

The jeers from the few fans that remained at the final whistle only underlined the crisis that now threatens to totally envelope the beleaguered Koeman.

'Everton in real trouble'

Former Leicester City striker Steve Claridge said "something has to change quickly" at Everton.

"On this evidence, Everton are in real, real trouble," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"There were very few redeeming features about their play. There is no belief in what they are doing and they are not good enough to play like that.

"There is no reaction to what is going on. The fans have just given up reacting. Apathy is too strong a word but they look like they've had the guts knocked out of them.

"The best they could do is get men behind the ball - no balance, no shape, the system didn't suit the players and there was no quality. Arsenal had five and it could have been a lot more."

Before the game, Claridge said Koeman should be shown patience. Asked if he had changed his mind, he said: "Yes I have. I am not advocating people leave their job but something has to change quickly."

How would Arsenal cope without Sanchez and Ozil?

Sanchez
Sanchez added Arsenal's fifth in the fifth minute of stoppage time

As Arsenal celebrated the easiest of victories at the final whistle, their fans tucked away in one corner of the ground may not have been pondering a thorny question facing manager Arsene Wenger.

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are both running down their Arsenal contracts and look certain to leave the club, perhaps as early as January, but both produced performances that underlined just how much they would be missed.

Sanchez showed no signs of any discontent or hangover from his failed move to Manchester City.

The Chile forward was inventive, endlessly aggressive, created one goal for Ozil with a perfect cross and finished of the win with a glorious slalom run and shot across Pickford.

Ozil was at his graceful best, picking his way through midfield, selecting the finest from his wide range of passes and ghosting in for a fine header that gave Arsenal a crucial lead they never looked like relinquishing.

Arsenal's immediate future hangs heavily on these two players and Wenger may decide it is more palatable to take the long-term financial hit rather than lose what they could give him in the latter months of the season when the January transfer window opens.

Arsenal given easy ride

Arsenal's character and heart for battle was questioned by Watford striker Troy Deeney after the Hornets' win last weekend, but Everton allowed the Gunners to rebuild their confidence without a hint of trouble.

If Everton had taken any note whatsoever of Deeney's message that Arsenal may be frail under the physical exchanges, they did not show any evidence of it.

Arsenal strolled around midfield - or what passed as Everton's midfield - almost unchallenged, giving Ozil and Aaron Ramsey free rein to provide service for Sanchez and Lacazette to inflict the punishment that eventually overwhelmed Koeman's bedraggled side.

Man of the match - Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez scored and made an assist. He had seven shots on goal and made four key passes for Arsenal.

'There are no excuses in football' - Koeman

Everton boss Ronald Koeman: "The position in the table is not the position Everton should be in.

"Even after today, I see a lot of positives. It is a negative situation for the team - everything is negative - but I am not like that.

"We had a lot of expectation after last season. Those expectations are not filling in - that makes the situation difficult."

"That was a test for us. We should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up at that stage. It was about how we responded to that - could we keep calm? We did that in a convincing way. Our passing and movement was excellent.

"It's very difficult to single out any performances as everyone played very well. It was important to get our first win away from home."

Arsenal hit 100 against the Toffees - the stats

  • Arsenal have beaten Everton more times than any other club have beaten another in English Football League history (95 wins).
  • Arsenal have now scored 100 Premier League goals against Everton, the first time a club has reached the landmark against one team.
  • This is the 20th instance of a manager winning a Premier League game on his birthday and the third time that Arsene Wenger has done this (2005, 2006 and 2017) - more often than any other manager.
  • This is Everton's worst points tally (8) after nine games of a Premier League season since 2005-06 - when they had four points but finished the campaign in 11th place.
  • Since beating Leicester City in September 2015, Arsenal have trailed in 20 different Premier League away matches. This is the first of those 20 games that they have won.
  • Arsenal had 14 shots on target in the match, the most they have managed in a Premier League away game since 2003-04.
  • Mesut Ozil assisted his 43rd Premier League goal. He has more assists than any other player in the competition since his debut in September 2013.
  • Wayne Rooney has now scored 12 Premier League goals against Arsenal, more than any other player.
  • Rooney has scored seven Premier League goals against Petr Cech, more than any other player.

What's next?

Everton visit Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday (19:45 BST), before travelling to Leicester in the Premier League on Sunday (16:00 GMT).

Arsenal are also in cup action on Tuesday against Norwich (19:45), then host Swansea on Saturday (15:00).E

Posted On Sunday, 22 October 2017 18:28 Written by

Cristiano Ronaldo struck his first La Liga goal of the season five minutes from time to save Real Madrid from losing more ground in the title race with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Getafe on Saturday.

Real looked on course for a comfortable three points when Karim Benzema fired the visitors into a deserved half-time lead.

However, Jorge Molina’s equaliser early in the second half and an incredible miss by Ronaldo left the European champions needing a late saviour.

And Ronaldo rode to the rescue and made amends for his earlier profligacy with an accurate volleyed finish into the far corner.

Victory takes Real up to second and within four points of Barcelona, who travel to Atletico Madrid later on Saturday.

Despite being shorn of Gareth Bale, Dani Carvajal and Keylor Navas through injury and illness, Zinedine Zidane surprisingly left Luka Modric and Isco on the bench after their exertions on international duty and with one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Tottenham Hotspur.

However, that decision backfired as once again Zidane’s men produced a lacklustre performance in La Liga.

Real dropped points at home to Valencia, Levante and Real Betis to allow Barcelona to open up a seven-point gap at the top of the table and even failed to find their top form in seeing off Alaves and Espanyol in recent weeks.

Part of Madrid’s problem has been Ronaldo’s poor league form since returning from an early season five-game suspension.

Ronaldo’s first effort did at least produce a stunning save from Vicente Guaita as he drove Benzema’s neat layoff goalward from the edge of the box.

Guaita was left helpless six minutes before half-time, though, when Benzema latched onto Ronaldo’s pass and kept his composure to fire low into the far corner for his first league goal of the season.

Getafe had barely threatened before levelling in fortunate circumstances 11 minutes into the second half when Molina bundled home Francisco Portillo’s low cross despite appearing to be in an offside position.

The equaliser awoke Real from their second-half slumber and Guaita produced another great double save to block at Ronaldo’s feet before tipping Marcelo’s follow-up effort over.

Ronaldo drilled a free-kick just wide, but his embarrassing moment was still to come 17 minutes from time.

With the goal at his mercy as the ball rebounded into his path from a free-kick, the Portuguese somehow skewed wide at the far post.

Zidane threw on Isco, Theo Hernandez and Borja Mayoral from the bench in the search for a winner.

And it was Isco who provided the inspiration as his through ball released Ronaldo to finally break his duck in La Liga for the season by firing into the far corner.

Getafe could still have salvaged a point in stoppage time when Mehdi Lacen’s shot flew inches over with Real ‘keeper Kiko Casilla stranded.

Real jump into second thanks to Sevilla’s 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao earlier on Saturday as Mikel Vesga got the only goal two minutes before half-time.

Posted On Saturday, 14 October 2017 21:26 Written by

David Moyes says he did not want Marouane Fellaini to be his first Manchester United signing and tried to buy Nemanja Matic first.

Fellaini moved to Old Trafford on deadline day in 2013 at the end of a summer that had seen Moyes replace Sir Alex Ferguson as manager.

A calamitous transfer window got Moyes' reign off to a rocky start and he was sacked before the end of the season.

He told the BBC: "I never wanted Marouane Fellaini to be my first Manchester United signing, that is the last thing me and my staff wanted.

"We looked at Nemanja Matic first. He did not do well at Chelsea and had gone back to Benfica.

"He was a consideration and we did need a more defensive type who could make passes from the middle of the park. We did not get a lot of the things we hoped for and got Fellaini on deadline day."

Marouane Fellaini played under David Moyes at Everton and Manchester United.

Fellaini was the only signing Moyes managed to make in his first summer at United.

But the former Everton manager also said he tried to hijack Gareth Bale's move from Tottenham to Real Madrid and almost convinced Cesc Fabregas to leave Barcelona.

He added: "I spoke to Gareth Bale a couple of times and tried to convince him to join us, we even offered Tottenham more money but he had his heart set on joining Real Madrid.

"I spoke to Cesc Fabregas on the phone too and he was not sure of his place in the Barcelona team. He said: 'I will join you if I do not start my first game of the season at Barca' ... and he did start.

"They were the only two who looked like Manchester United players.

"If Sir Alex Ferguson took over from Sir Alex Ferguson he would have found it tough."

Posted On Saturday, 14 October 2017 12:56 Written by

Anthony Martial has been picked to start Manchester United's clash with Liverpool at Anfield.

Jose Mourinho has handed the France international just his second Premier League start of the season with Marcus Rashford dropping to the bench.

Phil Jones is in the team despite pulling out of the England squad with a knee injury ahead of the international break and Romelu Lukaku also starts after recovering from an ankle injury.

 

Mourinho is without Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba so Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera start in midfield.

Antonio Valencia is named in defence along with Jones, Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian, while Ashley Young also starts for the fourth game in a row and Henrikh Mkhitaryan maintains his record of starting every Premier League game so far this season. 

LiverpoolLiverpool
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Eric Bailly is not in the squad after picking up an injury in training on Friday while Victor Lindelof is on the bench for just the second time in the Premier League since his move from Benfica in the summer.

Meanwhile, Philippe Coutinho looks set to start as a left forward for Liverpool, in place of Sadio Mane, who is out for up to six weeks after sustaining a hamstring injury during the international break.

In total, Jurgen Klopp has made two changes from Liverpool's last match in the Premier League, with Roberto Firmino and Emre Can replacing Mane and Daniel Sturridge.

Full Liverpool XI: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Salah, Firmino.

Full Manchester United XI: De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Young, Darmian, Herrera, Matic, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Lukaku

Posted On Saturday, 14 October 2017 12:47 Written by
Manchester United inflicted a seventh straight Premier League defeat of the season on Crystal Palace with a 4-0 victory at Old Trafford to move top of the table.

United needed just three minutes to break the deadlock, with Juan Mata edging them ahead with a close-range finish after being set up by Marcus Rashford, before Marouane Fellaini met Ashley Young's cross at the far post to make it two after 35 minutes.

Manchester UnitedManchester United
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
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Fellaini netted his second and United's third of the afternoon just after the restart, heading home Rashford's free kick into the box to make sure of the result, before Romelu Lukaku made it four four minutes from time, slotting in Anthony Martial's pass.

The victory saw United leapfrog rivals Manchester City, who play Chelsea later on Saturday, while Crystal Palace remain pointless and goalless at the the foot of the table.

Another Harry Kane brace steered Spurs past Huddersfield as they maintained their 100% away record this season.

Harry Kane struck a brace as Tottenham eased to a 4-0 victory over Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium to move up to third in the Premier League table.

Kane opened the scoring inside the ninth minute, slotting into the bottom corner after Kieran Trippier had headed into his path, before Ben Davies added a second seven minutes later following a Spurs counterattack.

Huddersfield TownHuddersfield Town
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Kane then made it three for the visitors shortly after, bending a strike into the far corner from the edge of the box, with substitute Moussa Sissoko netting a fourth late on, scrambling the ball home from close range after being teed up by Davies.

English Premier League: Abdoulaye Doucoure (37') West Brom 2-1 Watford

Richarlison salvaged a late point for Watford as they came from behind to draw 2-2 with West Brom and move up to fifth.

West Brom took the lead through Salomon Rondon after 18 minutes, with the striker outmuscling his marker before firing into the back of the net. Jonny Evans then made it two three minutes later with a header from a corner.

West Bromwich AlbionWest Bromwich Albion
WatfordWatford
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Watford pulled one back in the 37th minute as Abdoulaye Doucoure broke free and struck past Fraser Forster, before Richarlison headed into the corner deep into stoppage time to equalise for the visitors.

West Ham and Swansea looked primed for a nil-nil draw at the London stadium, until Diafra Sakho's dramatic late winner.

Diafra Sakho struck in the 90th minute to secure West Ham a 1-0 win over Swansea at the London Stadium and move them out of the drop zone.

West Ham came closest to scoring in the first half with Michail Antonio seeing his volleyed effort from Aaron Cresswell's cross saved by Lukasz Fabianski.

West Ham UnitedWest Ham United
Swansea CitySwansea City
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Andy Carroll hit the crossbar in the 86th minute for the Hammers, before Sakho popped up a few minutes later to finish at the far post to claim the three points for the home side and push Swansea into the relegation zone.

Peter Crouch came off the bench to secure a 2-1 win for Stoke against Southampton.

Peter Crouch netted the winner for Stoke as they defeated Southampton 2-1 at the bet365 Stadium.

Stoke broke the deadlock five minutes before the break with Mame Biram Diouf heading in a Xherdan Shaqiri corner, but they were unable to add a second two minutes later when Saido Berahino saw a penalty saved by Fraser Forster after Diouf was fouled in the box.

Stoke CityStoke City
SouthamptonSouthampton
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Stoke were made to pay for that miss by the visitors 15 minutes from the end as Maya Yoshida struck in off the bar following Shane Long's flick to level proceedings, but Crouch had the final say five minutes from time as he poked home from close range.

Bournemouth dominated the Foxes at the Vitality Stadium but couldn't find a way past them in their Premier League match.

Bournemouth and Leicester played out a goalless draw at the Vitality Stadium.

Jermain Defoe was inches away from putting Bournemouth in front in the first half but struck the bar after being picked out in the box by Joshua King.

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Leicester CityLeicester City
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Leicester had a great chance of their own to score in the second half when Jamie Vardy poked the ball back to Shinji Okazaki, but he was unable to find the back of the net from inside the box.

Posted On Saturday, 30 September 2017 16:16 Written by

Arsenal’s early-season problems mounted at Anfield on Sunday after they were condemned to a miserable 4-0 defeat by Jurgen Klopp’s rampant Liverpool.

Not even the return of Alexis Sanchez could inspire Arsene Wenger’s side as they fell to goals from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge. Salah’s third goal, after 57 minutes, summed up Liverpool’s mastery of the opposition as Arsenal managed to concede from an attacking corner.

After the ball was headed clear, Hector Bellerin misjudged the bounce and Salah sprang past him before sprinting over half the length of the field and converting clinically.

Substitute Sturridge got in on the act with just his third league goal of 2017, completing the rout with a far-post header from Salah’s cross after yet another unstoppable counter-attack 20 minutes later.

The opening goal had come in the 17th minute after wave after wave of Liverpool attacks.

Finally, on a rapid break, young full-back Joe Gomez delivered a superb, hanging right-wing cross and Firmino sprinted in at full speed to head past Petr Cech from six yards.

The warning signs had been there for Wenger, even before Firmino’s opener.

On 10 minutes, Emre Can and Firmino had combined effectively for the former to cross to the far post, where Salah looked certain to score until Cech scurried across his goal to make a brilliant block.

Moments after taking the lead, Liverpool should have doubled it as Firmino freed captain Jordan Henderson, whose poor touch preceded a shot that flew well off-target.

Klopp’s decision to axe regular first-choice goalkeeper Simon Mignolet from his squad had raised eyebrows, although Arsenal made an equally significant move in dropping club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette to the bench.

Wretched
Despite recalling Sanchez for his first Arsenal start since the FA Cup final in May, the Gunners looked close to complete disarray at times.

Still, they might have taken the lead after just seven minutes when Sanchez surged through and played in Danny Welbeck, who could only hook his shot over under pressure from Gomez.

But once in front, Liverpool played with increasing confidence, while Arsenal’s visibly drained. When Henderson’s 31st-minute cross was headed out of the area, Mane volleyed it, first-time, narrowly wide of the right-hand post.

Liverpool’s control was complete in the 40th minute when Mane claimed a second goal that had been a long time coming. To sum up Arsenal’s wretched half, it came from one of their own attacks, which was broken up in the Liverpool area by Gomez.

Liverpool broke upfield at electrifying pace, Can to Firmino to Mane, and the forward calmly cut inside Rob Holding before curling an unstoppable finish past the diving Cech.

Wenger brought on Francis Coquelin for Aaron Ramsey at the interval and the visitors at least started to threaten, with Mesut Ozil shooting wide and Sanchez seeing his shot blocked on the edge of the area.

The relief was short-lived, however, with Can soon heading a Salah free-kick just wide and Salah’s pacy run clean through on goal drawing another good save from Cech.

The third and fourth goals were fully deserved for the hosts and only another good stop by the beleaguered Cech denied Mane a second goal in between them.

Posted On Sunday, 27 August 2017 20:42 Written by

Paris Saint-Germain have agreed a deal to sign teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe from Monaco, French media reported on Sunday.

Radio stations France Info and RMC reported that PSG had agreed to pay 180 million euros ($215 million) including bonuses for the French international striker.

That would make him the second most expensive transfer in football history behind Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona for 222 million euros earlier this month.

Despite the reports, Mbappe was named on the Monaco bench for Sunday night’s Ligue 1 meeting with Marseille.

According to sports daily L’Equipe, Paris will initially sign Mbappe, 18, on loan before making the move permanent.

“Monaco and PSG on Sunday reached an agreement for a loan deal for Kylian Mbappe to the Parisian club with an option to buy for 180 million euros,” said L’Equipe, adding that Mbappe would undergo a medical by Monday morning.

A loan deal would help PSG get around UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, with many wondering how the Qatar-owned club can avoid sanctions from European football’s governing body considering the investment already made on Neymar.

FFP rules currently stipulate that clubs cannot post losses of more than 30 million euros over the three-year period to 2018.

Among the sanctions risked by PSG if they are found to have broken those rules is a ban from the Champions League.

Mbappe burst onto the scene in the second half of last season and scored 15 goals in 29 appearances in Monaco’s run to the French title.

Posted On Sunday, 27 August 2017 20:30 Written by

While Jose Mourinho is pleased with Manchester United's impressive start to the Premier League season, he wants to see how his side react to going behind.

United have enjoyed an excellent start to the campaign, picking up maximum points from their opening two games after repeat 4-0 wins over West Ham and Swansea.

United currently sit top of the table as a result, but Mourinho would like his side to fall behind in the upcoming weeks to discover if they can handle adversity.

"The thing I want to happen is for the team to be losing," Mourinho is quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "So I can see the way we react emotionally.

"At this moment, everything is going in our favour, but it is not always going to be a motorway. You can always find difficult journeys and road blocks, and we have to be ready for that.

"It has not happened so far but going a goal behind will be a different challenge and I want to see how these players try to change a result.

"Let's see how we are when we are in difficulties, when we need the last minutes to win matches."

Mourinho also said that he is not getting carried away by United's start, given they also picked up two wins from their opening two league games last season yet ended up finishing sixth.

"Of course I am happy with the way we have started the season," he added. "And the quality of our performances has given me even more confidence.

"But I don't forget that we started last season with six points from our first two matches and still finished sixth. That is not a lesson, it's the reality of football. Two wins are not paradise, just as two defeats are not the end of the world."

Posted On Sunday, 20 August 2017 13:32 Written by
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