Tuesday, 23 January 2018

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Sports (195)

Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Manchester City restored their 12-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win at home to Newcastle United on Saturday.

City’s 30-match unbeaten run in the league came to a dramatic end with a 4-3 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield last week and their advantage at the top of the table was cut to single figures, for a few hours at least, when second-placed Manchester United beat Burnley 1-0 earlier on Saturday.

But normal service for Pep Guardiola’s men resumed in Saturday’s late kick-off, with Aguero glancing in Kevin De Bruyne’s cross in the 34th minute to open the scoring at the Etihad.

The Argentina striker then converted a 63rd-minute penalty awarded after Raheem Sterling tumbled in the box following a tug by Javier Manquillo.

But struggling Newcastle scored against the run of play four minutes later when a mistake by Oleksandr Zinchenko allowed Jacob Murphy to sprint through and finish in composed fashion.

Aguero, however, put the result beyond doubt when City’s all-time leading goalscorer completed his 11th hat-trick for the club seven minutes from time following a superb run and pass from Leroy Sane.

Meanwhile Arsenal showed there was plenty of life after Alexis Sanchez as they beat Crystal Palace 4-1 without the United-bound Chilean forward.

With Sanchez moving slowly but surely towards a £35 million (39.6 million euros, $48.5 million) transfer to United rather than City, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger left him out of his matchday squad.

Any fears Arsenal might falter up front without him proved groundless as they surged into a 4-0 lead inside 22 minutes at the Emirates Stadium thanks to goals from Nacho Monreal, Alex Iwobi, Laurent Koscielny, Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette before Luka Milivojevic pulled one back for Palace 12 minutes from time.

Arsenal remain outside the top four but heartened manager Wenger said: “We played our real game in the first half, real pace and real combination.”

– United ‘so close’ to Sanchez –

At Turf Moor, it took until the 54th minute for United striker Anthony Martial to break the deadlock with his third league goal in as many matches.

Jose Mourinho left midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the proposed makeweight in the Sanchez deal, out of his matchday squad and afterwards the United manager indicated the transfer saga was nearing an end.

“Expect soon or never,” said Mourinho regarding his prospects of signing Sanchez. “So close, so close, so close…I know my people are doing absolutely everything they can.”

But Wenger warned: “Sanchez will only happen if Mkhitaryan comes here, that will be decided in the next 48 hours.”

Chelsea won 4-0 away to Brighton as the reigning English champions leapfrogged Liverpool into third place, 48 hours before the Reds play Swansea City.

The Blues’ first win of 2018 saw Eden Hazard score twice, his opener and a goal from Willian making it 2-0 inside six minutes before Hazard and Victor Moses sealed victory after the break.

On a day when all Premier League fixtures were preceded by a minute’s applause in memory of the former West Bromwich Albion and England forward Cyrille Regis, a trailblazer for black players who died aged 59 last week, the Baggies drew 1-1 with Everton.

Jay Rodriguez gave West Brom an early lead before Theo Walcott, on his Everton debut following a midweek move from Arsenal, laid on an equaliser for Oumar Niasse in the 70th minute.

But the sight of Toffees midfielder James McCarthy going off with a broken leg after blocking a Salomon Rondon shot cast a shadow over Everton boss Sam Allardyce’s 1,000th game as a manager.

New Stoke City manager Paul Lambert won his first game in charge of the Potters as they beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 with second-half goals from Joe Allen and Mame Biram Diouf to climb out of the relegation zone.

Leicester City beat Watford 2-0 while West Ham and Bournemouth shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.Tottenham Hotspur continue their quest for a Champions League place on Sunday when manager Mauricio Pochettino returns to former club Southampton.

 
Posted On Saturday, 20 January 2018 22:53 Written by

Robin van Persie will officially sign for Feyenoord on Monday after agreeing to rejoin his boyhood club.

The former Arsenal striker has sealed a move back to where his senior career began after Turkish side Fenerbache allowed him to terminate his contract, which was set to expire in June 2019.

Feyenoord announced the Van Persie deal in style, by posting a video on their Twitter page of the striker’s best moments for the club

Van Persie joined Eredivisie outfit Feyenoord back in 1999 when he was just 16, going on to make 78 appearances for the first team before signing for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in 2004.

The Dutch striker has enjoyed a fine career since leaving Feyenoord, netting 132 goals in 278 appearances for the Gunners before making the unfamiliar move to rivals Manchester United, where he won the Premier League in his first season.

However, since leaving the English top flight to join Fenerbahce, Van Persie’s career has failed to reach the same heights.

The 34-year-old failed to win any silverware in Turkey and has fallen down the pecking order at Fenerbahce.

But now, the former Premier League man has been given another chance to showcase his abilities once again with Feyenoord.

The reigning Eredivisie champions will be hoping that the return of Van Persie, Holland’s all-time top goalscorer, can revitalise their season after a disappointing campaign to date.

Posted On Saturday, 20 January 2018 22:19 Written by

Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele has been ruled out for “three to four weeks” in a new blow for the French forward, his club announced on Monday.

Dembele hurt himself after coming off the bench in the second half of Sunday’s 4-2 win away to Real Sociedad in La Liga.

The injury is different to the hamstring tear that ruled him out for three and half months.

“After the game against Real Sociedad, Dembele had a problem with his left thigh and tests have confirmed that the player has suffered a hamstring injury of the semitendinosus muscle that does not affect the area operated on earlier in the season,” Barcelona said in a statement published on their website.

“The injury will mean he will be out for a period of around three to four weeks.”

He now faces a race against time to be ready for the first leg of Barca’s Champions League tie against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on February 20.

Dembele only returned at the start of this month after tearing his hamstring in September.

The fitness problems have blighted the start of his career at Barcelona following his 105-million-euro ($124 million) move from Borussia Dortmund in August that could rise to as much as 145 million euros.

Barcelona also said that Andres Iniesta “has a problem in his right calf and his recovery will determine his return to action for the coming matches.”

Iniesta was an unused substitute in Sunday’s game as Barcelona came from two goals down to win 4-2 at Anoeta.

Ernesto Valverde’s side are already unable to call on new record signing Philippe Coutinho until the end of the month after he arrived with a thigh injury following his Spanish record 160 million-euro transfer from Liverpool.

Posted On Tuesday, 16 January 2018 02:33 Written by

Egypt star Mohamed Salah led an African goal charge in the English Premier League with his 21st of the season for Liverpool in a 3-3 thriller at Arsenal.

Another seven Africans were on target in the Premier League, including the Ayew brothers from Ghana, Andre of West Ham and Jordan of Swansea.

All the Newcastle goals in a shock 3-2 win at West Ham were scored by Africans — Senegalese Henri Saivet and Mohamed Diame and Ghanaian Christian Atsu.

 

ENGLAND

MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
The winger maintained his blistering form with a goal and an assist in the 3-3 draw at Arsenal. The 25-year-old teed up Philippe Coutinho’s first-half opener and then scored himself with a clinical finish for his seventh goal in his last eight appearances.

MOHAMED DIAME (Newcastle)
The midfielder bagged his first goal of the season in Newcastle’s 3-2 win at West Ham. Diame put Rafael Benitez’s side 2-1 up with a powerful strike into the top corner from the edge of the area in the 53rd minute. It was the 30-year-old’s first goal since February and helped Newcastle end a nine-game winless run as they climbed out of the relegation zone.

ANDRE AYEW (West Ham) and JORDAN AYEW (Swansea)
The siblings both scored in their respective matches, but neither ended with three points. Andre netted for West Ham in the 69th minute against Newcastle, but his side were trailing 3-1 at the time after he had earlier missed a penalty, and his sixth goal of the season wasn’t enough to spark a revival in their 3-2 defeat. Jordan’s fourth goal this season — a 77th-minute equaliser against Crystal Palace — was more valuable as it earned the league’s bottom club a valuable 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium.

DANIEL AMARTEY (Leicester)
The Ghana midfielder was sent off in his side’s 2-2 draw against Manchester United. Amartey came off the bench as a 57th-minute replacement for Danny Simpson, but the 23-year-old lasted only 16 minutes before being dismissed. Already booked, Amartey needlessly barged into United forward Marcus Rashford to earn a second yellow card.

SPAIN

ZOUHAIR FEDDAL (Real Betis)
The Moroccan defender deflected a cross into his net to seal a 2-0 home defeat by Athletic Bilbao. Betis had dominated the second half with 10 men and were chasing an equaliser when misfortune struck.

AMATH NDIAYE DIEDHIOU (Getafe)
The Senegalese scored the second goal as a whirlwind start set up a 2-0 home victory over Las Palmas. Getafe were ahead within six minutes and Ndiaye Diedhiou added the second on 15 minutes.

ITALY

MEDHI BENATIA (Juventus)
Moroccan Benatia scored the only goal against his former club Roma at the third attempt after a save from Giorgio Chiellini and a ricochet off the bar after 18 minutes in Turin as champions Juventus remained one point behind leaders Napoli.

KHOUMA BABACAR (Fiorentina)
Senegalese striker Babacar came on as a late substitute to score as Fiorentina moved closer to European action with a 1-0 win at Cagliari. The Tuscany side had been frustrated in Sardinia before Babacar picked up a Federico Chiesa cross with eight minutes to go.

FRANCK KESSIE (AC Milan)
Ivorian midfielder Kessie had a mediocre outing as AC Milan suffered a second consecutive defeat, losing 2-0 to his former club Atalanta to plunge into the bottom half of the Italian league table.

 
Posted On Monday, 25 December 2017 14:14 Written by

Football legend, Henry Thiery, who is popularly referred to as ‘Igwe’ by Arsenal fans, was on Sunday crowned ‘Igwe of football.’

The Arsenal legend was unveiled as the ambassador for Guinness ‘Made of Black’ campaign held at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Posted On Tuesday, 19 December 2017 03:08 Written by

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
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