Tag: Sport

Messi banishes ghost of last season after trashing lavente 5-0

Lionel Messi sparkled as Barcelona saw off Levante 5-0 on Sunday to restore their three-point lead at the top of LaLiga.

Messi set up Luis Suarez for the opening goal before scoring a hat-trick as Ernesto Valverde’s side made amends for their shock 5-4 defeat at Ciutat de Valencia last May.

The 31-year-old has now scored 50 goals for club and country eight times over the last nine calendar years and he helped round off the rout by setting up Gerard Pique for the fifth two minutes from time.img_20181217_091705_1131296830904.jpg

Barca’s third straight LaLiga win put daylight between them, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid after 16 matches.

Levante were 2-1 up at half-time of this fixture last season and they caused Barca problems from the off once again, with Emmanuel Boateng, scorer of a hat-trick in that game, striking the underside of the crossbar from 12 yards.

But Barca made the most of Levante’s failure to clear their lines 10 minutes before the break, when Messi danced his way across the top of the box and clipped a reverse pass into the path of Suarez, who volleyed home.lionel-messi-cropped_6khnpodnzc3g1s80dva0xuhm0313094635.jpg

Three minutes before half-time, after another error, it was 2-0. Ruben Rochina passed straight to Sergio Busquets, he sent Messi through on goal and the Argentine star slotted the ball beneath Oier Olazabal.

Messi effectively killed the match before the hour mark, first sweeping into the bottom-right corner after Suarez and Jordi Alba led a counter-attack and then tapping in a first-time cross from Arturo Vidal.


Erick Cabaco saw a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Ousmane Dembele in the 76th minute, and Pique compounded a miserable outing for Levante in the closing moments, collecting Messi’s pass, turning onto his left foot and squeezing a shot beneath Oier.messsi-english

Valverde’s decision to rest some key players, including Messi, in this fixture last season ended Barca’s hopes of going the entire league campaign unbeaten.

This time, having already lost twice in LaLiga, there was to be no such risk. Even with Nelson Semedo withdrawing late on through injury, this was a strong line-up set up in a way to prevent being exploited on the break as badly as they were on their last visit.

Most importantly, he put Messi in the team, who was simply too much for the league’s third-worst defence to handle. Barca now need only a point against Celta Vigo next week to guarantee they will end 2018 in top spot.

Having come close with two efforts from distance, Messi showed his killer instinct to put the game to bed within an hour. His assist for Suarez and his three goals looked simple but oozed quality.

Rochina did not do enough to close down Messi for the first goal and it was his careless pass that led to the second, which seemed to end any hope of another surprise Levante win.


Lionel Messi is the best – Guillermo Amor

Lionel Messi is the “best” following his hat-trick in Barcelona’s rout of Levante, according to director Guillermo Amor.

It was the Messi show on Sunday as the five-time Ballon d’Or winner scored three goals and set up two others in Barca’s 5-0 LaLiga demolition of Levante.Messi – who teed up Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique to help Barca restore their three-point lead atop the table – has 14 goals and 10 assists this season, with the superstar the first player in Europe’s top five leagues to reach double figures for both in 2018-19.

Discussing Messi’s performance afterwards, Barca great Amor said: “Leo doesn’t give up, he plays like that because he is the best.

“He’s very professional and serious, he doesn’t settle for second best and tries to improve on his previous match.”

Messi’s treble took him to 50 strikes for the calendar year for club and country, the eighth time he has managed such a feat in the last nine years.

The comprehensive victory was also Messi’s 323rd in LaLiga for Barca, taking him one above former club-record holder Xavi.

Amor added: “He is the difference maker.”

Messi and Barca team-mate Suarez have scored 25 goals in LaLiga this season, one more than each of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

“Two players [Messi and Suarez] who have started very well, they are two goal scorers and they also assist,” Amor continued.

Fans beg Manchester United board not to fire Jose Mourinho

62 SPORT-MUN 146 2Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho may be under pressure, but he received a vote of confidence from the stands on Sunday – albeit a rather unwelcome one. The Portuguese received an ironic show of support from a jubilant home fanbase as his Red Devils side once more failed to impress in a timid defeat.Jose-Mourinho-688941

Mourinho and United suffered their second defeat in the space of four days at Anfield as Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners in a one-sided match. The loss leaves the Red Devils a whopping 11 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, while they have already conceded more goals than in the entirety of the 2017-18 Premier League season.

Such adverse form has raised expectations that Mourinho will soon be moving on, confirming once more the ‘third season curse’ that has followed him across his managerial career.

Home fans at the weekend, however, gave him an unexpected show of support. “Don’t sack Mourinho!” was the cry from the Anfield faithful as their rivals slumped to defeat, words that will be of little comfort to the ‘Special One’ as Champions League football, let alone a title challenge, looks an ever more distant dream even at this early stage of the season.Jose-MOurinho3

United were on the back foot from almost the first minute on Sunday, with the visitors rarely venturing out of their own half to face a Liverpool team looking for three points that would return them to the Premier League summit.

That conservative approach made little difference early on though, as Sadio Mane swooped to give Jurgen Klopp’s men the lead 24 minutes in with a smart volley steered past David de Gea. The away team then received a shock lifeline, as Alisson spilled an innocuous cross into the path of Jesse Lingard to equalise towards the end of the first half.

Xherdan Shaqiri, however, was to prove deadly off the bench, scoring twice in the space of 10 minutes following his late entry to seal victory for the title-chasing Reds. It is a further blow for United, who went down to Valencia on Wednesday in the Champions League to squander a chance to take top spot in their group ahead of Juventus.

And, with five defeats in the Premier League already this season, the Anfield crowd may soon be heading for disappointment if their rivals move to remove the struggling boss.


Mourinho sets another touching record with Man United after Liverpool loss

Jose-MOurinho3Defeat at Anfield is calamitous for any Manchester United side, but for Jose Mourinho and his current team, Sunday’s display against Liverpool signaled a new low.

The Portuguese boss will no doubt have his own answers, but it will be hard for him to explain away any of the damning stats to emerge following their dismal performance. liverpool fc

For starters, the 3-1 loss, courtesy of Xherdan Shaqiri’s two second-half strikes, has left United 19 points behind their fiercest rivals after just 17 league matches, a margin which the Reds have never previously enjoyed in the top flight.

The crux of their troubles has laid with their defence, and the numbers do not make pleasant reading. The third and final goal on Sunday evening was the 29th they have conceded so far during the current campaign.man-u

That’s one more than they conceded in the entirety of the previous season. Not only that, but it is the highest amount of strikes they have conceded in the top flight since 1962-63.

Of course, goals will flow when your defence is as inviting as United’s was on Merseyside. Liverpool mustered 36 shots, 30 more than their visitors managed. Not since records of stats began in the Premier League, in 2003, have Manchester United allowed an opponents as many attempts on their goal.


The result leaves Mourinho and his side on 26 points, 11 points behind Chelsea in fourth. It is the club’s worst haul after 17 matches since taking the same amount from their first 17 matches under Sir Alex Ferguson in 1990.

The Scot, with time, was able to turn it around. The will to afford Mourinho the same opportunity appears to be evaporating with every passing game.


Dembele’s indiscipline doesn’t matter as long as he is performing on the pitch-Lenglet

clement-lenglet-barcelona-2018-19_49wvuivzbl8x1rjwm7ra0kql7Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet has defended his country man Ousmane Dembele saying as long as he is performing well on the pitch all other things don’t matter.  The France forward has received criticism for his discipline since moving from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 with outsiders suggesting he is wasting his talent.

Dembele has struggled to nail down a regular starting spot and has been linked with a move to Arsenal, although Lionel Messi recently urged him to stay. In his latest transgression, Dembele was two hours late to training on Sunday and, when asked about the tardiness, Lenglet told reporters: “I don’t have much idea about what is happening with him, but what I do know is that he is doing very well on the pitch,”ousmane-dembele-barcelona-2018-19_1cupox6ys55t11sz0dxe1u2rr6

“I don’t know if [a punishment] is the right thing to do or not, you’d have to ask that question to those with the power because I don’t know if he has to be sanctioned. “He’s doing a lot of things well on the pitch. He’s playing very well for the team and that’s what interests me most about him.” Barca are having a strong season, sitting top of La Liga and are unbeaten in the Champions League. The Spanish champions face Tottenham on Tuesday evening but the game has little significance for them because they have already won Group B with 13 points from five games.

barcelona-v-real-sociedad-la-liga-5b583ee77134f65cd900000eLenglet insists the squad is fully motivated for the encounter though: “This game is still an important one for us because it is a Champions League game and you don’t play many of them in a year,” he continued. “You have to enjoy these games because they are a chance for you to play against the best in the world.

“We aren’t happy about conceding goals, though, and that’s a very important issue for us because we want to win things. “In recent games, we have suffered a little, but it is difficult to complete a full 90 minutes without having tough moments.”

Barcelona joins Real Madrid to fight against La Liga


Spanish champions, Barcelona have joined their rivals in batle against La Liga, as they have withdrawn from a plan to play their LaLiga away match against Girona in Miami. Girona were set to face the league leaders in Florida in January, but the deal appears dead after the Blaugrana pulled out.

As part of a 15-year agreement between Spain’s top division and Relevent Sports, it was proposed Barca would face Girona at Hard Rock Stadium in January. But LaLiga’s plan proved highly unpopular, with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) both publicly speaking out against it.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino in October said he would block any attempt to take a LaLiga game to the United States, although the league’s president Javier Tebas has continued to push for the proposal.barcelona-lionel-messi-gerard-pique-1303135804196764.jpg

Barca, though, said on Monday they are no longer willing to play Girona in Miami because of a lack of support for the idea. However, the Catalan giants remain open to the possibility when it is backed from all quarters.

“The Barcelona board of directors have agreed to withdraw their disposal to play their game against Girona in Miami, after noting a lack of consensus over this proposal,” their statement said.

1544483036_618185_noticia_normalFC Barcelona were and remain willing to play a LaLiga game in Miami, and accepted that income from the game would be shared amongst all Primera Division and Segunda Division clubs, following the same criteria of television rights money distribution, but consider that this project will not prosper until there is an agreement between all parties.”

Barcelona are set to take on Tottenham in the Champions League this week before returning to league play against Levante on Sunday. The club currently sits atop LaLiga with a three-point gap separating them from Sevilla.


Ronaldo says he doesn’t miss Lionel Messi in Italy

Ronaldo-960Cristiano Ronaldo has not taken long to adjust to life in Italy with Juventus.

The Portuguese superstar shocked the world when he swapped Real Madrid for Turin in a €100m deal in the summer.

Los Blancos have certainly missed his presence this season, while Juve already look an improved outfit with the 33-year-old spearheading their attack.

Ronaldo already has 10 goals and five assists to his name in just 15 Serie A games, with Juve unbeaten at the top of the table.


Both Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are still the two finest players in world football despite being in their 30’s and now not being in the same domestic league to spur each other on.

But do they actually miss each other? Well, Ronaldo was asked that question in an interview with Gazzetta.

The Portuguese responded: “No, maybe he misses me. I played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal, in the national team, while he is still in Spain.messi-ronaldo-32088407795.jpg

“Maybe he needs me more. For me, life is a challenge, I like it and I like to make people happy. I would like him to come to Italy one day.

“Like me, accept the challenge. However, if he is happy there, I respect him, he is a fantastic player, a good guy but I do not miss anything here. This is my new life and I’m happy.”


Ronaldo also gave a telling answer when asked if any Juve players impress him more than others.

He said: “It’s not fair to name just a few, but I can say that this is the best group I’ve ever played. Here we are a team, elsewhere someone feels bigger than others but here they are all on the same line, they are humble and want to win.

“If Dybala or Mandzukic do not mark, you still see them happy, smile. For me it is beautiful, I perceive the difference. Even in Madrid they are humble but here. I feel they are more so. It is very different from Madrid, this is more a family .”


‘Messi the best in the world but Barcelona are only human’ – Alli

delealli-croppedDele Alli considers Lionel Messi to be “the best player in the world and a joy to watch”, but says Barcelona hold no fear for Tottenham as they “are human and everyone makes mistakes”.

Spurs are set to make a trip to Camp Nou on Tuesday as they take in their final fixture of the Champions League group stage.

Barca are already assured of a place in the last 16, but Mauricio Pochettino’s side have work to do if they are to join the Catalan giants in the knockout rounds.messi-and-Cristiano

A positive result will likely be required in the most testing of surroundings, with Alli aware of the size of the challenge facing Spurs – particularly from a five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

The England international said: “He [Messi] is a player that everyone idolised because of what he’s achieved in his career.

“For me, he is the best player in the world and he’s a joy to watch. To be honest, though, I’m not really concerned about what they do with their players.”lionel-messi-cropped_6khnpodnzc3g1s80dva0xuhm0313094635.jpg

Barca may decide to rest Messi with their progress already secured.

Tottenham, though, are trying to remain focused on their own game, with Alli of the belief that a notable scalp can be secured on the grandest of European nights.

He added: “We are definitely going there with confidence, we know it’s going to be a difficult game but they are human and everyone makes mistakes.

“We’ve just got to make sure that we punish them and be as on it as we can.

messigoalfc550777566.jpg“They are one of the best teams in the world, they’ve got some great players and as a kid you dream about playing at the Nou Camp, and we’re going to go there and give it our best shot.

“We’re ready. It’s going to be another difficult game but they’re the games you want to be a part of, playing one of the best teams in the world and some of the world’s greatest players.messsi-english

“You want to be challenging yourself and we’re going there with the mentality that we can win and we have to believe.”

Spurs have collected seven points from their five outings in Group B to date, with that return leaving them level with Serie A giants Inter – who face PSV in their final fixture on Tuesday.

“We are targeting a clash against the Real Madrid”-Maidana

River Plate defender Jonatan Maidana is eyeing a meeting with Real Madrid after his team’s Copa Libertadores success on Sunday.

A 3-1 second-leg win over rivals Boca Juniors in Madrid saw River seal a 5-3 aggregate success.

That sent Marcelo Gallardo’s men to the United Arab Emirates for the Club World Cup, where they will face ES Tunis, Al Ain or Team Wellington before a potential meeting with European champions Madrid.

Maidana said River were targeting a clash against the LaLiga giants later this month.

“Now we go for Real Madrid, our next goal,” the defender said, via TyC Sports.

“We won a fair final, now to celebrate the achievement.”

River had to come from behind in the second leg, Lucas Pratto cancelling out Dario Benedetto’s opener to force extra time.

Wilmar Barrios’ red card turned the game in River’s favour and they made the most of their numerical advantage, goals from Juan Quintero and Gonzalo Martinez securing their win.

“A lot of the match was very even,” Maidana said. “After the equaliser we managed well and we could win it.

“In the second half we improved, because in the first we made a big mistake. We talked at half-time and we tried not to miss so many passes and we achieved [our goal], because we dominated the game.”

The only thing I feel is sadness – Schelotto

Boca Juniors head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto expressed his sadness after his side suffered a 5-3 aggregate defeat to bitter rivals River Plate in the Copa Libertadores final.

Sunday’s controversial rearranged second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid went in favour of River, who secured a 3-1 extra-time victory against 10-man Boca.

After the eagerly anticipated match was twice suspended in November due to an attack on Boca’s team bus, River came out on top thanks to extra-time goals from Juan Quintero and Gonzalo Martinez.

Boca had taken the lead in stunning fashion via Dario Benedetto on the stroke of half-time before Lucas Pratto equalised for River, who went on to secure a fourth Libertadores trophy.

Fronting the media afterwards in the Spanish capital, Boca boss Schelotto could not hide his disappointment, telling reporters: “The only thing I feel is sadness for not winning the cup and giving it to the people of Boca.

“That’s the only thing that makes me feel bad – not bringing the cup to Boca.”

“I want to congratulate the Boca players for how they played, even when we were one or two less in the final, they pushed, fought and fought,” Schelotto added. “Then, [I want to] congratulate River, who are the champion and won the cup.”

Boca had an appeal to be awarded the Libertadores title rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Saturday.

After CONMEBOL dismissed Boca’s appeal, the Argentine giants took their case to CAS but they were unsuccessful as the match took place at the home of Real Madrid.

“Sometimes it seems that we are incorrigible,” Schelotto said. “There’s very little we can learn from the people here and from this stadium. I hope we learn a lot, but sometimes we seem incorrigible. It seems that if this final repeats itself in a few years, it won’t be able be played [in Argentina].

“In our country, during these days, they said that it was normal for you to be thrown a stone when the visiting bus arrives. No, it’s not normal … it’s abnormal to throw a stone at a bus.

“It’s like entering a shop and throwing a stone at someone. Hopefully these things change, but in the sporting aspect it’s done, River won.”

Messi is a better player than Ronaldo because he dribbles better-Neymar


Paris Saint Germain striker Neymar Jnr has revealed Lionel Messi is a better player than Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.  The 26-year-old, who dropped from the Ballon d’Or podium to 12th position this year, is considered one of the best players in the current game.ronaldo-and-messi886149806.png

During a Q&A on his YouTube channel on Wednesday, the Brazilian was asked the question many football fans have debated over the past few years: who the better player between Messi and Ronaldo is.

“Ronaldo has gone from a winger to a striker and a goalscorer,” Neymar answered, as quoted by the Daily Express. “Rather than taking players on all the time, he has gone more one or two touches, getting in the box and scoring goals.messi-ronaldo-32088407795.jpg

“Messi a bit of everything – you see him scoring goals from playing probably a deep midfield role at times, and where I’m probably still walking on the pitch, he’s scoring. “So he is probably the best.”

Neymar scored his 11th Ligue 1 goal of the season in PSG’s 2-2 draw with Bordeaux last Sunday – it was also his 30th league goals since joining the French giants.

What do you think about Neymar’s opinion?messi-and-Cristiano

Pep Guardiola has been nominated for November’s Barclay’s Manager of the Month award.

man-city-celebrate_1k2u5kzu0dwtrzknhwv0xkr7bManchester City enjoyed a 100 per cent record in the Premier League last month, beating Southampton and Manchester United at home, before producing a dominant display in the 4-0 win away at West Ham.

We scored a remarkable 13 goals in those three matches, conceding two.

City sit top of the Premier League table with 41 points from 15 games this season, two ahead of second-placed Liverpool.

You can vote for Pep by visiting the Premier League website.

Everyone at City would like to congratulate Pep on his well-deserved nomination!pep-guardiola-640x400

Mourinho makes rare promise ahead of Fulham clash

jose-mourinho-manchester-united-2017-18_ml7rh65s2kpw14z7l6x1tjf56Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho is not one to shy away from making bold statements and despite facing a difficult period this season, he has promised fans victory against Fulham on Saturday.

The Red Devils have won just one and drawn three out of their last four matches in all competitions and are desperate to regain their winning touch against the Cottagers led by former Leicester City and Chelsea manager, Claudio Ranieri.

“I want to be positive and think we are going to win but if we don’t give credit to the people that deserve credit and the game is not going to be 11 against 0 it’s going to be 11 against 11, good players in other side, I repeat the position, the points sometimes don’t say much about the real potential of the team, one of the two most important managers in the history of the Premier League, so they have the potential to come here tomorrow and to give us a very different match.”

He continues: “I know only two days is not easy Fulham in the same situation as us but probably the way they are coming to play or try to play will not demand as much from them as us but no excuses, I sat here a few weeks ago speaking about December month and no defeats that’s a reality, good fights, good spirit, but just one victory against Young Boys and three draws and we need points, but Fulham is the same, they need points.”

Manchester United are currently placed eight on the premier league log with 23 points while Fulham sit bottom with just nine points.

Jesse Lingard still believes Man U to make top four

JESSEJesse Lingard insisted there is still time for Manchester United to make up ground in their fading quest for Champions League qualification.

Only 15 matches have been played in the Premier League but United are already eighth and eight points adrift of the top four following Wednesday’s entertaining 2-2 draw at home to Arsenal.jesselingard-cropped_1gtcu8jidqgxf1n8veb56gt16q

Anthony Martial and Lingard helped rescue a point for United but the Red Devils’ winless streak in the league extended to four games as they fell 18 points behind leaders Manchester City.

United manager Jose Mourinho has cut a frustrated figure and cast doubt over the club’s top-four hopes, however, Lingard remains positive.Jesse-Lingard-Manchester-United1

“I think we believe as a squad,” he said. “There’s a long way to go in the season, so for us it’s about taking every game as it comes and trying to get the three points.

“That’s the main thing. There are a lot of games, especially this month, so we need everyone in the squad to be fully fit.”lingard

Lingard added: “There’s always pressure on people’s shoulders when it comes to Man United and it’s how you deal with the pressure.

“And as footballers we just enjoy our football and want to win games. That’s the main thing.”

United welcome bottom side Fulham to Old Trafford on Saturday, looking to claim their first Premier League victory since November 2.

Emery reveals the things he has learnt in the Premier League

The manager Unai Emery says Arsenal must pay Huddersfield respect when David Wagner’s side visit the Emirates and then they’ve got to secure three points. After a very poor start to the season, the visitors pulled clear of the relegation zone with two wins and a draw in November, however, that upturn in form has been curtailed this week by consecutive defeats to Brighton and Bournemouth. Having watched the Terriers beat Wolves, just days after Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had drawn with his side, Emery remains wary of their eagerness to spring a surprise on Saturday while also revealing things he has learnt since moving from French Ligue 1 to the English Premier League.

I’ve learnt in the Premier League that every team has good players, good organisation, good possibilities in the 90 minutes against every team,” said Emery at his pre-game press conference on Thursday. “On Saturday, the first thing is a very big respect, more than Manchester United, more than Tottenham, because we need a high level in our performance to win against them.

At the beginning, sure we need a high level individually and collectively. On Tuesday against Bournemouth, they [Huddersfield] played a very good match.

“Also they won at [Wolves] in the last match away. On Saturday, they are going to push a lot and [will want] a surprise. We are very convinced in our way – work, prepare, respect, push with our supporters at the Emirates and feel the spirit with them.”

The Gunners, hit by new injuries to Rob Holding and Aaron Ramsey, have had a tough week themselves, although four points from matches with Spurs and Manchester United mean the vibe in the camp is positive.

“This is a very big challenge this week,” he added. “We are going to finish Saturday against Huddersfield. At the moment we have a good feeling after a good result, but we need to close with a victory on Saturday. “It’s important first that the supporters feel a good situation in the games against Tottenham and Manchester United, away it’s a big challenge for us. “We drew back and we worked to win and, with a little more luck, we could have won the match.

“Now our focus is all on Huddersfield and the three points. It’s a team that is very well organised. They played in Bournemouth, they lost but played well. They won at [Wolves] and every team has good players and organisation here in the Premier League. “We need the same spirit as on Sunday. Every supporter needs to feel that with us, and push like they pushed against Tottenham. The draw yesterday is only good if we win against Huddersfield.”

Manchester Utd will loose N18.5B if they sack Mourinho and replace him with Pochettino

Manchester United are planning to replace Beleaguered boss Jose Mourinho with Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino but it will cost them a whopping £40m to get the former Espanyol boss. The Old Trafford hierarchy have decided the Tottenham boss is the ONLY contender to replace Jose Mourinho next summer.

And a clause in Mourinho’s contract means it will cost United less to sack the Portuguese if they are not in the Champions League. United face a battle with Real Madrid over Poch, 46. But, despite the current turmoil, they believe they can sell the Red Devils as the more attractive proposition.

Image result for Pochettino and Mourinho

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who sold Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov to United on his watch, faces a huge battle to keep his manager. Poch is determined to lead Spurs into their new stadium in the new year and signed a five-year, £8m-a-season deal only last summer. Plus, he turned down United in 2016 when they fired Louis van Gaal. But that has not put off Woodward.

United are a staggering 18 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and knows he is on borrowed time at Old Trafford.
Spurs have finished in the top four in three successive seasons under Poch, who joined them from Southampton in 2014. But the Argentine is also frustrated with lack of investment at Tottenham — who were the only Prem club NOT to sign a player in the summer — and he has spoken many times about the need for fresh blood.

Fabregas will not remain in Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea- Wolves


Sarri’s top man Jorginho rested at Molineux in anticipation of Saturday’s cruncher against Manchester City, Fabregas was drafted in for his first Premier League start of the season and told to pull the strings in front of the defence while Kante was again deployed further forward. Never the quickest, Fabregas’ legs aren’t even what they were in 2010 when he set up the winning goal in the World Cup Final.Eden-Hazard-5-1068x580

He is still elegant, excellent in possession and retains the necessary hunger, as a crucial last-ditch tackle to deny teenager Morgan Gibbs-White a goal underlined. Aesthetically, few can match Fabregas.

Image result for Fabregas+Wolves 2-1 CHelsea

But when Wolves upped the tempo in the second half, he struggled and if Wolves can over-run the Chelsea midfield, even without their best player Ruben Neves, you’d fear for Fabregas against the very best opposition. But Wolves manager Nuno Esperito Santo clearly told his players during the interval to get into Chelsea’s faces, and Fabregas couldn’t live with the intensity.ed9e172c106d20237ba66a15011f55fe

Fabregas still produced an impressive range of passing from his quarterback position but was unable to make any real impact. When he tried to dribble forward, two Wolves players would be on him. It was too much. Maybe next time he’s asked to dictate play for Chelsea, it should be at Stamford Bridge rather than at a hostile away ground where the home fans were jumping.

Bayern Munich President Blast Juventus Because Of Ronaldo!


The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus last summer surprised many, with some scepticism surrounding the deal even now, despite the player’s magnificent start at the Allianz Stadium. One of these sceptics is Bayern president Uli Hoeness, who spoke about the deal in an interview with Bild.ronaldo-juventus347045396.jpg

“We would have signed Ronaldo with our eyes closed for 100 million euro if he was 24, but he is already 33, he’s too old,” Hoeness said.While Ronaldo did join Juve this past summer, he helped the Los Blancos win the UEFA Champions League last season and he found the back of the net 15 times, assisting three times in the competition. Allegri though, was asked about Ronaldo and if he deserved to win the Ballon D’or that Luka Modric won yesterday in the award ceremony. ronaldo-987671112317738.jpgThe bianconeri boss said that Ronaldo did deserve to win the prize because of his performances in the UEFA Champions League.ronaldo-juve-goal1204120002.jpg

He told Tuttosport: “Cristiano Ronaldo would have deserved the Ballon d’Or because of what he did in the Champions League Real Madrid. With Portugal at the World Cup later, he could not really go. But the victory of Luka Modric will be a stimulus for him, to do even better and regain the sixth trophy next year with Juventus.Cristiano-Ronaldo-Juventus-Real-Madrid-news-1052921

”He has increased the great level of professionalism that has always been at Juventus. He is an extraordinary player, a humble guy who has entered very well in the group and adds great competitiveness in every training. “He is an example for young people, despite his successes and 33 years he still takes care of every detail. To get to his level the technical qualities, its still not enough for him.”

Hazard is among the best player I played against this year

hazardFrance and Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe ranks Chelsea winger Eden Hazard as the best player he has faced in 2018.

Mbappe won the inaugural Kopa Trophy for the best under-21 player in the world on Monday, while he also finished fourth in the running for the Ballon d’Or after his exploits for PSG and World Cup-winners France.

It was at that tournament in Russia where Mbappe came up against Hazard, as France defeated Belgium 1-0 in the semi-finals.Eden Hazard

Mbappe was particularly impressed with Hazard’s sheer pace, while he also commended him for not playing with an ego, always appearing willing to pass the ball to a team-mate.

“He is the player I played against this year that impressed me the most,” Mbappe told France Football.Mbappe

“With Belgium, in the World Cup semi-finals, he had been impressive while still respecting the game. When he has to pass the ball because the game commands it, he does it without any qualms.

“I was sometimes five metres away from him and I was amazed by his speed of execution, with the ball sticking all the time to his foot, constantly processing information with his head still up. There is no space he does not see.”

Former Manchester United boss to buy over Newcastle United!

GettyImages.483412659Former Chelsea and Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon is heading a consortium that is in talks to buy Newcastle United. Current owner Mike Ashley said in an interview this week that discussions over a sale “are at a more progressed stage than they have ever been”.

It is unknown if a firm bid has been lodged yet, but It is believed that a potential deal is on the cards with Kenyon as Ashley referred. Kenyon is understood to be working with the American financial advisory firm Rockefeller Capital Management. However, Kenyon’s group are short on time if the purchase is to be made prior to the start of the January transfer window.kenyon

Premier League checks and processes when clubs change hands take around 14 days to complete. The Christmas break and Richard Scudamore’s departure as executive chairman of the league later this month could also be complicating factors regarding that timeframe. Those regulatory checks can only take place after extensive due diligence of the club’s financial position, and any final negotiations and legal work has concluded between the two sides.

Image result for Richard Scudamore's

That makes a December purchase date optimistic – even if a deal was to be agreed in the coming days. Other suitors are also reported to be interested in the club, which Ashley formally put up for sale in 2017. Newcastle have twice been relegated from the Premier League under Ashley’s ownership.

Manchester City Breaks new Premier League record of over 125 years with Watford win

sergio-aguero-raheem-sterling-bernardo-silva-man-city-2018-19_9tmtmpl9dfp61fyso2b5w36xuPep Guardiola’s free scoring Manchester City are still flying, with Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Watford pushing the club five points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez had Pep Guardiola’s side two goals up by early in the second half and, though they had to hang on a bit after Abdoulaye Doucoure poked home in the 85th minute to cut the lead in half, City ran to a seventh win on the trot.man-city-celebrate_1k2u5kzu0dwtrzknhwv0xkr7b

The loss condemned Watford to a third straight Premier League loss for the first time in over a year, but City are now unbeaten through 15 league matches this season, with 13 victories and just two draws.   And Guardiola’s free-flowing side are doing it in style, having now netted 45 times this term while conceding just seven.

The plus 38 goal difference is not quite a record in the English top flight but is the best of any team in the last 125 years. You have to look all the way back to the 1800s to find the last team with a better goal difference, with the 1892-93 Sunderland team having rolled up a plus 39 goal difference through 15 matches.GettyImages-1019414598

City have found goals from all over the park this season, but Sane and Mahrez scoring against Watford should not have come as much of a surprise. Sane was handed a starting role on Tuesday and once again made it pay off for his manager. The German has now netted five times in his last five starts in the league.

For Mahrez, scoring against Watford is something of a habit, with the former Leicester City star having netted six times against them. No other Premier League opponent has allowed the Algerian to find the net as many times.Burnley-4-Serg

City have now scored at least twice in their last nine meetings against Watford in all competitions, winning all nine clashes and rolling up an aggregate score of 29-5 in those matches.

Guardiola’s side are back in action on Saturday with a showdown against third-placed Chelsea, who are 10 full points back as it stands but can close the gap with a win over Wolves on Wednesday.

Hazard My Probably Renew His Contract with Chelsea


Eden Hazard’s representatives are speaking with Chelsea on a weekly basis over a possible new contract, according to head coach Maurizio Sarri.

Hazard, 27, has been linked with a move to Real Madrid in 2019 and stated only last month that it would be a “dream” for him to play for the Santiago Bernabeu club.

The Belgium star has two years left on his contract, but his advisors have already begun talks over the prospect of an extension, Sarri has claimed.Eden-Hazard-5-1068x580

The Blues boss now hopes for a successful outcome in those dealings, provided that Hazard wants to stay at Stamford Bridge.

“I know very well that there are discussions between the club and the manager of Eden every week I think, so if there is something new, the club will call me immediately,” he said.Eden Hazard

“I want Eden here, but I want him here if he wants to stay here. You know very well that Eden is very important for us, like every special player. He’s important for his club.

“It’s up to him, I think. I think the club is available to sign a new contract immediately, but it’s up to him if he wants to renew or not.”

Cesar Azpilicueta signed fresh terms this week, while N’Golo Kante extended his stay in November, and Chelsea are thought to be negotiating with Cesc Fabregas and David Luiz, whose deals expire next year.pedrohudson-odoi-chelsea-2018_ohodfr7h9zno1t6q1xaf2fhin1495282876.jpg

Sarri has publicly urged the club to keep hold of the experienced duo, although he accepts matters have been complicated by the fact Luiz and Fabregas want more than the 12-month increases Chelsea usually offer to players over 30.

“The deal is very difficult for this reason, I think, because the club wants a short contract and the players want a long contract,” he said. “But I think, at the end, we can find a solution. I spoke with the club one month ago about this and I think that we can do a new deal for both.hazard

“They are very important players for us. Because, on the other hand, it’s very difficult to find a centre-back for this level, and it’s very difficult to find a central midfielder technically like Fabregas. And so, I think they have to stay with us.

“David Luiz and Cesc are leaders. And so, I think it’s very important for me, for the staff, and also for their team-mates that they stay with us. I know the difficulties of the new deal, as I said before.

“The problem is only the length of the new contract. But I think the club will be able to find the right solution.”

Ronaldo’s Sister Rants As The Footballer Star Is Denied Ballon d’Or

Cristiano Ronaldo’s sisters have reacted with fury after seeing him pipped to the Ballon d’Or by former Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric.

Elma Aveiro, 39, said the result showed the world was “rotten” and tainted by mafia and money.

A message that appeared on Elma’s social media in the aftermath of the announcement Modric had broken Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s dominance of the prized trophy read: “Unfortunately this is the world we live in, rotten, with mafia and f******g money.

“The power of God is a lot greater than all this rottenness. God takes his time but he doesn’t fail.”

His other sister Katia posted a picture of Ronaldo after he won a previous Ballon d’Or and claimed in a message she posted alongside the photo:

“Best player in the world….for those who understand football of course.”

Their messages received a mixed response from fans. One said: “Cristiano came second. It’s being a bad sport to carry on the way you guys do.

Congratulate the winner and hopefully Cristiano will win the next one.”

Another added: “Cristiano achieved a lot last season but Cristiano deserved to win.”

Celia Desousa took to social media to say: “I like Cristiano a lot and think he would have been a deserved winner.

“But Elma is very wrong with her comments, very wrong.”

Luka Modric reveals how Zidane helped him win the 2018 Ballon D’Or

5c05a2dfae7f4478071402.jpgReal Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric has credited Zinedine Zidane with giving him the confidence to fulfil his potential and claim a maiden Ballon d’Or.

The Croat was crowned the world’s best player on Monday, ending the 10-year stranglehold of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the prize.img_20181204_080751_6901377113850.jpg

The Croatia midfielder won three consecutive Champions League titles under Zidane before the 1998 Ballon d’Or winner left in the wake of their most recent triumph in Kiev in May.

But Modric says a meeting with Zidane shortly after his arrival in the job in 2016 was key to his surge to the top of world football.5c05a2fc8ca701684579618.jpg

“Here is something I will never forget: When Zinedine Zidane became Real Madrid coach, he called me into his office after training,” Modric told France Football. “He told me how he was seeing me as a player and what he was expecting from me.modric-ballon-dor-1

“He said I was a very important player for him. And he said that he saw me as a Ballon d’Or winner one day.

“When someone like Zidane, with his personality and his career, says that to you, it gives you a lot of confidence. I admired him and I respected him a lot when he was a player.luka-modric-zinedine-zidane

“He saw me as someone like him, calm and a bit shy. He wanted me to open myself more. He made me a very important piece of the team when the team was playing very well. These words from Zidane helped me to go further on the pitch.”

Juventus Executives reveals plan to bring Man United Star to Serie A

GettyImages-1052840878-910x577Juventus Chief Fabio Paratici refused to shut down talk of a move for Manchester United star Paul Pogba last night. The Juventus executive who has been rumored to be set to depart the Italian giants next summer to resume a sporting director role at Manchester United has revealed his admiration for the world cup winner calling on their time together at Turin as successful.

Juventus are set to leverage on the French star’s troubled relationship with manager Jose Mourinho, with whom he has had numerous fall outs this season leading to doubts that Pogba would still be a red devil come 2019.  Fabio Paratici is seeking ways to take Pogba on-loan next month with the aim of buying him outright in June.marotta-agnelli-paratici

At Paris for the Ballon d’Or ceremony, Paratici was quizzed about the return of Pogba.
He said: “Is the return of Pogba possible? We have already said it many times, he’s a great player we’ve had and we like him a lot.”But now he’s playing Manchester United, and right now we’re enjoying our players, who are also good.”

Nigeria Super Falcons star Asisat Oshoala compares herself to Ronaldo and Messi

oshoala-1Reigning African women’s footballer of the year, Asisat Oshoala, has likened herself to football superstars, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, while defending her overall poor display for the Super Falcons at the recently concluded Africa Women’s Cup of Nations. Oshoala she failed to score in four of Nigeria’s five matches on the way to winning the AWCON trophy and relinquishing her Tournament honours to South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana who won the Golden Boot with five goals scored and was also named player of the tournament.

While the Super Falcons eventually emerged champions for a record ninth time after prevailing via penalties, the game could have been decided in regulation time when Nigeria was awarded a penalty in the second half after Francisca Ordega was brought down in the box by Banyana Banyana goalkeeper, Kaylin Swart, only for Oshoala to fire the ensuing penalty wide of goal as the final went to extra time.Asisat_Oshoala

The penalty miss by Oshoala was the climax of her catalog of misses in the tournament. Though the three-time African footballer of the year scored a hat-trick against Equatorial Guinea during the group stage, her overall showing did not impress her fans and teammates alike. “Concerning my flaws at the tournament, it was not my wish to miss the penalty. She said, adding, “I’m saying this as a professional, this is football for you. It happens in one’s career, I wasn’t fixed and programmed like a machine not to make mistakes, I am human like everyone else. Even top stars like Messi, Ronaldo miss the target sometimes.”oshoala-1

And being unable to inspire the Super Falcons at the 2018 AWCON with her goals, Oshoala, who has been shortlisted alongside three other Super Falcons players for the 2018 African Women’s Footballer of the Year award, channeled her energy towards encouraging her teammates. “All that was needed to be done at that time, was to encourage my team mates to fight to the end, that’s team spirit and bond shared between us. For the 2019 World Cup be rest assured we will give our best as expected of us and make Nigeria.”


I Will Be More Decisive In Ballon D’Or – Mbappe

ronaldo-mbappe-messi-ydhm1uhe0mjw166kumdzueef5-1532445150685Paris Saint-Germain and France sensation Kylian Mbappe said he must be more decisive if he is to win the Ballon d’Or after scooping the first Kopa Trophy.

Mbappe’s astonishing rise continued in Paris, where the 19-year-old claimed Monday’s inaugural Kopa Trophy – a new award given to the world’s best male footballer aged under 21.

World Cup winner Mbappe scored 32 goals in 56 games in all competitions for club and country in 2018 as the star forward also finished in the top five for the Ballon d’Or – fourth behind winner Luka Modric but ahead of Lionel Messi.

Discussing his Ballon d’Or pursuit, Mbappe – who was the only player on the Kopa Trophy shortlist also among the nominees for the coveted individual honour – said: “I did everything I could, but not everything I could to win a Ballon d’Or.5c05a2dfae7f4478071402.jpg

“That’s where the difference lies. I did everything I could, but there were times when I wasn’t decisive.

“It shows me how much I still have to do to win this trophy or it would be too easy to get there and win it all at once. It proves that you have to work and remain humble.”

Mbappe added: “Be decisive from January to December because a Ballon d’Or is decided from January to December. That’s what I missed.

“I had some excuses but a Ballon d’Or has no excuses and I missed some things to get this trophy.”

PSG CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi heaped praise on Mbappe, who is the top goalscorer in Europe’s big five leagues this season with 12.Mbappe

“I would like to warmly congratulate Kylian on winning the first ever Kopa Trophy,” Al-Khelaifi said. “This year Kylian has really hit new heights, both here at Paris Saint-Germain and with the French national team.

“His progress is one of the most impressive ever seen in football. Kylian has all the assets to win many trophies over the coming years, both individually and for his team.

“Through his work and strength of character, he is a success story not only for the youth and also has an extraordinary ability to inspire our supporters all around the world.

“His family will always be a great support for Kylian and his strong ambitions. We all proudly look forward to seeing Kylian in our colours for many years to come.”

We Will Win The Next Ballon D’Or PSG star revealed

MbappeAfter winning the first ever Young Player of the Year award at the Ballon D’Or ceremony in France on Monday night, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and France sensation Kylian Mbappe said he must be more decisive to win the Best Player in the world gong in future after scooping the first Kopa Trophy.

Mbappe’s astonishing rise continued in Paris, where the 19-year-old claimed Monday’s inaugural Kopa Trophy – a new award given to the world’s best male footballer aged under 21.

World Cup winner Mbappe scored 32 goals in 56 games in all competitions for club and country in 2018 as the star forward also finished in the top five for the Ballon d’Or – fourth behind winner Luka Modric but ahead of Lionel Messi.

Discussing his Ballon d’Or pursuit, Mbappe – who was the only player on the Kopa Trophy shortlist also among the nominees for the coveted individual honour – said: “I did everything I could, but not everything I could to win a Ballon d’Or.

“That’s where the difference lies. I did everything I could, but there were times when I wasn’t decisive. It shows me how much I still have to do to win this trophy or it would be too easy to get there and win it all at once. It proves that you have to work and remain humble.”kylian-mbappe-edinson-cavani-neymar-psg-celtic-13092017_1e6bzx55xoxpv10tf92692ramy

Mbappe added: “Be decisive from January to December because a Ballon d’Or is decided from January to December. That’s what I missed. I had some excuses but a Ballon d’Or has no excuses and I missed some things to get this trophy.”

PSG CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi heaped praise on Mbappe, who is the top goalscorer in Europe’s big five leagues this season with 12.

“I would like to warmly congratulate Kylian on winning the first ever Kopa Trophy,” Al-Khelaifi said. “This year Kylian has really hit new heights, both here at Paris Saint-Germain and with the French national team.

“His progress is one of the most impressive ever seen in football. Kylian has all the assets to win many trophies over the coming years, both individually and for his team.

“Through his work and strength of character, he is a success story not only for the youth and also has an extraordinary ability to inspire our supporters all around the world.

“His family will always be a great support for Kylian and his strong ambitions. We all proudly look forward to seeing Kylian in our colours for many years to come.”

Modric The Ballon d’Or winner 2018 Want To Retire In Real Madrid

Luka Modric said he wants to retire at Real Madrid after beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the Ballon d’Or.

Modric claimed the coveted individual honour at a ceremony in Paris on Monday – ending the domination of Juventus superstar Ronaldo and Barcelona sensation Messi, who had split the past 10 awards.

After becoming the first Croatian to win the Ballon d’Or, Modric quickly pledged his future to three-time reigning Champions League holders Madrid amid links with Serie A side Inter.

Modric, who attracted interest from Inter at the start of the season, said: “I have two years left and hopefully one more.

“The club show me a lot of affection and I’d like to retire at Real Madrid.

“My family enjoy it and I want to keep enjoying this huge club.”

Modric capped a brilliant 2018 by edging five-time winner and former team-mate Ronaldo, who finished second, while Messi was fifth in the voting.

The 33-year-old Modric – who was also named FIFA’s Best Men’s Player this year – helped Croatia to the World Cup final in Russia having guided Madrid to a third successive Champions League crown.img_20181204_080751_6901377113850.jpg

Modric, however, admitted he would give up all his individual accolades – including the Ballon d’Or – to win the World Cup.

“I said, I think last time when I won The Best, I would change all my individual awards for the World Cup, unfortunately it didn’t happen,” Modric told reporters. “This success we achieved at the World Cup for such a small country like Croatia is something amazing.

“But, like I told you, I would change all of this for a World Cup. It didn’t happen, this is a great feeling to win at least this, and very happy for it.”

Why Lionel Messi missed 2018 Ballon d’Or

5c05a2dfae7f4478071402.jpgThere were two vacant seats in the front row as Luka Modric’s crowning at the 2018 Ballon d’Or ceremony brought the curtain down on a dominant era and signalled the beginning of a new one, but now it has been revealed the real reason Lionel Messi missed out on the award ceremony.

The culprits? The two who had shared the prize over the past 10 years but who must now go by the title of the Croatian’s predecessors.

It was well documented that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo would finally be toppled off their perch on Monday night, and the two both rejected the invitation to witness their own ousting at the decadent Grand Palais in Paris.

Lionel Messi boycotted Ballon d'Or ceremony and posed with sons Mateo (L) and Thiago (R)

Messi, who finished fifth in the standings, instead spent the evening with his family and published a picture of him with his two sons Thiago and Mateo on his Instagram.

Juventus star Ronaldo came closer than his counterpart to keeping the tradition going, finishing second, but was still some way off denying Modric of his deserved award, receiving 476 points to the Croatian’s 753.

There have been no words yet from the man himself but it seems that Portugal are struggling to accept the decision by insisting ‘we all know’ that Ronaldo is the greatest of all time in a post on social media in the immediate aftermath of the ceremony. But that reaction pales in comparison to the fury shown by Ronaldo’s sisters after he was pipped to the award by his Real Madrid team-mate.5c05a2fc8ca701684579618.jpg

Elma Aveiro, 39, took to social media in rage after the verdict, writing: ‘Unfortunately this is the world we live in, rotten, with mafia and f##king money.’

His other sister Katia also appeared bitter, posting a picture of Ronaldo with a previous Ballon d’Or and writing alongside it: ‘Best player in the world….for those who understand football of course.’

For Modric, receiving the ultimate recognition for a remarkable 2018 was the icing on the cake. He won the Golden Ball for his performances in Russia and then claimed the FIFA ‘Best’ prize in late summer but it is this trophy – the one created by France Football and first presented to Sir Stanley Matthews in 1956 – that truly put the seal on his superlative efforts.Lionel-Messi

‘I have such sensational emotions that I can’t really describe,’ said Modric, who credited the four years he played for Tottenham being crucial to his development. ‘When I was a kid, the dream was to play for big clubs and win trophies.

‘The Ballon d’Or was more than a dream. I simply cannot believe it. For all my career, I have tried to work hard and have persistence. In the tough moments, you have to show your courage and I always said the best things do not come easy. To achieve all this, it has not been easy.

Modric poses for a photo alongside fellow winners Kylian Mbappe and Ada Hegerberg

‘But sooner or later, you get an opportunity and when it comes, you have to be ready to take it. I am still trying to take it on board that I have won this and become part of a group that belongs to history. It is a unique feeling.’

It was also a night of celebration for Kylian Mbappe, the prodigious Paris Saint-Germain striker, who was named the first Kopa winner – a category for players Under-21 – while Ada Hegerberg also made history, picking up the women’s first ever Ballon d’Or in the French capital.

Image result for Lionel Messi spends time at home with his family while Portugal leap to the defence of Cristiano Ronaldo as pair snub Ballon d'Or awards ceremony


 1 – Luka Modric (753 points)

2 – Cristiano Ronaldo (476)

3 – Antoine Griezmann (414)

4 – Kylian Mbappe (347)

5 – Lionel Messi (280)

6 – Mohamed Salah (188)

7 – Raphael Varane (121)

8 – Eden Hazard (119)

9 – Kevin De Bruyne (29)

10 – Harry Kane (25)

11 – N’Golo Kante (24)

12 – Neymar (19)

13 – Luis Suarez (17)

14 – Thibaut Courtois (12)

15 – Paul Pogba (9)

16 – Sergio Aguero (7)

17 – Gareth Bale (6)

= – Karim Benzema (6)

19 – Roberto Firmino (4)

= – Ivan Rakitic (4)

= – Sergio Ramos (4)

22 – Edinson Cavani (3)

= – Sadio Mane (3)

= – Marcelo (3)

25 – Alisson Becker (2)

= – Mario Mandzukic (2)

= – Jan Oblak (2)

28 – Diego Godin (1)

29 – Isco (0)

= – Hugo Lloris (0)