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Chelsea host Leicester City in their final match before Christmas on Saturday as they aim to further cement their place in the top four.Maurizio Sarri’s side were boosted by their qualification for the Carabao Cup semi-finals in midweek, with a late goal from Eden Hazard enough to see off Bournemouth in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.The Blues bounced back from the disappointment of an away loss to Wolves earlier this month by winning their last two league encounters against Manchester City and Brighton. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Leicester were knocked out of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, however, after losing to Pep Guardiola’s Man City on penalties.The Foxes have failed to win any of their last three league matches and fell to a 1-0 defeat away at Crystal Palace last weekend, a result which saw them slip to 12th in the table.The last Premier League encounter between these two sides at Stamford Bridge ended in a 0-0 draw last January. Game Chelsea vs Leicester Date Saturday, December 22 Time 3:00pm GMT / 10:00am ET Stream (US) fubo TV (7-day free trial) TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream NBCSN fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be shown live as it will be played during the blackout period. UK TV channel Online stream N/A N/A Squads & Team News Position Chelsea players Goalkeepers Arrizabalaga, Caballero, Green Defenders Azpilicueta, Zappacosta, Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill, Ampadu, Emerson Midfielders Fabregas, Jorginho, Drinkwater, Kante, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic Forwards Willian, Pedro, Hazard, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Morata Eden Hazard continues in a central striking role for Chelsea after picking up one goal and three assists in his last two appearances in that position.Centre-back Andreas Christensen was forced off with a hamstring injury against Bournemouth and Maurizio Sarri instead picks David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger at centre-back.Alvaro Morata has returned to training after recovering from a twisted knee, but he is not even on the bench.Possible Chelsea starting XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic; Pedro, Hazard, Willian. Subs: Caballero, Cahill, Zappacosta, Fabregas, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Giroud. Position Leicester players Goalkeepers Schmeichel, Ward, Jakupovic Defenders Simpson, Pereira, Morgan, Soyuncu, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Fuchs Midfielders Iborra, Silva, Mendy, Ndidi, Choudhury, Albrighton, Maddison, Diabate, Gray, Ghezzal Forwards Vardy, Okazaki, Ihenacho Jamie Vardy returns to the Leicester XI having been rested against Manchester City in midweek.There had been concerns over the fitness of Ben Chilwell and Wilfred Ndidi, who are both struggling with knee injuries and are likely to face late fitness tests, but both are deemed fit to start.Matty James and Daniel Amartey remain out.Possible Leicester starting XI: Schmeichel; Ricardo, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell; Choudhury, Mendy, Ndidi, Albrighton; Maddison; Vardy. Subs: Ward, Fuchs, Evans, Iborra, Gray, Okazaki, Iheanacho.Betting & Match Odds Chelsea’s odds of winning are priced at 1/3 according to bet 365, while a draw is available at 9/2. A win for Leicester is priced at 10/1.Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview A win for Chelsea here would see them leapfog Spurs into third place for at least a day, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side not playing until Sunday.It would also be a great boost for Sarri’s side to cement their spot in the top four for Christmas, with the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League set to intensify during the second half of the season.There are also signs that star man Hazard is approaching his best form again after various injury issues in recent weeks. When asked whether he felt playing the Belgian as a forward could be a long-term solution, Sarri said: “I don’t know. I was sure about City in that position we could do a good match. Against Brighton I started to see this situation in different matches.”Now I want to see it against a team very compact, in low density. We have to see.”Claude Puel will know that his side must pick up some positive results over the festive period to avoid speculation over his own future at the club.It’s been a difficult season for the Foxes on and off the pitch, but with just one win in their last eight matches, Leicester will know that points on the board are a must over the coming weeks. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Pep Guardiola has defended his decision to start Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero on the bench as Manchester City fell further behind Premier League leaders Liverpool with a 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace.De Bruyne came on to score a fortuitous 85th-minute goal on Saturday, but the damage had already been done. Jeffrey Schlupp’s first-half goal cancelled out Ilkay Gundogan’s opener and an Andros Townsend wonder strike was added to by Luka Milivojevic’s penalty.The result means City are four points behind Liverpool at the summit, with back-to-back trips to Leicester City and Southampton to come before they host Jurgen Klopp’s side on January 3. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Aguero, who replaced Nicolas Otamendi as Guardiola chased the game at 2-1, and De Bruyne started the midweek Carabao Cup triumph at Leicester City following recent lay-offs, while Guardiola watched John Stones turn in a mixed performance at the base of his midfield in Fernandinho’s injury-enforced absence.”When you win I am a genius, when you lose I am not good,” City’s manager told a post-match news conference.”I don’t know what would happen if Kevin starts or Sergio starts. Dinho is injured, yesterday he felt that problem. John played so good in Leicester [in the unfamiliar position] so I wanted to give another option for [defending] long balls.”He played good except for one ball. I admire and give credit to people who try and adapt to positions they are not used to.”With a hectic and now pivotal period to come in his team’s title defence, Guardiola denied he was being overly cautious with two of his prized assets.”Of course he could have played – I decide to play the other ones,” he said of De Bruyne, whose action has been limited by a pair of medial knee ligament injuries this season, although the Belgium star now has two goals in as many appearances.”Gabriel [Jesus] scored two goals in the last game here versus Everton. Sergio needs more time to get rhythm.”Kevin’s condition is better. We put in six or seven players with fresh legs. That is going to happen in the future.”When you have a lot of games, everyone has to play. The guys who played did absolutely everything.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
It took just three minutes for Manchester United to take their first steps toward banishing the dark clouds of the end of the Jose Mourinho era as Marcus Rashford delivered a free-kick to put his side on top.After a sluggish start that saw the Red Devils mired on just 26 points, the club finally made the move to part ways with Mourinho after nearly two and half seasons.Former United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed to the interim role, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s old charge tasked with salvaging something from a campaign that appeared to drift dangerously off course. Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? United entered their match in Wales against Solskjaer’s former side 22 points behind table-topping Liverpool and 11 behind Chelsea in fourth place as the new boss made four changes to his lineup.One of those changes was Paul Pogba, who had been dropped by Mourinho for the club’s last three Premier League fixtures, and did not play at all in the last two, against Fulham and the defeat to Liverpool.But it was Pogba who earned the first opportunity, as he won a free-kick just outside the Cardiff area minutes into the contest.Pogba and Rashford lined up over the ball, with Pogba faking as if he was going to take it before letting the forward run up and hit it.Rashford hit a low drive that went through the Cardiff wall and left goalkeeper Neil Etheridge rooted to the spot.What a start to the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era! Get in Rashford! pic.twitter.com/b20Ct2jzaI— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 22, 2018GOALRashford’s free kick gives the new #MUFC boss the perfect start….Follow live: https://t.co/CNM3VdNsIT pic.twitter.com/PuHJTxku83— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 22, 2018The goal was Rashford’s fourth of the Premier League season and third in four games across all competitions, having scored against Fulham and Valencia in the past two weeks.The forward has now been involved in more Premier League goals than any of his team-mates this season, scoring four times and adding five assists.Pogba would later earn himself an assist as he found Ander Herrera in space with the Spanish midfielder then hitting a wicked strike from distance which deflected past Etheridge to double the United advantage.Rashford, however, would have his night dampened late in the first half as the forward was flagged for a handball in his area, giving Cardiff a penalty that was converted by Víctor Camarasa to make it 2-1. But moments later, Pogba was involved in the build-up with Jesse Lingard playing in Anthony Martial, who restored United’s two-goal advantage.
Welcome back Manchester United. Thanks Ole for the attacking football, we were all missing it. Let’s hope that it last. Exciting times ahead. #MUFC #1MUN— Man United Source (@1ManUnitedNews) December 22, 2018 If the Premier League had started on the day that Ole Gunnar Solskjær took over at Old Trafford, @ManUtd would be top. 🥴— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 22, 2018 First time Man Utd have scored 5 goals in one game, since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson! Brilliant from solskjaer! Man Utd sign him up on that long term contract right now!!!!👀— Jermaine Jenas (@jjenas8) December 22, 2018 Amazing turn around already for United, give Solskjær the permanent job imho.— Spurs Stat Man (@SpursStatMan) December 22, 2018 Five goals scored for the first time since under Sir Alex Ferguson in the Premier League. Forgot what that felt like. Here’s to more under Ole Gunnar Solskjær.— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) December 22, 2018 You’re being naive if you don’t think José Mourinho’s Manchester United would have scored five against Cardiff. Okay, it might taken them six or seven matches to get there but still.— Jonny Sharples (@JonnyGabriel) December 22, 2018 Manchester United never scored more than four goals in a game during Jose Mourinho’s 144 matches in charge.They have done it in their first game after his sacking.— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) December 22, 2018 Manchester United 5… Fergie days back in one game!!! #MUFC— Kris Voakes (@krisvoakes) December 22, 2018 Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enjoyed a five-star debut as Manchester United manager.The former United striker oversaw a thumping 5-1 win over his former charges, Cardiff City.A Jesse Lingard double, as well as goals from Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial, gave Solskjaer the perfect start to his time in the dugout. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? And fans are already champing at the bit to see United back in action, while a number of cheeky Tottenham fans hope that Solskjaer’s form continues, so Mauricio Pochettino remains in north London.
Santiago Solari shared the credit for Real Madrid’s record-breaking Club World Cup triumph with former head coach Zinedine Zidane.Solari, the replacement for Zidane’s short-lived successor Julen Lopetegui, led Madrid to their first title under his stewardship with a 4-1 win over Al Ain in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.Victory means Madrid have won the tournament three years in a row and their fourth triumph in the competition moves them clear of rivals Barcelona as the Club World Cup’s most successful team. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Solari, though, was quick to pile praise on Zidane, who surprisingly stood down in the wake of winning Madrid’s third consecutive Champions League crown at the end of the 2017-18 season.”We are happy, these players deserve it, they have come here after a lot of work and a lot of wins,” Solari told TVE.”We put a finishing touch to that third consecutive Champions League, it is a feat of the club, this group and other coaches.”We are also here thanks to Zidane. It will be difficult to match in the future.”Listen to what goalscorer @lukamodric10 said after helping us become WORLD CHAMPIONS! #RMCWC pic.twitter.com/oO6FTjYLCI— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) December 22, 2018Marcos Llorente was among Madrid’s goalscorers in the final, the 23-year-old midfielder scoring his first goal as a professional with a half-volley from the edge of the penalty area.Llorente was overlooked throughout Zidane’s reign but has grown into a key role since Solari took charge, following Lopetegui’s sacking after just four months in charge.”They are all Madrid players and they all work to be able to do what they do in the field,” Solari said. “Marcos has always worked a lot, and he deserves the credit.”A first trophy for Santiago Solari as @realmadriden manager #ClubWC pic.twitter.com/cogKjGUgyy— #ClubWC (@FIFAcom) December 22, 2018Solari’s opposite number Zoran Mamic felt a gruelling Club World Cup campaign caught up with his tired Al Ain side in the final.”The first thing is to congratulate Real Madrid because they deservedly won it, with good football,” he said.”We have not been able to compete, it’s the fourth game in days and that has weighed on us. We had a great tournament, nobody thought we were going to get here.”We had opportunities in the first half, but we missed them and at this level we pay when Real Madrid are in front.”We would have liked to have more days of rest, but everything is set up and we cannot say anything, I sincerely believe that we have done a good job.”
Juventus dealt a fresh blow to Eusebio Di Francesco’s job security in a routine 1-0 win over an outclassed Roma at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.Champions League semi-finalists last season, Roma have been a shadow of their former selves this term and were no match for the Serie A champions despite the narrow final scoreline.Mario Mandzukic’s commanding header, his eighth league goal of the campaign, gave Juve a deserved half-time lead and they were rarely troubled in restoring an eight-point gap to second-placed Napoli, who earlier beat SPAL 1-0. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Robin Olsen’s string of stellar saves ultimately achieved little more than keeping the score down as the under-pressure Di Francesco was left to defend a run of just one victory in seven competitive matches.How did you celebrate this moment from @MarioMandzukic9? #JuveRoma #FinoAllaFine #ForzaJuve pic.twitter.com/QdEqdHOq11— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) December 22, 2018Roma encountered intense early pressure and only an in-form Olsen prevented them from slipping to an earlier deficit.The Sweden goalkeeper brilliantly denied Alex Sandro in the seventh minute and was at his athletic best in turning a Cristiano Ronaldo shot around the upright.His saves only prolonged the inevitable as Juve’s opener arrived in the 35th minute, Mandzukic towering above Davide Santon and heading in Mattia De Sciglio’s cross.Ronaldo must have felt a sense of deja vu when Olsen frustrated him with two fine saves in quick succession prior to the hour, causing the Portugal attacker to kick out at the post in irritation.Massimiliano Allegri’s men twice had late goals disallowed on their way to sealing a record 16th victory in 17 Serie A fixtures. Giorgio Chiellini was adjudged to have fouled the Giallorossi goalkeeper, before substitute Douglas Costa’s stoppage-time strike was overturned on VAR due to Blaise Matuidi’s crude challenge on Nicolo Zaniolo in the build-up.What does it mean? Di Francesco in dangerThe goodwill Roma boss Di Francesco built up during an excellent 2017-18 campaign could soon evaporate if results do not turn.There are just two points separating his team and 12th-placed Parma after 17 matches, with considerable January investment seemingly the only antidote to a sub-par run of results.Brilliant Bentancur makes seamless comebackRodrigo Bentancur returned to Juve’s starting XI following a one-match suspension and got straight back to dominating the midfield.Though still only 21, the midfielder is a key cog for Allegri and demonstrated as such by topping the match count for tackles while rarely wasting possession.Santon switches offGranted, there was a mismatch in size at the far post, but Roma needed right-back Santon to be more than a mere step ladder for Mandzukic’s opener.The former Newcastle United defender paid the price for not assessing his surroundings and his regular turnovers impeded Roma’s attempts to rescue a result.Key Opta Facts- Juventus have gained 49 points in the first 17 games of the season – a joint-record in the top five European leagues.- Juve have also won 31 league games in 2018, more than any other team in the top five European leagues.- Ronaldo was responsible for 10 of his team’s 20 shots in this game.What’s next?Both clubs are back in action on December 26 as Juve head to mid-table Atalanta and Roma entertain Sassuolo. read more
Tottenham produced a devastating display of attacking football as Son Heung-min and Harry Kane inspired the 6-2 hammering of Everton in a Premier League Christmas cracker, moving Spurs to within two points of Manchester City.The past week had been dominated by speculation linking Mauricio Pochettino with the Manchester United manager’s job, and Spurs’ attack-minded showing at Goodison Park showed exactly why the Argentinian is a front-runner.A thrilling first half started positively for Everton and they went ahead through former Arsenal man Theo Walcott, but they gifted Son an equaliser, and Dele Alli and Kane made things worse before the break. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Fine goals from Christian Eriksen and Gylfi Sigurdsson came early in the second half as the entertainment value continued to grow, but Son and Kane got their second goals in the final 30 minutes to emphatically finish the Toffees off.Walcott put Everton ahead 21 minutes in, rounding off a well-worked move by slamming home Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s cut-back.But they soon shot themselves in the foot, as Kurt Zouma and Jordan Pickford collided when trying to deal with Kane’s long pass and Son converted into an empty net.Alli netted in the 35th minute to move Spurs in front, drilling a fierce strike in from just inside the area after Pickford parried a Son strike.And Kane opened a two-goal lead just before the break, knocking into an open goal when Kieran Trippier’s free-kick came back off the post.Spurs continued to look rampant at the start of the second period – Eriksen finding the bottom-right corner with a gorgeous 20-yard volley.But Everton swiftly hit back through Sigurdsson, whose solo run ended with a smart finish from the edge of the box.The hosts’ chances were effectively ended in the 61st minute, however – Son sweeping through Pickford’s legs when released by Erik Lamela.Kane rounded things off late on, turning in Son’s cross to complete the crushing of Everton and give the visitors their first points of the season from a losing position. Technique: #COYS pic.twitter.com/AReN1M9Dxt— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 23, 2018What does it mean? Spurs hot on City’s heelsSpurs have hardly been mentioned at all with respect to the title race this term, but not only does Sunday’s result see them close to within just two points of City, it highlighted just how ruthless they can be in attack. If Kane – who has now scored in a brace in each of his last four appearances against Everton – and Son carry on like this, Liverpool might just have another team to keep an eye on.Son shines brightEveryone in Spurs’ attack and midfield impressed at Goodison, but Son was particularly effective, with his movement and ability on the ball constantly troubling Everton’s defence. On top of that, he got two goals and an assist in an all-round excellent showing.A day to forget for PickfordEngland’s goalkeeper will want to move on quickly from this showing, as he played a pivotal role in Spurs’ equaliser, parrying the ball straight to Alli for their second and was bailed out by the offside flag when he clattered into his international team-mate with an ugly challenge just before half-time.Key Opta Facts- Tottenham have won nine of their 11 Premier League away games this season – only in three completed seasons in the competition have they won more (10 in 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2017-18).- This was the third time Everton conceded six goals in a Premier League home game, with all of those coming against London clubs (1-6 vs Arsenal in August 2009, 3-6 vs Chelsea in August 2014).- This was the fourth time Tottenham have scored six or more goals in a Premier League away game, with three of those coming in the last three seasons, and twice against a side managed by Marco Silva.- Under Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham have won more games (18) and more points (70) from losing positions than any other side in the Premier League.- Tottenham’s Harry Kane has scored in nine different Premier League games this season – no player has scored in more (level with Mohamed Salah).What’s next?Everton’s Boxing Day outing sees them travel to struggling Burnley, while Spurs host a Bournemouth side boosted by Saturday’s 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion. read more
Manchester United great Peter Schmeichel is considering putting himself forward for the proposed director of football role at the Premier League club.Following Jose Mourinho’s sacking, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure as caretaker United manager got off to a fine start on Saturday, as the Red Devils thrashed Cardiff City 5-1.But Mourinho’s dismissal has also reportedly seen United restart their search for a director of football, a role the Portuguese coach was said to have opposed. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Schmeichel, who enjoyed eight years at the club until 1999, believes the successful candidate must have a clear idea of United’s identity, and suggested he could submit an application despite having very little football involvement since retiring in 2003. “I’m actually thinking about putting my name in there,” Schmeichel told BBC Radio 5 Live .”I really want to get involved in football again at some point. I know I’m getting older, but my life has just turned out a different way after I retired from football.”What’s really important is to get the United culture and identity back.What a difference a smile make Well done Ole and Team, the United spirit was back in the performance today @ManUtd #CARMUN — Peter Schmeichel (@Pschmeichel1) December 22, 2018 “I would like to see [the job go to] someone who has played there, and can bring some of that Alex Ferguson mentality back in the whole of the football club.”I’m considering if I have the qualities, and if I come up to an answer to that question, then I will put my name in the hat.”I’ll have a good think about this over Christmas and make a decision about it.”Schmeichel spent eight seasons at United, winning five league titles, three FA Cups, the League Cup and the Champions League during his spell at the club. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Marco Silva admitted it was a “really bad afternoon” for Everton as he became the first Premier League manager to concede six goals in a home match with three different clubs.Although the Toffees took the lead through Theo Walcott in the 21st minute, Spurs soon turned things around and ultimately ran out comprehensive winners, securing a 6-2 victory on Sunday.Son Heung-min and Harry Kane were the stars of the show with two goals each, with the result highlighting an alarming trend in Silva’s Premier League career. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Spurs had previously inflicted a 7-1 home defeat on Silva’s Hull City in May 2017, and his Watford side then lost 6-0 at home to Manchester City four months later. The Portuguese accepted there were few positives to take from his latest humiliation.”Really bad afternoon for us, really bad result for us, for our fans,” he said. “We have to realise why and we will realise for sure.”We started well the match, it started really balanced. We know how they are strong in counter-attack and it started like we planned it and we scored early.”After we made the first mistake during the match when they equalised, the game changed completely.”We lost many things in our behaviour and our organisation and in this level we cannot do that.”At half-time we changed something in our tactical behaviour. I told them we cannot concede any more because we will score again and first two minutes of second half we conceded again.”Every time they went forward it was easy for them. Our organisation in our defensive moment, we don’t put enough aggressiveness in the match.”Despite signing centre-backs Yerry Mina and Kurt Zouma in the summer, Everton have struggled defensively all season and are now without a clean sheet in their last five Premier League matches.The result left the Toffees in 11th place on 24 points as they prepare to face Burnley, Brighton and Leicester City over the busy festive period. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Luke Shaw said Manchester United’s demolition of Cardiff City is how the Premier League giants are “expected to play”, though the left-back insisted Jose Mourinho’s efforts should not be forgotten.Mourinho was sacked by United on Tuesday and the arrival of caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer liberated the Red Devils, who hammered Cardiff 5-1 on Saturday.United were at their free-flowing best as they scored five goals in a Premier League game for the first time since Alex Ferguson’s final match in 2013. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “We moved the ball quicker,” Shaw said. “The goals we scored were just magnificent. Rash’s [Marcus Rashford’s] free-kick helped settle the nerves.”Then we carried on from there. They scored a goal but we didn’t change anything. We carried on playing and the third goal was an amazing team goal.””Under any circumstances, that’s how Man United are expected to play,” Shaw continued. “At times [under Mourinho] it didn’t happen. But the team were very good [against Cardiff], very quick getting the ball forwards and I think we were more clinical.”In games before we’ve had a lot of chances that could’ve maybe ended up with a scoreline like that. It was nice to get the five goals, which we haven’t done for a while, and hopefully we can push on from here.”Gaffer already taken my place in Pogs new celebration #MUFC pic.twitter.com/YNVSPfwdRu— Luke Shaw (@LukeShaw23) December 22, 2018Mourinho’s two-and-a-half-year tenure came to an end with United sixth and 19 points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool.The Portuguese won the Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield in his first season in charge before United finished second and 19 points behind Manchester City last term.Shaw added: “It’s not very nice when something as big as that happens at the club, but I think we all as players and as a team show respect in what happened. People might be quick to forget what Jose did for United – the three trophies he won – he did a lot.”Obviously, one of the trophies was one we had not won before. He took us to three trophies in one season so those people need to respect him and remember what he did for not only us as a team to win those trophies, but the fans as well.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told his players to run more and be more dangerous in attack after arriving at Manchester United, Nemanja Matic has revealed.Solskjaer was appointed as interim boss at Old Trafford after Jose Mourinho was sacked on Tuesday, and got off to an emphatic start by beating Cardiff City 5-1 in his opening game.The players had come under criticism for a lack of effort under their former manager, with some critics claiming Mourinho had lost the support of the dressing room. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? United had renewed energy on Saturday though, and Solskjaer was pleased with how the players implemented his ideas.Speaking to reporters after the game, Matic said of the Norwegian: “He is only two days with us but we had a few meetings. He said we need to play more forward, to be more dangerous in attack, to run more, to compete with everything and that’s exactly what we did today and we are happy because of that.”Matic was signed by United in 2017 from Chelsea for £40 million ($50m), and had previously won a Premier League title under Mourinho at Chelsea.The midfielder was then singled out by his manager last season as one of the few United players to be putting in consistent performances.Matic was a key reason United secured a second-place finish in the Premier League that campaign, and he defended Mourinho after the club’s worst start to a season for 28 years.”This is football,” he continued. “In football, this happens. We know, also, it’s not only the manager’s fault that results are not good but this is football and we have to carry on and to fight for the club.””I said after the Liverpool game we also needed to take responsibility and to do our best to play better and to win games.”United face Huddersfield Town at home on Boxing Day next time out as Solskjaer aims for a win on his Old Trafford debut as manager.They then clash with Bournemouth before a trip to Newcastle United to round off the festive period. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Juventus are working on a deal to sign Braga forward Francisco Trincao in January, Goal understands.The 18-year-old plays primarily as a right winger, but can also be deployed as a secondary striker, and has yet to make his breakthrough into Braga’s senior team.However, he has been capped at Under-17, Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 level by Portugal, scoring 11 goals in 16 appearances for the Under-19 age group. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? He has yet to complete 90 minutes for Braga B this season, but has made seven appearances. Last season, he scored five goals and created five more in 30 outings.Inter are also interested in the prospect of luring Trincao away from Portugal, but Juve have been working on a deal for months, and believe they are at the front of the queue.Trincao’s agent travelled to Turin to meet with representatives of the Bianconeri last week, but Braga are thus far refusing to budge on their asking price for the teenager.Trincao has a €15 million (£13.5m/$17.1m) release clause in his contract, and the Portuguese club want Juventus to pay in full.And while the Serie A champions are hopeful of completing a deal, they have thus far refused to match the clause.Trincao’s reputation precedes him, having enjoyed a stunning run of form in the European Under-19 championships in the summer.The winger shared the Golden Boot with team-mate Joao Filipe, as they both finished the tournament with five goals apiece.Trincao even scored in the final as Portugal defeated Italy 4-3 after extra time.
Juan Cuadrado is likely to avoid the need for surgery on a knee injury, Juventus have confirmed.The Colombia international was sent to Germany for assessment on the problem last week and missed the 1-0 Serie A victory over Roma last Saturday.The 30-year-old has returned to Turin and will continue conservative treatment in a bid to restore him to full fitness. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “Juan Cuadrado is continuing conservative therapy with some improvement,” a Juve statement said.”At the moment, there are not enough indications to proceed surgically.”Cuadrado has made 15 appearances in all competitions for Massimiliano Allegri’s side this season.Despite his injury struggles, he remains fully committed to the Juve cause and has sought to play down any suggestion that he may consider leaving the club.He told Marca in November: “I think only of Juventus and to reach the goals we have set ourselves, to arrive in March and to be in a race on all fronts.“Then there will be the Copa America, it will be a great opportunity to win something with Colombia.”Juve are set to face Atalanta on December 26 before hosting Sampdoria three days later in their final match before the mid-season break.Cuadrado will play no part in those fixtures, but will be hoping to come back into contention at some point in early 2019.
Barcelona midfielder Arthur has said he is praying that Neymar will return to the Camp Nou. The Brazilian star made a world-record €222 million transfer from Barcelona to PSG in the summer of 2017, and helped his side to a domestic treble in his first season at the club. However, there have been persistent rumours that the 26-year-old is unhappy in France and could be in line for a quick exit. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Real Madrid are reportedly tracking Neymar’s situation, and a sensational return to Barca has also been mooted. And Neymar’s international team-mate, who himself made a €40 million move from Gremio in the summer, is hoping to one day see him return to the Camp Nou. “I personally am praying for him to come because he is a superstar, it is indisputable,” Arthur told Mundo Deportivo.”I think that the more great players the team has, the better.”The 22-year-old has also revealed that, more than just praying, he is also doing work behind the scenes to convince Neymar that he should move back to Catalonia. “Personally, I’m doing a lot of work to get him back, but he has his life, he knows what he’s doing and I do not know how deep those negotiations are, if there are options for him to come or not.”But he is a personal friend and a professional that I admire a lot and would be very happy if he could come back here.”Neymar has been in sensational form again with PSG in 2018-19, scoring 16 goals in 18 total appearances for the club so far this season.
Arsenal have been told that they missed their chance to sign Gary Cahill, with there little logic in making a move for the Chelsea defender now.Back in 2012, the defender was proven performer as he preparing to head for the exits at Bolton.Having established himself as an England international, there was no shortage of suitors for Cahill. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Chelsea eventually won the race for his signature and have seen him go on to make close to 300 appearances for the club while claiming two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League and Europa League.Arsenal should have been in for his services before he headed to Stamford Bridge, says Smith.No deal was done then, though, and a former Gunners striker sees no reason why Unai Emery would want to bring in a 33-year-old Cahill during the January window after seeing him slip down the pecking order at Chelsea.Smith told Express Sport: “Arsenal should have signed Gary Cahill before he went to Chelsea.“He spoke and had a meeting with Arsene Wenger and it didn’t happen.“But he went on to become a fine, fine defender.“Now you’d be signing somebody who’s in his latter years and is not at his peak.“I don’t see that as a goer.”While Smith has questioned the merits of making a move for Cahill, the experienced defender is attracting plenty of interest.He is considered to be a useful short-term option for any number of clubs, with Manchester United credited with holding an interest prior to Jose Mourinho’s departure.A move away from Stamford Bridge is expected to be made during the winter window, with Cahill struggling for regular game time under Maurizio Sarri and eager to find minutes elsewhere as his contract in west London runs down.
My laptop and the brains of those around me liked moving the rook over to h2. From there, it would stare down the juicy far-right column (h-file in chess parlance), which provides a useful conduit into black enemy territory and could have come wide open if some pawns were exchanged. Carlsen did, more or less, the opposite. He moved his king down a square, to g2.Carlsen may have thought that the game was a dead draw and that any move would be a means to that end. He was wrong. The white king on g2 blocked the white rook’s access to the right edge of the board and, possibly, to black’s king. This swung the pendulum swiftly in Karjakin’s favor. “Carlsen played with his hand and not with his brain,” Robert Hess, a grandmaster and chess.com contributor, told me.The Norwegian champ agreed with Hess. “King to g2 is a huge blunder,” a visibly upset Carlsen said at the postgame press conference. Up to this point in the match, Carlsen had generally seemed calm and comfortable, but after this game, he sat disturbed, face in hand, brusquely and testily answering questions. He’d have been halfway to his hotel already, one felt, were it not for his contractual obligations.This blunder may have been due to a clerical error by Carlsen, NRK, Norway’s national broadcaster, reported after the game. Tournament players are required to record on a scoresheet all the moves played during a game. Carlsen, who’s done this many thousands of times, told NRK that he forgot a move earlier in the game. Once a player makes his 40th move, he receives 50 minutes of additional time on his clock. Carlsen received his extra time but initially seemed confused as to why. The king-to-g2 blunder came immediately after, on his 41st move.After Carlsen’s mistake, the players had a full role-reversal, with the Norwegian playing Houdini and the Russian the stifled aggressor. But as the game progressed, Karjakin’s advantage fizzled, Carlsen’s defenses held, and the players agreed to a draw after 51 moves over five hours. The score is tied 2.5-2.5 in this race to 6.5.1Wins are worth 1 point, draws are worth half a point for each player, and losses are worth 0 points.It’s been an impressive streak of draws, but there have been more to open a world championship. Garry Kasparov and Viswanathan Anand fought to eight in a row in 1995, the last time the championship was in New York. But those — only one was longer than 30 moves — pale in comparison to the legendary draws this year. “Gonna be a draw,” a grandmaster texted me as the setting sun cast a red tinge on the East River off lower Manhattan. It was around 5 p.m. on Thursday, and my attention was split between the light filtering through the masts of the tall ships at the pier outside the window and the crucial but lumbering game of chess being played by two geniuses on the other side of the hall. Shortly after 6 p.m., a commotion broke the calm. An official with the World Chess Championship rushed into the press room. The game would end soon, he said, and we should be ready. Sergey Karjakin, the Russian underdog, was winning.This was exciting news indeed. The first four games of the match had ended in draws — two of them epic — between Karjakin and his opponent, the defending world champion and No. 1-rated Magnus Carlsen of Norway. In Thursday’s fifth game, it seemed, there would be blood.In the previous three games, the two players had opened the game with a set of moves called “the Ruy Lopez” — also known as “the Spanish.” On Thursday, they moved across the Mediterranean to play the “Giuoco Piano,” also known as “the Italian.” “Giuoco piano” means “quiet game,” but the opening is known for creating a tense, maneuvering contest. White aims to control the board’s center while black tries not to lose the battle for space.Karjakin, handling the black pieces, came out of this opening battle slightly ahead, according to the computer chess engine Stockfish and a preponderance of onlookers in New York. This was a rarity, as the Russian had previously been relying on costive, defensive goal-line stands simply to stay alive in the championship match.But on the 20th move, a minor theme of the previous games re-emerged, blunting Karjakin’s edge. He faced the following position: Stockfish thought the better play for Karjakin was to move the black bishop back a square, from f5 to g6, which would reveal the black rook and apply further pressure on an already strained board. Karjakin’s human brain, however, preferred trading a bishop for a knight by capturing on c5. As in previous games, Karjakin played more passively than might have been optimal, going with the move that released some of the game’s tension but also perhaps some of his advantage along with it.Nevertheless, the Russian would get another unexpected crack at victory. The game proceeded, quite level, for another 20 moves — solid grandmaster chess — and another draw seemed inevitable. (Hence the text and my staring at the ships.) Eventually, however, Carlsen (playing white) erred when facing the following position on the 41st move: Viswanathan Anand contemplates his move against Gary Kasparov at the World Chess Championship in 1995. JON LEVY / AFP / Getty Images I’d witnessed some 18 hours of play over the previous three game days. On the train on my way home from the venue, the man sitting next to me was staring at his smartphone. He was playing chess.Game 6 begins Friday afternoon. I’ll be covering the rest of the games here and on Twitter.CORRECTION (Nov. 18, 10:47 a.m.): An earlier version of this article misstated the amount of additional time players receive after their 40th move. It is 50 minutes, not an hour.
Sami Khedira suffered a knock to his knee and was later substituted in the game between Germany and Spain, which has led many people to believe there is a serious issue with his well-being.However, he himself shared that it was just a precautionary measure and there is no reason to worry about anything at all.Fiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.Khedira, who is currently a Juve midfielder, provided the assist for Thomas Muller’s goal at the beginning of the second half. He then had a clash with Thiago Alcantara, which is the discussed event. Just a couple of minutes later, in the 53rd one, he was substituted by Ilkay Gundogan, but then went on to calm everybody down via his personal social media.“It’s been a good match against a very tough opponent. We know that it’s never easy against Spain!” Khedira shared in his twitter account, according to Goal. “By the way, don’t worry about my sub: it was only a precautionary measure after I felt a small induration [sic]. But now everything is fine again!”
Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale has replaced Cristiano Ronaldo as the club’s talisman as new manager Julen Lopetegui continues to rebuild his team, according to Evening Standard.The Wales international continued his impressive preseason form by scoring a goal during Real Madrid’s 3-1 win over AC Milan on Saturday night.The former Spurs star has spent the last five years as a sidekick to Cristiano Ronaldo but looks to set to become the main attraction as Madrid prepare for life after the departure of their all-time top scorer.Bale was believed to be considering his future at the Santiago Bernabeu after Madrid won their third consecutive Champions League title at the end of May.Maurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.However, the departure of Ronaldo to Juventus means the Welsh wizard has the chance to become the team’s leader and star player.The former Southampton trainee hasn’t had easy time of things in the Spanish capital since he moved there for a then world record fee of £85million in 2013, struggling with injuries on a number of occasions.Ironically, it was Bale who stole the show from Ronaldo at Kiev against Liverpool last May. The winger came off the bench to score twice as Madrid defeated the Merseyside club 3-1 on the night to secure their 13th European title.Bale’s goal against Milan becomes the second he has scored so far in preseason after his scorcher against Juventus in the International Champions Cup in the United States.
CONMEBOL decided today that it will emulate what they do in the UEFA competitions; the organism already decided the 2019 hostsTrying to emulate the success of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, CONMEBOL announced today changes in its competitions.Just like in Europe, the next champions of the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana will be decided in only one match, and not two like it currently is.In a report by Argentinean newspaper Clarin, the two host cities have been chosen for the 2019 season.Top 10 legendary football clubs in the history of the game Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – August 19, 2019 Let’s talk about the Top 10 legendary football clubs in the history of the game, the squads that left a massive mark in this…The 2019 Copa Libertadores final will be played in Santiago de Chile, while the 2019 Copa Sudamericana final will be played in Lima, Peru.Three cities wanted to host the finals, with both winners and Montevideo, Uruguay, taking part in the bid process.“These finals will inspire all South Americans to believe in big things,” CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez said.