18 days ago​McAteer: Firmino more important to Liverpool than Salah

first_img​McAteer: Firmino more important to Liverpool than Salahby Ansser Sadiq18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool legend Jason McAteer believes the club would suffer more if they lost Roberto Firmino to injury, compared to Mohamed Salah.The latter suffered a niggle against Leicester City, with fans concerned that he would miss game time after the international break.But McAteer believes if they do have to miss an attacker through injury, Firmino would be the more impactful loss.McAteer told The Racing Post: “People have questioned Liverpool’s strength in depth and I don’t think it’s quite as strong as Manchester City’s, but there is cover in key areas.”Take one of their star players out of the team and inevitably it has an impact – it would at any club. But Jurgen has been able to tweak things and bring in different players and look where they are.”The one player I think is indispensable going forward is Roberto Firmino. Forget Sadio Mane or Mo Salah, it’s Firmino who makes the whole thing tick going forward. I think if Liverpool lost Firmino it would have a bigger impact than losing Mane or Salah.”Look at the Super Cup against Chelsea where Liverpool produced two completely different halves of football, the first without Firmino and the second with him. He’s a more important part of the attacking jigsaw than anyone else.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

‘Ronaldo only wanted to play for Juventus’

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo “only wanted to play for Juventus”, claims his agent Jorge Mendes, with the decision taken to leave Real Madrid for Serie A in January.A big-money move for the Portuguese had been mooted for several years before a deal was finally done over the summer.Few clubs boasted the ambition and financial muscle to put an agreement in place, but Italian giants Juve formed part of an exclusive club. 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? Ronaldo has made no secret of his admiration for the Bianconeri since joining their books, with the Turin outfit one he always hoped would form part of his illustrious career.Mendes was able to make that dream a reality, with there only one destination considered once a five-time Ballon d’Or winner made it clear that he wanted out of the Santiago Bernabeu.“In January 2018, I and the few people who knew what was happening thought it would be very difficult to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to Juve,” Mendes told Rai Sport.“However, I want to make it clear that the idea started with the player himself. Ronaldo told me he only wanted to play for Juventus.“That’s where it began and I was in talks with the Bianconeri directors for months, so we all know how those negotiations ended up.“Now Cristiano is happy with the club and his team-mates, he is satisfied with Serie A and truly happy at Juventus.”Ronaldo has contributed 12 goals to the Juve cause this season, across 21 appearances in all competitions.Those efforts have helped to establish a standing back at the top of Serie A, while also progressing through to the last 16 of the Champions League.“Many have asked me about Juve and the Champions League. It will take a bit of luck to win it too, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival has certainly made Juventus stronger,” added Mendes.“I’d say all of Italian football has benefited from his presence.”Ronaldo will be back in action on Saturday against Roma, with Massimiliano Allegri having revealed that plans to rest the 33-year-old continue to be pushed back.last_img read more

Report: West Ham 0 Watford 2

first_imgWatford ended West Ham’s winning streak with a 2-0 victory at London Stadium which saw Javi Gracia’s side climb to sixth in the Premier League.The hosts went into Saturday’s contest on the back of four wins on the bounce, but saw their momentum halted by Troy Deeney’s emphatic first-half penalty and a late Gerard Deulofeu goal.Manuel Pellegrini’s men were left to rue a number of near-misses as their search for a goal proved fruitless, Michail Antonio coming closest as he twice hit the woodwork in the second half.  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? It represents the Hammers’ first loss since a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City last month, leaving them 12th in the table.| The skipper opens the scoring #watfordfc #WHUWAT [0-1]Listen live ⤵️https://t.co/mxkU36Cmjo pic.twitter.com/O4xpJMiObF— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) December 22, 2018West Ham threatened first and Christian Kabasele made a vital sliding interception to prevent Antonio’s dangerous delivery from reaching Javier Hernandez, while Fabian Balbuena was pressed into defensive action at the other end to thwart Deulofeu.The Hornets wasted a glorious chance to break the deadlock in the 24th minute as Jose Holebas miscontrolled when he had the freedom of the penalty area after West Ham’s plan to play him offside backfired. It did not take long for the visitors to shrug off that disappointment, Balbuena’s clumsy challenge on Roberto Pereyra allowing Deeney to open the scoring with a powerful finish from the spot.West Ham twice came close to an equaliser either side of the break, Ben Foster making a smart stop to keep out Hernandez’s volley and then Antonio’s header hitting the post. Andy Carroll’s introduction in the place of Mark Noble underlined West Ham’s attacking intent and the hosts continued to press, Hernandez fluffing his lines to shoot tamely at Foster from just eight yards out. It took a fine save from Lukasz Fabianski to push Abdoulaye Doucoure’s stinging drive over the crossbar in the 71st minute as Watford sought to put the game to bed. Doucoure then made a timely intervention to deny the lively Hernandez just as the Mexican was lining up the target. There were chances for both sides late on with Deeney shooting straight at Fabianski and Foster saving from Antonio before watching his follow-up effort hit the bar, but Deulofeu had the final say with a cool finish to settle matters after being played in by Pereyra. What does it mean? Hornets flying highWith back-to-back wins under their belt, Watford now sit in the top six heading into a busy run of fixtures that will shape their season. West Ham arguably deserved at least a point and must quickly pick themselves up from a first defeat of the month.Fostering defensive confidenceIn a game of fine margins, the calm presence of Foster was key in Watford’s triumph, the Englishman making seven saves in a display that frustrated West Ham.Balbuena pays the penaltyIt was a day to forget for Balbuena, who went off after injuring himself in conceding the penalty that ultimately cost West Ham the game. His passing accuracy of 54.4 per cent spoke volumesKey Opta Facts- Watford have won five of their last eight Premier League games against West Ham (D1 L2), winning three away from home in this run (1-0 in February 2007, 4-2 in September 2016 and 2-0 in December 2018).- West Ham have failed to keep a clean sheet in 10 of their last 11 Premier League home games.- Deeney has scored in three of his last four league appearances against West Ham, with two of those goals coming at London Stadium.- Deulofeu scored in consecutive Premier League appearances for the first time in his career.- Watford ended a run of seven consecutive Premier League games in which they failed to keep a clean sheet. What’s next? Pellegrini takes his side to a resurgent Southampton on Thursday, while Watford host Chelsea on Boxing Day.  read morelast_img read more

Barcelona vs Celta team news: Messi starts

first_imgBarcelona will seek to tighten their grip on first place in the Primera Division on Saturday when they play host to Celta Vigo.The Catalans go into the fixture fresh from thumping away wins against Espanyol (4-0) and Levante (5-0) and having had the rare luxury of a full week to prepare for the fixture.Thereafter, they will have a couple of weeks off before meeting Getafe in La Liga, but in order to enjoy the festive period as fully as possible, they must overcome midtable Celta. 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? Game Barcelona vs Celta Date Saturday, December 22 Time 5:30pm GMT / 12:30pm 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 beIN Sports fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be shown on television but can be streamed on Eleven Sports 2. UK TV channel Online stream N/A Eleven Sports 2 Squads & Team News Position Barcelona squad Goalkeepers Ter Stegen, Cillessen Defenders Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Miranda Midfielders Rakitic, Busquets, Roberto, Vidal, Denis Suarez, Arthur, Alena Forwards Messi, Luis Suarez, Coutinho, Dembele, Munir Thomas Vermaelen suffered a fresh injury setback this week while Samuel Umtiti is still sidelined. On the plus side, Nelson Semedo is fit and gets a starting berth.Barcelona starting XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, L. Suarez, Dembele.Subs: Cillessen, Alena, Brandariz, Coutinho, Miranda, Arthur, D. Suarez. Position Celta squad Goalkeepers Ruben Blanco, Alvarez Defenders Araujo, Costas, Roncaglia, Cabral, Alonso, Mazan, Mallo, Vazquez Midfielders Lobotka, Yokuslu, Radoja, Beltran, Jensen, Sanchez, Mendez, Boufal Forwards Sisto, Mor, Hjulsager, Gomez, Aspas, Eckert Celta have a full squad available for this encounter with the exception of the suspended left-back David Junca. Celta starting XI: Ruben Blanco; Mallo, Araujo, Costas, Mazan; Mendez, Yokuslu, Jozabed, Boufal; Aspas, Gomez.Subs: Alvarez, Beltran, Cabral, Hjulsager, Lobotka, Sisto, Kevin.Betting & Match Odds Barcelona have been made hot 1/8 favourites with bet365. A draw is priced at 8/1 while a Celta win is a long shot at 20/1.Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more .Match Preview Lionel Messi Barcelona 2018-19They may have one last outing of 2018, but Barcelona’s thoughts are already drifting towards the future.On Thursday, it was confirmed that they will sign Jeison Murillo on loan from Valencia in the January transfer window to reinforce their defence, while the Camp Nou side have also been tipped to pounce for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot.Barca have kept three successive cleansheets in the Primera Division, but the spine of their squad remains paper thin and needs reinforcing.At the other end of the pitch, though, Lionel Messi continues on his merry way, having shone once again last weekend in a 5-0 destruction of Levante. The Argentine’s hat-trick carried him over the 50-goal barrier for 2018 – a figure he has achieved in eight of the last nine years – and means he has won more top-flight matches than any other player in the club’s history.“I don’t know how to label him. I don’t know how to answer the most repeated question,” head coach Ernesto Valverde said, clearly having run out of superlatives for the South American, who finished only fifth in the recent the 2018 Ballon d’Or voting.“He’s the one who makes us play, who gives us amazing goals … we just have to enjoy him.”Indeed, so prolific has Messi been alongside strike partner Luis Suarez, the duo have accumulated more goals than both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid this season.Celta’s task is to somehow find a way of halting this juggernaut, but the Galicians are confident.“The game comes at a good time because we’re in the middle of a good run of results and play, despite the recent draw against Leganes,” midfielder Jozabed Sanchez said. “Additionally, in recent years we’ve been able to make things difficult for them.”Celta may be undefeated in their last three league matches, but the likes of Huesca, Villarreal and Leganes do not measure up to the size and quality of Barca. Indeed, the last time Celta faced one of the league’s big guns, they went down 4-2 to Real Madrid at home. Barcelona, therefore, remain hot favourites – particularly with Messi in such fantastic form.last_img read more

WATCH: Sargent nets second Bundesliga goal

first_imgJosh Sargent’s Bundesliga career got off to a flying start in December, and the teenager does not look ready to slow down just yet.After scoring seven goals in 12 appearances for the Werder Bremen Under-23 side, Sargent got his first-team career off on the right foot when he scored in his senior debut with a tap-in against Fortuna Dusseldorf three weeks ago.Now in just his third appearance in the German top-flight, the 18-year-old striker has scored his second goal for Werder Bremen in a 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig. 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? After not getting off the bench midweek in a 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim, Sargent made the most of his opportunity in his club’s final game before the Bundesliga winter break.The United States international entered the match in the 66th minute with Werder down 2-0 to Leipzig, with the opportunity for his longest runout as a professional.The teenager wasn’t involved in his club’s opener, as Max Kruse managed to bring his side back into the match just a minute after Sargent’s entrance.However, Sargent got in on the action for Werder’s second goal.Sargent initially held the ball up near the midfield line and laid it off. The ensuing pass was delivered into the path of fellow substitute Yuya Osako, who got in behind the defense.Osako then pulled a pass back into the path of the onrushing Sargent, who hit a left-footed finish off the post and into the net to level things at 2-2 in 77th minute.THE AMERICAN HAS TIED IT! 🇺🇸💪Josh Sargent’s 2nd Bundesliga goal in 3 games brings Bremen level at Leipzig! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/V9xm2OZylR— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 22, 2018Unfortunately for Sargent and Werder, Bruma would re-establish the lead for the hosts off a cross from Marcel Halstenberg. That finish would be the winner, as RB Leipzig came away 3-2 victors.After his goal against Dusseldorf, Werder coach Florian Kohfeldt attempted to play down expectations for the teenager, telling reporters: “We all must be careful what we expect from him. If he makes five, six Bundesliga appearances until the summer, it is a good a year for him.”With two goals in three appearances and a half season to go, it looks as if Sargent has a good chance of reaching that mark as he continues to make a case for continued involvement in the Werder first team.last_img read more

Report: Real Madrid 4 Al Ain 1

first_imgLuka Modric’s wonderful goal helped seal Club World Cup history as Real Madrid beat Al Ain 4-1 to become the first team to win the tournament three years in a row.Santiago Solari’s first silverware since being appointed as Julen Lopetegui’s successor was set up by Modric’s first-half strike as Madrid comfortably triumphed in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, moving past rivals Barcelona with their fourth title in the competition.The Croatia midfielder, who added the Ballon d’Or crown to his World Cup Golden Ball this month, bent the opener into the bottom-left corner from 25 yards, with Marcos Llorente also drilling home from outside the box before a Sergio Ramos header extended Madrid’s lead. 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? Al Ain had a goal from Caio Fernandes ruled out for offside when they only trailed by one and Zoran Mamic’s side – who replied through an excellent Tsukasa Shiotani header – can be proud of their efforts on home soil as massive underdogs against the European champions, despite Madrid adding a late fourth through Yahia Nader’s own goal.The perfect way to cap off #TheBest year for @lukamodric10? He has @realmadriden in front in the #ClubWC final  pic.twitter.com/VmlslWFoxG— #ClubWC  (@FIFAcom) December 22, 2018Madrid hit the post in the third minute when Llorente got clear in the left channel, his cutback deflected on to the woodwork by fortunate defender Ismail Ahmed.Al Ain should have taken the lead when Marcelo’s mistake let in Hussein El Shahat but captain Ramos made a miraculous goal-line clearance to deny the winger, then Madrid nudged in front.Neat build-up play from Karim Benzema set up Modric and the Ballon d’Or winner curled home a beauty from 25 yards, Caio then seeing a rapid reply ruled out for offside.Benzema missed a brilliant chance to extend Madrid’s lead before goalkeeper Khalid Eisa made outstanding saves to deny both Gareth Bale and Modric before the break.Madrid effectively clinched the trophy in the 60th minute when a cleared corner fell kindly to Llorente, his thumping half-volley giving Eisa no chance and opening his professional account in some style.Ramos powered home a Modric corner to make certain of Madrid’s victory, celebrating the goal with unused substitute Isco, although Al Ain scored a deserved consolation through Shiotani with four minutes left.Madrid had the final say, though, as a cross from substitute Vinicius Jr was turned into his own goal by Nader in the first minute of stoppage time. WHAT A GOAL!!!@marcosllorente pic.twitter.com/wsel09O91H— Real Madrid C.F.  (@realmadriden) December 22, 2018What does it mean? Solari up and runningThis was not always completely convincing from Madrid, but they did not need to get out of second gear. Solari’s side left too many gaps at the back and more clinical opponents may have punished them, but the coach will be relieved to collect the first trophy of his reign.Modric the man of the moment There were few arguments about Modric ending Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s dominance of the Ballon d’Or and he ended 2018 on another high note. His opening goal was superbly struck and the midfielder also forced a scrambling save from Eisa with a stunning volley as well as crossing for Ramos’ goal.Madrid survive Benzema’s baffling missRonaldo’s sale to Juventus meant Benzema would have to hugely increase his meagre goalscoring returns from last season to address the deficit. But the former France striker has struggled to step up, with an atrocious miss from Lucas Vazquez’s cross particularly worrying. Benzema – who has six league goals this season – did set up Modric’s opener, yet he is ultimately in the Madrid team to score goals, not make them.Key Opta Facts- Madrid have won the Club World Cup four times (2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018), surpassing Barcelona (2009, 2011 and 2015) to become the competition’s most successful team.- Solari is the first Argentinian manager to win the Club World Cup. The previous five Argentinians to manage in a Club World Cup final lost the game, all in charge of teams from South America.- Madrid captain Ramos is the third player to score in different Club World Cup finals, after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.What’s next?Madrid can enjoy a brief break before returning to LaLiga action at Villarreal on January 3. read morelast_img read more

Solskjaer effect sees Man Utd hit 13-month high

first_imgManchester United have hit a 13-month high under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the new man at the helm making an immediate impact during a trip to Cardiff.With the Red Devils having taken the decision to part with Jose Mourinho, cover was required in a high-profile post.Treble winner Solskjaer was the man chosen to take the reins, with the Norwegian agreeing an initial interim deal through to the end of the season. 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? His return to Old Trafford was welcomed by many, with a clean slate offered to an underperforming squad.In a quirk of fate, his first game in charge of United took him back to the familiar surroundings of Cardiff – the scene of his only previous coaching post in British football.Solskjaer would have been hoping to make a bright start, but the speed at which his new side burst out of the blocks probably came as a surprise even to him.Marcus Rashford recorded the first goal of a new era inside three minutes, before Ander Herrera doubled United’s lead before the half-hour mark.Victor Camarasa pulled one back for the Bluebirds from the penalty spot, but Anthony Martial restored the Red Devils’ two-goal advantage four minutes before half-time.Fast starts are not something that United had been accustomed to under Mourinho, with over a year having passed since they last registered three efforts in the opening 45 minutes of any given Premier League fixture.3 – Man Utd have scored three first half goals in a Premier League away game for the first time since November 2017 v Watford. Reaction. #CARMUN pic.twitter.com/ENU4COALZJ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 22, 2018While Solskjaer was able to oversee a dream start to his reign, he is under no illusion as to the size of the challenge facing him in familiar surroundings.United’s struggles under Mourinho have left them playing catch-up in the race for top-four finishes.Victory over Cardiff will, however, be a positive step in the right direction.With the games coming tick and fast over the festive period, there will be further opportunities to close on the Champions League places before the end of the year.If the Red Devils can continue to burst out of the blocks like they did against the Bluebirds, then they may soon have top-flight rivals looking anxiously over their shoulder. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Man United’s ‘shackles’ are off, says Owen

first_imgFormer Manchester United forward Michael Owen feels that the departure of Jose Mourinho has been a breath of fresh air around the club, and that the more relaxed atmosphere was reflected in Saturday’s drubbing of Cardiff City.A double from Jesse Lingard added to Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial’s goals as United ran riot in a 5-1 victory in south Wales.That win meant Solskjaer, who replaced the sacked Mourinho on an interim basis, enjoyed the perfect start on the bench for the Red Devils, who also cut the deficit behind fourth-placed Chelsea to eight points. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Mourinho’s final months at United were marred by reported rifts with players and poor results, and Owen believes that his sacking has given the club a new lease of life.”It’s not that you don’t want to put a huge amount of praise on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he’s obviously had an immediate impact, but he can’t have done much in such a short period of time.” Owen said to BT Sport. “It’s basically the shackles are now off and people can express themselves, people are actually smiling within the club now.”That makes all the difference to anybody’s performance.”Wayne Rooney also praised the Norwegian’s impact, while also alluding to the toxic atmosphere that accompanied Mourinho’s last days.”They looked a bit restricted. The players have got a lot of ability, and today we’ve seen that,” he said.”Playing for Manchester United, it’s a lot of pressure and a lot of things were happening around the team, around the manager, which is never easy to deal with as a player.”I think the players have just got that freedom. Ole has given them that as well. You’ve seen what they can do. I think today was a fantastic day for the club.”United continue their Premier League campaign on December 26, hosting Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Bayer Leverkusen confirm Bosz as new boss

first_imgBayer Leverkusen have confirmed that former Ajax and Borussia Dortmund boss Peter Bosz has been appointed as the Bundesliga club’s next coach.Leverkusen sit ninth in the Bundesliga table heading into the winter break and, despite securing a third win in four league games by beating Hertha Berlin on Saturday, Heiko Herrlich has been relieved of his duties.And the club have revealed that Bosz, whose successful 2016-17 campaign with Ajax led to a short-lived stint at Dortmund, which came to an end in December 2017, will take over in the new year, having signed a contract until 2020. 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? “Heiko Herrlich gave our team an important boost last year after a very difficult season,” Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller said in a statement.”Until the end we had the conviction and the will to make it with him as head coach. Unfortunately, a stagnation in the development of the team is no longer deniable.”Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes added: “Bosz stands for offensive, fast-paced and inspiring football.”He has always shown a special passion for working with young players, that’s why he fits in very well with us.”Heiko Herrlich has been relieved of his coaching duties at #Bayer04.Peter Bosz will take over in January. pic.twitter.com/Hrtoy8CJ9J— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) December 23, 2018Bosz took charge of Ajax in July 2016, and guided the Eredivisie club to the Europa League final – where they were beaten 2-0 by Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United – and a second-placed finish in the Dutch top flight, before taking over at Dortmund.A seven-match unbeaten run in the league saw Dortmund flying at the start of the campaign, but an eight-game winless streak and no victories in the Champions League group stage resulted in Bosz losing his job at Signal Iduna Park.last_img read more

Pochettino: Titles the next target for Tottenham

first_imgMauricio Pochettino hopes Tottenham can live up to expectations and become a title-winning side when they move into their new stadium.Tottenham’s stadium has been plagued by delays after initially been scheduled for a September opening, but the club anticipate the ground being ready in early 2019.On the field, however, their progress has not stalled, with Tottenham guaranteed third place in the Premier League heading into Christmas, regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s fixture with Everton. 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 Pochettino, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United at the end of the campaign, wants Tottenham to take the next step.”We are going to have one of the best facilities in the world, the training ground with the new stadium,” he told Sky Sports.”On the football side, all that we are building here will be in the same level. When you add and mix it all together it is going to be the time to win titles and deliver what the people expect.”We still have not won a trophy, but I think we have won more than that, because after four and a half years’ work together, to have a contract for another four and a half years is a massive achievement in the current climate. To create that is a massive achievement for us.”A classic from @J_Klinsmann against our upcoming opponents! #COYS pic.twitter.com/1bLJXicbQY— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) 22 December 2018Since Pochettino arrived at the club in 2014, Tottenham have become an established top-four side, while the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli have excelled under the Argentine’s guidance.”The platform that we have created here in Tottenham is the most important, the platform we created between all the coaching staff – in the academy and the first team. The platform we created is more important than one person,” Pochettino added.”It’s a very dynamic situation, football is so dynamic. The platform always improves players and the team. That platform is always changing because you always have to improve in football, you are learning in the same process.”That is important for the club to sustain and maintain the ideas in the way that you work.”Having progressed to the last 16 of the Champions League, Tottenham are also in the hunt for the first domestic trophy of the season and have an Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea coming up in January. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Pogba’s problem not behaviour, insists Saha

first_imgPaul Pogba’s struggle for consistency at Manchester United is not because of any problem with his behaviour, former striker Louis Saha says.Pogba impressed on Saturday in his side’s 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff City, registering two assists as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign as caretaker manager got off to a flying start.It was the France international’s first start in the Premier League since the 2-2 draw with Southampton on December 1, the midfielder having been dropped by Jose Mourinho in the Portuguese’s final few weeks in charge. 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? Pogba’s inability to perform consistently under Mourinho was often attributed to a poor relationship with his manager, with the pair said to have clashed on more than one occasion.Saha, twice a Premier League winner with United, thinks Pogba showed at the World Cup that he can play in a more disciplined role, but he admits it is not something that suits him.”The issue with the word ‘boss’ is that, at some stage, a boss needs to be consistent,” Saha told Omnisport. “You need to be well-perceived in the group.”That’s today’s criticism towards Paul. We need to understand him. Some weeks, he’s been outstanding. That’s what we expect from a player as talented as he is.”I think that his problem is that he has so many qualities that it’s complicated to keep him in one specific position, even box-to-box or in the defensive tasks, when he can score or make the difference anyway. I think those elements are difficult for him as a player.”He can do it because he did it with Didier Deschamps. He can do it with any team or coach. It’s not a behavioural problem but an analysis one. He must tell himself: ‘Okay, for that specific game, I need to do a certain job’. I think it’s not easy for him.”Saha hopes Solskjaer can be a positive influence on Pogba given his selfless nature as a player and a coach.”Ole has a lot of humility and it can help in their communication,” Saha said. “He will put his ego aside as ‘boss’ and he’ll tell himself that today the team goes first.”It is what Ole does. He’s always done it. He made great sacrifices for his team-mates. He’s made the difference for his team-mates and his coach. That’s Ole. He will give that [to the team].”That’s a message he’ll give gradually to all the players. They need to get their confidence back. They almost need some paternal communication. A misplaced pride in a great club constantly under the scrutiny of everyone. Whatever will happen, there they’ll talk about it because it’s one of the most followed clubs in the world. ” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

‘Hazard most decisive after Messi & Ronaldo’

first_imgChelsea forward Eden Hazard is the most “decisive” player in the world after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez.A talismanic figure at Stamford Bridge has often drawn comparisons to the very finest performers on the planet.He is considered to have fallen short in the past, with his goal return and ability to dictate proceedings on a regular basis called into question. 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? Hazard has, however, starred for club and country in 2018 to position himself towards the top of the pecking order in the Premier League and further afield.Martinez believes the 27-year-old is delivering the finest form of his career to date, with only iconic figures at Barcelona and Juventus bettering him over a prolonged period of time.He told The Times: “At international level, I have only seen a player playing at the very top consistently. “If you take Ronaldo and Messi away, I don’t think you can find another player as decisive. “Eden has won the league at Lille, a team that didn’t have the right to win it.Eden Hazard Belgium 2018“And he has won the league at Chelsea in two different projects. “He’s been the leader of a nation at a World Cup who got the bronze medal. “The consistency is there, and he is at the best moment of his career right now.”Hazard has contributed eight goals and nine assists to the Chelsea cause this season, having been eased into domestic action on the back of his efforts in Russia over the summer.He was, however, powerless to prevent the Blues from suffering a shock 1-0 defeat to Leicester in their most recent outing.Maurizio Sarri has thrown in the title towel on the back of that result, with a top-four finish now considered to be the best his side can hope for.Whether that proves enough to keep Hazard at Stamford Bridge remains to be seen, with an ambitious figure having drawn plenty of interest from Real Madrid and made no secret of his admiration for the Blancos.last_img read more

Man Utd team news & likely line-up

first_imgOle Gunnar Solskjaer is preparing for his first game back at Old Trafford as Manchester United manager having won his first game in charge of the club. On Saturday, United scored five goals in a Premier League game for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final game in charge in 2013. Shorn of ex-manager Jose Mourinho, United were far too powerful for Cardiff City, who succumbed to goals from Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.Huddersfield provide the second of four extremely winnable league games in a row for United. As well as Cardiff and the Terriers, United will play Bournemouth on December 30 and Newcastle on January 2. Solskjaer therefore has a strong chance of taking 12 points from 12 and re-aligning United’s season, which was becoming listless under the Special One.Man Utd Injuries United will be without their highest wage earner Alexis Sanchez, who former manager Mourinho ruled out until the new year with a hamstring problem. 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? Chris Smalling was a late withdrawal for the loss against Liverpool at Anfield and is not expected to return to the starting line-up.Fellow centre-back Marcos Rojo has only started one game all season and has been absent from the last two matches due to injury.Scott McTominay meanwhile has missed the last couple of games due to a knock.Romelu Lukaku has been absent due to a personal issue and is not expected to be back in time for the game against Huddersfield.Chris Smalling Man Utd 2018-19Man Utd Suspensions Neither side is missing any player due to suspension. Midfielder Nemanja Matic is one caution away from a domestic ban having picked up four yellow cards to this point.Man Utd Starting Line-UpThe handbrake was off during the Cardiff game with United playing fluently and with pace.Against a relegation candidate at home, Solskjaer will be expected to take the game to the opposition and deliver better performances than Mourinho produced during the end of his reign.The temptation to persist with the same XI, fitness permitting, will be strong.Therefore he could well persist with the front three he picked in Cardiff, having seen all three score, and Paul Pogba will keep his place in the team with Mourinho now banished.Depending on fitness, United could opt to shuffle the pack at the back too.Man United Huddersfield XIHuddersfield Team News Aaron Mooy heads Huddersfield’s list of injured players. He tore a knee ligament in early December against Arsenal and is at the centre of a club versus country row with Australia over his potential to play in January’s Asian Cup.Captain and midfield tempo-setter Jonathan Hogg missed the 3-1 home defeat to Southampton on Saturday with a knee injury of his own but manager David Wagner hopes to have him available at Old Trafford.Likewise Rajiv Van La Parra could come back into contention.Danny Williams, Abdelhamid Sabiri and Tommy Smith are all listed injured while Ramadan Sobhi also missed out against the Saints for a Huddersfield side now on track for relegation.Aaron Mooy SocceroosTV Channel & Kick-off time The match at Old Trafford kicks off at 15:00pm GMT (09:00am ET) on Wednesday, December 26. No live coverage is available in the UK. In the US, the game will be shown on NBC Sports Gold.Best Opta Match facts Manchester United have lost just one of their previous 14 games against Huddersfield in all competitions (W10 D3), with that one defeat coming away from home (1-2 in October 2017). Huddersfield are looking for their first away win against Manchester United since September 1930, when they won 6-0 in a top-flight clash. They’ve failed to win any of their last 15 trips in all competitions since then (D5 L10). Huddersfield have failed to score in seven of their last 10 games against Manchester United in all competitions, netting just four goals in total in this period.  Manchester United have never lost a Premier League game at Old Trafford against Yorkshire opposition (W26 D6). The last Yorkshire side to win away against Manchester United in the top-flight were Sheffield Wednesday in April 1986.  Manchester United haven’t lost a home league game on Boxing Day since 1978-79 (0-3 versus Liverpool), winning 14 and drawing three since. Manchester United find themselves outside the top five positions of the Premier League on Christmas Day for the third time in six seasons since Alex Ferguson retired (also in 2013-14 and 2016-17). Under Ferguson, United were never outside the top five places on Xmas Day in any of the 21 Premier League seasons.  Premier League games involving Manchester United have seen 64 goals this season; no club have witnessed more goals in their matches (scoring 34, conceding 30). Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to become just the fifth Manchester United manager to win both of his first two league matches in charge, after TJ Wallworth, Matt Busby, Dave Sexton and Jose Mourinho. After going 19 Premier League games without a goal, Jesse Lingard has scored four goals in his last four games for Manchester United, including a brace last time out against Cardiff City. Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has scored three goals in three appearances against Huddersfield Town in all competitions, with all three being scored last season. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Benitez: Newcastle need a miracle to stay up

first_imgRafa Benitez claims his Newcastle side need a “miracle” to avoid being dragged into a Premier League relegation battle.The Magpies secured a top-half finish during their first season back among English football’s elite in 2017-18.The current campaign is proving to be a bit trickier, though, with more transfer frustration leaving Benitez to make the best of what he has. 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 is concerned that may not be enough, with a side currently perched five points above the drop zone already looking anxiously over their shoulder.Benitez said: “We have to be realistic and understand that we will be in the bottom half during the whole season.”For me, it is almost clear and if we can be better than three teams, it will be another miracle.”It was a miracle last year. People were thinking, ‘Oh, you finished 10th…’, but with a couple fewer wins, we could have been in the bottom five, so it was a miracle.”If we do the same this year with teams spending even more money than last year, it will be a miracle.”Rafael Benitez NewcastleThings are not about to get any easier for Newcastle as their next outing is set to hand Benitez a reunion with his former employers at Liverpool on Boxing Day.They will then wrap up the calendar year away at Watford, before opening 2019 at home to Manchester United.The January transfer window will be open by then but, with Mike Ashley still looking to find a buyer for the Magpies, Benitez is not expecting to receive much backing in the winter market.He added: “I know what is coming now and I know where we are. You can see the team – the team is trying a lot of things, but still it’s not enough sometimes to get the points, and it will be like that.”If we are under pressure and we feel this pressure, we will not be better, we can make more mistakes.”I’m trying to tell everyone, realise where we are, realise what we have to do and if we do well, fine, we can finish 10th or whatever.”But if we think we have to beat these teams which have spent £100 million, every one of them, during the summer, if we think we can beat them easily every game, no chance. We are wrong, 100 per cent.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Klopp reveals Salah shoulder struggles

first_imgMohamed Salah toiled with the after effects of his shoulder injury at the start of this season, says Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.A deft finish from the Egypt forward opened the scoring for Liverpool in the Premier League leaders’ 2-0 win at Wolves last time out and moved him on to 14 goals for the campaign in all competitions.Five of those have come in the past two weeks and Klopp believes the 2017-18 PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Season is now firing on all cylinders – not that this was always the case in the months after his ill-fated grapple with Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final. 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 is young enough to involve a lot more things in his game. It’s not just speed, it’s not just finishing, it’s keeping the ball,” Klopp told reporters at a news conference ahead of Newcastle United’s Boxing Day visit to Anfield.”But you need your body for that and that was the only problem with Mo at the beginning of the season. Part of his body was still not perfect.”If you work in an office and your shoulder is not 100 per cent, it’s okay. If you are a professional football player, it just takes 10-15 per cent away.”He’s still a world-class player but we knew we had to wait until the moment when everything was fine again.”Klopp has made a subtle change to Salah’s role in Liverpool’s much-vaunted forward line this season, meaning the 26-year-old has often been stationed in a central attacking position as opposed to his customary spot on the right wing.”It’s good. He had to adapt a bit to a slightly different position. Not that different, but slightly. We need his link-up play,” the former Borussia Dortmund coach explained.”He still has that desire and the speed in the first few yards, which is impressive. And of course, he is a very important part of our finishing situations.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Sancho should be in Liverpool’s sights – Ince

first_imgLiverpool should be weighing up a future approach for Jadon Sancho, says Paul Ince, but a new striker is considered to be Jurgen Klopp’s top priority for the January window.The Reds are expected to recruit over the winter, with their manager having left the door open for possible additions.It is unlikely that an England international currently starring for Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund will figure on that wish list. 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? Sancho, though, may be targeted by Premier League sides in the future and Liverpool have been urged to ensure that they are in the mix whenever that day comes.Former Reds midfielder Ince told Express Sport of the talented teenager: “I think when you look at Sancho, let’s not go overboard. He’s only 18.“We don’t want to make these players better than what they are the moment, they’re still only young and have a long way to go.“We as a nation have a tendency to build people up from such a young age and then knock them back down.“I feel with Sancho, the boy’s done well and he’s been brave to make that decision to go and play in Germany.”He needs to keep playing games until he’s 19 or 20.“Then maybe Liverpool should start looking at him. And not just him, there’s other kids out there [in Germany] doing well.”Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2018-19With Sancho an option to pursue at a later date, Ince believes Liverpool should be looking for added firepower in the coming weeks.The Reds boast plenty of goal threat at present, but cover is considered to be required for the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.On what Klopp should be trying to bring in, Ince said: “I feel maybe he needs another striker, I really do.“It’s always hard to get the best players in January. The best don’t really want to leave then.“But you’ve got to say if Salah got injured who’s necessarily going to replace him?“Sturridge flits in and out and hasn’t really done it.“I think as a manager you’re always looking to improve the team.“And I think if they are up there – and they will be up there – like City and like United they’ll be looking to bring in some extra faces to improve the team.“It’s exciting. Everyone thought City would run away with it but Liverpool are right there.”Klopp’s side top the table at present and, having gone unbeaten through 18 games, are currently four points clear of reigning champions Manchester City heading into a busy Boxing Day. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Hazard to Madrid? Chelsea legend sounds warning

first_imgEden Hazard may end up leaving Chelsea for Real Madrid as “every player would love to play for them”, but Michael Essien is hoping the Belgian can be persuaded to stay put.Speculation regarding a switch to Spain continues to rage around a Stamford Bridge asset yet to commit to a new contract.He has made no secret of his admiration for the Blancos and certainly fits the ‘Galactico’ mould favoured by Florentino Perez at the Santiago Bernabeu. 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? Essien, who represented Chelsea and Madrid during his playing days, admits the lure of one of world football’s most prestigious clubs may prove too much for a current Premier League star.He told Express Sport: “Hazard is one of the best players in the world.“The interest of Real Madrid, I only hear from people in the media. But I mean when Real Madrid come calling… every player would love to play for them.“He’s happy at Chelsea though and hopefully we can keep him.”Hazard is not the only player in west London to be generating exit talk ahead of another transfer window.The likes of Danny Drinkwater, Victor Moses and Andreas Christensen are also making plenty of gossip columns.Andreas Christensen Chelsea 2018-19The latter is being linked with a possible move to Barcelona, with Essien conceding that those not seeing regular game time for Chelsea will be weighing up their options.He added: “Every player wants to play.“Chelsea isn’t an easy place to come and the competition is very fierce.“At the end of the day, all the players work but it’s the manager who will pick who he wants to play.“When you’re not playing you get frustrated and you want to look elsewhere.“It’s up to them really but they have to keep working and then everyone gets their chance.”Chelsea have two more fixtures to take in before the winter window opens.They are set to face Watford on Boxing Day, before making another short trip out on the road to take in a derby date with Crystal Palace on Sunday.Maurizio Sarri is looking for his side to offer a positive response in those games to recent setbacks which have left the Blues fourth in the Premier League table and looking over their shoulder.last_img read more

Southgate hails Sterling for speaking out against racism

first_imgRaheem Sterling has shown admirable courage in speaking out to highlight the issue of racism in football, according to Gareth Southgate.During Manchester City’s defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier this month, Sterling was allegedly racially abused.Chelsea have subsequently suspended four fans pending further investigation and in the aftermath of the incident, the England forward took to Instagram to point out media coverage of young black footballers, which he felt “fuel racism an aggressive behaviour”. 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 England manager Southgate believes Sterling should be applauded for taking a stand and helping to bring the issue into the public eye.”It’s easier for me to talk about what I feel about what Raheem’s done and how brave he’s been in speaking up,” Southgate told Sky Sports.”We’ve seen incidents of racism in the last few months that have always been unacceptable, remain unacceptable and will be unacceptable if they happen in the future. We have to hope they don’t.”Football is a mirror of society and unfortunately racism exists in society and so there are times when people use the opportunity at a football ground to fuel that.”We have to stand strong as a game to make sure that does not happen.”I think Raheem commented about what happens in stadiums, but also the unconscious bias that maybe exists.”I think that’s a huge topic for everyone to think about and to ponder and see how that might affect our lives and how we might do things differently as we move forward.”I really commend what he did and I think he should be very proud of being brave enough to stand up because it’s not an easy thing to do.”last_img read more

JMU to Build Dual Bunkering Vessel for Ecobunker Shipping

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: JMU Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) has received a contract from Ecobunker Shipping for the construction of a multi-product (LNG and low sulfur fuel oil) bunkering vessel.According to JMU, the 95-meter vessel will be built as a part of the STS LNG fuel supply business in Tokyo bay by three shareholders of EBS, Sumitomo Corporation, Uyeno Transtech, and Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Corporation.The bunker vessel will be homeported in the Port of Yokohama and the business itself will be subsidized from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.As explained by the shipbuilder, the hull design and construction will be subcontracted to Fukuoka Shipbuilding, and LNG tank fabrication including the LNG cargo handling system to Philippines-based Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Company.JMU said the vessel will be the first of its type in Asia, capable of providing 1,500 cubic meters of compliant marine fuel oil and 2,500 cubic meters of LNG.last_img read more