19 days agoChelsea boss Lampard: Senior players still biggest influence

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Lampard: Senior players still biggest influenceby Paul Vegas19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard is delighted with the influence of his senior players.Lampard says he has the right blend within his squad.”What you need is a strong group and then you see the leaders come from within it. Where we are quite young, the leaders are still going to come and come out of themselves more. That comes with a bit of confidence, probably with being around the first team even more,” he stated.”It seemed to have become a bit cut and dry [from outside], the young boys and the old boys, but I never saw it that way. I always trust in the players and in the squad, and you will rely on them.”Willian scored two in two, Jorginho’s influence and how he is, Azpilicueta club captain and N’Golo Kante, back in and 28 years of age. We need all those players and I expect them to deliver and take burdens throughout the season. Hopefully they’re doing that.” last_img read more

Report: Man City 2 Crystal Palace 3

first_imgAndros Townsend scored a sensational goal-of-the-season contender as Crystal Palace dealt Manchester City’s Premier League title defence a body blow with a stunning 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium.City enjoyed a regal dominance up until Ilkay Gundogan’s 26th-minute opener but Jeffrey Schlupp levelled six minutes later before Townsend turned the contest on its head with an outstanding long-range volley.Luka Milivojevic increased City’s misery and delight at Anfield with a 51st-minute penalty that means Liverpool will celebrate Christmas with a four-point lead at the Premier League summit. 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? Kevin De Bruyne’s overhit cross sailed in five minutes from time but Pep Guardiola’s side were unable to undo the damage in the late rally that followed.Gundogan was involved alongside Bernardo Silva in carving through Palace for Leroy Sane to shoot wastefully into the side-netting in the 10th minute.The Germany midfielder showed his countryman how it was done when he eased into the box to head home Fabian Delph’s searching cross.Schlupp allowed Gundogan to run off him for the opener but more than atoned by shifting outside a tired Kyle Walker challenge and arrowing a strike into the bottom right corner.If that finish was impressive, Townsend’s remarkable goal 10 minutes before half-time was something else altogether as he put his left foot sweetly through an audacious volley, leaving Ederson with no chance.Unreal.@andros_townsend #MCICRY pic.twitter.com/Tu80gBXpMC— Premier League (@premierleague) December 22, 2018Pep Guardiola introduced City’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero for centre-back Nicolas Otamendi early in the second half but the reshuffle led to confused defending as Townsend headed Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cross against the post.Walker made a dreadfully rash challenge as Max Meyer sought to retrieve the rebound to concede a penalty and Milivojevic, who had a penalty saved by Ederson in a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park last season, made no mistake.City’s response was disjointed before Sane cracked the outside of the right post with a 77th-minute free-kick.De Bruyne’s freak goal then set nerves jangling and Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus spurned free-headed chances for Palace to hold on.What does it mean? Advantage LiverpoolThere is still a long way to go in the title race but City now have two defeats to set against Liverpool’s unbeaten record. Back-to-back away games are on the horizon and they cannot afford to lose any more ground before hosting Jurgen Klopp’s men in a blockbuster clash on January 3. The “can City be stopped?” fatalism of a couple of weeks ago now feels preposterous. Talking of fatalism, many Palace fans would have dismissed the notion of sitting six points clear of the drop zone at Christmas. Combative and composed Wan-Bissaka stars for PalaceTownsend will rightfully hog the headlines but Wan-Bissaka did much to enhance his burgeoning reputation, keeping the in-form Sane on a short leash and making a succession of brave challenges. The 21-year-old’s teasing cross also paved the way for Palace’s game-sealing third goal.Landmark 2018 takes toll on ragged WalkerA key figure in City’s record-breaking Premier League campaign last season and England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals, Walker looked to be running on empty as he was at fault for the two avoidable Palace goals. Danilo is back to fitness as an unused substitute and it feels like time for Guardiola to take an often excellent performer out of the firing line.Key Opta Facts- City have lost two of their last three Premier League games (W1) – as many as in their previous 61 combined.- Palace registered their first away league win at City since December 1990, having drawn three and lost nine since then before today.2010 – Roy Hodgson is the first English manager to win a Premier League game at the Etihad since Harry Redknapp in May 2010 (P39 W0 D3 L36, before today). Jungle. pic.twitter.com/Txlw2eKNVz— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 22, 2018- This was City’s first home Premier League defeat against a non-big six side since February 2016, when they lost 1-3 to Leicester City under Manuel Pellegrini.- Townsend has scored 17 Premier League goals – with 10 of those coming from outside the box.- Since his Premier League debut, Milivojevic has scored 13 penalties – five more than any other player in that time.What’s nextGuardiola’s men travel to Leicester City on Boxing Day, a week on from winning a penalty shoot-out in the EFL Cup quarter-final at the King Power Stadium. Palace return to Selhurst Park for a potentially pivotal clash against Cardiff City. read morelast_img read more

Five-star Man Utd blow Cardiff away

first_imgManchester United cruised to an impressive 5-1 Premier League victory over Cardiff City on Saturday in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first match in charge.Three goals in the first half from Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial and a brace from Jesse Lingard earned all three points at Cardiff City Stadium, with Victor Camaras’ penalty proving little consolation.United stay sixth in the table, but the manner of the performance, as well as the result – the first time the side have scored five times in the league since Alex Ferguson’s final game – will have been a welcome sight for the travelling fans at the end of a week that saw Jose Mourinho’s contentious time in charge come to an end. 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? The new United era got off to a stunning start when Rashford blasted home a free-kick from 30 yards out that left goalkeeper Neil Etheridge rooted to the spot.Almost 81 per cent of possession underlined United’s early control, and the scoreline reflected their dominance when Herrera’s strike looped off Greg Cunningham’s shoulder and into the net 29 minutes in.Cardiff were gifted a lifeline when Camarasa fired high into the net from the spot, but United’s two-goal lead was restored three minutes later, when Martial slotted beneath Etheridge after a sublime one-touch passing move involving Lingard and Paul Pogba, restored to the starting line-up.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, 2018And any hope of a Cardiff comeback was promptly extinguished 11 minutes into the second half, when Lingard dispatched a confident penalty after he had been bundled to the ground by Sol Bamba.Pogba and Phil Jones were each denied by good Etheridge saves, while David de Gea kept out a good Kenneth Zohore attempt. It was 5-1 when Lingard rounded the keeper and slotted home from Pogba’s pass in the 90th minute to secure a first away league win since November 3 in style and give Solskjaer extra cause for celebration against the club he used the manage. 500/100 – Anthony Martial’s strike vs Cardiff was the 500th goal scored in the Premier League this season, in what was his 100th league game for Man Utd. Milestones. #CARMUN pic.twitter.com/y8fs7lJ9En— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 22, 2018What does it mean? Solskjaer has lifted the gloom’You make me happy, when skies are grey’ goes the song sung in Solskjaer’s honour by United fans, and that certainly seems to be the case at the end of a week that started with Mourinho apparently looking likely to stay in the job.United looked liberated in south Wales, playing expressive, attacking football and scoring the goals to go with it, while much-maligned players like Victor Lindelof seemed to exude confidence.Yes, Cardiff were undeniably poor and, yes, United are still sixth, but this was a match where the manner of the performance was arguably more important for the visitors than the result itself.Lingard given a licence to thrillLingard epitomised the freedom with which United’s attacking players performed. His assist for Martial’s goal and his well-taken penalty were the high points of a display full of verve, and Cardiff never quite got to grips with him.Bumbling Bamba a burdenBamba was dispossessed too easily by Pogba in the build-up to Herrera’s goal, his clumsy foul allowed Lingard to make it 4-1 and he missed a good chance for a goal. It was not his finest outing.Key Opta Facts- Since Alex Ferguson left the club, four of the five different managers to take charge of Manchester United have seen their side score 3+ goals in their first Premier League game (Moyes 4, Mourinho 3, Giggs 4 and Solskjaer 5). – Cardiff manager Neil Warnock suffered his 50th Premier League defeat, in what was his 92nd game in the competition – only Mick McCarthy (79), Danny Wilson (87) and Gary Megson (91) have reached 50 defeats in fewer games managed.- Anthony Martial has been directly involved in 70 goals for Manchester United in all competitions (45 goals, 25 assists); the most of any player for the club since his debut in September 2015.- Manchester United’s third goal against Cardiff – scored by Anthony Martial – was the 500th netted in the Premier League this season. What’s next?Huddersfield Town visit Old Trafford for the first home game of the Solskjaer era, while Cardiff head to Crystal Palace, both on December 26. read morelast_img read more

Report: Newcastle 0 Fulham 0

first_imgA dreadful 0-0 Premier League draw between Newcastle United and Fulham gave Claudio Ranieri’s bottom-of-the-table side their first clean sheet of the season.Saturday’s match at St James’ Park saw neither side create a clear goalscoring opportunity, with the defensive improvement for Fulham one positive to emerge, after they failed to shut out an opponent over the first 17 games of the campaign.Newcastle continue to struggle at home and in general in front of goal, but do at least extend their advantage over the bottom three to five points after Burnley’s defeat at Arsenal. 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? Against his former club, Aleksandar Mitrovic had an early shot saved by Martin Dubravka, before a Jamaal Lascelles header bounced off the striker at the other end and was hacked away from the line by Denis Odoi.Dubravka gathered Jean Michael Seri’s free-kick towards the end of a drab first half where neither side looked likely to score.Mitrovic sent a poor finish straight at Dubravka just after the restart, while Salomon Rondon had a penalty claim turned down after being bundled over by Alfie Mawson.The first substitution did not come until Rafael Benitez introduced Kenedy with 18 minutes remaining, and the wing-back had another home penalty appeal denied after tussling with Joe Bryan.Fabian Schar then sent a header just over, but Fulham came closest to a late winner as Mitrovic, fed by Aboubakar Kamara, had an effort dramatically blocked by a sliding Lascelles, the visitors’ claims for handball ignored at the end of a second period that saw neither keeper troubled.FULL-TIME Newcastle 0-0 FulhamNothing to separate the sides as Fulham remain rooted to the bottom#NEWFUL pic.twitter.com/J0YxIzajVh— Premier League (@premierleague) December 22, 2018 What does it mean? A result for Fulham to build on While they offered little going forward in this game, Fulham have at least shown earlier in the season that they can be a threat in attack.It is their defensive woes that have cost them up to now, and a first clean sheet will come as a huge boost to Ranieri ahead of the busy festive schedule.Newcastle are the second-lowest scorers in the league with 14 from 18 games, and have only won two of their 10 home matches in the top flight. They are both issues Benitez must address with the help of some much-needed January additions after a game that saw them fail to register an attempt on target.Fulham back three deliversMawson, Odoi and Tim Ream combined to make 20 clearances as they adequately dealt with what was often a direct Newcastle approach, reaching an important defensive milestone in the process. Mawson particularly deserves credit, having battled on to complete the game despite being on the receiving end of an inadvertent punch to the face from his own goalkeeper Sergio Rico in the first half.Poor Perez must do moreAyoze Perez feels it is unfair that he receives criticism from the Newcastle support, but it is hard to argue his case after this game. Despite playing the full 90 minutes, he failed to register a shot on goal or create a single chance for his team-mates.Key Opta Facts- Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has yet to lose a home Premier League game against Fulham (W4 D4), with his teams keeping a clean sheet in each of the last six meetings.- Fulham have kept their first clean sheet in the Premier League in 22 games, since winning 1-0 against Norwich City in April 2014.- Fulham have won just their second away point in their last 12 outings in the Premier League (D2 L10).What’s next?Newcastle have an attractive-looking festive fixture away to league leaders Liverpool on December 26, the same day as Fulham hope to build on this result as they host Wolves. read morelast_img read more

Messi leads Barcelona past Celta

first_imgLionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo as Ernesto Valverde’s side restored their three-point lead at the summit of LaLiga.With Atletico Madrid having won earlier in the day to move level at the top, Barca reasserted their authority as first-half goals from Ousmane Dembele and Messi paved the way for a routine victory at Camp Nou.Messi was again at the heart of the hosts’ best play, his shot being parried to the feet of the grateful Dembele to apply the finish inside the opening 10 minutes. 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? The Argentina star got in on the act himself in the final minute of the first half as Barca all but sealed the points before the interval.Barca quickly seized the initiative as Dembele pounced to nutmeg Ruben Blanco after the goalkeeper had kept out Messi’s low drive. The visitors narrowly escaped further punishment when Blanco rushed out to thwart Dembele, with Jordi Alba turning the loose ball towards goal where Nestor Araujo was on hand to intervene. Marc-Andre ter Stegen was finally called into action in the 24th minute and the Barca keeper proved equal to Maxi Gomez’s effort. Messi doubled Barca’s lead late in the half, calmly finishing from the edge of the box after Alba’s searching pass had left Celta exposed. Telepathy The Messi-Alba Connection!#BarçaCelta pic.twitter.com/uKYPPnN2WE— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) December 22, 2018Luis Suarez proved uncharacteristically wasteful when presented with a glorious chance to put the game to bed just past the hour mark, the forward shooting wide of the target with only Blanco to beat.Blanco had stay sharp to deny Messi a second in a brief goalmouth scramble while Celta, despite enjoying more of the ball, continued to struggle in the final third.Brais Mendez’s effort had Ter Stegen diving low to his left, but that save was as comfortable as Barca’s whole evening had been. What does it mean? Barca go clear againBarca did not seem to take too kindly to having company at the top of the table after being joined there by Atletico, but this win restored their cushion and provided a fitting end to the year. Celta, meanwhile, remain mid-table.Magnificent Messi does it againHaving played a significant role in the opener, Messi got himself on the scoresheet before the break in a display that highlighted just what a threat he is, cementing his spot at the top of the LaLiga scoring charts.Suarez outshoneSuarez was as industrious as he always is, but while Dembele and Messi both found the back of the net, the Uruguay international’s finishing was wayward, failing to find the target with two attempts at goal. Key Opta Facts:- Messi has reached 15+ goals in LaLiga for each of the last 11 seasons.- Barcelona have scored 102 league goals in 2018, more than any other team in the top five European leagues.- Messi has scored 47 goals in 49 games in 2018 in all competitions, more than any other player from those five divisions.- Barcelona have kept four consecutive clean sheets in LaLiga for the first time since January.- Valverde has not lost any of his 16 games as a head coach against Celta in LaLiga (W11 D5).What’s next?The two sides can enjoy a festive break now and will return to action in January, with Barca heading to Getafe in their first game of 2019, while Celta host Athletic Bilbao. 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

Solskjaer starts with most potent post-Fergie performance

first_imgOle Gunnar Solskjaer has opened his Manchester United reign with the club’s most productive attacking performance in the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson.The Red Devils have endured a rather humbling fall from grace since an iconic manager slipped into retirement back in 2013.David Moyes struggled to fill the shoes of a fellow Scot, while Louis van Gaal won few admirers with his brand of football. 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? Jose Mourinho briefly threatened to return former glories to Old Trafford, as he landed three trophies in his debut campaign, but the Portuguese soon lost his Midas touch.He was relieved of his managerial duties earlier this week, with Solskjaer appointed in his place on an interim basis through to the end of the season.The Norwegian saw his tenure get off to a dream start on Saturday as United swept to a 5-1 victory over Cardiff .Marcus Rashford set the tone with an opening goal inside three minutes , and the Red Devils did not look back from there.Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, who bagged a brace, also got in on the act against the Bluebirds.Not since Ferguson’s final game in charge over five years ago have United been so prolific in the final third, with Solskjaer laying down an impressive early marker as he seeks to follow in the footsteps of a coach he tasted Treble success under in 1999.5 – Man Utd have scored 5+ goals in a Premier League game for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final match in charge in May 2013 versus West Brom (5-5). Gunnar. #CARMUN pic.twitter.com/uc9jYCKv0C — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 22, 2018 United and Solskjaer still have plenty of work to do if they are to salvage their season, but they could not have got a new era off to a better start.They remain sixth in the Premier League table for now, but belief and positivity is flooding back.An eight-point gap will need to be bridged if they are to force their way back into the top four, but that challenge now looks slightly less daunting.This is, however, not the first time that a United boss has burst out of the blocks.In fact, four of the five men to have taken the reins since Ferguson left have enjoyed goal-laden openings.Moyes saw United hit four on his bow, Mourinho three, Ryan Giggs four during a brief spell as caretaker and Solskjaer now has five to his name.The Red Devils will be looking to prove that their performance in South Wales was no flash in the pan, while building further momentum, when they play host to Huddersfield on Boxing Day. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Ribery double breaks Bayern record

first_imgFranck Ribery became the oldest Bayern Munich player to score more than one goal in a Bundesliga game after he netted twice in a 3-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.Aged 35 years and 259 days, the former France international slotted in Bayern’s opener midway through the first half before adding a second with a scuffed finish late on.Saturday’s performance could have been even more memorable for Ribery, had Robert Lewandowski not failed to control the veteran’s pass at the culmination of a superb run. 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? Bayern’s win was capped off in style in the 89th minute with Rafinha’s fortuitous effort making it 3-0, which also brought up a record for coach Niko Kovac.2 – @FranckRibery is the oldest player of @FCBayernEN (35 years, 259 days) to score more than one goal in a Bundesliga game. Grandseigneur. #SGEFCB pic.twitter.com/g2zyFpL2O7— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) December 22, 2018The Bundesliga champions have now won their last five league fixtures, and it is the first time Kovac – in his either his playing or managerial career – has claimed five successive wins in Germany’s top division.This recent spell of good form has also served to remove some of the pressure off the coach’s back, following reports that his job might be on the line following a disastrous start to Bayern’s Bundesliga defence.Die Roten lost three of their first 11 league outings, including a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund that helped BVB set a commanding lead at the summit.The victory means Bayern end 2018 six points behind leaders Dortmund, and three above third-place Borussia Monchengladbach.last_img read more

Report: PSG 1 Nantes 0

first_imgKylian Mbappe made the difference in the absence of Neymar, scoring the only goal of the game as Paris Saint-Germain beat Nantes 1-0 to end 2018 in victorious fashion.Brazil star Neymar had been allowed to travel back to his home country to rest following recent struggles with a groin injury, and while PSG missed his craft, they scraped the win nonetheless.Angel Di Maria looked PSG’s biggest threat in the first half, though his two best strikes did not quite hit the target as the hosts failed to make the most of their superiority. 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? PSG remained the controlling force after the interval and finally broke the deadlock through Mbappe in the 68th minute, and that proved to be enough as the hosts’ first Ligue 1 game since December 5 – due to the ‘gilet jaunes’ demonstrations – ended with a triumph.FULL TIME: PSG end the year on a winning note, beating Nantes 1-0 on @KMbappe’s lone goal! #AllesParis #PSGFCN pic.twitter.com/kn6DKKRaUR— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) December 22, 2018It took less than a minute for PSG to threaten, as Di Maria saw a controlled volley go agonisingly over Ciprian Tatarusanu’s crossbar.But that failed to usher in a period of PSG bombardment, with their next opportunity not presenting itself until the 25th minute, when Julian Draxler shot over from 20 yards after Mbappe’s cut-back.Di Maria went close again a few moments later, his 25-yard strike flying past the right-hand post with Tatarusanu looking beaten.PSG continued to threaten from distance after the break, with Di Maria – again – and Mbappe shooting just off target in the first 12 minutes.Draxler thought he opened the scoring after an hour, but VAR proved the ball went out of play in the build-up, despite Marco Verratti’s best efforts.There was no denying Mbappe 22 minutes from time, though, as he turned in – via the crossbar – from close range after Marquinhos flicked on Di Maria’s corner.Di Maria saw another effort thud against the crossbar but it mattered little as PSG secured victory to open up a 13-point lead over Lille – beaten 2-1 by Toulouse – at the top of the table.He’s not a teenager anymore #AllezParis #PSGFCN pic.twitter.com/r5zSMzNEjH— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) December 22, 2018What does it mean? PSG lacking sharpnessIt is fair to say PSG looked a little off the pace on Saturday, and it is easy to understand why, given the only teams they have faced since December 5 were Red Star Belgrade and Orleans. Considering the circumstances and the absence of Neymar, they will surely be happy to get this one out of the way.Di Maria provides PSG’s sparkWith Neymar not featuring, Di Maria took on the mantle of PSG’s creative hub and he was certainly lively, seeing several shots go close. He was unable to get a deserved goal, but there is no doubt about the quality he showed.Cavani blends into the backgroundPerhaps the service to him was lacking, but Edinson Cavani did little to make any openings for himself and rarely featured in build-up play before being hooked towards the end.Key Opta Facts- PSG have won their last 14 games against Nantes in Ligue 1, and become the first ever top-flight team to win 14 consecutive games against the same opponent.- Nantes have failed to score in eight of their last 10 away games against PSG in Ligue 1 (2 goals).- Thomas Tuchel’s side have picked up 47 points after 17 games in Ligue 1, the highest tally in the history of the top-flight at this stage.- PSG are the only team to have scored in all of their Ligue 1 games this season (17/17).- Mbappé’s goal in the 68th minute was PSG’s first shot on target.- The 20-year-old has scored 13 goals in Ligue 1 this season, only Lionel Messi (15) has scored more in the top 5 leagues.What’s next?After the winter break, PSG have games against Pontivy and Guingamp in the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue, respectively, before then returning to Ligue 1 action on January 11 at Amiens. Nantes will host Chateauroux in the Coupe de France, then Montpellier in the league four days later on January 8. read morelast_img read more

Ronaldo is irreplaceable but others must step up – Courtois

first_imgReal Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has admitted that former star Cristiano Ronaldo is “irreplaceable” at the club, but challenged his team-mates to pick up the baton in the wake of the Portuguese’s exit.The 33-year-old left Madrid for Juventus in July following a long and illustrious career with Los Blancos, with his departure coinciding with the exit of manager Zinedine Zidane.While the Champions League holders subsequently struggled to cope, with former Spain boss Julen Lopetegui fired following only a few months at the helm as the Frenchman’s replacement, they have since stabilised since Santiago Solari took the helm. 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? The former academy coach secured his first trophy this weekend with a 4-1 win over Al Ain in the Club World Cup final on Saturday, to ensure silverware for another season.Speaking to reporters, goalkeeper Courtois, who joined ahead of the campaign from Premier League giants Chelsea, stated that he believes it is up to the other key forwards to carry the goalscoring burden going forward.Karim Benzema has managed 11 so far this season, with Welshman Gareth Bale overcoming a rough patch to sit one behind that tally with 10.“Cristiano Ronaldo is irreplaceable, you cannot forget what he did,” Courtois said.“But he is not here anymore, so it’s time for other players, like Bale did in the semi-finals [of the Club World Cup], to score the goals he [Ronaldo] used to score.“If we are able to do so, it’ll be fine.”Madrid’s victory over Al Ain assured them a third successive Club World Cup title in a row and means that the trophy will return to Spain for the fifth time in a row.Los Blancos previously defeated Japan’s Kashima Antlers in 2016 and Brazil’s Gremio in 2017, following their respective Champions League triumphs.They also claimed the crown in 2014, against Argentina’s San Lorenzo, while rivals Barcelona prevailed victoriously in 2015 against River Plate.Solari’s side sit fourth in La Liga, eight points behind the Catalan club, though they do have a game in hand.They do not play again until 2019 though, when they make the trip to Villarreal on January 3.last_img read more

‘Caption this!’ – Pogba teases ‘big announcement’ on Sunday

first_imgManchester United star Paul Pogba has referenced the social media post sent in the wake of Jose Mourinho’s sacking to tease an announcement on Sunday.Pogba came in for criticism on Tuesday when a photo tagged “caption this” was posted to his social media channels in the immediate aftermath of the Red Devils confirming Mourinho had left the club, although it was later claimed that the submissions were scheduled by his sponsors adidas.Confirmed by contact within @adidassoccer : ” #Pogba ‘s social media posts were a scheduled event, part of a marketing campaign. Immediately taken down once it became apparent that it could be misconstrued as disrespectful to Manchester United and José Mourinho”— Chris Williams (@Chris78Williams) December 18, 2018 The France midfielder – who starred in United’s 5-1 win over Cardiff City on Saturday – reportedly had a difficult relationship with his former boss, and was publicly criticised by Mourinho on several occasions. 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? The 25-year-old’s Instagram and Twitter accounts were active again on Sunday, posting a caricatured picture of himself winking with the tag: “Now caption this. Big announcement later today.”In his Instagram stories, a countdown appears to suggest that the big reveal will happen around 6pm UK time (1pm ET).Regardless, the post will likely spark comments from the Frenchman’s detractors, with Gary Neville having already called out Pogba for his original post on the day of Mourinho’s sacking, the ex-Man Utd man tweeting ‘You do one as well’, suggesting the former full-back wants the midfielder out of the club.Within the Old Trafford camp, the mood has improved significantly with the appoint of new interim boss and club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Pogba himself having been recalled to the starting XI in the 5-1 smashing of Cardiff.Manchester United’s chances of winning the Premier League title this year remain slim, however, with the English giants now 19 points off leaders Liverpool.Still, silverware remains up for grabs as United have FA Cup and Champions League clashes to prepare for, though the latter fixture against the Neymar-led French champions could prove a bridge too far for the recovering Red Devils. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Ribery open to another year with Bayern

first_imgBayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has admitted that he could see himself remaining at the Bundesliga champions for another year after his impressive performance against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday helped them to victory.The Frenchman’s brace inspired Niko Kovac’s side to a 3-0 win in the final game before the winter break, to ensure that they stay within feasible distance of league leaders Borussia Dortmund.His two goals also ensured that, at 35, he became the oldest player in Bayern history to achieve a double in a game for the 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? Ribery has been linked with an exit from the club he has called home for more than a decade at the end of the current campaign, with club officials Hasan Salihamidzic and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge hinting that this could be his last season at the Allianz Arena.Speaking afterwards, the midfielder’s tune was more ambiguous, acknowledging that he could still see his future with Bayern while admitting that he has no concrete plans beyond next May.“Yes, of course,” Ribery told Sky when asked about remaining in Munich, before adding: “My situation is not easy to assess.“But I just work, I’m having fun and I’m performing. What will happen next season, we’ll see.”Ribery joined Bayern from Marseille in 2007 and has gone on to win virtually every major honour with the club.He is an eight-time winner of the Bundesliga and also holds medals for the DFB-Pokal and DFB-Supercup domestically.In Europe, he has won the Champions League and the Super Cup as well as the Club World Cup in 2013.He was also a runner-up with France at the 2006 World Cup, featuring in the final for Les Bleus as they were beaten on penalties by Italy.Ribery has also been named in UEFA’s Team of the Year twice, both times while playing for Bayern, in 2008 and 2013.If he is to depart, he would become the second big-name winger to exit the club in the space of a season, after Arjen Robben confirmed he would call time on his 10-year Bayern career at the end of the current season.last_img read more

Pogba launches ‘Pogmoji’ in Instagram announcement

first_imgPaul Pogba’s “big announcement”, which had fans excited on Sunday was the launch of a new app called Pogmoji.The Manchester United star had used his “caption this” tweet – posted on Tuesday after Jose Mourinho was sacked by the Reds – to tease the announcement that was scheduled for 7pm GMT (2pm ET).Pogba’s new app allows users to customize their photos. 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 was criticised for his post, which featured a photo of him smiling, on Tuesday, most notably by Gary Neville who responded, “You do one as well.”The Frenchman had a long-running rift with Mourinho, who removed him as vice-captain after Pogba hit out at the Portuguese’s tactics. New interim boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has a better relationship with Pogba, having coached him in United’s youth set up before he moved to Serie A giants Juventus.The Norwegian’s reign at Old Trafford got off to a blistering start when his side won 5-1 at Cardiff City on Saturday, closing the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea to eight points after the Blues slipped up against Leicester City, losing 1-0.United face Huddersfield on Boxing Day in Solskjaer’s first match at home, and Pogba will be hoping to continue his return to the starting 11 with another three points. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Liverpool set for double injury boost vs Newcastle

first_imgTrent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita are set to hand Liverpool a double injury boost ahead of the Reds’ Boxing Day clash with Newcastle.The pair are expected to be passed fit for Wednesday’s game having shaken off ankle and foot injuries respectively.Alexander-Arnold will return to full training on Monday having missed his side’s last two games. The 20-year-old watched Friday’s win at Wolves from the away end at Molineux, and has made good progress from the ankle problem sustained against Napoli earlier this month. 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? The news comes at a good time for Jurgen Klopp, who has used James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne at right-back in Alexander-Arnold’s absence. Milner started there against Wolves, while Clyne impressed against Manchester United in what was his first league start of the season.The prognosis on Keita, too, is a positive one. The Guinean midfielder was taken off at Wolves having sustained cuts to his foot and ribs in separate incidents, but there is unlikely to be any lasting damage. Keita is due to report for training as normal on Monday having been assessed by the club’s medical staff.Klopp gave his players Sunday off as they prepare for back-to-back home games this week. After taking on Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle on Boxing Day, Liverpool entertain Arsenal on Saturday, looking to maintain, or perhaps extend, their four-point gap to Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.The Reds, of course, travel to the Etihad Stadium on January 3 in what promises to be a thrilling, and pivotal, encounter.Klopp will consider making changes to his starting line-up for the Newcastle game, with Clyne, Alberto Moreno, Gini Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri all pushing for starts as Liverpool look to record an eighth straight league win. 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 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

‘That’s how Man United are expected to play’

first_imgLuke 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.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

Liverpool team news and likely line-up

first_imgAfter a perfect weekend, Liverpool will be hoping to make it a perfect Christmas as they take on Newcastle United at Anfield on Boxing Day.The Reds, incredibly, have opened up a four-point gap at the top of the Premier League courtesy of their win at Wolves on Friday, and Manchester City’s shock defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday. Jurgen Klopp’s men will be looking to maintain, or even extend, that advantage on Wednesday.They welcome their former boss in Rafa Benitez, whose Newcastle side drew at home to Fulham on Saturday and sit 15th in the table. The Magpies have not won at Anfield since 1995, but Klopp will undoubtedly warn his players against complacency, with the stakes for every game as high as can be right now. 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? Here, Goal  takes look at everything you need to know ahead of Wednesday’s game…Liverpool Injuries Liverpool are set to be handed a double boost with both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita passed fit for the game. Alexander-Arnold has missed the last two games with an ankle problem, while Keita suffered cuts to his foot and ribs against Wolves on Friday. Both will train as normal ahead of the game.Joe Gomez (fractured leg) and Joel Matip (broken collarbone) are still out.Rhian Brewster and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, meanwhile, are long-term absentees.Naby Keita Liverpool 2018-19Liverpool Suspensions Liverpool do not have any suspended players for this game.Liverpool Likely Line-UpKlopp’s ability to manage his resources has been a feature of Liverpool’s success so far this season, so we can expect a degree of rotation here.Nathaniel Clyne, one would suspect, will start at right-back while Alberto Moreno could be given a chance on the other flank as Liverpool seek to protect the brilliant Andy Robertson.In midfield Gini Wijnaldum could return to the starting XI, while Adam Lallana will be eager for a start after a promising cameo appearance at Wolves.Xherdan Shaqiri, an unused substitute at Molineux, may come into the forward line.Possible Liverpool team v NewcastleNewcastle team news Benitez will make checks on the fitness of midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, who has been struggling with a thigh injury. Defenders Ciaran Clark and Florian Lejuene are likely to miss out, while Ki-Sung Yeung is away on international duty with South Korea.Goalkeeper Karl Darlow is another doubt.Jonjo Shelvey Newcastle 2018-19TV Channel & Kick-Off Time The fixture will be not be broadcast live on the UK, as it is a 3pm kick off. Highlights can be found on Match of the Day, BBC One at 10.30pm.In the United States, the game can be watched live on television on NBC Sports, kick-off 10am ET. Best Opta Match Facts Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 22 home games against Newcastle in all competitions (W18 D4), with their last such defeat coming in November 1995 in the League Cup (0-1). Newcastle have won just two of their last 10 Premier League games against Liverpool (D4 L4), with both of those victories coming at St. James’ Park. Since losing their first ever Premier League home game against Newcastle (0-2 in April 1994), Liverpool are unbeaten in each of the 22 such meetings since (W18 D4). Liverpool haven’t lost a home league game on Boxing Day since 1986-87 (0-1 vs Manchester United), winning eight and drawing three since then. Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been directly involved in eight goals in his last nine games against Newcastle in the Premier League (seven goals and one assist). Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez is winless in his three away games at Anfield against former club Liverpool (D2 L1), losing 0-2 in this fixture last season. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Fantasy: MW18 Premier League Team of the Week

first_imgThe news cycle this week was dominated by Manchester United, who sacked manager Jose Mourinho, and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino, who has seemingly been chosen by everyone as the best fit to replace the Portuguese manager. Those two clubs did little to shake the spotlight this weekend either as both dominated their opposition, scoring five or more goals.Four players, two from each of those clubs, were involved in at least three goals on the pitch, and each of them were able to secure a spot in our Goal Team of the Week. You can find out who, and the other best performers of the week below. Goal-Fantasy-Football-Play-Now-BannerGK: Ben Foster – Watford – 1 Game, 7 Saves, 1 Clean Sheet = 10 PointsDEF: Virgil Van Dijk – Liverpool – 1 Game, 1 Goal, 1 Clean Sheet = 14 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? Van Dijk’s ability in defence is well established but, all of a sudden, he’s becoming a threat in attack as well. Having never been involved in more than three goals in a Premier League season, the Dutchman has now been involved in three in just the last five matches (1g, 2a). Whether or not he will be able to keep up this rate of production remains to be seen but, considering the rate at which Liverpool are keeping clean sheets, Van Dijk is a must own regardless.DEF: Jose Holebas – Watford – 1 Game, 1 Clean Sheet = 7 PointsDEF: Nathan Ake – Bournemouth – 1 Game, 1 Clean Sheet = 7 PointsNathan AkeMID: Son Heung-Min – Tottenham – 1 Game, 2 Goals, 2 Assists = 20 PointsA massive two goal, two assist performance from Son not only ensured his side the win, but also was enough to see him crowned our Goal Fantasy Player of the Week. While it would be hard to expect anyone to regularly put up these kinds of numbers, the South Korean international has suddenly become a consistent and reliable Fantasy asset, having scored or assisted in every start since October.There is always a risk of rotation from Pochettino, but in our game you can wait until lineups are announced to set yours, making Son wholly viable going forward.MID: Jesse Lingard – Manchester United – 1 Game, 2 Goals, 1 Assist = 17 PointsMID: David Brooks – Bournemouth – 1 Game, 2 Goals = 14 PointsPaul Pogba Ashley Young Cardiff vs Manchester United Premier League 2018-19MID: Paul Pogba – Manchester United – 1 Game, 3 Assists = 11 Points Well, that’s certainly one way to impress your new manager. After months of disappointment and underperformance under Jose Mourinho, Pogba put on a creative masterclass this week, posting three assists in Manchester United’s 5-1 win against Cardiff. That is the most assists anyone has recorded in a single Premier League match thus far this season.Considering he also ranks top five in shots on target, Pogba could be about to bounce back in a big way both on the pitch and in Fantasy.MID: Nathan Redmond – Southampton – 1 Game, 1 Goal, 1 Assist = 11 PointsNathan Redmond Southampton 2017-18FOR: Harry Kane – Tottenham – 1 Game, 2 Goals, 1 Assist = 15 PointsHarry Kane has absolutely tormented Everton over the past few years, having now scored a brace in his last four outings against the Toffees. The rest of the league hasn’t fared much better against the Englishman of late either, as he’s had six goals and four assists in the last 10 matches, re-establishing himself as an elite Fantasy forward. With four bottom 10 defences in his next five matches, Kane is a must own over the winter period.FOR: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal – 1 Game, 2 Goals = 12 Points goal-fantasy-football-banner Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more