Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has demanded more from his fringe players after he was forced to bring on regular starters in an attempt to stage a late rally in the 2-1 Champions League defeat at Valencia on Wednesday.
United went into the final Group H match having already qualified for the last 16 of the competition, a luxury that allowed Mourinho to rotate his squad, but the manager found little comfort in a performance that lacked energy and drives.
“I expect more from my players,” Mourinho, who made eight changes to the side that beat Fulham 4-1 in the league last weekend, told reporters.
“Especially players that week in, week out, they ask why they don’t play, why they don’t start… it was a good match to play, without any kind of pressure, in a competition that everyone likes to play in.”
Paul Pogba returned to the starting side after being benched for the last two Premier League games but the French international midfielder failed to seize his opportunity. Various Betting options are available on site for today’s Europa League games
United then introduced striker Marcus Rashford, and midfielders Jesse Lingard and Ashley Young as they chased the game after falling 2-0 behind. Continue reading “Mourinho disappointed by fringe players after Valencia defeat”
Inter Milan were knocked out of the Champions League after they could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Group B’s bottom club PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday to finish third behind Tottenham Hotspur.
Inter would have qualified with a win but, on a fraught night at San Siro, finished level on eight points with Tottenham who squeezed through on their head-to-head record with the Italians after drawing 1-1 away to Barcelona.
PSV, with only one point from their first five games, took a shock lead in the 13th minute when Hirving Lozano headed home after Kwadwo Asamoah lost possession in defence.
The visitors then survived incessant Inter pressure until Mauro Icardi headed in from Matteo Politano’s cross in the 73rd minute.
Inter were twice close to snatching a win in stoppage time, first when Icardi had the ball taken off his toe by a brilliant last-ditch tackle and then when substitute Lautaro Martinez headed over Ivan Perisic’s cross from an unmarked position. Bet Now
Inter made a whirlwind start and, after Perisic saw his header pushed onto the post by Jeroen Zoet, got a huge boost when Barca took an early lead in the other game. Continue reading “Inter Milan knocked out of UCL after being held by PSV”
Neymar got what proved to be the winning goal as Paris Saint-Germain breathed life into their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 victory over Liverpool on Wednesday that leaves last season’s runners-up dangerously close to an early exit.
Juan Bernat and Neymar scored to put PSG in control in the first half in the French capital, but a James Milner penalty on the stroke of halftime ensured this pivotal game remained in the balance until the death.
PSG knew a defeat here coupled with an unfavourable result in the night’s other Group C game could see the ambitious Qatar-owned club eliminated already, which would amount to little short of a catastrophe for them.
But instead it is Liverpool – beaten in each of their last five games away from Anfield in the Champions League – who now seem the more likely to miss out on the last 16.
Napoli beat Red Star Belgrade 3-1 on Wednesday, and Liverpool have to win by two goals at home to the Italians in a fortnight if they are to progress. Continue reading “Neymar delivers as PSG sinks Liverpool; BVB, Atletico go through”
Jose Mourinho once again stole the show from his players, smashing drinks crates to the ground after Marouane Fellaini’s late winner took Manchester United into the Champions League knockout stages and eliciting headlines on Wednesday such as “Bottle of Red”.
The volatile 55-year-old Portuguese — whose mood swings and barbed remarks about virtually all his players and the transfer policy of the board have cast a pall over the club this season — said the violence of his reaction was the product of several factors.
Fellaini’s winner against Young Boys and Valencia’s defeat by Juventus ensured the ‘Red Devils’ progress, though it is likely as runners-up which will pit them against a group winner in the last 16.
“Relief,” Mourinho said of his celebrations.
“Frustration before that and relief with the goal. Place bet on Live matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
“We didn’t play to be in trouble until the last minute, so frustration.”
Along with his team, Mourinho has been consistently criticised this season, largely for United’s turgid style of play. The late victory might have toned down the headlines on the British sports pages on Wednesday, but they were still far from positive. Continue reading “Mourinho hits back at critics after reaching UCL knockout stages”
Manchester United produced a stunning late comeback to beat Juventus 2-1 on Wednesday in what could be a turning point in their Champions League campaign, while a Gabriel Jesus hat-trick helped Manchester City all but secure a last-16 berth.
Pep Guardiola’s City crushed Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 on a night which saw Real Madrid also win big, as Bayern Munich closed in on a place in the knockout stage.
Juventus were within seconds of confirming their spot in the last 16 after Cristiano Ronaldo put them ahead in Turin with a superb volley in the 65th minute.
The hosts had already hit the woodwork twice before that and should have been out of sight before Juan Mata equalised from an 86th-minute free-kick.
The turnaround was completed in the 90th minute when Leonardo Bonucci scored an own-goal, and United boss Jose Mourinho delighted in taking to the field at the end, cupping an ear towards the home support.
The former Inter coach said it was a response to insults from Juve supporters, and United are now two points behind the Italians in Group H.
“In a beautiful Italian city, they insulted me for 90 minutes. I didn’t insult them. I just made a little thing,” Mourinho said. Place bet on today’s Europa League games on NaijaBet
“It is a big victory for us, not just because we needed the points but because it was away from home against an amazing team.” Continue reading “United down Juventus as Man City, Real enjoys big winnings”
Lionel Messi could make an earlier return than expected against Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday but Barcelona has hardly missed him.
Four wins out of four, including a stroll past Inter Milan and a hammering of Real Madrid so severe it cost their coach his job, mean Messi reunites with a team enjoying its strongest run of the season, ironically without its star striker.
Barca will certainly be delighted, relieved even, when his recovery is complete. The club has named Messi in their squad for the match at the San Siro, even if he is yet to be given the medical all-clear.
It could be his involvement is either as a substitute or even delayed until Sunday, when Barca host Real Betis in La Liga.
Perhaps it will depend on how much Barca need him and, in that respect, Messi’s absence has been less pronounced than many predicted 15 days ago when he tumbled and broke his right arm against Sevilla. Champions League latest odds are available on site
Circumstances have helped. After Inter, came Real, who were in a mess, Cultural Leonesa, who play in Spain’s third tier, and Rayo Vallecano, who are 19th in the table. But wins, in any form, cannot be overlooked. Real’s against Real Valladolid on Saturday was their first in six league games. Continue reading “Messi might make UCL returns against Inter Milan”
Barcelona overcame the absence of an injured Lionel Messi to defeat Inter Milan 2-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday, while Borussia Dortmund signalled their intent with a 4-0 demolition of Atletico Madrid.
Mohamed Salah scored twice as Liverpool strolled past Red Star Belgrade, but Paris Saint-Germain needed a superb stoppage-time equaliser from Angel Di Maria to rescue a point at home to Napoli.
Barca collected a third win from three Group B outings as Rafinha, filling in for Messi after the Argentine star fractured his arm at the weekend, volleyed in the opener on 32 minutes at Camp Nou.
Philippe Coutinho rattled the crossbar in the second half before Jordi Alba sealed the points seven minutes from time to leave Barca on the brink of a spot in the last 16. Place bet on today’s Europa League Matches on NaijaBet
“We needed to step up given the absence of Leo,” Ernesto Valverde said. “It was in the head of us all.”
“We have a certain style, then Messi gives us a touch of brilliance that is extraordinary. When he is not there we have to supply it in some other way,” he added. Continue reading “Messi less Barca shine, Dortmund sinks Atletico Madrid”
Cristiano Ronaldo will always be fondly remembered at Old Trafford, but as the five-time Ballon d’Or winner rolls back into town this week, this former hero may be the last sight Manchester United want to see.
Ronaldo made his name in Manchester, scoring 118 goals, winning three Premier League titles and the first of his five Champions Leagues before a then world record move to Real Madrid.
On Tuesday he returns in the colours of Juventus, eager to let his football do the talking with the cloud of a rape accusation in the United States dating back to just before he made the move to Madrid in 2009 blighting his early days with the Italian giants.
Ronaldo strongly denies the allegation and has been backed by his club, but it remains to be seen if the hero worship afforded to the Portuguese on his last visit to Old Trafford in 2013 is dialled down a little by the United fans.
That night he broke United hearts, none more so than his old mentor Alex Ferguson in what proved to be his last European match in charge with the winning goal in a contentious tie. Various odds UCL odds are available on site
“It was an unbelievable night, a very emotional night and what the supporters did for me was massive,” he said of his reception.
Ronaldo, though, has little room for sentiment when it comes to furnishing his own legacy.
Continue reading “Hungry Cristiano Ronaldo Returns worry’s Man United”
Lorenzo Insigne struck late as Napoli snatched a 1-0 win over an outclassed Liverpool side described as “not good enough” by coach Jurgen Klopp in a Champions League Group C game at the Stadio San Paolo on Wednesday.
Carlo Ancelotti’s team had piled the pressure on last year’s finalists before finding a way through on 90 minutes when Jose Callejon broke down the right crossing for Insigne who beat Alisson in the Liverpool goal.
“We weren’t good enough,” said Klopp. “It’s a bad sign if you say that your goalkeeper was your best player.
“No attempt on target? I don’t remember when that happened last time. At the moment I have to accept a big part of their performance was my fault.
“It looked not like it should have looked.” Various Betting Options are available on Site for tonight’s Europa League games
The win puts Napoli top of Group C with four points from two games, with Paris Saint-Germain a point behind after thrashing Red Star Belgrade 6-1 earlier.
Liverpool had been top of the group after their 3-2 win over PSG two weeks ago with Napoli held 0-0 at Red Star. Continue reading “Napoli sinks Liverpool, Klopp admits Red weren’t good enough”
Jose Mourinho risked causing another rift with his Manchester United stars as he slammed his defence’s lack of “technical quality” after their 0-0 draw with Valencia.
The frustrating Champions League clash at Old Trafford means Mourinho’s side have gone four games without a win in all competitions.
United rarely looked like scoring against their out-of-form opponents and were booed off at fulltime. Various betting options are available on site for today’s games champions league Games
It was another blow for Mourinho, who has come under fire after presiding over United’s worst start to a league season for 29 years.
Mourinho has feuded with star midfielder Paul Pogba, as well as other members of his squad. Continue reading “Mourinho admits that United have technical problems”
Sergio Aguero could beat Alan Shearer’s record of 260 goals to become the Premier League’s greatest ever marksman, according to Manchester City teammate Bernardo Silva.
The Argentine forward scored the 148th goal of his Premier League career for City in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Brighton, equalling Shearer’s tally for Newcastle.
The pair are joint third in the list of highest goalscorers for a single club behind Thierry Henry for Arsenal (175) and Wayne Rooney for Manchester United (183).
Both of those marks should be well within reach for Aguero, potentially even this season, but to threaten Shearer’s overall mark of 260 he would almost certainly need to further extend his contract at the Etihad, which runs until 2021. Various odds are available on site for tonight’s games
“Sergio is the best scorer in Manchester City’s history,” said midfielder Silva. “He’s a legend not only for Manchester City but also for the Premier League, if not the best striker in the world then one of the best. Continue reading “Aguero can break Premier League goals record”
Cristiano Ronaldo will be able to face his old club Manchester United in the Champions League next month after Uefa handed the Juventus forward a one-game ban on Thursday.
The Portuguese superstar was sent off in the first half of Juve’s 2-0 win away to Valencia last week after a clash with Jeison Murillo.
He risked a potentially lengthy suspension, but instead the 33-year-old will only sit out his team’s game at home to Swiss champions Young Boys next week.
Juve then plays Jose Mourinho’s United at Old Trafford on Tuesday, October 23, before hosting the English club in Turin on November 7 in Group H. Continue reading “Ronaldo gets one UCL match ban, ready to face United”
Video Assistant Referees will be used in the Champions League from the 2019-20 season and will also be introduced at the 2020 European Championship, Uefa said on Thursday.
European football’s governing body revealed a decision had been taken at a meeting of their executive committee to bring in the technology, which will be used from the playoff round preceding the group stage of the Champions League.
It will also be used in next year’s Uefa Super Cup and in the Europa League from the 2020-21 season.
In addition, it will be used in the finals of the new Nations League competition, although only from 2021. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Uefa’s move follows the use of VAR at the Fifa World Cup in Russia when it was deemed largely to be a success. Continue reading “UEFA confirms that VAR will be used in UCL from next season”
Lionel Messi pictures the Champions League ending with him hoisting the trophy and it began with him scoring a hat-trick on Tuesday as Barcelona put four goals past PSV Eindhoven.
An early kick-off at Camp Nou meant that before most of the tournament’s teams had even named their line-ups, Messi was up and running, his sumptuous free-kick from the edge of the area nestling in the top corner, exactly where it was intended.
Messi would have his second and third before the end, and a record eighth Champions League treble, but the game was up by then thanks to a superb strike from the excellent Ousmane Dembele.
Only when Barca were three ahead was Samuel Umtiti sent off for a second yellow card, meaning he will miss the trip to Wembley to face Tottenham next month. Even with 10 men, Messi completed his set for a 4-0 win.
Dembele’s goal was worthy of deciding any match but this was Messi’s night. After a miserable World Cup trying to retrieve the irretrievable Argentina, Barcelona’s now-captain proved his quality again to any doubters that are left.
Four goals already in La Liga, seven overall, neither age nor Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from Spain appear to have taken the edge off. Continue reading “Messi scores hat-trick as Barcelona sinks PSV”
Tottenham Hotspur will be without five players for their Champions League opener at Inter Milan, with Hugo Lloris, Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko injured plus Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier left at home for technical reasons.
Goalkeeper and captain Lloris has a thigh injury while midfielders Alli and Sissoko have hamstring problems that saw them miss Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League home loss to Liverpool.
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino told reporters on Monday that defenders Alderweireld and Trippier had also stayed behind in London and added that he was being forced to rest players early in the season because of the World Cup. Place bet on today’s UCL matches on NaijaBet
“We still have out Hugo Lloris, Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko. They are in London,” Pochettino said. “Then a technical decision in London – Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier.”
The absence of Alli and especially Lloris against Liverpool had an discernable impact, with errors from stand-in keeper Michel Vorm contributing to both Liverpool goals. Continue reading “Five Tottenham players out of UCL clash against Inter”
Gareth Bale says Real Madrid work together more as a collective unit without former talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, after the Portuguese forward moved to Juventus in the close season.
The Welsh winger is thriving in the absence of Ronaldo and Madrid have three wins from four La Liga matches.
Bale is Madrid’s key weapon as the Champions League starts again this week, with Real facing Roma on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“It’s maybe a bit more relaxed (without Ronaldo),” Bale told the Daily Mail. “I suppose there is more of a team, more working as one unit rather than one player.”
Madrid’s all-time top goalscorer Ronaldo was crucial to the club’s three consecutive Champions League wins under former coach Zinedine Zidane, although it was Bale who scored twice against Liverpool in the 3-1 triumph in May’s Kiev final. Continue reading “Real Madrid are more united without Ronaldo – Bale”
Fresh from scoring his first goals for Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo makes an eagerly-awaited return to Spain when the Italian champions play Valencia on Wednesday in their opening Champions League group game.
All eyes will be on the Portuguese forward, the all-time top scorer in Europe’s elite competition and a five-time winner of the trophy, when he makes his first public appearance in Spain since ending a trophy-filled nine-year stay at Real in July.
Ronaldo’s last act for Real was lifting the Champions League trophy in Kiev after beating Liverpool 3-1 in the final before he dropped the bombshell in a pitch-side interview that he had decided to leave Madrid.
Ronaldo can expect a hostile reception in Valencia, who had to suffer 15 of his goals for Real and are returning to the Champions League for the first time in three years, hoping to improve on their miserable start to the La Liga campaign.
Ronaldo, who plundered a staggering 451 goals in 438 games for Real, made a slow start by his usual standards to life at Juventus by failing to score in his first three games but broke his duck with two strikes in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Sassuolo.
“I really wanted to score these first goals and I’m happy to have found the net,” Ronaldo said. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“Obviously, I was a little anxious with all the talk after my move from Real Madrid and not scoring and there was a lot of expectation on me, but I knew I was working hard and it was only a matter of time before I scored.” Continue reading “Ronaldo returns to Spain in UCL opener,Scored 400th League Goals”
Clubs in elite European competitions, including the Champions League and Europa League, will be allowed to make a fourth substitution if the match goes into extra time from next season, Uefa said on Thursday.
Fifa, the sport’s governing body, approved the use of a fourth substitute in extra time earlier this year and the rule has been a success at the ongoing World Cup in Russia.
According to Uefa’s amended laws, teams in the Champions League and Europa League will still be allowed three substitutes in normal time but can make another change when the match goes into extra time. Place Bet on Live matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Teams that have made less than three substitutions in the standard 90 minutes can still make a total of four changes throughout extra time.
“A series of amendments to football’s Laws of the Game are coming into force immediately in various Uefa competitions,” European football’s governing body said in a statement.
Uefa also said that clubs in the Champions League and Europa League can list a maximum of seven substitutes on the match sheet, unless it’s for the final, where 12 substitutes can be listed. Continue reading “Uefa include fourth extra-time sub in Champions League”
Egypt’s Mohamed Salah is “confident” of being fit for the World Cup despite suffering a shoulder injury in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid.
Salah was forced off in tears during the first half of the 3-1 loss in Kiev on Saturday, sparking fears he wouldn’t make it to next month’s World Cup.
The 25-year-old sustained the problem when he was dragged awkwardly to the turf following a challenge with Sergio Ramos, leading some to claim the Madrid defender had deliberately tried to injure Liverpool’s star forward.
Speaking after the final, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had described the injury as “serious” amid fears Salah had suffered a dislocated shoulder.
That would have ruled him out of Egypt’s first appearance in the World Cup since 1990. World cup group stage betting options are available on NaijaBet
Salah was pictured with his shoulder in a sling when he got off Liverpool’s plane at John Lennon Airport on Sunday. Continue reading “Salah ‘confident’ of being fit for World Cup”
Real Madrid are looking to land a third successive Champions League success when they face Liverpool in Kyiv in a repeat of 1981 final in Paris. That was the last time Real Madrid lost at this stage of the competition as they look to land a 13th European cup, but their form coming into this one has been a tad iffy.
Los Blancos have won only one of their last five competitive outings, yet have won five of their six away Champions League matches away from the Bernabeu.
Liverpool will face Real Madrid for the sixth time in the competition on Saturday and have won three of the last five meetings between the two. However, Real Madrid have won their last two Champions League meetings between the two sides, both of which came in the group stages in the 2014/15 season. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet
The Reds have also won only one of their last four competitive outings and have kept just two clean sheets in their last six outings.
Considering both sides’ fluid attack, yet indifferent defence, goals are expected in this one, yet Real Madrid’s final experience should see them over the line here.
Real Madrid- Zinedine Zidane has a fully fit and available squad for the Champions League final. Continue reading “UCL Final Match Preview : Real Madrid vs Liverpool”
Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas has revealed that he was more scared of walking the red carpet at the Cannes film festival than facing Liverpool’s lethal striker Mohamed Salah.
The Costa Rican – known as “God’s Goalkeeper” for his strong Christian faith – said he found showing a film about his life at the festival more stressful than a Champions League final.
“It’s a delicate question,” he told reporters at Cannes Sunday where he was screening “Man of Faith”, which recounts his rise from humble origins to become one of Real’s millionaire galacticos. Today’s game NaijaBet
“The Champions League final I know. The red carpet is new… it’s a bit stressful,” he admitted.
The 31-year-old was part of the all-conquering Madrid side that won the European title in 2016 and 2017, and will face the English team in two weeks’ time in this year’s decider.
A day after Madrid beat Celta Vigo 6-0 in La Liga, Navas flew to Cannes to promote the film, which also features Real’s legendary trainer Zinedine Zidane playing himself and a dressing room scene involving other members of the side. Continue reading “Navas more scared of red carpet than Mohamed Salah”
The Uefa Champions League final is between Real Madrid and Liverpool, not Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah, according to Zinedine Zidane.
The Spanish giants lock horns with Jurgen Klopp’s men in Kyiv on May 26 as they target a third consecutive Champions League title.
However, the encounter will see current Ballon d’Or holder Ronaldo and Salah – tipped as a contender for prestigious accolade after scoring an impressive 43 goals across all competitions in his debut campaign with the Reds – go head to head. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
But the Blancos manager stated that the match at the Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex will be between the two finalists and not the two players.
“I don’t know if Mohamed Salah will be in contention for the Ballon d’Or, but he’s had a great season,” Zidane said.
“Salah is a phenomenal player who has had a standout season, but he is not my player. I’m only concerned with ending this season in the best way possible. Continue reading “UCL final is more than Ronaldo vs Salah”
AS Roma president James Pallotta has criticised the officiating after being knocked out by Liverpool in the Champions League semifinal and said it will be an “absolute joke” if video assistant referees (VAR) are not introduced in the competition.
Roma won the second leg 4-2 at Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday but it was Liverpool who advanced 7-6 on aggregate, and Pallotta believes a number of decisions went against his team.
“I know it is difficult to ref but it is really embarrassing that we lose on aggregate like that,” he told reporters. “You just can’t let stuff like this happen.” Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Pallotta felt Roma should have been awarded two penalties in the second leg.
Edin Dzeko was brought down by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius just after the interval but the striker was ruled offside. Continue reading “James Pallotta slams referee after Liverpool defeat”