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Declan Rice’s header deep in stoppage time sealed an enthralling 4-3 victory for Arsenal over Luton Town to send them five points clear at the top of the Premier League on Tuesday.
Six minutes of stoppage time were almost up when Rice found space to glance a header into the net, sparking joy for the visitors and heartache for an intrepid Luton side.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)
“Luton are a top side and they can’t be overlooked in this league for the quality they have,” Rice told Amazon Prime. “To score in the last minute and keep the momentum building, it’s massive for us. Those are the moments you look back on. What a game. To score the winner is an honour.”
There was little to hint at the thriller ahead in a low-key opening 20 minutes on a raw night at Kenilworth Road, but the game exploded into life when Gabriel Martinelli’s scuffed shot from Bukayo Saka’s pass put Arsenal ahead.
Luton responded five minutes later with Gabriel Osho powering a header past David Raya from Alfie Doughty’s corner.
Saka and Martinelli were both denied by saves from Thomas Kaminski, but Arsenal went ahead again just before the break with Gabriel Jesus heading in Ben White’s dinked cross.
Arsenal had not won at Luton since 1986 and they were rocked on their heels as first Elijah Adebayo headed in another corner in the 49th minute before Andros Townsend played in fellow former England international Ross Barkley eight minutes later to drill a low shot underneath Raya, who endured a difficult night.
Raya should have done better for Luton’s second and third goals, but his blushes were spared by his teammates.
The old stadium was rocking to its foundations, but Luton’s joy was cut short as Kai Havertz squared it up on the hour from a Jesus pass. Rice then left the hosts in despair as Arsenal again showed their penchant for late goals.
They have now taken nine points this season courtesy of goals in the last five minutes of games.
“Incredible evening. First of all, congratulations to Luton, their players, staff, the atmosphere they created made it a special night to play football and they made it very hard for us,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said.
“They are so good at set pieces and they made us really fight for the game and at the end it was a beautiful win.”
Luton remain fourth from bottom with nine points and while the defeat stung, manager Rob Edwards was rightly proud of his players, who gave Arsenal a real scare.
“Arsenal wanted a game of order and we made it chaotic at times,” Edwards said. “I don’t think that has ever happened to me, conceding that late to lose a game so I’m flat right now.”
Arsenal have 36 points from 15 games played with Liverpool on 31 and champions Manchester City on 30, with the latter two teams in action on Wednesday.
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Rob Dawson, CorrespondentDec 1, 2023, 01:30 PM
Erik ten Hag has backed under-fire André Onana by insisting the Manchester United goalkeeper is “the second best” in the Premier League.
Onana’s errors in the 3-3 draw with Galatasaray on Wednesday cost United a much-needed win in the Champions League to leave Ten Hag’s team on the brink of an early exit.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)
But speaking ahead of the trip to Newcastle United on Saturday, the Dutchman highlighted the Cameroon international’s stats this season which include being ranked second in the Premier League for saves, save percentage and goals prevented.
“If you analyse it well then you see he is the second best goalkeeper in the Premier League based on stats,” Ten Hag told a news conference on Friday.
“He’s doing well but he knows that in the Champions League he has made some mistakes but all over in the first five months he has done well.”
Onana’s performance against Galatasaray has started a debate about whether the £43 million ($34m) summer signing from Inter Milan should be dropped for the game at St James’ Park.
It would mean handing a debut to Altay Bayindir, who hasn’t played a minute since arriving from Fenerbahce in August, but Ten Hag suggested that Onana will start against Newcastle.
“You have seen how he is reacting to a bad performance like in Munich and at Burnley [in the next game] he was outstanding,” Ten Hag said.
“He is a strong character. He’s a personality and he will deal with it.”
United’s poor form in the Champions League is in contrast to their form in the Premier League, where they’ve won five of their last six games.
Ten Hag will be without long-term absentees Casemiro and Lisandro Martínez for the game at Newcastle while Mason Mount remains a doubt with an injury picked up in training over the international break.
There are players on the way back but I can’t give a prognosis on how long it will take,” Ten Hag said.
“Mason Mount is returning on the pitch [on Friday] but I don’t know how long it will take in this moment.”
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Luis Miguel Echegaray, ESPNNov 3, 2023, 02:51 PM
Welcome to Onside/Offside! Each week, Luis Miguel Echegaray discusses the latest from the soccer world, including standout performances, games you might have missed, what to keep an eye on in the coming days and of course, certain things that probably deserved extra love and criticism.
This week, we have lots of previews! From the Premier League, where Mikel Arteta’s undefeated Arsenal visit Eddie Howe’s high-scoring Newcastle United to MLS and a tasty Copa Libertadores final. Plus, what does Saudi Arabia’s sole bid for the 2034 World Cup mean for the future of the sport?
Newcastle vs. Arsenal: The unbeaten against the goal scorers
This matchup is set to be entertaining: two teams with a clear identity under young, ambitious managers eyeing legitimate objectives while possessing tremendous, eye-catching talent.
Let’s begin with Newcastle United, who alongside Aston Villa, are the current highest scorers in the Premier League. When they’re on, they’re a complete team in the sense that they work as a unit, no matter the XI. They showed it midweek against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup when manager Howe started out with a rotated squad and no discernible striker aside from Joelinton, who now plays as a box-to-box midfielder. The outcome? 7,000 from the Toon Army witnessed a 3-0 destruction.
Newcastle’s biggest strength is that it’s all about the collective. At their best, they are fluid and aggressive, and thanks to the likes of Anthony Gordon, Miguel Almirón and Callum Wilson, there is a single-minded, no-nonsense approach to entering the final third.
But as we shift to the other corner, Arsenal — who like Tottenham are still undefeated in the league — will prove to be a difficult test. They are coming from a 3-1 loss against West Ham in the Carabao Cup, but something tells me that this is a relief for manager Arteta as the Premier League and the Champions League are of greater importance. There’s also recent history to take into consideration when talking about Arsenal vs. Newcastle. From the past 22 meetings in all competitions, Arsenal have won 19 of them, which clearly says that they have Newcastle’s number. They are the Magpies’ bogey side.
But this match is difficult to predict because of both sides’ strengths but most notably, their vulnerabilities. I haven’t even mentioned the injuries and absences (Sandro Tonali being the most prominent for Newcastle.) With Gabriel Jesus injured and Kai Havertz proving largely ineffective, Eddie Nketiah is entering the most important chapter in his career with Arsenal. He has to be the guy right now.
Wilson, meanwhile, who has scored seven goals this season and is netting a goal every 60 minutes for Newcastle, also has to carry a larger responsibility because of Alexander Isak’s temporary absence. Will Arsenal remain undefeated? Can Newcastle take full advantage of St. James’s Park’s support and produce a victory? All I know is that I am excited to watch this one.
Argentina and Brazil’s contrasting styles on show in Copa Libertadores final
There are many angles and talking points you can take from Saturday’s Copa Libertadores final, which will be played at Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro. First, this is the first final between Argentina and Brazil since 2019, as the last three editions have been dominated by Brazilian teams. Second, Fluminense, managed by Fernando Diniz (also interim manager of the Brazil national team), are looking to win this trophy for the first time. Third, this is a chance for Boca Juniors to earn some redemption after losing in the violence-ridden 2018 edition against River Plate, which was eventually played in Madrid.
Boca are the second-most successful club in this competition behind Independiente, but have not won it since 2007. Fourth, aside from the obvious distaste toward one another because of nationality and cultural differences, Fluminense and Boca Juniors are also different in style.
Boca manager Jorge Almirón (a former defensive midfielder) has had to rely on resiliency and defensive prowess to get here (they have conceded only five goals). They have also made it through to the final thanks to penalty shootouts in every round. But goals have been a problem. Even with the arrival of Edinson Cavani in July, they have only scored 12 times in the entire tournament.
In the other corner, Fluminense have also scored 12 goals — in the knockout stages alone. In total, Diniz’s side have netted 22 goals in the competition and partly thanks to their Argentinian striker German Cano, they are lethal as much as they are attractive to watch. Diniz wants to bring back the “Joga Bonito” aspect to the Brazilian game as his Fluminense side usually play attractive, quick and short-possession based football, something he hasn’t mustered with the national team just yet.
Watch out for André, too, their 22-year-old defensive midfielder who was reportedly approached by Liverpool in the summer, but Fluminense held on to him for this very reason, to make it in the final. I expect this to be his last season with Fluminense. On Boca’s side, 19-year-old Valentin Barco is also reportedly attracting a lot of attention and this could also be his final campaign in Argentina as Premier League and Bundesliga sides have been keeping tabs on him.
But it’s not just about youth! How about Marcos Rojo or Sergio Romero, Man United fans? The former will miss the game due to being sent off in the semifinals against Palmeiras, but the goalkeeper will be key on Saturday. And then there’s Marcelo for Fluminense. The former Real Madrid star returned to his first club earlier this year and will look to add a Libertadores medal to his five from the Champions League.
No Messi? No problem. The three MVP candidates in MLS
The MLS playoffs are in full effect and this weekend features the second matches from the best-of-three series in Round 1. Just because Inter Miami and Lionel Messi are not involved doesn’t mean there isn’t great action to watch. MLS continues to grow (they recently recorded a highest-ever total attendance of 10.9 million for the season) and provide great moments of entertainment, with or without the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner.
So let’s talk about the three MVP candidates. First off, Denis Bouanga, the Golden Boot winner from LAFC, is in ridiculous form. The Gabonese striker scored 20 league goals and created three assists in the regular season and helped his club take the lead in the first round with a 1-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps. He arrived from Ligue 1’s Saint-Étienne for $5 million in 2022 and at 28 years old, it was definitely a bargain for the club from Los Angeles.
Then there’s Luciano Acosta, who started his career with Boca Juniors and went back and forth between MLS and Liga MX before finding his home with FC Cincinnati. Lucho is the ultimate No. 10 for Cincy, creating 29 league goal contributions this season (16 goals, 13 assists) and in the first playoff match against the New York Red Bulls, he was everywhere, scoring one and assisting another. He’s probably winning the MVP award.
Finally, Thiago Almada, a man I have wanted for Aston Villa for a while (sorry, Atlanta United fans) — 11 goals and 16 assists (the most in the league) in the regular season are only part of the story. He is a dynamite, much in the mold of Paulo Dybala but with a better eye for long-range finishes and set pieces. He didn’t play in Atlanta’s loss against Columbus Crew on Wednesday due to suspension, but will return for the second match next week.
If you’re asking me who’s winning the MLS Cup this season? I think all roads lead to Lucho Acosta and Cincy, who would lift their first title since joining the league from USL in 2019.
A special mention to Cucho Hernández, who scored a brace in Crew’s 2-0 win against Atlanta on Wednesday night. He scored 16 goals and recorded 11 assists in the regular season and will be a force in the postseason.
Fans clash ahead of Copa Lib final
I wish I could have left the Copa Libertadores final as an “onside” but sadly I have to also include this. On Thursday night at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Fluminense fans clashed with Boca Juniors supporters. By the time police responded, things had continued into the early hours.
CONMEBOL came out with a half-efforted statement asking for things to calm down (that will do the trick) which prompted the Argentinian ambassador in Brazil to ask for more. “I saw the statement and the truth is that it demands greater firmness and rigor,” said Daniel Scioli. “I am worried because tomorrow a very tough group of fans will arrive.”
In 2018, the Copa Libertadores final had to be suspended and moved to Madrid. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that this time around. One day, CONMEBOL will get it together and realize that these finals require a tremendous amount of infrastructure and protection for fans and their families who just want to enjoy their team in a final.
What do Saudi Arabia want?
Saudi Arabia’s sole bid for the 2034 World Cup was always going to be on the cards, for several reasons. For one, from a calendar perspective, the plans were carefully assembled by FIFA last month when it announced the rotation policy for hosts and — wouldn’t you know it — the 2034 edition was guaranteed for a nation from Asia or Oceania. Enter Saudi Arabia, uncontested after Australia pulled out hours before the deadline because it knew the obvious truth: money talks.
Second, there is the indication of Saudi’s continuous influence on global sports. From PIF’s control of Newcastle United — and consequently the top four clubs in the Saudi Pro League — to Formula 1, boxing, golf and December’s Club World Cup — Saudi Arabia has carefully created a path of sporting impact on the world stage. So, now that we know that this was going to happen (and Qatar setting a new precedent of saying “sorry, not sorry” to Europe with a winter World Cup), the question is: why does Saudi Arabia want this so much and what do they want out of it?
The first part of the question has been answered as there is a clear intention of the Saudi kingdom’s need to attract tourism and create a new identity for the Middle East. How about accusations of sportswashing, where sport is being used to cover and detract from the bigger issues at hand (human rights violations, criminalization of homosexuality, women’s rights abuses, free speech restrictions, the war in Yemen and the 2018 death of Jamal Khashoggi).
Well, it’s not really a concern, as clearly stated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: “If sportswashing is going to increase my GDP by 1%, then we’ll continue doing sportswashing. … I have 1% growth in GDP from sport and I am aiming for another 1.5%. Call it whatever you want — we are going to get that 1.5%,” he said to Fox Sports in September.
In the end, a lot of question marks remain about the 2034 World Cup bid and how far Saudi Arabia will go to attain what it wants in the sporting market in order to clean its global reputation. But this is not just about Saudi Arabia’s intentions, as we continue to learn that FIFA’s gluttony has no limits.
Novak Djokovic and Ballon d’Or’s clueless decision
On Monday, Aitana Bonmatí received her first ever Ballon d’Or Féminin after an incredible season of success with Barcelona and the Spanish national team. There was a video right after the announcement describing her journey, which started with CD Ribes and CF Cubelles. Her speech was passionate and inspiring, encouraging other teammates to keep fighting (specifically talking about everything the Spanish women’s team has had to do for equal pay, against sexual harassment and of course, the Luis Rubiales incident) and living by example.
Bonmati ‘proud’ to win Ballon d’Or Feminin after difficult year for Spain
Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmati says she is speechless after winning the Ballon d’Or Feminin and now wants to focus on football after the World Cup controversy.
So why, may I ask, would the Ballon d’Or organizers arrange for Djokovic to present Bonmatí with the award? This is Djokovic, one of the greatest men’s tennis players in the history of the sport but who also once argued against equal pay and said male tennis players should be paid more than women. After winning the Indian Wells Masters in 2016, Djokovic was asked about his views on equal pay and said men “should fight for more” and “be awarded more” because they proved to attract larger attendances at tennis matches.
I mean, this is hardly a champion for women’s sports. If you have to have a tennis player present this award (which still baffles me), why not a woman? I’m sure Serena Williams, Coco Gauff or even Bonmatí’s compatriot Sara Sorribes Tormo, the current, highest-ranked Spanish player in the world would have been more than happy to attend.
In addition, the event was held during an international window in women’s football so most nominees couldn’t attend. France Football also don’t offer awards for the women’s best young player, goalkeeper or striker, which were all featured for the men. It may have been a great night for Messi and the men’s game, but once again, much more could have been done for the women.
What happens when Goliath meets David? Bayern Munich found out on Wednesday in the German cup, courtesy of third division side Saarbrucken who are 15th in the table but it didn’t bother them one bit as Marcel Gaus scored in the 96th minute to secure a historic victory against the Bundesliga champions.
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The international break is over and club football came roaring back this weekend. If you had checked the box scores, you’d think there were few surprises as the weekend’s action got underway, but those full-time figures tell only half the story.
We saw Manchester United defeat Sheffield United 2-1 on an emotional day following the passing of club legend Sir Bobby Charlton, while Manchester City achieved an important 2-1 win against Brighton & Hove Albion to stay firm in the race for the Premier League title. In Germany, Serhou Guirassy continues to break all the records at Stuttgart, and Bayern Munich charged to retain their Bundesliga title following their 3-1 win over Mainz.
In France, Kylian Mbappé scored again as PSG remain in the Ligue 1 race. In Spain, Real Madrid dropped points in a 1-1 draw against Sevilla to leave the LaLiga title race wide open. And finally, we saw some Women’s Super League action as Manchester City earned an important 1-0 win at Leicester City.
Sunday added some more big twists and turns, including a teenage academy product saving Barcelona (again), a match-up between AC Milan and Juventus with four American starters and more.
Here is your look back at all the fun from this weekend.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)
The Sunday lead: 17-year-old Guiu saves Barca in his debut
Struggling to break down your opponent? Missing your star striker and a handful of other regular starters through injury? No problem, just turn to the academy again.
That’s exactly what Barcelona did Sunday against Athletic Bilbao, throwing 17-year-old forward Marc Guiu on for his debut in the second half. Within about 30 seconds, he had scored the winning goal, beating goalkeeper Unai Simón after being fed by João Félix to give Barça a 1-0 victory.
The win moved the Blaugrana within one point of joint leaders Real Madrid and Girona. It sets up next weekend’s Clásico quite nicely. (Stream it live: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. ET on ESPN+.)
With starters Robert Lewandowski, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, Jules Koundé and Raphinha all watching from the stands with knocks, Barça had struggled to break down an impressive Athletic side managed by their former coach Ernesto Valverde. Felix had come close, hitting the bar, and Simon also produced a good save from Fermín López, another youngster who has emerged from nowhere this season for Barça.
Athletic were more than their match at the Olympic Stadium, though. Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen was in inspired form to twice keep out Iñaki Williams, whose brother, Nico, was also causing problems on the left flank.
And so, with just over 10 minutes to play and having already brought on 16-year-old Lamine Yamal to play alongside fellow academy graduates 20-year-old López, 20-year-old Alejandro Balde and 19-year-old Gavi, manager Xavi Hernandez’s final role of the dice was Spain U-17 international Guiu. It could not have gone any better. Within seconds, he latched onto Felix’s pass to score a goal he will never forget. Barça can always rely on La Masia.
It leaves the top of LaLiga looking very tasty after 10 matches. Madrid and Girona — who beat Almeria 5-2 earlier Sunday — have 25 points, Barça 24 and then come Atletico Madrid with 22 and a game in hand. — Sam Marsden
Sunday talking points around the leagues
Man United hand Toffees humiliation in WSL
With little time to dwell on their midweek loss to PSG that knocked them out of the Champions League before the group stages, Manchester United showed some of their better football to claim a hearty 5-0 win against a struggling Everton team.
The visitors being the team with more bite going forward, Melvine Malard’s header was the highlight of the first half for United but it wasn’t until Nikita Parris doubled the advantage just before the hour that the game fully titled towards the Red Devils. It took just 16 minutes for United to score their last three with Rachel Williams’ brace the body blows to beat the Toffees into submission before Parris added the last in stoppage time.
For United, who were without enigmatic attacking duo Geyse and Leah Galton, the added depth told as new and different combinations worked on the pitch to cut through the hosts. Williams scoring off of the bench is all but part of the script for United but from Irene Guerrero marking her debut with an assist to Malard’s habit of finding the back of the net, United are offering more virtuosity this season.
For Everton, whose defence took a sizable hit over the summer with the departures of Rikke Sevecke and Gabby George, there was a growing capitulation at the back as the goals started to rain in. The team in blue reverting to getting pushed around on the pitch, unable to dictate the tempo or come close to building on their derby win over Liverpool last time out. — Sophie Lawson
Americans Abroad: Pulisic gets the hook as Milan fall to Juventus
If Saturday wasn’t anything to write home about for U.S. men’s national team players in Europe, Sunday was only a bit better. Four Americans started as AC Milan hosted Juventus, making it a high-profile fixture for USMNT fans, but it was a slog.
After a red card to AC Milan’s Malick Thiaw at San Siro, a visibly frustrated Christian Pulisic was sacrificed, subbed off in the 42nd minute so centerback Pierre Kalulu could come on and try to keep the score at 0-0. For Pulisic, it was certainly not the match he was hoping to have. Fellow forwards Rafael Leão on the opposite wing and Olivier Giroud up top had just been far more dangerous on the day, so it’s easy to see why manager Stefano Pioli opted to remove the American from the attacking line.
On the other side of that fixture, Weston McKennie and Timothy Weah didn’t have standpoint performances either, despite Juventus having the man advantage for most of the match, eventually winning 1-0. Weah was technically awarded the assist for passing the ball to Manuel Locatelli before his goal, but the effort came down to Locatelli’s long-range strike that took a wicked deflection. McKennie and Weah did combine for a nice one-two in the 67th minute, but McKennie put his shot wildly off-target.
Weah came off in the 84th minute after walking away gingerly from a collision. In the first half, USMNT teammate and Milan midfielder Yunus Musah delivered a crunching tackle to Weah that sent him into the advertising boards.
With the win, Juventus closed the gap to second-place AC Milan to one point and inched within two points of first-place Inter Milan.
Elsewhere in Europe on Sunday, striker Folarin Balogun played 89 minutes for AS Monaco and mustered up just one shot in a 2-1 win over Metz. — Caitlin Murray
News of the day
The saga around who will own Manchester United continues, and a star from the world of golf wants a piece of the action. Four-time major-winning golfer Rory McIlroy, fresh off his recent investment in the Alpine Formula One team, has expressed interest in a bit of Man United.
And finally, on Sunday …
Jose Mourinho continues to become the gift that keeps on giving. The Roma manager was sent off towards the end of his team’s 1-0 win against Monza on Sunday for making a crying gesture.
“I don’t know why I got the red card, I only made a gesture to the bench, not a single word,” Mourinho said post-match. “The Monza bench put a lot of pressure on the referee; they shouldn’t have behaved like that.”
With this red card, it means he will not be on the touchline for their important clash against Serie A leaders Inter next Sunday. Never change, Jose. — Roberto Rojas
Jose Mourinho did this to the opposition bench shortly after Roma scored a stoppage time goal to take the lead against Monza.
He received a red card and will miss Roma’s next Serie A match against Inter Milan.
Missed the action on Saturday? Keep reading for all the talking points.
The Saturday lead: Onana, Dalot deliver a much-needed Man United win on emotional day following Sir Bobby Charlton’s death
For the first time in his short Manchester United career, André Onana has won back-to-back Premier League games and he played his part in the victory over Sheffield United on Saturday. It’s been a difficult start to life at Old Trafford for the Cameroon goalkeeper but this was the type of performance that should give him confidence he’ll be able to get through this sticky spell.
United were poor in the first 25 minutes at Bramall Lane and Onana was needed to make low saves from Oli McBurnie and Cameron Archer. It didn’t require anything spectacular but Erik ten Hag will settle for Onana doing the simple things well after a number of costly mistakes since his summer move from Inter Milan.
United are still struggling to score goals and all four of their Premier League wins so far this season have come with a one-goal margin but if Ten Hag can get his team to defend better, then they will start climbing the table. It begins with the goalkeeper and Ten Hag will have enjoyed a post-match news conference during which he wasn’t forced to defend Onana. He still has work to do to win over some United fans but a quiet night and a win at Sheffield United is a good place to start. — Rob Dawson
Saturday talking points around the leagues
Manchester City bounce back from back-to-back defeats
Manchester City don’t need any luck or help to win matches and they got it anyway as they avoided losing three Premier League games in a row for the first time since 2016. Under Roberto De Zerbi, Brighton are set up to win this type of game but they never gave themselves a chance to put City under pressure and were behind at the Etihad Stadium after just seven minutes when Julián Álvarez scuffed a shot which looped in over Jason Steele.
If that was their slice of luck, the help came from Brighton’s Carlos Baleba. Not long after Alvarez’s opener, the Brighton midfielder played a blind pass which Erling Haaland and, four touches later, the ball was in the net. It was the Norwegian’s first City goal for nearly a month but it wasn’t the finish — rifled into the corner from outside the penalty area — of a man out of form.
Rodri back from suspension, John Stones fit enough to make his first start of the season and Haaland back scoring goals; it was a good afternoon for Pep Guardiola, only spoiled slightly by a late red card for Manuel Akanji. It was, however, a day to forget for James Milner. The 37-year-old was picked at right-back and tasked with stopping 21-year-old Jérémy Doku but only lasted 45 minutes which consisted of watching Doku set up Alvarez and then twice ploughing into the Belgium winger.
After back-to-back defeats to Wolves and Arsenal, Brighton at home felt like a dangerous game — particularly because they’ve beaten Newcastle and Manchester United and drawn with Liverpool already this season — but it was navigated by City with minimal fuss and despite their small blip, they’re only two points worse off than they were at this stage last year. — Dawson
Ramos stars but can’t score dream winner against Madrid
In the 94th minute, with Sevilla and Real Madrid level at 1-1, Sergio Ramos’ moment arrived. Sevilla had a free kick on the edge of the Real Madrid box. There was only ever going to be one target. Suso floated the ball in, Ramos rose to meet it … and headed over the bar.
Ramos was always going to make headlines when Sevilla hosted Madrid at the Sanchez Pizjuan; it was just a question of how. Would he score against his former club? How about an own goal? Or a characteristic red card? Instead, it was more straightforward than that: Ramos was excellent, arguably the best player on the pitch. With all the noise around Ramos, it’s easy to forget the obvious: this is an exceptional defender, even at 37.
The highlight of his performance against Madrid came in the 34th minute, blocking what looked like a certain goal with an instinctive, outstretched leg. He went close to scoring in the 80th minute too, with a header well saved by goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Otherwise, Ramos was efficient and effortless. He had 78 touches, as many as any Sevilla player. He completed 61 of 65 passes, with seven recoveries and five clearances. There were moments of controversy too: a first-half face-off with Antonio Rüdiger in which he appeared to pinch the German’s cheeks, and an 86th-minute bust-up involving multiple players, Ramos at the centre of it.
The 1-1 scoreline wasn’t too much of a disappointment for LaLiga leaders Real Madrid — although they lamented referee icardo de Burgos Bengoetxea’s decision to rule out two early goals — and it was a positive start for Ramos and Sevilla, under new coach Diego Alonso. — Alex Kirkland
Kane shines as Bayern earn crucial win over Mainz
After Leverkusen, Stuttgart and Dortmund had won their respective games, Bayern Munich had to follow suit as the record champions took on Mainz in the Bundesliga’s Saturday evening game. The Moroccan right-back Noussair Mazraoui, who had attracted attention by posting anti-Israel sentiments on social media recently, was left out of the squad because of a muscle injury.
Meanwhile, Israeli goalkeeper Daniel Peretz was once again the backup for Sven Ulreich, who might have made his last start in the Bundesliga for the time being, with Manuel Neuer being expected to return to action next weekend.
As for the game at Mainz’s Mewa Arena itself, the home team neutralised Bayern’s build-up with their three-man high press in the early stages. Unluckily for the hosts, they did not take advantage of forced turnovers near Bayern’s penalty area, and it seemed that the goals scored by Kingsley Coman and Harry Kane during the opening 15 minutes may take the air out of the stadium.
But Mainz continued to fight and play admirably, as they managed to visit Bayern’s penalty area frequently. Shortly before the halftime break, Leroy Sané lost the ball in midfield, which allowed Brajan Gruda to move it forward before Anthony Caci scored Mainz’s first goal with a beautiful strike.For a while, an upset was in the air, but Caci went from hero to zero when he tried to dribble close to the hosts’ box, losing the ball and thus inviting Leon Goretzka to score the deciding third goal for Bayern.
The German champions are currently dealing with defensive issues which cannot solely be attributed to injury woes. There are systematic shortcomings that manager Thomas Tuchel needs to fix in the upcoming weeks.
Otherwise, Bayern’s attacking firepower might not be enough in some games. Perhaps the return of Neuer could stabilise the defence to an extent since the 37-year-old is not just an experienced shot-stopper but also someone who can guide a back line from behind. — Constantin Eckner
Remembering Sir Bobby Charlton
Alexis Nunes and Mark Ogden reflect on Sir Bobby Charlton’s impact on Manchester United, England and football in general after his death at the age of 86.
Mbappe stellar in PSG’s win over Strasbourg
After four games without scoring for PSG and some unusually underwhelming performances, Mbappé was back to his best on Saturday at the Parc des Princes against Strasbourg. A goal and an assist set his team on the road to a 3-0 victory in a game totally controlled by the Parisians.
The last time PSG came back from the international break with a home league match was in September when they were beaten by Nice (3-2). This time, there were no bad surprises.
Despite a big turnover from Luis Enrique, Paris were dominant and convincing. The Spanish manager rested many key players (Ousmane Dembele, Manuel Ugarte, Warren Zaïre-Emery, Randal Kolo Muani, Achraf Hakimi) and their subs took that opportunity to show what they could do. Carlos Soler and Fabián Ruiz scored and Ruiz is proving that he could be a decent alternative in midfield. Lee Kang-In also started after being out of the picture for a month while winning the Asian Cup with South Korea and can bring creativity and a different profile.
Four days before the huge Champions League clash with AC Milan in the French capital, Saturday was just what the doctor ordered for PSG. — Julien Laurens
Man City earn crucial win over Leicester to go top of the WSL
The last time Manchester City travelled to the King Power Stadium, in February, they were chasing down the top of the pack, desperately making a bid for a Champions League finish. Their opposition were making their own desperate charge, hoping to stave off relegation, the team in a far better place now under new manager Willie Kirk.
That match ended 2-0 to City with the visitors outshooting Leicester 32 shots to four as they boasted 74 per cent of the possession over the 90-minute match. This season, things could not be more different and heading into the fourth matchday of the WSL season, the narrative was set at a top-of-the-table clash.
Indeed, the stats from the game are the best marker for the rapid development and growth the Foxes have shown this season, the two teams splitting the possession, Leicester with six shots on target to City’s eight. The crucial moment came ten minutes in when Jill Roord slipped the ball between Julie Thibaud’s ankles to feed Chloe Kelly with the England international’s tame shot managing to squirm under Janina Leitzig.
There was no dropping of heads from the hosts, however, and it wasn’t long until they were pressuring the City backline although the hosts could not get the better of Khiara Keating in the away goal. The match was a fair contest until the final whistle, with both sides well-matched, something that wouldn’t have even been conceivable eight months ago.
From both a Leicester and Man City point of view, the game has further hammered home how well each team has started the season, as well as the gaps across the league that are finally being closed. As it is, City are top of the table and at this early stage of the season, looking like the team to beat. — Lawson
Americans Abroad: A rough one for USMNT stars
Following the international break that saw the United States lose to Germany and defeat Ghana, numerous players were back in action this weekend in their respective leagues.
Borussia Dortmund’s Gio Reyna played 28 minutes in Friday’s 1-0 win over Werder Bremen to see them firmly in the Bundesliga title race while Ricardo Pepi played 11 minutes in PSV Eindhoven’s 3-1 win over Fortuna Sittard as they stay top of the Eredivisie table with 27 points after nine matches.
It was a poor day between the sticks for goalkeeper Matt Turner though as Nottingham Forest gave up a 2-0 lead against newly promoted side Luton Town. Chris Wood scored a brace to put Forest up, but Luton had the last laugh as they scored twice in the last seven minutes to snatch an important point at the City Ground. — Rojas
News of the day
Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton has passed away on Saturday at the age of 86, following a statement announced by the club. Charlton was part of the 1966 England squad that won their first and only FIFA World Cup on home soil and played a important part that helped Manchester United win their first ever European Cup at Wembley in 1968. A club statement read “Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world.”
Everton manager Sean Dyche slammed the “bizarre” refereeing decisions in his team’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Saturday. “It’s a bizarre nature of the modern game,” Dyche said post-match. “There’s no point. I’m going to get myself in trouble. I don’t know how I got yellow carded. All my staff got yellow carded. It’s impossible that we could get yellow carded with that performance but anyways, we did.”
And finally, on Saturday …
The Serhou Guirassy show continues as the Guinean striker netted yet again in Stuttgart’s 3-0 win over Union Berlin, putting his name into the history books with his 14th goal in eight Bundesliga matches.
Not only does that put him atop the goalscorer race by a huge margin (Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane is in second with nine goals), but Guirassy also set a new record by becoming the first-ever player to score that amount of goals after eight matchdays of a Bundesliga season.
Serhou Guirassy is the first player to score 14 goals on the first eight matchdays of a Bundesliga season 😮💨📈
To show how impressive that stat is, Guirassy only needs two more goals to equal the amount of last season’s top scorer in the Bundesliga, when Niclas Füllkrug and Christopher Nkunku both scored 16 goals.
This also means that Stuttgart, now in second place, continue their charge in the Bundesliga title race with 21 points, having now won six Bundesliga games in a row. Who knows if Guirassy will continue his hot streak but it’s been a remarkable start for Die Roten. — Rojas
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LONDON — Arsenal paid the big bucks to sign Declan Rice for a reason.
In truth, it wasn’t primarily for his goal scoring, but then again, the £105 million man has made it a personal mission to improve his end product, and Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United was quite a spectacular way to start.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)
Rice’s first Gunners goal came in the sixth minute of added time with the score level at 1-1, squeezing a deflected shot inside André Onana’s near post to spark Emirates Stadium euphoria. The game had been on a knife edge after Martin Odegaard cancelled out Marcus Rashford’s first-half opener for United with substitute Alejandro Garnacho denied what could have been the winning goal by a marginal — but correct — VAR review for offside in the 88th minute.
Yet Rice turned the game decisively in Arsenal’s favour before Gabriel Jesus added a third even deeper into added-on time to spark the sort of jubilation associated with a title run, rather than in early September. Arsenal are often criticised for over-celebrating, but the explanation here is simple. Of course, the opponent — an old adversary — makes winning sweeter but of more immediate pertinence is the need to maintain pace with Manchester City, an admittedly absurd premise at first glance given the Premier League season is only four games old.
Arsenal reached 50 points at the halfway stage last season and failed to win the title — City have raised the bar to the extent the margin for error is smaller than ever, and entering the first international break with 10 points from a possible 12 — two behind City — is a significant boost for Arsenal’s self-belief.
Rice was acquired at great expense from West Ham to bridge the gap, and his all-round display ultimately proved a match-winning contribution. Could this be the first of many goals from their new midfield man?
“For sure, when you see the technical ability that he has and how he executed in this these moments,” said Gunners boss Mikel Arteta. “His range when shooting from accuracy and the power he generates with no space, that’s with both legs, he can do it with both feet. He’s got the timing as well to arrive in the box. The position will dictate that a lot because it’s about how you arrive in the box. But he’s got the ability to do that, that’s for sure.
“When you look at how a holding midfielder needs to dominate his area, how he needs to break up play, how he glided the team together when they were stretched a bit. Then he produced a magic moment to win us the game, so, really happy with him.”
It was also Rice’s drive forward that led to Kai Havertz, generally subdued once again, going down in the box for a penalty overturned on VAR review, as he sought to alter an unusually cautious first half from the home side.
Arsenal had just 45 percent possession in the first half. They usually dominate opponents on their own turf — aside from Brighton’s deserved win here in May, when they took control of proceedings in impressive fashion — and no team had enjoyed more of the ball in the opening 45 minutes since January 2022. The opposition that day was also United, a clear sign that Arteta is inherently wary of the counterattacking threat Rashford once again ruthlessly demonstrated on Sunday.
“The first goal that we gave away we talked about it, if you lose the ball inside the first two passes after regaining it, you are kaput,” Arteta said. “We did it again.”
Rice won four of his five duels and all three aerial challenges, recovering the ball five times in all. But more than that, he helped Arsenal play more on the front foot in the second period — ending with 55 percent possession overall but more significantly, creating good chances with Bukayo Saka guilty of missing the best of them when clean through nine minutes from the end.
United will rue the fine margin of Garnacho’s disallowed goal and failing to capitalise on a promising cameo by their own big-money summer signing, £72m Rasmus Hojlund, who gave the visitors a more potent threat than Anthony Martial will probably ever be when introduced on 67 minutes. There will be plenty more to come from him, but it was a damning indictment of United’s summer window that they ended this game with 35-year-old Jonny Evans and Harry Maguire at centre-back, while Sofyan Amrabat was not ready to feature at all.
In mitigation, United have suffered badly with injuries at centre-back with Lisandro Martínez and Victor Lindelöf forced off here to join Raphaël Varane and Luke Shaw on the sidelines. Yet re-signing Evans and using Maguire, who they were desperate to offload all summer and was actually cheered by Arsenal fans upon his introduction, underlines the lack of prudent squad planning, as does acquiring Amrabat so late in the window, when he had been ready to leave Fiorentina in July if the clubs could agree a fee.
Already, it once again appears United are some considerable distance away from closing the gap to City, an aim both of these teams harbour but that Arsenal look much more equipped to take on. They are yet to be entirely convincing in any game this season, it must be said, but the Gunners have found a way to win three of their four games, and on Sunday, the club-record buy made the difference.
As Arteta put it: “Big matches are for big players, and Rice was tremendous.”
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Jon Molyneux-Carter, Senior EditorAug 15, 2023, 03:06 PM
Once again, in spite of a global financial crisis, the men’s soccer clubs around Europe spent an incredible amount of money to sign players in January, and this summer might not be any different.
Indeed, clubs spent a record $1.57 billion (£1.27bn) on transfers in the January transfer window, according to FIFA, with the Premier League doing most of the heavy lifting at 57.3% of the total. But with two giants of the game in Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr) and Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) now taking their careers outside of Europe, who will step up?
Here are grades for all the major summer transfers in the men’s game, with each day’s moves listed in order of highest fee.
All fees are reported unless confirmed with an asterisk (*).
Brentford: B+ Arsenal: C+
With a contract that expires in 2024, Raya had the cards in his favour over a move. Brentford did well to get an initial £3m loan fee and £27m obligatory fee next summer, designed to help Arsenal with financial fair play concerns.
I’ll be honest, I don’t get it. Aaron Ramsdale is No. 1 and has been one of the main reasons for the club’s success. Raya could push him, and it’s good to have competition, but even though he has arrived on loan, spending £27m to sign a backup goalkeeper is silly. It probably won’t end well for one of them.
Brighton: A+ Chelsea: A
Brighton are so good at this. They signed the Ecuador international for around £4m in 2021 and have made a huge profit. They held on to their midfield star amid interest from Chelsea and Arsenal in January, then managed to get what could turn out to be a British transfer record for his services. Wow.
Chelsea had to pay more than they wanted, which was around £80m, as Liverpool made a bid of £111m. They were lucky the player wanted to move to Stamford Bridge, and once again they’ve landed one of the top young players in world football. He could be a world-class addition.
Chelsea: D Real Madrid: B+
Chelsea signed a new No. 1 in Robert Sanchez, but sending the world’s most expensive goalkeeper out on loan isn’t a good look. He could have stayed and fought for his place, but Mauricio Pochettino clearly didn’t rate him. What a waste of €80m.
Signing David de Gea on a free transfer seemed like an easy win for Real Madrid, but Kepa will do a job while Thibaut Courtois recovers from his ACL injury. His form has been patchy over recent years, so they will hope he lands on his feet.
Harry Kane’s farewell message to Tottenham fans
Harry Kane says his goodbye to Tottenham supporters through a video on his social media channels, as the England striker announces his move to Bayern.
HARRY KANE €100m (£86.4m, $110m)
Tottenham: A- Bayern: A
Backed into a corner by the fact Kane’s contract was expiring next year, Tottenham had to let him go. They didn’t want to, but picking up €100m, with another possible €20m in add-ons, is pretty good for a 30-year-old.
Finally, Bayern have replaced Robert Lewandowski with a world-class striker. The club aren’t usually ones to pay over the odds, but the England international is worth every penny and should thrive in the Bundesliga.
Barcelona: C- PSG: B+
Barca were forced to act as they had to agree to this low release clause when he signed his contract. A fee of €50m is super low for Dembele, and Barca were caught out. Although they will gladly take the money and might look back on his questionable injury record for comfort.
PSG are planning for the future and made use of the clause before it doubled to €100m. Well done to them, and it’s a surprise other clubs didn’t try the same. The France international can flourish in Paris, but he will need to show he can overcome his previous injury issues.
Arsenal: B Nottingham Forest: B+
Turner served as backup to Aaron Ramsdale and made just seven appearances — all in cup competitions — so it’s no surprise to see him leave. The Gunners signed him for £5m and moved him on for £10m a year later, so it’s decent business.
Forest needed a new No. 1, and Turner cemented his position as the first-choice goalkeeper for the USMNT even though he wasn’t really playing at the Emirates. He should get a chance to show what he’s capable of.
Wolfsburg: B+ Tottenham: B
The German club have made a ten-fold profit on the young defender, a €4m signing from Volendam in 2021. They will miss him, but that kind of money will go a long way to rebuilding the squad.
Almost a midfielder disguised as a defender, with strong passing, dribbling and running skills, Van de Ven could be key to starting Spurs’ attacks from the back. He’s flown somewhat under the radar during his career, so €40m seems a lot, but he’s shown that he has some potential.
Southampton: B+ Newcastle: B
After Livramento failed to make a breakthrough at Chelsea, Southampton snapped him up for £5m in 2021 and have made a big profit given he missed over a year of football with a knee injury.
The right-back has only one full season under his belt, so Newcastle are gambling on his potential. It’s a huge fee for a 20-year-old with a questionable injury record, and it may come back to bite them. But he can learn from Kieran Trippier and is highly rated by those who have watched him play for years.
Benfica: D PSG: A-
When you put a release clause of €120m into a player’s contract, you should only really accept offers that come close to it. And allowing your guy to move on loan first, that’s just silly. An option to sign permanently for €65m, plus €15m in add-ons, makes the total fee a potential €80m, but the 22-year-old should be worth more in this market and certainly shouldn’t be leaving on loan.
Ramos is the goal scorer whom PSG need and a versatile attacker who could help replace Kylian Mbappe in the long term. How PSG managed to negotiate a loan first to help with their financial fair play issues is incredible, and if they do opt to sign him permanently, then it’s a decent price for one of the top young forwards in Europe. He should do well in Ligue 1.
Why Josko Gvardiol will be a ‘very good’ signing for Man City
Frank Leboeuf reacts to Josko Gvardiol’s proposed transfer to Manchester City from RB Leipzig.
RB Leipzig: A+ Man City: A+
How do they keep doing it? Leipzig landed the Croatia international for just €19m from Dinamo Zagreb in 2021. Now his transfer is worth five times that amount. It helped that he had a good World Cup, but the club can just find another young star and do the same.
City have signed arguably the best young central defender in the world. At 21, he has room to grow and can slot in at left-back as well. It’s a lot to spend, almost a world-record amount for a defender, but he’s worth it. And there are no add-ons to pay either.
Atalanta: B+ Man United: C+
Financially, this doesn’t feel like a good deal for either team. Atalanta wanted €100m and got €75m, albeit with €10m in add-ons potentially arriving. And Man United are overpaying for an unproven 20-year-old.
The step up to the Premier League might be too quick for Hojlund, given he is just starting his career. But United are gambling on a lot of potential and it could backfire.
Brighton: A- Chelsea: B-
A £25m fee for a backup goalkeeper? Brighton have done it again, and have already signed his replacement in Bart Verbruggen.
It doesn’t feel like a very “Chelsea” signing right now. For starters, Sanchez is 25 and not 18. They’ve signed a new No. 1 goalkeeper for a cheap fee given that Kepa is going to go out on loan, but he might find himself replaced soon.
Monaco: B+ Chelsea: B
The France international defender, who can play at centre-back or right-back, had been tracked by Man United and Newcastle. Monaco got the fee they wanted, so all credit to them.
You have to hope that Chelsea didn’t sign Disasi just because Wesley Fofana was ruled out for an extended period. He will face plenty of competition for his place in the side and surely the move spells the end of Trevoh Chalobah’s career at the club.
Valencia: C+ AC Milan: B
Valencia signed Musah as a youth player in 2019 from Arsenal, so it’s all profit. But you have to feel that a 20-year-old with such obvious growth potential should have fetched a little more in terms of transfer fee. The club wanted €25m, but had to negotiate down.
Having signed Christian Pulisic already, the addition of his USMNT teammate is an interesting one. Milan needed to replace Sandro Tonali and did so with a couple of players, so maybe it will work out. And if it doesn’t, then they haven’t spent much to sign Musah.
Bayern Munich: C+ Al Nassr: A+
Yes, Bayern recouped virtually what they paid Liverpool to sign Mane a year ago. But there’s an embarrassment factor here. The German champions would not have wanted things to end this way. They were just afforded the best option to move on.
Al Nassr made waves when signing Cristiano Ronaldo, but Mane could have just as much impact. He’s 31 and has signed a four-year deal. Of all the players to move to Saudi Arabia outside Ronaldo, he could be the best.
Wolves: C- Fulham: B
With a huge €38m fee back in 2019, the move didn’t reach expectations despite the Mexico international scoring 57 goals in 166 games. Wolves could have picked up a bigger fee, but it feels like they have been planning for life without the Jiménez for while.
At Fulham, Jiménez will look to revive the attacking form that has been severely impacted by a life-threatening head injury suffered in late 2020. He’s 32, so he doesn’t have long left in his career, but for such a cheap fee he seems a good replacement for Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Bayern: C+ Dortmund: B-
A free transfer signing from RB Leipzig, the Austria international managed only two goals in 54 competitive appearances for Bayern, as he couldn’t cement his place in the first XI. A loan to Man United last season didn’t do much either, so Bayern did well to get a decent fee.
He’s no replacement for Jude Bellingham, but he has all the tools to be a success in the Bundesliga if he can recapture some of his old form. It’s relatively rare to see a player move the other way from Bayern to Dortmund, but it made sense.
Bayern Leverkusen: A- Aston Villa: A
With 49 goals and 48 assists from 173 games, Diaby has been a real star for the German side. He will be hard to replace, but €60m was too much to turn down.
Villa broke their club record — previously £33m to sign Emiliano Buendia from Norwich in 2021 — and it’s money well spent. Diaby is a class act and his skills down the wing should bring an extra dimension to the attack. Alongside the £31.5m signing of Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres, Villa are spending quite a bit this summer.
Inter Milan: B- Man United: A
It’s a decent fee, but Onana has been key to Inter’s success in recent years and letting him go near his prime isn’t super smart given he has a contract until 2027. But they need the money and could get another €4m in add-ons.
Man United needed a goalkeeper who is good with the ball at his feet and they don’t come much better than Onana. His issues with Cameroon at the World Cup aside, United have signed a dependable and top quality No. 1 for the next five years at least.
ORIOL ROMEU €8m ($9m)
Girona: B Barcelona: B
It’s a decent amount of money for a 31-year-old and Girona also get Barca midfielder Pablo Torre, 20, on a season-long loan as part of the deal.
Romeu returns to the club where he spent seven years as a youth-team player before moving to Chelsea in 2011. Make no mistake, if Barca had any money at all they would have looked elsewhere, but the need to fill the defensive midfield vacancy left by Sergio Busquets, coupled with his fine performances with Girona last season and his knowledge of the club, made it happen.
Napoli: A- Bayern: B+
One of the best defenders in Serie A last season as Napoli ended their long wait for the Scudetto, Kim was signed from Fenerbahce for €18m a year ago. Napoli wanted his €50m release clause and they got it.
Bayern love to spend big on a centre-back. Having splashed out on Lucas Hernandez (€80m), Dayot Upamecano (€42m) and Matthijs de Ligt (€77m) in recent years, the German champions have done it again. Kim will replace Hernandez, who is likely to move to PSG, so it’s a decent move.
Inter Miami: A+
The MLS secondary window opened on July 5, and Messi was finally announced as an Inter Miami player weeks later. It seems incredible, but the 36-year-old GOAT made it clear why he didn’t want to return to Barcelona or head to Saudi Arabia after leaving PSG this summer. America is a new challenge and one he will relish. It was a complex deal to pull off, but David Beckham-owned Miami did it, with a little help!
Inter Miami: A-
Not content with just signing Messi, the MLS side also bagged his former Barcelona teammate Busquets, 34. He negotiated with Saudi sides Al Nassr and Al Hilal but had always wanted to play in the United States. A rare breed of midfielder, Miami won’t see the best of him at his age, but he should still show his class.
Laurens: Declan Rice takes Arsenal to the next level
Julien Laurens explains why Declan Rice was Mikel Arteta’s #1 transfer target this summer.
West Ham: A+ Arsenal: A
Arsenal offered £75m plus £15m add-ons. West Ham said they wanted £100m up front. Man City bid £80m plus £10m add-ons. West Ham said they wanted £100m. Fair play. They got the price they wanted. They’ll miss Rice, but £100m goes a long way to adding depth to their squad and they kept their word in letting him go.
Arsenal had to spend big to land their top target, and they did (plus another £5m in add-ons). Rice, 24, is a player who can do everything in midfield and will only get better. It’s a super deal.
Ajax: B+ Arsenal: B+
As usual, Ajax take a youngster and turn him into a superstar. It’s pure profit on the deal, and while the club will lose one of their best players, they are used to dealing with this. Ajax held out for a bigger fee and they got it, plus a potential €5m in add-ons.
Timber is not the tallest defender (at 5-foot-10), but he’s quick and versatile enough to cover a number of positions. Squad depth is key for the Gunners, and his signing will help them a lot.
Chelsea: C- AC Milan: B+
Signing the U.S. international for €62m in 2019, it’s clear Chelsea would have expected more, and they’ve taken a big loss. The move to London didn’t work out for him. Still, even though the club are targeting younger players now, he could have brought some valuable experience if he had stayed and extended his contract.
Milan were able to negotiate down from Chelsea’s demands for €25m (although they could pay an extra €2m in add-ons) and have landed a 24-year-old who can make a difference in the final third. He won’t be able to play on his favoured left wing, given Rafael Leao is there, but he can do well as either a No. 10 or a right winger in Serie A.
Laurens: Declan Rice takes Arsenal to the next level
Julien Laurens explains why Declan Rice was Mikel Arteta’s #1 transfer target this summer.
Lazio: C- Al- Hilal: A+
The Serbia midfielder has been linked with a move away from Lazio every single year for ages, but the club always wanted at least €100m. They did not get that, as his contract was expiring next summer, but they will regret not accepting one of the many offers they’ve had.
The likes of Arsenal, PSG, Juventus, Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked with Milinkovic-Savic recently, so Al-Hilal have done incredibly well to persuade him to move to Saudi Arabia. He’s 28, so is still in his prime. This transfer came out of the blue and is a real statement.
Bayern: C+ PSG: B
An €80m signing from Atletico in 2019, Hernandez is being allowed to leave for just over half that amount. His injury history and the fact his contract expired in 2024 played a part, but Bayern could have managed things better. Though they have agreed to sign his replacement, Kim Min-Jae, already.
PSG’s fans might not be too pleased, given his links to rivals Marseille, but Hernandez should strengthen the side. If he can stay fit then his versatility will certainly help them; if not, it’s a big-money gamble.
Sporting CP: A PSG: A-
Ugarte signed for Sporting for €6.5m (for half of his economic rights) in 2021, and he’s gone on to repay that tenfold. The club did what they do best, which is to sign a young player and move him on a few years later for a massive profit. He had a €60m release clause, so they got what they wanted.
A tough defensive midfielder who impressed for Uruguay at the World Cup, Ugarte is exactly what PSG need. A ball winner who can hold on to possession and pick a pass, he has plenty of potential to develop. The French champions may have overpaid, but he’s an exciting talent.
FC Augsburg: C PSV Eindhoven: B
This was a bad move by Augsburg, who landed Pepi for €16m in January 2022 and, when he didn’t impress, then sent him on loan to FC Groningen where he scored 13 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions last season. They took a gamble and had to let him go for less.
For PSV, the gamble is still there. But the USMNT striker has already shown he can score in the Eredivisie and at 20 years old has time on his side. It’s not a huge fee, so they they aren’t taking too much of a risk.
Fenerbahce: D Real Madrid: B+
You don’t let one of the best young players to come through the academy leave for such a low fee. The fact it was a release clause suggests that the Turkish side didn’t consider that big clubs might come in for him so soon. Big mistake.
A possible generational talent, if you believe the hype. It will be a steep learning curve for the 18-year-old midfielder, but Guler seems to be worth the trouble. It’s not a massive outlay, and the rewards for Madrid could be huge if he delivers on his potential.
Real Madrid: D+ PSG: A
Once considered the future of Real Madrid, Asensio’s stock has dropped in recent years and he decided to leave in search of more regular first-team football. But he still played 51 times last season, scoring 12 times, so will be missed. And Madrid shouldn’t allow a player of his class to leave for nothing.
Another great move for PSG as they took advantage of his contract situation to snap the 27-year-old up for free. He’s not a replacement for Lionel Messi, but will contribute plenty to the cause and is still yet to reach his full potential.
Inter Milan: D PSG: A-
Inter didn’t want him to leave and they don’t get a transfer fee to ease their financial issues, so it’s a bad grade given they spent around €20m bringing him in from Sampdoria in 2017. The only thing in their favour is that he suffered with injuries last season.
Gosh PSG are good at landing players on free transfers. Skriniar is a fine defender and will add some great depth if he can stay fit.
Pulisic reveals pride in Italian roots after AC Milan transfer
Christian Pulisic opens up about how proud his grandmother would have been of him after signing for AC Milan.
Chelsea: B Man United: A
Chelsea wanted at least £70m, so they have compromised in order to get a deal done and help balance the books, but £55m is still a large amount for a player whose contract expires in a year. Still, he joined Chelsea as a six-year-old so this departure will hurt.
A great move for United as the England international’s versatility will boost their attack no end. At 24, Mount has the quality to add depth and can provide rotation options alongside Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes in midfield.
AC Milan: C+ Newcastle: A
For an initial outlay of €25m in signing him from Brescia in 2021, Milan have made a huge profit in moving on the 23-year-old. It feels slightly odd as he seemed destined to become a club legend and the fans are upset, but money talks.
Newcastle have landed themselves one of the top young midfielders in Europe. Tonali has plenty of time to develop and will relish playing in the Premier League. A statement signing to kick off the new season!
RB Leipzig: A Liverpool: A-
Leipzig continue to own the transfer market as they signed Szoboszlai for €20m in 2020 and have made a huge profit. They will miss him, but you get the feeling that they have another youngster ready to step in.
Liverpool paid the Hungary captain’s release clause and it is a lot of money. But he’s capable of playing in a number of positions across the forward line, is 22 years old, and is a set-piece specialist. If he can steer clear of injury then he will improve the side a lot.
How Jude Bellingham makes Real Madrid ‘play more comfortable’
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti speaks on Jude Bellingham’s LaLiga debut and Éder Militão’s injury as Los Blancos win at Athletic Bilbao.
Dortmund: C+ Real Madrid: A+
OK, Dortmund signed him for €30m and have made a huge profit in three years as he has become one of the best midfielders around. But the fee still seems on the small side for a 19-year-old with such potential. A 30% add-on clause makes the total outlay only €134m, which puts him fifth in the all-time list. Dortmund surely could have got at least a baseline fee of around €120m, with add-ons up to €150m.
A wonderful deal for Madrid, who beat out Man City, Liverpool and every other top club in Europe. Their midfield is set up for the next decade, and they’ve landed a generational talent who will surely become a world star in LaLiga.
RB Leipzig: B+ Chelsea: A-
Leipzig did what they do best: sign a player for a cheap fee and move them on for a huge profit. Nkunku reportedly had a release clause in his contract, so that’s the fee Leipzig got. But they signed him for a mere €13m from PSG in 2019 and turned him into a superstar.
Nkunku is not the No. 9 striker that Chelsea sorely need, but he is a fine operator up front who can fill a number of positions. His 23 goals in 36 games last season show he can hit the back of the net and he’s a more than capable replacement for Kai Havertz if he departs for Arsenal. Though this deal was agreed on as early as last September.
PEDRO PORRO €45m (£39.5m, $48.7m)
Sporting CP: A Tottenham: B+
Sporting triggered Porro’s release clause of €8.5m after a two-year loan from Man City last summer and have now made a huge profit, as they held out for his new release clause of €45m. It’s classic good business from one of the best clubs in the transfer market.
Tottenham have spent big to sign the 23-year-old right-wing-back, having had him on loan since January, but a bit more forward planning could have seen them avoid such a big outlay. Still, he impressed as the season wore on and he should do well under Ange Postecoglou.
FC Salzburg: B RB Leipzig: A-
Salzburg are a feeder club; they sign young talent, then move them to Leipzig for a bigger fee when they impress. Sesko’s 18 goals in 41 games have shown what the teenage striker is capable of and he has the potential to go far.
Leipzig ensured they had this deal wrapped up last year, as Man United and others were sniffing around. It’s a good move and the 20-year-old should settle well given the similarities between the two clubs.
Lille: B Juventus: B-
Weah joined Lille from Paris Saint-Germain for €10m in June 2019 and contributed eight goals and eight assists in 107 games. Not a stellar record, but at least they made a minor profit on the deal.
There will be high expectations in Italy for the United States winger, who is a son of AC Milan legend George Weah. But he’s unlikely to have the same impact as Angel Di Maria, the man he is replacing.
Espanyol: D- Real Madrid: A
For some reason Espanyol included a clause in Joselu’s contract that allowed him to move on loan to another club if they were relegated. Then they were relegated. Now they’ve lost their top scorer and have no transfer fee to compensate for his departure.
The 33-year-old striker played for Real Madrid Castilla from 2010 to 2012, so this is a dream move for him. Having scored 16 times in LaLiga last season, he will help fill the void left by the departures of Mariano and Karim Benzema without any financial outlay. A great deal for a man in form, and Madrid have an option to make it permanent.
Al Ittihad: A+
Wow. Nobody expected the 35-year-old Benzema to leave Real Madrid on a free transfer and head to Saudi Arabia. But money talks, and his two-year deal worth €400m was clearly a major factor. Cristiano Ronaldo moving to the league at 37 was one thing, but Benzema is the Ballon d’Or holder. This is huge!
Al Ittihad: A-
With wages around the €100m-a-year range, it’s easy to see why Kante chose to move to Saudi Arabia. The 32-year-old’s career has been blighted by injury in recent years and he hasn’t been the force he once was in midfield, so the club aren’t getting a player in his prime. Chelsea offered him a new deal, but Al Ittihad’s money made the difference. You just have to wonder what one of the most down to earth people on the planet is going to spend it on.
Why it made sense for Gundogan to leave Man City for Barcelona
Julien Laurens and Nedum Onuoha discuss Ilkay Gundogan’s decision to join Barcelona on a free transfer.
Man City are foolish to let Gundogan, their captain and leader, leave for nothing. Just look at the impact he had from midfield, scoring crucial goals in the final weeks of the season to help them win the treble. Barcelona need goals and experience from the centre of the pitch, and right now there are few better players in that position in world football. Yes, he’s 32, but the Germany international will have a big impact in LaLiga over the next few years and will strengthen the Barca dressing room too.
Inter Milan: B+
Poor from Gladbach to let one of their top stars depart for nothing, but Inter snapped him up, and they should be pleased. The 25-year-old has scored 44 goals and registered 29 assists in 134 appearances, so he knows how to make an impact in the final third, and his versatility will come in handy for sure.
Aston Villa: B+
Given the number of top clubs linked with the Belgium international as soon as Leicester went down, Villa have done very well to snap him up. At 26, Tielemans still has some development potential and was one of Leicester’s best players before he struggled this season. Villa are a good club for him to continue his career.
Villarreal: A- Chelsea: B+
With 12 goals from 26 games in his breakthrough season in LaLiga, Jackson has quickly risen to prominence. Villarreal can be pleased with the fee for the 22-year-old Senegal international and can use it to rebuild.
Chelsea have been looking for a No. 9 striker, and now they have one who can hold up the ball and run in behind defenders. He is still learning the game, so don’t expect fireworks immediately, but the Blues are used to gambling on potential.
Chelsea: A- Arsenal: B
Chelsea have all but made their money back on the fee they paid Leverkusen to sign Havertz in 2020. That’s pretty good business considering they have already signed his replacement in Christopher Nkunku for €60m.
This one is tough. On the face of it, Arsenal’s need for a player like Havertz isn’t clear. He’s not really a striker, and the Gunners have plenty of quality attacking midfielders already. But coach Mikel Arteta clearly has a plan, and the Germany international’s versatility will help. Still, it’s an awful lot of money (plus another £5m in add-ons) to spend on a guy with just 32 goals in 139 games.
Leicester: B Tottenham: A-
His 10 goals and nine assists from 30 games last season, despite Leicester’s relegation, marked him out as one of the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League. But Leicester could have picked up an extra £10m if they’d let him join Newcastle a year ago.
It’s a fair transfer fee for the 26-year-old England international, who can offer a lot going forward. His style of play should be a good fit under manager Ange Postecoglou, and he can hit the ground running.
Chelsea: C- Man City: A
Chelsea were forced to accept a lower fee in order to get the deal done by June 30 and therefore make it count towards the first full tax year and help comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules. Otherwise they’d have held out for £35m or more. The Blues have lost a quality player on the cheap.
City have done well to snap him up for £25m, with another £5m possible in add-ons. The Croatia international is experienced, at 29, and has the quality to bolster Pep Guardiola’s squad depth. A solid replacement for Gundogan.
Chelsea: D+ Al Hilal: B+
Chelsea spent £32m to sign the Senegal international from Napoli last summer, and it didn’t work out. The 32-year-old was brought in as a replacement for Antonio Rudiger but struggled as the Blues suffered their worst season since 1994. They had to take a massive loss to move him on and were lucky to find a Saudi suitor.
Koulibaly will be a class addition to the backline and should have no trouble dealing with the quality of opposition he’ll face on a weekly basis, but you can’t help feel that Al Hilal could have spent their money elsewhere. He’s not going to sell many tickets but should help them keep clean sheets.
Wolves: A+ Al Hilal: A
Given that it was clear Neves was going to depart, Wolves did incredible business by persuading the Saudi club to shell out £47m. There’s no chance any club in Europe (especially not Barcelona, who were most linked) would have paid even half that.
At 26, Neves represents a different age of player to be tempted by the Saudi millions. It’s not quite a coup of the level of Bernardo Silva (if a club manages to pull that off) but the Portugal international is a quality player and is young enough to run the show for years.
Robson: Mac Allister can do everything in Liverpool’s midfield
Stewart Robson explains why Alexis Mac Allister’s move to Liverpool is a win for all involved.
Brighton: C- Liverpool: B+
If you believed a lot of the reports after the World Cup, Brighton weren’t going to let the Argentina midfielder depart for less than £80m. However, it appears he had a release clause in his contract. Though Brighton may net another £20m in add-ons, it’s a very cheap way to lose one of their best players.
Liverpool have netted themselves a bargain and can rebuild their midfield with Mac Allister. The 24-year-old was one of the best midfielders in the Premier League last season and should bring a lot to Jurgen Klopp’s side with his passing, creativity and pressing.
Watford: B- Brighton: B
The Brazilian forward scored 11 goals in 35 Championship games last season, but it wasn’t enough to help Watford to promotion. Could the club have held out for more money from a side like Newcastle? Possibly. But Watford needed to let him go.
Brighton are transfer market gurus, so when they make a move it usually works out. This time, though, they have splashed out a club-record fee. The 21-year-old is certainly an exciting prospect and his transfer could be worth twice that amount in a couple of years if he succeeds on the south coast.
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Rob Dawson, CorrespondentAug 11, 2023, 11:26 PM
BURNLEY, England — New season, same old Erling Haaland.
Pep Guardiola spent the week before Manchester City’s game at Burnley trying to lower expectations for how the treble winners might start the new campaign, but Haaland clearly doesn’t watch his manager’s pre-match news conferences. It took the Norwegian striker just four minutes to score his first goal on the Premier League’s opening night, and by the time he walked off at half-time he had two. He was substituted 10 minutes from time with the game over at 3-0 and his job done.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)
Haaland has now scored opening day braces in each of his last four seasons — twice for Borussia Dortmund and twice for City — so it really shouldn’t be a surprise. You’d think people would learn not to write him off after drawing a blank in the Community Shield.
“It was deja vu,” said Guardiola afterwards. “Last season against Liverpool [in the Community Shield] he didn’t score and then against West Ham [in the first league game] he scored two goals. Today was quite similar.”
Listening to Guardiola speak at the CFA on Thursday, he gave the impression his team were underprepared and undercooked ahead of the trip to Turf Moor, but City are still the team to beat and Haaland is still the most dangerous centre-forward in the league. He scored 52 in 54 games last season — 36 in 35 games in the Premier League — and on this evidence, you wouldn’t put it past him to better it this time. Guardiola says it’s “impossible” but you wouldn’t bet against City repeating the treble, either. There’s a reason they’re already favourites to win everything.
“To come here to a promoted side is always so tricky,” said Guardiola. “The first game against a newly promoted team will always be difficult. They give everything but we were fortunate to find a goal so quick. We started well. We found a goal, we struggled a bit after. We gave away balls, our pass created problems but after a while we played much, much better.”
It wasn’t a night when everything went City’s way. Defender Rúben Dias was ruled out with concussion and Kevin De Bruyne was forced off midway through the first half with an injury, but a dangerous game against a newly-promoted side in front of their home fans was navigated with minimal fuss. Josko Gvardiol, the second most expensive defender in the world after his €90m ($98m) move from RB Leipzig, was only needed for the final 12 minutes.
Burnley, whose substitute Anass Zaroury was sent off in stoppage time, had their moments and there was enough there to suggest Vincent Kompany’s side have every chance of staying in the division. With an average age of 23 years and 206 days, Burnley fielded the youngest ever starting XI in Premier League history which also included five new signings, and the hope will be that they will grow into the challenge of turning Championship dominance into top-flight survival. Kompany will be disappointed to concede from two set pieces but few teams, regardless of experience, can live with the ruthlessness of Haaland.
After 35 minutes, the Norwegian had touched the ball nine times and scored twice. His second was a thing of beauty, whipping his finish into the top corner with his left foot from a standing start. Haaland will score plenty more this season, but he might not get a better one than that. You could tell by the smirk on his face as he celebrated that he liked it.
It wasn’t enough to completely please Guardiola, though, who was involved in a heated discussion with his No.9 as they walked off at half-time and a television camera which got too close was pushed away by the City manager.
“Erling wanted the ball immediately and Bernardo [Silva] didn’t give it,” explained Guardiola. I understand Erling, he wants the ball, but Bernardo made the right decision.” Guardiola was happier at full-time, having seen Rodri score from close range in the second half to make the game safe. “We are still away from the best form,” he added.
“We have to try not to drop points in this period and how you solve this lack of preparation was the mentality. The first games are so important to see how our vibes are.”
The worry for the rest of the league is that this is usually the time when City are at their most vulnerable. A team conditioned to finish the season strongly rather than lead from the front, they dropped seven points in their first 10 games last season — the same number as they dropped in their final 17 games and even that included a draw and a defeat when the title had already been won.
Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium on Aug. 19 will be a better gauge of where City are at, but this was an ominous start for the champions and their star striker.
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Tom Hamilton, Senior WriterAug 3, 2023, 03:00 PM
BRISBANE, Australia — When the final whistle blew, Germany’s players looked at one another, turned to the bench and hoped for a miracle. But there wasn’t one coming from the Morocco match in Perth, no late equaliser from Colombia to save them.
The realisation started to ebb through that their Women’s World Cup had finished at the group stage for the first time in their history. A team that came to Australia with the billing as one of the favourites crashed at the first hurdle in a group they were expected to breeze through.
As players sunk to their knees, lay down on the pitch or stayed rigidly still, the loudspeaker in the stadium announced Germany striker Alexandra Popp as Player of the Match. She shook her head ruefully as the camera panned to her. The tears had already started elsewhere at that point. Some still stood still, having not moved an inch since the whistle blew.
Coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg moved among the stricken players. They eventually formed a huddle, players moving there, heads bowed. There were few words. The manager said thank you to the players for the effort they put into the match; said they had to stick together amid the criticism they’ll receive.
It wasn’t meant to be like this. Germany started the tournament with ruthless efficiency, beating Morocco 6-0. They were living up to their favourites tag, putting down a marker to the chasing pack: they had built from reaching the Euro 2022 final last year and were ready to take down the World Cup.
They had issues. They came to the World Cup without star right-back Giulia Gwinn and lost Carolin Simon to a serious injury in their friendly against Zambia. Marina Hegering came into the tournament injured and then Felicitas Rauch was injured in training before Colombia. They ended up playing forward Svenja Huth at right-back, and the Rauch injury meant Sara Doorsoun had to start in the middle against Colombia, with midfielder Chantal Hagel filling in at left-back. The fix didn’t work, Colombia flooding the wings and defeating Germany 2-1 thanks to a 97th minute winner.
And despite Hederling returning to the heart of defence for the South Korea match, they had to deal with another injury with Doorsoun picking up a knock late against Colombia. The rejig robbed them of any stability and South Korea pounced on that uncertainty, scoring after just six minutes as one through ball bisected the scrambled defence and gave So-Hyun Cho a chance to score. The defensive uncertainty was something South Korea manager Colin Bell had targeted. Talking about Huth and Hagel, he said: “They’re not full-backs, they haven’t got the schooling of full-backs so it was right to target those areas. They’re very good players, but they’re not full-backs.”
Germany eventually equalised in the 42nd minute and in the second half Popp had a goal disallowed for offside; she also planted a header on the bar as frustration grew. Goalkeeper Merle Frohms said they found out the gravity of their situation in the 85th minute — when the bench pulled the emergency lever and told the players they had to scramble to find a winner. But their disjointed nature was showcased in the statistics of the final 10 minutes of normal time where South Korea dominated possession (60%, compared to Germany’s 29%.)
Germany had two half chances late on with Sydney Lohmann shooting wide and then blasting over, but there was no late rally, no goal to keep them in the World Cup and no answers. “We showed strong desire and grit to go for a goal but somehow it just didn’t want to go in,” Popp said afterwards.
In her news conference, Voss-Tecklenburg didn’t provide answers to why their World Cup had capitulated. As she faced the media, she repeatedly said she wasn’t looking for excuses. “Please don’t think I’ll provide you with analysis on the future and where we’ll work heading forward,” she said. “Maybe we lacked precision, maybe we tried to force things, but there was a feeling of something missing. Of course, I’m disappointed and I’m also frustrated because we were expecting more of us and that’s very clear.
“You can look it critically that we used them as fullbacks but some input we’ll accept and we’ll think about alternatives, but again I don’t want to look for excuses — we created the formation in the way we thought best and if the result isn’t what we want, you have to accept that responsibility.”
Now comes the post-mortem, and the players are ready for the criticism. “We have to face that, and live with it,” star midfielder Lena Oberdorf said.
It compounds a miserable year for Germany’s football teams. The men failed to get out of the group in the Qatar World Cup. The men’s Under-21s, champions in 2021, finished bottom of their group in the 2023 Euros in July. The two Women’s World Cup winning stars from 2003, 2007 were there illuminating Voss-Tecklenburg’s blazer as she was asked about the nation’s miserable footballing year. “If you want to see it as a disaster in terms of sports, it’s hard to argue against it. What it’s about is to rise again and not give up,” she said. “We love this sport. We need to let it sleep on it and work with what happened.”
The Germany team will return to their hotel on Thursday night. Voss-Tecklenburg is expecting some of the team to seek solace in group company, others to kick the door down, but each will deal with this differently. That’s the bizarre nature of these moments where the narrative is ripped up.
The team, together at least, never spoke of this eventuality where their fate would be intertwined with a shock Morocco win over Colombia. They didn’t let thoughts of various permutations cloud their own resolute confidence, believing they’d get the job done. But a wounded South Korea were looking to finish with something after losing their first two matches and football is merciless. Ji So-yun’s reunion with her old Chelsea teammates Ann-Katrin Berger and Melanie Leupolz wasn’t as it was planned to be. “We should’ve got through together,” Ji told ESPN afterward. “It’s a real shame. I felt so sorry for them. We had to play our best.”
Both teams now head home; Colombia and Morocco progressing. The German management will do their own post-mortem while the rest of the footballing world wonders and opines on where things went wrong.
“We do need a little bit of time now to process what has happened and to be able to find some confidence again,” Popp said. “At this stage, we know that our squad is good but during those two games, we were not optimal. But I have no answers at this stage.” But for now, Germany became the latest big team to fall in this tournament where reputation on the international stage means nothing.
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جف کارلایل، خبرنگار فوتبال ایالات متحده22 ژوئیه 2023، 10:12 ب.ظ
اوکلند، نیوزلند — تیم ملی فوتبال زنان نیوزیلند پس از اینکه شنبه شب مجبور شد به طور موقت از هتل خود به دلیل آتش سوزی تخلیه شود، سالم است.
فوتبال نیوزلند در بیانیهای اعلام کرد: «میتواند تأیید کند که تیم و کارکنان Football Ferns بهدلیل آتشسوزی از هتل پولمن، پایگاه تیمهای آنها برای جام جهانی فوتبال زنان، بهطور موقت تخلیه شدهاند.
همه اعضای تیم و کارکنان در امنیت هستند و مورد توجه قرار می گیرند.
یک سخنگوی آتش نشانی و اورژانس NZ به ESPN تأیید کرد که حدود ساعت 8 بعد از ظهر روز شنبه، به دلیل فعال شدن زنگ خطر آتش سوزی، خدمه اورژانس از جمله هشت کامیون به هتل پولمن فراخوانده شدند و مهمانان مجبور به تخلیه شدند. آتش خاموش شده و کنترل هتل به کارکنان هتل بازگردانده شده است.
پلیس نیوزیلند در بیانیه ای اعلام کرد که یک مرد 34 ساله در ارتباط با این آتش سوزی دستگیر شده است.
پلیس گفت: «در پی آتشسوزی مشکوک در یک محل در واترلو کواد، اوکلند سنترال دیشب، مردی دستگیر شد. این مرد 34 ساله به دزدی و آتشسوزی متهم شده است و قرار است روز دوشنبه در دادگاه منطقه اوکلند حاضر شود.
سخنگوی خدمات آمبولانس هاتو هان سنت جان به ESPN تأیید کرد که دو آمبولانس به محل حادثه اعزام شدند و چهار نفر به دلیل استنشاق دود تحت درمان قرار گرفتند، اما نیازی به انتقال به بیمارستان نداشتند زیرا در “وضعیت متوسط” بودند.
هشت تیم در حال حاضر در اوکلند در طول مسابقات حضور دارند: نیوزلند، ایالات متحده آمریکا، ویتنام، آرژانتین، نروژ، فیلیپین، پرتغال و ایتالیا.
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ترینیتی رادمن، مهاجم تیم ملی زنان ایالات متحده گفت که قهرمانان فعلی جهان “بی رحم” هستند و انتظار دارند که تابستان امسال برای سومین بار متوالی قهرمان جام جهانی شوند.
این بازیکن 21 ساله هر دو گل را به ثمر رساند، زیرا USWNT در آخرین ترکیب تیم قبل از شروع مسابقات، در بازی دوستانه 2-0 بر ولز پیروز شد.
– پخش جریانی در ESPN+: لالیگا، بوندسلیگا، بیشتر (ایالات متحده) – براکت و برنامه مسابقات جام جهانی زنان
رادمن در اولین جام جهانی خود که برای سال 2023 در استرالیا و نیوزلند برگزار می شود شرکت خواهد کرد و گفت مطمئن است که این تیم می تواند سومین عنوان قهرمانی متوالی را کسب کند.
او به Futbol Americas از ESPN گفت: “انتظارات من این است که ما بی رحم ترین تیم هستیم، هرگز تسلیم نخواهیم شد و به عنوان قهرمانی دست خواهیم یافت.”
“بدیهی است که تیم در طول دو جام جهانی گذشته، حتی در چند ماه گذشته، بسیار تغییر کرده است، اما این تیم چیز خاصی است. ما بیشتر از همیشه آن را می خواهیم، بنابراین من انتظار مدال طلا را دارم.”
قهرمان پیاپی جام جهانی در گروه E برای این مسابقات که از 20 جولای آغاز می شود به مصاف هلند، پرتغال و ویتنام می رود.
رادمن همچنین گفت که نباید انتظار داشت که USWNT در جام جهانی علیرغم موفقیتهای قبلیاش در حال گذر از جام جهانی باشد.
او گفت: “من فکر می کنم با این تیم همه انتظار موفقیت را دارند که مشخصا بر اساس گذشته است.” “اما تعداد زیادی بازیکنان جدید و ارتباطات زیادی وجود دارند که باید برای بازی اول ایجاد شوند، بنابراین فقط فشار خوب انجام دادن است. خیلی سخت تر از آن چیزی است که مردم فکر می کنند.”
– رادمن در حمله برای جام جهانی ظاهر جدیدی به USWNT می دهد
“[People think:] شما بچه ها باید این تیم ها را نابود کنید یا باید برنده شوید، و این خیلی سخت تر از این است. فکر میکنم تنوع و تغییر برای من سخت بوده است، اما صادقانه بگویم، این اولین جام جهانی من است، بنابراین ممکن است انتظارات کمتری از من وجود داشته باشد زیرا هرگز در این موقعیت نبودهام.”
رادمن دختر دنیس رادمن، ستاره سابق NBA است، اما تکرار کرد که می خواهد میراث خود را در دنیای ورزش ایجاد کند.
او افزود: “پدر من در طول حرفه خود اشتباهات زیادی مرتکب شد. نمی خواهم بگویم کودک وحشی است، اما او چنین بود.” “من فکر می کنم زنی که از نام رادمن گرفته شده است، از میراث NBA دنیس رادمن، مهم بود. [that] من نمی خواستم نظرات او فقط به این دلیل اینجا باشد.
“او فقط به این دلیل اینجاست که پتانسیلی در نام خانوادگی وجود دارد. این همیشه برای من مهم بوده و خواهد بود، اما در پایان روز، من میخواهم نام “ترینیتی رادمن” باشد و او خودش آن را به دست آورده است، نه به این دلیل که او این نام خانوادگی را دارد، اما به این دلیل که او راه خود را به دست آورده است.”