هات بت : Xabi Alonso focused despite Liverpool, Bayern Munich links

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Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso would not be drawn on reports linking him with a potential move to the Premier League or Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich, saying on Thursday he had nothing new to add.

The Spanish coach has a contract with Leverkusen until 2026, and his team are top of the Bundesliga, eight points clear of champions Bayern, who on Wednesday said they would part ways with coach Thomas Tuchel at the end of the season.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Leverkusen are unbeaten across all competitions this season as they eye their first ever Bundesliga title that would end 11 years of uninterrupted Bayern dominance in the league.

Tuchel’s end-of-the-season departure from Bayern has fanned speculation regarding Alonso possibly succeeding him, with the Leverkusen boss having played for the Bavarian giants from 2014-17.

“Maybe you have questions about my future but I have nothing new to say about that. I wanted to say that in advance,” Alonso told a press conference.

The 42-year-old has also been linked with a possible move to Liverpool with coach Jurgen Klopp stepping down at the end of the season. Alonso also had a successful spell at Liverpool from 2004-2009, and Klopp described him as the “standout” manager of his generation last week.

“For me this [speculation] is not a problem,” he said. “I know that my goal is to be successful with my team. That is my job. We are currently in a good position and we want to keep at it.

“It is normal to have questions but it is not an issue for me.”

Asked whether he would be coach of Leverkusen next season as well, Alonso said: “That is what I assume.”

Leverkusen host Mainz on Friday.

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هات بت : Thomas Tuchel vows to stay at Bayern Munich, gets CEO’s support

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Thomas Tuchel has insisted he can fix the issues at Bayern Munich despite seeing his team lose their third consecutive competitive game for the first time since May 2015 on Sunday.

Bayern were beaten 3-2 at VfL Bochum to increase the pressure on the German manager, who was already under fire after last weekend’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Bayern are now eight points behind unbeaten Leverkusen after 22 games of the Bundesliga campaign.

“If you ask me, if I firmly still believe me and coaching staff can turn things around — yes,” Tuchel said after the defeat to Bochum.

“Growing pressure? That happens after every defeat. But today we never stopped, never stopped trying.”

Tuchel can take comfort from the comments made by Bayern’s CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen after the game when asked whether the 2021 Champions League winner would remain in charge for the team’s next game against RB Leipzig.

“Of course,” Dreesen said. “I am not a fan of monstrous coach-backing statements — they usually run out after a week.

“But this [Tuchel’s future] is not an issue we are dealing with at the moment. We have to focus on our next matches.”

Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka compared Bayern’s run of losses — to Leverkusen, Lazio in the Champions League and now Bochum — to a scary film.

“It feels like a horror movie that is not ending. Everything is going against us at the moment.” he said.

“We can again sit here and say we started well. But now you feel stupid to limit yourself to half an hour. In the end we tried everything, so you can’t blame us.”

Bayern’s defeat to Bochum was temporarily halted by fan protests against a proposed deal to sell a future stake in the league to a private equity investor.

“That interruption threw us off our rhythm. Today it was a win of mentality over quality,” Dreesen said.

“If we play this game five more times, we win it five times,” Tuchel added. “I don’t blame the players today.”

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.

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هات بت : Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Real Sociedad (14 Feb, 2024) Game Analysis

Manchester City 1-2 Atletico Madrid (30 Jul, 2023) Game Analysis


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Second half goals from Kylian Mbappe and Bradley Barcola secured Paris Saint-Germain a hard-fought 2-0 win over visitors Real Sociedad in the first-leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Wednesday.

Sociedad, who arrived at the Parc des Princes unbeaten in this year’s competition after topping Group D, were arguably the better side until Mbappe fired home a volley after he pounced onto Marquinhos’ corner to give PSG the lead in the 58th minute.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Three minutes later, Barcola extended PSG’s lead as he nudged the ball through the legs of the goalkeeper Alex Remiro.

Kylian Mbappe was on target again for PSG.

Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images


Mbappe’s goal was his 10th straight at home in the Champions League, as he became the first player to achieve the feat. 

The return leg in Spain is on March 5.

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هات بت : Man United launch new Stone Roses-inspired jersey, collection

Man United launch new Stone Roses-inspired jersey, collection


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Manchester United have released a special collection of apparel inspired by one of the city’s most famous and revered musical heroes, the Stone Roses.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga & more (U.S.)

With designs inspired by the paint-splattered artwork that adorned the legendary Mancunian band’s eponymous debut album, the retro-infused collection includes various items of pre-match and warm-up kit, T-shirts, tracksuits, and of course, the obligatory bucket hat.

The artwork was originally created by Stone Roses guitarist John Squire, who formed the band along with frontman and vocalist Ian Brown in the early 1980s.

They later became a staple of the “Madchester” scene following the release of their first album in 1989 and have had a major influence on countless bands and artists ever since.

United have also marked the release of its Roses Are Red collection with a short film that features a small cast of fans and Reds past and present including Alejandro Garnacho, Marcus Rashford, and Gary Neville.


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هات بت : After overpowering South Korea, Jordan could just pull off the biggest Asian Cup fairy tale

After overpowering South Korea, Jordan could just pull off the biggest Asian Cup fairy tale


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It was not just about Jordan beating South Korea to reach a maiden AFC Asian Cup final.

It was the fact they completely outplayed their more-illustrious opponents who just happen to be two-time champions, traditional powerhouses of the continent, and ranked 23rd in the world.

While many would have been expecting a smash-and-grab job to be Jordan’s best chance of beating South Korea on Tuesday, this was anything but.

The hunger and endeavour were never going to be in doubt. That comes with the territory of being the underdogs.

But Jordan were far more fluid, composed, incisive and decisive, as they claimed a 2-0 win for the ages — courtesy of second-half goals by Yazan Al-Naimat and Musa Al-Taamari — to keep their fairy tale alive.

Perhaps, in the knowledge that South Korea have made a habit of starting matches tepidly at this tournament, the game plan for Jordan was to bring the heat early on — and it worked a treat as they gained the ascendancy from the opening whistle.

Still, as much as the South Koreans have tended to allow their opponents to fire away first in recent outings, they had not shot themselves in the foot like they did on Tuesday.

Having already been wasteful in possession on numerous occasions in the first half, Park Yong-Woo produced another sloppy piece of play eight minutes after the restart – attempting a medium-range ground pass that just did not have enough pace.

It forced Kim Young-Gwon into having to wait for the ball to arrive.

In a blink of an eye, the ball was long gone as Al-Taamari nipped in to win possession before sliding through an incisive pass for Al-Naimat to run onto and finish over the onrushing Jo Hyeon-woo.

13 minutes later, Al-Taamari would cause damage once again — this time without the need for any assistance, as he embarked on a jinking run from the left to the edge of the box before expertly dispatching a shot past Jo’s despairing dive.

From that point on, Jordan never looked like relinquishing their place in Saturday’s final even in spite of South Korea’s newfound reputation of comeback kings.

In fact, it was a sign of how desperate things were getting for the Taegeuk Warriors when Cho Gue-Sung broke into the opposition area late on but — after having an avenue to goal blocked by some resolute last-ditch defending — attempted to win a penalty with one of the most ridiculous dives ever.

South Korea knew. They were up against — and about to be eliminated — by an opposition that was simply superior.

And, for the most part of their campaign, Jordan have indeed been the superior team in every game.

Yet, their reputation means it is unlikely they will be the favourites come the final regardless of whether it is three-time winners Iran or hosts and defending champions Qatar who they are up against.

Still, either of those two teams only have to look at Tuesday’s display to know that the Jordanians should not be taken lightly.

Having never made it past the quarterfinals previously, this tournament has already served up a dream run for Jordan.

If they play like they did against the South Koreans, there is no reason why there cannot still be one final chapter to be written — to complete the biggest fairy tale in Asian Cup history.

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هات بت : Haaland happy at Man City amid Real Madrid links – Guardiola

Haaland happy at Man City amid Real Madrid links - Guardiola


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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has rubbished suggestions Erling Haaland is unhappy at the club.

Haaland has been the subject of reports in Spain which have suggested the striker wants to end his stay at the Etihad Stadium because he dislikes Manchester and the weather in the city and secure a summer move to Real Madrid.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

But Guardiola believes the 23-year-old, who has returned to the team following two months out with a foot injury, is settled and is not looking to leave.

“I don’t know, you have to ask the media from Madrid,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday.

“Maybe they have more info than we have. We don’t have that feeling that he’s unhappy. He was [unhappy] because he could not play for two months because he was injured but maybe the media from Spain, and especially Madrid, have more information than us.”

Haaland scored 52 goals in 53 goals last season to lead Guardiola’s side to a historic treble and has already got 19 in 23 games this term. He made his return from injury in the 3-1 win over Burnley on Wednesday, coming off the bench to play the final 20 minutes.

The 23-year-old is halfway through his second season at the Etihad, where he has a contract until 2027.

He has been continually linked with a move to Real Madrid since his time at Borussia Dortmund with reports that the Spanish giants would eventually like to sign both the Norway international and Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappé, who could be a free agent at the end of the season.

“We cannot say he didn’t adapt quickly and he was not fine since he arrived — just the level he showed since he arrived on day one,” Guardiola said. “But we cannot control what people say. What’s important is he’s happy. And when he’s unhappy, he will take his decision.”

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هات بت : Saudi club interested in ex-Man United keeper De Gea – source

Saudi club interested in ex-Man United keeper De Gea - source


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Former Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is attracting interest from a number of clubs in Europe and the Saudi Pro League, including Al Shabab, a source has told ESPN.

De Gea has been without a club since leaving Old Trafford last summer and despite receiving a host of offers over seven months, he remains a free agent.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

The Spain international, according to a source, rejected an approach from the Saudi Pro League (SPL) in the summer but has since held talks with Al Shabab.

The 33-year-old left United after 12 years after failing to agree a new contract. United were keen to agree a deal which would have seen De Gea taking a cut in wages following Erik ten Hag’s decision to pursue the signing of André Onana as his new No. 1.

Al-Shabab, 11th in the SPL table, have shown ambition this month with attempts to hire Jose Mourinho as their manager and sign Miguel Almirón from Newcastle United.

De Gea, according to a source, would prefer to resume his career in Europe but has not ruled out joining an SPL team.

Meanwhile, a source has told ESPN that SPL clubs are showing interest in Fulham midfielder Andreas Pereira.

The Brazil international has impressed in his 18 months at Craven Cottage following a £10 million ($12.7m) move from United in 2022. He has registered four Premier League assists this season after getting six last term.

Pereira has a contract at Fulham until 2026 with the option of another year and Fulham would expect a significant fee before the 28-year-old was allowed to leave.

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هات بت : PSG sign Brazilian teen Moscardo from Corinthians in €20m deal

PSG sign Brazilian teen Moscardo from Corinthians in €20m deal


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Paris Saint-Germain have signed Brazilian 18-year-old midfielder Gabriel Moscardo from Corinthians, the Ligue 1 club announced on Thursday.

He has signed a contract with PSG until 2028 and is immediately being loaned back to Corinthians until the end of the season. ESPN reported in December that the two sides had agreed a deal worth €20 million ($21.6m) deal for the midfielder

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Moscardo, who joined Corinthians last season, has played 18 games in Brazil’s top flight Serie A.

“I’m looking forward to joining up with the squad and to meeting the team and the coaching staff, and I hope to win many trophies with Les Rouge et Bleu and to make the fans happy,” Moscardo said in a statement

PSG are top of Ligue 1, eight points ahead of second-place Nice.

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هات بت : Liverpool continue title charge despite Salah’s absence

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BOURNEMOUTH, England — Liverpool’s comprehensive 4-0 victory at Bournemouth saw Jurgen Klopp’s side send out a warning to the chasing pack as they extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points, thanks to braces from Darwin Núñez and Diogo Jota.

All the talk coming into the match on Sunday was of Liverpool’s absentees and how they’d have to cope without Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah, among others, but the team managed this tricky trip to in-form Bournemouth brilliantly with four second-half goals.

Pressure? What pressure. Even with Manchester City breathing down their necks, makeshift full-backs and a star cast all missing either on international duty or because of injury, Liverpool showed their title credentials in the way they came through.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga & more (U.S.)

This was no day out on the south coast. Bournemouth were undefeated in their past eight league matches, boasting one of the most prolific strikers in the league in Dominic Solanke, who had six goals from six games. Still, Liverpool restricted the hosts to one clear-cut chance and bypassed the impressive Bournemouth press with a series of pinpoint cross-field balls and by winning the small 50-50s when they mattered.

Núñez and Jota will get the headlines but this was a collective effort. From the brilliant manner in which Alexis Mac Allister dictated the tempo in the middle of the pitch, the outstanding performance debutant right-back Conor Bradley put in, and all the rest of their teammates, this was an exercise in control. Virgil van Dijk completely marked Solanke out of the game and nullified one of the league’s most lethal finishers.

Bournemouth threw everything at Liverpool in the first half with their high press causing Liverpool the odd nervous moment, and had the best chance of the half with Ryan Christie unable to convert at the near post a minute before the break. Liverpool’s efforts were restricted to long-range shots in the first half, but at the break Klopp switched Núñez to the left wing, played Jota through the middle (just like they did in the FA Cup match at Arsenal) and from there they dominated the match.

Núñez’s physicality caused Bournemouth all sorts of trouble. He has been at times a bemusing player to watch, someone who misses chances he should take and then strokes home occasional wonder goals he has no right to score. After one mishit in the first half, the Bournemouth fans serenaded him with a version of “you’re just a s–t Andy Carroll,” but Núñez was unbowed and unflustered, and when he had his first real sniff of a chance he converted it. It was a brilliant goal in the 49th minute.

Joe Gomez’s looping crossfield kick found Curtis Jones and with Bournemouth’s defence disoriented, his pass found Jota in space, who put in Núñez, and his first-time finish capped a wonderful move. He scored his second late in the match, three minutes into injury time, converting an outstanding Gomez cross at the far post to bring up Liverpool’s fourth. Núñez’s double sandwiched Jota’s brace. He took both brilliantly, firing the first through Neto’s near post after 70 minutes and the second into the far corner after 79 minutes. With that, Bournemouth’s hopes were extinguished.

There were question marks over Liverpool coming into this over how they’d cope — the list of absentees was such that 24-year-old Cody Gakpo was the oldest outfield player on their bench. But the versatility and adaptability of the squad has seen them cope brilliantly. Gomez at left-back had a tough first few minutes against Marcus Tavernier but adjusted and was dominant from there, while Bradley was superb on the opposite flank, having featured for Liverpool sporadically in the cups this season but not yet in the top flight. The constant movement and positional switches of the front three must be a nightmare to play against while Harvey Elliott’s puppy-like energy complements the calmness of both Jones and Mac Allister in midfield.

Klopp has continued that praise towards the Argentine as such a vital player in midfield. “Absolutely exceptional performance,” Klopp said in his post-game news conference. I’m so happy for us but for him as well. He’s a really good footballer and defensively did a job and offensively he’s super important player for us. He’s calm on the ball and the good things in the first half were him.”

The good news for Liverpool fans is that Alexander-Arnold should be back by the end of the month, Robertson is returning to full training soon and Dominik Szoboszlai’s hamstring injury is progressing well. But in the meantime, those out on the pitch are keeping the ship on track. This victory was the first challenge of what could be a key fortnight for Liverpool with their second leg in the Carabao Cup semifinal at Fulham on Wednesday, their fourth round FA Cup match against Norwich City on Sunday, and then matches against Chelsea at Anfield and Arsenal at the Emirates.

All eyes will be on Salah however, as Klopp in his post-match conference that he will continue his rehab in Liverpool following an injury to the Egypt star at the Africa Cup of Nations and will only mostly likely go back to the tournament if his country makes the final.

“We should start the games better but it’s about 98 minutes, it’s about winning the games in the end,” said Klopp. As long as you stay in the game, and today step by step we found a way and we won.”

Their squad will be stretched and Klopp will need to manage it carefully. But even without their absent superstars, when it mattered, they were composed and got the job done with Núñez and Jota’s goals an exercise in composure in the face of immense pressure. At the full-time whistle, the away fans chanted “Liverpool, top of the league” and those who have eyes on the title will have taken notice of this performance.

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هات بت : Everton 1-0 Crystal Palace (17 Jan, 2024) Game Analysis

Manchester City 1-2 Atletico Madrid (30 Jul, 2023) Game Analysis


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Beleaguered Everton found some cheer in a troubling week as they beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in their FA Cup third round replay on Wednesday thanks to an Andre Gomes free kick.

Two days after being charged by the Premier League for an alleged breach of the profitability and sustainability rules, Sean Dyche’s struggling side responded in dogged fashion.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

There was little to warm the Goodison Park crowd on a raw night on Merseyside until Gomes curled in a free kick three minutes before the interval.

Palace enjoyed the best of the goal-scoring chances but were thwarted on several occasions by keeper Joao Virginia who was playing in the absence of Jordan Pickford.

Everton clung on to set up a fourth-round tie at home to fellow Premier League relegation battlers Luton Town.

Championship side Norwich City set up a fourth-round clash against Liverpool as they came from a goal down to win 3-1 at third-tier Bristol Rovers. 

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