هات بت : Transfer Talk: Man Utd plan shock move for City’s Phillips

Transfer Talk: Man Utd plan shock move for City's Phillips

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The winter transfer window hasn’t re-opened in Europe yet, but there are moves in the works and plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Phillips to switch sides of Manchester?

Manchester United have made Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips their top priority for the summer transfer window, according to The Sun.

Amid speculation over the 28-year-old’s future, City boss Pep Guardiola said on Friday that he was “so sorry” the lack of game time the England international has received since his £42 million move from Leeds United in 2022. Phillips has seen just 216 minutes of action across all competitions so far this term.

While Guardiola can’t see a place for the midfielder in his team, under pressure United manager Erik ten Hag is believed to be a big fan of Phillips and feels that he would be a perfect fit for the direction the Dutchman wants the Red Devils to go in. United’s new investors are also said to be keen to bring in a core of English players and Phillips is still being picked consistently for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions.

Man United are currently watching the situation very carefully, with it being felt that Phillips will go out on loan in January until the end of the season, after which he will then look for a permanent departure from the Etihad.

The cross-town move would likely be controversial, but it is claimed that Guardiola wouldn’t stand in Phillips’ way as he wants the situation resolved as quickly as possible. There would be even greater controversy if Phillips ended up at Old Trafford given the rivalry that exists between Man Utd and Leeds.

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

PAPER GOSSIP

– Manchester City want to sign Club Brugge winger Tajon Buchanan during the January transfer window, reports The Daily Star, which adds that a move would require around £50m. The 24-year-old’s contract runs until the summer of 2025 and he is unlikely to sign a new deal, which could play into Club Brugge letting the Canada international depart, although there will be competition from Internazionale.

– Manchester United have made RB Leipzig striker Loïs Openda their top priority for the January transfer window, says The Mirror, which adds that Tottenham Hotspur have also been watching the 23-year-old. Openda joined Die Roten Bullen from Lens for £35m during the summer, but it would now reportedly take £75m to sign him.

– Juventus are interested in signing Lazio winger Felipe Anderson if the 30-year-old is available as a free agent in the summer, reports Calciomercato. The Brazilian’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season and Lazio president Claudio Lotito has paused negotiations as he wants to see an upturn in the winger’s form before offering him a four-year deal worth €3.5m per season.

– Real Madrid have opened talks with Reading about a move for 18-year-old forward Caylan Vickers, according to The Sun, which adds that the Royals want £1m and a percentage of the funds earned from any future move. Arsenal have been tracking the teenager while Leicester City, Norwich City and Celtic have also sent scouts to watch him.

– Lyon see the midfield as a key area to strengthen to aid their hopes of staying in Ligue 1 and are hoping to bring in AC Milan’s Rade Krunic, according to Le10Sport, although they will face competition from Fenerbahce for the 30-year-old. Lyon are also looking at Real Betis’ Guido Rodríguez and Stade Rennais’ Baptiste Santamaria as alternative options for that position.

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هات بت : Arsenal 4-3 Luton Town (5 Dec, 2023) Game Analysis

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

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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's Declan Rice celebrates after scoring a goal against Luton Town in the Premier League.
Arsenal’s Declan Rice celebrates after scoring a goal against Luton Town in the Premier League.

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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هات بت : Newcastle, Arsenal set for big clash; who will win MLS MVP?

Newcastle, Arsenal set for big clash; who will win MLS MVP?

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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?


ONSIDE

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.


OFFSIDE

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.

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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.


Final word

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.

I love this game of ours.


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هات بت : European soccer news: 17-year-old Guiu saves Barca in debut

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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.)

SUNDAY REVIEW

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

Missed the action on Saturday? Keep reading for all the talking points.


SATURDAY REVIEW

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

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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.

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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هات بت : Southgate’s England break down more barriers with Italy win

Southgate's England break down more barriers with Italy win

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LONDON — England booked their place at Euro 2024 on Tuesday night with the sort of victory that suggests they might soon be ready to clear the final hurdle in their path to tournament glory.

Perhaps the last challenge Gareth Southgate has to overcome in ending the Three Lions’ 58-year wait for a major trophy next summer is consistently beating the best sides in world football.

England have reached a semifinal, a final and a quarterfinal in Southgate’s three tournaments as manager, but his critics frequently point out that defeats to Croatia, Italy and France to end those runs are symptomatic of a longstanding problem in imposing themselves on the elite.

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

Southgate’s record against sides currently ranked in FIFA’s top 10 prior to Tuesday’s 3-1 triumph over Italy was as follows: 27 games, seven wins, nine draws, 11 losses equating to a win rate of just 26%.

In that context, then, this was a performance that can have England fans daring to dream of what might be possible in Germany next summer, a deserved success coming from behind against the current European champions.

Of course, any talk of revenge was fanciful given the differing stakes, but this will nevertheless contain a cathartic feel for England, beating Italy two years on from their delayed Euro 2020 penalty shootout defeat in the final, Marcus Rashford scoring at the end after he missed one of the decisive spot-kicks.

Eight of that starting lineup began the game here — only Luke Shaw, Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling were absent — but it was Jude Bellingham who stole the show with an all-action performance encapsulated by England’s second goal.

It will be a further fillip to England’s self-belief that they recovered from a shaky start, conceding to Gianluca Scamacca’s well-worked 15th-minute opener. In reply, Bellingham was brought down by Giovanni Di Lorenzo for Harry Kane to convert a 32nd-minute penalty before he produced one of those game-changing moments for which he is rapidly earning such a lofty reputation.

The 20-year-old — yes, still just 20 — won the ball before collecting Phil Foden’s pass with the sort of surge forward associated with Paul Gascoigne, watching on among the 83,194-crowd, in his prime before releasing Rashford, who cut inside and thrashed a low shot past Gianluigi Donnarumma. Kane added a third with the sort of assured centre-forward play that provided yet another reminder he has few modern-day peers, registering his 61st international goal with a wonderfully assured finish.

Southgate enjoys chipping away at England’s historic millstones. After beating Italy in Italy for the first time since 1961 back in March, England secured their first victory over the Azzurri on home soil since 1977.

These are not decisive achievements by themselves but nevertheless serve as a reminder England have not been as good as they would have liked for a long, long time, and Southgate, steeped as he is in Three Lions history, knows progress is a capricious animal. For a team that failed to even reach Euro 2008, securing qualification as comfortably as this should not be taken for granted. Nights like this are tangible proof England are evolving toward something like the finished article they need to be to triumph in Germany, collecting positive experiences that must help them execute their game plan when the pressure becomes most acute next summer.

England have looked at their most exhilarating in recent times when unleashing a new talent on the world stage — think Michael Owen in 1998 or Wayne Rooney in 2004 — and Bellingham has the capacity to make the same impact, even if the cat is well and truly out of the bag given his remarkable form for Real Madrid this season.

Southgate has reshuffled his midfield to give him the platform to affect games from something approximating a No. 10 position, a decision that looks increasingly justifiable with each passing week.

Just as Bellingham excelled against Scotland, so he did against better opposition here, quietening any prematch grumbles over the inclusion of Kalvin Phillips as part of that platform despite 167 minutes of first-team action at Manchester City this season. Phillips was fortunate not to be sent off here, picking up an early yellow card for an agricultural challenge on Davide Frattesi before escaping a second despite a late tackle on Nicolò Barella. He was substituted for his own good, and the 70 minutes he played here means he now has more time on the field for England (188 minutes) than his club since August. Jordan Henderson received a mixed reception, yet again, as his replacement.

Yet England’s attacking play benefitted from the Phillips-Declan Rice axis in central midfield. Kane ended the evening as England’s record goal scorer at Wembley — surpassing Sir Bobby Charlton with 24 goals at this iconic venue — and his influence stretching back over such a sustained period is profound: the 30-year-old has been directly involved in 33 goals in his past 30 appearances for England (27 goals and six assists), including either scoring or assisting in each of his past 10 games.

Rashford, Bellingham and Foden floating around him looked dangerous all evening following that slow start. Bukayo Saka will come back from injury while Jack Grealish and James Maddison sat unused on the bench.

Excitement will now build if Southgate has the majority of these players fit and available next summer. The ultimate question remains whether they can put it together against the very best, but wins like this engender fresh hope.

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هات بت : The VAR Review: What went wrong for Luis Diaz’s offside goal

The VAR Review: What went wrong for Luis Diaz's offside goal

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Video Assistant Referee causes controversy every week in the Premier League, but how are decisions made, and are they correct?

After each weekend, we take a look at the major incidents, to examine and explain the process both in terms of VAR protocol and the Laws of the Game.

– How VAR decisions have affected every Prem club in 2023-24
– VAR in the Premier League: Ultimate guide

In this week’s VAR Review: What went wrong in the VAR room to disallow Luis Diaz’s goal for Liverpool at Tottenham Hotspur, Curtis Jones’ red card, a missed penalty award for Brentford and the rest of the weekend’s events.


Possible offside overturn: Diaz goal

What happened: Mohamed Salah played Luis Díaz through on goal in the 34th minute, and the forward produced a superb strike across goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario to score. However, the offside flag immediately went up for offside, and the VAR, Darren England, began a check. (watch here.)

VAR decision: Goal, incorrectly communicated.

VAR review: How do you get a decision both right and disastrously wrong at the same time? It’s a question that refs chief Howard Webb and his leadership team will have to answer in the coming days and take steps to ensure an inexcusable mistake of this magnitude can never happen again. It’s the biggest error the Premier League has seen.

England and the assistant VAR, Dan Cook, were swiftly both stood down from duties in fixtures on Sunday and Monday, but that kind of action is of no comfort to Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool players. Both are unlikely to be selected in the upcoming matchweeks.

The VAR made one very simple but inexplicable error: He lost concentration and got the on-field decision incorrect when completing the check.

When the VAR looked at the position of Diaz, it quickly became apparent that he was very clearly onside. It was checked with the use of the offside lines in the background — you see proof of this on the VAR feed when the technology operator zooms in to place them.

And this is where it starts to go wrong. England somehow now thinks he is checking a goal, rather than a disallowed goal (he cannot see the overlay shown on TV and in the stadium). If he was confirming an overturn he would lock in the offside lines, but as he now thinks the on-field decision is “goal,” there’s no prerequisite to do so when the onside is an obvious one.

England cleared the review so quickly and with such confidence he didn’t even get the opinion of the assistant VAR. Perhaps that was the issue, it was such a regulation “onside” decision that he thought he would wrap it up. And he said “check complete.”

Perhaps the decision was so straightforward that England lost focus and forgot what the on-field decision actually was, because by saying those two words, he’s telling the on-field officials their decision is correct. Rather than clearing the goal, he was mistakenly telling the referee the offside call was correct.

Semi-automated offside technology, which Premier League clubs chose not to introduce this season, would have made no difference in this situation because the error is the communication with the referee. England correctly identified that Diaz was onside.

Phil Bentham was brought in from rugby league last season as VAR coach specifically to work on communication. Lessons will need to be learned about the process of “check complete.”

What happened next came so fast, there was no time to react within protocol. Just two seconds after the VAR has said “check complete,” Spurs took the free kick, which creates a cut-off point. Nothing can be reviewed after a restart. (This doesn’t apply to penalties awarded for offences before the half-time or final whistle, as play was still active at the time of the offence.)

Seven seconds later, the VAR team realised their error. Panic set in, but they decided they couldn’t go against protocol so they let play continue. But in this situation, where a very serious mistake has been identified within seconds of the restart, football would rather the VAR went against protocol to achieve the fairest outcome for the game. The match should have been stopped.

Not only did the VAR team fail to react, but also the management team, which could have stepped in and told the VAR team to roll the game back.

There was the opportunity to fix it, and it was missed.

The VAR audio of the incident will be released, which will at least provide transparency for what happened.

Errors in process keep happening, even at the very highest level. At the World Cup last year, France had an injury-time equaliser disallowed against Tunisia when the VAR ruled Antoine Griezmann was offside after the kickoff had been taken.

And only a few weeks ago in the Bundesliga, Heidenheim had a penalty ruled out for offside following a foul by Borussia Dortmund’s Sébastien Haller. The officials allowed Haller to be substituted, and during that process the VAR realised the offside decision was incorrect. The penalty was reinstated, but Haller, who should have been sent off for pulling back the striker, was no longer on the pitch. He was only shown a yellow card on the bench instead.

That doesn’t excuse what happened in the Premier League on Saturday.

Questions will be asked about the wisdom of allowing England to travel to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, along with Michael Oliver as a team of English officials, to take charge of a league game between Sharjah and Al Ain. In terms of preparation, it’s no different than a game in the Europa League and Europa Conference League; the officials were back from the UAE on Friday lunchtime. But it’s the optics of travelling to the Middle East to take up an approved, paid job and then coming back to the Premier League and making a huge mistake.

Webb has been in charge of referees for only nine months, yet he faces the huge problem of public perception that refereeing is getting worse. The stats from the Independent Key Incidents Panel suggest standards are improving, but catastrophic mistakes like that at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium take a hammer to any progress.

Liverpool issued a statement on Sunday evening insisting the incident has “undermined sporting integrity,” and you can understand their point. But the Laws of the Game specifically state that a mistake in the VAR room is no different from a genuine error on the pitch. France appealed to FIFA to try to get their goal back, but were told they had no grounds. Usually, a game would be replayed only if there was a misapplication of the laws, rather than just an incorrect decision.

This will now be tough on England and will take some coming back from. Last season he was shadowed by The Guardian and reference was made to how the official seemed mentally exhausted after awarding a controversial late penalty to Manchester City against Fulham. This is going to be even tougher.

Possible red card: Jones challenge on Bissouma

What happened: The game was goalless in the 26th minute when Curtis Jones challenged Yves Bissouma for the ball, and committed a foul. Referee Simon Hooper produced a yellow card, but there was a VAR check for a possible red (watch here.)

VAR decision: Yellow card upgraded to red.

VAR review: Ex-pros and supporters are always split when a player receives a red card when they have played the ball first, but that doesn’t excuse the player for how he may catch an opponent. Jones will no doubt feel himself unlucky to get a red card, but the nature of the challenge always meant a VAR intervention was likely.

As explained last week in the review for Malo Gusto’s red card for Chelsea against Aston Villa, when the replays show that an opponent’s leg has effectively been bent by the tackle, that will be seen as evidence of excessive force.

Jones’ foot came off the top of the ball and led to him catching Bissouma high on the shin and forcing his leg backward. It’s similar in nature to the dismissal of Manchester United midfielder Casemiro against Southampton last season (though that was a clearer red card due to the way he went into the challenge).

Jones was unlucky, but a VAR intervention for a red card was always likely.

Some supporters complained that England showed Hooper a freeze frame of the point of contact as he walked over to the pitchside monitor, effectively pre-judging the review. Yet as the monitor is specifically there to confirm an overturn (though the referee retains the right to reject the advice of the VAR), a referee is always going to be shown the clearest evidence to support the decision. Hooper will be told as he walks over the screen exactly what he will see and the kind of replays he will be offered. The referee always has the option of requesting additional angles and replay speeds.


Possible penalty: Handball by Domínguez and Boly

What happened: Brentford had a corner in the final moments of the first half. Nicolás Domínguez jumped for the ball with Vitaly Janelt, and the ball appeared to brush the raised arm of the Forest player as it was nodded on. When the ball bounced inside the area, it was then touched by the hand of Willy Boly.

VAR decision: No penalty.

VAR review: After the decision to penalise Wolves’ João Gomes for his raised arm at Luton Town last weekend, you could understand questions over the first handball by Domínguez. His arm was high, and it was hit by the ball. He escapes because it hit him at point-blank range and the arm position was justified when jumping.

Boly had his arm by his side, so it would need to be a deliberate handball, and while there was a movement, it appeared to be natural rather than specific to push the ball away.

Possible penalty: Turner on Wissa

What happened: Yoane Wissa closed down Forest goalkeeper Matt Turner following a back-pass by Murillo. The Brentford striker got a toe to the ball and pushed it toward goal, and was then caught by Turner as the keeper tried to make the clearance. A defender cleared the ball before it crossed the line.

VAR decision: No penalty.

VAR review: This definitely should have been a penalty, and that the error was made by Michael Oliver, who was in the UAE with Darren England, only adds to the issues facing PGMOL this week.

Wissa gets to the ball first and is kicked by the goalkeeper. Perhaps it was Wissa’s immediate reaction to get up and play on, rather than appealing for the foul, which threw Oliver. Either way, it was a mistake not to intervene.


Possible offside: Zaniolo on Watkins’ second goal

What happened: Ollie Watkins doubled Aston Villa’s lead in the 21st minute when finishing into the corner. It looked initially as though goalkeeper Jason Steele had let a weak shot past him into the corner of the net, but was he impacted by Nicolò Zaniolo in an offside position in front of him? (watch here)

VAR decision: Goal stands.

VAR review: It provides a good comparison with an incident from a month ago, when Manchester City saw a goal allowed to stand when Manuel Akanji was in front of Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno. PGMOL admitted that goal should have been ruled out by the VAR, and on the face of it, this is the same. Then last week Manchester United had a goal ruled out by the VAR when Rasmus Højlund was in front of Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford on Jonny Evans’ header. So what’s the difference, and why wasn’t Villa’s goal ruled out?

The key difference between Akanji and Zaniolo are the actions of the players in front of the goalkeeper. Akanji made an obvious action to play and/or evade the ball on its way to goal, which had to affect the goalkeeper’s decision-making. However, Zaniolo makes absolutely no movement at all — and this makes any impact on the keeper far more difficult to evaluate.

The VAR has decided that he couldn’t be certain there was any impact on Steele in the Brighton goal. It’s certainly a situation that will split opinion.

The disallowed Man United goal was slightly different in interpretation, as Højlund was in direct contact with the Burnley goalkeeper so he had to be considered to be having an impact.

We can also look at Crystal Palace’s goal at Old Trafford on Saturday. Although there were two players in an offside position in front of goal, they were not impacting André Onana.

Possible foul: Luiz on March before Estupiñán own goal

What happened: Villa got a third goal in the 26th minute when Pervis Estupiñán diverted a shot from Moussa Diaby into his own net. However, Solly March was adamant he was fouled in the buildup to the goal, which was checked by the VAR (watch here.)

VAR decision: Goal stands.

VAR review: There’s no doubt that March was fouled by Douglas Luiz, who effectively fell into the Brighton player and brought him down. That means the only judgement for the VAR is on the attacking phase: Did the incident happen too far back in the move for it have a material impact?

It’s a tough call, because you could judge winning the ball to be crucial to a goal whenever it happens in the buildup. But, in the Premier League, at least, there has been a desire not to look too far back to disallow goals for a foul.

Last season, 10 goals were disallowed because a foul in the leadup to a goal. From Phil Foden’s goal against Liverpool for a foul by Erling Haaland, to Leandro Trossard’s strike for Ben White holding on to the arm of Leicester City goalkeeper Danny Ward. But in each case, the goal came very quickly after the incident.

After March is fouled there is another 50-50 challenge for the ball, so Villa didn’t achieve possession directly as a result of the foul. There are then several passes over 15 seconds before Diaby has a first shot on goal, which was saved by Steele, before his second effort went in off Estupiñán.

It’s a tricky judgement call on the attacking phase, but it’s consistent in the application we’ve seen in English football.

Possible offside: Ansu when scoring

What happened: Brighton & Hove Albion got a goal back in the 50th minute through Ansu Fati. The goal came after João Pedro had go to the goal-line and attempted a cut back, and eventually got the ball to a teammate at the second attempt. The VAR began a very lengthy check on the goal. (Watch here.)

VAR decision: Goal stands.

VAR review: It took an inordinate amount of time for what seemed like a pretty straightforward VAR check, which looked at two possible situations.

In total, the review took 2½ minutes. First, there was a question of the ball being out of play when Pedro controlled it, but it soon became clear the whole of the ball hadn’t crossed the goal-line. Second, whether a possible offside against goal scorer Ansu, which seemed to go on and on.

It doesn’t matter that Pedro’s touch sends the ball backwards, the direction the ball goes doesn’t matter — only the position of the attacking player who receives the ball. But the situation is complicated slightly as John McGinn has run off the pitch in trying to challenge Pedro — it gives the immediate impression that Ansu has to be offside. But in law, McGinn is considered to be on the goal-line, which makes goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez the second defensive player, and the one who creates the offside line.

The VAR seemed to spend a long time trying to determine the correct frame for the kick-point by Pedro, but even during this process, it seemed very evident from the naked eye that Ansu was being played onside by the heel of Martinez. The VAR needs to apply the lines to prove this, of course, but it took far too long for what was essentially a straightforward situation.


Possible penalty: Handball by Ward

What happened: Manchester United were already trailing 1-0 to Crystal Palace in the 59th minute and looking for a way back into the game. Bruno Fernandes lifted a ball into the box aimed for Marcus Rashford, and the ball hit the hand of Joel Ward before it could get to the striker. United players appealed for a penalty, but referee Chris Kavanagh said no.

VAR decision: No penalty.

VAR review: While Ward did check over his shoulder for the flight of the ball, there’s no way this could be considered deliberate after the ball flicked off his hand. Ward also had his back to the ball when it hit him, and his arm was close to his body in an expected position.

Poor defending to misread the flight, but not a handball offence.

Possible penalty: Handball by Amrabat

What happened: Palace had a handball appeal of their own in the 90th minute when the ball hit the arm of Sofyan Amrabat. Did Palace have any grounds for a spot kick?

VAR decision: No penalty.

VAR review: As with Ward, Amrabat had his arm close to his body, so there was no chance that the VAR, Peter Bankes, would advise a penalty kick.

Amrabat also had the ball hit onto him at close proximity by Jairo Riedewald.


Possible penalty overturn: Al Dakhil challenge on Gordon

What happened: Newcastle United were awarded a penalty in the 75th minute when Ameen Al Dakhil brought down Anthony Gordon. The Burnley defender appealed against the decision, and there was an automatic check made by the VAR, Jarred Gillett.

VAR decision: Penalty stands, scored by Alexander Isak.

VAR review: A very simple and quick check, despite Al Dakhil’s claims that he had got to the ball. It was clear from the angle behind the play that it was a foul, and referee Thomas Bramall had made the correct decision.

Some parts of this article include information provided by the Premier League and PGMOL.

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هات بت : Ten Hag: ‘Don’t know’ if Sancho will play for Man United again

Ten Hag: 'Don't know' if Sancho will play for Man United again

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Erik ten Hag has admitted there is doubt about whether Jadon Sancho has a future at Manchester United.

The 23-year-old is training alone following his public row with Ten Hag in the aftermath of the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal before the international break.

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

Sources have told ESPN that Sancho has not apologised for his role in the spat and, speaking at a news conference on Friday, the United manager refused to say whether the England international remains part of his long-term plans at Old Trafford.

“I don’t know,” said Ten Hag, when asked whether Sancho will play for United again.

“I prepare my team the best I can, I put all my effort into the players who are available. He is not available, so in this moment, he is not important, because he can’t contribute.”

Sancho has been banished from first-team training after publicly challenging Ten Hag’s reasons for dropping him for the game at Arsenal.

Ten Hag said it was because of poor training performances, before Sancho issued a post on social media to say the comments were “completely untrue” and that he had been “made a scapegoat for a long time.”

Sancho is unavailable for Brighton’s visit to Old Trafford on Saturday but Ten Hag insists the rest of his players are focused.

“With fans it’s the talk, with you [the media] it’s the talk, but with the players it is not the talk,” he added.

“They want to perform. For players who didn’t have so much opportunities, they get their opportunity, so this is their chance to come into the team.

“So, as I said, we had a really good spirit, everyone is focusing on this game, and the coming games.”

Sancho is currently training alone with club staff and there is no timeframe for his return to the squad.

Ten Hag is also without Antony, who has been given a leave of absence amid allegations of abusive behaviour towards multiple women. Raphaël Varane, Mason Mount, Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia and new signing Sofyan Amrabat are all out injured leaving United short of options, but Ten Hag insists he had no choice but to take a tough stance on Sancho.

“It’s in favour of the team,” he said.

“That is what my decision is based on. That is not about me, and to be strict. No. This is in favour of the team.”

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هات بت : Transfer Talk: Chelsea, Roma on verge of Lukaku loan deal

Transfer Talk: Chelsea, Roma on verge of Lukaku loan deal

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The summer transfer window in Europe enters its final week, but there’s plenty of gossip still swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Chelsea, Roma on verge of Lukaku deal

Chelsea and AS Roma have reached an agreement over a deal involving striker Romelu Lukaku, according to Calciomercato.

The clubs are said to have agreed on a straight loan until the end of the season for a fee of €5 million, with no clauses included that would enable the Serie A side to make the move become permanent.

The 30-year-old is reported to have accepted a salary worth €7.5m-per-season to make the switch to the Stadio Olimpico, where he will return to Italy’s top flight after last season’s loan stint at Internazionale.

Inter were keen to bring Lukaku back but withdrew their interest after he was linked with a move to rivals Juventus. That proposal fell through following sources told ESPN last week that Lukaku became frustrated at the amount of time it took Juventus to negotiate with Chelsea.

Speaking to Belgian newspaper HLN on Saturday while at his son’s first youth game for Anderlecht, Lukaku said: “Tomorrow, I will fly to Rome to sign.”

It is believed that the Belgium international is set to arrive on Monday to undertake his medical before the move can be announced by manager Jose Mourinho’s side.

Lukaku’s impressive record in the Serie A has seen him contribute to 76 goals in 97 appearances for Inter, where he played in three seasons across two loan spells.

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

PAPER GOSSIP

– Manchester City have proposed a new deal for Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Matheus Nunes, according to Fabrizio Romano. City’s second approach for the 25-year-old’s signature is believed to be worth a total of €60 million, with growing optimism from the club hierarchy that they can get a deal over the line. It is said that personal terms have already been agreed with him.

– Bayern Munich are interested in a loan move for Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay, reports Bild. Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel is believed to be keen on the 26-year-old, and amid ongoing talks, it is reported that the Bundesliga champions could also be open to a player exchange deal that involves midfielder Ryan Gravenberch. The 21-year-old Netherlands international has also been linked with Liverpool as uncertainty over his future at the Allianz Arena continues to grow.

– West Ham United technical director Tim Steidten has traveled to Brazil to undergo talks with Corinthians over a move for Yuri Alberto, reveals Sky Sports. The 22-year-old winger, who has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs this summer, is reported to be keen on the switch to the Hammers, and it looks as though they have stepped up their approach to sign him before the transfer window closes. He has contributed to six goals in 19 Brazilian league games this season.

– Nottingham Forest are set to propose an offer for Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, according to Fabrizio Romano. Personal terms are reported to have already been agreed with the 26-year-old, leaving just an agreement over a fee required before he can undertake his medical. Ndidi, a Nigeria international, is said to be the Premier League side’s priority option as they look to acquire a defensive midfielder.

– Manchester United have made an enquiry to Barcelona over wing-back Marcos Alonso, writes Bild’s Christian Falk. The 32-year-old, who arrived at the La Liga side from Chelsea, has one year remaining on his contract at the club, but talks are now said to be ongoing over a potential return to the Premier League.


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