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Floyd Pinto set to join Punjab FC as assistant coach

The former Indian Arrows coach will be assistant to Curtis Fleming...

Floyd Pinto is set to join Punjab FC as the assistant coach in the upcoming I-League season, Goal can confirm. 

In 2017, he joined Luís Norton de Matos as his deputy for the U-17 India National Team. Pinto spent one year as the head coach of the Indian Arrows in the 2018-19 season. Under his tutelage, the team finished sixth in I-League in 2018-19.

He was also in charge of the India U19 team for a while. However, his time came to an end after the team's poor performance in the AFC U19 qualifiers in Saudi Arabia where India lost all three matches.

Pinto has won the U-18 I-League in his career twice once as a coach and as an assistant coach on another occassion.  He has also lifted the Subroto Cup as the head coach of the AIFF U-17 team in 2015. 

He will work with former Middlesborough manager Curtis Fleming. The 51-year-old tactician started his coaching career as an interim manager of Crystal Palace in 2012. After spending four months with the Eagles, he moved to Bolton Wanderers as the manager. He then spent two stints at Hartlepool United and Queens Park Rangers respectively honing his skills as an assistant manager. 

They have also roped in Nikolaos Topoliatis as the new technical director who replaces Michael Browne. The 37-year-old has worked as a youth coach with Greek side Olympiacos for more than 12 years. He served as a technical director of the academy from 2017 to 2019. He also trained various youth teams like U12, U13, U14, U15, U16, U17 and U19.  He won the championship with K15 in the 2015-2016 season as a coach. He also bagged the 2016-2017 championship with K17.  Whereas, as a technical director, he won the championship with K17 in the 2017-2018 season. 

In July 2019, I-League club Minerva Punjab had agreed to a deal with Round Glass. The 2019-20 I-League season also saw Minerva Punjab getting rebranded as Punjab FC, after Round Glass' investment. RoundGlass had taken 50 per cent of the club's shares and in March 2020, they bought the remaining shares to complete the takeover.

Punjab in the upcoming season will participate in the I-League but are eventually keen to make a jump to the Indian Super League (ISL) in the near future. 

Original author: Soham Mukherjee
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UEFA Champions League Highlights: Man City, Real Madrid & Juventus matches from Round of 16 second leg

UEFA Champions League

05:44 BST 08/08/2020

Ronaldo 2020 Juventus Lyon

Watch all the highlights from the remaining UEFA Champions League games from the second leg of the Round of 16...

The UEFA Champions League is back after the Covid-19 enforced break. The remaining Round of 16 second leg matches saw Lyon shock Juventus and Real Madrid knocked out by Manchester City.

Watch all the highlights right here:

Manchester City 2-1 Real Madrid (4-2 agg)

Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus sent Manchester City into the Champions League quarter-finals as a 2-1 defeat of Real Madrid on Friday sealed a 4-2 aggregate win.

Juventus 2-1 Lyon (2-2 agg)

Cristiano Ronaldo's brace could not rescue Juventus' Champions League campaign on Friday as they crashed out to Lyon on away goals at the last-16 stage, despite a 2-1 win in Turin.

Original author: Goal
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'Juventus are cursed' - Sarri says Old Lady unlucky in Champions League elimination

The Old Lady simply didn't have luck on their side during their continental campaign, according to their manager

Maurizio Sarri believes Juventus are "cursed" in the Champions League after their exit at the hands of Lyon on Friday.

Cristiano Ronaldo's brace helped Juve to a 2-1 win in Turin, but they fell in the last-16 tie on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

Memphis Depay had given Lyon the lead in the second leg before Ronaldo's double, with Juve's wait for a first Champions League title since 1996 to go on.

Sarri, who is under increasing pressure at the helm, said the Serie A champions were cursed in the competition.

"We are out of a competition where we won six out of eight games we played, we drew one and lost one. That means that in eight matches we got 19 points," he told a news conference.

"If there were a Champions League table we would be first or second. Instead, we are out. That's why I feel incredibly sad. It makes me understand that in this competition Juventus are cursed.

"If I weren't so bitter, I would get out of this match with a smile on my face, because I saw the lads in good shape again, they gave all they had, they fought until the end, they put their heart and soul into the match. I appreciated it."

Lyon and Juventus were both awarded controversial penalties during the second leg, with Depay and Ronaldo converting.

Sarri felt the spot-kick given to Lyon was "crazy" as he rued the first-leg away loss.

"We played a good match. In a match where we had to come from behind, we found ourselves one goal down because of a crazy penalty, because in my opinion it shouldn't even have arrived to the box because I think there was a clear enough foul on [Gonzalo] Higuain. And the penalty itself I think it is debatable," he said.

"The referee was clearly unfit for a situation like this, because for us to concede that goal was like to concede two goals. We were good because we stayed into the game and turned the match around, but we spent a lot of energy.

"We had two or three chances to score towards the end with headers from Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuain and I think [Leonardo] Bonucci, so I think we were close to the qualification.

"If we have to have a regret it has to be for our performance in the first half at Lyon. At these levels, it is something you pay for."

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'Serie A was our main goal' - Bonucci plays down Juventus' Champions League exit

They may have won the Scudetto for a record ninth straight season, but Juve's European woes continued on Friday with elimination at the hands of Lyon

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci claimed that his team-mates would not dwell too long on Friday's Champions League exit, as the club's first priority was to retain Serie A

The Italian giants picked up the Scudetto for the ninth consecutive season in July, beating out Inter, Lazio and Atalanta at the summit. 

Despite that success, though, the warning signs for Maurizio Sarri's men were there, after suffering four defeats and winning just three of their last nine league games following the restart. 

A double from Cristiano Ronaldo led them to a comeback victory over Lyon following Memphis Depay's early penalty, but the French side advanced on away goals after drawing 2-2 on aggregate. 

Elimination comes as a huge blow to Juventus, who failed to advance past the quarter-final stage for the third successive season in spite of signing all-time Champions League record goalscorer Ronaldo in 2018, but Bonucci insists that the league was their real objective for 2019-20. 

“We are upset. We knew that a game like this could happen, where they would sit back and wait for us to come with the ball," the defender explained to reporters after the game. 

"We conceded from a penalty after a few minutes but after that we did well to believe in [coming back]. Tonight we gave everything we had, it’s a shame.

“We showed that we had the physical condition to do it, Lyon only had one shot on target. However, our main objective was to win the league.

Bonucci went on to admit that the 1-0 defeat suffered to Lyon in the first leg back in March proved decisive, while defending his team-mates' effort in Turin.

“We probably could have done better in the away leg, these games are player over 180 minutes. It’s a shame, because we gave everything," he added.

Barcelona-bound midfielder Miralem Pjanic disagreed with Bonucci, stating that going out to Lyon was unacceptable for a club of Juve's stature.

“It’s hugely disappointing for us, as we really wanted to get through to the next phase and continue this competition,” Pjanic told Sky Sport Italia.

“It was a bad start with that penalty, but we stayed in the game and kept pushing throughout. It’s really disappointing and difficult to accept, certainly.

“We mustn’t diminish the achievement of winning the ninth Scudetto, but this club can and should aim much higher. I have no doubts this group will resume even stronger next season, as I know full well the mentality and strength within the side.

“Our first leg performance was not good enough and in the Champions League these ties are decided over two legs. We went out to a Lyon side that really should’ve been within our grasp.”

Original author: Goal
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Van der Vaart hopes Kane remains with Mourinho at Tottenham

The ex-Spurs midfielder says that the forward should stay and continue to work under Jose Mourinho

Rafael van der Vaart hopes Harry Kane remains at Tottenham, allowing the England international to continue working with a "great coach" in Jose Mourinho.

The striker returned from a hamstring injury suffered at the start of 2020 to help Spurs finish in sixth place in the Premier League, securing the north London club a spot in next season's Europa League as a result.

Kane, 27, scored five goals in his final three outings to finish the campaign with 24 in all competitions, though he had sparked speculation over his future earlier in the year when admitting he would not stay at his boyhood club "for the sake of it".

However, Van der Vaart - who spent two years with Spurs - believes Kane does not have to leave in his pursuit to win trophies.

"I really hope that he's going to stay," Van der Vaart - an ambassador for the UEFA Europa League Trophy Tour - told Stats Perform News.

"I hope he's going to stay. Spurs have a great coach.

"It's a club that want to be a championship winner, and the Champions League. They can also pay the money.

"For me, the best thing is for Harry to stay."

While Van der Vaart wants Kane to continue in familiar surroundings, he is delighted to see a famous former Netherlands team-mate return to his roots.

Former Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben announced in July his decision to come out of retirement and sign a deal with Groningen – the club where the winger started his illustrious career.

"It's great. I really love it, because I think it's important for the Dutch league," Van der Vaart said of Robben's return.

"Robben is a great guy. He is so professional. He is still so fit. I always thought, 'Why did he stop?', because football is the best thing you can do.

"He stopped at Bayern Munich, but now it's so important that he's starting again and to go back home, to his former club.

"It's going to be different. He's always played for teams when, 80 per cent of the time, they were better than the opponent, but now you go to Groningen and maybe it's 50-50. That is a different way of playing."

Van der Vaart was speaking as part of this year's Europa League Trophy Tour, which has been collecting football boots from fans for Syrian refugees based in Jordan.

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'I am the coach of Real Madrid, that's it' – Zidane dismisses doubts over his future

His side's season ended after defeat to Manchester City on Friday, but the manager insists that he is going nowhere

Zinedine Zidane moved to stamp out any speculation over his future on Friday, insisting he will be the Real Madrid coach next season.

Madrid's 2019-20 campaign finally came to an end at the Etihad Stadium with a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League – Los Blancos exiting the competition at the last-16 stage with a 4-2 aggregate loss.

The club do have the league title to show for the campaign, and it is their first La Liga crown since 2017.

When asked after the game if he planned to be in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2020-21, Zidane gave a defiant response.

"Well, I'm here, I'm Madrid's coach until something happens which is out of the ordinary. I'm here, of course," he told a news conference.

"You don't have to think anything. I am the coach of Madrid, and that's it. 

"There are no more questions to ask in this regard. Now we are all going to rest and we will return to have a great season."

Raphael Varane's error gifted Raheem Sterling an early opener in Manchester, though Karim Benzema's excellent header gave Madrid hope midway through the first half.

However, their chances of progressing to the quarter-finals were dealt a fatal blow in the 68th minute – Gabriel Jesus pouncing on a second Varane calamity to seal the win for City.

Zidane, though, is adamant his team must be proud of their achievements this term.

"We need to be proud. I'm certainly very proud of what we've achieved," he added.

"We can't, when we lose, be happy. The players aren't happy, for sure. But what we can be proud of is that we have had a great season.

"The key today was to give everything on the pitch and that’s what we did, we were just missing a little something, I don't know what.

"I think we've still got to be happy with the season. We will see what will happen next season. For now, we rest a little."

Manchester City will take on Lyon in the quater-final after the French side got past Juventus on away goals via a 2-2 aggregate result. 

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Juventus put in a 'great performance' despite Champions League exit, claims Sarri

The Italian tactician was pleased with his team's effort despite their elimination from the tournament

Under-pressure Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri says he was pleased with his team's performance despite their elimination at the hands of Lyon in the Champions League round-of-16.

The Old Lady won the second leg 2-1 at Juventus Stadium on Friday evening but crashed out the tie on away goals with the first leg in France ending in a 1-0 win to the Ligue 1 side prior to the coronavirus break.

Memphis Depay scored the all-important away goal for Lyon from the spot after a controversial penalty was awarded in the 12th minute.

Despite Cristiano Ronaldo's best efforts to get Juve back into the match - converting a own spot kick just before half-time and scoring a long-range stunner in the second stanza - Sarri's side couldn't get another goal to ensure qualification and a quarter-final against Man City.

Even though his team achieved Juve's worst finish in the competition since 2015-16, Sarri was happy with the efforts by his players.

"I thought we put in a great performance this evening," Sarri said to Sky. "The team has revitalised itself over the last few days, and if they weren’t devastated in their confidence by the elimination, I’d be very satisfied with their performance.

"If I take away the huge disappointment at the elimination, then I am very happy with the team this evening, as they showed character and gave their all. If we hadn’t been eliminated, I’d return home happy tonight."

Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who played his last game for the club before joining Barcelona for next season, hinted that he was unhappy with a lack of playing time under Sarri and revealed the Italian's management of the side has been much better to the period when he was coaching at Napoli.

“The last few months haven’t gone the way we wanted to, for reasons I still haven’t been able to understand. I wanted to play more, that’s for sure,” he told Sky Sport.

“Considering the way the coach played at Napoli, where everyone was involved and fully committed to that project. We played a different type of football, I am not the only one to say that, it’s obvious. It takes time to develop that.

“Winning is not simple. We made it look simple in recent years, but it’s becoming a fight with many other teams. This club must continue to do extraordinary things, and much more in Europe.

“This club will aim to win. We have a great squad, but in order to go all the way, we need everyone at our disposal and that hasn’t been the case often enough due to various injuries.”

Original author: Goal
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Lyon boss Garcia: Loss to Juve was the happiest defeat of my career!

The French side fell on Friday, but progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals courtesy of the away goals rule.

Rudi Garcia called Lyon's loss to Juventus on Friday "the happiest defeat of my career" as his side earned a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Memphis Depay's early penalty ultimately earned an away-goals victory for Lyon, despite Cristiano Ronaldo's double in Turin meaning the last-16 tie ended 2-2.

Manchester City, who overcame Real Madrid in Friday's other fixture, await the Ligue 1 side in the last eight on August 15 in Lisbon, and the result left former Roma coach Garcia revelling in his team's success.

"It's one of the most satisfying moments of my career and getting past Juventus really is an exploit," Garcia told Sky Italia.

"The penalty we conceded just before half-time hurt us, Juve hadn't been that dangerous until then and it gave them confidence.

"Ronaldo then scored that real Champions League level goal, but we stayed calm and that was what I appreciated the most about my team. We didn't panic, we kept plugging away and everyone contributed to keeping the ball.

"It was tough for Juve to do better without Paulo Dybala, but we proved that we have a strong defence, as we also held out Paris Saint-Germain for 120 minutes in the cup last week.

"I know this stadium, I came here with Roma, so I know how tough it is to win here. Let's just say this is the happiest defeat of my career!"

Garcia was not a universally accepted appointment at Lyon, with the Frenchman having coached rivals Marseille between 2016 and 2019.

He guided Lyon to a seventh-place finish in Ligue 1 in 2019-20, with France's top-flight ended early due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I realize the achievement that we did. I know where we are today, because I've been here a few times with AS Roma," he told RMC Sports. "Playing against Juve is not only the best club in Italy, but also a team that wanted to win the Champions League.

"They also have an alien in their team. We saw him again tonight. Despite that, we were very good in the first half.

The penalty awarded to them is totally unjustified. In the second half, we suffered more until Dembele and Reine-Adelaide came in and gave us a second wind. But that's also the victory of a group.

"I'm happy for my players, for my president and for Juni. We wanted to be in Lisbon and we are there. I am proud for our supporters and for Lyon.

"What did I tell my players? That there was a game to prepare for next Saturday. It will come quickly. It will continue. We must not stop there. We will remain outsiders and that suits us well."

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Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Watford's Sarr on Liverpool shortlist

Goal takes a look at the biggest transfer news and rumours from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and around the world
Original author: Goal
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'I find this offensive' - Sarri angry as his Juventus future is questioned after Champions League exit

The Italian's position at the helm of Italy's biggest club is seemingly under threat after their continental exit

Maurizio Sarri says talk about his future as Juventus coach is 'offensive' after the Serie A champions were dumped out of the Champions League at the round-of-16 stage by Ligue 1 side Lyon.

Needing to overcome a 1-0 deficit from the first leg in France six months ago prior to the coronavirus-forced break, Juve managed to win the home tie 2-1 but were eliminated on away goals.

Speculation has been growing that Sarri's position at the Old Lady is under threat despite winning the Serie A title last month - by an eventual one-point margin ahead of Inter.

However, the Italian tactician railed at the suggestion that he could be sacked imminently, insisting Juventus' directors will make their decision on his future based on the entire campaign.

Sarri also added that while he wasn't personally affronted by the rumours of his demise, they were insulting towards the officials charged with deciding his fate.

"I don’t think directors of a top level club will make a decision based on one match," Sarri said to Sky.

"They are going to evaluate the whole season. I find this kind of question offensive, but not towards me, it’s offensive towards the directors.

"I have a contract, I’ll respect it and I don’t expect anything."

Juventus star Paulo Dybala came into the match with an injury cloud surrounding his left thigh and he only lasted 14 minutes after coming on as a substitute and again succumbing to the muscle strain.

Sarri admitted the decision to introduce Dybala with 20 minutes to play was a risk but insisted that he would also have been criticised if the Argentine playmaker wasn't used.

"If I had come here without using Dybala, then I would’ve been asked why I hadn’t risked him," Sarri said. "If not tonight, then when?

"It was a risk, but Douglas Costa was out and Cuadrado had some muscular problems, he was alerting the bench that he was struggling, so we had to use the substitution slot for both Danilo and Dybala."

Sarri was dismissed as Chelsea's coach at the end of last season despite leading the London side to the Europa League title and a third-place finish in the Premier League.

Original author: Kieran Francis
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'Ronaldo will stay with us' - Juventus president Agnelli says Portugal star will return next season

The 35-year-old scored two goals against Lyon on Friday, but it wasn't enough to prevent his side from being eliminated from the Champions League

Juventus President Andrea Agnelli has insisted that his star player Cristiano Ronaldo will stay with the club next season after his side were shockingly eliminated from the Champions League by Lyon on Friday.

After Lyon defeated Juve 1-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie back in February, the Ligue 1 side opened the scoring in Friday's second leg in Turin when Memphis Depay converted from the spot.

But Juventus would come roaring back and it was no surprise to see Ronaldo at the forefront. The Portuguese forward scored from the spot in the first half before netting a screamer from distance in the second half to level the tie at 2-2. 

Ronaldo's second goal was his 37th of the campaign and saw him break the club record for most goals in a single season — a mark that had stood since 1933-34.

But the Serie A champions could not find another goal and were eliminated from the Champions League on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate result.

It was another disappointing result in Europe for Ronaldo, whose first Champions League campaign with Juve ended in the quarter-finals against Ajax last season.

There has been some speculation that the 35-year-old could be interested in moving on with the season now over, but Agnelli was quick to shoot down that idea after his side's elimination on Friday.

"He's going to stay with us," Agnelli told Sky Sport of Ronaldo. "I'm sure that Cristiano will play for Juventus next season. He's a pillar of this team."

Ronaldo himself appeared to confirm his club president's words on Sunday in a post on Instagram.

"Happy to win the last two of the nine consecutive Serie A titles for Juventus!" Ronaldo wrote.

"It seems easy but it isn't! Year after year with talent, dedication and hard work you can achieve your goals and be better than before! Let's go for my third."

Though Juve's season ended in European disappointment, they did manage to win Serie A for a ninth straight season.

Ronaldo scored 31 goals in Serie A this term, 10 more than he tallied in his debut campaign of 2018-19. His contract with Juventus runs through June 2022.

Original author: Goal
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'I work to be like Ronaldo' - Man City match-winner Jesus channels Brazilian legend

The Brazilian attacker says he uses his famous countryman as motivation after a stunning performance to help his team progress to the last eight

Gabriel Jesus has revealed he uses the incredible talent of Brazil legend Ronaldo Nazario as motivation after the Manchester City striker led his team past Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16.

With the English side leading 2-1 after the first leg at the Bernabeu, Jesus twice forced Real centre-half Raphael Varane into errors as City claimed another 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium to progress 4-2 on aggregate.

Jesus robbed Varane of the ball in the ninth minute before squaring to Raheem Sterling for the game's opener, however that strike was cancelled out by Karim Benzema 20 minutes later.

But Jesus ensured that Manchester City were guaranteed progression to meet Lyon in the quarter-finals by nicking in to intercept Varane's back-pass header and expertly finishing past Thibaut Courtois.

With both Man City goals coming from his pressing work, the Brazil international spoke of his focus on his defensive efforts — and revealed he was inspired by the career of his countryman Ronaldo.

"We beat a top team, the best club in this competition so for us it is massive," Jesus told BT Sport.

"It is about belief, believe in their mistakes. We are human and can make mistakes so I believe always and I press, press a lot. It is one of my powers. I was happy to score.

"I work to be a great striker, I work every day hard to be like Ronaldo was. His quality is different from me but I have to work to be a great striker.

"Real Madrid are such a good team, they have a lot of players. They can beat us which is why we came to the pitch to work hard again.

"We have to keep working and stay strong for the next game."

Sterling, who scored his 100th goal for Manchester City and his fifth of their Champions League campaign, believes his team's work-rate was the main reason behind their victory in the tie.

"Energy, passion. It is a competition we want to do well in. If we play our football and run our socks off then the result will come," Sterling said to BT Sport.

"We know how good they are, we know how good we are and the difference was who would run the most and I thought we were brilliant today.

"We wanted to be right on them and from our pressing we got two goals. [It is] a great achievement [to score 100 goals for the club], hopefully plenty more to follow."

City will now meet Ligue 1 outfit Lyon in the competition's quarter-finals after the French side dumped Juventus out on away goals.

Original author: Kieran Francis
  56 Hits

'We have to beat the big clubs' - Guardiola says Real Madrid triumph is not enough for Manchester CIty

Goals from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus sealed a quarter-final date with Lyon for the Citizens, who downed Madrid home and away to go through

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has called on his charges not to rest on their laurels after inflicting defeat on Real Madrid in the Champions League on Friday. 

Holding a 2-1 advantage from March's last-16 first leg, City enjoyed a perfect start at the Etihad Stadium when Raheem Sterling hit the target after just eight minutes. 

Rodrygo pulled one back for the visitors before half-time, but Gabriel Jesus' goal secured qualification for the quarter finals, inflicting in the process a first Champions League knock-out defeat on Merengue coach Zinedine Zidane. 

Madrid have won four of the last six editions of Europe's biggest club competition, including three in a row during Zidane's first spell as coach between 2016 and 2018. 

But while ex-Barcelona player and boss Guardiola was pleased to get one over on his old Clasico rival, he insisted that winning such ties should be the minimum expected of City.

"It is important, we beat them twice. Zinedine Zidane had never lost a knock-out game," the manager told  BT Sport  after the final whistle at the Etihad. 

"You see the calm and personality they play with, they are good. We are here to try and win the Champions League.

"It is one step, if we think that is enough we will show how small we are. If you want to win you have to beat the big clubs.

"I just spoke with the scouting department [about Lyon] and they told me to be alert. We have eight days to prepare for it. We will enjoy it and then after we will think about Lyon."

Despite leading on aggregate throughout the second leg City took the game to their more cautious opponents, recording 20 shots to Madrid's nine over the 90 minutes. 

The hosts nevertheless benefited from no little good fortune as Raphael Varane erred in both goals, which Pep put down to the effectiveness of his side's pressing game.

"We created a lot of chances and scored two goals with mistakes from them. We tried to convince them to go, go and attack but it is not easy against this team," he added.

"We try to [press], sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. In general we did a good job.

"We could not expect after 30 minutes be 4-0 up. The second half didn't have much but we created a lot. The players made an incredible effort - all of them.

"The first half we played with our wingers more inside, not wider. I think that was a mistake from my side. We corrected in the second half and were better."

City move on to face Lyon in the last eight, with the sides' single tie scheduled to be played on August 15 at Lisbon's Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Original author: Goal
  54 Hits

Jean Kouassi's double powers Wuhan Zall past Shijiazhuang Ever Bright

The former Ivory Coast youth international was the hero for Jose Gonzalez's team at the Kunshan Sports Center Stadium on Friday

Jean Kouassi opened his goal account for the 2020 Chinese Super League campaign with a brace in Wuhan Zall's 2-1 win against Shijiazhuang Ever Bright on Friday.

The Ivorian forward opened the scoring for the hosts at the Kunshan Sports Center Stadium in the 15th minute, thanks to an assist from Leo Baptistao.

Twenty minutes later, Kouassi doubled the hosts' lead with his strike from the penalty spot. Towards the end of the first-half, Muriqui pulled a goal back for Shijiazhuang Ever Bright in the stoppage time.

The 46th minute goal was not enough for the visitors as Wuhan Zall held on to their lead in the second 45 minutes to claim their second victory in the Chinese top-flight this season.

Kouassi was on parade from start to finish, and he has started every of his team’s games with 260 minutes of league football played so far this term.

Jose Gonzalez's men have been impressive since the 2020 Chinese Super League season started a fortnight ago after a lengthy suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wuhan Zall have won two of their opening three matches, and their only defeat was a 1-0 away loss to Beijing Guoan on August 1.

They are third in the league table with six points after three games, a point behind second-placed Shanghai SIPG and three points adrift of unbeaten leaders Beijing Guoan.

Kouassi will be aiming to help Wuhan Zall build on Friday's win when they visit Shanghai SIPG for their next league outing on August 12.

Since his outing for the Ivory Coast U17 team in 2011, Kouassi has not been considered for the selection into the country's national team.

The 25-year-old helped the West African nation reach the round of 16 stage at the U17 World Cup in Mexico nine years ago, where they bowed to a 3-2 defeat against France.

Original author: Taiye Taiwo
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'This is my defeat' - Varane takes responsibility for Madrid Champions League exit after Man City horror show

The centre-back made two costly errors directly leading to goals, sending the Merengue out of the competition

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has taken full responsibility for sending his side out of the Champions League after two damaging mistakes sealed the Merengue's fate against Manchester City on Friday.

Having won the trophy on each of his first three attempts at the Madrid helm, Zinedine Zidane finally found himself on the wrong side of a European knock-out clash as City's 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium sent them through to the last four with a 4-2 aggregate triumph. 

Karim Benzema struck in the first half to cancel out Raheem Sterling's early opener, before Gabriel Jesus struck in the second half to put the tie beyond doubt.

Both of the hosts' goals came after errors from Varane, who was exposed at the back in the absence of suspended centre-back partner Sergio Ramos. 

And the France international made no effort to shift the blame as he looked back on a disastrous 90 minutes at the Etihad. 

"This defeat is mine, I have to accept it," he told reporters after the game. 

"I am responsible for this defeat. We had prepared well but you pay for your mistakes. I am sad for my team-mates. 

"At 1-1 we had the chance to qualify and today things did not go to plan.

Zidane, meanwhile, preferred to look at the positives from a season that saw Madrid reclaim the Liga title from Barcelona and backed the defender to recover from his blunders. 

"We will tell Varane, keep your head up," the manager told reporters after the final whistle at the Etihad. 

"I prefer to dwell on what most of my players achieved over the course of the season, which was spectacular. 

“Our season has been very good. We have not ended with a good result, but the season has been good, despite everything. We must be very happy with what we have done.”

“We lost the two games, and in the end they deserved it. In first 15 or 20 minutes there was a feeling we could not get past their press. But then we played pretty well. In the second half, when we were on top, we gave up the second goal.”

City move on to face Lyon in the next round, after the French side upset Juventus on away goals following a 2-1 defeat in Turin.

Original author: Goal
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Video: Premier League Review - Part Five: Liverpool crowned PL champions

Video: Premier League Review - Part Five: Liverpool crowned PL champions | Goal.com

Premier League

22:45 BST 07/08/2020

Liverpool Jurgen Klopp Anfield Premier League Title Celebrations

Liverpool finally get to celebrate while top-four and relegation battles take place behind-closed-doors

Original author: Goal
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Real Madrid boss Zidane eliminated from Champions League for first time as manager

After winning the competition in his first three tries, the Frenchman has finally overseen defeat after falling to Manchester City

Zinedine Zidane has finally been eliminated from the Champions League as a manager after winning the competition in his first three tries.

Zidane's Real Madrid fell 2-1 to Manchester City in the second leg of a last-16 tie on Friday night, crashing out of the competition via a 4-2 aggregate result. 

City had defeated Los Blancos 2-1 in the first leg at Santiago Bernabeu all the way back in February, before the coronavirus pandemic delayed the second leg for nearly six months.

It was the first time Madrid lost both legs of a Champions League knockout tie since 2008-09, when they fell both home and away against Liverpool in the last 16.

That tie against the Reds was also the most recent time an English side won both legs in a Champions League knockout tie against Spanish opposition.

The result saw Zidane's remarkable run of success in Europe's top club competition end after he led Madrid to titles in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.

The Frenchman was named Madrid manager in January 2016 and helped his side win the Champions League in his first half season in charge, defeating rivals Atletico in the final.

Triumphs would follow in the next two seasons as well, with Madrid defeating Juventus in the 2016-17 final and Liverpool in the final the following season.

Zidane would step away from his post after the win over Liverpool, but was lured back midway through the 2018-19 season after Madrid had suffered a surprise last-16 elimination from the Champions League against Ajax

Now, the Frenchman has finally overseen a Champions League exit as a manager, with Real Madrid having been eliminated before the quarter-finals in consecutive Champions League campaigns for the first time since 2009-10.

Two major errors from Raphael Varane directly led to City's two goals at the Etihad Stadium on Friday.

Varane became the first Real Madrid player to commit two errors leading to a goal in a single Champions League game since at least the 2007-08 season.

After advancing past Real Madrid, Manchester City will now face Lyon in the quarter-final after the Ligue 1 side pulled off a shocking upset against Juventus.

Original author: Goal
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Brian Idowu: Lokomotiv Moscow loan Nigeria defender to rivals FC Khimki

The Super Eagles left-back will spend the 2020-21 Russian top-flight campaign with the newly-promoted club on a temporary deal

FC Khimki have announced the signing of Brian Idowu on a season-long loan from Lokomotiv Moscow for the 2020-21 Russian Premier League season.

The newly-promoted club, who finished second in the Russian second division last term, added the 28-year-old Nigeria defender to their defensive ranks on Friday, ahead of their league opener against CSKA Moscow on Saturday.

Idowu joins FC Khimki with the ambition of gathering regular playing time after he was restricted to 12 Premier League matches at Lokomotiv Moscow last season.

He is the second African player in Dmitry Gunko's team after Ivory Coast's Mohamed Konate.

“The Red and Blacks rented Lokomotiv defender Brian Idowu. The loan agreement with the Nigerian defender is calculated until the end of the season,” a club statement read.

“We welcome Brian to Khimki and wish him successful performances for our team.”

Immediately he put pen to paper on Friday, Idowu joined his new teammates in preparing for Saturday’s home outing at the Rodina Stadium.

The Super Eagles defender, who was born in Russia to Nigerian parents, has spent his entire career in the European country so far.

After developing his game at Zenit St. Petersburg's youth academy, the left-back moved to Amkar Perm in 2010 where he later made his debut in the Russian Premier League two years later.

He spent eight years in the city of Perm which includes a loan spell with Dynamo St Petersburg in the 2013–14 season, however, he left Amkar Perm in July 2018 to sign a three-year with Lokomotiv Moscow.

Since he arrived in Moscow, the 28-year-old has struggled for regular action as he featured in 25 league games across two seasons.

On the international scene, Idowu’s last outing for the Super Eagles was at the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, where he played in every game before their group stage exit.

His last invitation to Gernot Rohr’s team was in September 2019 but he was an unused substitute in Nigeria’s 2-2 draw against Ukraine in an international friendly.

Original author: Taiye Taiwo
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Manchester City 2-1 Real Madrid (4-2 agg): Sterling, Jesus seal quarter-final spot

Manchester City took their place in the Champions League last eight as Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus sealed a 2-1 win over Real Madrid.

Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus sent Manchester City into the Champions League quarter-finals as a 2-1 defeat of Real Madrid on Friday sealed a 4-2 aggregate win.

Leading 2-1 from the first leg of their last-16 tie in February, City hit the front early on at the Etihad Stadium when Raphael Varane gift-wrapped Raheem Sterling his 100th goal for the club.

Karim Benzema's fine header restored parity in the 28th minute, only for Varane to again cost Madrid midway through the second half.

Jesus was the benefactor of the centre-back's second calamity of the game, with a quarter-final clash against Lyon the reward for City.

Varane's nightmare started in the ninth minute, with the France international playing himself into trouble, Jesus robbing possession and teeing up Sterling for a simple finish.

Sterling very nearly had his 101st goal in sky blue moments after, but his chipped effort dropped just over the bar.

Ederson had to make two fine saves as Madrid fought back, but City did not heed the warning, and the visitors were on level terms when Benzema headed in from Rodrygo's cross.

Sterling could have done better with a shot into the side netting following the restart, before Thibaut Courtois denied Kevin De Bruyne direct from a corner.

Courtois was in action again with 25 minutes remaining, tipping Jesus' effort over, but City had their second soon after.

Having messed up his initial header, Varane put nowhere near enough power on his nod back to Courtois, with Jesus nipping in to prod home cleverly from a tight angle.

Handed an Etihad farewell in the final stages, David Silva was inches away from making it 3-1 with a dipping free-kick, but City ultimately settled for what they had as they knocked out the 13-time European champions.


What does it mean? Jekyll and Hyde City must sharpen up to break Champions League duck

Sterling's opener was City's 150th Champions League goal, in their 76th appearance in the competition, yet they then conceded their 100th goal in the tournament under 20 minutes later.

If they are to end their wait for Europe's top club trophy this season, City's defence must give more support to their stellar forwards.

Century up for Sterling

Though the goal was gaping, Sterling still showed real composure to nudge City ahead early on, and in doing so he became the 17th player to reach a century of goals for the Citizens and the first Englishman since Dennis Tueart in 1981.

Varane horror show proves decisive

With Sergio Ramos suspended, the pressure was on Eder Militao heading into Friday's clash, yet it was his experienced defensive partner Varane who was left red-faced after his two errors resulted in both of City's goals.

What's next?

Lyon, who knocked out Juventus on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw, are next up for City on August 15 in Lisbon, while Madrid's focus will switch to the new season.

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Juventus 2-1 Lyon (2-2 agg): Ronaldo heroics not enough as Bianconeri crash out on away goals

Juventus 2-1 Lyon (2-2 agg): Ronaldo heroics not enough as Bianconeri crash out on away goals

Lyon advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals in Lisbon after beating Juventus on away goals despite defeat in the second leg.

Cristiano Ronaldo's brace could not rescue Juventus' Champions League campaign on Friday as they crashed out to Lyon on away goals at the last-16 stage, despite a 2-1 win in Turin.

Another season will pass without European success for the Bianconeri after their talisman - the competition's most prolific goalscorer - came up just short in his personal quest following the award of contentious penalties at either end in the second leg.

Having lost March's first meeting 1-0 in France, Juve could ill afford another setback but conceded after just 12 minutes as Memphis Depay's spot-kick gave Ronaldo and Co. a mountain to climb.

With the aid of their own generous penalty call, Ronaldo sought to lead the expedition and had the hosts in front on the night when he followed up his strike from 12 yards with a long-range effort in the second half.

Although the Portuguese hit a hat-trick at this stage against Atletico Madrid last season, such a feat proved beyond him this time as Juve paid for Lyon's bright start.

Houssem Aouar saw a low volley touched around the post by Wojciech Szczesny and the first penalty soon followed after the same man appeared to be tripped by Federico Bernardeschi just before a lunging Rodrigo Bentancur swept the ball away.

The spot-kick stood following a VAR review and Depay kept his cool to dink a finish down the centre of the goal, before Juve finally kicked into gear.

A sublime last-ditch challenge from Marcelo denied Bernardeschi an open goal and Ronaldo then directed a stooping header over the crossbar.

Anthony Lopes' strong right hand superbly kept out Ronaldo's free-kick, but the next intervention came from the arm of Depay. Miralem Pjanic's set-piece bounced away off the goalscorer's elbow, prompting a second harsh spot-kick which Ronaldo tucked away.

Just as Juve were toiling approaching the hour mark, Ronaldo came to the fore once more and unleashed a blistering left-footed strike that Lopes could only help into the top-right corner.

Ronaldo centred for Gonzalo Higuain to head over, before the two-goal star was wasteful from a similar position after Juve had called for Paulo Dybala from the bench.

Lyon offered precious little going the other way but clung to their narrow advantage as Dybala hobbled off, Maurizio Sarri's risk in throwing on a half-fit forward failing to bear fruit.


What does it mean? A sorry end to Sarri's season

Sarri's brief was to combine style with Juve's usual success. A ninth straight Scudetto was delivered, but the Bianconeri have repeatedly flattered to deceive this season and will now be spectators as Europe's elite head to Lisbon.

The need to introduce a struggling Dybala said much for the campaign. Juve have relied too heavily on individual talent this term, where Lyon's dogged teamwork got the job done.

Ronaldo attempts rescue act

The Champions League's all-time leading marksman has so often dragged his sides through such ties, be that with Manchester United, Real Madrid or Juve.

But even a typically influential display could not lift the Bianconeri this time. This is the first time Ronaldo has not been involved in the quarter-finals of the competition since 2009-10 - when Madrid lost to Lyon, of course, in the last 16.

Zwayer takes centre stage

No matter which way this tie had turned in the second half on Friday, the losing side were always likely to reflect on the concession of a contentious penalty as referee Felix Zwayer proved a decisive figure.

Juve moaned as Aouar hit the deck, although Bernardeschi did seem to make contact, before Depay was hugely unfortunate to be punished for handball, becoming the first man since detailed Opta data began in 2003-04 to score and concede a spot-kick in a Champions League game.

What's next?

It is Lyon who advance to Portugal to take on Manchester City next week. They are just three wins away from becoming champions of Europe for the very first time.

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