Transfers Lewandowski’s ‘heard nothing’ from Real Madrid following agent change Chris Burton 18:34 25/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Real Madrid Bayern München Bundesliga Primera División Robert Lewandowski The prolific Bayern striker continues to be linked with a big-money summer transfer and commented on his change in representation Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has rubbished reports suggesting a change of agent means he is off to Real Madrid, with no contact received from Spain.The prolific Pole has turned to ‘super agent’ Pini Zahavi to manage his career, with the Israeli taking on one of the most sought-after talents in world football.Lewandowski is enjoying another productive season at club level, with the 20-goal mark reached in the Bundesliga for a third successive year and the sixth time in seven years spread across spells at Bayern and Borussia Dortmund. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp It is those exploits which continue to see him linked with big-money moves elsewhere, with reports of interest from Madrid refusing to go away.The 29-year-old has, however, once again moved to distance himself from the rumours and play down the importance of a change in representative, telling reporters: “No, that [agent change] has nothing to do with this speculation.“I haven’t heard anything from Real Madrid, I don’t know whether my agent has and people will write what they want, but it doesn’t interest me.”Lewandowski drew a rare blank in his latest outing, as Bayern were held to a goalless draw by Hertha Berlin, but he remains a talismanic presence in Munich.With that in mind, the Bundesliga leaders have no intention of sanctioning a sale, with manager Jupp Heynckes having said of the incessant transfer talk: “A player is allowed to change his agent, it doesn’t mean anything.“Bayern want to – and will – keep our top players.”Zahavi has also played down the Real reports, with no talks held with the La Liga giants at this stage.He told Bild after being confirmed as Lewandowski’s agent: “Of course I have a lot of contacts in the industry, but that has nothing to do with it.“However, one never knows what will happen in the future.”
Chelsea ‘Hazard should play 90 minutes’ – Courtois surprised at Conte’s Man Utd substitution Harry Sherlock Last updated 1 year ago 20:25 28/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty Images Chelsea Premier League Eden Hazard Manchester United v Chelsea Manchester United The Chelsea goalkeeper wants to see his Belgian team-mate play the full match where possible after he was withdrawn in the second half at Old Trafford Thibaut Courtois admits he was surprised to see Eden Hazard substituted by Antonio Conte during the 2-1 defeat at Manchester United.The Blues slipped out of the Premier League’s top four after goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard earned United the points following Willian’s opener.Lingard’s winner came two minutes after Hazard had been substituted by Conte, with Pedro coming on for the Belgium international. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Chelsea were then left without their most creative spark when chasing the game and Courtois has aired his surprise at his compatriot’s withdrawal. “I have no explanation for the substitution,” Courtois told Belgian outlet Play Sports. “I did not expect it, but it’s the manager’s choice. He’ll explain it. I can’t look into his head. “Of course, you want players like Eden 90 minutes on the pitch. He can always bring something extra.”Conte has been under pressure in recent weeks, with the Blues struggling domestically. Chelsea are currently fifth in the Premier League, two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham and 19 behind leaders Manchester City.Speaking after the defeat at Old Trafford, Conte suggested that Hazard had failed to maintain his high standards in the second half and that his withdrawal was merely a tactical decision.”No Hazard [is not injured], no,” he told a news conference. “It was a tactical decision. “You have to keep the same performance for 90 minutes, we didn’t have a great balance, and every single player has to try to work with the ball, without the ball, otherwise we lose our balance.”I think he’d finished his energy because the first half he ran a lot. The second half he started the same way, but when I see a player is a bit tired, my task is to find a different solution.”Meanwhile, Courtois was left deflated by the defeat at United, which came on the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Barcelona in the Champions League when Chelsea had also taken the lead.”After our goal, we conceded a counter-attacking goal just like last Tuesday but in the second half we had less of the ball, but even then we should never have lost this match,” he said.”If you do not do the small things well in top matches, you lose, which is what happened.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Arsenal 0 Manchester City 3: Guardiola routs Wenger again in 100th game in charge Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 05:36 2/3/2018 Getty Images Arsene Wenger’s position at Arsenal looks increasingly precarious after a second thumping defeat by Manchester City in five days. Manchester City delivered another sublime show of attacking brilliance as Pep Guardiola’s side marked the manager’s 100th game in charge with a 3-0 demolition of hapless Arsenal.City beat Arsenal by the same scoreline in Sunday’s EFL Cup final win at Wembley, giving Guardiola a first trophy after 18 months in English football.And the runaway Premier League leaders – now 16 points clear of rivals Manchester United – blew Arsenal away before the break, becoming the first team to score three goals away to the Gunners in the first half of a Premier League match. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Arsenal made a decent start but Leroy Sane fed Bernardo Silva for a glorious opener after 15 minutes, and the Germany international was then involved in a stunning team goal as David Silva – who was on target at Wembley – added a second.Sane scored the third before the break, finishing off another superb move, as Arsenal were regularly sliced open at a half-empty Emirates, the stadium adorned with blue lines in the snow.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a second-half penalty saved and another heavy defeat increases the growing pressure on Arsene Wenger, whose side are 10 points outside the Champions League qualification places, as sensational City close in on the title.3 – Arsenal have conceded three goals in the first half of a Premier League home game for the first time ever. Overwhelmed. pic.twitter.com/BGR7ok0X7f— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 1, 2018Henrikh Mkhitaryan urged Arsenal to “fight” for Wenger in the build-up to the game and Ederson had to save an early sighter from the Armenia international, while Vincent Kompany deflected a cross from Aaron Ramsey into the chest of City’s goalkeeper.But the visitors scored with their first meaningful attack, Bernardo Silva netting a brilliant strike.Sane drove at the Arsenal defence with pace and skill, slipping in the Portugal international, who worked the ball on to his left foot and bent a glorious curler into Petr Cech’s top-right corner.Ederson beat away Granit Xhaka’s long-range free-kick, the goalkeeper then diving to his right to cling on to a sharp Ramsey strike.But City’s clinical cutting edge sliced Arsenal open with another breathtaking attack after 27 minutes.Sane was at the heart of it again, bamboozling Shkodran Mustafi and feeding Sergio Aguero, who laid the ball into David Silva’s path. The Spain international’s first touch was perfect, the second lashing a left-footed finish beyond a helpless Cech.If you dont like this you dont like football !!! #SharkTeam— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) March 1, 2018City were rampant, a glorious third arriving within five minutes, Sane this time on target.Aguero’s clever touch on the halfway line created acres of space in the Arsenal defence, Kevin De Bruyne sliding Kyle Walker clear to square a low cross for Sane to roll the ball home.Nicolas Otamendi’s poor challenge on Mkhitaryan offered Arsenal a lifeline shortly after the restart – the Gunners having been booed off at the break – but Ederson dived to his left to keep out Aubameyang’s tame penalty.11 – Manchester City have saved 11 of the last 19 penalties they have faced in all competitions (excludes penalty shootouts). Intimidating. pic.twitter.com/zF0ZcQeTzc— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 1, 2018With the game won before the break, City were understandably less incisive, some sloppy passing marring their second-half display, while Walker limped off with 20 minutes remaining.Cech denied Aguero his 200th goal for the club but Guardiola could not have hoped for a more comprehensive victory to mark his City century, with Wenger left to wonder how to fix a team that has been heavily beaten three times by the league leaders this season. Key Opta stats:- Arsenal suffered their joint-heaviest home Premier League defeat, having also lost by three-goal margins to Coventry (1993), Middlesbrough (2001) and Chelsea (twice in 2009).- Manchester City have now scored more Premier League goals this season (82) than they scored in the entirety of last season (80).- This was Manchester City’s biggest away win at Arsenal in any competition since a 4-0 triumph in November 1912.- The Gunners have lost more matches in all competitions in 2018 than any other Premier League team (seven).- Arsenal are now on their longest Premier League run without a clean sheet (10 matches) since February 2002 (11 matches).- David Silva is only the third David to score on St. David’s Day in the Premier League, after David Dunn (Blackburn v Man City in 2003) and David Luiz (Chelsea v Man Utd in 2011).- This was the first time Arsenal conceded three goals in the first half of a home Premier League game and the first time they’d done so in a home league game since March 1989 against Nottingham Forest. read more
MLS VIDEO: Zardes and the Crew run past Toronto to open MLS season Goal 05:54 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() John E. Sokolowski MLS Toronto v Columbus Crew Toronto Columbus Crew Videos The former LA Galaxy forward scored on his debut for Columbus, helping his side past the defending champions in the 2018 league opener The 2018 MLS season got off to a flying start, with the defending MLS Cup champion, and Goal’s unanimous pick for the 2018 Supporters’ Shield, beaten 2-0 at home by the Columbus Crew. For the Crew the win was a bit of revenge against the club that knocked them out of the 2017 MLS Cup playoffs in the Eastern Conference finals. In that two-legged tie the Crew failed to find a way past Toronto’s defense and eventually lost out 1-0. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp In Saturday’s match, the opener for the 23rd season of MLS, the Crew broke the deadlock just before the break. Federico Higuain scored the first goal of the season in the league, catching a cross on the half-volley and powering it past Alex Bono. Columbus came out of the break still on the front foot, and just after the restart the Crew got a goal from new-signing Zardes. Pedro Santos played a splitting ball and the pace of the former LA Galaxy forward was more than Toronto’s defense could deal with. The 26-year-old raced onto the through-ball and took it on first time inside the near post, doubling the visiting side’s lead. The first goal of the MLS season that has @ColumbusCrewSC in front. #TORvCLB pic.twitter.com/yFFlDJkNGF— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 3, 2018Startin’ the 2nd half strong. @gyasinho puts the visitors up 2-0. #TORvCLBThat ball from @Pedro32santos tho… pic.twitter.com/EJ96a4063L— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 3, 2018Toronto had chances to get back into the match, with Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore both coming close, but the Crew stayed strong and held on for an impressive victory to open the season.
Real Madrid Ronaldo still Real’s shining superstar with Bale now a fading light Ben Hayward Last updated 1 year ago 22:39 10/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(13) Getty Real Madrid Eibar v Real Madrid Eibar Primera División Gareth Bale Cristiano Ronaldo Opinion The Portuguese scored both goals to give Los Blancos a hard-fought win at Eibar, in what was another disappointing afternoon for the Welsh winger Cristiano Ronaldo’s rise continues. The 33-year-old was on target twice to give Real Madrid all three points at Eibar on Saturday. But, alongside him in attack, these are trying times for Gareth Bale.The Portuguese made the difference again. His fantastic form in 2018 is quite a contrast to his struggles in front of goal in the Primera Division earlier on in the season. In the first half of the campaign, he netted only four times. But now, in early March and despite the occasional rest, he has already added 14 more.Three goals against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League – two at the Santiago Bernabeu and one at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday – also helped Zinedine Zidane’s side secure their place in the last eight of Europe’s premier club competition. Cristiano is well and truly back to doing what he does best. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp But amid Ronaldo’s rise, Bale’s star is fading at Real. The Welsh winger was willing at Eibar on Saturday, but struggled to make an impact in the tight spaces of a small playing surface at Ipurua.It was one of those afternoons for the 28-year-old. Whatever he tried did not really seem to come off. His movement was sometimes slow, while he cut an isolated figure and there appeared to be a lack of communication with his team-mates too. He also missed the target with a header from close range.Bale did not start either of the games against PSG in the last 16 of the Champions League and is clearly falling down the pecking order at Madrid. And, although he is still being used by Zidane in some fixtures, it is a much more secondary role for the former Tottenham man these days.A three-time Champions League winner since his €100 million move from White Hart Lane in the summer of 2013, Bale has been hampered by injuries during his time in Spain and his impressive early-season sparkle has also gone in recent weeks.”He is in a team where there are many players and sometimes he hasn’t played,” Zidane said on Friday. “He is fundamental for us and he will be until the end of the season, just like the others. There is nothing more.“I have to pick a team every three days and that is what I am doing. It is not a problem for him because we talk. He knows where he is and that all of the players are important. You [the media] want to look for a problem, but there is no problem. Gareth is important, but there are other important players.”That message, however, is very similar to how Zidane used to speak of James Rodriguez, who was ultimately sent away to Bayern Munich on a two-year loan after finding his opportunities limited under the French coach.It is also quite different to Zidane’s initial message on arrival as coach at Real, when he would not reveal his preferences in terms of team selection, but said: “The idea is to play with the three (Ronaldo, Bale and Karim Benzema) in attack.”That is no longer the case, with Zidane also opting for 4-4-2 in recent times and Bale, despite finishing the game on Saturday wide left – the position where he made his name at Spurs – was unable to shine once again.So, while Ronaldo remains as important as ever with his goals for Los Blancos, the Welshman’s influence continues to fade at Real Madrid.