UEFA YOUTH LEAGUE: Chelsea qualify for final, beat Barcelona on penalties (5-4) (Match Report)

Chelsea progress after defeating the defending champions Barcelona through penalty shoot-out having played 2-2 draw.

Outclassed by the Catalans in last year’s final, Chelsea showed the bloody-minded resilience that had been absent that day to twice come from behind before sending the reigning champions crashing out.

Barcelona will rue missed opportunities – twice in normal time they had the lead and twice the Blues hit back.

Anssumane Fati scored in both halves to put the holders in front but the Blues fought bravely to the end.

McCormick made it 1-1 and Brown fired into the roof of the net to make it 2-2 before Karlo Ziger provided the heroics again to save in the shoot-out.

The Blaugrana had the shootout advantage, too, after Gallagher’s early miss, but Gonzalez shot over before Ziger repelled Miranda’s effort.

It was a nerve-racking shoot-out for the Blues, with Gallagher missing first, but his team-mates were flawless from 12 yards and Ziger saved in sudden death to avenge last year’s defeat and send the Stamford Bridge club to the final.

The Blues will take on Porto in the final in Switzerland on Monday next week as they aim to win the trophy for a record third time.

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Karlo Ziger; Joseph Colley, Marc Guehi, Ian Maatsen; Tariq Lamptey, Conor Gallagher, Billy Gilmour, Juan Castillo; Luke McCormick (c) (Tino Anjorin 72), George McEachran; Daishawn Redan (Charlie Brown 78)

Unused Subs: Nicolas Tie, George Nunn, Henry Lawrence, Marcel Lavinier, Jon Russell, Clinton Mola
Scorers McCormick 66; Brown 85
Booked Redan, Castillo

Barcelona (4-3-3): Arnau Tenas; Guillem Jaime, Oscar Mingueza, Mika Medina, Juan Miranda; Antonio Jesus, Jandro Orellana, Monchu (c) (Lucas de Vega 80); Konrad De La Fuente (Peque 83), Alejandro Marques, Anssumane Fati

Unused Subs: Sergi Rosanas, Pol Tristan Jimenez, Nicolas Gonzalez, Jose Martinez Marsa, Nils Mortimer
Scorer Fati 20, 69
Booked Antonio Jesus, Monchu, Miranda

Referee Denis Silva Puig

Photo Credit: uefa.com

Half-Time Report: Liverpool 3-0 Huddersfield… Keita, Mane, Salah on the scoresheet

Liverpool are in a comfortable lead over Huddersfield before the break as the Reds scored three goals.

Naby Keita scored what may turn out to be Liverpool’s quickest of all-time as the midfielder set Huddersfield on the back foot by netting the opener just 14 seconds into the contest.

Stankovic was dispossessed on the edge of his own box by Keita, he played it to Salah, who returned the favour and the Liverpool midfielder knocked it in off the post.

And Klopp’s men have enjoyed serene progress since then. Virgil van Dijk got his side going for the second goal, charging forward with the ball at his feet before spreading out to Andy Robertson.

The Scot did what he’s been doing all season, putting it right onto Sadio Mane’s head, the Senegalese making no mistake for his 19th Premier League goal of the season.

The Reds saved their best goal of the half just before the break. Mo Salah stuck his hand out to signal where he wanted it, Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped it over the top, Salah took a touch and looped it over the onrushing Jonas Lossl.

Photo Credit: premierleague.com

Solskjaer reveals his decision on David De Gea as tension grips Manchester United dressing room

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed his decision on blundering goalkeeper David de Gea.

The Spain international has not kept a clean sheet in 12 matches with the Red Devils conceding more goals than in any other season

The United manager is insisting he has no plans to take out-of-form keeper De Gea out of the firing line.

The Spain star, 28, continued his torrid run of form when he failed to keep out Leroy Sane’s goal in Wednesday’s Manchester derby defeat.

United’s goals-against column is their worst in Premier League history and there are still three matches to play.

Now, the Sun reports, ex-United stopper Gary Bailey believes it is time for De Gea to be given a rest and let Sergio Romero have a go.

Asked if that was possible, Solskjaer said: “No. Not at all. Because I trust David.

“For me, he’s been the best player United have had last six or seven years, absolutely outstanding.

“Going through tough patches is part of a footballer’s career and David will be fine.”

Some have wondered if his contract issue with United is starting to affect his form.

The long-serving keeper is being linked with Real Madrid again after months of negotiations have failed to reach a conclusion.

But Solskjaer said: “That’s something you have to deal with as a footballer.

“You don’t always have a lot of years on your contract. But David’s coming in every single day doing what he should be doing.”

Photo Credit: Daily Express

Paris Saint-Germain hunt for former Chelsea striker, propose another star in exchange

According to reports in Spain, Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa.

Additional reports also state that the La Liga club are equally willing to sell the striker

Mundo Deportivo claims the former Chelsea striker is set to leave Diego Simeone’s side for a second time after suspension ended his season early.

Costa, 30, was handed an eight-match ban by La Liga authorities after verbally abusing the referee during the 2-0 defeat to Barcelona earlier this month.

Atletico chiefs were furious with Costa’s vile antics and revealed they would be punishing him internally.

That didn’t go down well with the fiery forward, who was expecting to be defended by his club.

Costa quickly refused to take part in training with his teammates.

The Spain international has netted just five goals in 21 matches for Los Rojiblancos this season.

Cadena Cope claims that the Lique 1 champions are willing to offer Edinson Cavani in exchange for the former Chelsea striker.

Cavani’s contract in the French capital expires next summer and he has scored 192 goals across six seasons at the French giants.

The Sun adds that although Simeone would prefer to keep the ace at the Wanda Metropolitano, he respects Atletico’s decision and agrees the squad could benefit from having a calmer presence next season.

REVEALED: Why Paul Pogba’s agent cancelled new contract talks with Manchester United

Fresh information has emerged over the reason Mino Raiola reportedly cancelled a meeting with Manchester United over a new contract for Paul Pogba.

The Frenchman has been linked with move to Juventus and Real Madrid lately as he is disenchanted with developments in the Old Trafford club.

The Sun writes Pogba is ‘so determined’ to leave United, and that is ‘tearing the dressing room apart’.

The midfielder was included in the PFA Team of the Year after a career-best 16 goals and 11 assists in 2018-19, but he has ‘his heart set’ on a transfer.

According to the newspaper, he is unhappy with the club’s lack of progress since first leaving Old Trafford seven years ago and ‘is not convinced’ by Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Described as a figure who ‘runs’ the dressing room, the 26-year-old’s teammates ‘know’ he wants to move on and ‘fear’ Solskjaer cannot handle him.

It comes after a report in Friday’s Tuttosport, which claimed Pogba had told United that he would leave Manchester in June.

“A return to Turin is the priority, but Perez and Zidane are prepared to play the Bale card to snatch him away from the Bianconeri,” it goes on to explain, as quoted by Football Italia.

Chelsea close in on Barcelona star despite transfer ban

There are reports in Spain that Chelsea are keeping tabs on the situation of Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho with a view to a summer deal.

Coutinho, who moved to the Nou Camp from Liverpool in January 2018 for an initial €120m fee, has not established himself as a consistent starter under Coach Ernesto Valverde – with just 35 La Liga starts in 15 months.

El Confidencial report follows on directly from a report in Diario Sport which claimed the Brazilian will replace the outgoing Eden Hazard, who has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid.

The former Liverpool playmaker has cut a frustrated figure for the Catalan club this season, finding starting opportunities limited at the club and struggling to find consistent form.

Football Espana adds that the Blaugrana are keen to shift on the player for any bids upwards of €100m, as they want to clear his €14m annual wage in order to add to their own squad.

Chelsea will need to find a replacement for Hazard but are under a FIFA-imposed transfer ban for the next two windows, which the club are currently appealing – the report claims the move is now ‘in FIFA’s hands’.

The player was recently booed by sections of Barca’s support in their 3-1 home win over Rayo Vallecano and appeared to cup his ears to fans after scoring against Manchester United in the Champions League.

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United have also been linked to the player, who is hoping to retain his place in Barca’s side ahead of the returning Ousmane Dembele.

Brahim Diaz steals the show as Real Madrid share spoils with Getafe (Match Report)

The match between Real Madrid and city rivals Getafe ended goalless with the club in the south of Madrid back in the Champions League spots.

Getafe were desperate to return to the Top Four after Sevilla’s win at home to Rayo Vallecano.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane made six changes from the side that beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 at the weekend, with Gareth Bale returning to the starting XI in the match against city rivals.

Fans were however disappointed not to see Dani Ceballos or Marcos Llorente in the match-day squad (or Vallejo in the starting line-up). But they found succour in the 19-year old Brahim Diaz.

Brahim was one of Real Madrid’s most brightest players, and was the most dangerous attacker in the La Liga game played at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

There were very few chances for either side, with Karim Benzema wasting the best chance two minutes before the break – with David Soria making a good save.

Both sides had half chances after the break, but both goal keepers were in good form to keep the score locked at 0-0.

Photo Credit: realmadrid.com