Half-Time Report: Dele Alli saves Mourinho blushes on stroke of half-time… Totteham 1-2 Olympiacos

November 26th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Tottenham Hotspur were awful in the first 45 minutes, but were bailed out by Dele Alli’s goal on the stroke of half-time to make it 2-1.

Until that point, the scripts had not just been torn up but thrown into the fire by a fine performance from the visitors against a stunned Spurs side.

A blunder by Meriah and Semedo’s failure to monitor Alli allowed the England international to cut down Olympiacos’ lead just before the two sides headed to the dressing rooms.

The Greek side were in command in the first 30 minutes, solid in defence, dominating in midfield and resourceful in attack.

It remains to be seen whether the unforced errors of the last minutes will affect them or if they can keep up their (mostly) good work and hold on to victory.

Photo Credit: Twitter @tottenhamhotspur.com

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Half-Time Report: Benzema hands Real Madrid lead PSG as Courtois red card, penalty overturned by VAR

November 26th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Karim Benzema’s goal separates the two sides at the break, but that is far from the big talking point, despite the hosts having the better chances.

Thibaut Courtois was given his marching orders right on half time after a foul on Mauro Icardi.

However his dismissal and the subsequent penalty were overturned by VAR!!!

Just a sensational 45 minutes of football with all the skill, wit, intensity, strategy and creativity you could possibly wish for.

Madrid the better side, for sure, but with no margin for error. Hazard’s best game in white.

Paris head to their dressing room frustrated not to be level, but they should likewise feel relieved not to be further behind.

Madrid had the better of an absorbing first 45 minutes and the visitors – kept in the game by Navas – will need to channel their frustration after the break if they wish to turn this match around.

Photo Credit: Twitter @realmadrid.com

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Jose Mourinho set to lose key player as Juventus, Real Madrid spoil for transfer showdown

November 26th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Reports in Italy claim that Tottenham Hotspur Christian Eriksen is at the centre of a potential battle royale between Juventus and Real Madrid as the two top European clubs are set to commence talks with the midfielder.

The 27-year-old’s Tottenham Hotspur contract expires in June and he can therefore legally begin discussions with other clubs soon.

He has long been associated with both Real Madrid and Juventus, but, Football Italia state that the lack of a transfer fee gives the Bianconeri an extra boost.

They already snapped up players such as Paul Pogba, Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey as free agents and hope to do the same with Eriksen.

According to both the Corriere dello Sport newspaper and Sky Sports UK, Juventus have laid the groundwork for an Eriksen approach.

He will be 28 in February and joined Spurs from Ajax in 2013 for €13.5m.

Photo Credit: premierleague.com

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Pressure mounts on Unai Emery as Arsenal begin search for replacement

November 25th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Reports in England claim Arsenal are lining up potential replacements with boss Unai Emery on the brink.

The Spaniard was thrown under further pressure as the Gunners suffered a drab 2-2 draw with struggling Southampton on Saturday.

Only a last minute equaliser from Alexandre Lacazette spared Arsenal’s blushes as supporters continued to turn on their manager.

According to the Daily Mail, there is a divide in the club’s boardroom as to whether to axe the Spaniard now or give him more time to turn around their fortunes.

But there is a growing sense that Emery’s days in the dugout are numbered and it’s only a matter of when and not if.

It is reported that Head of football Raul Sanllehi and technical director Edu are the two who are keen to grant him more time.

But it has not prevented the club from drawing up a list of long-term successors that includes former Juventus boss Max Allegri, report The Sun.

The Italian has been without a club since guiding the Old Lady to his fifth successive league title.

Allegri, 52, has only ever played and managed in Italy so question marks remain over whether he could adapt to the English game.

Former midfielder Mikel Arteta, now an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, is also on the shortlist.

And amazingly Mauricio Pochettino’s name is in the mix although his relationship with Tottenham means it remains highly that he would entertain talks.

Jose Mourinho was also admired but Spurs wasted little time in snapping up his signature.

Photo Credit: premierleague.com

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N’Golo Kante reveals why he rejected Paris Saint-Germain transfer offer

November 25th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has revealed the reason for rejecting a lucrative transfer offer from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

The Frenchman has scored three goals for the Blues despite his injury problems, which prevented him from featuring in most of the matches involving his club so far this season.

He was outstanding in the Premier League encounter against Manchester City at the Etihad, scoring the Chelsea’s only goal. The Stamford Bridge club were defeated after Kevin De Bryune and Riyad Mahrez scored two vital goals for the defending champions.

And owing to Kante’s consistent superlative performances, PSG and some top European clubs are reportedly keen to sign him.

He, however, rejected the French champions transfer offer in the summer for “sporting reason”, stating that “I felt good in London”

Speaking to French television channel Canal Plus, the World Cup winner said: “Sometimes we do not necessarily know where we want to go.

“But we know what we have. I know I was in Chelsea and I was good there. If I did not want to come to PSG it was more a sporting choice. I felt good in London, in the project and I was happy to stay there.’

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Jose Mourinho reveals Tottenham’s decision on move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic

November 25th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has dismissed speculation that Zlatan Ibrahimovic would join him for a reunion at White Hart Lane.

The former Manchester United striker is keen to join another top European club after announcing that he will be leaving LA Galaxy next month.

Spurs were linked with the 38-year-old just last week after the appointment of Mourinho, and reports claimed he’s billed to replace Fernando Llorente, who left for Napoli last summer.

Some Serie A clubs are reportedly angling for the services of the Swede, and AC Milan are determined to bring him back to San Siro.

But the Portuguese has poured cold water on the reported move, saying: “I have more than a connection [with Ibrahimovic], amazing player, amazing guy, but I would say no chance,’ affirmed the former Inter boss.

‘We have the best striker in England. It doesn’t make sense to sign him when we have Harry Kane.”

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Chelsea chairman responds to reports Roman Abramovich is planning to sell club

November 25th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Bruce Buck has denied reports that Roman Abramovich has concluded plan to sell the Stamford Bridge club.

There were reports that Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe made efforts to buy the Blues, but his offer fell short of Abramovich’s valuation of the club.

According to Buck, the club’s owner remains fully involved at Stamford Bridge and is not interested in “bargain’ bids” for the club.

Speaking to The Guardian, Buck revealed that owner Abramovich has never ordered him to get ready for a sale of the club despite some interest from bidders hoping to buy Chelsea at a bargain price.

Abramovich has reportedly not attended a home match since the British government delayed renewing his visa with the Chelsea owner then taking out Israeli citizenship in May 2018 and cancelling planned development to Stamford Bridge, report the Sky Sports.

Buck said: “So far as I know, absolutely not; to the contrary. I have never heard a word from Mr Abramovich: ‘Let’s get this ready for a sale,’ or something.

“Because of the political situation, there are people who think they might want to buy Chelsea football club at a bargain.

“We do get inquiries and we really have nothing to say to these people.

“In terms of being involved, in looking at new players, talking about whether to extend players’ contracts, do we buy this player, do we sell this player, [Abramovich] was always intimately involved in that from day one and is just as intimately involved now.”

Responding to talk that Chelsea appear to be on hold because of Abramovich’s absence, Buck said: “I understand what you are saying and it is hard to disprove it, except to say: ‘Let’s see what happens in the next transfer window.’

“The point I am making – it’s a glib one – if we go out in the next window and spend a zillion, it’s pretty hard to argue that things are on hold.”

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Britain’s richest man blasts Manchester United amid reports of potential takeover

November 25th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has dismissed reports over a potential takeover at Manchester United, criticizing the way the Old Trafford club is being managed.

There have been suggestions in England that the 67-yeaar-old wants to buy one of the top Premier League clubs especially Chelsea and Manchester United.

But Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly shot down speculation that he wanted to sell his club.

Sir Ratcliffe, who grew up supporting the Red Devils, has, however, bought Ligue 1 side Nice.

Reacting to the idea of buying Manchester United, Britain’s richest man, who is worth a whopping £20billion, told The Times: “They are in quite a big pickle as a business.

“They haven’t got the manager selection right, haven’t bought well. They have been the dumb money, which you see with players like Fred.

“United have spent an immense amount since [Sir Alex] Ferguson left and been poor, to put it mildly. Shockingly poor, to be honest.

“We won’t look elsewhere until we have had a good run here (at Nice). We need to find out how to be successful before you ever want to write a big cheque. It’s quite difficult,” he said.

“We have a different approach here [at Nice] to be moderately intelligent about it. Try to do it more grass roots, trying to locate young talent.

“Some clubs seem to have an ability to do that, Southampton, Lille. [Manchester] United have done it really poorly. They have lost the plot there somehow.”

Photo Credit: premierleague.com

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Frank Lampard reveals what he told his players after Manchester City defeat

November 24th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard assuaged the bitter feelings of his players after losing to Manchester City at the Etihad despite taking the lead in the first half of the encounter.

City came from behind to win 2-1 at the Etihad, with goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez following N’Golo Kante’s opener.

The Blues had never lost any of their away matches in this season’s Premier League.

Asked by Sky Sports what message he had for his players in the dressing room at full-time, Lampard said: “The fact that it hurts to lose any match, but even more when you’re not used to it. In the league, and with our away form, we’ve been winning for a long time.

“We’ve got to take the positives, and learn from the negatives. We need to look at that – but let’s go again.”

Lampard said it was a game of narrow margins, with City’s quality in attack the reason they emerged from the game as narrow victors.

Photo Credit: premierleague.com

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Chelsea star offered to Real Madrid

November 24th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

There are reports Chelsea star Willian has been offered to Real Madrid on a free transfer next summer.

The 31-year-old is in the last year of his current deal at Stamford Bridge and becomes a free agent in July – with Barcelona also monitoring the situation.

But reports in Spain claim the player’s representatives are contacting clubs to stir up interest.

Spanish website Defensa Central report Real Madrid have been sounded out to see if they are keen on bringing the Brazilian to the Santiago Bernabeu.

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