Manchester City reached the Champions League quarter-finals after beating Real Madrid 2-1 (4-2 on aggregate) at the Etihad Stadium on Friday, with scorers Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus taking advantage of errors by defender Raphael Varane.
Real, trailing 2-1 from the first-leg and without their suspended skipper and defensive lynchpin Sergio Ramos, made a disastrous start, gifting City a ninth minute opener.
Frenchman, Varane, having received a pass inside his own area from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, was robbed by City forward Jesus and he slipped the ball to Sterling who slotted home.
There was a strong response from the Spanish champions, with City keeper Ederson forced into fine saves to keep out efforts from Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard.
Ederson could do nothing, however, to keep out a bullet header from Benzema in the 28th minute, the Frenchman rising to power home a superb pin-point cross from Rodrygo.
City created chances after the break but lacked the killer touch and it took another piece of calamitous defending by Varane to decide the tie in the 68th minute.
This was after his attempted header back to Courtois was too weak and Jesus was alert again, nipping in to flick it past the keeper and make it 2-1 on the night.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)https://nnn.ng/uclman-city-eliminate-real-madrid-after-varane-nightmare/
Spurs sign Bale on loan, Reguilon on permanent deal
Tottenham Hotspur have signed winger Gareth Bale and left-back Sergio Reguilon from Spanish champions Real Madrid, the English Premier League (EPL) club announced in a statement on Saturday.
Bale returns to his former club on a one-year loan deal, with British media reporting that Spurs will pay 20 million pounds in wages and fees for the 31-year-old Wales forward.
Reguilon, who spent last season on loan at Sevilla, arrives for a reported fee of 30 million euros (35.51 million dollars).
Bale made more than 200 appearances for Spurs between 2007 and 2013, scoring 56 goals with 58 assists before his then world record move to Real Madrid for 100 million euros.
He won four UEFA Champions League trophies and two La Liga titles with Real Madrid.
But he has divided opinion amongst the club’s fanbase, with some supporters frustrated by a perceived lack of commitment from the Welshman and his poor injury record.
Bale was poised for a move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning last year before the deal fell through.
He endured his worst season at Real Madrid in 2019/2020, scoring only three goals in all competitions, and barely featured in their run to the Liga title.
His growing rift with manager Zinedine Zidane intensified when he did not travel with the squad for a UEFA Champions League clash against Manchester City last season.
The signings of Bale and Reguilon follow the arrival at Spurs of Denmark midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Ireland defender Matt Doherty and former England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Aguero could be out of action until November, Guardiola says
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero could miss the first two months of the 2020/2021 English Premier League (EPL) season, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.
Guardiola said this was because Aguero was yet to train with the club since suffering a knee injury in June.
The Argentine was sidelined for the last 12 matches of Manchester City’s 2019/2020 campaign, including their two UEFA Champions League fixtures in August.
Guardiola said the 32-year-old may not be fit until November.
“We knew the injury was difficult,” Guardiola said.
“He still hasn’t had one training session with us and Sergio is not a guy who regains his physical condition quickly.
“He has been out for a long time. So, maybe in one or two months he will be ready.”
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Whirlwind Bayern Munich dismantle Schalke 8-0 in season opener
Treble winners Bayern Munich crushed Schalke 04 8-0 with a hat-trick from Serge Gnabry and a superb debut from Leroy Sane on Friday.
It was a sensational start to the new Bundesliga season and the win sent an ominous warning to potential challengers.
Also, it was the biggest opening win in Bundesliga history.
Bayern Munich showed they had lost none of the sharpness which helped them to lift the UEFA Champions League trophy less than a month ago in dominant fashion.
Gnabry grabbed his first goal for the hosts with a fine turn and shot in the fourth minute in what turned out to be a one-sided affair.
It stretched Bayern Munich’s unbeaten run to 31 games this year, having now won the last 22 matches in a row.
Schalke 04, without a league win in 17 consecutive matches since January, were helpless against Bayern Munich’s lightning-quick game.
Leon Goretzka found plenty of space to drive a low shot past goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann in the 19th minute.
“You can see that the team was already strong last season,” said Sane, who joined from Manchester City. “The team is still hungry in spite of winning the treble last season and to have such a start is outstanding.”
Bayern Munich finished their season in August when they added the Champions League to their Bundesliga and German Cup titles and then had only a short preparation for the new season.
Last season’s top goalscorer Robert Lewandowski found the net with a 31st minute penalty kick to become the first player to score in 10 successive appearances against the same Bundesliga opponents.
Gnabry then scored twice from Sane’s assists in the 47th and 59th before Thomas Mueller made it half a dozen after Lewandowski set him up with an impressive rabona kick.
Sane then capped his superb Bayern Munich debut with a fine finish from a counter attack in an empty Allianz Arena.
This was after the city had banned spectators due to rising coronavirus infection numbers in the region.
A little later substitute Jamal Musiala drilled in goal number eight to become the youngest ever Bayern Munich goalscorer in the league at 17 years old.
The result piled more pressure on already-embattled Schalke 04 coach David Wagner, who has been under intense scrutiny during their winless run this year.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Solskjaer criticises England over handling of youngster Greenwood
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Friday criticised England’s handling of Mason Greenwood for breaking COVID-19 rules.
Greenwood’s first England call-up ended with him being disciplined for breaking COVID-19 rules.
A video footage had showed Greenwood and Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden allegedly inviting women to their hotel rooms after England’s 1-0 UEFA Nations League win over Iceland.
The match was played in Reykjavik and both players were sent home.
England manager Gareth Southgate said the duo would have to regain his trust before they can be considered for selection again.
Solskjaer stressed that Greenwood should have been rested after his breakthrough season with the club.
“I’ve spoken to Mason. What we speak about and discuss will be between the two of us,” Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Saturday’s English Premier League (EPL) clash against Crystal Palace.
“The kid had a fantastic season, just come through. I’ve worked and the club worked hard. We gave Mason enough time on the pitch, exposure in the media.
“Then you come to the end of the season, we’ve had less than two weeks off and he’s called up.
“And first thing that happens he’s called up and right there in the press… We’ve done what we can to protect him. I’ve done what I can to help him,’’ he added.
Manchester United’s off-season was also disrupted by club captain Harry Maguire’s suspended prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days.
Maguire was accused of various charges following an alleged brawl during a family holiday on the island of Mykonos in Greece.
The 27-year-old England defender has maintained his innocence and was granted a full retrial after appealing against the verdict.
Solskjaer, however, said that the incident could be on Maguire’s mind as he returns to the pitch.
“Knowing Harry, he’s a very strong character and can put that apart. But as a human being it’ll be in the back of his mind,” he said.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh and Olawale Alabi)