RelatedPosts Whirlwind Bayern Munich dismantle Schalke in season opener Koeman hints at different approach from Barca after friendly win Lewandowski passes 50-goal mark as Bayern win 20th German Cup Netherlands scored four times in 32 second half minutes to stage a 4-2 comeback win against hosts Germany in their Euro 2020 Group C qualifier on Friday. The Germans went ahead with Serge Gnabry, netting his fourth goal in four qualifiers in the ninth minute. The Dutch came back stronger after the break, scoring twice in seven minutes with Frenkie De Jong in the 59th and a Jonathan Tah own goal. Germany levelled with a harshly-awarded 73rd minute Toni Kroos penalty but the visitors got revenge for their 2-3 loss in Amsterdam in March. They struck through Donyell Malen in the 79th after a quick combination left the German defence frozen. Georginio Wijnaldum completed the win in stoppage time. The result leaves Germany on nine points from four games, three behind leaders Northern Ireland, who they face on Monday in Belfast. The Dutch move up to six points from three games. Belarus earned a stoppage-time 2-1 win at Estonia to claim their first points in the other game in the group on Friday. Reuters/NAN.Tags: Euro 2020Frenkie De JongSerge GnabryToni Kroos
RelatedPosts Tyson Fury to Anthony Joshua: Don’t risk fighting Usyk Anthony Joshua wants Tyson Fury, Wilder fight Joshua: Tyson Fury won’t distract me Tyson Fury has enlisted the help of two new sparring partners as he steps up preparations for his rematch with Deontay Wilder. British heavyweights David Adeleye and George Fox have joined the Gypsy King out in Las Vegas ahead of the February 22 showdown. As reported by the Sun, Fury has called on the pair’s assistance in a bid to ready himself for more heavy blows from knockout specialist Wilder. Adeleye only has one professional fight to his name, after making his debut back in December. But he wasted no time dispatching of opponent Dmitrij Kalinovskij inside two minutes and 25 seconds of the first round in a knockout victory at London’s CopperBox Arena. The 22-year-old trained with Tyson’s cousin Hughie Fury in the lead-up to his pro debut. Fox meanwhile has a few pro bouts under his belt, winning all three of his contests on points. The son of respected UK trainer Don Charles last fought in November at York Hall, beating Artur Kubiak. He is another fighter on the books of MTK Global, who also look after Fury. American heavyweight Jared Anderson has also been putting Fury through his paces with just under six weeks to go until fight night. Fury offered an insight into the nature of his current camp in his latest post on Instagram . The 31-year-old uploaded a picture of him in a hot tub surrounded by palm trees in relaxing settings. However he was quick to make clear it was anything but. “It would seem that I’m in a hot tub with palm trees and blue skies in Las Vegas, living the dream. Rolex on, sunglasses on,” the former world champion explained. “But in reality – not on Instagram – I’m in a gruelling training camp and it’s boring and repetitive every day. “Instagram would make you believe I’m having a whale of a time, enjoying myself, living the dream, everything is fantastic. But in reality, I’m getting worked to the bone every single day. “I’m getting smashed, session after session. I’m in the recovery pool because my joints of smashed and I need the recovery.”Tags: CopperBox ArenaDavid AdeleyeDmitrij KalinovskijTyson Fury
RelatedPosts Italy introduces compulsory virus testing for travellers from France Nigeria records new COVID-19 infections, more deaths as figures rise to 57,242 Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ Bayern Munich midfielder Philippe Coutinho underwent minor surgery on his right ankle on Friday and will start his rehabilitation programme in about two weeks.The 27-year-old Brazil international, on loan from Barcelona for one season, could be back fit for the remainder of the Bundesliga campaign, which has been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak. Chelsea are one of the clubs that have been offered the chance to sign on-loan Coutinho from Barcelona.Coutinho’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, this month told Sky Sports News his client would “love” to come back to the Premier League, but questioned what the financial conditions of all clubs would be following the coronavirus pandemic.The Bundesliga is expected to restart some time next month with games played without spectators, though an exact date will likely be decided next week at a government meeting.Bayern is four points clear at the top of the table and in the hunt for a record-extending eighth straight league crown.— Tags: CoronavirusKia JoorabchianPhilippe CoutinhoPremier LeagueSky Sports News
Rangers flop Umar Sadiq has insisted that it’s “no accident” that he is being tracked by Manchester United.The Nigerian bombed at Ibrox with just four appearances under his belt and no goals during his time on loan from Roma. After having departed the Glasgow outfit and then the Italians, Sadiq has rebuilt his career at Partizan Belgrade.So much so that Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly had the striker watched as recently as last week with a move to a potential bid after he scored 17 goals in 35 games for the Serbians this term.Sadiq, though, reckons he has merited the interest from the Premier League giants after a good campaign.“Manchester United’s interest is a big compliment for me as a player,” he told Belgrade daily Republika.“But, believe me, nothing is accidental. “Partizan have helped me a lot in my career.“I found my way, and now I just follow what they ask of me.“I think this is just the beginning of my success, and the motivation is there.“We work thoroughly before every game.“We don’t only talk about tactics and video analysis, but also human relationships. “Whether it’s the manager, Savo Milosevic, or someone else from the coaching staff, they are always there for us.“As for United, I think they were surprised by how we played against them in Belgrade.“They put out their best team, which tells you how much respect they had.”According to reports, AC Milan are also being linked with a potential move.RelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace He is under contract until 2022 at Partizan.Tags: Manchester UnitedPartizan BelgradeRangersUmar Sadiq
Jackson has passed a fitness test on the minor hamstring strain sustained during training on Monday, enabling him to continue in the number 10 jersey with Ian Madigan offering cover from the bench. Team manager Mick Kearney has also revealed that Munster prop Stephen Archer will fill the third vacancy left in the team that was announced on Tuesday after being selected on the bench. Ireland will start with Paddy Jackson at fly-half for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations clash with France at the Aviva Stadium. Jackson, 21, will be winning his second cap in Saturday’s must-win showdown between the two biggest flops of this year’s Six Nations, while Madigan will make his debut if he steps off the bench. “Paddy kicked in the Aviva Stadium yesterday and kicked well and trained fully this morning,” Kearney said. “Paddy’s hamstring first tightened up after Monday’s session so there was a bit of concern about him. “He sat out the session on Tuesday, received treatment and did some light running in the afternoon. “He then came through kicking at the Aviva Stadium yesterday afternoon very well, so that clarified things for us, but up until then there was some small doubt. “There was no discomfort this morning so he’ll be fine.” Ireland team: R Kearney (Leinster); F McFadden (Leinster), B O’Driscoll (Leinster), L Marshall (Ulster), K Earls (Munster); P Jackson (Ulster), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), M McCarthy (Connacht), D Ryan (Munster), P O’Mahony (Munster), S O’Brien (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster, capt). Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), D Kilcoyne (Munster), S Archer (Munster), D O’Callaghan (Munster), I Henderson (Ulster), E Reddan (Leinster), I Madigan (Leinster), L Fitzgerald (Leinster). Press Association
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas believes Liverpool have been carried by the superb form of Luis Suarez this season. Villas-Boas knows the chances of extending Spurs’ run of 12 unbeaten Barclays Premier League matches will largely depend on whether they can shackle Liverpool’s prolific hitman when the teams meet on Sunday. Although Villas-Boas has his own prolific talisman in Gareth Bale, the Portuguese said: “(Suarez) is a tremendous player. He is making the difference. (He is) a top player and is taking almost the team on his shoulders with his goal-scoring ability.” Press Association Villas-Boas added: “He is someone we must be wary of. He had a tremendous game at White Hart Lane and we have to be careful with his strengths.” Liverpool are 10 points off the Champions League places, but they would be far worse off had they been without their Uruguayan striker, who tops the scoring charts with 28 goals in 38 games in all competitions. Along with Manchester United’s Robin van Persie, Bale and Suarez are the leading contenders for the PFA Player of the Year award, which is announced next month. As has been the case with Liverpool and Suarez, Bale’s superb efforts this year have led to claims that Spurs are overly-reliant on their star forward, who has scored 21 goals. Tottenham’s former Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Friedel denies that is the case, though. “That’s ridiculous. That’s a poor comment,” said an angry Friedel, who spent three years at Liverpool when he first came to England. “Gareth is an exceptional player and we have a lot of exceptional players. “These comments about one-man teams… I mean, people talk about if Barcelona didn’t have Lionel Messi they wouldn’t have 40 goals but they do have Messi and they get the 40 goals. “Real Madrid have Cristiano Ronaldo. We have Gareth Bale. If Chicago Bulls didn’t have Michael Jordan they wouldn’t have won all those championships, but they did so they won. “Every good team has their star players. Gareth is playing well for us. We are a better team for it, but we have some exceptional players that can step in and do the job.”
Club chiefs Ron Gourlay and Bruce Buck are convinced Chelsea are well set to continue the success achieved during Roman Abramovich’s 10 years as owner. Since buying the club on July 1, 2003, Abramovich has overseen three Premier League titles – Chelsea’s first since 1955 – as well as winning four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Champions League he so coveted and last season’s Europa League. And chief executive Gourlay said: “It has been a hugely successful decade for Chelsea Football Club since Roman Abramovich took control, with an unprecedented number of trophies in the last 10 years. The club has also taken great strides off the field in that time, adapting to meet the challenges of football’s changing landscape.” He added: “Mr Abramovich’s early investment in playing staff paid dividends in creating a team admired around the world, but to keep Chelsea among the elite we have always known we must produce our own world-class talent and we are beginning to see the benefits of our academy, which will help us meet our long-term objectives for Financial Fair Play. “As we prepare for the next 10 years, I feel we are well positioned to continue the success we have so far enjoyed under Mr Abramovich and everybody here is determined to build on that progress we have made.” Chairman Buck recalled the club’s troubled financial situation before Abramovich arrived. The Russian billionaire was only the Premier League’s second overseas owner, following Fulham’s Mohamed Al Fayed, and he set the template for the subsequent influx of eastern European, American and Middle Eastern money into the league. He bankrolled the arrival of £150million worth of talent in Glen Johnson, Alexey Smertin, Geremi, Juan Sebastian Veron, Damien Duff, Wayne Bridge, Joe Cole, Adrian Mutu, Hernan Crespo, Claude Makelele and Scott Parker that first summer. More international stars have followed, with the club spending an estimated £874million on transfers and £1.5billion on wages during his decade at Stamford Bridge. UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play regulations present an additional test to clubs such as Chelsea used to spending their way to success. But Buck is confident they – and Abramovich – can adapt. He wrote: “Don’t forget, significant investment has already been made and the club now look optimistically at long-term financial stability under the new Financial Fair Play rules. Roman Abramovich is certainly a man of great ambition and as fervent a Chelsea fan as any you will meet in the pubs around Fulham Broadway before a match. “Time will tell what is possible. But if history is any indication of the future, the future is bright blue.” Press Association
Press Association Shelvey added: “He couldn’t guarantee me the first-team football at Liverpool, and he said if I could get the game-time at Swansea then I should definitely go. “I could have stayed at Liverpool and fought for my place because they didn’t want to get rid of me, but I felt, in the end, I needed to come and make a name for myself. “Rather than sit on the bench every week at Liverpool I need to come and play football and get myself to the status that I once had. “Moving here will help me in terms of the way the manager (Michael Laudrup) wants to play. “Obviously having worked under Brendan that will stand me in good stead. “I just want to enjoy my football, get as many games under my belt as possible and hopefully win something with Swansea.” The 21-year-old has signed a four-year contract after an initial £5million deal, with a further £1million in add-ons, was agreed quickly between the two clubs. Rodgers knows the south Wales set-up well having only left there for Anfield last summer and told Shelvey it would be ideal for him. “Leaving a club like Liverpool is a very hard decision to make but coming to Swansea, who play similar football which Brendan and managers before him installed here, is an attraction,” said the England Under-21 international. “Brendan said he wouldn’t let me go to a club that wasn’t right for me. He said Swansea are perfect for me with the way I play.” New Swansea midfielder Jonjo Shelvey followed the recommendation of his Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers in deciding to move to the Liberty Stadium.
Sharp’s former club Doncaster had a request to take him on a season-long loan rejected last month, while Forest have also been linked with an approach. As recently as Monday morning Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones flat-batted talk of a move for the ex-Sheffield United favourite, but such a move would mean another season in the Championship. And, according to Featherstone, Sharp’s preference is to remain in the Premier League should he leave Saints, who he believes would be looking to sell the striker rather than send him out on loan again. “For Billy going to Southampton was his opportunity to play for a Premier League club,” said Featherstone. “While that hasn’t happened in terms of getting out on the pitch, now that he has experienced being in the Premier League, if you like, then I certainly think it will form a big part of Billy’s decision was he to go elsewhere from Southampton. “Billy is a good goalscorer and a lot of teams in the Premier League and Championship are short of goals so as you can imagine there have been enquiries. “I think Southampton are probably holding out to see if there are any more enquiries that come in that are more suitable as at this stage that is not in their interest.” Press Association Sharp helped the Saints to the Premier League in 2012 but was loaned out to Nottingham Forest last season, with Pochettino opting against recalling him when he replaced Nigel Adkins in January. And Sharp’s agent, James Featherstone, seems to accept his client’s days at the club appear numbered. “It is a bit of a difficult one at the minute,” Featherstone told Press Association Sport. “He has been pre-season training with Southampton, working hard, and obviously he wants to try to force his way into the team. “With him being out on loan last season and a new manager coming in, he hasn’t really had a chance to impress. “He wants to play football, he doesn’t just want to sit out the last two years of his contract. “But if he doesn’t get an opportunity at Southampton and it is getting close to transfer deadline day at the end of August, or when the loan window opens back up a couple of weeks after, we will have to start making a decision about what is best for Billy. “There is no rush at the present though because as I said before there is the loan window, but if he is to go to another Premier League club or another territory then it will have to be done before this current transfer window closes.” Although not told he is unwanted at St Mary’s, Sharp’s name does not appear to be high on manager Mauricio Pochettino’s list of priorities. The 27-year-old was overlooked for the club’s pre-season trips to Spain and Austria, when the first of the first-team squad travelled. Billy Sharp’s agent admits there could come a time this month when the striker has to consider his options away from Southampton.
It was understood that the striker had been undergoing a medical in south Wales ahead of a reported £2.5million move from West Brom after his spell in the midlands turned sour. And 45 minutes after the transfer window had officially closed, the Nigerian Tweeted: “Absolutely delighted to be joining Cardiff City FC ! Can’t wait to hear the famous Cardiff fans roar ! I promise GOALS !!!” The 32-year-old, who was also reportedly on Swansea’s radar during the summer transfer window, has not been training with the Baggies this season after falling out of favour at The Hawthorns. Odemwingie hit the headlines in January after driving to QPR on deadline day to close a deal, but the move fell apart as West Brom refused to accept their bid. He told BBC Sport: “It’s a fresh start, a whole new beginning. “I’ve joined a club with a strong determination to achieve their goals. “Cardiff City showed great intent to bring me here. I have to thank the manager and everyone involved in making this transfer happen. “There are talented and dedicated players in the team, everyone is moving in the right direction and I also want to make a strong contribution as well.” Odemwingie signed for the Baggies from Lokomotiv Moscow for an undisclosed fee in 2010 and has scored 30 goals in 87 games for the Barclays Premier League club before his stunt earlier this year meant his days with Steve Clarke’s side were numbered. The Nigerian will become Malky Mackay’s eighth summer signing for the Bluebirds’ maiden Premier League campaign as he joins Andreas Cornelius, John Brayford, Simon Moore, Steven Caulker, Gary Medel, Maximiliano Amondarain and Kevin Theophile-Catherine at the Cardiff City Stadium. Peter Odemwingie expressed his joy after completing his deadline-day move to Cardiff. Press Association