Tag Archives: football

I must admit, I love scoring goals – Lewandowski says..

Sport

Robert Lewandowski underlined his status as a world-class striker with a Champions League record four goals in 15 minutes, leaving even his rivals comparing him to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The Bayern Munich star needed 14 minutes, 31 seconds to score his quartet in Tuesday’s 6-0 rout of Red Star Belgrade, making him the Champions League’s top-scorer with 10 goals in five games.

“I must admit, I’m addicted to goals,” Lewandowski, 31, wrote on Twitter, has now netted 27 goals in 20 games for Bayern this season.

Bayern has won all four games under interim coach Hansi Flick, conceding zero goals in the process and scoring 16 — seven of which were by Lewandowski.

“Robert is currently in top form,” said Flick. “He works incredibly professionally, always puts in extra work and has been rewarded for it again.”

His wife Anna, a former karate champion and fitness blogger, describes Lewandowski as a “machine” who puts in the hours at the gym to stay in top shape.

– ‘Machine’ –

“He really is a machine. His body is impressive. He is an absolute professional and sticks strictly to his diet plan,” she said.

His goal-scoring exploits are all the more remarkable given that Lewandowski needs a minor groin operation, most likely during January’s winter break.

Lewandowski, who was applauded off even by some Red Star fans, could have finished with five goals in Belgrade after a first-half effort was ruled out because of offside from team-mate Tolisso Corentin in the build-up.

However, the Frenchman made up for it by creating two of the four goals.

“He (Lewandowski) gets a lot of chances if we play like this,” said Thomas Mueller as Bayern enjoyed 71 per cent possession and peppered the Belgrade goal with 29 shots.

Lewandowski has 63 goals in 85 Champions League games, making him fifth in the list of all-time scorers behind Ronaldo (127), Messi (113), Spain’s Raul Gonzalez (71) and France’s Karim Benzema (64).

The Poland striker is the top-scoring foreigner in Bundesliga history with 281 goals in 302 games for Bayern and former club Dortmund.

No place for ‘disloyal’ Moreno in Spanish coaching team, says Enrique
His Belgrade haul was reminiscent of the five he scored in nine minutes in a 5-1 rout of Wolfsburg at the Allianz Arena in September 2015.

He is no stranger to scoring four goals in the Champions League, having achieved the same stunning feat in Dortmund’s 4-1 hammering of Real Madrid in the 2013 semi-finals.

Lewandowski is deadly in the area for club and country.

The Poland captain has 61 goals in 108 internationals, sailing past the all-time record of 48 scored by Wlodzimierz Lubanski in the 1960s and 70s.

Adam Nawalka, Poland coach from 2013 until 2018, said he would not swap Lewandowski for either Ronaldo or Messi.

Bayern’s 4-0 trashing of Fortuna Duesseldorf away last Saturday was remarkable only because it was Munich’s first league game this season in which Lewandowski failed to score.

By netting in the first 11 league games, he smashed the record of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scored for Dortmund in the first eight games of 2015/16.

– Free transfer –

“You can’t score every game unless your name is Robert Lewandowski,” joked RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner in early November.

“He’s currently in the same category as Ronaldo and Messi.”

The former Lech Poznan striker has not stopped scoring since breaking into the Dortmund team with eight goals in the 2010/11 season to help win the first of back-to-back league titles.

He forged an international reputation in four seasons at Dortmund, netting a hat-trick against future employers Bayern in the 2012 German Cup final before his four against Real in 2013.

Despite Dortmund’s best efforts to keep him, he walked away to join rivals Bayern on a free transfer in 2014, helping them win the Bundesliga five times and the German Cup twice.

However, he is running out of time to win the only title yet to elude him — the Champions League.

Bayern Munich is doing everything possible to keep their star happy.

After he demanded new big-name players were recruited last summer, Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic arrived on loan.

In August, Lewandowski signed a new contract — reportedly worth 15 million euros ($16.5m) — until June 2023, just shy of his 35th birthday.

#Newsworthy…

2-2: Despite having 26 goal attempts, Real Madrid draws with PSG in UCL..

Sport

Late goals from Sarabia and Kylian Mbappe was all that was needed by PSG to avoid a defeat by Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League heavyweight clash on Tuesday night.

Karim Benzema scored an early goal for Madrid in the 17th minute, and for much of the game, Real Madrid dominated the midfield and tested PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas with multiple attempts at goal.

UEFA Champions League: Keylor Navas the hero as Real Madrid draw 2-2 with PSG despite having over 26 goal attempts

In the second half, VAR had to be put to the test after it seemed goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois fouled a PSG player. But after multiple consultations with the Video Assistant Referee, the Referee rescinded the Red card handed to Thibaut Courtois and canceled the 1-1 awarded in favour of PSG.

UEFA Champions League: Keylor Navas the hero as Real Madrid draw 2-2 with PSG despite having over 26 goal attempts

Real Madrid scored again through Benzema after multiple saves by Navas in the second half, and it seemed like a confirmed win for Zinedine Zidane’s men who had to start the second half against a more determined PSG team with Neymar back in the second half line up.

With the scores at 2-0, Kylian Mbappe pulled one back before Pablo Sarabia lashed in a late equaliser.

A Gareth Bale last minute free-kick hit the back of the net in Real Madrid vs PSG extraordinary 2-2 draw and Real Madrid with up to 30 attempts at goal, will feel like the result didn’t reflect the true state of the match.

UEFA Champions League: Keylor Navas the hero as Real Madrid draw 2-2 with PSG despite having over 26 goal attempts

UEFA Champions League: Keylor Navas the hero as Real Madrid draw 2-2 with PSG despite having over 26 goal attempts

#Newsworthy…

Just in – Manchester City wins group c to qualify for the UCL last 16..

Sport

Manchester City booked their place in the Champions League last 16 for a seventh successive season despite a lacklustre 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola’s side were well below their best at the Etihad Stadium, but Ilkay Gundogan’s second-half strike put them on course to wrap up first place in Group C with one game to spare.

Although Manor Solomon equalised for Shakhtar, Atalanta’s win over Dinamo Zagreb ensured City can’t be knocked off top spot.

With the group clinched, Guardiola has the bonus of being able to rest players for the trip to Zagreb on December 11.

That is especially important as the Zagreb fixture comes between vital Premier League matches against Manchester United and Arsenal.

While City won’t give up their Premier League title without a fight, Liverpool are in such a strong position that Europe could provide Guardiola’s best hope of a major prize this term.

Guardiola won the Champions League twice as Barcelona boss but the last of those triumphs came in 2011. He hasn’t gone past the quarter-finals with City.

Returning to the knockout stages was a first step toward ending that frustrating streak, but Guardiola will know injury-hit City have plenty of room for improvement.

City made a sloppy start and were almost caught out when a long punt into their half prompted Ederson to rush off his line.

When the City keeper completely missed his attempt to clear, Shakhtar’s Mateus Tete charged into the penalty area, only for Fernandinho to block the shot with a superbly timed last-ditch slide.

Moments later, Ederson made a better dash off his line to clear after another Shakhtar raid threatened to open City up.

City’s limp opening was at least partially due to the absence of the club’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero, sidelined for several weeks after injuring a thigh in Saturday’s win over Chelsea.

Gabriel Jesus started in place of Aguero, but the Brazilian, who has scored five goals in eight starts this season, was largely anonymous.

Sluggish City

Rodri had City’s first sight of goal, but the midfielder’s shot was too close to Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov.

Ponderous for much of the half, City gradually found some rhythm and Nicolas Otamendi’s header from Angelino’s cross forced an agile save from Pyatov, while Gundogan’s deflected effort looped wide.

City have opened talks with Raheem Sterling about a new long-term contract that would reportedly make the 24-year-old one of the highest-paid players in the Premier League.

Sterling’s place among the world’s elite is without question, but this wasn’t the England winger’s best night.

He did perk up to create a chance that Jesus was unable to take early in the second half.

City finally conjured a move befitting their ability, cutting through the Shakhtar defence to take the lead in the 56th minute.

Kevin De Bruyne was the catalyst with a swift surge and pass into Jesus in the Shakhtar area.

Jesus did well to control and poke the ball across to Gundogan. The German midfielder took a touch before slotting into the bottom corner from 10 yards.

Even that wasn’t enough to paper over the cracks for sluggish City and Shakhtar equalised in the 69th minute.

Tete slipped his pass to the overlapping Dodo and his cut-back from the touchline drew a lethargic response from the City defence, allowing substitute Solomon to fire home from close-range only four minutes after coming on.

David Silva almost restored City’s lead seconds later, but the substitute’s shot was cleared off the line by Serhiy Kryvtsov.

#Newsworthy…

Lampard – Ross Barkley Shows Lack Of Professionalism..

Frank Lampard has accused Ross Barkley of showing a lack of professionalism after the Chelsea midfielder was pictured shirtless in a nightclub during the international break.

Barkley has been left out of Chelsea’s squad for Wednesday’s crucial Champions League Group H clash at Valencia as he continues his return from an ankle injury.

But, in his latest off-field incident, the 25-year-old was seen partying topless in Dubai recently, raising more questions about Barkley’s judgement just weeks after he was involved in a dispute with a taxi driver after spilling chips in the vehicle during a night out in Liverpool.

Lampard backed Barkley publicly on that occasion, but this time there was a sterner tone to his response when asked about the former Everton star.

“There are two separate issues. One is the headlines this week. Ross knows how I felt about the first headline. I backed him then and I still back him now,” Lampard said.

“But he showed a moment of a lack of professionalism as far as I’m concerned.

“It’s something he now needs to show all his reactions on the pitch.”

Although Lampard spoke out in support of Barkley following the taxi row, he still dropped Barkley for the following Champions League trip to Lille.

That was an early sign that Lampard is willing to be tough on his players. The recent revelation that he has ordered big fines for turning up late for training, among other offences, gave further credence to the belief that the Blues boss isn’t to be trifled with.

Lampard remains adamant he isn’t a hard disciplinarian.

“It’s not something that I want to be a pure dictator because I understand that all my players are humans and have lives,” he said.

“I don’t police every moment of their lives. So I don’t think it’s a terrible thing that he’s done.”

“Ross has had an injury and he’s still kind of carrying the injury, feeling a bit of pain when shooting, so he just has to work his way back in, in terms of the fitness, and train well.

“I certainly don’t hold anything against my players. I like Ross, he’s certainly one of my players.”

The Barkley incident has overshadowed the build-up to an important European night for Chelsea, who are second in Group H, level on points with leaders Ajax and third placed Valencia.

A loss at the Mestalla Stadium would be a blow to Chelsea’s hopes of reaching the last 16 and they will be without England winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, who suffered a minor hamstring injury on international duty.

Hudson-Odoi could be fit to face West Ham on Saturday, while Marcos Alonso was also absent from the squad that travelled to Spain.

#Newsoworthy…

Real Madrid qualifies for UCL round of 16…

Real Madrid qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League before taking to the field on Tuesday after Group A rivals Club Brugge drew 1-1 with Galatasaray in Istanbul.

The Belgian side needed to win in their early kick-off in Turkey to maintain any chance of qualifying ahead of Madrid, but they were on the back foot after Adem Buyuk gave Galatasaray an early lead.

The visitors did equalise in the second minute of added time via a fine individual effort by Krepin Diatta, but the draw still suited the 13-time European champions, with Brugge five points behind them while having just one game left to play.

Brugge finished the game with nine men, with Diatta shown a second yellow card after removing his shirt to celebrate the equaliser and Clinton Mata also being cautioned a second time after kicking down a corner flag in wild celebration.

Those celebrations were understandable, as the draw ensured that the Belgians stayed ahead of Galatasaray with one game remaining in the battle to finish third in the group and parachute into the knockout phase of the Europa League.

Real were hosting Paris Saint-Germain later at 2000 GMT at the Santiago Bernabeu needing to win to maintain a chance of beating the French side to top spot and thereby ensuring, in theory, an easier draw in the last 16.

In the other early kick-off on Tuesday, Bayer Leverkusen kept alive their chances of reaching the last 16 thanks to a 2-0 win away to Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia.

An unfortunate Rifat Zhemaletdinov own goal in the first half and then a fine Sven Bender volley in the 54th minute gave Leverkusen the victory.

The Bundesliga side are now just a point behind Atletico Madrid in Group D, but the Spaniards can seal qualification for the last 16 with a game to spare if they defeat Juventus in Turin later on Tuesday.
Juventus have already qualified but a win will allow them to guarantee progress as group winners.

#Newsworthy…

Neymar JR on bench as PSG clashes with Real Madrid in the UCL..

Neymar has been left on the bench for Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League game away at Real Madrid on Tuesday.

The Brazilian played 65 minutes against Lille on Friday after spending six weeks out with a hamstring injury.

Neymar came close to a return to Spain last summer but neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid were able to agree a transfer with PSG.

The French champions have already qualified for the knockout stages and sit top of Group A, five points clear of Madrid, whom they beat 3-0 in Paris in September.

#Newsworthy…

I will decide either to stay or leave next year January – Super eagles coach, Gernot rohr said.

Nigeria

With just seven months left on his contract with the Nigeria Football Federation, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, says he is looking at his options and hopes to have a meeting with NFF boss Amaju Pinnick in January to decide his Eagles future.

“The President of the Nigeria Football Federation has told me that we will sit down in January 2020 for a discussion and the conclusion of the extension of my contract, which runs out on the 30th of June,” Rohr told Insideworldfootball.

“To be very honest, I have enjoyed the last three years with the national team of Nigeria, because I can see the progress that I have made with the players over this period.”

“I think that I have the chance to do something with this group for the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The players are young, disciplined and willing to learn. I am very happy with them and my staff. We have formed a strong team, a strong unit,” he said.

“But I am surprised that the federation is taking their time to conclude a contract. And to be honest, I am also surprised that when I was given a contract extension after qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, it was only extended until July 2020, which is right in the middle of qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. That is not normal and it is only the federation that can explain the reason for this.”

“According to the provisions of my current contract with Nigeria, I am free, from January 1st 2020, to enter into a pre-contract agreement with any club or national team, to start work with them on the first of July 2020. That is my right,” Rohr said.

“After the AFCON in Egypt, I was approached by some national teams but I made it clear that I was still under contract with Nigeria and was happy to continue with my work here.

“I will wait for my conversation with the President of the Nigeria Football Federation in January, when he says that we shall arrange a time to sit down and talk. We shall see what happens.

“While I have had a good time with my players and staff over the last three years, I have to say that relations with the administration have not been very easy, especially when it comes to the payment of my wages and that of the bonuses and allowances of my players and staff. There needs to be a lot more respect in this regard,” he said.

According to the former Girondins Bordeaux defender and manager, who coached the national teams of Niger, Gabon and Burkina Faso, before joining Nigeria in 2016, Rohr claims that he is owed close to $100,000 in bonuses and allowances by the NFF.

Jean-Jacques Bertrand, who served as the lawyer of Manchester United legend Eric Cantona, has been negotiating with the NFF on Rohr’s behalf to get the arrears paid.

“I preferred to get Jean-Jacques involved because it got to a stage that I didn’t want to be speaking to the federation about money all the time. It got tiring… I wanted to take my mind away from money and simply focus on my job and let him deal with the issues off the field,” Rohr said.

Nigeria, under Rohr, won a bronze medal at the last Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt and have made a strong start in the 2021 AFCON qualifying campaign, winning their first two matches against Benin Republic and Lesotho.

#Newsworthy…

Balotelli gets shocking racist remark from IFC President, Says “He’s Black”…

Massimo Cellino, the president of Italian football club, Brescia has made a racist remark about his own club’s striker, Mario Balotelli.

This comes days after the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker was a target of racist chants during a match at Hellas Verona. The incident made the 29-year-old forcefully play the ball into the crowd and even threatened to leave the field.

On Saturday, Balotelli was dropped from his club’s 3-0 defeat by Roma after he reportedly stormed out of training following an argument with his coach Fabio Grosso.

When asked about Balotelli on Monday, Massimo Cellino said: ‘He’s black, what can I say, he’s working on clearing himself but he’s having a lot of difficulty.’

Brescia quickly released a statement insisting that their president was only joking in his comment.

The statement read: ‘Concerning the declarations released this afternoon by President Massimo Cellino, referring to our player Mario Balotelli, Brescia Calcio evidently deals with a paradoxical joke, clearly misunderstood, released in an attempt to defuse excessive media exposure and with intent to protect the player himself.’

#Newsworthy..

Super Eagles Coach, Rohr Strives To Meet NFF’s Objectives For Contract Renewal..

Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr, is making efforts to ensure that his contract is renewed by the Nigeria Football Federation.

The renewal of Rohr’s contract has come under controversy as the NFF issued fresh conditions for extension.

Rohr’s contract expires in June 2020, and it was expected that talks on renewal should have commenced.

According to the NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, the Eagles coach would be expected to monitor domestic games and be domiciled in Nigeria.

N.Rs gathered that the sports minister, Sunday Dare, also told Rohr to adhere to NFF’s condition during their meeting in Abuja last week.

Apart from asking Rohr to agree with NFF, Dare also told him that his (gaffer) contract extension would be determined by the NFF.

Though Rohr refused to reveal his discussion with Dare to journalists, he has started monitoring domestic matches after their meeting.

Immediately after the meeting in Abuja, Rohr travelled to Lagos to watch a Nigeria Professional Football League match between MFM and Warri Wolves at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

Last weekend, the Franco-German watched the NPFL game between Enugu Rangers and Akwa Starlets at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

The 66-year-old, who expected that his contract would be renewed before December ending, said, “I have a lot I want to achieve. We can have a very good team for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. But we have to work hard together with all the relevant people in Nigeria.”

Rohr recently led the Eagles to two successful outings against Benin Republic and Lesotho in their 2021 AFCON qualifiers.

#Newsworthy…

Injured S. Aguero To Rest For A Week After Match Against Chelsea..

Manchester City are expected to be without striker Sergio Aguero for “a few weeks”, according to boss Pep Guardiola.

The Argentine sustained the injury during Saturday’s 2-1 win against Chelsea, with Guardiola unclear as to the exact nature of the problem.

In his press conference to preview Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk, Guardiola said: “Sergio will be out for a few games, a few weeks. I don’t know exactly.

“(The injury) is at the front.”

Gabriel Jesus can expect to feature more prominently in Aguero’s absence, and he said: “I am not happy Sergio is injured.

“I don’t like it when my friends are injured, but every day I work hard and I am ready.”

Manchester City will be through to the knockout phase of the Champions League if they avoid defeat against Shakhtar or if Dinamo Zagreb do not beat Atalanta.

City will be confirmed in top spot if they win, or if they draw and Dinamo do not win.

Guardiola said: “The position we have is good but we have not qualified yet. Tomorrow is a chance.”

#Newsworthy…

Italian Serie A Table After Sunday’s Match…

Italian Serie A table after Sunday’s early match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Juventus 13 11 2 0 23 10 35

Inter Milan 13 11 1 1 29 12 34

Lazio 12 7 3 2 28 13 24

Cagliari 12 7 3 2 23 12 24

Roma 12 6 4 2 20 14 22

Atalanta 13 6 4 3 31 21 22

Napoli 13 5 5 3 22 16 20

Parma 13 5 3 5 20 17 18

Fiorentina 12 4 4 4 18 19 16

Verona 12 4 3 5 10 11 15

Udinese 12 4 2 6 8 18 14

Torino 13 4 2 7 15 20 14

AC Milan 13 4 2 7 12 17 14

Sassuolo 11 4 1 6 21 21 13

Bologna 13 3 4 6 18 22 13

Lecce 12 2 4 6 15 25 10

Genoa 12 2 3 7 14 26 9

Sampdoria 12 2 3 7 7 19 9

SPAL 12 2 2 8 7 18 8

Brescia 11 2 1 8 10 20 7

#Newsworthy..