Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham: Kevin De Bruyne ‘confused’ by handball rules after VAR rules out late Gabriel Jesus goal

18 Aug

Kevin De Bruyne admits he is ‘confused’ by the handball rules after Manchester City had a late goal disallowed by VAR in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham on Saturday.

Gabriel Jesus thought he had netted an injury-time winner for City, but his strike was ruled out by VAR after replays showed the ball brushed Aymeric Laporte’s arm in the build-up to the goal.

Kevin De Bruyne captained Manchester City against Tottenham
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The decision appeared to be harsh as Jesus had to be led away from the officials by his team-mates at full-time.

When asked about VAR, De Bruyne, who assisted both City goals, said: “It is what it is.

“If they want to make football better they should have it.

“But I think the only thing – the rules should be clear. If the ball had touched somebody of Tottenham’s arm it’s not a penalty, but if it touched our arm it is not allowed.

Gabriel Jesus was left frustrated by VAR
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“It should go both ways in something like that. I don’t understand that as a player. It makes it really confusing.”

Manchester City were pegged back twice by Tottenham, whose only two shots on target were their goals.

The result ended a run of 15 successive Premier League victories for Pep Guardiola’s side.

De Bruyne added: “Obviously we’re disappointed about the result but not about the way we played.

“We played really well and deserved to win but it happens. We have to look forward. The way we played was really good and to get to this level so early in the season is good.

“We should have scored one more, we had enough opportunities to score.

“That really doesn’t bother me because to create them is even more difficult and I know on another day we can score more goals.”

Manchester City news: Pep Guardiola ‘angry’ with Leroy Sane’s surgery decision

18 Aug

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is reportedly unhappy with Leroy Sane’s decision to snub the club’s medical advice.

Sane injured his anterior cruciate ligament in City’s Community Shield win over Liverpool.

Leroy Sane was linked with a big-money move to Bayern Munich earlier this summer
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Guardiola wanted the 23-year-old to undergo surgery with trusted doctor Ramon Cugat, who has operated on Benjamin Mendy and Kevin De Bruyne in the past.

However, The Mirror report the Spaniard has been ‘angered’ by Sane’s decision to choose Austrian specialist Professor Christian Fink to operate on him instead.

Fink is the German FA’s go-to surgeon and Sane is determined to prove to national team boss Joachim Low that he will be fit in time for Euro 2020.

The former Schalke star was controversially left out of Low’s 2018 World Cup squad as Germany were knocked out in the group stages.

Pep Guardiola will be without Leroy Sane for the majority of the season
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Sane has been ruled out until March, meaning he will have two months of action to impress Low before the season ends.

However, he was overlooked by Guardiola, at times, last term as Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez were preferred.

It led to Sane being linked with a big-money move to Bayern Munich earlier this month.

Low revealed he has been in touch with the winger since suffering the injury setback.

The 59-year-old said: “We were very sad and downcast when we heard about it.

“I had contact with Leroy. For him and his situation, of course, it was the worst possible time.

“We hope he will come back as soon as possible. He is a player of incredible quality and we wish him all the best.

“He will make it for the European Championship.”

Real Madrid above Barcelona in LaLiga for first time in 818 days

18 Aug

Real Madrid are above Barcelona in LaLiga for the first time in 818 days.

Zinedine Zidane’s side secured a 3-1 opening-day win over Celta Vigo on Saturday as Barcelona lost 1-0 to Athletic Bilbao thanks to a stunning Aduriz overhead kick 24 hours earlier.

Real Madrid stars celebrate against Celta Vigo
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Real have struggled in LaLiga for the past two seasons, while Barcelona have dominated the league.

Goals from Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez made sure Luka Modric’s 56th-minute red card did not affect the result.

Gareth Bale, who almost moved to China earlier this summer, assisted Benzema’s strike after being a surprise inclusion in the starting XI.

Zinedine Zidane is hoping to lead Real Madrid to silverware this season
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It is a dramatic U-turn from Zidane, who had previously made it clear he did not want Bale at the Bernabeu.

The Frenchman has been left short of wide options following a thigh injury to summer signing Eden Hazard.

Speaking about Bale’s future after their win at Celta Vigo, Zidane said: “He’s going to stay and we all have to think of that as a positive thing.

“The injury to Eden Hazard was bad luck for us but it didn’t change the plans we had for Bale in this game.

“Gareth and everyone else here is going to show this shirt the respect it deserves.”

George Puscas scores brilliant goal for Reading vs Cardiff as Royals secure 3-0 Championship win

18 Aug

George Puscas scored twice, including a goal of the season contender, on his home debut as Reading beat Cardiff 3-0.

The Royals’ £7.2million record signing from Inter, did the main damage with two first-half goals. John Swift added Reading’s third seven minutes from the end after a quick counter-attack.

George Puscas ran the show against Cardiff
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The home side missed a great chance to make it four, when Yakou Meite’s late penalty was saved.

Reading went into the game bottom of the table, and the only Championship side without a point after two rounds of matches.

The match was preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of Thames Valley police officer Andrew Harper, who was killed in an incident while on duty on Thursday evening.

Reading threatened first when Puscas shot across the face of goal from a promising position. Joe Ralls then tested Royals goalkeeper Rafael, making his home debut, with a powerful 20-yard shot.

Puscas continued to look dangerous and was rewarded with a superb goal – his second for the club – in the 25th minute.

He set off on a mazy run from near the halfway line, skipped past Will Vaulks and cut in before curling a left-foot shot past goalkeeper Alex Smithies.

Cardiff looked rattled and were breached again five minutes before the break.

Swift crossed from the right and Puscas, racing in at the near post, poked the ball past Smithies.

Cardiff manager Neil Warnock gambled at the break, bringing on substitutes Callum Paterson and Isaac Vassell.

Warnock had already used a replacement, Curtis Nelson, in the first half.

But it did little to improve Cardiff’s attacking ideas, with Reading continuing to look the more composed side going forward.

Omar Richards appeared to have set up Puscas for his hat-trick on the edge of the area, but the Romanian was crowded out at the last moment.

Lucas Joao missed a series of chances on the counter-attack but Rafael had to save acrobatically from Robert Glatzel’s fierce drive.

Cardiff’s fate was sealed in the 83rd minute when Swift broke away on the right to beat Smithies with an angled shot.

And they were indebted to Smithies in stoppage time, when he saved a Meite penalty after Sean Morrison had brought down Andy Yiadom.

Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish sets unwanted Premier League record with 20th successive defeat

18 Aug

Jack Grealish has become the first player to lose 20 successive Premier League games.

The Aston Villa captain’s wretched run began when he made his senior debut as a substitute in a 4-0 thrashing to Manchester City in May 2014.

Jack Grealish will be hoping to lead Aston Villa to safety this season
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He then appeared more regularly during the following season as the Villains were relegated from the top-flight.

Grealish established himself as a regular starter in the Championship and led his boyhood club back to the Premier League last season.

But it has been a tough start to the 2019/20 campaign for Grealish and co with Dean Smith’s side suffering back-to-back losses to Tottenham and Bournemouth.

The 2-1 home defeat to the Cherries made it loss number 20 in a row for the midfielder.

Dean Smith would have been disappointed with the manner in which Aston Villa conceded against Burnley
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Villa were the architects of their own downfall as Tom Heaton gave away a needless penalty in the opening minute of the game before a Douglas Luiz mistake saw Harry Wilson score from range.

Grealish insists Villa will be ‘fine’ when they stop making mistakes.

He said: “It’s disappointing and – we’ve all said it (in the dressing room), the manager said it to us – we have to cut out the mistakes.

“I gave away the ball last week for Harry Kane’s goal (in the 3-1 loss at Tottenham) and then we’ve given away a penalty and a deflected goal (on Saturday).

“I thought we were the much better team after the first 15, 20 minutes. But that’s this league for you. When you make mistakes, you do get punished.

“As soon as we cut these mistakes out, I am sure we will be fine.”

Manchester United news: New signing Hannibal Mejbri eyes iconic No.7 shirt

18 Aug

Manchester United new boy Hannibal Mejbri appears to have his sights set on the inconic No.7 shirt.

The 16-year-old joined the Red Devils in a £9.3million deal from Monaco last week, and is set to sign a professional contract when he turns 17 in January.

Hannibal Mejbri will be hoping to play at Old Trafford in the future
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United beat off competition from Arsenal, Tottenham and Leicester to land the highly-rated youngster.

Mejbri uploaded a picture on his Instagram page with his name on the back of a No.7 United top, which suggests it could be the number he wears for the club’s Under-18s during the current campaign.

The midfielder will be hopeful of first-team opportunities under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the future.

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Solskjaer has put his faith in youth since replacing Jose Mourinho in the Old Trafford hotseat in December.

The Norwegian brought in Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, both 21, for a combined total of £68million earlier this summer.

And he has confirmed 17-year-old Mason Greenwood will be involved in his plans this term following Romelu Lukaku’s departure to Inter Milan.

Discussing his trust in United’s younger players, Solskjaer said: “I believe in this way of managing this football club. I am paid to manage – and this is not just about me getting results now to help my reputation or whatever.

“It is about the club going forward in the right direction.

“If we don’t make these decisions now, they will have to be done in 12 months’ time or 18 months or 24 months – because at some point these kids will have to be a part of Man United.

“It’s fair to say the youngsters will play. They have impressed over the last six weeks and in the months before the summer.

“That is why they went on tour and that’s why we have given them so many minutes.

“It probably isn’t fair on them to be regulars in the team, but we have also got experienced players and the youngsters will come in and give us something extra.”

Kevin-Prince Boateng reveals former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson turned down chance to sign him

18 Aug

Kevin-Prince Boateng has revealed Manchester United turned down the chance to sign him in 2013.

The 32-year-old would have been one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s final transfer targets before the Scot’s retirement six years ago.

Kevin-Prince Boateng has played for 12 different clubs during his career
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Boateng claims Ferguson believed he was ‘a jack of all trades and master of none’.

And the Ghana international ended up joining Schalke after leaving AC Milan.

Boateng, who currently plays for Serie A club Fiorentina, told Goal and DAZN: “I am 32 years old now and I feel in good shape.

“I like the idea of playing as a false nine and have been considered a bit of a joker in the pack for years now.

“It can be an advantage, but also damaging to change roles all the time.

“Nobody knows that after Milan, I had the opportunity to join Manchester United, but Sir Alex Ferguson asked himself, ‘what position am I meant to play him in?’

“I was a jack of all trades in his view and master of none. The transfer was abandoned and I started to focus on being more specific in my approach.”

Boateng has remarkably played for 12 different clubs during his career, with his most recent spell coming on loan at Barcelona last season.

Boateng scored a stunner for AC Milan against Barcelona in 2012
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And he wishes he’d had his current personality at a younger age: “Mentality is crucial,” Boateng added. “I started too late to really think about [my career]. Of course I regret that.

“As an 18-year-old, I would have needed an agent or a family to push me in the right direction. I would have liked that. But I had to fix everything myself.

“I know very well that I have also failed with my motivation, which has not always been 100 per cent there.

“If I would have had the absolute will, I would have been a starting XI player at Barcelona or would have played 10 years for Real Madrid or Manchester United.”

Everton transfer news: Toffees ‘offered chance’ to sign former Bayern Munich ace Franck Ribery

18 Aug

Everton have been offered the chance to sign former Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery, reports claim.

The 36-year-old is a free agent after leaving the Bundesliga champions earlier this summer.

Ribery won nine top-flight titles and a Champions League trophy with Bayern after joining from Marseille in 2007.

Despite a trophy-laden career, Ribery still finds himself without a club.

And 90min claim Everton could offer the winger Premier League football on a short-term deal.

Marco Silva has significantly strengthened his Everton squad this summer
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The Toffees signed Alex Iwobi for £40million from Arsenal on transfer deadline day, and Ribery would only add to their wide options with Bernard, Theo Walcott and Richarlison competing for places.

Ribery, who was linked with a shock move to Premier League new boys Sheffield United in June, has no plans of retiring soon.

He said: “When I came to Bayern, it was a dream come true.

“It won’t be easy to say goodbye, but we must never forget what we’ve achieved together, we’ve won so much together – more than 20 honours.

“I don’t have a concrete plan for next season yet. I’m not sure where I can go to play football. I will keep playing but nothing is 100 per cent certain yet.”

Tottenham transfer news: Real Madrid to make late £60million bid for Christian Eriksen

18 Aug

Real Madrid are set to make a last-gasp £60million bid for Tottenham star Christian Eriksen, according to reports.

The 27-year-old has just one year left on his current deal and publicly expressed his desire to leave earlier this summer.

Christian Eriksen’s Tottenham future is in doubt
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Real Madrid have been long-term admirers of Eriksen, who could be a cheaper alternative to £150million Manchester United ace Paul Pogba.

The Sun claim that the LaLiga giants will make a late move for the Dane with the Spanish transfer window remaining open until September 2.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy does not want to lose Eriksen on a free transfer next year and could cash in on the midfielder.

And Bernabeu chiefs believe Levy will be open to do business.

Eriksen started in Tottenham’s 2-2 draw at Manchester City on Saturday after being left on the bench for their opening-day win over Aston Villa.

Asked whether Eriksen would be a Tottenham player when the European transfer window closes, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said: “I don’t know.

Eriksen’s future will be a worry for everyone connected with Spurs
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“My point is to help all of the players, my job is to support them all until they maybe decide to take a different way in their career.”

Chelsea vs Leicester: Predicted Blues team for Frank Lampard’s first game at Stamford Bridge as boss – will Christian Pulisic start?

18 Aug

Frank Lampard is set for a hero’s welcoming in his first home game in charge of Chelsea against Leicester on Sunday.

The Chelsea legend has had a tough start to life as Blues boss after being humiliated by Manchester United on the opening day of the season and losing to Liverpool on penalties in the UEFA Super Cup.

Frank Lampard is looking for his first win as Chelsea boss
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But Lampard will have the chance to bounce back when his players host a good Leicester side this weekend.

The former England midfielder returned to Stamford Bridge with his Derby side in the Carabao Cup last season, but has not represented Chelsea in west London since leaving the club in 2014.

Following their 4-0 humbling to Manchester United last weekend, Lampard could be tempted to change his starting XI.

Christian Pulisic and Olivier Giroud, who were both left on the bench at Old Trafford, impressed against Liverpool in midweek.

Giroud opened the scoring for the Blues after latching on to Pulisic’s clever pass, and the latter thought he had doubled his team’s lead, but his solo effort was ruled out for offside.

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Both players will be pushing for starts this weekend.

N’Golo Kante was arguably Chelsea’s best performer in the UEFA Super Cup and played the full 120 minutes, despite being only fit enough for the bench against United.

The World Cup winner could partner Jorginho and Mason Mount in midfield, while Pedro is likely to support Giroud and Pulisic in attack.

Giroud’s involvement would give Tammy Abraham a chance to be taken out of the firing line.

The England Under-21 striker missed the decisive penalty in Chelsea’s shootout defeat and was then subjected to online racial abuse.

Tammy Abraham had a night to forget against Liverpool
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Lampard spoke of his ‘disgust’ at the abuse Abraham has received.

He said: “Obviously Tammy is disappointed. More than disappointed, that is probably the wrong word.

“I am particularly disgusted by the so-called Chelsea fan.

“I have spoken with Tammy, he is a strong character. I love his character and he is infectious around the place.

“He is a great, great young lad and his football career is ahead of him. It will be a test of his character that he doesn’t need.”

Meanwhile, Antonio Rudiger, who has returned to first-team training following knee surgery, could replace Kurt Zouma in the heart of defence.

Zouma gave away a penalty, which allowed Marcus Rashford to open the scoring for United, and endured a torrid time against the England forward and Anthony Martial.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Emerson are expected to operate the full-back positions with Kepa in goal.

How Chelsea could look against Leicester City

Is this how Chelsea could line up against Leicester?
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