Zinedine Zidane under huge pressure at Real Madrid after admitting his side were ‘outplayed in every department’ by PSG

19 Sep

Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane is under huge pressure after the Spanish giants’ poor start to the season continued in the Champions League.

The Bernabeu boss admitted his side were outplayed ‘in every department’ on Wednesday night as they suffered a 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.

Zidane is facing calls to be sacked after Wednesday’s dreadful defeat to PSG
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PSG were without key attacking trio Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavai and Neymar but still ran riot against Real, with Angel Di Maria coming back to haunt his former club with a fine brace.

Real also hit a 16-year European low in the game as they failed to land a single shot on target.

They did have two goals disallowed by VAR, from Gareth Bale [for a harsh handball] and Karim Benzema [for offside], but ultimately the final score was a fair reflection of the game as PSG dominated.

Madrid have been struggling with injuries, with Luka Modric, Marcelo, Isco and Marco Asensio all on the sidelines, while captain Sergio Ramos was suspended.

But Zidane admits his team just could not compete with the French champions and lacked intensity as he suffered his biggest ever European defeat as Real boss.

“They were better than us in every department, in the play, in midfield, and the thing that annoys me most is the intensity,” he told Marca.

Angel Di Maria was a thorn in his former club’s side as he inspired PSG to victory in Paris
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“It’s difficult if you don’t start strongly. They’re good at creating chances, that’s not what worries me, it’s seeing my team without the necessary intensity at the high level of this competition.

“We knew they were going to press us, but we barely made any impact on the game and we created few chances.”

Zidane also refused to lay the blame at the door of any of his players, adding: “We’re all in the same boat here, I’m not going to single anyone out.”

The Frenchman’s return to Real has not gone to plan. In 17 games since his reappointment as manager in March, Los Blancos have won just seven, drawn four and lost five.

During his first spell in charge, which saw him guide the club to three straight Champions League titles, he boasted a win percentage of 80 per cent. Since coming back it reads as just 56 per cent.

And now the World Cup winning legend is facing claims he is not up to the task at Real and that his original success at the Bernabau was down to one man – Cristiano Ronaldo.

And the defeat to PSG wasn’t a one-off. Real were 3-0 up at home to Levante on Saturday and eventually won 3-2, and only avoided drawing 3-3 thanks to a brilliant late save from Thibaut Courtois.

They also drew 2-2 at Villarreal earlier this season, and the player who scored both of their goals was Bale – the man Zidane attempted to force out over the summer.

They also spent €300million in transfer window, but fans are not seeing any improvement on the pitch with top signing Eden Hazard yet to score or make an assist in a white shirt.

Everybody knows managers have a short life expectancy at Real Madrid but, having made the decision to end his first spell himself, Zidane may find he is given the boot if results and performances do not improve.

Manchester City confirm Leroy Sane damaged knee ligaments during win over Liverpool and requires surgery

8 Aug

Leroy Sane faces a lengthy lay-off after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage, Manchester City have confirmed.

The Germany international, who limped off in the early stages of Sunday’s Community Shield win over Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday, is to undergo surgery in the coming week.

It means Sane will miss City’s trip to West Ham United on Saturday lunchtime, a game you can hear live on talkSPORT from 12.30pm.

Leroy Sane is expected to be out for some time with his knee injury
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The injury comes after a summer of speculation over the 23-year-old’s future, with Bayern Munich having been heavily linked with the player.

Sane has been offered a new contract at the Etihad Stadium but has not yet signed. He has two years left on his present deal.

City have not put a timescale on the player’s return but Ilkay Gundogan and Benjamin Mendy have both spent several months on the sidelines with similar problems in recent seasons.

A statement from the club read: “Leroy will have surgery in the coming week.

“Manchester City will provide Leroy with all the support and guidance he needs, and everyone connected with the Club wishes him a quick and full recovery.”

The 23-year-old was reportedly close to joining Bayern this summer, with the transfer window across Europe staying open later than in England.

But it appears as though this set back will kill off any chance of the deal happening for the moment.

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

Liverpool fans boo national anthem ahead of Community Shield: Danny Murphy says cup final tradition is ‘pointless’

5 Aug

Danny Murphy says Liverpool fans were ‘disrespectful’ by booing the national anthem ahead of their Community Shield clash against Manchester City at Wembley.

However, the former Red also believes the tradition is ‘pointless’ for cup finals where the majority of the players on the pitch aren’t even English.

Liverpool supporters were blasted for their behaviour ahead of Sunday’s traditional curtain-raiser at Wembley as their boos and whistles drowned out the national anthem, with Prince William in attendance at the famous stadium.

Many Liverpudlians, including the Anfield faithful, have a long-running grudge against singing ‘God Save the Queen’ and to ‘Englishness’ in general.

And former Reds midfielder Murphy has suggested singing the national anthem should be scrapped ahead of major cup finals and be replaced with the club anthems instead, as he would prefer to hear ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ belted out by fans.

Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White on Monday, Murphy said: “You can’t condone it because it’s disrespectful, but it’s gone on for years.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone is the Liverpool anthem and is what should be sung by Liverpool supporters before a big game, and Blue Moon is Manchester City’s anthem and should be sung by theirs fans – I agree with that.

“The national anthem before any big game is pointless when such a small percentage of players are English.

“Playing the national anthem at a Liverpool vs Man City game where less than 10 per cent are English players – it’s pointless.”

“We’re not English, we‘re Scouse!”

Why do Liverpool fans boo the national anthem?

To quote this great article from The Independent: “There’s no single cause but a complex set of cultural and historical reasons.”

Liverpool’s anti-England and anti-establishment sentiment can be traced back to the influx of Irish immigration in the 18th and 19th centuries (no explanation needed there) and also to the aftermath of the Second World War.

The city played a vital role in WW2, and yet after the war ended Liverpool was hit with economic hardship as the trade at their once thriving ports slowed.

Many felt their city was ignored by the government, which led to a resentment of London and Westminster – leading to civil unrest and disorder in the 1980s – and in-turn led to the development of the city’s own micro-culture, one that soon revolved around the music and the beautiful game.

Booing the national anthem has been going on for a long time in Liverpool, but even before the boos started many Liverpool fans sang ‘God Save Our Team’ rather than pay tribute to the monach – as observed at the 1965 FA Cup final.

It should come as little surprise then, given the current political struggles in the UK surrounding immigration and Brexit, that the people of Liverpool are letting their feelings known again.

Raheem Sterling takes selfies with Liverpool fans and gives away his Manchester City shirt after Community Shield

5 Aug

Raheem Sterling opened his account for the new season in the Community Shield by scoring against his former club Liverpool.

The Reds would go on to equalise in the second half but Manchester City won 5-4 on penalties to secure victory at Wembley.

Raheem Sterling poses for selfies with Liverpool fans after the match
BT Sport

The 24-year-old left Anfield in 2015 to join City in a deal worth a reported £49million.

He has gone on to win two Premier League titles, two League Cups and the FA Cup during his time at the Etihad.

Some Liverpool fans are still bitter about his desire to leave the club and continue to boo him when the two sides face off.

Boos could often be heard at Wembley on Sunday in the Community Shield, though the England international continues to show his class both on and off the pitch.

Sterling also gave his shirt away following Sunday’s clash
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After a solid performance against his old club, during which he scored his first ever goal against Liverpool, he went to sign autographs, pose for selfies and chat to Reds fans after the final whistle.

He also gave his shirt to one supporter while he took the time to speak those who travelled from Merseyside for Sunday’s clash.

A video posted on social media by the official England football account shows why Sterling continues to be an inspiration for youngsters up and down the country, regardless of who they support.

Liverpool EXCLUSIVE: ‘Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana and Gomez are like new signings, but Alisson looks tired’ – Ray Houghton’s Community Shield verdict

5 Aug

Liverpool legend Ray Houghton fears goalkeeper Alisson may not be 100 per cent ready for the new Premier League season having looked ‘tired and jaded’ against Manchester City in the Community Shield.

However, he has high hopes for fit-again trio Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana and Joe Gomez and believes they will be ‘like new signings’ for the Reds this term.

Liverpool’s number one made an uncharacteristic error in Sunday’s clash at Wembley Stadium as Raheem Sterling opened the scoring for City – netting against his former club for the first time.

Raheem Sterling came back to haunt his former club with a goal after just 12 minutes at Wembley
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Sterling’s close-range shot was hit straight at the glovesman but the ball squirmed through his legs, although the Reds star escaped criticism given his stellar first season at Anfield.

Alisson in 2018/19 became the first ever goalkeeper to win three Golden Glove awards in one season as he finished with the most clean sheets in the Premier League, Champions League and Copa America.

However, former Liverpool midfielder Houghton says the Brazil international could be feeling the effects of a long season and packed summer after watching his performance in the Reds’ penalty shoot-out defeat.

And he doesn’t have long to prepare for the new Premier League campaign, which gets under way on Friday as Liverpool host Norwich at Anfield.

“I thought Alisson looked a bit tired,” the two-time First Division and FA Cup winning Red told talkSPORT 2 on Monday.

“He’s virtually been playing for 12 months and he’s been absolutely brilliant, whether it’s for Liverpool or Brazil, he’s been absolutely phenomenal.

“But he just looked a little bit jaded against City and I just wonder if he needs a little rest.

“He’s not going to have much now before the season starts – they play on Friday!

Alisson has been in world-class form for Liverpool but has barely had a break from playing since he joined the Reds last summer
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“It’s tough on these players now. I know the fans will say they’re well paid for their troubles, but you do need to have a break and I don’t think he’s had the chance.

“If you looked at him yesterday, even during the penalties he just didn’t look quite right.

“But he was one of Liverpool’s outstanding players last season and was one of the reasons why they finished second in the Premier League and won the Champions League title, so I’m sure once the games come he’ll be ready.”

Liverpool have been one of the quietest Premier League clubs in this summer’s transfer window, having secured the arrivals of just two players – 17-year-old Dutch defender Sepp van den Berg and 16-year-old English winger Harvey Elliot.

It hasn’t exactly been the summer supporters hoped for after last season’s success, but Houghton believes the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana and Gomez – who all played in Sunday’s game – will bring a huge boost to the squad this term.

Joe Gomez was back in Liverpool’s starting XI for the Community Shield clash, with Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain later coming off the bench
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He added: “When you look at the lack of investment this summer, Liverpool need these ‘new players’, if you like, who didn’t do a lot last season through injury.

“You’re really looking for marquee signings but they haven’t had them so far and the way Jurgen Klopp has been talking it doesn’t sound like there is going to be anyone coming in over the next few days.

“I think they need freshening up, you always need that, but hopefully Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gomez and Lallana will remain fit all season, add to the squad and seem like new players Liverpool can use.”

Listen back to Liverpool legend Ray Houghton on talkSPORT 2 in full above

Kyle Walker says ‘all that Kyling finally paid off’ after making goal line clearance in Manchester City’s Community Shield win over Liverpool

5 Aug

Kyle Walker pulled off a spectacular acrobatic goal line clearance in stoppage time in the Community Shield to deny Liverpool the win.

Mohamed Salah headed his rebounded shot towards goal but the sprinting Manchester City defender somehow scissor kicked the ball off the line and out for a corner.

Kyle Walker clears the ball off the line in the Community Shield
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If the ball had gone in, it would have been a certain winner for Liverpool but the scores remained level and it went to penalties.

City went on to win 5-4 in the spot kicks and lifted the first piece of silverware on offer in the 2019/20 season.

The inevitable tweet from Walker came after the game where he said: “All that #Kyling practice finally paid off.”

Kyling took social media by storm last summer during England’s run to the World Cup semi-final.

It was a bizarre trend started by the defender during the penalty shootout win against Colombia.

He was lying on the ground with is legs in the air tending to cramp as Eric Dier fired in the winning penalty.

Kyling then swept the nation with hundreds of fans posting their own pictures on social media following the match.

Virgil van Dijk talks to talkSPORT after FINALLY being dribbled past and explains why this season will be tougher for Liverpool

4 Aug

Virgil van Dijk has admitted Liverpool were below par during their Community Shield defeat to Manchester City.

The two teams were separated by just one point in the Premier League last term and it took a penalty shoot-out to split them in the season opener at Wembley, with the scores level at 1-1 after 90 minutes.

The normally solid Reds defence was breached multiple times by City at Wembley
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Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo made the decisive intervention, saving Liverpool’s second penalty from Georginio Wijnaldum, with Gabriel Jesus firing home the crucial spot-kick.

City had led for most of normal time after former Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling scored against his old club for the first time in the 12th minute.

Champions League winners Liverpool responded well and went close several times before substitute Joel Matip levelled 13 minutes from time.

But it wasn’t to be for the Reds and, after being dribbled past for the first time in an astonishing 65 games, Van Dijk conceded the performance was not up to scratch.

The Reds had to make the long walks down the steps at Wembley
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“Well I think everyone knows the first half wasn’t the best,” Van Dijk admitted. “We didn’t play the best football that we normally can play.

“In the second half, we put them under more pressure and kept the ball quicker.

“We created chances but, you know, that’s part of football as well.”

The games between City and the Reds in the Premier League were equally as cagey and highlighted the gulf in class between the two sides and the rest of the division.

City lifted the Community Shield in the seasons traditional curtain-raiser
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But with their rivals splashing the cash this summer, the Netherlands captain is convinced this season will be much closer than last campaign ahead of their first game against Norwich on Friday evening.

“The thing is, there are more teams who have improved around us,” he added.

“So it’s going to be tough for both of us [Man City and Liverpool], everyone is talking about how it will be a two-horse race but we can’t think too far ahead.

“We have to take it game-by-game and for us, the league starts on Friday.

“We want to win the game by good football but, if necessary, we will grind it out as well because Norwich is not a bad side either.

It looks like the teams around us improved, what we all expected, so we’ll see.”

Manchester City 1-1 (5-4 pens) Liverpool: Citizens beat Reds on penalties in entertaining Community Shield match

4 Aug

Manchester City have won the Community Shield after beating Liverpool on penalties at Wembley Stadium.

The Citizens won 5-4 in the shootout with Georginio Wijnaldum’s effort saved by Claudio Bravo being the decisive moment as City add another trophy to their constantly growing cabinet.

Raheem Sterling came back to haunt his former club with a goal on 12 minutes
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The game finished 1-1 in normal time with goals from Raheem Sterling and Joel Matip.

The Premier League champions got off to a better start and took the lead on twelve minutes through former Liverpool man Sterling.

A well-worked free-kick saw City catch out Liverpool’s offside trap and Sterling got on the end of David Silva’s delicate flick from the left.

Both sides were then guilty of missing big chances with Sterling and Mohamed Salah particularly lacking composure in front of goal.

Joel Matips goal ensured the game would go to extra-time
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But Jurgen Klopp’s men got level on 77 minutes through an unlikely source as substitute Joel Matip nodded home Virgil van Dijk’s ball across in the box.

Salah thought he’d won it at the end of normal time but Kyle Walker did incredibly well to clear the Egyptian’s bouncing header off the line.

Instead, the game went to penalties and the takers both sides did very well generally but Wijnaldum’s poor effort was easily saved by Bravo to give City the win.

MORE TO FOLLOW

Pep Guardiola: Manchester City boss receives yellow card for animated protests during Community Shield clash against Liverpool

4 Aug

Pep Guardiola made history by becoming the first Premier League manager to be shown a yellow card.

The Manchester City boss was booked by referee Martin Atkinson in the first-half of their Community Shield match against Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday.

Guardiola received the caution under rules brought in by the FA which allows referees to caution managers
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The Spaniard cut an animated figure after reacting to Joe Gomez’s high tackle on David Silva, which left the City playmaker in a heap.

Liverpool man Gomez won a bouncing ball ahead of Silva but Guardiola was furious with the manner of the challenge before venting his anger at fourth official Stuart Atwell.

As Silva received treatment on the field, the referee approached the technical area and proceeded to show the yellow card.

Guardiola was incensed at Gomez’s challenge
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Guardiola was subsequently booked for his protests
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The Football Association brought in yellow cards for managers in 2018 in a bid to clean up touchline behaviour.

However, they only applied in the Football League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, EFL Trophy and National League.

Meanwhile, Premier League bosses continued to receive verbal cautions for ‘irresponsible behaviour.’

But updates to the Laws of the Game in July by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the situation has now changed for top-flight bosses.

A Premier League statement declared: “Managers and coaches will have to be on their best behaviour and set a good example as they can now be shown yellow and red cards for misconduct.

“Any team official deemed guilty of an offence can be cautioned or sent off.

“And if the offender cannot be identified, the card will be shown to the senior coach in the technical area, usually the manager or head coach, as the person responsible for the other team officials.

“An experiment with this approach has been successful and revealed benefits at all levels, including for young referees dealing with difficult adult coaches.”

Liverpool vs Man City live on talkSPORT: Free commentary stream and confirmed team news for Community Shield showdown

4 Aug

Liverpool take on Manchester City in the Community Shield this weekend and it will be live on talkSPORT as we get the new season up and running.

The 2018/19 campaign was one to remember, but now the upcoming term is set to be even bigger and all eyes are on it.

Man City lifted the Community Shield last season
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European champions Liverpool take on Premier League, Carabao and FA Cup winners City in the traditional curtain-raiser at Wembley on Sunday.

The two sides produced a thrilling top-flight title battle last term and both will be eager to lay down a marker in London.

The new top-flight season is just days away and this Wembley showdown should provide the perfect preview for what’s to come over the coming weeks and months.

Here at talkSPORT we’ll have more games than ever before this term and we will become your go-to destination for Saturday football with GameDay.

But first, we’ll have the best coverage of the Community Shield and here’s how you can tune in.

Liverpool take on Manchester City in the Community Shield this weekend
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Liverpool vs Man City: Live on talkSPORT

Mark Saggers will bring you all the build-up to the big game at Wembley with our coverage beginning at 1pm on Sunday.

We’ll then have full commentary with Sam Matterface, Ray Houghton and Matt Holland.

To tune into our coverage just click here for the live stream or click the radio player below.

You can also listen through the talkSPORT App, on DAB Digital Radio or on MW 1053 or 1089.

For more information about how to listen LIVE on talkSPORT click here.

Liverpool vs Man City: Date and kick-off time

The match will take place on Sunday, August 4 and will kick-off at 3pm.

It is being held at the home of English football, the magnificent 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium.

Liverpool vs Manchester City will be live on talkSPORT
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Liverpool vs Man City: What has been said?

Jurgen Klopp has played down the significance that the Community Shield will have of this season’s title race.

He said: “I don’t want to find excuses before we play City but we had a completely different pre-season.

“We played without six players and to say this must be the statement for us would be completely mad.

“It’s a good test of the things that are there [in place]. We have to defend in a good way, because if you don’t defend well against City, we can get a proper knock.”

Liverpool vs Man City: Team news

Klopp has selected a strong line-up for the Wembley clash, with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino all starting. Joe Gomez partners Van Dijk at the back after his injury-disrupted 2018/19 campaign, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been named amongst the substitutes as he bids to make his mark on the Reds after injury issues of his own. Sadio Mane and James Milner miss out completely.

City are without goalkeeper Ederson as he has not reported back for club duty after the summer break, while major summer signing Rodri starts. Aymeric Laporte is unavailable so Guardiola has opted for a central defensive pairing of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Origi, Firmino

Subs: Mignolet, Lovren, Matip, Lallana, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Shaqiri

Man City: Bravo, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko, Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne, Sane, Bernardo, Sterling

Subs: Ederson, Gundogan, Jesus, Aguero, Angelino, Foden, E Garcia