Sydney (AFP) – Australia’s Central Coast Mariners have offered sprint superstar Usain Bolt a contract, reports said Monday, but the club’s coach said he knows nothing about it. The eight-time Olympic champion has been on trial with the A-League side since arriving in August to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional footballer. He scored two goals in a pre-season friendly last week and on Thursday turned down a two-year, trial-free deal from cashed-up Maltese champions Valletta. “I can confirm Usain has been offered a contract by Central Coast Mariners,” the Jamaican’s agent Ricky Simms told the BBC. The club had no immediate comment on Monday, but Sydney’s Daily Telegraph said he had been offered only a fraction of the Aus$3 million (US$2.1 million) that his management had discussed months ago when the prospect of a trial was first mooted. The newspaper said the potential deal put together in Continue reading "Bolt ‘offered cut-price deal’ in Australia – media"
Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid’s players may have offered a show of public support to Julen Lopetegui but fail to win at home against Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday and their words will mean very little. “Julen has the backing of the entire team,” Sergio Ramos said after Madrid’s 2-1 loss to Levante on Saturday, their fourth defeat in five games and third in a row. “We are with him to the death,” said Marcelo. Three months into the season, there are few obvious alternatives if the club’s president Florentino Perez decides to wield the axe. Santiago Solari, coach of Castilla, Real Madrid’s B team, could take charge in the short-term but the troubled search for a suitable coach in the summer would not appear much smoother now. Mauricio Pochettino, Jurgen Klopp and Max Allegri would all be near-impossible to sign mid-season, while Joachim Low is still attached to Germany. Continue reading "Lopetegui on the brink as Madrid seek morale-boosting win over Plzen"
London (AFP) – Unai Emery admits Arsenal will struggle to cope with a draining schedule that sees them host Leicester at the start of three games in seven days. Emery’s side will be pushed to the limit by the television schedulers, who moved their Premier League clash with the Foxes to Monday evening at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners then travel to Portugal for a Europa League tie against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday before returning to domestic action at Crystal Palace on Sunday. In contrast, Sporting were due to face Loures on Saturday night, giving them more time to recover before hosting Arsenal. Emery has fielded a strong side in Arsenal’s previous Europa League matches, but he will be forced to rotate more heavily this time. “We are one team with a very high level and very high demand for us,” he said. “Every player, they need to feel they Continue reading "Emery’s Arsenal face gruelling week"
Paris (AFP) – Thierry Henry suffered defeat in his first match as a head coach when his 10-man Monaco side slumped to a 2-1 loss at Strasbourg on Saturday to drop into the Ligue 1 relegation zone, while Paris Saint-Germain eased to a 10th straight victory to start their title defence. The principality club have failed to win in 11 games in all competitions since the opening weekend of the French top-flight season, and are only above bottom team Guingamp on goal difference. Monaco, who were runners-up to PSG last season, are now 24 points adrift of the reigning champions after they cruised to a 5-0 thrashing of Amiens at the Parc des Princes despite resting several key players. A dreadful error by Monaco’s third-choice goalkeeper Seydou Sy gifted Strasbourg midfielder Adrien Thomasson an early opener, and substitute Samuel Grandsir was sent off midway through the second half. Lebo Mothiba Continue reading "Henry suffers defeat on Monaco return, PSG seal perfect 10"
Paris (AFP) – Despite the return of barn-storming France centre Mathieu Bastareaud, Toulon’s season continued to crumble as they were thrashed 40-14 in Edinburgh in the European Champions Cup on Saturday. On Saturday, even with the imposing figure of Bastareaud back at centre after a five-week suspension, Edinburgh repeatedly sliced through the Toulon defence, finding inviting gaps and breaking tentative tackles. Ben Toolis burst over for the first home try after 14 minutes. Although Romain Taofifenua powered across the line for Toulon in the 20th minute, tries by Henry Pyrgos and Stuart McInally and three penalties by Jaco van der Walt put Edinburgh in control by the 45th minute. Daniel Ikpefan scored Toulon’s second try in the 72nd minute, but three minutes later Francois Trinh-Duc, attempting to attack from deep, threw a pass to Chris Dean, presenting the centre with Edinburgh’s bonus point try. “Of course, the lack of confidence Continue reading "Toulon crisis deepens after Edinburgh rout, Cipriani in red-card misery"
Huddersfield (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Mohamed Salah ended a four-match goal drought for Liverpool with a sublime strike that secured a nervous 1-0 Premier League victory away to Huddersfield on Saturday. Salah has struggled for consistency this season, and was a doubt for the trip to West Yorkshire after suffering a hamstring problem while on international duty with Egypt during the week. But in the 24th minute he steered in Xherdan Shaqiri’s pass to score his 50th goal in English club football, ensuring Liverpool ended Saturday level on points with league leaders Manchester City. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could be pleased his players showed the strength of character required to see out victory over a team coached by his long-time friend David Wagner, but there were only fleeting glimpses of the free-flowing attack that lit up the Premier League last season. Then again, this was something of a mix-and-match Continue reading "Salah back on the goal trail as Liverpool beat Huddersfield"
Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona have shelved plans to change their badge after receiving criticism from the club’s supporters. The proposed adjustment included removing the acronym FCB, which is currently spelt out across the middle of the crest. Opposition was expressed by fans before and during the club’s AGM on Saturday, when a vote on the changes was postponed by president Josep Maria Bartomeu. “We remove this point from the agenda and we will take a period of internal reflection on the board to see how we can combine history with the world of technology, feelings and emotion,” Bartomeu announced. The plans to update the badge for the first time since 2002 were released last month. A club statement read: “The new design now has greater reproduction capacity, especially in the increasingly more important world of digital media.”
Glasgow (AFP) – Hearts moved three points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a 2-1 win at home to Aberdeen on Saturday as champions Celtic climbed into second place with a thrilling defeat of Hibernian. Two goals in seven first-half minutes saw Hearts on the way to victory in front of their own fans at Tynecastle, with Arnaud Djoum heading home Callum Morrison’s cross in the 36th minute before Steven Naismith doubled the lead from the penalty spot after he had been fouled in the area. The Dons pulled a goal back via a penalty from Gary Mackay-Steven in the 55th minute after Niall McGinn had been brought down in the box. But it was a different story for Hibernian, Hearts’ Edinburgh rivals, as they succumbed 4-2 to Glasgow giants Celtic at Parkhead. Tom Rogic curled in Celtic’s opener in the eighth minute before setting up Olivier Continue reading "Hearts extend Scottish Premiership lead as Celtic go second"
London (AFP) – Manchester City brushed aside Burnley 5-0 to pull clear at the top of the Premier League on Saturday after Chelsea snatched a point in a dramatic late finish against Manchester United. City’s win gives them a two-point cushion over Chelsea and Tottenham — 1-0 winners at West Ham — but Liverpool will join them on 23 points if they beat Huddersfield in the late kick-off. Pep Guardiola’s side, who missed a late penalty to beat Liverpool at Anfield earlier this month, made it seven wins from nine league games as Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart endured a miserable return to his former club at the Etihad. Sergio Aguero opened the scoring in the 17th minute before second-half goals rained in from Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane. With the defending champions slipping ominously into gear, midfielder Kevin De Bruyne came on for just his second appearance of Continue reading "Man City turn on style as last-gasp Chelsea deny Man United"
London (AFP) – Erik Lamela fired Tottenham into the Premier League’s top four as the revitalised winger clinched a 1-0 win against London rivals West Ham on Saturday. Lamela struck with a cool header late in the first half at the London Stadium to give Tottenham their fourth successive league victory. That made it five goals in just eight appearances this season for Lamela, who was making only his second league start of the campaign. Lamela could start more often after this influential display underlined his improvement since returning from over a year of injury problems that required surgery on both hips. Thanks to Lamela and a sturdy defensive display, Mauricio Pochettino’s side were able to celebrate five successive top-flight London derby wins for the first time since January 1961. It was the ideal warm-up for next week’s crucial Champions League trip to PSV Eindhoven and the Premier League clash Continue reading "Lamela sinks Hammers as Spurs climb into top four"
Berlin (AFP) – Luka Jovic has been hailed as a “potential world-class striker” after the 20-year-old’s five goals in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 7-1 drubbing of Fortuna Dusseldorf. The Serbian striker needed just 55 minutes to score his Friday night haul, becoming the youngest player in Bundesliga history to achieve the feat. The Serbia international is also the first Frankfurt player to score five in one league match since Eintracht was founded in 1899. “You always have to be careful with superlatives, but for me, he has the potential to become a world-class striker,” enthused Frankfurt coach Adi Huetter. Having also scored in each of his two previous league games, Jovic now has seven goals to make him the top scorer in the Bundesliga so far this season. His stunning haul put him in the same company as Robert Lewandowski, Jurgen Klinsmann and Gerd Mueller, who all scored five in a single Continue reading "Five-goal Jovic shows ‘world class potential’ after haul"
Here are all of the details of where you can watch it on television and via legal streaming:
Who: Chelsea vs. Man United
What: Premier League, gameweek 9
When: Game kicks off at 7:30am ET / 4:30am PT; Saturday, October 20, 2018
Where: Live on NBCSN, Universo, fuboTV, Sling Blue and PlayStation Vue (free trial) With fuboTV, you
London (AFP) – Manchester United have been fined a total of 15,000 euros (£13,200) by UEFA for the late kick-off to their Champions League match against Valencia earlier this month caused by the hosts being caught in traffic. UEFA’s disciplinary arm fined United 5,000 euros for the late arrival of the team bus, and a further 10,000 euros for the late kick-off, while United manager Jose Mourinho was also warned over the delay. United arrived at Old Trafford less than 45 minutes before kick-off on October 2 and had to ask Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic to delay the start of the game by five minutes. Mourinho blamed the delay on local police for not providing an escort for United’s team bus, but police officials said the club knew well ahead of time no such service would be provided and had time to make the adequate arrangements. “We left the hotel at Continue reading "Man Utd fined, Mourinho warned by UEFA over late Valencia kick-off"
Berlin (AFP) – Borussia Dortmund lead a posse of Bundesliga teams under-fire Bayern Munich extend their four-match winless streak. Back-to-back league defeats mean Bayern, Bundesliga champions for each of the last six years, sit just sixth in Germany’s top flight, four points away from Dortmund in top spot. “There is tension at the top of the table – we haven’t had that for a long time,” said Michael Preetz, team manager at fifth-placed Hertha Berlin, who last month claimed their first win over Bayern since 2009. On Friday, Bayern’s head coach Niko Kovac calmly explained how his team must “stick to our guns” at mid-table Wolfsburg on Saturday and improve the finishing which has deserted them in recent defeats. The pressure building at Bayern erupted on Friday when club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and president Uli Hoeness launched an extraordinarily heated attack on the German media. The Bayern pair slammed the Continue reading "Bayern’s rivals look to exploit Munich’s shaky streak"
Paris (AFP) – Thierry Henry returns to Ligue 1 for the first time in 19 years this weekend, tasked with dragging a crisis-hit Monaco away from the relegation zone after a miserable start to the season. The Arsenal great came through the youth system at the principality club in the 1990s, and is now mirroring the start of his playing career with his first job as a head coach, after a two-year spell as assistant to Roberto Martinez with the Belgian national side. The 41-year-old has a difficult job ahead of him, with Monaco occupying the relegation play-off spot and only above the bottom two on goal difference, and he knows that his immediate job is just to arrest the slide. “How do you define success? It’s difficult. At a big European club success is winning the Champions League,” said Henry ahead of his first game in charge at Strasbourg Continue reading "Henry makes Ligue 1 return with freefalling Monaco"
Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jose Mourinho insists he will be on his best behaviour on his return to Stamford Bridge, but hopes his Manchester United side inflict Chelsea’s first defeat of the season on Saturday. The Portuguese won three Premier League titles in two successful spells in charge of Chelsea, but has lost all three of his previous visits to Stamford Bridge as United manager without even scoring a goal. And while Mourinho claimed that the fixture is now just like any other as far as he is concerned, he also conceded that he would not celebrate should United break that run to ease the mounting pressure on their manager. “For me, it is another game,” said Mourinho. “Would I celebrate like crazy my team’s goal at Stamford Bridge or my team’s victory at Stamford Bridge? I don’t think so. “I think I would try to control myself and Continue reading "Mourinho promises best behaviour for Chelsea return"