Dortmund sink at Stuttgart

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> Berlin (AFP) – Borussia Dortmund suffered another setback in their bid to challenge for the Bundesliga title as they lost 2-1 at VfB Stuttgart on Friday. Dortmund, without striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was suspended for arriving late to training, had the worst possible preparation for Tuesday’s must-win Champions League match at home to Tottenham Hotspur. Josip Brekalo’s low shot through Dortmund ‘keeper Roman Buerki’s legs decided the points after Chadrac Akolo’s opener was cancelled out by Maximilian Philipp at the Mercedes Benz Arena. Dortmund could be knocked out of the Champions League even if they beat Tottenham, depending on other results. After a defeat that left them six points behind Bayern, Dortmund captain Marcel Schmelzer said he was happy with the performance after a rocky start to the season. “In terms of team spirit and the way we played, we have made a step in the right direction,” Schmelzer said. Continue reading "Dortmund sink at Stuttgart"

Mourinho blasts England over Jones injections

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jose Mourinho has strongly rebuked England manager Gareth Southgate and his medical staff for playing Manchester United defender Phil Jones in a recent friendly after he received six pain-killing injections. Jones, whose six-year United career has been plagued by injuries, was forced off in the first half of England’s 0-0 draw with Germany last week after aggravating a thigh injury. Mourinho said the injury would prevent Jones from playing against Newcastle United on Saturday and suggested rival clubs had withdrawn their players from international duty under false pretences. “I expect that every player who was injured last week is not playing,” the United manager told reporters on Friday. “If a player was injured Tuesday and the player is ready to play tomorrow, there is something that is going wrong. “Phil Jones was injured Tuesday (for England’s friendly against Brazil) and obviously he is injured for Continue reading "Mourinho blasts England over Jones injections"

Pernickety Pep tells Man City to keep striving

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has called on his players to not let their record-breaking start to the Premier League season stop them from aiming for even higher heights. City have won 10 and drawn one of their 11 matches to date — matching Chelsea’s 2005-06 record — and scored 38 goals, 15 more than any other team. But Guardiola has told his side they can perform even better ahead of Saturday’s trip to Leicester City. “The moment they don’t believe they can be better, that’s the moment we crash,” the 46-year-old told reporters on Friday. “They will make a big mistake when they think we’ve done enough. When we analyse the results, there is nothing to say. “But when you see the games — picking out the mistakes — and we have 10 mistakes the same, then there is a reason to work for Continue reading "Pernickety Pep tells Man City to keep striving"

Coleman set to quit Wales for Sunderland: reports

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> London (AFP) – Chris Coleman is set to quit Wales and become the new manager of Championship club Sunderland this weekend after his country failed to qualify for the World Cup, reports said Friday. Coleman, who led a Gareth Bale-inspired Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, will be given the job of trying to guide Sunderland off the bottom of the table and ultimately back to the Premier League. His future with Wales was in doubt from the moment they failed to qualify for the World Cup. Sunderland sacked Simon Grayson at the end of October and a number of candidates are believed to have distanced themselves from the job at the Stadium of Light. Sources at the club have told Britain’s Press Association that Coleman is the only man to have been offered the job despite speculation that Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill turned down the opportunity. Coleman Continue reading "Coleman set to quit Wales for Sunderland: reports"

Champions Monaco slip up with Amiens draw

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> Paris (AFP) – French champions Monaco were held to a 1-1 draw at newly-promoted Amiens on Friday despite an equaliser from Stevan Jovetic to drop two points in the Ligue 1 title race. Christophe Pelissier’s home side took a shock 31st-minute lead through Serge Gakpe, but Jovetic came off the bench in the second half to equalise. Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain can move six points clear of Monaco when they welcome Nantes to the Parc des Princes on Saturday, after Leonardo Jardim’s men saw a three-match winning streak come to an end. Monaco went into the game four points adrift of PSG, but were boosted by the return from injury of captain Radamel Falcao. The Colombian quickly went in search of his 14th league goal of the season, but twice fired wide before being denied by the legs of Amiens goalkeeper Regis Gurtner. The Stade de la Licorne burst Continue reading "Champions Monaco slip up with Amiens draw"

Lille win over Saint-Etienne to ease pressure on Bielsa

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> Paris (AFP) – Lille beat Saint-Etienne 3-1 on Friday to ease the pressure on under-fire Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa and move out of the Ligue 1 relegation zone. The second straight win dragged Lille out of the bottom two, having ended a nine-match winless streak with a 3-0 victory over Metz before the international break. Saint-Etienne stay sixth in the table, after losing their first game under new coach Julien Sable since Oscar Garcia quit this week. Lille forward Nicolas Pepe leapt highest at the back post to open the scoring in the 20th minute at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy with his third goal in two matches. Jonathan Bamba fired home a penalty on the stroke of half-time to equalise for the visitors, but the hosts retook the lead in the 71st minute. Brazilian Thiago Mendes proved the difference, as the 25-year-old midfielder curled into the bottom corner from outside the Continue reading "Lille win over Saint-Etienne to ease pressure on Bielsa"

Ronaldo ‘confident’ of winning Ballon D’Or

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> Paris (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo said on Friday that he was “confident as always” of winning the upcoming Ballon D’Or for best player in the world. Ronaldo is the overwhelming favourite to collect the award on December 7, after a year in which he led Real Madrid to titles in Spain and Europe. “Last season was exceptional. We won the league and the Champions League, where I was again the top scorer,” the Portuguese star told the French sports daily L’Equipe in an interview published on Friday. “If I win the Ballon d’Or, it’s perfect, otherwise I’ll still be the same person.” If Ronaldo wins the award, he will tie Lionel Messi on five victories. The Argentine, who is 30, won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. Ronaldo, who is 32, won in 2008, 2013, 2014 and last year. After the triumphant end to their last campaign,
Continue reading "Ronaldo ‘confident’ of winning Ballon D’Or"