Juventus and Chelsea reach agreement in principle over Maurizio Sarri


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Nigeria 2-0 South Korea: Women’s World Cup 2019 – as it happened


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Football rumours: Rafael Benítez to return to Chelsea?


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Today’s nonsense knows how Chor Charoenying feels

Rafael Benítez can certainly remember the good times. The warm welcome from the Stamford Bridge crowd in his first match after taking over from Roberto Di Matteo; the World Club Cup final defeat to Corinthians; and, of course, the up-yours triumph in the Europa League final against Benfica.

Six years on from his infamous spell as ‘interim’ manager, the lure of west London is calling again for Benítez as Chelsea look to act quickly to replace Juventus-bound Maurizio Sarri. The word is Roman Abramovich was so enamoured with the Spaniard’s previous spell that he is willing to give him another crack. And despite Newcastle’s attempts to tie Benítez down on a new one-year contract worth a stonking £15m, it appears the former Liverpool and Real Madrid man is game.

Continue reading…

Spurs is most important match in Ajax stadium’s history, says Erik ten Hag


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




• Manager says players do not need any ‘external motivation’
• Ajax take 1-0 aggregate lead into home second leg

Erik ten Hag insists his young Ajax side need no motivation against Tottenham on Wednesday in the stadium that bears the name of the club’s most famous player. Opened in 1996 following an eight-day torch relay involving 375 runners that was started by Johan Cruyff at the club’s old De Meer home, it was rechristened two years ago following his death and as their manager acknowledged, has been waiting for an occasion like this for some time.

Related: Mauricio Pochettino takes heart in 1992 semi-final win against the odds

Continue reading…

EFL awards Brentford win over Bolton, team news and more – as it happened


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Bordeaux keen on signing Plymouth’s Ruben Lameiras at end of the season


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




• Former Spurs youth midfielder is out of contract in June
• Lameiras could follow Josh Maja from League One to Ligue 1

Bordeaux are interested in signing Plymouth’s Ruben Lameiras at the end of the season after the former Tottenham youth team player’s impressive performances in League One this season.

The 24-year-old Portuguese attacking midfielder, who left Spurs in 2015 for Coventry having spent four years in the Premier League side’s academy, has scored 11 league goals this season despite his side’s struggles at the foot of the table.

Continue reading…

Mario Melchiot: ‘Ajax make you able to adjust to every occasion’


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Former Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot was schooled at Ajax and backs them to progress past Spurs in their Champions League semi-final

“I was at school and they called me to tell me I had to get the training ground because they wanted me to travel with the first team,” remembers Mario Melchiot. “It was quite impressive because I had never been asked before. And there I was making my way to the Champions League final. Van Gaal was a bit like that …”

It’s now 23 years since the defender who would go on to play for Chelsea, Birmingham and Wigan, travelled to Rome for the 1996 final against Juventus, watching on from the stands as Louis van Gaal’s reigning champions were beaten in a penalty shootout. Just 18, Melchiot had already been at Ajax for a decade and was called up as cover for the injured Frank de Boer Continue reading “Mario Melchiot: ‘Ajax make you able to adjust to every occasion’”

Virgil van Dijk and Vivianne Miedema named PFA players of the year


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




• Liverpool defender beats Raheem Sterling to award
• City’s Sterling wins young player of the year

Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal have been crowned Professional Footballers’ Association players of the year for the 2018-19 season, with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Georgia Stanway named as young players of the year.

Netherlands defender Van Dijk saw off stiff competition from Manchester City’s Sterling to take the award after a brilliant season that has seen Jürgen Klopp’s side concede just 20 goals from their 36 matches so far. Van Dijk, who moved to Anfield in January 2018 from Southampton for £75m, has helped Liverpool record 17 clean sheets this season and becomes only the fifth defender to receive the award after Norman Hunter, Colin Todd, Gary Pallister, Paul McGrath and John Terry.

Continue reading…

Football Welcomes: more than 160 clubs to take part in weekend for refugees


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




• Third year of initiative sees record numbers taking part
• ‘The message from football is clear: refugees are welcome’

A record number of clubs in Britain will take part in Amnesty’s Football Welcomes this weekend to celebrate the contribution refugees make to the game.

More than 160 – almost triple the number who were involved in 2018 – have signed up for the third year of the initiative, in which free match tickets will be distributed to refugees and people seeking asylum as well as clubs helping to organise tournaments for refugees in their communities. Others will have first- team players warming up in Football Welcomes T-shirts and promote the weekend in their programmes and on their websites.

Continue reading…

Football Welcomes: more than 160 clubs to take part in weekend for refugees


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




• Third year of initiative sees record numbers taking part
• ‘The message from football is clear: refugees are welcome’

A record number of clubs in Britain will take part in Amnesty’s Football Welcomes this weekend to celebrate the contribution refugees make to the game.

More than 160 – almost triple the number who were involved in 2018 – have signed up for the third year of the initiative, in which free match tickets will be distributed to refugees and people seeking asylum as well as clubs helping to organise tournaments for refugees in their communities. Others will have first- team players warming up in Football Welcomes T-shirts and promote the weekend in their programmes and on their websites.

Continue reading…

‘We are never satisfied’: De Ligt hails Ajax’s giantkillers


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




• Matchwinner says Ajax can reach Champions League final
• ‘We are all still quite young and you see us grow every game’Matthijs de Ligt believes Ajax’s young team have shown they are a match for anyone after he scored the goal against Juventus that took them to the Champions League semi-final for the first time since 1997. “Can we can go on to win the competition? Well, we are in the semi-finals now. And we have eliminated two of the favourites in the last two rounds,” he said. “The next games will be very difficult, but so were these ones. So who knows?” We don’t know what we can achieve but we are never satisfied. There’s so much potential in this team, we are all still quite young and you see us grow every game.”

Related: Matthijs de Ligt strikes decisive header for Ajax to overcome Juventus

Continue reading…

‘We are never satisfied’: De Ligt hails Ajax’s giantkillers


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




• Matchwinner says Ajax can reach Champions League final
• ‘We are all still quite young and you see us grow every game’Matthijs de Ligt believes Ajax’s young team have shown they are a match for anyone after he scored the goal against Juventus that took them to the Champions League semi-final for the first time since 1997. “Can we can go on to win the competition? Well, we are in the semi-finals now. And we have eliminated two of the favourites in the last two rounds,” he said. “The next games will be very difficult, but so were these ones. So who knows?” We don’t know what we can achieve but we are never satisfied. There’s so much potential in this team, we are all still quite young and you see us grow every game.”

Related: Matthijs de Ligt strikes decisive header for Ajax to overcome Juventus

Continue reading…

Remember our close title fights, Vincent Kompany tells Manchester City


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




• ‘We had to win every game and we had five games to play’
• Champions sit two points behind Liverpool with game in handVincent Kompany believes Manchester City must draw on their experiences of close-fought title victories in 2012 and 2014 if they are to hold off Liverpool’s challenge this season.

The Belgium defender made only his ninth Premier League start of the season in the 3-1 win at Crystal Palace on Sunday which maintained City’s chances of winning an unprecedented quadruple of trophies. Pep Guardiola’s side remain two points behind Liverpool but have a game in hand, although they face a tough task to overturn the 1-0 deficit from the first leg when they meet Tottenham in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday night.

Continue reading…

Liverpool’s players thriving under pressure of title race, says Robertson


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




• Defender says team are enjoying battle with Manchester City
• Robertson wary of underestimating Porto in second legAndy Robertson has insisted that Liverpool’s players are thriving under the pressure of the title race but has warned they must not underestimate Porto in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.

Jürgen Klopp’s side travel to Portugal with a 2-0 advantage as they bid to reach the last four of Europe’s premier club competition for the second season in a row. Robertson missed the victory at Anfield due to suspension but returned for the win against Chelsea on Sunday that took Liverpool back to the summit of the Premier League and the Scotland captain admitted he has relished the atmosphere surrounding their quest for a first title for nearly three decades.

Continue reading…

Ajax head for Turin knowing time is nearly up for another prize crop | Ed Aarons


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Frenkie de Jong is unlikely to be the last of this team to depart in the summer after their Champions League exploits“Every year one or two big names leave,” acknowledged Michael van Praag, the Ajax president, in March 1997. “It is sad, especially for me. But we are used to it. There is absolutely no panic.” More than two decades on from the last time the four-times European Cup winners reached the semi-finals, the faces may have changed but there is still no hiding from the bald truth in the Ajax boardroom.

Their chief executive, Edwin van der Sar – the goalkeeper in the famous 1995 Champions League final victory against Milan and in the defeat to Juventus 12 months later on penalties before he eventually moved to the Turin club in 1999 – fielded questions last week about prospective summer departures as adeptly as he used to Continue reading “Ajax head for Turin knowing time is nearly up for another prize crop | Ed Aarons”

Brighton must repay fans by winning Cardiff six-pointer, says Chris Hughton


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




• Coach admits fans were right to vent anger at Bournemouth loss
• Cardiff could close gap to two points with win on Tuesday

Chris Hughton has insisted Brighton must be proactive in their approach to the crucial match against Cardiff on Tuesday after the club’s heaviest defeat at the Amex Stadium against Bournemouth on Saturday.

The 5-0 defeat, in which Anthony Knockaert was dismissed, has left Brighton within five points of Neil Warnock’s side in the final relegation position as they try to secure their top-flight status for a third successive season. Yet with a run-in that includes fixtures against Tottenham, Arsenal and, on the final day of the season, Manchester City, Hughton admitted they must bounce back quickly from the disappointment of their performance against Bournemouth on Saturday.

Continue reading…

How the Football Leaks case became a big political scandal in Portugal


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Raheem Sterling urges players to call out racism but not walk off pitch


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




• Sterling says people have shied away from speaking out
• ‘If you walk off they win,’ says Manchester City forward

Raheem Sterling has called on more players to speak out against racial abuse but said he would not be tempted to walk off the pitch in protest because that would allow the perpetrators to win.

The Manchester City forward has been lauded for his stance against racism in the game having first spoken out on social media last year about the way black players are portrayed in the media. Sterling also strongly condemned the abuse suffered by his England teammate Danny Rose in Montenegro during a European Championship qualifier last month and has called on Uefa to impose strong sanctions to ensure there is no repeat of those ugly scenes.

Continue reading…

Bayern Munich confirm £68m signing of Lucas Hernandez from Atlético Madrid


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




• France defender is most expensive player in Bundesliga history
• Hernandez will join Bayern in the summer

Bayern Munich have confirmed the signing of France international Lucas Hernandez from Atlético Madrid for a fee that is believed to be a club record €80m (£68m).

Related: Clubs looking to announce away ticket price cap for European competitions

Continue reading…

Scotland must turn their Kazakhstan shame on San Marino, says coach


This post is by Ed Aarons from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




• Assistant coach Peter Grant issues rallying cry after debacle
• After Kazakhstan, Scots now play worst team in the world

It was, as assistant coach Peter Grant freely admitted, not good enough. The fallout from Scotland’s calamitous 3-0 defeat by Kazakhstan – a side ranked 117th in the world who failed to win a match while trying to qualify for the 2018 World Cup – raged long into the night back home.

One newspaper superimposed an image of the manager, Alex McLeish, on the toilet with headline “Down the Kazi!” on its back page.

Continue reading…