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Segino Dest not happy with Barca’s Clasico defeat


Sergino Dest participated in his first ever Clasico against Real Madrid on Saturday afternoon, but he left the pitch frustrated after Barcelona’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Los Blancos. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid had chances to grab the victory, but while the home side lacked the clinical touch, Los Blancos managed to net three goals and grab all three points at the Camp Nou.

“It was a really tough match,” Dest said. “We had chances, they had chances, and it’s just too bad that we lost. “It’s my first El Clasico and I’m just pi**ed that we lost. “They were maybe a little bit sharper in the chances. They finished them and we didn’t. “We have another game on Wednesday against Juventus [in the Champions League] and we have to win that one and get the team spirit back.”

Ronald Koeman placed Dest in his natural position at right-back and the Dutchman put together a decent performance, both defensively and in attack. Asked where he prefers to play, he stressed that he can feature wherever he is needed.”I feel a little more comfortable on the right, but if I have to play on the left, that’s no problem for me,” Dest stated.



‘I have Real Madrid in mind’ Guardiola


The Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, refuses to believe the hype that his side already has one foot in the quarter-finals, where they could face Juventus.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday he was not looking ahead to a potential Champions League quarter-final tie against Juventus because any loss of focus could result in elimination by Real Madrid in the last 16.

Madrid, not Juventus, on Guardiola’s radar
City lead Real 2-1 heading into the return leg at the Etihad Stadium on 7 August and would face Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juve in the quarter-finals if both teams were to progress. The Italians are 1-0 down versus Olympique Lyonnais from the first leg in France.

‘In this organisation there is no one who knows Real better than me. They are the dominant team in the Champions League and we have to focus on them,’ Guardiola told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against Brighton & Hove Albion.

‘We think about Real. If we think about the next step when we are playing against the king of this competition, they will put us out.’


Guardiola confirmed Argentine striker Sergio Aguero, who had knee surgery in Barcelona last month, would be unavailable for the fixture against the 13-time European champions. The club’s record goalscorer limped off with a knee injury in last month’s 5-0 Premier League home win over Burnley.

City’s appeal against a two-year suspension from European football was heard last month at the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) and Guardiola was confident the UEFA ban will be overturned when the decision is announced on Monday.

‘The intention every season is to play in the Champions League and do the best possible. It is not about what will happen on Monday,’ he said. ‘I’m confident because I saw the arguments of the club that next season we will be there but we have to wait and after I give my opinion or the club will give their statement.’

A win at Brighton would confirm City’s berth in the top four and snap a run of three straight league defeats on the road, the worst away run in Guardiola’s managerial career.

Must Read

Guardiola confirms Mancity will go for Messi



David Silva Extends Mancity Stay

City are confident David Silva will agree to a short-term contract extension to allow the midfielder to see out the remainder of the season, sources have told ESPN.


Silva was due to leave the Etihad Stadium on June 30 and had held talks with former club Valencia about a return.

However, with games set to continue through the summer to make up for time lost because of the coronavirus pandemic, City have moved to secure the 34-year-old until the end of the campaign.

An official agreement will not be put in place until the plan for completing the season is made a official but sources have told ESPN that Silva is willing to stay, particularly given he still has the chance to win the Champions League — the one major trophy missing from his collection.

FIFA have issued guidance that contracts due to end on June 30 should be extended until the season can be completed but both the club and the player must agree before it can he ratified.

City have 10 Premier League games remaining, plus outstanding fixtures in the FA Cup and Champions League. Pep Guardiola’s side are 2-1 up in their Champions League round-of-16 tie against Real Madrid with the second leg at the Etihad still to play.


Silva has won 11 major honours during 10 years at the club, including four Premier League titles. He has made more than 400 appearances for City since his move from Valencia in 2010.



Raheem Sterling Targets Return Date

Raheem Sterling’s Targeted Return Date Revealed as Man City Prepare for Real Madrid clash…

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling is targeting a return from injury in time for the club’s Champions League knockout stage match against Real Madrid.

The England international was forced off in the latter stages of City’s defeat at Tottenham last week with a hamstring injury that manager Pep Guardiola suggested could rule Sterling out for weeks.

Continue reading Raheem Sterling Targets Return Date

Chelsea Aims André Onana As Kepa’s Replacement

Chelsea have been boosted in their hunt for a new number one goalkeeper to replace the struggling Kepa Arrizabalaga, with suggestions that highly rated Ajax stopper André Onana is interested in joining the club.

Chelsea paid a word record fee of £71.6m for Kepa in 2018, but the Spaniard’s form has been poor this season and he was benched by manager Frank Lampard for the 2-2 draw against Leicester at the weekend in favour of veteran deputy Willy Caballero.

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Lampard was rumoured in mid-December to have asked Chelsea officials to scout him a new goalkeeper, with the 41-year-old thought to be generally unimpressed by Kepa following a number of mistakes in recent months.

Onana – who has risen to prominence as a key part of an impressive young Ajax side – seemingly considers it an opportunity, and Goal has reported that Chelsea is the Cameroon international’s ‘preferred destination’ this summer.

The 23-year-old is said to think that the Premier League would be ‘ideal’ and sees the uncertainty surrounding Kepa at Stamford Bridge as an opportunity to make his ambition to play in England a reality.

The Daily Mail carries a similar story on Onana and his eye on Chelsea. The newspaper also notes that he would be interested in joining Tottenham, but Chelsea remains his preference.

Andre Onana
Onana has also been linked with Barcelona, where he previously spent five years in the youth ranks after being spotted at Samuel Eto’o’s academy in Cameroon. It is said that Ajax might prefer to deal with Barça owing to their historic relationship, but goalkeeper is far from a priority at Camp Nou.

Elsewhere, Chelsea have recently been linked with Burnley’s Nick Pope to replace Kepa, as well as Sheffield United loanee Dean Henderson.

While Goal says that no decision has been made on whether Kepa will definitely be cut loose, it is explained that a final decision on his future will be made by technical adviser Petr Cech and head of goalkeeping Christophe Lollichon, in conjunction with Lampard.


Buying Ighalo shows how United has fallen behind others – Jimmy Floyd comment

Chelsea football legend, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has taken a swipe at Manchester United over their deadline transfer deal for Odion Ighalo.

The Nigerian international, 30, joined United in a shock move on January 31 as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was desperately looking for a replacement for injured Marcus Rashford.

Ighalo, who scored 36 goals in 90 League games for Watford before going to China, signed on loan from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua for the rest of the 2019/20 season.

Commenting on Ighalo’s shock move to Manchester United, Chelsea football legend Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admitted that the Nigerian footballer is the luckiest man in terms of joining his childhood club. But the former Dutch footballer said Man. United’s decision to move for the Nigerian international shows how far Manchester United have fallen behind rivals

“He must be the luckiest man! Going to China, being away from Europe, nobody seeing him for two-and-a-half years since he was at Watford and then getting a loan move at United,” he told Sky Sports.

“Wow. That doesn’t happen! It says how far behind United are from Liverpool, Manchester City and even Chelsea. They have got a big job ahead.”

With United missing out on top target Erling Braut Haaland before the January window even opened, Hasselbaink added: “They needed somebody in.

“I think [Ighalo] was not their number one and I would be surprised if he was their number two or three as well.

“He is getting an opportunity and he will definitely get minutes and we will see if he can do it.”


Man City Players Defines Guardiola As a “Tinker”

Manchester City Players Tell Boss Pep Guardiola to Stop tinkering…

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola reportedly faced criticism from his own players following his side’s 2-0 Premier League defeat at Tottenham on Sunday.

The loss left defending champions City trailing leaders Liverpool by 22 points in the table, and in a lock-in after the game Pep’s players are believed to have voiced their concerns over his chopping and changing.

Guardiola is yet to name an unchanged line up in consecutive league games for Man City this season, and Sportsmail has revealed that his team have asked for some stability.

In a 45-minute dressing room inquiry, Guardiola laid everything on the line and asked his squad for a frank assessment of their season so far.

It was during theses so-called crisis talks that senior members of City’s ranks came forward, questioning the manager’s tendency to tweak his tactics and lineups this campaign.

The Spaniard has become the proverbial tinker man, making more changes than any other Premier League boss this season – 76 and counting.

Pep Guardiola

Compare that to Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp who has made 30 fewer changes to his line up and it shows that Pep’s charges have a point over the lack of consistency.

However, it is not all doom and gloom for City, nor is it the first time that Pep has had a heart-to-heart with his squad in the wake of a poor result.

Last January, a not-too-dissimilar dressing room scenario unfolded after City suffered a 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

On that occasion, airing their dirty laundry definitely worked as Pep’s men went on to win all of their 14 remaining fixtures and pipped Klopp’s side to the title.

Now, this season it would be more than far-fetched to believe the Cityzens still have a chance of retaining their Premier League crown, but champions of Europe is still a very real possibility.

Landing the club’s first Champions League triumph has to be the main goal for City and Pep will be hoping this latest dressing room saga fires them to success.

It may be the reality check that City needed as they prepare for the first leg of their Champions League last 16 encounter with Real Madrid in just over three weeks time.

Pep’s team will travel to the Bernabéu to face a Madrid side who are sitting pretty at the top of La Liga, a tough task where team togetherness is vital if they are to succeed.

Riyad Mahrez,Pep Guardiola
The former Barcelona boss will be praying that the Spurs dressing down carries the same shock factor as the St James’ episode and kick start City’s second half of the season.


Ighalo to wear Number 25 in United

Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo will wear the number 25 jersey for Manchester United as the club prepares to unleash him against Chelsea after the winter break.

Odion Ighalo to wear No 25 for Manchester United as the Nigerian striker prepares for possible debut against Chelsea

The club on Tuesday posted a video of his new jersey number on it’s official Twitter handle, urging fans to buy the new jersey as it had been added to the club’s shop.

The shirt has not been in use since full back Antonio Valencia departed the Red Devils last summer.

Ighalo, a childhood Manchester United fan set to earn N62m weekly at the club, was signed for £3m from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua on loan for 6 months.


D.Alli Sad To See Eriksen leave For Inter

Dele Alli Admits He Was Sad to See Christian Eriksen Leave Tottenham for inter…

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli has confessed that he was sad to see Denmark international Christian Eriksen leave the club during the January transfer window.

Eriksen had rejected offers of a new contract at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and wanted to leave last summer, but a move never materialised and so was prepared to walk away for free at the end of the season. Spurs eventually accepted an offer from Inter for around £16.9m.

Dele Alli
Both Eriksen and Alli had been vital players for the club in recent seasons, and the Englishman admitted (via the Evening Standard) that he will miss having someone of Eriksen’s quality around.

“Chris is an amazing player, but it came to that point where he wanted to move on,” Alli admitted.

“It was sad for me and the other boys because he got on with everyone, he was a great squad player, he got on well, he was great in training and always working hard on the pitch.

“He gave me a lot of assists as well and I am going to miss them, but at the same time I wish him all the best and I am sure we will speak soon, maybe go for dinner.”

Amid all the transfer drama, Eriksen’s form undoubtedly took a nosedive. He managed just three goals and three assists during the first half of the season, and his inconsistency saw him booed by Spurs supporters during matches for a perceived lack of interest.

“He’s been amazing,” Alli insisted. “You don’t want to speak to him too much about what is going on but he has been giving 100%, always been training hard, always been committed to the club.

Christian Eriksen

“You read a lot and see a lot but you would never be able to tell that he wasn’t focused. He was always positive and never really spoke about anything other than Tottenham. It is a huge honour to have played with him and I wish him all the best.”

After making his debut in a Coppa Italia victory over Fiorentina, Eriksen was handed his first start for Inter in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Udinese.


Sterling Looks Forward To Facing Real Madrid

Raheem Sterling ‘Expected’ to Face Real Madrid in Champions League Despite Hamstring injury…

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling is set to miss ‘two or three weeks’ of action after he suffered a hamstring injury during his side’s defeat to Tottenham. However, the forward is ‘expected’ to be fit in time to face Real Madrid in the Champions League.

The England international began City’s 2-0 defeat to Spurs, which was the Citizens’ sixth league defeat this campaign. Oleksandr Zinchenko was sent off in the 60th minute and the north London side capitalised, with Steven Bergwijn scoring on his debut before Son Heung-min doubled the hosts’ lead.

A bad result and overall performance… We should have done the job and score way before being punished tonight. Lessons got to be learned for the next important games

During the game, Sterling was booked for a potentially dangerous tackle on Dele Alli, resulting in the Tottenham midfielder leaving the field early. However, Sterling himself was later substituted and was seen hobbling off.

The Sun now report that the former Liverpool man had tests on a hamstring problem on Sunday and he is expected to be ruled out for ‘two or three weeks’. The report further claims that, as a result, he is a ‘big doubt’ for the Sky Blues’ upcoming last-16 Champions League tussle with Real Madrid.

However, ESPN report that the club are ‘confident’ they will have him available for the crunch clash despite his injury. City travel to the Santiago Bernabeu for the first leg of the tie on 26 February, with the Sun claiming that the player is ‘determined’ to be fit in time to play.

The injury is considered to be ‘not too serious’, though he appears certain to miss the visit of West Ham on Sunday. However, after that, the Citizens are not in action until they travel to take on Leicester City 13 days later. While ESPN report that City are confident he will be fit the game against Los Blancos, they do state that he is a ‘doubt’ for the trip to take on the Foxes.

City take on Real Madrid on 26 February, while they also have the Carabao Cup final the following Sunday (1/3), with the club looking to retain their crown.

This news will come as a major blow for manager Pep Guardiola, who recently insisted that he was unconcerned about the attacker’s goal drought, but Sterling will be desperate to recover in time to feature in the Champions League tie.


Odion Ighalo may not play for United till next month – Former boss, Sanchez

Odion Ighalo’s former boss, Quique Sanchez Flores has warned it may take up to a month for Manchester United’s new signing to reach his peak after completing a shock return to the Premier League, reports NobleSport

Sanchez Flores was Ighalo’s manager at Watford when the Nigerian struck 17 goals in a season, before also coaching him for a short time at Shanghai Shenua in China.

The Old Trafford side will be hoping the 30-year-old can rediscover that form this season, but Sanchez Flores warned that standards between China and England differ greatly.

Sanchez Flores told The Athletic: “Mainly, the problem is how they train in China. It is not the same as in England.“Is he really ready for first-team matches in the Premier League because the physical difference is so big? He probably needs one month to recover the full rhythm.

“The good thing is he knows his body well, works hard on injury prevention and he is always working after training.“I should say, also, that I felt in China, he gave exactly the same effort and quality as he gave me four years ago. We had the feeling in China that he could recover a high level with any team in Europe.”Sanchez Flores still believes Ighalo can shine under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United strive to climb the league.

The Spaniard added: “I have an amazing impression of the player. I fell in love with him. As a guy, he’s professional. He’s a straight arrow. As a person, his life is private. He has strong Christian values and he is respectful.

“As a player, it is difficult to explain Ighalo. His first quality is he can protect the ball and he gives time to the team to get up the field and win the second ball. It’s so difficult to get the ball from him. He’s stronger than he looks.“Four years ago, when we put ball in the space, he was also super fast. Now, with five years difference, he is a bit different… but he will always be fine in a physical battle.

“We played him up front in a two with Troy Deeney and they knew each other inside out but he is absolutely fine to play as a lone frontman, too. One of his most valuable qualities is that his team-mates very quickly learn his strengths and he adapts very well.”


Manchester City falls 22 points behind Liverpool

Manchester City coach, Pep Guardiola has accepted defeat in his side’s defence of the premier league title they won in 2019, saying he will be focusing on other competitions now, after his side were beaten 2-0 by Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham on Sunday night.

Steven Bergwijn scored a debut goal while Heung-min Son’s scored again after Manchester City were reduced to 10 men following Oleksandr Zinchenko’s red card, leaving Guardiola’s side 22 points adrift of leaders Liverpool.

Guardiola, whose team is still in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup final and UEFA Champions league believes the EPL title is all over for him.

‘They are far away so they are unstoppable. They have a lot of points, we have dropped points quite similar to today.

‘Our targets are to win the remaining competitions and qualify for the Champions League next season.’

Guardiola also responded to claims he kept his players locked up in the away dressing room after the match for 40 minutes.

”No, I was not angry. Normally I don’t like it if we don’t play good, if we don’t run or we don’t fight,’ said Guardiola.

‘Never when we lose do I stay away from my players because I know them. But we lost the game so we talked about how to move forward and keep going. There’s a lot of months to play.’

He also took a thinly-veiled swipe at former Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore, who once said that City’s dominance could affect the EPL’s credibility ahead of last season after winning the title by 19 points in the previous campaign.

”The last two seasons they said City winning the title was bad for the Premier League and that it could not happen again,’ said the City boss.

‘They said someone has to stop City getting 100 points and winning it again. So now it is Liverpool you have to be concerned with about the Premier League.’


Juventus Sets Bid For Liverpool Star VVD

Juventus Linked With Unlikely £150m Move for Liverpool Star Virgil Van Dijk…

Juventus are reportedly plotting a hugely audacious £150m swoop for Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk in the summer, as they look to follow up their shock signing of Cristiano Ronaldo with the addition of another superstar.

Van Dijk has firmly embedded himself as the world’s best defender over the past 18 months – and his performances have not gone unnoticed by the rest of Europe.

Virgil van Dijk

The Sun reports that the ballon d’Or nominee ‘may be open’ to a move away from Anfield, should the Reds lift their long-awaited first Premier League title at the end of the season – and Juve fancy their chances at luring the Dutch international to Italy.

And while there is little indication that Van Dijk is unsettled at Anfield and is a key part of arguably the best team in the world, a ‘Juventus source’ claims that ‘the club are actively planning to make a huge bid for him in the summer’.

“After winning a bagful of trophies with Liverpool, Juventus think he may be ready for a new challenge at the end of the season — especially as he’s been playing in the UK for a few years,” this so-called source is quoted as saying.

“And the club are actively planning to make a huge bid for him in the summer.”

Although Van Dijk has shown no signs of wanting to leave Anfield since his arrival in 2018, he did recently admit that ‘we can’t look too far ahead’, regarding his long-term ambitions, and confessed that he wants ‘to fulfil every dream’.

UEFA Champions League”Tottenham Hotspur FC v Liverpool FC”

“I’m 28 now and I want to fulfil every dream I ever had.

“Life can be short. Your career can be short as well.

“I’m enjoying playing with this team and this manager. We can’t look too far ahead. But right now, I’m enjoying it.”

The Dutch international is a key figure in this Liverpool side, which has won an astonishing 24 out of 25 league matches this campaign. His wonderful defensive ability led to the Reds lifting last season’s Champions League trophy, and they have since gone on to win the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup

Van Dijk’s future may be tied to that of boss Jurgen Klopp, who recently signed a new contract with the Reds, keeping him at the club until 2024. In a recent interview with Goal, the centre-back admitted that he has ‘a special connection’ with the German coach, who was one of the main factors behind his move to Liverpool.


“I definitely have a special connection with him,” Van Dijk said. “And I will always be grateful for him making sure I was going to come here.

“He’s just a fantastic, complete manager with a clear plan. He has fantastic player-management skills. He does it just on instinct, and he always says the right things.”

A move to Turin would see Van Dijk reunited with Netherlands teammate Matthijs de Ligt, who joined the Bianconeri in the summer in a deal worth around €75m. It is a daring approach from the Italian champions, and one that would send shockwaves throughout the world of football.

However, while fans and the Sun can speculate all they like, this is CERTAINLY one to be taken with a pinch of salt.


Manchester United prepares £90m Bid For Koulibaly

We’re not even two days removed from the closure of the January transfer window, and Manchester United are already once again being linked with a move for Napoli star defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

The 28-year-old has been one of the ‘go-to’ names for United transfer speculation in recent seasons and was among those touted in the summer months before the club broke the bank to land Harry Maguire.

United’s focus in January lay in adding goals and creativity to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, as they landed Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes and former Watford striker Odion Ighalo.

Odion Ighalo,Stephan El Shaarawy
However, United’s continued defensive shortcomings have raised a concern or two of late, leading to plenty of speculation over how they could strengthen their ranks at the back when the window reopens.

Naturally, then, Koulibaly’s name has once again come up. The Mirror this time run with an ‘exclusive’ claiming United have made him their main target ahead of the summer, and are prepared to outlay the vague ‘best part of £90m’ to secure his services.

The bets are of course hedged, with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid all credited with interest. It’s also said that Champions League football is likely to prove a deciding factor – something United are still in the running for, although sit six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea after drawing 0-0 with Wolves.

It should be noted that United do have a seemingly established first-choice pairing of Maguire and Victor Lindelof, with Eric Bailly having recently extended his stay at the club and the likes of Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe in reserve.

James Milner,Kalidou Koulibaly

All that in mind, it seems unlikely United will spend another huge fee on a central defender (one who will turn 29 this summer) unless there are significant outgoings, and even more still that they are already planning to do so less than 48 hours removed from the closure of the January window.

French-born Koulibaly too – who has previously spoken of his strong connections with the city of Naples – may be inclined to hold out for a club who can guarantee him top-level European football and match his trophy aspirations, if he were to leave his home of six years.

Perhaps best taking this one with a grain of salt for now.


Carlo Ancelotti Sends Warning to Barcelona Over Richarlison Pursuit

Carlo Ancelotti has warned Barcelona that they would need to make an offer Everton ‘cannot refuse’ to sign Brazilian forward Richarlison at the end of the season, while stressing his reluctance to sell.

The Spanish side were rumoured to have failed with an £85m bid for Richarlison during the January window, and while such claims were quickly rubbished, it is thought that there may be some substance to Barcelona’s interest.

However, regardless of whether they are interested or not, it looks like Ancelotti has little interest in selling a key player.

“I don’t think it will be difficult to resist [a summer bid for Richarlison] because it is enough to say no, there is no possibility because Richarlison is an important part of the future of Everton,” the boss said, via the Daily Star.

“This is the base from which the club has to build the future, and Richarlison is part of it, like the other young players we have – [Jordan] Pickford, [Mason] Holgate, [Moise] Kean, [Michael] Keane, [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin. We have a lot of young players.”

Michael Keane is actually 27 years old, but we’ll move on.

Ancelotti did joke that he might listen to a swap deal from Barcelona, hinting that he might be prepared to part with Richarlison if one of the world’s best players was on the other end of the offer.

“I don’t want to say anything but with Barcelona you can also do an exchange, no? They have a lot of fantastic players but I’m not nominating anyone!” he laughed.

“Everything can happen in football. If an offer arrives that you cannot refuse, and it is an offer that can improve the squad, then why not? But, now, I can say Richarlison is an important part.

“Richarlison renewed his contract one month ago. I was not here when he renewed but the fact that he renewed made me happy because he’s a fantastic player.

Carlo Ancelotti,Richarlison
“He can play everywhere. He’s a modern striker in my opinion. He can play left, right, back or as one central striker. Technically he can improve but his movement is really good, his heading his fantastic, I was surprised, and he has a lot of power in his legs.

“He is a really complete striker but technically I think he can improve. In the control and in the controlling movement he can improve. This is the target with him. Individually the control has to be better.


Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City: Report, Ratings and Reactions.

Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City: Report, Ratings and Reaction as Bergwijn Stuns Champions on debut…

Goals from Steven Bergwijn and Son Heung-min inflicted yet another blow to the crumbling residue of Manchester City’s title hopes, as José Mourinho’s men took advantage of Oleksandr ZInchenko’s red card to pick up a vital home win.

City might have been reduced to ten men on two occasions in the first half, with both Raheem Sterling and Zinchenko walking the tightrope with borderline challenges on Dele Alli and Lucas Moura, but it was ultimately a foul from a Tottenham player which caused the significant talking point from the first half.

There was no shortage of confusion about it though, as only after play had resumed for around four minutes did VAR award a penalty for a foul by Serge Aurier on Sergio Aguero.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City – Premier League
It was taken by Ilkay Gundogan and saved by Hugo Lloris, before the keeper brought down Sterling on the rebound – VAR this time ruling against a spot-kick.

City dominated for the first hour, but failed to take advantage, and were rapidly brought to their knees in a few explosive minutes. Zinchenko was shown a second yellow for bringing down Gundogan, before Bergwijn marked his debut with a terrific low volley, setting the stage for Son to send the Tottenham Hotspur stadium well and truly into dreamland with a deflected second.

City would huff and puff, but with an advantage of two goals and an extra man, they were able to manage the game with reasonable ease to see out what is a momentous victory for José Mourinho and his men.


Key Talking Point

As much as Mourinho was keen to dismiss the underlying narrative of his famed rivalry with Pep Guardiola heading into this one, there was no escaping it. The two have had a storied history stretching back to their days at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, and this was their 23rd meeting – Mourinho having won just five of those going in.

It was as good a time for any to better a less than favourable record for Mourinho, however, as his side needed a big result to catalyse what has been a stop-start spell in North London for the Portuguese boss so far. He called upon January recruit Bergwijn from the start in a bid to get there, while the emerging Japhet Tanganga retained a place at left back.

And while they might not have fancied their chances of doing that after a predictable first half, they should be afforded tremendous credit for the way they took the game to the defending champions following Zinchenko’s red card. They had visitors on the ropes with their pace on the counter, and although they required some good fortune to get there, they fully merited the three points that put them back into fifth place – and just four off the Champions League spots.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Lloris (6); Aurier (6), Alderweireld (8), Sanchez (6), Tanganga (7); Winks (6), Lo Celso (6); Bergwijn (8), Alli (6), Son (7); Moura (7)

Subs: Ndombele (6), Lamela (6), Dier (N/A)

Star Man

It’s the obvious choice, but there’s no denying who carried the most potent attacking threat for Spurs in a game where they were pegged back for long spells – new man Steven Bergwijn.


The Dutch forward was in disbelief when he saw his powerful volley hit the back of the net but it was no less than he deserved for a stellar performance. Spurs don’t lack energy in the final third but his explosive pace and quality on the turn looked a cut above anything else on the pitch, and if he can carry this form on then he looks to have been an inspired January signing.

Manchester City

Key Talking Point

Liverpool may be galloping further and further away at the top of the division, but the remit for City hasn’t changed; win every game with no exceptions.

To that end, Guardiola might have had reason to be pleased with what he saw from his side for the most part. They were distinctly dominant, with Aguero passing up excellent chances to score in either half on a day it just didn’t seem to be happening for the Argentine in front of goal.

That was until they were reduced to ten, however, and thereafter they fell to pieces. They showed a level of fragility that will come as a real concern to Guardiola, but is unfortunately nothing new in what has been a tame season so far – in the league, at least.

They were toothless in the final third, suspect at the back, and almost nonexistent in midfield. A poor day at the office, and if you didn’t think their title hopes weren’t gone already, then City fans, I have some news for you…

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Ederson (6); Walker (6), Fernandinho (5), Otamendi (5), Zinchenko (4); Gundogan (5), Rodri (5), De Bruyne (6); Mahrez (7), Aguero (7), Sterling (6)

Subs: Jesus (6), Cancelo (6), Bernardo (N/A)

Star Man

A tough day for City, and one in which their talisman did absolutely everything but stick the ball in the back of the net.

Sergio Aguero,Davinson Sanchez
His intelligent movement terrorised Spurs for long spells in the first half and at the beginning of the second, and the decision to bring him off seems to completely kill his side’s chances of getting back into it. His profligacy may be blamed for his side failing to take the lead, but he was regardless the best of an ultimately poor bunch on the day.


Liverpool Confidential On Winning epl After Defeating Southampton

Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Southampton on Saturday carried them to a ludicrous 73 points from just 25 games – a tally which is already better than the Reds managed in 18 of their previous 27 Premier League seasons.

Jürgen Klopp’s men are on track to win their first Premier League title in record fashion. They currently sit 22 points clear at the top of the table, although that lead can be cut to 19 if Manchester City win their game in hand against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp

Regardless of what other teams are doing, Liverpool are very much in control of their destiny. They have been outstanding since the start and have already surpassed the vast majority of their points totals from previous seasons.

Only nine times have the Reds managed more than 73 points in a single Premier League campaign, three of which have come during the last three years.

Their 97 points from last season is their current record for points in a single season, and the Reds can match that with another eight wins from their remaining 13 games. Just one point on top of that would set a new record.

They have finished in the 80s in terms of points totals on four occasions: 2001/02 (80), 2005/06 (82), 2008/09 (86) and 2013/14 (84).

That leaves four other seasons in which Liverpool surpassed 73 points. The first time they did so was back in the 1994/95 campaign, in which they finished with 74 from the 42-game season.

They then picked up 76 points in the 2007/08 campaign, before matching that in the 2016/17 season. 2017/18 brought 75 points, but the Reds have gone from strength to strength ever since.

Jordan Henderson,Virgil van Dijk

By contrast, their worst season was the 2011/12 campaign, in which they managed just 52 points. The current side had already eclipsed that tally by the end of December.

Life at Anfield has never been better in the Premier League era, and Klopp’s men are on track to end their long wait to lift the prestigious trophy.

Oh… and as an extra cherry on top, with the win over Southampton, Liverpool’s points total of 73 is now higher than Everton have ever managed in an entire Premier League season – their best coming in 2013/14 with 72.


Barcelona Sets To Sign Willian On Free Transfer

Willian looks set to join Barcelona on a free transfer this summer after Chelsea opted against selling him with his contract running down in January.

Barcelona are close to agreeing terms with the 31-year-old, which would see him arrive at Camp Nou as a free agent once his deal at the Premier League club expires in June.

It is believed Willian has, for some time now, considered his long-term future away from Chelsea after spending seven years at the club he joined in 2013.

Barça, who have made their interest in the Brazilian winger known over the past few transfer windows, have now moved quickly to secure their man in the summer, according to Spanish newspaper Marca.

Willian, who is represented by the same agency as Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho, could join his compatriot back at Camp Nou in the summer.

Over the last few seasons, negotiations between the player, Barcelona, and Chelsea have taken place, but have never reached the stage whereby the Blues were likely to lose their man.

However, now that he has spurned the club’s advances of a signing a contract extension, Chelsea are resigned to lose him to Barça for free in the summer, perhaps influencing his manager’s decision to drop him to the bench in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Leicester on Saturday.

Despite Frank Lampard knowing Willian is unlikely to re-sign, the club decided to keep him on the books given their current shortage of attacking options at their disposal after a difficult and unfruitful January transfer window.

Willian did come off the bench late on at Leicester, though Michy Batshuayi surprisingly didn’t play a part, and Olivier Giroud was left out of the matchday squad.

Lampard admitted that his side are underdogs in the race for the top four as they were unable to strengthen in the window, despite their transfer ban being lifted in time.


Eriksen Reveals Why He Left Tottenham

José Mourinho Reveals When Christian Eriksen Told Him There Was ‘No Way’ He Would Stay at spurs…

José Mourinho has revealed that Christian Eriksen told him there was ‘no way’ he would be staying at Tottenham on the Spurs boss’ first day in charge at the club.

Eriksen was long linked with a move away from north London before he finally sealed a £17m switch to Inter earlier this week. The Dane’s departure ended a six and a half season association with Spurs, during which he made over 300 appearances in all competitions.

Christian Eriksen

When Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino in November, Eriksen had just seven months remaining on his contract and midfielder was always clear to the 57-year-old about his desire to leave.

“The day I arrived he told me he was not going to sign,’ the former Chelsea boss claimed. “Christian told me the decision was made and there was no way. From that moment I was just trying to build the team without him. That was the reason why I didn’t play him many, many times.

“It was down to me and Mr Levy to manage the situation in an intelligent way. For me, to try to have a player without great motivations but with a good sense of professionalism to give us what he could. And for Mr Levy to do a great deal with six months on his contract.”

Jose Mourinho
Mourinho also revealed his belief that speculation over Eriksen’s future negatively affected the playmaker’s performances on the pitch.

“Christian was a good guy in the dressing room. Always positive and always respectful with the limitations of somebody that wants to leave because there are always limitations in this situation. You could feel in some matches he was not Christian; that is normal,” he explained.

Eriksen was not the only prominent player to leave Spurs in January with Danny Rose joining Newcastle on loan until the end of the season.

Mourinho has also made moves to bolster his squad, bringing in Gedson Fernandes from Benfica and Steven Bergwijn from PSV Eindhoven. Spurs host Manchester City on Sunday and both Bergwijn and Fernandes could be in line for starts.


Tottenham needs a striker – Jose Mourinho ..

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho insists he is “happy” with the club’s transfer business in January, but admits it “would be better” if they had signed a striker.
Spurs made three signings during the window – bringing in Gedson Fernandes on loan from Benfica, making Giovani Lo Celso’s contract permanent, and completing a deal for Netherlands winger Steven Bergwijn.

Mourinho’s side were also heavily linked with signing a striker after Harry Kane ruptured his hamstring, but potential deals for Olivier Giroud, Krzysztof Piatek and Willian Jose never materialised.

When asked about Tottenham’s business in the transfer market, Mourinho replied: “I’m happy.

“It would be better with a striker, We would need a striker to have a balanced squad to face the great challenges we have in front of us in three different competitions.

“Steven Bergwijn is the kind of player that is good for now but is also good for our future and is also good for the direction we want to go.

“With the difficulties of the market in January it was really hard to find the striker that is good, not just to resolve the problems of today, but also good for the future of the team.”

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho

“I am not expecting [more signings]. The market is open so anything can happen but I am not expecting anything to happen. I am happy.

“If it’s not possible it is not possible. We are all together for this in the club.”


Ighalo moves to Man Utd on loan ..

Manchester United have signed former Watford striker Odion Ighalo from Shanghai Shenhua on loan until the end of the season.

The deal to bring the 30-year-old Nigeria international to Old Trafford contains no option to buy.

Ighalo, who is still in China, scored 39 goals in 99 matches for Watford between 2014 and 2017.

Ighalo becomes the first Nigerian to play for Man United


Tottenham complete Stephen’s deal from PSV ..

Premiership club, Tottenham have completed the signing of Dutch winger, Steven Bergwijn from PSV Eindhoven in a deal worth £27m.

The 22-year-old signed a five-year deal with Tottenham on Wednesday.

Steven will now wear the No 23 shirt at his new club. His arrival will reinforce the attacking options at Jose Mourinho’s disposal, who hopes to break into the top four in the league table to secure Champions League qualification.

“This is certainly a dream come true. It also feels like the right time to take this step,’ Steven Bergwijn told Dutch publication De Telegraaf.

‘I have always looked up to a top coach like Mourinho. And now I’m going to play for him. I come here to win prizes. The club has already shown last year, in the Champions League, that they can compete. I hope I can show people quickly that I can be important.

‘It’s great to be here. Just look at the facilities around us. When I play FIFA on the PlayStation, I almost always choose a team from the Premier League. I look forward to playing in that great atmosphere”.

Steven Bergwijn, who is an exceptional dribbler and has fantastic ball control is primarily a winger on the left but can play anywhere along the frontline. During his 149 appearances for PSV, he won three Eredivisie titles, scored 31 goals and provided 41 assists.


Fernandinho signs one year with city ..

Manchester City have confirmed that Fernandinho has signed a one year contract extension, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2021.

The Brazilian joined the Manchester-based side in the summer of 2013 and has gone on to make 299 appearances for the club so far, chipping in with 25 goals and 23 assists in this time.

Fernandinho had entered the final six months of his contract, but Manchester City have now officially confirmed that the 34-year-old has signed a one year extension to his current deal.

After signing his contract extension, Fernandinho revealed that he wishes to help the team continue to be successful and win trophies. He told the club’s official website: “This is the best possible news. I want to take this opportunity to put on record how grateful I am to my teammates and the backroom staff here at City. Without them, this deal would not be possible, so sincere thanks to every single one of them.

“I have enjoyed every second of my time here. I never expected to build such a meaningful relationship with the Club and the fans, but it has happened, and I am grateful every single day.

“My focus now is on making sure we continue to be successful. My time here has been decorated by silverware, but under Pep’s guidance we have really accelerated. I want that to carry on for as long as possible.”

Director of Football Txiki Begiristain was full of praise, claiming that he is one of the best players in world football. He added: “This new deal reflects Fernandinho’s quality and commitment. He is not only a first-class professional and one of the best players in world football, he is a fantastic person who leads by example every single day.

“We have a talented young squad – but making sure they are supplemented by senior players of Fernandinho’s ilk is of paramount importance. What he brings in terms of leadership and professionalism is valued by everyone at the football club.

“He is a player with outstanding technical quality, and his appreciation of the game allows him to play multiple positions. He is also a player without ego, someone who values his teammates and recognises the importance of the squad.”


Giovani, best to replace Eriksen in Tottenham ..

With Christian Eriksen not at Inter, Giovani Lo Celso’s emergence, and permanent signing, couldn’t have come at a better time for Spurs fans.

His performance against Southampton at the weekend showed once again that he could be the perfect replacement for the Dane, with the Argentine helping to secure a 1-1 draw against a high-flying Saints side in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Spurs flattered to deceive at St. Mary’s, but Mourinho will be delighted to know that he is already in possession of a worthy Eriksen replacement – putting his transfer headaches to rest (in that department, at least).

Since his arrival in north London from Real Betis back in August, the midfielder initially struggled to find his feet in the Premier League. There were high expectations surrounding Lo Celso’s arrival, with supporters eager to see what the young playmaker could bring to England’s top tier – but the 23-year-old ended up spending the majority of his time sidelined with injury.

However, over the past few weeks, Lo Celso has proved exactly what he’s capable of.

He was crucial in the lead up to Tottenham’s only goal on Saturday, charging past the likes of James Ward-Prowse and Moussa Djenepo before providing a superb pass to Erik Lamela in the lead up to the goal.

Lo Celso then nearly got on the scoresheet himself, slamming the ball in the middle of the net in the first half hour of the game, only for the officials to disallow the goal. It was his work in the latter stages of the match which really caught the eyes of supporters though, with the young star running the centre of midfield, switching from the right wing after new signing Gedson Fernandes was taken off in the early moments of the second half.

One aspect that will make Lo Celso the perfect replacement for Eriksen is his ability to dribble past his opponents. Once Fernandes came off, the Argentine was free to glide past Southampton players effortlessly.

Lo Celso pairs that dribbling ability with an impressive passing range and technical ability. It’s a set of attributes that will be valuable to Mourinho as he looks to encourage his side to make quick transitions and to get the ball up the field, making him a crucial component of this current Tottenham side.

Although he has shown his worth in central midfield, he can also perform as a winger or in a deeper role on the pitch, making him an extremely versatile player. In Tottenham’s game against Norwich, Lo Celso excelled as a more deep-lying midfielder, playing as an interceptor for quick attacks.

With Mourinho constantly testing his best possible midfield, a flexible player who can perform well in various roles is just the type of man the Portuguese boss needs.


Jan: Solskjaer set to call for Sanchez’s return to United ..

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has bemoaned the “difficult” nature of the January transfer window and hinted at a possible Manchester United return for Alexis Sanchez.
Solskjaer could not provide an update on the pursuit of Sporting midfielder Bruno Fernandes, and while there is still a chance the Portugal international can arrive at Old Trafford with a deal still to be done within the two clubs, United have less time to complete a move before Friday’s deadline.

United remain some way apart on what they are willing to pay and what Sporting want for the 27-year-old – but Old Trafford chiefs are keen not to repeat the mistakes of previous windows and will not panic buy, fuelling a chance they will not make a signing before Friday’s deadline, reports NobleSport
“I haven’t got any updates for you on transfers,” Solskjaer said. “I haven’t got anything to say now.

“If there is something out there, then the club are pursuing that and looking at it. It is difficult this window – it’s always been. I can’t remember how many good deals that we’ve brought in in January.
“Henrik (Larsson)… Nemanja (Vidic) and Patrice (Evra) – they were two good ones.

It’s hard, it’s very hard because the clubs don’t want to lose their best players.”
‘Sanchez will prove you wrong’
Two years ago United made a major swoop in January by signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, but the Chile forward struggled at Old Trafford, scoring just five goals in 45 appearances before joining Inter Milan on loan last summer.

Despite allowing him to leave the club, Solskjaer suggested the former Barcelona forward could still make a success of his United career when his loan to Serie A finishes at the end of the season.
“Alexis will come back in the summer and prove you all wrong,” Solskjaer said following a question from the media.

After watching his side produce one of their most disappointing displays of the season in a 2-0 loss at home to Burnley last week, Solskjaer insisted the club needed “quality” signings.
However, with just three days until the January transfer window closes, United’s only reinforcements look set to come in the form of players returning from injury.

Key midfielders Scott McTominay (knee) and Paul Pogba (ankle) have both been out since December, but could be in line for February returns.
“It’s hard to put timescales on long-term injuries because they also need the training before they’re injury free,” Solskjaer said.
“Paul’s had his cast off and Scott’s took his braces off, so at least now they can start doing some work on the grass soon.”

‘Perfect performance needed at City’
The midfield duo’s absence adds to the already-difficult task United face as they travel to local rivals Manchester City on Wednesday for the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final trailing 3-1.
City led 3-0 after a dominant first half at Old Trafford, but United produced a stronger display after the break to keep the tie alive going to the Etihad.

United overturned a two-goal first-leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain in last season’s Champions League round of 16, and Solskjaer has urged his players to call upon that experience.
“It looked like it was over at half-time [of the first leg] because the second part of that first half they outplayed us for a while,” Solskjaer said.

Alexis Sanchez.

“Now we’ve got to go into memory bank and think PSG, because we’ve done it against good teams before and it gives us some hope, and the game in December of course gives us hope that we can do something there.
“It has to be a perfect performance to win by two goals against such a good team away from home.”