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Ronaldo favored to win his 4th FIFA award as world's best

GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports Writer br /> Cristiano Ronaldo's remarkable run of success can continue with a fourth FIFA award as the world's best player on Monday. A European champion with club and country last year, the Real Madrid and Portugal forward is favored to beat great rival Lionel Messi and France forward Antoine Griezmann when winners of the rebranded Best FIFA Football Awards are presented in Zurich. Messi leads Ronaldo 5-3 in their career-long duel for FIFA's top individual prize. However, Ronaldo is set to complete a hat-trick of major awards for 2016 after taking home trophies presented by UEFA and France Football magazine's prestiguous Golden Ball. FIFA will also name the best women's player, and the best coaches in men's and women's soccer. Voting is by national team captains and coaches, selected journalists and — for the first time — an online poll of fans. Each category counts for 25 percent of the points. Here is a look ahead to the awards ceremony: ___ CRISTIANO RONALDO After Messi in 2015, it was Ronaldo's turn to win the Champions League in 2016 as the prolific scorer netted 16 goals in the competition. He also got the decisive penalty in a shootout after a 1-1 draw with Griezmann's Atletico Madrid. But where he really dominated Messi was on the national-team stage. Ronaldo captained Portugal to a long-awaited first title at the European Championship — two weeks after Messi's Argentina again lost the Copa America final to Chile. Portugal seemed a long way from glory, and faced a humiliating group-stage exit, before Ronaldo's two goals helped salvage a 3-3 draw with Hungary. He also netted in the 2-0 semifinal win against Wales. In the final against host France, Ronaldo went off injured in the first half, then returned to the bench for extra time as — with his knee strapped — he passionately urged teammates on to a 1-0 win. For good measure, Ronaldo scored a Club World Cup final hat trick against Kashima Antlers in December, but that was after FIFA voting had closed. ___ LIONEL MESSI Messi looks to extend a streak of being winner or runner-up in nine straight seasons since placing second behind Kaka of Brazil in 2007. Last year, Messi and won a Spanish league and Cup double with Barcelona. Yet there was another painful Copa America final loss — a third straight year Argentina lost a major final without scoring — and a Champions League quarterfinal exit against Atletico. Nearing his 30th birthday, Messi's prolific scoring rate has not slowed, and 10 goals in the Champions League group stage means that Ronaldo's season record of 17 — set in 2013-14 — is within his sight this year. ___ ANTOINE GRIEZMANN Griezmann's goals helped get France and Atletico Madrid into major finals in 2016. In the Champions League final in Milan, Atletico trailed 1-0 to its city rival when Griezmann missed with a penalty kick that struck the crossbar. Still, he confidently converted his kick in the penalty shootout. Griezmann's six goals at Euro 2016 made him the tournament top scorer. In a tricky round of 16 match, his two goals overturned an early Ireland lead, and he also struck twice — including a coolly taken penalty — against favored Germany in the semifinals. However, he missed two good chances in the final against Portugal as France 1-0 in extra time. ___ COACHING AWARD Could the coach of a provincial club side beat the men who coached European champions Real Madrid and Portugal? Yes, when that coach is Italian Claudio Ranieri and his team, unheralded Leicester City, won an English Premier League title that delighted and stunned fans worldwide. Zinedine Zidane started 2016 having never coached a senior match. The newly appointed Madrid coach won a Champions League title within five months and started 2017 riding a 37-match unbeaten run. Fernando Santos marshalled one of the less obviously talented Portugal teams of recent years to win Euro 2016 despite winning only one of its seven matches during the 90 minutes. ___ WOMEN'S AWARDS Germany's Olympic gold medal-winning team is favored to sweep the awards. Midfielder Melanie Behringer is challenging two past FIFA award winners: defending champion Carli Lloyd of the United States and five-time winner Marta of Brazil. All three coaching candidates are previous FIFA award winners: Silvia Neid of Germany, last year's winner Jill Ellis of the United States and Pia Sundhage of Sweden. ___ FIFA AWARDS FIFA has added a Fan Award to its annual ceremony, and all three candidates from an online poll are European. Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, whose fans sang You'll Never Walk Alone before a Europa League match at Anfield; Dutch club ADO Den Haag, whose fans brought soft toys to children supporting rival team Feyenoord; and the Iceland fans at Euro 2016 for their inspirational clapping salute to players after games. A fans' vote will also decide the Puskas Award for best goal. The candidates are: Marlone of Corinthians, Daniuska Rodriguez of the Venezuela women's Under-17 team, and Mohd Faiz Subri of Malaysian side Penang. FIFA will also present a Fair Play award, and members of the players' union FIFPro worldwide have voted to select a World XI team. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2017

Germany gets another 1-0 win at World Cup, beating Spain

By Rob Harris, Associated Press VALENCIENNES, France (AP) — As Germany clung on for another 1-0 win at the Women's World Cup, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg could sense the unease in her team. And considerable relief in edging past Spain. So when the final whistle blew in northern France on Wednesday the coach quickly gathered her players on the field. "There was some tension," she said. "I told my players we pushed our limits." The way her side lost possession of the ball still grated. But Voss-Tecklenburg ultimately reminded the squad to be proud and united in the pursuit of a third world title. The Germans are finding it far from easy going at the start of Group B, relying on Sara Däbritz's goal in the 42nd minute against the run of play to prevail against the skillful Spanish. "In the last 15 minutes in the first half," said defender Sara Doorsoun, "we came together and said, 'OK be more self-confident.'" Däbritz had the confidence to be in the right place to pounce. After goalkeeper Sandra Paños couldn't keep hold of Alexandra Popp's header, Däbritz got on the end of the loose ball and bundled it into the net. "We were playing some great football," Spain coach Jorge Vilda said through a translator, "and in the end some mistakes cost us dearly against a strong side." Until that point, the confident passing, the intensity and much of the verve had been coming from Spain in heavy rain. "When we got the ball they put a lot of pressure on our defense," Doorsoun said. "It was definitely tough to get the ball." Playing in only their second World Cup, the Spanish were more than just equals to a second-ranked team that has made at least the quarterfinals in all eight editions of the FIFA tournament. What was missing was the ability to complete well-worked moves with a goal. When a high ball was sent to Nahikari Garcia in the 14th minute, the forward broke through the center backs. But with only goalkeeper Almuth Schult to beat, Garcia sent the ball wide. "We showed what Spain can do on the pitch and I think the team is strengthened by our performance," said Vilda, whose side opened with a victory over South Africa. "We have to never been as close as we are now ... and we need to use this as a basis for growth." So does Germany, which opened with the 1-0 victory over China. "We know that we have to play better," Doorsoun said. "But mentality of the team is good." But Germany will still be without Dzsenifer Marozsan for the final group game against South Africa as the midfielder recovers from a broken toe. "In the difficult situations she helps out every player," Voss-Tecklenburg said, "because she doesn't lose many balls. It would have been great to have her with us. We tried to compensate her loss.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 12th, 2019

Ronaldo and Van Dijk face off in Nations League final

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press PORTO, Portugal (AP) — The final of UEFA's newest competition will feature another clash between Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk, two players likely to be competing for the world player of the year award this year. The inaugural Nations League will come to an end on Sunday in Porto with Ronaldo's Portugal taking on the Netherlands of Van Dijk. The Portuguese superstar and the thriving Dutch defender haven't met since last year's Champions League final, when Ronaldo's former team Real Madrid came out on top of Van Dijk's Liverpool. Ronaldo will try to lead Portugal to its first title since the 2016 European Championship, while Van Dijk will look to help the Netherlands lift its first international trophy since the 1988 European Championship. Victory at Estadio do Dragao will give the Dutch some redemption after failing to qualify for the last two major tournaments, the 2018 World Cup and the 2016 European Championship. Van Dijk, touted as one of the best central defenders in the world, called Ronaldo "a fantastic player" but downplayed their matchup. "We play Portugal, we are not playing Cristiano Ronaldo," he said. "They have a very good team. It's going to be tough. We need to be ready." Van Dijk, who hasn't allowed anyone to dribble past him in more than 60 consecutive matches, lifted the Champions League trophy last week with Liverpool, being voted the man of the match in the final against Tottenham in Madrid. He is expected to be in the running for the world player of the year award for the first time. He has already been named player of the year in the English Premier League. Ronaldo has won the world player of the year award five times. "He's already had a really good season," Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum said of his teammate. "I think he's been trying to stop everyone he plays against. But it's not up to us to decide if he wins the Ballon d'Or. For us, he's the best defender in the world, and if you look at his season, he definitely deserves the Ballon d'Or, but it's not up to us, it's up to other people to decide." Van Dijk also was voted man of the match in the Netherlands' 3-1 win over England on Thursday in the Nations League semifinals. Ronaldo was man of the match for Portugal when it defeated Switzerland 3-1 on Wednesday in the other semifinal. Ronaldo scored a hat trick, with two of his goals coming in the final minutes. "The Netherlands are an excellent team," Ronaldo told UEFA's website. "They have been playing pretty well. I've been watching them in recent matches and they have an excellent squad with great players — young players and more experienced players, which makes their team even stronger." Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman said he is not planning to change his defense plans to adapt to Ronaldo's threat. "We know he's one of the best," Koeman said. "And the nicest thing in football is that you cannot stop (a player like him) 100 percent (of the time) because sometimes he's too good. We know the qualities of that player, and of course we need to defend well when we have the ball, we need good defensive organization, but it's not a special marking (system), one on one, because we don't like that." The Netherlands eliminated the last two World Cup winners in the qualification round of the Nations League, Germany and France. Portugal reached the semis by getting past Italy and Poland. On Sunday, the hosts will be without veteran central defender Pepe, who broke his right shoulder against Switzerland. Koeman, who played at the 1988 Euros, said he should have all of his players available even though the Netherlands had one less day to rest for the final. The winner on Sunday will be crowned the first champion of the competition UEFA created to give national teams more meaningful games and reduce the number of friendlies. The winner receives 10.5 million euros ($11.8 million). The runner-up will get 9 million euros. The amounts include the 4.5 million euros all four semifinalists have already secured. The final marks the swansong of 45-year-old Spanish referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco. England and Switzerland will play the third-place match in Guimaraes earlier on Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 9th, 2019

Unlikely heroes may miss final as Kane, Salah set to return

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — Lucas Moura and Divock Origi have been the unlikely heroes for Tottenham and Liverpool in the Champions League this season. They kept alive their team's hopes of winning the European title with crucial goals and decisive performances. Without them, the English sides probably wouldn't have made it to Saturday's final in the Spanish capital. But despite helping their teams reach the final at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, both may miss out on playing in the match because of the return from injuries of Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah. Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino will have to choose between the in-form Moura and the recently injured Kane, while Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp will have to sit Origi or rearrange his attack to leave him in the lineup along with Salah. Neither coach gave anything away on Friday. "If Pochettino says his exact lineup, call me and I will tell you our lineup as well," Klopp said. "If not, then I thought I'd keep at least a few question marks open." Pochettino kept quiet. "It's not going to be easy to take a decision," he said. "We are going to take the best decision to try to win. It's so painful when this type of game arrives and you can only use 11 players from the beginning." Moura has been starting since Kane hurt an ankle ligament in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. The Brazilian scored the hat trick that allowed Tottenham to come from behind and beat Ajax 3-2 in the second leg of the semifinals, helping the English club overcome a 1-0 home loss in the first match. The hat trick included a stoppage-time goal that sealed the comeback and the team's first-ever final appearance. Moura, who joined from Paris Saint-Germain in January 2018, also scored a crucial late equalizer against Barcelona in the team's final group game in December, securing the English club a spot in the knockout stage. "All of this is a dream and now I have the opportunity to play in the final and to win the competition I have always dreamt about," Moura told UEFA.com. "Without a doubt it's the best moment of my career." Origi replaced Salah after the Egyptian had a concussion in a game against Newcastle in the Premier League just before the second leg against Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals. Origi scored a late winner against Newcastle after replacing Salah in the second half, then was crucial in the return match against Barcelona, scoring twice in the 4-0 win that put the team in the final for the second straight season. Kane has been a mainstay in the Tottenham attack, but even before his injury some had been calling for Moura to get more minutes in the squad. The versatile 26-year-old Brazilian can play in different attacking positions, including as an attacking midfielder, and could even play alongside Kane if Pochettino wanted to. For Moura, the Champions League final could give him another opportunity to show Brazil coach Tite he made a mistake by leaving him out of next month's Copa America squad. Tite announced the team shortly after Moura's superb display in the Champions League semifinals, but they weren't enough to persuade the coach. Salah fully recovered from his concussion and is more certain to make his Champions League return on Saturday. He played only about 30 minutes in last year's final because of a shoulder injury sustained in the 3-1 loss to Real Madrid. Origi also is versatile in attack and may get to start alongside Salah and Sadio Mane. The 24-year-old Belgian will have added competition from Roberto Firmino, though, who also had been out injured but is fit for the final. "These are always tough decisions," Pochettino said. "But it's part of my job to decide the starting 11 and to try to win the game.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 1st, 2019

Barcelona wants to redeem itself with Copa del Rey title

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Although Barcelona is still smarting from its collapse at Liverpool two weeks ago, the team has another cup final to play in this weekend. The Spanish champions can complete a second straight domestic double when it faces Valencia on Saturday in the Copa del Rey final. "It's the last game of the season and we need to win so we can go on vacation with a better feeling than the one we had after the match against Liverpool," Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet said. "That's why we want to win this final." Barcelona has won a record 30 Copa del Rey titles, including the last four, but it was eliminated from the Champions League by Liverpool after blowing a 3-0 lead from the first leg. Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde could have a lot riding on the outcome of the game against Valencia, which will be played on neutral turf in Seville. While Valverde has had an almost impeccable record in the Spanish league and the Copa del Rey since taking charge two years ago, many Barcelona fans now doubt he can win it all in Europe. So while another cup is almost expected by Barcelona's supporters, a loss to Valencia would increase the pressure on the club to consider a coaching change. Knowing his coach is under scrutiny, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said Thursday that the club "completely backs Valverde." "We cannot knock this Copa," Bartomeu said. "After the Copa we will able to draw conclusions on how to improve and aspire to win it all in the coming seasons." Barcelona will play without striker Luis Suárez, who underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus injury in his right knee following the loss to Liverpool. Suarez scored 25 goals for Barcelona this season, second only to Lionel Messi and his 50 goals. Forward Ousmane Dembele is also out with a muscle injury, while goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen will most certainly keep his starting job after the club said Marc-Andre ter Stegen has pain in his right knee and won't be available. Valencia has had a very strong second half of the season. It surged up the league standings to finish fourth and earn a Champions League berth, and it reached the Europa League semifinals before losing to Arsenal. It will be seeking its eighth Copa del Rey title and first since 2008. "(Valencia) is a very compact, solid team, with a strong defense, a talented goalkeeper, which transitions very quickly to attack with players who take advantage of open spaces," Lenglet said. "We have to be very careful with Valencia because it is very dangerous." Dani Parejo will lead a Valencia attack that relies on the speed of strikers Rodrigo Moreno and Santi Mina, and forward Goncalo Guedes. Midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia said Valencia took note of how much trouble Liverpool caused Barcelona with its aggressive pressure and relentless attacking. "Whenever a team beats Barca, you have to study it as an example," Kondogbia said. "But we have to be ourselves. We have to play like we know how and try to find the points where we can do Barcelona some damage.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2019

Real Madrid extends Kroos contract until 2023

MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid says it has extended Toni Kroos' contract until the end of the 2023 season. The 29-year-old midfielder, whose contract was to expire at the end of the 2022 season, joined from Bayern Munich after winning the World Cup with Germany in 2014. He has helped Real Madrid win 11 titles, including three Champions Leagues and a Spanish league. Madrid just completed one of its worst seasons in recent years with a 2-0 home loss to Real Betis. The club finished third, eight points behind Atletico Madrid and 19 points behind champion Barcelona. Madrid is expected to revamp most of its squad under Zinedine Zidane, who returned as coach near the end of the season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2019

Season over, Real Madrid faces turbulent summer

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The best thing for Real Madrid about this season is that it is finally over. A humiliating 2-0 loss at home to Real Betis on the last day of the Spanish league on Sunday brought to a close one of the most disappointing seasons in years for the most successful team in European club competition. Madrid's last match exemplified the collective decline of a group of players who had won four of the previous five Champions League titles but found themselves practically out of the running for any major trophies months ago. Defenders often a step too slow, midfielders unable to maintain ball possession, and forwards incapable of producing sufficient scoring chances, much less put the ball in the net. Madrid finished in third place and 19 points adrift of champion Barcelona, the largest-ever deficit with its fiercest rival by the end of a season. Madrid was effectively out of the league title race by January and was eliminated from the Champions League and Copa del Rey in early March, leaving the club with nothing to play for other than pride. And pride couldn't stop the team from failing to get a win in its last five away matches, or ending the season with back-to-back losses. Coach Zinedine Zidane wants his players to remember this feeling. "When you want to try harder and you can't even achieve the smallest little thing, it is complicated," Zidane said. "We have to accept that it has been a bad season. We can't forget it; we have to have it very present in the future so it can help us improve." Now Zidane and club president Florentino Pérez can finally put in motion their plans to breathe some life into a squad that performed far below what its fans expect. "Football is motivation ... Next season this is going to change," Zidane said. WHO'S OUT? Candidate No. 1 to leave is Gareth Bale. Bale arrived at Madrid in 2013 as the biggest signing in football history. Six years, multiple titles and more than 100 goals later, Zidane looks more than ready to part ways with the Wales winger. Zidane has rarely counted on Bale since he returned to the club in March nine months after stepping down, becoming Madrid's third manager of the season following the failures of Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari. Bale didn't leave the bench on Sunday in what many believed was his last game for Madrid. But with Bale under contract until 2022, his exit may hinge on finding a club that can cope with the 29-year-old winger's salary of a reported 15 million euros a season. Goalkeeper Keylor Navas is reported to be unwanted after he became a second-choice player following the signing of Thibaut Courtois. The future of midfielders Toni Kroos and Francisco "Isco" Alarcon and defender Marcelo are also in doubt after their sub-par campaigns, while Zidane has shown little interest in playing midfielders Dani Ceballos, Marcos Llorente and left back Sergio Reguilón. "Nobody is going to take away what these players did for five years," Zidane said. "(But) we don't have excuses. We ask our fans for forgiveness because we have the obligation to give it our all." WHO'S IN? Of all the names floated, Belgium midfielder Eden Hazard's is the most commonly heard. His contract with Chelsea expires in 2020 and he may be ready before then for a change after seven years in London. The other major name is Manchester United star Paul Pogba, who Zidane has said he admires. But unless Madrid can somehow succeed in prying Kylian Mbappé away from Paris Saint-Germain, then the goals that went missing when Cristiano Ronaldo left last year won't be found in a single player. Zidane will still have to solve the pending problem of retooling a team that spent most of the last decade feeding that goal-scoring machine called Ronaldo. If not, then next season may not be much better......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2019

Messi hits 50 goals for Barca, Madrid ends season to forget

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi scored twice to hit the 50-goal mark for the sixth time in his career on Sunday while Real Madrid put a fittingly poor ending to its worst season in recent memory after losing in the final round of the Spanish league. Messi scored his 49th and 50th goals in all competitions this season to give Barcelona a 2-2 draw at Eibar and finished as the league's top scorer with 36 goals for the Spanish champions. This is the sixth season Messi has finished as the top La Liga scorer, equaling a record held by Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra from the 1950s. Barcelona, which had clinched the league title with three rounds to play, will now look to also retain the Copa del Rey title next weekend when it faces Valencia. Its chance of a rare treble of major titles was ended by Liverpool in the Champions League semifinals. Barcelona won the league with 11 points more than second-place Atletico Madrid. It also finished 19 points ahead of Madrid, the biggest-ever points advantage by Barcelona over its fiercest rival. "We were very consistent all season long and that's what allowed us to win the league by such a comfortable margin," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. JEERS FOR MADRID Madrid endured the jeers of its own frustrated fans after a 2-0 loss to Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu. Most of Madrid's supporters have long placed their hopes on what changes the club will make to an underperforming squad in the summer. Not even coach Zinedine Zidane could find a saving grace to the campaign. "It isn't that we don't want to (play better), we aren't able to," Zidane said. "The best thing is for this to be over. We are already thinking about the future and next season." Madrid entered the match with nothing to play for, locked into a third-place finish for the second consecutive season for the first time since 1974. Since the return of Zidane to take charge of the club after its shock loss to Ajax in the round of 16 in the Champions League, Madrid has finished the campaign with a record of five wins, two draws and four losses. "The fault is ours," Madrid defender Marcelo said. "We didn't start well and we didn't finish it well either. In no way was this the season we wanted to have." MESSI'S DOUBLE Messi moved four goals ahead of Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé — who has 32 in the French league with a round left — as the top scorer in Europe's major domestic leagues. Marc Cucurella, a Barcelona youth player on loan to Eibar, opened the scoring before Messi got his first goal from a pass by Arturo Vidal in the 31st. Messi added a second just a minute later when he broke behind Eibar's high defensive line, received the ball from Ivan Rakitic and chipped it over goalkeeper Marco Dmitrovic. Eibar defender Pablo de Blasis leveled just before halftime when he scored from distance into an open net after Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen made a poor clearance with his head outside the area. Barcelona right back Nelson Semedo was taken to the hospital for tests after he received a knock on the head and had to be substituted. Youth player Carles Pérez debuted for Barcelona in the second half. TEAM WINS, SETIÉN LOSES The victory at Madrid didn't save Quique Setién's job. Betis announced shortly after that Setién and the Seville-based club had agreed to part ways after two seasons together, confirming weeks of speculation that he was on his way out. At least Setién's last match in charge was one to remember for the coach. Betis outplayed the hosts from the start and got second-half goals from Loren Morón and former Madrid forward Jesé Rodríguez. A long ball by Giovani Lo Celso set Andrés Guardado free down the left as he sprinted clear of Raphael Varane before crossing for Morón to score. Lo Celso then slipped a ball through to Junior Firpo, who found Jesé unmarked at the edge of the six-yard box. Betis, which beat both Madrid and Barcelona at their stadiums, ended the season in 10th place. "This allows us to finish a season that has been a bit disappointing with a victory against a team and at a stadium that will always be a nice memory," Setién said before the club announced his departure. HOW IT ENDED Champion Barcelona, Atletico, Madrid and fourth-place Valencia qualify for the Champions League. Getafe, Sevilla and Espanyol took the Europa League spots. Girona, Huesca and Rayo Vallecano were relegated......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2019

Barca s reserves lose, Atletico fails to clinch 2nd place

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — Spanish champion Barcelona sacrificed its unbeaten streak on Saturday to prepare to reach the Champions League final at Liverpool's expense. With most regular starters rested, Barcelona's 23-match unbeaten run ended in a 2-0 loss at Celta Vigo on Saturday in the Spanish league. It was Barcelona's first setback since January and a loss at Sevilla in the Copa del Rey, and its first defeat in the league since November. The result meant little to the Catalan club, though, as it's fully focused on Liverpool in the second leg of their Champions League semifinal next week, when it will travel to England defending a 3-0 win from the Camp Nou. Of more immediate concern was a leg injury to Ousmane Dembele, who had to be replaced five minutes into the match. "Apparently he has a muscle problem," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. "We will have to wait until the tests tomorrow to see how serious it is." Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Ivan Rakitic, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Sergio Busquets were among the players who didn't travel to Vigo. Celta loved the result, which moved it to 14th place and five points clear of the relegation zone. Barcelona clinched its 26th league title last weekend. ATLETICO'S MISS Atletico Madrid earlier missed a chance to secure second place after losing at Espanyol 3-0. A draw would have been enough for Atletico but it struggled from at mid-table Espanyol. Atletico can still clinch a runner-up finish on Sunday if third-placed Real Madrid loses or draws against Villarreal. Real Madrid is nine points behind Atletico with three games left, but it holds the head-to-head tiebreaker between the city rivals. "We still need a point, but it's still up to us to earn this point and finish second," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. "We have to appreciate the value of a second-place finish in this league." Atletico is seeking consecutive top-two finishes in the Spanish league for the first time since 1973-74. That was also the last time Real Madrid finished out of the top two in consecutive years. Espanyol, unbeaten in seven matches, moved to ninth with the victory, staying in contention for a Europa League spot. The hosts opened the scoring with an own-goal by Atletico defender Diego Godin just before halftime, then striker Borja Iglesias sealed the victory with goals in the 52nd and 89th minutes. Simeone's team hadn't conceded three goals in a match since March, in a 3-0 loss at Juventus in the Champions League. "We played a good first half but we weren't ourselves after conceding the own-goal," Atletico midfielder Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion said. "That was not the Atletico we are used to seeing." LEVANTE'S RELIEF Levante routed Rayo Vallecano 4-1 at home to move five points clear of the bottom three. Rayo, which was coming off a win over Real Madrid, stayed second-to-last, with little hope of escaping demotion. SOCIEDAD STILL BELIEVES Real Sociedad kept alive its hopes of grabbing a Europa League spot in beating Alaves 1-0......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2019

Arsenal, Chelsea in strong positions in Europa League semis

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press The possibility of an all-English final in the Europa League grew likelier after Arsenal and Chelsea moved into strong positions in the semifinals on Thursday. Arsenal will take a 3-1 lead into the second leg against Valencia after coming from behind through two goals by France striker Alexandre Lacazette and a 90th-minute volley from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Emirates Stadium. Chelsea also rallied to earn a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt, with Pedro Rodriguez scoring the potentially crucial away goal in Germany to extend his team's unbeaten run in the competition to 16 games — a record. Neither Arsenal nor Chelsea is guaranteed a top-four finish in the Premier League, which earns automatic qualification for next season's Champions League. Winning the Europa League also offers that reward, which is why the teams have taken the competition seriously. The final is in Baku, Azerbaijan, on May 29. It had previously been a disappointing week in Europe for English clubs, with Tottenham and Liverpool losing the first legs of their Champions League semifinals against Ajax (1-0) and Barcelona (3-0), respectively. MR. EUROPA LEAGUE A three-time winner of the competition with Sevilla, Unai Emery is on course for another Europa League final in his first season at Arsenal. He has his lethal strike partnership to thank for that. The potency of Lacazette and Aubameyang continues to make up for Arsenal's weakness at the back, which was exposed again when Valencia took the lead off a corner in the 11th minute. A delivery to the far post was headed back across the face of goal by Rodrigo, and Mouctar Diakhaby rose above Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka to nod in from close range. Arsenal has been saving its best performances for the Europa League of late — back-to-back wins over Napoli in the quarterfinals were followed by three straight losses in the Premier League — and the English team hit back almost immediately through Lacazette in the 18th. He played in Aubameyang with a superb through-ball and was then on hand to receive a squared pass from his fellow striker to stroke the ball into an empty net from the edge of the area. Lacazette made it 2-1 eight minutes later when his header from Xhaka's first-time cross could only be palmed over the goal line by Valencia goalkeeper Neto. Lacazette missed out on a hat trick by wasting two clear-cut chances in the second half, but Aubameyang gave Arsenal a two-goal cushion heading into the second leg next Thursday by volleying home at the far post from Sead Kolasinac's floated cross. "I hope that third goal will be important," Aubameyang said. "We started a bit nervous because we lost the last three games, I think that's normal. We are human, but after that we had a good reaction." LOFTUS-CHEEK IMPRESSES With Eden Hazard only starting on the bench, Chelsea needed another player to be its attacking inspiration and it proved to be Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The powerfully built England midfielder has had to bide his time this season, with Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley often starting ahead of him, but he has forced his way into the starting lineup in recent weeks and was Chelsea's best player in Frankfurt with his passing and runs from deep. Fittingly, it was Loftus-Cheek who set up Pedro's 45th-minute goal, shrugging off a couple of defenders and laying the ball off to the Spanish winger, who shifted it onto his left foot and swept in a finish from 15 yards (meters). That canceled out Frankfurt's opener from Serbia striker Luka Jovic, who glanced in Filip Kostic's cross for his ninth goal of this season's competition — a tally bettered only by Chelsea's Olivier Giroud. Chelsea defender David Luiz struck a free kick against the crossbar in the second half but the visitors were hanging on near the end, with Sebastian Rode heading over from close range and Giroud getting away with a handball in his own area. The video assistant referee system is not being used in this season's Europa League until the final. "I think, in the end, we deserved the win," said Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, who is looking to win his first trophy in 29 years as a coach. "But 1-1 away is not so bad.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2019

Rampant Monaco goes top of league with 4-1 win at Marseille

JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writer   PARIS (AP) — Free-scoring Monaco moved to the top of the French league on goal difference by crushing Marseille 4-1 Sunday, tearing the home side apart with lightning counterattacks that took its season's tally to 60 league goals in 20 games. No other side in Europe's top five leagues has scored as many times as Monaco, which plays in a league often known for its tight defenses. This was the eighth time this season Monaco has scored at least four goals, with four of those matches away. 'We wanted to put in a big performance tonight,' Monaco forward Valere Germain said. 'We have quality players and we know we can do something special this season.' Nice, which drew 0-0 at home to Metz earlier Sunday, is in second place. Defending champion PSG is third, three points behind both Nice and Monaco. PSG and Monaco are involved in both domestic cup competitions and the Champions League, while Nice has only the league to play for. Marseille's tactical approach of all-out attack backfired as Monaco's speedy and nimble midfielders, Thomas Lemar and Bernardo Silva, made the most of the space on offer, as did top scorer Radamel Falcao. All three were on target, with Silva getting two and Falcao netting his eighth goal in the past seven games and 17th in all competitions. The 21-year-old Lemar, recently called up to the France squad, scored with a moment of audacious brilliance in the 16th minute. Challenging for the ball with Japanese defender Hiroki Sakai on the left flank, he headed the ball over Sakai, turned and then let the ball bounce before angling an exquisite lob over goalkeeper Yohann Pele. Falcao continued his scoring streak with another excellent finish five minutes later, running onto right back Djibril Sidibe's pass, drawing Pele off his line and feigning to curl the ball around him before dinking it inside the near post instead. Marseille rallied and Portuguese center half Jorge Rolando rose to powerfully head in 19-year-old midfielder Maxime Lopez's free kick in the 29th. But Monaco could have had further goals before the irrepressible Silva started and finished a move, timing his run perfectly to head past Pele from close range just before the interval. Shortly after the interval, Silva smacked a fierce shot in off the crossbar after Pele had saved a shot from Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, who was at the heart of another superbly orchestrated counterattack. 'It's a pleasure to play with great players like Falcao,' Lemar said. 'It helps young players like me.' Marseille lost the corresponding fixture 4-0 in Monaco and it was only slightly better this time. 'They were better than us in every department,' Marseille striker Bafetimbi Gomis said. 'There was a difference in class between the teams and you could see it.' ___ NICE 0, METZ 0 With star striker Mario Balotelli and creative midfielder Younes Belhanda both unavailable through suspension, Nice lacked its usual invention against resilient Metz, which played far better than expected from a 19th-placed team. 'We can live with a point,' Nice coach Lucien Favre said. 'Both teams could have won it.' Having completed his suspension, Balotelli will be back to lead the line against Bastia on Friday, Favre said. Nice striker Alassane Plea went close to scoring midway through the second half, when his angled shot flew just wide of the post. Nice conceded ground to PSG, which won 1-0 at Rennes on Saturday — with new signing Julian Draxler scoring a superb winner on his league debut. ___ CAEN 3, LYON 2 Alexandre Lacazette scored twice to take his season's tally to 15 league goals, but it wasn't enough as Lyon lost ground on PSG. Although fourth-placed Lyon has a game in hand, it is eight points behind PSG after losing for only the second time in 14 games. Croatian striker Ivan Santini starred for Normandy side Caen, scoring a penalty and the winner from a header after creating the first goal when his cross was turned into his own net by Lyon forward Maxwell Cornet. Lyon midfielder Lucas Tousart hit the crossbar with a rasping shot as Lyon went close to equalizing. 'We made too many basic errors,' Lyon midfielder Maxime Gonalons said. 'We're going to have to play much better if we want to achieve our objectives.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2017

Madrid to rest Ronaldo in Copa del Rey match against Sevilla

MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will not use Cristiano Ronaldo in the second leg against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey on Thursday. Zidane will also rest Luka Modric when Madrid tries to defend a 3-0 win from the first leg. Madrid can advance to the quarterfinals even with a two-goal loss at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan. Ronaldo also didn't play against Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. His first match of the year was on Saturday against Granada in the Spanish league, when he scored once in Madrid's 5-0 win. Ronaldo was in Zurich on Monday to receive his fourth FIFA award for best player in the world. Zidane said James Rodriguez, who scored twice in the first leg, will not travel because of a calf problem, but defender Sergio Ramos will be back after a long injury layoff. Defender Pepe and striker Gareth Bale remain out, but forward Lucas Vazquez and defensive midfielder Mateo Kovacic will make the trip to southern Spain after recovering from injuries, as will Zidane's son, Enzo. Madrid plays again in Seville on Sunday in the Spanish league, a tournament it leads ahead of Sevilla. Madrid is trying to win the Copa del Rey title for the first time since the 2013-14 season. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2017

Nice has only French league title to focus on after cup exit

br /> JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writer   PARIS (AP) — French league leader Nice has only the title race to focus on for the rest of the season after going out of the French Cup on Sunday. Nice lost 2-1 away to Lorient, which is last in the first division, despite taking the lead through top scorer Alassane Plea near the end of the first half. Lorient equalized with a fine individual goal from former Arsenal forward Jeremie Aliadiere in the 71st minute, and Algerian midfielder Walid Mesloub's winner shortly after sent Lorient into the fourth round. 'We're frustrated and disappointed because we really wanted to go far in this competition,' Nice defender Maxime Le Marchand said. 'We didn't cope with their attacks so well in the second half and they took advantage. Maybe they wanted it more than us in some ways, even though we had prepared well.' Nice is also out of the League Cup and the Europa League, while its title rivals Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain are still involved in all three domestic competitions and the Champions League. But this defeat could ultimately work to Nice's advantage. The league resumes next weekend, with Nice two points ahead of Monaco and five clear of PSG. 'To stay at the top we have to correct our mistakes and not repeat a performance like this,' Le Marchand said. 'I hope this defeat stings our pride.' Meanwhile, Lyon crushed Montpellier 5-0 with forward Nabil Fekir scoring one and creating two. Lyon's other goals came from top scorer Alexandre Lacazette, center half Mouctar Diakhaby, and two after the break from forward Maxwel Cornet. However, Lyon faces a tough trip to Marseille in the fourth round. Winger Remy Cabella scored his second goal of the game in extra time as Marseille continued its fine form with a 2-1 win against first division rival Toulouse. Marseille is thriving under coach Rudi Garcia and has lost only one of the last seven games. First division Metz lost 2-0 at Lens — which is chasing promotion from the second division — but all other top-tier sides advanced. Brazilian striker Malcom scored a late winner as Bordeaux won 1-0 away to second division Clermont, while Caen, Angers, Saint-Etienne and Rennes beat non-league teams. Defending champion PSG, which routed Bastia 7-0 on Saturday night, has a difficult match away to Rennes in the next round. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Rooney equals record as United beats Reading 4-0 in FA Cup

JUSTIN PALMER, Associated Press br /> LONDON (AP) — Wayne Rooney stands one goal away from becoming Manchester United's outright record goal-scorer after equaling club great Bobby Charlton's mark of 249 on Saturday. With the 79-year-old Charlton watching from the stands, Rooney guided in Juan Mata's cross after seven minutes as the defending FA Cup champion swept aside second-tier Reading 4-0 in the third round. English Premier League teams Bournemouth, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City all bowed out to lower-league opponents while Arsenal needed second-half goals from Aaron Ramsey and Oliver Giroud, the Frenchman netting late on, to wipe out Preston North End's halftime lead. Third-tier Millwall, Cup finalist in 2004, caused the biggest shock by thumping a much-changed Bournemouth 3-0, West Brom went down at home to Championship team Derby County 2-1, while Wolverhampton Wanderers, also from the second tier, ensured Stoke lost in the third round for the first time since 2009 by winning at Britannia Stadium 2-0. In all-Premier League matches, Ahmed Musa scored twice as Leicester fought back from a goal down to defeat Everton 2-1, while in the battle of the new managers, Marco Silva saw his Hull side get the better of Paul Clement's Swansea 2-0. Silva, appointed on Tuesday in place of the fired Mike Phelan, would have noted the large number of empty seats at Hull's KCOM Stadium with home fans staying away in protest against the club's owners. Non-league sides Sutton United and Lincoln City earned replays but there was no fairytale for the lowest-ranked team in the competition Stourbridge as it went down at Wycombe 2-1. ___ MANCHESTER UNITED 4, READING 0 Rooney's latest milestone — he is the record scorer for England — came in front of Old Trafford fans who have adored him, on and off, since he joined as a teenage prodigy from Everton in 2004. 'It is a really proud moment for me,' Rooney said. 'It was not something I could have imagined. You don't think that far ahead, but I have been at this club a long time, it is a huge part of my life, and it is an honor to be up there alongside Sir Bobby.' United manager Jose Mourinho, who won the FA Cup when in charge of Chelsea in 2007, was effusive in his praise of Rooney. 'A more special day will arrive,' he said. 'It was great but I want one more goal. He is an amazing guy in the group and we all want him to do that. To have Wayne as the top scorer in a club like this is magnificent for him.' The game will be not be so fondly remembered by former United defender Jaap Stam, whose Reading side he coaches was outclassed. Rooney set up Anthony Martial for 2-0 not long after he scored the opener. United, winning for the eighth consecutive game in all competitions, added two more in quick succession after the break through Marcus Rashford, his second coming after a mistake from goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi. PRESTON NORTH END 1, ARSENAL 2 Arsenal preserved manager Arsene Wenger's feat of never having lost a third-round match, but the Gunners did it the hard way. After their dramatic comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Bournemouth in midweek, Arsenal started slow again as second-tier Preston fully deserved its halftime lead. But whatever words Wenger barked during the break, they had an immediate effect with Ramsey rifling in an equalizer 50 seconds after the restart. Arsenal, 11-times FA Cup winners, six of which have come under Wenger's long reign, dominated after that but had to wait until two minutes from time to seal victory through Giroud. EVERTON 1, LEICESTER 2 A turgid first half at Goodison Park was followed by an entertaining second as Leicester showed the mettle that made it English champion last season. It fell behind to Romelu Lukaku's goal on 53 minutes but Musa's equalizer was a rebound after he struck the post, and his second goal five minutes later was a fine finish after he played a one-two with Danny Drinkwater. WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1, DERBY COUNTY 2 Tom Ince, son of former England midfielder Paul Ince, struck a fine winner to upset top-flight West Brom. The hosts led through a Matt Phillips long-range strike but Derby hit back in the second half as Darren Bent levelled and Ince curled home a superb free kick. MILLWALL 3, BOURNEMOUTH 0 Bournemouth made 11 changes from its last game and suffered an embarrassing defeat against a side in ninth place in League One. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2017

Man City routs West Ham 5-0 to reach FA Cup 4th round

LONDON (AP) — Manchester City swept aside West Ham 5-0 to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday, bringing an upbeat end to a testing week for coach Pep Guardiola. Midfielder Yaya Toure's penalty, Norwegian defender Havard Nordtveit's own goal and a strike from midfielder David Silva made it 3-0 by halftime. Top scorer Sergio Aguero and defender John Stones added goals after the break to give Guardiola the easiest of introductions to world soccer's oldest knockout competition. As well as a handsome win, it was welcome relief for Guardiola — the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach, who is still adapting to his first season in England. He has been facing criticism following some erratic recent performances in the Premier League. City scraped past a gritty Burnley side 2-1 at home on Monday, following on from a 1-0 defeat away to title rival Liverpool — City's fourth league defeat of the campaign. This rout vindicated Guardiola's decision to field a strong line-up, and he clearly showed he is taking the competition seriously by recalling two of his best players in Silva and Aguero. West Ham, by contrast, left star player Dimitri Payet on the bench and immediately found itself under pressure against a City side which is fourth in the Premier League, seven points behind leader Chelsea after 20 games. Silva's early cut-back found Pablo Zabaleta, whose goalbound shot was blocked by Winston Reid, before Gael Clichy set up Silva only for his effort to be kept out by goalkeeper Adrian at the near post. Raheem Sterling was then denied by a superbly timed Reid tackle and from the resulting corner Adrian tipped Aguero's volley over. The pressure was always going to tell, though, and in the 32nd minute Zabaleta tumbled to the floor under Angelo Ogbonna's challenge. There was only minimal contact but referee Michael Oliver quickly pointed to the spot and Toure converted the penalty. West Ham then collapsed at the Olympic Stadium. City doubled its lead in the 41st minute, as Sterling arrived at the far post and forced an own goal from Nordtveit trying to clear Bacary Sagna's cross. It was all too easy for City as two minutes later Sterling took his turn to race down West Ham's weak left flank. The winger laid the ball across goal to Silva, who from six yards (meters) out had time to take a touch and steady himself before slotting in. Five minutes into the second half, Toure rifled a shot through a crowded area and Aguero diverted the ball into the net. A chastening evening for West Ham got even worse in the final 10 minutes when Stones headed in Nolito's corner. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2017

James Rodriguez comes through for Madrid in Copa del Rey win

  MADRID (AP) — James Rodriguez made the most of a rare start for Real Madrid on Wednesday, scoring twice in a convincing 3-0 win over Sevilla in a first-leg match in the Copa del Rey's Round of 16. Less than a month after he called for more playing time and said he might leave the club if things didn't change, the Colombian midfielder got to start at the Santiago Bernabeu. And his performance showed that Rodriguez believes he should still be considered for a place in Zinedine Zidane's regular starting lineup. 'Obviously we all want to play,' Rodriguez said. 'We all go through bad moments, but this is like a new beginning for me. I'm staying, I'm staying in Madrid.' He opened the scoring with a low, left-foot shot from outside the area in the 11th minute, and netted his second by converting a penalty just before halftime after Luka Modric had been fouled inside the area. 'He played a good game,' Zidane said of Rodriguez, who was cheered loudly by the crowd when he was substituted near the end. 'He scored the goals and worked well. I'm happy for the match he had.' Defender Raphael Varane scored the other goal with a header from the middle of the area in the 29th, as Madrid extended its unbeaten streak to 38 games - one short of the Spanish record set by Luis Enrique's Barcelona last season. Zidane, celebrating one year at Madrid's helm, had downplayed Rodriguez's complaints following the Club World Cup in December, saying he counted on the talented midfielder going forward. He included Rodriguez in Wednesday's lineup after resting some of the regular starters, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. Madrid, which beat Sevilla in the European Super Cup five months ago, will be the clear favorite for the second leg in Seville on Jan. 12. The teams are only four points apart atop the Spanish league, with Madrid first and Sevilla third. Sevilla lost last season's Copa final to Barcelona, which plays at Athletic Bilbao on Thursday. Also Wednesday, Real Sociedad earned a 3-1 home win against Villarreal in another matchup between teams near the top of the Spanish league table - Villarreal is fourth, one spot ahead of Real Sociedad. In a game between second-division clubs, Alcorcon and Cordoba played to a scoreless draw. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2017

Tottenham beats Chelsea 2-0 to end 13-match EPL winning run

br /> ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer   LONDON (AP) — Dele Alli underlined his growing reputation by single-handedly ending Chelsea's 13-match winning run Wednesday, scoring two headed goals to give Tottenham a 2-0 victory over the Premier League leaders. The defense has been the bedrock of Chelsea's three-month hot streak but Alli was gifted space to score carbon copy goals in each half at White Hart Lane after meeting crosses from Christian Eriksen. By taking his tally to seven goals in four games, the 20-year-old Alli inflicted Chelsea's first loss since its last trip to north London at Arsenal in September and prevented the Blues from earning a league record 14th successive win in a single season. 'This league is very tough,' Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said. 'Now it's important to restart. After 13 wins in a row it's difficult to accept defeat.' Chelsea still leads Liverpool by five points but Tottenham is now only seven points behind in third after a fifth successive victory. 'It's a big statement for us but we are happy to stay under the radar,' said Alli, whose team's hopes of a first title since 1961 were ended by Chelsea last season. Conte established the winning run that sent Chelsea to the summit after switching to a three-man defense to stem the tide of goals in a 3-0 first half collapse at Arsenal. But the defense is now leaking goals, conceding four in the last two matches after only letting in two in the previous 12 fixtures. Tottenham matched Chelsea's formation and restricted Conte's side to few chances, while proving more cohesive and solid at the back to frustrate the visitors' forward line. 'I didn't get on the ball as much as I would have liked to,' Alli said. The midfielder didn't need to. Alli was described on the eve of the game by manager Mauricio Pochettino as the 'most important player to emerge in English football in recent years.' Signed from third-tier club MK Dons two years ago for 5 million pounds (then $8 million), Alli lived up to his manager's exalted praise with his mastery of the attacking spaces. While Chelsea was looking more likely to score on the counterattack in the first half, Tottenham used a break to devastating effect on the stroke of halftime with Alli making the breakthrough. Kyle Walker teed up Eriksen and as the cross was floated into the penalty area, Alli was left unmarked between Victor Moses and Cesar Azpilicueta to coolly nod past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. It was an assertive start to the second half by Chelsea, but Tottenham preserved its lead. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris blocked a low shot from Diego Costa, Eden Hazard's low header was off target and Moses' penalty appeals were dismissed when he was clipped by Mousa Dembele. Spurs then punished Chelsea's porous defending again in the 54th minute with a replica of the opener. Walker did the running down the right flank before laying the ball off for Eriksen. The Danish international picked out Alli between Moses and Azpilicueta, and the midfielder found the target with this header. 'We were short of the levels we set ourselves, for whatever reason that may be, a few misplaced passes and not moving the ball as quick as we have been,' Chelsea defender Gary Cahill said. 'They are a top quality opposition and we got punished for being short.' Chelsea's plight in the derby was summed up in the first half by the team's top scorer, Costa, engaging in an on-pitch row with Pedro Rodriguez for several minutes. It followed Pedro's failure to run into space in front of goal to meet a pass from Costa when the score was still 0-0. 'It is normal disappointment,' Conte said. 'It was a good chance for us and we wasted it.' ___ Rob Harris is at www.twitter.com/RobHarris and www.facebook.com/RobHarrisReports .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2017

Spain's anti-doping agency investigating Nasri

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — Spanish club Sevilla says the national anti-doping agency is looking into reports that midfielder Samir Nasri recently had intravenous treatment at a Los Angeles clinic. The clinic, Drip Doctors, posted a photo of Nasri on its Facebook and Twitter accounts on Tuesday, saying it had provided him with a drip 'to help keep him hydrated and in top health during his busy soccer season.' It describes the drip as an infusion to boost the immune system and contains 'high dose vitamin C, B vitamins, lysine and zinc combined with specially formulated nutrients.' Sevilla spokesman Jesus Gomez told The Associated Press on Friday that 'the agency has been in contact with the club to ask for information' about the player. A spokesman for the anti-doping agency told the AP that its investigators are checking whether any treatment Nasri may have received had steered clear of the list of prohibited substances. The spokesman spoke anonymously as dictated by agency policy. The 29-year-old Nasri, who is on loan from English Premier League club Manchester City after not fitting into new coach Pep Guardiola's plans, returned with the rest of his teammates from their winter break to start training on Friday. Nasri has proved to be a key player for Jorge Sampaoli's Sevilla, which has reached the Champions League's round-of-16 and sits third in the Spanish league at the winter break. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2016

Luka Modric extends his contract with Real Madrid until 2020

MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid says the contract of Luka Modric has been extended until June 2020. The 31-year-old Croatia midfielder has been with the Spanish club since transferring from Tottenham in 2012, playing a key role both defensively and of.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2016

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro out with left leg injury

MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid defensive midfielder Casemiro has a small fracture on his left fibula and is expected to be sidelined for about a month. The Spanish club said the break was diagnosed on Thursday, four days after he had to be substitute.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2016