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UCL: Ronaldo’s Juventus thrash Messi’s Barcelona 3-0 as Man United crash out



Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice from the penalty spot as Juventus thrashed Barcelona 3-0 at the Camp Nou in their final match of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage.

This was the first meeting between Ronaldo and Lionel Messi since the former left Real Madrid in 2018. The 35-year-old Portuguese forward came top in the “battle of the greatest” with two penalty kicks converted while Messi’s efforts were frustrated by a combination of saves and blocked shots.

Barcelona had won the reverse fixture 2-0 at Turin but fell behind in the 13th minute when Ronaldo was fouled in the box and the forward dusted himself up to convert the spot-kick.

It was 2-0 after 20 minutes when Weston McKennie brilliantly converted Juan Caudrado’s cross, and Juventus held firm to deny Messi any joy in front of goal despite three shots on target and two blocked shots.

Ronaldo made it 3-0 in the 52nd minute with his second spot-kick awarded by the video assistant referee (VAR) for a handball by Christian Lenglet, a Barcelona defender.

The Portuguese placed his shot into the bottom left corner for his 14th goal in 13 games at the Camp Nou, while he also became the first player in the UCL to score two penalties against Barcelona in the same match.

Juventus’ victory ensured they snatched top spot ahead of Barcelona due to a superior head-to-head record after both teams finished on 15 points.

RB Leipzig eliminates Manchester United

RB Leipzig held firm to win 3-2 against a sleepy Manchester United that only woke up in the second half, eliminating the Red Devils from the continent’s premier football competition and into the Europa League.

Man United failed to advance to the knockout phase of the UCL for the first time since a similar debacle in 2015.

The German Bundesliga side went 3-0 up before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men rallied to score two late goals but could not complete the task in a match they needed not to lose in order to ensure qualification into the UCL knockout phase.

Julian Nagelsmann’s side scored twice in the first 13 minutes for a 2-0 lead, and they extended that lead in the 68th minute after Justin Kluivert pounced on a defensive miscommunication between Harry Maguire and David de Gea.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man United staged a comeback with 10 minutes left. Bruno Fernandes converted a penalty in the 80th minute while Paul Pogba added a headed goal two minutes later for 3-2.

The 2008 UCL winners tried to snatch a late draw but crashed out at the group stage.


Lazio 2-2 Club Bruges

Zenit St Petersburg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Chelsea   1-1 FK Krasnodar

Rennes 1-3 Sevilla

Barcelona 0-3 Juventus

Dynamo Kyiv 1-0 Ferencvárosi TC

RB Leipzig 3-2 Man Utd


UEFA: We’ll ban players in Super League from World Cup, others



UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin says all players that play in the Super League will be banned from the World Cup, European competitions and other global football events.

The threat followed the decision by 12 top European football clubs to found a Super League, which was announced in a joint statement late on Sunday.

The founding clubs of the mid-week league were listed as English Premier League clubs Manchester United and Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea. The others are Italy’s Juventus and Milan clubs AC and Inter, and the Spanish trio of FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

“It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable,” the 12 clubs said in the statement.

Reported to be financially very lucrative, the project does not have the support of football’s governing bodies.

UEFA and football leagues and federations from England, Italy and Spain described it as “a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.”

Fifteen of the 20 participating clubs are to be permanent members, and the remaining five will “qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season,” the statement said the 12 clubs involved in the Super League had “spat in the face of football.

“The players that play in the Super League will be banned from playing in the World Cup and Euros.”

He also said, “We will take all the sanctions that we can. I cannot stress more strongly how everyone is united against this disgraceful, self-serving proposals, fuelled by greed above all else.

“We urge everyone to stand tall with us as we do everything in our power to ensure this never ends up in fruition.”

According to the New York Times the new league would “generate hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue for the participating teams.”

The club’s are already the richest clubs in the sport.

It was however reported that 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich and finalists Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) were not among the clubs that had signed up or expressed interest.

In a statement UEFA and football leagues and federations from England, Italy and Spain said, “As previously announced by FIFA and the six federations, the clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level.

“Their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.

“We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this.”

Before the announcement the Premier League in England said it “condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit. These are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid.”

German Football League chief Christian Seifert spoke of his body’s opposition, saying, “We reject any kind of European Super League concept” which would “irreparably damage the national leagues as the basis of European professional football.”

The latest development comes on the eve of a UEFA executive committee meeting.

The meeting, apart from finalising the host cities for the summer’s Euro tournament, is also to approve a Champions League reform from 2024 onwards.

The powerful European Club Association (ECA) and UEFA’s club competitions committee were reportedly in agreement Friday about the reform.

Under this, the elite event is to be increased from 32 to 36 teams and each team plays 10 instead of six group games in what is known as “the Swiss model.”

Two of the additional four clubs are to controversially come via historic results not through qualification via domestic action.

The large number of additional matches is a threat to domestic competitions.

Fan groups have also voiced their dissent, with an even bigger outcry expected if a Super League becomes reality.

The reports said that European officials were discussing counter measures which could include banning Super League clubs from next season’s Champions League.

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Tottenham sack Jose Mourinho



Tottenham Hotspur management has sacked coach Jose Mourinho.

The announcement comes after Tottenham Hotspur drew 2-2 with Everton on Friday evening, leaving them down in seventh place in the table.

Mourinho was appointed as Tottenham manager in November 2019, a day after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino.

He guided them to sixth place in the table by the end of the campaign, but his style of football often didn’t win him much acclaim from fans.

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Kelechi Iheanacho fires Leicester City into FA Cup final



Leicester City have booked their place in the FA Cup final against Chelsea as Kelechi Iheanacho’s second-half strike seals the win over Southampton.

It is Leicester City’s first FA Cup final since 1969.

The striker converted from close range in the 55th minute after good work from Jamie Vardy set him up during a counter attack.

It is the fifth time the Foxes have reached the FA Cup final and they will now face Chelsea next month after the Blues defeated Manchester City in the other semi-final on Saturday.

Iheanacho’s strike was the 14th he has scored in this competition since 2015 and no player – not Sergio Aguero or Harry Kane – has scored more FA Cup goals during that time. The cup has become his playground.

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