Real Madrid, Atletico into Champions League last 16 as PSG win suspended game – Newstrends
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Real Madrid, Atletico into Champions League last 16 as PSG win suspended game

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Karim Benzema sent Real Madrid through to the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday alongside their rivals Atletico, while Neymar scored a hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain beat Istanbul Basaksehir in a match that was delayed for 24 hours over a racism row

Real Madrid are Europe’s most decorated club with 13 European Cups but they needed to beat Borussia Moenchengladbach in Madrid to be sure of making it through the group stage of the Champions League for a 24th straight year.

Benzema was their hero, easing the pressure on coach Zinedine Zidane with two fine back-post headers in the first half securing a 2-0 win in a game played behind closed doors at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium.

“Each match is a final and I think that if we always play how we did today, no team can hurt us,” said Benzema, who has played in four Champions League final wins with Real in the last seven seasons.

The Frenchman also hit the bar in the second half and in the end it was a result that suited both teams, with a 0-0 draw between Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk allowing Real to top Group B and Gladbach, former European Cup runners-up, to go through as runners-up.

Players from the German club gathered around smartphones and laptops after fulltime in Madrid to follow events in Milan, where a winner for either team would have knocked Gladbach out.

They celebrated wildly when their qualification was confirmed.

“Moments like that live long in the memory. It was absolutely incredible and the joy was uncontainable,” said Gladbach midfielder Christoph Kramer.

INTER FAIL AGAIN

Shakhtar go into the Europa League while Inter finish bottom of their group, failing to reach the last 16 for a third season running.

Meanwhile Atletico needed to beat Red Bull Salzburg in Austria to qualify as runners-up in Group A behind Bayern Munich, and did so with Mario Hermoso and Yannick Carrasco scoring in a 2-0 victory.

“I think in the nine years we’ve been here, we have reached the last 16 eight times,” said Atletico coach Diego Simeone.

“I enjoy looking back at that. Lots of people will say it’s just normal for us but I don’t think it’s normal.”

Salzburg now go into the Europa League while reigning European champions Bayern completed the group stage unbeaten as Niklas Suele and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting gave them a 2-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow.

ATALANTA THROUGH

The other team to clinch qualification on Wednesday was Atalanta, whose 1-0 win away to Ajax secured second place in Group D behind Liverpool and a last-16 spot for the second year running.

Luis Muriel scored a late winner for Atalanta in Amsterdam after Ryan Gravenberch was sent off for the hosts, who drop into the Europa League.

Already through, Liverpool were able to give a chance to several younger players in their 1-1 draw with Midtjylland in Denmark, where Mohamed Salah put the 2019 winners ahead early on but Alexander Scholz’s penalty gave the hosts an honourable draw.

NEYMAR HAT-TRICK

PSG had wrapped up their qualification for the last 16 on Tuesday thanks to Manchester United’s defeat at RB Leipzig, despite their own game being suspended after an unprecedented walkout.

Both sets of players refused to continue after a row erupted over an alleged racist remark by the fourth official aimed at Basaksehir’s assistant coach, Pierre Webo.

With a new set of officials, the game restarted in the 14th minute on Wednesday and an irresistible Neymar scored a hat-trick while also winning a penalty converted by Kylian Mbappe.

That was Mbappe’s first Champions League goal in 12 months, and he scored again later on after Mehmet Topal pulled one back. With their 5-1 victory, PSG go through as group winners.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City made it five wins and a draw in Group D as they eased to a 3-0 victory against Marseille with Ferran Torres and Sergio Aguero getting second-half goals before an Alvaro Gonzalez own goal.

Also already qualified, Porto beat Olympiakos 2-0 in Piraeus courtesy of Otavio’s early penalty and a Matheus Uribe goal. The Greeks, who ended with 10 men, finish third in the section.

The draw for the last 16 is on Monday.

– supersport.com

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Euro 2024: Spain beat Italy 1-0, England play 1-1 with Denmark

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Euro 2024: Spain beat Italy 1-0, England play 1-1 with Denmark

Spain have qualified for the second round of the ongoing 2024 UEFA European Championship.

The Luis de la Fuente side became the second team to book the competition knockout ticket after defeating Italy 1-0 at the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Thursday.

A second-half own goal conceded by Riccardo Carlafiori was the sole difference, sending Spain top of Group B with six points.

Italy, the defending champions, cut a timid apparition of themselves throughout the game, and the scoreline was kept respectable by Gianluigi Donnarumma’s saves.

But even the goalkeeper was helpless in the 55th minute after he had gone down to save a header from Alvaro Morata, and the ball ricocheted off the shin of Carlafiori and into the net.

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In the other games of the day, England were dealt a reality check and held to a 1-1 draw against Denmark.

The Three Lions had taken the lead after Harry Kane stroked the ball home from the six-yard area.

Shortly, the Danes responded with a sublime strike from Marten Hjulmand from 30 yards out. The shot flew beyond the stretched limb of Jordan Pickford into the net.

Slovenia and Serbia also played out a one-all draw earlier in the day.

Euro 2024: Spain beat Italy 1-0, England play 1-1 with Denmark

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Mohammed Kudus leaving W’Ham summer, Man Utd stake £33.8m on Joshua Zirkzee

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Mohammed Kudus

Mohammed Kudus leaving W’Ham summer, Man Utd stake £33.8m on Joshua Zirkzee

West Ham fear Ghana winger Mohammed Kudus, 23, will ask to leave the club this summer. (Football Insider)

Liverpool are pursuing Turkey’s 19-year-old attacking midfielder Arda Guler from Real Madrid(Teamtalk)

Fulham have revived their interest in  Chelsea‘s 24-year-old English defender Trevoh Chalobah. (Standard)

Aston Villa have enquired about the availability of 21-year-old Argentinean midfielder Matias Soule, but Juventus say he is not for sale. (Sky Sports)

 Chelsea are in talks with Boca Juniors over a deal for 19-year-old Argentinean defender Aaron Anselmino. (Athletic – subscription required)

Manchester United are preparing to trigger the £33.8m release clause in the contract of Bologna‘s 23-year-old Dutch striker Joshua Zirkzee. (Telegraph – subscription required)

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Manchester United will walk away from talks with Everton for English defender Jarrad Branthwaite, 21, unless the Toffees lower their £70m asking price. (ESPN)

Everton are increasingly confident of keeping hold of the centre-back this summer. (I Sport)

Lille defender Leny Yoro, 18, favours a move to Real Madrid over Liverpool or Manchester United(Marca – in Spanish)

Former AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli is among the candidates to become Al-Ittihad manager. (Fabrizio Romano)

Paris St-Germain and Netherlands midfielder Xavi Simons, 21, is Bayern Munich‘s primary transfer target. (Bild – in German)

Arsenal have made a bid for Fenerbahce‘s Turkey full-back Ferdi Kadioglu, 24. (Ajan Spor – in Turkish)

Southampton and Brighton have made offers to IFK Gothenburg for 18-year-old Malian midfielder Malick Yalcouye. (Caught offside)

Mohammed Kudus leaving W’Ham summer, Man Utd stake £33.8m on Joshua Zirkzee

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Eagles drop 8 spots to 38th in latest FIFA rankings

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Eagles drop 8 spots to 38th in latest FIFA rankings

The recent poor outings of Super Eagles of Nigeria have reflected in the rating of the team.

The team dropped eight places from 30th to 38th in the world based on FIFA’s latest rankings.

According to the list released on Thursday by the world football governing body, the three-time African champions have also moved two steps behind to the fifth-best team on the continent.

Nigeria’s current rating is due to uninspiring results in the just-concluded round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

In June, the Eagles drew 1-1 against South Africa in their fourth game of the qualifiers and lost 2-1 to the Benin Republic in the following match.

The team’s latest string of performances condemned Nigeria to fifth place in the qualification group, having previously drawn against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

The results also mounted pressure on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), which announced it would appoint an “expatriate” technical adviser for the team.

Shortly after the NFF’s announcement, George Finidi resigned as the Super Eagles head coach after just two games in charge.

Morocco and Senegal maintained their lead as the best African teams, while Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire climbed to third and fourth on the continent.

Argentina remained number one globally, with France and Belgium in second and third.

Brazil leapfrogged England to fourth in the global rankings.

The next FIFA world ranking will be released on July 18, 2024.

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