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Wed, 12 Dec 2018 09:27:44 GMT
Football | The Guardian
Football news, results, fixtures, blogs, podcasts and comment on the Premier League, European and World football from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice [ + ]
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 00:11:35 GMT
Klopp says £67m Alisson ‘worth double’ after save puts Liverpool through
• Alisson keeps out Napoli in stoppage time
• Carlo Ancelotti says Van Dijk deserved red card

Jürgen Klopp said he would have paid double for Alisson after the £65m “lifesaver” secured Liverpool’s place in the Champions League knockout with a crucial stoppage-time save against Napoli.

Related: Salah and Alisson heroics ensure Liverpool qualify at Napoli’s expense

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Wed, 12 Dec 2018 00:40:43 GMT
Tottenham fans bask in afterglow of a defiantly un-’Spursy’ denouement | Sid Lowe

Tottenham’s support had to contemplate failure in Barcelona until Lucas Moura suddenly turned the evening on its head

Tottenham’s fans had just been asked to stay in their seats after the final whistle when Érik Lamela collected the ball on the left and saw Harry Kane move ahead.

It was more than an hour since Ousmane Dembélé had scored the opening goal at the Camp Nou and 15 minutes since the news had come in from Milan, where their fate was also being decided and where Mauro Icardi had scored. There were six minutes to go now, Internazionale were level against PSV Eindhoven, and Spurs were out. High in the east stand, a long wait lay ahead, 6,000 of them, sitting there behind the glass, contemplating failure in the cold.

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Wed, 12 Dec 2018 00:07:26 GMT
Champions League: Inter denied by PSV, Dortmund snatch top spot from Atlético
• Agonising 1-1 draw means Inter finish third in Group B
• Dortmund beat Monaco, Atlético Madrid held by Brugge

Internazionale failed to get the win that would have seen them into the Champions League last 16, drawing 1-1 with PSV Eindhoven on a fraught night at the San Siro.

The hosts fell behind early on, but Mauro Icardi’s equaliser after 73 minutes meant the Italians were going through with Tottenham 1-0 down at Barcelona. After news of Lucas Moura’s crucial equaliser filtered through, Inter missed two late chances to win the game.

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Tue, 11 Dec 2018 15:49:17 GMT
Paul Pogba shocked at Manchester United omission for past two games
• José Mourinho has omitted midfielder for two matches
• Scott McTominay preferred for 15 minutes against Fulham

Paul Pogba has been left shocked at being dropped by José Mourinho, with the Manchester United midfielder left out of the starting XI for the past two games against Arsenal and Fulham.

The relationship between player and manager has been rocky since the start of the season. Yet despite Mourinho having terse words for Pogba privately and publicly, the France international did not expect to be left out of the XI.

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Tue, 11 Dec 2018 14:11:22 GMT
Guardiola says racism is everywhere and praises ‘incredible’ Sterling
• Manchester City manager says racism must be fought
• Guardiola thanks Chelsea for reaction to alleged racism

Pep Guardiola has said “racism is everywhere” and has to be fought each day. Manchester City’s manager was speaking after Raheem Sterling was allegedly racially abused at Chelsea.

Sterling was verbally abused on Saturday and the incident is being investigated by Chelsea and the Metropolitan police. Four Chelsea supporters have been suspended by the club. One of them pictured verbally abusing Sterling has reportedly denied any racial element.

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Wed, 12 Dec 2018 09:21:25 GMT
Football transfer rumours: Real Madrid's Marco Asensio to join Spurs?

Today’s fluff has got plenty of problems

Marcus Rashford is a target for Milan. Paul Pogba is unhappy. And José Mourinho has gone to the absurd lengths of distancing himself from a claim that he’s committed to Manchester United made by his own agent. “It’s not my statement, I didn’t know at all and I didn’t care about it.” Poor Ed Woodward. And there’s Theresa May thinking she’s got problems.

But here’s some slightly more upbeat news for the beleaguered giants: Manchester United are hopeful of finally landing that elusive, game-changing central defender in the upcoming window! Step forward Pablo, Bordeaux’s 27-year-old Brazilian international. Not only that, hot Ajax pair Matthijs De Ligt and Frenkie De Jong are on their radar, as is the young Middlesbrough winger Marcus Tavernier. And Juan Mata is eager to sign a new contract. So it’s swings and roundabouts.

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Wed, 12 Dec 2018 00:21:40 GMT
Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino: ‘I never said it was impossible’

• Late equaliser puts Spurs into last 16 of Champions League
• Spurs should be able to play ties at new ground

Mauricio Pochettino could look forward to the prospect of Champions League football at Tottenham’s new stadium, after his team drew 1-1 with Barcelona on a tumultuous night to qualify for the last 16. Tottenham were helped out by the score in the other Group B tie – Inter’s home draw with PSV Eindhoven. They had needed to match Inter’s result.

Related: Lucas Moura’s late goal in Barcelona takes Tottenham through to last 16

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Tue, 11 Dec 2018 23:32:22 GMT
Liverpool 1-0 Napoli: how the players rated in the Champions League

Georginio Wijnaldum proves the outstanding player for Liverpool at Anfield, while Kalidou Koulibaly shines for Napoli

Alisson 9/10 One save to make all night and delivered. In the 92nd minute too. The difference between pain and progress.

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Tue, 11 Dec 2018 22:23:51 GMT
Mo Salah, Liverpool’s kangaroo, looks ready to bounce through winter slog | Barney Ronay

The Egyptian just keeps on keeping on, and does so with a rare lightness. Against Napoli he got his reward, and hinted at what may be to come over the next few months

Just past the half hour at a chilly, angsty Anfield Mo Salah was suddenly free in space on the edge of the Napoli box, scampering in on goal in that bouncy style, hair flapping, legs whirring like a cartoon kangaroo. Salah had time to look up, pause and nudge a doomed pass across the six-yard box in the vague direction of Sadio Mané. There was a groan from the stands, but not much of a groan. The one thing they know for sure about Salah around here is that he just keeps on keeping on. Some footballers are relentless in a pained kind of way, tied to the rack, teeth clenched, head down. Salah has a lightness to him. He keeps coming because he knows in the end the game will open up, that his ability to glide and spring sideways with preternatural speed will find the right pocket of space.

Related: Salah and Alisson heroics ensure Liverpool qualify at Napoli’s expense

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Tue, 11 Dec 2018 11:33:12 GMT
David Squires on … the mistreatment of Raheem Sterling

Our cartoonist on why it’s hard to exaggerate the vilification Raheem Sterling has been subjected to in recent years

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Tue, 11 Dec 2018 12:19:45 GMT
Sponsorship milestone shows women’s football is now big business | Suzanne Wrack
Backing by Visa indicates women’s game has value and is the biggest sign of its potential to be self-sustaining to date

Sponsorship deals are routinely mocked, from Manchester United’s mattress partners to Everton’s Angry Birds sleeves, with some companies all too keen to get themselves associated with Premier League clubs. And we roll our eyes at the latest madcap scenarios players find themselves in at launch events.

However Uefa’s announcement that it has agreed a seven-year deal with Visa as the first sponsor of Uefa women’s football deserves the celebratory tone with which it was unveiled. Because, for a change, it actually is a groundbreaking deal. Why? Because as Nadine Kessler, Uefa’s head of women’s football, said, the aim is “to assign a clear value to women’s football”.

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Tue, 11 Dec 2018 15:34:25 GMT
Herman Ouseley to stand down as chairman of football’s Kick It Out
• Respected leader of anti-racism campaign to go after 25 years
• ‘Kick It Out is well positioned to keep the momentum afloat’

Lord Herman Ouseley is to stand down as the chairman of football’s anti-racism campaign Kick It Out after 25 continuous years in that position since the organisation was established in 1993.

The 73-year-old is understood to have informed Kick It Out’s trustees some time ago that he intended to retire at the end of this season and the announcement is not related to the resurgence of alleged racist incidents in the game.

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Tue, 11 Dec 2018 17:55:40 GMT
Yaya Touré ends second spell with Olympiakos after three months
• Touré leaves by mutual consent having made five appearances
• ‘Yaya is leaving as a friend ... our paths will surely cross again’

Yaya Touré has parted company with Olympiakos three months after rejoining the Greek club. The 35-year-old made five appearances during his second spell, the last of which was on 8 November.

Touré left Manchester City at the end of last season but failed to make an impact at Olympiakos with whom he won the domestic double in the 2005-06 season.

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Mon, 10 Dec 2018 22:03:58 GMT
Lucas Digne rescues point for Everton after Watford’s crazy five minutes

Watford fans brought inflatable snakes to taunt Marco Silva but the surest way to torment their former manager lay in the club’s first victory at Everton. It was in their grasp until stoppage time, deservedly so, only for Lucas Digne to produce an antidote for Silva and Everton’s self-inflicted suffering.

Everton’s form has plummeted since they handed Liverpool victory in the 96th minute of the recent Merseyside derby. This time the 96th minute brought relief as Digne swept an exquisite free-kick into Ben Foster’s top corner following a careless handball by Christian Kabasele. Relief was fleeting as far as the Everton manager was concerned. His team led through Richarlison, the man who followed him from Vicarage Road to Goodison Park in the summer for £40m, and were punished for two lapses in concentration that produced an own goal from Seamus Coleman, plus what seemed an emphatic winner from Abdoulaye Doucouré.

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Mon, 10 Dec 2018 16:00:55 GMT
Jürgen Klopp on Raheem Sterling: ‘He gave the right response not to react to these people’
• England forward subject to alleged abuse at Chelsea
• Liverpool’s Klopp: ‘I thought his reaction was just brilliant’

Jürgen Klopp has said Raheem Sterling delivered the perfect response when subject to alleged racist abuse at Chelsea.

The Manchester City and England forward laughed off abuse from home supporters during the champions’ 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. On Instagram the following day Sterling accused sections of the media of helping to fuel racism with their portrayal of young black footballers.

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