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The race for the Golden Boot is intensifying following the resumption of the 2019/20 season as the Premier League’s sharpest shooters battle it out.

After scoring twice in Southampton’s 3-1 victory at Watford, Danny Ings is now within a goal of Jamie Vardy, who currently leads the way on 19.

Ings has scored three times in his last three appearances, his form in sharp contrast to that of Vardy, who has only netted twice since 21 December.

Should he see off the challenge of the Leicester City striker and the other contenders, Ings would become the first Saints player to claim the Golden Boot.

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Juventus extended their lead at the top of Serie A, but were made to work hard for their 4-0 win over 10-man Lecce on Friday night.

The hosts started very poorly indeed against the Serie A strugglers, but their task was made all-the-more easier after Fabio Lucioni was given a straight red card in the 31st minute after he as adjudged to be the last man when fouling Rodrigo Bentancur.

Eight minutes into the second half and Juventus made their numerical advantage count as Cristiano Ronaldo fed Paolo Dybala, who curled a fine strike into the top corner to net his second in as many games.

Ronaldo then got in on the act as he netted his ninth Serie A penalty of the season to make it two in the 62nd minute, before Gonzalo Higuain and Matthijs de Ligt made sure of the win late on that sends Juve seven points clear at the top of the table as they close on their ninth successive Scudetto.

With Maurizio Sarri under pressure for his perceived negative style of football, Juventus did little to appease their disgruntled fans watching from afar as they laboured early on against a determined Lecce, who had the better of the early openings.

A wayward overhead kick from Ronaldo was all Juve had to show from the opening half hour before Lucioni let Rodrigo Bentancur steal the ball off him, before fouling the Juve midfielder and being sent off for being the last man.

That lifeline finally sparked the hosts into life, with Federico Bernardeschi somehow contriving to miss from two yards out just before the interval. After the break, the goals finally came as Dybala collected a pass from Ronaldo before finding the top corner, before Ronaldo won and scored the penalty to put his side in command.

A Ronaldo back-heel then set up substitute Higuain for his first goal sine January five minutes from time, before De Ligt headed home Douglas costa’s cross to cap an unconvincing but comprehensive victory for Sarri’s side.

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Arthur will fly to Turin on Saturday night and undergo a medical with Juventus on Sunday ahead of a £72.5m switch from Barcelona.

The midfielder will then fly back to Spain the same day and resume training with Barcelona ahead of their match against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

The Brazil international came on as an 86th-minute substitute in the 2-2 draw against Celta Vigo on Saturday ahead of his flight to Italy – a result that moved Barca one point clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

Major news outlets in Italy are reporting Miralem Pjanic will also have a medical in Turin this weekend ahead of his proposed switch the opposite way in the region of £60m.

It was revealed last week that Barca had agreed a fee with Juve to sell Arthur, with the Italian club emboldened in their attempts to persuade the player to leave.

He had insisted on multiple occasions that he wanted to stay and fight for his place after just two seasons at the Nou Camp, but the Catalan club need to sell players to reinvest in their squad this summer.

According to reports, Juve boss Maurizio Sarri wants to build his midfield around him in a similar way to that of Jorginho at Napoli and Chelsea.

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Real Madrid are now the overwhelming favourites to win the 2019-20 La Liga title after Barcelona dropped points away at Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Luis Suarez scored twice for Barça, but Iago Aspas’s late free-kick earned a point for Celta.

Suarez opened the scoring in the 20th minute courtesy of a wonderful Lionel Messi assist before Fyodor Smolov equalised early in the second half.

Suarez then doubled his – and Barcelona’s – tally in the 67th minute.

However, Aspas had the final say when his free-kick found a way past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Ter Stegen is not getting the blame for Celta’s second goal, though.

Instead, Antoine Griezmann has been slammed by fans on social media for turning his back at the end of the wall.

As Aspas struck the ball with his left foot, Griezmann jumped and turned his back. The ball subsequently found a way into the bottom corner of the net.

Had Griezmann been braver, Barcelona may well have ended the game with their one-goal advantage intact.

Real Madrid can now move three points clear of their eternal rivals when they face Espanyol on Sunday.

“Our feelings are bad because of what happened today. We lost points, but the league is not over yet,” Suarez told reporters after the match.

“We hope that Real Madrid will drop points, both of us still have difficult games.

“I feel angry and upset about the draw.”

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Dutch winger Arjen Robben is preparing to come out of retirement at his formative club Groningen, he announced on Saturday.

After leaving Groningen in 2002, Robben won league titles with PSV Eindhoven, Chelsea and Real Madrid before a hugely successful decade with Bayern Munich.

He retired from Bayern a year ago at the age of 35, having helped the club to eight Bundesliga titles as well as the 2013 Champions League.

The 2010 World Cup finalist said he was fully motivated to return but that he had to get fit first.

“I want to make my comeback at FC Groningen. At this time I’m not sure it will happen,” Robben said in a video on the Groningen website.

“What I am sure of is that my motivation will be at 100 percent. I’m going to go for it and I will be at the first training session for the new season.

“Because my dream is to play in an FC Groningen jersey, we’re not there yet, but you can always dream.

“I was 12 when I joined the Groningen youth academy, and made my debut for them at 16 against PSV,” said Robben, who explained that a banner he saw at Groningen’s stadium had resonated strongly with him.

“‘Arjen follow your heart’, it said, so after a wonderful adventure of 18 years, I’m coming home.”

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Timo Werner has become RB Leipzig’s all-time leading goalscorer in his final appearance for the Bundesliga club before his move to Chelsea.

Earlier this month, Frank Lampard’s side completed a £53 million deal with RB Leipzig to sign Werner this summer.

Meanwhile, RB Leipzig’s Bundesliga season finished on Saturday and the club secured a third-placed finish with a 2-1 victory over Augsburg. Werner scored twice in that match in doing so he overtook Daniel Frahn to become RB Leipzig’s top scorer in the club’s history with 95 goals.

Werner also equalled another Bundesliga record with his double as his record of 17 goals scored away from home this term is the same as Jupp Heynckes managed in the 1973-74 season.

Werner finished the Bundesliga campaign with 28 goals – which is the highest total from any German player since Mario Gomez, who also scored 28 times in the 2010-11 campaign.

Only Robert Lewandowski scored more in the Bundesliga this season as the Poland international ended the campaign with 34 goals for Bayern Munich. RB Leipzig’s season is not over as they remain in the Champions League, but it has already been announced that Werner will join Chelsea before the competition gets back under way

Speaking after Chelsea completed their move for Werner, Lampard said: ‘I have certainly followed him for a while just as a talented player before I took this job.

He will strengthen us, he is a huge talent who had a fantastic season. ‘I had good conversations with Timo personally. He understands our project and what we want to do as a club. ‘We’re pleased he’s decided to come to us and look forward to him joining next season.

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Man City are set to be first team to give Liverpool guard of honour after Premier League title win.

Liverpool won their first ever Premier League title on Thursday with seven matches of the season left after Chelsea beat Manchester City.

City’s defeat confirmed the inevitable as the Reds won their first topflight title in 30 years with one of the most dominant seasons in English football. They are currently 23 points ahead of second-placed City, who won the title in the last two previous seasons.

As luck would have it, Liverpool’s next Premier League match is against the club they de-throned, Manchester City, next Thursday.

Pep Guardiola’s side are expected to give the new Premier League champions a guard of honour at the Etihad Stadium. The gesture is not compulsory but is often tradition once a team wins the Premier League before the final day.

City will not be the only team to give Liverpool the guard of honour, however, as seven teams are expected to do so before they play the champions.

Aston Villa, Brighton, Burnley, Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle are all set to congratulate Liverpool before their matches as the season enters the final game weeks.

However, the Premier League still need to approve the guard of honour due to new protocols enforced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have taken no time to start celebrating, as they popped the champagne at a part held at a hotel on Thursday evening.

Klopp let loose with some hilarious dad-dancing, whilst Reds fans gathered in their thousands outside Anfield after 30 years of waiting for a topflight title.

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum said winning the title was ‘more beautiful’ because of the club’s loyal fan base.

‘It’s difficult to describe it, but I can say that I’m really happy, really pleased that I can be part of this team and this club,’ the Dutchman told LFCTV.

‘Really happy that we can give this title to the supporters because they have waited so long for this title.

‘The supporters were so loyal during the years since I’m here and far before I was here.

‘That makes it more beautiful because when you have such loyal supporters and you can give them one of the best gifts it makes it more beautiful than it is.’

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Liverpool lead net spend on agent fees

The FA says Premier League clubs spent £263m on intermediary and agents’ fees between February 1 2019 and January 31 2020.

Premier League leaders Liverpool were the biggest spenders, paying £30.3m over the 12-month period in question.

Next in the list were the Manchester clubs. with City spending £29m and United parting with £27.6m.

Chelsea (£26.2) were the other club to spend more than £20m.

The lowest spenders were Burnley, who only paid £3.9m, with Norwich (£4.9m) and Sheffield United (£4.3) also spending less than £5m.

Championship clubs paid out £49m on intermediary and agents’ fees for the same period but the figures were a lot smaller further down the pyramid.

League One clubs paid £3.9m, League Two clubs £1.7m and just £319,000 was spent by clubs in the National League and below.