football Sports News


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admitted his treble-chasing side were in “big trouble” after picking up injuries during their Champions League triumph over Atletico Madrid.

A 0-0 second leg draw in a fiery clash in the Spanish capital secured a 1-0 aggregate win and sent the Premier League leaders into the semi-finals.

But, just days before their FA Cup semi-final clash with title rivals Liverpool, City saw Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker both come off with injuries while Phil Foden left the pitch heavily bandaged.

“We are in big trouble,” Guardiola told BT Sport.

“We cannot forget we played three days ago a tough game against Liverpool. We came here, we have a lot of injuries. I don’t know what will happen in the next weeks but today we are going to celebrate.

“It is the third time in Manchester City’s history we are in the semi-finals of the Champions League and it is a big success for us to be there.”

Guardiola did not mention how severe the injuries were, while he also claimed he had “nothing to say” on the ugly scenes which marred his side’s progression on Wednesday night.

The match ended in rancour and bitterness with scuffles on the field and in the tunnel.

First a melee involving numerous players from both sides broke out on the field after Felipe kicked Foden.

Amongst the trouble Atletico defender Stefan Savic pulled unused City substitute Jack Grealish’s hair after the pair exchanged words. Felipe was sent off for his involvement.

The problems continued after the teams left the field with players needing to be separated in the tunnel. TV footage showed objects being thrown and police reportedly became involved to restore order.

Asked about the incidents in his post-match press conference, Guardiola simply said he had “nothing to say”.

Pressed further in relation to the head injury sustained by Foden in another poor challenge from Felipe in the first half, Guardiola said: “I don’t talk about referees or the opponents either.”

There was also a suggestion Guardiola had liquid thrown at him as he headed for the tunnel.

He said: “Everyone saw the action but I have nothing to say.”

Guardiola preferred to focus on the determined effort of his players to claim a result amid fierce provocation and an intimidating atmosphere.

“They pushed us a lot,” Guardiola said. “Atletico were excellent in the second half and we forgot to play. We were in big trouble and they had chances to score.

“We had one or two clear chances in the first half but in the second half of the second leg they were much better. But at the same time we defended with everything.

“We had to adapt. We could not have the ball and we felt the pressure. We are in the semi-finals and it is an incredible achievement for our club.”

Atletico coach Diego Simeone also refused to comment much on the controversies.

Simeone said: “I always think justice should be implemented by other people. It is the referee who should implement justice.”

On his side’s general performance, Simeone said: “We are disappointed because we are out. You always want to win, no matter how you win. Winning is the most important thing.

“But of course it was a very difficult tie against an extraordinary rival. We contained their strength and they only had a couple of chances.

“We played better in the second half and created chances that could have allowed us to win but we were not clinical.”

football Slides Sports News


Manchester City survived a bruising encounter with Atletico Madrid to reach the Champions League semi-finals after a hard-fought goalless draw in the Spanish capital.

Pep Guardiola’s side battled an intimidating atmosphere and a fired-up home side at the Wanda Metropolitano to edge a tense quarter-final courtesy of last week’s equally-draining 1-0 first-leg win.

Atletico finished with 10 men as Felipe – who escaped a booking for a terrible challenge on Phil Foden in the first half – was sent off as home frustrations boiled over in the closing stages.

City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan went close to scoring when he hit the post in the first half but the visitors had to dig deep late on.

Atletico upped the tempo in the closing stages and there were some moments of alarm, not least when Antoine Griezmann shot narrowly wide and Angel Correa tested Ederson in stoppage time.

City withstood great provocation to hold out and book a return to the same city to face Real Madrid in the last four.

A number of players took knocks for their troubles, with Foden needing to be bandaged around the head and Kevin De Bruyne limping off.

The atmosphere was ferocious as Atletico fans did their best to throw City off their game.

Yet after UEFA hit Atletico with a partial stadium closure for this game for discriminatory behaviour by supporters – a sanction suspended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport – the fans did themselves no favours before the game.

First they vociferously booed the competition’s anthem in protest at UEFA’s attempted punishment and then did similar as City’s players took the knee as a statement against racism.

As the action began, Atletico started positively. Manager Diego Simeone was widely criticised for his defensive, damage-limitation tactics in the first leg but, with an onus to attack this time, they looked to get forward more.

Joao Felix made a good run down the right in the opening minutes and fired across a dangerous ball looking for Renan Lodi in the box but Kyle Walker read the situation.

The hosts soon showed their notorious physical side however as Felipe clattered into Foden from behind as the City midfielder went up for a header.

Foden suffered a cut to the head and needed to be bandaged up but remarkably Felipe was not booked by German referee Daniel Siebert who – for not the only time – was surrounded by protesting Atletico players.

Yet if Felipe was let off on that occasion, there was no escape soon after when he clipped De Bruyne. This time Siebert did brandish the yellow card.

Despite finding Atletico tough to deal with, City did look the stronger side. They controlled possession for large spells and did start to threaten.

Gundogan shot wide and John Stones headed over from a corner before they went close to opening the scoring just before the half-hour.

Walker and Riyad Mahrez combined well on the right before Foden teed up Gundogan to crash a shot against the base of the post. The German’s follow-up header was blocked and Atletico scrambled clear.

City managed to restrict Atletico’s openings and Geoffrey Kondogbia failed to make the most of a chance when his shot was deflected and gathered by Ederson.

Atletico looked to step up the pace in the second half and went close to levelling the tie when Griezmann caught hold of a half-volley from a Felix lay-off that drifted narrowly wide.

Another good move then saw Correa flash an effort just wide of the top corner moments after coming off the bench. Fellow substitute Rodrigo De Paul also volleyed wide.

But time began to run out for the hosts and their frustration became evident as Felipe caught Foden again. A scuffle broke out, heavily involving Stefan Savic and Jack Grealish, which ended with Felipe sent off.

Atletico were not quite finished but City held on with Ederson saving from Correa in the closing seconds.

football Slides Sports News

Atleti ordered to close part of stadium for City clash

Atletico Madrid will be forced to close a section of their stadium when they host Manchester City due to the “discriminatory behaviour” of their supporters.

City secured a 1-0 advantage in the Champions League quarter-final first leg last Tuesday at the Etihad Stadium.

Supporters of the Spanish club were caught on camera performing alleged Nazi salutes during that game and UEFA subsequently charged the LaLiga champions with discriminatory behaviour and throwing of objects last Friday.

European football’s governing body has since ordered Atletico to close part of the Wanda Metropolitano, so at least 5,000 fewer supporters will be able to attend the game against Pep Guariola’s side.

UEFA has also ordered Atleti to implement a #NoToRacism banner when they clash with City on Wednesday.

Atletico were previously ordered by UEFA to close part of their stadium in the 2018-19 Champions League campaign, after a racist banner was unfurled during the 2018 Europa League final in Lyon.

football Slides Sports News


Kevin De Bruyne struck 20 minutes from time as Manchester City grabbed a slender advantage in their Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid.

The Belgian playmaker fired home from a tight angle after Phil Foden came off the bench to stunning effect in a tense and tight first leg at the Etihad Stadium.

Atletico were their usual dogged, defensive selves for most of the game and frustrated City despite the hosts’ dominance of possession.

Yet the introduction of Foden as part of a triple substitution by Pep Guardiola in the 68th minute paid almost immediate dividends.

Within moments he had slipped in De Bruyne with a delicate through ball and he finished firmly to put City in control heading into next week’s second leg in the Spanish capital.

Atletico boss Diego Simeone had promised Atletico would play their usual cagey game and he was as good as his word, forcing City to play patiently.

The first half was played at a slow tempo with City controlling most of the ball but, despite having all their outfield players in the final third at times, being unable to create openings.

De Bruyne and Joao Cancelo both had efforts deflected wide and Aymeric Laporte missed the target with a header.

Raheem Sterling felt he should have had a free-kick on the left edge of the area after a good run and Bernardo Silva went down in the box moments later but nothing was given.

Ilkay Gundogan shot well over and Rodri had a long-range effort blocked before De Bruyne had a penalty appeal turned down and John Stones also missed.

Yet still City were not greatly threatening and it was not until the second half they tried to inject more pace into their play.

This did open the game up slightly and Atletico almost capitalised with a couple of breaks from deep. Antoine Griezmann wasted one opening with a poor pass and Marcos Llorente chipped tamely at Ederson from another.

Yet it was a move that paid off as City began to threaten more. Gundogan had an effort deflected wide and City’s first serious chance came when De Bruyne forced Jan Oblak to save a low free-kick. Laporte then went close when he headed over from a corner.

City appealed for another penalty for a push by Reinildo on Sterling as he attempted to latch onto a De Bruyne through ball but referee Istvan Kovacs was not interested.

That proved Sterling’s final involvement as Guardiola took him off in the move that changed the game.

His decision paid off as Foden, who came on alongside Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus, teed up De Bruyne.

De Bruyne was quick to latch onto the opportunity and drilled a low shot past Oblak.

Foden created another chance for De Bruyne soon after following a tricky run to the byline but this time Atletico had enough players back to block.

Atletico then became the frustrated side and the game became scrappy and niggly before finally ending after several stoppages.

football Slides Sports News


Ten-man Barcelona moved into fourth place in LaLiga following an action-packed 4-2 win over Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

Dani Alves set up his side’s equaliser for Jordi Alba, scored himself and was later sent off in a game which also saw former Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang make his debut at Camp Nou.

The visitors took an early lead when Luis Suarez, playing against his former club, set up Yannick Carrasco to open the scoring, but Barca hit back just two minutes later as Alves set up Alba to volley home.

Wolves loanee Adama Traore then crossed for teenager Gavi to head the home side in front and they extended their lead shortly before the interval when Ronald Araujo drilled in a half-volley after Gerard Pique had headed an Alves free-kick off the bar.

Alves then got on the scoresheet himself just a few minutes into the second half with a superbly-struck shot beyond Jan Oblak, before a close-range header from Suarez gave Atletico renewed hope.

Barcelona had to see out the last 20 minutes with 10 men when Alves was sent off for a bad foul on Carrasco, with the referee initially taking no action until being told by the VAR to consult the pitchside monitor.

football Slides Sports News Transfer News


England international Kieran Trippier has become Newcastle’s first signing of the Eddie Howe era after completing his move from Atletico Madrid.

The 31-year-old full-back has moved back to the Premier League for an undisclosed fee, understood to be in the region of £12 million (€14 million) plus add-ons.

The former Tottenham defender has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract and his arrival signals the launch of a new era under the Magpies’ Saudi-backed owners.

A club statement said: “Newcastle United are delighted to confirm the signing of England full-back Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid for an undisclosed fee.

“The 31-year-old has agreed terms on a two-and-a-half-year deal and becomes the first senior signing under the club’s owners and head coach Eddie Howe.”

Trippier, who was signed by Howe for former club Burnley during his spell in charge at Turf Moor, won LaLiga with Atletico last season but is relishing his return to England.

He said: “I’m delighted to be joining this fantastic club. I really enjoyed my time in Madrid, but when I became aware of interest from Newcastle United, and having worked with Eddie Howe before, I knew this was where I wanted to be.

“I’m aware there is a lot of work ahead of us, but I know the demands of Premier League well, and I know what an amazing club this is with very talented players. I can’t wait to get started, and I’m excited to step out at St James’ Park as a Newcastle player.”

The Bury-born full-back finds himself pitched into a top-flight survival battle with Newcastle, who entertain League One Cambridge in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

The Magpies sit just one place off the foot of the Premier League table and Howe will hope this is the first of a series of new recruits to help in that fight.

The head coach said: “I am really pleased to welcome Kieran to Newcastle United. I have long admired his abilities and have followed his career, so when the opportunity arose to secure him, we didn’t hesitate.

“A lot of hard work has gone into planning for the January transfer window long before the month began, which is clear in how quickly we have been able to complete this move.

“I would like to thank everyone involved, particularly our owners, and I’m very much looking forward to working with Kieran again on the training pitch.”

football Slides Sports News

Benzema and Asensio seal Madrid Derby win

Real Madrid moved 13 points clear of rivals Atletico Madrid after a 2-0 El Derbi win at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Karim Benzema got them on their way with a fine volley early on, before he was replaced at the interval by Luka Jovic after appearing to suffer a reoccurrence of a recent hamstring injury.

Marco Asensio ensured Atleti’s winless run against Los Blancos stretched to eight games – their longest such run under Diego Simeone – with a second in the 57th minute.

The victory meant Carlo Ancelotti’s men moved eight points clear of second-placed Sevilla, who have a game in hand, while Atleti are well off the pace in fourth.

Los Blancos went ahead in the 16th minute when Benzema superbly volleyed past Jan Oblak from Vinicius Junior’s lofted cross for his 13th league goal of the season.

That was the France international’s third goal in his last four appearances against Atleti in all competitions – just one fewer than in his previous 34 games against them.

Atleti offered little in the way of attacking threat during a tepid first half, yet came close to a leveller 10 minutes before the interval when Antoine Griezmann’s free-kick was pawed away by Thibaut Courtois at full stretch.

Courtois denied half-time substitute Joao Felix and Matheus Cunha early in the second half, before Asensio whipped into Oblak’s bottom-right corner from 15 yards after he was picked out by Vinicius’ pass.

Joao Felix volleyed into Courtois’ face in stoppage time as the defending champions were unable to peg the leaders back.

Courtois’ six saves was evidence that Madrid did not have it all their own way, but there can be few complaints they were deserving winners.

Ancelotti’s side have now avoided defeat in their last six home LaLiga games against their city rivals, keeping a clean sheet in the last four – the first time in their history they have prevented Atleti scoring in four home games in a row.

Benzema has now scored 36 goals in all competitions in 2021, his best scoring tally in a calendar year in his Madrid career.

His withdrawal at the interval is cause for concern, though, and Ancelotti will hope he is not on the sidelines for too long.

A surprise inclusion from the start ahead of Luis Suarez, Cunha did not exactly repay Simeone’s faith. The Brazil international had a single shot on target before he was replaced by Renan Lodi on the hour mark.

Los Blancos host Cadiz next Sunday, while Atleti travel to Sevilla a day earlier.

football Slides Sports News


A stunning header from substitute Junior Messias in the dying minutes handed AC Milan a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid and kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the last-16 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Milan arrived in Madrid rooted to the bottom of Group B with only one point and anything but a win against Atletico would have eliminated them from this season’s competition.

Wednesday’s result means the race to see who will join group winners Liverpool in the next round will go down to the wire. Porto, who are on five points, as well as Milan and Atletico, who are tied on four points, will have to wait until the final round of fixtures to decide who will finish second, and progress to the last 16.

Milan will host Liverpool while Atletico will travel to Porto on Dec. 7 for the final Group B fixtures.

On a freezing night in Madrid, a packed crowd at the Metropolitano Stadium failed to spur on Atletico, who struggled to make any kind of impact against a Milan side who showed urgency and aggression.

Brazilian Messias, who has completed a remarkable journey from working as a delivery driver and playing amateur football before slowly climbing the ladder , broke the deadlock in the 87th minute with a spectacular header after latching on to a perfect cross from Franck Kessie.

“They studied us really well and our gameplan didn’t work,” Atletico striker Antoine Griezmann told reporters.

“The Champions League is very difficult and Milan were superior in every aspect. We have to work, to get better…”

Milan controlled the game from the beginning, despite manager Stefano Pioli springing a surprise by starting Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the bench after he scored two goals against Fiorentina on Saturday.

The Swedish striker came on in the second half and almost scored a second goal in stoppage time, appealing unsuccessfully for a penalty after being caught by keeper Jan Oblak when he was about to shoot.

Atletico will finish the group stage having won none of their three home games, after losing to Milan and Liverpool and drawing with Porto.

“The Champions League does not forgive,” Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone said.

“You only go through when you deserve to.”

football Slides Sports News


Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann scored a sensational individual goal against Valencia on Sunday but the LaLiga champions let a two-goal lead slip in stoppage time to draw 3-3 on Sunday.

Valencia were trailing 3-1 when seven minutes of time were added on but Hugo Duro scored twice in the final stretch of the game to salvage a point, to the delight of their raucous home fans.

Luis Suarez had put Atletico in front in the 35th minute but Valencia levelled five minutes into the second half through an own goal from Stefan Savic.

Griezmann restored Atletico’s lead in the 58th with a superb shot into the top corner from outside the box following a marauding run from his own half in undoubtedly the Frenchman’s best moment of skill since returning to the club in September.

Sime Vrsaljko looked to have sealed the points with a scrappy goal from close range two minutes later that was initially ruled out and then awarded following a VAR review.

But Valencia came alive right at the end of the game, pulling themselves back into contention when substitute Duro slid in to meet a Jose Gaya cross and score in the first minute of stoppage time.

Duro then equalised in the fifth minute of added time with a towering header from a corner, deepening Atletico’s problems after they were easily beaten 2-0 at Liverpool on Wednesday to leave their hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stage hanging by a thread.

Atletico would have gone up to second in the standings with a win but instead are fourth on 23 points, four behind leaders Real Madrid after 12 games. Valencia moved up to 10th on 17 points.

football Slides Sports News


Liverpool marched into the knockout stages of the Champions League with two games to spare after a convincing 2-0 victory over 10-man Atletico Madrid at Anfield on Wednesday guaranteed them top spot in Group B.

Diogo Jota put Juergen Klopp’s side ahead in the 13th minute, nodding home at the back post after a great cross from the right by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Alexander-Arnold was again the provider for the second eight minutes later when his low ball into the box was brilliantly met by Sadio Mane who fired past Jan Oblak.

The Spanish side’s troubles intensified after Felipe was sent off in the 36th minute for a deliberate trip on Mane that earned him a harsh straight red.

Jota thought he had his second and Liverpool’s third, shortly after the interval, but the goal was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.
Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez also had a deflected effort which beat Alisson Becker ruled out by VAR for offside.