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Leicester are out of the Europa League after losing 3-2 at Napoli.

An end-to-end encounter saw four goals shared in the first half in Naples, where the hosts led 2-0 courtesy of strikes from Adam Ounas and Eljif Elmas.

However, the Foxes responded through Jonny Evans and academy graduate Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s first goal for the club.

Elmas struck again early in the second half and, despite Brendan Rodgers’ side having chances to get themselves level once more, it proved decisive.

Leicester began the night top of Group C, but they ended it in third place and headed into the Europa Conference League after their defeat was compounded by Spartak Moscow’s 1-0 win at Legia Warsaw, with the Russian club topping the table.

Much of the pre-match talk was of Leicester having to leave behind seven players through illness. Rodgers confirmed some of the unnamed players had tested positive for coronavirus, while others had been left at home as a precaution.

But it was a strong Foxes team that took to the field, which included Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans returning from a five-match absence with a calf problem.

Napoli were also ravaged by injury, with boss Luciano Spalletti without star players Kalidou Koulibaly, Victor Osimhen, Lorenzo Insigne and Fabian Ruiz. Frank Anguissa and Stanislav Lobotka were also absent.

Leicester made a bright start and should have taken an early lead. Dewsbury-Hall charged down the left flank all the way to the by-line and his far-post cross was met by Timothy Castagne inside the six-yard box, but goalkeeper Alex Meret somehow made a smothering save on his goal line.

Napoli went straight up the other end and scored. A mistake by Tielemans, although the midfielder was not helped by the pass from Caglar Soyuncu, resulted in Ounas finding the corner of the net with a low shot across Kasper Schmeichel after four minutes.

It saw the midfielder mark his first start for the club since April 2019 with a goal.

Elmas doubled Napoli’s lead 20 minutes later. Andrea Petagna strolled through the middle of the Leicester defence before unselfishly teeing up Elmas for a tap -in.

With Spartak Moscow also leading at Legia Warsaw, it looked like the Foxes were exiting the Europa League with a whimper.

However, Evans immediately pulled a goal back, smashing home the loose ball from eight yards out after James Maddison’s free-kick had struck a defender and landed in his path.

With 33 minutes on the clock, Leicester were level. Another free-kick was only half-cleared by the hosts and Dewsbury-Hall volleyed the ball into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Leicester’s hard work in getting back into the match was almost undone at the beginning of the second half, with only a fine save by Schmeichel by his near post preventing Ounas from getting his second goal of the night.

However, the Foxes did find themselves behind again after 53 minutes when Elmas grabbed his second goal of the night, controlling Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s low cross before giving Schmeichel no chance with his close-range finish.

Immediately at the other end, Di Lorenzo inexplicably passed the ball across his own penalty area where Maddison intercepted before, with the goal at his mercy, letting Napoli off the hook as his shot clipped the outside of a post and went wide.

The frenetic pace slowed a little after that, with Napoli becoming increasingly more comfortable to sit back and allow Leicester more possession. The Foxes were not creating chances with their previous frequency and it was not until the 75th minute that Jamie Vardy riffled a shot into the side-netting.

Five minutes later Dewsbury-Hall slipped at the vital moment as he attempted to round off a lovely Leicester attack.

The Foxes looked like they might be handed a dramatic reprieve in Warsaw when Legia were awarded a penalty deep into injury time. An equaliser would have see Leicester go through despite their defeat, but the spot-kick was saved.

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Lionel Messi was on Monday night named the recipient of the 2021 Ballon d’Or as the Argentine forward claimed the award for a record-extending seventh time.

The Paris Saint-Germain star, who joined the French club from Barcelona in the summer, was voted ahead of Bayern Munich’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski and Italian Chelsea midfielder Jorginho.

Messi has won the Ballon d’Or in successive editions for the first time since winning the award four years in a row between 2009 and 2012. Last year’s ceremony was cancelled due to the pandemic.

The 34-year-old forward may have endured a frustrating year with former club Barcelona and is yet to hit his immeasurable heights for PSG, but he still scored 40 goals for club and country – 28 for Barcelona, four for PSG and eight for Argentina. Messi was also named player of the tournament at the Copa America, where he led his national team to the title – his first major international trophy.

Lewandowski finished runner-up after another exemplary year for Bayern, scoring 53 goals in all competitions, and was named Striker of the Year – a new award announced just hours before the ceremony.

Jorginho, meanwhile, took third spot after winning the two biggest prizes on offer for a European player, helping Chelsea claim the Champions League title, before playing a pivotal role in Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph.

The Ballon d’Or is voted for by 180 selected journalists from around the world. Check out the full rankings of the 2021 edition by clicking through the photo gallery above.

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Former France defender Jean-Pierre Adams has died at the age of 73, almost 40 years after falling into a coma following a medical error, his former clubs announced on Monday.

In 1982, Adams was administered a near-fatal dose of anaesthetic ahead of a routine knee operation, which caused brain damage.

On the day of Adams’ operation to repair a damaged tendon – suffered while on a coaching training camp – many staff at the hospital in Lyon were on strike.

Born in Senegal, the defender made more than 140 appearances for Nice and also played for Paris Saint-Germain.

In a statement, PSG said Adams’ “joie de vivre, charisma and experience commanded respect”.

Nice said the club would pay tribute to Adams – who won 22 caps for France between 1972-1976 – before their next home game against Monaco on 19 September.

Adams also made 84 appearances for Nimes, who said they were sending their “most sincere condolences to his loved ones and his family”.

Since the accident, Adams has been cared for by his wife, Bernadette.

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Neymar was on target as Brazil opened their Copa America defence with a 3-0 win over Venezuela at Estadio Nacional on Monday.

Hosting the tournament after it had been moved from Colombia and Argentina amid political unrest in the former and a spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths in the latter, Brazil were never troubled by a Venezuela side that had reported 12 positive coronavirus tests amongst their ranks earlier this week.

Marquinhos got them on their way midway through the first half with his third international goal before Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Neymar doubled their advantage from the penalty spot in the 64th minute.

Brazil – who finished with 18 shots to Venezuela’s three – added a third late on when substitute Gabriel Barbosa turned home a Neymar cross from close range.

Brazil started on the front foot and twice went close early on, Joel Graterol keeping out Richarlison and Eder Militao heading wide from a teasing Renan Lodi cross.

They were rewarded for their bright start in the 23rd minute when Marquinhos flicked home from close range after Neymar’s corner had fallen kindly to him.

Richarlison saw an effort ruled out for offside soon after, while Neymar dragged wide from a promising position as Brazil failed to extend their advantage before the interval.

Neymar was unable to steer home a Gabriel Jesus cross at the start of the second period, but he stroked home from the spot shortly after the hour mark after Danilo had been clipped in the area by Yohan Cumana.

Late on Neymar turned provider for Brazil’s third in the 89th minute, rounding Graterol and crossing for Barbosa to chest home from almost on the line.

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Emiliano Sala’s family are taking legal action against Cardiff City and French club Nantes after the Argentine footballer died in a plane crash two years ago, British media have reported.

A single-engine plane carrying Sala from Nantes to his new team Cardiff crashed on January 21st, 2019 in the English Channel. He never played for the Welsh side who bought him for a club record £15 million (€17.5 million).

The wreckage was found nearly two weeks later following a privately-funded underwater search and the 28-year-old’s body was recovered three days later. The body of the plane’s pilot David Ibbotson was not found.

Thirteen defendants were named, but proceedings will be delayed with David Henderson, who allegedly arranged the flight, set to stand trial in October.

“The family of Emiliano Sala are asking the coroner to fix the inquest date when she reviews matters, with a date soon after the trial of David Henderson, which has been fixed for 18th October 2021,” their lawyer Daniel Machover was quoted as saying.

“In the meantime, in order to protect their legal rights and remedies arising from Emiliano’s untimely death, the family have commenced civil proceedings in the high court, but will seek agreement to stay those proceedings pending the outcome of the inquest.”

An official investigation by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch revealed the plane crashed after the pilot lost control and the aircraft broke up while flying too fast.

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According to very reliable journalists, including Fabrizio Romano and Gianluca Di Marzio, Arturo Vidal to Inter is confirmed.

An agreement between Barcelona and the Italian club has been reached for a transfer fee of just €1m.

The price tag on Vidal is obviously symbolic since a 33-year-old Vidal is not worth a lot, the Catalan club is more focused on getting rid of the player’s wage.

The Chilean midfielder is expected to arrive in Milan tomorrow to complete his transfer. Reportedly, Vidal will sign a two-year deal, earning him €6m net per season.

Arturo Vidal has joined Barcelona in August 2018 for a €18m transfer fee, leaving German giants Bayern Munich. Since then, the midfielder has played a total of 4989 minutes in a Barça jersey, featuring in 96 games in which he scored 11 goals and made 10 assists.

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Vardy wins golden boot

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy became the oldest player to win the Premier League Golden Boot after finishing the season with 23 goals.

The 33-year-old ended up a goal clear of Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Southampton striker Danny Ings, both on 22.

Vardy is the ninth English player to win or share the Golden Boot.

Last season Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah and Arsenal’s Aubameyang shared it with 22 each.

Vardy still finished clear despite failing to score on the final day as Leicester lost 2-0 to Manchester United to miss out on a Champions League place.

“It’s a wonderful individual achievement,” said Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers. “We wouldn’t be where we are without his quality and goals. 

“He’s a joy to work with, has a great mentality and has such quality. It’s a huge accolade and we’re all delighted for him.”

Former England striker Vardy scored more in 2015-16, Leicester’s title-winning season, with 24 goals – but missed out that time to Harry Kane’s 25.

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Carzola to join saudi side

Former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla is set to join Qatari club Al Sadd.

Cazorla, 35, played his last game for Spanish club Villarreal on Sunday and his contract has now expired.

In joining Al Sadd, Cazorla will be managed by former Spain international team-mate Xavi, who has extended his deal at the club until 2021.

“We have reached an agreement with Santi Cazorla,” Al Sadd tweeted. “He will reach Doha soon to complete the formalities and join the team.”

Cazorla played 180 times across six seasons for Arsenal between 2012 and 2018 and spent the last two seasons playing for Villarreal for the second time in his career.

Manchester City’s David Silva, 34, is also being linked with a move to Qatar, with Al-Duhail said to be keen on the Spanish midfielder.

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Norwich City goalkeeper, Tim Krul has provided an honest assessment of the Burnley game on Saturday, after a 2-0 defeat to the Clarets.

Speaking to the club website, he said: “It’s difficult to find words if I’m honest. I think we’ve let ourselves down a little bit over the last few weeks, I’ve said it before. At the start of the season I definitely thought we had enough in this squad to be staying up.

“There’s obviously been more reasons, I don’t want to chuck too many excuses on it but with injuries, seeing Zimbo [Christoph Zimmermann] back today is the only positive. We’ve definitely missed him this year, he’s a rock.
“All centre-halves have been injured in some way this season and I think there’s been a big doubt. To analyse today, you nearly can’t.

“I’m really proud of the effort in the second-half, the way we defended with nine men, Ben [Godfrey] in particular blocking and heading everything with Zimbo. It’s hard that he scored an own goal. If you go with nine men in the second-half, the game is over.”

“Zimbo is a massive player for us, he’s shown it for years now and he’s a leader we’ve been missing. I’m pleased to see him back, he’s been working extremely hard in the background, but at the end of the day the season is over and that’s the hardest thing to take.”

Speaking on performances since the restart, Krul says although the right intentions were in place, the quality simply hasn’t been present.
“We’ve been in some games; we just haven’t been able to nick a draw and it’s frustrating. This league is unforgiving, and you can see that today. It’s hard enough with eleven men and to go down with nine is highly disappointing.

“Fans are not here; we haven’t been able to give them anything after the break. It’s been very disappointing since we have returned. 
“We haven’t been able to turn things around, the intentions were there, we’ve worked hard. The quality just hasn’t been there the last few months.”

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Norwich go out on a whimper

Norwich boss Daniel Farke said the two first-half red cards which played a crucial role in his side’s defeat by Burnley were “naive, inexperienced, stupid and not professional”.

Emiliano Buendia was shown a straight red for elbowing Ashley Westwood, after referee Kevin Friend watched a replay on the pitchside monitor.

Nine minutes later, Josip Drmic’s high-studded tackle on Erik Pieters received the same punishment, before Chris Wood’s scuffed overhead kick put Burnley in front on the stroke of half-time.

“Burnley reacted in a way that an experienced, established, smart Premier League side should react. They wanted to break up our rhythm. They tried to null ourselves a little bit, bring hectic into the game, tried to provoke a little bit,” Farke told BBC Sport.

“I’m not accusing them because that’s exactly what you have to do if you’re an experienced team. My players walked into this trap and there were two red cards which of course was crucial to the game.

“You have to call this situation naive, inexperienced, stupid and not professional – all the words fit. The players know what they have done for this team. The red cards are not a doubt.”

It had been an uneventful opening half an hour before Norwich’s capitulation, with just one shot on target from either side.

The hosts defended well at times in the second half to keep the score down but Burnley’s victory was confirmed when Ben Godfrey poked the ball into the back of his own net with 10 minutes remaining.

Norwich become only the third club in the Premier League to lose five in a row at home without scoring, while Burnley move above Arsenal into ninth place.