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Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has joined La Liga side Sevilla on loan until the end of the season, both clubs announced on Tuesday.

Martial, 26, will join Sevilla’s title charge in Spain, with the club in second place and trailing Real Madrid by four points.

The France international told United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick that he wanted to leave this month after finding opportunities limited at Old Trafford. Rangnick then accused Martial of refusing to travel to a game against Aston Villa earlier this month, a claim Martial refuted.

He made his first appearance under Rangnick as a substitute against West Ham last weekend and contributed to Marcus Rashford’s winning goal, after being jeered by some United fans when he came on.

“He’s a great player, one of the best strikers in the Premier League, but we have other players in his position. It’s his wish that he wants to leave,” Rangnick said on Saturday.

Martial was one of the brightest prospects in Europe when United signed him for a then world record fee for a teenager in 2015.

After a promising first season under Louis van Gaal, the Frenchman struggled to impress Jose Mourinho during his two-year spell at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment rekindled Martial’s career in Manchester and he enjoyed his best goalscoring season in 2019/20, netting 23 times. But a long-term knee injury saw him miss the second half of last season and he fell down the pecking order after the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Jadon Sancho.

He has scored only one goal in 11 appearances this term but could be an astute signing for Sevilla if he can recover his goalscoring form under Julen Lopetegui in Spain.

Sevilla have been hit by a number of injuries to key players, including their top scorer last season, Youssef En-Nesyri. They will also be among the favourites to win the Europa League, particularly as the final will be played at their own Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in May.

Martial will hope the switch can also revive his hopes of playing for France at the World Cup in Qatar later this year. A knee injury scuppered his chances of being included in the French squad at the European Championship last summer while his lack of form meant he was also left out of the last squad in November.

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France won the Nations League final with goals from Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe earning them a 2-1 win over Spain at the San Siro stadium on Sunday.

After a subdued fist half, the game sprung into life in the 64th minute when France full-back Theo Hernandez struck the underside of the bar after a swift break.

Moments later, Spain took the lead when Mikel Oyarzabal latched on to a long pass from Sergio Busquets, held off Dayot Upamecano and fired into the bottom corner.

The French response was swift, however, with Mbappe finding Benzema who cut inside before unleashing a brilliant curling shot into the far corner to make it 1-1.

Mbappe then grabbed the winner, 10 minutes from the end, racing on to a through ball from Hernandez and keeping his cool to slot past Unai Simon.

“We showed our character against a very strong team. We never gave up,” said Benzema. “It shows what great teams do — never panic, be patient and wait for the right time.

“We are going to enjoy this trophy and then go get the World Cup [next year].”

Coach Didier Deschamps said that Benzema’s contribution to the team extended beyond his goals.

“Karim is an essential player, he’s proved it over the last two games,” said Deschamps.

“He’s in line with what his been doing with his club. He’s extremely fit, way more than he was before, and he’s more mature. He’s got this rage to win that he communicates to the other players.”

Luis Enrique’s young Spain side, who had beaten European champions Italy in the semifinals, had played their trademark possession football with patience and precision but in the end could not compensate for the absence of a genuine striker.

“It was a difficult defeat,” said Spain defender Aymeric Laporte. “We have proven to be a great team despite our youth, we have shown better football than them, but what counts is the result.”

Spain protested that Mbappe was offside when he received the ball but the VAR check found a slight touch from defender Eric Garcia had played the France striker onside.

“It’s a shame. I think we did enough not to lose, but in two similar moves we conceded, although the goals were different. The second one, for us on the pitch, looked like offside,” Busquets said. “

But we have no choice but to congratulate the champions and keep going. We have one more small step left to win trophies and that’s our objective.

“Mbappe was in an offside position, the referee said that Eric goes to play the ball, and that means it’s not offside. That doesn’t make sense to us. You have to try to play the ball, Eric tried to cut out the pass like any defender would, he didn’t miscontrol.”

However, Luis Enrique found some solace in his group’s performance despite the defeat.

He said: “I think we competed on the same level as the current world champions, who have a physical potential and quality behind all doubt. We were in the game. It was hard for us at first because they’re new situations for some players.

“When we scored in the second half and it looked like we could win, we conceded. They don’t even let you breathe. We’re happy and satisfied.”

France had keeper Hugo Lloris to thank for two late saves as Deschamps’s side held on for the victory against intense Spanish pressure.

Lloris got down well to keep out a low shot from Oyarzabal in the 89th minute and then in stoppage time he reacted superbly to parry a strike from substitute Yeremi Pino.

Nations League, in just its second edition, remains clearly UEFA’s secondary tournament for national sides, as the Italian fans singing of their team’s Euro 2020 triumph reminded, but that didn’t dampen France’s celebrations.

“We did not get off to a good start we were dominated and waited until the first goal to react,” said Pogba, who was crucial to France’s response.

“We know we have to do better. But if it’s the way we have to win, so be it. Winning a trophy is always good. We’re always hungry for those,” he added.

Earlier on Sunday, Italy had claimed third-place in the tournament by beating Belgium 2-1 in Turin.

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Alvaro Morata’s wife has slammed “disgraceful and unacceptable” threats she received on social media after Italy knocked Spain out of Euro 2020 on Tuesday.

Morata, who plays on loan at Juventus from Atletico Madrid, started on the bench at Wembley but came on to score an 80th minute equaliser against the Azzurri to cancel out Federico Chiesa’s opener and take the semifinal to extra-time.

The former Chelsea striker then had his penalty saved as Italy won 4-2 on penalties to progress into Sunday’s final.

Alice Campello, Morata’s wife, who is Italian, posted on Instagram stories some of the menacing messages she received written in Italian after the game.

“Your husband has cancer…. your children too” was one of the texts she received, while another one said: “Don’t you dare post a photograph of Morata’s goal or I will go to your house and burn you on live Instagram.”

Campello responded to the abuse and wrote: “I’m honestly not suffering with regards to these messages, truthfully. I don’t think it’s a factor of ‘Italians’ but of ignorance. I do, however, think that if it had happened to a more fragile woman, it would have been a problem.

“Let’s remember that this is a sport to unite not to vent your frustrations. I really hope that in the future there can be serious measures taken for these types of people because this is disgraceful and unacceptable.”

Earlier in the tournament, Morata told a news conference that he and his family “received death threats and insults” after Spain’s 1-1 draw with Poland during the group stages.

Spain coach Luis Enrique publicly backed his player and said the threats should be “put in the hands of the police.”

Morata, 28, received criticism throughout the tournament in Spain for his lack of effectiveness, yet his goal against Italy made him his country’s top scorer in Euro finals with six goals, one more than Fernando Torres.

Following Spain’s exit on Tuesday, Luis Enrique defended Morata and praised the player for coping with so much pressure.

“He’s had to put up with many difficult things in this European Championship and has shown an enormous level,” Luis Enrique said. “Morata had a physical problem, yet he took the penalty. I have to congratulate him for his personality.”

In March, Morata addressed the importance of mental health for football players and revealed he came close to suffering depression during his first season at Chelsea and has since seen a psychologist to help him cope with the day-to-day pressure.

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Italy beat Spain 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in a magnificent Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley on Tuesday, as Jorginho converted the decisive kick to take the Azzurri through to the final where they will face either England or Denmark.

Italy were not always on top though, with Spain the better side for long spells of an epic contest before Federico Chiesa, the Juventus forward, gave Italy the lead with a fabulous finish an hour into a match watched by a crowd of almost 58,000.

The much-maligned Alvaro Morata, who was dropped from the starting line-up, came off the bench to equalise with 10 minutes of normal time left.

No further scoring in extra time meant penalties again for Spain, who had beaten Switzerland in a shoot-out in the quarter-finals.

They had also beaten Italy on penalties at Euro 2008, but this time misses from Dani Olmo and then Morata saw Spain give up the advantage they had been handed when Manuel Locatelli failed with the first kick in the shoot-out.

The Italians celebrated at the end with a large contingent of their UK-based supporters, and a team that has been rejuvenated under Roberto Mancini continues to dream of winning a first European Championship since 1968.

Now unbeaten in 33 games, they go through to Sunday’s final to face either England or Denmark, who meet in Wednesday’s second last-four tie.

“I have to thank the players because they believed right from day one that we could do something incredible,” said Mancini.

“We haven’t yet done everything we need to though, there is still one step to go.”

It is nine years since Spain mauled Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev to win a third consecutive major tournament, and this was the fourth successive Euro in which these powerhouses had met.

Spain won the first two of those meetings, but the last two have now gone to Italy.

“It is not a sad night for me by any means,” said Spain coach Luis Enrique.

“We can go home knowing we competed and were among the best teams.”

This meeting took place in the chill of a damp July evening in London, but the atmosphere at Wembley was no damp squib.

There were no traveling supporters, given the obligatory quarantine for all visitors to the United Kingdom.

However, the large Spanish and Italian communities already in Britain meant a combined 20,000 fans of the two teams were in the 57,811-crowd allowed inside Wembley.

They added a noise and colour so sadly lacking at major sporting events since the pandemic began, and that provided the perfect stage.

The football itself was absorbing and of the highest quality, particularly in midfield where Italy’s outstanding trio of Jorginho, Marco Verratti and Nicolo Barella met their match in Spain’s Sergio Busquets, Koke and the brilliant Pedri, a frightening talent at just 18.

But it was Italy who reached their 10th major tournament final and ended Spain’s hopes of a record fourth European crown.

Standing in the Azzurri’s way will either be England, who have never reached a Euro final, or Denmark, playing in their first major semi-final since surprisingly winning the competition in 1992.

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Spain squeezed through a penalty shootout to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2020 after goalkeeper Yann Sommer’s heroics for 10-man Switzerland proved in vain.

Switzerland’s hero of the previous round when they knocked out world champions France in similar fashion was on top form again during 120 minutes and although he saved one in a dramatic conclusion his side missed three out of four spot-kicks.

There was huge relief for Spain, into their first semi-final since 2012 when they won their second successive European Championship, having wasted a host of chances.

After scoring five in their last two matches Luis Enrique’s side retreated into their shell somewhat with a much more circumspect performance and despite the advantage of Denis Zakaria’s own goal they did not really press hard until extra-time.

That was forced by Xherdan Shaqiri’s 68th-minute goal to make it 1-1 but after Remo Freuler’s harsh red card the Swiss had no option but to see out the game and hope for the best in a shootout.

Sergio Busquets hit a post and Rodri’s effort was saved by Sommer but Dani Olmo and Gerard Moreno scored and with Fabian Schar, Manuel Akanji and Ruben Vargas all failing it left Mikel Oyarzabal to send Spain through.

Ominously, each time Spain have progressed past the quarter-finals they have gone on to lift the trophy but if they are to add to their three titles they will need to be sharper up front against either Italy or Belgium in the last four at Wembley.

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Spain recovered from a bizarre own goal and a barnstorming Croatia fightback to reach the Euro 2020 quarter-finals with a dramatic 5-3 extra-time victory on Monday.

Goals from the much-maligned Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal finally settled an eventful contest in Copenhagen that ended 3-3 after 90 minutes.

Croatia had taken an unexpected early lead when Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon allowed a backpass from Pedri to squirm into the net.

Spain responded superbly through Pablo Sarabia, Cesar Azpilicueta and Ferran Torres but Croatia hit back with two goals in the last five minutes of normal time from substitutes Mislav Orsic and Mario Pasalic.

Croatia carried their momentum into extra time but Simon made a fine save and Spain ultimately went on to secure a place in the last eight.

Spain, who beat Slovakia 5-0 in their final group match. made a positive start. Sarabia shot into the side-netting and Koke should have scored when he was denied by the feet of goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

Morata’s frustrations then continued as he spurned a fine chance by miscuing a header.

Croatia were offering little but, remarkably, found themselves in front after 20 minutes.

It came in extraordinary circumstances as Simon switched off. Pedri passed the ball back from near the halfway line and the keeper took his eye off it as it bobbled, caught his foot and rolled into the net.

It was a moment to forget but Spain responded well to the setback and levelled before the break.

Livakovic did well to save a well-struck shot from Jose Gaya but Sarabia was on hand to tuck home the rebound, albeit with the aid of a deflection.

The Spanish then appeared to be taking a firm grip as they claimed the lead 12 minutes into the second half through Azpilicueta.

The Chelsea captain got himself into an advanced position as Pedri brought Spain forward. Manchester City’s Torres then whipped in a fine cross from the left and Azpilicueta rose at the back post to power home a header.

Torres appeared to have given Spain a firm grip when he shrugged off a defender to expertly clip home a third goal 14 minutes from time.

Croatia, however, were not beaten and roused themselves in a grandstand finish.

They got themselves back into the game as Orsic got the final touch to pull one back in a goalmouth scramble.

Orsic was then involved again as Croatia grabbed a dramatic injury-time equaliser, swinging in a cross from the left which Pasalic met with a firm header to beat Simon.

Spain appeared deflated and were almost caught out early in extra time but Simon, atoning somewhat for his earlier error, made a superb save to deny Andrej Kramaric at point-blank range.

Buoyed by that, Morata then delivered a strong riposte to his critics by firing Spain into a 4-3 lead with a ferocious strike into the roof of the net in the 100th minute.

Moments later, Spain had a two-goal lead again as substitute Oyarzabal raced into the box to meet a fine ball from Dani Olmo and tuck home.

In keeping with a frantic game, Ante Budimir could have replied for Croatia but missed the target when well placed.

Olmo also hit the post as Spain continued to threaten until the end in an entertaining encounter.

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Spain cruised into the knockout stage at Euro 2020 with a comfortable 5-0 win over Slovakia in Seville on Wednesday.

An unfortunate Martin Dubravka own goal set the 2010 world champions on their way before further goals from Aymeric Laporte, Pablo Sarabia, Ferran Torres and another own goal from Juraj Kucka completed the lopsided scoreline.

Spain, who will play Croatia in the round of 16, finished Group E in second place with five points from three matches. While Slovakia, who were eliminated with the loss, end their group campaign in third place with three points.

Spain’s day began with a thud when Alvaro Morata saw his penalty well-saved by Dubravka in the 12th minute. But the Newcastle goalkeeper proved more generous at the half-hour mark when he inexplicably punched the ball into his own net after a Sarabia shot hit the crossbar and fell toward him in the six-yard box.

Spain, who had dominated up to that point, piled on from there, with Kucka’s own goal from close range capping an impressive performance for Luis Enrique’s men.

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Spain were again haunted by their inability to finish off chances as they drew 1-1 with Poland on Saturday after missing a second-half penalty to leave their hopes of making the Euro 2020 knockouts hanging in the balance.

Alvaro Morata gave Spain the lead in the 25th minute but Poland, who had hit the woodwork twice in the first half, deservedly drew level with a towering header from Robert Lewandowski in the 54th.

Spain were given a penalty soon after but Gerard Moreno blasted his shot against the post and Morata scuffed the rebound wide, leaving Luis Enrique’s side cursing their profligacy just as in their goalless opening draw with Sweden.

Saturday’s draw left Spain third in Group E with two points and needing a win against Slovakia on Wednesday to guarantee their place in the next round. Poland are bottom with one point but still have a chance of going through to the last 16.

Spain coach Luis Enrique made only one change to the team that had dominated against Sweden but failed to take their chances, bringing in Moreno for Ferran Torres.

Spain played less fluid football than against Sweden but were more direct, while Poland showed far more ambition than the Swedes had and came close to taking an early lead when Mateusz Klich let fly from long range and struck the top of the bar.

But it was Spain who went in front when Moreno cut in from the right wing to cross with his stronger left foot and Morata diverted the ball into the net.

The striker was initially flagged offside but a VAR review gave him the goal and he ran to the sideline to embrace coach Luis Enrique, who has shown so much faith in him in the last two weeks after Morata was booed twice by Spain’s supporters.

Spain nearly doubled their lead when Moreno flashed a free kick wide but Poland came within inches of equalising when Karol Swiderski’s shot skidded off the post and into the path of Lewandowski, who was thwarted by a fine save by Unai Simon.

Spain should have struck at the end of the first half when Moreno hit the side netting from close range.

Poland kept testing the Spanish defence and deservedly found a way through when Lewandowski soared into the air to head Kamil Jozwiak’s cross into the bottom corner.

Spain got an unexpected chance to restore their lead when Moreno was caught by Jakub Moder but neither Moreno nor Morata could keep their composure in front of goal.

Luis Enrique’s side kept looking for a winner but had none of their customary cool and resorted to long balls into the box.

They were not far from finding another goal though, substitute Ferran Torres heading wide and Poland keeper Wojciech Szczesny making two brave saves to thwart Ferran and Morata from point-blank range.

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Diego Llorente has become the second Spain player to test positive for Covid ahead of Euro 2020.

The Spanish FA (RFEF) said Llorente returned a positive test on Tuesday and was put into isolation, two days after captain Sergio Busquets had to leave the team’s training camp after also contracting the virus.

No other player had tested positive, the RFEF said.

Llorente’s positive result was made public not long after Spain’s U21 squad beat Lithuania 4-0 on Tuesday in Madrid in a match that was supposed to be played by the senior team as its final warm-up before the team’s opening Euro 2020 match against Sweden on Monday in Seville.

The RFEF did not say whether Busquets or Llorente would be cut from the squad, but coach Luis Enrique has already called up six players to practice separately at the team’s training camp.

Enrique has until Saturday to make changes to his initial list in case of injuries or Covid cases.

Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and defender Raul Albiol were expected to begin training in the separate bubble on Wednesday, joining Rodrigo Moreno, Pablo Fornals, Carlos Soler and Brais Mendez, who all arrived earlier in the week.

Personalised training routines would continue for players in the main squad, observing Covid protocols, said the RFEF.

Players who test positive must stay in isolation for at least 10 days, meaning both Busquets and Llorente will miss the opener against Sweden. It would also be unlikely they would be fit for Spain’s second match against Poland on June 19.

The team’s final Group E match will be against Slovakia on June 23, also in Seville.

Spain’s sports minister Jose Manuel Rodriguez Uribes said on Tuesday that the squad will get a Covid vaccine on Wednesday, telling radio station Cadena Ser: “We are making an exception because they represent us in a top-level competition.”

There has been some criticism for the delay in getting players vaccinated, contrary to what happened to the Spanish athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympics.

On the other hand, there has also been criticism for allowing the players to be vaccinated before other Spaniards who were in line for the coronavirus vaccine.

Two Sweden players also tested positive for Covid on Tuesday – Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski and Bologna midfielder Mattias Svanberg.

The Euros begin on Friday when Italy host Turkey in Rome.

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Sergio Busquets has left Spain’s pre-Euro 2020 training camp after testing positive for Covid-19, the country’s football federation (RFEF) announced on Sunday. In a statement, the RFEF said Spain captain Busquets, 32, tested positive earlier on Sunday, with the rest of the squad all testing negative.

“The RFEF regrets to announce that its captain Sergio Busquets has given a positive result in the last PCR test that was carried out this morning at the concentration of the national team in Las Rozas. The rest of the members of the concentration have all tested negative,” Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said in an official statement.

The RFEF added that those who have been in close contact with Barcelona midfielder Busquets “will remain isolated” as a preventative measure.

The squad will carry out individual training programmes in the build-up to the Euro 2020, which begins on Friday.

Spain’s first match is against Sweden on June 14 and coach Luis Enrique has until Saturday to make changes to his squad ahead of their opening fixture in Seville.

“Appropriate sporting measures will be assessed according to the situation of the national team captain,” the RFEF said.

Busquets has played over 120 times for Spain and helped his country to triumphs at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

He has also won eight Spanish league titles and three Champions Leagues with Barcelona, as well as a host of other trophies.