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Is It Time For Zidane To Break Up The BBC?

bbcAs Alvaro Morata wheeled away in celebration after scoring Real Madrid’s winning goal against Athletic Club on Sunday, the case for Zinedine Zidane to rotate and re-shuffle his forward line became ever-stronger. The weekend game marked 38 days since Cristiano Ronaldo last scored at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the Portugal international frustrating fans with a performance that saw him snatch at finishes that would normally come so naturally.

It didn’t matter, as Los Blancos picked up the three points necessary to leapfrog Sevilla and go back to the top of La Liga, but the manner in which the victory was eventually achieved squeezed more out of Zinedine Zidane’s squad than was necessary.

pep v joseIt is not often that a League Cup tie becomes a must-win game, but that will be the case on Wednesday night. Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola both enter the game under pressure as Manchester United come into this tie on the back of a humiliating 4-0 defeat to Chelsea, while Manchester City have failed to win their last five in all competitions.

Guardiola’s side may top the Premier League, but it’s a concerning run of form for the Spaniard. Indeed, the 1-1 draw with Southampton equalled Guardiola’s longest winless run as a coach, having last recorded the feat as Barcelona coach in February 2009. Like this current blip, Guardiola’s Barcelona side endured three draws and two defeats, before winning the following seven matches in all competitions.

Klopp Praises Sturridge After Cup Win

daniel-sturridgeJurgen Klopp was delighted with the display of Daniel Sturridge after his side’s 2-1 win over Tottenham in the League Cup on Tuesday.

Sturridge struck twice as the Reds secured a 2-1 victory over Spurs in the round of 16, reaching the quarter-finals of the competition for third consecutive season.

These were the third and fourth goals of Sturridge’s campaign so far, but with each coming in the League Cup, and none in the Premier League, his status under Klopp is highlighted.

The 27-year-old is behind Roberto Firmino in the centre-forward pecking order, but speaking to reporters after the game, Klopp stressed that Sturridge was not out of his thoughts.

alex-oxlade-chamberlainArsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is growing in confidence in front of goal after his brace secured a 2-0 win over Reading in the EFL Cup.

The 23-year-old has scored five goals in 12 appearances in all competitions this season and, despite only making three Premier League starts so far, Wenger is confident he will continue to make an impact for the club.

He said: “I feel that before (Alex) looked nervous when he was in front of the goal and now we hope that he will continue to go forward and this will build his confidence.

newkopJurgen Klopp is set to give many of Liverpool’s squad players a chance to impress against Tottenham in midweek. The Reds saw off West Brom at Anfield on Saturday and now face Spurs in the League Cup on Tuesday night.

It is Liverpool’s third game in just eight days and Klopp have indicated that he will will rest his first-team regulars. Danny Ings, Marko Grujic , Ovie Ejaria, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kevin Stewart were all left out of the Liverpool Under-23s squad for Sunday’s mini-derby with Everton as Klopp considers calling upon their services.

Not The Best Birthday Present For Wenger

arsene-wenger-pressArsene Wenger rued Arsenal’s unusual lack of creativity as they were held to a goalless draw by Middlesbrough.

The Gunners’ boss was celebrating his 67th birthday as they fought for their seventh consecutive league win but an impressive performance from Boro goalkeeper Victor Valdes and a lack of creativity in midfield kept the game goalless.

Speaking about the performance, Wenger said:

“I think I have a frustrated face and I am (frustrated).

“We had a lot of the ball but a lot of the ball in a modern game is not enough to win the game.

sad-kloppLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was happy to forego a clean sheet – and top spot in the Premier League table – for an electric Anfield atmosphere and three points against West Brom.

The Reds would have leapfrogged Arsenal on goals scored had they held on to a two-goal lead but had to make do with a 2-1 win after Gareth McAuley exposed their set-piece weakness in the 82nd minute.

Earlier, a wonderful first-half display had yielded goals from the superb duo of Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane, setting Liverpool up for an apparent stroll to the summit.

LVG and GiggsManchester United legend Ryan Giggs has dismissed criticism of Louis van Gaal’s two-year spell in charge at Old Trafford, insisting it was a collective effort at the club.

Giggs ended a 24-year playing career at Manchester United to take up the assistant manager role alongside van Gaal in the dugout.

The much maligned Dutchman guided United to fourth and fifth placed finishes in the Premier League from 2014-16 and also delivered the FA Cup back in May.

However van Gaal was deemed surplus to requirements at the end of the season and United have since hired Jose Mourinho to take over the reins.

lucas-perezArsenal summer signing Lucas Perez has admitted he expected to play more of a ‘starring role’ at the club after arriving in the Premier League in a £17 million deal from Deportivo Coruna.

The 28 year-old has only started two games – scoring twice in the EFL Cup wictory over Nottingham Forest – after netting 17 times in 35 games for the La Liga side last season.

Despite being frustrated by his lack of opportunities, Perez accepts that the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott are in good form at present as the Gunners stretched their winning streak to seven games with a 6-0 hammering of Ludogorets in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Bale Stalls On New Real Madrid Contract

bale-trophyGareth Bale would said that we would like to stay at Real Madrid, but he and his agents appear to be in no rush to sign a new deal with the Champions League holders.

With a FIFA transfer ban hanging over their head, the Spanish giants have been busy recently signing new deals with their stars.

Luka Modric and Toni Kroos have recently renewed their contracts, committing their future to the club until 2020 and 2022 respectively while Cristiano Ronaldo is reported to have also agreed to a contract extension too.