Amazingly Arsene Wenger managed to keep a straight face as he made the bold claim that Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will see out their contracts ‘no matter what’ as Arsenal attempt to tie up the futures of 10 first-team players.
In the cases of Sanchez and Ozil it is a brave stance and one that could surely cause severe anxiety down the line, given they are entering the final 18 months of their contracts and losing either man, let alone both, on a free would be a massive financial hit. Read more... (581 words, 1 image, estimated 2:19 mins reading time)
The draw for the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League will take place at 1200 GMT on Monday December 12.
It will be seeded with the 16 seeds being drawn against the 16 non-seeds. The 12 group winners, plus the four best Champions League drop-out teams, will be seeded.
Sides from the same country cannot be drawn against each other, neither can teams who played in the same group.
Seeded: Ajax, APOEL, Beşiktaş*, Fenerbahçe, Fiorentina, København*, Lyon*, Osmanlıspor, Roma, Schalke, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sparta Praha, St-Étienne, Tottenham*, Zenit Read more... (306 words, 1 image, estimated 1:13 mins reading time)
The mantra of the Champions League group stages has always been to win the group so that you avoid a big name in the Round of 16, where you get the second leg at home.
But that thinking has been thrown out the window this year as the Champions of France (PSG), Germany (Bayern Munich) and the Champions League holders (Real Madrid) have all finished second in their group, meaning that several of the preseason favorites to lift the trophy could be out of the competition at the first knockout round.
So who qualified? Read more... (466 words, 1 image, estimated 1:52 mins reading time)
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone deliberately opened up a can of worms on Monday saying that “everyone knows I’ll Coach Inter one day” but “there’s nothing to comment on” right now.
Speculation that he Simeone could be moving to Inter took a new turn last week when his son, currently playing in Serie A for Genoa, told Spanish radio that
“I think that at some stage my father will sign for Inter.”
“At least I really hope he does.”
Speaking in Munich at the news conference ahead of Tuesday’s game at Bayern, the Colchoneros coach said that what his son had said was “nothing new, nor was it news.” Read more... (195 words, 1 image, estimated 47 secs reading time)
Jaap Stam will make an emotional return to Manchester United next month after his Reading team were drawn at Old Trafford in the FA Cup third round.
Stam was a cult hero in his three years at United, and the defensive rock of the 1999 Treble before he was sold to Lazio when Sir Alex Ferguson took issue with tapping-up claims in his autobiography.
Ferguson later admitted it was ‘a big mistake’ but the relationship was never healed.
After finishing his playing career and cutting his teeth in coaching roles in Holland at Zwolle and Ajax, 44-year-old Stam took charge of Reading in the summer and appears to have made an instant impact. Read more... (327 words, 1 image, estimated 1:18 mins reading time)
Manchester United were so famous for scoring late goals to save a match or win a game that it was called Fergie Time. From Steve Bruce scoring the winner against Sheffield Wednesday, a goal that helped United win the innaugral Premier League in 1992/93 to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer winner in the Champions League final in 1999, scoring late has been part of United’s DNA,
But not anymore. Now their record in the last few moments is the worst of any top-flight side, even if Marcus Rashford did score a stoppage-time winner away at Hull in August. Read more... (565 words, 1 image, estimated 2:16 mins reading time)
Arsenal star Arsenal Mesut Ozil feels that Arsenal can make history this season by winning the Champions League.
Ozil, who has been in fantastic form for the Gunners this season, reckons the club have been “unlucky” in recent draws for the knockout stages with Barcelona and Bayern among the clubs they’ve faced in previous years.
The Gunners haven’t got past the round of 16 since 2009 but Ozil is optimistic they can go all the way this season with the calibre of players in Arsene Wenger’s squad.
“I think we have been missing a bit of luck, in every sense,” Ozil told Marca. Read more... (240 words, 1 image, estimated 58 secs reading time)
Jose Mourinho gave an ill-tempered press conference after Manchester United suffered a late equaliser against Everton, dismissing the opposition as a long-ball side, claiming to have missed key moments in the game and citing double standards in the media.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s finessed first-half finish, a long-range lob over the advancing Maarten Stekelenburg, looked to have settled the points, but Leighton Baines made it 1-1 from the penalty spot after a last-gasp trip from Marouane Fellaini.
Mourinho’s post-match assessment was brief but withering.
Asked for his view of the penalty and then a crude first-half challenge that should have seen Marcos Rojo sent off, the Portuguese twice answered: Read more... (412 words, 1 image, estimated 1:39 mins reading time)
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp refused to blow his top at his players after they twice relinquished two-goal leads to lose a seven-goal thriller at Bournemouth.
The Reds seemed to be cruising at half-time courtesy of goals from Sadio Mane and Divock Origi, and were 3-1 up midway through the second half, before three goals in the final 15 minutes saw the hosts run out 4-3 winners.
Klopp, who was admonished by referee Robert Madley in the second half, was barking orders in his usual fashion and also stormed out of his technical area to berate Mane at one point. Read more... (426 words, 1 image, estimated 1:42 mins reading time)
Antonio Conte came out on top in his battle of wits with Pep Guardiola, even though Chelsea had to ride their luck before securing a 3-1 over Manchester City in an eventful clash at the Etihad.
It means that the Italian kept his place at the top of the Premier League while Guardiola was left to reflect on his first home defeat since taking over in the summer and only his 11th home defeat in his career.
Here is a look at the decisions that each manager made on Saturday.
Team selection Read more... (578 words, 1 image, estimated 2:19 mins reading time)