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jose-mourinho-smilingIt was a smiling Jose Mourinho that met with the press on Wednesday after seeing his side beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 4-0 and take a big step towards qualifying for the CHampions League knock-out stages.

The Portuguese manager began his post-match press conference by asking journalists for a calculator so he could figure out what Chelsea would have to do to qualify for the last 16. After pausing and thinking about it, Mourinho said:

“I know if we win, we finish first. If we lose we are going to the Europa League and with a draw second place.”

lvg2-mufcManchester United manager Louis van Gaal admits that he is was “worried” about his team’s goal-scoring problems after a goalless draw with PSV Eindhoven left their Champions League campaign in the balance.

Victory on Wednesday would have taken United into the last 16, but with Jesse Lingard blazing their best chance over the bar in the second half, they must now win away to Group B leaders Wolfsburg in their final match to be certain of a place in the knockout phase. United have scored only six goals in their last eight games, four of which have been 0-0 draws, but while Van Gaal admitted to feeling concerned, he drew encouragement from the handful of chances his side had created.

Champions League trophyManchester United, Arsenal and Porto are among 13 teams competing for the seven unclaimed places in the Champions League knockout phase on 8 and 9 December.

Qualified: Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Atlético Madrid, Benfica, Juventus, Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern München, Zenit

Can qualify: Wolfsburg*, Manchester United*, PSV Eindhoven, Roma, Leverkusen, BATE Borisov, Olympiacos*, Arsenal*, Porto*, Chelsea*, Dynamo Kyiv*, Gent*, Valencia*

Group By Group Standings
Group A: Real Madrid (13 points, qualified) v Malmö (3), Paris Saint-Germain (10, qualified) v Shakhtar Donetsk (3)
Madrid have won the group, Paris will finish second.

suarez-neymar-messiBayern Munich blitzed Olympiakos with three goals in the first 20 minutes to seal qualification – and keep Arsenal in the hunt.

Douglas Costa opened the floodgates in the eighth minute with a rocket shot before Robert Lewandowski’s 5th goal of the campaign – his 20th in all competitions – doubled Bayern’s lead. Four minutes later Arjen Robben set up Thomas Muller who made no mistake to put the result beyond doubt.

Bayern defender Holger Badstuber was sent off early in the second half but it did not stop the German champions, and Kingsley Coman added a fourth with 20 minutes to go to make it 4-0.

Perez And His Woe Is Me Press Conference

Perez-real-madridIncredible whining press conference from Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez on Monday, where he confirmed his support for Rafa Benítez which has been called into question after the team’s humbling defeat against Barcelona on Saturday.

As we all know, the squad has been under increasing pressure since January of this year”, he said. He also mentioned the numerous injuries the team has struggled with in the opening months of this season.

“The solution to this is Rafa Benitez. We signed him to turn things around. We think he is the right person. But we must let him work — not listen to those making up lies that board doesn’t want him, or the players don’t want him.

Chelsea Announce 23m Pound Loss

Chelsea-ChampionsChelsea have announced that they made a loss of £23.1m last season, despite winning the Premier League title.

According to the Blues annual financial results, the deficit kept them within Financial Fair Play (FFP) limits.

“It was a primary aim in the past financial year to be one of the clubs with a continuous record of meeting the regulations,” said chairman Bruce Buck.

Chelsea, who made a record £18.4m profit last year, announced revenues of £314.3m, marginally down on the previous year’s record of £319.8m. Chelsea put this down to their elimination from the Champions League in the first knockout round compared with a semi-final appearance in 2014. But that figure is still the second best in the club’s history – the Premier League champions turned over £255.8m in 2013.

blind-manArsenal boss continues to take shots at Uefa over their blindness to doping in soccer, and the governing body has resorted to intimidation tactics to try and silence Arsene Wenger.

A week after Wenger criticisd UEFA’s complacency on drugs cheats, Arsenal get a visit from ten members of the organisation’s doping control unit the next.

Coincidence? Arsene Wenger couldn’t possibly say. But it might just be that he has ruffled a few feathers with his very public belief that football has its head in the sand over drugs. Just like athletics did.

wenger-head-in-handsA bad weekend got even worse for Arenal fans with the news from L’Équipe journalist Bruno Constant that Francis Coquelin is facing “most probably” at least 3 months on the sidelines after injuring his knee in the first-half against West Brom.

Coquelin went down in the loss to West Brom on a 50-50 challenge with Claudio Yacob, and manager Arsene Wenger said after the match

“it looks to be more severe with a knee problem.”

The midfielder reportedly left the Hawthornes on crutches after the loss and while we have not heard anything official from the Gunners, the number of rumours suggest a longer recovery period than a shorter one.

Van Gaal Wants Ronaldo At Old Trafford

Rooney-RonaldoManchester United manager Louis van Gaal has taken a page out of Real Madrid’s playback to openly tap up one of their players via the media.

After United’s win over Watford on Saturday, van Gaal reignite the Ronaldo to United rumors by saying:

“Ronaldo plays on the wings and he is fast and scores goals. There is no trainer in the world that doesn’t like him.

“Of course we are looking — but are looking at all players, not just Ronaldo. But these players are mostly ungettable.

“With Ronaldo, let’s wait and hope.”

marcaThese are troubled teams in Real Madrid. The appointment of Rafa Benítez was not met with approval by large sections of Real Madrid fans (and dressing room), upset with the firing of Carlo Ancelotti.

They have been waiting five and a half months for Rafa to fail and they got their opening after Saturday’s El Clasico where Real where humbled by bitter rivals Barcelona at hone.

The mouthpiece of the football club, Marca, wrote on Sunday that the firing of Benitez seems to be a foregone conclusion after the 4-0 hammering that Barcelona gave then on Saturday.

Marca writes: