Well I did not see that coming. At least not when the Gunners are still battling for the Europa League. But Arsene Wenger shocked Arsenal players on Friday after announcing that he will finally step down as manager at the end of the season after 22 years in charge.
Wenger dropped the bombshell ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash with West Ham at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. There has been open unrest at the Emirates in recent years following the Frenchman’s failure to win the league title since 2004. He has however won 10 major trophies during his time in north London and will be remembered as the club’s greatest ever manager. Read more... (641 words, 1 image, estimated 2:34 mins reading time)
Despite is being a World Cup year, it looks like some of the biggest clubs in the world are heading to the United States to play exhibition matches this summer.
The Premier League’s “Big Six” of Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea will all be making the trip. They’ll be joined by La Liga’s Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla; Bundesliga stalwarts Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund; Serie A powers Juventus, Roma, AC Milan and Inter Milan; Ligue 1 champion-to-be PSG and Portugal’s Benfica to make up the field that will play its matches across the United States, Europe and Singapore. Read more... (610 words, estimated 2:26 mins reading time)
If you thought that The International Champions Cup would take scale back this year due to this summer’s World Cup, guess again as tournament is shaping up to be the biggest one yet.
The annual showcase of European teams as they go through their preseasons will feature 18 teams from six leagues. According to The New York Times, the competition will be played in tandem with a women’s event, the first of its kind. Manchester City, PSG and the NWSL’s North Carolina Courage are signed on, with a fourth team to be named. Read more... (551 words, estimated 2:12 mins reading time)
It was a draw that brought delight to Merseyside and Rome and anguish to Madrid and Munich.
The Champions League semi-final draw was made on Friday and it ensured that one of this season’s cinderella sides, Liverpool or Roma will be in the final in Kiev as they were drawn against each other, in a rematch of the 1984 European Cup Final that Liverpool won 1-0.
Two heavyweights in the draw, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will meet in the other semi-final. The first leg will be the 25th match between the sides, making it the most played fixture in UEFA club competition. It will also be the sides’ seventh semi-final meeting. Bayern have won four to Real Madrid’s two so far. Read more... (784 words, estimated 3:08 mins reading time)
Arsenal have been drawn against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals.
The Gunners booked their place in the final four with a nervy 6-3 aggregate win over CSKA Moscow on Thursday evening, drawing 2-2 on the night in Russia.
Victory in the competition represents Arsenal’s only serious chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season, with the north London club sitting in sixth place in the Premier League.
In the other semi-final tie, Olympique Marseille face FC Red Bull Salzburg, who both advanced following fine comeback wins over RB Leipzig and Lazio respectively. Read more... (536 words, estimated 2:09 mins reading time)
Cristiano Ronaldo has added yet another astonishing goal-scoring record to his remarkable collection of statistics after netting against Juventus in the Champions League.
Ronaldo scored at the Bernabeu against the Italian champions in the second leg of their quarter-final on Wednesday night, in the most dramatic of circumstances.
It was the Portuguese hitman’s 15th goal in the 2017-18 competition – the third-highest goal tally for an individual player in a season.
The top two seasons are held, unsurprisingly, by Ronaldo, for two of his other phenomenal European seasons for Real. Read more... (330 words, 1 image, estimated 1:19 mins reading time)
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli blasted Michael Oliver after the English referee awarded Real Madrid a stoppage-time penalty on Wednesday evening.
Two goals from Mario Mandzukic and another by Blaise Matuidi had put Juventus 3-0 up on the night and heading for extra-time after levelling the two-legged Champions League quarter-final at 3-3 on aggregate.
But Premier League referee Oliver awarded Real a late spot-kick for a Medhi Benatia’s foul on Lucas Vazquez, before sending off Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for his reaction to the decision.
Cristiano Ronaldo converted the resultant spot-kick past substitute stopper Wojciech Szczesny to send Real into the last four and leave Agnelli fuming. Read more... (511 words, 1 image, estimated 2:03 mins reading time)
They had battled back from a three-goal deficit and were dreaming of a Miracle in Madrid. Then, deep into added time, Cristiano Ronaldo broke Juve’s hearts.
In scenes of high drama, even by the standards of one of football’s greatest stages, Real were awarded a last-gasp penalty by English referee Michael Oliver, Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was sent off for his full-throated protest and Ronaldo nailed the winner from the spot.
Comebacks can be contagious and whatever Barcelona and Roma had on Tuesday, Madrid and Juventus had a serious dose of it 24 hours later. This time the patient survived. Read more... (781 words, 1 image, estimated 3:07 mins reading time)
Monchi dedicated Roma’s 3-0 win against Barcelona on Tuesday to Coach Eusebio Di Francesco. “It’s also his victory.”
Di Francesco took a huge gamble in the Champions League quarter-final second leg, lining his Roma team up in a 3-4-1-2 formation, but his decision paid off as the Giallorossi sensationally overturned their 4-1 deficit.
“It’s a night to remember, first of all for the fans. They’re all happy for Roma,” the sporting director told Roma TV after the game.
“Football was fair Roma, there were many incidents and they weren’t fair. The punishment we received in Barcelona wasn’t fair. Read more... (418 words, 1 image, estimated 1:40 mins reading time)
Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has apologised to fans after being knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Barcelona went out of the competition on away goals after Roma won 3-0 on the night to level the aggregate score at 4-4.
Bartomeu spoke after the defeat at the Stadio Olimpico and said Barcelona let down the fans who travelled.
He said: ‘I’m really sorry. Roma were the better team on the pitch. Roma believed and showed that when you try hard, you can achieve your objectives.
‘Of course [this defeat] affects us, but we have some important games coming up and the players will recover.’ Read more... (183 words, 1 image, estimated 44 secs reading time)