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Champions League Round Of 16 Draw

A host of mouth-watering fixtures was finalised in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Draw at Nyon on Tuesday as some of Europe’s biggest clubs were pegged against each other in the first set of knockout fixtures. Once the pot-picking party was over, the ties read as:

  • Juventus vs Tottenham Hotspur
  • FC Basel vs Manchester City
  • Porto vs Liverpool
  • Sevilla vs Manchester United
  • Real Madrid vs Paris Saint-Germain
  • Shakhtar Donetsk vs AS Roma
  • Chelsea vs Barcelona
  • Bayern Munich vs Besiktas

pep v joseManchester United boss Jose Mourinho has given up hope of winning the Premier League title following his side’s 2-1 by arch-rivals City at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Two goals, that had their whit of fortune, from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi was enough to win the Manchester derby after Marcus Rashford had levelled for the hosts.

The victory saw Pep Guardiola’s men extend their lead over United at the top of the table to 11 points after just 16 games and Mourinho has conceded the gap is now too big to overcome.

Asked whether the title race is over, Mourinho snapped:

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he does not want to make an issue of the team’s recent bad starts as it could affect the confidence of the players, and accused Southampton of time-wasting after the 1-1 draw at St Mary’s on Sunday.

Arsenal repeated their poor start from last week against Manchester United as Per Mertesacker gave the ball away after just three minutes, setting up a quick attack for Southampton that was finished off by Charlie Austin.

The Gunners struggled to create chances for much of the game until substitute Olivier Giroud headed home an equaliser in the 88th minute, but his side still remain outside the Premier League’s top four.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp disputed the decision to award Everton a penalty which led to their equaliser in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Anfield.

Liverpool were denied three points as Wayne Rooney’s 77th-minute spot kick cancelled out Mohamed Salah’s first-half opener.

The Liverpool technical bench were incensed when referee Craig Pawson pointed to the spot for Everton’s penalty after Dejan Lovren clumsily bundled down Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

At his postmatch news conference, Klopp asked journalists in the Anfield press room whether they thought Pawson’s decision was correct, with the majority of the room then raising their hand to signal their belief that the awarding of the penalty was correct.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has put the shock 1-0 defeat by West Ham down to his players becoming fatigued by their punishing schedule.

Conte made just one change from the side that drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday night and the Blues were caught on the hop against West Ham in Saturday’s early kick-off.

Marko Arnautovic’s goal after just six minutes was enough to see off the Premier League champions and Conte, whose side will play nine games in all competitions this month, put the London derby loss down to his men experiencing tiredness.

Handanovic Stars As Inter Get Point In Turin

Inter remain in top spot in Serie A after holding Juventus to a goalless draw in Turin on Saturday night and then seeing Napoli held to the same score at home to Fiorentina on Sunday.

Inter left Turin with a point due to the heroics of goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, who single-handily kept Inter in the game with Juve having 19 shots to just six from Inter, only one of which was on target.

But the statistic that really counted left the teams level and preserved Inter’s one-point advantage and their unbeaten record.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that, unlike Tottenham Hotspur counterpart Mauricio Pochettino, he is refusing to give up on his side’s Premier League title chances just yet.

The Gunners suffered a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United at the Emirates on Saturday thanks to a superb performance from goalkeeper David de Gea.

The result leaves Arsenal fifth in the table, 15 points behind runaway league leaders Manchester City.

And while Tottenham manager Pochettino accepted recently that his side have little chance of lifting the crown , Wenger was unwilling to do likewise.

What Has Gone Wrong At Real Madrid?

Real Madrid are eight points behind Barcelona after both sides were held to draws on the weekend.

Barca dropped points at home to Celta Vigo, while Madrid could only draw 0-0 with a poor Athletic Bilbao side who three days before had been knocked out of the cup by third-division opponents.

It was a miserable return and more proof that all is not well with the Champions League and La Liga holders. So the big question is whether Real Madrid need to win the Clasico to save their season.

Is that how bad things are? Clasico or bust?

Merseyside Derby Headlines FA Cup Third Round

A Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton was the pick of an exciting FA Cup third-round draw.

The Stanley Park rivals meet at Anfield on Sunday in the Premier League and that will again be the venue when they face each other over the first weekend of January.

Not since 1932 have they been drawn together at this stage of the competition, when Liverpool were 2-1 winners at Goodison Park.

More recently they met in the semi-final of 2012 when second-half goals from Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll reversed Nikica Jelavic’s opener.

AC Milan, Real Sociedad and Östersund are among the sides who earned a round of 32 place on matchday five, but who else still has something to play for in the UEFA Europa League?

Who’s through to the round of 32?
Arsenal, Atalanta, Braga, Dynamo Kyiv, FCSB, Lazio, Lyon, Milan, Nice, Östersund, Partizan, Plzeň, Real Sociedad, Salzburg, Villarreal, Zenit

Who can still qualify?
AEK Athens, Astana, Athletic Club, Austria Wien, BATE, Crvena zvezda, İstanbul Başakşehir, København, Köln, Konyaspor, Lokomotiv Moskva, Ludogorets, Marseille, Sheriff, Slavia Praha, Vitória SC, Zorya Luhansk