Almost 30,000 empty seats at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night told the story of the season so far.
The league table after the 2-0 defeat by Real Sociedad also made miserable reading for Real Madrid supporters. They are out of the Champions League places and 10 points behind leaders Barcelona.
Santiago Solari has lost the aura of the confidence he had a couple of months ago. He was chastised by Marca last week for saying:
‘We mustn’t underestimate the draws’.
On Sunday night everyone at the Bernabeu would have taken a draw as 10-man Madrid slipped to their sixth league defeat of the season. Read more... (795 words, estimated 3:11 mins reading time)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United will face Arsenal away in the FA Cup fourth round, with the interim boss aiming to win the competition for a third time.
Solskjaer was in the starting line-up for United’s semi-final victories over the Gunners in 1999 and 2004.
He went on to lift the trophy with the Old Trafford club on both occasions.
Monday night’s draw confirmed Arsenal as the home team.
It again recreates the classic match-up in the final 40 years ago which Arsenal won 3-2 thanks to Alan Sunderland’s late goal. Read more... (275 words, estimated 1:06 mins reading time)
Jurgen Klopp has come in for criticism on social media after suggesting strong winds made it difficult for Liverpool in their 2-1 FA Cup defeat by Wolves.
Plenty took to social media to mock the Reds manager for what they perceived to be a weak excuse.
Klopp made sweeping changes to the team and included a number of inexperienced teenagers in the line-up.
Ruben Neves blasted the winner after Divock Origi cancelled out Raul Jimenez’s opener and Klopp lamented his side’s inability to dictate play. Read more... (310 words, estimated 1:14 mins reading time)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany should have been sent off in the Reds’ Premier League loss at Etihad Stadium.
Centre-back Kompany escaped with only a booking for a heavy first-half challenge on forward Mohamed Salah.
City won 2-1 as Leroy Sane’s 72nd-minute winner cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table to four points.
Klopp said: “I really like Vincent Kompany but how on earth is that not a red card?”
The German added: “He is last man and he goes in. If he hits Mo more he is out for the season.” Read more... (376 words, estimated 1:30 mins reading time)
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised his players for revitalizing the title race after inflicting Premier League leaders Liverpool’s first defeat of the season.
Sergio Aguero, with his seventh goal in as many home league matches against the Reds, and Leroy Sane scored either side of Roberto Firmino’s second-half equaliser to reduce the distance between the two sides to four points.
Had City lost, a 10-point disadvantage would have looked insurmountable even for the defending champions and Guardiola believes they have now breathed new life into their chase. Read more... (301 words, estimated 1:12 mins reading time)
UEFA’S chief financial investigator has confirmed that Manchester City could indeed be banned from the Champions League if they are found guilty of a further breach of Financial Fair Play regulations.
I wrote last month, the view being held by senior figures at European football’s governing body is that a heavier punishment would be appropriate if a club fined previously for breaking FFP rules are in breach again.
And now Yves Leterme, the head of Uefa’s independent Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), has told a Belgian publication that City may now face ‘the heaviest punishment’ Read more... (300 words, estimated 1:12 mins reading time)
Mesut Ozil will not look for a way out of Arsenal this month despite his omission from the starting line-up in recent weeks, according to his representatives.
The midfielder has been linked with a move away from the Emirates amid rumors of a fractious relationship with boss Unai Emery, who is still concerned by his work-rate levels.
Ozil, 30, is currently nursing a knee injury which has kept him out of Arsenal’s last two matches, though it is unclear whether or not he would slot straight back into the starting XI when he returns to full fitness. Read more... (445 words, estimated 1:47 mins reading time)
Chelsea have completed the £58million signing of Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund and installed their contingency plan in case Eden Hazard leaves in the summer and the Premier League side get hit with a transfer ban from FIFA.
USA international Pulisic will spend the rest of the season at Dortmund before making the switch by which time Hazard have only 12 months remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea were determined to strike early for Pulisic to beat competition from rivals, including Liverpool and Arsenal, and have paid a premium on the price. Read more... (467 words, estimated 1:52 mins reading time)
Chelsea have revealed a record profit and turnover in the club’s latest published accounts.
The Blues’ return to the Champions League in 2017-18 contributed to the turnover growing by 22.7 per cent to £443.4million in the financial results for the year ending June 30, 2018.
And a record-high profit of £62m was achieved, after a profit on player sales of £113m and an increase in broadcast revenues of £162.4m as a result of Chelsea’s return to Europe’s elite club competition.
The accounts do not include the severance pay for Antonio Conte or his coaching staff. Read more... (279 words, estimated 1:07 mins reading time)
As the world of football condemns the racist chanting that was directed towards Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly at San Siro on Boxing Day, comments from a top Italian politician shows that Italy has a problem with racism that goes deeper than just Inter Milan fans.
Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini appeared on an Italian TV show on Friday and appeared to play down the suggestion of racist chanting at the Inter v Napoli match, saying that racism must not be confused with “banter” within a football stadium.
“Racism in 2018 is idiotic and stupid,” he told Radio Kiss Kiss Naples. Read more... (571 words, estimated 2:17 mins reading time)