Lionel Messi has admitted Barcelona have defensive problems just days before they face Tottenham at Wembley.
‘We know we have to be stronger defensively,’ he said after Barcelona failed to win for the third match running.
‘Last season we were difficult to score against and now teams score against us from the slightest chance.
‘We can’t be conceding goals in every game. We have to get better.’
Barcelona conceded their eighth goal of the season so far in the 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao – last season they reached the half-way point of the campaign only having let-in nine goals. Read more... (242 words, estimated 58 secs reading time)
Maurizio Sarri played down Chelsea’s title chances after their 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Saturday.
It looked as though Chelsea were set to go level on points with Manchester City at the top of the table after Eden Hazard’s 25th-minute strike put them ahead.
However, Daniel Sturridge’s superb late goal salvaged a draw for Liverpool.
Sarri said ahead of the match that Liverpool are “ready now to win the Premier League” and his view was not altered by the result at Stamford Bridge.
“No, I think they are a step forward but I think also that we are closer than I thought one week ago,” he said. Read more... (321 words, estimated 1:17 mins reading time)
Jurgen Klopp remains confident in Mohamed Salah after he missed several chances in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday.
After a slow start to the season, Salah failed to score against Chelsea, going closest in the first half when he saw a shot cleared off the line.
He was taken off in the 66th minute, with Liverpool then scoring late through Daniel Sturridge to salvage a 1-1 draw.
Klopp refused to criticise last season’s top scorer Salah, but said:
“It was not Mo’s best game of his career, 100 per cent. Read more... (321 words, estimated 1:17 mins reading time)
Jose Mourinho lamented a lack of quality at Manchester United following another loss, but insists his players’ attitudes cannot be questioned.
United slumped to a second successive defeat as West Ham cruised to a 3-1 Premier League victory at London Stadium to pile more pressure on Mourinho at the culmination of a difficult week.
Felipe Anderson flicked the hosts ahead early on despite appeals for offside against Pablo Zabaleta, with Victor Lindelof’s own-goal then making matters worse before Marko Arnautovic wrapped up the win after Marcus Rashford had pulled one back. Read more... (371 words, estimated 1:29 mins reading time)
Frank Lampard will take his Derby side to former club Chelsea in the Carabao Cup fourth round.
The Championship side beat Manchester United on penalties in midweek and have been rewarded with a trip to Stamford Bridge.
The Derby manager is Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer, having netted 211 times during his 13 seasons with the west London club.
Tottenham will travel to West Ham for a repeat of last year’s fourth-round clash, which the Hammers won 3-2 at Wembley.
Holders Manchester City will play host to Fulham and the other all-Premier League tie will be at Leicester, who will entertain the winners of the remaining third-round tie between Everton and Southampton. Read more... (241 words, estimated 58 secs reading time)
Maurizio Sarri believes Eden Hazard is only showing 80 per cent of his potential and told the Chelsea forward he needs to train harder if he is to become the best in the world.
Hazard has been in stunning form this season with six goals and two assists in all competitions this season, but Sarri believes there is significant room for improvement ahead of Chelsea’s huge clash with Liverpool on Saturday.
Asked if the Belgian is the best in the world, Sarri said:
‘Maybe, I don’t know. I think that he is for sure one of the best. But I am absolutely convinced that he can improve. Read more... (381 words, estimated 1:31 mins reading time)
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has heaped praise on Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, saying the club will always be their home.
Both men departed Los Blancos in the summer, Ronaldo joining Juventus and Zidane resigning after back-to-back Champions League victories.
‘There are two figures that I want to refer to: the worthy successor of (Alfredo) Di Stefano and the club’s top scorer, Cristiano.
‘During nine seasons, he has been a benchmark and his achievements will be recounted from generation to generation.
‘He is an example for all those who wear the Real shirt and those who have the dream of doing so in the future. Thank you very much, Cristiano. Read more... (170 words, estimated 41 secs reading time)
Maurizio Sarri warned it may take another year before Chelsea are a match for Liverpool as he braced himself for two games in four days against the Premier League leaders.
Sarri, having seen his team drop their first points of the season in a goalless draw at West Ham on Sunday, heads to Anfield next for a Carabao Cup third round tie on Wednesday.
Jurgen Klopp’s team will then test their 100 per cent record at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening. Read more... (345 words, estimated 1:23 mins reading time)
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has ruled out the possibility of his team playing a La Liga match in the United States in the future.
As part of a 15-year deal signed with entertainment and sports group Relevent in August, the Spanish top flight wants to play at least one regular-season game a year in North America.
La Liga and Relevent hoped that the first of those would be Girona’s ‘home’ game against Barcelona in Miami on January 26, but the plan has provoked controversy ever since it first emerged. Read more... (286 words, 1 image, estimated 1:09 mins reading time)
Massimiliano Allegri has defended Cristiano Ronaldo’s slow start to life at Juventus, saying the Portuguese has nothing left to prove at the top level of the game.
Usually a prolific goalscorer for club and country, Ronaldo has netted just twice since joining the Italian champions for £100million from Real Madrid over the summer.
He was controversially red carded in the midweek Champions League win over Valencia following an altercation with defender Jeison Murillo, adding further scrutiny to his early performances for his new side.
However, speaking before Juventus’ trip to newly-promoted Frosinone on Sunday evening, Juventus manager Allegri believes it is only a matter of time before the forward comes good. Read more... (249 words, estimated 1:0 mins reading time)