Arsene Wenger has challenged his players to prove they don’t have an inferiority complex against the Premier League big guns.
Since the start of the 2012-13 season, they have won just 11 of their 51 league games against the five other teams in last season’s top six — hardly a boost for Sunday’s trip to Chelsea.
‘It is important that we get a result against a top four rival, said Wenger.
He continued: ‘Nobody would deny that. If you calculate the positions in the top four then, of course, it will be decided by your results against your direct opponents. This is an acid test, of course.’ Read more... (223 words, 1 image, estimated 54 secs reading time)
The 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage draw has been made, with highlights including Bayern Munich v PSG, Chelsea v Atlético Madrid, Juventus v Barcelona and Real Madrid v Dortmund.
GROUP A (BENFICA, MANCHESTER UNITED, BASEL, CSKA MOSCOW)
Jose Mourinho can be happy with how Manchester United’s return after a one-year absence shapes, and his own quest to be the first person to coach three different clubs to European glory. Benfica is a consistent performer in the second tier of Europe’s elite; Basel has been weakened by persistent sales of top players since eliminating United in the 2011 groups; and CSKA Moscow finished last in a group that included United in 2015. After such a powerful start to the English Premier League, the three-time European champion should start group favorite. Read more... (1659 words, 1 image, estimated 6:38 mins reading time)
Jose Mourinho accused his Manchester United stars of disrespecting Basle on Tuesday, claiming they were more interested in fancy flicks and ‘PlayStation football’ than killing the tie off.
United were cruising to victory thanks to goals from Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku but Mourinho was left angry at a lack of professionalism before Marcus Rashford’s third.
‘After 2-0 I think everything changed and we stopped to play, stopped to think, stopped to play seriously,’ Mourinho fumed.
‘We stopped to make the right decisions on the pitch and we could put ourselves in trouble. Read more... (301 words, 1 image, estimated 1:12 mins reading time)
Jose Mourinho has outlined the scale of the overhaul he believed was necessary when he arrived at Manchester United in May 2016.
The United boss has overseen a dramatic transformation in the playing staff since then, with this summer’s arrivals of Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku meaning he is getting ever closer to managing a truly ‘Mourinho’ side.
However, the Special One believes it will take a full THREE summers for him to truly ‘rebuild’ the team, following the struggles of the immediate post-Sir Alex Ferguson years. Read more... (343 words, 1 image, estimated 1:22 mins reading time)
Alexis Sanchez is completely committed to Arsenal and will quickly win over any doubting fans, manager Arsene Wenger said after his side cruised to a comfortable 3-0 Premier League victory against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Arsenal’s best player last season was strongly linked with a move to rivals Manchester City during the summer, came off the bench in the 75th minute and, although he received a standing ovation from the majority of the 60,000 fans inside the Emirates Stadium, there were more than a few jeers audible.
“Alexis Sanchez is very focused on the Premier League and the Europa League and he wants to do well,” Wenger told the BBC. Read more... (388 words, estimated 1:33 mins reading time)
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes Sadio Mane was ‘unlucky’ to be sent off during the 5-0 defeat to Manchester City.
City goalkeeper Ederson was involved in a nasty collision with the Liverpool forward during the first half of the Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.
The former Benfica’keeper was caught in the face by a high foot from Mane, who was subsequently given a straight red card by referee Jonathan Moss
“The whole game was the red card. I don’t think it’s a red card, he doesn’t see him” Klopp told Sky Sports. Read more... (589 words, 1 image, estimated 2:21 mins reading time)
The Spanish football authorities are looking at plans to host La Liga matches abroad as soon as next season.
The proposal is set to be discussed between the 20 Spanish top flight sides, with La Liga aiming to increase its financial revenue from international audiences.
And La Liga chief Javier Tebas, who has called the league a ‘global entertainment’, has confirmed that talks are currently ongoing.
‘La Liga is global entertainment and we want to grow [the league’s] international appeal,’ Tebas told the Financial Times.
‘As part of that effort we are discussing the option of playing some of the league matches outside of Spain.’ Read more... (342 words, 1 image, estimated 1:22 mins reading time)
Philippe Coutinho will not be given an instant recall to Liverpool’s team after Jurgen Klopp explained the Brazilian is short of fitness.
Liverpool’s No 10, who was the subject of persistent interest and failed bids from Barcelona through the transfer window, has not pulled on a Red shirt since playing in a friendly against Bayern Munich on August 1.
He missed the start of the season with a back problem but appeared in Brazil’s two World Cup qualifiers during the international break, scoring in the win over Ecuador.
Liverpool paid for his swift return from South America by laying on a private jet for him and Roberto Firmino. Read more... (250 words, 1 image, estimated 1:00 mins reading time)
Antonio Conte has confirmed that Eden Hazard is in the Chelsea squad to face Leicester this weekend after recovering from an ankle fracture.
The attacking midfielder has not featured for the Blues since last season after picking up an injury while on international duty with Belgium.
After coming on as a substitute for his country this week, though, Conte has confirmed he is fit and ready to return for Chelsea.
‘Eden is available, and he is in the list for the game tomorrow,’ the Chelsea boss told reporters.
‘I think he is improving a lot, and he worked very strong to be ready. Read more... (448 words, 1 image, estimated 1:48 mins reading time)
Arsene Wenger has questioned whether Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was tapped up by Liverpool.
The Arsenal manager said on Thursday it would be naive to think his players are not being tapped up before matches and is unsure whether they were on the day of their 4-0 loss to Liverpool last week.
Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez were among those who featured at Anfield and the former then signed for Liverpool in a £35million move.
‘You are not naive enough to think that will not happen,’ Wenger said.
‘I don’t know (if it happened before the loss to Liverpool). I don’t know. Read more... (313 words, 1 image, estimated 1:15 mins reading time)