Monthly Archives: November 2016

Barca narrowly defeats Sevilla to keep pace with Real Madrid

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FC Barcelona narrowly defeated Sevilla in La Liga thanks to goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, which in turn kept them in contention with Real Madrid.

However, the defending Spanish champions looked set to lose ground on their rivals when Vitolo deservedly put Sevilla ahead at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan after some poor defensive play from Sergi Roberto but Barca hit back just before half-time through Messi.

The Argentinian side-footed past Sergio Rico from the edge of the area, though there was a suspicion of offside against Ivan Rakitic, and he also sets up Luis Suarez’s 61st-minute winner.

Luis Enrique’s team were dominated in the first half, but created numerous chances after the break as they started to open up their opponent’s defence. As a result, Sevilla were overawed in the second half, but did go close when former Blackburn player Steven Nzonzi headed narrowly wide of Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s left-hand upright.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid enjoyed better circumstances in maintaining their two-point lead on top of the La Liga table with an easy 3-0 victory over Leganes.

Gareth Bale latched on to Isco’s pass and, with the aid of a lucky ricochet, took the ball past Leganes keeper Jon Ander Serantes and slotted into the unguarded net, before pouncing to stab in a second from close range just before half-time.

Alvaro Morata added a third in the 76th minute to secure Real’s fourth straight win.

Manchester City stuns Barcelona with Gundogan brace

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Manchester City staged a thrilling comeback, pressing high to stave off Barcelona’s formidable attack and secure a fully deserved 3-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium.

Lionel Messi scored his 90th Champions League goal after a superb counter-attack as the Argentinian finished cooly from Neymar’s pass to put Barcelona firmly in control early in the first half.

However, glimpses of hope appeared for City six minutes before the interval when Sergi Roberto’s mistake allowed Raheem Sterling to set up Ilkay Gundogan for a simple finish, equalizing the scores.

The Blues, seeking their first win over Barcelona at the sixth attempt, rallied after half time and took the lead as Kevin de Bruyne’s free-kick curved past Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the 51st minute.

Andre Gomes crashed found the woodwork as Barcelona search n vain for an equaliser, but City wrapped up what was a landmark win against manager Pep Guardiola’s former team with 16 minutes left when De Bruyne played in Jesus Navas and, when his cross fell loose from Sergio Aguero, Gundogan was once more on the spot to score.

Guardiola’s methods may have been questioned after City’s 4-0 defeat by Barca themselves at the Nou Camp, but this was the type of result Manchester City’s Abu Dhabi-based owners had in mind when they brought him to the Etihad.

It was a win achieved with all the Guardiola hallmarks, in a blaze of attacking football, passing, movement and courage to take on the best without forsaking any of his principles.

Amidst that victory which could be remembered for years to come, City will reach the last sixteen of the competition if they win on 23 November at Borussia Monchengladbach, who drew with Celtic by 1-1.

Atletico and Bayern advances into Champions League Last 16

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Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich were the first clubs to secure a spot in the last 16 of the Champions League despite producing sub-par performances.

Robert Lewandowski’s brace ensured Bayern Munich progressed to the knockout phase of the Champions League as they came from a goal down to beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1 in their Group D match at the Philips Stadium.

Lewandowski twice struck the woodwork before equalising from the penalty spot following a handball by Andres Guardado. PSV’s Santiago Arias had earlier reacted quickest to Manuel Neuer’s parry from a Davy Propper header to give PSV an early lead.

The Polish international turned home a square ball from David Alaba to win the match, showing a deft touch and superb skill to steer the ball into the net. Alaba had made a defence-splitting run to set up the chance.

The victory meant that Bayern would collect nine points and stay second in the group standings with two rounds left to play.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid remains top of Group D after Antoine Griezmann’s two goals. His second strike, which arrived in the 93rd minute, gave the Spanish side a 2-1 win against Rostov that preserved their 100% campaign record.

Griezmann joined Atletico’s top 10 scorers in European competition by putting the home side ahead in the 28th minute with an improvised volley. Sardar Azmoun levelled barely two minutes later, becoming the first player to score against Diego Simeone’s side in the Champions League this season.

Nonetheless, Atletico’s passage to the last 16 was guaranteed by Bayern Munich’s win at PSV, but Griezmann beat an offside trap in the dying seconds to ensure the last season runners-up maintained their perfect record.

Frank de Boer sacked by Inter Milan after 85 days

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Inter Milan have sacked manager Frank de Boer just 85 days since he took charge of the Serie A club.

De Boer, 46, has lost seven of his 14 games in charge. Youth team coach Stefano Vecchi will be in charge when the side travels to take on Southampton in the Europa League on Thursday.

The club issued a statement on Tuesday morning which read: “FC Internazionale Milan announce today that they have parted company with head coach Frank de Boer with immediate effect.”

“Inter Primavera coach Stefano Vecchi will take temporary charge of the first team for Thursday’s Uefa Europa League match against Southanpton.”

“Inter would like to place on record its thanks to Frank and his coaching team for their work with the club over the past months and wishes them the best for the future. Further announcements regarding the first-team coaching position will be made in due course.”

Frank de Boer had since tweeted that “to carry out this project needed more time” and thanked Inter supporters for their support.

Before joining Inter, De Boer had led Ajax to four successive Dutch titles but lost out to PSV Eindhoven on the final day of last season.

Internazionale came fourth in Serie A last season, thus failing to qualify for the Champions League for the fifth consecutive year. They currently lie in 12th place after their poor start to the campaign and lost 1-0 at Sampdoria last Sunday, their fourth defeat in five league games.