Daily Archives: March 20, 2017

Prandelli refused Leicester offer over treatment of Ranieri

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Cesare Prandelli, former head coach of Italy claimed he turned down an approach from Leicester City to discuss taking over as manager “after seeing how [Claudio] Ranieri was treated”.

Ranieri was sacked by Leicester in February, nine months after leading the Foxes to what was arguably the most remarkable Premier League title in football history by defying 5,000-1 odds.

Prandelli said that Leicester dumped Ranieri despite the latter having “achieved something extraordinary”, saying that: “[Ranieri is] a coach who won a memorable, historic title and is then dumped after a few months.”

When asked in an interview on the French television channel SFR Sport whether Leicester had approached him, Ranieri’s Italian compatriot Prandelli promptly replied: “I immediately said no. You don’t accept a job like that. You don’t go there [Leicester] after seeing how Ranieri was treated. I am not going there. Full stop.”

Prandelli is not the only manager to express disappointment over Ranieri’s dismissal. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho offered Ranieri his public support, while Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp said: “I have no idea why Leicester did this.”

Ranieri’s assistant, Craig Shakespeare, took over as Leicester manager on a temporary basis and secured the job until the end of the season after the team defeated Liverpool and Hull City in the League.

Shakespeare has since led Leicester into the Champions League quarter-finals, where they will face Atletico Madrid, and eased relegation fears with a 3-2 victory at West Ham United on Saturday.

Rare Thomas Muller goal extends Bayern’s Bundesliga lead

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A rare goal from Thomas Muller won a hard-earned victory against Borussia Monchengladbach to further Bayern Munich’s lead above the Bundesliga table.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side made hard work of it despite dominating possession, with Arjen Robben hitting the post in an unproductive first half.

Muller then drove in from Thiago Alcantara’s chip midway through the second half for the only goal in the game.

The goal, only Muller’s second in the Bundesliga this season, kept Bayern on course for a fifth successive league title with 13 points against second-placed RB Leipzig.

Bayern were not at their best, with top scorer Robert Lewandowski heading over from Muller’s cross early on, and skewing a shot wide when well placed after half-time.

The team even eased off after taking the lead, and might have paid for that, as Javi Martinez almost turned Thorgan Hazard’s cross into his own net, and was needed for a vital block to deny Josip Drmic.

Bayern’s relaxed attitude could very well have come from RB Leipzig’s devastating defeat by Werder Bremen.

It was a shock loss for Bayern’s closest contenders, as their loss came from a club who struggled to make an impact this season.

Bremen took the lead with their first shot of the game, as Zlatko Junuzovic struck the sweetest of volleys with the outside of his right boot, curling the ball unstoppably into the top left-hand corner.

While Leipzig was able to cause trouble on the other end, Florian Grillitsch firmly put the game in Werder’s favour by thumping into the top left-hand corner. Florian Kainz then topped off the victory by tapping in his first goal of the season.

Werder, now unbeaten in five games, move three points clear of the relegation play-off spot.

Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli dismisses Barca connection

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Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli has dismissed any possibility of a move to FC Barcelona and maintains that he has not been approached by the Catalan club.

The Argentine, who was a former international coach for Chile, added that he has no need to renew his contract right now.

Sampaoli, 57, replaced Unai Emery as coach of the Spanish giants just before this season and has guided them from last year’s seventh-placed finish to third with 11 games left.

His thrilling attacking style often saw him being tipped as a candidate for the position of FC Barcelona coach, especially after current Barca coach Luis Enrique announced his departure at the end of the current campaign.

“I do not have to renew because I have a contract,” he said. “Nor is it real that Barcelona have taken an interest in me, they did not contact me.”

However, Sevilla sporting director Monchi could leave the club at the end of the season after the club prevented him from doing so last summer.

But while Sampaoli maintains that the Monchi’s future with the club was Monchi’s own hands, the director’s decision will have no effect on his.

“I would like Monchi to stay, but it is not a condition for me to stay,” he explained. “According to the football project that has Sevilla, one is here to help or not, I feel useful, loved and respected.”

Meanwhile, Sampaoli admitted he was hurt after seeing Leicester City eliminate his side from the Champions League midweek, but the former Chile boss stressed that his side will bounce back.

“After you fall down you must get back up and try again,” he said. “It is important that you never get too down or get too high either.

“The Champions League loss was a painful defeat for us but I don’t consider it a great failure. It did cause me great pain that even meant I wasn’t able to sleep but as I said, life must go on.”