Daily Archives: September 27, 2017

Real condemns Dortmund to second straight Champions League loss

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Real Madrid defeated Borussia Dortmund by 3-1 to condemn the Bundesliga leaders to a second straight defeat after the hosts lost their opening game to Tottenham at a similar scoreline.

Gareth Bale opened Real’s account with a superb volley, before Cristiano Ronaldo, top scorer of last season’s edition of the tournament, converted Bale’s cutback four minutes after the break.

While Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stabbed home Gonzalo Castro’s cross to narrow the gap soon after Ronaldo’s goal, the Portuguese broke clear of the famed Yellow Wall and lashed home his 13th goal in his last seven Champions League games at the 79th minute. – Cara Daftar Sbobet

With Ronaldo’s second goal coming awkwardly late in the game, it proved to be too wide a gap for Dortmund to repeat their feat of last season, where they came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Real, who eventually went on to win the Champions League title.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane then said afterward: “We had chances. We had a spectacular game, a brilliant game. I am delighted for Ronaldo and Bale. The side worked hard. The midfield worked very hard. I am extremely happy because they played a tremendous game.”

There is much to be glad for the Frenchman to be glad about too, as the result meant that they have the full six points after just two group stage games, ahead of a potentially challenging fixture against Dortmund in two weeks.

As for Dortmund, it meant a second straight defeat in the Champions League group stage for them — meaning that they are left pointless along with Apoel Nicosia at the bottom of Group H, who themselves were handed a separate defeat by Tottenham by 3-0 at home.

However, the Bundesliga giants would rue refereeing mistakes as they had looked to Bjorn Kuipers for a penalty early in the match when Maximilian Philipp’s cross appeared to hit Real skipper Sergio Ramos’s arm on the line, but the Dutch referee signalled play on.

Still, Ramos himself could also have widen the gap but twice missed from headers, first nodding over Toni Kroos’s cross before sending his second effort straight at Dortmund keeper Roman Burki.

Diego Costa completes return move to Atletico Madrid

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Chelsea striker Diego Costa has completed his £57m move to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.

Both Chelsea and the Spanish giants had agreed on terms last week, with the 28-year-old Spanish international having also passed his medical on Monday.

However, he will not feature in the Champions League game between Chelsea and Atletico as he cannot be registered to play for the La Liga side until 1 January, when the club’s transfer window ban comes to an end.

The Brazil-born striker is expected to be at the stadium on Wednesday having attended the weekend league victory against Sevilla, and Blues coach Antonio Conte was asked about his strained relationship with the player. – Cara Daftar Sbobet

While Costa won two Premier League titles and the League Cup with Chelsea, he found himself exiled at Stamford Bridge over the summer after a dispute with a fitness coach which had followed reports of an offer from China that would have been worth £30m a year in salary. Additionally, he was informed via text message by Conte himself that he was not needed in the manager’s plans for this season and he spent much of August in his native Brazil.

“As I said before, I have no problem with Diego Costa,” the Italian said. “I said that we wish, for him, the best for the future. We want to thank him for the last season. But, I repeat, I have no problem with him.”

Meanwhile, Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard, who is yet to start in the Premier League this season after recovering from a broken ankle he suffered in June could feature for Chelsea in the game. Hazard came off the bench against Leicester, Arsenal and Stoke this month and Conte is keen for him to exert his influence on the Champions League.

“Last season Eden played a really important season, played very well and he was very important for us in winning the league,” said the Blues manager. “Last season, he showed in every game great talent, to be a really good player, a top player.”

“This competition is very important for him, but I think it’s important for the team. It brings you to another level.”

“I think he (Hazard) has all the possibilities to do this. He’s a really top player. Now he’s totally fit and in contention for Wednesday’s game. I think it’s the right moment.”

Benjamin Mendy: Manchester City defender facing ‘major setback’

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Defender Benjamin Mendy is facing a significant spell on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury, according to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

The French full-back is due to a visit to a knee specialist in Barcelona after suffering the injury against Crystal Palace in the Premier League last weekend .

“I think it is going to be a major setback,” said Guardiola after City’s Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, which Mendy was present for. “We are going to see finally what he has.”

While Mendy was the only out-and-out left back at the club, Guardiola insists he does have options for cover even if he is ruled out for a significant amount of time.

Asked how long he expected Mendy — a £52m signing from Monaco in the summer — to be out for, Guardiola added: “I don’t know.

“Tomorrow he’s travelling to Barcelona and we will see finally what he has. Our first impression is that it will it be a little long, longer than we expected. It is very frustrating for him first as a person but like happened last year with Ilkay Gundogan, I feel really sad for him. For the way we want to play, we will lose a lot, he is a unique player.”

Asked whether he would consider looking for a replacement left-back in January, Guardiola said: “We will see in January. We thought next summer about looking for another left-back, another replacement, but we will see what we do.”

“We have alternatives in our squad – Danilo, Fabian Delph, Fernandinho, can play there so we will see as we go along.”

Mendy will be on his way to meet Barcelona-based Ramon Cugat, a close friend of Guardiola, who treated City duo Vincent Kompany and Kevin de Bruyne last season.