Monthly Archives: September 2017

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.

Wolfsburg holds Bayern as dominant Dortmund stays top

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Defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich faltered in their title defense once more after a 2-2 home draw against Wolfsburg.

Bayern had themselves to blame as they squandered a two-goal advantage at the break on Friday in a disappointing 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena.

Striker Robert Lewandowski had opened the scoring with a penalty to get his 11th goal in just nine games this season, while Arjen Robben made it 2-0 with a deflected strike to put Bayern in a comfortable position to secure the game.

But their lead was halved with a terrible flap from backup goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, as Wolfsburg was allowed a lifeline into the game at the 56th minute thanks to the Bayern keeper fumbling Maxi Arnold’s 25-yard free-kick into the net.

Later, Wolfsburg definitely punished Bayern’s inability to finish their host of chances to seal the game as substitute Daniel Didavi scored against Bayern with a neat header in off the post with seven minutes remaining, thus sealing an unlikely draw as Bayern frittered away a two-goal Bundesliga lead for the first time since 2004.

Meanwhile Bayern’s fiercest rivals Borussia Dortmund continued their dominant form in the German top-flight with a 6-1 hammering over Borussia Monchengladbach.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his first goal on the stroke of half-time, before heading past goalkeeper Tobias Suppel for his second soon after, and subsequently completed his hat-trick from a tight angle to secure Dortmund their fifth win from six league games.

A brace from Maximilian Philipp and one by Julian Weigl completed the scoring, although Dortmund would rue that they could not keep out Lars Stindl, whose goal for Monchengladbach stopped Dortmund’s Yellow Wall from collecting a record sixth consecutive clean sheet in the Bundesliga.

Simon Mignolet saves Vardy penalty for Liverpool revenge

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Simon Mignolet helped Liverpool end a dry run of four games without a win by withholding the Leicester City offense and saving a Jamie Vardy penalty late on to help the Reds win 3-2 in the Premier League.

Liverpool, who were also coming off a 2-0 loss against Leicester that eliminated them from the League Cup altogether mid-week, responded with a brilliant offensive showing at the King Power stadium and exacting their revenge in the process.

Philippe Coutinho, who was missing in action for the Reds for most of the season’s opening matches, put on a brilliant showing by first crossing to Mohamed Salah for a header to open the scoring, and then himself scoring a brilliantly curled free-kick.

However, Leicester City was able to reduce the deficit before half-time when Shinji Okazaki poked home from close range just before the break following a scramble in the box.

Liverpool responded through a counter after halftime to make it 3-1 and seemingly secure the points, but the hosts were not to be denied and responded a minute later when Jamie Vardy headed into an empty net after Mignolet pushed Demarai Gray’s shot into his path.

Vardy then gave Liverpool more jitters as he earned a penalty when he was brought down by Mignolet, but the Belgian kept out the England striker’s spot-kick, which followed his usual tactic of going straight down the middle.

While his number and rate of saves in regular play is much more modest, Mignolet’s heroics also meant that he has saved seven of the 15 Premier League penalties he’s faced since joining the Reds in the 2013-14 season — more than any other keeper in the English top-flight.

The Reds then held on against a few more scares to finally earn three points after four consecutive winless games to move up to fifth in the Premier League, while Leicester remain just above the relegation zone with merely a win and a draw from their opening seven matches.