Monthly Archives: October 2017

Arsenal could sell Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in January — Wenger

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Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has said that the Gunners might be forced to sell both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in January if there were no significant breakthrough in their contract talks.

The pair are in the final year of their contracts with Arsenal, and although Wenger remains hopeful that negotiations with his two biggest players will reach a successful conclusion, the Frenchman had also opened the door to releasing the players for a hefty sum if the situation drags on.

“Once you are in our kind of situation we have envisaged every kind of solution, yes,” he said. “It’s possible.”

“I always said the fact that we didn’t find an agreement last year doesn’t mean the player will necessarily leave. Both players look happy here and overall I hope the situation can be turned around. At the moment, we are not close enough to announce anything.” – Cara Daftar Sbobet

Wenger also added that his club had not set a deadline to conclude a deal but has been encouraged after learning that Ozil, who is after a massive pay rise before committing himself to Arsenal, wants to stay in the Premier League.

On the other hand, Wenger does not believe that Chile’s absence from the World Cup in the coming summer would prompt a drop in Sanchez’s form for Arsenal.

“He expected to go. Certainly it is a big disappointment for him,” Wenger said. “(But) I have no doubt he wants to perform. He never goes on the football pitch to lose a football game. Sánchez is a winner. You want your players to be in a positive mind and to have positive experiences. To go to the World Cup is the target of every single player who plays football.”

Sanchez has flown back to London on Thursday, but Wenger is apprehensive that he will not be ready to start against Watford after a gruelling match against Brazil.

“I watched the game, what a physical game it was,” the Arsenal coach added. “The number of fouls … He played against Dani Alves, that was a real battle, believe me. It’s worse to watch.”

USA crash out of World Cup qualifiers after defeat to Trinidad & Tobago

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The US will not be going to the World Cup next summer after a shock 2-1 defeat to lowly Trinidad & Tobago saw them finish fifth in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table.

While the Americans only have themselves to blame for a catastrophic performance, it also took an unlikely combination of results for the US to miss out on the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986.

“We didn’t qualify for the World Cup,” USA national coach Bruce Arena said after the game. “That was my job. To get the team qualified for the World Cup.”

“This game in my view was perfectly positioned for the US team and we failed on the day. We have no excuses. We failed today. We should have walked off this field with at least a point.” – Cara Daftar Sbobet

After going behind to the Hexagonal group’s bottom team and were unable to find an equaliser, they needed help from others in the group.

They did not get it, as Mexico lost 3-2 to Honduras, while a late goal from Panama to beat Costa Rica 2-1 pushed the US out of fourth place, which would have sent them into a two-legged playoff with Australia next month.

The US beat Panama 4-0 just last Friday but, despite playing a Trinidad & Tobago side with just three points from nine games before kick-off, never looked close to securing a place in Russia.

Mexico and Costa Rica had already qualified – Mexico as group winners – while Panama take the third automatic spot courtesy of their 87th-minute winner. In the playoff for the right to join them in Russia, Honduras will face Australia, whose coach, Ange Postecoglou, will reportedly step down after the playoff games.

Portugal secures place at Russian World Cup as Netherlands crash out

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Portugal has secured a place in the Russia World Cup next summer with a solid 2-0 win over Switzerland.

Swiss defender Johan Djourou put the ball into his own net four minutes before half-time and Andre Silva sealed the victory in the 57th minute as Portugal pulled level on 27 points with Switzerland and won Group B on goal difference.

While Switzerland could have secured an automatic berth with just a draw after leading the group for the past seven games, they had to concede their spot in Group B of the UEFA World Cup qualifiers to Portugal thanks to a vast goal difference. – Cara Daftar Sbobet

Portugal’s Euro 2016 final opponents France were also in the World Cup finals following a 2-1 win over Belarus in Group A, which also secured the first place automatic qualification position.

Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring and then set up Olivier Giroud before the break while Belarus reduced the deficit on the stroke of half-time through Anton Saroka. The result put France, who will take part in their sixth consecutive World Cup, on 23 points after 10 games, four ahead of second-placed Sweden.

Meanwhile, although the Netherlands themselves had handed the Swedes a 2-0 beating, they fell short of the seven-goal margin required to replace their opponents in the play-offs.

Winger Arjen Robben, who announced his international retirement after the match, scored twice in the first half but it was not enough to prevent Sweden reaching the playoffs at the expense of the Dutch.

The two countries finished level on 19 points, behind Group A winners France, but Sweden secured the playoff berth by finishing second on goal difference.

The home side started brightly, with Robben converting a 16th-minute penalty and then hammering in a superb left-footed shot five minutes before half-time to raise the hopes of the home fans. The Dutch, however, lacked the necessary creativity as Sweden shut up shop in the second half and the match fizzled out.

UEFA qualified teams:

Russia (hosts), Belgium, Germany, England, Spain, Poland, Serbia, Iceland, France, Portugal


Seeded: Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Denmark


Northern Ireland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Greece

Messi hat-trick gets Argentina through to World Cup finals

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Lionel Messi scored a superb hat-trick as Argentina rallied to win away in Ecuador and qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Los Albiceleste had began the match in sixth position and in danger of not qualifying for a World Cup for the first time since 1970, and made a terrible start in the high-altitude location of Quito and the hosts went ahead after 38 seconds through Romario Ibarra’s headed goal — the quickest goal Argentina had ever conceded in a World Cup qualifier.

However, Argentina, World Cup runners-up in Brazil in 2014, fought back with Messi in stunning form as the Barcelona forward equalised after 12 minutes, playing a quick 1-2 with winger Angel di Maria before stabbing home.

His second goal quickly came eight minutes later with a powerful strike from the edge of the area before a fine solo goal in the second half sealed the victory. – Cara Daftar Sbobet

Argentina, who had numerous low points in their qualification campaign in a 2-0 loss to Bolivia, could also rejoice in seeing Chile — the nation that twice denied them the Copa America in the last four years — were eliminated from their own campaign altogether.

Chile, who were aiming to qualify for their third successive World Cup after reaching the last 16 in 2010 and 2014, began the final round of matches in third place that guarantees automatic qualification, but faced a gargantuan test in already-qualified Brazil as their opponents.

They fell behind to two Brazil goals in three second-half minutes from Paulinho and Gabriel Jesus, and with Peru scoring a late equaliser against Colombia, Chile needed to score to be in the play-offs.

In injury-time, Chile attacked with all of their players, including goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, in the Brazil half, only for the attack to break down, Brazil launched the ball forward and Jesus walked the ball into the net for his second with Manchester City team-mate Bravo stranded to confirm Chile’s elimination.