Daily Archives: November 20, 2017

Bundesliga: Dortmund capitulate again as Bayern strides on top

Published by:

Borussia Dortmund’s slump continued as they lost to mid-table Stuttgart in the Bundesliga, while Bayern extended their unbeaten start under Jupp Heynckes to stride further in the German top-flight.

Peter Bosz’s side — who have won only one of their past eight games — were without star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after dropping their top scorer for disciplinary reasons.

They trailed in comical circumstances early on, as keeper Roman Burki miscontrolled Marc Bartra’s backpass into the path of Chadrac Akolo, who was able to tap the ball into an empty net.

Dortmund was able to bring the game level just before the break; with Maximilian Philipp slamming the rebound into the roof of the net after Andre Schurrle’s penalty was saved by Ron-Robert Zieler.

Stuttgart teenager Josip Brekalo replaced the injured Akolo at the break, and scored his first Bundesliga goal minutes later when he ran from his own half before drilling the ball through Burki’s legs.

Dortmund — who won six of their opening seven Bundesliga games — have not won in the five since then and are nine points behind leaders Bayern Munich, who won easily against neighbours Augsburg.

Arturo Vidal opened the scoring for Bayern from close range and then set up Robert Lewandowski’s opening goal.

Lewandowski then got his second — his 13th goal in as many league games this season — from Joshua Kimmich’s cross, and moved Bayern six points above second-placed RB Leipzig, who were forced to a 2-2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen.

Juventus suffer shock defeat at Sampdoria after resting Buffon

Published by:

Juventus fell to a surprise 3-2 defeat at Sampdoria on Sunday while Internazionale after 13 matches in Serie A after losing against Sassuolo in stoppage time.

Juventus, the defending Serie A champions were resting key players in Andrea Barzagli and Gianluigi Buffon, who were both allowed time to rest from the disappointment of Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup on the bench.

The Turin team also had great chances early on with Gonzalo Higuain having a shot deflected wide and Mario Mandzukic and Juan Cuadrado both forcing saves following Higuain passes.

Duvan Zapata, Lucas Torreira and Gian Marco Ferrari put Sampdoria 3-0 up in the second half before Juventus threatened with an astonishing stoppage-time comeback with a penalty from Higuain and a strike from Paulo Dybala.

Zapata’s opener came after a Federico Bernardeschi mistake, with Torreira then firing home their second from 18 yards and Ferrari tapping into an empty net.

Juve, who take on FC Barcelona in the Champions League this week, are now four points behind leaders Napoli, who beat AC Milan 2-1 on Saturday. Inter Milan was able to leapfrog them with a solid 2-0 win over Atalanta later on Sunday.

Sampdoria, meanwhile, moved five points behind Juventus with a game in hand on most other teams.

Inter Captain Mauro Icardi opened the scoring six minutes into the second half at the San Siro when he powerfully met Antonio Candreva’s right-wing free kick.

Icardi went on to claim his 13th goal of the season nine minutes later with another header, stooping to nod Danilo D’Ambrosio’s in-swinging centre into the bottom left corner as Inter made it 13 games without defeat this season.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: long-term injury was ‘more severe than revealed’

Published by:

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed that the career threatening injury he sustained in April was more than the “significant knee ligament damage” that had been revealed.

Ibrahimovic, 36 made his comeback in Manchester United’s 4-1 Premier League win against Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Saturday after 77 minutes as a replacement for Anthony Martial.

It was his first action since sustaining the injury on 20 April playing against Anderlecht in the Europa League, and his re-appearance was welcomed with a rousing reception by the home hands.

“It was an amazing reaction from fans but I felt it from day one,” the former Swedish international said. “From the first step in the warm-up, with people singing and cheering for you, it’s what keeps you going. This was not a one-man work, it was everyone’s and thanks to them that I am back on field and can play.”

While his injury was considered grave enough for United to consider foregoing an extension of his contract with the club, Zlatan revealed that it was actually more dire than previously announced.

“If people knew the real injury, they would be in shock that I was even playing,” he added. “It was more than the knee but I will keep it personal – that’s why I choose not to talk of it.”

“In my recovery I have not rushed anything; I have been out for six and half months. I have been following protocol and my schedule day by day. The only secret has been working hard. Those close to me know what I have been doing. I was working five, six hours a day.”

“When it happened I said giving up was not an option. My only focus was on coming back and coming back better. I know it’s my head playing, not my knee; my knee has to follow. With my experience and career I know what I have to do but I feel good. I am very proud of the moment to play again and for everyone around me because I wouldn’t have done it alone. Thanks to the supporters for keeping me motivated, the coach who’s trusted me, the club that believes in me and my family obviously.”