Daily Archives: April 13, 2018

Roma president James Pallotta has no regrets over jump into fountain

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Roma owner James Pallotta was in his hotel room early on Wednesday morning amd reflecting on his team’s sensational Champions League victory over Barcelona and the celebrations that followed.

But two hours later, the phone duly rang and the 60-year-old American was told to pay 450 euros for jumping in the Piazza del Popolo fountain.

He agreed, apologised to the Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, and donated 230,000 euros towards the restoration of the famous fountain outside the Pantheon.

“I don’t think you’re supposed to jump in the fountains any more,” he mused to himself. “I’ll probably get a phone call and a fine.”

It’s most certainly one way to celebrate beating the likes of FC Barcelona 3-0 at home to reach the Champions League semi-finals, But does Pallotta regret it?

“There was no point where I thought I shouldn’t have done it,” he said. “I have a history of going one step too far, going all the way back to college, so it didn’t faze me at all.”

“I thought, ‘why not start a thing called fix a fountain?” If you jump in one you have to buy or fix one.”

Europa League: Arsenal holds out at Moscow with second-half brace

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Arsenal reached the semi-finals of the Europa League with a 6-3 aggregate win over CSKA Moscow, after a 2-2 draw in Russia where they weathered a fightback from the Russian team.

Arsene Wenger saw his team trail 2-0 and being put under pressure, before Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey scored one goal apiece in the second-half to stave off any danger.

The hosts led through Fedor Chalov and Kirill Nababkin, and almost drew level on aggregate and leading on away goals but Gunners keeper Petr Cech saved Aleksandr Golovin’s free-kick while Sergei Ignashevich shot narrowly wide.

Arsenal did not have an effort on target in the first 70 minutes, and Laurent Koscielny wasted a glorious chance before Welbeck struck.

Aaron Ramsey’s goal in injury time made certain of their progress into the last four alongside Atletico Madrid, Marseille and RB Salzburg.

CSKA Moscow would have been dreaming of an upset when Chalov reacted before Shkodran Mustafi to score the opener after Cech saved Nabakin’s header. Cech also made a mistake when he could only parry Golovin’s strike from 25 yards and Nababkin reacted first to double the hosts’ lead.

“Maybe we were surprised by the intensity at the start,” Wenger said. “They scored the second, had a chance for the third. It was a good response from us after the break.”

“You could see in Europe a lot of turnovers. We need to be focused. Let’s prepare well for the next round and see who we get.”

Last minute Ronaldo penalty sends Real Madrid to semi-finals

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s last-minute penalty sends defending Real Madrid through to the Champions League semi-finals after his vital goal held off a stunning Juventus comeback (3-1, 4-3 on aggregate).

The Portuguese’s coolly taken 97th-minute spot-kick into the top corner came after Medhi Benatia brought down Lucas Vazquez in the box, meaning that he has now scored 10 Champions League goals against Juventus — the most by one player against a one opponent in the competition.

Juventus captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, in what might be his last Champions League appearance, was sent off for dissent by referee Michael Oliver after the spot-kick.

His first Champions League red card was also Juventus’ sixth in the competition against Real Madrid — more than any team has had against another opponent in the competition.

It was possibly the veteran’s last game in Europe, which drew comparisons with Real boss Zinedine Zidane when his France playing career ended with a sending off at the 2006 World Cup final for a headbutt on Italy defender Marco Materazzi.

Real, Champions League winners in three of the past four seasons, came into the second leg leading 3-0, helped by Ronaldo’s stunning bicycle kick.

However, Serie A leaders got off to a perfect start when Mario Mandzukic headed in from Sami Khedira’s cross after just seventy-six seconds and did it again eight-minutes before half-time.

Already one-goal away from equalling Real’s lead, Blaise Matuidi pounced to capitalise on Keylor Navas’ fumble to level the tie on aggregate before the dramatic ending.

Real Madrid will now join Liverpool, Roma and Bayern Munich in the last-four draw, which takes place in Nyon on Friday.