Monthly Archives: April 2018

PSG: Thomas Tuchel tops list of managers to replace Unai Emery

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Former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel is in prime position to become Paris Saint-Germain’s next manager after further meetings between his representatives and officials from the French champions.

Tuchel, 44, has been out of work since leaving Borussia Dortmund in May 2017, and could replace Unai Emery by the end of the season despite the Spaniard sealing his first Ligue 1 title at the weekend with a 7-1 thrashing of Monaco.

Meetings to finalise details on his prospective contract are scheduled for this week, with Emery linked with a return to Sevilla when he finally departs the Parc des Princes.

Tuchel has been a target for Bayern Munich as a replacement for the interim manager Jupp Heynckes but indicated he was not interested, with Bayern’s chief executive, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, telling German broadcasters ZDF on Monday that “he will almost certainly be going to PSG”.

PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi had denied that any agreement had been reached after his club sealed their Ligue 1 victory, but their comprehensive 5-2 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 under the Spaniard is believed to have convinced him of the need for change.

“If we had signed with someone, we would have announced it to you,” he told Canal+. “Today we have a coach who was on the pitch. We are very honest; we have a coach today who works with us, with a contract until the end of the season.

“Let’s be positive tonight, we’ve done a lot of positive things. We’re champions, it’s a wonderful thing, I thank everyone. And the season is not over yet, there is the cup to win. The Champions League is our big goal, but it’s not easy. We work hard, but the other clubs do it too. We are very proud today.”

Tuchel spent two years at Dortmund after five at Mainz and was widely admired for the job he did in replacing Jurgen Klopp at the Westfalenstadion. The team played attractive football and reached two cup finals, winning the second one, as well as being Bayern Munich’s main challengers in the league.

Man City: Sergio Aguero ‘out for a month’ after surgery

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Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is expected to be out of action for a month after undergoing a keyhole surgery on his knee.

The 29-year old has been troubled by the problem for the past five weeks and missed Saturday’s 3-1 win at Tottenham.

“Recovering from an arthroscopy on my knee,” Aguero wrote on Twitter. “Fully motivated to get back soon to the field.”

Nonetheless, it was expected Aguero — who has not started a game since City’s victory over Chelsea on 4 March — will be fit for Argentina’s World Cup campaign.

He did make cameo appearances when he returned to action as a late substitute in the derby defeat to Manchester United on 7 April, and again appeared as a substitute in the Champions League quarter-final second-leg loss to Liverpool three days later.

The knee problem subsequently ruled him out of the victory over Spurs at Wembley.

Speaking before that match, City boss Pep Guardiola said he was unsure when Aguero would be fit again.

“I don’t know if he will be ready for Swansea [on April 22]. Hopefully for the last games, if we need him, and especially for the World Cup.”

Manchester City wins Premier League after Watford stuns Man United

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Manchester City has won the Premier League title as Manchester United’s shock 1-0 home defeat by West Bromwich Albion confirmed their fierce rivals as champions.

United, who won 3-2 against City before their game against West Brom, are now 16 points behind Pep Guardiola’s side with only five games left to play.

It is City’s third title in seven seasons and a fifth top-flight crown — their first under the Spaniard in his second campaign in charge, after dominating the title race, scoring 93 goals and losing just twice.

This Premier League title is the 24th trophy of the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss’ managerial career, after the 47-year-old has previously won league titles in Spain and Germany, as well as two Champions Leagues with FC Barcelona.

City also set numerous Premier League records in the journey to this title victory including 18 consecutive wins, and have beaten every other side in the division this season at least once.

Their match at Everton also saw them retain 82.13% possession, the highest recorded in the Premier League, and broke passing records, completing over 900 against Chelsea.

They have only failed to score in a league match once this season and lead the stats in terms of possession, touches, passes, shots and goals.

In Europe however, City were knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday after their quarter-final defeat by Liverpool, and were beaten by League One side Wigan in the fifth round of the FA Cup in February, although they did win the Carabao Cup by beating Arsenal at Wembley.

“I am Gigi Buffon.” — Juve keeper stands by Michael Oliver comments

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Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon says that he stands by the comments he made about referee Michael Oliver after their dramatic Champions League quarter-final exit to Real Madrid.

The 40-year old was sent off for dissent after Oliver awarded Real an injury-time penalty, and later said the official had “a trash can for a heart” after Juve had come back from losing 3-0 at home to lead 3-0 at the Bernabeu in the second leg of the last-eight tie on Wednesday.

However, Oliver awarded the Spanish side a 93rd-minute penalty for Mehdi Benatia’s foul on Lucas Vazquez, which Cristiano Ronaldo scored to send Real through 4-3 on aggregate.

Buffon said after the game that it was a “dubious incident” and, speaking again on Saturday, he said he had been defending “my teammates and fans, even in a not very composed fashion”.

“The content remains and I stand by all of it,” the keeper said. “I’d say them all again – maybe with a different type of language.”

“You find a way to speak, right or wrong, that at times can seem excessive – but this is me, I am Gigi Buffon.”

He added that he still believed 33-year-old Oliver lacked experience.

“I’m sure Oliver will have a great career in future, but he’s too young to officiate a match like that. A referee with more experience would not have blown his whistle and decided not to become the protagonist of the match. He would have left it running, turned around and let the two teams fight it out in extra time. Let the pitch do the talking.”

Police are currently investigating threatening text messages sent to Oliver’s wife, Lucy, after she was abused on fans on social media.