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Barca – Benfica: Xavi’s battle to the death


SpainBarca is second in Group E Champions League. They can win a place in the 1/8 round, but also face disaster if they lose to Benfica.

*Barca – Benfica: 3 a.m. Wednesday, November 24, Hanoi time.

Right in the first match leading Barca in the Champions League, Xavi was faced with a must-win situation despite being two points ahead of Benfica. The result of drawing or losing to Benfica will put Barca at high risk of being eliminated from the group stage, because they will have to meet Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in the final round. Xavi’s army is difficult to earn points from Bayern at the moment, while Benfica has a great chance to get three more points when playing at home against Dynamo Kyiv.

Barca lost to Benfica 0-3 when as a guest in Lisbon on September 29, but the Camp Nou team has changed since then. The arrival of Xavi in ​​place of Ronald Koeman brought a new atmosphere in Barca. That is partly reflected in the victory against Espanyol on November 21. Teams tend to play more excitedly when changing coaches, and Barca can take advantage of that to win positive results against Benfica.

Xavi faced a big challenge in the second match to lead Barca. Photo: Reuters

Benfica has also changed since thrashing Barca at Da Luz. They won only two of the next seven games, including two in a row inevitable defeat to Bayern. Jorge Jesus’ teachers and students were able to regain their form with the last two victories in Primeira Liga, as a springboard to march to Barcelona.

The last time Barca was eliminated in the Champions League group stage was the 2000-2001 season, which is 21 years ago. In the first season without Lionel Messi after more than 15 years, Barca is in danger of ending the circuit to pass the group stage. The host’s strength is still superior to Benfica, but football is still a collective game and there is no guarantee that Xavi will win the second match with Barca.

Xavi is even more difficult when missing players like Martin Braithwaite, Pedri, Ansu Fati or Ousmane Dembele because of injury. He denied rumors that Sergio Aguero had to retire due to heart disease, but the Argentine striker has not yet been able to return to play. In the Catalonia derby, Nico Gonzalez, Oscar Mingueza and Sergio Busquets also have fitness problems and are not sure to play against Benfica.

On his debut, Xavi introduced 17-year-old striker Ilias Akhomach. But given the importance of the Champions League, he may return to using veterans like Philippe Coutinho. Defender Sergino Dest also returned to normal training, along with midfielder Ronald Araujo.

Benfica’s team situation is better, when Valentino Lazaro and Andre Almeida recover from injuries. Pillars like Joao Mario, Roman Yaremchuk and Pizzi could also return to the main lineup. Coach Jesus only lacks midfielder Nemanja Radonjic and midfielder Lucas Verissimo.

Xavi will not want to have to find a place to continue by defeating Bayern, so he will have to calculate to win Benfica at all costs. This is also a way for Barca to collect debt from the defeat in the match at the end of September.

Hoang An

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Bonucci: ‘Ronaldo left, Juventus played more collectively’


RussiaAccording to center-back Leonardo Bonucci, the 1-0 victory at Zenit Stadium on October 20 shows that Juventus has regained its spirit and built a collective play.

“It was a difficult game, especially when Zenit was deep in defense every time he lost the ball. Every victory after a difficult start is important. Juventus will have another important game – against Inter on Sunday, and we’ll see that. I need to stay that way,” Bonucci told Sky Sports Italy after the match in Saint Petersburg.

Bonucci in a situation to save striker Zenit at Krestovsky field on October 20. Photo: EPA

When asked if Juventus have built up a more collective style of play than in previous seasons, the Euro 2021 champions agreed. He also believes that Ronaldo’s departure contributed to that change. Bonucci said: “It’s true. Over the past seasons, Juventus has lost its character. We play with Ronaldo, a great champion, and want him to play well. Perhaps, we have lost the decision. “He was focused on enduring each game, thinking that Ronaldo would solve everything. Coach Max Allegri did a good job to bring spirit and humility back to Juventus.”

Juventus experienced a difficult match at Krestovsky Stadium. They did not create an overwhelming game, even sometimes being overwhelmed by the host in both halves, but still left with three points. Kulusevski played the hero of Juventus with a dangerous header to drive the ball to the top corner of the far post in the 86th minute.

Zenit 0-1 Juventus

This result helps Juventus maintain a winning streak after the first three rounds of the Champions League group stage. Before defeating Zenit, Juventus beat Malmo 3-0 and Chelsea 1-0. This is the first time “Old Lady” has won the opening three matches of the Champions League since the 2018-2019 season, also under Allegri.

Allegri was pleased with the result, emphasizing that this victory will add excitement to Juventus before the great battle with Inter in the 9th round of Serie A on October 24. He said: “The most important is the three points. It is not easy when Zenit actively defends. We also had many incorrect decisions in the opponent’s half. The players played slowly, and many times lost the ball. and let the opponent counterattack. Juventus also did not control the game well after going ahead. We played badly but still won. It was the perfect combination for Juventus to look forward to the weekend.”

Kulusevski boasts his first Champions League goal. “I will never forget this goal. It was the first goal in the Champions League, the first goal of this season, and it came from a header. I saw the ball go to the far corner, and was afraid to go out. . This is an important victory for Juventus, and an important goal for me personally. I come on the pitch and try to make the difference. I didn’t play well, but I was in the right place at the right time.” , Kulusevski said to Juventus TV.

Hong Duy synthetic

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Neymar: ‘Fate set me up to irritate Kimmich’s eyes’


Striker Neymar decided not to intentionally tease Bayern midfielder Joshua Kimmich when he and his teammate Paredes congratulate PSG into the Champions League semi-finals.

“It was simply that I stood near Leandro Paredes and shared the joy with him. Perhaps fate had arranged Kimmich to stand near me at that time,” Neymar said. TNT Sports on April 14, after PSG brought down Bayern.

Immediately after the quarter-final second leg of the Champions League at the Parc des Princes ended, Neymar jumped in front of Kimmich. The Brazilian star screamed in delight and then embraced Paredes, and this made Kimmich uncomfortable. The television lens captured the moment, and it was argued that Neymar was deliberately so fervent to poke Kimmich – who before the game announced that Bayern were stronger and would overtake PSG to reach the semi-finals.

However, Neymar asserted that he was naturally excited to share Paredes. The PSG forward added: “It is true that Kimmich said that Bayern are the stronger team, and will win. He is confident that Bayern will reach the semi-finals. But I did not intentionally provoke Kimmich. ridiculous”.

Kimmich is said to be upset when he witnessed two colleagues excitedly celebrating PSG's victory.

Kimmich is said to be upset when he witnessed two colleagues excitedly celebrating PSG’s victory.

The fact that PSG reached the final last season and won a ticket to the semi-finals this year seems to have convinced Neymar to give up his intention to leave. After the match with Bayern, the Brazilian striker hinted that he was about to sign a new contract, replacing the old one that would expire in June 2022. He said: “Renewal with PSG is not a problem anymore. At PSG, I feel very comfortable like at home. I feel happier than before.”

PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi is confident that Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe – the two stars out of contract in 2022 – will not leave PSG. “We have invested a lot to win the Champions League and all the titles we can. Neymar and Mbappe have no reason to go. PSG can really win every tournament. We own one. quality team. But things are not over yet, we will continue to work and be very calm. We have faith, and the smallest details also make a difference, “said Al-Khelaifi. above RMC Sport.

In the semifinals of the Champions League, PSG will meet the winner of the Dortmund – Man City pair. In the first leg at Etihad home field, Man City won 2-1. Neymar and his teammates did not have time to rest before the match against Saint-Étienne in Ligue 1 on April 18. PSG is currently second with 66 points, three points behind top team Lille, while the season has six rounds left.

Hong Duy synthetic

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Messi scored 17 consecutive years in the Champions League


Thanks to the opening goal against PSG on February 16, Lionel Messi scored a goal in the Champions League for 17 consecutive years, equal to Raul Gonzalez.

Lionel Messi scored his first Champions League goal on November 2, 2005, against Panathinaikos. Since then until now, every year the Argentine superstar has a goal in the prestigious club playground. Historically, only Raul Gonzalez has done the same, with a scoring record between 1995 and 2011.

Messi is in danger of being eliminated for the first time in the Champions League round of 16, since 2007. Photo: Goal.

The successful penalty against PSG on February 16 also helped Messi create a milestone of 20 or more goals in 13 consecutive seasons. This season, Messi has four goals in five Champions League matches, one in the King’s Cup and 15 in La Liga.

Messi’s scoring record in the 1/8 Champions League round is also raised to 28 goals – another record of the tournament. Cristiano Ronaldo chased behind with 25 goals.

Last week, Messi equalized Xavi Hernandez’s record 505 La Liga matches for Barca. On all fronts, he has 760 appearances for the home team at Camp Nou, just seven matches behind Xavi’s record.

Achieved many memorable milestones in the match against PSG, but Messi could not help Barca escape. After his opener in the 27th minute, the visitors only needed five minutes to equalize thanks to Kylian Mbappe. The young French star completed a hat-trick in the second half, helping PSG win 4-1 at the Camp Nou. This result almost closed the door to continue Messi and his teammates in the Champions League this season.

*Fixture – Champions League results

Vy Anh (follow Goal)

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Pirlo: ‘Juventus defeated Barca thanks to tactics’


Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said that his reasonable tactics and ability to take advantage of the opportunity helped his team win 3-0 in the champions League on December 8.

“We did not do something in the Turin derby over the weekend. When you enter with such focus, attention and determination, the quality of the team is shown,” Pirlo told. Sky Sports Italy.

Pirlo was pleased when the players followed the set strategy well. Image: AP.

The double on Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty spot and Weston McKennie’s goal helped Juventus topple the Camp Nou fortress. This victory helped the Italian champion pay the 0-2 loss in the first leg and won the top of Group G.

“Our strategy has worked well and the players have made good use of the chances,” added Pirlo.

The 41-year-old coach said that the arrangement of three midfielders in the middle of the pitch helped Juventus overwhelm Barca. “We prepare for this game with the aim of dominating the midfield. Our three will overwhelm their two. This allows midfielders like McKennie to move up. know Barca will have difficulty in preventing the Juventus midfielders to fall straight into the middle “.

This match is expected in part as it sees the first ever confrontation between Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in two years, seven months and two days. However, while the Barca star was silent, Ronaldo impressed with two goals. Not only contributing in the attack, the Portuguese striker also showed determination in the clinging phase and blocked the penalty area with Messi at the end of the game.

“Ronaldo has a good drive in this match, against his opponents. When you make up your mind, everything becomes simple. There are many games in a season and games like this are the occasion. for you to effectively self-encourage. But we must not forget our main goal in Serie A. Therefore, Juventus needs to show focus and commitment when returning to the domestic league, “said Pirlo. .

Duy Doan (according to the Sky Sports Italy)

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Chelsea drew at the end of the group stage


Frank Lampard’s teachers and students dropped points for the second time when Krasnodar held 1-1 on the evening of December 8.

*Goals: Jorginho 28 ‘(penalty kick) – Cabella 24’.

Chelsea are unbeaten in the Champions League group stage 2020-2021. Image: Reuters.

Chelsea were most secure in Group E after beating Sevilla 4-0 in the previous match. Therefore, Lampard gave the main kick opportunity to young players like Tino Anjorin or Billy Gilmour. In goal, Kepa started his first match since October 17. In addition to conceding, Wanderson’s clearance is the only time the goalkeeper has to work.

Gilmour played impressively as a bridge between midfield and attacking players like Tammy Abraham or Kai Havertz. In the minutes that Chelsea dominated at the beginning of the game, the 19-year-old midfielder had a tight shot from afar but hit Abraham and did not pose a danger.

Squad

Chelsea: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rüdiger, Christensen, Emerson; Gilmour, Jorginho, Kovacic; Anjorin, Abraham, Havertz

Gorodov; Smolnikov, Martynovich, Kaio, Ramirez; Olsson, Vilhena, Wanderson, Claesson, Cabella; Berg

*Continue to update

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Berbatov: ‘Being eliminated from the group stage does not fail with Man Utd’


Believe in Man Utd’s ability to continue, but former striker Dimitar Berbatov is not surprised if the old team lost to Leipzig in the final round of Group H Champions League.

* Leipzig – Man Utd: 3am Wednesday 9/12, Hanoi time

Berbatov told Betfair 7/12: “Seeing Man Utd perform this season, I do not think their elimination from the Champions League group stage can be considered a failure. Of course they will be disappointed if they are eliminated. Don’t get me wrong. If Man Utd reached the final last season and this season is eliminated from the group stage, it will be a failure.They will only be disappointed because they hold their self-determination but cannot continue. hey, they’ll definitely be scared and can’t feel reassured. “

Man Utd (red shirt) won Leipzig 5-0 at Old Trafford, but it was difficult to repeat the result in the Red Bull Arena match. Image: Reuters

Last season, Man Utd played from the group stage of the Europa League to the semi-finals, before losing to Sevilla. They return to the Champions League this season, and take the lead before the final series. But, Ole Solskjaer teachers and students risk having to play in the Europa League again if they lose to Leipzig, and PSG earn points from Istanbul Basaksehir.

“Certainly Solskjaer is under pressure,” added Berbatov. “If eliminated in the Champions League, Man Utd must go to the Europa League. The future of Solskjaer depends on the performance in Europe, as well as the Premier League. Now Man Utd’s performance is up and down, as well as the last few seasons. But I believe Man Utd will win against Leipzig to continue.

Man Utd won Leipzig 5-0 at Old Trafford on October 28, but this time they had to be a guest at the Red Bull Arena. Berbatov said that the rematch will not be easy for the old team. “I’m a bit worried because Leipzig has the power, no one can deny that. Don’t let their 0-5 defeat in the first leg be deceived, Leipzig will make it difficult for Man Utd. Leipzig will do everything to Going forward, with coaches and talented players. Looking at Man Utd’s performance this season, I think they need to play as best they can if they want to get past the group stage.

Champions League schedule this week.

Champions League schedule this week.

Hoang An (according to the Goal)

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Lewandowski: ‘Too soon to cancel the Golden Ball 2020’


Robert Lewandowski criticized his decision not to award football world’s highest individual award of the year.

“Someone has to make a decision, but maybe they decide too soon about not awarding the Ballon d’Or, because other awards are still given as usual. Many players, coaches or journalists understand 2019- 2020 is my best season, ”said the Bayern striker Daily Mail (UK) on December 4.

Lewandowski was not satisfied when the organizers decided not to award the Golden Ball 2020. Photo: DFL

Lewandowski is the number one candidate for the Golden Ball 2020, both before and after France Football magazine – the organizer of the vote – decided not to give this prize. Last season, the Polish striker scored 55 goals in 47 games, helping Bayern win the treble. He personally won the top scorer, with 34 goals in the Bundesliga, 6 goals in the German National Cup and 15 goals in the Champions League.

“What Bayern did last season was really great, and I’m glad everyone has seen it. The individual awards are therefore a great recognition. But I know every individual title belongs.” A team without strikers will have difficulty, but a striker without teammates can not do anything, “he added.

Like every other big team in Europe, Bayern have a lot of difficulties this season when the schedule is dense. The short preparation time before the 2019-2020 season also significantly affects the fitness of the players. But Lewandowski said it was a common problem, and it was his and his colleagues’ job to keep playing.

“This season will be very different from last season. Too many games are going on, and the European Cup is kicking all the time, while the time to prepare is too short,” he said. “It is not clear what our bodies will be in March 2021. Will we be ready for the next game? We are professional players and have to adapt.”

Kim Hoa (according to the Goal)

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Man City defender saved Porto


Man City midfielder Ruben Dias joined the attack and accidentally helped home Porto break the ball on the line in a 0-0 Champions League draw on November 1.

The irony of Dias is the most delicious opportunity Man City created in the fifth round of Group G Champions League match yesterday. 70 minutes, the ball reached the Portuguese midfielder after Sterling’s shot. But when in front of it was an empty goal and the distance to the goal line was less than half a meter, Dias, instead of cushioning the ball into the table, threw the ball back, saving Porto from a visible goal.

Dias in a situation of hooking the ball like saving Porto in the 70th minute of the Dragao match on November 1. Screenshots

“It must be too boring in the defense of Man City, so he decided to join the defense for Porto,” one Twitter user commented in a reply to City’s post-match tweet announcing that the team had won. right to continue with first place in Group G.

Dias’s very insensitive kick is no different from a beautiful close-range breaker. And that ungainly broken phase also represents Man City’s bad finish in this match. On the Dragao field, Guardiola’s students completely dominated the game and continuously finished the opponent’s goal, but could not score even one goal, must draw 0-0.

In the first half, Pep Guardiola’s students held many balls but did not create enough pressure, so only finished six times, one hit the goal. In the second half, Man City attacked violently, finished 12 times, hit the goal five times, but still could not make a mutation.

Sterling twice spoiled eating. 58 minutes, after speeding past a Porto defender, the English striker shot straight into goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin. By the 70th minute, Sterling was ungainly when he stepped out from a distance of less than five meters, but the ball passed Marchesin’s head and cut the goal, leading to Dias “save” Porto.

Ferran Torres in a bad situation when facing goalkeeper Marchesin.  Finishing is the biggest problem for Man City at Dragao on November 1.  Photo: AP

Ferran Torres in a bad situation facing goalkeeper Marchesin. Finishing is the biggest problem of Man City at Dragao on November 1. Image: AP

Midfielder Eric Garcia, who paired with Dias, also had the opportunity to finish his goal in the 80th minute, but continued to fail to win Marchesin. Minutes later, in turn Bernardo Silva, Torres or Sterling tried their luck, but all did not bring about results. Alternate striker Gabriel Jesus put the ball in Porto 81 minutes, VAR did not recognize the goal that his builder Silva was offside.

Man City’s attack was ungainly, but Porto’s goalkeeper also played out. In the whole match, Marchesin saved five times, contributing greatly to helping the home team get a point in the evening when they were completely outclassed by the outstanding opponent in all aspects. Porto this match only held the ball 31% and only twice finished.

But the 0-0 draw results in joy for both the owner and the guest. Porto enough points to go ahead one game, Man City is sure to finish at first place. Coach Guardiola is also pleased to keep many pillars, in which two creative players De Bruyne and Mahrez are completely rested in this match. Man City can also wholeheartedly focus on the upcoming stressful phase in the Premier League, without bothering about the final match, taking on Marseille on December 10.

Guardiola was frustrated when his students squandered too many opportunities.  Photo: AP

Guardiola was frustrated when his students squandered too many opportunities. Image: AP

What bothered Guardiola, perhaps, was just the end. This is a big limitation for Man City this season, when his strikers also miss many times to eat in the Premier League. To conquer the set goals like the Premier League or the Champions League, the Spaniard needs to soon adjust the sights for his strikers.

Squad:

Man City: Ederson – Cancelo, Dias, Garcia, Zinchenko – Rodri, Fernandinho, Foden – Bernardo, Torres (Jesus 73), Sterling

Subs not used: Steffen, Carson, Walker, Stones, Ake, Gundogan, Laporte, De Bruyne, Mendy, Mahrez, Doyle

Porto: Marchesín – Manafá (Nanu 73), Mbemba, Sarr, Monteiro – Sanusi, Corona (Diaz 62), Uribe, Oliveira – Otávio (Vieira 87), Marega (Evanilson 73)

Subs not used: Taremi, Nakajima, Marais Ramos, Silva Baró, Neto Lopes, Felipe Anderson, Martínez, Meireles Costa

Kim Hoa

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Solskjaer calls students to take revenge on Basaksehir


Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes that Man Utd can only pass the Champions League group stage if he wins Istanbul Basaksehir on the evening of November 24.

* Man Utd – Basaksehir: 3am Wednesday, November 25, Hanoi time.

“Man Utd needs at least 10 points, even 12 points to continue,” coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said at a press conference on November 23. “Of course we have to try to beat Basaksehir with a good performance. Man Utd is going through a tight schedule period, so it’s not easy to play well. Failure at Basaksehir last round was one. Big disappointment. I hope the team will win to forget about that sad result.

Coach Solskjaer’s teachers and students risk losing the top spot of Group H if they do not win against Basaksehir. Image: Sports Mail

Man Utd lost 1-2 at Basaksehir on November 5. It was a match where “Red Devils” were led 0-2 and only equaled one goal thanks to Anthony Martial. This defeat caused Man Utd to be close to the first place by Leipzig with the same six points. Coach Solskjaer’s army is only three points ahead of PSG and Basaksehir. The Department of Group H is becoming unpredictable as the teams enter the second leg.

“This is an important moment in the group stage,” Solskjaer stressed. “A poor result right now can cost us a lot. I believe the players know this. They need to show their best performance in the next game.” Most likely, Solskjaer will welcome the return of Paul Pogba, after the French star was absent in the win over West Brom on the weekend due to an ankle injury.

Man Utd is still absent from Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones because of a long-term injury. The Norwegian military leader does not rule out the possibility of allowing Dean Henderson to take over for David De Gea. In the match at Basaksehir, Henderson was also the main catcher but could not help the English team keep a clean sheet.

Graphics: Ta Lu

Graphics: Ta Lu

Nhan Dat (According to Sports Mail)

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