FA Cup and Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend

VAR inconsistency in the FA Cup, Nuno Esprito Santos stock continues to rise, and James Maddison shows his class 1) Barkley gets the Goodison pariah treatment Ross Barkley would have known what kind of reception awaited him at Goodison Park: the type rained down on previous Everton escapees such as Wayne Rooney and Joleon Lescott. Goodison might not be much longer for this world, with the latest suggestion being a new stadium for 2023, but for now it retains oldfashioned menace to those who have transgressed the Evertonian code. Barkleys crime among the faithful is to have left Goodison on a cut-price transfer to Chelsea in the January transfer window of last year after running down his contract. As he …

Liverpool sees off Bayern Munich as Messi inspires Barcelona

(CNN)As the political uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future relationship with Europe shows no sign of reaching a resolution, Liverpool, like all three of its Premier League rivals, just can’t get enough of the continent’s most prestigious tournament. Liverpool, along with Tottenham, Manchester United and Manchester City, will all compete in the last eight of the competition — coincidentally four teams whose cities all voted to remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Zinedine Zidane responds to the call to save Real Madrid from darkness | Sid Lowe

With infighting rife, the man who brought Madrid such riches in Europe has made a remarkable return to the Bernabu Darkness descended on Real Madrid, the metaphor visiting them on a Sunday night in Valladolid, light not let in until the following evening when he returned. The week after they lost it all, the man returned who won it all. Zinedine Zidane is back. Less than a year since he walked out, insisting that this was a see you later not a goodbye, he has walked back in again. Just how different the place is, just how bad it had got in his absence, was shown by seven days in which it all slipped through their fingers. Shown too, by …

Real Madrid wins first game of Zinedine Zidane’s second spell

(CNN)Zinedine Zidane began his second spell in charge of Real Madrid with victory after Isco and Gareth Bale scored in a 2-0 win against Celta Vigo Saturday. “The sensations are good,” Zidane was quoted as saying by London’s Evening Standard. “We went in search of the win and we got it. We didn’t start well, but we had to be patient. We improved at the end of the first half and in the second. I’m happy.” Real is third in the La Liga table, two points behind Atletico Madrid and nine behind leader Barcelona. READ: How Euro-kings Real lost crown READ: Amazing Ajax humble Real Madrid Zidane resigned after last year’s Champions League final victory against Liverpool, but was asked …

No plan, no courage German press lays into Bayern after Liverpool loss

Bayern Munich were heavily criticised after their defeat, with Der Spiegel writing that German football has been left behind For the first time in 13 years there will be no German club in the Champions League quarter-finals, a fact not lost on the countrys media the morning after Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick keeps Juve’s Champions League dream alive

(CNN)Cristiano Ronaldo was under no illusions when he signed for Juventus last July. It was the first time Juventus had come back from a two-goal defeat in the first leg, prompting Ronaldo to tell Sky Italia: “Maybe that’s why Juventus signed me. To help it do things that it had never done before. This result is a great push for the future, we’re strong and we showed it.” Atletico must be sick of the sight of Ronaldo pushing for the future — he’s now scored a remarkable 25 goals in 33 games against the Spanish side. His winning strike — his eighth Champions League hat-trick — sparked wild celebrations inside Juventus Stadium and must have made those in the higher …

Manchester City enjoy seven-goal stroll into last eight against limp Schalke

Sergio Ageros double showed Manchester City the path to seven-goal heaven and a place in the Champions League quarter-finals For Manchester City it was an evening of spectacular superiority. They have had a lot of those occasions at the Etihad and perhaps the scariest part, for all the other sides in Fridays quarter-final draw, is that there were long spells when it did not even feel like Pep Guardiolas team were playing at their maximum point of expression. They did not have to reach their highest peaks when the imbalance of talent was so lopsided, when Leroy San can play this beautifully and there were players on the bench, namely Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus, who could enter the play …

Manchester United have no fear of Barcelona, says Ole Gunnar Solskjr

Ole Gunnar Solskjr said Manchester United hold no fear of Barcelona but would need luck on their side in the Champions League quarter-final Ole Gunnar Solskjr has said Manchester United have no fear of facing Barcelona after drawing them in the Champions League quarter-finals. United host the five-times European champions on 10 April before the return the following week, with the winners facing a semi-final against Liverpool or Porto. The draw also threw up an all-Premier League tie involving Manchester City and Tottenham, whose next opponents will be Ajax or Juventus. Solskjr said United were not scared to face anyone, having The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Liverpool against Porto is a rerun of last seasons …

Arsenal fire warning to Spurs that race for north London has not yet been won | Barney Ronay

Unai Emerys Arsenal have Premier League rivals and the Champions League in their sights after a victory over Manchester United Were coming for you, were coming for you. Oh Tottenham Hotspur, were coming for you. At the end of a raucous, fun, potentially vital Premier League afternoon at the Emirates the home fans had already turned their eyes towards the other power in north London. Last month, as Tottenham buzzed about just behind the top two, it became fashionable to point out that winning the league was in Tottenhams own hands. Which is, of course, the least secure place of all to be for winning the league. The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Instead Arsenal attacked …

Ronaldos defining display shows fino alla fine spirit is alive at Juventus | Eni Aluko

Cristiano Ronaldos best performance for Juventus in the Champions League embodied the clubs until the end motto and they can now go on to win the tournament The Juventus motto is fino alla fine in other words, until the end. On Tuesday evening the mens team proved these words are not empty but alive. Juve aspire to be a team who never give up, a team who burn with an indefatigable spirit, and this week it was there for all to see. They showed it against Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season, when they came back from a 3-0 first-leg deficit to level the tie at the Bernabu, an incredible comeback that ended in disappointment …

Landon Donovan’s eccentric career: ‘I try not to just accept everything society says’

As he stages another comeback from retirement, one of US soccers finest ever players reflects on money, fame and why he chose America over Europe As the lights swirled in the darkness of an aging San Diego arena three weekend ago, a figure stepped through the O of a giant inflatable Sockers sign. On the other side of the fog machines, the spotlight found him: it was Landon Donovan, now 37 years of age, and still American men soccers only true household name. Even before he stepped out of retirement here for the third time (following a brief reunion in 2016 with the LA Galaxy and a half-season at Mexicos Club Leon in 2018), the fact that Donovan would join …

Is VAR ‘killing’ football?

(CNN)VAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin. Neymar took issue with referee Damir Skomina’s decision to award Manchester United a stoppage-time penalty after Diego Dalot’s shot struck Presnel Kimpembe and sailed over the crossbar. Gianluigi Buffon: Football legend & art lover ‘Part of the drama’ “There was a big danger that VAR would drain the drama,” leading football commentator Ian Darke told CNN. “There was a suggestion that you would lose the moment, that everybody would be waiting and thinking, ‘is it a goal?’ but I don’t think it has quite worked out like that. “With VAR, you might have to build a bridge in to the commentary if there’s some doubt around the decision but you still do …

US Soccer stars ‘confident’ of winning gender discrimination lawsuit

Paris (CNN)The US women’s national soccer team will “fight until the end” in its battle for equality, says one of the team’s co-captains Megan Rapinoe. Follow @cnnsport READ: France 2019 — What you need to know READ: From ‘whirlwind year’ to seeking World Cup glory “To even bring about a lawsuit to the forefront you better be sure as hell that your claims are solid,” said the 33-year-old Rapinoe, who was speaking in Paris at the launch of the USWNT’s World Cup kit. “I’ve been on this team a long time and we’re extremely organized and united and feel that this is the right time for it and that we have a very strong case. We feel good about it. …

Hudson-Odoi steals Willians thunder as Chelsea cut Dynamo Kyiv adrift

Callum Hudson-Odoi sealed Chelseas 3-0 win against Dynamo Kyiv in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie There was a period when this breeze of a victory served as a reminder to those clamouring for youth that Chelseas elder statesmen are far from spent forces just yet. Pedro and Willian, 30-something wingers both, whose contracts expire next year, had dismantled Dynamo Kyiv with such pace and skill that the job felt virtually complete when Maurizio Sarri, as if playing to the gallery, dispatched his tyros into the fray for the dregs of the occasion. Yet there is simply too much about Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the current darlings of these parts, to allow even a fleeting opportunity …

‘Players aren’t safe’: Is British football returning to dark days of hooliganism?

(CNN)With three flashpoints in as many days, Britain’s football authorities are facing questions as to whether they are doing enough over the issue of player safety and their approach to hooliganism “Commenting would only add to the attention he craved,” said Smalling on Twitter. But it’s not just English football that’s had to deal with hooliganism in recent days. On Friday in Scotland, Rangers’ player James Tavernier was confronted by a fan during the match against Hibernian. READ: Chaos reigns at Edinburgh derby between Hearts and Hibernian ‘A serious problem’ All three men involved in the recent attacks have been arrested. Paul Mitchell, the Birmingham supporter who punched Grealish, pleaded guilty to common assault and pitch invasion at Birmingham Magistrates …

‘Against all odds’: Women’s football — a vision for the future

(CNN)As the manager for the Afghanistan Women’s National Football Team, I’ve seen the remarkable drive that women and girls have to play football. If women will go to those lengths to play football, we can only imagine how the women’s game will develop under the right global conditions. Men’s football may have a 111-year head start, but with the required shifts in culture and governance, the women’s game will explode. READ: FIFA investigates Afghan football body over women’s team abuse READ: Death threats and football — how Khalida Popal escaped the Taliban A change in perspective — football is football Ballon d’Or winner shines despite sexism gaffe In many clubs, academies and federations globally, the women’s game is a “tick …