FA Cup: Leicester ousts Man United to join Chelsea in semis
Losing 3-1 at Leicester in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Sunday realistically leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with only the Europa League to produce his first trophy as United manager. The other semifinal will pit Man City against Chelsea, which beat Sheffield United 2-0 in Sunday's other quarterfinal. “But the ambition is there to win titles and be competitive.”The FA Cup semifinals next month take place a week before the League Cup final between City and Tottenham. “But in the second half we played some of the best I have seen us play. Tottenham doubled its lead midway through the second half when Kane clinically scored from the penalty spot, having been fouled by Matty Cash.
Man City moves closer to title; Chelsea held in top-4 bid
(Adam Davy/Pool via AP)LONDON – Manchester City only needs to win five of its remaining eight games to secure the Premier League trophy. West Ham can move level on points with Chelsea on Sunday with a victory at Man United and still have a game in hand. "We want to still fight for the position in Europe.”TUCHEL UNBEATENChelsea extended its unbeaten start under Thomas Tuchel to 10 Premier League games with the draw at Leeds. ZAHA STANCEWilfried Zaha became the first Premier League player not to take a knee before his Crystal Palace team beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0. Zaha had already indicated that he thought taking a knee has lost meaning after being brought in by the Premier League in June as an anti-racism message when football resumed.
Tuchel says Pulisic 'in my plans' despite limited minutes
Chelsea's Christian Pulisic, right, is challenged by Everton's Allan during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Everton at the Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Monday, March 8, 2021. Yes, so this is my job, and his job is to be ready — to be ready like everybody else. Pulisic’s lone Premier League goal this season came on Dec. 5 against Leeds in a 3-1 victory. Pulisic has missed one game to injury and another for family reasons under Tuchel and his only recent start came on Feb. 11 in an FA Cup match against Barnsley. “When you sign and play for Chelsea, it is part of the job description as a player to be impatient and patient at the same time,” Tuchel said.
Bale turns back time at Tottenham as Man U and Chelsea draw
(Matthew Childs/Pool via AP)LONDON – Gareth Bale turned back time for Tottenham, while Chelsea and Manchester United seemed happy just to play out time. Chelsea kept its unbeaten record under manager Thomas Tuchel in a 0-0 draw with Man United as both teams appeared reluctant to risk losing one point in the hope of getting three. However, Mourinho warned that Bale would still have to rest for some upcoming games to manage his form and fitness. He had scored six goals and assisted three more in his team's previous 10 league games. The draw left Scott Parker's team unbeaten in five league games, with only one goal conceded during that time, but still 18th and three points adrift of safety.
More Liverpool misery: 1st home loss to Everton in 22 years
Everton's Richarlison, second left celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield in Liverpool, England, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. The worst form for Liverpool at home in the league since 1923 after a fourth straight loss. Even worse for Liverpool was losing yet another center back option as Jordan Henderson was forced off injured in the first half. Pickford dived at the feet of striker Mohamed Salah as Liverpool turned up the pressure without really laying siege to the Everton goal. While Southampton ended a six-game losing run in the league, the point stopped Chelsea recording a sixth straight win in all competitions.
Tuchel urges Pulisic to 'stay positive' amid limited minutes
(Tim Keeton/Pool via AP)LONDON – Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has urged winger Christian Pulisic to “stay positive” amid limited playing time and now a tight calf that leaves the oft-injured American questionable for Saturday’s visit to Southampton. Tuchel on Friday sought to quell speculation about Pulisic's long-term future at Stamford Bridge. Pulisic's only start since Tuchel took over late last month was in an FA Cup match last week. The German manager said it's a "clear yes” when asked if he wants the 22-year-old Pulisic to stay at Chelsea. He was withdrawn from training Thursday with calf tightness and is “a big question mark” for the Southampton match, Tuchel said.
Alisson gifts leader Man City win at fading champ Liverpool
Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson stands on the pitch during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. Leicester moved three points ahead of Liverpool in third after drawing 0-0 with Wolverhampton. AdOn a freezing day across England, Klopp could only figure that the icy conditions were to blame for a blundering performance by goalkeeper Alisson Becker that proved so costly. It was only 35 days earlier that a 3-1 win at Chelsea took City to fifth, four points behind then-leader Liverpool with a game in hand. Jorginho’s 58th-minute penalty clinched the win over the last-place team after Timo Werner was brought down by goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Chelsea hires Thomas Tuchel as manager on 18-month contract
Thomas Tuchel is confirmed as the new Chelsea soccer team manager, Tuesday Jan. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, FILE)LONDON – Chelsea hired Thomas Tuchel as manager on Tuesday on an 18-month contract to replace the fired Frank Lampard. Tuchel, a 47-year-old German, is back in work a month after losing his job at Paris Saint-Germain following a power struggle with the club. “It is never easy to change head coach in the middle of the season but we are very happy to secure one of Europe’s best coaches in Thomas Tuchel,” Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said. “We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard’s work and the legacy he created at Chelsea,” Tuchel said.
Neymar to travel for World Cup qualifying despite injury
SAO PAULO – Neymar will come to South America for World Cup qualifying matches despite a groin injury he picked up in a Champions League match for Paris Saint-Germain. Brazil coach Tite called Flamengo striker Pedro for the matches against Venezuela and Uruguay on Nov. 13 and 17, without removing Neymar from the squad. “We will follow his development closely.”PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said last week it would be “impossible” for Neymar to play for Brazil as he recovered from the injury. Brazil has already lost four players for the two clashes, including three due to injury — midfielders Philippe Coutinho and Fabinho, and defender Rodrigo Caio. Brazil and Argentina lead the South American qualifying group with two wins from two matches.
Ronaldo in doubt for Messi's visit to Juventus
Some talking points ahead of the second round of games in the Champions League:NO RONALDO VS. MESSI? The highly anticipated matchup of Cristiano Ronaldo against Lionel Messi likely won’t happen because Ronaldo has the coronavirus. Alvaro Morata replaced Ronaldo against Dynamo Kyiv last week and scored twice in a 2-0 win. Eden Hazard was added to the Madrid squad and could make his season debut after nursing a muscle injury. Diego Simeone's side was thrashed 4-0 by defending champion Bayern Munich and next hosts Salzburg in Group A on Tuesday.
Where next, Messi ? Few clubs can meet his financial demands
The money in that contract is daunting: a reported 100 million euros ($118 million) annual salary package and release clause demanding a 700 million euros ($827 million) transfer fee. What coach says no to Messi? said Tuchel, whose side lost the Champions League final to Bayern Munich on Sunday. GERMANYBayern Munich appears in little need of reinforcement after winning a Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble. The Bavarian powerhouse has grown on and off the pitch thanks to smart financial management, with revenue of 750 million euros ($886 million) in the most recent annual accounts and profit after tax of 52 million euros ($61.5 million). When World Cup-winning France defender Lucas Hernndez arrived last year for a club-record 80 million euros ($95 million) from Atltico Madrid, it was an exception.
France vs Germany semis mark Champions League power shift
(Franck Fife/Pool Photo via AP)LISBON Emmanuel Macron was quick to appropriate France's unexpected Champions League prowess for political purposes. It has never happened before: two French teams in the Champions League semifinals after two nights of incredible results in Lisbon. You have to go back even longer to find a Champions League semifinals that didn't feature Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. With Pep Guardiola twice a Champions League winner as Barcelona coach outwitted by Lyon's Rudi Garcia, the last of the managerial heavyweights exited this mini-tournament. Diego Simeone, who has lost two Champions League finals with Atletico Madrid, was dumped out by Leipzig on Wednesday.
Icardi's arrival at PSG could push Cavani to look elsewhere
Icardi joined PSG on a season's loan and had impressed with 20 goals in 31 games when the league season was stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic. PSG took up its option to buy the 27-year-old Icardi and gave him a contract until June 2024. Cavani was linked with a move to Atltico Madrid during the January transfer window but PSG reportedly turned down an offer of 15 million euros from the Spanish club. No financial details were given by PSG about how much Icardi cost, but Italian media reported the transfer as costing 50 million euros ($55.5 million) with additional bonuses. Many observers were circumspect when he joined PSG on loan at the end of the summer transfer window.