Bellingham blow for Bundesliga title-chasers Dortmund

Bellingham blow for Bundesliga title-chasers Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham celebrates after their Bundesliga match against Borussia Moenchengladbach at Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund on May 13, 2023. (Reuters)
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Updated 19 May 2023
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Bellingham blow for Bundesliga title-chasers Dortmund

Bellingham blow for Bundesliga title-chasers Dortmund
  • The England international's importance to Dortmund was evident in last Saturday's win over Borussia Moenchengladbach
  • Bellingham, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer, converted for his 14th goal of the season in all competitions

MUNICH, Germany: Jude Bellingham is injured and unlikely to figure for Borussia Dortmund this weekend in a blow to the club’s battle with Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title.
Dortmund, one point behind the perennial champions with two games to play, travel to Augsburg on Sunday, with Bayern hosting Freiburg 24 hours earlier.
The England international’s importance to Dortmund was evident in last Saturday’s win over Borussia Moenchengladbach, when the 19-year-old was asked to take a penalty with his side leading 1-0.
Bellingham, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer, converted for his 14th goal of the season in all competitions, and Dortmund won 5-2 to stay on Bayern’s heels.
But he emerged from the game complaining of knee pain.
Dortmund coach Edin Terzic conceded “there’s a big question mark, we’ve just got to wait and see.”
“Since the game Jude hasn’t been able to train with us. It’s not going to be any good if I pick him and he says after four minutes that he’s not right,” added Terzic.


Aston Villa topple Arsenal and extend record home win streak

Aston Villa topple Arsenal and extend record home win streak
Updated 09 December 2023
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Aston Villa topple Arsenal and extend record home win streak

Aston Villa topple Arsenal and extend record home win streak
  • Villa made John McGinn’s seventh-minute goal stand up in the latest standout victory for Unai Emery’s high-flying team
  • Villa are third on the table, a point behind second-placed Arsenal

BIRMINGHAM, England: Aston Villa beat Arsenal 1-0 and moved within two points of new English Premier League leader Liverpool on Saturday.
Villa made John McGinn’s seventh-minute goal stand up in the latest standout victory for Unai Emery’s high-flying team, which upset defending champion Manchester City by the same scoreline on Wednesday.
Arsenal led the league at the start of the day but could not find a way through a Villa team that are proving to be a match for anyone on home turf. Villa have a club-record 15 straight home wins in the league.
Villa are third on the table, a point behind second-placed Arsenal.
The only other league managers to record 15-game winning streaks at home were Manchester United great Alex Ferguson, Roberto Mancini, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.
Villa went ahead after Leon Bailey broke down the right and played in McGinn, who turned and beat Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya.
Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez denied Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus from equalizing before the break.
Arsenal almost levelled in the second half when Martinez looked to claim a corner, but palmed the ball into the back of Ollie Watkins and it hit the post.
Bukayo Saka had a goal ruled out for offside and Kai Havertz thought he salvaged a point in the last minute, but was adjudged to have handled the ball.


Ten Hag blasts ‘inconsistent’ Man Utd after Bournemouth misery

Ten Hag blasts ‘inconsistent’ Man Utd after Bournemouth misery
Updated 09 December 2023
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Ten Hag blasts ‘inconsistent’ Man Utd after Bournemouth misery

Ten Hag blasts ‘inconsistent’ Man Utd after Bournemouth misery
  • Ten Hag’s side slumped to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat that underlined the array of problems threatening to ruin United’s season
  • “Of course, annoyed and disappointed, definitely. I expected something different,” Ten Hag said

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom : Erik ten Hag blasted his “inconsistent” Manchester United charges after Bournemouth made history with their first ever victory at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Ten Hag’s side slumped to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat that underlined the array of problems threatening to ruin United’s season.
Just three days after beating Chelsea to revive their bid for a top four finish in the Premier League, United reverted to the sloppy form that has plagued them for much of the campaign.
Goals from Dominic Solanke, Philip Billing and Marcos Senesi handed Bournemouth a memorable win as Ten Hag and his players were booed off at full-time.
With the pressure mounting on Ten Hag with each defeat in his troubled second season as United boss, the Dutchman slammed his team’s lacklustre performance.
“Of course, annoyed and disappointed, definitely. I expected something different,” Ten Hag said.
“I hoped before the game you can build on the performance and result from Chelsea, so then it’s very disappointing.
“That (consistency) is of course the question, but I think we have to always be ready for the game, so I have to take the responsibility for that.
“I have to prepare my team so that they are ready for the game, so from my point of view I’m very disappointed the way we started so I have to do the things better.”
United have now lost 35 home league games since Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012-13 title-winning season.
During the iconic 26-year reign of the Scottish manager, United were only beaten in the league at Old Trafford 34 times
Ten Hag shouldered much of the responsibility for United’s 11th defeat in all competitions this term.
But alarmingly for United fans, the former Ajax boss conceded he did not believe his squad were consistent enough to thrive at the highest level.
“We are really inconsistent. We have the abilities to do it, but you have to do it every game and every third day,” he said.
“I think as a squad we are not good enough to be consistent and we have to work as a squad to improve that.”
It was an eye-catching remark at the end of a week that began with reports that some United players had grown unhappy with the manager.
Ten Hag denied those claims but, with his team mired in sixth place, he desperately needs some positive results quickly.
United host Bayern Munich in the Champions League next week knowing they must win to have any chance of progressing to the last 16.
A trip to in-form Liverpool in the Premier League follows the Bayern clash.
“As a group, we have to improve,” Ten Hag said. “That’s a fact. We have to get tougher, that we are ready for the game and from the start.
“I said on Friday, it can’t be in this league that you are not playing on the highest levels because you get killed.
“That’s what happened in the five minutes and then you are following facts and especially against them, such a good transition team, you make life easy for them. They have the perfect conditions to play in.
“Then you see the team fighting, battling, put a lot of effort in for a long period to return in the game, but it can’t happen that you so easily concede a goal.”


Jude Bellingham scores again as Real Madrid held to draw at Betis

Jude Bellingham scores again as Real Madrid held to draw at Betis
Updated 09 December 2023
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Jude Bellingham scores again as Real Madrid held to draw at Betis

Jude Bellingham scores again as Real Madrid held to draw at Betis
  • Bellingham’s transformation into a clinical finisher with a league-leading 12 goals has kept Madrid at the top of the standings
  • He has 16 goals in 18 games between the domestic competition and the Champions League

BARCELONA, Spain: Jude Bellingham kept up his great scoring form since joining Real Madrid but his strike was not enough to save the injury-hit Spanish leaders from dropping points in a 1-1 draw at Real Betis on Saturday.
The England midfielder used his chest to cushion a nifty pass from Brahim Díaz before slotting under Betis goalkeeper Rui Silva to open the scoring in the 53rd minute.
Bellingham’s transformation into a clinical finisher with a league-leading 12 goals has kept Madrid at the top of the standings. He has 16 goals in 18 games between the domestic competition and the Champions League, compared to 14 goals in 42 games in all of last season for Borussia Dortmund.
Betis right back Aitor Ruibal equalized in the 66th from outside the right corner of the box with a powerful looping strike that sailed past goalkeeper Andriy Lunin.
The draw left Madrid atop the table, but Girona were just one point behind before they visit third-placed Barcelona on Sunday in a clash of Catalan clubs.
“Ruibal scored a fantastic goal and they drew level with us. (But) I am satisfied. You can’t always win,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said after his team’s run of five wins overall came to an end.
Both sides had late chances to snatch the victory. Former Madrid playmaker Isco Alarcón headed off the woodwork for Betis and Madrid substitute Joselu Mato shot inches wide.
Ruibal, an attacking player who has converted into a defender, had trouble keeping up with Madrid’s Rodrygo early on. But he showed his scorer’s instinct when he blasted home the equalizer on a counterattack that started when Bellingham lost the ball.
“To take a point against this rival, we have to be happy. The team competed like real animals,” Ruibal said. “I didn’t even think twice (before shooting).”
Ancelotti started Luka Modric after the veteran midfielder missed two games with a thigh problem. Modric, who has seen his playing time dwindle, appeared to be angry when he was substituted shortly after Ruibal’s goal.
Lunin started for Madrid even though Kepa Arrizabalaga was back in the squad after recovering from a minor injury. Kepa joined Madrid at the start of the season after regular starter Thibaut Courtois tore a knee ligament.
“Lunin played well and I am giving him confidence, but we will see who plays in the next game,” Ancelotti said about Tuesday’s Champions League group stage game at Union Berlin.
Betis remained in seventh. Manuel Pellegrini’s team are undefeated in nine consecutive league games at their Benito Villamarín Stadium.
Eighth-placed Las Palmas won at Alaves 1-0 as the Canary Islands club continues to impress since returning to the top-flight.


Bayern thrashed by Eintracht Frankfurt in Bundesliga

Bayern thrashed by Eintracht Frankfurt in Bundesliga
Updated 09 December 2023
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Bayern thrashed by Eintracht Frankfurt in Bundesliga

Bayern thrashed by Eintracht Frankfurt in Bundesliga
  • In a wet and wild contest in Frankfurt, the hosts raced into an extraordinary 3-0 first-half lead
  • Leaders Bayer Leverkusen travel to third-place Stuttgart on Sunday

BERLIN: Bayern Munich suffered a jolt to their title defense, losing their first league game of the season 5-1 in Frankfurt and handing Bayer Leverkusen the chance to open a six-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga.
In a wet and wild contest in Frankfurt, the hosts raced into an extraordinary 3-0 first-half lead, with Omar Marmoush, Junior Dina Ebimbe, and Hugo Larsson scoring the goals as Dino Toppmoeller’s side outmuscled a timid Bayern.
Joshua Kimmich dragged Bayern back into the match just before half-time but French midfielder Ebimbe had other ideas, capping a scintillating counter-attack after a mistake by Dayot Upamecano to make it four.
Ansgar Knauff added a fifth to put the game out of reach for Thomas Tuchel’s side to complete a memorable performance for Frankfurt, who become the first team to score five goals against Bayern in the first 60 minutes of a league game since Frankfurt themselves, in 1975.
Leaders Bayer Leverkusen travel to third-place Stuttgart on Sunday on a weekend when six of the Bundesliga’s top seven face each other.
Union Berlin won their first game since August 26 with a 3-1 victory over Borussia Moenchengladbach ensuring a winning start in the Bundesliga under new coach Nenad Bjelica.
The Croatian coach ran down the touchline to join the celebrations with his players as the team climbed to 15th.
Elsewhere, Werder Bremen arrested a four-game winless slump with a 2-0 win over Augsburg, secured by Niklas Stark’s first-half strike and Marvin Ducksch’s, midway through the second.
Heidenheim edged out Darmstadt with a 3-2 win in a meeting of two of the newly-promoted strugglers. Jan Schoeppner scored twice for Heidenheim, which leaves Darmstadt winless in seven Bundesliga games.
Freiburg sneaked a 1-0 win in Wolfsburg ahead of the day’s headline clash between Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.


’Great feeling’ for Salah after landmark Liverpool goal

’Great feeling’ for Salah after landmark Liverpool goal
Updated 09 December 2023
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’Great feeling’ for Salah after landmark Liverpool goal

’Great feeling’ for Salah after landmark Liverpool goal
  • Salah’s landmark strike inspired Liverpool’s fightback from a goal down to win 2-1 at 10-man Crystal Palace
  • Salah’s 14th goal this term made him the fifth player to score 200 for Liverpool in all competitions

LONDON: Mohamed Salah admitted his 200th Liverpool goal was a “great feeling” as the Egypt star urged his side to do “something special” in the Premier League title race.
Salah’s landmark strike inspired Liverpool’s fightback from a goal down to win 2-1 at 10-man Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side stole the points thanks to Harvey Elliott’s stoppage-time winner.
But it was Salah’s deflected equalizer following Jordan Ayew’s dismissal that sparked Liverpool’s escape act.
Salah’s 14th goal this term made him the fifth player to score 200 for Liverpool in all competitions after Ian Rush (346), Roger Hunt (285), Gordon Hodgson (241) and Billy Liddell (228).
“The most important thing was that we won the game. It’s a great feeling. I’m happy for the record and that we won the game,” Salah said.
Liverpool left Selhurst Park on top of the table, although second-placed Arsenal would reclaim pole position with a win at Aston Villa later on Saturday.
Regardless of Liverpool’s position by the end of the weekend, Salah sees signs they can win the club’s first title since 2020.
“I see the mentality to keep fighting until the end. We keep doing that. We have a new team now because there’s six or seven players,” he said.
“We need to give them advice. They’re learning a lot and they’re really nice. We can do something special this year.”
Saluting the crucial contribution of substitute Elliott, Salah added: “He’s a good kid. he’s learning. I like to push him in the gym.
“He will have a good career. If he wants to speak then just come to me.”
The young midfielder insisted he has already learned plenty from Salah.
“My finish today just sums up what I’ve learned off him,” he said.
“If I spoke about the influence he’s had on me then everyone would get bored!“
On Liverpool’s title chances, Elliott added: “We’re going in the right direction. If we’re contenders at the end of the season then let’s go for it.
“The aim is to win the Premier League.”