Bayern beat Man United as Real Madrid, Arsenal triumph in Champions League

Bayern beat Man United as Real Madrid, Arsenal triumph in Champions League
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Real Madrid's English midfielder Jude Bellingham scores his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League 1st round Group C match between Real Madrid and Union Berlin at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on Wednesday. (AFP)
Bayern beat Man United as Real Madrid, Arsenal triumph in Champions League
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Bayern Munich's English forward Harry Kane celebrates scoring the 3-1 goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League Group A match FC Bayern Munich and Manchester United in Munich on Wednesday. (AFP)
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Updated 21 September 2023
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Bayern beat Man United as Real Madrid, Arsenal triumph in Champions League

Bayern beat Man United as Real Madrid, Arsenal triumph in Champions League
  • The meeting between German champions Bayern and a struggling United side was the biggest game of the opening round of matches and it did not disappoint
  • Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven in their first Champions League game since the 2016/17 season

PARIS: Harry Kane was among the scorers as Bayern Munich beat Manchester United 4-3 in their heavyweight Champions League clash on Wednesday, while Jude Bellingham snatched a dramatic late winner for Real Madrid and Arsenal began their campaign with a big victory.

The meeting between German champions Bayern and a struggling United side, a repeat of the 1999 final, was the biggest game of the opening round of matches in this season’s competition and it did not disappoint.

Leroy Sane gave Bayern the lead at the Allianz Arena with a shot that squirmed through the grasp of United goalkeeper Andre Onana, and Jamal Musiala set up Serge Gnabry to make it 2-0 just after the half-hour mark.

Rasmus Hojlund pulled one back early in the second half with his first United goal, but shortly after Christian Eriksen was penalized for a handball in the box and Kane blasted in the resulting penalty.

Sane hit the post for the hosts before a crazy finish saw Casemiro reduce the deficit again, substitute Mathys Tel score Bayern’s fourth, and Casemiro nod in another at the death to make it 4-3.

“A crazy finish,” Kane told British broadcaster TNT Sports after netting his fifth goal in six games for his new club.

“We lost a bit of concentration there in the last five minutes. Thankfully we were able to hold onto the lead.

“Overall it’s a really good start to the campaign against a tough side.”

Erik ten Hag’s United team have now suffered three consecutive defeats in all competitions and lost four of their last five matches.

“After my mistake we lost control of the game. It’s a difficult situation for us, for me,” said Onana in reference to Bayern’s first goal.

Thomas Tuchel’s side are already in control of Group A, in which the other game saw Galatasaray come from two goals down to draw 2-2 with FC Copenhagen.

Goals from Mohamed Elyounoussi and Diogo Goncalves had the visitors in control in Istanbul but they then had Elias Jelert sent off and Galatasaray struck twice in the last four minutes of regulation time through Sacha Boey and Tete to earn a point.

In Madrid, Bellingham popped up from close range to score a 94th-minute winner as record 14-time European champions Real beat tournament debutants Union Berlin 1-0 in Group C.

The England international has started his Madrid career in stunning goalscoring form with six goals in six games for the club across all competitions.

“He has great qualities, it seems he’s got luck too, because the goal is a rebound, but he was there, he arrives from deep, and he’s more switched on than others, he’s got that quality and he’s taking advantage of it,” said Real coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Madrid’s next game is away to Napoli, who won 2-1 against Braga in Portugal with Sikou Niakate’s late own goal giving the Italian team victory.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo had put Napoli ahead but Bruma looked to have earned Braga a draw when he struck with six minutes left.

Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven in their first Champions League game since the 2016/17 season.

Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus all scored first-half goals in the rain in London and Martin Odegaard wrapped up the win after the break.

“It was a beautiful night after such a long time. It was great to see the atmosphere, the Champions League music. It was emotional before the game,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said.

Their Group B rivals Sevilla and Lens drew 1-1 in Spain, with Angelo Fulgini’s free-kick earning the French side a draw after Lucas Ocampos headed the hosts in front.

Last season’s beaten finalists Inter Milan needed an 87th-minute Lautaro Martinez equalizer as they came from behind to draw 1-1 at Real Sociedad in Group D.

Brais Mendez had given the home team an early lead in San Sebastian.

In the same group Red Bull Salzburg missed one penalty but scored another in a 2-0 win away to Benfica in Lisbon.

Karim Konate blazed the Austrian team’s first spot-kick over the bar in the third minute but home defender Antonio Silva was sent off on 13 minutes for a handball on the line and Salzburg’s second penalty was converted by Roko Simic.

Oscar Gloukh scored their second goal just after the break.


Lionel Messi exits Copa America final with apparent leg injury

Lionel Messi exits Copa America final with apparent leg injury
Updated 22 sec ago
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Lionel Messi exits Copa America final with apparent leg injury

Lionel Messi exits Copa America final with apparent leg injury
  • The 37-year-old appeared to suffer a noncontact injury while running full speed on the pitch
  • Messi had been dealing with a leg injury and discomfort through much of the tournament
MIAMI GARDENS, Florida: Lionel Messi’s night ended early during the Copa America final when he emotionally exited the field in the 64th minute with an apparent leg injury on Sunday night.
The 37-year-old appeared to suffer a noncontact injury while running full speed on the pitch as defending champ Argentina remained in a scoreless match against Colombia.
Messi immediately looked toward the Argentina bench as he went to the ground. He remained down for several minutes as trainers came out. He was helped to his feet and immediately took his shoe off his right foot.
As he walked off the field, the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner took off his captain’s armband and threw his shoe to the ground in frustration. An emotional Messi was then shown covering his face, sobbing in his seat.
Messi went down in the first half after landing awkwardly when chasing a ball out of bounds. He rolled over several times as he grabbed at his lower right leg. Trainers worked on the area for a few minutes before helping him to his feet. He walked slowly toward the sideline before returning to the game.
Messi had been dealing with a leg injury and discomfort through much of the tournament and missed Argentina’s group stage finale. He had one shot attempt in the first half Sunday.

Spain beat England 2-1 to win record fourth European Championship title

Spain beat England 2-1 to win record fourth European Championship title
Updated 15 July 2024
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Spain beat England 2-1 to win record fourth European Championship title

Spain beat England 2-1 to win record fourth European Championship title
  • Oyarzabal slid in to poke home Marc Cucurella’s cross, just when the game at Berlin’s Olympiastadion seemed destined for extra time

BERLIN: Spain won a record fourth European Championship title on Sunday after Mikel Oyarzabal’s 86th-minute goal clinched a 2-1 victory over England, whose painful decades-long wait for a major trophy goes on.
Oyarzabal slid in to poke home Marc Cucurella’s cross, just when the game at Berlin’s Olympiastadion seemed destined for extra time after the latest show of resilience by England at the tournament.
Substitute Cole Palmer equalized for England in the 73rd minute to cancel out Nico Williams’ opener in the 47th from 17-year-old prodigy Lamine Yamal’s pass.
Spain also won the title in 1964, 2008 and 2012.
“I did my job and what I had to and was lucky enough to score the goal for the win,” said Oyarzabal, who came on as a substitute for captain Alvaro Morata. “When you are among the 26 names to be picked, that is special enough, but then to get to help the team like I did, that is the most important part.”
England men’s team has now lost back-to-back Euro finals and is still without a major title since winning the 1966 World Cup.
It is another agonizing loss for one of the world’s most underperforming national teams, this one coming in front of Prince William and Spain’s King Felipe at the venue built for the 1936 Olympics.
“This time it just wasn’t meant to be,” the prince wrote on social media. “We’re all still so proud of you.” 


There were joyous scenes after the final whistle among the Spanish players, with Williams putting his hands to his face before he was embraced by his teammates. Dani Carvajal slumped to the field and was piled on by jubilant teammates.
Yamal, Marc Cucurella and Dani Olmo were among the first to jump over the advertising hoardings to reach the Spanish fans in the stadium’s east end of the stadium.
It was fitting that Yamal and Williams combined for the crucial first goal as they are the poster boys of this exciting, multicultural team that mirrors the new reality in Spain.
Yamal’s mother is from Equatorial Guinea and his father is from Morocco, while fellow winger Williams has Ghanaian parents who made the long journey to Europe looking for a better life. To make it to Spain, they had to ride on the back of a crowded truck and walk barefoot through the Sahara desert.
“Euphoria! We are so happy. We deserved this,” said Williams, the player of the match. “This is for our fans and our parents, who have supported us throughout.”
Unlike his brother Inaki, who is a Ghana international, Nico chose to play for Spain and will now be regarded as a national hero there.
As, indeed, will Oyarzabal and the rest of the Spain team, who have won all seven of their matches at this tournament — an unprecedented feat — and beaten heavyweights Germany, France and England, back-to-back in the knockout stage.
Spain is back as a major player in senior soccer after winning both the Women’s World Cup and the men’s UEFA Nations League in 2023.
Since 2001, Spanish men’s teams have won 23 consecutive major finals in club and international soccer.


Spain and England to meet in European Championship final in front of Prince William and King Felipe

Spain and England to meet in European Championship final in front of Prince William and King Felipe
Updated 14 July 2024
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Spain and England to meet in European Championship final in front of Prince William and King Felipe

Spain and England to meet in European Championship final in front of Prince William and King Felipe
  • Spain is bidding to win the Euros for a record fourth time and for the first time since 2012
  • England lays claim to be the birthplace of soccer and hasn’t won a major title since the 1966 World Cup

BERLIN: Spain and England will meet in the European Championship final on Sunday, with much of the focus on a teenage wonderkid and whether one of the world’s most underachieving teams can end its decades-long wait for a title.
The match is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) in Berlin and is expected to be attended by Prince William, Spain’s King Felipe, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Keir Starmer, Britain’s new prime minister.
Spain is bidding to win the Euros for a record fourth time, breaking a tie with Germany/West Germany, and for the first time since 2012. The team’s new superstar is winger Lamine Yamal, a prodigy who turned 17 on Saturday.
England, who lays claim to be the birthplace of soccer, hasn’t won a major title since the 1966 World Cup and that was on home soil. This is the team’s second straight European Championship final, having lost in a penalty shootout in the final to Italy three years ago.
The teams have taken different paths to the final, which will take place at Berlin’s Olympiastadion — the 71,000-seat venue built for the 1936 Olympic Games and which hosted the 2006 World Cup final that featured Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt.
Spain has won all six of its matches and is widely regarded as the best team at Euro 2024, having seen off Germany and France in the knockout stage. England was unimpressive in the group stage and has shown resilience in coming from behind in all three of its knockout-stage games.


Euro 2024 final: Spain goes for record 4th title, England looks to end 58-year wait for major trophy

Euro 2024 final: Spain goes for record 4th title, England looks to end 58-year wait for major trophy
Updated 14 July 2024
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Euro 2024 final: Spain goes for record 4th title, England looks to end 58-year wait for major trophy

Euro 2024 final: Spain goes for record 4th title, England looks to end 58-year wait for major trophy

BERLIN: Spain and England meet in the final of the European Championship on Sunday. Spain is seeking a record fourth title at the Euros to break a tie with Germany/West Germany, while England is bidding for a first major trophy in men’s soccer since the 1966 World Cup. Kickoff is at 9 p.m. local (1900 GMT) in Berlin. Here’s what to know about the match:
Match facts
— Spain will start as the favorite after winning all six of its matches at Euro 2024 and being widely regarded as the best team at the tournament. Winning the title would continue a strong period of success for Spanish national teams, with the men having captured the UEFA Nations League in June last year and the women following that up by winning the World Cup two months later.
— Lamine Yamal is Spain’s new star having set up three goals before the semifinals, where he scored a spectacular long-range strike in the victory over France — all at the age of 16. He turned 17 on Saturday, the day before the final. It is a breakthrough major tournament for Yamal, much like it was for a 19-year-old Kylian Mbappé at the 2018 World Cup and a 17-year-old Pelé at the 1958 World Cup.
— Spain last appeared in a final at a major tournament in 2012, when the team won the third of its European Championship titles by beating Italy 4-0. England played in the final of Euro 2020, which was played in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and lost in a penalty shootout to Italy.
— England has shown resilience by coming from behind in all three of its knockout-stage matches at Euro 2024. Jude Bellingham scored an equalizer from an overhead kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time in the extra-time win over Slovakia in the last 16, Bukayo Saka equalized in the 80th minute against Switzerland in the quarterfinals before England won a penalty shootout, and substitute Ollie Watkins scored a winner almost exactly on 90 minutes against the Netherlands in the semifinals.
— England coach Gareth Southgate is often criticized for his in-game management but he has changed the culture inside the squad and is regularly getting the team deep at major tournaments. In Southgate’s tenure that started in 2016, England has reached the World Cup semifinals in 2018 and now back-to-back European Championship finals.
Team news
— Spain coach Luis de la Fuente said on Saturday that the injured Pedri and Ayoze Pérez are the only players unavailable, meaning captain Alvaro Morata can play. Morata was limping after the semifinal win over France when he was knocked to the ground in the post-match celebrations by a steward trying to stop a pitch invader. Right back Dani Carvajal returns from suspension, leaving de la Fuente’s only selection dilemma at center back, with Nacho or Robin Le Normand vying to partner Aymeric Laporte. Dani Olmo will likely fill in again for Pedri as Spain’s attacking central midfielder.
— Southgate has to decide who to play at left back — or left wing back — out of Kieran Trippier or Luke Shaw. Shaw is a natural on that side but has only made two appearances as a second-half substitute at Euro 2024 after recovering from an injury that had sidelined him since February. Otherwise, Southgate will choose the same players, with the 19-year-old Kobbie Mainoo having nailed down the problematic spot in central midfield alongside Declan Rice.
By the numbers
— Spain’s previous European Championship titles came in 1964, 2008 and 2012.
— There are six players on a tournament-high three goals at Euro 2024 and two are playing in the final: England captain Harry Kane and Spain playmaker Dani Olmo. The others are Georges Mikautadze of Georgia, Cody Gakpo of the Netherlands, Ivan Schranz of Slovakia and Jamal Musiala or Germany.
— It has been six years since Spain and England met in a senior men’s international. In 2018, they played a Nations League double-header, with Spain winning 2-1 at Wembley Stadium and England winning 3-2 in Sevilla a month later.
What they’re saying
— “I don’t say it becomes run of the mill but it’s a little bit more normal for us. That statement in itself is probably ridiculous given our history.” — England coach Gareth Southgate on reaching a second straight final at the Euros.
— “I would like him to work with the same humility, keep his feet on the ground in order to keep improving, learning with the same kind of attitude and that professionalism, that maturity that he shows on the pitch. He looks like a much more experienced player, to be honest.” — Spain coach Luis de la Fuente on Lamine Yamal.
 

 


De la Fuente calls on Spain players to make history in Euros final

De la Fuente calls on Spain players to make history in Euros final
Updated 14 July 2024
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De la Fuente calls on Spain players to make history in Euros final

De la Fuente calls on Spain players to make history in Euros final
  • “It’s a brilliant generation, many of them have come through successful youth levels and that usually bodes well for success,” De la Fuente told reporters Saturday

BERLIN: Spain coach Luis de la Fuente called on a “brilliant” generation of players to make history for their country in the Euro 2024 final against England on Sunday.
La Roja are aiming to win a record fourth European Championship 12 years after they last lifted the trophy.
With Rodri Hernandez pulling the strings in midfield and explosive young wingers Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams in attack, Spain have been the tournament’s great entertainers on the road to Berlin.
“It’s a brilliant generation, many of them have come through successful youth levels and that usually bodes well for success,” De la Fuente told reporters Saturday.
“We want to start to make history — and we have made history already in the run to (the final)... I trust in a great future, there’s both present and future.”
Spain won the 2008 and 2012 Euros and the 2010 World Cup with many star players from Barcelona and Real Madrid, including Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Ramos and David Villa.
The current side has fewer stars but consider that one of their strong points, with the squad on an even footing and “unity” has been a key word among Spain players at the tournament.
Despite Spain shining en route to the final while England have scraped through, De la Fuente said the clash at the Olympiastadion will be “extremely balanced.”
“Whichever team manages to impose their strengths, whoever makes less errors (will win),” said the coach.
“But you can win a one-off game, even playing far worse (than your opponent).
“We need to have maximum concentration, not make any mistakes and take advantage of the chances we have — put them away.”
The coach thanked injured duo Pedri and Ayoze Perez, who will not be available to face England, and said Barcelona midfielder Gavi will travel to join the team for the final.
The 19-year-old missed most of the season with a knee injury but was an important player for Spain before sustaining it in November.
De la Fuente said it was no challenge to keep Barcelona’s Yamal, who turned 17 on Saturday, and Athletic Bilbao’s Williams, 22, calm ahead of the biggest game of their careers.
“It’s not at all hard, they have such joy, and incredible maturity for such young players, they understand the sport very well and they are well accompanied by more experienced players,” explained the coach.
“We’re a team, it’s not about hailing individuals, and this makes us stronger.”
At the other end of the age spectrum is 38-year-old Sevilla defender Jesus Navas, who started the semifinal win over France in direct confrontation with Kylian Mbappe.
Navas won the 2010 World Cup, 2012 Euros and the 2023 Nations League with Spain and said he would love to lift another trophy with his country.
“To still be enjoying myself with my national team at 38 is incredible,” said the right-back.
“In (Spain’s golden years) we were such a close-knit group, and you could feel it. Now it’s the same, there’s an incredible group. I’m delighted by everything that’s happening to us.
“We know the excitement and hope that we all have and I hope we can win it.”