World Cup Buzz

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Updated:
November 23, 2017 03:01 UTC
Added:
August 17, 2008 11:24 UTC

Resurgent Willian gives Conte food for thought

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London (AFP) – In danger of losing Antonio Conte’s trust after a disappointing start to the season, Willian may have forced his way back into his manager’s plans with a dynamic display in Chelsea’s Champions League rout of Qarabag.

When Willian boarded the Chelsea plane for their flight to Azerbaijan this week, the Brazil winger travelled with more baggage than most.

Griezmann gives Atletico power of positive thinking

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Madrid (AFP) – Diego Simeone refused to be downhearted by Atletico Madrid’s slim chances of making the Champions League last 16 after Antoine Griezmann returned to form with a stunning overhead kick and assist for Kevin Gameiro to beat Roma 2-0 on Wednesday.

Twice finalists in the past four seasons, Simeone’s men still need a minor miracle in the final two games in Group C on December 5 to progress as Atletico need to win away to Chelsea and hope Roma drop points at home to Qarabag.

Gremio edge clear in Copa Libertadores final

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Porto Alegre (Brazil) (AFP) – Substitute Cicero scored the only goal as Brazilian side Gremio defeated Argentina’s Lanus 1-0 in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final on Wednesday.

A stormy encounter in Porto Alegre was settled seven minutes from time when Cicero pounced on a headed knockdown by Jael.

Emery focused on Bayern as Neymar’s PSG pile up records

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Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery urged his team to stay focused on completing an impressive Champions League group campaign after an “extraordinary” Neymar led a record-breaking win over Celtic on Wednesday.

PSG came from behind to slaughter the Scottish side 7-1 at a Parc des Princes in thrall to the Brazilian, who scored twice after Moussa Dembele had put Celtic ahead.

New Zealand football coach quits after missing World Cup spot

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Wellington (AFP) – New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson announced his resignation Thursday in the wake of the All Whites’ failure to reach next year’s World Cup.

Hudson’s men fell at the last qualification hurdle when Peru beat them 2-0 in Lima last week to seal victory in a two-legged intercontinental play-off for a spot at next year’s tournament in Russia.

Barcelona, Chelsea reach last 16 as Manchester United lose

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Paris (AFP) – Barcelona and Chelsea progressed to the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday, but Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United must wait to seal their spot after a last-gasp 1-0 defeat in Basel.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde rested Argentina star Lionel Messi in Turin, later introducing him as a second-half substitute as a 0-0 draw against Juventus sent the five-time European champions through as winners of Group D.

Messi on bench but Barcelona advance to last 16

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) – Lionel Messi started on the bench but Barcelona advanced to the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday and clinched top spot in Group D after drawing 0-0 with Juventus in Turin.

Last season’s finalists Juventus remain second in the group following the stalemate, a point ahead of third-place Sporting Lisbon, and can secure their qualification with victory at Olympiakos on December 5.

Barcelona, Chelsea reach Champions League last 16 as Manchester United lose

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Paris (AFP) – Barcelona and Chelsea progressed to the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday, but Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United must wait to seal their spot after a last-gasp 1-0 defeat in Basel.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde rested Argentina star Lionel Messi in Turin, later introducing him as a second-half substitute as a 0-0 draw against Juventus sent the five-time European champions through as winners of Group D.

Barcelona into Championes League last 16 after Juventus stalemate

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) – Barcelona advanced to the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday and clinched top spot in Group D after drawing 0-0 with Juventus in Turin.

Last season’s finalists Juventus remain second in the group following the stalemate, a point ahead of third-place Sporting Lisbon, and can secure their qualification with victory at Olympiakos on December 5.

Bielsa suspended by struggling Lille

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Lille (France) (AFP) – Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa was suspended by Lille on Wednesday after a dreadful start to the French season, the struggling Ligue 1 club announced.

Ligue are second from bottom after just three wins in 13 matches under Bielsa, with the 62-year-old “suspended momentarily as coach” pending further announcement, according to a statement on the Lille website.

Manchester United rocked by Basel late show

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Basel (Switzerland) (AFP) – Manchester United were forced to wait to book a place in the Champions League last 16 as Michael Lang’s last-gasp strike gave Basel a shock 1-0 win St Jakob-Park on Wednesday.

Jose Mourinho’s side were moments away from securing top spot in Group A when Lang pounced on sloppy defending to steal the points for second-placed Basel a minute before the end.

Neymar turns it on as seven-up PSG destroy Celtic

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Paris (AFP) – Neymar was back in the mood with the Brazilian scoring twice to set up Paris Saint-Germain’s comeback from behind as they hammered a shellshocked Celtic 7-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Moussa Dembele had put the visitors ahead inside a minute at the Parc des Princes, but Neymar’s brace soon turned the game around and both Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe added goals of their own before the interval.

Griezmann stunner keeps Atletico Madrid alive

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid kept their slim chances of Champions League progress alive as Antoine Griezmann snapped an eight-game goal drought in spectacular fashion with an overhead kick to help see off Roma 2-0 on Wednesday.

Kevin Gameiro added a second five minutes from time for Atletico, who still need Roma to drop points at home to Azerbaijani champions Qarabag and beat the already-qualified Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on December 5 to reach the last 16.

Hazard, Willian shine as Chelsea cruise into last 16

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Baku (AFP) – Chelsea powered into the Champions League last 16 as Eden Hazard and Willian inspired a 4-0 thrashing of 10-man Qarabag on Wednesday.

Antonio Conte’s side reached the knockout stages with a game to spare thanks to influential displays from Hazard and Willian at the Olympic Stadium that knocked Azerbaijanis Qarabag out of the competition.

Hazard, Willian shine as Chelsea cruise into Champions League last 16

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Baku (AFP) – Chelsea powered into the Champions League last 16 as Eden Hazard and Willian inspired a 4-0 thrashing of 10-man Qarabag on Wednesday.

Antonio Conte’s side reached the knockout stages with a game to spare thanks to influential displays from Hazard and Willian at the Olympic Stadium that knocked Azerbaijanis Qarabag out of the competition.