AFP

Real Madrid

Sampaoli super subs keep Sevilla’s La Liga dreams alive

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Seville (Spain) (AFP) – Sevilla’s unlikely La Liga title bid remained intact as another masterstroke from Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli maintained their dominance over local rivals Real Betis.

With his side 1-0 down and thoroughly outplayed in the first-half at the Benito Villamarin on Saturday, a Sampaoli double substitution turned the game around.

Juventus-bound Caldara dents Napoli title hopes with Atalanta win

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Milan (AFP) – A brace from Juventus-bound Mattia Caldara torpedoed Napoli’s Serie A title hopes on Saturday as 10-man Atalanta underlined their growing Euro ambitions in style with a shock 2-0 win at the San Paolo.

Napoli welcomed high-flying Atalanta looking to tighten their grip on the third and last Champions League qualifying spot.

Sevilla beat rivals Betis to go joint top

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Seville (Spain) (AFP) – A second-half comeback saw Sevilla take the spoils once more in the Seville derby with a 2-1 win over Real Betis on Saturday to move joint top of La Liga.

Danish defender Riza Durmisi’s well-struck free-kick gave Betis a deserved first-half lead.

However, the hosts’ porous defending at set-pieces was exposed as first Gabriel Mercado and then captain Vicente Iborra stretched Sevilla’s unbeaten run over their local rivals to 10 games.

Sevilla beat rivals Betis to go joint top

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Seville (Spain) (AFP) – A second-half comeback saw Sevilla take the spoils once more in the Seville derby with a 2-1 win over Real Betis on Saturday to move joint top of La Liga.

Danish defender Riza Durmisi’s well-struck free-kick gave Betis a deserved first-half lead.

However, the hosts’ porous defending at set-pieces was exposed as first Gabriel Mercado and then captain Vicente Iborra stretched Sevilla’s unbeaten run over their local rivals to 10 games.

Rivals more motivated when facing Madrid – Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane believes opponents raise their game when facing the European champions after suffering a shock defeat to Valencia in midweek.

Madrid spurned the chance to extend their one-point lead over Barcelona at the top of the table as they conceded twice to a Valencia side languishing in the bottom half of the table in the opening eight minutes to lose 2-1 at Mestalla on Wednesday.

Rivals more motivated when facing Madrid – Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane believes opponents raise their game when facing the European champions after suffering a shock defeat to Valencia in midweek.

Madrid spurned the chance to extend their one-point lead over Barcelona at the top of the table as they conceded twice to a Valencia side languishing in the bottom half of the table in the opening eight minutes to lose 2-1 at Mestalla on Wednesday.

English Premier League

Koeman eyes Europe after Everton down Sunderland

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Liverpool (AFP) – Ronald Koeman insists he hasn’t given up on a late Europa League challenge after Everton’s 2-0 win against lowly Sunderland.

A brilliantly worked finish from Idrissa Gueye in the first half opened the scoring for Everton before Romelu Lukaku’s late finish confirmed the three points at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Koeman eyes Europe after Everton down Sunderland

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Liverpool (AFP) – Ronald Koeman insists he hasn’t given up on a late Europa League challenge after Everton’s 2-0 win against lowly Sunderland.

A brilliantly worked finish from Idrissa Gueye in the first half opened the scoring for Everton before Romelu Lukaku’s late finish confirmed the three points at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Brighton’s Hughton coy on league promotion talk as Seagulls fly high

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London (AFP) – Brighton manager Chris Hughton tried to calm talk of promotion to the Premier League after his high-flying Seagulls returned to the top of the second-tier Championship with a 3-0 win at home to Reading on Saturday.

The south coast club made the most of Newcastle dropping points in a 2-2 draw with Bristol City to fly above the Magpies thanks to goals from Sam Baldock, Jamie Murphy and Anthony Knockaert.

Brighton’s Hughton coy on league promotion talk as Seagulls fly high

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London (AFP) – Brighton manager Chris Hughton tried to calm talk of promotion to the Premier League after his high-flying Seagulls returned to the top of the second-tier Championship with a 3-0 win at home to Reading on Saturday.

The south coast club made the most of Newcastle dropping points in a 2-2 draw with Bristol City to fly above the Magpies thanks to goals from Sam Baldock, Jamie Murphy and Anthony Knockaert.

Dembele hits brace as Celtic football enjoy huge lead

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Glasgow (AFP) – Moussa Dembele bagged a double to give Celtic a comfortable 2-0 win over bottom-of-the-table Hamilton at Parkhead and maintain their mammoth lead in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.

The in-form French forward - linked to a number of English Premier League clubs - opened the scoring with a superb strike seconds before the break.

Dembele hits brace as Celtic football enjoy huge lead

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Glasgow (AFP) – Moussa Dembele bagged a double to give Celtic a comfortable 2-0 win over bottom-of-the-table Hamilton at Parkhead and maintain their mammoth lead in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.

The in-form French forward - linked to a number of English Premier League clubs - opened the scoring with a superb strike seconds before the break.

Allardyce’s Crystal Palace edge Middlesbrough in relegation scrap

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London (AFP) – Former England boss Sam Allardyce oversaw just his second Premier League win in nine games as Crystal Palace edged relegation rivals Middlesbrough 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Injury ravaged Palace started the day level bottom with Sunderland on 19 points, but climbed clear of the drop zone by leapfrogging Hull, Leicester and Boro as they snapped a five home-game losing streak.

Allardyce’s Crystal Palace edge Middlesbrough in relegation scrap

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London (AFP) – Former England boss Sam Allardyce oversaw just his second Premier League win in nine games as Crystal Palace edged relegation rivals Middlesbrough 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Injury ravaged Palace started the day level bottom with Sunderland on 19 points, but climbed clear of the drop zone by leapfrogging Hull, Leicester and Boro as they snapped a five home-game losing streak.

West Bromwich Albion fightback puts pressure on Bournemouth

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West Bromwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) – West Bromwich Albion surged back from an early goal down to pile pressure on struggling Bournemouth with a 2-1 win at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

Tony Pulis’s side trailed to Josh King’s fifth-minute penalty, but goals from defenders Craig Dawson and Gareth McAuley turned the game on its head before half-time as Albion won at home for the seventh time in the last eight outings.

West Bromwich Albion fightback puts pressure on Bournemouth

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West Bromwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) – West Bromwich Albion surged back from an early goal down to pile pressure on struggling Bournemouth with a 2-1 win at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

Tony Pulis’s side trailed to Josh King’s fifth-minute penalty, but goals from defenders Craig Dawson and Gareth McAuley turned the game on its head before half-time as Albion won at home for the seventh time in the last eight outings.

Leaders Chelsea stroll as Fabregas marks milestone

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London (AFP) – Cesc Fabregas marked his 300th Premier League appearance with the opening goal in Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over Swansea as the runaway leaders moved 11 points clear at the top on Saturday.

Fabregas’s first half goal was cancelled out by an equaliser from Fernando Llorente on the stroke of half time at Stamford Bridge, but second half goals from Pedro and Diego Costa sealed a comfortable win.

Chelsea go 11 points clear, Leicester into bottom three

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London (AFP) – Chelsea surged 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League as Pedro inspired a 3-1 win over Swansea, while Leicester’s gloom deepened as the troubled champions plunged into the relegation zone on Saturday.

Antonio Conte’s leaders won for the 17th time in their last 20 league games to push them a step closer to the title.

Chelsea go 11 points clear, Leicester into bottom three

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London (AFP) – Chelsea surged 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League as Pedro inspired a 3-1 win over Swansea, while Leicester’s gloom deepened as the troubled champions plunged into the relegation zone on Saturday.

Antonio Conte’s leaders won for the 17th time in their last 20 league games to push them a step closer to the title.

League Cup glory key to Mourinho’s United revolution

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London (AFP) – Jose Mourinho has challenged Manchester United’s stars to prove his revolution is on track by winning the first major silverware of his reign in Sunday’s League Cup final against Southampton.

Given his remarkable success in 17 years as the world’s most fascinating and polarising manager, it’s understandable Mourinho labels the League Cup as only a “little detail” on a glittering CV including two Champions League triumphs and league titles in England, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

League Cup glory key to Mourinho’s United revolution

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London (AFP) – Jose Mourinho has challenged Manchester United’s stars to prove his revolution is on track by winning the first major silverware of his reign in Sunday’s League Cup final against Southampton.

Given his remarkable success in 17 years as the world’s most fascinating and polarising manager, it’s understandable Mourinho labels the League Cup as only a “little detail” on a glittering CV including two Champions League triumphs and league titles in England, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Shakespeare takes unwanted role as pantomime villain

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Leicester caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare claims he feels like a pantomime villain after taking over following the shock sacking of Claudio Ranieri.

Shakespeare is in temporary charge and will pick the team for Monday’s crucial meeting with Liverpool after Ranieri was sacked on Thursday just nine months on from leading the club to the Premier League title.

Shakespeare takes unwanted role as pantomime villain

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Leicester caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare claims he feels like a pantomime villain after taking over following the shock sacking of Claudio Ranieri.

Shakespeare is in temporary charge and will pick the team for Monday’s crucial meeting with Liverpool after Ranieri was sacked on Thursday just nine months on from leading the club to the Premier League title.

Mario Mandzukic

Mandzukic inspires Juve to easy Empoli win

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Milan (AFP) – Mario Mandzukic overcame a wasteful first half to inspire Juventus to a 2-0 home win over Empoli that edged the Turin giants closer to a record sixth straight Serie A title.

Juventus, claiming their 22nd win in 26 games, moved 10 points clear of closest challengers Roma ahead of their visit to Inter Milan late on Sunday.

Mandzukic inspires Juventus to easy Empoli win

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Milan (AFP) – Mario Mandzukic overcame a wasteful first half to inspire Juventus to a 2-0 home win over Empoli that edged the Turin giants closer to a record sixth straight Serie A title.

Juventus, claiming their 22nd win in 26 games, moved 10 points clear of closest challengers Roma ahead of their visit to Inter Milan late on Sunday.

Mandzukic inspires Juventus to easy Empoli win

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Milan (AFP) – Mario Mandzukic overcame a wasteful first half to inspire Juventus to a 2-0 home win over Empoli that edged the Turin giants closer to a record sixth straight Serie A title.

Juventus, claiming their 22nd win in 26 games, moved 10 points clear of closest challengers Roma ahead of their visit to Inter Milan late on Sunday.

Gian Piero Gasperini

Champions League a step too far, says Atalanta coach

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Milan (AFP) – Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini has played down suggestions the success-starved Serie A minnows could launch an audacious bid to qualify for the Champions League.

Gasperini lasted only five, winless matches at Inter Milan when he replaced Leonardo in 2011.

But the former Genoa handler’s stock is flying high after Atalanta’s shock 2-0 win at Napoli on Saturday, despite being reduced to 10 men following Franck Kessie’s second-half expulsion, which put them within sight of Europe’s premier club competition.

Champions League a step too far, says Atalanta coach

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Milan (AFP) – Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini has played down suggestions the success-starved Serie A minnows could launch an audacious bid to qualify for the Champions League.

Gasperini lasted only five, winless matches at Inter Milan when he replaced Leonardo in 2011.

But the former Genoa handler’s stock is flying high after Atalanta’s shock 2-0 win at Napoli on Saturday, despite being reduced to 10 men following Franck Kessie’s second-half expulsion, which put them within sight of Europe’s premier club competition.

Paris

Cheeky Fabinho puts Monaco clear at top

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Paris (AFP) – Nerveless Fabinho chipped in a late penalty winner as Monaco beat Guingamp 2-1 away on Saturday to move clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table once again.

Kamil Glik gave the principality side the lead in Brittany and Fabinho netted with a “Panenka” from the spot with four minutes left before Etienne Didot pulled one back late on for the hosts.

Cheeky Fabinho puts Monaco clear at top

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Paris (AFP) – Nerveless Fabinho chipped in a late penalty winner as Monaco beat Guingamp 2-1 away on Saturday to move clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table once again.

Kamil Glik gave the principality side the lead in Brittany and Fabinho netted with a “Panenka” from the spot with four minutes left before Etienne Didot pulled one back late on for the hosts.

Ex All Black Williams, Australian O’Connor held over cocaine

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Paris (AFP) – Former All Black Ali Williams and Australian international James O’Connor were arrested in Paris on Saturday in possession of cocaine, police said.

The pair, currently playing for French clubs Racing 92 and Toulon respectively, were stopped at around 3:00 am (0200 GMT) outside a nightclub near the city’s Champs Elysees avenue and found to be in possession of two grammes (0.

Ex All Black Williams, Australian O’Connor held over cocaine

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Paris (AFP) – Former All Black Ali Williams and Australian international James O’Connor were arrested in Paris on Saturday in possession of cocaine, police said.

The pair, currently playing for French clubs Racing 92 and Toulon respectively, were stopped at around 3:00 am (0200 GMT) outside a nightclub near the city’s Champs Elysees avenue and found to be in possession of two grammes (0.

Copa del Rey

Barcelona still the best, warns Atletico’s Simeone

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone insisted Barcelona remain the best team in the world despite their recent struggles ahead of the sides third meeting this month on Sunday.

A poor opening first 45 minutes in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie cost Atletico dear as wonder goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi put Barca well on their way to a 3-2 aggregate win.

Barcelona still the best, warns Atletico’s Simeone

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone insisted Barcelona remain the best team in the world despite their recent struggles ahead of the sides third meeting this month on Sunday.

A poor opening first 45 minutes in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie cost Atletico dear as wonder goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi put Barca well on their way to a 3-2 aggregate win.

Pele

Pele’s son turns self in for Brazil prison sentence

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Sao Paulo (AFP) – The son of football legend Pele turned himself in late Friday after being ordered by a Brazilian court to begin serving a nearly 13-year prison sentence for money laundering and drug trafficking.

Edson “Edinho” Cholbi do Nascimento, who briefly played for his father’s former club Santos, had so far avoided serving time while his case underwent a lengthy appeals process.

Pele’s son turns self in for Brazil prison sentence

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Sao Paulo (AFP) – The son of football legend Pele turned himself in late Friday after being ordered by a Brazilian court to begin serving a nearly 13-year prison sentence for money laundering and drug trafficking.

Edson “Edinho” Cholbi do Nascimento, who briefly played for his father’s former club Santos, had so far avoided serving time while his case underwent a lengthy appeals process.

Manchester United

‘Indiana’ Ibrahimovic comes, sees and conquers

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London (AFP) – Having spectacularly exploded doubts about his age since joining Manchester United, Zlatan Ibrahimovic approaches Sunday’s League Cup final against Southampton seeking a second triumph of the season at Wembley Stadium.

The 35-year-old made his first official United appearance at Wembley in August’s Community Shield against Leicester City, a towering late header giving him the 29th trophy of his career.

Gabbiadini can engineer Saints shock at Wembley

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London (AFP) – Manolo Gabbiadini has all the tools to be Southampton’s League Cup final hero against Manchester United after completing a remarkable journey from a garage in Italy to Sunday’s Wembley showpiece.

Just eight years after dreaming of becoming a mechanic, Gabbiadini will walk onto the Wembley turf as one of Southampton’s main hopes of engineering a shock victory over Jose Mourinho’s star-studded United.

Gabbiadini can engineer Saints shock at Wembley

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London (AFP) – Manolo Gabbiadini has all the tools to be Southampton’s League Cup final hero against Manchester United after completing a remarkable journey from a garage in Italy to Sunday’s Wembley showpiece.

Just eight years after dreaming of becoming a mechanic, Gabbiadini will walk onto the Wembley turf as one of Southampton’s main hopes of engineering a shock victory over Jose Mourinho’s star-studded United.

The Rest

Lewandowski leads Bayern to new rout against Hamburg

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Berlin (AFP) – Robert Lewandowski netted a hat-trick as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich handed Hamburg an 8-0 thrashing at the Allianz Arena on Saturday in Carlo Ancelotti’s 1000th match as a coach.

Kingsley Coman came off the bench to score twice while Arturo Vidal, David Alaba and Arjen Robben were also on target as Bayern got back to winning ways after last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin.