Soccer News by ESPN

Barcelona's La Masia academy 'scary' for players as young as 10 - Marc Bartra

1 day 10 hours ago
ESPN FC's Paul Mariner gives his plaudits to PSV for their efforts, but says Lionel Messi's class shone through once again in Barcelona's UCL opener. Barcelona's Ernesto Valverde insists they are focused on winning the Champions League whilst Philippe Coutinho admits he is anxious to play against PSV. Marc Bartra has said Barcelona's La Masia youth academy can be a scary place for youngsters hoping to make it at Camp Nou. La Masia has produced a number of the world's best players during the last 20 years, including Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, and is widely held up as an example to follow when it comes to youth development. However, Bartra, who spent 14 years at Barca before leaving in 2016, does not remember his early years in the academy fondly. "The scariest part is that you know...
Samuel Marsden

Chelsea's late Europa League return delays West Ham training plans

1 day 10 hours ago
Chelsea's Maurizio Sarri hopes striker Alvaro Morata has better luck in the future and that his side were unfortunate not win beat PAOK by more goals in the Europa League. Chelsea's Willian insists he is very happy at the club and that he had always wanted to stay despite being linked to a move away in the summer transfer window. Chelsea have been delayed on their return from Greece following the 1-0 win over PAOK Salonika in the Europa League on Thursday. A scheduled flight from Thessaloniki to London was cancelled after weather warnings, meaning Chelsea will return to Cobham on Friday afternoon -- less than 48 hours before they are due to face West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday. Sources told ESPN FC that the club were aware of the situation prior to kick-off against PAOK, where Chelsea made a winning start...
Liam Twomey

'It's an insult if someone beats you' on set pieces - Mauricio Pochettino

1 day 10 hours ago
ESPN FC's Craig Burley feels Mauricio Pochettino's continued changes to Tottenham's lineup may be a reason for Harry Kane's slow start this season. Eric Lamela gives his thoughts on Harry Kane's form, Tottenham's title ambitions and Mauricio Pochettino's influence on him. Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino is not concerned by Harry Kane's three game goal draught but admits his side struggle to find goals when the striker doesn't score. Stewart Robson and Steve Nicol believe there's more to Spurs' losing run than fatigue, suggesting Mauricio Pochettino is to blame for his frequent changes to the lineup. Craig Burley believes Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino should practice the team-continuity that is helping Liverpool succeed this season. Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says his players should feel insulted and dishonoured if they lose their personal battles at free kicks and corners. Spurs have conceded four goals from set pieces in their last three matches and are sure to be tested again by Brighton on Saturday given Seagulls centre-back Shane Duffy has already scored twice this season. "It's an insult if someone beats you," said Pochettino. "If I am supposed to mark someone and he touches the ball then it's like...
Ben Pearce

Unai Emery: I have a plan to improve Arsenal's leaky defence

1 day 10 hours ago
Arsenal's Alex Iwobi revealed the team are enjoying manager Unai Emery's new system and his increasing demands are causing them to train much harder than before. Unai Emery was pleased with goalkeeper Bernd Leno's debut for Arsenal as they beat Vorskla 4-2. Unai Emery has said he has a two-step plan for improving Arsenal's leaky defence, but admitted the lack of clean sheets is his main "disappointment" as Gunners boss so far. Emery inherited a fragile defence from Arsene Wenger and has been unable to sort that issue out so far, with Arsenal conceding 11 goals in their first six games of the season. Two of those came late in Thursday's 4-2 win over FC Vorskla in the Europa League after the Gunners seemed to switch off when leading 4-0, denying his side...
Mattias Karen

Manchester United still in for 'difficult' season despite good form - Jose Mourinho

1 day 10 hours ago
Manchester United's Jose Mourinho insists his side have played phenomenally in their last three matches and is hoping they can take it into their match against Wolves at Old Trafford. Craig Burley sings Paul Pogba and Man United's praises after their win over Young Boys, but isn't convinced they'll advance from their group just yet. David De Gea wants to put and end to Manchester United's stint without a Champions League trophy. Gab Marcotti sat down with Rio Ferdinand to discuss Paul Pogba's recent form at the World Cup and at Manchester United and how he wants to be the best. Shaka Hislop saw a complete performance from Manchester United in their win over Watford, but still sees room for improvement. Jose Mourinho has said three straight wins has not changed his opinion that Manchester United are in for a tough season. The Portuguese coach predicted during the summer his team would face a "difficult" campaign and despite victories over Burnley, Watford and Young Boys, he has not changed his mind. "I am optimistic, but a difficult season, yes," he said. "For sure difficult season. I don't change that because we won two matches in the Premier League. Difficult season for sure. "You see the level...
Rob Dawson

Sergio Aguero can help Gabriel Jesus succeed him at City - Pep Guardiola

1 day 10 hours ago
Craig Burley says if he were picking the Man City team, he'd choose Sergio Aguero to start because of his scintillating goalscoring form over the years. Manchester City's Sergio Aguero admitted he was very happy to extend his current contract at the club until 2021. Manchester City's Pep Guardiola insists he is hopeful Kevin De Bruyne will play again this season and rubbished comments that his side looked physically tired against Lyon. MANCHESTER, England -- Sergio Aguero can help Gabriel Jesus succeed him when his new contract expires in 2021, according to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. The club's record goalscorer signed a one-year contract extension on Friday and has already claimed a hat trick this season with the defending champions two points behind leaders Chelsea. Jesus, who signed a two-year extension himself in August, is 158 goals behind Aguero's all-time record of 204 goals for the club. But, at 21, he is nine...
Jonathan Smith

Transfer Talk: Spurs trio want new contracts after Harry Kane's summer deal

1 day 10 hours ago
ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop explains the likelihood of N'Golo Kante or Isco going to Juventus, Manchester United landing Nicolas Pepe and more. The transfer window for all of Europe's big five leagues is closed, but that doesn't stop Transfer Talk from rummaging around about who will be moving where come January. Spurs trio want new deals after Kane's big contract Several Tottenham Hotspur players are demanding pay raises following striker Harry Kane's big contract extension, according to the Sun. Kane secured a six-year deal reportedly worth £60m over the summer -- the richest in team history -- following a season where he scored...
ESPN

Falcao scores screamer, misses chances in Monaco draw vs. Nimes

1 day 10 hours ago
AS Monaco Nimes 1 1 FT Game Details Live football odds with bet365. Bet Now » GameCast Lineups and Stats Colombia striker Radamel Falcao scored from long range but also missed a string of chances as Monaco's poor start in Ligue 1 continued with a 1-1 home draw against Nimes on Friday. The result left Monaco, last season's French league runners-up, in 12th place on six points from as many games, while Nimes are seventh with eight points after an entertaining clash in the principality. Centre-back Anthony Briancon fired the visitors into a 19th-minute lead with a powerful header from six metres after...
Reuters

Abdul Rahman Baba determined to repay Schalke faith

1 day 10 hours ago
Ghana's Abdul Rahman Baba is hoping his injury nightmare is finally behind him and that he can repay Schalke 04 for the faith they've shown in him. The 24-year-old has featured twice already this season, more than he managed last term as he slowly made his return from a seven-month injury-induced absence. Having last featured in the home defeat by Hertha Berlin in early September, the defender could be in contention to play when Bayern Munich come to town on Saturday. "My hope is that I play more...
Michael Oti Adjei

Enyimba, Rayon Sports battle for CAF Confederation Cup final four spot

1 day 10 hours ago
Nigeria's Enyimba will battle Rayon Sports of Rwanda at the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba on Sunday for a semi-final spot in the CAF Confederation Cup. The two teams played out a 0-0 draw in Kigali on Sunday, a result which, on paper, appears to favour the People's Elephant, who have won all but one of their five previous home games in the competition. The only exception being a goalless draw against Bidvest Wits of South Africa in the play-off round. Both sides' run to the quarter finals...
Dami Ugbane

Enyimba, Rayon Sports battle for CAF Confederation Cup final four spot

1 day 10 hours ago
Nigeria's Enyimba will battle Rayon Sports of Rwanda at the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba on Sunday for a semi-final spot in the CAF Confederation Cup. The two teams played out a 0-0 draw in Kigali on Sunday, a result which, on paper, appears to favour the People's Elephant, who have won all but one of their five previous home games in the competition. The only exception being a goalless draw against Bidvest Wits of South Africa in the play-off round. Both sides' run to the quarter-finals...
Dami Ugbane

Valencia mayor critical of La Liga over games played in high heat

1 day 11 hours ago
Valencia mayor Joan Ribo has taken a swipe at La Liga for only choosing to move certain games due to the heat. Real Betis' home league game against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday evening will be played one hour and 30 minutes later than originally scheduled due to the high temperatures that are being predicted for Seville. La Liga want to avoid playing games with temperatures surpassing the 30ºC . The game was scheduled to start at 17:30 BST but temperatures are expected to reach 35ºC,...
Adriana Garcia

Ex-Nimes executives to appeal prison sentences for match-fixing - reports

1 day 11 hours ago
The former president and the majority shareholder of Nimes will appeal prison sentences handed down for their part in attempting to fix matches, according to reports. Ex-president Jean-Marc Conrad and Serge Kasparian were given 18-month jail terms and €50,000 fines by a Paris court earlier this month for trying to arrange matches in 2014 with the club, which they had just taken over, threatened by relegation. Five matches were addressed in the case, including the 1-1 draw with Caen on May...
Ian Holyman

Mario Balotelli is 'perfect culprit' for Italian press - Patrick Vieira

1 day 11 hours ago
Mario Balotelli has been defended by Nice coach Patrick Vieira following criticism of his performances for Italy. Vieira, who played with Balotelli at Inter Milan and Manchester City, gave his former teammate his support after he was criticised in the Italian media for his sub-par performance in the Azzurri's 1-1 draw with Poland earlier this month. "Mario was severely criticised in Italy: it's always like that when the team doesn't win, you need someone to blame," he said. "I think that Mario was...
Ian Holyman

Sergio Aguero signs Manchester City contract extension to 2021

1 day 11 hours ago
The FC crew explain how Pep Guardiola's touchline ban combined with Mikel Arteta's unpreparedness impacted Manchester City against Lyon. Manchester City assistant manager Mikel Arteta admits he has no idea if manager Pep Guardiola's touchline ban would've had an effect on their 2-0 Champions League loss to Lyon. The FC guys weigh up Alan Shearer's comment that Sergio Aguero is the best foreign player to grace the Premier League. Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has signed a one-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until June 2021. Aguero, City's all-time leading scorer with 204 goals in 299 appearances, moved from Atletico Madrid in 2011, and the new deal means he will be at the Etihad Stadium for 10 years. He signed a five-year deal in 2014 and a one-year extension in summer 2016, and will be 33 when his contract expires. "I am happy for this additional year," Aguero said. "My idea was being here...
Jonathan Smith
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