Soccer News by ESPN

Patosi double leads stunning City fightback at Pirates (

2 days 2 hours ago
Ayanda Patosi scored two excellent second-half goals as Cape Town City rescued a point with a 2-2 draw at Orlando Pirates in a thrilling Absa Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday. 
 Pirates appeared to be cruising when they led 2-0 early thanks to goals from Zambia international Augustine Mulenga and Innocent Maela, but allowed City back into the game in the second and Patosi punished the home side. 
 City were missing head coach Benni McCarthy, who stayed in Cape Town after...
Nick Said

Arsene Wenger's sad Arsenal farewell the players' fault - Per Mertesacker

2 days 2 hours ago
Shaka Hislop explains how Arsenal's new style under Unai Emery doesn't suit Petr Cech and why it's time to see Bernd Leno start for the Gunners. Former Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker has blamed the players for the "sad" end to Arsene Wenger's reign as manager. Wenger left in May after the worst Premier League finish of his 22-year reign, ending in sixth place and missing out on Champions League football for the second season running. Mertesacker said in an interview with German website Spox the announcement caught the players by surprise, but they must shoulder the blame. "It was a bit surprising for us. He came into the meeting and...
Mattias Karen

Lionel Messi's eight Champions League hat tricks ranked: Which is the best?

2 days 3 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. After netting three against PSV on Tuesday, Lionel Messi has now scored eight hat tricks in the Champions League -- more than any other player. But which has been the best so far? 8) APOEL 0-4 Barcelona -- Nov. 25, 2014 If you look back over Messi's European trebles, the thing that stands out is the sheer quality of the goals. However, his hat trick against APOEL is the exception. After sticking out a leg to deflect Rafinha Alcantara's shot past Urko Pardo to double Barca's lead on the night, he...
Sam Marsden

VAR would have helped referee in Cristiano Ronaldo red card - Massimiliano Allegri

2 days 3 hours ago
The FC guys explain why it's unlikely Cristiano Ronaldo's red card against Valencia will be overturned, even though they strongly disagree with the sending off. Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri believes VAR would have overturned Cristiano Ronaldo's red card in Wednesday night's Champions League 2-0 win over Valencia, and given his side an easier night. Ronaldo was dismissed after a clash with Jeison Murillo was spotted by the assistant referee and communicated to German referee Felix Brych, who drew a red card from his top pocket. Fantasy Play ESPN Fantasy Soccer Pick your eight-man team and compete in the Champions League, Premier League, La Liga or Liga MX, then go head-to-head in leagues against your friends or people around the world. Sign up for free! How to play ESPN Fantasy Soccer Your team will be made up of eight players, at four different positions: two forwards, three midfielders, two defenders, and a goalkeeper. Find out more here. - Newcomers to pick and avoid - Champions League names to know - La Liga names to know - Breaking down ESPN's scoring system It was Ronaldo's first red card in 154 Champions League games, and the decision means he could miss a return to Old Trafford...
Ben Gladwell

Ireland to join UK home nations in exploring 2030 World Cup bid

2 days 3 hours ago
The Republic of Ireland will join England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in exploring a potential bid for the 2030 World Cup. The English Football Association had already announced plans to assess a bid with Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and Football Association Ireland said in statement released Wednesday that it would join the feasibility study "following recent positive discussions." England, who hosted the 1966 World Cup, failed in bids to host the event in 2006 and 2018. Former...
Associated Press

Manchester United forced to change style after poor start - Jose Mourinho

2 days 3 hours ago
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. The FC guys give their take on whether Marcus Rashford should stay or leave Manchester United. BERN, Switzerland -- Manchester United have been forced to change the way they play in order to battle back from a poor start to the season, according to manager Jose Mourinho. United have won back-to-back Premier League games against Burnley and Watford following consecutive defeats to Brighton and Tottenham. Mourinho is hoping to make it three in a row when they kick off their Champions League campaign against Young Boys in Switzerland on Wednesday and revealed key alterations have been behind...
Rob Dawson

Real Madrid prove vs. Roma they're not ready to be knocked off European throne

2 days 3 hours ago
MADRID -- Three points on Real Madrid's 3-0 win vs. Roma in Group G of the UEFA Champions League. 1. Madrid, Bale not ready to be dethroned Real Madrid have been European champions for the past three seasons, and they don't look ready to be knocked off their perch just yet. Against Roma on Wednesday, the signals were there that they could make a run for an unlikely fourth title in a row. One person who stands to have a much simpler time recreating the magic of last season's European Champions...
Robbie Dunne

Arsenal's Bernd Leno to start in Europa League with chance to unseat Petr Cech

2 days 3 hours ago
Shaka Hislop and Alexis Nunes talk Europa League and if it's in the best interest of Arsenal and Chelsea to take the competition seriously. LONDON -- Bernd Leno will finally make his debut in Arsenal's goal on Thursday and coach Unai Emery said he still has a chance of unseating Petr Cech as his No. 1. Leno has had to wait patiently for his first minutes since joining from Bayer Leverkusen in a €25 million transfer this summer, but Emery confirmed he will start in the Europa League opener against FC Vorskla at the Emirates. And unlike his predecessor Arsene Wenger, who used David Ospina as his cup goalkeeper throughout the last...
Mattias Karen

Lyon shock sloppy Manchester City as Nabil Fekir delivers the goods on the big stage

2 days 3 hours ago
ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Shaka Hislop assess where Manchester City's UCL opener went wrong following their 2-1 defeat against Lyon. MANCHESTER, England -- Here are three points on Lyon's 2-1 win over Man City in Group F of the UEFA Champions League.  1. City shocked in UCL opener The Champions League group stage is often criticised for being too routine for the big boys, but this was an eventful, unpredictable contest that ended with a genuine shock result. Manchester City entered arguably as the favourites to win the entire competition, never mind this game, while Lyon have started poorly in Ligue 1. A comfortable home...
Michael Cox

Nikola Vlasic equalises late in CSKA Moscow draw vs. Viktoria Plzen

2 days 3 hours ago
Viktoria Plzen CSKA Moscow 2 2 FT Game Details Live football odds with bet365. Bet Now » GameCast Lineups and Stats CSKA Moscow salvaged a 2-2 draw with Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League on Wednesday after a penalty deep in stoppage time. Plzen was leading on Michael Krmencik's brace before Jan Kovarik's foul gave CSKA a spot kick, which was converted by Nikola Vlasic. Krmencik scored the opening goal from close range in the 29th minute after a header from Radim Reznik and added his second from David Limbersky's cross 12 minutes later. CSKA came back into contention in the second half when Vlasic crossed...
Associated Press

Jerome Boateng calls for Bayern Munich respect, reveals Paris Saint-Germain talks

2 days 3 hours ago
Bayern Munich have seven competitive games in a span of three weeks following the first international break of the season. Jerome Boateng has said he came close to leaving Bayern Munich in the summer and called for more support from the club's hierarchy after feeling let down in the wake of criticism following Germany's World Cup exit. Boateng, 30, was linked with Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain after looking for a new challenge having spent seven years with Bayern. "[PSG] was a concrete option, my family also knew about it," Boateng said.  Calling the talks with former Borussia...
Stephan Uersfeld

Captain Paul Pogba leads, Diogo Dalot impresses for Manchester United

2 days 3 hours ago
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. BERN, Switzerland -- Three points on Manchester United's 3-0 win vs. Young Boys in Group H of the UEFA Champions League. 1. Manchester United survive tricky test The records will show that Manchester United won a game they were expected to win in the Stade de Suisse, but manager Jose Mourinho has every right to feel more satisfaction. His team overcame a hard, artificial turf pitch and 32,000 Young Boys fans determined to create a din on their first Champions League night since the competition...
Rob Dawson

Paul Pogba shows poise in Manchester United's clinical win over Young Boys

2 days 3 hours ago
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. 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. David De Gea wants to put and end to Manchester United's stint without a Champions League trophy. Manchester United started their Champions League campaign off on a high after beating Young Boys 3-0 away from home. As has been the case in recent weeks, Jose Mourinho's team started the game off well and went in 2-0 up at half-time. Paul Pogba opened the goal scoring with a brilliant strike before doubling United's lead from the penalty spot. Luke Shaw's cross in to the box was blocked by the arm of Kevin Mbabu, although penalising him was harsh, given it was difficult for him to get out of the...
Scott Patterson

Nabil Fekir helps fire Lyon to shock win over Manchester City

2 days 3 hours ago
Manchester City Lyon 1 2 FT Game Details Live football odds with bet365. Bet Now » Highlights GameCast Lineups and Stats ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Shaka Hislop assess where Manchester City's UCL opener went wrong following their 2-1 defeat against Lyon. Manchester City looked far from potential Champions League winners as they fell to a surprise 2-1 loss at home to Olympique Lyonnais on Wednesday with a flat performance that leaves them with plenty of work to do to progress from Group F. The Premier League champions, favourites with some bookmakers to win Europe's top club competition this season, were well below their best throughout and now face a serious challenge to progress from a group which also features Germany's Hoffenheim and Ukraine's...
Reuters

Bayern's Renato Sanches scores, earns applause on return to Benfica

2 days 3 hours ago
Benfica Bayern Munich 0 2 FT Game Details Live football odds with bet365. Bet Now » GameCast Lineups and Stats Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches had a goal and an assist in his return to Benfica in a 2-0 victory on Wednesday. Sanches, a Benfica youth product who joined Bayern in 2016 but hardly played before being loaned out to Swansea City last season, earned a rare start due to the injury of Thiago Alcantara. He made the most of his chance as Bayern cruised despite a string of injury absences that also included Corentin Tolisso, Kingsley Coman and Rafinha. Sanches emerged as a teenaged sensation following...
Reuters

Time for Mahlambi to go from prospect to star player

2 days 3 hours ago
Phakamani Mahlambi's premature return from Egyptian giants Al Ahly is both a blessing and a curse for the player, but he is undoubtedly a quality performer who can boost the chances of his club and country. Mahlambi netted on his Mamelodi Sundowns debut against AmaZulu on Sunday, making a promising return from what must have felt at times like an exile in Egypt. He was snapped up by Ahly from then South African league champions Bidvest Wits at the start of the last season, but was hardly used in...
Nick Said

Gareth Bale, Isco strike as Real Madrid outclass Roma in UCL opener

2 days 3 hours ago
Real Madrid AS Roma 3 0 FT Game Details Live football odds with bet365. Bet Now » GameCast Lineups and Stats Real Madrid rode goals from Isco and Gareth Bale to a 3-0 win against Roma in their Champions League Group G opener at the Camp Nou on Wednesday. The hosts saw two chances to take the lead go begging before the 10-minute mark, with Bale firing a low strike just wide of the goal and Isco being stuffed on the doorstep by Robin Olsen after Luka Modric sprang him in the Roma penalty area. Three-time defending champions Real were rampant throughout the first half and finally scored a deserved opener...
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