Author: AFP

Solskjaer says ‘no quick fix’ for Man Utd malaise

London (AFP) – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains confident that Manchester United see him as the right man to take them forward, reiterating there is no “quick fix” for the stumbling Premier League giants. Back-to-back Premier League defeats to Liverpool and Burnley have been compounded by a toxic atmosphere around the club, with fans voicing their anger at the owners the Glazer family and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. Solskjaer himself is under growing pressure but is confident United can turn things around on Sunday at Tranmere in the FA Cup fourth round. “For me, we do have a way of doing ... Read more

Dier denies negative vibes at Spurs under Mourinho

London (AFP) – Eric Dier has dismissed rumours that Tottenham’s players are already growing tired of life under Jose Mourinho just two months into his reign. Reports have emerged that Spurs players believe they are regressing under the Portuguese while defender Danny Rose is said to have clashed with him after being left out of the matchday squad. But England midfielder Dier has denied the claims and says any unhappiness only stems from frustrating results on the pitch. “Any club, when results aren’t going well, is not a happy atmosphere,” he said. “But it definitely isn’t a negative atmosphere. “I ... Read more

No snoozing for leaders Leipzig in title race

Berlin (AFP) – RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann is trying to ensure the Bundesliga leaders stay alert at Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend amid an intensifying title race by organising a sleep seminar. Bayern Munich’s seven-year domination in Germany is under threat with Leipzig, Gladbach, Dortmund and Schalke all in the hunt for this season’s title. Leipzig travel to mid-table Frankfurt looking to maintain their four-point lead over second-placed Bayern and extend a 13-game unbeaten run in all competitions. Striker Timo Werner is level with Bayern star Robert Lewandowski as the league’s joint top scorer with 20 goals after netting twice ... Read more

Setien finding his feet as Barca look for lift-off against Valencia

Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona’s new era has started with two wins out of two but Saturday’s trip to Valencia will provide Quique Setien with his first true test and an opportunity to make his mark.  After squeezing past Granada 1-0 and scoring two late goals to beat Ibiza 2-1, Barca are still without a convincing victory to give their new coach some thrust.  Against Granada, there were clear signs of intent, in the 83 per cent possession and 1,005 attempted passes, both the most seen by a team in La Liga since Pep Guardiola’s in 2011.  “I saw a lot ... Read more

While Cavani heads for exit, PSG hope to tie down breakthrough star

Paris (AFP) – He has scored more goals than anyone else in the relatively short history of Paris Saint-Germain and is revered by supporters, but Edinson Cavani now looks set to leave the club before the January transfer window closes. The Uruguayan is out of contract at the season’s end and is reportedly determined to join Atletico Madrid having been relegated to the role of rarely-used substitute in Thomas Tuchel’s team. Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has also admitted an interest in the player. Cavani did not play in Wednesday’s 3-0 League Cup semi-final win at Reims because he was, according ... Read more

LA move is only ‘beginning’ of retirement – Hernandez

Los Angeles (AFP) – Javier Hernandez admitted Thursday his career had entered the retirement phase after signing with Los Angeles Galaxy, but stressed his playing days were far from over. Speaking at a press conference, the Mexican international striker insisted his move to Major League Soccer after a decade in Europe was motivated by a desire to prolong his career.  “I just want to play and this league is giving that opportunity,” said Hernandez, who is set to become the highest-paid player in MLS after inking a three-year deal with the Galaxy. “I’m one of the best players around the ... Read more

Atletico suffer extra-time Cup misery at third-division Leonesa

Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid were knocked out of the Copa del Rey on Thursday, defeated 2-1 in extra-time by third division Cultural Leonesa. Atletico, who are third in La Liga and are looking forward to a Champions League clash next month against Liverpool, were one of four top-flight sides dumped out of the tournament on Thursday at the last 32 stage. Argentine striker Angel Correa put them in front in the 62 minutes before Leonesa levelled seven minutes from the end through Julen Castaeda. Sergio Benito then delievered the winner for the hosts in the second period of extra-time. ... Read more

Firmino ‘worldie’ secures another late Liverpool win at Wolves

Wolverhampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed another moment of magic from Roberto Firmino as the Brazilian’s late winner opened up a 16-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 victory at Wolves on Thursday. The European champions’ now 14-game winning streak in the league seemed set to end as Raul Jimenez cancelled out Jordan Henderson’s early opener. Liverpool were even grateful to goalkeeper Alisson Becker for not falling behind in the second half. However, like crucial victories against Leicester, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace earlier in the campaign, Liverpool left it late ... Read more