Friday, June 17, 2016

Germany Held to 0-0 Draw Against Poland as Northern Ireland Secure 2-0 Win

4:19 AM Posted by Moto Musashi No comments
World Champions Germany were left frustrated as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Poland in Saint-Denis. The match was the first goalless draw of the tournament, and still leaves group C wide open.
Both sides had opportunities to win the game, but neither were prolific enough in front of goal.
​Both teams went into the game on the back of impressive victories, with Poland beating Northern Ireland, and the Germans easing past Ukraine.
Joachim Low made just one change to his side from the opening game, with new Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels coming in for Shkodran Mustafi. Poland made two changes, with Lukas Fabianski and Kamil Grosicki, starting ahead of Wojciech Szczesny and Bartosz Kapustka.

Germany started the better of the two teams, dominating possession in the opening minutes, however their first real attempt on goal came when Thomas Muller retrieved the ball and skillfully made his way into the box, to lay off a pass to Toni Kroos who shot wide.
That was the best chance in a rather flat first half.
The second half started much better than the first, and Poland could have taken the lead within the first minute. A cross into the box from Kamil Grosicki was set on a plate for Arkadiusz Milik, who failed to get any sort of connection on the ball.
Germany replied instantly with a counter attack that left Mario Gotze free to get a shot off that stung the palms of Lukas Fabianski.

Milik once again had an opportunity to put Poland ahead in the game, when a ball into the box fell to him. However the forward failed to connect with the ball once again.
Germany applied more pressure on the Polish defence in the final minutes of the game, but could not find a way through, leaving Poland the happier of the two sides at the final whistle.
Earlier in the day, Northern Ireland made history by securing their first win in the European Championships, beating Ukraine 2-0.

Michael O'Neill's side took the lead early in the second half, when a free-kick expertly delivered by Oliver Norwood was met by Gareth McAuley, who nodded the ball into the net to send the Irish fans into raptures.
Play had to be stopped briefly because of worsening weather conditions, but nothing could dampen the spirits of the Northern Ireland fans who were having the time of their lives.
Ukraine continued to pressure the Irish defence, knowing that defeat would almost certainly see them eliminated from the competition. But victory was assured in the final minute of injury time when Aberdeen forward Niall McGinn pounced on a rebounded shot, to secure a famous win.

4:11 AM Posted by Moto Musashi No comments

England got their Euro 2016 dream back on track after a dramatic 2-1 win over Wales in Lens in a game that had been dubbed the Battle of Britain.
Gareth Bale had given the Welsh an early lead, but a second half equaliser and a stoppage time winner from substitutes Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge turned the game on its head.
England had dominated the first half, but just as had been the case against Russia, couldn’t make their chances count and were left paying for it at the break.
Raheem Sterling kept his place in the team, despite calls for the winger to be dropped, although he was soon under scrutiny again after he sent a glorious chance in the opening few minutes over the crossbar when the goal was gaping.
England were awarded a number of free-kicks as the first half wore on, one of which saw Gary Cahill’s flicked header gratefully grasped by Wayne Hennessey. A header from Chris Smalling later flew agonisingly wide from a corner, while the team in white shouted for a penalty when the ball struck the arm of Ben Davies inside the six-yard box.
When Wales broke the deadlock it was a rare chance as Bale made Joe Hart pay for a bad mistake. The England goalkeeper got two hands to the low free-kick but only managed to push the ball into the goal to send the Welsh end of the stadium into meltdown.
Roy Hodgson threw caution to the wind at half-time, putting both Sturridge and Vardy into the mix. It sparked a reaction in the Three Lions ranks and the pressure on the Wales back-line was immediately ramped up.

After Wayne Rooney soon forced Hennessey into a save, England were back level from the resultant corner. Vardy lived up to his reputation and was on hand to turn the ball home inside the six-yard box after it came off the head of Ashley Williams.
It then promptly became a backs to the wall job for Wales, who struggled to even get out of their own penalty area for a time.
Marcus Rashford set a new record as England’s youngest ever player at the European Championships when he replaced Adam Lallana for the final 20 minutes and gave his team yet another attacking threat.
As the clock ticked over 90 and into stoppage time it looked like it wasn’t going to happen for England. Wales had defended resolutely but one tiny gap was all that Sturridge needed to squeeze the ball through and past Hennessey to win it.
England: Hart, Walker, Smalling, Cahill, Rose, Dier, Lallana (Rashford – 73′), Rooney, Alli, Sterling (Sturridge – 45′), Kane (Vardy – 45′)
Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Chester, Williams, Davies, Taylor, Allen, Ledley (Edwards – 67′), Ramsey, Bale, Robson-Kanu (J.Williams – 72′)

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016

Premier League Dominates List of Most Expensive Players at Euro 2016

4:06 AM Posted by Moto Musashi , , , , No comments
Manchester City's financial dominance in European football has been well-documented for the best part of a decade. This trend is reinforced by the fact that the most expensive players out of the German, French and Belgian national teams are Manchester City stars.
The Premier League as a whole also boasts its own dominance, with 133 players at Euro 2016 set to come from English clubs, at a net value of £953m.

Manchester City v A.F.C. Bournemouth - Premier League
This figure is only staggering when you compare it to Spanish or German football, with the former sending 35 players worth £430m to the tournament, while the latter are sending 64 players with a value of £272m. 
The list, compiled by ​sportingintelligence, has some positive figures for Arsenal supporters, as they, joined with Real Madrid and Manchester City, also have the most expensive players from three countries, with Mesut Ozil being the most expensive German, new-signing Granit Xhaka being the most valuable Swiss player and veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech leading the way for the Czech Republic.
In spite of France's favourite status and their wealth of talented players, the most expensive of those is actually Manchester City's Eliaquim Mangala, who signed for City for a whopping £42 million in 2014.

Premier League Transfer Rumours: Kroos, Vardy, Honda, Mane and More

3:58 AM Posted by Moto Musashi , , , , No comments
Who is allegedly ready to offer more than £31m to Real Madrid for Toni Kroos? Jamie Vardy is 80% sure of his future, but will it be Leicester or Arsenal? Which pair of Premier League clubs could enter a bidding for Milan's Keisuke Honda? And what is the latest update on the future of Sadio Mane at Southampton?

Learn the answers to these questions and more in today's roundup of Premier League transfer rumours.

10. West Brom Confident of Landing QPR Winger

Leicester City v Queens Park Rangers - Premier League
​After failing in a bid last summer because QPR wanted £10m, West Brom could finally be about to seal a deal for QPR's Scottish international winger Matt Phillips.

According to the ​Birmingham Mail, Baggies boss Tony Pulis is increasingly confident of reaching an agreement. Phillips has just one more year left on his current contract and it makes sense for QPR to cash in while they still can.

9. Sunderland to Make Fresh Ayew Approach

Swansea City v Liverpool - Premier League
​Sunderland could yet make a fresh approach for Swansea forward Andre Ayew this summer, according to the Sunderland Echo, who note that the Ghanaian international still remains a target for the Black Cats.

Ayew has spoken about a move away from the Liberty Stadium in the past, despite only arriving from Marseille last summer, and if Swansea feel they have no choice but to sell they could potentially demand a fee of £15m.

8. Saints Ready to Ward Off Interest in Stars

Southampton v Crystal Palace - Premier League
​Southampton may well be powerless to stop Victor Wanyama leaving this summer, while reports have indicated that Graziano Pelle is in talks with both Everton and Stoke. But the Saints are desperately trying to keep hold of other key players.

According to the Daily Mirror, the Saints are planning to offer new contracts to both Sadio Mane and Shane Long in a bid to keep the pair on the south coast for a while yet. It is said that Koeman's departure to Everton may even make Mane feel happier about staying after a deterioration in their relationship.

7. Everton Keeping an Eye on Nkoudou

​A report originating from RMC has revealed that are one of just three Premier League clubs who are keeping a close eye on promising Marseille winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou - a potential asset that could be sold should the French club need to balance the books.

They will, however, face competition from West Ham and Merseyside neighbours Liverpool.

6. London Rivals on Alert After Honda Revelation

AC Milan v Juventus FC - TIM Cup Final
​Milan and Japan star Keisuke has revealed that he could be moving on after two and a half years at the San Siro, which the Daily Express believes has put both Tottenham and West Ham on alert ahead of a potential approach.

"I've been playing for AC Milan for two years. I'm not very satisfied with my performance, this is what I acknowledge about myself," the player admitted.

"Therefore I am not sure if my team will want to keep me and I am not sure about the future of my career, so right now I can't tell you about what will happen next. From now I will have two months for my rehabilitation and I have no matches right now so I have time to recover from my injuries."

5. Liverpool Will Have to Pay Full Whack for Porto Teen

​It's been a fortnight full of rumours linking Liverpool with Porto players. First it was Yacine Brahimi, then it was Hector Herrera, and now it's 19-year-old Ruben Neves.

According to Record in Portugal, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is interested in the talented youngster, although it is said that only a monster offer of €40m will do.

Elsewhere, it has been claimed that Liverpool are in 'pole position' to land Lille play-maker Sofiane Boufal, while they are also allegedly keen on Cristian Tello - a player linked with a move to Anfield countless times in the past.

It has even been very optimistically claimed that the Reds are in the hunt for Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani.

4. Chelsea Eye Nainggolan Alternative

Italy v Finland - International Friendly
​With Radja Nainggolan almost certain to stay at Roma this summer, Chelsea's hunt for a new central midfielder has led them to rising Juventus star Stefano Sturaro, according to a report bythe Sun.

The 23-year-old didn't join Juve until after Antonio Conte left, but the new Stamford Bridge boss does still know him well after including the player in his Italy squad for Euro 2016.

In other news, Chelsea may 'soon' be speaking to Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly as they look to strengthen a leaky defence that proved to be their downfall in 2015/16.

3. Vardy 80% Sure Where Future Lies

Leicester City v Everton - Premier League
​Leicester striker Jamie Vardy won't make a formal decision about his future until after Euro 2016 with an Arsenal contract waiting on the table. However, according to the London Evening Standard, the 29-year-old is 80% sure of where he'll be playing next season.

It's bad news for the Gunners. Apparently the 24-goal front-man has discussed the situation with a handful of international colleague and is leaning towards a Leicester stay.

The Gunners may not have to wait too much long for another signing, though, after reports that Bolton have accepted an offer for England Under-21 defender Rob Holding.

2. Man Utd to Bid for 'Dream Signing' Kroos

Germany v Hungary - International Friendly
​Toni Kroos could have been a Manchester United player before joining Real Madrid. The deal was reportedly agreed when David Moyes was still manager but Louis van Gaal pulled the plug.

Now, the Daily Express cites notorious Spanish gossip merchant Fichajes to claim that United have renewed their interest in the German World Cup winner and are even ready to make an opening bid in excess of £31m.

Apparently, Kroos is a 'dream signing' for new manager Jose Mourinho and he wants the Old Trafford board to make it happen. Of course, don't let the player's recent insistence that he's not interested in leaving the Bernabeu stop the rumours.

Unfortunately for United, it looks like they may have missed out on rumoured target Miralem Pjanic after reports that the Bosnian is set to leave Roma for Juventus.

1. Man City Have Better Chance With Messi Than Rivals

​Despite recent reports suggesting that Manchester United are testing the metaphorical waters ahead of a possible bid for Lionel Messi in the future, it appears that Manchester City still have a better chance of being to pull it off.

Sport Witness notes that a report from Marca states that City are still keeping an eye on the whole situation regarding Messi's future. It is mentioned that Etihad chief executive Ferran Soriano, once of Barcelona himself, remains close to the player and his father.

That being said, the five-time Ballon d'or winner has no desire to quit Camp Nou just yet.

Swansea City Confirm Interest In Liverpool's Joe Allen

Swansea City Chairman has confirmed the club's interest in returning Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen to the Liberty Stadium.

The player's deal is set to expire next summer, leaving his Anfield future in doubt, as contract talks haven't been forthcoming. And club chairman Huw Jenkins has admitted that the Swans are keen on a move for the Welshman.


 “I think it has been well-documented that Joe is going to look at his future when he is finished out at Euro 2016,” he said via the  Liverpool Echo (h/t the South Wales Evening Post).

“Naturally, we are interested in good players like Joe who may be available this summer given that he has a year left on his contract.”

Obviously we will keep tabs on his situation and see what happens later in the summer.”

Swansea made attempts to sign the player in January, but the move was rebuffed by Jurgen Klopp, who is somewhat fond of the 26-year-old.

Jenkins concedes that he will have to wait until after the Euros to look into a transfer for Allen, who is trying his best to get over a training injury in order to be fit in time for his country's Euro 16 group B opener with Slovakia on Saturday.

Allen, who is looking forward to the tournament, credits Klopp with his newfound form and highlights Liverpool's participation in two cup finals during the season.

“The second half of the season I was involved a lot more and my performance levels have increased,” he said via  This is Anfield.

“Everyone’s seen Jurgen [Klopp] has had a good impact on the team, everyone has responded really well to him, we’ve gone to two cup finals and although they ended in disappointment, to take us that far in his first season shows the impact he’s had.

Villarreal CF v Liverpool - UEFA Europa League Semi Final: First Leg

“There’s certainly things I’ve learned from him I’m using to help my game.

“Anyone would be lying if they said there hasn’t been focus on this during the club season as well. It is such a huge occasion.

“We have been sick and tired of watching tournaments in previous summers. To be a part of it is what it’s all about as professional footballers. Representing your country on this stage is the stuff of dreams.”

Real Madrid complicate Manchester United's pursuit of Paul Pogba

3:38 AM Posted by Moto Musashi , , , No comments
It has been widely reported that Manchester United are keen to bring Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, a former United youth-academy product, back to Old Trafford for a British-record fee of £78 million. As Spanish outlet AS reports, though, Real Madrid are set to enter the bidding, something that Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport concurs with, claiming a €120 million bid could be in the offing.
In addition, the Independent writes that Real playmaker Isco could be offered to Juventus as a makeweight in order to soften the blow of losing their star man. According to ESPN FC sources, Man United could counter that with a makeweight of their own, in the shape of Juan Mata.
Pogba will wait to see if manager Zinedine Zidane's Real side, which won the Champions League, show interest, sources tell ESPN FC -- and according to the AS report, they will. The Frenchman certainly ticks all the boxes of a modernGalactico.

Juve seek Morata replacement

The Mail reports that Juventus could look to make a splash of their own in the market this summer after setting their sights on landing Edinson Cavani,Romelu Lukaku or Christian Benteke if they are unable to hold on to Alvaro Morata.

If Juventus lose Alvaro Morata in the summer, the Bianconeri could replace him with PSG's Edinson Cavani.

Morata has a clause in his contract allowing former club Real Madrid to buy back the striker for a pre-agreed sum, with the Spanish giants frequently reported to do so before selling the player on at a profit. However, an agreement to keep Morata in Turin could be struck with Real as part of any deal that takes Pogba in the opposite direction.
If that doesn't come off, though, the Italian champions have other targets lined up.

Barca priced out of Stones move

Barcelona believe John Stones will sign with Manchester City, according to the Mail, after the Everton defender's agent met with Camp Nou representatives but rejected a contract that included a £90,000-a-week salary plus bonuses.
Barca are said to have been tracking the 22-year-old England international since 2014, but the prospect of working with Pep Guardiola at the Etihad appears to be too good to resist. It is reported that the offer tabled by Barcelona was considerably smaller than what is on offer in the Premier League, where Chelsea and Manchester United are also reported to be interested in Stones' services.

Barcelona believe that John Stones will join Manchester City this summer, according to a report.


• Real Madrid have decided against pursuing Man United goalkeeper David De Gea this summer and will stay loyal to current No. 1 Keylor Navas on the wishes of coach Zinedine Zidane, Marca reports. Although Florentino Perez remains a big admirer of De Gea, the Real president has decided to respect his coach's decision and will not pursue the long-term target.
• Watford could face a battle to keep hold of captain Troy Deeney, even though he rejected a reported £15m offer from Leicester. The Mirror claims Deeney, 27, is interested in joining the Premier League champions and wants to test himself in the Champions League.
• The Mail reports that Kolo Toure is being lined up for a move to Monaco as he prepares to leave Liverpool on a free transfer. Martin Skrtel and Joao Teixeiracould follow the 35-year-old former Arsenal and Manchester City defender out of the Anfield exit door as Jurgen Klopp overhauls his squad.
• Inter Milan are interested in signing Bastian Schweinsteiger on loan from Man United if he does not figure in Jose Mourinho's plans for next season. According to the Express, the 31-year-old Germany international could find himself surplus to requirements at Old Trafford.