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Real Madrid go top with 2-1 win over Barcelona

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Real Madrid go top with 2-1 win over Barcelona

Real Madrid climbed to the top of the La Liga standings with a 2-1 victory against Barcelona in the first El Clasico of the season on Sunday at the Camp Nou Stadium. Carlo Ancelotti’s side got off to a good start as David Alaba scored with a left-footed shot from the edge of the area in the 32nd minute. Barcelona applied pressure to their opponents but failed to convert any of their chances before Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez doubled the advantage in injury time. Sergio Aguero’s first goal for the Catalan club came in the last seconds of the game, but it was too late.

Sergio Agüero scored in the 97th minute for a second goal, which was perhaps more than this game deserved. There were no celebrations, though, because everyone knew it was already too late, and the image of Madrid’s second, decisive blow helped to define the 246th meeting between these once-mighty rivals. The closer Barcelona got to the opposition’s area – even if it was only very rarely their goal – the more likely they were to be killed off, with Madrid’s counterattack proving to be its most dangerous weapon.

Even if two improbable men eventually won it for Madrid, which seemed to say something, it was skillfully exploited, with Vincius Junior in particular slicing through Barcelona. The first goal was scored by David Alaba, and the second by Lucas Vázquez. Ronald Koeman had become the first Barcelona manager since Patrick O’Connell before the civil war to lose three consecutive clásicos. Carlo Ancelotti was victorious for the first time in this match. “It feels good,” he stated with a smile, but his analysis was realistic, and Madrid’s celebrations were not overly enthusiastic, as though mindful that larger obstacles than Barcelona lay ahead.

There was no hint of the “lion” that Ancelotti had mentioned before the game, a reason for his team to be fearful. Barcelona had played more, deserved more, and the result was “hard to take,” but accepting that argument was even more difficult. Barcelona was toothless at best, and the chance Piqué regretted was only their second or would have been if it had been a real chance. The first was Sergio Dest, who squandered a golden opportunity with the score still 0-0 in the first half.

There had been nothing much after that. Barcelona’s first attempt on target came from Agüero, who rushed in at the death. Marc-André ter Stegen conceded, “They actually had greater opportunities than us.” They’d also arrived by a straightforward and more familiar route.

This swiftly settled into a pattern in which Madrid appeared happy to wait, and it was clear why: the path out was so simple, so effective, that closing down that assault channel – that autopista, in reality – would have been a waste of time. Barcelona wanted to take a step ahead, but doing so appeared to be a trap. Almost every ball was sent beyond them, generally in quest of Vincius, who was sprinting at or behind Oscar Mingueza, who had a 45-minute afternoon. At halftime, he was pulled off. The damage has been done. This had not been his cup of tea.

In 24 minutes, Dest was given a great chance that could have changed everything, but it ended with his teammates knelt. Memphis Depay had escaped, shrugging past Éder Milito and making a darting pass across the field. It trailed Fati but landed at Dest’s feet. He fired a side-footed shot from ten yards out that went far over the bar and into the south-end seats. That was exactly what Barcelona required. They had already been warned about what would happen if they didn’t get a handle on this – and especially on Vincius. Mingueza was unable to do so.

Vincius had already taken advantage of one opportunity, sneaking in behind after only 11 minutes. Mingueza was slow to notice the danger and then unable to avoid it, reaching out a hand as Vincius moved between him and Eric Garca, and he might have earned a penalty. The referee said no when Vincius fell. Every ball appeared to be aimed at him. When Madrid got it, they all ran forward in largely straight lines, including Thibaut Courtois. And when Vincius drew Mingueza in next, it produced the half-hour opener.

The pitch was opened again when he found Rodrygo, and his countryman observed Alaba racing from one section to the other. “What was I thinking?” says the narrator. After then, Alaba said something. “It’s all about scoring.” Ter Stegen was alone in the area when a beautiful shot sailed past him. Toni Kroos’ attempt was blocked during another Vincius break. While Alaba stepped in to deny Fati from close range, the home side had provided little else of note. At halftime, Mingueza was replaced by Philippe Coutinho, and Barcelona took control of possession and territory, but Madrid seemed unconcerned.

It had been that way since the beginning, and it would continue to be that way until the very end. Ancelotti’s team waited for the right opportunity to strike, seemingly confident that they would not be caught. Barcelona attempted 34 crosses, but there were no saves and fewer jitters than a game with this scoreline should have seen. That’s when Piqué took the initiative, and Madrid, once again, came out on top. Ter Stegen observed, “This game didn’t deserve a winner,” yet it did.

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Karim Benzema Gets 1-Year Suspended Sentence Over Sex Tape

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Karim Benzema Gets 1-Year Suspended Sentence Over Sex Tape

Karim Benzema, a striker for Real Madrid, was found guilty of plotting to use a sex film to blackmail a fellow French footballer. A judge sentenced Benzema to a year in prison with no possibility of parole and fined him €75,000 (£63,000; $84,000).

Last month, Benzema, 33, was one of five people charged with attempting to extort Frenchman Mathieu Valbuena. The controversy shook the French football community, and both players were dropped from the national squad.

The two footballers were at a French training camp in June 2015 when the incident occurred. Prosecutors claim that at the camp, Benzema placed pressure on Valbuena to pay up the blackmailers with whom he had arranged to act as an intermediary.

Benzema has consistently disputed the charges, claiming that all he wanted to do was assist Valbuena in getting rid of the compromising video. The midfielder has subsequently returned to France and is scheduled to start for Real Madrid in their Champions League match against FC Sheriff Tiraspol on Wednesday night.

Benzema and Valbuena, who plays for the Greek club Olympiakos, were not present in court in Versailles for the ruling.

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Manchester United sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Zinedine Zidane favorite to replace club legend

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Manchester United sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Zinedine Zidane favorite to replace club legend

After a devastating 4-1, Premier League loss to Watford, Manchester United terminated Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is the favourite to succeed Solskjaer, according to Red Devils executives.

The Norwegian has been under fire for the majority of the season, and his time at Old Trafford has finally come to an end after a record of just one win in their last seven league games.

After humbling losses to Liverpool and Man City, those in authority were left with no options after a heartbreaking setback at Vicarage Road.

Solskjaer’s term as manager of the club comes to an end only one month shy of three years. Manchester United has announced that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stepped down as manager, according to a statement from the club.

He was parachuted in to replace Jose Mourinho in 2018. He was a club legend during his playing days, where he helped the club win six Premier League titles and a Champions League.

Initially, in charge as a caretaker manager, United’s form improved considerably, and he was rewarded with a permanent appointment after a spectacular Champions League second leg triumph against Paris Saint-Germain in March 2019.

Following a third-place finish in his first full season, they finished second behind Man City last season, despite a topsy-turvy season in which they were beaten 6-1 by Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford but also beat Southampton 9-0.

After a 1-1 draw with Villarreal, Solskjaer’s side had a wonderful chance to win the Europa League at the conclusion of 2020/21, but they lost on penalties.

Despite the return of Cristiano Ronaldo and the additions of Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho this season, Solskjaer has been unable to inspire his team to play consistently.

The wobble began with a Champions League loss to Young Boys, and the Norwegian seemed powerless to stop the wheels from slipping off as listless performances came thick and fast.

A stunning loss to Aston Villa, a dreadful draw with Everton, and a rollercoaster 4-2 loss to Leicester put him on the brink of relegation.

A 5-0 loss to Liverpool added to the strain until a 3-0 win over Spurs provided some relief, but a stalemate with Atalanta, a loss to Man City, and eventually an embarrassing humiliation by Watford saw the season end.

United’s season is still salvageable, despite being six points outside the top four, but their new manager will have a lot of work to do to get the club back in shape.

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is the clear favourite to take over at Old Trafford, with Brendan Rodgers, Mauricio Pochettino, and Erik ten Hag also in the running.

We weigh in on the advantages and disadvantages of each of the leading prospects to succeed Solskjaer at United. Real Madrid’s three consecutive Champions League victories, as well as two league titles, make for a dazzling CV for any prospective employer to consider.

United are still a long way from winning the Champions League, but a big name like Zidane would definitely instil hope that glory days are on the way.

Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo had a terrific relationship at the Bernabeu, and the manager would be seen pinging in crosses for his talisman to convert in training, demonstrating that he hadn’t lost any of his own class.

He also knows Raphael Varane from his stint at Real and has tried multiple times to lure Paul Pogba to the club. United’s present roster would appeal to him, and he may not need to make any costly acquisitions.

As a result, players admire Zidane’s brilliance and respond to his tactics. Despite the presence of many egos, he surely produced good chemistry in the Real Madrid dressing room.

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Colorado Rapids eliminated Los Angeles FC from the playoffs with a 5-2 victory

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Colorado Rapids eliminated Los Angeles FC from the playoffs with a 5-2 victory

The Colorado Rapids eliminated Los Angeles FC from the playoffs with a 5-2 victory on Sunday night, moving into first place in the Western Conference. Jonathan Lewis scored two goals.

In the 53rd minute, Lewis scored his second goal after Diego Rubio stole the ball deep in LA territory.

Colorado (17-7-10) also had goals from Collen Warner, Cole Bassett, and Dominique Badji, who secured a first-round bye by a point after Seattle and Vancouver drew 1-1. The Rapids had their first five-goal game of the season.

Los Angeles (12-13-9) needed Vancouver to lose to make the playoffs, so Cristian Arango and Brian Rodriguez scored second-half goals.

In a thrilling and goal-filled Decision Day match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the Colorado Rapids claimed the Western Conference’s top seed in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs and a berth in the 2022 Concacaf Champions League, defeating LAFC 5-2. LAFC has been ruled out of contention for the playoffs.

The Rapids secured home-field advantage in the West and their first CCL involvement since 2018, thanks to a tie between the Seattle Sounders and the Vancouver Whitecaps, as well as a draw between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake.

Jonathan Lewis made a wonderful touch past Jamar Blackman on a Kellyn Acosta cross in the 18th minute to give Colorado the lead. In the 26th minute, LAFC, who needed a win and some help to earn their own postseason berth, saw a huge opportunity to equalize go begging when Cristian Arango had an open net but shot it off the post. At the half-hour mark, Bob Bradley would introduce Carlos Vela into the game in an attempt to rekindle the offensive.

A Collen Warner shot inside the box was deflected into the net by Blackman just minutes later, doubling the Rapids’ lead.

Lewis scored again early in the second half to complete his hat trick and make it 3-0, but Arango shook off his earlier error by scoring past William Yarbrough to narrow the deficit to 3-1. However, the Rapids recovered their three-goal lead fewer than 10 minutes later when Cole Bassett created space for himself outside the box to knock in a banger.

With fewer than 20 minutes to go, LAFC kept themselves in the game when Brian Rodriguez’s shot bounced off Steven Beitashour and past Yarbrough to make it a 4-2 game. Dominique Badji, on the other hand, made it 5-2 barely minutes after entering the game.

That was the final margin as the Rapids clinched top place in the Western Conference, as well as a chance to host the MLS Cup if the New England Revolution fail to advance to the final.

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