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Cristiano Ronaldo releases statement on Man United’s loss to Liverpool



Cristiano Ronaldo has released a social media statement to address Manchester United’s heavy defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.

The Red Devils crashed to a miserable 5-0 loss to their bitter rivals at Old Trafford on what was a sobering evening for the home side.

United were 2-0 down inside 13 minutes and 4-0 down by half-time with Naby Keita and Diogo Jota scoring and then Mohamed Salah netting a brace before the break to take his scoring run to 10 successive games across all competitions.

The Egyptian became the first away player since 2003 to score a hat-trick at United after notching his third goal just five minutes into the second half.

Ronaldo thought he’d scored a consolation for United but saw a goal chalked off for offside while half-time substitute Paul Pogba was shown a red card just 15 minutes after coming on following a VAR review over a reckless challenge on Naby Keita.

Defeat for United leaves them eight points off table-toppers Chelsea after just nine matches of the Premier League season, having lost three of their last four top-flight outings.

And Ronaldo, who rejoined United from Juventus in the summer, has spoken out to address the team’s struggles following their heavy defeat to Liverpool.

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The Portuguese forward admits he and his team-mates must accept blame for United’s below-par form as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer comes under huge scrutiny.

Ronaldo wrote on Instagram: “Sometimes the result is not the one we fight for. Sometimes the score is not the one we want. And this is on us, only on us, because there’s no one else to blame.

“Our fans were, once again, amazing in their constant support. They deserve better than this, much better, and it’s up to us to deliver. The time is now!”

Ronaldo’s comments were similar to those made by his captain Harry Maguire and United’s left-back Luke Shaw as the club’s dressing room collectively admitted they were nowhere near up to standard.

Maguire told Sky Sports: “First and foremost, apologies to the fans, it was nowhere near good enough for this club. We’re all disappointed, we’ve spoken in the dressing room, I’m here because I’ve got to be here.

“The only thing really that I’ve got to say is we apologise to the fans, it’s nowhere near good enough.

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“They stuck right with us, even coming off the pitch at 5-0 in the end they were singing and we appreciate that. For us, as a club, we’ve got to do better.

“We had chances ourselves but defensively, I’m a defender first and foremost and to concede four in a half, especially at Old Trafford, playing for this club is nowhere near good enough.

“I’ll be looking at myself, I’ll be looking at my individual performance as a team. I’m the captain of this club so I lead the boys, we’ve got to come together.”

Left-back Shaw meanwhile declared to Stadium Astro: “Not good enough, I know of course this game is a team sport, a team game, but I think as individuals we need to be accountable of some of the performances today and that’s why I’m here now.

“I’m not hiding in there, not speaking, I come out and say I wasn’t good enough. I speak on behalf of myself, not the team. I’m accountable for my performance and it wasn’t good enough.

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“I’m not here to speak about the team, we know we can be better, but for me also I need to be better than I was today. I think it’s ourselves we need to look at first and foremost in the mirror.

“Of course have the tactics and how the manager wants us to play. But I think at times we’re way too easy to play through against.

“For example look at the first goal, it can’t be possible to have three [Liverpool players] running through in the first five minutes. We need to be more compact, we need to be better, we know that.

“I think also maybe we could say this result was coming. I think in past games where we’ve won we haven’t been at our best and we know that, we felt that inside the dressing room. Today we need to reflect and we have to move on from this because it hurts.”

United enjoy a week off and face Nuno Espirito Santo’s struggling Tottenham in north London next Saturday (5.30pm) as they look to get back to winning ways.


Tuchel hands 22-year-old his first Chelsea start – predicted starting XI against Leeds this weekend



Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways in Sunday’s game against Leeds United at Elland Road.

The Blues dominated proceedings in the London derby against Spurs last week, however only came out of things with a point following Harry Kane’s late equaliser.

Thomas Tuchel operated a fluid and unique system at Stamford Bridge, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount especially thriving in the new look system.

However, the Blues could turn back to the recognised back three this weekend, with our predicted lineup for the game against Leeds.

GK and Defence

Edouard Mendy made a brilliant save just before Spurs’ late equaliser at the end, and his position in the squad is more than secure for this one.

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With there still being no breakthrough on the Wesley Fofana front, Cesar Azpilicueta will return to the starting lineup as captain at Elland Road.

Fixtures are yet to pick up in the early stages of the season, so Thiago Silva should still be fresh and okay to participate again.

The centre-backs will be completed by Kalidou Koulibaly, who showed his quality again in an emphatic display against Spurs.


Reece James scored almost instantly after being moved back to wing-back on Sunday, and the Blues will look to get the attacking best out of him on Sunday.

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Jorginho may have been at fault for the first conceded goal last week, although his great performance will still see him start again against Leeds.

Injuries have ruled N’golo Kante and likely Mateo Kovacic out of the game, there is a big choice to be made to partner the Italy internatonal. While Ruben Loftus-Cheek starred against Spurs, Conor Gallagher will be chosen to partner in midfield, being handed his first start for the club.

Marc Cucurella will look to build on his impressive performance last week with another start against Leeds, with Ben Chilwell still not quite at match fitness.

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The Chelsea attack will have a familiar look to the last two weeks, with Mason Mount occupying the free-roaming role in the attack against an opponent he has had a lot of success against before.

Raheem Sterling will try again in his quest to open his Chelsea league account, with him missing a glorious chance last week.

Kai Havertz is another man who missed a great opportunity to win the game for the Blues at the weekend, although his work in the front three was enough to see him start again.

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Atletico Madrid do not want to pay €40 million for Barcelona attacker



Atletico Madrid are in a precarious situation in regards to their ownership of Antoine Griezmann.

The Spanish giants had signed the Barcelona forward on a two-year loan deal last summer. The contract included a mandatory purchase option worth €40 million if the player features in 50% of the matches with a minimum of 45 minutes between the games across two seasons.

Last season, Griezmann featured in 82.5% of the matches, meaning Atletico Madrid may have to virtually leave him out on the bench throughout the 2022/23 campaign if they are to avoid paying the fee for the Frenchman in 2023.

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However, with Luis Suarez leaving the club, Atletico Madrid consider Griezmann a viable part of the club’s attacking unit and Los Colchoneros must get the best out of him, if they are to regain their lost status in the title race in this new season.

At the same time, the club are not too keen on meeting the mandatory €40 million purchase clause set on Griezmann’s contract. This has been reported by Mundo Deportivo which suggests the club are looking to reduce the overall valuation of the clause.

While Barcelona are yet to respond to Atletico’s overtures, there is a clear indication that the capital club have no intention to pay anywhere near the €40 million for the services of Griezmann, who was barely even a starter for Diego Simeone’s men last season

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The Frenchman was even left out on the bench in Atletico’s opening game against Getafe. However, coming on as a substitute in the final half an hour, the attacker was able to break his scoring duck by netting the third goal in a 3-0 victory.

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It will be interesting to see whether the little cameo compels Simeone to start him in future matches, although his performances should not deter Atletico Madrid from their attempts to lower the price tag of the star striker.

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Barcelona star’s move to Chelsea is now ‘heating up’ – report



Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be close to securing a move to Chelsea from FC Barcelona, with the move now heating up, reports Victor Navarro on COPE.

Aubameyang joined Barça only eight months ago, arriving as a free agent from Arsenal in January. He helped the Catalans finish second in La Liga last season and finished the campaign as the club’s joint top scorer in all competitions along with Memphis Depay

And, Barcelona could now lose both their top scorers this summer. Depay is closing in on a move to Juventus, having reportedly agreed a two-year contract with the Italian giants.

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And now Aubameyang could be on his way to Chelsea imminently, with the move ‘heating up’ recently. The Blues have made the 33-year-old Gabonese striker their top target after losing both Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel enjoyed a successful relationship with Aubameyang during their time at Borussia Dortmund and is now pushing for a reunion.

Reports earlier on Thursday indicated that Chelsea were planning to submit a formal offer for the former Arsenal captain imminently.

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Now, Victor Navarro is claiming that the two clubs are negotiating over the transfer of the 33-year-old, with all parties intent on getting the move over the line.

Barcelona need to get rid of players so that they can register Jules Kounde and make more additions, with a new right-back and left-back on the club’s agenda.

The departure of Depay alone will not be enough to register Kounde. And with Frenkie de Jong unwilling to leave and no offers arriving for Sergino Dest yet, Aubameyang’s exit seems the best option for Barça.

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The ex-Arsenal superstar has fallen down the pecking order at Camp Nou this season following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski. A move to Stamford Bridge could see him become the first-choice striker and enjoy regular game-time.

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