Thursday, 19 October 2017

Olivier Giroud magic earns Europa League win for Arsenal over Red Star Belgrade

It takes something unusual to create a moment of silence at Red Star Belgrade’s boistrous Rajko Mitić Stadium. Five minutes from the end of a Europa League match that scored higher on atmosphere than intrigue, Arsenal produced the game’s defining move and for a few seconds the sound cut completely as the home crowd took in the blow.

What a blow it was. The move of the night was carved by Jack Wilshere, who changed gear to burst past two opponents, exchanged passes with Theo Walcott, and picked out Olivier Giroud. It had been one of those nights where Arsenal’s hulking frontman looked a bit tortured, nothing going for him, touches astray, movement on the leaden side. But in that moment he adjusted his body to send an overhead kick into the net.

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Giroud overhead kick edges Arsenal past Red Star

Paris (AFP) – Olivier Giroud scored a fantastic late winner as Arsenal edged to their third straight Europa League win by beating 10-man Red Star Belgrade 1-0 in Serbia on Thursday.

Arsene Wenger’s men rode their luck at times in an uninspiring performance, before Giroud struck in the 85th minute after Red Star had seen Milan Rodic sent off.

The Premier League side stay top of Group H, five points clear of Red Star, while Cologne remained pointless after losing 1-0 at BATE Borisov.

Wenger made sweeping changes to his team with Sunday’s Premier League visit to Everton in mind.

Only goalkeeper Petr Cech remained from the starting XI that lost 2-1 at Watford last weekend, as injury-plagued French right-back Mathieu Debuchy made his first start for the club in 11 months.

Roared on by a vociferous home crowd, Red Star made a bright start, but it was Arsenal winger Theo Walcott who saw the game’s first real chance saved by the legs of Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan.

The inexperienced away defenders were lucky not to concede in the 26th minute when Richmond Boakye headed onto the crossbar when unmarked at a corner.

Arsenal were struggling to cope with the pace in the Serbians’ attack and Cech was forced into a low save to deny Nemanja Radonjic before half-time.

The visitors started the second period with more urgency, as Giroud fired over and Walcott saw his shot smothered by Borjan after being released by Jack Wilshere’s through ball.

Arsenal were given a great chance of snatching all three points when home defender Rodic was given a second yellow card with 10 minutes to play.

The Londoners took it in style with a wonderful goal, as Wilshere’s clever flick was turned across goal by Walcott for Giroud to send an overhead kick spinning into the top corner.

Italian Serie A high-flyers Lazio came from behind to win 3-1 at Nice.

Mario Balotelli opened the scoring for Nice in the fourth minute, after announcing the birth of his son Lion earlier this week, only for Felipe Caicedo to equalise seconds later.

The Italian capital-city side took top spot in Group K as midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored a second-half brace.

Real Sociedad bounced back from their 3-1 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg last time out with a 6-0 thrashing of Vardar in Macedonia as Brazilian Willian Jose scored four goals in 25 minutes.

The La Liga outfit are second in Group L, three points behind Zenit after Roberto Mancini’s Russians saw off Rosenborg 3-1.

Athletic Bilbao, Europa League runners-up to Atletico Madrid in 2012, are third in Group J on only two points after being held to a 2-2 draw at Swedish club Ostersund, despite a late leveller from Inaki Williams.

Swiss outfit Lugano picked up their first ever group-stage points in a European competition with a 3-2 victory over Czechs Viktoria Plzen in Group G, while Marseille warmed up for Sunday’s clash with arch-rivals Paris Saint-Germain by beating Vitoria Guimaraes 2-1.

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Manchester United to aid football development in Saudi Arabia

London (AFP) – Manchester United have agreed a deal with the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia to help develop football in the country.

United will lend business and sporting expertise to clubs and sporting organisations in Saudi Arabia to boost the game’s growth.

The partnership forms part of Saudi Vision 2030 — the plan to diversify the Saudi economy and to develop its public sectors, announced last year by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

United’s group managing director Richard Arnold told the club’s website: “The club has a long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia and has over five million passionate fans in the region.

“Our partnership with Saudi Telecom is the longest running of all our commercial partners.

“Having the chance to help shape the football industry in the Kingdom is a great honour and it is something where we believe we can make a big difference.

“I hope that this strategic alliance will benefit generations of Saudi footballers, supporters and young professionals looking to work in football well beyond Saudi Vision 2030.”

Turki Al-Shikh, chairman of the GSA, added: “This relationship is part of an exciting programme we are undertaking to transform sport in Saudi Arabia.”

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Europa League Roundup: Arsenal and Lazio Maintain Their 100% Starts While Athletic Suffer

Six of the twelve Europa League groups have reached the halfway point now, with action still to come on Thursday evening. And whilst a number of the more fancied sides in the competition have inevitably exerted their superiority, a few clubs continue to defy the odds in an intriguing tournament so far. Arsenal are among the teams who have made an ideal start and secured a narrow 1-0 win away to Red Star Belgrade in Group H. It was an uncomfortable and frustrating game for long periods but the...

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Red Star Belgrade 0-1 Arsenal: Gunners Go Five Points Clear Thanks to Olivier Giroud Stunner

​Arsenal managed to scrape a slender 1-0 victory against Red Star Belgrade in the Serbian capital on Thursday evening, sending them five points clear of their opponents at the top of Group H. Red Star surprisingly have something many Gooners will be envious of - a European Cup - and the last time the two teams met was back in 1978 in what was the UEFA Cup, with the Serbian side coming out on top. Here it is - our team for #RSBvAFC  http://pic.twitter.com/PaQpEDB3IM — Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) October...

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US World Cup disaster exposes USSF, FOX Sports and MLS: World Soccer Talk Podcast

World Soccer Talk is the weekly soccer podcast on the topic of watching soccer on TV, online and apps.

In the NEW episode, number 47, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Christopher Harris cover a range of topics including:

• How FOX Sports reported on one of the biggest weeks in US Soccer history,

• Our experiences with YouTube TV and whether it’s a winner for soccer fans,

• Latest TV rights news for Serie A and LaLiga, as well as

• Our thoughts on Facebook Live’s latest coverage of the UEFA Champions League.

• Plus feedback and questions from you in the Listener Mailbag section.

Listen to the show via the player above or via this link.

Send in your questions, comments and feedback via e-mail web@worldsoccertalk.com, via Twitter (@wsoccertalk) or Facebook. We’ll read them out on-air in the next episode.

Here are the different ways you can download the World Soccer Talk Podcast stream.

• Subscribe to the World Soccer Talk Podcast on Stitcher,
• Subscribe to the podcast via Google Play,
• Listen via the World Soccer Talk website, or visit the World Soccer Talk Podcasts page
• Subscribe to the World Soccer Talk Podcast on iTunes,
• Add the World Soccer Talk Podcast RSS feed to your RSS reader,
• Listen to the World Soccer Talk Podcast on TuneIn, Soundcloud, Spreaker, YouTube and Audioboom.

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Harry Kane Reveals the Tactical Thinking Behind Spurs' Two-Striker System Against Real Madrid

It was indeed a surprise to many when Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino opted to start with two strikers, a relatively unused system by Spurs thus far, in one of their biggest games of the season at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night. However, Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has told the Telegraph that it had been something Mauricio Pochettino had been working on during the week, before his side’s encounter with Real Madrid. Spurs's number 10 revealed: “He told me what he was thinking of...

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PHOTOS: Henrikh Mkhitaryan Manages to Mess Up UEFA #EqualGame Campaign in the Simplest Way Possible

​Ahead of this week's Champions League fixtures, UEFA took the opportunity to promote their #EqualGame Campaign, with one player from each club selected to hold a sign bearing the campaign's name in their pre-match team photo. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for UEFA, when it came to picking a representative from Manchester United ahead of their game away to Portuguese champions Benfica, the man chosen for this seemingly straightforward task was Henrikh Mkhitaryan. But as can be seen...

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Everton v Lyon: Europa League – live!

FanView: Why Man City's Brilliant Signing of Ederson is the Perfect Basis for a Trophy-Laden Season

​The 2016/17 Manchester City side promised so much and ended up delivering so little, but it's becoming apparent that everything we saw was building up to this season. Pep Guardiola arrived in England with the intention of turning the Citizens into his famous treble-winning Barcelona side in terms of playing scintillating football. Much like this season, he breezed to 10 victories in no time at all, but all that early attacking flair one year ago became undermined by the calamitous Claudio...

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FIFA in deal to end FIFPro transfer complaint

Zurich (AFP) – FIFA on Thursday reached a deal it hopes will lead to footballers union FIFPro withdrawing its complaint to the European Commission over “transfer market madness”.

World football’s governing body FIFA plans to launch an investigation into transfers after this summer’s record-breaking window sparked renewed unease at FIFPro.

Neymar’s staggering world record 222 million euros move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain was described by the union as “the latest example of how football is ever more the domain of a select group of rich, mostly European-based clubs”.

FIFA’s vice-president Victor Montagliani said they had reached a three-party agreement “on the narrow issues” with the World Leagues Forum, FIFPro and the European Club Association.

“We’re looking at broader issues as relates to the transfer system and we’re looking at setting up a sub committee,” the Canadian added.

Thursday’s agreement must be ratified by FIFA at a meeting in Kolkata next week before FIFPro withdraws its action.

FIFPro lodged its complaint against FIFA with the European Commission in September, 2015, challenging the current transfer system as “anti-competitive, unjustified and illegal”.

The players’ union asked the EC to consider the argument that transfer regulations “prevent clubs from fairly competing on the market” which in turn is “harming the interest of players, small and medium sized professional teams”.

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English teams get their Champions League groove back – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden and co discuss English teams’ success so far in the Champions League, a shambolic day for the FA and look ahead to the weekend’s action

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Paolo Bandini and Archie Rhind-Tutt discuss the best and the worst of the English game – where their teams reigned supreme in each of their respective Champions League groups but off the field it’s been a depressing week. We cover the key points of the DCMS select committee inquiry into the FA and Mark Sampson which put its governance through a grilling as they apologised for racist remarks made towards England players Eni Aluko and Drew Spence.

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Amanda Staveley signs Newcastle non-disclosure agreement before likely bid

• Businesswoman heads Dubai-based firm PCP Capital Partners
• Staveley values club at £300m but Mike Ashley is thought to want £400m

Amanda Staveley has become the fifth potential buyer of Newcastle United to sign a non-disclosure agreement with the club but any sale is understood to be months rather than weeks away.

Related: Mike Ashley puts Newcastle United up for sale and seeks exit by Christmas

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Gareth Bale Could Be Set for Sensational Return to Spurs After Injuries Threaten Future at Real

​Gareth Bale has today been linked with an astonishing move back to Spurs, the club he left in 2013 for Real Madrid. The Daily Mail report that the reigning Spanish champions are frustrated with the Welsh winger's penchant for long spells out with injury, and are thus willing to offload him next summer. Bale is currently out of action due to the same recurring calf injury, the eighth time such an injury has sidelined him during his time with Los Blancos. This news comes after his current...

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Bilbao Defender Aymeric Laporte Reveals Summer Talks With Premier League Giants

​Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte has revealed that he held talks with Premier League giants Manchester City and Chelsea over a possible transfer during the summer. Since making his Bilbao debut back in 2012, the former French youth international has rapidly become one of the highest rated centre backs in Europe. However, while receiving plenty of plaudits, Laporte has not yet been the subject of a big money move to one of Europe's elite. Although, it now appears that is not for the...

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