Chelsea 1-3 Real Madrid: Benzema hat-trick leaves UCL holders with mountain to climb

Karim Benzema,, player of Real Madrid, is celebrating the goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg One match between Chelsea FC and...

After conjuring up magic to save Real Madrid from the brink of elimination against PSG in the previous round, it was again Karim Benzema’s night – this time in west London – as two first-half headers and pouncing on Edouard Mendy’s early second-half mistake has now confined Champions League holders Chelsea to an unenviable second leg recovery mission on April 13. Continue reading

Report: Timo Werner working with agent to engineer summer departure from Chelsea

Timo Werner of Germany during the international friendly match between Netherlands and Germany at Johan Cruijff Arena on March 29, 2022 in Amsterdam,...

According to recent reports, which have only intensified over this ongoing international break, the 25-year-old – a £49m signing in 2020 – could be set to depart on a permanent basis once the current campaign is concluded at a cut-price fee after a disappointing stint in west London. Continue reading

Contingency plans: Adeyemi fee impasse, Dortmund also linked with other Haaland replacements

Karim Adeyemi of FC Red Bull Salzburg runs with the ball under pressure from Benjamin Pavard of FC Bayern Muenchen during the UEFA Champions League...

While still battling over a fair price for RB Salzburg’s latest hotshot, around the €45m (£37.4m) figure, Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund have been linked with approaches for other strikers this summer as they prepare for life after Erling Haaland – whose €75m (£62.4m) release clause is active and will inevitably be explored by Europe’s elite in the weeks to come. Continue reading

Real Madrid (3) 3-1 (2) PSG: Benzema’s second-half hat-trick secures unlikely comeback

Karim BENZEMA of Real Madrid celebrates his third goal during the UEFA Champions League match between Real Madrid and Paris at Estadio Santiago...

Karim Benzema’s 17-minute hat-trick sent the Bernabeu into raptures, as Real Madrid produced the seemingly improbable: recovering from 1-0 down on the night, and 2-0 on aggregate, stunning PSG to progress into the Champions League quarter-finals. The visitors, ahead after Kylian Mbappe’s near-post finish six minutes before half-time, capitulated again. Continue reading

Sergio Aguero’s abrupt retirement, aged 33, is upsetting but tinged with relief

Kun Aguero of FC Barcelona announces his retirement from football due to a heart condition during a press conference at Nou Camp on December 15, 2021...

Less than six months into his Catalan adventure, Manchester City’s all-time top goalscorer wept during the announcement as he explained what we’ve known for a few weeks now: having to retire prematurely with a heart condition. But as we reflect on his greatest moments and angrily wonder what could’ve been, I’m relieved he’s okay at a time where nothing is certain. Continue reading

Reece Oxford’s Augsburg extension reinforces his refreshing progression

Reece Oxford of FC Augsburg celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Bundesliga match between FC Augsburg and VfB Stuttgart at...

Cast aside too quickly as another teenage wonderkid who swiftly disappeared according to English critics, Reece Oxford’s career trajectory has been re-energised by a Bundesliga journey taking him from Borussia Monchengladbach to Augsburg – where his consistent performances earned a new contract extension last week, like most things, that went under-the-radar. Continue reading

Brazilian winger Antony comes of age, as Ajax annihilate dishevelled Dortmund

Sebastien Haller of Ajax celebrates 4-0 with Antony of Ajax, Davy Klaassen of Ajax during the UEFA Champions League match between Ajax v Borussia...

On a rough night where Borussia Dortmund’s wonderkid striker Erling Haaland missed a handful of big chances and hit the woodwork, Ajax’s ambitious young core exposed their visitors with ruthless abandon en route to a 4-0 win. Antony, an Olympic gold medallist with Brazil in Tokyo two months ago, showed why many of Europe’s elite are tracking his progress. Continue reading

Juventus 1-0 Chelsea: Chiesa the catalyst as ponderous Blues stifled in Turin

Federico Chiesa of Juventus celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Juventus and...

Federico Chiesa’s winner, 11 seconds into the second-half, felt inevitable after multiple warning signs were ignored but typified just how Chelsea – with their 73% possession and half-chances galore – laboured through proceedings in Turin. If Thomas Tuchel’s men are going to successfully defend their Champions League crown, they can’t afford more displays like these. Continue reading

Meticulous planning, irreparable damage and cruel irony: Lionel Messi at PSG

Lionel Messi poses with the Paris Saint-Germain jersey after signing a 2 year contract at Parc des Princes on August 10, 2021 in Paris, France.

Lionel Messi’s 21-year association with Barcelona, where he became the greatest player of his generation, ended yesterday. The Argentine joins a stacked PSG side whose pursuit of an elusive Champions League triumph has become clearer in recent months with their summer business. But while the seeds had been sown for a decade, even they wouldn’t have expected this…
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