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UEFA Champions League Matchday three: Highlights – football news

Several big teams were in action in Europe on Tuesday as matchday three of the UEFA Champions League got underway. Manchester United lost to Juventus while Manchester City gained a confidence-boosting win against Shakhtar Donetsk. 

Here are the highlights from them:

1) Manchester United 0-1 Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo had a winning return to Old Trafford but it was Paulo Dybala who popped up with the match winner. 

2) Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Manchester City: Manchester City cruised closer to Champions League knockout qualification as their fine form continued with a convincing 3-0 victory away to Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.

3) Real Madrid 2-1 Viktoria Plzen: Karim Benzema and Marcelo scored as under-pressure Real Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegui saw his team beat Viktoria Plzen 2-1 for their first win in six.

4) AEK Athens 0-2 Bayern Munich: Quickfire second-half goals from Javi Martinez and Robert Lewandowski secured a routine 2-0 win for Bayern Munich over AEK Athens in Champions League Group E.

5) Young Boys 1-1 Valencia: Guillaume Hoarau scored Young Boys’ first Champions League goal as the Swiss side came from behind to deny Valencia in a 1-1 draw at Stade de Suisse.

6) Ajax 1-0 Benfica: Noussair Mazraoui again proved to be Ajax’s man for the big Champions League occasion as his injury-time strike sunk Benfica 1-0 in Amsterdam.

7) Hoffenheim 3-3 Lyon: Joelinton scored in stoppage time as Hoffenheim left it late to grab a dramatic 3-3 draw against Champions League rivals Lyon on Tuesday.

8) Roma 3-0 CSKA Moscow: Edin Dzeko continued his fine run of form in the Champions League by scoring twice and setting up another to lead Roma to a 3-0 victory over CSKA Moscow in Group G.

 

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Koeman tells Netherlands to be inspired by Ajax holding Bayern – football news

Netherlands can take inspiration from Ajax drawing against Bayern Munich in the Champions League ahead of their clash with Germany, says coach Ronald Koeman.

Having lost their Nations League opener 2-1 against World Cup winners France, Koeman’s men will hope for a better result when they host Germany on Saturday in League A Group 1.

And Koeman feels his team should note the success Dutch club Ajax had away to Bayern in the Champions League last week, earning a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena.

“We have to respect the opponents but we also have to believe in ourselves,” Koeman said.

“We are not so bad and the others aren’t so good.

“We have to believe in our qualities, just like Ajax in the Champions League against Bayern.

“If you have the feeling you can compete with them slowly the confidence grows. The Dutch national team is in the same process right now.”

Netherlands have won two, drawn two and lost two of Koeman’s six matches in charge since taking over in February, but the former Everton manager accepts his side remain in transition after their failure to qualify for Russia 2018.

“The players thought it was a bad World Cup qualifying campaign as well. They needed to make some changes,” Koeman added. 

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“There were also players not selected while others thought they should have join the squad. At this time we’re also making changes. We’re recovering now.

“In my opinion, it’s not a great period for the national team. We’re used to fighting for trophies. On the other hand, we still have players who play for big clubs.

“We have enough quality but it’s not going to be an easy win for us against Germany. We have to play at our best against them, but I also think that Germany have known better times in football.”

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‘Maybe everything was a bit too easy’ – Kovac stunned by Bayern slump – football news

Niko Kovac said “maybe everything was a bit too easy” for Bayern Munich previously after the German giants’ winless streak continued against Ajax in the Champions League.

Mats Hummels’ early opener was cancelled out by Noussair Mazraoui as Bayern were surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw by the Dutch visitors on Tuesday.

Bundesliga holders Bayern have now gone three games without victory in all competitions, having started the season with seven successive wins.

“Nobody expected that. But that’s football. When you fall, you always have the opportunity to get up,” head coach Kovac told Sky Germany about Bayern’s slump.

“Maybe everything was a bit too easy. Now we have to roll up our sleeves. I know what struck the clock, that we did not win three games and we need to focus on the essentials again. That’s not what I imagined personally.

“Now we have to quickly show the face that made us so good in the first seven games.”

Bayern were shocked by Hertha Berlin last week but the Bavarians made a flying start in the Group E clash – Hummels breaking the deadlock in just the fourth minute.

Ajax, however, responded midway through the first half via Mazraoui’s fine strike and it proved to be enough to frustrate Bayern.

“That was certainly not a good game from us,” Kovac said. “We did that very well in the first 15 minutes. Then we played negligently, won too few duels, every second ball was at the opponent.

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“We simply played too many bad passes. We wanted too much, too fast. As a result, you build up the opponent and lose confidence. That was a winning point for us in the end. You have to see it that way.”

Bayern star Thomas Muller added: “We certainly had a better phase this season. Our way of playing is in need of improvement.

“We have to stay tuned, something else does not help us. We have to sort the bones and fix everything on Saturday. In football you have to look forward.”

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Champions League Group E: Fixtures, table, teams, TV & live stream – football news

Bayern Munich are Group E favourites in the Champions League this year, in addition to being among the frontrunners to win the competition. 

The Bundesliga champions have been handed an ostensibly favourable draw, considering two of their group stage opponents – Ajax and AEK Athens – missed out on the tournament last season. Portugal’s Benfica are the other team in the group.

Bayern made it to the semi-finals of the tournament before crashing out against eventual winners Real Madrid and will be looking to claim their first Champions League trophy since their 2013 triumph over Borussia Dortmund.

GBP Sports will take a look at the rundown of the Group E fixtures ahead of the group phase start, as well as what to expect from each team and more.


Champions League 2018-19 – Group E Fixtures


Bayern Munich will fancy their chances of making it far in the Champions League once again this season as they have been given a kinder draw than other high-profile teams.

Benfica crashed out of the Champions League last season with zero points, Ajax failed to win their play-off fixtures while AEK Athens also lost their qualification draws.

This leaves Bayern as a strong frontrunner to finish top of their group and progress through to the last 16.

It is a three-way tie for the likes of Ajax, AEK Athens and Benfica to claim the second qualifying spot in Group E.


Champions League 2018-19 – Group E Table Standings



Champions League 2018-19 – Group E Squads


Benfica Champions League

Bayern Munich: Manuel Neuer, Sven Ulreich, Christian Fruchtl, Ron-Torben Hoffmann; Niklas Sule, Mats Hummels, Rafinha, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, Maxime Awoudja, Lars Lukas Mai; Thiago Alcantara, Franck Ribery, Javi Martinez, Arjen Robben, James Rodriguez, Leon Goretzka, Wooyeong Jeong, Jonathan Meier, Corentin Tolisso, Paul Will, Joshua Kimmich, Renato Sanches, Meritan Shabani; Sandro Wagner, Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry, Thomas Muller, Kinglsey Coman, Oliver Batista Meier, Frank Evina, Maximilan Franzke

Benfica:  Mile Svilar, Bruno Varela, Odisseas Vlachodimos; German Conti, Alex Grimaldo, Ruben Dias, Sebastien Corchia, Yuri Ribeiro, Cristian Lema, Jardel, Andre Almeida; Ljubomir Fejsa, Gabriel Appelt Pires, Alfa Semedo, Eduardo Salvio, Filipr Krovinovic, Pizzi, Gedson Fernandes; Jonas, Franco Cervi, Haris Seferovic, Andrija Zivkovic, Facundo Ferreyra, Rafa Silva, Nicolas Castillo

Ajax: Andre Onana, Kostas Lamprou, Dominik Kotarski; Rasmus Kristensen, Joel Veltman, Maximilian Wober, Daley Blind, Perr Schuurs, Luis Orejuela, Nicolas Tagliafico; Daley Sinkgraven, Zakaria Labyad, Lasse Schone, Frenkie de Jong, Hakim Ziyech; David Neres, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Dusan Tadic, Hassane Bande, Kasper Dolberg, Dennis Johnsen

AEK Athens:  Vassilis Barks, Panagiotis Tsintotas; Michalis Bakakis, Helder Lopes, Marios Oikaonomou, Vasileios Lampropoulos, Rodrigo Galo, Uros Cosic, Dmytro Chygrynskiy, Niklas Hult; Andre Simoes, Yannis Gianniotas, Petros Mantalos, Kostas Galanopoulos, Erik Moran, Alef; Giorgos Giakoumakis, Marko Livaja, Tasos Bakasetas, Victor Klonaridis, Ezequiel Ponce, Lucas Boye

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TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch


In the United States (US), Champions League games will be shown on Univision Deportes and streamed online through B/R Live .

US TV channel Online stream
Univision Deportes B/R Live

In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on BT Sport and streamed through the BT Sport app .

UK TV channel Online stream
BT Sport BT Sport app

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Robben highly motivated to face old rivals Ajax says Kovac – football news

Arjen Robben is “highly motivated” for Bayern Munich’s clash with Ajax in the Champions League according to manager Niko Kovac.

The Dutchman, who won the Eredivisie’s Young Player of the Year award and the league title with Ajax’s rivals PSV Eindhoven in the 2002-03 season, has scored three goals in five league games this term.

Bayern coach Kovac has plenty of options on the wing, with Franck Ribery, Serge Gnabry and James Rodriguez all vying for a place in his starting line up, but he indicated that Robben would get the nod against Ajax on Tuesday.

“He knows Dutch football of course,” Kovac told reporters. “He will probably play tomorrow.

“Arjen is highly motivated. He had 96 games for his country. He’s from Eindhoven and of course that’s a good motivator.

“He wants to show that he is still a good player and he is a good player. I want him to march forward.”

With his contract due to expire at the end of the season, speculation over Robben’s future at Bayern has been rife and his recent good form has only increased supporters’ desire for the veteran forward to make a commitment to playing on.

The former Chelsea forward said that his retirement from international football in 2017 had helped his fitness but admitted that he is uncertain where he will be playing next season.

“I feel great right now, I love it here,” said Robben. “We will see what happens when my contract expires.

“I think it is important to play a lot of games to maintain a rhythm but you do need breaks when you get older.

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“One of my reasons for ending my international career was to be able to maintain my quality and continue to play at this level. We have a couple of weeks coming up when I can recharge my batteries and these breaks are really important to me.

“I’m not thinking about ending. It could be a year or two or three years. I can’t predict the future. We’ll have to wait and see.

“I can’t battle nature. At some point it will be over but maybe someone from the outside has to tell me that I should finally stop.”

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Mexicans Abroad: Lozano goal finishes off Ajax, Guardado assists in Betis rally – football news

After being humbled midweek in the Champions League by Barcelona, things were back to normal for the most in-form Mexican player in the world.

Hirving Lozano played a part in the first two PSV goals in a Sunday match against Ajax and then finished off the rivals with a goal of his own in a 3-0 victory for the Eindhoven side. Erick Gutierrez also came into the match, playing the final 20 minutes as PSV moved five points clear atop the Eredivisie table.

Lozano’s showing was the best for any Mexican player this weekend, as it so often has been. But there were other bright spots as well. Andres Guardado set up Marc Bartra’s 51st-minute wondergoal as Real Betis rallied to get a 2-2 draw with Athletic. It’s the club’s third consecutive draw after Guardado and Co. also worked to a scoreless tie with Olympiakos in Europa League action Thursday.

He wasn’t the only El Tri player to help a teammate score a golazo. Raul Jimenez got the ball in the box for Wolves in the 53rd minute. He had his back to goal and couldn’t turn but soon noticed he could nudge the ball toward Joao Moutinho. The veteran made no mistake and notched the equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United. Elsewhere in the Premier League, West Ham failed to score in a draw with Chelsea but couldn’t call on Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, who remains out with an illness.

Guillermo Ochoa thought he had helped his Standard Liege team to a draw, which would’ve been a nice bounce-back after a 5-1 loss to Sevilla in the Europa League on Thursday. Instead, he conceded on a corner kick in stoppage time as Standard fell to Anderlecht.

Things didn’t go much better for El Tri teammate Diego Reyes in the Europa League. The defender was back in the starting lineup for Fenerbahce but suffered a 4-1 loss to Dinamo Zagreb to open play in the tournament. The club returns to Super Lig action on Monday against Besiktas.

Miguel Layun didn’t see any time in Villarreal’s Europa League draw but played this weekend’s contest against Valencia. The Veracruz native was shown a yellow card in the match, which ended 0-0.

It was a milestone day for Hector Herrera with Porto. After a nail-biting 1-1 draw during the week, Herrera was back in the starting lineup for this weekend’s 2-0 victory over Vitoria Setubal. It marked his 200th appearance for the club, which put out a video asking fans to pick their favorite moment of his time there.

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Jesus Corona made a later-than-usual cameo in this match, playing the final 11 minutes of the victory. 

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Van der Sar distances himself from Man Utd job – football news

Edwin van der Sar has dismissed reports he wants to join Manchester United as director of football.

The Premier League side are reportedly hoping to recruit a director to oversee their dealings in the transfer market, and their former star goalkeeper as well as RB Leipzig head of recruitment Paul Mitchell are said to be two of the top candidates.

Van der Sar, who spent six years with the Old Trafford club, has gone from marketing director to CEO at Ajax in recent years as the Dutch giants went on to reach the Europa League final in 2017, where they lost to the Red Devils.

And the 47-year-old says he still has a lot of work to do in the Eredivisie and has no intention of leaving the Johan Cruyff Arena any time soon, even if the Old Trafford outfit come calling.

“I saw something in the press a few weeks ago,” he told Inside Ajax.

“That story about United is nonsense. I have, I think, a two year contract. Ajax is my club and I would like to stay for longer. We strive for and want to achieve is very beautiful.”

As a goalkeeper, the Netherlands legend proved a success everywhere he played, enjoying spells at Ajax, United, Juventus and Fulham. But he has revealed that he had several opportunities to play for Barcelona before retiring in 2011.

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“I’ve been close to a switch to Barcelona three times,” he said. “I have had a few nice clubs, but Barça did fit in. It was discussed a few times.

“There were different reasons [for the transfer not going through]. once the transfer fee was too high, another time a keeper came for free in a deal with a striker and on the other occasion a presidential candidate suddenly dropped from first to third place.

“It seemed nice to me, I heard good stories from other guys and thought I wouldn’t be out of place.”

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Hakim Ziyech on target as Ajax sweep aside Vitesse – football news

Hakim Ziyech got on the scoresheet in Ajax’s 4-0 triumph over Vitesse in Sunday’s Eredivisie encounter

The attacker, who was outstanding last weekend against Emmen, continued his goalscoring run with an early lead for his side.

With just three minutes into the game, the Morocco international fired a shot into the far corner past goalkeeper Eduardo. Four minutes later, Klaas Jan Hunteelar doubled the hosts’ lead and in the 19th minute, Dusan Tadic made it three.

After the interval, Hunteelar completed his brace in this encounter in the 58th minute as Hag’s men recorded an emphatic win over Leonid Slutsky’s side.

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90+2. It’s done! 🕺

🎶 Oh, Happy Day! 🎶 #vitaja pic.twitter.com/UPj5UDGIse

The 25-year-old played the full duration in the encounter and the victory guarantees that Ajax maintain their four-game unbeaten streak.

Ziyech will be hoping to continue his impressive form when Ajax lock horns with Groningen at Johan Cruijff Arena on September 15.   

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