AFP

‘Special’ Mbappe fires PSG 12 points clear in France – Football Article

Paris (AFP) – Kylian Mbappe’s excellent volley secured Paris Saint-Germain a hardfought 1-0 win at Saint-Etienne on Sunday as the runaway Ligue 1 leaders moved 12 points clear at the summit. The 20-year-old Mbappe fired home his league-leading 19th goal of the campaign with 17 minutes remaining. “He (Mbappe) shows his quality every day in training, he has this hunger to score, score, score,” said PSG coach Tuchel. “It’s his quality. He is a special player.” Mbappe has now scored…

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Icardi stripped of Inter Milan captaincy amid exit speculation – Football Article

Milan (AFP) – Mauro Icardi has been stripped of the Inter Milan captaincy in favour of goalkeeper Samir Handanovic amid speculation the Argentina forward is set to leave the club, the Italian outfit announced on Wednesday. “The club can confirm that Samir Handanovic is the new captain of the team,” the Serie A outfit tweeted. The switch comes as Icardi, 25, has yet to sign a new contract amid protracted negotiations between the club and his wife Wanda Nara, who…

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‘Victory and goal for Sala’, says Cardiff captain Bamba – Football Article

London (AFP) – Cardiff City captain Sol Bamba dedicated his goal and a 2-1 victory over Southampton to Emiliano Sala after an emotional match for the Welsh club. Saturday’s fixtures were the first round of Premier League games since the player’s death was confirmed earlier this week. The Argentinian striker’s body was formally identified by an English coroner on Thursday, a day after it was recovered from underwater wreckage in the Channel. “A lot of things were going through my…

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Sarri vows not to crack despite sleepless nights at Chelsea – Football Article

London (AFP) – Maurizio Sarri admits Chelsea’s nightmare run has given him sleepless nights, but the Blues boss insists he will not crack under the pressure.  Sarri has found it hard to get any rest since Wednesday’s humiliating 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth as he works late into the night to find answers to Chelsea’s problems.  Poring over video of the match to analyse what went wrong, Sarri managed only a few hours’ sleep in the following two days.  “Not really…

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PSG sweat over Neymar as Henry gets pushed aside by Monaco – Football Article

Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain are hoping Neymar’s prayers are answered after the runaway Ligue 1 leaders’ talisman suffered a fresh metatarsal injury just weeks from their huge Champions clash with Manchester United. Neymar invoked divine intervention after being forced to leave the field in tears during their 2-0 French Cup win over Strasbourg in midweek with the same injury that curtailed the Brazilian’s campaign last season. “Your will be done, my God” he wrote in an Instagram post. Although…

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Chelsea players support Sarri philosophy, says Luiz – Football Article

London (AFP) – Maurizio Sarri has the full support of the Chelsea players who have signed up to his philosophy says David Luiz despite the manager blasting them in the wake of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal. Luiz, who has become a pivotal figure in Sarri’s team after being sidelined last season by Antonio Conte, said it is remarkable how quickly Sarri has been successful in implementing his playing philosophy at the club. While that was successful initially, Chelsea’s form…

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RB Leipzig give Bayern-target Werner extension ultimatium – Football Article

Berlin (AFP) – RB Leipzig have given Timo Werner an ultimatum to sign a contract extension by the end of the season with Bayern Munich already having expressed interest in the Germany striker. With the Bundesliga to resume this weekend after the winter break, fourth-placed Leipzig host current leaders Borussia Dortmund in a mouth-watering clash on Sunday. Curiously, Werner, 22, has yet to score against Dortmund in seven  previous meetings for either Leipzig or previous club Stuttgart. However, the hot-shot…

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Despair for India as late Bahrain penalty dumps them out of Asian Cup – Football Article

Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) (AFP) – India suffered late heart-break on Monday after an injury-time penalty saw the cricket-mad nation lose 1-0 to Bahrain and be denied a historic spot in the Asian Cup knockout stages. Meanwhile hosts and India’s Group A rivals United Arab Emirates cemented their place as group winners after a 1-1 draw with Thailand in Al Ain that also saw the Thais progress. India were moments away from reaching the knockout phase for the first time…

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