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01-13-2018, 02:34 AM

'Now I just have contempt' - Mourinho fires back in Conte feud


Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho claims he feels "contempt" for Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte as he continued to stoke the feud between the pair. Mourinho and Conte have engaged in a war of words in recent weeks that has seen both men fire increasingly venomous barbs.

The Special One has brought up prior charges of match fixing around the Italian, who responded by dubbing his rival a "little man".And speaking on Friday, Mourinho showed no inclination to let tempers calm as he once more went on the warpath.

"I think when a person insults another you can expect a response," the United manager fired to reporters in a press conference."Or you can expect contempt, silence. The first time he insulted me I had a response, a response that I know that touched the point where he really feels hurt.

"Then he insulted me for a second time but now I change and now contempt and for me contempt means end of the story."Chelsea got the better of the Red Devils in their first Premier League meeting of 2017-18, winning 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The teams will meet again in the return fixture at Old Trafford in February, with fireworks expected if the managers continue to clash in their bitter off-field spat.
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01-13-2018, 09:53 AM

Bayer Leverkusen 1 Bayern Munich 3: Leaders open up 14-point lead with comfortable win



Javi Martinez, Franck Ribery and James Rodriguez did the damage as Bayern Munich claimed a commendable 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena on Friday, increasing their lead at the Bundesliga summit to 14 points.

Jupp Heynckes' men were the controlling force for most of the match and, although Leverkusen found some hope through a deflected Kevin Volland goal, Bayern ended their hosts' 12-match unbeaten run and claim a first win at the BayArena since March 2013 despite Robert Lewandowski's absence due to a knee injury.

The entertaining first half was initially end-to-end, with the two sides having fairly equal shares of the ball, but Bayern gradually gained control and identified Leverkusen's main weaknesses; their susceptibility at set-pieces and Karim Bellarabi's reluctance to track back.As such, it came as little surprise to see Bayern's opener come via a corner, with Javi Martinez slamming home after Leverkusen failed to clear their lines.


The in-form Leon Bailey went close to a stunning equaliser when he struck the crossbar nine minutes after the break and Bayern soon made the most of that, as Ribery rounded off a swift break with his first Bundesliga goal of the season.

Volland pulled one back via a deflection of Niklas Sule in the 70th minute to usher in a period of intense Leverkusen pressure, but Bayern - who introduced new signing Sandro Wagner late on - wrapped things up through James' exquisite stoppage-time free-kick to increase their lead at the top ahead of Schalke's trip to RB Leipzig on Saturday.

Bayern were the first to craft an opportunity as Arjen Robben led a break and picked out Ribery at the back post, but Bellarabi recovered to block the Frenchman's eventual effort.

A couple more chances fell to the visitors in quick succession in the 17th minute, with Bernd Leno forced to turn Arturo Vidal's effort from an acute angle around the post, before saving the Chilean's header from the resulting corner.

Leverkusen's first real chance a few moments later should have opened the scoring, but the unmarked Dominik Kohr headed wide from the left-wing corner.
And Bayern punished his profligacy in the 32nd minute – Martinez blasting in from close range after Vidal's header ricocheted into his path.Things nearly got worse for Leverkusen a few minutes later, but Vidal nodded just wide.

Leverkusen did not appear any more of a threat initially after the break, but a moment of individual brilliance from Bailey nearly restored parity in the 55th minute.The Jamaican winger darted into the right side of the penalty area and left Sule in knots, before chipping a left-footed effort on to the bar.

Bayern took full advantage soon after, as they caught Leverkusen on the break and Ribery – exploiting the space left by Bellarabi – strode into the left side of the area before tucking his effort into the bottom-left corner.

But luck was on Leverkusen's side 20 minutes from time, as Volland's effort from just outside the penalty area took a huge deflection off Sule and beat the helpless Sven Ulreich.Another chance presented itself to Volland late on, as Kai Havertz fed the striker into the penalty area, but his first touch was poor and allowed Ulreich to make a vital save.

And James ended Leverkusen's fading chances in stoppage time, caressing a free-kick into the top-left corner from the edge of the area to cap off a strong individual performance.
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01-13-2018, 09:54 AM

Chelsea never wanted Vardy, says Conte


Chelsea are thought to be interested in adding a back-up striker in January, with Michy Batshuayi looking for a loan move, but Antonio Conte insists that he's never requested a move for Leicester City's Jamie Vardy.

Vardy is undoubtedly Leicester's most important striker and helped the club win a shock Premier League title in the 2015-16 season under Claudio Ranieri, scoring 24 goals that season.He faces a race to be fit for his side's visit to Stamford Bridge on Saturday after missing an FA Cup third-round match against Fleetwood Town.

Conte says that while he admires Vardy, the Blues have never approached the striker during his time at Stamford Bridge.

"No, honestly we didn't speak about him, but I repeat we are talking about a really good player," Conte told reporters at Cobham Training Centre. "For sure Vardy is a really good player and I don't like to speak about players of other teams, but in this case we are not talking about transfer market.

"I appreciate a lot this player because he is a really good player, Vardy. He played for the national team and is scoring with regularity in this league and is a good player, but this different — I am talking about him because you ask me and not the transfer market."

Chelsea are looking at options to loan Charly Musonda but have been reluctant to loan Kenedy, who has not had much game time but is operating as a back-up to Marcos Alonso at left wing-back.Conte says Chelsea may consider promoting an academy player to allow Kenedy to go on loan, with Newcastle United interested in adding the Brazilian in January.

"In this case we have two solutions," Conte added. "If Kenedy goes on loan, we go to take another player or we take a player from the academy. Then the club has to decide which solution the club prefer."Conte thinks that the big Premier League teams are aiming to "kill" each other in the transfer market as Manchester City and Manchester United reportedly tussle over Alexis Sanchez.

Sanchez looks set to depart Arsenal in January or over the summer, with only six months remaining on his contract, and it doesn't look like Chelsea will make an approach, despite Conte's admiration for the forward.

In terms of net spending, Chelsea were outdone by both Manchester clubs in the summer transfer window and have only added Ross Barkley for £15 million from Everton this winter, despite Diego Costa's £59m move to Atletico Madrid."I understand that the other teams try to kill the other teams and to anticipate the situation and this is the real transfer market, not to wait until the last moment to buy the players," he said.

"If you anticipate the transfer market you become stronger and you make the other team weak, and I have great respect for the plan of the others because everyone is trying to kill you."
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01-13-2018, 09:57 AM

Conte has no plans to walk out: I am fully committed to Chelsea


Antonio Conte's future may be the subject of much debate, but Chelsea's manager insists he will not walk out on the club.

Despite guiding Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season at Stamford Bridge, Conte has been repeatedly questioned over his future in recent months, amid continued speculation he could depart before his contract expires in June 2019.

Earlier this month Conte appeared to express frustration with the club's transfer policy, saying that "in my history I've rarely been given the players I asked for" and that he "always ended up at clubs who were running an austerity programme."

The Italian was asked about Massimiliano Allegri and Luis Enrique being linked with his job on Friday and replied: "Everything is possible."However, Conte went on to make it clear he is happy in his role and subsequently told reporters there was no chance he would quit Chelsea.

"I am fully committed for Chelsea," he said. "I am fully committed in this and I am happy in what I am doing now and what I did in the past. But I am more happy in what I am doing now."

When Conte was pressed further on the matter and asked if there was "no way he would walk away", he simply replied: "No."The comments emerged after the manager offered less definitive remarks during his pre-match news conference on Friday, with Conte refusing to rule out an early exit.

"Everything is possible," he said. "I have another year of contract with this club but, as you know very well in football, everything is possible."In one moment you stay here and in another you are in another place and another person replaces you. Football is like this. Our job is very difficult. Everything can change."

Conte's Chelsea sit third in the Premier League table, 16 points back of leaders Manchester City entering Saturday's match against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.
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01-13-2018, 09:58 AM

Wenger plans to stay at Arsenal until 2019


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted he is still committed to the Premier League club and has no plans to leave before the end of his contract in 2019.Ahead of a trip to Bournemouth on Sunday, Wenger is under some pressure with his side sitting sixth in the table — five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

The Gunners also fell in their FA Cup opener for the first time since Wenger took over as manager, dropping a 4-2 result against Championship side Nottingham Forest last weekend.

And Arsenal missed out on participating in the Champions League this campaign after a fifth-placed finish in the Premier League last season. The Gunners also have failed to advance past the round of 16 in that competition since the 2009-10 season.Wenger, however, signed a new deal at Arsenal last year and said he was as committed as ever to seeing out his contract."Did I ever walk away? Never. Why should I change?" he said. "I'm always committed.

"I'm here for 21 years. I just do, in every single decision I make, what is right for the club."If I stay for one year or 10 years, it's exactly the same," he added. "If it's me in charge or somebody else, you can only do what is best for the club. And that's what you try to do.

"That has nothing to do with my personal situation."Wenger, 68, has been in charge at Arsenal since 1996, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup trophies.Arsenal could still add to that trophy count this season, as the Gunners are level with Chelsea after the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final and set to face Swedish side Ostersund in the last 32 of the Europa League in February.
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Up Barclays Premier League Fixtures 2018.01.13 - 01-13-2018, 10:03 AM

Barclays Premier League Fixtures 2018.01.13

Chelsea Vs Leicester City

Crystal Palace Vs Burnley

Huddersfield Vs West Ham

Newcaste Vs Swansea

Watford Vs Southampton

WBA Vs Brighton

Tottenham Vs Everton
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laugh LA Liga Fixtures 2018.01.13 - 01-13-2018, 10:04 AM

LA Liga Fixtures 2018.01.13

Girona Vs Las Palmas

Real Madrid Vs Villareal

Eibar Vs Atletico Madrid

Deportivo Vs Valencia
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cool Bundesliga Fixtures 2018.01.13 - 01-13-2018, 10:07 AM

Bundesliga Fixtures 2018.01.13

Frankfurt Vs Freiburg

Augsburg Vs Hamburg

Hannover Vs Mainz

Stuttgart Vs Hertha Berlin

Werder Bremen Vs Hoffenheim

Leipzig Vs Schalke
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01-14-2018, 12:29 AM

Real Madrid 0 Villarreal 1: Fornals' late show stuns frustrated champions



Real Madrid were left shell-shocked by a clever last-gasp Pablo Fornals goal as Villarreal earned a smash-and-grab 1-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu.

LaLiga's champions largely dominated proceedings on home soil, but Villarreal snatched all three points and a first league victory at Madrid with three minutes left thanks to Fornals' exquisite chip after Enes Unal's shot was saved.It compounded a day of utter frustration for an out-of-form Madrid, who felt they twice should have had a penalty in the first half.



Villarreal defender Alvaro Gonzalez was lucky to not face punishment for handball from a Gareth Bale header, while Cristiano Ronaldo was adamant he was fouled by Mario Gaspar on the stroke of half-time.Referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco was unmoved on both occasions, while Madrid were further frustrated by a poor one-on-one miss by Ronaldo and some good work by Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo.

Madrid have now won just once in five LaLiga matches and will be 19 points adrift of Barcelona if their Clasico rivals beat Real Sociedad on Sunday, while Villarreal are just one point adrift of Los Blancos in their bid to muscle in on the top four.


Isco saw an early effort blocked by Gaspar, with the Spain playmaker's tentative penalty claims for handball rightly going unheard.Bale saw a goal ruled out after nodding in from Ronaldo's header back across goal, before Asenjo made a fine stop from Marcelo's rasping 35-yard drive.

He made an even better stop to palm Ronaldo's 25-yard dipping free-kick over the top via the crossbar, before the Portugal captain wastefully dinked over Asenjo and wide of the left post after latching onto Luka Modric's throughball.
Ronaldo went close again shortly after when he hit a stinging drive into the side-netting.

Madrid were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty 10 minutes before half-time when Bale's header from Toni Kroos' left-wing cross was seemingly handled by Alvaro Gonzalez. And Madrid had more cause for consternation on the stroke of half-time.

Isco's teasing low cross was met by Ronaldo inside the six-yard box and saved brilliantly by Asenjo, but the forward was seemingly clipped by Gaspar when meeting the ball.Villarreal brought Denis Cheryshev on as a half-time substitute and the former Madrid winger picked Casemiro's pocket before dragging wide from the edge of the box.

A lively start to the half saw Raphael Varane make a crucial intervention from Samu Castillejo's probing pass, while Asenjo was equal to a well-controlled Kroos volley.Modric saw a 20-yard daisycutter well held by Asenjo, while the Croatia midfielder hit a fierce drive over the top from outside the area with 10 minutes remaining.

And Madrid were made to rue their lack of clinical edge in the 87th minute.Villarreal launched a lightning counter-attack led by Cheryshev, who slipped in Unal and, although his shot was saved by Keylor Navas, Fornals was on hand to brilliantly clip his shot over the stranded Madrid goalkeeper to spark jubilant scenes on the away bench.
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01-14-2018, 12:30 AM

West Brom 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 0: Set-piece specials end league win drought


West Brom ended their miserable Premier League run on Saturday, beating Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 at the Hawthorns to record their first league triumph in 21 games.Having won their two opening games of the season, the Baggies soon fell apart, leading to the sacking of Tony Pulis.

The appointment of Alan Pardew failed to spark an immediate turnaround, West Brom lurching into a winless run so long that only the miserable 2007-08 Derby County team possess a longer drought in Premier League history.



Pardew secured his first victory in all competitions at Exeter City in the FA Cup last week, and the visit of the Seagulls offered a fine chance to get on a roll - Chris Hughton's men have now failed to score in nine league games on the road this term.

With that in mind, victory will have been in the hosts' thoughts as soon as the in-demand Jonny Evans headed them into a fourth-minute lead - the Northern Ireland defender showing the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City his value at both ends of the pitch.The Baggies should have been given a first-half penalty for a blatant Glenn Murray handball, but they kept at their task and Craig Dawson gave them a cushion early in the second half.

Pardew's men remain second-bottom in the table, but have closed to within two points of 17th-place Bournemouth, who visit Arsenal on Sunday. Despite the defeat, Brighton are still three points above the drop zone, but their toothless away form will concern Hughton.


The Baggies had scored just twice in their previous four home games, but found the net on their first foray forward.Matt Phillips' right-wing corner was flicked on at the near post by Jay Rodriguez, catching out Brighton's defence as Evans charged in at the back post to stretch and head home.

An unmarked Dawson headed off target from another Phillips delivery five minutes later and the winger then blasted wide from 30 yards as the hosts kept pressure on Mat Ryan's goal.

Referee Martin Atkinson had the benefit of VAR assistance as he officiated the EFL Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Arsenal earlier in the week and Pardew may have lamented the technology's absence on the half-hour mark as Murray blocked Phillips' shot with both arms, only for Atkinson to wave away penalty appeals.Dawson was in the thick of the action at either end before the break, bravely blocking Lewis Dunk's shot before wasting a one-on-one chance at the other shortly after, Ryan closing the angles sharply.

But the defender would not be denied when presented with a more familiar chance 10 minutes after the interval, Dawson rising above Gaetan Bong to meet Chris Brunt's left-wing set-piece with a downward header that bounced over those guarding the goal-line and in.

Anthony Knockaert blazed Brighton's most presentable chance over, after Ben Foster had come charging off his line, while goalscorers Dawson and Evans had to be withdrawn with apparent injuries, but Pardew was able to celebrate a fine win that could provide the Baggies' season with the launchpad it badly needs.
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