Tottenham Star Son Regrets Losing To United In EPL Clash

Manchester United’s English striker Marcus Rashford misses with this freekick during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 4, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Son Heung-min said he and his Tottenham Hotspur team-mates would have to work hard because he did not like experiencing the pain he felt following Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat by Manchester United.

The 27-year-old Korean star gets his chance to bounce back on Saturday at home to Burnley.

However, last season’s Champions League finalists are nine points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea — who occupy the final Champions League spot — and can ill afford any more slip-ups.

United’s victory was the first loss for Son and Spurs since Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino, who was sacked a fortnight ago due to Spurs lacklustre campaign so far.

“I hate to lose any single game,” said Son after the match.

“It doesn’t matter against who or which team. It doesn’t feel nice. I feel hurt and pain.

“This kind of game against big teams like United or City you want to win.

“I feel more pain because we know we can do better, so I know I can do better. That’s why I feel more pain than any other games.”

Son, though, disagreed with Dele Alli — who has been rejuvenated since Mourinho’s arrival — denying it was a wake-up call and Spurs mini-revival was a false dawn given they had not played top rank opposition till United.

“No, I don’t think it’s a wake-up call,” said Son.

“We are doing everything the same.

“Of course, it’s very disappointing and very sad about this result, but it’s not time to be disappointed or sad because we have another game in three days.

“We have to carry on and work hard. It’s important to don’t think about these kinds of things and to look forward to another game.”

Son, whose own season has been a turbulent one bursting into tears at the tackle which led to an horrific fracture dislocation of a right ankle for Everton midfielder Andre Gomes in early November, said he is enjoying working with Mourinho.

The Portuguese handler has said he is “in love with that guy (Son)”.

“I have a good relationship with the gaffer (manager),” said Son.

“I’m looking forward to working with him.

“After 10 or 12 days I’m still learning so many things about him. I think I can learn so many things and I’m still hungry.

“It will be better and I look forward to working with him. It’s an honour to work with this manager.”

AFP

Chelsea Beat Aston Villa In Premier League Clash

Aston Villa’s English goalkeeper Tom Heaton (C) fails to stop a goal by Chelsea’s English midfielder Mason Mount (unseen) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in London on December 4, 2019. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Chelsea got back on track as Mason Mount’s superb winner and Tammy Abraham’s influential display inspired a 2-1 victory against Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Frank Lampard’s side ended a run of two successive Premier League defeats thanks to the latest heroics from emerging England duo Mount and Abraham.

Abraham put Chelsea ahead in the first half against the team the 22-year-old striker helped win promotion from the Championship last season.

Trezeguet’s third goal in his last four appearances drew Villa level, but 20-year-old midfielder Mount responded with a blistering volley from Abraham’s assist to seal the points after half-time.

Chelsea remain fourth, six points ahead of fifth-placed Wolves, as they chase a Champions League berth in Lampard’s impressive first season in charge.

The only concern for Lampard was the sight of Abraham walking gingerly off the pitch when he was substituted late in the second half.

Villa assistant manager John Terry received a warm welcome back to the club he graced as captain for so many successful seasons.

For 90 minutes at least, that was the only hospitality Lampard would extend to Terry and his old Chelsea team-mate’s Villa side.

Lampard had been frustrated with Chelsea’s lack of creativity and cutting edge in their shock 1-0 defeat against West Ham on Saturday, so he would have been encouraged by Christian Pulisic’s early thrust through the heart of the Villa defence.

Pulisic slipped a perfectly-weighted pass to Willian in the Villa area, but the Brazilian’s drive was pushed over by Tom Heaton.

Chelsea were dominating possession, yet when Mount headed tamely at Heaton before blasting over moments later, Lampard might have feared more angst at the hands of a Villa side he lost to three times with Derby last season.

He need not have worried as Abraham’s return from the hip injury that ruled him out of the West Ham game made Chelsea a far more incisive unit and the youngster broke the deadlock in the 24th minute.

 Immediate response 

Abraham scored 26 goals in 40 appearances on loan at Villa and, his confidence sky-high after that success, he has enjoyed a breakthrough season with Chelsea.

His 12th goal in all competitions for Chelsea this term, including 11 in 14 league appearances, showcased his nuanced penalty area movement as he edged subtly away from Ezri Konsa to meet Reece James’ cross with a clinical close-range header.

Having already acknowledged the Villa supporters who chanted his name and jokingly sang “you used to play for a big club”, Abraham opted not to celebrate the goal and held his hands up apologetically towards the away end.

Abraham’s strike should have been the signal for Chelsea to go for the kill, but instead the creaky defence that has been their Achilles heel at times under Lampard was breached far too easily in the 41st minute.

Cesar Azpilicueta, caught out of position, gave Ahmed Elmohamady space to swing over a cross towards Trezeguet, who had no problem getting in front of the ponderous James.

Despite almost losing his footing, the Egypt midfielder got his head to the ball, diverting it onto his foot and past Kepa Arrizabalaga at the near post.

Chelsea needed an immediate response after the interval and they delivered in the 48th minute.

Willian clipped a cross towards Abraham and the striker alertly chested the ball into the path of Mount, who smashed a sublime volley into the roof of the net from 12 yards for his fifth club goal of the season.

Only a fine save from Heaton prevented Willian putting the result beyond doubt after the winger danced through the Villa defence.

Heaton denied Willian again when he brilliantly pushed a free-kick onto the post and Chelsea’s profligacy almost proved fatal when Kepa had to make a fine stop to keep out Douglas Luiz’s header in the last minute.

AFP

Liverpool In High Spirit For EPL Victory, Says Oxlade-Chamberlain

Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane (L) and Liverpool’s English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain attend a training session at Melwood in Liverpool, north west England on November 26, 2019, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group E football match against Napoli.
Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says the Premier League leaders are going into every game believing they can win after racking up 13 victories in 14 games.

Jurgen Klopp’s unbeaten side have dropped just two points this season and established an eight-point advantage over second-placed Leicester.

But even the pressure of maintaining their winning run, which appears to grow with every game for a club searching for their first league title since 1990, has not affected the mentality within the club, according to Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“I’m going into it (a game) with the mindset that we’re going to win. I think that’s how we all feel,” the England international told the PA news agency.

“We’re going into the games expecting ourselves to win and anything else we’re disappointed with.”

He added: “I think that’s the mentality you need to be successful, to have those high standards that nothing else is acceptable. Then you’ve got to let history take its course.”

Liverpool are firm favourites to end their title drought but midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain said they needed to remain mentally strong.

“You’ve got to just keep going out and churning out results,” he said. “There might be a time where results don’t go so well and people maybe close the gap a little bit.

“We’ve got to be also ready for those moments mentally as a team to just keep going and see what happens.”

Liverpool’s next match is the Merseyside derby at home to struggling Everton on Wednesday, with the Reds unbeaten against their local rivals at Anfield since 1999.

But Klopp’s side have not kept a clean sheet at home all season and are without suspended first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

“I don’t think we’re leaking loads of goals but probably just a few little silly mistakes here and there all over the pitch,” said Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“But even when we have been conceding, we’re still finding a way to come up with the goods and most of the time at the minute it’s been winning the game.”

AFP

Arsenal Suffer Shock Defeat To Sheffield United In EPL

Sheffield United’s French striker Lys Mousset (C) scores the opening goal past Arsenal’s German goalkeeper Bernd Leno (R) during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Arsenal at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on October 21, 2019.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Arsenal slumped to a shock 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United as Lys Mousset condemned the Gunners to their latest away-day flop on Monday.

Unai Emery’s side are without an away Premier League win since the opening weekend of the season after failing to rise to the challenge posed by fired up United at Bramall Lane.

French forward Mousset, making his first Premier League start for United, punished poor Arsenal defending in the first half to score his second goal since signing from Bournemouth.

That was enough to send Arsenal crashing to just their second defeat of the season, ending an eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

The north Londoners sit fifth in the league after a powder-puff performance that showed Emery’s rebuilding job is still a work in progress.

Under Emery, Arsenal have kept just two clean sheets in 24 away league matches and once again they wilted too easily in a hostile environment.

This was a signature win for the Blades after last season’s promotion and they sit proudly in ninth place, just three points behind Arsenal.

With the Bramall Lane crowd in full voice, a bruising clash got off to a contentious start when Arsenal defender Sokratis appealed in vain for a penalty after having his shirt tugged by John Egan.

United midfielder John Fleck was fortunate to escape with a yellow card from referee Mike Dean after crunching into Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Emery’s men should have taken the lead when Sead Kolasinac curled a perfect low cross towards Nicolas Pepe in the six-yard box, but the unmarked Ivory Coast winger completely miscued his shot.

 Pepe struggles 

It was the latest in a growing list of disappointing displays from Pepe, who has struggled to make an impact since his club record move from Lille in the close-season.

United made the most of that escape as Arsenal’s long-running set-piece issues resurfaced in the 30th minute.

Oliver Norwood’s corner reached Jack O’Connell at the far post and he rose above Matteo Guendouzi to head down to Mousset, who poked home from virtually on the line after Granit Xhaka failed to react to the danger.

Damningly, Arsenal have conceded 22 league goals from set plays since the start of last season, with only Watford (25) and Everton (24) allowing more.

Bukayo Saka tried to lead the Arsenal response with a surge into the United area, but the teenager went to ground too easily and earned a booking for diving.

Xhaka almost conjured an equaliser with a dipping long-range effort that Dean Henderson pushed away at full stretch.

Mesut Ozil was once again left out of the Arsenal squad and, with Aubameyang anonymous, Emery sent on Dani Ceballos for Joe Willock at half-time for an injection of creativity.

The on-loan Real Madrid midfielder should have equalised when he shot weakly at Henderson from Saka’s cross.

Always creaky at the back, Arsenal were nearly caught when Fleck thudded into the side-netting and then forced Bernd Leno into an unconvincing save.

Alexandre Lacazette came on with 22 minutes left for his first appearance since suffering the ankle problem that had ruled the Arsenal striker out since the start of September.

For all their territorial dominance in the closing stages, Arsenal lacked composure in the final third.

Pepe curled just wide and Kolasinac headed over as the visitors’ frailties were laid bare.

AFP

Tottenham Suffer Shock Defeat To Brighton

Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (R) and teammates react after Brighton’s Aaron Connolly scores his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on October 5, 2019. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Tottenham’s calamitous week went from bad to worse as Mauricio Pochettino’s men were outclassed in a 3-0 defeat at Brighton on Saturday.

Nineteen-year-old Aaron Connolly scored twice for the Seagulls on his first Premier League start after Neal Maupay had headed Brighton into an early lead.

Four days on from a 7-2 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Pochettino was looking for a reaction.

Instead, Spurs looked like a side devoid of confidence after getting off to the worst possible start when Hugo Lloris gifted Brighton the opener and injured himself in the process.

The France captain dropped a simple cross into the box and as he fell backwards and landed awkwardly, Maupay stooped to head into an empty net.

Lloris was stretchered off with what looked like an elbow injury and replaced by Paolo Gazzaniga.

Connolly took advantage of more generous Spurs defending and goalkeeping to double Brighton’s lead before half-time and curled in his second of the day in style 25 minutes from time.

Last season’s Champions League finalists have now won just three of their opening 11 games of the campaign and five of their last 19 dating back to when these sides last met in April.

And while Pochettino could justifiably claim Bayern’s ruthlessness in midweek meant the scoreline was not a true reflection of his side’s performance, there was no excuse for being thoroughly outplayed by a Brighton side that had not won in six league games.

The visitors’ were on the back foot from the off when injury was added to insult for Lloris.

The Spurs skipper was given oxygen and morphine before being taken to hospital and now seems certain to miss France’s upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey.

After a lengthy delay for Lloris to be stretchered off, Brighton pushed on rather than trying to protect their lead and were rewarded just after the half hour mark.

Connolly was twice the quickest to react as he turned Dan Burn’s cross goalwards and, after Gazzaniga spilled his first effort, the Irishman followed up for his first Premier League goal.

Tottenham have made a bad habit of letting leads slip in recent weeks against Arsenal, Olympiakos, Leicester and Bayern, but when forced to mount a fightback themselves were found wanting.

Pochettino sacrificed club record signing Tanguy Ndombele at half-time for Harry Winks and changed system to a 3-5-2.

However, rather than turning the tide, it was Brighton who got the third goal to kill the game off.

Connolly jinked inside onto his right foot and curled brilliantly into the far corner to round off an afternoon that he and the Seagulls will long remember.

Son Heung-min and Harry Kane then missed huge chances to pull a goal back that summed up Spurs’ dire week and leaves Pochettino with plenty to ponder over the upcoming two-week international break.

AFP

EPL: New Captain Xhaka To Repay Emery’s Faith In United Clash

Aston Villa’s Brazilian striker Wesley (L) vies with Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 22, 2019. Tolga AKMEN / AFP

 

Granit Xhaka will lead Arsenal into Monday’s Premier League clash at Manchester United as the club’s new captain, but the Swiss midfielder has to win over plenty of doubters that he is fit to wear the Gunners’ armband.

Xhaka’s discipline and defensive awareness have repeatedly been questioned since joining the club from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016, but both Arsene Wenger and current Arsenal boss Unai Emery have consistently put their faith in the 27-year-old.

That trust is not replicated by the club’s fans. On one of the few occasions he was replaced by Emery with the Gunners trailing 2-1 to Aston Villa last weekend, Xhaka was booed as he trudged off the field.

Despite being down to 10 men, Arsenal turned the game around with the energetic duo of Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira buzzing around the midfield.

That is a combination many supporters would like to see on a more regular basis, but Xhaka’s elevated status in the dressing room means he will remain a fixture for some time to come.

Emery sought votes from his squad before naming a five-man leadership group on Friday, of which Xhaka came top, but the Spanish manager is aware of the doubters questioning his decision.

“In the dressing room the players voted him as the first (in the) leadership (group),” said Emery on Friday.

“I spoke with him, we want to change that opinion outside. That respect he has inside is very, very important.

“Each match is for him, for me, for us, is a very good opportunity to show our capacity.

“Really I trust and believe in him. He is a good man. A good professional. A good player.”

Emery’s trust in Xhaka could easily backfire.

Arsenal have a break clause in the contract they handed the former Sevilla manager in 2018 that could see him released at the end of the season if he fails to deliver Champions League football to the Emirates for the first time in four years.

“It is a brave decision from the manager,” said former Arsenal defender Martin Keown, who described Xhaka’s performance against Tottenham earlier in the season as being “like a fire engine that turns up and discovers the house has already burned down.”

A stereotypical late lunge conceded a penalty that day in the north London derby as Arsenal had to battle back from 2-0 down to salvage a point.

Xhaka also described his side as “scared” when they threw away a 2-0 lead at Watford to draw 2-2 earlier this month.

Monday’s visit to an injury-ravaged United offers Arsenal a great chance for their first league victory at Old Trafford since 2006.

Do so and they will also open up a six-point lead over one of their rivals to break into the top tour.

For Emery to show to his superiors that he is making progress as Wenger’s long-awaited successor, he needs Xhaka to start to inspire his side to rise to the occasion.

AFP

VAR Helps Leicester To Victory Against Tottenham

Leicester City’s Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi (L) vies with Tottenham Hotspur’s Argentinian midfielder Erik Lamela to header the ball during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on September 21, 2019. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Tottenham’s long wait for an away win in the Premier League continued as Leicester came from behind to beat last season’s Champions League finalists 2-1 at the King Power on Saturday.

Harry Kane’s great improvisation handed Spurs a first-half lead and Mauricio Pochettino’s men thought they had doubled that advantage when Serge Aurier fired home.

However, the goal was ruled out by the finest of margins for offside after a VAR review and Leicester compounded Spurs’ pain by equalising two minutes later through Ricardo Pereira.

James Maddison’s fine long-range strike five minutes from time then capped Leicester’s comeback as they moved above Manchester City into second in the Premier League, for a few hours at least.

By contrast, Spurs have now won just two of their first seven games of the season in all competitions and have still not won away from home in the Premier League since January.

Leicester are aiming to break the glass ceiling of the Premier League top six for the first time since their sensational title triumph in 2016.

And Brendan Rodgers’s men claimed their first big-six scalp of the season after drawing away to Chelsea and running Manchester United close at Old Trafford last weekend.

The Foxes started brightly as Maddison curled just wide and then forced Spurs’ stand-in goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga into a smart save at his near post.

The hosts were also first to have the ball in the net when Gazzaniga — deputising for the injured Hugo Lloris — spilled Youri Tielemans’s shot and Wilfred Ndidi bundled home the rebound.

But replays showed Ayoze Perez was offside as he reached the loose ball off Gazzaniga first and the goal was ruled out after a VAR review.

Kane makes most of reprieve 

Handed that reprieve, Tottenham went in front in unusual fashion on 29 minutes when Son Heung min’s backheel found Kane, who stumbled and hit the floor as he bore down on goal.

However, the England captain still managed to flick the ball high beyond Kasper Schmeichel from the ground for his 14th goal in 13 games against Leicester.

Kane should have done better with a far better chance moments later when he dragged a shot wide.

At the other end, Gazzaniga was being kept busy as he denied Perez and Jamie Vardy either side of half-time, while Harvey Barnes also headed wastefully wide for the hosts.

But the momentum of the match truly turned Leicester’s way on another VAR call 23 minutes from time.

Kane teed up Aurier to fire home from the edge of the area, but the goal was ruled out for Son being barely a millimetre offside in the build-up.

Leicester built on that huge lift and went straight down the other end to level when Vardy’s low cross was turned home at the far post by Pereira.

Spurs had chances to retake the lead as Aurier fired across goal and wide, while Kane’s powerful effort was too close to Schmeichel.

And they were hit with the sucker punch when Maddison pounced on a loose ball and drilled a shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

AFP

Draw! Watford Fight Back From Two Goals To Hold Arsenal

Arsenal’s Brazilian defender David Luiz (C) jumps to defend a corner during the English Premier League football match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north of London on September 15, 2019. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Quique Sanchez Flores enjoyed a happy return to Watford as Arsenal blew a 2-0 lead at Vicarage Road to draw 2-2 on Sunday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked to have the Gunners well on course for a comfortable three points when he struck twice in 11 minutes before the break.

However, Sanchez Flores, who was appointed as Hornets’ boss for the second time last week after one point from their opening four games of the season saw Javi Gracia sacked, roused the hosts for an impressive second-half fightback.

Arsenal played a huge part in their own downfall too as they gifted possesion away inside their own box for Tom Cleverley to pull a goal back before David Luiz upended Roberto Pereyra, who slotted home the resulting penalty.

A point sees Arsenal only move level with Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea and Leicester behind Liverpool and Manchester City in the early season battle for a top-four finish.

However, it is Watford who will feel they should even have gone onto win the game as Arsenal boss Unai Emery’s inability to find a balance between his brilliant attack and shoddy defence continued.

Emery recalled Mesut Ozil to his starting line-up for the first time since he and Sead Kolasinac were the victims of a carjacking attack in July.

Ozil initially struggled to settle as Watford started the brighter with Cleverley’s rising drive forcing Bernd Leno into a fine save before Jose Holebas fired horribly off-target with a great chance from the edge of the area.

However, Watford have now conceded 10 goals in their opening five games to the campaign and were opened up far too easily to allow Aubameyang to open the scoring on 21 minutes.

The home fans were screaming for a foul as Dani Ceballos won back possession, but Watford were slow to react as Kolasinac burst down the left and fed Aubameyang, who spun and fired low past Ben Foster.

Ozil was involved as a patient build-up from the visitors doubled their lead on 32 minutes.

At the end of a 20-pass move, Ozil freed Ainsley Maitland-Niles in behind the Watford defence and the right-back squared for Aubameyang to slot home his fifth goal in as many games this season.

Twice the visitors escaped gifting Watford a way back into the game when Matteo Guendouzi was caught in possession on the edge of his own box, trying to play out from the back.

But Arsenal did not learn their lesson and were finally punished when Sokratis Papastathopoulos gifted possession to Gerard Deulofeu and the Spaniard teed up Cleverley to shot low past Leno.

Watford were then in the ascendancy as Deulofeu curled just wide, Ismaila Sarr scuffed a great chance for his first goal in English football off target and Pereyra’s flicked finish flashed across goal.

They finally got the equaliser their second-half display deserved nine minutes from time when Pereyra was clipped by Luiz inside the box and the Argentine sent Leno the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Deulofeu sent another effort inches wide and Cleverley’s fierce drive was deflected over by Luiz as wave upon wave of Watford attack continued.

But is was Abdoulaye Doucoure who squandered the best chance of all for a winner deep into stoppage time when he shot too close to Leno with just the German goalkeeper to beat to leave Watford still bottom of the Premier League table.

AFP

Bournemouth Shock Everton In Premier League Clash

Bournemouth’s English striker Callum Wilson (2nd R) heads home the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Everton at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on September 15, 2019. OLLY GREENWOOD / AFP

 

Callum Wilson scored twice as Bournemouth curbed early season optimism over Everton’s prospects with a 3-1 win on Sunday.

The England international took advantage of some sloppy defending from the visitors to head home the opener from close range, but Everton levelled before half-time through Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The Toffees have spent big again this summer in a bid to challenge the established ‘top six’ for a European place, but will need to improve on the road to do so.

Ryan Fraser’s driven free-kick restored Bournemouth’s lead 23 minutes from time via a deflection off Fabian Delph before Wilson’s cool finish to lob international teammate Jordan Pickford made the game safe.

Everton have now picked up just one point from three away games this season after also failing to win at Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.

Victory takes Bournemouth above their opponents on goal difference with both sides on seven points from their opening five games.

Manchester City’s Laporte Undergoes Knee Surgery

Laporte was injured during a Premier League match between Manchester City and Brighton and Hove Albion at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on August 31, 2019.
Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte has undergone knee surgery that is expected to keep the centre-back sidelined for at least a couple of months.

Laporte had been in line to make his international debut with France this week after his exceptional form for the Premier League champions over the past year was finally rewarded with a first call-up by Didier Deschamps since March 2017.

However, he was stretchered off late in the first-half of City’s 4-0 win over Brighton on Saturday after a clash with the visitors’ Adam Webster.

“Aymeric Laporte has undergone surgery on his knee after damaging his cartilage and lateral meniscus during Saturday’s win over Brighton,” City said in a statement without giving a timeframe for Laporte’s return.

“The surgery, carried out by Dr Ramon Cugat in Barcelona, was successful and a more detailed prognosis will be provided in due course.”

Should Laporte be absent for a prolonged period, he will be badly missed with centre-back one of the few positions where City are not blessed with great strength in depth.

They did not buy a replacement for departed former captain Vincent Kompany in the summer transfer window and midfielder Fernandinho had to fill that position against Brighton with John Stones also sidelined by injury.

However, with City handed a favourable Champions League group stage draw alongside Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta and not facing ‘top six’ opposition in the Premier League again until early November, there is hope Laporte will be back for the business end of the season.

“After successful completion of yesterday evenings surgery, I would like to say thanks for all your messages of support during the last few days. I feel truly loved and so thankful about it,” Laporte posted on Instagram.

“I am sad for not being able to join the national team and to not fulfil my dream of making the debut with Les Bleus.

“I would like to thank the coach for being so supportive. From now on we start counting down the days to go back to the pitch.”

AFP

Sanchez Blames Flop At United On Lack Of Game Time

Sanchez Gives United Options At Juventus
Manchester United’s Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez reacts during the football match against Watford at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on May 13, 2018. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Alexis Sanchez believes his failure to shine in a dismal 18 months at Manchester United prior to joining Inter Milan on loan was due to a lack of opportunities.

The Chilean moved to Italy on a 10-month loan deal last week with United still paying a large chunk of his reported £400,000 ($484,000) a week wages.

Sanchez failed to live up to the expectations United had when signing him from Arsenal on a four-and-a-half year contract in January 2018, scoring just five times in 45 appearances for United.

However, he started just 31 of 77 games the Red Devils played during his time there and played the full 90 minutes on just 13 occasions.

“I’ve always said to my friends: I want to play,” Sanchez told the BBC.

“If they would let me play I’ll do my best. Sometimes I’d play 60 minutes then I wouldn’t play the next game — and I didn’t know why.”

Sanchez was signed with United second in the Premier League and aiming to close the gap on local rivals Manchester City, who were also interested in reuniting Sanchez with his former boss at Barcelona Pep Guardiola.

Instead, in his first full season at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho was sacked and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as United finished sixth and as close to the relegation zone on points as they were to champions City.

But despite winning no trophies, Sanchez has no regrets over joining United rather than City.

“I’m very happy I went to Manchester United. I’ve always said that. It’s the club that’s won the most in England,” added Sanchez.

“When I went to Arsenal it was fantastic — I was happy there — but United were growing at the time, they were buying players to win something.

“I wanted to join them and win everything. I don’t regret going there.”

AFP

Kane Rejects Diving Claims In Tottenham, Arsenal Clash

Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane falls in the area under pressure from Arsenal’s Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos (top) but no penalty is awarded during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 1, 2019. The game ended 2-2. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Harry Kane has slammed claims he dived in a failed bid to win a late penalty in Tottenham Hotspur’s thrilling 2-2 draw at Arsenal on Sunday.

With just seconds left in a dramatic north London derby, Spurs striker Kane hit the deck after a challenge from Arsenal defender Sokratis in the penalty area.

Kane was heavily criticised after replays appeared to show him throwing himself theatrically to the turf after minimal contact, but the England captain insisted Sokratis’ challenge could have been a foul if it had taken place elsewhere on the pitch.

READ ALSO: Arsenal Held By Tottenham At Emirates

“The defender made a tired tackle. On halfway I think I’d get that foul. Ref probably thinks I’m looking for it,” Kane said.

“It is 50-50, I could get it in some games. In the box you don’t always get them. He’s come through the back of me.”

Kane had already scored a first half penalty after Granit Xhaka’s foul on Son Heung-min, giving him 10 career goals in north London derbies.

That put Tottenham 2-0 up but Arsenal earned a share of the spoils thanks to goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

“I feel like were coming off disappointed. We expect to see the game out,” Kane said.

“The goal hurt us with momentum just before the break. It was an end-to-end game, especially last 10-15 minutes.

“If a few final balls would have been better, we would have created more. It is a shame we couldn’t kill it off. But it is the Premier League and if you don’t kill teams off they come back at you.”

AFP