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Lucas Moura : l’attaquant quitte Tottenham après cinq ans

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Lucas Moura célèbre le but du vainqueur à la 96e minute pour Tottenham contre l'Ajax en demi-finale de la Ligue des champions en 2019
Lucas Moura a réussi un triplé – dont un vainqueur à la 96e minute – à l’Ajax pour envoyer Tottenham en finale de la Ligue des champions 2019

L’attaquant de Tottenham Lucas Moura partira à la fin de la saison, après cinq ans passés au club.

Moura, 30 ans, a réussi un triplé mémorable contre l’Ajax pour envoyer les Spurs en finale de la Ligue des champions 2019.

Mais le Brésilien a souffert d’une blessure cette saison et Tottenham a décidé de ne pas prolonger son contrat.

Dans un message sur les réseaux sociaux, Moura a déclaré: “Mes Spurs. Où que je sois, mon cœur sera toujours là. Vous êtes mon club. Ce sera toujours ma maison.”

Moura a signé un contrat de cinq ans lorsqu’il a rejoint les Spurs du Paris St-Germain pour 23 millions de livres sterling en 2018.

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Il a marqué 38 buts en 219 apparitions pour le club.

Ces dernières semaines, il est intervenu pour jouer pour l’équipe des moins de 21 ans de Tottenham.

“Nous tenons à remercier Lucas pour son formidable service à notre club et lui souhaitons le meilleur pour l’avenir”, a déclaré un communiqué des Spurs.lien externe

Comment suivre Tottenham sur la bannière de la BBC
Pied de page de la bannière de Tottenham
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Kylian Mbappe: Can PSG afford to leave out striker before expected Real Madrid move?

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Kylian Mbappe watches PSG's game against Monaco from the stands with his mother
Kylian Mbappe watched PSG’s second half against Monaco at the weekend from the stands with his mother after being substituted at half-time

If the events that unfolded in Paris St-Germain’s last game are anything to go by, it is going to be an interesting final few months for Kylian Mbappe at the French club.

Against Monaco last Friday, Mbappe was taken off during the break after a goalless first half for the France striker and his team.

But rather than sit with his team-mates on the PSG bench, Mbappe instead opted to join his mother in the stands.

“Sooner or later we’ll have to get used to playing without Kylian,” PSG boss Luis Enrique said after the game. “I have to take the best decisions for the team.”

European football expert James Horncastle believes Luis Enrique’s decision was made with one eye on the future.

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“It feels like PSG were already preparing for this and knew it was a possibility,” he said on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Euro Leagues podcast.

“It’s going to be very interesting to see this new PSG in the summer, a PSG that’s supposed to be less ‘bling bling’ and bringing players through and promoting them.

“Will they stay true to that or feel the need to go out and get a superstar – which is how they have acted over the last 12 years?”

But, with trophies still to play for this season, just how wise is it to be preparing for life after Mbappe now and not using him to his maximum capacity?

‘PSG’s best chance of Champions League glory’

Mbappe has scored 26 goals in all competitions for PSG this season, with 21 of them coming in the league to put him top of the scoring charts.

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PSG are well on the way to retaining their Ligue 1 title as they sit nine points clear of second-placed Brest.

But while domestic triumphs have come easily to PSG under their Qatar-based owners, Champions League success has so far eluded them.

Given his record in the competition, it would appear foolish for PSG not to get as much as possible from one of the world’s finest players before he leaves.

The 25-year-old has excelled in the Champions League, scoring 44 goals in 68 appearances in the competition – including 38 for PSG.

The Paris club are on course to reach the quarter-finals as they face Real Sociedad on Tuesday holding a 2-0 advantage from the first leg.

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“Luis Enrique does have to start planning for next season but it’s a curious policy because Mbappe is their best chance of winning the Champions League,” added Horncastle.

“You need to make the most of him while he is still there.”

Luis Enrique gestures during a PSG match
PSG boss Luis Enrique has not been afraid to start Kylian Mbappe on the bench or take him off at half-time

Mbappe has now been substituted in each of the past two games for PSG. He was replaced after 65 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Rennes after failing to score.

In the game prior to that – a 2-0 win at Nantes – he started on the bench but came on to score PSG’s second in a 2-0 win.

“Had Kylian Mbappe been staying, he would be their best player, but now he is leaving Luis Enrique will be thinking ‘I’m here, but he won’t be, so if I don’t think Mbappe is doing enough in a game I can take him off and no-one will say anything’,” added French football writer Julien Laurens.

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague feels former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has always shown a desire for Mbappe to do more than just score goals.

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“Mbappe had to make two runs following the full-back [against Rennes] and didn’t – so as soon as it went past 60 minutes, Luis Enrique took him off,” said Balague.

“Luis Enrique, when he first came to PSG, said ‘Mbappe scores goals, but that’s not enough, he needs to work harder’.”

A summer rebuild and a new-look PSG?

Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar walk away during a PSG match
Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar were signed by PSG’s Qatari owners to bring the Champions League to Paris

Mbappe’s departure this summer would see him follow Neymar and Lionel Messi in leaving PSG in the past 12 months.

That would suggest the French side is moving away from signing superstar names and could instead field a very different-looking side next season.

Laurens says “there are five names on PSG’s shortlist” for the summer, namely AC Milan winger Rafael Leao, Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva, Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes and Lille central defender Leny Yoro.

“Bernardo Silva will be 30 in August, maybe it’s the right time to move, having won everything at Manchester City. When you reach a certain level at Manchester City, after that you feel ‘I’ve done my time here, working with the best manager of all time in Pep [Guardiola]’.

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“PSG really like the idea of Bernardo, not just for his creativity but also for his experience. If they get two or three of this five they will be very happy.

“You would still have a core [of French players], and less bling does not mean not spending anymore, but having a stronger team collectively.”

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Sam Kerr: Chelsea striker pleads not guilty to racially aggravated offence

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Chelsea and Australia striker Sam Kerr
Kerr has scored 99 goals in 128 games for Chelsea

Chelsea striker Sam Kerr is set to face trial after being charged with racially aggravated harassment of a police officer.

The 30-year-old Australia international pleaded not guilty to the offence at a court hearing on Monday, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Kerr is scheduled to appear at Wimbledon Magistrates Court on 1 February 2025.

It follows an alleged incident in January 2023.

“The charge relates to an incident involving a police officer who was responding to a complaint involving a taxi fare on 30 January 2023 in Twickenham,” a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said.

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She was charged on 21 January “with a racially aggravated offence under Section 4A [of the] Public Order Act 1986”, they added.

However Kerr denied the charge at a plea and trial preparation hearing at Kingston upon Thames Crown Court on Monday.

The striker is currently sidelined after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury at the club’s warm weather training camp in Morocco in January.

She has scored 99 goals in 128 matches since joining Chelsea in 2019, and is her country’s all-time record goalscorer with 64 goals in 125 games.

Football Australia said it was “aware of the legal proceedings involving Sam Kerr in the United Kingdom”.

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“As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to provide further comment at this time,” a statement added.

During her time at Chelsea, Kerr has won four WSL titles, three FA Cups, two Women’s League Cups and the Women’s Community Shield.

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‘Let’s give it a go!’ – Arteta wants to maintain momentum

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is pleased with his side’s 6-0 victory over Sheffield United and says the team need to “maintain momentum” over the rest of the season.

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Premier League relegation battle: Who will stay up?

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Sheffield United and Burnley are 11 points from Premier League safety and look doomed heading into the final stages of the season.

But who else is facing the threat of being relegated to the Championship? And which teams will stay up?

Bournemouth took a huge leap towards safety with a 2-0 win at Turf Moor on Sunday, lifting them 11 points above the relegation zone with a game in hand on most of their rivals.

Only eight points separate 18th-placed Luton and the four teams immediately above them – Nottingham Forest, Brentford, Everton and Crystal Palace.

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But it’s complicated…

Both Everton and Forest face anxious waits after being charged in January for alleged breaches in their accounts for 2022-23.

Forest’s case will be heard on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 March.

If they are found to have breached rules, they face a points deduction. A verdict is not expected until April and would be subject to appeal.

Any appeal could take that process to 24 May, the week after the season concludes on 19 May.

In November, Everton were immediately docked 10 points for breaking profit and sustainability rules (PSR) in the three-year period to 2021-22.

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However, that penalty was reduced to six points after an appeal.

Current table

Team Played Points GD Form (last 5 games)
14. Crystal Palace 27 28 -15 LLDWL
15. Brentford 27 26 -11 WLLLD
16. Everton 27 25 -8 DLDDL
17. Nottingham Forest 27 24 -15 DLWLL
18. Luton Town 26 20 -17 DLLLL
19. Burnley 27 13 -35 DLLLL
20. Sheffield United 27 13 -50 LWLLL

The run-in

Bournemouth: 9 March v Sheff Utd (home); 13 March v Luton (home); 30 March v Everton (home); 2 April v Crystal Palace (home); 6 April v Luton (away); 14 April v Man Utd (home); 20 April v Aston Villa (away); 27 April v Brighton (home); 4 May v Arsenal (away); 11 May v Brentford (home); 19 May v Chelsea (away). Postponed to date TBC: Wolves (away)

Crystal Palace: 9 March v Luton (home); 30 March v Nott’m Forest (away); 2 April v Bournemouth (away); 6 April v Man City (home); 14 April v Liverpool (away); 20 April v West Ham (home); 27 April v Fulham (away); 4 May v Man Utd (home); 11 May v Wolves (away); 19 May v Aston Villa (home). Postponed to date TBC Newcastle (home).

Brentford: 9 March v Arsenal (away); 16 March v Burnley (away); 30 March v Man Utd (home); 3 April v Brighton (home); 6 April v Aston Villa (away); 13 April v Sheff Utd (home); 20 April v Luton (away); 27 April v Everton (away); 4 May v Fulham (home); 11 May v Bournemouth (away); 19 May v Newcastle (home).

Everton: 9 March v Man Utd (away); 30 March v Bournemouth (away); 2 April v Newcastle (away); 6 April v Burnley (home); 15 April v Chelsea (away); 20 April v Nott’m Forest (home); 27 April v Brentford (home); 4 May v Luton (away); 11 May v Sheff Utd (home); 19 May v Arsenal (away). Postponed to date TBC: Liverpool (home)

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Nottingham Forest: 10 March v Brighton (away); 16 March v Luton (away); 30 March v Crystal Palace (home); 2 April v Fulham (home); 8 April v Tottenham (away); 13 April v Wolves (home); 20 April v Everton (away); 27 April v Man City (home); 4 May v Sheff Utd (away); 11 May v Chelsea (home); 19 May v Burnley (away).

Luton Town: 9 March v Crystal Palace (away); 13 March v Bournemouth (away); 16 March v Nott’m Forest (home); 30 March v Tottenham (away); 3 April v Arsenal (away); 6 April v Bournemouth (home); 13 April v Man City (away); 20 April v Brentford (home); 27 April v Wolves (away); 4 May v Everton (home); 11 May v West Ham (away); 19 May v Fulham (home).

Burnley: 10 March v West Ham (away); 16 March v Brentford (home); 30 March v Chelsea (away); 2 April v Wolves (home); 6 April v Everton (away); 13 April v Brighton (home); 20 April v Sheff Utd (away); 27 April v Man Utd (away); 4 May v Newcastle (home); 11 May v Tottenham (away); 19 May v Nott’m Forest (home).

Sheffield United: 9 March v Bournemouth (away); 30 March v Fulham (home); 4 April v Liverpool (away); 7 April v Chelsea (home); 13 April v Brentford (away); 20 April v Burnley (home); 27 April v Newcastle (away); 4 May v Nott’m Forest (home); 11 May v Everton (away); 19 May v Tottenham (home). Postponed to date TBC: Man Utd (away)

What do the prediction models suggest?

Team and predicted points in brackets % chance of relegation Current position & points
14. Crystal Palace (39) 2 14th – 28 points
15. Brentford (39) 3 15th – 26 points
16. Everton (36) 3 16th – 25 points
17. Nottingham Forest (36) 12 17th – 24 points
18. Luton Town (29) 81 18th – 20 points
19. Burnley (22) 99.5 19th – 13 points
20. Sheffield United (21) 99.6 20th – 13 points

Data specialists Nielsen’s Gracenote has calculated a percentage chance of relegation for each team, based on their remaining fixtures.

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Team Current position & points
14. Crystal Palace 14th – 28 points
15. Brentford 15th – 26 points
16. Everton 16th – 25 points
17. Nottingham Forest 17th – 24 points
18. Luton Town 18th – 20 points
19. Burnley 19th – 13 points
20. Sheffield United 20th – 13 points

Opta’s ‘supercomputer’ prediction model estimates the probability of each match outcome (win, draw or loss) by using betting market odds and their own Opta team rankings – based on historical and recent team performances. These are simulated thousands of times to create the probabilities.

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Sheffield United 0-6 Arsenal: Blades ripped apart in first-half ‘disgrace’

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Declan Rice
Arsenal went five goals ahead by the 39th minute, which is the earliest an away side has had a five-goal lead in Premier League history

If it was a boxing match, the referee would have stopped it. If this was baseball, they would have invoked the mercy rule. If this was a park game, they would have mixed up the teams.

The first half of Sheffield United’s match against Arsenal was as one-sided an exhibition of football as has been seen in the Premier League.

Arsenal led 5-0 after 39 minutes – the earliest point at which any side has gained such an advantage in Premier League history.

They had 80% possession and 16 shots on goal – with seven on target – to Sheffield United’s one wayward effort.

United have been overwhelmed at regular points in the Premier League this season, losing 8-0 at home to Newcastle in September – but for some observers, this match was a real low point.

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“That was a disgrace, that half of football,” Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said at half-time.

“It’s probably one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen. I can’t think of anything worse I’ve ever seen in a half of football than that.

“If Arsenal were playing an FA Cup tie against a team from League Two or the National League, I wouldn’t expect them to be 5-0 up at half-time, so that’s not acceptable in the Premier League.”

‘I’m struggling personally… it’s been a painful season’

Sheffield United lined up with a back four, as Chris Wilder attempted to replicate their respectable showing in a 2-0 defeat by Liverpool in the first game of his second spell on 6 December.

Before the quarter-hour mark, that plan was out the window with Arsenal three goals to the good and Wilder already making changes to his team’s shape and personnel.

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Afterwards, he indicated that his players had not followed his instructions and suggested he would look to the club’s younger players for the remainder of their relegation battle.

While he has often come out fighting in the media after poor results, Wilder cut a much more bereft figure this time.

“I’m struggling personally. Knowing what Sheffield United fans are, they will be struggling with it as well,” he said.

“We thought we had a blueprint to a good performance from Liverpool at home, 4-5-1 on the counter, I thought that was the best way forward. But then we made elementary defensive mistakes.

“It has been a painful season. There are a lot of broken and damaged players out there. This is what the league can do to you.”

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Wilder, who sent on academy products William Osula, Andre Brooks and Oliver Arblaster in the second half, added: “There was a vibe around this place that we could get something from this game, but if people don’t stick to a plan you will be punished at every level. Maybe the young guys will want to stick to that plan.”

‘The way we started made a big difference’

In the first 15 minutes, Auston Trusty was demolished by Bukayo Saka with painful regularity down the left, while Jayden Bogle faired little better against Gabriel Martinelli on the right.

Anel Ahmedhodzic, the Sheffield United captain, cut an angry, impotent figure, attempting to throw opponents to the floor. He was substituted in the second half, a damning indictment of the man with the armband.

It was the unfortunate Oliver Norwood who was taken off early as Wilder tried to stem the tide, but ultimately the only thing that stopped Arsenal was Saka and Martinelli themselves having to be replaced.

Saka came off at half-time as he was feeling unwell and his replacement Fabio Vieira needed minutes, said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, while Martinelli suffered a cut to his right foot in the second half and had to be helped from the pitch.

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“A great night,” said Arteta afterwards. “The way we started game made a big difference, we were aggressive and positive and showed great quality.”

Even after putting the game to bed within 15 minutes, Arsenal kept attacking to boost their goal difference, which could prove an important factor in the title race.

The Gunners have the best goal difference in the division – their +45 is six better than Liverpool, and 10 superior to Manchester City.

“That was very early in the game, and you cannot be satisfied,” added Arteta. “That comes internally from the players, I see it every day in training. They want to make each other better.

“We know what they want to do, but we also have to manage the game.”

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United are the first side in English league football to lose three consecutive home league games by at least a five-goal margin. It is also the fourth time this season that the Blades have lost a home Premier League match by at least five goals, becoming the first side in a top-flight season to do so.

“Me and the coaches have to get together and decide what to do. We cannot have this as our stock home result, that is totally unacceptable,” said Wilder.

Despite his downbeat demeanour, Wilder insists he is “not accepting our fate”. There will be no throwing in of the towel, asking the referee to stop the fight.

But with performances like that first half, then Sheffield United players’ actions seem to be speaking louder than their manager’s words.

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ACL injuries in women’s football: Committee says response ‘disparate and slow’

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Leah Williamson injured
England captain Leah Williamson is one of several female footballers to have suffered an ACL injury

The response to the high number of anterior cruciate ligament injuries suffered by female footballers has been criticised by a committee of MPs.

England stars Leah Williamson and Beth Mead are among those to have injured their ACL recently.

The Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) cited unsuitable boots as a contributing factor.

“The sports science sector’s response to the ACL issue has been disparate and slow,” the WEC said.

Its report calls for better female-specific clothing, footwear and equipment.

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“A health issue of similar magnitude affecting elite male footballers would have received a faster, more thorough, and better co-ordinated response,” the report added.

“While female footballers in the UK have enjoyed great success at club and national level, they have done so wearing ill-fitting footwear.

“Few football boots designed for women are available, and those that do exist are rarely stocked or promoted by the UK’s leading high street sports retailers.”

The “Health barriers for girls and women in sport” report was produced by cross-party MPs in line with International Women’s Day, which is on Friday, 8 March.

It called for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Department for Education (DfE) to set up a taskforce, increase research and develop a strategy to address the inequalities in women’s health and physiology issues.

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Alongside the DCMS and DfE, the report recommends that the taskforce include representatives from UK Sport, women’s health and fitness experts including The Well HQ, sport and exercise research institutes, and the UK divisions of leading sportswear and sporting goods brands.

Chaired by Caroline Nokes MP, the report added that the issue of sportswear and equipment being unsuitable for women is is “indicative of systemic gender inequality in sports and exercise research, which is still overwhelmingly conducted by men, looking at issues affecting men”.

Evidence of girls’ anxieties around PE kit ‘overwhelming’

In the report, the WEC listed research and development of women’s football boots as a priority to avoid injury but also referenced other barriers for female participation including clothing.

At grassroots and school level, the report said that not enough is being done to “reverse alarming downward trends in girls’ enjoyment of PE” and called for more research into the effects of puberty and the menstrual cycle as well as providing more suitable clothing options for lessons.

It also said that the evidence of girls’ anxieties around their PE kit was “overwhelming” and called for more focus on enjoyment of physical activity rather than just participation numbers.

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For many teenage girls, period concerns are a significant anxiety trigger and some sports including football have made changes for this reason, with England’s Lionessess now playing in blue shorts instead of white.

But the WEC said that existing programmes “do not go far enough” into addressing the decreasing numbers taking part in girls’ sport.

For older age groups, barriers to sport include childcare, perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms and time pressure from their careers. It also added that there is “still a long road to travel” with regard to maternity pay and leave.

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Inter Milan 2-1 Genoa: Alexis Sanchez and Kristjan Asllani goals move Inter 15 points clear in Serie A

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Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez’s goal against Genoa was his third of the season for Inter

Inter Milan moved 15 points clear at the top of Serie A with victory over Genoa.

Kristjan Asllani’s strike and an Alexis Sanchez penalty, after Nicolo Barella was fouled inside the box, put the hosts 2-0 up inside 38 minutes.

Johan Vasquez pulled one back after half-time, but Inter held on to record their ninth successive league win.

The result, also their 12th in a row in all competitions, moved them 15 points above second-placed Juventus.

Inter have now won 23 of their 27 Serie A games this season, with their solitary defeat coming back in September.

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They have not dropped points since a 1-1 draw against Genoa on 29 December.

Line-ups

Inter Milan

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Sommer
  • 28PavardSubstituted forBisseckat 73′minutes
  • 6de Vrij
  • 30Zopolato Neves
  • 2DumfriesBooked at 22minsSubstituted forDarmianat 45′minutes
  • 23Barella
  • 21Asllani
  • 22Mkhitaryan
  • 32DimarcoSubstituted forAcerbiat 65′minutes
  • 70SánchezSubstituted forThuramat 65′minutes
  • 10La MartínezBooked at 69minsSubstituted forArnautovicat 76′minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Arnautovic
  • 9Thuram
  • 12Di Gennaro
  • 14Klaassen
  • 15Acerbi
  • 16Frattesi
  • 17Buchanan
  • 31Bisseck
  • 36Darmian
  • 41Akinsanmiro
  • 50Stankovic
  • 77Audero

Genoa

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Martínez
  • 4De Winter
  • 13Bani
  • 22VásquezBooked at 61mins
  • 20SabelliSubstituted forEkubanat 88′minutes
  • 10MessiasSubstituted forCarvalho Oliveiraat 63′minutes
  • 47Badelj
  • 32FrendrupBooked at 20minsSubstituted forStrootmanat 45′minutesBooked at 47mins
  • 3MartínSubstituted forSpenceat 63′minutes
  • 19Retegui
  • 11Gudmundsson

Substitutes

  • 2Thorsby
  • 5Bohinen
  • 8Strootman
  • 9Carvalho Oliveira
  • 14Vogliacco
  • 16Leali
  • 17Malinovskyi
  • 18Ekuban
  • 23Cittadini
  • 39Sommariva
  • 53Pittino
  • 90Spence

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Tuesday’s gossip: Osimhen, Ten Hag, Pochettino, Joelinton, Hjulmand, Sancho

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Victor Osimhen

Manchester United and Paris St-Germain are emerging as the frontrunners to sign Napoli and Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen, 25, this summer. (The Independent)external-link

Tottenham Hotspur have sent scouts to watch Sporting Lisbon’s Morten Hjulmand – a 24-year-old Denmark midfielder who has an Arsenal tattoo on his shoulder. (Record, via Sun)external-link

Chelsea have identified Brighton’s Roberto de Zerbi and Sporting’s Ruben Amorim as potential replacements for Mauricio Pochettino. (Guardian)external-link

A number of Manchester United players believe Dutch manager Erik ten Hag will be replaced at the end of the season by new co-owners Ineos. (Daily Mail)external-link

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Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou will reject any offers to leave this summer – including from Liverpool. (Football Insider)external-link

Manchester United intend to sell England winger Jadon Sancho this summer following the 23-year-old’s loan spell with Borussia Dortmund, irrespective of whether Erik ten Hag is still United manager. (Football Insider)external-link

Newcastle plan to send 19-year Gambia winger Yankuba Minteh out on loan for a second successive season. Minteh, who the Magpies signed from Danish club Odense Boldklub for £6m last summer, has been at Dutch side Feyenoord this season. (the i)external-link

Liverpool might have to pay Bayer Leverkusen a world-record fee for a manager of £21m to bring Xabi Alonso back to Anfield this summer – double what they paid to sign the Spaniard as a player. (Mirror)external-link

Real Madrid are willing to raise their offer for Bayern Munich’s Canada left-back Alphonso Davies, 23, to £43m. (Cadena Ser, via Mundo Deportivo)external-link

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany continues to retain the support of the club’s hierarchy, despite their hopes of Premier League survival being hit by another defeat against Bournemouth on Sunday. (Athletic)external-link

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Everton’s financial future will be put into major doubt by the end of the month if 777 Capital’s proposed takeover remains unresolved. (Telegraph – subscription required)external-link

Chelsea sent scouts to watch 21-year-old English defender Archie Brown, who plays for Belgian side Gent, at the weekend. The former Derby County youngster is also being watched by Leeds United and West Ham United. (HITC)external-link

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Sheffield United 0-6 Arsenal: Abysmal Blades crushed by ruthless Gunners

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Martin Odegaard scores
Martin Odegaard (right) put Arsenal ahead after five minutes with their 26th Premier League goal of 2024

Arsenal cruised to a seventh successive Premier League win as they put six past a dreadful Sheffield United side at Bramall Lane.

The Gunners were 3-0 up inside 13 minutes and led 5-0 at half-time against the league’s bottom side.

Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli, Kai Havertz, Declan Rice and Ben White scored – with an own goal from Jayden Bogle – for Mikel Arteta’s team.

The win ensures Arsenal move two points behind leaders Liverpool.

It keeps the Gunners in the thick of the title race, while in contrast Sheffield United are 11 points from safety with just 11 games remaining.

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More to follow.

Line-ups

Sheff Utd

Formation 4-5-1

  • 13Grbic
  • 20BogleBooked at 29mins
  • 15AhmedhodzicSubstituted forArblasterat 64′minutes
  • 19Robinson
  • 5Trusty
  • 28McAteeSubstituted forBaldockat 45′minutes
  • 16NorwoodSubstituted forOsbornat 17′minutes
  • 21de Souza Costa
  • 22DaviesSubstituted forBrooksat 45′minutes
  • 8Hamer
  • 9McBurnieSubstituted forOsulaat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Baldock
  • 11Brereton
  • 18Foderingham
  • 23Osborn
  • 24Arblaster
  • 27Larouci
  • 32Osula
  • 35Brooks
  • 42Peck

Arsenal

Formation 4-3-3

  • 22Raya
  • 4WhiteSubstituted forCédric Soaresat 65′minutes
  • 2Saliba
  • 6Gabriel
  • 15Kiwior
  • 8Ødegaard
  • 20JorginhoSubstituted forParteyat 65′minutes
  • 41RiceSubstituted forTrossardat 74′minutes
  • 7SakaSubstituted forFábio Vieiraat 45′minutes
  • 29Havertz
  • 11MartinelliSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 64′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 5Partey
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 10Smith Rowe
  • 14Nketiah
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 19Trossard
  • 21Fábio Vieira
  • 24Nelson

Live Text

helpHow to play

Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.

Rating range key1 = Give it up10 = Pure perfection

Sheffield United

  1. Squad number13Player nameGrbic

  2. Squad number20Player nameBogle

  3. Squad number15Player nameAhmedhodzic

  4. Squad number19Player nameRobinson

  5. Squad number5Player nameTrusty

  6. Squad number28Player nameMcAtee

  7. Squad number16Player nameNorwood

  8. Squad number21Player nameVinicius Souza

  9. Squad number22Player nameDavies

  10. Squad number8Player nameHamer

  11. Squad number9Player nameMcBurnie

  1. Squad number2Player nameBaldock

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  3. Squad number24Player nameArblaster

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Republic of Ireland: ‘Existing contractual arrangements’ delaying manager appointment

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John O'Shea talks at Monday's news conference in Dublin as FAI director of football Marc Canham listens on
Marc Canham’s comments on Monday appear to indicate that interim boss John O’Shea will not be appointed as permanent Republic manager

Football Association of Ireland director of football Marc Canham says “existing contractual arrangements” are delaying the appointment of a new Republic of Ireland manager.

Canham’s comments on Monday appear to rule out interim manager John O’Shea taking the job on a permanent basis.

The FAI’s original intention was to announce a new manager before the Uefa Nations League draw on 8 February.

England Under-21 boss Lee Carsley was believed to be the preferred candidate.

However, negotiations with Carsley apparently stalled and he is preparing the England Under-21s for games against Azerbaijan and Luxembourg later this month as they begin the defence of their European title.

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Those games take place on 22 and 26 March and it remains to be seen whether 40-time capped Republic midfielder Carsley will be Stephen Kenny’s successor when the FAI’s latest target date in early April arrives.

“We look forward to announcing that new head coach in early April,” Canham said at a news conference on Monday, staged to announce O’Shea as interim boss.

England Under-21s boss Lee Carsley on the touchline during a match
England Under-21s boss Lee Carsley is believed to have been the FAI’s preferred candidate for the role since Stephen Kenny’s departure

“Existing contractual arrangements mean that we are not in a position to announce any further details at this point but as we have committed to, we will announce that in early April.

“There is a confidentiality issue there but we are near the end of the process.”

O’Shea was last week appointed as interim boss to take charge of the Republic in friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland on 23 March and 26 March.

The former Manchester United defender was available to take on the role having left his Birmingham City assistant’s position following Wayne Rooney’s departure from the club.

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Former Republic manager Brian Kerr will be part of O’Shea’s management team for the Belgium and Switzerland games.

“I’m only concentrating on these two games,” said the Waterford native O’Shea, whose coaching career has included being part of the backroom team of previous Republic boss Kenny in addition to assistant roles at Championship clubs Reading, Stoke City and Birmingham.

“In my head, I’ve been preparing for this since my late 20s that I’d get into coaching and management.

“I’d feel I’m ready [for the permanent job] but what happens after these games we’ll see.”

Former Wales manager Chris Coleman was among the candidates for the Republic job only to rule himself out of contention, while ex-Celtic boss Neil Lennon was also linked with the role before the FAI seemingly opted to look elsewhere.

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