HUDDERSFIELD, England: The most worrying thing for Manchester United right now, as their last hope of qualifying for the Champions League slipped away at Huddersfield with Sunday's (May 5) 1-1 draw, is that there is no guarantee things will get better any time soon.Players will come and go over the summer as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gets his first real chance to shape his squad, but we have been here before.David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have all been given money to spend - more than £600 million between them - since Sir Alex Ferguson retired; but for the fourth time in six years since the Scot departed, United will finish the season outside of the Premier League's top four.It was just what they deserved too. A bright opening 15 minutes saw them take the lead through Scott McTominay's second goal of the season, but by the time Lee Mason blew the final whistle, United were genuinely hanging on.Isaac Mbenza scored the equaliser in the second half after a … [Read more...] about Football: The worst is yet to come for Man Utd
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BARCELONA: Barcelona beat Liverpool 3-0 in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday (May 1).Here AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the Camp Nou clash:600 UP AS MESSI ESCAPES VAN DIJK'S SHADOWAfter three successive quarter-final defeats, Lionel Messi is on a mission to lead Barcelona to their first Champions League final appearance since they last won the tournament in 2015.Messi, Barca's incomparable striker, made a promise last September to 'bring that beautiful trophy' back to the Camp Nou and his late double - which took him to an incredible 600 career goals for the club - was a huge step towards achieving that dream.The Argentine had failed to score in his two previous appearances against Liverpool and for long periods he was held in check by Reds centre-back Virgil van Dijk and his fellow defenders.But Messi is too talented to be subdued for long and he finally escaped Van Dijk's clutches to score from close-range … [Read more...] about Football: Three things we learned from Barcelona vs Liverpool
Sevilla FC said it best in a tweet. If English Premier League teams don't want fourth place, the tweet read, then just give the Champions League slot to the Spanish side instead. The La Liga club have a point. The English also-rans are treating the top four with all the reverence of a visit to a proctologist, coming up with endless excuses for not turning up. They're exhausted. They don't travel well. There are too many work commitments in Europe. They're struggling with an indecisive boss. They've got a Spanish colleague who smears butter on his fingers. From David de Gea to Sarriball, from Arsenal's away record to Tottenham Hotspur's Champions League distractions, the excuses are at least consistent in their creativity. Not much else is. All four scarcely deserve elite European football next season. In the last three games, both Manchester City and Liverpool have taken maximum points. Across the same three games, Tottenham have picked up three points, Chelsea just two, Manchester … [Read more...] about Neil Humphreys: Does nobody want top-four spot?
TOTTENHAM, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United all failed to muster a win for the second consecutive Premier League weekend as the contenders for a place in next season’s Champions League stumble towards the finish line. Spurs, in third place behind runaway pacesetters Manchester City and Liverpool, are best-placed to secure a fourth straight season of Champions League football. Chelsea are in pole position for fourth, two points ahead of Arsenal, with United’s chances now looking slim. Here’s a looks at why all four have hit the wall as the season reaches its climax. Tottenham (70pts) A first defeat at the club’s new stadium, against West Ham on Saturday, means Spurs have now lost 12 times in the league this season. Yet it has still been a campaign of over-achievement by Mauricio Pochettino’s men. Despite not signing a single player, spending most of the season at their temporary home of Wembley, and losing talismanic striker Harry Kane for two … [Read more...] about Premier League top-four contenders limp towards line
LONDON: Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United all failed to muster a win for the second consecutive Premier League weekend as the contenders for a place in next season's Champions League stumble towards the finish line.Spurs, in third place behind runaway pacesetters Manchester City and Liverpool, are best-placed to secure a fourth straight season of Champions League football.Their 1-0 win over Brighton on Tuesday (Apr 29) is the only time in the past 10 games involving the four sides that one of them has won.Chelsea are in pole position for fourth, two points ahead of Arsenal, with United's chances now looking slim - they are a point behind Arsenal with a significantly inferior goal difference.AFP Sports looks at why all four have hit the wall as the season reaches its climax.Tottenham - 70 pointsA first defeat at the club's new stadium, against West Ham on Saturday, means Spurs have now lost 12 times in the league this season.Yet it has still been a campaign of … [Read more...] about Football: Premier League top-four contenders limp towards line