Barcelona's Spanish coach Pep Guardiola

Guardiola, Drogba, Iniesta and more reaction from London

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Not only are the particulars talking in the wake of today’s result in London, but given the way the match played out, they have a lot to say.

Barcelona were handed a 1-0 loss by Chelsea, with the talking points centering around how the Blues went about their play. As you’ll see, nobody was too interested in moralizing about Roberto Di Matteo’s tactics. Instead, the focus has shifted to Tuesday’s second leg.

  • “It was a collective performance by the whole team. We knew we would get chances and Didier [Drogba] was in the right spot at the right time.” – Roberto di Matteo, via UEFA
  • It’s not simple to come here. People say Barca are much, much better … but this [CFC] team is experienced in the semi-finals.” – Pep Guardiola, via @SamWallaceIndy
  • “It wasn’t perfect because they had chances but we’ve done what we could. There’s amazing quality in their team but we gave 100% and we tried to stay organized. Mentally it’s very difficult to keep focus all the time but we’ve done it.” – Petr Cech, via UEFA
  • “Deserved more? Result is what it is, you’ve to congratulate Chelsea. Probably our semi with most chances, but we didn’t score.” – Guardiola, via @barcastuff
  • “If football is about counting possession we would win every game. The game is putting the ball in the net.” – Guardiola, via @JohnBrewinESPN
  • “Chelsea took advantage of the chance that they had while we were lacking that killer instinct in front of goal. They waited for us at the back and defended very well tonight.” – Andrés Iniesta, via UEFA
  • “It was more or less the game we expected, created more chances than we had thought, but couldn’t make that goal.” – Guardiola, via @barcastuff
  • “We’ve had to be patient tonight. We didn’t touch the ball for the first 15 minutes. Didier [Drogba] worked very hard and it was a tireless performance by everyone.” – John Terry, via UEFA
  • “Chelsea wasting a lot of time, especially Drogba? They play the way they think is best, we should know how to deal with that.” – Guardiola, via @barcastuff
  • “I think we’ve learnt and improved from three years ago. We are happy because the result is a good one. Now, we need to go there and score to qualify.” – Didier Drogba, via UEFA
  • “The winner is always right, so tonight Chelsea had the right tactics.” – Guardiola, via @barcastuff
  • “The challenge is to again have 24 shots on Tuesday like we had tonight, and then score from those.” – Guardiola, via @barcastuff
  • “They’re an exceptional side but we were brilliant. For the effort and the commitment we deserved what we’ve got. We’ll see how important [not conceding an away goal is]; last time we kept a clean sheet at the Camp Nou so it could be very important if we manage to score there.” – Cech, via UEFA
  • “We will play in front of our own fans next week and we have to look to be aggressive at home.” – Iniesta, via UEFA
  • “The away leg will be a very tough game. They will have lots of chances on their big pitch. We respect them but we’re not in awe of them.” – Terry, via UEFA
  • “It won’t be easy because it’s never easy when a team defends so deep.” – Guardiola, via @RobHarris
  • “Now the favorites are Chelsea. They have a great result. We have 90 minutes to challenge them.” – Guardiola, via @OliverKayTimes
  • “I think it’s still 50-50, we have a second leg away from home and know it’s going to be a difficult one.” – Di Matteo, via BBC
  • “Only winners are remembered.” – Guardiola, via @RobHarris

Sam Allardyce fired as England manager after 67 days

England international soccer team manager Sam Allardyce, centre, his assistant Sammy Lee, left, and FA chief executive Martin Glenn, right, applaud during the launch event of UEFA Euro 2020 and the unveiling of the tournament brand and the London host city logo at City Hall, in London, Wednesday Sept. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
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After one game as England manager, Sam Allardyce has a 100 percent record and that’s how it will remain.

Forever.

On Tuesday the English FA confirmed that Allardyce, 61, has been fired as England’s manager just 67 days in charge.

Allardyce was at the center of a sensational undercover investigation by The Telegraph which was released on Monday and key figures of the English FA were locked in meetings at Wembley Stadium all day with many reports stating that Allardyce offered to resign.

He wasn’t given the chance as the English FA released a statement which confirmed Allardyce’s departure as well as the appointment of Gareth Southgate as caretaker boss for the upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers next week and the rest of their games in 2018.

The FA can confirm that Sam Allardyce has left his position as England manager. Allardyce’s conduct, as reported today, was inappropriate of the England manager. He accepts he made a significant error of judgement and has apologised. However, due to the serious nature of his actions, The FA and Allardyce have mutually agreed to terminate his contract with immediate effect.

This is not a decision that was taken lightly but The FA’s priority is to protect the wider interests of the game and maintain the highest standards of conduct in football. The manager of the England men’s senior team is a position which must demonstrate strong leadership and show respect for the integrity of the game at all times.

Gareth Southgate will take charge of the men’s senior team for the next four matches against Malta, Slovenia, Scotland and Spain whilst The FA begins its search for the new England manager. The FA wishes Sam well in the future.

The former Sunderland, West Ham, Newcastle and Bolton manager had previously described the England job as his “dream” but it has turned into a nightmare after being fired in hugely controversial circumstances.

He also released a statement via the FA’s website on Tuesday.

Further to recent events, The FA and I have mutually agreed to part company. It was a great honor for me to be appointed back in July and I am deeply disappointed at this outcome. This afternoon, I met with Greg Clarke and Martin Glenn and offered a sincere and wholehearted apology for my actions.

Although it was made clear during the recorded conversations that any proposed arrangements would need The FA’s full approval, I recognize I made some comments which have caused embarrassment. As part of today’s meeting, I was asked to clarify what I said and the context in which the conversations took place. I have co-operated fully in this regard. I also regret my comments with regard to other individuals.

In video clips released by the Telegraph, Allardyce was seen meeting with fictitious businessmen and discussing how to get around rules of third-party ownership (TPO) of players. He was also seen negotiating a fee of over $518,000 for becoming an ambassador for the company he believed to be from the Far East.

When asked about TPO — which was banned by the English FA in 2008 and by FIFA in 2015 — and ways to get around the current system, Allardyce replied to the businessmen that it was “not a problem” and revealed he knew agents who are “doing it all the time.”

Allardyce was also seen criticizing former England boss Roy Hodgson and assistant manager Gary Neville, and his employers at the FA among others, with the whole episode causing the England manager huge embarrassment.

 

England will now start their search for a new permanent manager, while The Telegraph has promised more information will be released in the coming days as they say their 10-month investigation into the murkier side of English soccer has also “unearthed widespread evidence of bribery and corruption in British football.”

LIVE – UCL group stage: Leicester-Porto, Spurs-CSKA; Real, BVB clash

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Islam Slimani of Leicester City celebrates scoring his sides second goal with his team mates during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Burnley at The King Power Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
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The second round of UEFA Champions League group stage games kick off on Tuesday and both Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur is in action.

[ MORE: UCL schedule ]

Leicester welcomes the UCL for the first time in their history, as they host FC Porto at the King Power Stadium with the Portuguese giants set to be their toughest test in group play. Claudio Ranieri‘s side beat Club Brugge 3-0 away from home in their opening Group G game and if they topple Porto then they’ll have a great chance of advancing to the UCL knockout rounds.

As for Spurs, they’re in a tighter spot after losing their opening Group E game to AS Monaco at Wembley. Mauricio Pochettino has plenty of injury problems with Harry Kane, Mousa Dembele, Danny Rose and Eric Dier all out for the long trip to CSKA Moscow. Nothing but a win will do against the Russian champions, as Spurs aim to get back on track.

Elsewhere some tasty clashes see Borussia Dortmund host Real Madrid at the Westfalenstadion, as the reigning champions go up against the German giants. It will be quite the atmosphere in Dortmund.

All matches kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET, and you can follow all the action live as it happens by clicking on the link above.


Tuesday’s UCL matches

Sporting Lisbon vs. Legia Warsaw
Sevilla vs. Lyon
Dinamo Zagreb vs. Juventus
CSKA Moscow vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid
Monaco vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Copenhagen vs. Club Brugge
Leicester City vs. Porto

Makeshift bomb explodes on Cypriot referee’s car

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24:  Referee Mark Clattenburg shows a red card to Per Mertesacker of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on January 24, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) The Cyprus Football Association has condemned a bomb attack against the car of a top referee, calling it a blight on the island’s footballing family and society in general.

[ MORE: Allardyce in big trouble ]

The association says it stands by referee Georgios Nicolaou and urges police to track down and bring the culprits of Tuesday’s pre-dawn bombing to justice.

Police say the explosion occurred while the car was parked outside the 41-year-old’s home in the Larnaca area. The front of the car sustained extensive damage.

A string of attacks against the property of Cypriot referees have occurred in the past two years.

The most recent previous attack took place in March 2015 against the car of another referee that was set ablaze after being doused with flammable liquid.

VIDEO: Top Premier League goals – Matchday 6

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We were spoiled with stunning strikes in Macthday 6 of the Premier League.

[ MORE: What now for Chelsea? ]

From Philippe Coutinho‘s stunner to Junior Stanislas‘ powerful drive and Demarai Gray‘s delicious strike, there was no shortage of top notch goals.

Watch the best of the bunch in the video above and let us know which was your favorite in the comments section below.