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

Daly collapses during match, treated for heat illness

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HOUSTON (AP) Houston Dash forward Rachel Daly collapsed during the final minute of a National Women’s Soccer League match against the Seattle Reign as temperatures climbed into the 90s.

The 25-year-old Daly was stretchered off the field and taken to the hospital, where the team said she was being treated for heat illness.

The temperature at BBVA Compass Stadium was 92 degrees at the 3 p.m. kickoff. The Reign won 2-0.

[ MORE: Perisic talking with Man Utd? ]

The NWSL issued a statement that said the league had worked with the Dash before the season to schedule any afternoon games early in the year to help avoid heat issues. The teams took a hydration break late in the match.

“We will immediately review these measures to prevent this situation from occurring in the future,” the statement said.

Reign coach Laura Harvey posted to Twitter: “Proud of the team today. Some of the hottest conditions I’ve seen. Road games are tough but that was crazy.”

MLS roundup: Outrageous dive, posts doom ‘Caps; Ramirez stays red hot

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Six matches are in the books on a busy Saturday in Major League Soccer, and five of them finished 1-0.

How they got there? Much different stories. With the Cali Clasico still to play, let’s dig into the five that followed Seattle 1-0 Portland.

[ MORE: Perisic to Man Utd? ]


Vancouver Whitecaps 0-1 DC United

It’s especially difficult to win on the road in Major League Soccer, unless the hosts fritter away four good chances off the woodwork — including a Cristian Techera PK — and give away a spot kick of their own. Lamar Neagle converted the 61st offering after a sinister dive from Jose Guillermo Ortiz. He was taken off soon after, and is probably going to miss sometime when the DisCo is done with him. Outrageous.

New York Red Bulls 2-1 New England Revolution

Not one, not two, nor three, but four New England players saw a low cross slide by them for Daniel Royer to finish as New York came from behind to take all three points at Red Bull Arena. Cody Cropper committed a gaffe that allowed Bradley Wright-Phillips to equalize after a Lee Nguyen PK had put the Revs ahead early.

Colorado Rapids 1-0 Sporting KC

Homegrown defender and University of Denver product Kortne Ford has his first MLS goal, as the Rapids surprised the Western Conference leaders on Saturday. SKC outshot Colorado by nearly 20 attempts (Shoulder shrug emoji).

Minnesota United 1-0 Orlando City

There were questions as to whether NASL superstar Christian Ramirez could translate his game to Major League Soccer.

Yes. The answer is yes.

Ramirez has eight goals in 13 MLS matches, and should be hearing his name from a certain Bruce Arena around Gold Cup time. Those USMNT dreams of last season should come true.

Bobby Shuttleworth made six saves for his third shutout of the season. All have come at home.

Real Salt Lake 1-0 Philadelphia Union

Joao Plata keeps shooting, and the tiny Ecuadorian menace keeps scoring, too. His 36th minute goal was enough for the hosts at Rio Tinto.

Raiola: Zlatan to “100 percent” stay in Europe for two seasons

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be 35 and coming off major knee surgery, but that isn’t stopping suitors from lining up across Europe.

[ MORE: Perisic to Man Utd? ]

Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, says that MLS is not an option for the Swede over the next two seasons. From Sky Sports:

“Many clubs have asked for Zlatan. He can play two more years and will stay in Europe, 100 per cent.”

It would make sense for Ibrahimovic to stay around Manchester United, where he is admired by Jose Mourinho and coming off a season that showed he’s still capable of contributing at a high level.

But he remains beloved in Italy, and would be effective for most clubs in the Top 5 leagues should he return at even 75 percent of the Zlatan we’ve seen regularly.

Report: Manchester United, Inter Milan keen on Perisic deal

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Manchester United wants Ivan Perisic, and both the player and his current club are all about it.

Perisic, 28, is ready to leave Inter Milan, and the Serie A mainstays are happy to accept $46 million for his services according to Sky Sports.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Primarily a left winger, Perisic moved to Inter from Wolfsburg at the start of the 2015-16 season. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in Serie A play this season, and has kept up his production pace since moving from the Bundesliga to Italy.

United needs stars and depth for its Champions League campaign, and Perisic would buttress an attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst others. He was a difference maker for Croatia at EURO 2016, and can do the same at Old Trafford.