With Gareth Bale’s holiday in Marbella ruined, he returns to London frustrated and unhappy

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Last Saturday Gareth Bale was chilling.

Sunglasses on, feet up, Bale lounged on a sun-drenched beach in Marbella, sipping an ice-cold concoction of fruit in wine that beat the pants off of any shandy he’d tasted before.

Life was good. It was about to be great. After months of protracted talks and haggling over a transfer from Tottenham to Real Madrid, the stage was set. Quite literally, in fact, as his would be new employers had actually erected a stage at the Bernabéu where, on Tuesday, they were prepared to unveil their new high-powered toy.

Bale had already agreed to a package with Madrid that would see him sign a six year contract in exchange for an annual salary of close to $13.4 million (€10m). All that remained to do was for Spurs to finalize that darned transfer fee. Madrid wanted $121.5 (€90.8m). Tottenham wanted $133.8 million (€100m).

Meet half-way and be done with it, Gazza probably thought. Either way it felt like a done deal.

But as the ice in his sangria began to melt, the taste began to change. The beverage had morphed from a beach cocktail into something that tasted like it had been whipped up by a bunch of frat boys who had come across a bottle of grain, powdered flavor, a trash can and a garden hose.

By Sunday, a deal still hadn’t gotten done and even worse, Spurs claimed that another bid had been received. Although unconfirmed, the prevailing thought was that Manchester United had now become a player. As the situation spiraled and the transfer that seemed so close was now once again acres apart, Bale jetted back to London.

And now, on Tuesday, it’s safe to say that Bale is no chilling. Reports from Sky Sports claim the player is “unhappy and frustrated” with how White Hart Lane has handled his transfer. With his arms crossed and a pouty look, Bale has taken his ball and is refusing to meet up with his Spurs teammates to train.

As for that other bid, after the nil-nil draw with Chelsea on Monday night, United boss David Moyes was asked if the Red Devils made the bid and the Scotsman responded, “no.” But few believe the denial. Despite promises to the contrary, the United boss has yet to make a splash in the summer transfer window. Could we be in line for a sensational ending to a summer-long saga?

The transfer window closes on September 2nd.

MLS Snapshot: New York City FC 2-1 New England Revolution (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): For nearly 75 minutes, NYCFC couldn’t muster up any chances in the attacking third, but thankfully their captain did what he does best. David Villa scored his 19th goal of the season on Sunday night to pull out a 2-1 win against the New England Revolution, but it was rookie Jonathan Lewis that notched the winner. The visitors took the lead 20 minutes prior after Sean Johnson spilled a shot in front of his own goal, allowing Teal Bunbury to pounce on the rebound. NYCFC now moves to within four points of Eastern Conference leaders Toronto FC with nine matches remaining in the regular season.

Three four moments that mattered

16′ — Harrison breaks ankles, but Villa can’t finish — This might be the only time all see you’ll see David Villa miss a chance like this…

38′ — Johnson gets a finger tip to Rowe’s blast — Sean Johnson had no work to do in the first half, at least until Kelyn Rowe decided to rip a shot from distance just before halftime.

57′ — Johnson’s error grants Bunbury, Revs the lead — Look away, NYCFC fans.

77′ — Villa find the back of the net — When you need a goal, who you gonna call? That’s right. David Villa. The NYCFC captain is now up to 19 this season.

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Man of the match: David Villa

Goalscorers: Teal Bunbury (57′), David Villa (77′), Jonathan Lewis (90+4′)

Honoring victims of attacks, Barcelona wins league opener

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Wearing shirts honoring victims of the recent attacks in Spain, Barcelona opened its Spanish league season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Real Betis on Sunday.

[ MORE: Neymar double helps PSG cruise past Toulouse ]

Players had the word “Barcelona” instead of their names on the back of their shirts, and the Catalan hashtag “TOTSSOMBARCELONA” (We are all Barcelona) was on display around the Camp Nou stadium. The message was also shown on the stadium’s large screens, as well as on many banners carried by fans.

An emotional minute’s silence was held before the game as the music of Catalan cellist Pau Casals played in the background.

Before the minute was up, the more than 55,000 fans at the stadium broke into a round of applause and began chanting “No tinc por” (I’m not afraid), a chant which has become a symbol of people’s reactions to the attacks that killed 14 people and injured more than 120 in Barcelona and the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils.

Extra security was implemented in and around Camp Nou.

There was a minute’s silence before every Spanish league match this weekend.

Without Neymar and the injured Luis Suarez, Barcelona got off to a winning start in the league after consecutive losses to rival Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final.

It scored two goals three minutes apart near the end of the first half – an own-goal by Betis defender Alin Tosca and a close-range shot by Sergi Roberto. Both goals came after plays started by Gerard Deulofeu, one of the players expected to try to replace Neymar after his world record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

“We lost depth with Neymar’s departure and we have to find a way to overcome that,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said.

Lionel Messi looked lively but wasn’t able to score his 350th goal in La Liga. He came close, though, being denied by the woodwork three different times.

AP Sports Writer Tales Azzoni contributed to this report.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

Brighton breaks club record with signing of winger Jose Izquierdo

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Brighton hasn’t gotten off to the ideal start in its debut season in the Premier League, but a key reinforcement is on the way.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Spurs at Wembley behind Alonso’s brace ]

After starting the 2017/18 campaign with back-to-back defeats, the Seagulls announced on Sunday the signing of Colombian winger Jose Izquierdo from Club Brugge in Belgium for a record fee.

The 25-year-old spent three seasons in Belgium’s top flight and totaled 38 goals across all competitions for Brugge, prior to making the move to England.

Additionally, Izquierdo has worked his way into the Colombia squad as of late, and scored his first international goal for his country in June 2017 in a friendly against Cameroon.

MLS Follow Live — NYCFC hosts Revs, Minnesota meets Sounders

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Only two matches will feature on the MLS docket Sunday evening, but luckily two of the league’s most exciting teams will take to the pitch.

[ MORE: Toronto tops Fire as East leaders reach 50 points on season ]

First, New York City FC will attempt to continue its ascent up the Eastern Conference ladder when they host Kei Kamara and the New England Revolution.

In the night cap, the Seattle Sounders look to extend their unbeaten streak to nine matches when they welcome newcomers Minnesota United to CenturyLink Field.

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Here’s the schedule and kick-off times for Sunday’s two MLS fixtures.

New York City FC vs. New England Revolution — 6 p.m. ET
Seattle Sounders vs. Minnesota United — 10 p.m. ET