Guardiola on Gunners: “You can’t dominate 90 minutes of Arsenal”

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Sky Sports scored a sit-down with Bayern Munich boss/tactical wizard Pep Guardiola, and interviewer Geoff Shreeves had an interesting discussion with the manager on football and how far away Bayern is from his preferred form.

And as he prepares to play Arsenal in a London building in which he’s never won, the 43-year-old Spaniard had high praise for his opponent in the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16.

“You can’t dominate 90 minutes of Arsenal. We are going to try for as long a time as possible, but always they have one game or thirty minutes, one half or 75 minutes where Arsenal is special.”

“They have the quality to not lose the ball easily and the quality to one against one. When that happens, it’s impossible to dominate 90 minutes. You have to be prepared to try and be aggressive.”

Some other highlights from the nearly-eight minute talk:

On mistaking possession with domination: “The possession is important when you create chances. The possession in itself is nothing. We try to have the possession in front. Sometimes you have the big, big possession but not to create chances and just to defend. That is not football.”

Attacking keeps him calm: “When the ball is far away from my box, I am happy. I am calm. I am not nervous. When the ball is step-by-step or closer to my box, now I am trembling. That’s why I prefer to keep the ball as far away as possible.”

RELATED: INFOGRAPHIC – Breaking down Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich

On not wasting movement: “I prefer more when the ball goes to the positions, the players, more than the players move a lot.”

How far away is Bayern from the club he wants it to be? “Far away… We’ve played okay. Three minutes, twenty minutes but not consistently. But that’s normal. We change a little things from my ideas and I need time.

“In the process, it’s important to win so to have more time to work during the process. When you don’t win, it’s more difficult to change quickly, but it’s happening. Bundesliga, we’ve won almost everything so we are in good position. But still I am in a position to adapt, to know my players and the players know me. I feel we are still in process to getting there, but it’s normal. Football is not arriving in one month, two month, where the team can play the way you want.”

Official (finally): Salah completes move from Roma to Liverpool

Photo credit: Liverpool FC / Twiter: @LFC
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It was the summer’s first transfer rumor-turned-real-story-turned-never-ending-saga that seemed to refuse to cross the finish line, but it’s finally come to pass: Mohamed Salah is a Liverpool player.

Salah’s move from Roma to Liverpool took so long to complete that the club’s poor social-media manager probably never wants to read the words “Announce Salah” for the rest of his/her life.

The deal will cost Liverpool something in the neighborhood of $50 million, and completes the utterly terrifying attacking quartet Jurgen Klopp can’t wait to unleash on the Premier League come August — Salah on one side, Sadio Mane opposite, Philippe Coutinho in the middle, and Roberto Firmino at striker. Salah, by the way, will take over Firmino’s no. 11 shirt, with the Brazilian switching to no. 9.

Alexis sets the record, but Germany come back for draw

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Alexis Sanchez became Chile’s all-time leading goalscorer (38) on Thursday, and La Roja inched ever closer to progression at the 2017 Confederations Cup with a 1-1 draw against Germany.

[ MORE: VAR steps in to help Aussies draw Cameroon, 1-1 ]

Sanchez moved past Marcelo Salas with his 6th-minute opener (above video) to capitalize on a poor turnover and complete a quick one-two atop Germany’s 18-yard box. Arturo Vidal put a foot in to disrupt Germany’s attempt to play out of the back, and the ball fell to Sanchez who quickly played it back to Vidal, who played Sanchez into the box for a left-footed finish inside the near post.

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news

Chile’s lead wouldn’t quite last until halftime, though, as Lars Stindl got on the end of Jonas Hector’s cross in the 41st minute to bring the reigning World Cup champions back to level terms and all but secure their place in the next round.

With the result, Chile and Germany remain tied on top of Group B (4 points) with one game to play. Given the distance between themselves and Australia and Cameron (1 point each) in third and fourth, a draw in their final group games would be more than enough to go through to the semifinals. One-goal defeats would even do the trick.

Kenny Saief approved for one-time switch from Israel to USMNT

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Kenny Saief has been officially cleared by FIFA to make his one-time switch of international allegiance from Israel to the United States, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced on Thursday.

Saief, 23, was born in Panama City, Fla., to Druze-Israeli parents and began his youth career with Maccabi Haifa in 2005, at the age of 11. After a handful of first-team appearances for various Israeli clubs between 2010 and 2013, Saief earned a regular place in Ironi Nir Ramat HaSharon’s first team during the 2013-14 season. In the summer of 2014, he moved to Belgian side Gent, where he’s played in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. U.S. men’s national team head coach Bruce Arena included Saief on his 40-man preliminary roster for next month’s 2017 Gold Cup.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup ]

He appeared for Israeli youth national teams at just about every level, but having grown frustrated at the lack of a call-up to the senior team, Saief made it known many months ago he would consider a switch to the USMNT if the omission continued.

Saief figures to serve as something of a utility-man for the USMNT, at least from the start. He’s a left-footed midfielder who’s played extensively on both the left and right wings, and even a bit at left back. It’s the latter that should most intrigued USMNT fans, considering the dearth of options available at the position.

Geiger, Marrufo, Villarreal picked as Gold Cup referees

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) Mark Geiger, who three years ago became the first American to referee a knockout stage match at the World Cup, is among 17 referees picked for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Americans Jair Marrufo and Armando Villarreal also were announced Thursday for the 12-nation tournament, which runs from July 7-26 in various U.S. cities.

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news

Geiger, who is from New Jersey, was a referee for France’s 2-0 win over Nigeria in the round of 16.

Three each were picked from Mexico (Roberto Garcia, Fernando Guerrero and Cesar Ramos) and Honduras (Melvin Matamoros, Oscar Moncada and Hector Rodriguez).

Two will come from Costa Rica: Henry Bejarano and Ricardo Montero.

Others picked for the tournament are Joel Aguilar (El Salvador), Drew Fischer (Canada), Walter Lopez (Guatemala), Yadel Martinez (Cuba), John Pitti (Panama) and Kimbell Ward (St. Kitts and Nevis).