Drogba wants Champions League win over Chelsea, but may not celebrate a goal for Galatasaray

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Didier Drogba badly wants to advance in the UEFA Champions League with a decision over Chelsea on Tuesday, but the Ivorian striker would love it if a Blues loss didn’t have to accompany a Galatasaray win.

Drogba spent 2004-2012 with Chelsea, picking up myriad accolades from the individual (FIFA World XI, Premier League Golden Boots) to the team (Premier League title, Champions League title). But if he’s the difference maker on Tuesday, don’t look for the celebrations he displayed so many times as a player at Stamford Bridge.

From the BBC:

“With all the respect that I have for this club, for the fans and for the players, I might not celebrate, but if we win I’ll be happy.

“I just want to win the game, I just want to qualify. There’s nothing personal against Chelsea, there will never be.”

The clubs drew 1-1 in the first leg in Turkey, meaning Galatasaray will have to score to advance. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is way of the threat posed by Drogba and his side, not to mention the emotions that will flow inside of the building given the stage and its players.

After calling Drogba “one of the best strikers in the world” and “one of the most important players in the history of the club,” Mourinho said the striker should one day rejoin Chelsea in some capacity.

“I think it has to happen one day,” he continued. “When, I don’t know. As a player, as a coach, as an ambassador, next year, in four, five years, in 10 years, I don’t know.

“But when a person represents so much to a club and when a club represents so much to a person, and that’s the case, I think he has to be back one day.”

MORE: UEFA Champions League preview – Galatasaray tasked with bringing down Chelsea’s fortress

Men in Blazers: Jurgen Klopp talks loss of Coutinho and more

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Roger Bennett talks with manager Jurgen Klopp about revolutionizing Liverpool, his Greatest Show on Turf-esque offense, the loss of Philippe Coutinho and how he keeps football in perspective.

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MLS: Higuain extends with Crew, Royer gets new deal with Red Bulls

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Two key midfielders earned new deals on Thursday, as two of the Eastern Conference’s recent successes helped solidify for their attacks for the next few years.

The Columbus Crew extended Designated Player attacker Federico Higuain through the 2019 MLS season.

Higuain has been with the Crew since 2012, when the Argentine joined the club from Colon de Santa Fe in his native country.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls extended Daniel Royer’s contract, as the Austrian winger in the midst of his third season with Jesse Marsch’s group.

Thus far, Royer has tallied 17 goals in all competitions for the Red Bulls, including 15 during the 2017 campaign, where the former Midtjylland player finished second on the team in goals behind Bradley Wright-Phillips.

UEL: Griezmann nabs crucial away goal vs. Arsenal, Marseille cruises

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A game of back-and-forth at the Emirates Stadium set up an enticing second leg in the UEFA Europa League semifinals, while a Ligue 1 side positioned itself well to move into the final.

[ MORE: Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks ]

Arsenal and Atletico Madrid settled for a 1-1 draw in London, as Antoine Griezmann’s late strike leveled the match for the Spanish side.

The Gunners looked on their way to a victory when Alexandre Lacazette‘s goal just beyond the hour mark put Arsene Wenger‘s men in front.

The result sets up a strong showdown for the two giants in a week’s time, although Arsenal will feel it left something on the table after racking up 26 shots (seven on target) on the day, particularly after Sime Vrsaljko was sent off after 10 minutes for the visitors when he picked up a second yellow card.

Meanwhile, Florian Thauvin and Clinton Njie gave Marseille a 2-0 win over Red Bull Leipzig, giving the French side the edge it sought out ahead of the competition finale.

The two clubs will meet again at Red Bull Arena Salzburg for the second leg.


Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Marseille 2-0 Red Bull Salzburg

Europa League, LIVE: Arsenal, Marseille host first legs

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Diego Costa brings a solid career record against Arsenal back to London in a bid to ruin Arsene Wenger‘s farewell season at the Emirates Stadium.

[ FOLLOW: Arsenal vs. Atleti ]

The now-Atletico Madrid forward returns to England on Thursday as his La Liga outfit aims to stop Arsenal from reaching next month’s Europa League Final in Lyon.

[ FOLLOW: Marseille vs. Red Bull Salzburg ]

That’s a 3:05 p.m. ET kickoff, the same as Marseille’s date with Red Bull Salzburg in France.

ARSENAL-ATLETICO MADRID LINEUPS

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Wilshere, Ramsey, Welbeck, Ozil, Lacazette. Subs: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Chambers, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Nketiah.

Atleti: Oblak, Lucas, Godin, Gimenez, Vrsaljko, Saul, Thomas, Koke, Correa, Griezmann, Gameiro. Subs: Werner, Savic, Gabi, Vitolo, Olabe, Torres, Costa.