Five moments that defined Chelsea’s Champions League trip to Atlético Madrid

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0′- Chelsea comes out in a 4-3-3: Any illusions that José Mourinho might pursue an away goal and open up in leg one were deflated at the opening whistle, though Chelsea’s team sheet had already hinted at what was to come. The team was going to switch away from what has become a customary 4-2-3-1, instead going with a “true” midfield three of David Luiz, John Obi Mikel, and Frank Lampard. With Ramires among the front three, this was as defensive as Chelsea could set up, an approach that saw the Blues retain only 38 percent of the ball.


source: AP

17′ – Collision separates Petr Cech’s shoulder: We didn’t know it at the time, but after 17 minutes of today’s match, Petr Cech’s Champions League season was done. Pushed toward goal, Atlético forward/midfielder Raúl García undercut the Chelsea keeper, sending him to ground inside his own net. Walking off cradling his right arm, Cech was replaced by Mark Schwarzer, who will presumably start the second leg in London.


 

source: AP

45′ – Diego breaks new ground, puts a shot on target: Atlético would go into halftime with nearly 70 percent of the match’s possession and a 9-2 edge in shots, but it wasn’t until the first half’s final moments that the home side actually put an attempt on target. Brazilian midfielder Diego, a somewhat surprising inclusion in the starting XI, tested Schwarzer just before halftime with a benign shot, leaving the sides to go into the dressing rooms as they started.


 

source: AP

65′ – Frank Lampard excused from leg two: Arda Turan had been on for less than five minutes when Frank Lampard slid through him with a challenge. Jonas Eriksson issued the Chelsea great a yellow card, a caution that will force the midfielder out of the second leg. Suspended for yellow card accumulation, Lampard will be sidelined while a likely midfield of Ramires and David Luiz tries to get the Blues to Lisbon.


 

source: AP

73 – John Terry bows out, too: With Petr Cech and Frank Lampard already out of leg two, John Terry limped off late, forcing David Luiz back into central defense while André Schürrle came on. Terry now has eight days to recover from his apparent ankle injury. If he can’t, three of the players who’ve served as faces for this era of Chelsea soccer will miss out on Wednesday’s match at Stamford Bridge.

Cristiano Ronaldo announces birth of twin sons via surrogate

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Cristiano Ronaldo will not play in Portugal’s third-place match at the 2017 Confederations Cup this Sunday.

He has bigger things to sort out.

Ronaldo, 32, was released from Portugal’s squad late Wednesday after their defeat on penalty kicks to Chile in the Confed Cup semifinals in Russia.  The Real Madrid and Portugal superstar will now travel to visit his new twin sons, who were born via a surrogate earlier this month, with Ronaldo set to meet them for the first time after captaining Portugal in Russia over the past few weeks.

According to reports from Portuguese TV channel SIC, the surrogate mother was based on the west coast of the U.S. (I can already hear you guys asking ‘does that mean they’re eligible to play for the USMNT?’). Ronaldo is now the father of three children after already having a seven-year-old son, Cristiano Ronaldo Jr.

Reports also suggest that his 22-year-old girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez is five months pregnant, so soon he could be a father for the fourth time. He would then be able to field a five-a-side team of Ronaldo’s for indoor games…

Below is the post from Ronaldo confirming his departure from Portugal’s squad, which the national team also confirmed, as he is set to meet his new children for the first time.

“I was in the service of the national team, as always, body and soul, even though my two sons were born. Unfortunately, we have not been able to achieve the main sporting objective that we wanted, but I am sure we will continue to give joy to the Portuguese.

“The President of the Portuguese Football Federation and the national picker have today had an attitude that has touched me and I will not forget. I’m very happy to finally be with my children for the first time.”

Open Cup roundup: Poku lifts Miami; Red Bulls, Cincy win on PKs

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While MLS represents the majority of the remaining clubs in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, one side continues to defy the odds.

[ MORE: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson ]

Miami FC reached their first quarterfinal in club history after knocking off Atlanta United late on Wednesday, behind a goal and an assist from Kwadwo Poku. The victory for Miami sets up a date with FC Cincinnati — who pulled off an unbelievable shootout win against the Chicago Fire.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution both advanced on the night with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, respectively. The Red Bulls and Revs will meet in the final eight as well.

Sporting KC kept its hope of hoisting a fourth U.S. Open Cup title alive on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The 2015 winners will take on FC Dallas — who defeated the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Here are all the results from tonight’s Open Cup action.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Sporting KC
New England Revolution 2-1 D.C. United
Miami FC 3-2 Atlanta United
New York Red Bulls 1-1 (5-3 on PKs) Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati 0-0 (3-1 on PKs) Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy 2-0 Sacramento Republic

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

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The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.