Down 2-1 at home to Valencia.
In stoppage time.
Title hopes in the balance.
He. did. this.
Down 2-1 at home to Valencia.
In stoppage time.
Title hopes in the balance.
He. did. this.
BERLIN (AP) Thomas Mueller has promised “fireworks” as Bayern Munich seeks to overturn a 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid and reach the Champions League final, where Real Madrid or Manchester City await.
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Five-time champion Bayern could go out to Spanish opposition at the semifinal stage for the third straight season, after defeats to Real Madrid and Barcelona in 2014 and 2015.
Saul Niguez’ brilliant strike in the first leg in Spain is the difference between the sides. Another Bayern fightback in front of 70,000 fans is expected Tuesday, with Pep Guardiola’s side counting on the spirit that helped it recover from 2-0 down against Juventus to win 4-2 after extra time earlier in the campaign.
Guardiola still hopes to lead Bayern to the treble and match the feat of his predecessor Jupp Heynckes in his last season before he leaves for City.
City could yet meet its future coach in the final if it completes the job against Madrid on Wednesday. After a scoreless first leg in Manchester, Manuel Pellegrini‘s side knows a score-draw will be enough to reach the final for the first time.
Here is a closer look at this week’s Champions League matches:
Bayern missed the chance to clinch its fourth successive Bundesliga title on Saturday, when it was clear that thoughts were already on Atletico’s visit.
With the league title all but certain to arrive sooner or later, Guardiola decided to rest Xabi Alonso, Javi Martinez, Philipp Lahm, David Alaba, Arturo Vidal, Thiago Alcantara, Douglas Costa and Robert Lewandowski in the 1-1 draw against Borussia Moenchengladbach.
“Tuesday’s match is going to be different, we have to play better then,” Guardiola said.
Since losing the 2014 semifinal to Madrid, Bayern has won all 11 Champions League games at home.
However, Bayern has been made to sweat in the Champions League this season, leaving it very late against Juventus and scraping past Benfica 3-2 on aggregate.
“The assurance has suffered a bit the last few weeks,” Mueller said. “We stand together well as a team but it’s no longer as easy as it was.”
Most fans were surprised to see Mueller starting the first leg in Madrid on the bench. The 26-year-old scored his 20th league goal of the season Saturday, bringing his tally across all competitions to 32, and it was his injury-time goal that forced extra time against Juventus.
If Bayern had trouble breaking through Atletico’s defense in Madrid, it will now have to deal with the addition of Diego Godin to the Spanish team’s backline. Godin, a key player for Atletico, and winger Yannick Carrasco were both cleared to play on Sunday after recovering from injuries.
Coach Diego Simeone also rested most of his first-choice players over the weekend, starting only four players from his lineup that beat Bayern. Atletico won 1-0 against Rayo Vallecano to stay level on points with league leader Barcelona.
The game in 100 words (or less): In theory, playing with a man advantage is supposed to provide just that — an advantage. In practice, it’s been a largely fruitless exercise for Sporting Kansas City in 2016. Following Sunday’s 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy, Sporting KC have played 153 minutes with a man advantage (four red cards shown to opponents on the season), and scored all of one goal on the season, all the way back on the opening day of the season. Ashley Cole was the latest to see red against Sporting (video below – if you’re anything other than a Chelsea fan, you’ll enjoy this one), and once again Peter Vermes’ side failed to hit pay dirt in the game’s final 20 minutes. The draw sees the two sides pick up a point each, with the Galaxy climbing one spot in the Western Conference standings, up to fourth, while Sporting hold steady in sixth.
[ MORE: Monday’s MLS Rewind column ]
Three moments that mattered
30′ — Davis curls a left-footed beauty for 1-0 — Attention, defenders of MLS; Brad Davis’s left foot — it’s still good.
42′ — Dos Santos finishes off a devastating counter — In the blink of an eye, from one end of the field to the other, and the Galaxy were back on level terms through Giovani dos Santos. Cheeky, cheeky.
70′ — Cole sees two yellows in the span of 13 seconds — Cole has mostly flown under the radar while in MLS. That is no longer the case.
Man of the match: Roger Espinoza
Goalscorers: Davis (30′), Dos Santos (42′)
Mauricio Pochettino isn’t going anywhere (for one more season, at least) and will remain Tottenham Hotspur manager upon verbally agreeing a two-year contract extension, the 44-year-old Argentine announced earlier this week.
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According to Pochettino, the extension, which will keep him at White Hart Lane (and the club’s new stadium, set to open at the start of the 2018-19 season), is to serve as a proclamation of intent by the north London club. No longer (for a season, at least) will Spurs be forced to sell their best players, because UEFA Champions League football is coming back to the Lane next season.
Furthermore, Pochettino believes his successes and reputation as a world-class developer of young talent will see the club compete in the upper echelons of the transfer market this summer, if he can find an area to improve — quotes from Ham & High:
“I think it is important for the players and the potential players that will come that they don’t hear rumors about whether Pochettino will be here or not.
“We are ready to compete in the market and to try to add the players that can help us in the future — not that we need much because we have a good squad already.
“Of course we are responsible to show we believe in the club, and then we show we want to keep all the big, important players. They are important to our future.”
Asked what assurances he sought from Levy before agreeing his new contract, Pochettino said: “I don’t need assurances, I didn’t ask for anything.
“In the moment that the president wanted to extend my contract he showed his ambition. The players are very happy here. I want to be involved in the future of the club.
“I had a big respect for this club when Tottenham offered me the job, when I came from Southampton, and I feel the responsibility to stay here and try to help the club in this period – a very important period. To arrive to the new stadium with a very good team but to be competitive is a very good challenge in the next few seasons.
The attraction of Champions League football, coupled with Pochettino’s magnificent development of Spurs’ young English contingent — Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker, to name a few — will have plenty of current and future stars lining up to sign for Spurs this summer. Now that the club have their main man locked up, they’ll now begin to have their choice in the transfer market.
Youth is well served as Jurgen Klinsmann has named the U.S. national team’s 40-man preliminary roster ahead of next month’s 2016 Copa America Centenario.
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Youngsters Christian Pulisic, Darlington Nagbe, Matt Miazga and Jordan Morris, along with 36 others, will take part in the USMNT’s pre-tournament training camp, beginning May 16 in Miami, Fla., as Klinsmann makes his final decisions in order to trim the squad from 40 to 23 before the May 20 roster deadline.
Along with the aforementioned newcomers (relative so) is most of the regular cast of characters from Klinsmann’s nearly six years in charge — Jermaine Jones, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Fabian Johnson, Kyle Beckerman and Mix Diskerud, among others.
The USMNT will play three warm-up games ahead of their group-stage opener (June 3, vs. Colombia in Santa Clara, Calif.): at Puerto Rico (May 22), vs. Ecuador (May 25 in Frisco, Tex.) and vs. Bolivia (May 28 in Kansas City, Kan.).
The full preliminary roster is as follows…
Defenders: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Monterrey), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Michael Orozco (Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Perry Kitchen (Hearts), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Danny Williams (Reading), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew SC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund),Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)