Juventus 2-1 Monaco: Italians reach Champions League final

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Dani Alves and Mario Mandzukic sent Juventus into the Champions League final as the Italian giants eased by Monaco in a 90 minutes that seemed all too comfortable.

The Brazilian full-back was the real star, with a stunning volley and an assist as well.

Monaco was dangerous through the opening 20 minutes, and forced the Juventus defenders to make a few last-ditch clearances and tackles. Georgio Chiellini in particular was needed as he cleared it off the line after a shot got past Gianluigi Buffon.

Juventus would eventually gain control of the match past the 20-minute mark. Gonzalo Higuain had a big chance one-on-one with Danijel Subasic, but while his chip got past the Monaco goalkeeper, Kamil Glick was there to clear it off the line. Subasic then made a spectacular save on Mandzukic who got through.

[ MORE: FIFA to investigate Paul Pogba transfer ]

Mandzukic would make amends just past the half-hour mark to put the two-legged tie away. The ball switched flanks from left to right, and eventually fell to Dani Alves. The Brazilian, who had both assists in the first leg, delivered yet another glittering cross to Mandzukic making a far-post run, and while the striker’s header was saved by Subasic, he roofed the rebound from point-blank range for the opening goal.

Moments later, Alves nearly had yet another assist, but his beautiful through ball to spring Higuain saw the referee’s flag correctly raised for offside.

Monaco, however, didn’t give in. Minutes before the halftime break, a superb cross from Benjamin Mendy nearly met the outstretched leg of Falcao, but Chiellini made a stunning tackle to turn the cross behind for a corner on a slide that would see most defenders end up with the ball in their own net.

The missed chance would loom large as Juventus end up down the other end with a second goal to well and truly put the match away. Paulo Dybala had a one-on-one chance saved well by Subasic, but on the ensuing corner, the goalkeeper’s punch fell to Alves who delivered a cracking one-time volley before the ball fell to ground that rippled the back of the net.

After the break, Monaco would eventually pull one back with 20 minutes to go as Kylian Mbappe’s close-range poke was the first goal conceded by Juventus in 689 Champions League minutes.

Things got physical as Glick stamped on an infuriated Higuain, while Mandzukic was the recipient of an elbow from substitute Fabinho.

Monaco had little else to offer as Juventus time-wasted expertly and the French club couldn’t stop fouling. The win for Juventus moves them into their ninth European final and their second in the last three seasons. Meanwhile, Monaco’s fabulous run comes to an end, stunted by the incredible Juventus defense and let down by their own porous back line.

USMNT celebrates winning 2017 Gold Cup – Video

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The U.S. national team won the 2017 Gold Cup title on Wednesday night and the Stars and Stripes celebrated in style.

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After beating Jamaica 2-1 in a tense final in Santa Clara, Calif. the champagne corks were soon popping as veterans and youngsters danced the night away to celebrate the USMNT’s first trophy since their Gold Cup success in 2013.

This was the USA’s sixth Gold Cup title and for many (Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey to name a few) it could be their last piece of silverware for the USMNT.

Watch them drink in the celebrations below as Bruce Arena (celebrating his third Gold Cup title) pulled off a veteran move to remove his suit jacket before getting drenched.

The U.S. are once again champions of the CONCACAF region.


Arsenal confirm Alexis Sanchez will return to training

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Arsene Wenger has confirmed Alexis Sanchez will return to training with Arsenal this Sunday.

Sanchez, 28, is yet to sign a new contract at Arsenal and has just 12 months left on his current deal, but it appears that Wenger isn’t planning on losing his Chilean superstar anytime soon.

Below is what Wenger has to say about Sanchez and Shkodran Mustafi returning to training this weekend after their exploits in the 2017 Confederations Cup which saw both men play in the final on July 2.

“Alexis and Mustafi, their first training session will be on Sunday, the day we play against Sevilla [in the Emirates Cup],” Wenger said. “They are practising on the day. First of all you make a really good check up of where they are, how much they have worked during their break. After, once you know where you stand, they need an adjusted programme and to see how quickly you can fit them in again.

“Of course it depends as well on what is the need in the squad, what is their quality. All of these things together make your decision. Do you put them on the bench when they are not ready [to start]? It is easier to put a striker on the bench than a defender, sometimes. Because in a short period they can make an impact. We’ll see.”

Manchester City hammer Real Madrid in LA

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Manchester City went full Beastmode on Real Madrid in the second half of their International Champions Cup game in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Neymar to PSG on? ]

In front of a record 93,038 fans, City scored four goals in the second half with Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones and Raheem Sterling all netting before youngster Brahim Diaz finished things off in style.

Kevin De Bruyne was in particularly menacing form with the Belgian at the heart of everything good for Pep Guardiola‘s men.

Despite the hammering Real Madrid did score the goal of the night with youngster Oscar Rodriguez smashing home a beauty into the top corner form distance in the 90th minute.

Click play on the video above to watch the highlights.

City now head to Nashville, Tennessee where they face Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday with both teams finishing off their U.S. tour in style in Music City.

Real Madrid travel to Miami, Florida for the small matter of an El Clasico against Barcelona to finish off the International Champions Cup tournament Stateside.

Report: Neymar agrees five-year deal at Paris Saint-Germain

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Paris, are you ready for Neymar to become the main man?

[ MORE: USMNT win Gold Cup title

The Brazilian has scored all three of Barcelona’s goals during their preseason wins over Juventus and Manchester United in the U.S. but was his game-winner on Wednesday in Washington D.C. his final strike in a Barca shirt?

L’Equipe is reporting that Neymar has agreed terms on a five-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain but that the French giants are now trying to get Barcelona to reduce the $260 million transfer fee which is Neymar’s release clause.

Per the report Neymar will earn over $34.1 million annually while reports in Spain suggest that both clubs want the Brazilian superstar to make a decision and are eager to push the deal through by next week if it’s going to happen.

Neymar, 25, is said to want to leave Barca and be the main man at PSG.

With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez around at the Nou Camp, it’s easy to understand that Brazil’s captain feels a little underappreciated sometimes but with Messi now 30 years old and Suarez 31, surely Neymar can wait it out a few years before he takes over Messi’s throne at Barca?

Hmmm, with the five-time World Player of the Year recently signing a new contract until 2021, Mess is going nowhere and maybe that was the trigger for Neymar and his representatives to look elsewhere as he’s about to enter his prime.

On top of all that the ongoing investigation from the Spanish authorities into his transfer from Santos looms large over the global superstar, but after winning two UEFA Champions League titles, three La Liga trophies and two Copa del Rey’s during his four years at Barca, would he really walk away?

His teammates and manager have been speaking about that posibility during Barca’s preseason tour of the U.S. and nobody seems too sure if he will remain. If anything the word “hope” is getting thrown around a lot rather than a definitive “yes” or “no” and even Gerard Pique had to back track on a social media post where he posed with Neymar and used the caption “he stays” to sum up the situation.

PSG are reportedly working around the clock to figure out how on earth they can finance this deal but it is becoming increasingly obvious that they are the only club who can afford to sign Neymar and their Abu Dhabi owners are doing all they can to make it a reality.