Getty Images

Chelsea lose to Bayern Munich in Singapore

Leave a comment

Bayern Munich beat Chelsea 3-2 in an entertaining Inernational Champions Cup clash in Singapore on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Mbappe to Real Madrid?

The German giants struck three times in the first half four with Rafinha opening the scoring and Thomas Muller grabbing two for himself.

Antonio Conte‘s side were stunned but pulled back a goal just before half time with Marcos Alonso hammering home. New $95 million signing Alvaro Morata made his Chelsea debut in the second half but it was Michy Batshuayi who scored his second goal in as many preseason games to make it 3-2.

Next up for Chelsea is a game against Inter Milan in Singapore on Saturday before they head back to the UK for the Community Shield against Arsenal at Wembley on Aug. 6.

Chelsea went behind early on as Rafinha put the German champions 1-0 up with a low shot from the right which took two bounces and skipped inside the far post and past Thibaut Courtois.

Soon it got worse for Chelsea as Muller scored twice in quick succession, the first a volley from Franck Ribery’s fine cross, the second a brilliant curling effort from over 25 yards out to give the Germans a 3-0 lead with just 27 minutes on the clock.

Chelsea improved before half time with Conte’s men creating chances on the break and Alonso then smashed home Victor Moses‘ cross as the Blues trailed 3-1 at the interval.

Both teams soon made subs with Kingsley Coman replacing Robert Lewandowski for Bayern, plus David Luiz came on for Andreas Christensen and Alvaro Morata made his Chelsea debut, replacing the impressive Jeremie Boga.

Gary Cahill then denied James Rodriguez with a great block but Chelsea couldn’t find a way back into the game as Morata lined up on the left of a front three with Michy Batshuayi in the middle.

Batshuayi went close to pulling another goal back but couldn’t get on the end of a cross, then James’ twice went close for Bayern but Courtois denied him.

Luiz hit the post for Chelsea late on and then Batshuayi finished after Morata’s flick on from a Cesc Fabregas corner to make it 3-2, but the west London club couldn’t grab an equalizer and tasted defeat for the first time in preseason after beating Arsenal 3-0 in their opening last weekend.

Liverpool target Naby Keita involved in horror tackle

Getty Images
Leave a comment

This could be quite disturbing.

RB Leipzig’s training session was cut short on Monday after Liverpool target Naby Keita, who Leipzig insist is not for sale, reportedly clattered into Diego Demme with a “horror tackle.”

The challenge was so bad it ended the session and photos have shown Demme leaving the pitch with the help of others and his knee bandaged up.

Keita, 22, is said to want out of Leizpig and the Guinea international wants to join Liverpool who have reportedly had a $85.9 million bid turned down from the box-to-box midfielder. Keita has a release clause of $62.5 million in his contract, but that doesn’t kick in until next summer.

Until we know all the facts about what happened, this could have just been a routine training ground tackle which Keita mistimed.

That said, given all of the current speculation around his future and the player also said to be extremely frustrated with Leipzig’s stance, cynics out there are suggesting this could be one way of Keita forcing through a move to Liverpool.



Arsenal beat Bayern Munich on PKs in Shanghai

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Arsenal equalized late on to draw 1-1 against Bayern Munich and then beat the German champions on penalty kicks in an International Champions Cup preseason friendly in Shanghai on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Liverpool win in Hong Kong

Robert Lewandowski gave Bayern an early lead from the penalty spot but Alex Iwobi headed home in the final minute of stoppage time to take the game to PKs where Emilio Martinez saved two spot kicks with Arsenal winning 3-2.

Arsene Wenger‘s men have a 100 percent record in preseason, winning their two games in Australia against Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers, but all eyes will be on Alexis Sanchez when the Gunners return from the Far East.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles was adjudged to have nudged over Juan Bernat after nine minutes and Lewandowski put Bayern ahead, with Alexandre Lacazette starting his second game in a row (he was denied in the first half after racing clear) with support from Danny Welbeck and Mesut Ozil in attack.

Mohamed Elneny started at center back with Per Mertesacker withdrawing from the game due to illness just before kick off, as Wenger started with three at the back but then switched to a flat back four in the second half.

Petr Cech denied James Rodriguez in each half, while Bayern out-shot Arsenal 20-6 with the German giants also having a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside in the first half. Arsenal hung in there with both teams making plenty of substitutions and Iwobi nodded home Aaron Ramsey‘s cross in the fourth minute of stoppage time to set up a penalty shootout.

The Gunners will now head to Beijing for one more friendly game, as they face reigning Premier League champions Chelsea on Saturday before returning to London to host the Emirates Cup at their home stadium with Benfica, RB Leipzig and Sevilla their opponents on July 29-30.

RB Leipzig turn down Liverpool’s $86 million Keita bid

Getty Images
Leave a comment

RB Leipzig is holding firm over Naby Keita as Liverpool push hard to try and sign the Guinea midfielder.

[ MORE: 15 years of Mourinho at United?

Keita, 22, has been chased all summer long by Jurgen Klopp but Liverpool have been knocked back on several occasions when bidding for Keita.

Owner Dietrich Mateschitz revealed to German outlet Bild that Leipzig have turned down a huge offer for Keita, believed to be from Liverpool.

“We do not sell players who are still under contract just to make a lot of money,” Mateschitz said. “Recently we got a 75 million euro offer for Naby Keita. No way! He still has a contract and he will fulfill it. To sell him would not only be a proof of distrust for our fans, but also a wrong sign for our other players, such as Timo Werner, who is also in demand.”

This is another blow for Liverpool in the transfer market this summer as Klopp has pursued both Keita and Virgil Van Dijk without success.

Yes, the Reds are aiming high and are willing to spend big for two of the brightest talents when it comes to center backs and center midfielders in Europe, but at one point or another surely Klopp and his staff have to move on.

The German coach has already indicated he is willing to be patient to land his top targets but with Southampton said to be unwilling to sell Van Dijk, especially after Liverpool apologized for their earlier pursuit of the player, and Leipzig taking a similar stance over Keita, how long can they really wait?

Winning their UEFA Champions League playoff games to reach the group stage may see the Reds take one last shot at both Van Dijk and Keita with huge offers, but then value for money comes into the equation and it’s very unlikely Liverpool are getting that with both players set to cost a combined total of over $170 million.

Keita would improve their midfield but with Jordan Henderson and Emre Can around, do the Reds need another box-to-box player? They certainly need a new center back and with Hull’s Andrew Robertson said to be closing in on a move to Liverpool, James Milner will have competition at left back. Klopp is addressing his main needs this offseason, but with only Dominic Solanke and Mohamed Salah arriving so far, there are gaping holes in Liverpool’s defense.

Dortmund: “Transfer window is closed” for Aubameyang

Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is off the market, according to Borussia Dortmund.

Club sporting director Michael Zorc said, “The transfer window is closed for (Aubameyang)” on Tuesday. The quote comes on the same day that the Gabonese striker scored as BVB beat AC Milan 3-1 in the International Champions Cup.

[ MORE: JPW talks with Daley Blind ]

New coach Peter Bosz is happy to hear his prolific striker isn’t leaving the club, especially in the face of reports from Sky that Chelsea was offered Aubameyang’s services for approximately $91 million.

From Sky Sports:

“I am glad that he is in my team,” said the Dutchman. “He is an extraordinary player and he has shown that once more against Milan. He’s a great bloke and a great footballer.”

Oft-linked to Real Madrid, the freshly-minted 28-year-old has 79 goals in 95 BVB matches over the past two seasons, including 18 in 23 matches of European competition. BVB enters the UCL at the group stage this season, having added Mahmoud Dahoud, Maximilian Philip, and Omer Toprak while selling Sven Bender and Matthias Ginter.