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International Champions Cup: El Clasico, Manchester Derby headed for U.S.

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The Manchester Derby is officially headed for the United States, one of several massive-named matches in the 2017 International Champions Cup this summer.

The Mancunian foes will square off at a to be announced location on July 20, with United then facing both Real Madrid (Santa Clara) and Barcelona (Landover). United previously announced that it would play in Santa Clara, Salt Lake, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and a fifth location.

[ MORE: Cameron pumped for USMNT return ]

Man City is scheduled to play in L.A. on July 26, and United will be in Santa Clara on July 23, but don’t pencil Salt Lake City in yet. It’s likely organizers will want to put the game in the biggest venue it can, so maybe City doubles up at the Coliseum? Could Seattle be in the cards?

A Stateside El Clasico had already been reported as set for July 29, and that is confirmed by the ICC release.

Also heading to the U.S.? Roma, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, and Tottenham Hotspur.

Wednesday, July 19 — Roma vs. PSG
Thursday, July 20 — Manchester United vs. Man City
Saturday, July 22 — Juventus vs. Barcelona at MetLife Stadium (NJ)
Saturday, July 22 — PSG vs. Spurs at Camping World Stadium (Orlando)
Sunday, July 23 — Real Madrid vs. Manchester United at Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara)
Tuesday, July 25 — Spurs vs. Roma at Red Bull Arena
Wednesday, July 26 — Barcelona vs. Manchester United at FedEx Field (Maryland)
Wednesday, July 26 — PSG vs. Juventus at Hard Rock Stadium (Miami)
Wednesday, July 26 — Man City vs. Real Madrid at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Saturday, July 29 — Man City vs. Spurs at Nissan Stadium (Nashville)
Sunday, July 29 — Real Madrid vs. Barcelona at Hard Rock Stadium (Miami)
Sunday, July 30 — Roma vs. Juventus at Gillette Stadium (Boston)

Ligue 1: Monaco win again, now five points clear in title race

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PARIS (AP) French league leader Monaco prepared for its Champions League showdown with Manchester City by beating Bordeaux 2-1, a win overshadowed by an injury to top scorer Radamel Falcao on Saturday.

Falcao, who has 24 goals this season, went to ground clutching his ribs late on after a heavy challenge from Bordeaux defender Nicolas Pallois.

The striker got back up, only to go straight down to his knees again. Although he did not need the stretcher that went on for him, preferring to hobble off, it was unclear if the injury will rule him out of Wednesday’s last-16 return leg.

“He received a violent blow to his right side,” coach Leonardo Jardim said. “I hope it’s not serious.”

Monaco’s win moved it five points clear of Nice and – although Monaco’s formidable goal tally reached 123 this season – it was a labored win against a resilient side chasing a place in the Europa League.

Teenage striker Kylian Mbappe pounced midway through the second half with his fourth goal in three games and midfielder Joao Moutinho scored a brilliant curling shot.

After good work from Falcao, the 18-year-old Mbappe finished with a crisp low shot from just inside the penalty area in the 68th minute for his 16th goal of the season.

Six minutes later, Moutinho collected a pass from Portuguese compatriot Bernardo Silva some 25 meters out to the right of the penalty area and curled a superb first-time shot into the top left without breaking stride.

“I saw it coming, but it was magnificent. The ball dipped at the last moment,” Bordeaux goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso said. “Sometimes you just have to appreciate a great goal.”

Moutinho’s goals for Monaco are as rare as they are for Portugal, and this was only his eighth in 117 league games.

Next week in the Champions League, Monaco has to overturn a 5-3 deficit from the first leg to advance, and will need goalkeeper Danijel Subasic to start concentrating again.

He let in a sloppy goal against City three weeks ago and an even worse one on Saturday – gifting Bordeaux a lifeline with six minutes left.

After a Monaco attack broke down, Bordeaux hopefully lofted the ball forward. There was no immediate danger as defender Jemerson collected the ball near the halfway line. But his hurried back pass was under-hit and forced Subasic to come out of the area to clear it.

But the goalkeeper waited too long. When he did clear, the ball struck Bordeaux striker Diego Rolan and then bounced back off Subasic’s face into the path of Rolan, who ran through and tapped into an empty net.

Jardim refused to criticize him.

“I said to Suba: `How many important saves have you made for us?'” Jardim said. “A lot, so stop thinking about it.”

Monaco is six points clear of third-placed Paris Saint-Germain. The defending champion travels to last-placed Lorient on Sunday.

There were plenty of goals elsewhere.

Guingamp moved up to eighth place with different scorers on target in a 5-0 home romp against relegation candidate Bastia.

Striker Emiliano Sala netted a last-minute winner as Nantes won at Montpellier 3-2 to move up to 10th.

Another late winner from midfielder Rony Lopes earned Lille a 2-1 win at Nancy, easing the club’s relegation fears. But Nancy dropped to 18th.

Ninth-placed Rennes drew 1-1 at home to Dijon.

From glory to humiliation: PSG loses in dramatic style

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PARIS (AP) The man hired to lead Paris Saint-Germain to Champions League glory delivered the most embarrassing result imaginable.

PSG became the first team to throw away a 4-0 lead from the first leg in the Champions League, losing to Barcelona 6-1 in the second. The awful outcome was made worse by the calamitous way PSG conceded three late goals.

In the previous four seasons, PSG had reached the quarterfinals. That was insufficient in the eyes of Qatari owners QSI, who fired coach Laurent Blanc – despite Blanc winning back-to-back domestic trebles – and replaced him with Unai Emery.

[ MORE: Barca inspired “by the Super Bowl” ]

When PSG dismantled Barcelona at home with an electric display of attacking soccer three weeks ago, the back-slapping and congratulations were in full swing. There was a growing confidence, if not certainty, that Emery was the perfect man to lead PSG to its first European Cup. He was credited with instilling the breathtaking energy the players showed that night.

Now, he and his players will be known as the ones who threw it all away.

“We had everything in hand and we gave them the game,” PSG right back Thomas Meunier said. “We made an enormous amount of errors.”

On a disastrous night, the club’s initials could have stood for something else: Pathetic. Spineless. Gutless.

The French press let rip.

Shortly after the loss, sports daily L’Equipe’s website carried the headline “A Historic Disaster” along with a picture of midfielder Marco Verratti lying on his back with his hands covering his face. L’Equipe’s newspaper called it “Unqualifiable” – underlining the shock while delivering a scathingly sarcastic verdict on PSG’s inability to progress in the most favorable of circumstances.

“We weren’t worthy of playing for PSG,” Meunier said.

Angry fans gathered at the airport to jeer and heckle the players when they arrived back.

LACK OF LEADERS

As the exasperated Emery gesticulated wildly on the sidelines, there was no one on the field to stop the damage.

From the first minute, PSG sat far too deep, inviting Barcelona to overrun midfield and camp around the penalty area. That gave PSG the look of a small, retreating army with a massive one bearing down on it, attacks coming from all sides.

[ MORE: Ranking the greatest comebacks ]

Thiago Motta’s absence in central midfield was sorely missed. A great organizer, strong tackler and neat passer, Motta would have added steel and calmness. The hard-nosed Italian is also a relentlessly competitive character and would have got a response from his flagging teammates.

“We were a bit lost,” Meunier said. “We allowed ourselves to be victims.”

PSG also missed veteran left back Maxwell, with Layvin Kurzawa out of position all game and scoring an own-goal.

CHANGING A WINNING TEAM

When PSG routed Barcelona at Parc des Princes, observers marveled at Emery’s tactical innovation.

His three-pronged attack of Edinson Cavani, Julian Draxler and Angel Di Maria worked to perfection, while his decision to pick inexperienced center half Presnel Kimpembe paid off as he contained Lionel Messi.

Then he changed a winning team.

[ ROBERTO: I woke up wondering if it was a dream ]

Kimpembe was on the bench for the return leg. Worse, with PSG needing only to see out the last few minutes, Emery kept him there.

Di Maria was overlooked in favor of Brazilian player Lucas. When Di Maria came on, PSG looked sharper going forward and soon pulled a goal back.

If Barcelona had to defend the whole game against Cavani, Draxler and Di Maria, they might have had fewer occasions to charge forward.

SHEER COMPLACENCY

PSG’s lethargic absenteeism on the field was mirrored by a complacent approach before the game.

Two days before the match, the club released a video on YouTube called “Supper Club” with four players sitting around a table.

As they pick at their pizzas and slurp soft drinks, Blaise Matuidi and Verratti are joined in conversation by Draxler and Meunier. They are casually discussing the game ahead.

“The first 20 minutes are going to be tough, eh Marco? The field is really big,” Matuidi says. “(Barcelona) attack, attack, and they leave a lot of spaces.”

Draxler then intervenes, telling Matuidi “you will need to run a lot” and they both laugh when Matuidi retorts “I’ll need you to (run) as well.”

The players certainly appeared to taking Barcelona lightly.

BAD GOALKEEPER

When Emery took over he recalled goalkeeper Alphonse Areola from a loan spell and made him his No. 1. Then, uncertain about Areola’s level, he picked Kevin Trapp.

Against Barcelona, Trapp exposed all of his limitations: Poor composure, weak handling, erratic decision making.

On the first goal, the German keeper came up to claim a looping ball with his fists bunched rather than his hands apart, reducing his own surface area.

Trapp appeared to be terrified and his inability to command his back four made sure that panic set in – and stayed throughout.

WHAT NEXT?

Emery’s future clearly hangs in the balance.

PSG trails Monaco by three points in the French league and Emery’s position will be further undermined if he does not win the title. PSG also faces Monaco in the League Cup final next month.

After the Barcelona match, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was asked if Emery was still the right man for the job.

“That’s not a question for now,” Al-Khelaifi said.

It will be soon, though.

Barca on its crazy comeback: “We saw it in the Super Bowl”

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A team needs good fortune to overcome a four-goal first leg deficit. It also needs a heck of a lot of skill.

Barcelona has that in droves, and the La Liga giants turned a 4-0 first leg deficit into a 6-5 aggregate win with a 6-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Match recap ]

It must be mentioned that Barca was awarded a late minute penalty thanks to what can only be described as a Luis Suarez dive, but scoring three goals in seven minutes takes some doing (even for Barcelona).

Can you explain it, Ivan Rakitic? From the BBC:

“It was really impossible. 15-20 minutes after the game, it is crazy and unbelievable.

“The first game in Paris was hard for us, a lot of people spoke hard with our team but the reaction was special. It is history. We want to keep going on.

“We had to believe. 4-0 was hard, but it is football. We saw it in the Super Bowl, what is possible in sport. Today was crazy. This is Barcelona, the best team in the world and we want to continue our dream in the Champions League.”

What a moment. When you’re saying something is unforgettable for the legacy of a club as legendary as Barcelona, you know you’re talking about something truly special.

LIVE: UCL, last 16 – Barca vs. PSG; Dortmund host Benfica

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Two UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second legs take place on Wednesday and Barcelona are hoping for a miracle.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Trailing 4-0 from their first leg disaster at Paris Saint-Germain, Luis Enrique’s side need all of their offensive powers to fire to have any chance of overturning the massive deficit. It is time for Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez to step up and for the Catalans to keep the door closed in defense. Oh, and to pray. Surely PSG can’t let this slip as they finally look set to get past the Spanish giants and reach the quarterfinal stage for a fifth-straight season.

In the other UCL last 16 second leg tie, Borussia Dortmund (USMNT wonderboy Christian Pulisic klaxon) host Benfica at the Westfalenstadion looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg in the Portuguese capital. Thomas Tuchel’s young side have been ripping it up in the Bundesliga with Pulisic having a goal and an assist off the bench in the demolition of Bayer Leverkusen at the weekend. Still, Benfica will go to Germany looking to defend and hit Dortmund on the counter. Intriguing.

Click the link above for live play-by-play, stats and more, while we will have reaction and analysis right here on Pro Soccer Talk on both games.

Below is the full schedule for Wednesday’s clashes with the first leg scores in brackets.


Wednesday’s UCL Round of 16, second legs

Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain (0-4) – 2:45 p.m. ET
Borussia Dortmund vs. Benfica (0-1) – 2:45 p.m. ET