Carlo Ancelotti left impressed by Real Madrid’s “perfect game”

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Whereas Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s 91st minute goal looks like a blemish on Real Madrid’s otherwise flawless day in Gelsenkirchen, Carlo Ancelotti is having none it. Speaking to the media after his team’s crushing 6-1 victory over Schalke in UEFA Champions League, the Real Madrid coach hailed los Blancos’ perfection in their Round of 16’s opening leg.

“I’m satisfied with everything because that was the perfect game,” Ancelotti said. “My players played with togetherness and they played well. Everything came off for us. The [front three] all scored and were great but they also had help from their teammates. Our attacking trio are very dangerous.”

(MORE: Real Madrid sends Champions League message with 6-1 demolition of Schalke)

After Wednesday’s rout, dangerous became euphemistic. Ancelotti’s attacking trio of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo were nearly unstoppable, with only a series of late first half saves from Schalke’s Ralf Fährmann preventing what could have been a record-setting result.

Content with a more modest result, Ancelotti was left Ancelotti reaching for coaching clichés to try to preserve the matchup’s drama, with the former Champions League-winning coach appealing to his team’s professionalism ahead of the return leg in Madrid.

“We must have respect for our opponents and their fans,” Ancelotti explained. “There is a return leg to come and football can be strange. The advantage is a big one but we still have to play the second match.”

(MORE: What we learned from Real Madrid’s five-goal, Champions League rout of Schalke)

That match will take place March 18 at the Santiago Bernabéu. In the interim, Spain’s leaders have their fourth derby of the season against crosstown rivals Atlético, with the two teams meeting this weekend at the Vicente Calderón.

“I hope to repeat tonight’s performance in the derby on Sunday,” Ancelotti said. “There might be changes to the side for that game but it’s hard to change things when you play like we did tonight.”

Liverpool to lose $82m Alisson to Real; Klopp turns to Lazio GK?

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Brazilian national team starter and Liverpool transfer target Alisson looks increasingly likely to only see Anfield as a visitor.

Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport says Real Madrid is going to tempt Roma with an $82 million bid that could rise with add-ons.

[ MORE: Lozano to Barcelona? ]

And Real would also offer a near $6 million annual salary to the Brazilian backstop.

It’s coincidence that this news comes on the day that both Alisson and current Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas were at opposite ends of the pitch.

Alisson had little to do, while Costa Rican backstop Navas was outstanding until Philippe Coutinho and Neymar scored during stoppage time.

Meanwhile, TalkSport says the Reds are in on a different Serie A goalkeeper: Lazio’s Albanian backstop Thomas Strakosha.

The 23-year-old old played all 38 league games for the Roman club this season.

Lozano to Barcelona? Father says future decided after World Cup

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Mexican hero Hirving “Chucky” Lozano made the jump from Liga MX to European football last summer, and now may be set for an even bigger move.

We just won’t know until after the World Cup.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

The goal scorer from Mexico’s 1-0 win over Germany will turn 23 in late July, and is coming off a 17-goal, 11-assist campaign with PSV Eindhoven.

He’s now being linked with Barcelona amongst other teams, and his father was asked about Lozano’s future. From ESPN:

“There have been approaches, but right now there’s nothing concrete,” Jesus Lozano said in an interview with ESPN when asked about reported interest from Barcelona and other teams.

“I think after the World Cup it will be clear if he stays at PSV or leaves for another team.”

So what do you think? Should the Mexican stay at PSV for playing time? I’m kidding… see how you sound, U.S. fans?

Nigeria beats Iceland; Argentina still alive

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Ahmed Musa scored a pair of terrific goals as Nigeria set up Group D for a thrilling final day with a 2-0 win over Iceland in Volgograd on Friday.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was arguably Iceland’s Man of the Match before he sent a penalty kick over the bar.

Nigeria now has three points, two more than Argentina and Iceland. Nigeria plays Argentina and Croatia faces Iceland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Gylfi Sigurdsson swung a dangerous early free kick over the bar, then produced the game’s second chance. That one was caught by Francis Uzoho, the 19-year-old Deportivo de la Coruna backstop.

Nigeria’s breakthrough came courtesy a lethal counter attack, as Kenneth Omeruo headed a cross clear of the Eagles’ 18. Kelechi Iheanacho collected and found Victor Moses racing down the right flank.

Moses’ cross was collected by Musa with an unorthodox outside of the boot trap, allowing him a second against his surprised mark. Musa lashed home for 1-0.

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The game was delayed for a bit when Ragnar Sigurdsson was waylaid with a head injury.

Wilfred Ndidi had a rip deflected over the bar in the 57th, and Nigeria opted for a short corner.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]

Musa then basically put it to bed when he cut into the 18 and danced around two defenders with the goalkeeper in between before putting a composed finish into the goal.

Iceland got new life through an 81st minute penalty kick awarded via Video Assistant Referee, but Gylfi Sigurdsson blazed it over the bar.

Jorginho to Man City? Italian report, Noel Gallagher say so

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I don’t know about you, but I like my transfer news served up piping fresh from the hot stove of Oasis.

Well, at least ex-members of Oasis.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Noted Man City fanatic Noel Gallagher was performing in Naples on Friday with his band the High Flying Birds.

After pumping through a couple Oasis tunes and a cover of The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” on Thursday, the singer tossed a little banter toward the crowd.

You see, Man City really wants Napoli midfielder Jorginho, and Gallagher at least looks like a man in the know as Italy’s Corriere Della Sport is reporting that the midfielder is trading his blue shirts between countries.

Jorginho will cost City $57 million, according to the report, which follows this barb from Noel.