Juventus 1-3 Barcelona: Luis Suarez’s late winner seals another Champions League triumph

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Barcelona are once again champions of Europe, after knocking off Juventus, 3-1, in the 2015 UEFA Champions League final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday. Goals scored by Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Neymar were enough to complete the Blaugrana‘s second treble-winning season in seven years.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s UCL coverage ]

In the end, it was the unstoppable force — Barcelona’s all-time great attacking trio unit — that was too much for the immovable object — Juventus’ staunch, disciplined defense. Barca now have their fifth European title, halfway to the total of Spanish rivals Real Madrid.

Barca drew first blood in the 4th minute. Neymar made a jinking run down the left and cut back inside, where he threaded a through ball into the penalty area for the onrushing Iniesta, who took a touch before squaring to Rakitic near the penalty spot. Rakitic struck left-footed, first-time and beat the outstretched Gianluigi Buffon.

Buffon came up huge to keep the deficit at one just nine minutes later. Lionel Messi played Suarez down the right wing, where the Uruguayan cut his cross back for Dani Alves near the top of the penalty area. Alves’ first-time shot looked destined for the back of the neat, but Buffon made the acrobatic stop at his near post.

Suarez came very close to doubling the lead not one, but twice in the 40th minute. His first attempt, a right-footed effort dragged just wide of the far post from a difficult angle, was quickly succeeded by a second attempt at the end of a Juve giveaway inside their defensive third. The ball fell to Suarez, whose first-time curler was palmed high into the air by Buffon.

[ MORE: 2014-15 Barcelona team goes down as one of the all-time greats ]

Claudio Marchisio registered Juve’s first shot on target, in the 45th minute. A rare counter-attacking opportunity for Juve provided the Italian midfielder with a bit of time and space just outside Barca’s penalty area, where he unleashed a powerful, right-footed shot, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen got two hands and his body behind the chest-high shot and made the save with ease.

Quickly countering five-versus three just after halftime, Barca continued to chase the now-elusive second goal, as Messi’s through ball set up Suarez for a toe-poke shot from beyond the edge of the six-yard box, but Buffon had his near post covered and made the save.

In the 55th minute, Barca were made to pay for failing time and again to grab that second goal and put the game away. Marchisio began the move for Juve’s equalizer with a brilliant backheel to play Stephan Lichtsteiner into space down the right. The Swiss full back crossed for Arturo Vidal near the penalty spot, where he let the ball run on and fired low with his left foot, but Ter Stegen was quick to get down and make the save, though the rebound spilled toward his far post. Alvaro Morata arrived on the scene late and cleaned up the mess, slotting home from close range to level the game at 1-1.

Juve, who had settled into and subsequently continued a purple patch of possession and chances created, nearly took the lead when a quick counter attack resulted with Carlos Tevez all alone at the top of the penalty area, where the Argentine fired just over the bar in the 63rd minute. Paul Pogba fired a well-hit shot of his own straight into the clutches of Ter Stegen a minute later.

[ MORE: WATCH: Neymar, Iniesta, Rakitic combine masterfully to open the scoring ]

Almost completely against the run of play at this point, Barcelona jumped back into the lead, thanks to Buffon’s first blunder of the game, overshadowing his heroic performance through the game’s opening 67 minutes. Messi weaved his way through the Juve defense, creating space for a perhaps difficult-to-see shot through traffic, which Buffon did well to keep out, but parried the ball into the path of Suarez, who cleaned up at the back post and reclaimed the lead.

Barca’s lead was momentarily doubled three minutes later, when Neymar headed home Jordi Alba’s cross into the box, but the additional assistant referee on the endline whistled Neymar for handball and the goal was disallowed, rightly so.

Juve’s best chance for yet another equalizer came in the 88th minute, when Marchisio found ample space 25 yards from goal and ripped a low, bouncing shot that Ter Stegen needed every last inch of his 6-foot-2 frame in order to push the ball wide of his left-hand post.

With the referee a matter of seconds from blowing the full-time whistle, Neymar added the emphatic exclamation point for Barca, capping off a counter attack with a low, placed finish past Buffon.

LINEUPS

Juventus: Buffon, Evra (Coman 89′), Bonucci, Barzagli, Lichtsteiner, Pirlo, Marchisio, Pogba, Vidal (Pereyra 79′), Morata (Llorente 85′), Tevez

Goals: Morata (55′)

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Alba, Pique, Mascherano, Alves, Busquets, Rakitic (Mathieu 90+1′), Iniesta (Xavi 78′), Neymar, Suarez (Pedro 90+6′), Messi

Goals: Rakitic (4′), Suarez (68′), Neymar (90+7′)

Leicester – Burnley: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

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Leicester – Burnley: Brendan Rodgers seeks to become just the 23rd manager to win 100 games in the Premier League, and becoming the fourth-fastest Brit to reach the mark, when Leicester City host Burnley at the King Power Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 2 pm ET, on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

LEICESTER – BURNLEY BROM STREAM LIVE

Rodgers moved one step closer to his century of PL wins last weekend when the Foxes began their 2020-21 campaign with a 3-0 thrashing of newly promoted West Bromwich Albion. Burnley, on the other hand, are set for their season debut this weekend after their opening-day clash with Manchester United was rescheduled.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Leicester – Burnley this Sunday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: Leicester – Burnley (INJURY REPORT)

Leicester will be missing three players Ricardo Pereira (knee), Jonny Evans (thigh), Filip Benkovic (groin) — with absolutely certainty, plus James Maddison (hip) is unlikely to feature and Wes Morgan (thigh) is expected to face a late fitness test to determine his availability.

Meanwhile, Burnley aren’t expecting to have Johann Berg Gudmundsson (knee) or Jack Cork (ankle).


What they’re saying: Leicester – Burnley

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers, on transfer target Cengiz Under: “He’s a very, very good player. There have been negotiations with the club [Roma] and we’re hopeful there. We need a different kind of attacking player to help out at the top end of the pitch. It’s clear we have pace and power, but I feel we need more football in there.”

Burnley manager Sean Dyche, on the club’s desperate transfer approach: “Lastminute.com — [it] started back in the day of Charlie Austin, two days before the first game of the season. There are many different ways that clubs operate. It is very difficult, it is tricky, but it’s the reality of it. I’ve been here eight years. This is not new news. I’ve been saying this for three years at least, saying we’ve got to stretch, we’ve got to pre-plan. But you can only offer these opinions. I don’t sign the checks, I can assure you.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Leicester (-165) are heavy betting favorites with Burnley (+460) widely expected to simply roll over and concede the three points up for grabs. Even the draw (+290) is though a bridge perhaps too far for the Clarets.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction: Leicester – Burnley

Leicester managed to shake off the rust and disappointment that was the end of the 2019-20 season (just two wins from nine games during “Project Restart”) and win going away last weekend. On the other hand, Burnley finished with just two losses from their final nine games, and won four of them. We’ll see if either side is in the midst of a trend, or simply a blip on the radar. Leicester 2-1 Burnley.


How to watch Leicester – Burnley stream and start time

Kickoff: 2 pm ET Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock

Newcastle – Brighton: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

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Newcastle v Brighton: A pair of sides that impressed on the opening weekend of the 2020-21 Premier League season — but only one of them with anything to show for it — will meet at St. James’ Park on Sunday (Watch live at 9 am ET, online via Peacock).

NEWCASTLE – BRIGHTON STREAM LIVE

Newcastle United were far and away the better side in their season-opening victory away to West Ham United last weekend, while Brighton looked the better part of Chelsea’s equals for 54 minutes but ultimately fell to a 3-1 defeat at the Amex Stadium.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Newcastle v Brighton this Sunday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: Newcastle v Brighton (INJURY REPORT)

Newcastle will be without five players — Matty Longstaff (thigh), Martin Dubravka (ankle), Fabian Schar (shoulder), Paul Dummett (thigh), Dwight Gayle (knee) — leaving Steve Bruce with an increasingly thin squad.

Jose Iquierdo (knee), Florian Andone (knee) and Christian Walton (ankle) have all been ruled out for Sunday, with rising star Ben White (ankle) likely to face a late fitness test after picking up a minor injury last week.


What they’re saying

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce, on starting with a win: “I’m like everybody else, we all like to get off to a start and we couldn’t have had a better week in terms of results. The players have hit the ground running, which was always part of the reason why we went after who we went after. We’ve got a chance to get off to an outstanding start.”

Brighton manager Graham Potter, on Newcastle: “Newcastle will be strong. They were worthy winners at West Ham and they will be a tough test for us. Impressive, the business they have done. They have added to the squad and they will be really strong. Everyone knows what Andy Carroll brings to the team and physically he is very strong, and aerially he is strong. Him and [Callum] Wilson will be a strong partnership.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

There’s almost nothing to separate Newcastle (+160) from Brighton (+185) as the oddsmakers see Sunday’s clash a near-tossup. Even the draw (+210) isn’t far out of line with either side winning.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction

At the risk of placing too much importance upon a game in week no. 2, this one has the feel of an important litmus test for Newcastle. West Ham have been chaotic for quite some time now, but Brighton, despite finishing 15th last season, have appeared far more stable and trending upward under Potter. They’re likely a mid-table side this season, and Newcastle could be, too. In the end, it ends Newcastle 1-1 Brighton.


How to watch Newcastle v Brighton stream and start time

Kickoff: 9 am ET Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock

Europa League qualifying – playoff round draw results

Europa League draw
Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images
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Europa League draw results: Tottenham Hotspur will be rather pleased with their draw for the final round of UEFA Europa League qualifying — should they advance to reach it, of course — as they plod toward the group stage.

[ MORE: Is Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham a good idea? ]

After surviving their brush with disaster and embarrassment on Thursday, Jose Mourinho’s men will next be away to Macedonian side Shkendija in the third round of qualifying next Thursday. Should they come on top there, Tottenham will then host either Russian side Rostov or Israeli outfit Maccabi Haifa the first week of October. The winner of that single-leg showdown will qualify for the group stage.

Elsewhere, Serie A giant AC Milan, who face Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt next week, were handed a slightly tougher draw: away to Turkish giant Besiktas or Portuguese side Rio Ave.

[ MORE: Transfer news: Diogo Jota to Liverpool; Yedlin to Besiktas ]

Scottish rivals Celtic and Rangers are also still alive in their quests to reach the group stage and learned their potential future opponents in the Europa League draw. Celtic, the nine-time reigning champions of Scotland, will face Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina) or Buducnost (Montenegro) if they get past Riga (Latvia) first. Rangers will see Galatasaray or Hajduk Split (Croatia) if they advance past Dutch side Willem II next weekn.

Notable Europa League playoff round matchups

Shkendija/ Tottenham Hotspur v Rostov/Maccabi Haifa
Besiktas/Rio Ave v AC Milan/Bodo/Glimt
Sarajevo/Buducnost Podgorica v Riga/Celtic
Willem II/Rangers v Galatasaray/Hajduk Split
Rosenborg/Alanyaspor v Mura/PSV Eindhoven
St. Gallen/AEK Athens v Wolfsburg/ Desna Chernihiv
Sporting CP/ Aberdeen v LASK/ Dunajska Streda

Everton – West Brom: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

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Everton – West Brom: The Toffees and Baggies are set to kick off weekend no. 2 of the 2020-21 Premier League season on Saturday (Watch live at 7:30 am ET, online via Peacock).

EVERTON – WEST BROM STREAM LIVE

Everton were one of the PL’s most impressive sides last weekend, as they began their campaign with a 1-0 victory away to Tottenham Hotspur. Most impressively, though, was the instant impact of three newcomers — James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure — who slotted into the team and played important parts in collecting three points on their debuts.

As for West Bromwich Albion, returning to life in the PL brought something of a rude awakening in the form of a 3-0 home defeat to Leicester City. After two seasons in the EFL Championship, West Brom undeniably have their work cut out for them if they’re to stay up this season.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Everton – West Brom this Saturday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: Everton – West Brom (INJURY REPORT)

Everton will be without four players — Mason Holgate (ankle), Cenk Tosun (knee), Jean-Philippe Gbamin (calf), Fabian Delph (calf) — none of whom were available for selection to the 18-man squad a week ago.

West Brom will be missing Danish forward Kenneth Zohore (calf), who also missed out on the opening weekend.


What they’re saying

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti, on his squad’s depth: “They are experienced players, all three of them in different ways, James, Allan have international experience. Doucoure has played really well in the Premier League. They have brought more confidence to their teammates. We have a more competitive squad. It is difficult to do the lineup, difficult to make the bench and the most difficult part is to tell the player to stay home and watch the game on TV. But if we want to be a more competitive team we have to have competition in the squad.”

West Brom manager Slaven Bilic, on wanting more signings: “We would love to do it. It is important we bring a different type of striker to what we have into the club. We are trying to get it done but it’s not easy, but it is instrumental for us. Then the next phase is to improve the team from last season. We got Button the goalkeeper, we got Kipre from Wigan – two good additions to our squad. We’ve got [Branislav] Ivanovic, and now [Conor] Gallagher, and we’re hoping and trying to get a couple more. It’s not a secret — we have good numbers of strikers, but we’re looking to add a bit more quality.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Everton (-190) are, predictably, heavy favorites for this one, with West Brom checking in at +525. The draw is currently sitting +320, if you’re a firm believer that West Brom stand a chance.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction

It’s a mighty tough schedule to start the season for West Brom, as they go from last season’s fifth-place finishers to a side with similar aspirations this season. For as long as James and Co., stay healthy and fit, Everton look set to be a handful and a half for bottom-half sides like West Brom. They will have to wait another week for their first points — and their first goal. Everton 2-0 West Brom.


How to watch Everton – West Brom stream and start time

Kickoff: 7:30 am ET Saturday
Online: Stream via Peacock