AS Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco absolutely roasted his charges after i Lupi tossed aside a Cenzig Under-inspired lead to fall 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Wednesday.
Di Francesco had praise for Edin Dzeko, who assisted Under’s goal, as well as goalkeeper Alisson, but was mostly enraged by his side.
[ MORE: Recap + Fred’s vicious free kick ]
Rather than construct a narrative, we’re going to point out our five favorite selections from Di Francesco’s post-match talk.
4) “The difference was that in the first half we tried to hurt them while in the second we were looking to hold on – to what? I don’t know.”
— “To what? I don’t know” is hilarious. Di Francesco’s side has posted some serious wins this season, including killing off Chelsea 3-0 at home and coming back from 2-0 to draw the Blues at Stamford Bridge. He doesn’t preach sitting back.
3) “There were far too many schoolboy errors – even by players with a wealth of international experience.”
— Schoolboy errors!
2) “I saw two completely different teams out there today. There were lots of players I should have taken off after we conceded the first goal.”
— Again, one mistake by a number of players on Facundo Ferreyra is enough for Di Francesco. He’s not just happy to be here.
1) “I can’t imagine we’d get arrogant just because we’re winning an important game. It’s not as if Roma are used to reaching the final every year.”
— When you’re willing to essentially rip an entire club’s history — Roma’s been to just two UCL quarterfinals since losing the final to Liverpool in 1984 — you’re putting your footprints in new cement.
Second half substitute Christian Pulisic stole the show in Charlotte, where Borussia Dortmund toppled Liverpool 3-1 in International Champions Cup play on Sunday.
[ MORE: Mina to Everton? ]
Virgil Van Dijk had given Liverpool the lead with a first half header, but it was all BVB in the second half.
Pulisic won and converted a penalty, then scored a second before taking the shot that led to Jacob Bruun Larsen’s rebound goal.
The performance put Pulisicmania in a nutshell for the unindoctrinated, and spoiled the trip to the stadium for a bright red crowd.
Moments like this don’t hurt either:
USMNT star and Borussia Dortmund teenage winger Christian Pulisic won a penalty kick off James Milner, then insisted on taking the spot kick in front of his home crowd.
[ MORE: Mina to Everton? ]
Pulisic, 19, took the ball off Mario Gotze and finished his chance clinically to equalize against Liverpool, his second won penalty of the American tour.
Pulisic began the game on the bench after starting in Chicago against Manchester City, and Liverpool had gone ahead early when Virgil Van Dijk took advantage of poorly set up BVB zonal marking.
But Pulisic cut past Milner and was tripped by the veteran before clattering into Ragnar Klavan and earning the PK.
Goal.com says Yerry Mina could be leaving the Camp Nou after just one season for meaningful playing time at Goodison Park.
Mina’s agent says the center back would still like to feature at Barca following his strong World Cup with Colombia, but that Everton and Zenit Saint-Petersburg are interested in the $20 million man.
[ MORE: El Tri’s Reyes to Newcastle? ]
He was WhoScored’s second-best player in the entire World Cup tournament, going 270 minutes for Los Cafeteros. Mina averaged seven clearances a match, with 1.3 tackles and an interception per contest. Here’s Mina’s agent, from The Liverpool Echo:
“Everton is a club that insists on the player, who has called us directly. There are other teams like Zenit, but we hope Barcelona will take the initiative. He wants to play and do it in Barcelona. For Yerry Mina it would be a failure not to play. He just wants to play.”
The 23-year-old played just six times for Barcelona last season, and would join Michael Keane and Mason Holgate as younger center backs in Everton’s corps (Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka are well into the careers).
Sometimes a transfer rumor report talks itself out of probability by the time it reaches completion.
Sky Sports is reporting that Manchester United attacker Anthony Martial has interest from the likes of Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and Borussia Dortmund.
[ MORE: Klopp on Pulisic ]
But United doesn’t have interest in selling Martial and may pick up an option in his contract to extend him through the 2019-2020 season.
And the report says Chelsea has not made an offer — hard to believe United would sell inside the Premier League anyway — while Bayern thinks the price tag is too high. And if Bayern feels that way, than BVB is gonna pass, too.
Still, something to put on your radar.
Swansea City center back Federico Fernandez saw his side relegated last season and may not favor a campaign in the Championship.
The Chronicle says he could move to Newcastle on loan despite a transfer tag of less than $8 million.
Fernandez, however, did not name names outside of Krasnodar:
“The club (Krasnodar) are very interested in me and we will have to see what happens with the window. Of course I have a contract with Swansea and that’s why I’m here and working hard. But if they want me to come then of course I want to play at the highest level.”
The Magpies could land a defender from a World Cup participant, though, as Porto’s Diego Reyes may prefer a move to Newcastle (Turkish link) over interest from Fenerbahce and West Ham United.
The 55-times capped Mexican center back has played on the right as well, though he missed the tournament with a hamstring injury.