AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Juventus comes back, eliminate Spurs from Champions League

1 Comment
  • Spurs fail in bid for first quarter since 2011
  • Juve to 3rd quarterfinal in four years
  • Juve bidding for third final in four years
  • MORE: 3 things from Wembley

Juventus’ Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala scored quickfire second half goals to battle back past Spurs 2-1 — 4-3 on aggregate — and send The Old Lady into the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

Heung-Min Son scored the lone Spurs goal to give the hosts a 1-0 lead at Wembley Stadium, but Tottenham failed in its bid to reach a first quarterfinal since 2011.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Harry Kane burst inside and past Giorgio Chiellini, then moved by Gianluigi Buffon but couldn’t cut his shot inside the goal post.

Douglas Costa was not given a penalty when Jan Vertonghen clipped his ankle in the box, perhaps because the Brazilian did not go down and instead tried to continue his dribble.

Instant replay is a beaut, but how this wasn’t called a penalty in real time we’ll probably never understand. So many refs!

Vertonghen would pick up a yellow card soon after, and the match devolved for a bit into a series of chippy incidents after (and during) hard tackles. Sandro earned one in the 35th.

Moments after Son dragged a shot wide of goal, the South Korean put Spurs ahead 1-0 and ensured Juventus would need at least two goals to win. Kieran Trippier‘s cross zipped through the 18 and Son got enough of the shot to score.

Miralem Pjanic placed a 41st minute shot wide of the near post within two minutes of the Londoners’ opener.

Chiellini saw yellow for a edgy tackle on Dele Alli two minutes before the hour mark.

Then it all fell apart for Spurs.

Juventus earned new life when Christian Eriksen and Eric Dier were watching Sami Khedira’s header and not Higuain’s move to the back post to push it past Lloris.

Within two minutes, Dybala raced past Ben Davies to catch Higuain’s pass and beat Lloris 1v1. Poor from Spurs, euphoria for The Old Lady.

Spurs pushed hard, but an emotional Juve defended with vigor. Chiellini had a fine intervention to force a corner in the 79th minute.

Any Juve’s aggrieved penalty feelings received some salve when Chiellini’s blocked shot in the 18 rebounded off his arm but went uncalled by the referee.

Then, pure anguish: Kane nodded off the ground and the post and sub Erik Lamela couldn’t get his bearing to redirect the rebound before Andrea Barzagli cleared the ball.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Report: Newcastle activates $12m release clause of ex-Arsenal youth

Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.

Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.

Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.

Like the move for Newcastle?

Lukaku pens inspiring post on hard-scrabble upbringing

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader
Leave a comment

Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.

The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.

From The Players’ Tribune:

There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.

Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.

West Ham signs club record center back from Toulouse

whufc.com
Leave a comment

West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.

[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]

Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.

Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.

Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.

From WHUFC.com:

“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 3

Leave a comment

In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.

Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.