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Marcel Brands joins Everton as Director of Football

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Everton announced Wednesday that Marcel Brands has joined from PSV as their new Director of Football.

Confirmation arrived from the Toffees on the same day that Sam Allardyce was fired as their manager after just six months in charge, and Brands will arrive to replace Steve Walsh as the Director of Football at Goodison Park.

Walsh arrived from Leicester City alongside former manager Ronald Koeman in the summer of 2016 but things soon turned soured as Everton’s player recruitment was nowhere near as successful as they’d hoped.

PSV say that Brands will move on from the Philips Stadion on June 1 after eight years with the Eredivisie club who won the league title three times (2014-15, 2015-16 and 2017-18) during his leadership.

Brands has been applauded for his strong recruitment of exciting young players at PSV following his move from a similar role at RKC Waalwijk and AZ Alkmaar in the past.

“It is a privilege to be joining Everton as Director of Football and I am incredibly excited to take on this challenge,” Brands said. “The fantastic passion of the fans for their club, the magnificent history of the club over the years and the ambition and purpose we have as people tasked with driving the club forward all mean that we need to be competing for honors against the Premier League elite. It is no straightforward challenge but this must be our motivation each and every day.

“It is only a challenge such as this which could have persuaded me to leave PSV where I am indebted to the many people whose collective effort led to some great achievements. Now we will look to build something really strong and lasting here at Everton.”

Marco Silva is the overwhelming favorite to be appointed as Everton’s new manager in the coming days and his high-pressing tactics would definitely led to a dramatic squad overhaul at Everton.

Toffees owner Farhad Moshiri has chucked plenty of cash at this team and had a seventh and eighth place finish to show for it, with Everton laboring to eighth place this Premier League season under Allardyce after Koeman was fired in October after a disastrous start with his top-heavy squad.

Brands will be a busy man this summer.

Who can Premier League clubs draw in the Champions League’s Round of 16?

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The dust has settled in Manchester, Valencia, and else in Europe, meaning we now know the identities of potential opponents for Premier League clubs in the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16.

[ WATCH: Sane’s sensational free kick ]

The draw will be held Monday, when Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Liverpool will learn their next steps toward the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid (steps which may include a quick trip to the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid).

The Round of 16’s first legs will be played Feb. 12-13 and Feb. 19-20, while the second legs come March 5-6 and March 12-13.

Seeded teams
Borussia Dortmund
Barcelona
Paris Saint-Germain
Porto
Real Madrid
Bayern Munich
Manchester City
Juventus

Unseeded teams
Atletico Madrid
Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool
Schalke
AS Roma
Ajax
Manchester United
Lyon

Manchester City can draw… Atletico Madrid, Schalke, Ajax, Roma.

Manchester United can draw… Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, PSG, Porto, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid.

Tottenham Hotspur can draw… Borussia Dortmund, PSG, Porto, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus

Liverpool can draw… Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Porto, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus

Spectacular Sane guides Man City to group crown

AP Photo/Dave Thompson
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  • Sane scores world class free kick (video)
  • Also starts, finishes team goal
  • Man City wins group

Leroy Sane scored two beautiful goals as Manchester City came back from an early deficit to beat Hoffenheim 2-1 and claim its UEFA Champions League group on Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium.

City is the lone Premier League side to win its group.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

Kramaric curled a wonderful ball toward the City goal, but Ederson tipped it wide of the far post with an outstanding effort.

City conceded a penalty on the ensuing corner when Laporte took down Benjamin Hubner in the box, allowing Kramaric to converted the 16th minute penalty.

Gabriel Jesus nearly equalized two minutes later, heading a Leroy Sane corner kick off the post. Oliver Baumann then made a sprawling save on John Stones.

Sane answered with a beauty before halftime, bending a wicked free kick over and around the wall.

The Premier League champions were much better in the second half, with Raheem Sterling and Sane continuing their season-long danger.

Sterling then led a 3v1 break, passing to Sane who got a bit too unselfish with a layoff to Bernardo Silva, who was stymied by the goalkeeper. It was an astounding miss.

But Sane did the thing himself, playing a sensational low pass onto the path of Sterling before getting the ball returned and touching around Baumann to make it 2-1.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Man Utd sleepwalks in Valencia loss

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  • Soler beats Romero for opener
  • Jones scores ghastly own goal
  • Rashford pulls one back

Manchester United wasted a chance to win its Champions League group by falling 2-1 to Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium on Wednesday.

Marcus Rashford‘s 87th minute goal was all United could muster in the loss.

Young Boys stunned Juventus in Switzerland to open the door for Jose Mourinho’s men, but a Carlos Soler low drive and a Phil Jones own goal were United’s undoing.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

Antonio Valencia was extremely fortunate not to be sent off for a horrible studs-up tackle on Toni Lato that left the defender requiring medical attention for a gash.

Valencia, the club, scored through Soler’s low drive through traffic, which beat Sergio Romero.

The Spanish side missed two chances to make it 2-0, with Michy Batshuayi mis-hitting a terrific Cristiano Piccini cross and Geoffrey Kondogbia stymied by Marouane Fellaini‘s marking.

Pogba missed a straight-forward chance to level the score when Fellaini pounded a header into his path, but the French star hit the ball wide of the gaping frame from inside the six.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Michy Batshuayi ran alongside Phil Jones, and the English defender slid to push a perfect shot… past his own goalkeeper, David De Gea.

WATCH: Leroy Sane’s vicious, bending, world class free kick

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Distance, pace, and curl: Leroy Sane’s terrific free kick equalizer had it all.

[ MORE: Real rocked at home ]

Manchester City went into halftime level with Hoffenheim at 1 thanks to a German player scoring his first UCL goal of the season, and doing it against German opposition.

Trailing via a Andrej Kramaric penalty conceded by John Stones, City hit the woodwork through Gabriel Jesus and has several other chances to equalize at the Etihad Stadium.

But it was Sane who came through in stoppage time with this stunning effort which begs for more angles.