Spanish defender Sergio Ramos is a popular villain in the world of European soccer, there is no way around that fact.
So, in the 12th minute of England’s eventual 3-2 win over Spain, when Eric Dier ran 30 yards to
bulldoze tackle Ramos on the ball in the Spanish box, England fans delighted in the moment. Because of the unnecessary nature of the tackle – Ramos was on the ball near his own end line, and with Dier streaking in at full speed there was little to no chance of the tackle resulting in a change of possession – it gave the appearance that Dier took the opportunity to go in hard on a widely despised player.
[ RECAP – England holds on for 3-2 win over Spain ]
More controversially, Dier was shown a yellow card for the challenge despite winning the ball with his sliding tackle. It was a thumping challenge, toppling Ramos to the turf over top the Tottenham midfielder, but because Dier’s effort was on the mark, many believed he should have been let off with a clean tackle won. Others would argue that just because a player wins the ball, doing so in a dangerous manner should still constitute a foul.
Ramos, meanwhile, was not injured on the play. Instead, he rolled around for a moment grabbing his ankle before angrily popping up and shooting the referee a nasty look.
Because of how Ramos is viewed around Europe and beyond, there were many who delighted in arguably clean yet hard tackle on a villain of the sport.
England fans annointed Dier as some joked on social media that Dier “deserved knighthood” or that Dier “is my hero.” Liverpool fans especially appreciated the gesture, wanting some type of revenge for Ramos injuring Mohamed Salah during last year’s Champions League final.
The match finished 3-2 to England, a memorable victory that saw England take advantage of a number of defensive mistakes to send Spain to its first competitive home defeat in 15 years. Still, the Dier tackle is a memorable moment that galvanized one fanbase against a player with a history of controversial moments.
ROME (AP) The Italian soccer federation has signed a wide-ranging memorandum with the Chinese government to promote soccer between the two countries.
The deal foresees playing the Italian Super Cup or Italian Cup in China within the next three years.
[ MORE: Upsets in EURO qualifying ]
The Italian Super Cup – which pits the Serie A champion against the Italian Cup champion – has already been played in China four times over the last 10 years.
The meeting with China Media Group head Shen Haixiong also focused on TV content and rights, collaboration over developing young Chinese players in Italy and instruction for using the video assistant referee.
Shen was in Rome for the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Italian federation president Gabriele Gravina says, “Soccer has shown once again to be a bridge between different cultures.”
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Portland Timbers forward Dairon Asprilla has had to spend some time in the USL Championship this season, and the second tier would probably like to see Gio Savarese keep the Colombian in Major League Soccer.
[ REPORT: Liverpool to sell Keita? ]
Asprilla scored twice and added an assists on Saturday night in a defeat of Eric Wynalda’s Las Vegas Lights, and he put up a near picture perfect bicycle kick on the highlight reel.
Watch as he sets himself up, willingly or not, for the endeavor before splashing a shot in the side panel for an amazing aesthetic.
A report claims that Liverpool is ready to admit defeat in the case of Naby Keita.
Keita, 24, was bought from RB Leipzig last season and arrived at Anfield in the summer, but has struggled to find consistent playing time under Jurgen Klopp.
[ VIDEO: USMNT’s Saief shines for FC Cincinnati ]
Viewed as the missing link between the Virgil Van Dijk and Liverpool’s torrential attack, Keita has not come close to replicating the form that saw his price tag reach $69 million.
Indeed, Team Talk says Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich look prepared to pay around $53 million to bring Keita back to the Bundesliga.
Keita has played 27 matches in all competitions for Liverpool, accumulating 1,388 minutes and just one assist. He had nine goals and seven assists in more than double the minutes one season ago.
According to WhoScored.com, he’s passing the ball better and taking almost a foul less than last season, but almost every other measurable has declined since he moved to England.
I’m as guilty as anyone of thinking Keita would be everything the Reds required after an improved 2017-18, but he’s either being used very poorly or having trouble adjusting to the culture.
It’s early to quit on a player so talented, but maybe Klopp and he just don’t mesh well. But if it isn’t a case of clashing with the club, it may be worth waiting out a player who looked a giant just eight months ago.
It wasn’t just Germany and the Netherlands staging a tight and entertaining match in EURO 2020 qualifying on Sunday.
[ VIDEO: Saief, Manneh lead FC Cincinnati ]
Hungary 2-1 Croatia
Ante Rebic’s early goal made a “business as usual” statement for the World Cup runners-up, but Hungary can be a handful against any opponents and rallied at home.
Hoffenheim striker Adam Szalai brought the hosts level at halftime, and Mate Patkai gave Hungary a deserved 2-1 win in Budapest.
Coming three days after a loss in Slovakia to start qualifying, it was an early almost-must-win for Marco Rossi’s men.
Israel 4-2 Austria
Marko Arnautovic‘s brace in defeat couldn’t have come with different vibes. His eighth minute marker gave the Austrians a leg up, his 75th minute goal meaning very little with the side having conceded four-straight in between.
China-based striker Eran Zahavi scored a hat trick for Israel, and RB Salzburg star Munas Dabbur scored the fourth goal to keep the hosts within sight of first place Poland.
Austria is winless through two qualifiers.
Wales 1-0 Slovakia
Cyprus 0-2 Belgium
San Marino 0-2 Scotland
Netherlands 2-3 Germany — RECAP, VIDEO
Northern Ireland 2-1 Belarus
Poland 2-0 Latvia
Slovenia 1-1 Macedonia
Kazakhstan 0-4 Russia