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Lionel Messi hits out at the media

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Lionel Messi rarely speaks publicly and when he does, let’s be honest, it is hardly groundbreaking stuff.

But this is very intriguing, and uncharacteristically animated from the Barcelona and Argentina superstar.

Speaking to Radio 94.7 Club Octubre in Argentina after the international break which saw Argentina lose 3-1 in Madrid to South American minnows Venezuela and then edge by Morocco 1-0, Messi didn’t hold back regarding the criticism he gets in his homeland.

“It makes me really mad, the stupid things they say. They say my father manages the national team… my friends and family suffer from the lies… the people buy it. Then I’m the son of a b****.”

Messi, 31, has already come back to play for Argentina after announcing his retirement in 2016 and has taken breaks from playing for La Albiceletse during his international career.

After moving to Barcelona as a teenager, Messi has been criticized by many back in Argentina for not replicating the form he shows for Barca when captaining the national team.

Messi revealed that despite being told not to return, he wants to achieve the one thing he hasn’t done in his career: led Argentina to a trophy.

“I want to win something with the national team, I’m going to play all the important things,” Messi said. “Many people told me not to return, family, friends … my son asked me why do they kill you in Argentina?”

Messi has scored 65 goals in 129 games for Argentina, but his situation regarding the national team has been complex throughout his career. The near miss at the 2014 World Cup was followed by heartache in back-to-back Copa Americas, and after crashing out in the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup to eventual winners France, many believed Messi would call it a day.

He returned to play for Argentina for the first time since the World Cup over the past week, but the same issues have cropped up for Messi. He says he will keep playing for Argentina, but with criticism in his homeland, should he bother?

WATCH, STREAM: Wilson, Pukki score screamers amongst 10 a.m. ET kicks

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This season is going to be a challenge for Norwich City, but one of last season’s true heroes made sure the Canaries fans got a bit of home delight.

[ STREAM: All 10 a.m. ET kicks ]

Newcastle is visiting town on Saturday, and Teemu Pukki scored a delightful opener to give the Canaries a halftime lead.

It’s appropriate, as the volley takes a page out of Newcastle hero Alan Shearer’s playbook.

Norwich City 1-0 Newcastle UnitedSTREAM

Aston Villa 0-2 BournemouthSTREAM

And how about this from Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson, who is making Villa’s home return to the Premier League less than ideal.

VIDEO: Sadio Mane scores screamer for Liverpool v. Saints

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Sadio Mane has started the season in sensational fashion.

After scoring twice for Liverpool in their Super Cup final win against Chelsea on Wednesday, Mane curled home a stunning shot right on half time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]  

Mane was playing against his former club and after Southampton had created the best chances, it was a huge boost for Liverpool to go in ahead at the break.

Click play on the video below to see Mane open the scoring in style.

Emery impressed with versatile Ceballos as Arsenal stays perfect

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Despite the score line, Unai Emery can be fairly happy with Arsenal’s performance in a 2-1 defeat of Burnley at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

On midfielder Dani Ceballos, though, Emery will be very pleased.

[ RECAP: Arsenal 2-1 Burnley ]

The Real Madrid loanee was the easy Man of the Match, his silky skill on the ball and quality industry endearing himself to Arsenal faithful. From Football.London:

“It’s to use his quality in the best position in our team. I spoke with him before coming here, it’s to play as an eight and a No.10. He started like a 10 but changed with Willock. He can feel better on the pitch.”

Emery will be less than pleased with his defense, who allowed a goal to early season Golden Boot candidate Ashley Barnes.

“We won in our moments we did the difference for 2-1. A lot of moments we couldn’t impose our gameplan because they pushed and their gameplan was a struggle for us.”

Watch Live: Saints v. Liverpool headlines five PL games

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Five Premier League games are coming up at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, as the second Matchweek of the new campaign comes roaring at us.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

Southampton and Liverpool clash at St Mary’s in the main game at 10 a.m. ET, while two new boys have their first home games back in the PL.

Aston Villa host Bournemouth at Villa Park, while Norwich host Newcastle at Carrow Road. Elsewhere, Everton host Watford and West Ham travel to Brighton.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ] 

You can access additional games by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold which also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: “Goal Rush” here ]

For those of you familiar with the Premier League Breakaway Show during busy days (Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Championship Sunday etc.) in the PL, this will follow that model of being similar to the NFL RedZone with action shown from all of the games in the 10 a.m. ET window. More info is available here.

The schedule for all five games at 10 a.m. ET is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.

10 a.m. ET: Southampton v. Liverpool – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Aston Villa v. Bournemouth – CNBC [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Brighton v. West Ham – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Everton v. Watford – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Norwich v. Newcastle – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]