Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos cruised into the driver’s seat after multi-goal shutout home wins ahead next week’s second legs, while Young Boys and Red Star Belgrade thrilled in a 2-2 draw on Wednesday.
Olympiacos 4-0 Krasnodar
Lazar Randelovic scored two times in seven minutes as Olympiacos smashed open its playoff round tie with Krasnodar at Karaiskakis Stadium on Wednesday.
Miguel Guerrero and Daniel Podence also scored for the Greeks, whose lead was just 1-0 at halftime.
Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 Rosenborg
The Croatian powers got their goals in the firs half hour, with Bruno Petkovic converting an 8th minute penalty and Mislav Orsic rounding out the scoring in the 28th.
Young Boys 2-2 Red Star Belgrade
A combined 40 shots graced the Stade de Suisse in Switzerland, with the hosts taking 27 as well as an early lead. It was 1-1 after 18 minutes and the visitors took their only lead of the match in the 46th minute.
Guillaume Hoarau converted a 76th minute penalty to lower the damage heading to Serbia, and Red Star will be grateful for some fine saves coming from keeper Milan Borjan.
The Canadian backstop was very good aside from the opener, which was a 1v1 chance but also somewhat preventable.
The race for the Premier League’s top-four resumes with as many as three genuine contenders for Champions League qualification in action, all at home, all against bottom-seven competition, on Wednesday.
The day’s late game, to be shown live on NBCSN, features fifth-place Manchester United hosting Burnley at Old Trafford. Elsewhere, eighth-place Tottenham Hotspur will host Norwich City and third-place Leicester City will host West Ham United.
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.
The schedule for the three games on Wednesday is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.
3:15 p.m. ET: Man United v. Burnley — NBCSN [STREAM] 2:30 p.m. ET: Tottenham Hotspur v. Norwich City — NBC Sports Gold [STREAM] 2:30 p.m. ET: Leicester City v. West Ham United — NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
Authorities did not release further details because the search-and-seizure action was part of an investigation being conducted under secrecy.
Police would not confirm Spanish media reports that the action was about a case in which Qatari owner Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani is being sued by minority owners over alleged administrative irregularities.
Gareth Bale‘s agent Jonathan Barnett has called recent reports claiming the Real Madrid superstar could be loaned elsewhere “ridiculous” on the basis that “there are not many clubs that can afford him anyway.”
Bale has reportedly been unhappy in Madrid and at odds with manager Zinedine Zidane, leading to months of speculation that he could leave the Santiago Bernabeu. However, due to his nearly $600,000-per-week wages, very few — if any — clubs in the world can afford his wages, let alone the transfer fee required as well.
Therefore, a loan move would seem to make sense, only Barnett seems to be offended that a player of Bale’s caliber would ever be discussed as a loan candidate — quotes from the BBC:
“Why would one of the best players on Earth go on loan? That’s ridiculous. At the moment, he is going to be playing football for Real Madrid and he has got two and a half years left on his contract.
“He is happy and hopefully he will win a couple of more things with Real Madrid.”
“Things can change, but loans are ridiculous and there are not many clubs that can afford him anyway.”
Bale’s contract runs through the summer of 2022. He has scored just two goals in nine league games this season.
The Bavarian powerhouse said the 24-year-old Odriozola signed a deal to the end of the season after successfully passing a medical examination.
“We decided to fulfill our head coach Hansi Flick’s wish to strengthen the defense and decided for Alvaro Odriozola,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. “We’re very happy with the transfer and thank the management at Real Madrid for the very friendly and cooperative talks.”
Bayern defenders Niklas Sule, Lucas Hernandez and Javi Martinez are out with injuries and 23-year-old Benjamin Pavard — a center back — had been filling in at right back. Odriozola’s arrival will free the French player to return to his usual position.
Madrid paid a reported $33 million to sign Odriozola from Real Sociedad in 2018, but the winger has barely played since. He made only four league appearances this season, with Dani Carvajal preferred at right back.
Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane gave the go-ahead for Odriozola’s transfer on Tuesday. Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao were also reportedly interested.
Odriozola has one goal in four appearances for Spain.
Bayern is hoping to claw back a four-point deficit on Bundesliga leader Leipzig to claim a record-extending eighth straight title.