Champions League: Liverpool, Man City cruise (video)

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Call it the match week that restored a bit of order to the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League.

There were no wins from Young Boys or Sheriff Tiraspol, underdogs of varying status, and the giants of the game more or less collected the expected results.

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That doesn’t mean there weren’t letdowns. Manchester United had to come back twice to draw Atalanta, and all three of Barcelona, Man City, and Real Madrid will have preferred more decisive score lines, but it feels a bit more like your standard UCL seasons after four matches.


UEFA Champions League group stage Matchday 4 results – Wednesday

AC Milan 1-1 FC Porto

Milan got a point but it needed three to have sincere thoughts about the knockout rounds, claiming just one of six available points against Porto in this group stage.

Luis Diaz has put Porto ahead and Milan could only find a Chancel Mbemba own goal to get back into the fray. Even Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s late entry couldn’t produce a goal (that counted) and Milan’s one point on the campaign is a lonely one.

Liverpool 2-0 Atletico Madrid

The only thing that will bother Jurgen Klopp about this one is that his team didn’t make good on more of their chances.

Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota scored first-half goals, Felipe was sent off before halftime, and both teams had second-half goals taken off the board after VAR review.

Trent Alexander-Arnold set up both of Liverpool’s goals, the Reds keeping the ball for more than 70% of the game and limiting Diego Simeone’s 10-man Atleti to a single shot (off target at that).

Liverpool wins the group and can focus on the Premier League (and League Cup quarterfinal), while Atleti needs to chase down Porto to make the knockout rounds.

Sporting Lisbon 4-0 Besiktas

Besiktas finished with 10 men but that was in stoppage time, well after Sporting had put this one in the win column.

Pedro Goncalves scored twice in the first half and Paulinho was joined by Pablo Sarabia on the score sheet as Lisbon led 4-0 before the hour mark.

Souza was shown his second yellow in stoppage time and will miss the Turkish powers’ next match.

Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Ajax

Borussia Dortmund went from unlikely winners to looking like a team that played over an hour with 10 men in a crushing home loss that carried more than a bit of controversy.

That’s because Mats Hummels was sent off for a sliding challenge in which the primary contact was an Ajax attacker landing on his leg.

Still, Dortmund took a lead via a Marco Reus penalty in the 37th minute. Marco Rose’s men nearly rode that to a win but Dusan Tadic, Sebastien Haller, and Davy Klaassen all scored fro the 72nd minute onward — the last two off Antony assists — to claim 12 points in the group, six more than Dortmund and Sporting.

Sheriff Tiraspol 1-3 Inter Milan

Sheriff slips from first to third with the loss, scoring only after Inter built a 3-0 lead.

Marcelo Brozovic had a goal and an assist in the win, with goals also coming from Alexis Sanchez and Milan Skriniar.

Adama Traore scored Sheriff’s goal in stoppage time to ruin the clean sheet.

Real Madrid 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk

Credit Shakhtar for making the hosts work hard for their three points, answering Karim Benzema’s opener through Fernando to have the score 1-1 at halftime.

But Benzema scored off another Vinicius Junior assist to keep his name on nearly every score sheet, the French striker as prolific as anyone not named Robert Lewandowski.

RB Leipzig 2-2 PSG

American boss Jesse Marsch was fuming with the refs and watching the tape will also have him furious with his finishers as an early Christopher Nkunku goal did not help them take three points against Mauricio Pochettino’s dangerous Parisiens.

Andre Silva missed a bid to make it 2-0 on a 12th-minute penalty and Georginio Wijnaldum scored a pair of goals before halftime to lead PSG in front

Dominik Szoboszlai converted Leipzig’s second penalty attempt, but Leipzig is still out of  knockout round contention.

The draw sends PSG behind Man City on the group table. City has nine points to PSG’s eight ahead off a Nov. 24 meeting at the Etihad Stadium. Club Brugge’s four points are just three ahead of Marsch’s Leipzig with the pair meeting in Belgium next.

Man City 4-1 Club Brugge

Joao Cancelo ran the show in Manchester with two assists and six key passes in a slow-burning win over Club Brugge.

Phil Foden’s 15th-minute marker was made level by a John Stones own goal the defender couldn’t have avoided, and Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, and Gabriel Jesus scored after halftime to all but put City in the knockout rounds.

Cancelo had over 125 touches and was all over the left sideline for Pep Guardiola, who turns his attention to the Manchester derby without using Ruben Dias and Fernandinho while keeping Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, and Raheem Sterling from more than 22 minutes on the pitch.

Transfer news: Adeyemi to Liverpool, Kessie to Manchester United

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Red Bull Salzburg doesn’t get to keep its nice things very long, and Liverpool may be looking to snap up the latest in a long line of the Austrian club’s exports.

Naby Keita, Sadio Mane, and Takumi Minamino are among the Liverpool players who spent time in Salzburg prior to Anfield.

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And it’s challenging to stop when listing the stars who’ve left the club for big money in recent seasons: Erling Haaland, Dayot Upamecano, Patson Daka, Dominik Szoboszlai, Enock Mwepu, and Hee-chan Hwang among them.

The latest? Well he’s linked to a number of clubs including the Merseyside’s red bunch.

Adeyemi to Liverpool

Karim Adeyemi is a 19-year-old who is producing tremendous numbers for Salzburg so far this season, bagging 11 goals in 16 appearances including a Champions League brace versus French champions Lille.

Reports say Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and RB Leipzig have already contacted Adeyemi’s representatives about a transfer.

Adeyemi has a goal in his lone senior cap for Germany, netting against Armenia in a September qualifier for the 2022 World Cup.

He was with Bayern at a very tender age between 2010-12. The Munich-born player may find the Allianz Arena too tempting but Anfield and Jurgen Klopp make a tantalizing combination as well.

Kessie to Manchester United

Franck Kessie has been a force for several seasons on multiple teams, but the AC Milan man is reportedly dragging his feet on a new deal and has alerted some of the biggest names in the game.

Manchester United is one of them, but Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be ready to offer Milan some money in January as the Serie A side could be tempted to take what they can rather than let him walk for free in June.

Kessie turns 25 in December and is in his third season with Milan after turning heads with Atalanta between 2017-19.

The Ivorian’s goal totals are eyebrow-raising but it’s important to note that he’s a strong penalty taker. The fiery midfielder has a very good range of passing and is not afraid to get stuck into tackles.

Bundesliga: Dortmund, Freiburg shake up top 4; Marsch’s Leipzig cruises

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Borussia Dortmund pulled into second place and Freiburg third on Saturday, and both sit a point back of Bayern Munich ahead of the Bavarians’ Sunday tussle with Eintracht Frankfurt.

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Wolfsburg, however, failed in its bid to pull into a tie on points with Bayern, slipping to a 10-man defeat that saw an American score his first Bundesliga goal for visiting Borussia Monchengladbach.

Elsewhere, RB Leipzig moved closer to familiar footing and Stuttgart surprised Hoffenheim a day after Greuther Furth was sent to another loss.

Wolfsburg 1-3 Borussia Monchengladbach — Scally scores goal

Breel Embolo had a goal and an assist as Gladbach’s attack had the hosts so shaky that Wolfsburg made a center back change at the break.

That brought on John Brooks of the USMNT, but it was another American who delivered in the second half. Teenage wide man Joe Scally scored his first Bundesliga goal to salt away the win for Gladbach.

Maxence Lacroix was sent off in the 76th minute for Wolfsburg, but Lars Stindl soon missed a penalty to keep the game in the balance.

VAR then took away a second Wolfsburg red card — this on to Jerome Roussillon — before Scally got his goal (video).

Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Augsburg

Raphael Guerreiro’s penalty gave BVB an early and expected lead, but Brighton loanee Andi Zeqiri had it 1-1 heading into halftime.

That’s when two longtime BVB men, Julian Brandt and Marco Reus, teamed up to give Marco Rose all three points.

RB Leipzig 3-0 Bochum

Jesse Marsch’s men had to work for their win against the promoted visitors but Dominik Szoboszlai set up Andre Silva for a 69th-minute goal and that opened the floodgates.

Christopher Nkunku scored Leipzig’s other two as all of the goals came in nine second-half minutes to steady the ship.

Bundesliga Week 7 fixtures and results

Koln 3-1 Greuther Furth — Friday
Hertha Berlin 1-2 Freiburg
Stuttgart 3-1 Hoffenheim
Wolfsburg 1-3 Borussia Monchengladbach
Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Augsburg
RB Leipzig 3-0 Bochum
Mainz v Union Berlin — 9:30am ET Sunday
Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt — 11:30am ET Sunday
Arminia Bielefeld v Bayer Leverkusen — 1:30pm ET Sunday

Bundesliga: Sane’s sensational free kick one of 7 goals for Bayern (video)

Bayern Munich - VfL Bochum
Photo by Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images
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Did midweek Champions League action cause any surprises in Germany?

Yes, but not in the way you’re thinking…

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Bayern Munich buried Bochum 7-0 on Saturday after its Tuesday beatdown of Barcelona, while RB Leipzig’s stumbling to a 1-1 draw at Koln looks more an indicator of form than weariness.

Here’s what you missed in the Bundesliga on Saturday.


Bayern Munich 7-0 Bochum

No let-up from Julian Nagelsmann here. Not even relatively speaking.

Joshua Kimmich scored twice and Leroy Sane had a goal and two assists in a complete demolition of Bochum.

The visitors had just 30 percent of the ball and did not put any of their five shots on target.

As for the hosts, Bayern put 15 shots on target and was credited with 14 “big chances.” Nine of them were missed, so the score line may even be a little kind to Bochum.

An own goal joined Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting on the score sheet, and Thomas Muller had a goal taken away by VAR.

Bayern goes atop the table until Wolfsburg plays Sunday.

Koln 1-1 RB Leipzig

How did Jesse Marsch’s men rebound from a 6-3 midweek loss at Manchester City? By conceding five less but also scoring two fewer goals than managed against the Premier League champions.

Anthony Modeste put the hosts ahead just after halftime and Emil Forsberg had a goal taken away by VAR before Leipzig officially got on the board.

Hungarian star Dominik Szoboszlai set up Amadou Haidara in the 71st minute but a winner did not arrive even after American midfielder Tyler Adams entered the fold with five minutes to play in Cologne.

Bundesliga fixtures and results, Matchday 5

Hertha Berlin 2-1 Greuther Furth — Friday
Bayern Munich 7-0 Bochum
Augsburg 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
Mainz 0-0 Freiburg
Arminia 0-0 Hoffenheim
Koln 1-1 RB Leipzig
Stuttgart v Bayer Leverkusen — 9:30am ET Sunday
Borussia Dortmund v Union Berlin –11:30am ET Sunday
Wolfsburg v Eintracht Frankfurt — 1:30pm ET Sunday

Leicester City announces purchase of prolific Patson Daka

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Red Bull Salzburg knew it would be able to deliver goals almost from the moment that it sold Erling Haaland to Borussia Dortmund.

And that’s largely because of Patson Daka, the young striker who Leicester City unveiled Wednesday.

It’s been a poorly-kept secret that Daka was destined for the FA Cup champions, and the 22-year-old Zambian is now a Premier League striker.

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The fee has been reported as near $33 million, an outgoing record for Salzburg despite recent sales of Haaland, Dominik Szoboszlai, Naby Keita, Dayot Upamecano, and Sadio Mane.

Daka joined Salzburg from Zambian side Kafue Celtic in 2017, scoring 27 goals with 12 assists in a breakthrough 2019-20. He followed that up with 34 goals and 12 assists in his sophomore season.

“I’m so, so excited to join this great, historic club,” Daka said, via LCFC.com. “It has been my dream and I’m so happy and looking forward to what’s coming next. I have followed Leicester from the time they won the league. I feel it is the perfect place for me, because it’s a team that fights for titles. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I feel ready to face this new challenge.”

How big of an impact could Daka make?

While the Haaland comparisons are natural and tempting, it is worth noting that Daka is yet to show the same level of prolific scoring outside of Austria.

Daka has five goals and four assists in 26 appearances between the Europa League and Champions League.

He has been a menace for Zambia in big games, scoring seven goals in 11 matches between qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations and 2022 World Cup.

Leicester will be able to give Daka room to adjust to the Premier League, as Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho will open the season above him in the pecking order.

Extra useful for Leicester? While Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi could be called into AFCON duty come January, Daka’s Zambia did not quality for the tournament in Cameroon.