UEFA Champions League

Report: Christian Pulisic ‘in talks’ over move to Juventus

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A report from Italian outlet Calcio Mercato claims that USMNT star Christian Pulisic is ‘in talks’ over a move to Juventus.

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Pulisic, 24, was linked with a move away from Chelsea all summer long and has recently revealed how he felt disappointed when Thomas Tuchel (now the former Chelsea boss) left him out of the starting lineup for the UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg against Real Madrid in May 2021.

With Tuchel gone, Christian Pulisic could break back into the Chelsea starting lineup under new boss Graham Potter but it is widely expected that the American winger will leave the Premier League giants in the coming months with less than two years remaining on his current contract.


What is the latest?

Per the report, Juventus like Pulisic because he can play in several different positions in the attacking third of the pitch.

The report also claims that Juve have held initial talks with Pulisic’s agent about a contract and were told that Pulisic plans to leave Chelsea at the end of the 2022-23 season when he has just one year left on his contract as he wants a ‘new challenge’ in his career.

There is also a claim that Chelsea want $33.7 million for Pulisic and won’t budge on that transfer fee even if he has just one year left on his contract.

Pulisic looks like he needs a fresh start in his club career as Graham Potter will play a fluid 3-4-2-1 system and relies heavily on his wing backs to provide attacking impetus from out wide. That doesn’t suit Pulisic at all


Is Juventus a good fit?

Probably. His pace and dribbling skills would cause problem in any team and the way Juventus play under Max Allegri (if he’s still there when/if Pulisic arrives) relies heavily on getting the ball wide early and encouraging wingers to attack.

Along with that tactical approach, Pulisic would also get the chance to play alongside his close friend and USMNT teammate Weston McKennie. That could bring out the best in both of them.

It now seems a case of when, not if, Pulisic leaves Chelsea. And when he does, he will have plenty of offers to move to a team playing in the Champions League and considered a giant in their country. Given his ability on the ball, what he’s shown in flashes throughout his career and his presence as a superstar in the United States of America, teams across will line up to sign him.


Top 10 highest-paid players in the world revealed

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A list of the top 10 highest-paid soccer players in the world has been revealed, as a study looked into salaries and endorsement deals for the top players on the planet.

The sums are eye-watering and are based on earnings for the 2022-23 season.

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There are a few surprising names high up on this list but the usual suspects are still up there as their superstar status remains intact. Both on the pitch and when it comes to deals off it.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are all the wrong side of 30 but continue to dominate this list, while there are a few emerging stars muscling their way into the top 10. The main takeaway is that there is a huge drop-off after the top four names on this list.

Sports business website Sportico have come up with the list and below is a full breakdown of who is earning what.


Top 10 highest-paid soccer players in the world (September, 2022)

1. Kylian Mbappe = $125 million total ($105 million salary + $20 million endorsements)

2. Cristiano Ronaldo = $113 million ($53 million salary + $60 million endorsements)

3. Lionel Messi = $110 million ($62 million salary + $48 million endorsements)

4. Neymar = $91 million ($56 million salary + $35 million endorsements)

5. Mohamed Salah = $39.5 million ($24.5 million salary + $15 million endorsements)

6. Eden Hazard = $31.3 million ($28.6 million salary + $2.5 million endorsements)

7. Andres Iniesta = $30 million ($23 million salary + $7 million endorsements)

8. Raheem Sterling = $29.4 million ($21.4 million salary + $8 million endorsements)

9. Kevin de Bruyne = $29 million ($25.5 million salary + $3.5 million endorsements)

10. Antoine Griezmann = $27.5 million ($22 million salary + $5.5 million endorsements)


Man City vs Dortmund: Haaland scores winner vs former club (video)

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Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund recap: Erling Haaland scored the winning goal as the Norwegian’s new side beat his old side at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

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Dortmund took the lead through Jude Bellingham’s header in the 56th minute, but Edin Terzic’s side came under immense pressure almost immediately thereafter with a triple-change that brought on three fresh attackers in Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva and Julian Alvarez. In the 80th minute, John Stones unleashed a thunderbolt from the edge of the penalty area, and Haaland went airborne and acrobatic to poke home the winner just four minutes later.

The victory keeps Man City (6 points) atop Group G, with Dortmund (3) currently in 2nd.


What we learned from Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund

Erling Haaland scoring goals is inevitable

Even when the ball is close to eight feet in the air, floating toward the back post and there’s one or two defenders properly positioned to deal with the cross, he might just score anyway.

It was clear that Dortmund frustrated Man City for much of Wednesday’s game, but speaking after the game Haaland felt that things changed drastically not long after the hour mark as he continues to adjust to his new team, and them to him.

“In the end we showed what we are. This is what we are. This is how we have to play. I’m proud of the last 25 minutes.”

“They didn’t stop me… I scored. They played well. They were good. I was quite sure I was going to be followed the whole game because Edin [Dortmund boss Terzic] knows me very well. Dortmund were really good today. Three points is what matters.”

Jude Bellingham more than ready for Premier League move

He just turned 19 not even three months ago, and Bellingham already looks like one of the best central midfielders in the world — certainly the brightest, surest prospect. With each passing performance in the Champions League, the Birmingham City academy product looks likelier and likelier to move to the Premier League next summer.

Whether it’s to Man City, Chelsea, Manchester City or Liverpool, the PL will immediately be better for his arrival. Similar to Haaland, Bellingham brings an incredible blend of all the requisite physical tools, but most importantly he’s tactically brilliant and quickly reads the game as if he’s been playing professionally for four years already. (He has been.) Bellingham should be the breakout star for England at this summer’s winter’s World Cup, at which point his transfer fee should increase another 40 or $50 million. Unlike Haaland, Bellingham does not have a release clause in his current contract.

Follow @AndyEdMLS


How to watch Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund live, updates and start time

Date: Wednesday, September 14
Kick off time: 3pm ET
Online: Live updates via NBCSports.com
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+


Key storylines

It doesn’t get more key than this: One of Man City, Sevilla, or Dortmund will not reach the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds. With Dortmund yet to face Sevilla, a Man City win on Wednesday would make for a comfortable-enough 2-0 start to the group stage with a pair against Copenhagen to follow and a guarantee that Sevilla and/or BVB will drop more points.

Guardiola is not the apple of Dortmund’s eye following his time at heated rivals Bayern Munich, and the trio of Dortmund players at City are unlikely to make him any more liked in Germany (though this match is set for the cozier confines of the Etihad, of course).


Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund head-to-head record

Man City won both legs of the clubs’ 2020-21 UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie, while Dortmund took four of six points in the 2012-13 group stage.


The lowdown on Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund’s terrific start to the season reached into the first UCL matchday, as Giovanni Reyna set up two of BVB’s three goals in a clean sheet win over Copenhagen, but the weekend proved too much of a depth test against stung and ready RB Leipzig. Dortmund’s 12 points through six matches are equal to Bayern Munich, Hoffenheim, and Freiburg. Union Berlin can join BVB or lead the quartet by two points depending on Sunday morning’s result versus Koln.


Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

Aymeric Laporte (knee) will be out through the international break at the end of September, while Kyle Walker and John Stones are touch-and-go. Pep Guardiola has said they could return for any game or have to wait beyond the international break.

Chelsea vs Salzburg: Blues cough up late lead in Potter’s debut (video)

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Chelsea vs Red Bull Salzburg recap: Graham Potter began his tenure as Blues boss with a frustrating 1-1 draw with the nine-time defending Austrian champions at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

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Raheem Sterling broke the scoreless deadlock three minutes into the second half after Chelsea dominated possession but were somewhat starved for scoring chances nonetheless. The Blues looked quite comfortable playing with the lead as they controlled the game at 1-0, until disaster struck an unlikely figure with a quarter-hour left to play.

It’s the first point of the UEFA Champions League group stage for Chelsea, who parted company with Thomas Tuchel following last week’s loss to Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb. Two games into Group E play, Chelsea sit bottom of the table with AC Milan (4 points), Zagreb (3) and Salzburg (2) above them.


What we learned from Chelsea vs Salzburg

Possession plentiful, scoring chances not so much (yet)

One key difference between the majority of Thomas Tuchel’s tenure and the fledgling one of Potter is rather simple: tempo. Chelsea tended to plod along and take very few risks in possession under Tuchel, whereas even in Potter’s first game in charge the pace of play had already changed considerably.

The other main change is that Chelsea moved the ball up the field (quickly) through lots and lots of combination play, typically in a jam-packed middle of the field. Potter’s system will rarely ask force individuals to play one-on-one in order to progress the ball or create scoring chances, as opposed to how the Blues played under Tuchel.

Speaking of scoring chances, all the possession in the world means nothing if you can’t link it all together in the final third, and that’s where Chelsea lagged behind on Wednesday. In the first half, they took nine shots but put none on target; in the second half, three of eight. It’ll take some time, but the combination of Potter’s success at Brighton and the superb talent at Chelsea, would seem to point toward the attack slowly coming together. At that point, it’ll simply be a matter of whether or not the Blues can finish those chances better than the Seagulls ever could.

One mistake undoes outstanding defensive performance

Given the risk involved with such fluid, full-field possession, it becomes paramount that Chelsea’s forwards and midfielders apply plenty of pressure higher up the field, with only two center backs patrolling the defensive third. It is, of course, far from ideal that Potter has Thiago Silva, 37, and Cesar Azpilicueta, 33, as the duo on his debut, but the veterans were reliable as ever, with the exception of one missed sliding tackle in the 75th minute.


How to watch Chelsea vs Salzburg live and start time

Date: Wednesday, September 14
Kick off time: 3 pm ET
Online: Live updates via NBCSports.com
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+


Key storylines

It’ll be a whole new world for Potter, who managed EFL Championship side Swansea City prior to taking the Brighton job in 2019. The finances of Chelsea will afford him an entirely different caliber of player (the current squad as well), but it will be most interesting to see which players do (and don’t) fit into Potter’s plans and ideas.

Brighton often played with three defenders at the back (not entirely dissimilar to Tuchel) and relied heavily upon the full backs (a particular strength in Chelsea’s squad, including Marc Cucurella, who was signed from Brighton this summer) to create overloads in both wide and central areas. But it’s the midfield and forward line, where Chelsea are perhaps a bit thin (numbers-wise, not so much quality), which will be key. In Potter’s time at Brighton, the Seagulls never found a reliable goal-scorer to finish the chances they created with all that pretty possession, and that experience could serve him well at Chelsea, where Potter will need to find a consistent source of goals from the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kai Kavertz, Raheem Sterling, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech.


Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: N’Golo Kante (hamstring) | QUESTIONABLE: Edouard Mendy (knee)

UEFA Champions League, live! How to watch, predictions, updates, scores, schedule, fixtures

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The 2022-23 UEFA Champions League group stage is here and we are ready to roll between now and November.

With a congested schedule due to the 2022 World Cup kicking off in November, we will have midweek Champions League action every week between now and early November (aside from the international break in late September).

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Can Real Madrid win back-to-back Champions League titles? Or will the Premier League giants continue to reach the final (at least one PL team has reached four of the last five finals with two all-English finals in the last four) and go one better this season?

Notably, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Inter Milan were drawn together in what will likely be seen as the “group of death,” while Tottenham were handed a (relatively) easy draw with Eintracht Frankfurt, Sporting CP and Marseille in Group D.

Manchester City will face perennial European noise-makers in Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla in Group G, while PSG and Juventus were paired up in Group H.

Rangers are back in the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2010, joining bitter Glasgow rivals Celtic to give the Scottish Premiership two clubs in the UCL group stage for the first time in 15 years.

Elsewhere, Benfica, Copenhagen, Dinamo Zagreb, Viktoria Plzen and Maccabi Haifi made it through the playoffs, while this is the first time the Bundesliga has had five teams in the group stage after Frankfurt won the Europa League last season to qualify.

Below is everything you need following the UEFA Champions League group stage.


UEFA Champions League schedule, dates, how to watch

Dates: Group stage to be played September to November
Online: Live updates via NBCSports.com
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+


Champions League group stage fixtures (all kick off times ET)

Matchday 2

Tuesday, 13 September
Plzen 0-2 Inter — Goal, assist for Dzeko in win over 10-man hosts
Sporting CP 2-0 Tottenham – Conte rues details plus video highlights
Liverpool 2-1 Ajax –Klopp relief at rebound win; Video highlights
Porto 0-4 Club Brugge — Four different scorers highlight blowout
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Atletico Madrid — Frimpong sets up two late goals
Bayern Munich 2-0 Barcelona — Wasteful finishing haunts Lewandowski return
Marseille 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt — Late first-half Lindstrom goal the difference

Wednesday, 14 September
AC Milan 3-1 Dinamo Zagreb
Shakhtar 1-1 Celtic
Chelsea 1-1 Salzburg – RECAP & HIGHLIGHTS
Rangers 0-3 Napoli
Real Madrid 2-0 RB Leipzig
Man City 2-1 Dortmund – RECAP & HIGHLIGHTS
Copenhagen 0-0 Sevilla
Juventus 1-2 Benfica
Maccabi Haifa 1-3 Paris Saint-Germain


JPW’s Champions League predictions – Matchday 2

Matchday 2

Tuesday, 13 September
Plzen 1-3 Inter
Sporting CP 1-1 Tottenham
Liverpool 3-2 Ajax
Porto 2-1 Club Brugge
Leverkusen 1-2 Atletico
Bayern 2-2 Barcelona
Marseille 2-1 Frankfurt

Wednesday, 14 September
AC Milan 2-1 Dinamo Zagreb
Shakhtar 1-2 Celtic
Chelsea 2-0 Salzburg
Rangers 1-3 Napoli
Real Madrid 2-1 Leipzig
Man City 3-2 Dortmund
Copenhagen 1-2 Sevilla
Juventus 1-2 Benfica
Maccabi Haifa 0-4 Paris


Matchday 1

Tuesday, 6 September
Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea — Highlights, Tuchel’s furious response
Dortmund 3-0 Copenhagen — WATCH: Reyna’s two assists
Salzburg 1-1 AC Milan — Dest makes Milan debut off bench
Celtic 0-3 Real Madrid — Carter-Vickers’ Bhoys eventually falter
Leipzig 1-4 Shakhtar — Ukrainians off to rollicking start
Sevilla 0-4 Man City– Highlights, Guardiola’s glowing reaction
Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Juventus — McKennie scores in loss
Benfica 2-0 Maccabi Haifa — Cohen makes 3 saves in loss

Wednesday, 7 September
Ajax 4-0 Rangers — Dutch giants hammer Gers as Alvarez gets ball rolling
Frankfurt 0-3 Sporting CP — Portuguese giants led by Edwards’ opener
Napoli 4-1 Liverpool — Highlights as Klopp’s boys run ragged
Atletico 2-1 Porto — Griezmann scores 101st minute winner amid late drama
Club Brugge 1-0 Leverkusen — Sylla seals big win for Belgian champs
Barcelona 5-1 Plzen — Lewandowski hat trick leads rout
Inter 0-2 Bayern — Sane unplayable as Bayern ease to win
Tottenham 2-0 Marseille — Richarlison the late hero on his UCL debut

Matchday 3

Tuesday, 4 October
Bayern vs Plzen (12:45)
Marseille vs Sporting CP (12:45)
Liverpool vs Rangers (3:00)
Ajax vs Napoli (3:00)
Porto vs Leverkusen (3:00)
Club Brugge vs Atletico (3:00)
Inter vs Barcelona (3:00)
Frankfurt vs Tottenham (3:00)

Wednesday, 5 October
Salzburg vs Dinamo Zagreb (12:45)
Leipzig vs Celtic (12:45)
Chelsea vs AC Milan (3:00)
Real Madrid vs Shakhtar (3:00)
Man City vs Copenhagen (3:00)
Sevilla vs Dortmund (3:00)
Juventus vs Maccabi Haifa (3:00)
Benfica vs Paris (3:00)

Matchday 4

Tuesday, 11 October
Copenhagen vs Man City (12:45)
Maccabi Haifa vs Juventus (12:45)
Dinamo Zagreb vs Salzburg (3:00)
AC Milan vs Chelsea (3:00)
Shakhtar vs Real Madrid (3:00)
Celtic vs Leipzig (3:00)
Dortmund vs Sevilla (3:00)
Paris vs Benfica (3:00)

Wednesday, 12 October
Napoli vs Ajax (12:45)
Atletico vs Club Brugge (12:45)
Rangers vs Liverpool (3:00)
Leverkusen vs Porto (3:00)
Barcelona vs Inter (3:00)
Plzen vs Bayern (3:00)
Tottenham vs Frankfurt (3:00)
Sporting CP vs Marseille (3:00)

Matchday 5

Tuesday, 25 October
Salzburg vs Chelsea (12:45)
Sevilla vs Copenhagen (12:45)
Dinamo Zagreb vs AC Milan (3:00)
Celtic vs Shakhtar (3:00)
Leipzig vs Real Madrid (3:00)
Dortmund vs Man City (3:00)
Paris vs Maccabi Haifa (3:00)
Benfica vs Juventus (3:00)

Wednesday, 26 October
Club Brugge vs Porto (12:45)
Inter vs Plzen (12:45)
Napoli vs Rangers (3:00)
Ajax vs Liverpool (3:00)
Atletico vs Leverkusen (3:00)
Barcelona vs Bayern (3:00)
Tottenham vs Sporting CP (3:00)
Frankfurt vs Marseille (3:00)

Matchday 6

Tuesday, 1 November
Porto vs Atletico (18:45)
Leverkusen vs Club Brugge (18:45)
Liverpool vs Napoli (21:00)
Rangers vs Ajax (21:00)
Bayern vs Inter (21:00)
Plzen vs Barcelona (21:00)
Sporting CP vs Frankfurt (21:00)
Marseille vs Tottenham (21:00)

Wednesday, 2 November
Real Madrid vs Celtic (12:45)
Shakhtar vs Leipzig (12:45)
Chelsea vs Dinamo Zagreb (3:00)
AC Milan vs Salzburg (3:00)
Man City vs Sevilla (3:00)
Copenhagen vs Dortmund (3:00)
Juventus vs Paris (3:00)
Maccabi Haifa vs Benfica (3:00)


Knockout stage dates

Round of 16 draw: 7 November
Round of 16: 14/15/21/22 February & 7/8/14/15 March 2023
Quarter-final and semi-final draw: 17 March 2023
Quarter-finals: 11/12 & 18/19 April 2023
Semi-finals: 9/10 & 16/17 May 2023
Final: 10 June 2023


Champions League group stage draw

Group A
Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers

Group B
Porto, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Brugge

Group C
Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Viktoria Plzen

Group D
Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham Hotspur, Sporting CP, Marseille

Group E
AC Milan, Chelsea, Red Bull Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb

Group F
Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic

Group G
Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, Copenhagen

Group H
Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa