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Transfer news: Liverpool monitoring Ruiz, Ndicka

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Get ready for Liverpool links to midfielder upon midfielder given the strength of their attackers, defenders, and goalkeeper.

Actually, prepare for links to every position outside of starting goalkeeper.

The Reds were linked Saturday with Boubakary Soumare, whose status rose to a target of Chelsea and Manchester United in January. He reportedly turned down a move to Newcastle at the deadline.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The latest midfielder linked with Liverpool is Napoli star Fabian Ruiz, according to Football-Italia.

The Spaniard turns 24 in April.

Ruiz had three goals and six assists in La Liga play for Real Betis in 2017/18, and Napoli spent around $33 million to bring him to Serie A that summer.

He’s since scored 10 times with five assists in 72 appearances for Napoli. He’s passing at 90.5 percent this season, with 1.7 tackles and 1.2 tackles per game.

The Reds are also one of two Premier League clubs said to looking into Eintracht Frankfurt center back Evan Ndicka.

A left-footed center back, Ndicka is said to also interest Inter Milan, Arsenal, Sevilla, AC Milan, and Valencia (Sky Sports).

Arsenal has an option to buy left-footed center back Pablo Mari this summer, while Liverpool may part ways with Dejan Lovren. The Reds also use right-footed Virgil Van Dijk on the left side of their center back pairing.

Ndicka, 20, has fared better in Europa League than the Bundesliga, where he averages 1.3 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game.

Controversial late penalty helps Ronaldo, Juve to 1st leg draw at Milan

Coppa Italia
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Off-form for most of the day, Cristiano Ronaldo showed up when it mattered in earning and converting a controversial penalty in a 1-1 draw with 10-man AC Milan on Thursday in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semifinal tie.

Red-hot Ante Rebic and Milan nearly claimed control, but couldn’t hold onto the lead after Theo Hernandez was shown his second yellow card.

The two sides meet again March 4 in Turin. The other semifinal has Napoli leading Inter Milan 1-0 at the first leg in Milan.

Ronaldo was held without a shot on target until stoppage time, and Gianluigi Buffon was Juve’s star in the loss. The veteran goalkeeper kept the Old Lady in the match with nine saves.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Rebic scored off a Samu Castillejo assist as Milan took the lead before despite the 71st minute sending off of Theo Hernandez.

The defending was less than ideal on Rebic’s goal, as the Croatian scored for the fifth time in six matches. Rebic has caught fire with regular playing time after getting little chance to show his stuff in his first 10 matches since signing on a two-year loan from Eintracht Frankfurt.

Juventus had a lot of the ball, but AC Milan ripped off far more shots in the win. They carried an 18-7 advantage when Hernandez saw his second yellow card, but finished the day witha. 21-14 margin.

An airborne Davide Calabria was, we guess, supposed to know that Ronaldo’s overhead kick would strike the back of his elbow. Bad rule, correct call. Fix it.

The goal was Ronaldo’s eighth from the spot this season.

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern back in first; Haaland, BVB make history

Bayern Munich
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Death, taxes, and Bayern Munich summiting the Bundesliga table.

An RB Leipzig draw opened the door atop Germany’s top tier, and Bayern took advantage to reach the top spot for the first time since Matchday 6.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]


Borussia Dortmund 5-0 Union Berlin

Lucien Favre’s Dortmund is getting downright historic. BVB is the first Bundesliga team to ever score five goals in three consecutive matches, and Erling Haaland again scored a pair of goals to grab a measure of history himself.

Haaland is the first player in league history to score seven goals in his first three matches. That accompanies 100 percent shooting, as he’s only taken seven shots.

RB Leipzig 2-2 Borussia Monchengladbach

Leipzig didn’t keep its lead on the table, but also didn’t quit despite a 2-0 deficit and claimed a decent point.

Substitute Patrik Schick scored the first goal of the comeback and Christopher Nkunku hammered home an 89th minute laser to earn the result.

USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams went 69 minutes but was removed for new signing Dani Olmo as Leipzig sought more attack. Fellow American player Fabian Johnson was a stoppage time sub for Gladbach.

Mainz 1-3 Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski extended his lead in the scoring race to two over Timo Werner, as his 22nd goal of the league season led Bayern past Mainz.

Thomas Muller and Thiago Alcantara also scored, the latter assisted by Canada’s Alphonso Davies, to give Bayern a one-point advantage on Leipzig.

Augsburg 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

Timmy Chandler’s Bundesliga resurgence continues, as the one-time regular USMNT call-up struck late to give Eintracht Frankfurt a point at Fortuna Dusseldorf.

USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen isn’t out, so it’s not a case of American-on-American crime.

 

Elsewhere
Hertha Berlin 0-0 Schalke — Friday
Augsburg 2-1 Werder Bremen
Hoffenheim 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Koln v. Freiburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Paderborn v. Wolfsburg — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 20 13 3 4 58 23 35 7-1-2 6-2-2 42
 RB Leipzig 20 12 5 3 53 25 28 6-3-1 6-2-2 41
 Borussia Dortmund 20 11 6 3 56 28 28 7-3-0 4-3-3 39
 Mönchengladbach 20 12 3 5 38 23 15 8-1-1 4-2-4 39
 Bayer Leverkusen 20 10 4 6 31 24 7 4-4-2 6-0-4 34
 FC Schalke 04 20 9 7 4 31 26 5 5-4-1 4-3-3 34
 1899 Hoffenheim 20 10 3 7 31 31 0 5-1-5 5-2-2 33
 SC Freiburg 19 8 5 6 29 26 3 4-2-3 4-3-3 29
 FC Augsburg 20 7 5 8 33 39 -6 5-2-3 2-3-5 26
 Eintracht Frankfurt 20 7 4 9 32 31 1 5-3-2 2-1-7 25
 VfL Wolfsburg 19 6 6 7 20 23 -3 3-4-3 3-2-4 24
 1. FC Union Berlin 20 7 2 11 23 32 -9 6-0-4 1-2-7 23
 Hertha BSC Berlin 20 6 5 9 24 34 -10 3-2-5 3-3-4 23
 1. FC Köln 19 6 2 11 23 38 -15 4-1-4 2-1-7 20
 FSV Mainz 05 20 6 0 14 28 47 -19 3-0-7 3-0-7 18
 Werder Bremen 20 4 5 11 25 46 -21 1-2-6 3-3-5 17
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 20 4 4 12 19 41 -22 3-2-5 1-2-7 16
 SC Paderborn 19 4 3 12 23 40 -17 2-1-7 2-2-5 15

Bundesliga wrap: Adams, Werner star as Leipzig pads lead

Americans star in Bundesliga play
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The Bundesliga returned Saturday after its winter break, bringing a cavalcade of impactful American stories to the field.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule


RB Leipzig 3-1 Union Berlin

The table leaders got two goals from Timo Werner and a goal and an assist from Marcel Sabitzer to open the second phase of the season with a bang.

Leipzig has a five-point lead on second-place Gladbach, though Bayern Munich can pull within four points with a win at Jurgen Klinsmann’s Hertha Berlin on Sunday morning.

American midfielder Tyler Adams had another strong day in the win, going 86 minutes and gathering over 100 touches while completing 84 percent of his passes. He registered two key passes and a shot on target to go with a clearance, blocked shot, interception, and tackle. Adams was fouled four times.

Augsburg 3-5 Borussia Dortmund

Erling Braut Haaland became the first Borussia Dortmund player to score a hat trick on debut since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as BVB came back from 2-0 and 3-1 holes to move onto 33 points.

Watch Haaland’s incredible day here. Jadon Sancho had a goal and an assist, while Julian Brandt also scored for BVB. Florian Niederlechner scored twice for Augsburg, with Marco Richter also finding the back of the net.

American teenager Giovanni Reyna also made his debut in the win, earning praise from manager Lucien Favre.

Hoffenheim 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt

That’s right wing Timmy Chandler to you.

After missing all but one match last season due to injuries and fitness, the 29-year-old former USMNT mainstay has his first Bundesliga goal since Feb. 19, 2018.

Chandler rose above the fray to power home a match-winning header to move Eintracht four points clear of the relegation places, surprising a Hoffenheim side with designs on a return to Europe.

Bas Dost scored Eintracht’s other goal, with Konstantinos Stafylidis equalizing just after halftime.

Fortuna Dusseldorf 0-1 Werder Bremen

American forward Josh Sargent made his return from injury, playing 86 minutes in a huge win for Bremen. The visitors climbed over the now 17th place hosts via a Florian Kastenmeier goal.

USMNT midfielder Alfredo Morales played well over 71 minutes in the loss, while Zack Steffen missed out with a reported knee injury.

Elsewhere

Schalke 2-0 Borussia Monchengladbach — Friday| RECAP
Koln 3-1 Wolfsburg
Mainz 1-2 Freiburg
Hertha Berlin v. Bayern Munich — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Paderborn v. Bayer Leverkusen — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 RB Leipzig 18 12 4 2 51 21 30 6-2-1 6-2-1 40
 Mönchengladbach 18 11 2 5 33 20 13 7-1-1 4-1-4 35
 Bayern Munich 17 10 3 4 46 22 24 6-1-2 4-2-2 33
 Borussia Dortmund 18 9 6 3 46 27 19 5-3-0 4-3-3 33
 FC Schalke 04 18 9 6 3 31 21 10 5-4-1 4-2-2 33
 SC Freiburg 18 8 5 5 29 24 5 4-2-2 4-3-3 29
 Bayer Leverkusen 17 8 4 5 23 21 2 3-4-2 5-0-3 28
 1899 Hoffenheim 18 8 3 7 26 30 -4 4-1-5 4-2-2 27
 VfL Wolfsburg 18 6 6 6 19 21 -2 3-4-2 3-2-4 24
 FC Augsburg 18 6 5 7 31 36 -5 4-2-3 2-3-4 23
 Eintracht Frankfurt 18 6 3 9 29 30 -1 4-3-2 2-0-7 21
 1. FC Union Berlin 18 6 2 10 21 27 -6 5-0-4 1-2-6 20
 1. FC Köln 18 6 2 10 22 33 -11 4-1-4 2-1-6 20
 Hertha BSC Berlin 17 5 4 8 22 29 -7 3-1-4 2-3-4 19
 FSV Mainz 05 18 6 0 12 26 41 -15 3-0-6 3-0-6 18
 Werder Bremen 18 4 5 9 24 41 -17 1-2-5 3-3-4 17
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 18 4 3 11 18 37 -19 3-1-5 1-2-6 15
 SC Paderborn 17 3 3 11 20 36 -16 2-1-6 1-2-5 12

Arsenal blows home lead, fails to clinch

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Daichi Kamada scored twice in the second half as Eintracht Frankfurt extended Arsenal’s winless run to seven matches with a 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

The Gunners still lead the group with 10 points, with Eintracht moving a point behind them. The Gunners travel to Standard Liege for the finale, with the Belgians three points back.

[ MORE: Emery reacts to loss, Xhaka ]

Arsenal is winless in seven matches across all competitions, and manager Unai Emery is in trouble.

Granit Xhaka returned to the Starting XI for the first time since getting booed off the field and reacting with vigor, and was possibly the Gunners’ Man of the Match in the loss.

Arsenal led at the break through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who slashed a dummied pass inside the near post after some fine work from Bukayo Saka.

Japanese midfielder Kamada scored in the 55th minute to tie things up and made it 2-1 less than 10 minutes later, his second and third goals to go with six assists in 24 matches since arriving from Belgian side Sint-Truidense.

[ MORE: Wolves clinch place ]

Here’s Arsenal’s goal: