Goncalo Guedes

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Portugal beats Netherlands to claim inaugural Nations League crown

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Portugal can officially call themselves the undisputed kings of Europe after adding the inaugural 2019 Nations League trophy to their 2016 European Championship triumph by beating the Netherlands 1-0 on Sunday.

[ MORE: Lifeless USMNT hammered by Venezuela in final pre-Gold Cup tune-up ]

Goncalo Guedes scored the game’s only goal, right on the hour mark, hammering a right-footed shot off the fingertips of Jasper Cillessen.

Memphis Depay went oh so close to equalizing in the 65th minute, but Rui Patricio was lightning-quick to get down and deny the Lyon star’s header from eight yards out.

Cristiano Ronaldo was rendered largely ineffective by Virgil Van Dijk, but the Dutch were denied their first major trophy since winning the 1988 European Championship. In six games played between the group stage and this week’s knockout showdown on their home turf, Portugal conceded just four goals (three in four games during the group stage, one in Wednesday’s semifinal).

Head coach Fernando Santos will forever be and all-time legend in his homeland after delivering two major trophies in three years’ time.

Valencia hands Madrid its first loss since Zidane’s return

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MADRID (AP) Valencia beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the Spanish league on Wednesday, handing Zinedine Zidane his first loss since returning as coach.

Goncalo Guedes and Ezequiel Garay scored in each half for Valencia at Mestalla Stadium, before Karim Benzema pulled one back for Madrid in second-half injury time.

[ MORE: Tottenham stadium a game changer ]

The result extended Valencia’s unbeaten streak to 12 league matches and moved the team to fifth place in the standings, one point behind Getafe in the final Champions League spot.

Valencia had a dismal start to the season but hasn’t lost in 17 consecutive matches in all competitions.

Madrid, now five points behind second-place Atletico Madrid, had beaten Celta Vigo and Huesca in its first two matches since re-hiring Zidane, who quit nine months ago after leading the club to three straight Champions League titles.

Atletico defeated Girona 2-0 at home on Tuesday to move within eight points of leader Barcelona, which scored a couple of late goals in a 4-4 draw at Villarreal. Barcelona hosts Atletico on Saturday.

Madrid controlled possession from the start but it was Valencia that threatened the most on counterattacks.

Guedes opened the scoring with a right-foot shot from inside the area in the 35th minute and Garay sealed the victory with a header in the 83rd for his second goal of the season, with the other coming in the team’s 1-1 home draw against Barcelona.

LATE TRIUMPH

Athletic Bilbao relinquished a two-goal lead but salvaged a 3-2 home victory with a penalty kick converted by Iker Muniain three minutes into injury time.

Levante evened the match with two second-half goals, including one in the 89th minute, but the hosts recovered after Muniain was fouled inside the area and scored from the spot.

It was the third win in a row for Athletic, which is eighth in the standings.

Levante, winless in six matches, stayed 15th.

OTHER RESULTS

Celta Vigo also relinquished a two-goal lead in its match at last-place Huesca, allowing the hosts to rally and take a 3-2 lead before netting an 81st-minute equalizer to salvage a point. A victory would have been enough to move Celta out of the relegation zone, but it ended one point from safety.

Second-to-last Rayo Vallecano, five points behind Celta and one point in front of Huesca, lost 2-1 at midtable Eibar.

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Manchester United can’t break down Valencia

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  • United second in Group H
  • Valencia given six yellow cards
  • Two with Juventus next
  • Alexis gets start

Manchester United couldn’t find a way past Valencia in a scoreless draw at Old Trafford on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League.

The Red Devils are three points ahead of Valencia and two behind Juventus ahead of back-to-back match-ups with old friend Cristiano Ronaldo.

United had four of the match’s five shots on target, and out-attempted Valencia 17-8.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

United were clearly the superior side over the first 45 minutes, but what good is that without danger? Aside from a pair of Romelu Lukaku hopeful crosses and two even more hopeful penalty shouts, the Red Devils couldn’t find a way through.

Goncalo Guedes had the first chance of the second half for either side, hitting a shot from the chalk of the 18 that sailed wide of the frame.

United wasted a corner kick won by Paul Pogba in the 53rd as the Old Trafford crowd implored its men to attack.

Valencia goalkeeper Neto popped a laser free kick from Pogba over the bar in the 62nd minute, and an inspired tackle from Luke Shaw nearly set Pogba up for a penalty kick on the ensuing corner kick.

Alexis Sanchez left the match with 15 minutes to play after an uninspiring return to the lineup. Anthony Martial took his place, and drew a free kick from the right edge of the 18. Marcus Rashford ripped his effort off the crossbar.

Luke Shaw sent an 88th minute corner kick toward the near post, and Romelu Lukaku headed over the goal.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Valencia reaches deal to sign Guedes from PSG

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MADRID (AP) Valencia says it has reached a deal to sign Portugal winger Goncalo Guedes from Paris Saint-Germain.

[ MORE: The latest Premier League player power rankings ]

Guedes played for Valencia last season on loan from the French club.

Valencia did not give details on the transfer fee and contract length on Monday, though Spanish media said the deal was worth 40 million euros ($46.7 million).

The 21-year-old Guedes was part of Portugal’s squad at the World Cup in Russia.

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Portugal announces squad for USMNT visit

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Portugal’s squad to face the United States men’s national team on Nov. 14 at Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa in Leiria includes Man City’s Bernardo Silva and Besiktas’ Pepe but leaves Cristiano Ronaldo at home.

Barcelona’s Nelson Semedo, AC Milan’s Andre Silva, and promising Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes are a part of Fernando Santos’ side.

[ MORE: Lukaku responds to criticism ]

Other notable names missing for the match against a youth-heavy USMNT are Rui Patricio, Jose Fonte, Cedric Soares, William Carvalho, Andre Gomes, Ricardo Quaresma, and Renato Sanches.

The match is the first for the United States since its elimination from World Cup qualifying, and will be the first for caretaker manager Dave Sarachan. It will be the second for Portugal following a friendly with Saudi Arabia.

The USMNT roster likely waits to see which MLS teams are eliminated from the playoffs at the conclusion of Sunday’s MLS Cup Playoffs conference semifinals.

Goalkeepers: Beto, Anthony Lopes, Jose Sa

Defenders: Antunes, Kevin Rodrigues, Pepe, Luis Neto, Ricardo Ferreira, Edgar Ie, Nelson Semedo, Ricardo Pereira, Joao Cancelo.

Midfielders: Danilo Pereira, Ruben Neves, Joao Mario, Manuel Fernandes, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Ronny Lopes, Gelson Martins, Bruma.

Forwards: Goncalo Guedes, Andre Silva, Eder.