Roberto Firmino is back from vacation, refreshed and ready to keep scoring goals for Liverpool.
The Brazilian bagged a beauty off a Mohamed Salah feed as Liverpool closed out preseason with a 3-1 win over Torino on Tuesday at Anfield.
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Georginio Wijnaldum and Daniel Sturridge also scored for the Reds, and Fabinho missed a Sadio Mane-won penalty in the victory.
Andrea Belotti scored Torino’s goal.
Liverpool hosts West Ham in its Premier League opener on Sunday. Here’s the Firmino goal.
Joe Hart has returned to Manchester City after spending last season on loan at West Ham, and his future is very much up in the air as it stands.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was asked about Hart’s situation at the pre-match press conference prior to City’s International Champions Cup match against Borussia Dortmund. He confirmed they are shopping the English veteran. “We’re going to try and make a solution for Joe,” Guardiola told reporters, “but if not then he is with us. He’s one of the best professionals I’ve ever seen but at this moment he is with us.”
Guardiola also confirmed that Hart would play in the preseason game against Dortmund. Starting goalkeeper Ederson is not on the roster for the US preseason tour, having returned from participation in the 2018 World Cup with Brazil, although he didn’t play as he served as Alisson’s backup.
The former #1 England goalkeeper, Hart has struggled mightily in recent seasons. He last played a full Premier League season back in 2015/16, starting 35 games for Manchester City. However, he lost his place the following year and was loaned to Italian top flight club Torino. He had mixed success during his one year in Italy and was loaned out to West Ham last campaign with Ederson and Claudio Bravo entrenched at his parent club. Hart only made it half the season before losing his starting spot for the Hammers, replaced by Adrian. That saw him lose not just starting job with the England national team but his place in the squad, forcing Gareth Southgate to take a trio of inexperienced goalkeepers to the World Cup, leading to the emergence of Jordan Pickford.
West Ham returned Hart to Manchester City at the end of the season, and here he sits in limbo again. Hart has just one more year left on his contract, but according to the Manchester Evening News, wants to leave this season on a permanent deal anyway.
Tomorrow, Hart will get the opportunity – albeit a small one – to showcase himself to potential suitors. If he gets another chance to play in the ICC (Manchester City plays Liverpool and Bayern Munich before heading home to England), he will have another opportunity to plead his case.
MILAN (AP) Juventus has the champagne on ice after Napoli was held to a 2-2 draw by Torino on Sunday to all but mathematically hand the Bianconeri their seventh successive Serie A title.
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Napoli is six points behind Juventus with two matches remaining. The two sides have the same head-to-head record – which is the next deciding factor – but Juventus has a significantly better goal difference.
Juventus can mathematically secure the title at Roma next weekend.
After Juventus beat Bologna on Saturday, Napoli knew it needed a victory to keep the title race alive.
Napoli wasted a couple of opportunities before taking the lead in the 25th minute.
It was Dries Mertens’ 31st birthday and Nicolas Burdisso gifted him a goal as he failed to control a backpass with two awful touches, allowing the Belgium international to pounce and end his eight-round goal drought.
Torino leveled 10 minutes into the second half when Daniele Baselli’s effort was deflected in off Vlad Chiriches.
Substitute Arkadiusz Milik almost restored Napoli’s lead in the 70th minute but his powerful effort crashed off the left post.
Shortly after another substitute, Marek Hamsik, who had been on the pitch for less than two minutes, did fire Napoli in front again, curling into the right side of the net.
Milik should have sealed the result but he fired inches wide of the left post from close range and Lorenzo De Silvestri headed in the equalizer seven minutes from time.
The back-and-forth battle at the top of Serie A continued on Sunday as Juventus topped Torino at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, however, the visitors suffered a big injury scare in the process.
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Alex Sandro‘s winner came in the 33rd minute, but the focus of the match will leave all eyes on Gonzalo Higuain — who exited after just a quarter of an hour.
The Argentine international was looking to latch onto a through ball from Miralem Pjanic in the fifth minute, before jumping over an oncoming Salvatore Sirigu — goalkeeper for Torino.
Higuain appeared to land awkwardly on his ankle, though, and while he attempted to continue on in the match he was substituted off for Federico Bernardeschi 10 minutes later.
The extent of Higuain’s injury is unknown to this point, however, it comes at a very bad time for Juventus.
The Italian giants are heavily involved in the Serie A title race, holding a two-point lead over Napoli at the top of the table.
Additionally, Juve has important fixtures coming up in both the Coppa Italia and Champions League against Atalanta and Tottenham, respectively. Higuain and Co. are level at 2-2 with Spurs heading into their UCL second leg in early March, and Juve will surely need the striker’s presence to have a shot at advancing to the quarterfinals.
It’s truly a wonder that Andrea Belotti didn’t join the $100-million club this summer, during a transfer window in which the collective footballing world lost its mind with regard to fees paid for some of the world’s best players.
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The 23-year-old Italian international bagged 28 goals across all competitions last season (26 in Serie A), and he’s not yet arrived at one of the world’s 10 or 15 biggest clubs — Belotti just his third season at Torino, who, thanks in large part to his output, finished ninth last season.
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Whatever Belotti might have cost someone yesterday (he has a $129-million release clause for clubs outside of Italy, for what it’s worth), you can safely assume it’s gone up $20 million following the stunning overhead kick he scored (below video) during Torino’s 3-0 victory over Sassuolo on Sunday. (Yes, it’s ridiculous to think one goal — no matter how spectacular it might have been — could inflate a player’s price so much, but this is the summer transfer window of 2017.)