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VIDEO: Watch Romelu Lukaku rap

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Romelu Lukaku has been spitting some rhymes.

The Manchester United and Belgium striker, 25, tried his hand at rapping, in partnership with Puma and BR Football.

Before you chime in with comments about Lukaku ‘missing a beat’ or ‘not finishing his verse’ have a listen and see if he has what it takes to make this a side gig.

Most intriguing part of this for me: his Belgian accent disappears and is replaced with an American twang.

Below is a look at Lukaku in full flow, on the mic.


UEFA Nations League: England reach finals; Belgium capitulate

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in the UEFA Nations League…

[ MORE: USMNT injuries ahead of Italy friendly | Injuries for Italy, too ]

England 2-1 Croatia

The best rivalries in sports are the ones born out of contentious, high-stakes meetings on the field of play and the inevitable spill-over of words thereafter. Along those very lines, something of a rivalry is brewing between England and Croatia, and it’s all happened within a six-month period in 2018.

There was, of course, the two nations’ 2018 World Cup semifinal meeting in July, followed by the first of two rematches in the Nations League last month, and finally Sunday’s League A Group 4 finale. In between all of those on-field meetings, though, came the stoking of fires in the form of a verbal jab here and there.

Sunday’s clash at Wembley Stadium, which saw the Croats go ahead not long before the hour mark and appear destined for victory and the top spot in the group, only to watch their lead slip away in a late collapse, will only have added to the budding disdain between the two squads.

Andrej Kramaric put the visitors ahead int he 57th minute, but Jesse Lingard (78th) and Harry Kane (85th) brought the Three Lions back for a dramatic victory and pushed Gareth Southgate‘s to a first-place finish in the group. As such, England (7 points) joined Portugal in the final-four knockout stage.

Nearly as sweet for England, the result sends Croatia (4 points) bottom of the group, and they’ll be relegated to League B next time around.

Switzerland 5-2 Belgium

From 2-0 up, to an embarrassing 5-2 defeat, Sunday was certainly a day to forget — and an opportunity missed — for Belgium. A draw over victory against Switzerland would have seen the Red Devils finish top of League A Group 2, and they were in poll position for precisely that result after just 17 minutes, when they led 2-0 courtesy of Thorgan Hazard‘s early brace.

From that point forward, not a single thing went right for Roberto Martinez’s side as the home side score five unanswered goals from that point forward. It was 2-2 fewer than 15 minutes later — Ricardo Rodriguez and Haris Seferovic (penalty kick made it so — and Seferovic made it 3-2 just before halftime. There would be no galvanizing of the troops after the intermission, as Nico Elvedi scored his first international goal to make it 4-2 in the 62nd minute. Seferovic completed his hat trick, and the 5-2 scoreline, in the 84th.

In the end, it’s the Swiss who’ll join England and Portugal in the League A finals, by virtue of the second tiebreaker — goal differential in head-to-head matchups.

Elsewhere in UEFA Nations League

League B Group 3

Northern Ireland 1-2 Austria

League C Group 2

Hungary 2-0 Finland
Greece 0-1 Estonia

League D Group 2

San Marino 0-2 Belarus
Moldova 1-1 Luxembourg

Monday’s UEFA Nations League schedule

League A Group 1

Germany vs. Netherlands — 2:45 p.m. ET

League B Group 1

Czech Republic vs. Slovakia — 2:45 p.m. ET

League B Group 4

Denmark vs. Ireland — 2:45 p.m. ET

League C Group 3

Cyprus vs. Norway — 2:45 p.m. ET
Bulgaria vs. Slovakia — 2:45 p.m. ET

League D Group 1

Georgia vs. Kazakhstan — 12 p.m. ET
Andorra vs. Latvia — 12 p.m. ET

League D Group 4

Macedonia vs. Gibraltar — 2:45 p.m. ET
Liechtenstein vs. Armenia — 2:45 p.m. ET

Lingard: Making it to the UEFA Nations League finals is ‘what we want’

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For the second time in five months, the England National Team is in the final four of an international competition.

England enacted some measure of revenge against Croatia on Sunday, completing an impressive 2-1 comeback victory over the World Cup finalists which beat England in the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Substitute Jesse Lingard scored the game-tying goal before Harry Kane finished the winner in the 85th minute. It’s the latest success for an England National Team program that saw its teams win the FIFA Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups in 2017.

“It’s good, this is what we want, to play against the best teams in the world, to compete against the best and show our ability,” Lingard said following the game. “For us its another test, another semifinal. We’ve learned from Russia and we know what the job at hand is.”

It was a rollercoaster of emotions as England overcame a second half deficit to advance to the finals of the UEFA Nations League. For the first 56 minutes of the match, a scoreless draw was enough for England to stave off relegation while Spain would have advanced to the finals. However, Andrej Kramaric‘s looping goal in the 57th minute took the air out of Wembley Stadium, with England then needing two goals to survive relegation themselves.

Lingard, who came on 73rd minute, made an instant difference, along with winger Jadon Sancho, and Lingard came up with the game-tying goal four minutes after coming on.

“(Southgate) was just saying, as a sub you’ve gotta change the game,” Lingard said, “and the position I play in, I’ve got to get in the box as much as possible, get forward, make forward runs and try and change the game.”

Lingard was in the area in the 85th minute as Ben Chilwell delivered a terrific left-footed free kick into the box, one that was finished by Kane, leading to wild celebrations, ones that Lingard avoided earlier due to the situation of England needing two goals. Lingard, who some have nicknamed “Worldie” due to his propensity to score terrific goals, finished with a tap-in, but he’ll take it every day of the week.

“We were speaking about it the other day, me and Marcus (Rashford), (and he said) ‘you never score tap ins’, “Lingard said, “but I’ll take them all day long.”

Captain Kane: England completes incredible comeback over Croatia, tops group

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With a goal and an assist, England captain Harry Kane led the England National Team to a second half comeback in a 2-1 win over Croatia on Sunday morning at Wembley Stadium.

By winning, England advanced to the UEFA Nations League finals, where they’ll meet the other group winners from League A. England finished with seven points in League A Group 4. Spain had six points while Croatia, which could have topped the group, finished with four points and will be relegated to League B.

England had the lion’s share of chances in a nearly must-win game, with only a scoreless draw keeping England alive and staving off relegation. But Croatia looked put one foot in the UEFA Nations League finals when former Leicester City forward Andrej Kramarić scored in the 57th minute. Croatia’s stalwart defense frustrated England but a pair of substitutions changed the pace and tempo of the game.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

Jesse Lingard, moments after coming on, slid home a shot that was saved off the line by Dejan Lovren, tieing the score in the 78th minute and giving England real hope of securing a victory. The game-winning-goal came eight minutes later, as Kane stabbed home a goal off a free kick from left back Ben Chillwell. Jadon Sancho, another substitute, played a role late in pushing England forward down the right flank.

After just a few minutes of action, it looked as if England wound run away as easy winners, with Kane and Raheem Sterling linking together beautifully to get behind Croatia’s defense. But both Sterling and Kane were wasteful with their chances, and by the end of the first half, Croatia’s Ivan Peresic nearly gave England a shock with a decent chance to score.

Croatia, buoyed by its defensive display in the first half, came out with more energy in the second, eventually catching England on the counter as Kramaric scored off a deflection, the ball looping over England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. As things stood, England would be relegated while Croatia would continue their incredible 2018 calendar year.

England looked to get back into the game, but the pace and tempo was missing until coach Gareth Southgate brought on Sancho and Lingard in place of Fabian Delph and Marcus Rashford, who was lively down the left but limped off the field. It was Lingard who’d get the game-tying goal in dramatic fashion, slipping a ball across the line after a shot from Kane had been saved on the goalline.

The Three Lions continued to push and finally were rewarded with Kane’s winner in the 85th minute, holding on to secure the victory.

The game showcased all that was hoped for when UEFA came up with the Nations League concept, turning boring, friendly matches into exciting, meaningful tournament games. The experience gained by England’s players could be crucial as the side looks to prove it was no one-hit wonder from the 2018 World Cup, while Croatia may have to find some quicker defenders to deal with teams such as England, with speedy young attackers.

If this is how the Nations League continues to be in the future, then the more the merrier.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Man United bid for Koulibaly rejected, Cahill to Milan, and more

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Jose Mourinho has once again been rebuffed as he looks to shore up his shaky backline.

According to reports in Italy, Manchester United had a nearly $103 million mega transfer bid for centerback Kalidou Koulibaly rejected by his club Napoli. With Koulibaly having resigned recently with Napoli for a further five seasons, the reports state it would be well over $114 million for Napoli to part ways with their star defender.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Koulibaly, the French-born Senegal international, has been a revelation the last few seasons in Serie A, providing Napoli with a stalwart on the defensive line and helping the club become a regular in the top four of the league, pushing Juventus for a title. Should Man United dig deeper into their pockets for Koulibaly, he could have a similar impact as Virgil Van Dijk has had at Liverpool.

Here’s more rumors and transfer stories from around the Premier League:

(more…)