Champions League Draw: Liverpool vs Roma, Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich

Liverpool have been handed a golden opportunity to reach their first Champions League final in 11 years after they were handed a semi-final against Roma.

The Italians were the surprise package of the quarter-finals after shocking Barcelona at the Stadio Olimpico, coming back from 4-1 on aggregate to knock out the five-time winners, but they still present the easiest draw for the Premier League side.

As a result, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, two heavyweights of the competition, will slug it out for the other spot in May’s final as they renew their formidable rivalry.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men face the Serie A side at Anfield for the first leg on either the 24th or the 25th of April, before travelling to the Italian capital on either the 1st or 2nd of May.

There they will return to the scene of one of their most famous European nights, where they beat Roma in their own back yard in the 1984 European Cup final.

The victory came at the height of Liverpool’s powers in the 1980s, with captain Graeme Souness famously leading his side in a rendition of ‘I don’t know what it is, but I love it’ by Chris Rea in the tunnel before kick off.

It will also see Liverpool talisman Mo Salah come up against his old club.

The Egyptian left Roma for Merseyside in the summer, having spent two seasons and scored 34 goals for the Giallorossi.

He has surpassed that total in less than one season at Anfield and will be the player Eusebio Di Francesco’s team have to stop if they have any hopes of pulling off what would be another almighty upset.

-dailymail

‘If We Go To war, I’d Always Want Him With Me’ – Conte Hints At Signing Vidal

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has refused to rule out a move for £53million Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal.

The pair worked together at Juventus for three years between 2011 and 2014.

Chelsea secured a 2-0 victory over Brighton on Tuesday, but are 13 points behind league leaders Manchester City.

After initially refusing to talk about a player in a different team in his post-match press conference, Conte did eventually reveal his thoughts on the Chile international.

‘I don’t speak about players from other teams’ card,’ he said.

‘I must be honest, it’s not right to talk about a player of another team. Especially if you try to link this player with us.

‘But Arturo is a fantastic player, I have a great respect for Arturo, and we spent many years in Juventus together.

‘If we go to war, I’d always want him with me.’

Conte and Vidal won three Serie A titles together and the duo could be reunited.

Vidal’s contract at Munich does not end until 2019, but he has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.

-dailymail

Hilarious Reactions After Bayern Munich Wished Kenyans A Happy Jamhuri Day

Kenyans on social media went crazy with excitement after top German football team, Bayern Munich wished their Kenyan fans a happy Jamhuri Day on Tuesday on their official Facebook page.

Most Kenyans were surprised that the club would actually take their time and do what most top European clubs have never done. They took it to the comment section where they thanked the club’s Facebook administrator while taking the chance to unleash their comic sides.

Jamhuri.day

Below are some of the hilarious comments.

Wambugu Musango. Thank you. But am still not happy with you guys there is a weekend I lost MultiBet coz of you. I was to pocket 1M ksh…just organise how to pay me ASAP.

Emmanuel Gokpolu. Thanks FC Bayern München.

To all NASArites, please do not bring your resistive politics here. Enjoy this day and be grateful that a European team said happy Jamhuri.

Denisaysantmuridi Juniaz. Due to that am officially Bayern Munich fan

Epl bye bye so far man united n mou your stressing me better the bavarians who wishes us happy jamhuri n they dont know what is losing in a game

#footballismadeingermany

Allan Mwangi Melchowistz.  I’m willing to put aside the beef I have with you as an Arsenal fan and say thank you for the wishes, that was thoughtful. Also, thank you for not following us down to the Europa League, that was also thoughtful.

Neymar Stars As PSG Smash Seven Past Celtic, Manchester United Lose To Basle

Manchester United yesterday failed to secure a place in the Champions League round of sixteen as they lost one nil to Basle in Switzerland. United dominated the first half of the game, with Marouane Fellaini and Marcos Rojo hitting the woodwork.

But, on the brink of securing the point they needed to reach the knockout stage, the visitors were undone by Michael Lang’s 89th-minute goal. United can still qualify as group winners if they beat or draw with CSKA Moscow in their final group stage match.

Elsewhere, Barcelona eased to round of sixteen after settling for a barren with Juventus, Chelsea also booked a place in the knock out stage after beating Qarabag four nil while Bayern Munich were 2-1 winners over Anderlecht.

PSG ran rout as they battered Celtic FC 7-1.

It’s now 39 matches since Monaco travelled to the Parc des Princes in March 2016 and became the last away team to win. Thirteen years since anyone won in the Champions League here.

In nine home league games this season, Unai Emery’s runaway train have scored 32 times, conceding just five. In the Champions League, they hadn’t conceded so much as a goal.

-Dailymail

UCL: PSG Demolish Bayern Munich As Chelsea, United And Juventus Register Vital Wins

Michy Batshuayi snatched a last minute winner, as Chelsea overcame Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the champions league second group match, to retain top spot.

Alvaro Morata restored parity, after Antoine Griezmann’s first half penalty had put the hosts ahead.

UCL: Kane Bags Hat-trick In Spurs Win As Ronaldo Leads Madrid To A Commanding Win Over Dortmund

Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku grabbed a brace as Manchester United thrashed CSKA Moscow 4-1 for their second straight win. Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were also on target.

Other matches saw PSG demolish Bayern Munich 3-0, with Dani Alves, Edison Cavani and Neymar on target. Barcelona beat Sporting Lisbon 1-0, while Juventus picked their first points with a 2-0 victory over Olympiakos.

Ex-Bayern Munich Midfielder Xabi Alonso Announces Plans To Become A Manager

Former Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso has announced he will pursue a career in football management having hung up his boots at the end of last season.

Alonso, who won 114 caps for Spain and won the Champions League twice during a glittering playing career, has been doing his coaching badges since his final game for Bayern Munich in May.

There were reports that the 35-year-old could be in line to return to Liverpool as a coach, where he would be reunited with the club’s Under-18s manager Steven Gerrard.

But Alonso, dressed in a smart suit beside a football pitch, has released a cryptic message which suggests his future lies elsewhere as a man in the dugout as much as at the training ground.

In a short Instagram story, he said: ‘After 17 years in the game, I have considered the next step in my career. I have decided to go into management. Find out soon. #HereToCreate.’

-Dailymail

‘Get Me To Real Madrid!’ Bayern Striker Lewandowski Urges Agent To ‘Push Through A Deal’

Robert Lewandowski has instructed his agent to push through a move from Bayern Munich to Real Madrid, according to AS.

The Polish striker made waves earlier this summer when he questioned why the German champions didn’t match the spending of Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge then added fuel to the flame by mentioning in an interview with German newspaper Bild that Real Madrid was ‘the club of Lewandowski’s dreams’.

And now, according to the Spanish outlet, these issues have come to a head with the forward believing this is the perfect time to make the move to the Bernabeu and insisting his agent sounds out the La Liga giants.

The 29-year-old has been prolific since his switch from Borussia Dortmund back in 2014 — netting a remarkable 117 times in just 153 matches.

Meetings between Bayern and the player’s representatives are expected to be frequent this season. The club hope to quell the situation but still reap the rewards of the striker — who has scored over 40 goals in each of the last two seasons — on the pitch.

As things stand, the Real Madrid board does not sanction purchases of players aged over 30.

Los Blancos are keen on a move for RB Leipzig star Timo Werner but Lewandowski, who will be 30 next summer, is adamant his agent persists.

The Pole has made a typically impressive start to the season in Bavaria, scoring seven in six outings in all competitions.

-DailyMail

Mane Tears Bayern Munich Apart As Liverpool Cruise Into Audi Cup final

Sadio Mane provided a thrilling reminder of what Liverpool missed last season as he led Liverpool into the final of the Audi Cup.

Though Liverpool ultimately clambered into the top four, Mane’s absence through injury was keenly felt in the closing weeks but, on the evidence he provided against a startled Bayern Munich, he has returned better than ever.

There was a sting in the tail for Jurgen Klopp, however, who saw Daniel Sturridge sustain what appeared to be a thigh injury as he scored the final goal in a comprehensive 3-0 dismantling of their distinguished hosts.

Mane opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a wonderful finish and then provided a piece of magic to create for the second as Liverpool blitzed Carlo Ancelotti’s team, scoring three unanswered goals to set up a collision tonight with Atletico Madrid, who had earlier beaten Napoli 2-1.

It looked when Liverpool signed Salah that they had been held to ransom by AS Roma and paid an excessive fee for a player whose only previous experience of Premier League football was a floundering one at Chelsea.

That, however, was his fourth goal in five matches for Salah and the pace he provides in those jet-heeled bursts from the halfway line will cause headaches for many, many teams. This looks to be a quality addition.

Sturridge had only been on the field minutes when Ben Woodburn sent him through. His chipped finish was exquisite but he immediately pulled up lame. It remains to be seen how serious the matter is but his expression as he hobbled off said everything.

-Dailymail

Arsenal Hand Bayern 4-3 Defeat In Shootout As Wenger’s Men Receive Pre-season Boost

Arsene Wenger got the defensive test he was seeking against Bayern Munich – the only problem was Arsenal had very few genuine defenders on the pitch to benefit.

Per Mertesacker pulled out before kick-off feeling ill, Laurent Koscileny did not feature and Sead Kolasinac was forced off before half-time.

Olivier Giroud was also unwell and stayed in the hotel, all of which raised the usual questions about the sense in combining pre-season training schedules with the sweltering tropical heat of venues such as Shanghai.

Assistant manager Steve Bould was another conspicuous by his absence on the bench, which was a shame because he might have been useful at centre-half.

Arsenal finished the game with a back-five of Reiss Nelson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mohamed Elneny, Nacho Monreal and Cohen Bramall and, all things considered, they responded very well.

They went behind to a Robert Lewandowski penalty, early in the game, but Alex Iwobi summoned an equaliser with the very last kick of the game, heading in from an Aaron Ramsey cross.

Arsenal went on to win 3-2 on penalties with back-up goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saving two spot-kicks. It was a remarkable outcome considering what had gone before.

Bayern picked a strong side and started with purpose, looking closer to a team ready to start the season. They seemed to cope better with the stifling heat, helped by the fact they had the ball for most of the game but paid the price for squandering chances.

The only goal for Carlo Ancelotti’s side was Lewandowski’s penalty, confidently converted after a clumsy challenge by Maitland-Niles on Juan Bernat in the ninth minute.

It was a soft decision by the Chinese referee, Bernat went down with barely a trace of contact and the decision would have been heavily disputed were it not just part of a glorified training exercise.

Arsenal improved after the break and came into the game as Bayern faded but their prospects of equalising were largely confined to the occasional breaks out of defence.

Just as the equaliser seemed to have eluded them, Iwobi burst forward and scored a fabulous diving header.The Chinese crowd were delighted to find out it would be decided by penalty shoot-out.

-Dailymail

Juventus Confirm Signing Of Douglas Costa On £5m One-Year Loan Deal From Bundesliga Winners Bayern Munich

Juventus have confirmed the signing of Douglas Costa on a one-year loan deal.

The Bayern Munich winger joins the club for a loan fee of €6million (£5m), with Juventus having the option to buy the player for €40m (£35m), which may increase by €1m for performance-related bonuses.

Costa, 26, admitted that it was something of a career goal to play for the Turin giants.

Juventus have announced the arrival of Brazilian Douglas Costa on a one-year loan deal

 Juventus have announced the arrival of Brazilian Douglas Costa on a one-year loan deal.

He told Juventus.com: ‘I am delighted to join Juventus and be part of this great club. I want to thank the club for all the effort they’ve put into signing me. I am really pleased to sign.

‘I’d always dreamed of playing here. I’m delighted to be part of this club and can’t wait to start training with my team-mates.

And in terms of his personal goals at the Allianz Stadium, he added: ‘I just want to keep helping my team-mates, like I did at Bayern Munich. We achieved a lot and I enjoyed my time there, but I think I can do even more at Juventus.

‘I’ve just come from a club where you’re used to winning every game you play so i’m going to continue with the mentality of trying to play as well as possible.’

    –Daily Mail