Tag: Tottenham

Ronaldo sets Champions League record as Real thrash Apoel Nicosia

Real Madrid’s forward from Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick during the UEFA Champions League football match Real Madrid CF vs APOEL FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on September 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo set another benchmark in the Champions League as Real Madrid thrashed Apoel Nicosa by 6-0 in the group stages.

32-year old Ronaldo scored twice in the second half to raise his tally to 18 Champions League goals in 2017 — the most scored by any player in the tournament within a calendar year.

A 3-1 defeat by Tottenham had postponed defending champions form making it to the last 16, but their win against Apoel and Spurs’s own win over Dortmund meant that Zinedine Zidane’s men is in the playoff stages with a game to spare.

Although Zidane has led Real to Champions League glory in each of his last two seasons in charge, his side fell 10 points behind Barcelona in La Liga after a goalless Madrid derby last weekend.

Both Ronaldo and his fellow forward Karim Benzema had also been under fire — their goal droughts in La Liga had been singled out as the one of the leading causes of Real’s underperfoming run.

But after Luka Modric opened the scoring with a volley from 25 yards, Benzema, who had scored only twice all season doubled that tally in the game itself with two neat finishes inside the area, while defender Nacho also headed in.

Ronaldo then headed home Marcelo’s cross and then scored from the edge of the area to become the third player in the Champions League era to also become the first player to score in each of the first five games of a season.

The final match day next month — which holds less meaning as the teams to progressed has already been determined — will see the Europa League qualification spot contested by Apoel and Dortmund, who both have two points from their five matches. Apoel will travel to Tottenham while Dortmund face Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren angry after ‘disgusting’ death threats

Liverpool and Croatia defender Dejan Lovren has branded death threats made against his family as “disgusting” in a post on his Instagram story.

Lovren, 28, was heavily criticised for his performance in the Reds’ 4-1 Premier League defeat at Tottenham on 22 October.

He posted a screengrab of a direct message he had received from another Instagram user which read “I’m gonna murder ur family u Croatian prick”.

The player went on to post “horrible what kind of people we have” before adding in a second image: “I don’t mind when people talk shit about me, it says more about them! But I cannot ignore when my family is threatened. I just can’t and won’t accept that. Disgusting.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp last week had also defended Lovren despite substituting him just 31 minutes into their defeat at Tottenham.

While the German was set to start Lovren once more on Saturday’s home game against Huddersfield, the player withdrew through injury in the game which Liverpool won by 3-0.

Before the match, Klopp has likened the media reaction to Lovren’s performance against Tottenham to people “watching an accident”.

“You are the kind of people standing around with smartphones instead of helping,” said the German. “I’m not this kind of person.”

“Of course it’s not the nicest week in Dejan’s life but it’s only football. People don’t become a better or a worse person through making a mistake in a football game.”

Merseyside Police are aware of the matter but has said that there has been no official complaint as of yet.

Manchester City agrees £50m-plus deal for Tottenham’s Kyle Walker

Tottenham Hotspur has reportedly accepted a bid worth £53m from Manchester City for Kyle Walker, which could make the England International the world’s most expensive defender and the costliest English player of all time.

The package, which includes £3m worth of add-ons takes Walker beyond David Luiz on the top of the list of most expensive defenders and above Raheem Sterling in terms of players from England.

Luiz had cost Paris Saint-Germain £50m when he moved from Chelsea to the Ligue 1 club in 2014, while City paid £49m to Liverpool, including add-ons, for Sterling in 2015.

The move is also precedented as City coach Pep Guardiola has made the signing of full-backs a priority in his squad overhaul efforts, making the Tottenham defender his No1 target at right-back in the process.

According to the Professional Footballers’ Association Walker was the best right‑back in England last season, also naming him in its team of the year, Furthermore, at 27, he is not only highly experienced in the Premier League but about to enter his prime.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy wanted the basic figure of £50m and City were reluctant to go above £40m but, in the end, they paid up to break the deadlock.

Perhaps a driving factor was that City had missed out on Dani Alves, another right-back target, earlier in the week. The Brazilian has gone to PSG after leaving Juventus as a free agent, and time was short before Guardiola and his squad were to board the flight for their pre-season tour of the United States, thus leaving them little time for any transfer matters.

Meanwhile, City are currently in talks over the loan of the goalkeeper Joe Hart, with West Ham United confident they are close to an arrangement, after the Manchester club have also signed Bernardo Silva for £43.6m from Monaco and Ederson for £34.7m from Benfica.