Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has made note of how Romelu Lukaku has significantly matured since joining Manchester United. The Belgian arrived at the club for a £75m fee and made a storming start to life at Old Trafford, netting ten goals in his opening nine games. He then encountered a frustrating dry patch through October and November but has since recovered to take his tally to 21 goals by mid-february. And Martinez, speaking to the BBC, was quick to point out that Lukaku was growing as an individual at Man United. “When you play for the biggest clubs in the world, you have to accept criticism as well as praise and just get on with things,” he said. “Rom has always done that. He is an incredible goalscorer and he is still very young. This has been a really important chapter in
Chelsea vs Barcelona Today is the day. At Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, Chelsea host Barcelona in the Champions League. The sides meet in the last-16. After the first-leg in west London, the clubs will meet in the Camp Nou in two weeks time. How will Chelsea line-up? The Times on Tuesday have predicted how the sides may line up tonight. Perhaps the biggest question for Chelsea is how their attack will look against Barcelona. Alvaro Morata has only just returned to action after another spell on the sidelines. The Spaniard had missed matches with reports of a back injury. At the same time, Olivier Giroud has joined from Arsenal, while the French international opened his Chelsea account scoring in last weekend’s FA Cup win over Hull. Indeed, against Hull, Giroud seemed to work well
On This Day in Football: Irishman becomes first international manager - originally posted on Sportslens.com On this day in 1897, Ireland became the first national team to play under an official manager. Back then, national teams were selected by their country’s respective Football Associations and coached by the team’s captain. But Ireland broke the norm in 1897 by appointing Billy Crone as their manager. Crone, a former defender who played for Irish club Distillery and was now the manager of the club, was approached for the managerial role which he gladly accepted. Crone had only been in charge of Distillery for a year when he took the Ireland national side under his wings. His first game came against England in that year’s British Home Championship. Played at Trent Bri...
It has been a largely productive last six matches for Liverpool, but who has shone brightest for the Reds in […]
Michael Carrick has emphasised the importance of Manchester United playing in the Champions League every year ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Sevilla. Jose Mourinho’s men can take a big step towards the quarter finals with a win over the fifth placed La Liga side in Spain. Man United have only progressed to the Champions League last eight on one occasion since 2011 – under David Moyes, funnily enough, in 2014 before being knocked out by Bayern Munich. And Carrick, speaking ahead of United’s visit to the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, made it clear that this was where they belonged and needed to stay. “It’s what we should expect of ourselves – to be at this stage of the Champions League,” he said. “That’s not being blasé, it’s just that should be our stand
Tottenham Hotspur January signing Lucas Moura has today opened up on his hopes for the Champions League with the North Londoners. Thriller The return of the Champions League last Tuesday evening saw Spurs travel to the Allianz Stadium for a much-anticipated last-16 clash with Juventus. And the hype ahead of kick-off proved to be wholly warranted following the full-time whistle, with the two sides having played out an absolutely thrilling affair in Turin. A brace from Gonzalo Higuain within the first 10 minutes of the matchup saw Tottenham shell-shocked, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men, who showcased their ability to perform on the grand stage during the competition’s group stage versus both Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, proved once again that they belong with the elite of European footb
Manchester United are hopeful of Paul Pogba recovering from illness in time to start against Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday, according to reports. Jose Mourinho claimed on Friday that Pogba, whose name has been a subject of hot interest following recent performances, would start the FA Cup clash against Huddersfield Town. However, it was confirmed on the morning of the game that the Frenchman would miss the game due to illness, with Scott McTominay taking his place in a 2-0 win. But according to ESPN‘s Rob Dawson, Man United are confident that Pogba will make the trip to Seville on Tuesday after being well enough to train with the squad on Sunday. Mourinho claimed to have no idea about Pogba’s condition on Saturday and appeared slightly frustrated at the midfield...
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has opened up on his side’s upcoming clash with Spanish giants Barcelona tomorrow evening, insisting that the Blues ‘deserve respect’. Matchup The two sides are set to go head to head in a highly-anticipated Champions League last 16 first-leg clash at Stamford Bridge, with Premier League champions Chelsea heading into proceedings having put a dismal run of form behind them with resounding victories over West Brom and Hull City respectively over the last week. Barcelona, meanwhile, currently sit pretty atop the La Liga table following a blistering campaign to this point, with Ernesto Valverde’s men having also qualified for the Copa Del Rey final earlier this month courtesy of a 3-0 aggregate victory over Valencia. ‘Never say never
Manchester City plan £150m + Sergio Aguero bid for Chelsea’s £200k-per-week star - originally posted on Sportslens.com According to the Daily Star, Manchester City are considering a club record bid of £150m to sign Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, which greatly surpasses Aymeric Laporte’s £57m move. City’s all-time top goalscorer Sergio Aguero could also be part of the deal. Despite Pep Guardiola’s side being 16 points clear atop of the Premier League table, having scored 79 goals in 27 games, the Star believe City are still looking to strengthen their attack and would be happy using Aguero as a makeweight to get a deal done. Chelsea are desperate to keep Hazard whom they signed from Lille in 2012. The Belgian international has become one of the best forwards in
In the replay of the historic 2013 FA Cup final, Wigan Atheltic have again matched Manchester City blow for blow, with both sides currently all square. Towards the end of the half, however, like in 2013, City were reduced to 10-men, following Fabian Delph’s reckless challenge Max Power which referee Anthony Taylor deemed to be worthy of a red. Controversial decision Referee Taylor has put himself at the middle of huge controversy after changing his mind from showing Fabian Delph a yellow card to a red one instead. As the game moved into the second minute of added time in the first-half, Delph’s poorly-timed, two-footed lunge on Power caused huge uproar amounts the Wigan players. So much so, as when the referee went to show the 28-year-old just a yellow card, he instead changed