Euro round-up: Barca stunned by Cadiz

Barcelona’s dismal start to the La Liga season continued as a second-half winner from substitute Alvaro Negredo handed Cadiz another major top-flight scalp.

Ronald Koeman’s men had banked on a fortunate own goal to haul themselves level after Alvaro Gimenez bundled the buoyant home side into an eighth-minute lead.

Cadiz celebrate
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Cadiz celebrate their win over Barcelona

But an embarrassing defensive mix-up in the 63rd minute handed Negredo the chance to hit the winner with his first touch moments after replacing Gimenez and they held on for a 2-1 win.

Having already sunk Real Madrid on their return to the top-flight, the hosts started with confidence against their seventh-placed opponents.

But Gimenez’s opener invited a period of intense pressure as Cadiz ‘keeper Jeremias Ledesma made brilliant saves to deny both Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho before half-time.

But Barcelona failed to make the most of their opportunities and were almost made to pay early in the second half when Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a crucial interception to deny Gimenez a second.

Barca levelled in fortunate fashion in the 57th minute when Jordi Alba’s cross hit Pedro Alcala who diverted the ball into his own net.

But within five minutes Cadiz were back in front after Alba’s throw back towards his own area caused panic in the visitors’ rearguard and allowed Negredo to grab his side’s second.

Ronald Koeman
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The pressure is building on Ronald Koeman at Barcelona

Sergio Busquets fired wide and Messi was once again denied by Ledesma but Cadiz had a good chance to extend their lead when Ter Stegen denied Ivan Alejo.

Heading into injury time, Cadiz substitute Bobby Adekanye wasted an opportunity when he was sent clean through, and the game ended with Messi flopping a free-kick into the Cadiz wall.

Real win eases Zidane pressure

Real Madrid edged Sevilla 1-0 on Saturday to end a three-game winless streak in La Liga and ease the pressure on coach Zinedine Zidane.

An own goal by Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bono Bounou in the 55th minute after a touch by Vinicius Junior gave Real the victory at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.

Madrid arrived in Seville with Zidane under fire after the team had won only one of their last five matches in all competitions. They had lost two of their last three league games, including 2-1 against Alaves at home last weekend.

Real had the most significant chances in the first half, being stopped by a few good saves from home ‘keeper Bono. The hosts almost opened the scoring with a bicycle kick from striker Luuk de Jong in the 52nd minute, but three minutes later Vinicius helped put Madrid on the board after a cross by Ferland Mendy from the left flank. The Brazilian forward redirected the ball with a soft touch and it hit Bono before going into the goal.

Elsewhere, second-placed Atletico Madrid maintained the pressure on leaders Real Sociedad as second-half goals from Thomas Lemar and Marcos Llorente gave them a 2-0 win over Real Valladolid.

Levante won 3-0 at home against Getafe, who finished the match with nine men after the sending off of Jose Manuel Chema Rodriguez in the seventh minute and Djene Dakoman in the 77th.

Getafe, who drop to 13th place, have not won in six league matches, since beating Barcelona 1-0 in October.

Bundesliga: Bayern hold onto top spot

Kingsley Coman claimed a hat-trick of assists as Bayern Munich held onto top spot in the Bundesliga with a 3-3 draw against second-placed RB Leipzig.

Leipzig led early through Christopher Nkunku and an Emil Forsberg effort early in the second half put them back in front before Thomas Muller’s second in the 75th minute came to Bayern’s rescue.

Reyna stunner rescues Dortmund

A stunning strike from 18-year-old Giovanni Reyna earned Borussia Dortmund a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt, who drew their fifth successive Bundesliga game.

Daichi Kamada gave the hosts a ninth-minute lead but, despite missing leading scorer Erling Haaland with a hamstring injury, Dortmund took control after half-time and midfielder Reyna levelled with the second Bundesliga goal of his career.

Dortmund, who had not drawn in their previous 27 league games, are third with 19 points from 10 games.

Eintracht, without a win in eight games in all competitions, are eighth with 13 points.

Elsewhere, Wolfsburg twice came from behind to claim a 2-2 draw at Koln, while Arminia Bielefeld broke a run of seven straight losses with a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Mainz.

Freiburg are now nine games without a win after they were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Borussia Monchengladbach.

Serie A: Wins for Inter, Juve and Lazio

Achraf Hakimi scored twice as Inter Milan held onto second place in Serie A with a 3-1 win over Bologna.

Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring before Hakimi doubled his side’s lead on the stroke of half-time.

Bologna reduced the deficit through Emanuel Vignato but Hakimi’s second in the 70th minute sealed victory.

Juventus came from behind to win the Turin derby against Torino, who led for much of the match through Nicolas Nkoulou’s ninth-minute strike.

But Juve hit back through two headers in the last 13 minutes from Weston McKennie and Leonardo Bonucci, after which substitute ‘keeper Carlo Pinsoglio was sent off for his excessive celebrations.

Goals from Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic saw Lazio hit back from last week’s loss to Udinese with a 2-1 triumph at Spezia.

Ligue 1: Mbappe landmark in PSG win

Kylian Mbappe became only the fifth player to reach 100 goals for his club as PSG struck late to end Montpellier‘s four-game winning streak in Ligue 1.

Colin Dagba’s opener for PSG was cancelled out by Montpellier’s Stephy Mavididi, but two goals in the last eight minutes from Moise Kean and Mbappe earned the leaders a 3-1 win.

Arnaud Muinga and Ignatius Ganago were on the scoresheet as Lens won 2-0 at Rennes to extend the hosts’ winless run to seven games in all competitions.

The Chance Of Bayern Munich Winning Back To Back Champions Leagues?

Bayern Munich won the Champions League last year in such impressive fashion and from the start of the competition looked like the only side that were going to win the Champions League last year. Over the summer, they have been able to keep hold of their squad and even add some quality additions to their team, and so, can they go and win the Champions League again this year; below we investigate. 

 

Bayern certainly did set the benchmark last year and we clear deserved winners of the Champions League, especially after their decimation of Barcelona in the semi-finals where they won 8-2. Bayern have qualified for the next round of the group stages with 16 points where they have come top of the group unbeaten for the second season in a row. In fact, they’ve only conceded 5 goals in 6 games and with this record it puts them in good stead to reclaim the coveted trophy.

Can’t wait for the round of 16 to start in the Champions League? Why not check out these online casinos at maximumcasinos.com who are offering high quality casino games with the widest variety of choice, alongside some of the best promotional deals and sign up offers for all new customers.

 

On this current hot streak that they are on, they could easily retain the trophy and the bookies are currently making them favourites priced at 11/4. Although the Balon D’Or was called off this season, we wouldn’t have been surprised if someone outside Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi won the golden ball for the first time in 11 years with the way that Robert Lewandowski played last year; he played a total of 47 games, scored 55 goals and made 10 assists and is one of the main reason as to why Bayern won the Champions Leagues.

 

And finally, the only weakness that we could put our finger on in terms of the starting line up would be that they needed another out-and-out striker to accompany Serge Gnabry on the right wing and having bought Leroy Sane this year from Manchester City, ensuring that he can return to his home league to one of the greatest sides in the world, this has just added another dimension of pace and power on the right wing. Defences were already terrified, wait until they see how Sane fits in. 

UEFA Champions League: Picking a Combined XI Ahead of the Mini-Tournament

Sergio Ramos, Kevin De Bruyne
Sergio Ramos and Kevin De Bruyne – two of the Champions League’s top performers | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

It’s been a long 16 weeks without it, but the Champions League is very nearly back.

Europe’s elite knockout competition will play out to its conclusion later this month with an impromptu mini-tournament, where the clubs lucky enough to have made the quarter-finals – or haven’t played their round of 16 second legs yet – will vie for the showpiece prize of the 2019/20 season.

We’ll see some of the best players on the planet go head to head, so to build the hype, we’ve analysed the 12 remaining squads, and come up with the best XI of all of them combined.

It hasn’t been easy, so please don’t shout.

Jan OblakJan Oblak
Oblak is the best keeper around | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Where would Atléti be without their Slovenian Superman between the sticks this season? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

The title of best goalkeeper in the world has rarely been more tightly contested than it is now, but Oblak is a truly special talent who can probably now lay claim to it.

You don’t often come across a keeper with cat-like reflexes, sublime distribution, and the authority to command his box like a military sergeant preparing for battle, but here is is.

Honourable Mention: Marc-André ter Stegen, Thibaut Courtois

UEFA Champions League"Red Bull Leipzig v Tottenham Hotspur FC"UEFA Champions League"Red Bull Leipzig v Tottenham Hotspur FC"
Klostermann impressed against Tottenham | ANP Sport/Getty Images

Liverpool’s elimination means the default instinct to just select Trent Alexander-Arnold is void. As it turns out, outside of the England right-back, there isn’t really an outstanding choice for this position.

Lukas Klostermann has been a consistent, versatile and energetic presence for an impressive Leipzig team, however, and continues to grow under the radar as one of the most quietly impressive full-backs on the continent.

Honourable Mentions: Hans Hateboer, Kieran Trippier

Sergio RamosSergio Ramos
Ramos saw red against City but is still one of the tournament’s outstanding defenders | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Ok so he might have had a bit of a mare against Manchester City, but c’mon, this is Sergio Ramos we’re on about.

The best goalscoring centre half ever, Mr. Champions League, Captain Sh*thouse himself.

This Real team by no means look like the best in Europe, but purely through virtue of having Ramos there to kick ass and take names, you wouldn’t bet against them going at the way…if they can first manoeuvre their way past City without him.

Neymar, MarquinhosNeymar, Marquinhos
Marquinhos celebrates with Neymar after his goal against Borussia Dortmund | UEFA – Handout/Getty Images

If you think Marquinhos is the best ball-playing central defender in the world, you’re kidding yourself. That’s Virgil van Dijk.

If you think Marquinhos is the best ball-playing central defender left in the Champions League, however, you’re probably right.

Marquinhos’ ridiculous passing range and composure on the ball have been a massive part of why PSG are still in with a chance of advancing beyond the quarter-finals for the first time in their history. He’s not bad at the old defending either – Paris have conceded just three goals in eight UCL matches this term, a run through which he has been a virtual ever-present.

Honourable Mentions: Aymeric Laporte, Dayot Upamecano, Felipe, Matthijs de Ligt

Davies’ star is rising about as quickly as he can sprint – and that’s very, very, very fast.

He was famously monikered ‘Roadrunner’ by Thomas Muller earlier this season, and his pace and dynamism have already proved too much for Tottenham and Chelsea to handle.

A real creative bright spark down the left hand side, Davies adds another string to Hansi Flick’s fearsome attacking bow – as if he needs it.

Honourable Mentions: Roben Gosens

Kevin De BruyneKevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne helped City to a key first leg win over Real Madrid | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

38 goal-involvements this season. And counting.

From central midfield.

Honestly, De Bruyne, just give it a rest.

Joshua KimmichJoshua Kimmich
Kimmich swings in a corner against Chelsea | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

It doesn’t seem to matter where you play Kimmich. Centre-midfield, right-back, centre-back, in goal, assistant manager; it really has no bearing, because he’ll still chip in with ten assists every year.

He’s the definition of reliable, and at times this season he’s held together a Bayern team that might have otherwise fallen apart.

Saul NiguezSaul Niguez
Saul pays his respects to Liverpool | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid’s midfield warrior rounds out our fantasy trio after yet another impressive season in Los Rojiblacos’ engine room.

He might have picked up more bookings (13) than goals or assists (7) in all competitions, but if anything that just further emphasises that he’s doing what he’s in the team for; to win battles, stifle creativity, and move the ball on.

He does like the odd important goal, however – just as Liverpool about that one.

Honourable Mentions: Houssem Aouar, Marcel Sabitzer, Casemiro

Lionel MessiLionel Messi
Messi on the prowl against Napoli | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Well…yeah.

Barcelona may be reaching the limits of how bad they can be while still relying on Messi to drag them over the line, but that hasn’t stopped the little magician from trying.

He single-handedly got them through the group stage, scoring or assisting five of their nine goals, and looks poised to try and repeat that feat when Napoli come to town to keep his team in with a chance of actually winning a trophy.

Honourable Mentions: Christian Pulisic, Serge Gnabry

Robert Lewandowski, David Alaba, Alphonso DaviesRobert Lewandowski, David Alaba, Alphonso Davies
Lewandowski celebrates scoring against Chelsea | Visionhaus/Getty Images

11 goals in six Champions League games. Eleven goals, in six Champions League games.

Lewandowski’s had a good season in the same way Michael Jordan was good at basketball. He looked a shoe-in for Ballon d’Or before it was unceremoniously cancelled, but you’d safely bet he’d happily trade that individual accolade to finally get his hands on the Champions League.

Honourable Mentions: Josip Ilicic, Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe

Olympique Lyon v Juventus - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First LegOlympique Lyon v Juventus - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg
Ronaldo advancing on goal against Lyon | RvS.Media/Monika Majer/Getty Images

We have to apologise for choosing the most predictable and obvious front three in Champions League history, but when you’ve got Messi, Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo all available, what are you going to do? Not pick them?

Ronnie has hit the ground running this season after using 2018/19 to settle in at Juve, and although his European form doesn’t quite match his Serie A exploits, his 35 goals in all competitions means he still warrants a place in this team.

That and the fact that he’s, y’know, the all-time Champions League top goalscorer.

Honourable Mentions: Raheem Sterling, Papu Gomez

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Liverpool ‘Very Likely’ to Sign Thiago After Midfielder Meets With Bayern Munich Hierarchy

Liverpool are favourites to sign Thiago
Liverpool are favourites to sign Thiago | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Liverpool are strong favourites to land Thiago Alcantara this summer, after the midfielder held crunch talks with the Bayern Munich hierarchy and reinforced his desire to leave.

Thiago has been reluctant to commit to a new, long term contract with the German champions, and his current deal is set to expire in 2021.

German DFB Pokal"FC Schalke 04 v Bayern Munchen"German DFB Pokal"FC Schalke 04 v Bayern Munchen"
Thiago’s Bayern deal expires in 2021 | ANP Sport/Getty Images

He has been consistently linked with a move to Liverpool, despite the Reds’ apparent reluctance to spend big in this summer’s transfer window due to the financial constraints triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo, Liverpool are ‘very likely’ to sign Thiago following his talks with the Bayern top brass.

The 29-year-old sat down with the bosses at Bayern to discuss his future, with the Bundesliga champions hopeful that he would reconsider his position and commit to the club.

Thiago Alcantara, Philippe CoutinhoThiago Alcantara, Philippe Coutinho
Thiago has enjoyed a glittering seven years with Bayern | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

However, the very opposite happened, and Thiago informed Bayern that he was insistent on departing.

Having won the Champions League and two La Liga titles with Barcelona, Thiago joined Bayern for €25m in 2013. He has won the league title in each of his seven seasons in Germany, in addition to the DFB-Pokal on four occasions.

With his 30th birthday just nine months away, the Spaniard sees this as his final opportunity to earn a big move, play for another sizeable club and potentially win another league.

Thiago AlcantaraThiago Alcantara
Thiago is seeking a new challenge having won it all with Barcelona and Bayern | David Ramos/Getty Images

Bayern are keen to not lose Thiago on a free transfer, and will demand £27m for him – having previously been holding out for £31m.

Jurgen Klopp has informed the Liverpool board that he is ‘happy’ for the Reds to pursue the Spanish international, but any deal will be determined by the long term future of Georginio Wijnaldum.

The midfielder has one year remaining on his contract at Anfield. Talks regarding a new deal between the club and player have been rumbling on, and although moving in the right direction, a fresh contract is yet to be confirmed.

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Things to Know About Highly-Rated Defender Aaron Hickey

Aaron Hickey
Hickey has the world at his feet after an impressive season | Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Remember Aaron Hickey? The Scottish kid who was linked with Manchester City late last year, but was then swiftly buried under the weight of Hearts being rubbish?

Yeah, he’s back in the news again, with the BBC claiming Bayern Munich, Aston Villa and Bologna have entered the frame to sign him.

So, who is he? And why are so many major clubs falling over themselves to tempt him away from Edinburgh?

90min has everything you need to know about the 18-year-old who seems to be making waves all over the continent.

Under normal circumstances, a player as talented as Hickey would demand a pretty huge fee, but Hickey’s circumstances are not what you’d call normal.

Hearts owner Ann Budge was open back in March about just how dire the club’s financial situation was, and that was before they were disastrously (if contentiously) relegated from the Scottish Premiership.

On top of that, Hickey’s contract is up next summer, so a bid in the region of £1.5m is expected to be enough to secure his services.

You can see, then, why there’s a queue round the block for the teenage prodigy.

The list of clubs in the running reads like a deleted verse from Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire.

Before Bayern, Villa and Bologna, we’ve had Celtic – who 90min reported back in May were favourites – Manchester City, Chelsea, Everton, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday, Milan and Lazio all linked, and we’ve still got at least two months of the window left.

His agent has the easiest job in the world.

Aaron Hickey, Karamoko DembeleAaron Hickey, Karamoko Dembele
Hickey has been compared to former Celtic academy player Andy Robertson | Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

That’s what a YouTube compilation from October 2019 says, anyway.

That’s a bit of a stretch, given all Robertson has accomplished since leaving Scottish football behind, but the superficial parallels are there.

Hickey has been praised for his tenacity, while his robust attacking style of play suggests he’s learned a lot from watching the Scotland captain on TV.

He has a remarkable engine too – if he can start racking up the assists, then we might be able to talk.

Is he a left back or a right back? Who knows?

His right foot may be the marginally stronger of the two, but he is as ambidextrous as they come, making him such an unpredictable attacking option when he explodes forward down one of the flanks.

Most of his Hearts appearances have come on the left hand side, owing to their lack of quality in the position, but he is just as capable of hitting the byline and floating one over as he is of coming in on his right and scoring the winner in a derby.

Aaron Hickey, Greg StewartAaron Hickey, Greg Stewart
Hickey’s Hearts team-mates agree he is destined for the top | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

At just 18, you could forgive Hickey for letting the speculation and fanfare get to his head. According to team-mate Lewis Moore, however, his affable, easy-going personality means that just won’t happen.

“Aaron has already played so many games and been linked with some of the biggest teams in the world – it’s been incredible to see,” Moore told Deadline News.

“But it’s definitely not affecting Aaron. He’s the most laid-back guy you could ever meet – he probably doesn’t even realise that he is being linked with all these teams!

“His head is in the clouds sometimes. He just goes out and plays his football – and what a player he is.”

As alluded to by Moore, Hickey can boast an astonishing amount of experience for such a young player.

In 2019, aged just 16, he became the youngest player ever to start a Scottish Cup final, and he followed that up with 34 senior appearances over the 2019/20 campaign.

Because Hearts are a shambles, he’s already working under his third manager and preparing for life in the Championship, but it will be a serious turn-up for the books if he’s still there when their season starts in October.

Let’