Cholo Radjavi

Cholo Radjavi

Mauricio Pochettino has warned that Tottenham Hotspur need to be careful over Dele Alli's hamstring injury after he left the game against Fulham early.

Alli left the game at Craven Cottage eight minutes from time but Spurs eventually ran out 2-1 winners.

The injury comes at a crucial time for Pochettino as Harry Kane could be out of action for months after limping off against Manchester United, and Heung Min-Son is on international duty with South Korea.

That leaves just Vincent Janssen, Georges-Kevin N'Koudou and Fernando Llorente - who scored an early own goal for Fulham - as attacking options.
Talking to Sky Sports after the game match, Pochettino said: "We all see the reaction, he suffered an injury in his left hamstring.

"We need to assess him in next few days, we hope it is not a big issue.

"But first of all, we need to assess."

Alli scored the equaliser for Spurs before Harry Winks' late winner. The win saw Spurs move five points behind Manchester City.


That’s according to Italian football expert Adam Digby who watched the playmaker closely during his four seasons in Serie A.

Jorginho has been a stalwart for the Blues since being snapped up from Napoli in the summer.

But, with Cesc Fabregas having departed to Monaco, Maurizio Sarri needs alternative options in the Chelsea engine room.
He told the Transfer Talk podcast: “I think he’s robust enough to survive in the Premier League.

“He’s quick enough to survive in the Premier League.

“I think, to be honest, if I was forced to figure out why Chelsea were interested in him, I would say it’s probably as substitute for Jorginho.
“His passing’s not as accurate but he can pay that same role.

“Sarri expects players to fill specific roles in the team, I think you would have to say that he would be much better suited to that kind of role than say, Cesc Fabregas.

“That substitute for Jorginho role is one that is very much open in this Chelsea team as they continue on in Europe and in the Premier League and I think somebody like Paredes can certainly come in and fill that void.

“Would he join knowing he would be a backup? I think so.
I think he went on to Roma when he wasn’t guaranteed any playing time and he fought for his place.

“He went to Zenit when they paid his buyout fee from Roma because he wanted to move on and he wanted to play Champions League football there.

“Maybe that’s changed a little bit now and he wants to try something else.

“I think the lure of playing in the Premier League and the lure of playing for a well-respected manager like Maurizio Sarri, he probably thinks he can earn a place in the team. I wouldn’t blame him for that.
“He’s a very talented player and he’s well within his rights to think that he can earn a place in Chelsea’s starting 11.

“I think he will find that very hard if Sarri does indeed see him as a sub for Jorginho but he’s more than capable of doing that, for sure.”

Chelsea look set to offload Alvaro Morata in the coming days.

The Spaniard is on the cusp of joining Atletico Madrid having rejected offers from PSG and Bayern Munich.

Gonzalo Higuain will be unveiled in west London once Morata’s exit is confirmed.


Real Madrid and Porto defender Eder Militao have reached an agreement and Los Blancos will pay the €50 million release clause on Militao’s current deal with Porto next summer, according to a report from AS. Militao will sign a deal which will expire in 2025, per that same report.

Los Blancos are not interested in the Brazilian defender for this winter’s transfer window. The defender was in Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea’s radar even though he’s only played half a season in Europe and that he’s still 21 years old.

The €50 million release clause is definitely affordable and could be considered a very good deal for Real Madrid if Militao is indeed an elite defender. Furthermore, that clause will be increased to €75 million on June 31st. For the time being, he will end the season with Porto —where he will play in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16—.


BARCELONA have thrown a spanner in the works of Frenkie de Jong’s move to Paris Saint-Germain following the visit of club chiefs.

The Ajax starlet has become one of the most sought-after talents in European football after emerging as one of Dutch side’s top performers over the last two seasons.

The 21-year-old particularly caught eyes in the Champions League this season, starting five of the club’s group games as they finished second in Group E.

Often a farm for future talent, Ajax are resigned to losing their defensive midfielder at the end of the season.
Barcelona, Manchester City and PSG are in the hunt for De Jong, and it seemed the French champions would win the chase before Barcelona’s recent intervention.
The spindly midfielder was expected to announce his decision to join PSG last week, before club president Josep Maria Bartomeu was informed of the situation.

As a result, Barcelona executives Bartomeu, Pep Segura, Eric Abidal and Ramon Planes flew to Amsterdam on Thursday to rescue the deal, according to Spanish outlet Club de la Mitjanit.

The Barcelona contingent spoke with De Jong, for whom the Catalans have tabled an “extraordinary” offer.

The intervention was not enough to trigger a U-turn, however, with the Holland international refusing to make any pledges.

In a reactionary act, PSG sporting director Antero Henrique then flew to the Dutch capital on Friday, in hope of re-twisting his arm.

De Jong is now expected to announce a decision on his future this week.

Just last week De Jong expressed his admiration for Barcelona, before revealing that Ajax will know his decision before it is made public.


Substitute Moussa Dembele fired a last-gasp winner as Lyon came from behind to defeat St Etienne 2-1 in the Rhone-Loire derby.

Romain Hamouma's powerful 21st-minute header gave Les Verts the upper hand at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard but Nabil Fekir levelled from the penalty spot after the hour mark.

Anthony Lopes made two fine saves to deny Leo Dubois as time ticked away before, five minutes into stoppage time, an unmarked Dembele nodded in a winner at the far post.
Morgan Sanson scored the only goal of a 1-0 victory at Caen as Marseille boss Rudi Garcia secured a win that could earn him more time in the Stade Velodrome dugout.

Garcia is reportedly on thin ice at OM but saw Sanson stick away Kevin Strootman's assist in the 47th minute to deliver him all three points by way of a lifeline.

Strugglers Caen could not recover from having defender Frederic Guilbert sent off shortly after Sanson scored.

Dijon remain in the relegation play-off place after losing 1-0 at Bordeaux. Les Rouges had Romain Amalfitano dismissed before substitute Andreas Cornelius notched.

Elsewhere, a stoppage-time strike from Angelo Fulgini saw Angers beat Nantes 1-0 for a first win in seven games while Dimitry Bertaud made two crucial saves, including one against Hatem Ben Arfa, as Montpellier ground out a goalless draw at Rennes.


Chelsea defender David Luiz has stressed that he and his team-mates trust in boss Maurizio Sarri’s philosophy and that “everybody is with” the Italian.

The Blues put in a disappointing performance as they were beaten 2-0 at Arsenal on Saturday.

The gap between Chelsea in fourth place in the Premier League and Arsenal, who rose to fifth, reduced to three points, and sixth-placed Manchester United are the same amount behind Sarri’s men.

In his post-match press conference, an angry Sarri was critical of his players’ mentality, accusing them of being “extremely difficult to motivate”.

Luiz said the manager “was not happy” after the match “but nobody was happy, so it was normal.”

And regarding the way Chelsea have been playing, he said: “It is our style, it is our philosophy.

“I think if you asked at the beginning of the season, ‘can Chelsea keep the ball?’ – you would have said no.

“And now we are able to do that, like the best teams in the world, but then we have (to) improve our last 25 metres.”
The Brazil international added, when asked if it was harder to trust the philosophy when Chelsea lost: “It is part of the process, when you try to do something and this is inside your mind, if you believe in it you can arrive there.

“Because of the results if you start to change and change, you don’t go anywhere.

“So this is our philosophy, I believe in it, I trust in it, so I just know we have to improve, like every team in the world.

“What Sarri (who took charge last summer) has done until now is unbelievable, amazing, because normally (for) a team to understand this philosophy needs one or two years, like Manchester City and Liverpool, who are playing very well with the ball now.

“What he has done has been amazing, so we have to try to improve the details now.”

When then asked if some players were less sure now, Luiz said: “I don’t think so, everybody is trusting his job and everybody is with him.”


BARCELONA — Ousmane Dembele gave Barcelona a glimpse into the future but Barcelona still needed Lionel Messi to beat Leganes 3-1 on Sunday and restore their five-point lead at the top of La Liga.

Messi had started on the bench, rested by coach Ernesto Valverde, and for just over an hour at the Camp Nou, Dembele filled the void by scoring the opening goal in a sparkling individual display.

The 21-year-old, however, limped off with a sprained ankle in the 69th minute, shortly after Leganes had equalised through Martin Braithwaite and Valverde responded by introducing Messi.

He needed only seven minutes to make an impact as his bending shot was followed up by Luis Suarez, who poked the ball in ahead of Leganes goalkeeper Pichu Cuellar. Messi then rounded off the win by scoring himself in injury-time.

Leganes had protested against Suarez’s finish, convinced that Pichu had been fouled by a high foot.

"It was a clear foul," coach Mauricio Pellegrino said. "Barca don’t need these kind of decisions to help them."

But VAR disagreed and Barca advanced to what was, in truth, a fully deserved victory. It means they regain their hefty advantage over Atletico Madrid at the top of the table, with the difference ahead of Real Madrid also back to 10 points.

Leganes had beaten Barcelona at home in September but that remains the high point of their season. They stay 14th.

Valverde was accused of failing to rest key players last term, to the detriment of their progress in the Champions League, and his gamble to spare his star player just about paid off.

"There are lots of games," Valverde said. "We talk to the players and decide when it may be good for them to rest."

"It was difficult with and without Messi," Pellegrino said.

Barcelona needed him in the end but for a while, Dembele, and the 21-year-old Carles Alena in midfield, had shown there may yet be life after Messi, who turns 32 in June.

Dembele will undergo tests on Monday. "We will miss him a lot," Valverde said. "We hope it is not too long."

He was at the heart of everything in the first half, his hips slaloming through the hapless Leganes defence, who swarmed around him in numbers but always seemed a step behind.

A cheeky nutmeg was followed by an audacious scoop, which found Suarez but he poked wide. It was a classy finish for the opener too, although the goal owed more to the collective than individual. — AFP


Daniel Caligiuri struck twice to steer Schalke 04 to a 2-1 victory over VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday that lifted last season's runners-up away from the relegation zone.

With only one win in their previous five league games, Schalke, who face Manchester City in the Champions League Round of 16 next month, were despera7te to kick off the year on the right foot.
Caligiuri fired in an eighth-minute penalty to make it 11 successful spot kicks out of 12 in the Bundesliga and put the hosts ahead against his former club.

But Schalke then took their foot off the gas and allowed the Wolves back into the game, with Elvis Rexhbecaj snatching a 20th-minute equaliser. Forward Mark Uth, making his comeback after a two-month injury absence, almost headed in Schalke's second in the 50th minute but keeper Koen Casteels spectacularly saved on the line. The Royal Blues needed a fine run from Weston McKennie to split open the Wolfsburg defence and set up Caligiuri, whose previous two Bundesliga braces came during his time at Wolfsburg, to curl in the winner with a left-footed effort in the 78th.
The result lifted Schalke to 12th on 21 points while Wolfsburg dropped to sixth on 28 after their first league loss since November.

Borussia Dortmund lead the title race on 45 after their 1-0 win at RB Leipzig on Saturday. Bayern Munich beat Hoffenheim 3-1 on Friday to stay six points behind in second place.


Fourth seed Naomi Osaka set up a quarter-final with Elina Svitolina after battling from a set down to beat Anastasija Sevastova at the Australian Open.

Osaka, 21, won 4-6 6-3 6-4 to reach the last eight for the first time in Melbourne.

“I wasn’t really sure what to do at a certain point, but I just tried to stick in there," Osaka said. "I was thinking I’ve been in this position before, and I was watching all these kids winning – seeing Tsitsipas beat Federer - so I decided I wanted to do well too.”

The 2018 US Open champion, targeting back-to-back Grand Slam victories, currently trails Svitolina 3-2 in their head to head, having lost both hard-court encounters against the Ukrainian in straight sets last year in Dubai and Miami.
Sevastova edged ahead in the first set after converting her first break point, and closed out the opener without offering Osaka a single opportunity to break back.

The second set saw Osaka save a break point on her way to moving 5-2 in front, and the Japanese saved another before eventually forcing the decider.

Osaka took that momentum with her, breaking immediately, but she was pegged back in the sixth game with Sevastova requiring six break points to level at 3-3.

Sevastova surrendered her serve straight away, however, and Osaka then survived eight deuces in the eighth game before seeing it out two games later.


Two-time defending champion Roger Federer was knocked out of the Australian Open as he was sensationally beaten in four sets 6-7 7-6 7-5 7-6 by Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Swiss had 12 breaks points that slipped through his grasp at a packed Rod Laver Arena as his hopes of a 21st Grand Slam title were ended with Tsitsipas becoming the first Greek to ever reach the quarter-finals of a major tournament.

The result may come to symbolise the changing of the guard with Tsitsipas eclipsing his previous best Grand Slam record of reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon last year. The world number 15 now faces Roberto Bautista-Agut - who has gone from strength to strength since beating Andy Murray - for a place in the semi-finals. The 20-year-old told Eurosport:

" There's nothing to describe it. I'm the happiest man on earth right now. It's important when you enter the court to believe in yourself."
"Roger is a legend, he showed such good tennis over the years, I have been analysing him since the age of six. It was a dream come true facing him.

"It's very important to have an aggressive mindset and not think too much of what is going to happen. I didn't lose my patience, that was key to save the break points. I haven't seen such a loud crowd in my life."
The opening two sets were decided on tie-breaks, with Federer edging the first 13-11 - but Tsitsipas demonstrated his mental stability and strength to dominate the second shoot-out 7-3 to level the contest.

It was not until the final game of the third set that either opponent had their serve broken with Federer's unforced errors on his forehand totalling 40 to allow the number 14 seed to edge in front.

A fierce backhand down the line sealed the win in another dramatic tie-break for one of the game's most promising stars, as Federer's hopes of a seventh Australian Open title were ended at the last-16 stage.
"There are always multiple factors but it definitely didn't go the way I was hoping on break points," Federer said. "I also didn't break him at the Hopman Cup, so clearly there's something wrong.

"I lost to a better player who hung in there and stayed calm, credit to him. Conditions changed like it does when you start at 7 and go into the night. I thought conditions were a bit slower this year."


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