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Barca closer to title,Valverde



Luis Suarez and the record-breaking Lionel Messi left the Catalans 11 points clear at the summit as Atletico were downed by two late goals
Ernesto Valverde acknowledged Barcelona are closing in on the league title after beating second-placed Atletico Madrid 2-0 at Camp Nou on Saturday.
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored the goals in the final five minutes, as Barca eventually made the most of their numerical advantage following Diego Costa’s first-half sending off for dissent.
Suarez beat Jan Oblak from outside the area to open the scoring, before Messi struck with an impudent no-look finish to ensure he would topple Iker Casillas as the player with most Liga victories in history , having triumphed 335 times with Barcelona since his senior debut in October 2004.
Atletico effectively needed to win to keep their dwindling La Liga title hopes alive, but defeat leaves them 11 points adrift, making a comeback unlikely with seven matches to go.
Head coach Valverde can feel Barca closing in, though he is eager to nip any complacency in the bud.
“It’s three very important points,” he told reporters. “We are closer to the title, but we still have it [to win].

“The work has to be finished. Today [Saturday] was a fundamental match because they can mean a lot.
“We are very happy because our opponent was second in the table and a huge team who has fought to the end with one less man.”
Valverde also paid tribute to Suarez after he scored his seventh goal in nine matches across all competitions, a run that has come on the back of a difficult spell.
“He [Suarez] always ends up being decisive,” Valverde added. “He’s a permanent headache for the opponents and you don’t know when he’s going to appear.
“He was fresh, with a spark, and he had a great goalkeeper [Jan Oblak] in front of him.”
Barcelona will be back in action on Wednesday, as the Catalans kick off their Champions League quarter final at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
Their next Liga engagement, meanwhile, comes next Saturday when they visit relegation candidates Huesca.

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Chelsea confirm deal for 20-year-old striker



Chelsea have confirmed a new long-term deal for 20-year-old striker, Armando Broja.

The new deal will see Broja remain at Chelsea until 2026.

Chelsea disclosed this in a statement via their website on Sunday.

The statement read, “Armando Broja has signed a new long-term contract at Chelsea FC that commits him to Stamford Bridge until at least the summer of 2026.

“The young striker, who will turn 20 in September, spent last season on loan in the Eredivisie with Vitesse Arnhem, where he made 34 appearances.”

Reacting, Broja said: “I’m really excited to be signing a new contract with Chelsea.

“Having come through the Academy here it was a special moment for me to make my first-team debut last year, before gaining further experience on loan at Vitesse last season.

“I want to build on these foundations and I’m really looking forward to progressing and making an impact.”

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Saliba breaks silence after leaving Arsenal on loan to Marseille



William Saliba has said he is joining “one of the great French clubs” in Marseille after sealing his latest loan spell away from Arsenal.

The 20-year-old was signed by the Gunners for £27m in 2019.

But Saliba is yet to make a single appearance for the Premier League club and is now beginning his third loan move away from north London.

He was immediately loaned back to Saint-Etienne after signing for Arsenal, before spending the second half of last season at Nice.

Saliba has now signed up for the 2021/2022 campaign with Marseille.

“I am very proud to join one of the best French clubs.

“I cannot wait to be on the Orange Vélodrome pitch. Where I am from, in Paris, lots of those close to me are for Marseille, I am proud to wear this shirt,” Saliba told Marseille’s official website.

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England vs Italy: UEFA receives petitions to replay Euro 2020 final



Some England fans have started a petition, asking that UEFA order a replay of the Euro 2020 final.

They feel the defeat to Italy on penalties was “unfair”, according to the Daily Mail.

Italy have been accused of playing “dirty”, after their captain Giorgio Chiellini pulled on Bukayo Saka’s collar, dragging him onto the pitch in the latter stages of the game.

While some fans have taken to social media to insist he deserved a red card for the move, he eventually got away with a yellow.

The refereeing decisions have been widely disputed since and a number of England fans have taken it upon themselves to start up petitions.

One petition, in its description, outlines: “Bukayo Saka was mistreated during the match between England and Italy as he was dragged down by his shirt by Giorgio Cheiellini and given a yellow card when it CLEARLY should’ve been a red card. I do strongly believe that the referee was biased and in favour of Italy.”

Another argues Chiellini should have been given a red card, and that a rematch should take place with a “non-biased referee”.

Currently, there are several petitions that exist, but they are struggling to gain any substantial traction.

Of the five petitions so far, one is approaching 1,500 signatures, while the others have meagre numbers.

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