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Four UEFA Champions League players of the week



The Champions League took center stage in midweek as action ensued on the pitch across Europe. The Tuesday and Wednesday fixtures produced scintillating encounters as we expected with all English sides recording wins in all ramifications.

Manchester United and Manchester City triumphed over RB Leipzig and Olympic Marseille while Juventus lost at home to Lionel Messi’s FC Barcelona.

Here, we evaluates some of these outstanding displays with respect to the four players of the week in Europe’s leading competition.

Joao Felix (Athletico Madrid 3-2 RB Salzburg)

The Portuguese star was terrific against Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg at the Vicente De Calderon Arena.

With the game slipping away from their hand owing to an own goal from Felipe, he rose up to the challenge to steer his side to victory.

He inspired the comeback win with two goals to ensure a 3-2 for the Spanish giants.

Diego Simeone and his side would be delighted with his performance as he gave them a face-lifting three points having lost 4-0 to Bayern Munich on Match Day 1 of the UEFA Champions League campaign.

He scored both goals in the 52nd and 85th minute of the game to ensure the win.

Duvan Zapata (Atlanta 2-2 Ajax Amsterdam)

The 29-year-old striker produced a magnificent showing on the pitch as he drew his side back in the game.

Though going 2-0 down to Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam, he scored twice in the second half to tie the match at 2-2.

The first goal came from a dipping header while the second resulted from a left foot shot in the right top corner which the Ajax shot stopper couldn’t deal with.

In the end, it was enough to salvage the game for Atlanta as they prepared for the double header against Liverpool in the next round of fixtures in Europe.

Moise Kean (Istanbul Basaksehir 0-2 PSG).

The Italy international proved useful in front of goal as they secured a 0-2 away win at Turkish giant Istanbul.

Keane profited from the good work delivered by French star Kylian Mbappe to net twice in the game.

It was an amazing performance from the youngster as Everton could now see what they are missing in leaving the Italian to move away from the club.

Though Neymar was replaced in the 26th minutes by Pablo Sarabia, but the PSG side wasn’t perturbed as Moise Keane and Kylian Mbappe were able to do the business upfront owing to their impressive displays on the pitch.

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United 5-0 RB Leipzig)

The Old Trafford side recorded an impressive 5-0 win at home thanks to the credible performance the entire United side had in the game.

But it was all down to star forward Marcus Rashford as he profited from an assist from fellow forward Anthony Martial to complete his hat-trick.

Though it was talented youngster Mason Greenwood that opened the scoring in the 21st minutes, Bruno Fernandes assisted Rashford’s first goal with Fred making the second one.

In the end Rashford proved decisive, reminding Arsenal about how ready they are ahead of the weekend fixture and also how tough it can get for them when they meet on Sunday in the Premier League.

Man-of-the match star Marcus Rashford took the match ball at the blast of the final whistle as he showed conviction to dispatch his chance in front of goal to the benefit of the Red Devils side at home.


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LaLiga: Why David Luiz did not join Real Madrid after leaving Arsenal



Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was keen to bring David Luiz to the club this summer, but the club never tabled an offer for the player, Globo reports.

Ancelotti is believed to have made contact with Luiz, who he worked together with at Chelsea.

The 34-year-old became a free agent this summer, having seen his contract with Arsenal expire at the end of June.

However, he has now returned to his native Brazil to sign with Flamengo, putting pen to paper on a 15-month contract.

It ended Luiz’s 15-year playing career in Europe.

But things would have been different if Madrid presented an offer for the experienced centre back.

The LaLiga giants allowed captain Sergio Ramos leave this summer, while Raphael Varane signed for Manchester United.

David Alaba arrived at the Bernabeu on a free transfer over the summer, but the La Liga giants are said to be determined to bring another centre-back to the club in 2022.

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Serie A: Mourinho’s Roma tipped to win title



Former Inter Milan president, Massimo Moratti, has said Roma are title contenders under new manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho won the Treble at Inter Milan under Moratti during his first spell in Italy.

According to Moratti, his return to Serie A makes Roma one of the teams to watch out for.

“I follow the league with great attention.

“Mourinho has revived the competition, he started very well.

“Serie A has one more team, Roma, who will aim for the title. Someone like Mourinho is not aiming for third place,” Moratti said.

Mourinho only joined Roma this year, after he was sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager.

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2022 WORLD CUP Salah Among Absentees as African Qualifying Resumes



Africa’s second round of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup is set to kick off with some notable absentees – Mohamed Salah, among them – after the refusal of British clubs to release players for various matches.

Premier League clubs have led the way in refusing permission for players to head to countries on the British government’s Covid red list, which would require 10 days of quarantine upon their return.

With Egypt one of 17 African countries on the red list, Liverpool superstar Salah will miss this week’s home match against Angola in Cairo but could play in Gabon, which is not on the list, next week.

Quarantine conditions meant he could have been one of several internationals to miss multiple games, said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

“As clubs we cannot do that – not only because we play games in that time, but because without being positive (for coronavirus) they lose 10 days of training,” he said.

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