Cristiano Ronaldo lights up Old Trafford with a cross, a smile and a selfie

Some Manchester United fans were desperate to show their love of their former No 7 but he had no sympathy for his opponents on the pitch

When the pitch invader sprinted on to the turf four minutes into the match, there was a sudden nervousness in the air. It is the condition of our times: how did he get there, where was security, why was he running so fast? The skinny man, dressed in jeans and a hoodie, beanie placed precariously on his head, was certainly going at a lick.

As he charged for the East Stand where players from both teams were congregated, stewards finally emerged. They cornered him in a pincer movement and one went for a rugby tackle. The man escaped it with a shimmy. Then, as he reached the penalty box, another tackle hit him, then a third. He was down, but still wriggling, his arm emerging plaintively from the heap. The crowd were watching on in silence, but Cristiano Ronaldo knew what was going on. He walked over to the intruder and touched his outstretched hand. Then the man finally relinquished the struggle; he had got what he wanted.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian

Inquiries begin after football fans injured by escalator in Rome

Dozens of Russian fans of CSKA Moscow were hurt when metro station escalator collapsed

Authorities in Rome have launched two investigations after 24 fans of the CSKA Moscow football team were injured when a crowded escalator suddenly sped up then collapsed, hurling people down the staircase.

One of the fans, who was in the Italian capital for his team’s Champions League game against AS Roma, had his foot amputated in the incident at Repubblica station on Tuesday evening in what one witness described as “a scene from apocalypse”.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian

Jürgen Klopp to reward Liverpool quiet man Fabinho with starting place

• Midfielder to face Red Star Belgrade in Champions League
• Jordan Henderson and Naby Keïta missing through injury

Jürgen Klopp believes Fabinho’s reserved nature has contributed to his slow start at Anfield but the £43.7m signing is ready to show he will be “a fantastic addition” to Liverpool.

The Brazil international is in contention to make only a second start since his summer arrival from Monaco when Red Star Belgrade visit Anfield in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian

Adversity prepares Eric Dier and Tottenham for Eindhoven test

• Spurs head to Eindhoven having lost their first two matches
• Dier: ‘We must win every Champions League game now’

Put yourself in Eric Dier’s shoes. The Tottenham midfielder reported for pre-season training on 6 August, after a three-week, post-World Cup holiday, and he was straight into the lineup for his club’s Premier League opener at Newcastle five days later. He has since sat out only two games for Spurs and England.

Like each of his teammates, Dier was looking forward to entering the rebuilt White Hart Lane but that has not happened because of the various delays and it will not happen until December, at the earliest. Spurs have continued at Wembley, in what has felt like a month-to-month limbo, with the added curveball of having to play a Carabao Cup tie in Milton Keynes. Not ideal.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian

Marcelo goal helps troubled Real Madrid edge past Viktoria Plzen

Real Madrid won for the first time in six games but their manager still lost. If, that is, he had anything to lose. Julen Lopetegui knew before this game had begun that the club were seeking his replacement, that the same lack of alternatives and time that helped put him in the job in the first place were all that kept him in a job now. He knew too that this was not so much an opportunity as an obligation and that victory alone might not bring him any breathing room. If he didn’t, he was reminded when, with a little over ten minutes left, Patrik Horosovsky ran through and scored.

Whistles filled the air at the Bernabéu. Yes, Real were winning, but a 2-1 win against the Czech side Viktoria Plzen delivers no definitive judgement and certainly doesn’t offer any salvation for a manager under pressure. Still less for a side who had given the visitors – who were defeated 5-0 by Roma – more chances than they could have imagined on the way to a win that did not convince.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian

David Silva inspires Manchester City to brush aside Shakhtar Donetsk

Kharkiv is an unlikely holiday destination but, as midnight approached here and the final whistle blew, Pep Guardiola bore the serene look of a man who had just spent a week unwinding at a tropical resort.

David Silva’s scoring volley and creation of a second goal for Aymeric Laporte not only greatly enhanced Manchester City’s chances of escaping a tight group and progressing to the knockout stages but de-stressed their noticeably edgy coach. By the time substitute Bernardo Silva made it three courtesy of his first touch –namely a 20-yard shot which went in off a post – Guardiola’s technical area prowling was no longer reminiscent of a cat on a hot tin roof.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian

Champions League roundup: Valencia held by Young Boys while Bayern win

• Manchester United’s Group H rivals held in Switzerland
• Bayern continue upswing in form with win over AEK Athens

The Champions League debutants Young Boys scored their first goal and picked up their first ever point in the competition with a deserved 1-1 draw at home to Valencia as the Spanish side failed to put pressure on Manchester United in Group H.

Michy Batshuayi gave Valencia a first-half lead – their first goal in this year’s group stages – but Guillaume Hoarau equalised with a penalty after the break.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian

Dulwich Hamlet to return to Champions Hill after eight months in exile

• National League South club had been in dispute with owners
• Talks between club, council and owners prove successful

Dulwich Hamlet are to return to their Champions Hill ground after eight months in exile.

The National League South club have been playing at Tooting & Mitcham’s Imperial Fields ground since a breakdown in relations with Meadow Residential LLP, the property investment fund which owns Champion Hill.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian

Manchester United v Juventus: Champions League – live!

Never mind Cristiano Ronaldo or Paul Pogba; Manchester United versus Juventus can only mean one thing. That night in Turin, the second leg of the 1998-99 semi-final. Juve looked for all the world to be heading to Barcelona when Pippo Inzaghi put them two up after 11 minutes. But then Roy Keane decided to take a grip on proceedings, and his performance of a generation drove United to a 3-2 comeback win that might just be the most famous result in this grand old club’s history.

These famous clubs have met just twice since then, in the second group stage of the 2002-03 tournament. United prevailed both home and away, Wes Brown and Ruud van Nistelrooy setting up a 2-1 win at Old Trafford; van Nistelrooy and two-goal Ryan Giggs doing the damage in a 3-0 trashing of the Old Lady’s house. So United are three wins on the bounce against the Bianconeri.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian

Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City: Champions League – live!

Related: Pep Guardiola calls on Manchester City fans to find their fire in Europe

Kyle Walker is available for selection after missing Saturday’s demolition of Burnley, while Kevin De Bruyne could start after playing 30 minutes for City in that win. Danilo (ankle), Ilkay Gundogan (hamstring) and Fabian Delph (unspecified knock) did not travel with City’s squad.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian