Scottish side Celtic are in pole position to reach the group stage of the Champions League for the first time since the 2013/14 season despite conceding two goals at home to Israeli side, Hapoel Beer Sheva. As favourites for the match, they rightly so justified the tag with a dazzling display and won the match 5-2.
Three unanswered goals in the first half saw Celtic enter the break in total command. Tom Rogic’s opener in the 9th minute was followed by a brace from Leigh Griffiths. The second half was a different story however as Lucio Maranhao and Melikso scored two quick fire goals for Hapoel Beer Sheva to leave the contest wide open. In the end though, Celtic’s attacking perseverance shone through as Moussa Dembele made it 4-2 in the 73rd minute before Scott Brown rounded off the scoring to cap off a scintillating display of slick attacking football from the Scottish Champions.
Rodgers’ men outplayed their opponents in every aspect as Beer Sheva were limited to rare counter attacking forays for most parts of the game. Celtic’s slick passing and attacking game seems a mix of the style of football Rodgers played at Swansea and Liverpool. This was evident as the Bhoys controlled possession completing an impressive 87% of their passes.
Even more impressive were the individual pass completion stats, especially from Scott brown, Kolo Toure, Eoghan O’Connell, Tom Rogic, Callum McGregor and Nir Britton.
Check out the full stats below! The reverse leg takes place in Israel next Tuesday.
Newcastle United romped to a 4-1 win at home to Reading on Wednesday night, their first ever victory since being relegated from the Premier League last season.
Fans were witness to goals apiece from new summer signings Isaac Hayden and Matt Ritchie followed by a brace from Dwight Gayle, which included a fantastic free kick.
Though Dwight Gayle may have picked up the match honours for his excellent display upfront, Matt Ritchie also had his fair share of limelight, more for his celebration rather than his goal.
After expertly dispatching the goal in the bottom left corner, he ran like a man possessed to the right corner. Seemingly unable to contain his excitement, he went about the corner flag bringing it down rather brutally with a kick.
Check out the celebration below!
Spurs will be lining up against Crystal Palace for their second game of the season and all eyes will be on Pochettino’s men after the tremendous form they showed last season.
The Spurs boss took the presser yesterday and revealed that Heung-Min Son would be available for the game and he might start as well. However, he made it clear once again that Bentaleb does not feature in his plans for the season and things certainly do not look good for the youngster. He also spoke about Christian Eriksen, saying he was happy that the player wasn’t distracted by contract issues and that he would renew his contract soon.
Towards the end of the presser, a Zimbabwean journo asked Poch about the qualities of new boy Victor Wanyma. To which the Argentine rather brilliantly replied: “He’s an animal He’s a Beast. Wanyama. I know him very well because I signed him in Southampton from Celtic. I think it’s easy to recognize the skill from him.”
The moment comes after the 9 minute mark on the video below!
Jurgen Klopp has been inspiring players since his time at Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and the same can be now seen at Liverpool.
The German’s little ‘motivational’ moment with Sadio Mane proved to be of great value, as just right after the ‘talk’, Mane’s performance went up the ladder leading to an even better game and a scintillating solo goal.
Mane had a good game throughout the match, he was working hard, running around the field like a machine and during the 56th minute he hesitated on the ball for a second & gave away possession, and that’s when Klopp and Mane shared a full father-son moment.
Klopp called Mane off of the field and said some magical words (probably promising that that piggyback) to him, which in turn unleashed the absolute beast everyone saw during Arsenal win.
Check out the moment below!
The summer has certainly not been the one to cherish for the Gooners, at least till now. A lacklustre transfer window coupled with the opening day home defeat at the hands of Liverpool may well have begun to take the toll on Arsenal fans.
The Liverpool match was marked by booing from the home fans with many calling for Arsene Wenger to call time on his association with the club. No doubt Wenger has built and shaped Arsenal into a top four side, but his side still falter in the quest for League or European glory season after season.
Arsenal fans have been forced to watch in envy as the world’s best managers have landed on rival shores bringing along with them world class talents.
Quite possibly, all the aforementioned reasons may well have drove some fans on the brink of madness. A recent YouTube video by ‘DT’, an Arsenal Fan TV regular, shows an hour long debate between DT and ‘The Guv’, a rare pro-Wenger Arsenal fan.
While ‘The Guv’ may very well convince us with his strong convictions and his strong football opinions, the Cola Zero box wedged on his head certainly makes us think otherwise. Check out the hilarity below!
Manchester United’s search for a new world class defender has led them to try for big names like Leonardo Bonucci and Raphael Varane, but after that failed, the club has reportedly turned to Southampton in the hope of signing 32-year old Euro Cup winner Jose Fonte. Jose Mourinho has always wanted an experienced defender at the heart of his defense, and Fonte appears to be perfect for the task.
The Rumored Fee Being Possibly In The Region Of £8m! But Why Is A Euro Winner & A Premier League Proven Player Going For Such Dirt Cheap Rates In The Current Market?
According to The Times, it is understood that Fonte wants to invoke the Gentleman’s Agreement that he had with the club when he signed his new contract, which is to keep him at the club till 2018. Not formally written, the agreement allows the Portuguese to go for a relatively small amount when a big club comes knocking. Hence the low price.
Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama have used similar agreements in the past to procure their respective moves to Manchester United & Spurs, and it is believed that the club will not stand in Fonte’s way either if he wants to move.
Fonte is obviously not of Varane or Bonucci’s caliber and age is certainly not on his side, but he makes up for it with his experience. His abilities came to the front during the recently concluded Euros, where teams found it extremely difficult to score against the Portuguese defense.
He has also proved to be the key man in Southampton’s defense in the Premier League for the past few seasons.
Young Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka made his competitive debut for
Arsenal when he came on for Mohamed Elneny in the second half against Liverpool on Sunday. A debut he probably would soon very much like to forget!
A Card Magnet
Despite being on the pitch for only 24 minutes, Xhaka committed more fouls than any other player, making a total of 6 tackles with a success rate of 0% while also picking up a yellow card in the process. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, he currently leads the foul table rankings with four fouls after the opening round of the Premier League.
Not uncharacteristic of him either as he was one of the most undisciplined players in the Bundesliga last season.
On the back of a fine showing for Switzerland in Euro 2016, one may
well understand his eagerness to do too much in his first competitive match for Arsenal.
Yet despite all the gloom surrounding his debut, if his performance at Borussia Monchengladbach last leason and this year’s Euros are anything to go by, the midfielder once dubbed the ‘new Schweinsteiger’ may
very well play a big part in the Gunners midfield this season.
The Real Problem Though…
A more pressing concern for Wenger right now may be at the back where they shipped in 3 goals in 20 minutes after half time to fall to the 4-3 defeat at home against Liverpool on the opening weekend.