After the 2-0 defeat in the first leg at Celtic Park, Brendan Rodgers’ men will have to win their first competitive match in Spain by at least the same margin to progress to the last 16 of the Europa League.
Close to 10000 supporters have flown to Valencia to support their beloved Hoops even amidst reports that the Spanish club have allocated only about 2500 seats for the away fans.
While the uncertainty surrounding their tickets is still ongoing, Hoops supporters were also subject to cases of blatant police brutality by the city’s police force.
Several videos have been making its way to Twitter since last night which show some disturbing cases of policemen violently beating up away fans for seemingly no reason.
From blasting supporters with rubber bullets from point blank range to sabotaging electronic goods, the policemen in Valencia seemed to be totally out of control while confronting fans when they were roaming around the city.
That just seems wrong. Check out clips of few of the incidents here:
Some appalling footage appearing tonight showing Spanish police violently attacking supporters without provocation in Valencia. We urge all fans to stay safe, and if necessary to document any abuses, especially if arrests are made. @CelticFCSLOpic.twitter.com/PZz5tPOshe
Video analytics have become an integral part of the modern game over the last decade, with many clubs in Europe employing advanced video performance technologies to improve all aspects of their game.
From gathering crucial data about the opposition to gaining further insight about potential signings, these tools have become the norm for most established clubs.
Leeds United seem to be the latest team joining in on the scene after a French video analytical firm, Footovision, confirmed that they have reached a partnership deal with the club on their official Twitter page.
While such a confirmation is yet to be issued from Leeds’ end, the step would represent a wise move considering their recent troubles while trying to scout opposition.
For the uninitiated, a Leeds employee was caught acting suspiciously outside Derby County’s training ground prior to the two sides’ meeting in the Championship last month which caused quite a turmoil in the Championship with many managers, including Derby boss Frank Lampard, openly condemning Marcelo Bielsa and his team for their actions.
While the ‘spygate‘ incident has led to a £200,000 fine by the English Football League, the Peacocks have also experienced somewhat of a rough patch in the Championship and currently find themselves in the third spot after leading the points table for large spells over the campaign, although they do have a game in hand to regain the summit.
A controversial past has made the sensational moment between Ander Herrera and Alexis Sanchez after the Chelsea match even more epic than it already is.
Back in December 2017, just a month before joining Manchester United, Alexis Sanchez and Arsenal faced off with the Red Devils at the Emirates stadium.
Sanchez was, of course, in red hot form and a number of top European clubs including domestic rivals City and United were desperate for his services.
A lot was expected of the Chilean but he failed to inspire his side to a victory as the Gunners went down 3-1 thanks to strikes from Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard.
David de Gea showed off his inhuman capabilities as he parried away a record number of shots including a couple taken from the point blank range.
But it wasn’t only the heroics of the Spaniard that helped the Red Devils clinch the match but it also involved a gritty defensive performance from his national teammate Ander Herrera.
The midfielder showed wonderful energy and managed to break the rhythm of Arsenal’s game by simply creating a nuisance in the middle.
That along with the unbelievable saves from the keeper frustrated the Arsenal forwards including their talisman Sanchez who did something that, if true, was completely disrespectful.
The Chilean was seen to be arguing with Herrera before he glanced at the back of Herrera’s shirt and apparently said ‘who are you’?
Have a look at it here.
What followed after this apparent moment of disregard and hate is more than incredible.
For the remainder of the 2017-18 season and the during first part of the season, the Spaniard kept fighting for his spot with Nemanja Matic.
But when former United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over the helm from Jose Mourinho, things began to change.
He started in the first match of the Red Devils under their new manager and scored his second goal of the season as United crush Cardiff City 5-1.
And as United stated to flourish under the Norwegian, Herrera became indispensable.
In the recent FA Cup fifth-round tie again Chelsea he again played an instrumental part by giving his side the early lead and putting in a shift in both defence and attack.
On the other hand, Alexis Sanchez struggled to impress at Manchester United following 34 million Euro deal that brought him to Old Trafford.
He was not included in the first-team against Chelsea and only featured as a 73rd-minute substitute for Romelu Lukaku.
The Chilean, however, worked extremely hard in his limited minutes and looked determined to get back to his lethal best.
And his efforts were appreciated and encouraged by none other than Ander Herrera in a brilliant gesture after the full-time whistle.
The Spaniard appeared to give him a few words of advice and inspiration before shoving him encouragingly in the chest.
It was instantly followed by a warm hug.
Just what can be termed as the highest level of irony, the once abused midfielder turned out to be one of the most important players of the United side and ended up inspiring his abuser to help him regain his form.
A true reflection of fighting spirit, solidarity and leadership from the Spanish international, don’t you think?
Check out the class act here –
Remember that time Alexis Sanchez tried to ask Ander Herrera who he was when he was playing for Arsenal.
Last season’s runners up Liverpool endured a frustrating night at Anfield during the first leg of their Champions League round of sixteen tie against Bayern Munich as the Bavarians held them to a 0-0 draw.
A number of Liverpool players performed well throughout the game but some scrappy finishing and poor decision making in front of the goal meant they could only manage to keep two of their fifteen attempts at goal and failed to convert any of them.
Guinean international Naby Keita was among the ones who stood out for the Reds and his performance was dubbed as his best in Liverpool colours by a number of fans.
Keita, who joined the Merseyside club following a 60-million Euro switch from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, had so far struggled to live up to the promise he showed during his time in the German side.
In the initial matches, he looked out of confidence and also struggled with injuries in the opening part of the season.
But Jurgen Klopp maintained his faith on the Guinean and handed him another start against Bayern which was his fifth start in a row for the Reds.
And the German was rewarded for this decision as Keita delivered a complete and professional performance.
The Guinean worked hard and tried his absolute best to create opportunities for Liverpool’s attacking trio.
And he also showed a few glimpses to show why Liverpool spent that amount of money to bring him to the Anfield.
In the 44th minute, the Guinean international effortlessly evaded successive challenges from Thiago Alcantara and Serge Gnabry with a sublime step-over followed by an amazing drop of the shoulder and brilliant close control.
The skill from Keita was so good, many Liverpool fans compared the Guinean with Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta because of the similarity in the execution of the said skill.
It is no secret that Liverpool have made massive strides under Jurgen Klopp since his arrival back in 2015.
Following their impressive run to the Champions League final last season, the Reds have conjured up a real title charge this year and are currently leading the points table in the Premier League.
Liverpool have almost been unstoppable at times and while Pep Guardiola’s City are breathing down their necks, many pundits firmly expect the Reds to be crowned England’s champions come May.
After years of mediocrity it’s widely accepted that Liverpool have finally established themselves as a real force in Europe once again under the German manager and with the investments pouring in, it seems pretty evident that the Reds have a clear vision going forward.
With the results on the pitch going their way it’s only natural that the Reds are doing pretty good off of it as well.
Liverpool’s current deal with New Balance is set to expire at the end of next season and the club seem to be actively looking to secure a new lucrative deal that will see them earn figures close to those received by rivals such Manchester United and Chelsea.
But while the hunt for a kit supplier goes on, the Reds should be seriously considering @FFX_____ to design their kits as soon as possible.
Modern designs of retro kits often end up being a disappointment but the designer has absolutely nailed his modernised design of the vintage Crown Paints kit worn by the Reds during the 1980s.
While there is no official confirmation pointing to a deal with Adidas, the design looks well suited to the kits dished out by the German company and is a perfect blend of antique and modern design.
Liverpool supporters seemed to love the idea judging by comments seen on Twitter and many feel that the design should definitely be considered when the Reds do decide to change their kit suppliers soon.
Give the man the job. Check out the wonderful designs here:
Celtic left it very late at the Rugby Park as a Scott Brown goal in the final minute of the regulation time helped them edge past Kilmarnock.
With this all-important win, Celtic are now eight points clear at the top of the table as their ‘Old Firm’ rival Rangers endured a frustrating night at Ibrox to draw 0-0 against St. Johnstone.
The match was poised to be contested in high spirits as it was a great opportunity for the Killies to leapfrog Aberdeen and clinch the third place on the premiership table.
However, it was the away team that started the game well and created a number of goal-scoring opportunities.
Celtic’s French striker Odsonne Edouard was presented with two golden opportunities after some amazing play down the right wing by the Hoops but he failed to convert any of them.
His first attempt on a turn missed the mark by a whisker while his second attempt drew out a fine save from the Kilmarnock keeper Daniel Bachmann.
On the other end of the pitch, Kirk Broadfoot jumped higher than anyone from a corner only to head it wide.
After that chances came few and far between and the home side started taking more control of the game as the match progressed.
However, some wasteful passing and control in the final third prevented any of the two sides to create a proper goal-scoring opportunity.
Things took a turn in favour of the visitors when Broadfoot was shown a straight red card by the referee for a dangerous challenge on the Celtic skipper Scott Brown.
However, Celtic were unable to capitalize on it as Ryan Christie failed to convert a free header from the penalty area.
The moment of relief finally came in the last minute of the regulation time when Dedryck Boyata nodded down a corner for Scott Brown whose powerful volley took a few deflections before bulging Bachmann’s goal.
The Celtic skipper did not take a moment to think as he joined the celebration with the travelling Celtic fans who were almost pouring on the pitch.
Check out the epic moment here –
However, the hysteric celebration prompted the referee to show him the second yellow card of the match which means that the Scottish international will not be available for Celtic’s next league game when they take on Motherwell at home.
Rangers were dealt a huge blow in their title aspirations after dropping points against St. Johnstone on Saturday.
Steven Gerrard seemed pretty disappointed with his side during his post-match presser and told his players to ‘forget’ about lifting the title after failing to cut Celtic’s 8 point lead at the top.
The draw seems to have affected the former England captain as he was pretty critical of his players and slammed the lack of leadership within the team for failing to step up when it mattered.
But a training instructor in Africa may have given the Liverpool legend something to smile about after releasing a video of him teaching the ‘Steven Gerard’ chant to his recruits during a training session.
The 38-year-old is pretty much a household name amongst football fans around the globe for his exploits with Liverpool and England for almost two decades.
Even though the Gers boss seems a bit down right now, he would probably feel a bit better after watching this clip of the instructor teaching his chant to the soldiers.
It’s indeed wonderful to see the marching soldiers rendition of the famous chant and the clip should definitely be a good watch for all Stevie G fans.
Check out the clip here :
British Army instructor teaching African soldiers the Steven Gerrard song 😂
Life at Manchester certainly didn’t get off to a rosy start for David de Gea when he was signed as a 20-year-old to take over the legendary gloves of Edwin van der Sar in 2011.
Shelling out close to £19 million for a young keeper was almost unheard of at the time, but Sir Alex Ferguson firmly believed that the former Atletico Madrid stopper will turn out to be the perfect long term replacement for the veteran Dutchman.
As a youngster away on foreign shores, the Spaniard had a hard time settling in England and received a lot of stick from the press and critics who felt that he was too inexperienced to handle the pressure of wearing the No. 1 jersey for a club as big as Manchester United.
But like several of his other decisions, the transfer of De Gea turned out to be an absolutely masterstroke by Ferguson in the long run and almost 8 years after first turning up at the club, the Spaniard is now ranked amongst the best keepers on the planet.
Especially after the great Scot left and United struggled to reassert their authority in the league, De Gea has grown into a strong and reliable personality that his teammates can depend upon.
From being called a physically weak boy, the 28-year-old has developed into a strong character between the sticks and has almost single-handedly rescued points for the Red Devils on many occasions over the past few years.
His performance against Tottenham at Wembley last month was a prime example of what the Spaniard does for United on a regular basis.
Had Florentino Perez had his way though, David would have already been a Real Madrid player by now with the Spaniard being courted by the Los Blancos on multiple occasions and came pretty close to a move in 2015, only to be denied by a fault fax machine in the eleventh hour.
After his move to Madrid collapsed, the Spaniard ending up signing a new contract extension up to 2020 but recent reports seem to indicate that United have no intention of letting him go and are prepared to break the bank to convince him.
United are prepared to hand David de Gea a new five-year contract worth over £90m – the largest basic pay package in Premier League history, which would exceed contracts of other top earners such as Ozil, Sanchez and Pogba. The club are confident he’ll extend. #mufc [Times]
The Times claim the club want to reward his form with a new five-year deal worth in excess of £90 million, which would be the ‘largest basic pay package in Premier League history.’
If De Gea agrees to such a contract it would mean he would take home more than some of the biggest names in England including teammates Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez.
While such figures seem to a bit exorbitant for a goalkeeper, it would represent a logical step in Ed Woodward’s long term vision for the club and as he has already proven to his critics over the years – Dave Saves and United will always look more secure with him between the sticks.
After moving to Italy from his native Poland last summer, Krzysztof Piatek has quickly established himself as a household name in the country with 25 goals (all competitions) to his name in just 26 appearances.
The 23-year-old was signed as a relatively unknown player by Genoa in July last year but quickly showed his pedigree with 19 goals during his short stint with the club.
His goal-scoring feats caught the attention of the bigwigs at Milan, who immediately bought him in to replace Gonzalo Higuain, when the Argentine moved to Chelsea during the January transfer window.
The change in clubs certainly didn’t affect Piatek, who marked his debut match with a superb brace against Napoli to take the Rossoneri into the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia and has since gone on to score 4 more goals to take his total tally to 6 in just 5 appearances for the club.
Piatek was at it again on Sunday and spearheaded a crucial 3-1 comeback win over Atalanta which was a big boost for Milan’s Champions League aspirations and manager Gennaro Gattuso will surely be relying on the striker to fire the club towards its objectives.
With a total of 17 league goals to his name, the youngster now finds himself only two goals behind Cristiano Ronaldo in the goal-scoring charts in the Serie A.
While even the striker himself has admitted how he has been left surprised by his quick-fire start to life at the San Siro, the AC Milan fans just can’t seem to get enough of him and have already come up with a pretty catchy chant to adore their new signing.
Mirroring the attacker’s goal celebration of a pistol shooter, the “Piatek! Pum pum pum pum!” chant has quickly caught on ever since it was first heard after Piatek’s first brace against Napoli last month.
While several great versions have been heard since then, perhaps the best version of the chant came from this group of Milan fans who absolutely got the rendition spot on.
Goosebumps inducing stuff! Check out the brilliant chant here:
A set of aerial photos of the brand new Tottenham stadium has emerged online and Spurs fans are absolutely loving every bit of it.
The new stadium is a part of the Northumberland Development Project which also includes a number of new homes, a hotel, a community health centre and a dedicated Spurs museum.
The stadium is expected to almost double the capacity and vastly improve the experience of the fans, players and officials alike.
The project started almost two years ago with the demolition of the White Hart Lane, Spurs home ground since 1899.
It was supposed to be ready by the beginning of the season but a number of deadline revisions and delays have prevented the completion of the project on time.
But now the new stadium seems to be edging closer to completion as Spurs are reportedly discussing with UEFA about the possibilities of arranging their quarter-final match in the new stadium, should they manage to get past Borussia Dortmund on March 6th at the Signal Iduna Park.
However, the stadium is not likely to host any Premier League match anytime soon as Spurs have already confirmed that the North London derby will be played at Wembley.
As the speculations and rumours are piling up about the possible inauguration of the new stadium, aerial photographer Jason Hawkes decided to fly past the stadium and clicked some amazing pictures of it.
The bird’s eye view of the stadium looks absolutely stunning and seems to require only the finishing touches to host the inaugural match.