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Ecstatic Luka Modric seen rushing to the sidelines and hug Marcelo after splendid goal

Real Madrid showed signs of confidence that had become synonymous with Zidane’s first tenure as the Vikings managed to trump high-flying Real Sociedad 3-1 in a clinical home display on Sunday.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the performance was Luka Modric’s return to form as the Croatian midfielder played a role in all the three goals Real Madrid scored at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Modric set up the first two on either side of the break, before scoring a world class volley himself.

Yet, it was Modric’s celebration that arguably managed to garner the most attention.

The 34-year-old was seen heading over to the sidelines with a big smile and shared a warm embrace with Marcelo, who had been left on the bench for the game.

Zidane seems to have breathed new life into the Los Blancos, with the chemistry among his old guard evident to all.

The two players have often proved to be instrumental on the pitch and would need to be at their best with important fixtures coming up against PSG and Barcelona.

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Little Barcelona fan with Arturo Vidal mohawk and goatee steals limelight during Leganes win

Kid sporting mohawk in an attempt to look like Arturo Vidal steals the spotlight in away fixture against Leganes

Barcelona recorded their third win on the trot after they came from behind to beat 20th placed Leganes 2-1 away from home.

Even though they are level on points with Real Madrid, the win saw Barca retain their position at the top of the table owing to a better goal difference.

Apart from the clinical second half display by the Blaugrana, it was a certain young fan of theirs that caught the attention of the crowd and the media.

Having his hair cut out in a handsome mohawk that resembled the Chilean superstar, the eager fan even had a painted beard on his face that likened him to the midfielder.

A poster further helped highlight the similarities in the appearances of the two, having a picture of his and Vidal placed side by side.

Via Twitter

Vidal didn’t disappoint his little fan as he came on from the bench late in the game to score the winning goal and handed Barcelona a crucial victory in their charge for the third successive La Liga title.

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Photo – A whole range of Arsenal clothing products for next season has leaked online

It has become a common occurrence for football kits to surface online before they are officially released by the clubs.

While it is not surprising that some of them do turn out to be fake, the rumours also turn out to be true a large number of times.

This time around, a plethora of Arsenal merchandise has been leaked online. They range from joggers to jerseys, sweatshirts, keeping gloves, jackets and much more.

The home renditions dominantly carry the traditional Arsenal colours of red and white, while the away versions are mostly made up of bright yellow. Other colours include shades of blue and green.

Only time will tell whether the released images are authentic or they are just rumours.

Check out the leaked images of the products Adidas might bring out for the fans next season –

Source

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Mourinho singles out Japhet Tanganga with a Cristiano Ronaldo remark on his first day as Tottenham manager

Having taken over as Tottenham’s gaffer following the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho seemed determined to get things going the right away.

The Special One has often been picked upon by the media and fans for not promoting enough youth from the academy to his starting XI, but this time around he seems to already be on the path of silencing his critics.

In his very first training session at the club, he was spotted making a coach take note of Japhet Tanganga’s potential.

The 20-year-old central defender first caught attention when he started alongside Toby Alderweireld against Juventus in a pre-season friendly, managing to keep footballing royalty Cristiano Ronaldo relatively quiet. However, he has since struggled to make his way into the first team setup.

The England U-20 international is yet to feature in the league for Spurs and it would be interesting to see what role the Portuguese mastermind assigns him through the course of the season.

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Vinicius was the first to congratulate Rodrygo on his hat-trick in the dressing room after Real Madrid beat Galatasaray

The inborn flair that comes naturally with Brazilians has often seen clubs in the past pay surprisingly large amounts of fee for teenagers who are yet to prove themselves on the big stage and Real Madrid’s case is no different.

Having signed 17-year-old Rodrygo for 45 million Euros making him the third most expensive teenager at the time, the expectations from him were surreal when he arrived at the beginning of the season in Madrid after having spent an additional year with Santos on loan.

However, the Samba boy soon impressed the Santiago Bernabeu faithful in pre-season. It didn’t take him long to win the trust of their talismanic manager Zinedine Zidane and was handed a La Liga debut in the last week of September against Osasuna.

He soon made his first European appearance against Galatasaray away from home in October and just 8 days later, scored his first goal for the Los Blancos in the league.

However, it was his performance midweek that grabbed the most headlines.

With Gareth Bale not in the squad, he was given another chance to start the match and came out with flying colours.

Two goals in the opening ten minutes were followed by an assist in the dying moments of the first half, before he capped off his hat-trick in injury time.

Not only did he become the second youngest after Raul to have scored a Champions League triplet, he was named the competition’s player of the week and announced himself to the world in remarkable fashion.

His teammates were evidently ecstatic for the prodigy amidst them, but none so much as compatriot and fellow teenager Vinicius Junior.

The two have had similar stories uptil joining the Vikings and the 19-year-old was the first to congratulate his Seleção youth teammate.

As the man of the moment entered the dressing room with the customary match ball, the two shared a fancy handshake before hugging each other, with Vinicius’ grin on full display.

While the Brazilian duo has constantly been pitted against each other by the Spanish media, Los Blancos fans would be hoping to see the partnership between the pair thriving both on and off the pitch for years to come.

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This Chelsea duo had two-thirds of the possession entire Watford team managed on Saturday

Chelsea got back to winning ways during the weekend after the players put in an absolute shift to come back with three crucial points from Vicarage Road.

While the score suggests they only managed to eke out a narrow 2-1 win, it doesn’t tell the full story.

Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic struck at Vicarage Road

The Blues were in charge for the majority of the game, buoyed by the efforts of their dynamic duo in the middle of the field, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.

The two players ended up with a combined 265 passes at 95% accuracy, with an accumulated possession of 22.2% between them.

For context, the entire Watford team could only conjure up 33.3% possession throughout the 90 minutes, meaning the pair had as much as two-thirds of the possession as the Hornets managed.

https://twitter.com/Squawka/status/1190769279395880960

Kovacic, with 154 touches, the most by player on the field during the game, was seen frequently driving forward with purpose and adding to the attacking impulse of his time.

He managed to complete 11 of his 12 attempted long balls, while also managing to win as many as 7 duels which highlights his contribution both in attack and in defence. As long as he keeps up this rich vein of form, the Stamford Bridge faithful won’t be missing the injured Kante much.

As for Jorginho, the Italian midfield maestro completed 11 hard-fought recoveries and as many as 4 interceptions. The 27-year-old also threaded four neat through balls splitting Watford’s defence, the first of which was delightfully finished by Tammy Abraham to open Chelsea’s account. He also created two chances and apart from the yellow card late in the game had a near-perfect game.

Both Jorginho and Kovacic have flourished under Lampard this season

While Jorginho has already cemented his place as a favourite of both the fans and the manager, Real Madrid-reject Kovacic has also done well so far to win the trust of his manager.

Along with Kante, the three have been the fulcrum of the team’s success in the season uptil now and will be hopeful of kickstarting another winning streak after a 2-1 loss against Manchester United in the cup in their last outing.

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Controversial decision to deny Real Madrid a penalty has VAR under fire yet again

Real Madrid had to satisfy themselves with a dry goalless draw at home against Real Betis on the weekend as their wobbly form witnessed so far in the season continues.

While the Los Blancos were the better side for major parts of the game, they were left lamenting a controversial VAR decision which might have robbed them of two crucial points. A win would have seen the Vikings catapult Barcelona to the top spot after the Blaugrana had lost 3-1 to Levante earlier in the evening.

The much talked about incident occurred in the 82nd minute amidst a late attacking surge by the Royal Whites.

Caught on the counter attack, the Betis defence saw Eden Hazard threading a neat through ball from near the half line to a rampant Karim Benzema. The in-form striker caught up with the ball on the left edge of the 12-yard box and fired in a low cross.

Betis defender Feddal slid in just ahead of him in an attempt to block the final ball, only to have the ball striking his arm as he fell. The ball thereon safely reached the goalkeeper’s glove, but had the intervention not taken place it looked certain to end up dangerously in the six yard box. Skipper Sergio Ramos was there waiting to pounce on the same and seal a first victory for the hosts in three years against the Verdiblancos at the Santiago Bernabéu.

The referee was quick to consult the Video Assistant Referee team who after an extended check, gave the decision in the visitors’ favour.

The judgement had the Bernabéu faithful roaring in disapproval, as the Betis defence held on tightly to secure a point away from home.

While the debate will continue for a while it seems, it won’t change the fact that Real Madrid could only conjure a point against a rigid defensive structure despite having a much superior game.

As things stand, they are tied at the top of the table with arch rivals Barcelona on points, with the Catalonians placed above them due to a better goal difference.

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All the positions from where Lionel Messi struck his 50 free-kicks and where they landed

Lionel Messi’s form from dead ball situations in the past few years has simply been on a different level than everybody else to play the sport, as he has been surpassing one milestone after the other.

Only recently, he scored his 50th direct free kick for club and country against Real Valladolid on Tuesday, a match which saw him come away with two goals and assists each to his name.

To celebrate the landmark and pay tribute to La Pulga, Spanish journalist David Saura Ramiro has posted a graphic on Twitter showing from where those attempts were hit and where they ended up in the net.

As many as 44 of those goals were scored by Messi while he donned the famous blue and claret jersey of the Blaugrana, the first of which came at their home ground against Atletico de Madrid in November, 2008. The remaining six were struck by him while representing his national team Argentina.

The graphic shows that the furthest from which he has managed to convert a free kick is 31 metres, which was incidentally also his first freekick goal for La Albicelestes. It further suggests that most of the successful attempts lodged themselves in the upper corners of the net almost touching the woodwork, albeit a few of them have gone in despite being placed centrally.

Perhaps the most remarkable feature indicated by the graph is the different distances and angles from which the shots have been hit. Be it the edge of the penalty box or from farther out, be it directly in front of the goal or diagonal to the wooden frame, the little maestro has managed to do it all.

Equally fascinating is the fact that he had only scored 19 until the start of 2015/16 season, since then he has added 31 more to his tally. With more than half of the present season to go, it’ll be interesting to see whether he is able to reach a half-century of goals for Barça by the end of 2019/20.

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There’s a bit of Celtic about what Kieran Tierney did at full time after Liverpool beat Arsenal

Arsenal new signing Kieran Tierney showed some real class after their defeat was confirmed in the Carabao Cup fixture against reigning European champions Liverpool FC.

After a rollercoaster game that saw five goals scored by both the Gunners and the Scousers in regulation time, the result was to be decided by penalties.

Both teams started out strongly scoring first three of their respective strikes, until on loan midfielder Dani Ceballos missed his shot. The Merseyside team capitalized as it slotted in the next two of its shots neatly to win the shootout 5-4.

After having led for most of the game, the travelling Arsenal side was visibly distraught and seemed to head straight back to the tunnel after Curtis Jones’ telling strike.

However, recently acquired fullback Kieran Tierney took the forefront as he forbade the players from leaving the pitch, before gathering them all to walk towards the away fans section and express gratitude towards all those faithful supporters that had made the journey from London.

CELTIC ROOTS ON DISPLAY – Kieran Tierney calling on Arsenal players to thank away fans after shootout defeat to Liverpool

Considering it has been less than three months since Arsenal bought the Scottish international from Celtic, it was a pleasant sight for the fans to see the 22-year-old growing into the club.

Celtic are renowned for their welcoming fan culture and their fanbase has won multiple recognitions from FIFA and UEFA in the past and Tierney having spent 14 years with the Scottish champions, it was evident their culture has rubbed off on him.

Having provided a solution to their defensive problems as well as lack of spirit at times, Kieran Tierney has come to be loved by the Arsenal fans with some of them having already proclaimed him as a future captain of the London club –

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Arsenal player on the bench reduced to tears as Granit Xhaka got booed off by fans during Palace draw

Arsenal’s dynamic midfielder Lucas Torreira was caught by the cameras with tears in his eyes after club captain Granit Xhaka received a wave of abuses and jeers from the Emirates crowd while being taken off the field by manager Unai Emery.

Having taken a two goal lead within the first ten minutes of the Premier League game against Crystal Palace, the Gunners looked set to record what would have only been their second win in the competition in the ongoing month.

However, goals on either side of half-time meant the two teams were on level terms by the 52nd minute. With manager Unai Emery desperate to overturn the club’s recent run of form, he brought on young winger Bukayo Saka to replace midfield anchor Granit Xhaka.

As soon as the Swiss’ name was displayed on the big screen, the Gooners erupted in cheers to see the 27-year-old go off.

Arsenal has failed to capitalize on its talented squad and the quality has not reflected in the results so far this season, with the captain having been made the scapegoat for their poor performances. He has been on the wrong end of abuses aimed at him and his family, the same of which was again at display on Sunday.

However, this time he decided he had had enough, as he threw the armband to the ground before ripping off his jersey and dropping it in the dirt while walking off into the tunnel.

While such dire actions divided the internet between those who lambasted him for disrespecting the club in such manner and those who sympathized with the treatment he has been receiving from the Emirates faithful, it was evident which side Lucas Torreira was on.

The Uruguayan himself has had limited minutes so far this campaign with Xhaka being the preferred option for the French manager, but the 23-year-old’s faith in and respect for the skipper was on display as the criticism hurled at Xhaka overwhelmed the youngster.

It remains to be seen whether the club will be taking any disciplinary action against the skipper, with a glaring possibility that he will be stripped of his leadership position, but the players regardless seem to be standing united with each other.

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Rivals fans cannot hide their envy at what Frank Lampard has done with Chelsea

Chelsea legend and current manager of the club Frank Lampard has managed to take his team to new heights in the early phase of this season despite all the adversities that have surrounded the Blues.

The club is on a six-match winning streak and sits third in the league, having also secured two wins on the trot against tough competition in Europe.

The rival fans have begun to notice the same and with clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United going through extended rough patches for the better half of a decade now.

However, at the beginning of the season, things looked anything but optimistic. Not only had Chelsea lost its four time player of the year Eden Hazard who also starred in their Europa League winning campaign, but were also handed a transfer ban effective immediately.

Moreover, Lampard had only had one full season as manager in professional football with Derby County, arousing natural skepticism from the club’s supporters.

The same doubts were shoved into the spotlight when the London club lost the UEFA Super Cup to Liverpool before being marauded 4-0 by Manchester United in their league opener.

The 41-year-old has since not only managed to turn the tables, but has emerged as a prospective long term candidate capable of ushering a new era at the club.

His emphasis on giving the youth maximum chances has seen players like Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham flourish under him, not to forget Christian Pulisic who has had a real impact whenever given a chance.

He has tried to inculcate a fast, slick brand of possession-based attacking football, the best version of which was at show in their latest match against Ajax.

Though they only managed to win 1-0 courtesy a late Michy Batshuayi strike, the scorecard doesn’t tell the whole story.

They were constant a threat to Ajax’s defence before ultimately capping it off with a goal to also come away with the result.

Chelsea and rival fans alike were quick to take notice of and mentioned the same, heaping praise on the iconic number eight for the job he has been doing so far.

They gave all credit to the club’s smooth start to the season to one of the youngest managers in the circuit and Chelsea fans will be hoping he helps the team sustain their present form for a long time to come.

Check out the tweets from 3 popular fan accounts on Twitter being slightly jealous with what Frank Lampard has done with Chelsea so far this season –

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Liverpool star starts off his UCL game with an outrageous pass

Liverpool central midfielder Naby Keita ran rampant against a helpless Genk side in his side’s UEFA Champions League third group stage match of the season, the signs of which were evident from the very manner in which he started the game.

As soon as Liverpool kicked off at the Cristal Arena in Belgium, a long heave was sent towards Genk’s goal only to be cleared by a header, sending the ball in Keita’s direction.

The number eight, standing poignantly in the opposition half, simply turned himself around to meet the ball with his back and send it rolling towards explosive fullback Andy Robertson.

The first thing Naby Keita did was make a pass using his back against Genk

To think the highlight reel moment came in the eighth second of the pulsating match and was pulled off with such composure would undoubtedly make even Ronaldinho proud.

Keita ran the game for his team pulling strings all around the pitch as the reigning champions put in a dominating performance.

An Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain brace and a goal each from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane helped them come away with an easy 4-1 win, but it was undoubtedly Keita who was the unsung hero of the match.

The 24-year-old ended up with 110 successful passes on the night and yet it was his first touch of the game that would be remembered for a long time to come by the Anfield faithful.