Jordan Henderson Discusses Reasons for Shock Champions League Defeat to Napoli

Liverpool’s skipper, Jordan Henderson, has admitted that the Reds were lacking the ‘final bit’ as they suffered a defeat in Naples. ?

The Merseyside club lost 2-0 away at ?Napoli in what was their first game of their 2019/20 UEFA Champions League campaign; a competition that they won last season. Andrew Robertson conceded a controversial late penalty that ?Dries Mertens converted, which then added to via a stoppage time Fernando Llorente goal following a rare defensive mistake from Virgil van Dijk. 

Fernando Llorente

Jurgen Klopp’s side suffered a similar defeat last season, when a stoppage time goal from Lorenzo Insigne was enough to give Napoli a 1-0 home win. 

The scoreline might suggest otherwise, but the Reds played significantly better this time around, but uncharacteristic sloppiness in front of goal did cost them. Klopp’s side had plenty of chances during the match, with the best falling to ?Sadio Mane, who failed to pick out a simple pass to ?Mohamed Salah during a quick Liverpool counter.

As quoted by ?Liverpool’s website, Henderson spoke to BT Sport after the match: “I felt we played some good stuff, it was just the final bit I felt we were missing today.

“At home Napoli are a good side and they are going to create some good chances. You’ve got to be prepared to defend as a team, which I felt we did.

We won some great balls in midfield and counter-attacked really well, but it was just that last little bit – and obviously the mistakes for the goals – that we need to improve on.

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“Overall, we can be better of course. We’ll take responsibility, we’ll move forward and try to react in the right way.”

Ultimately, Liverpool should still progress through to the knockout stages with ease, but the lack of composure in front of goal will disappoint Jurgen Klopp.

The club from Anfield will get an opportunity to bounce back from the defeat by visiting ?Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. 

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Atlético vs Juventus Preview: Where to Watch, Buy Tickets, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

Juventus begin their Champions League campaign with a tough trip to ?the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday to face Atlético Madrid

Juve will be hoping to have a more successful Champions League campaign this time around under new boss Maurizio Sarri. The Old Lady have only been able to reach the quarter-finals of the competition over the last two seasons, despite being marked down as one of the favourites to win it on both occasions. 

Maurizio Sarri

Atlético are in a similar situation. While not expected to win the Champions League, the Mattress Makers have had two consecutive disappointing campaigns over the last two seasons, finishing in the group stage and the round of 16 respectively. They’ll be hoping to go a little further this season.

Check out 90min’s preview of Wednesday’s clash below. 


Where to Watch

?When Is Kick-Off? Wednesday 18 September?
?What Time Is Kick-Off? ?20:00 (BST)
???Where Is it Played? ?Wanda Metropolitano
?TV Channel/Live Stream ?BT Sport ESPN

Where to Buy Tickets

Tickets are available via ??Atlético Madrid’s official website, with the lowest price currently starting at €50 per ticket. 


Team News

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Atlético’s Alvaro Morata hasn’t featured since August due to a knee injury and is not expected to play any part in Wednesday’s match. Šime Vrsaljko will be out until at least October due to knee surgery.

Emre Can, Mario Mandžuki?, Marko Pjaca, Mattia Perin and Giorgio Chiellini were not named in ?Juventus‘ ?Champions League squad, with the latter expected to be out for most of the season with a cruciate ligament rupture. 

Mattia De Sciglio was named in the squad but won’t play any part on Wednesday’s match due to a muscle injury. Douglas Costa, Danilo, and Miralem Pjanic all picked up injuries in Saturday’s draw against Fiorentina and may not feature. 

Aaron Ramsey, who has yet to make his competitive debut for the Old Lady, was named on the bench for their clash with Fiorentina and could make his first appearance on Wednesday. 


Predicted Lineups

?Atlético Madrid Oblak; Tripper, Savi?, Giménez, Lodi; Vitolo, Koke, Saúl, Lemar; João Félix, Costa.
?Juventus ?Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Bentacur, Matuidi, Bernardeschi, Higuain, Ronaldo.

Head to Head Record

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Atlético and Juventus have met a total of 10 times throughout their history, with Juve winning on five occasions compared to Atléti’s four. Their last meeting was in a pre-season friendly back in August, when Atlético beat the Old Lady 2-1 at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.

It was Juventus who sent Atlético crashing out of the Champions League at the round of 16 last season. The Mattress Makers won the first leg 2-0, but the Old Lady thrashed them 3-0 in the second leg to send Atléti home. 


Recent Form

Thomas Partey,Jose Maria Gimenez,Kieran Trippier,Rodrigo Riquelme

Atlético have enjoyed a good start to the season, winning three out of their first four ?La Liga games and currently sit on top of the league.

Juventus have had a decent, if unspectacular start to the season. They earned narrow wins against Parma and ?Napoli in their two opening games, but failed to beat an out-of-form Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi on Saturday. 

?Atlético Madrid Juventus?
?Real Sociedad 2-0 Atlético Madrid (14/9)    ?Fiorentina 0-0 Juventus (14/9)
?Atlético Madrid 1-0 Eibar (1/9) ?Juventus 4-3 Napoli (31/8)
?Leganés 0-1 Atlético Madrid (25/8) ?Parma 0-1 Juventus (24/8)
?Atlético Madrid 1-0 Getafe (18/8) ?Triestina 0-1 Juventus (17/8)
?Atlético Madrid 2-1 Juventus (10/8) ?Juventus 3-1 Juventus B (14/8)

Prediction

Cristiano Ronaldo,Gonzalo Higuain

Given the similarities in quality between the two sides, expect this to be a narrow match. Atlético may edge it though, given that they are on home turf and the fact Juventus are currently in the midst of an injury crisis. 

Prediction: Atlético Madrid 2-1 Juventus


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Olympiacos vs Tottenham: 8 Key Facts & Stats to Impress Your Mates Ahead of Champions League Clash

The time has finally come for Tottenham to get back on the Champions League horse, just three months after that heartbreaking final that shall not be further dwelled on.

For now is the time to look at the future, and the future is Olympiacos at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium. Don’t know much about the Greek lads? Afraid of what to expect? Desperate for some knowledge to back-up your beer-fuelled claims ahead of the game?

Well, fear not, your care package of stats have arrived, courtesy of Opta, and I assure you each is more tantalising than the last. Ella re (that means ‘come on’ in Greek, and you can have that for free), dive in.


Schooled Britannia

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Think the boys from Piraeus will be an easy proposition? Think again. 

That’s because, since 2009-10, Olympiacos have won five of their six European home matches against English opposition, with three wins against Arsenal and one apiece against Manchester United and European heavyweights Burnley. 

Their only defeat? A 3-0 loss to Arsenal at home in the 2015 group stage. A north London omen, perhaps.


The Streak

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Not only do Olympiacos possess a perfect record from their first three league games, they’ve also won their last five matches in European competition (all qualifiers).

The catch is that they have never won six consecutive such matches in their history, so it’ll be the history makers or breakers on Wednesday night.


Ancient History

Ralph Coates

These two sides have met just twice before in a competitive fixture. Both of those games came way back in the 1972/73 edition of the UEFA Cup, when Spurs won 4-0 at home in the first-leg of their Last 32 tie, before losing 1-0 away in the return leg.

Eaaaaaassssyyy work. 


50 Up for Poch

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This is a seminal game for a myriad of reasons, but spare a thought for old Mauricio Pochettino, who will be taking charge of his 50th European game as manager of Spurs.

It’s a hell of an achievement, only bettered by Bill Nicholson, who oversaw 55 European games for the club. Now, I don’t want to jinx it, but that record should now be in the bag. 


Harry Kane vs Greece

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Harry Kane hates Greece.

Twice he has come up against Greek opposition, and twice he has triumphed, notching four goals. This includes a hat-trick against Asteras Tripolis in the 5-1 homes win back in 2014.

Harry Kane hates Greece.


No Kane No Gain

Harry Kane

And that’s not the only fortunate foreboding as far as Kane’s goalscoring goes, with the English striker having contributed to 15 goals in his last 14 Champions League appearances. 

That’s 12 goals and three assists. Prolific.


The Actual Streak

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So, remember that streak mentioned earlier concerning Olympiacos. Well, considering its inclusion of qualifiers, it may not be as relevant as this completely contrasting one concerning the UCL. 

That’s because the Red and Whites are winless in their last eight Champions League matches (one draw, seven losses), with their last victory coming against Dinamo Zagreb in November 2015.

That makes it their joint-longest winless run in the competition alongside an eight-game run ending in October 2003. Yikes.


The Group Stage Caveat

Antonio Candreva,Lucas

That being said, all is not rosy for Spurs in the Champions League world, either. Which is weird, seeing as they were the second-best team in the whole thing last year. But it turns their knockout knockout stage performances (see what I did there) belied some serious group stage struggles, especially *warning sign blaring* away from home. 

Pochettino’s men failed to win any of their group stage games away from home in 2018-19 (drawing two, losing one) but won two of the three on the road in those knockout stages; beating Borussia Dortmund and Ajax on their way to the final.

So, should the worst happen in Attica, don’t worry, it’s all part of a wider plan. 


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Frank Lampard, Ross Barkley & Cesar Azpilicueta Clarify Chelsea Penalty Situation After Costly Miss

?Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has insisted that Ross Barkley has been the club’s designated penalty taker all season following the midfielder’s late miss from the spot in the 1-0 Champions League defeat against Valencia on Tuesday night.

Chelsea were trailing as a result of a second half strike from Spain international Rodrigo, but a handball from Valencia’s Daniel Wass gave the home side the chance to equalise.

Tammy Abraham,Jorginho

Barkley, who had come off the bench just moments earlier, took the ball. However, as he stood waiting to take the kick there was a discussion with both Jorginho and Willian. The former appeared to give his blessing, but the latter seemed more reluctant to walk away.

Barkley gestured with his hand a number of times to the Brazilian as if to say ‘I’m taking it’, or ‘I’m the penalty taker’. Unfortunately for Barkley, his subsequent effort missed the target.

Chelsea fans on social media immediately questioned why Barkley had been the one to take it when they believed Jorginho to be the designated taker. The Italian had been first up in the UEFA Super Cup shootout against Liverpool, while Barkley was second that night.

But Barkley had earlier stepped up and scored from the spot against both Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Monchengladbach during the summer, and Lampard was quick to clarify the situation in the wake of his costly miss.

“Ross is our penalty taker and he has been since pre-season when he scored a couple,” the boss told Chelsea TV after the game.

The subject was further raised when Lampard faced the media at the post-match press conference and he explained that Jorginho and Willian had been the penalty takers on the pitch, but only until Barkley came on as a substitute.

“Ross is the penalty taker. He was in pre-season and scored a couple. He has been when he started; he was when he came on and he missed it,” Lampard said via the Daily Telegraph.

“I don’t know what the conversation was but Jorginho and Willian were the takers on the pitch. When Ross comes on, he becomes the penalty taker and he missed it.”

Barkley reiterated his manager’s words in comments published on Chelsea’s official website.

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“When I’m on the pitch I take pens, but I obviously didn’t execute it right,” he said. “I felt confident. Everybody misses penalties. I take penalties every day, I scored penalties in pre-season. I have missed penalties before, it’s just one of those things.

“We’ve got a lot of good penalty takers in the squad. On the sheet in the changing room it says I’m on penalties if I’m on the pitch, otherwise it’s Jorginho.”

As for what Jorginho and Willian were saying to him, Barkley declared they were just ‘encouraging me to score the goal’, rather than debating who should have the ball.


Cesar Azpilicueta has also since referred to Barkley as ‘one of the best penalty takers in the team’ and ‘the one who takes them’. The captain also backed up Barkley’s assertion by stating that Jorginho and Willian only offered words of encouragement.

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Ronaldo: Looking Back at 6 of he Brazilian’s Most Iconic Moments on His Birthday

That lightning acceleration. That Brazilian flair. That dodgy haircut. 

We all have our own memories of Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, or simply ‘Ronaldo’. The big man burst onto the scene whilst playing for PSV Eindhoven, and terrorised defences with his breathtaking speed, quick feet and ability to round any goalkeeper on the planet. 

Brazil's forward Ronaldo, wrapped in the

Ronaldo is considered one of the greatest footballers to have ever walked this earth, and he truly was a joy to watch. The two-time Ballon d’Or winner played with such a grace and speed that he made the game look so easy – a sign of an elite player. 

As football fans, we were privileged to watch the genius at work for a number of years, but his plaguing knee injuries undoubtedly robbed us all of many more historic goals and tricks. 

The former Brazil international is a footballing legend, and it’s only fair that we look back at the great man’s most iconic moments on his 43rd birthday. 


Hat-Trick vs Bayer Leverkusen in 1994 

This is the night where it all began for Ronaldo. He was making a name for himself in Holland with PSV, but the teenager burst onto the European stage in an exhilarating encounter against Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Cup. 

Ronaldo, unknown to most at the time, single-handedly destroyed the Leverkusen defence in one of the most impressive individual displays of all time. Although the crumbling Eindhoven backline continued to ship goals, this irrepressible youngster stunned the world with his frightening pace, rocket-powered shots and deft touch in front of goal. 


Ronaldo bagged a hat-trick on the night, his second goal a wonder-strike from 25 yards, and although PSV fell to a 5-4 defeat in Germany, the Brazilian wonderkid had given the world a glimpse of what was to come over the next decade. 


Barcelona Goal vs SD Compostela 

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Still incredibly young and raw, Ronaldo was taking the world by storm. It’s a crying shame that the Brazilian only spent one season at Camp Nou, but he certainly made the most of his time with the Catalan club.

The ?Barca striker scored an incredible 47 goals in 49 appearances for La Blaugrana and the majority of them were pieces of art, but his goal against SD Compostela ranks highest of all. 

Picking up the ball in his own half, Ronaldo danced away from a challenge, released himself from the grip of the most cynical shirt-pull of all time, and set off on a storming charge towards a visibly quaking backline. 

O Fenomeno weaved through several tackles before rifling home, leaving Barca manager Bobby Robson gobsmacked on the touchline. A goal so good, no one in the stadium could truly believe it had happened.


UEFA Cup Final Goal vs Lazio 

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Cup final goals are always special, but a goal to seal a win against your league rivals in European competition always tastes a little bit sweeter. ?Inter striker Ronaldo wrapped up a 3-0 victory against fellow Serie A side Lazio, and he delivered his trademark finish which summed up the man’s brilliance.

FOOT-UEFA-INTER MILAN-LAZIO ROME

Breaking the offside trap with expert timing, Ronaldo tore away from the flagging defenders, sucked the goalkeeper in before rounding him with ease, and nonchalantly rolled the ball home. 

It was a move he produced so regularly, but no keeper in the game could live with his devastating drop of the shoulder when through on goal. 


Real Madrid Debut vs Alaves 

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Debuts are not an easy occasion for some players. So much expectation to deliver, and the world’s eyes are boring into you.

You know what helps? Scoring 61 seconds into your first match. And that’s exactly what O Fenomeno did. 

Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldo waves

Coming on as a substitute, Ronaldo immediately got his name on the ?Real Madrid scoresheet, bringing down a difficult cross from the left and lashing a volley past the helpless goalkeeper. 

I imagine that calmed the nerves of just about everyone at the Santiago Bernabeu, although I doubt Ronaldo was too concerned to begin with. The new Galactico went on to add a second goal later in the match, and became an instant fans’ favourite in the Spanish capital.


 World Cup Final Brace  

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This was the pinnacle of the great man’s career. Ronaldo had suffered heartbreak four years prior when Brazil lost the World Cup final to France, and the young talisman had suffered a serious convulsion hours before kickoff. 

The tournament favourites entered the competition with great expectations and the weight of a nation on their shoulders, but the Samba boys duly delivered, banishing the memories of France ’98. 


Ronaldo was the star of the World Cup, and O Fenomeno ended the tournament as top scorer with eight goals; bagging a brace in the final. 

And of course, we all remember that suspect trim he rocked against Germany, which unfortunately never really caught on.


Real Madrid Hat-Trick vs Manchester United 

This is still one of the greatest moments in Champions League history, and Ronaldo’s Real Madrid treble is considered one of the best hat-tricks that football has ever witnessed. 

The Spanish giants rode into Manchester brimming with confidence, and O Fenomeno delivered one of the outstanding performances of his career against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side. 

?His first goal was a brilliant first-time finish, catching goalkeeper Fabien Barthez by surprise, lashing the ball fiercely in at the near post. 

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Ronaldo’s second goal was a tap-in, finishing off some neat buildup play, but the pièce de résistance however, was his hat-trick goal. 

Picking up possession midway inside the ?Man Utd half, the Madrid number 11 took a few strides forward, shifted the ball onto his right foot, and unleashed a vicious effort which somehow curled, dipped and arrowed past Barthez. 

Ronaldo was applauded off the pitch by the entire Old Trafford crowd, which tells us all we need to know about one of football’s greatest servants. 

Parabéns O Fenomeno!


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