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Pogba Denied Manchester United The Chance To Top The Table With A Draw At Wolves.

Paul Pogba had a penalty saved by Rui Patricio as Manchester United could only draw 1-1 at Wolves in the Premier League on Monday.

Paul Pogba won a penalty against Wolves, but failed to score it

Anthony Martial’s 50th United goal opened the scoring in the 27th minute, the France forward reaching the milestone by converting the first shot of the game.

Wolves levelled in the 55th minute with a goal that survived lengthy VAR checks for offside, Ruben Neves smashing home a 20-yard drive after a clever set-piece routine.

Pogba had the best chance to take all three points but saw his spot-kick kept out by Patricio, with United unable to make amends for two defeats at Molineux last term.

Daniel James was booked for his second dive in the 24th minute as both sides, preferring to play on the break, felt their way into the match.

United broke the deadlock soon after, patient possession on the left leading to Marcus Rashford sliding a pass through for his strike partner, with Martial lashing home a first-time finish.

Wolves hit back after the break though, the half-time introduction of Adama Traore giving United a fresh problem to handle, with a glancing Raul Jimenez header hitting the inside of the post.

The equaliser came moments later. A short corner was well worked by Joao Moutinho to Neves, lurking with intent on the edge of the penalty area, and he crashed a trademark strike in off the underside of the crossbar.

United should have retaken the lead in the 68th minute but Pogba, having won a penalty for Conor Coady’s clumsy challenge, failed to beat Patricio from the penalty spot.

A stretched finale saw chances at both ends, with Luke Shaw denied at the death as neither side could find a late winner.

What does it mean? Wolves still a menace for top-six rivals

Europa League duties could hinder Wolves’ attempts to break into the top six this term but Nuno Espirito Santo’s side look set to bloody some more noses in 2019-20 having matched United.

The Red Devils, who would have gone top of the league with a win, have now failed to win any of their past five away games in the Premier League.

Neves unstoppable from outside the box

United knew what Neves was going to do when the corner routine worked the ball to his feet 20 yards out. Defenders scrambled to close the former Porto captain down but he still found enough time and space to whip home his 10th goal from outside the area since joining Wolves in 2017.

James has to cut simulation out

There is no doubt the raw pace of Wales winger James makes him one of the more thrilling additions to the Premier League this season but he must learn to stay on his feet. Reputations are built quickly at this level and they can be hard to shake.

What’s next?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday. Wolves go to Torino for the first leg of their Europa League play-off on Thursday, then a busy start to the season continues when they host Burnley in the Premier League three days later.

Bale Appears in Real Madrid XI for opening LaLiga match at Celta Vigo


Real Madrid star Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale has been named in the Real Madrid XI for their first match of the new LaLiga season against Celta Vigo, despite appearing destined to leave the club in this transfer window.

Bale, whose relationship with head coach Zinedine Zidane has long appeared strained, saw a July move to Jiangsu Suning collapse, while mooted transfers to other European giants never materialised.

But on the eve of the season, Zidane insisted he would use the winger while he remained in his squad and duly named him in the line-up for Saturday’s meeting at Balaidos.

With Eden Hazard ruled out by a late muscle injury, Bale and Vinicius Junior will support Karim Benzema in attack as Madrid attempt to capitalise on Barcelona’s surprise loss to Athletic Bilbao on Friday.

Madrid have invested heavily in the close season, yet Hazard’s absence sees them start the first match of the new campaign without a single new signing in the side.

Luka Jovic is among the substitutes, along with James Rodriguez, who had been linked to rivals Atletico Madrid.

Real Madrid team to face Celta Vigo:

Courtois; Odriozola, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Bale, Vinicius, Benzema.

Subs: Navas, Militao, Nacho, James, Vazquez, Jovic, Isco.

Napoli 0 Barcelona 4: Griezmann off the mark as Catalans turn on the style

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Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann

A stylish second half from Barcelona saw them sweep aside Napoli in Michigan to claim a 4-0 friendly win on Saturday.

Antoine Griezmann got his first goal for the club since his €120million move from Atletico Madrid, in between strikes from Luis Suarez.

Ousmane Dembele added a fourth against Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who lost the first friendly meeting in Miami 2-1 on Wednesday and were simply no match for the Catalans here once they fell behind.

It was an encouraging display from Ernesto Valverde’s Barca, without the injured Lionel Messi, ahead of their LaLiga opener at Athletic Bilbao on Friday.

Griezmann dragged a clear chance wide and Dembele also fluffed his lines as Barca failed to capitalise on their first-half openings.

Suarez was denied by Alex Meret, but Fabian Ruiz went within inches of giving Napoli a lead at the break.

Griezmann spurned another chance three minutes after the break, firing straight at Meret, but Suarez was on hand this time to side-foot home the rebound.

Barca turned on the style for their second eight minutes later. A passing move starting from the back four ended with Carles Alena sliding a superb throughball to Jordi Alba – perhaps fortunate not to be flagged for offside – who squared for Griezmann to bury an easy finish.

It got worse for Napoli just two minutes later, as Dembele picked up Suarez’s pass from a loose ball and teed up the Uruguay star for a stunning curling strike that flew past Meret from the edge of the box.

Dembele marked a strong second-half showing by driving into the penalty area and drilling a right-foot strike into the bottom-left corner, ensuring Barca will head into the new season in positive fashion.

BREAKING NEWS: Maguire completes Man United move for reported £80m

Harry Maguire in action against Marcus Rashford of Manchester United

Harry Maguire has become the most expensive defender of all time following the completion of a reported £80million move to Manchester United from Leicester City.

The England international underwent a medical on Sunday and signed a six-year contract with the option of a further season at Old Trafford after United and Leicester reached an agreement to end a long-running transfer saga.

While the fee has not been confirmed, media reports indicate it surpasses the £75m Liverpool paid Southampton to secure Virgil van Dijk’s January 2018 arrival.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer moved to make Maguire his third signing of the close season following the additions of winger Daniel James and right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Swansea City and Crystal Palace respectively.

“I am delighted to have signed for this great club,” Maguire said in a statement published by United.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leicester and would like to thank everyone at the club, and the fans, for their fantastic support over the past two seasons. However, when Manchester United come knocking on your door, it is an incredible opportunity.

“From my conversations with the manager, I am excited about the vision and plans he has for the team. It’s clear to see that Ole is building a team to win trophies.

“I am now looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting the season started.”

Chelsea’s Kante Could Return For Potential Europa League Final

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri hopes to have N’Golo Kante back for a potential Europa League final after conceding he made a mistake playing him against Watford.

Kante was forced off with a hamstring injury after just 10 minutes in the 3-0 victory over Watford at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, where second-half goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek, David Luiz and Gonzalo Higuain proved decisive.

Sarri confessed he should have rested France international Kante after he completed the full 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw away at Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final last Thursday.

Kante will sit out the second leg at Stamford Bridge this Thursday and the Blues’ final Premier League outing against Leicester City next Sunday.

However, Sarri suggested the midfielder could be available for the Europa League final in Baku on May 29 should Chelsea advance.

“The problem is with his hamstring. But I think that I made a mistake because, probably, today he had to rest,” Sarri told a post-match news conference.

“Sometimes it’s very difficult to put on the bench a player so important like [Eden] Hazard, like Kante, but you have to do it. Otherwise you [are taking a] risk, and I have to say that I made a mistake.

“I don’t know [how severe the injury is]. We have to wait until tomorrow morning.

“I think it’s very difficult to recover him for the next two matches. But we want to play in the final, so he’s lucky. We have to try and recover him for the final in case [we get there].”

Chelsea’s win sent them third in the Premier League and to the brink of a top-four finish that would guarantee Champions League qualification, though the Europa League offers an alternate route into the continent’s premier club competition.

Asked if the Europa League was a luxury for the Blues, Sarri replied: “No, because we want to be in the top four at the end of the Premier League because we want to play in the Champions League.

“We consider the Europa League in a different way; it’s a very important competition, we want to win it because we think we deserve to win a trophy this season. So we have two targets.”

Watford started well and saw Kepa Arrizabalaga tip Troy Deeney’s header onto the post in the first half, but Loftus-Cheek and David Luiz each scored in the space of three second-half minutes to turn the game on its head.

“The result was very, very bad for us. We didn’t deserve that bad result,” said Watford boss Javi Gracia.

“We had some good moments and performances in the first half, dominating the game and creating chances. We recovered the ball well after losing it, and had a very good, ambitious attitude. But we didn’t take the chances.

“We have to be more clinical in that situation, more aggressive in both boxes because in the first half we had the chances.

“The second half we conceded two goals from set-pieces – they always do that one-two at corner kicks, with the quick passes. It’s difficult to say I’m happy with the performance because, losing 3-0, I’m not happy.”

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