Arsenal and Sevilla to observe minute's applause for Reyes

By Sports Desk July 29, 2022

Arsenal and Sevilla will observe a minute's applause in memory of Jose Antonio Reyes during Saturday's Emirates Cup clash. 

Reyes, who represented Sevilla and Arsenal during his playing career, died in a car accident in June 2019 at the age of 35. 

He lifted the Europa League three times with Sevilla and won two major honours with Arsenal. 

With two of his former clubs set to face off this weekend, Sevilla announced on Friday that a special tribute had been planned. 

Supporters inside Emirates Stadium were encouraged to applaud Reyes in the ninth minute, marking the number he wore on his shirt at Arsenal. 

There will also be a video tribute played on the big screens ahead of kick-off, while managers Mikel Arteta and Julen Lopetegui will exchange shirts before the match. 

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    Chelsea will host Milan on Wednesday in what could well be a must-win fixture for the Blues, who sit last in Champions League Group E.

    England has not been a happy hunting ground for Milan, but the group leaders and reigning Serie A champions will be hoping for a change of fortune when they roll into Stamford Bridge.

    Meanwhile, Mykhaylo Mudryk will get a chance to show why he is considered one of the top young talents in Europe as Shakhtar Donetsk head to the Santiago Bernabeu to take on Real Madrid.

    Paris Saint-Germain will look to change their poor historical record against Benfica, with Kylian Mbappe on the brink of becoming the club's record European goalscorer.

    Stats Perform has dug up the most interesting facts and angles for each contest on Wednesday.

    Chelsea v Milan

    This is the first time these two teams will meet in the Champions League since they were in the same group in 1999, with both of those matches ending in draws. They have not met in a competitive game since, with all four of their 21st-century contests coming in the International Champions Cup (Chelsea won three of those with Milan recording one victory).

    Chelsea have only lost twice at home to Italian teams in continental competition, collecting eight wins and three draws. They lost to Lazio 1-2 in 2000, and to Inter 1-0 in 2010.

    Milan's record in England also gives no reason for optimism, with only one win from 20 tries in European play (D7 L12). 

    Olivier Giroud was subbed off in Milan's dramatic 3-1 win over Empoli on Saturday. The France striker could become the 10th player to score for and against Chelsea in the Champions League, and first since Loic Rémy for Lille in December 2019, should he net in this meeting.

    Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk

    This is the third consecutive season these sides have met in the group stages. It is the fifth time teams have ever been paired together in three consecutive seasons, and Shakhtar was involved in the most recent occasion as well, against Manchester City from 2017-18 through to 2019-20.

    Over the past two seasons, they have split the wins evenly, with Shakhtar winning both games in the 2020-21 campaign, before Madrid triumphed in both fixtures last season.

    After a win and a draw in the first two matchdays, Shakhtar boast the highest shot conversion rate in the competition, scoring with five of their 10 shots, including two goals from 21-year-old rising star Mudryk.

    On the other side, Vinicius Junior leads the Champions League with 33 chances created and seven assists from open play since the start of last season, and he shares the mantle for most goal involvements at 18 with Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski.

    Benfica v Paris Saint-Germain

    Benfica are looking to extend their surprisingly strong record against Paris Saint-Germain, having won three of their six previous meetings (1D 2L) in European competitions, including the past three in a row. Their last fixture came in the 2013-14 season, with Benfica winning 2-1 at home.

    In fact, Benfica have enjoyed plenty of success while hosting French sides, with five consecutive home wins – twice against Lyon, as well as beating Lille, Monaco and PSG.

    However, PSG are a different beast now then they were back in 2014, and have only lost one of their past 11 matches in the group stage (8W 2D).

    At only 23, Mbappe can become the club's all-time leading scorer in European competitions with one more goal. He is currently tied at 30 with Edinson Cavani.

    RB Leipzig v Celtic

    These sides both won their home fixtures when they were matched up in the 2018-19 group stage, and they will be desperate for a result as they enter Wednesday's game with only one point between them in Group F.

    Celtic will be looking to make history as they have never won a European game away in Germany (10L 3D), failing to score on nine of those 13 occasions.

    But it might be a case of a stoppable force meeting a movable object, as Leipzig have not kept a clean sheet in their last seven home games in the competition. They have only shut out their opponents twice from 15 Champions League home games.

    Jota will be the key for Celtic's chances, with his six chances created trailing only Napoli's Piotr Zielinski (eight), while only Madrid star Vinicius is credited with more take-on dribbles (11) than Jota's nine.

    Other fixtures:

    Manchester City v FC Copenhagen

    23 – Manchester City are two games away from tying Manchester United's record of 23 consecutive Champions League home fixtures without a loss. They are unbeaten at home in the competition since 2018.

    62 – City's Erling Haaland averages a goal every 62 minutes in the competition, netting 26 goals in 21 appearances. He is well clear of second-placed Mario Gomez, who scored his 26 goals on an average of every 102 minutes.

    Sevilla v Borussia Dortmund

    1 – Borussia Dortmund have only won one of their past 11 trips to Spain in the Champions League (L7 D3), but that win came from their most recent opportunity, against Sevilla in February 2021.

    3 – Sevilla have failed to score in each of their past three Champions League games. They have never gone four consecutive games in European competition without scoring.

    Juventus v Maccabi Haifa

    29 – It has been 29 years since Maccabi Haifa defeated an Italian team in European competition (3L 1D), with their only victory coming in 1993 against Parma. 

    8 – The Israeli side have lost all eight of their Champions League fixtures since 2002, by a combined aggregate score of 13-1.

    Salzburg v Dinamo Zagreb

    6 – Salzburg can become the first Austrian team to ever go six games unbeaten in the Champions League if they can avoid defeat against Dinamo Zagreb, with three wins and two draws from their past five.

    23 – The last time Zagreb kept a clean sheet away from home in this competition was 23 years ago, drawing 0-0 against United at Old Trafford in 1999. Since then, they have conceded 52 goals in 18 away games (2.9 per game).

  • Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Tottenham: Wasteful Spurs held in Germany Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Tottenham: Wasteful Spurs held in Germany

    Tottenham missed the chance to move top of Group D in the Champions League after being held to a goalless draw by Eintracht Frankfurt.

    It proved to be a wasteful day for Antonio Conte's side, who registered just two shots on target from 11 attempts in Germany.

    Harry Kane and Heung-min Son went closest for Spurs, but they have now failed to find the net in successive Champions League group games for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

    Both sides remain on four points after three matches, and two behind Group D leaders Sporting CP following the Portuguese giants' 4-1 thrashing by Marseille.

    Emerson Royal fired a volley over after six minutes, while Kane was whiskers away from applying the finishing touch to a wonderful move as he narrowly avoided connecting with Son's inviting cross.

    Kane whipped a fierce 20-yard strike narrowly wide in the 28th minute. The England captain then turned provider with a neat flick that released Son, whose curling shot was also off target, before Ivan Perisic's deflected effort spun inches wide.

    Frankfurt almost took the lead in spectacular fashion five minutes after the restart; Ansgar Knauff springing the offside trap before his acrobatic effort was blocked by Hugo Lloris.

    Evan Ndicka produced a magnificent last-ditch intervention to deny Kane at the other end, while Son whipped an 18-yard strike wide.

    Jesper Lindstrom fired a glorious opportunity to snatch the win over after Spurs were caught in possession on the edge of their penalty area, as the spoils were shared at Deutsche Bank Park.

  • 'Another step in the right direction' – Nagelsmann pleased with Bayern response 'Another step in the right direction' – Nagelsmann pleased with Bayern response

    Julian Nagelsmann feels Bayern Munich's resounding 5-0 win over Viktoria Plzen was "another step in the right direction" for his side ahead of facing Borussia Dortmund.

    Bayern followed up Friday's 4-0 Bundesliga thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen with an even more emphatic victory in Tuesday's Champions League tie with Czech champions Plzen.

    It marks the first time the Bavarians have won back-to-back matches in all competitions since August, having gone four league games without a win prior to the international break.

    Nagelsmann is pleased with what he saw from his side against Plzen, with Bayern returning to form at just the right time ahead of Saturday's Klassiker showdown with fierce rivals Dortmund.

    "The boys did well today," Nagelsmann told DAZN. "That's how you have to approach a game. We decided it quickly then controlled it. 

    "With a view to Saturday, that was important, serious and well deserved. It was another game that shows we are taking steps in the right direction."

     

    The hosts were three goals up inside 21 minutes, with Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mane netting after Leroy Sane had opened the scoring at the Allianz Arena.

    Sane doubled his tally early in the second half before substitute Eric Choupo-Moting rounded off the scoring for the leaders in a one-sided Group C contest.

    It is the 26th time Bayern have scored five or more goals in a Champions League match, which is five more than next-best Barcelona.

    Mane wasted some promising chances to add to the scoring, netting from just one of his six attempts, but the forward was happy with his side's performance.

    "The team played a great game, with a lot of chances created," he said. "We deserved to win. 

    "The past few weeks have been tough. It was important we reacted. We reacted well after the international break. Hopefully we can continue like this until the end of the season.

    "We have nine points from three Champions League games and a good goal difference. We are in a good place. 

    "We were disciplined today. We were well prepared for the opponent and that's where most of the goals came from."

    Bayern have now gone 31 games without defeat in the group stage of the Champions League, overtaking the record of 30 set by Real Madrid in 2017.

    "We rightly received criticism during the international break," said Leon Goretzka, who set up two of the goals against Plzen.

    "We used the time well and focused on our game again. Our aim is to perform on a regular basis. We're still extremely upset about the games before that."

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