EPL

Eriksen tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of Denmark return

By Sports Desk March 20, 2022

Christian Eriksen has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of his long-awaited return to the Danish national team next week.

The 30-year-old, who suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark's Euro 2020 clash with Finland last June, has impressed since joining Brentford on a free transfer in January.

He registered an assist during the Bees' 2-0 win over Burnley this month with what was his first goal involvement since his return to football.

Eriksen's strong club form led him to receive a call-up for his country's upcoming friendly matches, but the positive test will delay the midfielder's journey to meet up with the squad.

Although, Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand hopes the Brentford man will still be available to feature in clashes against the Netherlands – to be played at the home of Eriksen's former club Ajax – and against Serbia in Copenhagen. 

"We've been running dialogue with Christian and Brentford on the situation," Hjulmand said.

"We expect to see Christian as soon as possible, later in the week. 

"We are happy to get him in the team and expect to have him with us for the exciting friendly matches against Holland and Serbia."

The creative midfielder's positive test ruled him out of Brentford' Premier League clash with Leicester City on Sunday, despite Bees boss Thomas Frank claiming during his pre-match media duties that Eriksen had since returned a negative test result.

Eriksen has earned 109 caps for Denmark – putting him 20 appearances short of Peter Schmeichel's record of 129 outings for his country – and has scored 36 international goals.

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    Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga failed to show the quality they have done in training during Real Madrid's 2-1 win at Almeria on Sunday, according to boss Carlo Ancelotti.

    Madrid fell behind to Largie Ramazani's early strike at the Power Horse Stadium in their opening LaLiga game of the season, but they drew level thanks to Lucas Vazquez's goal in the 61st minute.

    They then sealed all three points with 15 minutes remaining when substitute David Alaba curled a sumptuous free-kick past Fernando Martinez from 25 yards with his first touch.

    Tchouameni, who joined from Monaco in June for a fee that could rise to €100m, and Camavinga started alongside Toni Kroos in midfield, but both struggled to make an impact.

    Camavinga was replaced by Luka Modric at half-time, while Tchouameni did not last an hour before he was substituted for Eden Hazard.

    Neither player made more than a single key pass – well short of the team-high four that was achieved by three other players – with Ancelotti suggesting the pressure of playing for such a prestigious club affected the pair.

    "For me, [Antonio] Rudiger played a good game," he told Movistar.

    "The youngsters didn't play like they usually do. For what they do in training they deserve to play. They haven't done anything wrong, but they can do better.

    "They are young and the shirt is heavy. It is a toll we pay, but we pay it with pleasure.

    "I removed Camavinga because he had a card and could be a danger in a team that played on the break.

    "It was normal to suffer, because we've complicated the game with a defensive error. From then on it has cost us a lot."

    Hazard has endured a torrid time with injuries since he joined from Chelsea in July 2019, but the Belgium international is hoping to play an important role this season. 

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    "Today he tried to find a lot of the right central defender, where the spaces were very small. Hazard when he came on was good, he's training well and I think he's going to have minutes this season."

  • Almeria 1-2 Real Madrid: Alaba's stunning first touch seals opening day win for champions Almeria 1-2 Real Madrid: Alaba's stunning first touch seals opening day win for champions

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    Madrid struggled to find a way past an inspired Fernando Martinez in the Almeria goal, before Lucas Vazquez, who had an effort ruled out in the first half for offside, eventually pulled Madrid level shortly after the hour mark.

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    Madrid's defence was caught out in just the sixth minute when Ramazani latched onto Inigo Eguaras' superb ball over the top and fired past Thibaut Courtois from just inside the penalty area.

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    Los Blancos had a whopping 17 shots before the interval, yet a combination of smart goalkeeping from Fernando and uncharacteristically wasteful finishing from Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior prevented them from finding a leveller.

    Fernando continued to frustrate Madrid after the break, denying Benzema with a fine save, but he was eventually beaten in the 61st minute when Vazquez slammed home after the Almeria goalkeeper had kept out Vinicius' effort. 

    Alaba then ensured Madrid went back to the capital with maximum points, whipping past a helpless Fernando immediately after entering the action.

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    Almeria had won just one of their 12 games against Madrid in LaLiga prior to Sunday's clash, but they looked like they might earn a famous victory thanks to Ramazani's early strike and some inspired goalkeeping from Fernando.

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    Alaba did not need to settle into the action before dispatching a glorious free-kick past Fernando with his first touch. That goal meant he is one of only two players, alongside Real Betis' Nabil Fekir, to have scored two goals from free-kicks in LaLiga since the start of last season.

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    "Maybe it would be better, maybe it would be better," he added. "But honestly we also have VAR, to help make the right decisions.

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