'We have a score to settle' – Salah gets shot at Real Madrid revenge

By Sports Desk May 04, 2022

Mohamed Salah and Liverpool will get another shot at revenge against Real Madrid, who progressed past Manchester City to secure a place in the Champions League final on Wednesday.

Liverpool saw their way past Villarreal on Tuesday, coming back to win the second leg 3-2 to win 5-2 on aggregate.

Immediately following Real Madrid's dramatic win over City, Salah took to Twitter to state his feelings. 

The 29-year-old famously went off injured early as Real Madrid defeated Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League final in Kyiv.

He scored as Liverpool also lost 3-1 on aggregate in the 2020/21 quarter-final stage.

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    A year later than planned, the pandemic-delayed Women's European Championship takes place in England this month, at a time when the women's game is enjoying a popularity surge.

    Barcelona Femeni packed out Camp Nou twice for Champions League games in the season just ended, in what was the most eye-catching sign of years of steady growth.

    Many players who a decade ago would have needed part-time work to supplement their playing wages are now enjoying the trappings of being full-time professionals.

    It means these players are physically sharper, more tactically astute, and skill levels are soaring skywards, making Euro 2022 an unmissable prospect.

    Here, Stats Perform looks at seven players who could emerge as dominant stars of the tournament.

    Alexia Putellas, Spain and Barcelona

    Generally considered to be the world's best player, Putellas became the first Spain women's international to reach 100 caps on Friday when she played and scored in a 1-1 friendly draw against Italy. She runs the show for Barcelona, captaining the team, and delivered a flood of goals from midfield. She hit 34 goals across all competitions last season, including a four-minute hat-trick against Valencia, and in the Champions League she was named player of the season, despite her team's 3-1 defeat to Lyon in the final.

    Irene Paredes, Spain and Barcelona

    If Putellas pulls the strings in the opposition half, it will likely fall to Paredes to organise at the other end of the field, as favourites Spain look to keep it tight at the back. The Barcelona centre-back is set to captain Spain, who are seeking their first European Championship title. After joining last year from Paris Saint-Germain, Paredes helped Barcelona to a polished Primera Division campaign of 30 wins from 30 games, with only 11 goals conceded. Almost 11 years since making her debut in Euro 2013 qualifying, Spain will look for Paredes to lead by example.

    Pernille Harder, Denmark and Chelsea

    Harder is a serial winner at club level, having won four consecutive league and cup doubles with Wolfsburg before joining Chelsea for a reported world-record fee in September 2020 and adding back-to-back WSL and FA Cup doubles. The classy forward will create chances for others but is also a deadly finisher, scoring 68 goals in 134 internationals. Runners-up last time, Denmark will look to Harder to ensure they are in the mix again this month.

    Ada Hegerberg, Norway and Lyon

    Hegerberg is the returning Norway heroine, coming back into the fold in March after almost five years in self-imposed exile, having previously been upset by the national federation's treatment of the women's game. A true superstar of the game, the Lyon striker and former Ballon d'Or Feminin winner suffered an ACL injury in early 2020 that kept her sidelined for 20 months, but she is emphatically back now, as she proved when scoring in the Champions League final win over Barcelona – a 59th European club competition goal in her 60th such game.

    Beth Mead, England and Arsenal

    Once a teenage revelation at Sunderland, now at Arsenal, Mead had to wait until just before her 23rd birthday before earning a first England cap. In the four years since that debut, she has floated in and out of the team, with the Lionesses having serious riches with their attacking options. This could be the Whitby-born player's tournament, with Sarina Wiegman expected to include her in an attacking three behind a main striker. Mead has hit three hat-tricks for England in the last nine months and is also a highly creative player from the flanks. She is one of a handful of England attackers who could light up the tournament.

    Vivianne Miedema, Netherlands and Arsenal

    Mead's club-mate has enjoyed a stunning five-year spell in the English top flight, hitting a record 74 Women's Super League goals in 89 games. In May, the former Bayern Munich player agreed a new deal with the Gunners, and now she will spearhead the Netherlands' European title defence. Described by team-mate Jill Roord as "an absolute killer", Miedema helped the Netherlands reach the 2019 World Cup final and scored a record 10 goals at the Tokyo Olympics, despite the Dutch campaign ending with a quarter-final penalty shoot-out loss to the United States. Miedema surprisingly missed from the spot, so she is not perfect, but defences will fear her presence over the coming weeks.

    Marie-Antoinette Katoto, France and Paris Saint-Germain

    The PSG and France men's teams have Kylian Mbappe, and the women have Marie-Antoinette Katoto, a record-breaking superstar in her own right. Both are 23 years old, both have over 100 goals for PSG, and both could lead their country to trophy glory this year. Katoto became PSG's record scorer in the women's game last season, and last week agreed a new contract tying her to the capital club until 2025. There lies another Mbappe parallel, with PSG determined to keep the striker out of the clutches of rival clubs, knowing she is the sort of talent that could make an explosive impact on Euro 2022.

  • Rumour Has It: Manchester United, Arsenal after Dybala Rumour Has It: Manchester United, Arsenal after Dybala

    Paulo Dybala's time at Juventus ended in a way where neither party was ultimately happy with the outcome.

    Despite his desire to stay, the Bianconeri were unwilling to keep the Argentina forward, allowing his contract to run down.

    Reports suggest his next destination will not be in Serie A but in the Premier League, with a number of clubs showing interest.

     

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    Arsenal and Manchester United are set to engage in another transfer battle over Dybala, according to La Repubblica.

    With the Premier League giants already in the race to sign Dybala's compatriot Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, it has been reported the two clubs have been in contact with his agent Jorge Antun.

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    - Meanwhile, United and Barcelona have reportedly agreed on a fee for Frenkie de Jong but are now in process of negotiating add-ons, according to Fabrizio Romano.

    - Bernardo Silva has told his agent he wants to go in the opposite direction and leave Manchester City for Barcelona, Sport is reporting.

    - Chelsea are making progress in their attempts to sign Matthijs de Ligt after Juventus lowered their asking price, per CBS Sports.

    - Leeds United have opened talks with RB Leipzig over midfielder Tyler Adams, The Sun is reporting.

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    New York RB moved to top spot in the Eastern Conference in the MLS, defeating Sporting KC 1-0 on Sunday.

    Gerhard Stuber's side looked to absorb pressure for the majority of the match and captain Aaron Long put them ahead in the 53rd minute, heading in at the back post after a finely worked corner routine.

    Choice became necessity after a VAR review that forced Sean Nealis off in the 73rd minute, but they were able to hold out against a Sporting KC that failed to penetrate in possession.

    The win makes for the first time NYRB have managed consecutive wins in the MLS since April, also putting them on 32 points, now two points clear of Philadelphia Union.

    The Union were in a similarly dour contest, generating only two shots in the penalty area from open play in a goal-less draw away to Columbus Crew.

    The Crew had an opportunity to take the lead in the 19th minute, only for Andre Blake to save Pedro Santos' penalty.

    New Yoirk City are a further point back on 29 points, after they played out a 2-2 draw at home to Atlanta United, while the New England Revolution and Cincinnati also managed a 2-2 draw.

    In the Western Conference meanwhile, Real Salt Lake critically slipped up in a chance to make up ground following LAFC's loss on Saturday, going down 3-2 to Minnesota United.

    RSL were down 3-0 at one stage until Jefferson Savarino inspired a dramatic late fightback, scoring and assisting for substitute Anderson Julio within a five-minute span.

    It was not enough however, with LAFC maintaining a five-point gap to second-placed Austin FC.

    Elsewhere in the West, Nashville and Portland Timbers played out a 2-2 draw, while Houston Dynamo lost 2-1 at home to Charlotte FC.

    In Sunday's final game, the San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Chicago Fire 2-1 via Benjamin Kikanovic's brace, with his first coming after the Quakes extraordinarily hit the frame of the goal twice in the same passage.

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