Jovic backed to make the grade at Real Madrid by former Eintracht Frankfurt captain Meier

By Sports Desk October 16, 2019

Luka Jovic will make the grade at Real Madrid if he is afforded time, according to his former Eintracht Frankfurt captain Alexander Meier.

Jovic joined Eintracht on an initial two-year loan from Benfica in 2017 after struggling in Portugal and he went on to star in the Bundesliga.

The Serbia international scored 17 top-flight goals last season and netted a further 10 in the Europa League as Eintracht reached the semi-finals.

That form persuaded Madrid to pay a reported €60million for the 21-year-old, but he has made only two LaLiga starts, with Karim Benzema continuing his fine run of form.

But Meier, who spent a season with Jovic, is adamant there is no reason to panic about Jovic's lack of starts, while he also has no qualms with Sebastien Haller and Ante Rebic departing Eintracht for West Ham and AC Milan, respectively.

Speaking to Omnisport, the Western Sydney Wanderers forward said: "It's never wrong to go to Real Madrid and Sebastien is in the best league in the world. They all went to big clubs and I think it's the best step for their careers.

"When you go somewhere new it takes time and I'm pretty sure Jovic will come good there.

"You could tell after two or three weeks how good his finishing was. He can do everything: left foot, right foot, head. He is perfect in front of the goal."

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    Diego Simeone accused Atletico Madrid of effectively conceding the first half in their 2-0 loss to Eibar on Saturday.

    Atleti suffered only their third LaLiga defeat of the season at Ipurua, Esteban Burgos scoring after just 10 minutes before Edu Exposito made the points safe heading into second-half injury time.

    It was the first time Atleti had lost a competitive game against Eibar since a meeting in the second tier in 2001, and it leaves them eight points behind league leaders Real Madrid.

    Simeone felt they were punished for a slow start to the game, a habit that gave him great concern in the autumn and one he hopes does not continue in 2020.

    "We started badly. We didn't play in the first half. In the second, we were okay we played a good game, with more chances for danger," he told Movistar.

    "We lost a half. Back in October, we were losing halves and we've gone back to doing that. It's my responsibility.

    "It's a very difficult pitch. We've won here 1-0 or 2-1. Today was a similar game. They take advantage of our inattentiveness in the first half and we could have scored in the second.

    "We didn't control the game, nor was there any great dominance of the opposition, but we didn't play. They played as ever, with intensity, really clear ideas – the concepts a team needs. I congratulate them."

    Saul Niguez, who played at left-back, also admitted concern about the way Atleti too often start matches slowly.

    "We struggled a lot at the start. They created three chances and got the goal from the third," he said.

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    Having lost the Supercopa de Espana final to Real Madrid on penalties six days ago, Diego Simeone's side looked sluggish and short of inspiration in the heavy rain at Ipurua.

    Burgos struck just 10 minutes into the contest to give Eibar a deserved lead, and Jose Luis Mendilibar's side held onto their advantage with relative ease in the second half despite Atleti's control of possession.

    Exposito buried a precise strike in the 90th minute to give the hosts a 2-0 victory they fully deserved.

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    Joao Felix was denied by a good Marko Dmitrovic save, but only a crucial block from Santiago Arias denied Takashi Inui a second for Eibar.

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    Real Madrid's 2-1 win over Sevilla earlier meant Atleti would have moved three points ahead of Julen Lopetegui's side, and back to within five of their city rivals, had they won.

    However, the nature of their display will give fans little belief they can keep pace with Madrid and Barca at the top of the table even though they have 18 games still to play.

    As for Eibar, they are now seven points above the drop zone.

    Dmitrovic dominant

    Although his four saves were relatively straightforward, Dmitrovic deserves credit for commanding his penalty area well. Atleti's rather hopeful crosses rarely looked likely to trouble him.

    No delight for Angel

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    Sergio Aguero

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    Romario

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    Ronaldo

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    Fabrizio Ravanelli

    The Riverside Stadium was treated to a thriller in August 1996 when £7m signing Fabrizio Ravanelli scored a hat-trick on his Middlesbrough bow in a 3-3 draw with Liverpool. Having joined from European champions Juventus, the 'White Feather' brought Boro back on terms three times, first lashing home a penalty and celebrating in trademark shirt-over-head style, and then sliding home a second from close range to make it 2-2. Robbie Fowler's second-half strike looked to have won it for the Reds until Ravanelli guided in his third of the game 10 minutes from time.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    Dortmund and Augsburg fans could be forgiven for feeling a strong sense of deja vu on Saturday after Aubameyang's exploits when the sides met in 2013. After joining from Saint-Etienne his first attempt on goal in the Bundesliga resulted in a goal as he converted a diving header. Aubameyang followed that up after the break with a lovely turn of pace and strike into the far corner. He made it a hat-trick by coolly rounding the goalkeeper as Dortmund thumped Augsburg 4-0.

    Christian Vieri

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