Lille 1-1 Valencia: Ikone stunner rescues precious point for Galtier's men

By Sports Desk October 23, 2019

Jonathan Ikone scored a dramatic late equaliser to earn Lille a 1-1 draw against 10-man Valencia and the first point of their Champions League campaign.

After Group H rivals Chelsea beat Ajax in Amsterdam, Valencia were on course to join those two sides on six points after three games when Denis Cheryshev gave the visitors a lead they barely deserved in the 63rd minute.

But the game unravelled for Albert Celades' men in the closing stages, with Mouctar Diakhaby's sending-off six minutes from time giving Lille a lengthy period of stoppage time to find an equaliser against depleted opposition.

That goal arrived courtesy of a moment of brilliance from second-half substitute Ikone, whose shot on the turn keeps hope alive for Christophe Galtier's men with three group games left to play.

Related items

  • Alaba finishing his career at Bayern would be special - Flick Alaba finishing his career at Bayern would be special - Flick

    David Alaba is yet to agree a contract extension at Bayern Munich, but Hansi Flick says it would be special if he finishes his career at the Allianz Arena.

    Austria international Alaba's deal is due to expire next year, with Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City all credited with an interest in the versatile defender.

    Following Bayern's DFB-Pokal final victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, in which Alaba scored the opening goal, Flick said he was keen for the 28-year-old and Thiago Alcantara to sign new contracts.

    However, the Bayern boss acknowledged it will be "more difficult" to keep Thiago amid links to Premier League champions Liverpool.

    "I will stand up for it and try everything to keep two such quality players," said Flick.

    "David has become an exceptional player here. It's not just on the pitch that he's good for us.

    "He knows he has a huge appreciation at the club. It would be very special if he ended his career here with us."

    Since making his debut for Bayern in February 2010, Alaba has won 19 trophies.

  • Barcelona lose Junior Firpo to hip injury ahead of Villarreal clash Barcelona lose Junior Firpo to hip injury ahead of Villarreal clash

    Barcelona will be without Junior Firpo when they face Villarreal in LaLiga on Sunday.

    A right hip problem will keep the left-back out of the meeting at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

    The issue further restricts Quique Setien's senior options in defence, with Samuel Umtiti ruled out of the match due to a left knee injury.

    Junior has featured 20 times in all competitions for Barca this season, starting just once since the league resumed last month following its suspension amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Defending champions Barca will be seven points adrift of top spot at kick-off if leaders Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao earlier in the day.

    Villarreal are unbeaten since LaLiga returned, winning five of their six games, and are just three points behind fourth-placed Sevilla in the final Champions League qualification spot.

  • Van Dijk: Klopp the reason I chose Liverpool over Man City & Chelsea Van Dijk: Klopp the reason I chose Liverpool over Man City & Chelsea

    Virgil van Dijk has revealed the Jurgen Klopp factor was the reason he joined Liverpool instead of Manchester City or Chelsea.

    The centre-back left Southampton for Anfield in January 2018 for a reported fee of £75million, which represented a record transfer for a defender.

    There were other interested parties in Van Dijk's services, notably City and Chelsea, but the Netherlands international only had eyes for the Reds due to manager Klopp, who led Liverpool to their first Premier League title this season.

    "I had the chance to go to Chelsea and Man City," Van Dijk said in quotes published in several national newspapers.

    "When you compare the clubs, you look at the history, the town, the current squad, their plans for the near future.

    "But the most important thing you look at is the manager - and Jurgen Klopp is an important reason why I chose for Liverpool.

    "Klopp has something special. Is it his energy? Is it his overall image?

    "I sometimes sit and think about what he does and what he has more than others.

    "I think it is his man-management. These days that is more important than anything in football.

    "Klopp gives you this great feeling. He is genuinely happy when you walk into the club in the morning. It may sound daft, but that really inspires you as a player."

    Van Dijk, 28, has already lifted the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup as a Liverpool player.

    In the coming weeks he will get his hands on the Premier League trophy too, with Liverpool's status as champions confirmed last month with seven games still to play.

    "I have always said that lifting the Premier League ­trophy would be a dream. That dream has become reality now," he added.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.