Republic of Ireland 1-1 Denmark: Late Doherty equaliser not enough as Danes book Euro 2020 spot

By Sports Desk November 18, 2019

Denmark booked a place at the Euro 2020 finals at Republic of Ireland's expense following a 1-1 draw in Monday's crucial qualifier in Dublin.

Three sides were battling for two automatic qualification spots heading into the final round of Group D fixtures, with Switzerland - 6-1 winners in Gibraltar - going on to claim top spot.

Ireland required victory to have a shot at finishing above their opponents in second and they set up a grandstand finale when Matt Doherty cancelled out Martin Braithwaite's opener late on.

However, there was to be no dramatic winner for Mick McCarthy's men in the closing minutes, meaning they must settle for a place in next year's play-offs.

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    Luis Muriel will miss Atalanta's Serie A clash with Brescia after reportedly falling on the edge of a swimming pool.

    The forward is said to have hit his head on the side of the pool at a gathering with team-mates, but reports said hospital tests for head trauma came back negative.

    Atalanta confirmed Muriel will be unavailable for Tuesday's game as a result of an accident, but the Colombia international did not suffer any serious injuries and is set to return to training on Wednesday.

    "I'm fine, I'm home. Fortunately, nothing serious happened," Muriel posted on Instagram. 

    "Tonight I will be at the stadium to cheer @atalantabc, and already tomorrow I will return to train with my team-mates. Thank you for the affection you have shown me in these hours."

    A brief Atalanta statement read: "Atalanta BC announces that, following a domestic accident, the player Luis Muriel will not be available for the Atalanta-Brescia match.

    "The player will be available for the training session tomorrow, July 15th."

    Muriel has scored 17 goals in 29 Serie A appearances for Atalanta, who are fourth in the top flight, nine points behind leaders Juventus with six games to go.

  • Matic hopes happy Pogba will stay at Man Utd 'for a long time' Matic hopes happy Pogba will stay at Man Utd 'for a long time'

    Nemanja Matic is optimistic Paul Pogba will remain with Manchester United "for a long time".

    The Serbian has formed an impressive midfield trio with Pogba and Bruno Fernandes since the Premier League's resumption, helping United extend their unbeaten run to 18 matches in all competitions.

    Pogba's future at United has long been the subject of intense speculation, with comments from his agent Mino Raiola causing controversy earlier in a 2019-20 season where he struggled with injury.

    But the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the club's upturn in form since the World Cup winner returned to the pitch to join new signing Fernandes have led to increased hopes he will stay.

    Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has expressed confidence that Pogba – who is contracted until 2021 with the option for a further year – would sign a new deal and Matic thinks his team-mate is enjoying life at the club.

    "I think at the moment he is happy," Matic, who himself signed fresh terms with United this month, said to Stats Perform News.

    "When you are injured and outside of the pitch people will always talk and rumours will always be around him, but he can do anything. 

    "As soon as he came back to training with us and playing I think he has shown that he is happy to play football and he is a great guy. 

    "I think for me it is very important that Paul stays because that gives us more quality. Also, with his personality, he brings a lot to the team. 

    "Of course, you never know what is going to happen in life but I see him happy at the moment.

    "I wish for him to stay, I wish for the team. It is good he is a great guy for the group there is always fun around him. I will be happy to see him for a long time at Manchester United."

    Pogba said this week United felt like "a proper team" again and he does not think they can be stopped if they continue on their current path.

    He also praised the balance of the starting XI under Solskjaer and Matic feels the arrival of Fernandes is what has helped get the best out of Pogba.

    Matic added: "With him and Bruno, I think that Paul can now, in my opinion, do what is his job.

    "He is the player and kind of midfielder that can play box to box, he is not only an attacking midfielder like people were thinking. 

    "He is a box to box player because he is strong, he can run, he can shoot, he can also defend very well, he can read the headers. 

    "So now with Bruno, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, when they play in front of him, then in my opinion he can do the best.

    "He is a player for everything, so I don't think he is a typical playmaker to be behind the strikers, but that player like a number eight, box to box.

    "For me he is one of the best players in the world. So, I expect him next season to be even better, but what we saw in the few games of him [after the restart] he was absolutely fantastic, a proper player."

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    Early goals from Ferland Mendy and Karim Benzema set up a victory that moved Madrid to within touching distance of LaLiga glory.

    Hazard arrived from Chelsea for €100m before the start of the campaign but injury struggles – most notably a broken ankle – have seen him play a minimal part this term.

    The 29-year-old has been restricted to 15 league appearances and has only featured for eight minutes since back-to-back starts against Real Mallorca and Espanyol at the end of last month.

    After a ninth consecutive victory, Zidane told reporters Hazard's fitness was still not up to scratch.

    "A player has to be in very, very, very good shape to play and he's not fully okay," he said.

    "The situation is a little bit complicated, but I hope that he can be 100 per cent fit on Thursday and help the team. That's what he wants."

    Madrid host Villarreal on Thursday, knowing victory for themselves or anything less than three points for Barcelona will see them crowned champions.

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