BREAKING NEWS: Fiorentina seal Franck Ribery signing

By Sports Desk August 21, 2019

Franck Ribery has completed a move to Serie A side Fiorentina following his departure from Bayern Munich.

Ribery, 36, became a free agent when his Bayern contact expired at the end of June.

The French winger spent 12 years in Bavaria, winning nine Bundesliga titles, and was given a warm welcome by Fiorentina fans when he flew into Florence on Wednesday.

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  • Juventus are a 'team under construction', says coach Sarri Juventus are a 'team under construction', says coach Sarri

    Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri says Juventus are a "team under construction" after their slender 2-1 Serie A win over Hellas Verona on Saturday.

    They trailed to a fine Miguel Veloso strike but a goal from full debutant Aaron Ramsey and a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty either side of half-time secured all three points.

    It marks a return to winning ways after back-to-back draws in Serie A and the Champions League and Sarri has asked for patience while he assembles the side in his image.

    "Perhaps there was some mental fatigue because you need to immediately recharge the batteries a couple of days later," he told Sky Sport Italia.

    "With a lot of changes, you lose some balance, and that's what we saw, as we played in fits and starts.

    "This is a team under construction and you can tell.

    "These players are accustomed to the Champions League and dealing with the fixture list.

    "We did well to turn around a game that had become very difficult, but we need to improve our possession and our initial approach because we left it open and risked an equaliser at the end.

    "It takes a long time to drill the defending movements into the team and right now they are not confident enough playing out from the back under pressure."

  • Juventus 2-1 Hellas Verona: Ramsey nets on full debut as champions fight back Juventus 2-1 Hellas Verona: Ramsey nets on full debut as champions fight back

    Aaron Ramsey marked his full debut with a goal and Cristiano Ronaldo scored a penalty as Juventus came from behind to beat Hellas Verona 2-1 in Saturday's Serie A clash at the Allianz Stadium.

    The Italian champions handed first starts of the season to four players and trailed 1-0 to a fine Miguel Veloso strike before Ramsey got off the mark for his new club

    Ronaldo scored the winner from the penalty spot early in the second half as Juve, who were held by Fiorentina last weekend and squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Atletico Madrid in midweek, returned to winning ways in Turin against opponents who finished with 10 men due to Marash Kumbulla's injury-time dismissal.

    The victory lifts Juventus to the top of Serie A - albeit with the champions having played a game more than the chasing pack - and it was a particularly special one for Gianluigi Buffon, who equalled Paolo Maldini's record of 902 club appearances with his rare start.

    Yet it could have turned out differently for Buffon as Verona were gifted a penalty 19 minutes in when Merih Demiral fouled Samuel Di Carmine inside the box.

    Di Carmine slammed the penalty against the foot of the post and Darko Lazovic picked out the crossbar from the follow-up, but the ball was in the net 13 seconds later through Veloso's unstoppable drive into the top-left corner.

    Juventus had scored in their previous 12 home league meetings with Verona, however, and they were soon on level terms through Ramsey's deflected shot from 25 yards.

    The hosts moved in front inside four minutes of the second period as Koray Gunter needlessly challenged Juan Cuadrado and Ronaldo thumped the resulting penalty down the middle.

    Buffon produced a brilliant stop to deny Lazovic in the final minute, but Verona's hopes of snatching a point were effectively ended when Kumbulla tripped Blaise Matuidi and was shown a second yellow in added time.

    What does it mean? Juventus continuing to stutter

    Juventus have won three and drawn two of their opening five matches under Maurizio Sarri but they have been far from convincing in those matches.

    The ex-Chelsea boss had every right to rotate his squad for this contest, but it appears he is still working out the best players to suit his system.

    Ramsey up and running

    Having come on as a late substitute against Atletico, Ramsey made his Serie A bow here and showed exactly why Sarri was keen to get him involved.

    The box-to-box midfielder marked his full debut with a goal and also highlighted the other side of his game by turning over possession five times during his hour on the pitch - no player did so more often in that time.

    Demiral caught out

    Demiral impressed for Juventus during pre-season but has been made to wait for his first competitive outing.

    He was caught out 19 minutes in when allowing Di Carmine to get the wrong side of him, before panicking and bringing his opponent down for the penalty.


    What's next?

    Juventus travel to Brescia on Tuesday for the first midweek Serie A action of the season and Verona host Udinese the same day.

  • Alaba should be fit to face Tottenham, confirms Bayern coach Kovac Alaba should be fit to face Tottenham, confirms Bayern coach Kovac

    David Alaba should be available for Bayern Munich's next Champions League game against Tottenham, according to Niko Kovac.

    The left-back tore a muscle in his left thigh before Bayern's 1-1 draw at RB Leipzig earlier in the month.

    He subsequently missed the 3-0 win over Red Star Belgrade that got Bayern's Group B campaign up and running.

    But after Bayern beat Cologne 4-0 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, Kovac assured that Alaba's absence will not be a long lay-off.

    "David Alaba is making progress," the coach said. "We need to increase the intensity of his running each day before he can re-join team training. We hope to have him ready for Tottenham.

    "I think Paderborn will be too early. That will probably also interest the Austrian national coach. He will be fully operational again by the next international break."

    Bayern go to London on October 1 for what is expected to be a game that helps decide who tops their Champions League group.

    But prior to that clash, Bayern eased to a 4-0 win at home to Cologne partly thanks to Robert Lewandowski's double, while Philippe Coutinho's penalty opened his account for the club.

    "We performed well today, especially since we only had 72 hours of rest since Wednesday," Kovac added.

    "Cologne did well, it was not always easy to find the right solution. In the second half we did a better job, we created good chances.

    "4-0 sounds pretty high, but we could have scored one or two more. Seven goals this week, you can build on that."

    Cologne coach Achim Beierlorzer felt the scoreline flattered the champions.

    "4-0 feels extremely bitter for us," he said. "At the end of the first half we were already really good in the game and had good chances to score. Bayern struck three minutes after the kick-off, because we were not awake. The corner for 2-0 has hit us very hard.

    "If you want to get something here, the gameplay has to fit. But the way we were on the road today encourages me for the next games. It's bitter that we did not score a goal today."

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