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Dak Prescott's historic day, Seattle on course for Super Bowl return? - NFL Week 4 in numbers

By Sports Desk October 05, 2020

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  • Diego Maradona dies: A look at the Argentina and Napoli icon's greatest ever goals Diego Maradona dies: A look at the Argentina and Napoli icon's greatest ever goals

    Diego Maradona dragged Argentina to World Cup glory, triumphed in Italy and Europe with Napoli and won countless individual honours.

    Along the way, the footballing great – who died on Wednesday at the age of 60 – scored some of the greatest goals the game has ever seen.

    No matter the occasion, or indeed the opponent, Maradona was often unplayable – as can be seen from our selection of his five greatest ever goals.

     

    Argentina v England (June 22, 1986)

    Hailed by many as the greatest goal of all time, Maradona picked up the ball inside his own half and dribbled past four England players before calmly rounding Peter Shilton.

    The moment of magic arrived four minutes after the infamous 'Hand of God' goal and helped Argentina into the semi-finals of the 1986 World Cup, which they went on to win.

     

    Argentina v Belgium (June 25, 1986)

    The goal scored by Maradona three days later, this time in the semi-finals, was not too dissimilar in that he had four opposition players between himself and the goal.

    He slalomed between two of them, jinked past another – in the process taking out a fourth – and fired past Jean-Marie Pfaff for his second goal of the contest.

    Napoli v Juventus (November 3, 1985)

    Napoli ended their 12-year wait for a league victory over rivals Juventus thanks to Maradona's brilliance of a different kind. If the previous goals were all about neat footwork and clinical finishing, this was more to do with sheer audacity.

    A large wall, set five metres from the ball, was not enough to stop the Argentine maestro delicately lifting the indirect free-kick into the one spot Stefano Tacconi could not reach.

    Napoli v Hellas Verona (October 20, 1985)

    This one was all about the technique - and the confidence to even think about taking it on. Maradona brought down the ball with his first touch, turned and sent a long-range drive flying over Giuliano Giuliani from a good 40 yards out.

    What made it all the more special is that this strike came in a 5-0 thrashing of Verona, who were the reigning Serie A champions at the time.

    Boca Juniors v River Plate (April 10, 1981)

    Maradona spent a season with Boca Juniors before arriving in Europe and it soon became clear what a talent he would become.

    His first spell at the club may have been short but he left behind plenty of memories, including a goal at the home of bitter rivals River Plate. With the angle against him, he squeezed in an effort with a masterful finish from the wing.

  • Liverpool boss Klopp brands schedule 'a crime' after Atalanta defeat Liverpool boss Klopp brands schedule 'a crime' after Atalanta defeat

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called his side's fixture schedule "a crime" as he prepared to face Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League less than three days after suffering a 2-0 Champions League loss to Atalanta.

    Second-half goals from Josip Illicic and Robin Gosens helped secure an unexpected win for Serie A visitors Atalanta, who Liverpool thrashed 5-0 just three weeks earlier, as the Reds missed the chance to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage.

    Wednesday's result left Premier League champions Liverpool with one win from their last three games as they approach a run of four matches in 12 days.

    Klopp predicted his players would not be alone in suffering dips in form as a result of the congestion, telling BT Sport: "I'm afraid to say I think it could happen not only to us but to other teams as well.

    "You ask us to go on Saturday at 12:30, which is nearly a crime to be honest. That's nothing to do with our game tonight.

    "Now my only interest is I got thumbs up, nobody is injured. Now let's recover immediately. The boys are disappointed and frustrated but we don't have time for it, to be honest.

    "It's just get fresh legs as quick as possible and go again."

    Klopp selected a number of fringe players in his side to face Atalanta and saw them struggle to find any rhythm, with Mohamed Salah's shot in the 44th minute Liverpool's first of the game.

    For the first time since Opta had shot data available in the Champions League since 2003-04, Liverpool failed to record a single shot on target in a home game in the competition.

    Up against 19-year-old full-back Nico Williams, Atalanta's Papu Gomez enjoyed a successful night on the wing, providing the cross for Ilicic to score the opener and then making a second assist in the build-up to Gosens' goal.

    Klopp – whose side lost a competitive home fixture by a margin of more than one goal for the first time in 137 matches at Anfield – admitted his players struggled with the intensity of the game, saying: "Both teams didn't create a lot until they scored the goals. We saw it coming a little in the first half but couldn't avoid it or defend it anyway.

    "The ref brought a lot of tempo in the game, he didn't whistle a lot. That makes it even more difficult on both sides. It was unbelievably intense for the boys; you need one or two breaks.

    "We changed five times, that always costs rhythm, that's normal. Usually when the first half is gone it settles a bit but you could see for some players who hadn't played for a while it was very intense for them.

    "So we didn't really find a way in the game. We didn't find ways to create."

  • Bayern boss Flick hails 'insane professional' Neuer Bayern boss Flick hails 'insane professional' Neuer

    Hansi Flick has described Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as an "insane professional" after his superb display in Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League win over Salzburg. 

    Robert Lewandowski, Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane netted for Bayern, who had Marc Roca sent off midway through the second half, while Mergim Berisha pulled one back for the visitors with 17 minutes of normal time remaining.

    The result helped Bayern to a fourth win out of four in Group A and sealed their progression to the last 16 as group winners with two games remaining. 

    It could have been a different outcome had it not been for the heroics of Neuer, though – the Germany international making 10 saves to deny the Austrians, with his finest moment coming in the form of a superb double stop to deny Berisha and Enock Mwepu.

    It was the latest in a string of impressive displays from Neuer, with head coach Flick quick to hail the 34-year-old's dedication to his craft. 

    "Manu has been playing sensationally for over a year," he told Sky Sport. "With him, the goal for the striker is getting smaller and smaller. 

    "He is in the form of his life. He is an insane professional and very focused on his job."

    Bayern never hit the heights of their 6-2 drubbing of Salzburg in the reverse fixture three weeks ago, allowing their opponents 19 attempts on goal in a display characterised by sloppy defending. 

    Flick was not impressed by his side's inability to keep hold of the ball but he refused to be too hard on his players, who he says improved after the interval. 

    "We made our way a little difficult because we lost a lot of balls," he added. "The ball losses must not happen like this. That is insecurity and recklessness. Of course, we have personnel problems at the moment.

    "It got better in the second half. I'm satisfied with the efficiency and, of course, we have a world-class goalkeeper at the back."

    Neuer agreed with Flick's assessment that Bayern lost possession too easily, but he believes it is important to remember they achieved their objective of qualifying for the last 16.

    "We have conceded too many goals recently," he said. "It was, of course, also down to the opponents. We played against a strong team. We lost the ball too easily and that hurt us. 

    "For me, it is important that we won today and are group winners. You do what you can."

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