Dimitrios Goutas and Karlan Grant both scored their first goals for Cardiff as the Bluebirds made it back-to-back wins in the Championship for the first time this season.

Their 3-2 home win over Coventry pushed them into the top half of the table and saw the Sky Blues drop to 15th. Kion Etete polished things off for the home side with a goal with his first touch in the 84th minute.

Matt Godden scored twice for the visitors, levelling the scores in the first half and then heading home his second in the 95th minute.

Cardiff boss Erol Bulut opted to rest Wales skipper Aaron Ramsey after his two games for club and country last week but rewarded Ollie Tanner for scoring his first goal for the club in the 2-0 win over Swansea by giving him his first start at home in the Championship.

It had taken Tanner a mere 40 seconds to score with his first touch after coming on at the weekend and he was the first into the thick of the action for the Bluebirds playing in a wide right position as he tested the Coventry defence.

He flashed a header past the post in the fifth minute and then saw Greek defender Goutas follow in his footsteps three minutes later by scoring his first goal for the club as he powered home a free header from a Joe Ralls corner.

The home side were good value for their lead and almost got a second in the 33rd minute when a Ryan Wintle cross from the right edge of the box was turned inches wide by Ike Ugbo from the middle of the six-yard box.

Coventry arrived in the Welsh capital sitting two places above their hosts but on the same number of points. Having absorbed most of the pressure in the opening half-hour, they hit back in the 33rd minute from a corner.

Jak Alnwick punched the ball away from his goal, but only as far as the edge of the D. Milan van Ewijk immediately stroked a pass to his left to skipper Liam Kelly, whose first-time touch into the area found Godden to turn on the edge of the six-yard box and bag the equaliser.

It was his fifth goal in eight games to underline just why the Sky Blues were so keen to get him to sign a new contract last month.

All of a sudden there was a real spring in the step of the visitors and when Tatsuhiro Sakamoto was introduced eight minutes into the second half they got even livelier.

Cardiff, though, regained the lead just after the hour mark after they swept the play upfield and Ralls carried across field to give Tanner and Wintle the chance to combine on the right. It was Wintle’s measured cross that enabled West Brom loanee Grant to stoop low and head home from eight yards.

Alnwick had to be at his best in the home goal to stop Kasey Palmer from levelling in the 71st minute when he shot from 10 yards out.

Etete fired across goal to hit the left corner to make it a two-goal lead and though Godden scored his second of the night in the fifth of the 10 added minutes it was too little, too late.

Lyndon Dykes’ stoppage-time goal rescued a point for QPR in a 1-1 draw with Swansea at Loftus Road.

Josh Ginnelly’s early goal looked like giving the Welsh side a first Sky Bet Championship win under boss Michael Duff.

But Scotland forward Dykes, on as a substitute, equalised by getting in front of defender Ben Cabango to head home Ilias Chair’s left-wing cross.

Swansea ended the match with 10 men after Ollie Cooper was sent off in the final seconds after a foul on Dykes earned him a second yellow card.

Dykes’ goal spared Rangers a fourth defeat of the season at home, where they have won just once since last October.

Summer signing Ginnelly, making his first league start for Swansea, netted after seven minutes.

He was helped by a mistake by goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who failed to hold Jamal Lowe’s low cross from the right and the ball ricocheted off Ginnelly and into the net despite defender Osman Kakay’s attempt to prevent it crossing the line.

Swansea, beaten in their previous four matches and having lost four of their previous five in the league, defended well and always looked a threat on the counter-attack.

Rangers struggled to create clear-cut openings but striker Sinclair Armstrong missed a great chance to equalise midway through the first half.

An unchallenged Armstrong collected Andre Dozzell’s pass and, seemingly believing he was offside, turned and scooped a shot woefully high and wide before discovering he was being played onside by Swansea’s on-loan Chelsea youngster Bashir Humphreys.

Rangers made a determined start to the second half and the lively Paul Smyth did well on the right and crossed for Chair, who headed wide.

Dykes, fit again after a recent knee injury, was sent on by R’s boss Gareth Ainsworth on the hour as the hosts continued to search for an equaliser.

Swansea might have added a second had Jerry Yates connected properly with a scuffed shot which was easily gathered by Begovic.

Swans midfielder Matt Grimes fired wide as the visitors again looked to hit Rangers with a sucker punch, and at the other end Chair missed the target with a similarly wayward effort from long range.

In the closing stages, Dykes poked a shot wide from near the edge of the penalty area and Chair saw a low strike deflected wide, but Ainsworth’s team were eventually rewarded for their persistence.

A blistering start helped Portsmouth secure a 3-2 win over Barnsley at Oakwell that sent them top of Sky Bet League One.

Colby Bishop, Paddy Lane and Connor Ogilvie gave the Blues a dream start before second-half strikes from Barry Cotter and Callum Styles led to a tense finish.

Gavin Whyte had already seen a first-minute effort deflected wide and Bishop had headed over the bar before Pompey were awarded an eighth-minute penalty.

Lane beat two players before feeding the ball to Northern Ireland winger Whyte on the right and Bishop’s attempt to convert his low centre saw him fouled by Barnsley keeper Liam Roberts.

Bishop converted the spot-kick and 30 seconds later the visitors doubled their lead when the former Accrington striker’s flick-on found Lane and he calmly finished.

Ogilvie added the third when he headed home Joe Morrell’s cross from the right after 16 minutes.

Having failed to mount an attack of note before the break, Barnsley pulled one back just four minutes after the restart when half-time substitute Sam Cosgrove found Cotter, who drilled a low finish past Will Norris.

The hosts scored again with 13 minutes left when Norris fumbled Callum Styles’ header and the ball trickled over the line but despite a spell of late pressure they could not find an equaliser.

Chelsea loanee Omari Hutchinson’s first goal for Ipswich was enough to earn them a 1-0 win at Southampton.

The Tractor Boys are up to second in the Sky Bet Championship after winning four successive away games in the second tier for the first time in eight years.

Saints, expected by many to go straight back up after last season’s Premier League relegation, have now lost their last three games.

Southampton started brightly and half of the St Mary’s crowd thought Adam Armstrong had scored with just five minutes played when he rippled the side-netting from the edge of the box.

Ipswich did have the ball in the net two minutes later, only for Conor Chaplin’s close-range effort from Hutchinson’s inswinging corner to be harshly ruled out for a foul.

Shea Charles passed up a presentable opportunity to test Ipswich goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky when he headed over from a Kyle Walker-Peters cross.

Brandon Williams then ballooned a header into the stands after rising at the far post to meet Wes Burns’ centre.

Ipswich took the lead on the half-hour mark after capitalising on a Charles mistake.

The Northern Ireland international was caught dwelling on the ball by Hutchinson just outside his own penalty area and the Chelsea loanee played a one-two with Chaplin before slotting home.

It was deja-vu for Saints six minutes later when Chaplin dispossessed Joe Aribo deep inside his own half before lofting his shot over goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu and onto the top of the crossbar.

The rebound fell kindly for George Hirst but the Ipswich striker could not keep his effort down.

Saints were booed off by their own fans at half-time but manager Russell Martin resisted the temptation to make any substitutions for the start of the second half.

Che Adams could have equalised four minutes after the restart but his effort from a Walker-Peters through ball 10 yards out was kept out by Hladky at full stretch.

Bazunu did well to throw himself low to his right and turn Chaplin’s well-struck left-foot volley from 20 yards away from goal.

Martin did turn to his bench in the 58th minute, bringing on experienced Premier League duo Jan Bednarek and Stuart Armstrong and winger Kamaldeen Sulemana.

Shortly after his arrival, Sulemana’s teasing low cross caused chaos in the Ipswich penalty area before Adam Armstrong’s shot was eventually smuggled behind for a corner.

Will Smallbone and Adams also had shots blocked as the Ipswich defence put their bodies on the line to preserve the victory.

Eddie Howe feels the hard-fought point with which Newcastle emerged from their trip to AC Milan could serve them well as their Champions League campaign continues.

The Magpies, who needed goalkeeper Nick Pope to make five first-half saves to ensure they came away from San Siro with a 0-0 draw, managed to frustrate the hosts for long periods and open their Group F account on their return to European football’s top table after an absence of two decades.

Head coach Howe said: “I thought the crowd were very good for Milan tonight. It was a hostile atmosphere for us, the players had to adjust to that and that’s why I don’t think you can underestimate the performance and the point that we get.

“I think it will look better and better as time goes on because it’s a new experience for a lot of people – me included – tonight and hopefully we can grow from this into the tournament.

“Again, I’ll praise the players for the defensive qualities that they showed today. We know we can do better with the ball, but hopefully that will come.”

Pope’s heroics provided the foundation on a night when he had to be at his best to keep the Rossoneri at bay three days after keeping a clean sheet in a Premier League victory over Brentford.

Howe said: “I thought he was outstanding today. He was excellent against Brentford – although he didn’t have a lot to do – and his all-round game was at his highest level.

“It’s no coincidence, two big displays and two clean sheets from him which is absolutely crucial to us. He was a huge part of our success last year and no doubt he’ll be the same this year.”

Newcastle might even have snatched victory at the death when midfielder Sean Longstaff forced a crucial save from substitute keeper Marco Sportiello deep into stoppage time, and Howe was not countenancing suggestions his side had been fortunate.

He said: “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I didn’t think the draw was luck. We were slightly disappointed with how we played with the ball tonight, but there are a lot of different reasons for that.”

However, for all that the visitors defended with impressive resilience, particularly in the second half when they limited Milan to few clear-cut opportunities, they had already been let off the hook when Portugal international Rafael Leao had danced through the black and white shirts and with only Pope to beat, tried to back-heel a shot past him and simply fell over.

Rossoneri boss Stefano Pioli said: “Rafa Leao is much-appreciated by every football lover because he tries impossible things. He gives it a try. These are impossible things for the rest of the players.

“On the other hand, he tries to get that ‘Wow!’ effect, and sometimes he achieves it. If I had been there in front of the goal, I would have shot and probably I would have missed the goal.

“I’m sorry for my players because they have given their utmost and maybe more. It was a very intense game. We were tired because we ran so much. I’m sorry for our fans because they supported us throughout the whole game, and I’m sorry about not winning the first game in the group phase because this will be a very tough one.

“We wanted to win, but we couldn’t, so we’re not happy about the result.”

Erik ten Hag admitted he was concerned about the eye-watering number of injuries Manchester United are picking up ahead of their Champions League opener at Bayern Munich.

This has been a challenging start to the season for the Old Trafford giants, with off-field issues compounded by a run of three defeats in their last four Premier League matches.

United’s 3-1 meek home loss to Brighton is hardly the best preparation to face Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on Wednesday, nor are the injury problems that continue to pile up.

The Red Devils have lost Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire since the weekend, joining the likes of Raphael Varane, Mason Mount, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia on the sidelines.

“Yes, of course it’s a concern,” Ten Hag said of the spate of injuries that leaves him with a 21-man squad in Germany featuring four goalkeepers.

“But we knew that before and that’s why we constructed the squad with depth, so we can deal with it, the squad can deal with it.”

Asked whether he can speak to the medical staff about the injury situation, the United boss said: “I don’t know if we have to go to the doctors or physios because they are dealing with the problems.

“First of all, injuries always come in top football because we’re living on the edge.

“Of course we analyse why things happen, but we also have to deal with the facts and it’s always about the players available.

“That’s a strong side we can line up and we have to get the best out of it and we’re focusing on that.

“To bring up tomorrow again, a good team, make the next step, integrate Rasmus Hojlund, (Sergio) Reguilon), two new players and we are here to get a result.”

Sofyan Amrabat, Kobbie Mainoo and Amad Diallo are others out of the Group A opener through injury, while Donny van de Beek is unavailable having been left out of United’s Champions League squad.

Beyond that, Jadon Sancho remains absent “pending resolution of a squad discipline issue” and Antony has been given a leave of absence following assault allegations against him.

“One thing is true, I think from the start last season I think I almost never started with the best starting XI – there was always something like injury,” Ten Hag said.

“But you have to deal with it and I think we always got the results in apart from the period where we are in now.

“That is football and I have the experience in the past, I managed it in the past. It’s not always going up and you have to deal with it.

“I like these situations because now we have to handle it and we have to manage this. You have to know what to do and that is focusing on the process.”

Ten Hag’s belief about their path is why he is not getting thrown off kilter by the negativity heading into United’s first Champions League match in 18 months.

“No, we don’t feel that we need a reset,” the former Bayern Munich reserve boss said. “Absolutely not. “We are in a process and what you see is that in parts of games we play very good but then also in parts of games we played below our levels.

“What we have to demand is be consistent, so we have to step up in certain levels all the time for 90-plus minutes. That is the demand on us.”

Wednesday certainly looks a tough ask for United, who will face England captain Harry Kane after he joined Bayern following a summer of speculation.

United were strongly linked with the 30-year-old but plumped for promise rather than a proven goalscorer by signing Hojlund, 10 years his junior, from Atalanta.

“I think we discussed (Kane and Hojlund during pre-season), so I don’t think we have to repeat this debate,” Ten Hag said.

“We are happy with Rasmus. Obviously first games he was injured, he played now Arsenal, he’s now started.

“Now of course we have to integrate him in a team but you can see he’s a big talent and he will contribute to our game. We are quite confident of that.”

Asked if he had regrets about not signing Kane, Ten Hag simply responded: “No.”

Rachel Daly feels the calendar in the women’s game needs to be looked at, describing the amount of games as “excessive”.

England boss Sarina Wiegman last week said the matter was something she was “very worried” about as she named her squad for matches against Scotland at home on Friday and the Netherlands away four days later in the inaugural Women’s Nations League.

The Lionesses’ World Cup campaign concluded with the final on August 20, and there have been Champions League qualifying fixtures since then.

Daly told a press conference: “I do think the calendar is something that does need to be addressed moving forward.

“You’ve seen a significant amount of injuries in the past year or so, which you can only think may be a part of the calendar and the excessive amount of games we have during the season, especially the girls playing in the Champions League as well.

“I do think it needs to be looked at and addressed in the future. But as of right now, we’re not in a position to minimise game time we’ve got, so we just have to tackle it head on right now and put ourselves in the best position physically and mentally to play.

“We’ve got to get straight back into it, with our clubs, internationally, and we’re all just ready to go again and focus on the upcoming Nations League.”

On the process of trying to get back to normality after what was the Lionesses’ first World Cup final, and saw Wiegman’s European champions beaten 1-0 by Spain, Daly said: “Probably the fact it wasn’t in our home country deterred a little bit of the emotion.

“I’ve bumped into people in the street who say how proud they are, it’s a nice feeling. Everyone knows we’re disappointed with how it turned out but we made the nation proud once again and that’s what we want to do.

“Everyone deals with it a little bit different. But here we are back at it again!”

England open their Group A1 matches in the new competition – via which they can secure Paris 2024 Olympics qualification for Great Britain – with a trip to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light to play a Scotland outfit whose dispute with their national association was resolved last week.

The team, captained by Daly’s Aston Villa team-mate Rachel Corsie, withdrew legal action against the Scottish Football Association over equal pay and treatment claims having secured what the centre-back described as “parity”.

Asked about that – as well as the saga involving the Spain team since their World Cup triumph – Daly said: “I think trust and open, honest conversations with federations is something that is massive in terms of growing the women’s game.

“For us as players and people we are always trying to strive for better and what’s right, not just for the players involved right now, but for the next generation and future for years to come.

“To have that platform is something I think probably gets overlooked, but it’s a place that you need to get to in order to petition for more, and what’s right and what we deserve.”

England’s players themselves are involved in an ongoing bonus payments dispute with the Football Association, and Daly said: “We parked that for the World Cup.

“I think people concerned of distractions – there were absolutely no distractions for us at the World Cup, and those conversations were parked.

“We have a great team in place to take those discussions further and I think we’re in a really positive place to achieve an outcome.

“We all want the same thing, the federation and the players want to come to the same agreement. The leadership group and the players that put themselves in front of those meetings are fantastic and do a great job, so I think we’re in a great place.”

Rafael Leao was guilty of an incredible miss which let Newcastle off the hook as their Champions League opener at AC Milan finished goalless.

The Portugal international, who was Newcastle star Sandro Tonali’s team-mate at San Siro until his £53million summer switch to Tyneside, completely fluffed his lines with only goalkeeper Nick Pope to beat after attempting an audacious flick at the end of a stunning 34th-minute run and only succeeded in tripping himself.

Pope will feel he had already earned his slice of good fortune after making five first-half saves in the space of six minutes to pave the way for a 0-0 draw which banked a priceless first point for the Magpies’ Group F account on their return to European football’s top table after an absence of 20 years.

For the seven-time winners, who were thrashed 5-1 by derby rivals Inter Milan on Saturday, there was no salvation on a night when they created enough chances, but were unable to take any of them, much to the annoyance of the locals among a crowd of 65,695.

Inter Milan begin their latest bid for Champions League glory with Simone Inzaghi looking to replicate last season’s glorious run.

Inter made it all the way to the final in July only to come up short in a narrow 1-0 defeat against the new champions, and English treble winners, Manchester City in Istanbul.

They face Real Sociedad in the Group D opener on Wednesday looking to make a strong start to their continental campaign.

“It was a great journey,” Inzaghi told reporters. “This year it starts again against a strong team. We will play it like last year, knowing that it will be difficult to repeat what we did, but that we want to try again.”

Inter travel to Spain buoyant on the back of a thumping 5-1 win over AC Milan in the first derby of the season.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored twice with Marcus Thuram, Hakan Calhanoglu and Davide Frattesi also on target at San Siro.

However, Turkey midfielder Calhanoglu will not be available to Inzaghi due to a thigh strain.

Striker Lautaro Martinez, who is forming a promising partnership with Thuram, said: “We are a new team, with some new players. I am happy with the work we are doing, but this is a long journey, we are still at the beginning, so I can’t say for sure.

“But we will work as we have always done with the coach and his staff.”

La Real are back among Europe’s elite for the first time in 10 years after finishing fourth in LaLiga last season.

Coach Imanol Alguacil believes his side can spring an early surprise.

He said: “We are playing at home, against an opponent who were one step away from winning this competition last season.

“We will play with respect and humility, but this is the Champions League, and we have to get on the pitch, give it our all and try to win.”

Winger Mikel Oyarzabal wants the crowd at the Reale Arena to play its part.

“We have shown in recent years that we can give anyone a game,” he said.

“This team always competes and gives its all, and I don’t think tomorrow will be any different.

“We have to play with the hunger and the spirit that our stadium transmits to us, and then we have to maintain the desire to win.”

Newcastle fans headed for San Siro on Tuesday evening confident they were safe after one supporter was stabbed as thousands gathered in Milan.

Local police confirmed that a 58-year-old Magpies supporter had suffered three wounds in an incident at around midnight on Monday after being set upon by a group of up to eight men wearing hoodies in the popular Navigli area of the city.

A police spokesperson told the PA news agency: “The incident took place about midnight in the neighbourhood of Navigli, which is populated with bars.

“A police patrol came across the incident, which involved seven or eight people wearing hooded sweatshirts. We are still searching for these people.

“A supporter of Newcastle, who is 58 years old, suffered two slight wounds to his arms and one a little bit deeper on his back. He was sent to the Policlinico Hospital and is expected to be discharged later today.

“DIGOS (Divisione Investigazioni Generali e Operazioni Speciali), the branch which deals with football supporters, is investigating, but at this moment it is not clear if this is related to football or something else because no emblems were visible.”

Newcastle were liaising with the authorities in the wake of the incident, and wished the fan involved a speedy recovery.

A club spokesperson said: “We are deeply concerned by reports that a supporter was seriously assaulted in Milan on Monday evening and we are liaising with local authorities to understand the circumstances.

“Our thoughts are with the supporter and their family and we hope for a full and speedy recovery.”

Around 5,000 visiting supporters were expected at the stadium for the opening Group F fixture, with more having travelled simply to experience the atmosphere of the club’s first Champions League game in 20 years.

Many gathered around the bars and restaurants in the Naviglio Grande area on the eve of the match close to where the stabbing occurred.

The area was quieter on Tuesday afternoon, but some of those who were present on Monday evening reported no problems.

Joe McDivitt, 57, from Cramlington, told PA: “We heard about it, but we knew nothing about it, just hearsay, rumours and what the lads have seen about it on social media.

“My daughter messaged me – she’s in a huff because she’s not here – to say just to be careful, but everything has been fine.

“We had no trouble, everybody was great. There was no bother. It was great.”

Andy Roberts, 38, from Newcastle, said: “It’s gone round the Newcastle WhatsApp groups about the guy getting cut with a machete or whatever. But if there’s one out of 10,000…

“All the Italians we have spoken to have been very nice, very friendly, the taxi drivers are very friendly. The atmosphere seems good. We’ll see what it’s like after the game.”

Many fans headed to the stadium on the city’s Metro system, packing into sweltering trains along with their Milan counterparts and the atmosphere was boisterous, but good-natured.

Gabriel Jesus is ready to teach Arsenal’s Champions League newcomers all about a competition he used to skip school to watch as a boy.

The Gunners return to Europe’s elite club competition after a six-year absence, having finished second in the Premier League last season.

A number of Mikel Arteta’s players have yet to taste Champions League football, with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice and William Saliba set to make their debuts in the tournament against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday night.

Jesus, meanwhile, scored 14 goals in 22 Champions League appearances for Manchester City and came off the bench as his former club lost the 2021 final to Chelsea.

“I remember the times I watch at home, the times I missed school to watch and my mum got crazy,” the Brazil forward said of why he holds the competition in such high regard.

“It starts from there. It was different to hear the music, to see the best clubs. All the leagues, the best clubs go. I think this helps a lot, then it is a different game, a different competition.

“If I talk, I get in trouble! As a kid, you do things you don’t control. Like I said to the kids: don’t do it, go to school.

“When I was a kid, 14, 15 years old, and I tried to go to the clubs to do tests to stay in the club, I always chose school.”

Having gone from playing truant to watch the Champions League to starring in it, Jesus will be key to any hopes Arsenal have of going deep into the tournament.

The 26-year-old, who has recovered from a second knee surgery in the past eight months, revealed his team-mates are already getting excited ahead of the visit of PSV and has backed them to shine.

“Yesterday, some of them were joking in the gym, putting the (Champions League music on),” he added.

“I’m sure everyone is happy, not just the players, the club, the fans, it goes a long way without playing in this competition, now Arsenal are back.

“A club like Arsenal cannot stay without playing that competition so everyone at the club is very happy.

“Everyone here is already experienced to know how to control emotions and these kind of things. Some of them, it is the first time they play in the Champions League.”

Arteta will also be taking charge of a team in the competition for the first time and believes Arsenal are back where they belong.

“Proud and excited I would say,” he said of his feelings on the eve of the opening Group B encounter.

“It’s been a long time for the club since we’ve been in the competition and obviously the first time for me as a manager as well.

“We’ve been chasing it and fighting for it and now we’ve got it. Now we have to make the most out of it and it starts at home.

“Every time that I watched it and we weren’t there I felt it. This club has to be in the Champions League and when I have the job that I have, the responsibility is to try and bring the club to the biggest stages, the biggest tournaments and then be fighting for them.”

A number of Spain’s World Cup-winning stars reluctantly reported for national team duty on Tuesday amid concerns they could face sanctions for refusing to be called up.

Fifteen of the squad from this summer’s tournament were named in Montse Tome’s squad on Monday for Nations League encounters against Sweden and Switzerland, despite 21 of the 23-player contingent stating on Friday they would not play for their country again until the football federation (RFEF) had undergone major restructuring.

The group insisted the resignation of Luis Rubiales was “not enough” to prompt their return. He finally quit as RFEF president on September 10 following the scandal surrounding his kiss on the lips of Spain player Jenni Hermoso after the final in Sydney in August, which she insists was not consensual.

Under Spanish sports law “unjustified lack of attendance” for national team duty is considered a serious infraction which can result in fines or even a suspension, and amid the uncertainty players committed to the boycott gathered on Tuesday.

A group of Madrid-based stars met at a hotel in the Spanish capital before travelling on to a training base near Valencia. Among them was goalkeeper Misa Rodriguez, who answered “no” when asked by reporters if she was happy to be part of Tome’s squad.

Another group of Barcelona players, including 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, were photographed and interviewed as they arrived at El Prat airport in the Catalan city for a flight to the Valencia training camp.

The PA news agency understands world players’ union FIFPRO is among the bodies providing legal advice and other support to the group, although that support is being led by domestic player unions.

Hermoso, who Tome said had not been called up for the Nations League matches for her own protection, issued a statement early on Tuesday accusing the RFEF of “intimidation” and making threats towards the player group.

“We have spent weeks, months, searching for protection from inside the RFEF that never came,” she posted on social media.

“The same people who ask us to trust them are those who today announced a squad with players who asked NOT to be called up.

“The players are certain that this is yet another strategy of division and manipulation to intimidate and threaten us with legal repercussions and economic sanctions.”

Tome said Spain were still “counting on” Hermoso, despite her omission.

“We stand with Jenni,” she told a press conference on Monday.

“We believe that the best way to protect her is like this, but we are counting on Jenni.

“It’s the start of a new phase, the clock is ticking. There is nothing behind us and we really want to connect with these players.”

Harry Kane says Bayern Munich need to use Manchester United’s issues to their advantage as the England skipper looks to shoot down his long-term admirers in the Champions League.

Kane has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford but last month moved to the German giants from boyhood club Tottenham.

He has hit the ground running with four goals in as many domestic games as attention turns to Wednesday’s Champions League opener.

United are the visitors and the England skipper, 30, maintains Bayern always felt like the right choice for his next club.

“To be honest, obviously over the summer I know there were some talks between a few clubs in the background,” Kane said.

“But Bayern was a team I was really excited by so there wasn’t too many other discussions once they came in.

“My focus is on here. Obviously Manchester are a great club, a really big club as well, but I decided to come here and I’m really happy I have.”

Kane joined Bayern in search of silverware that has evaded him for club and country – success that is almost guaranteed with the German behemoths.

Trophies have looked far from certain over the last decade at United, who head to Bavaria in a precarious state after a third defeat in four matches compounded their well-documented off-field issues.

Kane is wary of a potential backlash but acknowledged United have been going through a “bit of a tough spell recently” that they can capitalise on.

“I don’t know about the perfect time (to play them),” he said. “There can be a big response from teams going through a difficult spell but of course we need to use circumstances to our advantage, to go with big confidence at home in front of our fans.

“It is important to start the game on the front foot and really try and put the pressure on the opposition.

“They have some big threats as well, on the counter-attack they have some really quick players, so we need to be wary of that.

“But overall it’s a game we want to try to dominate and try to keep the pressure on and hopefully break them down as the game goes on.”

Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern side are strong favourites to win Wednesday’s match and second only to holders Manchester City in the bookmakers’ odds to lift the trophy, but Kane is focusing on further improvements on a personal and collective level.

“It’s been a good start for me here for sure,” he said. “Whenever there is a big transfer there is a little bit more pressure and expectation.

“Really pleased to score the four goals so far. I still think personally I can play better but I think that will come with getting to know my team-mates more and the system and the way we play.

“There’s definitely room for improvement in my all-round game but it’s always good to score four goals in four games.”

Kane is the all-time top goalscorer of both England and Tottenham, who have started the season well despite their star turn’s exit.

New head coach Ange Postecoglou’s side are unbeaten in the Premier League, with four wins – including one over United – and a draw leaving Spurs second.

“They’ve had a fantastic start,” Kane said. “I’m always keeping an eye on them and I’ll keep an eye on Tottenham for the rest of my life.

“I’m really happy to see the team playing the way they are and to see the fans happy is a great thing.”

Carlo Ancelotti has conferred the Champions League favourites tag upon Manchester City but the Real Madrid head coach insisted there may be some “surprises at the end”.

The most successful side in Europe’s premier club competition with 14 wins, including lifting the trophy five times in the last decade, Madrid are often tipped to progress into the latter stages at the outset.

But Real, who open their Group C campaign on Wednesday against Union Berlin at the Bernabeu, were eliminated in ruthless fashion at the semi-final stage by Pep Guardiola’s treble-winning City side in May.

It is the Premier League giants that have a target on their backs, according to Ancelotti, who nevertheless intimated no team can ever take anything for granted.

“City are favourites because they have a squad that saw them win it last season and they haven’t changed much,” Ancelotti told a press conference.

“However, in the Champions League, like always, there are surprises at the end.

“Real Madrid are a team that are going to fight until the end. We never think of ourselves as favourites, just as I think City don’t.

“But they won it last year, they can win the Champions League. You could say they are the favourites.”

Luka Modric has started only once in this campaign and Toni Kroos just twice, with Ancelotti favouring younger options such as Jude Bellingham and Aurelien Tchouameni in the middle of the park.

Ancelotti acknowledged Modric, the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner and widely regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of his era, is adjusting to less playing time but the Croatian will feature on Wednesday.

“He’s fine, I speak to him every day like I do with all the players,” Ancelotti said. “It’s a personal relationship that we have.

“The fact that he is not playing as much as he used to can sometimes affect him a bit. But that doesn’t affect the personal relationship, which is still fantastic and will continue to be fantastic. He’s going to play (against Union).”

Lucas Vazquez will replace the injured Dani Carvajal at full-back for Madrid, who face an unknown quantity having never before played against Union.

The Bundesliga side, who finished fourth in the division last season, are the dark horses in a group also containing Serie A champions Napoli and Portuguese outfit Braga.

A trip to the Spanish capital to take on the Champions League’s most prolific side represents a daunting challenge for Union, who are in the competition for the first time in their history.

“They’re a new team in the Champions League but the fact they’re here means they’ve done very well,” Ancelotti added.

“They’re well-organised defensively, they’re solid and they play with intensity. We’ve studied them carefully and hopefully we can put in a good performance. We will need to play at a high intensity.

“We’re ready, like last year. The Champions League is a special competition for us. We’re going to treat the game as something special. We want to get off to a good start.”

Harry Kane defended Harry Maguire as the England captain hit out at the way the defender has been “scapegoated” amid “really unnecessary scrutiny”.

Little more than two years on from being named in the European Championship team of the tournament, the 30-year-old is now the butt of jokes to many.

Maguire’s struggle for form and game-time at Manchester United have increased the spotlight on a player that has remained an integral part of the England squad.

Boss Gareth Southgate said the treatment of the centre-back was “ridiculous”, “a joke” and “beyond anything I’ve ever seen” after he was mocked mercilessly against Scotland at Hampden Park.

Kane wrapped up that 3-1 friendly win following an own goal by half-time introduction Maguire, who the England skipper believes faces unwarranted attention and ridicule.

“I think H has come under some really unnecessary scrutiny,” the Bayern Munich striker said.

“Probably been scapegoated a little bit in terms of the way the team has gone over recent times.

“He is a really good friend of mine, he’s a great guy, a really hard working professional.

“From an England point of view, he has been one of our best defenders and one of the best defenders in the history of our country in an England shirt.

“It’s part of our game now, it’s part of football. You get scrutinised all over social media but knowing him, all he will want to do is work harder and improve and stay focused.

“We’re fully behind him in the national team. I know the coach has come out and backed him fully.

“There’s always going to be noise around players but the most important thing is that we have a really strong core with England and that’s the most important thing going into big games and big tournaments.”

Kane and Maguire go from team-mates to opponents as Bayern host out-of-sorts United in Wednesday’s Champions League Group A opener.

Put to sharpshooter Kane he could make matters worse for the defender, he said: “Yeah, but this is football. I’ve come up against friends or England team-mates before.

“Once you get on to the pitch, your competitiveness comes out and you want to do your best for your team and nothing else really enters your mind. That’s not something I think about.

“But Harry is a great guy, a great professional. A lot of young players can look at him and his journey to hopefully motivate them to be footballers as well.

“But, yeah, if he plays (on Wednesday night) that friendship goes away for 90 minutes and I do my best for Bayern Munich.”

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