Eintracht Frankfurt coach Oliver Glasner assured Evan Ndicka had not suffered an injury that would keep him out of the Europa League final after the defender hobbled off on Saturday.

Frankfurt's focus turns towards Wednesday's showpiece against Rangers in Seville after their Bundesliga campaign concluded with a 2-2 draw against Mainz.

But there was momentary concern during the final match of the league season as Ndicka had to be substituted.

Ndicka, who has been linked to both Manchester United and Newcastle United, will have a key role to play if Frankfurt are to beat Rangers to the trophy.

And Glasner had positive news on the 22-year-old's condition afterwards, saying: "It's nothing bad – he has blisters on his feet. Everyone came out well."

The coach confirmed all his players were "fit" following the match – including, perhaps, midfielder Jesper Lindstrom, who has not played since the European semi-final first leg against West Ham due to a hamstring injury.

"He looks pretty good," Glasner said. "Everything is going according to plan."

However, he wants to see Lindstrom on the training pitch in the coming days if the Denmark international is to play any part in midweek.

"Only from the couch and from the massage table, it is not possible," Glasner added.

Ange Postecoglou revealed he had achieved a "dream" that had been his "lifelong obsession" after overseeing Celtic's Scottish Premiership title triumph.

Celtic needed only a point on Wednesday to clinch top spot ahead of rivals and reigning champions Rangers, and they got exactly that thanks to a 1-1 draw at Dundee United.

It completes a stunning turnaround under Postecoglou, who arrived at the start of this season after Celtic had finished the last campaign 25 points off the pace.

The Bhoys recovered from early setbacks, though, and were deserving champions with a game to spare.

"It's been a hell of a season," Postecoglou told BBC Sport. "Our starting point was a fair way back, and the way this group of players and staff has risen to the challenge – I couldn't be more proud.

"It's fairly overwhelming. It's taken every ounce of me to get us where we are, and when you get to the finish line, you just want to collapse.

"We've been focused all season, not getting distracted by anything. The players were really good at dealing with what was in front of them – and that's not easy to do.

"The dream was always to manage a famous club and try to make an impact. When something is almost a lifelong obsession and you finally get there, it's hard to put into words.

"It almost feels like two seasons in one. We've jammed in a rebuilding season and a season to win. We had a lot of work to do, and with the support of everyone at the club, we got there."

John Lundstram's late strike saw Rangers through to the Europa League final as they roared back at Ibrox to beat RB Leipzig 3-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, first-half goals from James Tavernier and Glen Kamara turned the tie in favour of Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side.

Leipzig, who were seeking their first European final appearance, levelled on aggregate when Christopher Nkunku neatly volleyed home in the 70th minute.

However, Lundstram popped up 10 minutes from time to snatch a dramatic winner for the hosts, who will play Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville on May 18.

Aiming to become only the fifth side to overturn a first-leg semi-final defeat and progress to the Europa League showpiece, Rangers levelled the tie in the 18th minute.

Kamara released Ryan Kent down the flank and the winger drilled the ball across the face of goal, with Tavernier applying the finishing touch at the far post.

The hosts turned the tie on its head just six minutes later, with Scott Wright teeing up Kamara, who brilliantly stroked the ball into the far corner from 20 yards.

Joe Aribo squandered a glorious opportunity to make it 3-0 on the night soon after, failing to turn home from six yards after Tavernier cushioned Borna Barisic's deep cross into his path.

Leipzig grew into the contest during the second half and levelled the tie with 19 minutes remaining. Moments after Allan McGregor did brilliantly to deny Konrad Laimer, Nkunku drifted to the near post to volley home from Angelino's centre.

Yet Rangers sealed their progress to Seville after a winner 10 minutes from time, Lundstram reacting quickest to finish after Kent's deep cross was headed off the line by Josko Gvardiol.

Celtic remain on course to win the Scottish Premiership despite Fashion Sakala earning Rangers a 1-1 draw in Sunday's Old Firm derby at Celtic Park.

Ange Postecoglou's side went into the fourth league meeting of the season between the two Glasgow giants six points ahead of their arch rivals.

That advantage looked like being extended to nine when Jota put Celtic ahead in the 21st minute.

However, Celtic failed to make the most of the superiority they largely enjoyed thereafter, and Sakala claimed a share of the spoils with his 67th-minute leveller.

Ryan Kent led a bright start for Rangers that soon dissipated as Daizen Maeda's low left-wing cross was deftly turned home by Jota.

Celtic continued in the ascendancy and Maeda should have made it 2-0 three minutes before half-time with a close-range header, Jota almost returning the favour with a cross to the far post after Rangers lost possession in their own half.

Maeda blazed over another excellent chance 10 minutes after the restart and his profligacy was punished in fine fashion.

Neat build-up play from Rangers saw Kent tee up Sakala, whose low drive had too much pace for Joe Hart and sneaked inside the near post.

Rangers came agonisingly close to completing the turnaround, Hart producing a stunning save to deny Scott Arfield from close range before Sakala hit the post, Celtic clinging on to maintain a likely decisive edge in the title race.

Manchester United are preparing for a complete overhaul of the playing group in the upcoming transfer window as incoming manager Erik ten Hag begins to build things his way.

Ten Hag, who is arriving from Ajax, has reportedly already seen enough of a number of regular contributors at United, and they will make way for players he believes can get the club back to their former glory.

Forward, midfielders and defenders are all on the chopping block, with very few positions expected to be safe heading into 2022-23.

 

TOP STORY – TEN HAG TO SWING THE AXE AT UNITED

The Sun is reporting United "could sell" Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Alex Telles at the next opportunity.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports claims United's needs include a new centre-back, two central midfielders, a winger and a striker in what could shape up as a complete rebuild.

One player who will reportedly get a chance to prove his worth at Old Trafford once he returns from loan is Donny van de Beek, who played for Ten Hag at Ajax.

West Ham's Declan Rice is also high on the Dutchman's wishlist, per The Guardian, while the Telegraph claims Benfica striker Darwin Nunez is a key target.

 

ROUND-UP

– Sky Sports Germany is reporting RB Leipzig have no interest in parting ways with Christopher Nkunku next season, despite interest from United and Arsenal.

– According to Goal, Milan are keen to sign Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, who spent two seasons at Inter before rejoining Chelsea this season.

Real Madrid are monitoring Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, per AS.

Manchester City and Newcastle United are both interested in 18-year-old Rangers academy midfielder Alex Lowry, according to Football Insider.

– Todofichajes reports that Christian Eriksen has agreed to return to Tottenham when his contract with Brentford expires at the end of this season.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou confirmed that a member of his coaching staff was hit by a missile during the Old Firm derby.

The Hoops came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory at Ibrox and extended their lead over their rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership to six points with just six games remaining.

Aaron Ramsey had given Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side the lead early on, only for Tomas Rogic and Cameron Carter-Vickers to strike back for Celtic before the break.

However, the match was marred by glass bottles being thrown onto the pitch, with the game being delayed early in the second half when parts of a broken bottle were found in the Celtic penalty area.

In a separate incident, a member of Celtic's staff was also struck by an object thrown from the crowd. 

"Yeah, he was [hit by a missile], on the way in. I think he is okay. He had a couple of stitches," Postecoglou told reporters when asked if the staff member had indeed been struck by a missile.

"It is disappointing because this is a game that gets beamed around the world and it stands on its own.

"You had two teams going at it in first and second spot and you don't need a couple of idiots spoiling it."

Cameron Carter-Vickers celebrated a "massive" victory for Celtic as his goal ultimately proved the winner in Sunday's derby clash with Rangers.

Celtic took the Old Firm bragging rights back across Glasgow as they secured a 2-1 win at Ibrox.

Rangers' start could hardly have been better, with Aaron Ramsey scoring inside the opening three minutes, yet Tomas Rogic swiftly hit back for the visitors.

That was the first time since December 2002 that both teams had scored inside the opening 10 minutes of an Old Firm derby, and the first half ended in similarly frantic fashion when Carter-Vickers lashed in after a goalmouth scramble.

Celtic ultimately held on without too much trouble, despite glass bottles being thrown onto the pitch at half-time, as Ange Postecoglou's team moved six points clear of their city rivals at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

"A massive win for us, not many games left so every three points are massively important," defender Carter-Vickers told Sky Sports.

"All season we've shown that character. Sometimes it is difficult coming to a stadium like this, and it takes a bit of time to adjust.

"It was difficult to concede in the first five minutes, but after that we played well.

"My goal was probably a bit lucky. It was difficult, they were pushing men forward, and we had to defend as a unit. I thought we stood up to it well today."

Postecoglou echoed Carter-Vickers' sentiment, telling BBC Scotland: "It was an enormous effort. It was a proper derby.

"We didn't get off to the greatest of starts and the crowd was up and for us and this group of players to turn it around in that fashion, and the resilience this group have shown. 

"I'm super proud of the players. Everyone knows this isn't an easy place to come to, they're a good side and they're undefeated here this year and knowing the consequences and the significance of three points to the league today it was always going to be a battle for us.

"There were going to be times we had to roll our sleeves up. But like I said after not getting off to the greatest of starts, to go and win the game is a testament to the character of the players."

That was only a second domestic defeat Rangers have suffered under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, but both of them have been in derby games.

Celtic took a big stride towards regaining the Scottish Premiership title as Cameron Carter-Vickers' strike secured a 2-1 Old Firm derby win over Rangers at Ibrox.

Aaron Ramsey gave the Gers a dream start by opening the scoring just three minutes in, but Tomas Rogic equalised only four minutes later to silence the vast majority of a raucous capacity crowd on Sunday.

After weathering an early storm, Celtic were the better side and Carter-Vickers put them in front late in the first half.

Rangers were unable to respond in a second half that was delayed due to broken glass being thrown onto the pitch as Celtic moved six points clear of their fierce Glasgow rivals, with Ange Postecoglou's side also having a superior goal difference with six games to play.

Defending champions Rangers were rewarded for making a blistering start when Calvin Bassey sent Ryan Kent racing clear down the left and the winger's cross was swept in by the onrushing Ramsey.

Celtic briefly looked like they did not know what had hit them, but they were quickly level, Rogic turning in from close range after Allan McGregor palmed Reo Hatate's shot into his path following a brilliant run from Callum McGregor.

The Hoops thought Daizen Maeda had been upended by McGregor in the box late in the first half, but Carter-Vickers deservedly drilled them into the lead with his left foot as the Gers failed to deal with a free-kick from the left.

Joe Hart returned after the break to discover broken bottles in his penalty area, but Celtic looked untroubled once the game restarted after a delay of only a few minutes for a clean-up operation.

Hart did produce a fine save from Fashion Sakala and a superb reflex stop from McGregor prevented Liel Abada from extending Celtic's lead, but goals from Rogic and Carter-Vickers were enough to secure three precious points for the visitors.

Rangers have pulled out of a proposed friendly with Celtic that was due to take place in Australia in November.

It had been announced that the champions of Scotland would play in a four-team tournament, titled the "Sydney Super Cup", against their Old Firm rivals as well as A-League duo Sydney FC and Sydney Wanderers.

The game between Rangers and Celtic would have been the first Old Firm derby to take place overseas.

However, Rangers have now confirmed they will not be taking part in the tournament.

A statement released by the club on Thursday read: "Rangers can confirm the club will not be participating in the Sydney Super Cup in November 2022.

"After it became clear the tournament organisers were unwilling to fulfil their commitments to Rangers, we have, with immediate effect, terminated the club's agreement with the organisers."

Rangers fans had voiced their displeasure at the proposal, interrupting the recent 2-1 win at Dundee on several occasions by throwing tennis balls and toilet paper onto the pitch.

Erling Haaland will not return for Borussia Dortmund this weekend, with Marco Rose calling on the other attackers to start pulling their weight. 

Dortmund have been without Haaland for their past three matches after the striker sustained a muscular injury in the 3-2 win over Hoffenheim on January 22. 

In his absence, BVB suffered heavy 5-2 and 4-2 losses to Bayer Leverkusen and Rangers respectively either side of a 3-0 win at Union Berlin. 

Rose revealed Haaland would not be ready to feature against the coach's former club Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Sunday. 

He laid down the gauntlet to the other attackers in the team, despite Dortmund having scored 57 goals - of which Haaland has contributed 16 - after 22 games this season. The only time they have managed more at the same point in a Bundesliga campaign was when they had 63 in 2019-20. 

"Erling is not ready for the game. He has participated in parts of training, but he is not yet fully operational," Rose told a news conference on Saturday. 

"Others have to step into the breach. It's not about wanting to sugarcoat anything. 

"We're now introducing Donny [Donyell] Malen to the Bundesliga and Dortmund. He's felt like he's taken one-to-two steps back in the last two games. Before that, I publicly praised him for his development here. 

"If Erling isn't there, others have to pull on the chains and prepare the gates. I have to say this, too; we won 3-0 in Berlin a few days ago. We kept a clean sheet after a long time." 

Gladbach will be aiming to make it three straight Bundesliga wins over Dortmund for the first time since 1981, but they have only triumphed once away to BVB in their past 16 attempts in all competitions. 

BVB will be without defender Manuel Akanji due to a muscle tear sustained in the defeat to Rangers, while Marius Wolf is a doubt and Thomas Meunier will not play. 

Rangers gave the Old Firm Derby away to Celtic, but Giovanni van Bronckhorst does not think it will be decisive in the Scottish Premiership title race. 

Celtic took the lead through Reo Hatate inside five minutes at an electric Parkhead on Wednesday and completely controlled the clash between the top two during the opening period. 

Hatate rifled in a brilliant second and two minutes later crossed for Liel Abada to make it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time. 

Rangers improved after the restart but were unable to stop their 21-game unbeaten run coming to an end, with Celtic replacing them at the Premiership summit and going a point clear. 

"It seemed like it was the first Old Firm game we'd played. We know what the Old Firm will bring, what we have to do … but it seemed like we weren't ready for it," Van Bronckhorst told Sky Sports. 

"You see the way we gave the goals away. It's the sharpness, I cannot say otherwise. It's not going with your man, not being ready for the battles. I think it was unbelievable the first half I saw. 

"I think our Old Firm game started in the second half. We were much better, much more aggressive and we played the second half really well. But in the first half we gave the game away. 

"It wasn't something I expected. When I see the trainings we had, the focus we had before the game, but when the whistle blew, we were just waiting for the goal to be scored. We were too naive and we deserved to be down 3-0 with the way we played. 

"We had an honest conversation in the locker room after the game.  

"We're not the first Rangers team to lose. I lost very big here as a player, but we eventually became champions that year. Of course, we wanted to win this game, but these games don't decide the championship. We still have many games to play and we have to be ready." 

The victory was Ange Postecoglou's first since taking charge of Celtic and ended a six-game winless run against Rangers in the league. 

The Australian was thoroughly impressed with how his team outplayed Rangers and believes there is still plenty more to come from the Bhoys. 

"Our first 45 minutes were outstanding; three great goals," Postecoglou told the BBC. 

"Our football was pretty special and their keeper pulled off some great saves. In the second half, we had to defend a bit more but we've been a team that can do that. It shows another layer. We knew the consequences, what it meant to our supporters, and we stood up. 

"Considering the context of the game and the opposition, I thought our football was outstanding. It's the kind of football team we want to be. It doesn't mean you disrespect or dismiss the opposition. We are still developing, but we want to take it to the opposition, and if we do that, we can take it to any opposition. 

"We've still got key players missing, very influential players. Some are just in the door. Reo Hatate and Matt O'Riley have played fewer than five games. Our target was not top spot, our target is to win things, and if we're going to win things, we have to keep improving." 

Celtic overthrew Rangers at the Scottish Premiership summit after Reo Hatate inspired a resounding 3-0 victory in the Old Firm derby at Parkhead on Wednesday. 

Hatate continued his blistering start to life at Celtic with a first-half double that played a crucial role in securing a first league win against Rangers since September 2019. 

The Japanese midfielder set up Liel Abada with a tantalising cross two minutes after netting his second of the game, practically ending Giovanni van Bronckhorst's hopes of salvaging a result in his first Old Firm at the Rangers helm. 

Rangers' 21-game unbeaten run in the league consequently came to an ignominious end, with Ange Postecoglou's first win over Celtic's arch-rivals sending his team one point clear at the top. 

Celtic took a fifth-minute lead when Hatate's effort from the edge of the box deflected off Glen Kamara and found the bottom-right corner. 

Allan McGregor produced a brilliant double-save to keep Jota and Giorgos Giakoumakis at bay, but he was helpless when Hatate curled in a second in the 42nd minute. 

Hatate then turned provider before half-time, crossing for Abada to steer home after Rangers were caught napping by a quick throw-in. 

Rangers tightened up after the restart but found it difficult to create chances to test Joe Hart, although Ryan Jack rattled the crossbar with a 30-yard piledriver in the 79th minute.

Celtic were able to comfortably see out the victory, and the new league leaders are now unbeaten in 18 straight top-flight matches.

What does it mean? A shift in Rangers' outlook 

Rangers just could not keep track of Celtic's interchanging attack in a blistering first-half display, and it ultimately cost them their place at the top of the league. 

The defeat sees Rangers go from being on a 21-game undefeated streak to having won just one of their past four matches in the top flight. 

A Reo-lly good start 

Hatate was named man of the match on his debut against Hibernian last month and scored a screamer at Hearts the following week. The 24-year-old produced another stand-out display, with two goals and an assist making it a maiden Old Firm outing to remember. 

Barisic ball watches 

Had Rangers gone into half-time at 2-0 down, they may have had hope of mounting a second-half comeback. However, Borna Barisic was completely idle as Abada nipped in front of him to get Celtic's third before the break. He did not return for the second half.

What's next? 

Celtic head to Motherwell on Sunday, when Rangers face another difficult challenge at home to Hearts. 

Aaron Ramsey has joined Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers from Juventus on an initial loan deal.

The Wales international has struggled for appearances this season and was told by Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri to find a new club this month.

Ramsey had been linked with a number of Premier League sides, including Wolves, Burnley and Crystal Palace, but he sealed a deadline-day switch to Rangers on Monday.

He will spend the rest of the 2021-22 campaign at Ibrox, with an agreement also reportedly in place for Rangers to sign the midfielder permanently at the end of the season.

"I am really pleased to be joining a club like Rangers, where there is so much to look forward to between now and May," Ramsey told Rangers' official website.

"I had a number of offers on the table, but none matched the magnitude of this club, with European football and the chance to play in front of 50,000 fans every other week.

"I have had some fantastic conversations with the manager and Ross Wilson, and I'm really looking forward to working with both of them, and to meeting the supporters."

 

Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst added: "I'm absolutely delighted that we have been able to add a player of Aaron's quality, experience and leadership to our squad.

"As soon as it was mooted as a possibility, I was really keen for us to try everything to get the deal done, and huge credit must go to Ross and to the board for the work they have put in on this.

"I look forward to welcoming Aaron to the training centre tomorrow."

Ramsey will be looking to kick-start his career back in Britain with Rangers following a largely frustrating time of things across his two and a half years with Juventus.

The 31-year-old, who previously spent 11 seasons with Arsenal, has struggled for regular appearances at the Allianz Stadium due to persistent injury problems.

He has started just 34 games in all competitions since making his debut in September 2019, with 16 other players featuring more regularly for Juve over that period.

While his playing time has been limited, Ramsey's 2.07 chances created per 90 minutes during his time in Turin is the best return of any midfielder currently in the squad.

Since Allegri's arrival at the start of the season, Ramsey has been used only five times – and not at all since early November – totalling 111 minutes of action on the field.

The Cardiff City academy product is eligible to make his Rangers debut in Wednesday's Old Firm showdown with Celtic.

The Gers announced the signing of Mateusz Zukowski from Lechia Gdansk earlier on Monday.

Celtic's clash with Rangers on January 2 has been postponed by a month after Scottish Premiership clubs voted in favour of bringing forward the mid-season break.

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday that all outdoor events in the country would be limited to 500 spectators for at least three weeks from December 26 amid a rise in coronavirus cases.

That would have meant the first Old Firm derby of 2022 practically being held behind closed doors, but there is hope that restrictions will be eased – or entirely lifted – by the time the Glasgow rivals meet in the rescheduled fixture on February 2.

Scottish Premierships teams will now start their three-week break after the Boxing Day round of fixtures, rather than on January 3, and the league will resume on January 17.

Games that were due to be played on December 29 and January 2-3, which also includes the Edinburgh and Dundee derbies, have been moved to January 17-18 and February 1-2 respectively.

Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, said in a statement released on Wednesday: "We have had intense and positive discussions with all cinch SPFL clubs over the past 24 hours, since the announcement by the Scottish government of a three-week period of restrictions on fans attending matches. 

"We have advised our clubs that any postponements increase the risk of further disruption to an already highly congested fixture calendar.

"There are mixed views amongst cinch Premiership clubs about what to do for the best. However, a majority favour the postponement of fixtures to give a chance for games scheduled to be played over the festive period to be played in front of fans, once the three-week period of restrictions comes to an end. 

"The SPFL Board has agreed to postpone the 29 December and New Year Premiership fixture cards.

"Championship, League 1 and League 2 clubs voted to continue playing through the government restrictions and we look forward to their festive fixtures over the next fortnight.

"We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Sky Sports and Police Scotland for their flexibility in accommodating these changes and to all cinch SPFL clubs for their clear, positive and constructive feedback as we work together to get through the challenges posed by COVID-19."

Real Madrid saw Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos leave in the off-season.

The Spanish champions have fared well without them, leading LaLiga comfortably.

But Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti wants to add to their backline.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID CONSIDER GOMEZ MOVE

Madrid are lining up a potential move for Liverpool defender Joe Gomez, according to the Daily Mail.

Madrid will monitor the England international defender who has recently returned to fitness ahead of an off-season move.

Los Blancos' priority after 2021-22 is their attack and landing Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe, but they do want to bolster their defensive options.

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are genuine contenders to sign Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland according to Sky Germany. Madrid, Manchester CityManchester United and PSG have been heavily linked with the Norwegian, but the Reds are in the race.

- Mundo Deportivo claims that Manchester UnitedBarcelona and Madrid are all keeping tabs on Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman.

- United forward Anthony Martial wants to join Sevilla on loan in January and will hold talks with the club, claims Sky Sports.

- Hoffenheim midfielder Florian Grillitsch is drawing interest from both Tottenham and Roma who will jostle for his services, reports Sky Germany.

- Everton will look to sign Rangers right-back Nathan Patterson again but will need to pay £10m, reports the Daily Mail.

Page 1 of 3
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.