A frustrated Dejan Stankovic believes Rangers’ 3-0 win over Red Star Belgrade on Thursday was flattering.

Although the Red Star coach admitted it would be tough to turn the tie around in the return leg, his side deserved more from Ibrox.

After an eventful 90 minutes, the end of the match saw Stankovic head straight down the tunnel and decline to shake hands with counterpart Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who was visibly annoyed. The antagonism only resumed in the post-match news conference.

"The result is flattering, and we didn’t have a subordinate role [in the game]. The result didn’t reflect the balance of power on the pitch," Stankovic said afterwards. "We created our chances, offside three times, hit the frame of the goal, a missed penalty."

After a VAR intervention, Rangers took the lead from the penalty spot through James Tavernier, and Alfredo Morelos doubled the margin on 15 minutes.

Aleksandar Katai failed to convert a penalty of Red Star’s own nine minutes later, and had the better opportunities as the match progressed. Rangers capitalised on their chances however, leaving Stankovic to rue what could have been.

The 43-year-old was nevertheless in a defiant mood afterwards, claiming the tie is not yet over, with a return leg at the notoriously hostile Rajko Mitic Stadium looming.

"They were awarded a soft penalty also, and scored three goals from three dead balls. It’s just a shame that the result is disproportionate to what we showed. If we were to lose, the result should have been different with at least one goal scored, if not two. But that’s football," Stankovic said.

"I am convinced that the stands will be packed [in the second leg]. We showed that we can put them in real problems even though they’re a solid, well organised team. I am a realist though, and it will be tough because we didn’t score, but never say never."

The return fixture in Belgrade is next Thursday, with Red Star and Rangers facing Metalac and Dundee respectively on the weekend in domestic competitions.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst emphasised that the job is not done after his side’s commanding 3-0 home win in the first leg of its Europa League last-16 tie against Red Star Belgrade.

Van Bronckhorst heaped praise on his side’s defensive structure and adaptability through the midfield, after a game that saw three Red Star goals disallowed,

"The midfield was key today because we had to change our defensive shape sometimes,” van Bronckhorst said at the post-game news conference. 

"John [Lundstram] had a really good part in that in making sure we put on pressure really early, and sometimes you need to drop into the back five. 

"I think we were very good on the ball to create chances, and I am more than happy with the result today.”

While he was more than content with his side’s showing, van Bronckhorst acknowledged the unpredictable nature of Europa League football, and anticipated a high-pressure clash when Rangers travel to Belgrade for the second leg.

"I think that [Red Star] are very strong – they are here for a reason," he said. "I'm happy with the result, but this tie isn’t over yet. 

"There are many goals in this competition, so to score three against Red Star is a great performance, but as I said when we played Dortmund away, we are only half way. 

"The key in Europe against really tough sides, you have to be dynamic and versatile in the shapes that you play – that’s what I told the players as well.

"If we wanted to go through to the next round, we had to make sure we were ready to make changes.

"I'm really happy to go to Belgrade next week, it’s going to be very hard, but we have a three-goal difference with us. This tie isn’t over yet.

"We have to be ready, but we will park Europe at the moment, and we'll work and prepare ourselves for Dundee on Sunday."

Xavi insisted his side must remain humble after their goalless home draw with Galatasaray on Thursday in the first leg of the Europa League’s last-16.

Barcelona characteristically dominated possession but failed to break down Galatasaray, who are currently 12th in the Turkish Super Lig.

Having won the Champions League three times as a player, Xavi hinted his side has to be mentally stronger, despite being the better of the two teams. This comes amid the uncommon scenario of Barcelona playing in Europe’s second-tier club competition, after being knocked out of the Champions League earlier this season.

"I already said that this is Europe and teams are here on merit. It [the Europa League] is a difficult, complicated competition and we have to continue to work hard, and with humility," he said.

"We were better than Galatasaray, the result isn’t good and perhaps a little unfair. Perhaps we were too euphoric and expectant, and winning is hard. Nothing was gained, but nothing lost. We expected to win the match, but they made it very difficult for us."

Xavi, who this week welcomed three months in charge of the embattled Catalan giants, was evidently unhappy with the first half. Barcelona held 66.9 percent possession over the opening 45 minutes, but only had as many shots as their opponents in the penalty area, with two for the half.

Frenkie de Jong was notably shifted from the deepest midfield position, with Sergio Busquets coming on straight after the interval, along with Ousmane Dembele and Gerard Pique in a triple substitution.

Further introductions for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Luuk de Jong failed to break the stalemate, but the threat Barcelona created in the second half was still relatively encouraging for the 42-year-old.

"It’s not a good result, playing at home and dominating the game in that way. It’s true we didn’t reach recent levels," he said. "We were a bit dense, especially in the first half, but we were better in the second. We generated more.

"We need to attack better and be clearer with the final ball…Galatasaray were phenomenal, they didn’t let us finish phases. It’s a shame because we generated less than in other games but we did enough to win this game."

Barcelona host Osasuna on Sunday in LaLiga, before travelling to Istanbul for the second leg with Galatasaray next Thursday.

Inaki Pena was the standout Barcelona player in Thursday's Europa League draw with Galatasaray – unfortunately for Xavi, he was playing in the opposition goal.

Goalkeeper Pena is on loan at Galatasaray from Barca, and so their unexpected meeting in European competition has provided the 23-year-old an opportunity to impress.

He did exactly that as Galatasaray returned from Camp Nou with a goalless draw, leaving the last-16 tie in the balance heading back to Turkey for the second leg.

Pena, who has never played for Barca's first team, made four saves and prevented 1.1 goals, according to expected goals on target data.

Memphis Depay was denied twice, while there were further stops from Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong on a frustrating evening for the Blaugrana.

"Inaki Pena has been spectacular," said Xavi, although he was not the only Galatasaray player worthy of praise.

The Barca coach added: "Their central defenders were phenomenal and they didn't allow us to finish our moves off. It's a shame because we dominated.

"Although we created fewer chances than normal, we created enough to score."

Pena was unsurprisingly asked how his performance might have helped his chances of a long-term Barca future, but he remains focused on the task at hand.

"I played a good game and I'm very happy with my performance," he said. "I needed minutes and here I am getting them.

"I am focused on Galatasaray. I am very clear that I have a contract with Barca and I have to return in June."

West Ham manager David Moyes believes his side are still well-placed to progress from the Europa League round of 16, despite a 1-0 loss to Sevilla on Thursday.

Munir El Haddadi's 60th minute winner was enough to separate the two sides at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, having come into the Sevilla team in place of midfield talisman Ivan Rakitic, who sustained an injury in the pre-match warm-up.

West Ham grew into the match but, aside from an early Nikola Vlasic chance, lacked any tangible threat in the first leg. Nevertheless, Moyes was encouraged by the performance.

"We came up against a really good European team, an experienced team and I thought we came really close tonight to getting a draw," he said afterwards.

"We've just got to turn these games [into results] – on Saturday at Liverpool we could easily have turned that into a draw, tonight we could probably have had a draw.

"It's a lack of concentration a little bit for the goal, then there was a period for 15 or 20 minutes in the second half when they got their tails up and we had to weather it, which we did. I feel that we can be proud of the work we put in. We're right in the tie.”

West Ham were without Jarrod Bowen, who picked up an injury against Liverpool, meaning Vlasic was given a rare start. Said Benrahma was given the task of impacting the game off the bench, along with a late cameo from Arthur Masuaku, but the Hammers failed to achieve parity.

According to Moyes, though, there was enough in the first-leg performance to suggest his side will turn the tie around at London Stadium as long as they defensively disciplined.

"We'll get a goal next week, I've got no doubt about that, and what we need to do is make sure we don't concede any," he said.

"They [Sevilla] are a good team who keep the ball and they might make it difficult for us. We're going to have to probably chase the ball at different times, but ultimately we will go into the game feeling that we are right in the tie."

The Hammers will face Sevilla in the return leg next Thursday, but first host Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.

An exhilarating game at Ibrox saw Rangers beat Red Star Belgrade 3-0 in the first leg of their Europa League round-of-16 tie on Thursday.

A contest dominated by early VAR decisions saw goals from James Tavernier, Alfredo Morelos and Leon Balogun secure a big win for Giovanni van Bronckhorst's men.

The visitors conceded twice, had two goals ruled out for offside, and saw a penalty saved by Allan McGregor in a frenetic opening 25 minutes in Glasgow.

Dejan Stankovic's side will still believe they can turn things around at the Rajko Mitic Stadium next week, where they have won three of their four Europa League home games this season (L1), but only once have they won by more than one goal (4-0 v CFR Cluj).

Red Star made a bright start and Aleksandar Katai had an early goal disallowed for offside, but it was Rangers who took the lead on 10 minutes when a VAR review judged that Ryan Kent had been tripped in the box by Slavoljub Srnic, with Tavernier dispatching the penalty into the top-right corner of the net, despite slipping over.

Everything was going wrong for the visitors as they had a second goal ruled out for offside, before a cross from Ryan Jack off a short corner dropped to Morelos, who fired past Milan Borjan to double the lead for the Scottish champions.

A remarkable opening period continued as Red Star were awarded a penalty on 23 minutes after Jack fouled Guelor Kanga in the box, but McGregor got a strong right hand to Katai's spot kick to keep it out.

Glen Kamara almost made it three before half-time after good work from Calvin Bassey and Kent down the left, but the Finland midfielder lifted his effort just over the bar, though it was three six minutes after the break as Balogun rose highest to plant a header past Borjan from an out-swinging Tavernier corner.

Kanga crashed a shot against the crossbar and substitute El Fardou Ben Nabouhane had a third goal ruled out for offside as Red Star looked for a way back in, while Connor Goldson missed a glorious chance at a fourth at the back post off a Tavernier free-kick, but Rangers will be happy with another impressive win in Europe. 

What does it mean? VAR to the rescue for Rangers

It was an electric start at Ibrox, but the busiest man involved in the game was the video assistant referee who was forced to make three huge calls in the first few minutes, all of which went to Rangers (correctly, it must be said).

Two disallowed goals for the visitors either side of a penalty award to Van Bronckhorst's men swung the tie in their favour early on.

Rangers rode their luck at times but also showed that their shock elimination of Borussia Dortmund in the last round was no fluke as they ensured a good first-leg lead as they look to progress to the quarter-finals for the first time since their run to the final in 2007-08.

Morelos makes history

The Colombian striker is somewhat of an enigma, but usually turns up when his team needs him, especially on big European nights.

Morelos has now scored seven goals in Europe for Rangers this season – surpassing James Forrest in 1964-65 as the player with the outright most goals in a single season in major European competition for the club (excluding qualifiers).

Serbians' struggle in Scotland

Former Inter midfielder Stankovic will have been pleased with the effort from his team and bemused as to how they were 2-0 down at half-time, but they have a lot to do next week in the return leg.

Red Star have now won just one of their previous seven matches away to Scottish opponents in European competition, with that victory coming in their first such match back in November 1961 against Hibernian in the Fairs Cup.

What’s next?

Before the return leg in Serbia next Thursday, Rangers travel to Dundee in the Scottish Cup quarter-final on Sunday while Red Star are away to Metalac GM in the Serbian SuperLiga on Monday.

Barcelona were frustrated by Galatasaray as Xavi's team could only manage a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou in the first leg of their Europa League tussle.

These teams will try again in Istanbul next week, with a quarter-final place at stake, and Barcelona could rue the opportunities they missed in this contest.

Xavi was an unused substitute when these teams last met, in the 2002-03 Champions League, but here he was orchestrating from the bench as head coach.

Barcelona almost snatched the lead with a freakish goal, when an overhead kick from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was going well wide before Frenkie de Jong instinctively flung out a leg and volleyed against the left post, but it was not to be their night.

The hosts wanted an early penalty when Adama Traore's cross hit the arm of Kerem Akturkoglu but had to settle for a corner. Memphis Depay then tested Galatasaray goalkeeper Inaki Pena – on loan from Barcelona – with a fiercely struck free-kick from 22 yards in the 27th minute, the first shot on target in the contest.

This incarnation of Galatasaray sit only 12th in the Turkish Super Lig, a pale shadow of their great teams, but they almost had a goal to rank among their finest in Europe.

A slaloming, bustling run down the left by Akturkoglu, starting deep inside his own half, ended with a dart into the penalty area and a shot from 15 yards being deflected inches over for a corner by Eric Garcia.

Barcelona made three changes for the start of the second half, Xavi looking to jolt his team as he withdrew Ronald Araujo, Nico and Ferran Torres, bringing on Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Ousmane Dembele.

Busquets had a header tipped over and home captain Jordi Alba cracked a powerful right-footed volley a foot wide of the left post, before De Jong almost put away Aubameyang's wayward effort.

Galatasaray thought they had snatched a winner against the run of play through Bafetimbi Gomis, as the striker smashed past Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but he had strayed offside.

Sevilla will take a slim advantage into their Europa League last-16 second leg against West Ham after winning 1-0 at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.

A superb second-half strike from Munir El Haddadi was enough to give the LaLiga side the victory, though the visiting Hammers also had their chances.

Munir only came into the side after Ivan Rakitic picked up an injury in the warm-up, and the Moroccan was at the centre of most of his team's best moments.

West Ham manager David Moyes may well be satisfied with his team's performance and coming away from Spain with just a one-goal deficit, as they look to get back into the tie at the London Stadium next Thursday.

Sevilla threatened early with two headers in the first four minutes, first from Youssef En-Nesyri and then Munir, while Nikola Vlasic should have given the Premier League side the lead after 11 minutes but could only direct a free header from point-blank range straight at Yassine Bounou.

Munir went close again just before the half-hour mark as Marcos Acuna found him with a delightful throughball, but the former Barcelona man could only guide his shot wide of Alphonse Areola's right-hand post.

Vlasic also had another opportunity after receiving a knockdown from Michail Antonio, cutting inside and hitting a fierce effort at Bounou's near post, with the keeper turning it behind.

Tomas Soucek forced Bounou into another strong save early in the second half, but it was the home side who took the lead just before the hour when a free-kick from Acuna was crossed to the far post where Munir, in acres of space, coolly side-footed a half-volley into the far corner of the net.

Lucas Ocampos threatened a second as he bent an effort just wide, before Manuel Lanzini was denied an equaliser when Jesus Navas blocked his shot following good work by Said Benrahma, and so it is advantage Sevilla at the half-way point of the tie.

Xavi is confident that Barcelona will land their transfer targets in the next window but was unwilling to confirm whether Erling Haaland is one of those his side are chasing.

Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo reported on Wednesday that Barcelona are growing increasingly confident of winning the race for in-demand Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland.

The 21-year-old has been linked with an array of Europe's elite clubs, including Barca's rivals Real Madrid, after scoring 80 goals in 79 games for Dortmund in all competitions.

That is a tally bettered only by Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (115 goals in 97 matches) among players from Europe's top five leagues since January 2020.

Haaland has a reported €75million release clause that kicks in at the end of the season, although Barca's well-documented financial issues over the past year would make any deal difficult.

While falling short of confirming whether his side are looking to recruit Haaland, Xavi insisted Camp Nou is a lure for any player, despite Barca's relative recent plight.

"You say I have met with Haaland – I didn't know that!" Xavi said at a pre-match news conference previewing Thursday's Europa League match with Galatasaray.

"It's always a good time to come to Barca for any footballer. There isn't a footballer who has said no to Barca since I've been here.

"The player we want to sign, when we can talk to him, we talk to him about the game model, about the training sessions.

"If you will touch 20 balls at another club, here you will touch 40. The club, the city that is wonderful, the history of Barca...

"I will try to convince any player that coming to Barca is a golden opportunity."

 

Speculation regarding Haaland's future will likely rumble on for a number of months yet, but Barca are hopeful of completing some transfer business of sorts before then.

Gavi and Ronald Araujo are both set to be out of contract next year, though the club are working to tie both players down to fresh terms.

"They are two very important players," Xavi said. "The club's working very well and they are a priority for us. 

"It is a process. Sometimes the negotiations take a long time. We hope for the good of the club that there is an agreement."

Barca host Galatasaray on Wednesday for the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie boasting an eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

While the Catalans are considered the favourites of many to lift the trophy in May, Xavi believes perennial winners Sevilla are the team to beat.

"I don't see us as one of the favourites. We have never won the competition," he said. "Sevilla are more favourites than us. 

"We are one of the candidates and we have to prove it on the pitch. There is enthusiasm in Barcelona. Every game at Barca is an exam, but we haven't done anything yet."

Barca have faced Galatasaray eight times previously, winning each of the past three meetings, the most recent of those a 3-1 win in the 2002-03 Champions League group stage.

Frenkie de Jong has insisted that missing out on Europa League glory this season would not be considered a failure for Barcelona.

The Catalan giants are more accustomed to challenging in the Champions League, but they missed out on a place in the knockout stages for the first time since 2003-04.

Barca passed their first test in UEFA's secondary club competition by overcoming Serie A title contenders Napoli 5-3 on aggregate last month to reach the last 16.

Xavi's side face Galatasaray next, with the first leg to take place at Camp Nou on Thursday, and are considered favourites to go all the way and lift the trophy in May.

However, De Jong does not believe there is any extra pressure on his side to live up to their billing as competition favourites, even if it is their last hope of silverware this term.

"We want to be in the Champions League but that's not the case at the moment," he said at a pre-match news conference on Wednesday. 

"Now we want to win the Europa League. But it wouldn't be a failure to miss out on the title, because there are good teams, though of course the goal is to win the competition.

"Normally we push for all the titles and if we reinforce ourselves well, I'm sure that next season we'll fight for everything."

Barca have lost just two of their last 35 home matches in the knockout rounds of major European competitions and have only been beaten in one of their previous eight meetings with Gala.

They enter the tie in great form thanks to a run of eight games without defeat in all competitions, winning six of those – including each of the last four.

"I think we've been doing very well lately, creating a lot of chances," De Jong said. "We want to improve and continue in this dynamic.

"I feel good. We are in a good moment. I feel comfortable and I want to continue and improve."

De Jong has featured 33 times in all competitions for Barca this season, a tally bettered only by Marc-Andre ter Stegen (34) and Sergio Busquets (36).

The Netherlands international has come in for criticism at times, but he has found some form with two goals and an assist in his last four appearances.

"I don't know if it's my best version, you can always improve," De Jong said when asked about his recent displays.

"When people criticise me it doesn't hurt, but many people aren't watching the games, and that's why they talk. People believe journalists who say things, and that's the problem."

West Ham have confirmed key player Jarrod Bowen avoided a serious injury after being forced off the field during Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Liverpool.

The 25-year-old sustained the injury to his right heel during the early stages of the second half at Anfield when colliding with former Hull City team-mate Andy Robertson.

Bowen was helped off the field by West Ham's physios and boss David Moyes admitted after his side's narrow defeat that he was "worried" about the extent of the damage.

However, an MRI on Sunday revealed Bowen suffered no significant injury, though it is unclear at this stage if the versatile attacker is facing a spell on the sidelines.

West Ham's head of medical, Richard Collinge, told the club's official website: "Jarrod underwent an MRI scan in London and thankfully no significant injury has occurred. 

"He will continue to be monitored by the medical team and will undergo further examination in the coming days."

Bowen has scored eight goals and assisted the same number in 28 Premier League appearances for West Ham this season.

His 16 direct goal involvements in the competition is a tally bettered only by Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, who has 19 goals and 10 assists in 25 games.

Indeed, his 21 goal contributions in all competitions this term is the most of any England-qualified player in Europe's top five leagues, followed by Trent Alexander-Arnold (18).

Moyes will be eager to have the Liverpool-linked star available for Thursday's Europa League last-16 first leg against Sevilla, with the second leg on home soil following a week later.

West Ham host Aston Villa in the league between those European matches as they aim to bridge a three-point gap on fourth-placed Arsenal, who have played three games fewer.

Belarusian teams have been ordered to play their home matches in UEFA competitions at neutral venues with immediate effect following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

European football's governing body also announced on Thursday that spectators will not be allowed to attend games in which teams from Belarus are nominally the hosts.

Belarus has been used as a staging post for a Russia invasion of Ukraine that was ordered by president Vladimir Putin last week.

A UEFA statement said: "The UEFA executive committee met today and decided that all Belarusian clubs and national teams competing in UEFA competitions will be required to play their home matches at neutral venues with immediate effect.

"Furthermore, no spectators shall attend matches in which the teams from Belarus feature as host.

"The UEFA executive committee will convene further extraordinary meetings, on a regular ongoing basis where required, to reassess the legal and factual situation as it evolves and adopt further decisions as necessary."

FIFA and UEFA on Monday banned Russian teams from club and international competitions until further notice.

Earlier on Thursday, athletes from Russia and Belarus were banned from the 2022 Winter Olympics following a U-turn by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Russia is set to appeal against that decision.

The IPC had announced on Wednesday that the two nations were set to compete in Beijing, albeit under the Paralympic flag and without being included in the medal table.

That was despite the International Olympic Committee (IOC) calling for athletes from Russia and Belarus to be prevented from taking part in all international sporting competitions.

However, just a day before the Games are due to begin, the IPC reversed its decision amid fierce backlash and threats of boycotts.

Roman Abramovich has decided to sell Chelsea.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Russian-Israeli businessman announced his decision to sell the London club, which he purchased in 2003.

Abramovich has said his decision is "in the best interest of the club", as it comes against the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has put him under intense scrutiny.

The 55-year-old oligarch has been photographed with Russian president Vladimir Putin in the past, and while it was claimed last week that Abramovich has no involvement in politics, a spokesperson for the Blues' owner suggested to the Press Association on Monday that he was "trying to help" achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Russian businesses and high-profile individuals have been hit with crippling financial sanctions by nations all over the world since the attack began last Thursday, and there have been calls in the United Kingdom for Abramovich to be targeted next.

Should Abramovich secure a sale, he leaves Chelsea as a footballing superpower...

The trophies

Chelsea have won 19 major trophies since Abramovich bought the club, with the Blues succeeding in every single available competition at least once.

Their haul includes five Premier League titles (2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10, 2014-15, 2016-17) and two Champions League triumphs (2011-12, 2020-21).

The Blues have won the FA Cup on five occasions since 2003, last doing so in 2018, while they have added a further three EFL Cup titles to their honours list, too.

Chelsea's success in Europe has not just been restricted to the Champions League. They won the Europa League in 2012-13 and 2018-19, and the Super Cup last year.

February brought Club World Cup glory for the first time, completing the set under Abramovich.

Since the owner arrived in 2003, Chelsea have accumulated 1,449 points in the Premier League, more than any other side.

Of the 709 top-flight games during Abramovich's ownership so far, they have won 432, drawn 153 and lost 124, scoring 1,309 goals and conceding 621 for a hugely impressive goal difference of 688.

The managers

Chelsea have flitted through managers during Abramovich's tenure. Indeed, current incumbent Thomas Tuchel is the 15th different coach (including caretakers and interims) to work at Stamford Bridge since 2003.

After dismissing Claudio Ranieri in 2004, Abramovich landed a superstar manager in Jose Mourinho, who would go on to lead Chelsea to their first top-flight crown since 1955 and defend the title the following season.

Mourinho's first stint really was special. He won 124 games, losing just 21 times, and turned Chelsea from pretenders into a true superpower. Of any permanent manager during Abramovich's ownership, the Portuguese's first spell produced the best win ratio (67 per cent).

Yet past success means little as soon as things turn sour for Abramovich, and Mourinho was replaced in 2007-08. His successor, Avram Grant, led Chelsea to their first Champions League final, but John Terry's penalty shoot-out slip proved costly.

Luiz Felipe Scolari proved a bust but Guus Hiddink, in his first, more successful interim spell, subsequently delivered FA Cup joy in 2009, and a 72.7 per cent win rate from his 22 matches in charge (16 victories). 

Carlo Ancelotti was next through the door. He claimed a Premier League and FA Cup double in 2009-10, while Roberto Di Matteo secured the club's first Champions League title with a penalty shoot-out defeat of Bayern Munich.

Mourinho's return yielded a fourth Premier League success, but the Special One's second spell deteriorated quickly and he was sacked in December 2015 with Chelsea sitting 16th. Hiddink came in for a second interim spell but won just 10 out of 27 matches (a 37 per cent win ratio).

Chelsea won a trophy in each season under Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri. Club great Frank Lampard was given the job in 2019 but lasted just 18 months, finishing with the lowest win ratio of any permanent Chelsea boss under Abramovich (52.4 per cent). Tuchel took the same side to Champions League glory.

The players

Superstar managers must have superstar players to manage, and Chelsea have certainly had their fair share of those during Abramovich's time at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard made 354 league appearances from 2003 to his departure in 2014, scoring 136 goals, but John Terry tops the top-flight appearances list during Abramovich's reign, with 411.

Petr Cech was arguably the best goalkeeper in world football in his prime, and he ranks third on that list (333), while current captain Cesar Azpilicueta will go down as a club great, even if he will never be considered among world football's true elite.

Eden Hazard scored 85 league goals in 245 games across his seven years with the Blues. Michael Essien was a superb player for Chelsea after joining in 2005, while Claude Makelele, signed in 2003, was crucial to Mourinho's initial success.

Only Lampard scored more goals than Didier Drogba (104), though Diego Costa was brilliant in Mourinho's second spell. Jorginho, Antonio Rudiger, Edouard Mendy and N'Golo Kante have proved superb signings in recent years.

There have been flops, perhaps none more so than Fernando Torres, while the world-record fee for a goalkeeper splashed out on Kepa Arrizabalaga does not seem so wise and Timo Werner has struggled since his move from Germany in 2020. Romelu Lukaku could well be added to that list if he does not discover his best form.

FIFA and UEFA have banned Russian teams from club and international competitions, denying them entry to the 2022 World Cup and Women's Euro 2022.

The decision means Spartak Moscow will be removed from the Europa League last 16, where they were due to face RB Leipzig.

UEFA has also ended its relationship with Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy giant that was a major sponsor of the Champions League.

A joint statement from FIFA and UEFA read: "Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine.

"Both presidents [Gianni Infantino and Aleksander Ceferin] hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people."

The sporting world has called for sanctions to be imposed on Russia following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine last week.

Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic – Russia's World Cup play-off opponents – all announced an intention to boycott their fixtures, although FIFA's initial sanctions allowed the Russian Football Union to put forward a team playing under a different name and flag in a neutral location.

But this FIFA decision was widely criticised, including by players' union FIFPro, which wanted more than "the lightest of sanctions" and said Russia's continued involvement in international competition was "not a possibility".

That was a view shared on Monday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which said Russian and Belarusian athletes should be excluded from sporting events to "protect the integrity of global sports competitions".

FIFA subsequently changed its stance in a joint-announcement with UEFA, ruling Russia – hosts of the 2018 World Cup – out of tournaments including this year's two showpiece events in Qatar and England.

Russia were set to face Poland and then either Sweden or the Czech Republic in World Cup qualifying, while they had already reached the Women's Euros, drawn into a group with Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

FIFA and UEFA have banned Russian teams from club and international competitions, denying them entry to the 2022 World Cup and Women's Euro 2022.

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