Antoine Griezmann scored a double, including a goal direct from a corner, as Atletico Madrid won 2-1 at Real Betis on Sunday to move up to third in LaLiga.

The visitors struggled to create chances but took the lead early in the second half when Griezmann's inswinging set-piece somehow found its way into the net, before the France international added a second following a neat move down the right.

Manuel Pellegrini will have been frustrated to lose a game in which his Betis side were arguably on top prior to falling behind, and they gave themselves hope when Nabil Fekir scored a late free-kick, but were unable to find another goal.

The win moves Diego Simeone's Atletico above Real Sociedad after their defeat at Real Valladolid on Saturday.

It was a relatively uneventful first half, though the hosts did suffer a blow when Luiz Felipe was forced off injured after just 20 minutes, replaced by Victor Ruiz.

Borja Iglesias hit a hopeful shot at Jan Oblak's near post five minutes before the break to record the first effort on target of the game. The ball was then in the Atletico net two minutes after the restart when Henrique fired a shot into the top right corner of the net from the edge of the box, but a VAR check found Iglesias to have been offside in the build-up.

Salt was firmly rubbed into the wounds in the 54th minute when the corner from Griezmann made its way through a crowd, with German Pezzella unable to keep it out at the far post.

If that goal was fortunate, the second was well-earned as a move featuring Nahuel Molina, Angel Correa and Matheus Cunha ended with the Brazilian finding Griezmann, who ran through and prodded the ball beneath Rui Silva in the Betis goal.

Substitute Fekir curled a beautiful free-kick into the top-left corner of Oblak's goal to provide late drama, but Atletico were able to hold on for three points.

Leon Goretzka says Robert Lewandowski "was spoiled" at Bayern Munich as he taunted his former team-mate over Barcelona's Champions League struggles.

Barca face being eliminated from the competition in the group stage in successive campaigns for only the second time heading into Wednesday's tie with Bayern at Camp Nou.

The Catalan giants will be unable to advance to the last 16 should they lose or if Inter beat Viktoria Plzen, while they will also be eliminated should both games be drawn.

While Barca have struggled in Europe of late, Bayern have reached at least the quarter-finals in all but one of the past 11 seasons, which Goretzka says can be taken for granted.

"Lewy was very spoiled at Bayern, always being at least in the round of 16 and progressing," Goretzka told reporters. "But now we can no longer take that into account."

Bayern beat Barca 2-0 in last month's reverse fixture, in which Lewandowski missed two presentable opportunities, and are already assured of a place in the knockout stages.

The German side have defeated Barcelona in nine of their 12 Champions League encounters, including the past five in a row.

Only Bayern themselves against Real Madrid (10) have lost more games against a single side in the competition's history, and Goretzka is targeting another victory next week.

"If we play against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, it can be a preparatory game or a Champions League final, it doesn't matter," the Germany international added. 

"It's going to be a super cool game that we're looking forward to. And we will also do everything to win it."

 

Lewandowski has scored five Champions League goals for Barca, each of those coming at Camp Nou – the most ever by a Barca player after their first two matches.

The prolific striker lifted the famous trophy with Bayern in 2020, but he will have to settle for Europa League football – at best – if results go against his side.

"It's their last chance," Bayern striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting said. "I'm definitely looking forward to the game and to seeing Lewy. 

"He's a world-class player and a great guy. Playing against Barcelona is always something special."

Jude Bellingham's superb performances for Borussia Dortmund this season have not changed how in-demand he will be in the transfer market, according to the club's sporting director Sebastian Kehl.

Bellingham – who has been linked with Real Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool, among others – bagged a brace during Saturday's 5-0 demolition job against Stuttgart in the Bundesliga to further an already scintillating season for the 19-year-old.

He has already ascended to a new level of responsibility this term, taking the captain's armband both domestically and in the Champions League for the Black and Yellow this season.

Bellingham's form is likely to further stoke the fires of a transfer battle for his future among several major suitors, but speaking after his showing against Stuttgart, Kehl suggested the England international's stock was already at an all-time high.

"Jude was just as sought after before this game as he will be after this game," he stated. "None of this changes the interest that will possibly arise in him one day."

Kehl further suggested the best place for Bellingham to continue is with Edin Terzic's side, though, rather than make a move elsewhere to follow in the footsteps of former team-mates Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho.

"He can develop further with us," he added. "He can take the next steps here with us – just as he has already done this season."

Bellingham is expected to figure in England's squad for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, and looks in line to potentially start their opener against Iran on November 21.

Lautaro Martinez dismissed speculation over a move to Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain, stating he hopes to "become a legend" at Inter.

Chelsea, Bayern and PSG are among a host of Europe's elite clubs that have repeatedly been linked to the forward, who will aim for World Cup glory with Argentina in November.

Julian Nagelsmann's side remain on the hunt for a like-for-like replacement for Robert Lewandowski, while Martinez's Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi could draw the Inter star to the French capital.

However, Martinez refuted reports of a move away from San Siro as he outlined his long-term ambitions with Inter.

"I'm fine, I'm happy here," Martinez told Rai Sport. "I hope I can become a legend, I have a contract here and I only think about Inter. 

"There are many goals from now on and we hope to continue like this."

Martinez scored 21 goals in 35 Serie A appearances as Inter finished second to rivals Milan last season, though he endured a lean spell in front of goal at the start of this campaign.

The 25-year-old failed to find the net in five straight league games but ended that poor form with a strike against Sassuolo on Wednesday, before a brace and an assist against Fiorentina on Saturday.

A dramatic 4-3 victory over Fiorentina – courtesy of Henrikh Mkhitaryan's fortuitous winner – lifted Inter to seventh in Serie A, but the Nerazzurri still sit five points behind leaders Napoli, who have a game in hand.

 Jamaica Reggae Girls coach Lorne Donaldson has been left excited by the prospect of once again facing up to top team Brazil at next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The draw, which was made in Auckland, New Zealand, on Saturday, has seen the Jamaicans drawn in Group F where they will face France, Brazil and the winner of Group C of the inter-continental play-offs.

For the Reggae Girlz, who made history by qualifying for the World Cup for a second consecutive tournament earlier this year, facing Brazil will be a rematch of the 2019 edition where they were also pitted against each other in the first round.

On that occasion, the South Americans, who were World Cup runners up in 2007, won the match 3-0.  Four years later the Jamaicans will face a much-changed unit and will hope for a better result.

“It’s a much different Brazil team, it’s a younger team and a different coach.  Their old coach passed away but Pia (Sundhage) is a very good coach so we will have our work cut out for us,” Donaldson said of the prospect of once again facing the South Americans.

“It’s a young fast skillful Brazilian team, so we just have to be ready,” he added.

“The draw itself, we have been placed with some exciting teams that play good football, so, we have to come out and try to match them.”

The Jamaicans will play against Paraguay in two practice matches on the 10th and 12th of November,

Cristiano Ronaldo's future at Manchester United is coming to a head, having stormed out of their midweek win over Tottenham.

Ronaldo was sanctioned by the club and suspended for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Chelsea, but United boss Erik ten Hag has reiterated the Portuguese has a role to play at the club.

However, the 37-year-old has been frustrated by his status this season after trying to force a move away in the close season.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA FLOAT OFFER TO RONALDO FOR JANUARY

Chelsea are set to offer Cristiano Ronaldo a January lifeline with the club reigniting their interest in the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, according to Sunday World.

Ex-manager Thomas Tuchel was not keen to pursue Blues owner Todd Boehly's interest in Ronaldo in the last transfer window but with the German gone Chelsea are ready to move, drawn in by the Portuguese's huge commercial appeal.

The report claims Chelsea have floated a short-term deal until the end of the season to Ronaldo, with the option of a further year. Ronaldo is prepared to accept a pay cut to make the deal happen too.

ROUND-UP

– Napoli's Georgian whizz Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is being tracked by Manchester City, claim The Sun. The winger only joined Napoli in July but has dazzled with seven goals in 14 appearances.

– Calciomercato claims Chelsea defender Trevor Chalobah is being tracked by Inter as a potential replacement for the soon-to-be out of contract Milan Skriniar.

Barcelona have an interest in young Borussia Dortmund striker Youssouf Moukoko, according to SPORT.

– The Mirror reports Real Madrid are interested in Manchester United's Portuguese right-back Diogo Dalot. Barcelona are also monitoring him.

– The Sun also reports Manchester United have joined Liverpool in pursuing a move for Chicago Fire's Colombian teenage forward Jhon Duran.

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti believes the current Real Madrid squad may be the best that he has ever coached.

Lucas Vazquez and Federico Valverde scored in the final 15 minutes to propel Los Blancos to a 3-1 victory over Sevilla, which opened up a six-point lead over Barcelona – who face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Victory at Santiago Bernabeu was Madrid's ninth in 10 LaLiga matches this season, with Ancelotti's side yet to taste defeat across all competitions – only being held twice overall, against Osasuna and Shakhtar Donetsk.

The valiant late surge left Ancelotti, who has won the Champions League in two separate stints with the club, to declare that the current crop of players may well be the best he has ever overseen in his career.

"I don't know if it's the most reliable of my career, but it's a team I like coaching," he said in the post-match press conference.

"It's a team that doesn't give me problems, that is respectful. And as a quality, it's one of the best I've ever had, if not the best."

Victory against Sevilla came alongside a shuffling of the deck as Ancelotti balanced Madrid's frantic schedule ahead of the World Cup in Qatar next month and he praised the performance of those that were brought in.

"These are resources that we have on the bench. The squad is healthy when those who play less enter the field and do very well," he added.

"We have to endure this stretch of the season, we need to continue suffering and win games."

Valverde picked up a knock in the game while Karim Benzema was not part of the matchday squad after a niggle in training, though the Italian coach was not concerned by either issue.

"Karim is very important for us and he will be more important in the second leg of the season. We're not worried, because it's a very small thing," he said.

"Valverde has a blow to the leg, it bothers him a little, we have to see him. I don't know if he's going to be able to recover. Benzema, I think will be back on Sunday."

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli conceded Charles De Ketelaere "has to do more", as the Belgian's slow start to life at San Siro continued.

The 21-year-old was a marquee addition in the pre-season transfer window, penning a five-year deal after the Serie A champions splashed a reported €36million to secure his services from Club Brugge.

Expectations were high after 14 goals and nine assists in Belgium's top flight last season, but he is yet to make such an impact in Milan, contributing just a single assist in his first 10 Serie A appearances.

Pioli has made it clear he is expecting more from the Belgian, who is likely to represent his nation at the World Cup.

"De Ketelaere has the quality to make an impact in our offensive play. He has to do more, he knows that too," Pioli told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He still needs time, but the will of the boy counts. If you play in a top club, like Milan, you absolutely have to accept this competition and you have to do every day better than your teammate to convince the coach."

In further comments made to DAZN after Saturday's 4-1 win over Monza, Pioli expressed his understanding that it is still early days, adding: "Charles has only been here for a few months. I had intended to only play him for 15 minutes this evening, but we had to rush it because of that injury [to Braham Diaz].

"He has the quality, he just needs to believe in himself to really bring that potential out. He’s an intelligent lad, he knows how good he is, but it is a process and will require some time with good and not so good performances to get there."

Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi has declared he was "never worried" about Lautaro Martinez, after his return to goalscoring form.

The Argentina striker endured a five-match scoreless streak in Serie A before he was on target against Salernitana in midweek, having also found the back of the net in a 3-3 Champions League draw with Barcelona.

He claimed a double to make it four goals in three games and contributed an assist in Inter's dramatic 4-3 victory at Fiorentina on Saturday.

Martinez was the catalyst for Nicolo Barella's opening goal, then weaved his way through the defence to double his side's lead and showing composure from the spot to put Inter 3-2 up in the second half after the Viola had got back on level terms.

Luka Jovic's late strike then looked to have earned the Fiorentina a point, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan's fortune goal five minutes into time added on settled a classic contest.

Martinez's brace took his tally in Serie A this season to six, putting him joint-top in the scoring charts, and Inzaghi said he never had any concerns about the 25-year-old's lack of goals.

"I was not worried about Toro even when he was not scoring, because he always does what he has to do in training and in the game, beyond the goals," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Inter boss also backed Joaquin Correa, who saw his struggles continue with his display in Florence, adding: "Correa was well placed tonight at the service of the team and well positioned with Lautaro.

"He was used to always playing, he must be good at carving out the right moments. He can only grow and will improve a lot."

Inter are also set to be boosted by the return of key players from injury, with Romelu Lukaku, Marcelo Brozovic and Roberto Gagliardini set to be back in contention.

"We can't wait. I have never had them in these games. Lukaku, Brozovic and Gagliardini will return. We need it," Inzaghi said after seeing his side move back above Juventus into seventh place.

Carlo Ancelotti's late substitutions paid off as Real Madrid secured a 3-1 LaLiga win over Sevilla on Saturday.

It had initially been a tale of two former Tottenham players as Luka Modric gave Madrid a quick lead on a wet night at the Santiago Bernabeu, before Erik Lamela equalised early in the second half.

Ancelotti's changes made all the difference though, as Lucas Vazquez restored the champions’ advantage just after coming on, with fellow substitute Marco Asensio involved in the build-up, before he also laid on an assist for Federico Valverde to seal victory.

The champions showed they could cope without Karim Benzema, who paraded his Ballon d’Or trophy on the pitch but was only a spectator due to muscular fatigue, as they moved six points clear of Barcelona at the top of the table.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored a freak last-gasp goal to snatch a 4-3 victory for Inter over Fiorentina in a Serie A thriller at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

A frantic first half saw Inter race into a two-goal lead with only 15 minutes on the clock, Nicolo Barella opening the scoring and Martinez doubling the lead, but Arthur Cabral's penalty gave the Viola hope.

Jonathan Ikone curled home an equaliser on the hour mark before Martinez doubled his tally from the penalty spot, but Luka Jovic appeared to have snatched a point with time running out.

The drama was not over, however, as substitute Lorenzo Venuti saw his attempted clearance hit Mkhitaryan on the shin and bobble into the net in one stunning final twist.

 

Julian Nagelsmann insisted Bayern Munich have not changed anything about their approach in recent weeks – they have just started being more ruthless in front of goal.

Bayern strolled to a 2-0 win at Hoffenheim on Saturday thanks to first-half goals from Jamal Musiala and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

The defending Bundesliga champions moved to within a point of surprise leaders Union Berlin, who travel to bottom side Bochum on Sunday.

Bayern's need to catch up to Union is a result of a slow start to the campaign that saw Nagelsmann's side go four games without a victory at one point, though they have won three of their last four since, with the dramatic 2-2 draw at Borussia Dortmund the only discrepancy.

The loss of Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona at the end of last season and the lack of a like-for-like replacement led to concerns Bayern would need to adapt to a new way of playing.

Following the win at his former club Hoffenheim, Nagelsmann said nothing much has changed, his players are just finishing their chances with more regularity.

 

"I think we already had plenty of good games beforehand, we just didn't use our chances," he said at a post-match press conference. "There were games like against Stuttgart [2-2 home draw] where we should have been up three or four nil but ended up drawing. Similar against Dortmund as well.

"In general we didn't change too much, neither did the players, they were already working hard... As I've said already, the players want to improve as well and have a very high expectation of themselves.

"We didn't train differently, maybe a little more analysis, and then just [started] winning. At Bayern, you always need to win, then everything is great."

The Bayern head coach also had positive news regarding Leroy Sane, who sustained a muscle injury in last week's win against Freiburg, suggesting the Germany international will be back in training ahead of the World Cup next month.

"It's difficult to predict [how long he will be out for] but the fact he's already back on his feet is great," he said. "We don't really have much experience with him [in recovering from this type of injury] because he has not really had muscle problems... It's not the biggest of injuries.

"He could be back in two-and-a-half or three weeks, and he can certainly be fit and in a good rhythm prior to the World Cup."

Brahim Diaz, Divock Origi and Rafael Leao fired Milan to a 4-1 win over Serie A new boys Monza – the club run by Silvio Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani.

The off-field power-brokers at Milan for over 30 years, owner Berlusconi and CEO Galliani have succeeded in taking Monza into the Italian top flight, but this was a reminder of how far they still have to come.

Diaz scored twice in the first half to put Scudetto holders Milan in charge at the break, and former Liverpool striker Divock Origi opened his account for the club to extend their lead.

Filippo Ranocchia reduced the deficit with a spectacular strike, but Leao had the final say, with Monza unable to reprise the level of performance that earned them a shock win over Juventus last month.

Diaz waltzed through the Monza defence in the 16th minute to open the scoring, surging from halfway before skilfully directing the ball past Michele Di Gregorio when coming under a last-ditch challenge.

Monza's Dany Mota should have levelled in the 28th minute but sent his close-range flying header straight at Milan goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.

Diaz doubled Milan's lead in the 41st minute when he collected a pass from Origi, stepped past defender Luca Caldirola and lashed a fierce right-footed strike across Di Gregorio and inside the left post.

Suffering with an apparent hamstring problem, Diaz was substituted early in the second half and was replaced by Charles de Ketelaere. Origi rifled the third goal in fine style in the 65th minute, lashing into the top-right corner from the edge of the penalty area.

Ranocchia pulled one back with a 30-yard free-kick in the 65th minute that Tatarusanu reached but could not keep out, before Leao swept home Milan's fourth from 15 yards in the 84th minute.

Reggae Girlz striker Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw was again on the scoresheet for Manchester City Women as they defeated Tottenham Women 3-0 in the FA Women’s Super League (WSL) at Brisbane Road in London on Saturday.

Shaw produced a double to help City get their second win in four games, moving to fifth in the WSL.

Her first came just before halftime in the 41st minute before getting her second just after the break in the 47th minute. Lauren Hemp got City’s third goal in the 76th minute.

Shaw is now the leading scorer in the WSL so far this season with five goals from four games.

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz now know their opponents in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand after the draw on Saturday in New Zealand.

The Girlz have been drawn in Group F alongside powerhouses Brazil, France and either Taiwan, Panama, Paraguay or Papua New Guinea.

Brazil has been to nine World Cups with their best result being runners-up in 2007 while the French have been to five, most notably finishing fourth in 2011.

Jamaica will open their campaign against France on July 25 in Sydney before facing Chinese Taipei/Panama/Paraguay/Papua New Guinea on July 29 in Perth then battling Brazil on August 2 in Melbourne.

“Excitement,” was Reggae Girlz head coach Lorne Donaldson’s reaction when asked about the draw.

“It was a long day of anticipating. The draw itself was a draw with some exciting teams that play good football so we have to come out and try to match them.”

Jamaica was also drawn against Brazil in the 2019 World Cup, suffering a 0-3 loss in Grenoble.

“This is a totally different Brazil side. It’s a younger team with a different coach. Obviously, we have our work cut out against a fast, skillful Brazilian team so we have to be ready.”

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