Match of the week: Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool played out what could turn out to be the most controversial Premier League game of the season.
Spurs’ 2-1 win, coming courtesy of a late own goal from Joel Matip, seemed irrelevant after what transpired over the 90 minutes. Jurgen Klopp’s side was shown two red cards, with both decisions bordering on being disputable, and had a goal wrongfully disallowed.
The drama began when Curtis Jones was given the marching orders in the first half after a mistimed challenge saw his studs slip over the ball before landing on Yves Bissouma’s shins.
Liverpool was soon at the receiving end of an even more questionable decision. A visibly on-side Luis Diaz was adjudged offside after he slotted the ball in from a counterattack. The mistake, which was later acknowledged by Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) as a human error, came to be due to a miscommunication between the VAR and the on-field referees.
Spurs immediately pounced on Liverpool’s frustration as they gained the lead following some smart work by new-signing James Maddison, who squared the ball for Heung-min Son for an easy finish.
The Reds fought back and levelled before halftime through Cody Gakpo, giving hopes of a revival. But it was quickly extinguished when second-half substitute Diogo Jota was shown two quick yellow cards, the first of which was for an evident dive by Destiny Udogie.
Spurs effectively controlled the game from there on, capitalising on their two-man advantage. But Liverpool battled on and thought they gained an unlikely point before an error in judgment from Matip gifted all three points to the home side.
Ronaldo reaches double figures in league football for 18 seasons in a row
Cristiano Ronaldo scored 10 league goals for 18 consecutive seasons when he found the net against Al Ta’ee in a Saudi Pro League game at the Prince Abdul Aziz bin Musa’ed Stadium in Ha’il on Friday.
It was his 30th goal for the Saudi side, with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner now having 200 goals since leaving Real Madrid.
No Messi, no party!
Inter Miami, languishing in the lower rungs of the Major League Soccer (Eastern Conference), won its first-ever silverware with Lionel Messi as captain, winning the Leagues Cup 2023.
The next final it played, the US Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo, saw the team slump to a 1-2 loss, with Messi not in the squad. The Argentina FIFA World Cup winner has been out of action since picking up an injury during the FIFA international break.
Indian men’s football team crashes out of Asian Games
The Indian men’s national football team suffered a 0-2 loss to Saudi Arabia to get knocked out of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Even for Sunil Chhetri, this was a bridge too far to cross. He ran himself to the ground, pressing the Saudi Arabian defenders as they passed the ball around with ease. It was a sorry sight as Chhetri hardly had any backup from the others.
Ramos’ nightmare return to La Liga
Sergio Ramos, a Real Madrid legend, had a nightmare return to La Liga – playing for his boyhood club, Sevilla – when he scored an own goal against Barcelona, which proved to be the winning goal.
The veteran centre-back inadvertently turned in a headed pass by Lamine Yamal into Sevilla’s goal in the 76th minute.
Refereeing scandal continues to trouble Barcelona
Spanish police raided the offices of the country’s football federation, RFEF, on Thursday as part of an investigation into the payment of millions of dollars over several years by Barcelona to a former vice president of Spain’s refereeing committee.
In March, state prosecutors formally accused Barcelona of corruption in sports, fraudulent management, and falsification of mercantile documentation. Prosecutors said the club paid José María Enríquez Negreira, a former referee who was a part of the federation’s refereeing committee from 1994-2018, 7.3 million euros from 2001-18.
Morocco to host 2025 Africa Cup of Nations finals
Morocco was awarded the hosting of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations finals on Wednesday, replacing Guinea which was stripped of the right to host the tournament last year, while the 2027 rights were handed to a co-bid from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
The North African country was a runaway favourite and will see the decision as a boost to its hopes of co-hosting the 2030 World Cup with Portugal and Spain.
It is only the second time that Morocco will host Africa’s most popular sporting event, almost four decades after the previous time in 1988.
Who said what?
“I can give you reasons but you will explain it as an excuse and there are no excuses, we have to win.”Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag after the loss to Crystal Palace
“In football and in competition, winning always gives you something different. We are happy.”Spanish women’s team head coach Montse Tome
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