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Pep Guardiola criticises Manchester City fans that disrupted Hillsborough silence



Referee Michael Oliver had to bring the silence to a premature end as chanting from the City end of Wembley marred the marking of the 33rd anniversary of the disaster.

The club released a statement on the incident, apologising to Liverpool for the actions of those fans, and Guardiola has echoed that sentiment as he criticised those involved.

“I think Manchester City made a statement,” Guardiola said.

“This is not Manchester City. We are close to Liverpool club for the tragedy that happened years ago. We are alongside them.

“After these guys singing (it) doesn’t represent what we are.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said of the incident: “In the moment it was a really strange feeling.

“I thought there are moments in football where all the rivalries should be put aside – this is one of these moments. But you cannot change it.

“I’m pretty sure it wasn’t all of the City supporters. Hopefully they got a proper word from the people around them as well. It’s not about Manchester City, there are a few people who obviously didn’t understand the situation.”

On the pitch it was just as painful an afternoon for City, as they saw their treble hopes come to an end after a 3-2 defeat.

Guardiola’s side were 3-0 down at the break, the second of those goals coming as Sadio Mane slid in and caught goalkeeper Zack Steffen taking far too long on the ball.

The City boss made the decision to start Steffen instead of Ederson at Wembley, as he often does in domestic cup competitions, and accepted that such an error can occur with the team’s style of play.

“It was an accident,” Guardiola said.

“One of the strong points is try to play [out] and as a keeper he has this quality. It was an accident and he will learn for the future. When the ball is there it can always happen. It was an accident and he will learn for the future.

“I have spoken with the team – not him personally but he is strong.”

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R Madrid 3 – 1 A Madrid



Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior scored in extra-time as Real Madrid fought back to beat local rivals Atletico 3-1 on Thursday and reach the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

On a freezing night at a sold-out Santiago Bernabeu hosting its first game for 77 days due to the World Cup break, Real started slowly and Atletico had many dangerous counter-attacks.

Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata, right, celebrates with teammate Antoine Griezmann after scoring the opening goal during the Spanish Copa del Rey quarter final soccer match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Atletico Madrid took the lead against their rivals

Atletico captain Koke delivered a brilliant through ball to Nahuel Molina who ghosting in behind Reals defence and the full back set up Alvaro Morata, a former Real academy player, to tap the ball into an empty net in the 19th minute.

Eder Militao wasted a golden chance to equalise in the 32nd minute after Toni Kroos had delivered a perfect cross.

Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring
Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring the opener

It was not only until Dani Ceballos came off the bench to replace the injured Ferland Mendy late in the first half that Real started to play better.

The 26-year-old midfielder injected a new dynamic into the team who were far more aggressive after the break.

Benzema wasted two good opportunities and Federico Valverde also sent a shot wide from just outside the box.

Real Madrid's Rodrygo celebrates with team-mates
Real Madrid’s Rodrygo celebrates with team-mates

Substitute Rodrygo equalised in the 79th with a delightful goal, dribbling past three defenders before finishing well.

With Real Madrid in full control, Atletico played most of extra time with 10 men after defender Stefan Savic was shown his second yellow card for chopping down Eduardo Camavinga in the 99th minute.

Five minutes later, Real substitute Marco Asensio sent a low cross into the box and Vinicius’s deflected shot reached Benzema who unleashed an unstoppable strike into the net.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the Spanish Copa del Rey quarter final soccer match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Karim Benzema’s goal made it 2-1 in extra time

Vinicius secured Real’s win in the dying seconds with a brilliant individual goal, running half the length of the pitch before scoring with a low shot.

“We got behind very early and after Mendy’s injury the whole team had to be rebuilt. But we woke up and played really well after the break,” Ceballos told TVE.

“They played better in the first half, but the coach corrected things in the second; we took control of the ball and found the goal. Then, after the red card, everything was easier.”

Real Madrid joined Barcelona, Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao in the semi-finals.

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Everything we know about Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes’ ankle



Patrick Mahomes examines his ankle last Sunday against the Jaguars.

Patrick Mahomes examines his ankle last Sunday against the Jaguars.
Image: Getty Images

It’s conference championship week. With only four teams on the NFL schedule this week — the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and Cincinnati Bengals — one interesting storyline can dominate the entire conversation leading up to the games. This time, it’s QB Patrick Mahomes’ ankle.

The fact that this storyline is the dominant one heading into the weekend makes sense. He’s the best player in the league, and his team is hosting the AFC Championship Game against the Bengals who are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Also, the game is taking place one week after he suffered a high-ankle sprain and was still able to hobble the Chiefs to victory — aided of course by a timely 98-yard touchdown drive that was led by backup quarterback Chad Henne.

How mobile does Mahomes look right now?

Since his right ankle got rolled against the Jacksonville Jaguars, no leg in America has had as much attention on it as his. Not even Brent Maher’s as he overcame his kicking yips during the Dallas Cowboys’ loss on Sunday to the Eagles. Mahomes’ ankle has so much attention on it that Fox 4 KC’s Harold R. Kuntz has been filming him walking down from the press conference podium the last two days. And by filming Mahomes, I mean only his legs.

Thursday update: Mahomes didn’t even need to use the stairs.

Knox’s assessment: Don’t be a hero… until Sunday.

Kuntz isn’t the only reporter on the scene sharing video footage of Mahomes’ mobility. During the portion of practice that was open to the media, many videos were sent out of Mahomes moving around. As the Chiefs were warming up, Mahomes actually jogged and spun as he headed toward his next station. He is certainly running better than he was on Sunday.

In their comments to the media, Andy Reid said that Mahomes “did a nice job and was “comfortable with what we did.” Mahomes said that he believed his Wednesday practice went, “better than I expected.”

For Chiefs fans — and those of us who want to see a well-played AFC Championship Game — this news out of Kansas City is the best we could’ve received. On the Chiefs’ most active days of practice, Mahomes was seen moving very well. Also, he and the head coach both gave positive updates about the health of the most important leg in sports this weekend.

Will the ankle affect Mahomes’ play on Sunday?

There is no possible way that Mahomes will be 100 percent against the Bengals. They are going to test that ankle by trying to apply the same type of pressure that disrupted the Buffalo Bills during the Bengals’ Divisional Round win on Sunday. However, if he can move around all game as well as he has been in practice, he will be able to play well enough for the Chiefs to have a chance at victory.

We’ve received the closeup and overhead views of Mahomes’ health. All that is left is the view at Arrowhead Stadium from the CBS cameras at 6:30 p.m. EST on Jan. 29, 2023.

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Transfer news LIVE! Arsenal FC told Zubimendi fee; Onana rejects Chelsea; Man Utd want Chiesa; Porro to Tottenham



Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are all expected to make further signings before January transfer window closes next week. With the deadline looming fast, Arsenal have confirmed they want a new midfielder and have made Brighton’s Moises Caicedo a key target, though face competition from the Blues. The Gunners are also interested Ivan Fresneda, though Borussia Dortmund have something to say about that.

Chelsea could also rival Arsenal for Amadou Onana, but are now happy for Newcastle to sign former target Anthony Gordon, who continues to skip Everton training. Matheus Nunes is a new name on Graham Potter’s wishlist, with Liverpool also tracking the Wolves star. Lyon right-back Malo Gusto should join, but Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez looks out of reach despite a renewed bid.

Spurs have finally made their first signing of the window after hijacking Everton’s loan move for Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma, and are confident of wrapping up a £39million deal for Sporting right-back Pedro Porro. They have even been tipped to add a surprise before the deadline. Manchester United want Harry Kane and Liverpool are not giving up on Jude Bellingham. Follow all the latest January transfer news, rumours and gossip live below!

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Brighton unwilling to let Lamptey leave

Brighton have no desire to loan Tariq Lamptey out, a decision that could prove to be a problem for Tottenham.

It’s been suggested that Sporting are interested in signing Lamptey on loan as a replacement for Pedro Porro, who is closing in on a move to Spurs.

However, The Telegraph report that Brighton do not plan on letting Lamptey leave, with it unclear if that will impact the Porro deal.

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Chelsea to keep Slonina at club

Chelsea do not plan on letting Gabriel Slonina go out on loan this month.

The 18-year-old become the youngest goalkeeper ever to start a game for the United States last night, as his stock continues to rise.

Fabrizio Romano reports that Slonina will stay with the Blues for the rest of the season, before a decision is made on what’s best for his development in the summer.

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Man United in for Chiesa

Manchester United are reportedly keen on a move for Juventus winger Federico Chiesa.

Calciomercatoweb claim that it would cost United a fee in the region of €100m, but that’s a figure the club are willing to bid as they look to seal a deal for the Italian.

One to keep an eye on in the next few days…

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Arsenal told Zubimendi fee

Martin Zubimendi is believed to be a target for Arsenal as they eye a midfield signing, but he won’t be cheap.

The Times report that Real Sociedad have told the Gunners that Zubimedni’s release clause of €60million must be paid in full for any move to take place.

Barcelona are also interested in the 23-year-old, but a move to the Premier League is believed to be his preferred option. However, having just signed a new contract, Zubimendi is happy at Sociedad, at least until the summer.

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Gordon looks to force Everton exit

Anthony Gordon has once again missed Everton training as he looks to force through a move.

Reports suggest that the winger has not turned up for the third day running, with Gordon telling the club he does not intend on returning.

Chelsea were strongly linked with him in the summer, while Newcastle are also believed to be interested in a move.


Good news for Liverpool!

Not a new signing, but the next best thing for Liverpool.

Stefan Bajcetic has signed a new long-term contract at the club, one that reportedly ties him down until 2027.

He told “Obviously I’m so, so happy, so excited to keep playing for this club and hopefully I can play more years together. Me and my family are very proud to sign a new contract with this club.”


Antonio staying put

West Ham expect Michail Antonio to remain at the club beyond the end of this month’s transfer window, despite the forward claiming he has held talks over a possible move away.

In an interview with Standard Sport last month, Antonio spoke of his frustration at a reduced role following the £30.5million signing of Gianluca Scamacca from Sassuolo last summer.

Antonio led the line against Everton and has started three of the Hammers’ five Premier League games since the World Cup, but on his The Footballer’s Football Podcast discussed rumours of his departure.

Read more here: West Ham reluctant to sell Antonio despite striker confirming talks


Man Utd look at Kane alternatives

Manchester United are weighing up alternatives to Harry Kane.

The Tottenham striker is a target for the summer, but will not come cheap. As such, according to Estadio Deportivo, United are taking an interest in Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias.

Wout Weghorst is the stop-gap for now, but the Spain international could also be an option should the get priced out of Kane.

Spurs are expected to ask for a fee in the region of £80million for their talisman, and perhaps more for a team supposedly a direct rival.

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Antonio staying put

West Ham expect Michail Antonio to remain at the club beyond the end of this month’s transfer window, despite the forward claiming he has held talks over a possible move away, writes Malik Ouzia.

Scamacca is currently sidelined with a knee problem and Danny Ings, brought in in a £12m deal from Aston Villa earlier this month, also suffered a knee issue while making his debut as a substitute last weekend’s victory over Everton and is set for a short spell out.

More to follow.


Valladolid waiting on first Arsenal bid for Fresneda

Real Valladolid are yet to receive a bid for Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund target Ivan Fresneda, the club have confirmed.

Reports in Spain claim BVB are closing in on the deal, but it situation now appears wide open.

“(Fresneda) has aroused the interest of many teams, but we have not received an official offer,” Real Valladolid sporting director Fran Sanchez told Diario AS.

“It is true that several clubs have contacted us and that interest of many clubs is real, but there is no official offer.

“We are not desperately trying to sell the player.”

Read more here: Real Valladolid yet to receive offer for Arsenal target Ivan Fresneda

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