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Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich – UWCL: Player ratings as Barca secure Camp Nou victory

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Barcelona continued their perfect start to the Champions League group stages with a hard fought 3-0 victory over Bayern Munich at Camp Nou on Thursday evening.

The hosts turned in a flowing team performance, but were made to work for their win after being held in the first 45 by a robust Bayern side.

Second half goals from Geyse, Aitana Bonmati and Claudia Pina eventually broke Bayern’s resolve to leave Barcelona in prime position to qualify for the knockout stages.

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Barcelona burst out of the blocks, with a last ditch Georgia Stanway tackle and fine Maria Grohs save needed to keep out Bonmati and then Geyse inside the opening exchanges.

Barca have made a habit of completely blowing teams away in this season’s competition, hitting 13 goals across their opening two group stage fixtures, and it appeared if they got one, the floodgates would open. Despite their early pressure, they were largely left frustrated in the first half by a defensively disciplined Bayern.

Bonmati fired a whisker over from the edge of the box and drew a terrific one-handed save from Grohs as the opening 45 finished goalless.

Having done so well to keep Barca at bay in the first half, Bayern conceded just two minutes after the break. Fridolina Rolfo provided the cross, and Ana-Maria Crnogorčević intelligently nodded the ball across goal for Geyse to head home.

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Rolfo was again instrumental as the hosts doubled their advantage 12 minutes later, picking out Bonmati with a cut back, and the Barcelona midfielder effortlessly found the bottom corner with a first time, pinpoint finish.

Pina added a sumptuous third just after the hour mark, rocketing an effort into the top corner from the edge of the area as Barcelona eventually cruised to a deserved victory.

GK: Sandra Panos – 6/10 – Didn’t have a great deal to do as Barcelona largely dominated.

RB: Lucy Bronze (83′ for Torrejon)- 7/10 – Didn’t put a foot wrong defensively and drove Barca forward with her directness.

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CB: Mapi Leon – 6/10 – Corner deliveries were initially a little disappointing, but turned in a solid performance and allowed Barca to build well from the back.

CB: Irene Paredes – 6/10 – Didn’t have a huge amount to do defensively. Efficient in possession.

LB: Fridolina Rolfö – 9/10 – Provided the crucial deliveries for Barcelona’s first and second goals with a cross and smart cut back. The left flank was a constant threat for Barca.

CM: Keira Walsh (77′ for Engen) – 8/10 – Born to play for Barcelona. Ruthlessly efficient in possession, outrageous in tight spaces.

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CM: Aitana Bonmati (83′ for Vilamala) – 9/10 – Absolutely everywhere with a smart, intricate movement. Outstanding on the ball to keep Barcelona ticking over, made her well-taken goal look easy.

CM: Patri Guijarro – 7/10 – Largely kept under wraps in the first half, but produced the terrific pass to break the lines and send Rolfo away for Barcelona’s second goal

RW: Ana-Maria Crnogorčević – 7/10 – Headed over a golden chance in the first half. Smartly headed across the face of goal to the unmarked Geyse for Barca’s opener.

FW: Geyse (69′ for Oshoala) – 8/10 – Had a big chance in the opening exchanges but was denied by Grohs. Opened the scoring with a header and picked out Pina for Barca’s third

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LW: Clàudia Pina (69′ for Paralluelo) – 8/10 – Added a third for Barcelona with a stunning individual goal, finding the top corner with a rasping effort from range.

SUB: Salma Paralluelo (69′ for Pina) – 6/10

SUB: Asisat Oshoala (69′ for Geyse) – 6/10

SUB: Ingrid Engen (77′ for Walsh) – 6/10

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SUB: Marta Torrejón (83′ for Bronze) – 6/10

SUB: Bruna Vilamala (83′ for Bonmati) – 6/10

GK: Maria Grohs – 6/10 – Produced a big save early on to deny Geyse, and fantastic stop to keep out Bonmati. Beaten at her near post for Barca’s second.

RB: Maximiliane Rall (90′ for Bragstad)– 4/10 – Struggled to contend with the lively Rolfo, with Barcelona’s first two goals coming down the Bayern right.

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CB: Tainara – 6/10 – Held firm defensively in the first half, but question marks over the Bayern marking for the first goal, with Barcelona allowed two free headers in the Bayern box.

CB: Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir – 5/10 – A resilient first half performance, but lost Geyse for Barcelona’s first goal, and gave Pina far too much space for Barca’s third.

LB: Carolin Simon – 6/10 – Put in a huge defensive shift and had a real battle with Crnogorčević.

CM: Lina Magull (74′ for Kumagai) – 6/10 – Ran her heart out and helped frustrate Barca in the first, but ultimately unable to cope with Barca’s dynamic midfield trio.

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CM: Georgia Stanway – 7/10 – Made a great last ditch tackle to keep out Bonmati early in the first half, and helped Bayern get out of the Barca press really well on a number of occasions – a probing cross field pass in the first half was a real highlight.

CM: Sarah Zadrazil – 7/10 – Did such a good defensive job on Patri, particularly in the first half, and helped Bayern robustly harry, press and frustrate Barca.

RW: Franziska Kett (60′ for Lohmann) – 5/10 – Handed her first Champions League start at the age of just 18, but largely unable to have a huge impact on the game. Didn’t offer a great deal of protection to help halt the marauding Rolfo.

ST: Lea Schuller (74′ for Laurent) – 5/10 – Largely left to feed off scraps as Bayern spent large periods of the game soaking up pressure.

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LW: Klara Buhl – 5/10 – Hit the side netting in the opening 10 minutes, but otherwise unable to leave a lasting attacking impact on proceedings.

SUB: Sydney Lohmann (60′ for Kett) – 5/10

SUB: Saki Kumagai (74′ for Magull) – 5/10

SUB: Emelyne Laurent (74′ for Schuller) – 5/10

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SUB: Emilie Bragstad (90′ for Rall) N/A

Player of the match: Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona)



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Poland vs Argentina: Confirmed lineups

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Poland vs Argentina

France, who have already secured a spot in the last 16 of the World Cup 2022, play Tunisia on Wednesday in their final Group D matchup.

In the meantime, the African nation is last in the standings and must defeat the current champions to advance to the knockout stages.

Line-up

Poland XI (4-4-1-1): Szczesny; Bereszynski, Glik, Kiwior, Cash; Frankowski, Bielik, Krychowiak, Zielinski; Swiderski; Lewandowski

Argentina XI (4-3-3): Martínez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuña; De Paul, Enzo Fernández, Mac Allister; Messi, Álvarez, Di María

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Mauricio Pochettino discusses next managerial job

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Ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he’d be open to taking a national team job.

Pochettino has been without a job since being sacked by PSG in the summer, despite winning his first silverware as a coach at the club – lifting the Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France.

The former PSG boss has been linked with a number of clubs since then, but speaking to Sky Sports, Poch insisted that he is also open to a move into international management, stating: “It wasn’t under my consideration to go [into international management] but now, yes I am open. Why not?

Harry Symeou hosts Jack Gallagher and Toby Cudworth to look back on Germany ’06 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

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If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

“Yes, of course we are still young, full of energy, and day-by-day I like the adrenaline to train, to be involved. Maybe the national team is a different job, but why not? If it’s not the next job, then maybe in the future. It’s not specific that all I want is Argentina. If another country, why not? For sure, that would be good also.”

Pochettino also took the time to discuss England’s World Cup credentials, stating that he sees them as one of the favourites to win the tournament in Qatar.

“England have the quality to be one of the teams with an opportunity to win the World Cup,” he said. “I saw a very good performance against Wales, and I believe the quality is there. It’s all about believing and performing in a way which can grant you the possibility to be there.

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“But I really, really believe this year England can fight to try to lift the World Cup. [Gareth] Southgate is doing a fantastic job. He was a little bit unlucky in the final of the Euros against Italy, but he’s doing a fantastic job and deserves a lot of credit.”



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Player ratings as Eagles of Carthage knocked out of World Cup despite shock win

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Tunisia stunned France with a shock 1-0 win, but their hopes of reaching the last 16 of the World Cup were ended by Australia’s own unlikely victory against Denmark elsewhere in Group D.

The Eagles of Carthage fought tooth and nail to keep their hopes of advancing alive and put in a solid display against the rotated reigning champions, but their 2022 journey has come to an end at the benefit of the Socceroos.

Tunisia thought they took an eighth-minute lead when a Wahbi Khazri free-kick was flicked on and in by Nader Ghandri, but the linesman had his flag raised for a marginal offside and the goal was chalked off.

France looked very disjointed after making so many changes, though created a decent chance on the break with Youssouf Fofana slipping through Kingsley Coman, but his first touch took him away from goal and his off-balance strike sailed wide.

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Steve Mandanda was forced into a save when Aissa Laidouni’s second-time cross was nodded on by Anis Ben Slimane, before Eduardo Camavinga – filling in at left-back – had to retreat and prevent a similarly deep ball from reaching the free Nader Ghandri.

Just after the break, Laidouni robbed Fofana of possession in his own box and curled one narrowly over the top of Mandanda’s crossbar as Tunisia went closer to finding a crucial opener.

And Tunisia took a deserved lead when Fofana lost possession too easily again, and Laidouni found Khazri to weave his way past the French backline and poke a shot past the flailing Mandanda.

With the clock running down, France finally showed signs of life with substitute Kylian Mbappe forcing a save from Aymen Dahmen and Randal Kolo Muani blasting wide at the end of Les Bleus’ only real sweeping move of the afternoon.

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Tunisia nearly clung on through eight minutes of stoppage time before Antoine Griezmann’s deflected volley found the back of Dahmen’s net with essentially the last kick of the game, only for it to be ruled out by a lengthy VAR check.

However, Australia’s win had already been confirmed by this point and the Eagles of Carthage’s fate was already sealed.

GK: Aymen Dahmen – 5/10 – Didn’t inspire a lot of confidence but France barely attacked so it hardly mattered.

CB: Yassine Meriah – 7/10 – Got forward down the wing to support Kechidra. Helped by the fact France played without wingers.

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CB: Nader Ghandri – 7/10 – Got his head on most high balls and defended with authority.

CB: Montassar Talbi – 7/10 – Just as Meriah did down the right, Talbi was of great use down Tunisia’s left.

RM: Wajdi Kechidra – 7/10 – Gave Camavinga plenty of problems in tandem with Ben Slimane.

CM: Ellyes Skhiri – 8/10 – After a poor showing against Australia, Skhiri came roaring back with a monster midfield performance.

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CM: Aissa Laidouni – 8/10 – Took control of the midfield battle and teed up Tunisia’s opener.

LM: Ali Maaloul – 6/10 – Found it hard at times to get by Disasi but worked hard for the cause.

RF: Anis Ben Slimane – 6/10 – Brought a good mix of work ethic and quality in possession.

LF: Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane – 6/10 – Similarly covered every blade of grass down his flank.

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CF: Wahbi Khazri – 9/10 – Gave France all sorts of problems in his hour on the pitch, eventually scoring the opening goal.

SUB: Issam Jebali (60′ for Khazri) – 5/10

SUB: Ghaylen Chaaleli (74′ for Ben Romdhane) – 5/10

SUB: Ali Abdi (84′ for Ben Slimane) – N/A

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Manager: Jalel Kadri – 7/10 – Tunisia produced an authoritative performance despite the obvious gap in quality.

GK: Steve Mandanda – 4/10 – Looked every bit of his 37 years of age, slow to react to danger and made a hash of saves.

RB: Axel Disasi – 5/10 – Played out of position on his senior debut for Les Bleus but handled himself well.

CB: Raphael Varane – 4/10 – Made captain in Hugo Lloris’ absence. Didn’t defend with much seniority.

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CB: Ibrahima Konate – 6/10 – Put in a few recovery challenges but always looked awkward.

LB: Eduardo Camavinga – 3/10 – Hung out to dry in his first real outing as a left-back.

DM: Aurelien Tchouameni – 6/10 – Tried his best to hold the fort but needed more help.

CM: Jordan Veretout – 3/10 – Way out of his depth. Hid at times and just shouldn’t be starting a World Cup match.

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CM: Youssouf Fofana – 3/10 – Looked bright early on but continually dribbled his way into trouble, culminating in Tunisia’s opener.

AM: Matteo Guendouzi – 3/10 – Failed to link midfield and attack. Gave the ball away loosely.

CF: Kingsley Coman – 5/10 – Progressed the ball well when coming deep to receive it but didn’t threaten Tunisia where it mattered.

CF: Randal Kolo Muani – 5/10 – Likewise helped out in deeper areas but not enough in the final third.

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SUB: William Saliba (63′ for Varane) – 4/10

SUB: Adrien Rabiot (63′ for Veretout) – 4/10

SUB: Kylian Mbappe (63′ for Coman) – 3/10

SUB: Antoine Griezmann (73′ for Fofana) – 5/10

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SUB: Ousmane Dembele (79′ for Guendouzi) – 4/10

Manager: Didier Deschamps – 3/10 – Sure, it was a dead rubber for France and Deschamps was right to rest his key men, but the XI he picked seriously lacked cohesion.

Player of the Match – Wahbi Khazri



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