Lionel Messi has revealed that Argentina treated the crunch game against Mexico like a new World Cup tournament following their shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in their opening game.
As a result of the earlier defeat, Argentina would have been eliminated on the spot had they lost against Mexico as well, while even a draw would have made progression to the knockout stages extremely difficult with only one more game to play.
But Messi said afterwards that the team had refocused after the Saudi upset.
“We knew that today we had to win, that another World Cup was starting for us and we were able to do it,” the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner said, via TyC Sports.
“The first game cost us a lot,” he added. “It’s normal, because there are many conditioning factors, many boys who were playing their first World Cup, the schedule…
“They are not excuses but we did not play as we had to play. Even so, there were two isolated plays that made us lose that game, many situations by centimetres. [Had] we made it 2-0 [against Saudi Arabia], it would have been another game entirely.”
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni also spoke after the game, insisting that Mexico always possess the ability to make games difficult for their opponents.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult game, because Mexico offered us a different match than they had been doing normally,” Scaloni told reporters. “We suspected that they could play with a line of 5.”
Having been on the brink of a humiliating exit from the World Cup, Argentina now simply need to beat Poland to ensure they qualify from Group C, while a draw would leave them vulnerable and dependent on the other result between Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders, Grizz Khan and Jack Gallagher to look back on France ’98 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!
Nottingham Forest announce signing of Andre Ayew
Nottingham Forest have confirmed the signing of free agent Andre Ayew despite interest from Everton.
The forward has been heavily linked with a move to the Toffees in recent days, but Forest have swooped in to sign the Ghanian.
Speaking to the club’s official website after finalising the move, the forward said: “It’s a great feeling to sign for Nottingham Forest.
“I know how big the club is and I know how much the club means to the city and the fanbase. It’s always been difficult whenever I’ve played against Forest and at The City Ground and I love the stadium.
“Steve Cooper is someone who knows me very well and knows how to work with me both on and off the pitch. We have a strong relationship, he’s a special coach and a special human being and someone who I really look up to.”
“I know what I can bring to the team, I’m ready to give my all and make sure that we are able to stay in the Premier League.”
Wolves vs Liverpool – Premier League: TV channel, team news, lineups & prediction
Liverpool will be looking to make a statement with a Premier League trip to Wolves this weekend, having been dumped out of the FA Cup by Brighton last Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are without a league win in their last three attempts and have slipped as low as ninth in the table. Depending on what Chelsea do against Fulham on Friday night, the Reds could be 10th by the time they kick-off at Wolves.
Wolves are still yet to really find their groove under Julen Lopetegui, although at least remain out of the relegation zone on goal difference for the time being.
Wolves vs Liverpool H2H Results (Last Five Games)
Current Form (Last Five Premier League Games)
Wolves team news
Wolves have no new injury concerns ahead of this one, with Pedro Neto, Boubacar Traore, Sasa Kalajdzic and Chiquinho all still sidelined.
Wolves predicted lineup (4-2-3-1): Sa; Semedo, Collins, Kilman, Bueno; Neves, Nunes; Traore, Sarabia, Hwang; Jimenez.
Liverpool team news
Centre-back Ibrahima Konate is the latest Liverpool player to join the injury list, ruled out until at least mid-February with a hamstring problem.
Virgil van Dijk is also still out, as are Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota. Arthur Melo is making progress but is a couple of weeks away from resuming training.
Liverpool predicted lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo.
It’s certainly feasible that Wolves could continue to pile the misery on Liverpool.
The Reds had beaten Wolves in seven consecutive meetings until a recent FA Cup tie ended in 2-2 draw at Anfield. It was then only a single goal that decided the replay in the Merseysiders’ favour.
Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Liverpool
Player ratings as Los Blancos seal comfortable win
When windows are and what competitions are there?
How much do 2022/23 winners earn?
Best site to watch football live (Free and premium)
Best app to buy sports tickets 2022
10 Footballers who went to university during their careers
EPL2 weeks ago
Report: Man Utd ready to pay Victor Osimhen £120,000-a-week
EPL2 weeks ago
Why was Kai Havertz’s goal against Liverpool ruled out for offside?
Football7 days ago
Cristiano Ronaldo mistake called out by Al Nassr manager after cup elimination
EPL4 days ago
REVEALED: Enzo Fernandez makes shock U-turn over Chelsea transfer
EPL4 days ago
Jurgen Klopp sends defiant message after Liverpool exit FA Cup