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Player ratings as Juve fall to embarrassing defeat

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Juventus suffered one of the most embarrassing defeats in their history on Tuesday evening, losing 2-0 to Maccabi Haifa in the UEFA Champions League.

A first half brace from Omer Atzili was enough for Haifa on the night as they condemned Juve to a third Champions League defeat in four games this season.

The home side almost broke the deadlock inside the opening five minutes, with Pierre Cornud finding Tjaronn Chery in the six-yard box with a great cross from the left flank. Wojciech Szczesny was on hand to save Chery’s subsequent header on goal however.

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Three minutes later Maccabi Haifa got their goal via a Cornud cross. The full-back once again looped a deadly ball into the box, which Omer Atzili rose highest to get his head on and direct into the bottom corner of the net.

It was so nearly two shortly after as Chery cannoned a brilliant free-kick off of the crossbar from just outside the penalty area, before Atzili was denied by a save from Szczesny who tipped a curling effort just wide of the post.

Things went (somehow) from bad to worse for Juventus when the only player who looked remotely capable of passing the ball to Dusan Vlahovic – Angel Di Maria – hobbled off with a muscle injury.

While Juve continued to struggle after Di Maria’s substitution, Haifa continued to pile on the pressure in the offensive third, as Atzili came close to making 2-0 with an audacious overhead kick which flew just wide.

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In the 42nd minute, Haifa finally doubled their lead through outstanding Atzili. The right forward latched on the ball on the right of the penalty area and rifled back Szczesny and into the top right corner of the net.

That goal work the visitors up a bit, as Dusan Vlahovic saw a great header well saved by Josh Cohen before Arkadiusz Milik saw his rebounded effort blocked by a defender.

A few changes at half-time did invigorate La Vecchia Signora slightly, but despite the visitors having more of the ball, they still didn’t create anything of note.

GK – Wojciech Szczesny – 2/10 – Got his hand on both first half goals, but couldn’t really do much more.

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RB – Danilo – 1/10 – Ran ragged on the right flank. Every chance the home side created came from his side – which isn’t good.

CB – Leonardo Bonucci – 1/10 – He just looks nowhere the player he once was.

CB – Daniele Rugani – 0/10 – It’s odd that he’s still even at Juventus. It’s not odd that he didn’t play well.

LB – Alex Sandro – 0/10 – When was the last time he played well? God only knows.

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RM – Juan Cuadrado – 1/10 – Didn’t even try to help Danilo on the right side. Terrible.

CM – Leandro Paredes – 0/10 – File Paredes under ‘pointless signings of bang average centre midfielder’ at Juventus HQ. Taken off at half-time.

CM – Adrien Rabiot – 1/10 – Stood still and watched while Atzili ran in unmarked to head home the opener. A very Rabiot performance from Rabiot.

LM – Weston McKennie – 0/10 – A truly hopeless performance. Subbed off at half-time because, yeah, he’s bad.

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ST – Angel Di Maria – N/A – Subbed off with an injury in the first half.

ST – Dusan Vlahovic – 1/10 – Just does not get any service in this Juventus team. Whisper it: he should’ve signed for Arsenal.

SUB – Arkadiusz Milik – 0/10 – Came on, missed a chance, did nothing else. Fun.

SUB – Filip Kostic – 0/10 – He delivery from the left flank was pretty dreadful.

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SUB – Manuel Locatelli – 0/10 – A shell of the player he was two years ago.

SUB – Moise Kean – 1/10 – Ran around a bit. That was the height of it.

SUB – Matia Soule – 2/10 – Put in a bit of a shift when he came on which is a lot more than you could about other Juve players.



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Monterrey signs midfielder Jordi Cortizo from Puebla

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Rayados de Monterrey have signed midfielder Jordi Cortizo from Club Puebla, ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura. 

He joins the Guadalajara team on a four-season contract, according to Diego Armando Medina of TUDN.

“I have been delighted since the opportunity to come here was given, I always knew that I had to make a leap to these big leagues with one of the biggest clubs in Mexico,” Cortizo said of his transfer. 

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Cortizo kicked off his professional career with Queretaro in 2017, recording four goals in 76 appearances over the course of three years before seeing stints with Tijuana and Puebla. He managed well in Liga MX, but it wasn’t until the 2022 Apertura that he became a standout. 

The offensive midfielder recorded five goals in 20 overall matches to inspire Puebla to eighth on the table and the Liguilla quarterfinals. 

Overall, Cortizo has 12 goals in 149 Liga MX appearances. 

“They are going to see a player who always tries, that will never fail, who will go for the ball, will try to play, propose offensive play, go forward and who will always give himself up for the club. It is my dream to be champion of the Liga MX, there is no better option today than to be sitting here and with this squad to achieve it,” he said.

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Cortizo stands as the first signing under new Monterrey president Jose Antonio Noriega, who replaced Duilio Davino  following the team’s elimination from the 2022 Apertura. Upon his arrival, Noriega insisted he needed to evaluate the team’s needs before making drastic changes. 

But the arrival of Jordi Cortizo will now set off the several moves already planned. 

The 2023 Liga MX Clausura kicks off on January 6.



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Club America sign defender Israel Reyes from Puebla

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Club America has finally signed defender Israel Reyes from Club Puebla.

He stands as the team’s first reinforcement ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura, joining on a four-year contract.  The Mexico City team reportedly paid $4.5M for Reyes, after he established himself as one of the most promising defenders in the Mexican league.

Reyes kicked off his professional career with Atlas in 2019, before quickly securing a loan deal to Puebla. After 19 games with the Franja, the team exercised his purchase option to make Reyes a staple of the backline. 

But it wasn’t until the 2022 Apertura that he became a standout in the Mexican league. The 22-year-old managed three goals in 17 games of the 2022 Apertura, inspiring Puebla to eighth place in the regular season and the Liguilla quarterfinals. 

Overall, he recorded six goals in 76 appearances with Puebla before joining Club America.

Internationally, the player holds one cap with the Mexican national team. He made his debut on December 8, 2021, coming on as a substitute in the 68th minute of a friendly against Chile.

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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

On Sunday, England and Senegal, their opponents in the last-16 of the World Cup, square off at Al Bayt Stadium in a battle for a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Three Lions take on the Lions of Teranga, who advanced to the knockout stages thanks to a crucial intervention from their captain, in a first-ever meeting after Gareth Southgate’s team defeated Wales to win Group B.

Line-up

England XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Henderson, Bellingham; Saka, Foden, Kane.  

Senegal XI: E. Mendy; Sabaly, Koulibaly, Diallo, Jakobs; Ciss, N. Mendy; Diatta, Ndiaye, Sarr; Dia. 

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