Another one bites the dust.
After narrowly scraping through their group (only just about avoiding the same ill fate as Germany), Spain have been knocked out of the World Cup at the last 16 stage on penalties for a second successive tournament, this time at the hands of Morocco.
How did we get here? Weren’t Spain the favourites to go through against their neighbours from northern Africa?
Well, it was the same old story with La Roja – lots of possession, not enough penetration.
Captain Sergio Busquets – who was one of three Spain players to miss in the penalty shootout – had a rather poor game walking through the mud of the midfield.
Even literal Golden Boy Gavi was coming in for criticism.
But credit where it’s due to Morocco, who took Spain the whole way and went toe-to-toe with them. West Ham defender Nayef Aguerd came in for praise again.
Former Southampton star Sofiane Boufal, often criticised for his inconsistency, was having the game of his life.
Spain nearly stole a spot in the quarter-finals at the end of the 120 minutes through Pablo Sarabia, and he was first to miss during the shootout.
Carlos Soler and Busquets missed for Spain, allowing Madrid-born and raised Achraf Hakimi to step up and score the winning spot kick.
With this win, Walid Regragui became the first African manager to lead a nation into the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
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
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