Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi both scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain rounded out their Champions League group-stage campaign with a 4-1 thumping of Club Brugge on Tuesday.
Mbappe scored twice in the first seven minutes, the second-fastest double at the start of a game in Champions League history, before setting up Messi to make it 3-0 at half-time.
Mats Rits got one back for the Belgians in the second half but Messi then netted a penalty to make it 4-1 and give PSG a welcome confidence boost in an underwhelming European campaign to date.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side knew before this game that they were heading through to the last 16 in second place in Group A behind Manchester City after losing 2-1 in England last month.
That means a theoretically harder tie against a group winner awaits them in next Monday’s draw, with Liverpool, Ajax, Bayern Munich and Manchester United already potential opponents.
However, with Mbappe on this kind of form and Messi saving his best for Europe, there is still plenty of reason for optimism for Pochettino, who should also have Neymar back from his latest ankle injury by the time the knockout phase begins in February.
Mbappe needed just 73 seconds to open the scoring, following up to finish low into the far corner after Simon Mignolet had saved from Nuno Mendes.
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Hazard Rejects Move To Chelsea
Eden Hazard has turned down a move to Newcastle United, despite Real Madrid accepting an offer of £33.4million, plus £8.3m in add-ons, according to El Nacional.
The 30-year-old has endured a miserable time in Spain since he arrived from Chelsea in 2019 for an initial fee of £88 million.
Hazard’s form has been hampered with a series of injuries and a lack of form.
As a result, the Belgium captain has fallen down the pecking order, with Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo preferred by Carlo Ancelotti.
Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, is believed to have accepted an offer of €40 million (£33.4 million), plus €10 million (£8.3 million) in add-ons, from Newcastle.
However, Hazard has snubbed the Magpies’ approach, insisting he will only leave for a ‘big’ club, such as Chelsea.
The Blues have long been linked with a reunion with Hazard, who shone at Stamford Bridge over his seven-year spell, scoring 110 goals and providing 92 assists in 352 appearances for the club.
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Chelsea Are Completely Out Of Premier League Title Race, Tuchel Admits
Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel has admitted they are now in a race to finish in the Premier League top three.
According to the German, he never imagined being 13 points behind leaders Manchester City in the title race.
Tuchel says he is not happy with the situation, but claims he is comforted with the Blues in the Carabao Cup final, still in the Champions League and FA Cup.
He will also travel with his squad next month for the Club World Cup.
When asked whether when he took the job he would have thought being 13 points behind was good enough, Tuchel said: “No, of course not. We would never have accepted that before. Never. But this is the reality now and just because it is like this, not everything is bad.
“If you think that to tell the story that way, it is fair enough and we can take it. We know what we do and we know what we are up for. At the moment we are 13 points behind and we are in a race of top three.
“So this is the situation and from there we go. But we would not have accepted it one year ago. I would not have accepted it four weeks ago and I did not accept it when we arrived at City in the moment that we are.
“That is what makes us and I am absolutely comfortable to not accept it because I work for Chelsea and we play for Chelsea, so when we play, we play to win.”
192 total views, 192 views today
Oliseh Tips Cameroon To Lift AFCON 2021 Title, Gives Reasons
Former Nigeria head coach, Sunday Oliseh has named Cameroon as a credible ‘title contender’ at the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Oliseh said the 2021 AFCON host nation, Cameroon, is strong, aggressive and well organized.
The former Ajax and Juventus midfielder also said that Cameroon is fun to watch with their captain Vincent Aboubakar, who has netted five goals at the tournament so far.
Cameroon was the first country to qualify for the 2021 AFCON round of 16 after victories over Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.
The Indomitable Lions finished on top of Group A with seven points after playing a 1-1 draw with Cape Verde on Monday.
In a tweet via his Twitter handle after Cameroon drew with Cape Verde, Oliseh wrote: “Tall, strong, solid, aggressive, compact, hosts & relatively well organized! The indomitable Lions team, though at times static & not so nimble-footed, is definitely in my opinion, a credible title contender and Fun to watch with Aboubakar. AFCON is heating up!!”
524 total views, 524 views today
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