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Mourinho seeks Spurs home improvements

Sky Sports - søn, 01/11/2020 - 08:00
Jose Mourinho believes Tottenham need to improve their home form if they are going to challenge for the Premier League title.

In this strange season, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min put Spurs in title mix | Jonathan Wilson

Guardian - lør, 31/10/2020 - 21:00

Defensive solidity plus a lethal forward pairing may be all it takes for Tottenham to be considered serious challengers

This has already been a deeply confusing season. Nothing makes much sense and as the impact of the virus and the compacted calendar continues to be felt, nothing is likely to any time soon. But still, particularly given how the opening weekend went, there can be few details weirder than Tottenham, who host Brighton on Sunday, would have gone into this weekend top of the Premier League had they not let slip a 3-0 lead against West Ham.

Related: Lanzini's late gem completes stunning West Ham fightback at Tottenham

The likelihood is still that Liverpool or City win the title but suddenly there are a lot more teams in play than usual

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Pochettino to join Carra on MNF

Sky Sports - lør, 31/10/2020 - 11:30
Former Tottenham and Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino will join Jamie Carragher on Monday Night Football this week as Leeds United host Leicester City.

Tottenham v Brighton: match preview

Guardian - lør, 31/10/2020 - 10:00

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min’s influence on results this season has been huge. José Mourinho paid the price for resting them against Antwerp but they will be back to face Brighton. Graham Potter’s task is simple but incredibly difficult. Shut them down. Potter would be wise to take a leaf from Burnley’s book last week and sit back to negate their explosive quick breaks forward. Unfortunately for Brighton there is little worse in this world than a Mourinho scorned. He will have his midfield at peak ferocity as Tottenham aim to cleanse their shock Europa League defeat. Graham Searles

Sunday 7.15pm Sky Sports Box Office

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Jose: Spurs not looking at PL table yet

Sky Sports - fre, 30/10/2020 - 23:37
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says it is too early to consider his side Premier League title contenders.

Tottenham vs Brighton preview - Dier, Ndombele to return

Sky Sports - fre, 30/10/2020 - 14:35
Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Tottenham vs Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday; Kick-off 7.15pm.

Mourinho tells Spurs fans to expect a 'different' Bale from first spell

Guardian - fre, 30/10/2020 - 14:00
  • Manager points out Ronaldo and Messi have changed too
  • Mourinho says team missed Ndombele’s speed in Antwerp

José Mourinho has affirmed his belief that Gareth Bale will thrive in his second spell at Tottenham but told fans to expect the forward to contribute in different ways from his first period at the club.

“Seven years is a long, long, long gap,” the manager said. “So which player in the world is the same as he was seven years ago? Sometimes they’re not better or worse, they’re just different players.

Related: Premier League team news, European latest and more: weekend football countdown – live!

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Jose hopes Bale reaches 'better level' soon

Sky Sports - fre, 30/10/2020 - 14:00
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says he hopes Gareth Bale can reach a "better level" soon, after the Welsh forward continued a stuttering start to his second stint with the club.

Premier League predictions: Burnley to beat Chelsea

Sky Sports - fre, 30/10/2020 - 13:00
Our betting expert Jones Knows makes his Premier League predictions for the weekend with Burnley fancied to upset the odds at home to Chelsea.

Europa League clockwatch: Arsenal 3-0 Dundalk, Rangers 1-0 Lech Poznan and more – as it happened

Guardian - tor, 29/10/2020 - 23:02

Arsenal, Leicester and Rangers win for the second time in two Europa League games, beating Dundalk, AEK Athens and Lech Poznan respectively, but Celtic toss a two-goal lead in Lille and Spurs lose in Antwerp

10.02pm GMT

OK, that’s about us. Thanks for your company, and enjoy the rest of your night. Ta-ra.

9.59pm GMT

But Celtic are not.

Related: Europa League: Celtic blow two-goal lead in Lille as winless run goes on

9.58pm GMT

Leicester, meanwhile, are doing alright.

Related: Leicester make light of absentees and ease to clinical win over AEK Athens

9.58pm GMT

It appears that Spurs are still Spurs.

Related: Antwerp tame Tottenham in Europa League thanks to Lior Refaelov strike

9.57pm GMT

Here’s our Arsenal report....

Related: Nketiah spearheads Arsenal's three-goal burst to spare blushes against Dundalk

9.55pm GMT

9.54pm GMT

9.51pm GMT

Arsenal move to the top of Group B with two wins from two; Molde have done likewise, but with a less good goal difference.

9.50pm GMT

That’s a good result for the Bears. They sit second in Group D behind Benfica, who have also won both games, but with a better goal difference.

9.49pm GMT

“As a Dundalk fan I know that it’s a really one-sided game at this stage,” emails Eoin Keenan, “but believe me, this is a superb performance by Dundalk given all the circumstances. I was at Anfield with my father in 1969 when Dundalk were beaten 10-0 in the old Inter-City Fairs Cup. It was Ray Clemence’s first European game replacing Tommy Lawrence. Over subsequent years Dundalk have had great performances against Spurs, Celtic, PSV, to name just a few. Well done tonight the Town!”

Great stuff. We’re a bit late for this, but what’s the biggest kicking you’ve seen your team take? I watched Man United lose 4-0 to MK Dons.

9.48pm GMT

Ey up, yer da’s discovered the internet.

Mourinho’s Instagram >

9.46pm GMT

Good work from Ryan Jack inside his own box, insinuating himself into a challenge just as space looked to be opening up for Poznan.

9.44pm GMT

At Ibrox, Rangers are expending time pretty comfortably.

9.44pm GMT

I’ve been handed some hospital balls in my professional life, but BT’s commentators have been told to peddle Wolves v Palace and Burnley v Chelsea for 15 sheets apiece.

9.41pm GMT

They’ve had an hour against 10 men, but Slavia Prague have finally taken the lead against Leverkusen, Peter Olayinka with the goal.

9.39pm GMT

Arsenal have slowed down now. Dundalk are still struggling to get out of their own half, but they don’t look especially like conceding again.

9.36pm GMT

At Ibrox, Poznan are starting to press a little bit.

9.34pm GMT

Nice from Nelson, driving through the middle of the pitch with stepovers and sways. When I first saw him, I thought he might be first-team material, and I still think that he’s a squad player at worst. But I wonder if Arsenal will end up selling him to generate funds.

9.32pm GMT

Sandro Kulenovic has hauled Rijeka back into things at AZ. They now trail 4-1.

9.32pm GMT

Nice from Willock, absolutely diddling his man with a feet and bodyswerve combo - he’s been excellent tonight. But Nketiah can’t convert his cut-back and then Arteta makes two changes, introducing Tierney and Balogun for Xhaka and Nketiah.

9.30pm GMT



Keemar Roofe, is that you!?

Omonia Nicosia's Jordi Gómez has just done this...

9.28pm GMT

Ohi Omoijuanfo has put Molde 1-0 up against Rapid Wien.

9.27pm GMT

Two goal in seven minutes in Romania, where Mario Rondon put Cluj ahead, only for Christian Fassnacht to equalise for Young Boys.

9.26pm GMT

When I pondered Arsenal earlier today, I hoped to see Emile Smith-Rowe play. I’m not sure why he isn’t – surely his team could absorb any bad game he might have?

9.25pm GMT

Luca Waldschmidt has scored a penalty to put Benfica 2-0 up against Standard Liege.

9.25pm GMT

Barisic earns himself a yard, with a bum touch I think, and swings over another belter of a cross upon which Morelos sticks the absolute nut. That’s 21 European goals for him, same as Ally McCoist.

9.23pm GMT

And what of Willian. I know he was free, but even so I was surprised Arsenal bought him. By the time they’re properly good again, Willian is even further past his best, and he’s always been inconsistent, which is the last thing they need.

9.22pm GMT

Arsenal’s back three: Elneny, Xhaka, Kolasinac. Absolutely incredible scenes.

9.20pm GMT

Elneny has taken Mustafi’s place in Arsenal’s back three.

9.19pm GMT

Albert Gudmundsson has scored his second of the night and AZ now lead Rijeka 4-0.

9.19pm GMT

Meanwhile at Ibrox, Morelos has replaced Roofe.

9.18pm GMT

Arsenal bring Ceballos and Willian on for Mustafi and Pepe. Is Mustafi being saved for Old Trafford on Sunday?

9.17pm GMT

Loan watch: Diogo Dalot scored Milan’s crucial third goal in their 3-0 win over Sparta Prague earlier this evening. He’s got a fair bit of ability and would be a decent buy for them.

9.15pm GMT

Matteo Politano has put Napoli ahead away to Real Sociedad.

9.14pm GMT

Arsenal are looking for more goals and moving the ball quicker. If they score again in the next 10 minutes, this could get seriously messy.

9.12pm GMT

Rangers are struggling away against Poznan, and I’d expect to see attacking changes pretty soon.

9.12pm GMT

Jesper Karlsson has put AZ 3-0 up against Rijeka. That will surely be that.

9.11pm GMT

“The ‘only pros in the technical area’ rule is utter rubbish,” fumes Peter Oh. “I’m certain that Giovagnoli’s skills at playing invisible accordions, pointing in all directions, shouting cliches and clapping in the enthusiastic manner are up to professional standards.”

Maybe his gum-chewing needs work.

9.09pm GMT

I know that this is mainly Arsenal reserves, but they could really use a comfortable win tonight. The Artetish feelgood factor has dissipated in recent weeks because his team are struggling to create so struggling to entertain, and when results aren’t going well, that doesn’t make for a good mix.

9.07pm GMT

A penalty from Pizzi has put Benfica in front against Standard Liege.

9.07pm GMT

“Who’s in charge of VAR for European games?” wonders Malc Shuttleworth. “Is it neutral officers or that usual shower who have been messing things up all year? Just wondering.....”

It depends what you mean. I’m sure Uefa are involved in inflicting the whole nonsense upon us, but in terms of whose administering the minutiae of things, I assume it’s their officials rather the Premeer League’s.

9.05pm GMT

Arsenal work the ball across the edge of the box and Pepe rolls studs over it to conjure a shooting lane, then with very little backlift, jabs a 20-yarder high into the net! With his right foot! He’s such a strange player!

9.02pm GMT

Aaaaand off we go again...

9.01pm GMT

Back come the players....

8.51pm GMT

I’ll be back in a few. In the meantime...

Related: 'Fan power': Newcastle finally start refunding supporters for missed games

8.50pm GMT

8.47pm GMT

Donyell Malen has equalised for PSV against Omonia.

8.46pm GMT

Sweetheart, you’re so cruel! Nketiah sweeps a pass to Pepe, on the edge of the box, and he should move it one more but instead shoots into the nearest shins. The ball, though, has its own ideas, taking itself to where it should’ve gone, and Willock, who’s been the best player on the pitch by far, takes a touch, adjust his feet, opens his body, and roofs his finish past keeper and defender on the line.

8.44pm GMT

“The whole David vs Goliath narrative is probably in danger of being overused for Arsenal Dundalk,” says Frank Bredin, “but using Dundalk’s 2018 accounts as a guide and commonly-quoted press figures, then Mesut Ozil is paid the equivalent of Dundalk’s entire squad’s salaries for the year every three weeks. Dundalk’s accounts are on their website. I’m no financial specialist and only ever heard tell of Swiss Ramble. Some of Dundalk’s better paid players may be just about on the same income as Gunnersaurus was?”

Well yes, better players tend to earn more than worse players.

8.43pm GMT

He doesn’t miss this time! Rogers comes for a corner, tries to punch, and the ball grazes his knuckles, cannons a defender, and drops for the arch predator to force home.

8.40pm GMT

But here he is, lashing a shot that hits a defender ... and falls to Nketiah! But though he stretches a leg, he can’t control his finish because it comes to him so fast, and the ball flies wide.

8.39pm GMT

“In the Arsenal match, Pepe has got a very intriguing policy,” emails Charles Antaki, “playing so badly as to reduce his monetary value by about half, immediately lightening the burden of being a £72m footballer. Unfortunately he seems to have somewhat miscalibrated, and looks to be about worth about thruppence at the moment.”

That was a deal that absolutely reeked of nonsense when they did it. Twenty-four years old, one proper good season, playing for the second-best team in league that isn’t especially strong, unable to get into his national side and no competition to buy him. Er, OK then.

8.35pm GMT

Dundalk are closing down Arsenal’s space pretty well, and Arsenal don’t have much ingenuity even in their first team. But Willock’s doing his best, attacking the line and standing up a cross that Kolasinac attacks, forcing Rogers to tip over the top.

8.31pm GMT

There’s shock potential in Cyprus where Omonia have taken the lead against PSV, Jordi Gomez – of Wigan fame – with the goal.

8.30pm GMT

At Ibrox, Poznan look pretty comfortable, and at Arsenal, so do Dundalk.

8.30pm GMT

Related: Europa League: Celtic blow two-goal lead in Lille as winless run goes on

8.27pm GMT

At Ibrox,Barisic swings over a fine cross and Roofe is up – this is a chance! – but he heads directly down. So the ball bounces up for him, and he tries a hopeful overhead when Kent, behind him, was well-placed to have a proper dig.

8.25pm GMT

It’s goalabout! Amine Gouiri has put Nice ahead against Hapoel Beer-Sheva.

8.24pm GMT

Arsenal are getting closer. Elneny finds himself on the ball in the and lays back to Nelson, who lamps a low one that flashes past the post.

8.24pm GMT

Albert Gudmundsson has added a second for AZ against Rijeka.

8.23pm GMT

In Prague and against Slavia, Leverkusen have had Karim Bellarabi sent off.

22' | Straight red card for Bayer #38 Bellarabi for a slide tackle on Provod!

⚪️ 0-0 ⚫️ #slab04 #UEL

8.22pm GMT

Arsenal are turning it up. Gently – almost imperceptibly – but nevertheless.

8.20pm GMT

That Koopermans goal is is the only one we’ve seen in the first 20 minutes of these second games.

8.19pm GMT

Nice from Arsenal, Willock dashing in behind to take a diagonal pass slid along the carpet by Pepe. He crosses low and well, but there’s no one to get on the end of it.

8.18pm GMT

Dundalk’s manager, Filippo Giovagnoli, isn’t allowed in the technical area because he doesn’t have pro coaching licence. Glad to see the important stuff is all being taken of.

8.17pm GMT

Leicester are running into decent touch.

Related: Leicester make light of absentees and ease to clinical win over AEK Athens

8.16pm GMT

The ball drops on the touchline and Gerrard controls, sweeping it behind his standing foot with one velveteen touch. Bet he was a useful player in his day.

8.14pm GMT

Related: Antwerp tame Tottenham in Europa League thanks to Lior Refaelov strike

8.13pm GMT

Joe Willock, then. I really, really enjoy his energy, ball-carrying and desire to run past the strikers. But are his passing and touch good enough for him to make it as an Arsenal midfielder?

8.12pm GMT

Pepe forages down the right and looks for Willock, but a defensive foot intervenes and the ball sits up for Cedric, who wellies an effort high and wide.

8.11pm GMT

For example.

Another game, another goal


8.09pm GMT

At Ibrox, Rangers are knocking at the door, Kamara jinking about on the edge of the box and finding Kent, whose fine cross is shanked behind for a corner which comes to nowt.

8.08pm GMT

In Alkmaar, Teun Koopmeiners has put AZ ahead against Rijeka. He plays as a 6, but is meant to be a really good player already.

8.07pm GMT

Runarsson, making his Arsenal debut, has to scramble down by his near post to save McEleney’s shot from range. Decent effort, and a decent idea to try something before he’s had a chance to get used to things.

8.02pm GMT

There’s some strange activity going on in this Arsenal team. They’re playing five at the back, and I think Xahaka is involved there. Perhaps most interesting is the presence of Folarin Balogun on the bench – he looks a real prospect, but until now, a real prospect planning to leave the club. I hope he gets on.

8.01pm GMT

Off we go at Ibrox and the Emirates.

8.00pm GMT

Arsenal: Runarsson, Cedric, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Elneny, Xhaka, Pepe, Nketiah, Nelson. Subs: Leno, Hein, Bellerin, Tierney, Gabriel, Saka, Ceballos, Lacazette, Willian, Aubameyang, Partey, Balogun.

Dundalk: Rogers, Gartland, Boyle, Cleary, Mountney, Murray, Shields, McEleney, Dummigan, Hoban, Duffy. Subs: McCarey, Corcoran, Gannon, Hoare, Flores, Sloggett, Leahy, Oduwa, Colovic, Kelly, McMillan.

7.59pm GMT

Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic, Davis, Kamara, Arfield, Hagi, Kent, Roofe. Subs: McLaughlin, Bassey, Helander, Jack, Itten, Zungu, Patterson, Aribo, Morelos, Barker, Stewart, Barjonas.

Lech Poznan: Bednarek, Czerwinski, Satka, Rogne, Kravets, Skoras, Moder, Marchwinski, Puchacz, Ramirez, Ishak. Subs: Malencia, Muhar, Sykora, Dejwski, Kacharava, Awwad, Klups.

7.55pm GMT

Thanks Scott and evening all. For your delectation we have:

7.53pm GMT

And with that, I’m off. Daniel Harris, in hot form after penning the feelgood hit of the autumn yesterday, will take you through the 8pm kick-offs!

Related: A Premier League Likable XI - and the perfect manager to lead them

7.51pm GMT

7.49pm GMT

The Foxes keep pace with Braga at the top of Group G. Maximum points for Brendan Rodgers’ men.

7.48pm GMT

A first half to rebuild confidence for stuttering Celtic; a second period to knock it all back down again.

7.47pm GMT

A tedious display and a limp defeat for Spurs. Antwerp go top of Group J.

7.45pm GMT

Lucas Moura has a belt from distance with 120 seconds of bonus time remaining. It’s miles over.

7.43pm GMT

It’s just not happening for Spurs. With seconds of regulation time remaining, Kane turns neatly by the right-hand side of the Antwerp D. He can’t get a shot away. Neither can Son. The ball’s crossed towards Lamela at the far post, but the winger can’t bring the ball under control before running it out for a goal kick. Still five minutes of added time to save themselves.

7.41pm GMT

With a couple of minutes remaining, Harry Winks goes on a rococo dribble down the inside-left channel. It’s a fine run, spoilt slightly when he leans back and wafts over the bar from the edge of the box.

7.40pm GMT

Tottenham continue to toil in a most ineffective manner in Antwerp. Meanwhile Paco Alcacer puts Villarreal 2-1 up at Karabakh on 84 minutes.

7.37pm GMT

Precious little happening right now in the Spurs, Leicester and Celtic games. But it suddenly comes to life in the Karabakh-Villarreal tie, Owusu Kwabena putting the hosts in front on 78, Yeremi Pinto levelling up two minutes later. And Maccabi Tel-Aviv go 2-1 at Sivasspor thanks to Dor Peretz’s 74th-minute effort.

7.35pm GMT

Elvis Manu completes a hat-trick, and suddenly it’s LASK 4-3 Ludogorets. AC Milan are now 3-0 up over Sparta Prague, Diogo Dalot with a 66th-minute strike. A quick two-goal salvo from Aleksandar Katai has put Red Star Belgrade 5-1 up against Liberec. And Dan Biton’s 68th-minute penalty levels things at 1-1 for Maccabi Tel-Aviv at Sivasspor.

7.32pm GMT

Celtic have developed a glass jaw. They nearly concede a third, Lille instigating a game of pinball in the box. Bain is forced to claw one out from under his bar. The Scottish champions, facing a fourth consecutive match without a win, look so short of confidence again. And after a such a fine first-half performance, too. Meanwhile there another goal for Ludogorets’ Elvis Manu. He makes it LASK 4-2 Ludogorets on 67 minutes. And a 66th-minute Dejan Joveljic penalty stretches Wolfsberger’s lead against Feyenoord further: it’s 1-4.

7.29pm GMT

Lille press forward. Celtic fail to clear their lines. Yusuf Yazici mis-kicks on the edge of the box. The ball breaks to Jonathan Ikoné, who aims for the bottom left. The ball takes a deflection and beats the wrong-footed Scott Bain, flying into the bottom right.

7.25pm GMT

Simen Juklerod misses a huge chance for Antwerp, sent clear with Davinson Sanchez away on his holidays. One on one with Hugo Lloris, he blooters wildly over the bar. Harry Kane nearly immediately punishes him, threatening to tear clear down the inside-right channel but slipping over instead. It could be 1-1; it could be 2-0. Time’s running out for Spurs with just over 15 munutes plus stoppages to go.

7.22pm GMT

Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic, Kamara, Davis, Arfield, Hagi, Roofe, Kent.
Subs: Ughelumba, Helander, Jack, Itten, Zungu, Patterson, Aribo, Morelos, Barker, Stewart, McLaughlin, Barjonas.

Lech Poznan: Bednarek, Czerwinski, Satka, Rogne, Kravets, Skoras, Moder, Marchwinski, Puchacz, Ramirez, Ishak.
Subs: Muhar, Sykora, Dejewski, Kacharava, Awad, Malenica, Klups.

7.20pm GMT

The game’s back on in France, where Celtic fail to clear a corner from the left, allowing Lille defender Zeki Celik to bundle in at the far post.

7.18pm GMT

So much for the Feyenoord comeback. Michael Liendl completes his hat-trick for Wolfsberger on the hour; it’s 1-3. Sivasspor go 1-0 up against Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Olarenwaju Kayode with the 55th-minute deadlock-breaker. And in Celtic’s group, AC Milan go 2-0 up on Sparta Prague, Rafael Leao with the latest one on 57 minutes.

7.16pm GMT

Spurs improve a little, Lamela slipping a ball down the right for Moura, who returns it into the middle for Son. The in-form striker uncharacteristically hoicks wide right. Then Aurier rattles down the right and curls in powerfully. Lamela attempts the full Keith Houchen (sorry for raking over old coals, Spurs fans of a certain vintage) but doesn’t connect. That would have been a spectacular one.

7.13pm GMT

Spurs haven’t troubled Antwerp in the opening exchanges of the second half, despite all those changes. So on comes the one-man cavalry in the shape of Harry Kane, who takes the place of a quiet Gareth Bale. Meanwhile Steven Berghuis pulls one back for Feyenoord on 53 minutes; it’s Feyenoord 1-2 Wolfsberger.

7.08pm GMT

Elsewhere ... Florian Grillitsch puts Hoffenheim 2-0 up at Gent, while Red Star go 3-1 up on Liberec, Milan Gajic with a 50th minute goal. And in France, Kristoffer Ajer is indeed unable to continue. He trudges off grimly, almost certainly out of the Scottish Cup semi-final with Aberdeen at the weekend. Nir Bitton returns in his stead. Not a bad replacement, huh.

7.05pm GMT

A simple scoop down the middle of the park exposes the Leicester defence and springs Muamer Tankovic clear. He strides into the box and lashes past Kasper Schmeichel. Game on.

7.04pm GMT

Jose Mourinho isn’t the sort of guy who’ll die wondering. Incensed with his Spurs team’s insipid first-half performance, he’s made four half-time changes, bringing on Son Heung-min, Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg for Vinicius, Alli, Bergiwjn and Lo Celso.

7.02pm GMT

Lille have started the second half pushing Celtic back a bit. A couple of loose clearances giving the hosts hope. But they’re not capitalising, the final ball lacking. Another slight worry here: Kristoffer Ajer has gone down holding his groin, and by the looks of it won’t be able to continue.

7.00pm GMT

Arsenal: Runarsson, Cedric, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Elneny, Xhaka, Nelson, Nketiah, Pepe.
Subs: Leno, Bellerin, Tierney, Gabriel, Saka, Ceballos, Lacazette, Willian, Aubameyang, Thomas, Hein, Balogun.

Dundalk: Rogers, Gartland, Boyle, Daniel Cleary, Mountney, Murray, Shields, McEleney, Dummigan, Hoban, Duffy.
Subs: Corcoran, Gannon, Hoare, Flores, Sloggett, Leahy, Oduwa, McCarey, Colovic, Kelly, McMillan.

6.57pm GMT

The second halves of the 5.55pm kick-offs are starting all over Europe. Meanwhile team news for the 8pm matches trickles through ...

6.48pm GMT

Half-time entertainment. For your listening pleasure.

Related: Saint Marcus and the 'real' Ole Gunnar Solskjær? – Football Weekly Extra

6.44pm GMT

6.41pm GMT

Jan Matousek halves the deficit in the Marakana. It’s Red Star Belgrade 2-1 Liberec after 41 minutes.

6.39pm GMT

Leicester double their lead at a corner. James Maddison swings the set piece long from the right. The ball drops to the unmarked Hamza Choudhury, who takes a touch and lashes home from an angle on the left!

Related: A Premier League Likable XI - and the perfect manager to lead them

6.37pm GMT

Scott Bain saves the penalty and gets Shane Duffy out of jail! Jonathan David gets up and takes the penalty himself. He sends it low and hard to the right ... but Bain sticks out a boot to deny the Lille striker. It’s still Lille 0-2 Celtic!

6.36pm GMT

Tottenham haven’t responded to falling behind at all. A half-hearted run by Gareth Bale down the left leads to nought. Meanwhile in France, it’s a penalty to Lille, the increasingly hapless Shane Duffy needlessly clipping the heel of Jonathan David, who was going nowhere, meandering near the right-hand corner of the box. Oh Shane!

6.33pm GMT

Admin update! Ben has scored his second for Red Star on 24 minutes: it’s Red Star Belgrade 2-0 Liberec. Marko Raguz make it LASK 3-1 Ludogorets on 34 minutes. And Ishak Belfodil opens the scoring for Hoffenheim in Gent with a 36-minute penalty.

6.31pm GMT

A second for Mohamed Elyounoussi in short order! Good work by Jeremie Frimpong down the inside right. He reaches the corner of the box and cuts across to Elyounoussi, who swivels 15 yards from goal and threads a shot into the bottom left! Celtic have been extremely dangerous going forward since the get-go, and this is their reward.

6.28pm GMT

Ben Davies is robbed by Dieumerci Mbokani, fannying about near the halfway line. Spurs are left short at the back. It’s two on one. Mbokani romps down the right and hooks into the middle for Lior Refaelov. He’s alone, and able to slam past Hugo Lloris into the bottom left.

6.26pm GMT

In the other Group H game, Brahim Diaz has given AC Milan the lead against Sparta Prague on 24 minutes.

6.25pm GMT

This is sensational! A couple of minutes ago, Mohamed Elyounoussi lifted a gilt-edged chance over the bar from six yards. No matter! Celtic quickly come again at their hosts. Elyounoussi drifts in from the left. He’s got options either side, but opens his body and curls a peach into the top right from 25 yards. Mike Maignan in the Lille goal stands stock still in admiration. That’s as good a finish as we’ll see in Europe all week.

6.22pm GMT

A half-chance for Tottenham in Antwerp, with Carlos Vinícius momentarily clear down the inside-right channel. But hesitation proves fatal to his hopes, and possession is lost without the dice having been rolled. Meanwhile here’s Michael Gibbons with some more Uefa Cup memories: “As Napoli are playing tonight, and it’s Maradona’s 60th tomorrow, can we have a polite smattering of applause for how they landed the Uefa Cup in tandem in 1989? It’s still Napoli’s only European title but, amid World Cups and Scudettos, seems to have been marginalised in the Maradona story and reduced mostly to that Live is Life warm-up in Munich. Back then the competition housed the calibre of teams that occupy the Champions League today, and Napoli sorted out Juventus and Bayern on their way to beating Stuttgart in the final. It’s a victory that deserves way more credit than it gets.”

Related: Diego Maradona at 60: six of his greatest goals for Napoli

6.19pm GMT

Not a great deal going on in the Spurs match. Anyone who tuned into the Burnley game on Monday night won’t be super-surprised at this news.

6.18pm GMT

Albian Ajeti puts the ball into the net for Celtic, slotting efficiently into the bottom right after being sprung down the inside-left channel by Mohamed Elyounoussi. But the flag goes up for offside, correctly so. The game remains goalless.

6.16pm GMT

AEK keeper Panagiotis Tsintotas brings down Jamie Vardy. Leicester’s top scorer picks himself up, dusts himself down, gets his gameface on, and lashes an unstoppable kick into the left-hand side of the net.

6.14pm GMT

The goals keep coming in Austria. Andreas Gruber made it 2-0 for LASK on 11 minutes, but Elvis Manu halved the deficit for Ludogorets four minutes later. Meanwhile it’s now two penalties for Wolfsberger’s Michael Liendl. The second, on 13 minutes, has put his side 2-0 up at Feyenoord.

6.12pm GMT

Shane Duffy hasn’t been enjoying the start to his Celtic career. He’s been trying a wee bit too hard, and he’s at it once again here, sliding in hysterically on Jonathan Bamba. He goes in the book, and it’s a free kick in a very dangerous position for Lille. Yusuf Yazici takes, and nearly finds the top right. Bain again to the rescue, and nothing comes of the corner.

6.10pm GMT

So much for Celtic’s confident start. Lille have started to push them back, and after a penalty-box scramble, Boubakary Soumaré drove goalwards, only to be denied by the strong arm of Scott Bain. That’s a fine save.

6.08pm GMT

Ben has put 1991 European champions Red Star Belgrade ahead at home to 2002 Uefa Cup quarter-finalists Liberec. Crvena zvezda 1-0 Liberec (Ben 7). And another goal in Ukraine: Zorya 0-2 Braga (Nicolas Gaitan 11).

6.04pm GMT

A couple of other early goals. A fourth-minute Michael Liendl penalty gives Wolfsberger a quick-smart advantage at De Kuip. Feyenoord 0-1 Wolfsberger (Liendl 4 pen). And Braga striker Paulinho has given his team the early lead in Lugansk. Zorya 0-1 Braga (Paulinho 3)

6.00pm GMT

And we’re off! Celtic start in a very progressive manner, coming at Lille with a confidence and swagger that belies their recent form. Meanwhile in Tottenham’s group, Husein Balic has given LASK an early lead over Ludogorets. LASK 1-0 Ludogorets (Balic 2)

5.55pm GMT

While we wait for kick-off, how about a quick historical trawl through this grand old competition, in all its guises? Here’s an article I can’t remember writing.

Related: The Joy of Six: Oft-forgotten Fairs and Uefa Cup classics | Scott Murray

5.52pm GMT

Right-o. Teams around Europe are taking to the pitch ahead of Matchday 2’s first wave of hot Europa League action. Buckle yourself in, we’ll be off in a couple of minutes.

5.10pm GMT

Antwerp: Butez, Seck, Gelin, De Laet, Miyoshi, Gerkens, Haroun, Hongla, Juklerod, Mbokani, Refaelov.
Subs: Beiranvand, Birger Verstraete, Boya, Benavente, Opoku Ampomah, Buta.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Aurier, Sanchez, Davies, Reguilon, Lo Celso, Winks, Bale, Alli, Bergwijn, Vinicius.
Subs: Doherty, Alderweireld, Hojbjerg, Son, Kane, Lamela, Hart, Sissoko, Lucas Moura, Clarke, White, Cirkin.

5.08pm GMT

Lille: Maignan, Celik, Botman, Soumaoro, Bradaric, Ikone, Soumare, Andre, Bamba, Yazici, David.
Subs: Karnezis, Djalo, Fonte, Xeka, Luiz Araujo, Yilmaz, Sanches, Lihadji, Weah, Pied, Mandava, Chevalier.

Celtic: Bain, Frimpong, Duffy, Ajer, Laxalt, Brown, McGregor, Christie, Ntcham, Elyounoussi, Ajeti.
Subs: Barkas, Taylor, Bitton, Griffiths, Klimala, Soro, Turnbull, Rogic, Edouard, Henderson, Welsh, Dembele.

5.02pm GMT

AEK Athens: Tsintotas, Bakakis, Svarnas, Nedelcearu, Insua, Shakhov, Krsticic, Livaja, Mandalos, Helder Lopes, Ansarifard.
Subs: Laci, Tankovic, Oliveira, Hnid, Athanasiadis, Mitaj, Sabanadzovic, Christopoulos, Macheras, Botos, Vasilantonopoulos, Theocharis.

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Fofana, Morgan, Fuchs, Under, Choudhury, Tielemans, Justin, Albrighton, Maddison, Vardy.
Subs: Ward, Iheanacho, Barnes, Perez, Mendy, Praet, Thomas, Jakupovic.

3.13pm GMT

Welcome to our coverage of Matchday 2 of the 2020-21 Europa League. The usual slew of matches coming your way. Here are the 5.55pm GMT kick offs:

Continue reading...

Jose fumes: That's why I don't play them

Sky Sports - tor, 29/10/2020 - 22:30
Jose Mourinho ripped into his Tottenham fringe players for not taking their chance in Antwerp, saying he now has "easy choices" when selecting his first team.

Antwerp tame Tottenham in Europa League thanks to Lior Refaelov's goal

Guardian - tor, 29/10/2020 - 21:09

In the midst of another suffocating week with three games on the agenda, Tottenham hoped the trip to Antwerp would demonstrate the effectiveness of their squad depth they are counting on to define their season. Instead, they finished with the worst possible outcome. Key players were brought off the bench to rescue the game yet they were still outplayed by Antwerp, who moved top of Group J with their win.

Before the match, José Mourinho spoke expansively about the number of options at his disposal in most positions, talent so plentiful that he says it “hurts” to leave out quality players. He made nine changes from Monday’s win at Burnley.

Related: Eddie Nketiah spearheads Arsenal's three-goal burst in victory over Dundalk

Related: Leicester make light of absentees and ease to clinical win over AEK Athens

Continue reading...

Spurs lose in Antwerp as fringe players falter

Sky Sports - tor, 29/10/2020 - 21:00
Tottenham's bright start to the season suffered a bump in the road as they were beaten 1-0 by Royal Antwerp in the Europa League.

Defoe: My top five goals and why

Sky Sports - tor, 29/10/2020 - 08:00
Jermain Defoe has made a living of being in the right place at the right time…

José Mourinho to let Gareth Bale 'fly' as Tottenham visit Royal Antwerp

Guardian - ons, 28/10/2020 - 22:25
  • Spurs manager feels Bale is almost back to his best
  • ‘His behaviour as a team guy is incredible’

José Mourinho believes Gareth Bale “is arriving” at his best and it is only a matter of time before he performs at a high level for Tottenham. Bale will start the Europa League game at Royal Antwerp on Thursday as Mourinho rests players.

“We all have not just the feeling but also the data that Bale is arriving,” the Tottenham manager said. “He’s working very hard. He’s been quite a great example for everybody. A big guy like him travelled to Burnley, stayed on the bench for 90 minutes, didn’t play one minute. His behaviour as a team guy is incredible. His behaviour as a Tottenham man is remarkable and he is coming.

Related: EFL's Rick Parry says football being 'ignored or victimised' by government

Continue reading...

Jose: 'Remarkable' Bale arriving at his best form

Sky Sports - ons, 28/10/2020 - 20:30
Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho says Gareth Bale is "arriving" at his best form and hopes the forward will "fly" when he plays against Royal Antwerp in Thursday night's Europa League group game.

Antwerp vs Tottenham preview

Sky Sports - ons, 28/10/2020 - 15:00
Team news and stats ahead of Antwerp vs Spurs in the Europa League group stage on Thursday; kick-off 5.55pm.

Crouch: Spurs are PL title contenders

Sky Sports - ons, 28/10/2020 - 10:44
Former Tottenham striker Peter Crouch believes Jose Mourinho's side have "as good a chance as anyone" of winning the Premier League this season.
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