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UCL: Madrid begin title defence with 3-0 away win as Mbappe, Haaland shine

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Defending champions Real Madrid got off to a blistering start in their bid to successfully defend the UEFA Champions League title they won last season.

Despite starting a bit slow in their group opener away to Celtic on Tuesday night, Los Blancos romped to a 3-0 victory to show their intent of extending their dominance in the European Cup competition.

Though the Scottish champions were able to hold Carlo Ancelotti’s men to a 0-0 scoreline in the first half, the second half was all different as they crumbled like a pack of cards after their initial resolute display.

Vinicius Junior who scored the all-important goal that gave Real Madrid the title ahead of Liverpool last season got the opening goal against Celtic

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The Brazilian found the back of the net in the 56th minute. This is the first time Vinicius has scored in four consecutive games for Real Madrid.

Los Blancos didn’t have to wait for too long before Luka Modric doubled the advantage for the visitors at the hour mark.

The 36-year-old Croat with Tuesday’s goal is the third oldest Champions League goal scorer for Real Madrid behind the duo of 38-year-old Ferenc Puskás and 37-year-old Alfredo Di Stefano.

Real Madrid completed the rout with a 77th-minute goal from a revitalised Eden Hazard as they start on the front foot in Group F.

While Real Madrid were fantastic in their group opener, Manchester City were even more ruthless in their away tie at Sevilla as they thumped the Spanish side 4-0.
Erling Haaland was once again colossal for the Cityzens; scoring two of the goals while the duo of Phil Foden and Reuben Diaz were also on hand to supply a goal each.

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Elsewhere, Paris Saint-Germain were able to fend off a second-half fightback from Juventus to win their opening Champions League game 2-1 thanks to Kylian Mbappe’s brace.

Juve were clearly overshadowed by their hosts at the Parc des Princes in the first half, with Mbappe volleying home twice inside the first 22 minutes.
However, a defensive mistake from Christophe Galtier’s side allowed Weston McKennie to give Juve a lifeline eight minutes into the second half.

Dusan Vlahovic and Manuel Locatelli both came close to restoring parity, PSG had enough to see out a first competitive win over Juve.

There were also opening day victories for Borussia Dortmund and Benfica who recorded 3-0 and 2-0 wins respectively over FC Copenhagen and Macabi Hafia.

The only game which ended in a stalemate on Tuesday was between RB Salzburg and AC Milan as the final score stood at 1-1.

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The remaining matchday one fixtures will be completed on Wednesday.

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Olise’s late strike gets Palace point against United

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Michael Olise has helped Crystal Palace get a point against Manchester United in their 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park Stadium on Wednesday night.

The midfielder’s late strike in extra-time, 91′, levelled the game against United, who had controlled the lead since the 43rd minute of the first half after Bruno Fernandes’ fine finish put the Red Devils ahead just before the break.

A relentless Olise scored from a free kick with a left-footed shot to the top right corner. The equalising goal saw United’s dream of replacing defending EPL champions City in the second place on the league table, fade away, as they remain third with 39 points, having played a game more than City.

Crystal Palace remains in 12th place with 23 points.

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Atletico Madrid head coach speaks on leaving Atletico Madrid

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Atletico Madrid head coach, Diego Simeone, has insisted that nobody has personally told him to leave the club.

Rumours have persisted that Simeone, 52, could be set to end this 11-year stay at Atletico Madrid at the end of the season.

However, the Argentine has now stated that no one at the club has asked him to quit the La Liga giants.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Copa del Rey tie with Levante on Wednesday night, Simeone said when asked about reports suggesting he would leave the club at the end of the season: “No one has personally asked me to leave.”

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However, having already been eliminated from UEFA Champions League and sitting 13 points behind leaders Barcelona in the La Liga table, the Copa del Rey is Atletico Madrid’s last realistic opportunity for a trophy this season.

It has been a disappointing campaign for Simeone’s side, as they sit fourth in the league.

Simeone added, “The boys are enthusiastic to reverse this situation that we have experienced since the break and prior to the World Cup. It’s been a regular to a bad season. For me, there is growth after the break, hopefully, we will continue in that line.”

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EPL: Frank Lampard won’t run away – Shaun Wright-Phillips

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Former Chelsea player, Shaun Wright-Phillips has backed his former teammate, Frank Lampard to stay at Goodison Park and turn things around.

Wright-Phillips said his former team-mate does not run away from challenges such as Everton is facing now but would face them squarely

Lampard is in danger of being sacked any moment from now after yet another defeat on Friday.

Everton crashed out of the FA Cup on Friday after they were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United at Old Trafford

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Frank Lampard has now led Toffees to six defeats in their last seven matches and they have also crashed out of the Carabao Cup and are currently 18th in the Premier League.

“Frank Lampard has always been a player and a person that won’t run away from things not going well,” Wright-Phillips told the BBC.

“He is the type of person to try and solve it or try and make the situation a lot better…”

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