EPL

Newcastle owners considered Inter and Milan before £305m takeover

By Sports Desk November 12, 2021

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  • Inter 1-0 Barcelona: Calhanoglu strike moves Nerazzurri up to second Inter 1-0 Barcelona: Calhanoglu strike moves Nerazzurri up to second

    A brilliant strike from Hakan Calhanoglu gave Inter a 1-0 Champions League win over Barcelona that moved them into second place in Group C.

    The Nerazzurri had already seen a goal disallowed before Calhanoglu fired past Marc-Andre ter Stegen in first-half added time at San Siro on Tuesday.

    The LaLiga leaders improved in the second period and saw a goal of their own ruled out when Pedri's tap-in was ruled out for an Ansu Fati handball.

    But despite some late pressure and a penalty shout for Barca, under-fire Simone Inzaghi's men held on to earn three points which put them above the Catalan giants.

    Inter thought they had a penalty when Joaquin Correa's flick came off Eric Garcia's arm, but after referee Slavko Vincic took a look at the pitchside monitor, Lautaro Martinez was deemed to be marginally offside in the build-up.

    Correa then had a goal disallowed, showing great composure to take it around Ter Stegen and finish, only to watch the linesman's flag go up before he could celebrate.

    Calhanoglu broke the deadlock for Inter with a superb strike in first-half injury time, taking a touch to control Federico Dimarco's pass before rifling into the bottom-left corner from 25 yards out.

    Ousmane Dembele nearly levelled when his drive from a tight angle came back off the left post as Barcelona pressed after the interval.

    Xavi's men then had a goal chalked off, as Dembele's cross caused havoc in the Inter box before Pedri applied the finish, but only after Andre Onana had tipped the ball onto Fati's hand.

    There were strong claims for a Barcelona penalty in stoppage time when the ball appeared to come off Denzel Dumfries' arm, but no spot-kick was awarded following a VAR check and Inter clung on for three precious points.

  • Galtier: PSG must 'play under pressure' to beat Benfica Galtier: PSG must 'play under pressure' to beat Benfica

    Paris Saint-Germain head coach Christophe Galtier believes his players will have to show they can "play under pressure" if they are to take three points from Wednesday's Champions League meeting with Benfica.

    The fixture sees two sides with 100-per-cent records so far in Group H face off, with PSG top by virtue of scoring more goals than their Portuguese counterparts.

    Both teams also lead their domestic leagues and are yet to lose a game so far this campaign, suggesting the match in Lisbon could be an exciting and tight affair between two sides in excellent form.

    And Galtier acknowledged the challenge that faces his players, telling reporters at Tuesday's pre-match press conference: "What we are going to have to do, to perform well and beat Benfica, is have this ability to play under pressure.

    "This team will come and get us, it's the DNA of the club and their coach. It puts enormous pressure on us. We have to be much more effective on an offensive level.

    "It's a team that has been undefeated since the start of the season. It's very interesting to watch them play, very well organised, with quality. They bhave significant collective strength.

    "I'm not surprised that they're at this level. Today, Benfica can claim to be a favourite of this group."

    Benfica's strong start has been aided by their excellent home form, having won all seven of their games at the Estadio da Luz in all competitions.

    But Galtier is confident his players will be able to cope, adding: "There will be an extraordinary atmosphere. This stadium is growing very strong, but I have players who have a lot of experience, a lot of experience in relation to that.

    "Will we be able to play and play well with public pressure? Will we be able to do it? I think we have the qualities. We can also be very dangerous."

  • Kante fitness more pressing for Potter than new Chelsea contract Kante fitness more pressing for Potter than new Chelsea contract

    N'Golo Kante's fitness is a more pressing issue than whether the Chelsea midfielder needs a contract extension, says Graham Potter.

    The France international, whose current deal runs through the end of this season, has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since August.

    Kante has struggled with a succession of fitness issues since helping to guide his country to success at the World Cup in 2018, though his experience has been invaluable when fit.

    Questions therefore have been asked about his future, but ahead of Chelsea's Champions League clash with Milan on Wednesday, Potter says his main concern is helping the 31-year-old back to full fitness.

    "My focus at the moment is to help him rehabilitate in a good way so that he is available for us and on the pitch," Potter told reporters.

    "When he is on the pitch, he is a huge asset for us. The other thing is between the club and him. My focus is to help him get fit and enjoying his football.

    "There are not many players in world football like N'Golo, so the quicker he is back the better."

    Kante could talk to foreign clubs about a pre-contract agreement from January 1, though it is not yet known whether Chelsea would seek to table a new deal for the former Leicester City man.

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