Miedema fires Arsenal to victory as Bayern beat Barcelona in Women's Champions League

By Sports Desk December 07, 2022

Arsenal moved closer to the Women's Champions League quarter-finals after edging Juventus in north London, while Bayern Munich trumped Barcelona in impressive fashion.

The Women's Super League outfit preserved their unbeaten record in Group C through Vivianne Miedema's lone finish, to take a 1-0 win over the Italian giants and cement their hold on the pool.

Defeat for Joe Montemurro's side means reigning champions Lyon have vaulted them into second place after another comfortably victory over Zurich.

Melvine Malard's double was sandwiched by goals for Lindsey Horan and Delphine Cascarino in a 4-0 win, to inject further life into a campaign that saw them go winless over their first two matches.

Last season's beaten finalists Barca were meanwhile handed a first loss of the tournament, as Bayern claimed revenge for their prior loss with a 3-1 triumph.

Both sides now sit atop Group D with nine points, three ahead of third-placed Benfica, who kept pace with a 3-1 win of their own over Rosengard.

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  • Salah 'suffering' after Liverpool's dominant front three disbanded – Klopp Salah 'suffering' after Liverpool's dominant front three disbanded – Klopp

    Mohamed Salah is "suffering" after seeing Liverpool's "well-drilled machine" frontline disbanded this season, according to Jurgen Klopp.

    Sadio Mane left for Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich prior to this term, while Roberto Firmino has seen his role diminished after the arrival of Darwin Nunez and more recently Cody Gakpo.

    Egypt international Salah remains the constant in Klopp's front three, though he has struggled in front of goal this campaign – converting just 11.7 per cent of his chances for seven Premier League goals.

    That mark may seem poor for the three-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, whose previous lowest conversion rate for Liverpool was 14.4 per cent when he scored 19 in the 2019-20 campaign.

    "Of course he is suffering," said Klopp ahead of Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round clash with in-form Brighton and Hove Albion. "It is specific, offensive play that requires a lot of work and a lot of information."

    Salah, Firmino and Mane fired Liverpool to a Champions League crown and the Premier League title, though that front three are now a distant memory at Anfield.

    "It was a well-drilled machine the front three, everything was clear what we were doing," the German added.

    "You create a feeling about a lot of these things, about where your team-mate is and where to pass the ball without looking."

    Gakpo and Nunez are among the new faces tasked with reinventing Liverpool's attacking fortunes but Klopp acknowledged it will take time for his side to adapt.

    "Now we have Cody as a really important asset, like a connector, he can play the wing and the centre as well," he added.

    "When Darwin is playing there he is obviously more high up, going in behind. We never played with a nine before, even when Sadio played in the position he was dropping in moments.

    "It is all good if they would all be in and we could build something, but we haven't been able to do that yet."

    Diogo Jota is nearing a return to bolster a Reds attacking line-up in desperate need of some form, yet Klopp believes Liverpool – who are ninth in the league – have greater concerns than a misfiring attack.

    "If you had scored hundreds of goals in the past and now you are not scoring then that is the first thing you would think about but that is not our problem at the moment," he said.

    "But usually you have a real basis to build on and that is what we don't have. The problem is you need time and nobody wants to invest time.

    "I wish everything would be easier again and that already we had qualified for finals at the end of the season. This situation is not perfect but the basis of the last two games is something I like."

  • Rumour Has It: Chelsea to complete deal for Lyon right-back Gusto Rumour Has It: Chelsea to complete deal for Lyon right-back Gusto

    Chelsea's busy January is showing no signs of slowing down, despite landing five players already.

    The Blues, who are 10th in the Premier League, have brought in Mykhaylo Mudryk, Noni Madueke, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana and Benoit Badiashile during this window.

    Chelsea are 10 points behind fourth-placed Manchester United and desperate for a top-four finish to bring Champions League football back to Stamford Bridge.

    And another signing is now imminent.


    TOP STORY –  CHELSEA AGREE DEAL FOR LYON'S GUSTO

    Fabrizio Romano claims Chelsea have agreed to a deal with Lyon to sign right-back Malo Gusto.

    The 19-year-old will fly to London and undergo medical tests on Saturday, with the player to join the Blues in June 2023.

    Lyon will receive €30million plus add-ons and retain the player on loan for the remainder of the season.

    OL head coach Laurent Blanc had said the club's board guaranteed that he would remain with the club this season, with the loan solving that roadblock. 

    ROUND-UP

    Arsenal will make an improved offer for Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo , according to The Telegraph. The Seagulls turned down Arsenal's initial £60m bid for the Ecuadorian, who took to social media to plead with the club to let him go.

    Atletico Madrid are back in for PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe , having been interested in him during the off-season, reports Le Parisien. Kimpembe, who is out of contract in mid-2024, may slip out of favour at PSG with the French champions pushing to sign Inter's Milan Skriniar.

    Real Madrid have ruled out an off-season transfer for West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice , according to The Daily Mail. The report claims Rice has "given his word" to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta that he will join the Gunners next season.

    – Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo has rejected a move to Premier League strugglers Bournemouth despite the club's board travelling to Italy, preferring Milan or Tottenham instead, claims Fabrizio Romano.

    – FootMercato claims PSG are readying a bid for Lyon's 19-year-old winger Rayan Cherki. PSG have previously tabled two bids for him.

    – Lyon are also set to lose 22-year-old Brazilian winger Tete who will join Leicester City until the end of the season, reports The Sun. West Ham, Brentford and Leeds United were also interested in Tete.

  • 'I'm not Harry Potter' – Rashford form 'just confidence' claims modest Ten Hag 'I'm not Harry Potter' – Rashford form 'just confidence' claims modest Ten Hag

    Marcus Rashford's scintillating form comes from "just confidence" and not the influence of Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, who joked: "I'm not Harry Potter".

    The England international scored his 18th goal of the season amid a routine 3-0 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg victory at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.

    Only Erling Haaland (31) has netted more than Rashford among Premier League players in all competitions this term, though Ten Hag says he has had little influence on the United forward's development.

    "I'm not Harry Potter," the Dutchman said ahead of Saturday's fourth-round FA Cup clash at home to Reading.

    "It's just confidence. Every player has to make and get his own confidence.

    "He fought for this, he invested in this. Of course with my coaching staff, we bring in structures, especially in the way of play that gives him routines that he needs to get into the right position.

    "But finally, it's up to him, and when the player has the confidence then I'm convinced, in the way we are working – the way of play is most important but the environment and the culture are also important – then the player can perform at his best.

    "It's obvious that Marcus is in really good form. From day to day, from training to training, from game to game, the routines are coming in."

    Rashford has found the net 10 times after the World Cup, in which England fell to quarter-final elimination against France in Qatar.

    Harry Maguire was another to impress in the Middle East for Gareth Southgate's side, but opportunities remain limited on club duty at Old Trafford.

    A potential move to Unai Emery's Aston Villa was reported for Maguire, who Ten Hag urged to fight for a starting role at United amid competition from Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof. Luke Shaw has also been used at centre-back.

    "No, he's not fifth choice,” he said about Maguire. "But it's up to him.

    "I have to say he's training very well, bringing quality, and that is what I expect from all the players in the squad.

    "He has to fight for his position and things can change, sometimes really quickly. He is making progress."

    An FA Cup clash against Championship side Reading may present Maguire with an opportunity to feature from the start, though Ten Hag refuted claims he does not trust the centre-back in big matches.

    He said: "That's not true. After the World Cup he should have played but then he got ill. I can't do anything about that and he knows that. Then the team comes in a run [of form] and he has to wait for his chance."

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