Flamengo 2-1 River Plate: Gabriel stuns Gallardo's men to snatch Copa Libertadores glory

By Sports Desk November 23, 2019

Flamengo became champions of South America on Saturday as two goals in the last five minutes from Gabriel Barbosa snatched a 2-1 win over River Plate in the Copa Libertadores final.

The one-off match, relocated to Estadio Monumental in Lima due to civil unrest in Santiago, looked set to be settled by a first-half strike from Rafael Santos Borre.

Marcelo Gallardo's men, bidding to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since Boca Juniors in 2001, had the game largely under control until Gabriel levelled in the 89th minute.

The striker then smashed home on the half-volley in the second minute of injury time before being sent off along with Exequiel Palacios in one of the most dramatic finales to the competition's recent history.

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    Robert Lewandowski has his work cut out to match Gerd Muller's Bundesliga goals record but Bayern Munich will do all they can to make it happen, Hansi Flick has said.

    Muller hit 40 goals for Bayern in the 1971-72 season, a mark that is firmly in the sights of Lewandowski after he began the campaign with 22 goals in Bayern's first 17 games.

    Speaking ahead of Bayern's trip to face Schalke on Sunday, in a clash of the top and bottom teams in the German top flight, Flick spoke of how he used to idolise the legendary Muller.

    As leaders Bayern pursue a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title, the prospect of Lewandowski challenging Muller is drawing plenty of attention, and Flick indicated the team would love it to happen.

    "Gerd Muller was my role model," said Flick. "Unfortunately, I've never scored as many goals as he did, I wasn't as lethal, maybe at the beginning in the youth teams.

    "He was a striker who was always ready to accept balls outside the box and you could combine together with him. He was wonderful in front of goal.

    "For Robert to have scored more goals than him in the first half of the season shows his quality and that the team keep supporting him to end up in situations where he can score goals.

    "I think about the 1-0 against Freiburg, which was a genius attacking move via Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller, who immediately passed the ball to him. Their alignment was perfect.

    "We all know, and Robert knows this too, that a lot of things need to be in place to continue like this. We're working on it.

    "We have to support Robert and he is important to the team. He has certain tasks within the team and if he does them well, it is easier for the team to assist him at goalscoring.

    "I would wish he could manage 40 but Gerd Muller is really something special."

    Muller is suffering with Alzheimer's disease and is said to be living in a nursing home.

    "We all know how Gerd Muller is doing, that also makes you sad," Flick said.

    Bayern will face a Schalke team who are showing flickers of life at the foot of the table, and who brought Klaas Jan Huntelaar back to the club this week from Ajax.

    Huntelaar, at the age of 37 and ready to retire at the end of the season, has rejoined Schalke because he could not bear being unable to help them in the battle to avoid relegation.

    He previously had a seven-year spell with the club and, much like Lewandowski, has a proven nose for goal.

    The veteran Dutch striker could have a role to play this weekend, with Schalke coach Christian Gross saying on Friday: "I think that Klaas Jan will be part of the squad against Bayern. He's a good option for the bench."

  • Kevin De Bruyne injured: Liverpool, Man Utd and other games Man City star could miss Kevin De Bruyne injured: Liverpool, Man Utd and other games Man City star could miss

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    That is the predicament facing Pep Guardiola after he confirmed the Belgium international will be out for four to six weeks due to a hamstring injury sustained during the 2-0 midweek win over Aston Villa.

    De Bruyne, the reigning PFA Players' Player of the Year, has been in typically sparkling form for City this term, scoring three times and providing 10 assists in the Premier League.

    Guardiola's men are two points shy of league leaders United with a game in hand and into the last-16 of the Champions League.

    Here, we look at the key games within a battle on all fronts where the EFL Cup finalists will be missing their talisman.

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    De Bruyne would probably have been rested for the weekend clash with League Two Cheltenham Town in any case, although the fifth round on February 10 also looks to be out of the question if City progress. In 16 appearances in the FA Cup, he has five goals and as many assists - claiming one of each in the 6-0 demolition of Watford in the 2019 final

    West Brom (A) - January 26

    City are back in Premier League action against Sam Allardyce's relegation-threatened Baggies next week. De Bruyne has two goals and three assists against the Baggies in the competition but could not manage a goal involvement as Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling failed to convert his late crosses during December's 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium. City have won nine games in a row across all competitions since that setback.

    Sheff Utd (H) - January 30

    Another relegation candidate follows, with bottom club Sheffield United facing a daunting trip to Manchester. De Bruyne created Sergio Aguero's opener before completing the scoring for a 2-0 win in this fixture last season.

    Burnley (A) - February 3

    Perhaps surprisingly, giving City's succession of recent 5-0 wins over Burnley, De Bruyne has never scored against Sean Dyche's men in the Premier League. He does have three assists, including the decisive passes for Riyad Mahrez and Benjamin Mendy to net during the most recent mauling last November.

    Liverpool (A) - February 7

    De Bruyne scored from the penalty spot as City beat the recently crowned champions 4-0 last July, although he missed uncharacteristically from 12 yards in this season's 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium. Even though none of his five Premier League assists against Liverpool have come at Anfield, he will be a huge miss when City chase a first win on the red side of Stanley Park since 2003.

    Tottenham (H) - February 13

    De Bruyne scored in each of his first three Premier League appearances against Spurs and set up both City goals as the sides shared a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Etihad last season. Jose Mourinho's men were the last team to inflict a defeat upon City, 17 games ago.

    Arsenal (A) - February 21

    No Premier League team has conceded more goals to De Bruyne than Arsenal's five. City's number 17 scored twice and dazzled throughout in a 3-0 win at Emirates Stadium last term.

    Borussia Monchengladbach (A) - February 24

    UEFA named De Bruyne their Midfielder of the Season following his performances on City's run to the quarter-finals in 2019-20. Despite his club's patchy record in Europe's top competition, the 29-year-old has seven goals and 15 assists in 37 Champions League appearances for the English side.

    West Ham (H) - February 27

    Rodri converted De Bruyne's corner before the man himself rounded off a 2-0 win over West Ham when the teams met on February 19 last year. It was the last time fans were allowed into the Etihad Stadium.

    Manchester United (H) - March 6

    This could be the biggest Manchester derby for almost a decade given the state of play at the top of the table and must surely be the comeback target for De Bruyne. He opened the scoring in a 2-1 Premier League win at Old Trafford in 2016, a strike that remains his only goal involvement in seven league games against United.

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    The Gunners have said the 28-year-old will "provide competition and support" for Bernd Leno and Runar Alex Runarsson after Matt Macey joined Hibernian.

    Leno has started all 19 Premier League games for the Gunners so far this season after Emiliano Martinez was allowed to leave for Aston Villa at the start of the campaign.

    Runarsson has made four Europa League appearances and another in the EFL Cup.

    Ryan, 28, has been a regular for Brighton, playing 121 Premier League matches in three-and-a-half seasons, but recently lost his place to Spanish goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: "We know Mat very well through his performances with Brighton in recent seasons and he brings additional quality to our squad. 

    "Mat has very good Premier League experience and has played over 100 times in the league, which is something that will benefit us greatly on and off the pitch. 

    "We welcome Mat to Arsenal and look forward to working with him this season."

    The keeper, meanwhile, tweeted to say he was "buzzing" to join the club he supported as a child.

    Ryan, who has 59 caps for Australia, will wear the number 33 jersey after becoming Arsenal's first signing of the January transfer window.

    Technical director Edu added: "Mat is an experienced goalkeeper, a proven talent in the Premier League and has also played many internationals for Australia. 

    "Mat will further strengthen our squad with his experience and knowledge of playing at the highest level.

    "Following Matt Macey’s recent move to Hibernian, Mat will provide very good competition and positive support to all our goalkeepers.

    "We are looking forward to him integrating quickly into the set-up here at Arsenal."

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