Real Madrid responded to their humbling Champions League loss at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain by winning 1-0 against Sevilla thanks to Karim Benzema's second-half header.

Los Blancos had won just two of their first five games in all competitions and the 3-0 defeat in the French capital in midweek had raised further questions about head coach Zinedine Zidane's long-term future.

However, they got back to winning ways in a drab LaLiga contest in Seville as Benzema nodded home the game's only goal in the second half.

Madrid, who moved onto 11 points - level with leaders Athletic Bilbao - also kept their first clean sheet of the campaign as Sevilla failed to register a shot on target across the 90 minutes.

Sevilla came into the weekend top of the table but they struggled to emulate their early-season form in a forgettable first half.

Madrid at least managed to test the opposition's goalkeeper as Eden Hazard and then Dani Carvajal forced Tomas Vaclik into stops.

Hazard, still searching for his first Madrid goal, looked to squeeze an attempt inside the near post but was stopped by the arm of Vaclik, who then used his right foot to thwart Carvajal after the full-back had broken through down the middle of the pitch.

Neither side took control of the game in the early stages of the second half but Madrid made the breakthrough in the 64th minute through Benzema.

Gareth Bale fed Carvajal on the right and his cross from the byline was nodded in by Benzema after he had peeled off Diego Carlos to find space.

Former Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui responded by bringing on ex-Los Blancos striker Javier Hernandez for Sevilla five minutes later but he was unable to find a leveller, with Luuk de Jong heading wide from their only real opening.

Hernandez thought he had scored with three minutes remaining, but he was correctly adjudged offside when turning home a cross, while Bale fired into the side-netting at the other end in stoppage time.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is at the wheel but for how long?

After a blistering start to life at Manchester United, initially as interim manager, the Red Devils have struggled to convince.

United have won two of their opening five games ahead of Sunday's trip to West Ham and Paris could be the location of a possible replacement…

 

TOP STORY – UNITED AND BARCA BATTLE FOR TUCHEL

Manchester United have sounded out Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel, according to Le10 Sport.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed a permanent three-year deal after initially replacing Jose Mourinho in December, but the Red Devils have been far from convincing following a brief upturn in results.

United have reportedly informed Tuchel of their interest, though LaLiga champions Barcelona are also tracking the German as pressure mounts on Ernesto Valverde after Saturday's shock loss at Granada.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to the Sunday Express, Tottenham have identified Leicester City star James Maddison as a potential replacement for soon-to-be free agent Christian Eriksen. Maddison has also been heavily linked to Manchester United.

United, meanwhile, have been told it will take £90million (€101m) to lure Germany star Kai Havertz from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, claims the Express. The 20-year-old is also attracting interest from Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Liverpool. As for United and their hopes of signing RB Salzburg star Erling Haaland, they could be scuppered by agent Mino Raiola. The 19-year-old made headlines with a hat-trick on his Champions League debut. However, United's relationship with Raiola could thwart their plans, writes The Sun.

- The Mirror says Arsenal are keen to re-sign PSV's Donyell Malen, who left the Gunners two years ago. It could cost Arsenal up to £50m (€56m) to bring the 20-year-old back to London. Liverpool are also believed to be interested.

- Marca reports that Real Madrid are keen to sign Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga. The 16-year-old has dazzled in Ligue 1 this season.

Paul Pogba will not be leaving Manchester United even if Real Madrid rekindle their interest when the transfer window reopens, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Pogba was reportedly a top target for Madrid and their French coach Zinedine Zidane prior to the new campaign, but they failed to land the World Cup winner.

Madrid have since made a stumbling start to the new campaign, while president Florentino Perez has hinted they could return for Pogba in January.

The midfielder, who had a difficult relationship with Solskjaer's predecessor as United boss Jose Mourinho, is currently sidelined by injury.

But Solskjaer reiterated Pogba's commitment to Old Trafford, even though the 26-year-old said after the end of the 2018-19 season he wanted a new challenge.

Agent Mino Raiola then indicated he was working on engineering a transfer for Pogba, but Solskjaer is certain United will continue to hold their prized asset.

"I don't listen to the president of Real Madrid," Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Sunday's Premier League trip to West Ham.

"But Paul is working hard here and he is totally committed to Manchester United. We have seen that while he's been injured. He has been working like crazy to get himself fit because he wants to play for us and he wants to help his team-mates.

"I am not worried now and I will never be worried in the future about Paul Pogba staying here. If it all kicks off again with Madrid in January then there will be no worries then either. If we have to live with the speculation again then we will handle it like we did in the summer.

"Paul is going nowhere. He is happy here when he's playing."

Pogba's mentality has occasionally been called into question since he returned to Old Trafford from Juventus in 2016, but Solskjaer has no doubts the midfielder is a good fit for his team.

"You need a big personality to play for Man United,” said Solskjaer, according to British newspapers. "You need a certain kind of confidence and arrogance and you have to be self-assured enough to be yourself in both the good times and the bad times.

"Paul Pogba is all of those things. He is one of our big characters. Paul will walk out onto any pitch and be full of confidence – and that's what I look for and what I demand from all of our players.

"It's not misplaced arrogance with Paul. It's about believing in himself. It's about the respect he has for his team-mates and his opponents."

Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui insists he has no extra motivation to beat Real Madrid, despite his short-lived spell at the Santiago Bernabeu last year.

Lopetegui lasted four and a half months before being axed by Madrid last October following a heavy 5-1 loss to bitter rivals Barcelona.

The 53-year-old took just 14 points from a possible 30 during his time in the Spanish capital but has had far more joy at Sevilla since his appointment in June.

Sevilla are two points better off than Madrid ahead of Sunday's clash at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, but Lopetegui claims he is not out for revenge against his former side.

"There is no room for extra motivation when you coach Sevilla, something I can hopefully do for many years," he said.

"There are three points at stake and that is enough motivation, even if we know the impact of facing Real Madrid.

"I always have a very good memory of all the clubs where I have been, as I stay with the positive.

"I try to be responsible and ambitious, and [Sunday] will be no exception. The central characters are the players, not the coaches."

Sevilla have won three and drawn one of their opening four matches and maintained their momentum with a 3-0 Europa League win at Qarabag on Thursday.

Lopetegui is refusing to look too far ahead, though.

"I do not focus on what I hope or don't hope for, but on the day-to-day and on preparing each game well," he said.

"We look at the very short term. It is the best way of using the energy we have as coaches.

"We know that in front of us there is an extraordinary team, with spectacular talent, that will force us to give our best version.

"I would like to see a Sevilla side that knows how to attack and defend well.

"We want the three points and we will go for the three points."

Under-fire coach Zinedine Zidane insists he has no regrets about returning to Real Madrid and says he is not affected by speculation that Jose Mourinho could replace him.

The Frenchman has struggled to rekindle the magic that saw him win three consecutive Champions League titles between 2016 and 2018 since replacing Santiago Solari in March.

Los Blancos have won just two of their four LaLiga games so far this season and slipped to a humbling 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday.

That defeat has led to fresh questions about his future, with the Madrid board rumoured to be considering swapping Zidane for former boss Mourinho.

However, Zidane says he is unfazed by the speculation and remains focused on preparing his side to face Sevilla in LaLiga on Sunday.

"If I read the press, it says I'm gone," he told a media conference. "I feel strong. I have learned to never back down and to keep working until the very last moment.

"I'm not thinking about leaving. I'm only thinking of winning tomorrow. The difficulties that they speak of on the outside are something we can't control.

"I made the decision to come back because I liked the look of the new project. Now I am here, I will try. We have to be together to achieve our objectives."

Asked about speculation that Mourinho could replace him, Zidane added: "It doesn't bother me to hear about Mourinho; it is what it is. Here, you lose one game and you have to change everything."

Sevilla are top of LaLiga after three wins from their opening four games and Zidane says his players need to continue working hard if they are to return to winning ways.

"We must give everything we can to win the game," he said. "It's a difficult stadium but it's always going to be like that.

"We have to keep working hard, prepare well for games and change things around. That's football. We have a chance to change it round quickly. That's what helps me get through.

"We can't talk about everything that goes on outside the club and respond to all the criticism."

Zinedine Zidane is already under pressure at Real Madrid and his latest move displeased the LaLiga giants' board.

Madrid have made a slow start to the season, winning two of four LaLiga games and suffering a humbling defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

A decision Zidane made after that loss has reportedly upset the leaders at Madrid.

 

TOP STORY – ZIDANE ANGERS REAL MADRID BOARD WITH DECISION

Zidane's decision to give his players a day off on Thursday in the wake of their PSG defeat angered Real Madrid's board, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The latest report just adds to what has been a tough return to the Santiago Bernabeu for Zidane, back at the helm for a second stint.

With plenty of talk around his future, Sport reports it would cost Madrid €80million to sack Zidane, who signed a three-year deal in March.

 

ROUND-UP

- The man Zidane replaced, Santiago Solari, is close to landing a new job. Solari is the favourite to be the first coach of MLS side Inter Miami, according to beIN SPORTS.

- Juventus knew what they needed in the close season. Calciomercato says the Serie A champions prioritised the signing of Matthijs de Ligt for a reported €75m from Ajax over trying to land Joao Felix, who ended up at Atletico Madrid from Benfica.

- Nemanja Matic appears on the way out at Manchester United and Inter have been offered the midfielder, according to Calciomercato. However, the report says Matic is not a priority for Antonio Conte.

- Staying at Old Trafford and Manchester United are holding contract talks with 19-year-old midfielder Angel Gomes, according to the Manchester Evening News. Gomes is in the final year of his current deal and Barcelona are reportedly interested.

- Premier League clubs are on alert with Barcelona wanting to raise funds by selling midfielder Ivan Rakitic and defender Samuel Umtiti, according to the Daily Mail. The LaLiga giants are reportedly looking to raise at least €124m this season.

- AC Milan have held talks about possibly signing 20-year-old San Lorenzo forward Adolfo Gaich, according to Calciomercato. The Serie A side opted not to pursue a deal for the one-time Argentina international in the close season.

Jose Mourinho has refused to declare any interest in a return to Real Madrid out of respect for Zinedine Zidane.

Since replacing Santiago Solari during the second half of last season, Zidane has failed to rekindle the magic that saw him bring three consecutive Champions League titles to the Santiago Bernabeu between 2016 and 2018.

Wednesday's humbling 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in Europe's top competition led to fresh questions about his future, although former Madrid boss Mourinho declined to put himself forward as an alternative during an interview with Deportes Cuatro on Friday.

"There are two types of rumours. One, when one speaks about Zidane, who is one of ours and it hurts us when our teams aren't going well," he said.

"You have to live with it. Zidane is in football all his life and he knows it. The other type of rumour is to put my name in there and I don't like that. There are problems in many places, but another thing is [to have] respect.

"I wouldn't like to return [to Madrid] because they have a manager and I can't coach a team who have a manager.

"You can speak with respect about the club but also about the manager, who isn't just anyone.

"I am out of it. I'm not just blowing smoke. I would like that things turn out well and everything gets fixed."

In fact, Mourinho pointed to the early standings in LaLiga, where Madrid are ahead of champions Barcelona by a point and can overtake leaders Sevilla with victory at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this weekend, to suggest the picture in the Spanish capital is not as gloomy as some make out.

"They're third or fourth, no? Close to being first. It's not bad," he said.

"If you look at if pragmatically, if you focus on the table, they're right there.

"Now, they play Sevilla and if they win, they go ahead of them. Barcelona are behind them and Atletico are a point ahead."

Mourinho suggested he could be ready to take his talents elsewhere when he goes back to work, with a piece of information that is unlikely to go unnoticed in the Bundesliga's upper echelons.

"Now, I am in German classes in case one day I end up there, or so I can speak one day in this language for a Champions League game," he added.

"It will be my sixth language."

Real Madrid can overcome their indifferent start to the season and deliver a major trophy, according to Kaka.

After finishing 19 points behind LaLiga winners Barcelona and being eliminated from the Champions League by Ajax in the round of 16 last season, Madrid have won just two of their opening five competitive matches of 2019-20.

Draws against Real Valladolid and Villarreal in LaLiga and a 3-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League have left coach Zinedine Zidane's position under threat at a club where he won three consecutive European titles in his first spell as coach.

Kaka, who won the LaLiga title with Madrid in 2011-12 and the Copa del Rey a season earlier, noted the expectation around Santiago Bernabeu, telling Omnisport: "For Real Madrid, we always have to win something.

"Of course, this is the pressure for Zidane – he needs to win something. LaLiga or the Champions League. These are the two championships that are the most important for the supporters and the club.

"Of course, he knows that. I think Real Madrid as a very good team, very good players and an unbelievable coach.

"Real Madrid is ready to win something this season again."

Madrid's €100million close-season signing Eden Hazard came in for criticism after a disappointing performance at Parc des Princes, where Zidane substituted him after 70 minutes.

However, Kaka believes the Belgium international will thrive in Spanish football.

"He's very good and playing in Spain gives him a little more space than here in England," Kaka said of Hazard.

"He'll have the chance, when he gets used to playing in Spain, he'll be more comfortable and we will see a lot of magic from Hazard as well."

Speculating on whether Hazard can compete with Lionel Messi for the LaLiga limelight in the way that Cristiano Ronaldo did during his spell at Madrid, Kaka added: "I think we were lucky to watch these two players [Messi and Ronaldo] playing in a battle against each other. It was really, really nice.

"Now, we love to see how Real Madrid are going to handle Barcelona, how Real Madrid can win the league again. And, of course, Hazard will be one of the keys for these chances for Real Madrid.

"If they are going to create this rivalry between Hazard and Messi... we will see."

Alphonse Areola apologised to Real Madrid supporters after a photograph of him smiling with Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting surfaced in the aftermath of his side's 3-0 Champions League defeat.

Areola, who is on loan at Madrid from Ligue 1 champions PSG this season, said comments on the photo that appeared on social networks upset him and the goalkeeper underlined his commitment to Zinedine Zidane's team following Wednesday's defeat.

In an Instagram post on Thursday, Areola explained: "Dear Real Madrid fans, I feel very sad for some comments on a photo that circulated on social networks.

"I want all Madrid fans to know that my heart has been white since I signed for this club and I can't stand the slightest doubt about my motivation, my loyalty and my involvement with Real Madrid, our Madrid.

"Yesterday's defeat has affected me as well as everyone who forms this great family.

"After the game I had a reunion with my former team-mates and friends, who had not given me time to say goodbye. 

"Therefore, I reiterate my apologies to the Madrid fans who have felt offended, it was not my wish and I hope that together we can achieve many successes."

Areola was on the bench for the game as Thibaut Courtois started midweek, while Keylor Navas – who moved in the opposite direction – kept a clean sheet for PSG.

Eden Hazard's performance in Real Madrid's 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain was criticised by former Barcelona and Brazil forward Rivaldo, who said Los Blancos "escaped a historic beating" at Parc des Princes.

Former Chelsea player Hazard mustered a solitary shot off target and a single key pass before Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane replaced him with Lucas Vazquez in the 70th minute, with PSG leading 2-0.

Rivaldo said he was impressed by the French champions but questioned the strength of Zidane's squad after Madrid laboured in the absence of the injured Luka Modric and suspended Sergio Ramos.

"PSG offered an exhibition even without Neymar and Mbappe, their biggest stars," Rivaldo told AS. "Real Madrid escaped a historic beating.

"Eden had a bad debut match in Champions with Real Madrid, but even when you're a great player you need your teammates to help you shine and prove your worth.

"When you don't have enough players to supply replacements with the same quality, then the matter can get ugly. I think Zidane might be forced to go to the January market to recruit one or two great signings for the team.

"I think Zidane has a lot of work ahead to return this team to what it was when he won three consecutive Champions Leagues."

Looking at his former club Barcelona, Rivaldo issued a word of caution to those talking up the potential of 16-year-old playmaker Ansu Fati.

The Guinea-Bissau-born teenager has made three LaLiga appearances for Ernesto Valverde's side this season and was given his Champions League bow in a goalless draw with Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday evening.

Fati played 59 minutes of a cagey match before being replaced by Lionel Messi, but Rivaldo said it is too soon to draw comparisons between the two.

He said: "It would be putting too much pressure on his shoulders. He is still a kid who is not yet even a member of the first team. We will give him time and space to play his football and in the future we will see whether or not he is the new Messi."

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas insisted he took no special satisfaction from helping to pile the pain on his former club Real Madrid in the Champions League.

A lacklustre Madrid were soundly beaten 3-0 at Parc des Princes on Wednesday and have now won just two of their opening five matches in all competitions this term.

Navas, 32, made his second start for PSG after joining the Ligue 1 champions from Madrid in a deadline-day deal that saw Alphonse Areola head in the opposite direction.

Another former Madrid player, Angel Di Maria, scored twice for the hosts before Thomas Meunier added the final blow in second-half stoppage time.

"I am very happy because we won, not because we beat Real Madrid," Navas said.

"My team-mates put in a great effort, gave their best and we won, which is really important for us.

"I have no resentment towards anyone at Real. I just want to enjoy the moment I have here at my new club. Everyone is very motivated and I will defend my new colours as I did with Madrid.

"I want to continue writing my story. The one I lived in Madrid was very beautiful. I want to be happy here, enjoy every moment and for my family to be happy, that is the main thing."

Family, Navas claimed, was the reason he accepted PSG's offer of a four-year contract, and not because he had lost his starting place to Thibaut Courtois.

The Costa Rica international spent five seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, winning the Champions League three times.

"I did not leave Real Madrid because of that," he said, when asked about the rivalry with Courtois.

"I left because my family and I thought this was the best option for us. I was welcomed as if I had been here for a very long time.

"The best I can give is to defend these colours to the death, to work hard and to try to win important games."

Thiago Silva played down suggestions Paris Saint-Germain sent a message to the rest of Europe with their resounding victory over Real Madrid.

Angel Di Maria's double and Thomas Meunier's late goal helped PSG to a 3-0 win against Madrid in their Group A clash in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Thomas Tuchel's PSG produced their performance without stars Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.

But, Silva insisted there was no message sent to rivals in Europe, praising his team for their display and lauding head coach Tuchel.

"This is not a message sent to the other European teams," the defender told RMC Sport.

"But it's true that we have mastered the game well, that we have prepared well, have been effective, strong and what's what you need to do, even in the league.

"You have to play like today, with the character, the personality and in the aggressive state. I have to congratulate the staff who prepared this match. We deserved to win 3-0."

Idrissa Gueye, who arrived at PSG from Everton in July, impressed during the clash at Parc des Princes.

The midfielder was happy to help the Ligue 1 champions to their win, telling RMC Sport: "Today, we played against a big club, it was important to win this game. It was important to start this competition well.

"My instructions? I cannot give the keys of our match, because there will be a return game. We will continue to work and then we'll talk about it again.

"The most important thing is to be on the field and help the team. I try to do the best I can and today it worked."

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel said his team delivered a complete performance in beating Real Madrid 3-0 in their Champions League opener.

PSG, still seeking a first Champions League crown after a series of knockout disappointments, were without strike trio Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe for Wednesday's Group A game in Paris.

But PSG still easily beat a struggling Madrid side thanks to a double from Angel Di Maria and a late strike from Thomas Meunier midweek.

A delighted Tuchel warned PSG's absent stars they will have to learn from the performances of Di Maria, Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia, who started as the front three.

"I'm very happy with the whole team because it was really difficult," Tuchel said to RMC Sport. 

"We had a lot of chances, but there were also some stages for Real where we suffered.

"But we stayed structured, always tight, aggressive and compact. Really, it was a complete performance.

"Mbappe and Neymar saw the match, and they have to do what the others did on their return.

"A problem for the coach? That's good, but we are happy to have such a team, which was not always the case.

"We can make a good team match without our stars, and it's absolutely necessary. 

"I should make tough decisions, but it's good, the competition must be like that in a club like PSG."

Idrissa Gueye thrived in midfield on his first Champions League appearance for PSG since signing from Everton.

The Senegal international added balance to PSG's side, bite in the middle of the park and helped create Di Maria's second strike.

"It's good that he's with us," Tuchel added. "He is very important to us, he has a lot of qualities and he is very humble.

"He is huge. He was there with Marquinhos in the middle, and it was a good partnership. We are happy with their match."

Zinedine Zidane criticised Real Madrid for a lack of intensity during their 3-0 Champions League loss to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Madrid were humbled at the Parc des Princes, where an Angel Di Maria brace and a late Thomas Meunier goal saw the Ligue 1 giants to victory in their Group A opener.

Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema had efforts ruled out for Madrid, who fell to a PSG side that were without Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.

Zidane, whose team failed to record a shot on target, was unhappy with Madrid's intensity in Paris midweek.

"They have surpassed us in everything, especially what bothers me is the intensity," the Madrid head coach told a news conference, via AS.

"At this level, in this competition, it is complicated if you don't enter the field well. They have surpassed us."

Zidane added: "They are good at creating chances. What has worried me is to see my team without the necessary intensity.

"We know that the opponent was going to put a lot of pressure on us. We have almost never entered the game. We had only two chances and made two goals, but the VAR has ruled them out."

Di Maria opened the scoring for PSG when the attacker beat Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois at his near post in the 14th minute.

However, Zidane refused to blame his shot-stopper – later beaten by Di Maria from 20 yards before Meunier's late sealer – following the defeat.

"We are all in the same boat. When we win, we all win. And when we lose, we all lose," he said.

"I don't want to point at anyone. It is everyone's fault when it is lost."

While Madrid failed to have a single shot on target in a Champions League game for the first time since Opta started recording the data in 2003-04, Zidane is unworried about his side's ability to create.

"I didn't like not creating opportunities with the players we have on the field. It is what it is. We have almost never entered the game," he said.

"I am not worried. Normally we have occasions."

Casemiro offered no excuses for Real Madrid's 3-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain, admitting his team were below their best on Wednesday.

A brace from Angel Di Maria and a late Thomas Meunier goal saw PSG to their comfortable victory in the Group A clash at Parc des Princes.

While Madrid had two goals ruled out, they failed to record a single shot on target in a Champions League game for the first time since Opta started collecting the data in 2003-04.

Casemiro said there was still time for Madrid to recover, but the midfielder lamented a below-par performance.

"We have not played well, they [PSG] have had control of the game and we know that it is difficult to play here," he told Movistar.

"They are very strong, they have great players. There are no excuses, we have not played well, but there is still time for many things, to keep working.

"There are many things ahead."

Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema had efforts chalked off for Madrid, who were left bottom of a group that also includes Club Brugge and Galatasaray.

Casemiro felt Zinedine Zidane's side needed to produce close to a perfect display to have any chance, despite the Ligue 1 champions being without Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.

"We always try to be aggressive, but of course when the result is 3-0 we know that things are more noticeable," he said.

"We know that if we don't make an almost perfect match here, you don't win. There's a lot of time to change this."

Madrid get a chance to respond when they make the trip to Sevilla in LaLiga on Sunday.

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