La Liga side Leganes has parted company with Mauricio Pellegrino following a 2-0 loss to Getafe, which continued a winless start to the season.

Los Pepineros have collected just two points from their opening nine games and are currently seven points adrift of 17th-placed Celta Vigo in the league.

The former Southampton, Alaves and Valencia manager was appointed at the start of last season and guided Leganes to survival and a respectable 13th in La Liga.

But results took a turn for the worse at the beginning of this campaign and the club issued a statement on Monday on the Argentine’s future.

"Leganes and Mauricio Pellegrino have decided mutually to go their separate ways," the statement read.

 "The Argentine coach, who last year led the team to secure its status in the top flight, will not be in charge of the team for next week's game against Mallorca.

"Reserve team coach Luis Cembranos and his assistant Carlos Martinez will take charge of the team for the next few training sessions."

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has been unable to make a final decision on a new date for the postponed Clasico clash originally set for October 26 due to new input from LaLiga.

RFEF confirmed the postponement of the match last Friday following political unrest in Catalonia.

Violent scenes have broken out in Barcelona after nine Catalan political leaders received long prison sentences for their roles in the region's 2017 referendum and subsequent declaration of independence last Monday.

A rally in Barcelona has been called by pro-independence politicians for October 26, ultimately resulting in El Clasico's postponement for security reasons.

RFEF left Barca and Madrid to agree a date between themselves and they mutually accepted to reschedule the match for December 18, but that now looks unlikely.

LaLiga is reported to have insisted on the game being played on December 4 and RFEF has passed its comments on to the clubs, who have been given until 20:00CET Tuesday to respond.

RFEF's statement read: "The Competition Committee of the Royal Spanish Football Federation will return to Barcelona and Real Madrid tomorrow [Tuesday] after receiving new statements from the National Professional Football League [LaLiga] on the date of the Clasico [originally] to be played on October 26 and was postponed due to exceptional circumstances.

"The clubs will have a deadline to answer by 20:00 on Tuesday, and the Competition Committee must meet again to assess their responses.

"During the day, the Competition Committee has analysed the proposals of both clubs, which it invited to agree to a day and who have agreed to play the postponed match on December 18.

"It [the Competition Committee] has also analysed the various reports sent by the National Professional Football League during these days.

"In addition, the Committee requested a report from the RFEF Competition Area, which has been sent to them in a timely manner."

Megan Rapinoe, Lucy Bronze and Alex Morgan lead the nominees for the 2019 Ballon d'Or Femenin in the award's second year.

Publication France Football revealed their 20-woman shortlist on Monday, acknowledging the successes of Lyon and United States in particular.

Women's Champions League winners Lyon have six players in the running, including Bronze and 2018 winner Ada Hegerberg, though the latter is not thought to be among the favourites given her World Cup absence.

United States lifted the trophy in France and four of their squad have been nominated, with Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle, Morgan and Rapinoe flying the USA flag.

Rapinoe is regarded by many as the favourite, however, with the Reign FC star inspirational in the World Cup campaign, finishing joint top-scorer on six with Ellen White and Morgan, while she also added three assists.

She won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball in France, before also taking home The Best FIFA Women's Player award, edging out Morgan. Bronze came third.

Full list of nominees:

Lucy Bronze (Lyon), Ellen White (Manchester City), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars), Nilla Fischer (Wolfsburg), Amandine Henry (Lyon), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Dzenifer Marozsan (Lyon), Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg), Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC), Lieke Martens (Barcelona), Sari van Veenendal (Atletico Madrid), Wendie Renard (Lyon), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Marta (Orlando Pride), Ada Hegerberg (Lyon), Kosovare Asllani, Sofia Jakobsson (both CD Tacon/Real Madrid), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns).

Ex-Germany midfielder Steffen Freund believes Joachim Low's side are not capable of winning Euro 2020.

Germany have not won the event since 1996, when they beat the Czech Republic in a Wembley final.

Next year's edition of the tournament will also conclude at Wembley and Germany have a strong recent record, having been finalists in 2008 before finishing third in 2012 and 2016.

But Germany did not make it out of the group stages at last year's FIFA World Cup and Freund said the side's depth is a problem.

"We have no chance of winning the Euro [2020]," Freund told Omnisport, speaking courtesy of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour, driven by the new Nissan Juke.

"You will always have injured players and we need everybody healthy … in the past, World Cup 2002 for example, an easy start [and] so you can get on a run.

"This could be possible because this time, 24 teams will play [at the Euros].

"Of course I hope Germany will be able to win the Euro [2020], but I can't imagine it at the moment."

Freund said that Germany's recent form showed why they are unlikely to seriously contend at Euro 2020, citing the first half of a 3-0 win against Estonia in Tallinn earlier this month as the perfect example.

It took a below-par Germany 51 minutes to open their account in that fixture.

"Looking at the team, there are many talented players new in the team," Freund added.

"There were so many players injured during the last two games – that was not great and you could see in the first half against Estonia, how far away we are from the best in Europe, especially when we are missing key players.

"I'm not even talking about the world's top."

Germany sit second in Group C of Euro 2020 qualifying, with five wins from six matches.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has acknowledged talk Jose Mourinho could replace him at the Santiago Bernabeu bothers him but he has "complete confidence" his team can turn things around.

The Spanish giants have won just four of their last 10 matches in all competitions, with Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Mallorca heaping the pressure on Zidane.

Madrid are also bottom of Group A in the Champions League, following a 3-0 loss at PSG with a 2-2 home draw against Club Brugge last time out.

Speculation that Mourinho could return to the Santiago Bernabeu has raged in recent days and was a hot topic during Madrid's news conference on Monday, just over 24 hours before a crucial Champions League fixture at Galatasaray.

When told defender Sergio Ramos had just defended him in light of the Mourinho talk, Zidane told reporters: "In football, people forget what you've done in the past.

"The important thing is the present…I'm not going to say it doesn't bother me what is being said about other coaches, because it does.

"But what I have to do as a coach is to give everything, get the players to do the same, to give everything – and that's all I can do.

"It's a great game to play in, a great stadium, Champions League…we know what the situation is and we're going to try and win."

Asked if he felt he could lose his job if Madrid are defeated again, Zidane said: "I don't know. You can't ask me that. All I can do is try and be here as long as I can. I want to be here forever."

Zidane added that pressure is part of being at Madrid and that his team are prepared to respond.

"We know what the situation is," he said.

"We started badly in the Champions [League] but we've got a chance tomorrow to prove ourselves and that's what we are going to try and do … I've been here 18 years as a player and a coach.

"I know how things are. Pressure is always with you so we have to go out and prepare well for the game."

Ramos said that the players are only thinking about winning in Istanbul.

"We're not looking at opinions from the outside," he said.

"We are quite calm, inwardly. In the dressing room, we know we need to work. We just need to concentrate on our games and our plans."

Serbia have been ordered to keep supporters out of their next UEFA fixture at home after "racist behaviour" from fans during a September match against Portugal.

UEFA announced the ban on home fans – which is for two matches, with one suspended for a probationary period of 12 months – on Monday.

Portugal beat Serbia 4-2 in Belgrade in a Euro 2020 qualifier in September that was marred by the behaviour of the home supporters.

UEFA charged the Football Association of Serbia with six offences, including racist behaviour, illicit chants, the setting off of fireworks and field invasions by supporters.

There were also two charges for a late kick-off.

A UEFA statement said the organisation's control, ethics and disciplinary body would "order the Football Association of Serbia to play their next two UEFA competition matches as host association behind closed doors, the second of which is suspended during a probationary period of one year, for the racist behaviour of its supporters".

UEFA added: "The Serbian FA is ordered to display a banner with the wording #EqualGame with the UEFA logo on it, in the next UEFA competition match which the association will play as the host".

The Serbian FA was also hit with a €33,250 fine, while Ljubisa Tumbakovic was warned about the late kick-off.

Yeovil Town's abandoned FA Cup tie against Haringey Borough has been rescheduled for Tuesday, October 29.

The original fixture in the fourth qualifying round was called off in the 64th minute on Saturday when Boro players walked off the pitch due to alleged racist abuse.

Cameroonian goalkeeper Douglas Pajetat was allegedly a victim of abuse from some Yeovil supporters.

Omnisport understands he had bottles thrown at him and was spat at, before Boro's coaching staff instigated the walk-off, with the abandonment occurring just after Yeovil had scored the opening goal.

An investigation from the Football Association is ongoing and two arrests have been made in connection with the events.

"The FA Challenge Cup Committee has made the decision for the original fixture to be replayed on Tuesday 29 October at Haringey Borough FC," read the FA's statement on Monday.

If a replay is required, it will take place on Tuesday, November 5.

Buoyed by scoring his first goal of the season on Saturday, Chelsea's Marcos Alonso is full of confidence.

The Spaniard showed off his dead-ball precision at Chelsea's training ground on Monday, scoring in a stunt with goalkeeper Willy Caballero.

Caballero held onto the frame of the goal and stuck his feet around a post to give Alonso a small target to aim at.

The left-footer had no problems, though, producing an excellent strike before embracing his teammate.

Alonso scored his first goal since April in Chelsea's 1-0 Premier League win over Newcastle United on Saturday.

Professional footballers are more than three times likely to die of dementia than those of the general public, new research commissioned by the Football Association [FA] and Professional Footballers' Association [PFA] has showed.

Health records of more than 7,000 footballers in Scotland were compared to those of over 23,000 men who did not play professional football.

Experts from Glasgow University led the study, which the FA said was "one of the most comprehensive studies ever commissioned globally into the long-term health of former professional footballers".

The issue of dementia in football gained prominence after it was claimed in 2014 that former England striker Jeff Astle died due to a brain condition caused by heading footballs. Astle died at the age of 59 in 2002.

In the lengthy findings, an FA statement on the FIELD study revealed that "former professional footballers in this study lived three-and-a-quarter-years longer [than those of the general public] and were less likely to die of many diseases such as heart disease or lung cancer".

"However, they were more likely to die of dementia," the statement continued.

"The research found that the health records of 11 per cent of the former footballers who had passed away stated that they had died from dementia, compared to around three per cent for the socio-demographically matched sample.

"The study showed through statistical analysis on the full data set that the professional footballers in this research were around 3.5 times more likely to die of dementia than the matched population.

"However, overall, this group of former professional footballers did not on average die earlier of dementia than dementia sufferers in the general population. 

"As you would expect, there are many questions relating to this data that do not, at present, have answers.

"For example, The FIELD study was not able to determine what exactly causes the increased rates of dementia.

"The study does not determine whether the cause is due to concussions suffered by the group of professional footballers, or concussion management, or heading of the football, or style of play, or the design and composition of footballs over the years, or personal lifestyle, or some other factor."

The FA added that the findings had already been reviewed, with a host of recommendations offered.

"In order to consider next steps, we constituted an independently chaired Medical & Football Advisory Group which has reviewed the findings," the statement added.

"It recommended that we re-issue both the current FA Concussion Guidelines and best-practice advice for coaching heading, while also asking football to consider further steps to improve head injury management, for example by supporting UEFA’s proposals to introduce concussion substitutes.

"The Medical & Football Advisory Group also concluded that more research is needed into why players had been affected, but that there is not enough evidence at this stage to make other changes to the way the modern-day game is played.

"In addition, the Medical & Football Advisory Group has recommended that the best way we can support the next phase is by convening a specialist Research Taskforce to assimilate the research currently available and set the direction for new research to be commissioned both domestically and globally."

The FA also said they have "written to both FIFA and UEFA to offer our full support on future research in this area" in the bid for answers.

Commenting on the findings, FA chairman Greg Clarke said the study was just the start of the process.

"The whole game must recognise that this is only the start of our understanding and there are many questions that still need to be answered," Clarke said.

"It is important that the global football family now unites to find the answers and provide a greater understanding of this complex issue. The FA is committed to doing all it can to make that happen."

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor added: "These findings are a matter of considerable importance to our members … it is now incumbent on football globally to come together to address this issue in a comprehensive and united manner."

Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has refused to rule out a high-profile return to Bayern Munich.

Dutchman Ten Hag coached Bayern's reserves from 2013 to 2015 before returning to his homeland to join FC Utrecht.

The 49-year-old then moved to Ajax and led the powerhouse to the Eredivisie title last term, as well as the Champions League semi-finals.

Bayern have struggled for consistency in the Bundesliga this season and sit third in the table, just one point above ninth-placed Bayer Leverkusen.

As a result, Bayern coach Niko Kovac's future has been the subject of speculation, and when asked by Kicker if he would be open to going back to the Bundesliga giants, Ten Hag said: "I do not exclude anything."

"But I'm almost 50 and [I am] not a dreamer. It comes - or it does not come."

Asked to comment on his time in Munich, Ten Hag added: "For me, it was about coming to an association like Bayern.

"Pep Guardiola was there, and more importantly, [sporting director] Matthias Sammer with his strategic approach and mentality, which he brings to a club.

"Under Guardiola, Bayern played dominant [football] … everyone on the pitch knew what he had to do."

Despite the big-money departures of Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, Ajax have started the 2019-20 campaign in good fashion, winning eight of a possible 10 Eredivisie matches to top the table, three points ahead of rivals PSV.

Niklas Sule can forget about featuring in Germany's Euro 2020 campaign, according to Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness.

The 24-year-old underwent surgery on Sunday after scans confirmed he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the 2-2 Bundesliga draw with Augsburg.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Bayern's Champions League clash with Olympiacos on Tuesday, Hoeness said: "Sule can forget the Euros. That's all nonsense. He should focus on the next season now."

Hoeness' assessment will come as a blow to national team boss Joachim Low, who has made the former Hoffenheim man a central part of his side over the past few years.

Sule played the full 90 minutes in last week's friendly against Argentina, as well as the Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia.

The centre-back has made 11 appearances in all competitions for Bayern this season.

Marseille head coach Andre Villas-Boas believes Paris Saint-Germain's spending power means they are operating in "another league" from their domestic rivals in France.

The Parisian giants have dominated Ligue 1 since they were taken over by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011, winning six out of a possible eight league titles.

They are also responsible for paying the two biggest transfer fees of all time, shattering the record when they spent €222million to get Neymar from Barcelona in 2017, while Kylian Mbappe cost €135m from Monaco.

Unsurprisingly, they have wasted little time in stamping their authority on the league again this season, racing into a five-point lead at the summit after 10 games.

Marseille travel to Parc des Princes for Le Classique on Sunday but Villas-Boas says the game matters little to him, given their opponents' financial muscle.

"We're going to have a completely different game against a team that, for me, is not part of this championship because of the investments they've made over the years," he told the media after his side's 2-0 win over Strasbourg on Sunday.

"We're going to try to play the game for the game's sake, but it's a game that doesn't mean much to me. PSG-Marseille, or Marseille-PSG, for me, this is an opportunity to try to do something.

"We obviously dream of winning, but it's a team from another league. It was a Classique in the past. But we're going to Paris; we're going to think of a strategy to play. The most important thing is to have possession of the ball there."

Marseille are fourth in Ligue 1, having picked up 16 points from their opening 10 games.

With Zinedine Zidane on thin ice, a familiar face could return to Real Madrid.

Pressure is mounting on Zidane following Madrid's shock LaLiga loss to Real Mallorca on Saturday, a result that means they sit behind Barcelona in the table.

Former Madrid head coach Mourinho could be the answer to their problems…

 

TOP STORY – MADRID REACH OUT TO MOU

Real Madrid have contacted Jose Mourinho as pressure mounts on head coach Zinedine Zidane, according to El Chiringuito.

Zidane – in his second spell in charge after winning three successive Champions League titles prior to leaving ahead of the 2018-19 season – has failed to convince upon his return to the LaLiga giants.

And ex-Manchester United manager Mourinho, who spent three years in the Spanish capital – winning the 2011-12 LaLiga title, is reportedly wanted by Madrid president Florentino Perez.

ROUND-UP

- Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman could move to Barcelona in 2020. After Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) sporting director Nico-Jan Hoogma confirmed Koeman has a specific release clause in his contract built around his former club, Marca has linked the ex-Barca defender to Camp Nou.

Real Madrid are pushing to sign Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Salzburg teenager Erling Haaland, claims El Desmarque. Sancho has been heavily linked to Manchester United.

- Calciomercato says Arsenal are favourites to sign RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano. The 20-year-old was linked to the Gunners before the transfer window closed.

Inter are tracking Atalanta's Swedish teenager Dejan Kulusevski, reports Calciomercato. The 19-year-old is attracting interest during his loan spell at Parma, where he has scored two goals and supplied five assists in Serie A.

- According to SPORT, Barcelona are interested in two Bundesliga players. While Bayer Leverkusen sensation Kai Havertz is coveted, the LaLiga champions are also keeping an eye on Schalke's Amine Harit.

LA Galaxy set up a blockbuster El Trafico derby showdown with rivals Los Angeles FC in the MLS Western Conference semi-finals after edging Minnesota United 2-1.

Second-half goals from Sebastian Lletget and Jonathan dos Santos saw the Galaxy past hosts Minnesota in the first round of the play-offs on Sunday.

After a scoreless first half at Allianz Field, Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Galaxy broke the deadlock via Lletget – who bounced on a deflected shot by the former Manchester United striker with 19 minutes remaining.

Dos Santos doubled the lead four minutes later with a curling effort beyond Minnesota goalkeeper and ex-Arsenal shot-stopper Vito Mannone.

Jan Gregus scored a late goal for Minnesota, but the Galaxy were not to be denied as they look ahead to a mouth-watering clash against Supporters' Shield champions LAFC.

In Sunday's other play-off match, Philadelphia Union prevailed 4-3 against New York Red Bulls after extra time in an historic victory.

The Union overcame the Red Bulls in a thriller for their first play-off victory, having lost their four previous post-season matches.

Philadelphia trailed 2-0 and 3-1 but rallied on both occasions to force extra time as Marco Fabian's 106th-minute goal sent the Union through to the next round.

Next up for the Union are defending champions Atlanta United in the Eastern Conference semis.

Cavalier handed promoted Molynes United their first loss of the season with a 3-1 drubbing in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) at Waterhouse Stadium on Sunday.

The RSPL newcomers have enjoyed a rosy start to life in the top flight, winning their first six games of the season before drawing with Harbour View last weekend.  Cavalier were determined to ensure that they did mount a quick recovery and dominated throughout the encounter.

Chevonne Marsh gave the visitors an early lead in the 22nd minute and with the match heading towards halftime, Keithy Simpson doubled that advantage with his goal in the 42nd minute.  The game seemed to be well and truly over by the time Nicholas Hamilton added a third goal in the 82nd minute but Anthony Greenland got a consolation goal for the hosts in stoppage time.

 Elsewhere, league leaders Waterhouse failed to take advantage of the Molynes United slip-up as they were themselves hammered 3-1 by Mount Pleasant.  Jourdaine Fletcher put the hosts in the lead in the 40th minute, with Francios Swaby doubling that lead just five minutes later.  Andre Fletcher, however, made things interesting when he found the back of the net in the 81st minute, setting up the potential of a grandstand finish.  The two-goal advantage was restored when Kesslon Hall struck in time added on.

Tivoli Gardens left things late but still grabbed all three points when Davian Garrison found the back of the net in the 82nd minute.  In other matches, Humble Lions and Harbour View played to a 0-0 draw at Effortville, while UWI and Vere United played to a 1-1 draw at UWI bowl.

 

 

 

 

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