Real Madrid have seemingly set their sights on Eduardo Camavinga, and it may be one of several changes at the LaLiga club.

Camavinga, 17, has been linked to several European giants after impressing for Rennes.

The teenage midfielder is a target for Madrid, who could be set for sweeping changes in the close season.

 

TOP STORY – CAMAVINGA THE PREFERENCE FOR REAL MADRID

Camavinga is the preference for Real Madrid as it is likely to prove tough to land Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, according to Marca.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is also keen to avoid becoming too reliant on Casemiro, the report says.

Camavinga has made 25 Ligue 1 appearances for Rennes this season, including 24 starts.

ROUND-UP

- It may be just one of several changes at Real Madrid. AS reports there must be exits if players are to come in, with James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale, Lucas Vazquez and Mariano Diaz potentially leaving. The futures of Nacho Fernandez, Marcelo, Luka Modric and Brahim Diaz are also uncertain.

- Staying at Real Madrid and AS reports the coronavirus pandemic may impact what the club do with Martin Odegaard. The Norway international was expected to spend another season on loan at Real Sociedad but could return ahead of the next campaign as clubs become stricter with their finances.

- Diego Costa has scored just twice in 19 games for Atletico Madrid this season and could be set for a move. Sport reports Roma are interested in the 31-year-old forward.

- Achraf Hakimi appears likely to return to Real Madrid from his loan at Borussia Dortmund. However, the Mirror reports Chelsea have enquired about the defender.

- After impressing with Wolves in the Premier League, Raul Jimenez is attracting interest. Sport reports the Mexico forward could return to LaLiga, with Real Madrid and former club Atletico Madrid interested.

- Out of contract at the end of the season, Pedro is poised to leave Chelsea. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Lazio are interested in the attacker.

Rumours linking Neymar to Barcelona refuse to subside.

Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222million transfer in 2017, but the Brazilian star wants to move back to Camp Nou.

Barca are desperate to make it happen by any means necessary.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA TO INVOKE CLAUSE IN NEYMAR PURSUIT

Barcelona are plotting an audacious plan to re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain, according to ESPN.

The report says LaLiga champions could invoke a little-known FIFA clause – Article 17 – in order to lure Neymar back to Camp Nou.

Article 17 states that players can leave their contracts "without just cause" once the three-year protection period ends.

 

ROUND-UP

Marc-Andre ter Stegen to leave Barca? The Germany international has been in contract negotiations with the Spanish giants, however, Sport says he is being tempted by Bayern Munich.

- Sport also claims that Barca have put Antoine Griezmann on the transfer market. It comes as Barca look to sign Inter's Lautaro Martinez at the end of the season, while keeping costs down amid the coronavirus pandemic. Manchester United, PSG, Chelsea and Arsenal are possible suitors for Griezmann. The same publication reports Barca's stars have agreed to take a pay cut to help the club deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Real Madrid are interested in signing Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, AS reports. Madrid are eyeing a striker with Karim Benzema ageing and big-money recruit Luka Jovic so far failing to convince Zinedine Zidane. Mexico international Jimenez previously spent a year at Atletico Madrid in 2014-15.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Arsenal and Tottenham are set to rival Serie A side Lazio for Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren.

- With Lovren set to leave, AS suggests Liverpool have lined up three possible replacements – RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano, Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez and Inter's Alessandro Bastoni.

- Calciomercato says Mauro Icardi – on loan at PSG from Inter – wants to return to Italy at the end of the season amid strong links to Juventus. The Argentina striker is also open to joining Madrid.

Inter are working on a renewal to tie down star midfielder Marcelo Brozovic, reports Tuttosport. The Croatia international is contracted until 2022.

Juve, United and Barca are all tracking PSG's highly rated 17-year-old Edouard Michut, according to Calciomercato.

With the coronavirus pandemic having largely brought sport to a halt, many in the industry have a little extra time on their hands.

For footballers in Europe's top-five leagues - all of which have been postponed until at least early April - this is a good moment to look back on the season to date, assess what has gone right and wrong, and maybe put in a few hours on the treadmill at home.

There are some who have a little more to ponder than others.

Using Opta data, we've taken a look at some of the worst-performing players in their respective positions. Here, we examine those all-important personal-glory-hunters: the goalscorers.

We've analysed six key metrics when it comes to underperforming as a forward: shots off target, shooting accuracy, shot conversion rate, headed shots off target, big chance conversion rate and minutes per goal.

To make things more balanced, we've imposed some cut-off points, which are shown in the results below. These players have also been picked from those to make at least 10 league appearances this season, to make things a little fairer on those trying to mark a rare outing with a goal (here's looking at you, Phil Jones).

THE WORST ATTACKING STATS IN EUROPE'S TOP-FIVE LEAGUES 2019-20

BUNDESLIGA:

Most shots off target (Min. 30 shots): Robert Lewandowski (37)
Worst shooting accuracy (Min. 30 shots): Guido Burgstaller (32.14 per cent)
Worst shot conversion rate (Min. one goal scored): Matheus Cunha (7.14 per cent)
Most headed shots off target (Min. 5 shots): Wout Weghorst (16)
Worst big chance conversion rate (Min. 5 big chances): Guido Bergstaller (0 per cent, from 5)
Most minutes per goal: Robert Skov (624.33)

LALIGA:

Most shots off target (Min. 30 shots): Karim Benzema (40)
Worst shooting accuracy (Min. 30 shots): Jonathan Calleri (33.33 per cent)
Worst shot conversion rate (Min. one goal scored): Jonathan Calleri (3.33 per cent)
Most headed shots off target (Min. 5 shots): Joselu (15)
Worst big chance conversion rate (Min. 5 big chances): Sandro Ramirez (0 per cent, from 5)
Most minutes per goal: Jonathan Calleri (1362)

LIGUE 1:

Most shots off target (Min. 30 shots): Victor Osimhen (38)
Worst shooting accuracy (Min. 30 shots): Casimir Ninga (28 per cent)
Worst shot conversion rate (Min. one goal scored): Jonathan Bamba (2.7 per cent)
Most headed shots off target (Min. 5 shots): Victor Osimhen (14)
Worst big chance conversion rate (Min. 5 big chances): Kalifa Coulibaly (0 per cent, from 9)
Most minutes per goal: Jonathan Bamba (1941)

PREMIER LEAGUE:

Most shots off target (Min. 30 shots): Raul Jimenez (40)
Worst shooting accuracy (Min. 30 shots): Joelinton (36.36 per cent)
Worst shot conversion rate (Min. one goal scored): Joelinton (3.03 per cent)
Most headed shots off target (Min. 5 shots): Sebastien Haller (14)
Worst big chance conversion rate (Min. 5 big chances): David McGoldrick (0 per cent, from 15)
Most minutes per goal: Joelinton (2237)

SERIE A:

Most shots off target (Min. 30 shots): Cristiano Ronaldo (40)
Worst shooting accuracy (Min. 30 shots): Dries Mertens (33.33 per cent)
Worst shot conversion rate (Min. one goal scored): Suso (4.35 per cent)
Most headed shots off target (Min. 5 shots): Edin Dzeko (19)
Worst big chance conversion rate (Min. 5 big chances): Dries Mertens (16.67 per cent, from 6)
Most minutes per goal: Suso (1361)

AND THE TOP SIX:

Most shots off target (Min. 30 shots): Raul Jimenez (40)
Worst shooting accuracy (Min. 30 shots): Casimir Ninga (28 per cent)
Worst shot conversion rate (Min. one goal scored): Jonathan Bamba (2.7 per cent)
Most headed shots off target (Min. 5 shots): Edin Dzeko (19)
Worst big chance conversion rate (Min. 5 big chances): David McGoldrick (0 per cent, from 15)
Most minutes per goal: Joelinton (2237)

Liverpool moved 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League after Roberto Firmino struck a late winner in a 2-1 defeat of Wolves at Molineux.

The Brazil striker's 10th goal of the season in all competitions six minutes from time was enough to seal a 22nd win from 23 league games this season for Jurgen Klopp's runaway leaders.

There was something of a setback for the visitors, though, who lost Sadio Mane to injury in the first half.

Jurgen Klopp's side had gone 725 minutes without conceding a goal in the top flight, stretching back to the 5-2 win over Everton in December, until Raul Jimenez cancelled out Jordan Henderson's opener.

It looked as though Wolves would be heading for what would have been a deserved point until Firmino fired home from inside the box, as Liverpool stretched their unbeaten league run to 40 matches.

Dreams of Premier League glory began to feel like an inevitability at Anfield as Liverpool beat Manchester United on a weekend that saw Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester City drop points.

Jurgen Klopp's side dispatched their old rivals with goals from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, leaving Reds supporters full of confidence after Burnley came from behind to beat third-placed Leicester 2-1 at Turf Moor.

There was a surprise result at St. James' Park on Saturday, Frank Lampard's Chelsea dominating for long periods against Newcastle United but succumbing to a late Isaac Hayden goal in a 1-0 defeat.

There were late goals at the Etihad Stadium, where Sergio Aguero thought he had won it with a brace, only for Fernandinho to put through his own net in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

The weekend's Opta data offers detailed insights into the stories behind those results, as well as Wolves' dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over Southampton at St. Mary's.

 

ANFIELD FULL OF HOPE AFTER BACK-TO-BACK HOME WINS OVER UNITED

They are no longer saying it quietly: Liverpool fans firmly believe the title is theirs after watching their side beat United on Sunday.

The victory marked the first time Liverpool have claimed consecutive home Premier League wins over the Red Devils since winning three in a row between September 2008 and March 2011 and there was an air of invulnerability around Anfield at the final whistle.

Liverpool have taken 91 points from a possible 93 in their last 31 Premier League matches, winning 30 and drawing just one, while United have now lost nine of their last 16 top-flight away games (W3 D4 L9).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men have failed to score in eight of those games and they gave Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson little to do despite creating a number of goalscoring opportunities.

Alisson kept himself busy by becoming the first Reds keeper to assist a Premier League goal since March 2010, when Pepe Reina laid on a goal against Sunderland.

 

 


LATE HAYDEN WINNER LEAVES LAMPARD'S BLUES REELING

Chelsea have lost as many Premier League games this season as they did in the entirety of 2018-19 after Hayden scored in the 94th minute to snatch victory for Newcastle over Lampard's inconsistent Blues.

Four of Chelsea's eight league defeats this season have come in their last eight matches and supporters making the trip to Tyneside had reason to be fearful of their side coming unstuck.

Chelsea have now lost five of their last seven top-flight trips to St. James' Park but defeats to teams managed by Steve Bruce have been a rare occurrence - this was only the second time he has beaten the Blues in 23 games against them as a manager (D5 L16).

Prior to Hayden's strike, Newcastle had not scored a last-minute winner since Ayoze Perez struck against Tottenham in December 2015.

It was Hayden's third Premier League goal and came in his 70th appearance in the competition, his last coming in February 2019 against Wolves.

 

POROUS CITY PAY FOR ERRORS AT THE BACK

City came from behind to lead with three minutes left in their clash with Palace but conceded at home in the Premier League for the 12th time this season as the Eagles secured a point at the death.

Pep Guardiola's men have now conceded as many goals at home in the league as they did in the whole of last season and this was their third draw of the 2019-20 season - in their title-winning campaign last term they only drew twice.

Aguero's double inside five minutes marked the Argentina international's 250th and 251st goals in all competitions for the club in his 360th appearance, but Fernandinho became the first City player to score a Premier League own-goal since Nicolas Otamendi against Huddersfield Town in November 2017.

The scoring was opened by new signing Cenk Tosun, who netted in the 39th minute to become the fourth Turkish player to reach 10 Premier League goals after Muzzy Izzet, Tuncay Sanli and Tugay.

Palace are ninth in the table after four consecutive draws - the last time they drew as many Premier League games in a row was in 1992-93 when they started the season with the same sequence.

 

WOLVES EMERGING AS COMEBACK SPECIALISTS

When Raul Jimenez scored from the penalty spot at St. Mary's he pulled Wolves level after they had been two goals down, but there was even better to follow for Nuno Espirito Santo's men.

Jimenez scored again in the 76th minute, taking his tally to 19 goals in all competitions this season and clinching three points for Wolves that means they have now picked up 18 from losing positions in the Premier League this season - seven more than any other side.

Falling behind after 15 minutes to a Jan Bednarek goal was nothing new for the visitors, who have conceded first in 16 league games this season including each of their last seven in a row.

But Jimenez has been directly involved in 28 goals this season and after Shane Long netted his 54th Premier League goal to make it 2-0 to the Saints, Pedro Neto scored for the second time in his last three league appearances to tee up the Mexico international for a memorable brace.

Jimenez now has 19 goals and nine assists to his name in all competitions this season, giving him more direct goal involvements than any other top-flight player in 2019-20.

Another day, another Paul Pogba story.

The Manchester United star continues to be linked with a move away from Old Trafford.

Inter have reportedly emerged as a possible destination for Pogba, though United want a player in return…

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT MARTINEZ IN POGBA DEAL

Manchester United want to swap midfielder Paul Pogba for Inter star Lautaro Martinez, according to The Mirror.

Pogba has been linked with a return to Serie A champions Juventus and LaLiga giants Real Madrid as his future dominates headlines.

But a reunion with former Juve boss Antonio Conte at Inter could be in the pipeline. However, the Italian club might have to part with Barcelona target Martinez to prise Pogba to Milan.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Old Trafford and The Mirror also claims United have set their sights on Wolves forward Raul Jimenez after missing out on Erling Haaland, who opted to swap Salzburg for Borussia Dortmund.

- It comes as the Mirror says United are set to offer cash plus Jesse Lingard for Leicester City star James Maddison. The Sun, meanwhile, claims United want Toni Kroos in return if Pogba heads to Madrid.

- According to Sky Sport Italia, Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo is on his way to join Milan, with the LaLiga champions keen to agree a loan deal with a counter-option should they wish to recall him. Meanwhile, the Gazzetta dello Sport says Atalanta want to re-sign Milan centre-back Mattia Caldara.

- The Daily Express reports West Ham have emerged as shock contenders to sign Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly. The star defender has been linked to United and Manchester City.

- Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa has said goodbye to Flamengo supporters via social media, prompting speculation in The Sun that the Inter-owned striker is on his way to either Chelsea or West Ham.

Chris Smalling is keen to secure a permanent deal at Roma and is ready to snub United should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempt to persuade him to return to Old Trafford, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

- The Mirror says Carlo Ancelotti's Everton are eyeing a loan move for Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to rule out a move for Wolves star Raul Jimenez following Saturday's FA Cup encounter.

After Erling Haaland opted to join Borussia Dortmund, United have been linked with Wolves forward Jimenez as they look to bolster their attacking options.

Mexico international Jimenez has scored eight Premier League goals this season and 17 across all competitions for Wolves.

Asked about Jimenez following the goalless draw away to Wolves, Solskjaer told reporters: "Another good player that we're being linked with.

"It's loads of players who are being linked with us. I thought he came on and did really well today. But I can't comment on the speculation."

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo was also quizzed on the rumours and he said: "It's the first-time I heard it. Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] didn’t mention anything about that.

"But the transfer window is open. When it is open, anything can happen. [However] We are delighted to have Raul."

The future of United star Paul Pogba is also dominating headlines, with the January transfer window open.

Sidelined with an ongoing ankle problem, Pogba has been linked to former club Juventus, Inter and LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

However, Solskjaer told the BBC: "You won't see Paul [Pogba] go in January."

Raul Jimenez hopes Wolves can repeat their upset win over Manchester City when they visit Liverpool on Sunday.

Wolves stunned City 3-2 in the Premier League on Friday, denting the champions' title chances while moving up to fifth in the table.

Jimenez, who scored the equaliser as Wolves came from 2-0 down, hopes his team can deliver again when they make the trip to Anfield.

"Why not?" the forward said, via the club's website, about repeating the result.

"It will be a tough game, but we know that."

Trailing 2-0 and playing against 10 men, Wolves scored through Adama Traore before Jimenez's equaliser and Matt Doherty's 89th-minute winner.

Jimenez praised his team, who also recorded a 2-0 win over City in October.

"It's never easy to come back from two goals, especially against a team like Manchester City," he said.

"It's difficult, but with our heart and our football, we knew this was a very good opportunity for us to win this game.

"It wasn't a perfect match, but we played very well against a very good team in Manchester City. It's difficult to win or even draw against them, but we've won both games.

"So, we are very excited, very happy, and we will enjoy this."

Pep Guardiola is adamant Manchester City will not prioritise cup competitions over the Premier League for the rest of the season because he worries about them missing out on European places.

City are 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool thanks to Friday's 3-2 defeat at Wolves, meaning their title defence looks beyond Guardiola's men.

Although Ederson's early red card left City in a precious position at Molineux, they found themselves two to the good just after the interval thanks to a pair of Raheem Sterling goals.

But Adama Traore pulled one back soon after and he then played a vital role in an 82nd-minute equaliser, making the most of Benjamin Mendy's woeful error to set up Raul Jimenez.

The Mexican teed up Matt Doherty late on and he secured the win that leaves City well adrift of Liverpool, who also have a game in hand.

But giving up on the Premier League is a dangerous game Guardiola is unwilling to play.

"We can't give up otherwise we won't be in Europe," Guardiola told reporters.

"I never prioritise competitions. Now we're back at home, playing another game in less than 40 hours [at home to Sheffield United]. We have to prepare, see how they are and how they feel.

"Our response is always good; we are used to being top and now we are fighting."

Friday's result meant Manchester City were unable to move back up to second above Leicester City, who lost 4-0 to Liverpool on Boxing Day.

And Guardiola reiterated that they are now City's target, acknowledging it is not realistic to continue aiming for Liverpool's lofty perch.

"We have to move on," he said. "We played the first season and we were there [near the top] all the time, in some situations we are far away. We have to catch the second one and see where we are.

"It's unrealistic to think about Liverpool, we think about Leicester. We have the chance to recover second, I know the quality of the team, but that's the situation."

Bernardo Silva acknowledged Manchester City's 14-point gap to Premier League leaders Liverpool is a "really bad situation" after Friday's dramatic 3-2 defeat to Wolves.

Liverpool – who have a game in hand on City – thrashed Leicester City 4-0 on Thursday to increase their lead at the top and Pep Guardiola's men were unable to make a dent in that at Molineux.

Despite having Ederson sent off in the 12th minute, City found themselves two up early in the second half thanks to a Raheem Sterling brace.

But Adama Traore inspired Wolves, scoring from 25 yards before setting up Raul Jimenez's equaliser in the 82nd minute – picking the Mexican out after capitalising on a woeful Benjamin Mendy error.

Matt Doherty clinched the win following a clever interchange with Jimenez, and Silva accepts City's position is frustrating.

Speaking on Amazon Prime, he said: "It is a really bad situation for us. A frustrating first half of the season.

"Nobody expected us to be this far away from Liverpool at this halfway point. We have to continue now.

"We know that winning the title is very complicated. I wouldn't say impossible but very difficult."

Guardiola's post-match comments struck a similarly exasperated tone as he practically ruled out a title challenge.

"It's big [the gap behind Liverpool] for a long time now," he said. "It's not realistic to think about it. The same question for a long time, but the same answer."

Manchester City blew a two-goal lead at Wolves as Raul Jimenez and Matt Doherty netted late on at Molineux to secure a thrilling 3-2 home victory, with the 10-man champions' hopes of usurping runaway leaders Liverpool taking another huge blow.

City found themselves with an unlikely 2-0 lead just after half-time thanks to a Raheem Sterling brace, the lead remarkable given the 12th-minute dismissal of Ederson, but Wolves fought back spectacularly in the second half – Adama Traore playing a vital role.

Ederson's early sending off left City in a tricky position, though they initially responded well and went ahead through Sterling – the attacker tapping in a penalty rebound after Rui Patricio had saved two of his spot-kicks, the first ultimately being retaken due to encroachment.

Sterling doubled his tally with a lovely finish early in the second half and it looked as though it would be enough, but the lively Traore pulled one back before then setting up Jimenez in the latter stages following a woeful error from Benjamin Mendy.

There was still time for a stunning winner as Doherty finished off a fine move in style in the 89th minute to clinch the win, leaving City – who hit the crossbar through Sterling in stoppage time – 14 points adrift of Liverpool.

A A gripping first half looked to be going Wolves' way when Ederson was dismissed for catching Diogo Jota after rushing out of his box in the 12th minute, with Sergio Aguero's return from a month-long injury absence ending prematurely as he was hooked for replacement goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

But Riyad Mahrez was tripped by Leander Dendoncker in the opposing penalty area soon after and, following a lengthy VAR review, the spot-kick was given.

Sterling's subsequent effort was stopped by Patricio, only for VAR to penalise Wolves following encroachment from Conor Coady. The retake brought about another save, but this time the England forward converted the rebound.

City managed to reach half-time with their lead intact and Sterling got his second just after the interval, racing on to Kevin De Bruyne's throughball and beating Patricio with a clever chip.

But Sterling gave possession away a few minutes later and Traore capitalised, sending a 25-yard drive crashing in off the left-hand post.

Mendy was the next City player to make a costly error, trying to shepherd the ball out of play only to be out-muscled by Traore, who teed up Jimenez to steer home.

And Doherty completed the turnaround with a left-footed strike from the edge of the box following a clever interchange with Jimenez – Sterling's last-gasp free-kick causing a brief moment of worry as it clipped the bar.

Manchester City blew a two-goal lead at Wolves as Raul Jimenez and Matt Doherty netted late on at Molineux to secure a thrilling 3-2 home victory, with the 10-man champions' hopes of usurping runaway leaders Liverpool taking another huge blow.

City found themselves with an unlikely 2-0 lead just after half-time thanks to a Raheem Sterling brace, the lead remarkable given the 12th-minute dismissal of Ederson, but Wolves fought back spectacularly in the second half – Adama Traore playing a vital role.

Ederson's early sending off left City in a tricky position, though they initially responded well and went ahead through Sterling – the attacker tapping in a penalty rebound after Rui Patricio had saved two of his spot-kicks, the first ultimately being retaken due to encroachment.

Sterling doubled his tally with a lovely finish early in the second half and it looked as though it would be enough, but the lively Traore pulled one back before then setting up Jimenez in the latter stages following a woeful error from Benjamin Mendy.

There was still time for a stunning winner as Doherty finished off a fine move in style in the 89th minute to clinch the win, leaving City – who hit the crossbar through Sterling in stoppage time – 14 points adrift of Liverpool.

Nuno Espirito Santo was proud to deliver a night to remember for Wolves fans after a 3-3 draw in Braga secured a spot in the last 32 of the Europa League.

The Premier League side roared back from a goal down to lead 3-1 by the break in Portugal, with Raul Jimenez, Matt Doherty and Adama Traore on target – the latter two strikes coming 81 seconds apart.

But Braga maintained their grip on top spot in Group K courtesy of second-half goals from Paulinho and Fransergio.

The point ensured Wolves' qualification for the last 32 with a game to spare and Nuno was particularly delighted for the sizeable travelling contingent.

"I'm extremely proud – 6,000 fans here is amazing," he said, in quotes reported by Wolves' official website. "It requires a lot of effort from them, flights and travel, on a night like this, that's what makes us proud.

"The journey we started together, since the Championship. If we can achieve more, we will try. It's the same group of players that started, that are trying to grow, our fans are always with us supporting and that's what makes me happy."

Despite his evident satisfaction at extending Wolves' continental campaign into 2020, Nuno noted areas for improvement after a game the visitors really ought to have won.

"The first half was good. We started bad, we conceded a goal and that can happen, but the reaction was very good," he said.

"We pressed well, we stayed organised and achieved good combinations, so naturally we were finishing goals, the way the team reacted in play was good.

"Second half not so good, not so well organised, allowing passes to Braga that unbalances and conceded in situations that we must improve.

"The season has been long and it was another demanding match. We started very early in the season, however the balance so far has been good. The team is improving, the players are responding.

"We need to keep this momentum because in a couple of days we have a key game against Sheffield United and we want to develop and improve.

"We don't have limits, we always keep going and we're going to the next one."

Wolves were left stunned by Braga's second-half revival as both sides sealed progress to the last 32 of the Europa League following a 3-3 draw.

After storming back from a goal down to lead 3-1 at the interval, Wolves somehow let maximum points and top spot in Group K slip from their grasp in a thriller in the rain in Portugal.

The visitors, unchanged from the 2-1 Premier League win over Bournemouth, fell behind after six minutes when Andre Horta's deflected effort found the back of the net in sodden conditions.

But Raul Jimenez – involved in all three of his side's goals – swiftly levelled matters with his 15th of the season before a quick-fire double from Matt Doherty and Adama Traore put Nuno Espirito Santo's men in the ascendancy.

That was far from the end of the story, though, as Paulinho cut the gap and Fransergio grabbed a late equaliser to keep Braga top. Third-placed Slovan Bratislava's 2-1 defeat at Besiktas spelled the end of road for the Slovakians, with their Turkish opponents already out of the running.

Braga won the reverse fixture with Wolves at Molineux courtesy of Ricardo Horta's goal and it was his brother who put them ahead on Thursday, Andre Horta's low strike taking a telling touch off Ruben Neves to send the ball beyond Rui Patricio.

Wolves, sitting fifth in the English top flight, were quick to respond and Jimenez headed home after Jonny's looping cross had left Eduardo flapping at thin air.

Nuno's side came close to forging ahead midway through the first half, but Traore's teasing ball across the six-yard box was just beyond the reach of Diogo Jota.

Undeterred, Wolves continued to push forward and got their reward with two goals in 81 seconds – Doherty leaping to nod in Jimenez's lofted delivery before Traore coolly slotted in the third.

A smart stop from Eduardo spared Braga further punishment as he parried away Jota's header five minutes into the second half.

The hosts lost a tearful Wallace to injury just before the hour mark but were soon celebrating halving the deficit through Paulinho's close-range finish, after excellent work from Wenderson Galeno.

Despite Wolves still appearing to carry the greater threat, they were rocked by Fransergio's 79th-minute header from Nuno Sequeira's assist as the spoils were shared in an unlikely classic.

Mexico moved into the CONCACAF Nations League semi-finals after a 3-0 win over Panama on Friday.

Raul Jimenez continued his goalscoring form at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez Gutierrez, netting a brace.

Jimenez needed just eight minutes to score in Panama City before wrapping up Mexico's victory from the penalty spot after he had set up Edson Alvarez.

It marked Mexico's third win in as many games in Group B of League A as Gerardo Martino's men joined Honduras in the semi-finals.

Panama almost took a shock lead, Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa making a low save to deny Gabriel Torres after an Alberto Quintero cross from the right.

However, Mexico opened the scoring as they dominated most of the first half.

In a move that started with Ochoa, Roberto Alvarado teed up Jimenez, who side-footed into the bottom corner from inside the area in the eighth minute.

Mexico had chances to double their lead in the opening 20 minutes, Alvarado and Jimenez squandering opportunities, the latter denied by Panama goalkeeper Jose Calderon.

The visitors continued to push for a second and they found it with 20 minutes remaining through Alvarez.

After a set-piece was partly cleared, Jimenez curled in a beautiful cross from the right for Alvarez to tuck in from close range.

Mexico were awarded a late penalty after Anibal Mello brought down substitute Uriel Antuna as the attacker ran onto a long pass.

Jimenez stepped up to convert the penalty, completing his brace and wrapping up a deserved win for Mexico.

 

What does it mean? Semi-final spot booked

Mexico moved into the semi-finals courtesy of their latest win. In a group featuring Panama and Bermuda, there was never any real doubt for Mexico, who will surely be hoping tougher tests await.

Jimenez stays hot

The Wolves forward is in form for club and country. Jimenez has now scored in six of his past seven games since mid-October, good signs for both Mexico and the Premier League club.

Is Nations League pointless for Mexico?

Mexico may be left wondering exactly what they can get out of the Nations League. Competitive against South American nations, Martino's men have been left to play both Panama and Bermuda twice due to the introduction of the Nations League in CONCACAF, rather than testing themselves against bigger countries.

What's next?

Mexico finish their group-stage campaign at home to Bermuda on Tuesday, while Panama will next be in action in 2020.

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