According to the latest reports, Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune and FC Barcelona have finally agreed to terms on the transfer of 33-year-old Argentinian defender Javier Mascherano, bringing a close to seven-and-a-half illustrious seasons at the Camp Nou.
DeAndre Yedlin showcased his ever-growing defensive game again on Wednesday in Newcastle United’s 0-1 defeat to Manchester City at Saint James’ Park. The 24-year-old native of Seattle was part of a Newcastle back five that had to contend with Pep Guardiola’s traveling circus of attacking freaks, but the right back won three defensive aerials, two tackles and made two interceptions while also providing the cross that led to Newcastle’s best chance of the first half.
Dani Carvajal's fantastic reflexes prove he is a better goalkeeper than Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet, and Twitter knows it. He gave proof in the latest edition of El Clásico as he epically saved a header by Barça’s Paulinho.
The only problem is, Carvajal is not a goalkeeper. So the referee blew the whistle, sentenced a penalty kick and sent Carvajal off via a direct red card.
Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal thought he was being clever. In the waning moments of a 6-0 victory over APOEL on Nov. 21, Carvajal decided to hold the ball instead of throwing it back into play. The referee didn’t like this time wasting and showed him a yellow card. It was Carvajal’s fifth yellow of the Champions League campaign, meaning he would be suspended for the Borussia Dortmund match, but he would be available for the knockout rounds, for which Real Madrid had already qualified.
This isn’t exactly a hot take, but damn that Juventus defense can be impressive, even after losing two key figures from last season’s rearguard. Massimiliano Allegri has created a defensive unit that, on its day, can shut down the most potent of offenses. They don’t sit super deep or press super high, but their supreme organization dulls even the sharpest of attacks.
The Bianconeri defense pitched a ninth shutout of the season in a 1-0 blanking of league-leading Napoli on Friday at Stadio San Paolo in Naples, the home side’s first Serie A loss of the season.
The feel-good aura surrounding Newcastle United was evaporating faster than a fart into a Panasonic exhaust fan as they stared a fifth-straight defeat in the face on Tuesday. West Bromwich Albion took a 2-0 lead in the 56th minute of their Premier League match at The Hawthorns, but a spirited fightback earned Newcastle an invaluable point and somewhat arrested the slide on Tyneside.
In the end, the only moment that separated Switzerland and Northern Ireland in their World Cup qualifying playoff was a dubious penalty call awarded to the Swiss in Belfast. Sunday’s return leg at St Jakob-Park in Basel ended in a 0-0 draw with the Irish again looking extremely limited going forward, but Switzerland were entirely wasteful as well, particularly forward Haris Seferovic.