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Messi tees up Mbappe’s last-gasp winner/Martial bags assist

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Friday night highlights: Messi tees up Mbappe’s last-gasp winner/Man United loanee bags first assist

 

Footage stemming from a pair of high-profile fixtures across the continent on Friday night will no doubt pique the attentions of fans of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and more.

The first comes on the back of the latest heroics put forth by French sensation Kylian Mbappe.

Afforded his latest start in PSG’s Ligue 1 meeting with Stade Rennais, Mbappe, along with the rest of Mauricio Pochettino’s star-studded squad, were left frustrated through 90 minutes, owing to a stern defensive showing on the part of the evening’s visitors.

Just when it appeared as though proceedings were set to peter out into a 0-0 stalemate, however, PSG, as so often proves the case, struck.

Surging forward from deep, Lionel Messi cut inside onto his trusty left foot, before slipping in partner in crime Mbappe courtesy of a pinpoint pass into the Rennes box.

And the latter made absolutely no mistake with his ensuing finish, picking out the far corner to guide the capital giants another step closer to reclaiming their Ligue 1 crown:

Martial tees up Mir

Turning attentions towards ongoings in Spain this evening, title-chasing Sevilla played host to Elche in Andalusia, hopeful of closing the gap on Carlo Ancelotti’s table-topping Real Madrid to just three points.

And, when all was said and done at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, this is precisely what Friday’s hosts managed.

A dominant display saw Julen Lopetegui’s men finally rewarded 20 minutes from time, when a typical piece of brilliance on the part of Papu Gomez saw the Argentine cut inside from the left, before finding the net with the help of a deflection:

And a Sevilla 2nd swiftly followed, with Manchester United loanee Anthony Martial on this occasion the architect in chief.

After too being set free down the left flank, French international Martial directed a looping delivery into the Elche area, allowing Rafa Mir to nod home in pinpoint fashion, killing the game off as a contest:

 

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Real Madrid fight to 0-0 draw against Real Betis in Marcelo’s final match

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Real Madrid say goodbye to left-back great Marcelo in final Bernabeu appearance

Real Madrid closed the book on their La Liga-winning 2021-22 campaign this season with a 0-0 draw against high-flying Real Betis in the Spanish capital tonight, and while they lifted yet another Spanish title in the run-up to their date with Liverpool the final of the Champions League, the club and its supporters had one last chance to say goodbye to veteran star Marcelo.

A generational talent at left-back and one of the most successful players to ever put on the famous all-white kit in Madrid, Marcelo will be parting ways with the Spanish giants in the summer after his contract expires, putting an end to a storied love affair that dates back to 2006-07.

While much of the talk around Madrid of late has been the potential future of Kylian Mbappé and a possible arrival in La Liga, days gone by were the order of the day this evening when Marcelo came off the bench in the 70th-minute to replace Ferland Mendy for one final appearance in front of passionate home support.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, the 34-year-old has lifted twenty pieces of major silverware (not including four Club World Cups) for Madrid during his days with the club, while featuring an impressive 545-times for Madrid and scoring 38-goals along the way.

The heir apparent to Roberto Carlos for both club and country, few would argue just how impactful Marcelo has been while managing to stand the test of time and remain a key performer for Real before father time began to take its toll in recent seasons.

As the club’s most decorated player in an incomparable history across the beautiful game, Marcelo has left his mark on a people, a city, multiple countries, and football as a whole on a level that few could ever have imagined. Thank you, Marcelo.






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Everton respond to FFP threat after Leeds & Burnley write to Premier League

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Everton issue response to FFP threat after Leeds & Burnley write to Premier League

 

Everton have issued an official response, amid concerns that major problems could be on the horizon at the club, owing to a series of breaches of Financial Fair Play.

For those not aware, on Friday evening, it was revealed that both Leeds United and Burnley recently wrote to the Premier League, to essentially accuse those in a position of power at Goodison Park of overstepping their financial constraints in a major way.

This of course came with the three clubs, at the time, having been embroiled in a tense battle against relegation from the top-flight of English football.

As per the rules laid out by FFP, no club is permitted to post losses in excess of £105 million over the course of a rolling three-year period, or risk facing potentially serious punishment.

Everton, however, are understood to have recorded a loss of £371.8 million over the last three years.

Everton issue response to FFP threat after Leeds & Burnley write to Premier League

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MAY 19: Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates after scoring during the Premier League match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on May 19, 2022 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Even with the Toffees’ £170 million deficit across the length of the pandemic having been written off as part of a league-wide agreement, this would steal leave the Merseyside club alarmingly in excess of the allowable losses alluded to above.

In a joint-letter to the powers that be at the Financial Fair Play offices, Leeds and Burnley, last week, therefore expressed their understandable bewilderment with precisely why Everton had not been subjected to any form of punishment.

‘Their decision’

And now, late on Friday, the powers that be at Goodison have issued their response.

Fresh off securing their top-flight status for another season, in a short statement cited by Goal, the Toffees have assured all associated with the club that they have fully ‘complied with the rules’, hinting that they are altogether unconcerned by the threat of legal action:

“We have worked closely with the Premier League to make sure we are compliant. We are comfortable we have complied with the rules.

“External auditors have told us what we can and cannot claim against the pandemic. If clubs want to take legal action that’s their decision.”

 

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Barcelona set sights on Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry

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Barcelona turn attentions to 2nd Bayern Munich star ahead of summer

 

Word stemming from the Spanish media on Friday suggests that Barcelona are expressing a keen interest in a 2nd member of the attacking ranks of Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

The player in question? Serge Gnabry.

As per a report from the reliable Cat Radio, Xavi Hernandez and co. have identified Gnabry as a prime target to reinforce the club’s frontline with a view to the 2022/23 campaign.

This comes with the German international potentially set to be available at a cut price, having refused to put pen to paper on fresh terms ahead of the expiration of his contract in Bavaria in 12 months’ time.

Even more likely, though, is the possibility of Gnabry landing at the Camp Nou as a free agent in the summer of 2023.

Barcelona turn attentions to 2nd Bayern Munich star ahead of summer

MUNICH, GERMANY – MARCH 05: Serge Gnabry is challenged by Jeremie Frimpong during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Allianz Arena on March 05, 2022 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

The former Arsenal star’s future is understood to be linked with that of Ousmane Dembele, with moves for both Gnabry and Leeds United star Raphinha on the cards in the case that the Frenchman opts to move on next month.

Barca directors Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff, in turn, are understood to have made contact with the representatives of the Bayern winger, to obtain a better understanding of the likelihood of a deal being struck.

Lewa eyed

Word of Barcelona’s potential swoop for Gnabry of course comes with the Catalan giants also widely reported to be lining up a deal for another key member of Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern Munich squad, in the form of Robert Lewandowski.

With ‘Lewa’ himself having made clear his intention to seek pastures new this summer, the board at the Camp Nou have positioned themselves front and centre to take advantage of the situation.

And such endeavours could well be primed to bear imminent fruit, amid suggestions in Spain this week that Pini Zahavi, the Pole’s agent, paid a visit to Barca’s official store, to purchase no fewer than ten jerseys, all with Lewandowski’s name emblazoned across the back.

 

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