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FC Barcelona fight back to win 7-goal thriller at Villarreal

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FC Barcelona fight back to win 7-goal thriller at Villarreal

Last Updated on August 28, 2023 by Fellow Press

FC Barcelona fought back to secure a barnstorming 4-3 win at Villarreal on Sunday, with last year’s LaLiga top scorer Robert Lewandowski bagging the winner late in the second half.

Villarreal were arguably the better side throughout the match, but a clinical FC Barcelona scored at key moments.

They were helped by a brilliant performance from 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, who created most of their opportunities, including an assist, and had two shots off the woodwork.

Villarreal’s Alexander Sorloth and Alex Baena wasted golden opportunities in the first minutes and Sorloth had an effort ruled out after a VAR check showed he was marginally offside in the build-up.

FC Barcelona, however, took an early two-goal lead thanks to a perfectly placed cross by Yamal that allowed Gavi to open the scoring in the 12th minute with a close-range header.

Three minutes later, they doubled their advantage with a shot by Frenkie De Jong following a defensive mistake.

But the hosts kept up their relentless pace and recovered with first-half goals by Juan Foyth and Alexander Sorloth, and from Alex Baena five minutes after the break.

After a string of saves by FC Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Foyth’s bullet header from a corner in the 26th minute fired up the home crowd.

Sorloth scored the equaliser from close range 14 minutes later after a fine team move involving Gerard Moreno and Alfonso Pedraza, who delivered a cross for the Norway forward to level.

Pedraza was involved in another fine build-up to Villarreal’s third in the 50th minute.

This was after powering up the left channel in a fast counter-attack and putting it on a plate for Baena to cut inside and finish with a curling shot into the top corner.

However, last year’s LaLiga champions woke up with Yamal creating all types of trouble for the hosts’ defence.

He almost levelled the game in the 56th minute, but his thunderous strike from the edge of the box smashed against the crossbar.

Substitute Ferran Torres struck from close range to level the match again in the 68th minute for the visitors.

This after Yamal stroke another bullet against the woodwork, only this time the ball bounced to Lewandowski, who tapped in the rebound off the post.

It was Lewandowski’s first goal of the season which gave FC Barcelona a hard-fought win after a pulsating affair in what was their second win in three games this season.

They are third in the LaLiga standings on seven points, level with Girona, trailing leaders Real Madrid by two points.

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Mourinho picks Messi over Ronaldo as Best of Generation

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Last Updated on June 14, 2024 by Fellow Press

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Football manager Jose Mourinho chose FC Barcelona legend Lionel Messi over compatriot and Real Madrid icon Cristiano Ronaldo as the greatest player of their generation, in comments made to TNT Sports.

Mourinho is currently set to take the reins at Fenerbahce when club football resumes after international tournaments such as the Euros and Copa America have taken place.

Messi and Ronaldo will feature in them for their respective countries Argentina and Portugal, in what could be the last time we get to see them at a major competition considering they are already on the road to 40.

On Tuesday to ESPN, Messi confirmed that Inter Miami will be his last club yet he also stressed that he’s not ready to retire yet.

Mourinho on the other hand could only just be getting started as a head coach. Yet given he has already spent 20 years at the top of the game, which have yielded two Champions Leagues and a number of domestic championships, the 61-year-old has plenty to reflect on.

TNT Sports asked him the one player who he wished he had signed, and for the Portuguese there were no doubts.

“Of course I would have to say the little guy,” Mourinho answered, in reference to eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi. “But the little guy was not coachable. But I have to say, in our generation, he was the best.”

This means that Mourinho picks Messi ahead of his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo in an endless debate among football fans, which might not be well received by his ex-Real Madrid forward from 2010 to 2013.

CR7 was however chosen in a shortlist of the best players Mourinho has had the chance to work with.

“You know, it is very hard to say, to speak about [John] Terry, [Frank] Lampard, [Didier] Drogba, Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Man United, all the Inter guys, I don’t know,” Mourinho said.

As for the best supporters in the world, Mourinho remarked: “Old Trafford is Old Trafford, Bernabeu is Bernabeu, San Siro is San Siro, Stamford Bridge is Stamford Bridge … But I would say for a team not used to winning, Roma fans are so, so loyal to the team.”

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Joe Mazzulla meets with Pep Guardiola before 2024 NBA Finals

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Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by Fellow Press

Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla met with a special guest Wednesday before the 2024 NBA Finals — Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Mazzulla, a noted soccer fan, visited Guardiola at Manchester City’s football academy in February. He told The Athletic a week later that he studies the English club and Guardiola, calling the City boss “the best coach at any level, in any sport.”

The two were spotted chatting at TD Garden ahead of Game 1 on Thursday.

Guardiola is one of soccer’s most decorated managers, having served as the head man at multiple top clubs, including Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

He’s won six Premier League titles (including four straight), four UEFA Super Cups and three UEFA Champions League titles. In 2009, at 37 years old, he led Barcelona to a Champions League final triumph, becoming the youngest manager to ever win the Champions League.

The former midfielder also won the treble (domestic league, domestic cup and European Cup/Champions League in the same season) twice as a manager — the only one to ever do so.

Mazzulla is looking for his first title as an NBA head coach, with Game 1 tipping off.

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