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RAMOS KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING WITH SALAH – CHIELLINI

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Veteran Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini has claimed that Sergio Ramos knew exactly what he was doing when he famously injured Mohamed Salah in the final of the 2018 UEFA Champions League.

 

The Real Madrid defender and Liverpool forward grappled early in the UCL final that year and the Egyptian came off the worse, suffering a shoulder injury which put him out of the remainder of the game and very nearly saw him miss the World Cup in Russia.

 

Ramos has always denied that he intentionally injured Salah, but Chiellini – a master of the ‘dark arts’ of defending – wrote in his autobiography that the Spaniard’s action were very much deliberate and targeted.

 

“Critics can say that he [Ramos] is impulsive, not tactical at all and that because of him there are eight or 10 extra goals conceded a season. If I caused an extra two or three goals, I wouldn’t live any more,” he wrote, as quoted by King Fut.

 

“He is very technical and could be a striker, we are opposites. However, he has two characteristics almost no-one has.

 

“The first is knowing how to be decisive in important games. He makes interventions beyond any logic, even with injuries that he causes with almost diabolical cunning.

 

“Salah’s was a masterstroke. He always said that he didn’t mean to injury him, but he was aware that falling that way and without letting go of his grip, nine times out of 10 you can break your rival’s arm,” he added.

 

While Real Madrid won that UCL final, Salah went on to lead Liverpool to European triumph a year later with victory over Tottenham Hotspur in 2019.

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Chelsea boss Lampard ready to send Kepa away on-loan

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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is ready to send Kepa Arrizabalaga away on-loan.

The Sun says Chelsea are ready to send Kepa out on loan after landing Rennes keeper Edouard Mendy as their new first-choice.

While Chelsea insisted no decision has yet been taken on Kepa’s future, it is understood that Frank Lampard will assent to the Spaniard leaving on loan before next month’s deadline.

Kepa, 25, has struggled to live up to the world record £71m fee Chelsea paid Athletic Bilbao to land him as Thibaut Courtois’ replacement in 2018.

He fell out of favour last term after a series of high-profile errors before the lockdown.

And while the Spaniard regained his place at the outset of Project Restart, he lost it again to Willy Caballero for the FA Cup semi-final and Final.

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Michaela Abam’s hat-trick leads Real Betis to Andalusian Cup semi-final

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The Cameroonian found the net thrice as she powered her side past Hispalis to the last four of the pre-season tournament

Michaela Abam hit a treble for Real Betis as they trashed Hispalis 10-0 in Thursday’s Andalusian Women’s Cup quarterfinal encounter.

Despite featuring in 15 matches for Betis, the Cameroon international managed only three goals before the league’s cancellation in May due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Abam starred and Equatorial Guinea’s Dorine Chuigoue made her debut in Betis’ 2-0 win over Granada in their first friendly on Sunday.

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Tottenham Advance To Europa League Play-off After Scare

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Son Heung-min scored one and set up two as Tottenham advanced to the Europa League play-off round after a scare against Shkendija in North Macedonia.

Son, who scored four goals against Southampton last Sunday, turned provider to set up Argentine Erik Lamela to calmly score the opener.

Joe Hart, who was making his Spurs debut, was beaten by a stunning 20-yard finish by Valmir Nafiu.

But Son drilled the second before setting up Harry Kane for the third.

It was a decent performance by Jose Mourinho’s side, who meet Maccabi Haifa at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the play-off round next Thursday.

However, they went from dominating the tie to hanging on before two goals in the space of nine minutes put the game out of Shkendija’s reach.

Soon after Nafiu’s wonderful equaliser from outside the box, Besart Ibraimi had a chance to put the hosts ahead but headed wide.

Spurs regained control thanks mainly to another excellent performance by Son.

Having scored four of his side’s five goals at Southampton last Sunday, the South Korea forward produced another classy performance to help his side advance.

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