Barcelona Vs Alaves was a clean sweep by the dethroned champions.

Barcelona Vs Alaves was a clean sweep by the dethroned champions.

Lionel Messi finished as top scorer in La Liga for a record seventh time after netting twice as dethroned champions Barcelona ended their disappointing campaign on a high with a resounding 5-0 win at Alaves on Sunday.

Barca finished the season second in the standings on 82 points, five behind newly-crowned champions Real Madrid who drew 2-2 at Leganes later on Sunday. Alaves came 16th on 39.

Teenage forward Ansu Fati put Barca in front midway through the first half after the visitors hit the woodwork three times, while Messi and strike partner Luis Suarez further stretched their side’s lead before halftime.

Defender Nelson Semedo hit the fourth early in the second half before Messi struck again, ending the campaign on 25 league goals, four more than second-top scorer Karim Benzema of Real Madrid.

The Argentine, who also finished as a top marksman for a fourth consecutive season, eclipsed the benchmark he previously shared with the late Telmo Zarra but said he would have rather have won the league.

“Individual prizes and objectives are secondary. It’s an important achievement to win it seven times but I would have liked it to have been accompanied by the La Liga title,” Messi said.

Barca’s captain had made headlines on Thursday following his angry post-match interview after the 2-1 loss to Osasuna, blasting the team as weak and inconsistent, also appearing to criticize the running of the club.

But he was in a happier mood after the dominant performance against Alaves, saying the team felt more confident ahead of next month’s Champions League last-16 second leg game with Napoli, which they host with the score tied at 1-1.

“Today we saw something else, it was a difficult game due to the situation we were in and the kick-off time and heat but the team responded with a different attitude and showed great commitment,” Messi added.

“We took a long hard look at ourselves from the inside which is what we needed to do. We have not had a good season in terms of performances or results but today we took a step forward.

“It’s an important step for what’s coming next.”

Pape Diouf Dead: Corona Virus Kills Former Marseille President

Pape Diouf Dead: Corona Virus Kills Former Marseille President

Former Marseille president Pape Diouf has died aged 68 after contracting coronavirus, the club has announced.

The Senegalese was president between 2005 and 2009 when Marseille finished second in Ligue 1 twice and reached two French Cup finals.

They went on to win a first French league title in 18 years in 2010.

“Pape will remain in the hearts of the Marseillais forever, as one of the great architects in the club’s history,” Marseille posted on Twitter.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) said: “Journalist, agent, president of Olympique de Marseille, Pape Diouf dedicated his whole life in service of football.

“A member of the LFP administrative council from September 2007 to June 2009, Pape Diouf will be remembered as a charismatic and passionate director.”

Former France and Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse played for Marseille when Diouf was in charge.

“Today French football has lost a great man,” he posted on social media. “My sadness is great today. Rest in peace.”

Christian Eriksen Transfers to Inter from Tottenham; Signs Contract Until 2024

Christian Eriksen has joined Inter Milan after signing a contract until 2024 with the Serie A giants.

The Nerazzurri confirmed the signing on their Twitter account:

According to Fabrizio Romano of the Guardian, Inter agreed a €20 million (£17 million) fee with Spurs to sign the Denmark international.

The move brings to an end Eriksen’s lengthy tenure with Spurs which began in 2013. He helped the club reach the UEFA Champions League final last season before expressing a desire to leave north London during the summer.

Eriksen has been inconsistent, with Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso and Harry Winks taking on more of the creative burden for Spurs. Some Tottenham fans even booed Eriksen when the Dane was substituted during the 1-0 defeat to Premier League leaders Liverpool, per Football. London’s Joe Doyle.

Chelsea VS Arsenal Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics.


Both Chelsea and Arsenal will be looking to return to winning ways when they take on each other in the London Derby on Tuesday night.

Local rivals Chelsea and Arsenal will lock horns with each other at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night on Matchday 24 of the 2019-20 Premier League, with an eye on bouncing back from their weekend results.

Chelsea comes into the game on the back of a shock 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United away from home, which prevented them from closing down the gap to third-placed Leicester City, who also lost their fixture against Burnley. A win on Tuesday would take Frank Lampard’s side to within three points of the Foxes and eight above Manchester United in the fifth spot.

Arsenal, on the other hand, has seen their performances improve under new manager Mikel Arteta, but that hasn’t been backed up by results. The Gunners were held to back-to-back 1-1 draws by Crystal Palace and Sheffield United. They will be aiming to get back to winning ways and move up from their current tenth position in the Premier League table.

The last time these two sides clashed in December last year at the Emirates, Chelsea came back from a goal down to beat Arsenal 2-1. And ahead of the latest London derby at Stamford Bridge, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at the encounter.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Team News & Tactics

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”42662″ img_size=”medium”][vc_column_text]Reece James, who was Chelsea’s most impressive player against Newcastle, limped off with an injury towards the end of the game. However, the youngster is expected to be fit and available when Arsenal come visiting. Marcos Alonso is also back from his injury, but Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek remain sidelined along with Marco van Ginkel.

Lampard set his team up with a three-man backline against Arsenal last time out but is expected to stick with the 4-3-3 that he has used in the last two games. Kepa Arrizabalaga has had to cop a bit of flak of late but should continue between the sticks for Chelsea.

James, should he be fit, ought to continue at right-back while captain Cesar Azpilicueta should start at left-back again. Andreas Christensen has been impressive in the last two games and should start against Arsenal, with Antonio Rudiger partnering him once again ahead of Kurt Zouma.

Jorginho should continue as the deepest of the three Chelsea midfielders and look to control the tempo of the game while keeping an eye out on Mesut Ozil. N’Golo Kante returned from injury in the last game and ought to feature from kick-off again, but Mason Mount is likely to make way for Mateo Kovacic after his ineffective display at Newcastle.

With Pulisic still out with injury, Callum Hudson-Odoi should once again get the nod on one of the flanks along with Chelsea’s No. 10 Willian, while Tammy Abraham spearheads the attack for Lampard’s side.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Kepa; James, Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”42663″ img_size=”medium”][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Arsenal will once again be without captain and star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is suspended. Sead Kolasinac, Kieran Tierney and Reiss Nelson are all out with injuries, while Calum Chambers is a long-term absentee. Sokratis missed the last game due to illness, but should be ready for return against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Bernd Leno is a guaranteed starter between the sticks for Arsenal, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka are likely to continue as the two full-backs. David Luiz should start at the heart of the backline, but Sokratis is in line to return to the side at the expense of Shkodran Mustafi.

The midfield double pivot of Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira should remain intact, with Matteo Guendouzi not in the best form of late. Arteta will have a decision to make in the No. 10 role with Dani Ceballos waiting in the wings, as Mesut Ozil has failed to impress in the last two fixtures. However, the German is likely to get the nod once again on Tuesday night.

With no Aubameyang or Nelson, the wide-attacking duo of Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli, both of whom were impressive against Sheffield United, should start again. Alexandre Lacazette ought to continue as the lone striker and look to end his goal drought against Chelsea.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Leno; Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luis, Saka; Torreira, Xhaka; Pepe, Ozil, Martinelli; Lacazette[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”42664″ img_size=”medium”][vc_column_text]

Key Stats

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Chelsea is looking to complete the Premier League double against Arsenal for the fifth time (2005-06, 2009-10, 2012-13 and 2015-16). Only Liverpool (5) and Manchester United (5) have done this against the Gunners on as many as five occasions.

Arsenal is winless in their last seven Premier League away games against Chelsea (D1 L6) since winning 5-3 in October 2011. However, no team has won more Premier League away games at Stamford Bridge than the Gunners (7).

In all competitions, Chelsea has lost six home games this season – they last lost more at Stamford Bridge in a single campaign back in 1994-95 (7).

Arsenal has won just one of their last 10 away Premier League games (D6 L3), though they are unbeaten in their last five on the road (W1 D4).

Chelsea has already lost as many Premier League games this season as they did during the entirety of last season under Maurizio Sarri (eight defeats).[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Player to Watch

Gabriel Martinelli

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”42665″ img_size=”medium”][vc_column_text]The 18-year-old has made quite the impression in his debut campaign at Arsenal, having arrived in the summer from Brazilian outfit Ituano. Martinelli, so far this term, has featured 20 matches across all competitions finding the back of the net on nine occasions, while setting up three more.

The teenage attacker had a good game against Sheffield United last time out and will be looking to carry that form forward when Arsenal visit Chelsea. With Alexandre Lacazette struggling for form, another good showing from Martinelli could see him nail down a starting spot for himself once Aubameyang returns.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]


Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Chelsea was unbeaten in their last four matches prior to their defeat to Newcastle United and will be confident heading into the derby, having beaten Arsenal already this term. The Gunners have looked much better in recent games since Arteta has taken over and will be confident of getting a positive result despite having failed to win the last two matches.

It is no secret that Chelsea has been largely inconsistent at Stamford Bridge all season, while Arsenal has been very poor on the road, winning just two league matches away from the Emirates in the ongoing campaign, somewhat balancing things out between the two teams. And that is why we at The Hard Tackle are predicting this one to end in a 1-1 draw on Tuesday night.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Peter Olayinka, First Nigerian To Score On His Champions League Debut Since 2002.

Peter Olayinka, First Nigerian To Score On His Champions League Debut Since 2002.17 years after Yakubu Ayegbeni!

The 2019/20 UEFA Champions League has officially kicked off, and besides Chelsea and Liverpool losing their first games, fans are talking about Peter Olayinka, who made history as the first Nigerian player to score on his Champions League debut since 2002.

Signed to Slavia Prague in the Czech first league, Olayinka played for 85 minutes in the team’s game against Inter Milan. The 23-year-old scored Slavia Prague’s only goal 18 minutes into the second half, right before he was substituted.

He now joins the likes of Emmanuel Amokachi, Victor Ikpeba, Endurance Idahor, and Yakubu Ayegbeni, who are the only Nigerians to have scored in their Champions League debut. The most memorable of these four have to be Ayegbeni’s resounding hat-trick in 2002.

With Olayinka’s goal coming 17 years after, he’s certainly gotten our attention.

Lionel Messi Leads Top 10 Player Ratings For FIFA 20 Game.

Lionel Messi Leads Top 10 Player Ratings For FIFA 20 Game.

The ‘FIFA 20’ demo is out by EA Sports on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC.

This week the top-rated players were announced with Lionel Messi of Barcelona leading the way with a 94.

The game is set to be released in the United States on Sept. 24.

As you would expect, Messi is joined near the top by Cristiano Ronaldo, while PSG superstar Neymar follows.

Here’s a look at the top 10:

  • Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 94
    Cristiano Ronaldo (Piemonte Calcio*) – 93
    Neymar (PSG) – 92
    Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) – 91
    Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – 91
    Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) – 91
    Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) – 90
    Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – 90
    Luka Modric (Real Madrid) – 90
    Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Barcelona) – 90
  • Note: You may notice a different team name next to Ronaldo’s instead of Juventus, but that’s because Juve is not in licensed in the game this year — as the club signed exclusively with “PES 2020.” Juve is replaced by Piemonte Calcio — a created name with different jerseys, stadium, etc.

    On the list, there’s not a whole lot to disagree with. Perhaps Kylian Mbappe of PSG could be there at some point, and maybe Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid.

    I would have put Liverpool’s Alisson at No. 10 over Barca’s goalkeeper, and maybe not put Eden Hazard so high up.

    I don’t think many would have argued with Mbappe being on the list and ahead of Neymar with the French superstar coming off another fantastic season in which he scored 39 goals.

    Rafael Nadal wins yet another U.S. Open men’s championship

    Rafael Nadal won yet another U.S. Open men’s championship on Sunday night, defeating 23-year-old Russian Daniil Medvedev.

    In winning the fourth U.S. Open of his career — and his 19th Grand Slam title overall, one shy of the record, the 33-year-old Nadal had to outlast a player 10 years his junior in a nearly five-hour, five-set match. Nadal won $3.85 million as the 2019 men’s U.S. Open champion, and he’s now won more than $115 million in total career prize money.

    Nadal, who won his first-ever Grand Slam title as a 19-year-old at the 2005 French Open, has experienced massive and sustained success for well over a decade even as he’s battled injuries that threatened his career at times.

    Roma set to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan on Loan

    AS Roma and Arsenal Fc have reached an agreement to sign midfielder Herikh Mkhitaryan on a season long loan deal.

    The italian club would pay a loan fee for the 30year old midfielder without a permanent transfer clause attatched.
    Mkhitaryan joined Arsenal from manchester united in january 2018 in a swap deal involving alexis sanchez.

    The midfielder featured in the 2-2 draw against tottenham on sunday, but came on as a second half substitute. He has now travelled to the italian capital to finalise his loan move.
    Arsenal also remain open to letting defender Shkodran Mustafi go before Monday’s transfer deadline – but it looks unlikely the 27-year-old German will leave.