Paderborn seal fairytale promotion to Bundesliga


SC Paderborn completed a remarkable return to the Bundesliga next season despite a 3-1 defeat to Dynamo Dresden on nfl nike jerseys from china

Paderborn, who reached the Bundesliga for the first time in 2014-15, were relegated that season and again the following season to fall to the third tier. In 2016-17, they narrowly avoided a third relegation in three seasons (to the Regionalliga) despite finishing 18th, as 1860 Munich’s administration error and failure to secure a licence to play saw them stay up.

Yet, incredibly, they finished second the next year to climb back up to 2.Bundesliga.10

Knowing all they needed to do was beat or equal Union Berlin’s result against Bochum to claim the second automatic place behind already-promoted FC Cologne, Paderborn went ahead in the 10th minute.

Germany under-20 midfielder Philipp Klement netted his 16th goal of the season, before Dynamo hit back quickly through Baris nike jerseys for cheap

Atik then scored again either side of half-time to complete his hat trick and seal the win, but Paderborn were promoted as Union drew 2-2 with 10-man Bochum.

Down 2-0, Union scored twice in the final 10 minutes but couldn’t get a winner as they finished third in the league on goal difference (five behind Paderborn) and a point ahead of Hamburg in fourth. They will contest the relegation playoff against VfB Stuttgart.

Sources: Barca could lose De Ligt to Juve, PSG


Barcelona believe they have lost ground to Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in the race to sign Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt, sources have told ESPN cheap jerseys nike

Sources close to the negotiations said that the “optimism” which Barca maintained a few weeks ago has decreased due to the renewed interest of some of Europe’s biggest clubs and the excessive demands from De Ligt and his agent, Mino Raiola.

Barcelona have been leading the chase for the in-demand centre-back for weeks. They already have an agreement in principle with Ajax to sign him for a similar figure to what they will pay for Frenkie de Jong — €75 million plus add-ons.

But they have still not managed to strike a deal with De Ligt and Raiola, which has allowed Juve, PSG and Bayern to re-open negotiations and attempt to better the offer made by Barca, who are beginning to tire of the player’s elevated financial demands.8

The main problem facing Barca is Raiola’s attempt to take advantage of the interest from elsewhere and De Ligt’s excellent end to the season to push for a salary which the Catalan club are not prepared to pay.

De Ligt helped Ajax win a domestic double and reach the Champions League semifinal — and that is being used as a reason to backtrack on an agreement struck with Barcelona in March and ask for more money, as revealed by ESPN FC earlier this nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Barca are unable to meet those new demands and sources have said the club will not budge another inch from the last offer they made. They hope other factors will play in their favour, such as the player’s will to move to Camp Nou, the signing of De Jong and the chance to play with Lionel Messi.

Juve’s sporting director Fabio Paratici said two weeks ago that De Ligt “will sign for Barcelona” following a conversation with his Ajax counterpart, Marc Overmars. But talks between Barca and De Ligt have hit a snag and sources have suggested Juve and PSG may now be better placed to land the defender.

Barca have worked on the deal for months. After announcing the signing of De Jong in January, president Josep Maria Bartomeu made the decision to push hard for De Ligt, even though he wasn’t a priority for the club at the time. Given the good relationship with Ajax, they were able to loosely agree the framework of a fee with the belief they would be able to convince the player to join.

De Rossi to leave Roma after 18 years with hometown club


Roma have announced Daniele De Rossi will be leaving the club at the end of the season, but the World Cup-winner said he will continue playing though league sources tell ESPN FC he won’t be headed to the LA Galaxy of MLS.

De Rossi, who inherited the captaincy of the Giallorossi following the retirement of Francesco Totti in 2017, will move to a new club next season and continue his career away from the Eternal nfl nike jerseys from china

“We will all shed tears when he pulls on the Giallorossi shirt for the last time against Parma but we respect his desire to prolong his playing career — even if, at almost 36, it will be away from Rome. On behalf of everyone at Roma, I’d like to thank Daniele for his incredible dedication to this club and ensure him that our doors will remain open for him to return to the club in a new role whenever he wants.”

The 35-year-old’s final game for the club will be their fixture with Parma on May 26.10

De Rossi said he understood the club had to take a decision, though he felt he still had more to offer.

“I feel I could still have a made an impact on this team, playing five, 10 games,” he said in a news conference where his departure was confirmed. “[I could help] in the dressing room.
The former Italy international has finished a Serie A runner up eight times without ever winning the title but, asked if he could change one thing from his career, he said it would have been the 2018 Champions League semifinal defeat to Liverpool — the furthest Roma had reached in the competition since nike jerseys for cheap

He has made a total of 615 appearances for his hometown club, second only to Totti on the list of the club’s all-time leading appearance makers, since debuting in 2001.

De Rossi is expected to move abroad after leaving Roma, having previously stated his attraction to the Premier League.

Cagliari face no punishment after racist abuse aimed at Juventus’ Kean in April


Serie A have announced Cagliari will face no action after monkey chants were aimed at Juventus players Moise Kean, Alex Sandro and Blaise Matuidi during their match on April 2.

Kean reacted to the chants by celebrating in front of the home fans sat directly behind the goal after putting his side 2-0 ahead with five minutes remaining — an action which led Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini to claim any player would have received the same nike nfl jerseys wholesale

However, six weeks later — and after AC Milan midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko had been subjected to explicit racist chanting by Lazio fans for which the club was hand a suspended partial stadium closure — Serie A decided Cagliari would not face any punishment because the chants had “an objectively limited relevance” during the match.9

In a statement to ESPN FC on April 20, a Serie A spokesperson said they were committed to fighting racism. ESPN FC has again contacted Serie A for clarification following this most recent nfl nike jerseys from china

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci and manager Massimiliano Allegri were criticised after the Cagliari match for their comments condemning’s Kean’s celebration after the match against Cagliari.

Serie A has seen several incidents of racist chanting this season, including Inter Milan fans’ treatment of Kalidou Koulibaly in December for which the club faced a two-match stadium closure.

Meanwhile, Serie A acknowledged Inter supporters had engaged in territorial discriminatory chanting during Monday’s clash with Chievo but face no punishment.

They were, however, fined €10,000 after fans were found guilty of shining a laser on the pitch in the same match.

Bayern Munich miss chance to seal Bundesliga title after being held at Leipzig


Champions Bayern Munich stumbled to a goalless draw at RB Leipzig on Saturday, missing their chance to seal the Bundesliga title as Borussia Dortmund kept their hopes alive and closed to within two points with one game left.

Bayern, who needed a win to make sure of a record-extending seventh consecutive league title, are on 75 points and will now face a final day examination against Eintracht Frankfurt next nfl nike jerseys china

Dortmund, who beat Fortuna Duesseldorf 3-2, are on 73 and face Borussia Moenchengladbach next week.10

Leipzig are third on 66 and have secured their Champions League spot for next season. “We want to win this thing next week,” Bayern’s Thomas Muller said. “We have battled back from nine points behind [late last year]. We are very greedy.”

The Bavarians missed several good chances with Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski failing to hit the target and also had a Leon Goretzka effort in the second half ruled out after video review.

It was an even more nervous affair at Dortmund, where goals from Christian Pulisic, Thomas Delaney and Mario Gotze eventually sealed a win for the title nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The hosts suffered with a blunder from keeper Marwin Hitz that allowed Duesseldorf back into the game at 1-1 before the hosts then had to sweat it out after a Duesseldorf goal in stoppage time reduced the deficit to 3-2.

Hitz, replacing injured Roman Buerki, also brought down Dodi Lukebakio for a second-half penalty which the forward fired wide.

Hanover and Nuremberg were relegated while Stuttgart beat Wolfsburg 3-0 to hold on to 16th place and will go into a relegation/promotion playoff with the second division’s third-placed team.

Borussia Dortmund keep title hopes alive in win over Fortuna Dusseldorf


Borussia Dortmund kept the Bundesliga race alive by beating Fortuna Dusseldorf 3-2 on Saturday.

Dortmund almost blew another two-goal lead after letting 10-man Düsseldorf come perilously close to an equaliser in injury nfl jerseys china nike

Christian Pulisic, playing his last home game for Dortmund, opened the scoring four minutes before the break with his first headed goal in the Bundesliga. It could be his last. The American midfielder is leaving for Chelsea in a €64 million deal agreed in January.9

Dortmund keeper Marwin Hitz — who was filling in for the injured Roman Burki – let Dusseldorf captain Oliver Fink’s harmless-looking header slip through his fingers in the 47th.

Then came the news that Goretzka had scored for Bayern, but it was ruled out and Thomas Delaney restored Dortmund’s lead over Düsseldorf in the nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Dodi Lukebakio missed a penalty for Dusseldorf, before Mario Götze thought he’d sealed it in injury time. Dawid Kownacki pulled one back, however, to set up another nervy finale.

Bayern Munich, who drew 0-0 against RB Leipzig, boasts a considerably better goal difference by 17 goals, meaning a draw against Eintracht Frankfurt in Munich next Saturday will be enough to seal the title. Dortmund must win at Borussia Monchengladbach and hope for a Frankfurt victory to take the title.

Melbourne Victory take second-string side to face Daegu FC


Melbourne Victory have taken the kids to South Korea for their midweek AFC Champions League distraction, leaving the bulk of their senior squad at home to prepare for Sunday’s A-League semifinal.

All five foreigners have been spared the gruelling 20-hour door-to-door trip to face Daegu FC on Wednesday night.

Victory’s result against the K League 1 side will have no bearing on their season, given they have already been mathematically eliminated from the nike nfl jerseys wholesale

As Victory boss Kevin Muscat has just one priority — reaching the A-League Grand Final — he opted for a travelling party of just 15 players.

Of the team that defeated Wellington Phoenix 3-1 on Friday night, Thomas Deng, James Donachie and Elvis Kamsoba are the only starters to travel, along with substitutes Storm Roux and Kenny Athiu.10

Along with the foreign five, Lawrence Thomas, Terry Antonis, Leigh Broxham, Carl Valeri and Anthony Lesitotis were told to stay put.

James Troisi, the club’s sole member on the injury list as he recovers from a small hamstring tear, also won’t be risked.

Ola Toivonen, who scored Victory’s third goal in the elimination final against Wellington, said the contest with the Phoenix took a nfl jerseys china nike

“We knew it was gonna be a physical game and we were ready for it,” he said. “We played smart. So we deserved to win.”

Toivonen’s chip from an acute angle over Filip Kurto was a superb individual effort from Friday’s man of the match.
He might have finished with a hat trick except he twice played in teammates while in goal-scoring positions.

“I’m not really a goalscorer. I like to put other players in positions as well,” he said.

Having scored twice against Sydney FC this season already, Toivonen will be a marked man at Jubilee Stadium.

The 32-year-old said he was delighted to be heading to Kogarah, where he scored a fine free kick back in November, and not their most recent venue, the SCG.

Adelaide into A-League semifinals after last-gasp extra time win over Melbourne City


Ben Halloran produced a last-minute extra-time winner for Adelaide United, sending the Reds into the A-League semifinals at the expense of Melbourne City.

Halloran sent a packed Coopers Stadium into delirium and his team into a clash with Perth, ending City’s season on Sunday night just as both sides appeared to be settling in for penalties.

The forward latched onto a cut-back from Baba Diawara after Ryan Kitto’s through-ball was midjudged by City’s marquee defender Richie De Laet — a painful end to an otherwise fine season from the Belgian.

Halloran, Craig Goodwin and goalkeeper Paul Izzo were all brilliant in the win. Adelaide coach Marco Kurz was a jubilant figure among many at Coopers Stadium on the final nfl jerseys cheap china

“It was another fantastic night for the boys and the supporters,” he said. “To see the supporters together with the boys in celebration — that is my job.9

“It’s not fair to say one player was outstanding … the team is the star.”

City boss Joyce, after missing out on the Asian Champions League qualification his club had set as a goal but never managed, was nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“It’s raw. It’s tough to take,” he said. “You can’t say much really. [The players] are obviously flat.”

Adelaide face a quick turnaround to prepare for Friday night’s formidable challenge of Tony Popovic’s Glory.

Popovic, sitting high in the stands at Coopers Stadium scouting his opponents, cannot have seen much he will fear. Perth will start as clear favourites, given their record and the benefit of a week off after United and City had slogged it out for 120 minutes.

Although Halloran smashed a first-half effort onto the bar, the home side didn’t put a shot on target for 112 minutes.

City weren’t much better, at least working Paul Izzo, but without a cut-through moment to capitalise on their late-match dominance. If the first elimination final, won 3-1 by Melbourne Victory, was an example of an explosive all-out brawl of a final, this was a war of attrition.

Barcelona putting La Liga title ahead of Liverpool UCL tie – Valverde


Ernesto Valverde said Barcelona will put winning La Liga for the eighth time in 11 years ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League showdown against Liverpool.

Barca host Liverpool in the first leg of their semifinal tie next week, but they have the chance to wrap up the Spanish league title by beating Levante on Saturday ahead of the UCL nfl nike jerseys from china

Valverde told a news conference on Friday that the boost which winning La Liga will bring outweighs the option of making wholesale changes ahead of the game against Jurgen Klopp’s side.

“You always have upcoming rivals in your head — you’re watching their games, analysing them,” Valverde said when asked if a first European semifinal since 2015 could serve as a distraction.4

“But I want to try and put Liverpool to one side because of the importance of Saturday’s game. I want the Levante game to be the crowning moment of our league season. If we win, we’re champions and that will give us a huge push going into Wednesday’s game.”

Valverde rested Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic and Jordi Alba for the midweek 2-0 win against Alaves, but all three are expected to start this weekend. There could be some subtle rotating elsewhere, though.

“It’s possible that there will be some changes, but there are four days between the two games,” the coach added. “Winning the league would be a massive boost for the Liverpool match.”nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Barca could even be crowned champions before the Levante game if Atletico Madrid lose to Real Valladolid earlier on Saturday. The Catalans are nine points clear of their nearest rivals with just four games to go and have a superior head-to-head record over Atleti.

They remain on track for a third Treble since 2009, too, with the Copa del Rey final against Valencia to come in May, but Valverde is particularly pleased with his side’s consistency in the league as they hone in on a 26th title.

“What this team is doing is really difficult,” Valverde said. “Last year, we won the league with games to spare. We’re in the same position this year. That’s not easy.

Sampdoria have Serie A’s ‘other Ronaldo’ as Ronaldo Vieira makes his mark in their midfield


William welcomes us with open arms. He ushers us into the back room of his restaurant, which doubles as a shrine to Sampdoria. Framed shirts line the walls, with thank-you notes and dedications penned on the white numbering. There’s one from Lucas Torreira, one from Patrik Schick, one from Milan Skriniar and, bizarrely for a diner by the beach on this stretch of the Ligurian coast, one from Queens Park Rangers winger Pawel Wszolek, who used to love this place when he played for Samp a few years ago.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

When William sees Ronaldo Vieira walk in for lunch, he embraces him like one of the family. There’s a polite reminder he wants one of his jerseys to put on display with all the others. The England under-21 international is enjoying a well-deserved day off after starting three games in seven days for Sampdoria. Big ones, too, against Milan, Torino and Roma. But none is bigger in this part of the world than the Derby della Lanterna against Genoa.3

The rivalry and how it manifested itself — imagine an Argentine Super Clasico, all ticker tape and streamers, played in an English-style ground — makes the Derby della Lanterna one of the standout fixtures on the continent. The intensity is breathtaking. But this season’s meetings were out of the ordinary. The Morandi bridge disaster in the city on Aug. 12, 2018, which killed 43 people and left another 600 homeless, has never been far from anyone’s minds, bringing the clubs and fan bases together in compassion and nfl nike jerseys from china

Their return meeting in mid-April served as another day of remembrance — as Arrigo Sacchi once said, “football is the most important of the least important things.” Goals from Gregoire Defrel and Fabio Quagliarella gave Sampdoria 2-0 victory, though their dreams of Europe have been somewhat dampened since. A 3-0 defeat at Bologna the following week means they are seven points adrift of sixth place with five games remaining. On Sunday, they host Lazio — (Sunday, ESPN+, 12 p.m. ET) — another team in contention for a European place and four points ahead of Samp.

To borrow a phrase used by coach Marco Giampaolo before the Juventus game in December, confidence is still present in the Gradinata Sud not only because Quagliarella, Serie A’s top scorer (22 goals, eight assists), plays for Samp, but because “we have a Ronaldo of our own.”