Tag Archives: League

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus facing Super League charges as UEFA open proceedings

UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus over their involvement in the failed European Super League proposal last month. The clubs were named as three of the 12 ‘Founding Members’ of the competition, which is now in disarray with the vast majority of sides pulling out in quick succession as a result of the significant backlash.
Barca, Real and Juventus are the only clubs yet to renounce their involvement in the Super League, making a joint statement earlier this month to defend themselves and the competition.

The other nine teams, including the six Premier League sides – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – had already been handed a financial punishment by UEFA in the form of a combined £15million goodwill payment to benefit the grassroots game across Europe.

However, it seems as though the remaining trio will be subject to harsher treatment as a result of their determination to go ahead with the breakaway league.

UEFA released a statement on Tuesday evening announcing their plans to investigate any rule-breaking that may have taken place with regards to the proposal.

“Following an investigation conducted by UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspectors in connection with the so-called ‘Super League’ project, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus for a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework,” the statement read.

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“Further information will be made available in due course.”

The announcement of the Super League was met with widespread opposition from across the football world, with many onlookers accusing the club owners involved of excessive greed and a lack of respect for the sport’s pyramid system and match-going supporters.

Real president Florentino Perez masterminded the plans that would have seen 15 sides ring-fenced into the competition each year, with only five places up for grabs on merit.

The 74-year-old insisted last month that the Super League would go ahead despite the quickfire exits of the other nine clubs, claiming that each team had entered into a legally-binding contract that cannot be broken.

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“I’m not going to take my time to explain what a binding contract is here,” Perez told AS. “But the fact is, the clubs can’t leave.

“Some, because of the pressure, have had to say they’ll leave. But this project, or something very similar, will happen, and I hope it’s in the near future.”

Manchester City became the first club to withdraw from the Super League just two days after the plans were unveiled, with Chelsea the next to join the newly-crowned Premier League champions in pulling out.

Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool quickly followed suit, as did Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan, to leave only the remaining trio of Barca, Real and Juventus.

The six Premier League clubs were commended for their decision to leave by UEFA president Alexander Ceferin, who highlighted their courage in admitting their mistakes.

“In accepting their commitments and willingness to repair the disruption they caused, UEFA wants to put this chapter behind it and move forward in a positive spirit,” he said.

“These clubs recognised their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football.

“The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called Super League and UEFA will deal with those clubs subsequently.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Boris Johnson thought European Super League was a 'great idea,' says government insider

Boris Johnson initially gave the go-ahead to the Premier League’s ‘big six’ clubs before they announced plans for a European Super League, according to reports.

It was widely reported that No. 10 officials met then-Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward four days before the announcement was made late on April 18.

No. 10 has denied that the ESL was discussed, instead claiming coronavirus protocols were on the agenda.

English top-flight clubs Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur each announced that they were joining forces with clubs across Europe to create an exclusive and lucrative 12-team league.

La Liga giants Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, and Serie A’s Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan were also involved.

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The claim is a stark contrast to how Johnson handled the news publicly.

On April 20, he told a press conference: “The first step is clearly to back the football authorities in this country – the FA, the Football Association, the Premier League – in the steps that they are taking to counteract this initiative.

“But be in no doubt that we don’t support it.

“I think it is not in the interests of fans, it is not in the interest of football.

“How can it be right to a situation in which you create a kind of cartel that stops clubs competing against each other?

“Playing against each other properly with all hope and excitement that gives to fans up and down the country.

“I think it offends against the basic principles of competition.

“If necessary, in order to protect that principle of competition, we will seek a legislative solution.

“But we hope that the [football authorities] can find a way forward themselves.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Man Utd Europa League final squad confirmed: Harry Maguire included but big name absent

Manchester United’s Europa League final squad in full:

Goalkeepers – David De Gea, Dean Henderson, Lee Grant, Nathan Bishop.

Defenders – Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Alex Telles, Axel Tuanzebe, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Brandon Williams.

Midfielders – Amad, Bruno Fernandes, Fred, Daniel James, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek.

Forwards – Edinson Cavani, Anthony Elanga, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Shola Shoretire.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Jurgen Klopp makes Chelsea and Leicester admission after Liverpool secure Champions League

“Perfect. It was windy like crazy. It’s not good for football,” Klopp said.

“We found a way into the game, scored a great goal. Do you take more risk, or control even more? The second goal was so helpful. I didn’t know about other matches.

“I’m so proud of what they’ve done the last 10 or 15 hgames and the reaction of the team in bad times. Eight wins out of 10, two draws, that’s impressive.

“Energy makes all the difference and we got a lot of energy from outside (the fans).

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Rocket League F1 Fan Pack COUNTDOWN: Release date, start time, decals

Seeing as it’s Rocket League, and you’re bound to have plenty of spectacular crashes each match, some recent high-profile incidents from IRL were showcased in the F1 Fan Pack trailer.

We see a bit of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s wheel-to-wheel coming together at Imola this year, as well as another Red Bull and Mercedes incident – where Alex Albon saw the chance to get his first podium snatched away after an incident with the seven-time world champion.

If you were watching that race from Austria last year, or saw the recent series of Drive To Survive, you’ll know the Thai driver was far from pleased.

In terms of a release time, on Reddit Psyonix said the F1 Fan Pack should be available in Rocket League at 9am pacific time on Thursday May 20. For those in other time zones that’s 12pm eastern and 5pm BST.

The Rocket League F1 Fan Pack will be available for 2,000 credits.

Which decal will you kit your car out in? Will you go for one of the main players in title hunt, Mercedes and Red Bull, who seem destined for an all-season long intense battle the likes of which we’ve not seen for years?

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Gaming Feed

iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2021 review: Apple's new M1-powered tablet is in a league of its own

Apple iPad review

Apple iPad review (Image: APPLE)

Apple is back with a brand-new iPad Pro and this latest tablet truly is as powerful as a fully-fledged laptop. That’s because the new iPad is powered by the custom-designed M1 processor – the very same silicon brain found inside the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and all-new iMac. Unsurprisingly, these MacBook brains ensure the new iPad Pro is supremely quick – not that it was exactly a slouch when powered by last year’s A12Z Bionic chip – but is it really time to ditch all of your other devices and go all-in on iPad? Express.co.uk has been trying out the new iPad Pro ahead of its launch. Here’s what we think of Apple’s most powerful tablet to date.

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch review:

When you unwrap this latest and greatest 12.9-inch iPad and lift it out of the box the first thing you’ll notice is that the design hasn’t changed one bit. That’s no bad thing as this tablet still looks stunning with its premium aluminium case and edge-to-edge display continue to make this the best looking iPad on the market.

So, if the look hasn’t been updated, what is new? All of the major changes with this new iPad Pro become apparent as soon as you hit the power button and boot-up this new tablet. Perhaps the biggest upgrade is that Apple-designed M1 chip.

This processor was announced last year and is already tucked inside the latest MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. It’s even powering the newly launched iMac and, as you can read in our review, it’s made that desktop PC more responsive and faster than ever.

Apple iPad Pro review

The new 12.9-inch screen is stunning (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

With that new M1 processor inside the iPad Pro, you’ll really struggle to find anything this device can’t cope with. We’ve been running everything from Photoshop, to memory-guzzling games, multiple apps side-by-side, and more, with the new Pro taking it all in its stride.

If you want some geeky stats, the new Pro is actually around 50 percent faster than its predecessor, which is a massive gain considering just how quick the 2020 iPad Pro felt (and continues to feel!). If you’re truly a “pro” user, this extra oomph will be a very welcome addition as the iPad will breeze through tasks like a burning hot knife through butter.

But while it feels counterintuitive to moan about having so much grunt at our fingertips, we do wonder whether the average iPad Pro owner will ever really take advantage of that immense engine. Still, while you might not truly feel the benefit of the M1 when watching Netflix, replying to emails, and shopping from the sofa …if nothing else, the powerful M1 should mean this iPad Pro continues to get the latest software update for years to come.

Apple iPad Pro review

The new iPad looks the same but is packed with extra features (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

 Apple iPad Pro review

It’s powered by the M1 chip now found in the iMac and MacBooks (Image: APPLE)

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro also benefits from an improved screen, that Apple is calling its “Liquid Retina XDR Display” (for reference, the 11-inch sticks with last year’s screen).

Now, when you first switch things on you might not really notice that much of a difference between old and new – as the previous iPad Pro still looks truly great. However, find some HDR 4K content and you’re suddenly struck by how much better this updated screen is over last year’s standard Liquid Retina model.

Colours look far richer on this mini-LED panel and blacks get more punch. It’s also brighter than before, which is a bonus for anyone using their iPad Pro in the great outdoors.

And that screen isn’t the only bonus. If you love taking your iPad on the road as it also now features 5G network technology. That means you can pop a 5G SIM inside and unlock speeds of over 300Mbps. That’s around four times faster than the average home broadband speed in the UK, so should be more than enough to collaborate on documents, join videoconferences, and more from the road.

Of course, buying the cellular model does cost £150 more, but having 5G in an iPad makes a lot of sense and we can see this becoming a hugely popular addition as this next-generation mobile signal improves across the UK.

Apple iPad Pro review

The Magic Keyboard is available in white (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Apple iPad Pro review

Apple iPad Pro review (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

If you do opt for the more expensive model, you’ll get that clever eSIM inside which allows you to instantly connect to networks across the world without having to buy a local SIM card.

The next upgrade that’s definitely worth mentioning is the new Ultra-Wide front-facing camera, which now gets a clever feature called Center Stage.

This option allows the camera to track your movements when making video calls so, as you move around the room, you’re always in the shot.

It even knows when someone else walks in and joins the conversation – the camera will instantly switch to a wider angle to ensure everyone is seen. It’s a really clever system and we wonder how long before more of Apple’s products get a similar technology.

It’s worth noting that the rear dual-lens camera set-up with clever LiDAR sensor has stayed the same as last year’s iPad Pro. Although images are improved slightly, thanks to some clever AI. This becomes more apparent when shooting images at night with the new Pro handling low light shots far better than before.

If it’s battery life that concerns you there is good and bad news. Unlike the new MacBooks, which saw a huge battery boost when Apple fitted the new M1 chipset, things have stayed pretty much the same on the new iPad. While the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro now have industry-leading battery life, the iPad Pro has the same 10-hours on a single charge as last year. It’s still amazing and will easily last a long-haul flight – when we all get flying again – but don’t expect to head away for the weekend without a USB-C charger in your bag.

Apple iPad Pro review

You still get the same great experience using Apple Pencil (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Other upgrades worth a mention include much faster data transfer speeds thanks to a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port and, if money is no option, you can now add a whopping 2TB of in-built storage – although that model will cost you £2,149 when you include 5G too. Ouch!

For those who want a more laptop-style experience, the iPad Pro continues to be compatible with numerous keyboard options, including Apple’s Magic Keyboard. Some reports had suggested last year’s Magic Keyboard wouldn’t work with the new 2021 Pro, but in our test that doesn’t seem to be the case.

If you do fancy buying one of these typing accessories it’s worth noting that the Magic Keyboard now comes in white and looks very smart.

Along with all of those new features you still get fast unlocking via Face ID, full compatibility with the new Apple Pencil, four amazing speakers and studio-quality microphones. So, that’s all the best bits about the latest iPad Pro model, but is there anything not to like?

Our main problem is that, while it’s an incredible feat that Apple is using the same powerful chip in the iPad as it uses to fuel the MacBook Pro and iMac, some may find there’s little point to all that power in a tablet.

Apple is pretty clear this new iPad Pro 12.9-inch isn’t designed to replace a laptop and we’d agree with that, even with the M1 inside, there’s still plenty this tablet cannot do that a MacBook Air lets you do. Running more than two apps side-by-side would be a cinch for the powerful M1 …but iPadOS doesn’t let you do that, for example.

iPadOS software has come a long way in recent years, but there’s no hiding from the fact that this new device is still just a tablet. And if you want to get some real work done… you’re going to want an M1-powered computer on your desk as well.

That said, if you’re looking to buy a new tablet and really want the best of the best, you’re not going to find anything as good as the new iPad Pro. For everyone who wants a tablet to do basic “tablet stuff”, don’t forget that Apple recently brought some of our favourite parts of the iPad Pro design – such as the edge-to-edge screen – to the new iPad Air last year, and starting from £579, that’s a pretty phenomenal deal.

Apple iPad Pro review

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch review (Image: APPLE)

iPad Pro 12.9 review: Final Verdict

PROS • Ludicrously powerful • Stunning screen • Improved front-facing camera • Now comes with 2TB of storage
CONS • Can get very expensive • Rear camera stays the same • Is it simply too powerful for a tablet?

This is quite simply the most incredible tablet anyone has ever made. With the M1 tucked inside, the iPad Pro is now as powerful as Apple’s latest desktop PC, boasts an improved screen, and access to blisteringly-fast 5G downloads when away from your home Wi-Fi connection.

The new front-facing camera system with Center Stage is amazing when making FaceTime calls, and, for those who can afford it, there’s now the option to add a whopping 2TB of built-in storage.

Basically, everything we moaned was missing from last year’s iPad Pro has now been added. And as such, it’s hard to fault this premium tablet.

The only thing to remember is that Apple sells more affordable iPads, including the truly excellent iPad Air, and we’d make sure you need all that extra power and LiDAR camera before splashing more than £1,000 on a tablet (or £2,597 if you want the top-of-the-line iPad Pro with a keyboard and Apple Pencil stylus thrown-in).

If you have that kind of space on your credit card and want to feel the full force of that M1 chip, what are you waiting for?

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Premier League talking points: Alisson's Liverpool moment, Dele Alli is back, West Ham

SNEAKING INTO THE EUROS BY THE BACK ALLI

What was this? Tottenham one goal to the good and still banging shots against the woodwork and eventually adding a second.

By BASKing in the glory of the Fantasy Formation of Bale, Alli, Son and Kane, Ryan Mason has given Spurs fans a taste of what they are dreaming of. And with speculation surrounding Kane, it might be last fleeting glimpse of a line-up for the ages.

If it was still the 2013 Gareth Bale and Dele Alli from 2017, Spurs’ season would have been very different indeed.

But at least these last more cossetted games of the season, away from Jose Mourinho’s abrasive abuse, have given both players a chance to rebuild some confidence.

Sadly for Bale it is unlikely to be enough to earn him a final-year Real Madrid swansong, so his summer looks uncertain.

But Alli is still just 25.

As he showed four seasons ago, he has the potential to be among the very best. And with his pace over five yards, his energy and, yes, that ‘devilment’ Mauricio Pochettino kept going on about, he offers something different.

Gareth Southgate has three places extra in his Euro 2020 squad that he was not expecting. Is it time to hold out the olive branch to Alli and see what he can do?

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Chelsea and Man City denied Wembley Champions League final as UEFA decide location

Porto is set to stage the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City, according to reports. UEFA have been forced into a rethink amid Turkey’s ongoing struggle with the coronavirus pandemic, meaning the showpiece is set to move to Portugal from Istanbul for a second successive season.
Turkey was placed on England’s red list at the end of last week meaning fans will be unable to make the journey to support their teams.

Talks were immediately held between UEFA and the UK government about the prospect of bringing the final to England.

Wembley Stadium, where the two sides met in the FA Cup semi-final last month, was reportedly the frontrunner to host the biggest game in club football.

Villa Park and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was also said to be under consideration.

However, according to The Telegraph, Porto’s Estadio do Dragao is now set to host the final at the end of the month.

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UEFA were initially planning to hand both clubs at least 4,000 tickets for the final and that will still be the plan if the final moves to Porto.

On the field, the final is nicely poised with Chelsea flying high under Thomas Tuchel and City now officially the Premier League champions once again.

Yet while they may be the best team in England this season, Chelsea appear to have their number since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard.

He has won both meetings against Guardiola’s side, beating them 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-final and 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League last Saturday.

Pundit Rio Ferdinand believes Tuchel may just be Guardiola’s bogey opponent, something that stands Chelsea in good stead heading into the meeting.

“It seems Tuchel has his number at the moment. If there’s one manager on the planet, then Tuchel is that guy,” Ferdinand said.

“Will there be a bit of a carryover from those two results? I think there will, yeah.

“There will be an underlying uncertainty, there won’t be a pure 100 per cent conviction that they have going into every game usually.

“The only thing I’d say about Chelsea, what he’s been able to do against the top teams and in the Champions League, he’s made teams alter the way they play against them.

“He’s made it scruffy at times, they’re a hard team to play against, they’re rough, ready, aggressive, quick in transitions, they’re not an easy team to turn over.

“Pep knows he’s in for a game this time and tactically Tuchel is an astute manager.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Manchester City champions: 5 matches that won the Premier League crown

Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions on Tuesday after nearest rivals Manchester United fell to a 2-1 defeat to Leicester City. It was their third league title in the past four seasons with Pep Guardiola’s men being deserved champions.
It has been an utterly dominant season from City as they reclaim their crown from Liverpool.

Express Sport takes a look back on the five matches that has seen them be named as champions.

Manchester City 2-5 Leicester City

It seems somewhat bizarre to at first pick out a defeat and a heavy one at that but this thumping at the hands of Brendan Rodgers’ men gave City the lessons that they needed.

Defensively, the Citizens looked vulnerable throughout as Jamie Vardy bagged a hat-trick, with James Maddison and Youri Tielemans also getting on the scoresheet.

That reverse convinced the club to turn to the transfer market and bring in Ruben Dias from Benfica – a move that has been inspired.

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Liverpool 1-4 Manchester City

Speaking of title rivals, Liverpool were then the next to be put to the sword in early February.

It was a statement victory from the visitors at Anfield as they displayed their resilience and quality to reduce the considerable gap to the Reds that was on display throughout 2019/20.

Gundogan scored twice on the day, with Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden also netting for City’s first Premier League victory at Anfield since 2003.

Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester City

As it happened, the last win before they were crowned as champions.

Sergio Aguero and Torres netted two quickfire goals at Selhurst Park to secure three points.

It was also City’s 20th victory in their previous 22 league games – a run of form that has seen them canter to a fifth Premier League crown.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Man City crowned Premier League champions as Man Utd surrender title with Leicester defeat

Manchester City have been crowned Premier League champions after their noisy neighbours Manchester United fell to a 2-1 home defeat against Leicester. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named a heavily-rotated and vastly inexperienced side against the Foxes to prevent the risk of injury with the Europa League final against Villarreal in Gdansk on the horizon.
United, who played just two days ago in the 3-1 win at Aston Villa, were forced to cram in tonight’s fixture after anti-Glazer protests saw their Premier League game with Liverpool postponed earlier this month.

The Red Devils will now host Liverpool on Thursday at Old Trafford, a match which Solskjaer evidently deems more important.

His bold team selection was welcomed by Leicester, who needed nothing other than all three points to keep their own top-four hopes alive.

A stunning side-footed volley from Luke Thomas inside the opening exchanges put the Foxes in dreamland before Mason Greenwood immediately levelled things up.

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Pep Guardiola’s side were ahead against Chelsea through Raheem Sterling and then had the chance to double the lead from the penalty spot after Billy Gilmour tripped Gabriel Jesus.

Sergio Aguero’s tame panenka was gratefully gathered by Edouard Mendy though to the fury of Guardiola and his players.

Chelsea then fought back in the second half as Hakim Ziyech equalised with a low drive from the edge of the box.

Marcos Alonso then saw Chelsea earn a crucial three points in stoppage time as he dispatched the ball over Ederson and into the net.

While City may have regrets they did not wrap up the title last Saturday on home soil, the club’s fifth Premier League triumph is now secure and the celebrations will begin.

It has not always been a formality though. Back in December when Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-1 at Anfield courtesy of a late winner from Roberto Firmino, City were eighth in table.

At the time, they were eight points behind champions Liverpool with plenty of work to do to get into the top four, let alone title contention.

Guardiola’s men soon found their rhythm though and went on an imperious 20-match winning streak.

There was even a point last month where the quadruple looked a genuine possibility before City bowed out of the FA Cup to Champions League final rivals Chelsea.

They have already won the Carabao Cup following the 1-0 win over Tottenham at Wembley and now they’re targeting their first-ever Champions League to complete what has been yet another historic season.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed