Netherlands Know The Reason For Poor Performance

WOLFBSBURG: Dutch forward Memphis Depay said his team had identified the cause of their poor performance in the first round of Euro 2024 and were ready to begin the challenge in the knockout stages.

The Netherlands did a ‘post mortem’ after losing in the last action of the group at the hands of Austria in Berlin.

The result dropped them to third place in the group and leads them to face Romania in the last 16 in Munich at midnight tomorrow.

“This tournament has only just started,” said Depay commenting on the knock-out competition which began on Saturday and saw Germany and Switzerland advance.

“We have to make sure that we learn from mistakes. We have discussions and criticize each other.

“It’s normal if there’s tension if the result isn’t what you want. But it’s over.

“The players are now in high spirits and we can’t wait to start the challenge in the knockout rounds.”

Depay played 90 minutes for the first time this season against Austria after suffering injury problems with Atletico Madrid.

In that match, he also scored a goal but it was not enough to deny Austria a 3-2 victory.

“It has to be better, but I was satisfied in my last match. I won my fight, even if I didn’t get many balls.

“I believe it will improve after this,” said Depay.

Before the match, Depay received a lot of criticism following his lackluster performance but the coach, Ronald Koeman still put his faith in the player and listed him in the starting line-up.

“I want to repay the coach’s trust. Of course it is important for you to receive the support of the individual who chose you to be in the starting line-up,” said Depay.

Asked how many goals a striker needs at the Euros, Depay said: “It’s not about numbers. If you score one goal in the final, it will be the most important goal of your career.”

Georgia Creates The Biggest Surprise In Euro 2024

GELSENKIRCHEN: Georgia booked their place in the last 16 on their debut appearance at a major tournament by beating Portugal 2-0 in Euro 2024 Group F action.

Portugal’s Antonio Silva was responsible for both goals – passing straight to Georges Mikautadze who then fed the ball to Khvicha Kvaratskhelia for the first goal after just 93 seconds of kick-off.

Silva was then adjudged to have fouled a Georgian player in the penalty box and Mikautadze converted the spot-kick for the second goal in the 57th minute.

Portugal, who already qualified as group champions, created several chances but were denied by the goalkeeper, Giorgi Mamardashvili.

Georgia finished the group stage in third place and will face Spain in the knockout round, while Portugal will face Slovenia.

Mainoo Happy Ten Hag Staying At Old Trafford

BLANKENHAIN, Germany: England midfielder Kobbie Mainoo is happy that speculation over the future of Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is over after he was given a chance to play in the first team by the Dutch manager.

Mainoo’s debut season with the Red Devils, which included scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup final against English champions Manchester City, earned him Gareth Southgate’s call-up to the Euro 2024 squad.

Despite winning a second trophy in two seasons at Old Trafford, the Ten Hag’s future remains uncertain after United finished eighth in the Premier League campaign.

However, Ten Hag confirmed last Sunday that he was informed that he would remain in charge of the club next season.

“Happy to improve with him, he has already won two trophies and hopefully many more will follow,” Mainoo told reporters at England’s training center yesterday.

“It’s good to know about it. We know which manager we’re going to face.

“He put a lot of trust in me. I am very grateful to him.”

Mainoo came off the bench in England’s 1-0 win over Serbia last Sunday to make his competitive debut for Southgate’s side.

England will face Denmark in Frankfurt early this Friday morning and Mainoo is looking forward to facing his Manchester United teammates, Rasmus Hojlund and Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen scored for Denmark in their 1-1 draw with Slovenia in their first game, three years after suffering a heart attack on the pitch at Euro 2020.

“Rasmus and I are both young and we are quite close,” said Mainoo.

“Christian, I learned a lot from him. His journey since the last Euros has been amazing.

“If I get dropped this Thursday I’ll have to rule them all out.”

I Would Win Trophies Elsewhere – Ten Hag

LONDON: Erik ten Hag warned Manchester United owners he would continue winning trophies elsewhere if they decided to sack him after their 2-1 win over Manchester City in the English FA Cup final last night.

Ten Hag’s lead-up to the final was haunted by reports he would be sacked no matter what the decision at Wembley.

But the United manager has made a strong case to remain in charge of the team if he overcomes City boss Pep Guardiola and win his second trophy in two years in charge.

Now Ten Hag will have to wait for his fate after insisting he was not informed whether he would be fired.

United co-owner Jim Ratcliffe and members of the Glazer family, who are the club’s majority shareholders, celebrated the team’s first FA Cup win for eight years from the seats of the famous guests.

It remains to be seen whether he was enough to save Ten Hag after United finished eighth in the Premier League – their worst position since 1990 – and were knocked out in the Champions League group stage.

United lost 14 times in the league – including humiliating defeats at the hands of Crystal Palace and Bournemouth – finishing with a negative goal difference and 31 points behind champions City.

But Ten Hag still believes United is heading on the right path under his guidance.

At a tense press conference after the match, the former Ajax boss explained he was not afraid of being sacked.

“When I started here, I said I was here to win, and I wanted to build a team. I did both,” he said.

“If they don’t want me, I’ll go anywhere and do what I’ve done my whole career, winning games and trophies.”

Asked if he had any assurance of his job being safe since reports of his potential dismissal, Ten Hag said: “That’s what they used to tell me (before now).

“Every time it’s the same question. They don’t need to tell me every week.

“I don’t think about this. I’m in a project and we’re exactly where we want to be. We’re building a team for the future.”

United have been linked with former Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino, former Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel, England manager Gareth Southgate and Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna.

FA Cup Couldn’t Save Ten Hag – Ferdinand

MANCHESTER: Rio Ferdinand believes Erik ten Hag will still be fired by Manchester United even though the manager managed to lead the team to win the FA Cup.

The Red Devils will face neighbors Manchester City in the final at Wembley, this Saturday.

After finishing eighth in the Premier League, United’s worst finisher in the top league, Ten Hag and his men have the opportunity to make up for the loss by winning the FA Cup.

If United win, they will also qualify for the Europa League next season.

However, club legend Ferdinand is not sure that success will guarantee Ten Hag’s continued stay at Old Trafford.

“Win or lose, I don’t think Ten Hag will be here next season. I don’t say what I want, but I believe that will be the case, and am sure the club will find a replacement.

“I don’t think (winning the FA Cup) can change INEOS’s views. I haven’t talked to anyone about this matter, this is just my opinion, what I think,” said Ferdinand.

According to Ferdinand, injuries to key players should not be used as an excuse for United’s poor performance this season.

“Most teams have injury problems, maybe not the same as Man United. Performance will definitely decline, but it should not change the style of your game.

“I don’t know what we are. I don’t know who we are. Who are we as a team? What are we?” he said.

Man United’s new co-owner Jim Ratcliffe has also not expressed his support for Ten Hag, raising doubts about the Dutchman’s future at Old Trafford.

Former Chelsea manager Graham Potter and Thomas Tuchel have been linked with a move to Old Trafford to replace Ten Hag.

England boss Gareth Southgate is also understood to be on the short list of potential new Man United managers.

Mbappe Says Goodbye In Defeat

PARIS: Kylian Mbappe scored in his final home appearance as a Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) player earlier this morning but the French champions suffered a shock 3-1 defeat against Toulouse on the night they lifted the Ligue 1 championship trophy.

Mbappe confirmed in a video posted on social media yesterday that he will leave PSG when his contract expires at the end of this season, ending seven years at the club.

Real Madrid is expected to be the next destination for the player whose departure from Paris has been no longer a secret since last February, if he personally announced to the club his desire to move.

Mbappe covered the captain’s arm and opened the scoring early against Toulouse to take his tally to 44 goals in all games this season.

However, Thijs Dallinga deservedly equalized for the visitors against PSG who made 10 changes compared to a team knocked out by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semi-finals mid-week, with Mbappe the only player to keep his place.

Yann Gboho put Toulouse in front with a stunning goal in the second half and Frank Magri completed the win in injury time as PSG suffered only their second Ligue 1 defeat of the season and their first in 27 games since last September.

Mbappe has now scored 256 goals with PSG, a club record since joining from Monaco in 2017 in a deal worth 180 million euros.

His total of 190 goals scored in the French top flight – including 16 with Monaco at the start of his career – puts him seventh overall on the all-time list.

Coach Luis Enrique considered the 25-year-old “a club legend” when speaking to the media.

“I heard the applause, the fans gave him the respect he deserves, he is a club legend even though he is still young,” said Enrique.

PSG can still finish the season by completing the domestic double if they face Lyon in the French Cup final in Lyon on May 25.

Ajax Interested In Bringing Back Erik ten Hag

AMSTERDAM: Ajax are interested in bringing back Erik ten Hag, but face challenges in signing the Manchester United manager.

The Dutch giant put Ten Hag as the main candidate to replace interim manager, John van’t Schip.

However, Ten Hag and his coaching team do not want to leave Old Trafford to return to Amsterdam this summer.

Ajax’s only chance is to hope that its former manager is fired by United.

United’s new owners, INEOS will decide Ten Hag’s fate at the end of this season, after a disappointing campaign.

Ten Hag still has a chance to save his career by winning the FA Cup when he faces Manchester City in the final on May 25.

Apart from Ten Hag, the Ajax board also listed former Chelsea manager Graham Potter and Nice boss Francesco Farioli as candidates.

If Ten Hag is sacked, he will probably look for a club in one of Europe’s strongest leagues, rather than returning to the Netherlands.

After turning Ajax into one of the most entertaining teams on the European football stage, the Dutch club is back to playing as well as Ten Hag left in 2022.

They are currently fifth in the Eredivisie, 35 points behind leaders PSV.

This situation also contributed to the factors that would make Ten Hag not interested in returning to his old club.

Coventry Almost Embarrassed United

LONDON: Manchester United was almost embarrassed by the second division club, Coventry City before winning 4-2 through penalties in the semi-final of the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium.

The winner had to be decided by penalty kicks after Coventry, who had previously been three goals behind, made a sensational comeback to tie United 3-3.

Erik Ten Hag’s squad opened the scoring in the 24th minute when Scott McTominay easily finished Diogo Dalot’s pass in the penalty box.

United headed into the dressing room more comfortably after defender Harry Maguire headed in a Bruno Fernandes corner in first-half stoppage time.

Fernandes then doubled the advantage for United by scoring the third goal in the 58th minute, but Coventry managed to close the gap when Ellis Simms finished Fabio Tavares’ pass in the 71st minute.

Eight minutes later, the Red Devils began to suffer when Coventry got their second goal thanks to Callum O’Hare’s goal which resulted from Simms’ pass.

The rise of Mark Robins’ squad continued as they managed to equalize through Haji Wright’s penalty goal in stoppage time after the ball hit Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s hands to drag the match into extra time.

Both teams, however, failed to add a goal during extra time which saw the winner having to be decided through a penalty shootout.

Rasmus Hojlund appeared to be the savior of United’s dignity when he finished the last penalty to take his team to the final after O’Hare and Ben Sheaf failed to complete the kick for Coventry.

The victory allows United to book a clash with neighbors Manchester City in the final stage on May 25.

Liverpool Fans Want Emery To Replace Klopp

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool supporters are proposing a new name to replace Jurgen Klopp as manager this summer.

The search for a replacement for the German manager is being actively carried out after Klopp announced he would leave Anfield at the start of last year.

The club’s main target, Xabi Alonso, rejected their offer because he wanted to stay with Bayer Leverkusen, who won the Bundesliga title for the first time.

Liverpool have also been linked with Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim but the manager is furious at the speculation.

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi is also on Liverpool’s radar, but fans say the club needs to look for another candidate to replace Klopp.

Now the name of Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has become a name after his success in bringing the Midlands club to fourth place in the English Premier League.

When they took over Villa, the club were 14th and struggling for relegation.

Now Emery has managed to take them to the quarter-finals of the Europa League and is getting closer to qualifying for the European Champions League next season after beating his former club, Arsenal 2-0.

Emery has won the Europa League three times with Sevilla and once with Villarreal. He also won the French Cup and league treble with Paris Saint-Germain and reached the Europa League final with Arsenal.

Salah Saved Liverpool Against Manchester United

MANCHESTER, England: Mohamed Salah scored the equalizer with a penalty kick as Liverpool survived at Old Trafford by a point in a 2-2 draw with Manchester United then level on points with Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Salah struck in the 84th minute for his sixth league goal at Old Trafford, the most by any visiting player in league history, overtaking Steven Gerrard on five goals.

With seven games left in the race for the title, Liverpool and Arsenal each have 71 points with the Gunners ahead on goal difference.

Defending champions Manchester City are third with 70 points while United are sixth.

Luis Diaz got Liverpool’s first goal in the 23rd minute when Dominik Szoboszlai’s cross from a corner found Darwin Nunez who headed the Colombian’s volley from close range.

But Bruno Fernandes scored the first attempt on target in the 50th minute past goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.

Kobbie Mainoo delighted the fans at Old Trafford with a powerful strike into the corner of the goal in the 67th minute.

Liverpool were however awarded a penalty when Harvey Elliott was brought down in the penalty box.