Cristiano Ronaldo denticulate a ablaze hat-trick as Portugal survived a second-half alarm to authorize for their fourth beeline World Cup finals with a 3-2 play-off additional leg win adjoin Sweden on Tuesday to authorize 4-2 on aggregate. The Real Madrid superstar denticulate all four on his side’s goals including the first-leg champ as he overcame an appropriately ablaze affectation from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a archetypal appointment at Solna.
Ibrahimovic denticulate both goals for Sweden in arrogant as the bout featured 5 goals in 29 account of second-half madness. Ronaldo aswell becomes Portugal’s best arch scorer as took his account to 50 and three advanced of retired advanced Pedro Pauleta.
“A amateur who array a hat-trick in a bold of this ambit of advance that has an aftereffect that is actual affecting on the final result,” drillmaster Paulo Bento told Portuguese radio RTP in advertence to Ronaldo’s heroics. “In the additional bisected we approved that we play bigger if we’re added in agitation than with the advantage, and we were added at ease.
“After arch 1-0, we absent our way in some situations and we gave abroad two goals from set-pieces. “But we had a abundant acknowledgment and the achievement is absolutely fair. At 2-2 things became added airy and the third ambition bound the match. “It seems fair to me that we got the achievement and able afterwards what we accept done over the two matches.” connected Bento.
With Portugal arch 1-0 afterwards the first-leg and the bout scoreless at half-time, Ronaldo angry the bold on its arch 5 account afterwards the restart if he latched assimilate a august through brawl from Joao Moutinho and guided a left-foot attack accomplished the anxious Andreas Isaksson. The counter-attack that amorphous central the Portuguese amends area, took just two touches to forward the above Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United striker chargeless on a breach that went the breadth of the pitch.
Sweden were larboard adverse the alarming anticipation of scoring three times in 40 account and alive the army into a aberration if Ibrahimovic headed home Kim Kallstrom’s bend with 22 account remaining. The arranged army at the Friends Arena were accustomed added achievement four account afterwards if English adjudicator Howard Webb accurately awarded a free-kick to Sweden just alfresco the breadth which Ibrahimovic accomplished low accomplished Rui Patricio.
With a beachcomber of chicken shirts bombarding the Portuguese defence, Ronaldo afresh came to the accomplishment with two goals in two minutes, both of them analytic finishes afterwards breaking abaft the defence. Hugo Almeida set up Portugal’s third ambition which took the bite out of the army afore addition absolute canyon from Moutinho enabled Ronaldo to annular Isaksson afore smashing the brawl in off the base of the bar.
“We were punished on the counter-attack afterwards accident the ball,” bemoaned Ibrahimovic. “Their superior was alone on the adverse but we played a acceptable match. It’s apparently my endure attack to authorize for the World Cup because by the time of the next competition, I apparently will not be arena for the civic team,” connected the Swede. “One affair is sure, a World Cup after me is something I will not be following. All my congratulations to Portugal, but the two teams adapted to go to the World Cup.
If Portugal adjudge to almanac a song to accompany their access to Brazil, maybe they will accede borrowing something from the Millwall pantheon in honour of their captain. No one brand him but he doesn’t care, for Cristiano Ronaldo is traveling to the World Cup, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not.
On the day that the Portuguese bi-weekly Diario de Noticias appear that Ronaldo is set to accessible a building in account to himself next year on his home island of Madeira – with the advice of his mother Dolores – Portugal’s totem onceagain accepted that there is accuracy below the bluster, carrying them to a above affray via the play-offs for the third time in a row with a analytic hat-trick.
Ibrahimovic, the boy from the bad end of boondocks who is now abundant of a civic abundance to arete a alternation of stamps address his image, denticulate alert and could accept done little added to affect Sweden. Yet the angel of the night was the epitomize footage of Paris Saint-Germain’s adventurous brilliant artlessly applauding in the after-effects of Ronaldo’s absolutely accomplished third goal, which dead the home side’s claiming already and for all.
So was this his greatest achievement for Portugal? “If you yield it on the akin of the goals afresh yes,” Ronaldo said with a coy accomplished of the eyebrow, “but I’ve put in added abundant performances before, even afterwards scoring. I fabricated my contribution, at the actual accomplished level. We adapted to win, and now it’s about adequate the moment.”
He was right. There will be affluence of added times in the advancing months for drillmaster Paulo Bento to affront over Portugal’s countless flaws. “There’s a lot to advance on,” said Ronaldo but for now, acquaintance and foe akin were accountable to accompany Ibrahimovic in admiration. It would be a abruptness if the Ballon d’Or vote bootless to chase suit.
His team-mate Miguel Veloso, like Ronaldo a Sporting Clube de Portugal product, summed it up succinctly. “The abundance of amateur he plays,” he said, “the goals he scores, the situations he resolves Ronaldo is a machine.” Johan Elmander was analogously convinced. “[Ibrahimovic] did aggregate he could,” said the Norwich striker, “but Ronaldo was just that little bit better.”
He was so in a adverse ambiance too, as is the case so generally on the alley these days. The Friends Arena fabricated it bright that it would not getting active up to its name from the moment it audibly whistled Ronaldo’s name as the starting lineups were apprehend out to the army afore the match, and the evening’s contest connected in a agnate vein.
He bound resumed hostilities with Mikael Lustig afterwards their affray in Lisbon on Friday, with the Celtic apostle abduction the brawl impatiently from the Portugal captain’s easily afterwards the accolade of a free-kick in the aperture seconds.
The capital event, amid Messrs Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo, was already afresh a apathetic burner in the aboriginal half. As is generally the case for both, they seemed abounding with over-responsibility, aggravating to wrest the bout to their alone wills single-handed.
“I knew that the civic aggregation bare me in these two games,” Ronaldo said afterwards the blare to the Portuguese anchorperson RTP, and it shows.
While Sweden’s amulet got sucked added and added to try to ample the artistic abandoned in midfield – just area Portugal capital him – Ronaldo banned to attending to aces passes. He capital to grab the bout by the throat.
Ronaldo’s addiction to this aboriginal alike amid through the aboriginal period, if he thrashed a cross-shot over from a boxy bend with others bigger placed for a pass. He agilely berated his teammates for not demography up bigger positions, cartoon catcalls from the stands and the evening’s aboriginal chants of “Messi, Messi”.
In a part of his 12 shots of the black – three added than Sweden’s aggregation absolute of nine – the Real Madrid man about created the opener for Hugo Almeida, but his recalled bang accomplice prevented a above adventure from breaking apart by branch profligately into the ancillary netting, with the hosts whistling for play to be chock-full as Elmander lay injured.
What seemed as if it would be the absolute Ronaldo moment of the black accustomed in the 51st minute, as he sped on to Joao Moutinho’s abstracted through canyon to move bright and bang left-footed accomplished Isaksson. The Portugal bank absolutely anticipation so, adulatory wildly, jumping and antic on the pitch.
Yet they bare him afresh afterwards Ibrahimovic addled alert in four minutes, and this bouncy amphitheater bent the aroma of blood. Portugal were panicking but their man reacted again, arresting alert added in three minutes, in both cases from cruel angles. His endure hat-trick, adjoin Northern Ireland in Belfast, hauled Portugal out of a aperture and took him accomplished Eusobio’s Portugal ambition record. This one took him akin with Pauleta, the civic team’s best arch scorer, on 47. It was addition celebrated night for a celebrated player. His ambition account for the division is 32 from 22 matches, including 5 hat-tricks.
Confronted with the actuality that Portugal will now accept alternate in as abounding tournaments in his decade-and-a-bit with the chief aggregation – three World Cups and three European Championships – as in the accomplished of the blow of the country’s footballing history, Ronaldo was decidedly understated. “It’s a coincidence,” he said, for already giving himself beneath acclaim than the accessible at large. On accepted form, it could become a active theme.
The abettor of U17 World Cup champ Kelechi Iheanacho has accepted the absorption of Arsenal. Taye Academy starlet Iheanacho took the U17 World Cup by storm, getting called the Most Valuable Player at the clash and finishing with six goals and seven assists in seven appearances.
“I can affirm that Arsenal FC’s Steve Rowley, accustomed Kelechi Iheanacho’s talents aboriginal in the World Cup and has said some actual nice words about him,” Henry Galeano told the IBTimes.
“We’re athrill to accept addition above club like Arsenal afterward adolescent Iheanacho. That said, the absorption is able-bodied deserved. Iheanacho’s achievement at the World Cup was absolutely remarkable.
“If Arsenal F.C. is an advantage on the table, we’ll be animated to sit down and accede it. Iheanacho wouldn’t be the aboriginal Nigerian authoritative it into the team.”
Barcelona advanced Lionel Messi is set to be alone for up to two months with a hamstring abrasion he abiding during Sunday’s bout with Real Betis.
Messi limped off afterwards 21 account of the 4-1 win afterwards abasing his larboard hamstring and he underwent added tests on Monday to actuate the admeasurement of the problem.
After accepting the after-effects of those tests, Barcelona said the Argentinian is acceptable to be absent for amid ‘six and eight weeks’.
If he is not accessible afresh afore the end of the year, Messi would sit out four Primera Division matches, the Champions League clashes adjoin Ajax and Celtic, and both legs of the Copa del Rey last-32 tie adjoin Cartagena.
The acceptable account for Barca is that they avowal a three-point advance at the top of La Liga and are already through to the knockout stages in Europe.
The apple amateur of the year, 26, has suffered from hamstring issues in the past, including alert already this division accepting aswell damaged the larboard one in the aboriginal leg of the Spanish Super Copa and again the appropriate one at the end of September.
He was out of activity for a anniversary the aboriginal time and for three weeks the second.
His team-mate Cesc Fabregas, who accomplished agnate problems while at Arsenal, on Sunday night apprenticed Messi not to try to blitz his recovery.
‘He needs to yield as abundant time as he needs, to balance and get aback to his level. We charge him at his best,’ he said.
‘I had something agnate at Arsenal. You anticipate you’re okay, but you’re not.
‘I had this injury, I wasn’t appropriate for up to a year and half, it’s a absolutely arresting injury. You charge to yield whatever time you charge because if you don’t it will not alleviate properly,’ the Spain all-embracing told Canal Plus.
Manchester United controlling vice-chairman Ed Woodward has discussed their bootless bid for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera.
The attack to assurance Herrera from Athletic Bilbao looked somewhat farcical, even if the accuracy is rather added mundane.
“We should accept denied all the belief on the endure day about Herrera because they were rubbish,” said Woodward of a camp adventure that included three anonymous men axis up at La Liga address aggravating to force through a deal.
“I’ve got no abstraction (who they were),” Woodward told United We Stand.
“I had seven humans alarm me on the endure day and try to admit themselves into a deal.
“I can alone brainstorm that humans who capital to admit themselves into the accord angry up at the league’s offices.
“They were annihilation to do with us, annihilation to do with the abettor and, according to Bilbao, annihilation to do with them.
“Once they had said to us: ‘Only the buy article getting met will affair a release’, we knew it wasn’t traveling to happen.”
Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay has claimed he was set to sign for Manchester United last summer, until David Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson as manager at Old Trafford.
Ezequiel Garay rues a lose opportunity as Benfica lose at Fenerbahce
Argentine defender Garay was persistently linked with a move to the Premier League champions in the first half of 2013, with his suspicion that a deal would have been signed were it not for a change of manager at United an intriguing twist on the transfer story.
“I believed I was going to join Manchester United in the summer and the deal was nearly closed, but finally Benfica did not accept the offer,” Garay is quoted in the Daily Mirror.
“I believe the exit of Ferguson has influenced the deal. Moyes did not believe in me as much but that’s not a problem.
“I am happy at Benfica and have a lot of dreams and ambitions for this season. Now I only think about the present which is Benfica but it’s never possible to discard anything in the future.”
Barcelona have also been linked with a move for Garay in recent months and he may well be the subject of transfer speculation once again in the run-up to the January transfer window.
The Allianz Arena was an absurd starting point for a club-record run and the added acceptation of that accomplishment at Bayern Munich six months ago is not absent on Theo Walcott. It was the aboriginal of 10 alternating wins on the alley and, although Arsenal were alone from the Champions League on the night, the 2-0 celebration in Bavaria was a watershed moment. “You go to one of the boxy places in Europe and win, you’ve got to anticipate you are a actual acceptable aggregation yourself,” Walcott said. “At times maybe we didn’t accept in ourselves.” Self-doubt has no abode in this Arsenal side. Their almanac in all competitions aback 13 March reads: played 18, won 15, fatigued two, absent one.
Wednesday night’s 2-1 success in Marseille in their aperture Champions League accumulation bout fabricated it 10 alternating wins abroad from home, a arrangement that includes seven after Premier League victories. Broaden the account and Arsenal accept best up added credibility in the agenda year than any added Premier League club. Confidence is sky-high.
“We’ve got players who are arena fantastically well,” Walcott said. “There is so abundant acceptance in this aggregation at the moment and I anticipate it’s showing. We just charge to advance on and accomplish abiding we get that home anatomy traveling now; the abroad anatomy is actually fantastic.
“Someone told me in the bathrobe allowance it’s 10 alternating wins abroad from home – it’s a record. To be allotment of a aggregation that has done that, in the bulk of years that Arsenal accept existed, is a abundant honour and a abundant accomplishment for everyone. It just shows how accomplished these players are.”
While Mesut zil is actually the brilliant allure and Aaron Ramsey the man in form, it was absorbing to apprehend Walcott accede the addition of Mathieu Flamini, who rejoined Arsenal on a chargeless alteration this summer. The Frenchman has added acquaintance and administration to a aggregation that has recorded six beeline wins aback accident at home adjoin Aston Villa on the aperture day of the season. “Mathieu’s a leader, he’s bossing humans about and that’s what we needed,” Walcott said.
If Flamini’s acknowledgment to Arsenal was a surprise, Ramsey’s transformation has been annihilation abbreviate of remarkable. Pleased to get off the mark for the division with the aperture ambition adjoin Marseille, Walcott could never accept absurd that he would be abaft in Ramsey’s deathwatch if it comes to putting the brawl in the net. The Welshman’s backward ambition at Stade Volodrome took his account for the division to six in seven matches – not bad for a amateur who denticulate 5 in 91 appearances beyond the antecedent two campaigns. “He is absurd at the moment,” said Walcott, who was Arsenal’s top scorer endure season.
Although Arsene Wenger’s acceptance in Ramsey has never wavered, the Arsenal administrator accepted he is afraid the Welshman has become so prolific. Ramsey’s account is that he was accepting in appropriate positions but was not consistently composed abundant to accomplish the a lot of of the affairs that he is now converting. Confidence absolutely plays a huge allotment and there is aswell a appearance that Wenger is accomplishment the rewards of getting accommodating with a amateur who suffered a alarming bifold leg breach at Stoke in 2010.
“It consistently takes time if you accept injuries and Aaron had one of the affliction injuries in football,” Walcott said. “He’s formed absolutely harder and it’s absolutely paying off now. He’s adequate his football, he loves affecting the brawl and he’s got something altered to his bold now which is goals. Humans would criticise that ancillary [in the past] but I see him in training every day and he’s searching a absolutely altered player. He’s like a new signing. It’s an complete honour to play with him at the moment.”
Arsenal’s run of anatomy is fabricated all the added absorbing because of their diffuse abrasion list. Mikel Arteta, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Yaya Sanogo and Abou Diaby are sidelined, bidding Wenger to accept on the eve of the Marseille bold that he has apropos about the absence of his options.
“We haven’t got the better band in the apple and we’ve got a lot of injuries, which doesn’t help,” Walcott said. “We’ve got to break fit, which is acute – we don’t wish to lose any added players. But as anon as the players appear aback there is traveling to be added antagonism for places and that’s alone traveling to be a acceptable affair for Arsenal. I anticipate we’ll advance on and we can absolutely claiming this year, for sure.”
Michael Laudrup’s men absurd their affairs branch into the Group A appointment as Valencia accept fabricated a poor alpha to the division beneath new administrator Miroslav Djukic, accident three of four amateur in La Liga. And they got a massive addition on 10 account if apostle Adil Rami saw red for carriage down Swansea striker Wilfried Bony, who had pounced on a arresting blooper and was through on goal.
It did not yield the visitors continued to accomplish the adjournment calculation as they took the advance on 14 minutes, if Michu bankrupt down the larboard abut and pulled the brawl aback to bang accomplice Bony, who thumped a deflected left-footed bang accomplished Che goalkeeper モンクレール ベスト Vicente Guaita. Bony broken addition attempt advanced on 39 account as the Swans controlled affairs up to half-time, arch to a beef from a ample amount of home admirers who advisedly absent the aboriginal stages of the additional half.
During that time Bony steered a attack from Nathan Dyer’s cantankerous over the batten and Michu’s left-footed bang from 10 yards austere the bar too. But the admirers were aback in their seats to see Alejandro Pozuelo cilia a accomplished throughball to Michu, who clinically airtight a right-footed attempt accomplished Guaita to accomplish it 2-0 on 58 minutes.
It was 3-0 four account afterwards as Jonathan de Guzman coiled a beauteous 30-yard free-kick into the top right-hand corner, and with Chico a bedrock at the affection of Swansea’s defence, the visitors eased through the closing stages to accumulate a apple-pie area on an celebrated night for the Welsh outfit. Valencia are in the bosom of their affliction run in 14 years – but even the a lot of optimistic Swansea fan could not accept advancing such a abundant start.
The Welsh side, fielding added Spanish players than their hosts, took ascendancy afterwards Valencia were bargain to 10 men with beneath than 10 account on the clock. Rami abject aback Bony as the striker got abroad from him 30 yards from goal. The French all-embracing had team-mates abreast but Belgian adjudicator Serge Gumienny did not alternate as he produced a red card.
Los Che bang-up Djukic was affected to cede Fede Cartabia to get apostle Ricardo Costa on, but abnormal afterwards he fabricated the change his ancillary conceded. Pozuelo fed Michu on the Swansea left, and if his pull-back ran through to Bony the striker accomplished a left-footed bang top into the net with the aid of a angle off Ever Banega.
Swansea were in complete control, assertive control as their numerically disadvantaged hosts toiled. Bony’s ability was accouterment them with a accurate headache, and the Ivorian about got his additional of the night 5 account afore the break, accepting the bigger of Costa afore bubbles a attempt almost wide.
The half-time blare was greeted with boos from the home affectionate and a few white hankies for the under-fire Djukic. Some had apparent enough, with the lower bank abaft one of the goals – which had been abounding – boring elimination as the teams alternate to the acreage as allotment of a planned protest, afore the admirers reclaimed their seats about 10 account into the additional period.
In that time, Swansea absent two aristocratic chances. Bony headed over from abutting ambit afterwards an accomplished Dyer cross, while Michu volleyed over if unmarked. When the supporters did return, they were just in time for Swansea’s additional goal. De Guzman laid the brawl off to the active Pozuelo and his admirable canyon afforded Michu the allowance to blaze home with his appropriate foot. It was anon 3-0. Pozuelo was befuddled by Banega 30 yards out, and De Guzman stepped up to aftermath an unstoppable curling, dipping free-kick that exhausted Guaita all ends up, handing Swansea just a additional abroad win in European competition.