Barca game not a political protest, says Atletico president
Nadal, Federer reach semis in Shanghai
Iran finished its group-stage campaign at FIFA U-17 World Cup in Goa, India, in style as the Asian side clinched a comfortable 3-0 victory over Costa Rica to win the Group C of the competition.
Beating Guinea and Germany 3-1 and 4-0 earlier in the group, Iran went into the fixture against the Central Americans at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday, needing only a draw to claim the top spot of the group.
Iranian wonderkid Younes Delfi was brought down twice in the 18-yard box to convince the referee to point to the spot on both occasions.
Captain Mohammad Ghobeishavi opened the scoring with his spot-kick on 25 minutes before Taha Shariati emulated his skipper with a penalty finish of his own four minutes later.
Iran cruised through the second half before adding a third goal just before the final whistle through substitute Mohammad Sardari.
The only disappointment for Iran was a second yellow card of the competition for Ghobeishavi, which will rule him out of their Round of 16 match. Jose Mourinho insisted there is nothing Liverpool fans can do to make Anfield intimidating for his Manchester United players later today.
Phil Neville said this week that a trip to Anfield is the “ultimate test” for a United player while Mikael Silvestre warned the current squad to prepare for “hell”, ESPN reported.
Mourinho, though, insists his players will “enjoy” whatever the 55,000 Liverpool fans can throw at them.
He told a news conference on Friday, “You know this is quite funny for me because I think when people speak about big atmospheres, it looks like we don’t like, it looks like it’s a problem for us to go to a certain place and to face a big atmosphere – this is what we want. Top seeds Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer remain on course to meet in Shanghai Masters after reaching the last four on Friday.
World number one Nadal beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4 to register his 15th consecutive win and will face fourth seed Marin Cilic in the semis, BBC reported.
The Spaniard is chasing a tourleading seventh title this season, and beat Dimitrov for the second time in
“I am surprised that you speak about that in a negative way, I am even more surprised when I hear former, big players speak about atmospheres like something sinister, something that worries.
“It motivates us, it is something that we want, it is something that if we could have every match we would have every match.
“We are speaking about Old Trafford, in this case Anfield like it’s a big problem. it’s a satisfaction, that’s what we want
“I never see a player complain ‘oh, this atmosphere was very strong’ – we complain when the atmosphere is flat.
“When we play at home and we don’t see big enthusiasm in the people, a week following his semifinal victory at the China Open.
“It was a very tough match,” said Nadal.
“I think both of us played at a very high level of tennis. The conditions, of course, have been different today than my two previous matches. I think [it was] a great battle between two players who are playing all the time very focused, very intense points all the time.” we complain.
“So we go to where we want to go, we go to play against a big team with a big tradition in an amazing stadium with great tradition.
“We know that the fans have huge animosity against Manchester United historically, but this is what we want so we are very happy to have one more opportunity in our careers to play in this beautiful conditions. It’s beautiful to play at Anfield. Beautiful.”
Mourinho confirmed he will be without Michael Carrick for the game but Romelu Lukaku is expected to start after shaking off an ankle injury.
Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba are set to miss out with knee and
Meanwhile, Federer managed to outmuscle France’s Richard Gasquet (7-5, 6-4) in an entertaining match.
Federer took some time to find his rhythm, particularly on serve, but managed to seal victory in one hour and 19 minutes.
He will face 16th seed Juan Martin Del Potro after the Argentine overcame an injury scare to beat Victor Troicki 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the quarters.
hamstring injuries, respectively.
United is looking to maintain its impressive start to the season and keep pace at the top of the table with Manchester City, which faces Stoke City at the Etihad Stadium today.
Mourinho added, “It’s just one more match, could be the first, could be the eighth or ninth or the last one.
“Probably, if it was the last, maybe it would decide something important but October for me is just another match.
“I understand the tradition, the emotions around the supporters but I look at it in a professional way.
“What I try to tell my players from the beginning of the season is every match is important, there are no easy matches, there are no matches you prepare more carefully than others, so if I try this mentality I am not going to say this match is more important than others.”
Coutinho, Firmino fit to play
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he was “not happy” to see midfielder and club captain Jordan Henderson play for England after the national team had already achieved World Cup qualification.
Henderson started for England in Sunday’s match in Lithuania despite Gareth Southgate’s side booking its place in Russia for next summer three days earlier by beating Slovenia at Wembley.
Klopp told a news conference on Friday ahead of today’s Premier League clash against Manchester United at Anfield, “I was not happy Hendo was on the pitch [against Lithuania] when they had already qualified.”
Liverpool will be without forward Sadio Mane for around six weeks after the Senegal international suffered an injury while on international duty, but he is confident that Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino will be fit to face United in the lunchtime kickoff despite only returning from Brazil on Thursday. Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo wants the club’s fans to avoid turning tonight’s game with Barcelona into a political demonstration following weeks of rising tensions between the Spanish government and Catalonia.
Catalan club Barca visits the Spanish capital for the first time since a banned vote on independence from Spain took place in Catalonia on October 1, Reuters reported.
Barca decided that day to play its game with Las Palmas at the Nou Camp behind closed doors to show opposition to police violence against voters, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said at the time.
The Frente Atletico (Atletico Front) supporters’ group have called for a mass display of Spain flags in the Wanda Metropolitano stadium for the visit of Barca.
Yet the game has not been classified as a high-risk event by the Spanish football federation as no Barcelona fans will be present due to a disagreement between the two clubs over a ticket allocation.
“I want the game to be played with the same sporting spirit as always against Barcelona, Saturday’s game is not a political demonstration, it’s a game of football,” Cerezo said in an interview with radio station Onda If you heard that only one nation had qualified for five men’s FIFA tournaments in 2016 and 2017, chances are you would guess it was Brazil, Germany or another of the game’s global superpowers.
In fact, Iran hold that unique and impressive distinction, having reached the senior World Cup as well as FIFA’S U-20 and U-17 finals, and its futsal and beach soccer showpieces.
Nor have the Asian giant been satisfied simply with taking part, as fifa. com discovered.
FIFA World Cup Russia 2018
Played 18, lost none. That was the remarkable record that propelled Carlos Queiroz’s team to Russia 2018, and ensured that Iran became the first Asian side to qualify. Iran sealed its place with two games to spare and is now looking forward to a fifth World Cup, having previously participated in the 1978, 1998, 2006 and 2014 editions. Queiroz is not content simply to be joining the party though.
“My goal and dream is to get to the knockout stage,” he said.
“We should not be satisfied with the first round. We need to be ambitious. We need to think big. We will not go to Russia as tourists.”
FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017
Although Iran qualified for India 2017 by reaching the final AFC U-16 Championship, few would have expected the impact the Asian side has made thus far.
The Asian side topped the Group C of the competition and booked a place in the knockout stages, having beaten Guinea 3-1 and inflicted a stunning 4-0 defeat on Germany before outclassing Costa Rica 3-0 on the final Cero on Friday.
“Atletico won the league in the Nou Camp (in 2014) and the whole stadium applauded us, we can’t forget that.”
Barcelona is the only team that Diego Simeone has been unable to beat in La Liga since he took over Atletico in 2011 and transformed the club’s fortunes.
He has failed to win in 11 league encounters between the teams, although his side has twice eliminated the Catalans in the Champions League.
“They’ve always scored one goal more than us, they’ve been decisive in the key moments and they are a very good team,” Simeone told a news conference ahead of the game.
“We have been stronger in the Champions League and I hope tomorrow we can overcome this obstacle.”
Barca has a 100 percent record in the league and in Europe this season and lead the standings by five points over nearest challengers Sevilla. They are six points clear of Atletico in fourth.
“They are one of the best teams in the world, right now I’d say Real Madrid are slightly better, but they have reinvented themselves very quickly after the departure of Neymar and their players never tire of winning,” added the Argentine coach. day of the group phase.
The Germans’ coach, Christian Wuck, praised his side’s conquerors afterward, saying, “Iran played a great match. They are mentally a very good team.”
FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017
Iran’s U-20 campaign looked set for success too when it opened its campaign in Korea with an impressive 1-0 win over Costa Rica.
And while Iran was ultimately edged out by Portugal and Zambia for a place in the last 16, midfielder Omid Nourafkan vowed that the tournament would help prepare the Iranians for challenges in the senior ranks.
“The level of the experience we’ve got here is not comparable to anything we’ve had,” Nourafkan said.
“This event will greatly assist and help us.”
FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017
Having qualified for Bahamas 2017 by retaining the Asian title, Iran proceeded to make history by finishing third at the global finals.
That represented the highest-ever finish by an Asian side at the Beach Soccer World Cup, with Mexico, Switzerland and Italy all beaten en route to the podium.
FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016
Another tournament, another bronze medal and another best-ever finish for Iran.
Mohammad Nazem-al-sharia’s side qualified as Asian champion and emerged as one of the tournament’s major success stories, stunning record champion Brazil in the Round of 16 on the way to finishing third.
JAN KRUGER/GETTY IMAGES Allahyar Sayyadmanesh (L) of Iran battles with Fernan Faerron of Costa Rica during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Group C match in Goa, India, on October 13, 2017.