UCL final: I want to play against Real Madrid, says Salah
Mohamed Salah admitted he would rather face Real Madrid than Manchester City in Paris in order to take revenge for Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to the Spanish side in 2018 final in Kiev.
Salah left the field in tears when he was forced off with a shoulder injury in the first half of that game and said he would relish the opportunity to face Madrid again.
“I want to play Madrid, I have to be honest,” Salah told BT Sport.
“City is a really tough team. We played against them a few times this season.”
“But I think, if you ask me personally, I prefer Madrid, because we lost in the final [to them], so I want to play against them and hopefully we will win it.”
Salah, who provided the assist for Fabinho’s crucial goal early in the second half against Villarreal, felt Liverpool’s comeback in Spain underlined their strong mentality.
Neil Mellor reflects on Liverpool’s 5-2 aggregate win over Villarreal that sees them reach their third Champions League final in five years
“It was tough in the first half but then we went to the dressing room. The gaffer talked and we talked to each other as well.
“That shows character and personality in the dressing room. It shows that we are a top team. That’s why we can strike back after losing 2-0 in the first half. I think it makes the win more exciting.”
Asked if he is motivated by the possibility of winning the Quadruple, he added: “For sure. Maybe not at the beginning of the season because I always focus on the Premier League and the Champions League but now we are close for everything, so why not?”
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Guardiola commends Man City 4-0 victory over Real Madrid
Real Madrid Manager, Pep Guardiola on Wednesday said that Manchester City were perfectly prepared with the right mix of calmness and tension for their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.
The English champions dismantled the holders 4-0 with a ruthless display to secure a 5-1 aggregate win.
The result meant Manchester City secured a final berth against Inter Milan where they will bid to win European club soccer’s most prestigious trophy for the first time.
It was sweet revenge for a painful semi-final loss to Real Madrid 12 months ago.
“I had the feeling these last days that we had a mix of calm and tension to play these type of games.
“And after 10 or 15 minutes, I had the feeling that all the pain that we had, what happened last season . . . it was really tough, losing the way we lost and I think in the moment we had to swallow poison,” Guardiola told reporters.
Real Madrid knocked Manchester City out 12 months ago 6-5 on aggregate after an extraordinary late comeback.
“In sport, obviously you have another chance and when the draw was Madrid, I said, ‘Yeah, I want it’,” Guardiola said.
Bernardo Silva netted a first-half double to put City in control and, after Erling Haaland failed to convert two gilt-edge chances, Manuel Akanji and Julian Alvarez completed the rout.
Real Madrid arrived with history on their side as title-holders and record 14-times European champions.
But Manchester City, buoyed by an unbeaten 23-game run in all competitions, had not lost in 26 Champions League matches at the Etihad Stadium, which was a writhing sea of sky blue for the visit of the Spanish giants.
Manchester City had played the 2021 semi-final against Paris St Germain in Manchester with no fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This time the players stayed on the pitch long after the final whistle to celebrate, with Haaland wearing a Norwegian flag draped around his shoulders.
“(Tonight was) much, much better,” Guardiola said. “I felt, I don’t know why, you smelled that the team was ready to compete at the level that they competed today.”
City are three wins away from a treble as they play Manchester United in the FA Cup final on June 3 and could win the Premier League as early as Saturday.
“We’re closer. This season is really really good, what we’ve really done already.
“The pleasure, the joy, how much we have fun this season again and again. We make happy our fans, all around the world watching us, they see a good team playing. This is the biggest compliment,” Guardiola said.
Guardiola added that the players, staff and families would gather for a team breakfast before enjoying a day off on Thursday ahead of their preparations for their final push to clinch the English League title.
Victory over Inter Milan in the Champions League final in Istanbul on June 10 would secure the one trophy Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour has craved since buying Manchester City in 2008.
Manchester City lost to Chelsea two years ago in their only previous appearance in the final.
Mane, Cancelo to exit Bayern Munich this summer
Sadio Mane and Joao Cancelo are both expected to be shipped out of Bayern Munich this summer.
According to Skysports, Mane and Cancelo are on Bayern Munich transfer list as the club board sees no reason to continue with them.
Mane only joined Bayern Munich last summer in a deal worth an initial £27.4 million from Liverpool.
The 31-year-old has scored 12 goals for Bayern in an injury-hit campaign, but he will be infamously remembered for his dressing room spat with Leroy Sane after they lost 3-0 to Manchester City in the Champions League at the Etihad Stadium.
Cancelo, on his part, has spent the second half of the season on loan from Manchester City.
The loan deal included the €70 million option for Bayern to buy him from Man City this summer.
However, according to report, Man City manager Pep Guardiola is not keen on welcoming back the 28-year-old back into his squad following their fall-out.
EPL: Arsenal forward rejects new contract as Arteta battles to keep him
Arsenal forward Reiss Nelson has rejected Mikel Arteta’s move to tie him down to the club.
Nelson turned down the Gunners’ offer of a new contract with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.
The 23-year-old is not finding enough playing time at the Emirates as he has faced a challenging campaign over injury.
Despite this the England forward has made key contributions on the pitch, scoring the last minute winner against Bournemouth in April.
But has not started a league game this season but the Gunners want to keep their academy graduate.
However, football transfer expert Fabrizio Romano said that the winger has rejected an opening offer from the club.
But negotiations between Arsenal and the player will go on however with a final decision to be made at the end of the season.
Nelson has already been approached by a number of other Premier League sides as well as clubs from abroad.
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