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Liverpool thump Norwich, begin Premier League with a bang



Liverpool: Liverpool began the 2019-2020 Premier League season with the same quality and intensity that brought them to within a point of the title in the last campaign, punishing newly promoted Norwich City 4-1.

The Champions League holders needed less than 30 minutes to build a 3-0 lead on Friday, delighting the Reds faithful at Anfield, which on this occasion included Liverpool’s American owner, John Henry.

Norwich, making their return to the top-flight after three seasons in the second division, had the bad luck to go behind 1-0 in the 7th minute on an own goal by team captain Grant Hanley, who inadvertently redirected a Divock Origi cross into his own net.

Twelve minutes later, Mohamed Salah, who shared the 2018-2019 Premier League Golden Boot with teammate Sadio Mane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, beat Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul with an assist from Roberto Firmino.

Virgil van Dijk made it 3-0 for Liverpool in the 28th minute, heading-in a Salah corner.

Origi, the instigator of the first goal, scored one on his own account in the 42nd minute, getting his head to a cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

But it wasn’t all good news for Liverpool in the first half, as keeper Alisson Becker had to helped off the field in the 39th minute.

Replacing the Brazilian was Adrian San Miguel, who only joined the Merseyside club from West Ham United a few days ago.

Liverpool’s performance slipped after the break, while the visitors improved, but while Finnish striker Teemu Pukki put Norwich on the scoreboard in the 64th minute, the outcome was never in doubt.

Defending Premier League champions Manchester City will start their season on Saturday with a match in London against West Ham.

The most anticipated contest of the opening weekend is set for Sunday, when Manchester United will host Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Behind the bench for the Blues will be one of the best players in the history of the London club, Frank Lampard, who became Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer while helping the side win three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League.

Football Lounge

Philippe Coutinho to join Bayern Munich on loan from Barcelona



Philippe Coutinho.

Munich: Bayern Munich have secured the services of Brazil winger Philippe Coutinho on a season-long loan from FC Barcelona, pending a medical.

The 27-year-old winger will provide Niko Kovac with a further attacking outlet after the departures of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and James Rodriguez this summer.

“I can confirm that I was in Barcelona with Hasan Salihamidzic on Wednesday and that we reached an agreement with both the club and the player,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told the Bayern club website. “We have been dealing with Coutinho for a while.”

After coming through the Vasco de Gama youth ranks, the highly rated Coutinho was snapped up by Inter Milan as a 16-year-old, although he had to wait until turning 18 in 2010 to move to Europe.

In 2013 he left for Liverpool, and his eye-catching performances on Merseyside earned him a big-money move to Barcelona in January 2018.

Coutinho has already lifted two La Liga titles, two Spanish Super Cups and one Copa del Rey with Barca, and helped Brazil triumph on home soil at this summer’s Copa America.

The Brazilian – who also has Portuguese nationality through his wife – becomes Bayern’s fifth summer signing, following the arrivals of Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, Fiete Arp, Ivan Perisic.

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Football Lounge

Thangboi Singto joins Delhi Dynamos as assistant coach



Thangboi Singto has extensive knowledge about India's talent pool.

New Delhi: Delhi Dynamos FC announced the signing of Thangboi Singto as its assistant coach for the upcoming season here on Friday.

The former assistant coach and technical director of Kerala Blasters’ youth development wing, Singto was instrumental in shaping up Shillong Lajong FC, where he worked for four seasons.

The 45-year-old Manipuri is known for trusting and promoting young players, particularly from the North-east.

Following the development, Singto said “It gives me immense pleasure in joining Delhi Dynamos. The positive talks and plans for the club that transpired during meeting the director, CEO and Head Coach Josep Gombau convinced me that I can come here and contribute in improving the footballing aspects of the club.”

“One important factor is to further improve and help all the youth players in their overall growth and progression towards the first team set up,” the coach further added.

Head coach Josep Gombau also extended is welcoming to the coach and said, “We are so happy to have Singto with us. He has a lot of experience and knows the league very well. Welcome to the club.”

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Football Lounge

Messi, Ronaldo and Van Dijk nominated for UEFA Player of the Year



The Uefa awards will be decalred on August 29. Text & Image: @UEFA

Nyon: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk have been nominated for the 2018/19 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award.

The winner will be named – along with the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year and UEFA Champions League positional award winners – during the group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday 29 August.

The UEFA Europa League Player of the Season will be announced the following day.

The three-man shortlist: Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
The top goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League and the European Golden Shoe winner picked up his tenth Liga title.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal)
The UEFA Nations League winner and top goalscorer at the finals also scooped his first Serie A title.

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool and Netherlands)
The final man of the match for the UEFA Champions League winners also reached the UEFA Nations League showpiece.

The rest of the top 10

4 Alisson Becker (Liverpool & Brazil) – 57 points
5 Sadio Mané (Liverpool & Senegal) – 51 points
6 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool & Egypt) – 49 points
7 Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Real Madrid & Belgium) – 38 points
8= Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus & Netherlands) – 27 points
8= Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Barcelona & Netherlands) – 27 points
10 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City & England) – 12 points

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