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European roundup: AC Milan knock Juve out of top four, Man City made to wait for title

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AC Milan knock Juve out of top four

AC Milan won 3-0 against Juventus to push them out of the Serie A top four on Sunday in Turin.

Milan are looking forward to feature in the Champions League for the first time since 2014.

After Franck Kessie missed a penalty, Brahim Diaz put Milan ahead just before the break, with Anton RebicF and Fikayo Tomori adding two more goals in the second half.

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Milan has moved up to third position, level on 72 points with second-placed Atalanta, with Napoli in fourth spot and the final Champions League berth two points behind.

With three games remaining, including next weekend’s match against newly crowned champions Inter Milan, Juventus are now fifth, one point behind the top four.

“We had a great game, a victory over a direct rival at this moment in the championship is very important,” said AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli.

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“We still have to fight. But I have a very young team. That is maturing as this evening proved.”

Ligue 1

In Ligue 1, Neymar scored the day after extending his deal, but Paris Saint-Germain were kept to a 1-1 draw at Rennes on Sunday, putting Lille one step closer to a phenomenal league title victory.

PSG led at half break thanks to Neymar’s controversial penalty conversion, but Serhou Guirassy equalized in the second half.

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PSG is still three points behind Ligue 1 leaders Lille, who will be crowned champions for the first time since 2011 if they manage to get four points in their final two games.

The French giants have won the league title seven times in the last eight years, but they have been inconsistent this season, and the decision to replace manager Thomas Tuchel with Mauricio Pochettino during the winter break seems to have had little effect.

“We will keep believing until the end, we won’t lose faith, but at PSG we need to do much better,” captain Marquinhos told broadcaster Canal Plus.

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“Lille are a really good side and are winning every match. We have two games left and we need to believe, focus on ourselves and perform better.”

Premier League

In the Premier League, Manchester United prolonged Manchester City’s wait for the Premier League title by at least two days after coming back from a goal down to defeat Aston Villa 3-1 on Sunday.

West Bromwich Albion’s hopes of escaping relegation were dashed when they lost 3-1 at Arsenal, while West Ham United’s chances of finishing in the top four were shattered when they lost 1-0 at home to Everton.

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Rangers

Rangers fear major exit for ‘key’ player wanted by clubs abroad

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Rangers fear major exit for 'key' player wanted by clubs abroad
Image Credit: Getty Images

Scott Arfield has been a vital part of the Rangers team since joining in 2018, and his current form, especially after van Bronckhorst took charge, is nothing short of exemplary.

The 33-year old Scottish-Canadian’s display is on a high now, and he recently helped his side’s win against Livingston with his “unbelievable” (according to Richard Foster) 75th minute goal.

He is a must-keep, but according to transfermarkt, the reigning Scottish champions risk losing him and other senior team members, including Steven Davis and Allan McGregor, in the summer following contract expiry.

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The Mirror’s print edition reported that the Gers fear letting their No. 37 go in exchange for nothing, given that USA clubs have their sights set on the midfielder, and his contract is only months away from expiry.

Money included or not, Scott’s departure could be a big blow come next season since he now practically determines Rangers’ performance (the one time he didn’t play after Gerrard’s exit is the only time Rangers dropped points.)

Hopefully, Rangers will consider holding talks to fight for the former Huddersfield Town’s contract extension, and he (Scott) is willing to stay in Scotland and at Ibrox, otherwise the double loss in terms of money and talent could hugely affect the Gers next season.

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Liverpool FC

Liverpool win race for £50m Porto star

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Liverpool win race for £50m Porto star
Image Credit: Getty Images

Liverpool are preparing a late £45 million bid for Porto striker Luis Diaz, who is also being pursued by Tottenham.

The Colombian winger was Jurgen Klopp’s first option for the summer transfer window, but due to Spurs’ significant interest, Liverpool have hastened their preparations.

Liverpool is thought to be proposing an initial £37 million, plus bonuses, which will only be activated if Diaz is a major success at Anfield.

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Tottenham has been in discussions with Porto over Diaz, reportedly willing to spend up to £46 million for the player.

Spurs are reportedly willing to pay £37.6 million upfront for Diaz, with an extra £8.4 million in performance-related add-ons, according to reports in Portugal.

Spurs have already appeared to miss out on Wolves attacker Adama Traore, who appears poised to return to Barca on loan, and missing out on Luiz would be another major blow this month.

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It is unclear whether Diaz will move to Anfield this month or wait till the end of the season. In 18 outings for his current club this season, he has managed to score 14 goals.

Sky Sports reporter Vinny O’Connor:

“Obviously, it’s far from done and could easily come to nothing.

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“However, Liverpool view this as an excellent deal if it gets completed – very much close to a Diogo Jota-type fee. Also, it is far better value than the original €60m asking price.

“Diaz was Jurgen Klopp’s first choice for the summer, but they have brought those plans forward because it was clear if Liverpool didn’t act this window, the player would move on.

“This isn’t done and could yet collapse – the player is in Argentina with his national team, so it will be far from straightforward to complete the deal.

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“However, if it does get done, it’s a big coup for Julian Ward, who is to succeed sporting director Michael Edwards in the summer. It was a deal in which Ward lead for the first time, but it is fair to say he’s been supported strongly by Edwards who put together the strategy to secure the player this month.”

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Everton

Two Everton midfielders out for minimum of four weeks

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After suffering injuries in the last week, Everton midfielders Abdoulaye Doucoure and Fabian Delph will both be out for at least four weeks.

The injury to Doucoure occurred in the second half of Everton’s 1-0 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday, while the injury to Delph occurred in training.

Duncan Ferguson, the interim manager, suddenly has a scarcity of fit midfield players, with Tom Davies also sidelined for a prolonged period.

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Allan, Andre Gomes, and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, as well as Tyler Onyango, are available.

An Everton statement read: “Everton midfielders Abdoulaye Doucoure and Fabian Delph are expected to be out for a minimum of four weeks after sustaining injuries.

“Frenchman Doucoure was forced off in the 65th minute of Saturday’s Premier League match against Aston Villa at Goodison Park due to a groin problem.

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“Subsequent tests have revealed the 29-year-old requires a period of rehabilitation under the care of Everton’s medical staff at USM Finch Farm.

“Meanwhile, Delph sustained a thigh injury during a training session this week and is now undergoing treatment with the club’s medical team.”

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