Crunch UEFA Women’s Champions League finals on the card

FC Barcelona women are set to go head to head with Wolfsburg women in the UEFA Women's Champions League finals

A crunch of UEFA Women’s Champions League finals is on the cards as FC Barcelona women will be taking on Wolfsburg women. Both clubs aim to impress Eindhoven and take the trophy from record holders Olympique Lyon women. The two clubs are familiar with the competition’s finals, with Wolfsburg being a two-time winner and Barcelona being a one-time winner.

The exhilarating semi-finals

The exciting semi-finals pitted the Spanish and German giants against two of the finest English clubs. While FC Barcelona was facing Chelsea women in their semi-finals clash, Wolfsburg had to take on a resilient Arsenal aiming for their second women’s European title. 

The first leg of the FC Barcelona women’s clashes ended in a 1-0 win in favor of the Catalan women, with Caroline Hansen scoring the lone goal. Hansen scored again in the second leg to put Barcelona in front before Guro Reiten equalized for the Blues. Despite eliminating the title holders, Olympique Lyon women, Chelsea had to bow out of the competition on an inferior goal difference.

FC Barcelona Women will be battling it out with Wolfsburg Women in the UEFA Women's Champions League finals for the trophy.
The much coveted UEFA Women’s Champions League trophy. FC Barcelona Women will be battling it out with Wolfsburg Women in the finals for the trophy. Photo Credits: UEFA Women’s Champions League

The other semi-finals recorded a first-leg draw at the Volkswagen Arena in Germany, with each club scoring two goals. Pador and Jonsdottir scored for Wolfsburg, while Souza and Blackstenius scored for Arsenal. The second leg at the sold-out Emirates stadium was one to remember, with 5 goals shared between the two clubs. Blackstenius scored first for the Gunner ladies before Roord and Popp scored for the Germans. Beattie equalized for Arsenal before a minute 119 goal dented the hopes of Arsenal adding to their trophy cabinet.

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An exciting Eindhoven final will be a Germany versus Spain affair, with the trophy being acquired from France, who have won 6 of the last 7 editions. 

Previous final performances of the finalists

FC Barcelona won the 2020-21 edition of the Cup after beating Chelsea women by 1 goal to nil in the finals. They have also lost 2 finals to Lyon women. On the other hand, VFL Wolfsburg won the trophy in the consecutive years of 2013 and 2014. They beat Lyon women in 2013 and Tyreso women in 2014. They have also lost 3 finals, all of them to Lyon women, who have always been a force to reckon with in the Cup. 

A UEFA Women’s Champions League final worth your time

This is proving to be a final of veterans and not the first-timers, with the game being predicted as an upcoming cracker. Whoever wins the UEFA Women’s Champions League finals will be adding to another of their European trophies. This is one game to look forward to.  

Ten Hag Is Banking on this Player for the FA Cup Finals

Ten Haag celebrating a past win for United. The Holland national will be looking forward to beat Manchester City to the FA Cup

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag will be banking on Raphael Varane to help his defence when they take on Manchester City in a crunch FA Cup tie in a month. The 3rd of May has been set aside as the D-day for two Manchester giants to battle it out for England’s oldest and arguably their most prestigious domestic cup. 

Manchester City qualified for the finals after dismantling Sheffield United by three goals to nil (3:0) in the semi-finals. On the other hand, Manchester United had to win the penalty shootout against Brighton and Hove Albion to qualify for their second domestic finals this season. The defensive pairing of Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw had to be utilised during the game. Both first-choice defenders, Varane and Lisandro Martinez were out injured.

Raphael Varane celebrating Manchester United’s past win against Manchester City in the Premier League. Manchester United won 2:1 in the game. The two will face each other in the FA Cup finals. Photo Credits: Manchester United

An injured Manchester United back line: Raphael Varane and co.

Raphael Varane got injured in the Europa League first-leg clash with Sevilla and was pulled out at halftime with United leading by two goals. Harry Maguire stepped in but had an error-filled game culminating in an unfortunate goal. In the second leg, Harry Maguire was again on the receiving end, making a mistake that gifted Sevilla a goal. United lost the game, with Maguire failing to fill in the shoes of the absent French national.

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The seemingly impenetrable pairing of Shaw and Lindelof

Lindelof and an improvised Luke Shaw have been impressive in the centre-back position keeping two clean sheets in three games. However, Erik Ten Hag knows how lethal the Manchester City attack is and will need Varane back for the game. The World cup winning defender was present when the Red Devils beat Manchester City 2-1 at Old Trafford. He played a crucial role in taming Erling Haaland, who did not manage a single shot on target for the entire game.

Cityzen’s great run of form

Currently, Manchester City are in good form and it will need a confident Manchester United to stop their ambition of completing a domestic treble with the premier league in their sights. With Lisandro Martinez set to be sidelined for the remainder of the season, Varane will be needed at the club. He is being treated and assessed by the physios at the Carrington to see how soon he might return to the squad.

Yet another contract extension for the German star

Marco Reus giving a presser recently. The German star has extended his contract with Dortmund. Photo Credits: Borrusia Dortmund

German star, Marco Reus, has just added one year to his contract showing that Borussia Dortmund consider Reus, a key part of their squad. Marco Reus is a familiar name to most football fans who adore two competitions, the Bundesliga and the Champions League. His name is always mentioned in the same context as Borussia Dortmund due to the player’s major affiliation with the club. The German international has experienced both the highs and lows of Dortmund, but one quality that has stood the test of time is; loyalty.

A young Marco Reus in Borussia Dortmund academy. The German has gone on to represent Dortmund for eleven years now. Photo Credits: Borussia Dortmund

Through the winds of change, he’s the constant that remains: Marco Reus

Marco Reus started his junior career at Borussia Dortmund before being released to Borussia Monchengladbach as his senior career kicked in. As Jurgen Klopp was making the golden generation of the Signal Iduna Park outfit, he added Marco Reus to his project in 2012 to help him tame Bayern Munich, Bundesliga’s most successful club. With the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Matts Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan, among other stars, they reached the champions league finals in 2013, where they lost to Bayern.

His one-time best friend Lewandowski spent another season at Dortmund before leaving for rivals Bayern Munich. At the time, Manchester United and Real Madrid were still hunting down Reus. However, he rejected their proposals. He has spent eleven (11) years at the club with the twelfth in sight.

Jurgen Klopp and Marco Reus in training. Jurgen Klopp raised a golden generation at the Signal Iduna that interrupted the dominance of Bayern Munich.
Jurgen Klopp and Marco Reus in training. Jurgen Klopp raised a golden generation at the Signal Iduna that interrupted the dominance of Bayern Munich. Photo Credits: Borussia Dortmund

The 33-year-old talented midfielder has seen different generations of players come and leave the Signal Iduna Park. Lewandowski and Gundogan were among his first teammates. The era of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Shinji Kagawa also came and left him at the Black and Yellow-inspired club. Ousmane Dembele, Hakimi and Jadon Sancho played with the star before moving to other clubs. Erling Haaland is the latest star to play with Reus, and still leaving him there. His loyalty is one of a kind in the current footballing world, where money and huge contracts matter more than virtue.

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Notable loyalty by other football players

Marco Reus’s loyalty can be matched by the likes of Paul Scholes, who refused to leave Manchester United for whichever amount. Additionally, Francesco Totti was a Roma player all his life and retired as their most-capped player. Phillip Lahm dedicated his career to Bayern Munich and never accepted a proposal to move away from Bavaria. Real Madrid’s Raul is also noted as a loyal one who stayed at the club long, winning different accolades. With his new contract, Marco Reus could be thinking about retiring from Dortmund despite being linked with a summer move to Manchester United by some news outlets.

Career Lows

The lows of Marco Reus have included the 2013 Champions League finals loss to bitter rivals Bayern Munich which would have given him one of the most adored medals in Europe. The German star also missed the 2014 world cup with an injury that denied him the world of football’s most prestigious medal. The injury has made him miss over 1100 days of football, which is estimated to be around three years. Despite the injuries, the attacking winger has not given up and has been coming back to play for his boyhood club whenever needed.

Marco Reus poses with the DFL Pokal following their victory in 2021. The German star has lifted a total of three DFL Pokal cups with Borussia Dortmund. He looks forward to winning more with the German side following his contract extension
Marco Reus poses with the DFL Pokal following their victory in 2021. The German star has lifted a total of three DFL Pokal cups with Borussia Dortmund. He looks forward to winning more with the German side following his contract extension. Photo Credits: Borussia Dortmund

Marco Reus honours

His highs have included winning 2 DFB-Pokal cups and 3 DFL Super cups with Borussia Dortmund. He has appeared in the Bundesliga team of the season six times and has been named Germany Player of the Year once, among many other individual honours. 

Manchester United are seeking to sign a new keeper

Livakovic celebrating a win for his team.

Manchester United are seeking to sign a new goal keeper, their main target, Dominic Livakovic. He has developed into one of the most prolific goalkeepers and has proven himself on the world stage. He plays as the number one Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper and doubles up as the Croatian national team goalkeeper. His impressive performances at club and national team levels are why he is now considered one of the most sought-after goalkeepers.

Livakovic exploits at club level

Livakovic was born on the 9th of January 1995 in Zadar, Croatia. He started his club career at the NK Zagreb team, where he made his senior debut on the 31st of August 2012. He joined Dinamo Zagreb at the beginning of the 2015/16 season and debuted for the club on the 2nd of October 2016. Since then, he has stayed at Dinamo Zagreb, playing a crucial role in their hunt for accolades.

At Dinamo Zagreb, he holds the record for the longest time since the start of the season without conceding a goal. He set the record of 535 minutes on the 2nd of August 2019 while playing against Gorica. His most impressive club performance for Dinamo Zagreb was noticed in the 2020-21 Europa League group stages. During that season, he conceded only one goal in 5 group-stage games while saving a crucial penalty. He was also instrumental when they eliminated Tottenham Hotspur in the round of 16 of the competition granting Zagreb their first Europa League quarter-finals appearance in history.

Dinamo Zagreb’s number one has been linked to a number of top sides following his great consistent performances. Photo Credits: Dinamo Zagreb

Livakovic exploits for the Croatian team

Dominik Livakovic earned his first international call-up to the Croatian National team in May 2016. He had to wait until 2017 to debut against Chile in the China Cup. In 2018, the Dinamo Zagreb shot stopper got the significant call-up to join the Croatian National team for the World Cup, where he won a silver medal after finishing runners-up to France. He did not play a game during the tournament, with Daniel Subasic being the leading man.

He was finally rewarded with his first competitive debut against England in a goalless Nations League match. It took several disappointing performances by Lovre Kalinic for Livakovic to be considered Croatia’s number 1 goalkeeper. He started playing this role satisfactorily against Wales on the 8th of June 2019.

His most impressive performances were noticed at the 2022 world cup, where he played eight matches for Croatia. He kept two clean sheets against Morocco and Belgium in the group stages and helped his team advance to the round of 16, where they faced Japan. His three crucial penalty saves ensured his team qualified for the quarter-finals. 

He saved another crucial penalty against Brazil in the quarter-finals. He ensured they got to the competition’s semi-finals for the second consecutive edition, where they were beaten 3-0 by Argentina. He, however, became the 15th player ever to be awarded a 10/10 performance by France magazine L’Equipe for his heroics against Morocco as they settled for the bronze medal. 

His world cup heroics have massively contributed to him being wanted by several clubs since he has proven to be a technically gifted player.

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Career Statistics

The Manchester United target has played at least 388 club games since he started playing his trade for Zagreb. These include at least 300 league and 70 European games. For the Croatian national team, he has played a total of 43 games. 


The Dinamo Zagreb shot stopper started winning trophies as early as 2014 with NK Zagreb, where they won the Croatian championship. At Dinamo Zagreb, he has won 5 league cups, two Croatian and two Croatian super cups. He won the world cup silver medal with Croatia while adding another bronze medal in the last world cup edition.

Livakovic in action for the Croatian national team
Livakovic in action for Dinamo Zagreb. The shot stopper has been linked with a move to Manchester United. Photo Credits: Dinamo Zagreb

Individual Honours

He has been named to the Croatian league team of the year seven times and named Croatian’s best goalkeeper for four consecutive years since 2019. After his superb performances, he was named to the Europa League breakthrough team of 2018. In 2020/21, he was named to the Europa League squad of the season

How much will it cost Manchester United to get Livakovic

The Croatian has a release clause of around 8.9 million euros that Manchester United is seemingly ready to pay. They are currently the only major club interested in the Croatian international, seeking to level up on David De Gea. If they can pay this release clause, Dominik Livakovic might make his appearance at Manchester United next season.

The Premier League title is Manchester City’s to lose

Haaland celebrates scoring vs Arsenal in a 4:1 thriller

The Premier League title is Manchester City’s to lose after impressively firing 4 goals past Arsenal in an entertaining premier league clash at the Etihad. The Cityzens came into the match inspired to reduce the gap on top of the table to two points and proved they were serious in the first half when they struck twice.

Kevin De Bruyne scored the first goal to put Man City in front before John Stones slotted the second home from a well taken free kick. In the second half Kevin De Bruyne scored another to put the game to rest. Rob Holding scored a late consolation before Erling Haaland scored deep into extra time to dent Arsenal’s title hopes.

The Premier League title is in sight for Guardiola’s side..

Pep Guardiola celebrating his sides victory over Arsenal in a crucial league match.
Pep Guardiola celebrating his sides victory over Arsenal in a Premier League title determining match. Photo Credits: Manchester City

The win has left Manchester City just 2 points adrift of league leaders Arsenal who have played two more games than Manchester City. Arsenal were once 8 points clear of Manchester City before a poor run of four games denied them maximum points. Three consecutive draws to Liverpool, West Ham United and Southampton messed up Arteta’s good form before Manchester City hammered them to make the title race even more interesting. At the same time, Manchester City have been winning their games and collecting crucial points that have now made the EPL trophy visible to Pep Guardiola’s side.

Manchester City are now considered clear favorites to win the league courtesy of the two games in hand they have. They are in good form and almost all conditions look favorable to them. Arsenal will need to show character as they are yet to face Chelsea and Newcastle United in the next few days. 

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Manchester City still have a treble to fight for with a two legged semi finals against Real Madrid on the cards. They also have an FA Cup final to play against rivals Manchester United. This means that they face a congestion of fixtures with 7 premier league games to play. Manchester City might seem like the ultimate winners of the premier league but the race is still on.

The scramble for top four spots in Serie A

Napoli players celebrating a past win in Serie A

The Serie A top four race is taking shape as Napoli are carving themselves out as the clear favorites to win the league. With the league being considered a done assignment by Napoli who are having an impressive 75 points lead. 6 other top clubs are fighting for the coveted champions league spots. Maurizio Sarri’s side Lazio have been impressive this season and have maintained the second spot for the past few weeks. They have amassed 61 points from 31 games.

Lazio have beaten all odds and have played their cards well as they aim to make a comeback to the champions league where they last appeared seasons ago. Juventus are in third spot after their initially deducted points were granted back to them. Juventus had been deducted 15 points after breaking some key Serie A rules but recently they have been granted back the points that have pushed them back to 3rd position. They currently have 59 points.

AC Milan or Roma, who misses out?

Rafael Leao celebrating his goal for AC Milan. Photo Credits: Serie A

AC Milan complete the fourth spot with 56 points gained, same as Roma who have an inferior goal difference and who have taken position five. AS Roma lost the chance of joining the top 4 after losing to Atalanta 3-1 during the last game week. Atalanta are now in 6th position, 4 points off the top. Inter Milan are in 5th position after securing three points away at Empoli over the weekend.

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Juventus would have taken the second position but unfortunately lost their home game to Napoli courtesy of a late Raspadori strike. Lazio also lost at home to Torino and failed to consolidate their second place.

The top four race in Serie A is still open with  five clubs fighting to join the lethal Napoli side in next season’s competition. The clubs whose cards will be played well will be the winners of the day. Seven more game weeks will determine the top four. Who will taste Champions League football next season?

Manchester City’s Quest for the treble

Pep Guardiola celebrating his side proceeding to the FA cup finals. Photo Credits: Manchester City

Manchester City is leading a charge for a treble after qualifying for the FA Cup finals over the weekend. A hat trick from Riyad Mahrez was enough to spur the Pep Guardiola-coached side to victory over Championship side Sheffield United. Pep Guardiola would aim to win the FA Cup after missing out on the other domestic cup, the Carabao, to bitter rivals Manchester United.

The Cityzens had a smooth run in the Champions League and eliminated German giants Bayern Munich from last week’s competition. They are now set to meet Real Madrid in the semi-final set for May. Despite never winning the competition, they have been rated as the cup’s favorites.

In the league, Manchester City is only five (5) points behind Arsenal with two games in hand. The Gunners were 11 points on top before slipping in their last three games and losing six crucial points. This slip has rekindled the fight for the title, with Manchester City also looking like a possible winner.

Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick in the Wembley Stadium versus Sheffield United guiding his side to a semi-final victory.
Mahrez celebrating a goal as Manchester City played Sheffield United in the FA cup semi-finals. Photo credits: Manchester City

A footprint in Premier League’s hall of fame: Manchester City treble

Two of Sir Alex Ferguson’s records are on the verge of being broken by Pep Guardiola’s side if they can win the elusive treble. They would have replicated his famous three-peat, where he is the only EPL manager to win the premier league title thrice in a row. Furthermore, winning the treble would also mean Sir Alex Ferguson ceases to be the only EPL manager to manage that feat.

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The odds of winning the treble are in Manchester City’s favour due to their superb form and squad depth that can sustain them in all competitions. However, they have to floor three football heritage giants to achieve this feat. Firstly, they will have to battle it out with a wounded Arsenal in the league on Wednesday to prove they have the nerves to win the league. Secondly, they have to eliminate the Champions League defending Real Madrid from the competition’s semi-final. Finally, they have to beat rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup finals to lift the coveted domestic cup. If they manage these three wins, Manchester City could be on the verge of becoming the second EPL side to win a treble.

Will Alejandro Garnacho feature for Argentina U-20?

Alejandro Garnacho celebrating his goal in past match for Manchester United

Eighteen (18) year old Talented Manchester United forward Alejandro Garnacho is a wanted man in the Argentina Under 20 national team camp. The young sensation is needed to bolster the attack of the squad ahead of the FIFA under 20 World Cup that is set to be played in a months time.  The forward has been impressive for Manchester United this season netting 4 goals and recording 4 assists in 29 games.

The former Atletico Madrid academy player is particularly remembered for his superb stoppage time winner against Fulham FC and his late assist to Marcus Rashford that gave Manchester United the win against Manchester City. His superb form had earned him a call up to the Lionel Scaloni coached Argentina National Team before he unfortunately sustained a injury.

His needed presence at Old Trafford

As they near the end of the season, Manchester United are facing some key injuries as they try to compete for the FA Cup and a top 4 finish. The young forward is a crucial part of the squad and is expected to help add firepower to their forward line as they aim to achieve some of their targets. The head coach of Argentina under 20 national team Javier Mascherano, is believed to be a big fan of Garnacho. The under-20 coach would like him to be one of his key players as they aim to replicate what the senior team did in Qatar.

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According to some reports, Mascherano is set to fly  to England to try and convince Manchester United to allow their youngster to join the national team under 20 camp. If they accept to release him, he might miss the last 2 Manchester United premier league games and the FA Cup finals. The young forward has recently signed new long term contract at Manchester United and is believed to be one of the key future stars at the club.