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Osaka dumped out by Muchova in Madrid second round

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Naomi Osaka suffered a second-round exit at the Madrid Open on Sunday as the Japanese second seed lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to Karolina Muchova.

Osaka, the reigning US, and Australian Open champion has seven career hard-court titles, but has never managed to lift a clay-court trophy.

Playing her first clay-court event since the 2019 French Open, Osaka beat compatriot Misaki Doi in the first round, but she came unstuck against an opponent making her top 20 debut this week.

Muchova, who reached the last four in Melbourne this year, used a single break of serve to claim the opening set against the world number two.

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Osaka, a quarter-finalist at Madrid two years ago, fell 3-1 behind in the second set but rallied to win the next five games and force a decider.

Muchova regrouped and broke Osaka early in the third set, and then again for a 5-1 lead, before sealing victory in just under two hours.

The Czech will meet Greek 16th seed Maria Sakkari or Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit for a place in the quarter-finals.

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Manchester United, Villarreal in Europa League Final

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Manchester United advanced to the Europa League final 8-5 on aggregate on Thursday despite losing 3-2 to Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Premier League side will play Villarreal in the final on May 26 in Gdansk.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had taken a 6-2 first-leg lead to Rome, and Edinson Cavani’s goals in the 39th and 68th minutes ensured their place in the final.

Roma had gone ahead on the night midway through the second half with goals from Edin Dzeko and Bryan Cristante in a three-minute spell, and Alex Telles’ own goal gave the hosts a second-leg win with seven minutes to go.

Roma battled from the outset with Gianluca Mancini forcing an early save from United ‘keeper David De Gea, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan nodding the resulting corner into the side netting.

Cavani repeatedly proved dangerous, pouncing on a Roger Ibanez blunder to rattle the bar and then forcing a save from Roma keeper Antonio Mirante.

The Uruguayan finally broke through six minutes before the break, collecting a Bruno Fernandes through ball before firing past a beaten Mirante. 

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De Gea did well again to save from Mkhitaryan and Dzeko either side of the break.

The 33-year-old Dzeko got the equaliser in the 57th minute when he got his head to Pedro’s cross to beat De Gea.

Cristante got the second three minutes later, connecting with a Lorenzo Pellegrini to revive Roman hopes.

De Gea then pulled off a miraculous double save on from a Dzeko header and Pedro’s follow-up, and Cavani struck again after 68 minutes when he headed Bruno Fernandes’ centre past Mirante.

Roma did not give up and Telles’ own goal offered some consolation to a team set to be coached next season by former Man United manager Jose Mourinho.

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Breaking: Di Maria sent off as Man City beat PSG to reach first UCL final

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Manchester City reached the Champions League final for the first time in the club’s history as Riyad Mahrez’s double saw off Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 on Tuesday to seal a 4-1 aggregate win.

Mahrez’s goal also decided the first leg and the Algerian, who grew up in the Parisian suburbs, haunted his home town team again with two clinical finishes early in each half.

The final in Istanbul on May 29 against Real Madrid or Chelsea is the culmination of City’s rise since an Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008 transformed the club’s fortunes.

Meanwhile, four years on from making Neymar and Kylian Mbappe the world’s two most expensive players, PSG’s wait for a first Champions League title goes on.

Mbappe could only watch on from the stands due to a calf injury as, just like in last week’s first leg, his side imploded after an excellent first-half performance.

The visitors were left to rue huge missed chances by Marquinhos and Angel Di Maria in between Mahrez’s strikes before Di Maria lashed out at Fernandinho to leave PSG down to 10 men for the final 20 minutes.

City will set the seal on a fifth Premier League title in the past 10 years in the coming days as they remain on course for a treble, having already lifted the League Cup.

But it has taken until their 10th consecutive season in the Champions League for Sheikh Mansour’s investment to be rewarded by playing in the biggest game in club football.

City boss Pep Guardiola has won the Champions League twice before as a coach during his time at Barcelona.

However, the Catalan has also endured a decade of anguish in Europe’s premier club competition since.

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Four times Guardiola has fallen at the semi-final stage with Barca and Bayern Munich since last lifting the trophy in 2011 on top of three quarter-final exits with City in the past three seasons.

In many of those ties, the fine details and controversial decisions went against Guardiola’s men despite dominating the match.

This time it was a role reversal as City had to withstand a barrage from PSG before the break.

The French champions thought they had an early penalty to get back in the tie when Oleksandr Zinchenko was penalised for handball.

However, Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers rightly reversed his initial decision on seeing a replay of the ball bouncing off the Ukrainian’s shoulder.

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Zinchenko was heavily involved again when the opening goal arrived at the other end.

He raced onto City goalkeeper Ederson’s thunderous long pass into the PSG area. Zinchenko’s cut-back found Kevin De Bruyne and after the Belgian’s shot was blocked, Mahrez pounced to slot home on his weaker right foot.

The tie was still far from over as PSG penned City back and should have been at least level on the night before half-time.

Marquinhos has made a habit of scoring big Champions League goals and the Brazilian was inches away from another when his looping header came back off the crossbar.

Ederson then nearly undid his good work as Di Maria intercepted his hurried throw to Bernardo Silva and flashed a shot inches wide with the Brazilian ‘keeper stranded outside his goal.

– Neymar nullified –
Mauricio Pochettino will wonder what could have been had Mbappe been fit with his replacement Icardi ineffective.

Neymar only ever showed flashes of his brilliance with City’s impressive defence led by Ruben Dias able to focus on stopping the Brazilian without Mbappe to worry about.

City have now kept 31 clean sheets this season in a marked contrast to the defensive weakness that has previously cost them in this competition.

Guardiola’s men have always shown enough quality going forward and a clinical counter-attack killed off the tie on 63 minutes.

De Bruyne freed Phil Foden down the left and his inch-perfect cross was blasted high past Keylor Navas by Mahrez.

In a repeat of the first leg, PSG’s discipline went with their hopes of reaching the final.

Di Maria needlessly stamped on Fernandinho to be shown a straight red card before Marco Verratti was lucky to escape seeing a second yellow.

Foden hit the post as City threatened to run riot in the closing stages.

But they had already done enough to make history.

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I had crazy feeling day I wore Eagles’ No.10 jersey – Aribo

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Super Eagles midfielder, Joe Aribo, says he was intimidated by the iconic No. 10 jersey when he first joined the national team.

 Muda Lawal, Austin Okocha and Mikel Obi are some of the ex-Eagles stars to have worn the No. 10 jersey.

The Glasgow Rangers star has held on to the creative position since making his first appearance against Ukraine in an international friendly in 2019, where he opened his goals account, before going on to grab another against Brazil three days later.

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“I’ll never forget my first game with the No.10. They left the spot (in the changing room) for me and I didn’t sit there because I was thinking ‘this can’t be me,’” Aribo told dailymail.co.uk.

 “They said ‘no, this is you’ and when I was warming up I was thinking ‘yo, this is crazy. The 10 for Nigeria.’ I didn’t know how to feel. A crazy feeling. In football, let alone Nigeria, the No.10 shirt is iconic. If you’re wearing it you’ve got to be a good player, so I feel like I have to be good.”

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