Juventus sign Blaise Matuidi from PSG

Blaise Matuidi has joined Juventus in an initial €20 million deal after a six-year spell with Paris Saint-Germain.

France international midfielder Matuidi completed a medical in Turin on Thursday and has signed a three-year contract with the Serie A champions.

The transfer fee could raise an additional €10.5m with add-ons based on the number of appearances the 30-year-old makes with Juve.

Matuidi won 16 domestic trophies at PSG and was named as 2015’s French Player of the Year as well as twice being voted into the Ligue 1 Team of the Year.

His final PSG appearance, at Guingamp’s Stade de Roudourou on Sunday, was his 400th in Ligue 1.

PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi said of Matuidi’s exit:

“I will always have great memories of Blaise’s six seasons with our club. He is a player who played every match with generosity and a permanent desire to win everything, earning admiration from everyone.

“Blaise will remain in our hearts and he will always be welcome in the big PSG family. We wish him every success in his first challenge abroad and every success with the France national team in this World Cup season.”

Sylvain Armand, a former PSG player, said Matuidi would have preferred to stay at the club but decided to move once it became clear he was no longer an integral part of coach Unai Emery’s plans.

Armand told Le Parisien:

“Even if he played a lot last season, he quickly realised this campaign that he was not going to get the same playing time.

“He and Juventus will be happy together. It is a shame for PSG, because Blaise always gave absolutely everything. He was in love with the club. He would have preferred to continue his Parisian adventure.”

Bundesliga result: Newcomers Sule and Tolisso bag debut goals to help Bayern Munich beat Bayer Leverkusen

Bayern munich 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen

Bayern Munich’s newcomers opened the Bundesliga in style as the defending champions beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 in heavy rain on Friday night.

Niklas Sule and Corentin Tolisso scored their first goals for Bayern since joining the club this summer, before Robert Lewandowski added a third from a penalty that was only given after a video review.

After Tolisso saw a hard shot saved at the near post in the opening stages, Sule opened the scoring in the ninth minute as he rose highest to head home Sebastian Rudy’s cross from a set piece.

Leverkusen nearly equalised three minutes later but Sven Ulreich, still deputising for the injured Manuel Neuer, stuck out a boot to deny Admir Mehmedi.

But the hosts quickly regained control and doubled their lead on 18 minutes following a corner.

Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno could only punch the ball out as far as Arturo Vidal, who immediately lofted the ball back into the six-yard box for Tolisso to head in.

The former Lyon man nearly added a second goal five minutes later only for the ball to come back off the post.

By that time the rain was coming down in sheets, and half-time was extended by 15 minutes to wait out the inclement weather.

A video assistant referee (VAR) system was available for the first time in Bundesliga history, and it worked perfectly to award Bayern a penalty early in the second half.

Lewandowski was clearly pulled down by Charles Aranguiz as he chased a cross into the box, and the referee on the pitch awarded a spot-kick after consulting with the off-site VAR.

The striker converted it himself to put Bayern 3-0 up in the 53rd minute.

Leverkusen squandered a gilt-edged chance soon afterward as Ulreich saved Julian Brandt’s shot and Dominik Kohr’s follow-up was cleared off the line by Joshua Kimmich.

But the visitors were able to convert on their next opportunity in the 65th minute as Mehmedi launched a first-time rocket into the top corner inside the near post.

Kohr flicked a header just wide after a set piece that could have reduced the deficit to one, but Bayern held on to begin the season with three points.

Bayern have won 18 and drawn five since losing to Mainz in March 2016.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who were missing a host of key players through injury, extending their unbeaten home run to a 23rd league match. Bayern have won 18 and drawn five since losing to Mainz in March 2016.

Ligue 1 result – Radamel Falcao strike late as Monaco edge Metz and set record

Reigning champions Monaco became the first team to win 15 successive matches in France’s Ligue 1 after Radamel Falcao earned the club a narrow victory at Metz without Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe, 18, was left out of the squadamid transfer speculation linking him with a move to rivals Paris St-Germain.

Falcao struck a 78th-minute winner after latching onto Rachid Ghezzal’s chip over the home defence.

After finishing last season with 12 successive wins, Monaco have started this campaign by beating Toulouse, Dijon and now Metz.

Colombia striker Falcao’s winner saw Monaco pass Bordeaux’s tally of 14 wins in a row in 2009.

Mbappe, who has also been linked to Real Madrid and Manchester City, was left out of the squad by manager Leonardo Jardim, who said he was “protecting” the player.

La Liga results: Zaza scores in Valencia win; Alaves beaten by Gabriel’s goal for Leganes

Leganes 1-0 Alaves

Valencia 1-0 Las Palmas

    • Valencia 1-0 Las Palmas
  • Simone Zaza was the match-winner as Valencia started their La Liga campaign with a 1-0 home victory over 10-man Las Palmas.

    The former Juventus and West Ham forward struck after 22 minutes when Carlos Soler rolled the ball into his path on the edge of the penalty area.

    Zaza finished with a powerful side-foot which gave Leandro Chichizola no chance in the visitors’ goal.

    Alen Halilovic should have equalised two minutes later but he fired tamely at Valencia goalkeeper Neto and it got a lot more difficult for Las Palmas when Croatian midfielder Halilovic was sent off after 34 minutes, receiving a straight red card for catching Jose Gaya with a high foot.

    Valencia’s impressive football should have put the game beyond Las Palmas in the second half, but Chichizola made excellent saves to deny Joao Cancelo and Zaza before substitute Santi Mina’s header hit a post in the final seconds.

    • Leganes 1-0 Alaves

    Gabriel’s close-range strike settled the first game of the new La Liga season for Leganes as they beat Alaves1-0.

    The Brazilian struck in the 24th minute after Miguel Angel Guerrero’s free-kick took a deflection and Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco could only push the ball into his path.

    In doing so, Gabriel became the first Brazilian since Atletico Madrid midfielder Juninho in 1997 to score the opening goal of a La Liga season.

    Alaves had wasted a great chance to take a 17th-minute lead when home defender Diego Rico flattened Burgui in the penalty area.

    Manu Garcia sent a weak spot-kick straight at Ivan Cuellar, who was able to catch the ball for his third successive penalty save in LaLiga.

    Few chances were created in the second half with Leganes content to defend their 1-0 lead, although Burgui gave them a late scare when his powerful 25-yard drive clipped the top of the crossbar.

    Nemanja Matic takes a dig at Chelsea, claims Manchester United are ‘definitely’ a bigger club

    Nemanja Matic has had a dig at his former employers Chelsea, insisting Manchester United are “definitely” a bigger club.

    The midfielder made the switch to Old Trafford this summer in a £40million deal, ending a three-and-a-half year stint in his second spell with Chelsea.

    Matic was awarded man-of-the match in his Premier League debut for United as they ran out comfortable 4-0 winners over West Ham.

    Asked if United were the biggest club he has played for, Matic told Sky Sports:

    “Definitely, everyone knows what Manchester United is about. “When you say Manchester United, it is different.

    “Also Chelsea is a big club, Benfica are the biggest club in Portugal. But Manchester is Manchester.

    “When I came here for the first day, I could feel that the people at the club help you every day if you need something and supporters are very important for this club.

    “After every training session, they are waiting for us outside the training ground to take pictures, to give a signature so I think the club is one of the biggest in the world.

    “Maybe you have two or three clubs similar to United, but Manchester is one of the biggest clubs in the world for sure.”

    Matic also revealed that Mourinho was a big factor in convincing him to swap blue for red.

    “He was very important for me,” Matic said of Mourinho. “He bought me to Chelsea from Benfica and now when I decided to come to Manchester, he was a reason to come here.

    “Mourinho was the reason and so was the club, Manchester United, so you don’t need to think a lot about if you are going to come. “My decision was very quick and very clear.”

    Manchester City sign Nigerian striker Larry Kayode from Austria Vienna and loans him to Girona

    Manchester City have signed Nigerian striker Larry Kayode from Austria Vienna and immediately loaned him out to Girona.

    The 24-year-old becomes the fifth City player to join the Spanish club on a temporary deal for the coming season following Pablo Maffeo, Aleix Garcia, Marlos Moreno and £10million summer signing Douglas Luiz.

    City have not made an official announcement but the Spanish club, who have been promoted to La Liga for this season, have confirmed the move.

    Kayode, who scored 37 goals in 85 matches in the Austrian Bundesliga, was previously linked with Newcastle.

    City have developed a strong relationship with Girona and the latest deal comes days after Pep Guardiola’s squad returned from a warm-weather training camp in the Catalan city.

    Their stay included a friendly against Girona, who conducted some of their own pre-season preparations at the City Football Academy in Manchester.

    EPL @25: most successful clubs of the Premier League era

    The Premier League celebrated its 25th anniversary this week, but only Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton have remained part of the furniture.

    In total, 49 different clubs have competed in the top flight since its re-brand in 1992, with Brighton and Huddersfield becoming the latest last weekend following their promotions last season.

    Each metric could be used as a method to rank the most successful clubs of the modern era – and judging by these there are several clubs currently playing in the Football League that can lay claim to be among the top 20.

    Premier League total points 1992-2017 Manchester United started this season with a 199-point cushion at the top of the 25-season table, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool making up a familiar-looking top four.

    Seven of the clubs in the top 20 no longer dwell in the top flight, while Sheffield Wednesday and League Two side Coventry were only edged out last season by Stoke and West Brom.

    Outside the top 20, Bournemouth are the only team of those who competed in last season’s Premier League that have yet to break the 100 points barrier.

    Huddersfield and Brighton will be looking to do better than previous one-season stayers Cardiff, Swindon (both 30 points) and Barnsley (35 points), while anything better than Blackpool’s 39 points should see the Terriers and Seagulls remain in the top flight for another crack at it next year.

    1. Manchester United 2021

    2. Arsenal 1822

    3. Chelsea 1789

    4 .Liverpool 1677

    5. Tottenham 1447

    6. Everton 1324

    7 Aston Villa 1223

    8. Newcastle 1183

    9. Manchester City 1171

    10. West Ham 1004

    11. Blackburn 969

    12. Southampton 853

    13. Leeds 692

    14. Middlesbrough 661

    15. Sunderland 618

    16. Fulham 586

    17. Bolton 575

    18. Leicester 505

    19. West Brom 433

    20. Stoke 424