World Cup UEFA Qualification  – Germany thrash San Marino 7; England held but stay top; Lewandowski Warsaw hattrick hero

​Group C

Azerbaijan 0 – 1 N.Ireland

Germany 7 – 0 San Marino

Norway 1 – 1 Czech  Republic

  • Germany 7 – 0 San Marino

Sandro Wagner scored a hat-trick as Group C leaders Germany stretched their 100 per cent record to six games with a 7-0 win over San Marino in Nuremberg.

Julian Draxler’s early effort set the Germans on their way and a brace from Wagner and a fourth for Amin Younes put them four goals clear by the break.

Shkodran Mustafi increased Germany’s lead early in the second half and Julian Brandt headed the sixth before Wagner completed his hat-trick – and the German scoring – with a header of his own five minutes from time.

  • Norway 1 – 1 Czech  Republic

Czech Republic were held to a 1-1 draw at struggling Norway, Theodor Gebre Selassie’s first-half strike cancelled out by an Alexander Soderlund penalty.

That result leaved the Czechs four points behind Northern Ireland.

  • Azerbaijan 0 – 1 N.Ireland

Northern Ireland defeated Azerbaijan 1-0 in Baku thanks to a stoppage-time strike from Stuart Dallas.

Group E

Kazakhstan 1 – 3 Denmark

Montenegro 4 – 1 Armenia

Poland 3 – 1 Romania

  • Poland 3 – 1 Romania

Robert Lewandowski netted a hat-trick asPolandmaintained their six-point lead at the top of Group E with a 3-1 win over Romania in Warsaw.

The striker opened the scoring with a 29th-minute penalty and doubled their advantage when he added a second just before the hour.

A second penalty from Lewandowski sealed another win for the hosts five minutes later before Bogdan Stancu scored a late consolation.

  • Kazakhstan 1 – 3 Denmark

Denmark kept up the pressure on Poland with a 3-1 win over 10-man Kazakhstan in Almaty.

Nicolai Jorgensen put the Danes ahead and Christian Eriksen added a second from the spot after Bauyrzhan Islamkhan was sent off in the dying stages of the first half.

Islambek Kuat briefly reduced the deficit before Kasper Dolberg’s 81st-minute strike sealed victory for the visitors.

  • Montenegro 4 – 1 Armenia

Stevan Jovetic was another hat-trick hero as Montenegro held onto second place in the same group with a 4-1 win over Armenia in Podgorica.

The former Manchester City man added to an early strike by Fatos Beciraj to secure a comfortable win for his side, while the visitors replied late through Ruslan Koryan.

Group F

Scotland 2 – 2 England

Slovenia 2 – 0 Malta

Lithuania 1 – 2 Slovakia


  • Scotland 2 – 2 England

Captain Harry Kane rescued a point in injury time as England snatched a dramatic 2-2 draw with Scotland at Hampden Park.

Two late free-kicks from Leigh Griffiths )87, 90( looked to have earned the home side a sensational victory in Saturday’s World Cup Qualifier, after substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had opened the scoring 20 minutes from time.

But Kane volleyed in Raheem Sterling’s cross four minutes into added time to preserve England’s unbeaten record and keep them three points clear at the top of Group F.

The late goal was cruel for Scotland, whose supporters had been vociferously celebrating a thrilling turn-around, mean they remain in fourth place on eight points with four matches still to play.

  • Lithuania 1 – 2 Slovakia

Slovakia clung onto second place with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Lithuania in Vilnius, goals from Vladimir Weiss and Marek Hamsik giving the visitors the points before Arvydas Novikovas hit a stoppage-time consolation.

  • Slovenia 2 – 0 Malta

Slovenia maintained their push for a place in Russia as goals from Josip Ilicic and Milvoje Novakovic gave them a 2-0 win over group minnows Malta in Ljubljana.

World Cup UEFA Qualifiers – Hugo Lloris howler gift Sweden victory; Ronaldo scores twice but Switzerland stay top; Belgium maintain lead

​Group A

Belarus 2 – 1 Bulgaria

Netherlands 5 – 0 Luxembourg

Sweden 2 – 1 France

  • Sweden 2 – 1 France

A blunder from Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris saw Sweden snatch a dramatic stoppage-time winner to open up the battle at the top of World Cup European qualifying Group A.

Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud fired Les Bleus into the lead in the 37th minute with a superb volley into the top corner after taking the ball down at the far post.

Sweden hit back just before the break when midfielder Jimmy Durmaz lashed in an angled drive.

Jakob Johansson and then France forward Antoine Griezmann both had chances before, with just seconds of three minutes of added time remaining, Spurs keeper Lloris dribbled the ball out of his penalty area only to scuff an attempted clearance.

Toulouse forward Ola Toivonen clipped a first-time effort over the keeper from just inside his own half, which bounced into an empty net to spark wild celebrations from the home fans at the Friends Arena as Sweden moved above France to the top of the table on goal difference.

Sweden have not qualified for the finals since 2006.

  • Netherlands 5 – 0 Luxembourg

Holland are now just three points behind Dick Advocaat won his first game back in charge of the Netherlands as the Dutch hammered Luxembourg 5-0 to boost their chances of World Cup qualification.

The former Sunderland boss, 69, is  starting his third spell as national  team boss.

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben put the Netherlands ahead after 21 minutes.

Veteran midfielder Wesley Sneijder – making a record 131st international appearance on his 33rd birthday – slotted in a second after 35 minutes.

Advocaat, who was named as Danny Blind’s successor in May, saw his side go further ahead on the hour through Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

Quincy Promes headed in a fourth with 20 minutes left, with a late penalty from Tottenham forward Vincent Janssen completing the rout.

  • Belarus 2 – 1 Bulgaria

Bulgaria, who had been third, slipped to a 2-1 defeat inBelarus.

The hosts went ahead after 33 minutes through a penalty from Mikhail Sivakov and a fine individual effort from Pavel Savitskiy sealed victory with 10 minutes left.

Georgi Kostadinov netted a consolation for Bulgaria in stoppage time.



Group B

Andorra 1 – 0 Hungary

Faroe Islands 0 – 2 Switzerland

Latvia 0 – 3 Portugal

  • Latvia 0 – 3 Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo scored two close-range headers as Portugal won 3-0 in Latvia.

Ronaldo – whose double helped Real Madrid win the Champions League final in Cardiff last Saturday – nodded Portugal in front five minutes before half-time after Jose Fonte’s header came back off the crossbar.

The 32-year-old headed in a second from almost on the goalline after 61 minutes, with Porto striker Andre Silva adding a third six minutes later.

  • Faroe Islands 0 – 2 Switzerland

Switzerland kept themselves ahead of Portugal at the top of Group B with a 2-0 away win over the Faroe Islands.

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka put the Swiss ahead in the 36th minute with a low shot and Stoke playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri’s neat angled finish wrapped things up after 56 minutes.

  • Andorra 1 – 0 Hungary

Andorra moved off the bottom of the table with a shock 1-0 win over Hungary at Estadi Nacional where a header from Marc Rebes brought to an end a run of 66 competitive matches without a victory.

Congrats.

Group H

Bosnia-Herzegovina 0 – 0 Greece

Estonia 0 – 2 Belgium

Gibraltar 1 – 2 Cyprus

  • Estonia 0 – 2 Belgium

Belgium maintained their lead atop Group H with a 2-0 defeat of Estonia, who finished with 10 men at the A. Le Coq Arena.

The Belgians are yet to lose in qualifying thus far, taking 16 points from six matches, and were on the scoreboard after the half-hour.

Kevin De Bruyne’s cross from the right was mishandled by Estonia goalkeeper Mihkel Aksalu into the path of Dries Mertens, who comfortably slotted home at the far post.

Belgium then put the game away in the 86th minute through Nacer Chadli, who slotted home a De Bruyne pass from close range.

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina 0 – 0 Greece

Second-placed Greece battled to a goalless draw away to Bosnia-Herzegovina, who remain a point behind.

The draw puts Greece in the playoff position on 12 points from six matches, while the hosts sit on 11.

  • Gibraltar 1 – 2 Cyprus

Fourth-placed Cyprus rallied to defeat last-placed Gibraltar 2-1.

Roy Chipolina’s own goal gave the visitors an early advantage in the 10th minute — the defender leaping to cut off a Konstantinos Charalampidis chipped ball into the area and inadvertently looping his header over onrushing keeper Deren Ibrahim and into the empty net.

Gibraltar responded, though, 20 minutes later through Anthony Hernandez, who received a through-ball in the area and curled his right-footed shot around the keeper.

Cyprus then went in front for good in the 87th minute — Pieros Sotiriou heading home Jason Demetriou’s cross from the centre of the box to give the Cypriots a valuable three points.

UEFA Champions League Final:  Record-breaking Ronaldo strikes twice to fire Real Madrid to Champions League glory

Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice as Real Madrid retained their Champions League crown and heaped more final heartbreak on Juventus with a 4-1 win in Cardiff.

In a gripping final, Real took the lead when Ronaldo finished off a flowing counter-attack (20) but Juventus hit back seven minutes later through a skilful overhead kick from Mario Mandzukic that will go down in history as one the greatest goals in Champions League history.

Casemiro fired Zinedine Zidane’s side into the lead on 61 minutes and Ronaldo struck again three minutes later, before Marco Asensio wrapped it up in stoppage time to condemn Juve -who had substitute Juan Cuadrado sent off for two yellow cards late on – to a fifth straight defeat in the showpiece European final (1997, 1998, 2003, 2015, 2017).


Victory for the La Liga giants means they have become the first side to defend the Champions League since its revamp in 1992 and wins them an historic 12th European major title.

This fixture matched up a well-drilled Juventus defence that had conceded just three goals in this season’s competition against a ruthless Real attacking outfit that scored in all of their 12 Champions League matches this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo underlined his status as the Champions League’s greatest goal-scorer with his decisive double taking his tally to 105 career Champions League goals.

  • To put that goal haul into perspective, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has scored 94 times in the competition and the legendary Raul is way back on 71 in third.
  • No other player has more than 56.

Most Champions League goals

Player Goals

Cristiano Ronaldo 105

Lionel Messi 94

Raul 71

Ruud van Nistelrooy 56

Karim Benzema 51

  • Ronaldo’s opener against Juventus also meant he became the first player in history to net in three different Champions League finals, adding to his strikes for United in 2008 and Real in 2014.

  • It’s worth noting Ronaldo had to wait 26 matches before scoring his first Champions League goal – he’s scored 90 in 88 appearances since leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid.

  • Ronaldo’s second of the game then took him clear of Messi at the top of the scoring standings for this competition. His 12 goals in the 2016/17 Champions League mean he has finished top scorer in Europe’s elite club contest five years running.

Champions League top scorer 2016/17

Player  Club  Goals

Cristiano Ronaldo  Real Madrid  12

Lionel Messi  Barcelona  11

Edinson Cavani  PSG  8

Robert Lewandowski  Bayern Munich  8

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang  Borussia Dortmund   7

  • Ronaldo scores brings up another landmark and his second against Juventus was also his 600th for club and country.

UcL: Semi-finals second leg -result – Isco’s strike sends Real Madrid to UCL final despite Atletico defeat

Atletico Madrid 2 – 1 Real Madrid (Aggregate 2 – 4)

​Defending champions Real Madrid held off a spirited Atletico Madrid to set up a meeting with Juventus in next month’s Champions League final in Cardiff, despite losing 2-1 to Atletico Madrid.

Atletico Madrid, who were playing their last European game at the Vicente Calderon, were tasked with overturning Real’s commanding 3-0  semi-final lead from the first leg, and blew the tie wide open with two goals in the first 16 minutes through a Saul Niguez header and Antoine Griezmann penalty.


However, a sublime moment of skill from Karim Benzema saw him set up Toni Kroos just before half-time, and though the German’s effort was superbly kept out by Jan Oblak, Isco was there to follow up with the rebound and leave Atletico needing three more without reply.

Chances were scarcer for both teams after the break, although home substitute Kevin Gameiro missed two presentable chances to give Atletico a glimmer of hope.

The result means Real have now got the better of their city rivals for a fourth successive season in Europe.

Real will be attempting to become the first team to win the Champions League twice in a row, will meet Juventus at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, 3 June.

UCL: Semi-finals second leg result – Juventus beat Monaco to reach second UCL final in three years

Juventus 2 – 1 AS Monaco (Aggregate 4 – 1)

Juventus reached their second Champions League final in three seasons with a comfortable 2-1 win over Monaco in Turin completing a 4-1 aggregate victory.

First-half goals from Mario Mandzukic and Dani Alves ended the tie as a contest before the break to ensure Massimiliano Allegri’s side will contest the final in Cardiff next month.

Kylian Mbappe turned in Joao Moutinho’s low cross to pull one back in the second half, but the Ligue 1 side could not pull off an unlikely comeback.

Mario Mandzukic stabbed in after his initial header was saved.

Dani Alves doubled their lead on the night with an instinctive volley from goalkeeper Danijel Subasic’s punched clearance.

Juventus, who have not won this competition since 1996 and lost 3-1 to Barcelona in the 2015 final, will face either Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid in Cardiff on 3 June.

Dream debut for Rashford as ‘horny’ United display five star peformance; Livepool, Spurs win; Napoli out

18-year-old Marcus Rashford scored two goals on his Manchester United debut in a 5-1 win against FC Midtjylland as Louis Van Gaal’s side progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League.
Rashford was the unlikely hero in Manchester United’s do-or-die clash with FC Midtjylland, marking an unexpected debut with a dream brace that saw Louis van Gaal’s men through a tricky Europa League tie.
A terrible string of injuries has seen United forced to rely on youth products, although the 18-year-old striker was so far down the pecking order his name did not even appear on the back of the matchday programme.
Rashford is likely to be the cover star next time, though, having been thrust into the spotlight following Anthony Martial’s warm-up injury and netting twice as United overcame a first-leg defeat and first-half Midtjylland goal to win 5-1 on the night and 6-3 on aggregate.
It was a dream end to an evening that looked to be going horribly wrong when Pione Sisto all-too-easily carved open United’s makeshift defence to put the Danish champions ahead at Old Trafford.
Nikolay Bodurov, on loan from Fulham, turned a Memphis Depay cross into his own goal shortly afterwards, but nerves grew as Morgan Schneiderlin hit the woodwork and then Juan Mata saw a penalty saved.
They need not have worried, though, as Rashford came to the rescue, turning home crosses from Mata and Guillermo Varela to put United in the driving seat.
Ander Herrera’s penalty and a Depay strike either side of Andre Romer’s red card added extra gloss to the scoreline as they progressed to the last 16.
The result eases the pressure on Van Gaal, who called for his team to be hungry and, rather amusingly, “horny” in the build-up to a match which ended a run of four games on the road.
Martial’s warm-up blow took the number of injured first-team players to 13 and led to Rashford making his debut alongside 19-year-old Joe Riley, who made his first start in a defence that saw Michael Carrick drop back to partner Daley Blind.

Tottenham beat Fiorentina 4-1 on aggregate in their Europa League round-of-32 tie after a 3-0 win in the second leg at White Hart Lane.
Ryan Mason gave Spurs the lead with a composed finish in the first half and Erik Lamela made it two before a Gonzalo Rodriguez own goal completed a 4-1 victory on aggregate.
The only negative on another excellent night for Mauricio Pochettino’s men saw Dele Alli pick up his third yellow card of the competition, which means the 19-year-old is banned for the first leg of the next round.
Harry Kane was left out of a Spurs matchday squad for the first time this season as he recovers from a broken nose, but Pochettino showed the seriousness with which he continues to treat this most exhausting of competitions by fielding all of his other key players including Hugo Lloris, Eric Dier and Alli.
This was an important victory, not least to recover momentum following last weekend’s shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Crystal Palace, a defeat which brought to an end Tottenham’s eight-match unbeaten run and set nerves jangling amongst the Spurs faithful.

Liverpool have qualified for the last 16 of the Europa League after beating Augsburg 1-0 at Anfield, courtesy of a penalty from James Milner.
Milner’s fifth-minute penalty proved decisive but despite creating a number of chances the Reds failed to score a second goal that would have sealed the tie.
The job was completed within 90 minutes meaning Jurgen Klopp and his players can now concentrate on Sunday’s Capital One Cup final against Manchester City.
Aside from the result, the real positive was another 65 minutes in the bank for Daniel Sturridge, making his third consecutive start for the first time since last March, who looked Liverpool’s most dangerous player and will be the key man again at Wembley.

Borussia Dortmund won 1-0 at Porto to add to their advantage from the first leg and cruise to a 3-0 aggregate victory.
Iker Casillas saved a shot from Marco Reus, only for the rebound to fall to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose follow-up hit the underside of the bar and came straight down to strike Casillas and roll in for an own goal.

Karim Bellarabi scored twice to guide Bayer Leverkusen to a 3-1 win at home over Sporting Lisbon, with the hosts advancing 4-1 on aggregate.
Bellarabi stayed onside to receive a pass from Javier Hernandez before firing a shot through the legs of keeper Rui Patricio from a tight angle on 30 minutes.
But Sporting scored eight minutes later when Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno could only parry Carlos Mane’s shot into the path of Joao Mario, who tapped home.
However, Bellarabi’s powerful, long-distance second goal effectively put an end to the tie before Hakan Calhanoglu added a third goal late on.

Sabin Merino’s goal nine minutes from time allowed Athletic Bilbao to advance at the expense of Marseille after a 1-1 draw.
Michy Batshuayi’s 40th-minute goal erased Athletic’s slim edge from the first leg, but Merino headed a home a cross from Markel Susaeta to help the Spanish side move on 2-1 on aggregate.

Lazio scored twice in a three-minute span to defeat Galatasaray 3-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate.
After a goalless first period, Marco Parolo put Lazio ahead with an unstoppable header from Lucas Biglia’s corner before Felipe Anderson made it 2-0 by tapping in to an empty net from Alessandro Matri’s cut across.
The visitors had renewed hope when Yasin Oztekin drew a goal back two minutes later, but Miroslav Klose’s 72nd-minute goal — his first goal of the season — made for a comfortable ending.

Shakhtar Donetsk displayed a dominating performance to win 3-0 at Schalke.
Marlos found the tie’s first goal in the 26th minute, and Facundo Ferreyra and Viktor Kovalenko added to the visitor’s advantage after the break as the Bundesliga side failed to respond.

Valencia completed their rout of Rapid Vienna with a 4-0 win in a second leg that was never in doubt.
Rodrigo, Sofiane Feghouli, Pablo Piatti and Shkodran Mustafi provided the goals as Gary Neville’s side added to the six-goal laugher in the first leg to win 10-0 on aggregate.

Villarreal managed a 1-1 draw at Napoli to move on 2-1 on aggregate.
Marek Hamsik scored for the hosts in the 17th minute to level the tie, but Tomas Pina’s fortunate goal on the hour mark put the Spanish side through.
Pina sent in a cross from the corner of the 18-yard box that sailed into the opposite corner.

Basel defeated St Etienne at home 2-1 to advance on away goals with the tie level at 4-4.
After a fine effort in a 3-2 defeat in the first leg, the Swiss side got a 15th-minute goal from Luca Zuffi.
That set up a dramatic finish where Moustapha Bayal Sall appeared to have found a winner for the French side in the 89th minute, only for Zuffi to put Basel through with a second goal in stoppage time.

Frank Acheampong scored twice in extra time as Anderlecht won 2-1 away at Olympiakos to go through 3-1 overall.
Kostas Fortounis pulled the Greeks level in the tie when he converted a penalty in the 29th minute.
Acheampong scored from a tight angle to put the Belgians ahead on 103 minutes and the Ghana forward made sure of a place in the last 16 with another neat finish midway through the second period of extra time.

Norwegian side Molde won their home leg over Sevilla 1-0, but it was not enough as the defending champions advanced 3-1 on aggregate.
Eirik Hestad scored for Molde before the break while American Ethan Horvath kept a clean sheet.

Sparta Prague won 3-0 at 10-man Krasnodar to ease through 4-0 on aggregate.
Goals early in the second half from Lukas Marecek and Martin Frydek had ended the tie as a contest.
It got worse for the hosts when Charles Kabore received a second yellow card and Kehinde Fatai capped the scoring two minutes later.

Fenerbahce progressed past Lokomotiv Moscow following a 1-1 draw in the Russian capital.
Holding a 2-0 advantage from the first leg, Fener fell behind to Aleksandr Samedov’s goal on the stroke of half-time, but Lokomotiv were not able to find a second themselves and Mehmet Topal’s late header gave the visitors a comfortable final few moments.

On Wednesday, Braga advanced 4-3 on aggregate after securing a 2-2 draw at home with FC Sion.

Juve draw as Bayern squander two goal lead; Messi’s brace leave Arsenal with mountain to climb

Arsenal are on the verge of being knocked out of the Champions League after Lionel Messi scored two goals to guide Barcelona to a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium in the last-16 first leg tie.
The holders had plenty of possession but did not have a shot on target in the first half – only for Messi to tuck away his first real chance with 20 minutes remaining before scoring a late penalty to secure a 2-0 win.
Arsenal had a couple of decent chances of their own but have it all to do in the return leg at the Nou Camp on March 16 if they are to go beyond the round of 16 for the first time since 2010.

Juventus came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Bayern Munich.
Goals from Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben either side of half-time looked to have put Bayern in control of the tie.
But Paulo Dybala pulled one back and substitute Stefano Sturaro equalised to ensure Juventus will go into March 16’s second leg with optimism.
The pre-match team news focused on both team’s defences, with Juve switching to a back four in the absence of Giorgio Chiellini while injury-hit Bayern paired the inexperienced Joshua Kimmich with the versatile David Alaba in the centre. Full-back Philipp Lahm made his 100th Champions League appearance.