Salah has scored in each of his past eight games for the Reds, with his latest strike a brilliant individual effort against Watford at the weekend.

That prompted Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to label the Egypt forward "the best" player in the world.

"Mohamed Salah is an extraordinary player," said Simeone.

"He has been playing at a fantastic level for the last few years with Liverpool and his national team."

However Simeone says it is not just Salah his side needs to be wary of.

Liverpool are unbeaten in all competitions so far this season and are top of Group B in the Champions League with two wins from two.

"They are going through a fantastic spell of football, they seem to have a different rhythm, and it is a pleasure to see them play," said Simeone.

"They have no fear to leave spaces at the back. They press high, play a high line, have speed."


Liverpool were knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid when the two sides last met, with the Spanish side winning both legs of their last-16 tie in early 2020.

"We lost both games the last time against them," said Klopp.

"I'm a positive person but I'm not that positive to think we have these games in our pockets.

"They have changed players and system so we face a different animal, but not a weaker one. The core are still together, and have been for a while, and they know how to win football games."

Curtis Jones missed Saturday's win against Watford with an injury picked up on England Under-21s duty and, although he has returned to training, he has not travelled to Madrid.

Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara remains sidelined with a calf problem.

 

Source: BBC

Alexandre Lacazette scored deep into injury time to deny club legend Vieira a winning return, pouncing after Palace failed to clear a corner and Gabriel Martinelli's effort was saved.

The Gunners started brightly and led deservedly through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after Vicente Guaita's diving save to deny Nicolas Pepe.

But Palace improved - as the Gunners faded - and Christian Benteke continued his good record in games against the Gunners with the equaliser.

Thomas Partey was caught in possession by Jordan Ayew and Benteke drilled a shot into the bottom corner.

Palace again stole the ball off Arsenal to go ahead, as this time Conor Gallagher dispossessed Albert Sambi Lokonga in his own half, and the visitors broke quickly, with Odsonne Edouard hammering in a shot via the underside of the bar.

Kieran Tierney almost equalised for Arsenal late on but blasted against the bar with his shot.

And it looked as if they were going to fall short before substitute Lacazette steered home a loose ball from close range.

"It was really tough," Vieira told BBC Sport. "I was really disappointed to concede at the end because the players worked really hard and they deserved those three points. I feel sorry for them today.

"I liked the personality and character we showed. In the second half, we had desire to compete and won the ball quite high.

"This is the part of the game we wanted to improve, being aggressive. lt's part of the DNA of Crystal Palace."

Arsenal were understandably aggrieved when James McArthur was only booked late in the first half for a wild kick at Bukayo Saka, who went off injured at half-time.

"It's a clear red card," said Gunners boss Mikel Arteta. "He had no intention of playing the ball. I don't know how, with VAR, he hasn't been sent off."

Arsenal move up to 12th with a sixth game unbeaten, while Palace remain 14th after a third draw in a row.

Mbappe was adjudged to be onside when he slid the ball under Unai Simon after Karim Benzema's stunning equaliser at Milan's San Siro.

Spain had taken the lead through Mikel Oyarzabal, who shrugged off defender Dayot Upamecano to beat Hugo Lloris.

Lloris produced two late saves to ensure victory for the world champions.

He first denied Oyarzabal before acrobatically keeping out Yeremi Pino's effort in stoppage time, as France became the competition's second winners after Portugal in 2019.

But Mbappe's winner will prove to be a moment of debate, with the goal standing even though the Paris St-Germain striker was in an offside position when Theo Hernandez played the initial through ball.

Spain defender Eric Garcia touched the ball in his attempt to clear the danger before it came to Mbappe, and the rules state "a player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball... is not considered to have gained an advantage".

France, who reached the final by coming from 2-0 down to beat neighbours Belgium 3-2 on Thursday, had to fight back again and did so in a game that came alive after an hour of technical but sedate action.

Didier Deschamps' side's resilience was on full display again as Benzema cut in on his right foot to curl the ball over Simon, less than two minutes after Oyarzabal's opener for Spain.

And even though France had less possession (36%), they constantly looked a threat on the counter-attack as Mbappe struck the decisive - and perhaps fortunate - blow.

Benzema, who returned to the international fold before Euro 2020 in the summer, told French television channel M6: "I really wanted to win a trophy with France, and now it's done.

"We showed strength of character, because this team is very strong, never gives up and we have proven it today.

"It is the sign of a great team not to panic, to be patient and to wait for the right opportunity."

By Robert Mwanza:

The Chipolopolo Boys chances to qualify the world cup for the first time have been dashed as they were held to a one all draw at home by Equatorial Guinea.

Zambia who dominated play again failed to take their many chances created just like in their previous encounters with the first half ending goalless.

However, the Chipolopolo boys woke up in the second half and scored a screamer through Fashion Sakala in the 65th minute to send a sizable crowd into rupture.

But when everyone thought Zambia will bag all the three points, Equatorial Guinea won a corner and they utilised it well as Federico Bicoro could not make a mistake and beat Zambia’s goal minder Mwenya Chibwe.

Zambia’s next fixture is against Mauritania before concluding the fixture away to Tunisia.

 Source: ZNBC《》RT

Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has announced his retirement from the sport to focus on his political career.

The multi-division world champion, who is a senator in his native Philippines, has already announced his intention to run for president in the country's 2022 elections.

The 42-year-old's final fight was a defeat by Cuba's Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas last month.

"I just heard the final bell. Boxing is over," said Pacquiao.

In a video posted on social media

, Pacquiao described retiring as the "hardest decision" of his life, adding boxing had given him "the chance to fight my way out of poverty" and "the courage to change more lives".

He also thanked his fans, friends and all those who supported him throughout his career, most notably long-time trainer Freddie Roach, who he described as "my family, a brother and a friend".

"I will never forget what I have done and accomplished in my life," he said.

After growing up in poverty in the south of the Philippines, Pacquiao moved to the capital Manila as a teenager to start a boxing career that would make him one of the world's most highly paid athletes.

He won his first major title in 1998 at the age of 19, defeating Thailand's Chatchai Sasakul for the WBC flyweight title.

Within three years he was fighting in Las Vegas, beating South Africa's Lehlohonolo Ledwaba for the IBF super bantamweight title at the MGM Grand, the venue for most of his fights in the following two decades.

He is now regarded as one of the greatest professional boxers of all time, winning 12 different titles across eight weight divisions and is the only boxer to hold world championships across four decades.

In July 2019, Pacquiao became the oldest welterweight world champion in history at the age of 40 when he defeated Keith Thurman to win the WBA (Super) welterweight title, though he was stripped of the title in January 2021 because of inactivity.

Speaking after his defeat to Ugas in August, Pacquiao said he was "60-40" in favour of quitting.

He retires with a record of 62 wins, eight defeats and two draws.

Pacquiao entered politics in 2010 when he won a seat in the lower house of the Philippines congress, before being elected for a six-year term in the upper chamber in 2016.

He confirmed earlier this month his intention to run for president after he was nominated as a candidate by a faction of the ruling party, PDP-Laban.

 

Source BBC

It was the moment European football had been waiting for - and the one Pep Guardiola knew was probably "unstoppable".

Lionel Messi glided forward from the halfway line late on against Manchester City at the Parc des Princes, played a one-two with Paris St-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe and left goalkeeper Ederson rooted to the spot with a shot beautifully placed into the top corner.

It was the first club goal of his entire career that had not been scored for Barcelona and sealed a 2-0 victory for the team who signed him primarily to lead them to Champions League glory.

That strike ended a run of 264 minutes without a goal for Messi since his summer move from Spain. Manager Mauricio Pochettino celebrated with a sense of jubilation. Guardiola had seen Messi at close quarters enough to know it was as good as inevitable. Messi himself was left with a huge sense of relief.

"It's true that I was getting desperate to score my first goal," Messi told French broadcaster Canal Plus. "I hadn't played much recently and I had only played once here at home but I am settling into the team little by little.

"The more us forwards play together, the better our relationship will be. We all need to grow together and improve and keep giving our best."

It has taken the 34-year-old Argentine more than a month to play his first four games for his new club because of lack of fitness, international duty and then an injury.

He had failed to score in his first three fixtures for PSG - against Reims, Club Bruges and Lyon - after joining on a free transfer in the summer.

By his standards, that was a goal drought.

PSG boss Pochettino, Messi's fellow Argentine, was delighted to see it ended. "Usually I don't celebrate goals, I keep it to myself," he said. "But today, for Messi, I did.

"I spent years watching Messi score goals from the opponent's side - so this time, scoring for my team, that's great."

PSG's much-hyped front three of Neymar, Mbappe and Messi - the two most expensive players ever and the record six-time Ballon d'Or winner - showed some promising signs.

They played 44 passes between each other in total, almost 10% of PSG's total.

Source BBC

Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi won 14 trophies together at Barcelona during a four-year period and the pair have been dominant forces in European football for more than a decade.

Since parting ways when Guardiola left the Catalan club in 2012, no player has scored more goals against his teams in the Champions League than Messi.

Their longstanding relationship and Messi's enduring brilliance helps explain why Guardiola tried to sign Messi in the summer. The Argentine instead ended up at Paris St-Germain and will face his former manager in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The two have crossed paths since going their separate ways and will meet again on Tuesday in the group stage of the Champions League in Paris (20:00 BST).

In the past, six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi has shown no mercy.

The Argentine has scored six goals in four Champions League games against teams managed by Guardiola - the most of any player in the competition against the current City boss.

In May 2015, Messi scored twice in the semi-final first leg and eventually helped Barca reach another Champions League final with victory over Bayern Munich, who were then managed by Guardiola.

"Messi is just incredible, really strong, really fast, back to his best just as when I used to train him," Guardiola said. "He is the best player of all time. I can compare him with Pele.

"I am very proud of the years we spent together."

Messi won the last of his four Champions League titles that year, while Guardiola has never won the competition without him, coming close last season when his City side were beaten in the final by Chelsea.

They last faced each other in the 2016 group stages when Messi ruthlessly despatched a hat-trick in a 4-0 thrashing at the Nou Camp and scored in a 3-1 loss at the Etihad.

Source BBC

His side gave backing to a bold pre-match prediction from ex-Arsenal defender Gael Clichy that Arteta "could be the next Arsene Wenger".

The Gunners ran riot with first-half strikes from Emile Smith-Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka, while Spurs replied through Son Heung-min.

"Today is one example of what we can do," said Arteta, 39. "It's a special day."

He added: "This win is for the fans. They were there when we needed their support and now we are creating that connection with the supporters."

Arsenal endured a difficult start to the season, including a 5-0 thrashing at Man City, as they lost their opening three games.

Since the international break, though, they have turned their fortunes around with three straight wins.

"I think in life you have to show gratitude," added Arteta. "These people have stood by this club and these players. This win is for them."

Goalscorer Smith Rowe said: "It's probably the best day of my life. To have my family here as well, it's a special feeling."

He also praised the influence of Arteta, saying: "He just tells us to keep calm, the fans give us so much confidence as well."

Clichy - who played under Wenger for eight years - worked with Arteta when he was first-team coach at Manchester City and believes the Spaniard has all the qualities to build a legacy at Arsenal.

"Arteta has so much knowledge and he had the luxury to learn from Pep [Guardiola]," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I really believe in the long term he could be the next Arsene Wenger. He is quite young, and I truly believe, given time, he will prove people wrong."

Wenger was in charge of Arsenal between 1996 and 2018, winning three Premier Leagues and seven FA Cups for the Gunners.

In 2004, he also became the first - and only - manager to lead a side through an entire Premier League campaign unbeaten.

Arteta, in his first full managerial role, had an outstanding end to his first part-season in charge at the Emirates, leading the Gunners to a 2020 FA Cup triumph and beating Manchester City and Chelsea in the process.

But last year was disappointing, with five successive wins to finish the campaign disguising a disjointed season.

Arsenal ended up in eighth and are without European football for the first time in 25 seasons.

Even this performance must be put into context for, as good as Arsenal were, Spurs were abject.

Speaking on Sky Sports, former Liverpool boss Graeme Souness said: "Spurs in that first half were shocking, Arsenal were fabulous.

"But Spurs? Shocking. I was surprised how bad they were."

This win takes Arsenal above Spurs - who won their first three and have now lost three in a row - but they are still only 10th and look a distance behind frontrunners Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea.

October offers an attractive run of fixtures and perhaps these will offer more clarity on who the real Arsenal are - and if Arteta can provide further evidence to support Clichy's claim.

Source BBC

 

Former Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has agreed to join Paris Saint Germain (PSG) on a two-year contract with the option of another year after leaving the Catalans.

The deal is worth £25m per year after tax with PSG.

The 34-year-old will receive a £25m signing-on fee;

Messi was set to sign a new five-year contract at Barcelona but the club was unable to complete the deal due to LaLiga financial fair play rules.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is travelling to Paris Tuesday afternoon to seal his move to the French club where he is likely to partner Neymar and Kylian Mbape in the attack.

The move puts Paul Pogba’s potential move to the French Ligue 1 giants in jeopardy considering that they also signed Sergio Ramos (former Real Madrid captain), Georginio Wijnaldum (former Liverpool midfielder), Gianluigi Donnarumma (former AC Milan goalkeeper), and Achraf Hakimi (former Real Madrid and Inter Milan defender).

While the transfers were free, PSG’s wage bill will be bloated.

Source: Sky Sports《》RT

 

By Chansa Kunda

The Football Association of Zambia-FAZ- has implored Clubs representing the country in continental football to compete for honors.

FAZ- General Secretary Adrian Kashala says it is the hope of the FA that Clubs taking part in the CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup tournaments will put up good performances.

Kashala says the clubs should have it in mind that they are representing the country and are responsible for ensuring that Zambia maintains the four slots allocated in continental football.

He told ZNBC Sports News in an interview that the association is pleased with the quality of the representatives that will be taking part in both Champions League and Confederation Cup.

He said clubs like ZESCO United and ZANACO football who on numerous occasions have tasted the terrain in Africa’s biggest show piece at Club level will live up to the expectations and make it past the group stage .

Kashala also said he is confident Red Arrows and Kabwe warriors football clubs who will be taking part in the Confederation Cup will make it past the preliminary rounds.

Clubs Zesco United and Zanaco football are the Zambia’s envoys in the CAF Champions League while Red Arrows and Kabwe Warriors are bound in the Confederation Cup.

Meanwhile, the teams will commence the 1st preliminary rounds of fixtures in second week of September 2021.

Source: ZNBC Sports《》RT

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