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Champions League: Wenger reveals why Messi, Barcelona are struggling

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Former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has criticized Barcelona for their over-reliance on Lionel Messi.

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Reacting to a 0-0 draw between the Spanish champions and Slavia Prague on Tuesday, Wenger said they played “like a team in crisis”.

Barca struggled to beat the Czech side, who gave a good account of themselves at the Camp Nou.

“They’re top of the league, they’re top of their group, and they play like a team in crisis.

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“Their game is too slow. There is no dynamic in the last 30 metres, it’s too individual.

“Every time they lose the ball, it looks like they will concede a goal on the counter attack because they cannot deal with pace against the opponent… the team lacks dynamic, lacks energy, lacks confidence.

“Today it looks like they play and they wait for Messi to do something, but the basic strengths of the team play is a bit gone.

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“And you think, when will Messi get the ball to do something? And before, the music, the basic music, was the fantastic team play, making it difficult to catch the ball, and then on top of that came Messi,” Wenger said on beIN Sport.

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Mourinho issues strong warning to Tottenham players ahead of Bayern tie

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Tottenham Hotspur manager, Jose Mourinho, has “forbidden” his players, from watching their Bayern Munich horror show.

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The Bundesliga champions thrashed Tottenham 7-2 at White Hart Lane in October.

Both sides meet again in the Champions League on Wednesday, with Mourinho choosing to rest Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Serge Aurier and Jan Vertonghen.

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However, the Portuguese does not want any of his players to be battle scarred, before tackling the big-scoring Germans at the Allianz Arena.

“7-2? I forbid any image about it. I watch it a couple of times with my staff and the analysts, try to go through every detail but not one single image for the boys not at all.

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“We are going to focus on us, more than Bayern, to develop our model of play with different faces and diff bodies but there is a certain way we try to develop and we are totally focused on us and less on Bayern,” Mourinho told a press conference on Tuesday.

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Barcelona’s Ansu Fati sets new Champions League goalscoring record

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Barcelona forward, Ansu Fati, on Tuesday became the youngest player to score in the Champions League, when he netted the winner against Inter Milan on Tuesday.

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Fati came off the bench at the San Siro, to score in the 87th minute to seal a 2-1 victory.

Aged 17 years, 40 days, the goal sees Fati take the record from Peter Ofori-Quaye, who was 17 years, 194 days old, when he scored his first Champions League goal for Olympiacos in 1997.

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“I’ve just been told [I have broken the record]. I am super happy with the goal and with the win,” Fati told reporters after the match.

“It’s a dream. Everything seems to be happening so quickly. It’s just about enjoying myself and learning from the best. Every time I get a chance, I will try to take it, either by scoring goals or by working hard.”

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Describing the goal, Fati said: “I gave the ball to Suarez, and he gave it back to me. And when I scored, I was surprised because the whole stadium was silent. I was thinking: ‘What have I just done?’ But I am really happy.”

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Pinnick reveals England-based player that will improve Super Eagles squad

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The President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has said he will not relent in his efforts, to get Queens Park Rangers’ Ebere Eze to play for Nigeria.

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Speaking to BBC Sport, Pinnick noted that the England U-21 player will improve the Super Eagles squad.

Eze was born in England to Nigerian parents but played twice for the Three Lions at Under-21 level in November.

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But Pinnick wants Eze to switch allegiances to boost Nigeria’s midfield, ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

“We need to make a solid representation at Qatar 2022 and it starts with improving on your squad with quality players like Eze.

“Can you imagine a midfield with Ndidi, Aribo, Etebo and Eze? it is one that will improve our squad.

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“I had a positive meeting with Ebere Eze in London and I spoke to his parents as well,” said Pinnick.

“He requested for the chance to continue to focus on his club career which is going well so far, and that further progress will be made in due course.

“But I am confidently hopeful that he will play for Nigeria soon,” he said.

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