It’s derby day in Manchester on Sunday, as United host City in a huge WSL clash. The Reds are two points better off than the Blues after six games of the season and with 40,000 tickets sold for the game at Old Trafford, Manchester United head coach Marc Skinner is justifiably excited.
It’s huge. What’s great is that we’re entering the realm where we’re spoken about because football in our city, at Old Trafford, at the Etihad, in the men’s game, consistently brings crowds in.
But actually the women’s teams doing the same I think is really important because what it does is show the love for football in this wonderful city. We have to keep growing that.
I want to sell out Old Trafford on a consistent basis. I want to be able to do that because our fans love the product that we put on the field. That is going to be an aspiration of mine, as well as winning things for the club.
Lionel Messi lamented Argentina’s first defeat since their opening game of the 2022 World Cup, as Bielsa’s Uruguay triumphed 2-0 in Buenos Aires last night.
It’s also the first time Messi has failed to score for his nation since their victory over Poland in the same tournament. Goals from Ronald Araújo and Darwin Núñez were enough for a shock Uruguay win.
“We never felt comfortable,” said Messi. “The loss is a good test for us. They are an intense team and it was difficult for us to play our game.
“They have physical and fast players in the midfield. We didn’t find a way to possess the ball for a long period of time.”
As the kids say, I’m just gonna leave this here …
McTominay has 10 goals in his past 21 appearances for Scotland and Manchester United, by the way. Not bad for a player so often criticised, especially by supporters of his club. Here’s that interview in video form for you.
Scott McTominay was less than impressed with the antics from some Georgia players in Scotland’s 2-2 draw last night, accusing them of play-acting and trying to provoke the officials. Six yellow cards and 32 fouls were awarded in a frustrating stop-start contest.
Every game at this level is big, and obviously they have got some really, really good footballers but tonight I thought the way they were acting was a disgrace in terms of provoking the referee as well.
Anyway, that’s football and that’s sometimes the way it goes. We have to keep our heads but it’s difficult. There’s some disappointed people in the dressing room but I feel like it’s something we can build on after coming back twice. They should do something about people pretending that they’re injured when they’re not.
It’s a difficult one to call but rolling around, crying like babies all afternoon is not football. For us, we just wanted to get on with the game and play. Whereas the other side was provoking the referee a lot.
It turns out Erling Haaland isn’t a bionic man after all. It seems the striker twisted his ankle after coming on for Norway in a 2-0 friendly win over the Faroe Islands yesterday.
Haaland has had some ankle trouble this season, but this is a major scare for Manchester City who face Liverpool in a huge Premier League game on Saturday 25 November when the Premier League returns. He did finish the game but requires treatment on the injury.
Norway team doctor Ola Sand spoke to Norwegian media outlet TV2 about the injury. Sand said: “It was much of the same that happened against Bournemouth a week-and-a-half ago. He has had it before too. He gets a slight twist in his ankle, where he is a bit vulnerable. It hurts a lot right away, and then it goes away pretty quickly. Then we’ll see tomorrow how he is then. Now he will receive some treatment, then there will be peace and rest and then we will see how he is tomorrow morning.”
Trent Alexander-Arnold is sick of being at the centre of a
tedious simmering England selection debate, by the sounds of it. He wants to start for Southgate’s Three Lions and help them win a tournament.
Genuine question: does he merit a start in midfield, given England’s scarcity of options in there? Right-back is a far tougher nut to crack.
Quiz time! Can you beat my score of 10/15 on this? Probably.
It’s not every day that Argentina and Brazil both lose competitive games at the same time. Marcelo Bielsa and Darwin Núñez is a match made in heaven, isn’t it?
In Group A of European Championship qualifying, Spain and Scotland are both through to the finals; it’s merely a case of who finishes top and gets the higher seeding for the draw.
France have a perfect record in Group B and are qualified. The Netherlands can take a big step to joining them if they beat Ireland tomorrow (Saturday), but Greece are still in the hunt.
England are through from Group C and will be assured of top spot with a win over Malta tonight. If Italy beat North Macedonia they’ll be locked on 13 points with second placed Ukraine.
Both Wales and Croatia face vital games tomorrow in their battle to join Türkiye in qualifying from Group D.
Group E is a major tussle, with nobody yet assured of qualification, but Albania, Czechia, Poland and even Moldova still in the mix. Some big games tonight in that group.
Meanwhile, Austria and Belgium have both sailed through Group F; Hungary’s dramatic 2-2 draw with Bulgaria last night was enough for them to seal their spot in the finals, with Montenegro in the hunt for second with Serbia.
Slovenia and Denmark are joint top of Group H but neither are over the line yet, while the same goes for Switzerland and Romania at the Group I summit.
Portugal’s 2-0 win against Liechtenstein last night maintained their perfect record through qualification – they’ll be at Euro 2024, joined by Slovakia who took second in Group J with a 4-2 triumph over Iceland.
With Germany qualified automatically as hosts, and three teams to qualify via the Nations League, there are 10 more places to be claimed in this international break.
This is a cracking read on the 30th anniversary of a historic night of international football. Look away if your name is Paul Bodin.
Euro 2024 qualifiers – let’s have a run through tonight’s fixtures and shortly (when my brain has fully woken up) we’ll go through what some of the major nations need to qualify.
In other international football news last night, Scotland left it late to salvage a point against Georgia. The Tartan Army have already booked their tickets for Euro 2024 but are gunning to finish top of the group. Lawrence Shankland clinched a point in stoppage time in Tbilisi.
An emotional Luis Díaz scored a brace in Colombia’s stunning 2-1 victory over Brazil in Barranquilla last night, as his father watched on in the stands and wept next to his wife.
Luis Manuel Díaz had been held captive for 12 days in a mountainous region by a guerrilla group, before being released and reunited with his family. When Liverpool star Díaz scored against Luton a fortnight ago, he’d revealed a t-shirt that said ‘Libertad Para Papa’ – freedom for dad.
Díaz’s two headers helped Colombia down Brazil in World Cup qualifying for the first time in 15 matches, after Gabriel Martinelli’s early strike for the Seleção. This is what the Liverpool winger said afterwards:
I thank God. He makes it all possible. We have always lived tough moments, but life makes you strong and brave. So is soccer and so is life. We deserved this victory.
Brazil goalkeeper and Liverpool teammate Alisson said:
He is a friend, he suffered a lot these days. This is beyond soccer, he deserves it.
Good morning and welcome to our regular Friday offering of live football news. It’s often a little quieter than usual in the international break, but football being football there’ll be more than enough to tide us over through the day: from reaction to last night’s Euro 2024 qualifiers and other internationals around the world, to previewing this weekend’s Women’s Super League. So make a coffee and stick around … why not, eh?
https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2023/nov/17/luis-diaz-father-colombia-brazil-euro-2024-england-wsl-football-news Haaland injury scare, tearful Díaz stuns Brazil, Euro 2024 and WSL: football news – live | Soccer