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AC Milan ‘sorry’ As Newcastle Draw leaves Players, staff ‘unhappy’

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Stefano Pioli has admitted that he was ‘sorry’ his AC Milan side could not defeat Newcastle United in a ‘very intense’ goalless draw.

A wounded Milan side were bidding to bounce back following last week’s humiliating 5-1 derby defeat against bitter rivals Inter, and the hosts quickly looked in the mood in the San Siro on Tuesday night as they laid siege to Nick Pope’s goal.

Pope, who was one of a number of Champions League debutants, had to make five saves in as many minutes at one point in the first half to deny Tommaso Pobega, Samuel Chukwueze, Olivier Giroud, Rade Krunic and Theo Hernandez.

Newcastle, though, defended resolutely after the break in what was the Magpies’ first Champions League fixture in two decades and the visitors protected their goalkeeper, who had little to do in the second half.

Although Newcastle only had one shot on target – Sean Longstaff nearly landed a sucker punch right at the death – Eddie Howe’s side defended for their lives late on as Kieran Trippier and Miguel Almiron made superb interventions at the back.

Milan, last season’s semi-finalists, ultimately had to settle for a point in their Group F opener when Pioli wanted so much more.

“I’m sorry for my players because they have given their utmost and maybe more,” the Milan boss told reporters. “It was a very intense game. We were tired because we ran so much.

“I’m sorry for our fans because they supported us throughout the whole game, and I’m sorry about not winning the first game in the group phase because this will be a very tough one. We wanted to win, but we couldn’t, so we’re not happy about the result.”

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Liverpool offer too big to reject – Arne Slot

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Arne Slot says the opportunity to work at one of the "biggest clubs in the world" was "difficult to ignore" as he was confirmed as Liverpool

Arne Slot says the opportunity to work at one of the “biggest clubs in the world” was “difficult to ignore” as he was confirmed as Liverpool’s new head coach.

The Reds agreed a compensation deal worth £9.4m with Feyenoord in April after the 45-year-old was identified as the man to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

Klopp, who had been in charge of Liverpool since October 2015, left the club following their season-finale win against Wolves on Sunday.

After the game, the 56-year-old German called on Liverpool fans to get behind their new boss, chanting “Arne Slot, na na na na na”.

Slot’s three-year contract at Liverpool will officially start on 1 June, subject to a work permit.

“It is certainly not an easy decision to close the door behind you at a club where you have experienced so many wonderful moments and worked successfully with so many wonderful people,” Slot told Feyenoord’s club website.

“But as a sportsman, an opportunity to become a head coach in the Premier League, at one of the biggest clubs in the world, is difficult to ignore.”

Following Liverpool’s announcement on Monday, Mohamed Salah appeared to suggest he would remain at Anfield next season.

“We know that trophies are what count and we will do everything possible to make that happen next season. Our fans deserve it and we will fight like hell,” the 31-year-old posted on X.

Liverpool rejected a £150m offer from Al-Ittihad for Salah last summer, but the Saudi Pro League’s director of football Michael Emenalo later said the door was not closed to the Egypt winger.

 

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Burnley’s Kompany surprise candidate for Bayern job

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Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is a surprise name on Bayern Munich’s list of potential candidates to become their new coach.

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is a surprise name on Bayern Munich’s list of potential candidates to become their new coach.

The Bundesliga giants have struggled to find a replacement for Thomas Tuchel, whose exit was confirmed last week after initially being announced in February.

Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso, Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann and Austria coach Ralf Rangnick have all turned the job down.

Talks aimed at persuading Tuchel to stay on failed to reach a positive conclusion, leaving Bayern with a problem.

Kompany has built a decent reputation during his time at Anderlecht and Burnley, although the Clarets’ relegation – following lofty pre-season expectations – has not reflected well on the Belgian.

However, he has knowledge of the Bundesliga from his time as a player at Hamburg and speaks German.

If Bayern were to make a formal approach, it is sure to be attractive to Kompany, who signed a five-year contract extension at Burnley in 2023 but refused to answer questions about his future after Sunday’s season-ending defeat by Nottingham Forest.

Bayern endured a trophyless campaign under Tuchel, finishing third in the league behind unbeaten champions Leverkusen and second-placed Stuttgart.

 

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Mikel Arteta is ‘creating a monster’ at Arsenal – Fabregas

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Cesc Fabregas has backed Arsenal to continue challenging Manchester City for the Premier League title next season, claiming that Mikel Arteta

Cesc Fabregas has backed Arsenal to continue challenging Manchester City for the Premier League title next season, claiming that Mikel Arteta is ‘creating a monster’.

Arsenal suffered disappointment on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday as City sealed a 3-1 win at home to West Ham to be crowned champions for the fourth campaign in a row.

Arteta’s side ended up two points behind Pep Guardiola’s men but Fabregas believes City have not received enough credit for their historic success in the Premier League.

‘It’s still an achievement,’ Fabregas told El Larguero.

‘They don’t give it that much attention either because it’s, ‘oh, they always win’, but it’s very difficult, very difficult.

‘They have a lot of money and they have the best players but it is also very difficult because you are competing in the Champions League against Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona.

‘In the Premier League, Arsenal are creating a monster too and they [City] continue to beat them and compete well and it’s not the end.

‘My admiration comes from knowing what I do now and how much work does not stop to continue improving and analysing and creating game plans, what they do at the highest level every three days and switching from cup competitions to the league is amazing and I hope that one day I have the opportunity to be on the same pitch as them.’

When asked what he learned during his time under Wenger at Arsenal, Fabregas said: ‘How to be a manager.

‘Like now I am lucky to be experiencing something unique because when I know when I leave I will be a normal coach.

‘In the club where I work now I am lucky to control everything a little bit. The truth is that I think a lot not about how Arsene was the manager but how to control everything when it comes to scouting, how to manage staff, where to get your staff, how to control different groups, how to create a work culture within the club to make the whole family grow together.’

Asked what he took from playing under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, Fabregas said: ‘How to manage the dressing room.

‘How to play with the players’ heads. He is the coach who has known the best how to play with my mind, both when I was not well or when I was.

‘He always made me feel the best and this is very important as I am seeing it day by day now.’

 

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