Blog

Ancelotti's champions can't stand still, what's next for Los Blancos?

Real Madrid have finished LaLiga but as they await greater challenges next season, Stats Perform analyzes how Los Blancos can improve. (Yazar: Gardener)

Los BlancosAlthough Real Madrid have clinched their 35th LaLiga title and retain a chance of winning the Champions League this season, Real Madrid find themselves at something of a crossroads. The individual brilliance of Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior may have led Los Blancos to a dominant LaLiga triumph, but attention will soon turn to Madrid's attempts to retain the title for the first time since 2007/08. With the potential arrival of a true global superstar and one of the Premier League's best defenders, and the question of refreshing a brilliant but aging midfield, it promises to be an interesting few months at the Santiago Bernabeu. For months, if not years, Real Madrid's plans for 2022 have seemed to revolve around one name: Kylian Mbappe. With 35 goals and 19 assists in 43 appearances in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain, Mbappe would clearly be an asset to any team in European football, but the question remains how Mbappe will complement another prolific Frenchman in the Spanish capital. Benzema is only the fifth Madrid player in history, after Cristiano Ronaldo, Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo Di Stefano and Hugo Sanchez, to have scored more than 40 goals in a single season for the club and will be named after driving for the Ballon d' Or touted Madrid's Champions League run. Benzema has scored 14 goals in 10 European games this season, averaging a goal every 65.1 minutes in what has been a stunning season. Mbappe and Benzema are no strangers to playing together but the PSG striker failed to score while providing just one assist during France's disappointing Euro 2020 season. Matters are further complicated when considering the form of Vinicius, who has formed a deadly partnership with Benzema this season and has registered 33 goals of his own in all competitions (18 goals, 15 assists) and Mbappe's preference for playing from the left could hurt Vinicius. However, Mbappe's development into a more versatile attacking talent should ensure he is at least dangerous no matter which flank he starts from. Mbappe has not only improved his 11 assists from last season, but has also dribbled more (138) with a higher success rate (50.74 percent) than Vinicius this season (130, 41.4 percent) and could play more with him creative role supporting Benzema. Antonio Rudiger, who has announced his intention to leave Chelsea at the end of his contract, is another player heavily linked with a move to the Bernabeu ahead of next season. The German defender was one of the Blues' standout players under Thomas Tuchel, featured in last year's Champions League triumph and has had another good season this term. Rudiger has been a key component in the Premier League's third-best defense this season. Chelsea kept 15 clean sheets and conceded just 28 goals despite being eliminated from the title fight after a promising start. The 29-year-old seems to upgrade Madrid's current defensive options after last year's departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, offering more physicality than David Alaba and more defensive steel than Eder Militao, a partnership that has been frequently uncovered by Manchester City recently. Rudiger also offered a threat at the other end of the pitch as his three league goals this season have been surpassed by only one other Premier League centre-back (Jan Bednarek, four) and his ability to step out of defense was shown in early April he scored against Brentford struck a miracle from 39 yards – Chelsea's widest Premier League goal since January 2007. However, Rudiger is used to playing in a back three at Chelsea and would most likely play as a right middle-back in a back four for Madrid, it unless Ancelotti decides to switch Alaba to left-back. Rudiger would likely need to rein in his offensive enthusiasm if paired with the naturally forward-thinking Alaba, but he seems a smart choice to further solidify a defense that has been the second-strongest in LaLiga this season (only Sevilla have conceded fewer goals). ). Midfield trio Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric will go down in Madrid history: they featured in three straight Champions League wins together between 2016 and 2018, with the Croatian also starring in the 2014 win. All three have started at least 35 times this season, with Modric in particular making several great contributions in big games, helping him to nine assists, six more than any other Madrid midfielder. The signing of Eduardo Camavinga, who has made 35 appearances this season, was clearly made with such a move in mind, but the French youngster has only started 14 times in all competitions and would benefit from more playing time next season as he wants to improve his all-round game. However, neither Camavinga nor Federico Valverde possess the metronomic skills of Modric or Kroos, and the younger pair also average fewer passes into the last third per 90 minutes than their more experienced peers (6.25 and 6.1 respectively). Therefore, given the rumors that Mbappe and Rudiger do not include transfer fees, Madrid could still benefit from diving into the market to acquire another young, progressive midfielder who could also help extend Modric and Kroos' excellence.

Oku

Caroline Weir opens up about the future amid Real Madrid ties as Man City's contract expires

"I always dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, I thought that one day I would play for Real Madrid." (Yazar: Gardener)

Real Madrid"I've always dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, I thought one day I would play for Real Madrid." © Manchester City's Scotland midfielder Caroline Weir is out of contract at the end of the season. Scotland and Manchester City midfielder Caroline Weir could still find her words eerily prophetic. With him out of contract at the end of this season, there have been significant rumors in Spanish media circles about a move to Real Madrid this summer. Weir, who has inevitably been coy about the final games of the English Women's Super League season, would only confirm that her long-term future has provided important food for thought. Significant, however, were the career goals that cannot be achieved in an individual context, but can only be realized in a specific environment. "I want to win a league title, I want to fight for the Champions League," said Glen's SFWA's first Scottish Player of the Year. “Those are team goals and then I have individual goals that I set myself every season to achieve. City has been a great platform for me to do that over the past few years and I want to continue. © One of Weir's dreams is to play for Scotland in front of a sell-out Hampden. "I've been thinking about it for a little bit because when you run out of contract you think about it and you start weighing your options. There's still a lot of important football to play, so I'm not really thinking about off-field rumors. My head is just on City for the next few weeks and we'll see what happens over the summer. © Kevin de Bruyne takes a keen interest in the Manchester City women's team. "It's flattering [to be associated with Real Madrid] because they're a huge club. That's the game, there's a lot of attention and people want to know what you think. City elevated Weir's status in women's football; There have been two shortlisted appearances for FIFA Puskas and a third exquisite strike in February's Manchester derby raises suspicions that there will be a hat-trick in January. "It doesn't seem [that you meet in the corridor] but I saw Kevin [De Bruyne], we sat on the 3G pitch and had a coffee that separates the men's and women's teams," she said "He's great and he's interested in the women's team. Suspicions remain that Scotland and its historic standing in women's football still gives the impression of being a backwater compared to its more advanced - and wealthier - neighbors. Weir was one by several Scotland internationals, who earlier this month slammed the SFA in an allegation about how matches are promoted and tickets sold, which is unfounded as sales follow the same process for all matches.The midfielder has ambitions before the end of her Playing a career in front of a sold-out Hampden and it's inevitable that Barcelona's women at the Nou Camp will set a world record for Champions League gamesb achieve visitor numbers that should be the focus of greedy eyes Spain. At the moment, the inclusion of women's awards for both the SFWA and PFA reflect growth in Scotland. Progress has been slow, as cultural changes always are, and Weir hinted at frustrations being felt in that regard. “In England I'm used to us having the PFA awards which are massive and give a lot of attention to both the men's and women's teams of the year. To have something similar in Scotland I think is the right thing to do," she said. “I think there's a little movement in Scotland. Maybe slower than other places if I'm being completely honest just because down here it feels like WSL has stepped on the gas a lot and other European countries too but in Scotland the league is getting better every year and the national team has opted for major tournaments qualified in the last 5 years and that definitely helps. “Attitudes towards women's football seem to be changing in Scotland, slowly at least, and that's a positive thing. For the future I think there's definitely more things that can be done, but it seems to be going in the right direction. “You have to be successful on the pitch and the more successful you are, the more people want to come and watch. That may be a long way off, but there is a realization that Weir and her contemporaries are the change they once wanted to see. "Julie Fleeting was the only name I really knew in women's football," Weir said. "It's a nice feeling now because I didn't have that growing up. Hampden is key for me because I would have dreamed of it as a little kid. I feel privileged to be in the position I am in now and hopefully we can certainly inspire the next generation.”

Oku

Sunderland enter the play-off lottery after beating Morecambe 1-0

"The play-off semi-finals with Sheff Wed will be a duel between the two best teams at the end of the season and an absolutely gigantic affair on two legs," wrote Finlay Anderson after Saturday's 1-0 win over Morecambe. (Yazar: Gardener)

SheffSunderland meet Sheffield Wednesday in the Sky Bet League One play-off semi-finals next weekend after securing a place in the top six with a 1-0 win over Morecambe at Mazuma Stadium on the final day of the season. It was far from the perfect performance from Alex Neil's side but Nathan Broadhead's 10th-minute finish proved to be the only goal of the game but in rather worrying scenes for the Sunderland head coach the striker was substituted just 14 minutes later. All in all, the Black Cats dominated possession numbers but for the most part made very little of it as Ross Stewart and Patrick Roberts both came close in the second half but Broadhead's strike was enough. A titanic play-off semi-final is coming up next weekend as Darren Moore's side travel to the Stadium of Light on Friday night in the first leg, while the Black Cats travel to Hillsborough on Monday night to decide who scores on Saturday, 21 May in the final at Wembley on either MK Dons or Wycombe. It was a very offensive line-up named by Alex Neil for the final day's showdown against the Shrimps as the Sunderland head coach made three changes from Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Rotherham. Patrick Roberts, Elliot Embleton and Alex Pritchard all returned to the starting XI but those changes in the starting XI were rather overshadowed by the return of Aiden McGeady, who took a seat on the bench after stepping up his return to first-team football in the last few weeks. Despite all of Sunderland's attacking skills, it was a fairly open start, and one that saw Morecambe see more of the ball and feel more comfortable putting it forward. But with the game's Black Cats' first attack, they found the ultimate reward. A rather characteristic move by the Black Cats on the away field got them a crucial lead at Mazuma Stadium - Evans shoved the ball to Nathan Broadhead, who was able to coolly roll it into the bottom right corner. An absolutely significant early start in extremely significant competition and immediately afterwards Sunderland looked to extend their lead when Alex Pritchard's long-range free-kick went wide of the right post. But apart from that opportunity Trevor Carson was very rarely troubled in the Morecambe goal but by contrast the Shrimps at the other end of the pitch, despite their pressure in the last third, did very little to trouble Anthony Patterson. Dylan Connolly shot over the bar from close range, but Derek Adams' side would have breathed a huge sigh of relief - Alex Neil did the opposite - as Nathan Broadhead stumbled away with a crushing blow to the Black Cats' playoff chances. It felt like a similar script to the first half for the away side but they proved difficult to solve from Morecambe's perspective, while the same could be said at the other end of the pitch. No doubt the half-time break would have been left for either camp, looking at results across the country: Morecambe knew safety was just 45 minutes away, Fleetwood and Gillingham both lost points and Sunderland knew the play-offs were all over but were safe with ten-man Plymouth having to reverse a three-goal deficit against MK Dons in the second half. Nevertheless, Sunderland controlled the game with the ball after the break, increased the pace in the last third and almost extended their lead. Clarke's cut-back on Ross Stewart was deflected wide by the right post before Corry Evans rolled a shy try into the gloves of Carson. However, Sunderland arguably looked more likely to score the second goal of the game and probably should have lost sight of the game as a superb attacking move involving Embleton, Pritchard and Roberts saw the latter fail blocked by Carson's legs. But Morecambe couldn't do more to get one last point on the last day of the game, but the truth is they didn't have to either: Fleetwood's 4-2 defeat by Bolton and Gillingham's 2-0 defeat by Rotherham were good enough to ensure their safety to guarantee. Form is behind the Black Cats, but their playoff semifinals is a season-ending battle between the two form teams and it's set to be an absolutely gargantuan two-legged affair. However, optimism about the late-season playoff push and victory over Morecambe was rather dampened by the loss of Nathan Broadhead, a key figure in recent weeks. It's all set to be a massive week leading up to Friday's first leg at the Stadium of Light. Maybe having the first game on home soil is beneficial for the Black Cats, but maybe not.

Oku

All the ups and downs of the EFL ahead of the big weekend

We are at the business end of the EFL season with promotion, relegation and playoff issues being decided over the next few days. You should pay attention to this in the last few weeks. (Yazar: Gardener)

EFLWe are at the business end of the EFL season with promotion, relegation and playoff issues being decided over the next few days. Fulham secured their Premier League return last week when they beat Preston. Who will join Fulham in the Premier League next season? Fulham secured their return to the Premier League when they beat Preston North End 3-0 on April 19 - but the Cottagers are yet to secure the league title. They lost 1-0 at home to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday but it's pretty certain they'll win the trophy as they only need two points from their last two games. The second automatic promotion spot is likely to be tight, with Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest the main contenders, but Huddersfield Town is also still in the equation. Fulham failed to seal the league title as they lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest. Here's what the top of the Championship looks like with the promotion and playoff races still to come Bournemouth are currently in second place, three points clear of Forest in third and Huddersfield in fourth. Both the Cherries and the Woods have a game on their hands against the Terriers, and interestingly, they play each other in that game next Tuesday at Vitality Stadium in what could effectively be a promotion shootout. Before that, Bournemouth travel to Blackburn Rovers and Forest, home of Swansea City, on Saturday afternoon. Huddersfield cannot be ruled out before their trip to Coventry but both Bournemouth and Forest would have to slip up in the last week. Who will win the insane battle for the playoffs? Bournemouth, Forest and Huddersfield are at least guaranteed a place in the play-offs. Luton are looking pretty certain to be in the playoffs as well, as they have a five-point buffer to seventh place with just two games to play. But sixth place, the last place in the playoffs, is up for grabs. Sheffield United are there currently, having tightened their grip with a 3-1 win at Queens Park Rangers on Friday night, but Middlesbrough, Blackburn and Millwall can still do it mathematically. Middlesbrough play Stoke on Saturday while Millwall are at home against the already relegated Peterborough. In the playoffs, third plays sixth and fourth plays fifth, with the league leaders having home advantage in the second leg. The first leg of the semi-finals will be played on 13/14. May played, the second leg on 16./17. May. Who was relegated to League One? Relegation matters have already been decided, with Derby, Barnsley and Peterborough relegated to League One. Derby's relegation was confirmed when they lost 1-0 at QPR on 18 April and Barnsley's fate was sealed with a 2-0 defeat in Huddersfield four days later. Peterborough went down last Saturday as they lost 1-0 at home to Forest. Wayne Rooney's Derby County relegation was confirmed on April 18. Peterborough United, Derby County and Barnsley are relegated to League One. Which two of Wigan, Rotherham or MK Dons will be promoted automatically? The final day of the League One season on Saturday is shaping up to be a real pain in the ass with unresolved issues at both ends of the table. Wigan Athletic, Rotherham United and MK Dons are all aiming for the two automatic promotion spots. Sitting in the box seat ahead of their trip to Shrewsbury Town, Wigan sits two points ahead of Rotherham and three ahead of MK Dons. So the Latics only need to draw to secure promotion but may need to win to secure the title depending on how Rotherham progress at Gillingham and the Dons pull out to Plymouth Argyle. Among them, a four-way battle for just three spots will add to the final day's intrigue. But Plymouth and seventh-placed Wycombe are level on 80 points, with Argyle two points better on goal difference. Wycombe plays for Burton Albion and needs to improve on Plymouth's result against MK Dons to sneak in. Alternatively, Wycombe must score the goals if both teams win. On Wednesday, Portsmouth are at home and Sunderland travel to Morecambe for the other key games, each of which kicks off early at 12.30pm. The first legs of the League One playoff semi-finals are scheduled for June 5th/6th. Scheduled for May, the second leg for the 8th/9th May. Lee Gregory's goals were crucial as Sheffield Wednesday pushed for a play-off spot. We already know Crewe Alexandra goes down - that was confirmed back on April 9 when they lost 2-0 to Doncaster Rovers - but everything else is below to be decided on the final day. Doncaster are all but down as they would need a 27-goal swing to survive even if they take all three points at Oxford United. AFC Wimbledon are three points off safety ahead of their home game against Accrington Stanley and need a seven-goal swing to go away. Fleetwood (20th) and Gillingham (21st) are tied on 40 points on either side of the relegation gradient. The Gills host promotion chasers Rotherham while Fleetwood make the journey to Bolton Wanderers. Morecambe are two points ahead of Fleetwood and Gillingham so could still go down if they lose to Sunderland and the other two both win. Who will join Forest Green and Exeter in League One next season? Three are automatically promoted from the second tier and two we already know the identity of. Eco-club Forest Green Rovers sealed promotion with a 0-0 draw at Bristol Rovers last weekend, while Exeter City rose after beating Barrow on Tuesday night. With 83 points, the title will be awarded until the last day next weekend. This Saturday, Harrogate Town and Exeter, hosts of Forest Green, are out and about in Northampton Town. It's certainly an important one for Northampton, who are currently third in the promotion but may be overtaken by Port Vale, Mansfield Town, Bristol Rovers, Sutton United and Swindon Town in their last two games. The Cobblers are just a point ahead of Port Vale and Mansfield so there's still plenty to play for. Port Vale, Mansfield, Bristol Rovers and Sutton are currently extending their seasons but Swindon, Salford City and Tranmere Rovers have a chance to catch them. On Saturday, Sutton host Bradford City, Bristol Rovers travel to Rochdale and Swindon Town meet Barrow. On Bank Holiday Monday, Salford plays Mansfield and Port Vale hosts Newport County. The League Two play-off semi-final first legs will take place on 14/15. May instead, the second leg on 18./19. May. The two relegated to the National League are Scunthorpe United and Oldham Athletic. Scunthorpe were relegated on 15 April after losing 3-0 at Leyton Orient. Oldham's fate was sealed last weekend when their game against Salford ended behind closed doors as Latics fans, furious at the club's epic mismanagement, invaded the pitch to protest. Chaos reigned in Oldham last weekend as relegation sparked fan protests on the pitch. Oldham Athletic and Scunthorpe United have already confirmed relegation Stockport County sits nicely in the National League's only automatic promotion spot. They are four points ahead of Wrexham with a game in hand.

Oku

Millwall managers as Lions, Boro, Sheffield United and Luton in play-off contention

THE Lions are in need of favors again but were minding their own business at The Den on Saturday afternoon. (Yazar: Gardener)

LionsTEAM NEWS: Millwall vs Peterborough United - two Lions changes plus Jed Wallace backs Millwall forward in top 7 for goals per minute - as he hasn't ruled out an appeal in World Cup year 'Anything can happen' - Millwall manager as Lions, Boro, Sheffield United and Luton in play-off battle 'Anything can happen' - Millwall manager as Lions, Boro, Sheffield United and Luton in play-off battle GARY Rowett said 'anything can happen' after Millwall had won their play-off by beating Peterborough United 3-0 at The Den on Saturday in the final day of play. The Lions are three points behind Sheffield United in sixth place - Middlesbrough two points behind the Blades - with one game to go. Rowett cited the example of Swansea, who were six points and seven goals behind Nottingham Forest with two games to go but finished in the top six two seasons ago. Millwall will also be hoping Luton, who has the same points tally and goal difference as United, gets pulled back in. The Lions head to Bournemouth on the final day. Millwall scored their three goals in the second half on Saturday. "I don't think we started tight, I actually thought we started out pretty relaxed," Rowett said. “But Peterborough's results have been good for the last five or six games, obviously it was too late for them this season. You don't just roll up against teams like that and score as many goals as you want. "We had about three or four different plans to watch the game today. Try to make as many attack changes as needed to win the game 1-0. I'm a bit disappointed we couldn't score four or five goals.” Rowett was asked if he had a minimum goal for the number of goals they need to win against Grant McCann's side. "I don't think there is a minimum. I felt like we needed three or four goals today, probably four goals, which then led to a four-goal swing,” Rowett said. “Then you look at it and think if Bournemouth Forest can beat and get promoted on Tuesday night then maybe their mindset is a little different in the last game. Fulham plays Sheffield United and there is always a chance of Fulham scoring more than a goal or two. “Basically you had to win the game and hope that there is a bit of momentum. "We saw it a couple of seasons ago, Swansea were about seven goals behind Forest and they did it, I think Forest got beaten badly in the last game of the season. It's not up to us to sort that out, it's just that we take care of business today, as we said before. We've actually started to score more goals towards the end of the season, which is maybe a bit frustrating. "But it is what it is and we put it in the last game, gave it a little chance and we'll see what happens. “There was maybe a bit of disappointment in the players' first half when they saw the result last night [when United beat QPR]. It would have been nice to have looked that result our way and had a little more in today's game. “At this stage of the season if Sheffield United win their games then fair game to them, good luck to them as they do what they have to do to potentially finish in the top six. News at Den readers - how you can support us News at Den brings you breaking Millwall news, interviews and opinions throughout the year. Would you support us in further developing our independent sports journalism? You can help by donating as little as £5 - and it only takes a minute. Support News at Den Millwall boss reacts as Lions hold their top 6 chances to the last day - and has just one complaint Millwall boss reacts as the Lions hold their top 6 chances to the last day - and only has one complaint

Oku

Real Madrid win 35th La Liga title extending record after beating Espanyol

Carlo Ancelotti becomes the first manager to win titles in each of Europe's top five leagues; Real Madrid rested Karim Benzema ahead of Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Man City; Marcelo is now Real's most successful player with 24 trophies at the club (Yazar: Gardener)

Real MadridReal Madrid clinched a record-breaking 35th LaLiga title on Saturday after beating Espanyol 4-0 in a packed Santiago Bernabéu stadium. The victory also made Italy coach Carlo Ancelotti the first manager to win titles in each of Europe's top five leagues: England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France. Rodrygo's brace gave Real a 2-0 lead at the break before Marco Asensio struck the third after 55 minutes and LaLiga top scorer Karim Benzema sealed the points in the 81st minute. Captain Benzema lifted the trophy after coming on from the bench late in the second half when Ancelotti rested several starters while Real host Manchester City from a 4-3 deficit in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg. Real have 81 points with four games to go. They are 17 points clear of second-placed Sevilla and 18 ahead of Barcelona, ​​who have a game in hand and needed a point against Espanyol to clinch the title with almost a month to go. It was a record-breaking day for defender Marcelo, who won his 24th silver medal with Real and overtook Gento as the player with the most trophies in the club's 120-year history. "It's a huge joy," an emotional Marcelo told reporters in what looks set to be the last of the 33-year-old's 16 seasons with the Spanish club. "We won as early as possible and everyone needs to celebrate that," added Marcelo as the players look ahead to next week's clash with Manchester City. "Today we have to celebrate, but we have an important game ahead of us. Ancelotti believes that the celebrations can help lift the spirits of the players to fight back against Pep Guardiola's side. "A celebration like this can add Bringing energy into the dressing room can be good as an additional motivation in such a difficult task against a great team," said Ancelotti. Today we have to celebrate, not talk. VfL Bochum scored two late goals in the 4-3 win despite a win Borussia Dortmund clinched Haaland hat-trick keeps Bundesliga safe The result kept Dortmund just a point off second place with two games to play The Ruhrtal club have 63 points, eight ahead of third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, who host Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday The top four teams qualify for the group stage of the Champions League next season. Bayern Munich, who won their last week Securing their tenth league title in a row is 75th after losing 3-1 to Mainz 05. In a dramatic seven-goal encounter, Haa Land scored a treble to take Dortmund from 2-0 to a 3-2 lead. Guest Bochum got off to a dream start in their local derby and led 2-0 in the eighth minute through goals from Sebastian Polter and Gerrit Holtmann. The Norway international was far from done and scored his second goal with another penalty after half an hour. Haaland thought he'd ended his comeback with a tap-in and a lucky jump in the 62nd, but Bochum came back once more, leveling through Jurgen Locadia in the 81st and Milos Pantovic's penalty for their first Dortmund win since 1998.

Oku

From Koeman to King Karim: why Real Madrid won La Liga so easily

Real Madrid drove to a 35th La Liga title with four games remaining thanks to Carlo Ancelotti's coach, Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior's impressive partnership and Barcelona, ​​who took too long to replace Ronald Koeman with Xavi (Yazar: Gardener)

La LigaWhatever you think of Real Madrid's European roller coaster ride, be it luck, magic or a superior mindset, their La Liga campaign has been quite the contrast. Carlo Ancelotti's side have confidently marched to a record 35th title, sealing it with a comfortable 4-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday, offering consistent and reliable performances with just a few hiccups along the way. The last time a team won the league with four games remaining was Ernesto Valverde's first year at Barcelona, ​​in the 2017-18 season when they beat second-placed Atletico Madrid by 14 points. When Madrid won the title in 2019/20 there was only one game left and at no point in the 21st century have they won the league so early. It is to Madrid's great credit that they have been hugely effective at both ends of the pitch where it counts, while Ancelotti had no qualms in allowing breakthrough star Vinicius Junior to play on the counter as suits him. The squad is strong and Madrid have improved over the season while their rivals have withered except for Xavi Hernandez's Barcelona. The manager's arrival came too late to give the Catalans a chance to challenge for the title, although Barca dealt the only serious blow to Madrid's La Liga book with a painful 4-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu in March. With Ronald Koeman at the helm, Barcelona suffered in the first third of the season and it wasn't until President Joan Laporta finally eliminated the Dutchman that they began to improve. In contrast, other teams that started strong, such as Sevilla and Real Sociedad, have finished poorly in 2022, while Atletico Madrid has been in an identity crisis since winning the league last season. Villarreal saved their best performances for the Champions League despite the first leg at Anfield, while Real Betis have had a good season but are still 20 odd points off pace. It would have been easy to look over their shoulders, smile and take your foot off the gas, but they came two goals down in a 3-2 win against Sevilla on 17 April and showed resilience. Before meeting Espanyol, they had won eight of their last nine league games, with the only anomaly coming against Barcelona. The Ballon d'Or leaders have matched Cristiano Ronaldo-like numbers this season with 42 goals in 42 games in all competitions. Although his performances have been elite for years, Benzema is now far more determined than ever. Contributing to that shift was the explosion of his attacking partner Vinicius, who under Ancelotti found a calm in front of goal and deep in opposition territory that looked like it might never come. Vinicus has already surpassed his goal tally from the last three seasons (15) this season and forged a dynamic partnership with the French forward. It was fitting that they teamed up again for Madrid's fourth and final goal against Espanyol. At the other end of the field, Thibaut Courtois has endured what is arguably the best season of his career as he made several impressive saves to earn Madrid points. Only Sevilla have conceded fewer goals than Real Madrid this season and in April the Belgian made a series of impressive stops against Celta Vigo, helping Madrid to a narrow win and ensuring they didn't let Barca throw them off course Rails. The centre-back has forged a strong partnership with Eder Militao to ensure Madrid defensive icon and Raphael Varane are not missed - on either side. Alaba scored the opener against Osasuna on April 20 and did the same against Barcelona at the Camp Nou in Madrid's 2-1 win last October. Despite midfielders Casemiro and Toni Kroos not having their prime, evergreen Luka Modric, 36, has pulled the side through games with his experience and quality. Behind Modric, Madrid have midfield cover with Eduardo Camavinga and Fede Valverde, a duo that have gained prominence over the course of the season, while Rodrygo and Marco Asensio have come in with goals in attack. Those industrious extra games have helped Madrid become like a machine on their way to domestic glory and now they can turn their full attention to their altogether less predictable European rise.

Oku

Ancelotti's champions can't stand still, what's next for Los Blancos?

Real Madrid have finished LaLiga but as they await greater challenges next season, Stats Perform analyzes how Los Blancos can improve. (Yazar: Gardener)

Los BlancosAlthough Real Madrid have clinched their 35th LaLiga title and retain a chance of winning the Champions League this season, Real Madrid find themselves at something of a crossroads. The individual brilliance of Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior may have led Los Blancos to a dominant LaLiga triumph, but attention will soon turn to Madrid's attempts to retain the title for the first time since 2007/08. With the potential arrival of a true global superstar and one of the Premier League's best defenders, and the question of refreshing a brilliant but aging midfield, it promises to be an interesting few months at the Santiago Bernabeu. For months, if not years, Real Madrid's plans for 2022 have seemed to revolve around one name: Kylian Mbappe. With 35 goals and 19 assists in 43 appearances in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain, Mbappe would clearly be an asset to any team in European football, but the question remains how Mbappe will complement another prolific Frenchman in the Spanish capital. Benzema is only the fifth Madrid player in history, after Cristiano Ronaldo, Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo Di Stefano and Hugo Sanchez, to have scored more than 40 goals in a single season for the club and will be named after driving for the Ballon d' Or touted Madrid's Champions League run. Benzema has scored 14 goals in 10 European games this season, averaging a goal every 65.1 minutes in what has been a stunning season. Mbappe and Benzema are no strangers to playing together but the PSG striker failed to score while providing just one assist during France's disappointing Euro 2020 season. Matters are further complicated when considering the form of Vinicius, who has formed a deadly partnership with Benzema this season and has registered 33 goals of his own in all competitions (18 goals, 15 assists) and Mbappe's preference for playing from the left could hurt Vinicius. However, Mbappe's development into a more versatile attacking talent should ensure he is at least dangerous no matter which flank he starts from. Mbappe has not only improved his 11 assists from last season, but has also dribbled more (138) with a higher success rate (50.74 percent) than Vinicius this season (130, 41.4 percent) and could play more with him creative role supporting Benzema. Antonio Rudiger, who has announced his intention to leave Chelsea at the end of his contract, is another player heavily linked with a move to the Bernabeu ahead of next season. The German defender was one of the Blues' standout players under Thomas Tuchel, featured in last year's Champions League triumph and has had another good season this term. Rudiger has been a key component in the Premier League's third-best defense this season. Chelsea kept 15 clean sheets and conceded just 28 goals despite being eliminated from the title fight after a promising start. The 29-year-old seems to upgrade Madrid's current defensive options after last year's departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, offering more physicality than David Alaba and more defensive steel than Eder Militao, a partnership that has been frequently uncovered by Manchester City recently. Rudiger also offered a threat at the other end of the pitch as his three league goals this season have been surpassed by only one other Premier League centre-back (Jan Bednarek, four) and his ability to step out of defense was shown in early April he scored against Brentford struck a miracle from 39 yards – Chelsea's widest Premier League goal since January 2007. However, Rudiger is used to playing in a back three at Chelsea and would most likely play as a right middle-back in a back four for Madrid, it unless Ancelotti decides to switch Alaba to left-back. Rudiger would likely need to rein in his offensive enthusiasm if paired with the naturally forward-thinking Alaba, but he seems a smart choice to further solidify a defense that has been the second-strongest in LaLiga this season (only Sevilla have conceded fewer goals). ). Midfield trio Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric will go down in Madrid history: they featured in three straight Champions League wins together between 2016 and 2018, with the Croatian also starring in the 2014 win. All three have started at least 35 times this season, with Modric in particular making several great contributions in big games, helping him to nine assists, six more than any other Madrid midfielder. The signing of Eduardo Camavinga, who has made 35 appearances this season, was clearly made with such a move in mind, but the French youngster has only started 14 times in all competitions and would benefit from more playing time next season as he wants to improve his all-round game. However, neither Camavinga nor Federico Valverde possess the metronomic skills of Modric or Kroos, and the younger pair also average fewer passes into the last third per 90 minutes than their more experienced peers (6.25 and 6.1 respectively). Therefore, given the rumors that Mbappe and Rudiger do not include transfer fees, Madrid could still benefit from diving into the market to acquire another young, progressive midfielder who could also help extend Modric and Kroos' excellence.

Oku

how The Cure created the perfect pop song

Robert Smith thinks it's just a "dumb" pop song, but 30 years later, "Friday" remains the group's most enduring single. (Yazar: Gardener)

The CureFriday I'm In Love: How The Cure created the perfect 1992 Robert Smith pop song, with the sleeve to the single Friday I'm In Love. Robert Smith thinks it's just a "dumb" pop song, but 30 years later, "Friday" remains the group's most enduring single. Friday I'm In Love is a silly pop song, but it's actually quite excellent just because it's so absurd. The Cure's Wish Album was released on Tuesday April 21, 1992. Cure's Friday I'm In Love single was released on May 15, 1992. Robert Smith reached the peak of The Cure's pop career with Friday I'm In Love. The single, which peaked at number 6 in June 1992, is probably the band's best-known song in the UK even 30 years later. The parent album of the single Wish is - to date - The Cures only #1 LP in their home country, released on April 21, 1992. The first single to be taken from the album was High, released on March 16, 1992 Becoming the band's first new material in almost two years, the song broke the Top 10, but it was the follow-up that would capture all the attention. "It's just a very naïve, upbeat pop song," Smith said of Friday I Bin Love in an interview promoting the album. While The Cure enjoyed mainstream chart success with classics like "In Between Days," "The Love Cats," and "Boys Don't Cry," they still had a reputation for being dark and difficult. Robert Smith performing with The Cure in California on July 5, 1992. 1989's Disintegration was a huge commercial success, although it was a somewhat somber selection of songs inspired by Smith turning 30 and realizing his time on earth was passing. "Turning thirty was a big thing that happened to me," he told the Orange County Register in June 1992. This helped me change the way I think about things. The Cure cast that Wish recorded: Perry Bamonte, Robert Smith, Porl Thompson, Boris Williams and Simon Gallup. In 1991 The Cure retired to Richard Branson's studio, The Manor, north of Oxford in Shipton-on-Cherwell and down the road from the village grandly named Thrupp. The influence of shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine in the UK and grunge acts like Nirvana in the US had seen The Cure crank the guitars on the new material. I remember driving home one Friday afternoon to have the weekend off. We actually recorded it that Friday night. So when I wrote the lyrics for it, I thought, why not make a song about that Friday feeling? It's a thing you get in school, and a lot of people work in jobs that they don't really enjoy. So you can look forward to that Friday afternoon feeling. Robert Smith on The Cure's US tour bus in the summer of 1992. Note the Friday I'm In Love t-shirt! The original backing track to Friday I'm In Love was much slower than the finished single. “It didn't seem to have enough sparkle the way we recorded it,” Smith told Guitar World, “so [producer] Dave Allen and I were like, what if we just varispeeded the tape up a little bit? "It took me about three weeks to get up the courage to sing the words," Smith told the Orange County Register this June. But as we neared the end, we realized that was the song that was missing. After an unprecedented three years since the release of its predecessor Disintegration, Wish debuted at number 1 in the UK - but the start of the small club tour in support of the album was marred by unfortunate incidents: guitarist Porl Thompson dislocated his shoulder the day before the first gig , leaving him in cast for a gig, and Smith suffered from "severe stomachaches" on April 29, prompting the band to cancel a Top Of The Pops gig to pocket Friday I'm Love. Friday I'm In Love was released on Friday 15th May 1992. Friday I'm In Love was released as the second single from Wish and was released - of course - on Friday 15th May 1992. Since singles during this period were usually released on Mondays, snuck the song entered the bottom end of the top 40 after just two days of sales - at number 31 to be precise, but next week, accompanied by an upbeat video and Directed by Tim Pope, Friday jumped to No. 8 and peaked at No. 6 seven days later. The song was a true pop classic and has since gone platinum in the UK, staying on radio stations around the world...especially on Fridays. However, Smith retains some ambivalence about the song. Robert Smith of The Cure performs live on stage at Ahoy in Rotterdam, Netherlands on October 1, 1992. "Friday, I'm In Love is not a work of genius," he told NME in October 2008. “It was almost a calculus song. 'I must have stolen that somewhere, I can't have thought of that'.” On the same album there were songs I had worked on that I thought were infinitely better at the time, but Freitag is probably the song from the Wish album , that's the song."Thanks to the must-have Cure resource site: http://thecure.cz The Cure's Boys Don't Cry: Why This Classic Song Wasn't A Hit First Time The Cure's Close To I Have A Harrowing Backstory Where Did The Cure Their Name Radio X Best Of British Featuring Greggs - Listen to Radio X Best Of British Featuring Greggs live playlist here Radio X Best Of British Featuring Greggs - View Full Top 100 Sam Fenders Seventeen Going Under became named Radio X Best Of British with Greggs Listen to Radio X on Global Player: Podcasts, Live Pl Aylists and More!

Oku

Europa League result and final score after Jarrod Bowen's late overhead strike

West Ham vs Frankfurt LIVE: Europa League result and final score after Jarrod Bowen's late overhead hit (Yazar: Gardener)

Jarrod Bowen'sPlease use a supported version for the best MSN experience. West Ham vs Frankfurt LIVE: Europa League result and final score after late Jarrod Bowen overhead Follow the live reaction as West Ham suffered a 2-1 home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals. West Ham's first European semi-final in 46 years began with a nightmare - when Ansgar Knauff hit the back post late to put Eintracht Frankfurt ahead after just 48 seconds. The hosts kept their cool and Michail Antonio equalized after Jarrod Bowen hit the post and the striker deflected Kurt Zouma's rebound from a set piece. But it would be Eintracht Frankfurt who would strike the next blow, as Daichi Kamada reclaimed the lead with his goal as he finally ended a skillful move through West Ham's defence. West Ham were frustrated in the closing stages when Kamada came closest when his shot was deflected off the post by Craig Dawson. And in stoppage time, Bowen hit the underside of the bar with a spectacular overhead kick as Frankfurt held the first-leg win. It leaves West Ham with work in Germany next week. Relive the action from West Ham vs Eintracht Frankfurt, below: FT: Bowen overhead kick hits the bar in stoppage time while Frankfurt hangs on West Ham with work to do while Daichi Kamada Eintracht Frankfurt is 22-08 in the first leg The 3,000 Eintracht Frankfurt fans at the London Stadium on Thursday night, amid the boisterous hopping, choreographed flag-waving and serenading of their players, saw a supporter hold a torch. If it was a symbolic warning sign, West Ham weren't quick enough to heed it. Report by Alex Pattle at the London Stadium West Ham are busy as Daichi Kamada gives Frankfurt a 21-59 lead in the first leg Dylan Terry 21-55 Dylan Terry We were inches away from one of Europe's greatest goals of all time. Oh my god if that went in... Jarrod Bowen excruciatingly close to scoring the overhead kick of his dreams 😱#UEL pic.twitter.com/ UXmuLh0Ewt - Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 28, 2022 9:54pm , Dylan Terry Full Time: That's it. Eintracht Frankfurt have taken a 2-1 lead in seven days ahead of the second leg in Germany. A 49-second opener from Ansgar Knauff gave the visitors the perfect start as he headed home from close range. Michail Antonio equalized in the middle In the first half, he completed after Kurt Zouma headed a free-kick over the goal. But nine minutes into the second half, Daichi Kamada scored the winning goal, scoring a rebound after a silky smooth action from the German side. 21:51, Dylan Terry 90 + 3 minutes: Borre makes way for Ache as Frankfurt's clock runs down in the last minute. I'm still getting over that Bowen attempt. 21:50 , Dylan Terry 90+1 min: OH MY LORD! THAT WOULD BE THE GATE OF THE SEASON! Rice slices a cross in and Jarrod Bowen's overhead kick slams off the bar and bounces off the line! Would have been an absolutely incredible goal. West Ham then takes a corner but Soucek heads over it. 21:48, Dylan Terry 90 minutes: At least three minutes of added time will be played. He sends the ball in the middle and Bowen climbs the highest but can only head over the bar. The referee counted it last by a Frankfurt player, but it didn't. The following corner is easy to master. Was this West Ham's last chance? 21:46, Dylan Terry 89 minutes: West Ham have the ball back. 21:45, Dylan Terry 88 minutes: Borre wins a free kick after a foul by Rice. 21:44 , Dylan Terry 87 mins: Zouma was down for about a minute while Frankfurt was broke, but he's back on his feet now. 21:43, Dylan Terry 86 mins: Frankfurt breaks following a corner from West Ham, but as Rode tries to escape down the left flank, Rice makes a perfectly timed challenge to stop the attack. Unsurprisingly, Rice was West Ham's standout again tonight. 21:42 , Dylan Terry Angelino gave RB Leipzig an 85th minute lead over Rangers in the other Europa League semi-final. 21:41, Dylan Terry 84 mins: Kostic fires a low cross into the West Ham box but Rice is back to slide in and clear it away. West Ham need to be careful. 21:40, Dylan Terry 83 mins: Bowen takes the free kick and decides to go for a cross shot, but he goes straight into Trapp's arms. 21:39, Dylan Terry 82 mins: Hinteregger goes into the book after knocking down Bowen on the right touchline. It's another free kick for West Ham deep in the Frankfurt half. 21:37 , Dylan Terry 80 mins: SO CLOSE TO THREE! Kamada is in the West Ham penalty area. He opens his body and bends one to the far corner, but he bounces off the post! So close. On the way to the post, Craig Dawson was knocked off a bit in the leg. 21:36, Dylan Terry 78 mins: Sow drives forward into space left in West Ham's midfield. Kamada gets caught by Rice but the referee plays for advantage as Frankfurt sign men up front at the break. But Knauff's cross is wasteful as it goes wide. 21:35 , Dylan Terry 76 minutes: West Ham are now back on the rise. Benrahma produces a nice streak to put Creswell in a great position to cross. He sends it low but Hinteregger gets his boot to clear it. Declan Rice then plays a 70-yard crossfield pass for Benrahma that is inch accurate. 21:31, Dylan Terry 74 minutes: Knauff loses his footing as Frankfurt tries to take the sting out of the game again. West Ham have it back with Declan Rice before Rode blocked the England international's attempted pass to Antonio. 21:29 , Dylan Terry 72 minutes: Bowen escapes his marker midway in the Frankfurt half and drives to the visitors' backline. He tries to shove Benrahma into the left channel but Tuta is there to intercept as moans once more echo around the London stadium. 21:28, Dylan Terry 70 mins: West Ham have looked more dangerous in the last few minutes since the introduction of Benrahma. But the home side still looks open at the back as Kamada tries to shove a ball backwards but it rolls through to Areola. 21:27 , Dylan Terry Ademola Lookman has equalized for Leicester against Roma in the Europa Conference League semifinals. Well, Rice's free-kick hit the first man but he then put it down to Benrahma, whose sweeping, arcing and falling shot clipped the post on his way wide. The submarine has an immediate effect. 21:25 , Dylan Terry 68 mins: Bowen does a brilliant job of jumping past two Frankfurt shirts and holding up a cross. He dodges all West Ham attackers but Benrahma intercepts him on the other end and is awarded a free kick from a dangerous position. Good opportunity to send this into the penalty area and put the Frankfurt defenders under pressure. 21:23, Dylan Terry 66 minutes: Manuel Lanzini makes room for Said Benrahma. 21:23 , Dylan Terry 66 mins: Creswell delivers a decent ball into the penalty area, which ejects a Frankfurt shoe and flies away to the corner. That gets the crowd going after a difficult 15 minutes for the home side. The corner is flashed away immediately. Bowen sends it back and as it falls on Fornals he scuffs his attempt past the near post. 21:21, Dylan Terry 64 mins: Zouma misses a free kick in the middle of his own half. It's clipped in by Kostic and Rice gets a great jump to clear his head. It's all Frankfurt. West Ham need to weather the storm. 21:20 , Dylan Terry 62 minutes: Apparently, Lindstrom has suffered a muscle strain. 21:19, Dylan Terry 62 mins: Apart from those brief attacks from West Ham, Frankfurt have largely controlled possession since they scored their second goal. David Moyes needs to change something. You can feel this slipping through your fingertips as Frankfurt begin to flick the ball around silkily. 21:17, Dylan Terry 60 minutes: Trapp claims another corner from West Ham. The Frankfurt keeper has been incredibly confident so far tonight. Benrahma said while warming up on the touchline for the hosts. 21:16, Dylan Terry 58 minutes: Bowen hisses a cross into the penalty area with Trapp claims at the front post. West Ham quickly regain the ball and shove Antonio down the left channel. 21:16 , Dylan Terry The third goal of the evening. Frankfurt back up front at the London Stadium.Frankfurt take the lead again and it was a nice team movement that led to the goal 👏Daichi Kamada tapped the rebound in the West Ham goal after a great save from Areola. #UEL pic.twitter. com/m78WCnI92p - Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) 28 Apr 2022 21:15 , Dylan Terry 57 mins: How are West Ham reacting now? Another Frankfurt goal could end the tie, but West Ham will feel they need to go to Germany at least on an equal footing. 21:12, Dylan Terry 54 min: FRANKFURT GOES BACK AGAIN AND WHAT A GOAL THAT IS! Sensational one-touch football by Eintracht Frankfurt. Sow plays a wonderful one-two and finds himself in the penalty area, only to beat the goalkeeper. His shot is parried by Areola, but Kamada is there to devour the rebound and thrust home. For a moment it looked like he might be offside, but he was level when Sow made the shot. The visitors took the lead for the second time tonight. 21:10, Dylan Terry 52 mins: West Ham welcome danger in their own box as they try to play it out from behind. They're doing it successfully thanks to Declan Rice, but for a moment it looked like Frankfurt would pinch it. Frankfurt comes back as Borre tries to slice a ball into Kostic but he's betting too much on it. 21:08, Dylan Terry 50 mins: Cresswell pulls out Soucek on the edge of the field, but his volley misses and drifts wide. 21:07 , Dylan Terry 50 mins: There's definitely something to be said for both teams to be content with a first-leg draw when away goals don't matter. If the away goals rule were still in effect West Ham would absolutely have to score another. Especially since Frankfurt's away record in the Europa League was better than at home. 21:05, Dylan Terry 48 mins: Rode and Knauff connect with a neat one-two on the right before West Ham's cross is cleared. Lindstrom then produces some fancy footwork to get himself before a final ditch tackle stops him in his tracks. 21:04, Dylan Terry 47 mins: Kameda slices a dangerous-looking ball towards Lindstrom at the back post, but Cresswell is there to head away. Frankfurt dominated the ball early in this second half. 21:02 , Dylan Terry Here comes the players ready for the second half. If West Ham in any way underestimated Frankfurt coming into this game then they certainly won't after the first 45 minutes. 20:56 - Dylan Terry Second half comes up folks. 8:48 p.m., Dylan Terry halftime: That's all she wrote about the first 45 minutes of this Europa League semi-final game. Eintracht Frankfurt took the lead after just 49 seconds through Ansgar Knauff when he headed the far post rushing the visitors ahead and stunning the London Stadium. But West Ham equalized mid-half through Michail Antonio when he converted Kurt Zouma's header back over the goal. Previously, Jarrod Bowen just hit the post. But Frankfurt probably looked more dangerous and should have done better with an attack or two in that first phase. Could go either way. 20:46, Dylan Terry 45 minutes: Trapp claims the corner. A minute of stoppage time at the end of that fascinating first half. 20:45 , Dylan Terry 45 mins: Bowen spins beautifully away after three Frankfurt challenges, but Rode snaps his heels back and wins the ball well with a slide tackle. West Ham then find Soucek in the box but his cross shot is blocked and gone for a corner. 20:44 , Dylan Terry 44 mins: You have a feeling West Ham will be happy to go into the level. They had a lot of fun with the ball, but Frankfurt looks very dangerous when they go forward. 20:43 , Dylan Terry 42 mins: Another set piece chance for West Ham but they don't make the most of this one. They play it briefly to Declan Rice and he runs with the ball in front of Frankfurt into a dead end clearing the hazard. 20:42 , Dylan Terry A corner from Jarrod Bowen is cleared and the German side quickly collapse in numbers. Kamada picks Rode and plays him in for Lindstrom in the box. Creswell initially performs brilliantly with a sliding recovery challenge, but Lindstrom still gets the ball. He has his back to goal but turns and tries to hit the sprawling areola, only for his attempt to hiss just wide of the post. Goalkeeper throw for West Ham. Frankfurt is changing so quickly. 20:38 , Dylan Terry 38 min: This is a really even competition. West Ham shadow possession (54/46) but Frankfurt probably look more dangerous - especially on the break. West Ham have earned a corner. 20:37, Dylan Terry 36 mins: Frankfurt back on the front foot as Kamada burst through the heart of West Ham midfield. They work it out to Toure but his cross is well defended by Dawson as he brings the ball back to Areola. Shortly after, West Ham Frankfurt press well and Antonio almost hits him in the German's own penalty area, but the visitors manage to make it clear. 20:35, Dylan Terry 34 mins: West Ham's long streak of possession comes to an end as Lanzini shoves a pass into Bowen but he's just strayed offside. Frankfurt then come forward and find their dangerous man Kostic just outside the box. 20:32, Dylan Terry 32 minutes: West Ham takes the trick after being pressured by Eintracht Frankfurt. This is the first real break in the game after a frantic 30-minute opening at the London Stadium. 20:31, Dylan Terry This is the equalizer from Michail Antonio. A massive moment for West Ham. Michail Antonio keeps the back post safe! Set pieces are ALWAYS dangerous at set pieces... #UEL pic.twitter.com/cBYCUuVrkP – Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 28th, 2022 8:30pm , Dylan Terry 30 min: Frankfurt back on top. Since West Ham equalised, everyone has been. Kostic sends a wonderful ball into the penalty area, which Creswell has to turn for a corner. Areola then collects the set piece the second time around. Jarrod Bowen is down and clutching his groin. 20:28 , Dylan Terry 28 mins: I just realized I haven't mentioned Declan Rice tonight. Its ability to smell danger is unmatched. Makes up all the things that don't necessarily make it into journalists' live updates. 20:27, Dylan Terry 28 min.: That was a dangerous move from Frankfurt. Kamada sets Dawson up on the left and twists him into knots with his skill and tricks. He eventually slices the ball down the middle with a low, clumsy delivery that deflects off a West Ham leg and somehow dodges every Frankfurt body down the middle. 20:26, Dylan Terry 26 mins: Frankfurt did a relatively good job of trying to tame West Ham's attack, simply holding the ball and nullifying their threat. But Antonio then does an excellent job of holding the ball up and helping the hosts earn a shot deep in the Frankfurt half. 20:24, Dylan Terry 24 min: Well, how does Frankfurt react to that? This stadium is incredibly loud and West Ham have the momentum. 20:21, Dylan Terry 21 minutes: ALL SQUARE AT THE LONDON STADIUM! West Ham benefit from a set piece! Lanzini slides the ball into the box from about 35 yards and Zouma climbs up to head it back over the goal for Michail Antonio to knock home. If Antonio doesn't reach him, Declan Rice was also ready to convert the open goal. A great set piece and the London Stadium bounces up again. 20:20, Dylan Terry 20 min: The corner reaches Bowen on the edge of the penalty area, but Frankfurt pinches the ball from him and breaks in a targeted manner. Kostic slices a cross into the middle, which Rice clears, but Frankfurt keeps the attack going. They select Lindstrom on the right, only for his cross to end up in Areola's arms. 20:18 , Dylan Terry 18 minutes: No real pattern for this game yet. Just as you feel a team starting to build up nice possession, they sloppily lose the ball. Bowen plays a raking cross towards Fornals at the back post and his pullback guns from Knauff and away for a West Ham corner. 20:15 , Dylan Terry 16 minutes: CHANCE! 20:15 , Dylan Terry 16 minutes: CHANCE! 20:15 , Dylan Terry 16 minutes: CHANCE! Oh what a glorious opportunity for West Ham! The home side regained the ball on the halfway line and quickly broke away. Antonio lays it down to Soucek who plays a superbly weighted pass to Bowen who is one on one with keeper Trapp. He needs a touch to collect himself and hits the Frankfurt shot stopper but his shot rebounds off the post! 20:14 , Dylan Terry 14 mins: Bowen does well to regain possession for the hosts and gets a round of applause from the crowd. One has the feeling that it took the fans fifteen minutes to recover from this hammer blow (no pun intended). Moments later, Antonio is sidelined and groans echo around the arena. 2012, Dylan Terry 12 mins: First real chance for West Ham to put men forward as Johnson sprints to the right and sends a cross into the box but Hinteregger is there at the back protecting the two centre-backs and doing well hacking it clear .West ham are just beginning to find their way in the last few minutes. 20:11, Dylan Terry Not how West Ham fans would have imagined the first 49 seconds of a European semi-final. (AFP via Getty Images) 8:09, Dylan Terry 9 mins: Knauff absolutely roars on that right. He charges forward again, but Toure doesn't get a good look at him before Creswell comes over. Very dynamic start from the Bundesliga team. Oh, and as I type, Knauff briefly looks like he's cracked the offside trap again, but Areola is quick out to collect a through ball from Hinteregger. 20:08 , Dylan Terry A remarkable start to this game. This is how Frankfurt stunned the 60,000 fans in the London stadium. Ansgar Knauff grabbed a sensational cross from Filip Kostic and scored the opening goal...— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 28, 2022 8:07 pm , Dylan Terry 7 minutes: Frankfurts Danger man Kostic sends a decent ball down the middle but Zouma is there to plant a header away. Frankfurt started much better. The whole ball is in the West Ham half. 20:05 , Dylan Terry 5 mins: West Ham wins a free kick midway through the Frankfurt half. It is crossed by Lanzini and Soucek rises highest but can only plant his header wide. 8:05, Dylan Terry 3 mins: Creswell went to sleep at the back post. I'm not sure he knew Knauff was behind him. The London stadium roared about 30 seconds after the goal. But this will be a serious test of West Ham players' character. 20:02 , Dylan Terry 1 min: WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT?! Absolutely unbelievable! Eintracht Frankfurt leads after just 49 seconds and 20-year-old Ansgar Knauff gave the visitors the lead. It's a delicious cross from Borre down the left and Knauff sneaks around the back to place a header over Areola in the top corner. 20:00 , Dylan Terry 1 min: CLIMB! 19:59 , Dylan Terry The players are on the pitch. 19:55 , Dylan Terry Right, five minute warning. Kick-off is just around the corner. Fire, fireworks, bubbles and music erupt around the London Stadium. 19:52 , Dylan Terry Big night for Declan Rice. West Ham's talisman was sensational in the final stages of the Euros last summer and he will want to show once again that he can perform on Europe's biggest stages. He was also given a nice break on Sunday, playing just 28 minutes in the Chelsea defeat. 19:49 , Dylan Terry And another reminder that Kurt Zouma was found fit to start tonight. He will partner Craig Dawson at the heart of West Ham's defence. A big relief for David Moyes. (IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images) 19:46 , Dylan Terry A reminder of the two teams. 19:42 , Dylan Terry Speaking about West Ham's Europa League run in his pre-match press conference, David Moyes said: “We have embraced and enjoyed all aspects of our Europa League journey this season. "We totally respected the competition as a team we played along the way." 19:38 , Dylan Terry Imagine if it were West Ham and Rangers in the final. 19:35 , Dylan Terry West Ham would become the first English team to win the Europa League since Manchester United last year. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side faced Villarreal in the final and lost 11-10 after an incredible penalty shootout. 19:30 , Dylan Terry What would be a good result for West Ham tonight? Second?Given how much they impressed away at Lyon, perhaps even a draw would be satisfying for some West Ham fans. 19:27 , Dylan Terry What else has happened in the football world today? The players were out on the court to check out their surroundings for tonight's Crunch game. As a reminder, the winner of this clash will face either RB Leipzig or Rangers in the final on May 18 in Seville. 19:19, Dylan Terry West Ham and Eintracht Frankfurt have met twice before tonight. Both encounters also took place in a European semi-final when they met in the 1976 UEFA European Cup Winners' Cup. Before that, West Ham won the first leg 3-1. The second leg lost 1-2 but reached the final overall. The Hammers lost the final 4-2 when Anderlecht lifted the trophy. 19:14 , Dylan Terry The audience could have a big part in tonight's outcome. There will no doubt be difficult moments for West Ham during the game and they will need the fans to pull them through. 19:10 , Dylan Terry The London Stadium is starting to fill up. The fans know these nights don't happen very often for their club. Either way it will be the last Europa League game this season at the London Stadium. 19:07 , Dylan Terry Kurt Zouma is back for West Ham tonight. It's a valuable return for Moyes, as Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop were also on the touchline - leaving Craig Dawson as his only recognized centre-back. When asked earlier this week if any of them would be back tonight, Moyes said: "It's always better that way to make sure they're right. We could use some fit centre-backs but unfortunately that's the way it is and we have to live with it. We need everyone on deck.” 19:02 , Dylan Terry So here's the starting line-up for tonight's visitors. 18:59 , Dylan Terry Lots of soccer tonight. I will update you on RB Leipzig goals vs Rangers and Leicester vs Roma. In the meantime, you can follow Manchester United vs Chelsea by clicking the link below. What an atmosphere the London Stadium promises. A European semi-final under the lights of the London Stadium. ⚒#UEL | #WHUSGE pic.twitter.com/PkrHy0cPNe - West Ham United (@WestHam) April 28, 2022 6:51pm , Dylan Terry West Ham fans would have jumped at the opportunity to reach the Europa League semi-finals if you had asked them to beginning of the season. But now that they're here, they want to go all the way. They're the favorites to reach the finals and if they make it, you never know in a single night. These are really very exciting times for David Moyes' men. 18:47 , Dylan Terry Eintracht Frankfurt are yet to confirm their line-up for tonight's game but we'll let you know as soon as it's confirmed. Just over an hour until kick-off at the London Stadium. 18:41 , Dylan Terry Here's your West Ham team for tonight when Kurt Zouma returns to the side. 18:38 , Dylan Terry West Ham host Frankfurt in the Europa League tonight amid rumors their star midfielder Declan Rice could leave the club. Rumors are swirling that the England international is being courted by Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea. It's not uncommon for players to refuse contracts at clubs, maybe it's a negotiating tactic.” 18:33 , Dylan Terry West Ham are in an injury crisis with Issa Diop missing alongside Angelo Ogbonna. David Moyes will be free to choose the rest of his squad. Meanwhile, Frankfurt has to do without Evan N'Dicka and Kristijan Jakic, both of whom are suspended. 15:48 , Jamie Braidwood Good evening and welcome to live coverage as West Ham look to continue their European run against Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals. After beating Sevilla and Lyon to reach this stage, West Ham are playing in their first European semi-final in 46 years and, in a remarkable twist of fate, face the same opponents as they did back in 1976. The Hammers defeated Eintracht Frankfurt to progress to the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup on one of the biggest nights in club history and look to repeat that trick in another memorable event at the London Stadium. David Moyes has brought the club from relegation to the brink of a European Cup final in just two years, and West Ham are now also dreaming of securing Champions League qualification this season by winning the Europa League . Eintracht Frankfurt shocked Barcelona to reach the last four at the Camp Nou and the Bundesliga side will have their ardent travel support awaiting the return leg in Germany next week. Leeds vs Man City LIVE: Premier League team news, line-ups and more today Watford vs Burnley LIVE: Premier League, latest scores and goal updates from this afternoon's games at 15:00

Oku