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Twitter Eyes deal with Musk as early as Monday

(Bloomberg) - Twitter Inc. is in the final stages of negotiations for a $43 billion sale to Elon Musk in what could rank as one of the largest leveraged buyouts by a public company, people familiar with the matter said. Most Read by Bloomberg'Weak Sauce': Elon Musk's 2018 feud with Saudi fund reveals anger in Japan as Ukraine links Emperor Hirohito to Adolf HitlerUkraine Latest: U.S (Author: Gardener)

Musk(Bloomberg) - Twitter Inc. is in the final stages of negotiations for a $43 billion sale to Elon Musk in what could rank as one of the largest leveraged buyouts by a public company, people familiar with the matter said. The social media company is working to negotiate the terms of a transaction and could reach an agreement as early as Monday if negotiations go smoothly, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Musk is putting together partners for the acquisition and is continuing to talk to potential co-investors, one of the people said. Twitter's board of directors negotiated with the CEO of billionaire Tesla Inc. on Sunday over the terms of its unsolicited bid to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share, and talks continued overnight into the wee hours of Monday morning, said the people. Shares of Twitter rose 3.8% to $50.78 on Monday, still below Musk's bid price, indicating continued skepticism about the prospects of a successful takeover, although analysts say it's becoming more likely. Twitter began warming up to a potential deal after Musk unveiled a funding plan that included support from Morgan Stanley and other institutions. According to the Wall Street Journal, Musk campaigned in a series of video calls to select shareholders on Friday, with a focus on actively managed funds. Twitter officials declined to comment on the status of the talks, and Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Musk, who has more than 83 million followers on Twitter, began accumulating shares of the company in January, announcing a 9% stake earlier this month. That position led to him being invited to join Twitter's board of directors, an offer he eventually declined, only to do so on April 14. His proposal was met with skepticism on Wall Street because, while he said it was his "best and last" offer, but he lacked any details about the financing. Twitter has introduced a poison pill as a measure to prevent Musk from buying more than 15% of the company while giving the board more time to consider his offer and plan his next move. Late last week, Musk provided more details about his funding plans, saying in a securities filing that he lined up Morgan Stanley and other lenders to provide $13 billion in debt financing plus another $12.5 billion in loans against its Tesla stock and a commitment to contribute an additional $21 billion of its own money through equity financing. It's unclear whether Musk, who owns Tesla and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. would consider selling a portion of its stake in one of its valuable companies to acquire Twitter. He currently has about $3 billion in cash or other somewhat liquid assets, according to Bloomberg calculations, having spent $2.6 billion to buy his stake in Twitter. Several potential partners have approached Musk to be part of the equity financing, people familiar with the discussions said. In a whirlwind of news in just over two weeks, it was hard to tell if Musk, 50, would go through with his offer. Musk is a prolific tweeter — posting a mix of memes, questions, and barbs — and has vowed to turn Twitter into a bastion of free speech. While Musk has tweeted about plans to authenticate Twitter users and stop paying salaries to the board, he hasn't said much publicly about how he would run the company. He has said his main motivation for buying Twitter is to uphold the principles of free speech, which he says are "essential to a functioning democracy." Twitter is expected to report profits Thursday that "are unlikely to be rainbows and smiles, putting further pressure on the company in this high-stakes poker game with Musk's looming bid," said Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities , in a note to investors on Sunday.

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Anand Mahindra's contribution to Monday's motivation carries a strong message. Do not miss

Anand Mahindra says hang in there in his Monday motivational post. The video he shared has over 57,000 views. (Author: Gardener)

MondayIndustrialist Anand Mahindra is an avid social media user, often sharing multi-million dollar videos with his followers on Twitter. His Twitter feed is a goldmine of quirky and funny videos, fun facts and more. The 66-year-old businessman shared a video as part of his Monday Motivation post. He had a multi-million dollar message that he wanted to share with all of his followers who were struggling with one issue or another. The video was shot in Uttarakhand's Johar Valley. The viral video shows people sitting on a truck making their way to Milam in the Johar Valley. However, the truck continues to move through the narrow streets. Anand Mahindra said in his post that Mondays can be precarious, but he asked his followers to make an effort to persevere. "Sometimes a Monday morning can feel so precarious, but you always make it through the week without falling off the cliff, hanging in there (sic)," wrote the Mahindra group chairman. Sometimes a Monday morning can feel as precarious as this, but you always make it through the week without falling off a cliff. #MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/gnwzJ621Wk – anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) April 11, 2022 Watch the original video shared on Facebook here: Netizens shared their views after seeing this video. Check out some of the comments below: So it's a Monday motivation indeed - Krishna Kumar (@KKadyar) April 11, 2022 how do you get these types of videos sir...? What do you think about this video? Tell us in the comment section below.

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More Champions League comebacks since Barcas vs PSG

The knockout stages of the Champions League have become a machine for making stunning comebacks as Barca's historic result redefined what's possible. (Author: Gardener)

Champions LeagueWith the Champions League semi-finals starting this week, Manchester City hosting Real Madrid on Tuesday and Villarreal heading to Liverpool the following night, none of those clubs are likely to be inspired by Barcelona. After all, this is a team eliminated from the Europa League last week. But it was Barca, who made a historic comeback against Paris Saint-Germain five years ago, that redefined what's possible in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, no matter how bleak the prospects appear after the first leg like. Given what has happened in the competition since then, you wouldn't bet against one of this season's semi-finalists who are making a miraculous comeback of their own if need be. Barca went into the second leg of the round of 16 against PSG at the Camp Nou on March 8, 2017, trailing 4-0 from the first leg and few gave them hope of achieving more than restoring pride. After all, no team in Champions League history had recovered from a four-goal deficit in the first leg and made it through. - Move to: Champions League comebacks season after season But somehow, Luis Enrique's side summoned an unprecedented willpower to secure a 6-1 win and reach the quarter-finals. Barca striker Neymar was the driving force, scoring goals in the 88th and 91st minutes before setting up Sergi Roberto for his team's sixth and final goal in the fifth minute of added time, causing chaos at the stadium. The Spanish press dubbed the match "La Remontada" - the comeback to end all comebacks. The game also helped convince Neymar that he had to leave Barca to step out of Lionel Messi's shadow and win the Ballon d'Or. PSG were only too happy to comply, signing him in the summer for a world record transfer fee of 222 million euros and changing the transfer market and the game at the highest level forever. But it also showed that anything can happen in the Champions League. Only once in the almost 25-year history of the competition up to that point has a team even managed to progress from three goals down in the second leg, in 2003/04 at Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna beating holders AC Milan by 4 :0 after losing 4-1 at the San Siro. It's happened three times in the last five years, with Barca twice on the receiving end after their amazing comeback. The very next season they lost 3-0 at Roma and were eliminated on away goals (this upset was dubbed 'Romantada'), while in the 2018/19 semifinals they lost 4-0 on aggregate and lost 4-3 on aggregate Liverpool at Anfield in another of the most impressive turnarounds ever seen in the competition. And while there were a total of eight comebacks from a two-goal deficit in the first leg before Barca stunned PSG in the Champions League, there have been six of them in the last five years alone. In fact, there was one the week after Barca's four-goal away game against PSG when a Monaco side featuring Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva, Fabinho and Thomas Lemar beat Manchester City 3-1 after losing 3-5 at Etihad had. In all, in the nearly 25 full seasons of the pre-Remontada era, there were 36 instances where a club had recovered from a goal down at least one goal after the first leg of a Champions League knockout game, averaging 1.44 per year . In the little over five years since that game, there have been 14 at an average of 2.8 per year. Even if you subtract from that Barca's comeback against PSG and Borussia Dortmund's 4-0 win over Benfica after the 1-0 defeat in the first leg, which took place at the same time that history was being made in Catalonia, it's still the same 12 comebacks at a rate of 2.4 per year. These numbers are even clearer when you consider that in the 2019/20 season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only the rounds of 16 were played on two legs, while the rest of the tournament consisted of one-legged duels condensed into a mini-tournament in Portugal once the season resumed in the summer. But even then, habitual comeback victims PSG managed to get their own taste of a European turnaround, beating Dortmund 2-0 in Paris and their tie in one of the last pre-football games played on the continent , 3-2 won Halt. The 2018/19 season was particularly fertile ground for wild comebacks as – apart from Barca's crash at Anfield – Manchester United beat PSG (they again) in Paris and Ajax only beat Real Madrid 4-1 in the second leg of their quarter-finals in the succumbing to Lucas Moura's exceptional hat-trick in the second half in the semi-final second leg against Tottenham Hotspur. And just last month, almost five years to the day since Barca's exploits, Real Madrid staged their own remontada against PSG as Karim Benzema's second-half hat-trick propelled the 13-time champions through against the odds. Benzema scored another hat-trick in his next European game to give Madrid a comfortable 3-1 lead over Chelsea, but the holders almost staged their own rally for the ages by forcing extra time at the Bernabeu, only for Benzema to tie 4 could settle -3 overall. Results already tended towards more comebacks in the years immediately leading up to Barca's remontada, with five two-goal deficits being closed in the previous four seasons alone. As the rigors of away games have become much less of a factor in modern football - so much so that the away goals rule has been abolished this season - and top-flight players are more concentrated in the biggest clubs, the chances of recovering from them are diminishing, as are the setbacks in at half-time have continued to turn in their favor. But that amazing result at Camp Nou in 2017 accelerated the trend to the point where we are now not as surprised by such events as we used to be. The Champions League knockout stage has truly become a machine for making stunning comebacks, so much so that we're almost half expecting something extraordinary to happen in the next two weeks. And that's already out at PSG. QF: Deportivo La Coruna 1:4 vs. Chelsea (a) / 1:0 (penalty kick) (h) R16: Chelsea 1:3 vs. Lyon (a) / 1:0 (penalty kick) (h) R16: Borussia Dortmund 0:1 vs. R16: Monaco 3:5 vs. R16: Monaco 3:5 vs. R16: Monaco 3:5 vs. Manchester City (a) / 3:1 (h) R16: Leicester City 1:2 vs. R16: Manchester United 0:2 vs. R16: Manchester United 0:2 vs. R16: Manchester United 0:2 vs. Paris Saint-Germain (h) / 3:1 (a) Paris Saint-Germain (h) / 3 -1 (a) Atlético Madrid (a) / 3:0 (h) Real Madrid (h) / 4:1 (a) Real Madrid (h) / 4:1 (a) Real Madrid (h) / 4:1 (a) Real Madrid (h) / 4:1 (a) Roma (a) / 3:1 (h) Roma (a) / 3:1 (h) Roma (a) / 3:1 (h) Roma ( a) / 3:1 (h) SF: Liverpool 0:3 vs. SF: Liverpool 0:3 vs. SF: Liverpool 0:3 vs. Barcelona (a) / 4:0 (h) Barcelona (a) / 4 -0 (h) Barcelona (a) / 4:0 (h) Barcelona (a) / 4:0 (h) SF: Tottenham Hotspur 0:1 vs. Ajax (h) / 3:2 (a) Total comebacks: 50 Total before Remontada: 36 in 25 years Total since Remontada (incl.): 14 in 5 years

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Barcelona set price for Frenkie de Jong while Erik ten Hag eyes Man Utd reunion

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is interested in signing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and the Catalan club are open to the deal. (Author: Gardener)

BarcelonaNew Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is interested in signing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and the Catalan club are reportedly open to the deal. With Paul Pogba set to leave Old Trafford on a free transfer this summer when his contract expires and Nemanja Matic already confirming his imminent departure, the Red Devils are looking to sign at least two new midfielders. But as Ten Hag seeks to replicate his possession-based, attacking football at Old Trafford, he may prefer to sign a player who knows the Ajax philosophy like the back of his hand. According to Spanish television show El Chiringuito TV, Ten Hag and United have been exploring the possibility of signing De Jong this summer - and Barcelona won't turn down any approach. De Jong has struggled to live up to his £65m price tag since leaving Amsterdam for Camp Nou in 2019, while Barca have a plethora of young players in his position. Teenagers Pedri and Gavi have both impressed, while 33-year-old Sergio Busquets remains a staple of the team despite his advanced years. With Xavi keen to sign a number of new players this summer, the club realize they need to boost their transfer fund through sales and De Jong is one of the few players he wants to make money from. El Chiringuito claim Barcelona have set an asking price of €70m (£58m), a small loss from the fee paid three years ago and underscoring how unconvincing De Jong has been for the Blaugrana. Speculations about De Jong's future have started in recent weeks but Xavi insists he still remains an important part of his plans. 'Frenkie is very important to me, to the club and to the team. He is a footballer who has to shape an era with his quality and personality," said the Barcelona coach about the speculation about the midfielder. He could be one of the best midfielders in the world for years to come." MORE : Ralf Rangnick blasts Manchester United players in 'dossier of shame' for new boss Erik ten Hag. Follow Metro Sport for the latest news

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These stats show just how much

Barcelona have lost three straight home games for the first time ever and the absence of 19-year-old midfielder Pedri is having a major impact. (Author: Gardener)

BarcelonaThis weekend, Barcelona collapsed to a third consecutive home defeat at the Camp Nou for the first time in a single season, with some of the limelight falling on a player who wasn't even on the pitch. Xavi's side fell behind against midfielder Rayo Vallecano after just seven minutes but failed to regain ground in the ensuing 83 minutes of fruitless work, leaving La Liga rivals Real Madrid needing just one point from their last five games of the season to go to get the title. With Xavi at the helm, Barca embarked on a 15-game unbeaten run in LaLiga between December and April, during which they rose from seventh to second in the table. However, a surprise 3-2 home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarter-finals, followed by a similarly bitter 1-0 league defeat to relegation-threatened Cadiz four days later, ended the mini-renaissance.- Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (US only) But perhaps Barca's latest defeat shouldn't have come as a huge surprise - especially to anyone who's been keeping an eye on the club's league record with and without Pedri this season. The 19-year-old missed the game against Rayo with a hamstring injury that initially forced him to be substituted at half-time against Frankfurt and has since ruled him out of Barca's recent games. This was an understandable blow to the Blaugrana, who have relied heavily on their stellar midfield maestro this season, particularly in the domestic league, although Xavi has tried to downplay his importance in the past. Still, it seems Pedri has become something of a talisman given that they are totally unbeaten in all 12 LaLiga games (S10 N0 D22) he has appeared in during the 2021-22 season and have in the ones he missed has noticeably struggled (S8 L6 D7). their last three LaLiga games, but in the three games before that (with Pedri in the team) that figure was 2.12. And they created 33 chances to 42 with Pedri in the same period. This phenomenon has even led to the term 'Pedri-dependencia' in Spanish football circles, in reference to the midfielder's intrinsic importance to Barca and his perceived inability to break down stubborn opponents without him pulling the strings. Pedri has missed 33 games in all competitions since the start of the 2021-22 season, with various muscle injuries accounting for the majority of his absence. He has played an inordinate amount of football for club and country since making his debut for Barcelona at the start of the 2020/21 season - making 74 appearances in all competitions for Barca, as well as 23 appearances for various Spanish national teams. This includes Pedri's infamous international schedule Summer 2021, which began with him playing 629 minutes in six games for Spain at Euro 2020 - the only 'rest' he was granted is the last 60 seconds , which he spent on The Bench after being substituted in the 119th minute of La Roja's quarter-final win over Switzerland. Just 16 days after his EURO finals ended, he joined Spain's U23 Olympic team and scored another six appearances (559 minutes) at the games in Japan as his team reached the final. This all comes after he had already played 52 games in his breakthrough season with Barca, a total of 3,526 minutes on the pitch during which he became the youngest-ever player to complete 50 competitive games for the club. By the end of his protracted 2020/21 season, Pedri had spent a total of 4,594 minutes on the pitch - roughly 0.04% of his entire life up to that point. No I'm amazed that the poor boy has been struggling with his hamstrings this year.

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Barcelona set price for Frenkie de Jong while Erik ten Hag eyes Man Utd reunion

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is interested in signing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and the Catalan club are open to the deal. (Author: Gardener)

BarcelonaNew Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is interested in signing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and the Catalan club are reportedly open to the deal. With Paul Pogba set to leave Old Trafford on a free transfer this summer when his contract expires and Nemanja Matic already confirming his imminent departure, the Red Devils are looking to sign at least two new midfielders. But as Ten Hag seeks to replicate his possession-based, attacking football at Old Trafford, he may prefer to sign a player who knows the Ajax philosophy like the back of his hand. According to Spanish television show El Chiringuito TV, Ten Hag and United have been exploring the possibility of signing De Jong this summer - and Barcelona won't turn down any approach. De Jong has struggled to live up to his £65m price tag since leaving Amsterdam for Camp Nou in 2019, while Barca have a plethora of young players in his position. Teenagers Pedri and Gavi have both impressed, while 33-year-old Sergio Busquets remains a staple of the team despite his advanced years. With Xavi keen to sign a number of new players this summer, the club realize they need to boost their transfer fund through sales and De Jong is one of the few players he wants to make money from. El Chiringuito claim Barcelona have set an asking price of €70m (£58m), a small loss from the fee paid three years ago and underscoring how unconvincing De Jong has been for the Blaugrana. Speculations about De Jong's future have started in recent weeks but Xavi insists he still remains an important part of his plans. 'Frenkie is very important to me, to the club and to the team. He is a footballer who has to shape an era with his quality and personality," said the Barcelona coach about the speculation about the midfielder. He could be one of the best midfielders in the world for years to come." MORE : Ralf Rangnick blasts Manchester United players in 'dossier of shame' for new boss Erik ten Hag. Follow Metro Sport for the latest news

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These stats show just how much

Barcelona have lost three straight home games for the first time ever and the absence of 19-year-old midfielder Pedri is having a major impact. (Author: Gardener)

BarcelonaThis weekend, Barcelona collapsed to a third consecutive home defeat at the Camp Nou for the first time in a single season, with some of the limelight falling on a player who wasn't even on the pitch. Xavi's side fell behind midfielder Rayo Vallecano after just seven minutes but were unable to fight back in the ensuing 83 minutes of fruitless work, leaving La Liga rivals Real Madrid needing just one point from their last five games of the season to clinch the title. With Xavi at the helm, Barca started unbeaten in 15 LaLiga games between December and April, rising from seventh to second in the table. Sunday's disappointing result against Rayo means Xavi's side still have work to do to secure qualification for next season's Champions League. But perhaps Barca's latest defeat shouldn't have come as a huge surprise - especially to anyone who's been keeping an eye on the club's league record with and without Pedri this season. Barcelona is a different team without Pedri 😬 pic.twitter.com/ZbBXv1dzoa - ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) April 24, 2022 The 19-year-old missed the game against Rayo with a hamstring injury that initially forced him to be substituted at half-time against Frankfurt and has since ruled him out of Barca's last couple of games. This was an understandable blow to the Blaugrana, who have relied heavily on their amazing midfield maestro this season, especially in the domestic league, although Xavi has tried to downplay his importance in the past. Still, it seems that Pedri has become something of a talisman as they are totally undefeated and noticeably struggled (S8 L6 D7 ) in those he missed. Barca also averaged 1.39 xG in their last three LaLiga games, but in the three games before that (with Pedri in the team) that figure was 2.12. This phenomenon has even led to the term 'Pedri-dependencia' in Spanish football circles, in reference to the midfielder's intrinsic importance to Barca and his alleged inability to defeat stubborn opponents without him pulling the strings. Pedri has missed 33 games in all competitions since the start of the 2021/22 season, with various muscle injuries accounting for the majority of his absence. Since making his debut for Barcelona at the start of the 2020/21 season, he has played an inordinate amount of football for club and country - he has accumulated 74 appearances in all competitions for Barca, as well as 23 appearances for various Spanish national teams. That includes Pedri's infamous summer 2021 international schedule, which began with him playing 629 minutes in six games for Spain at Euro 2020 - the only 'rest' he was granted in the last 60 seconds he played afterwards was substituted on the bench in the 119th minute of La Roja's quarter-final win over Switzerland. Just 16 days after his EURO finals ended, he joined Spain's U23 Olympic team and played a further six games (559 minutes) at the Japan Games as his team reached the final. This all comes after he already made 52 appearances in his breakthrough season at Barca, totaling 3,526 minutes on the pitch, during which time he became the youngest-ever player to make 50 competitive appearances for the club. By the end of his protracted 2020/21 season, Pedri had spent a total of 4,594 minutes on the pitch - roughly 0.04% of his entire life up to that point.

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More Champions League comebacks since Barcas vs PSG

The knockout stages of the Champions League have become a machine for making stunning comebacks as Barca's historic result redefined what's possible. (Author: Gardener)

Champions LeagueWith the Champions League semi-finals starting this week, Manchester City hosting Real Madrid on Tuesday and Villarreal heading to Liverpool the following night, none of those clubs are likely to be inspired by Barcelona. After all, this is a team eliminated from the Europa League last week. But it was Barca, who made a historic comeback against Paris Saint-Germain five years ago, that redefined what's possible in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, no matter how bleak the prospects appear after the first leg like. Given what has happened in the competition since then, you wouldn't bet against one of this season's semi-finalists staging a miraculous comeback of their own if need be. Barca entered the second leg of the round of 16 against PSG on March 8, 2017, at the Camp Nou with a 4-0 loss after the first leg and few gave them hope of achieving more than restoring pride. After all, no team in Champions League history has recovered from a four-goal deficit in the first leg and made it through. Jump to: Champions League comebacks, season after season Get instant accessBut somehow Luis Enrique's side summoned previously unseen depths in the will to clinch an odd 6-1 win and reach the quarters. Barca striker Neymar was the driving force, scoring goals in the 88th and 91st minutes before setting up Sergi Roberto for his team's sixth and final goal in the fifth minute of added time, causing chaos at the stadium. The Spanish press dubbed the game "La Remontada" - the comeback to end all comebacks. The game also helped convince Neymar that he had to leave Barca to step out of Lionel Messi's shadow and win the Ballon d'Or. PSG were only too happy to comply, signing him in the summer for a world record transfer fee of 222 million euros and changing the transfer market and the game at the highest level forever. But it also proved that anything can happen in the Champions League. Only once in the competition's almost 25-year history did a team come from within three goals of a deficit in the second leg, in 2003/04, when Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna denied after a 4-1 defeat at the San Siro defeated reigning European champions AC Milan 4-0. In the last five years this has happened three times, with Barca twice finding themselves on the receiving end after their amazing comeback. The very next season they lost 3-0 at Roma and were eliminated on away goals (this upset was dubbed 'Romantada'), while in the 2018/19 semi-finals they lost 4-0 on aggregate after losing 4-0 Liverpool at Anfield in another of the most impressive turns the competition has seen. And while there were a total of eight comebacks from a two-goal deficit in the first leg before Barca stunned PSG in the Champions League, there have been six of those in the last five years alone. In fact, there was one the week after Barca's four-goal away game against PSG when a Monaco side featuring Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva, Fabinho and Thomas Lemar beat Manchester City 3-1 after going 3-1 at the Etihad.In: 5 In the nearly 25 full seasons leading up to the Remontada era, there were a total of 36 occasions when a club had recovered from a goal or more behind after the first leg of a Champions League knockout game to qualify for the knockout rounds to collect, an average of 1.44 per year. In the little over five years since that game, there have been 14 at an average of 2.8 per year. Even if you subtract from that Barca's comeback against PSG itself and Borussia Dortmund's 4-0 win over Benfica after the 1-0 defeat in the first leg, which took place at the same time that history was being made in Catalonia, it always is 12 comebacks left at 2.4 per year The remainder of the tournament, consisting of one-legged duels, was consolidated into a mini-tournament in Portugal once the season resumed in the summer. But even then, habitual comeback victims PSG managed to get their own taste of a European turnaround, beating Dortmund 2-0 in Paris to tie their tie in one of the last games before football on the continent 3: 2 to win stop. The 2018/19 season was particularly fertile ground for wild comebacks as - Barca's crash at Anfield aside - Manchester United beat PSG (they again) in Paris and Ajax beat Real Madrid 4-1 in the quarter-final second leg, just to succumb to Lucas Moura's exceptional second-half hat-trick in the semi-final second leg against Tottenham Hotspur. And just last month, almost five years to the day since Barca's exploits, Real Madrid staged their own remontada against PSG as Karim Benzema with a second-half hat-trick saw the 13-time champions progress against all odds. Benzema scored another hat-trick in his next European game to give Madrid a comfortable 3-1 lead over Chelsea, but the holders almost staged their own rally for the ages by forcing extra time at the Bernabeu, only for Benzema to tie 4 could settle -3 overall. Results already tended towards more comebacks in the years immediately leading up to Barca's remontada, with five two-goal deficits being closed in the previous four seasons alone. As the rigors of away games have become much less of a factor in modern football - so much so that the away goals rule has been abolished this season - and top-flight players are more concentrated in the biggest clubs, the chances of recovering from them are diminishing, as are the setbacks in at half-time have continued to turn in their favor. But that amazing result at the Camp Nou in 2017 accelerated the trend, so now we're not as surprised by such events as we used to be. The Champions League knockout stage has truly become a machine for making stunning comebacks, so much so that we're almost half expecting something extraordinary to happen in the next two weeks. And that's already over for PSG.2001-02 QF: Deportivo La Coruna 1:4 vs. SF: AC Milan 2:3 vs. SF: AC Milan 2:3 vs. Chelsea (a) / 1:0 (penalty) (h)2011-12 R16: Chelsea 1:3 vs. Lyon (a) / 1:0 (penalties) (h) R16: Borussia Dortmund 0:1 vs. Benfica (a) / 4:0 (h) Benfica ( a ) / 4-0 (h) R16: Monaco 3-5 vs R16: Monaco 3-5 vs R16: Monaco 3-5 vs Manchester City (a) / 3-1 (h) R16: Leicester City 1 - 2 v R16: Manchester United 0:2 v R16: Manchester United 0:2 v R16: Manchester United 0:2 v Paris Saint-Germain (h) / 3:1 (a) Paris Saint-Germain (h) / 3 :1 (a) Atletico Madrid (a) / 3:0 (h) R16: Ajax 1:2 vs. Real Madrid (h) / 4:1 (a) Real Madrid (h) / 4:1 (a) Real Madrid (h) / 4:1 (a) Real Madrid (h) / 4:1 (a) SF: Liverpool 0:3 vs. SF: Liverpool 0:3 vs. SF: Liverpool 0:3 vs. Barcelona (a ) / 4:0 (h) Barcelona (a) / 4:0 (h) Barcelona (a) / 4:0 (h) SF: Tottenham Hotspur 0:1 vs. Ajax (h) / 3:2 (a) Total comebacks: 50 total before Remontada: 36 total in 25 years since Remontada (incl.): 14 in 5 years

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Barcelona suffer third consecutive home defeat leaving Real Madrid a point shy of the LaLiga title

Carlo Ancelotti's men have a 15-point lead with five games to go (Author: Gardener)

BarcelonaBarcelona's defeat leaves rivals Real Madrid on the brink of another LaLiga title (Joan Monfort/AP) - AP Barcelona collapsed to a 1-0 home loss to Rayo Vallecano, putting leaders Real Madrid one step closer to the LaLiga title. With Real not in action ahead of Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg away to Manchester City, second-placed Barca missed a chance to close the 15-point deficit and saw their game become redundant in the hand. Alvaro Garcia's early goal was enough for Rayo to complete a league double against Barca and Real needed just one point from their last five games to win another domestic title. AC Milan reclaimed first place in Serie A when Sandro Tonali scored in added time in a 2-1 win at Lazio. The Rossoneri had seen rivals Inter climb to the top after beating Roma on Saturday and fell back at the Stadio Olimpico when Ciro Immobile gave Lazio a fourth-minute lead. However, veteran French striker Olivier Giroud equalized Milan five minutes into the second half and when it looked like they would have to settle for a draw, Tonali stabbed the ball after a serve from substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Earlier on Sunday, a late goal from substitute Federico Bonazzoli helped Salernitana keep their bid for survival alive in a 2-1 win over Fiorentina in what was the third straight win for Davide Nicola's side. Champions League hopefuls Napoli were stunned as Empoli scored three goals in the last 10 minutes, including a brace from Andrea Pinamonti to go from behind to win 3-2 against the Partenopei at the Stadio Carlo Castellani and eventually their own winless streak of 17 games to finish . Elsewhere, Bologna and Udinese ended 2-2, while Milan Badelj gave Genoa a 1-0 home win over promoted Cagliari in the 89th minute – who are now just three points clear of Salernitana. Davie Selke gave the home side an early lead before Ishak Belfodil put Felix Magath's side four points behind in added time. In Ligue 1, Marseille stayed on course for Champions League qualification with a 1-0 win at Reims. Paris St Germain had clinched the title on Saturday and substitute Gerson struck late as Marseille maintained their six-point advantage over third-placed Rennes, who had beaten Lorient 5-0 earlier in the day despite defender Nayef Aguerd being sent off had been asked. Khephren Thuram scored in the last minute as Nice kept their own European hopes alive with a 1-0 win over relegation-threatened Troyes. Clermont earned a crucial point in their survival after coming from a 2-0 deficit at home to earn a 2-2 draw with Angers, who saw Mohamed Ali-Cho sent off late. Kalifa Coulibaly scored twice as Nantes beat Bordeaux 5-3, while a late Zeki Celik goal gave Lille a 1-0 home win over Strasbourg.

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Barcelona suffer third consecutive home defeat leaving Real Madrid a point shy of the LaLiga title

Carlo Ancelotti's men have a 15-point lead with five games to go (Author: Gardener)

BarcelonaBarcelona's defeat leaves rivals Real Madrid on the brink of another LaLiga title (Joan Monfort/AP) - AP Barcelona collapsed to a 1-0 home loss to Rayo Vallecano, putting leaders Real Madrid one step closer to the LaLiga title. With Real not in action ahead of Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg away to Manchester City, second-placed Barca missed a chance to close the 15-point deficit and saw their game become redundant in the hand. Alvaro Garcia's early goal was enough for Rayo to complete a league double against Barca and Real needed just one point from their last five games to win another domestic title. AC Milan reclaimed first place in Serie A when Sandro Tonali scored in added time in a 2-1 win at Lazio. The Rossoneri had seen rivals Inter climb to the top after beating Roma on Saturday and fell back at the Stadio Olimpico when Ciro Immobile gave Lazio a fourth-minute lead. However, veteran French striker Olivier Giroud equalized Milan five minutes into the second half and when it looked like they would have to settle for a draw, Tonali stabbed the ball after a serve from substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Earlier on Sunday, a late goal from substitute Federico Bonazzoli helped Salernitana keep their bid for survival alive in a 2-1 win over Fiorentina in what was the third straight win for Davide Nicola's side. Champions League hopefuls Napoli were stunned as Empoli scored three goals in the last 10 minutes, including a brace from Andrea Pinamonti to go from behind to win 3-2 against the Partenopei at the Stadio Carlo Castellani and eventually their own winless streak of 17 games to finish . Elsewhere, Bologna and Udinese ended 2-2, while Milan Badelj gave Genoa a 1-0 home win over promoted Cagliari in the 89th minute – who are now just three points clear of Salernitana. Davie Selke gave the home side an early lead before Ishak Belfodil put Felix Magath's side four points behind in added time. In Ligue 1, Marseille stayed on course for Champions League qualification with a 1-0 win at Reims. Paris St Germain had clinched the title on Saturday and substitute Gerson struck late as Marseille maintained their six-point advantage over third-placed Rennes, who had beaten Lorient 5-0 earlier in the day despite defender Nayef Aguerd being sent off had been asked. Khephren Thuram scored in the last minute as Nice kept their own European hopes alive with a 1-0 win over relegation-threatened Troyes. Clermont earned a crucial point in their survival after coming from a 2-0 deficit at home to earn a 2-2 draw with Angers, who saw Mohamed Ali-Cho sent off late. Kalifa Coulibaly scored twice as Nantes beat Bordeaux 5-3, while a late Zeki Celik goal gave Lille a 1-0 home win over Strasbourg.

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