Morocco should be the more buoyant side in the second leg of their 2022 World Cup play-off tie on Tuesday after grabbing a crucial away goal in the 75th minute against 10-man DR Congo to earn a 1-1 draw in Kinshasa in the first leg.
Brentford’s Yoane Wissa had giving the hosts the lead in the 11th minute before Tarik Tissoudali gave the Atlas Lions the equaliser.
DR Congo’s Leopards finished the game with 10 men after Glody Ngonda, who will now be suspended for Tuesday’s second leg in Casablanca, was dismissed after receiving a second yellow card five minutes from time.
It may be too early to claim Egypt have avenged their 2021 Afcon final lose to Senegal, but their narrow win against the team that denied them an eighth African crown in the first leg of their World Cup play-off in Cairo will have the Pharaohs buzzing.
A fourth-minute own goal by Senegal’s Saliou Ciss was enough to give Egypt a 1-0 win meaning African champions must put in the work if they are to secure a slot in the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar in November.
Both teams that the work is not finished as the face each other in the second leg in Dakar on Tuesday with the aggregate winner jumping on a plane to participate in the global showpiece event.
In a classic David-versus-Goliath battle, only the bravest of punters would have bet on North Macedonia beating Italy in a friendly, let alone stop the Azzurrri from progressing to the World Cup.
But this is sport, and sports editors live for such moments. The headlines you have woken up today are true: Italy won’t take part in the 2022 World Cup after being upstaged by minnows North Macedonia in European play-offs, at home in Palermo, no less.
This means the European champions will have to sit out the global showpiece event for the second consecutive time after also failing to qualify for the for the 2018 championship held in Russia.
It was Aleksandar Trajkovski who did the damage, picking up the loose ball in the 92nd minute, droving forward and firing a sensational winner from outside the area.
After beating England at Wembley to win Euro 2020 last year, the four-time World Cup winners Italy, ranked sixth in the world, will now watch events in Qatar in November and December from afar.
This is football!
Manchester United are hoping to appoint a new manager before the season closes as they look to reverse the fortunes of the club that has been on a downhill trajectory since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
With interim manager Ralf Rangnick set to step aside at end of the season, the Red Devils are reportedly keen to have someone in place as soon as possible.
Ajax’s Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino are some of the hot-favourites to take over in summer.
Man United managers since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013
David Moyes – appointed on May 9, 2013 .
Louis Van Gaal – announced on May 19, 2014 .
Jose Mourinho – named Manchester United manager on May 27, 2016.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – appointed caretaker manager in December 19, 2018, and later named permanent manager in March 28, 2019.
Ralf Rangnick – interim manager from December to June 2022.
If you thought the Manchester City juggernaut would at some point slow down, then think again.
In a move that will not only have their Premier League counterparts but also fellow European heavweights quaking in their boots, Man City have reportedly landed the services of goal predator, and all-round footballing beast, Erling Haaland.
The Norwegian, according to the Daily Mail, is set to bid Borussia Dortmund bye and join the Cityzens this summer.
With super agent Mino Raiola pulling the strings, City are said to be ready to fork out close to £100m to sign the player who has a release clause of £63million in his Dortmund contract.
Pocket change for City but, more importantly, a coup for Pep Guardiola who will nab the 21-year-old player highly coveted by Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.
City are looking to seal the gapping hole in the front left by the departure of club legend Sergio Aguero, and Haaland’s 80 goals from 79 appearances for the Bundesliga indicate he is just be the man for the job.
The young Norwegian’s career return of 149 from 190 games quite sums it up well, doesn’t it?
Max Verstappen has signed a new mega deal with Red Bull believed to be worth $50 million a year.
His arch rival and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who he dramatically beat to the title in Abu Dhabi last December is rumoured to earn a salary of about £40m from Mercedes, minus his many endorsements.
The 24 year-old new contract with Red Bull will lasts until the end of 2028 when he will be 30-years-old.
The Dutchman made his debut aged 17 in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix for Toro Rosso and in 2016 was promoted to Red Bull.
Verstappen said: “I love this team and last year was simply incredible.
“Our goal since we came together in 2016 was to win the championship and we have done that. Now it’s about keeping the number one on the car long term.”
Red Bull enter a new era in 2022 following the departure of engine partner Honda from F1.
Red Bull have taken over the intellectual property for the engine and set up their own engine division on their campus in Milton Keynes.
It is now emarging that Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti could be on his way back to England for the third time this summer.
Regarded as one of the greatest and most successful managers in the world, Ancelotti could be in line to take up the reins at Manchester United as the club ramps up efforts to secure a world-class manager in summer.
The 62-year-old has a close cordial relationship with legendary former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who still calls the shot at the club
Ancelotti is one of only three managers to have won EUFA Champions leugue three times, twice with Ac Milan and once with Real Madrid.B ob Paisley and Zinedine Zidane are other manegers.
Nicknamed Carletto he boast an impresive CV having coached the likes of Real Madrid Everton Juventus Bayern Munich Paris Saint Germain Napoli Chelsea to name but a few
Ancelotti previous stint in England saw him bag the Premier League and the FA Cup with Chelsea, but was unlucky not to have won any trophy at the Goodison Park
His current team Real Madrid sit at the summit of LaLiga , with six point cushion
Rumour has it that Paris Saint-Germain Manager Mauricio Pochettino could replace Ancelotti at Real Madrid if he leaves.
Roman Abramovich is reportedly on the verge of selling his “most-beloved possession” – the Chelsea Football Club – as he feels the heat over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to the Daily Mail, Abramovich will receive bids for the club this week as calls for the Russian oligarch to banned from owning the club and other assets in the United Kingdom grow because of his close ties with the Russian strongman Vladmir Putin.
On Saturday, two days after Russia attacked Ukraine, the billioanire put the club in the hands of Chelsea Foundation trustees in a bid to insulate his investment from the effects of the fallout of the aggression, but it appears this might not work afterall.
Rangers v Red Star Belgrade
Braga v Monaco
Porto v Lyon
Atalanta v Bayer Leverkusen
Sevilla v West Ham
Barcelona v Galatasaray
RB Leipzig v Spartak Moscow
Real Betis v Eintracht Frankfurt
The first legs will be played on 10 March with the second legs on 17 March.
European football governing body, Uefa, has moved this year’s Champions League final from St Petersburg to Paris following the Ukraine invasion.
Europe’s most prestigious club competition was due to be played at the Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg on May 28 will now be staged at the Stade de France in Paris
Uefa has also ordered Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams to play their home matches away from the region.
Spartak Moscow are the only Russian team left in European club competition this season, having reached the Europa League last 16
They will find out their opponents – with Scottish Premiership champions Rangers one of the clubs they could be paired with – when the draw takes place today.
Uefa expressed “thanks and appreciation” to French President Emmanuel Macron for “his personal support and commitment to have European club football’s most prestigious game moved to France at a time of unparalleled crisis.”