LiveScore Daily: Today’s football news in bite-sized chunks
LiveScore Daily is here to deliver all the big talking points from the world of football throughout the day. Keep refreshing this page for the latest stories in bite-sized chunks.
Matt Doherty admitted he and his Tottenham team-mates were left in a state of shock after late VAR drama marred their 1-1 Champions League draw with Sporting.
Spurs thought they had snatched a crucial victory in the dying seconds of Wednesday’s encounter, only for Harry Kane’s strike to be ruled out following a painful four-minute check from video officials.
The England skipper was eventually adjudged to have been in an offside position — a decision which led to boss Antonio Conte being sent off and left his players angry and confused.
Speaking exclusively to LiveScore, Doherty said: "I need to look at the rulebook again because I think we're all pretty confused.
"I was under the impression the ball went backwards and then hit one of their players on the hand and then went forward again.
"That was a different phase of play, maybe? I don't know. I'm a bit confused but I guess VAR thinks it's offside, so we've got to go with that decision and respect it."
The result means Spurs still have their Champions League fate in their own hands, though defeat in Marseille next week would see them crash out of the competition.
Having improved markedly in the game’s latter stages after a slow start, 30-year-old Doherty has called on his team-mates to deliver a more complete performance in the south of France.
The Irish international added: "We’re still top of the group and it's in our own hands still. But we're disappointed at how we performed.
"We want to perform like we did in the second half but for 90 minutes. We wanted to do the business tonight.
"We managed to fight our way back into the game. We know it's going to be a huge atmosphere. It's going to be a huge game for us."
Darwin Nunez has praised former Liverpool forward Luis Suarez for texting him advice after his needless red card against Crystal Palace.
The striker, 23, was given his marching orders on his home debut in August after headbutting Eagles defender Joachim Andersen following an intense physical battle.
It was a classic case of a player losing their head and Nunez’s countryman Suarez — who starred for the Merseysiders between 2011 and 2014 — was quick to reach out with some words of wisdom.
Nunez said: "It was a good thing because not many would bother themselves to pick up the phone and send you a message. I think his gesture was really important for me.
"Luis is a reference point, an idol everywhere in the world. I'm getting started, I'm young, and he knows about all those things because he already played in the Premier League with Liverpool.
"Luis told me that these things will happen in every game in the Premier League, that they'll come and find me, that they're going to bump into me, and that I need to make myself strong and not repeat my screw-up.
"He said, 'Listen to an idiot like me.' I really appreciate that message and the fondness he has for me."
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has paid tribute to the mental strength of his reinvigorated team-mate Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Basque stopper, 28, became football’s most expensive goalkeeper in 2018 but has endured a torrid time at Stamford Bridge, losing the No1 jersey to Edouard Mendy in 2020.
Yet since Graham Potter replaced former boss Thomas Tuchel last month, Kepa has featured in all nine of the Blues’ matches and conceded just four goals in the process.
Azpilicueta told Chelsea’s website: "I’m really happy for him. Of course, he has had tough moments but the strength from him is to always stay positive and to train hard every day.
"We know as a player that you want to play all the time but the manager makes the decision. As a goalkeeper, it is a unique position where I cannot say much because they train on their own a lot of times.
"They spend a lot of time together, so it is a very rare position with their own pressure. They are the last man in goal so every mistake is very watchable and a lot of people criticise them.
"It shows his mentality to be strong and keep working hard for his chance."
Ex-Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick claims he had moves for several stars blocked when in charge at Old Trafford — including Erling Haaland.
Rangnick, now in charge of the Austrian national team, told German media outlet BILD that Old Trafford chiefs had no interest in signing high-profile players during his tenure.
The 64-year-old explained: "There was no such [transfer] dossier, and it was never wanted by the club. But even without such a script, it was clear to everyone that there was a need in many areas.
"That's why we were already discussing players like Josko Gvardiol and Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig. Those were names that were realistic.
"We also talked about Alvaro Morata, Luis Diaz, Dusan Vlahovic and, as I said, Erling Haaland when they were still on the market. But the club decided at that time to rebuild the team under the new coach."
Haaland has gone on to rip up the Premier League leading the line for United’s bitter local rivals Manchester City, netting a remarkable 17 times in 11 top-flight matches this term.
Meanwhile, current Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag has since spent over £200million this summer on the likes of Antony, Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia.