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Messi, Mbappe, Neymar all score in PSG rout

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Messi, Mbappe, Neymar all score in PSG rout

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe each scored twice and Neymar added another as Paris Saint-Germain routed Maccabi Haifa 7-2 at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday to cruise into the Champions League last 16.

The star attacking trio each found the net to put the hosts up 3-0 inside just 35 minutes. Messi then produced another sumptuous finish just before the interval to complete an eye-catching first-half attacking display.

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There was little letup in the second half, with Mbappe curling in for his second before an own goal from Maccabi’s Sean Goldberg and a seventh goal, by substitute Carlos Soler, completed the rout.

Messi, who also assisted the goals for Neymar and Soler, now has 11 goals and 12 assists in all competitions for PSG this season, already matching his goal total from his disappointing first campaign in the French capital.

Messi, Mbappe and Neymar also all scored in the reverse fixture in Israel last month, which PSG won 3-1. Before Goldberg’s own goal on Tuesday, PSG’s past 19 Champions League goals had been scored by a member of the “MNM,” dating back to last season.

“I saw the players enjoy themselves, and that’s very important,” PSG coach Christophe Galtier said of the 4-3-3 system he employed. “I had to think about how our fantastic three players up front could express themselves as best as possible and that the system could be very important.

“It’s very pleasant to train them, to see them play every day. For a coach, it’s paradise.”

At the other end, there were some brief signs of defensive fragility, with Maccabi Haifa defender Abdoulaye Seck twice able to find the net with headers from set pieces.

The victory, though, was never in doubt, leaving PSG to clinch their place in the Champions League knockout stage with a game to spare.

Galtier’s side are level on 11 points with also-qualified Benfica but now have a comfortable edge on goal difference.

PSG will travel to Juventus in the final round of group fixtures next week knowing they need only match Benfica’s result on the road against Maccabi Haifa to clinch the top spot in the group..

Despite their heavy defeat, Maccabi remain level on three points with Juve and will go into their last game still hopeful of sealing a Europa League spot.

PSG took a while to find their attacking rhythm on Tuesday, but once they did, they were devastating.

Messi got the ball rolling in the 19th minute with a silky opening goal scored with the outside of his left foot after being played in by Mbappe on the left side of the area.

Mbappe’s opener was just as classy, the French forward bending a right-footer in the 32nd minute past Maccabi goalkeeper Josh Cohen who could not be faulted for any of PSG’s goals.

It began to turn ugly for Maccabi three minutes later when Mbappe and Messi combined to play in Neymar and the Brazilian’s shot went in on off the post.

PSG switched off defensively to allow an unmarked Seck to head in from Omer Atzili‘s free kick, but Messi then swapped passes with Neymar before dropping his shoulder and belting a left-footed shot low into the corner to make it 4-1 at half-time.

Maccabi actually bossed the opening 10 minutes of the second half, and when PSG made a hash of clearing a corner, Seck looped a header over Gianluigi Donnarumma and into the net.

The visiting fans celebrated joyously, but PSG then moved through the gears to run riot.

In the 64th minute, Mbappe was picked out by a diagonal pass from Achraf Hakimi, and he took a deft touch before picking out the far corner. As Maccabi finally lost heart, Neymar’s dribble and low cross ended with Goldberg netting an own goal.

Messi, who was denied a record-extending ninth Champions League hat trick by the crossbar, then set up Soler to wrap up the scoring with a low shot.

“We caught Paris on a good day. The smallest slip in concentration against players like that and they can score or have a big chance,” Maccabi defender Dylan Batubinsika said.

“We managed to score twice today, which is a positive, and we can still finish third in the group.”

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

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‘He’s a Disgrace to Mexico’: Canelo Alvarez Shredded Into Pieces by Fans Despite Honest Apology to Lionel Messi For Violent Threats

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‘He’s a Disgrace to Mexico’: Canelo Alvarez Shredded Into Pieces by Fans Despite Honest Apology to Lionel Messi For Violent Threats

The rising soccer fever stemming from the FIFA World Cub 2022, also saw a lot of drama revolving around it. And the recent Mexico vs Argentina match was a testament to the same. Pound-for-pound superstar Canelo Alvarez gave way to controversy for threatening football legend, Lionel Messi, after Argentina’s post-victory celebration. However, Alvarez recently took to social media to apologize for his statements.

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Mexico faced Argentina at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar. It was a stressful match for Argentina, as it was the last chance for them to prove their mettle in the 2022 World Cup, after previously losing to Saudi Arabia.

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A goal each from Messi and Enzo Fernandez saved the day for Argentina. The victory, in turn, lifted the spirits of both the players and fans. Moreover, a video was later released showing the Argentinian team celebrating in their locker room.

Nov 5, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Canelo Alvarez weighs in for his super middleweight championship boxing match against Caleb Plant (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This video however did not sit well with Alvarez. He alleged that he saw Messi cleaning the floor and his shoe with the Mexican flag and jersey. Alvarez further went on to threaten the soccer icon. He did not even hesitate to ask Messi to pray for his safety from bodily harm.

However, Alvarez later took to Twitter to issue an official apology to Messi and the people of Argentina. He mentioned that he got carried away by his love and passion for his country.

Alvarez further went on to wish both teams success in the World Cup.

Canelo Alvarez evokes a response from fans after his apology

Fans were quick to respond after Canelo Alvarez issued an apology. In fact, they also took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the same.

I massively respect this actually. People can say sht on emotion & then double down & refuse to back down because of pride. Well done Canelo, that was classy

— Chris Andre Boxing (@BetBoxing) November 30, 2022

User @BetBoxing was quick to appreciate Alvarez for his apology. And also mentioned that what he did was a class act.

Messi won without acknowledging him. Not even one word LMAO

— charles (@Charlesbcgc) November 30, 2022

To be fair messi probably doesn’t even know who he is

— Chris Drinkwater (@cddrinkwater) November 30, 2022

Meanwhile, a few fans pointed out that Messi did not react to the threats. But, user @cddrinkwater felt that it might be because Messi is unaware of who Alvarez is.

He’s a disgrace to Mexico, Messi prob got Bivol to have a word with him or something 🤣

— Sergio Kamos📿 (@Kamzillaa17) November 30, 2022

User @Kamzilla17 did not mince words while calling Alvarez a disgrace to Mexico. Moreover, he joined other fans in stating that Dmitry Bivol might have had a hand in the apology.

On the other hand, user @AaaronnSTFC felt that footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a hand in Alvarez’s apology.

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While another user hilariously mentioned that Alvarez saw Mike Tyson wearing a Messi shirt.

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WATCH THIS STORY – Five fighters who have the best chance of beating Canelo Alvarez 

What are your thoughts on Alvarez’s apology? Do share in the comments below.

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Messi’s World Cup dreams remain intact after a win for Argentina over Poland

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Messi’s World Cup dreams remain intact after a win for Argentina over Poland

Lionel Messi’s sporting legacy did not hinge on the result of Wednesday’s World Cup match between Argentina and Poland.

But his dreams of winning a World Cup, and achieving what he himself called the “impossible dream,” hung in the balance.

Argentina took the field at Stadium 974 in Doha for their final match of group play needing a win, or a draw and some help, to advance to the knockout stage of the 2022 World Cup. With everything to play for, and in front of a crowd that provided the feel of a home match for Argentina, Messi and company finally broke through in the second half, punching their ticket to the round of 16 with an impressive 2-0 victory over Poland.

As the match wound down, the focus shifted from whether Messi and Argentina would advance, to whether Poland themselves – who entered the final day of group play atop the group – would survive.

Messi himself had an early chance in the 11th minute from a tough angle, but his shot was deflected behind goal by Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny for a corner. Poland would eventually clear, keeping the match level.

Argentina would have another tremendous chance in the 28th minute:

Szczensy managed to block a shot off the right foot of Julian Alvarez, but the rebound settled at the feet of Marcos Acuna, whose own attempt went just.

They kept the pressure on, and in the 33rd minute Angel Di Maria curled in a beautiful ball on a corner, forcing Szczensy to react and punch the ball over:

As you can see, even Szczensy appreciated Di Maria’s attempt at the Olimpico.

The Polish keeper would not appreciate what happened moments later. On a ball into the box, Szczensy came off the line to try and punch the ball away before Messi could get to it, and made contact with Messi’s face. After a review, Argentina was awarded a penalty.

And with the eyes of the world on him, along with the hopes of the nation, Messi stepped to the spot.

Only to be denied:

Here is another look at the effort from the Polish keeper, who read it right and then used his massive frame to deny Messi:

But Argentina kept the pressure on, keeping Poland on their heels and forcing Szczensy to make save after save. And by the time the whistle blew for halftime, Argentina had 14 shots to their credit, and Szczensy had made nine saves, including the penalty kick.

Yet the match was scoreless.

The story of the second half would be whether the one-way traffic of the match would finally result in a goal from Argentina, or if Szczensy and Poland could withstand the pressure, and perhaps counter with a goal of their own.

We got the mere seconds into the second half:

Argentina finally broke through off the first touch from Alexis Mac Allister, after the cross played back into the box from Nahuel Molina.

It was Mac Allister’s first goal for Argentina in international play.

The goal also put some pressure on Poland, and their own chances for advancing into the round of 16. Poland could advance even with a loss, but suddenly the result between Mexico and Saudi Arabia came into focus. Mexico scored twice early in the second half, pulling them level in the group with Poland on four points each.

Meaning the margin in both games could be decisive, with goal differential between Poland and Mexico the first tiebreaker, and goals scored the second.

So when Alvarez scored in the 68th minute, it was time to panic on the Polish bench. The goal from Alvarez meant that Poland and Mexico were level not just on goal differential, but also goals scored.

Which would bring the next tiebreaker into play, the FIFA “fair play points” calculus, into view. Poland, having been shown just four yellow cards during group play, held that advantage over Mexico, who had seen seven.

But another goal from either Mexico, or Argentina, would change that. As would a red card for either Mexico or Poland. Those also seemed like the only likely options, as Poland lacked any attacking capabilities throughout the match with Argentina. Messi and company continued to dominate possession and the flow of play, and even quick chances at counters failed to materialize for Poland.

In the 78th minute, Grzegorz Krychowiak received a yellow card for Poland, bringing that potential tiebreaker even closer, and reducing Poland’s margins for error that much more.

As the match moved into the 81st minute, Argentina seemed to dial back the pressure a bit, and settled for controlling the ball and the pace, rather than pushing forward as they had been for the first 80 minutes of play.

Argentina did have a fantastic chance at another goal in the 86th minute, when Poland gave the ball away in their own end. Lautaro Martínez won the race to the ball and put another shot towards goal for Argentina, but the ball rolled wide of the goal, keeping Poland alive:

Six minutes of stoppage time were added, meaning that Poland needed to hang on for a little longer, while hoping things remained as they were between Saudi Arabia and Mexico. Argentina had two incredible chances during stoppage time, the first of which required a header off the line to keep Poland alive:

Finally the final whistle blew, and it was time for Poland to sit and watch the match between Mexico and Saudi Arabia, and hope for good news.

Poland got that good news, as Saudi Arabia scored in stoppage time, giving Poland the edge on goal differential over Mexico.

You could almost hear the sighs of relief form the Polish bench, over the still-present roar of Argentina’s fans.

While the chaotic finish to both matches might be the story of the day, the bigger picture is Messi, and his dreams of a World Cup remaining intact after a difficult start in the loss to Saudi Arabia. With the victory from Argentina – and the win for Mexico – Argentina advances as the winners of the group, avoiding a meeting with France in the round of 16.

And Messi’s visions of an impossible dream survive for a few more nights, at least.

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Canelo Alvarez apologizes to Lionel Messi, Argentina over attacks: ‘I got carried away by the passion’

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Canelo Alvarez apologizes to Lionel Messi, Argentina over attacks: ‘I got carried away by the passion’


Canelo Alvarez is sorry.

The boxing champion has issued an apology to soccer star Lionel Messi, as well as the nation of Argentina, following multiple threats and accusations on Twitter in recent days.

On Sunday, Canelo accused Messi of disrespecting Mexico after a video surfaced where Messi was seen taking off his cleats, and Messi’s foot appears to make contact with a Mexico jersey that was on the floor of their locker room after their 2-0 win over Mexico in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Canelo says he got carried by the emotions and was clearly in the wrong.

“These last few days I got carried away by the passion and love I feel for my country and made comments that were out of place, for which I want to apologize to Messi and the people of Argentina,” Canelo wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “Every day we learn something new, and this time it was my turn.

“I wish both teams much success in their matches today, and here we will continue supporting Mexico until the end.”

Estos últimos días me dejé llevar por la pasión y el amor que siento por mi país e hice comentarios que estuvieron fuera de lugar por lo que quiero disculparme con Messi y la gente de Argentina. Todos los días aprendemos algo nuevo y esta vez me tocó a mí.

— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) November 30, 2022

Les deseo mucho éxito a ambas selecciones en sus partidos de hoy y aquí seguiremos apoyando a México hasta el final 🇲🇽🇲🇽🇲🇽

— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) November 30, 2022

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