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  • Bellerin admits Arsenal fan taunts force...

    Hector Bellerin has once again played down links to Barcelona and admitted that abuse from Arsenal fans forced him to “man up”. The Spanish full-back was among those to face criticism as the Gunners saw their 2016-17 campaign start to unravel. Wenger reveals toughest ever perio...

    Bellerin admits Arsenal fan taunts forced him to 'man up', but has no plans to leave for Barca

    Hector Bellerin has once again played down links to Barcelona and admitted that abuse from Arsenal fans forced him to “man up”. The Spanish full-back was among those to face criticism as the Gunners saw their 2016-17 campaign start to unravel. Wenger reveals toughest ever period He slipped out of Arsene Wenger’s starting XI on the back of the terrace taunts, as Arsenal sought to emulate the success of Chelsea by switching to three at the back. Rather than hide, though, Bellerin claims testing times have made him stronger, with everyone entitled to their own opinion. “It's something you've got to deal with,” he told the Daily Mail ahead of a FA Cup final clash with Chelsea. “When you win you're going to get fans chanting your name and when you don't do great they're going to give you stick. “Fans were coming to me after saying: ‘Hector, it wasn't directed at you, it was the whole team, you were there because you had a throw-in and the situation put you there’. “But, whatever way, it is part of football and I understand. I am a football fan, I've watched football my whole life. When my favourite team didn't do well I'd get angry. Sanchez wins award, Ozil snubbed “In that sense, I understand the fans in that situation. They need to pour their anger on me. Fair play. In that game, for example, I wasn't playing at my top level. I need to man up and deal with it. “You get the perks of football and the cons. That's one of the things that's going to happen. When you're angry you can say something you don't mean. Everyone's got their opinion and sometimes it's going to hurt.” The criticism of Bellerin fanned the flames of intense transfer talk regarding mooted interest from Barcelona. The 22-year-old has long been linked with a return to his roots but, having committed to a contract at Emirates Stadium through to 2023, he insists that he has no intention of heading home. “I signed my contract for a reason,” said Bellerin. “I signed it because I wanted to be here. I wouldn't have done it otherwise. Wenger plans to give away cup medal “Arsenal is the club that gave me the chance to be a professional and since the first time I met with the boss he's always said if I progressed the right way I could be an Arsenal player for a long time. “I've been here nearly six years and I love London. I'm still discovering the city. “The other day, I was out in the car in east London thinking I'd never been there before. That's what I like about the city.”

  • Fellaini prepared to suffer broken bones...

    Marouane Fellaini says he would break bones for Jose Mourinho after emerging as a key figure at Manchester United. The Belgium international has not always seen his skill set embraced at Old Trafford since completing a £27.5 million move from Everton in 2013. He has often being...

    Fellaini prepared to suffer broken bones for Mourinho as he plans Man Utd stay

    Marouane Fellaini says he would break bones for Jose Mourinho after emerging as a key figure at Manchester United. The Belgium international has not always seen his skill set embraced at Old Trafford since completing a £27.5 million move from Everton in 2013. He has often being accused of embodying what United became in the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, with the club seen to have deserted their footballing roots. Darmian wants Man Utd stay Fellaini has, however, taken on an important role under Mourinho in 2016-17 and is grateful to the Portuguese coach for having restored confidence in his ability both from himself and those in the stands. The 29-year-old, who made 47 appearances in all competitions this season, told hln.be: “When I feel that people trust me, I’m prepared to do everything. “If I have to break my foot for him [Mourinho], I’ll do it. That’s me. Even when I’m in pain, I play.” Fellaini will form part of Mourinho’s plans once again in 2017-18, having seen a 12-month extension option in his contract triggered. He is, however, looking past that point and hopes fresh terms will be tabled at some stage which allow him to further extend his time with the Red Devils. Griezmann denies Utd reports “Now I am here at Manchester United, I'm in and want to stay here,” Fellaini added. “I work every day with great players, with great staff, at a great club and I'm happy to be here and try to give everything for this club.” Fellaini figured in all three of United’s 2016-17 trophy triumphs, with the Belgian gracing the Community Shield, EFL Cup final and Europa League final.

  • Emery: PSG focused on winning Coupe de F...

    Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery talked up the importance of his side's Coupe de France final against Angers. Mbappe: Buffon deserves Ballon d'Or The Ligue 1 giants have endured a disappointing campaign, claiming only the Coupe de la Ligue and Trophee des Champions. PSG fa...

    Emery: PSG focused on winning Coupe de France

    Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery talked up the importance of his side's Coupe de France final against Angers. Mbappe: Buffon deserves Ballon d'Or The Ligue 1 giants have endured a disappointing campaign, claiming only the Coupe de la Ligue and Trophee des Champions. PSG face Angers in Paris on Saturday aiming to win the Coupe de France for a record 11th time, and that is a motivating factor for Emery. "My only thought is for the game. It is a good challenge that this is the 100th edition of the Coupe de France," he said during a news conference. "We have 10 titles like Marseille so it's very important to win. "We started the season with a title with the Trophee des Champions, we hope to finish with another. "I saw the players concentrated all week in training. They want to win this title." After winning four consecutive league titles, PSG saw their run ended this season by Monaco. Emery's men also were eliminated in the last 16 of the Champions League.

  • No Giovinco, no Altidore? No problem for...

    TORONTO — Greg Vanney has made a lot of noise about the quality of depth enjoyed by Toronto FC, and Friday night his team showed that perhaps the coach is on to something. Vanney boldly declared earlier this season that his team may be the deepest in MLS history, and Toronto's 5...

    No Giovinco, no Altidore? No problem for Toronto FC in rampant victory over Columbus

    TORONTO — Greg Vanney has made a lot of noise about the quality of depth enjoyed by Toronto FC, and Friday night his team showed that perhaps the coach is on to something. Vanney boldly declared earlier this season that his team may be the deepest in MLS history, and Toronto's 5-0 win over the Columbus Crew led him to double down on his words. MLS Talking Points: Cascadia rivals clash With Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore sidelined, it was unclear ahead of the match where TFC's offense would come from. Altidore and Giovinco have combined for 12 goals in 2017, which was over half of Toronto's total output heading into the meeting with Columbus. Altidore was sitting because of yellow card accumulation and Giovinco was nursing a quad injury, so one could have forgiven Vanney and his staff had they approached the match a bit more pragmatically than usual. After all, TFC's lone loss in league play this season came at the hands of Columbus. Instead, the league's hottest team managed its biggest victory of the season, dismantling the Crew thanks to contributions from all over the field. "It was awesome," goalkeeper Alex Bono said. "We talked before the game about how no Jozy, no Seba doesn’t mean we take the foot off the gas. We came into the game expecting to make a statement and we did." Instead of employing an overly defensive setup, Toronto chose to soak up pressure and hit on the counterattack through new striking duo Tosaint Ricketts and Ben Spencer. With Ricketts providing the pace and Spencer adding brawn to the TFC attack, the pairing paid off almost immediately, as Ricketts made Crew center back Jonathan Mensah look like he was standing still en route to a sixth-minute penalty kick. Ricketts had initially stepped up to take the spot kick, but he was waved off and replaced by Victor Vazquez, who made no mistake in slotting past Zack Steffen for the early advantage. It was Vazquez who sent Ricketts in on goal, and from that moment the Spaniard seemingly took it upon his own shoulders to replace the missing threat of Altidore and Giovinco. If he wasn't creating, he was teeing up shots for himself, and he nearly caught a flat-footed Steffen out of position in the 50th minute after pressuring Crew right back Harrison Afful into a giveaway. It was only moments later when Vazquez would punctuate his night with an audacious free kick under the Columbus wall to seal the victory — although there were still two more goals to be had for Toronto. WATCH: Vazquez's tricky free kick "He is two steps ahead of everyone," Vanney said of Vazquez, who now has three goals and a league-leading eight assists in his first MLS campaign. "He knows how much time he has, he knows where the pressure is coming from, he knows where the outs are and knows where the passes that can hurt people. He has the ability to make those passes and he is just very clever. Of all the attacking midfielders [in MLS], he is the most clever by a long shot." While Vazquez was the clear star of the night, Toronto enjoyed stellar performances elsewhere. It's hardly surprising that captain Michael Bradley was among the leaders on the night, outpacing all his teammates in pass completion and total passes made. Bradley and Vazquez aside, Toronto's local contingent also had a clear impact on the match. Vanney's three substitutes — Jonathan Osorio, Jordan Hamilton and Raheem Edwards — combined for two goals and three assists in the rout. It was the kind of contribution that Vanney has come to expect from a team that is now unbeaten in eight league matches, with seven of those being wins. Vanney: "We have the deepest team in the league. Maybe the deepest ever. I stand by that." #TFCLive | #TORvCLB — Toronto FC (@torontofc) May 27, 2017 "We are over the moon about scoring five goals on a day like today," Vanney said. "We had contributions from a lot of guys and had a guy (Spencer) make his first ever appearance in MLS, and all three substitutions making a big impact.  "The game pretty much went according to plan." If that was the plan without the league's most dynamic attacking duo, one can only imagine what TFC has in store for the rest of the season.

  • Toronto 5 Columbus Crew 0: Eastern Confe...

    Eastern Conference leaders Toronto thrashed Columbus Crew 5-0 in MLS on Friday. A Victor Vazquez brace and goals from Justin Morrow, Jonathan Osorio and Jordan Hamilton saw Toronto to their resounding win at BMO Field. An 81st-minute red card to Marco Delgado was the only low p...

    Toronto 5 Columbus Crew 0: Eastern Conference leaders cruise

    Eastern Conference leaders Toronto thrashed Columbus Crew 5-0 in MLS on Friday. A Victor Vazquez brace and goals from Justin Morrow, Jonathan Osorio and Jordan Hamilton saw Toronto to their resounding win at BMO Field. An 81st-minute red card to Marco Delgado was the only low point as the hosts extended their unbeaten league run to eight matches. Former Barcelona midfielder Vazquez opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Morrow doubled the lead prior to half-time. It was 3-0 just before the hour-mark as Vazquez struck with a clever free-kick, side-footing under the wall from the edge of the area. While Delgado saw red, Toronto still managed to add two more goals through Osorio and Hamilton as they retained the Trillium Cup. Toronto are five points clear atop the conference, while Columbus are fifth.

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