Messi Critized Brazilian Police Officer

LONDON: Lionel Messi lashed out at Brazilian police after Argentina’s victory over arch-rivals was marred by violence before kick-off.

Ahead of Argentina’s 1-0 win at the iconic Maracana stadium, massive brawls broke out in the stands as fans and police clashed with each other.

After Argentina and Brazil fans started fighting, the police used batons to control the situation, leaving some fans injured and bleeding.

Although Messi was happy about the victory, he still thought about the incident after the match.

“We saw how the police beat the supporters, it already happened during the Libertadores final,” said Messi referring to the incident that took place at the Maracana before Fluminese’s clash against Boca Juniors, earlier this year.

“They are more focused on that (hitting the fans) than the match.

“We went back to the dressing room because that’s the best way to calm things down, tragedy can happen.”

Messi added: ‘We have a family and we decided to continue playing to make sure things are calmer.

Messi also made a post on Instagram after the match, writing ‘this team continues to make history.’

“A great win at the Maracana although it will be remembered as Argentina’s oppression in Brazil once again.

“We can’t let this happen anymore and it should end now!”

Lewandowski Scored Two Goals Against Alaves

BARCELONA: Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski ended his scoring drought by scoring two goals in a 2-1 win over Alaves in La Liga action.

Samu Omorodion put Alaves in front in the first minute but Lewandowski’s double in the second half secured all three points for Barcelona.

The win puts Barcelona four points behind leaders Girona and two points behind Real Madrid.

Veteran striker Lewandowski headed in the equalizer early in the second half before converting a 77th-minute penalty for his seventh league goal.

The Polish striker had previously gone six games without a goal – his worst run in more than a decade.

Barcelona also recorded a string of disappointing results with their manager, Xavi blaming media criticism – which affected the performance of his young players.

“We are more stressed because of the criticism on the team. It used to happen to sayya as a player and now it is happening to my players,” said Xavi.

Alaves needed just 18 seconds to open the scoring when Ilkay Gundogan lost the ball in midfield and Javi Lopez passed to Omorodion who slotted the ball between the legs of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Sevilla Confident They Can Shock Arsenal

LONDON: Arsenal are on the best footing to expand their position at the top of Group B of the European Champions League.

After three games, Mikel Arteta’s men collected six points, one more than Lens and four more than Sevilla and PSV Eindhoven.

Sevilla, who are yet to record a win after three matches, are confident of improving their position, not to mention against Arsenal who beat them 2-1 in the previous match.

“There were times when we played better than Arsenal in attack. We proved that we are capable of making it a difficult game for them. We have high confidence,” said Sevilla manager Nemanja Gudelj.

Gabriel Jesus found the target in the first three group stage games for Arteta’s side.

“It’s not easy to play with the courage we showed on the highest stage. It gives confidence and at the same time we want more,” said Arteta.

Neville Predicts Ten Hag Will Be Fired

MANCHESTER: Gary Neville has warned Erik ten Hag that he may be sacked by Manchester United.

United were knocked out of the League Cup after losing 3-0 to Newcastle at home, three days after being beaten by Manchester City in the Premier League at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag have now made United’s worst start to a season since the 1962-63 campaign and his side have lost five of their first 10 home games for the first time since 1930-31.

United finished third in the league in Ten Hag’s first season and ended a six-year championship drought when they beat Newcastle in last season’s League Cup final.

“Yesterday saw the Theater of Dreams turn into the Theater of Nothing. All United supporters are getting bored and tired.

“On the field, the players performed poorly, the manager struggled in front of our eyes.

“We’ve seen it before, we know how it ends and we’re tired of it,” said Neville.

The Dutchman is the fifth permanent manager since Alex Ferguson retired after winning the 2013 Premier League.

David Moyes only lasted nine months at Old Trafford, while Louis Van Gaal was sacked after two seasons, despite winning the FA Cup in 2015.

Jose Mourinho bagged two trophies, but was sacked midway through his third season when United fell 19 points behind the league leaders.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Mourinho in December 2018 before being made permanent manager four months later.

In July 2021, two months after United lost the Europa League final on penalties, the Norwegian manager extended his contract for a three-year period.

However, he was sacked after four months when United collected just 17 points from their first 12 league games and Solskjaer was replaced by Ralf Rangnick.