ICC: PSG 2 – 3 Juventus

 

Juventus recorded a thrilling 3-2 victory against PSG thanks to a goal from Claudio Marchisio.

 

A second-half brace from Marchisio helped Juventus to a 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain at the International Champions Cup.

Gonzalo Higuain produced a classy finish on the stroke of half-time to give the Serie A champions a lead at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

But a Goncalo Guedes goal, set up by the impressive Angel Di Maria, saw PSG level early in the second half on Wednesday.

Marchisio scored superbly from 20 yards in the 62nd minute, but Javier Pastore levelled once more for PSG.

However, Juve would not be denied a third time as Marchisio converted from the penalty spot for the match-winner in the 89th minute.

Marco Verratti and Di Maria, both linked with moves from PSG, started, while Dani Alves began on the bench for the clash against his former club.

Juve made an energetic start and Paulo Dybala should have opened the scoring in the fourth minute.

The Argentina international cut in from the right before curling a shot just wide as he aimed for the far corner.

PSG slowly built into the clash, Blaise Matuidi squandering a good chance from a cross before Di Maria forced a diving save from Gianluigi Buffon.

Dybala then went close twice approaching the half-hour mark, forcing Alphonse Areola to save a free-kick before curling a set-piece just wide.

PSG forward Edinson Cavani had the ball in the back of the net in the 33rd minute, but it was correctly ruled out for offside.

Juve looked more dangerous throughout the opening 45 minutes and they deservedly went ahead on the stroke of half-time.

Higuain played a one-two with Dybala before clipping a finish past Areola and into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.

Juve made 10 changes at the break – with only Buffon staying on – while PSG introduced eight new substitutes.

It was a frantic start to the second half, Stefano Sturaro almost doubling Juve’s lead as he struck the post after a Mattia De Sciglio pass, while Giovani Lo Celso forced Buffon into a save before PSG equalised in the 53rd minute.

Di Maria and Layvin Kurzawa exchanged passes down the left before the former poked a pass to the back post, where Guedes tapped in.

A crucial touch from Buffon denied Jese Rodriguez before Marchisio restored Juve’s lead in style.

Kurzawa gave the ball away cheaply and Moise Kean ran at the PSG defence before playing a pass across the area, Marchisio producing a superb first-time finish from 20 yards.

But PSG responded again, a brave Pastore header from a Kurzawa cross making it 2-2 in the 80th minute.

However, Marchisio would score the winner, striking a penalty down the middle after Kean was brought down by Presnel Kimpembe.

Uli Hoeneß: “€222m for Neymar is a sign of weakness.”

Bayern Munich’s president Uli Hoeneß feels it is an admission of failure for a club to spend big in the transfer market, as Paris Saint-Germain continue to be linked with an astonishing €222 million swoop to sign Neymar from Barcelona.

The Ligue 1 giants are ready to smash the world transfer record by meeting the enormous release clause in the Brazil international’s contract, although Barca defender Gerard Pique suggested via a Tweet on Sunday that the 25-year-old has been convinced to remain at Camp Nou.

The attacker is yet to confirm his future has been decided, though, and Hoeneß believes such a transfer would be a bad sign.

“This is a sign of weakness,” he said of the outlays being made across Europe. 

“If I have to spend a lot of money to achieve nothing, it is more of a sign that I have not worked as well somewhere else. And that’s why I cannot be interested in spending so much. 

“Not the most expensive transfer is the best, but the one who does the most. 

“I think that is why, in this shark basin – €100m, €200m – we must find our own way.”

Bayern parted with a Bundesliga record fee of €41.5m to capture Corentin Tolisso from Lyon and brought in Niklas Sule from Hoffenheim for a reported €20m.

But they have also snared potential bargains in the form of Serge Gnabry, a cut-price arrival from Werder Bremen, James Rodriguez, signed on loan from Real Madrid, and free transfer Sebastian Rudy, as the team prepares to try and secure a sixth successive Bundesliga title. 

RB Leipzig sprung a surprise to finish second to Bayern last season, but Hoeneß expects a more predictable rival to vie for the championship in 2017-18.

“Leipzig will play a good season again, but the first challenger will surely be Borussia Dortmund,” he said.

Bayern were without a sporting director in coach Carlo Ancelotti’s first campaign in charge last term, after failing to replace Matthias Sammer, who stepped down in July 2016.

According to Hoeness, though, they are now close to making an appointment.

“We will announce a sporting director within the next six weeks,” he said.

“I’ve already said that (executive chairman) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and I have been looking around, and there have been some talks taking place.”

Alexis joining PSG?

The Arsenal star was in Paris on Friday for talks with PSG’s sporting director and chief executive ahead of a prospective €50 million move to Ligue 1.

The French club are growing increasingly confident of signing the Arsenal star for a €50 million fee inclusive of add-ons following preliminary talks with the Gunners. PSG say “nothing is done yet” regarding a move for Sanchez but the early signs from France suggest it is likely to happen.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has insisted that the club’s stance has not changed and their Chilean talisman will not be sold this summer, but contract talks have not progressed as hoped and Sanchez has shown no sign of committing to an extension which would mean he is available to leave on a free transfer when his deal at Emirates Stadium expires next summer.

Wenger is currently in China where Arsenal have almost completed their pre-season trip and spoke on Thursday about where Sanchez will play in the Gunners forward line next season, insisting that he will fit into the team alongside club-record summer signing Alexandre Lacazette.

Sanchez’s agent Fernando Felicevich has used interest from Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain to increase the salary demands for his client with Pep Guardiola’s side confident of signing the 28-year-old throughout the summer.

Felicevich, previously dubbed ‘the king of South American football’ by Forbes magazine, is regarded as a tough negotiator and his negotiation tactics were recently described as ‘dishonest’ by an intermediary for Brazilian club Vasco da Gama.

It’s understood that Felicevich was present in the meeting at Le Royal Monceau with his business partner Matias Aldao, while PSG had their chairman and chief executive Nasser Al-Khelaifi representing them alongside Henrique.

Al-Khelaifi has a close relationship with Wenger and the two are in regular contact regarding football matters which sees the Frenchman take part in TV work for beIN Sports, the media network founded by the man dubbed ‘the most powerful figure in French football’.

Alexis scored 24 goals in the Premier League last season and admitted while back home in Chile that it is his “dream” of playing in the Champions League – a competition that Arsenal aren’t involved in this season following last campaign’s fifth-placed finish.

“The truth is that the decision doesn’t depend on me,” said Sanchez. 

“I have made my decision, but now we wait for a response from Arsenal. It depends on them, I have to wait to know what they want.

“My idea is to play and win the Champions League, it is a dream I have had since I was little.”

Arsenal’s stance regarding Sanchez has not changed and they were confident earlier in the week that the player would return to pre-season training at London Colney following his holidays, along with the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Hector Bellerin, on July 30.

Roma 1 – 1 PSG (Pen: 3 – 5)


Paris Saint-Germain overcame AS Roma on penalties at the International Champions Cup.

Dani Alves made his debut for PSG as the Ligue 1 giants edged Roma on penalties at the International Champions Cup on Wednesday.

Alves, who signed for PSG earlier this month despite being heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, started at right-back in the 1-1 draw at Comerica Park.

Marquinhos gave PSG a 36th-minute lead after a somewhat scrappy first half, but Roma were the better side in the second.

Umar Sadiq levelled proceedings on the hour-mark and Roma had two penalty shouts turned down in a lively second half before penalties were needed to separate the teams.

Only Gerson failed to convert in the shoot-out, with Marquinhos scoring the decisive penalty in the 5-3 success.

While Alves made his debut for PSG, who are linked with Barcelona star Neymar, recruits Hector Moreno and Lorenzo Pellegrini started for Eusebio Di Francesco’s Roma.

Both teams consistently broke down in the attacking third in the opening exchanges, although Jese Rodriguez had a great chance in the 21st minute.

The forward was put through but was unable to get the ball under control and the opportunity was wasted.

PSG took a deserved lead nine minutes prior to half-time.

Thiago Motta tried to play a one-two with Jese but went down under a challenge, the ball falling to Marquinhos to put away from inside the area.

The Ligue 1 giants continued to threaten to finish the half, Lucas Moura shooting straight at Roma goalkeeper Alisson after a smart Javier Pastore run.

Both teams made changes at the break and it took time for the substitutes to settle in Detroit.

Alves was perhaps fortunate not to give away a penalty in the 57th minute, the Brazilian bringing down Diego Perotti with a slide tackle in the area, only to collect the ball afterwards.

Roma levelled on the hour-mark through 20-year-old forward Sadiq.

A pass over the top from Gerson saw Sadiq put in behind and the Nigerian finished through Alphonse Areola’s legs from an angle.

Daniele De Rossi, who came off the bench, was the next to go close, the midfielder’s 25-yard free-kick tipped over by Areola in the 65th minute.

The lively Umar was then brought down by Presnel Kimpembe in the area, but penalty pleas were again dismissed.

Blaise Matuidi had three late chances for PSG, including blazing over from close range and missing two one-on-ones as a shoot-out followed.

After the first five penalties were converted, Gerson failed to hit the target with his spot-kick as Roma were beaten.

 

Di Maria wants to stay at PSG


 

Angel Di Maria insists that he wants to stay at Paris Saint-Germain despite admitting to difficulties working with Unai Emery last season.

The Argentinian international played 43 times in all competitions in 2016-17 but struggled for form in the early half of the campaign in particular, scoring just once in his first 19 Ligue 1 appearances.

Di Maria has been linked with Inter during recent weeks, despite the Serie A club’s sporting director, Piero Ausilio, suggesting that his wage demands would be too high.

But the 29-year-old has no desire to leave Parc des Princes and believes he has become accustomed to the demands of his head coach in the last few months.

“For me, there’s no doubt about it. I want to stay,” he said. “But, for the club, I don’t know. The reality is that my family are well and I’m happy in Paris.

“I know that not everything went well last season. At first, I didn’t quite understand what the coach was asking me. Then we gradually got to know each other and I think people have seen the change in the last few months. I hope I can reproduce that this year.”

PSG claimed a double of Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue trophies in Emery’s first season, but they lost their league title to Monaco and suffered a Champions League exit against Barcelona after a 6-1 hammering in the last-16 second leg.

Di Maria says regaining their domestic crown and battling to reach the final in Europe’s top competition are their primary goals for next term.

“Like every other year: win everything,” he said when asked about PSG’s objectives. “Last season, we won both cups but we lost the championship and we were knocked out of the Champions League.

“This year, we’ll try to go as far as possible in the Champions League and maybe reach the final. Then we have to win back the title and to defend the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue.”

Di Maria hopes that Dani Alves, who joined on a free transfer after leaving Juventus, can take PSG a step closer to their first Champions League triumph.

“I’ve only played against him. But I’m happy with his signing as he is a player with huge qualities, who will bring something extra to the team and allow us to improve further,” he added.