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Celta Vigo 0-3 Barcelona: Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and an own-goal from Lucas Olaza seal victory

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celta vigo 0 3 barcelona ansu fati sergi roberto and an own goal from lucas olaza seal victory

Barcelona sent a message to the rest of La Liga in the wind and rain at Vigo on Thursday night – forget the dramas of pre-season, we are still the team to beat this year.

They ran out 3-0 winners against Celta Vigo despite being reduced to 10-men at the end of the first half.

They had not beaten Celta away in six years but despite the inclement conditions and being a man down the three points never looked in doubt.

Barcelona sealed a comfortable 3-0 victory over Celta Vigo on Thursday night in La Liga

Barcelona sealed a comfortable 3-0 victory over Celta Vigo on Thursday night in La Liga

Lionel Messi and Co have enjoyed a fine start to the campaign under new boss Ronald Koeman

Lionel Messi and Co have enjoyed a fine start to the campaign under new boss Ronald Koeman

Ansu Fati put them in front after 12 minutes when he beat Ivan Villar at his near post after Celta Vigo failed to clear.

Barcelona were dominant with a transformed Philippe Coutinho running things in midfield and Lionel Messi a live-wire in attack but red cards might have shaken their hold on the game.

First Gerard Pique fouled Denis Suarez as he was through on goal and was sent off by Carlos Del Cerro Grande.

The offside flag had been raised against Suarez and so Pique’s card did not count. But having got away with losing one centre back they then lost the other.

Sergi Roberto celebrates after putting the icing on the cake for the visitors in the La Liga clash

Sergi Roberto celebrates after putting the icing on the cake for the visitors in the La Liga clash

Despite going down to 10 men, Barcelona looked comfortable all night against Celta Vigo

Despite going down to 10 men, Barcelona looked comfortable all night against Celta Vigo

Messi celebrates after Lucas Olaza put into his own net as Barcelona went 2-0 up in the rain

Messi celebrates after Lucas Olaza put into his own net as Barcelona went 2-0 up in the rain

Lenglet had already been booked and when he caught Suarez in the neck with an outstretched forearm he was given a second caution.

Celta were not inspired by the man advantage and Barcelona continued to dominate. At times it seemed as if they were the only team playing in the dismal early winter conditions.

Messi tricked his way into the area and when his shot struck full back Lucas Olaza the ball was diverted past Villar for 2-0.

Barcelona centre back Clement Lenglet receives his marching orders just before half-time

Barcelona centre back Clement Lenglet receives his marching orders just before half-time

Pique then collided with a post and looked as if he might not be able to continue but he limped back on and Barcelona saw out the 90 minutes with more strength and energy than their opponents.

It was striking that in added time it was Barca and not Celta who were chasing another goal and it was right back Sergio Roberto who smashed their third into the roof of the net after Messi had been denied by Villar.

Barcelona were a comical soap opera through the summer. Two games into the season they’ve been seriously impressive. And coach Koeman still has a few more days to make some final adjustments to his squad. Little wonder Messi and his coach were both smiling broadly when the final whistle was blown.

Ansu Fati pictured putting Barcelona 1-0 ahead in the 12th minute before their cruising victory

Ansu Fati pictured putting Barcelona 1-0 ahead in the 12th minute before their cruising victory

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Ed Woodward slams the Government for their lack of ‘consistency’ over return of fans

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ed woodward slams the government for their lack of consistency over return of fans

Manchester United chief Ed Woodward has implored the Government to follow the lead of other European countries and allow football fans back into stadiums now.

Supporters have not been allowed to watch professional football matches in the UK since the end of March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and while other countries have begun to loosen restrictions, the Government is yet to act on British shores.

Woodward has now added his voice to the debate, insisting that every Premier League clubs are confident they could accommodate the return of fans safely.

Ed Woodward has slammed the Government for their lack of 'consistency' regarding fans

Ed Woodward has slammed the Government for their lack of 'consistency' regarding fans

Ed Woodward has slammed the Government for their lack of ‘consistency’ regarding fans

Other European countries have begun to let their fans back in; pictured is Rennes on Tuesday

Other European countries have begun to let their fans back in; pictured is Rennes on Tuesday

Other European countries have begun to let their fans back in; pictured is Rennes on Tuesday

Speaking on Wednesday, the United supremo said: ‘Another crucial issue for the whole of football is the reopening of stadiums to spectators as soon as the Government allows. 

‘While the situation in Greater Manchester and the UK as a whole continues to evolve, our plans for this are well advanced and we are confident of ours and the whole league’s ability to welcome them back in a safe, bio-secure environment. 

‘Crowds have been permitted to return to varying degrees in over 20 European countries, albeit with significant capacity restrictions to allow for social distancing, and we urge the UK government to follow these positive examples as soon as it is safe to do so.

‘While we recognise that public health must always be the priority, what is needed is consistency of approach. If people are allowed to sit in a plane for hours, or in the cinema, or even watch football in a cinema why not outside in a stadium environment which is professionally managed and controlled? 

Boris Johnson is still not allowing fans to return to stadiums in small numbers in the UK

Boris Johnson is still not allowing fans to return to stadiums in small numbers in the UK

Boris Johnson is still not allowing fans to return to stadiums in small numbers in the UK

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34663026 0 image a 19 1603286021508

Old Trafford remains empty as United wait to get the green light to begin the return of fans

‘If indoor concerts are allowed, why should outdoor, socially-distanced football fans be treated differently? Fans are the bedrock of this game and some of the inconsistencies out there are frustrating for them and for the Clubs.’

Woodward’s words will be met with plenty of positivity from other English clubs, as they patiently wait to be given the green light from the Government.

Clubs are haemorrhaging cash with no gate money coming in, and they will be desperate to open their doors once more.

United in particular have accrued huge debts in 2020, announcing on Wednesday morning that their debts have soared 133 per cent to a huge £474.1million. 

This is partly due to the lack of fans, but also due to decreased TV deals and sponsorship, as well as their outlay on new players in the transfer window. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Ed Woodward tries to appease fans by insisting United have spent more than ANY top European club

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ed woodward tries to appease fans by insisting united have spent more than any top european club

Manchester United chief Ed Woodward has attempted to appease the club’s fans by bragging that they have spent more than any of their European rivals over the last three transfer windows – despite a huge rise in debts amid the Covid-19 pandemic.    

The executive vice-chairman and hierarchy at Old Trafford have come under fire for their work in the transfer market in recent years, but Woodward was keen to praise their summer purchases.

Speaking upon the release of United’s finances on Wednesday, in which it was revealed their debt has risen a massive 133 per cent to £474.1million, Woodward insisted that the club have fully backed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.  

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34661166 0 image a 109 1603283463935

Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward has bragged about Manchester United’s recent spend

United signed Edinson Cavani, among others, from Paris Saint-Germain the summer window

United signed Edinson Cavani, among others, from Paris Saint-Germain the summer window

United signed Edinson Cavani, among others, from Paris Saint-Germain the summer window

Woodward was insistent that Manchester United have backed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Woodward was insistent that Manchester United have backed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Woodward was insistent that Manchester United have backed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

‘We are pleased with our recent additions to the First Team squad of Donny van de Beek and Alex Telles, two players we had been tracking as part of our recruitment process for a long period, and Edinson Cavani, a top striker who adds a new option to our forward line,’ he said.

‘We also welcome Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo, who will join in January, two exciting young prospects who have also been scouted extensively. 

‘Added to the arrival of Bruno Fernandes earlier this year, these recruits underscore our continued commitment to strengthening the squad and take our net investment in new players since summer 2019 to over €200m – more, I believe, than any other major European club over that time period.’ 

Manchester United released their latest quarterly financial results on Wednesday morning

Manchester United released their latest quarterly financial results on Wednesday morning

Manchester United released their latest quarterly financial results on Wednesday morning

Alex Telles was another major arrival at Old Trafford amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Alex Telles was another major arrival at Old Trafford amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Alex Telles was another major arrival at Old Trafford amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has decimated finances at most of Europe’s top clubs this summer, and Woodward picked out Chelsea as the ‘outlier’ for spending so big while others shied away.

‘At a club level, many of our peers were cautious, with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and PSG having a combined net spent of €9m; or a median net spend of €13m,’ Woodward continued.

‘Of course there were one or two outliers the other way, most notably Chelsea, who were making up for not being able to be active during their transfer ban in summer 2019. 

‘But one needs to look across multiple windows to gain a clearer perspective; and as I mentioned earlier our aggregate net investment over the last 3 transfer windows compares very favourably with our peers.

United owners Avram Glazer (left) and Joel Glazer will take a heavy hit amid the Covid-19 crisis

United owners Avram Glazer (left) and Joel Glazer will take a heavy hit amid the Covid-19 crisis

United owners Avram Glazer (left) and Joel Glazer will take a heavy hit amid the Covid-19 crisis

Finances continue to take hits with more games this season played behind closed doors

Finances continue to take hits with more games this season played behind closed doors

Finances continue to take hits with more games this season played behind closed doors

‘The bottom line is we are investing and will continue to invest to back the manager.’

United’s worrying financial results come just hours after the team secured a brilliant result on the pitch, beating last season’s Champions League finalists PSG away from home.

The result, with both goals in the 2-1 win scored by Marcus Rashford, puts them in a strong position in a tough Champions League group.

Progression to the knockout stages is vital to Woodward and the club’s finances as they look to balance the books in the latter stages of a tough 2020. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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UFC chief Dana White hints former MMA fighter Laura Sanko will become first female commentator

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ufc chief dana white hints former mma fighter laura sanko will become first female commentator

DANA WHITE has stated that the door is open to Laura Sanko becoming the first female commentator in UFC.

But the ex-MMA fighter must first prove she ‘is ready’ to make the step up after impressing as a correspondent.

Laura Sanko has impressed Dana White with her work at UFC events

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Laura Sanko has impressed Dana White with her work at UFC eventsCredit: Instagram @laura_sanko
The American fought at atomweight during a short MMA career

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The American fought at atomweight during a short MMA career

Sanko, 38, works as a reporter for ESPN’s coverage of UFC and has also commentated on female fights in the Invicta series.

And UFC chief White, 51, says that the American is highly rated by the sport’s bosses.

He told Yahoo! Sports: “The reason you think so highly of her, is because so do we. That’s why she’s here.

“You just can’t throw somebody in that position, there is a process.

“All these fighters that end up in all these different positions on camera, we fly them out, we see if they have the potential.

“We actually go through a series of tests before they’re put anywhere.

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“When Laura is ready, she’ll be there.”

In a three-year fighting career, Sanko appeared in one professional bout – beating Cassie Robb in an atomweight contest.

That 2013 bout under the Invicta banner followed an amateur record that boasted four wins and a single defeat, according to Tapology.

In 2016, she made headlines when Tonya Evinger greeted a victory by controversially planting a kiss on the reporter.

Sanko has 147,000 followers on Instagram

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Sanko has 147,000 followers on InstagramCredit: Instagram @laura_sanko
The reporter has said she would like to make the step up to commentating

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The reporter has said she would like to make the step up to commentatingCredit: Instagram @laura_sanko

And becoming an official UFC commentator is a career goal of Sanko’s.

In April, she told MMAJunkie: “I would love that. That is definitely a goal.

“I don’t think it’s one that’s necessarily going to happen anytime soon, but it’s one I’m working toward and I hope one day to make that come to fruition. It’s tough, though.

“The hurdles that are in my way are not necessarily one people would assume, like, ‘Oh, they don’t want a woman’. That’s not the case.”

Dana White believes UFC could have its first female commentator in Sanko

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Dana White believes UFC could have its first female commentator in SankoCredit: Getty Images – Getty
UFC star Stipe Miocic talks about being a firefighter for the Valley View Fire Department

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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