Rising Dutch star Matthijs de Ligt has finally ended months of speculation by officially opting to sign for Serie A champions Juventus. De Ligt was linked through out the summer to both Barca and PSG, but has chosen to further his career with the Bianconeri. He was an integral part of the Ajax side that reached the semifinals of the Champions League last season and beat Real Madrid, and somewhat ironically, Juve themselves, in the knockout stages of the tournament before being eliminated in heartbreaking fashion by Tottenham Hotspur. The reported value of the deal is £67.5m (around 75 million euros)
Tuttosport lead the way, dedicating their front page to the young defender. Gazzetta had a smaller welcome, but nevertheless had him on the front page, as can be seen below.
Amazon bought a package to telecast 20 games during the 2019/20 Premier League season. The tech giant have today unveiled the list of fixtures that they will be broadcasting via their Prime package in the United Kingdom (free to all existing prime customers).
Key among them include the Merseyside derby and Manchester United vs Spurs. The 20 fixtures are all in December (3-5 and 26-27). Apart from the two mentioned above, other interesting fixtures from the list appear to be Leicester hosting Liverpool and Wolves hosting Man City. This effectively means there will be no Boxing Day Football on either Sky or BT.
Will be interesting to see the viewing numbers for these games!
Here are the reactions from the Italian press after Erik ten Hag’s Ajax knocked out Max Allegri’s Juventus in Turin last night. Juve were the better rested side, but apart from the first 20 minutes, didn’t look like one as Ajax booked their spot in the last four of the Champions League for the first time in 20 overs. Ronaldo’s “throne” (see the GOT style headline before the game), was conquered.
The Juve side this year has been dependent on three players- goalkeeper Szczesny, defender Chiellini and striker Ronaldo. Chiellini was not available for this fixture, Ronaldo scored Juve’s only goal of the game and Szczesny produced several top class saves to prevent what could’ve potentially been a 5-1 or 6-1 to Ajax instead of the 2-1 they won by. A classic example of poor Juve defending was for Ajax’s match winning goal- a fantastic header from De Ligt, that saw him first to a corner despite two opposition players marking him.
Gazzetta went with the headline “Fine Corsa” (end of run), a play on the popular Juve phrase Fino alla Fine (until the end).
CdS went with “Apocalisse”- pretty self explanatory.
Tutto played tribute to the visitors, calling them “Grande Ajax” (Great Ajax). They carried a photo of De Ligt, unlike GdS and CdS, both of whom went with Ronaldo.
Ajax will now play either Man City or Spurs in the last four.
The Italian press wasn’t too chuffed with Napoli’s performance at the Emirates last night. Carlo Ancelotti’s side were expected to give the Gunners a tough fight, but lost 2-0, with Aaron Ramsey (a soon to be Juve player), opening the scoring and Kalidou Koulibaly scoring an own goal. It could’ve been more, but for some fine saves from Alex Meret and profligacy on part of the home side.
Un Napoli Imbarazzante (an embarrassing Napoli) ran CdS. Gazzetta were quick to remind readers that a future Juve player had scored against the Partenopei.
All’s not lost yet for Napoli, especially given Arsenal’s struggles on the road this season, but it will be a tall order for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
In the immediate aftermath of England’s World Cup, there was hope that more unlikely heroes in the same mould as Tripper, Lingard, Alexander-Arnold and Rashford could emerge. Followers of the Premier League have not been disappointed, and several new stars have enjoyed a breakout campaign.
Gareth Southgate has placed an emphasis on youth- only three of England’s 23 member WC squad were above the age of 30, and with recent success at lower age group levels (they’re the reigning holders of both the U17 and U20 World Cup trophies), there is hope that this generation could emulate, or perhaps even do better, than the legendary squad of 1966.