Guardiola insists Man City not ready to win Champions League

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola thinks his team is still not ready to win the Champions League. It is no secret that two-times defending Premier League champions City want to win Europe's biggest club competition. But they have failed in the early knockout rounds for several seasons in a row. And Guardiola believes their profligacy in front of goal will cost them in Champions League matches. "We miss a lot of chances in the final third [during a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday] and we have to do that to be clinical. When the people say about the Champions League being the target, we are still not ready," he told reporters. "We create a lot and we don't concede, but we can still improve. We are a team in the last two seasons who score a lot and create a lot. I don't have doubt about that, but still we have to keep going and work on that."...

Matip, Alisson train for Liverpool ahead of Man Utd clash

Joel Matip and Alisson returned to Liverpool training on Tuesday. Brazil goalkeeper Alisson has not played since injuring his calf in the opening Premier League match of the season. Matip has been excellent all season, but a knock against Sheffield United last month forced him to miss Liverpool's last two games. Both are now in line for a return this weekend in a blockbuster clash with storied rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday....

Ryan Giggs hails Wales’ character for keeping Euro 2020 hopes alive

Ryan Giggs saluted the character of his Wales team after a 1-1 draw against Croatia kept alive their Euro 2020 qualifying chances. Gareth Bale’s 33rd goal for his country cancelled out Nikola Vlasic’s ninth-minute strike to keep Wales within touching distance of a top-two spot. Wins away to Azerbaijan and at home to Hungary next month would secure qualification, as long as Slovakia do not collect more than four points from their last two games. Slovakia’s next game is in Croatia, where the World Cup finalists will be seeking to book their ticket to next summer’s European Championship. “We showed character coming back, we didn’t panic,” Wales boss Giggs said after the Cardiff draw. “We showed commitment, but quality as well. I don’t get a lot of time with them, but what they showed doesn’t surprise me as I see the quality in training. “We have played two teams, Slovakia and now Croatia, who can hurt you. “But it’s credit to them, we gave them the information and it’s a step forward.” Giggs described Daniel James as “streetwise” after the Manchester United winger was clattered by defender Domagoj Vida in the first half. James received lengthy treatment from medics on the pitch, but he was able to continue and Giggs said the 21-year-old had passed the concussion protocols. “The physio came over but there was no problem. We did all the (concussion) tests at half-time and he was fine,” Giggs said. “He stayed down and was a bit streetwise. He told the doctors ‘I’m not moving, I’m just sitting still’. “Not to get anyone sent off, he was just using his nous.” Wales will head to Azerbaijan next month without the influential Joe Allen. The Stoke midfielder collected his third booking of the competition and will be suspended for the Baku clash. “He knew he was on a booking, but I don’t think he realised there was a player behind him,” Giggs said. “We will miss his composure but we’ve players who can come in. “Joe Morrell was fantastic to come on in that situation against Croatia. “We have to win our last two games but that point could be vital. “We’re relying on Croatia to beat Slovakia, but we need to win our two games. It won’t be easy.” Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic was unhappy with Bale’s equaliser after Mateo Kovacic had been left on the turf by Ben Davies’ challenge in first-half stoppage time. The Chelsea midfielder did not return for the second half but Dalic said: “He seems to be fine. “But he felt his knee in that challenge so we’ll see in the next few days what the diganosis is. “Mateo was injured and had to leave the game, but we can’t allow ourselves to concede a goal in this way. “We are not very happy. It was similar to the games against Hungary. “We started well and scored, but we didn’t continue in same aggressive way.”...

Klopp was always confident Liverpool would come through wobble at Anfield

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he was not overly concerned after squandering a three-goal advantage against Red Bull Salzburg as he had faith in his players’ strength of character to bounce back. The Reds raced into a commanding lead with goals from Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and Mohamed Salah inside 36 minutes but started to go backwards when Hee-Chan Hwang pulled one back just before half-time. Takumi Minamino set nerves jangling 10 minutes after the break and when substitute Erling Braut Haaland scored his 18th of the season four minutes after coming on, it appeared the European champions’ homecoming would fall flat. However, Salah took his tally to 12 in 13 Anfield Champions League appearances to secure a first victory in Group E. “That we showed character, I would be the last one to be surprised by that,” said Klopp. “That’s why I was not overly concerned at the moment of 3-3 because I knew we would have moments again. “It would be silly if that were not possible because we did so many good things so we should not lose complete faith in ourselves in the moment when it becomes a bit difficult. “It was far away from being a perfect game but it was a typical Liverpool game, very exciting. I thought after the game maybe I am angry but I realised I am not angry, so why should I show up as if I am angry? “I respect the performance of the opponent and saw a lot of good things from us. We can do better. We will do better. That’s it.”...

England Women’s boss Phil Neville hails ‘outstanding’ performances

England boss Phil Neville has described his side’s last two performances as “outstanding” following their 1-0 friendly win in Portugal. The Lionesses clinched a scrappy victory in Lisbon to ease the pressure on Neville, but Beth Mead’s late winner was gifted by a blunder from Portugal goalkeeper Patricia Morais. England lost to the USA in the World Cup finals last summer and since their third-place play-off defeat to Sweden they have drawn in Belgium and been beaten by Norway and Brazil, who won 2-0 at the Riverside on Saturday. “The players were determined to win and we got the luck we haven’t had in the last five games,” Neville was quoted as saying by the BBC. “The performances over the last two games have been outstanding.” The former Manchester United defender added: “I’m pleased with the players, I’m pleased with the spirit, I’m pleased with the direction that we’re going in. “And for me personally, in terms of what I’ve seen at this camp, it’s been my most enjoyable camp since I’ve been a manager with this England team.” England dominated possession against a side 23 places below them in FIFA’s rankings, but failed to play with cohesion or intensity for long periods. Neville, appointed to the role in January 2018, said on Monday that he did not fear for his position. “We said before the game that a lot of people are saying this is a must-win game. For us every game is like that, every game we want to win, that’s the mentality of these players,” he added. “There were some outstanding performances and I think we’ve seen one or two cement their place at Wembley.” Next up for the Lionesses is a friendly against Germany at Wembley on November 9....