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Barcelona join Bayern in race to sign Paulinho

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Barcelona

Rio de Janeiro, April 14: FC Barcelona have joined the race to sign Brazil midfielder Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande, according to media reports.

Paulinho’s agent, Giuliano Bertolucci, has been contacted by the officials of the Catalan football giants following the 28-year-old’s hat-trick in Brazil’s 4-1 victory over Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier last month, reports Xinhua news agency.

Bayern Munich and AC Milan have also made inquiries to Bertolucci, according to Brazil’s Uol news service, which cited unnamed sources with knowledge of the negotiations.

Paulinho has scored 10 goals in 67 matches for Guangzhou since joining the Chinese club from Tottenham Hotspur in 2015.

Under the coaching of former Brazil chief trainer Luiz Felipe Scolari, Paulinho has helped Guangzhou win two consecutive Chinese Super League (CSL) titles.

IANS

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France beat Peru 1-0 to enter World Cup pre-quarters

Mbappe’s 34th-minute strike from close range was the lone goal scored in the match at the Ekaterinburg Arena as Peru’s hopes to reach the second round after suffering second consecutive loss.

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Kylian Mbappe France

Yekaterinburg (Russia), June 21 (IANS) Kylian Mbappe became France’s youngest goal-scorer in FIFA World Cup history as they beat Peru 1-0 in a Group C match here on Thursday to enter the pre-quarterfinals.

Mbappe’s 34th-minute strike from close range was the lone goal scored in the match at the Ekaterinburg Arena as Peru’s hopes to reach the second round after suffering second consecutive loss. Peru are with zero points, while Denmark are second with four points.

France, who were criticised for their style of play during their 2-1 win over Australia, top the table with six points and will meet Denmark in their third and final group stage game.

Against Peru, France did well not to leave their qualification to the game against Denmark, who were held 1-1 by Australia earlier in the day.

Didier Deschamps-coached France, who switched to a 4-2-3-1 with the inclusion of striker Olivier Giroud and midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who played in an offensive role, saw the midfield coordinating well with the attack, which aided their fluid game.

Left-back Lucas Hernandez moved up and down to give an extra member in their attacking build-up as the team began to question Peru’s defence from the beginning.

Midfielder Paul Pogba launched a long-range effort from 30 yards out which forced goalkeeper Pedro Gallese to dive to his right to ensure that the ball goes wide of the left post in the 12th minute.

Two minutes later, Raphael Varane’s header off a corner missed the target by a slight margin, going wide of the right post.

Gallese then blocked a right-footed drive from Antoine Griezmann after Giroud brought down an aerial ball from the deep in the 17th minute.

Peru took time to get some good touches in the game. Veteran centre-forward Paolo Guerrero, who returned to the starting line-up after missing the Denmark game in place of Jefferson Farfan, had a left-footed shot on goal from around 12 yards out in thr 29th minute but France keeper Hugo Lloris was alert.

However, the pace and quick passing of France meant they they could turn it on at any moment. And they did with lethal impact, five minutes later. Following a through ball from Pogba, Giroud’s left-footed drive from the left side of the box deflected past defender Christian Ramos, beating Gallese, who moved towards the right post. Mbappe raced to tap it in to give France a crucial lead.

After the break, Peru made their intention clear by substituting midfielder Yoshimar Yotun with forward Farfan, while full-back Alberto Rodrigues was replaced by central defender Anderson Santamaria in order to provide more pace and width.

Peru almost got their equaliser when a 30-yard piledriver from Pedro Aquino flew inches away from the left post.

Peru employed further pressure on the French team but the latter showed its resolve and composure, especially in its own box.

Long-range drives from Andre Carrillo and Luis Advincula went over the cross-bar as a desperate Peru continue to hunt for their equaliser.

Another good movement from Peru saw Carrillo crossing from the right to left for Farfan, but his header could only hit the side-netting.

France managed to hold to their slim advantage as Peru lacked quality in finishing.

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FIFA WC 2018: Denmark 1 Australia 1, Jedinak strikes back after Eriksen rocket

Mile Jedinak’s second penalty of the World Cup earned Australia a precious 1-1 draw against Denmark after a controversial VAR decision led to Christian Eriksen’s superb opener being cancelled out in Samara.

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Mile Jedinak

Mile Jedinak scored his second penalty of the World Cup to pull Australia level after Christian Eriksen’s superb opener for Denmark.

Mile Jedinak’s second penalty of the World Cup earned Australia a precious 1-1 draw against Denmark after a controversial VAR decision led to Christian Eriksen’s superb opener being cancelled out in Samara.

Denmark winger Yussuf Poulsen conceded his second penalty in as many games when video replays led to a decision of handball against him and Jedinak buried the ensuing spot-kick to earn Australia their first point of the tournament.

Bert van Marwijk’s side had to grind out a draw against a Denmark side who showed flashes of brilliance, none better than Christian Eriksen’s seventh-minute opener.

The Tottenham playmaker defied Denmark’s reputation as a goal-shy outfit, applying a wonderfully crisp finish to a swift passing move that was reminiscent of the great Danish side of the 1980s.

But Poulsen’s apparent handball means he will miss Denmark’s final Group C game against France, having picked up two yellow cards in two games, and Age Hareide’s men need a point from that game to make sure of their place in the knockout stage.

Nothing short of victory will do for Australia when they take on Peru, and they can’t afford to rely on decisions going their way as they did here.

The Danes took 27 minutes to register a shot in their Group C opener against Peru but Thomas Delaney headed wide from Pione Sisto’s cross after just two minutes against Australia.

At the other end, Mathew Leckie rose above the Danish defence to head a corner over the bar but Denmark countered and Nicolai Jorgensen’s elegant ball control and lay-off afforded Eriksen the chance to hit the cleanest of half-volleys over Mat Ryan and into the top of the net.

Australia ventured forward tentatively, never achieving the kind of intuitive flow that had been their undoing, whereas Denmark went close to doubling their lead when Sisto tested Ryan with a 20-yard drive and again when Jorgensen flashed a close-range header just wide.

The game was going Denmark’s way until the 35th minute when referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz consulted VAR and decided Poulsen used his arm to block Leckie’s headed shot and awarded the penalty, which Jedinak drilled into the bottom right corner of the net.

Poulsen had a penalty claim of his own waved away early in the second half after he tumbled to the ground on his way into the Australia box and there were nervy moments for Denmark when Kasper Schmeichel failed to collect a looping long ball before Leckie flashed the ball across the face of goal.

Van Marwijk sent on the tournament’s youngest player, Daniel Arzani, with just over 20 minutes left to play and he teed up Aaron Mooy for a fizzing shot that flew just over the top right corner of Schmeichel’s goal from outside the box.

Socceroos striker Andrew Nabbout left the field with a dislocated shoulder and was replaced by Tomi Juric, who contributed to a good spell of late Australia pressure, but Denmark’s well organised defence held firm as they earned a point that gives them one foot in the last 16.

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Cricketer KL Rahul responds to dating rumour with actress Nidhhi Agerwal

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KL Rahul Nidhhi Agerwal

Mumbai, June 21: Cricketer KL Rahul has cleared the rumour on his relationship with bollywood actress Nidhhi Agerwal by saying that they are just friends and known each other from a long time.

The Indian cricketer cleared that he is not dating the “Munna Michael” actress Nidhhi Agerwal and the rumours are false.

He opened up about his relationship status on chat show “Open House with Renil”. The episode will air on Sunday on zoOm styled by Myntra, read a statement to news agency IANS.

Asked about his relationship with Nidhhi, he said: “We have known each other since our college days. We are just good friends and all the rumours are false.”

Couple Goals 😍❤

A post shared by KL Rahul (@rahul.kl.club) on

On his bond with cricketer Virat Kohli and actress Anushka Sharma, he said: “There was one instance after a match at Melbourne where I had a terrible performance. I was miserable and depressed.

“Anushka, who noticed this, came up to my room and asked me to accompany her and Virat to their dinner date. The couple talked me through their similar experiences and that helped me understand how to manage these situations better.

“They took immense care of me and ensured I was not alone. They even made sure I spent the new year night with them. They are an amazing couple and have really had a powerful influence on me.”

WeForNews

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