Real Betis, Espanyol and Barca Copa Del Rey

Ousmane Dembele scored a brace against Levante to place Barcelona in to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.

The match on Thursday evening, the Copa started with Real Sociedad and Real Betis facing off and it was a game that was finish-to-finish at the Anoeta.

With the scoreline at – following the initially leg, Sociedad knew that an absent goal from the visitors would be a kick in the tooth and Sergio Canales’ goal proved just that.

Betis’ direct did not past however as the Basque hosts mounted a turnaround with goals from Igor Zubeldia and Mikel Merino.

2-1 forward, La Real seemed at ease but a goal in the seventieth minute from Loren Moran ensured the absent facet, who experienced Giovani Lo Celso sent off at the death – would development.

Espanyol hosted Villarreal next with the score stood at 2-2 following the initially leg and it would prove to the former that would progress.

Pablo Piatti opened the scoring following 34th minute from the kick location, right before Borja Iglesias also struck from 12 yards.

Samuel Chukwueze netted shortly following Iglesias’ goal but his strike would not spark a comeback from the visitors as Iglesias scored once more to win the tie 5-3.

Barcelona and Levante then met at Camp Nou with the visitors major 2-1, but the Catalan facet would prove far too sturdy.

Ousmane Dembele netted two goals – right before Lionel Messi added a third to win the second leg 3-, and win 4-2 on aggregate.

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Ousmane Dembele – Another French superstar

On event his expertise could irritate the Evreux guardians. With Ousmane capable of determining a match on his very own, team-mates found it easy to shirk obligation, players just give him the ball and permit him perform his magic. “When he was in my under-13 side I tried out to perform on his mental tactic, to encourage him to mature, to be much more collectively informed,” recollects Badoche. “Initially, he didn’t get it nicely. In 1 game I had to substitute him early for likely on a prolonged dribble. He arrived to realize, nevertheless.”

On hitting his teenagers, the only occupation path Dembele had in brain was that of a expert footballer. Informed of the good he could do as his family’s key breadwinner he strove even tougher to make the grade.

In the early times times were being challenging indeed for the Dembele fraternity. The Madeleine district was an unemployment very hot location and for his mother – a lone dad or mum of Mauritanian and Senegalese descent – existence was a relentless struggle to feed and clothe Ousmane, his brother and two sisters.

“While going for walks to instruction at Evreux, ‘Ous’ was constantly conversing of getting a full-time footballer,” recollects his cousin Moustapha Diatta. “His huge hope was to gain more than enough to get the family members out of our quarter.”

At 13 his dream commenced to get variety as glowing experiences of the speedster with the velvety touch stirred the interest of PSG, Lens, Nimes, Caen, Valenciennes and Le Havre.

“Dembouz”, nevertheless, finally opted to sign up for the youth procedure at Breton outfit Rennes, an alliance which was component destiny, component recruiter persistence.

“I very first noticed Ousmane when he was 8 or 9,” recalled Rennes scout Armand Djire in an job interview with L’Echo Republicain newspaper. “I’d long gone to a match in Evreux to seem at a younger keeper. For the duration of a split in play I turned my head and noticed a group of children practising on an adjoining pitch.

“There was Ousmane. He seriously stood out with his abilities. I found out his title and made a note of it. Two a long time later I went to look at him out again for Rennes. He had one thing extra which the children of his age didn’t possess. He currently was inventing his very own tips.

“I’d consistently enjoy him play and got to know him and his family members. We acquired their rely on and place with each other a exclusive support plan for him at Rennes. We brought his family members along with him and noticed to it that their expert and individual desires were being glad.” A flat and a position in other terms.

If there is a topic that operates as a result of Dembele’s sporting existence it’s his willingness to rebel against perceived injustices, and as an 18-year-old Rennes reserve team player he arrived close to quitting the club in a huff. The trigger of his frustration was zero very first-team alternatives and the club’s tardiness in offering him a very first professional deal.

Rumoured to be on the radar of Manchester City, Red Bull Salzburg and Benfica, Dembele was established to severe his ties with the Bretons, and in the summer season and autumn of 2015 a sustained stand-off ensued.

Without having the perform as peacemaker of then-Rennes presidential advisor Mickael Silvestre – who was previously a defender with Manchester United, Arsenal and France – the deadlock may by no means have been solved.

“The affair dragged on for a prolonged time and essential a whole lot of diplomacy to type out,” states Silvestre. “Ousmane had boycotted pre-season instruction and a preparing camp in Germany. Nevertheless, he finally noticed purpose and determined that he would, just after all, indicator with us.

“It was a challenging business. When the transfer window closed that summer season he sent us a text saying that he was disgusted with the problem and wanted to prevent taking part in the game. He stated he was likely to Senegal with his grandmother and even confirmed us his boarding card.”

Dembele would adopt the exact same tactic in the summer season of 2017 in his makes an attempt to pressure Dortmund to offer him to Barcelona. He went on strike for two months, incurring a club suspension, and was slammed up and down Germany for his unprincipled, mercenary perspective. Just a yr previously he had been delighted to indicator a 5-yr deal with the Schwarz-Gelben now he was setting up a 1-man picket line.

His was a display screen of ingratitude personified screamed the critics. A lifelong Barca and Lionel Messi admirer, Dembele basically could not realize Dortmund’s reluctance to permit him go. His dream shift was in the offing and to make it transpire he was completely ready to go to any lengths.

“What else could I have performed?” he quizzed an interviewer from French journal Onze-Mondial. “I’d like to inquire all individuals who’ve criticised me how they would have behaved if they were being in my footwear. I was in make contact with with Barcelona though at Rennes. I couldn’t miss out on a transfer to Barcelona for a 2nd time.”

Almost nothing, it looks, is at any time plain sailing for Dembele.

A mere 3 months just after joining Barcelona he was sidelined for about 3 months with a ruptured thigh muscle mass and considering that building his senior international debut for France in a January 2016 helpful against Italy he has however to absolutely carve out a area of interest for himself with his national side. He started off only two of their games in this summer’s triumphant World Cup campaign – the group phase ties as opposed to Australia and Denmark, and was specifically disappointing against the Socceroos.

France manager Didier Deschamps continues to contain the youngster in his squad and plainly appreciates his speed and deep threat. But he expects significantly, significantly much more from the Barca winger.

“Ousmane has to be much more constant,” discussed Deschamps at a new federation press conference. “He has to engage with all the requires of football at the best amount. I don’t consider he’s totally got to grips with that.

“However, he’s only younger and very significantly has the attacking characteristics to unblock predicaments. He’s had a good begin to the season with Barca. He’s been decisive and scored goals.”

Some may argue that the root trigger of Dembele’s underneath-par productivity with the national team is the Deschamps procedure alone. The latter is primarily a defensive-minded coach who is as possibility-averse as it is doable to be. Ousmane is the exact reverse: insouciant, adventurous, the complete no cost-spirit package deal.

Surely Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel did a wonderful position of bringing the ideal out of him in the 2016-seventeen campaign. Tuchel, now in charge of Paris Saint-Germain, is ordinarily regarded as a cold, unsympathetic character, but he treated Dembele with pretty much paternalistic treatment. In lots of strategies, the youngster was TT’s pet undertaking, a canvas he just loved to paint

Tuchel did not just inquire the French youngster to hug the still left or suitable sidelines, he generally made use of him inside of far too, making it possible for him to flit back again and forth among a number 10 position and the suitable flank. Inventive, elusive and brimming about with tempo and unpredictability, Dembele proved to be a Westfalenstadion feeling.

That season he ticked just about every box: the numbers (9 goals and 21 assists in all competitions) the huge-game decisiveness – notably when inspiring his side to a 3-2 German Cup semi-last victory in Bayern Munich’s yard and the conquest of his very first-at any time expert title, the German Cup. Not undesirable for a player who only charge the Dortmunder €15m.

“Thomas was a coach who had a whole lot of religion in me,” gushed Dembele on Barca Tv soon just after arriving at Camp Nou very last yr. “He was constantly there at my side and taught me so significantly. He would not hesitate to pull me up and point out wherever I was likely wrong.”

Appreciably, Tuchel was 1 of the handful of substantial-profile Germans to protect Dembele for his controversial departure to Barcelona and, provided the pair’s close relationship, it would be no surprise at all if they were being reunited in the Gallic funds in a not-far too-distant foreseeable future.

Dembele was also intelligently handled by Rennes in his very first-team breakthrough season in 2015-16. Permitted to play his all-natural, electric powered game and not about-burdened by defensive directions, the then 18-year-old fearlessly seized his likelihood. Devilishly complicated to prevent when dribbling and ice-cool in his finishing, he got 12 goals in Ligue 1.

Like Tuchel, Rennes would deploy him in a wide range of positions: still left wing, suitable wing, 2nd attacker and attacking midfielder. Wherever he lined up he spelt menace, and in March 2016 he even more enhanced his reputation with a brilliant hat-trick in a 4-1 thumping of Nantes, the very first triple of his occupation. It was a 1-two-3 to accommodate just about every taste: a sweetly struck 50 %-volley from the edge of the box, a location of acrobatic ball-diversion in the red zone, then a composed end following a solo raid and a destabilising drop of the shoulder.

“I consider I’ve succeeded in obtaining his ideal position on the pitch,” stated Rennes coach Rolland Courbis at the time.

“I like him as a 9-and-a-50 % behind the key attacker. It is equivalent to how Monaco have Mbappe taking part in off Falcao up front. The kid is a pleasure and a gratification. He goes out on to the field to take pleasure in himself.

“He performs in Ligue 1 as he would in the schoolyard.”

Under no circumstances small of a memorable change of phrase, it is individuals last terms from Courbis which probably sums up the essence of “Dembouz”

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Valverde refuses to “over dramatize” Dembele injury

Barcelona Manager, Ernesto Valverde has stated that there is no need to “overdramatize” the latest injury of £96.8m summer signing, Ousmane Dembele.

The former Borussia Dortmund forward is condemned to face another month out after picking up a new hamstring injury in his substitute appearance in Sunday’s 4-2 La Liga win over Real Sociedad days after his return from a four-month injury.

The France International who was Barcelona’s club record signing before the recent £142m acquisition of Brazilian, Philippe Coutinho only made three appearances before he sustained the long-term injury in September.

Coutinho is yet to make his debut due to a stubborn thigh problem and Valverde may also have to do without Dembele for another four weeks as a defender, Samuel Umtiti is similarly unavailable.

The Barcelona boss while speaking before the club’s Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg on Wednesday night believes they will approach the situation one at a time.

In his remarks, he said: “He [Dembele] suffered a significant incident at the start of the season in Getafe and now he has a small problem, that has little to do with the previous one,”

“We won’t overdramatize (this injury) either. People start to talk about how some players have an issue and in the end, people start believing it.

“I have no doubt that the player will overcome it.

“He had been playing little bits of matches as he returned and the plan for him was to come back little by little.

“It’ll be the same when he returns from this one. We hope that he’s not missing for long.”

The Catalans head to Estadi Cornella-El Prat as they seek to extend their unbeaten run to 30 matches.

Valverde will however not take the test of his former club flippantly.

“Espanyol is in a good run of form, as the numbers show,” said Valverde, who was at the helms at Espanyol during to club’s charge to the final of the 2007 UEFA Cup at Hampden Park, where they lost on penalties to Sevilla.

“It’s a derby and any gap is reduced as a result of the emotional factor.

“You need to try not to have bad spells in knockout ties because they can prove costly.

“We must try to be solid. It will be difficult to reach the semi-finals, and we respect them a lot.”


Dembele make Barcelona return

Barcelona record signing, Ousmane Dembele is confirmed to be officially fit to return after a three-month-long layoff from football.

The French forward, who left German outfit, Borussia Dortmund controversially last summer suffered a serious injury in September but he is now available again for team selection after he was medically discharged few weeks ago.

The Catalan giant tweeted about Dembele’s return on the club official twitter account and it is expected that the 20-year old forward will see some action when Spanish football returns again on Thursday in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey clash with Celta Vigo.


Dele Alli’s struggles down to Victor Wanyama’s absence


Bertin Basson

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 09:00

Former Fulham, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Danny Murphy has put Spurs recent woes down the absence of Victor Wanyama.

The North London club have failed to register a win in their last three English Premier League encounters, with defeat away to Arsenal and Leicester City serving as a massive blow to their title ambitions.

Kenya international midfielder, Wanyama, hasn’t featured for the club since a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea back in August with a knee injury keeping him out of action for longer than initially expected.


The 26-year-old is an integral member of the Spurs squad and Murphy believes that Dele Alli’s failure to keep up his rip-roaring form is down to the missing midfield link of Wanyama and Mousa Dembele.

“I would look at a couple of aspects; one is the stadium change,” Murphy told BBC Radio Five Live.

“There is no denying that has had an effect, and we all know that. I think the other thing is that the foundation of that side – Dembele and Wanyama sitting in from of the back three or back four, depending on how the played – they’ve hardly had them two together, and we wonder why Dele Alli isn’t quite playing the same.

“Anyone playing ahead of Dembele and Wanyama is going to be able to get more of the ball and use his energy to that way – it isn’t the same when those two don’t play, and I think that’s been a big problem,” he concluded.


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Dembele agent hits back at Jean-Michael Seri – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 15:30

The agent of Barcelona midfielder Ousmane Dembele has hit back at Nice’s Ivorian star Jean-Michael Seri.

The Elephants player criticised Dembele for going on strike at Borussia Dortmund and forcing through a move to Barcelona this past European summer.

He also claimed that the mental and physical stress of this action led to Dembele’s early-season injury problems.

But Dembele’s agent Moussa Sissoko has now taken a swipe at the Nice player, telling L’Equipe: “When Seri discusses the attitude to adopt, I wonder if it would be appropriate for him to focus on how he could return to his best.

“His transfer to Barça was aborted and he may have remained on that disappointment.

“Since then, he seems missing in Nice where he is still under contract. And if I refer to his words given to Mundo Deportivo at the end of August, he himself confessed to having exploded with his leaders, whose office walls he shook after he realised he would not go to Catalonia.

“Now, rather than giving lessons wrongly or rightly, or negatively addressing Ousmane’s career, it may be time for him to focus on keeping his club in Ligue 1.

“I want to remind Seri and other critics that Ousmane Dembele went from his first professional contract with Rennes, Borussia Dortmund and FC Barcelona in less than two years.

“It’s a career plan that I wish for everyone.”


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Jean-Michael Seri blasts Ousmane Dembele over Barcelona move


Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 14:30

OGC Nice’s Ivorian midfielder Jean-Michael Seri has blasted Ousmane Dembele for the way he forced through a move to Barcelona.

Dembele effectively went on strike in the last weeks of the transfer window, giving Borussia Dortmund no choice but to sell him to the Spanish giants.

And Seri, who very nearly joined Barca but saw the move fall through at the last minute, was left unimpressed with Dembele’s behaviour.

“For a young player like Dembele, this is not the attitude he should adopt, when one is not well informed, he makes decisions that are incorrect,” said Seri.

“The after reaching Barca he broke down, without the pressure he suffered and the tension that he suffered, perhaps he would never have been injured.

“Whereas Kylian Mbappe did not keep up with everything around him before joining PSG.”


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