Sports

 
Michy Batshuayi scored with his first touch after coming on against Hungary

Chelsea have signed Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi from Marseille on a five-year contract.

The 22-year-old is new manager Antonio Conte’s first signing at Stamford Bridge.

The fee was not disclosed by Chelsea but is believed to be £33m (40m euros).

The Brussels-born forward, who scored 23 goals for Marseille last season, scored in Belgium’s last-16 win over Hungary at Euro 2016 and also came on in their quarter-final exit to Wales.

“I am delighted to sign for one of the biggest clubs in Europe,” said Batshuayi.

“[My Belgium team-mates] Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have told me many good things about the club, and with Antonio Conte coming in, it’s an exciting time to become a Chelsea player.”

Batshuayi signed for Marseille from Standard Liege in 2014 and made his international debut in March 2015 in a 5-0 Euro 2016 qualifying win against Cyprus.

Against Hungary, he scored with his first touch after coming on as a substitute, converting a cross from his new club team-mate Eden Hazard.

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

 
Former Monaco midfielder Nampalys Mendy spent three seasons at Nice

Leicester City have signed French midfielder Nampalys Mendy from Nice on a four-year contract.

The 24-year-old, who won promotion to Ligue 1 under Foxes manager Claudio Ranieri when he was at Monaco, joins the Premier League champions for an undisclosed fee.

He joined Nice in 2013 and made 110 league appearances for the club.

Mendy is Leicester’s third summer signing after goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler and defender Luis Hernandez.

“I know the coach, I know his mentality and I know his philosophy,” said Mendy. “When he speaks it’s direct and clear and for me I like this.”

Mendy played in all of Nice’s games last season fourth in France’s top flight.

He played five times for France Under-21s but is yet to make an appearance for his country’s senior side.

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

 

Media playback is not supported on this device

Euro 2016: Germany 1-1 Italy highlights (6-5 pens)

Germany reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals after winning a thrilling penalty shootout against Italy in Bordeaux.

Joachim Low’s World Cup holders looked on course for victory in normal time – against a country they had never beaten at a major tournament – when Mesut Ozil rounded off a slick build-up with Mario Gomez and Jonas Hector to score at the near post in the 65th minute.

Italy did not flinch but were grateful for a moment of madness from Germany defender Jerome Boateng when he needlessly handled, allowing Leonardo Bonucci to score the first penalty of his career with 12 minutes left.

Germany missed more penalties in one shootout than in their history – three – but were once again the winners on penalties.

They have still never lost a shootout since the 1976 final of this competition when they lost to Czechoslovakia – some 40 years and 13 days ago.

It was settled when Hector drove low under Italy keeper Gianluigi Buffon after Manchester United’s Matteo Darmian saw his side’s ninth penalty saved by Manuel Neuer.

Germany will now play either hosts France or England’s conquerors Iceland in the last four.

Germany missed more penalties (3) in this shootout as in their previous major finals shootouts combined (2)

Germany on course for glory

This was a meeting between two of European football’s superpowers – a last-eight match-up that would have graced the final itself in Paris next weekend.

Instead it was a fight for a place in the last four and Low’s Germany did what they do best. They found a way to win, however it was achieved.

Ozil’s goal crowned a spell of second-half pressure which meant their lead was deserved, but they then creaked as two of the staples of Germany’s football psyche folded under pressure.

With Italy struggling to get back on terms, they were guilty of desperate defending when Jerome Boateng’s ‘hands-up star jump’ conceded the penalty that Bonucci put away with such assurance.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Euro 2016: Germany 1-1 Italy – watch the epic shootout in full

And then in the shootout itself, a team renowned for cool heads in this situation suddenly seemed to find itself gripped by nerves.

When Thomas Muller saw his spot-kick saved by Buffon, it was the first time they had missed a spot-kick since Uli Stielike at the 1982 World Cup in Spain, and Ozil also hit the post.

Indeed, Germany had only missed two penalties – Uli Hoeness the other culprit in that 1976 final with Czechoslovakia – but it was catching, Bastian Schweinsteiger firing wildly over with a chance to clinch it.

However, this was all forgotten in the celebrations as Germany close in on another major title.

Buffon’s tears

Gianluigi Buffon has been involved in 10 major tournaments for Italy since the 1998 World Cup

The great goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was winning his 161st cap for Italy here, putting him 10th on the international all-time list – but were we seeing the farewell to this 38-year-old legend of the game when Hector’s penalty slipped under his body to give Germany victory?

Buffon’s passion and ability still make him an outstanding keeper, as proved by a magnificent save from a close-range combination of Mario Gomez and Giorgio Chiellini in the second half.

He has no reason to step aside but this was a tearful, and perhaps significant, farewell on the big stage for this emotional, patriotic Italian as he congratulated his German opponents before breaking down as he walked off.

This is the man who has seen it all, from winning the World Cup against France in Berlin in 2006 to being a losing finalist to Spain in this competition in Kiev four years ago.

Buffon’s status and standing will never diminish, but will he feel that this will be his final fling at a major tournament and it is time to make way for Italy’s younger goalkeeping generation?

Conte’s final ploy fails to pay off

Departing Italy coach Antonio Conte has been one of the most charismatic figures at Euro 2016, with his animated touchline demeanour a powerful ally to the team he set up so brilliantly to beat Belgium and then holders Spain in the last 16.

He has whetted the appetite of Chelsea’s fans, who will now eagerly await his arrival at Stamford Bridge now Italy are out of the tournament, his reputation as one of Europe’s premier coaches greatly enhanced.

Here in Bordeaux, however, his final ploy did not pay off.

With seconds left in extra time he decided to take off the experienced Chiellini to send on Zaza, who barely had time to get on before Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai blew the final whistle.

It was clearly a move to utilise Zaza’s penalty expertise – and so it proved as he took Italy’s second penalty, but it backfired horribly as he indulged in some form of Morris dance before blazing his spot-kick hopelessly off target.

This was a rare miss-step by Conte, who will bring real quality and excitement when he takes charge of Chelsea in the Premier League next season.

Man of the match – Manuel Neuer (Germany)

The Germany goalkeeper was an assured presence throughout and was also superb on the ball, before saving twice in the decisive shootout.

What they said

Italy manager Antonio Conte: “I want to thank the boys. They were extraordinary for two years for me. They topped it off with this special experience. I’m sorry because they deserved to go though.

“We made the fans proud of us. And we made the players truly aware that it’s a privilege to wear the shirt.”

Germany manager Joachim Low: “It was a drama – extra time and with two sides on the highest tactical level. The penalties missed were even more dramatic. We were lucky.

“There is nothing I could blame the team for. We were the better team in the 120 minutes. We’ll recover now and on Thursday we’ll continue. The experienced players missed and the young players scored.”

Live Text

Match ends, Germany 1(6), Italy 1(5).

Penalty Shootout ends, Germany 1(6), Italy 1(5).

Goal! Germany 1(6), Italy 1(5). Jonas Hector (Germany) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Penalty saved! Matteo Darmian (Italy) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.

Goal! Germany 1(5), Italy 1(5). Jérôme Boateng (Germany) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Goal! Germany 1(4), Italy 1(5). Mattia De Sciglio (Italy) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

Goal! Germany 1(4), Italy 1(4). Joshua Kimmich (Germany) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Goal! Germany 1(3), Italy 1(4). Marco Parolo (Italy) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

Goal! Germany 1(3), Italy 1(3). Mats Hummels (Germany) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

Goal! Germany 1(2), Italy 1(3). Emanuele Giaccherini (Italy) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

Penalty missed! Bad penalty by Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany) right footed shot is too high. Bastian Schweinsteiger should be disappointed.

Penalty saved! Leonardo Bonucci (Italy) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

Goal! Germany 1(2), Italy 1(2). Julian Draxler (Germany) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Penalty missed! Bad penalty by Graziano Pellè (Italy) right footed shot is close, but misses to the left. Graziano Pellè should be disappointed.

Penalty missed! Still Germany 1(1), Italy 1(2). Mesut Özil (Germany) hits the right post with a left footed shot.

Goal! Germany 1(1), Italy 1(2). Andrea Barzagli (Italy) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

Penalty saved! Thomas Müller (Germany) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.

Penalty missed! Bad penalty by Simone Zaza (Italy) left footed shot is too high. Simone Zaza should be disappointed.

Goal! Germany 1(1), Italy 1(1). Toni Kroos (Germany) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Goal! Germany 1, Italy 1(1). Lorenzo Insigne (Italy) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Penalty Shootout begins Germany 1, Italy 1.

Second Half Extra Time ends, Germany 1, Italy 1.

Substitution, Italy. Simone Zaza replaces Giorgio Chiellini.

Attempt saved. Mesut Özil (Germany) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Benedikt Höwedes (Germany) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Graziano Pellè (Italy).

Thomas Müller (Germany) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Giorgio Chiellini (Italy).

Manuel Neuer (Germany) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Graziano Pellè (Italy).

Attempt saved. Lorenzo Insigne (Italy) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Graziano Pellè.

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany).

Stefano Sturaro (Italy) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Thomas Müller.

Attempt blocked. Lorenzo Insigne (Italy) right footed shot from long range on the left is blocked. Assisted by Emanuele Giaccherini.

Substitution, Italy. Lorenzo Insigne replaces Éder because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Julian Draxler (Germany) right footed shot from very close range is just a bit too high.

Second Half Extra Time begins Germany 1, Italy 1.

First Half Extra Time ends, Germany 1, Italy 1.

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Jul 032016
 

Media playback is not supported on this device

Euro 2016: Germany 1-1 Italy – watch the epic shootout in full

Watch Germany secure their place in the semi-finals of Euro 2016 by beating Italy 6-5 in an epic penalty shootout, after the match finished 1-1 at the end of extra time.

MATCH REPORT: Germany 1-1 Italy (6-5 pens) highlights

Watch more Euro 2016 videos here.

Available to UK users only.

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed