Tottenham Hotspur have signed Brazilian winger Lucas Moura from Paris St Germain, the English club said on their website on Wednesday.The 25-year-old has joined for a fee of around 25 million pounds and could make his debut against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.“I’m so, so happy,” said Moura, who has won 30 caps and is in contention for a place in Brazil’s World Cup squad. “It’s a new chapter in my life, a new challenge for me.“I’ve joined a big club with big players and I look forward to playing and helping the team.”Moura has found it difficult to break into the PSG team since the arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe last year and has only made six substitute appearances in all competitions this season.In the 2016-17 campaign he scored 12 goals in Ligue 1 and provided five assists. Overall, he netted 46 goals in 229 appearances for the French club.At Spurs he will join up with former PSG team mate Serge Aurier, who made the same switch in August.“Serge said a lot of good things about the club, about the coach, about the fans. He’s crazy! He’s a very nice guy and an amazing player. I’m so happy to play with him again,” Moura said.Moura will also be eligible to play for Spurs in the Champions League.
Liverpool took a big step towards the Champions League final with a 5-2 win over AS Roma in their semi-final, first leg at Anfield on Tuesday.Two late Roma goals, however, will give the Italians, who came back from 4-1 down to beat Barcelona in the previous round, some hope of an upset in the return game next Wednesday.Two superbly taken goals from Mohamed Salah gave Juergen Klopp’s side a 2-0 lead at halftime and Liverpool ripped Roma apart after the break.A Sadio Mane goal and then two Roberto Firmino goals put Liverpool 5-0 up and Klopp felt comfortable enough to take off Salah, who had been outstanding.Yet Edin Dzeko struck for the visitors in the 81st minute and four minutes later Diego Perotti converted a penalty to generate some tension for the return in Rome.Bayern Munich and Real Madrid meet in the other semi-final on Wednesday.
Leaders Liverpool and Chelsea both maintained their 100 percent records while Manchester City kept within two points of the top with a 3-0 victory over promoted Fulham. Here are talking points from the weekend’s Premier League action.Liverpool’s statement win suggest a real title bidJurgen Klopp’s side have five wins out of five but none were quite as significant as Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley – a statement win that suggests Liverpool could push Manchester City all the way in the title race.This time last year, the focus of critics was on Liverpool’s defensive frailty but the back four look as solid as any in the league at the moment with Joe Gomez striking up an excellent partnership with Virgil van Dijk.Liverpool’s start is their best since 1990 and while Klopp isn’t interested in title talk but he hit the nail on the head with his post-match comments.“Last year, our away record against the top six wasn’t really good and I told the boys it wasn’t because the games were away or because they were against the top six, it was because we didn’t defend as good as we could,” he said.Brilliant Bernardo showing his worthManchester City’s Portuguese winger Bernardo Silva was hardly a peripheral figure in last season’s title winning campaign but nor was he fundamental to it, often used from the bench.But with Kevin De Bruyne out of action with a knee injury, the 43 million pound ($56.3 million) signing from Monaco has been asked by Pep Guardiola to play in a more central midfield role and he appears to be relishing it.The 24-year old was outstanding in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Fulham, showcasing his superb control, passing and vision and prompting praise from Guardiola who says the player’s slight build doesn’t reduce his effectiveness in the middle.“Bernardo can play there because he can fight,” said the Spaniard.“He is skinny, small but wow… he has that sense of intelligence. You need to be strong and fast and he did it. His natural position is outside but it’s important for us to have players who can play in several positions.”Everton’s lack of frontline depth exposedEverton were horribly toothless for a year after selling striker Romelu Lukaku and with close season signing Richarlison absent from Sunday’s 3-1 home defeat by West Ham United, the paucity of their back-up front players was again exposed.With the Brazilian suspended, Everton started with Cenk Tosun up front supported by Dominic Calvert-Lewin but both appeared as they do in almost all their performances – just not quite good enough.Manager Marco Silva replaced the big Turk with 20 minutes to go with Oumar Niasse, another who has never convinced since arriving early in 2016.Everton fans will be desperate for the return of Richarlison but, wary of how he flew out of the blocks at Watford last year before his impact faded, and with other problems all over the pitch, the high pre-season expectations may yet again end in frustration.Burnley are in real troubleLast season’s surprise seventh-placed finish earned Burnley a spot in the Europa League qualifying rounds. However, after three two-legged ties they failed to make it to the group stage and their continental exertions may have influenced their poor start in the Premier League.After five games, the Clarets are bottom of the league with a just a single point and their fourth straight loss, a 1-0 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers, was a woeful performance that raises real concerns for Sean Dyche’s team.One of the few to emerge with any credit from Sunday’s defeat was goalkeeper Joe Hart, who summed up the team’s performance with some honesty.“We were miles off. We’ve got no excuses this time. There were no games in mid-week. We’ve got to have a good look at ourselves and go again,” he said.Hope for HammersAfter four straight defeats, questions were already being asked about new West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini and his 100 million pound collection of close-season signings.But the 3-1 win at Everton on Sunday showed that after a tough start, the Hammers have the ability to get themselves well clear of the bottom spots.The attacking trio of Marko Arnautovic, Felipe Anderson and two-goal Ukrainian Andriy Yarmolenko, was particularly impressive as West Ham took advantage of a loose Everton back-line.The win was badly needed given the next two league fixtures for Pellegrini’s side are Chelsea and Manchester United.
Liverpool fans have been assured they will be allowed to have a drink if they head to Qatar to watch the Reds try to win the Club World Cup in December.The ruling council of football’s world governing body FIFA met in Paris on Monday and approved the plan to stage the next two editions of the tournament in the Gulf state.With Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup in November and December that year, it represents the perfect chance for organisers to test their new stadiums in 2019 and 2020 at the same time of year.It will also be a chance for the Muslim country to learn how to deal with thousands of thirsty western football fans, and vice-versa.Speaking to reporters in Paris, the chairman of Qatar 2022’s organising committee Hassan Al Thawadi said: “We’re looking forward to hosting the World Cup in 2022.“Now we’ve got the Club World Cups in 2019 and 2020, so it’s exciting times for us, and there’s no doubt the Club World Cup will be an important test event.”Asked if fans will be allowed to drink alcohol in the dry state, Al Thawadi said: “We’ve answered that question many times but yes, everyone will be welcome, everybody will be able to enjoy the tournament.“I’ll give you the full operational details later but I can say it will be a great learning opportunity for us, too.”Liverpool earned the right to compete in this year’s tournament by beating Spurs in the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday.As per the recent editions, Jurgen Klopp’s men will be competing for the title against the champions of world football’s other five confederations and the national champions from the host country.So far, the other qualifiers are Mexico’s Monterey, Tunisia’s Esperance and Hienghene Sport, the Oceania champions from New Caledonia. The Asian and South American champions will be decided in November.The current Qatari champions are Al Sadd, whose manager is former Barcelona and Spain star Xavi, who recently took up the post.As European champions, Liverpool would enter at the semi-final stage. The Reds lost 1-0 to South American champions Sao Paulo in Yokohama in the 2005 final, their only previous appearance in the competition in its current guise.Real Madrid won last year’s Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, beating the host nation’s Al Ain in the final.The competition took place from December 12-22, and a similar schedule would have this year’s final finishing on Saturday, December 21.The next two editions in Qatar will be the last before FIFA revamps the competition in 2021 by expanding it to 24 teams and holding it every fourth summer in the slot currently held by the World Cup warm-up event, the Confederations Cup.It had been reported in some quarters FIFA was not going to bother with the Club World Cup before relaunching it in 2021, but that was never the case.The hold-up in naming a host was caused by waiting to ensure Qatar would have two finished stadiums for this year’s tournament, as the already renovated Khalifa International Stadium in Doha is being used for the World Athletics Championships in September and will not be ready for football in December.Confirmation this year’s Club World Cup is on means Liverpool will get the chance to add three more pieces of silverware before the year is out.They face Premier League winners Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley in early August and Europa League winners Chelsea in the European Super Cup in Istanbul on August 14.