Hoffenheim 1 – 2 Manchester City | UEFA Champions League Highlights

Hoffenheim 1 - 2 Manchester City | UEFA Champions League Highlights

Manchester City seized the first win of their UEFA Champions League campaign with a 1-2 victory over Hoffenheim in Group F.

The thrilling match was covered by goals at both ends, with Ishak Belfodil scoring the opening goal inside a minute before Sergio Aguero equalized just a few minutes later, however, the final goal came in the dying minutes as David Silva grabbed the winner for Manchester City.

Hoffenheim went ahead just 44 seconds after kicking off their inaugural home UEFA Champions League fixture. Kerem Demirbay slotted the ball through for Ishak Belfodil to latch onto and slot home past Ederson to send the home fans into a frenzy.

However, their passion was subdued just seven minutes later as Sergio Aguero made things level. A majestic ball from David Silva to find Leroy Sane who cut the ball back for Aguero. The Argentinean striker then found space before firing home from inside the 6-yard box.

Manchester City were immediately on the prowl for a second goal and could have taken the lead in the 16th minute through Raheem Sterling. They burst down the field with pace as England forward got himself into the box only for the ball to come off his heel before going wide.

Oliver Baumann made a magnificent save of a curling effort from Aguero at the top left corner in the 35th minute. Four minutes later,  Ederson came to the rescue at the other end as Aymeric Laporte played a poor back pass that allowed Belfodil onto the ball, but the Manchester City stopper made himself big at the near post to deny the effort.

The second half of the game was slower and with fewer opportunities than the first. Manchester City were robbed of a penalty in the 74th minute. Baumann came rushing off his line and took down Sane in the box. The keeper was nowhere near the ball but the referee did not point to the spot. 

However, the Citizens were not going home without a win, David Silva slotting home the winner after Stefan Posch failed to deal with a Bernardo Silva cross in the 87th minute.

Manchester City move up to the second place in Group F ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk and Hoffenheim.

Manchester City face a massive challenge in the Premier League against Liverpool on Sunday, 7th October before taking on Shakhtar Donetsk in their next UEFA Champions League fixture on 24th October. 

Also read: Aguero – Manchester City Star Signs A Contract Extension

Reiss Nelson – Arsenal youngster joins Hoffenhiem on loan

Reiss Nelson - Arsenal youngster joins Hoffenhiem on loan

Hoffenheim have completed the signing of English youngster Reiss Nelson from Premier League side Arsenal on a season-long loan.

A statement in Arsenal’s official website read: “We would like to wish Reiss well for his loan in Germany and we look forward to his continued development with us.”

Reiss Nelson, after signing a new long-term deal with the Gunners, joined Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in search of first-team football.

Reiss Nelson took to Twitter to express his delight on signing the contract: “Proud moment for me and my family to have extended my contract with Arsenal. The club which holds a strong place in my heart. Can’t wait to repay everyone for the love. Best of luck to the team this season. #COYG”

A product of Arsenal’s Hale End Academy, the 18-year-old made his first-team debut last season and has earned 16 appearances for the first-team since. Reiss Nelson was named Premier League 2 Player of the Year last season after impressing for the u-23 team at Arsenal.

In an international level, Nelson has played up to under-19 level for England.

Speaking about the move, Unai Emery said: “Reiss is a talented young player and we’re pleased that he has signed a new contract with us. This move to Hoffenheim will give him the chance to get regular high-level competition in the Bundesliga and is an important step in his development. It’s a very big chance for him and the level there is important.

“We think because he is very young, he needs to take a new level to play, a new level also to get minutes, to get experience. It’s for that reason we were speaking at the club with the coaches about this possibility and also, with him, we decided together: club, coaches and the player. It’s a good chance for him to get minutes in and play, and then come back with us because he signed a new contract with us.”

Reiss Nelson will wear the no.9 shirt for the German club.

Bayern Munich get ready to kick-off Bundesliga 2017/18

Bayern Munich get ready to kick-off Bundesliga 2017/18

The 2018/19 Bundesliga season is here with a mouthwatering fixture that will see champions Bayern Munich hoping for a blistering start against a Hoffenheim side that will come to the Allianz Arena, all guns out.

The last encounter between the two teams had seen Hoffenheim race into a 2-0 lead within the opening 12 minutes of the match, a setback that Bayern had not faced on its home soil in 40 long years. However, on that occasion in January of last season, the match concluded with the Bavarians responding with five goals to win comfortably, an outcome that Kovac and his men would love to repeat on the opening night.

There have been just three arrivals at Munich this summer, all of which were known before the end of the 2017/18 season. Leon Goretzka had agreed on a move from Schalke last January, while Serge Gnabry returned to Bayern after a season on loan at Hoffenheim. The biggest recruitment out was that of the new manager Niko Kovac, a former Bayern player, and the man tasked with taking over from legendary boss Jupp Heynckes.

“We have to try to bring joy, passion, team spirit and harmony,” the recently appointed Kovac said ahead of his first Bundesliga match as Bayern coach. Interestingly, while he was managing Eintracht Frankfurt, he failed to oversee a win against Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim. Eintracht losing two and drawing the rest.

“The only chance you have against Bayern is if you play boldly. It will be difficult, but we are optimistic,” Nagelsmann said ahead of Hoffenheim’s first ever appearance in a Friday night Bundesliga opener. The division’s youngest-ever coach when he arrived on the Hoffenheim scene as a 28-year-old in February 2016, Nagelsmann has managed to win twice and draw one of his four matches against the record champions.

As far as Bayern Munich is concerned, the state of their summer transfer window makes it seem like the Bavarians have decided to save their money this summer in the hope of making a mega-signing next year. With players like Paulo Dybala and Antoine Griezmann being considered for this deal. Nonetheless, summer of 2019 is a season away and could come following a campaign of relative disappointment for Kovac’s men.

Bayern won the Bundesliga last season by 21 points and should take the title again this year, but probably not as comfortable due to Borussia Dortmund strengthening by spending cleverly in the transfer market and recruiting the weathered Lucien Favre as coach.

If Bayern manages to succeed this season too, it would be their seventh league title in a row, something which appears to have been taken as a given by the club’s fans, who demand the club to compete for the treble year after year after having a taste of it in 2012/13 under Heynckes.

This being the first game of the league season, and against a tough opponent at that, Kovac is expected to start his best possible eleven.

In attack, we can expect to have Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, with the flanks being managed by either Arjen Robben or Franck Ribery, if not both. The fans still continue to hope that Kingsley Coman will get his first competitive start under the new coach. However, after being proved wrong for the first time, we can’t be too certain about that for the opening game which will be Kovac’s third game. In midfield, we can expect Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez. to start. In defense, naturally it will be Joshua Kimmich at right back, David Alaba at left back (if fit, otherwise we can see Rafinha taking his place), and Mats Hummels at center back. The question is whether Niklas Sule or Jerome Boateng will be given the nod by the new manager. Considering the rumors of Boateng’s departure, it’s probably going to be Sule who starts on Friday. Behind the defense will be Manuel Neuer who will be looking forward to making his return to Bundesliga in style.

There’s no secret that the losses Bayern suffered at the hands of Nagesmann have contributed largely to Carlo Ancelotti’s waning at the club.

Will Kovac suffer the same fate as his much more experienced predecessor?

Trent Alexander Arnold : Liverpool’s own.

Alexander Arnold Liverpool

Of all the brilliant stories behind Liverpool’s thrilling run to the champions league final, Trent’s story is right up there. This 19-year-old kid from West Derby has made waves ever since he’s taken over the right-back spot at Liverpool since the injury of Nathanial Clyne. He first came into the limelight when he scored a brilliant free kick against Hoffenheim that kick-started Liverpool’s journey to Kiev, and his game against Real Madrid meant that he became the youngest player in the club’s history to play in the European club final and his rise has been nothing short of remarkable.

Just two years ago, the Liverpudlian youngster made his debut for Liverpool’s under-21’s and his journey to the main squad was not easy for the academy graduate. It’s only his hard work and determination that has earned him a place in the main squad and he’s just getting started. They say one man’s loss is another man’s gain and that’s what has happened to Alexander Arnold when senior England right back Nathanial Clyne got injured and he’s welcomed it with both hands making use of the opportunity he’s got.

Trent’s ability and willingness to learn from his mistakes have played a key role in his development because most young players today are reluctant to learn as they think they have already arrived which makes them complacent and therefore affects their game. He came under scrutiny when he was exposed by Manchester United winger Marcus Rashford and Crystal Palace winger Wilfred Zaha and although he has bounced back, he admits that he’s aware of the fact that it won’t be a smooth ride to the top, but he would always put in the hard work to cope with it.

But his greatest achievement in his young career as yet has to be his call-up for the English national squad that’s traveling to Russia for the world cup. It’s not often that your childhood dream of representing your country in a world cup comes true at the age of 19. Whether he gets game time or not, only time will tell but the experience that he will gain at such a young age is truly remarkable.