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Under pressure, Fed faces an outlook clouded by trade wars and signs of weakness

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s attacks on the Federal Reserve have broken one set of precedents, his talk of stacking the central bank with political allies has strained another, and his on-again off-again tariff threats have made the economic outlook harder than ever to predict.

While the Fed may well find reason to cut interest rates in recent weak job and inflation readings, doing so could also put a safety net under Trump policies that, to the eyes of many policymakers, have to date done more harm than good.

“There is a kind of feed the beast aspect to it,” said former Fed vice chair Alan Blinder. “Among the many things the Fed has to take as given is trade policy. And if in fact trade policy is going to push the economy into a slump, that is a reason to cut interest rates … If the Fed comes in to bail him out you encourage bad behavior.”

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other officials insist they can only consider what is happening in the economy and the appropriate policy response, and not try to second guess what the administration does or might do.

Trump on Monday renewed his attacks on the Fed, claiming that central bank policy put him at a disadvantage in his trade negotiations with China because that country, with closer political control of its central bank, could devalue its currency or use other tools to offset the tariffs Trump has imposed on Chinese imports.

“Our Fed is very destructive to us… They haven’t listened to me,” Trump said in a CNBC interview. “They’re not my people.”

In fact, Trump elevated Powell to the Fed leadership and appointed three of the other four sitting Fed governors.

Trump has for a year berated the Fed for raising rates and other policy steps that Fed officials say are the best way for keeping the recovery under way. That broke a roughly 30-year run of presidents largely staying away from specific policy recommendations for the Fed, even if they were sometimes generically critical of the central bank.

Earlier this year, Trump threatened a fuller assault by considering the appointment of two highly partisan political allies to the central bank, straying from a tradition of more technocratic appointments.

The surprise announcement in early May of higher tariffs on China and a threatened imposition of levies on Mexican imports added to the minefield the Fed must now navigate.

Though Trump in the end chose not to impose the tariffs on Mexico, the prospect of using an economic lever for the non-economic end of border control showed how in the Trump era policy could shift abruptly for central bankers who try to keep their focus on medium- and longer-term outcomes.

“We take all kinds of things…into account,” St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said last week before Trump called off the Mexican tariffs. “There are some good policies in there. There may be some bad policies in there. But we have to take everything into account.”

NOT IN A BOX

Recent economic data are already complicating the Fed’s job. Policymakers have expected the economy to slow, but also regarded the likely slowing as modest, and not enough to warrant a rate cut.

The story shifted after Trump’s latest trade war salvo.

“I don’t feel backed into a box,” to cut rates, Dallas Federal Reserve bank president Robert Kaplan said last week. But “in the month of April I might have said … I was a little more optimistic that the outlook was firming, and today I will tell you I am more cognizant of risks to the downside. That is a pretty big change in a relatively short amount of time.”

Whether it is enough for the Fed to put a rate cut squarely on the table will become clearer next week. Fed officials will hold their policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, and issue updated rate projections. They will also have to decide whether to maintain their “patient” approach to changing rates from the current range of between 2.25% and 2.5%, or drop that description in a sign that they are open to a move sooner rather than later.

Weak inflation readings like those in a New York Fed report on Monday have already led Bullard to say that a rate reduction was “warranted.” [nL2N23H0PS]

Analysts and markets, though, are split.

Bond markets have been aggressive in pricing in lower rates later this year, and U.S. stocks have rallied hard in the past week on optimism that a rate cut looked more likely, especially after last week’s weak jobs report. Economists at Goldman Sachs and elsewhere, meanwhile, have discounted any pressure from Trump and argue the economic outlook does not yet warrant a rate cut.

Rolling with the punches from political Washington is nothing new. Former Fed chair Ben Bernanke complained when congressional spending caps reduced economic growth just as the U.S. recovery was getting traction and the eurozone was threatening to crack apart.

This problem here is different, though, with the Fed both under political pressure and less certain, week to week, what actions of the White House they may have to take into account.

After years in which U.S. central bankers bemoaned being “th上海夜生活e only game in town” influencing the economy, they may now be nostalgic for those simpler times.

“The Fed has had too much on its plate for a long time,” said Boston College economics professor Peter Ireland. “Powell was taking pains to say ‘trade is trade’ and that is not our business. But he has gotten sucked into it.”

Land & Buildings may seek board seats at Taubman Centers in 2020

NEW YORK ( ) – Activist investment firm Land & Buildings on Tuesday warned that it may seek board seats at shopping mall operator Taubman Centers Inc next year unless performance improves.

Jonathan Litt, who runs the firm and is known for pushing for change at real estate companies, wrote to fellow Taubman shareholders, telling them that he plans to “take any action that we deem necessary to hold this Board and Bobby Taubman accountable.”

Unless there is “meaningful progress in the coming months,” Litt wrote that he plans to wage a proxy contest and nominate directors next year.

Specifically Litt wants Taubman Centers to sell assets in Asia and sell or spin-off “Jewel Box” assets which include properties like the Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey.

Shares in the company, whose market capitalization is roughly $2.6 billion, have fallen 26% in the last 52 weeks as consumer appetites have shifted more to buying online.

“Their best defense against a proxy contest in 2020 is to drive m上海夜生活论坛aterial outperformance by maximizing value for all shareholders,” Litt wrote in the letter.

Litt, whose firm had roughly $577 million in regulatory assets at the end of last year, has been pushing for changes at Taubman since 2016 and won a board seat two years later.

He wrote that he did not stand for re-election this year because “it was clear that the Company did not intend to re-nominate me,” and because he feels that one independent director was not enough to push for the changes he feels are needed.

Next year however shareholders will have a chance to cast ballots on all directors including Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Bobby Taubman. “All directors and specifically, Bobby Taubman, can be held accountable by shareholders for the Company’s atrocious absolute and relative performance for the first time since 2017 at the 2020 Annual Meeting,” the letter said.

News of Litt’s plans was first reported by Bloomberg.

U.S. House Speaker Ryan running for re-election: spokeswoman

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan is running again for the job in the next Congress, a spokeswoman said on Thursday after a media report quoted several unidentified House Republicans as saying they expected him to step down next week.

“He is running,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said.

The Hill cited four House Republicans as saying that they expected Ryan to step aside as Speaker after next Tuesday’s general election.

“Speculation is growing that Paul will not return,” the Hill quoted a “senior GOP lawmaker close to leadership” as saying.

It quoted a member of the Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative Republicans, as saying that if Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wins, Ryan will get “a good share of the blame” among House members who support Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Ryan last month told fellow Republicans that he would not defend or campaign for Trump and would instead focus on re-electing Republicans to keep the majority in the House.

This angered some Trump supporters in the House, who felt the Wisconsin co上海夜生活论坛ngressman should stand by Trump. One of them, Representative Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, tweeted: “if Paul Ryan isn’t for Trump, then I’m not for Paul Ryan.”

But Ryan, who as Speaker is the country’s highest-ranking Republican, has a great deal of support in the Republican caucus, and it is far from clear that his critics would be able to oust him if they tried.

House Republicans, who currently number 246, plan to have closed-door leadership elections in mid-November. Ryan is expected to win their nomination for Speaker at that gathering, but the actual election to the Speaker’s post would not be held until the new Congress convenes in January.

All members of the House, both Republican and Democrat, will vote in the Speaker election and Ryan will need 218 votes – a majority of the House’s 435 members – to win. This could be a challenge if Republicans lose a substantial number of seats in next week’s elections, and if some of those who remain decide to oppose Ryan.

GRAPHIC-Take Five: Trade winds – World markets themes for the week ahead

May 10 ( ) – Following are five big themes likely to dominate thinking of investors and traders in the coming week and the stories related to them. 1/WATCH THOSE CURVES Moody’s warned this week that a trade war could tip the U.S. economy into recession next year. And U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest decision to hike tariff rates on Chinese goods has possibly brought that risk a bit closer. At least the bond market seems to think so — the yield on three-month U.S. Treasury bills is on the cusp of rising above 10-year yields.

A sustained curve inversion, as such a shift is called, would be seen as a sure-fire recession signal; in a normally growing economy, longer-dated borrowing costs are higher than short-term rates.

But the curve has sent a false alarm at least once before and some believe it is doing so again, above all because huge Fed purchases have depressed longer yields. Huge issuance of short-term debt is also likely to have contributed to the flattening.

Which brings us to another question. Given 2019 net borrowing will top $1 trillion, might Washington find itself scrambling to find buyers? Some dismal bond auctions recently have raised the question whether China is paring Treasury purchases — due to the escalating trade spat. Simmering tensions will keep the issue alive.

-EXPLAINER-What is an inverted yield curve -Flattened yield curve reason to be nervous, but US economy solid – Fed’s Evans -U.S. yields spike after dismal 10-year note sale

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2/ TALK, TWEET, REPEAT Industrial output, retail sales, house prices: a batch of data due in coming days was supposed to give investors an idea about how China’s economy was faring against a backdrop of 10% U.S. tariffs and authorities’ stimulus policies.

Fast forward and the stakes have been raised — quite a lot. On Friday, Washington hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% and Trump, reverting to Twitter, has threatened more. Beijing warned it would retaliate, though it didn’t say how.

Negotiations to try to end a 10-month-old trade war between the world’s biggest economies are continuing, and markets have taken heart from China’s decision to stick with the talks. Another factor is China’s central bank, which assured markets it had “rich” policy tools to cope with external uncertainties. Weak economic data can only cement that resolve. -Trump’s tariff hike on $200 bln of Chinese goods takes effect -More China policy easing seen as lending slows, trade risks rise -Counting the cost of the U.S.-China trad上海夜生活论坛e war so far tmsnrt.rs/2Lzed8e

3/OIL SLICK The world economy seems to be shifting into a lower gear but Brent crude futures are holding above $70 a barrel, up 30% this year. Barclays sees a climb to $74-$75 in the coming year.

In the short-term too, oil looks well-supported. On the demand side, Chinese imports hit a record in April, possibly due to economic stimulus measures taking effect. And supply has been curtailed by a pipeline contamination issue in Russia and U.S. sanctions that have cut shipments from Venezuela and Iran.

Venezuelan exports have dropped 40% since January and Iran’s exports have more than halved, to one million barrels per day or less. They are expected to slide further in May.

None of these issues will be resolved anytime soon. Iran for one is threatening to retaliate against U.S. sanctions by breaching a nuclear pact signed in 2015. Sanctions have failed to dislodge Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro but they are likely to cut oil exports further in May, after the expiry of an April 28 deadline for U.S. firms to complete existing deals.

-U.S. sanctions and Venezuela’s exports and imports -OPEC supply squeeze seen supporting higher oil prices -Sinopec, CNPC skip Iran oil purchases for May to avoid U.S. sanctions tmsnrt.rs/2VThqU1

4/NO STICKER SHOCK Few U.S. data series have been as choppy in recent months as retail sales. December’s drop in core sales was the largest in nearly two decades — only to be followed by an equally large swing to the upside in January. Demand for big-ticket items like cars then pushed the March total to the highest in 18 months.

Consumer resilience, emboldened by a strong job market, was a key pillar of support for the U.S. economy in the first quarter. So the April reading will show if that willingness to spend continues into Q2.

estimates point to the first back-to-back rise in retail sales since November. Headline sales are seen up 0.2%.

The report comes soon after Trump imposed new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, but it is far too soon to see a meaningful impact from the trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Shoppers will probably not start reacting to sticker shock until the third quarter. -U.S. retail sales post biggest gain in 1-1/2 years in March -Fed rate cut likely if U.S. manufacturing continues to slow: Kemp tmsnrt.rs/2VVixm4 5/ITALIA DEJA VU Once again it seems there’s good reason to fret over Italy, the euro zone’s third-biggest economy — and one of its most indebted.

Tensions have flared within the ruling coalition over a corruption scandal that cost a junior minister his job. Rome may find itself footing the bill for a bank bailout after BlackRock ditched a proposed rescue of Carige. And finally, the European Commission has warned that Italian finances may deteriorate further. So another showdown with the EU might be looming.

How talks on deficit targets may pan out could become clearer at the May 16 Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers.

Signs of compromise will bring relief to Italian bond markets, where yields have seen their biggest weekly jump in three months with a rise of over 10 basis points. Contrast that to Spain and Portugal, often lumped in with Italy as the euro zone “periphery” — 10-year Spanish yields are at 2-1/2 year troughs while Portuguese yields have touched record lows.

The latest bond sell-off, which took Italian yields to 2.7%, is small compared to the rout a year ago when yields spiked to 3.4%. But who could be blamed for a sense of deja vu? -Rome scrambles to swerve Carige bank bailout after BlackRock pulls out -Italy coalition patches up rift after PM ousts junior minister

-Italy accuses EU of prejudice after grim economic forecasts

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At Ethiopia flight memorial, white roses mark passing of lives

ADDIS ABABA ( ) – Bouquets of white roses surrounded aviation staff as they gathered at Bole International Airport on Sunday to remember the two pilots and six crew, who perished along with 149 passengers in the Ethiopia Airlines crash a week ago.

Weeping women held slender single stems in their shaking hands. Banks of the white flowers, the traditional color of mourning, were placed in front of a row of empty coffins at the ceremony.

A band – some of the musicians in tears – temporarily stopped playing as band members ran to comfort bereaved relatives who lunged forward, wailing in grief over the coffins.

“Our deep sorrow cannot bring them back,” an Orthodox priest in a traditional black turban and black robes told the crowd gathered outside an airport hangar.

“This is the grief of the world,” he said, as Ethiopian Airlines staff sobbed in each other’s arms.

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At least the crash had taken place in Ethiopia – the holy land – he said, prompting “amens” from the crowd.

In Paris, investigators examined black box recorders to determine why the aircraft plunged into a field shortly after take off from Addis Ababa, searching for similarities to an October Lion Air crash that killed 189 people.

Both crashes involved the same model of plane – a Boeing 737 MAX 8 – causing aviation authorities to ground the model around the world after last week’s accident.

Data from the Ethiopian Airlines flight recorder had been successfully downloaded, France’s BEA air accident investigation agency said on Sunday. That information had been transferred to Ethiopian investigators, the agency said, adding that its technical work on the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder was now done.

PRAYERS PAUSED

In the Ethiopian capital, families and airline staff were focused on honoring their dead.

At the airport memorial, a banner offered “deepest condolences and comfort” to the families of the deceased crew.

A female flight attendant spoke warmly of the deceased captain, Yared Getachew.

“He was a really nice person, a good person, all the words you can find to talk about a good person apply. He was a very kind human being,” she said, before dissolving in tears.

A service for the families of passengers – more than 30 nationalities were onboard – was also held beneath the pink stone spires of Addis Ababa’s Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Families and relatives of the victims threw themselves on the coffins as they arrived and kissed pictures of loved ones.

Incense was waved over the coffins, but there was so much weeping that prayers had to be paused. Afterwards, some said the service meant they could now shift focus from grieving for the dead to caring for the living.

“Her husband is now left with an 上海夜网infant, he has to shift his attention to his life and raising his baby,” said Getachew Negatu, a friend of one of the stewardesses onboard the flight.

“Her father and mother, including her sisters, are devastated by this grief. Everyone has got to come back to life as we … cannot live like this forever.”

The families were offered charred earth from the crash site to bury, because most of the bodies were destroyed by the impact and fire. Identifying the small remains that have been collected may take up to six months.

U.S. judge orders Arkansas to pay Planned Parenthood in narrow ruling

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. ( ) – A U.S. district judge on Friday ordered Arkansas to continue payments to Planned Parenthood for its treatment of three women who challenged Governor Asa Hutchinson’s directive cutting off Medicaid reimbursements to the organization.

The order applied only to the cases of the three plaintiffs, although the judge suggested that Planned Parenthood as an organization might successfully challenge the cutoff.

Judge Kristine Baker held that the three women, identified in court papers as “Jane Does,” had demonstrated they would incur irreparable harm should they not be able to access contraceptive care and other services through Planned Parenthood. 

Arkansas is one of several Republican-controlled states that have cut funds for the organization after the release of videos by an anti-abortion activist group, the Center for Medical Progress, in which Planned Parenthood officials are seen discussing transactions involving fetal tissue.

Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing.

The preliminary injunction the judge issued on Friday follows a temporary restraining order she put in place two weeks ago.

The judge declined to bar the introduction of the videos in further proceedings, but dismissed them from immediate consideration as “inadmissible hearsay.”

Hutchinson, a Republican, said in a statement the ruling was limited to the three women and that he would direct the state health department to “prohibit funding to Planned Parenthood consistent with the Court’s ruling.”

In Washin上海夜生活gton, U.S. congressional Republicans this week challenged Planned Parenthood’s eligibility for federal funds, while the health organization’s president said defunding it would restrict women’s access to care and disproportionately hurt low-income patients.

Planned Parenthood gets about $500 million annually in federal funds, largely in reimbursements under Medicaid, the government’s healthcare program for the poor.

In Arkansas, reaction from social conservatives to the judge’s move was swift.

“Arkansans have made it clear time and again they do not want public dollars subsidizing abortions,” said Jerry Cox, president of the Family Council of Arkansas. 

Planned Parenthood has said almost all of its work in the state covered services other than abortions.

The Arkansas contracts with Planned Parenthood involved services including nurse practitioners, pharmacy and family planning and were delivered through the Arkansas Medicaid program. No state funds were used for abortions, except in the case of incest, rape or when the life of the mother was at stake, state health officials said.

A spokesman for the state attorney general said no decision had been made regarding an appeal of the ruling.

Trump knocks off Walker in key state of Iowa: poll

WASHINGTON ( ) – Donald Trump has surged ahead of the pack of Republican presidential candidates in the key state of Iowa, knocking off Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who had been the leading contender there, a poll released on Friday showed.

Walker had been leading among the 17 Republicans seeking the party’s nomination for the November 2016 election in the early voting state of Iowa, which borders Wisconsin.

The Quinnipiac University survey showed 27 percent of likely Republican caucus voters in the Midwestern state backed Trump, the outspoken businessman and television personality who has seen his lead in national public opinion polls grow in recent weeks despite a string of controversial comments.

Another 21 percent said they supported former neurosurgeon Ben Carson and 9 percent backed U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement.

The university’s July poll found Walker leading among 18 percent of likely participants in the state’s Feb. 1 caucus, followed by Trump and Carson with 10 percent each. In the poll released on Friday, just 3 percent said they would pick Walker.

“With five months until the balloting, anything can happen. But the field has become a two-tiered contest – Donald Trump and Ben Carson ahead and everyone else far behind,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll said in a statement.

The results also showed the handicap that Washington experience has become in the minds of potential Republican voters, Brown said.

He added that Carson, who scored better than Trump among those surveyed when it came to honesty, empathy and temperament despite Trump’s edge on leadership, pointing to the ex-surgeon’s potential to gain support when other Republicans drop out of the race.

The findings also highlight the challenge for Walker, who had been leading most Iowa polls earlier in the summer and has in rec上海夜生活论坛ent weeks tried to jump-start his campaign.

Quinnipiac’s survey released on Friday polled 1,038 likely Iowa Republican Caucus participants from Aug. 27 to Sept. 8 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Herrera lauds Sanchez’ workload

The Chilean’s debut for the Red Devils left a lot of people impressed, but one of his team-mates was struck by a different aspect of Sanchez’ game.

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has revealed how intrigued he was by the Chilean’s tireless work ethics in the Red Devils 4-0 FA Cup win over Yeovil on Friday.

Sanchez took part in the hosts two opening goals and created a lot of chances for his team-mates, but it was another thing that caught Herrera’s eyes during the game.

– Yeah, amazing. He has played very good, but what I really like from him is the way he fights when he loses the ball. – the midfielder told MUTV.Opinion: Solskjaer needs patience from Manchester United Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – As we enter into one of the most complicated moments for Solskjaer, we believe Manchester United needs to be patient with him.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer…

– He is always ready to be the first defender of the team. That’s going to be very important for us.

– Of course, we know his quality. He is going to be amazing for us but the way his first, the way he defends I really like it.

When it comes to United’s goals this season and their look on the FA Cup, Herrera added:

– We have won the FA Cup two seasons ago and last season we won three trophies, so this club is about titles, and we are not going to give 上海夜网any competition away, we are going to fight for everything.

Preview: Sassuolo – Inter

Inter Milan will look to bounce back from their surprise loss to Udinese last weekend, whe上海夜网n they welcome Sassuolo in Serie A.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

It is so tight at the top that one loss brought Inter down the table to third after 17 games (40pts, W12, D4, L1). Their first loss of the season puts them two points behind new leaders Napoli (42pts) and Inter must also be worried about AS Roma below them, who are now just two points behind with a game in hand.

Sassuolo are 15th in SA (17pts, W5, D2, L10) but have been on a revival since Beppe Iachini took control at the end of November. Nine out of their 17 points (53%) came in their last five matches where they picked up 1.8 points per game (compared to season avg. of 1.0 points per game).

The visitors are unbeaten in eight away games (W5, D3) conceding just five goals (avg. of 0.62 per game) while scoring 13 (avg. of 1.62 per game). This is bad news for the hosts who have just one win in eight home games (W1, D2, L5) and their home point tally (five) is better than that of only Genoa (two) and Benevento (one).

Inter’s Mauro Icardi has scored 17 goals so far in 17 games and is looking well on course to join Gonzalo Higuain and Luca Toni as the only strikers since the 1930s to score 30 goals in a SA season. The hosts want their talisman to get their title charge back on track, as they look for their first Scudetto since 2010!Italian football to pay respects to Sassuolo owner Squinzi George Patchias – Sassuolo owner Giorgio Squinzi has died at the age of 76, and a minute’s silence will be observed across Italian football this weekend as…

Sassuolo have failed to score in six of their eight home games (75%) while keeping just two clean sheets (25%). They have scored just three home goals (avg. of 0.38 per game) while conceding ten goals (avg. of 1.25 per game). But, the positive news is that their only win has come in their most recent match!

Sassuolo have won four of their last five (80%) encounters against Inter, with their only loss during this process coming last year at home (1-0). Can Inter repeat that feat?

Missing players

Sassuolo: C. Dell’Orco (knee injury), T. Letschert (knee injury), C. Adjapong (doubtful)

Inter: Z. Vanheusden (knee injury), J. Mario (doubtful).

Guardiola admitted that he didn’t expect his City to play like that

Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City coach, admitted that he is surprised by his side’s form and performances just like everybody else and he didn’t expect this thing to happen before the season has started.

Manchester City managed to win 16 Premier League matches in a row (which is the new record) and in total, they won 17 out of their first 18 league matches of the season. Guardiola’s career best is 20 wins in a row with Bayern Munich and he is about to improve even this record if he will continue like that – but he previously insisted that this record is meaningless if they will not win a trophy.

The former Bayern Munich and Barcelona coach spoke about his feelings about this successful run as he said, according to Goal: “No [I did not expect this], I don’t know [what a good points total would have been]. I’m glad to be where we are. I would have liked to be here at the beginning of the season, but I didn’t expect it. I repeat this is not normal. This is not a situation I am used to.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He admitted that he expected the at least a few losses will come: “I expect to lose games and drop more points, but I am glad. We are going to fight to continue to be unbeaten. That is going to happen, we will be beaten. But we are going to fight to be unbeaten.”

In the end, Pep Guardiola insisted that he is certain that they will drop points at some point: “There is no doubt about it because of the way we pla上海夜网y at Leicester, the way we play against Tottenham and Swansea, the players showed me they are still hungry to win another game. We will drop points and then after that, we will see how we react.”

Wenger vs Mourinho

Jose Mourinho accused Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger of lying about Alexandre Lacazette’s fitness before the showdown between the Gunners and Manchester United last weekend

The Red Devils coach claimed the Frenchman wasn’t honest about his striker’s fitness, and Wenger felt like he had to hit back.

It was France international Alexandre Lacazette who wasn’t supposed to feature against United on Saturday, as Wenger had previously stated he wasn’t in the right condition to play. Not only has he played, the striker managed to score.

As the former Lyon star’s presence put pressure on Mourinho’s men, he accused Pep Guardiola of being similarly dishonest when the Manchester City coach said David Silva isn’t ready to play on Sunday.

The Manchester United manager took his shot at Wenger and Guardiola during a press conference,上海夜生活论坛 when assessing his injured players after their 2-1 Champions League victory over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.Solskjaer “very pleased” after another failure to win George Patchias – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was “very pleased,” even though United failed to win yet again.It is now ten games on the road since…

“The truth is Eric Bailly, no chance for the weekend, Phil Jones a chance, [Marouane] Fellaini a chance, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] a big chance and [Nemanja] Matic is injured but will play for sure. [Michael] Carrick no chance,” Mourinho said.

“I’m telling the truth, he’s injured but will play for sure. No stories of Lacazette or David Silva. All the truth.”

Once Wenger heard what the Portuguese coach had to say, he couldn’t not comment on the issue, and he replied to Mourinho’s claims during a news conference ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League game against BATE.

“I though he wouldn’t play, yes, but in the end, he could play. What did you want me to do, to leave him at home?” the Frenchman replied.

“I’m always honest and I thought really he wouldn’t play. He had a test on Friday morning and we were not sure he would play. After he tried, and he played. That’s part of football,” Wenger said.

Preview: Barcelona – Sporting

Sporting’s only chance to qualify from Group D is a win in Barcelona today, coupled with a favorable result in the other match of the group between Olympiakos and Juventus (1x).

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Sporting Lisbon face a 1,250km trip to Barcelona and face a mammoth task in their final group game in this Champions League (CL) campaign. Sporting must win here to stand any chance of qualification from the group. But for them to beat a Barcelona side away from home, who are unbeaten domestically and in the CL so far, whilst also relying on Olympiakos to do a job on Juventus – may be too big of an ask.

Barcelona have already qualified from the group having gained 11 points from their first five fixtures, but do not be mistaken in thinking that they’ll take their foot off of the gas for this one. Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona have won nine of their last ten at the Nou Camp, and their last defeat in any competition, home or away, was against their rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.

To add more misery to Sporting’s chances, Barcelona have scored three goals in each of their home group games so far (3-0 vs Juventus, 3-1 vs Olympiakos). Furthermore, they remain unbeaten here in the CL since all the way back in September 2013 – a remarkable 23 CL home games.

Jorge Jesus’ Sporting side have not won in Spain in 11 attempts, drawing three and losing the remaining eight games, and m上海夜网ost recently to Real Madrid last season. Meanwhile, Barcelona are unbeaten vs Portuguese teams in their last 15 games, winning 12 and drawing three – with their last defeat to a Portuguese side being back in ‘87/’88!Niko Kovac urges Bayern Munich to remain ‘humble’ Andrew Smyth – Niko Kovac has called on Bayern Munich to stay focused and humble after thrashing Tottenham 7-2 in the Champions League.

Barcelona have managed five clean sheets in their last six CL outings, yet Sporting have scored 27 goals in their last ten away games, which is just short of three goals per game. The last meeting between the two at the Camp Nou ended with a Barca win and both teams finding the net (3-1).

Lionel Messi is on the brink of making history, he is now just three goals away from his century of CL goals, and he will surely be looking to take the match ball home after the game.

Missing players

Barcelona: O. Dembele (muscle injury), J. Mascherano (muscle injury), Rafinha (knee injury), S. Umtiti (muscle injury), A. Iniesta (doubtful), A. Turan (doubtful)

Sporting: J. Silva (knee injury), S. Doumbia (doubtful).

FA Cup to trial VAR technology next year

The FA insist they are open to implementing new technologies into football.

The VAR(video assistant referee) will be tried out during the third round of this season’s FA Cup, the English Football Association confirmed.

The technology will be used for the first time on the Island during Brighton’s clash with Crystal Palace on Monday, 8 January 2018. The VAR will also be used in a number of selected fixtures throughout the rest of the competition.

In fact, the very first time the new system was used was when England faced Germany in an international friendly on Wembley. However, the video assistant referee was simply tested and not executed in play.Pep Guardiola agrees that the domestic Treble isn’t enough  Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – After winning the domestic Treble for the first time in English football history, Pep Guardiola still reckons it isn’t enough for Manchester City.Pep Guardiola…

“The FA has always been open to trialling new innovations and was heavily involved in the advancement of上海夜生活论坛 goal-line technology before it was introduced,” said the FA’s director of professional game relations Andy Ambler as quoted by BBC.

“The trialling of the VAR system in this season’s Emirates FA Cup from the third round is a continuation of that and further demonstrates that whilst being the most famous and historic domestic cup competition in the world it is also modern, progressive and innovative.”

The English Football Association also clarified that the VAR will only be used to counteract “clear and obvious errors” on certain situations: goals, penalties, straight red cards or mistaken yellow/red cards.

Bonucci expecting a Milan victory in Serie A derby

The Italian is grateful for his time with the Nerazzurri, but hopes to come out as a victor after the clash between Inter and AC Milan.

Leonardo Bonucci has looked back on his spell with Inter Milan ahead of the Serie A derby on Sunday. The Italy international completed a shocking move during the summer as he swapped the Nerezzurri with the Rossoneri in a record €40m deal.

Even though Bonucci is thankful for his great time at Inter, he is expecting a win for his new club AC Milan despite a rather shaky start of the season.

“I arrived when I was 17 years old and had two splendid years in their youth academy, where I really improved a lot,” Bonucci told Tencent Sports.

“They are a good side with some great individual talents and chose an important coach in Luciano Spalletti.

“We’ll have to be very wary and give our best. I would take Antonio Candreva and Eder off the Inter squad, as they are my Italy team-mates and they’re two really great guys.Ernesto Valverde praises Lionel Messi’s “fantastic” impact Andrew Smyth – Ernesto Valverde praised a not fully-fit Lionel Messi’s impact as Barcelona came from behind to beat Inter Milan 2-1 on Wednesday.

“I predict a Milan victory, but I won’t tell you [by] how much.”

The Italian also shared a few words regarding his choice to join the Rossoneri, stating that the new challenge at San Siro is what brought him to AC Milan.

“This stadium is the history of football, the most important arena in Italy. Stepping into San Siro always has an effect on you,

“The Rossoneri project is what pushed me to choose this great challenge. I knew there would be difficulties, but I accepted it because I wanted to challenge myself again.

“The objective is to set no limitations in Serie A or the Europa League. Qua上海夜生活网lification for the Champions League must be the minimum target, as Milan have to play in that tournament every year.”

Messi’s hattrick sends Argentina to World Cup

Lionel Messi scored a hattrick in Argentina’s 3-1 victory over Ecuador, that secured the Albiceleste’s World Cup spot.

Argentina went to Ecuador with one clear objective in their mind – a victory that would seal their qualification to the 2018 World Cup. Despite their last matches being far from convincing, the Argentinian fans were putting all of their hopes on the talents of their best footballer – Lion上海夜网el Messi.

And the number 10 did not disappoint. In a crucial match for the football destiny of his country, Messi delivered – and he delivered big time. Having his own personal reasons on top of the country’s hopes to take part in the upcoming World Cup, Messi scored a hat-trick to overturn a match that Ecuador found themselves leading from minute 1.

For Lionel Messi it was one of the last chances to win a World Cup. If Argentina would have missed the presence in Russia, it’s hard to believe that Messi would have had another realistic chance to lift the trophy in 2022, when Barcelona’s player would be 35.

Argentina needed a victory in Ecuador, as well as other results to play in their favour, in order to qualify directly to World Cup. The pre-match statistics were not encouraging for Argentina. The Albiceleste only won once in Quito, where the altitude makes it almost impossible for Ecuador’s opponents to perform at full potential. Also, Argentina failed to score a single goal from open play since November 2016, a less than encouraging statistic going into a decisive World Cup Qualifiers where you need to score.Ernesto Valverde praises Lionel Messi’s “fantastic” impact Andrew Smyth – Ernesto Valverde praised a not fully-fit Lionel Messi’s impact as Barcelona came from behind to beat Inter Milan 2-1 on Wednesday.

Ecuador were decided to make life difficult for Argentina. In fact, they only needed 39 seconds to open the score through Ibarra. However, Messi was not about to give up. And this time, he was not alone. Angel di Maria sent a magical pass in the 12th minute, that found Barcelona’s player in a finishing position. Messi took no chances and finished accurately, levelling the score and keeping the World Cup dream alive.

With the next two goals, Messi proved his commitment to his nation and to the presence at the World Cup. First, in the 20th minute, he chased a loose ball, powering past a defender and sending the ball into the net from a less than comfortable angle. Then, in the 62nd minute, Messi proved his absolute brilliance with a lob that left Ecuador’s goalkeeper, Banguera, stranded.

Messi sealed the 44th hat-trick of his career and perhaps the most important one, in a moment when his country needed him the most. It has to be said that this time, as opposed to the previous few matches for the national team, Messi had help from his teammates. Angel Di Maria, Enzo Perez and Eduardo Salvio all stood out with their performances last night, acknowledging the importance of the moment.

Messi saved the day and took Argentina to the World Cup. But Sampaoli will have a lot of work to do if he wants to achieve any big things in Russia next summer.

Smalling: “I don’t have to prove anything”

Chris Smalling wasn’t called up to the national team by Gareth Southgate last time but the Englishman insisted that he has nothing to prove to the national team coach as he is playing regularly under José Mourinho.

The 27-year old has been an important part of Manchester United squad but Gareth Southgate said that he isn’t sure about Smalling’s passing ability – the defender remains calm though as he mentioned that he is playing under one of the greatest managers and he is happy for it. He didn’t want to criticize Southgate but he said that he won’t prove him anything.

The central defender spoke about this situation as he said, according to Sky Sports: “I don’t feel like I really need to prove anything to Gareth because I play under one of the biggest and most successful managers in Jose and he’s only going to pick the best players. While I’m playing regularly and he is happy I think ultimately if my season carries on like this and we have a successful season and our team still concedes very few go上海夜生活als, then I think it gives him maybe no choice in the summer but to pick me.”Top 5 Premier League players in September’s last weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – A fresh Premier League fixture just ended, which means we can talk about the Top 5 best players of September’s last weekend.After a fresh…

He added that he feels really good and thinks that he is doing well: “I’ve been getting a good run of games over these last few months and I’m feeling good and that’s the feeling you want, you want to be able to play regular games and be a part of a successful team. So far we have been successful, it’s just making sure we keep this going and improve on last year where we got two trophies and we want to at least beat that.”

Smalling is sure that the fact that he plays regularly under José Mourinho should be enough: “I play for one of the biggest clubs and under one of the most successful managers in Jose and while that’s the case I think, ultimately, it is your club form that decides whether you play at a World Cup because there aren’t that many England games throughout the season.”

Preview: Monaco – RB Leipzig

Monaco and RB Leipzig are separated by two points at the bottom of Group G. The French team are last, with two points, while their German opponents are third, with four points after four rounds.

Flashscore present the key facts before the match:

AS Monaco have positive statistics facing teams from Germany in Europe’s premier competition with 7 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses.

When RB Leipzig score in the Champions League (CL) it’s mainly the first half – 4 of their 5 goals in this season’s competition have come in the first 45 minutes and overall they haven’t scored after the 48th minute in any CL match.

After reaching the semi-finals in the last CL campaign, Monaco have failed to shine this season. They haven’t manage to win a single match or score more than 1 goal in the 4 games so far (3 goals in total).

In the last 2 CL matches Monaco have even given away a 1-0 lead, with the opponents turning it into a draw and a defeat, respectively.

Leipzig have lost 5 of 10 competitive away matches this season and have conceded 7 out of 10 goals 上海夜生活论坛in the first half.Koulibaly warns about Genk danger Nedim Maric – The reliable Napoli defender, Kalidou Koulibaly warned his team about Genk’s quality as he’s played for the Belgian side in the past.Napoli opened their…

Despite losing both home matches in the CL, Monaco remain a big threat at home in Ligue 1 (P 6 W5 D1) and have scored 21 scored goals. In 4 of those matches they scored at least 3 goals.

Leipzig have conceded 6 goals in the 1st half of their Bundesliga away matches (4 in the 2nd) and that could be handy for Monaco, as the team has already scored 12 goals in the first 45 minutes of their home matches (9 in the 2nd half) in Ligue 1.

It’s not easy to be leading after 45 minutes against Monaco, as the team were only behind on 3 occasions at half-time this season.

Missing players

Monaco: T. Lemar (shoulder injury), D. Sidibe (injury), L. Badiashille (doubtful)

RB Leipzig: S. Ilsanker (toe injury), F. Coltorti (doubtful).

Cascarino thinks that Morata is “too nice for Chelsea”

The former Chelsea striker, Tony Cascarino, thinks that Alvaro Morata is “too nice” and the Blues are missing “the nastiness of Diego Costa” as they are no longer able to bully their opponents.

Diego Costa managed to score 20 goals in the previous season but after that, Antonio Conte decided to part company with the Spanish forward – and he brought Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid as the replacement. The former Juventus striker has been doing well so far as he scored seven times in 11 matches but Cascarino feels that he is not the right man for the team.

Cascarino spoke about Morata’s contribution as he said, according to Goal: “Alvaro Morata is a big talent but I wonder if Chelsea are missing the nastiness of Diego Costa up front. Morata is such an honest player: [against Roma] he literally picked up Federico Fazio when the Roma 上海夜生活网defender fell to the floor. I can just imagine Costa shoving Fazio aside if he had been in the same position.”Jamie Carragher puts Chelsea over Manchester United and Arsenal Nedim Maric – In an uneventful derby, last night, Manchester United and Arsenal both got point each.Top four-fight this season looks like it’s going to be between…

He thinks that Chelsea are missing a rude attacker like Costa was: “Morata scores plenty of goals and is a fine all-around player but Costa was always on the edge; bullying people, fouling or being fouled. Perhaps Chelsea as a whole have become nicer to play against. I remember I would pick up opponents in the early part of my career but, by the end, I certainly didn’t. I learned that no centre back would do the same for me.”

The former player of the London club also made a comment about the performance of Cesc Fabregas: “Roma’s third goal provided a classic illustration of why Cesc Fabregas should only be part of a midfield pairing when Chelsea are playing against fairly weak opposition — otherwise he should be in a midfield trio. He gave the ball away to Aleksandar Kolarov and then it was as though he had a parachute on as he tracked back to try to make up for his mistake. He has never been the quickest but he seems to have lost half a yard of pace.”

Meet the Ronaldo family

Take a look at Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo’s family, as the Portuguese superstar is about to welcome his fourth child

Cristiano Ronaldo has been great about keeping his personal life from the media, even though he is probably the football player who gets the most attention from the press.

The 32-year-old star has been silent about his personal life for obvious reasons. In recent history, however the Portuguese let fans get an insight into how Ronaldo’s family is doing.

As well as his football moments, social life and various commercial ventures, Ronaldo increasingly celebrates his growing family, sharing tender moments with his legions of followers, GOAL reports.

Cristiano Ronaldo has three children, two of them boys and one girl with the fourth one on her way with his partner Georgina Rodriguez. Ronaldo’s girlfriend is expecting the star’s second daughter.

The Portuguese became a father when he was 25. His f上海夜网irst child, Cristiano Jr, who was born in June 2010 is 7 years old now. Time flies by quick, huh?Ronaldo opens up about retirement plans Nedim Maric – Cristiano Ronaldo is still playing at a top-level even at 34 years of age.Juventus is looking to end the 23-year-old drought of not winning…

Ronaldo is very proud of his eldest son and has shared numerous videos of his “successor” playing football, making people speculate whether the kid is about to follow in his father’s footsteps.

In fact, in case there wasn’t enough pressure on the kid, some bookmakers have even offered odds on Ronaldo Jr one day playing for Man United or Real Madrid, GOAL continues.

7 years after the Cristiano Jr was born, the 32-year-old’s family grew by two as Ronaldo revealed he’s now be the father of baby twins, one boy and one girl, after his return from the Confederations Cup.

The Portuguese’s twins are reported to be named Mateo and Eva. They have reportedly arrived at this world with the help of a surrogate mother.

Rumours about Ronaldo becoming a father of four have been confirmed and the Madrid superstar is expecting his first child with girlfriend Georgina. It has been reported that the couple are expecting a girl.

It is unclear when exactly the second daughter of Ronaldo will join her family in their Madrid mansion, but his daddy will for sure be proud of his new princess and he will probably let the world know, so stay tuned.

Mbappe chose PSG for first-team opportunities

Kylian Mbappe said that he felt he would have more first-team opportunities at PSG than at Real Madrid.

The young forward was disputed this summer by Real Madrid and PSG, but eventually he chose to remain in France and sign with the Parisians. Now he revealed that the main reason behind his choice was the prospect of playing regularly in the first team: “I felt that at PSG, I would have more opportunities to play than at Real Madrid.”

Speaking to L’Equipe, the 18-year-old also revealed that he held discussions with Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola, but eventually turned down a move to England: “Guardiola is a coach who breathes football, he won everywhere and he transmits passion and makes you want to play. Drogba tips for Neymar and Mbappe to win Ballon d’Or one day Nedim Maric – One of the best strikers in the Premier League era talked about PSG’s sensational duo and their chances of winning individual awards in the…

When I spoke with him, he explained how he would use me in his tactical system. But I did not say no to Guardiola, I said no to Manchester City.”

Although he eventually switched to Ligue 1 rivals PSG, Mbappe said that he had no intention of leaving Monaco at the end of last season, when they won the title: “I had no intention of leaving Monaco at the end of the season, but things happened and I decided to change my mind and I’ll take the time to explain it later.”

Th上海夜生活论坛e 18-year-old is now looking forward to win trophies with his new team and has set his sights on Champions League: “I dream of winning the Champions League this year, it’s easy to say in September, but what counts is to be able to say it in February. We have a great team on paper, now we’ll have to prove it on the pitch.”