Premier League and Women’s FA Cup final, European reaction: football news – live | Football

Key events

Jurgen Klopp: “We can see the table”

Liverpool: With his team five points off the pace with just two games to go and entirely reliant on both Arsenal and Manchester City doing a Devon Loch on the run-in too keep their title hopes alive, Jurgen Klopp is asked if he thinks Liverpool are definitely out of the race to win the Premier League.

“It’s not now number one every morning on the priority list to tell the boys ‘By the way we still have a chance’,” he says. “We can see the table, we can all read the situation. Do we expect [Manchester City] to lose three games? City have to lose three games – difficult to see that. But you never know. Arsenal have to lose two games – difficult. Both play before us, if they both lose let’s talk about it. We have the chance to go above 80 points again. Like everything in life you should never take things like this for granted.”


Newcastle United: Eddie Howe’s side are very much in the hunt for a place in Europe next season and given Tottenham’s recent run of awful results, may well feel a top five finish is within their grasp. They host Brighton tomorrow and Eddie Howe has been speaking ahead of the game.

“They’re a good team,” he said of tomorrow’s visitors to St James’ Park. “Roberto [de Zerbi] has done a great job, also Graham [Potter] before him. Roberto has his way of working, it’s detailed and thorough. They stick to their method and they’ve become very strong at it. We didn’t get it quite right at the Amex. We hope for a better delivery tomorrow.”

Kieran Trippier has been out for over two months with injury but could feature tomorrow, but the game against Brighton has come too soon for Joelinton and Miguel Almiron, who have also spent time on the sidelines but are back in full training.

“Kieran is getting closer, he has trained this week,” said Howe. “It was the first time with the group. He trained well, it has been a good week for him. I will make a decision today whether he will be involved tomorrow. [Joelinton and Almiron] have trained well. We have been able to get some good work into their bodies. They are still building their robustness if you like. You need the load behind you to stay fit. They are doing well.”


Bayer Leverkusen’s unbeaten run continues

Not for the first time in recent weeks, Bayer Leverkusen left it exceptionally late to keep their astonishing unbeaten run of this season going. Xabi Alonso’s newly crowned Bundesliga champions have not lost a single game in any competition since putting eight without reply past FC Teutonia 05 Ottensen in the German in August, but were on the verge of defeat in their Europa League semi-final second leg against Roma last night. Luckily for them, Josip Stanisic popped up with an with an equaliser in the seventh minute of added time to make it 2-2 on the night and 4-2 to the German side on aggregate.

Leverkusen have now played 49 games without losing and have broken a record previously held by Benfica, who went unbeaten between December 1963 and February 1965. Alonso’s side have four games left this season – two in the Bundesliga, the Europa League final against Atalanta and the German DFB Cup final against second tier side Kaiserslautern on 25 May.

Josip Stanisic celebrates after scoring the late, late, late equaliser against Roma that kept Bayer Leverkusen’s season-long unbeaten run in all competitions alive. Photograph: Action Press/REX/Shutterstock

Women’s FA Cup final: Manchester United manager Marc Skinner has been speaking ahead of Sunday’s decider against Tottenham Hotspur and took time to reflect on last year’s final, in which his side were beaten by Chelsea.

“Experience in a final is good,” he said. “It’s new when you haven’t done it before. I know Tottenham have players that have experienced finals so they won’t be overawed but it can be something that absorbed you and it can affect the way you want to play.

“We have to make sure that we play the way we want to because we’ve been there and done it. It has to be a business for us. We need to make it business-like but enjoy the moment. We’ve got to Wembley. We’re playing against a team that will be buoyed by that. You get an energy when it’s your first final. But I think there are ways that you can counter-act that and we have to try to do that.

“This is an equal playing field going into it but we cannot and we will not underestimate them. Whatever tag people add to it, we know the job we have got to do.”

Marc Skinner passes on instructions from the sideline at last season’s FA Cup final, which his Manchester United team lost against Chelsea. Photograph: Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Everton: While the club’s future ownership remains shrouded in uncertainty Sean Dyche’s side will play their final home game of the season tomorrow, safe in the knowledge that they will be playing top flight football next season. Having survived no end of tribulations in the current campaign, the highlight of which was a win over Liverpool that ended the title hopes of their Merseyside rivals, the club’s players are likely to get a warm reception before, during and particularly after their game against Sheffield United, when they will do a lap of appreciation in front of the Goodison Park faithful.

“We want to reward all of us really: the players, the staff and the fans for what ends up being a positive season, after some very tricky times,” said Sean Dyche. “We want to give a performance; we want to win. You just have to focus on the players and remind them of the pride and consistency we have in our values as a group to go and perform.

“Afterwards, it’ll be the first time in a number of years we can have a walk around in a fashion that is rewarding for the players and the fans. I think that’s a nice sign-off. It’s been a really strange season for many reasons, yet we end up with a positive feel to it. Certainly I do but I think the players do and I think the fans do.”


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Aston Villa: Speaking after his side’s defeat in Athens last night, Unai EMery outlined his short and longterm plans for his team, who will book their place in next season’s Champions League if they beat Liverpool on Monday night.

“Firstly get back to Birmingham,” he said. “Then rest and focus on the match against Liverpool. We are motivated and excited for it. We are disappointed but only one team can win, so for us to continue with the frustration doesn’t make sense.

“And we have to try and finish the season doing an amazing season, particularly if we manage to achieve the last objective. Even without [Champions League] football we are in Europe in the Europa League.

“We will go over what we have done in the last two legs against Olympiakos and try to learn and take positives from it, take the information from it. Take the experience. Recover, reset and move on.”


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Europa Conference League: Ayoub El Kaabi scored his fourth and fifth goals of the tie to earn Olympiakos a 6-2 aggregate win and end Aston Villa’s hopes of winning European silverware since 1982. Ben Fisher reports from the Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens …


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Friday football blog

With its end now in sight and no longer a speck in the distance, the Premier League rumbles on this weekend with Manchester City in second place but still firm favourites to win their sixth title in seven years due to the game in hand they have over Arsenal. Pep Guardiola’s side travel to Fulham tomorrow, while Mikel Arteta face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

At the other end of the table, a home win for Nottingham Forest over Chelsea at the City Ground tomorrow will all but consign Luton and Burnley to the drop along with Sheffield United, and even a point should be enough for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side if their fellow strugglers fail to win their games against West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.

Tottenham’s women will play in their first ever FA Cup final this weekend at Wembley, where they’ll play Manchester United in front of a sell-out crowd. We’ll bring you news from both managers ahead of this showpiece event in which both teams are hoping to get their name on the trophy for the very first time.


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