..::Football IV::..

Wolverine GTR

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    ..::Football IV::..


    Hi Guys!:)Its time to start "Football IV" thread:love::yes:

    Pahugiya Football I,Football II,Football III threads purawatama oyagollo ekathu wela hitiya wagema Football IV thread ekath ekkath oyagollo idi kiyala hithanawa:cool::yes:

    & meh welawe wadagath karunu kihipayak gana mathak karanna one:yes:Football thread 1kak open karanna Mulika wechcha Rovin malliewa mathak karanna one:yes:
    Ewagema thamai pahugiya kale purawatama math ekka Football thread 1ke ekathu wela hitapu RCC wath mathak karanna one & Football thread 1ke ape anith set 1ka unicornx,panchaz,Charith Aiya,මුගටියා,NAD aiya,Shihan,Banks PLK,Alucard wath mathak karanna one:cool::yes:Thanks alot guys!:cool:


    Ithin Football walata adaraya karana,Football walata kamathi hamotama Thread ekath ekka ekathu wenna kiyala aradana karanawa:love::yes:Lets talk about Football here:)


    Let's Roll Guys!:D

    :cool:---Footy Rocks---:cool:




    :love::love::love::love::love::love:
    :love::love::love::love::love:
    :love::love::love::love:
    :love::love::love:
    :love::love:
    :love:
     

    Wolverine GTR

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    :love:Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace: Darmian stunner maintains top-four hopes



    Matteo Darmian proved to be Manchester United's unlikely hero as they beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on Wednesday to close to within a point of the Premier League's top four.

    The full-back's low cross was turned into the Palace net by Damien Delaney after just four minutes and he fired in a second for Louis van Gaal's side shortly after the break, as United recorded another straightforward home win to follow Saturday's victory over Aston Villa.

    Palace made six changes to their starting line-up ahead of their FA Cup semi-final with Watford on Sunday, and it was stand-in goalkeeper Julian Speroni - making just his second appearance of the season - who kept United at bay for much of the game.

    But fine saves to deny Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard in particular proved in vain when Darmian smashed a half-volley off the right-hand post to deservedly double United's lead, and a comeback never looked likely.

    United were far more threatening than they have been in many games at Old Trafford this season, but eased through the closing stages, with one eye undoubtedly on Saturday's trip to Wembley to face Everton.

    Palace had produced some exemplary defending in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Arsenal, but Delaney handed United the advantage with an uncharacteristically poor error with just four minutes played, as he turned Darmian's cross into his own net despite being under no pressure.

    United, buoyed by a rare early goal, came close to a second as Mata tested Speroni from 20 yards, though Emmanuel Adebayor sliced a half-chance wide of the far post from a Palace break

    Martial was causing plenty of problems for Martin Kelly down Palace's right-hand side, and the 20-year-old forced Speroni into a good save with a curling effort before setting up Wayne Rooney to shoot straight at the goalkeeper.

    United remained dominant but Speroni continued to thwart their chase for a second goal. He saved twice in quick succession from Marcus Rashford and Lingard before making a brilliant stop at full stretch to deny Martial, who had been allowed to run straight through the Palace defence.

    Pape Souare - perhaps fortunate to escape with only a booking for a two-footed challenge on Mata - made a vital block to deny Rooney's goal-bound effort just after half-time, and Speroni stuck out a strong hand to keep out the Spaniard's fierce shot from point-blank range.

    But Palace's resistance was finally broken on 55 minutes. Darmian controlled 18 yards out after Daley Blind's corner was only partly cleared and rifled the ball in left-footed off the far post on the half-volley.

    Rashford burst in behind the defence and set up Lingard to make it three, but a fine double-save from a sprawling Speroni denied them from adding some gloss to the scoreline to match United's total control.

    Van Gaal withdrew captain Rooney, Lingard and Rashford as United eased through the game in front of a reasonably sparse Old Trafford crowd, who were nonetheless delighted with their side's third win in a row, which puts pressure on fourth-placed Arsenal, who host West Brom on Thursday.
     
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    Wolverine GTR

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    Liverpool 4-0 Everton: Reds thump 10-man Toffees in one-sided derby



    Liverpool thrashed Everton 4-0 in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday, with the Reds turning in an utterly dominant performance at Anfield.

    James Milner delivered the assists for Liverpool's first two goals in Wednesday's contest, which saw Everton's wait for a first win at Anfield since September 1999 extended.

    First Milner supplied the cross for Divock Origi to open the scoring in the 43rd minute with his fifth goal in as many games in all competitions.

    Milner was at the heart of things again as Mamadou Sakho made it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time, and the three points were all but sealed after Ramiro Funes Mori was shown a straight red card in the 50th minute for a dreadful challenge on Origi.
    The Belgium forward had to be taken off on a stretcher but his replacement Sturridge scored a third just after the hour mark as he reached a half-century of goals in just 87 games.

    More problems for the visitors came when John Stones limped off after Sturridge's goal and Philippe Coutinho netted a well-taken fourth in the 76th minute, as the Europa League semi-finalists cut the gap to fourth-placed Arsenal to six points.

    The result, as well as the loss of Funes Mori and Stones, heaped more pressure on Everton manager Roberto Martinez ahead of Saturday's FA Cup last-four clash with Manchester United.

    In typical derby fashion, the game got off to a fast and frenetic start, and Liverpool would have taken the lead in the sixth minute if it was not for Joel Robles.

    The Everton goalkeeper produced a fine save to deny Adam Lallana one-on-one after the Liverpool winger had latched onto a pass from Coutinho following Bryan Oviedo's sliced clearance.

    Another chance went begging for Lallana as he headed wide from Nathaniel Clyne's right-wing cross before Milner's lofted pass put Roberto Firmino through on goal, but again Joel came to the rescue for Everton as he proved equal to the Brazilian's low strike.

    However, Joel was finally beaten in the 43rd minute, Origi rising highest to meet Milner's delivery from the right with a superb header into the bottom-left corner.
    On the stroke of half-time, Sakho doubled the hosts' advantage after more excellent work from Milner.

    Milner - picking up the pieces from a half-cleared corner - played a neat one-two with Lallana down the left before clipping the ball across for Sakho to head home from point-blank range, taking the former Manchester City midfielder's assist tally to 11 for the season.

    Everton midfielder Gareth Barry, having made a record-equalling 571st Premier League start, was brought off at half-time and replaced by Muhamed Besic.But any hopes Everton had of a comeback were effectively extinguished when Funes Mori saw red for a studs-up challenge on Origi's ankle.

    Robert Madley had no hesitation in brandishing the red card and Origi's night was brought to an end as he was carried off.

    Sturridge did not take long to make his mark on Jurgen Klopp's first derby as he collected a Lucas pass and coolly slotted into the bottom-left corner and, with Stones having left the field injured, Coutinho completed the rout in style by curling in from the edge of the area.
     

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    Deportivo 0-8 Barcelona: Suarez on fire as Barca destroy Depor



    Luis Suarez netted four times and set up three more to help Barcelona to a thumping 8-0 win over Deportivo La Corunaat Estadio Riazor on Wednesday, ending the champions' four-game winless streak in La Liga.

    Luis Enrique's men desperately needed to respond after defeats at the hands of Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and Valencia had eroded their lead at the top of the standings, leaving them level on points with second-placed Atletico Madrid going into the match.

    Suarez led his team all the way as he took his tally for 2015-16 to 49 goals in all competitions, equalling his season's best at Ajax in 2009-10.The Uruguay international opened the scoring early on after a corner from Ivan Rakitic, before doubling Barca's lead after a sublime assist from Lionel Messi.

    Suarez then turned provider as he set up Rakitic for the Catalans' third early in the second half, only to find the net two more times in the remainder of the game to take his tally in La Liga this season to 30.

    Barcelona did not stop there, though, as Messi, Marc Bartra and Neymar heaped more misery on the hosts, the Catalan giants restoring their three-point lead ahead of Atletico's match away to Athletic Bilbao and Madrid's home game against Villarreal later on Wednesday.

    The away side pushed hard for an early goal from kick-off and threatened via Suarez and Messi in the opening 10 minutes, the former firing just wide from a narrow angle after a clever ball from Andres Iniesta, before the Argentine had his attempt kept out by Deportivo goalkeeper Manu.

    The Catalans got their early opening in the 11th minute. Suarez shrugged off Sidnei after a corner from Rakitic and left Manu no chance, volleying home from close range.

    Suarez then struck again to double Barcelona's lead in the 24th minute. Messi found his Uruguayan team-mate with a delicate through ball and the former Liverpool ace beat Manu with a calm finish.

    The prolific attacker should have grabbed his hat-trick after a superb cross from Dani Alves from the right, but he somehow managed to steer it wide from just yards out.

    Rakitic worsened Deportivo's woes in the 47th minute, making it three after some great work from Suarez.There was no stopping Suarez at the Riazor and the striker got his hat-trick in the 53rd minute, slotting past Manu with the outside of his right boot after another Messi assist.

    Things went from bad to worse for Deportivo and Suarez got his fourth of the evening after some good work from Neymar.That was not the end of it just yet, though, as Suarez then lost his marker with a fine individual run before reaching Messi to make it 6-0.

    Bartra also found the net late on after a strong solo run, while Neymar made it eight after yet another Suarez assist as Barcelona returned to winning ways in impressive fashion.
     

    King GBN

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    Deportivo 0-8 Barcelona: Suarez on fire as Barca destroy Depor



    Luis Suarez netted four times and set up three more to help Barcelona to a thumping 8-0 win over Deportivo La Corunaat Estadio Riazor on Wednesday, ending the champions' four-game winless streak in La Liga.

    Luis Enrique's men desperately needed to respond after defeats at the hands of Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and Valencia had eroded their lead at the top of the standings, leaving them level on points with second-placed Atletico Madrid going into the match.

    Suarez led his team all the way as he took his tally for 2015-16 to 49 goals in all competitions, equalling his season's best at Ajax in 2009-10.The Uruguay international opened the scoring early on after a corner from Ivan Rakitic, before doubling Barca's lead after a sublime assist from Lionel Messi.

    Suarez then turned provider as he set up Rakitic for the Catalans' third early in the second half, only to find the net two more times in the remainder of the game to take his tally in La Liga this season to 30.

    Barcelona did not stop there, though, as Messi, Marc Bartra and Neymar heaped more misery on the hosts, the Catalan giants restoring their three-point lead ahead of Atletico's match away to Athletic Bilbao and Madrid's home game against Villarreal later on Wednesday.

    The away side pushed hard for an early goal from kick-off and threatened via Suarez and Messi in the opening 10 minutes, the former firing just wide from a narrow angle after a clever ball from Andres Iniesta, before the Argentine had his attempt kept out by Deportivo goalkeeper Manu.

    The Catalans got their early opening in the 11th minute. Suarez shrugged off Sidnei after a corner from Rakitic and left Manu no chance, volleying home from close range.

    Suarez then struck again to double Barcelona's lead in the 24th minute. Messi found his Uruguayan team-mate with a delicate through ball and the former Liverpool ace beat Manu with a calm finish.

    The prolific attacker should have grabbed his hat-trick after a superb cross from Dani Alves from the right, but he somehow managed to steer it wide from just yards out.

    Rakitic worsened Deportivo's woes in the 47th minute, making it three after some great work from Suarez.There was no stopping Suarez at the Riazor and the striker got his hat-trick in the 53rd minute, slotting past Manu with the outside of his right boot after another Messi assist.

    Things went from bad to worse for Deportivo and Suarez got his fourth of the evening after some good work from Neymar.That was not the end of it just yet, though, as Suarez then lost his marker with a fine individual run before reaching Messi to make it 6-0.

    Bartra also found the net late on after a strong solo run, while Neymar made it eight after yet another Suarez assist as Barcelona returned to winning ways in impressive fashion.
    Barca back with a bang
     

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    Real Madrid 3-0 Villarreal: Zidane's men stroll to victory



    Real Madrid never looked in danger of losing points in front of a vociferous Santiago Bernabeu crowd, as the title hopefuls ran out 3-0 winners over lacklustre Villarreal.

    Karim Benzema opened the scoring late in the first half, netting for the fourth league game in a row, before further strikes from Lucas Vazquez and Luka Modric made it a comfortable victory in the second period. Cristiano Ronaldo left the field in stoppage time in some discomfort to spark injury fears on an otherwise positive evening for Madrid.

    Barca's stunning loss of form in recent weeks allowed Zinedine Zidane's side to close to within one point of the summit, but the pressure was asserted back onto Madrid as the defending champions demolished Deportivo La Coruna 8-0 before kick-off at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    Atletico's subsequent 1-0 triumph at Athletic Bilbao further heightened the need for Madrid to respond in kind here, and they managed to do just that to keep the gap to the leading duo to one point with four matches remaining.

    Victory was Madrid's eighth in succession in the league since their derby loss to Atletico in February as they kept their title hopes alive and maintained their momentum ahead of next week's Champions League semi-final first leg against Manchester City.

    Villarreal, who are into the last four of the Europa League, will hope to join Madrid in Europe's premier club competition next season - Marcelino's side occupy the final qualification berth with a six-point gap to fifth-placed Athletic despite a second consecutive defeat.

    Madrid had hammered Getafe 5-1 away at the weekend, but they struggled for a similar attacking fluency here as Villarreal kept the hosts at bay initially.
    The recalled Sergio Asenjo was forced into routine saves from Benzema and Ronaldo in the opening 10 minutes, but, just as frustrations began to mount inside the Bernabeu, the fans were on their feet in the 41st minute as Benzema made the breakthrough.

    Ronaldo surged towards the left byline and his driven cross was parried by Asenjo, the ball falling perfectly for Benzema to nod into the unguarded goal from eight yards.

    Villarreal almost conjured an immediate riposte as Keylor Navas produced an impressive stop to deny Denis Suarez, who had Cedric Bakambu unmarked to his left waiting for a tap-in.The home side began the second period with greater urgency than they had the first and Ronaldo was furious with himself for sending a free header over from Toni Kroos' corner.

    Modric - one of five changes from the Getafe game - curled narrowly wide shortly afterwards, but Madrid doubled their lead in the 69th minute as Vazquez exchanged passes with Benzema and burst into the box before rifling a low finish beyond Asenjo at the near post for Madrid's 100th league goal of the campaign.

    Seven minutes later Modric added his name to the scoresheet, sliding in to steer a superb volley from Danilo's right-wing cross into the bottom-right corner.
     

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    Athletic 0-1 Atletico Madrid: Torres strike keeps the heat on Barca



    Fernando Torres' goal was the difference between the two teams in San Mames, as Atletico Madrid picked up a vital 1-0 win over Athletic.

    The experienced striker netted a header late in the first half of a game of few chances to ensure Atletico remained level on points with the league leaders, who won 8-0 at Deportivo La Coruna.

    The goal was deftly teed up by French forward Antoine Griezmann, and both he and Torres pulled the strings for Atletico as they have done so often during the team's strong run of late-season form.The result gave Atletico their eighth win in nine La Liga matches, and Diego Simeone's side have left Barcelona with no more room for errors in the title run-in.

    Without injured striker Aritz Aduriz, Athletic lacked an attacking focal point and the defeat puts a dent in the club's hopes of achieving qualification for next season's Champions League.

    With so much at stake and neither side willing to take risks, Iker Muniain's speculative 25-yard drive was saved easily by Jan Oblak in the only goalmouth action of the early stages.

    Atletico suffered a blow when influential Uruguayan defender Diego Godin limped off with an apparent hamstring injury after just 11 minutes, and Benat almost made matters worse for the title chasers when he sent a 20-yard free-kick sailing over the crossbar.

    Oscar de Marcos denied Thomas Partey a chance at the other end with a vital interception, heading Augusto Fernandez's cross out of the Ghanaian's path as Atletico offered their first threat on goal.

    Their very next chance ended up in the back of the net, when Griezmann's superb chipped cross found the head of Torres and the striker placed a precise downward header into the bottom corner beyond Gorka Iraizoz.Partey then rattled a shot off the post with Iraizoz down injured, prompting tempers to flare at the end of a first half that Atletico deservedly edged.

    Stefan Savic went close with a header from Koke's corner early in the second half, before Benat stung the palms of Oblak with a swerving drive from just outside the box.

    Benat turned provider with a long ball into the box for Raul Garcia as the home side applied some pressure, but the midfielder couldn't get enough on his header to test Oblak.

    Athletic sent on Inaki Williams and Ander Iturraspe in an attempt to salvage a point from the game, but it was Griezmann who went closest to scoring when he broke clean through on goal, but Eneko Boveda nipped in to dispossess him and deny him a 21st goal of the season.

    Athletic continued to probe for a way through the visitors' defence in the closing stages, but Godin's replacement Lucas Hernandez made an important clearance to stop De Marcos' dangerous cross from reaching Raul Garcia and all three points went towards Atletico's push for the title.
     

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    Juventus 3-0 Lazio: Dybala at the double as hosts restore nine-point lead



    Paulo Dybala scored twice as leaders Juventusrestored their nine-point advantage over Napoli at the top of Serie A with a 3-0 victory over Lazio on Wednesday.
    A tap-in from Mario Mandzukic in the 39th minute set Massimiliano Allegri's side on their way to an eighth straight league win, with this latest triumph putting them on the brink of retaining the title with just four games to go.

    Lazio had Patric sent off before Dybala helped himself to a second-half double, the first of them coming from the spot after Leonardo Bonucci had been dragged down in the area at a corner.

    The Argentine forward converted Sami Khedira's pass to heap further misery on a visiting side that has now lost four times to Juventus this season without scoring a goal.Lazio were indebted to goalkeeper Federico Marchetti for keeping the score down to three, particularly during a first half that Juventus dominated.

    Marchetti twice denied Dybala in the early stages, although he was fortunate to see Paul Pogba fluff his lines when presented with a glorious chance in the 20th minute.
    Having broken clear of Lazio's defence, Khedira carefully rolled a pass across the area towards his unmarked team-mate. But, as he went to pull the trigger, Pogba lost his footing, resulting in a tame effort rolling towards Marchetti.

    However, Lazio's luck finally ran out six minutes before the half-time interval.Able to take a touch on his chest when dealing with a deep corner from the left, Pogba aimed a low drive towards the far corner of the goal.His attempt may well have been going in, but Mandzukic made absolutely sure by poking the ball home from close range.

    Visiting manager Simone Inzaghi may still have harboured hopes of taking something from the game at the halfway stage, yet any hopes of a Lazio comeback disappeared within five minute of the re-start.First, Patric was shown a second yellow card for dragging down Dybala, leaving Lazio to play almost the entire second half with only 10 men.

    Pogba's free-kick from the foul was well saved by Marchetti, but the resulting corner saw Santiago Gentiletti punished for hauling back Bonucci when the ball was in the air.Dybala converted from the spot, with the forward going on to add Juventus' third in the 64th minute.

    Khedira unselfishly squared the ball inside to allow his team-mate to fire home his 16th league goal in what has been an impressive debut season at the club.
     

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    Hertha Berlin 0-3 Borussia Dortmund: Castro, Reus & Mkhitaryan set up Bayern final



    Borussia Dortmund will meet rivals Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal final after inflicting a comprehensive 3-0 defeat on Hertha Berlin in the semi-finals on Wednesday evening.

    Thomas Tuchel's side put in a dominant performance at the Olympiastadion as goals from Marco Reus, Gonzalo Castro and Henrikh Mkhitaryan put paid to the hosts.

    More than 76,000 watched on as Reus finished off a cross from Shinji Kagawa with a quarter of an hour to go after Castro - who had been forced off the field in the first half to have a head injury stitched up - fired Dortmund into the lead on 20 minutes.

    The former Leverkusen man struck a superb swirling effort into the top corner from the edge of the 18-yard box in a first half which could have seen the away side three or four up.

    Hertha had their outstanding keeper Rune Jarstein to thank for giving them a chance after a string of saves in the second half before Reus made it 2-0 and then turned creator for Mkhitaryan's late settler.

    BVB were without their quarter-final hero Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who missed the game after chipping a bone in his toe in training, but his absence did not affect the away side in the end.

    Bundesliga leaders Bayern - who are seven points ahead of Dortmund - booked their place in the DFB-Pokal final, which also takes place at the Olympiastadion, on Tuesday when Thomas Muller scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Werder Bremen.

    Marcel Schmelzer, ex-Hertha striker Adrian Ramos and Reus all went close as Dortmund made a lively start.

    But Castro made their dominance pay on 20 minutes, curling an effort into the top corner from the edge of the box after a blocked shot dropped at his feet following good work from the dangerous Mkhitaryan and Kagawa.

    Dortmund should have doubled their lead just five minutes later when Schmelzer squared a bouncing ball into Reus, who, uncharacteristically, blasted over from 10 yards out.
    Reus had a fierce effort palmed away by Hertha goalkeeper Jarstein, although Jens Hegeler ought to have equalised with the last kick of the half but he fired straight at Roman Burki.

    Dortmund controlled the early exchanges of the second half, but missed the chance to go further ahead when Reus gave the ball away with Kagawa free in the box.

    Hertha rallied and were inches away from equalising just after the hour mark when John Brooks flicked on a corner but Salomon Kalou could not make contact with the ball from a few yards out.

    Ramos came close to inflicting further pain onto his old club on 67 minutes but his strike was pushed away by Jarstein, and the keeper pulled off a flying stop minutes later after Mkhitaryan struck a sweet volley which was heading into the corner of the net.

    Hertha were made to pay minutes later when Kagawa broke down the right after Brooks had slipped and his cross was finished first time by Reus' swinging right-footed strike.

    And Reus provided Mkhitaryan with a simple tap-in with time running out, as Dortmund booked their return to Berlin in style and set up a mouth-watering final with Bundesliga rivals, and title favourites, Bayern.
     

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    Genoa 1-0 Inter: De Maio sinks Mancini's men to blunt Champions League ambitions



    Inter wasted the opportunity to increase pressure on Roma in the pursuit for the final Champions League spot in Serie A after a 1-0 defeat away to Genoa.

    A close-range finish from defender Sebastian De Maio 13 minutes from time left Roberto Mancini's side frustrated after failing to convert a series of golden chances in the first half.De Maio was on hand to slam the ball into the roof of the net after a well-directed header from substitute Panagiotis Tachtsidis for his first league goal of the season.

    Inter were left rueing their profligacy in front of goal during a frenetic opening period. Ivan Perisic was twice denied by Genoa goalkeeper Eugenio Lamanna and top scorer Mauro Icardi had a header cleared off the line.The defeat leaves Inter seven points behind Roma with four games remaining.

    Inter had not won at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris since 2011 and, with Genoa unbeaten in seven home games heading into Wednesday's match, it was always going to be a tough ask. But on the back of their victory over title-chasing Napoli at the weekend, Inter will feel this was a wasted opportunity to build momentum.

    Inter started brightly and almost went ahead within the opening five minutes, when Perisic's looping header was deflected towards goal and acrobatically clawed away by Lamanna just under his crossbar. Marcelo Brozovic fired just over from the rebound.

    A flurry of chances came Inter's way on the half hour, but they could not take advantage of any. First, Icardi's low header was hacked off the line by Ezequiel Munoz, and then Perisic again drew a smart save from Lamanna when he stooped low at the far post to meet a Brozovic free-kick.That stirred the home side into action and they almost took the lead themselves when Leonardo Pavoletti met a corner but Samir Handanovic was able to parry.

    Genoa tightened up at the back in the second half, but Inter still carved out good opportunities to break the deadlock. Brozovic breached the offside trap after 65 minutes, but no Inter player could latch onto his low cross across the box.

    Genoa edged their way back into the contest, first going close from a quick breakaway and then were rewarded when De Maio broke the deadlock, much to the delight home supporters. Tachtsidis' cushioned headed following a cross from the right found De Maio and he applied an emphatic finish.

    Inter almost salvaged a point right at the death when substitute Eder found half a yard in the area, but his left-footed effort was dragged just wide of the far post.
     

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    West Ham 3-1 Watford: Noble's penalty double keeps Hammers in the hunt for Europe



    West Ham maintained their push for European qualification and set a club record as they avoided defeat for the 15th home game in a row, beating Watford 3-1.

    Andy Carroll set the hosts on their way in the early stages with a neat volley past Heurelho Gomes but the Hornets' propensity for conceding penalties continued as the game got away from them.

    Mark Noble scored two of them, the first after a foul on Diafra Sakho by Jose Holebas just before half-time and the second a calamitous foul by Almen Abdi not long after the break, Gomes unable to pull off the heroic saves of the visitors' last game.

    Though Sebastian Prodl got one back for Quique Sanchez Flores's side by volleying home after a free kick, Watford could not muster the huge comeback required and even saw Troy Deeney have a stoppage-time penalty saved by Adrian for good measure.

    Watford face Crystal Palace in their FA Cup semi-final on Sunday and Flores made seven changes in anticipation of that but the hosts took full advantage and Nordin Amrabat ruled himself out of the Wembley game thanks to a second yellow card at the death.

    Dimitri Payet's set-piece delivery gave Gomes a bit of early work to do but the keeper's next task was to pick the ball out of the net. It was Payet who cut in off the left and swung in a ball for the in-form Carroll to steer a measured first-time finish beyond the Brazilian, who might have been quicker off his line.

    Jose Manuel Jurado sought a swift response and forced Adrian into his first save of the match in the 17th minute, the Hammers goalkeeper parrying his compatriot's stinging strike.

    The irrepressible Payet then curled a dangerous effort narrowly over the crossbar and Sakho's low drive brought a smart stop from Gomes as the hosts continued to enjoy the better of the contest.

    A second goal arrived on the stroke of half-time when Cheikhou Kouyate was fouled by the out-of-sorts Jose Holebas and Noble did what vexed West Brom striker Saido Berahino could not by beating Gomes from the spot.

    Manuel Lanzini had a glorious opportunity to add another just a minute later but skewed his shot wide from inside the box, while Sakho was similarly wasteful a matter of seconds into the second half.

    Abdi endured a dreadful 60 seconds as first he diverted Jurado's teasing cross over the target and then fouled Michail Antonio in the area, allowing Noble to convert the penalty straight down the middle.

    Prodl's stunning half-volleyed finish did give the visiting fans some cause for celebration in the 64th minute but hopes of a dramatic revival ahead of Watford's first FA Cup semi-final since 2007 were scuppered when Adrian brilliantly kept out substitute Deeney's penalty, with Amrabat getting a second yellow soon after.
     

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    Luis Suarez sets new La Liga record after running rampant for Barcelona



    Luis Suarez has set a new La Liga record following his barnstorming display in Barcelona’s 8-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday evening.

    Following a run three straight defeats, last season’s treble winners got back on track in emphatic fashion.

    Suarez found the net on four occasions, while Ivan Rakitic, Lionel Messi, Marc Bartra and Neymar also got on the scoresheet.

    Along with his four goals, Suarez also registered three assists and he becomes the first La Liga player in the 21st century to have a hand in seven goals in a single game.

    Barca's victory keeps them top of La Liga, although Atletico Madrid remain level on points following their 1-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao.
     

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    OFFICIAL: Neymar to miss Copa America



    Barcelona have confirmed that Neymar will represent Brazil at the Olympic Games but not the Copa America this summer.

    Earlier this month, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) announced they would fight the European champions' insistence that the forward would only be available for one tournament.Now, however, Barca claim that CBF president Marco Polo del Nero has agreed that Neymar will be called up solely for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

    A club statement reads: "FC Barcelona thanks the Brazilian Football Confederation and its president, Marco Polo del Nero, for having accepted the proposal the club made so that Neymar would only play the Olympic Games that take place between August 3 and 21.

    "As a result, Neymar Jr will be exempted from playing the Copa America that takes place in United States between June 3 and 26."

    The Copa America is taking place for a second consecutive year to mark the centenary of Conmebol and the first tournament in 1916.It will be hosted outside of South America, in the United States, for the first time and features an expanded field of 16 teams including six Concacaf representatives.

    Neymar was sent off at the end of Brazil's second match of last summer's Copa America in Chile, resulting in a four-match ban which ruled him out of the rest of the tournament.
     

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    Darmian hails 'massive victory' after hitting Manchester United winner



    Matteo Darmian hailed Manchester United's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace as "massive" as they aim to snatch a top-four Premier League finish.

    The Italy international forced the opening goal at Old Trafford as his low cross was turned into his own net by Damien Delaney, and he smashed in a superb strike just after half-time to secure the three points for the home side.

    United are now just a point behind fourth-placed Arsenal, having played a game more, and are two shy of Manchester City in the race to finish in the Champions League places.With an FA Cup semi-final on Saturday to come, Darmian believes Wednesday's win could be a vital confidence boost.

    "It was important, a massive victory," he told reporters afterwards. "We have to be focused on the next game against Everton, we want to reach the final.

    "It will increase our confidence, so we have to continue. We need to win all our games and see where we can get."It will be a difficult game but it's a big game, a semi-final of the FA Cup at Wembley. It's a really good chance for us to win that trophy."

    Darmian was delighted to open his United account in front of the Stretford End.
    "It was special. At the Stretford End, in front of the fans, it was a big goal," he added.
     

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    Van Gaal admits Rashford is forcing Rooney into deep role



    Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was delighted with Wayne Rooney's display in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, but admits the form of Marcus Rashford means the captain must settle for a deeper role.

    United started with the same 4-1-4-1 system that they used in Saturday's victory against Aston Villa, with Rooney deployed in a more central playmaking position behind the teenage striker.

    Van Gaal insists he was pleased with the way Rooney performed against Palace, and suggested the England skipper will continue to play in a similar position as long as Rashord's form continues.

    "I didn't say that [Rooney should show more]," he said afterwards. "I said in the first half he played well and in the second half he got tired and that is why we changed him. I hope you quote me in the right way.

    "Now he has played 75 minutes so I'm building his capacity for the games, as I've done with other players, like Marcos Rojo. He was the player who switched the play and I liked that very much.

    "No player has a fixed position. I use a player where I think they can give a contribution in that game. It was more of a midfield role also because of the way Crystal Palace was playing. I don't want to change Rashford so I have to look for another position for Wayne. He played there also last year. I am very happy with the way he performed."

    Matteo Darmian sealed the win with a stunning goal after forcing Damien Delaney to turn the ball into his own net in the first half, and Van Gaal admitted he has been surprised by the defender's recent shooting skills in training.

    "Darmian was surprising me on Monday in the training session," he said. "We did a sort of finishing session and he was the top scorer in that time, and we tried to exercise with his left and right foot and he did it also with his left foot, like he did. I am very happy.

    "I have told my players after the match that it was a good game and the only remark that we didn't score too many goals, because it was a 5-0 match, I think.But I am pleased with the way we have played. We have created a lot of chances in the first half and the second half and we didn't give any away."

    Van Gaal, who revealed that both Rashford and Chris Smalling suffered knocks that will need to be assessed in the coming days, is now eager for his players to continue their winning run in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton.

    "We have to work very hard to reach this level because we have a very full season," he added. "We have played in three competitions. It is unbelievable, much more matches than last year and also a new selection with a lot of youngsters so we have to work very hard to reach this level, and also we have to recover a lot.
    "When we survive Everton, I shall give the players a lot of days off."
     

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    Torres: Confidence is growing at Atletico



    Fernando Torres claimed confidence is growing at Atletico Madrid after a 1-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao kept them level with Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

    Torres scored the decisive goal in the game, finishing Antoine Griezmann's cross with a neatly placed header in the first half, and Diego Simeone's side withstood a barrage of late pressure from Athletic to hold on for a vital three points.Athletic have now failed to beat Atletico in six attempts in La Liga, but Torres insisted the victory at San Mames was hard fought.

    He told reporters: "It was the game we knew it would be. We worked really hard, and we knew they'd push us back.

    "We were fortunate enough to score in first half. We had to suffer a lot in the second and it was really difficult. Athletic are a great team."We're very proud of the game we played. Bilbao are in a great moment, and it's really positive to come here and win.

    "We keep believing and hoping that we can do great things this season."The result marked Atletico's eighth win in nine La Liga outings and ensured they are level on 79 points with Barca with four games left this season.

    Torres underlined the ambition Atletico have to emerge with the title, and looked forward to the challenge of taking on Malaga at home this weekend. He said: "The most important things is that the team wins, but everyone feels more confident. We're getting closer to the aim for this season.

    "Against Malaga it's going to be a difficult game. They've been playing well recently, but we've been getting some good results at the Calderon."This win will help us go into that game with confidence. We just have to win."
     

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    Simeone happy with Atletico improvement



    Diego Simeone was in a happy mood after Atletico Madrid exceeded last season's La Liga points tally with four matches remaining.Fernando Torres scored the only goal of the game in the 38th minute as Atletico edged Athletic Bilbao 1-0 on Wednesday.

    Torres' first-half strike maintained the pressure on title holders Barca, with the two teams level on 79 points, a point more than Atletico collected throughout the 2014-15 campaign as they finished third last term.

    "The dressing room is happy," Simeone said via the club's official website."Exceeding the numbers of last season with four rounds to go is a very important step with the competition that we have with ourselves and our own requirement to continuously improve ourselves.

    "To surpass the numbers of last year makes us happy."Regarding the match, we made a great effort. You cannot end up winning without the effort we have made, especially in the second half, where Athletic intensified the pressure more than in the first."Of Torres, who has now scored in his past five games in all competitions, Simeone added: "The moment he is living is important.

    "He is helping the team to continue competing for the best. It was a great play, a great goal and a great finish. This will surely strengthen the team and himself for what’s to come."