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Dortmund sack Rose, Origi’s Liverpool exit confirmed: football countdown – live!


Liverpool fans who need something to calm their nerves ahead of their meeting with Wolves on Sunday need only look at the two teams’ head-to head record. Klopp’s side have won their last six games against the west Midlanders by an aggregate scoreline of 11-1.

There’s always a chance of something going horribly wrong, though, isn’t there, when the stakes are this high? That should set the nerves jangling again. Here’s our preview of the game.

Some perspective on the Bundesliga, after all the handwringing about Bayern Munich making things uncompetitive by winning 10 league titles in a row.

It’s time to thank everyone – well almost everyone – who participates in football for another great season. Things look very different from a year ago.

Some news from Germany where it is fair to say outsider suggestions of the limits of this league are just absurd. On the evening that Frankfurt ecstatically welcomed home its Europa league heroes, a crowd of 75,000 saw (second division) Hamburg win the first leg of the playoff against (first division) Hertha Berlin, and it also scored big TV ratings. There will be 50,000 for the lower league one at one of the great but faded glory stages – the Fritz Walther Stadium at Kaiserlautern – this weekend too.

Yes, it would probably be good for the league if Dortmund, or Bayer Leverkusen, or, well, no, not RB Leipzig, could knock Bayern off their perch. But Frankfurt are Europa League champions, there’s a left-field, clash-of-cultures DFB-Pokal final between SC Freiburg and Leipzig coming up this weekend and, all in all, the match day experience in Germany remains unrivalled. It’s almost as if supporters having democratic influence over their clubs via the 50+1 rule – Leipzig aside, of course – is a good thing for fan culture.

Fans of Stuttgart demonstrate support for the 50+1 rule.
Fans of Stuttgart demonstrate support for the 50+1 rule. Photograph: Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

When Burnley’s sharp-suited American owners dispensed with Sean Dyche last month, it was seen as a sort of anti-masterstroke. Whether through luck, judgment or the sheer, granite determination of Mike Jackson in his role as caretaker, however, their survival is in their hands going into the final weekend.

That said, beating a Newcastle side galvanised by a combination of Eddie Howe’s motivational techniques and Saudi financing will not be easy. Here’s an in-depth preview of the game at Turf Moor.

Coming straight off the back of their penalty shootout defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League final in Seville on Wednesday evening, Rangers have a shot at (partial?) redemption when they play Hearts in the Scottish Cup final on Saturday.

Robbie Neilson’s side, meanwhile, have immortality in their sights. According to Andrew McKinlay, the Hearts chief executive: “Whoever plays on Saturday, if they win that cup they will forever be club legends.”

Speaking of (free) transfers, Antonio Rüdiger has been speaking about the reasons for his impending departure from Chelsea. “Unfortunately, my contract negotiations had already started to get difficult last fall,” he said in a piece for The Players’ Tribune.

“Business is business, but when you don’t hear any news from the club from August to January, the situation becomes complicated. After the first offer, there was a long gap of just nothing.”

Klopp confirms Origi exit

The season isn’t even over and already there are transfers happening left, right and centre. Following the news that Divock Origi is set to join Milan this summer, Klopp has said: “I expect Div to get a special reception, or farewell, or whatever. He is, and will be for me, forever a Liverpool legend [and] one of the most important players I ever had.

“That sounds completely strange with the amount of games he had, but it is, and was, a pure joy to work together with him … it’s not over yet just because it’s now the last Premier League game and, yes, he deserves all good thoughts we can generate somehow for his future and wherever he will go he will be successful, 100%.

“[He’s] an outstanding player, [an] outstanding boy. Everybody in the team loves him because he was just a relaxed guy and a really lovable guy. So, yeah, it will be a harsh moment when he actually leaves.

“I remember so many things when I think about Div that’s incredible: important goals, injuries … bad injuries, and all these kinds of things, ups and downs. He is a Liverpool legend, no doubt.”

Dortmund part ways with Rose

Marco Rose arrived at the Westfalenstadion to much fanfare last year after an impressive spell with Borussia Mönchengladbach. As it turns out, he’ll go down as a one-season wonder (of sorts).

He’s been sacked by Dortmund after a campaign in which they have meandered to second in the Bundesliga, eight points off Bayern Munich at the summit, and failed to win any silverware. BVB went out of the Champions League at the group stage, the Europa League in the knockout playoffs and the DFB-Pokal in the round of 16, also losing to Bayern in the final of the DFL-Supercup.

BVB and Coach Marco Rose end their relationship.

Following an intensive season analysis on Thursday, including Rose, Watzke, Zorc, Kehl, and Sammer, the club has decided to move forward, and wishes Marco Rose the best of luck in his next opportunity 👏 pic.twitter.com/xpz6eBjS8T

— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) May 20, 2022

In light of her contract extension, Miedema has given some additional insight into her reasons for sticking with Arsenal and her ambitions for the years ahead. “Five years ago I came to Arsenal because I wanted to help that club move up,” she said. “Once we won the league and in the past few years we have been close. Last season we were in the running until the last day, but Chelsea won it in the end.

“I said to Arsenal that we have to develop further and really have to win titles. If not, I’ll have to take another step. I will be 26 in a year so there are still many opportunities. But my focus is now completely on Arsenal.” There’s more from Miedema here.

While the pitch invasion discourse continues apace this morning, the latest following Thursday night’s incursion at Goodison Park is that police are looking into an altercation between Patrick Vieira, the Palace manager, and a fan. More on that here.

Miedema extends stay at Arsenal

The good news for Arsenal this morning is that Vivianne Miedema has signed a new contract with the club.

Miedema has scored 117 goals in 144 games since arriving from Bayern Munich in 2017 and is, to put it mildly, an absolute phenomenon. “I think the most beautiful thing about the game is building something with a team and with people around you that you really want to be around,” she said, following the announcement that she will be staying in north London.

“I do feel like I have got that at Arsenal. I feel like, for me, winning titles with Arsenal will mean a lot more to me than winning them with another club at the moment. And that’s what I obviously hope to achieve with Arsenal.”

Preamble

The Premier League’s final weekend is upon us. There’s something reassuring about that, isn’t there? The season must end, so it can start afresh, rising like a phoenix from the ashes, in August. A time to be born, a time to die, and a few weeks in between where footballers neck piña coladas on a yacht moored off Mykonos before jetting off to fulfil their commercial duties on a pre-season tour of Florida.

Before we start thinking about lucrative friendlies in Orlando, however, there’s the small matter of deciding the title race and the relegation battle. Why is one a race and one a battle? We don’t make the rules, those are the appropriate metaphors as laid down by the Football Writers’ Association. At the top of the table, Manchester City lead Liverpool as they prepare to host Aston Villa at the Etihad. Jürgen Klopp’s quadruple chasers welcome Wolves to Anfield, knowing that a win combined with a draw or a loss for their title rivals will be enough to see them crowned champions of England for the second time in three seasons.

Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola stand on the sidelines
Who will win the Premier League? Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

At the other end of the table, one of Leeds or Burnley must drop, screaming, through the Premier League trapdoor. Again, apologies, but when it comes to cliches, we don’t make the rules. Burnley’s 1-1 draw with Villa on Thursday evening lifted them above Jesse Marsch’s men on goal difference, giving them a slight advantage going into their season-defining game against Newcastle at Turf Moor. Leeds travel to Brentford needing to better Burnley’s result or face a return to the Championship after only two seasons back in the top tier.

Then there’s the top-four scrap, where Tottenham have the edge on Arsenal thanks to their 3-0 win in the north London derby last week and their nemeses’ subsequent self-destruction at St James’ Park. Mikel Arteta needs to preside over a win against Everton, who are safe following their chaotic comeback against Crystal Palace, and hope that Antonio Conte fails to outwit Norwich’s Dean Smith, or The Project™ will face a considerable setback and Arsenal will extend their Champions League hiatus to at least six years.

Elsewhere, West Ham could trade places with Manchester United if they beat Brighton away and Ralf Rangnick ends his tenure with a suitably underwhelming result against Palace. The Hammers have a superior goal difference, meaning that even a draw for Rangnick’s side at Selhurst Park would allow West Ham to swap the Europa Conference League for the Europa League with a win.

As for the dead rubbers, Chelsea, safe in third, host relegated Watford and Leicester face Southampton in a mid-table melee at the King Power Stadium. Today will be all about the managers, with pre-match press conferences and build-up to come. The Scottish Cup final, Women’s Champions League final and League One play-off final are also on the agenda this weekend, as are the finales of Serie A and La Liga.





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