What really happened in last week’s Champions League final? ESPN’s Insider Notebook has the latest version.
Champions League Final Fail: Liverpool Fans Don’t Blame For Delayed Arrival
Amid the confusion and changing stories behind the chaos in the Champions League final, which prompted UEFA to announce an independent investigation, ESPN was told that initial allegations that the match was delayed due to late arrival for Liverpool fans were inaccurate and failed to highlight the problems the fans are experiencing. outside the Stade de France.
Sources told ESPN that there are key factors influencing UEFA’s initial statement that the start of last Saturday’s Champions League final was delayed due to the late arrival of Liverpool fans. Among them were an ineffective system of ticket checking in the vicinity of the stadium (before a second screening at the gates) and poor crowd organization outside the Stade de France, which resulted in thousands of fans being delayed as the match approached.
Marcotti: The Champions League final chaos should never happen again
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This statement, which Liverpool described as “completely inaccurate”, was followed by a subsequent official communication from UEFA that said instead that the problems outside the 1998 World Cup final venue were caused by “thousands of people who bought fake tickets that don’t work at the gates”.
Sources have now told ESPN that UEFA’s first statement was based on information provided by local authorities tasked with ensuring that the spectacular event, which moved to Paris from Saint Petersburg in February due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, was successfully organized.
Sources said that subsequent information highlighted that the delay is due to the slow process of checking tickets in the outer perimeter of the stadium near the access roads from public transport and crowd control methods used by the French police, rather than the fans arriving late, as it was at the beginning. advertiser.
UEFA has commissioned an independent report, headed by Portuguese politician Dr Thiago Brandao Rodriguez, on the events surrounding the chaotic preparation of the final between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Paris on Saturday. Madrid won the match 1-0.
A central factor to be investigated is the official UEFA announcement inside the Stade de France that the 35-minute delay to the start of the match was due to the late arrival of fans, causing huge crowds to build outside the Liverpool section of the stadium.
Liverpool issued a statement on Saturday challenging the claim, saying that “the security of the stadium is a core issue that has caused the start of the match to be delayed.”
Footage of thousands of Liverpool fans arriving at the Stade de France at least three hours before the match was widely circulated on social media, with other footage showing huge crowds waiting to enter the stadium after kick-off.
Fans spray pepper outside the Paris stadium pic.twitter.com/drgzEpR9gD
– Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) May 28, 2022
ESPN also released a video showing riot police spraying Liverpool fans with tear gas while they waited to enter the stadium.
Along with the independent report issued by UEFA, Liverpool launched its own investigation into the events in Paris by asking fans to provide data, photographic evidence and videos of the experience before, during and after the match. – Mark Ogden
Man United scouts cheering… Current player Pereira
Manchester United scouts have been sent out to see a potential transfer target that one of them reported king Sources told ESPN that the players were the star of the show.
Talent watchers were sent from Old Trafford to watch 21-year-old midfielder Joao Gomez play for Flamengo recently. But sources told ESPN that reports brought back from Brazil highlighted Andreas Pereira as the top performer.
Pereira was affected during a loan spell at Flamengo, but a permanent move to Brazil almost collapsed. Sources have told ESPN that he is expected to return to United in the summer with new manager Eric ten Hag, who has known Pereira from their time together at Eindhoven, keen to get a closer look at the 26-year-old during pre-season.
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Pereira wants regular first-team football but is ready to return to Old Trafford for a chance to beat Ten Hag. The Dutch coach highlighted the midfield and attack as key areas in his rebuilding. He wants to sign at least one new midfielder, but sources said he believes Pereira has the energy and technical ability to support the squad.
Ten Hag has had a significant transfer budget, but sources tell ESPN he has also been encouraged to cash in on players already at the club. United are short on midfield after the departures of Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard.
Pereira has a year left on his United contract after signing an extension in 2019. – Rob Dawson
Mark Ogden describes Paul Pogba’s second spell at Manchester United as “a huge disappointment”.
City allow Braff to join Dortmund amid concerns over the situation
Manchester City sources have decided not to renew Jayden Braff’s contract due to concerns about his situation, sources told ESPN.
Braff joined Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer after leaving the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season in a move that mirrors Jadon Sancho’s move to the Bundesliga in 2017.
City were keen to keep Sancho, but sources told ESPN they made the decision to cut ties with Braff early in 2020. City chiefs had high hopes for the striker when he arrived from PSV Eindhoven in 2018 and put on a string of exciting performances during youth team matches But a number of encounters with coaches and presidents convinced the club that it would be better to spend its future elsewhere.
Braff, who has been on loan in Italy with Udinese, has been disappointed by the lack of first-team opportunities, but club sources insist the 19-year-old has not done enough in training to stand a chance.
Sources close to City have confirmed that the club was particularly frustrated with Braff when he underwent rehabilitation and individual work after a serious knee injury he sustained in 2021, with issues raised over his behavior and behavior around the training ground.
Dortmund are hoping to get the best of Braff, and while City prepare the young Dutch international to realize his potential in Germany in the same way Sancho did, club chiefs, including Pep Guardiola and football director Txiki Begiristain, are convinced they made the right decision. – Rob Dawson
Jack Grealish jokes that Pep Guardiola signed him for Manchester City after beating Kyle Walker when he was still playing for Aston Villa.
Tolisso keen to move to the Premier League
Sources have told ESPN that Corentin Tolisso has his eye on a move to the Premier League this summer.
The France international will leave Bayern Munich when his contract expires at the end of June and evaluate his options before his next move, with a host of offers that he expects to come for him.
The midfielder enjoyed a trophy-filled period in Germany, winning the Bundesliga five times as well as the Champions League.
Tolisso, who won the World Cup with France in 2018, is likely to receive a host of offers, but sources have told ESPN that the Premier League is his preferred destination. Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United are all keen to add a midfielder to their squads this summer, and Tolisso, 27, would be a decent option on the free transfer.
Sources have told ESPN that Tolisso is keen to play in Europe’s competition next season – whether the Champions League or the Europa League – and the 27-year-old has attracted the interest of some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs in the past.
Arsenal and Manchester United, in particular, were keen on Tolisso when he was at Lyon, but he chose to join Bayern Munich instead. – Julian Lorenz
Diallo in demand
Sources told ESPN that Strasbourg striker Habib Diallo is attracting the interest of several Premier League clubs.
The Senegal international, 26, has scored 11 goals in Ligue 1 this season from 16 games (a total of 31 matches). His average of a goal every 140 minutes made him the seventh most prolific striker in France, and his performances have attracted the interest of a host of clubs, including Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Brighton.
Diallo signed Strasbourg for £9m from Metz two summers ago. But after winning the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year, sources told ESPN he feels he needs a bigger challenge – and the Premier League is where he dreams of playing. – Julian Lorenz