Celtic 1 AEK Athens 1: Hoops in trouble after costly home draw

Celtic are in danger of missing out on the Champions League group stage after a 1-1 first-leg draw at home to a 10-man AEK Athens left their third qualifying round tie finely poised.

Comfortable winners over Alashkert and Rosenberg, Celtic found it far tougher against the Greek champions and must now secure an away result if they are to reach the play-off round.

Brendan Rodgers’ men had appeared likely to take a lead to Athens when Callum McGregor broke the deadlock inside 20 minutes, only for his opener to be cancelled out by a rasping Viktor Klonaridis strike in the 44th minute.

And it was AEK who finished the far happier of the pair as they absorbed a wealth of second-half pressure following Konstantinos Galanopoulos’ dismissal for a second bookable offence with just over half an hour remaining.

McGregor was at the heart of a confident start for Celtic, the midfielder testing Vasilios Barkas with a firmly struck effort from just inside the area.

It was the only warning the Scotland international would offer as, in the 17th minute, he picked out the bottom right corner, firing low across Barkas from the edge of the six-yard box.

But a largely encouraging first 45 minutes came undone on the stroke of half-time, Klonaridis rifling in an unstoppable equaliser.

Marinos Ouzounidis’ men bravely protected parity for the remainder of the match, Celtic substitute Leigh Griffiths going closest to a winner with a header soon after his 63rd-minute introduction.

But it was to be one of few real scares for AEK, who defied the numerical disadvantage to hold the upper hand for next week’s return leg.

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Messi is happy to have you – how the world reacted to Courtois’ Real Madrid move

As expected, the world has been reacting to the news of Thibaut Courtois’ move from Chelsea to Real Madrid.

The reigning European champions forked out €35m (£31m/$40m) plus a season-long loan move for Mateo Kovacic to Stamford Bridge.

Courtois, who has been with the Roman Army since 2011 was named best goalkeeper at the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia.

Here is how social media have reacted to the 26-year-old’s move, with many tipping Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to score goals aplenty when they face Madrid.

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Chelsea confirm €35m Courtois sale to Real Madrid as Kovacic moves to London

Chelsea have confirmed the sale of Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid, with Mateo Kovacic coming to Stamford Bridge as part of the deal. 

Courtois has been at the west London club since 2011, and wrested the No. 1 jersey from club favourite Petr Cech after shining during a loan spell with Atletico Madrid as a youngster. 

In recent months, however, the Belgian has become increasingly unsettled, going so far as to skip training, while he has long been linked with a return to the Spanish capital where he spent three sparkling seasons. 

And he will now line up at the Champions League holders after Madrid agreed a reported €35m (£31m/$40m) fee that will also see Kovacic spend a year on loan in London.

“Chelsea and Real Madrid have tonight agreed terms for the permanent transfer of Thibaut Courtois subject to the agreement of personal terms and passing a medical,” Chelsea signalled in a statement published on the club’s official website.

“Subject to the completion of the deal Mateo Kovacic will join the Blues on a season-long loan.”

Real Madrid also confirmed the deal, revealing that the Belgium goalkeeper will put pen to paper on a contract that takes him up to the end of the 2023-24 season. 

“Real Madrid and Chelsea have agreed the transfer of Thibaut Courtois, who will be linked to the club for the next six seasons,” Madrid stated on their official website. 

“After the medical that will be carried out on August 9, the player will be presented at 1pm (12pm BST, 7am ET) in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. 

“Later Courtois will step out for the first time on the Santiago Bernabeu turf with the Real Madrid shirt and speak to reporters in the press room.” 

Courtois played a total of 154 appearances for Chelsea, winning the Premier League on two occasions. 

He also boasts ample experience in Spain, having made an identical number of appearances for Atletico which included a starring role in the Colchoneros’ 2013-14 Liga triumph.

Courtois may not have to wait long to face his old club, with Real Madrid set to face Atletico in the UEFA Super Cup on August 15.

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Bournemouth send Emerson Hyndman on loan to Hibernian

Emerson Hyndman is heading back to the Scottish Premiership as the Bournemouth midfielder has joined Hibernian on loan, pending international clearance.

Hyndman previously spent the second half of the 2016-17 season with Rangers, where he made a positive impression, scoring four goals in 13 Premiership appearances.

The efforts were both enough to win the midfielder Rangers young player of the year award that season, and also another chance to impress with his parent club.

However, injuries at inopportune times have limited Hyndman’s ability to crack the Bournemouth rotation, as he only received his Premier League debut in the final game of last season.

Now the 22-year-old Hyndman will head back to Scotland in hopes of replicating the success he had at the Ibrox.

“I am delighted to have joined Hibs,” Hyndman told the club’s official website.

“I enjoyed my previous time in Scotland – my game is well suited to the style of play here.

“I’m looking forward to meeting up with the squad and hopefully working my way into the team.”

Hibernian finished fourth in the 2017-18 Premiership, three points behind third place Rangers, which was good enough for a spot in Europa League qualifying.

“We are pleased to bring in a player of Emerson’s quality,” Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon said.

“Technically he’s at a good level, he’s got experience of the Scottish game and gives us another option in the centre of midfield.”

The club have said Hyndman will be available for the club’s Europa League third-round qualifying first leg against Molde on Thursday.

Prior to his time at Bournemouth, Hyndman had spent time with Fulham after signing with the Cottagers in 2011. He left the club for Bournemouth on free in 2016 for a four-year contract, on which he still has two years remaining.

Hyndman has also received two senior caps with the United States national team, but none since 2016 due to limited playing time.

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New Monaco signing Golovin suffers ankle injury

New Monaco signing Aleksandr Golovin’s debut will have to wait after it was confirmed the Russia international has an ankle injury that could keep him out for the next month.

Golovin was one of the breakout stars of the 2018 World Cup and garnered him heavy interest from Chelsea throughout the summer.

But a move to the Blues did not materialise as Monaco came in with a late bid to secure a €30 million move from CSKA Moscow to the Ligue 1 side. 

However, he did not feature in the Trophee des Champions last weekend when Paris Saint-Germain recorded a 4-0 victory over Monaco.

Monaco have now confirmed on their website that Golovin has a “sprained right ankle” that he sustained in training, with the player revealing the extent of the injury.

“I have an ankle injury, the operation is not required,” Golovin told Sport-Express.

“The process of recovery will take about three-to-four weeks.”

Monaco open their Ligue 1 campaign against Nantes on Saturday, hoping to improve upon their finish last season when they finished second but 13 points behind PSG. 

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