World Cup: Argentina need favours to stay alive after 3-0 thrashing from Croatia

Relive all of the action from another thrilling day at the Football World Cup in Russia.

8:45am

That should be it from us today. We'll be back tomorrow with more action, as world champions Germany are facing a do-or-die showdown with European rivals Sweden.

Take a look at the tournament's remaining fixtures here:

Take a look at how the groups are shaping up here:

7:52am: FULLTIME - Argentina 0 Croatia 3

Argentia's misery is over, their heaviest defeat at the group stage of a World Cup. They'll now need some huge favours to even make the next round.

Croatia on the other hand book their spot in the last 16 with a thumping victory.

7:49am: 91 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 3

GOAL!!! Pavon beats three Croatian defenders, before getting a shot away, but Strinic is there to block! Corner for Argentina. They take but Croatia counter! They're three on two in the Argentina area as Rakitic shoots! Caballero saves, but parries straight to Kovacic! Kovacic passes back to Rakitic - who shoots again with Caballero off the line, Croatia have a third and that's that for Argentina!

7:43am: 86 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 2

Free kick for Croatia, as Rakitic draws a foul from Otamendi. Rakitic to take it right footed, and he hits the bar! Argentina lucky to survive there.

7:38am: 80 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 2

GOAL!!! That should seal Croatia's win! Luka Modric has absolutely belted one home, from outside the box! Messi and co are on their last legs now - they'll need some favours to even get out of the group now.

7:34am: 77 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 1

Messi and Dybala combine nicely down Argentina's right hand side, but the ref stops play because Rakitic is staying down injured! Argentina are furious after their attack was stopped, Rakitic leaving the field.

7:31am: 74 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 1

Messi draws a foul from Strnic and he's not happy! Argentina go forward before Acuna tries to cross in for Higuain who can't win the header. The ball makes it's way out to Acuna again, who puts in his second terrible cross in as many minutes. 

7:21am: 63 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 1

Argentina go close! Higuain pulls a ball back across the goal from the left, Meza has a shot straight at Subasic, before Messi is there on the follow up. The Croatian keeper forces a corner. Argentina can't get their attempt from the set piece on target.

7:20am: 62 mins - Argentina 0 Crotia 1

Argentina having to open up now. Messi tries to dance through the Croatian defence, but can't hang on to the ball. Argentina have bought youngster Cristian Pavon into the mix.

7:12am: 53 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 1

GOAL!!! What a shocker from Argentina! Caballero has been dodgy at best in possession, and he's gifted Croatia the lead. A ball over the top from Vrsaljko sees the ball back to the Argentina keeper, who scuffs his attempted clearance, before Rebic somehow volleys the ball into the empty net.

Argentina staring at disaster now as Gonzalo Higuain comes on for Aguero.

7:06am: 50 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 0

Argetnina have a free kick after a Modric handball. Messi takes it quickly before Argentina lose possession.

7:02am: 46 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 0

We're away in the second half and straight away Croatia have a free kick after a foul on Lovren.

7:01am

Croatia are the first side back out onto the pitch, before Willy Caballero of all people leads out Argentina. Messi not looking to happy coming into the second half...

6:47am: HALFTIME - Argentina 0 Croatia 0

Modric comes up with a brilliant ball across to Rebic! He's through on goal, but opts to cut back inside to try and shoot with his right, but fires over the bar. That'll bring the first half to an end.

6:45am: 45 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 0

Two minutes of added time in the first half. Neither side really taking any risks before the break.

6:37am: 37 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 0

Stoppage in play now as Mercado and Rebic come together in the air. Mercardo comes off worse for wear as Argentina have a free kick as a result.

Messi takes, but the ball sails straight to Subasic in goal.

6:33am: 33 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 0

Croatia waste a chance now! Rebic crosses in for Mandzukic - who goes for the diving header, but can't hit the target! Argentina went to sleep there, waiting for the offside decision against the Croatian striker.

6:30am: 30 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 0

HUGE CHANCE wasted by Argentina! Another attack down Argentina's left sees a total mix-up between Subasic and Lovren. The ball comes out to Perez who as an empty net to aim for, but sends his shot wide.

6:27am: 27 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 0

Aguero slices right through the Croatian defence down the left wing. He tries to cross in for Messi, but Strnic clears to force a corner. Meza takes, but the ball curls into the side netting.

6:19am: 19 mins - Argentina 0 Croata 0

Argentina are furious after Brozovic brings down Meza - the referee gives nothing. At the other end, a miscommunication between Caballero and Tagliafico nearly sees Mandzukic in on goal, the referee calls a foul on the defender just in time however.

6:13am: 13 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 0

Chance for Messi now! A ball over the top finds the Argentina skipper unmarked in the Croatain area! Messi tries to flick it goalwards, before Subasic makes a save. The danger's not over though! Messi flies down the right before pulling the ball back across the area, Meza shoots and Lovren blocks to force a corner.

6:10am: 10 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 0

Another chance for Croatia! This time Vrsaljko and Rebic combine down the right hand side, working their way into the are. Tagliafico does well to win the ball in the Argentina area, before Modric gives away a foul.

6:04am: 4 mins - Argentina 0 Croatia 0

Croatia hit Argentina on the counter! Perisic makes a run into the area down the left flank, getting his shot away before Caballero makes a great save to force a corner.

6:00am: KICKOFF - Argentina 0 Croatia 0

We're away as Argentina kick off and straight away Messi has a run at the Croatia defence...

5:53am

Both sides make their way out onto the pitch, club rivals Lionel Messi (Barcelona) and Luka Modric (Real Madrid) lead their respective sides out of the tunnel.

5:33am

We've got the final starting XIs confirmed for you now:

Argentina (3-4-3): 23. Willy Caballero (gk), 2. Gabriel Mercado, 17. Nicolas Otamendi, 3. Nicolas Tagliafico, 18, Eduardo Salvio 14. Javier Mascherano, 15. Enzo Perez, 13. Maxiliano Meza, 10. Lionel Messi (c), 19. Sergio Aguero 8. Marcos Acuna.

Croatia (4-3-3): 23. Daniel Subasic (gk), 2. Sime Vrsaljko, 6. Dejan Lovren, 21. Domagoj Vida, 3. Ivan Strinic, 7. Ivan Rakitic, 11. Marcelo Brozovic, 10. Luka Modric (c), 18. Ante Rebic, 4. Ivan Perisic, 17. Mario Mandzukic.

5:27am

Right then, so far this morning we've seen Australia keep their hopes of progressing from Group C alive, coming back from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw against Denmark. A win in their final game against Peru could see the Socceroos through, should other results go their way.

Elsewhere, France kept their place atop Group C, with 19-year old Kylian Mbappe's strike enough to earn a 1-0 win over Peru, sending the South Americans home in the process.

Up next however, we'll see a true heavyweight clash as Argentina face Croatia. Lionel Messi and his men are in desperate need of a victory, having been held to a draw in their opener against Iceland.

Croatia on the other hand, currently top Group D, emerging 2-0 winners from their first match against Nigeria.


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Horror Manchester City defensive blunders leads to shock Champions League defeat by Lyon

If Manchester City wants to finally win a first Champions League title, they will have to start taking the competition a bit more seriously — on and off the field.

Surrounded by swathes of empty seats in the Etihad Stadium, City's players were humbled 2-1 by Lyon in a sloppy and apathetic display at the start of their European campaign today.

Banned from the touchline and unable to communicate with the bench, City manager Pep Guardiola did fill one seat in the stands and he saw his Premier League champions easily picked apart by the French visitors.

"We felt under threat every time we lost the ball and sometimes that brings the confidence a little bit lower," said City assistant manager Mikel Arteta, who was in charge on the bench in Guardiola's absence.

Errors by midfielder Fernandinho led to both Lyon goals, typifying how careless City was against a team that finished third in the French league last season and was even held to a draw at the weekend by 10-man Caen.

When a pass by the Brazilian midfielder was intercepted around the halfway line, Lyon charged forward.

Nabil Fekir sent in a cross from the left that evaded Fabian Delph's swinging legs, allowing Maxwel Cornet to slot it home in the 26th minute.

Delph held his head in his hands as the consequences of his mistake became clear.

City's troubles deepened when Fernandinho was caught in possession again. Memphis Depay set Fekir on a run and the forward doubled Lyon's lead in the 43rd by striking through the legs of John Stones.

"It was a difficult game," said Depay, who struggled to make an impact at Manchester United before leaving after two seasons in 2017.

"But when we had the ball we tried to play and when we won the ball we tried to counterattack."

Perhaps the only reason for City to feel aggrieved in the first half was Gabriel Jesus being denied a penalty when he was tripped by former Manchester United defender Rafael da Silva just before Depay scored.

"To concede two goals like we did is very frustrating," Stones said.

"We came in at halftime a bit deflated I think. But we picked ourselves up and we came out second half fighting and played a better second half."

But the improvement wasn't sufficient.

City pulled one back in the 67th when Bernardo Silva scored from substitute Leroy Sane's cutback.

But the attacking threat was too patchy from a City side that won the Premier League with a record 100 points only four months ago, and are widely seen as one of the big favorites in this season's Champions League.

"I suffered as I was scared they'd score a second goal," Lyon coach Bruno Genesio said.

"We would have taken 2-2 before the match but given the way the game went we'd have been disappointed not to leave with the three points."


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Paul Pogba curls in stunning goal, scores a double in Manchester United's Champions League win

Game-winning displays like Paul Pogba's in a 3-0 victory for Manchester United over Young Boys should help to improve his relations with coach Jose Mourinho.

Pogba scored twice late in the first half today to get United off to a smooth start in the Champions League against the group-stage newcomer.

A curling shot in the 35th minute and an assured penalty in the 44th — after a trademark slow-trot approach — showed Pogba at his most elegant.

Pogba's form cheered Mourinho on the touchline after an uneasy early season between them since the team's signature player returned from winning the World Cup with France.

United went three goals up in the 66th when Pogba surged through the midfield and teed up Anthony Martial, who also had tense pre-season exchanges with Mourinho. Martial's shot took a deflection off defender Mohamed Ali Camara.

Camara's eventful evening included testing David De Gea with an early long-range strike, hitting a post with a second-half shot from a corner, and being beaten by Pogba's quick feet that created space to score the opening goal.

The penalty was awarded for a handball awarded against Young Boys defender Kevin Mbabu for blocking Luke Shaw's cross.

The result dispelled Mourinho's doubts expressed to UEFA this month about playing Champions League games on artificial turf.

Still, Mourinho said the surface should not be an excuse for his players who did have uneasy moments before Pogba stepped up.

Making his United debut, 19-year-old right-back Diogo Dalot slipped on the plastic pitch to give winger Christian Fassnacht a shooting chance that was blocked.

A loser on its two previous Champions League games in Switzerland, both at Basel, United next welcomes Valencia to Old Trafford on October 2.

Also in Group H, Pogba's former team Juventus won 2-0 at Valencia despite a first-half red card for Cristiano Ronaldo, the former United star.


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Watch as hysterical Cristiano Ronaldo reduced to tears after sending off in Juventus' Champions League win

Cristiano Ronaldo was supposed to be the missing piece in Juventus' bid to win the Champions League.

But his first match in the competition for his new club lasted less than half an hour today as he was sent off after appearing to pull at an opponent's hair.

Juventus still went on to win 2-0 at Valencia, thanks to two penalties.

It was Ronaldo's first red card in 154 Champions League games, and the decision means he could miss a return to Old Trafford when Juventus plays Manchester United next month if gets at least a two-match ban.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri insisted it shouldn't have been a red card, and lamented the fact that video technology has yet to be introduced into the Champions League, as it has been in Serie A. VAR was also used at the World Cup in Russia this year.

"I'll only say that in this sort of occasion VAR would help," Allegri said.

"It's disappointing because now we'll lose him for a few games and instead if there had been VAR it would have been seen that it wasn't a sending-off offence."

Ronaldo was dismissed in the 29th minute after tangling with Jeison Murillo.

After Murillo went down inside the area, the Portugal forward gestured for his opponent to get up, then put his hand on the Valencia defender's head and appeared to tug his hair.

Referee Felix Brych showed Ronaldo a straight red card after discussing with his assistant behind the goal.

Ronaldo looked baffled and kept professing his innocence and was clearly distraught as he left the pitch in tears, still shaking his head.

"He was upset and he needs time to calm down," Allegri said.

"He needs to rise above it and focus on Sunday, even if these things leave a bitter taste in the mouth."

Even Valencia coach Marcelino Garcia attempted to comfort Ronaldo as he walked off the pitch.

"I didn't see the contact, I was affected by his tears. He was saying he didn't do anything," Marcelino said. "I spoke with him but I won't say what I told him."

Juventus has won Europe's premier club competition twice but the last time was in 1996.

It has lost five finals since then and hoped that signing Ronaldo, who has won the competition five times, it could go one step further.

The Bianconeri have won the Serie A title for the last seven seasons — and the league and Italian Cup double for the past four — but have struggled to transfer that domestic supremacy to the European stage, although they have reached the final twice in the past four editions.

Despite playing more than an hour with 10 men at Valencia, Juventus eased to victory.


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Former Premier League striker rejects offer to join rebuilding Wellington Phoenix

The Wellington Phoenix are back to recruiting players after their latest attempt to sign another former Premier League player fell through.

The Kiwi club was in talks with veteran Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins after he had been frozen out by his Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua following a serious injury in April.

But Martins has decided to focus on recovery from his torn hamstring instead of signing with a new team.

"I've spoken with Obafemi and he just wants to continue to rehabilitate from his injury in the UK for the time being," his agent Ante Alilovic told SBS.

"He's told me he wants to hold off until January (to make a decision on his future).

"I don't think the A-League is a serious option in terms of what he can earn elsewhere. He won't be coming to Australia and I think he sees his future remaining in China."

Martins played five seasons for Inter Milan from 2001-2006 before moving to the Premier League, making 88 appearances in three years for Newcastle United. More recently, Martins has played in Major League Soccer before joining Shanghai.

It's a blow for the Wellington club who received a green light from Football Federation Australia to pursue the 33-year-old with a marquee contract, meaning they would contribute from their own funds to help the Phoenix get his signature on the dotted line.

It marks the second failed attempt to find a marquee player after reported negotiations between former Chelsea star Michael Essien and Phoenix broke down prior to their pursuit of Martins.

Obafemi Martins celebrates a goal for Newcastle United with Steven Taylor.
Obafemi Martins celebrates a goal for Newcastle United with Steven Taylor. Source: Getty


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