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Antoine Griezmann Hat-Trick Fires Atletico Madrid Into Champions League

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Antoine Griezmann secured Champions League qualification for Atletico Madrid with a hat-trick in a 3-0 triumph at Getafe on Wednesday in La Liga. Diego Simeone’s side ensured they will finish in the top four and therefore reach Europe’s top competition for the 12th consecutive season. Inspired by France international Griezmann, the Rojiblancos romped to victory in the Madrid suburbs at Getafe’s Coliseum Alfonso Perez. Atletico, fourth, trail Girona by two points and now lead fifth-place Athletic Bilbao by 11 as the Basque side fell to a 2-1 defeat at struggling Celta Vigo.

Despite a strong start and becoming the only side in Spain to beat new champions Real Madrid this season, Atletico’s season began to crumble.

Athletic ousted them in the Copa del Rey semi-finals and Borussia Dortmund knocked them out in the Champions League quarters.

Atletico knew a victory would guarantee them a return to the competition next season and the superb Griezmann did not give Getafe, 10th, a chance.

“It’s been a lot of years getting into the Champions League, which is something to value, but with the team we have and the talent we have, and the coach we have, it’s something we have to do,” Griezmann told Movistar.

The 33-year-old forward had netted only twice in his previous 13 La Liga appearances, with concerns emerging over his form, but he put them to bed with his second treble of the campaign.

“Without my team-mates I am nothing,” continued Griezmann.

“My ankle was annoying me a lot (in recent weeks)… working with the physios and pushing hard, the pain has gone and I can enjoy myself.”

Atletico’s all-time leading goalscorer opened the scoring in the 27th minute when he ran on to Rodrigo De Paul’s scooped pass and beat Getafe stopper David Soria with a low effort.

Griezmann converted his second before half-time from Angel Correa’s low pass across the area, with the goal given after a VAR review after it had been flagged offside.

The former Real Sociedad striker netted again to complete his hat-trick after the break, finishing a sharp Atletico move.

The visitors played the ball out neatly from the back and Lino threaded through Griezmann, who prodded home at the near post for his 16th league goal of the season.

“The boys made a great effort, we knew the importance of having a good game today and having our place in the Champions League booked,” said Simeone.

“Good work as a team, in defence and attack.”

Celta’s comeback win over Athletic leaves Cadiz’s hopes of survival hanging by a thread despite their late 1-0 win at Sevilla.

Williot Swedberg and Hugo Alvarez’s goals helped Celta triumph at Balaidos to move five points clear of the drop zone, after Alex Berenguer had sent Copa del Rey winners Athletic ahead with a goal direct from a corner.

Sergio Guardiola’s 96th-minute winner for 18th place Cadiz means they are four points from safety with two matches remaining.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Iga Swiatek Saves Match Point To Beat Naomi Osaka At French Open

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Defending champion Iga Swiatek saved a match point to outlast Naomi Osaka.© AFP




Defending champion Iga Swiatek saved a match point to outlast fellow four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka 7-6 (7/1), 1-6, 7-5 in a breathtaking second-round clash at the French Open on Wednesday. World number one Swiatek trailed 5-2 in the final set but the Pole won the last five games of the match to keep her bid for a third successive Roland Garros title on track.

She is attempting to become only the fourth woman in the Open era to lift four Roland Garros titles and just the second — after Serena Williams — to complete the clay-court treble of Madrid, Rome and French Opens in the same season.

More to follow…

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Bayern Munich Appoint Vincent Kompany To End Long Search For New Coach

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Bayern Munich’s long search to fill their vacant head coaching position is over with the German giants naming Vincent Kompany as manager in a shock move on Wednesday. The 38-year-old Belgian, a surprise choice with his Burnley side relegated from the Premier League this season, has penned a three-year deal at the Allianz Arena. Normally in contention for the biggest names in the business, Bayern have been searching for months but have been knocked back by several candidates after their first trophyless season for 12 years.

After failed attempts to lure Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso, Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann and Austria’s Ralf Rangnick, Bayern tried to hold onto Thomas Tuchel, who had agreed in February to leave in the summer. 

Tuchel however announced in May he “couldn’t agree on terms” to stay with the club and would “stick to the agreement we had in February”.

Instead, Bayern have decided for Kompany, taking a risk on an inexperienced yet promising candidate in one of the biggest jobs in football. 

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of FC Bayern. It’s a great honour to be able to work for this club – FC Bayern is an institution in international football,” said Kompany in a club statement.

“I’m now looking forward to the basics: working with the players, building a team. Once the basis is right, success will follow.”

Burnley will reportedly receive £10 million ($13 million) in compensation for allowing their manager to leave.

“We understand the allure and prestige of a club like Bayern Munich and respect Vincent’s ambition to explore new opportunities,” Burnley said in a statement.

Alonso 2.0?

After a successful playing career where he captained Manchester City and the Belgian national team, Kompany returned to his first club Anderlecht to begin his managerial career.

He moved to Burnley in 2022 and took them to the Premier League as second-division champions, before crashing back to earth over the past 12 months.

Yet, he crucially retained the support of his old coach at City Pep Guardiola, who advised his former club to go for Kompany due to his leadership qualities and determination to play an attacking brand of football.

“As a coach, you have to stand for what you are as a character,” added Kompany. “I love having the ball, being creative – but we also have to be aggressive and courageous on the pitch.”

Coaching instability has been a feature at Bayern over the past decade and a half, despite their consistent on-field success. 

Guardiola, whose three-year spell in Bavaria ended in 2016, was the last Bayern coach to complete at least two full seasons. 

Used to poaching the best talent from their Bundesliga rivals, Bayern were shunned by Alonso, as he decided to take Leverkusen into the Champions League next season.

However, recreating the Spaniard’s success in Germany looks to have been on the minds of the Bayern board.

Like Alonso, Kompany is a disciple of Guardiola and speaks German thanks to his spell at Hamburg as a player.

But his transition into coaching has not been as smooth as the Leverkusen boss.

He finished third and fourth in his two full seasons at Anderlecht before overseeing Burnley’s lowest ever points tally in the English top-flight to finish second bottom of the Premier League this season.

Kompany, who is the same age as Bayern captain Manuel Neuer, now has a mammoth task ahead of him in reviving Bayern’s on-field fortunes, not to mention navigating the club’s complex backroom politics, which have derailed more experienced coaches.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Carlos Alcaraz Survives Scare At French Open

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Carlos Alcaraz survived a huge scare at the hands of 176th-ranked Jesper de Jong.© AFP




World number three Carlos Alcaraz survived a huge scare at the hands of 176th-ranked Dutch qualifier Jesper de Jong to reach the third round after a four-set triumph on Wednesday. Wimbledon champion Alcaraz, who made the semi-finals at Roland Garros last year, scrambled to a 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 second round victory over a player taking part in only his second Grand Slam main draw. The 21-year-old Spaniard was broken five times and hit 47 unforced errors before De Jong, playing his fifth match at the tournament, eventually wilted under the roof of Court Phillipe Chatrier.

“Every player can cause you trouble,” said Alcaraz.

“You have to be focussed in every round, have to play at your best, it doesn’t matter what the ranking is. Jesper has the work and level to break into the top 100.”

Alcaraz goes on to face either American 27th seed Sebastian Korda or South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo for a place in the last 16.

Despite being broken in the second game of the opening set, Alcaraz broke three times himself to grab the advantage.

The battling Dutchman then saved eight break points over the course of the second set before the Spaniard found the killer blow.

However, Alcaraz, who arrived at the tournament under an injury cloud after sitting out the Rome Open with a right arm problem, went off the boil in the third set.

He committed 15 unforced errors to the Dutchman’s five as the qualifier cut the deficit.

Alcaraz then twice had to come back from breaks early in the fourth set before running away with the last four games to triumph.

 

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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