RB Leipzig head coach Jesse Marsch has left the club my mutual consent following Friday's 2-1 loss at Union Berlin, their third straight Bundesliga defeat. 

Marsch arrived from Salzburg as the successor to Julian Nagelsmann, who left for Bayern Munich, but has overseen a series of disappointing results, with the loss to Union and Saturday's results leaving them 11th in the table. 

Leipzig have already been eliminated from the Champions League and could yet miss out on a spot in the Europa League too as they sit level with Club Brugge on four points in Group A. 

Marsch has struggled to combine a high-intensity press with a solid defence, with the departure of France international centre-back Dayot Upamecano clearly still hurting the team. 

Only Cologne (8.6) have a better PPDA than Leipzig (8.6) in the Bundesliga this season – a measure of the number of opposition passes allowed before a defensive action – while the Red Bulls lead the league in high turnovers (159) and shot-ending high turnovers (26), though they have been unable to score from any of them. 

However, the defence has been Leipzig's downfall. They have already committed six errors leading to shots in the Bundesliga (an increase of one from the entirety of last season) and three of those have ended in goals. None of their mistakes directly resulted in goals conceded under Nagelsmann in 2020-21. 

Leipzig have conceded 18 goals in the top flight but have an expected goals (xG) against of 23.6. Their xG against in the 2020-21 top-flight campaign was 29.6. 

Leipzig entertain Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday and face Borussia Monchengladbach, Augsburg and Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga before the mid-season break. 

Lionel Messi has won a record-extending seventh Ballon d'Or after beating Robert Lewandowski to the most sought-after individual prize in football.

The Paris Saint-Germain star may have endured a somewhat slow start to life in France this season, but before that he was electric for Barcelona and Argentina.

It was surely his long-awaited first trophy success with La Albiceleste that gave Messi the edge over Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski. 

Messi captained Argentina to Copa America success in July, ending their 28-year drought in major international competitions.

 

At the Maracana – the scene of Argentina's 2014 World Cup final defeat to Germany – Messi helped Lionel Scaloni's men to a 1-0 win over bitter rivals and Copa hosts Brazil.

He had previously lost Copa finals in 2007, 2015 and 2016, briefly retiring after missing his penalty in the shootout that saw the trophy slip from their grasp in the latter.

Messi may not have had the decisive impact in this year's final, but over the course of the tournament he was deemed to have been the best player, scoring four goals and setting up another five – no one bettered him in either metric.

 

Lewandowski had been considered the favourite before then, partly due to breaking Gerd Muller's long-standing record of 40 goals in a single Bundesliga season.

The Poland striker looked likely to have won the award in 2020 before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But Messi's success in Brazil seemed to tip the scales in his favour, with the 34-year-old increasing his lead over Cristiano Ronaldo in the Ballon d'Or stakes, the Manchester United forward now two back on five after finishing sixth in the voting this time around.

Lewandowski did, however, win the inaugural Striker of the Year award.

Manchester United have appointed Ralf Rangnick as their interim manager until the end of the season.

Club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United parted ways following the 4-1 humiliation at Watford, with the Red Devils announcing they were looking for a temporary boss until the end of the campaign when they will search for a permanent solution.

Rangnick, 63, leaves his role as head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow to take up the vacancy at Old Trafford, which Michael Carrick had temporarily occupied.

Former midfielder Carrick took temporary charge for the 2-0 Champions League win at Villarreal and the 1-1 draw at Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday.

Rangnick, whose appointment is subject to work visa requirements, will take up a two-year consultancy role with United once 2021-22 is concluded.

Rangnick, who is known for his high-pressing philosophy and influence on some of Bundesliga's brightest minds, started his career with his hometown club Viktoria Backnang.

After spells with the likes of Stuttgart, Hoffenheim, Hannover and Schalke, Rangnick enjoyed a brief managerial stint with RB Leipzig, who rose from the fourth tier of German football to the Bundesliga with the new United man as director of football.

Across 293 games in the German top flight, Rangnick has 120 victories to his name at a win percentage of 41, though he remains somewhat of an unknown quantity outside of his homeland.

Indeed, Rangnick has only faced United twice in his managerial career when in charge of Schalke, who were outclassed over two legs in the Champions League semi-final in 2011 as Alex Ferguson's side made their third final in four years.

The Red Devils are eighth in the Premier League, five points outside the top four and 12 adrift of Chelsea.

Manchester United have appointed Ralf Rangnick as their interim manager until the end of the season.

Club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United parted ways following the 4-1 humiliation at Watford, with the Red Devils announcing they were looking for a temporary boss until the end of the campaign when they will search for a permanent solution.

Rangnick, 63, leaves his role as head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow to take up the vacancy at Old Trafford, which Michael Carrick had temporarily occupied.

Former midfielder Carrick took temporary charge for the 2-0 Champions League win at Villarreal and the 1-1 draw at Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday.

Rangnick, whose appointment is subject to work visa requirements, will take up a two-year consultancy role with United once 2021-22 is concluded.

Rangnick, who is known for his high-pressing philosophy and influence on some of Bundesliga's brightest minds, started his career with his hometown club Viktoria Backnang.

After spells with the likes of Stuttgart, Hoffenheim, Hannover and Schalke, Rangnick enjoyed a brief managerial stint with RB Leipzig, who rose from the fourth tier of German football to the Bundesliga with the new United man as director of football.

Across 293 games in the German top flight, Rangnick has 120 victories to his name at a win percentage of 41, though he remains somewhat of an unknown quantity outside of his homeland.

Indeed, Rangnick has only faced United twice in his managerial career when in charge of Schalke, who were outclassed over two legs in the Champions League semi-final in 2011 as Alex Ferguson's side made their third final in four years.

The Red Devils are eighth in the Premier League, five points outside the top four and 12 adrift of Chelsea.

Gareth Southgate has signed a new deal to extend his stay as England manager through to December 2024, the Football Association (FA) has confirmed.

It means Southgate will remain in charge for the Three Lions' World Cup campaign in Qatar next year, and oversee qualifying for Euro 2024.

Southgate's assistant Steve Holland has also penned fresh terms to remain in his role.

"I am delighted that Steve and I have been able to extend our stay in our respective roles. It remains an incredible privilege to lead this team," Southgate said via an FA statement on Monday.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark, John and the board for their support – and of course the players and support team for their hard work. 

"We have a great opportunity in front of us and I know they and the fans are all excited about what this squad could achieve in future."

Southgate initially took on the role on an interim basis in September 2016 after Sam Allardyce's tenure lasted just one match and 67 days after he became embroiled in newspaper accusations that he offered advice on how to circumvent rules on player signings.

Two months later, Southgate was appointed to the position on a permanent basis and oversaw qualification to the 2018 World Cup.

In Russia, England achieved their best result in international football's most prestigious tournament since 1990 with a run to the semi-finals, where they were defeated 2-1 by Croatia.

England went on to secure a third-place finish in the inaugural Nations League Finals a year later, before easily qualifying for Euro 2020.

That tournament was postponed by 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic but Southgate then guided England to just a second ever major tournament final appearance, where his side agonisingly lost out in a penalty shoot-out to Italy after a 1-1 draw at Wembley in July.

Having regrouped to secure a relatively safe passage to Qatar, Southgate has been rewarded with a new deal.

The FA's statement added: "Southgate, who marks five years in charge at the end of this month, has overseen a period of positive progress guiding England to a FIFA World Cup semi-final and UEFA Nations League third place before securing the best men’s performance in 55 years with the UEFA EURO final this summer."

Under Southgate's stewardship, England have won 44 of 68 matches (drawing 14 and losing 10) giving him a win percentage of 65. They have scored 152 times and conceded 42 in that time.

Manchester United have confirmed the departure of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following Saturday's Premier League defeat to Watford.

The pressure has been building on Solskjaer throughout the season, but the 4-1 loss at Vicarage Road – their fifth defeat in seven league matches – proved the final straw.

The former striker's future was reportedly decided during a long board meeting after the match before a mutual agreement over his exit was reached, with Michael Carrick placed in temporary charge.

A club statement released on Sunday read: "Manchester United announces that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left his role as manager.

"Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision. While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.

"Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as Manager and our very best wishes for the future. His place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a Manager who gave us many great moments. He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family.

"Michael Carrick will now take charge of the team for forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an interim manager to the end of the season."

Solskjaer survived the 5-0 hammering by Liverpool at Old Trafford last month and the 2-0 derby defeat to Manchester City, with a 3-0 win at an out-of-sorts Tottenham and a Champions League draw with Atalanta helping to placate the club's hierarchy.

However, the apathetic nature of the performance against Watford, who started the match just three points outside the relegation zone, was too much to overlook for United co-chairman Joel Glazer, the man who holds final say over the hiring and firing of managers.

The result left the Red Devils eighth in the table with just 17 points from 12 matches, as they failed to beat a promoted side for the fourth game in a row, something that last happened when Solskjaer was a United player back in September 1997. This was also the first time they had taken as few as four points from seven consecutive league matches since December 2001.

United have now lost as many league matches this season as they did in their previous 43 games in the competition. Their two goals conceded in the first half against Watford took their tally this season to 11, the worst such record in the division.

Solskjaer took charge from Jose Mourinho initially on an interim basis and oversaw a marked improvement in performance while dispelling the toxic atmosphere that developed during the Portuguese's final weeks at the club.

He led United to sixth in his first half-season at the helm, before finishing third in 2019-20 and second in 2020-21, while his team enjoyed an English league record run of 29 away games without defeat.

However, he failed to win a trophy, reaching just one final, going down on penalties to Villarreal in the Europa League last term.

Manchester United have confirmed the departure of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following Saturday's Premier League defeat to Watford.

The pressure has been building on Solskjaer throughout the season, but the 4-1 loss at Vicarage Road – their fifth defeat in seven league matches – proved the final straw.

The former striker's future was reportedly decided during a long board meeting after the match before a mutual agreement over his exit was reached.

Newcastle United have ended their search for a new head coach by appointing Eddie Howe on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Graeme Jones had been in temporary charge of the Magpies since Steve Bruce departed by mutual consent following a takeover that saw Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund take an 80 per cent share in the club, becoming the richest owner in world football.

Brendan Rodgers, Paulo Fonseca, Lucien Favre and Roberto Martinez were linked with role before Villarreal coach Unai Emery snubbed the Premier League strugglers.

Instead, former Bournemouth manager Howe was on Monday confirmed as Bruce's successor after he watched on from the stands as Newcastle drew 1-1 at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Howe has been out of work since leaving Bournemouth in August 2020 following their relegation to the Championship.

The 43-year-old worked wonders during two spells in charge of the Cherries, masterminding an astonishing rise from League Two to the top flight, and reportedly turned Celtic down before Ange Postecoglou took the hotseat with the Glasgow giants.

Across his time with Bournemouth and a stint in between at Burnley, Howe has overseen 545 career games as a coach, winning 228 of them.

In the Premier League, he won 56 of 190 matches, with his best season seeing Bournemouth earn 46 points and finish ninth in 2016-17.

Newcastle United have ended their search for a new head coach by appointing Eddie Howe on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Graeme Jones had been in temporary charge of the Magpies since Steve Bruce departed by mutual consent following a takeover that saw Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund take an 80 per cent share in the club, becoming the richest owner in world football.

Brendan Rodgers, Paulo Fonseca, Lucien Favre and Roberto Martinez were linked with role before Villarreal coach Unai Emery snubbed the Premier League strugglers.

Instead, former Bournemouth manager Howe was on Monday confirmed as Bruce's successor after he watched on from the stands as Newcastle drew 1-1 at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Howe has been out of work since leaving Bournemouth in August 2020 following their relegation to the Championship.

The 43-year-old worked wonders during two spells in charge of the Cherries, masterminding an astonishing rise from League Two to the top flight, and reportedly turned Celtic down before Ange Postecoglou took the hotseat with the Glasgow giants.

Across his time with Bournemouth and a stint in between at Burnley, Howe has overseen 545 career games as a coach, winning 228 of them.

In the Premier League, he won 56 of 190 matches, with his best season seeing Bournemouth earn 46 points and finish ninth in 2016-17.

Xavi has finally landed his dream job as head coach of Barcelona.

The 41-year-old was confirmed in the role early Saturday, and it will be his first coaching job in Europe after spending the past two and a half years in charge of Qatari side Al Sadd.

Xavi had two years to run on his Al Sadd deal, but Barcelona paid his release clause to allow the Camp Nou legend to replace Ronald Koeman.

He has signed a contract through the end of the 2023-24 season, with the new hire coming as a huge boost to the Catalan giants during a turbulent time for the club.

Barcelona said Xavi will be presented in an event Monday at Camp Nou. 

Al Sadd CEO Turk Al-Ali earlier said: "Xavi informed us a few days ago of his desire to go to Barcelona at this particular time, because of the critical stage his hometown club is going through, and we understand this and decided not to stand in his way."

 

Xavi racked up 767 appearances for Barca during his playing career – a tally only surpassed by Lionel Messi (778) – and won a glut of individual and team honours.

He won LaLiga eight times and the Champions League on four occasions before ending his 24-year association with the club in 2015.

After seeing out the final four seasons of his playing career with Al Sadd and adding four more trophies to his collection, Xavi made the transition into coaching in May 2019.

The 2010 World Cup winner has enjoyed success in the dugout, too, having guided his side to the top-flight title last season, on top of winning the Qatar Cup and Qatari Super Cup.

Former Spain international Xavi departs with Al Sadd three points clear at the top of the league following Wednesday's 3-3 draw with second-place Al-Duhail.

That proved to be Xavi's final game at the helm, and he now faces a huge job at Barcelona, who are down in ninth place in LaLiga with 11 games of their season played.

Barca lost to Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano in Koeman's last two games before the Dutchman was sacked.

They have since drawn with Deportivo Alaves in the league and beaten Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League under interim boss Sergi Barjuan, who will lead the team Saturday at Celta Vigo. 

Xavi is set to be confirmed as Barcelona's new head coach after leaving his role with Al Sadd. 

The 41-year-old will take over at Camp Nou having spent the past two and a half years in charge of Al Sadd.

Xavi still had two more years to run on his deal, but Barcelona have paid his release clause and reached an agreement with the Qatari side for the club legend to replace Ronald Koeman.

A statement from Al Sadd CEO Turk Al-Ali read: "The Al Sadd administration has agreed on Xavi's move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause stipulated in the contract.

"We've agreed on cooperation with Barcelona in the future. Xavi is an important part of Al-Sadd's history and we wish him success.

"Xavi informed us a few days ago of his desire to go to Barcelona at this particular time, because of the critical stage his hometown club is going through, and we understand this and decided not to stand in his way."

 

Xavi racked up 767 appearances for Barca during his playing career – a tally only surpassed by Lionel Messi (778) – and won a glut of individual and team honours.

He won LaLiga eight times and the Champions League on four occasions before ending his 24-year association with the Catalan giants in 2015.

After seeing out the final four seasons of his playing career with Al Sadd and adding four more trophies to his collection, Xavi made the transition into coaching in May 2019.

The World Cup winner has enjoyed success in the dugout, too, having guided his side to the top-flight title last season, on top of winning the Qatar Cup and Qatari Super Cup.

Former Spain international Xavi departs with Al Sadd three points clear at the top of the league following Wednesday's 3-3 draw with second-place Al-Duhail.

That proved to be Xavi's final game at the helm, and he now faces a huge job at Barcelona, who are down in ninth place in LaLiga with 11 games of their season played.

Barca lost to Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano in Koeman's last two games and have since drawn with Deportivo Alaves in the league and beaten Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League under interim boss Sergi Barjuan.

Xavi is set to be confirmed as Barcelona's new head coach after leaving his role with Al Sadd. 

The 41-year-old will take over at Camp Nou having spent the past two and a half years in charge of Al Sadd.

Xavi still had two more years to run on his deal, but Barcelona have paid his release clause and reached an agreement with the Qatari side for the club legend to replace Ronald Koeman.

A statement from Al Sadd CEO Turk Al-Ali read: "The Al Sadd administration has agreed on Xavi's move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause stipulated in the contract.

"We've agreed on cooperation with Barcelona in the future. Xavi is an important part of Al-Sadd's history and we wish him success.

"Xavi informed us a few days ago of his desire to go to Barcelona at this particular time, because of the critical stage his hometown club is going through, and we understand this and decided not to stand in his way."

 

Xavi racked up 767 appearances for Barca during his playing career – a tally only surpassed by Lionel Messi (778) – and won a glut of individual and team honours.

He won LaLiga eight times and the Champions League on four occasions before ending his 24-year association with the Catalan giants in 2015.

After seeing out the final four seasons of his playing career with Al Sadd and adding four more trophies to his collection, Xavi made the transition into coaching in May 2019.

The World Cup winner has enjoyed success in the dugout, too, having guided his side to the top-flight title last season, on top of winning the Qatar Cup and Qatari Super Cup.

Former Spain international Xavi departs with Al Sadd three points clear at the top of the league following Wednesday's 3-3 draw with second-place Al-Duhail.

That proved to be Xavi's final game at the helm, and he now faces a huge job at Barcelona, who are down in ninth place in LaLiga with 11 games of their season played.

Barca lost to Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano in Koeman's last two games and have since drawn with Deportivo Alaves in the league and beaten Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League under interim boss Sergi Barjuan.

The Atlanta Braves won their first World Series title since 1995 after defeating the Houston Astros in six games in MLB's showpiece.

Tottenham have appointed Antonio Conte as their new head coach after acting quickly to replace Nuno Espirito Santo.

Former Chelsea, Juventus, Inter and Italy boss Conte agreed a contract running until summer 2023 to take charge of the London club, Spurs announced on Tuesday.

With Conte having also been linked to Manchester United, Spurs moved quickly to seal his signature after sacking Nuno.

Conte said: "I am extremely happy to return to coaching, and to do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist again.

"Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world.

"I can't wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach."

 

Tottenham made an unsuccessful attempt to recruit 52-year-old Conte prior to their appointment of Nuno in the close season.

That was part of what became a chaotic process to replace Jose Mourinho on a permanent basis, with Nuno seemingly well down the list of candidates after Ryan Mason had taken interim charge towards the end of the 2020-21 season.

Conte left Inter at the end of last season after his two years in charge climaxed with him winning the club's first Serie A crown for 11 years, ending the dominance of his former club Juventus, with whom he claimed the Scudetto on three occasions as a coach.

He won the Premier League and FA Cup during two years in charge of Chelsea from 2016 to 2018, leaving after his second season ended with a fifth-place finish in the Premier League.

Conte thanked Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy for showing persistence.

New boss Conte said on Spurs' official website: "Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent and emotionally too involved with the end of the season, so I felt that it wasn't yet the right time to return to coaching.

"But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction."

 

Nuno's reign at Spurs ended just 10 league matches and four months into a two-year contract he signed in June. He had previously spent four largely successful years in charge of Wolves.

A 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United on Saturday, when home fans expressed their frustration, proved to be his final game at the helm, with his top-flight total representing the lowest number of Premier League matches in charge for any permanent Tottenham manager in history.

The club are desperate to end a run that has not seen them win a trophy since 2008, after huge investment in an impressive new stadium.

Spurs have been runners-up in the Premier League and Champions League during that 13-year span, as well as losing three times in the EFL Cup final.

Conte's tenure will begin when Tottenham play at home to Vitesse in the Europa Conference League on Thursday before they face Everton in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Tottenham's managing director of football Fabio Paratici welcomed the appointment, saying: "We are delighted to welcome Antonio to the club. His track record speaks for itself, with vast experience and trophies in both Italy and England.

"I know first-hand the qualities Antonio can bring to us, having worked with him at Juventus, and look forward to seeing his work with our talented group of players."

Tottenham have appointed Antonio Conte as their new head coach after acting quickly to replace Nuno Espirito Santo.

Former Chelsea, Juventus, Inter and Italy boss Conte agreed a contract running until summer 2023 to take charge of the London club, Spurs announced on Tuesday.

With Conte having also been linked to Manchester United, Spurs moved quickly to seal his signature after sacking Nuno.

Conte said: "I am extremely happy to return to coaching, and to do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist again.

"Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world.

"I can't wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach."

 

Tottenham made an unsuccessful attempt to recruit 52-year-old Conte prior to their appointment of Nuno in the close season.

That was part of what became a chaotic process to replace Jose Mourinho on a permanent basis, with Nuno seemingly well down the list of candidates after Ryan Mason had taken interim charge towards the end of the 2020-21 season.

Conte left Inter at the end of last season after his two years in charge climaxed with him winning the club's first Serie A crown for 11 years, ending the dominance of his former club Juventus, with whom he claimed the Scudetto on three occasions as a coach.

He won the Premier League and FA Cup during two years in charge of Chelsea from 2016 to 2018, leaving after his second season ended with a fifth-place finish in the Premier League.

Conte thanked Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy for showing persistence.

New boss Conte said on Spurs' official website: "Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent and emotionally too involved with the end of the season, so I felt that it wasn't yet the right time to return to coaching.

"But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction."

 

Nuno's reign at Spurs ended just 10 league matches and four months into a two-year contract he signed in June. He had previously spent four largely successful years in charge of Wolves.

A 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United on Saturday, when home fans expressed their frustration, proved to be his final game at the helm, with his top-flight total representing the lowest number of Premier League matches in charge for any permanent Tottenham manager in history.

The club are desperate to end a run that has not seen them win a trophy since 2008, after huge investment in an impressive new stadium.

Spurs have been runners-up in the Premier League and Champions League during that 13-year span, as well as losing three times in the EFL Cup final.

Conte's tenure will begin when Tottenham play at home to Vitesse in the Europa Conference League on Thursday before they face Everton in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Sunday.

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