Tiger Woods is "bummed" to be missing The Masters after his car crash in February, friend and practice partner Justin Thomas has revealed.

Five-time Augusta champion Woods will be watching from home this week rather than taking to the course he knows so well.

The golf great was involved in a single-vehicle incident six weeks ago that saw his car roll "several hundred feet".

Woods required surgery on serious leg injuries, while an officer from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in the aftermath the 45-year-old was "very fortunate" to survive.

It was just the latest setback in a superstar career and means Woods is absent from The Masters for the fourth time in eight years, although he did win the tournament in 2019.

There had been appearances from Woods at each of the prior 19 editions of The Masters, while he was the last man to retain the green jacket with back-to-back triumphs in 2001 and 2002 and is one of only five to have celebrated a career Grand Slam, this week marking 20 years since his 'Tiger Slam'.

Woods posted on Twitter on Tuesday: "I'll miss running up @DJohnsonPGA's bill at the Champions Dinner tonight. It's still one of my favorite nights of the year."

Thomas, who regularly practises with Woods and Fred Couples ahead of the Augusta major, said at a news conference: "I went over and saw him a couple times last week and try to go over a couple times during the week whenever I'm home and see him.

"We texted Friday morning, and he said it's kind of starting to set in. He's bummed he's not here playing practice rounds with us, and we hate it, too.

"I'm very, very lucky that I somehow got thrown into that practice-round group with Tiger and Freddie the last four years or whatever it is, especially around this place.

"I just follow them around like puppy dogs. Wherever they go, that's where I go after it. If they hit chips from somewhere, I go hit chips from there.

"It's no coincidence they have been so successful here, but they are also just great guys to be around. I definitely miss that part."

Thomas added: "[Couples] didn't feel like getting up in the early cold weather this morning, so I made sure to give him some grief.

"I don't know if he would have bailed on me if Tiger was with me, but he did on me."

Couples posted on his own Twitter page: "Thinking of my guy @tigerwoods during this week @themasters. I'll miss you tonight at dinner. Not the same without you."

Thomas, who has improved his Masters finish every year since his 2016 debut and came fourth last year, has been grouped with Tony Finau and Louis Oosthuizen for a 13:48 EDT start on Thursday.

Couples will play with Francesco Molinari and amateur Charles Osborne, teeing off at 12:24 EDT.

Reigning Masters champion Dustin Johnson has been grouped with two-time runner-up Lee Westwood to begin his title defence on Thursday.

Johnson returns to Augusta just five months on from a dominant triumph, his second major triumph after the 2016 U.S. Open.

The world number one, who has finished in the top 10 in his past five Masters appearances, set a scoring record with his sensational 20-under 268 for the week back in November.

As Johnson aims to become the first man since Tiger Woods in 2001 and 2002 to win consecutive green jackets, he will start alongside Englishman Westwood and, as is tradition, U.S. Amateur Championship winner Tyler Strafaci.

The groupings and tee times were confirmed on Tuesday, with Johnson's trio going out at 10:30 EDT.

Jordan Spieth, who ended a 1,351-day wait for a PGA Tour victory at the Texas Open last week, will be in the final group to tee off at 14:00 EDT, along with US PGA Championship victor Collin Morikawa and Cameron Smith.

Rory McIlroy's latest bid to become the sixth golfer to claim a career Grand Slam sees him start straight after Johnson at 10:42 EDT.

McIlroy has finished in the top 10 at Augusta in six of his past seven appearances but is famously still waiting for a first victory, while his major drought stands at 22 events.

An intriguing group has the Northern Irishman playing alongside Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele.

Brooks Koepka will play with Bubba Watson and Viktor Hovland, while Bryson DeChambeau joins Adam Scott and Max Homa.

Justin Thomas has Tony Finau and Louis Oosthuizen for company, Sergio Garcia starts alongside Webb Simpson and Christiaan Bezuidenhout, and Patrick Reed will measure himself against Paul Casey and Daniel Berger.

Phil Mickelson, the man with the most major titles (five) in the field as Woods is absent, will appear alongside Tommy Fleetwood and Scottie Scheffler.

Honorary starters Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Elder will get the tournament under way, with twosome Michael Thompson and Hudson Swafford the first competitors involved.

Jurgen Klopp selected Diogo Jota in attack and dropped Roberto Firmino to the bench for Liverpool's Champions League quarter-final first leg at Real Madrid.

Jota came on with the game goalless and netted a brace in Saturday's 3-0 Premier League win at Arsenal.

Although Firmino was initially on the field along with Jota, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at Emirates Stadium, the Brazil forward had to be content with a place on the bench in the Spanish capital.

Jota's brace took him up to 12 goals for the campaign in his debut season at Anfield, level with Mane and double Firmino's six, despite injury restricting him to 1,269 minutes on the field.

Firmino has played 2,661 minutes, meaning he averages a goal every 443.5 minutes, with Jota's one per 105.75 minutes the best ratio among all of Liverpool's forwards. Salah's 26 goals in 2020-21 have arrived at one every 128.7 minutes.

Naby Keita has endured another injury-impacted season with the Reds, but Klopp gave him the nod in midfield alongside Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum, with ex-Barcelona man Thiago Alcantara among the substitutes.

Liverpool were set to confront a patched-up Real Madrid back four in a rematch of the 2018 final, with Raphael Varane's positive COVID-19 diagnosis putting him on the sidelines with skipper Sergio Ramos and right-back Dani Carvajal.

Lucas Vazquez, Nacho and Eder Militao were chosen as the men to step in alongside first-choice left-back Ferland Mendy.

Mauricio Pochettino hopes Neymar can show his talents against Bayern Munich on Wednesday after the Brazilian was sent off on his return to the Paris Saint-Germain starting XI.

Having appeared for 20 minutes as a substitute at Lyon ahead of the international break, Neymar started for the first time since February's Coupe de France trip to Caen when PSG hosted Lille on Saturday.

But the top-of-the-table Ligue 1 clash turned sour for the superstar as he was controversially dismissed in the closing stages of a 1-0 defeat.

Neymar, who tried to retrieve the ball from Lille defender Tiago Djalo before both players were sent off, has earned four red cards since his Ligue 1 debut in August 2017, a tally only topped in this time by Nantes midfielder Andrei Girotto.

The forward's latest misdemeanour is set to keep him out of league action as PSG aim to overturn the three-point advantage Lille secured at the weekend.

But Neymar can for now channel his energy into avenging last season's Champions League final defeat to Bayern when PSG face the reigning European and world champions in a two-legged quarter-final.

The world's most expensive footballer has played only six knockout games in the competition since moving to PSG, although he was ever-present in the five during last season's run.

Now, he is fit again and ready to take on Bayern on Wednesday with coach Pochettino's backing.

"After six weeks, he was very excited to start a game," Pochettino told a news conference on Tuesday, explaining Neymar's red card.

"He's an emotional player, he likes to play, he likes to fight, he's a competitive player. He didn't deserve this red - he was sent off for various reasons - but he knows he has to channel himself.

"I hope that tomorrow everything will be fine, that we can play a very good game, and that the whole team will get the performance we hope for."

Compatriot and captain Marquinhos also came to Neymar's defence.

"I've known Ney for years," he said. "We know he's a very competitive player. If you look at the action, he got a foul, he came to get the ball, he showed a lot of commitment.

"He's a great player, he's very motivated; what happened happened. Tomorrow we need great players to make a great game.

"We're not going over history again. Tomorrow is the Champions League, we learn from our mistakes and we think about what we have to do tomorrow."

Yet PSG, who beat Barcelona in the previous round, are determined not to rely on Neymar (13 goals this season) and Kylian Mbappe (30) alone against Bayern.

"I always preferred to talk about the collective, especially before these kind of games," Marquinhos said.

"When we see our performance in Barcelona, the collective was really strong; we saw it before the individualities.

"If everyone plays their part on the field with the right mindset, the individuals will then get away with it.

"I prefer to put the team forward, we can't always talk about specific cases."

Pochettino added: "We focus a lot on Mbappe and Neymar, but the 11 players who will start tomorrow will have the responsibility to do everything to help us get the win."

The PSG coach will at least be able to call on his superstar duo while Robert Lewandowski (knee) and Serge Gnabry (coronavirus) are out for Bayern.

Lewandowski and Gnabry shared six goals on the only previous occasion Pochettino took on Bayern, then as Tottenham manager on the end of a 7-2 humbling.

"Bayern's strength is its collective, its squad," Pochettino said. "When you win the Champions League and the Club World Cup, you have a very good group, not just 11 successful players.

"We are talking about Lewandowski and Gnabry, who are very good players, but we also have absentees like [Mauro] Icardi and [Marco] Verratti.

"That being said, for sure, for them, these are absences that weigh heavily."

Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry will miss the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Paris Saint-Germain after testing positive for coronavirus.

Head coach Hansi Flick confirmed earlier on Tuesday that Gnabry would likely be absent from Wednesday's game at the Allianz Arena after complaining of a sore throat.

Bayern later announced the 25-year-old had tested positive for COVID-19.

The holders were already missing star striker Robert Lewandowski due to a knee injury, leaving them without an attacking duo who have been directly involved in 63 goals in all competitions this season.

PSG, meanwhile, had already confirmed Marco Verratti and Alessandro Florenzi would miss the first leg after returning positive coronavirus tests.

Bayern defeated the Parisians 1-0 in last season's Champions League final, with Kingsley Coman scoring the winner.

Should they avoid defeat in the first leg, Bayern would become only the second team in the competition's history to go 20 consecutive games unbeaten, after Manchester United (25 between 2007 and 2009).

However, they have only won four and lost five of the previous 10 meetings in this tournament with the Ligue 1 champions. Only Real Madrid (10) have beaten Bayern more often in the competition.

Antonio Conte has seen evidence of "massive progress" in Lautaro Martinez's game both with and without the ball during his time as Inter coach.

Conte arrived at San Siro in 2019, a year after striker Martinez was signed from Racing Club.

The Argentina international's debut campaign had brought just nine goals and two assists in 35 games in all competitions, but those figures quickly improved under Conte.

Martinez tallied 21 goals and five assists in 49 outings last season and has scored 16 times and created six more for team-mates in 38 appearances in the 2020-21 campaign.

His minutes-per-goal rate has improved across his three seasons in Italy, this season finding the back of the net every 162.2 minutes.

Martinez is also creating more chances, 1.4 per 90 minutes, resulting in the increase in assists, but his work in defending from the front has been similarly impressive.

The 23-year-old has won possession in the final third 32 times this term (1.1 per 90) and posted 31 interceptions (also 1.1 per 90), comfortably more than in his previous two seasons combined.

Among Serie A forwards to score 15 or more goals in all competitions this season, Martinez leads the way in both categories as well as in recoveries per 90 (3.1).

Conte was asked about his number 10 ahead of Inter's game with Sassuolo on Wednesday, and said: "He has improved in all areas, on the ball and off the ball.

"He has improved when it comes to holding up possession and attacking the space.

"Like the other players, he has made massive progress. He needs to stay on this track. Taking his age into account, he has a very bright future ahead. It's in his hands."

Of those with 15 goals or more, Martinez's strike partner Romelu Lukaku ranked last for interceptions (0.1) and recoveries (1.6).

But Lukaku trails only Cristiano Ronaldo (31) in the scoring charts with 26 strikes in all competitions, and Conte is confident all of his players are contributing to the cause as Inter - eight points clear with Wednesday's game in hand - close on a first Scudetto since 2009-10.

"I think for every side putting the team first is the most important factor," the coach said. "Alone, you cannot win matches.

"It's the team that gets the best out of the individual. The players have understood the message. They are all pulling in the same direction."

Andrea Pirlo was not concerned by a meeting between former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri and president Andrea Agnelli, insisting he retains the support of the Serie A champions.

Reports this week revealed Allegri, who won five Scudetti in five seasons in Turin, had met with Bianconeri chief Agnelli.

That appeared to increase pressure on Pirlo, whose first season as a senior coach has badly gone off the rails.

Juve are fourth heading into Wednesday's game against Napoli, who are fifth on the same number of points.

After nine consecutive Serie A titles, Juve risk missing out on Champions League qualification for next season.

But Pirlo feels he still has the backing of Agnelli, who informed him of the encounter with Allegri, a coach who has been without a job since his departure in 2019.

"There is no position," Pirlo said ahead of the Napoli game. "I was warned by the president himself about the meeting with Allegri.

"Football is one thing, friendship is another. I have a daily relationship with Agnelli, we tell each other everything that happens.

"I knew about this meeting and I know I have his confidence, then obviously it's up to me to prove that I can be the coach for next season as well."

Pirlo might find the going tough against Napoli, as the Partenopei arrive in Turin on a four-match winning run in Serie A.

Napoli have also won their previous two games against Juve, while they have a joint-high five wins over the Bianconeri since the start of their sequence of nine championships in a row.

Pirlo will also be without Merih Demiral, Leonardo Bonucci and Federico Bernardeschi following positive coronavirus tests, but the coach insisted he had no issue with the game going ahead.

The fixture was originally scheduled to take place in October but did not go ahead as planned, after Napoli did not travel to Turin on the recommendation of their local health authority (ASL).

"We respect the protocol," Pirlo said. "We are in tune with what the ASL says. We will do what we have always done, we will present ourselves and play."

Paulo Dybala, left out against Torino on Saturday after breaching COVID-19 regulations, is back in contention, while Pirlo is keeping faith with Wojciech Szczesny and Dejan Kulusevski, who have each been guilty of recent on-field mistakes.

Juve had not committed a single error leading to a goal in Serie A this season until March but have since had three.

Szczesny's, against Torino, also saw Kulusevski - at fault against Lazio - give the ball away cheaply.

"Szczesny will play because after a negative performance there is always a desire for redemption," Pirlo said, adding: "I spoke to Kulusevski. I reassured him. Mistakes can happen - you have to raise your head."

Jesse Lingard continued his sensational run of form for West Ham with a fine solo goal in the 3-2 win over Wolves on Monday.

After collecting the ball in his own half at Molineux, Lingard carried the ball into the Wolves box, surging clear of Leander Dendoncker and Romain Saiss before beating Rui Patricio with a left-footed finish.

Lingard later assisted a goal for Jarrod Bowen, as West Ham won 3-2 to boost their chances of finishing in the Premier League top four, a position they hold with eight matches to go.

The attacking midfielder has nine goal involvements in eight matches (six goals, three assists) since making his West Ham debut on February 3.

Lingard earned an England recall for his impressive West Ham displays in a loan spell that was initially expected to precede a permanent move, either to the Hammers or elsewhere.

When he made a flying start at West Ham, reports initially focused around how his transfer price-tag had increased.

But the continuation of his impressive play means there are now questions over whether he can force his way back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans at Old Trafford.

It is a scenario that looked highly unlikely two months ago, but one former United captain Gary Neville now thinks has merit.

LINGARD AT UNITED

Lingard was often criticised but had his moments at United, where he came through the youth system.

He scored in their FA Cup final win over Crystal Palace in 2016 and won the Europa League a year later.

Lingard played 33 Premier League matches (20 starts) for United as recently as 2018-19, scoring eight times and adding five assists.

But his playing time continued to decrease from there until he was frozen out by Solskjaer in the first half of this season, not appearing in the Premier League and making only three domestic cup appearances.

Prior to his exit, Lingard did not score or assist a single Premier League goal for United in a period of 33 matches over 18 months.

WEST HAM RESURGENCE

Now, though, Lingard's nine goal involvements since debuting are tied for the best over that span in the Premier League with Tottenham striker Harry Kane, who himself is having a memorable campaign.

He sits above the likes of other in-form stars like Gabriel Jesus (7) and Bruno Fernandes, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ilkay Gundogan (all 6).

West Ham's win over Wolves saw the Hammers show off their counter-attacking ability.

Only Leeds United (6) have scored more goals from fast breaks than David Moyes' side this season (5), with two of those coming at Molineux.

United have been at their best under Solskjaer when they have soaked up pressure and thrived on the counter-attack.

So there is an argument Lingard could fit in with United and just needed a run of matches to get his rhythm and confidence back, boosting his hopes of playing for England at Euro 2020 in the process.

NEVILLE ON LINGARD DILEMMA

Neville believes there can be a role for Lingard at United, though it would come at the cost of not playing week in, week out.

"He does an incredible amount of running," Neville said to Sky Sports. "It's what he does. He's good out of possession and good in possession.

"At Manchester United because there is that expectation of what you need to be, to be a wide player there, he's always going to get a difficult press.

"But if he was playing in a world-class team, if he was, say, Park Ji-sung 10 years ago playing with Ronaldo and Rooney, doing that supplementary role, then people would be saying he's perfect for this squad.

"The problem is he was not playing in Manchester United teams as good as that, so he gets a bit of stick.

"He's a really good player. He's going to have a great career. 

"Manchester United have sent him out to West Ham to boost his career, maybe with the thought of boosting his price tag, but they might be thinking, 'Actually, we might want him back, he could be a real help to us'.

"If Jesse wants to play, and you can see he does want to play, then he needs to leave, because he's not going to play every single week for a United team that's competing for second or first place in the league.

"But if he's willing to go back there and compete and be the player that Dan James has been for the last few weeks, in and out, then there's no doubt he can play for Manchester United."

 

LINGARD COMPARED TO MAN UTD STARS

Given he did not play for the first half of the season, we are dealing with a smaller sample size with Lingard compared to the key attackers at United.

But Lingard comes out on top of all West Ham and United players with 0.74 goals per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season, above Fernandes (0.56), Edinson Cavani (0.54) and Michail Antonio (0.41).

Lingard (0.38) is on almost the same level as Fernandes (0.39) for assists per game, coming second among both squads in players to feature for at least 500 minutes.

Alex Telles (0.35) and Said Benrahma (0.33) are the others to fare well for assists P90.

At 3.95 dribbles attempted per game, only Marcus Rashford (5.65) takes on an opponent more often than Lingard in that category among United players.

There are three West Ham players who do so more often, led by Benrahma (5.26).

When it comes to created chances, it is one area where Lingard falls slightly short.

Fernandes (3.03) and Luke Shaw (2.26) are well clear of the pack, with Benrahma (1.5) and Aaron Creswell (1.43) coming out best for West Ham. 

Lingard (1.15) would rank fifth among United players, which is also where he sits at West Ham.

Overall, Lingard has made a huge impact at West Ham, spearheading an unlikely Champions League pursuit.

His performance levels compare favourably to most of United's forwards and attacking threats.

It is a move that has worked out superbly for him and David Moyes, but also for United.

They can either welcome back a revived squad player as part of their plans for 2021-22 or cash in at a much greater level than they could have done prior to Lingard's London switch.

Hansi Flick does not expect there to be any lasting effects of last season's Champions League final in either the Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain camps ahead of their quarter-final tie.

Former PSG winger Kingsley Coman grabbed the only goal in August's delayed final in Portugal to deny the Ligue 1 giants their first European crown. It was the only time in 43 Champions League games PSG have failed to score.

They will get their chance for revenge this year as Bayern again lie in their way in the last eight, the German, European and world champions hosting the sides' 10th meeting in the competition in Wednesday's first leg.

But Bayern coach Flick, still unbeaten in the Champions League and looking to extend his team's undefeated run to 20 matches, considers this a whole new challenge against Mauricio Pochettino's men.

"I don't know how the opposition feel, but we don't find [the final] relevant," Flick told a news conference. "It's a new game, a new team, Paris have a new coach, so it's a whole new situation.

"We're in the Champions League quarter-finals and we want to make it to the semi-finals, so we have to be very concentrated in both games. That's our aim and that's our job."

But for all the changes, PSG's main men remain the same in Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, so Bayern must again take a similar approach.

Flick called for his side to be disciplined with the ball and energetic without it, although he also wants Bayern to show greater ambition going forward.

Leon Goretzka's strike claimed a decisive 1-0 win at RB Leipzig on Saturday, but the home side outshot the champions 14-9 and matched their expected goals total of 0.6.

"When we're in possession, we need to maintain our positions," Flick said.

"We have to always keep in mind that we can lose the ball and that we then have to regain possession as quickly as possible. Our positional play is going to be very important.

"What is crucial is that we don't focus maybe too much on losing the ball but that we play with confidence.

"We have to attack with confidence - we have to be a little more confident, more purposeful than we were in Leipzig.

"In the first 15, 20 minutes in Leipzig, we weren't decisive enough, we didn't attack with enough vigour - the same happened at the beginning of the second half. There will be situations for us that we have to use better than we did against Leipzig."

Goretzka stepped up in Robert Lewandowski's injury absence against Leipzig, and Serge Gnabry, who has a sore throat, will join Bayern's number nine on the sidelines.

Flick has more options in defence, where Jerome Boateng is a candidate to return despite reports his contract will not be extended.

Boateng, who has played 30 times this season, makes more interceptions (1.6), blocks (0.7) and clearances (2.4) per 90 minutes than either Niklas Sule or the outgoing David Alaba.

"I don't think I have to comment on everything that's in the media," said Flick, whose side will be boosted by the close-season arrival of Dayot Upamecano.

"I'm just going to leave it as it is. We'll see in the next couple of weeks if this particular news item is true or not.

"I honestly don't really want to comment on this going into tomorrow's game. Probably, I won't want to talk about this speculation after the game after either.

"I don't know why the media reports about this. Everyone knows what I feel about Jerome Boateng. Everyone knows how good he is.

"He's played a very good season, he played a very good last season, he's very concentrated, focused very much on his job. That's a great foundation for him to perform - and he is performing at the moment.

"For a coach and our coaching staff, it's a great situation to be in to have a player that is as experienced, as good, with that quality."

Thomas Tuchel confirmed Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga were involved in an altercation in the wake of Saturday's shocking 5-2 defeat to West Brom, a game that Chelsea's head coach still cannot get his head around.

Chelsea found themselves on the end of a humiliating loss to the Premier League's second-bottom team, conceding five goals in a home league game for the first time since October 2011.

Similarly, West Brom netted five times on the road for the first time in over nine years.

Thiago Silva's sending off when Chelsea were 1-0 up was deemed to be the turning point, with Matheus Pereira netting a brace just prior the break, before Callum Robinson repeated that feat in the second period. Mbaye Diagne got the other Baggies goal, with Mason Mount's strike a mere consolation.

If the defeat was not bad enough, reports emerged the next day claiming Rudiger and Kepa had been involved in a bust-up at training.

While Chelsea did not comment on the matter publicly, Tuchel was open about the situation in Tuesday's news conference as he addressed the media ahead of the club's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Porto.

"It was not [serious]. It was an incident in training and got heated between Toni and Kepa," Tuchel said. "We calmed the situation down immediately. I don't want to play things down artificially, we do not want to accept [such incidents] but they can happen because everyone is competitive in training matches.

"The reaction to it, Toni and Kepa, was amazing. They showed how much respect they have for each other. They cleared the air and there was nothing left one day after.

"We spoke about the issue and then it was solved. This is the main part. It will stay with us, it wasn't awkward. They solved it straight after training in an honest and humble way and it showed me they have good character."

But although he initially played down the incident, Tuchel backtracked and emphasised the gravity of what occurred.

"It was serious," he continued. "Sometimes you have little situations when you look away and let them sort things out. We needed to interfere in this situation, so it was serious. How the guys handled the situation was impressive and showed character, but the situation was serious.

"That it got out [leaked]...I get used to it in modern times. There are too many channels and ways that information can get out. I heard even that some of my debrief from the match got out there too. Ok, it's not nice but I am not going to focus on who is the leak or whatever. I don't want to lose my trust in the group so I will accept it."

Regarding a punishment, Tuchel confirmed Rudiger will play on Wednesday and added: "No, no punishment so far because of the way they dealt with it. The reaction was immediate, they made it clear for everybody what happened. Toni sorted out it directly, which was necessary. It was a strong and brave thing to do and the right thing to do."

Tuchel quickly used the scrap to turn attention back to Chelsea's misfortune against West Brom, adamant that the statistics of the game suggested they ordinarily would have won.

"It's very natural there is a reaction to a result and game like this, so it is necessary to adapt," the German said. "It is a strong part of sports at this level that the guys hate to lose. So, if we suffer a big loss in a weird game, it's normal there are reactions.

"You have to swallow it and accept we lost the game. Then it's important that we are reliable in analysing the game. We can't only do meetings depending on the result. We can be critical after wins and we can point out things we like even though we lost 5-2.

"Part of this game's story is we won all the statistics against West Brom, all of them, with 10 men and 11 men, all statistics that matter to win games. Even expected goals [xG], we won the bypassed defenders, we won touches in the box, we won shots on targets – we won everything.

"If we played the same game again, I would bet a lot of money that we win 99 times out of 100."

And Tuchel has a point – in terms of xG, Chelsea edged West Brom 2.1 to 1.6, meaning the visitors were incredibly clinical with their chance-taking.

Nevertheless, West Brom's xG value was comfortably the highest registered by any team against Chelsea since Tuchel was appointed in January.

With a man advantage, West Brom certainly capitalised on the extra time and space in the final third.

Central Coast Mariners avoided suffering a second successive away defeat as the A-League leaders rallied to grab a 2-2 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers.

Bruce Kamau scored twice in the space of four minutes as Western Sydney turned the game around in a hurry, putting them on course for a win that would have lifted them up to third in the table.

However, the Mariners – who had taken the lead midway through the first half when Matt Simon converted a one-on-one opportunity with a chipped finish – levelled from the penalty spot.

Alou Kuol was caught by Keanu Baccus as they both went for a loose ball and, following a VAR check, captain Oliver Bozanic converted from 12 yards out in the 83rd minute.

Western Sydney have now only lost once in the past 11 meetings between the teams. They looked on course for all three points on Tuesday thanks to Kamau, who scored multiple goals in an A-League game for the second time in his career.

The substitute made it 1-1 when turning in Thomas Aquilina's low cross, then quickly had the hosts ahead when he ended a driving run with a shot that took a deflection to sneak past Mark Birighitti in the visiting goal.

Juventus knew exactly what they were getting when hiring Andrea Pirlo and would be wrong twice if they decided to make a change now, according to Fabio Cannavaro.

Despite winning Serie A for a ninth successive season, Juve reacted to the team's shock Champions League exit to Lyon last year by sacking head coach Maurizio Sarri.

Pirlo was promoted from within to the top job, the former Italy international - who had only just been appointed as the club's new under-23 boss - signing a two-year deal to take charge of the first team.

His debut campaign has been tough, both at home and abroad. Juve's dominance in the league looks set to come to an end, while their hopes of European glory were dashed again at the last-16 stage, this time unexpectedly losing over two legs to Porto.

Pirlo's position has come into question as a consequence, yet former team-mate Cannavaro insists the club must show faith in the decision they made to appoint him in the first place.

"When Juve chose Andrea they knew very well that he had no experience," Cannavaro said in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport

"It is logical that he should have his time to mature, even in the relationship with the team. There are still 30 points at stake, so it is right to leave it.

"And he did good things, throwing young people and managing a complicated dressing room, one full of people who have won a lot. Of course, some things don't work, he was wrong: he is a human.

"It's a heritage that must be protected. After all, if Juve don't confirm his position, what did they choose him to do last summer?

"They would be wrong twice if they take that decision now. And the blame can't only be his if the players make mistakes on and off the pitch."

Pirlo's Juve have a 57.14 per cent win percentage in Serie A, having scored 56 goals and conceded 25. The team averages exactly two points a game, considerably lower than the 2019-20 season.

They face a fight just to qualify for the Champions League again: Saturday's 2-2 draw against Torino saw them slip to fourth in the table, with a crucial home game against Napoli - who sit fifth, albeit level with Juventus on 56 points – to come on Wednesday.

As for Sarri, his solitary campaign in charge averaged out at 2.18 points per game, the former Napoli and Chelsea boss winning 68.42 per cent of his league fixtures as he secured the title again.

However, both slip below the lofty standards set by Massimiliano Allegri in his final year in the job. In 2018-19, his squad won 73.68 per cent of their Serie A outings, conceding just 30 goals as they picked up points at a rate of 2.37 per game.

Ilkay Gundogan is concerned Bayern Munich's continued dominance of the Bundesliga will make German football less appealing to an international audience.

Manchester City midfielder Gundogan won the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund in 2012.

But Dortmund – who face City in a Champions League quarter-final first-leg on Tuesday – have not won the title since.

Bayern are closing in on a ninth consecutive domestic crown after beating closest challengers RB Leipzig 1-0 on Saturday, a result that came even as star striker Robert Lewandowski was injured.

Dortmund are usually among Bayern's closest challengers but this season they sit seven points outside the top four despite having prolific striker Erling Haaland in their ranks.

"In the Bundesliga I wish that Dortmund or RB Leipzig could at least compete with FC Bayern in the medium term," City star Gundogan said to Funke Media Group.

"Should Bayern continue to set themselves apart from the competition even further in the next few years, then we can assume that the league will unfortunately become less appealing and interesting to the international audience."

Gundogan and City are cruising to the Premier League title in England, but he feels the competition has a clear advantage on Germany.

He added: "I think that here in England we have more quality in the league.

"Not only at the top, but above all in the middle of the table for teams that don't play in Europe.

"The top teams have also been playing with the best coaches in the world for a long time."

City go into the last-eight tie as favourites, having won 10 of their last 11 Champions League matches against German opposition (D1).

But City have lost four of their five matches at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League under Pep Guardiola, going out at this stage in each of the previous three seasons.

And despite their domestic struggles, Dortmund have gone unbeaten in their past seven Champions League games (W5 D2).

It is their longest streak without defeat in the competition since a run between 2012 and 2013, when they went 11 games without defeat under Jurgen Klopp.

Haaland has 21 Bundesliga goals this season and has also netted in each of his last six Champions League appearances.

Should he find the net in this game, he will become just the fifth player in the competition's history to score in seven straight matches.

DeMarcus Cousins wasted little time in getting to work with the Los Angeles Clippers after signing a 10-day contract with the team.

Cousins was a free agent after being waived by the Houston Rockets in February, the center having averaged 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists this season.

Now the 30-year-old has the chance to impress the Clippers, who sit third in the Western Conference with a 33-18 record and may want to add depth to their roster ahead of the postseason.

The franchise released pictures on social media of their latest acquisition already hard at work in the gym, potentially ahead of a debut against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.

The four-time NBA All-Star is back in Los Angeles, having signed for the Lakers prior to the start of the 2019-20 season. However, he missed the entirety of their title-winning campaign due to a serious knee injury.

Selected by the Sacramento Kings with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft, Cousins has played in 590 games in his NBA career.

Twice selected on the All-NBA Second Team during his time with the Kings, he was eventually traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in February 2017.

There has also been a stint with the Golden State Warriors that was hampered by a torn quadriceps muscle. He had signed a one-year deal with the Rockets in 2020, yet played just 25 games for them.

For his career, Cousins averages 20.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

Luka Doncic says the Dallas Mavericks just have to "keep rolling" after scoring an impressive win over the Utah Jazz on Monday.

The Jazz, who hold the best record in the NBA this season, saw a nine-game winning streak halted as the Mavericks ran out 111-103 victors behind 31 points, nine rebounds and eight assists from Doncic.

Dorian Finney-Smith had 23 points to go alongside six rebounds and four assists, while Jalen Brunson (20 points), Josh Richardson (17 points) and Tim Hardaway Jr (16 points) all contributed in the absence of Kristaps Porzingis, who was missing with a wrist sprain.

The Mavericks, seventh in the Western Conference, are now on a five-game winning run and are 7-3 over the past 10, with Doncic admitted their latest result helps build confidence as the season moves into a critical stage.

"I mean win every win is a confidence win, every NBA team can beat you," he said.

"Every win is a confidence win here, obviously this one they're first in the West or second, so obviously it's a big win. We just have to keep rolling, I guess."

The Mavericks impressed in the long-range game, going 23 for 49 from three-point range. Prior to the game, Utah led the NBA in three-point attempts (17.1) and second for success rate (39.8 per cent), but they were 12 from 44 (27.3 per cent).

"To hold these guys to 103 is a hell of a job," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said.

"The difference was we just came out and we were much more physical than we were last time we played them. That was a long time ago; that was light years ago."

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