Kylian Mbappe insisted there is no agreement to take him to Real Madrid after his majestic performance drove Paris Saint-Germain to a 5-1 victory over Lorient on Sunday.

The France international scored twice and assisted the other three PSG goals, with Neymar getting two and Lionel Messi the other, as Mauricio Pochettino's side maintained their 12-point lead at the Ligue 1 summit.

Uncertainty remains over where Mbappe will play next season, with Madrid leading the charge for the signature of the forward whose contract expires at the end of the current campaign.

Mbappe reiterated in the aftermath of the win against Lorient that a decision has yet to be taken, perhaps raising the possibility he could stay in Paris.

"No, no, no, I did not make my choice, everyone knows that I did not make my choice, I did not make my decision," he told Prime Video.

"I think because there are new elements, there are lots of things, lots of parameters and I don't want to be wrong, I want to make the right choice.

"I know that for the people, it's a little late, we talk about it every day. If I had made my decision I would say it, I don't have to report to anyone. It's a personal choice, if I made my decision, I come, I say it and I assume it.

"I think that, in the good things and the bad things that I have done, I have always assumed, I don't have to hide myself, I haven't killed anybody. It's just a choice, so I take my time and I want to make the best decision possible."

Neymar and Messi –,the latter ending a run of seven games without a goal – joined Mbappe on the scoresheet in the same game for the first time.

Brazilian star Neymar was delighted with the evening's work, with PSG showing positive signs after being jolted by last month's Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid.

"I'm happy with the victory," Neymar told Prime Video. "We knew this championship was difficult. We have to keep winning and show that we want this 10th title.

"Losing is very difficult. What happened against Madrid, that gave us a lot of harm. We must continue to move forward. We wanted to go to the end of the Champions League, but unfortunately we were eliminated. It's difficult for the public to accept defeat, but for us too it was hard."

Chelsea's midfield targets in the upcoming transfer window have left a potential opening for Real Madrid in pursuit of N'Golo Kante.

The France international reportedly knocked back a move to Paris Saint-Germain in the January window, but midfield rejuvenation is a priority for Madrid.

While Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos have been mainstays in the middle at the Santiago Bernabeu, Kante would bring new energy to the Spanish giants.

TOP STORY – KANTE LINED UP AS REAL MADRID SOLUTION

The transfer market domino effect could lead Kante to Madrid, AS has reported.

While both Madrid and Chelsea are in the race to sign Aurelien Tchouameni, the Blues also have an interest in Declan Rice, which could open up the possibility of Kante leaving.

The 31-year-old is coming into the final year of his contract, leaving Madrid with potential leverage to force Chelsea's hand.

While Kante has seen extensive time on the sidelines this season, missing game time through a combination of COVID-19, groin and knee troubles, he could be Madrid's top target if they fail to land Tchouameni.

ROUND-UP

– Barcelona are keen to sign 30-year-old Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season, Sport reports.

– Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is confident the club will be able to keep Antonio Rudiger alongside Cesar Azpilicueta, who triggered a contract extension, per Goal.

– Bild is reporting Bayern Munich have commenced talks over a new deal for Thomas Muller, with his contract expiring at the end of next season.

– Erik ten Hag is the favourite to become the new Manchester United manager, with the Ajax coach seeing a move to the Premier League as a progression in his career, according to Sport1.

Thibaut Courtois expects his former club Chelsea to respond strongly when they meet Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals, despite their heavy defeat on Saturday.

The Blues were shockingly thrashed 4-1 at home by Brentford in the Premier League, while Madrid claimed a 2-1 win away at Celta Vigo in LaLiga.

Courtois made 154 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea before moving to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2018.

Following Madrid's win over Celta, Courtois told reporters: "Today, winning is important. Chelsea lost at home and they will be very strong for Wednesday. We lack intensity sometimes and Chelsea are good at [exploiting] that."

Though Los Blancos were victorious, they enjoyed some fortune after being awarded three penalties by referee Pablo Gonzalez Fuertes. It was the first time Madrid took three spot-kicks in a single LaLiga game since Opta began recording such data in 2003-04.

Karim Benzema scored two and saw one saved, but it was enough for Madrid to extend their lead at the top to 12 points, and Courtois – who made a spectacular save from an Iago Aspas free-kick in the first half – acknowledged how tough the game had been.

"We have suffered here, all the games I have played here have been very tough," he said. "I don't know if we deserved to win because in the first half I made two saves.

"The three penalties are, there is nothing more to add. The first and the second, yes. Perhaps the third is the one that I see as more difficult from my goal, but if you put your foot in... Today, they call us three in favour, since it had been a long time since they called us three."

Aspas was less than convinced by the referee's performance, saying after the game: "He only needed to call a fourth penalty to take it himself. It seemed that a hat-trick from Benzema was what he wanted and what he was looking for."

The former Liverpool striker did have words of praise for Courtois, though, after the Belgian saved his free-kick as well as efforts from Denis Suarez and Thiago Galhardo, whose header he tipped into the post before it rolled in, only for the goal to be disallowed when an offside Aspas stopped David Alaba from clearing.

"He is the best goalkeeper in the world," Aspas added. "I already said it in the previous one and it seems that he listened to me."

Nolito did find a way past Courtois, but to no avail for Celta, who sit in 11th place.

Thomas Tuchel denied Chelsea's upcoming Champions League clash with Real Madrid provided a distraction after watching his team fall to a 4-1 loss to Brentford on Saturday.

The Blues opened the scoring three minutes after half-time through Antonio Rudiger, but a stunning Brentford comeback condemned them to their first Premier League defeat since January 15, as Christian Eriksen and Yoane Wissa added to Vitaly Janelt's brace.

Chelsea's remarkable collapse saw them concede four or more goals at home to a newly promoted side for just the second time in Premier League history, with the previous occasion also coming under Tuchel's management in a 5-2 loss to West Bromwich Albion in April 2021.

With the European champions due to host Madrid in a huge quarter-final contest on Wednesday, Tuchel made four changes to his side, but was adamant that nobody at Stamford Bridge had looked any further ahead than their clash with the Bees.

"We selected the team because we thought it was the best team against Brentford," Tuchel insisted. "Not with half an eye, or one percent of one, on Real Madrid.

"It's more difficult for us than them to play as the underdog and be well prepared for this match. We are well prepared, but had one half of a training session [after the return of Chelsea's internationals].

"It is more difficult, but in the context of all this I am okay with the first half. The half-time speech was like this, a reminder to keep on going.

"We started very well [in the second half]. I did not see the distraction there, so why should we be distracted and think about Real Madrid when we are one goal ahead?

"Maybe it was the general feeling that now we are ahead and have it [which led to the turnaround], and we got punished for that."

Brentford's stunning triumph represents the joint-biggest away Premier League victory managed by a newly promoted team against a side starting the day in the top three of the table, alongside Leeds United's 3-0 win at Aston Villa in October 2020.

Despite accusing his team of having "stopped defending" in the immediate aftermath of the defeat, Tuchel said he would not make a "drama" of the shock result, putting it down as a one-off.

"It seems like it [a blip]," he added. "After so many wins and so many good results, I will now refuse to make a drama out of it. 

"Why should we? Brentford made a lot of the ten minutes we gave them. After the third goal, we had a disallowed goal, a pressing situation against the goalkeeper, and another big chance from Kai Havertz. 

"We missed all three of them and there was a feeling that it wasn't our day, so it's a mixture of everything. 

"We will dig in and try to find out why it was like this. It's hard to take because it's very unusual for us, what happened today. [But] we will refocus on Monday."

Real Madrid secured a hard-fought 2-1 win at Celta Vigo on Saturday as Karim Benzema's two penalties extended their lead at the top of LaLiga to 12 points.

The victory owed immense credit to the fact Madrid were awarded three spot-kicks at Estadio de Balaidos, with Benzema missing once but making sure with his other two attempts.

Nolito had equalised Benzema's first penalty early in the second half and the hosts pushed to win the game themselves, only to be undone at the other end.

Celta Vigo were furious with the referee, particularly for the third spot-kick given just minutes after France international Benzema had seen one saved by Matias Dituro, but Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti will not mind as he saw his team return to winning ways in the league following their Clasico humiliation last time out.

Madrid had their first penalty in the 18th minute when Nolito clipped the ankle of Eder Militao, with Benzema calmly rolling his effort to Dituro's left.

The hosts had made a good start despite the penalty, and Iago Aspas nearly equalised with a free-kick, only for Thibaut Courtois to make a superb save diving to his right, denying the former Liverpool man.

Celta Vigo thought they were level when Thiago Galhardo's header hit the inside of the post and rolled into the far corner of the net, but Aspas was judged to have been offside as well as stopping David Alaba from clearing the ball off the line.

Nolito made up for the penalty concession with the equaliser early in the second half as he swept home a cross from the left by Javi Galan.

Madrid had another chance from the spot just after the hour when Rodrygo was felled by Jeison Murillio, but Dituro made the save to deny Benzema down to his right.

However, the goalkeeper could do nothing about Los Blancos' third penalty of the game, with Benzema slotting this time after Ferland Mendy went over the trailing foot of Kevin Vazquez.

The best teams in the world are circling Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, who has 23 goals and six assists in 23 club appearances this season.

The 21-year-old Norwegian was ruled out of Barcelona's price range earlier this week by president Joan Laporta, but there are some clubs who can stomach the asking price.

While there will be an array of suitors investigating if a move will be possible for their club, Manchester City and Real Madrid are the most likely to put their money where their mouths are.

TOP STORY – MANCHESTER CITY HAVE UPPER HAND IN HAALAND SWEEPSTAKES

ESPN is reporting City are "optimistic they can see off competition from Real Madrid" in the race for Haaland's services.

City are said to be in the market for a striker, and are confident they can pay the reported €75million release clause in Haaland's Dortmund contract.

After the departures of Angelino, Ferran Torres and Jack Harrison for a combined €85m, City are in a position of financial strength heading into the upcoming transfer period.

ROUND-UP

Manchester United have reignited their chase of Villareal defender Pau Torres, according to 90min. Torres was a target for the Red Devils before they ultimately signed Raphael Varane back in August.

Barcelona will look to bring in French forward Alexandre Lacazette on a free transfer after his contract expires at Arsenal after this season, reports Diario SPORT.

– Football Insider is reporting Aston Villa are planning on spending more than £150m in the next transfer window, breaking their previous spending record.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is confident in retaining the services of defender Antonio Rudiger with a new contract, according to Goal.

– El Nacional is reporting Real Madrid believe they can land Arsenal target Karim Adeyemi from Red Bull Salzburg.

Football is fickle. It doesn't take long for outlooks and perceptions to be flipped on their head, and nowhere is that truer right now than in LaLiga.

As recently as mid-February, Real Madrid's lead at the summit – which they have held since matchday three – was only four points over Sevilla, who themselves were 11 ahead of a Barcelona side languishing in fifth.

But as we head into Sunday's clash between Barca and Sevilla at Camp Nou, the Blaugrana know they will go up to second and above Julen Lopetegui's men in the table with a win, and they'd still have a game in hand.

Xavi has overseen a massive improvement and, following the 4-0 Clasico win prior to the international break, Barca have the opportunity to make another statement this weekend.

It's not over yet

While sympathy will be in short supply given what's been a largely excellent season for them in LaLiga, Sevilla have undoubtedly gone through a tricky period.

When Anthony Martial was brought in on loan from Manchester United in late January, it was initially seen as a move that would go one of two ways: the Frenchman was either going to be electric and give Sevilla the extra push they needed to challenge Madrid, or he would fail to get over the ineffectiveness that had begun to engulf him at Old Trafford.

Suffice to say Martial will not be back at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan next season – or at least not as a Sevilla player.

Lopetegui has had to contend with something of an injury crisis for much of the past three months, which to a certain degree makes it surprising they are only nine points off the top. Further to that, if Sevilla avoid defeat at Barca, they will set a new club record for their best unbeaten run in a single top-flight season (16 games).

 

But that stat flatters them, significantly. Of the most recent nine games in that run, Sevilla have won just twice. Five of their seven draws have come away from home against mostly mid-table opposition, plus struggling Deportivo Alaves. They've not scored more than twice in any league game since October.

As such, it's difficult to see how they can contend with a reinvigorated and in-form Barcelona this weekend – but whichever way it goes, assuming it's not a draw, there's every reason to believe Sunday's showdown could genuinely reignite a title race.

Polar opposites

While victory for Barca would propel them up to second for the first time this season, they will also still have a game in hand on Los Blancos. A nine-point deficit won't be easy to turn around over nine matches, but Madrid do still have trips to Atletico and Sevilla to traverse, and they have the added 'distraction' of the Champions League, at least for the time being.

A win for Sevilla would be momentous, not least because they've failed to get a single league success at Camp Nou since December 2002.

Such a scalp over a team that has won seven more points (from one game fewer) in 2022 could be the boost a flagging Sevilla need to finish the season strong. It would surely improve their belief ahead of Madrid's visit next month.

But at this point, Barca look far more likely to offer a threat to Madrid in the final weeks of the season, with Sevilla's slide in the second half of 2021-22 threatening to completely derail their campaign.

Frustrated by a lack of goals and an almost chronic inability to convert draws into wins, Los Nervionenses have won just four league games this year. While their lack of defeats is commendable, they've scored more than only six teams in 2022 – a group that includes each of the bottom four in the table.

 

Lopetegui has been rightly praised throughout his time at Sevilla for building a team that is extremely difficult to break down, with only Manchester City (53) bettering their 49 clean sheets across the big five leagues since his appointment in 2019, and that's obviously played a part in their unbeaten run.

But there have been numerous times in the past few months where fans have been crying out for more attacking emphasis, and it's for this reason that it's hard to imagine Lopetegui was ever truly a candidate to take over at Manchester United before he ruled himself out, even if he was genuinely on their four-man shortlist.

Whereas Barcelona, whose dealings in January really ignited something in Xavi's squad, have scored 27 goals since the turn of the year and also been tight at the back, with their seven concessions only bettered by Sevilla.

Something has to give

A potentially key aspect of Sunday's showdown will be how well Barca press. No one has scored more goals (six) than them from high turnovers in LaLiga this season, with four of those coming since Xavi's appointment.

Playing into that is the fact Sevilla like to play out from the back. This is reflected by them seeing 222 high turnovers recorded against them this season, the third most in LaLiga, but only two have led to a goal – just three teams have conceded fewer goals from such situations.

This is evidence of how effective Sevilla are regrouping, but such an approach will be risky against a Barca side in such imperious goal-scoring form and clearly useful at winning the ball back in advanced areas – Osasuna (253) are the one team with more high turnovers than the Blaugrana (248).

Turning over Madrid's lead in LaLiga will be a rather different proposition, but success on Sunday certainly won't dampen Barca's outlook.

Real Madrid have signed Brazilian teenager Vinicius Tobias on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk until the end of next season.

The 18-year-old only joined Shakhtar from Internacional in January and is on the move again without playing a competitive game for the Ukrainian club.

Vinicius was unable to make his Shakhtar debut due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The full-back was able to join the LaLiga leaders as UEFA altered transfer rules, enabling clubs to sign up to two players from either Ukrainian or Russian clubs ahead of an April 1 deadline.

Vinicius will reportedly join Madrid's Castilla squad for the remainder of this season.

Shakhtar revealed that Los Blancos have the option to make the deal permanent.

The Ukrainian club announced on their website: "He will play on loan for the Madrid club until the end of the 2022-23 season. Under the agreement terms, Real Madrid also has the option to buy the player."

Thibaut Courtois is relishing what he hopes will be a "special" return to Stamford Bridge when Real Madrid face Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Madrid recovered from two goals down on aggregate to beat Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16, while the Blues saw off reigning Ligue 1 champions Lille 4-1.

The sides were subsequently paired together in the last eight in a repeat of last year's semi-final, which Chelsea won 3-1 over two legs en route to lifting the trophy.

Courtois played in both matches, albeit with the home tie staged at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano and the away leg behind closed doors in London due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Chelsea are set to play in front of a packed house for Madrid's latest visit next Wednesday, though, after sanctions that prevented them from selling tickets were amended.

Blues fans were not happy with the way Courtois departed, but the goalkeeper is focusing more on the two Premier League titles and two domestic cups he won with the club.

"It will be special," he said on his 'Thibaut Talks' podcast. "Last year we lost in the semis and hopefully this year there will be a victory. 

"This year it will be different because it will be with the public. It will be special and although there may be some whistles, I hope that people remember the beautiful moments. 

"We won two leagues, one FA Cup... For me, Chelsea is a special team that helped me to be the goalkeeper that I am now.

"They bought me when I was 18 years old and gave me the opportunity to be at Atletico, to play in the Premier League and win it. 

"It's an important team and I have many friends there. It's always a pleasure to face them again."

Should they go through, Chelsea will become the first English team to eliminate Madrid from the Champions League on multiple occasions.

Los Blancos have faced Chelsea more times without ever winning than they have against any other side in European competition (five), drawing twice and losing three times.

Massimiliano Allegri has revealed he signed an agreement to become Real Madrid head coach before opting to return to Juventus.

The Italian guided the Bianconeri to two Champions League finals, in 2015 and 2017, while winning 11 trophies during his five-season stay, including five straight Serie A titles and four consecutive Coppa Italias.

However, Allegri was dismissed by Juve president Andrea Agnelli at the end of the 2018-19 campaign, with a quarter-final Champions League exit to Ajax defining the season in which they signed Cristiano Ronaldo as a failure.

Spells with Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo yielded unsuccessful returns for Juve, who brought back Allegri at the start of this season, but the 54-year-old almost became the Madrid boss.

"I had already signed with [Madrid] last summer, but I called the president [Florentino Perez] to tell him that I would not go because I had chosen Juventus," Allegri said in an interview with GC, as quoted by CalcioMercato. "He thanked me. When they called me in May, I had no doubts.

"I have no regrets, it would have been a great professionally: Milan, Juventus, Real Madrid… but you can't have everything in life. I am proud to have coached Milan for four years and to be at Juventus now.

"I rejected Real Madrid twice. The first time I was in talks to extend with Juventus. I told Florentino that I had already given my word to Agnelli."

Allegri did not take up a managerial role between his exit and return to Juve, and believes he made the right decision to come back at the time he did.

"It was the right time. I could have returned earlier, but I didn't do it because of personal reasons," he added.

"My mother died in 2018, so I didn't want to go too far away. I remained close to my son Giorgio and my father, who was severely affected by the death of my mum. He still lives in Livorno.

"I decided to return to Juventus because I have a strong bond with the club and the owners, but also to stay closer to my son, who lives in Turin with his mother. I like to be close to my loved ones."

The Juve head coach will be hoping his side, who are fourth in the league and seven points adrift of leaders Milan, can continue their strong run of form when they host Inter on Sunday.

Alexia Putellas hailed Barcelona's win over Real Madrid at a packed-out Camp Nou as "utterly magical" after a record-breaking night in the Women's Champions League.

Ballon d'Or Feminin winner Putellas scored the fourth goal as Barcelona triumphed 5-2 in the second leg, and 8-3 on aggregate, booking a semi-final place.

The reigning European club champions were rampant in the second half, after at one stage being 2-1 down, and the flurry of goals delighted a record crowd of 91,553 spectators.

That is the highest recorded attendance for a women's football game in history. In club football terms, it surpassed the 60,739 that saw Atletico Madrid host Barca at Wanda Metropolitano three years ago.

Captain Putellas said: "This has been utterly magical. When the match finished, the fans simply didn't want to go home. There was such a connection between them and us while we celebrated. To hear them singing that they want to go to Turin was superb."

Arsenal or Wolfsburg await Barcelona in the semi-finals, before Turin's Allianz Stadium, home to Juventus, stages the final on May 21.

Putellas explained that the sight of a bumper crowd inside Barcelona's home stadium was uplifting for the women's team, who play most of their games at the 6,000-capacity Estadi Johan Cruyff.

She said, quoted on uefa.com: "When tickets sold out in just three days I admit that we were all a little surprised because it tells you how much the fans want to see you in the Camp Nou, how much they want you to win."

The experience was "beyond comparison", she added.

"To come out and see this stadium full to the brim... indescribable."

Team-mate Fridolina Rolfo gave the morning-after verdict on Thursday.

"Wow, it is hard to put into words just how special that was," Rolfo wrote on Twitter. "For me it was a dream come true and I hope that it shows young girls all over the world that football is for them and that they can achieve whatever they dream of achieving.

"We are just getting started."

Everton have endured a nightmarish season and currently find themselves in the Premier League's relegation scramble.

The Toffees are sitting only three points above the relegation zone, despite two games in hand on 18th-placed Watford.

Just as pertinent is their financial situation, which will reportedly force them into having to sell one of their most valuable assets.

TOP STORY – EVERTON TO CHOOSE BETWEEN RICHARLISON AND CALVERT-LEWIN

The Sun is reporting Richarlison or Dominic Calvert-Lewin will have to leave Everton in order for the club to balance their books.

Their latest figures revealed a £121million loss in the last financial year, and one of the two strikers will now have to be sold.

Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are Everton's two highest goal scorers still at the club since the latter arrived in 2016. The Brazilian has scored 47 in 142 appearances in all competitions, while the former Sheffield United man has tallied 55 in 180 games.

Richarlison is a reported target for Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid, with Arsenal apparently keeping a close eye on Calvert-Lewin's situation.

ROUND-UP

– England midfielder Kalvin Phillips has told Leeds United he wants to sign a new contract, potentially warding off interest from the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle, per The Mirror.

– According to ESPN, Anthony Martial could be used to create a package deal from Manchester United for Tottenham's Harry Kane .

– Le Parisien report N'Golo Kante turned down an offer to leave Chelsea for Paris Saint-Germain in January.

Milan have cooled on Real Madrid's Marco Asensio due to the 26-year-old's wage demands, as reported by Tuttosport.

Kylian Mbappe has been tipped by Ronaldinho to stay at Paris Saint-Germain beyond this season and continue his partnership with Lionel Messi and Neymar.

France international Mbappe is into the final three months of his PSG contract and is a target for Real Madrid, while Barcelona have also been linked. 

Speaking earlier this month, PSG sporting director Leonardo vowed to "try everything" to persuade the 23-year-old to agree fresh terms at the Parc des Princes.

Mbappe has scored 26 goals for the Ligue 1 leaders this term, which is 19 more than the next-best Messi, who joined in a sensational move from Barcelona last August.

Neymar has netted just five times in all competitions, meanwhile, in what has been an underwhelming campaign for both the Brazil international and indeed PSG.

While 2021-22 has not gone to plan for the Parisians, who exited the Champions League and Coupe de France at the last-16 stage, Ronaldinho hopes their front three stay.

Asked if he believes Mbappe can be convinced to sign a new contract, Ronaldinho is quoted by Spanish outlet AS as saying: "Yes, I think he will stay.

"But hey, with football, a lot of things can happen quickly. But the three of them together can do something beautiful.

"I will not offer my advice to anyone. I just want to see all my friends happy, wherever they are. If all three stay, it would be fantastic for anyone who loves football.

"The three best players in the world together is what all football lovers want to see."

Mbappe is averaging 0.76 goals per 90 minutes this season, compared to 0.29 for Messi, who has endured a stop-start campaign in his first season away from Barcelona. 

The Argentina star has 10 assists but only two goals to his name in Ligue 1 – not since 2005-06, in his early days at Camp Nou, has he failed to register at least double figures.

 

PSG fans made their frustration known when they jeered Messi and Neymar during their recent 3-0 win over Bordeaux, four days on from the club's Champions League exit.

Ronaldinho, who played alongside Messi at Barcelona following a two-season spell of his own in Paris, was shocked by the reaction his former team-mate received.

"I didn't understand that," he said. "If you whistle Messi, there is nothing left. If you whistle the best in the world, who are you going to applaud? I don't get it.

"This is not a Messi or Neymar problem. The fans were not happy about exiting the Champions League. 

"They are the two biggest names at PSG so it's normal the jeers were stronger against them. But I think the fans are unhappy with all the players, not just those two.

"This is football and normality will return. I hope now that Neymar doesn't get injured because every year he wins something, either with the national team or with PSG.

"I hope that with Messi's adaption that the three of them can write a great story."

Barcelona eased to a 5-2 victory over rivals Real Madrid at Camp in front of a record crowd to reach the semi-finals of the Women's Champions League 8-3 on aggregate.

Holding a 3-1 lead from last week's first leg in Madrid, Barca did not let the occasion get to them on home soil in front of a confirmed attendance of 91,553 spectators.

The previous record crowd for a women's football match was 60,739 for Atletico Madrid's match against Barca in 2019.

Barca, who have now won 76 of their past 79 matches, will face the winner of the Paris Saint-Germain versus Bayern Munich match later on Wednesday.

Maria Pilar Leon opened the scoring inside eight minutes with a looping shot, though Olga Carmona's penalty and Claudia Zornoza's drive put Madrid 2-1 up on the night.

Madrid were within one goal of Barca on aggregate at that stage, but three strikes in 10 minutes from Aitana Bonmati, Claudia Pina and Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas took the tie out of the visitors' reach.

Caroline Graham Hansen drilled in another for Barca to round off the scoring with 20 minutes to play, giving the expectant home crowd exactly what they were after.

Speaking at full-time, Hansen told DAZN: "This is just too crazy. The crowd are not leaving, they are staying here to celebrate with us.

"It's goosebumps all over the place. It's been amazing, something I never dreamed of happening. 

"In the first half I missed a really big one; then in the second half, I got one and I will remember it all my life. It can make money. If we are having fun, people will want to repeat it."

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale will wait until after Wales' World Cup qualifying play-off final in June before deciding on his future, agent Jonathan Barnett has said.

Bale is out of contract at the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season and is widely expected to depart after spending nine years in the Spanish capital.

The 32-year-old has won 14 trophies during his time with Madrid, including four Champions Leagues, but he has been accused of often prioritising Wales over his club side.

Indeed, Bale has played in just five of Los Blancos' 42 matches in all competitions this term, totalling 270 minutes on the field – the equivalent of just three games.

Bale has played over 330 minutes for Wales this season, however, scoring five goals across six matches.

While the former Tottenham star's future is a hot topic of debate, he has yet to decide on his future at club level beyond the end of the season.

"We have not discussed anything yet," agent Barnett told BBC Sport. "Once we know Wales' situation with the World Cup, we will discuss it then."

 

Bale scored twice in Wales' 2-1 win over Austria in last week's qualifying play-off semi-final, leaving his country one game away from a first World Cup appearance since 1958.

That took his tally in a Wales shirt to 38 goals in 102 caps, making him his country's record goalscorer, while only Chris Gunter (107) has earned more caps.

The Dragons will now face either Scotland or Ukraine in a one-legged final at Cardiff City Stadium, with that fixture expected to be staged in June.

At club level, Bale's relationship with Madrid supporters and the Spanish press has continued to deteriorate after being labelled a "parasite" by daily sports newspaper Marca.

A third spell with Tottenham has been mooted once Bale departs Madrid, while a switch to MLS is also reportedly a possibility, as is a move to home club Cardiff City.

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