Friday’s soccer news starts with the first-legs of the Europa League round of 32. Timothy Weah was the goal scorer in Lille’s 2-1 home loss to Ajax. Weah’s goal came in the 72nd minute. Ajax equalized from the penalty spot in the 87th and went ahead for good in the 89th minute.
“What has changed for Timothy Weah? He has now been training normally for six months following a missed season,” Lille coach Christophe Galtier said. “He works seriously. I had opted for Tim to have depth, precision. He was very opportunistic. He is a player who has scored every time he started.”
Brenden Aaronson subbed out in the 61st minute of Red Bull Salzburg’s 2-0 home loss to Villarreal. The goals came in the 41st and 71st minutes.
“We played against opponents who were very clever and made few mistakes,” Red Bull Salzburg coach Jesse Marsch said. “On the other hand, we made a few of the kind of mistakes that young teams tend to make. We have to fly to Spain now and perform better if we can.”
Chris Richards’s Hoffenheim drew 3-3 at Molde. Mu’nas Dabbur scored for Hoffenheim in the 8th and 28th minutes. Molde cut the lead to one in the 41st with Christoph Baumgartner making it 3-1 Hoffenheim in first-half stoppage time. Dabbur failed to convert a penalty in the 63rd minute. Molde scored in the 70th and equalized in the 74th.
“We’re totally disappointed,” Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeness said. “About the fact we only scored three goals and the fact we conceded three goals too. The game would’ve panned out very differently had we taken a 4-1 lead. We need to speak about our chance conversion and our defending. I’m very frustrated. We didn’t get our reward in the end.”
Ethan Horvath was on the bench for Club Brugge’s 1-1 draw at Dynamo Kiev. Down a goal from the 62nd minute, Brandon Mechele equalized for Club Brugge in the 67th.
In his pre-game press conference, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said that Christian Pulisic may not play at Southampton on Saturday. “We have some issues with the calf of Pulisic. It’s nothing big, it just feels tight and a bit of a risk.” Tuchel specified that “we have some little issues in the calf and he stopped training yesterday before it became an injury so I would not say that it is an injury at the moment. It’s risk management that relates to his history of having injuries so we do not want to enter in the same cycle.”
Staying on the subject of Pulisic, Tuchel added, “Chelsea bought Christian for a reason, for his quality and his potential so it’s our job to bring out the best in him. He proved in many weeks that he has the level to be a Chelsea regular player, to have a big impact at this club and it’s a challenge now to maintain the level and to keep improving.”
The Athletic’s Jack Pitt-Brooke asks why Spurs thought they needed a managerial change. The Independent’s Ian Parker with Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti stressing the difference between his club and Manchester City. Inside World Football’s Andrew Warshaw has FIFA chief of global development Arsene Wenger’s opinion on a Champions League revamp.
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Photo by Dppi/Jean Catuffe – LPS via ZUMA Press – ISIPhotos.com