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Coutinho stops move to Manchester United

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Barcelona midfielder, Philippe Coutinho has finally decided to stay at the Camp Nou amid interest from Manchester United, uniquesports reports.

United are interested in signing the Brazilian international in this January transfer window.

Coutinho has struggled at Barcelona this season, with Barca manager, Ernesto Valverde admitting that the former Liverpool star was far from happy with life at the club.

However, Catalan newspaper, Mundo Deportivo is now reporting that despite Man United contacting Coutinho’s agent, the player has decided to remain at Barcelona.

Coutinho will hope to play for Barcelona when they tackle Eibar at home in the La Liga fixture on Sunday evening.

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Barcelona

I’m really grateful to our fans, Messi speaks after netting hat-trick

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Barcelona talisman, Lionel Messi, was given a standing ovation by Real Betis supporters, after scoring his 33rd La Liga hat trick in their 4-1 win at the Benito Villamarin on Sunday.

Messi opened the scoring with a free kick and added the second before the break after a brilliant Luis Suarez assist.

He completed his treble late on with an exquisite chip, after Suarez and Loren Moron had exchanged goals.

The third Messi strike, which killed off any late hopes of a Betis comeback, drew an ovation from the home supporters which the Argentine international says he has never previously experienced.

“I don’t ever remember a night like this [being applauded by rival supporters].

“I’m really grateful for the way the fans responded. I honestly don’t remember an ovation like that [from rival fans],” Messi told Movistar.

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Griezmann ‘regrets’ snubbing Barcelona, seeks Atletico Madrid exit

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Atletico Madrid forward, Antoine Griezmann, is beginning to regret his decision to turn down Barcelona in the summer, and is hoping he can secure a move to the Nou Camp at the end of the season, L’Equipe reports.

Griezmann was strongly linked with the La Liga champions, but chose to extend his contract with Atletico until 2023.

However, he now believes he made a mistake with Atletico exiting the Champions League and once again struggling to keep pace with Barca in the title race.

Los Rojiblancos failed to defend a 2-0 first-leg lead as Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo, netted a hat-trick in Turin to dump them out of Europe on Tuesday.

“We didn’t play the game we wanted to, it was a bad night and we made it easier for Juventus.

“We are all disappointed, as we just didn’t play. I’m the first to say I didn’t do enough, our tempo was wrong and Juventus were superior on every level.

“Considering we won the first leg 2-0, we can’t say much. I don’t know what happened, it reminded me a little of the Bayern Munich game, but that time we were able to make some adjustments.

“Tonight, Juve were superior on all levels,” Griezmann said after the Juve game.

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Barcelona 5-1 Lyon: Lionel Messi scores double

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Lionel Messi scored two goals and provided two more as Barcelona reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in style.

Barca captain Messi nonchalantly opened the scoring with a ‘Panenka’ penalty chipped down the middle of the goal in the 17th minute after Luis Suarez was fouled in the area, putting his side ahead in the tie after a goalless first leg in France.

Suarez then rounded Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes to lay on a perfect pass for the unmarked Philippe Coutinho to nudge into an open net and double Barca’s lead, although Lyon hauled themselves back into contention with a second-half strike from Lucas Tousart.

Messi soon killed off any hopes of an unlikely comeback from the French side, however, carving his way through the defence to score in the 78th minute before toying with Lyon’s back line twice more and laying off passes for Gerard Pique and then Ousmane Dembele to complete the rout.

BARCELONA 5-1 LYON | MESSI (16, 78), COUTINHO (31), TOUSART (58), PIQUE (81), DEMBELE (86)

Barcelona XI: ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Arthur, Sergio Busquets, Rakitic, Messi, Suarez, Coutinho

Lyon XI: Lopes, Dubois, Denayer, Marcelo, Mendy, Ndombele, Tousart, Marcal, Nabil Fekir, Dembele, Depay

Champions League draw details
The draw for the last eight of the Champions League takes place on Friday, at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon.

The draw will take place at 11am on Friday morning.
The semi-final draw will also be made on Friday, immediately after the ties for the quarters have been confirmed.

Which teams will be in the quarter-finals?
Tottenham, Ajax, Manchester United, Porto, Manchester City, Juventus, Liverpool, Barcelona

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