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Rangers appoint Jermain Defoe to caretaker coaching ticket

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Jermain Defoe is among a four-man caretaker team appointed by Rangers as the Ibrox club search for a new manager.

The Scottish champions confirmed that player-coach Defoe, B-team boss David McCallum and his assistant, Brian Gilmour, along with goalkeeping coach Colin Stewart will lead the first team “whilst the recruitment process for a new manager continues”.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst emerged as the favourite to take over following Steven Gerrard’s departure for Aston Villa last week.

read also:Maro Itoje nominated world player of the year

It was reported that the Dutchman held talks with Rangers in London over the weekend, while fresh reports claim Frank Lampard is not under consideration.

The Scottish Premiership leaders have a Premier Sports Cup semi-final against Hibernian at Hampden on Sunday and face Sparta Prague in a crucial Europa League contest four days later.

An Ibrox source told the PA news agency that Rangers were “comfortable and in control” of a process that is ongoing and “not time-bound” with “several really strong candidates, including candidates not mentioned in public domain”.

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Chelsea striker Kerr bowls over pitch invader

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Chelsea striker Sam Kerr was cautioned after doling out some rough justice to a pitch invader during a Women’s Champions League match against Juventus in southwest London on Wednesday evening.

The Australian was described by her coach Emma Hayes as the best striker in the world after helping Chelsea seal a domestic treble with two goals in the FA Cup final against Arsenal at Wembley on Sunday.

Kerr showed skills more in keeping with the Australian Rules code she played as a child when she barged into the fan who had run onto the Kingsmeadow pitch late in Wednesday’s game, leaving him in a heap on the ground.

Read Also: UCL: Okafor strike sees Salzburg to historic win over Sevilla

The yellow card contributed to a frustrating night for Kerr and Chelsea as Juventus held on for a 0-0 draw, leaving the English champions needing a draw from a trip to Wolfsburg next week to be certain of progressing to the quarterfinals.

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UCL: Okafor strike sees Salzburg to historic win over Sevilla

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Noah Okafor scored the only goal as RB Salzburg claimed a 1-0 victory over 10-man Sevilla at the Red Bull Arena on Wednesday to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Salzburg finished as runners-up in Group G with 10 points from their six matches, one behind pool winners Lille. Sevilla ended in third place and will play in the Europa League playoff round.

The first half had little goal-mouth action but the game burst into life after the break as Salzburg were helped by a second yellow card for Sevilla’s key midfielder Joan Jordan on 65 minutes.

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The match was played behind closed doors without fans due to heightened COVID-19 restrictions in Austria, so the hosts were unable to celebrate their achievement with their supporters.

For two sides with reputations as attacking teams, it took 35 minutes of cagey football for the first shot on target as Ivan Rakitic warmed the palms of Salzburg goalkeeper Philipp Kohn.

It was the only occasion where either keeper was worked in the first half, though Sevilla defender Jules Kounde headed wide from a corner with the best chance of the opening period.

Sevilla should have been ahead minutes after the break when Munir El Haddadi had a free header six yards from goal but saw his effort come back of the crossbar.

It was a big chance the visitors would rue missing as Salzburg went up the other end and scored with an excellent team goal.

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Read Also: UCL:  Atalanta-Villarreal tie postponed due to snow

They finally managed to string passes together and Karim Adeyemi was worked into space on the left. His low cross into the box was turned in by Swiss forward Okafor.

Sevilla’s night got worse on 65 minutes when Jordan received a deserved second booking for pulling back the pacey Adeyemi and they were left to find two goals with 10 men.

Salzburg were able to comfortably hold out to the end, with Rakitic’s first half shot the only one Sevilla, who are second in Spain’s LaLiga, could muster on target.

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Clinical Lille beat Wolfsburg to reach UCL last 16 and top Group G

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Lille reached the knockout stage of the Champions League for the second time when they claimed an emphatic 3-1 win at Wolfsburg and top spot in Group G on Wednesday.

The French champions needed a draw to advance but they played with ambition to end up with 11 points from six games, one ahead of RB Salzburg with goals by Burak Yilmaz, Jonathan David and Angel Gomes.

Wolfsburg, who scored a consolation goal through Renato Steffen, finished bottom of the group on five points and are eliminated from all European competitions.

The German side barely threatened while Lille, who have had a see-saw Ligue 1 season, made the most of their chances in front of barely 6 000 fans.

Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side had picked up only two points in their first three group games but they found their groove in a perfect return phase that put them on the brink of qualification ahead of kickoff.

They duly delivered to join fellow Ligue 1 club Paris St Germain into the last 16, which they had not reached since the 2006-07 season, when they were knocked out by Manchester United.

They went ahead in the 11th minute when Yilmaz netted with a left-footed effort after being set up by Nanitamo Ikone at the end of a quick counter-attack.

Wolfsburg stepped up a gear after the break but it was Lille who found the back of the net again in the 72nd minute after a quick combination between Gomes and David had put the hosts’ defence off balance.

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Read Also: UCL:  Atalanta-Villarreal tie postponed due to snow

Canada striker David is the first Lille player to score in three consecutive Champions League matches.

Five minutes later, Gomes, who had come on as a 68th-minute substitute, wrapped it up with a right-footed shot courtesy of Ikone’s second assist of the night.

Steffen pulled one back with a nice 20-metre strike one minute from time but it was too little, too late for Wolfsburg.

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