Paris, Feb 10 (AP/UNB) — Facing a rampant Manchester United side in the Champions League was already a tough enough prospect for Paris Saint-Germain.
Tuesday night's match in chilly northwest England now looks a daunting one amid an ongoing injury crisis.
PSG will be without the world's most expensive player Neymar and possibly 192-goal, all-time club leading scorer Edinson Cavani against a revitalized United side unbeaten under its new coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Furthermore, PSG will go to United with doubts over whether key midfielder Marco Verratti should start the game, having played barely one hour on Saturday in a 1-0 win against Bordeaux after recovering from a sprained ankle.
"It's very difficult to play when you've been injured like Marco," PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said. "I don't know if it's possible for him to play again at Old Trafford in three days' time. In our situation, it might be necessary."
Tuchel spoke with an air of resignation after a dull encounter in which PSG extended its lead in the French league to 13 points over second-place Lille.
"If your key players are not there, obviously it makes a difference. If Edinson is not in Manchester, then it is a big deal," Tuchel said. "There has been too much bad luck; these are players of great quality."
Cavani limped off with a thigh problem caused when he scored from the penalty spot in the 42nd minute, blasting the ball powerfully with his right foot. Moments later, he walked off before the halftime whistle was blown.
Tuchel was concerned whether Cavani will recover for the first leg of the last 16 against United.
"I don't have any good news. We need to wait. I honestly don't know (if Cavani will play)," Tuchel earlier told broadcaster Canal Plus. "Yes, it's worrying. It's not a good sign. We don't have another Edi (Cavani), we don't have another Neymar."
PSG is already without Neymar — who cost PSG 222 million euros ($252 million) when he joined from Barcelona — for the next two months.
Verratti started against Bordeaux but looked rusty, with several passes going astray. Tuchel needs Verratti against a United midfield featuring the in-form Paul Pogba , but the 58 minutes he played may not have been enough to restore his sharpness and rhythm.
Strasbourg missed the chance to move from seventh to fifth place after losing at home to Angers 2-1, with 20-year-old striker Wilfried Kanga grabbing his first two goals in the top flight.
Amiens beat Caen 1-0 thanks to a goal from striker Moussa Konate and moved out of the relegation zone, while Caen dropped to 18th.
This weekend, Argentine striker Emiliano Sala is being honored with a minute of applause in the top two leagues in France. The crowd at PSG's Parc des Princes chanted the name of the Nantes player at the start of the game.
Nantes plans to retire the No. 9 jersey in memory of Sala , who died at the age of 28 last month.
Sala was flying to Wales to start his career with Premier League side Cardiff when his plane disappeared over the English Channel. The wreckage was found last Sunday and a body recovered was confirmed as Sala's on Thursday.
Nantes fans will pay their tributes to Sala in Sunday's home game against Nimes, where players will swap their traditional yellow home jerseys for black ones with Sala's name on.
Dhaka, Feb 9 (UNB) – Star-studded Bashundhara Kings maintained their all-win record in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football beating Muktijoddha Sangsad KC by 3-1 goals in the 5th round match at the Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni Stadium in Gopalganj on Saturday.
Shushanto Tripura put the Kings ahead in the 9th minute (1-0) while Younoussa Camara neutralised the margin for the freedom fighters’ team, Muktijoddha, in the 19th minute (1-1).
Forward Motin Miah and World Cup-playing Costa Rica booter Daniel Colindres scored two more goals in the 71st and 75th minute enabling Bashundhara Kings to a comfortable victory (3-1).
With the well-merited victory, big-budgeted Kings shared the top slot in the league table with Dhaka Abahani Limited securing 12 points from straight four matches while holders Dhaka Abahani Limited also bagged 12 points from five matches, playing one match more than the Kings.
In the day’s other match, Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society played 2-2 draw with lowly NoFel Sporting Club in the 5th round match of the league at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Saturday.
Siyo Zunapio scored first for Rahmatganj MFS in the 25th minute (1-0) while Monday Osagie doubled the margin in the 31st minute (2-0).
Mohammad Roman pulled the NoFel SC margin one back in in the 51st minute (2-1) while Ismail Bangoura levelled the margin in the 62nd minute from a penalty (2-2).
Earlier, newcomers NoFel SC were reduced to 10 men in the 60th minute as their Sohel got marching order after receiving red card.
Dhaka, Feb 9 (UNB) - Robi United earned a facile 3-1 goals victory over Finance-EB Stallion in the opening match of mobile phone operator Robi’s Inter-Division Football Tournament held at Fortis Sports Ground in the city on Friday.
Former captain of the national football team Mamunul Islam Mamun and Managing Director and CEO of Robi Mahtab Uddin Ahmed were present in the inauguration ceremony.
In the day’s other match, MO Heroes beat Spike-1 by 1-0 goal.
Paris, Feb 9 (AP/UNB) — Emiliano Sala waited near the penalty spot, anticipating the ball's trajectory. When it finally came, he lurched forward and sent a powerful header into the bottom corner of the net.
It was the last goal Sala would ever score.
The Argentine forward, who scored that goal for Nantes on Dec. 5 in a 3-2 win over Marseille, was killed in a plane crash in the English Channel last month and his body was recovered from the seabed wreckage this week.
Sala had been flying from Nantes to Cardiff, where he had been planning to start a new career in the English Premier League. He was 28 years old, the prime age in soccer for a striker.
"Emiliano will always be among the legends who have written the great history of Nantes," the French club said Friday. "We have lost a friend, a talented player, an exemplary teammate."
The fans there greatly appreciated what Sala did for their team.
After scoring that last goal, his 12th of the season, Sala sprinted toward the cheering Nantes fans that formed a mass of yellow shirts and scarves behind the goal. He leaped over the advertising hoardings with ease and stood with his chest proudly puffed out as the fans surged forward with open arms.
A few fans even rushed from the stands to hug him, and the man wearing the No. 9 shirt received them warmly.
In honor of Sala, Nantes will retire the No. 9 jersey, and a minute's applause for him will be held at stadiums in France this weekend. Nantes will next play Nimes at home on Sunday.
Tall, strong, and good at heading, Sala had the attributes to succeed in the physically demanding Premier League.
He was also a man of loyalty, and the very reason he went back to France was to say goodbye to his teammates. Many of them were his friends.
His heart, as big as it was, also told him to say thank you to Nantes coach Vahid Halilhodzic.
Although their stint together was brief, lasting half a season, the mutual respect quickly grew. As a hard-working and combative center forward himself during a successful era for Nantes during the early 1980s, Halilhodzic appreciated Sala's work ethic, team work and sheer determination.
"Even when I replaced him near the end of games he never said a word," said Halilhodzic, who scored more than 100 goals for Nantes and won the league title in 1983. "He trusted me. We had deep discussions and strong relations between us."
While Sala's goal against Marseille showed his prowess as a center forward — and prompted Cardiff to pay a club-record 17 million euros ($19.3 million) to sign him — what he did next in that match really typified him.
After Marseille regained the lead at 2-1, Nantes equalized on the stroke of halftime — and Sala was at the heart of it. A high ball was lofted hopefully into the penalty area by defender Nicolas Pallois, who is now grieving his friend.
Sala had a defender on his back yet took the ball down expertly with his right foot, showing a surprisingly velvet touch for a tall player. Then, two more defenders came across as he cushioned the ball with his left foot, still holding them off with his back to goal. Sala momentarily lost control of the ball, which was unacceptable to someone with his fighting spirit. So he slid and stretched to reach it with his right foot and hooked it to teammate Abdoulaye Toure , who curled it in from the edge of the box.
It was Sala's last assist, and a perfect one in the sense of defining him as a player: Strong, tenacious, dexterous, clever and, perhaps more than anything, unselfish.
Nantes fans will do much to remember him this weekend, as they did recently when they chanted his name for 90 minutes during a home match against Saint-Etienne. The referee halted the match after nine minutes so the crowd could applaud him. Sala was still presumed missing then, so fans and family clung to a glimmer of hope.
That has gone, but Sala's name and number will be around forever.
Zurich, Feb 9 (AP/UNB) — FIFA is moving from London to have a night at the opera in Milan to honor the world's best players and coaches.
FIFA says the iconic Scala theater will host its annual awards ceremony on Sept. 23.
London has hosted the Best Awards for the past two years after FIFA's new leadership moved the event from long-time home Zurich. Croatia midfielder Luka Modric was voted the 2018 best player.
FIFA's top management has deep connections to Milan and its storied clubs.
The world soccer body's president, Gianni Infantino, is an Inter Milan fan, and deputy secretary general for soccer, Zvonimir Boban, played at AC Milan and won a Champions League title with the club.