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Tottenham Hotspurs have sacked head coach Mauricio Pochettino after five years in charge of the North London club.

Pochettino was appointed in May 2014 and led Spurs to the Champions League final last season, where they lost to Liverpool.

The 47-year-old has had a difficult start to the ongoing season with Spurs dawdling at 14th place in the Premier League.

"We were extremely reluctant to make this change," said Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

"It is not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste. Regrettably domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing."

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped to unveil his own shirtless statue in Malmo on Tuesday.

The LA Galaxy star has been immortalised in a striking bronze monument near Malmo's stadium, where he began his professional career in 1999.

The 38-year-old posted a picture on Twitter showing him alongside the work and surrounded by crowds of fans, with the caption: "We are Zweden!!!

The bronze Zlatan, standing on a plinth and said to measure nearly nine feet in height and close to half a ton in weight, was commissioned by Sweden's football authorities to honour their record goalscorer.

It depicts Ibrahimovic celebrating in recognisable style, with arms outstretched and shirt off - although his famous tattoos appear not to have been carved on the glistening torso.

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Cristiano Ronaldo has said he hopes to have dinner with Lionel Messi sometime in the future after saluting their “good relationship” despite their longstanding rivalry.

Messi and Ronaldo have been seen as the top two players in football for over a decade, with the pair managing to form a monopoly on Ballon d’Or for 10 years, winning five each.

But seated next to each other at the UEFA Champions League draw, the pair were seen conversing and appeared to enjoy one another’s company.

When asked about it prior to the naming of the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, Ronaldo was full of praise for his rival, as well as admitting he hopes the pair can get dinner some time in the future.

“We shared the stage for 15 years, me and him,” Ronaldo said at the Champions League draw. “I don’t know that it’s ever happened in football, the same two guys, the same stage, all the time. It’s not easy.

“We have a good relationship. We’ve not had dinner together yet, but I hope [we will] in the future.

“Of course I miss playing in Spain – we’ve had that battle the last 15 years, which is good. It pushed me and I pushed him as well.

“It’s good to be part of the history of football. I’m there and of course he’s there as well.”

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The 2018-19 Champions League group stage draw is on Aug 29, 05:00 PM WAT from the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

The 32 teams that will fight for Europe's top prize will be split into eight, four-team groups ahead of the start of the group stage in September.

No team can play a club from their own association, with the exact draw procedure to be confirmed before the ceremony.

What are the pots?

Pot 1: Liverpool (title holders), Chelsea (Europa League winners), Barcelona, Manchester City, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit

Pot 2: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Shakhtar Donetsk, Ajax, Benfica

Pot 3: Lyon, Bayer Leverkusen, Salzburg, Olympiakos, Club Brugge, Valencia, Inter Milan, Dinamo Zagreb

Pot 4: Lokomotiv Moscow, Genk, Galatasaray, RB Leipzig, Slavia Prague, Red Star Belgrade, Atalanta, Lille

Match dates

Matchday one: 17/18 September  

Matchday two: 1/2 October  

Matchday three: 22/23 October  

Matchday four: 5/6 November  

Matchday five: 26/27 November  

Matchday six: 10/11 December

The following award winners will also be announced during the draw ceremony:

UEFA Men's Player of the Year  

UEFA Women's Player of the Year  

Goalkeeper of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season  

Defender of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season  

Midfielder of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season  

Forward of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season

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Ousmane Dembele's agent remains adamant the Barcelona winger will play no part in a mooted swap deal involving Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

Moussa Sissoko, the France international's representative, insists his client is completely committed to spending a third season at Camp Nou.

La Liga champions Barca are rumoured to have offered the 22-year-old World Cup winner to PSG in a part-exchange for Neymar, who continues to be overlooked for matchday squads by the Parisians.

"I repeat for the 20th time, Ousmane will stay and succeed at Barcelona," he stated.

"The deal would have been better financially in Paris for Ousmane and for me, his agent, but money is not the most important thing, it is success in his career.

"We are not scared of adversity, Ousmane has battled his entire life to get where he is today and he will keep fighting to achieve his ambitions."

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Everton went into their Wednesday night Carabao Cup clash in Lincoln as strong favourites, despite Marco Silva's side's mediocre start to the 2019-20 Premier League campaign, but the Toffees made hard work of it at Sincil Bank.

In fact, Silva watched on in horror as Harry Anderson had blasted by Jordan Pickford with less than a minute on the clock. An admittedly superb free-kick from Lucas Digne got Everton back in the game before half-time.

Captain Gylfi Sigurdsson began the rally after the break, finishing from the spot to put the Merseyside outfit in the lead for the first time in the match on the 59 minute mark. Just over ten minutes later, however, Bruno Andrade restored parity.

Then, Cenk Tosun found Alex Iwobi to restore a one-goal cushion. With two minutes of the 90 left, Digne turned provider this time, swinging in a cross that was expertly met by the head of Richarlison to all but seal the game and progression into the third round.

Seemingly not content with finally doing the job that was widely expected of Everton, Richarlison opted to go for an iconic celebration to mark the occasion, the Brazilian imitating the famous moment Lionel Messi held his name and shirt number up to the Santiago Bernabeu crowd.

As one might have expected, Everton's number 7 was targeted for mocking on social media for utilising an iconic moment in what should have otherwise been a routine win - especially given that his shirt number was facing himself rather than the crowd...

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Defending Carabao Cup champions Manchester City have been drawn away to Preston North End in the third round, while Manchester United will host Rochdale.

Last season's beaten finalists Chelsea got a home tie against either Grimsby Town or Macclesfield Town, while Champions League winners Liverpool will go to MK Dons.

Tottenham face a trip to Colchester United and their north London rivals Arsenal are at home to Nottingham Forest. 

Draw in full:

Wolves  VS Reading  

Oxford United  VS West Ham  

Watford  VS Swansea City  

Brighton & Hove Albion  VS Aston Villa  

Sheffield United  VS Sunderland  

Colchester United  VS Tottenham  

Portsmouth  VS Southampton  

Burton Albion  VS Bournemouth  

Preston North End  VS Manchester City  

MK Dons  VS Liverpool  

Manchester United  VS Rochdale  

Luton Town  VS Leicester City  

Chelsea  VS Grimsby Town (Macclesfield Town) 

Sheffield Wednesday  VS Everton  

Arsenal  VS Nottingham Forest  

Crawley  VS  Stoke City

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Roger Federer  overcame his second consecutive sluggish start to defeat Bosnian Damir Dzumhur 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-4  on Wednesday and advance to the U.S. Open third round.

World number 99 Dzumhur broke the five-times champion in his first two service games and raced out to a 4-0 lead before many in the crowd had found their seats at Arthur Ashe Stadium, which had its retractable roof closed due to rain.

The tide shifted in the first game of the second set, however, when Federer saved a break point at 30-40 following a wild rally during which both players race from corner to corner before Dzumhur sent a forehand into the net.

From there Federer’s superior serving carried the day as he finished with 16 aces to the Sarajevo native’s two and thumped a rocket that Dzumhur could not return on match point to clinch victory.

Novak Djokovic’s U.S. Open title defense just got a little tougher on Wednesday as a recent shoulder issue flared up and nearly knocked the Serbian out of a second-round match that tested his resolve.

Djokovic struggled with both his serve and backhand during a 6-4 7-6(3) 6-1 win over Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero and later said his left shoulder had been bothering him for weeks with the pain getting worse during the match.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori fended off Bradley Klahn 6-2 4-6 6-3 7-5 in the U.S. Open second round on Wednesday as the 2014 Flushing Meadows runner-up continued his bid for a first Grand Slam title.

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Serena Williams survived a second-round scare at the U.S. Open on Wednesday with a 5-7 6-3 6-1 win over American wildcard Catherine McNally to keep alive her hopes of securing a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title.

World number eight Williams, who captured the first of her six U.S. Open titles two years before her 17-year-old opponent was born, spent the first half of the match trying to find her rhythm but when she did she was off to the races.

Fifth seed Elina Svitolina knocked Venus Williams out of the U.S. Open on Wednesday to reach the third round despite an heroic defensive effort from the 39-year-old former champion.

Trailing 5-3 in the second set, seven-times Grand Slam champion Williams saved five match points to hold serve in a dramatic 22-point game.

The 24-year-old Ukrainian, who has reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open for the past two years, struggled to convert break points throughout the match, winning just four out of 17.

Second seed Ash Barty fought off a stiff challenge at the end of the second set to beat American Lauren Davis 6-2 7-6(2) and reach the third round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday.

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The Ligue 1 derby between Nice and Marseille was suspended on Wednesday following homophobic chants from a section of the fans.

Players from both teams were escorted from the pitch midway through the first half of the contest following repeated appeals to stop the chanting.

The game, which was 0-0 at the time, resumed after a 10-minute delay.

Referees in France have been instructed to stop matches if homophobic songs are heard.

There were also reports of homophobic banners in the stands.

This was Nice's first game since they were bought by Ineos, the chemical company founded by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

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