Manchester City hosts Paris Saint-GermainPep Guardiola regards the second leg of a Champions League semifinal as the toughest game in soccer, and he has the battle scars to prove it. It was at that decisive stage that Guardiola came up short in each of his three years at Bayern Munich. In one of those second legs, Bayern was crushed by Real Madrid 4-0.
It’s a decade since Manchester City coach Guardiola has celebrated advancing from the Champions League semifinals. So maybe there’s some apprehension — surely some nerves — as he takes Manchester City into the second leg against visiting Paris Saint-Germain, even with his team holding a 2-1 lead?
Not a bit of it.
“It’s the first time we are here, for most of us in this club,” Guardiola said Monday, a day before perhaps the biggest European game in City’s history. “Of course I know what we are playing for, but in these types of games, you don’t need much emotion. It’s more about being calm. Knowing exactly what you have to do.”
In the the other semifinal matchup, Chelsea will host Real Madrid on Wednesday in London. Those teams played to a 1-1 draw in Madrid in the first leg. (AP)
NFL teams announce fifth-year options: A number of NFL teams exercised fifth-year options on Monday. They included Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. Among the records Allen set last season were for passing yards (4,544), completion percentage (69.2), passing touchdowns (37) and passer rating (107.2). Edmunds is a two-time Pro Bowler and the first in NFL history with two seasons of 100-plus tackles by age 21.
Another earning a fifth-year option is Atlanta wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who had 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games last season. Players not getting fifth-year option contracts included Dallas LB Leighton Vander Esch, Minnesota CB Mike Hughes and Jacksonville DT Taven Bryan. (AP)
Amazon to televise NFL Thursday games in 2022: Amazon Prime Video will become the exclusive home of the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” package a year earlier than originally anticipated. Amazon and the league announced that Prime Video will take over the entire package in 2022, which will make it an 11-season deal through 2032. It was originally supposed to begin in 2023 when the league’s new media rights deals kick in. Fox and NFL Network share the package this season. After that, it will be the first time a streaming service has had the full rights to an NFL package.
NBC will continue to televise the opening game of the season and will also televise on Thanksgiving night. (AP)
Titans’ draft pick charged with assault: Tennessee fourth-round draft pick Rashad Weaver has been charged with simple assault following an incident in Pittsburgh last month. The complaint against Weaver, who played defensive end at the University of Pittsburgh, was filed Friday, a day before the Titans selected Weaver with the 135thpick in the draft.
The charge stems from an alleged altercation between Weaver and a woman in the early hours of April 18 in Pittsburgh’s popular South Side entertainment district. At least one witness told police Weaver struck the woman. Another witness said she saw the woman fall but did not see what precipitated it.
His attorney, Dennis M. Blackwell, called the allegations against Weaver “completely false and reckless.” (AP)
Bears release veteran tackle: Chicago released veteran left tackle Charles Leno Jr. On twitter, he called it “a bittersweet day” and thanked Bears fans. Drafted by Chicago in the seventh round in 2014, Leno started every game the past five seasons and 93 in a row dating to 2015. He made the Pro Bowl as an alternate in 2018. His release comes after the Bears traded up to draft Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins in the second round on Friday. (AP)
No moral victory for SIUC football: The Salukis led 20-7 with just seconds to play in the opening half before No. 1-seeded South Dakota State scored the next 24 points and went on to a 31-26 win in the FCS quarterfinals late Sunday night in Brookings, S.D.
“There’s not one person with dry eyes in that locker room,” SIUC coach Nick Hill said after the Salukis’ season ended at 6-4. “It’s been our message all week — the rest of the country cannot believe — but those guys believed that they were going to come up here and win . . .