A New Soccer Statistic Tries to Place a Value on the Invaluable

Perhaps more incisive than just looking at the overall packing number is focusing specifically on bypassed defenders, who are after all the last outfield players with a chance to stop a goal. Lionel Messi is on top this season with 18 bypassed defenders per game. The method can also help draw comparisons between teams that play very different styles. “Bayern, P.S.G. and Barcelona have a lot of ball possession,” Keppler said. “Other teams counterattack and press high. Packing would measure the value of their overall method.” Four games into the…

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Real Madrid Coasts and Ronaldo Protests in Champions League

Life in the Champions League without Cristiano Ronaldo began for Real Madrid with a comfortable 3-0 win over Roma on Wednesday. Ronaldo’s Champions League experience at Juventus, however, went considerably worse: He received a controversial red card in a 2-0 victory against Valencia, and now faces a suspension that could keep him out of a highly anticipated return to Manchester United next month. In Madrid, Isco, Gareth Bale and Mariano Diaz took care of the scoring to secure an opening victory in Group G for Madrid, the three-time defending champions.…

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Late Goals Save Liverpool and Sink Tottenham in Champions League

Liverpool threw away a two-goal lead at Anfield on Tuesday but rallied for a 3-2 victory against visiting Paris St.-Germain through an injury-time winner from the substitute Roberto Firmino in the night’s marquee Champions League showdown. Firmino, who was not in the starting lineup after scratching his eye in Saturday’s Premier League victory at Tottenham, found enough space to weave through the P.S.G. defense and strike a low shot into the far corner to claim the victory only minutes after Kylian Mbappé had appeared to steal a tie for the…

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A Throwback Champion for the Modern Champions League

The mementos are everywhere, images of heroes past, snapshots of glories lost. For the current generation of players at Crvena Zvezda — the club known to the English-speaking world as Red Star Belgrade — they are inescapable: in the dressing rooms at the training facility, in the foyer as they walk into the stadium everyone in Serbia calls the Marakana. They act as a reminder, as proof, as assertion of what Red Star once was, of what it once did. There are photos of the club’s greatest players and its…

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Charges of Racism Hobble a Soccer Revival in Germany

MUNICH — For Reinhard Grindel, the leader of Germany’s soccer federation, this has become an awkward moment to promote his country’s campaign to stage European Championship in 2024, or, really, anything having to do with a national team program that only months ago was considered a symbol of unity for the country and one of the most unstoppable forces in sports. Earlier this month, a mob waving German flags and flashing Nazi salutes rampaged through the streets of Chemnitz, in eastern Germany, chasing dark-skinned bystanders as the police, for a…

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2 federal agencies take closer look into Tesla fire

WASHINGTON (AP) — One federal safety agency has dispatched an investigator and another says it is gathering information on a Tesla battery fire in Southern California. The National Transportation Safety Board said Monday it is sending a technical specialist to watch Tesla’s examination of the Model S that caught fire Friday on a street in West Hollywood. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement that it “continues to collect information regarding this incident and will take appropriate action as warranted.” Actor Mary McCormack shared video of her…

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High Court: Online shoppers can be forced to pay sales tax

WASHINGTON (AP) — States will be able to force more people to pay sales tax when they make online purchases under a Supreme Court decision Thursday that will leave shoppers with lighter wallets but is a big financial win for states. Consumers can expect to see sales tax charged on more online purchases — likely over the next year and potentially before the Christmas shopping season — as states and retailers react to the court’s decision, said one attorney involved in the case. The Supreme Court’s 5-4 opinion Thursday overruled…

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Mexican Soccer Fans’ New Champions: The South Korean Squad

Advertisement Germany’s World Cup loss meant Mexico would live to fight another day — and fans had South Korea to thank. By Tiffany May and Su-Hyun Lee June 28, 2018 ImageSouth Korean consul general to Mexico, Byoung-Jin Han, celebrating with grateful Mexican fans outside the Korea embassy in Mexico City, Mexico, Wednesday.CreditJames Wagner/The New York Times South Korea’s upset victory over Germany, the World Cup’s defending champions, had fans chanting in the streets — in Mexico. Germany’s loss on Wednesday meant Mexico would advance to the knockout round and get…

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Telemundo Has a Big Goal: Win the World Cup

MIAMI — Nearly seven years before this year’s World Cup began, Eli Velazquez, a sports television executive for Telemundo, was awakened by an early morning phone call from his boss six time zones away. It was earth-shattering news. For the first time, Velazquez’s longtime employer, Telemundo, one of the main Spanish-language broadcast networks in the United States, had wrested away World Cup broadcast rights from Univision, its archrival. For the hefty sum of $600 million, the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were theirs. Still in bed, Velazquez, who had helped…

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How Argentina Lost Its Way. (Spoiler: It’s Not Messi’s Fault.)

The other, more serious, issue is what that abundance of attacking choices says about the team’s defense. There is a valid question over whether the midfield Argentina has brought to Russia is capable of playing the way Sampaoli desires — the intense, high-pressing style that has brought him so much success — but it is at the back that Sampaoli has had to make do with what he has got. Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Gabriel Mercado, Federico Fazio: these are not elite central defenders. And at fullback, with the noteworthy exception…

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