No Neymar, no problem for Brazil as they beat Russia 3-0 in Moscow friendly

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Brazil dispatched World Cup hosts Russia with little trouble.

Five-time world champions Brazil showed no signs of missing Neymar as they fine-tuned preparations for this year’s World Cup with a confident 3-0 victory over tournament hosts Russia on Friday.

Inter Milan full-back Miranda scored the opener while Barcelona midfielder pair Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho scored one apiece at Moscow’s renovated Luzhniki stadium where the World Cup final will be played.

Brazil, who were without injured superstar Neymar, started brightly and in the fifth minute Dani Alves lobbed the ball into the area to Gabriel Jesus but the Manchester City striker shot straight at Russia’s goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

Brazil dominated play and possession, but failed to create any more serious chances before the break as Russia defended in numbers.

Russian winger Alexander Samedov tested Alisson with a shot from 20 yards out just after the half-hour mark, but Brazil’s Roma ‘keeper palmed the ball away for a corner.

Alexei Miranchuk also had a chance for an opener five minutes later, but his powerful close-range angled shot rifled over the crossbar.

Two minutes after the interval Willian found the unmarked Paulinho in the area, but Akinfeev parried his low close-range shot.

Miranda finally put Brazil team into the lead when he fired home a 53rd-minute goal, knocking in a rebound from Akinfeev off a Thiago Silva header.

Brazil continued testing the home team’s defence and nine minutes later Coutinho made it 2-0 for the visitors with a penalty after Alexander Golovin fouled Paulinho in the area.

Paulinho rounded off the scoring in the 67th minute with a five-yard header off a pinpoint cross by Willian from the right.

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LA Galaxy confirm Zlatan Ibrahimovic signing from Manchester United

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has completed his move to the LA Galaxy.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s move to the LA Galaxy has been confirmed by both player and club, with a video announcing his arrival released on social media followed by an official announcement.

In typical Ibrahimovic fashion, the striker’s tweet with the video was accompanied by the message “Los Angeles, welcome to Zlatan”.

He also took out a full-page ad in the LA Times announcing his move, declaring, “Los Angeles, you’re welcome”.

The team later confirmed the move on their website.

“Coming to play in the United States, it is only fitting for me to join the most successful team in Major League Soccer, the LA Galaxy,” said Ibrahimović of joining the only team to have won the MLS Cup five times.

“I am excited to join a club with a winning legacy that has embodied soccer in Los Angeles for over 20 years. I would like to thank everyone at the club for making it possible to play for the LA Galaxy.

“I am looking forward to joining my teammates, playing at StubHub Center in front of our fans and helping our team compete this season.”

Head coach Sigi Schmid highlighted LA Galaxy’s delight at having signed the former Malmo, Ajax Amsterdam, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG, and Manchester United striker.

“Adding one of the finest goal scorers in this sport’s history to our roster will tremendously help our club in the hunt for a sixth MLS Cup,” Schmid said.

“As one of the winningest players of all time, we believe he’ll have a very positive impact on our team.

“We are confident that Zlatan can be one of the most dangerous strikers in our league and we are excited to integrate him into our club.”

Ibrahimovic, 36, was released from his United contract on Thursday in order to allow his MLS move to go through.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic signs with LA Galaxy in MLS

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Los Angeles Galaxy confirmed the Swedish star’s move to Major League Soccer on Friday, announcing the deal in a Los Angeles Times advert.

“Dear Los Angeles, you’re welcome,” the enigmatically worded full-page advert read, above Ibrahimovic’s signature and a Los Angeles Galaxy logo.

A photo of Ibrahimovic wearing a Los Angeles Galaxy appeared above a separate story on the front page of the Times’ sports section.

The 36-year-old’s move to MLS had been widely reported on Thursday after Premier League giants Manchester United confirmed the player had been released from his contract.

The Galaxy have not released deals of Ibrahimovic’s transfer but Sports Illustrated have reported that the forward has inked a two-year deal worth $3 million.

Ibrahimovic’s transfer comes after a serious knee injury last year disrupted the end of his stint with Manchester United, who he joined in 2016 from Paris Saint-Germain.

The charismatic goalscorer had not played for United this season since featuring in a 2-2 draw against Burnley on December 26.

Ibrahimovic scored 28 goals in 46 appearances during a remarkable first season in the Premier League before tearing knee ligaments in a Europa League game last April.

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