Kucher hangs on to unwanted Champions League record for another season

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Seeing red: Olexandr Kucher

Another Champions League season over means another year Olexandr Kucher hangs on to his unwanted record. It was back in March 2015 when Shakhtar Donetsk faced the daunting task of facing in-form Bayern Munich in their Round of 16 second leg tie, that the defender went into the history books.

The Ukrainian side were still well in the tie going into the game having held the German giants to a 0-0 draw in the first leg, however, Donetsk’s hopes of advancing to the quarter-finals were dealt a huge blow just three minutes into the match.

The home side were on the attack from the off and when Mario Gotze burst into the penalty box, Kucher opted to slide in and inevitably upended the German, leaving the referee little choice but to point to the spot and produce the red card. To make matters worse, Muller calmly converted from the spot giving the home side the perfect start.

Shakhtar knew it was going to be a long night from that point on with Bayern enjoying 79% possession in the first half as well as peppering the visitors with 15 shots in the opening 45 minutes.

The Bundesliga champions had not lost at home since losing to Real Madrid in the previous season’s semi-final and they were on the hunt for more goals – Jerome Boateng added a second for the home side before half time.

Going down: Mario Gotze gets taken down

Going down: Mario Gotze gets taken down

Soon after the break Franck Ribery drilled the ball home from the far post and just minutes later Muller fired in his second of the night after more good work from the winger.

Badstuber’s powerful header, Lewandowski’s 18-yard strike and Gotze’s neat finish from an angle completed a 7-0 rout for Pep Guardiola’s men.

Prior to Kucher’s dismissal, Craig Bellamy was the previous record holder for the quickest Champions League red card. The Welshman saw red after five minutes when playing for Newcastle against Inter Milan in 2002.

Octo Finissimo Automatic A Third World Record for Bulgari

Bulgari is once again the spotlight, proudly presenting its third successive world record.

The Octo Finissimo Automatic is the slimmest ultra-thin self-winding watch on the market to date.

After introducing its Tourbillon in 2014 and the Minute Repeater in 2016, the Maison unveils its new creation featuring a total thickness of just 5.15mm, while its self-winding movement is just 2.23mm thick for a 40mm diameter.

The iconic Octo is once again pushing the boundaries of watchmaking feasibility.

Bulgari-Finissimo-Octo-3 (1) Bulgari-Finissimo-Octo-5

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Roberto Mancini holds 'sense of optimism' despite mixed start as Italy head coach

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Roberto Mancini (r) before Italy 1-1 Netherlands.

Roberto Mancini saw his Italy side concede a late equaliser in their friendly against the Netherlands, but insists he has a “sense of optimism” following his first three games at the helm.

The Azzurri appeared on course to pick up a narrow victory when Simone Zaza marked his return to international football with a goal but, after Domenico Criscito was sent off, Nathan Ake earned the visitors a 1-1 draw with an 87th-minute header in Turin.

Mancini’s reign started with victory over Saudi Arabia before a loss to France as he looks to rebuild Italy following their failed World Cup qualification campaign.

“We were tired but we still took the lead,” the former Manchester City boss said after the draw.

“It was a shame we lost focus. There’s lots of work to do. Above all, these matches help with developing the new players.

“The lads showed lots of effort. We need to sort various things out but there’s a sense of optimism. The warmth of the fans is helping a lot.”

Zaza had not featured for Italy since Euro 2016 but came off the bench to slide in and put the hosts ahead just three minutes after his introduction.

Italy’s hopes of holding on for the win were dented when Criscito was shown a straight red card for fouling Ryan Babel.

Dutch boss Ronald Koeman is also new to his post and was unhappy with his side’s first-half display at the Juventus Stadium as goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen was forced to make a couple of smart saves.

“The first half was not good again,” he told reporters after the game.

“We had little initiative, were sloppy with the ball and got away a few times. We had trouble coming up from the midfield and had trouble with the runners of Italy.”

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Derby County defender Curtis Davies says new manager Frank Lampard will draw from Jose Mourinho experience

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Frank Lampard has made his first foray into management with Derby County.

Defender Curtis Davies is confident new Derby boss Frank Lampard will be able to tap into Jose Mourinho‘s vast knowledge as he makes his way in management.

Lampard took over at Pride Park last week as he entered a new phase in his illustrious career, and Davies believes the contacts he has made in the game, including former Chelsea and current Manchester United supremo Mourinho, could prove invaluable.

He told the club’s official website, dcfc.co.uk: “He has worked for some of the biggest managers in the game. Even if he picked up one thing from each of those, it is going to be a lot more than a lot of us could have got and his insight is going to bring a lot.

“If he does pick up the phone – I’m not saying the manager will need any help at all – but I’m sure if he picks up the phone to Jose or any of the others for advice, I’m sure they would be very happy to help him.”

Davies and Lampard are old foes from the midfielder’s playing days with Chelsea and Manchester City, and the former West Brom, Aston Villa, Birmingham and Hull defender holds his new boss in the highest regard.

He said with a smile: “The first thing I want to do is get my shirt signed.

“In all seriousness, I’ve played against him many times and he is just a good person. He is a winner on the pitch, so he’s not going to not tackle you, because he wants to win games, but he is always a gentleman.

“He’s honest and a nice person to talk to. As a young player to look up to he was definitely one that always did the right things on and off the pitch.”

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