Lionel Messi and Mo Salah chased down by Ciro Immobile in golden boot race

David Cooper 12/03/2018
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The race for the European golden boot could not be closer as Lionel Messi and four other hotshots are tied on 24 league goals each after the latest round of matches.

In the Premier League Mo Salah – following Liverpool’s disappointing defeat to Manchester United – and Harry Kane failed to add to their tally over the weekend.

Kane may in fact fall behind in the pecking order as he anxiously waits on the results of a scan from the ankle injury he sustained during Tottenham’s victory over Bournemouth.

Though Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain picked up wins, Messi and Edinson Cavani remained on 24 for the weekend.

The only mover was Ciro Immobile, who joined the aforementioned fab four by scoring in the fifth minute of injury-time for Lazio to rescue a point against Cagliari.

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Watch footage of PAOK president Ivan Savvidis taking gun onto pitch

David Cooper 12/03/2018
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PAOK Salonika have said president Ivan Savvidis is “preparing to take all necessary steps to protect the club” after their match with AEK Athens was abandoned in chaotic circumstances.

Greece’s top-flight football championship was suspended Monday, a minister said, hours after Savvidis came onto the pitch with a gun strapped to his belt.

“We have decided to suspend the championship,” deputy minister for sport Yiorgos Vassiliadis told reporters after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Sunday’s Greek Superleague game was abandoned after PAOK had an 89th-minute goal ruled offside with the score 0-0.

Savvidis marched onto the pitch with images showing him appearing to be carrying a gun in a hip holster, and PAOK later issued a statement.

“After what happened today in Toumba Stadium, PAOK FC president Ivan Savvidis is preparing to take all necessary steps to protect the club and all his executives and associates from the threats and attacks they are suffering,” the statement said.

“More relevant announcements to be made shortly.”

PAOK are third in Greece’s top division and could have moved within two points of leaders AEK with a win.

Last month, PAOK’s league game with Olympiacos was abandoned before a ball was kicked.

Olympiacos coach Oscar Garcia, the former Brighton and Watford boss, was hit by an object thrown from the crowd, which was reported to be a toilet roll.

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Paul Pogba could miss Manchester United's match against Sevilla

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Jose Mourinho is not sure whether Paul Pogba will be available for Tuesday’s crunch Champions League clash with Sevilla.

The 24-year-old has struggled for form and game time of late, with the club-record signing surprisingly named on the bench for the goalless last-16 first leg in Spain.

Pogba recovered from illness to be in the squad that day and is now fighting to be involved in the return leg having missed Saturday’s 2-1 win against Liverpool with an injury sustained in training on the eve of the game.

The France international did not appear in much discomfort at Old Trafford after the match and Mourinho is waiting to see whether he can return.

“I don’t know,” the United boss said of Pogba’s availability for Tuesday.

“He’s downstairs now and I will go and speak with him. The injury? It was contact with a player in the last minute of the training session (on Friday).

“If I finished the session one minutes before it wouldn’t have happened.”

Even if he is fit, Pogba may find it hard to start given how well-balanced United’s midfield looked against Liverpool ahead of Sevilla’s visit and the FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton.

“Seville and Brighton are more important games than Liverpool,” Mourinho said after the 2-1 win.

“Liverpool is Liverpool, it is a big match, it is a match against a direct competition for the top four, but nothing is decided yet.

“We have eight more games and 24 points to play for.

“But Seville and Brighton are ‘die or live’ games so the next two are much more important than this one.”

Those comments may not be surprising, but Mourinho’s stance on Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp perhaps is.

The United boss got sent to the stands for accidentally putting his foot over the touchline this season, whereas the German got off with his burst out of his technical area down the touchline late in the second half.

“Probably you are not expecting my answer – I’m happy with the decision,” Mourinho said.

“Because he was not speaking against the referee. He was upset with a player and the same happened to me against Crystal Palace where I was upset with my player and therefore they (the officials) understood that too.

“I think Martin Atkinson (the fourth official) after so many years of this, I think made the right decision. I saw it. He was very upset with his player and not at the referee.

“If you leave the technical area by a couple of metres – or in this case 20 metres – but to speak to your own player and not to complain about the referee’s decision, they made the right decision.”

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