Bayern Munich goalkeeper Mauel Neuer on Wednesday signed a contract extension with the reigning German champions till 2021.The World Cup winning German international had moved to Bayern from Schalke ahead of the 2011-2012 season and has been a regular in the playing XI.There were reports that the 30-year-old might follow his present coach Pep Guardiola to English heavyweights Manchester City but he buried such claims by signing the extension.”FC Bayern secured the services of another key player for the long term on Wednesday when the Worlds Best Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer signed a two-year extension to his current contract, keeping him at the club until 30 June 2021,” a statement on the club’s website said.Jerome Boateng, Thomas Muller, David Alaba and Javi Martnez also signed new contracts at the club which will have them at the Allianz Arena till 2021. Since moving to Bayern Neuer has lifted three Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokals and a Champions League crown in 2013.
Croatia 4 Greece 1: Kalinic leads play-off rout in Zagreb Rob Lancaster Last updated 2 years ago 05:55 11/10/17 Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images Greece’s hopes of reaching Russia look bleak after a series of defensive mistakes proved costly in Zagreb. Croatia seized control of their World Cup qualifying play-off against Greece as they claimed a commanding 4-1 home victory in the first leg on Thursday.Despite being without Mario Mandzukic, who was only fit enough for a seat on the bench due to a hamstring strain, the hosts cruised to victory on a cold night in Zagreb, putting them within touching distance of a place at the finals in Russia next year.Having had a hand in the first goal, forcing a foul from goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis to win a penalty that was converted by Luka Modric, Nikola Kalinic steered home a second from close range. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Greece briefly responded with a header from Sokratis Papastathopoulos, only to leak a third before the break when Ivan Perisic – left alone at the far post – headed home.Andrej Kramaric’s third goal in his last two international appearances early in the second half extended Croatia’s advantage even further – leaving their opponents with a mountain to climb ahead of the return fixture on Sunday.#WCQ | FTNorthern Ireland 0-1 SwitzerlandCroatia 4-1 Greece:https://t.co/SpQDWJq93q pic.twitter.com/0addSNjGLa— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 9, 2017Greece’s issues were all of their own making, with any plan to keep the tie close ahead of the return leg disappearing when they gave away two avoidable goals in the opening 20 minutes.Karnezis’ decision to take a touch with the ball at his feet backfired spectacularly when he presented possession to Kalinic, with the goalkeeper compounding the initial error by carelessly flattening the Croatian forward inside the area.Modric converted from the spot – sending Karnezis the wrong way – and the home fans were soon celebrating again when an unmarked Kalinic converted Ivan Strinic’s low cross from the left wing.Reeling on the ropes after taking Croatia’s one-two on the chin, Greece briefly countered when Sokratis’ looping header from a corner cut the deficit in half.However, having worked so hard to grab an away goal, Michael Skibbe’s side conceded again within five minutes, Sime Vrsaljko’s deep cross from the right presenting Perisic with the simple task of nodding the ball in.The gap would have been greater at the break were it not for Karnezis, who went some way to redeeming his earlier error with a fine double save to deny Kramaric and Kalinic in quick succession.Yet Greece’s calamitous defending was not just confined to the first half.Konstantinos Stafylidis’ attempt to chest a deep cross back to his own goalkeeper served up a fourth goal on a plate, the alert Vrsaljko nipping in to square the ball across for the waiting Kramaric to convert.Sokratis headed over under pressure from Dejan Lovren in a rare moment of concern for Croatia, while Danijel Subasic was required to turn away a 90th-minute header from Konstantinos Mitroglou.Perisic wastefully blazed over when well placed at the other end as Greece narrowly avoided conceding what surely would have been the knockout blow. As it is, they still require a remarkable turnaround in the home leg in Athens. read more