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12:00 AM, February 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 16, 2019

SHORT CORNER

Luiz insists stars still believe in Sarri

AFP

Chelsea defender David Luiz insists there has been no dressing room revolt against manager Maurizio Sarri's tactics despite a 6-0 mauling at Manchester City last weekend.

Sarri has been criticised for refusing to adapt his style, even on the road against the best opponents.

The Blues bounced back by beating Malmo 2-1 in the Europa League on Thursday, but tougher tests lie in wait with the visit of Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round on Monday followed by a reunion with City in the League Cup final on February 24.

"Yes, (we have an) amazing future," Luiz told reporters after victory in Sweden. "We have had many meetings already asking if someone doesn't believe.

"Nobody said anything. It's because everyone believes."              

Valverde extends stay at Barcelona

AFP

Spanish champions Barcelona announced Friday they have extended the contract of coach Ernesto Valverde for another season with the option of one more.

Valverde, who took over at the Camp Nou in 2017 after joining from Athletic Bilbao, won the league and cup double last season.

"FC Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde, the first team coach, have reached an agreement to extend the contract between the two parties for another season (2019/20) with the option for one more (2020/21)," the club said in a statement.

Valverde's previous contract would have expired at the end of this season.         

UEFA satisfied with VAR debut in Champions League knockouts

Reuters

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) "worked perfectly" at all stadiums that hosted the first leg of the last-16 Champions League ties this week, according to UEFA's chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti.

VAR was implemented for the first time in Europe's premier club competition and was called into action in games when tight offside and penalty decisions were involved.

"I am very happy with the way VAR was implemented," Rosetti said in a statement on the UEFA website. "The technology worked perfectly, and the refereeing teams performed at a very high level."

The most talked-about decision involved VAR ruling out Ajax's first-half opener against Real Madrid after it deemed Dusan Tadic to be offside when Nicolas Tagliafico headed the ball past Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.           

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