Thu, Jan 30, 2020 - Page 8 News List

Leipzig stars slammed for flying in barber

AFP, BERLIN

A group of RB Leipzig stars has been slammed as “decadent” by a senior Bundesliga figure for bringing a celebrity barber over from England to give haircuts before their shock defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend.

Ralf Rangnick, head of sport and development soccer for the club’s chief sponsors Red Bull, was left fuming after star hairdresser Sheldon Edwards was flown over by members of the squad to give haircuts at the team hotel in Frankfurt before Saturday’s 2-0 defeat.

Second-half goals by Almamy Toure and Filip Kostic in Frankfurt saw Leipzig lose for the first time since October last year.

Rangnick has ripped into the group of nine players — which German daily Bild reported included regulars Yussuf Poulsen, Christopher Nkunku and Patrik Schick — for the “decadent” prematch haircut.

“I would have bet 100,000 euros [US$110,012] that our players would not have had a star hairdresser flown in from England to have their hair done in a hotel,” Rangnick told reporters on Tuesday. “I would have lost that 100,000 euro bet. The 2-0 defeat was annoying enough, the hairdresser story leaves me stunned. That is decadent.”

Leipzig sports director Markus Kroesche told Bild that the issue of the celebrity haircuts had been addressed internally.

COPA ITALIA

AC Milan are to meet Juventus in the Coppa Italia semi-finals after beating Torino 4-2 in an enthralling encounter on Tuesday to continue their Zlatan Ibrahimovic-inspired revival.

Extra-time goals from substitutes Hakan Calhanoglu and Ibrahimovic sealed passage into the last four for a Milan side who have been reawakened by the return of the Swede last month.

They will be relishing the tie with the Italian champions, who thumped AS Roma 3-0 in their quarter-final last week.

The superstar striker’s second goal since returning to Milan came on a night that the club honored Milan fan Kobe Bryant — who spent much of his childhood in Italy — with the message “Legends never die” on the San Siro big screens.

COUPE DE FRANCE

Fourth-tier ASM Belfort on Tuesday made it through to the Coupe de France quarter-finals after knocking out Ligue 1 outfit Montpellier Herault in a dramatic penalty shoot-out, while holders Stade Rennais edged a nine-goal thriller with top-flight Angers SCO 5-4.

Montpellier are sixth in the French top division, but failed to find the net and missed two spot-kicks in an emotional shoot-out.

A red card for Montpellier goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli for making a save well outside the penalty area left substitute goalkeeper Dimitry Bertaud to face defeat against lowly opposition.

At the Stade Raymond Kopa, Brittany side Rennes were 3-1 ahead going into the final half an hour against regional rivals Angers, who struck twice in the last five minutes through Sada Thioub and Stephane Bahoken to take the match into extra-time.

However, the side who beat Paris Saint-Germain on penalties at the Stade de France in last year’s final emerged the winners when Jeremy Gelin fired home a long-range volley to make it 5-4.

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