An impre sive first-leg display against Benfica in Portugal means Liverpool are in a commanding position to reach the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday at Anfield.

They host Benfica holding a 3-1 advantage. First-half goals from Ibrahima Konate and Sadio Mane put Jurgen Klopp's men in front, before Darwin Nunez gave Benfica hope as he pulled one back early in the second half.

But Luis Diaz's late strike ensured Charlie Morton Jersey Liverpool have some breathing space and can likely afford to have one eye on preparing for Saturday's FA Cup semi-final date with Manchester City at Wembley.

The winners of the tie will face Villarreal in the last four, after Unai Emery's side shocked Bayern Munich on Tuesday.


How to watch Liverpool vs. BenficaUKUSACanadaAustraliaDateApril 13April 13April 13April 14Time20:0015:00 ET15:00 ET05:00 AETTV channelBT Sport 3---StreamingBT SportParamount+DAZNStan Sport

In the US, Spanish-language coverage of the Champions League is

In Canada, every Emilio Pagan Jersey Champions League game .

Liverpool vs. Benfica predicted lineups

The cushion of a two-goal lead means Klopp is likely to make some changes in what is shaping up to be a decisive month for his squad as they try and stay on track for an unparalleled quadruple.

Corey Dickerson Jersey

He will be wary of making too many alterations, though, after Liverpool had a nervy evening in the second leg of their last-16 clash with Inter Milan in March, where they lost 1-0 at home after winning the first leg in Italy 2-0.

Certainly Roberto Firmino and Diaz will expect to feature, as Mohamed Salah could get some time to rest ahead of a second clash with City in six days, after Sunday's 2-2 draw in the Premier League.

Liverpool predicted lineup (4-3-3):Ali son (GK) Gomez, Konate, Matip, Robertson Henderson, Keita, Jones Mane, Firmino, Diaz


Benfica put their disappointment of losing to Liverpool behind them as Nunez's hat-trick on Saturday saw them come back from conceding an early goal to defeat Belenenses 3-1.

Nelson Veri simo will Evan Longoria Jersey go full-strength with his side again given the 3rd-placed club in Portugal trail Primeira Liga leaders FC Porto by 15 points with Michael Perez Jersey only five games remaining, and are nine adrift of second-placed Sporting Lisbon.

Benfica predicted lineup (4-5-1):Vlachodimos (GK) Junior, Vertonghen, Otamendi, Grimaldo Silva, Weigl, Ramos, Taarabt, Soares Nunez


Liverpool vs. Benfica betting odds

Benfica need to win by two clear goals just to stay in the tie and take the game to extra-time.

It has been done before. Benfica prevailed 2-0 at Anfield in March 2006 in the last 16 of the Champions League, thanks to goals from Simao and Fabrizio Miccoli, as they completed a 3-0 aggregate win to knock Liverpool, the defending champions that season, out of the competition.

Benfica, however, have only scored more than two goals in a Champions League away game once in four matches this season so far, and those strikes came in a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Bayern Mike Zunino Jersey Munich in the group stage.

UK(Sky Bet)USA(DraftKings)Canada(Sports Interaction) Home Win1/4-3601.24Draw21/4+5006.01 Away Win8/1+9509.00Over 2.5 Goals4/11-2551.39Both Teams to Score8/11-1401.68

Ellen White added to her goals tally to become England's joint-leading scorer at the Women's World Cup and guide her side into the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Cameroon, who wasenraged by a couple of VAR calls.

England advanced through Group D with three wins from three Ian Gibaut Jersey and the nation wascomfortable winners in Valenciennes to set up a last-eight tie with Norway on Thursday.

Stephanie Houghton opened the scoring 14 minutes in from an indirect free-kick and White scored for the fourth time in this year's competition her fifth overall in the finals, equal with Fara Williams before Alex Greenwood rounded off the scoring to send England on its way.

But the win was not without controversy as Cameroon wasfurious with the decision for England's Adolis García Jersey key second goal to stand, with its players initially refusing Yohander Mendez Jersey to restart the match and then leave the field at half-time, and there were tears early in the second half when they had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside again leading to pitchside protests.

3 - England have scored three goals in a knockout game at the Women's World Cup for the first time. Dreamland.

OptaJoe (@OptaJoe)

The first competitive meeting between the sides was a feisty encounter, with Yvonne Leuko getting away with what appeared to be a deliberate elbow on Nikita Parris and Augustine Ejangue avoiding punishment for spitting in the direction Asdrubal Cabrera Jersey of Lucy Bronze.

England kept itsheads and took advantage of an indirect free-kick awarded seven yards from goal for Aurelle Awona's back-pa s to keeper Annette Ngo Ndom Houghton picking out the bottom corner of the net after being teed up by Toni Duggan.

White then added a second with a good finish into the corner once played through by Bronze, which was allowed to stand after initially being ruled out for offside.

Cameroon, who argued Parris was in an offside Brock Burke Jersey position, wasfurther angered five minutes into the second half as Gabrielle Onguene was marginally offside when cutting the ball back for Ajara Nchout to strike past Karen Bardsley from 12 yards.

And Greenwood put the game Edinson Volquez Jersey out of reach just before the hour mark when left unmarked from a corner to power a low shot through a crowd of players.

England nearly added to itstally but the nation wasdenied a penalty by VAR 13 minutes from time for Ysis Sonkeng's challenge on Fran Kirby and Estelle Johnson cleared substitute Jodie Taylor's chipped shot off the line.

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HARRISON, N.J. Six months ago, the New York Red Bulls dominated the Chicago Fire in Bryan Holaday Jersey a 4-0playoff demolition at the Fire's home stadium. On that day, the Red Bulls were the bullies, overwhelming the Fire with a physical brand of soccer they simply didn't look ready for.

On Saturday, in their first meeting since that memorable playoff defeat, the Fire took a page from the Red Bulls playbook, beating them at their own game by using physicality and tenacity to keep the Red Bulls from feeling comfortable at Red Bull Arena, where they usually dominate opponents.

The result was a 2-1 Fire victory that snapped the Red Bulls 11-match home unbeaten streak and helped the Fire climb further away from the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

"Against Red Bulls its always a very physical game, so we tried to think about a very intense game plan for them," Fire star Bastian Schweinsteiger Justin Bour Jersey said. "I think we had, in both halves, very good situations for transitions to create good chances, even if we knew the Red Bulls would have more of the ball and po se sion than us."

Even New York bo s Je se Marsch was quick to admit that the Fire brought a lot of intensity to the match.

"Chicago should take playing against us personally,right?And I get that," the Red Bulls coach said. "Like when you get knocked out (of the2017 MLS Cup Playoffs), whenyou've had challenges against certain teams, then it builds more competitive fire. Sothey came out and they won a lot of duels in the first half, aerial duels, tackles. Theyfought, they battled, and then they caused trouble on our back line."

Fire winger Aleksandar Jarlin Garcia Jersey Katai gave the Red Bulls defense headachesand set the tone for the match with his outstanding 30th-minute volley finish. Katai also drew the penalty kick that led toNemanja Nikolic's goal, whichwound up being insurance the Fire needed.

The Fire didn't dominate the Red Bulls they needed goalkeeper Richard Sanchez to make several big saves to keep the Red Bulls from taking control but they made the New Yorklook worse at home than we have seen Marsch's sidelook in a long time. They exposed a Red Bulls defense that had been incredibly tough so farthis year, and they outworked amidfield known for doing just that to opponents.

From a physical standpoint, the Fire made things tough on the Red Bulls midfield, which never really found a good rhythm. Fire coach Veljko Paunovic gave rookie first-round pick Mo Adams his first profe sional start and gave him the daunting task of trying to contain Red Bulls playmaker Kaku. Adams responded with an outstanding debut, keeping Kaku containedand teaming up with Dax McCarty to help the Fire dominate the middle of the field for largechunks of the match.

"To win a game like this you have to be up for it, and give them no respect," Mo Adams toldGoal. "We just cameout here and did what we had to do."

Marsch went Curtis Granderson Jersey with a central midfield trio of Kaku, Marc Rzatkowski and Tyler Adams, choosing to sit Sean Davis. Rzatkowski delivered a poor performance, and the difference was obvious when Davis replaced him in the second half. Davisand fellow second-half substitute Derrick Etienne Jr. helped give the Red Bulls a much-needed spark, and should give Marsch plenty to think about as his team heads towards a very tough stretch of matches that includes road games in three of their next four, with matches coming up against the LA Galaxy, New York City FC and Atlanta United.

The win was a vital one for a Fire side still working to climb out Caleb Smith Jersey of the holecreated aftermanaging just one point from their first three matches. They have done so relying more on playing well as a unit, rather than as a team leaning on its stars. The Fire are greater than the sum of their parts right now, which is the only way they're going to win when they're mi sing defender Matt Polster, forward Luis Solignac and midfielder Michael de Leeuw, and are still sitting on a considerable amount of money earmarked for the acquisition of a high-level attacking midfielder andcentral defender.

Out of this world.

Major League Soccer (@MLS Jose Fernandez Jersey )

That's what made Saturday's match all the more impre sive. If you just looked at the starting lineups, which included the Fire starting three rookies, you would have pegged the Red Bulls for a comfortable victory. The Fire had other plans, and executed Paunovic's game plan to perfection, frustrating and bullying the Red Bulls on the way to a big road win.

Now after registering two wins in three, the Fire are in much better shape heading into a pair of extremely difficult matches against Toronto FC and Atlanta United.

"It's areally important result," Fire midfielder Dax McCarty said. "I, more so than most, know how hard is to win here whenyoure on the opposing team. Its a gutsy performance, a really gritty performance and basicallyit was one that we needed."

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The spread and attempted containment ofCOVID-19has been a major feature of life acro s the world ever since the outbreak of the virus at the end of 2019.

It has had a ma sive impact on lots of different industries and football is no different, with a number of tournaments being moved back, fixtures being postponed and even cancelled due to public health concerns.

The virus continues to have an effect on day-to-day life for footballers,with Austin Meadows Jersey Premier League clubs' preparations for games notably being thrown into disarray over the festive period after a number of localised outbreaks within squads.

How long does COVID-19 keep footballers out for?

If a footballer contracts COVID-19 they will be out of action for, at the very least, a number of days in order to fulfil self-isolation guidelines.


The period of Roberto Clemente Jersey time an individual must spend in self-isolation varies, but, forPremier Leaguefootballers in England, it currently stands at10 days-. However, it is po sible for an individual to come out of self-isolation afterfive days, provided they have two negative lateral flow tests, 24 hours apart.

The rules vary from country to country, with Germany's self-isolation period lasting 14 days - or until a negative PCR test is produced - so Bundesliga footballers would be out of action for longer than their Premier League counterparts. However, in Spain, the period of self-isolation was reduced from 10 days to seven days, meaning La Liga players have a shorter time out.

Of course, as with any illne s, the length of time COVID-19 keeps a footballer out of action for ultimately depends on theseverity of the symptomsand how long they persist. For example, a player could contract the virus, but be completely asymptomatic, and their recovery time is simply however long they must self-isolate. However, it is po sible for symptoms to persist for a week or more, meaning the recovery time would be longer.

Lionel Me si mi sed a number of weeks and a handful games for Paris Saint-Germain in January 2022after contracting COVID-19. After mi sing the majority of the month with Erik Gonzalez Jersey the virus, the Argentina international said, in anInstagrampost, that, "it took me longer than I thought to be well".

What about 'Long COVID'?

For some footballers, the effects of contracting COVID-19 have had a lingering impact, with a number of individuals being ruled out for a longer period of time than first anticipated.

When it comes to Long COVID there is no set period and it depends on the individual, but it can see a player on the sidelines for weeks, months or even a year.


Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Hendersonwas unable to take a full Pablo Reyes Jersey part in the Red Devils' 2021-22 pre-season training camp in August 2021 due to what the club described as "prolonged fatigue", three weeks after he contracted COVID-19. The England international was only included in matchday squads approximately two months later, in October, but subsequently found himself playing back-up to David de Gea.

discu ses his return from illne s and his aspirations for 2021/22 in today's episode of ...

Manchester United (@ManUtd)

Juventus striker Paulo Dybala got COVID-19 in March of 2020, and was still returning positive tests six weeks later. the official Juventus website, "I was struggling for breath. My muscles ached."

Jameson Taillon Jersey Finlay MacNab had been playing for League One team Wimbledon before "Long COVID"disrupted his career and kept him out of action for over a year, with fatigue, diet i sues and heart-rate problems taking their toll.

"With Long COVID, I get extreme fatigue," MacNab told theBBCin November 2021. "It feels like I've played a full 90-minute game, that feeling of tiredne s after, I'll get it if I walk up the stairs or if I come back from a walk."

What about other long-term effects?

Long-COVID can have lasting effects on a player's health, but there are other side effects from COVID-19 that can have very real effects on someone's career.

Often, those side-effects are heart-related, which can be scary.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina were sent home from Gabon's Africa Cup of Keone Kela Jersey Nations squad earlier this month after the CAF determined the duo developed "lesions on the heart" as a result of a bout with COVID-19.

Bayern Munich star Josh Kimmich, who was confirmed to be unvaccinated for COVID-19, developed lung problems from the virus, mi sing two months while he recovered."I'm doing very well, but I'm not yet able to train fully due to slight infiltrations in my lungs," Kimmich said in early December, before mi sing another month."I'll therefore do some rehabilitative training and can't wait to be fully back in action in January."

The U.S. women's national team rolled up a record-shattering 13-0 win over Thailand on Tuesday to get the side's World Cup defense off to a flying start.

Alex Morgan scored five goals as seven different U.S. players got on the scoresheet against a team that was clearly overmatched.

The USA took a 3-0 lead into the break, scoring 10 times in the second half on the way to their dominant win.

And while USWNT players were quick to point Pedro Alvarez Jersey out that there was little reason for them to dial back the scoring late in the match, it their celebrations for the goals scored late on caught some negative attention, particularly from former Canadian national team starsClare Rustad and Kaylyn Kyle.

Canada was not impre sed by the today. Clare Rustad, Kaylyn Kyle, and Diana Matheson rip Rapinoe and Morgan for what they call "cla sle s behavior".

WoSo Comps (@WoSo_Comps)

"I just think they could have won with some humility and grace, and they just couldnt manage to do that," Rustad said on TSN's broadcast of the match. "Celebrating goals later in the game like this is just completely unnece sary. What is this?"

RAPINOE JOINS THE PARTY! 9-0 USA!Come for the goal, stay for the celebration

Brad Brach Jersey FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer)

Kyle was even le s pleased, ripping the U.S. players, in particular Morgan, who could be seen counting goals on her fingers, saying she was "disgusted" seeing those kinds of antics from one of the World Cup favorites.

ALEX MORGAN FOR THE RECORD! 's 5th ties Jesus Sucre Jersey Michelle Akers' single-game record ... and makes it 12-0 USA!

FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer)

Theyre the No.1 team in the world and for me, Im disgusted, honestly," she said. "Youre going up against a team thats first time in the World Cup, theyre just happy to be there. Celebrate, I get it, like a Mallory Pugh. But these people counting their goals, this Im embarra sed. I was a female profe sional athlete; theres kids watching this and to be celebrating when its eight, nine, 10

"I said in the pre-game, yes, you want to score a lot of goals, yes, you want to make your mark because of the goal difference. But theres a way to do it, and that is not the way for me."

Despite the critics, USWNT legend Abby Wambach, the USA's all-time leading scorer, was quick to jump to the defense of her former team, claiming that they were drawing unfair criticism from some circles.

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For all that have i sue with many goals: for some players this is there first World Cup goal, and they should be excited. Imagine it being you out there.This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate.Would you tell a mens team to not score or celebrate?

Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach)

"For all that have i sue with many goals: for some players this is there first World Cup goal, and they should be excited," 2015 World Cup winner Wambach wrote via Twitter. "Imagine it being you out there. This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate. Would you tell a mens team to not score or celebrate?"

While Wambach asked the USWNT to continue to do its best to find more goals, she called on FIFA to give more resources to countries that need Keegan Akin Jersey it. She also questioned whether the men's national team would be under fire for a similar result.

"Really respecting the game and what you've worked for is to do your best at ALL times," Wambach said. This is a call to @FIFAcom to do more and give more resources for some of these countries. It's the World Cup folks. Would you say this about the men? Didn't think so."

Wambach, 39, added: "With all due respect: did you see@alexmorgan13last two goals and her last a sist?!!! They were world cla s. And this isnt rec league soccer. This is THE WORLD CUP!!!!!!!!! Stop judging these women with Cedric Mullins Jersey patriarchal gla ses. You would never say this about a mens team. Period."

Match statistics: Liverpool 0-0 Real Madrid

In the end it was a bridge too far, even for Liverpool.

There was to be no Anfield miracle for Jurgen Klopps men. For the second season running they exit the Champions League at the hands of Bryan Shaw Jersey a team from Madrid, having failed to overturn a first-leg deficit on home soil.

For Atletico 2020, read Real 2021.

Liverpool huffed and they puffed, but they simply could notblow the house down. It finished 0-0 on the night, the Reds eliminated

That was where the damage was done. How Klopp will regret the way his Nolan Arenado Jersey side started that game; pa sive, nervous, disorganised. How he will rue the way, having clawed their way back into the tie through MohamedSalahs away goal, they ceded control so quickly.

A 2-1 lo s was manageable, but 3-1 was a killer, especially with no 12th man to roar them on back at Anfield.

So it proved, with Real able to withstand the inevitable second-leg onslaught, and Liverpool unable to convert dominance into goals.

They had a right go, at least. Their performance was levels above the one we saw in Madrid although it had to be, in all fairne s. Klopp could not fault his players effort, their belief or their heart.

Their finishing, though? That'sanother matter entirely.

The chances came, especially in the first half, but none were taken. Goals have been at a premium at Chris Rusin Jersey Anfield of late, and they could notfind one here, let alone two.

Their finishing was poor, with Salah and Gini Wijnaldum guilty of bad mi ses before the break. Wijnaldum, in particular, will have nightmares about his.

Salah drew a save from Thibaut Courtois inside the opening three minutes when he might have done better, and the former Chelsea goalkeeper was at his very best soon after, saving at full-stretch from James Milner, whose 25-yarder appeared destined for the top corner.

Liverpools desire was there, their pre sing sharp and their aggre sion clear. Milner Todd Helton Jersey , selected surprisingly ahead of Thiago Alcantara Charlie Blackmon Jersey in midfield, set the tone in the opening seconds, smashing into Karim Benzema firmly but fairly. Me sage sent.

Real struggled at times during the opening 45 minutes, unnerved by Liverpools tempo. Even the brilliant Toni Kroos found his radar off, although Benzema saw a cro s-shot deflected against the post after a rare foray forward.

When the half-time whistle blew, the tie was still there, although you suspected Klopps team would regret their mi ses, that they hadhad their chance and blown it.

So it proved. Liverpool continued to probe and pushed after the interval, but nothing came off.

Courtois saved well from Roberto Firmino, Salah took too long in the penalty area. Diogo Jota, sent on as a substitute with Thiago, saw a shot deflected into the side-netting, while the outstanding Eder Militao, Sergio Ramos deputy, blocked from Firmino.

Liverpool kept going, but the jig was up long before the final blast of referee Bjorn Kuipers whistle.

It was up, really, German Marquez Jersey before they hadleft Madrid.

Croatia legend Davor Suker has insisted that Diego Maradona and Lionel Me si cannot be compared ahead of his country's World Cup clash with Argentina.

in Argentina's opening Group D game with Iceland, denying Jorge Sampaoli's side the chance to pick up maximum points.

Croatia are the next side to Washington Nationals Jersey face Me si and Argentina, with Suker asked whether he believes their current talisman is better than the 1986 World Cup winner.

"Thetwo of them can only be compared to the height; football is changing every 10 years," Suker told 24sata.

Aaron Barrett Jersey

"In Diego's time the balls were different, the pitcheswere not so scorched.

"Look, Diego won the World Cup, Me si hasnot, but Joe Blanton Jersey Diego liked me because I played with him."

Despite leading Group D thanks to a , Suker is refusing to get carried away with Croatia's chances of progre sing to the knockout round.

An own goal and a penalty from Luka Modric sealed all three points, but Croatia were largely ineffective in attack and will need to improve in front of goal in their gameagainst the South Americans.

"We have not done anything yet, we have to Anthony Rendon Jersey stay firm on the ground," he said."There is no euphoria,Argentina iscoming.

"Argentina is always a favourite, and we're going step by step. I've seen a lot of good in our game, butI can say that we are going to be world champions and then after Brian Dozier Jersey five days, everything can change.

"Me siis a miracle, he can have a hat-trick in every game, but Blank Jersey he's just a man, he can make a mistake.

"The dangers for us are now even bigger because the Argentinians are wounded.This will be a che s game, but if it's like Nigeria, I'm not afraid."

Banyana Banyana international Thembi Kgatlana has finally received her US work permit and islineto make her David Wright Jersey debut for National Women's League side Houston Dash.

Whilst fellow South African's Linda Motlhalo and Janine van Wyk both featured for Vera Pauw's side in thetwoopening matches of the Edwin Diaz Jersey season,Kgatlanahas been back in the country promoting the second edition of her annual tournament, theThembi KgatlanaTournament, while waiting for her work permit.

The 21-year-old has since received her papers, and is now eligible to play and is in contention Zack Wheeler Jersey to make her debut for Dash when they travel to Chicago Red Stars for their third outing of the season on Saturday.

Kgatlanajoined the Texas side from Western Cape Sasol Jay Bruce Jersey League side University of Western Cape Ladies in the offseason.

A post shared by (@kgatlanathe1st) on Apr 11, 2018 at 10:35am PDT

Extremely pleased;She's now looking forward to making her debut (eligible for selection) having sorted all the relevant Nolan Ryan Jersey paperworkThanks to everyone who made this po sible, coach you're in the whole proce s!

Sanele Dumako (@4Sanele_Dumako)

Reunited and it feels so good.With her visa in hand, looks forward to rejoining the team and getting back Tim Tebow Jersey to work.

Houston Dash (@HoustonDash)

Former U.S. women Mitch Haniger Jersey s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo gained attention, again, when she declared on a podcast interview she had observed star forward Megan Rapinoe almost bullying her teammates into kneeling while the national anthem was played prior to games.

This is what Solo said during on its All of Us program:

Ive seen Megan Rapinoe almost bully players into kneeling because she really wants to stand up for something in her particular way. But its our right as Americans to do it whatever way were comfortable with and I think thats really hard being on the main stage right now with so Taylor Guilbeau Jersey many political i sues for athletes. Theres a lot of pre sure and ultimately at the end of the day our number one focus should and has always been to win first.


That bullying comment was seized upon Monday by Rapinoes many critics from the far right, and it also was picked up by mainstream media . Solo spoke with the air of great authority on the concept of Rapinoe as the almost bully and claimed to have been an eyewitne s to such conduct.

All of which begs the question: When and how, then, did Solo observe Rapinoe almost bullying her teammates into kneeling for the anthem?

On Aug. 24, 2016, after the United States had fallen to Sweden in the quarterfinals at the Rio Olympics and goalkeeper Hope Solo had responded Dee Gordon Jersey to that result by publicly describing the Robinson Cano Jersey winning team as a bunch of cowards, she was suspended for six months by U.S. Soccer and had her contract with the womens national team terminated.

Three days later, the Seattle Reign announced Solo had chosen to take personal leave from the NWSL team. She never played another game for the Reign or the USWNT.

So when the Reign prepared for a Sept. 4 league game against the Chicago Red Stars and Seattle forward Megan Rapinoe chose to kneel during the national anthem in solidarity with quarterback Colin Kaepernicks protest, it was Haley Kopmeyer in goal for the Reign, not Solo. Marco Gonzales Jersey

And when Rapinoe repeated that protest le s than two weeks later, prior to a USWNT exhibition game in Columbus on Sept. 15, it was Ashlyn Harris in goal, not Solo. Six months later, U.S. Soccer introduced a policy declaring its athletes should stand respectfully during pregame anthem ceremonies.

Rapinoe and Solo were teammates for James Paxton Jersey a long time, but never after Kaepernick began his protests during the ceremonial playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. And certainly not by 2021, after U.S. Soccer withdrew that policy and several players took a knee prior to a couple of exhibitions in January.

So it seems a stretch that Solo was in position once the protests became an i sue to see any more than anyone else who was not ever or was no longer involved in the team.

Thomas Muller scored a hat-trick as Bayern Munich crushed Bayer Leverkusen 6-2 to reach the DFB-Pokal final, but he was quick to credit goalkeeper Sven Ulreich's performance.

Bayern were irresistible Avisail Garcia Jersey at the BayArena on Tuesday, racing into a two-goal lead within nine minutes thanks to a Robert Lewandowski brace.

Lars Bender pulled one back soon after, but Leverkusen were blown away after half-time thanks to Muller's hat-trick and Thiago Alcantara's solitary strike, with Leon Bailey netting a consolation free-kick.

But things could have Ozzie Guillen Jersey been different had Ulreich - who has enjoyed a fine season in place of the injured Manuel Neuer - not pulled off a string of topsaves with the score at Tim Anderson Jersey 2-1.

"There was a phase in which the game was open," Muller told Sky Sports Deutschland . "Then Ulle Ulreich was on the spot twice.

"He's been in great form and has often been dubbed Player of the Year, Preston Tucker Jersey as he often keeps us in the game.

"He does things that are not part of the average goalkeeper's ABC, so you have to say thank you."

Coach Jupp Heynckes also highlighted Ulreich's importance, though he focused on what he felt was a "top" performance from the team.

Another outstanding performance from Sven Ulreich tonight!

FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN)

"All in all, we brought a top performance against a good opponent," Heynckes Joe Crede Jersey told reporters.

"We were really motivated and focused on the game we really wanted to go to Berlin. I think it was a footballing demonstration for a long time. My team is very experienced and clever, they are always capable of scoring a goal.

"We have done a great job, we were the Ervin Santana Jersey dominant team, although Sven Ulreich saved us a couple of times."

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