Real reach Super Cup final with Saudi Clasico win

Player ratings

Barcelona: Ter Stegen (6), Alves (6), Araujo (6), Pique (6), Alba (6), F. De Jong (5), Busquets (7), Gavi (7), Dembele (7), L. de Jong (7), Torres (5).

Subs: Pedri (7), Depay (5), Fati (7), Nico (6), Jutgla (5), Abde (6).

Real Madrid: Courtois (6), Carvajal (6), Militao (5), Nacho (6), Mendy (6), Modric (6), Casemiro (6), Kroos (6), Asensio (6), Benzema (7), Vinicius (8).

Subs: Valverde (7), Vazquez (5), Rodrygo (5), Camavinga (5).

Man of the Match: Vinicius Junior.

Aston Villa confirm Coutinho loan deal

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona until the end of the season.

Coutinho completed a medical at Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground on Tuesday and received a work permit.

The deal to bring him to Villa Park also includes an option to make the deal permanent for £33m in the summer.

Sky Sports News has been told Villa are paying less than 50 per cent of Coutinho’s weekly wage plus bonuses.

The Brazilian agreed to take a pay cut to join Villa despite other clubs offering deals that would have seen him earn 100 per cent of his Barca wage.

Coutinho wanted to return to England and play regular football and sees Villa as an ambitious club that are building something special for the future.

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Coutinho’s best Premier League moments

The Brazil midfielder knows manager Steven Gerrard well having spent two-and-a-half years with him at Liverpool, and is said to already know a lot about Villa and their squad.

One source told Sky Sports News Coutinho would have been open to return to Liverpool this month but the Merseyside club were not pursuing a move for him in January.

Coutinho was signed by Barcelona from Liverpool for a club-record £146m in January 2018, but he struggled to hold down a first-team place at the Nou Camp and spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Bayern Munich.

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Rewind to 2017 when Coutinho named Steven Gerrard in his dream 5-a-side team and rated him as the best midfielder he has ever played with

Villa are also interested in Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma as he enters the final 18 months of his contract but Seagulls boss Graham Potter revealed there has been no contact from other clubs for the Mali midfielder.

Meanwhile, Villa striker Wesley has joined Brazilian side Internacional on loan for the rest of the season.

Analysis: Coutinho could fill Grealish void

Jack Grealish once commented Philippe Coutinho was one of his favourite players to watch on YouTube. “He always has that one, you know, where he goes left and drops like a little shimmy, which is what I like doing myself.” Now the journey has come full circle.

While Grealish perfected his art enough to earn a £100m move to Manchester City, Coutinho returns to the Premier League to replace him at Aston Villa. If the Brazilian can repeat the form that took him from Liverpool to Barcelona it will be an ideal signing.

There are similarities between the two players. Grealish praised Coutinho’s ability to “go past players like they aren’t there” and that is what Villa so loved about their former captain. They have missed having that player who can make things happen this season.

Is the Coutinho idolised by Grealish still there? At 29, there is time to recapture his best form under old team-mate Steven Gerrard, but his career has drifted at Barcelona. If, like Grealish, Coutinho is inspired by being the main man at Villa Park, there is fun to be had.

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move in January?

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Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Euro round-up: Dortmund reignite title bid, Barca held

Borussia Dortmund fought back from two goals down after a lacklustre start to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-2 and return some excitement to the Bundesliga title race.

Mahmoud Dahoud’s 89th-minute winner, after Jude Bellingham had equalised in the 86th, moved Dortmund six points behind Bayern Munich a day after the leaders’ 2-1 home defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach.

A fired-up Erling Haaland was a factor in all three goals for Dortmund, who might easily have been four goals down in Frankfurt.

Colombian forward Rafael Borre opened the scoring with a simple finish from Filip Kostic’s free kick in the 15th minute, then doubled the lead 10 minutes later after more lax defending.

Evan Ndicka struck the post for Frankfurt before Dahoud gifted Jesper Lindstrom another huge opportunity with half-time approaching, but the midfielder shot wide.

Haaland and Julian Brandt offered some hope for the visitors with attempts around the hour mark, and Thorgan Hazard pulled a goal back soon after when Haaland sent him through.

The Norwegian was involved before Thomas Meunier set up Jude Bellingham for the equaliser, and again before Dahoud curled in the late winner.

Elsewhere, Freiburg and Bayer Leverkusen dropped points after leading.

Patrik Schick’s 17th goal of the season wasn’t enough for Leverkusen, who were fortunate to emerge with a 2-2 draw against Union Berlin as the visitors twice hit the post late on.

Schick rewarded the home team’s early dominance with the opener five minutes before half-time – his ninth goal in five Bundesliga games.

Patrik Shick is enjoying the best goalscoring season of his career
Patrik Shick is enjoying the best goalscoring season of his career

However, the visitors levelled before the break. Lukas Hradecky pulled off two fine saves in quick succession to deny Christoph Trimmel then Kevin Behrens, but was powerless to stop Grischa Promel scoring at the third attempt.

Union coach Urs Fischer made two changes at the break and Promel scored again four minutes into the second half. Andreas Luthe thrice denied Leverkusen a response.

Union’s Max Kruse struck the top corner of the post 12 minutes from time, then Jonathan Tah finally levelled in the 84th with a header from Karim Bellarabi’s cross.

Union came closer to a late winner, with Andreas Voglsammer hitting the post, then missed another chance in injury time as Bastian Oczipka struck the upright again.

Freiburg, who spent the league’s winter break in third place, drew against relegation-threatened Arminia Bielefeld 2-2 despite taking a two-goal lead through Janik Haberer and Jeong Woo-yeong.

RB Leipzig overcame a number of coronavirus infections to beat 10-man Mainz 4-1.

Elsewhere, Stuttgart drew against bottom side Greuther Furth 0-0, while Augsburg were beaten 3-1 at Hoffenheim.

La Liga: Granada provide more Barca frustration

Ten-man Barcelona conceded a late goal to draw at Granada 1-1 after Dani Alves set up the opener in his first league match since returning to the club.

The 38-year-old curled in a long ball for Luuk de Jong to steer home a header in the 57th minute.

But Granada poured forward after teenager Gavi Paez was given a second booking with 10 minutes left. Antonio Puertas scored the 89th-minute equaliser with Barcelona hemmed in their own box.

Despite falling to Antonio Puertas' late equaliser, Barcelona's unbeaten La Liga run stretched to five games
Despite falling to Antonio Puertas’ late equaliser, Barcelona’s unbeaten La Liga run stretched to five games

Alves, who helped Barcelona win 23 trophies from 2008-16, started his second stint on Wednesday as third-tier side Linares were beaten 2-1 in the Copa del Rey.

De Jong’s goal was a second in as many league games for the Dutch striker who has been linked with a possible transfer this month, but failing to win left Barca in sixth place, having missed the chance to climb into third and the Champions League spots.

Barcelona next head to Saudi Arabia to play a Clasico against Real Madrid on Wednesday in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup. Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao play in the other semi.

It took Levante 20 matches to finally register a first win of the season, Roberto Soldado and Jose Morales scoring in a 2-0 win over Mallorca.

The only previous win in any competition for the Valencia-based side came against a lower-division opponent in the Copa del Rey, before they were eliminated in the next round by a third-tier Alcoyano.

Mikel Oyarzabal scored his 12th goal in all competitions to help Real Sociedad beat Celta Vigo 1-0, ending a six-round winless streak and moving the San Sebastian side back to fourth.

Barca reject salary claims about Pique, Alba, Busquets

Barcelona have rejected an “erroneous” report that revealed the salaries of Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique.

Catalan television presenter Lluis Canut said on TV3 Pique is the club’s top earner with yearly earnings of €30m (£25m), while Alba is on €23m (£19m) and Busquets on €20m (£16.7m).

The trio all took wage cuts at the start of the season to help Barca deal with their financial difficulties but Canut claimed these were deferrals and not reductions.

On Friday, Pique published a screenshot of his online banking on social media, appearing to claim that 50 per cent of his annual earnings amount to €2.3m (£1.9m).

Alongside the screenshot, he tweeted: “People like this are paid by public television to defend their friends. Here you have 50% of my salary as of 30 December. Respect yourself a little.”

Sergio Busquets
Barca said the claims about Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Pique are incorrect

Barcelona condemned the comments from Canut as “improper” and “unprofessional” and said the three players did indeed waive a portion of their salaries before the start of the season.

The club said in a statement: “In relation to the statements made by Mr. Lluís Canut yesterday on the TV3 programme ‘Onze’, FC Barcelona wishes to clarify the following:

“The information on the salaries of certain first team players has not, in any case, been provided by the club and its origin is unknown.

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European football journalist Andy Brassell says Barcelona’s signing of Philippe Coutinho for £146m in January 2018, has been ‘the most disastrous’ in the club’s history

“In any case, the amounts referred to in the information are erroneous, do not correspond to reality and, furthermore, in the case of the first three players referred to, it gives fixed amounts which, being variable, will possibly never be merited.

“It is false that the players mentioned have only deferred 100% of their salary. Mr. Piqué, Mr. Busquets and Mr. Alba waived part of their salary when they signed their last contract renewal last summer.

“We consider it improper, unprofessional and acting in bad faith when this information is offered as true and truthful and regret that information of this type is provided which affects the personal rights of the players and which deserves, when true, the highest confidentiality.”

Meanwhile, Philippe Coutinho has gone on loan to Aston Villa for the remainder of the season as Barca look to trim their wage bill.

Ferran Torres has joined Barca for £46.3m but the club are currently unable to register the Spain forward because of their La Liga-imposed spending cap.

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Erling Haaland has been in incredible form for Borussia Dortmund; check out some of his best goals from this season

Erling Haaland getting even better – Barcelona next?

Speculation around Erling Haaland’s future is intensifying with Barcelona now said to be front-runners for his signature but how has the Borussia Dortmund striker been performing this season? And how could Barcelona afford him?

Haaland has been linked with a host of top European clubs in recent years, including Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United, but reports in Spain say his agent, Mino Raiola, has informed Barcelona president Joan Laporta of the 21-year-old’s desire to make the Catalan giants his next club.

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Spanish football journalist Alvaro Montero provides an update on Barca’s interest in Erling Haaland and explains how the club could afford such a player

Dortmund maintain he is going nowhere in January but even he does stay beyond the end of the month, Raiola has already said publicly there is a “big chance” he will move in the summer, when a £64m release clause in his contract reportedly comes into effect.

With 76 goals in 74 appearances for Dortmund since his move from Red Bull Salzburg in December 2019, it’s little wonder Haaland is in demand.