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Ajax appoint Marcel Keizer as new coach



The 48-year-old coached Jong Ajax to second place in the Eerste Divisie and has been trusted to lead the Europa League finalists next season

Marcel Keizer has been named Ajax’s new coach, replacing Peter Bosz following his move to Borussia Dortmund.

Keizer, 48, was trusted with Jong Ajax, the reserve team, last season and guided them to the runner-up spot in Dutch football’s second tier.

Following Bosz’s move to Dortmund shortly after leading Ajax to the Europa League final in his year in charge, Keizer has been trusted with the first-team.

The former Cambuur coach signed a two-year deal with the Amsterdam side with an option for a third.

« The conversations we had were really positive and I also feel trust from the club, » Keizer told Ajax’s official website.

« I was setting out to lead Jong Ajax to another good season in the Jupiler League, but in football things can suddenly change. This is obviously a very good opportunity that I will grab with both hands. »

Edwin van der Sar, the club’s CEO, says they are confident they have the right candidate.

« From the moment it seemed we would have to look for a new coach, Keizer was the choice of the technical heart of the club

« He knows the players, the organisation and supports the philosophy of the club. Moreover, he showed last season with a clear style of play and performed excellently. »

A product of Ajax’s youth system, Keizer was a team-mate of current Ajax assistant coach Dennis Bergkamp among many other national stars, but played just four games.

As well as being a Cambuur player, technical director and coach, he also had spells in charge of Telstar and Emmen before returning to Amsterdam.


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Sampdoria shock Juve in five-goal thriller




Sampdoria ran riot as Serie A champions Juventus lost their both their cool and ground on leaders Napoli in the Italian title race on Sunday suffering a 3-2 setback in Genoa.

Colombian striker Duvan Zapata, Uruguayan Lucas Torreira and Italian defender Gian Marco Ferrari all found the net in the second half as Sampdoria maintained their perfect home record in Genoa this season.

Juventus got two goals back in injury time with Gonzalo Higuain scoring from the spot and substitute Paulo Dybala grabbing a second just before the final whistle.

But it was too late as Juventus fell four points behind leaders Napoli — 2-0 winners over AC Milan on Saturday.

« This was an unexpected slap in the face that really made us lose our cool, » said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

« We should have been patient, even if things weren’t going our way. It’s a long game, you have to stay calm. »

Napoli have 35 points from 13 games, with Juventus on 31 and Roma third on 30 with a game in hand, after beating Lazio in a pulsating Rome derby on Saturday.

Inter Milan can move second ahead of Juventus later Sunday when they host Atalanta.

Allegri took a risk as he rested Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Barzagli after Italy’s World Cup play-off defeat with Dybala starting on the bench against a Sampdoria side who have made their home ground a fortress this season.

Sampdoria kept Juventus reined in in the first half with Zapata breaking the deadlock when he headed in after 52 minutes with Torreira firing in the second on 71 minutes and Ferrari a third eight minutes later.

Juventus were awarded a penalty after Ivan Strinic fouled Douglas Costa in the box with Higuain getting the visitors first after 91 minutes, with Dybala added the second in the final action of the game.

Juventus conceded just their second defeat of the season after Lazio, in a blow for Allegri’s side as they prepare to face Barcelona in Champions League next Wednesday.

Earlier Luca Rigoni’s first half goal got new Genoa boss Davide Ballardini off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory at Crotone.

Promoted Benevento suffered their 13th defeat in as many games, falling 2-1 to Sassuolo, as Fiorentina were held 1-1 by SPAL.

Lorenzo Insigne washed away his World Cup woes by starring in Napoli’s 2-1 victory over a struggling but spirited AC Milan on Saturday.

The 26-year-old’s goal in the 33rd minute was given thanks to referee Daniele Doveri consulting the video assistant referee.

Insigne also drew a fine save from Gianluigi Donnarumma on the stroke of half-time and laid on Dries Mertens for a simple chance that the Belgian fired right at the Milan stopper.

Substitute Piotr Zielinski sealed the three points with 17 minutes left.

Milan coach Vincenzo Montella remains under pressure despite a strong second-half performance as his side stay seventh on just 19 points, 11 points away from the Champions League placings, after their sixth defeat in 13 games.

Roma beat Lazio in a pulsating Rome derby thanks to goals from Diego Perotti and Radja Nainggolan.

Ciro Immobile pulled one back from the spot with 18 minutes left after Kostas Manolas’ handball was spotted by the VAR, but Roma held out for a huge win over their local rivals.

For Perotti, his 49th-minute penalty and an assist for Nainggolan’s drilled strike was the continuation of a « rebirth » that saw him called up for Argentina for the first time in six years earlier in the month.


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Feyenoord fans’ touching tribute to Brad Jones’ deceased son




Staggering scenes at De Kuip stadium in the early stages of Feyenoord’s 1-1 draw with VVV Venlo, as the home fans paid tribute to Brad Jones’ son, who passed away six years ago on Saturday, in spectacular fashion.

The home crowd lit up the inside of the stadium with their mobile phones and lighters, followed by a rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ for former Liverpool keeper Brad Jones.

The Australian lost his five-year-old son Luca six years ago after a battle with leukaemia and the Dutch fans honoured his memory with a touching tribute.

Jones and his wife Dani are vocal supporters of the Anthony Nolan organisation which finds blood stem cell and bone marrow donors for those who are suffering from blood cancers.


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Nainggolan blasts ‘stupid’ claims




Radja Nainggolan returned to score in Saturday’s Rome derby, but he insists the injury that kept him out of action for Belgium was genuine.

Radja Nainggolan has responded angrily to reports that he faked an injury in order to miss Belgium’s friendly double-header against Mexico and Japan.

The Roma midfielder pulled out of the squad with a groin injury after returning to the fold, having previously been overlooked by coach Roberto Martinez.

Some reports in Belgium suggested Nainggolan feigned the ailment to excuse his absence ahead of his scoring return in the Rome derby, but the frustrated 29-year-old responded by pointing out that he would be better served battling for a World Cup place, insisting the claims were not true.

« I read things that are not true, that I faked an injury so I wouldn’t have to play for Belgium, » Nainggolan wrote on Twitter.

« Why don’t you contact the doctors to check my record? You would see I had a tear. The Belgium commentary is rubbish sometimes. I was just injured.

« This week I also didn’t train because there was a risk. These are such stupid articles I read.

« A player who was absent for the last squad is eager to prove himself for the World Cup, right? What is going on? »

After sitting out of the international break, Nainggolan struck a brilliant winner for Roma against Lazio on Saturday.


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