Coleman questions Ramsey injury

Chris Coleman has stopped short of blaming Arsene Wenger for the injury to Aaron Ramsey but is nevertheless disappointed not to have the use of the Arsenal midfielder for Wales' upcoming World Cup qualifier.

Wales have been placed in Group D alongside Austria, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Moldova and Georgia, and get their qualification process underway against the Moldovans in Cardiff on September 5th 2016.

Ramsey is now set to miss the tie after being ruled out with a hamstring injury that he picked up in the 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on the opening day of the Premier League season.

The combative midfielder was expected to be rested alongside teammates Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny, who like Ramsey, featured prominently at the European Championships in France. However, unlike the others, he played the match, picked up an injury and is now expected to be sidelined for at least a month.

An annoyed Coleman told reporters: "I think we all expected Aaron to (miss the start of the season), so I don't know what happened between then and when he ended up on the pitch.

"Obviously only Arsenal can answer that. I think, to a man, if you were looking at that (team-sheet), it was a bit of a surprise he started. I think Aaron said himself that he wasn't expecting to.

"If you look at his physical stats, they are higher than anybody on the pitch in terms of his high-intensity sprints and the kilometres he covers. But he's still a human being, and it's not like we were knocked out in the group stage.

"It was a long tournament for Aaron, after a long, hard season. So I don't know why he was treated differently."

He added: "I think Arsenal have a certain way of doing things. A lot has been said about their injury list, they're doing the same things now as what they've always done - they're not going to change now.

"That's up to them, Aaron is Arsenal's player. But I've got to say that I'm disappointed because we've lost a great player - and I think anyone would understand that disappointment."

Ndoro: Ertugral is the best

Orlando Pirates striker Tendai Ndoro says his strong start to the season is down to the influence of new head coach Mushin Ertugral.

Ndoro bagged a hattrick in the Buccaneers opening game of the new Premiership campaign as they downed Golden Arrows 3-1 at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The last of his goals was particularly pleasing on the eye as an intricate passing move on the edge of the area was finished off with the finesse of a world class forward.

"If you have a great coach like Mr Ertugral, what do you expect? You must play the way he wants because he has been in football a long time," he said after the game. "He is the best. He's a great man.

"He always says if I listen to him I will do well in the game. This is for him. I'd like to say welcome to the club coach with three points."

Dante defends Nice move

Brazilian defender Dante is adamant he has not taken a step backwards in his career by moving from Bundesliga club Wolfsburg to Ligue 1 outfit Nice.

Dante spent almost eight seasons in Germany during stints with Gladbach, Bayern Munich and the Wolves, winning just about every trophy available including the Champions League.

Earlier this week, he secure a move to France after signing a three-year contract with Nice, with some claiming he has taken a step backwards.

However, the player himself could not disagree more, citing the fact that the Eagles are playing European competition this season in the form of the Europa League, while Wolfsburg do not after only finishing eighth in the Bundesliga last term.

"The club is growing, I know the coach [Lucien Favre], and we can see that there are good young players here," said the defender.

"Nice are playing in the Europa League this season - Wolfsburg are not. I don't like to stay in my comfort zone."

The arrival of Dante has been lauded by Nice chairman Jean-Pierre Rivere, who believes he will bring experience and balance to the club after they received criticism for buying too many young players last season.

"We were criticized for signing a lot of young players," he said. "Having Dante allows a balance.

"Recruiting a player such as Dante is actually a sign that the club is moving forward."

Bracewell hails Januzaj impact

Sunderland assistant boss Paul Bracewell praised Adnan Januzaj for his match-winning League Cup goal while also confirming the arrival of Javier Manquillo at the club.

Januzaj netted in the 83rd minute of their League Cup clash against Shrewsbury Town at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday night to hand his side a third round tie with Queens Park Rangers in mid-September.

Speaking after the match, Bracewell told the club's official website, it wasn't an easy night but they came through thanks to a great goal from their new signing.

He said: "It was a fantastic goal - we just watched it again in the dressing room - and Adnan took it really well turning quickly before hitting it.

"It was a tough night with a lot of young players but we saw it through with a great goal to wrap up a good result."

He added: "Jordan Pickford also came in and did well keeping a clean sheet - he made a great save at 0-0 - so there were some positives tonight.

"It's nice to get our first win of the season and the games come thick and fast so we will recover and look forward to the weekend.

"We have a few knocks we need to assess and Vito had an x-ray and there was nothing on that, so we're just waiting for the results of a scan and we will keep our fingers crossed.

"Javier Manquillo flew in this afternoon and he's having his medical as we speak, so fingers crossed we can get that one over the line."

Hart enjoys special City night

Joe Hart enjoyed a special night as he made his first start for Manchester City under Pep Guardiola in the 1-0 Champions League victory over Steaua Bucharest on Wednesday night.

The result saw City progress to the group stage of the famous competition with a 6-0 aggregate win, with only Fabian Delph adding to last week's rout as he headed home a pin-point Jesus Navas cross on 56 minutes.

Hart was one of eight changes made by Guardiola for the tie with fans signing and chanting his name throughout the match.

Yaya Toure also recalled to the side as 19-year-old Spanish right-back Pablo Maffeo also started.

Speaking to the club's official website after the tie, an emotional Hart revealed he was moved by the reception from fans.

He said: "That was a really special night for me.

"I've had a lot of good nights in football but that was a really nice night for me. I'm really happy that Fabian scored and he's won us a game in the Champions League.

"This is a special place for me and it's a place I love to be. Situations occur in football and we're men, we get on with it. I really appreciate the people of Manchester City and it turns out they appreciate me. Tonight I played for Manchester City and I enjoyed every moment of it."

Hart also reserved praise for his new manager despite facing an uncertain future at the club.

He added: "We've got a top manager that the club has wanted for a long time and he's going to have his opinion on things."

Delph, meanwhile, is looking forward to seeing who City are paired with in the draw that takes place on Thursday at 17:00 BST.

He said: "We went in to the game as though we needed to win. It was 5-0 in the first leg but they sat behind the ball and made it difficult and tried to counter on our mistakes. We changed it at half-time and we managed to get the goal and see it through.

"We've got a great team and a great squad as tonight as shown with the number of changes we made. I'll be watching the draw on Thursday and feeling pretty comfortable with whoever we've got."

UEFA Champions League line-up confirmed

The 32 teams who will do battle in the group stage of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League have been confirmed following the conclusion of the qualifying rounds.

Mancester City, VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, Rostov, Dinamo Zagreb, and FC Copenhagen were the last team's to book their spot in Europe's premier club competition ahead of Thursday's draw.

The champions from the seven top-ranked leagues as well as defending champions Real Madrid are grouped in Pot 1 for the draw, with last season's finalists Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Europa League winners Sevilla among those joining Premier League giants Manchester City and Arsenal in Pot 2.

Pot 1 

Real Madrid (ESP)
Barcelona (ESP)
Leicester City (ENG)
Bayern Munich (GER)
Juventus (ITA)
Benfica (POR)
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
CSKA Moscow (RUS)

Pot 2

Atletico Madrid (ESP)
Borussia Dortmund (GER)
Arsenal (ENG)
Manchester City (ENG)
Sevilla (ESP)
FC Porto (POR)
Napoli (ITA)
Bayer Leverkusen 04 (GER)

Pot 3

Basel (SUI)
Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)
Dynamo Kiev (UKR)
Lyon (FRA)
PSV Eindhoven (NED)
Sporting Lisbon (POR)
Club Brugge (BEL)
VfL Borussia Moenchengladbach (GER)

Pot 4

Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)
Celtic (SCO)
Monaco (FRA)
Besiktas (TUR)
Legia Warsaw (POL)
Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL)
FC Copenhagen (DEN)
Rostov (RUS)

The group stages of the Champions League get underway on September 13.

EFL Cup third round draw

Holders Manchester City have been paired with Premier League rivals Swansea City in the third round of the EFL Cup, while Leicester City have been drawn at home to Chelsea.

In the tie of the round, Claudio Ranieri will pit his side against the compatriot Antonio Conte's Chelsea at the King Power Stadium, while Northampton Town play host to Jose Mourinho's Manchester United.

Last season's losing finalists, Liverpool, travel to Championship side Derby County, Southampton take on Crystal Palace at St Mary's Stadium and West Ham entertain Accrington Stanley.

Ties to be played the week commencing 19 September.

EFL Cup third round draw in full:

QPR v Sunderland

West Ham v Accrington Stanley

Southampton v Crystal Palace

Swansea City v Manchester City

Fulham v Bristol City

Bournemouth v Preston North End

Tottenham v Gillingham

Everton v Norwich City

Derby County v Liverpool

Northampton v Manchester United

Brighton v Reading

Newcastle United v Wolves

Stoke City v Hull City

Leicester City v Chelsea

Wednesday's EFL Cup round-up

Adnan Januzaj's first goal for Sunderland gave David Moyes his first victory in an official fixture as the Black Cats beat League One Shrewsbury Town 1-0 in the English Football League Cup second round.

It was a turgid cup-tie in front of a sparse crowd at the Stadium of Light and a win was imperative for Moyes. The 21-year-old Januzaj blasted a right-footed strike past Jayson Leutwiler in the 83rd minute to seal the victory.

Meanwhile, Matty Pearson's winner in the last minute of extra time ensured Accrington Stanley pulled off an EFL Cup surprise in their meeting with neighbours Burnley.

It was the third time the Clarets have fallen at the first hurdle for the third successive season in a disappointing night for Sean Dyche. Pearson pounced at the tail-end of a drab affair to turn home the ball after a scramble in the box.

Another Premier League outfit had better fortunes - Bournemouth recorded their first win of the campaign as Marc Wilson's fine strike saw them overcome League Two high-flyers Morecambe 2-1 at the Globe Arena.

Republic of Ireland defender Wilson fired in a scorcher from distance in the 54th minute. That was after Morecambe had wiped out Max Gradel's eighth-minute opener through Cole Stockton.

In the last game of the round on Wednesday, Premier League newboys Middlesbrough were stunned by Fulham at Craven Cottage. Lasse christensen struck the winner in extra-time as Fulham ran out 2-1 victors in London.

Wednesday's results in full:

Sunderland 1-0 Shrewsbury 

Accrington Stanley 1-0 Burnley

Morecambe 1-2 Bournemouth 

Fulham 2-1 Middlesbrough

City sweating over Iheanacho injury

There are some injury concerns for highly-rated Nigeria striker Kelechi Iheanacho, after he pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring strain during Manchester City's 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola's men won the tie 1-0 on Wednesday to advance to the group stages of the competition courtesy of a 6-0 aggregate victory. Fabian Delph struck the goal to seal what was an easy victory over the side from Romania.

However, there is concern about how long Iheanacho might be ruled out for after he pulled up in the 74th minute with an apparent
hamstring problem.

City's official Twitter feed commented on the incident just after it happened, saying, "Concern for Kelechi who has pulled up chasing a ball through. City medical staff on the scene..."

It could be something of a setback for the 19-year-old as he appears to be thought of very highly by Guardiola. The Spanish coach went so far as to start the forward against Steaua.

Nonetheless, while the length of time he could potentially face on the sidelines hasn't as yet been made clear - the Super Eagles striker could now be a doubt for Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania on 2 September.

Wednesday's Champions League round-up

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart started in what could turn out to be his last appearance for Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday, while Ajax Amsterdam slumped to a surprising defeat at the hands of Rostov.

At the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, Copenhagen rallied from behind to secure a 1-1 draw with APOEL, securing a 2-1 aggregate win and a place in draw for the Champions League group stages.

Pieros Soteriou fired APOEL ahead in the 69th minute, before Federico Santander slotted home in the 86th minute to send the visiting support into wild celebrations.

Dinamo Zagreb mounted a rousing second-half comeback to record a 2-1 victory at Red Bull Salzburg, having been held to a 1-1 draw on home soil in the first leg.

Valentino Lazaro put the hosts in front and they managed to hold onto their slender advantage heading into the half-time break. However, the match was turned on its head after the break, as Junior Hernandes equalised on 87 minutes, before El Arbi Soudani scored in the fifth minute of extra-time to secure a dramatic aggregate victory for Zlatko Kranjcar's men.

Manchester City, meanwhile, clinched a 1-0 victory over Steaua Bucharest at the Etihad, Fabian Delph's second-half header proving the difference on the night. As a result, the Citizens progress to the group stage of the Champions League with a 6-0 aggregate win.

Ajax Amsterdam were left to rue a bitterly disappointing performance as they were knocked out of the Champions League after slumping to a heavy defeat against 10-man Rostov at the Olimp - 2 stadium.

Goals from Sardar Azmoun (34'), Alexandr Erokhin (52'), Christian Noboa (60') and Dmitriy Poloz (66') put the Russians in a commanding position, before Fyodor Kudryashov saw red in the 83rd minute following a foul on Kasper Dolberg. Davy Klaassen converted the resulting penalty, but it was nothing more than a consolation as Rostov eased to a 5-2 aggregate win.

Borussia Mönchengladbach showed a ruthless touch in front of goal, meanwhile, as they romped to a 6-1 victory over Young Boys of Switzerland at Borussia-Park.

Thorgan Hazard and Raffael bagged a hat-trick apiece, with Yoric Ravet netting a late consolation for the visitors. The result sees the German outfit progress 9-2 on aggregate.

Wednesday's Champions League results in full:

APOEL 1-1 Copenhagen

Salzburg 1-2 Dinamo Zagreb (AET)

Manchester City 1-0 Steaua Bucharest

Rostov 4-1 Ajax

Borussia M'gladbach 6-1 Young Boys