Champions League round-up

Celtic take a commanding lead into their Champions League Play-off second leg-tie after beating Astana 5-0 as Napoli picked up a 2-0 victory at home to Nice.

Evgeny Postnikov put the ball in his own net on 32 minutes at Celtic Park ahead of a brace from Scott Sinclair (42, 60). James Forrest scored on 79 minutes ahead of an unfortunate second own-goal of the night, this time from Igor Shitov to round off a one-sided performance.

The result means Celtic stand a great chance of progressing to the Group Stage when the two sides kick heels again on August 22.

Dries Mertens got an intriguing clash underway at Stadio San Paolo with his early goal, on 13 minutes before a 70 minute Jorginho penalty.

Nice's task of getting back in the tie was made tricky by the red card to Vincent Koziello on 79 minutes, and impossible when Allasane Plea followed him with two yellows.

Istanbul Basaksehir, meanwhile, were unlucky to lose 2-1 to Sevilla having levelled on 64 minutes through Eljero Elia, following Sergio Escudero's opener on 16 minutes as Wissam Ben Yedder settled the tie with just six minutes to play.

All the results in full:

Olympiakos Piraeus 2-1 Pijeka

Celtic 5-0 Astana

Hapoel Be'er Sheva 2-1 Maribor

Istanbul Basaksehir 1-2 Sevilla

Napoli 1-0 Nice

Behrami makes Udinese switch

Seasoned Swiss international Valon Behrami has signed a two-year contract with Serie A side Udinese.

The 32-year-old midfielder, who joined the Hornets from Hamburg in 2015, has departed for an undisclosed fee, after 49 appearances in all competitions during his two seasons in England.

Udinese director general Franco Collavino revealed his delight at signing the former Lazio, West Ham, Fiorentina and Napoli man.

He said: "We closed the deal very quickly.

"Udinese wanted a player with these characteristics and with this experience in our league, Serie A, where Behrami wanted to go back to test himself.

"This is an important purchase for technical expertise, an investment for this season and the project we are pursuing."

A statement from Watford read: "Watford FC thanks Valon for his efforts at the club and wishes him well for the future."

Sigurdsson hungry to get stuck in with Toffees

Gylfi Sigurdsson says he hopes to score many goals for Everton after completing his switch from Swansea on Wednesday.

The 27-year midfielder has signed a £45m five-year deal with the Swans, after passing his medical at the club.

The Iceland international is Ronald Koeman's eighth new signing, and may well prove to be an astute addition after being one of the Premier League's top performers over the past few seasons, according to his new manager.

Sigurdsson told the club's website, he hopes to help the Toffees win as many games as possible.

He said: "Hopefully I will continue to create goals and score goals for the team and contribute to the kind of success we’re seeking at the Club.

“This is an ambitious club and it is clear we are moving in a really good direction. The most important thing is that this team keeps winning games and climbing the table - and does that throughout the season."

Sigurdsson added his admiration for his new manager when he said: "He was a great player, one of the top players of his time. 

"Now he is a really good manager and his vision for Everton is clear. He has built up a really good squad here, with strong players, both young and experienced."

And Koeman explained why he rated the player so highly, saying: "In my opinion, in his position he is one of the best in the Premier League. We have the player here and that’s really good for the team.”

Ronaldo's five-match ban appeal rejected

Cristiano Ronaldo's appeal against his five-match ban for pushing a referee has been rejected by the Royal Spanish Football Federation.

Real Madrid made the appeal to the RFAF who decided to stand by their sanction against the Portuguese striker.

Ronaldo had come on as a substitute in the Spanish Super Cup first leg 3-1 victory over Barcelona on Sunday, and after scoring a superb goal to restore Real's lead, he was yellow carded for removing his shirt. 

But after being shown a second yellow for what the referee deemed to be diving just two minutes later, in his frustration, Ronaldo was seen to shove Ricardo De Burgos in the back.

In addition to his suspension, Ronaldo was fined €3850 and Real Madrid were ordered to pay a total of €1750.

Ronaldo will naturally not take part in Wednesday's return leg, but Luka Modric returns to the side having missed the last match.

Lebese explains Sundowns ambitions

Former Kaizer Chiefs winger George Lebese has explained it was a tough decision to leave his old club for Mamelodi Sundowns, saying he did so for 'change and growth'.

The player left Amakhosi after nine years of service to pursue new opportunities to extend himself at the highest level of the sport in the Premiership.

Lebese made his debut in a 1-0 defeat for the Brazilians in an MTN8 quarter-final game against Maritzburg United, in which the prolific Evans Rusike grabbed the winning strike.

He said on his official Instagram page, "With great honour and excitement I'd like to officially announce Sundowns as my new family.

"It gives me great pleasure to represent a team that originated from the same township I started my hustle in, Mamelodi.

"Big decisions are the toughest to make when you in this profession, because it's not just about you. Change and growth is inevitable. Excited and blessed to make history on home grounds."

Liverpool agree loan move for Ojo

Liverpool have sent young attacking prospect Sheyi Ojo on loan to Championship side Fulham.

The 20-year-old former MK Dons youth team player arrived at Anfield in 2015 and has spent two season on loan already, with Wigan Athletic and Wolves.

An England under 20 international, who was part of the national side that won the Under-20 World Cup, Ojo is expected to enjoy a bright career with Liverpool, and has been sent to the Cottagers to continue his education.

He told Fulham's official website: "Fulham's a massive club and they're definitely not a team that should be in the Championship.

"So my main aim will definitely be to come in and help get us back in the Premier League."

Club Chairman Tony Khan added: "I'm delighted to welcome Sheyi Ojo to the Fulham Football Club. I've had the pleasure of spending time with Sheyi and his family, and I've seen first-hand what a tremendous work ethic Sheyi has both on and off the pitch.

"He possesses fantastic physical talents and also carries himself with poise and class, and I know that he's going to be a great addition to our squad."

All-in-all Ojo has played 13 times for Liverpool, scoring once.

Pulisic happy at Dortmund amidst Liverpool links

Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic has stated that he is enjoying his football at the Bundesliga club and doesn't have any plans to move on.

Liverpool are reportedly interested in bringing the 18-year-old to Anfield this transfer window, but he remains focused on the job at hand.

The American was also a reported target of Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich in July, but also stated then that he is committed to the BVB, where he played his first full season in 2016/17 and made 29 league appearances.

"I am very happy in Dortmund," he told Sport Bild. "I have read about it [Liverpool interest], but what can I say about it? I am fully focused on the start of the new season.

"I want to be very clear, I am not thinking about a transfer. I only signed a new deal until 2020 at the start of the year.

"I established myself at a European top club in Dortmund last season, which was always my dream when I was a little kid."

Barca could sue over Paulinho allegations

Barcelona have threatened legal action over reports stating that president Josep Maria Bartomeu will benefit from the transfer of Paulinho.

The 29-year-old Brazilian former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder joined the Primera Division club from Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao for €40million.

He has agreed a four-year deal and will be officially presented to his new fans on Thursday.

But ahead of his unveiling, Barca have released a statement condemning allegations that Bartomeu's company had some illicit involvement in the move.

A statement from Barcelona read: "This morning FC Barcelona have requested a retraction [from] the authors of the article, as well as the media outlet that published the story, in which the president of the club, Josep Maria Bartomeu, is accused of having signed the player Paulinho

"Given the false nature of this news story and the fact that it implies an illegal activity has taken place, if a retraction is not forthcoming both the club and the president as an individual will take the corresponding legal steps.

"These steps will include a specific request for damages incurred with regards to the image of the club.

"FC Barcelona will not tolerate false information to be published which may damage the club or those who form part of said club and it calls for professional responsibility from those who have made use of the story without corroborating the information published."

Koeman: Sigurdsson has completed his medical

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has revealed that Gylfi Sigurdsson is close to making the switch from Swansea City after completing his medical.

The Toffees concluded their chase for the Iceland international this week after agreeing to pay £45m to bring him to Goodison Park.

"The latest is that he had his medical this morning," said Koeman, according to Sky Sports. "What I heard from the doctor was no problem.

"I don't know if still he needs to sign but I saw him in the Blue!

"I will talk to Gylfi this afternoon. He will not be involved tomorrow. Maybe for Monday (against Manchester City live on Sky Sports Premier League). Let's wait and see how the fitness is.

"We worked a long time to get this deal in and he was one of the key players to bring in. We knew would lose [Romelu] Lukaku for this season and we need players who bring productivity to the team.

"He is the type of player with a lot of productivity. In my opinion he is one of the best in the Premier League."

Sahin praises BVB spirit after 2016/17's bomb attack

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin has praised the spirit of the club in how everyone responded with a show of strength after last season's bomb attack on the team bus.

The 28-year-old was a part of the squad when the club's bus was hit by a roadside bomb in April this year, ahead of BVB's first leg UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Monaco.

Defender Marc Batra was injured in the attack after shards of broken glass from shattered windows in the blast damaged his wrist, although he has since made a full recovery.

Writing in the Player's Tribune, the Turkey international said, "I had no idea what was going on. I just sort of froze I guess. But my mind was racing. In the span of maybe two seconds, I thought of my entire life.

"I thought of dying, but I thought of living, too. And then I thought of my family. I saw my five-year-old son, my one-year-old daughter and my wife. I could feel them there with me.

"And then I snapped out of it and I realized where I was. I turned around and saw my teammate Marc Bartra. His arm was bleeding, badly, and I looked up and saw his eyes. I'll never forget his eyes. They were dark and terrified.

"I saw other guys behind him start to stand up, but I screamed as loud as I could, 'Stay down! Stay down! Get away from the windows!'"

He added of the club's incredible response to the terrifying incident in the game which would eventually take place the following night from the attack, "The fans had created a massive tifosi that read: BVB, which is our club's abbreviated name.

"It stretched from the very top of the stands all the way down to the pitch. It was awesome. And, even if only for a few minutes, it made me feel that everything was going to be all right."