Xinhua looks at some of the major talking points ahead of Thursday's opening day of fixtures in CONMEBOL's road to Qatar 2022.
Many put the performances down to Garitano's defensive and conservative nature and his unwillingness to show confidence in the club's young players. The feeling is that although the squad has obvious weak points (especially in central midfield), the lack of confidence some players showed in the last two games means Garitano is running out of time. Enditem
Alba's natural replacement in the Barca squad, Junior Firpo, is also injured at the moment, although he is expected to be able to return to training in the coming days. Enditem
Dubbed "Female O'Neal", Li Yueru was unstoppable in the paint in the first quarter, shooting five of five from the field to put Inner Mongolia up 24-10 as the quarter expired.
"We were not in a favorable form today, and didn't figure out their zone defense well in the last quarter," admitted Sichuan coach Pan Wei. Enditem
"We played a little tight at the start. We improved later in the match, and showed our character," said Zhejiang coach Gu Jiaqing.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Defending champion Flamengo struck three goals in 20 second-half minutes to set up a 3-1 victory over Athletico Paranaense on Sunday, their first Brazilian Serie A win in almost a month.
Ospina is the fourth player to be cut for the fixtures because of injuries or coronavirus restrictions, joining Porto pair Matheus Uribe and Luis Diaz as well as Leon midfielder Yairo Moreno.
Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins (2nd R) celebrates after scoring his hat-trick goal during the English Premier League match between Aston Villa and Liverpool at Villa Park in Birmingham, Britain, on Oct. 4, 2020. (Xinhua)
The league's governing body is therefore inserting one match into each round that was initially scheduled for a later date.
Li felt a bit uncomfortable about Shandong's double team early in the match, but soon get used to that, making two baskets and feeding Chen's two layups, to help Inner Mongolia race ahead 19-15 in the first quarter.