Month: November 2019

Guardiola evasive over Laporte

first_imgTransfers Making deals is difficult – Guardiola on Laporte transfer Russell Greaves Last updated 1 year ago 22:39 1/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) AymericLaporteCropped Getty Images Transfers Manchester City Guardiola Athletic Club Premier League Cardiff City v Manchester City Cardiff City FA Cup The Athletic Bilbao defender has been targeted by the Premier League leaders but the Catalan gave few details away on Friday Pep Guardiola says there is still work to be done before Manchester City can bring in fresh faces amid reported interest in Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte.The runaway Premier League leaders, who travel to Cardiff City in the FA Cup on Sunday, are seeking to strengthen at the back and have identified Laporte, who has a €65 million release clause, as a prime target.Goal understands that the Frenchman has informed Athletic of his desire to join City, and has agreed a deal in principle with Guardiola’s side. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Guardiola was probed on the topic of Laporte’s potential arrival at his pre-match media conference on Friday, where he proved evasive.”I know you are curious about it. Here is not the place to talk about it,” said the City boss.”Making deals is so difficult. It is not right place to talk about names.”He’s a player of Athletic Bilbao. You will know if it happens, if it doesn’t, it won’t happen.”There were players in the past we were interested in, there will be in the future. We will try to do the best we can.”The Catalan also confirmed Kyle Walker would be fit to face Cardiff after an injury scare in the EFL Cup win at Bristol City on Tuesday.last_img read more

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Suarez leads Barca to first-leg win

first_imgBarcelona 1 Valencia 0: Suarez header gives Valverde’s men slender first-leg lead Ryan Benson 06:21 2/2/18 suarez-cropped Getty Images Luis Suarez got the decisive goal as Barcelona beat Valencia 1-0 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Thursday. Barcelona took control of their Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia after Luis Suarez’s second-half header ended the visitors’ resistance and secured a 1-0 first-leg win at Camp Nou on Thursday.Ernesto Valverde’s men looked to be in for a frustrating outing as they struggled to turn their domination into something meaningful, but eventually Lionel Messi clicked into gear and provided Suarez with the chance to give Barca the advantage.The first half was a long one for Valencia, who restricted Barca’s flow of chances but faced a seemingly endless barrage and only managed to see 21 per cent of the ball. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player For all of Barca’s time in possession, however, they crafted little of note and struggled to break through Valencia’s packed defence.Things were slightly more open after the interval, though Barca’s effectiveness in front of goal showed few signs of improvement, forcing Valverde to introduce Philippe Coutinho from the bench.And with 23 minutes to go, Barca finally found a way through thanks to the combination of Messi and Suarez, securing a slender lead to take to Mestalla next Thursday.67: GOOOOAAALLLL!!!! @LuisSuarez9 puts Barça ahead!!!! (1-0) #CopaBarça pic.twitter.com/ovBCwm66EX— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 1, 2018In one sense, Barca could not have started the contest much better, as they dominated Valencia and attacked relentlessly, playing some wonderful football at times as they enjoyed 79 per cent possession in the first period.Yet, due to a combination of Valencia’s stubborn rear-guard and Barca’s attackers not quite clicking, the chances just did not arrive.Opportunities threatened to present themselves on a couple of occasions, but an uncharacteristically heavy Messi touch saw him accidentally juggle the ball out of play in the 22nd minute, and Jose Gaya covered well to prevent Suarez collecting a through ball soon after.The closest they went to the breakthrough was in the 39th minute, as Andres Iniesta flashed the ball across the face of goal, but goalkeeper Jaume Domenech managed to divert it just behind the lurking Suarez with his fingertips and Barca finished the first half without a shot on target.Presumably fresh from choice words courtesy of Valverde, it took Barca less than two minutes to craft the first chance of the second period, as Messi thrashed a left-footed effort into the side-netting from a tight angle.The match’s first shot on target followed soon after, though it came at the other end – Dani Parejo testing Jasper Cillessen from distance.Coutinho replaced Aleix Vidal just before the hour mark, but unsurprisingly it was Messi who stepped things up to set up the equaliser, clipping a ball to the back post, where Suarez headed home.9 – Luis Suarez has scored nine goals in his nine games against Valencia in all competitions, his favourite opponent for Barcelona, alongside Betis. Nightmare. pic.twitter.com/KVw25br9eq— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 1, 2018Messi nearly added a second four minutes from time, curling a 25-yard effort just wide of the bottom-left corner, but Valencia never threatened to make them rue that miss as Barca cruised to victory. read morelast_img read more

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Ronaldo at ‘140 per cent’ good enough for Zidane

first_imgReal Madrid Ronaldo at ‘140 per cent’ is good enough for Real Madrid boss Zidane Iain Strachan 02:20 5/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Juventus UEFA Champions League David Ramos Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid v Liverpool Liverpool UEFA Champions League Zinédine Zidane The Blancos manager believes his Portuguese superstar is injury free and ready to perform his usual heroics in the Champions League final Zinedine Zidane says a fully fit Cristiano Ronaldo “lives to play these games” as Real Madrid prepare to take on Liverpool in the Champions League final.The Portuguese superstar suffered an injury in the 2-2 Clasico draw with Barcelona on May 6, before making a goalscoring return to action and completing 62 minutes from kick-off in Madrid’s final La Liga match of the season at Villarreal last weekend.Madrid coach Zidane has previously claimed the talismanic 33-year-old will be “150 per cent” fit for the clash with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds in Kiev on Saturday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now And while the Frenchman revised that estimate slightly during a news conference at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Ronaldo remains a certain starter against Liverpool. “He’s in good shape. If he’s 140 per cent then that’s good enough,” Zidane said.”This is the last training session before the biggest game of the season. One thing you have to know is Ronaldo lives to play these games, so we’ll see tomorrow.”There are certain to be disappointed members of the Madrid squad when the team for the final is named, with Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Isco and Lucas Vasquez vying to join Ronaldo in attack. “The players are all very good and there are many players who will be out of the squad or on the bench but we have to think of the team,” Zidane said.”A player can be disappointed but when the game starts that player has to be with the team to support the team. We are united. This will always happen. From the bench they can also bring a lot to the team and that’s important.”I’ve said it many times, it’s the most difficult time for a manager when you have to leave out players, particularly for a final, when some are good enough to play. That is the most difficult part of being a coach but I’ve got to do it.”last_img read more

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Young USMNT side can build on World Cup failure

first_imgRepublic of Ireland Young USMNT side show Ireland how to build on World Cup failure Ronan Murphy At Aviva Stadium 05:20 6/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Cameron Carter-Vickers Jonathan Walters Ireland USA international friendly 2018 Dan Mullan Republic of Ireland United States Republic of Ireland v United States World Cup Friendlies Opinion The Boys in Green were victorious in Dublin after a scrappy game, but their American visitors gained valuable experience on the long road to Qatar John O’Shea’s 118th international appearance for the Republic of Ireland was an emotional one. The former Champions League winner was taken off after just 33 minutes to a rapturous applause from the home support, who thanked him for his service to the Boys in Green for the past 17 years.A veteran of the club and international game, he has chosen the right time to hang up his boots for Ireland, having turned 37 in April. He made his debut in a green jersey back in 2001, back when most of Saturday’s U.S. national team XI were infants.In fact, the combined cap total of Dave Sarachan’s starting line-up numbered around 120, with the USMNT looking to rebuild from their World Cup disappointment by offering chances to a new generation of talent. The squad itself had an average age of just 23 years and 102 days old when it was announced. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now This contrasted sharply with Ireland’s squad, who look decrepit in comparison to America’s teenagers. Just two of Martin O’Neill’s starting XI are younger than 23, with West Ham’s Declan Rice the only teenager in the entire panel.Neither team is going to Russia this month, and both are in transitionary phases after failing to qualify for the World Cup. Whereas the USMNT decided to completely change direction after their shock exit, sacking Bruce Arena – who himself had been brought in to replace Jurgen Klinsmann after a poor start to the final round of qualifying – and moving on from their older players, Ireland decided to stick with O’Neill, who has largely retained much of the squad that were demolished 5-1 by Denmark at home in November’s play-offs.For some of the first-half of their end-of-season friendly in Dublin, it looked like men against boys as Ireland’s experienced players outmuscled their younger opponents. However, despite the trademark physicality of O’Neill’s side, they failed to muster much in attack and found themselves undone by a lapse in concentration just before half-time that allowed Bobby Wood to sneak in and score after a free-kick.Wood is one of the few internationally experienced players on the U.S. roster, picking up his 37th cap and 12th goal in Dublin. The goal caused Ireland to increase their tempo, which resulted in their least experienced starter finding the net. Shamrock Rovers forward Graham Burke turned the ball home from very close range, having just made his international debut six days ago against France.The age differential was obvious again with the two goalscorers. The U.S. veteran is actually just 10 months older than the Ireland rookie, with Burke getting his first chances to impress for Ireland at 24-years-of-age.James McClean Tim Weah Ireland USA international friendly 2018The USMNT will go almost two years between proper competitive games, while O’Neill will point to September’s Nations League kick-off as the reasoning behind sticking with tried-and-trusted rather than a sea change of personnel.Unattractive slogs of football matches like this one are a good experience for younger players, with prospects like Timothy Weah, Tyler Adams and Matt Miazga all showing signs of their burgeoning talent. International football is often a difficult step-up for newcomers, who played out a narrow defeat at a venue where a more experienced USMNT side were trounced 4-1 just over three years earlier.Back in that November 2014 game, the visitors fielded a team including nine players who had started at the previous World Cup, but were convincingly beaten by a young Ireland team who had two debutants in the starting XI.Even without Christian Pulisic in the side, the visitors showed how their rebuilding effort can prove fruitful. Ireland were largely the better team in the second-half and sealed the win with a late Alan Judge goal, but with four years until the next World Cup and a new permanent head coach still to be appointed, the USMNT is on the right path to getting themselves back amongst the big boys.They faced bigger boys in Dublin and all proved they were man enough to handle it.last_img read more

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Neuer: Every game is now a final

first_imgGermany ‘From this point on, we only have finals’ – Neuer demands focus from Germany Ronan Murphy 23:15 6/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Manuel Neuer 2 Germany Deutschland Mexico WC 2018 Getty Images Germany Germany v Sweden Sweden World Cup The Bayern Munich goalkeeper has urged his team-mates to raise their games for the remainder of the World Cup after their dismal start Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer says that all of his side’s upcoming World Cup games will be like finals following their shock opening game defeat to Mexico.A goal from Hirving Lozano saw the CONCACAF side stun the world champions in their opening Group F encounter. Germany had the majority of the possession, but could not find a way through a determined Mexico defence, being undone by a quick counter-attack which left defenders exposed.The 2014 World Cup winners were heavily criticised following the defeat, with ex-players slamming their performance, while many of the squad members admitted that they had not been good enough. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move The result leaves Germany three points behind Mexico and Sweden in the table, with their upcoming clash with Sweden on June 23 now a must-win game.Neuer has urged his team-mates to step up for the game, believing that they must treat the rest of their games like finals.”From this point on, we only have finals,” Neuer told reporters. “Now something has to come from us players. We must show what made us so strong in the past.”We are convinced that we can do it. We will show that in the next match against Sweden.”The Bayern Munich goalkeeper revealed that the players were missing the belief that saw them lift the title in Brazil four years ago and wants the team to put forward a more unified approach.He also denied accusations that there was a divide in the squad between the 2014 World Cup winners and the younger players who had helped Die Mannschaft lift the 2017 Confederations Cup.”We need that courage and self-confidence. It was missing,” he continued. “I cannot answer why it was missing but you could see it in our body language. We need to come back together again, and this cannot happen again.”There are not two separate camps. We talk to one another, we give our experience to the young players and we know that the young players from the Confed Cup are part of the team and very important.”last_img read more

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SIXTY SECONDS IN TOUCH

first_imgTime for the post-State of Origin 1 edition of Sixty Seconds in Touch and the last-day-of-May edition, the edition that signifies the end of autumn and the start of winter. With temperatures dropping to the minuses overnight here in the ACT, we’re starting to feel it, letting us know that Christmas is just under 7 months away… * Well after Queensland’s nail biting 24-20 win in the first game of the NRL State of Origin for 2005, there are no doubt many NSW Touchies out there feeling the heat from their Queensland counterparts. A special congratulations to Matt Bowen, who not only took the winning intercept and scored the winning try but is a past Australian Touch representative, taking part in the Australian 18’s Mens 1999 tour and the 2000 Trans Tasman Youth Series. Congratulations Matt! * Make sure you keep an eye out this week for the next edition of the ATA newsletter Touch-e-Talk, it’s being released at the end of this week and is full of great stories and tons of info. There’s some added feature stories about All-Nations representatives, with the media starting to take an interest in these players. * The newsletter will be available for download on the ATA website, however, if you would like it emailed directly to you simply send an email to media@austouch.com.au and let Rachel know. * The next article on www.sportsnews.com.au is also due for release this week…with the topic set to be the State of Origin series, in Touch and the NRL. Make sure you keep an eye on the ATA website, a link to the Sports News website will be up as soon as the story is done. Sports News is a great website and it’s a fantastic opportunity to put Touch into the media and world of sport. * There’s some big changes afoot with the ATA Constitution and so forth. Please make sure you have a read of the article “Governance Review FAQ’s” on the ATA homepage. It’s got heaps of info and several documents on what’s going to be happening and the process for this. Definitely worth a read. * The NSWTA 2005 Country Championships are done and won, with Central Coast defeating Yass to take the Mens Open division and Newcastle Uni defeating Wagga for the Womens Open division. For the full story, please use the following link: http://www.nswtouch.com.au/index.cgi?det=1&intArticleID=924&sID=12 * Touch SA have introduced the Mitchell Cup, a new intrastate challenge cup to help develop their elite Mens and Womens Open players. All the info can be found on their website http://www.touch-sa.asn.au/ * Victoria Mens Open are holding their trials in June, check out http://www.victouch.com.au/ for all the info. * Nominations will be called for next with for referees and a referees manager to attend the National 18’s Championships in Coffs Harbour from September 7-10. So keep an eye on the ATA website and get your nominations in early, numbers are limited. By Rachel Moyle, media@austouch.com.aulast_img read more

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Tassie Twins Enjoying Tournament

first_imgThe 17-year-olds, from Launceston in Tasmania, are one of several sets of twins competing at the event in 2011, and they say that being a twin on the field does have its benefits, even if they aren’t identical. “Kit normally does the freakish stuff and I’m normally on the receiving end of that, sometimes roles are reversed so there is a bit of a twin thing coming out there sometimes, nothing too telepathic. It certainly shows at some stages how well we know each other,” Dana said. “We can get into each other a bit but we’ve played every single sport in our whole lives together, so when we both fire up we can get pretty in to each other but we’ve been good so far so hopefully we can continue that.”“We are generally pretty good mates outside of it, so we are not too fussed about it,” Kit said. “We are generally pretty competitive people though, we don’t act like it most of the time but when we do something we do it the best that we can,” Dana said. The twins only started playing division one in Launceston last year, with Kit then competing in the 2010 X-Blades National Youth Championships. What once was a sport they just played in the Aussie Rules off-season has now become a sport that the Young’s have become passionate about and hope to progress in. “It’s always been a pre-season thing, but now it’s become something a bit more, it’s a game that we actually look forward to playing over summer and this event reinforces that it would be good to play in later years as well. It’s something we’ll definitely look at playing further,” Dana said. Playing at a National Youth Championships level for the first time, Dana is enjoying the challenge of competing against teams from across the country, and is learning plenty along the way. “Even after one game you pick up a fair bit straight up,” he said. “We are just hoping to upset a few teams and learn a fair bit, we’re looking to be competitive as always, we want to give Tassie the best name we can.”last_img read more

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