PSG PSG ready for Real Madrid after another win, insists Emery Dejan Kalinic Last updated 1 year ago 16:24 2/11/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) PSG Real Madrid Toulouse v PSG Real Madrid v PSG Toulouse Ligue 1 UEFA Champions League Neymar The Ligue 1 leaders picked up three points thanks to a goal from Neymar, but the coach insists they face a very different challenge in midweek Paris Saint-Germain head coach Unai Emery believes his team are ready for Real Madrid after their confidence-boosting win over Toulouse on Saturday.A second-half goal from Neymar saw PSG to a 1-0 victory at the Stadium Municipal, extending their winning streak to six games in all competitions.The capital club may have a 12 point lead at the top of Ligue 1, but they face a huge test on Wednesday, making the trip to the Santiago Bernabeu to face Madrid in the Champions League. 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 Emery was happy PSG continued their strong run of form run, saying it was vital ahead of the last-16 first leg with the reigning European title holders.”I think we played the kind of game we had to, but it’s true it will be different on Wednesday,” he said.”It will be different when it comes to expectations, and the kind of game we will play. But I think that the team is ready.”We built up our confidence further. It’s important to keep our level up in Ligue 1 and before our Champions League game.”PSG have been given a stern warning of their own, however, as Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane warned they will have to be at their best if they are to keep Cristiano Ronaldo quiet.The Portuguese netted a hat-trick to help Los Blancos to a win over Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday and is already the top scorer in the Champions League this season on nine, while PSG star Neymar has six in the continental competition.
Chelsea Morata’s finishing questioned by Shevchenko amid Chelsea struggles Chris Burton 08:39 3/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Chelsea Morata Premier League Antonio Conte The Spain international striker has gone 10 games without a goal, with form and fitness issues preventing him from making the desired impact Alvaro Morata has been told by Andriy Shevchenko that he must work on his finishing in order to be a success at Chelsea.The Blues paid Real Madrid £70 million for the Spain international during the summer transfer window in 2017 and were offered an immediate return on that investment.Buoyed by regular football following a frustrating spell at Santiago Bernabeu, Morata opened the 2017-18 campaign with seven goals in eight appearances across all competitions. 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 He has managed just another five since then and is currently in the midst of a 10-game drought, with form and fitness issues having stunted his progress and raised concerns regarding his ability to justify a big-money price tag.Shevchenko knows all about those challenges, having faced similar questions after struggling to produce his best during a three-year spell at Chelsea, and he told reporters on Morata: “I’ve seen a lot of him.“He’s had a lot of chances. I think you need to improve the finishing when you have chances.“It’s good when a striker has chances, it’s very positive. You need this for scoring goals and helping the team to win.”Morata is not the only high-profile figure under pressure at Chelsea, with Antonio Conte enduring a tough season at the helm.The Italian has seen his future past the summer called into question, but Shevchenko feels faith should be shown in a man who landed the Premier League title in his debut campaign.“I think he’s a great manager, he’s doing a fantastic job,” added the legendary Ukrainian striker.“It’s a difficult moment for Chelsea but they still have a chance to qualify for the next step of the Champions League, the Barcelona game is still open.“It’s better if you ask him if he’s happy. Of course, it all depends on the results. I still think he’s doing a great job. It’s been a very difficult season for Chelsea – the Champions League comes, last year it was only the Premier League and he won it.“It was a great performance, the team were playing very well, then a couple of important players left, they had a couple of injuries.“It’s a different challenge in the moment for him. A team needs to have a result. You need to get some results and everything changes quickly.”
Championship Championship play-offs: Fulham win Premier League promotion over Aston Villa in Wembley final Ryan Kelly Last updated 1 year ago 02:05 5/27/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Championship Premier League Denis Odoi’s 70th-minute red card meant Slavisa Jokanovic’s side were down to 10 men, but Tom Cairney’s first-half strike was enough to triumph Ten-man Fulham have secured promotion to the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley in Saturday’s Championship play-off final.Wolves and Cardiff City have already secured automatic promotion with first and second-placed finishes respectively, but the Cottagers are assured of a spot in the top tier for 2018-19 following a remarkable second half of the season.Fulham lost just once in the regular season since the beginning of 2018, in their final game before the play-offs against Birmingham City, which denied them a dramatic automatic promotion. 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 A 2-1 aggregate win over Derby County in the semi-finals secured a clash with Steve Bruce’s Villa, who eliminated Middlesbrough over two legs in the previous round.Tom Cairney’s goal in the first half – assisted by English teenage wing sensation Ryan Sessegnon – gave Slavisa Jokanovic’s side the upper hand heading in at half-time.Denis Odoi’s 70th-minute red card made Fulham sweat for a victory, faced with the prospect of 30 minutes of extra time with one less player should Aston Villa have scored, but they successfully held on for a euphoric victory.Goal’s Chris Wheatley spoke to Jokanovic ahead of the play-offs and he believes the London club – who were relegated from the Premier League in 2014 – have benefited from investing in his vision.“If you want to play the football on the floor then I need better tools for my work,” he said. “They [Fulham] interpreted me well, they understand my position and really quick after a few months we started this kind of new improvements.”Promotion to the Premier League not only brings the prestige of playing in one of the biggest competitions in world football, it also provides an insanely lucrative boost to the tune of hundreds of millions.In recent seasons, the influx of television money to England’s top division has increased its allure and, as a result of that, the Championship play-off final has been popularly dubbed as the £170 million game in recent years due to the minimum monetary uplift that is estimated to await the victor.When and where was the 2018 Championship play-off final? The 2018 Championship play-off final was scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 26 at the traditional venue of Wembley Stadium in London.The play-offs were not always held at Wembley and from 2001 to 2006, when the ‘Home of Football’ was being rebuilt, they were played at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.Wembley has a capacity of 90,000 and the Championship play-off final regularly sells out the state-of-the-art venue.In the past two seasons, attendances at the play-off final have reached just over the 70,000 mark, but they have been close to sell-outs too.Which teams qualified for the Championship play-offs? The participants of the 2017-18 Championship play-offs have been decided, with Fulham’s failure to capitalise on Cardiff City’s draw with Reading ensuring they missed out on automatic promotion.Fulham will be joined in the play-offs by Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Derby County. The Rams confirmed their place in the top six with a 4-1 victory over Barnsley on the final day of the season.Both Preston North End and Millwall won their last game, but Derby’s win meant that they were unable to move into the top six. Neither Aston Villa nor Middlesbrough could pick up three points in their final match of the regular season, but their results proved irrelevant as they had already wrapped up their places in the play-offs.Latest Championship table: Pos Team MP W D L GD Pts 1 Wolves (P) 46 30 9 7 +43 99 2 Cardiff City 46 27 9 10 +30 90 3 Fulham 46 25 13 8 +33 88 4 Aston Villa 46 24 11 11 +30 83 5 Middlesbrough 46 22 10 14 +22 76 6 Derby County 46 20 15 11 +22 75 7 Preston North End 46 19 16 11 +11 73 8 Millwall 46 19 15 12 +11 72 What happened in last year’s Championship play-offs? The 2016-17 Championship play-offs were won by Huddersfield Town , who subsequently joined Newcastle United and Brighton in moving up to the Premier League.Huddersfield booked their place in the division’s ultimate battle by finishing fifth in the league and they were joined by Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham, who finished third, fourth and sixth respectively.The rules of the play-offs dictated that the third-placed team played the sixth-placed team in the semi-finals and the fourth-placed was paired with the fifth-placed team. So Reading took on Fulham in one semi-final and Sheffield Wednesday played Huddersfield.Reading overcame Fulham by an aggregate score of 2-1, thanks to a Yann Kermogant penalty in the second leg, while Huddersfield defeated Wednesday on penalties after the sides could not be separated over the two legs.The final saw Reading up against Huddersfield in the show-piece event and the game was decided on penalties after 120 minutes of football could not yield a victor. Huddersfield’s on-loan goalkeeper Danny Ward saved a penalty and Christopher Schindler scored the winning spot-kick as the Terriers triumphed 4-3 in the shoot-out.The game was played in front of 76,682 spectators at Wembley Stadium and Huddersfield qualified for the Premier League for the first time, having last played in the top-flight in 1972. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
As we are getting close to the end of the year, and competitions are heading into Finals or State Leagues/State Cup’s, now is a great time to bring some extra class to your game with a new pair (2010 range) of X-Blades playing boots. Also available, casual shoes, socks and bags.Please find attached Flyer and Order Form. Related Files2009_x-blades_order_form-pdf2009_x-blades_order_form-xls
In this edition, read about TFSA’s State Executive Council changes, the upcoming 2011 Colley Reserve as well as the South Australia Heat teams that will compete at the 2011 X-Blades National Touch League. To view, please click on the attachment below. Related Filestfsa_newsletter_february_2011-pdf
Congratulations to the winners at the Touch Football Western Australia Awards of Excellence dinner last weekend. Continuous contribution to the sport in 2012Arphirak PaulTiffany TamatiTeava TerangiMike BaldwinJason CampbellKit FrazerHenry Dos SantosReferees Acknowledged for contribution and achievement becoming Level 6James McMahonBen MortonAdministrator of the YearToni Morgan – South West WarriorsReferee of the Year AwardChris MurrayTouch Football WA Coach of the Year AwardChance Bunce – Wanneroo LionsJunior Female Player of the YearMacey Simpkins – Perth BrothersJunior Male Player of the YearJayden Ngamanu – Wanneroo LionsFemale Player of the YearZoe Dacey-Aiken – Northern DistrictsMale Player of the YearCraig Boston – Southern DistrictsTouch Football WA Life MembersDebbie Quan – FremantleNeil Collins – Southern DistrictsMember of the YearMary WatsonRegional Volunteer of the YearSam Bodycoat – Kununurra Touch AssociationMetro Volunteer of the YearPat Elshaw – Southern DistrictsAffiliate of the YearSouthern Districts2012 Super League SeriesLast Friday marked the end of the 2012 Super League Series with some great performances in all divisions.There was a good crowd to watch the finals and they did not disappoint. Congratulations to all of the participants in the finals.Mixed Open divisionWinners: Tompkins Park Sharks. Runners up: Southern StarsMVP: Junior Greig – Tompkins ParkWomen’s Open divisionWinners: Southern Stars. Runners up: Fremantle RebelsMVP: Claire French – Southern StarsMen’s Open division Winners: Southern Stars. Runners up: Wanneroo Lions.MVP: Jayden Love – WannerooMost improved refereeJack NearyReferee of the TournamentBrian BlechyndenRelated LinksAwards of Excellence
Touch Football Australia CEO Steve Mitchell was on hand at Wests Tigers this week to present the Club with the maiden Women’s NRL Touch Football Premiership trophy.Wests Tigers were presented the award after taking out the award after winning the Grand Final 4-2 over the Brisbane Broncos back in July — a brilliant first season for the club in the brand new competition.While they didn’t end the year with silverware, Wests Tigers Men’s team also produced a brilliant year — going down in a heartbreaking extra time finish to close out the NRL Touch Football Premiership.–for the whole article click here (as originally posted on www.westtigers.com.au)
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Arsenal boss Emery hints at new position for Torreiraby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal manager Unai Emery believes he may have found a solution to their midfield in a position change for Lucas Torreira.The Uruguayan played in a slightly more advanced role against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League.It worked and he managed to help his side to a 3-0 away win.And Emery spoke about that adjustment after the game.He said to the club’s official website: “Tonight he [Torreira] played very well and this season it’s the first match that he was feeling physically very good in. He was able to go from box to box and I want to use his quality. “His qualities are that he can give us good pressing, and he can win the ball high up the pitch to give us the possession to score. He did that tonight. “After, we need someone with the ball and in his position, he can help us with the build-up.”
Southampton boss Hasenhuttl wants to improve set piece goalscoringby Paul Vegas12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl wants to improve their set piece record.Jannik Vestergaard is the only defender to have found the net this season with Maya Yoshida – who scored for Japan in international action on Thursday – having gone close on several occasions from James Ward-Prowse’s trademark deliveries.“I think we had a few chances in this season so far and for Maya as well who is always very close to score. I am really hoping that Maya gets the first one,” said Hasenhuttl before the international break.“With Prowsey we have a fantastic man who can bring the ball very good in the centre.“We were a little unlucky but we must be convinced we can decide games on set-pieces and this is something we are working on.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Man Utd academy chief Parry hints at loan plans for young trioby Paul Vegas10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United plan to let several players depart on loan in January.Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong, Brandon Williams and James Garner have all featured under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in league and cup competitions.Their progress could stall with the arrival of new recruits and academy player performance manager Les Parry admits more outgoings are likely in January.”We’ll plan it out and we’ve identified four or five who might be going out in January. Obviously, our first-team manager has a say,” he said.“Angel, Tahith, and James could have gone out on loan but he wanted to keep them here and have a look at them on tour. So a decision will be made, no doubt, for January as well. Hopefully, all three will be in the first team and not going anywhere.“They’ve been presented with an opportunity and they’ve taken the opportunity so now a couple of them are regulars on the team sheet each week. We’ve had opportunities that have cropped up from nowhere. That’s football.“Hopefully, some of the lads out on loan now will also catch the eye as some have gone out with a perception of their ability and where they’ll end up but hopefully they’ll come back and people will say maybe we’ve got a little diamond.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
ohio state terry mclaurin spring gameOhio State’s young wide receivers are having a day during the program’s spring game. First, it was Noah Brown corralling a pass one-handed over the middle. Now, Terry McLaurin has his own catch to add to the highlight reel.Right before halftime, McLaurin went up over the top of Buckeye cornerback Damon Webb and hauled in a touchdown from quarterback Stephen Collier. It was a pretty play on both ends. The record-breaking crowd at The Horseshoe today are certainly being treated to some entertaining action.
Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott was named the winner of the 2014 AAU James E. Sullivan Award, given to the nation’s top amateur athlete. Elliott, a rising junior tailback for the national champion Buckeyes, rushed for 1,878 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2014, including a stellar 246-yard, four-touchdown game in the national title contest against Oregon. One of six finalists for the award, Elliott accepted the award in person at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan Sunday afternoon. ICYMI the winner of the 85th Annual #AAUSullivanAward is Ezekiel Elliott @EzekielElliott #topamateurathlete http://t.co/JJhjqWtGPV— AmateurAthleticUnion (@TheRealAAU) April 19, 2015Elliott praised the other finalists, praised his Ohio State team, and said “I’d like to thank my parents for pushing me to be …— Tim May (@TIM_MAYsports) April 19, 2015“… the person I am. … they push me for excellence.”— Tim May (@TIM_MAYsports) April 19, 2015The award’s other finalists included Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky and Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, among others.
SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers looks on during warm ups prior to the CFP National Championship against the Alabama Crimson Tide presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) @ClemsonFBThere weren’t many upsets in college football this weekend, but there was still plenty of exciting action throughout the country. Michigan, Stanford and Miami eked out last-second victories, with Miami coming in especially improbably fashion. Notre Dame rallied in the final minutes to hold off Temple, and UNC’s win over a ranked Pittsburgh squad bumped the upstart 7-1 Heels into the top 25. But in ESPN’s Weekly Power Rankings, the big news is at the very top of the poll. That’s where you can find a new No. 1 team: Clemson. The Tigers’ ’56-41 win over NC State enabled them to vault over undefeated Ohio State and into the top spot. Poor Buckeyes: they were on a bye this week and could do nothing about Clemson overtaking them. Here are the full rankings:1. Clemson 2. Ohio State 3. LSU 4. Baylor 5. TCU 6. Michigan State 7. Alabama 8. Florida 9. Notre Dame 10. Stanford 11. Iowa 12. Oklahoma State 13. Oklahoma 14. Utah 15. Memphis 16. Florida State 17. Michigan 18. Houston 19. Ole Miss 20. Temple 21. Toledo 22. UNC 23. UCLA 24. Mississippi State 25. Navy Texas A&MCompared to last week’s rankings, how do you think ESPN did?
We showed you ESPN’s Football Power Index for the 2016 season about a month ago, but it’s changed a decent amount since then. With spring football being over and teams’ rosters and depth charts being a little more clear, ESPN’s FPI should be more accurate than it was in early April. ESPN tweeted out what’s basically its post-spring FPI and there’s a new team at No. 1: Florida State. The Seminoles have taken the top spot from LSU. 2016 college football FPI1. Florida St. 2. LSU 3. Oklahoma 4. Clemson 5. Tennessee 6-128: https://t.co/IjfdEtg4aC pic.twitter.com/jAAUJO7QjH— ESPN (@espn) May 6, 2016Georgia and Oklahoma State have also switched spots in the top 10 and UCLA has made a big jump from No. 19 to No. 13. Stanford dropped out of the top 25. Here’s ESPN’s full top 20. ESPN FPI.You can view ESPN’s complete FPI, which ranks every team, here. [ESPN]
Bournemouth have invested £19 million ($24m) in Dominic Solanke, but a big-money arrival from Liverpool will not be seen until February.The Cherries, who have also acquired Nathaniel Clyne on loan from the Reds, had moved to land a highly-rated forward after seeing him struggle for game time at Anfield.Eddie Howe was hoping to be the man to unlock the undoubted potential of a 21-year-old talent who already has a senior England cap to his name. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? He will, however, have to be patient with his new recruit, who suffered an untimely knock which is set to delay Solanke’s debut and prevent him from making an immediate impact on the south coast.Howe told reporters after seeing Bournemouth suffer a 3-1 FA Cup third round defeat to Brighton: “Dominic will miss most of January.”He’s got a bit of a hamstring issue so it will be more February before we’re likely to see him in action.”But we knew about that because he’s been through all the medicals and checks.”Solanke had been ruled out of contention for Liverpool’s recent fixtures because of muscle problems.Bournemouth clearly do not consider those issues to be too serious, despite the youngster’s lack of minutes this season.He left Merseyside having failed to make a competitive first-team appearance in 2018-19.The Cherries would have been looking for him to hit the ground running in new surroundings, as they have meetings with Everton, West Ham and his former employers Chelsea to come in January.They will, however, look to carefully nurture him to full health before bringing him into their plans.Given that Solanke may miss all of Jauary, his first game for Bournemouth could actually come against Liverpool – with the Cherries set to visit Anfield on February 8.
Imagine holding a garage sale, and trotting out the goods you no longer had use for and had no plan on keeping, only for a deep-pocketed buyer to come along and offer you a bag of cash for the same stuff you were going to get rid of anyway.Now you know how Toronto FC probably felt when FC Cincinnati handed them a jaw-dropping trade package for defender Nick Hagglund, a player who was likely competing to be TFC’s fourth center back in 2019, assuming he was even going to stick around.Cincinnati traded $300,000 in allocation money and the top spot in the MLS allocation ranking, a valuable asset estimated to be worth another $250,000 in allocation on the trade market, for Hagglund, a Cincinnati native who will be expected to fill the team’s need for a central defender next to Costa Rican giant Kendall Waston. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Wanting Hagglund was understandable for Cincinnati, which sees a chance to add a local product with an MLS Cup on his resume, and one who, at 26 years old, could be a building block for the expansion team. Going after him made plenty of sense, but the exorbitant price paid left many around MLS baffled.An informal survey conducted by Goal of general managers/technical directors around MLS yielded a near unanimous reaction to the trade, with phrases ranging from “nonsensical” to “just plain dumb” being used to describe the price Cincinnati paid. As one general manager noted, expansion teams overspending isn’t a new phenomenon considering the amount of allocation money they start out with, but Cincinnati exceeded even that standard by a wide margin.Cincinnati isn’t likely to care, not when it now has a hometown player it can market, and it’s not like Hagglund isn’t talented. He showed his quality as part of TFC’s run to the 2017 MLS Cup title, but he had a bad year in 2018, failing to capitalize on the opportunity to shine when TFC’s defense was decimated by injuries. Instead, Hagglund struggled badly when he did play, and that helped doom TFC to the unexpected fate of missing the playoffs.TFC’s acquisition of Laurent Ciman made it clear the club was serious about upgrading its defense, and it also likely meant that Hagglund would be on the way out. The market for Hagglund after the 2018 he endured likely consisted of just Cincinnati, which wound up overpaying anyway.The move has already had repercussions around the league, because it has raised the bar for what teams are seeking in trades, specifically those involving central defenders. Sporting Kansas City defender Ike Opara has made it known he either wants a new contract or a trade. Several teams had already been looking to pry the former MLS Defender of the Year away from SKC, which has stocked up on central defenders and is well positioned to deal Opara. Only now, Sporting KC can point to the price paid for Hagglund and ask for considerably more.That probably won’t stop Opara from being traded, but the fee paid for Hagglund has put him in the unenviable position of having to live up to his hefty price tag. Perhaps Hagglund rebounds in 2019, and reaches his potential thanks to the motivation of playing in his hometown. Cincinnati has put together a solid defense for him to be a part of, though you can make the argument that a Waston-Hagglund center back pairing may not be ideal given the reality that neither is a true organizer.Consider just one element that Cincinnati traded away: the top spot in the MLS allocation order. Right now the list of players eligible to be acquired via the MLS allocation order list includes Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez, two World Cup veterans who are both possibly returning to the league in the near future. Not only did Cincinnati give up the chance to acquire one of those two, but also the chance to benefit from a bidding war for the top spot if one of the high-profile players on the list decides to come to MLS this year.Instead, Cincinnati helped a strong TFC get even stronger, while the expansion team has been left looking overmatched on the trade market once again. To be fair, Cincinnati has also made several good moves this winter, including the signing of Waston and recent addition of Caleb Stanko, but when the dust settles on Cincinnati’s inaugural season, it is a safe bet that several of the deals the team has made will wind up looking like the stinkers they were originally thought to be.Of course, if Hagglund winds up breaking out as a standout central defender, nobody will care what he cost, and Cincinnati will be left looking like the geniuses who came away from a garage sale with a treasure.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists the Premier League leaders will not crack under the pressure of being chased by Manchester City.Monday’s 1-1 draw away to West Ham meant the Reds missed the chance to move five points clear of last season’s champions City, who can now go top on Wednesday if they win at Everton.City last topped the table on December 15 but Liverpool drawing their past two matches has opened the door to Pep Guardiola’s side, while Tottenham have sealed three consecutive dramatic late league wins under Mauricio Pochettino to rejoin the title race. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Liverpool were without Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Trent Alexander-Arnold for the trip to London Stadium, where a lead earned by Sadio Mane was cancelled out by Michail Antonio in the first half.The Reds’ opener should not have counted due to an offside in the build-up and Liverpool were well below their best, but Klopp does not feel the pressure exerted by City will affect his side.”Yes, I’m confident about that,” Klopp told a news conference when asked if he feels Liverpool will not crack. “I think since five, six, seven, eight weeks we talk about a two-horse race now and Tottenham came from behind.”They had a very difficult situation and deal with it brilliantly, I have to say, all credit to Pochettino and his team how they did it, winning games late with a lot of injury problems as well. For me, they are 100 per cent in the race. So that’s the situation.pic.twitter.com/SXL7olA0JW— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 4, 2019″If you want to be top of the table at the end of the season then you have to deal with much tougher situations than we had today, that’s the truth. Of course you need players fit and available, that helps a bit.”Our midfield players tonight apart from Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri] would have been 18 and 18 years old – brilliant boys and if needed we would have played them tonight but that’s not perfect. We have to fight. It’s not about pressure, it’s about enjoying the situation you are in.”We have 62 points, lost one game in the full season so far, which is very positive. But I see your faces already, you feel a bit sorry for us – you don’t have to, we are fine, everything is good.”Tonight was just a tough game but if you have a day like that with the things that happened yesterday and then you get a point at West Ham, for me that’s absolutely fine.”Just three points in it.#PL pic.twitter.com/Ht7Ei1xLqt— Premier League (@premierleague) February 4, 2019Liverpool had teenagers Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones on the bench at West Ham due to their injury issues and Klopp confirmed Virgil van Dijk and James Milner could have also missed the game due to a bug.”We had a difficult situation,” Klopp added. “It’s a long season. In general, we lost one game in the whole season. So the team is doing well and we have a tough situation in the moment. The injuries, I don’t know where they come from, or the illness.”Millie was ill – or maybe still is ill – and Virg had three, four days where he was out. He lost three or four kilos. That doesn’t help as well. You have difficult situations. It’s difficult in the moment, but the boys still fight. Could we have played better, even in that situation? 100 per cent.”That’s what we expect from ourselves. But the games are difficult and we have to accept the quality of the opponent and use their weaknesses what they have. We did that in a lot of situations pretty well, but they reacted already with the line-up…”I don’t moan about that, it’s just a fact. It’s not an excuse, I said we could have played better tonight, 100 per cent. But it’s a situation that’s not perfect, changing three players. Millie came back but he did not train yesterday, he came to London by himself because he’s infectious.”That’s all not perfect, of course. For me, it explains parts of the game but we don’t look for these things. How I said, the preparation for the game was far from perfect and we still got a point! That’s it.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Benfica have vehemently denied reports claiming Atletico Madrid are on the brink of signing teenager Joao Felix.Reports in the Spanish press claimed Atletico were due to announce the signing of the 19-year-old imminently after agreeing to pay his €120 million (£107m/$135m) release clause.In doing so, Los Rojiblancos would be signing one of Europe’s most sought-after young talents, with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid linked with Felix’s signature in recent months. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Goal reported last week that Atletico were hopeful of convincing the youngster to move to the Wanda Metropolitano with the promise of earning more first-team opportunities than he would at rival clubs.However, Benfica have moved swiftly to deny the rumours while reiterating that the release clause is still active for any club willing to meet its value.“In view of the set of news published in these last hours, Sport Lisboa e Benfica clarifies that it is false that any negotiation process is currently under way regarding a possible transfer of player Joao Felix,” read a statement on Benfica’s website.“The conditions for its negotiation are public and known, taking into account the termination clause defined in the amount of 120 million euros.”Benfica have also angrily denied reports emanating from the Portuguese media claiming that agent Jorge Mendes would profit from the deal.It was claimed that Mendes would take a 30 per cent commission on the transfer, earning him around €36 million (£32m/$40m).“More serious, and that deserves our most vehement repudiation and denial, is the false news that refers to negotiations that involve commissions of 30% and which, unfortunately, was echoed in Portugal by the newspaper A Bola, with intentions and goals that we do not know at all,” read the statement.“We repeat: this information is totally false, absurd and has clear intentions for the reputation and dignity of Benfica.”Felix enjoyed a fine breakthrough season for the Portuguese giants, who he joined as a 16-year-old in 2015 after being released by rivals Porto.The forward scored 20 goals and laid on 11 assists in 43 matches across all competitions as Benfica claimed the Primeira Liga title and reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League.His performances earned him a call-up to the senior Portugal side and a first cap in the Nations League victory against Switzerland earlier this month.
ATHENS, GA – SEPTEMBER 29: Fans of the Georgia Bulldogs watch play against the Mississippi Rebels at Sanford Stadium on September 29, 2007 in Athens, Georgia. Georgia won 45 – 17. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)Georgia football’s 2018 recruiting class is the best in the country. The Bulldogs’ 18 class had 26 commitments, including seven from five-star prospects.One UGA commit will reportedly not be a part of this year’s class, though. His enrollment is being delayed.247Sports is reporting that defensive lineman commit Tramel Walthour is going the JUCO route.They confirmed the news this morning:Defensive lineman Tramel Walthour has signed with Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.“We have signed him,” said Hutchinson head coach Rion Rhoades. “He will be here for summer school in July. I think he will do well here.”Dawgs247 has not confirmed whether Walthour will take the traditional junior college route or a similar path to Devonte Wyatt, who signed with Hutchinson last year and was ultimately deemed a full qualifier after attaining the proper test score before enrolling at the junior college. That allowed Wyatt to enroll at Georgia after one full semester of transferable credits with a 2.5 GPA in those classes.This isn’t a huge blow to Georgia’s class, but it’s disappointing nonetheless.The Bulldogs open their season on Sept. 1 against Austin Peay.
ARLINGTON, TX – NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders on the field before the game against the Baylor Bears on November 25, 2016 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)Over the weekend, Texas Tech moved on from head coach Kliff Kingsbury after six seasons. Immediately after his firing, Kingsbury’s name popped for numerous NFL assistant jobs and potential offensive coordinator jobs at the collegiate level.Earlier this week, reports linked Kingsbury to the offensive coordinator vacancy at USC after the Trojans fired OC Tee Martin following the season. Kingsbury reportedly flew to Los Angeles to meet with USC brass about the opening.It’s now being reported that USC is the “front-runner” to land the services of the former Texas Tech head coach.Gil Brandt reported the news.The college phones seem to be working as well. Was told by college HC that USC is now the clear front-runner for Kingsbury. As these things tend to go, stay tuned. But for now, USC in drivers seat with OC opening. https://t.co/RIflx20f2S— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) November 28, 2018USC finished near the bottom in most offensive statistics this season. The Trojans finished 84th in the nation in yards per game and 92nd in points per game in 2018.With freshman quarterback J.T. Daniels under center, the Trojans struggled through the air, but the run game also finished near the bottom with just 133 yards per contest.The potential addition of Kingsbury to the coaching staff could do wonders for the development of Daniels.Stay tuned.