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Celtic winger Mikey Johnston basks in ‘brilliant’ end to league season

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Mikey Johnston ended the Ladbrokes Premiership season in style as his double fired Celtic to a 2-1 win over Hearts on Sunday.Both managers put out much-changed sides ahead of next weeks William Hill Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park, but the 20-year-old winger retained his place from the Rangers defeat and he showed why with a second-minute opener.Jambos attacker Jake Mulraney levelled in the 17th minute but Johnston popped up with six minutes remaining to score the winner before the Hoops were presented with the league trophy for the eighth successive season.Johnston, named man of the match, said: It was a brilliant way to finish off the season and trophy day.Scoring goals has been something Ive been trying to add to my game, to be a bit more effective, to score more goals, to create more.I did that and I was really pleased to contribute to a really good team performance.We felt the pressure slightly going into the game, but youve got to block all of that out and show a bit of confidence because its been tough.It can be hard to deal with it, but bouncing back straight away is the best way to deal with it.Johnston is determined to carry on the momentum into next season and beyond.He said: The manager, the players and backroom staff, they trust me and have shown belief in me so hopefully I can keep repaying them.For me, its about taking these games in my stride and keep working hard and taking these opportunities.When youre a forward, its hard to play when the team overall perhaps hasnt played well.It was all about bouncing back, and weve shown that.Weve played well as a team, and I think that will always help the forwards. An early goal will also help calm the nerves too, so it was good to do that. Personally, that helped settle me and gave me a bit of confidence.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '711828d7-47dc-4d58-8085-e4bcfa23ce06'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Celtic winger Mikey Johnston basks in \u2018brilliant\u2019 end to league season'});

May 20th 2019, 12:03 am

Mbappe hints at PSG exit with talk of ‘new project’

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Kylian Mbappe has hinted he could seek a move away from Paris St Germain.Mbappe was named at Sunday nights UNFP (French Professional Footballers Association) Awards as Ligue 1s player of the season but, during his acceptance speech, he said he wanted to be given more responsibility, either at PSG or elsewhere with a new project.LEquipe published a transcript of his speech online in which Mbappe said: Its a very important moment for me, I come to a turning point in my career.@KMbappe and his #TropheUNFP for the #Ligue1 Player of the Year pic.twitter.com/Mfe8ysDTCo Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) May 19, 2019I have discovered a lot here, and I feel it is maybe the moment to have more responsibility. I hope that can perhaps be at Paris St Germain, that would be a great pleasure. Or maybe elsewhere with a new project.Mbappe was named player of the year after scoring 40 goals in all competitions, including 32 in 28 league games. He also scooped the young player of the year prize for a record third year in succession.He said after winning the main award: Its truly a pleasure, the only trophy I was missing! I am very happy.Kylian Mbappe celebrates one of his 40 goals for PSG this season (Martin Rickett/PA)I want to first dedicate this to president Nasser (Al Khelaifi). He has always been honest with me since the first day I arrived so I want to thank him. I want to thank everyone here who contributed to this championship.It is now my fourth year in this league. I have seen a lot of things which have been rich in emotion. Firstly with Monaco where I was formed, we won the title. Then a totally different project with Paris St Germain where I succeeded in adapting my game in my first year and changing position this year.After the eye-catching remarks about his PSG future, Mbappe concluded: But I want to say to you, Thank you.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0aeef3a2-5081-4761-b835-52e6aefb49cc'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Mbappe hints at PSG exit with talk of \u2018new project\u2019'});

May 19th 2019, 6:41 pm

Pep Guardiola: Domination is meaningless without Champions League title

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Pep Guardiola knows his Manchester City sides domination of English football will count for nothing unless they win the Champions League.City completed an unprecedented domestic treble on Saturday when they won the FA Cup with a 6-0 demolition of Watford at Wembley, adding to the Premier League and Carabao Cup they had already won.It proved a fitting send-off for captain Vincent Kompany, who on Sunday announced he is leaving the club to become Belgian side Anderlechts player-manager.Guardiola has turned City into one of the best ever English sides and they look set to dominate on home soil for some time, but their lack of success in Europe remains a black mark against them.They were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage by Tottenham a team they finished 27 points ahead of in the league and have never gone past the semi-finals.Guardiola says this current crop has to start achieving success in Europe. 2016-17: Round of 162017-18: Quarter-final2018-19: Quarter-final I said before that I know we will be judged at the end on whether we win the Champions League, he accepted.I know unless we do that it will not be enough.Here's to you @VincentKompany #mancity pic.twitter.com/O03dsrzQPi Manchester City (@ManCity) May 19, 2019This comes with me. I know that. I arrive in Barcelona, we were lucky we won it two times in four years and the people expect I am something special that we have to win the Champions League and its still true.In this club, the points record and the domestic competitions is incredible, but the Champions League we dont win quite often compared to the other ones because the teams are so good, the competition is so demanding but we want to win it.WEARETHEFOURMIDABLES #mancity pic.twitter.com/xBwgNUd2vC Manchester City (@ManCity) May 18, 2019Worryingly for the rest of the Premier Leagues top six, Guardiola is determined to improve the City side, though warned not to expect a repeat of the once in a lifetime treble.I wouldnt be here next season unless I believed we could improve as a group, he said.I know it will be difficult because people will compare and people cannot expect us to repeat the treble or four titles in one season, that is something one team does once in their lifetime.Manchester City celebrate with the FA Cup (Nick Potts/PA)Im not focused, believe me, at the start of the season thinking, I have to win one title, two, three or four, never.(I want to) Continue to try to play good and to arrive at the last stages of competitions, fighting, you know the players follow us to do that.That is what I want, that is my target for the next season, to keep this spirit, this group follow our people.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Jonathan Veal, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '63152dcd-ed48-4331-b3d6-d821f8ac0a96'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Pep Guardiola: Domination is meaningless without Champions League title'});

May 19th 2019, 5:41 pm

Serie A champions Juventus held at home by Atalanta

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Serie A champions Juventus dropped points against Atalanta on a day when the home crowd bade a fond farewell to multiple title-winners Massimiliano Allegri and Andrea Barzagli.Josip Ilicic gave Champions League-chasing Atalanta a first-half lead but Mario Mandzukic, on as a substitute for Barzagli, equalised for a 1-1 draw with the help of an error by goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini.The point gained by Atalanta leaves them third in the table, ahead of Inter Milan on goal difference and AC Milan by a point going into the seasons final game.#JuveAtalanta 1-1#FullTime#GoAtalantaGo pic.twitter.com/lfwlZYNm37 Atalanta B.C. (@Atalanta_BC) May 19, 2019Cristiano Ronaldo fired an early Juve chance over, while at the other end, Wojciech Szczesny denied Remo Freuler and the visitors had a penalty appeal turned down after a VAR review of a free-kick which struck the Juventus wall.The home crowd were in carnival mood as they cheered departing coach Allegri who has won the title in all four of his seasons with the club and defender Barzagli at various points of the first half.Ronaldo attempted to inspire Juve on the field, first with a backheeled through-ball after a spell of ball-juggling and then when he headed just wide though the latter attempt would not have counted due to an offside flag.Ilicic gave Atalanta the lead with a close-range finish after Alejandro Gomezs 33rd-minute corner was flicked on across the six-yard box by Andrea Masiello.Josip Ilicic (front right) put Atalanta ahead (Alessandro Di Marco/AP)Juves response, through efforts from Miralem Pjanic and Paulo Dybala, was wayward and they still trailed at the interval.Ronaldo was booked as the players left the field at half-time for protesting to the referee, and his frustration continued as he again lashed over early in the second half.Joao Cancelos interception denied Ilicic the chance of a second but Juve pressed forward once more and Dybala sent a free-kick into the wall, while Hans Hateboer went dangerously close to an own goal.Barzagli left the field in tears when he was replaced by Mario Mandzukic at the hour mark of his 262nd and last appearance for the Bianconeri.Well never stop chanting your name, @andreabarzagli2 #GRAZIEBARZA pic.twitter.com/CYwGKPsh8u JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) May 19, 2019He was embraced by all of his team-mates and coach Allegri, while the crowd again responded with a standing ovation for a man who has contributed to all eight of the clubs successive scudettos.Szczesny turned Ilicics free-kick away for a corner and Marten De Roon sent a volley off target, while Federico Bernardeschi went close with an audacious backheeled effort at the other end.With 10 minutes left, though, Mandzukic levelled the scores for Juventus, sliding in beyond the back post to meet Juan Cuadrados deep cross with a low finish that found its way under Gollini.Bernardeschi was shown a straight red card in stoppage time for a foul on Musa Barrow but the remaining couple of minutes passed without further incident as the game finished all square.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'd105172f-5f8a-4957-b73a-8fce6a4dfa42'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Serie A champions Juventus held at home by Atalanta'});

May 19th 2019, 5:41 pm

We were put in our place – Valverde wants more from Barca in cup final

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Ernesto Valverde hopes Barcelonas 2-2 draw at Eibar will serve as a wake-up call ahead of the Copa del Rey final.Lionel Messi scored a quick-fire double after Marc Cucurellas opener, but the champions were pegged back in the last game of their LaLiga campaign by Pablo De Blasis equaliser.Barca head to Seville to face Valencia next Saturday as they look to win a record fifth straight Copa del Rey. These are the final league standings of @LaLigaEN 18-19! Congrats champs, see you next season! FORA BARA! pic.twitter.com/7HUv4egb6B FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 19, 2019And manager Valverde knows his side will have to improve if they are to complete another domestic double.All the matches serve (as tests), but Saturdays match will be different because the teams are different and because this was marked by the fact thatEibardidnt play for anything, Valverde said at his press conference, according to Marca.We tried to gauge the intensity of the game and we were good in the first half, but in the second half we couldnt overcome the pressure and we had fewer chances and we made dangerous mistakes.We are ready for the final and the game served us well because we were put in our place.Lionel Messi bagged a brace for Barcelona (Ion Alcoba/AP)Messis brace took him to 50 goals for the campaign in all competitions.He ended the league campaign with 36 goals and claimed the top-scorer award for a record-equalling sixth time.He ended the game playing alongside 21-year-old Barcelona B forward Carles Perez, who came off the bench to make his first-team debut.He said, according to Marca: Im so happy, it has been an unforgettable moment that I will always remember. Carles Perez has made his first team debut today. Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/iWOUljZ4xh FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 19, 2019I wasnt sure if I was going to get my debut this season, but the boss just said to be calm.Im not used to playing on the left, but it felt good in the end.Barcelona confirmed right-back Nelson Semedo had been taken to hospital for routine tests aftersustaining a head injury during the game.[INJURY NEWS]Nlson Semedo has a head injury picked up in the game against Eibar. The player will remain overnight under observation in hospital in Bilbao. The player is expected to return to Barcelona tomorrow Monday. pic.twitter.com/wOVs7bcSwp FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 19, 2019On his squads other injuries, Valverde said: We think that (Marc-Andre) Ter Stegenwill be fine for the final and, while I dont know about (Philippe) Coutinho, it will be difficult for (Ousmane) Dembeleto play. I dont know aboutArthur.Eibar bossJose Luis Mendilibar, whose side finished the campaign in 12th, said: We have got a point that we had never achieved and we have also scored two goals against them, something we did not do against Barcelona either.I am happy with the game, we had our chances to win, but the draw is good.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '3b54f840-4ef5-48aa-8c0d-ddeac0b8fd12'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'We were put in our place \u2013 Valverde wants more from Barca in cup final'});

May 19th 2019, 3:40 pm

He will be part of City forever – Silva leads tributes to departing Kompany

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Manchester City midfielder David Silva insists Vincent Kompany will be here forever after the Belgium international announced he is ending his 11-year association with the club.Kompany helped City to 10 trophies, including this years domestic treble, over 360 games since arriving from Hamburg in 2008.Less than 24 hours after lifting the FA Cup, the 33-year-old announced he had been appointed as player-manager of Belgian side Anderlecht, a club he joined at the age of six.He was here the first day I came to the club. Hes been here and he will be here forever. Good luck, captain! #Legend pic.twitter.com/xPBK13mAbu David Silva (@21LVA) May 19, 2019His City team-mates took to social media to applaud the defenders achievements at the club, with David Silva leading the way after spending nine years alongside him at City.The Spain international wrote on Twitter: He was here the first day I came to the club. Hes been here and he will be here forever. Good luck, captain! #Legend.Kompany signed off his City career with a second FA Cup on Saturday, where City thrashed Watford 6-0 to complete the treble.Compartimos 8 aos creciendo con el club. Un placer haber estado este tiempo juntos. Todo lo mejor en esta nueva etapa//We shared 8 years growing in this club. It was my pleasure to share this time together. All the best in this new stage, @VincentKompany pic.twitter.com/sSotPvCJCT Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) May 19, 2019Striker Sergio Aguero, who moved to the Etihad from Atletico Madrid in 2011, also took to Twitter to thank Kompany for their time together at the club. He said: We shared 8 years growing in this club. It was my pleasure to share this time together. All the best in this new stage, @VincentKompany.Fellow Belgian De Bruyne said it had been a privilege to call Kompany a team-mate, while youngster Phil Foden said his skipper had looked after him from day one.De Bruyne wrote on Twitter: Playing for about 10 years with this man for club and country. And what a privilege its been.Playing for about 10 years with this man for club and country. And what an privilege its been. Big player, Big personality and big leader. Learned a lot from you. Wishing you all the best for the future. Btw picking you up at 2 pm today pic.twitter.com/Upfyo4aZfD Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) May 19, 2019Big player, big personality and big leader. Learned a lot from you. Wishing you all the best for the future.Foden said: Looked after me from day one. Led by example, showed everyone what it means to be a leader, wear their heart on the sleeve, and give everything for this club.We will miss you Captain.Looked after me from day one. Led by example, showed everyone what it means to be a leader, wear their heart on the sleeve, and give everything for this club.We will miss you Captain pic.twitter.com/e8xkzmpjm6 Phil Foden (@PhilFoden) May 19, 2019Fernandinho admitted it was hard to say goodbye to Kompany, whom he described as a true legend who honoured Citys shirt every minute played, while fellow centre-back Nicolas Otamendi added: Its been a pleasure playing by your side all these years.Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus both thanked the 33-year-old for his help over the last two seasons at the club, with Kyle Walker saying Kompany has been amazing with since he joined City in 2017.Kompany won four Premier League titles and praise for the centre-back came in from the likes of former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker.I didnt expect that. Their are some players you wish played for your club. @VincentKompany was one of them. A great centre back whose influence on and off the pitch was huge. https://t.co/5hfP1ceNUp Gary Neville (@GNev2) May 19, 2019Neville admitted he wished Kompany had played for his club and said his influence on and off the pitch was huge.Lifelong City fan Liam Gallagher wrote: Thankyou Vincent Kompany for everything good luck see ya soon LG x.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '8de37ced-f6ad-4164-9c54-aaafa0d7c7ac'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'He will be part of City forever \u2013 Silva leads tributes to departing Kompany'});

May 19th 2019, 2:53 pm

Fylde win FA Trophy as Rowe’s free-kick sees off Orient

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Danny Rowes second-half strike proved enough as AFC Fylde beat National League champions Leyton Orient 1-0 to claim the FA Trophy at Wembley.Andy Bond had a couple of chances to put the losing play-off finalists ahead from close range in the opening half, while team-mate Nick Haughton found the side netting as James Brophy came close at the other end.Jordan Maguire-Drew hit the post five minutes after the break as Orient searched for an opener, while Dan Happe headed an effort over and Marvin Ekpiteta hit the woodwork but against the run of play the Coasters took the lead on the hour mark.Joint National League top scorer with 27 this season, Rowe broke the deadlock as he curled a free-kick into the top corner leaving goalkeeper Dean Brill with no chance.Joe Widdowson came close to equalising for the Os but hit the post as Fylde held on for the narrow victory.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '8478ec37-6950-448a-8d9a-59265f2a2fe9'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Fylde win FA Trophy as Rowe\u2019s free-kick sees off Orient'});

May 19th 2019, 2:07 pm

Sixteen-year-old Dembele ‘gets the crowd off their feet’, says Lennon

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Neil Lennon believes Celtic fans were given a glimpse of the future when 16-year-oldKaramoko Dembele made his debut in the 2-1 win over Heartsat Parkhead.Dembele replaced the injured Oliver Burke for the second half, with the game at 1-1 after fringe player Mikey Johnstons early opener had been cancelled out by Jake Mulraney.Dembele went through his repertoire of tricks to the delight of the home fans, although it was 20-year-old Johnston who drove in the winner, giving the Hoops the win which meant they finished the season nine points ahead of Rangers, before they were presented with the Ladbrokes Premiership trophy for the eighth successive season.Interim boss Lennon said of Dembeles cameo: He was great to watch. He is the type of player that you want at Celtic.He gets the crowd off their feet with their football intelligence.Everyone talks about the skill, but his football intelligence was very good.I was delighted for him, Obviously we need to keep a lid on it, but its great that the fans have seen the glimpse of the future.It was a great time, end of the season, 45 minutes.The kid is 16, we know how talented he is and we just want to develop him in the right way.He has been training with the first team and he has hada very good season with the development team andI had no hesitation giving him 45 minutesThere was always a plan to give him some game time, but with Burkey going off we thought we should throw him in there and let him play.Lennon made seven changes to the side which lost 2-0 against Rangers at Ibrox last week, with several regulars rested to get over niggles and knocks for the William Hill Scottish Cup final against the Gorgie side at Hampden Park next week, where the Hoops can clinch an unprecedented treble treble.He said: Filip Benkovic, Nir Bitton, Olivier Ntcham, Scott Sinclair needed game time and it was important that they played for match sharpness and fitness and all the things you get from the game today, bearing in mind that they could be involved in the final next week.Jambos boss Craig Levein revealed midfielder Olly Lee, who was replaced by Ryan Edwards, was a major doubt for the cup final.The Jambos boss, whoseside will go into the game with one win in nine, said:He has twisted his knee so it doesnt sound great.He wasnt supposed to start, but Harry Cochrane got ill and I put Olly in.It is never good when he goes back on and comes off again.That is the one downside.Im hoping Peter Haring, Arnaud Djoum and Uche Ikpeazu will be fit for next week.It wasnt low key but I am sure there will be much more going on next week.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Ronnie Esplin, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'f84c70ae-cf29-4600-ad71-4700ef60fd1c'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Sixteen-year-old Dembele \u2018gets the crowd off their feet\u2019, says Lennon'});

May 19th 2019, 2:07 pm

McInnes proud despite missing out on third

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Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes admits he is proud of his players efforts despite missing out on an automatic Europa League place.After watching the Dons come from behind to beat Hibernian in Sundays final Premiership match of the season, McInnes congratulated Kilmarnock on finishing third on goal difference ahead of his team.And he concedes he will now be hoping for a Celtic victory over Hearts in next weekends Scottish Cup final so that his side can earn the final European spot.McInnes said: Weve beaten a good team, picked up three points and done what we wanted to do but ultimately its not been enough.I thought nine (post-split) points might have been enough potentially, 10 certainly. Kilmarnock have managed to beat Rangers and thats ultimately got them their 67 points and I think we have to congratulate that, thats good shooting from them.Those three home games against Livingston, St Mirren and Hamilton when we only took two from nine, that creativity and the cheapness of losing poor goals has stopped us getting to our 70 points.If we had go to 70 points plus, wed have got our European spot and now were dependent on Celtic doing the job next week and getting into Europe that way.Ultimately we have to congratulate Kilmarnock but Im still proud of my players efforts throughout the season.Hibs took the lead on Sunday through Marc McNultys 26th-minute strike but Aberdeen levelled through Sam Cosgrove two minutes before the break.James Wilson struck a 63rd-minute winner from close range before Cosgrove missed an injury-time penalty.Hibs finished the season in fifth place, some 13 points worse off than a year ago.But manager Paul Heckingbottom, who replaced Neil Lennon in February, insists his side are capable of challenging for European football next term.He said: Can we compete with these boys at the top? Yeah, but we havent beaten one of them. We want to beat these guys because youre not telling me theyre a better team than us. They deserve to be where they are because they were clinical, strong, dogged and thats why they were pushing for European places. Thats where we want to be. Weve got nothing to fear, nothing at all. But we got punished for two errors so lets not make any. We have to be clinical at the other end.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '8b4e3134-7cbf-4347-880d-ad22bf3028cb'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'McInnes proud despite missing out on third'});

May 19th 2019, 1:37 pm

Steve Clarke apologises to supporters for not winning a trophy at Kilmarnock

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Scotland-bound Steve Clarke bid an emotional farewell to Rugby Park after steering Kilmarnock to their first third-place finish in 53 years.The Scottish Football Association are set to make their move for the former West Brom and Reading boss on Monday as they look to name Alex McLeishs successor as Scotland boss.But the 55-year-old will bow out on a high in Ayrshire after Sundays 2-1 win over Rangers ensured his side pipped Aberdeen to book a guaranteed Europa League slot.Clarke who did not speak to the media either before or after the game did address the jubilant Killie faithful from the centre of the Rugby Park pitch after Eamonn Brophy tucked home a last-minute penalty to send Kilmarnock on their way to their first European adventure since 2001.And while he did not directly mention whether he would be moving on, he did hint his time at Rugby Park was up as he admitted his regret at not delivering a trophy.He said: I think its important on a day like this, on the last day of the season, (to say we have) a record points total, the first time since 1966 we have finished in the top three.We have gone better than last season. The manager seems to get the credit but I couldnt do anything without my staff. Without the players, this football club doesnt operate. Because these guys have been absolutely magnificent over the past 20 months.They have to do it on the pitch and they had to do it today because we wanted to finish third.We didnt want Aberdeen to be third, we didnt want to rely on Hibs doing something. We wanted to do it ourselves here, on our pitch. This is our pitch, this is Kilmarnock.You have the best owner (Billy Bowie) I have ever come across in football. And remember, I worked for Mr Abramovich. I think Billys richer.But the most important thing in any football club in the world is the supporters. When I came here, we didnt have so many. We had a disconnect between the support, the board, the players. There was no togetherness.I said when I came in that together we are stronger. In my time at Kilmarnock Football Club, Im sorry I didnt win you a trophy.But I am telling you now, as I stand here in front of three stands of Kilmarnock supporters bye, bye Rangers and next season Im sure it will be bye, bye Celtic as well.This is Kilmarnock. This belongs to you. This is the most important thing. I said no trophy but I take this this is my trophy. Thank you.Defeat for Gers mean they finish nine points behind Celtic and boss Steven Gerrard admitted individual errors cost his side.Alfredo Morelos grabbed his 30th goal of the season as he cancelled out Chris Burkes opener but Borna Barisic handed Brophy his chance to be the hero when he dragged down Stephen ODonnell in the box.Speculation continues to mount that Morelos will be sold this summer but Gerrard insists if he does go it will not be on the cheap.The Rangers boss who responded watch this space when asked about reports he has agreed a three-year deal for free agent forward Greg Stewart said: It is a great finish from Alfredo, a poachers goal and his all round level this season deserves 30 goals.Im pleased for him. Im hoping hes learned a lot from the last five weeks. That is what we should be talking about with Alfredo his goals, his play rather than talking about the discipline side.Its good for him to go away and remember another goal than the last four weeks.He is on a four-year contract. We have had one bid for Alfredo since Ive been Rangers manager and it was for three million euros. Would you expect to see him in the summer if you were me?(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '35f1acdd-1fbf-4b7b-8c0c-96acd9bff3a2'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Steve Clarke apologises to supporters for not winning a trophy at Kilmarnock'});

May 19th 2019, 1:37 pm

Title-winners Barcelona held to a draw in final league game at Eibar

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Lionel Messi struck twice for Barcelona as the title-winners were held to a 2-2 draw at Eibar in their final league game of the season.Eibar took the lead against the LaLiga champions through Marc Cucurella, before Messi fired back with two goals in two minutes to put Barcelona ahead.In a game with plenty of chances, Eibar equalised on the stroke of half-time as Pablo De Blasis incredible volley ensured the points were shared.6 Leo Messi equals Telmo Zarra as the player with the most Pichichi awards 2009/20102011/20122012/20132016/20172017/20182018/2019 pic.twitter.com/HFW1jKQAkz FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 19, 2019Barcelona wanted to end their league season on a high ahead of the Copa del Rey final against Valencia on May 25 as they look to complete the domestic double.The game started openly, with both sides having shots saved in the opening five minutes at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium.Barcelona came close to taking the lead when Jordi Alba sent a ball across the face of the Eibar goal, but no one was on the end of his cross. As ha sido la secuencia del GL de Cucurella! #EibarBara pic.twitter.com/y4Hd2pPH8V SD Eibar (@SDEibar) May 19, 2019Cucurella opened the scoring against his parent club as the 20-year-old got on the end of a Sergi Enrich pass, making the most of a Gerard Pique slip, before firing the ball underneath goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.Messi struck the equaliser after a ball from Arturo Vidal went through the defence and found the Argentinian, who took a touch before slotting home his 35th goal of the season.The leagues top goalscorer put his side in the lead just a minute later. After finding himself with large amounts of space on the halfway line, Messi ran forward before tapping the ball cleverly over the goalkeeper. They might look like shots of the same move. But no Messi twice in a minute. Leo #Messi #EibarBara (2-2) pic.twitter.com/vHHxPISvKf FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 19, 2019In a moment of concern for Barcelona, Nelson Semedo went down after a clash of heads and had to be replaced.In the final moments of the first half, after Eibar forced Barcelona to play out from their box, the ball fell to De Blasis who volleyed expertly over Cillessen and into the net.Barcas best chance of the second half came when Malcom crossed the ball in from the left but Pique in the centre of the box was unable to get close enough to tap it in.Cucurella almost struck a winner for Eibar in the 80th minute but his effort from inside the box went just wide.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0f651443-e52f-46a5-9059-c9c58fbf9d7d'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Title-winners Barcelona held to a draw in final league game at Eibar'});

May 19th 2019, 1:07 pm

Champions Celtic finish with a win as Killie clinch third place

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Celtic rounded off their Ladbrokes Premiership title-winning season with a win while Kilmarnock secured third place with victory over Rangers.Mikey Johnston scored both Celtic goals as they saw off Hearts 2-1 at Parkhead.Celtic players celebrate with the trophy (Jane Barlow/PA).The 20-year-olds early opener was cancelled out by a brilliant curling finish from Hearts winger Jake Mulraney after a goalkeeping error from Scott Bain.Sixteen-year-old Karamoko Dembele was given his Celtic debut in the second half, but it was fellow prospect Johnston who scored the winner with a fine run and low drive.Eamonn Brophys late penalty saw Kilmarnock win 2-1 at Rugby Park, after Chris Burkes ninth-minute opener was cancelled out by Alfredo Morelos 30th goal of Rangers season.Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke celebrates after his team secured third place (Ian Rutherford/PA).That earned them the final automatic Europa League spot ahead of Aberdeen on goal difference after the Dons beat Hibernian by the same scoreline.Mark McNulty gave Hibs a 26th-minute lead, but Sam Cosgrove equalised just before half-time and James Wilson struck just after the hour mark, following good work by Cosgrove and Stevie May, to seal the points.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '70fc5b30-e7c8-482b-8dd5-e8b391c632e1'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Champions Celtic finish with a win as Killie clinch third place'});

May 19th 2019, 1:07 pm

Late Eamonn Brophy penalty sees Kilmarnock seal third after narrow Rangers win

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Steve Clarke is set to leave Kilmarnock with a farewell gift of a third-place finish in the Ladbrokes Premiership after Eamonn Brophys late penalty sealed a 2-1 win over Rangers at Rugby Park.With the Killie boss expected to be named the new Scotland manager this week, Clarke was hoping to leave on the back of the Ayrshire outfits highest league finish since 1966.And Clarke watching from the stands after receiving a ban for criticising referee Steven McLean got his wish as Brophy drilled home from the spot in the 89th-minute.The hosts got off to a perfect start when Chris Burke fired home against his old side only for Alfredo Morelos to turn up the tension with his 30th goal of the season and his 10th against Killie midway through the second half.But Brophy kept his nerve late on to ensure his team with or without Clarke will be heading abroad for their first European adventure in 18 years next term.The home side had supporters almost filling three sides of Rugby Park after deciding to slash Rangers ticket allocation in half.And they were in merciless mood as they cheered Joe Worrals every touch early on as the centre-back returned for the first time since his blunder handed Clarkes side victory back in January.The Nottingham Forest loanee feared history was repeating itself when he got in the way of Andy Hallidays pass back but Brophy could not take advantage.Killie defender Stuart Findlay also looked on with relief after being robbed by Daniel Candeias. Morelos burst through but saw his shot parried by Jamie MacDonald before Candeias then fizzed the rebound against the crossbar.But it was Glen Kamara at fault as Killie stuck after nine minutes. Dallying on the ball, the midfielder allowed Youssouf Mulumbu to steal possession and then spray a wonderful ball over the top for Burke, who calmly steered past Wes Foderingham for the opener.Gers looked for a quick response. Ryan Kent danced into the box but goalkeeper MacDonald made a brilliant reflex save before the ball bounced just wide after hitting Kirk Broadfoots shins while Morelos fired into the sidenetting.But for all the possession Steven Gerrards team enjoyed, they were doing little with it.It was Killie who should have scored again two minutes after the break when the ball broke to Mulumbu in the box but Foderingham was out in an instant to punch clear at his feet.Rangers were left frustrated again on the hour mark as referee Willie Collum turned down handball appeals against Burke in the box.The travelling support rose to welcome 17-year-old Dapo Mebude as Gerrard handed the academy winger his debut in place of Candeias.And the Gers faithful were off their feet again as Morelos became the first Ibrox player in 10 years to hit 30 goals in a season in the 67th minute.Kents reverse pass found Ryan Jack in the box, with his turn and pass picking out the Colombian to fire past MacDonald from seven yards out.MacDonald had to be replaced by back-up stopper Devlin Mackay as he limped off as a result of an earlier clash with the Gers goalscorer.Morelos strike had deflated the earlier party mood and there was further agony for the home fans when substitute Liam Miller was ruled offside as he fired home at the back post.The visitors also had to change their goalkeeper as Foderingham moved aside, handing another debut to former Liverpool youngster Andy Firth.Killie sensed their chance and it came with 60 seconds left when Borna Barisic pulled down Stephen ODonnell in the box.Rugby Park went wild as Brophys penalty escaped Firths reach but the nerves returned when Collum added six minutes of stoppage time.However, Kilmarnock held firm to ensure Clarke leaves with a legacy to be proud of.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '621987a9-c019-489f-a6c9-124d4441e6d3'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Late Eamonn Brophy penalty sees Kilmarnock seal third after narrow Rangers win'});

May 19th 2019, 12:37 pm

Aberdeen win at Hibernian not enough to secure Europa League spot

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Aberdeen missed out on an automatic Europa League berth despite a 2-1 win at Hibernian on the final day of the Ladbrokes Premiership campaign.The Dons came from behind to secure victory as Sam Cosgrove and James Wilson both scored after Marc McNulty had given Paul Heckingbottoms side the lead.However, Kilmarnock clinched third place on goal difference after beating Rangers at Rugby Park, meaning Aberdeen now need Celtic to beat Hearts in the Scottish Cup final if they are to claim the last European spot.Hibs spent much of the opening stages on the front foot and registered their first attempt at goal after 20 minutes when Lewis Stevenson, who had done well to make up ground on the left-flank, delivered a cross for McNulty but the Scotland internationals glancing header drifted wide.Stevie Mallan was next to have a go but Tomas Cerny did well to hold the midfielders bouncing free-kick from the side of the box.The Leith side were beginning to dominate proceedings and it was no surprise they broke the deadlock in the 26th minute.Fraser Murray picked the ball up in a central area and dinked a wonderful pass through to McNulty. The on loan Coventry City forward had beaten the offside trap and kept his composure to slot his effort past Cerny.Murray came within inches of doubling the lead two minutes later as his drive from outside the box fizzed just past the far post.Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano got behind Lewis Fergusons 25-yard free-kick 10 minutes beofre the break, but the Dons did not have to wait much longer for their equaliser.It came in the 43rd minute through Cosgrove. The ball broke to the towering marksman from Connor McLennans low cross and Cosgrove tucked a left-foot drive beyond Marciano from six yards.Despite that set-back, Hibs also began the second half well.Stevie Mallan fired a left-footed strike over before Murray could only head a tame header at Cerny from David Grays cross.Daryl Horgan then created space on the edge of the box but his curling left-footed drive sailed just past the far post.In a similar pattern to the first half, Aberdeen withstood the storm to take the lead in the 63rd minute.Cosgrove found substitute Stevie May in the box and the forward picked out the unmarked Wilson, who drilled the ball past Marciano at the back post.The Hibs fans were on their feet a minute later but it was only to applaud Marvin Bartley on to pitch after it was announced last Thursday that the midfielder would be leaving the club for Livingston this summer.The news from Kilmarnock was not positive for the visitors and they missed the chance to make it 3-1 in stoppage time as Cosgroves penalty wassaved by Marciano after Gray had felled Gary Mackay-Steven.In missing from 12 yards, the striker also wasted the chance to move level with Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos as the leagues top scorer.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '7b3be576-4832-4a0f-af57-78ec4ced94be'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Aberdeen win at Hibernian not enough to secure Europa League spot'});

May 19th 2019, 12:37 pm

Johnston at the double as Celtic round off league campaign with victory

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Mikey Johnston helped Celtic draw down the curtain on an eighth successiveLadbrokes Premiership title-winning season with a double in a 2-1 win over Hearts at Parkhead.With a view to next weeks William Hill Scottish Cup final between thetwo clubs at Hampden Park where a Hoops victory will secure an unprecedented domestic treble treble both sides were much-changed for the final day of the league season.Amid a celebratory trophy-day atmosphere fringe player Johnston fired in the opener with less than two minutes played but that was cancelled out in the 17th minute by Hearts winger Jake Mulraney.Neil Lennon replaced Oliver Burke with highly-rated 16-year-old debutant attacker Karamoko Dembele for the start of the second half and he showed plenty of promise, but with six minutes remaining it was Johnston who stepped up with a terrific run and drive to seal the win.Two unusual but not unexpected line-ups were revealed on the team sheet with the Hoops showing seven changes from last weeks 2-0 defeat at Rangers.Skipper Scott Brown, Mikael Lustig, Odsonne Edouard, Tom Rogic, Jonny Hayes, Kieran Tierney and James Forrest were all left out, mostly with niggles,with Callum McGregor and Jozo Simunovic on the bench.Youngster Anthony Ralston and Ewan Henderson and Jeremy Toljan and Nir Bitton were given rare starts.Craig Levein made nine changes as he gave 16-year-old left-backAaron Hickey his first start.Skipper Christophe Berra, Bobby Burns, Steven MacLean and Harry Cochrane were rested with the Jambos boss hoping Peter Haring, Arnaud Djoum and burly striker Uche Ikpeazu are fit for Hampden.The champions were given a much-appreciated guard of honour by Hearts before the game at the request of the visitors.There was then a minutes applause before the game in tribute to Lisbon Lion Stevie Chalmers who died recently.Winger Johnston got the home side off to a great start when he worked a one-two with Henderson and slammed the ball past Zdenek Zlamal from eight yards out.Mulraney screwed a shot wide a minute later at the other end but was much more accurate with his leveller, after Hoops keeper Scott Bain was slack with a pass.Sean Clare took possession and rolled the ball to the former Inverness player who curled the ball past the back-tracking Bain and into the top corner.Zlamal made a terrific save from a Johnston drive early in the second halfbefore Dembele flashed a 25-yard drive just wide, drawing huge applause from the Hoops fans before having another effort saved by the Tynecastle keeper.Celtic, captained by Scott Sinclair, piled on the pressure and there was a penalty claim in the 80th minute when defender Kristoffer Ajers drive following a long run was blocked by Conor Shaughnessy but referee Craig Thomson was unimpressed.However, the home fans were impressed when Johnston played a one-two with substitute McGregor, on for Henderson, and drove towards the Jambos goal before firing low past Zlamal and in off the post from the edge of the box for the winner.Part two of the contest will take place at Hampden next week where the stakes will be much higher.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Ronnie Esplin, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9241c3f7-68d0-4a9a-868e-5ac24cbc1bc0'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Johnston at the double as Celtic round off league campaign with victory'});

May 19th 2019, 12:37 pm

Next year will be different, Zidane promises Real fans after season to forget

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Zinedine Zidane has accepted his share of the blame for Real Madrids disastrous season.Speaking after watching his side slip to a 2-0 home defeat by Real Betis in their final LaLiga fixture, Zidane, who returned to the Bernabeu to replace Santiago Solari in March, pulled no punches in his assessment of the campaign.He told a press conference: What happened this year has to be accepted. Im to blame weve had 11 games and won just 5. That is what it is. FT: @RealMadrid 0-2 @RealBetis_en Loren 61', Jes 75'#RMLiga pic.twitter.com/fD7w1U1qCY Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) May 19, 2019When a season starts off badly and then you are not playing for a trophy, I think it is hard to play well if there is nothing to play for. Motivation is a strange thing, it is part of our reality.During the week, it always seems like we are going to have a good match but in the end, it just doesnt happen due to many circumstances.Now we have to focus on next season because we want to please the fans and I can tell them right now that we are going to prepare well in pre-season. We are going to have plenty of time to focus on our work and set up a great season. Were going to compete from the off.Zidane has indicated he will overhaul the squad he inherited over the summer, with some big names likely to be casualties.Wales international Gareth Bale did not make it off the bench as Real Madrids season drew to a disappointing conclusion (Darren Staples/PA)Wales international Gareth Bale has found himself at the centre of speculation in recent weeks, and his displeasure was clear as headed straight down the tunnel after he was left sitting on the bench.However, Zidane would not be drawn on his future.The manager said: I dont know what will happen. Ive called upon other players lately. Im making decisions about who plays and who is on the bench, but next year anything can happen.Today he didnt play because others have come in. Im sorry that he didnt get minutes today, but next year who knows what will happen? I have to take decisions and when I dont like things or something doesnt seem right, I have to change them.Nobody is going to change what the player has done at this club, but day-to-day, it is like that. We live in the present, although we will not forget the past.If Zidane was looking to the future after the final whistle, opposite number Quique Setien was heading through the exit door, with Betis announcing his departure shortly after goals from Loren Morn and substitute Jese had sealed a famous win.It was left to Jese to reflect upon a season which saw the club miss out on European qualification by nine points. OFFICIAL | #RealBetis and Quique Setin part ways https://t.co/VUNsoYLnMl pic.twitter.com/DVllvq5ZOB Real Betis Balompi (@RealBetis_en) May 19, 2019He told LaLiga TV: The teams which manage to get into the Champions League or the Europa League, they need consistency, they need more points, they need to play well and maybe we have just let too many points slip away through our fingers, really.But thats football. Football is about winning and to get into European competitions, you need to win.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sports Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '924c717f-e06f-49be-9784-467f21635d22'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Next year will be different, Zidane promises Real fans after season to forget'});

May 19th 2019, 11:35 am

Kompany leaves Manchester City to make Anderlecht return

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Vincent Kompany decided to end his trophy-laden 11-year stay at Manchester City after being made an offer he could not refuse by his old club Anderlecht.Less than 24 hours after lifting the FA Cup, his 10th major honour since arriving at the Etihad Stadium from Hamburg in 2008, the 33-year-old Belgium defender announced on Sunday that he was leaving to take up the post of player-manager with the team where he launched his professional career.If that came as a shock to Citys fans, it was a decision Kompany felt compelled to make.In an open letter to supporters, he wrote: I choose to be grateful for the past, but remain ambitious and driven for the future.For the next three years, I will take up the role of player-manager of RSC Anderlecht. Belgiums finest.This may come as a surprise to you. Its the most passionate, yet rational decision Ive ever made.Although plagued by injuries in recent seasons, Kompany has continued to make a major contribution, and his stunning goal against Leicester in the penultimate game of the Premier League season paved the way for a fourth title success.An Open Letter to the fans.Part 2 of 2And yet I choose to rebel against what an end wants to be. I choose to bePosted by Vincent Kompany onSunday, May 19, 2019There had been speculation that he would sign a contract extension, but the lure of a return to Anderlecht, whom he first joined as a six-year-old, simply proved too strong to resist.He said: The end of this season couldnt be more memorable. I have lived the dream here.I have learned so much the last three years from an incredible manager. Pep Guardiola reignited my love for the game.Ive witnessed, participated, analysed, absorbed, studied. Man City play the football I want to play. It is the football I want to teach and to see played.BREAKING NEWS: #Theprinceisback. #COYM #RSCA. Stay tuned pic.twitter.com/pcb7A7pzd5 RSC Anderlecht (@rscanderlecht) May 19, 2019I have decided to take up the challenge at RSC Anderlecht. Player-manager. I want to share my knowledge with the next purple generations.With that, I will also put a bit of Manchester in the heart of Belgium.In all, Kompany made 360 appearances for City and scored 20 goals, in the process securing four Premier League winners medals, two in the FA Cup, four in the League Cup and two more in the Community Shield.An inspirational leader, he was a key figure in the clubs return to prominence under Sheikh Mansour.Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak described Kompany as the lifeblood of the squad (Martin Rickett/PA)Kompany said: Sheikh Mansour changed my life and that of all the City fans around the world for that, I am forever grateful. A blue nation has arisen and challenged the established order of things I find that awesome.I cherish the counsel and leadership of a good human being, Khaldoon Al Mubarak. Man City could not be in better hands.Its a cliche to say it, but its also so true: without my team-mates I would have never been here today. We fought many battles together. Side by side. In good times and in bad. So to all of you, from the 2008-2009 squad to todays domestic Treble winners: I owe you guys!Chairman Khaldoon said: There have been many important contributors to Manchester Citys renaissance, but arguably none are more important than Vincent Kompany. He defines the essence of the club. For a decade he has been the lifeblood, the soul, and beating heart of a supremely talented squad.A booming voice in the dressing room yet a quiet and measured ambassador off it, Vincent can be as proud of himself as we are of him.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b396aa22-697a-492b-8d22-1d455b194a31'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Kompany leaves Manchester City to make Anderlecht return'});

May 19th 2019, 11:35 am

Arsenal keen on Wilfried Zaha – but there’s a huge stumbling block in their way

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Arsenal want to sign Wilfried Zaha but will need Crystal Palace to dramatically lower their asking price to get a deal over the line.According toThe Sun, Unai Emery has identified the winger as one of his leading transfer targets this summer.Zaha has told Palace that he wants to join a Champions League club after another stellar season at Selhurst Park.And Arsenal, who will qualify for Europe's premier competition if they beat Chelsea in the Europa League final, are keen to add the Ivory Coast international to their squad ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.However, the Gunners are only willing to spend £40m on Zaha- which is significantly less than the Eagles' £80m asking price.The 26-year-old is contracted at Palace until 2023 and the south Londoners will not let him go on the cheap.READ MOREWhy signing Antoine Griezmann is a major gamble for BarcelonaHow Aston Villa turned around their season – and gave themselves an unexpected shot at the Premier League

May 19th 2019, 11:25 am

This is how much Manchester United will have to pay for Aaron Wan-Bissaka

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Crystal Palace will demand £60m for Manchester United target Aaron Wan-Bissaka, according toThe Daily Mail.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to improve his defensive options ahead of next season after United conceded 54 goalsin the Premier League this term.The Norwegian has identified Wan-Bissaka as a potential option at right-back after the 21-year-old's brilliant campaign at Selhurst Park.However, Palace do not want to lose the youngster in the same summer as Wilfried Zaha, who looks set to depart for a Champions League club.The Eagles will not sell Wan-Bissaka, who is under contract until 2022,for less than £60m.That price is far in excess of what United would be willing to pay, which means a transfer will be difficult for the Red Devils to pull off this summer.READ MOREThe hangover: coming to terms with Leeds United's play-off heartbreakHow UEFA used the Champions League final to reveal their plan to revolutionise women’s football

May 19th 2019, 11:25 am

One-off Kompany’s stock set to rise even further

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Little about Vincent Kompany is ordinary.An accomplished central defender who is as comfortable on the ball as he is at denying opponents the same luxury, he has proved himself a leader of rare quality on and off the pitch.The 33-year-old Belgium international is also equipped with academic intelligence and a social conscience borne out of a testing upbringing which has shaped not only his career in football, but his preparation for what lies ahead when he eventually hangs up his boots.The suns come out for @VincentKompany as he carries out some interviews with @hitsradiouk #Tackle4MCR pic.twitter.com/YoJ7Q2fIZV tackle4mcr (@tackle4mcr) May 10, 2019His decision to leave Manchester City after a glittering 11-year stay signalled the end of one era, but the world is likely to hear more of Vincent Kompany.He was born in the Brussels suburb of Uccle in April 1986 to parents Pierre, who had been sent to a labour camp as a student in his native Democratic Republic of Congo after joining an uprising against dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, and Jocelyne, a white Belgian union leader who worked for Brussels government employment agency.His father completed his engineering degree while driving a taxi at night to support his family Kompany has a brother, Francois, and a sister, Christel and they sent their children to school aware of the challenges they would face because of their mixed race heritage, but armed with the tools to fight discrimination.Kompany, right, in action for Hamburg (Nick Potts/PA)Kompany told the Guardian: My dad wasnt accepted in the family at the beginning.My mother comes from the most rural village you can imagine and when she arrived, in the 70s, with my dad, straight from Africa, it was a shock. It was ignorance. My dad always ended up being accepted because of his personality.It was normal for us to go to youth tournaments and be called monkeys; parents shouting it. That would nearly cause a fist fight with my mother. We were taught to be stronger.That strength of character appears to be a family trait Pierre Kompany was elected Belgiums first black mayor in October last year, a source of huge pride for his children.The Kompanys spoke French at home and Dutch in school and the Manchester City skippers language skills have since developed to include near-faultless English and German and a passable grasp of Italian and Spanish.He was always marked out to be a footballer, joining Anderlecht as a six-year-old and working his way through the ranks at both club and international level, although his outspoken tendencies saw him thrown out of school and the national set-up as a teenager.15 years ago, the debut of @VincentKompany with #RSCA against Rapid Bucharest #sportingboy pic.twitter.com/f37OPMrEYE RSC Anderlecht (@rscanderlecht) July 30, 2018He said: I had an edge, a different way of dealing with things. My parents always revolted against inequality or unfairness, so you can imagine that when my teacher would punish someone or me for something that wasnt fair, I wouldnt take it.His teenage years were not without incident he underwent knee surgery, perhaps a forewarning of what was to come in his career, his parents divorced and the family found themselves facing eviction from their inner-city home and had he chosen a different path, the drugs and gang culture which surrounded him could have provided a very different outcome.Kompanys career, however, went from strength to strength and having been capped by his country at senior level as a 17-year-old, he won a big money move to Hamburg, where he excelled before being snapped up by City in 2008, the same year as he lost his mother to cancer.His 11 years at the Etihad Stadium earned him 10 major trophies, a torrent of plaudits from team-mates and opponents alike, although as injuries, and particularly muscle problems, took their toll he managed just 84 appearances for the club over his last four seasons his presence both on the pitch and in the dressing room was valued highly by successive managers.Kompany pictured with former City boss Manuel Pellegrini after winning the 2014 Premier League title (Martin Rickett/PA)What it also brought him was wealth beyond the wildest dreams of his childhood, although he has never lost sight of the difficulties of those less fortunate both at home and in is adopted country.Kompany, who is married to a Mancunian, Carla, and the father of three children, and graduated with a Masters degree in business administration in 2017, has established the Tackle4MCR charity in response to the homelessness problem in Manchester and BX Brussels, a football club for youngsters in Belgium.In addition, he has worked with SOS Childrens Villages to create a village for orphans in Kinshasa, the capital of his fathers homeland.His step into coaching at Anderlecht represents a new phase of his career, but it is unlikely to be the last with his interest in business and social justice representing avenues for further exploration, although he has indicated politics is not for him despite his passionately-held views on inequality and lack of opportunity.It would be foolish to bet against such an articulate, committed and socially aware man replicating his success in football in whatever he chooses to do after it.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Damian Spellman, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '5c1846d7-e118-4580-9649-cd3a43b1e198'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'One-off Kompany\u2019s stock set to rise even further'});

May 19th 2019, 11:25 am

‘Big player, big personality, big leader’ – City stars pay tribute to Kompany

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Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and youngster Phil Foden were among those to pay tribute to Vincent Kompany after the Belgian called time on his career at the club.Kompany helped City to 10 trophies, including this years domestic treble, during 11 years and 360 games at the club.The 33-year-old has been appointed as play-manager of Belgian side Anderlecht, a club he joined at the age of six.Playing for about 10 years with this man for club and country. And what an privilege its been. Big player, Big personality and big leader. Learned a lot from you. Wishing you all the best for the future. Btw picking you up at 2 pm today pic.twitter.com/RWjIhAkUel Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) May 19, 2019Fellow Belgian De Bruyne was among those to take to Twitter to express their feelings.He wrote: Playing for about 10 years with this man for club and country. And what a privilege its been.Big player, big personality and big leader. Learned a lot from you. Wishing you all the best for the future.Kompany signed off his City career with a second FA Cup trophy on Saturday, where City thrashed Watford 6-0 to complete the treble.Young midfielder Foden said his former team-mate had looked after him from day one.Looked after me from day one. Led by example, showed everyone what it means to be a leader, wear their heart on the sleeve, and give everything for this club.We will miss you Captain pic.twitter.com/e8xkzmpjm6 Phil Foden (@PhilFoden) May 19, 2019Thank you for this years close to you. Thank you for all the moments, all the words to me and to be the best leader which need this big family. You are a legend and we wish you the best in your next stage, @VincentKompany ! pic.twitter.com/un2bJdRFsM Aymeric Laporte (@Laporte) May 19, 2019From skip to gaffer, the man has it all!! Since I walked through the door Vinny has been amazing to me. He helped me settle in and Ive learned a lot from the big man. Good luck with everything skip, youll be missed #CaptainFantastic #Legend pic.twitter.com/KWqpCWZsXE Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 19, 2019Kompany scored 20 goals during his 360 games, and won four Premier League titles and even those from other clubs praised the centre-back, including former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker.Neville admitted he wished Kompany had played for his club and said his influence on and off the pitch was huge.I didnt expect that. Their are some players you wish played for your club. @VincentKompany was one of them. A great centre back whose influence on and off the pitch was huge. https://t.co/5hfP1ceNUp Gary Neville (@GNev2) May 19, 2019No question that the mightily impressive captain of @ManCity has played a big part in building a Club that looks close to unstoppable. Take a bow @VincentKompany michael owen (@themichaelowen) May 19, 2019Good luck to you, @VincentKompany with your new challenge. One of the greatest players, leaders and role models to have played on the green carpets of this country. And what a way to bow out from @ManCity https://t.co/ZE1IOywid7 Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 19, 2019Lifelong City fan Liam Gallagher wrote: Thankyou Vincent Kompany for everything good luck see ya soon LG x.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '123c3b5b-0dab-40f3-b00c-5ecf1bc99533'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': '\u2018Big player, big personality, big leader\u2019 \u2013 City stars pay tribute to Kompany'});

May 19th 2019, 9:22 am

Cody Cooke confident St Mirren have enough to stay up

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Cody Cooke says St Mirren are on a roll that could spare them the pain of relegation. Striker Cooke climbed off the bench to fire a hat-trick as Oran Kearneys side claimed a 3-2 win over Dundee at Dens Park on Saturday. But the result was not enough to save the Buddies from finishing in the relegation play-off spot and they will now have to fight for their top-flight lives in this weeks Thursday-Sunday shoot out with Dundee United. But having chalked up six games without defeat, Cooke believes his team are hitting form at the perfect time to beat the drop. He said: Weve got mixed emotions. We were hoping to stay up automatically but thats not been the case. However, the last six results show the momentum is with us. If wed managed this earlier in the season wed probably be much higher up. But that momentum is with us now and that will be key going into these two games with United. Defeat was not the way already-relegated Dundee wanted to bow out of the top division. And there was further agony for Darren ODea as his final match before retiring in the summer ended in a red card after 19 minutes. The former Celtic and Republic of Ireland defender failed to control 16-year-old debutant Finlay Robertsons pass and was forced to drag down Brad Lyons as the Saints forward burst through on goal.ODea was treated to a standing ovation from the Dens faithful but caretaker boss James McPake was distraught to see the curtain come down on his friends career in such ignominious circumstances. He said: Darren didnt deserve that for what hes done for this club. I dont mean that just for what he did on the pitch, hes helped those young guys that played against St Mirren massively by coaching them. Im devastated for him actually but Ill accept it a bit too, because I think weeks ago the passage that led to his foul wouldnt have happened. Darren wouldnt have been on the ball there given how we were playing back then. If you look at the first 20 minutes, we were so comfortable, so threatening everything that comes from what we worked on through the week. It was me who asked Finn to try and play out that way if we could. Its football, its unpredictable.But Im gutted for Darren as a friend as he deserved to go off with his head held high. Hell recover though, hes got a lot to offer football. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0d762671-4a24-439c-9f5d-77791685b129'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Cody Cooke confident St Mirren have enough to stay up'});

May 19th 2019, 9:22 am

Chelsea face battle to keep hold of midfielder as PSG prepare bid

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PSG will make a move to sign Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante this summer, report theDaily Mirror.The Ligue 1 champions have cooled their interest in Everton's Idrissa Gueye and will now turn their attention towards the France international.PSG have endured a disappointing season despite winning the Ligue 1 title, with their Champions League defeat by Manchester United a particular low point.Thomas Tuchel is now seeking to strengthen his squad ahead of a European challenge next term, with Kante among his main targets.Chelsea will be loath to lose the ball-winning midfielder, who has beenone of their standout performers in 2018/19.The Blues hope to have their two-window transfer ban delayed or overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, although their initial appeal was rejected by FIFA.PSG's pursuit of Kante will be made more difficult if the suspension is upheld, but the big-spending French side hope to be able to prise the former Leicester man away from Stamford Bridge regardless.READ MORE11 forgotten internationals who shone after returning from the abyss6 players Real Madrid could sign to get back among Europe’s elite

May 19th 2019, 9:07 am

Real Madrid’s season ends on miserable note with home defeat

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Loren Moron and Jese teamed up to hand Real Betis a famous victory at the Estadio Bernabeu as Real Madrids disappointing season ended with a whimper.Morons 61st-minute strike and a second from Jese with quarter of an hour remaining secured a deserved 2-0 win for the visitors on a day when Gareth Bale did not make it off the bench amid continuing speculation that he could be one of the casualties of a major overhaul by Zinedine Zidane this summer.Zidanes men, who started the day 18 points adrift of champions Barcelona and eight behind derby rivals Atletico Madrid, were ultimately well beaten as their Liga campaign drew to a close with a third defeat in four games.61' GOAL! @lorenmg16 taps in an assist from @AGuardado18!!! #RealMadridRealBetis 0-1 #RBBlive pic.twitter.com/WHW9s9yW8l Real Betis Balompi (@RealBetis_en) May 19, 2019Madrid started in positive mood with Vinicius Junior very nearly catching keeper Pau Lopez in possession early on as he gave the home fans early encouragement.However, Betis responded to pin their hosts back and keeper Keylor Navas was relieved to be in the right place at the right time to collect Giovani Lo Celsos 17th-minute header from Andres Guardados free-kick.Full-back Marcelo blazed high and wide from distance with 23 minutes gone, but went significantly closer two minutes later after Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric had worked a short corner with Zidanes men attempting to turn the tide.But Navas had to tip over defender Marc Bartras swerving 28th-minute drive as play switched rapidly from end to end.Real Madrids Karim Benzema passed up a glorious opportunity against Real Betis (David Davies/PA)Karim Benzema passed up a glorious opportunity to fire Madrid ahead when he latched on to Francisco Guerreros ill-judged 33rd-minute pass, only to hit the post with Pau saving Federico Valverdes well-struck follow-up.However, Navas fingertips came to the rescue at the other end seconds later after Lo Celso had attempted to lob him and the first half finished goalless.Madrid stepped up a gear immediately after the restart, but were repeatedly unable to find a final ball of the required quality to hurt Betis.Vinicius Junior was denied by Pau at his near post after turning brilliantly past Aissa Mandi into space with 57 minutes gone, and it was the visitors who took the lead within four minutes when Guardado found space on the left and his cross was perfectly weighted for Moron to fire home. FT: Real Madrid C.F. 0-2 Real Betis Balompi Loren 61', Jes 75'#RMLigaPosted by Real Madrid C.F. onSunday, May 19, 2019Navas had to save acrobatically from Lo Celso, who later curled a shot just wide of the far post with the keeper beaten as Betis looked to increase their advantage.They did just that with 15 minutes remaining when substitute Jese was left unmarked in the box to latch on to Junior Firpos pull-back and smash the ball into the roof of the net.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sports Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '5dbe247c-2f2f-4acd-992e-1bfd96e442c8'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Real Madrid\u2019s season ends on miserable note with home defeat'});

May 19th 2019, 8:37 am

Boyata is Berlin bound

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Belgian defender Dedryck Boyata has left Celtic for German side Hertha Berlin on what is described as a long-term deal.The 28-year-oldwas available on a free transfer with his contract at the Glasgow outfit expiring this summer.The German clubs sporting director Michael Preetz said: Weve had Dedryck in our sights for some time now and are fully convinced of his qualities, and we are confident that he is a real reinforcement for our defence.Boyata moved to Celtic in 2015 from Manchester City.He was involved in a row with then Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers at the start of this season, being sent to train with the development side after he missed a Champions League qualifier against AEK Athens in Greece when he claimed to be injured.Boyata told his new clubs website: The club is ambitious and has goals that I stand by and I was very impressed by how Michael Preetz tried to talk to me and showed me a clear plan.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '196258aa-010c-4709-bccd-32403a28a6d7'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Boyata is Berlin bound'});

May 19th 2019, 8:37 am

Arsenal ready move for French forward in cut-price deal

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Arsenal are eyeing a bargain deal for Lorient forward Alexis Claude-Maurice, writeThe Daily Express.Unai Emery does not have a huge budget to spend this summer and is therefore looking for value in the market.Claude-Maurice certainly fits that description, with the 20-year-old available for around £9m.The France Under-20 international has scored 14 goals in 35 Ligue 2 appearances this term.And Arsenal will not be put off by his lack of top-flight experience given the success of Matteo Guendouzi, who they acquired from Lorient last summer.Norwich are also tracking Claude-Maurice, but Arsenal would be in pole position to sign him if they submit a formal offer.READ MORE6 players Real Madrid could sign to get back among Europe’s eliteThe hangover: coming to terms with Leeds United's play-off heartbreak

May 19th 2019, 8:22 am

Brian Rice wants Hamilton to be a club renowned for developing talent

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Brian Rice wants Hamilton to be a magnet for young footballers in Scotland.Accies had seven academy graduates in their squad of 18 on Saturday for the 2-0 home win over St Johnstone which secured their Ladbrokes Premiership status for a record sixth season.The Lanarkshire side started the last day of the campaign one point ahead of second-bottom St Mirren and goals from defender Ziggy Gordon and attacker Steve Davies ensured the Buddies 3-2 win at already-relegated Dundee was irrelevant.Rice told AcciesTV about his hope for next season and beyond, saying: We are renowned throughout Britain for producing players and improving players and selling them.I want to continue that. I want good young kids to come through the system, I want good young kids to come to Hamilton and I want young players to see what happens here the way we try to play, to want to come to play for Hamilton.I needed good experience as well to supplement that and it is a two-way thing.The young lads give the older lads energy, the older lads give the younger lads experience.I will be working very hard trying to recruit over the summer.Rice is pleased to have ensured safety while St Mirren, from whom he left his post as assistant in January to take over at Hamilton from Martin Canning, face Dundee United in the first leg of their relegation play-off at Tannadice on Thursday night before the return match in Paisley on Sunday.He said: It is a massive achievement for us.I came in here and carried on the good work that Martin Canning had been doing. The result is difficult to put into words. The players have done the job. I just pick them and put them on the pitch, they are the ones that perform.I am just delighted for everyone at the club. We had a job to do and we have done it so we start planning ahead right away.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'fb80fb46-98bf-492b-8e71-46b3e5152d2c'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Brian Rice wants Hamilton to be a club renowned for developing talent'});

May 19th 2019, 8:22 am

Gary Holt talks up Scott Tiffoney after impressive cameo at Motherwell

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Gary Holt praised Scott Tiffoney after his late double almost completed a brilliant second-half comeback from Livingston against Motherwell.The Steelmen were cruising towards a comfortable 3-0 win until the 22-year-old was introduced for Ryan Hardie in the 62nd minute. Tiffoney stabbed home at the back post with 10 minutes remaining before racing past the Motherwell defence and firing beyond Mark Gillespie to set up a nervy finish. Livingston manager Holt believes Tiffoney could have a breakthrough season next year if he simply sticks to the basics. We know what Tiff can offer us, its just harnessing that and adding to it, he said. If you give him few instructions then he causes lots of problems but when you start to pigeon hole him it can be unnatural to him and how he sees the game. At 3-0, it was a fantastic opportunity to let him off the leash and for him to show people what hes all about.Im delighted he managed to get his two goals, if the game lasted another 10 minutes then we could have nicked that equaliser. I thought we were reactive in the first half and Motherwell picked up lots of second balls. Second half we were much better, on the front foot and caused them problems.Motherwell were scintillating at times during the first half and raced into a three-goal lead courtesy of Scottish Football Writers young player of the year David Turnbull.The 19-year-old delivered a perfect free-kick for Liam Donnelly to glance home the early opener before doubling the hosts advantage after a clever corner routine in the 22nd minute. Referee David Munro gave three penalties during a crazy first half, Turnbull confidently converting to notch his 15th Ladbrokes Premiership goal of the season. Munro then awarded both sides a spot-kick within a minute but both Hardie and Turnbull saw their efforts saved.Motherwells season was transformed after the winter break due to a combination of Stephen Robinson adopting a more attractive style of play and the emergence of a talented crop of youngsters, including match-winner Turnbull and Rangers-bound Jake Hastie.Robinson admitted the development of his young players and their continued impressive performances were the highlights of the season.Its defined our season, credit to everybody at the football club because we stuck together during a difficult time in the season, he said. We managed to develop the young players, bring them back from loans and work with them in training. We had a difficult spell earlier in the season, although we reached the quarter-final, but the emergence of the young boys has been the icing on the cake.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'e4f4903b-ff56-4507-ac8e-16ef5877c25d'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Gary Holt talks up Scott Tiffoney after impressive cameo at Motherwell'});

May 19th 2019, 8:22 am

Here’s what Chelsea have offered Callum Hudson-Odoi in an attempt to keep him at club

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Chelsea will offer Callum Hudson-Odoi the No.10 shirt in a bid to convince him to stay put this summer, according toThe Daily Mail.The England international submitted a transfer request in January but the Blues refused to sell him to Bayern Munich.The Bundesliga champions remain interested in the 18-year-old and look set to launch another move for him ahead of next season.Hudson-Odoi is out of contract in June 2020 and Chelsea have so far been unable to persuade him to extend his deal.But with Eden Hazard poised to join Real Madrid, the Blues hope that the chance to wear the No.10 shirt will help convince Hudson-Odoi to remain at Stamford Bridge.The teenage winger scored five goals in 24 appearances in all competitions for Maurizio Sarri's side this term.READ MORE6 players Real Madrid could sign to get back among Europe’s eliteThe hangover: coming to terms with Leeds United's play-off heartbreak

May 19th 2019, 7:37 am

Another award for Celtic winger James Forrest

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Celtic winger James Forrest has scooped a player of the year double. Forrest has been named Scottish Football Writers player of the year after earlier winning the PFA Scotland award. The 27-year-old also won the journalists international player prize after his five goals in two games against Albania and Israel fired Scotland to top spot in their Nations League group. Forrest has netted 17 goals for Celtic this season and saw off competition from team-mate Callum McGregor plus Rangers pair Allan McGregor and Alfredo Morelos to take the prize. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0bcde6fe-575a-4470-af49-027fb3ace4fa'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Another award for Celtic winger James Forrest'});

May 19th 2019, 7:07 am

De Bruyne keen to take time to appreciate City’s achievements

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Kevin De Bruyne is enjoying the afterglow of Manchester Citys unbelievable treble-winning season rather than focusing on the future, especially after putting a stop-start season behind him in the FA Cup final.History was made at Wembley as Pep Guardiolas swashbuckling side followed up Premier League and Carabao Cup glory by completing the domestic treble.No mens side in English football history had previously achieved the feat, while only Bury in 1903 could match Saturdays 6-0 winning scoreline in an FA Cup final.Absolute joy! 4-0 #FACupFinal #mancity pic.twitter.com/6duaBBgay7 Manchester City (@ManCity) May 18, 2019Doubles from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus in the rout of Watford were complemented by efforts by David Silva and De Bruyne, who came on in the 55th minute but did enough to be named man of the match.It has been an unbelievable season to win three titles, the Belgian substitute said. It says enough.To compare generations is very difficult. We are happy with what we have done this season and we are happy to be in the conversation but we should just enjoy the moment because it doesnt happen very often.De Bruyne, left, with Alexander Zinchenko, acknowledges Manchester Citys achievements this season (Nick Potts/PA)De Bruyne says it is already an honour to be considered one of the best teams in English football history but cares little for talk of going one better by winning next seasons Champions League.It is not about topping it, it is about being consistent and trying to achieve the best, he said shortly after collecting his medal.We are not starting the season saying we want to win three titles or four titles, we want to play the way we play and do our best.You need a bit of luck of the draw, form and not too many injuries, there are a lot of things going on in a season.It is not all about the end product, it is about the journey and you appreciate it even more.De Bruyne scores his sides third goal (Nick Potts/PA)De Bruynes personal journey made his man-of-the-match display in Saturdays final all the sweeter.Laid low for long periods of the season through injury, the Belgian came off the City bench to end the campaign strongly, scoring one goal and setting up another.He added: It does (mean a lot) because I wanted to end in a good way. It has been a stop-start season for me, and it has been difficult at times.I wanted to show the people I am still the same player, I just had some bad luck this season. Now everyone knows I am the same and go into the summer in the right way.I have been playing for 10, 11 years, I am not a young player anymore.De Bruyne has been unlucky with injuries this season (Martin RIckett/PA)It has been one of these seasons where I have had some bad luck with two injuries.Afterwards my body couldnt really cope with the number of games and I just have to accept it.In the end I played 32 games and that is still a lot.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Simon Peach, Press Association Chief Football Writer'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'f8177290-1331-4765-ac9b-a460ddbdfb4f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'De Bruyne keen to take time to appreciate City\u2019s achievements'});

May 19th 2019, 7:07 am

Kompany to take up player-manager job with Anderlecht

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Vincent Kompany has ended his 11-year association with Manchester City and been appointed player-manager of Belgian side Anderlecht.The 33-year-old joined the Brussels club at the age of six, and his career has now come full circle after a trophy-laden stint at City.He announced on his Facebook page: I choose to be grateful for the past but remain ambitious and driven for the future.An Open Letter to the fans.Part 2 of 2And yet I choose to rebel against what an end wants to be. I choose to bePosted by Vincent Kompany onSunday, May 19, 2019For the next three years, I will take up the role of player-manager of Anderlecht. Belgiums finest.This may come as a surprise to you.Its the most passionate yet rational decision Ive ever made.Kompany revealed that he had met with Anderlecht chairman Marc Coucke and sporting director Michael Verschueren last summer.I shared my thoughts and listened to their vision for the future: ambitious, courageous and determined to get back to number one, he wrote.BREAKING NEWS: #Theprinceisback. #COYM #RSCA. Stay tuned pic.twitter.com/pcb7A7pzd5 RSC Anderlecht (@rscanderlecht) May 19, 2019I offered my help, no strings attached, should they need it.Kompany says he was then offered the player-manager job in the last few weeks.I want to share my knowledge with the next purple generations, he continued.With that, I will also put a bit of Manchester in the heart of Belgium. This is no goodbye. Its a see you later.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '12d5d39c-1aa8-406c-be41-72215c474e78'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Kompany to take up player-manager job with Anderlecht'});

May 19th 2019, 6:52 am

Tottenham have identified the manager they would want to replace Mauricio Pochettino

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Tottenham could approach Max Allegri if Mauricio Pochettino leaves the club this summer, writeThe Sunday Express.Pochettino has hinted that he could depart north London if Spurs win next month's Champions League final against Liverpool.And while chairman Daniel Levy hopes that theArgentinian will stay put, he has begun to identify potential replacements.Juventus announced this week that Allegri would not be continuing as the club's manager beyond the current campaign.TheBianconerihave included Pochettino on their shortlist to succeed Allegri, while Bayern Munich are also interested in the former Southampton boss.And Tottenham could seek to bring in Allegri if their current head coach moves on ahead of the 2019/20 season.READ MOREThe hangover: coming to terms with Leeds United's play-off heartbreakHow UEFA used the Champions League final to reveal their plan to revolutionise women’s football

May 19th 2019, 6:20 am

Manchester United have told Paul Pogba what he must do if he wants to leave Old Trafford

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Paul Pogba mustsubmit a formal transfer request if he wants to leave Manchester United this summer, writeThe Sun.The France international is reportedly desperate to seal a switch to Real Madrid ahead of next season.Pogba has made his wish to leave United clear to the club's hierarchy, but they have informed the player that he must go public with his desire to depart in order to secure his dream move.Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is plotting a major squad overhaul and has told Pogba that it is now or never if he wants to move to the Spanish capital.Ed Woodward, United's executive vice-chairman, wants to keep hold of the 26-year-old, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is willing to let him leave if the price is right.However, Pogba has been told that he must demand a transfer if he is to persuade Woodward to let him go.READ MORE11 forgotten internationals who shone after returning from the abyss6 players Real Madrid could sign to get back among Europe’s elite

May 19th 2019, 6:20 am

PSG are attempting to persuade Manchester United star to leave on a free transfer

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PSG are attempting to persuade David de Gea to join them on a free transfer in 2020, according toThe Sunday Express.The Manchester United goalkeeper is out of contract next summer and had been linked with a £60m move to the Ligue 1 champions ahead of next season.However, PSG have reportedly told the Spaniard to stay put in 2019/20 before moving to the Parc des Princes for nothing in 12 months' time.The French side have fallen foul of Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules in the past and therefore cannot afford another major transfer splurge this summer.They would be free to sign De Gea on a pre-contract agreement on January and have told the former Atletico Madrid man of their plan to do so.The goalkeeper would in turn be handed a significant signing-on bonus due to the fact that there would be no transfer fee involved.De Gea has made 362 appearances for United since joining the club from Atletico in 2011.READ MORE6 players Real Madrid could sign to get back among Europe’s eliteThe hangover: coming to terms with Leeds United's play-off heartbreak

May 19th 2019, 4:35 am

Gomes still has pride despite the dejection of FA Cup defeat

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Heurelho Gomes was as disappointed as any Watford fan after their FA Cup dreams were emphatically extinguished by Manchester City.The Hornets bid for a first major trophy went up in smoke at Wembley, where an encouraging start tailed off as Pep Guardiolas men secured an historic domestic treble in style.City kept their foot down to seal a 6-0 victory and equal the record FA Cup final win.Long-serving Gomes stopped the scoreline being even worse and struck a naturally downbeat figure afterwards.Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was beaten six times at Wembley (Nick Potts/PA)He said: Yeah I feel disappointed with everybody else, but I feel proud of everyone at the club. We have come so far.Of course the result is hard to take but we lost to the best team in the league and probably the best in the world, so I am so proud of these players, so proud of this club and the supporters.You could see that they are proud of us as well, they sing until the last minute. We need to keep going and yeah, we go again.Gomes had a challenging day against Manchester City (Mike Egerton/PA)The FA Cup final could prove to be Gomes last match. The 38-year-old said in March that he was 99 percent sure he would retire this summer, but there appears a chance that the Watford goalkeeper could yet continue.Asked if he had made a final decision, Gomes said: No, not yet.I have got to speak to the club and the club want to speak with me, so I will listen to them and see what is going to happen.If I am still able to do something for this club I will do it. But we need to speak, calm down and sit next week and see what the decision is.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Simon Peach, Press Association Chief Football Writer'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a1aac689-316c-421c-b7c7-329fb7555640'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Gomes still has pride despite the dejection of FA Cup defeat'});

May 19th 2019, 4:35 am

Captain Vincent Kompany to leave Manchester City

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Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany will leave the club this summer.The 33-year-old joined the club in the summer of 2008 and has made 360 appearances.He signed off with victory in the FA Cup final on Saturday, where City thrashed Watford 6-0 to complete a domestic treble.My captain, my captain @VincentKompany leaves Manchester City #mancity https://t.co/4lbs8eubxX Manchester City (@ManCity) May 19, 2019Kompany said: As overwhelming as it is, the time has come for me to go. And what a season to bow out.I feel nothing but gratefulness. I am grateful to all those who supported me on a special journey, at a very special club.The central defender was signed by Mark Hughes from German club Hamburg, days before the Sheikh Mansour takeover.He became a key figure in the success which followed, and leaves City having wonfour Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups.Kompany holds aloft the Premier League trophy (Anthony Devlin/PA)I remember the first day, as clear as I see the last. I remember the boundless kindness I received from the people of Manchester, Kompany added.I will never forget how all Man City supporters remained loyal to me in good times and especially bad times. Against the odds you have always backed me and inspired me to never give up.Sheikh Mansour changed my life and that of all the City fans around the world, for that I am forever grateful. A blue nation has arisen and challenged the established order of things, I find that awesome.I cherish the counsel and leadership of a good human being, Khaldoon Al Mubarak. Man City could not be in better hands.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '29304c58-8891-4c8a-af85-3977b4986fd7'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Captain Vincent Kompany to leave Manchester City'});

May 19th 2019, 4:35 am

Manchester City may have to sell this player before sealing move for Spanish midfielder

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Manchester City may have to sell Gabriel Jesus in order to seal a dealfor Atletico Madrid's Rodri, reportThe Sun.City are leading the race to sign the Spain international, who is also being tracked by Barcelona and Bayern Munich.Rodri is available for £65m due to a buyout clause in his contract, but the 22-year-old wants to consider all his options before committing to any club.Atletico are on the lookout for a new striker after Antoine Griezmann announced his intention to leave this summer.And Jesus is thought to be at the top of the Spanish side's wish list, with Diego Simeonehoping to snare him away from the Etihad Stadium as part of the deal for Rodri.The Brazil international started Saturday's 6-0 FA Cup final victory over Watfordbut played second fiddle to Sergio Aguero for most of the campaign.Jesus may therefore be open to a move to Atletico, which would make it easier for Rodri to move in the opposite direction.READ MOREHow Aston Villa turned around their season – and gave themselves an unexpected shot at the Premier League11 forgotten internationals who shone after returning from the abyss

May 19th 2019, 4:35 am

Fewer options mean Southgate feels the frustration

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Gareth Southgate has underlined the need for change after the number of English top-flight starters reached a historic, and alarming, new low.The Three Lions are preparing for the inaugural Nations League Finals having reached the World Cup semi-finals last summer, while the development sides have enjoyed sustained success in recent years.But improving talent is being stymied by a lack of top-level opportunities.Gareth Southgate is concerned about the number of English-qualified players in the Premier League (David Davies/PA)English-qualified players made up just 30 per cent of starters in the Premier League during the 2018-19 season, having dropped from 33.2 per cent the previous campaign and reached the lowest figure in top-flight history.Theres a clear diminishing number there, manager Southgate said.Theres some discussion around developing players that is important. Theres some discussion around work permits moving forwards which might affect some of that.The first thing weve got to do is arrest the slide. We have to stop that graph slipping.Because it isnt correct to say were not developing good players. I think thats really important.Southgate wants to see more home-grown talent, like Liverpools Trent Alexander-Arnold (Owen Humphreys/PA)Southgate is not one for sweeping statements but his need to protect national team interests is understandable, especially considering just 19.9 per cent of the top-sixs starters were English-qualified players.The big concern for me is this graph continues to fall away and that we end up in 10 years time with an England manager who has got 15 per cent of the league, he said with a wider view.And why wouldnt that happen?Because it has dropped 15 per cent in the last seven or eight years, so theres no sign of that being arrested because more money coming in, global market. That is a big danger for us.Brexit would help bridge a gap which is growing (Yui Mok/PA)Brexit could provide an opportunity to help improve English opportunities, with the Football Association having proposed a way to increase homegrown playing time while ensuring the Premier League remains at the top.The proposal would allow the league to sign the best players in the world, rather than the restrictive work permit system currently in place but keep the number of non-homegrown players at the current level of around 260.That would mean having a maximum of 13 non-homegrown players per club a plan which would certainly help bridge the gap that is growing.Southgate added: Brexit is offering an opportunity because there will have to be change.Sergio Aguero is one of many overseas players who play in the Premier League (Nick Potts/PA)If Brexit happens, there will have to be change whether people want it or not around work permits.It wont be freedom of movement for European players, so that landscape will change.I think the proposals that the FA have put forward have tried to balance keeping the success of the Premier League and recognising that is a product that works for us as a country.But we saw 40-odd million people or more enjoying last summer and the impact of the national team as well and what that can bring.Southgate was proud of his players achievements at the World Cup last year (Owen Humphreys/PA)We are trying to achieve something that not many other countries have had: a successful league and a successful national team. Thats a huge challenge.But I think the proposals that have been put forward have said look, theres a certain level of players that we think it shouldnt go any further (than) and theres got to be change so lets have this grown-up conversation about it.The FA is working with the Premier League, EFL and a range of government departments during this consultation period, which comes at a time when Southgate is keen to build from a position of strength.He added: I understand completely that each of the Premier League clubs is a business in its own right, with its own aims and objectives that wont necessarily align with what the national association want.Southgate says he understands that each of the Premier League clubs is a business in its own right (Andrew Matthews/PA)But our job as a governing body must be to protect the interests of both to protect the interests of the club game but to give the national team and its importance for our people the right level of support and opportunity to succeed.And I think that is possible. I think you can have a successful league and a successful pathway for the national team.That needs grown up conversations and I think there are a lots of good people in football who are more than capable of having that and the more we can be joined up its a really powerful force.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Simon Peach, Press Association Chief Football Writer'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'd2a9c4a9-66c1-4ee0-8f36-7b5a5bd57028'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Fewer options mean Southgate feels the frustration'});

May 18th 2019, 6:12 pm

PSG ease to victory over troubled Dijon

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Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain eased to a 4-0 victory over Dijon that maintained their 16-point lead at the top of the table and left their struggling visitors on the verge of relegation.Their eighth league title was secured last month but they continue to impress, and in doing so further threatened Dijons hopes of survival, with one remaining league fixture.Defeat left Dijon in 19th and desperately scrapping for 18th, which would take them into a relegation play-off they may yet survive. Monacos 2-0 victory over Amiens took them five points clear of the bottom two, and therefore also beyond Dijons reach.PSGs two goals inside the opening four minutes, from Angel Di Maria and Edinson Cavani, made the visitors already intimidating challenge appear even more difficult.Kylian Mbappe scored a third goal before half-time, and added a second in the second half, ending any remaining doubt surrounding their latest three points.Di Maria required only three minutes to give his side the lead, when he sent an impressive strike from midfield high into the centre of the net and beyond the reach of goalkeeperRunar Runarsson after receiving possession from Julian Draxler.The Argentinian then almost instantly created their second, when he found space to cross towards Cavani, who from in front of goal sent a close-range header high and in.Cavani had just threatened again with a shot that was blocked when, in the 36th minute, Mbappe extended their lead with a close-range finish from in front of goal.Dijons pursuit of an unlikely comeback was then punished in the 56th minute, when Leandro Paredes led a swift break before delivering the fine through-ball that played in Mbappe to routinely score with a right-footed shot, again from in front of goal.Lilles 5-0 victory over Angers means PSGs insurmountable lead was not extended, but after 37 league fixtures they have a total of 91 points, having scored 104 goals. Lille have also secured second, and therefore Ligue 1s second Champions League spot.Dijon could yet overtake Caen and move up to 18th to enter the relegation play-off; Caen can also escape the bottom three at Amiens expense.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '7da3abb2-33d4-43c0-b733-4a1f7f62792e'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'PSG ease to victory over troubled Dijon'});

May 18th 2019, 6:12 pm

Sterling: Winning trophies at Wembley a dream come true

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Raheem Sterling hailed becoming the FA Cup final centre of attention in his old Wembley stomping ground as a dream come true.Sterling bagged a brace and was only denied a hat-trick by Manchester Citys second goal being awarded to Gabriel Jesus on review as Pep Guardiolas men thrashed Watford 6-0.City completed an unprecedented domestic treble with their FA Cup triumph, leaving Sterling to reflect on his changing times.The 24-year-old has racked up 31 goals for club and country in a stunning campaign, while his outspoken fight against racism has elevated his standing to new heights.Sterling grew up in Wembleys shadow as a youngster hoping one day to grace the famous field and revelled in steering City home on Saturday.Growing up here, growing up seeing this game billed, its a dream come true coming on this field and winning trophies, Sterling told the BBC.The boys were brilliant today. Everyone was fantastic. Credit to all the boys today, its been a fantastic year. It just shows what the managers building here. At the start of the season he said Lets try and get the mentality right and go for the Premier League again, and weve done that again, exceptionally well. Its a credit to all the boys, being mentally switched on throughout the season which has been long with the World Cup as well. Everyones been focused and on their A-game the whole way through.Captain Vincent Kompany admitted he felt privileged to be a part of Citys historic season.It wasnt as easy as the score says but what a season, what a tremendous club, Kompany told the BBC.It starts with the manager, who set the standard at the start of the season and said we had to go back-to-back, and then its the group.Its a positive group, with young, talented players. You need quality, and thats why we did it.Its the best team in the world. To set such a high standard for such a long period, for two years running. What a team, what a privilege.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Nick Purewal, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'e0ede046-6c59-4be1-b326-a26f1f0e1634'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Sterling: Winning trophies at Wembley a dream come true'});

May 18th 2019, 5:11 pm

Guardiola questions the need for FFP questions after Wembley win

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Pep Guardiola did not appreciate being asked for his thoughts on UEFAs Financial Fair Play (FFP) investigation after Manchester City completed an historic domestic treble.City steamrollered Watford 6-0 to lift the FA Cup at Wembley, completing an unprecedented domestic trio of titles in style.But when asked if he has ever received payments from Manchester Citys owners for services other than his managerial role, Guardiola vented his frustrations.He said: Do you know the question youre asking me, if I ever received money for another situation, right now, today?Honestly, do you think I deserve to have this type of question happen, on the day we won the treble, if I received money from other situations?Are you accusing me? Oh man.Talking generally on the FFP investigation into City, Guardiola added: Well I said yesterday we are not guilty.I listen to my chairman, my CEO, they give me arguments, and I trust them.When they tell me we did absolutely follow the rules, Im sorry, I believe them.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By By Nick Purewal, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '521993d6-5121-4cf1-9b79-4c0bea2ad26b'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Guardiola questions the need for FFP questions after Wembley win'});

May 18th 2019, 4:11 pm

Pep Guardiola says domestic treble is harder to win than Champions League

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Pep Guardiola rates Manchester Citys history-making domestic treble as a greater achievement than winning the Champions League.City battered Watford 6-0 to lift the FA Cup at Wembley, completing an unprecedented trio of trophies in ruthless style.Guardiola had targeted a quadruple, but City were dumped out of the Champions League quarter-finals by Tottenham.That escalated quickly! #mancity pic.twitter.com/AwaY62E0Tf Manchester City (@ManCity) May 18, 2019But with the FA Cup in the bag alongside the Premier League and Carabao Cup, boss Guardiola believes Citys consistency in winning a record 50 matches in a single season carries more weight than had they conquered Europe.Its one of the best seasons I have experienced as a manager, said Guardiola. I wouldnt say the best but one of the best for sure.To be the first to win the treble means that if one team is able to do that another team will repeat it sooner or later.Manchester City and Watford in the FA Cup final. See story SOCCER Final. Editable versions of this graphic are available via PA Graphics or your account manager. Infographic by PA Graphics.But we were the first, and that means consistency every day for 10 months.I love the Champions League but to do that is more difficult than to win the Champions League.Raheem Sterling bagged a brace as City ran Watford ragged, with the England forward denied a hat-trick with his sides second goal credited to Gabriel Jesus on review.Pep Guardiola, right, has a word with Raheem Sterling (Mike Egerton/PA)Jesus struck twice then, with David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne also on target as Watford were simply blown away.Sterling grew up in Wembleys shadow, watching the new stadium be constructed while dreaming of one day gracing the hallowed turf.Where once Sterling the youngster was on the outside looking in, the 24-year-old was Saturdays centre of attention.No let-up #mancity pic.twitter.com/VydKRODWRE Manchester City (@ManCity) May 18, 2019Guardiola hailed Sterling for maturing rapidly this season, as much off the field as on, speaking out against racism in sport and gaining widespread respect in the process.Hes grown up as a man, that happens; hes a father, hes definitely grown up, said Guardiola.And thats good, thats a good sign. Raheem has had an incredible season. One reason why we are here is Raheem.Manchester Citys players celebrate the FA Cup triumph (Nick Potts/PA)We dont have to forget what weve done this season, but at the same time we have to start again next season knowing we can do better.So I want to say thank you so much to everybody for this incredible commitment.The players are the reason why we have done what we have done.Guardiola insisted Sterling would not be upset to miss out on a hat-trick, and also downplayed the margin of Citys victory.Most FA Cup wins. See story SOCCER Final. Editable versions of this graphic are available via PA Graphics or your account manager. Infographic by PA Graphics.Honestly it doesnt mean too much, whether one player scores three or one; it doesnt matter, said Guardiola.And it was just important to win the title, the number of goals was not important.Watford boss Javi Gracia vowed the Hornets will come back stronger from their Wembley humbling, thanking supporters for offering him a constantly warm reception.#Imagineif you could be so proud of your team even when the game is over pic.twitter.com/ZUw9AsJgN5 Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) May 18, 2019Asked how he felt when Watford fans waved flags in their thousands in solidarity at the games death, Gracia said: Its difficult; its difficult for me to explain with words my feeling in that moment.Im very proud to be a part of this club and the supporters we have.Sometimes you have to lose these games to do it better in the future. So I think its good for us.Watford manager Javi Gracia appears dejected after the final whistle (Nick Potts/PA)Its a good experience, I know in this moment its hard for all the Watford supporters, but we have to look at the future.We are not satisfied with this defeat, but I think it will be good for the future.Its a step forward for us to live this experience.And Im sure well have more options in the future, not only in the FA Cup, the Premier League as well, we want to improve and do better next season.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Nick Purewal, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '7ba3771d-008d-404f-9ab5-0987b7dc8fd0'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Pep Guardiola says domestic treble is harder to win than Champions League'});

May 18th 2019, 4:11 pm

Ribery and Robben feel mixed emotions on Bayern farewell

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Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben felt mixed emotions as they signed off their glittering Bayern Munich careers by winning a seventh successive Bundesliga title.The duo came off the bench in the second half and put an exclamation mark on a 5-1 final-day thrashing of Eintracht Frankfurt at the Allianz Arena, with Ribery netting the fourth in the 72nd minute and Robben the last six minutes later.After 12 years with Bayern, Ribery said:My whole family, my children, my wife, my parents, my wifes parents and my cousins came from France for this special moment.It was hard, but the main thing today is that we are champions.This is my last big moment here in the Allianz Arena with my colleagues and the fans.I was not only here two to three years, I was here 12 years at Bayern. What we did is just amazing.Robben, a 10-year veteran who had spent over four months on the sidelines through injury before finally returning earlier this month, said:After such a game many, many emotions pass through your whole body, which you cannot describe in words.Thats something you just have to experience.But the best part for me is that many of the guys I played with in my time with Bayern were here today.I fought for five months to come back, and today was just the reward for it.After Kingsley Coman scored inside four minutes Bayern were given a minor scare when Sebastien Haller levelled five minutes after the break.The response, though, was emphatic as David Alaba restored Bayerns lead in the 53rd minute, with Renato Sanches making it 3-1 five minutes later prior to Ribery and Robben wrapping up the win and the title.Proud coach Niko Kovac said:Thanks to my team and our fans, we did a great job.We have achieved something incredible.We were nine points behind (runner-up Borussia Dortmund) in the fall congratulations to my boys.Im totally happy, but also drained.Robert Lewandowski, who clinched a fourth top-scorer trophy despite not adding to his 22 goals for the season, admitted to feeling emotional for Ribery and Robben.Before the match I saw the families of Arjen and Franck, I have to say, I nearly cried, said Lewandowski.The Poland striker added:That was an endgame for us. We knew that today we not only had to win but to show who is the German champion.We played really well, had fun and scored a lot of goals. Even if the season was not so easy, we deserve to be German champion.Eintracht Frankfurt coachAdi Hutter naturally offered his congratulations to Bayern but was proud of his players given the season they have enjoyed.Hutter said: My players are completely squeezed like a lemon.That was game number 50 at a high level.We have finished seventh, reached the Europa League semi-final, had great nights.Many players have developed, so you can balance very, very positively this year.In my view, an absolutely positive conclusion.Im very proud.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'f121df46-7ea7-4df6-b965-01f385cee651'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Ribery and Robben feel mixed emotions on Bayern farewell'});

May 18th 2019, 3:11 pm

Manchester City hammer Watford to win FA Cup and complete domestic treble

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Raheem Sterlings hat-trick helped rampantManchester City cement their place in the history books as Pep Guardiolas men swatted aside Watford to lift the FA Cup and complete an extraordinary domestic treble.Fresh from wrapping up the Premier League at the end of a rip-roaring title duel with Liverpool, City became the first mens team in English football history to win all three domestic major honours.Guardiolas side emphatically brought the curtain down on an exceptional season at Wembley, where Sterlings treble complemented David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus goals in a 6-0 win against Watford.WEARETHEFOURMIDABLES #mancity pic.twitter.com/xBwgNUd2vC Manchester City (@ManCity) May 18, 2019It was a record-equalling FA Cup final victory and saw City add this trophy to theirleague and Carabao Cup crowns.Some would even count their Community Shield towards their tally, but by whatever measure this has been a wonderful season for the blue half of Manchester.Yes, the Champions League still eludes them and the spectre of a potential ban in that competition looms large, but the feeling was unbridled joy as City lifted the FA Cup and celebrated one of the greatest days in the clubs history.David Silva opens the scoring (Mike Egerton/PA)Watford hoped this would be their day as they looked for their first major trophy on their second FA Cup final appearance, but Javi Gracias men faded after some promising early moments.David Silva opened the scoring and settled the nerves when ending a 27-game run without a goal, before Bernardo Silvas beautiful pass found Jesus and Sterling finished on the goal line.Watford overcame a two-goal deficit in stunning fashion in the semi-finals, but City are a different beast. And a relentless one at that.Time for the trophy lift. Start the party, @ManCity! https://t.co/pMsyeREwEu The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) May 18, 2019City kept their foot on the Hornets throat. Substitute De Bruyne and Jesus netted before Sterling completed his hat-trick as Guardiola overcame compatriot Gracia in the 138th FA Cup final.Few could have foreseen this result given the way Watford started once the fog from the pre-match pyrotechnics cleared.Gracias team looked well-drilled and were playing to their strengths, which could have brought an 11th-minute opener after winning possession from a City corner.Vincent Kompany, centre, lifts the FA Cup (Nick Potts/PA)Abdoulaye Doucoure burst down the right flank and fired forward to semi-final hero Gerard Deulofeu. His ball found Roberto Pereyra, only for Ederson to rush out to the edge of the box and save.Watford captain Troy Deeney was proving an unsettling presence and he was as incensed as anyone when Doucoures shot hit Vincent Kompanys arm, but no penalty was awarded.The yellow walls frustration soon turned to deflation as City showed they had the determination to match their skill as David Silva and Sterling neither the most imposing physical presence won back-to-back aerial challenges.We couldn't be prouder of you guys right now pic.twitter.com/7PjhohL3s9 Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) May 18, 2019The latters header put the former behind the Watford backline, with the Spaniards low shot taking a touch off compatriot Kiko Femenia before nestling in the far corner.Screams for offside fell on deaf ears as Craig Cathcart had played David Silva onside and soon it was Bernardo Silva making a key contribution.Having defended diligently after the opening goal, Watford were undone by an exceptional, side-splitting ball by the Portuguese. Jesus gleefully met it at the far post and steered it towards the empty goal, with Sterling making sure on the line.Gabriel Jesus grabbed the fourth goal (Nick Potts/PA)It was a gut punch that quietened Watfords superb support, with Heurelho Gomes playing what could prove his last match in football denying Riyad Mahrez and Jesus either side of the break.City kept their foot on the gas as they went for a third goal, which their enviable strength in depth soon brought.While De Bruyne will have been irked to end a disrupted campaign on the bench, he was able to celebrate minutes after coming on when found by Jesus before showing composure to turn away from Gomes and direct home.Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes endured a tough afternoon at Wembley (Nick Potts/PA)A superb run through the middle from Jesus was key to that goal, just as it was for Citys fourth but this time the Brazilian took the credit himself by slotting past Gomes in front of the City hordes.It did not stop there. Guardiolas side showed no mercy and Sterling was soon celebrating a hat-trick, turning in a Bernardo Silva cross before converting three minutes from time after initially seeing a shot tipped onto the post.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Simon Peach, Press Association Chief Football Writer'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0bc91643-5911-448d-8769-335ffefcc163'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Manchester City hammer Watford to win FA Cup and complete domestic treble'});

May 18th 2019, 2:41 pm

Focus on Vincent Kompany as Man City win domestic treble

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Vincent Kompany captained Manchester City to an unprecedented treble as they beat Watford 6-0 to lift the FA Cup.Goals from David Silva, Raheem Sterling (3), Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus made it a day to remember for City at Wembley.Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at Kompanys performance at the national stadium.Going out with a bang?1 Manchester City have become the first mens team to win the domestic treble in England, winning the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup all in 2018-19. History. #MCIWAT #facupfinal pic.twitter.com/OB8OloqGUx OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 18, 2019This might very well be Kompanys 360th and final appearance as he is out of contract in the summer and there is no new deal on the table yet. The Belgian, who joined the club 11 years ago from Hamburg, is due to talk to Pep Guardiola next week, but if this was the end it will be a fine way to go out. Kompany helped his City team into the record books as they won all three domestic trophies four if you include the Community Shield and became the first team to do so in this country. Not only that but they also racked up the biggest winning margin in an FA Cup final since 1902-03. Although the Champions League still alludes City, there is little doubt they are an unstoppable force in the English game. If Kompany does depart, he is doing it with a side absolutely at the top of their game.Perfect 10Time for the trophy lift. Start the party, @ManCity! https://t.co/pMsyeREwEu The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) May 18, 2019Kompany made a familiar traipse up the Wembley stairs to collect a trophy for City. All in all, not including Community Shields, this was his 10th major honour in a sky blue shirt. He has won four Premier Leagues, four League Cups and now two FA Cups, which makes him among the most decorated players in the clubs history.Battle of TroyThe pre-match formalities were as close as Kompany and Deeney came (Nick Potts/PA)Watford captain Troy Deeney was glowing in his praise of Kompany before the game, calling him the best defender in the Premier League since Rio Ferdinand. But he also warned that the Belgian would not enjoy coming up against him at Wembley and that he would not be bullied. Ultimately, a head-to-head between the two players did not really materialise as Deeney tended to position himself near Aymeric Laporte. There was one moment when Kompany denied his counterpart just before half-time as he made a vital interception when he was about to pull the trigger.Getting away with oneKompany was maybe lucky not to give a penalty away in the first half (Mike Egerton/PA)Kompanys day might have turned out differently had VAR decided to get involved in Watfords strong claims for a penalty in the 21st minute. Abdoulaye Doucoures shot appeared to hit the Belgians arm, but referee Kevin Friend waved away ferocious appeals from Watfords players and the decision was not reviewed by VAR. Kompany can count himself lucky as, with his arm outside of his natural body shape, had the incident happened in a UEFA competition, a penalty would almost certainly have been given.Overall playKompany, left, had one of his easier afternoons at work (Mike Egerton/PA)As the scoreline suggests, Kompany did not have too much defending to do, but when he did he did it well. As well as his crucial intervention on Deeney in the first half, he also organised his defence well when defending set-pieces against a team that thrives in those situations. He won all five of his aerial duels and made 61 successful passes.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Jonathan Veal, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '519dec45-ccf1-4583-b1a9-1da140d57f5e'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Focus on Vincent Kompany as Man City win domestic treble'});

May 18th 2019, 2:41 pm

Manchester City make impossible possible to break new ground in English football

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Bernardo Silvas stunning eye-of-the-needle assist turned the impossible into Manchester Citys reality.Citys humble general threaded the superlative pass of the day at Wembley, Gabriel Jesus stubbed the ball into the net, and with that, Pep Guardiolas men set a new precedent for English football.The rampant 6-0 win over Watford sets the FA Cup next to the Premier League and Carabao Cup in the Etihad Stadium trophy cabinet.50 Manchester City are the first English top-flight side in history to win 50 matches in a single season in all competitions, six more than they managed in 2017-18. Eclipsed. #MCIWAT #facupfinal pic.twitter.com/3VBqDI6fEd OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 18, 2019Sir Alex Ferguson was the man to brand a domestic treble impossible, and in his era even the mightiest Manchester United teams could not complete an English clean sweep.Football has not moved on since Ferguson Guardiola has dragged the sport kicking and screaming into a new dawn.Every time Guardiola and City break fresh ground, Ferguson surely grimaces at labelling Uniteds derby rivals the noisy neighbours.United went close to the domestic treble in 2009, only to lose an FA Cup semi-final to Everton, with Dimitar Berbatov and Rio Ferdinand missing penalties.Manchester Uniteds Dimitar Berbatov is dejected after he missed his penalty (Nick Potts/PA)The Red Devils had gone even closer in 1994, losing the League Cup final 3-1 to a Dean Saunders and Dalian Atkinson-inspired Aston Villa.Citys Champions League shortcomings remain a major frustration for Guardiola and he will doubtless fuel the Spaniards future north-west endeavours.But the former Barcelona and Spain midfielder admits he is addicted to winning, and will rightly revel in adding another entry to English footballs annals.Raheem Sterling grew up in Wembleys shadow, watching the new stadiums construction, feeling like an outsider desperately wondering how to hit footballs big time.He's top of the league pic.twitter.com/HSEWq4A8NL Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) May 12, 2019How the stars abilities and growing statesmanship dwarfed the home of English football, a hat-trick capping a remarkable season.A campaign dripping with triumphs has also proved laden with defining moments, and on the home front all the doors ultimately slid Citys way.Vincent Kompanys thunderbolt strike to edge the nervy 1-0 home win over Leicester effectively sealed Citys one-point Premier League triumph, amid the top flights greatest title race thanks to Liverpools relentless pursuit.Even Guardiola screamed at centre Kompany not to shoot, but Citys talisman captain flexed his muscles, proved his point and sealed the crown.Vincent Kompany scored an incredible goal against Leicester (Nick Potts/PA)Had Leicester not missed four of their five penalties in a League Cup quarter-final shoot-out in December, Citys treble quest would have been thwarted before the turn of the year.And then in the Carabao Cup final Kepa Arrizabalagas bizarre refusal to be substituted clearly affected Chelseas penalty build-up, with City swiping the title.Citys FA Cup charge has proved processional by comparison, but even in the semi-final Brighton kept Guardiolas men relatively quiet. Jesus fourth-minute strike still did the trick however, and the Brazilian starred again in the final. View this post on Instagram WE ARE THE FOURMIDABLES #mancityA post shared by Manchester City (@mancity) on May 18, 2019 at 10:51am PDTWatford showed up well but were still hammered, and therein lies the brutality of Citys powers.The Hornets threatened and entertained amid another 6-0 thrashing by City, at Vicarage Road back in September 2017.This City team can blow anyone away at any time. The treble rubber-stamps the legacy, now watch Pep chase the dynasty.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Nick Purewal, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'f900da20-a2bf-4edb-83b7-f963177d5d8c'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Manchester City make impossible possible to break new ground in English football'});

May 18th 2019, 2:41 pm

5 Things we learned about City from their FA Cup final rout

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Manchester City thrashed Watford 6-0 to complete an unprecedented domestic treble.Here, Press Association Sport examines five key elements of Citys comprehensive triumph.Bernardo Silva is Citys attacking fulcrum:Bernardo Silva makes things happen for City (AP)Once upon a time Portugal star Bernardo was not even Citys best midfielder called Silva. Now though the 24-year-old arguably shades his namesake David when it comes to creative magic. Bernardos sumptuous pass for Gabriel Jesus first goal sealed this victory for City. The arced ball unpicked Watfords defence and etched Citys name onto the silverware. Pep Guardiola recently admitted Bernardos form has been so stunning that he simply cannot afford to drop the diminutive maestro. Any team that can leave Kevin De Bruyne on the bench, even if not fully fit, boasts serious talent. And as it stands, Bernardo heads that vanguard of quality.Raheem Sterlings hat-trick caps a remarkable campaign:Only the fourth player to score a hat-trick in an #FACupfinal and the first since 1953! Our @sterling7! #mancity pic.twitter.com/Kx1aovygfp Manchester City (@ManCity) May 18, 2019England star Sterlings fine season ended on a serious high, the 24-year-old bagging a cup final hat-trick. His growing statesmanship around racism in the sport has won Sterling many friends and admirers this season but his increasing influence on the field and especially his improvements in finishing have elevated him into a new category. Boss Guardiola will demand more again, and few would bet against Sterling delivering.Razzmatazz still mere window dressing:A choir perform at the start of the FA Cup Final (Nick Potts/PA)A packed Wembley was a sight to behold, with both sets of supporters doing their clubs proud to restore the FA Cup magic and importance. There was no need then for all the curious pre-match entertainment, least of all a DJ set from Annie Mac. The theme from TV show Stranger Things proved a low-key soundtrack choice for the incidental moments too. The actual action did not disappoint, and as always organisers would do well to remember the product needs no adornment.City will be hard pressed to find another leader of Kompanys calibre:Manchester Citys Vincent Kompany in familiar trophy-lifting pose (Nick Potts/PA)Captain Vincent Kompanys 11th year at Manchester City could prove his last, if the talisman defender does not take up the one-year extension to his current contract. How City would miss the Belgium stoppers huge overarching influence were he to leave. While his abilities speak for themselves, it is his gritty leadership which has helped drive this City group to greatness. Yes, others will supersede him in time as at 33 his best years are in the past but for now City should keep him around for yet more glory.Ederson has reached Peter Schmeichel levels in one-on-ones:12. SAVE! Brilliant from @edersonmoraes93 who's out quickly to deny Pereyra with an out-stretched leg after a sharp Watford counter attack. WARNING SIGN! 0-0 #FACupFinal #mancity Manchester City (@ManCity) May 18, 2019Peter Schmeichel was Manchesters king of one-on-ones for a glittering United era. Now City keeper Ederson has the chance to rival the great Danes renown for thwarting strikers at every turn. For when Watford threatened early on, Ederson was off his line in a flash to deny Roberto Pereyra. While Schmeichels art revolved around making himself as big as possible to fill the goal and distract those haring in, Edersons speed off his line sets him apart.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By By Nick Purewal, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'c7fe94f5-f6b9-4036-a914-34c45ea3cc54'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': '5 Things we learned about City from their FA Cup final rout'});

May 18th 2019, 2:41 pm

Ribery and Robben score farewell goals as Bayern Munich clinch Bundesliga title

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Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery scored on their final appearances for Bayern Munich as a 5-1 home win over Eintracht Frankfurt wrapped up a seventh successive Bundesliga title.Robben and Ribery started the game on the bench and although the visitors briefly drew level early in the second half, Bayern recorded an emphatic victory which saw them edge out rivals Borussia Dortmund.The build-up had all been about Bayerns departing stars and they duly obliged with both wingers scoring soon after coming on. 2018/19 CHAMPIONS pic.twitter.com/rUIuYv3IB7 Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) May 18, 2019By then Bayern were in command thanks to goals from Kingsley Coman, David Alaba and Renato Sanches, even if Sebastien Haller had drawn the visitors level five minutes into the second half.Despite the defeat, Frankfurt finished seventh in the Bundesliga table and with it a qualifying place for the Europa League, a competition they reached the semi-finals of this season before losing to Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out.Bayern took the lead after just four minutes as Coman took a pass from Thomas Muller and shot into the bottom corner.The home side were caught offside a number of times in the opening 10 minutes as they looked to add to their early advantage.Serge Gnabrys celebrations were cut short after his goal was ruled out by VAR for offside (Matthias Schrader/AP)Kevin Trapp conceded the games first corner when he saved a long-range shot by Alaba with nine minutes on the clock before Robert Lewandowski headed narrowly over from the flag kick.Jonathan De Guzman had Frankfurts first effort after 12 minutes but Sven Ulreich was able to make the save.Koman missed the chance to double his tally with a header wide of the goal midway through the half.Gnabry fired into the bottom corner from outside the area after 26 minutes only to see his goal ruled out for offside after a VAR check.So proud #FCBSGE 3-1 pic.twitter.com/0fkoDBb9dv FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 18, 2019Gnabry and Muller both went close before Mijat Gacinovic fired well over for the visitors as the half drew to a close.Ante Rebic was wide with a shot for Frankfurt in the closing minutes of the half but the visitors quickly made early pressure tell after the break to draw level.David Abrahams shot hit the bar but, following another corner, Haller netted from close range with 50 minutes gone.But two goals in the space of five minutes put Bayern in charge with Alaba converting from a couple of yards out after 53 minutes. RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! RIBRY! pic.twitter.com/Bn3EZhryaR FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 18, 2019Five minutes later Sanches doubled their lead when he finished from a difficult angle.Ribery, a second-half substitute, had been joined by Robben on the pitch before the Frenchman set the seal on his Bayern career with the fourth goal.Joshua Kimmich set up the chance for Ribery, who scored his 124th goal in Bayern colours with 18 minutes remaining before being booked for removing his shirt during the celebrations.Six minutes later Robben got in on the act when he finished from close range to make it 5-1.Robben went close with several attempts to score a sixth goal but Bayern had already done more than enough to secure the victory and the title.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '3e7aca09-9033-4f1a-892a-a3124da0ad31'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Ribery and Robben score farewell goals as Bayern Munich clinch Bundesliga title'});

May 18th 2019, 12:23 pm

Tottenham feel UEFA’s punishment of Barcelona is too lenient

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Tottenham have grave concerns over the suitability of UEFAs punishment to Barcelona after stewards attacked their fans during a Champions League match at the Nou Camp.The LaLiga side were handed a 20,000 euro (17,546) fine by the governing body on Friday for insufficient organisation during the Group B game between the two teams in December.The charge relates to the conduct of their stewards, with video footage emerging on social media after the game apparently showing a section of fans being struck with batons inside the ground, while other supporters were also filmed getting struck on the way into the stadium.The club, in co-ordination with the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust, compiled evidence to hand to UEFA, which resulted in Fridays punishment.But Spurs feel the sanction is too lenient.The safety and well-being of our supporters is paramount to the club when travelling both domestically and overseas, the club said in a statement released to Press Association Sport.The treatment our fans received in Barcelona some six months ago was completely unacceptable, something UEFA has acknowledged, and some are still recovering as a result of this ordeal.We went to great lengths, along with the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust, to gather evidence so UEFA could take appropriate action.We thank them for assisting us in gathering the necessary information.No visiting supporters should have to experience what our fans went through that night again.We have grave concerns, however, that the punishment imposed will not act as enough of a deterrent to avoid a repeat.The supporters trust was far more damning in its assessment.The charge against Barcelona was insufficient organisation, it said in a statement.To be clear, that night saw unprovoked, indiscriminate assaults on our fans by stadium security forces outside and inside the stadium.Evidence of those assaults has been widely circulated on video so there can be no doubt about the facts.We submitted a detailed dossier of accounts from supporters who were caught up in that nights violence.That was submitted, alongside a formal complaint from THFC and observations from the FA observer present, to UEFA in the immediate aftermath of the game. It has taken UEFA nearly six months to come to a decision.The fine imposed on Barcelona is less than some of our fans who have been left unable to work as a result of being assaulted will lose in earnings.It is twice the amount THFC has been fined for the team allegedly arriving on the pitch late for a game last month. And it is an inconsequential amount for a club as rich as Barcelona.This decision by UEFA sends clear signals. It says supporters are fair game for security staff to do what they want to.It says that broadcast rights and kick-off times are more important than supporter safety. And it says UEFA is unfit for purpose.We share the grave concerns of our club that the punishment imposed will not act as enough of a deterrent to avoid a repeat.THST will be taking advice, including legal advice, on our next steps. We are determined to secure justice for our fans.UEFA did not comment on either statement when contacted by Press Association Sport.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Jonathan Veal, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b81c0400-b372-4332-b4f1-8e2830e8c11c'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Tottenham feel UEFA\u2019s punishment of Barcelona is too lenient'});

May 18th 2019, 12:23 pm

Barcelona boss Valverde won’t be drawn on ‘hypothetical’ Griezmann signing

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Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde refused to be drawn on whether the club would look to bring Antoine Griezmann to the Nou Camp over the summer.The France forward has informed Atletico Madrid he wishes to leave at the end of the season.Griezmann was heavily linked with a switch to Barcelona last summer, before opting to stay at the Wanda Metropolitano.. @AntoGriezmann: "These five years have been incredible. Thank you very much for everything, I carry you in my heart." pic.twitter.com/uz1jwQj1Sg Atltico de Madrid (@atletienglish) May 14, 2019Following the announcement by the 28-year-old, speculation is again rife the LaLiga champions will renew attempts to broker a deal, with the strikers release clause said to be in the region of some 120million euro (105m).Valverde, though, played down any suggestions the transfer was as good as done when facing the media ahead of Sundays final LaLiga match at Eibar.Weve always said the same. Hes a player who is at another team, hes a great player, weve always said that, the Barcelona boss told a press conference as reported by the Spanish media.Antoine Griezmann wants to leave Atletico Madrid for a fresh challenge (Nick Potts/PA)Pressed on whether Griezmann would fit into his team, Valverde replied: If in the end he comes to Barcelona, we will see, but we are talking about hypothetical situations, about a player who may or may not come in.I have already been asked about other types of hypothetical situations and Ive not talked about it either.Barcelona are expected to strengthen over the summer, as the club aim to last the distance in Europe once again having fallen short in the Champions League, this season at the semi-final stage against Liverpool. View this post on Instagram SQUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD #Papai #Saul4x4A post shared by Antoine Griezmann (@antogriezmann) on May 1, 2019 at 6:10am PDTValverde said: I do not know the number of signings that there may or may not be, this goes for the club, I am part of it but there are other parties that have to express their opinion.We have to make the best possible team, taking into account the strengths that we have.Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu maintains Valverdes job is safe as they aim to complete back-to-back domestic doubles, despite their European disappointment.Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde saw his sides Champions League hopes end at Anfield (Peter Byrne/PA)Barcelona face Valencia in the Copa del Rey final on May 25 as they look to win the competition for an unprecedented fifth straight year.On his own future, Valverde said: We have already talked about all this, we know that when there is a defeat there is a lot of criticism for everyone, and then things get softer until the next game arrives.We have to focus on what we have to gain and not on what happened.One. Week. Left. #LaLigaSantander pic.twitter.com/FoG1PmbA0W LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) May 16, 2019Valverde added: The season has been very good, that is the reality.Yes, it has been damaged by how we have fallen in the Champions League, but we have won a (Spanish) Super Cup, we have won LaLiga with days in advance and we can win the Copa del Rey.Valverde hopes the game against Eibar can provide focus ahead of the Valencia tie.He said: Eibar always have high intensity, we like matches like that because we want to continue competing and we have the final.MEDICAL NEWS: @KPBofficial has discomfort in his left knee. He has been ruled out and his recovery will determine his availability. pic.twitter.com/lbtSCMxHBd FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 18, 2019Forward Kevin-Prince Boateng has been ruled out by a left knee problem.Eibar boss Jose Luis Mendilibar, whose side have already guaranteed their top-flight survival and could yet finish as high as 10th, hopes everyone can enjoy the end-of-season visit of the champions.I hope its a party for the fans and for us. We are in a comfortable position, we have fulfilled objectives, he said, quoted by the club website.We would like to finish higher, among the top 10, and we have the possibility if we win.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'ba64b48e-2343-48b5-9604-1b0f59b8c3c2'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Barcelona boss Valverde won\u2019t be drawn on \u2018hypothetical\u2019 Griezmann signing'});

May 18th 2019, 11:53 am

Keeping Hamilton in Premiership is my best achievement, says Rice

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Brian Rice insists ensuring Hamilton will play Ladbrokes Premiership football for a record sixth season has topped anything he has achieved in his career.Accies, who started the final game at home to St Johnstone one point ahead of second-bottom St Mirren, took the lead in the 11th minute through defender Ziggy Gordon and attacker Steve Davies scored with a drive in the 59th minute for a 2-0 win.Rice was brought into the club in January to replace Martin Canningwhen Accies were on 14 points, two ahead of bottom side St Mirren.After finishing safe on 33 points the former midfielder, who played for Hibernian, Falkirk and Nottingham Forest among others, and who was assistant at Falkirk when they reached the 2009 Scottish Cup final and Invernesswhen they won the Scottish Cup in 2015, said: It tops everything I have probably ever done in football.I was brought in at the end of January. I have only worked with one player here before which is very unusual. I brought George Oakley in on deadline day.It has been a big transition, me not knowing the players, them not knowing me and me trying to install my style on them.So all credit to every member of the playing staff who have taken it on board. All the hard work has paid off for us.St Mirren beat already-relegated Dundee 3-2 at Dens Park but that was rendered irrelevant and the Buddies will now play Dundee United in the relegation play-off.After leaving it to the last day to confirm safety, Rice is looking for more than survival next season.He said: I dont want to be starting seasons and I dont want to be in a job where my sole aim is to finish 10th. I need to aim a wee bit higher.I am not talking about Champions League and I am not talking about top six or anything like that, just somewhere where we have a bit of breathing space.It might be a hard couple of seasons until we achieve that but its a long-term plan.Saints boss Tommy Wright stated that he was happy overall with the season which saw his side finish in seventh place, but he said: Days like this sum up why we didnt get top six. We havent done our jobs at both ends of the pitch.We didnt start well. Our two centre-halves got bullied a wee bit then they actually coped well with their two but they allowed too many balls in the box.We then played nice football but we were a bit toothless and didnt work the keeper enough.The second half it was nice, we were in control of the ball and got into good areas. We just didnt work the goalie enough.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Ronnie Esplin, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '7f09859d-534e-46ba-9ec3-d2b1cab9037e'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Keeping Hamilton in Premiership is my best achievement, says Rice'});

May 18th 2019, 11:53 am

Manchester United join Tottenham in race for teenage starlet

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Manchester United are set to rival Tottenham for the signature of Ryan Sessegnon, writeSky Sports.The Fulham teenager will depart Craven Cottage this summer following the club's relegation to the Championship.Sessegnon is out of contract next summer and Fulham will therefore seek to cash in ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.Spurs are long-term admirers of the winger, who can also play at left-back, while Juventus have also been keeping tabs on him this term.However, United are currently in pole position to land the 19-year-old as they are the only side to have made an official approach.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is prioritising young, English players in the transfer market as he seeks to overhaul his squad following a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Premier League.READ MORE6 high-profile, out-of-favour stars who could interest Premier League clubs – and who they'd suit6 players Real Madrid could sign to get back among Europe’s elite

May 18th 2019, 11:23 am

Kearney keen to turn Tangerine dream into nightmare

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St Mirren boss Oran Kearney has warned play-off rivals Dundee United his side have definitely improved since their last meeting.The Buddies got the result they were looking for against Uniteds city rivals Dundee, a 3-2 win, but it was not enough to spare them from finishing second bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership.Hamiltons 2-0 win over St Johnstone means the Paisley outfit now face a two-game clash with Robbie Neilsons Tangerines next week to save their top-flight status.United will take confidence from the fact they dumped Kearneys side out of the William Hill Scottish Cup win back in February at the Simple Digital Arena.But since then, Saints have lost just three games and their boss believes they now have the vital momentum after registering a six-game unbeaten streak.Kearney, whose side will be back in Dundee for Thursdays first leg, said: United are a good side. They put us out of the Scottish Cup earlier in the season and they have a huge amount to play for.Its been well documented where they want to go to and how they want to do it.We know with everything at stake its going to be the way its been for the last few weeks, high-pressure games, and weve got to let dust settle over the weekend and then pick it up on Monday and go for one last charge.But I know we are a better side than when we last played them. The facts dont lie, so thats a simple answer.Dundee are already relegated but made life difficult for the visitors by taking the lead through Cammy Kerr after 16 minutes.However, the hosts were left with 10 men when Darren ODea playing his last game before retiring was sent off for a last-man tug on Brad Lyons.It took Saints until seven minutes into the second half to hit back, however, with Cody Cooke levelling. He would score two more either side of Scott Wrights equaliser for the Dark Blues to claim the win and the match ball.It was not enough, however, to complete St Mirrens escape act and they must now hold their nerve against United.Keeping our unbeaten run going was of huge importance, added Kearney. For us that was probably the biggest reason to win the game today.Of course, it could have led us to something better if St Johnstone had beaten Hamilton but, more importantly, keeping that record intact going into the play-offs is very important, making sure we have that momentum behind us.Dundee had under-18s boss James McPake in caretaker charge for their last game before dropping down to the Championship.Dens managing director John Nelms is still working his way through 150 applications to replace Jim McIntyre but McPake admits he would love to sample more frontline management.He said: I wanted a taste of it two years ago. I believe in a way of working, I have a lot of people to advise me and Ive got my own ideas.Apart from the result, I think its worked this week.Its been so hectic its been mad but a good mad. What Ive missed is the day-to-day pressure of first-team football.Ive enjoyed being back in proper football. The under-18s and reserves are great but today was proper football and Ive not had it since I got injured out there against United.The only way I could have bettered the experience was if wed won the game.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '24e5a6fc-bd84-4c88-913b-d0271e58fc10'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Kearney keen to turn Tangerine dream into nightmare'});

May 18th 2019, 11:05 am

Robinson admits keeping Turnbull could be hard for Motherwell

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Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson was effusive in his praise of star man David Turnbull following the 3-2 win over Livingston before admitting it could be a struggle to keep him at Fir Park next season.The 19-year-old midfielder has enjoyed a stunning breakthrough season that culminated in him picking up the Scottish Football Writers young player of the year award.Numerous clubs both north and south of the border have been linked with a summer move but Motherwell chief executive Alan Burrows insisted Turnbull would only leave for a club record fee.That record has stood for 25 years since Phil ODonnell joined Celtic for 1.75 million but Robinson conceded the club would not stand in his way if the right offer comes in.Robinson said: We are a club that sells player, we can make no bones about it so if a club comes in with the right offer then we arent going to stand in Davids way.Somebody is going to have to pay a lot of money for him. Hes a sensible boy and he knows that playing football is the best thing for his development at the moment. Lots of people have been speaking to me about him but it will have to be an excellent offer. Credit to him because hes developed ever so well.I said to him today to go and show people how well you can press the ball because we know how good you are on it. Him and Alan Campbell did that very well but we will enjoy him whilst he is here.This is the right place for him to develop and hes a massive part of what we will plan to do next season. If a big Premiership or Championship club come in we will look at that because thats the level he can play, added Robinson.Turnbull was the star attraction in a crazy game which provided five goals, three penalties, and a late comeback. Liam Donnelly headed the opener from Turnbulls free-kick before the latter grabbed his first of the afternoon after 22 minutes following a clever corner routine. Turnbull smashed home his 15th league goal of the season from the penalty spot before referee David Munro awarded two more penalties in the space of a minute.Ryan Hardie spurned Livingstons chance from the spot before Ross Stewart denied Turnbulls hat-trick with a clever low save. Livingston showed the fighting spirit that has typified their season when Scott Tiffoney scored two goals in the final 10 minutes.Despite the result, Gary Holt was full of praise for his players achievements this season.He said: Im delighted for everybody associated with the football club.The last four or five games havent been ideal but when youre already safe there is going to be a little lull.The season is something we can be incredibly proud of and we will look to build for next year.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '175c1362-2254-43eb-b861-c70b50edb7dd'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Robinson admits keeping Turnbull could be hard for Motherwell'});

May 18th 2019, 11:05 am

Manchester City players pay for fans’ travel to FA Cup final

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Manchester Citys players have been praised for a fantastic gesture after paying for more than 50 coaches for fans to travel to the FA Cup final.Each coach contained the name of the player who paid for it, as well as a signed picture of them left on each seat.The gesture meant lucky supporters who got a spot had to pay just 1p to get to the game with Watford at Wembley.Fan Bob Brindle travelled to the match with his daughter Lucy on the bus paid for by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. Claudio Bravo Muoz (@C1audioBravo) May 18, 2019As well as getting her signed Bravo picture, she also managed to swap with other supporters at service stations on the way, meaning she also got signed snaps of Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva and Danilo.Fellow fan Peter Robinson was on the Leroy Sane coach, and said: This has been a fantastic gesture by Leroy Sane and the rest of the Manchester City squad. I cant thank them enough for this and for the season weve had.@LeroySane19 has got skills never a truer coach. Thanks Leroy. pic.twitter.com/dcqzvb3XYq Peter Robinson (@poddyctid) May 18, 2019City announced the move in April after beating Brighton to reach the final, and the chance of a history-making treble.At the time captain Vincent Kompany said: We still have so much to fight for this season, and this is our way of saying thank you to them for being with us every step of the way.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Stephen Jones, Press Association'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b94eb878-c962-48e3-bcb0-b96623a494c6'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:viral,paservice:viral:sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Manchester City players pay for fans\u2019 travel to FA Cup final'});

May 18th 2019, 11:05 am

Liverpool midfielder set to leave for another Premier League club this summer

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Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana wants to re-join Southampton this summer, reportThe Daily Express.The England international swapped St Mary's for Anfield in 2014 and was a key player early on in Jurgen Klopp's tenure.However, injuries and the arrival of several new signings has seen Lallana fall down the pecking order on Merseyside, with the midfielder restricted to just five Premier League starts this term.The 31-year-old believes he needs to leave Liverpool to get his career back on track.And a return to Southampton is Lallana's favoured move, with the player telling close friends that he is keen for a second spell on the south coast.Given that his contract expires in June 2020, Liverpool would probably accept offers in the region of £13m for the Southampton academy product.READ MOREHow Aston Villa turned around their season – and gave themselves an unexpected shot at the Premier LeagueWhy signing Antoine Griezmann is a major gamble for Barcelona

May 18th 2019, 10:53 am

Bournemouth sign England Under-21 defender Lloyd Kelly from Bristol City

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Bournemouth have completed the transfer of England Under-21 international Lloyd Kelly from Bristol City.The 20-year-old defender joins the Cherries for an undisclosed fee, understood to be around 13million, and has signed a long-term deal at the Vitality Stadium.Kelly, who can play at left-back as well as central defence, came through the Bristol City youth ranks and made 48 appearances for the club.The move has come around quite quickly, but Im happy to be here and cant wait to start playing, Kelly told afcbTV.Premier League football is what Ive always wanted to achieve. I want to play as many games as possible and I feel like this is the right place for me to try and do that.Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe feels there is plenty more to come from the Bristol-born defender.Lloyd is an exciting talent and a player of real potential, while at the same time already possessing good experience for someone so young, Howe said.He is athletic, versatile, physically excellent and has a very bright future ahead of him.I am delighted that we have been able to strike so early in the summer and look forward to working with Lloyd during the coming seasons.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '160024a6-09e7-47c6-8a8c-fc8fdbd1a991'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Bournemouth sign England Under-21 defender Lloyd Kelly from Bristol City'});

May 18th 2019, 10:05 am

Hamilton secure Premiership status with victory over St Johnstone

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Hamilton secured their Ladbrokes Premiership status for a record sixth season with a 2-0 home win over St Johnstone.Accies, who started the final day of the league season one point ahead of second-bottomSt Mirren, took the lead in the 11th minute whendefender Ziggy Gordon squeezed in the opener from close range following a corner.Attacker Steve Davies doubled the lead in the 59th minute with a drive and althoughSt Mirren beat already-relegated Dundee 3-2 at Dens Park it was rendered irrelevant.While Brian Rices side begin their summer holidays, the Buddies will start preparing to play Dundee United in the first leg of their relegation play-off at Tannadice on Thursday before the second leg in Paisley on Sunday.Accies knew victory would keep them safe.Following the 2-0 defeat by St Mirren on Monday night, and with Alex Gogic suspended, Rice brought back defenders Lenny Sowah and Shaun Want and Davies.Former Hamilton defender Brian Easton made his first appearance for Saints since December 2017, after recovering from a groin injury whileRoss Callachan, Danny Swanson and Callum Hendry were reinstated.St Johnstone, who had already wrapped up seventh place, survived a couple of early scares before they fell behind.In the ninth minute midfielder Tony Andreu headed a Scott McMann cross onto the roof of the net from eight yards before Saints keeper Zander Clark saved a close-range header from Aaron McGowan.From the resulting Andreu corner, the ball bobbled around the box before Gordon turned and knocked it over the line from around four yards.Little more of note happened until the half hour mark when Saints almost levelled.Midfielder David Wotherspoon took a pass from Richard Foster before firing in a left-footed drive from 16 yards only to see McGowan block the shot to safety almost on the goal line.The visitors looked even more purposeful at the start of thesecond half but contributed to their own downfall for Accies second goal.Poor defending allowed Davies to pounce on a loose ball at the edge of the box and fire low past Clark and into the corner of the net.That goal eased Hamilton nerves but the Perth side did come close again in the 75th minute when Wotherspoons lobbed shot from the edge of the box just cleared the bar.Oliver Hamilton, 17, came on to make his Saints debut for Swanson in the 83rd minute.Andreu had a free-kick well saved by Clark in the closing stages and Accies once again were able to celebrate another season in the top flight.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Ronnie Esplin, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'bcebd694-3d4b-4cd4-9b09-c26f5fb2fa66'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Hamilton secure Premiership status with victory over St Johnstone'});

May 18th 2019, 10:05 am

David Turnbull brace helps Motherwell end season with victory

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Motherwell edged a 3-2 victory against Livingston in a crazy final game of the Ladbrokes Premiership season illuminated by one of the most exciting talents Scotland has produced in years.David Turnbull collected the Scottish Football Writers Young Player of the Year award earlier in the week and he demonstrated just why with another outstanding individual performance.Whilst the game was relatively meaningless in the context of the season, both sides started with a high intensity that resulted in Livi creating two chances within the opening 10 minutes.Ryan Hardie breached the Motherwell defence before laying off for strike partner Lee Miller to fire tamely at the goalkeeper before captain Alan Lithgows header from Craig Sibbalds corner was comfortably held by Mark Gillespie.But it was Motherwell who took the lead when Turnbulls brilliant free-kick after 10 minutes was glanced home by Liam Donnelly, who came into the side after Carl McHugh was replaced during the warm-up.Motherwell doubled their advantage through an inspired corner routine straight off the training ground on 22 minutes. Gboly Ariyibi rolled a short corner to Liam Scott who expertly dummied the ball, fooling two defenders and Turnbull had all the time in the world to smash past Ross Stewart.Within minutes Motherwell had an opportunity to extend their lead when David Munro pointed to the spot after Ariyibi was felled by Sibbald.Turnbull confidently stepped up and fired straight down the middle to score his 15th goal of the season.An enthralling game descended into chaos when referee Munro awarded two penalties within a minute.After Tom Aldred was adjudged to have fouled Ricki Lamie, Livi had a golden opportunity to reduced the deficit but the impressive Hardies penalty was clawed away by Gillespie.Motherwell raced up the other end and were awarded a penalty of their own as goalkeeper Stewart dragged down Turnbull.The Scotland under-21 international stepped up but he was denied his hat-trick as Stewart redeemed himself with a low save.Livi demonstrated the fighting qualities that has encapsulated their season as they almost produced a stunning comeback.Substitue Scott Tiffoney was the the catalyst for a stirring late performance.The diminutive forward poked home at the back post to pull a goal back on 81 minutes.Tiffoney then gave the travelling support real hope three minutes later when he breached the Motherwell defence and fired past Gillespie to further reduce the deficit.The visitors surged forward looking for an equaliser but ultimately came up short despite a Dolly Menga effort narrowly flying past the post.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '1d6398ae-5550-48f7-b588-3202a7ff8bf0'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'David Turnbull brace helps Motherwell end season with victory'});

May 18th 2019, 10:05 am

St Mirren face relegation play-off despite victory over Dundee

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Substitute Cody Cooke scored a hat-trick as St Mirren did their bit by beating Dundee 3-2 at Dens Park but it was not enough to spare Oran Kearneys side from the relegation play-offs. The Buddies had to better Hamiltons result against St Johnstone to escape a two-game shoot-out with Dundee United next week.But while they responded to goals from Cammy Kerr and Scott Wright with Cookes treble to claim victory, Kearneys side did not receive the favour they were praying for from Tommy Wrights men as Accies won 2-0 to secure a sixth straight season of top-flight football.The game was the already-relegated hosts last before they drop down to the Championship and also defender Darren ODeas final match as a professional ahead of his retirement this summer.But the former Celtic and Republic of Ireland defender did not bow out the way he hoped as he was sent off just 19 minutes in for a last-man tug on Brad Lyons.More than 2,000 fans brimming with belief made their way from Paisley to Tayside.But their optimism took a hit inside 14 minutes as Kerr put the hosts ahead.Paul McGowan exchanged passes with Kenny Miller on half-way before looking up and measuring a sublime ball into Kerrs path, with the Dens skipper firing into the roof of Vaclav Hladkys net.To make matters worse the goal was accompanied by news from the CBD Hope Stadium that Accies had taken the lead.The long-suffering home support took the opportunity to rub it in, telling the visitors they were going down with the Dundee.Saints responded as expected by upping the tempo. Stephen McGinn fired straight at Jack Hamilton while ODea cut out a Lyons cross.But by the 19th minute, ODeas time was up.Whereas the Irishman was making his last appearance before retiring aged 32, 16-year-old Finlay Robertson was only at the very start of his career after being handed his debut by Dundee caretaker boss James McPake.But the youngster did his team-mate no favours with a ferocious chest-height pass. ODeas control was awful and he was forced to drag back Brad Lyons as the Saints forward burst through on goal.Saints huffed and puffed through the rest of the half before Kearney rolled the dice at the break by throwing on Cooke for Mateo Muzek.The move paid off within seven minutes as the striker thudded home with a header from Paul McGinns cross.And for a moment Saints dared to dream their escape act was on when Cooke rolled home his second when Ryan Flynns strike broke back to him off Ryan McGowan.But no sooner had the travelling Paisley faithful leapt from their seats than news arrived from Lanarkshire that Hamilton had scored again.Dundee found themselves down to nine men as Genseric Kusunga limped off with all three subs made but that did not stop Wright squaring the match up again on 73 minutes as he ran on to Ethan Robsons superb cross-field pass to stroke past Hladky.But Cooke claimed the match ball moments later as his shot squirmed through keeper Hamiltons grasp into the net and Kearney will now have to hope his team have the momentum as they prepare for their do-or-die double-header with United.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'ebfaefa4-4508-4ca9-ac1e-7de37cdd5c9d'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'St Mirren face relegation play-off despite victory over Dundee'});

May 18th 2019, 10:05 am

HOLD Outgoing coach Allegri confident of bright Juventus future

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Massimiliano Allegri feels he will leave Juventus with the potential to go on and win the Champions League after it was announced he would step down as head coach at the end of the season.The 51-year-old has been in charge of the Turin club since joining from fellow Serie A heavyweights AC Milan in 2014, and won the league title in each of his five seasons in charge.However, despite domestic dominance, which also included four Coppa Italia titles, Allegri could not deliver European success, losing two Champions League finals against Barcelona in 2015 and Real Madrid in 2017.Five seasons together 11 trophies Thank you for everything, Massimiliano Allegri!#GrazieAllegri pic.twitter.com/su01jSQtgR JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) May 18, 2019Even the arrival of star signing Cristiano Ronaldo last summer, for a fee reported to be 100million euros (90m) could not push Allegris side on, eventually coming up short against Ajax in this seasons quarter-final.Juventus president Andrea Agnelli sat alongside Allegri for Saturdays press conference at the Allianz Stadium in what was an emotional occasion, with first-team players also in attendance.Allegri, whose contract had been set to run through to June 2020, was presented with a commemorative shirt by Agnelli which had on the back History Alone above the number five. The former Cagliari boss, clearly moved by Agnellis speech in tribute to the clubs out-going head coach, is in no doubt Juventus can continue to grow following his departure.I leave a winning team which has the potential to repeat its achievements in Italy and have another great Champions League campaign. Unfortunately, some situations meant we couldnt go all the way (during my time), said Allegri, who will take charge of his final home league match against Atalanta on Sunday.We talked, expressed our ideas on what was best for Juventus and the future of Juventus. After that, the club evaluated it and decided it was best that I wouldnt be the coach of Juventus next season.I leave behind a solid group with extraordinary players, both technically and as men, because you need good men to win as well as good footballers.Andrea Agnelli: In May 2013, I felt that Allegri would be the future Juve coach. We had to wait 14 months until he accepted the assignment. We now look for the correct attributes that are needed to take Juventus forward on July 16 and bring us to victory. pic.twitter.com/bMo9onQPwK JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) May 18, 2019Agnelli maintained he would not make any comment on the next Juventus head coach, with both former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and Tottenhams Mauricio Pochettino having been swiftly linked with the vacancy.We must be able to make the right decision and make them in the right moment. Only the future will tell us if these decisions are the right ones, said the Juventus president, adding that this had been the most difficult choice to make.When this team comes together in July, it will begin with the objective of winning, both in Italy and in Europe.There had been reports of a growing rift between the head coach and vice-president Pavel Nedved over the future direction of the team. Allegri, though, stressed the parting was amicable.Massimiliano Allegri twice saw his Juventus side beaten in the Champions League final (Nick Potts/PA)Some things were written that were not correct, suggesting I asked for a long contract, for a squad revolution and different players, but we never got to that,Allegri said.We simply realised it was best not to continue together. It was far more simple than you seem to think.We had five extraordinary years together and must be proud of that, but enough, because tomorrow we have to celebrate. All the rest is chatter.Juventus will start next season with a super club and an extraordinary squad.Winning team! pic.twitter.com/xNHZTidZRR Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) May 16, 2019Allegri had been linked with a move to the English Premier League, but for now, does not intend to make any quick decisions.Maybe I need a little rest too, but perhaps after July 15 I might inevitably feel the desire to get back to work and I will evaluate the situations that are proposed, he said.Otherwise, I will have a year to dedicate myself to my family and my friends. We will see.In-form Atalanta travel to Juve having climbed up to fourth spot in Serie A on the back of an unbeaten 11-game run which has included eight victories.Atalanta did suffer their first defeat since February on Wednesday when they were beaten 2-0 by Lazio in the Coppa Italia final, but Gian Piero Gasperini is hoping for a better outcome this weekend.He told a press conference, as reported by his clubs website: Tomorrow will be a very difficult task, at the home of Juventus who have won the championship, and with a party in progress.But if we could get something then we would be mathematically certain that with a victory on the final day we would be in the Champions League.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b71af73b-69cd-490f-a6a2-1867991df62b'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'HOLD Outgoing coach Allegri confident of bright Juventus future'});

May 18th 2019, 10:05 am

Bale back for Real Madrid but Zidane not clear on Welshman’s future

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Gareth Bale returns to the Real Madrid fold for Sundays season finale against Real Betis but Zinedine Zidane admits he does not know if it will be the Welshmans final game for the club.Bale has been absent since last months defeat to local rivals Rayo Vallecano but coach Zidane has confirmed the 29-year-old will be back in the squad for the visit of Betis.With speculation rife that Bales six-year stay in Spain could be about to end, the match may well be the last time he is seen in Madrid colours. Zidanes message for the #RMFans ahead of Sundays final 2018/19 league fixture against @RealBetis. pic.twitter.com/uCsyIFjHWT Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) May 18, 2019Zidane refused to speculate about what the summer might hold for the clubs record signing, though, saying: Hell be part of the squad tomorrow and thats all I can tell you.Youll see the team that we put out.I dont know whether this will be his last game.Were at the end of the season and next year therell be changes, but I dont know whether this will be his last game or not.Gareth Bale has won four Champions League titles with Real Madrid but his future with the club is uncertain (Nick Potts/PA)Bale is not the only Madrid player whose future is uncertain as the Spanish giants lick their wounds after a campaign which, aside from winning the FIFA Club World Cup in December, has been a huge disappointment.The likes of Keylor Navas, Toni Kroos and Isco have been linked with moves away as Madrid look to regroup after failing to mount a genuine LaLiga title challenge or reach either the Champions League or Copa del Rey finals.The 13-time European champions have already lost 11 times in LaLiga this season their worst record this millennium and are certain to finish third, well behind arch-rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.One. Week. Left. #LaLigaSantander pic.twitter.com/FoG1PmbA0W LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) May 16, 2019It has been a tough time for a club used to winning silverware and Zidane, who became the teams third coach of the season when he returned to the helm in March, is now hoping his side can at least finish on a positive note.The Frenchman told his pre-match press conference as reported by the Spanish media: We want to sign off with a good performance and a win in front of our fans.They always win a lot of things here, and its very difficult when youre not playing for anything, but we want to have a good game against a good Betis side who will also want to finish the season well.Betis travel to the capital knowing a victory would guarantee them at least 10th place in the table..@RealBetis_en snap Real Madrids goalscoring streak and win at the Bernabeu for the first time in 19 years! #RealMadridRealBetis 0-1 pic.twitter.com/gm8YTvTQqc LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) September 20, 2017They claimed a 1-0 win on their last to visit to the Bernabeu, Antonio Sanabria netting a dramatic late winner in September 2017, and coach Quique Setien is hoping for something similar this weekend.He said on his clubs website: Its a very important game for us because it could allow us to gain a place in the table and leave a good memory at the end of the season at such a difficult stadium.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '536b2abf-0980-4dab-bc3d-b04ea451b210'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Bale back for Real Madrid but Zidane not clear on Welshman\u2019s future'});

May 18th 2019, 9:35 am

Dani Alves could leave PSG for the Premier League this summer

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Dani Alves could move to the Premier League this summer after delaying signing a new contract at PSG,reportUOL Esporte.The Brazil international is out of contract at the Parc des Princes in June and has yet to accept the offer of an extension.Alves has been offered another year by the French giants but has made it clear that he would prefer the security of a two-year contract.And although his preference is to remain in the French capital, the right-back is waiting to see if any concrete proposals from England arise.Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all expressed an interest in Alves when he joined PSG in 2017, and all three clubs may still be keen on a player who has won nine league titles in Spain, France and Italy.As well as issues with his own contractual terms, the former Barcelona man is seeking assurances that PSG are ready to challenge for the Champions League next term.READ MORE6 high-profile, out-of-favour stars who could interest Premier League clubs – and who they'd suit6 players Real Madrid could sign to get back among Europe’s elite

May 18th 2019, 9:23 am

O’Dea-r: Retiring defender sees red in final match

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Retiring Dundee defender Darren ODea was left with a red face when his final match ended after just 19 minutes as he was sent off against St Mirren.The former Celtic and Republic of Ireland centre-back was hoping to bow out on a high by leading his already-relegated Dark Blues side to one last win before the curtain comes down on the Ladbrokes Premiership season.But ODea he got an unwanted farewell gift from referee Alan Muir midway the first half as he was shown a red card after a last-man foul on the Buddies Brad Lyons.Dundees 16-year-old debutant Finlay Robertson lofted a chest-height pass to ODea, whose control let him down as he was forced to drag back Lyons before the Saints frontman sped through on goal.The Irishman was at least treated to a standing ovation from the home support as he trudged down the tunnel.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0e36114e-cd4b-4c45-9ef1-73500283f76b'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:viral,paservice:viral:sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'O\u2019Dea-r: Retiring defender sees red in final match'});

May 18th 2019, 9:23 am

Manchester United are still in the race to sign in-demand centre-back

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Manchester United remain in the race to sign Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt, according to theDaily Telegraph.The Ajax captain is one of the most in-demand players in Europe at present, having helped the Amsterdam outfit win a domestic double and reach the Champions League semi-finals this season.Barcelona have long been leading the race for his signature, while Liverpool and Juventus have also been linked with the 19-year-old.It was previously reported that United had lost ground in the battle to acquire De Ligt after failing to qualify for the Champions League.However, the Netherlands international has not ruled out a move to Old Trafford and is said to still be interested in the possibility of joining United.The news comes as a major boost to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is keen to bolster his defensive options ahead of 2019/20.READ MORE11 forgotten internationals who shone after returning from the abyssHow Aston Villa turned around their season – and gave themselves an unexpected shot at the Premier League

May 18th 2019, 9:23 am

Clare: Hearts won’t take things easy ahead of cup final

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Hearts midfielder Sean Clare insists there will be no shortage of effort from his team in their cup final dress rehearsal against Celtic.Manager Craig Levein has signalled he will take a youthful squad to Celtic Park for the clash with their William Hill Scottish Cup final opponents, six days before they meet again at Hampden.But some more experienced players will be given the chance to stake a claim for a final place and Clare does not believe they can afford to take the game lightly in order to save themselves for the showpiece occasion.The former Sheffield Wednesday player said: Its still a big game, we are going into it with full focus and aim to come out of it with a result.We need to play like that for us to be focused for the final. We cant just chuck it away and think well focus on the final. It doesnt really work like that.Everyone that plays needs to get the most out of it they can, and go there and try to get the win.The 22-year-old added: Whoever plays will go out to do their best and make it difficult for the gaffer. I dont know if hes picked the team already, its probably unlikely, so anything you can do to get yourself in that team is what we will try to do.So that should ensure we have a good performance on Sunday, because everyone will be up for it.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Gavin McCafferty, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '4aef58c9-2b1d-4d2e-b62f-3fa4efbdb831'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Clare: Hearts won\u2019t take things easy ahead of cup final'});

May 18th 2019, 7:20 am

Chelsea want to sign Ajax star if transfer ban is delayed

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Chelsea will try to sign Ajax forward David Neres if their two-window transfer ban is delayed or overturned, reportThe Daily Star.As things stand, the Blues are banned from signing new players after being found guilty of breaking FIFA rules on the acquisition of foreigners under the age of 18.Their initial appeal was rejected by world football's governing body earlier this month, but the west Londoners are now preparing to take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.The final verdict could affect Maurizio Sarri's future at Stamford Bridge and whether or not Eden Hazard is sold to Real Madrid.But if Chelsea do succeed in getting the suspension delayed, they will make a move for Ajax star Neres.The Brazilian winger scored 12 goals in 50 appearancesfor the Amsterdam outfit, who won a domestic double and reached the Champions League semi-finals this season.Neres, who has also been watched by Arsenal, PSG and Liverpool, is likely to be available for £35m.READ MOREHow Aston Villa turned around their season – and gave themselves an unexpected shot at the Premier LeagueWhy signing Antoine Griezmann is a major gamble for Barcelona

May 18th 2019, 7:20 am

McInnes urges Aberdeen to give departing skipper Shinnie perfect send-off

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Derek McInnes has urged Aberdeen to hand departing skipper Graeme Shinnie the perfect farewell present with victory at Easter Road.Shinnie will join Premier League hopefuls Derby this summer after agreeing a three-year deal with Rams boss Frank Lampard.The Pittodrie faithful feared they had seen the last of their talismanic captain when he suffered an ankle injury against Kilmarnock last month but he battled back to fitness to play a part in last Fridays win over Hearts.That win has kept McInnes side in the hunt for a third place and a Europa League slot.They now need to beat Hibernian in Leith and hope Rangers can trip up Kilmarnock at Rugby Park as the curtain comes down on the Ladbrokes Premiership campaign.But at the very least McInnes wants to send Shinnie south on the back of a positive result.He said: Its important for us all to try to finish off with a win and see where it takes us.All we can try and do is win the game and theres no reason why we cant.Weve got the motivation and the players coming back. Hopefully, the team can deliver the performance were capable of and if we can do that then we can certainly win the game.For Graeme, I spoke about his relentless will to make sure he played in these last two games and it says everything about him and it says everything about everything were going to lose.Not just the player, but the man. He was hell-bent on making sure he was involved in these two games. Hes had a good weeks work and I think he needed the game last week and it was important for him and us to be on the pitch.Hell be there to take the team out on Sunday and hopefully we can get three points for him and everybody connected to the club.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '87d8c095-b48a-430d-bbe6-a0f31daa43db'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'McInnes urges Aberdeen to give departing skipper Shinnie perfect send-off'});

May 18th 2019, 7:20 am

Manchester City identify Spanish midfielder as key transfer target

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Manchester City have launched a move to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri, writeAS.The Spaniard has enjoyed a fantastic season at the Wanda Metropolitano following his transfer from Villarreal last summer.And now City are keen to bring the 22-year-old to the Etihad Stadium as they look to secure a long-term replacement for Fernandinho.The Premier League champions have made a formaloffer to Rodri and will trigger his £61.5m buyout clauseif the player agrees to join.Atletico forward Antoine Griezmann has announced his attention to depart this summer, while Juanfran, Diego Godin and Filipe Luis are also on the way out.Rodri is also likely to leave, although he wants to assess all of his options before deciding his next destination.READ MORE6 high-profile, out-of-favour stars who could interest Premier League clubs – and who they'd suit6 players Real Madrid could sign to get back among Europe’s elite

May 18th 2019, 7:20 am

Halliday desperate to get next season under way

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Rangers still have one game left this season but Andy Halliday is already desperate for the next campaign to get started.Steven Gerrards side failed in their quest for silverware this season but midfielder Halliday is convinced big strides forward have been made.Rangers head to Kilmarnock on Sunday looking to secure a seventh straight win from their final game.And the Light Blues recent resurgence capped off by last weeks Old Firm triumph has convinced 27-year-old Halliday his team will be at the very least pushing Celtic close for the Ladbrokes Premiership title once the action resumes after the summer.Halliday, asked if he believed Rangers were on the verge of launching a realistic title tilt, said: One hundred per cent yes. I think its the first time in a long time Im going into the summer really excited to start again next year.The progress has been there for all to see and I think even behind the scenes there has been a lot of progress that maybe the outside world doesnt quite see.Its well documented the changes we have made to the training ground but I think overall, in terms of the mentality of the playing squad, weve brought in a lot of experienced players, a lot of leaders, and overall its a better environment around the place.Halliday was hit with a one-match ban after his part in the post-match Celtic Park spat with Scott Brown back in March.His place went to Jon Flanagan and the former Liverpool left-back has stubbornly refused to give it up in the weeks since.Flanagan was due to miss this weekends clash with Steve Clarkes side but a successful appeal against his own two-game suspension for fouling Brown at Ibrox last week means he is now free to face Killie.And Halliday admits he can have no complaints if the Englishman gets the nod again at Rugby Park.Its certainly not been easy watching the team from the bench but it makes it a lot easier when the team are doing very well and picking up results, he said.Obviously I was in the team at that point when we went to Parkhead and I felt I was doing well.Since then its been very hard to get back in, but its hard to argue with the managers decision, especially with Flanno going into that position and he has done so well for himself having been out for a long period of time.All credit to Flanno because when he was out he never complained, he never sulked. He just got on with his business every single day and when he got his chance he took it.Rangers can complete their first-ever clean sweep of post-split fixtures with victory in Ayrshire and Halliday says that is all the motivation his side need as they look to put a dent in Kilmarnocks Europa League ambitions.We have never made a clean sweep in the top six and its a pretty good record to try and chase, he said.Weve had many great Rangers teams in the past that have not managed to achieve that, so its a good incentive for us to go into the game and try and get a result.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'adacab02-cd70-4124-9399-d7772415137e'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Halliday desperate to get next season under way'});

May 18th 2019, 7:20 am

Taylor believes Kilmarnock fans would wish Clarke well if he took Scotland job

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Greg Taylor does not expect any complaints from the Kilmarnock faithful if Steve Clarke quits to become Scotland boss.The Rugby Park manager is on the Scottish Football Associations three-man shortlist to replace Alex McLeish, along with Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes and Scotland Under-21 coach Scot Gemmill.Hampden chiefs will wait until after Sundays final round of Ladbrokes Premiership fixtures before making their move as they give Clarke and McInnes time and space to focus on their clubs respective fights for third place.Killie only need to match the Dons result at Easter Road when they host Rangers to clinch their highest league finish since 1966 and with it a guaranteed Europa League ticket.Clarke will not be around to lead the Ayrshire outfit into European action for the first time since 2002 if he is the man chosen to take over the national team.But Scotland Under-21 left-back Taylor reckons his sides grateful fans will only wish Clarke well if he decides to call time on his Kilmarnock reign.The young defender who was tipped for a national team call-up by his boss last week said: I dont think any of the fans could grumble if he was to move on.Hes always been quite open with the supporters and the players that it was never a lifetime job.If he does go Id imagine hed leave with certainly all of the players and most of the fans blessing.Third place is now in our hands and weve got the chance to secure that on Sunday.I read somewhere that Kilmarnock havent finished third since the 1960s so what an achievement that would be.I think back two years ago to where the club was before Steve came in. Did European football ever seem like a possibility then? No.We only had eight points or something so it was never on the agenda. But as we gradually picked up results you began to think who knows where we could end up.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '5b6ae76b-3717-4aac-87f9-0715c4d9e33d'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Taylor believes Kilmarnock fans would wish Clarke well if he took Scotland job'});

May 18th 2019, 7:20 am

Bain sets sights on two wins over Hearts

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Scott Bain believes Celtic will recalibrate their season with back-to-back victories over Hearts.The Hoops came in for some criticismfollowing their dismal display in the 2-0 defeat by Old Firm rivals Rangers at Ibrox last week despite havingalready clinched their eighth successive Ladbrokes Premiership title.And after the final league game against Hearts on Sunday, where they will be presented with the trophy, they get the chance to win an unprecedented triple treble when they face the Jambos in the William Hill Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park on May 25.Bain believes a couple of wins to end the season would wipe away the Ibrox defeat.The 27-year-old Scotland keeper said: We always want to put on a good performance and last week we didnt perform to the standard we have done before.But you need to look at the perspective, that this is a team thats won another league and are going on to play in the Scottish Cup final.It is a team that has won eight titles in a row and are going for another treble.To lose one game its a massive game but there can be a misrepresentation of things overall.It will be good to go on and hopefully win the next two games and put it back into perspective.Bain believes the passage of time will add further weight to the clubs current success.The former Dundee player said: The lads are achieving things that have never been done before.A lot of fans are just seeing success and success.Therell be a time in the future when things arent going so well where people will look back on whats been achieved and see how remarkable it is. It will probably never be done again.Hopefully we can take one more step and create a bit of history and hopefully everyone can appreciate it and enjoy it.Bain, who joined the Parkhead club in January 2018, took over the number one spot from Craig Gordon at the start of the year and admits this is easily the best season of his career.He will also feel more part of the celebrations on Sunday than he did last season when they picked up trophy number seven after the 1-0 defeat to Aberdeen at Celtic Park.He said: I had a little taste for it last season but it means a little more to me now that Ive been able to contribute more to the team this yearYou celebrate with the boys but in the back of your mind, you just know that you contributed a little, whereas this season I know I have contributed a lot more.Its a great day for the players, family and all the supporters so looking forward to it.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '70dd8684-3f8f-433c-b217-f4ecdd1e3029'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Bain sets sights on two wins over Hearts'});

May 18th 2019, 7:20 am

Manchester United forward stalls on new contract at Old Trafford

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Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is stalling on a new contract due to concerns over the club's future, reportThe Sun.United endured another disappointing season in 2018/19, finishing outside the top four for the fouth time in six years since Alex Ferguson's departure in 2013.The 20-time English champions finished a mammoth 32 points behind Manchester City, this year's title winners.David de Gea and Paul Pogba could both depart Old Trafford this summer due to their desire to challenge for the game's major prizes.And now Rashford, whose contract expires in June 2020,is reportedly considering his future.The 21-year-old forward has asked for assurances that United are heading in the right direction before he opens talks over a new deal.The Red Devils have the option to trigger a one-year extension in Rashford's contract, but they would prefer to see him commit to the club beyond 2021.However, Unitedwill first have to convince the youngster that they can close the gap between Manchester City and runners-up Liverpool.READ MOREHow Aston Villa turned around their season – and gave themselves an unexpected shot at the Premier LeagueWhy signing Antoine Griezmann is a major gamble for Barcelona

May 18th 2019, 6:05 am

These are the two Premier League managers Juventus are interested in

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Maurizio Sarri and Mauricio Pochettino are both on Juventus' shortlist to replace Max Allegri as manager.The Serie A champions announced on Friday that the former Milan boss will not see out the final year of his contract in Turin.Allegri has won five consecutive league titles at the Allianz Stadium, but a failure to lift the Champions League trophy and doubts over his tactical approachmeanhe will depart this summer.Juventus have begun the search for a replacement, withSNAIrevealing that Sarri is among the contenders.The Italian would presumably be open to a move back to his homeland after a difficult season at Chelsea.Sarri has met expectations by delivering a third-place finish and a run to the Europa League final, but he remains unpopular with the club's supporters.And The Daily Express claim that theBianconeriare also fans of Pochettino, who has led Tottenham to a top-four finish and the Champions League final this term.The Argentinian has hinted that he could seek pastures new if his side beat Liverpool in the Madrid showpiece, although it would be extremelycostly to prise Pochettino away fromSpurs.READ MORE11 forgotten internationals who shone after returning from the abyssHow Aston Villa turned around their season – and gave themselves an unexpected shot at the Premier League

May 18th 2019, 6:05 am

Heckingbottom hopes harsh words help Hibernian finish season on high

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Paul Heckingbottom hopes his harsh words have the desired impact as Hibernian bid to end their season on a high.The Hibs head coach branded his teams performance at Kilmarnock rubbish last week as they fell to a 1-0 defeat.Heckingbottom had held talks with a number of players in the run-up to the game about their futures with some told their time at Easter Road was up.But he hopes the chance to say farewell with a win for the likes of Livingston-bound Marvin Bartley can inspire his players when they host Aberdeen on Sunday with the Dons competing with Killie for third spot in the Ladbrokes Premiership.On their drop-off in performance last week, Heckingbottom said: I can understand it but I think the players understand why I cannot accept it.Its the time of year when players are not going to be with us next year. It can be a difficult time.Ive said hundreds of times, the players have been fantastic since weve come in, everyone has seen the effort and endeavour.There are lots of players who have deserved a chance and havent had as many minutes as they would have liked because of the performances of other players, and there are other players who have been in the side who maybe arent going to be here next season.So its going to affect them. But its the nature of the game. Its never a personal thing, there is always a reason behind it, and its always in pursuit of trying to get better.The process had to start for next season, really pushing ahead with those plans. But we are playing against another team just as hungry as Kilmarnock and they are exactly in the same position, so we know its going to be a tough, tough game.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Gavin McCafferty, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0665bb80-8042-411b-9594-cc2561738536'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Heckingbottom hopes harsh words help Hibernian finish season on high'});

May 18th 2019, 6:05 am

Chairman Alan Hardy regrets ever buying Notts County on back of relegation

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Notts County chairman Alan Hardy admits he now regrets ever buying the club which his wife told him not to do in the first place.The Magpies were relegated from the Football League for the first time in the clubs history at the end of the season following a 3-1 defeat by Swindon.County who had won only nine league matches over the whole campaign lost their proud status as the oldest Football League club, having been formed in 1862.Hardys company, Paragon Interiors, went into administration during February this year, but he said last month he was close to selling the club, who owe HM Revenue and Customs 200,000 in unpaid taxes.A winding-up petition was adjourned by the High Court until June 5 to allow more time for the proposed deal to be completed, as reported talks with a consortium from South Africa and also a London property group continue.In January 2017, Hardy had saved County from possible extinction when he bought out predecessor Ray Trew, pouring in his own money to stave off relegation and then seeing the Magpies reach the play-offs the following year.Looking back now, Hardy, 55, revealed it was a business decision he should not have followed through.It is 51-49 call and I have to just come down on the side of regretting it. It was the wrong sort of adventure, Hardy said in an interview with several national newspapers. It has been a horrendous six months the worst of my life.On paper it has cost me 35million and I have had this conversation with my wife many times. She is not happy she didnt want me to buy County in the first place.Hardy, though, maintained he was confident the club could beat the odds and stay up before moving forwards.I never believed for one minute we were going to get relegated, he said. Notts County have been through a lot previously and escaped and there was an inbuilt confidence we would get there in the end. But when you dont, there is that overriding shock and gasping for breath.We felt we could win this league and there is a thin line between League One and League Two, so I was positive we would get to the Championship in four to five years.Hardy had to apologise earlier this year after accidentally posting an inappropriate picture of his anatomy on social media.My integrity has been battered over the last nine to 12 months. Everyones integrity is important to them as a human being, he said. Ive lost some close friends along the way which was hard to come to terms with.The fans are understandably desperately sad about relegation and I have taken an absolute battering on social media. A lot of it grossly unfair and unnecessary, so I have come off Twitter.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '975adb99-3ff2-44fd-bc94-c8c42a867382'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Chairman Alan Hardy regrets ever buying Notts County on back of relegation'});

May 18th 2019, 4:50 am

Manchester United have chosen their favoured David de Gea replacement

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Manchester United will attempt to sign Jasper Cillessen if David de Gea departs the club this summer, according toThe Daily Record.De Gea is out of contract in summer 2020 and has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal.PSG and Juventus have been linked with the Spaniard in recent months, and United may opt to sell if the goalkeeper continues to stall on a new contract.The club hope that De Gea will eventually decide to extend his stay at Old Trafford, but they have identified Cillessen as their leading target if the ex-Atletico Madrid man moves on.The Dutchman is second choice at Barcelona behind Marc Andre ter Stegen and will push for a move away this summer.TheBlaugranaare reportedly willing to accept offers of around £22m for Cillessen, who moved to Catalonia from Ajax in 2016.READ MORE6 high-profile, out-of-favour stars who could interest Premier League clubs – and who they'd suit6 players Real Madrid could sign to get back among Europe’s elite

May 18th 2019, 4:50 am

Charlton heading to Wembley after downing Doncaster on penalties

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Charlton reached the Sky Bet League One play-off final, where they will meet Sunderland, after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Doncaster.After building a 2-1 lead in the first leg, the Addicks promotion bid was almost ended when they fell 3-1 behind at The Valley thanks to John Marquis goal in extra time.Substitute Darren Pratley then forced penalties when he found the finish that ensured a 4-4 draw on aggregate, after which Marquis and then Tommy Rowe missed to give Charlton a 4-3 victory and their place in a May 26 final at Wembley.The hosts had begun convincingly. From a left-wing free-kick in only the second minute, Josh Cullen delivered an inswinging cross towards the near, left post from where fellow loanee Krystian Bielik calmly headed beyond goalkeeper Marko Marosi.Their advantage was almost immediately doubled when, after a swift counter, Albie Morgan struck well but into the side netting, yet Doncaster then drew level and were even unfortunate not to quickly take the lead.Charlton had appeared under minimal threat but in the 11th minute, with little warning from within midfield, Herbie Kane sent a fine touch into the path of Rowe, who struck first-time and into the bottom left corner.They similarly then almost went in front when Matty Blair split the hosts defence with a through-ball that put Marquis into space in front of goal, from where he was then denied when his low shot was smothered clear by the diving Dillon Phillips.If both teams then struggled to dictate both the tempo and play it was Lee Bowyers men who first went closest to regaining the lead in the second half, when Josh Parker shot narrowly wide at the near post from Lyle Taylors low cross.It was in the 88th minute when, after the tireless Taylor had had an effort rightly ruled out for offside, Doncaster then finally found the goal that had begun to look beyond them and forced extra time.From a right-wing corner, and what may even have proved their last chance, Ali Crawford crossed towards Andy Butler at the back post, and the defender then leapt to head his team in front.Charltons promotion hopes even appeared over when, 10 minutes into extra time, the visitors extended their lead. When Anfernee Dijksteel lost possession in midfield, Malik Wilks carried possession down the right before crossing into the penalty area where Marquis routinely nodded in.From having a two-goal advantage until the final minutes of the first leg, the hosts needed to score just to force penalties, but they impressively found an almost instant response.In a similar position from the right Taylor crossed to in front of goal, and when Marosi dived to claim possession he then spilt it to Pratley, gifting him the kindest of finishes from directly in front of goal.The teams remained still level when, after three penalties each, Chris Solly, Cullen, Taylor, Ben Whiteman, Kieran Sadlier and Crawford had each scored.When Joe Aribo then converted for Charlton and Marquis missed, Naby Sarr saw Marosi save when he could have secured victory, but Doncasters Rowe then struck a post to settle the most dramatic of affairs.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Declan Warrington, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '43a252cf-c105-4525-9409-051353bc8646'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Charlton heading to Wembley after downing Doncaster on penalties'});

May 17th 2019, 6:27 pm

Robertson savages ‘obnoxious and arrogant’ official as Inverness lose play-off

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Inverness manager John Robertson launched a fierce criticism of fourth official David Lowe after arguing a shocking penalty decision cost his team during their Ladbrokes Premiership play-off defeat to Dundee United.Robertson was sent to the stands at half-time of the 3-0 defeat at Tannadice after being accused of kicking a water bottle at Lowe in the wake of a controversial penalty award.With Inverness trailing 1-0 on aggregate and creating decent chances, Brad McKay was penalised by referee Kevin Clancy after blocking Peter Pawletts strike with his foot and seeing it spin up and hit his arm.Nicky Clark converted in first-half stoppage time and United sealed a 4-0 aggregate win with second-half goals from Osman Sow and Pavol Safranko.Robertson, who felt his team had Liam Polworth wrongly sent off in the first leg, said: We were unlucky not to be ahead and then the match is taken out our hands by a shocking decision. Its right on half-time and it knocked the wind out of our sails.Were told in all the referee seminars that if the ball is deflected on to the players arm it is not a penalty. I have 40 or 50 texts saying its not a penalty and the one man who needs to get it right has got it horribly wrong.And on top of that he is backed up by an incredibly obnoxious and arrogant fourth official.After the goal there was a water bottle lying there, I flicked it about a foot in the air and it clipped the back of the fourth officials calf, which was translated into me losing the plot, getting irate and smashing a water bottle at him.Its the biggest lie ever and Im prepared to take this all the way. Its a nonsense. To be sent to the stand for that is an absolute joke.The pair clashed again after full-time when Robertson went down to the edge of the pitch to shake hands and was told to wait in the tunnel.All I was doing was congratulating Kevin Clancy and the other official on their game and waiting to congratulate Robbie Neilson and his players and wish them all the best, Robertson said. And again, his arrogance, he comes across and asks me to leave the pitch.He said he was going to report me again. Thats the arrogance of him. This guy is coming up to rub salt in the wounds.They can ban me for as long as they want, I really dont care, but Im going to take this all the way.Ive been irate before and done some daft things I kicked Csaba Laszlo for goodness sake. But all I have done is flick a water bottle and it clipped him. Im sure he will be in hospital tonight getting his leg amputated the way he reacted. Its an absolute nonsense.United booked a final against Hamilton or St Mirren, with the first leg at Tannadice on Thursday.Manager Neilson said: The mood is very good and the mood in the stadium was very good but in my opinion we are not even halfway there.We went into this game as favourites and we go into the next game as underdogs, we will be up against a team who have been playing against better teams than we have week in, week out.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Gavin McCafferty, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'd217432a-2aeb-44c1-b80d-25e6cc2a664d'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Robertson savages \u2018obnoxious and arrogant\u2019 official as Inverness lose play-off'});

May 17th 2019, 6:27 pm

De Bruyne determined to end season on high with FA Cup success

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Kevin De Bruyne feels no sympathy for Liverpool after Manchester City narrowly pipped them to the Premier League title.City won their last 14 games to beat the Reds by a single point in a compelling and high-quality title race.Liverpools 97-point tally was the third-highest ever achieved in the competition but, while Citys Belgian playmaker acknowledges their effort, he cannot feel sorry for them.Back 2 Back Premier League Champions! We reigned and we retained! #mancity pic.twitter.com/stX3wPtV4P Manchester City (@ManCity) May 12, 2019De Bruyne said: Its a remarkable effort, but it means that we were just better than them in the end.I dont feel sorry for them because I dont think theyd feel sorry for us. I dont think anybody felt sorry about the way we went out of the Champions League. You take it.I know how they feel because youre going to feel disappointed. Wed feel the same if it happened to us.But were still competitors.Its been a great battle. I can understand the feelings they have but to feel sorry for them is maybe going a little too far. For all Citys success this season, it has been a frustrating campaign for De Bruyne their player of the season last year due to a succession of injuries.The 27-year-old featured just 18 times in the Premier League largely due to two separate knee injuries and a number of other problems.He returned from his latest setback to feature off the bench as City won the title at Brighton last weekend. He now wants to end on a glorious high by helping them complete the treble in the FA Cup final against Watford on Saturday.De Bruyne said: It makes up for it in a way but obviously its not been the most fun season.Its been one of those years where I started really badly with two big injuries. I came back in the right way but obviously, my body couldnt cope with all the games.Its good to be back with the team for the prizes, the Brighton game and now the final.De Bruyne did allow his frustration to show at one point this season when, during a comeback game against Burton in the Carabao Cup in January, he headed straight down the tunnel after being substituted.City were leading 5-0 and went on to win 9-0 and manager Pep Guardiola wanted to protect the star but De Bruyne, who was making just his sixth start of the season, disagreed.Kevin De Bruyne played his part in Citys demolition of Burton in the Carabao Cup (Martin Rickett/PA)He admits he was told off for his reaction.He said: I shouldnt really have left but sometimes emotions come up and at the time I thought it was a good game for me. It was already 5-0 so at that moment I was like, I need the game time, I can still be important.After celebrating their title success last weekend, City returned to training on Tuesday to prepare for Watford.De Bruyne said: The group is serious. You feel theres now a little less tension than there has been in the last few weeks, obviously the main thing was the title, but everyone will be ready. Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling has attributed his fine form this season to a determination to repay Guardiolas faith in him.Sterling said: Hes phenomenal, not only with me but with every player in the team. He gives everyone opportunities, he gives people chances and its down to you to repay that faith.The manager gives his all, he comes in every day and wants the best, not only from himself but from everyone else the coaches, the staff, the chefs.He demands the best and everyone tries to give their best and thats the best environment you can be in, to have a team full of winners.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '3cada1d6-69f6-4954-a00c-8a96ff5fec89'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'De Bruyne determined to end season on high with FA Cup success'});

May 17th 2019, 5:41 pm

Guardiola: City players must start from square one next season

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Pep Guardiola has warned his Manchester City players they will have to prove themselves all over again next season.The Premier League champions can complete an unprecedented domestic treble when they face Watford in the FA Cup final on Saturday.But regardless of whether City can crown an outstanding season with victory at Wembley or not, the ever-demanding Guardiola says reputations will count for little next term. The City boss said: Every player has to feel, I have to play good or I dont play. They have to feel, I have to win again, if not I have problems, Im in trouble, I cannot be longer here.People say how beautiful it is but we have to win again and again and again and the players have to feel that.It was incredible but for the first day from next season we start from zero.Guardiola expects some changes to be made to the squad this summer. Signings will be made to freshen up the group and he accepts some players may wish to move on.He said: Some movements we have to do for the next season, yes, because people want to leave, players want to play.They accept not playing for a period but when the period is long its normal that they want to play more. I cant assure that to anyone so I understand completely.Winger Leroy Sane was linked with Bayern Munich this week while Ilkay Gundogan now has just one year remaining on his contract. Guardiola remains hopeful both will agree new deals.He said: Leroy, we are one and a half years trying to sign his (new) contract. We want him. Its like Gundogan its the same case.Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan have been subjects of transfer speculation (Martin Rickett/PA)Captain Vincent Kompany is out of contract this summer. Guardiola hopes to retain the services of the four-time Premier League winner but the 33-year-olds future after the FA Cup final remains unclear.He said: We are going to speak after this game. Vinny has shown again when he is fit what he is able to do.City were in contention for a quadruple until being beaten in dramatic fashion by Tottenham in the Champions League quarter-finals last month.Guardiola, however, doubts whether his team would have been able to hold off Liverpool in the Premier League if the result against Spurs had gone the other way. View this post on Instagram Bossing it #mancityA post shared by Manchester City (@mancity) on May 17, 2019 at 6:58am PDTHe said: Always I thought after going out to Tottenham in the Champions League quarter-finals, if wed gone through would we have been able to beat Tottenham (again), go to Old Trafford, Burnley and win the points we needed to be champions against this Liverpool?Honestly, I dont know if we would have been able.Guardiola won the Champions League twice with Barcelona and will fight again to win the prize with City next term.He said: Of course its our dream to do it but I have to improve, I have to see what I can do better to do it. As a manager Im not good enough in this club to maintain it.Guardiolas City were knocked out of the Champions League by Tottenham (Mike Egerton/PA)We will work on I dont know what because we tried to do our best, but the Champions League is difficult. It was not the same level as weve achieved in the other competitions.Guardiola remains keen to point out that City can still win a quadruple this season, as they won the Community Shield last August.He said: We can win it tomorrow the little quadruple. Its a big chance for us.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'c1da7084-640b-49f6-b235-60834733ad72'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Guardiola: City players must start from square one next season'});

May 17th 2019, 5:41 pm

Dundee Utd sink Inverness to reach Premiership play-off final

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Nicky Clarks controversial penalty sent Dundee United on their way to the Ladbrokes Premiership play-off final with a 3-0 victory over Inverness.Clark slotted home in first-half stoppage-time after Brad McKay was harshly penalised for handball by referee Kevin Clancy.Visiting boss John Robertson was sent to the stand at half-time after making his feelings clear and Osman Sow netted his first goal for United 10 minutes into the second half before Pavol Safranko scored late on to seal a 4-0 aggregate win.United will now host either Hamilton or St Mirren on Thursday night in the first leg of the final as they look to make it third time lucky in the play-offs.Inverness had Tom Walsh back fit to replace the suspended Liam Polworth, whose red card had a major bearing on Uniteds 1-0 first leg win.The visitors started on the front foot but Peter Pawlett was looking dangerous for Robbie Neilsons side.Several Joe Chalmers corners caused problems for United but Benjamin Siegrist showed brilliant reactions to stop Walshs deflected volley before Jordan White sent a free header over from six yards.Inverness had an even better chance just after the half hour mark when Aaron Doran ran on to McKays ball over the top but the skipper hesitated slightly and Siegrist blocked his shot.United were looking nervous and sloppy in possession but they came back into it and got the breakthrough in contentious circumstances.Clark laid Ian Harkes low cross back to Pawlett, whose shot was well blocked by the foot of McKay. But the ball spun up off the defenders arm and Clancy pointed to the spot.Clark faced a delay as McKay protested but the former Rangers striker made no mistake.United soon removed all doubt about the outcome. Harkes diagonal ball allowed Paul McMullan to run at Kevin McHattie and the winger eventually forced the ball to Sow, who turned inside the six-yard box and finished high into the net. It was the former Hearts strikers first goal in 10 matches for the club.An offside-looking Clark hit the outside of the post following a cross fromSafranko before the forward repeated the trick from a glaring opportunity.McKay knocked the ball out of goalkeeper Mark Ridgers hands to leave Clark with an open goal but the striker hit the post from three yards.The home fans in the 8,540 crowd were in full voice and Safranko sparked more celebrations with 10 minutes left when he slotted home following fellow substitute Sam Stantons pass.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Gavin McCafferty, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9dea3c5e-1de0-47e9-b5c2-1e97cd9b64df'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Dundee Utd sink Inverness to reach Premiership play-off final'});

May 17th 2019, 5:10 pm

Watford skipper Deeney relishing chance to end long wait for silverware

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Watford captain Troy Deeney is desperate to end his long trophy drought when his side take on Manchester City in the FA Cup final.Deeney will lead the Hornets out in English footballs showpiece match on Saturday evening, aiming to inspire a massive shock against a City team going for an unprecedented domestic treble.The 30-year-old, whose career began at Walsall, has never won a trophy as a professional and is keen to put that right. View this post on Instagram Our very own warrior! . . TROY A post shared by Watford FC (@watfordfcofficial) on May 15, 2019 at 9:41am PDTIt will be some task against Pep Guardiolas men and if Watford can do it Deeney knows they will earn a slice of history, having never won the FA Cup before.If I win I get to pick up a trophy in front of my mum which is massive, he said. I havent done that since I was about 12.So yeah, to be honest I dont really want to look that far ahead.Im just doing all the work I have to do now to make sure that Im in the best position that I am to be a) picked and then b) if I am picked, to perform to a level thats acceptable.My last trophy was probably players player for the under-12s or something.I won it here a couple of years ago, didnt I? This is different, this is a team one.The team ones are more important than anything and its history more than anything.You look at (former Hornets chairman) Elton John up there, hes synonymous with this football club, but I want my picture up there for years to come.This is Watfords first FA Cup final appearance since 1984, when they lost 2-0 to Everton, and it will be the biggest day of Deeneys career, even if he is keen to play down the importance.#ThatFeelingWhen you see the Wembley arch lit in your teams colours 1 day to go. pic.twitter.com/IfQr6J3MnK The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) May 17, 2019It is the culmination of an eventful journey for Deeney, who spent time in prison in 2012 for affray.Of course, its massive, he said. Its not going to be career-defining for me.If I dont win a trophy everyones not going to go, oh, hes rubbish. They think Im rubbish anyway, soFor me its all about the process of getting to here, and then this will be the icing on top of the cake essentially, because my story to get here is a bit of a roller coaster anyway.Were going to enjoy it. Were not naive, this is a massive, massive test, probably the hardest one, but if you want to win trophies, and get into Europe, then you have to play against the best.Troy Deeney celebrates scoring against Wolves in the FA Cup semi-final (John Walton/PA)Watford could be pinning their hopes on outsmarting City at set-pieces after Guardiola recently said he goes to church every time his side have to defend a dead ball.That has been a strong part of the Hornets success and Deeney has vowed to give City captain Vincent Kompany a tough afternoon.I think anyone, Im going to just talk about myself here, I think if I play well theyll have had a very difficult day, he added.If there are a lot of crosses in the box, as much as I really respect Mr Kompany, he would say its not going to be an easy day.Him going to church might be his own faith thing and I wish him well, but I think personally, if Im on my A game itll be a very difficult game for whoevers playing.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Jonathan Veal, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9a0e5778-0318-4baf-b2b2-d19af86c5dae'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Watford skipper Deeney relishing chance to end long wait for silverware'});

May 17th 2019, 4:10 pm

Celtic brand Flanagan decision ‘huge embarrassment’ for Scottish football

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Celtic have branded the Jon Flanagan disciplinary matter a huge embarrassment for Scottish football after the Rangers defender escaped a two-match ban for elbowing Scott Brown.Flanagan was initially yellow-carded for the incident but later issued with a retrospective ban after three former match officials declared his offence violent conduct after it was re-examined by Scottish Football Association compliance officer Clare Whyte.However, Rangers challenged that assessment and an independent panel dismissed the case following an SFA disciplinary hearing.A Celtic spokesperson said: This whole matter is a huge embarrassment for Scottish football.Rangers welcomed the ruling but added a caveat.An Ibrox spokesman said: Obviously we have concerns about the process but we are happy that the correct decision has been upheld.Rangers had earlier criticised the SFA for getting involved after referee Kevin Clancy opted to book Flanagan after the full-back hit out at Brown as the pair awaited a Celtic corner.Celtic manager Neil Lennon had argued the offence was a blatant red card but their city rivals vowed to defend their player vigorously while also questioning why Hoops defender Jozo Simunovic had also not been issued with a notice of complaint following an off-the-ball collision with Jermain Defoe.Press Association Sport understands that the compliance officer also referred the Simunovic incident to the three former match officials but there was no unanimous agreement that he should have been sent off.Rangers had condemned the outcome of the SFAs initial response on Tuesday.A statement read: Once again, there seems intent to change the decision of a referee in a match involving Rangers.There seems to be a steady erosion of respect for Scotlands referees and the authority they are meant to enjoy under rule five of the laws of the game.The decisions of referees regarding facts connected with play are meant to be final, but referees are now routinely invited to change their decisions after a game has finished.It is particularly shocking that another Rangers player has been singled out for retrospective action and issued with a notice of complaint, while Jozo Simunovic, the Celtic player who used an elbow to fell Jermain Defoe, has escaped any kind of censure.Why did one incident escape punishment while the other is now deemed worthy of a red card?We cannot understand how these two incidents could be studied yet only one be considered worthy of punishment.It seems as if Rangers players are being held to a different code of conduct from players at other clubs.We shall vigorously defend Mr Flanagan and have also asked for full transparency on what matters are brought forward for retrospective action. Are those decisions being made even-handedly?(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '38d8c496-6579-481f-bbf9-8b8b412d8d2b'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Celtic brand Flanagan decision \u2018huge embarrassment\u2019 for Scottish football'});

May 17th 2019, 3:40 pm

Holt urges Livingston to make the most of ‘stress-free’ Motherwell clash

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Livingston manager Gary Holt has encouraged his players to remove the shackles and enjoy their showcase game at Fir Park.The stakes are low for the final Ladbrokes Premiership encounter, with Livi guaranteed ninth place, leaving Holt to urge his players to take advantage of the stress-free environment.Holt has given his players licence to entertain as they draw the curtain on a successful first season back in the top flight against a Motherwell side that has handed out thousands of free tickets to children to boost the attendance.Holt said: Its probably a game that both teams dont need but its also a chance to go and play and just enjoy the game, no stress from the fans and no stress of what we are trying to achieve.Go and play, this is like a showcase game. Go and show your talents, go and show why you are playing at this level. Well give you a platform, you have got to go and do it.Play with a smile on your face, work hard because that is first and foremost for us, and hopefully sign off with a win.Go and try and score goals. Dont be too open but they will have the platform to score goals and make it exciting.The players have deserved this chance to go and enjoy the day.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Gavin McCafferty, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '80e05c71-a4f6-41d2-bae1-2e0ade9d7113'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Holt urges Livingston to make the most of \u2018stress-free\u2019 Motherwell clash'});

May 17th 2019, 1:37 pm

UEFA pledges to work with Arsenal and Chelsea over fans’ Baku travel issues

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UEFA has defended the decision to award Baku the 2019 Europa League final, but vowed to work with Arsenal and Chelsea to help get their fans to the match.The two Premier League rivals will meet in the Azerbaijan capital on May 29.However, since the two London clubs qualified last week, concerns have been raised over hosting the showpiece event in Bakus Olympic Stadium.Arsenal beat Valencia to reach the Europa League final in Baku (Nick Potts/PA)Arsenal and Chelsea declared their disappointment at the ticket allocation for the final, with both clubs receiving in the region of 6,000 tickets each for a stadium which has a full capacity of 69,870.Travel to Baku is also proving an issue for those fans who have qualified for a match ticket, with supporters heading out from London facing a round trip of 5,000 miles to attend the game.Reports have suggested the immediate uptake on ticket sales at both clubs has been slow, while a one-day official travel trip has been offered at around 980 per person.The #UELTrophyTour hits #Baku Who do you think is getting their hands on the ? or ?#DrivenByKia @Kia_Motors pic.twitter.com/4QvbAqYsC8 UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) May 16, 2019Both the Chelsea Supporters Trust and Arsenal Supporters Trust have been critical of the current conditions facing fans who are trying to head out to Azerbaijan.Arsenal are also liaising with the Foreign Office after it emerged season-ticket holders with dual British and Armenian citizenship have been denied visas to visit Baku because of tensions with neighbouring Azerbaijan.Gunners midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, captain of the Armenia national team, missed the Europa League group game against Qarabag in Baku earlier this season because of the issue.The club are now working with UEFA in the hope safety measures can be put in place to allow the 30-year-old to travel for the final as part of Unai Emerys squad.However, theAssociation of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA)says Mkhitaryans safety andsecurity is guaranteed in Baku.Elkhan Mammadov,AFFA general secretary, told theDaily Telegraph:Our government authorities provided guarantees to UEFA for Mkhi to come to Baku, so there is no issue of security and safety.Even before Arsenal qualified for the final, we received a request from UEFA to provide the guarantees, our state authorities provided all the necessary security arrangements for Mkhitaryan to travel to Baku. All the safety and security is already guaranteed. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Henrikh Mkhitaryan (@micki_taryan) on May 16, 2019 at 12:33pm PDTUEFA competitions director Giorgio Marchetti has written a letter to Arsenal regarding the issues raised by the Emirates Stadium club.Marchetti apologised for any problems experienced by Arsenal and Chelsea fans in trying to make the trip, and stressed UEFA would look to help as part of a joint effort with the clubs.He said: It goes without saying that an all-English final played by two London teams was not a very predictable event at the time of the appointment. There is little doubt that this has added significant difficulties to the event logistics.We are really sorry for the problems that your (and Chelseas) fans are encountering trying to organise their journey to Baku.Our experts are keenly working on this matter with a view to help find cheaper solutions for travelling fans. We would welcome a joint effort with your club in this respect.Eyes on the ! Chelsea v Arsenal in Baku! pic.twitter.com/bLcE9qhgdT Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 17, 2019Governing body UEFA also highlighted the logistical issues taken into consideration when awarding a final to a host city, stressing mobility and accommodation are obviously key criteria.On the issue of ticket allocation, UEFA maintained the high volatility in the number of fans following the two finalist teams was always a factor one which had been exacerbated by two well-supported English clubs making the final.The letter added: It is therefore not advisable to establish the tickets quota of the two finalist teams as a proportion of capacity rather than on statistically based realistic figures. The 2019 #UELfinal is set! Chelsea Arsenal #UEL pic.twitter.com/7GRc8uErR5 UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) May 9, 2019UEFA, though, maintained fans are a priority and all of them around Europe should have the chance to enjoy unique moments of top football.Marchettis letter to Arsenal finished with the message: I trust your understanding as men of sport and representatives of a club with a long and glorious tradition and solid sporting principles.I confirm our availability to work with you in order to find helpful solutions for your fans.When contacted by Press Association Sport on Friday, Arsenal and Chelsea did not want to comment on the letter from UEFA.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'd67e21ff-7279-472f-820a-8bea5479a76a'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'UEFA pledges to work with Arsenal and Chelsea over fans\u2019 Baku travel issues'});

May 17th 2019, 1:37 pm

McGowan backs caretaker boss McPake for Dundee job

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Paul McGowan has told Dundee chief John Nelms the answer to his managerial conundrum is sitting under his nose in the shape of James McPake.Managing director Nelms is sifting through more than 150 applications from hopefuls looking to replace Jim McIntyre.The Dens Park outfit moved to axe McIntyre last week after a run of 10 consecutive defeats led to the clubs relegation.Former defender McPake has now been put in caretaker command as they round off their Ladbrokes Premiership campaign at home to St Mirren on Saturday.But McGowan reckons his old team-mate is the prudent choice to become the permanent boss as the Dark Blues prepare for life in the Championship.I think James could be the answer, said McGowan. Hand on heart, why not?Its not going to cost anything. He knows the club inside out, has a great relationship with the fans. The training has been amazing since he took over.If you need experience, get someone in to help James.People know Jazza is my mate, but the club has forked out a lot of money on managers over the last couple of years.But were in the Championship now, were not going to have the money, so why not give it to James? He can bring that freshness in.McIntyre voiced frustration this week that he was not given a second transfer window to try and turn around a side that had lost seven out of eight games when he took over from Neil McCann in October.But McGowan insists no-one at Dens is free of blame following a nightmare campaign.Nothing has gone right for us this season, he said. I never want to see a man lose his job.The players have let him down, but both the players and the manager have to take huge responsibility for whats been happening. Its not been good enough.Did I agree with everything? No, I didnt. Its hard. We just didnt click as a team. We looked disjointed.We take huge responsibility for that. The players will take most of the criticism as its us who go out there, but we need a big helping hand with other things that go on with being club manager.Im not going to go into it. Its done. We didnt do enough, lets get that straight.But all of us involved, including Jim and (assistant boss) Jimmy Boyle, should hold our hands up because we were miles off it.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '35b0820f-160f-49b1-ba18-34f8b0283593'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'McGowan backs caretaker boss McPake for Dundee job'});

May 17th 2019, 1:37 pm

Swansea offer Potter new deal amid Brighton interest

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Swansea have offered manager Graham Potter a new contract in an attempt to ward off interest from Brighton, Press Association Sport understands.The Premier League club want Potter to succeed Chris Hughton, who was sacked on Monday.Swansea rejected Brightons approach to speak to Potter earlier this week and hope an improved deal will persuade the 43-year-old to stay at the Liberty Stadium.Potter was appointed last summer after leaving Swedish club Ostersunds and has two years left on his current contract.It is understood that he has sought assurances from Swanseas American owners over transfer plans this summer.But the Welsh club remain in the process of a cost-cutting exercise following their relegation from the Premier League 12 months ago.Swansea accept they are powerless to stop Potter leaving for Brighton if he chooses to.Potter, who was coincidentally on the south coast on Thursday night watching the Sky Bet League One play-off between Portsmouth and Sunderland, is expected to make his decision over the weekend.Potter built his reputation in Sweden, where he won three promotions with Ostersunds and steered them into the Europa League.Swansea finished 10th in the Sky Bet Championship last season and Potter was credited with playing an attractive brand of football, even though financial constraints saw him lose 16 first-team squad members.Brighton sacked Hughton the day after their campaign ended with a home defeat to champions Manchester City.Hughtons side managed just two wins from their 18 league matches after the turn of the year and finished 17th, only two points clear of Cardiff in the final relegation place.It is understood Brighton chairman Tony Bloom wants to appoint a new manager as quickly as possible to aid pre-season planning ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Phil Blanche, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'bc1f6ee8-b6b3-44c0-80bc-9ece6bce5955'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Swansea offer Potter new deal amid Brighton interest'});

May 17th 2019, 1:37 pm

Bartley turned down more lucrative offers to join Livingston

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Livingston-bound Marvin Bartley has revealed he turned down more lucrative offers in England to sign for the West Lothian club after his spell at Hibernian exceeded all expectations.The midfielder has agreed to a three-year contract with Livingston and will sign off on his Hibs career after Sundays Ladbrokes Premiership visit of Aberdeen.The former Bournemouth, Burnley and Leyton Orient player has won Scottish Cup and Championship winners medals during a four-year spell at Easter Road but, after being restricted to 16 first-team appearances this season, he decided to seek a new club.I think my time here has kind of ended, the 32-year-old said.I have been here four years. I came to a team that was in the Championship and a lot has happened in those four years and I dont think there is much more I can achieve.Its time to take on a new challenge with more playing time.Although its extremely hard to leave the club, its time.When I came up I just wanted to get the team out the Championship. When I came here everyone was talking about the Scottish Cup and that became the next challenge, and obviously, both have been completed.I could never have imagined for it to be like it has. I didnt realise how big the club was. Obviously having the parade and the support has been massive and has been growing every season, it has far surpassed what I thought it would be.Bartley was keen to stay in the Edinburgh area and Livi gave him the perfect opportunity.Football-wise I could have gone back down the road, I probably could have earned more money down the road, the Reading-born player said.I had offers down there and turned them down to stay up here.The age I am I just want to enjoy my time while Im still playing, and for me, thats up here.Im not sure if you have been down south, but everyone is just doing their own thing, nobody wants to stop and have a chat. Its a lot friendlier here.Even where I live theres a lot of Hearts fans but they are brilliant. When I am out walking my dog, people want to speak to you and have a bit of banter. For me, thats life.Bartley admits saying farewell to the Hibs fans will be difficult but he will also get to pursue his coaching ambitions at Livi.Its a different challenge, he said.Obviously the challenge here is to be in the top six and push for Europe, for them, its about staying in the league. Its a challenge I will enjoy.I am going to help with the reserves as well, and help those boys develop so it will be a different challenge but I will meet it head on.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Gavin McCafferty, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9e31433f-5630-4a14-aa87-dbbbe1a9fbb2'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Bartley turned down more lucrative offers to join Livingston'});

May 17th 2019, 1:37 pm

Hamilton should expect no charity from St Johnstone, says Wright

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Tommy Wright insists St Johnstone will be going all out to finish the season on a high at Hamilton as Accies battle to avoid the relegation play-off comes down to the final day.While the McDiarmid Park club have long been safe from relegation and are the best of the bottom half of the table in seventh place, Accies go into their last Ladbrokes Premiership game of the season just one point ahead of St Mirren, who are second-bottom.The Buddies travel to already-relegated Dundee and will swapplaces with Brian Rices side if they better Hamiltons result against the Perth men.Wright, however, stressed that his side are looking to win for themselves.He told Saints TV: It is important that we get a result for the fans coming down to the game and it is important for the players.You want to win football matches. They are professional footballers, thats their job. I have no worries that they wont approach it other than in the right manner.We go there to look after ourselves. It is neither here nor there to me who is the team in the play-off. My focus is on making sure that St Johnstone get another win.Wright reflected on another successful season despite the disappointment of losing out on a top-six spot.The Northern Irishman said: It is an improvement on points, it is an improvement on position. It is not the position I would like to finish, I would like to have been in the top six.No matter where you finish you are always looking for better. I think it has been another successful season, another year where we have guaranteed our place in the top league.Wright revealed 17-year-old striker Olly Hamilton will be on the bench at Hamilton.He said: Hes a young striker who is leading scorer in the youth team, he has scored 23 or 24 goals and can play wide or through the middle. He will get his first appearance on the bench.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b5f5810b-1040-4ea3-ab8f-a1d04fcc1aaa'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Hamilton should expect no charity from St Johnstone, says Wright'});

May 17th 2019, 1:37 pm

Wolves overtake Newcastle in the race for Rondon

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According to the Mail, Newcastle could be set to miss out on making a deal for loanee Rondon permanent.Wolves have reportedly opened talks with West Brom as they look to add depth to their striking department.Newcastle, on the other hand, are at the mercy of Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez, who are believed to be meeting soon to discuss the Spaniard's future.Rondon scored 11 goals and assisted a further 7 whilst on loan at Newcastle last season.The Venezualan has a £16.5m buy-out clause in his contract.NOW TRY...Quiz! Name the FA Cup finalists since 1900The Greatest Goal I Ever Saw… Alex Revell vs Leyton Orient, 2014

May 17th 2019, 1:37 pm

Atletico Madrid want Arsenal star to replace Griezmann

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According to AS, Lacazette's varied contribution and 'classy' style of playis seen as the perefect fit for Atletico.Atleti previously came very close to signing Lacazette while he was at Lyon, but the deal fell through because of complications with payment installments.However, it will not be technicalities that prove stumbling blocks this time around, but rather the fact Arsenal reportedly don't want to sell.It was reported recently that Arsenal are looking to extend both Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's contracts this summer in matching £250k-per-week deals.Diego Simeone is beleieved to be a big fan of Lacazette and can see his combative side helping himfitinto Atleti's physical style.The Frenchman has 19 goals and 13 assists this season and still has the Europa League final against Chelsea to play.NOW TRY...Quiz! Name the FA Cup finalists since 190011 forgotten internationals who shone after returning from the abyss

May 17th 2019, 1:37 pm

McInnes keen to stay at Aberdeen amid speculation over Scotland job

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Derek McInnes has cleared the path for Steve Clarke to land the Scotland job after insisting he is only focused on rebuilding his Aberdeen squad.The Dons boss and his Kilmarnock rival Clarke are understood to be the Scottish Football Associations top two choices to replace Alex McLeish as national team manager, with Scotland Under-21 coach Scot Gemmill also a contender.But McInnes has backed Pittodrie chairman Stewart Milnes claim that his focus, for now, remains on the cut and thrust of club management.The 47-year-old said: What Ive said to the chairman is that I see myself as a club manager for this moment in time, that has not changed.I think when you get asked about these things publicly it can come across a bit arrogant. Ive not been asked to be Scotland manager.I would like to be the Scotland manager at some point, I think anybody coaching and managing would have aspirations of managing their country.But I see myself with work to do at Aberdeen. Im a club manager and Im not ready to give that up.I would miss the day-to-day running of a club. Its not to say (international management) is not for the future but my job here at Aberdeen is where I see myself.McInnes contract expires at the end of next season and Milne is keen to tie him down for longer.But the manager is more concerned he has replacements lined up for the likes of Derby-bound skipper Graeme Shinnie and in-demand defender Scott McKenna and on-loan full-back Max Lowe, who is being targetted by Rangers.I speak to the chairman two or three times a week and the opportunity to stay here has been brought up, said McInnes, whose side must beat Hibernian at Easter Road on Sunday and hope Killie trip up against Rangers if they are to snatch third place.Thats something we will look at. I think, for now, we need to get players in.I wouldnt be against sitting down with the chairman and thrashing (a contract) out but right now our focus will be on the rebuilding of the squad.Weve got a big rebuilding job, to get players in in time for pre-season, hopefully, to come back for European football.Nothing has changed for us (with Max). Ive no doubt that clubs will be interested in Max because hes a good player.But hes Derbys player, not ours. I speak to Frank and Jody often, I speak to Maxs agent and Max on a daily basis.If Derby decide hes going out on loan hed love the opportunity to be here. Hes said that often enough and I have no reason to disbelieve him.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '2f5da92a-7897-4a6e-abb3-925d62c5ddbc'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'McInnes keen to stay at Aberdeen amid speculation over Scotland job'});

May 17th 2019, 1:37 pm

Chelsea handed boost – as they could still sign Real Madrid midfielder under transfer ban

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The Telegraph report that Chelsea are more likley to sign Kovacic now that Ruben Loftus-Cheek has sustained a long-term injury.Loftus-Cheek ruptured his achilles in a pre-Europa League finalfriendly in Boston and is thought to be out for up to a year.Chelsea, who are appealingto the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) to have their ban overturned, thought that Loftus-Cheek might blossom as a benficiary of such a ban.However, they are now reportedly keen to make Kovacic's loan a permanant one to make up numbers in midfield.It was thought Kovacic may move to Zenit St Petersburg after failing to make an impact at Chelsea, but the Stamford Bridge side could turn to the Croatian international long-term.Chelsea are less keen to extend Gonzalo Higuain's stay at Stamford Bridge. It would cost them £15m to activate a further year-long loan spell, or £31m to sign the 31-year-old permanently.NOW TRY...Who might step into Allegri’s shoes at Juventus?Quiz! Name the FA Cup finalists since 1900

May 17th 2019, 1:37 pm

Flanagan ban overturned on appeal

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Rangers defender Jon Flanagans two-game ban for clashing with Celtic skipper Scott Brown has been overturned on appeal.The Ibrox club were left outraged when it was announced earlier this week that the former Liverpool full-back had been cited by the Scottish Football Association for the incident during last Sundays Old Firm triumph at Ibrox.Flanagan was booked by referee Kevin Clancy after appearing to plant his arm into Browns face as they tussled before a second-half corner.Celtic boss Neil Lennon criticised Flanagan after the game, insisting the Rangers player should have walked and SFA compliance officer Claire Whyte decided the incident was worth reviewing.She referred the case to a panel of three former referees, who all agreed Flanagan should have seen red.Rangers chiefs released a statement vowing to defend their player vigorously while also questioning why Hoops defender Jozo Simunovic had also not been issued with a notice of complaint following an off-the-ball collision with Jermain Defoe.Now the Ibrox clubs appeal has proved successful after the SFA confirmed the charge against Flanagan had been dismissed by an independent disciplinary panel at Hampden on Friday afternoon.The 26-year-old is now free to take part in Rangers final game of the season at Kilmarnock on Sunday as well as the first game of next years campaign.The decision was backed by Light Blues assistant boss Gary McAllister.Speaking before the SFA made its verdict public, he said: I agreed it was a yellow card. What the referee saw and gave, we were in support of that. Thats how I saw it.I thought when youd been given a yellow card, you couldnt be cited.We just backed the referees decision on the day that it was a yellow. I dont want to comment on what happens at other clubs. The fact is Jon is our player, we just thought it was a coming together and what the ref gave we agreed with.Press Association Sport understands Simunovic went through the same disciplinary process as Flanagan, but there was no unanimous agreement among the three-man panel of former referees that he should have been sent off.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a3ad2d31-3e36-4d49-8bce-4e47bd05d735'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Flanagan ban overturned on appeal'});

May 17th 2019, 10:35 am

Mbappe returns for PSG’s final home game of season

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Kylian Mbappe returns for Paris St Germains final home game of the season against Dijon.The France World Cup-winning forward has completed a three-match ban and will be looking to add to his tally of 30 goals this season.PSGs form has dwindled since they clinched the title last month but boss Thomas Tuchel wants a big finish in front of their own fans.Its very important for us to finish the season with a win at Parc des Princes, said Tuchel at his pre-match press conference.You have to play with a good mentality and with a lot of quality.The season is not over, the players will give everything on the field.Its important to win in front of our fans.#We are very happy with this season.We need to improve things defensively, create a team with more reliable players, more players who have the ability to play a lot of high-level matches.We know how to be successful.We will continue on this path.We have seen a lot this season.Well be ready for the next season.We like to play in front of our fans, its extraordinary.I hope we will play well to celebrate the championship.But its not easy to win a title, nothing is ever acquired in advance.Its important for us to play well and win the game at home.Tuchel will be without Brazilian defenderThiago Silva, who is injured.Dijon face a daunting task if they are to prolong their survival battle until the final day of the season. They currently lie in the relegation zone, two points behind Caen and Monaco.Dijon have not scored in their last three clashes with PSG and have not beaten the champions since 2011. They have also kept just one clean sheet in their last 15 games.Boss Antoine Kombouare, who was sacked by PSG in 2011, told LEquipe: We must spoil their party.They can be relaxed and it can be very complicated for us.But they can be a little less concerned, and let go a little mentally if the game becomes difficult, as we have seen recently.Do not think they are already on vacation.We must put in the necessary ingredients, try everything to make them doubt, and be very effective when we have opportunities.Only then can we take advantage.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'bc922b94-9ade-4102-bca1-85da6e10c454'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Mbappe returns for PSG\u2019s final home game of season'});

May 17th 2019, 10:35 am

Rafael Benitez to continue talks with Mike Ashley over the weekend

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Rafael Benitezs talks with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley are set to go into the weekend.The 59-year-old Spaniard met Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley on Thursday to discuss his contractual situation with his existing deal due to expire on June 30.Those negotiations continued on Friday as the clubs players and fans alike awaited white smoke amid collective breath-holding in the city.The fact that the two parties are still talking is being seen as an encouraging sign, with Benitez looking for assurances over the clubs ambition and Ashley unwilling to inject fresh capital into a business he has been trying to sell for two and a half years.With the summer transfer window now open, the manager in particular will want to resolve his own future as quickly as possible before, if he stays, beginning work on his recruitment plans ahead of a third successive Premier League season.Meanwhile, sources on Tyneside have played down suggestions that midfielder Sean Longstaff could be a target for Manchester United as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempts to reshape his squad, insisting he is not for sale.The 21-year-old was hugely impressive after being handed his Premier League debut for the Magpies as a substitute at Liverpool on Boxing Day, going on to make eight starts before a knee injury at West Ham on March 2 brought his campaign to a premature end.Longstaff signed a new four-year deal in December, but his progress since means improved terms are likely to be offered once the managers situation is resolved.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Damian Spellman, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0126ce5c-38d9-4dac-a3ff-7f016a226658'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Rafael Benitez to continue talks with Mike Ashley over the weekend'});

May 17th 2019, 10:35 am

‘We don’t get a time to recharge’ – Bain bemoans fixture scheduling

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Scott Bain believes the Scottish Professional Football League could have done more with fixtures this season to help players be at their freshest for club and country.The Celtic and Scotland goalkeeper finishes the domestic campaign with the William Hill Scottish Cup finalagainst Hearts on May 25 but then has a Euro 2020 qualifying double-header at home to Cyprus on June 8 and away to Belgium three days later.The Hoops players, which include several Scotland internationals, will report back at Celtic before they fly out to Austria on June 24 for a training camp in preparation for their opening Champions League qualifier which will be on July 9/10.Ahead of the final Ladbrokes Premiership clash of the season against Hearts at Parkhead on Sunday, Bain said: They changed the split so that every game is on a Saturday.I think they could have potentially done a Wednesday-Saturday, Wednesday-Saturday until the end of the season and then had the cup final.That would have given the Scottish boys an extra week to 10 days to get away and have a break and feel refreshed for meeting up with Scotland again, especially for our boys, we are in early as are the other teams who are in Europe.I dont think enough has been thought of about breaks for the players and how detrimental and how hard it is for the players to not get away from the football for a break.More has to be done to think about what can we do to give the players a little more time in the summer so that each team stands a better chance to get through these qualifiers because these are tough games.A lot of times you are playing against teams who have either started their league or had a good break and had a pre-season. We dont get a time to recharge.I will try and get a week in the sun before and a week or 10 days after the Scotland trip and coming in for pre-season. So not much time for a break.The Scottish Football Association is likely to have Alex McLeishs successor as national team manager appointed by the start of the week, with Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke reportedly the front-runner.Bain is looking to be informed of the meet-up date for the squad as soon as possible.The former Dundee keeper said: We know we are going to be meeting up at some point.We just need clarification a little bit earlier on when that will be so the boys here can get away and get a holiday because it has been a long season.A calendar year of football for lads at this club is a lot of football so they need a break before and after (the Scotland games).(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Ronnie Esplin, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '3749eedf-c170-4be3-a7cd-73b33122a499'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': '\u2018We don\u2019t get a time to recharge\u2019 \u2013 Bain bemoans fixture scheduling'});

May 17th 2019, 10:35 am

Porto forward has 'agreed' £30m move to West Ham

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According to Record, West Ham are very close to sealing a deal for the Malianforward who dreams of playing in the Premier League.The France-born striker has enjoyed a brilliant season in Portugal, scoring 21 goals and assisting another 11.Marega has played 15 matches in the Champions League, scoring six goals this campaign,and West Ham have reportedly moved quickly to secure what they beleive will be an important signing.The 28-year-old is expected to fill a squadgap left by Andy Caroll, who looks likely to leave on a free transfer.West Ham will be paying an estimated £30m– Marega's release clause, following his contarct renewal last Septemeber.READ MORE...6 high-profile, out-of-favour stars who could interest Premier League clubs – and who they'd suit11 forgotten internationals who shone after returning from the abyss

May 17th 2019, 10:35 am
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