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David Beckham's Inter Miami step up Lionel Messi interest - and they want Gareth Bale too

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David Beckham has arranged talks with Lionel Messi's father in a bid to persuade the Barcelona star to join Inter Miami.The former England international is a co-owner of the Florida-based side who will join MLS in 2020.Beckham is keen to make at least one marquee signing before Inter Miami's debut season.And according toThe Sun,the ex-LA Galaxy midfielder has sentPaul McDonough to London to hold talks with Messi's dad, Jorge.Maxifootreport that Beckham is also keen on Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale.The Welshman came close to leaving the La Liga giants this summer, only for Florentino Perez to pull the plug on a proposed move to China.READ MOREWhat’s Lionel Messi like in real life? From mumbling diamond to mercurial genius – but still a man of few words9 things you might not have known about this season's Champions LeagueRoy Keane has a point about Alex Ferguson – but the feud proves why he'll never be a great manager

September 15th 2019, 5:36 am

Jeff Hendrick steps up to Sean Dyche challenge to rescue Burnley a point

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Jeff Hendrick responded to Sean Dyches challenge about scoring more goals by netting a late equaliser in Burnleys 1-1 draw at Brighton.Neal Maupay broke the deadlock with a superb half volley to give the Seagulls the lead before Hendrick struck from outside the box in the first minute of added time.It was Hendricks first strike of the season he managed three in the last campaign and Burnley boss Dyche wants the Republic of Ireland international to provide more of a regular goal threat.I just think he can affect the game in so many different ways, Dyche said about the 27-year-old.Probably the biggest thing Ive spoken to him about is scoring goals adding to that side of the game.Hes a big lad, he can head it, he can strike it as youve seen. He did very well.Hendrick was one of three substitutions made by Dyche in the second half and, with Matej Vydra and Jay Rodriguez also impressing, the manager hinted at making changes against Norwich next week.All three of them affected the game so I was pleased with that, Dyche.Ive told them there will be certain players (rotated), obviously defenders it doesnt change as much, but you have to keep everyone involved.I think thats the important thing here, weve always worked on a group mentality, so I want to keep everyones mind on it.Brighton have not managed to win at home in the Premier League since March, losing five and drawing three of their last eight games at the Amex Stadium.But Graham Potter feels his side are on the right track after picking up a fifth point from as many league games this season.Potter added: I think the performances are there. Wed like to improve as well, but again thats the Premier League with the teams that youre playing against.We understand that it is tough. We have to fight for every win and every point and well continue to do that.When asked about his message to his players after the late setback, Potter replied: As I said after the Watford game, you cant get too excited when you win and you cant get too down when the result doesnt go your way.Youve got to try and improve and stick together and pick out the game and see which bits you could do well and which bits we could maybe do better.Newcastle (away next weekend) is a different game altogether as well so we have to be better for that.(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 Sonia Twigg, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'de8e07aa-a850-4c9b-af86-87ac332b2795'); 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': 'Jeff Hendrick steps up to Sean Dyche challenge to rescue Burnley a point'});

September 15th 2019, 5:36 am

Edinburgh derby can kick-start Hibs’ campaign, says boss Heckingbottom

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Paul Heckingbottom insists the Edinburgh derby is the perfect game to kick-start Hibernians Ladbrokes Premiership campaign.The under-fire Hibs boss saw his side slump to a 2-0 defeat at Kilmarnock to make it just one win in their last 10 league outings.The only saving grace for the Easter Road outfit is that city rivals Hearts are in worse shape ahead of next Sundays derby, propping up the Ladbrokes Premiership and with fans protesting outside Tynecastle at Craig Leveins stewardship following their defeat to Motherwell.Heckingbottom experienced two Edinburgh derbies last season, winning one and drawing the other, and claims he relishes them so much he would have them every week.But he knows his under-performing players must stand up and be counted if they are to halt their slump and secure a morale-boosting win.Heckingbottom said: This game (Edinburgh derby) takes care of itself. Its still only three points and still only September, Im bothered about where we are at the end of the season, the bigger picture.But its the perfect game for me. If Im saying we need to be much stronger, mentally tougher, more aggressive, more disciplined, its the perfect game.An Edinburgh derby is perfect, we had two last season and I loved them, Id have one every week.There is no hiding place for anyone, so for me I cant wait.Weve got the best game next and the team I pick will reflect that stronger, more aggressive, thats what we need to be.Im looking forward to the game. Theres no hiding place for players. We had two Edinburgh derbies last season and regardless of how we were playing we played well in both.Things change because of the ferocity of the game and you have to stand up and you learn a lot about your players.Hibs were found wanting at Rugby Park as Kilmarnock secured back-to-back wins for the first time under new manager Angelo Alessio.Second-half goals from Liam Millar and Mohamed El Makrini secured a deserved three points for Killie.Alessio endured a difficult start after succeeding Steve Clarke in the managerial hot-seat, with a Europa League exit to Connahs Quay Nomads and then opening their Ladbrokes Premiership campaign with back-to-back defeats.But they are now unbeaten in their last four games, winning three of them, and Alessio believes his players now have a better understanding of his methods.Asked if he has now made his mark on the team, Alessio said: Yes but now the market is finished, finally. We know the players we have after some months.The players here and the new players, they have time now. The last day of the market we took players and they have to get to understand our football style.I am happy because I saw a good attitude and ability and this is important to reach a good result.Kilmarnock have kept four consecutive clean sheets, and Alessio added: I think this team deserves it because we now have good compartments, a solid team and we work hard every week.I know only this way to reach good results.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '7008c795-0ae2-42e1-9e97-d81e34bb9e2b'); 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': 'Edinburgh derby can kick-start Hibs\u2019 campaign, says boss Heckingbottom'});

September 15th 2019, 5:36 am

Jan Vertonghen has made a decision on whether or not he wants to stay at Tottenham

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Jan Vertonghen wants to extend his stay at Tottenham beyond this season.The Belgium international is out of contract next June and does not know whether he will be offered fresh terms by the club.According toFootball Insider, the former Ajax stopper is keen to remain in north London.However, Vertonghen turns 33 in April and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy may only offer him a short-term deal.The defender was left out of Mauricio Pochettino's starting XI for Tottenham's first three games of the season.He has since returned to the fold, though, and was impressive in Saturday's 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace.READ MOREWho would play every Premier League manager if they were cast in a Hollywood film?10 players who came to the Premier League too earlyWhere do the home nations stand after the international break?

September 15th 2019, 5:25 am

Rangers new boy Barker aiming to kick on after debut goal

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Brandon Barker has vowed to fight for his place in the Rangers team after coming off the bench to score his first goal for the club in the 3-1 victory over Livingston.The 22-year-old joined Rangers from Manchester City last month and made his first league appearance when fellow new signing Ryan Kent pulled up with a hamstring injury towards the end of the first half on Saturday.Although it was goalless when Barker came on, Rangers had to come from behind after conceding two minutes into the second period when Steven Lawless scored from the penalty spot after Lyndon Dykes had been fouled.But, after goals from James Tavernier and Alfredo Morelos put Rangers back in front, Barker rifled home to open his Rangers account and deal a further blow to Livingston, who had just been reduced to 10 men when Dykes picked up his second yellow card.Barker said: It was brilliant. I didnt expect to come on.Kenty got a little niggle in his hamstring and thats unfortunate for the team because hes such a good player.But I was coming on, I was ready to play and luckily I got the goal.I think even without the injury theres still an opportunity its early in the season to cement your place.Thats why I came in here, to play and really fight for my place and thats what Im going to continue to do.Its exciting. Its my first game at Ibrox and Id been waiting for that moment.Ive been working on my fitness and now Im fit and ready to play so hopefully I can just keep putting in good performances.Gers boss Steven Gerrard believes the goal will do wonders for Barkers confidence.He said: Brandons been working ever so hard to get himself match fit and 100 per cent. Hes very close to that.The plan was to play Ryan for 60 and bring Brandon on for the last 30 or 35 minutes, but the goal on his home debut and his performance will do his confidence the world of good.I think hell only get better and better with games and fitness. But you can see hes a clever player, he can open the door and he took his goal really well so credit to him.Livingston boss Gary Holt was delighted with his teams energy and effort, despite watching them suffer their first league defeat of the season.He said: To a man, I cant ask for any more. I thought they were excellent.Ive never seen a team put in, to a man, that energy and effort. Some of them havent even kicked a ball in two weeks.(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 Euan Parsons, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0160eb7c-74cc-47aa-8f72-04cb89d9f61a'); 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': 'Rangers new boy Barker aiming to kick on after debut goal'});

September 15th 2019, 5:25 am

5 things we learned from the Scottish Premiership

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Celtic secured their best start to a league season for nine years after a 1-0 win at Hamilton made it five wins from five.They remain three points clear of Rangers at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership after Steven Gerrards men came from behind to beat 10-man Livingston 3-1.Elsewhere, defeats for Hearts and Hibernian set up a high-stakes Edinburgh derby next weekend with both clubs languishing in the bottom four.Here are five other things we learned from the weekends action.1. Mohamed Elyounoussi is another danger for Celtics opponentsMohamed Elyounoussi impressed at Hamilton (Jeff Holmes/PA)The loan signing from Southampton was handed a debut in the absence of the injured Mikey Johnston and he had a shot blocked and crossed for James Forrest to net inside four minutes of Celtics 1-0 win at Hamilton. The Norway international continued to look dangerous and occasionally showed his pace despite the lack of space to run against a packed defence. Elyounoussi provides yet another option out wide with Forrest netting his seventh goal in nine games and Lewis Morgan, Jonny Hayes, Marian Shved and Scott Sinclair all battling for game time.2. Hearts fans have lost patienceHundreds of #Hearts fans are gathering outside #Tynecastle in anger after the clubs 3-2 defeat to Motherwell.Officers arriving to push supporters back from the main entrance. pic.twitter.com/KCcdnVvyym Callum Clark (@callums_clark) September 14, 2019Hundreds of supporters gathered outside Tynecastle in protest after a 3-2 home defeat by Motherwell left their team bottom of the table. Some even tried to storm the main entrance as they called for Craig Levein to quit and vented their anger at the board, which includes the former Scotland boss. Levein vowed to stay on and solve their problems but pressure is mounting ahead of next weekends Edinburgh derby.3. Hibernian need more characterFT| KIL 2-0 #HIBS pic.twitter.com/98iePQzbyu Hibernian FC (@HibernianFC) September 14, 2019Thats according to head coach Paul Heckingbottom, after a 2-0 defeat at Kilmarnock. Hibs were the better team up until Liam Millars 56th-minute opener but they could not find a way to get back in the game. Heckingbottom labelled his team soft after a 3-0 defeat at Motherwell last time and he admitted they need to show more leadership after conceding a 16th goal in five matches. The Englishman is another boss under pressure.4. Angelo Alessio has won over some Kilmarnock fans Four clean sheets Back-to-back wins Enjoy your weekend, Killie fans! pic.twitter.com/rLxgtKCFit Kilmarnock FC (@KilmarnockFC) September 14, 2019The Italians name rung out around Rugby Park as the Killie fans lapped up a second win on the trot and a fourth consecutive clean sheet. The manager found himself under serious pressure after a shock European exit against Connahs Quay Nomads but he shrugged off criticism of his methods from former defender Kirk Broadfoot to lead Killie up to sixth in the table.5. Rangers will have to wait longer for Ryan Kents helpRyan Kent leaves the field injured (Robert Perry/PA)Steven Gerrard had warned the winger still had to catch up with his match-fitness ahead of the visit of Livingston after Kent rejoined the club from Liverpool on transfer deadline day following a lengthy pursuit. But Kent was handed a start only to pull a hamstring in the first half. The 22-year-old now faces several weeks out and is set to miss a Europa League game against Feyenoord and possibly Young Boys, a Betfred Cup tie against Livingston and league games against St Johnstone, Aberdeen and maybe Hamilton.(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, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '3d7b0a71-270d-4d07-b30a-9677abc48812'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,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': '5 things we learned from the Scottish Premiership'});

September 15th 2019, 4:10 am

Tottenham boss Pochettino challenges Aurier to secure his spot

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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has challenged Serge Aurier to make the right-back spot his own after his impressive display in the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace.The Ivory Coast international was playing his first game of the season and making his first Premier League start since February and provided two assists in Spurs joint biggest win at their new stadium.Aurier, who has recovered from a hand injury picked up at the Africa Cup of Nations, has said he wanted to leave the club over the summer but appears to have a second chance providing he can be consistent. 10mins (1-0) 21mins (2-0) 23mins (3-0) 42mins (4-0)An electrifying 45 minutes! #THFC #COYS pic.twitter.com/9m6WT9Sk8M Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 14, 2019I think he was very happy, Pochettino said of the right-back. We were very happy too. I think the performance was great.First half was fantastic, his concentration and focus.Now he needs to show and be consistent. Its not only one game and the second game the focus and intensity start to drop.That is the key in our team, not only him but all the players.All the players need to be consistent and understand that every time we are going to compete we have to give our best. Mauricio was a very happy man after today's win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium: #THFC #COYS pic.twitter.com/wQQTDcVvlt Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 14, 2019Give like a collective our best and for sure we have the quality to beat any team.Aurier is in a fight with Kyle Walker-Peters and Juan Foyth for the right-back position, not that he believes that himself according to a recent interview in France.He claimed that there was no competition for his place in the team, but Pochettino has not seen it.I did not see those quotes, he said. No, I didnt see but you know, if when I talk with him its always clear. I didnt see though.Sonny + Palace = #THFC #COYS pic.twitter.com/otnfwijUPG Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 14, 2019Aurier played his part in a Spurs romp, which saw Son Heung-min score twice, Patrick van Aanholt put through his own net and Erik Lamela cap off a scintillating first-half performance.Palace skipper Luka Milivojevic offered no excuses.It was a very tough day for us, he said on the clubs official website.I have no good explanation at the moment straight after the game.Crystal Palaces Luka Milivojevic had no excuses after the defeat (Tim Goode/PA)But you could see in the first 20 or 30 minutes they were better than us.When they scored the first, second or third you try to correct some things but the game is going its not easy.At half-time we tried to stick together, to go for the second half, to try to play better, to improve a bit more and in the end they deserved three points. Thats 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 Jonathan Veal, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a67946e7-1ebd-456b-990f-34e55b88f991'); 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': 'Tottenham boss Pochettino challenges Aurier to secure his spot'});

September 15th 2019, 4:10 am

Injury headache for McInnes following draw with St Johnstone

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Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes faces a midfield headache after injuries took their toll on his side during the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone.Ryan Hedges had given the Dons the lead with a powerful low shot, but Michael OHalloran drew the visitors level from range before the interval.Saints perhaps had the better of the second half, aided by the hosts injury woes, but the points were shared. Defensive casualties had hampered the Dons up to the international break, but just as they start to ease, McInnes lost three midfielders to injury in one afternoon in addition to Scott Wrights cruciate injury in midweek.Craig Bryson and Funso Ojo were taken off, and substitute Jon Gallagher, who replaced Bryson, saw the game out but headed to hospital for x-rays on Saturday night.McInnes said: Jon Gallagher in a challenge with Liam Gordon, a fair challenge, but hes on the way to hospital now. We think hes got a problem with his tibia which hes going to get x-rayed. He was struggling to have any real impact, and it doesnt look good. Its possibly a fracture.Bryson isnt looking great at the minute either. He came to us with an ankle injury and landed awkwardly on the other one. Ojo was feeling both hamstrings tight before he went into a challenge and one feels worse than the other. Well have to wait and see how it settles.His counterpart, Tommy Wright, refused to call for VAR to be introduced to the Scottish game despite his doubts over the overturned penalty decision for his side in the second half of the match.Referee Steven McLean had pointed to the spot after Matty Kennedy went down under the challenge of Andrew Considine, but after consultation with assistant referee Graeme Stewart, the decision was reversed.Wright said: Im just trying to enjoy the point. Im watching matches with VAR, and I think theres a lot of confusion with it.The bottom line for Scotland is I dont think were going to be able to afford it. Unless financially the dynamic of the game changes here, its not something we will have.UEFA and FIFA will want to get it into as many countries as possible, but I dont think its in the near future for Scotland.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '61ced601-314a-4b5e-bd64-c09a196d1b76'); 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': 'Injury headache for McInnes following draw with St Johnstone'});

September 15th 2019, 4:10 am

We have to be patient with Fati, despite flying start, says Barca’s Lenglet

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Clement Lenglet has called for Ansu Fati to be given time to mature after the teenager stole the show again for Barcelona.The 16-year-old became Barcas youngest ever scorer when he netted against Osasuna prior to the international break and, pushed into the starting line-up, he needed less than two minutes to find the net again.Fati then set up Frenkie De Jong for the second only four minutes later and, although defensively they were shaky again, Barcelona went on to claim a 5-2 win.Defender Lenglet told Movistar+ in quotes reported by Marca: He is only 16 years of age, so we need to be patient with him.He makes the most of his minutes and is a great kid who deserves whats happening to him. We always tell him to listen, work and learn.Fati was a threat throughout the 60 minutes he was on the pitch and could have scored again.In the end it was his replacement, fit-again Luis Suarez, who added two more after defender Gerard Pique had tapped in the third.The result gave Barca their second league victory of the season but they again looked shaky at the back, with Kevin Gameiro making it 2-1 and substitute Maximiliano Gomez adding a late second.Lenglet added: It was a good win against a tough opponent. They play football differently to us. We did things well from the start. We let in two goals again, but I think it was a good performance overall.It has been a turbulent week for Valencia, with head coach Marcelino axed by owner Peter Lim and Albert Celades installed in his place.Celades admitted his side paid for poor starts to both halves, saying on valenciacf.com: We had a start to the game where we conceded two goals very fast, and against a team like this it is difficult to turn it around.But the team responded well, we scored and we could have scored some more. We left with good feelings at half-time, but the start of the second half hurt us. Despite the result, we showed desire to the end and scored a goal in injury time because the players still desired.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'cb0e7594-0874-4e90-98d3-dfa3b6d779aa'); 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': 'We have to be patient with Fati, despite flying start, says Barca\u2019s Lenglet'});

September 14th 2019, 7:17 pm

We squandered two points, says Bayern boss Kovac after Leipzig draw

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Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac bemoaned his sides inability to build on a sensational first half after his side had to settle for a 1-1 Bundesliga draw at RB Leipzig.Robert Lewandowski got the visitors off to a flying start after three minutes, but Bayern missed a string of good chances and Emil Forsberg equalised from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time.The result was enough for Leipzig to stay top of the table and Kovac told a press conference: We played sensationally in the first half it was our best performance so far.At the end of the day, the result is annoying. We had more chances and we played well, but unfortunately we squandered two points. Were looking on the bright side we turned in a good display.Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann praised his side for battling back from a poor start as they target their upcoming Champions League clash in Portugal.Nagelsmann told his clubs official website: We started very badly and had little access to the game after their goal.In the second half we were well in the game and created some good chances, and towards the end it went back and forth.This good feeling that we can now travel with to Lisbon will help us have a good game in the Champions League against Benfica.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '51a8a2fe-5b43-4221-b740-7c0c322543a1'); 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': 'We squandered two points, says Bayern boss Kovac after Leipzig draw'});

September 14th 2019, 7:05 pm

Sixteen-year-old Fati strikes again as Barca hit five

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Teenager Ansu Fati stole the show again as Barcelona posted a convincing win over Valencia at the Nou Camp.The 16-year-old became Barcelonas youngest ever scorer when he netted against Osasuna prior to the international break and, pushed into the starting line-up, he needed less than two minutes to find the net again.Fati then set up Frenkie De Jong for the second only four minutes later and, although defensively they were shaky again, Barcelona went on to claim a 5-2 win.1000 words pic.twitter.com/ZoYpNR8tNc FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 14, 2019The start was certainly not what Valencia needed after a turbulent week that saw head coachMarcelino axed by owner Peter Lim and Albert Celades installed in his place.Lionel Messi was again missing with a calf injury, but Barca had no trouble creating chances, with Gerard Pique and substitute Luis Suarez scoring in the second half, the latter with a brace to celebrate his return to fitness.Kevin Gameiro was a real thorn in Barcas side, though, and he pulled a goal back in the 27th minute.Luiz Suarez scored twice for Barcelona after coming on as a substitute (Joan Monfort/AP)The goal originally looked set to be ruled out for offside but a VAR check eventually decided he was not in front of the final defender.Fati continued to be a major threat for Barca but, when the third goal came in the 51st minute, it was defender Pique in the right place at the right time, staying forward after a corner and tapping in afterJasper Cillessen fumbled a shot from Antoine Griezmann.Four minutes later Nelson Semedo hit a post but Barca did not have to wait long for a fourth, Suarez replacing Fati and immediately finding the net with a fine curling shot. CHECKMATE!! Bara dominate from the outset and cruise past Valencia! BARA: Ansu Fati (2') F. de Jong (7') Piqu (51') L. Surez (61') L. Surez (82')VALENCIA: K. Gameiro (27') M. Gmez (90+2') pic.twitter.com/utNZN5wg0u FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 14, 2019Suarez netted his second and Barcas fifth in the 83rd minute, sweeping the ball past Cillessen at the near post.There was still time for substituteMaximiliano Gomez to grab a second for Valencia but it did not take the gloss off a second victory in LaLiga this season for Barca.With Atletico Madrid beaten by Real Sociedad earlier in the day, Barca are now only two points behind the early pacesetters.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '3014fbc8-e2d4-4112-a82f-c98378e94641'); 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': 'Sixteen-year-old Fati strikes again as Barca hit five'});

September 14th 2019, 5:48 pm

Javi Gracia was sacked by Watford during chance meeting with Unai Emery

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Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has revealed he was sat in his hometown with Javi Gracia discussing the upcoming match against Watford when the Hornets sacked the Spaniard.Despite reaching the FA Cup final less than four months ago, Gracia lost his job at Vicarage Road after a run of seven defeats in 10 Premier League games and with Watford bottom of the table this term.Arsenal are the visitors on Sunday but it will be the reappointed Quique Sanchez Flores in the dugout opposite Emery as he returns to the club he left in 2016.Unai Emery and Javi Gracia are good friends (Yui Mok/PA)Emery is a close friend of Gracia, the former Watford boss was the first person he called when offered the Arsenal job in 2018, and the two men alongside their coaching staff often dined together.But it was a chance meeting in Spain last Saturday which led to Emery being on hand when Gracias news was revealed.Its amazing, said Emery. I met him, we found each other last week in my town, in Hondarribia, when I was there with my family.I was walking and in front of us was Javi Gracia. And in the moment we started speaking about our match, and we finished it knowing he was sacked. Its a good story, yes?How many days to go, boss? #WATARS pic.twitter.com/9kNwFHxl6U Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) September 14, 2019Emery has also backed Gracia to return to work before too long, adding: He is a very good coach, as he showed last year in Watford.The club decided, and I have to respect that. He is going to work and he is going to continue his career like he is, like a great coach.While he does not have the same relationship with Flores, they have faced each other on plenty of occasions.Emery recalls when the pair met in the Europa League quarter-final in 2010, his Valencia side losing to Atletico Madrid who went on to lift the trophy under Flores. I remember it, he said. Every coach, every player, every person in football remembers some things. I remember we drew 2-2 at home and we drew 0-0 away.In the last minute the referee did not give us an amazing penalty for the opportunity to win. In my way, everything that happened to me is something to learn from, for experience.Sometimes its positive, at the moment more positive, but also negative. I learned from it all.(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 Mark-Mann Bryans, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b5ba6dab-dd4a-4848-801b-fb932243fde4'); 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': 'Javi Gracia was sacked by Watford during chance meeting with Unai Emery'});

September 14th 2019, 5:48 pm

Defeat by Norwich not pivotal to our title hopes – Guardiola

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Pep Guardiola insists it is too early to consider Saturdays shock defeat to Norwich as a blow to Manchester Citys title ambitions.The reigning Premier League champions were deservedly beaten 3-2 at Carrow Road as the injury-hit Canaries took advantage of defensive frailties from the visitors to notch up a famous win.Kenny McLean headed the hosts in front from a corner before Todd Cantwell doubled the lead only for a Manchester City comeback to seemingly start as Sergio Aguero pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time.Not our day #mancity pic.twitter.com/q6YKk2QJyg Manchester City (@ManCity) September 14, 2019But Norwich did not buckle and Teemu Pukkis sixth of the season soon after the restart gifted to him after Nicolas Otamendi dallied in possession before being robbed of the ball on the edge of his own box restored their two-goal advantage.Rodri arrowed in a late consolation but the defeat leaves Guardiolas side five points behind title rivals Liverpool who are yet to drop any points.Despite the setback, Guardiola believes it would be premature to consider it pivotal in the chase for a third consecutive league title.Five points (behind Liverpool) is five points but we are in September, he said.A day without.. tough result to take but credit to Norwich tho. Gotta do more better @mancity pic.twitter.com/RtClSeNAZp Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) September 14, 2019What are we supposed to do? Say its September and congratulations to Liverpool, you champions?Not for one second am I going to doubt my players.Guardiola also refused to criticise his players despite the defensive errors.Nico (Otamendi) doesnt know someone is coming and nobody tells him, he said.Sometimes you know we make mistakes. I think sometimes we forget these guys are human.Football is quick, things can go wrong and I must see what I can do to help them.Food for thought from Rodrigo #ManCity pic.twitter.com/AJClQYONhF Manchester City (@ManCity) September 14, 2019For Norwich, this was a second victory since their return to the top-flight.It will eclipse their win over Newcastle given the standard of opposition and the fact manager Daniel Farke was forced into naming two goalkeepers on the bench due to the length of his injury list.It is definitely a proud night without a doubt, he said.To win against the best team in the world as Norwich City who are promoted and have no chance to spend money and an incredible amount of injuries, it was a win for our key people. Daniel Farke reacts: The dressing room is buzzing, Carrow Road is buzzing. To win against one of the best teams in the world with our injury problems is special. #ncfc pic.twitter.com/XJzLbuxrbh Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) September 14, 2019Farke also called on Norwich supporters to enjoy the win although his own celebrations would be limited.It is a night to remember without any doubt, he added.I will be happy when Im back on the sofa. Im too old and too exhausted to celebrate and we have training in the morning.After that I will be on the sofa with coffee and maybe some cake. That is how I celebrate.(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 Mark Mann-Bryans, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '46a1935e-a136-45f2-8a43-2589c9064517'); 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': 'Defeat by Norwich not pivotal to our title hopes \u2013 Guardiola'});

September 14th 2019, 4:48 pm

I know how hard it is for the fans – Neymar accepts boos on PSG return

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Neymar says he understands why he was booed by his own supporters even after scoring a spectacular winner on his Paris St Germain return.The Brazilian returned to the PSG side for the first time this season after his very public desire to move back to Barcelona over the summer eventually came to nothing.Thomas Tuchel put Neymar straight back in the starting line-up after he scored for Brazil last week and he was booed by a noisy section of PSG fans throughout.Neymar celebrates his late winner (Francois Mori/AP).Jeers could even be heard after the worlds most expensive footballer prevented what had looked like being a goalless draw with Strasbourg by scoring an overhead kick in injury time.Neymar said in quotes reported by LEquipe: We all know what happened (in the summer). I understand that it is very difficult for them (the fans).But from now on, I am a PSG player. If they want to whistle me, there is no problem. There are more than 25 players in the squad, you cannot focus on one. The other players do not deserve to be subjected to this. We have a team and we have to support the club, support Paris. When the crowd is behind the team, together we are stronger.Asked if he had a message for the fans, he said: No, nothing. I just want to thank my team-mates for allowing me to score this goal.As well as Neymars return, there were also debuts for goalkeeper Keylor Navas, signed from Real Madrid, who PSG play in the Champions League on Wednesday, and Inter Milan loanee Mauro Icardi.Navas said on psg.fr: I feel very good and I am very happy after this win. It was a difficult match, but my team-mates played a great match and Neymar scored the winning goal.Neymar faces a battle to win over the Paris St Germain fans (Francois Mori/AP).We had to push and score in the very last minute, it was liberating. Neymar is important to the team, we are happy to have him with us.The result was cruel on Strasbourg, who were the only Ligue 1 team not to lose to PSG in the league last season.Manager Thierry Laurey told a press conference: We had played the match that had to be played, conceding the fewest opportunities.Unfortunately, a match lasts 94 or 95 minutes and there was an unexpected event, if we can call it that. Its frustrating and cruel.We had situations to go ahead and score. If we did not manage to take the advantage it was because we missed a little something. But I am proud of the players.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '8c595a5a-39e9-4d1f-9fec-d8f2084ca1d8'); 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': 'I know how hard it is for the fans \u2013 Neymar accepts boos on PSG return'});

September 14th 2019, 4:48 pm

We never give up – Ferguson salutes County character after late win

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Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson praised his players character after they bounced back from three consecutive defeats to snatch a late Ladbrokes Premiership win over St Mirren.After bowing out of the Betfred Cup against Partick Thistle and conceding seven goals in two games against Livingston and Aberdeen, County suffered another blow 10 minutes after Ross Stewarts 62nd-minute opener when goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw let Tony Andreus harmless-looking free-kick squirm over the line.But County finished strongly and Marcus Fraser knocked home a cross in stoppage-time to earn them a 2-1 home win.Ferguson said: We are coming off the back of a couple of league defeats and it was important we won the game.Stuart (Kettlewell) and I spoke at length for the last 10 or so days that it didnt matter how we won the game, the big thing was to win and stop conceding cheap goals.Albeit we gave away a cheap goal again, but its going to happen. We either sulk about it, make excuses and blame people, or rectify it, and we felt we rectified it. To score late on was really pleasing.It is a trait we want to be associated with, we never know when we are beaten and never give up.You have to give the players a lot of credit for that. Coming off the back of two defeats and losing a goal the way we lost the goal, it would have been easy for us to let our shoulders slump and say its not going to be our day as well. The players didnt do that.St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin bemoaned an offside decision against Jon Obika two minutes before half-time.Goodwin, whose team hit the bar twice through Kyle Magennis, told his clubs website: Overall, I thought we were the better team, particularly first half. The last 15-20 minutes of the first half they couldnt really get out their own half.We have had plenty of possession, hit the bar and had a goal chalked off for offside. Looking at it on the laptop, it looks as if big Jon is in line and that goal should have stood.Going in 1-0 up at half-time would have put a different complexion on the game. We didnt get that decision and I told the players we cant feel sorry for ourselves and to take the game to them again.To concede the first goal in the manner we did was really disappointing. We dont do enough to stop the cross and Ross Stewart has got too much time to bring it down on his chest and volley it into the net.I never question the players character, they came back, and we got our own bit of luck with Tonys strike, but we get our rewards for our overall performance.But we lost a poor goal, we dont stop the cross again and Marcus Fraser is free on the six-yard line to tap it in.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9abf89eb-4fc4-4e00-81e3-c05a3454b623'); 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': 'We never give up \u2013 Ferguson salutes County character after late win'});

September 14th 2019, 3:48 pm

I’m not leaving: Levein

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Hearts boss Craig Levein insists he will not quit despite the Jambos 3-2 home defeat to Motherwell being following by a protest outside Tynecastle Park.Levein is adamant the capital clubs miserable start to the Ladbrokes Premiership campaign is not a huge problem after they slipped to the foot of the table.Goals from Declan Gallagher, Sherwin Seedorf and Jermaine Hylton did the damage, rendering strikes from Uche Ikpeazu and Ryo Meshino futile and extending Hearts winless start to the league campaign.Hearts have won just four league fixtures in the whole of 2019 and several hundred fans outside the Main Stand made it plain that they believe Leveins time is up.A banner reading Levein Out was displayed, while the protest threatened to boil over as a handful of seething supporters attempted to storm the reception.However, the former Scotland manager remains defiant, saying: Do I feel my position is untenable? I dont. I feel that I am more than capable of improving results.The season has just started. We are six points off fourth place. I dont consider that to be a huge problem for us.It is just part of the job. Supporters get frustrated that their team at home should be winning.My focus is just on the game. I dont try and listen to anything else. Its not helpful.There were also vociferous chants of sack the board of which Levein is also a director from the crowd outside and Levein confirmed he remains in regular dialogue with owner Ann Budge.However, there was no indication that a point of no return is approaching.Levein added: I speak to Ann Budge regularly. We talk about results and if results arent good then we look to improve. It is a normal conversation.Motherwell, meanwhile, can celebrate their first triumph at Tynecastle since January 2014.It was a richly merited one, too, with boss Stephen Robinson reserving special praise for central defender Gallagher, who he believes can bolster Scotlands modest options.Robinson said: Declan must be close to Scotland reckoning if he keeps playing like that.I think when you are playing at Motherwell maybe you dont get the credit you deserve. But Steve Clarke has been to our games and he is well aware 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 PA sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '5a2d531a-989f-4705-b9b4-d419f79e7eff'); 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': 'I\u2019m not leaving: Levein'});

September 14th 2019, 3:18 pm

On-song Canaries expose champions’ defensive frailties with Carrow Road win

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Manchester City suffered their first defeat of the season as injury-hit Norwich took full advantage of defensive frailties to beat the defending champions at Carrow Road.Without the injured Aymeric Laporte, who is out until the new year after knee surgery, the Manchester City back-line were not up to scratch as the Canaries ran out shock 3-2 winners.Goals from Kenny McLean and Todd Cantrell had the newly-promoted side deservedly ahead before Sergio Aguero pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time.WE. HAVE. DONE. IT! #ncfc pic.twitter.com/WALMdKLzHI Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) September 14, 2019But, with Kevin De Bruyne surprisingly only named as a substitute, the much-anticipated comeback never materialised as Teemu Pukki added a third after awful defending from Nicolas Otamendi.A late strike from Rodri was little consolation for the visitors.(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 Mark Mann-Bryans, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '953c777a-dfbd-4aaa-8778-e6c13746cfa9'); 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': 'On-song Canaries expose champions\u2019 defensive frailties with Carrow Road win'});

September 14th 2019, 3:18 pm

Injury-hit Norwich stun champions Manchester City with 3-2 win at Carrow Road

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Manchester City slumped to a first defeat in 19 Premier League games as injury-hit Norwich deservedly won 3-2 at Carrow Road.The champions had last lost in the league in January a 2-1 reversal at Newcastle but the Canaries were in inspired form to deny Pep Guardiolas side.Norwich, who were without seven players and could not call on City loanee Patrick Roberts, took the lead in the 18th minute.Kenny McLean headed home a corner at the near post and the Canaries were soon 2-0 up when Teemu Pukki teed up Todd Cantwell to tap into an empty net.City, who are already five points behind leaders Liverpool with just five games played this term, got themselves back in the game before half-time when Sergio Aguero nodded home Bernardo Silvas cross.WE. HAVE. DONE. IT! #ncfc pic.twitter.com/WALMdKLzHI Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) September 14, 2019Yet the visitors disastrous day took another turn when Nicolas Otamendi lost possession 20 yards from his own goal, and Emiliano Buendia set up Pukki to add a third in the 51st minute.City pressed a resolute Norwich defence for the remainder of the game, finding an 87th-minute consolation through Rodri, but the hosts held on for a famous victory.Sadio Mane struck twice as Liverpool came from behind to maintain their 100 per cent start with a 3-1 win over Newcastle.Jetro Willems stunned Anfield by firing Steve Bruces side into an early with a brilliant strike but the Reds responded in style.Mane netted twice before the interval and Mohamed Salah added the third after an exquisite piece of skill from the outstanding Roberto Firmino, who had started on the bench.Sadio Mane becomes the first player in @premierleague history to play 50 home games for one club without defeat 50 #PL games41 Wins9 Draws pic.twitter.com/eD2WpuIMXF Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 14, 2019The victory was Liverpools fifth in an impressive start to the league season while the Magpies remain on four points with just one win so far this term.Tottenham returned to winning ways with a resounding 4-0 victory at home to Crystal Palace.Son Heung-min opened his account for the season in the 11th minute, collecting Toby Alderweirelds long ball and firing into the bottom corner.Spurs doubled their lead courtesy of Patrick Van Aanholts own goal after 21 minutes and, just 100 seconds later, Son volleyed home a glorious third from Serge Auriers cross.Erik Lamela got in on the act before the break when he converted Harry Kanes cross and there were no further goals in the second half.Erik Lamela and Tottenham scored four before the break (Yui Mok/PA)Spurs move up to third, level on points with fourth-placed Manchester United who beat Leicester 1-0 at Old Trafford.The hosts won a penalty in the seventh minute when Caglar Soyuncu brought down Marcus Rashford and the United forward sent Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way from the spot.Rashford also struck the woodwork in the second half while Harry Maguire, an 80million signing for United in the summer, kept a clean sheet against his former side.Tammy Abraham continued his fine form with a hat-trick in Chelseas 5-2 win at Wolves.The Blues opened the scoring in the 31st minute through an unlikely source when centre-back Fikayo Tomori fired in a stunning curling effort from 25 yards.Frank Lampard celebrates Chelseas win (Nick Potts/PA)Abraham then made it 2-0 three minutes later with a clever shot on the turn before notching his second of the day with a 40th-minute header.The England forward then made it seven goals in his last three games with a composed finish 10 minutes after half-time.Abraham was then credited with an own goal in the 70th minute and Patrick Cutrone pulled another goal back for Wolves with five minutes left.Mason Mount had the final say for the Blues, though, with a curling effort in added time.Jeff Hendrick stepped off the bench to equalise late on as Burnley picked up a 1-1 draw away at Brighton.Neal Maupay broke the deadlock in the 51st minute when he volleyed home Solly Marchs cross from 12 yards.Neal Maupay celebrates (Gareth Fuller/PA)The Clarets refused to lie down, though, and Hendrick on as a 59th-minute substitute rifled in from 25 yards in the 91st minute to earn a share of the spoils.Elsewhere, Moussa Djenepo scored the only goal as Southampton beat Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane.Blades forward Oli McBurnie had a goal ruled out by VAR at the start of the second half and they were made to pay when Djenepo put the Saints ahead with a stunning solo goal in the 67th minute.Billy Sharp was then sent off for United with five minutes remaining on a frustrating afternoon for the hosts.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0e0615dd-df08-4544-9c2b-29c393bbf7ab'); 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': 'Injury-hit Norwich stun champions Manchester City with 3-2 win at Carrow Road'});

September 14th 2019, 3:18 pm

Beckham wishes he could play for Tottenham in new stadium

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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino challenged his players to perform and be focused on a consistent basis after the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace and revealed David Beckham wishes he could play for this team.The former England captain watched on from the stands as Spurs tore the visitors apart with Son Heung-min netting a first-half brace in the Premier League fixture.Patrick van Aanholt also put through his own net while Erik Lamela wrapped up a 32-minute scoring spree before the break at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Sonny: "This is a reminder of how strong we are and how we should play." #THFC #COYS pic.twitter.com/SgT0iu5TV9 Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 14, 2019With the European transfer window now shut and no more distractions for his players, Pochettino wants to see more displays of this manner, especially in their new stadium.He said: We havent played too many games here. Our first game was against Palace then we played a few games more, some in the Champions League, now three in the Premier League this season. Still, its all new.I think its an amazing stadium. I was talking to David Beckham just now and he said I wish I could still play football and play now for Tottenham because this stadium is amazing.For us its so important to make our stadium our home and start to feel comfortable. Its completely different to White Hart Lane and of course I think with time we are going to feel at home and its going to be difficult for opponents to beat us.Son Heung-min, third right, scored his first goals of the season for Spurs in the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace (Yui Mok/PA)Tottenham were at their scintillating best from the off, attempting two shots inside a minute before Son opened the scoring in the 10th minute.Toby Alderweireld picked him out with a wonderful through ball and the South Korean cut inside and drilled into the corner.Spurs doubled their advantage 11 minutes later when Serge Aurier making his first start of the season saw his cross deflected in by Van Aanholt.The floodgates were open now and Son increased his tally with 23 minutes played, volleying home Auriers cross before Lamela got on the end of Harry Kanes centre in the 42nd minute.Mauricio Pochettino was happy with his sides intensity against Crystal Palace (Yui Mok/PA)Pochettino admitted it shows what can be achieved when his players have no distractions. He said: When the team is unsettled, when the squad is unsettled, it is so difficult to perform in the way you want to perform.Im not complaining or blaming anyone, but its only that in football its so easy to describe the situation and the focus wasnt on playing football and it wasnt on trying to improve.The focus wasnt on the places we wanted it and its not easy to perform that way. Of course, we have quality, enough to win games without focus, but when you are focused it showed in that first-half performance of the team.The intensity, the concentration. We know what we need to do and when you are able to do that the quality we have appears. We have tremendous quality in our squad, unbelievable players.Roy Hodgson was unhappy with his sides first-half performance (Yui Mok/PA)If we show that intensity in all our games for sure we are going to fight for big things. I am so happy to recover that feeling.Palace manager Roy Hodgson admitted the opening 45 from his side was not good enough and felt the only real positive was Mamadou Sakho playing the whole match for the first time since February.We are obviously unhappy with our first-half performance. All of us are prepared to accept the responsibility for that. We didnt show the intensity I hoped we would, but I dont want to take too much away from Tottenham during that spell because they played very well, he said.I am glad it didnt become more than four. That is bad enough, so I didnt want any more.The only real positive I can take from the game is Mamadou Sakho, after such a long lay-off and such a long time out through injury, got through 90 minutes in a very 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 George Sessions, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '2ee0bc48-7ab7-4b4a-ab5c-58916f027587'); 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': 'Beckham wishes he could play for Tottenham in new stadium'});

September 14th 2019, 2:44 pm

Solskjaer finds room for improvement but pleased to see a return to winning ways

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was pleased to see Manchester United get back to winning ways, even if their previous performances have been miles better than Saturdays against previously unbeaten Leicester.With draws at Wolves and Southampton book-ending a chastening home loss to Crystal Palace, the Red Devils enjoyed a timely shot in the arm on their return from the international break.Missed penalties cost United dearly in two of those matches, but Marcus Rashford made no mistake from at Old Trafford, with his early spot-kick proving the difference in a hard-fought 1-0 win.Marcus Rashford got it right from the spot (PA)Highlighting Uniteds team spirit and character, Solskjaer said: Its the first time weve had to defend for longer periods, and I thought we did it excellently.Of course, we want to play better than this. We want to have the ball and dominate.But some games, sometimes you play against teams that give you problems and I thought we rode the game out well.A second clean sheet in 16 league matches was key to the victory against Leicester, whose fans goaded Harry Maguire in his first reunion since his record-breaking summer switch to United.Good luck to @lcfc for the rest of the season thanks for the reception pic.twitter.com/r6ajpX2m7T Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) September 14, 2019I thought they did excellent today, Solskjaer said of his centre-backs. I thought they read the game well.Ive got loads of admiration for (Jamie) Vardy. I think hes my type of centre-forward, runs in behind, harasses and youve got to be spot on with your decision-making, when to stay up, when to drop off.I think both of them proved their worth today and there were a couple of races and Harry did well against him.Asked about the chants and jeers aimed at Maguire by the Leicester fans, Solskjaer said: I dont think that bothers him whatsoever. Youve got to be that way and thats when you play, when you coach, when you manage.We dont get carried away when we win a game that we maybe dont deserve to win.But we dont get in the dumps when we dont win games that we should win because the performances have been miles better than this.Today we just have to accept three points and wake up tomorrow with a smile, have the day off and relax a bit and look forward to next week.Scott McTominay impressed Solskjaer (PA)Solskjaer picked out Scott McTominay for praise after an impressive midfield display, while Rashford showed impressive confidence to net from the spot after his miss in the loss to Palace.Every striker misses a penalty, the United boss added.Ive seen (Diego) Maradona, (Lionel) Messi and (Michel) Platini against Brazil, and Zico my favourite player of all-time missed in the same game.Youve just got be confident enough to step up next time. Whats the worst that can happen?It's a first defeat of the season for the Foxes.#MunLei Leicester City (@LCFC) September 14, 2019Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers believes it was a soft penalty but could not really argue with it being awarded against Caglar Soyuncu on a frustrating afternoon for his in-form team.Rodgers said: I think the game as a whole, there wasnt so many chances in it, so that was a disappointment for us.I think overall were a bit frustrated. We didnt start the game well, right from the first kick-off.Brendan Rodgers says there were lessons to be learned after the Old Trafford defeat (PA)Our idea was to get on the front foot and we ended up putting ourselves on the back foot and then we obviously conceded a penalty early on, which isnt ideal.But we grew into the gamelast 15 minutes of the first half.We spoke at half-time that we have to have that belief and courage to play and then we were much quicker and much better through the thirds then.We just needed that final little pass or something to drop for us in the box and I felt we could have then got a deserved point but it wasnt to be but lots of lessons 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 Simon Peach, PA Chief Football Writer'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '2f2b0850-b4e2-4ae6-ad1a-785922d3b7fb'); 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': 'Solskjaer finds room for improvement but pleased to see a return to winning ways'});

September 14th 2019, 2:44 pm

Neil salutes Preston ‘bravery’ after battling display stings Bees

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Preston boss Alex Neil hailed his sides bravery after a battling performance sank Brentford.Sean Maguire and Tom Barkhuizen grabbed the goals that secured a hard-earned win against the Bees.Maguires early goal edged Neils men ahead and Barkhuizen struck after the break to wrap up victory.Afterwards Neil revealed his side had to be aggressive and brave against defiant opponents.I thought it was a tough game, said Neil. I think tactically, theyre probably the hardest team in the league at the moment to play against because of their shape and in terms of how you need to play.I think we knew the first 20 to 30 minutes were really important. We wanted to play on top of them and force ourselves onto them, to try to blitz them and get a couple of goals.I think that we were really brave in terms of how we set up. We wanted to be aggressive.We knew that they were going to play around and through us at times and we spoke about just narrowing and compacting on the edge of the box.Brentford boss Thomas Frank named an unchanged starting team and Neil made four alterations from the Preston side that drew with Forest before the international break.Maguires penalty appeal after going down under Mathias Jensens challenge was rejected by referee David Coote early on but moments later he found himself in acres of space in the box to control Ryan Ledsons cross and tuck past David Raya.The Lilywhites grabbed their second with 20 minutes remaining after Darnell Fisher on the right slid in a low cross for Barkhuizen to slot into an empty net following more questionable Brentford defending.Frank said: I think that the best team won the game on the day. I think Preston were better than us.I think the game was played on their terms, more than on our terms. We didnt control the game well enough.We didnt win enough duels and second balls, especially in the middle of the pitch.When we had the opportunities to create something, we lacked the quality on the day.The second half was better but we were not up there to really threaten 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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9276c9b8-38f7-48d5-9463-83e2f331a685'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,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': 'Neil salutes Preston \u2018bravery\u2019 after battling display stings Bees'});

September 14th 2019, 2:33 pm

Chris Wilder questions VAR on frustrating day for Sheffield United

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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder questioned VAR after his sides 1-0 home defeat to Southampton.The video assistant referee was used three times during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane each time going in the visitors favour.Wilder agreed that Oli McBurnies goal, which would have put his team ahead, was correctly ruled out for offside and that Billy Sharp deserved to be sent off for what he called a lazy challenge.However, in between, James Ward-Prowse looked to have handled the ball while defending a corner but the Blades were not awarded the penalty that would have given them the chance to equalise.During a week in which the Premier League revealed that VAR failed to overturn four incorrect decisions during the first four rounds of matches this season, Wilder thinks another can be added to the list.There were three big decisions. Billy deserves to be sent off. It was a centre forwards challenge, a lazy challenge, and maybe a bit of frustration from him, Ive no issue with that decision, said Wilder.Our goal Ive no issue with that either. John Egan has gone a touch too early and the goalkeeper has been distracted by his movement before Oli taps it in. Thats fine.But the third one is a penalty in my view. If you look, theres three of our boys around him (Ward-Prowse) waiting to tap it in and they havent been able to because his hand is in an unnatural position.Whether the referee or linesman has not got a good view, I dont know. But I dont think you can really get that wrong in my opinion, its an easy one to pick up.There was nothing wrong with the goal that settled the match, with Moussa Djenepo marking his first Premier League start for Southampton with the winning strike.The Mali international forward, signed from Standard Liege in the summer, scored the only goal of the game after 66 minutes to give Saints a 1-0 victory.It was the decisive blow in a game in which both teams spurned gilt-edged chances, especially in the first half.Overall it was harsh on the Blades whose frustration was compounded late on when substitute Sharp was shown a straight red card against his old club after catching Stuart Armstrong on the shin with a late challenge.Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was pleased to see his brave tactical decision pay dividends as he started forward Djenepo as a wing-back despite Ryan Bertrand being fit.He said: We decided to change the shape after three games unbeaten not the easiest way but we were brave. Maybe it was surprising for the opponent and it is something I demand from my players that they are flexible.The way we played Moussa, sometimes you could see that maybe this wasnt his best position. But I wanted to be brave and show that we wanted to take the three points here.You could see that he wasnt always comfortable in this position but when we switched him to where he scored from later in the game, it was good.When he has the ball in that position he is unbelievable, you can not catch him and he is so quick with good movement. It was an important goal.(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 Sean Taylor, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a5a37abf-f7d5-428c-8f9f-134588a82ee2'); 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': 'Chris Wilder questions VAR on frustrating day for Sheffield United'});

September 14th 2019, 2:33 pm

Neymar’s stunning overhead kick in added time secures win for PSG

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Neymar proved Paris St Germains hero on his return to the Ligue 1 champions side with a spectacular injury-time winner against Strasbourg.The Brazilian has work to do to win back the support of the clubs fans after a summer of intense speculation about his future but, with the transfer window closed, Thomas Tuchel included him in the team for the first time this season.And his dramatic late intervention was certainly a good start in regaining the supporters affections as he secured a 1-0 win for PSG.After 92 minutes of frustration for Neymar and his team-mates, the worlds most expensive footballer met Abdou Diallos cross with an overhead kick that flew into the net off the inside of a post.Neymar had the ball in the net again moments later but it was ruled out by VAR with Angel Di Maria offside in the build-up.Not since Caen held PSG to a goalless draw at the end of the 2017-18 season had Tuchels side failed to find the back of the net and they looked like having to settle for a point again against Strasbourg.Strasbourg were the only club not to lose a league game to the dominant capital outfit last season and, despite having not yet won this term, their organisation and defensive solidity saw them match PSG.Neymar scored for Brazil in an impressive display against Colombia last week and Tuchel put him straight into the side as well as giving a debut to goalkeeper Keylor Navas, signed from Real Madrid.Neymar had his first opening in the 15th minute but was unable to connect with the ball at the near post.Strasbourg were not just sitting back and Navas was called into action in the 19th minute to make a save fromLudovic Ajorque.PSG were certainly not peppering the Strasbourg goal. Neymar had another chance in the 55th minute but shot wide, and eight minutes later new signing Mauro Icardi was introduced in place ofEric Maxim Choupo-Moting.As the hosts frustration grew, Navas was again called upon to keep out Ajorque. Neymar then hit a post direct from a corner with only four minutes left, but his biggest contribution was yet to come.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '6da880d4-cc9c-4765-95d6-fafc3082f7a6'); 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': 'Neymar\u2019s stunning overhead kick in added time secures win for PSG'});

September 14th 2019, 2:33 pm

Zidane hails ‘phenomenal’ Real despite second-half scare

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Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane described his sides first-half display in their 3-2 win against Levante as phenomenal.Zidanes side stormed into a 3-0 lead at half-time after two more goals from Karim Benzema and Casemiros effort.But Real ran out of steam in the second period and were left hanging on after Levante hit back throughBorja Mayoral and Gonzalo Melero. A @Benzema brace and a @Casemiro strike secured the spoils for @RealMadriden, who produced a fine first-half display.#RMLiga | #HalaMadrid Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) September 14, 2019Weve taken all three points after a phenomenal first-half performance, full of goals, good football and desire, Zidane told a post-match press conference.In the second half we had chances to score goals but we just didnt quite have it physically.Im not looking for excuses, but its true that we had many players out and others who havent had much rest.Eden Hazard made his long-awaited debut off the bench as a second-half replacement for Casemiro and Zidane was impressed. Hes very direct, hes superb with the ball at his feet and all he needs is a few more training sessions under his belt, Zidane added.Hazardwill bring us an awful lot.Hes not ready to start games yet because hes only completed four sessions.Benzema scored his third and fourth LaLiga goals of the season before he was replaced byLuka Jovic in the closing stages.All I can say is, I hope he keeps this up, Zidane added. Its important for us to haveKarimplaying like this.Were pleased, we noticed the fans ovation.Debut done! @hazardeden10 #RealMadridLevante pic.twitter.com/XilTol8y1E LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) September 14, 2019Levante boss Paco Lopez was delighted with the way his side responded to being 3-0 down at the interval.I am satisfied with the effort, the work, never lowering (our levels), he told a post-match press conference.In terms of the game, there were moments when you are happier than others.But above all, we gave everything and especially after such an adverse scoreline at the break.Levante pressed for an equaliser in the closing stages and went close through Ruben Vezos header andJose Luis Morales angled shot, both in stoppage time.Lopez added: I told them (at half-time) to forget the result and have faith and conviction and it paid off.That helped us to score soon after the break and it was Madrid who finished asking how long was there to go.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '4cccb9cb-7724-4fef-b352-68e04c3aea59'); 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': 'Zidane hails \u2018phenomenal\u2019 Real despite second-half scare'});

September 14th 2019, 2:33 pm

Lampard tells Abraham to keep on scoring after Wolves treble

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Frank Lampard urged Tammy Abraham to keep working hard after the strikers hat-trick helped Chelsea win 5-2 at Wolves.Abraham rose to the top of the Premier League scoring charts on seven goals as the treble at Molineux added to braces in each of his previous two appearances.The 21-year-old, who won the two senior England caps he has to date in friendlies in 2017, was not part of Gareth Southgates Three Lions squad for the recent international break.Frank Lampard thinks Tammy Abraham can make the England squad (Nick Potts/PA)Asked about Abraham potentially being considered for the next England squad, Lampard said: The way he is going, it is obviously going to put him into that bracket.Without telling Gareth what to do But to score seven goals in three games and be top-scorer and play with the quality he is playing his all-round gameThe three different types of goals he scored were exactly what you want from Tammy. A messy one, a good header and then a fantastic feet and finish goal.He has to sustain it and has to get even better. He has to be hungry, which I know he is. He can never rest on his laurels, because there is more work to be done. Tell us how it feels to get your first @PremierLeague hat-trick, @TammyAbraham #WOLCHE pic.twitter.com/BM7e6AsWc1 Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 14, 2019And that England squad is a few weeks away. So he needs to keep playing at that level and hell have a great chance, Id suggest.Nigeria have not given up on persuading Abraham to switch to them, and when Lampard was asked if he had spoken to the player about that, he said: No.I dont really. Thats obviously not my choice. I know Tammy has been in England squads before and Im not surprised Nigeria would want him. But its a question for him I suppose.(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 Medlicott, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'f6fafa4b-9392-4cff-9eaf-c1023a9652ff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,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': 'Lampard tells Abraham to keep on scoring after Wolves treble'});

September 14th 2019, 2:33 pm

Potter rues late Burnley leveller as Brighton’s winless run at home goes on

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Brighton boss Graham Potter was disappointed to see victory snatched away at the death as a late strike from substitute Jeff Hendrick earned Burnley a draw at the Amex Stadium.Neal Maupay broke the deadlock after a goalless first half with a superb half-volley to put the Seagulls in front.The home side looked on course for their first home victory since March, only for the ball to fall to Hendrick outside the area and he sent a powerful drive into the bottom corner in the 91st minute.Potter said: (We are) disappointed with the result of course and the manner of the goal, (being) so late. I thought the boys put such a lot into the game.They scored from their only shot on target, but it was a good goal in fairness to them.Overall were a bit disappointed, but thats the Premier League, if you dont get that second goal or if you dont kill teams off then theres a chance of course, because of the quality of the opposition, that you could concede and thats what happened.Brighton have not managed to win at home in the league since their 1-0 victory over Huddersfield on March 2 and have now lost five and drawn three of their last eight games at the Amex, leaking 17 goals while scoring just four.Asked about home form, Potter said: Its important, because you want to win your home games, (but) I think the important thing is that the supporters are seeing a team that are at least trying to give everything.It goes without saying that wed like to win for them and for ourselves as well, because were trying hard and I think you can see that, but itll come.Sean Dyche was full of praise for goalscorer Hendrick and was also pleased by the impact his substitutions made.The Burnley boss said: We huffed and puffed without ever looking like too much, so I was pleased with the changes, because the changes definitely affected the game, both individually and tactically.And then we end up scoring a fantastic goal, the build-up play to it and a brilliant strike for Jeff.On Hendricks contribution, he added: He does so many good jobs for us, even today he starts wide, he comes inside. Hes a top lad around the place, hes a very good player in my opinion and he scored a very good goal today.(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 Sonia Twigg, PA Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9f97f3c0-1a08-4b34-a6e4-b4b062e373c9'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,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': 'Potter rues late Burnley leveller as Brighton\u2019s winless run at home goes on'});

September 14th 2019, 2:33 pm

We were brave and aggressive and got our rewards, says Preston boss Neil

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Preston manager Alex Neil felt his side were rewarded for their positive approach as they produced a battling performance to sink Brentford and move up to fifth place in the Championship.Preston secured the win thanks to goals from Sean Maguire and Tom Barkhuizen.Maguires early goal handed the hosts the advantage at Deepdale, while Barkhuizen struck after the break against a Bees side which lacked cutting edge in the final third. And Neil said his side had to be aggressive and brave against what he described as one of the hardest teams in the league to play against.I thought it was a tough game, said Neil. I think tactically theyre probably the hardest team in the league I would say at the moment to play because of their shape, in terms of how you need to play.I think that we knew the first 20 to 30 minutes was really important. We wanted to play on top of them and force ourselves on to them, try and blitz them and get a couple of goals. I thought we should have done that. We get one goal, Billy (Bodin) also gets in behind three times down that side and we should have done better.I think that we were really brave in terms of how we set up. We wanted to be aggressive. We knew that they were going to play around and through us at times and we spoke about just narrowing and compacting on the edge of the box. Brentford boss Thomas Frank named an unchanged starting team and Neil made four alterations from the Preston side that drew against Nottingham Forest last time out prior to the international break. Maguires penalty appeal after going down under Mathias Jensens challenge was waved away by referee David Coote early on.But the attacker had his reward moments later when he found himself in acres of space in the box to control Ryan Ledsons cross and finish past David Raya inside five minutes.The Lilywhites grabbed their second with 20 minutes remaining after a free Darnell Fisher on the right slid in a low cross for Barkhuizen to slot into an empty net following more poor Brentford defending.Brentford boss Thomas Frank said: I think that the best team won the game on the day. I think Preston were better than us.I think the game was played on their terms, more than on our terms. We didnt control the game well enough, and why we didnt do that there was two reasons, I would say.We didnt win enough duels and second balls, especially in the middle of the pitch. When we had the opportunities to create something, we lacked the quality on the day, decision making and simple passing mistakes.The second half was better, but we were not up there to really threaten the game. I think Preston were better than us to get on to their terms in the way they played we didnt handle that second ball game well 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 PA Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '13c9a7da-4d5d-4fcd-a585-c111a0dc30cc'); 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': 'We were brave and aggressive and got our rewards, says Preston boss Neil'});

September 14th 2019, 1:47 pm

Lamouchi stays grounded despite Forest win at Swansea

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Nottingham Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi insisted he would not get carried away by his side upsetting leaders Swansea.Substitute Alfa Semedos 85th-minute strike gave Forest a deserved 1-0 victory and inflicted Swanseas first home defeat in theSky Bet Championship since Boxing Day.Forest are unbeaten since the opening defeat of the season, but have yet to win successive league games under Lamouchi.I dont want to think about the future, said Lamouchi.I only know a little bit about the place and a little bit about my job, and I just enjoy it.I have a nice group, they trust me, and for the moment they are doing a good job.I wanted my players to play with personality and no regrets, because we were playing the best team in the league at this moment.We deserved this victory, it was so difficult to imagine this performance before the game.Forest are now eight games unbeaten, but have yet to win back-to-back league games under former Rennes boss Lamouchi.We must think about the Barnsley game now because we never win two games in a row, he said.We deserved to score maybe in the first half one or two goals and our goalkeeper didnt have a lot to do.I told my players to respect the plan, play together and fight together. But it was not easy for Swansea.(Bersant) Celina has played for the national team (Kosovo) and (we) were so compact, we did not give them the time and space the way they like to play.They have deserved the first position, but we were more compact, more aggressive and more determined to take the points.Swansea manager Steve Cooper had been named manager of the month on Friday after winning five and drawing one of his first six league games.Another win would have seen Swansea secure their best ever start to a season, but they misfired in front of goal and theirsolitary goal attempt was comfortably held by Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba.I dont think we did enough to win the game thats for sure, and thats probably the most frustrating bit, Cooper said.I am not sure we deserved to lose either, but we made a mistake and conceded an awful goal really.I think we had issues at the top end of the pitch, and ultimately it cost us because we did not create enough good chances.(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, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '10882382-99a8-4cbe-b020-bbb6cb00d4fb'); 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': 'Lamouchi stays grounded despite Forest win at Swansea'});

September 14th 2019, 1:47 pm

Maurizio Sarri watches injuries pile up for Juventus

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Maurizio Sarri hailed his sides character but ended up counting the cost of a goalless draw at Fiorentina after taking charge of Juventus for the first time.The former Chelsea coach had missed Juves first two games of the season due to a bout of pneumonia but he watched prospective injury problems pile up at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.Danilo, Douglas Costa and Miralem Pjanic were all forced off early due to muscle issues with Pjanic, in particular, now a doubt for his sides Champions League trip to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.Sarri told a press conference: For Miralem it (facing Madrid) could be a minor problem but we will see tomorrow morning.Juves failure to put away their lowly opponents was a source of frustration for Sarri, who insisted they are still finding their feet after injuries and international duty.Sarri added: There had been a physical decline in the first two games, but then this summer we had several players at the Copa America and others in the infirmary.It has taken time to get them into the rhythm of the game. We need to grow a lot in terms of quality, tactics and athletics.It was not a high-level game from a technical point of view and the situation was made complicated by changes we used to replace the injured players.Having fresh players in the final stages of the game would have been important. I am aware that a team with less character would lose such a 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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'f2027c34-88be-4655-96be-b3ae274784f5'); 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': 'Maurizio Sarri watches injuries pile up for Juventus'});

September 14th 2019, 1:47 pm

Tommy Wright bemoans penalty decision as St Johnstone draw with Aberdeen

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St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright was frustrated with the reversed penalty decision that denied his side a second-half spot-kick but left Pittodrie happy with a point.The home side had taken the lead through Ryan Hedges powerful strike but Saints levelled through a low Michael OHalloran strike from the edge of the area just before the interval.The visitors built on that and looked the more likely until Steven McLean pointed to the spot following an Andrew Considine challenge on Matty Kennedy, only to reverse the decision after consulting his assistant.Wright, speaking after the 1-1 draw, said: (Aberdeen boss) Derek (McInnes) has told me theres no touch, but I dont know how he can be sure of that. I think theres contact, but to be fair Matty has bounced straight up.I think the referee is best placed to make the decision because his positioning is good and hes got a good view. Its not often they are overturned, and Derek will think its the right decision.I think we could have had one just after when Murray Davidson is pushed, and you can tell by Sam Cosgroves reaction that hes worried.Id rather be talking about the performance because, even taking the penalties out of it, I thought we deserved more from the game.As Wright had predicted, McInnes felt the overturned decision was the correct choice, stating: It was the right decision. We dont need VAR, we just need a good linesman. I couldnt believe the penalty was given and theyve clearly got to the right decision in time.I think the referee knew right away that hed got it wrong and the linesman confirmed it.The Dons boss was disappointed with his sides performance, though, adding: Im disappointed from a winning position that we havent gone on to win the game. We were dominant in our play and we should have gone on to win the game.The type of goal we lost wasnt good enough, and at half-time we spoke about having the confidence to deal with the game as wed got ourselves into that position.We lost our way. We were too rushed, too hurried. We didnt get our good players doing enough for us, and I think St Johnstone were the team who looked more assured.I think they were worthy of their point and I dont think we did enough to win all three.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b1b8009f-da7f-4c8f-bf7c-ef1f137d97e1'); 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': 'Tommy Wright bemoans penalty decision as St Johnstone draw with Aberdeen'});

September 14th 2019, 1:47 pm

Woodgate believes Middlesbrough players have found inner steel

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Jonathan Woodgate felt Middlesbroughs inner steel made the difference as his side extended their unbeaten run to four matches with a 1-0 win over Reading in the Sky Bet Championship.Marvin Johnsons second-half free-kick made the difference at the Riverside, but Woodgates side had to cling on in the closing stages as Reading created a succession of late chances.Darren Randolph made three crucial late stops, and Middlesbroughs defenders produced a succession of last-gasp blocks as they secured their second clean sheet of the season.Woodgate said: I thought we deserved to win it. I thought towards the end of the game they piled the pressure on, but we stood strong. Like I said in the week, we needed to find that inner steel, that belief and I thought we did that.I thought we deserved to win the game. I thought we looked very dangerous on the counter-attack at times and could have been a couple of goals up. It was well deserved, and I was so pleased for the lads, they gave me everything.We ground it out towards the end, thats what I said I wanted from the team in the week and I thought they gave me that. I thought the subs that came on as well were excellent, they shored it up and did well.Does that result make a statement? Id like to think so. Were four unbeaten now, and its hard to go four unbeaten in this league but weve done that.We look forward to the next game now against Cardiff, theres momentum with the team at the minute and well keep on working and doing what were doing every day on the training pitch.Reading boss Jose Gomes defended his decision to leave George Puscas, Lucas Joao and Pele out of his starting line-up, even though the trio had claimed four goals in the opening month of the season.Puscas and Joao both came on from the substitutes bench as Reading chased the game in the closing stages, but Gomes stood by his decision to name Yakou Meite and Lucas Boye ahead of them, citing their performance in last months 2-0 home defeat to Charlton as the reason for their demotion.Gomes said: Puscas, Joao and Pele didnt start. Pele and Puscas had travelled for their national team, but that was not the only reason why they did not play. The reason was that I did not like the way that they played in the last game.I have six strikers, they are all good players, and they must all fight for their position. They must give everything they have inside them, and it is my obligation as their manager to demand that. If they do not give the maximum they can, in my opinion, then we have very good quality players that can replace them and play.Gomes admitted his side were punished for not being clinical enough in the final third but felt Middlesbrough should have been reduced to 10 men when Adam Clayton appeared to catch Meite with a stray elbow in the first half.He said: I dont like to talk about referees, but the referee is the only person on the pitch who can protect football, and that means protecting the players.It should have been a red card, there is no doubt about it. It wasnt even given as a foul, so its strange it happened. But that is not an excuse for the 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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'c89da315-bf41-428a-9685-c8398be7bd2f'); 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': 'Woodgate believes Middlesbrough players have found inner steel'});

September 14th 2019, 1:47 pm

Lumley has Warburton’s backing despite howler

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QPR manager Mark Warburton defended Joe Lumley after the goalkeepers error meant they had to hold off a fightback from Luton before securing a 3-2 win. Nahki Wells scored twice as the west London side raced into a three-goal lead within 28 minutes at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, where Ebere Eze also scored and was twice denied by the woodwork.However, Luton were gifted a way back into the game when Lumley inexplicably played the ball straight to Harry Cornick, who helped himself to a goal nine minutes before half-time.James Collins pulled another back for the Hatters early in the second half but QPR held on for a third successive league win.Warburton is keen for his keeper to play the ball out from the back and refused to criticise Lumley, who made a mess of an attempted pass to Ryan Manning. Warburton said: As a team we gave a soft goal away. Were all human and we all make mistakes. That happens.To give them a glimmer of hope like that, we shot ourselves in the foot. Then they scored early in the second half and suddenly the whole dynamic of the game changes. You cant say to someone Be brave, get on the ball and play from the back dont make a mistake! You cant do that. Were all humans, otherwise wed be machines. We made a mistake. How do we respond? I want the team not be reckless, but to be brave and get on the ball and when we do that we look a good team.Rangers nerves were not helped by Jordan Hugill missing two glorious chances to extend their lead in the second half. Warburton said: We were very good in that first half an hour. We hit the bar twice and put two wide, so it could have been a lot more in that first half.We still missed chances in the second half and weve got to be more ruthless in front of goal because goals change games.Weve got to recognise that. But we got three points, really important, and three wins on the spin.Luton manager Graeme Jones has no doubt his promoted side will learn from their appalling start to the match. We took a few risks and could easily have got something from the game. It was a mountain to climb at 3-0 down, said Jones. Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn. Today Im afraid its time to learn. Its a learning curve. We started a little bit sluggish and naive.Well look at it and well analyse ourselves. Well face it. Sometimes its tough but we will learn from it, I assure you of that.Sometimes you have to take it on the chin. Nobody said coming into the Championship was going to be easy.Ive seen teams fold at that point 3-0 down. But we took them to the last second of the game. Were learning and have done very well.But today were losers and I dont like that. I let one or two know I didnt like what I saw in the first half. We need to learn and we need to improve and I am sure we will.(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 PA Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '6804b775-f33a-422f-97c7-55e7524f8b74'); 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': 'Lumley has Warburton\u2019s backing despite howler'});

September 14th 2019, 1:47 pm

Heckingbottom wants strength from his out of form players

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Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom claims his players must show more character and resilience after they slumped to another Ladbrokes Premiership defeatKilmarnock secured a 2-0 win at Rugby Park following second half goals from Liam Millar and Mohamed El Makrini, meaning Hibs have now won just one of their last 10 league games.Heckingbottom was dismayed by the way his side folded after they conceded the opening goal and admits he needs leaders to stand up and be counted to turn around their form.Heckingbottom said: We werent clinical. We had a lot of the ball, they had two shots on target and scored two goals.Its about belief and not passing the buck. I questioned the players after the last game and wanted a response.I felt until the first goal the boys were working well and the mistakes killed us. We conceded four from mistakes the last time.After the first goal went in the heads went down and the body language changed.How you put mental strength in someone, thats what it looks like now. We want more character.Every team needs leaders but a lot of the boys were on the good run last season. We were conceding one shot on target each game then.We have to put that right. We have to win when we arent at our best.Were we the best team before they scored? I thought we were but when they score we have to get back into the game and grind out something.A section of the travelling support chanted for Heckingbottom to go, just as they did two weeks ago at Fir Park and the 42-year-old admits the only way they can ease the pressure is by getting results.He added: Wins turn it around thats it.Weve won games where we werent playing well. We had to grind things out St Johnstone away with 10 men. I dont see us being that type of team at the moment and thats what we need.In contrast, Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio has turned around his sides fortunes after their disappointing start to the season.The home support chanted his name as Killie stretched their unbeaten run to four games and Alessio savoured the win.Alessio said: Im pleased but this is my work sometimes we lose a game, sometimes we win. At this moment we kept going because the last result is very good.I asked this of the team and in the second half we were more aggressive. We played better than the first half. Every game is a balance and is tough.Im very happy for my team and the squad. I want to say thanks to my staff and everybody working around the team.In the last months weve been working hard every day and I think we deserved this result.I think this team deserves it because we now have good compartments, a solid team and we work hard every week. I know only this way to reach good results.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9add826c-ab14-4b18-8995-a3f708c10676'); 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': 'Heckingbottom wants strength from his out of form players'});

September 14th 2019, 1:47 pm

Mowbray delighted to see Williams score with shot from outside area

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Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray was pleased to see his team score from outside the area after Derrick Williams piledriver set his side on the way to a 2-0 victory over Millwall.Republic of Ireland international Williams rifled Blackburn into an 18th-minute lead with a stunning strike that flew past the impressive Bartosz Bialkowski, who made a string of fine saves to keep his side in it.Bradley Dack capped an impressive second half by tapping in at the far post 16 minutes from time as Blackburn made it three consecutive clean sheets at home, and two wins in that time.Mowbray praised his goalscoring defender for his contribution.He said: This team, they have a competitive edge about them. Every single day, they finish training with a shooting drill. One of the players delivers from behind the goal and they have to have a touch and finish. I see Derrick doing it every day. Derrick knows where the back of the net is.Weve been talking about not enough goals from outside the box. Every week when I go home and watch the goals show on Sky, theres a lot of goals from outside the box and a lot of set plays.We dont score enough from outside the box. I think (Stewart) Downing is the only one who has scored from outside the box and its great that somebody else has scored from outside the box.We talked this week about how we are going to score against Millwall, how difficult it is, we talked about getting behind them and cut-backs so the second goal is really pleasing. Typical Dack. A lot of bodies throwing themselves at it as the ball whizzed past, yet he was so pure with his side foot into the net.But Derrick Williams, Im delighted hes scored outside the box, somebody else taking on the responsibility to shoot.The defeat means Millwall have not won in four, but while Neil Harris conceded his side gave away poor goals, he accused the referee of bottling a decision when his centre half Jake Cooper went down in the area in the second half.He said: I will just comment, in the 68th minute Ive seen it back from three different angles weve got a stonewall penalty from a set-piece when the games at 1-0.The referee talks to Sam Gallagher marking Jake Cooper. Jake gets a run, the player is the wrong side of him and manhandles him to the ground with a rugby tackle. The referee is seven yards away and for me, he bottles it.I think the referee bottled it at the end of the day and he has to give that decision. Whats the point of talking to a player, and let him get the wrong side? What game are we playing here? We play to win set plays and when you win them, you need some help.I was very disappointed to be behind at half-time. I thought it was unjust and we didnt deserve to be behind. The goal is a great strike by a centre half from 25 yards but we should do better in the lead-up to it.We gave a really poor second goal away. Players have to do what instructions are given to them, not what they want to do.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'cec1efdb-902e-447a-81c9-935e0ae32224'); 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': 'Mowbray delighted to see Williams score with shot from outside area'});

September 14th 2019, 1:47 pm

Bowyer puzzled by dismissal as Charlton lose to Birmingham

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Lee Bowyer admitted he was puzzled why he was sent off as Charlton were beaten 1-0 by Birmingham.The south London side missed the chance to go top of the Sky Bet Championship after 16-year-old full debutant Jude Bellingham netted.Referee Matthew Donohue dismissed Bowyer in second-half injury time as he threw a loose ball in the direction of the Birmingham technical area, leaving the Charlton manager perplexed.He said Someone from their staff threw a ball onto the pitch to try and waste time, which Ive never seen before.The ball then ended up next to me. I dont know how, so I pick it up and start walking towards their bench shouting if it was their ball.I threw it back, and because the referee said I left my technical area and throwing the ball that was a red card.Ive never heard of that rule in my life. I think its disappointing because me and the players dont like losing games, especially ones where I dont think we deserved to lose.The incident overshadowed a win for Birmingham that gave Charlton their first defeat this season.A diving header on the half-hour mark by Tomer Hemed went wide of the post, while Jonathan Leko found space after 34 minutes but fired his effort off target.Birmingham started to press, and after 39 minutes Lukas Jutkiewicz forced goalkeeper Dillon Phillips to tip over the crossbar.The visitors took the lead seven minutes after the restart when Maxime Colin squared to Kerim Mrabti, who slid the ball into the centre of the area for Bellingham to score.The hosts started to press, but Birmingham still looked dangerous on the break. Colin engineered a solo run after 65 minutes and found Jutkiewicz, who once again forced Phillips to nudge his shot over the woodwork.Lee Camp made his first real save after 72 minutes when he did well to block a fierce drive by Chris Solly.A minute later, the Birmingham keeper was again called into action when he turned away a low drive by Conor Gallagher.With Bowyer dismissed in injury time, Birmingham manager Pep Clotet apologised to the Charlton manager but was pleased with his team.He said It was just something that was a coincidence. If Mr Bowyer took it in the wrong way then Im sorry.I have a lot of respect for him, firstly what he means for Birmingham and secondly what hes doing with the team this season.Its a massive step forward for us, because for the result and a second away win against an in-form side it makes it more special.We knew we would have to do everything right, all the attitude from my players had to be right.We managed to be very strong defensively, we were able to stamp our football on the pitch.Jude is proof that we trust what we do with the academy, in that you cannot buy in football the feeling our fans have.The feeling we have for Jude to come in now, thats something were very proud of.I want to remind him of the importance of this chance. Its not only me giving the chance but the team.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'c950d62b-70b5-428d-9c46-3deaf544b815'); 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': 'Bowyer puzzled by dismissal as Charlton lose to Birmingham'});

September 14th 2019, 1:47 pm

Rangers worry about Kent after Livingston win

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Rangers boss Steven Gerrard said losing Ryan Kent to injury was a blow for everyone at the club after the new signing limped off with a hamstring issue in his sides 3-1 victory over Livingston at Ibrox.Second-half goals fromJames Tavernier,Alfredo Morelos and substitute Brandon Barker saw the hosts come from behind afterSteven Lawless 47th-minute penalty had given Livingston the lead.But the result was marred by a first-half injury to new signing Kent, who came off in the 41st minute after pulling up in the Livi half and receiving treatment on the pitch.The hamstring problem brought a premature end to Kents second debut, having rejoined the club he played for on loan last season from Liverpool in a deal understood to be worth a guaranteed 6.5million on deadline day.Gerrard was disappointed by Kents injury, which he predicted would keep him sidelined for a few weeks, but insisted it was the only negative aspect of the day.Hes got a hamstring injury, unfortunately. Its a blow for Ryan, a blow for me, a blow for all of the supporters, said Gerrard.Hes trained well all week and looked ready to go. Unfortunately these things happen in football but thats the only disappointing thing to come out of today really the injury to Ryan.Well assess it in the coming days but I predict hell be missing for at least a few weeks.Rangers were dominant in the first half but could not find the net, with Scott Arfields shot which came back off the bar the closest they came.Gerrard revealed he used the half-time break to challenge some of his players to win the game for Rangers.He added: At half-time, I put it on a few of my match-winners and said, come on, weve got 45 minutes to win a game thats your challenge.Unfortunately we took another setback, so having not got the early goal and conceding the penalty, the challenge became even more difficult and complicated.But I think that provoked us into our best. I think from going a goal down we were excellent, looked really dangerous and could have scored a few more.Over the course of the 90 minutes, we certainly deserved to win but we werent at our best.Livingston manager Gary Holt was back in the dugout after missing his sides win overSt Mirren before the international break because he was in hospital with a blood condition.He said he was back to full health and expressed his pride at Livis performance.Im fantastic. Im fit and healthy, said Holt.Im proud as punch. I asked them to stand toe-to-toe and be big and bold.And when you come to a place like this, you need small decisions, the margins to go in your favour.Holt was unhappy to see his side reduced to 10 men in the 73rd minute whenLyndon Dykes picked up a second yellow card for a foul onConnor Goldson and said he would consider an appeal.I think its very harsh. Hes not gone up and thrown his elbow, hes contested a ball in the air and if thats what were going to get, were going to be playing with eight or nine men every week.Its a hard one but I think well contest the yellow.(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 Euan Parsons, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b0d99d74-93ac-4b78-9b7a-25f2d63055a4'); 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': 'Rangers worry about Kent after Livingston win'});

September 14th 2019, 1:47 pm

Charlton miss chance to go top of Championship as Birmingham win

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Charlton missed the opportunity to go top of the Sky Bet Championship as they were defeated 1-0 by Birmingham at The Valley.A goal by 16-year-old full old debutant Jude Bellingham in the second half was enough to derail the south London side, who lost for the first time this season.Charlton were already weakened before kick-off, with talisman Lyle Taylor missing after picking up a knock in the week while playing for Monserrat.Although neither side created much in the way of chances in the opening period, the first half-chance fell to the hosts when Chris Solly fired over from just inside the box after 23 minutes.A diving header on the half-hour mark by Tomer Hemed went wide of the post, while Jonathan Leko found space after 34 minutes but fired his effort off-target.Birmingham started to press, and after 39 minutes Lukas Jutkiewicz forced goalkeeper Dillon Phillips to tip over the crossbar.The visitors took the lead seven minutes after the restart when Maxime Colin squared to Kerim Mrabti, who slid the ball into the centre of the area for Bellingham to fire home.Charlton made a change just before the hour mark when Jonny Williams replaced Erhun Oztumer.The hosts started to press, but Birmingham still looked dangerous on the break. Colin engineered a solo run after 65 minutes and found Jutkiewicz, who once again saw Phillips nudge his shot over the woodwork.Charlton made a second change after 71 minutes, with Sam Field making way for Chuks Aneke.Lee Camp made his first real save a minute later when he did well to block a fierce drive by Solly.A minute later, the Birmingham keeper was again called into action when he turned away a low drive by Conor Gallagher.The home team made their third and final change of the afternoon after 78 minutes when Leko was replaced by Beram Kayal.With two minutes of regulation time remaining, Hemed put the ball over the bar from five yards out after he was fed through by Aneke.Referee Matthew Donohue allowed six minutes of injury time but caused controversy when he dismissed Charlton manager Lee Bowyer from the touchline.Despite Phillips going up front in the dying seconds of the game, the solitary strike by Bellingham was enough for Birmingham to claim the 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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '2672044b-1020-483d-8b9b-cdd95e31cace'); 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 miss chance to go top of Championship as Birmingham win'});

September 14th 2019, 1:16 pm

Cook believes Wigan youngster Gelhardt has bright future

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Manager Paul Cook believes youngster Joe Gelhardt is a very special player after his goal earned Wigan a 2-2 draw at Hull.The 17-year-old forward had only been on the pitch for three minutes after he replaced Gavin Massey.But Gelhardt made an immediate impact for the visitors with a superb turn and strike after 75 minutes.Cook said: Hes got that unique talent to find space in a telephone box.Hes such a natural, good footballer. To get a goal like that in front of his own fans was a special moment.A lot of young footballers coming into the game are not very nice people. Were just lucky to have a boy with his humility playing for us the game is easy for him.Hell be starting soon if he carries on like that. Hes a young boy that needs minding though.Its a very special goal from a very special player.Wigan continue to struggle on their travels they have won just two of their last 29 games away from the DW Stadium but Cook feels his side are making progress.He said: For us to take the lead, and go behind in the fashion that we did, it was pleasing for us to come back.I enjoyed watching us play. I thought we were full value for at least a point.Belief comes when your confidence is high. Its only a point but we must now carry that on to the next game at Charlton.If we keep doing what we do, well get there.Hull have got a good home record and are a good side, but we managed the game well.The second goal epitomised what we are trying to do.Wigan took the lead when Chey Dunkley seized upon George Longs error after eight minutes.Jarrod Bowen equalised two minutes later, while Kamil Grosicki put the hosts in front with a well-flighted free-kick from the left corner of Wigans penalty box.Grosickis 20th-minute goal gave Hull momentum which they carried into the second half, but Gelhardt had the final word.Hull have now not won in the Sky Bet Championship since a 2-1 defeat of Reading on August 10, but manager Grant McCann is convinced his teams fortunes will soon change.He said: It (a return to winning ways) will come. Were not worried at all.Im frustrated with the result as I thought we created enough opportunities to win the game. To score two goals at home, we should be winning the game.The first goal we were annoyed about, but the second one was really, really frustrating for us. We should have defended it much better.It feels a bit like a defeat, to be honest, as I thought we had opportunities to kill the game.McCann added: Overall, in large periods, I was pleased with how we played we attacked well and broke well and played on the front foot.But football is hard work. You have to work, run and fight in my teams and I think, for split seconds, we are switching off.Weve definitely got the personnel to play how I want us to play, but its my job to make sure they do it for 90 minutes.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'f0a076bc-a2f4-488c-bad3-2006a0e396cd'); 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': 'Cook believes Wigan youngster Gelhardt has bright future'});

September 14th 2019, 1:16 pm

Manchester United cure their penalty ills as Leicester are beaten

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Marcus Rashford ended Manchester Uniteds penalty curse and got Ole Gunnar Solskjaers injury-hit side back to winning ways as Leicesters unbeaten start to the season came to an end.A number of onlookers made the Foxes favourites for their Old Trafford reunion with Harry Maguire given the way Brendan Rodgers side have impressed in the early weeks of the campaign.United have dropped points and that form was compounded injury issues, butthe worlds most expensive defender helped his new employers keep a rare clean sheet on an afternoon when Rashfords early penalty proved enough to secure a 1-0 win.Maguire got a hard time from the Leicester fans, who coined a song belittling their former hero and singing the praises of Caglar Soyuncu a man who may have stepped up admirably this term but cost his side in the north west.The Leicester defender caught Rashford in the box and the United forward dusted himself down to send Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way.It was a cool finish that helped atone for his penalty miss in the loss against Crystal Palace and his much-debated discussion with Paul Pogba before the World Cup winners spot-kick attempt was saved in the draw at Wolves.It was an eighth-minute gut punch that Leicester could not respond to as United kept just their second clean sheet in 16 league matches, ending a three-match winless run with a triumph that was close to being improved by a late Rashford free-kick that rattled the woodwork.Solskjaers side coped well without their injured stars and Schmeichel was forced into an early save from Andreas Pereiras curling free-kick.United were soon breathing a sigh of relief, though, as James Maddison got through and held off Victor Lindelof to get an attempt that ricocheted behind off David De Geas foot.It was a concerning wobble from Uniteds normally shaky backline, but the home side would soon have a platform to build on.Pereira did well to beat Hamza Choudhury in a challenge and Rashford got to the ball just before Soyuncu, leading referee Martin Atkinson to point to the spot.United have missed two costly penalties already this season but their No.10 kept his nerve to send Schmeichel the wrong way.The hosts looked assured after the opener and Scott McTominay was impressing in midfield, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, available after a back issue, looking bright down the right with Pereira.Ben Chilwell, rattled by an earlier McTominay tackle, forced De Gea into a fine save as Leicester belatedly settled and the left-back hit a volleyed effort from the edge of the box that was tipped over the bar.United held firm as the Foxes probed without seriously threatening before a half-time break that Solskjaers side returned from with renewed intent.Daniel James fizzed just over as he went close to joining his manager as the only United players to have scored in their first three Premier League appearances at Old Trafford, before Juan Mata and Pereira had attempts.Maguire elicited a huge cheer from the home fans after dispossessing Demarai Gray and bursting forwards and the Leicester old boy saw a header saved after Maddison whistled a free-kick just past the United goal.Fred and Tahith Chong looked hungry after their introduction and James was irritated that he was unable to follow their hard work with a better shot.Rashford struck the crossbar with a superb free-kick from nigh on 30 yards as United pushed for another, knowing that Leicester tend to finish games on top.Rodgers side did indeed push for a late leveller and Wilfred Ndidi went close, firing a volleyed shot just wide of the near post with De Gea beaten.(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, PA Chief Football Writer'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '5b6e7998-a3b4-4e86-8945-377e09b468f2'); 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 United cure their penalty ills as Leicester are beaten'});

September 14th 2019, 12:46 pm

Blackburn overcome Millwall after putting end to home goal shortage

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Blackburn scored their first goals from open play at home this season as they overcame Millwall 2-0 in the Sky Bet Championship.The hosts have found goals hard to come by so far at Ewood Park but they put those worries to rest with an encouraging performance which saw them take the lead through a Derrick Williams piledriver in the first half his second of the season.Tony Mowbrays team had to weather some periods of dominance from their competitive visitors, but the better chances fell to Blackburn, who were denied a bigger margin of victory by the outstanding Bartosz Bialkowski.But Bradley Dacks tap-in late on ensured three points for Rovers who leapfrog their opponents in the league after stretching their unbeaten run against the Lions to eight.Millwalls away form is a concern, stretching to eight without a victory the last of which came in March.Mowbray handed John Buckley his first league start for Rovers, while Millwalls Neil Harris did likewise for Jayson Molumby and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.Both sides exchanged early long-range shots with no success but the hosts made the breakthrough in stunning fashion in the 18th minute through an unlikely source as the ball was played to the edge of the area by Greg Cunningham and Williams charged onto it before hammering an unstoppable strike into the right-hand corner.The Lions responded positively to that setback, with Mahlon Romeo forcing Christian Walton into a smart save, and Connor Mahoneys inviting corner evading everybody.But Rovers had the chance to stretch their lead when lovely footwork by Dack allowed him to slip the ball to Elliott Bennett but the Blackburn captain dragged his effort disappointingly wide.Millwall were indebted to Bialkowski early in the second half after he made two magnificent saves to keep his side in the contest.First, he tipped away Stewart Downings 25-yard drive, before producing an even better save to thwart Adam Armstrong, repelling his close-range effort after the striker had bundled through to a one-on-one.Ryan Leonard had the hosts concerned 18 minutes from time when the ball was played to him 20 yards out but he could not quite keep his effort down.And Rovers made sure of the points in the 74th minute, ending a period of concerted pressure with a fine low ball across the face of the goal from Darragh Lenihan and Dack was on hand to tap in his third of the season at the back post.Bialkowski made another terrific save 12 minutes from time as Rovers broke at pace and Joe Rothwells precise shot seemed destined for the bottom corner, only for the on-loan goalkeepers outstretched arm to deny 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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '1a7ff2b5-f9d8-4563-8279-26860cfead1a'); 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': 'Blackburn overcome Millwall after putting end to home goal shortage'});

September 14th 2019, 12:46 pm

Johnson nets winner as Middlesbrough edge past Reading

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Middlesbrough celebrated their 500th league game at the Riverside in style as Marvin Johnsons second-half strike secured a 1-0 win over Reading.Twenty-four years after the Teessiders began their new life away from Ayresome Park with a 2-0 win over Chelsea, Jonathan Woodgates side were triumphant again as they claimed their second Sky Bet Championship success of the season.Johnsons free-kick settled things, although Middlesbrough were indebted to goalkeeper Darren Randolph for three excellent late saves that prevented Reading from claiming an equaliser.Reading boss Jose Gomes surprisingly opted to drop striker George Puscas to the bench and while the Romanians replacement, Yakou Meite, enjoyed a reasonable first half, he was unable to match his team-mates goalscoring threat.Having broken into the right-hand side of the area early on, Meites shot was blocked by Ryan Shotton, and the Ivory Coast international faltered again later in the first half, drilling a low shot straight at Randolph after exploiting some hesitancy from Marc Bola.Randolph also made a first-half save from John Swift, but it was not one-way traffic before the break with Middlesbrough creating chances of their own.The best fell to Paddy McNair but while the Northern Irishman did well to break into the box from the right, his low shot was directed too close to Rafael Cabral, with the Reading goalkeeper getting down well to save.It was a day when both keepers impressed and Randolph made another important intervention at the start of the second half. Liverpool loanee Evie Ojaria fired in a crisp drive from the edge of the area but Randolph highlighted why he is regarded as one of the best shot-stoppers outside of the Premier League as he saved to his left.It proved a key moment as 10 minutes later Middlesbrough claimed the lead. Michael Morrison fouled Ashley Fletcher close to the right touchline, enabling Johnson to whip in a free-kick. Fletcher lunged at the ball in the six-yard box and while he failed to make any contact, he unsighted Cabral, who could only watch on as the ball nestled in the corner of the net.Boro almost claimed a second moments later but as Lewis Wing fashioned a shooting opportunity as he dribbled past two men into the box, his effort was blocked by a fine sliding challenge from Andy Yiadom.Johnson also threatened to extend the home sides lead as he fired in a shot that Cabral turned around the post, but Reading came close to an equaliser with nine minutes left. Swifts chipped free-kick was heading in until Randolph tipped the ball over the top.Boros goalkeeper was the key figure in the closing stages, with two dramatic late saves securing his side all three points. Displaying superb agility, Randolph turned Lucas Joaos front-post header around the post before clawing away another goal-bound effort from Liam Moore.(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 PA Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0fa70764-16ca-47b1-bdd9-20212e7b0bfd'); 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': 'Johnson nets winner as Middlesbrough edge past Reading'});

September 14th 2019, 12:46 pm

Late Hendrick equaliser ensures Brighton’s winless home run continues

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A late equaliser from Burnleys Jeff Hendrick earned his side a 1-1 draw as Brightons winless streak at the Amex Stadium continued.After a goalless first half Neal Maupay broke the deadlock, striking a superb volley from the edge of the box.The Seagulls looked to be heading towards victory before the ball fell to Hendrick outside the box and he sent a powerful drive past the outstretched Mathew Ryan and into the bottom corner.Brighton have not managed to win at home in the Premier League since their 1-0 victory over Huddersfield on March 2.What a week!50 @FAIreland caps100 @premierleague apps.1 stunning equaliser!Take a bow @JeffHendrick92 pic.twitter.com/maCPsITFaw Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) September 14, 2019The south coast club have now lost five and drawn three of their last eight games at the Amex Stadium, leaking 17 goals while scoring just four as Graham Potters wait for a first home win goes on.The early momentum went in favour of the visitors, and the Clarets came close to taking an early lead in the 16th minute when a Dwight McNeil cross was almost turned into his own net by Dan Burn after Adam Webster failed to clear the low ball.Burnley had another chance minutes later when the ball fell to Jack Cork in the Brighton box, but he wasnt able to control the direction of his volley, and sent the ball wide.In their first good chance of the game, the home side worked the ball through the midfield to Burn, but Maupay could not fully control the ball and it went through to the goalkeeper.Neal Maupay fired Brighton in front (Gareth Fuller/PA)Brighton grew into the game towards the end of the first 45 minutes, penning Burnley back inside their own half, and Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope was called on to make two saves from Solly March and Glenn Murray to keep the score level.The Seagulls started the second half in much the same way as they finished the first, and were rewarded for it in the 51st minute, when Maupay volleyed home a March cross to score his first home goal.Davy Propper sent a header narrowly over the bar, as his side looked for their second to wrap up all three points.Adam Webster tangled with Dwight McNeil (Gareth Fuller/PA)A volley from Chris Wood almost levelled the score for Burnley against the run of play, after he stuck out a foot to try and divert Ashley Westwoods bicycle kick towards the goal, and put it just wide of the post.Brighton kept the intensity up, putting pressure on the Burnley defence to try and score a second, with substitute Aaron Connolly having one of the better chances in the 89th minute, but his effort went high and wide of the goal.Against the run of play, however, substitute Jeff Hendrick equalised with his long-distance strike in the 91st minute.(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 Sonia Twigg, PA Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '349d63b3-93b9-4831-a87c-ac00474b7fc6'); 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': 'Late Hendrick equaliser ensures Brighton\u2019s winless home run continues'});

September 14th 2019, 12:46 pm

Tammy’s treble gives Chelsea victory at Molineux.

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Tammy Abrahams fine goalscoring form continued with a hat-trick as Chelsea beat Wolves 5-2 at Molineux.Fikayo Tomori put Frank Lampards Blues ahead with a superb 31st-minute strike and Abraham doubled the advantage three minutes later.Abraham, who had netted twice in each of his previous two games, then added a header in the 41st minute and a 55th-minute finish to make victory look all but secure for the away side.Wolves hit back via an Abraham own-goal in the 69th minute and it was 4-2 in the 85th thanks to substitute Patrick Cutrone, before Mason Mount notched Chelseas fifth in added time.Abrahams eventful outing concluded with him coming off injured in the 77th minute but he had a big smile on his face come the final whistle.In a quiet opening to the game, it was Wolves who were celebrating 130 years of playing at Molineux looking the livelier in an attacking sense as Adama Traore and Diogo Jota had crosses cleared.Chelsea then registered the contests first attempt on goal in the 20th minute as a flick by the fit-again Antonio Rudiger, making his maiden appearance of the season, deflected wide.Willian subsequently fired over the Wolves goal before the visitors grabbed the lead in spectacular fashion when Jotas challenge on Mount sent the ball to Tomori and the young defender curled in a stunning strike from around 30 yards out.Three minutes later the advantage was doubled as Tomori played a pass towards Mount in the box, he went down but the ball ricocheted to Abraham, and the striker turned and fired past Rui Patricio.And after Andreas Christensen had taken the ball away from Jota in the Chelsea area, Abraham then notched his second, Conor Coady unable to prevent the former Aston Villa loanee from heading in Marcos Alonsos cross.As Wolves looked to reply, Raul Jiminez headed wide in first-half stoppage time and three minutes after the break Ruben Neves saw a drive deflect behind off Abraham.The hosts were then tormented once again by Abraham at the other end of the pitch as he completed his treble, bringing down a Jorginho pass, getting past Coady and slotting a shot into the net.Cutrone just failed connect with a low Jota delivery in the danger zone, before Mount rounded Patricio, only to see his effort go into the side-netting.Soon after, Wolves pulled a goal back when Romain Saiss header from Joao Moutinhos corner went in via the gloves of Kepa Arrizabalaga and Abraham.Nuno Espirito Santos team then had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Graham Scott when substitute Matt Doherty went down under pressure from Alonso, before Abraham was forced off having made an uncomfortable landing as Chelsea defended a corner.Wolves reduced the deficit further with five minutes of normal time remaining when Dohertys shot was parried by Arrizabalaga and Cutrone converted from close-range on the follow-up, the effort being allowed to stand after a VAR check for offside.The home side had another penalty shout rejected, following a coming together between Tomori and Cutrone, before Mount wrapped up the scoring late on, taking a pass from substitute Michy Batshuayi, cutting inside Jesus Vallejo and shooting past Patricio.(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 Medlicott, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '2b2e6cfd-67d6-4817-a9a9-29f194a37b86'); 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': 'Tammy\u2019s treble gives Chelsea victory at Molineux.'});

September 14th 2019, 12:46 pm

Joe Gelhardt secures Wigan a point at Hull

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Substitute Joe Gelhardts fine individual goal earned Wigan a 2-2 draw at Hull.Paul Cooks team have now won just two of their last 29 games away from the DW Stadium, but their supporters should be happy with this hard-earned point in East Yorkshire.There was a sighter for what Wigan might achieve at the KCOM Stadium when Chey Dunkley gave the visitors an early lead.But once Jarrod Bowen equalised soon afterwards, Hull were superior for long periods.Kamil Grosickis excellent free-kick after 20 minutes put the hosts in control, but 17-year-old Gelhardt had the final word just three minutes after he replaced Gavin Massey.Despite their awful away form, the visitors began purposefully. And their early labours were rewarded when Dunkley scored after eight minutes.Charlie Mulgrews cute free-kick from the right caused unease within the Hull defence not least when Kieffer Moores intelligent, glancing header went towards goal.George Long saved Moores effort with two hands, but the Hull goalkeeper will be disappointed to have spilled the ball inside the six-yard box.Dunkley reacted quickly to the error and simply could not miss.Yet with the Wigan fans making self-deprecating fun of a rare lead on their travels, Hull silenced the away supporters just two minutes later.Bowen has scored far better goals, but the well-regarded winger had the presence of mind to keep calm once his left-footed strike was blocked by a Wigan defender.The ball ricocheted kindly towards Bowen, who smashed home with his right foot from close range.Grosicki played a significant role in Hulls equaliser, with a deft cross from the left that was not dealt with by Wigan.But the Poland international soon made a far greater contribution to the game when he put the home team in front.Grosicki at first won a nicely-positioned free-kick on the left flank when Nathan Byrne had little option but to foul the onrushing winger on the corner of the penalty box.David Marshall seemingly had all bases covered, but Grosicki surprised the former Hull goalkeeper, who had anticipated the ball going in the other direction, with a lovely strike into the top left-hand corner.By contrast to the early, frenetic stages, the remainder of the first half was sedate, but Hull were the more threatening team.It remained a similar story in the second half, with Callum Elder going close after 58 minutes after he forced a smart stop from Marshall at his near post.The Scotland international was later faced with an almost identical scenario to which he conceded a second from Grosicki.Marshall this time was alert to the danger and clawed the ball away from the top-right corner, with Tom Eaves follow-up well blocked by Mulgrew.Just when it felt like Hull would cut loose, Gelhardt intervened with a terrific equaliser and his first goal for the club after 75 minutes.Gelhardt had much to do inside the penalty box once Jamal Lowe passed to him in a fairly innocuous position.But the Wigan forward turned Kevin Stewart inside out before he planted a firm, central hit past a statuesque Long to earn his side a point.(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 PA Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '3dae4ed2-8649-49ec-9c7a-f9dec4cc35de'); 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': 'Joe Gelhardt secures Wigan a point at Hull'});

September 14th 2019, 12:46 pm

Preston move into play-offs spots with victory over Brentford

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Preston moved into the Sky Bet Championship play-off positions with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Brentford with goals from Sean Maguire and Tom Barkhuizen.Maguires early goal handed the Lilywhites the advantage at Deepdale, while Barkhuizen struck following the break against a Bees side who lacked a cutting edge in the final third. Brentford boss Thomas Frank named an unchanged starting team and Alex Neil made four alterations from the Preston side that drew against Nottingham Forest last time out prior to the international break. Maguires penalty appeal after going down under Mathias Jensens challenge was not entertained by referee David Coote.But the attacker had his reward moments later when he found himself in space in the box to control Ryan Ledsons cross and tucked past David Raya inside five minutes. A slick response from the Bees saw top scorer Ollie Watkins slip in Said Benrahma whose lob over Declan Rudd was cleared by the Preston rearguard. Pontus Janssons key challenge at the other end put off Billy Bodin who blasted into the stands, while goalkeeper Raya stood strong to deny the ex-Bristol Rovers man before 10 minutes.Bryan Mbeumo wasted a great opportunity after going one-on-one but the Bees wingers heavy touch let him down as Rudd collected the loose ball.Sergi Canos led a Brentford counter-attack after the half hour to the edge of the box but dinked a low effort well off target, before Mbeumo found the stands with a volley 10 minutes before the break. Benrahma unleashed a fierce effort from distance three minutes before the interval which stung Rudds hands as the hosts went into the break in front. Mbeumo improved following the restart and curled an effort onto the roof of Rudds net inside the opening few minutes as Brentford continued to enjoy the bulk of chances.Preston stopper Rudd denied Watkins from an acute angle after 52 minutes following a neat exchange of possession with Benrahma, with the latters dangerous free-kick from around 30 yards before the hour curling just wide as the Bees searched for an equaliser. Christian Norgaards shot from outside the penalty area nearly crept in off Ben Davies deflection and had Rudd rushing to ensure it did not as the London side continued to press.But the Lilywhites grabbed their second with 20 minutes remaining after a free Darnell Fisher on the right slid in a low cross for Barkhuizen to slot into an empty net following more questionable Brentford defending.Barkhuizen slotted in Maguire on the break but found Jansson in the way to deny a one-on-one opportunity before the end.The victory was Prestons third in four league games, while Brentford slip to 18th in the table after seven matches so far. (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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '1d439cb5-5826-4dcd-a5de-89fd2f1cca0d'); 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': 'Preston move into play-offs spots with victory over Brentford'});

September 14th 2019, 12:46 pm

Home defeat to Motherwell increases pressure on Hearts boss Levein

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Craig Levein faced further calls for his resignation as Hearts crashed to the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership with a 3-2 home loss to Motherwell.A poor defensive display from the Jambos saw Declan Gallagher, Sherwin Seedorf and Jermaine Hylton find the net for the Steelmen.Ryo Meshino did turn in a heartening cameo from the bench, teeing up a goal for Uche Ikpeazu and rippling the net with a fine curling effort himself.However, that did little to assuage the fury of the home fans at Tynecastle.An increasing portion of the Jambos fanbase believe Leveins time is up.The club remain winless in the league this season and have only tasted victory in the league on four occasions in the whole of 2019.Levein was barracked by all sides, with chants of sacked in the morning from the Motherwell fans mixed with we want you to go from home supporters.It took just 20 minutes for the visitors to claim the lead in simple fashion. A fine inswinging corner-kick from Liam Polworth found Gallagher completely unmarked, having escaped the attention of Sean Clare, and he headed home from six yards out.It almost got worse for the hosts when Seedorf cut inside from the left flank and found Polworth on the edge of the box but the playmakers curling effort narrowly cleared the crossbar.Clare then wasted a wonderful chance to level when a slick passing move between Ikpeazu and Steven MacLean teed him up 14 yards from goal. However, his tame shot was blocked by Mark Gillespie.Motherwell, meanwhile, were dominating the midfield and regularly carving the home side open. A super save from the onrushing Colin Doyle was required after Alan Campbell had sent Devante Campbell through on goal.Liam Donnelly, seeking to find the net for a ninth time in a remarkably prolific campaign, then crashed a dipping drive against bar after skipping past Jamie Brandon.Motherwell extended their advantage five minutes after the interval when Ikpeazu carelessly surrendered possession to Seedorf, allowing the Dutchman to advance and produce a powerful shot which beat Doyle via the underside of the bar.Hearts were afforded some hope by the introduction of on-loan Manchester City youngster Meshino. He dribbled into the box, rode a challenge, and shot from a tight angle. Although Gillespie saved, Ikpeazu was on hand to nod home the winner.However, the men in maroon blew any chance of a comeback in shambolic fashion, with a mix-up between Clare and Doyle as they converged on a long ball forward allowing Hylton to steal possession and fire into an empty net from 20 yards.Meshino, a shining light in the Gorgie gloom, struck with five minutes left on the clock firing beyond Gillespie from just inside the box.But Hearts could not find a leveller and the full-time whistle was met with a cacophony of jeers as stewards escorted Levein from the dugout.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'bf78c8d9-8600-4ab2-afc4-eda7e38bff22'); 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': 'Home defeat to Motherwell increases pressure on Hearts boss Levein'});

September 14th 2019, 12:46 pm

Nous of Fraser brings delight to Dingwall

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Captain Marcus Fraser netted a stoppage-time winner as Ross County beat St Mirren 2-1 in Dingwall.Ross Laidlaws blunder appeared to have cost County victory as Tony Andreus free-kick ended up in the back of the net in the 72nd minute.Laidlaw allowed Andreus shot to squirm through his legs after the substitutes effort had clipped the wall and bounced in front of the County goalkeeper.The home side had opened the scoring in this Ladbrokes Premiership contest 10 minutes earlier when Ross Stewart struck a brilliant volley.St Mirren had a goal disallowed and hit the frame of the goal twice through Kyle Magennis but there was worse to follow for Jim Goodwins side as Fraser converted Michael Gardynes cross from close range.County handed a debut to on-loan Celtic midfielder Ewan Henderson but there was little goalmouth action for most of the first half at a windy Global Energy Stadium.The home side lost Iain Vigurs to injury in the 36th minute, the midfielder replaced by Joe Chalmers after being caught late by Kyle McAllister, who was booked.The game burst into life a minute later whenMagennis drove forward and blasted a shot off the bar.Saints continued their flurry of chances. Jon Obika was close to connecting from a tempting cross from Junior Morias, who soon had a shot blocked following Ryan Flynns through-ball.The visitors thought they had the lead two minutes before the break. Sean McLoughlin forced the ball towards goal after a goalmouth scramble and Obika who was ahead of Laidlaw got a needless touch on the line to send it into the net. There was no offside flag initially but the officials consulted and the goal was disallowed by referee Colin Steven.County had the wind at their backs in the second half and they made a bright start.Vaclav Hladky produced excellent saves from Harry Patons strike and Stewarts header as the home team produced some good football.Kirk Broadfoot came on for his first St Mirren appearance in 12 years, following his return to the club from Kilmarnock, after Gary McKenzie picked up a knock.County took the lead after Fosters excellent cross ended up falling for Stewart at the back post. The forward took a touch before sending a volley into the opposite top corner.Magennis came close again two minutes later when he cut inside from the left and bent a shot off the junction of post and bar.Patons foul on Paul McGinn gave Andreu the chance to shoot six minutes after the Frenchman came on and he was ultimately celebrating after Laidlaw appeared to make the save.County pressed for a winner. Liam Fontaine had a header saved, Stewart nodded wide and Josh Mullin had a shot blocked. And their persistence finally paid 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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '22f7e32f-6f2d-4697-9fb0-be280d3b0900'); 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': 'Nous of Fraser brings delight to Dingwall'});

September 14th 2019, 12:46 pm

Killie defeat increases pressure on Hibs boss Heckingbottom

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PSecond-half goals from Liam Miller and Mohamed El Makrini earned Kilmarnock a 2-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win which turned up the heat on Hibernian boss Paul Heckingbottom.Angelo Alessios name rang round Rugby Park as his Kilmarnock side made it four games unbeaten, but the only chants from the visiting fans were for Heckingbottom to go as the visitors miserable run continued.Hibs have only won one of their last 10 league games, but in contrast Alessio seems to have turned round Kilmarnocks fortunes following their embarrassing exit to Welsh part-time outfit Connahs Quay Nomads in the Europa League.Killie have won three of their last four games and Alessio, who replaced Steve Clarke in the summer, is winning over the supporters as he looks to match the top-six finishes of the last two campaigns.Hibs last outing was a woeful 3-0 defeat to Motherwell, after which Heckingbottom branded his side soft.He rang the changes from that inept display, with deadline-day signing Jason Naismith coming in and Melker Hallberg making his first start. Josh Vela also came in, as did Ryan Porteous, who was making his first appearance since suffering a knee injury in January.Hibs started on the front foot, with Flo Kamberi firing over from Naismiths cut-back.Then Daryl Horgan cut in from the right flank and unleashed a left-footed shot from 22 yards that Laurentiu Branescu managed to get a fingertip to to turn over the crossbar.Kilmarnock goalkeeper Branescu then pulled off another impressive stop to deny Stevie Mallan.After Scott Allan had been upended just outside the area, Mallan stepped up to take the free-kick and his curling effort was turned on to the crossbar and behind by Branescu.Kilmarnock threatened before the interval when Rory McKenzie exchanged passes with Miller before his shot was deflected over.From the resulting corner McKenzie swung in a cross that Dario Del Fabro should have headed home but he put his attempt wide.However, the deadlock was broken 11 minutes into the second half as Kilmarnock edged ahead through Miller.Scotland full-back Stephen ODonnell played a ball over the top and Miller raced in on goal, drew Ofir Marciano off his line and then produced a composed finish as he slotted under the Hibs goalkeeper.Hibs thought they had drawn level moments later when Hallberg had the ball in the net but it was rightly disallowed for a foul by Kamberi on Stuart Findlay, back in the starting line-up after injury, in the build-up.Kilmarnock had a huge shout for a penalty when Miller tumbled under pressure from Naismith but referee Kevin Clancy waved away their appeals.But they doubled their advantage with 11 minutes remaining as McKenzie and Alan Power combined to set up El Makrini and he drilled home a shot to secure the three 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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'ea0b7b2b-e8e0-4714-a393-30059202f9f9'); 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': 'Killie defeat increases pressure on Hibs boss Heckingbottom'});

September 14th 2019, 12:46 pm

Klopp savours quality of Liverpool goals after fightback against Newcastle

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Jurgen Klopp hailed the quality of the goals his Liverpool side scored as the Premier League leaders came from behind to beat Newcastle 3-1 at Anfield.The Reds were stunned as Steve Bruces Newcastle claimed a shock early lead with a fine strike from Jetro Willems but they responded superbly.Sadio Mane struck twice and Mohamed Salah added the third, while a lot of plaudits also went to fellow forward Roberto Firmino, who set up two goals in impressive display off the bench.Liverpools Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring his sides third goal of the game during the 3-1 win over Newcastle.Klopp said: You have to play much quicker than we did in the first part of the game. In the moment we did that we started having chances and we scored two wonderful goals.In the second half we scored only one goal but we played really good football and I liked it a lot.There were a few moments I enjoyed enough for us to be deserved winners today.The first goal was sensational nice pass Robbo (Andy Robertson), sensational finish Sadio. Second goal winning the ball back, Bobby and Ox (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain), and passing it immediately behind. Then super run Sadio. Then the third goal wonderful.And we had even better moments that we didnt finish off. Nice football moments.Firmino started among the substitutes as Klopp looked ahead to next weeks Champions League trip to Napoli but he was introduced after just 37 minutes when Divovk Origi went off with an ankle injury. He will have a scan this week while Mane and Robertson will be checked after minor knocks.Liverpool have now won all five of their games in an outstanding start to the Premier League season but Klopp felt his side were second best in the early stages.Liverpools Divock Origi receives treatment for an ankle injury.He said: I started enjoying it after 25 minutes when we arrived finally in the game. We dont want to have that but it is not unlikely that it can happen. It was really difficult.What Newcastle do they do really well. They are always a threat for counter-attacks and it is difficult to suppress them. They are really physically strong.Newcastles defeat leaves them with just four points but manager Steve Bruce felt his side acquitted themselves well.He said: They are as good as you get. You can understand why they have not been beaten here for two-and-a-half years, why they are European champions and why they only lost one game last year.UP THE REDS!! https://t.co/f4qaBQnwaS Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 14, 2019They are an excellent, excellent team with pace and creativity, and at the top end of the pitch they can damage you.It has been difficult but we knew it would be difficult and in fits and starts we did OK.The first half hour was crucial and going OK but unfortunately we made a mistake. The second goal in particular was disappointing.When you come to an arena like this you know they are going to cut you open at times with the attacking players they have got, but we have given the ball away in the middle of the pitch and I am sure Martin (Dubravka) will say he could have done better.(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 Andy Hampson, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b423c365-8612-4981-9c5e-422b44b3f0b1'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,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': 'Klopp savours quality of Liverpool goals after fightback against Newcastle'});

September 14th 2019, 12:16 pm

Alfa Semedo strike ends Swansea’s unbeaten record

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Swansea lost their unbeaten record as Alfa Semedo struck a late winner for Nottingham Forest at theLiberty Stadium.Substitute Semedo, on loan from Benfica, struck his first Forest goal five minutes from time to extend his sides unbeaten run to eight games with a 1-0 victory.Lewis Grabban, a thorn in Swanseas side throughout, broke down the right flank and shook off the attention of Matt Grimes to roll the ball in to Semedos path and he made no mistake from six yards.It was no less than Forest deserved against a Swansea side, who stay top of the Sky Bet Championship but would have secured their best ever start to a season with a sixth win from seven games.Swansea were almost gifted an early opener when Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba hesitated on the ball and Borja Baston came close to profiting.But Forest were the better side for large parts of the first half and sliced through the Swansea defence after 16 minutes.Joao Carvalho cleverly flicked Yuri Ribeiros cross in to Sammy Ameobis path and the striker forced a full-length save from Freddie Woodman.Forest went even closer when Ameobis cross was only cleared as far as Ben Watson 20 yards out.The midfielder headed the ball back into the box and the stretching Grabban turned it on to the Swansea crossbar.Samba Sow also sliced wide and Swanseas frustration at failing to build pressure was evident as defenders Jake Bidwell and Mike Van Der Hoorn tried speculative efforts from distance.The Forest goal was not threatened on either occasion, but Michael Dawson reacted smartly to block Borjas effort at the near post two minutes before half-time.Forest remained bright after the interval and Grabban latched on to Bersant Celinas back pass to set up Carvalho for a chance which Woodman kicked away at his near post.Celina was soon substituted after that lapse and Swansea gained some overdue momentum when Andre Ayew headed Bidwells cross narrowly wide.But Woodman was again to the rescue to tip Joe Worralls volley around a post and Joe Rodon, back from international duty after making his debut for Wales, blocked Sows effort from the resulting corner.Ayew was becoming an increasing influence on the contest and he tested Samba with a low drive before winning the free-kick which saw the Forest goalkeeper punch clear under pressure.Forest continued to stand firm and Grabbans strong running and unselfish attitude eventually sealed 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 Phil Blanche, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '2d6285cc-3283-4b0e-b7bc-0961c1015b60'); 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': 'Alfa Semedo strike ends Swansea\u2019s unbeaten record'});

September 14th 2019, 12:16 pm

David de Gea has finally signed his new Manchester United contract - report

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David de Gea has finally put pen to paper on his new Manchester United contract.United offered the Spain international a new deal earlier this year but were left to sweat as it remained unsigned for months.De Gea was set to be a free agent at the end of this season, meaning United could have losthim for nothing.However, according to theDaily Record, the former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper has now penned fresh terms to extend his Old Trafford stay.De Gea's new five-year deal will see him receive£13.4m net per season.That means the shot-stopper is now United's highest earner alongside Paul Pogba.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side moved up to fourth in the Premier League following Saturday's 1-0 victory over Leicester.READ MORERoy Keane has a point about Alex Ferguson – but the feud proves why he'll never be a great managerAndy Mitten column: Why Manchester United fans shouldn’t expect a high-profile sporting directorRanked! EVERY England manager from worst to best

September 14th 2019, 12:16 pm

QPR resist Luton fightback

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QPR held off a second-half fightback to beat Luton 3-2 and clinch a third consecutive Sky Bet Championship win. Nahki Wells scored twice as the west London side raced into a three-goal lead within 28 minutes at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, where Ebere Eze also scored and was twice denied by the woodwork.However, Luton were gifted a way back into the game when Rangers keeper Joe Lumley inexplicably played the ball straight to Harry Cornick, who helped himself to a goal nine minutes before half-time.James Collins pulled another back for the Hatters early in the second half but QPR held on.Eze netted after just three minutes, collecting Ilias Chairs pass and unleashing a right-footed shot from 25 yards which keeper Simon Sluga should have kept out but could only palm into the net.Toni Leistners 20th-minute long ball set up Rangers second for Wells, who controlled on his chest and fired into the far corner.As the home side continued to dominate, Sluga pushed Ezes thunderous left-footed strike on to the bar.And the bar was rattled again soon afterwards this time by Ezes header from Ryan Mannings left-wing cross.The outstanding Eze then threaded a pass through to Wells, who slotted past Sluga for his fourth goal in seven appearances since returning for another season on loan from Burnley.At that stage it was one-way traffic, but Lumley got his attempted pass to Manning all wrong and Cornick simply lifted the ball into an unguarded net.Collins goal his fifth of the season three minutes after the interval further raised Lutons hopes of pulling off an incredible comeback.Andrew Shinne swung the ball in from the left and Cornick at the far post nudged it back to Collins, who applied the finish. QPRs worry was not helped by Jordan Hugill making a mess of glorious chances to extend their lead.The on-loan West Ham striker twice scooped the ball over the bar, first after being set up by Eze and later by Manning. Hugill had been in fine form, scoring four times in his previous three outings, but this was a performance he will want to forget.As Luton searched for a late equaliser, Izzy Brown sent a shot narrowly wide, Yoann Barbets last-ditch challenge denied Collins and Lumley was down quickly to keep out a low shot from substitute George Moncur. (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 PA Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '7dbf6053-31f7-43b0-91a1-aa031bc44a55'); 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': 'QPR resist Luton fightback'});

September 14th 2019, 12:16 pm

Tottenham ready to offer Christian Eriksen huge new deal in attempt to persuade him to stay

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Tottenham will offer Christian Eriksen a new contract worth £230,000 in a bid to persuade him to stay put.The Denmark international wanted to depart the north Londoners this summer, but no club met Spurs' asking price.Eriksen is still likely to leavefor pastures new when his current deal expires at the end of the season.However, Tottenham hope the former Ajax man will change his mind and commit his long-term future to the club.According toFootball Insider, Daniel Levy is prepared to offer Eriksen a bumper new contract to ward off interest from elsewhere.If the playmaker rejects a new deal at Tottenham, he will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs in January.READ MORE12 players you won't believe won the Premier League Player of the Month awardWhat’s Lionel Messi like in real life? From mumbling diamond to mercurial genius – but still a man of few words9 things you might not have known about this season's Champions League

September 14th 2019, 11:46 am

Szczesny keeps Juventus unbeaten as Fiorentina threaten to upset champions

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Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny preserved Juventus unbeaten start to the Serie A campaign as Fiorentina threatened to open their account in style.The reigning champions, who lost both Douglas Costa and Miralem Pjanic to injury before the break, found themselves under the cosh at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, but their Poland international kept the home side at bay with a series of fine saves to ensure the game finished 0-0.Midfielder Dalbert came closest to breaking the deadlock with a 41st-minute header which flew just wide, while both he and Franck Ribery extended Szczesny before Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to snatch the win with a late overhead attempt.But ultimately, both sides had to make do with a point for La Viola, a first of the season and for the visitors, a first draw after two wins.Ronaldo saw two efforts blocked in quick succession as Maurizio Sarris men attempted to set out their stall early on, although it was the home side who went close with 16 minutes gone when striker Federico Chiesa fired just wide from distance.Szczesny had to save twice from Ribery, but opposite number Bartlomiej Dragowski was tested by both Blaise Matuidi and Pjanic as the first half approached its mid-point.However, it was Szczesny who was the busier of the two keepers, denying both Gaetano Catsrovilli and Chiesa before wide-man Dalbert headed just wide from Riberys cross with half-time looming.There was no let-up after the break with Dalbert forcing an early save from the Juventus keeper after substitute Federico Bernardeschi had seen an attempt blocked at the other end, but it was the home side who continued to enjoy the better openings.Ronaldo called Dragowski into action with a 64th-minute strike from outside the penalty area, but Fiorentina continued to press and defender Nikola Milenkovic saw a 77th-minute header from Erick Pulgars cross saved.Juve went close as time ran down when Ronaldo volleyed over acrobatically, but the home side finished strong.Substitute Kevin-Prince Boateng fired wide with a minute remaining and then again four minutes into stoppage time after Szczesny had thwarted Bernardeschi, but there was to be no late winner.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b593b677-b378-41f3-b8fa-3de2342a32a0'); 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': 'Szczesny keeps Juventus unbeaten as Fiorentina threaten to upset champions'});

September 14th 2019, 11:46 am

Parker wants end-to-end action to stop after Fulham draw

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Fulham manager Scott Parker insisted that Fulham can only gain promotion this season by playing football, not basketball, after a dominant display against West Brom at Craven Cottage only earned them a 1-1 draw.The deliberate control-based possession that Parker preaches on the training ground saw Fulham create and miss a host of chances in the first hour, apart from an Anthony Knockaert cross that dipped under the bar to give them a deserved lead.What happened next left Parker a helpless and worried spectator as West Brom forced a draw though a Semi Ajayi goal and might have stolen all three points.Parker said: Im disappointed with the result and the way the match ended because for 60 minutes we controlled the game.The players were incredibly brave in the way we were playing because West Brom were wanting us to come onto them quickly and it takes a lot of courage to play out from the back.There is a reason we do that, though, especially today. We dominated the first half and had some glorious opportunities. I dont think anyone would have begrudged us if we had been 2-0 up at half-time.But then we stopped doing it. We went from front to back very early and played into the hands of a team that has a lot of pace on the break.We kept turning the ball over and made it into a basketball, a 50-50. I was standing on the sidelines and I started feeling that we were vulnerable. In the end if West Brom had won the game, we might have had to say they deserved it at that point.It just proved the way that I want the players to play. If we turn games into basketball games, we are going to be beaten because we havent got the players to play like that.I want the players to understand the best way was for us to be successful is how we played in the first hour.Parker insisted that his players have to keep ignoring the pleas of the Fulham fans to move the ball more quickly front to back.He added: It would be easy to just have Marcus Bettinelli bang the ball up to Aleksandar Mitrovic. It takes more courage and bravery to play how I want us to play. In a way it makes my job easier for next week because today proves that.For West Brom manager Slaven Bilic, the worry was the exact opposite how to ensure his team play with as much passion, commitment and nous in the first 60 minutes of games as they have in the final half-hour.The point keeps Albion unbeaten after seven games, yet the Croat is adamant his sides start would be even better if they did not have to keep coming from behind in games.Bilic said: It was a fair result. Fulham are a good team, one of the favourites to go up and they can take you back to your own box.In the first part of the game, we were trying to press them too high on each individual. Thats what they want and we had to change it and not press unless you can smell the moment to do it.But then we showed again what a good squad we have, what character we have and how resilient we are. By the end of the match, they were more happy to hear the final whistle than we were.Being unbeaten after seven games is nice and it gives you that little bit of extra confidence. But Id rather that we score earlier in games.Theres never a bad time to score a goal, but Im not happy that we have to concede a goal in order to play at our top level. Having said that, this is definitely one of the hardest grounds to come to in the Championship.(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 PA Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '6e43ff1e-6b97-4452-bbe4-22380dee385a'); 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': 'Parker wants end-to-end action to stop after Fulham draw'});

September 14th 2019, 11:17 am

Dani Alves explains why he rejected the chance to rejoin Barcelona this summer

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Dani Alves says he rejected the chance to rejoin Barcelona and Juventus this summer.The Brazil international returned to his homeland to sign for Sao Paulo in August.But the right-back says he could have returned to the Camp Nou or the Allianz Stadium instead.Alves won six La Liga titles and three Champions League with Barcelona, before claiming a Serie A-Coppa Italia double with Juventus.However, he has hinted that the lack of a long-term contract offer from the two European clubs persuaded him to return to Brazil."I was looking for stability going into the 2022 World Cup but the only team to offer me that was the club of my dreams: Sao Paulo," he toldthePlayers' Tribune."The rest of the clubs didn't believe in me. I've always been a free transfer. I decided where to play and when I'd leave."Alveshopes to add the 2022 World Cup to his list of international honours, having won the Copa America with Brazil in 2007 and 2019.READ MOREWho would play every Premier League manager if they were cast in a Hollywood film?10 players who came to the Premier League too earlyWhere do the home nations stand after the international break?

September 14th 2019, 11:00 am

Karim Benzema scores twice as Real Madrid hold on to beat Levante

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Karim Benzema struck twice as Real Madrid held on for their first home win of the season by beating Levante 3-2.France international Benzema scored his third and fourth goals of the campaign before Casemiro put Real 3-0 up before half-time.Levante hit back in the second period with goals from Borja Mayoral and Gonzalo Melero to give Zinedine Zidanes side a real scare. FT: @realmadrid 3-2 @LevanteUD @Benzema 25', 31', @Casemiro 40'; Mayoral 49', Melero 75'#Emirates | #RMLiga pic.twitter.com/US0ASSQiDd Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) September 14, 2019Real, for whom fit-again Eden Hazard made his long-awaited debut off the bench in the 60th minute, weathered an early flurry from Levante before taking full command midway through the first half.After Benzema had forced Levante goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez into a brilliant save andLucas Vazquezs deflected effort had hit the outside of a post, it was a matter of time before Zidanes side opened the scoring.Real right-backDani Carvajal got on the end of a flowing move in the 25th minute and his excellent cross was expertly headed home by Benzema.Benzema slotted home his second goal six minutes later after being set free byJames Rodriguez. It wasthe France internationals third goal in four LaLiga games this season.A victory for Eden Hazard on his Real Madrid debut! #RealMadridLevante 3-2 pic.twitter.com/Rjj6jo2c3O LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) September 14, 2019Real appeared to have put the game beyond Levante five minutes before half-time.Vazquez sent Vinicius Junior clear down the right and his cross was steered home by fellow Brazilian Casemiro, who had charged into the box.The restart was delayed while the video assistant referee checked whether Benzema had been fractionally offside, but the goal stood. What an assist from @jamesdrodriguez for @Benzema's second goal of the match! #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/qedlxuJ0ns Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) September 14, 2019Levante silenced the Bernabeu four minutes after the restart when Mayoral fired home from 10 yards against his former club.Benzema went close to his hat-trick when his curling effort rebounded off the inside of a post before Hazard stepped off the bench to make his first appearance since his summer switch from Chelsea as a replacement for Casemiro.Hazard almost set up a goal for Vinicius Junior with his first touch, but the Brazilians shot from the Belgians cross was blocked.Vinicius Junior thought he had scored Reals fourth in the 62nd minute, but his effort was ruled out after another lengthy VAR referral after Rodriguez had strayed offside.Two former Real Madrid youth team players lead the @LevanteUD fightback. @Mayoral_Borja @gonzalomelero8 #RealMadridLevante pic.twitter.com/HZuFafU2CY LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) September 14, 2019Levante struck their second goal with 15 minutes remaining.Jose Campanas cross from the left was headed home at the far post by Melero and all of a sudden Real were hanging on.Enis Bardhi fired narrowly off target and, although Rodriguez fired inches wide for the home side with a low shot, Levante defenderRuben Vezos header forced Thibaut Courtois into an instinctive save in time added on.The visitors went close again in the closing moments when Jose Luis Morales fired into the side-netting and Real breathed a sigh of relief at the final whistle.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '21436bf7-0ab3-4be2-ae12-06fa8a0c0cbb'); 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': 'Karim Benzema scores twice as Real Madrid hold on to beat Levante'});

September 14th 2019, 10:43 am

Ajayi heads late West Brom equaliser against Fulham to keep unbeaten start going

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Semi Ajayis controversial equaliser salvaged a 1-1 draw for West Brom against Fulham at Craven Cottage and maintained their unbeaten start to the season.Ajayi headed in 10 minutes from time, to cancel out Anthony Knockaerts opener, after Charlie Austin appeared to impede Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli at a corner.It was a cruel blow for Fulham who would have clinched victory long before had it not been for a inspired display of goalkeeping by the visitors Sam Johnstone.A game that began in soporific fashion amid shirt sleeves and shades in the mid-September sunshine sprang into life after 10 minutes.The mood change was prompted by a delightful interchange between Ivan Cavaleiro and Tom Cairney. Cavaleiro flicked the ball cleverly into Cairneys path and then collected the return pass before forcing Johnstone to tip his shot onto the post.Johnstone excelled himself again when Harrison Reed sent Cairney free with an angled ball. The Fulham captains shot was firm, true and heading for the top of the net before Johnstone touched it with his finger ends onto the crossbar.The best was yet to come from the 26-year-old Johnstone. After palming a Knockaert shot away for a corner, he produced a tip-over that was part-instinct, part-reactions but wholly brilliant to help Bobby Decordova-Reids bouncing close-range header over the bar.West Brom were being over-run, yet might have taken the lead had Austin not skied a volley from a Darnell Furlong cross when Fulhams marking went awry.It was brief interruption of Fulhams dominance. Knockaert was the next to go close, scooping a Cavaleiro cross wastefully wide.Whatever was said by West Brom manager Slaven Bilic at half-time failed to produce an instant change as Fulham continued to lay siege to the Albion goal.First, Joe Bryan forced Ajayi to slice a clearance onto the roof of his own net. Next, Aleksandar Mitrovic headed straight at Johnstone from a corner.Finally, Fulham finally went ahead in the 48th minute courtesy of a moment of sublime skill and imagination from Knockaert. The Frenchman curled a lob that was as precise as it was impudent over the stranded Johnstone and into the far corner.Craven Cottage expected a change in attitude from West Brom. Surprisingly, none came, so Bilic replaced both Jake Livermore and Matt Phillips before the hour mark, replacing them with Filip Krovinovic and and Kyle Edwards, respectively.Again, the pattern of the match continued with Decordova-Reid forcing Johnstone into another full-length save.Bilic responded with another substitution and Furlong sent a shot into the side-netting, while Hollywood actor Will Ferrell looked on.Everything changed 10 minutes from time. The previously insipid Matheus Pereiras corner was swung in under the bar. Bettinelli frantically tried to re-adjust his position and may have been impeded by a flailing arm from Austin.He could do more than paw the ball on to the head of Ajayi who had the simple task of nodding West Brom level and preserving their unbeaten start to the 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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0ecdd86c-8d82-46ee-beee-37f063f574b8'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,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': 'Ajayi heads late West Brom equaliser against Fulham to keep unbeaten start going'});

September 14th 2019, 10:43 am

Lennon thrilled as early Forrest strike makes it five wins from five for Celtic

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Neil Lennon praised his Celtic team for overcoming difficult conditions at Hamilton to record their best start to a league season for nine years.James Forrests early goal earned Celtic a 1-0 win which secured a fifth victory out of their first five games for the first time since Lennons first full season in charge in 2010-11, when they won their opening eight.Celtic were completely dominant in the first half without cutting their hosts open often but Hamilton made a game of it after Forrest hit the bar just after the break, although Fraser Forster was untroubled in the Hoops goal.Lennon said: Its a case of three points; a very good performance in difficult conditions; five wins out of five, which we have not done for a long time at the start of a season; a clean sheet, a third out of five. We are playing very, very well.My only tinge of regret is we have not scored more. Jamesy hit the bar, he had a fantastic game. And you can see the pitch dried up with the wind, it slowed the pitch right down.And you have to give credit to Hamilton, who set their stall out very well to be difficult to beat. In terms of being a spectacle, it takes two teams to make a game but we did all the running and there was no anxiety at all.So I am thrilled. You can see how difficult it is to do because we havent done it for a decade. So thats a brilliant start to the season.Lennon had warned his summer signings about the difficulties of playing on Hamiltons artificial surface.We showed them it on Friday, we said they are coming from 50,000 at Ibrox and the magnitude of the game and then you are going to the Fountain of Youth Stadium where you dont know what the conditions are going to be like.Obviously theres no moisture, they dont sprinkle the pitch. I think they should but they are not going to do it for our benefit.Then the pitch becomes slower and it doesnt become conducive to the way you want to play, but Hamilton arent here to roll over and let us tickle their tummies, they are here to make life as difficult as possible. But we negotiated the conditions and the game very comfortably in the end.Hamilton head coach Brian Rice took plenty of positives from the game.My biggest concern was not having enough belief to go toe-to-toe with Celtic and I saw we had that to a man, he added.To lose an early goal against Celtic was criminal and suicidal but the response I got was immense. I told them it was easy to capitulate and fall apart but we didnt do that.We stuck by one another, we kept to our shape and we kept to the game plan keep in the game as long as we can, frustrate Celtic and freshen it up early in the second half and have a bit more of a go.We did that and I dont think anyone could say we didnt try and get the goal back.(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, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'e9fba82b-99d3-43cc-a9cb-d136b7c71ee0'); 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': 'Lennon thrilled as early Forrest strike makes it five wins from five for Celtic'});

September 14th 2019, 10:43 am

Celtic debutant Mohamed Elyounoussi tees up James Forrest winner

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Mohamed Elyounoussi set up the only goal less than four minutes into his Celtic career as the champions consolidated their lead in the Ladbrokes Premiership with a 1-0 win at Hamilton.The loan signing from Southampton sent in a low cross which James Forrest converted for his seventh goal in nine Celtic games.The early goal was the only major incident in a completely one-sided opening period but Celtics failure to capitalise on their dominance allowed Hamilton to make a game of it after half-time.However, the hosts could not trouble goalkeeper Fraser Forster and Celtic survived a late scare to see out their fifth consecutive league win this season.Former Molde and Basel winger Elyounoussi was handed the left-wing berth in the absence of the injured Mikey Johnston and he had a decent effort blocked before his assist.Odsonne Edouards deft touch sent Elyounoussi ahead of the Hamilton defence and he drove in a left-footed cross which Forrest side-footed home from six yards.The debutant was joined in the starting line-up by his Norway team-mate Kristoffer Ajer, who recovered from a groin problem to replace the injured Nir Bitton in the only other change to the team that beat Rangers at Ibrox.Celtic controlled the first half without regularly cutting through the packed Accies defence, and Markus Fjortoft was booked for pulling down Edouard when it looked like Celtic had broken through just before the break.Forrest came close to a second just after the break when he worked space to shoot from 16 yards. Owain Fon Williams got a fingertip to the ball and it bounced off the underside of the crossbar and out.Hamilton brought on Marios Ogkmpoe for George Oakley in the 53rd minute and the strikers physical presence helped the hosts get a foothold in the game, with Lewis Smith beginning to get on the ball and bring team-mates into play.After Hamilton forced a couple of set-pieces which came to nothing, head coach Brian Rice changed formation by bringing on new midfielder Adrian Beck for centre-back Fjortoft and moving to flat back four.Blair Alston and Ogkmpoe soon burst through on the edge of the box but were off target with their shots.Celtic had brought on Tom Rogic in place of Elyounoussi for the Australians first appearance of the season following a knee injury, and Vakoun Bayo replaced Edouard as Neil Lennon tried to inject some life into his team.Ryan Christie sent a first-time strike over from 20 yards and Bayo had a header saved as Celtic looked for a second but they had a close call deep into five minutes of stoppage time when Ogkmpoe was inches away from connecting with Scott McManns cross.(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, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '1dce671b-7146-4082-824e-276a614bfb07'); 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': 'Celtic debutant Mohamed Elyounoussi tees up James Forrest winner'});

September 14th 2019, 9:42 am

Mane double keeps Liverpool perfect as Newcastle are beaten

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Sadio Mane struck twice as Liverpool came from behind to maintain their 100 per cent Premier League start with a 3-1 win over Newcastle.Jetro Willems stunned Anfield by firing Steve Bruces side into an early with a brilliant strike but the Reds responded in style.Mane netted twice before the interval and Mohamed Salah added the third after an exquisite piece of skill from the outstanding Roberto Firmino, who had started on the bench.Victory was Liverpools fifth in an impressive start to the league season and was the perfect warm-up for the start of their Champions League defence at Napoli next week.Liverpool dominated from the outset but boss Jurgen Klopp may be concerned about the early lapse that allowed the Magpies to take a seventh-minute lead.The hosts had controlled most of the possession until then but were caught out as Christian Atsu controlled a long ball and played in Willems.Nothing, however, should be taken away from Willems fine finish. The Dutchman, brought in on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, cut inside Trent Alexander-Arnold and fired a powerful shot past Adrian into the top corner.Liverpool responded well with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shooting across goal and Alexander-Arnold having a dangerous cross cleared by Jamaal Lascelles as Divock Origi threatened.The hosts wanted a penalty when Joel Matip claimed Lascelles had pulled him back but referee Andre Marriner gave nothing and VAR did not intervene.Klopp looked unimpressed with that decision but was soon celebrating as Liverpool, now piling on the pressure, levelled in the 28th minute.Mane took a great touch following an Andy Robertson cutback and clipped a superb shot over Martin Dubravka into the top corner.The Reds suffered an injury blow when Origi was forced off in the 37th minute but that merely gave Klopp the chance to introduce Firmino, who he had hoped to rest ahead of Napoli.The Brazlian was soon into the thick of the action and created Liverpools second five minutes before the break with a superb throughball for Mane.Dubravka tried to intercept but Mane got the better of him and then tapped into the empty net.Liverpool went in search of more goals after the break with Georginio Wijnaldum shooting narrowly over on the half-volley and Alexander-Arnold almost squeezing in a shot at the near post.Emil Krafth spurned a good chance to equalise when he fired over from an Atsu cross but Robertson almost grabbed another for Liverpool with a close-range effort that was turned wide by Dubravka.Salah also had an attempt blocked while Newcastles Fabian Schar was fortunate Mane managed to evade his reckless two-footed lunge.Salah claimed Liverpools deserved third 18 minutes from time, although it owed much to sublime work from Firmino.The substitute trapped a ball from Salah with his back to goal, flicked it away from a defender and then played the Egyptian in on goal with another clever touch. Salah raced through and finished comfortably.That effectively ended the game and Liverpool eased home.Mane thought he had claimed his hat-trick in the closing moments but a flag was raised for offside against Firmino.(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, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '511663f6-12a2-45f3-9138-dc7e3397557b'); 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': 'Mane double keeps Liverpool perfect as Newcastle are beaten'});

September 14th 2019, 9:42 am

Jose Mourinho backs Frank Lampard to be a success as Chelsea manager

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Jose Mourinho has backed Frank Lampard to be a success at Chelsea.Lampard returned to Stamford Bridge this summer to replace Maurizio Sarri in the dugout.The former midfielder, who is Chelsea's all-time record goalscorer, is stilll relatively inexperienced as a manager, having overseen just a single season at Derby before returning to west London.But Mourinho, who won three Premier League titles during two spells in charge of the Blues, has backed his former player to flourish."One thing is the player, another thing is the manager," the Portuguese said. "The player, I don't think any Chelsea fan will disagree with me if I say is one of the top five most important players of Chelsea history, and probably some will say not top five, maybe top three."Another thing is his managerial career, one year of experience in Derby where he showed good qualities and now he has Chelsea in his hands."He plays for big things. He plays Champions League, he played a European Super Cup, he had already big matches in his hands, and he has to grow up with the level of experiences, which I believe he can because he has huge experience."I cannot separate from the fact that football has been always in his life. He was born son of a player, he grew up [nephew] of a football manager, he became a player, he became a top player… I think he has all the conditions to succeed."Chelsea return to action at Wolves on Saturday following the international break.READ MOREWho would play every Premier League manager if they were cast in a Hollywood film?10 players who came to the Premier League too earlyWhere do the home nations stand after the international break?

September 14th 2019, 8:57 am

Grealish reflects on ‘favourite year yet’ as Villa return to league action

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Jack Grealish returns to Premier League action hoping to better his favourite year in football to date.The Aston Villa midfielder turned 24 during the international break and was able to reflect upon 12 months during which his career passed several milestones.He told the clubs official website: Its been my favourite year yet. I scored against Blues (Birmingham), got given the armband, ended up getting promoted and playing in the Premier League.Im hoping for another positive year ahead, even though I dont look too far ahead. I try to take things as they come.Grealish will hope to launch another positive year when West Ham head for the Midlands on Monday evening, and a change in the clubs recent fortunes might help.Villa lost their opening Premier League fixture at Tottenham 3-1 after reaching the 86th minute at 1-1, and were then made to pay for errors against Bournemouth before opening their top-flight account with victory over Everton.However, they were aggrieved to lose by the only goal at Crystal Palace last time out when, after midfielder Trezeguet had been dismissed, a late Henri Lansbury equaliser was controversially chalked off by referee Kevin Friend after he ruled that Grealish had dived during the build-up.Grealish said: For us as a team, its been a long break waiting to get back to it.Were sitting here on three points out of four games. We should definitely have a few more. Weve dropped points where we could have come away with them.But thats the Premier League for you. Lets hope for a few more ups this month.Manager Dean Smith is confident there is more to come from his promoted side, but has demanded greater consistency.He said: I feel we can improve. We held Tottenham until the 86th minute; you can look back and say two individual errors have cost us against Bournemouth; then we beat Everton. Against Palace, if Trez hadnt got sent off, theres not a chance wed have lost the game and with what happened at the end, we shouldnt have lost it anyway.So were tough to beat, but we havent played as well as we can. Theres a lot more to come. We have shown glimpses of what we can do. But we need to be more consistent in the domination part of our 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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '4e7c789d-a24f-435d-828b-54bf462814fd'); 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': 'Grealish reflects on \u2018favourite year yet\u2019 as Villa return to league action'});

September 14th 2019, 8:41 am

Sanchez Flores wants Watford to surprise Arsenal boss Emery

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New Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores wants his side to surprise Unai Emerys Arsenal when the clubs meet at Vicarage Road on Sunday.The Spaniard took the helm at the Hornets for the second time earlier this month, replacing Javi Gracia and becoming the clubs ninth manager in just over eight years.Sanchez Flores previously guided Watford to a mid-table finish in 2015/16 before departing the club at the end of that campaign.His record against Arsenal boss Unai Emery stands out, with Sanchez Flores having won three matches compared to Emerys one in the seven meeting between the two managers.When asked about the record, the 54-year-old said: When you are competing against managers, this is not our goal, because we are competing against teams, if you have better players than the other coach, usually you are winning more.With Emery, we know how hes working. I know hes a clever guy, hes always thinking about how he can take advantage in different situations, very good in set pieces, very hard in the work, very constant.We know each other well, so of course we will try to surprise each other. Butit is very hard to surprise so it basically depends on the performance of the players.Arsenal have won the last three meetings between the sides, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win for the Gunners in April.When asked about the threat offered by the Arsenal forwards, Sanchez Flores said: Its not just Aubameyang, its (Alexandre) Lacazette (currently injured), its the midfielders and the way they defend and the way they attack, its many things.Defender Craig Cathcart has been ruled out with a thigh problem, but insisted the players were looking forward to the game.Were just focusing on working hard and well start with the Arsenal game this weekend, said Cathcart.The Premier League is a really, really tough league, weve got a home game against Arsenal to look forward to, these are the games as players, you want to play in the big games against big clubs so we cant really be too apprehensive about it.We want to go there and put on a good performance and try to get the three points which is what we desperately need.Playing against one of the top teams in the Premier League, at home in front of your own fans has to give you an extra boost and well be doing our all to try and get the 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 Sonia Twigg, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a783e54d-5b6c-481c-a60f-632dc0e8c355'); 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': 'Sanchez Flores wants Watford to surprise Arsenal boss Emery'});

September 14th 2019, 8:41 am

Tigers snap up Hungary striker Balogh

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Hull have signed Hungary striker Norbert Balogh on a 12-month contract.Balogh, 6ft 6in, became a free agent in June after his contract with Palermo expired and had been on trial with the Tigers.The 23-year-old has penned a one-year deal, with a further years option in the clubs favour, after impressing head coach Grant McCann during a successful trial period, Hull said.Balogh progressed through Debrecens academy and was signed by Italian club Palermo for 2million in January 2016.He has made two senior appearances for Hungary and spent last season on loan at Cypriot championsAPOEL Nicosia.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '2ad39666-76a4-4f72-90fe-c6ccaa1be6e0'); 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': 'Tigers snap up Hungary striker Balogh'});

September 14th 2019, 8:11 am

Steve Bruce reveals that he almost signed Virgil van Dijk during his time in charge of Hull

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Steve Bruce has revealed that he tried to sign Virgil van Dijk during his time in charge of Hull.The Newcastle boss takes his team to Anfield to face Van Dijk and Liverpool on Saturday afternoon.The Dutchman has become one of the world's leading centre-halves after moving to Merseyside from Southampton for £75m in January 2018.But things could have worked out very differently had Bruce succeeded in brining the former Celtic stopper to Hull.“Virgil van Dijk: wow, what a player,” he said. “We all know how good Liverpool are up front but signing him and the keeper [Alisson] gaveLiverpool the backbone they needed, just took them to the next level.“I could have taken him [Van Dijk] to Hull. I had dinner with Kenny Dalglish and the owner of Celtic, Dermot Desmond, in Barbados – I’m name-dropping now –and Desmond was waxing lyrical about the best players he’s had. He was saying: ‘[Henrik] Larsson is definitely, definitely the best I’ve seen play for Celtic in my ownership but what I can’t understand is nobody has gone for Van Dijk.’“I thought: ‘That’s interesting, he’s seen a lot of football over the last 12 years,’ so I tried to get him before he went to Southampton but I had no chance.”READ MORE12 players you won't believe won the Premier League Player of the Month awardWhat’s Lionel Messi like in real life? From mumbling diamond to mercurial genius – but still a man of few words9 things you might not have known about this season's Champions League

September 14th 2019, 8:11 am

Pellegrini feels trust is key factor for West Ham following good start

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West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini feels trust will be key to whether his team can maintain their impressive start to the new season.The Irons recovered from a 5-0 home demolition by Manchester City in the first Premier League fixture to pick up seven points from the next three games.Having again improved the squad in the summer with the 45million signing of French forward Sebastian Haller, exceptions have been raised of a positive campaign ahead.Pellegrini, though, knows progress can only be maintained if everyone is pushing for the same goal both at the training base and out on the pitch.In the way that we are working right now, one season (before) and three months of this new season, the players are having more trust in what they must do in every game, said Pellegrini, who took charge in May 2018.Football can be so quick to change though that you must understand it is not just a matter of trust.It is to play as a team, 11 players defending and then with the ball, 11 players making movements and when you have that trust, you have a positive mentality in your players.But we are just starting, I think that every game we must play as a final.West Ham reported no fresh injury concerns following the international break.Winger Michail Antonio, though, is set for a spell of rehabilitation following surgery on a hamstring problem suffered during the Carabao Cup win at Newport.Pellegrini believes all the factors are in place to move forward.We are in a good general moment and we must try to extend it in the next game, the Chilean coach said.But we must be sure that we did against Norwich will not be enough against Aston Villa. We need to repeat that game with a higher performance.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a86f92ae-65c4-4825-bd75-209da23aae09'); 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': 'Pellegrini feels trust is key factor for West Ham following good start'});

September 14th 2019, 8:11 am

Bournemouth boss Howe calls for ‘fresh mindset’

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Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has challenged his squad to draw a line under an inconsistent start to the season and show a fresh mindset when Everton come to the Vitality Stadium.The Cherries return to action looking to recover from successive 3-1 league defeats before the international break.Howe, though, knows rediscovering a successful formula will not be easy against an Everton side which bounced back from losing at Aston Villa to beat Wolves in their last game.It depends where you were before the break, the Bournemouth manager said. From our perspective we are keen to get back playing after the Leicester game.I would not say our rhythm has been broken (by the international break), because that game was disappointing in terms of how we performed.We are looking to draw a line under the previous four games and start again with a fresh mindset.The Bournemouth boss added: This is such a difficult league to find that consistency, with the strength of the teams you are playing.But as we slowly get players back from injury, I expect us to get stronger throughout the season.Howe believes Everton are showing signs of progress under Marco Silva, who was backed with a summer spending spree of more than 100million.They have some very good players, with a style which the supporters are enjoying watching, the Bournemouth boss said.We know they are a high-level team and that we are going to have to perform well to win.Howe added: Naturally I think it takes time to put your mark on the team and Marco has had that now to start that process.I do think they look very strong, have recruited very well and are going to have high hopes for the season.Bournemouth, meanwhile, spent a relatively modest summer transfer budget, which included the 15million arrival of midfielder Philip Billing from Huddersfield.The Dane has started all four Premier League matches this season.Howe is confident the 23-year-old can go on to develop his undoubted potential.He has done really well, he has shown everybody why we signed him and also showed what he can do, the Bournemouth boss said.Now he needs to deliver that on a consistent basis, very much like the team, and continue to improve, because if he does I think he has every attribute to be a top midfield player.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '63a029f8-de81-4cc2-8ae7-dc88295c0758'); 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': 'Bournemouth boss Howe calls for \u2018fresh mindset\u2019'});

September 14th 2019, 8:11 am

"I'd rather have friends" - Jason McAteer slams Roy Keane for his preoccupation with medals

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Jason McAteer has reignited his long-running feud with former Republic of Ireland team-mate Roy Keane by criticising his obsession with silverware.McAteer and Keane first fell out when the former was critical of the latter's decision to walk out on his country on the eve of the 2002 World Cup.The pair also clashed on the pitch in August 2002 while McAteer was at Sunderland and Keane was at Manchester United.In a recent interview withOff The Ball, Keane mocked former Stoke and Irelandstriker Jon Walters for failing to win a trophy during his career and for "crying on TV about his family situation".And McAteer has leapt to the defence of Walters and called out Keane for his comments."We all know Roy, he says what he wants and that’s why he’s box office because he says it how he thinks," the former Liverpool midfielder said.“It’s very watchable at times, but unfortunately I do feel he lets himself down with the comments he makes about other players and I was disappointed that Roy come out and said some of the things he did.“Jonny is a brilliant guy and he’s an advocate for mental health. He’s gone on telly and put himself out on a limb because he feels it’s going to help people, and it is. We need to create more awareness of mental health these days and what people go through, certainly elite sportspeople because it’s a very demanding environment and unfortunately when you come out of it it leaves you with problems sometimes.“Jonny feels the need to come out and help people, which is fantastic, you take your hat off to him for that. So for Roy to bring him down and suggest he needs to stop crying on the telly, it was a poor comment.“I think he got wrapped up in the environment, everyone was laughing, there was a lot of people in the audience and he maybe got a little bit too comfortable with his comments and he let himself down.“As far as of the other comments between them, they are Roy’s opinions and Jonny has come out and said what he needed to say about the situation, and it’s just whose story you believe.“Roy does like the medals one, but at the end of the day you can’t take the medals down the pub and have a pint with them. They don’t talk back to you. I’d rather have a couple of mates than a couple of medals, to be honest.”READ MORERoy Keane has a point about Alex Ferguson – but the feud proves why he'll never be a great managerAndy Mitten column: Why Manchester United fans shouldn’t expect a high-profile sporting directorRanked! EVERY England manager from worst to best

September 14th 2019, 7:10 am

Jordan Henderson has told Adam Lallana to base his game on this Barcelona player

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Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has told Adam Lallana to base his game on Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong as he prepares for a switch in position.Having spent much of his career as a more forward-thinking player, Lallana is attempting to reinvent himself as a deep-lying midfielder.Jurgen Klopp fielded him in that role during pre-season and may have earmarked him as Fabinho's understudy in the No.6 position.And Henderson, who was previously employed as a holding player in the engine room, has told his team-mate to watch both Fabinho and De Jong as he continues his adaptation."I’m still waiting to get a chance there," Lallana toldThe Times."That may or may notcome, but it definitely interests me. ifind it very stimulating because I get more of the ball than I have ever had in my career before."Sometimes as a No.8 you are making decoy runs, or you are offering and you don’t get the ball. Whereas if you are in the 'six'you are centralised to the play, involved in the build-up a lot more. That is what I noticed straight away. That’s where the stimulation comes from -it feels good to be on the ball."I'venot gone into it too deeply. Jordan told me I need to watch Frenkie de Jong. The way he plays it, he kind of dribbles a little bit more than other sixes would, which obviously brings a bit of risk but that is in my game."I do watch the six more so now than what the eight does because I know that reasonably well. What are their movements like? I’ve found myself focusing on Fabinho a little bit in our first games and he has played it outstandingly well."Liverpool take on Newcastle in the early kick-off on Saturday.READ MORE12 players you won't believe won the Premier League Player of the Month awardWhat’s Lionel Messi like in real life? From mumbling diamond to mercurial genius – but still a man of few words9 things you might not have known about this season's Champions League

September 14th 2019, 6:26 am

Manchester City and Liverpool’s success is built on club ‘structure’ – Mourinho

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Jose Mourinho has hinted that Manchester United did not have the kind of structure upon which Premier League rivals Manchester City and Liverpool have built their recent success.Mourinho parted company with United in December after two and a half years at the helm during which the club finished sixth and then a distant second behind derby rivals City, winning three trophies, but failing to reap the rewards of heavy investment in the squad.City and Liverpool fought out a two-horse race last season with the men from Old Trafford once again crossing the line in sixth place, the former claiming the title and the latter the Champions League crown.Asked to explain the reasons for their current dominance, the Portuguese told the Telegraph: I think the structure of the clubs.When you look at City, for example: the owner, Ferran Soriano [chief executive], Txiki Begiristain [director of football], Pep Guardiola, Peps staff and then the players. This looks like harmony, empathy, chemistry, quality, sharing the same project, sharing the same ideas.Liverpool? I also think that Jurgen [Klopp] is in a good position. He is very stable. I think he has control of his areas. He is supported by people who think the same way, the structure of the club.Okay, Pep: fantastic coach. Jurgen: fantastic coach. I think if tomorrow one of them leaves and another top coach comes of course he has to be top like they are the team will still be there [at that level]. I think performance is globality. I think basically it is that.Mourinho is currently awaiting a new opportunity having turned down a lucrative offer to head for China, but knows when he is called upon, it will be by a club which is having problems and not one where he will inherit a finished product.His critics accuse him of failing to get the most out of the expensively-assembled squad with which he worked during his time at United, with Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez now both playing their football at Inter Milan, the latter on loan after a miserable spell in Manchester.Mourinho said: Sanchez I felt him [to be] not a happy man. And I think in every job you have when you are not happy, it is not so easy to perform at every level.And maybe I am wrong. Maybe it was me who was not capable to get into him and to get the best out of him. As a manager, sometimes you have the capacity to get the best out of the players and other times you are not successful in that approach.But the reality is that I always felt [of Sanchez], a sad man. So probably in Italy he will recover this. I hope he can. I always wish well to every player.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'da13858b-d6e6-42a7-827a-11849c7f5e2c'); 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': 'Manchester City and Liverpool\u2019s success is built on club \u2018structure\u2019 \u2013 Mourinho'});

September 14th 2019, 5:56 am

Jose Mourinho explains how Lionel Messi made him a better manager

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Jose Mourinho has praised Lionel Messi for making him a better coach.The Portuguese, who has been out of work since leaving Manchester United last December, spent three seasons in charge of Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013.Mourinho faced Messi's Barcelona side 13 times during that period, and he has also came up against theBlaugranawhile at the helm of Chelsea and Inter.And Mourinho believes the experience of facing Messi was beneficial to him as a manager."I always say that I owe so much to my players, as to those who have not been my players and have created problems for me," he toldEFE."For example, Messi never played on my team but I played against him and he has made me a better coach for having to prepare matches, for having to organize my team. When I say Messi I also say all the great players I have played against."READ MOREWhat’s Lionel Messi like in real life? From mumbling diamond to mercurial genius – but still a man of few wordsRoy Keane has a point about Alex Ferguson – but the feud proves why he'll never be a great managerAndy Mitten column: Why Manchester United fans shouldn’t expect a high-profile sporting director

September 14th 2019, 5:56 am

Real Madrid vs Levante live stream: how to watch ANYWHERE in the world

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How can I watch Real Madrid vs Levante this weekend?Kick off is 12pm BST, Saturday 14 September.Don't worry if you're out of your country:our handy VPN guide has you covered with how – and exactly where– to watch this game legally...Use a VPN to watch Real Madrid vs Levante from outside your countryDang in. If you’re out of the countryfor this game but have signed up to a domestic sports package, then annoyance alert: the broadcaster knows your location based on an IP address, which means you'll be blocked from viewing it. Not great if you've shelled out for the privilege of watching, in truth.But help is at hand. Just get a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to get around it, assuming it complies with your broadcaster’s TCs. The VPN will make a private connection between whicheverdevice you’re using and the internet, meaning your suppliers’ service can’t work out where you are– and all of the info is encrypted. Perfect.There are plenty of options, and our favourites include:1. ExpressVPN (inc. 30-day, money-back guarantee)FourFourTwo’s office matesTechRadar recommend this for its lightning-quick connections, trustworthy securityand the fact that it works with Android, Apple, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, PS4 andmore.You'll also get a money-back guarantee, 24/7 support, a 49% discount and with three months free. That's what we like to hear.2. Nord VPN (inc. 30-day, money-back guarantee): a cheaper option; its best package current averages at only£2.29 per month.3. IPVanish (inc. seven-day money-back guarantee): slightly more expensive but supports up to 10 devices, and can be shelled out for every three months if you need to.How to live stream Real Madrid matches for UK viewersGreat news! After a summer of faffing and early matches on ITV4,La Liga hasfinallyagreed a UK TV deal withPremier Sportsthrough to the end of 2021/22– and you'll be able to seeReal Madrid's game onPremier Sports 1.LaLigaTV, which shows all matches from Spain's top flight, willlaunch on the Premier Player OTT service in Octoberand on Sky TV by January 2020.According to its official website: "LaLigaTVwill be made available by Premier Sports as part of its channel bundle on Sky TV and the Premier Player OTT streaming service for just £11.99 per month or £99 per year (with pricing and launch date on Virgin TV to be confirmed). Fans will also have the option to addLaLigaTVas a standalone service via Premier Sports, priced at £5.99 per month or £49 per year, once the channel is officially launched on Sky TV and the Premier Player during the coming weeks."How to live stream Real Madridmatches for US viewersLa Liga rights in the USA are currently held bybeIN Sports and beIN Sports Espanol. But there are alternatives: namelyfuboTV, Sling World Sports and Sling TV, which all come with free seven-day trials. See also:beIN SPORTS Connect, if you have an existing cable subscription.If you’re outside the States, you'll still be able to access the above using a VPN. Scroll back up for more.How to live stream Real Madrid matches for Canadian subscribersShock! beIN Sports is the go-to place for your La Liga fixin Canada – and you can get the channel’s online service for $14.95 a month (or $164.95 for theyear).When you’re not in the country, grab a VPN deal to make sure you're not missing out.How to live stream Real Madrid matches for Australian subscribersYou won’t believe this – it's beIN Sports. To stream Real Madrid games online, you’ll need yourself a Kayo Sports subscription. That costs$25 a month, but helpfully starts with a 14-day free trial.For those instances when you aren’t in Australia, you'd better take a peek at the VPN selections above.How to live streamReal Madrid matches for New Zealand subscribersSo you’re a cultured Kiwi with a taste for Spanish football? Good: but can we just shock you first? Only a beIN Sports subscription will do.Online deals come out as $19.78 a month (complete witha free two-week trial), but an annual subscription is a more wallet-friendly (on average) $197.80.Don’t forget to look at the VPN deals above so you don’t miss out if you're not at home.WATCH Premier League live stream 2019/20: how to watch every game from anywhere in the worldWhile you're here, why not take advantage of our brilliant subscribers' offer? Get 5 issues of the world's greatest football magazine for £5 – the game's greatest stories and finest journalism direct to your door for less than a pint in London. Cheers!New features you’d love on FourFourTwo.com

September 14th 2019, 4:52 am

Barcelona vs Valencia live stream: how to watch wherever you are in the world

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How to watch Barcelona vs Valenciathis weekendKick off is 8pm (BST), Saturday 14 September, at Barcelona’s Camp Nou.If you're out of the country, have no fear: our essential VPN guide will tell you how to watch this game without legal hassle...Use a VPN to watch Barcelona vs Valencia from outside your countryIf you’re abroad for the game, your domestic on-demand services won’t work because the broadcaster know your location based on your IP address. Your access to the game will be automatically blocked, which is annoying if you’ve dished out for a TV license and don't want to resort to illegal streams which buffer every five seconds.Don’t worry, though. All you need to do is get a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to circumvent such annoyances, assuming it complies with your broadcaster’s TCs, of course. A VPN creates a private connection between whatever device you’re using and the internet, meaning your suppliers’ service can’t work out where you are and what you’re doing. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.There are plenty of options out there, including:1. ExpressVPN (inc. 30-day, money-back guarantee)FourFourTwo’s tech stablemates TechRadar love its lightning-quick connections, security you can trust, and the fact it works with Android, Apple, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, PS4 plus plenty more.It also comes with that money-back guarantee, has 24/7 support, is currently available for a 49% discount and with three months free to make your away days even more profitable than Crystal Palace’s.2. Nord VPN (inc. 30-day, money-back guarantee): a cheaper option; its cheapest package current averages at a mere £2.29 per month.3. IPVanish (inc. seven-day money-back guarantee): slightly more expensive but supports up to 10 devices, and can be paid for every three months if required.How to watch Barcelona matches for UK viewersIf you’re based in the UK, good news: La Liga has finally agreed a UK TV deal withPremier Sportsthrough to the end of 2021/22– and this Barcelona game will feature on their Premier Sports 2 channel.LaLigaTV, which shows all matches from Spain's top flight, willlaunch on the Premier Player OTT service in Octoberand on Sky TV by January 2020.According to its official website: "LaLigaTVwill be made available by Premier Sports as part of its channel bundle on Sky TV and the Premier Player OTT streaming service for just £11.99 per month or £99 per year (with pricing and launch date on Virgin TV to be confirmed). Fans will also have the option to addLaLigaTVas a standalone service via Premier Sports, priced at £5.99 per month or £49 per year, once the channel is officially launched on Sky TV and the Premier Player during the coming weeks."How to watch Barcelona matches for US viewersIn the US, beIN Sports and beIN Sports Espanol have the current television rights for La Liga matches.When it comes to watching online, there are a number of options. There is fuboTV, Sling World Sports and Sling TV, which all come with free seven-day trial, as well as beIN SPORTS Connect, if you have an existing cable subscription.Remember, if you’re outside the US of A, you can still get on using the VPNs above.How to watch Barcelona matches for Canadian subscribersFor Canadian residents, beIN Sports is the go-to place for La Liga coverage – and you can subscribe to the channel’s online service for $14.95 a month or $164.95 a year.When you’re away from Canada, check out the VPN deals above to continue using your subscription.How to watch Barcelona matches for Australian subscribersFor the antipodeans among you, the provider of La Liga is – and you won’t believe this – beIN Sports. To stream Barcelona games online, you’ll want a Kayo Sports subscription, which is $25 a month, and starts with a 14-day free trial.But for those times when you aren’t Down Under, you better have a look at the VPN choices above.How to watch Barcelona matches for New Zealand subscribersSo you’re a cultured Kiwi with a taste for Spanish football? There’s only one thing for it: you need a beIN Sports subscription.Online deals work out as $19.78 a month (with a free two-week trial), while an annual subscription is $197.80.Whenever you make the long journey to anywhere that isn’t New Zealand, don’t forget to look over the VPN deals above so you don’t miss out.WATCH Premier League live stream 2019/20: how to watch every game from anywhere in the worldWhile you're here, why not take advantage of our brilliant subscribers' offer? Get 5 issues of the world's greatest football magazine for £5 – the game's greatest stories and finest journalism direct to your door for less than a pint in London. Cheers!New features you’d love on FourFourTwo.com

September 14th 2019, 4:52 am

Cardiff hit back as Glatzel breaks his duck

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New Cardiff striker Robert Glatzel finally scored his first goal for the club to extend Derbys winless run to six matches as two of the SkyBet Championship promotion favourites shared the spoils from a 1-1 draw at Pride Park.Glatzel, a 5.5million signing from Bundesliga 2 side Heidenheim, netted the equaliser from the spot in the 19th minute after Rams defender Scott Malone had produced a poachers finish for the opener inside six minutes.The lively opening came after Pride Park had to be evacuated just over 30 minutes before kick-off, although within minutes fans were allowed back inside after what appeared to be a false alarm.After suffering back-to-back 3-0 defeats at Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup and Brentford in the Championship in the space of five days before the international break, Derby provided the perfect response upon their return to action.The energy and persistence of Duane Holmes in the sixth minute led to him creating chances for Martyn Waghorn and Tom Huddlestone that forced fine saves from Alex Smithies.The rebound from Smithies second stop, however, saw Waghorn fight for the ball with Bluebirds captain Sean Morrison resulting in it ricocheting into the path of left-back Malone who swept home his first goal since March.Ten minutes later Derby appeals for a penalty, when Waghorn appeared to be tripped by Joe Bennett, were turned away by referee Darren England who had an easier task in pointing to the spot within 90 seconds.After Glatzel was clumsily bundled over by Rams skipper Richard Keogh, the rangy forward then stroked a perfect spot-kick past Kelle Roos for his first goal in six appearances since joining City.Derby proceeded to dominate the half up until five minutes before the break, but with little to show for their efforts, and instead, it was Cardiff who came close to heading into the interval with the lead when Krystian Bielik almost turned into his own net a long throw from Callum Paterson.Inside the opening six minutes of the second half, it was Derby who twice came close to retaking the lead, only for Jack Marriott to strike the crossbar with a stunning 25-yard left-foot curler while Waghorn was denied by a close-range stop from Smithies after jinking his way into the area.Waghorn soon flashed a 20-yard left-foot shot past a post as Derby pressed for the winner, but just as at the end of the first half, it was Cardiff who almost stole it late on when Matthew Clarke was forced to clear a Glatzel header off the line to leave the visitors without a win in four 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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '5bd622f8-45b5-4457-b965-0ac5c3f03edc'); 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': 'Cardiff hit back as Glatzel breaks his duck'});

September 13th 2019, 8:06 pm

Cocu calls for VAR in Championship

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Derby manager Phillip Cocu is hopeful VAR will one day be rolled out in the Sky Bet Championship after seeing two key decisions go against his side in a 1-1 draw with Cardiff at Pride Park.After taking a sixth-minute lead through Scott Malone, the Rams were denied a penalty 10 minutes later when Martyn Waghorn appeared to be felled by Joe Bennett only for referee Darren England to wave away appeals.Within 90 seconds, England awarded Cardiff a penalty that was converted by Robert Glatzel, but with Cocu believing there had been a handball in the build-up.Its hard to take, with the decisions on the penalties key, said Cocu.With Waghorn, its a clear penalty, and if you go 2-0 up the confidence of the team will be higher and the chance of three points in the pocket is very big.In suggesting it looked like a handball prior to Cardiff being awarded their penalty, Cocu added: These decisions are not going our way at the moment but thats the way it is.Asked whether he would like to see VAR for Championship games, Cocu replied: I think it will happen. Its a big league.Slowly you see more and more leagues, international games working with VAR. Technology comes into football step by step.Its hard to predict but maybe in one or two seasons we will have it, and still there will be discussions about VAR. Im not saying its the solution for everything.Although Cardiff boss Neil Warnock hailed referee Englands performance overall, he was left dismayed by his failure to issue a red card late on for a studs-high challenge from Tom Lawrence on Bluebirds skipper Sean Morrison that only earned a booking.Warnock said: The ref had a good game. The only thing that disappoints me is that Lawrence didnt get a red card. Thats what referees should look out for.I knew straight away he had left his foot in. If you see it in slow motion you will see what a horrible tackle it was.Theyre the ones for me, not the diving but the over-the-top ones that could break your leg, craftily done.Warnock was at least relieved to see Glatzel get off the mark, with the 5.5million summer signing from Bundesliga 2 side Heidenheim netting his first goal for the club in six matches.Hes done ever so well for us, said Warnock. Hes great in the dressing room. The lads love him as well. Its lovely to get your first goal.Warnock, though, could not watch the penalty being taken. He said: I hate penalties, so it was nice to hear our crowd cheer.But I dont like watching them because I couldnt take one, I dont have thewhat you call em, between your legs. It takes a certain type of person.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '29f83151-68c3-437e-8d3d-35459d73d3ac'); 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': 'Cocu calls for VAR in Championship'});

September 13th 2019, 8:06 pm

Guardiola thinks Sterling is capable of joining Messi and Ronaldo as greats

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Pep Guardiola believes Raheem Sterling can reach the level of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.England manager Gareth Southgate this week said the Manchester City forward as the potential to become as good as the multiple Ballon dOr winners after two fine displays in the recent international break.His club boss Guardiola has now backed up those claims although the Spaniard has given mixed messages on whether he believes Sterling should read much into such hype.Raheem Sterling going up against Cristiano Ronaldo in his Liverpool days (Adam Davy/PA)Sterling, 24, has made a blistering start to the new season, scoring eight goals in seven games for club and country.Im so happy for him, for the way hes playing here and with the national team, but hopefully he wont read too much, said Guardiola at a press conference on Friday.He cannot listen to these kind of things that wouldnt be good for him, because nobody can compare with Cristiano or Messi.Im so happy with what hes done since weve been together, not just right now. Everything that has happened to him has been good because he has an incredible work ethic and is an incredibly nice guy. Im delighted for him.However, later in the same press conference, Guardiola appeared to suggest that what he says to Sterling in private might be different.He said: It would be a dream for him for all of us. If Raheem can target that level wow.We will be here to help him and of course he can do it but I will not be the guy to put limits to cancel it, to say dont dont think about that. No, absolutely not I want it.But right now, nobody but not in this club, or in all the clubs in the world, can compare with these two guys and what they have done every single week during 10 years.They are absolute legends and nobody can compare, nobody.Guardiola, speaking ahead of the Premier League champions trip to Norwich on Saturday, revealed he expects defender Aymeric Laporte to be sidelined until January or February after undergoing knee surgery last week.Aymeric Laporte is set for a lengthy absence (Nick Potts/PA)John Stones is fit to return at Carrow Road after a thigh injury but, after the departure of Vincent Kompany at the end of last season, City are short of specialist centre-backs.That has raised speculation the club may look to buy in the January transfer window but Guardiola has played that down.He said: My advice to you is not to write too many names about the winter transfer window because you are going to make a mistake. I dont think its going to happen.I heard already we are interested in this player or the other player but I would like to say to all the clubs in the world dont be nervous, because we are not interested in any players or central defenders in Europe.We are going to survive with the players we have.(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, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '432b83dc-a797-4fe2-903c-45d5465ce571'); 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 thinks Sterling is capable of joining Messi and Ronaldo as greats'});

September 13th 2019, 8:06 pm

Solskjaer believes new De Gea deal would be sign of intent from United

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes tying David De Gea down to a new deal will be an important statement of intent as Manchester United look to challenge for trophies again.The Old Trafford giants struggles since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson could have been a whole lot worse were it not for the 28-year-old goalkeeper.De Geas fine form has led to regular speculation about his future since joining from Atletico Madrid in 2011, with only paperwork preventing him returning to Spain with Real Madrid four years ago.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to hang on to David De Gea (Mark Kerton/PA)The shot-stopper knuckled down and signed an improved deal at United, but that contract expires at the end of the season and talks over an extension have dragged.There was growing confidence over the summer, both publicly and behind the scenes, that a deal was close and manager Solskjaer remains determined to keep De Gea in the north west.I think you need to ask David and the club (why the deal had not been sorted yet), he said.Ive obviously not been involved in all the discussions, but Im very or pretty confident that well get this sorted. Davids never, ever said anything else to me than he loves this club, he wants to stay here and hes had a fantastic time, so lets hope we just get it over the line.Juventus and Paris St Germain are among those to have been linked with a move for De Gea.Well, were always aware of whats happening around in the world, Solskjaer said when asked about contingency plans.But my focus and the clubs focus is to ensure and convince him to stay. He can see what were doing and he knows what were doing.We want players here, the best ones, and the ones we want most of the time stay. Theres not many we want to keep that we dont manage to keep.Solskjaer has faith in his back-up keepers, including Sergio Romero (John Walton/PA)I have got two very good back-up keepers, with Sergio (Romero) and Lee (Grant), Dean (Henderson) is playing at Sheff United, so the goalkeeping department is in good health.And, as I said, I am confident that we will manage to convince David that here is the future for him and it is a successful future, its a club that wants to get back to winning trophies.Put to Solskjaer that a new deal for De Gea is also a statement as United do not want other clubs thinking their best players want to leave, he added: Yeah, definitely. Because we have gotten used to top keepers here.Youve got (Peter) Schmeichel, De Gea we want the best ones and (Edwin) van der Sar. Edwins getting too old now, he did OK in the (Vincent Kompany testimonial) game.And, no, for me we want to build a winning team again, thats challenging for trophies.Leicesters Jamie Vardy will come up against United on Saturday (Tim Goode/PA)Solskjaer remains confident in what were doing in that process and United will look to end a three-match winless streak when Leicester visit on Saturday.The Red Devils boss underlined the importance of scoring the goals that reflect their play, but De Gea will need to be alert to keep the Foxes at bay and will be desperate to impress after his gaffe as their last home match ended in a late defeat to Crystal Palace.I think hes had a fantastic time here, Solskjaer added.Yeah, of course, whenever he concedes a goal, its headlines that he should have saved (it).Whenever we lose a game weve lost one game since July 1st and it sounds like were really struggling, but thats just the way it is at Man Utd and you have to handle it.You have to be resilient, youve got to have robust confidence and hes fine. I dont worry about him at all.(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, PA Chief Football Writer'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '08ea746d-91c8-4870-884a-c30541e42ed6'); 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': 'Solskjaer believes new De Gea deal would be sign of intent from United'});

September 13th 2019, 8:06 pm

Allen to leave Rangers

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Rangers director of football Mark Allen is leaving his role, the club have announced.Allen, who joined the club in 2017 and oversaw the appointment of Steven Gerrard as manager, is leaving for family reasons and in order to explore other options, according to a statement on the club website.The statement continued: Rangers fully respects Marks decision and wishes to place on record its thanks to Mark for his hard work and diligence since joining the club in the summer of 2017. In that short time he has helped move Rangers into a significantly stronger position.Allen said: It has been a privilege to work for Rangers, one of the biggest clubs in football with such a phenomenal fan base, and Ive loved every minute. Bringing Steven Gerrard to the club will always be a special point in my career and I would like to thank him, his excellent staff, the players and all the staff at Rangers for their support throughout my tenure.Manager Gerrard added: I would like to place on record my sincere gratitude to Mark for the incredible support he has shown to me and all of my staff since I came to the club 16 months ago. Marks success here is evident for all to see and we would all like to wish him well moving forward.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '8b22d2e4-86c6-41bc-a4fb-ab4f46f479ad'); 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': 'Allen to leave Rangers'});

September 13th 2019, 8:06 pm

Barca won’t rush Messi back from calf injury despite indifferent start

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Ernesto Valverde insists he will not rush Lionel Messi back before he is ready as Barcelona face up to the prospect of being without their talisman for another week.Messi has yet to play this campaign after suffering a calf strain during pre-season and is definitely sidelined for Saturdays visit of Valencia and may also miss Tuesdays Champions League opener against Borussia Dortmund.Without their record-breaking forward, Barca have only managed to win one of their opening three LaLiga matches, with a 5-2 home victory over Real Betis coming in-between a defeat at Athletic Bilbao and draw with Osasuna. Valverde: "Despite the injuries, we have a good enough squad to tackle the challenges that lay ahead. We're taking it one game at a time." pic.twitter.com/MF2NMOdEV9 FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 13, 2019However, Barca coach Valverde is adamant he will only bring Messi back when he is fit and ready, and says the Argentinians absence gives other players in his star-studded squad a chance to shine.He told a press conference: Of course Messis a very important player for us,Im not going to deny it, but the team have responded well in other games which he hasnt played in.But hes a decisive player.He can change games because of how he affects our team and the opposition. Hes the best player in the world.[ SQUAD LIST] #BaraValencia #ForaBara pic.twitter.com/JwG5U1wkZF FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 13, 2019We want him back as soon as possible but we want him back at full fitness.I dont know if he will be ready for Tuesday. I dont want to create any expectations. Its difficult.He added MissingLeo Messi is always going to be noticed but it means chances and opportunities for other players to step forward. We saw that against Betis.The good news for Valverde is that striker Luis Suarez is available again after being absent since the opening-day defeat to Athletic.Luis Suarez is back for Barcelona (Nick Potts/PA)The Spanish champions will come up against a familiar face in the Valencia dugout this weekend, with their former midfielder Albert Celades having been appointed Los Che coach on Wednesday.Barcelona-born Celades, who spent almost a decade on the books of his home-town club before leaving in 1999, took over the reins following the sacking of Marcelino.Like Barca, Valencia have also picked up four points from their opening three games and Celades is hoping they can add to that tally on his return to the Nou Camp.He said on his clubs website: Barcelona are a great side. No more needs to be said about Messi, but Barca always give you difficulties, whatever starting XI they field or the changes they make. Celades: "We will go out against Bara with the best mentality" https://t.co/CTumBN6X23#BaraValencia #NewEra pic.twitter.com/lZjuvogFeT Valencia CF English (@valenciacf_en) September 13, 2019They cause even more problems at their home ground. We know how difficult the game will be, but we are focused on the plan that we have worked on in our two training sessions together. Well see if we are capable of competing in the best way possible.We will go out there tomorrow in Barcelona with the best mentality, and try to compete against a magnificent side.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'ea4f1970-4ae1-4ddd-b1c8-ad6b9c657f7f'); 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': 'Barca won\u2019t rush Messi back from calf injury despite indifferent start'});

September 13th 2019, 8:06 pm

Lacazette injury hits Arsenal but Emery will invest in youth

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Arsenal will be without forward Alexandre Lacazette until October due to injury, but boss Unai Emery is more than happy to keep giving opportunities to the younger members of his squad.Midfielder Joe Willock signed a new long-term contract with the Premier League club on Wednesday and he is one of many academy graduates to have featured under the Spaniard since he took charge last summer.Forward Reiss Nelson, 19, is another to have earned a shot in the starting XI this season and Lacazettes ankle injury revealed by the club after Emerys press conference should present Nelson with more chances, starting with Sundays clash at Watford.Its our philosophy and our idea to give them chances to be with us in training and taking confidence and playing minutes and if they achieve the performance we want, then continuing, Emery said, when asked about his young players."It's no exaggeration to say that my dad gave me that type of work rate. He's a big part of who I am today, and is the reason why me and my brothers have got to where we are today." Joe Willock | In my own words https://t.co/O05hep2tyk Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 12, 2019They can take experience being with us, training with us, playing with us and also helping them with our experienced players and sharing with those players our way.He added: Every player needs their first experience. For me its training with us every day, giving them chances to show us first their spirit, then their wish and after their performance.We can analyse our pre-season, a lot of young players deserved to be with us and we can help them to be with us and take more minutes in the Premier League, cups and Europa League matches.Emery confirmed club-record signing Nicolas Pepe should be available for the fixture at Vicarage Road, despite not going away with Ivory Coast on international duty.Nicolas Pepe will hope to start for Arsenal at Watford (John Walton/PA).The goalscoring onus will fall on the former Lille attacker and Real Madrid loanee Dani Cellebos plus Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with Lacazette sidelined until October.On Pepe, Emery said: We decided to keep him here with us and we were working with him to have him ready for Sunday and we think he will be.We need people to be patient with him and also help him to be comfortable, to know us, to know the opposition teams.Each training and each match is very important to be ready and to achieve their (Pepe and Cellebos) performance. I really think the progress is perfect.Arsenal are likely to come up against ex-player Danny Welbeck on Sunday, who joined Watford in August on a free transfer after five seasons at the Emirates. @DannyWelbeck discusses the rough road to recovery Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) September 13, 2019He was one of Javi Gracias final signings at Vicarage Road before he was sacked last weekend following a poor run of form and replaced by Quique Sanchez Flores.Emery added: Dannys an amazing person and a very good player. He had that injury and he finished here and now he is at Watford and I wish him the best.Welbeck was one of 10 first-teamers to leave Arsenal permanently this summer, although defender Shkodran Mustafi did not depart.He was expected to leave before the European transfer window shut on September 2, but decided to stay with the Gunners and Emery insists he is now firmly part of his plans moving forward.Some players left and we didnt decide that option at the beginning. When they left it was because we decided we can continue in our way with different options. Mustafi decided to be here and when he decided to be here hes like another player, Emery said.I respect his decision. When he decided I spoke to him and said youre one more in the squad, Im going to work with you as other players.Since he decided to stay here hes working every day with a big motivation and good spirit.(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 George Sessions, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '865c857c-a7d9-4a39-b4af-093c081026eb'); 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': 'Lacazette injury hits Arsenal but Emery will invest in youth'});

September 13th 2019, 8:06 pm

Bruce recalls signing Robertson for Hull and missing out on Van Dijk

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Steve Bruce will be reunited with with one of his best signings and the one that got away when he takes Newcastle to Liverpool on Saturday.The Reds will have Bruces former Hull full-back Andy Robertson among their ranks at Anfield, as well as Virgil Van Dijk, a man he, along with a host of rivals, attempted to capture before he left Celtic for Southampton.Asked about his 2.85million swoop for Scotland skipper Robertson in July 2014, he said: Stan Ternent, my chief scout at the time, said Ive just seen this kid at Dundee United weve got to take him.We did our homework. I went to see him and we took him. It was a little bit of a gamble. I remember him arriving with his mum holding her hand!To be fair to him, we had a couple of injuries and I threw him in. He went in at left-back and had an unbelievable debut against QPR. He hasnt looked back, has he? Hes been quite remarkable.But if Bruce succeeded in landing Robertson, he was less successful when he attempted to buy Van Dijk.He said: I had dinner with Kenny Dalglish and the owner of Celtic, Dermot Desmond, in Barbados Im name-dropping now and the owner of Celtic was waxing lyrical about the best players hes had.He was saying, [Henrik] Larsson is definitely, definitely the best player that Ive seen play for Celtic in my ownership, and what he said is, What I cant understand is, nobody has gone for Van Dijk.I thought, Thats interesting, hes seen a lot of football over the last 12 years, so I went and we tried. I tried to get him before he went to Southampton.Asked what the price was for the man who later arrived at Liverpool in a 75million deal, he answered: About 10million, 12million. I was nowhere near getting him. I tried, but I had no chance.Meanwhile, Bruce revealed how he still gets excited when he visits the homes of English footballs big boys after taking his wife to watch games in London when he played at Gillingham.He said with a smile: How shes still with me after 36 years Night out, it was, Come on, well go and watch Arsenal and have a kebab on the way home.(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, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '5e5b1191-7e4e-4cff-9436-c14c00b8ff53'); 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': 'Bruce recalls signing Robertson for Hull and missing out on Van Dijk'});

September 13th 2019, 8:06 pm

Pochettino looking ahead after avoiding the departure of Eriksen and others

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Mauricio Pochettino is positive about what Tottenham can achieve over the coming months with the transfer window now shut and no distractions affecting his squad.The Spurs boss had to contend with talk about the future of key players like Christian Eriksen for much of the summer given the Dane as well Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen only have one year remaining on their contracts.Yet the European transfer window closed on September 2 and so ahead of Saturdays home match with Crystal Palace in the Premier League, Pochettino is optimistic despite the club preparing for seven games in the space of three weeks.I think we are all agreed that Tottenham always have more rumours than other clubs. In one month I think it will start again with the rumours, for sure, because the situation of the squad is going to help those rumours appear. I think we talk a lot, he said.Victor Wanyama was expected to leave Spurs during the summer transfer window (John Walton/PA).Now it is a time to be positive. Victor Wanyama is in my plans. Christian is in my plans. Now they are going to have the same possibility as another player to play.Before I understood that they were in a difficult situation and of course always we try to help them, to help the club, to do their business. But I said to you, its not easy.When its one player (who wants to leave), OK, but when its a few players, who start to make it difficult to create a good dynamic, a positive dynamic, but now its to be positive.Now we need to start to win games. That is our objective. Be refocused and who is not refocused is going to be out.Palace prep. #THFC #COYS pic.twitter.com/9LEFHWcmhq Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 13, 2019Asked if he has any doubts over Eriksens commitment, Pochettino bristled and insisted he is 100 per cent focused.With Giovani Lo Celso out injured with a hip problem until the end of October, the creative onus will remain on Tottenhams Danish playmaker.Even though Eriksen is free to talk to other clubs in January about a move next summer, Pochettino knows he can rely on him to deliver for Spurs.He added: You cannot doubt about the players commitment. When you sign the contract, like Christian who signed for five or six years, you need to be committed from day one to the last day.Because theres only one year left on the contract, hes not going to show the commitment? I think hes showing his commitment by playing football.Difference is whether he wants to extend the contract or not. Different players have different goals.Pochettino is happy to be back focusing on football (Peter Byrne/PA)The problem with football, the business, managers, staff, players, no one is going to say I want to leave the club. Then if no one wants me, then you say no, no, I love the club.You shoot yourself, you kill yourself. Come on, youre like me, you know the business. That is why after what is said, there is a lot of history, the reality is the manager, players, coaching staff, they have one year and they are so happy here and another they need a different challenge.We are the first, the manager, the coaching staff, but always its about how you manage and how you use it to be in a good position.(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 George Sessions, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'dcae709c-43ce-4223-90fe-9538e5838e8c'); 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': 'Pochettino looking ahead after avoiding the departure of Eriksen and others'});

September 13th 2019, 8:06 pm

Rodgers: Manchester United still have the power to attract the biggest names

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Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers insists the aura associated with Manchester United remains despite their recent decline and that is why Harry Maguire left for Old Trafford.Uniteds trophy-laden era under Sir Alex Ferguson has become a distant memory since his departure in 2013. In fact, Leicester have won more Premier League titles during the intervening years.Under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the gulf to rivals Manchester City and Liverpool has become a chasm, while the gap to what is often referred to as the chasing pack has narrowed alarmingly.In contrast, Leicester are a club very much on the up. However, this summer they lost their star defender to United after Maguire made it clear he would like to join Solskjaers side and the Foxes asking price of 80million was met.Some questioned Maguires move, suggesting Leicester, in the short term at least, might achieve more success, but Rodgers says he understands why the England international wanted to go.Ive been fortunate enough having been at Liverpool, and I understand the draw that type of club has Liverpool and Manchester United, said Rodgers, whose team play United at Old Trafford on Saturday.They are the two biggest clubs in the country by far. There are other great clubs and other big clubs but those two, in terms of worldwide status, are above everyone else.There are other great clubs in England that are currently trying to catch those two but when players get the opportunity to go to one of those clubs and to experience that type of pressure and expectation and of course there will be a financial side to it as well, where you can go and double your salary then that package, in a short career and at Harrys age, is perhaps too hard to turn down.And I understand that I get it. What we are building here at Leicester is exciting, with the new training ground and how we are trying to progress on the field, but for lots of players that draw is still there and I understand it.United have finished in the top four in the Premier League just twice since Ferguson left six years ago, winning two trophies, and Leicester could go six points in front of the Reds with victory on Saturday.Rodgers said: They may not have achieved what they would have liked over the past few years but it is still a very tough place to go and I am aware that Leicester have not won at Old Trafford in 21 years.(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 Sean Taylor, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'abafeabb-8c03-4ddb-a113-332f82c1b53c'); 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': 'Rodgers: Manchester United still have the power to attract the biggest names'});

September 13th 2019, 8:06 pm

Mick McCarthy says Troy Parrott must play for Spurs before Ireland chance

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Mick McCarthy has challenged Troy Parrott to force his way into contention at Tottenham to stand a chance of making the Republic of Ireland senior squad.The 17-year-old year-old striker has enjoyed a remarkable few days with the Republics Under-21s, scoring the winner on his debut against Armenia on Friday evening before adding a double to that first goal after coming off the bench in a 3-1 European Championship qualifier victory in Sweden on Tuesday.His feat came just hours before McCarthys much-changed senior side beat Bulgaria 3-1 in a friendly in Dublin with the manager having resisted the temptation to draft in players from Stephen Kennys squad.Asked afterwards what Parrott had to do to catch his eye, the manager said: Get in the first team. You do realise that the U21s and the U23s where hes playing is far-removed from where we are playing, dont you? Theres a huge difference.If I think hes right, Ill take him. Well try and get him watched. Its interesting if he hadnt come on and scored his goals, I wonder what would the questions be had he not come on, because Stephens not played him?McCarthy, who will be succeeded by Kenny at the end of the current campaign, made 10 changes to the side which secured a 1-1 Euro 2020 qualifier draw with Switzerland on Thursday evening and saw his under-studies do themselves no harm.Charlton midfielder Josh Cullen impressed on debut, as did substitutes Jack Byrne and James Collins, with the latter marking his bow with the third goal after Alan Browne and Kevin Long had struck either side of Ivelin Popovs equalising penalty.All will hope to play some part in the squad for next months crucial double-header in Georgia and Sweden, where McCarthy hinted he is once again unlikely to deplete Kennys resources.He said: Youre all talking about them coming through into the first team. When he gets the job and it wont be that long now hell be perfectly placed.In the meantime, its me thats come in and [I] could have taken the backlash had we drawn in Gibraltar or lost in Gibraltar, and thats protected him from that.Hopefully we qualify, get to the Euros and it will be seen as a really good decision to have done what we did.(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, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'ead85575-09f4-4328-b32b-26962eb6ca1f'); 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': 'Mick McCarthy says Troy Parrott must play for Spurs before Ireland chance'});

September 10th 2019, 8:09 pm

McCarthy happy to see players repay his faith with victory over Bulgaria

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Mick McCarthy was a happy man after seeing wild-card selections Jack Byrne and James Collins shine on their senior debuts for the Republic of Ireland.Shamrock Rovers midfielder Byrne, who started his career at Manchester City, had a hand in two of the goals and Luton striker Collins scored the third after coming off the bench in the 3-1 friendly victory over Bulgaria.McCarthy made 10 changes from the 1-1 Euro 2020 qualifier draw with Switzerland and there was an impressive display from Charlton midfielder Josh Cullen, but it was late cameos from Byrne and Collins which caught the eye.Mick McCarthy was pleased with the performance of scorer James Collins (Niall Carson/PA)Asked about Byrne, the manager said: Hes got that position to play, up behind James. I told him, If I see you collecting it between the two centre-halves, Im going to kick you up the bum, and he knows that.Im saying that with a glint in my eye, its a bit of a joke, but hes so effective when hes up the pitch. Hes got goals in him and he started threading balls. He was excellent.Ireland dominated a much-altered Bulgarian outfit for long periods without making the pressure tell, but finally broke the deadlock 11 minutes into the second half when keeper Hristo Ivanov, making his international debut at the age of 37, spilled Ronan Curtis shot and Scott Hogan laid the loose ball across goal for Alan Browne to tap home his first international goal.The visitors were level within 10 minutes when substitute Ivelin Popov converted a penalty awarded for Ireland skipper John Egans trip on striker Bozhidar Kraev, but central defender Kevin Long and Collins on his debut both struck inside the final seven minutes to seal the win.Josh Cullen was given praise by McCarthy (Niall Carson/PA)McCarthy said: Ultimately the result pleased me. There were some really good performances. Josh Cullen deserved the man of the match, he was excellent. I thought Alan Browne was.I loved James Collins performance when he came on. He knocked the centre-half around, upset him.The Republics win came hours after the Under-21s have fought back to seal a 3-1 qualifier victory in Sweden to extend their 100 per cent start to the campaign under manager Stephen Kenny, who will succeed McCarthy as senior boss after the Euros.He resisted the temptation to draft in players from Kennys squad against Bulgaria and insisted that was the right decision.Kevin Long scored as Bulgaria struggled to deal with the Republic of Irelands power in the air (Niall Carson/PA)He said: Youre all talking about them coming through into the first team. When he gets the job and it wont be that long now hell be perfectly placed.In the meantime, its me thats come in and [I] could have taken the backlash had we drawn in Gibraltar or lost in Gibraltar, and thats protected him from that.Hopefully we qualify, get to the Euros and it will be seen as a really good decision to have done what we did.Bulgaria boss Krasimir Balakov admitted his side had been made to pay by Irelands aerial prowess.He said: The third goal was a well-executed counter-attack, but apart from that, we defended well. But its in the blood of the Irish players to be strong on crosses and headers.(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, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9d80cdf4-8b5d-4d66-9ab3-758d130e8205'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,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': 'McCarthy happy to see players repay his faith with victory over Bulgaria'});

September 10th 2019, 7:39 pm

Gareth Southgate left with plenty to ponder after defensive errors against Kosovo

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Englands defensive mistakes gave Gareth Southgate food for thought on a night when his attackers devastating play proved enough to see off Kosovo in a thrilling Euro 2020 qualifying clash.The Three Lions boss was at pains to stress in the build-up that international footballs new boys were not only far better than their place 120th in the world rankings but the toughest Group A test to date.Yet while Englands march towards Euro 2020 continued with a fourth win from as many qualifiers, the pulsating 5-3 win against Kosovo left Southgate with plenty to ponder."Some devastating attacking play."#ThreeLions boss Gareth Southgate reflects on a crazy night at @SouthamptonFC.pic.twitter.com/EpijgbrFhG England (@England) September 10, 2019Jadon Sanchos brace complemented Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane efforts, along with Mergim Vojvodas own goal, in a rip-roaring first half that started with Valon Berisha capitalising on a shocking Michael Keane mistake 34 seconds in.Berisha scored a second in a sloppy second half that saw Harry Maguire foolishly give away a penalty that Vedat Muriqi scored unlike the normally reliable Kane, whose spot-kick miss summed up a strange night in Southampton.Well, bizarre really, Southgate said of the performance. The outstanding features and the poor features are apparent to everybody, so we dont need to get the video out and go back through it.Poor individual mistakes, a poor start to the game.The small period after half-time: ridiculous mistakes, poor decisions, lack of covering back.Asked if the individual errors were just a lack of concentration rather than anything more fundamental, the England boss said: I think that is something that we have to consider over a period of time because there were obviously mistakes that were concerning, really.Whether it was the intensity of the game, whether it was the pressure, I dont know.Weve got to reflect on that, but they were such basic errors, really, that you have to learn from.Michael Keanes error led to an early Kosovo goal (Nick Potts/PA)There are no such problems at the other end of the field, with his attacking trio showing just why Southgate considers his forwards among the worlds best.Raheem, Jadon and Harry were outstanding, he said.I mean Raheems two performances have been of the highest level.I think hes been almost unstoppable, his awareness of where defenders were, his ability to ride challenges, his vision and desire to get in on goal, and unselfish play as well, so I couldnt speak highly enough of the way he played.You know we were talking about the three on Saturday, Jadons performance was at that level as well."He was in my room last night asking me to square one for him today!" How about two? @sterling7 @Sanchooo10 pic.twitter.com/kVIRbOLwRR England (@England) September 10, 2019He worked really hard for the team without the ball and showed the ability he has to go past people, to be calm in tight areas. So, that part of our game was absolutely outstanding.Eccentric counterpart Bernard Challandes joked it was a shame that Sterling was not Kosovan its impossible to play against him or you do a foul and was pleased with his sides display at St Marys.OK, we have decided to try to play football, to take risk and we have seen in the first half how strong England is, the Kosovo head coach said.Bernard Challandes wishes Raheem Sterling was Kosovan (Mark Kerton/PA)We have tried, we have played, we have also lost some unnecessary balls and we have paid immediately because the counters of England were very, very beautiful.Our idea was immediately to press England for surprise and, OK, we win this ball or they give us the ball its 1-0. Its perfect for us.But after clearly England were very strong and played a very good half.Second half was good for us. If I do British humour, we have won 2-0 and who has won 2-0 against England in one half? Who is the last team?(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, PA Chief Football Writer'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'e9d27151-b8d1-4c09-8e25-e1b58557a459'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,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': 'Gareth Southgate left with plenty to ponder after defensive errors against Kosovo'});

September 10th 2019, 7:23 pm

Deschamps feels France have started to find rhythm after win over Andorra

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France manager Didier Deschamps feels his side have started to find their rhythm again after the world champions saw off Andorra 3-0 in Saint-Denis to stay on course for Euro 2020 qualification.With Turkey also winning, 4-0 away in Moldova, Les Bleus are kept off the top of Group H on head-to-head record.However, after Iceland were beaten in Albania, there is now daylight between them and third place ahead of a trip to Reykjavik next month.Deschamps made four changes to the side which had beaten Albania at Stade de France on Saturday, with Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko and Lille forward Jonathan Ikone both starting.France made a bright opening to take the lead in the 18th minute through Kingsley Coman, with Antoine Griezmann then seeing a penalty saved before the break.Defender Clement Lenglet headed in his first senior international goal soon after the restart, but a third did not arrive until substitute Wissam Ben Yedder tapped home during stoppage time.Despite not making more of their dominant possession and shot count, Deschamps was happy enough with the end result after what was a 100th match for Les Bleus at Stade de France.The score could have been wider and we could have had better efficiency, that is right, Deschamps said at a press conference.But we still scored three goals anyway and left nothing for the opponent, who were more compact than Albania.We have found solutions. Obviously, the more efficiency we have, the better.But we scored seven goals in two games these are things which did not happen before.France were without the likes of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba because of injury.Deschamps, though, feels the squad showed plenty of depth.It is good that those who were involved could show what they can do, even if I prefer to have everyone available, the France manager added.I hope that will be the case at future gatherings. The desire is there, the pleasure of playing together too.From the bench also, I enjoy watching them evolve. There is a common thread, and this is a very interesting idea.After heading to Iceland, the French will host Turkey in what could be a decisive Group H fixture.France captain Hugo Lloris, the Tottenham goalkeeper, told reporters afterwards: Even though we had a lot of absentees, it is still important to feel strong as a group.It was important to take those six points, and to position ourselves for the two decisive matches in October.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b7a2b5e8-2168-4b22-ab0b-e6438953d525'); 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': 'Deschamps feels France have started to find rhythm after win over Andorra'});

September 10th 2019, 6:39 pm

Jadon Sancho scores twice for England but Kosovo play part in goal fest

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Jadon Sancho announced himself on the international stage in some style, scoring twice on a night when Englands ruthless edge made up for some shambolic defending in a thrilling, high-scoring win against Kosovo.A sell-out St Marys crowd bore witness to the most entertaining qualifier in many a year as Gareth Southgates men continued their march to Euro 2020 with an enthralling, if at times unconvincing, 5-3 victory on the south coast.Defensive errors gifted Kosovo a shock opener and then second-half hope, but a clinical first half proved decisive as Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane goals were complemented by an own goal and quickfire brace from Sancho in a helter-skelter clash.Jadon Sancho celebrates his first goal with Harry Kane, who also scored and had a penalty saved (Adam Davy/PA)It was certainly a memorable first senior international meeting between these countries and the tough challenge predicted by Southgate, who always knew the visitors would be a far sterner test than their 120th place in the world rankings suggested.Valon Berishas opener after 34 seconds underlined that point emphatically, even if it was Michael Keane acting as architect thanks to some brainless defending.The England defender soon breathed a sigh of relief when his header led to Sterlings equaliser, with the Manchester City star then turning provider as Kane rifled home.Soon it was Sancho emphasising his quality, with the 19-year-olds cross seeing Mergim Vojvoda turn into his own net before becoming the first player born in the 21st century to score for England thanks to a quickfire double as the Kosovans fumed.But the entertainment did not stop there. Berisha scored a superb second before Vedat Muriqi added a third from the spot after being foolishly brought down by Harry Maguire.The Southampton crowd were rubbing their eyes in disbelief when Kane saw a spot-kick saved by Aro Muric but gutsy Kosovo were unable to capitalise as England strengthened their grip on Group A to end the visitors 15-match unbeaten run.It was a remarkable night that got off to an astonishing start.Keane watched helplessly as his first-time pass found Muriqi rather than Maguire, with the ball quickly played onto Berisha to coolly finish.The defenders embarrassment faded slightly in the eighth minute after heading a corner onto Sterling to glance home.It was an impressive response from the Three Lions and the fightback did not stop there.Sterling superbly turned on the halfway line, burst forward and directed wide to Kane, who took a touch away from danger to fizz a low shot through Murics legs.Kosovo responded manfully and Vojvoda went closest with a dipping strike from distance. Soon the full-back would find the net, but not in the way he would have wanted after accidentally turning home a driven Sancho cross.Kosovo were apoplectic that the goal was allowed to stand, with Fidan Aliti left on the deck following an innocuous 50-50 challenge with Trent Alexander-Arnold. Kosovo boss Bernard Challandes led the remonstrations and was booked for his behaviour.Declan Rice won the ball back to start a break that ended with Sterling swinging a low cross to Sancho, who showed poise that belied his tender years to notch his first international goal.That historic effort was quickly added to as Sterling flew past his man down the flank and squared for Sancho to prod home.Berisha reduced the deficit in style in the 49th minute after Rice gave away possession and England failed to heed that shot across the bows and Muriqi beat Jordan Pickford from the spot after being taken down by Maguire.Kosovos dreams of a comeback appeared to be ended when Ross Barkley was adjudged to have been brought down in the box and Kane stepped up to the spot. But days after netting a pair of penalties against Bulgaria, the Three Lions captain was thwarted by Muric.The goalkeeper was helped by the fact he had stepped off his line, but there were no complaints when he later turned Sterlings strike onto a post.The sides continued to trade blows but there were no more goals as a thrilling match came to a conclusion.(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, PA Chief Football Writer'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'eccfd90b-ffe9-4b2a-b440-ba15773ead5e'); 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': 'Jadon Sancho scores twice for England but Kosovo play part in goal fest'});

September 10th 2019, 5:52 pm

Focus on England midfielder Jadon Sancho

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Jadon Sancho had an evening to remember at Southampton as he scored twice and made another in Englands 5-3 win over Kosovo.The Borussia Dortmund star is quickly turning himself into a key threat in Gareth Southgates attacking armoury.Here, the PA news agency takes a closer look at his performance.Rewriting the record booksEnglands Jadon Sancho, left, celebrates scoring with Harry Kane (Adam Davy/PA)Having already been the first player born in the 21st century to play for England, he followed that up by becoming the first to score. Not only that but, aged just 19 years and 159 days, he is now the youngest player to score two or more goals for the Three Lions since Wayne Rooney in 2004. Feeling old yet?Hitting the ground runningEnglands Jadon Sancho celebrates scoring his sides fourth goal (Adam Davy/PA)The teenager has had an electric start to the campaign domestically, having scored two goals and made three more in the first three games for Dortmund in the Bundesliga. When he broke his international duck in the 44th minute he became the third player to score for England while playing in the German league, following in the footsteps of Kevin Keegan and Tony Woodcock. That goal was an accomplished finish as he confidently tucked away Sterlings incisive pass. He cannot take too much credit for the second goal, other than to say he was in the right place at the right time to tap home another Sterling assist from a few yards out.Staking a claimWhat a moment for @Sanchooo10 pic.twitter.com/Abfhedm1QG England (@England) September 10, 2019It is fair to assume that Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling are locked in to play in Gareth Southgates front three, but this performance by Sancho proved he might be the third choice ahead of Marcus Rashford, the man he replaced in the team. His ability to run with the ball was evidenced by his 100 per cent dribble success rate and it was his trickery down the right that earned him an assist as he beat his defender and sent in a low cross that was turned in by a Kosovo defender. That was one of two key passes he made before eventually being replaced in the final 10 minutes.Youthful naivetyHarry Kane takes a penalty which is saved (Adam Davy/PA)Sancho perhaps showed he is still wet behind the ears in the second half when England were awarded a penalty. The 19-year-old walked over to Harry Kane and lingered, possibly in the desperate hope that the skipper would hand him the ball and allow him the chance of an international hat-trick. Kane was having none of it and eventually took the spot-kick himself, though saw it saved by Arijanet Muric and Sancho was denied the opportunity to claim the matchball.(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, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '8ef44495-50f6-4978-bd89-c29f3d708ab4'); 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 England midfielder Jadon Sancho'});

September 10th 2019, 5:52 pm

France have few problems with Andorra in Paris

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World champions France saw off Andorra 3-0 in Saint-Denis to keep the pressure on at the top of Euro 2020 qualification Group H.Kingsley Coman and defender Clement Lenglet scored in each half, with Antoine Griezmann also seeing a penalty saved.Substitute Wissam Ben Yedder tapped home a third in stoppage time.However, with Turkey winning 4-0 away in Moldova, Didier Deschamps side now find themselves second in the table on head-to-head record but three points clear of Iceland, who were beaten in Albania.Deschamps made four changes as Lucas Digne and Leo Dubois came in at full-back, with Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko and Jonathan Ikone also starting.After both national anthems were played without a hitch, unlike before the Albania game on Saturday, Lille forward Ikone, who scored on his debut last time out, saw an early chance bundled behind.Pointless Andorra had been were denied what would have been a hard-earned draw away to Turkey by a late goal, and initially looked to take the game to their hosts.However, Frances dominance of possession soon paid off as Coman opened the scoring in the 18th minute.Ikone played a through-ball for Coman and the Bayern Munich winger held off a defender before slotting past the goalkeeper.France remained on the offensive, and spurned a chance to make it 2-0 just before the half-hour mark.Griezmann was pulled back by San Nicolas as he turned into the penalty area. However, the Barcelona forward who hit the crossbar with a first-half spot-kick against Albania saw his effort saved.Despite not making the most of their opportunity, Les Bleus continued to press.From a corner Ikones effort was almost deflected past his own keeper by Andorra midfielder Joan Cervos.Centre-back Raphael Varane tried his luck from distance, with Gomes making another impressive save at full stretch.Andorra continued to sit deep in the start to the second half, and were punished when Lenglet scored his first senior international goal in the 52nd minute.Griezmann swung across a deep free-kick from the left and Lenglet got up to power a header into the top corner.Gomes was soon called back into action to save Comans header from Sissokos ball in.Spurs midfielder Sissoko then saw his header from a Griezmann free-kick come back off the crossbar.Coman then somehow also managed to fire a shot up onto the frame of the goal at close range after connecting with a cross from Digne.France finally made another breakthrough in added-time when Monaco forward Ben Yedder knocked the ball in after Nabil Fekirs free-kick had been touched onto the post by Gomes.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '96a47ef5-c80d-4004-a35c-22ba18e513fd'); 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': 'France have few problems with Andorra in Paris'});

September 10th 2019, 5:52 pm

5 things we learned from England v Kosovo

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England took another huge step towards Euro 2020 qualification with a 5-3 win on a crazy evening in Southampton.Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Jadon Sancho helped the Three Lions score five before the break, but they wobbled in the second half as Kosovo gave them a scare.Here, the PA news agency looks at the main talking points from the game.A decade of qualifying successFabio Capello was the last England manager to taste defeat in a qualifying match (Adam Davy/PA)England just do not lose qualifiers and they will now go more than 10 years since their last defeat. It has been 43 games and 3,622 days across World Cup and European Championship qualification periods where the Three Lions have gone unbeaten, going way back to October 2010 when they lost 1-0 in Ukraine under the leadership of Fabio Capello. This was win number 34 in that spell and, despite their shock start and sloppiness after the break, there was never really any chance of their exceptional run ending at St Marys. Having scored five or more goals in three of their opening four games, and bagging four in the other, this Euro 2020 campaign is proving simply too easy for Gareth Southgates men.Is it possible to score too early?Kosovo manager Bernard Challandes saw his side take an early lead against England (Mark Kerton/PA)Given the choice Kosovo manager Bernard Challandes would probably have preferred his side to open the scoring in the 90th minute rather than the first. A shock was, albeit very briefly, on the cards when the visitors stunned England by scoring after only 34 seconds. This was not quite a Stuart Pearce moment versus San Marino in 1993, but it was not far off as a careless piece of play by Michael Keane allowed Valon Berisha to steal in and give his side the lead before some supporters had even taken their seats. But if there was ever an instance of scoring too early then this was it for Kosovo, whose impressive 15-game unbeaten run came to an end. Challandes side put up a brave performance, but they could not cope against the quality of opposition they have not faced before and things went south quickly in the first half. They restored some pride after the break, with the help of some shoddy play by the hosts and did at least give their army of fans something to cheer about.Defensive concerns remainMichael Keanes mistake led to Kosovo taking the lead but he played a part in Englands equaliser (Adam Davy/PA)While everything is firing at the top end of the pitch there are still question marks for England about their defensive unit after they allowed Kosovo to score three times. All three were a direct result of individual errors, which made the evening a little more complicated than it should have been. Keane and Declan Rice were criminally sloppy in possession and it led to goals while only Harry Maguire knows what he was doing when he went through the back of Vedat Muriqi. The Three Lions will be able to outscore most teams, but against the better nations, which they will need to get past if they are to challenge for Euro 2020 next summer, they can ill-afford such moments of generosity.On the road to successEngland made a successful return to St Marys (Adam Davy/PA)Following the successful return of touring around the country in the last two seasons, where they visited Leeds and Leicester, England were back on the road at St Marys. It was their first return to Southampton for 17 years, a night in 2002 when they drew 2-2 with Macedonia, and this was a much more successful outing for Southgates men. Although they were given plenty to cheer the England fans, who would normally have to travel to Wembley to see their team, turned out in force and provided a fine atmosphere. There was a brief period in the second half when it resembled more of a Take That concert, with people shining their mobile phone torches, but there was no real disinterest, which there can often be at the national stadium, undoubtedly helped by the end-to-end nature of the game. Credit too to a huge number of Kosovo fans, some of who occupied home sections of the ground, who had an evening to remember.Watch out WayneWayne Rooneys record as Englands leading scorer is under threat from Harry Kane (Nick Potts/PA)All the focus this week has rightly been on Kanes brilliant scoring form for England and how long it might take him to surpass Wayne Rooneys record of 53 goals for his country after he added four to his tally in the two games. But the former Manchester United striker has a more immediate threat as Mergim Vojvoda became the scorer of the 52nd own goal against the Three Lions. The defender put through his own net in the first half after good work from Sancho.(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, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'd415e354-a5c3-4cef-8ac4-deface7773c1'); 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 from England v Kosovo'});

September 10th 2019, 5:52 pm

We aren’t going to be disheartened – McNair determined to remain upbeat

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Paddy McNair has told his Northern Ireland team-mates to keep believing they can qualify for Euro 2020 after their hopes took a hit with Mondays 2-0 home defeat to Germany.A spirited performance at Windsor Park was not enough to prevent Michael ONeills side dropping their first points of the campaign as Marcel Halstenbergs outstanding strike and Serge Gnabrys late second proved the difference.The result saw Germany move top of Group C, level with Northern Ireland on 12 points from five games.But the task gets no easier for the Green and White Army, with Holland away up next and a trip to Frankfurt to come in November.Of course we would have taken this position at the start of the campaign, McNair said.We have three really tough games to come and we go to Holland in the next game.Then we have them at home and Germany away, but we arent going to be disheartened.Well give them all a tough game. There are plenty of positives and we move on to next month.A frustrated ONeill called the game a missed opportunity in the immediate aftermath, given the chances Northern Ireland created, including two openings for Conor Washington, during a strong start to the night.Its really small margins in the game, but I thought we were brilliant in the first half, McNair added.Its definitely a massive improvement. Even in the second half, Stuart (Dallas) shot a yard wide and that could easily go the other side of the post which makes it a different game again.Northern Ireland might also have had the chance to level from the penalty spot just before the hour when McNair tumbled under a challenge from Toni Kroos, but referee Daniel Orsato waved away their appeals.I havent seen the penalty incident again, but I certainly felt a bit of contact, said McNair. There wasnt much contact, but I went down. I didnt want to be in a situation where the ref thought it was a dive and then sent me off (for a second booking), but I didnt want him to think there was no contact because I did feel it.It wasnt much, but I understand why the referee didnt give it. There was contact, though, Ive no doubt about that. Maybe VAR would have cleared that up.Dallas fired wide shortly after, but that was the last clear chance for the hosts before Gnabry settled matters in stoppage time.Its a good sign coming out of a game thinking we definitely should have taken something from it, McNair added.It is definitely our best performance against them in recent meetings, but you cant help but feel it was a missed opportunity.But were still joint top of the group. I know we have three difficult games coming up, but we have to stay positive considering the position we have put ourselves in.(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 Ian Parker, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '45aa299a-f5cb-4948-9591-f8d790d8c449'); 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': 'We aren\u2019t going to be disheartened \u2013 McNair determined to remain upbeat'});

September 10th 2019, 5:52 pm

Williams feels at home with Charlton as his career gets back on track

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Jonny Williams believes he is back on track for club and country after injuries almost derailed his career.Williams made his first Wales start since Euro 2016 in Mondays 1-0 friendly victory over Belarus in Cardiff.That return to the international stage came after some impressive early-season form, which has helped surprise package Charlton to second spot in the Sky Bet Championship.I know I can play a lot better, but its just nice to be back out there again, said Williams, who has had two shoulder operations in the last two seasons after battling back from a broken leg and other nasty injuries earlier in his career.My two shoulder injuries have been very unfortunate.Its not as if Im a rugby player, but of course you use your shoulders a lot in football.It was hard to get back from them. But I feel fine now, Im pinned in and Im ready to go.The last couple of games are something to build on and hopefully I can stay fit.Williams was hailed as a star of the future when he emerged at Crystal Palace and the late Wales manager Gary Speed called him into his senior squad at the age of 17.But lengthy spells on the treatment table curtailed his progress and loan spells at Ipswich, Nottingham Forest, MK Dons and Sunderland failed to spark his early promise.It was not until Williams arrived at Charlton in January that his career began to move in an upward trajectory again, helping the Addicks win promotion through the League One play-offs.I feel at home there, Williams said. They welcomed me from another south London team and I wasnt sure how that would go down at the start.But Ive loved my time there and were flying.The staff whove put the team together with all the problems behind the scenes have done a fantastic job.Its probably the best togetherness of a team Ive been involved in at club level.The manager (Lee Bowyer) has helped to take me to the next level and work on my weaknesses. He was a big reason why I decided to stay this season.Williams won his 19th cap against Belarus, six and a half years after his first in a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win away to Scotland.It was the 25-year-olds first start since he lined up in the opening game of Euro 2016 against Slovakia in Bordeaux.I knew if I was in the Championship I was going to get a better chance of being back in the Welsh fold, Williams said.I feel at home in the Championship as Ive played most of my career there.Its a tough league, where everyone beats everyone.But hopefully I can play as many games as I can this season and work on my form in a Welsh shirt.(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, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'd67cd24a-f709-4614-8c17-e2f1b780e93f'); 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': 'Williams feels at home with Charlton as his career gets back on track'});

September 10th 2019, 5:52 pm

James Collins comes off bench to seal Ireland victory over Bulgaria

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James Collins enjoyed a dream Republic of Ireland debut as he came off the bench to seal a 3-1 friendly victory over Bulgaria.The Luton striker added his name to the score sheet with four minutes remaining as Mick McCarthys under-studies finally made the pressure tell with a late surge.Alan Browne and Kevin Long had both earlier scored first senior goals for their country either side of Ivelin Popovs 66th-minute penalty as Ireland hit three in a game for the first time since they beat Uruguay by the same score in June 2017.FT: Ireland 3-1 BulgariaGoals from Alan Browne, Kevin Long and a debut header from James Collins sees Ireland beat Bulgaria in @AVIVAStadium #IRLBUL #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/sYNHXx24MG FAIreland (@FAIreland) September 10, 2019There was an impressive debut from Charlton midfielder Josh Cullen, while Alan Judge and Browne got minutes into their legs on the international stage ahead of next months tricky Euro 2020 double-header in Georgia and Switzerland.McCarthy, who is now unbeaten in six games since launching his second spell in charge, will have to make at least one change in Tbilisi with full-back Enda Stevens suspended, although it is unlikely that anything he saw on Tuesday evening will present him with genuine selection dilemmas.He was as good as his word after promising to test the depth of his squad, making 10 changes from the side which drew 1-1 with the Swiss on Thursday evening, in the process handing senior debuts to 20-year-old Bournemouth keeper Mark Travers and Cullen.A night to remember for our five debutants#IRLBUL #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/xbyRog9ZWn FAIreland (@FAIreland) September 10, 2019Opposite number Krasimir Balakov gave a first international appearance to 37-year-old keeper Hristo Ivanov as he made nine changes to the team beaten 4-0 by England on Saturday, and he very nearly had two clearances charged down twice by striker Scott Hogan inside the opening five minutes.Nevertheless, it was the visitors who twice threatened from set-pieces during the early exchanges, Georgi Pashov forcing a regulation save from Travers and fellow defender Kristian Dimitrov heading over, both from Nikolay Dimitrov corners.Judge cleared Ivanovs crossbar with a header and then saw the keeper claim his deflected shot after good work by Hogan, Callum ODowda and Cyrus Christie, but despite their dominance in the middle of the pitch, McCarthys men were struggling to create meaningful openings.Your @ThreeIreland Man of the MatchJosh Cullen#IRLBUL #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/Codp4WpcS1 FAIreland (@FAIreland) September 10, 2019Cullen chased back to make a vital block and deny Daniel Mladenov after he broke clear 12 minutes before the break and Ronan Curtis drilled wide from distance at the other end eight minutes later.However, Hogan only just failed to get a foot to the Portsmouth midfielders cross on the stroke of half-time with Ivanov grateful to field the ball at the second attempt to preserve his clean sheet.With Browne sitting noticeably deeper at the start of the second half, Ireland pinned the visitors back deep inside their own half, but repeatedly squandered promising positions with poor final balls.Alan Browne celebrates his goal (Niall Carson/PA)Bulgaria responded and had skipper John Egan not been in the right place at the right time, Mladenov might have opened the scoring after controlling Ivan Goranovs pull-back and blasting against the defenders legs on the turn.But it was the Republic who took the lead with 56 minutes gone when Ivanovs night took a turn for the worse when he spilled Curtis dipping shot and Hogan fed the ball across goal for Browne to score.McCarthy swiftly handed first caps to Jack Byrne and Collins as Judge and Hogan made way, and the Shamrock Rovers midfielder whistled a 65th-minute shot wide.However, Bulgaria were handed a way back into the game with 24 minutes remaining when full-back Christie gifted possession to Goranov and he fed striker Bozhidar Kraev, who was tripped by Egan and Popov duly obliged from the spot.Their joy too was short-lived as Ireland got themselves out of jail when Long powered home Byrnes 83rd-minute corner and Collins converted fellow substitute Stevens cross three minutes later to win 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, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '1a8c4cd9-1937-48f2-9d0f-fefb566c62f8'); 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': 'James Collins comes off bench to seal Ireland victory over Bulgaria'});

September 10th 2019, 5:52 pm

Bodin’s men beaten heavily at home by Germany

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Wales Under-21s suffered a heavy 5-1 defeat at home to Germany to dent their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2021.Paul Bodins team were four goals down at half-time in the Group Nine encounter but did at least rally after the break.Euro 2019 runners-up Germany had to wait until the 19th minute to take the lead, when Robin Hack slid the ball into the bottom corner.After working hard to keep the visitors at bay, the floodgates were now open at Wrexhams Racecourse Ground the venue for Fridays impressive win over Belgium.Five minutes later and Vitaly Janelt found Hack and his shot deflected in off home defender Rhys Norrington-Davies.The Nurnberg forward completed a superb 11-minute hat-trick with 29 minutes on the clock when he headed home Nico Schlotterbecks cross.Wales punishment was not over there, though, as Schlotterberg again got forward well and found Johannes Eggestein to finish and make it 4-0 in the 41st minute.Bodins team, who had created chances in the first half, did make one count soon after the break when Wrexham loanee Mark Harris scored from the penalty spot in the 48th minute.Yet Germany soon got back on the goal trail and made it 5-1 two minutes later when Adrian Feins strike beat George Ratcliffe in the Welsh goal.The goalmouth action slowed afterwards and Bodin made a number of substitutions with Ryan Stirk, Aaron Lewis, Harry Clifton and Ollie Cooper entering the fray.No further goals were forthcoming for the crowd of 841 and Wales will hope for much better when they travel to Moldova next month.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b9b46a8c-9561-41ff-9ae2-3ef329de93d1'); 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': 'Bodin\u2019s men beaten heavily at home by Germany'});

September 10th 2019, 4:49 pm

Troy Parrett brace leads Republic of Ireland Under-21s to win in Sweden

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Tottenham striker Troy Parrott helped Republic of Ireland Under-21s earn a fine come-from-behind 3-1 victory in Sweden and keep them on track to qualify for Euro 2021.Behind at half time, Parrott was then introduced as a substitute and scored twice either side of Conor Mastersons header.Irelands third win in Group One sent them top and maintained their 100 per cent record.Manager Stephen Kenny produced a surprise with his team selection as Tottenham forward Parrott was only on the bench despite grabbing a debut goal against Armenia on Friday.Celtics Jonathan Afolabi was handed a starting role instead, but could only watch on as Sweden went ahead in the 18th minute.Sweden captain Mattias Svanberg curled home from 20 yards and left Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher with no chance.Ireland regrouped admirably and Dara OShea and Darragh Leavy saw headers saved from crosses before the 30-minute mark.Further chances were created before the break, but Aaron Connolly and Danny Mandriou were unable to level the scores and it stayed 1-0 at half time.Mandriou was forced off with an injury in the 51st minute and Parrott was handed another opportunity to impress.Ireland searched for an equaliser and thought they had it when Connolly was brought down inside the area and stepped up to take the penalty, but Watfords Pontus Dahlberg denied the Brighton forward from 12 yards.It was brief respite for Sweden, however, with the away side levelling six minutes later in the 69th minute.A ball into the area was only partially cleared and Spurs prospect Parrott was first to it and curled home for his second Under-21 goal.Kennys men were not content with only one point and pushed for all three with Adam Idah brought on and a second arrived with three minutes remaining.Liverpools Masterson headed into the corner to beat Dahlberg before Parrott chipped home in stoppage time for his second of the evening.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'c9d4314a-f608-4b90-8f70-d2a830740591'); 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': 'Troy Parrett brace leads Republic of Ireland Under-21s to win in Sweden'});

September 10th 2019, 3:05 pm

Jordan Stevens placed bet two days after FA gambling rules presentation

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Leeds midfielder Jordan Stevens placed a bet two days after a presentation from the Football Association over gambling rules, it has emerged.The 19-year-old has been given a six-week ban and a 1,200 fine after being charged with misconduct by the FA in relation to its betting regulations.Stevens admitted to placing 59 bets on football between August 2018 and May 2019 five of those involved games in which Leeds played.On Tuesday, the FA published the written reasons of the Independent Regulatory Commission following the hearing, which took place on August 30.In those, it was detailed how Stevens, who signed for Leeds on January 31 2018, had opened a Sky Bet account on August 6 and placed his first bet.The player confirmed he knew he was not permitted to bet on football under the FA rules and had attended an education presentation at Leeds on September 20 at which the betting regulations were discussed.It was also revealed Stevens had continued to bet after the seminar, with one placed, the Commission said, at a time when the education advice of the FA was still fresh in his mind, only two days later.As part of mitigation, Stevens said his friends back in Gloucester were involved in betting and influencing him to do the same.The total of the bets staked was described as modest at 510.12, with 23 being on games in competitions which Leeds were involved and five were on matches involving his own club, although he did not play in any of them.While the Commission found there was no evidence of actual impact on the games, betting on a match involving his own club meant that inevitably raises a concern and a perception to the public that may be adverse to the integrity of the game.Stevens joined Leeds from Forest Green and has made one first-team appearance for the club.His young age and difficulties with boredom, homesickness and anxiety were noted, with Leeds head of performance and medicine Rob Price saying in a witness statement that the player had struggled to integrate himself at the Yorkshire club, which is sponsored by gambling company 32Red.It was also further asserted that Stevens was heavily influenced by the presence of the gambling industry in football. The Commission stated while that is inevitably the case, the rules against betting are perfectly clear and Stevens was perfectly well aware of them.The Commission added that betting on his own club after the FAs presentation demonstrates a wilful disregard for the rules.The ban is on all footballing activity which means Stevens is unable to train with Leeds during that period or interact with players or the coaching staff a move the club has called excessive and a disproportionate punishment.However, in the written reasons, the Commission said it could not ignore the substantial aggravating feature of JS (Stevens) continuing to bet in full knowledge of the rules.The Commission added: In our judgement, on the particular facts of this case, that can only be achieved by an immediate sporting sanction and a financial penalty.Leeds have reiterated their stance in supporting their player and chief executive Angus Kinnear expressed his disappointment at Stevens suspension. The decision is subject to any appeal.Whilst we fully recognise the importance of the FAs role in protecting the integrity of the game, we are hugely disappointed in the FAs choice of sanction, said Kinnear, in a statement on Leeds website.To prevent a young footballer from taking part in any football activities at such a critical period of his career is a disproportionate punishment following a foolish mistake from a young player.We are particularly disappointed that the sanction was determined by two former professional footballers who we hoped would have had a better understanding of the impact of their decision.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '42784351-fc86-4120-9eca-05b58e9e097c'); 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': 'Jordan Stevens placed bet two days after FA gambling rules presentation'});

September 10th 2019, 3:05 pm

Moritz Bauer surprised by apology phone call from Jordan Jones

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Celtic right-back Moritz Bauer admits he was surprised to receive a phone call from Rangers winger Jordan Jones apologising for a derby foul.Jones was sent off for a wild swipe on Bauer in the final seconds of Celtics 2-0 Ibrox win on September 1.But Bauer escaped without any lasting damage while Jones suffered a knee injury which ruled him out of the Northern Ireland squad.The on-loan Stoke player, who made his Celtic debut off the bench at Ibrox, said: I didnt feel it that bad on the pitch, I just felt it was a foul, and after the red card I was a bit surprised. But on the TV it looks like a bad tackle.I felt it was a bit of frustration at the end of the game. I didnt feel it was like a personal attack. It was a badly-timed tackle and luckily I didnt injure myself.Unfortunately he caught himself a bit but I didnt feel it that bad, and the day after we spoke as well, which I really, really appreciate.So there is no bad feeling at all. Its normal, every player knows it can be dramatic or emotional on the pitch.I didnt feel like he tried to injure me, it was just a bit of frustration about the result.These things happen. I wish nobody had been hurt. Its part of a derby.When asked if he was surprised by the call from his rival, Bauer said: Because I didnt injure myself, I didnt expect it, so it was a very positive surprise. Also its a big compliment to him, its very fair play.He asked how I felt and whether he caught me badly, and he apologised for the tackle.He didnt want to catch me, it was nothing personal, it was just an act of emotion and a bit of frustration.These things happen, it shouldnt happen but its not the first time in a football game someone got a red card for a badly-timed tackle. So we spoke and we are all good, no bad feelings at all.Bauer was delighted to play his part in a significant after coming on for the injured Nir Bitton midway through the second half.Luckily I have had quite exciting debuts, he said. Even with Stoke, my first game was at Old Trafford. I think its meant to be that my first game is always quite a big game.Because of the great team spirit and the trust and faith the gaffer shows in all the players, and the atmosphere we created, I really felt like a part of the team.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'adc72a6d-0fc8-44a0-87ad-7f1eec096db6'); 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': 'Moritz Bauer surprised by apology phone call from Jordan Jones'});

September 10th 2019, 2:48 pm

Spirited Northern Ireland Under-21s earn draw in Finland

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Northern Ireland Under-21s battled to a hard-fought 1-1 draw away to Finland in the second match of their Euro 2021 qualifying campaign.After a frustrating goalless draw at home to Malta on Friday, Ian Baracloughs team had to settle for another point, but produced a spirited display to earn reward from this Group Eight fixture.Finland, fresh from a 2-0 win over Ukraine last weekend, only needed four minutes to open the scoring in Oulu and at that point it looked set to be a long night for the visitors.Northern Ireland captain and goalkeeper Conor Hazard made a fine save, but Onni Valakari was on hand to fire in the rebound.It failed to deter Baracloughs side and Stoke midfielder Jake Dunwoody went close to equalising with an effort which hit the post before the away team did level.William Jaaskelainen, son of former Bolton stopper Jussi, denied Ethan Galbraith, but Lewis Thompson forced the ball home in the 35th minute on his second competitive appearance for the Under-21s.The goalscorer was replaced at the break by Kyle McLean before Northern Ireland pressed for a second goal.Finland remained a threat, though, and away skipper Hazard was called into action to deny Saku Ylatupa from a dangerous position in the 55th minute.Both sides were pushing for the pivotal third goal of the game now and Jaaskelainen ensured Dunwoody did not grab it with a great save.Northern Ireland manager Baraclough then made two more changes with Jack Scott and Cameron Palmer introduced in the 70th minute.Callum Ferris joined them on the pitch with 14 minutes left and Finlands Valakari was presented with a chance soon after, but saw his effort go wide.It would prove the final genuine opportunity of the Group Eight encounter and means Northern Ireland remain unbeaten after two games, with a tally of two points ahead of trips to Denmark and Romania next month.(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 PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '7adc1124-0101-4c4e-a4fd-299f47f60547'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,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': 'Spirited Northern Ireland Under-21s earn draw in Finland'});

September 10th 2019, 2:36 pm
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