Day One at the 2004 Australia Cup was…very testing. An early start compounded by lightning, thunder, hail and driving rain and what I believe were gale-force winds was…interesting. While I normally enjoy a day of good solid winter weather with a bit of storm action, today was not really the ideal day for it. With the wind sending people running to stop team tents from blowing away and the photographer cringing when his camera crashed to the ground, the players took the fields for the first day of matches. A visit from ASDA (Australian Sports Drug Agency) to do some random testing, was a timely reminder for all players about the importance of returning the required ASDA forms and following the ASDA guidelines and requirements that apply to all players. While the weather cleared a little over lunchtime, the afternoon was twice as bad. Our afternoon stroll to the shops for some lunch turned more into a fight for survival against wind and rain threatening to send us flying across the fields and into the ocean. (okay, maybe I’m being a little melodramatic, but credit needs to be given to the players, coaches, selectors and referees braving the conditions.) Markers, jackets, tents, flags and hats were flying left, right and centre, but the competition went on (minus tournament director Jon Pratt who was last seen past the trees, down the creek, looking for those missing field markers.) Last year’s Men’s Champions, the ACT, fought out a tough 6-6 draw with Tasmania, signaling a tight tournament for the Men. They finished strongly with a 6-3 win over SA and an easy win over the Victorian 30’s. Tasmania also finished well after the first day, a 6-5 win The Victorian 23’s laid down the challenge to their Open Men before going down 6-3 in a good match. The SA Men started the tournament well with a 13-2 win over NSW Country and a 10-4 win over the Victorian 23’s. While the Senior teams will play all teams in the round matches, they will have their own finals series and it already looks as though it will be tightly fought between the Victoria, NSW Country and Elwood Park senior sides. In the Women’s division it was last year’s Champions, Victoria, who had a strong round one win, 10-0 over the Elwood Park Seniors (EPTA Seniors). They continued to establish themselves with another 9-2 win over the ACT. The NSW Women look like they will challenge the Victorian Women after a 7-4 win over SA. A bye on the first day meant not a lot was seen of the NSW Country Women. The NSW Country 23’s will no doubt be very tough to beat with their side including several past and present Australia representatives. They started the tournament with two easy wins 11-2 over Vic 23’s and 12-0 over the EPTA Seniors. Tomorrow certainly promises another day of great competition. The SportingPulse draw, results and statistics can be found using the following link: AUSTRALIA CUP DRAW AND RESULTS 2004 All Australia Cup stories can also be found on the ATA Australia Cup homepage. AUSTRALIA CUP HOMEPAGE 2004 By Rachel Moyle, firstname.lastname@example.org
Man Utd tell Solskjaer plans to bring in four new signingsby Paul Vegas15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United have told Ole Gunnar Solskjaer they plan to bring in four new signings next year.United have struggled to score goals this season and The Times says the board is willing to remain patient with Solskjaer as they acknowledge the scale of the task at hand in rebuilding his squad.The Norwegian has held meetings with the club’s hierarchy and they will be looking to make four signings next year, including a centre forward.United made three signings this summer, with Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James heading to Old Trafford. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
A dreadful 0-0 Premier League draw between Newcastle United and Fulham gave Claudio Ranieri’s bottom-of-the-table side their first clean sheet of the season.Saturday’s match at St James’ Park saw neither side create a clear goalscoring opportunity, with the defensive improvement for Fulham one positive to emerge, after they failed to shut out an opponent over the first 17 games of the campaign.Newcastle continue to struggle at home and in general in front of goal, but do at least extend their advantage over the bottom three to five points after Burnley’s defeat at Arsenal. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Against his former club, Aleksandar Mitrovic had an early shot saved by Martin Dubravka, before a Jamaal Lascelles header bounced off the striker at the other end and was hacked away from the line by Denis Odoi.Dubravka gathered Jean Michael Seri’s free-kick towards the end of a drab first half where neither side looked likely to score.Mitrovic sent a poor finish straight at Dubravka just after the restart, while Salomon Rondon had a penalty claim turned down after being bundled over by Alfie Mawson.The first substitution did not come until Rafael Benitez introduced Kenedy with 18 minutes remaining, and the wing-back had another home penalty appeal denied after tussling with Joe Bryan.Fabian Schar then sent a header just over, but Fulham came closest to a late winner as Mitrovic, fed by Aboubakar Kamara, had an effort dramatically blocked by a sliding Lascelles, the visitors’ claims for handball ignored at the end of a second period that saw neither keeper troubled.FULL-TIME Newcastle 0-0 FulhamNothing to separate the sides as Fulham remain rooted to the bottom#NEWFUL pic.twitter.com/J0YxIzajVh— Premier League (@premierleague) December 22, 2018 What does it mean? A result for Fulham to build on While they offered little going forward in this game, Fulham have at least shown earlier in the season that they can be a threat in attack.It is their defensive woes that have cost them up to now, and a first clean sheet will come as a huge boost to Ranieri ahead of the busy festive schedule.Newcastle are the second-lowest scorers in the league with 14 from 18 games, and have only won two of their 10 home matches in the top flight. They are both issues Benitez must address with the help of some much-needed January additions after a game that saw them fail to register an attempt on target.Fulham back three deliversMawson, Odoi and Tim Ream combined to make 20 clearances as they adequately dealt with what was often a direct Newcastle approach, reaching an important defensive milestone in the process. Mawson particularly deserves credit, having battled on to complete the game despite being on the receiving end of an inadvertent punch to the face from his own goalkeeper Sergio Rico in the first half.Poor Perez must do moreAyoze Perez feels it is unfair that he receives criticism from the Newcastle support, but it is hard to argue his case after this game. Despite playing the full 90 minutes, he failed to register a shot on goal or create a single chance for his team-mates.Key Opta Facts- Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has yet to lose a home Premier League game against Fulham (W4 D4), with his teams keeping a clean sheet in each of the last six meetings.- Fulham have kept their first clean sheet in the Premier League in 22 games, since winning 1-0 against Norwich City in April 2014.- Fulham have won just their second away point in their last 12 outings in the Premier League (D2 L10).What’s next?Newcastle have an attractive-looking festive fixture away to league leaders Liverpool on December 26, the same day as Fulham hope to build on this result as they host Wolves. read more
Rafael Benitez was disappointed with aspects of Newcastle United’s performance in the 0-0 home Premier League draw with Fulham, but questioned whether his side should have been rated as big favourites.Newcastle failed to register a shot on target for a game they were widely tipped to win against Claudio Ranieri’s bottom-of-the-table visitors, who kept their first clean sheet of the season.Benitez felt it was a “tense” atmosphere with his players expected to triumph, but was keen to point out Fulham’s quality as well as the fact his team are collecting consistent points, 15 having been earned from their last nine matches. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “Sometimes it can be tense at home, when they say you have to win the game, but Fulham spent a lot of money in the summer,” he said to BBC Sport.”They are bottom but have a good team. They are organised, they had five at the back and were dangerous on the counter-attack.”It’s disappointing because we were expected to get the three points, but now we’ve taken four points from two games. It’s not ideal but we are getting points.”Newcastle extended their advantage over the bottom three to five points despite the poor display, Aleksandar Mitrovic coming closest to scoring by forcing a dramatic last-ditch block from Jamaal Lascelles with two minutes left.Benitez added: “During the game I was not happy with some situations and decisions. The worst thing is that, in a game we could win, where we were pushing and had control, we could have lost it in the last counter-attack.”It’s good that we didn’t lose but the negative is that we gave Fulham those situations to score and were a bit lucky in the end.”FULL-TIME: Newcastle United 0 Fulham 0It finishes goalless at St. James’ Park on a frustrating afternoon for the Magpies. Reaction to follow at https://t.co/6wuhjKS0XX. #NUFC pic.twitter.com/bwifnaSW6u— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) December 22, 2018Ranieri, meanwhile, hailed a key step as Fulham finally kept one of their opponents out after switching to a back five.”It is very important for us,” he said. “First half maybe we created more play and had possession well, but they had a very big chance.”Second half we lost control and they were dangerous, but we had four or five chances on the counter-attack, so at the end I’m happy because every point we achieve is good.”It’s the first time I’ve tried to play with three centre-backs and the players responded well. They were very solid against a physical team.”Alfie Mawson, one of the three centre-backs, was glad to get a clean sheet in the bag.”It’s a relief,” he said. “We were very resilient, especially in the second half. “We’ve been working hard defensively all week and now we can build on that. Hopefully it’s the start of something good. We haven’t been good enough but since the gaffer’s come on we’ve been improving.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo as Ernesto Valverde’s side restored their three-point lead at the summit of LaLiga.With Atletico Madrid having won earlier in the day to move level at the top, Barca reasserted their authority as first-half goals from Ousmane Dembele and Messi paved the way for a routine victory at Camp Nou.Messi was again at the heart of the hosts’ best play, his shot being parried to the feet of the grateful Dembele to apply the finish inside the opening 10 minutes. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The Argentina star got in on the act himself in the final minute of the first half as Barca all but sealed the points before the interval.Barca quickly seized the initiative as Dembele pounced to nutmeg Ruben Blanco after the goalkeeper had kept out Messi’s low drive. The visitors narrowly escaped further punishment when Blanco rushed out to thwart Dembele, with Jordi Alba turning the loose ball towards goal where Nestor Araujo was on hand to intervene. Marc-Andre ter Stegen was finally called into action in the 24th minute and the Barca keeper proved equal to Maxi Gomez’s effort. Messi doubled Barca’s lead late in the half, calmly finishing from the edge of the box after Alba’s searching pass had left Celta exposed. Telepathy The Messi-Alba Connection!#BarçaCelta pic.twitter.com/uKYPPnN2WE— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) December 22, 2018Luis Suarez proved uncharacteristically wasteful when presented with a glorious chance to put the game to bed just past the hour mark, the forward shooting wide of the target with only Blanco to beat.Blanco had stay sharp to deny Messi a second in a brief goalmouth scramble while Celta, despite enjoying more of the ball, continued to struggle in the final third.Brais Mendez’s effort had Ter Stegen diving low to his left, but that save was as comfortable as Barca’s whole evening had been. What does it mean? Barca go clear againBarca did not seem to take too kindly to having company at the top of the table after being joined there by Atletico, but this win restored their cushion and provided a fitting end to the year. Celta, meanwhile, remain mid-table.Magnificent Messi does it againHaving played a significant role in the opener, Messi got himself on the scoresheet before the break in a display that highlighted just what a threat he is, cementing his spot at the top of the LaLiga scoring charts.Suarez outshoneSuarez was as industrious as he always is, but while Dembele and Messi both found the back of the net, the Uruguay international’s finishing was wayward, failing to find the target with two attempts at goal. Key Opta Facts:- Messi has reached 15+ goals in LaLiga for each of the last 11 seasons.- Barcelona have scored 102 league goals in 2018, more than any other team in the top five European leagues.- Messi has scored 47 goals in 49 games in 2018 in all competitions, more than any other player from those five divisions.- Barcelona have kept four consecutive clean sheets in LaLiga for the first time since January.- Valverde has not lost any of his 16 games as a head coach against Celta in LaLiga (W11 D5).What’s next?The two sides can enjoy a festive break now and will return to action in January, with Barca heading to Getafe in their first game of 2019, while Celta host Athletic Bilbao. read more
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told his players to “be Manchester United” before their rousing 5-1 win against Cardiff on Saturday.Jesse Lingard scored twice to add to goals from Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial at the Cardiff City Stadium as United put on an electrifying performance to blow away the cobwebs that had collected during the final sorry weeks of Jose Mourinho’s reign.Caretaker boss Solskjaer, installed until the end of the season after the Portuguese was sacked on Tuesday, restored Paul Pogba to the starting line-up after the World Cup winner was left out of Mourinho’s team for last weekend’s 3-1 capitulation to Liverpool, and he wasted little time in re-finding the form that once made him the most expensive player in world football. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? And the Norwegian revealed after the game that he has received advice from United’s record goal-scorer Wayne Rooney on how to re-ignite the attacking energy that been lost under the Portuguese.“Football is easy if you’ve got good players,” Solskjaer told BT Sport . “They are a great bunch of players and their quality is unbelievable.”I arrived on Wednesday night and only had Thursday and Friday with the players. Wayne Rooney texted me and gave me some advice – so it must be down to him! He told me to make them play football, enjoy themselves and be Manchester United.”United impressed on all fronts going forward, and their dominance was threatened only briefly when Victor Camasara’s penalty pegged them back to 2-1 midway through the first half.It was in stark contrast to the lifelessness of the team’s final performances under Mourinho – United had gone into the game with the fewest goals scored of any side in the top six and more goals conceded than 15th-place Newcastle.”We had a session yesterday about patterns of play and we wanted Ashley Young and Luke Shaw to push on more,” said Solskjaer. “It worked out well today.”Your work-rate is the easiest thing to work on. It is free. It is the attitude and application of the boys.”If we approach all the games like this – and we want them to approach them all like this – with combination play and playing the ball forward then I’ll be happy.”The foundation was in the defending today. I thought the two centre-backs and two full-backs were brilliant today.”
Santiago Solari shared the credit for Real Madrid’s record-breaking Club World Cup triumph with former head coach Zinedine Zidane.Solari, the replacement for Zidane’s short-lived successor Julen Lopetegui, led Madrid to their first title under his stewardship with a 4-1 win over Al Ain in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.Victory means Madrid have won the tournament three years in a row and their fourth triumph in the competition moves them clear of rivals Barcelona as the Club World Cup’s most successful team. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Solari, though, was quick to pile praise on Zidane, who surprisingly stood down in the wake of winning Madrid’s third consecutive Champions League crown at the end of the 2017-18 season.”We are happy, these players deserve it, they have come here after a lot of work and a lot of wins,” Solari told TVE.”We put a finishing touch to that third consecutive Champions League, it is a feat of the club, this group and other coaches.”We are also here thanks to Zidane. It will be difficult to match in the future.”Listen to what goalscorer @lukamodric10 said after helping us become WORLD CHAMPIONS! #RMCWC pic.twitter.com/oO6FTjYLCI— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) December 22, 2018Marcos Llorente was among Madrid’s goalscorers in the final, the 23-year-old midfielder scoring his first goal as a professional with a half-volley from the edge of the penalty area.Llorente was overlooked throughout Zidane’s reign but has grown into a key role since Solari took charge, following Lopetegui’s sacking after just four months in charge.”They are all Madrid players and they all work to be able to do what they do in the field,” Solari said. “Marcos has always worked a lot, and he deserves the credit.”A first trophy for Santiago Solari as @realmadriden manager #ClubWC pic.twitter.com/cogKjGUgyy— #ClubWC (@FIFAcom) December 22, 2018Solari’s opposite number Zoran Mamic felt a gruelling Club World Cup campaign caught up with his tired Al Ain side in the final.”The first thing is to congratulate Real Madrid because they deservedly won it, with good football,” he said.”We have not been able to compete, it’s the fourth game in days and that has weighed on us. We had a great tournament, nobody thought we were going to get here.”We had opportunities in the first half, but we missed them and at this level we pay when Real Madrid are in front.”We would have liked to have more days of rest, but everything is set up and we cannot say anything, I sincerely believe that we have done a good job.”
Franck Ribery became the oldest Bayern Munich player to score more than one goal in a Bundesliga game after he netted twice in a 3-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.Aged 35 years and 259 days, the former France international slotted in Bayern’s opener midway through the first half before adding a second with a scuffed finish late on.Saturday’s performance could have been even more memorable for Ribery, had Robert Lewandowski not failed to control the veteran’s pass at the culmination of a superb run. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Bayern’s win was capped off in style in the 89th minute with Rafinha’s fortuitous effort making it 3-0, which also brought up a record for coach Niko Kovac.2 – @FranckRibery is the oldest player of @FCBayernEN (35 years, 259 days) to score more than one goal in a Bundesliga game. Grandseigneur. #SGEFCB pic.twitter.com/g2zyFpL2O7— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) December 22, 2018The Bundesliga champions have now won their last five league fixtures, and it is the first time Kovac – in his either his playing or managerial career – has claimed five successive wins in Germany’s top division.This recent spell of good form has also served to remove some of the pressure off the coach’s back, following reports that his job might be on the line following a disastrous start to Bayern’s Bundesliga defence.Die Roten lost three of their first 11 league outings, including a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund that helped BVB set a commanding lead at the summit.The victory means Bayern end 2018 six points behind leaders Dortmund, and three above third-place Borussia Monchengladbach.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has admitted that former star Cristiano Ronaldo is “irreplaceable” at the club, but challenged his team-mates to pick up the baton in the wake of the Portuguese’s exit.The 33-year-old left Madrid for Juventus in July following a long and illustrious career with Los Blancos, with his departure coinciding with the exit of manager Zinedine Zidane.While the Champions League holders subsequently struggled to cope, with former Spain boss Julen Lopetegui fired following only a few months at the helm as the Frenchman’s replacement, they have since stabilised since Santiago Solari took the helm. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The former academy coach secured his first trophy this weekend with a 4-1 win over Al Ain in the Club World Cup final on Saturday, to ensure silverware for another season.Speaking to reporters, goalkeeper Courtois, who joined ahead of the campaign from Premier League giants Chelsea, stated that he believes it is up to the other key forwards to carry the goalscoring burden going forward.Karim Benzema has managed 11 so far this season, with Welshman Gareth Bale overcoming a rough patch to sit one behind that tally with 10.“Cristiano Ronaldo is irreplaceable, you cannot forget what he did,” Courtois said.“But he is not here anymore, so it’s time for other players, like Bale did in the semi-finals [of the Club World Cup], to score the goals he [Ronaldo] used to score.“If we are able to do so, it’ll be fine.”Madrid’s victory over Al Ain assured them a third successive Club World Cup title in a row and means that the trophy will return to Spain for the fifth time in a row.Los Blancos previously defeated Japan’s Kashima Antlers in 2016 and Brazil’s Gremio in 2017, following their respective Champions League triumphs.They also claimed the crown in 2014, against Argentina’s San Lorenzo, while rivals Barcelona prevailed victoriously in 2015 against River Plate.Solari’s side sit fourth in La Liga, eight points behind the Catalan club, though they do have a game in hand.They do not play again until 2019 though, when they make the trip to Villarreal on January 3.
Bayern Munich are leading the race to sign Chelsea attacker Callum Hudson-Odoi, but Goal understands the Bundesliga champions could face competition from Borussia Dortmund, who have also shown an interest in the 18-year-old.Hudson-Odoi is a valued asset at Stamford Bridge, but the youngster is questioning his long-term future at the club despite his age, having earned only two competitive starts under Maurizio Sarri this season.Chelsea are still hopeful that they can tie down the forward to a new five-year contract, as previously revealed by Goal, but a serious offer from a big overseas club could tempt the Blues to cash in on a player who is eager for playing time and out of contract in 18 months.Dortmund’s approach for Hudson-Odoi came during Chelsea’s talks with the club over Christian Pulisic’s availability, with the German side’s offer of a swap deal rejected by the Blues as they aim to tempt the player to put pen to paper on a new deal in January. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? It is understood that Bayern have a clear plan set out to bring the England youth to the Allianz Arena, the Bavarians eager to add some youth to their forward line as veteran wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben enter the final years of their career.Juventus and Real Madrid also retain an interest in Hudson-Odoi, who brought himself to the attention of clubs all around Europe since helping Chelsea’s academy team to a stunning quadruple in the 2017-18 season.The Blues are also keen to hold on to goalkeeper Marcin Bulka, who is regarded as the best young shot-stopper currently on the London club’s books.They have, however, already cemented deals for fellow keepers Nathan Baxter and Jamie Cumming to ensure talent continues to come through between the sticks.
Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko has claimed he never considered leaving the club, despite struggling to make an impact during his first two seasons.Sissoko joined Tottenham on deadline day in August 2016, having been on the verge of a move to Everton before Spurs secured his signing from Newcastle United for a reported £30 million ($38m).The midfielder initially failed to cement a place in Mauricio Pochettino’s side and was often criticised by Tottenham’s fans following the big-money move, but he has become a first-team regular this term. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Sissoko has revealed that, despite his struggles, he never considered pushing for a move away from Tottenham.”The best thing I have done is to be strong mentally.” he told the Guardian. “I never give up. In life, you never have to go with your head down. You have to look forward, try to improve, keep fighting and one day things will change.”I never wanted to leave Spurs. I knew that I could have success here.”I don’t know if the criticism was unfair. Football is like that. It’s why I wasn’t upset by it. I was upset because I wasn’t doing what I wanted to be doing. “I had to keep working and I believe I can do better than what I am doing now.”This one is for our fansLet’s go to the semi finals ! #COYS #MS17 #CarabaoCup pic.twitter.com/f1JfMj1ehb— Moussa Sissoko (@MoussaSissoko) December 19, 2018Sissoko signed for Tottenham on the back of an impressive string of performances in France’s run to the final of Euro 2016, but the 29-year-old missed out on Didier Deschamps’ squad for Les Bleus’ triumphant World Cup 2018 campaign.”I won’t lie and say it wasn’t painful not to be part of the squad,” Sissoko said. “So it was extra motivation to perform and show I could be in the squad. I played a lot of games with them and then not to be in the World Cup – it was painful.”But it’s like that. I’m not regretting. It’s gone. You have to accept the manager has made his choice, and I was very happy when they won.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Leeds can go back to the top of the Championship on Sunday if they overcome Aston Villa away from home.Marcelo Bielsa’s side have won all of their last five Championship outings but find themselves heading to Villa Park looking up at Norwich, who defeated Blackburn thanks to a late Teemu Pukki strike on Saturday.In Birmingham, they will find themselves up against a Villa side who are seven undefeated and with a habit of being involved in exciting, high-scoring games. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Game Aston Villa vs Leeds Date Sunday, December 23 Time 1:30pm GMT / 8:30am ET TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be streamed via ESPN+. US TV channel Online stream N/A ESPN+ In the UK, the game will be shown on Sky Sports Football and Main Event and can be streamed through the Sky Go app. UK TV channel Online stream Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event Sky Go Squads & Team News Position Aston Villa players Goalkeepers Nyland, Moreira, Bunn Defenders Chester, Tuanzebe, Richards, Taylor, Elmohamady, Bree, Hatton Midfielders Jedinak, Whelan, Hourihane, McGinn, Lansbury, Bjarnason, Grealish Forwards Bolasie, El Ghazi, Adomah, Abraham, Kodjia, Hogan, Davis, Hepburn-Murphy Villa go into Sunday’s match without key midfielder Jack Grealish or fellow midfielder Birkir Bjarnason.Meanwhile, Dean Smith will have to monitor a number of players in the build up to kick off. Neil Taylor and James Bree are doubts in the defence, while midfielders Henri Lansbury, Mile Jedinak and Albert Adomah are all concerns.Goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic will join up with the squad in January after his signing from Gent was confirmed.Possible Aston Villa starting XI: Nyland; Elmohamady, Chester, Tuanzebe, Hutton; McGinn, Hourihane, Whelan, Bolasie, El Ghazi; Abraham Position Leeds players Goalkeepers Peacock-Farrell, Huffer Defenders Douglas, Ayling, Cooper, Jansson, Pearce, Phillips, Berardi, Shaughnessy, Halme Midfielders Forshaw, Dallas, Hernandez, Baker, Klich, Shackleton, Harrison, Brown Forwards Roofe, Alioski, Roberts, Saiz, Bamford, Clarke, Harrison Leeds’ squad is hit by a number of absentees, which could pose issues in the busy festive period.The defence is the area of the squad worst hit, with Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi ruled out along with Conor Shaughnessy. In the midfield, Stuart Dallas is sidelined while Samuel Saiz has agreed to join Getafe and will train with the Spanish club before the move is formalised. Izzy Brown is set to miss out for a month with a thigh problem.Luke Ayling will return to the team after a couple of months out with Marcelo Bielsa stating he will “probably be a starter”.Possible Leeds starting XI: Peacock-Farrell; Ayling, Jansson, Philips, Douglas; Baker, Klich, Forshaw, Alioski, Hernandez; RoofeBetting & Match Odds Aston Villa are 6/4 favourites to win the match at bet365 . Leeds can be backed at 15/8, while a draw is priced at 13/5.Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more . Match Preview After an absence of 15 years, Leeds United are finally making a strong move to return to the Premier League under the guidance of Marcelo Bielsa. The Argentine has guided them to five successive Championship victories and the top of the table, but on Saturday they lost their status as they were not in action. Less than 24 hours after they were pushed off first place by Norwich, they have the opportunity to regain it, albeit against an Aston Villa side in good form.Injuries have hampered the plans of Bielsa and the Lilywhites in recent times, but they have not stopped the Elland Road side’s impressive momentum, which has made the manager something of a cult hero at the club.“I am thankful, it is important for me the feeling they give to the club, but they give me an importance that I think I don’t deserve,” he said ahead of this encounter. “Affection is the maximum aspiration for a human being. When you receive affection, it is something you are very thankful for. In this case though, I don’t think I deserve the recognition I am getting.”New Aston Villa boss Dean Smith will enjoy similar recognition if he keeps the team on an upward course in the table, with his side consistently one of the most entertaining to watch in the league, with an astonishing 77 goals coming from their 22 matches to date.“I think it will be one hell of a good game because both teams play in the same manner,” he predicted. Victory would lift Villa to seventh in the standings and within touching distance of the playoff positions for the first time since a 4-1 loss to Sheffield United on September 1.
Son Heung-Min surpassed 50 goal involvements for Tottenham in the Premier League as Christmas came early for Mauricio Pochettino’s men at Everton.The South Korea international netted a double for Spurs and laid on another for Harry Kane as the visitors ran out 6-2 victors at Goodison Park.Kane netted a double of his own, with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen capping off the final win which takes the north Londoners within six points of leaders Liverpool. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? But thrusting themselves into the title picture was not the only achievement to take from the afternoon on Merseyside.Twenty-six-year-old Son led the way with two goals and an assist, meaning he has contributed to 51 goals in the English top flight since arriving from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2015.In 112 appearances, Son has scored 35 times and laid on 16 for his Tottenham teammates, to underline his status as a front-line star of Pochettino’s side.That was not the end of the landmarks reached by Tottenham’s players on a thoroughly successful weekend, as they extended their lead over fourth place Chelsea to five points.England captain Kane went to 11 Premier League goals for the season, scoring in the ninth different match of the 2018-19 campaign.Only Mohamed Salah of league leaders Liverpool has netted in as many separate games this term.4 – Harry Kane has become only the second player to score 2+ goals in four consecutive Premier League appearances against a single opponent, after Michael Owen against Newcastle United (Aug 1998 to May 2001). Bracing. #EVETOT pic.twitter.com/4auUYAG3so— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 23, 2018Furthermore, the former Millwall and Leicester loanee became only the second player to score two or more goals in four consecutive top flight appearances against a single opponent.Only Michael Owen’s run against Newcastle during his days with Liverpool rivals the latest record registered by Kane.9 – This is the 9th different Premier League match that Harry Kane has scored in during 2018-19; the most in the competition alongside Mohamed Salah. Collection. pic.twitter.com/FpPona5BsF— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 23, 2018Goal of the afternoon went to Eriksen, whose rasping strike extinguished any hope of a second half Everton comeback.And since the Denmark international arrived in England in August 2013, no player has scored more goals from outside the penalty area in the Premier League.17 – Only Coutinho (18) has scored more goals from outside the box in the Premier League than Christian Eriksen (17) since his debut in September 2013. Range. #EVETOT pic.twitter.com/f6CYahIUWP— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 23, 2018He surpassed Philippe Coutinho with his 18th goal from range, as Tottenham kicked off the festive period in ideal fashion.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told his players to run more and be more dangerous in attack after arriving at Manchester United, Nemanja Matic has revealed.Solskjaer was appointed as interim boss at Old Trafford after Jose Mourinho was sacked on Tuesday, and got off to an emphatic start by beating Cardiff City 5-1 in his opening game.The players had come under criticism for a lack of effort under their former manager, with some critics claiming Mourinho had lost the support of the dressing room. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? United had renewed energy on Saturday though, and Solskjaer was pleased with how the players implemented his ideas.Speaking to reporters after the game, Matic said of the Norwegian: “He is only two days with us but we had a few meetings. He said we need to play more forward, to be more dangerous in attack, to run more, to compete with everything and that’s exactly what we did today and we are happy because of that.”Matic was signed by United in 2017 from Chelsea for £40 million ($50m), and had previously won a Premier League title under Mourinho at Chelsea.The midfielder was then singled out by his manager last season as one of the few United players to be putting in consistent performances.Matic was a key reason United secured a second-place finish in the Premier League that campaign, and he defended Mourinho after the club’s worst start to a season for 28 years.”This is football,” he continued. “In football, this happens. We know, also, it’s not only the manager’s fault that results are not good but this is football and we have to carry on and to fight for the club.””I said after the Liverpool game we also needed to take responsibility and to do our best to play better and to win games.”United face Huddersfield Town at home on Boxing Day next time out as Solskjaer aims for a win on his Old Trafford debut as manager.They then clash with Bournemouth before a trip to Newcastle United to round off the festive period. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Mr. Holness said that in order to reduce the level of criminal activity, the Government “has passed a groundbreaking piece of legislation, which, with others to come and other initiatives to be announced, will, for the first time since our independence, empower the Government to confront the breakdown in law and order and public safety, and return Jamaica to a safe and secure place of choice”. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is committed to transforming the nation into a peaceful and orderly society, with access to world-class education and training, and high-quality healthcare.He also emphasised that this would include sustained and inclusive economic growth, job and wealth creation, and an end to poverty, particularly inter-generational poverty.Addressing a Jamaica 55 Independence Gala at the New York Hilton in Manhattan on August 26, the Prime Minister noted that a major challenge to Jamaica’s development and job creation remains citizen security.Mr. Holness said that in order to reduce the level of criminal activity, the Government “has passed a groundbreaking piece of legislation, which, with others to come and other initiatives to be announced, will, for the first time since our independence, empower the Government to confront the breakdown in law and order and public safety, and return Jamaica to a safe and secure place of choice”.The Prime Minister was referring to the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act.Passed in Parliament recently, the legislation seeks to contain crime while safeguarding the human rights of residents and promoting community development through social-intervention initiatives.The Prime Minister can only declare an area a zone of special operations after the Chief of Defence Staff and the Commissioner of Police, as members of the National Security Council, have advised him so to do in writing.Mr. Holness said the Government will continue to engage members of the diaspora in the effort to secure sustained growth and development.“I am very cognisant of the fact that you, our diaspora members, are amongst our best assets, and are indeed our national treasures,” the Prime Minister said.The Prime Minister commended members of the diaspora for their overwhelming support of the recently held Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference in Kingston.He noted that some 60 per cent of the attendees were first-time conference participants, which indicated that the Government’s reach continues to expand.At the function, the Prime Minister received the 2017 Award for Distinguished Leadership from the diaspora.Also receiving awards were former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, for his service to nation building; and former NBA player, Patrick Ewing, who received the ‘Son of the Soil’ Legacy award. Addressing a Jamaica 55 Independence Gala at the New York Hilton in Manhattan on August 26, the Prime Minister noted that a major challenge to Jamaica’s development and job creation remains citizen security. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is committed to transforming the nation into a peaceful and orderly society, with access to world-class education and training, and high-quality healthcare. Story Highlights
APTN National NewsAPTN reporter Jorge Barrera was on the scene when hundreds were injured Sunday night during the clash between #NoDAPL supporters and email@example.com
GENEVA – The UN special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, will on Saturday visit Egypt as he kicks off a regional tour to prepare for peace talks on Syria dubbed Geneva 2, his spokesman said.Brahimi will meet Egypt’s foreign minister Nabil Fahmy as well as the Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi, spokesman Khawla Mattar said in Geneva on Friday.The rest of his schedule is uncertain due to various governments being on holiday because of the main Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, but Mattar said “the tour will cover several countries of the region”. This will include visits to Damascus and Tehran.The international community has for months been pushing Syria’s rebels and the regime to participate in talks on a negotiated solution to the conflict, which has killed an estimated 115,000 people since March 2011.Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said proposed peace talks in Geneva could take place on November 23-24.However Mattar said the date for the long awaited peace conference will be announced by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon “in due time”.She said the meeting was likely to place in the “second half of November”.Prospects for the Geneva 2 conference remain unclear, with the Syrian opposition divided and due to vote next week on whether to take part.
OSU redshirt sophomore middle blocker Blake Lesson goes to serve in the set against No. 4 Long Beach State. OSU won 3-1. Credit: Aliyyah Jackson | Lantern ReporterIn the No. 1 Ohio State men’s volleyball team’s journey to rewrite the record books, all roads lead through No. 12 Ball State.When the Ohio State men’s volleyball team lost in five sets on Feb. 6, 2016, no one thought much of it. It was a close-fought match between two top 15 opponents.That was it.At that point, not many thought OSU would win the national championship. Even fewer thought that the Buckeyes would threaten a school record that has stood for almost half a century.On Thursday in Muncie, Indiana, No. 1 OSU goes for win No. 33 to set the longest win streak in program history when it takes on No. 12 Ball State — the same team that gave the Buckeyes their last defeat.Ball State and OSU’s rivalry goes back to the creation of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. The two teams are the only two that still exist from the beginning of the conference. Ironically enough, after going 24-0 in the 1969 season and 8-0 to start the 1970 season, the Buckeyes were defeated by the Cardinals to end their 32-win streak.“When you’ve got that much history, there’s a rivalry there for sure, naturally,” said OSU coach Pete Hanson. “Ball State — I’m sure they circle the Ohio State matches on their calendar every year and I think our guys do too.”OSU comes into the matchup against Ball State with 15 wins over opponents ranked in the top 12 nationally, with six of those wins over teams in the top 5. In this season alone, the Buckeyes have topped teams currently ranked No. 2, No. 3, No. 7 and No. 15 in the country.Hanson credits the team’s success and win streak to the team’s growing maturity over the past two seasons.“What I saw — after that loss to Ball State — I saw somewhat of a renewed commitment by a lot of those older guys — by Gabriel, Miles, Christy — to say we didn’t like this feeling and we’re going to work very hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Hanson said. “Just through their efforts every day in practice and in the weight room, how they approach matches, the attention to detail on the game plan — those are things veterans do that kind of go unnoticed by, as a coaching staff you notice them.”Offensively, OSU will need continued attacking success from team leaders, senior opposite hitter Miles Johnson and senior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen, to overcome the highly ranked blocking efforts from Ball State’s junior middle hitter Matt Walsh. Walsh ranks second nationally in blocks per set with 1.29. In last season’s losing affair, the Buckeyes won the first two sets by a combined 20 points, only to lose the match in the fifth set, 16-14.“We all looked at that loss and obviously, no one liked it,” Johnson said. “I think that prior to that loss we were on a good winning streak and then that happened. So, then we had to figure out ways where that wouldn’t happen again.”The team found ways to prevent losses over the 23-game win streak, which contained an avenged win against Ball State as well as MIVA and NCAA titles, to close out the 2016 season.In addition to tying the school record for consecutive wins, two other Buckeyes etched their names in school history as both Johnson and Szerszen sit atop the career serving aces list. They are tied at 124.The Buckeyes will be looking to keep make school history against Ball State on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Worthen Arena.
Mile Jedinak’s second penalty of the world cup helps the Socceroo secure a vital point in their all-important Group C clash against Denmark.The Aston Villa midfielder was on hand to score from the spot for the Aussies after Denmark’s Yusuf Poulsen was adjured to have handled the ball from Matthew Leckie’s header.The penalty was the 11th of this World Cup Finals so far, and also amongst the few given by the newly introduced VAR system.Euro 2020 qualifiers round up from group D George Patchias – September 5, 2019 In Euro 2020 qualifying group D, Denmark hit Gibraltar for six while Ireland and Switzerland played out a draw.The Danes made easy work of…Tottenham Hotspur playmaker, Christain Eriksen gave the Danes an early lead when his well-struck volley found the roof of the net in the seventh minute.And his team appeared to be cruising into half-time but Jedinak’s spot-kick proved decisive as Australia took a point to avoid an early exit from the world cup.Denmark go into their last game against France knowing a point could see them through to the next round, while Australia faces Peru knowing only a win, as well as other results going their way, will do.
Wilfried Zaha has rejected Crystal Palace’s latest contract offer, opening the door for another club to swoop in and snag the highly-rated winger.According to Daily Mirror, Crystal Palace offered to increase Wilfried Zaha’s current weekly wage from €115.000 to €140.000 in an effort to keep their star man. It seems like a decent offer, but it was one that Zaha rejected in an attempt to force a move to a Champions League club.Chelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pochettino has been a long-time admirer of the 25-year-old and will look to pounce on the occasion. Palace rates Zaha at €85 million, similar to the price Leicester City tagged on Riyad Mahrez. However, the Algerian is set to join Manchester City for around €68 million and The Spurs are hoping to sign Zaha on a cut-price deal worth around €56 million.Crystal Palace will not let go off its prized asset easily. Zaha signed a new contract last May which would keep him at Selhurst Park until 2022. The Eagles will do anything to keep him. Chelsea are also interested in the in-demand forward, as they are also in the market for a winger.