About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Emery admits top-four finish ‘difficult’ for Arsenalby Freddie Taylor9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveUnai Emery admits consistency is jeopardising Arsenal’s top-four chances. The Gunners’ loss to West Ham United on Sunday saw them drop three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.And Emery thinks it will be difficult for his team to qualify for the Champions League if they continue to drop points.”Now it’s more difficult, it’s clear,” he told reporters. “I think the most important thing for us is to recover our confidence and be more competitive. We need consistency over 38 matches.”Now it isn’t enough at the moment. It’s a bad result. If we can win we are playing against Chelsea [on Saturday] with a three-point maximum distance.”The big opportunity for us is that we can take in our hands the possibility to be closer to them. This result makes that more difficult.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Lampard: Senior players still biggest influenceby Paul Vegas19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard is delighted with the influence of his senior players.Lampard says he has the right blend within his squad.”What you need is a strong group and then you see the leaders come from within it. Where we are quite young, the leaders are still going to come and come out of themselves more. That comes with a bit of confidence, probably with being around the first team even more,” he stated.”It seemed to have become a bit cut and dry [from outside], the young boys and the old boys, but I never saw it that way. I always trust in the players and in the squad, and you will rely on them.”Willian scored two in two, Jorginho’s influence and how he is, Azpilicueta club captain and N’Golo Kante, back in and 28 years of age. We need all those players and I expect them to deliver and take burdens throughout the season. Hopefully they’re doing that.”
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
Manchester United will begin their life post-Jose Mourinho when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer returns to Cardiff City on Saturday in the Premier League.The Red Devils legend took charge as interim manager following the Portuguese boss’s dismissal from his managerial post at Old Trafford, and Solskjaer’s first game in charge will be against the side that he briefly managed during an ill-fated spell in 2014.The visitors travel to Wales sixth in the table, 11 points off of a top-four spot and having registered just one win in their last five matches, while the Bluebirds sit in 16th in the table. 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 Cardiff City vs Manchester United Date Saturday, December 22 Time 5:30pm GMT / 12:30pm ET Stream (US) fubo TV (7-day free trial) TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream NBC fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on BT Sport 1 and live-streamed on BT Sport Live. UK TV channel Online stream BT Sport 1 BT Sport Live Squads & Team News Position Cardiff City players Goalkeepers Etheridge, Smithies, Murphy Defenders Peltier, Bennett, Morrison, Manga, Connolly, Cunningham, Bamba Midfielders Arter, Ralls, Murphy, Gunnarsson, Damour, Camarasa, Harris, Hoilett Forwards Ward, Paterson, Reid, Madine Cardiff City XI: Etheridge, Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Cunningham, Gunnarsson, Arter, Camarasa, Hoilett, Murphy, Paterson. Position Manchester United players Goalkeepers De Gea, Grant, Romero Defenders Smalling, Jones, Dalot, Shaw, Bailly, Young, Valencia, Darmian Midfielders Pogba, Mata, Matic, McTominay, Herrera, Lingard, Pereira, Fred, Fellaini, Gomes, Hamilton Forwards Rashford, Martial, Chong, Bohui Man Utd XI: De Gea; Young, Jones, Lindelof, Shaw; Matic, Herrera; Lingard, Pogba, Martial; Rashford.Betting & Match Odds Cardiff are priced at odds of 5/1 to win, according to bet 365, while a draw is available at 3/1. A win for the Red Devils is priced at 11/20.Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.Match Preview Last weekend’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool in the Premier League was the final nail in the coffin for Mourinho, as they dismissed the Portuguese just 48 hours after the defeat.The former Chelsea boss endured a miserable first half of the season with the club, having lost five matches in 17 Premier League games and already conceding as many goals by December as they did during the whole of last season.The defeat at Anfield ensured United are marooned in sixth place with Mourinho admitting that top-four – let alone challenging for the title – was going to be difficult.Solskjaer’s first game in charge as caretaker manager will be against Cardiff, whom he briefly managed in 2014 but could not save from relegation.The Norwegian’s appointment has been welcomed by many Red Devils fans following the toxic and turbulent reign of Mourinho, though he has been given the massive responsibility of trying to challenge for a Champions League spot for next season as well as lifting the spirits of the dressing room.All eyes will be on whether or not the Solskjaer will decide to slot Pogba into the starting XI straightaway, after the France international fell out of favour under Mourinho.He has, meanwhile, claimed that he will not be afraid to replicate Sir Alex Ferguson’s infamous “hairdryer” treatment with the players, and told reporters that he would not hesitate to “lay down the law”.Solskjaer said: “We’ve spoken about what we expect, what standards we have on and off the pitch. You prepare for every game, I trust the lads to know what they’re doing to help the team. Everything we do is to help the team.”He’s [Pogba] a World Cup winner, Paul’s a terrific lad. When I had him as a kid as well, he was always the happy-go-lucky lad and he’s not changed personality-wise.”He’s a better player, and of course he’s one I want to get the best out of. You have so many quality players that I want to try to get the best out of and he’s no different to anybody else.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Andros Townsend scored a sensational goal-of-the-season contender as Crystal Palace dealt Manchester City’s Premier League title defence a body blow with a stunning 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium.City enjoyed a regal dominance up until Ilkay Gundogan’s 26th-minute opener but Jeffrey Schlupp levelled six minutes later before Townsend turned the contest on its head with an outstanding long-range volley.Luka Milivojevic increased City’s misery and delight at Anfield with a 51st-minute penalty that means Liverpool will celebrate Christmas with a four-point lead at the Premier League summit. 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? Kevin De Bruyne’s overhit cross sailed in five minutes from time but Pep Guardiola’s side were unable to undo the damage in the late rally that followed.Gundogan was involved alongside Bernardo Silva in carving through Palace for Leroy Sane to shoot wastefully into the side-netting in the 10th minute.The Germany midfielder showed his countryman how it was done when he eased into the box to head home Fabian Delph’s searching cross.Schlupp allowed Gundogan to run off him for the opener but more than atoned by shifting outside a tired Kyle Walker challenge and arrowing a strike into the bottom right corner.If that finish was impressive, Townsend’s remarkable goal 10 minutes before half-time was something else altogether as he put his left foot sweetly through an audacious volley, leaving Ederson with no chance.Unreal.@andros_townsend #MCICRY pic.twitter.com/Tu80gBXpMC— Premier League (@premierleague) December 22, 2018Pep Guardiola introduced City’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero for centre-back Nicolas Otamendi early in the second half but the reshuffle led to confused defending as Townsend headed Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cross against the post.Walker made a dreadfully rash challenge as Max Meyer sought to retrieve the rebound to concede a penalty and Milivojevic, who had a penalty saved by Ederson in a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park last season, made no mistake.City’s response was disjointed before Sane cracked the outside of the right post with a 77th-minute free-kick.De Bruyne’s freak goal then set nerves jangling and Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus spurned free-headed chances for Palace to hold on.What does it mean? Advantage LiverpoolThere is still a long way to go in the title race but City now have two defeats to set against Liverpool’s unbeaten record. Back-to-back away games are on the horizon and they cannot afford to lose any more ground before hosting Jurgen Klopp’s men in a blockbuster clash on January 3. The “can City be stopped?” fatalism of a couple of weeks ago now feels preposterous. Talking of fatalism, many Palace fans would have dismissed the notion of sitting six points clear of the drop zone at Christmas. Combative and composed Wan-Bissaka stars for PalaceTownsend will rightfully hog the headlines but Wan-Bissaka did much to enhance his burgeoning reputation, keeping the in-form Sane on a short leash and making a succession of brave challenges. The 21-year-old’s teasing cross also paved the way for Palace’s game-sealing third goal.Landmark 2018 takes toll on ragged WalkerA key figure in City’s record-breaking Premier League campaign last season and England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals, Walker looked to be running on empty as he was at fault for the two avoidable Palace goals. Danilo is back to fitness as an unused substitute and it feels like time for Guardiola to take an often excellent performer out of the firing line.Key Opta Facts- City have lost two of their last three Premier League games (W1) – as many as in their previous 61 combined.- Palace registered their first away league win at City since December 1990, having drawn three and lost nine since then before today.2010 – Roy Hodgson is the first English manager to win a Premier League game at the Etihad since Harry Redknapp in May 2010 (P39 W0 D3 L36, before today). Jungle. pic.twitter.com/Txlw2eKNVz— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 22, 2018- This was City’s first home Premier League defeat against a non-big six side since February 2016, when they lost 1-3 to Leicester City under Manuel Pellegrini.- Townsend has scored 17 Premier League goals – with 10 of those coming from outside the box.- Since his Premier League debut, Milivojevic has scored 13 penalties – five more than any other player in that time.What’s nextGuardiola’s men travel to Leicester City on Boxing Day, a week on from winning a penalty shoot-out in the EFL Cup quarter-final at the King Power Stadium. Palace return to Selhurst Park for a potentially pivotal clash against Cardiff City. read more
Manchester United have hit a 13-month high under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the new man at the helm making an immediate impact during a trip to Cardiff.With the Red Devils having taken the decision to part with Jose Mourinho, cover was required in a high-profile post.Treble winner Solskjaer was the man chosen to take the reins, with the Norwegian agreeing an initial interim deal through to the end of the season. 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? His return to Old Trafford was welcomed by many, with a clean slate offered to an underperforming squad.In a quirk of fate, his first game in charge of United took him back to the familiar surroundings of Cardiff – the scene of his only previous coaching post in British football.Solskjaer would have been hoping to make a bright start, but the speed at which his new side burst out of the blocks probably came as a surprise even to him.Marcus Rashford recorded the first goal of a new era inside three minutes, before Ander Herrera doubled United’s lead before the half-hour mark.Victor Camarasa pulled one back for the Bluebirds from the penalty spot, but Anthony Martial restored the Red Devils’ two-goal advantage four minutes before half-time.Fast starts are not something that United had been accustomed to under Mourinho, with over a year having passed since they last registered three efforts in the opening 45 minutes of any given Premier League fixture.3 – Man Utd have scored three first half goals in a Premier League away game for the first time since November 2017 v Watford. Reaction. #CARMUN pic.twitter.com/ENU4COALZJ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 22, 2018While Solskjaer was able to oversee a dream start to his reign, he is under no illusion as to the size of the challenge facing him in familiar surroundings.United’s struggles under Mourinho have left them playing catch-up in the race for top-four finishes.Victory over Cardiff will, however, be a positive step in the right direction.With the games coming tick and fast over the festive period, there will be further opportunities to close on the Champions League places before the end of the year.If the Red Devils can continue to burst out of the blocks like they did against the Bluebirds, then they may soon have top-flight rivals looking anxiously over their shoulder. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Inter missed the chance to significantly strengthen their grip on a Champions League place as a stoppage-time equaliser saw them held to a 1-1 draw at Serie A’s bottom club Chievo.Luciano Spalletti’s men were presented with an opportunity to increase the gap between themselves and fifth-placed AC Milan, who were beaten 1-0 at home by Fiorentina earlier on Saturday.The visitors were never at their best, but looked set to claim all three points thanks to Ivan Perisic’s close-range 39th-minute strike, which marked his first league goal since September. 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? However, a Chievo side that offered scant resistance provided a late sting in the tail thanks to Sergio Pellissier as the captain dinked over Samir Handanovic, meaning third-placed Inter are just six points clear of Milan in the fifth.112 & 33 – Ivan #Perisic has found the net in Serie A after 112 days and 33 shots his previous one. Recover. #ChievoInter pic.twitter.com/J7OuWfV38f— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 22, 2018Chievo forced Handanovic into action in the first minute, the Inter goalkeeper dealing with an awkward bounce after Riccardo Meggiorini let fly with a long-range volley.Inter slowly took control of the game and only a fine reaction save from Stefano Sorrentino prevented him from turning home Danilo D’Ambrosio’s left-wing cross.Mauro Icardi and D’Ambrosio were involved as Inter broke the deadlock, though, combining down the left to set up Perisic to lash Inter into a lead that should have been doubled when Joao Mario shot wide from the Croatia international’s low delivery.Excellent build-up between Perisic and Icardi ended with the latter thwarted again by Sorrentino at the near post before a rare threatening Chievo attack saw Handanovic brilliantly turn Pellissier’s effort behind.It was Perisic who appeared the most likely to add to Inter’s tally in a game that always looked in hand, but his inability to do so proved costly as Mariusz Stepinski headed on for Pellissier to earn Chievo’s fifth point of a miserable season.| FT Chievo 1-1 InterIt ends all square here in Verona. #ChievoInter pic.twitter.com/n69wqUgLaN— Inter (@Inter_en) December 22, 2018What does it mean? Inferior foe again troubles Inter An inability to beat inferior opposition was Inter’s undoing in the Champions League as a 1-1 draw with PSV saw them knocked out, and that failing reared its head again as their defence was breached at the last. Worryingly for Spalletti, who saw penalty claims for a challenge on Borja Valero rejected by VAR late on, a much tougher test lies in wait.D’Ambrosio a delight Inter’s main threat came down the left from full-back D’Ambrosio, whose lack of a test defensively gave him the freedom to create the opener and set Icardi up for his first-half chance, which would have been decisive had it been taken.Joao Mario makes a meal of it Joao Mario had to stretch to meet Perisic’s centre on the stroke of half-time, but he still had the goal at his mercy from close range and should have found the net. Instead, his miss was one of many chances Inter will reflect on after dropping points to Serie A’s worst team.Key Opta Facts- Inter have failed to win any of their last four away Serie A games (2D 2L).- Chievo are unbeaten under Di Carlo in Serie A current season (5D).- Ivan Perisic found the net in Serie A some 112 days and 33 shots after his previous one.What’s next? An enticing and crucial clash awaits Inter at San Siro on Wednesday when Napoli are the visitors. Chievo travel to take on Sampdoria on the same day. read more
Wayne Rooney believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the right man to heal the player unrest that contributed to Jose Mourinho’s dismissal from Manchester United.Appearing on television ahead of the club’s Premier League clash against Cardiff City, Rooney said recent conversations with former team-mates confirmed the atmosphere “wasn’t great” at Old Trafford.Mourinho was dismissed after a 3-1 loss to Liverpool in which star midfielder Paul Pogba, with whom the Portuguese reportedly had several run-ins, was an unused substitute. 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 installed Solskjaer as boss on an interim basis and Rooney, who left for Everton in 2017, welcomed the move as essential to lifting morale.”Of course I stay in touch with a lot of people at the club. I speak to them quite a lot and certainly this week,” the ex-Red Devils skipper told BT Sport.”To be a successful football club you need everything to be right. You need the staff at the training ground to be right, the groundsman, whoever it is, they need to feel happy, and that rubs off.”I think that relationship between some of the players and some of the staff obviously wasn’t great.”But bringing Ole and Mike Phelan in, that has already changed. They’re smiling, they’re happy and that rubs off on the players.”I think it’s a good move for the club. It gives them a bit more time to get the right manager in place in the summer.”Rooney – United’s all-time record goal-scorer – left the club in 2017 after 13 years at Old Trafford, during which time he won five Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League.The former Everton striker, who also became England’s top scorer in 2016, left United to returned to Goodison Park where he began his career, spending a season under Toffees bosses Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce before moving to DC United in MLS last summer.He scored eight goals in 39 appearances for United under Mourinho, but played an increasingly diminished role during the Portuguese’s first season at the club, and left in search of more playing time after opportunities became scarcer.
Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has told fans that there is more to come after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure on the bench started in style on Saturday.Solskjaer stepped into the breach this week on an interim basis after Jose Mourinho was sacked from his post as club manager.A cult hero during his playing days at Old Trafford, the Norwegian has been tasked with turning round a disappointing start to the Premier League season which has seen United lose touch with the first four. 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 he enjoyed a dream start at the weekend, as his new charges romped to a 5-1 victory away to Cardiff City.Rashford netted the first goal of the Solskjaer era just three minutes in, while Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, who hit twice, completed the scoring.And the striker was delighted with the new boss’ impact.”He wants us to be positive on the ball and always look for the gaps. That was just the start. We’re going to improve and get better at it,” he signalled to BT Sport.”The Christmas period is very busy so it is about recovering and making sure we’re ready for the next games. We have to keep improving and go up another level.”Lingard was also pleased with what he saw from United, pointing to a more positive attitude on the pitch which paid dividends.”The lads played with a lot of energy, enjoyment and excitement. We scored five goals, which is good,” the winger stated.”When you’ve got confidence, you put yourselves in positions to score goals. That’s what we did.“We were playing higher and the full-backs were higher. We pinned them back and created a lot of chances.”United remain in sixth place after their victory, although they closed the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea to eight points after the Blues came unstuck against Leicester City. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Rangers will look to respond to Celtic’s 3-0 win over Dundee when they travel to face St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Sunday. Steven Gerrard’s men fell to third in the league on Saturday as Aberdeen leapfrogged them, while there is now a four-point gap to bridge between themselves and Celtic before the Old Firm game on Saturday.Although that encounter is the main focus of the week, the Gers cannot allow their concentration to waver in Perth or for an awkward midweek meeting with Hibs at Ibrox. 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 St Johnstone vs Rangers Date Sunday, December 23 Time 12:15pm GMT / 7:15am ET TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be streamed via B/R Live. US TV channel Online stream N/A B/R Live In the UK, the game will be shown on BT Sport 1 and can be streamed through the BT Sport Live app. UK TV channel Online stream BT Sport 1 BT Sport Live Squads & Team News Position St Johnstone squad Goalkeepers Clark, Hurst Defenders Shaughnessy, Anderson, Kerr, Gordon, Easton, Tansfer, Foster, Comrie Midfielders Nydam, Davidson, Callachan, McClean, McCann, Wotherspoon, Alston, Craig, Swanson, Scougall Forwards Kennedy, Watt, Kane, McMillan St Johnstone go into this encounter without goalkeeper Conor Mitchell, defender Brian Easton and midfielder Drey Wright, all of whom would have expected to start the game.Danny Swanson and Blair Alston are set to come into the midfield, while Jason Kerr returned to full training late in the week and should start.Possible St Johnstone starting XI: Clark; Foster, Kerr, Shaughnessy, Tanser; Swanson, Alston, Davidson, Wotherspoon; Watt, Kennedy Position Rangers squad Goalkeepers McGregor, Foderingham, Robbie McCrorie Defenders Tavernier, Goldson, Flanagan, Ross McCrorie, Katic, Bradley, Barisic, Worrall, McAuley Midfielders Jack, Ejaria, Halliday, Coulibaly, Arfield, Kelly, Grezda Forwards Candeias, Morelos, Lafferty, Middleton Steven Gerrard has the familiar trio of long-term absentees – Lee Wallace, Jamie Murphy and Graeme Dorrans – to contend with. Additionally, Ryan Kent will miss the match and Scott Arfield is something of a worry, leaving the midfield somewhat depleted.In defence, meanwhile, centre-backs Gareth McAuley and Connor Goldson are both worries, which could open the door to a return for Nikola Katic.Ryan Jack will start after signing a fresh contract with the club that will run until 2021.Possible Rangers starting XI: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Worrall, Barisic; Coulibaly, Jack, McCrorie; Candeias, Morelos, GrezdaBetting & Match Odds Rangers are priced as 11/20 favourites to win this game by bet365. St Johnstone are considered a 5/1 bet to win, while a draw is 3/1.Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.Match Preview Rangers might have fallen four points behind Celtic in the Scottish Premiership standings, but they still have designs on overtaking their great rivals before New Year.Victory over St Johnstone on Sunday would open the door to the potential of regaining top spot in the final matches of 2018, in which they face Hibs on Boxing Day before tackling Celtic at Ibrox on Saturday.No slips, however, can be afforded against the Perth outfit, with assistant manager Gary McAllister acutely aware of the danger such a fixture can pose.“Barring their little blip against Motherwell, St Johnstone have been on good form,” he said. “They’re keeping clean sheets. It never ceases to amaze me what Tommy Wright does through at St Johnstone, very rarely he gets money to go and build his squad or add to his squad.“It’s the same players and they’ve done extremely well so it’s a tough opponent. We go up to Perth and it’s going to be difficult, I think it always is when we go through there. So it’s game on, and then obviously it’s Hibs coming back to Ibrox.”St Johnstone had been on an eight-match undefeated run before losing 2-1 to Motherwell at home last weekend, with their defence especially impressive as they had kept seven cleansheets in those games.However, they lost 5-1 at Ibrox when the sides previously met this season.“I know the idea of revenge is used a lot in football but if we need revenge as motivation then we need to take a look at ourselves,” Wright said.“Our focus is all on getting three points and to do that we’re going to have to learn from the game back in September.“We created chances which was obviously positive but we were too open and we were punished for it.“We’re keen to finish this year strongly before the break so we want to pick up another three points on Sunday and that’s our main focus.”Eighth in the table, Saints find themselves in a battle for the top six, but an upset victory would draw them to within four points of Rangers with a game in hand.
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.
Tottenham produced a devastating display of attacking football as Son Heung-min and Harry Kane inspired the 6-2 hammering of Everton in a Premier League Christmas cracker, moving Spurs to within two points of Manchester City.The past week had been dominated by speculation linking Mauricio Pochettino with the Manchester United manager’s job, and Spurs’ attack-minded showing at Goodison Park showed exactly why the Argentinian is a front-runner.A thrilling first half started positively for Everton and they went ahead through former Arsenal man Theo Walcott, but they gifted Son an equaliser, and Dele Alli and Kane made things worse before the break. 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? Fine goals from Christian Eriksen and Gylfi Sigurdsson came early in the second half as the entertainment value continued to grow, but Son and Kane got their second goals in the final 30 minutes to emphatically finish the Toffees off.Walcott put Everton ahead 21 minutes in, rounding off a well-worked move by slamming home Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s cut-back.But they soon shot themselves in the foot, as Kurt Zouma and Jordan Pickford collided when trying to deal with Kane’s long pass and Son converted into an empty net.Alli netted in the 35th minute to move Spurs in front, drilling a fierce strike in from just inside the area after Pickford parried a Son strike.And Kane opened a two-goal lead just before the break, knocking into an open goal when Kieran Trippier’s free-kick came back off the post.Spurs continued to look rampant at the start of the second period – Eriksen finding the bottom-right corner with a gorgeous 20-yard volley.But Everton swiftly hit back through Sigurdsson, whose solo run ended with a smart finish from the edge of the box.The hosts’ chances were effectively ended in the 61st minute, however – Son sweeping through Pickford’s legs when released by Erik Lamela.Kane rounded things off late on, turning in Son’s cross to complete the crushing of Everton and give the visitors their first points of the season from a losing position. Technique: #COYS pic.twitter.com/AReN1M9Dxt— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 23, 2018What does it mean? Spurs hot on City’s heelsSpurs have hardly been mentioned at all with respect to the title race this term, but not only does Sunday’s result see them close to within just two points of City, it highlighted just how ruthless they can be in attack. If Kane – who has now scored in a brace in each of his last four appearances against Everton – and Son carry on like this, Liverpool might just have another team to keep an eye on.Son shines brightEveryone in Spurs’ attack and midfield impressed at Goodison, but Son was particularly effective, with his movement and ability on the ball constantly troubling Everton’s defence. On top of that, he got two goals and an assist in an all-round excellent showing.A day to forget for PickfordEngland’s goalkeeper will want to move on quickly from this showing, as he played a pivotal role in Spurs’ equaliser, parrying the ball straight to Alli for their second and was bailed out by the offside flag when he clattered into his international team-mate with an ugly challenge just before half-time.Key Opta Facts- Tottenham have won nine of their 11 Premier League away games this season – only in three completed seasons in the competition have they won more (10 in 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2017-18).- This was the third time Everton conceded six goals in a Premier League home game, with all of those coming against London clubs (1-6 vs Arsenal in August 2009, 3-6 vs Chelsea in August 2014).- This was the fourth time Tottenham have scored six or more goals in a Premier League away game, with three of those coming in the last three seasons, and twice against a side managed by Marco Silva.- Under Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham have won more games (18) and more points (70) from losing positions than any other side in the Premier League.- Tottenham’s Harry Kane has scored in nine different Premier League games this season – no player has scored in more (level with Mohamed Salah).What’s next?Everton’s Boxing Day outing sees them travel to struggling Burnley, while Spurs host a Bournemouth side boosted by Saturday’s 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion. read more
Paul Pogba’s struggle for consistency at Manchester United is not because of any problem with his behaviour, former striker Louis Saha says.Pogba impressed on Saturday in his side’s 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff City, registering two assists as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign as caretaker manager got off to a flying start.It was the France international’s first start in the Premier League since the 2-2 draw with Southampton on December 1, the midfielder having been dropped by Jose Mourinho in the Portuguese’s final few weeks in charge. 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? Pogba’s inability to perform consistently under Mourinho was often attributed to a poor relationship with his manager, with the pair said to have clashed on more than one occasion.Saha, twice a Premier League winner with United, thinks Pogba showed at the World Cup that he can play in a more disciplined role, but he admits it is not something that suits him.”The issue with the word ‘boss’ is that, at some stage, a boss needs to be consistent,” Saha told Omnisport. “You need to be well-perceived in the group.”That’s today’s criticism towards Paul. We need to understand him. Some weeks, he’s been outstanding. That’s what we expect from a player as talented as he is.”I think that his problem is that he has so many qualities that it’s complicated to keep him in one specific position, even box-to-box or in the defensive tasks, when he can score or make the difference anyway. I think those elements are difficult for him as a player.”He can do it because he did it with Didier Deschamps. He can do it with any team or coach. It’s not a behavioural problem but an analysis one. He must tell himself: ‘Okay, for that specific game, I need to do a certain job’. I think it’s not easy for him.”Saha hopes Solskjaer can be a positive influence on Pogba given his selfless nature as a player and a coach.”Ole has a lot of humility and it can help in their communication,” Saha said. “He will put his ego aside as ‘boss’ and he’ll tell himself that today the team goes first.”It is what Ole does. He’s always done it. He made great sacrifices for his team-mates. He’s made the difference for his team-mates and his coach. That’s Ole. He will give that [to the team].”That’s a message he’ll give gradually to all the players. They need to get their confidence back. They almost need some paternal communication. A misplaced pride in a great club constantly under the scrutiny of everyone. Whatever will happen, there they’ll talk about it because it’s one of the most followed clubs in the world. ” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
In Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool have found a player that is “John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic all rolled into one”, says Jamie Redknapp, with the Dutchman potentially the best Premier League defender of all time.The Reds invested £75 million ($95m) in the Netherlands international back in January, making him the costliest player in his chosen position.While breaking transfer records can be considered a gamble, those at Anfield have seen their show of faith richly rewarded. 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? Van Dijk is considered to have contributed significantly to Liverpool becoming Premier League title contenders, with there few obvious weaknesses in his game.Former Reds star Redknapp believes the 27-year-old is the finest all-round defender he has ever seen, telling the Daily Mail: “We are only halfway through the season but already nobody comes close to Virgil van Dijk in the race for Player of the Year. He is the one player every team would love to have in their side.“Think of the best defenders in Premier League history — John Terry, Rio Ferdinandand Nemanja Vidic. Van Dijk is all three players rolled into one.“He reads the game like Terry and is a lovely passer, getting the ball out of his feet and spraying 30-yard balls. Van Dijk is blessed with the pace of Rio, too. Rarely do you see him caught out in a one-v-one situation.“While he is not as aggressive as Vidic, he has that same warrior spirit and will to win. He is calm, cool, composed in the air and is a brilliant leader.”Redknapp added on Van Dijk’s potential to cement legend status while landing major honours: “Never mind player of the season — if he carries on playing at this level, he has all the attributes to be the Premier League’s greatest ever defender. I am just surprised that it has taken until now for him to be starring in a team competing for Premier League titles.“To become the greatest, Van Dijk has to win trophies. He reached the Champions League final last season and now has a great chance of winning the Premier League.“If Liverpool are to be crowned champions this season, Van Dijk is the one player they can least afford to lose to injury.”Van Dijk has been an ever-present for Liverpool in the Premier League this season, helping them to cement a standing at the top of the table.Jurgen Klopp’s side, who remain unbeaten through 18 games, have opened up a four-point lead on reigning champions Manchester City. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Football clubs are “not ready” to effectively harness the work of sports psychologists, according to Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri.The Blues went down to a surprise 1-0 home defeat against Leicester City at the weekend, where their disjointed response to Jamie Vardy’s 55th-minute goal was at odds with an earlier control of the contest.Sarri suggested his players’ mentality was the issue, rejecting suggestions that they are not physically prepared to implement his style of 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? However, the 59-year-old Italian’s previous experiences mean he is not ready to call in a psychological specialist.”No [we don’t have one]. Not at the moment, because it’s not easy,” he told reporters, with a Boxing Day trip to Watford next on the agenda for the Blues.”I had a sports psychologist 15 years ago in Italy, it was really very difficult because the clubs were not ready in that moment, but I think that they are not ready also in this moment.”The physical performance, I don’t know the numbers but in the match against Bournemouth [last week’s 1-0 EFL Cup quarter-final win], it was one of the best of the season, maybe the best in quality.”I don’t think it’s possible for the physical conditioning to change in two minutes. [Against Leicester] we were very well for 55 minutes and two minutes after the goal we were in trouble, so I think there is another reason.”We lost the match because the reaction after the goal was in the wrong direction, I think we had only to continue.”We were in full control of the match. We were dangerous without conceding anything to the opponents so we had only to continue.”Back to it on Boxing Day! pic.twitter.com/z5Epj9jLjX— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 23, 2018Cesc Fabregas made a rare Premier League appearance from the bench during the closing stages of the Leicester defeat and Sarri suggested his plight is indicative of an overly stocked squad – especially when it comes to attacking midfielders.”At the moment we are too many. We have 28 players and it’s impossible to use all of them. I think 25 is the right number,” the former Napoli boss added.”We have a lot of offensive midfielders and we have only [N’Golo] Kante as a defensive midfielder, so it’s not easy now for the midfield to have the right balance.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is ready to make a move in the January transfer market if opportunities present themselves.The Reds are four points clear of champions Manchester City at the top of the table and remain unbeaten after 18 Premier League games this term.Nevertheless, with the FA Cup to add to their schedule next month and a blockbuster Champions League showdown against Bayern Munich to come in February, Klopp thinks it would be foolhardy to rule out doing business when the window opens. 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? “I’m very happy with what I have got and what I have but we don’t know,” he told a news conference ahead of Newcastle United’s Boxing Day visit to Anfield.”That’s the only little bit where I keep the door open. If something happens we need to have a look”There are a monstrous number of game coming and it’s really important that we can react.”A long as we can react, then all good. If something dramatically changes we need to have a look”If nothing happens we will not do anything.”Klopp’s most recent example of January business certainly adds weight to the argument of strengthening mid-season.Virgil van Dijk has performed superbly since joining for £75 million ($95m) from Southampton a year ago, marshalling a defence that has only been breached seven times in the Premier League this season.”He’s very, very, very influential. I’m happy,” said Klopp.”When I met him first I thought I knew about his personality, you feel something about that. I was pretty sure he would be like he is.”On the pitch after the Tottenham game last October [a 4-1 defeat at Wembley] – after that [and] before Virg came in, we started already defending much better.”Then Virg came in on top and that helped, of course.”I have no problem with giving all the compliments and all the credit to the boys.”I know the game doesn’t work like that – you bring in one player, it doesn’t improve unless the rest do as well.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Eden Hazard may end up leaving Chelsea for Real Madrid as “every player would love to play for them”, but Michael Essien is hoping the Belgian can be persuaded to stay put.Speculation regarding a switch to Spain continues to rage around a Stamford Bridge asset yet to commit to a new contract.He has made no secret of his admiration for the Blancos and certainly fits the ‘Galactico’ mould favoured by Florentino Perez at the Santiago Bernabeu. 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? Essien, who represented Chelsea and Madrid during his playing days, admits the lure of one of world football’s most prestigious clubs may prove too much for a current Premier League star.He told Express Sport: “Hazard is one of the best players in the world.“The interest of Real Madrid, I only hear from people in the media. But I mean when Real Madrid come calling… every player would love to play for them.“He’s happy at Chelsea though and hopefully we can keep him.”Hazard is not the only player in west London to be generating exit talk ahead of another transfer window.The likes of Danny Drinkwater, Victor Moses and Andreas Christensen are also making plenty of gossip columns.The latter is being linked with a possible move to Barcelona, with Essien conceding that those not seeing regular game time for Chelsea will be weighing up their options.He added: “Every player wants to play.“Chelsea isn’t an easy place to come and the competition is very fierce.“At the end of the day, all the players work but it’s the manager who will pick who he wants to play.“When you’re not playing you get frustrated and you want to look elsewhere.“It’s up to them really but they have to keep working and then everyone gets their chance.”Chelsea have two more fixtures to take in before the winter window opens.They are set to face Watford on Boxing Day, before making another short trip out on the road to take in a derby date with Crystal Palace on Sunday.Maurizio Sarri is looking for his side to offer a positive response in those games to recent setbacks which have left the Blues fourth in the Premier League table and looking over their shoulder.
Arsenal have been told that they missed their chance to sign Gary Cahill, with there little logic in making a move for the Chelsea defender now.Back in 2012, the defender was proven performer as he preparing to head for the exits at Bolton.Having established himself as an England international, there was no shortage of suitors for Cahill. 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? Chelsea eventually won the race for his signature and have seen him go on to make close to 300 appearances for the club while claiming two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League and Europa League.Arsenal should have been in for his services before he headed to Stamford Bridge, says Smith.No deal was done then, though, and a former Gunners striker sees no reason why Unai Emery would want to bring in a 33-year-old Cahill during the January window after seeing him slip down the pecking order at Chelsea.Smith told Express Sport: “Arsenal should have signed Gary Cahill before he went to Chelsea.“He spoke and had a meeting with Arsene Wenger and it didn’t happen.“But he went on to become a fine, fine defender.“Now you’d be signing somebody who’s in his latter years and is not at his peak.“I don’t see that as a goer.”While Smith has questioned the merits of making a move for Cahill, the experienced defender is attracting plenty of interest.He is considered to be a useful short-term option for any number of clubs, with Manchester United credited with holding an interest prior to Jose Mourinho’s departure.A move away from Stamford Bridge is expected to be made during the winter window, with Cahill struggling for regular game time under Maurizio Sarri and eager to find minutes elsewhere as his contract in west London runs down.
Samantha Cameron – wife of British prime minister David Cameron – hosted a reception this week at 10 Downing Street London to mark 25 years of a unique maternity support service, the Care of Next Infant (CONI) programme, a collaboration between the safer baby sleep charity The Lullaby Trust and the NHS.CONI, which is a health visitor- led programme, helps parents who have lost a baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), providing support before, during and after the birth of their next baby.The service is highly rated by parents who are offered weekly or regular contacts at home with their health visitor, a special ‘baby passport’, which gives them priority access to a paediatrician, a symptom diary and a breathing movement monitor. All these elements provide significant comfort and reassurance during the frightening early months of their new baby’s life.CONI combines two of The Lullaby Trust’s key priorities: supporting bereaved families and preventing more babies from dying. Since it began, the service has helped 8,600 families and 12,000 babies.The charity launched a special edition anniversary brochure at the reception, featuring inspirational stories from families who have been supported by CONI.Francine Bates OBE, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Mrs Cameron has shown her support for CONI by hosting our anniversary event.“The programme is funded entirely through donations and she has helped enormously to raise public awareness of this unique and vital service.“Research shows that CONI prevents subsequent deaths and without the support it provides for some of the UK’s most vulnerable babies it would be impossible to achieve The Lullaby Trust’s goal to halve the rate of SIDS by 2020.”Christian Jones, Managing Director of the Gro Company, said: “I am honoured that The Gro Company was able to support The Lullaby Trust’s 25th Anniversary of CONI (Care of Next Infant) in the presence of Samantha Cameron at 10 Downing Street last night.“The Lullaby Trust is The Gro Company’s valued charitable partner whose research was responsible for the significant drop in the numbers of babies dying suddenly and unexpectedly in the UK. Safer sleep advice is still vital and it is important to ensure that every new parent is aware of the recommendations. We are supporting The Lullaby Trust in order to make this happen,” he added.Find out more about the Lullaby Trust here.Source:PRWeb.com
MAHONE BAY, N.S. – A Nova Scotia craft brewery has put together two East Coast favourites to brew up something new: lobster-infused beer.Saltbox Brewery in Mahone Bay is now fermenting its first batch of Crustacean Elation — a creation that involved the use of whole lobsters early in the brewing process.Spokesman Patrick Jardine said it was something they had been talking about for some time, and finally decided to give it a try.“We said, ‘Hey why not?’ The Maritimes is all about lobster, and lobster and beer go together, so let’s marry them up,” Jardine said.He said not everyone was quick to buy into the concept.“Lots of people think lobster shouldn’t be in beer, they just can’t imagine it going together, but the process is really quite easy. You just put it right into the pot while you’re making the beer,” he said.“We added the whole lobsters to the mash, which is the part of the process where all the starches in the grain get converted to sugars. The flavours get into the malt itself.”Jardine said once the lobsters were removed, the staff got to eat them, and later the shells were roasted as a way to add more flavour and aroma. That flavour was added during pasteurization.“There’s lots of curiosity around it. I think we’ll have lots of people out to try it out and we’re anxious to try it ourselves,” he said.The first batch is now in the fermentation stage and should be ready soon.Jardine said experienced lobster eaters should be quick to recognize the taste.“We hope so. Before fermentation we could definitely smell and taste the essence of lobster, so hopefully that carries through into the final product,” he said.Jardine said if it’s a hit, it may become an annual offering during lobster season.“It’s lobster harvest season right now, so it kind of married itself quite nicely,” he said.Saltbox opened its taproom in Mahone Bay, west of Halifax, about 15 months ago, and Jardine said they’ve been experimenting with different methods and flavours, including a beer that’s aged in whisky barrels.Other breweries have experimented with adding shellfish flavours, including Maine’s Oxbow Brewing, but Jardine says it’s the first time their fledgling brewery has tried.— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.