City slayer Townsend revels in ‘best goal of career’

first_imgManchester City’s commitment to pressing persuaded Andros Townsend to smash in his goal of the season contender.Crystal Palace claimed a shock 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium to land a telling blow against City’s Premier League title defence.Jeffrey Schlupp cancelled out Ilkay Gundogan’s opener and Luka Milivojevic’s penalty 10 minutes into the second half ultimately proved decisive after Kevin De Bruyne reduced the arrears late on. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! But it is Townsend’s sumptuous volley from 30 yards after City only partially cleared a set-piece that will live long in the memory.”It sat up for me. I knew if I took a touch, the way Man City press the ball they would have been all over me,” the Eagles forward told Sky Sports.”I knew I had to take it first time and as soon as it left my foot I knew it had a chance.”Townsend conceded Palace had to dig in for victory against Pep Guardiola’s side, making his goal all the sweeter.”Having watched it back I think it was the best goal of my career, given the circumstances and given the opposition – probably the best side I’ve ever played against in my career,” he added.”They’re incredible. We couldn’t get near them at times. To score against these away from home makes it the best.”Palace are now six points clear of the relegation zone and manager Roy Hodgson wants to ensure they make the most of an unexpected win when they host struggling Cardiff City on Boxing Day.”It’s a good day’s work and three fantastic points that we need to make certain we don’t throw away by not doing the job we need to do against Cardiff,” he told Sky Sports.”We need three points from that game as well and not waste these three ‘bonus’ points that a lot of people didn’t expect us to get today.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Photos: Fan Appreciation Day in Stillwater

first_imgA big shout out to our photographer Jackson Lavarnway who pulled double duty on Saturday shooting the morning practice as well as the fan appreciation day in the afternoon with player availability after that. It was a fun (but long) day, and he did an awesome job. He’ll be shooting games for us all season.Here is a look at some of his work (you can follow him on Twitter at @TheLavarnway).AdChoices广告 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

The top 15 transfer targets in Serie A

first_imgTransfers Alisson, Milinkovic-Savic & 15 summer transfer targets from Serie A this summer Mark Doyle Last updated 1 year ago 16:10 3/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Alisson Milinkovic-Savic Getty Images/Goal Transfers Serie A Chelsea Liverpool Ligue 1 Bundesliga Premier League Primera División Milan Juventus Internazionale Lazio Roma Barcelona Real Madrid PSG Manchester City Manchester United Arsenal Opinion With the summer window set to open in just three months, Goal looks at the players presently attracting the most attention in Italy’s top flightlast_img read more

‘Ozil could quit Germany after World Cup’

first_imgMesut Özil Uncomfortable Ozil could quit Germany after World Cup, Matthaus suggests Goal 19:56 6/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mesut Ozil Germany 2018 Getty Images Mesut Özil Germany Germany v Mexico Germany v Sweden Sweden Mexico World Cup The Arsenal star has been criticised after his part in the world champions’ loss to Mexico and feels he could bring an end to his international career Mesut Ozil does not “identify” with the Germany national team and could retire from international football after the World Cup, former star Lothar Matthaus says.Along with the rest of the world champions, Ozil was the subject of criticism after starting their World Cup campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Mexico.Ex-Germany midfielder Stefan Effenberg called on Joachim Low to drop Ozil for Reus when they line up for the second clash against Sweden, but Matthaus went further with his criticism. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘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 “I often have the feeling that Ozil does not feel comfortable in the Germany jersey, that he is not free, almost as if he does not want to play at all,” the 1990 World Cup winner wrote in Bild. “There is no heart, no joy, no passion.”It does not seem impossible that he might withdraw from the national team after the World Cup.”For a year or two, Ozil has been much weaker and at a level that does not justify the free ticket Low gives him.”Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan created a controversy before the tournament when they appeared in a picture alongside Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Matthaus believes the Arsenal star does not realise how provocative it was.”Ozil did not understand why there are such great discussions in Germany about him. He is unaware of what the people in Germany expect from a national player, and that it would have been right, after the mistake of the Erdogan photo, to show commitment to Germany and to open up to the fans.”Matthaus continued his criticism of Germany in an article for Sky Sport, saying: “I don’t care about Mesut Ozil’s attitude towards the team and the fans or that he does not sing along with our national anthem. But I cannot understand why he does not consider it necessary to acknowledge the fans and clap briefly.”If you have already made a mistake, then such a gesture would have been a beautiful symbol towards the national team, but I feel he does not identify with this one. He gives the impression that he is in his own world and not part of this team.”Mesut Ozil Germany Mexico World Cup 2018 170618Matthaus did more than just hit out at Ozil after their disappointing start to the World Cup, saying they lacked all the strengths of a typical German team.”[There was] no pressing, no stability. The distances were so big that you were almost scared,” he added. “Especially the gaps between central defenders and midfielders. There should never be between 30 and 40 metres in between them. Our virtues were not there. Everything a German team has always been was non-existent.”The so-called Low regulars have abandoned our national coach. By that I mean above all Ozil, Sami Khedira and Thomas Muller.”last_img read more

Sarri plays down interest in ‘wonderful player’ Higuain

first_imgChelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has played down reports that he is looking to sign AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain in January.The Blues had been interested in the Argentina international during the summer transfer window but missed out as Higuain joined Milan on a season-long loan from Juventus.The former Real Madrid forward is expected to make that move permanent at the end of the campaign despite having only scored five Serie A goals for the Rossoneri thus far. 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 Sarri, who worked alongside Higuain during his time in charge of Napoli, with the forward finishing as the Italian top-flight’s highest goalscorer in 2015-16 with 36 goals, may now try to tempt him away from Serie A in the next few weeks.And though Sarri remains full of admiration for his former charge, he would not be drawn on whether he could be about to try and force a reunion with the 31-year-old.”I like him very much, he is a wonderful player and man,” he told reporters. “But I don’t want to talk about Higuain.”I have two and a half strikers at the moment, Higuain plays for Milan.”Sarri’s insistence that he has “two and a half strikers” on his books initiates from Sarri’s recent experiment of playing Eden Hazard as a central striker or false nine, rather than relying on inconsistent duo Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata.Eden Hazard Chelsea 2018-19Victories over Manchester City and Brighton with Hazard in a more unfamiliar role have lead to some suggesting it could be a system Sarri implements more going forward, starting with Saturday’s clash against Leicester City.And the veteran coach admitted that he is pleased with how well his team has managed the alteration in tactical approach and suggested fans have not seen the last of Hazard as a focal point.”I was sure about City in that position we could do a good match. Against Brighton I started to see this situation in different matches.”Now I want to see it against a team very compact, in low density. We have to see.”On Hazard he added: “There isn’t a best position for Hazard. He is a wonderful player, you have to let him be free on the pitch.”While Sarri continues to utilise Hazard and plays down links to Higuain, it does seem Chelsea will be pushing to add attacking players to their squad during the winter window.Assistant coach Gianfranco Zola admitted earlier this week that the club hold an interest in Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson while it is understood a bid for Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic is in the works.last_img read more

Maternal Sepsis and Ignaz Semmelweis, the Father of Infection Control

first_imgMore information:– Learn more about World Sepsis Day here.– Learn more about the Global Sepsis Alliance here.– Click here for a factsheet on sepsis.– And here for several interesting facts about sepsis.– If you happen to find yourself in Budapest, and want to learn more about Dr. Semmelweis, be sure to visit the Semmelweis Medical History Museum!Share this: Posted on September 13, 2012Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Today is the first ever World Sepsis Day (WSD)! World Sepsis Day is an initiative of the Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA), involving organizations from sixty-nine countries, that aims to call attention to a neglected issue in global health.The overall goal of the Global Sepsis Alliance is to reduce the global incidence of sepsis by at least 20% by 2020 through “promoting good general hygiene practices like proper hand hygiene and clean birthing conditions, as well as improvements in sanitation and nutrition, access to clean water, and vaccination programs for specific patient populations.”What is sepsis?According to the WSD website, “Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if it is not recognized early and treated promptly. Sepsis is the leading cause of death from infection around the world, despite advances in modern medicine like vaccines, antibiotics, and acute care. Millions of people around the world die of sepsis every year.”Sepsis and maternal healthAccording to the World Health Organization, the major complications that account for 80% of all maternal deaths are severe bleeding, infections (sepsis), high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia) and unsafe abortion.The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) offers a brief review of the evidence around maternal sepsis:BackgroundMaternal sepsis, also called “puerperal sepsis”, is defined by WHO as “infection of the genital tract occurring at any time between the onset of rupture of membranes or labor and the 42nd day postpartum, in which fever and one or more of the following are present: pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal discharge, abnormal smell/foul odor of discharge and delay in the rate of reduction of the size of the uterus”. This includes chorioamnionitis and endometritis. In the absence of treatment, maternal sepsis may lead to death and serious long-term morbidity such as chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease and secondary infertility.Epidemiology– Maternal sepsis causes at least 75,000 maternal deaths every year, mostly in low-income countries, and accounts for 14% of maternal mortality in Asia and Africa.– For every death there are a number of women who suffer acute and/or long-term morbidity, although data for a precise estimate are lacking.– There are multiple risk factors associated with maternal sepsis including home birth in unhygienic conditions, low socioeconomic status, poor nutrition, and caesarean sections.Learn more from KFF about maternal sepsis here.Ignaz SemmelweisIn honor of the first World Sepsis Day, the Maternal Health Task Force would like to take a few minutes to highlight the accomplishments of a man who some call “the father of infection control.” Others have named him “the savior of mothers.” While still others refer to him as “the unhappy hero.”According to BMJ Quality and Safety:Ignaz Semmelweis was a Hungarian born physician who received his MD degree in Vienna in 1844. In 1847 he was given a 2 year appointment as an assistant in obstetrics with responsibility for the First Division of the maternity service of the vast Allgemeine Krankenhaus teaching hospital in Vienna. There he observed that women delivered by physicians and medical students had a much higher rate (13–18%) of post-delivery mortality (called puerperal fever or childbed fever) than women delivered by midwife trainees or midwives (2%).This case-control analysis led Semmelweis to consider several hypotheses. He concluded that the higher rates of infections in women delivered by physicians and medical students were associated with the handling of corpses during autopsies before attending the pregnant women. This was not done by the midwives. He associated the exposure to cadaveric material with an increased risk of childbed fever, and conducted a study in which the intervention was hand washing.Learn more about Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis on BMJ Quality and Safety here.Unfortunately, his ideas went against the accepted beliefs of the time about the spread of disease—and his peers adamantly rejected his hypotheses. According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, “The years of controversy gradually undermined his spirit. In 1865 he suffered a breakdown and was taken to a mental hospital, where he died. Ironically, his illness and death were caused by the infection of a wound on his right hand, apparently the result of an operation he had performed before being taken ill. He died of the same disease against which he had struggled all his professional life.”Sadly, Ignaz Semmelweis has gone down in history as an “unhappy hero” despite saving the lives of numerous women and being the first physician to prove that hand-washing is a critical intervention for preventing infection. Eventually, though, about two decades after he died, he was given credit for his discoveries. Soon after Pasteur, Koch, and Lister developed significant evidence of the germ theory and antiseptic techniques, the medical community came to realize the significance of Semmelweis’ passion for hand-washing.The Budapest medical school, where Semmelweis once taught, is now the Semmelweis University of Medicine. ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Developing Universally-applicable Growth Standards: Emerging Findings on the First 1,000 Days of Life From the INTERGROWTH-21st Project

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Share this: Posted on September 17, 2013February 2, 2017By: Alison Chatfield, Project Manager, Maternal Health Task Force, Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The first 1,000 days of life is well-established as a critical time for the interconnected health of the mother-baby pair, as well as for the individual needs of both.  Yet the divide between maternal and newborn health remains persistent in policy, programs and, most importantly, in practice.An international group of researchers across five continents has responded to this challenge through a collaborative effort to improve our understandings of human growth.The evidence collected by the International Fetal and Newborn Growth Consortium for the 21st Century (INTERGROWTH-21st) Project, led by the University of Oxford’s Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute, will inform the world’s first universally-applicable standards for measuring fetal, newborn and preterm growth.Why growth?  “Low-weight newborns (newborns weighing 2000-2499 grams) are 2.8 times more likely to die during the neonatal period than those weighing more than 2499 grams at birth,” Zulfiqar Bhutta writes.  “A major limitation in our understanding of the significance of low birth weight and various connotations of the condition is the lack of standardized patterns of intrauterine growth.”Current fetal, newborn and preterm growth charts were developed based on descriptions of how babies grew in a small cohort of American babies in the 1970s.  The INTERGROWTH-21st Consortium recognizes that existing benchmarks are increasingly irrelevant, and is gathering evidence to fill this gap and produce the world’s first universally-applicable growth standards.Like the Multicentre Growth Reference Study before it, the INTERGROWTH-21st Project is racially and ethnically inclusive.  Participant mothers are non-smokers, receive adequate antenatal care and nutrition throughout pregnancy, and they all breastfeed their infants.  The resulting evidence will inform a standard based on how babies grow when given an optimal start to life.The results of the INTERGROWTH-21st Project will (a) contribute to the evidence base on maternal, newborn and preterm health and nutrition, and (b) provide frontline healthcare professionals with decision-making tools that will improve the quality of care when it matters most to the health of mothers and newborns.  Translating this research into practice “may help us to reduce the millions of stillbirths and deaths in infancy that are attributable to poor growth,” says Professor Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, President of FIGO.For further reading, the BJOG: An International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics has released a special supplement on the INTERGROWTH-21st Project’s methodology and implementation narratives from the study sites in Brazil, China, India, Italy, Kenya, Oman, the UK and the US.Resources on Perinatal Health can be found on the MHTF’s newest Topic page.  If you have suggestions for additions or changes to the Topic page, or ideas for additional blog posts on Perinatal Health, let us know!  last_img read more

Event: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Programs as a Strategy to Advance Maternal Health

first_imgShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on March 7, 2014November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The Wilson Center will host another fantastic event within their Maternal Health Initiative program on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Programs as a Strategy to Advance Maternal Health.  The event will highlight the intersection of access to quality water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and how it relates to maternal and child health.  Merri Weinger, Annie Toro, Lisa Meadowcroft, Lenka Benova, and Luis Mora will speak on the various programs, completed and ongoing, focused on using WASH to bolster maternal health programs.The event will be held at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. (RSVP here), but if you can’t make it in person, there will also be a live webcast of the event.Time: 12:00-2:00pm EST on March 10, 2014Follow @TheWilsonCenter @NewSecurityBeat on Twitter and visit the  NewSecurityBeat.org blog.  Also tell us your thoughts on the event via Twitter @MHTF.last_img read more

3 Quick Tips to Improve Donor Retention

first_imgYou’ve put so much work into getting new donors, so how do you make sure they turn into lifetime supporters?1. Make sure you’re thanking your donors properly.When you receive a gift, how do you acknowledge the donor? Whether you’re sending an email, a personalized note, or picking up the phone to call them, make sure your message is meaningful (much more than a receipt). Your message should be personal, creative, and focused on the donor and their impact. Show how their gift is contributing to the mission.2. Keep the conversation going.Of course you need to thank first-time donors as soon as possible, but don’t let the conversation end there. Invite them to events, call them to say thank you, and send them occasional emails or letters about how donors like them are making a difference for the cause. Use a variety of communication mediums and messages and keep track of your individual conversations in your donor management system.3.Track your progress.If you don’t track your efforts, there’s no way to know if your strategy is making a difference. Keep tabs on your new donors and see what percent are making a second gift (and how quickly), and compare this year-over-year. Review your donor data every two weeks to see how things are going and how you could better segment your donors for more meaningful communications.For more donor retention tips and tricks, download a copy of The Quick-Start Guide to Donor Retention.last_img read more

Strategies to Improve Maternal Health in Urban India: Responding to Urbanization and Migration

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 18, 2017September 19, 2017By: Piyasree Mukherjee, CEO, Foundation for Mother and Child Health IndiaClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Over the past decade, India has implemented several programs with the aim of improving maternal health nationwide, but the latest data reveal that progress has been inconsistent. Maharashtra, a large state in western India, has seen some improvement but still has a long way to go. For example, in 2016, a mere 36% of women in urban Maharashtra received at least four antenatal care visits that included administration of a tetanus toxoid injection and iron folic acid supplementation, and nearly half of pregnant women in this area were found to be anemic.By the beginning of the new millennium, Maharashtra had experienced rapid urbanization and migration, both of which have important implications for health systems. Mumbai city had the highest rate of in-migration between 1990 and 2001 compared to the rest of the country. As greater proportions of the population continue to move into India’s cities, more infrastructure, supplies and human resources are needed—especially because of the exclusion of poor migrants from the health care system in urban India. Among 35 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries, India has the lowest ratio of hospitals beds per population at just one bed for every 2,000 people. This shortage demonstrates the kind of pressure that population growth and migration put on India’s health system.Over-crowding, however, is just one example of India’s health care system challenges. People migrating into Maharashtra—especially to urban centers such as Mumbai—often avoid local health facilities. The under-utilization of maternal health services occurs for several reasons, including language and cultural differences. One of the greatest barriers to health care access for migrants is the government’s requirement that everyone is issued an “Aadhar” identity document. The Indian government has recently announced that the identification scheme of Aadhar will be linked with a number of central government-sponsored schemes, which may have important implications for access to maternal health care.4 strategies to improve maternal health in urban areasThe Foundation for Mother and Child Health in India has learned lessons that may be helpful to other program implementers and policymakers working to improve maternal health in urban settings—particularly those undergoing rapid migration:Integration of services: Currently, separate agencies provide health and nutrition services to pregnant women, and recent migrants often struggle to find each service location. Offering a “one-stop” location that integrates several types of services could help to increase utilization.Multi-sectoral collaboration: Partnerships with non-profit organizations and private sector actors represent an opportunity to develop and test innovative solutions, including leveraging technology platforms to facilitate the identification of high-risk pregnancies and resource gaps.Support for frontline health workers: Frontline health workers are the primary influencers at the community level and often have important insights into challenges and opportunities on the ground. These providers need high quality education and training, support from the wider health system and access to accurate and updated information on maternal health in their communities in order to do their jobs well.Investing in research: Rigorous research studies that involved the collection of comprehensive, accurate data is critical to understanding maternal health challenges and planning interventions to address these challenges.—Learn more about maternal health in urban settings.Watch a video from a 2013 discussion titled “Maternal Health in India: Emerging Priorities,” which was co-hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) as part of the Advancing Dialogue on Maternal Health Series.Subscribe to receive new posts from the MHTF blog in your inbox.Interested in writing for the MHTF blog? Read our guest post guidelines and tell us about your idea!Share this:last_img read more

STINSON: Redemption — and satisfaction — at last for Raptors’ Kyle Low

first_imgThe biggest cheers, as they had to be, were for Kyle Lowry.The celebration at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday night had a lot of angles to it. It was, most obviously, about a banner unveiled in the rafters. And it was about the presentation of the hilariously blinged-out championship rings, which look to have been designed by a third-world dictator who is compensating for something.But for the Toronto Raptors, it was more than that. It was the denouement to 24 seasons of mostly embarrassing futility that built toward a period of competence and relevance that, owing to assorted heart-breaking collapses, had the fan base legitimately wondering if it would have been better to just stay crappy.Lowry, more than anyone else in the building on Tuesday, was the link to those painful memories. A championship is franchise catharsis, a chance to throw off the shroud of failure. Most of those associated with the team’s aches and pains are long gone: DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio, Dwane Casey to Detroit. Jonas Valanciunas, whose anguished, hands-on-head expression when he missed a late chip-in against Cleveland in 2018, was a microcosm of that team’s playoff struggles, shipped to Memphis late last season. Owing to the free-agency events of the summer, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green were gone, too, by their own choices.That left Lowry, the beating heart of the Raptors, as the guy to stand in for everything his franchise finally accomplished.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.He held the anchor position in the ring ceremony, and when it was his turn to receive the massive bauble from NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the arena filled with roars, which transitioned to shouts of “LOW-RY, LOW-RY.” Catharsis, all right.It was a cap to an incredible run, not just for his team, but for Lowry himself. Leonard was, of course, a deserving Finals MVP, and no one else played a bigger role in dragging the Raptors over the obstacles that had snagged the team in previous post-seasons on their way to the showdown with Golden State.Overshadowed, though, by the supernova that was Leonard in full, Lowry authored a remarkable redemption story of his own. He began the season unusually silent, even for him, clearly wounded by the team’s ruthless trade of DeRozan. It was a rebuke of the Casey-DeRozan-Lowry core that had kept running smack into the generational talent of LeBron James, proof that president Masai Ujiri had finally agreed with all those who said that that version of the Raptors would never be good enough to compete for a title.Even as the new-look team got off to an impressive start, Lowry’s role had been noticeably downgraded. Where he once controlled the Toronto offence, much of the scoring load was shifted to Leonard, who didn’t need a point guard to help him generate shots. Lowry’s production declined, and by the time of the February trade deadline, his emergence in trade rumours was both surprising and yet plausible. Was this how Lowry’s time in Toronto would end, shipped out as the team cut another tie to past playoff woes?It was, as you have probably heard, not.Lowry and Ujiri had an airing of grievances, he stayed with the franchise where he had blossomed into an all-star, and the Raptors went about their business. He was beaten up, a 33-year-old body that had a lot of reckless miles on it, and there were times late last season where to go into the post-game locker room was to find Lowry hooked up to some kind of machine that was supposed to stop swelling or promote healing or both. It was enough to make a creaky newspaper columnist feel spry.Then the playoffs arrived, and the Raptors needed him to score, and he posted a dreadful zero-point performance in the opening loss to Orlando. Seriously, this again? When he hit a free throw early in Game 2 and the home crowd went bonkers, it had to be a little embarrassing. Those were the cheers for a 12th man getting a garbage-time dunk, not a team leader finally breaking a playoff doughnut.But, as the playoff crucible wore on, the guy that had worn so many playoff failures threw more dirt on the idea that he couldn’t get it done on the biggest stages. His resilience mirrored that of his once-flailing team. When the East final began in Milwaukee, he scored 30 points and almost stole a Game 1 win. In Game 4, with Leonard clearly hobbled and the Raptors needing a victory to knot the series, Lowry bulled his way to 18 first-half points, many of them scored amid a thicket of giant Bucks in the paint.All of that built toward the game of his life, the 26-point, 10-assist gem in the title-winning Game 6. He had played 74 playoff games with the Raptors, a franchise record. Not one was bigger. Lowry, once and forever, was redeemed. As were the Toronto Raptors.It was fitting that the highlight reel played before the banner unveiling on Tuesday started its crescendo with Lowry burying bucket after bucket against the Warriors. Then, on the court with a microphone in his hand, he thanked the crowd on an “incredibly special night.” He asked his teammates to join him, and they all pointed to the championship banner, hidden under a black cloth. They counted down, and it fell away.Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet looked to be wiping away tears. Lowry smiled. It was satisfaction that was a long time coming. Seventy-three games, to be precise.sstinson@postmedia.com 1 Kyle Lowry Toronto Raptorscenter_img Comments Share your thoughtslast_img read more

PETA Releases Statement After Auburn Player Collided With Mississippi State’s Live Mascot

first_img Think again.PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) President Marta Holmberg sent a letter to Mississippi State on Tuesday requesting the school retire Jak. The organization also requests the school stops using live mascots moving forward.“May we please have your assurance that you will bring Mississippi State into the 21st century by giving Jak the retirement he deserves and pledging not to use real animals as mascots? Thank you for your attention to this important issue,” Holmberg said in the letter, via AL.com.Many argue that there’s no reason for the request considering Bully was unharmed. But Holmberg also points out that it could’ve ended in a much worse situation.“In light of this close call—which could easily have left Jak severely injured or even dead—as well as the cruelty inherent in using living beings as ‘mascots,’ I urge you to retire Jak and pledge not to use live animals in the future,” Holmberg said.Holmberg has a point. Jak, who acts as Bully the Bulldog, was lucky to walk away uninjured. While these incidents are rare, it’s always a possibility. Several schools still use live mascots. But after Saturday’s scare, could changes be coming?BREAKING: It’s sheer luck that @msstate’s dog mascot is not dead after he collided with a football player.Dogs are FAMILY—not mascots. PETA urges #MSU to stop using live animals as mascots & retire Jak so he gets the safety all dogs deserve. https://t.co/DoQ5mLiws9— PETA (@peta) October 1, 2019As of this moment, Mississippi State has yet to respond to the letter. Stay tuned for any further updates on the situation. Mississippi State's bulldog mascot.STARKVILLE, MS – OCTOBER 11: Mississippi State Bulldogs mascot Bully during the game against the Auburn Tigers at Davis Wade Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)An Auburn player collided with Mississippi State’s live mascot, Bully the bulldog, during Saturday’s contest. It was an unexpected scare during college football Saturday.But after the collision, Bully’s handler took to Twitter to assure the dog was okay.Hey Bulldog Nation. Just want everyone to know I am fine!! I’m headed back out on the field now. Thanks for all the tweets and concerns. We love our fans!!! @SECNetwork @espn— MSU Bully Mom (@BullyXXI) September 28, 2019When Bully’s keeper informed everyone that the live mascot was okay, most thought the story was finished.last_img read more

No weak links in this Indian team, says Aaron Finch ahead of ODI series

first_imgNo weak links in this Indian team, says Aaron Finch ahead of ODI seriesIndia vs Australia: Aaron Finch said the Indian batting is heavily reliant on its top-three and his team will be looking to exploit that weakness in the series.advertisement Press Trust of India SydneyJanuary 11, 2019UPDATED: January 11, 2019 18:32 IST Aaron Finch said Indian the batting is heavily reliant on its top-three batsmen (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSIndia and Australia play a three-match ODI series from January 12 Down UnderAaron Finch said Australia’s target will be to dismiss India’s top-three batsmen cheaplyLike India, Australia will also kick off their 2019 World Cup preparations in SydneyAustralian skipper Aaron Finch is wary of a strong Indian one day international team ahead of the three-match series starting in Sydney on Saturday. India and Australia play the second and third ODIs in Adelaide and Melbourne respectively.Finch said Indian the batting is heavily reliant on its top-three and his team will be looking to exploit that weakness in the series. Finch said his side’s target will be to dismiss India’s top-three batsmen — Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli — cheaply.”Over the last 12 months Virat’s averaged 133, Shikhar 75, and Rohit 50; so there’s a lot of runs and balls faced from their top three. It’s important to get them as early as you can because once they get in, they score fast and they don’t seem to get out too easily,” said Finch on Friday.With the success of the top-order, the middle-order comprising MS Dhoni has not been tested enough.”Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, Dhoni these guys that can all play their part as well. The top three are very important but you can’t just look at that otherwise there’s someone else that will catch you off-guard and get the job done as well,” said Finch.Like India, Australia will kick off their 2019 World Cup preparations in Sydney, albeit they have a Test series against Sri Lanka in between.’INDIA’S STRONG BOWLING ATTACK’When asked about Jasprit Bumrah’s absence, as the pacer has been rested for this series, Finch replied, “Bumrah has played a huge part for their one-day side, or all their sides. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is someone who has had success at all levels as well.advertisement”…The two spinners have played a huge role in Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal over the last month as well. There’s no real weak links in their side. They’ve got an extra spin option in the squad with Jadeja, Kedar who can bowl some off-spin.”Bumrah has been replaced by Mohammad Siraj with others in the pace department including Khaleel Ahmed and Mohammad Shami.”They (India) have got left, right-arm, spin, leg-spin, off-spin, so they’ve got plenty of options… They play their own conditions very well but I think the amount of times they’re winning away from home in the shorter formats is a credit to them.”‘CHANCE FOR CAREY TO SHINE’The hosts announced their playing eleven for the series opener as per norm, with keeper-batsman Alex Carey set to open the batting with Finch. The batting runs deep with Glenn Maxwell at number seven.”It’s just an opportunity to see Alex play in a position he’s done quite bit in Big Bash and one-day cricket. He’s been shuffled around the order a bit in the last little while… we are trying to search for that process and right balance of the side.”We’ve got three games here which will be very tough then straight to India for five ODIs then Pakistan so that’s a very tough 13 games, then a few warm-up and practice games against New Zealand.”The absence of the suspended David Warner and Steve Smith has unsettled the Australian batting.”These are still best part of 18 games to get that right. While it would have been great to have a settled side for the last 12-18 months it’s still enough time to get it right and make sure come that World Cup that we are ready to go with a really balanced and settled side,” he said.Finch said that the ODI series is a chance for their batting line-up to start afresh after the collective failure in the previous outings.Australia have rested their own primary pacers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, with old-timer Peter Siddle returning to the side after a gap of eight years.”For Siddle to go away and work on the skills that he’s brought to the table over the last couple of years in Big Bash cricket is outstanding. He probably went with a real red-ball focus for a long time there and probably neglected the one-day skills.”Then to come back and have an eight-week period last year where he just focused on skills for the white ball and how quickly he improved was unbelievable,” Finch added.Also Read | Australia to sport retro look from 1986 for ODI series vs IndiaAlso Read | I won’t be seen around the scene once I am done: Virat Kohli on his post-retirement plansFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byJepher Nickels Tags :Follow Aaron Finchlast_img read more

India vs Australia series review: India have Plan A in place but what about Plan B?

first_imgIndia vs Australia series review: India have Plan A in place but what about Plan B?India lost the fifth one-day international against Australia by 35 runs as well as the five-match ODI series 2-3. Virat Kohli & Co. will not not have international cricket between now and the 2019 ICC World Cup to iron out their flaws.advertisement Press Trust of India New DelhiMarch 14, 2019UPDATED: March 14, 2019 13:02 IST Virat Kohli affirmed despite the series loss that he knows his “playing XI going into the World Cup” (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSIndia lost the five-match ODI series against Australia after being 2-0 upVirat Kohli scored 310 runs, including 2 wo hundreds, while Rohit Sharma scored 202 runsKohli said he knows India’s playing XI going for the World Cup, with only one spot undecidedIndia captain Virat Kohli made it clear that he has his Plan A in place but what also became clear in the just-concluded ODI series against Australia was the lack of an effective Plan B ahead of the World Cup starting May 30.Who is the No.4? Who is the third opener if Shikhar Dhawan continues to fail? Will there be a fourth specialist pace bowling option? Who is the second wicketkeeper? Has Ravindra Jadeja done enough?These five questions did not find any answers during the 2-3 series defeat.However, the format of World Cup (round robin) is such that India will have to be at their worst in order to not qualify for the semi-finals. All they need to do is win six out of nine games and take it forward from there.Then, it’s the matter of two good days in office and hence Kohli has less issues to deal with despite a patchy series for his team.Save the skipper himself (310 runs with two hundreds) and his deputy Rohit Sharma (202 runs with two fifties), the batting didn’t come together on a regular basis.Shikhar Dhawan, Kedar Jadhav or Vijay Shankar had their moments but lack of consistency hurt the team.Mahendra Singh Dhoni as usual, was rock solid behind the stumps, something that was highlighted even more by Rishabh Pant’s fumbles in the final two games. Dhoni’s astute cricket brain was not there to support Kohli in crunch situations in the final two games.In the bowling department, Kuldeep Yadav (10 wickets) was expensive but got wickets while Jasprit Bumrah (7 wickets) did have his off days.advertisementRavindra Jadeja will still be wondering whether three wickets from four games is good enough or not.India wanted a few answers going into the World Cup with regards to their fringe players but there were more unanswered questions after the conclusion of the final phase of their World Cup preparations.According to Kohli though, he knows his “playing XI going into the World Cup” and only one spot requires to be discussed.However, there remains a big question mark over who will be India’s No.4 in the World Cup.Will it be a floating position given that original choice Ambati Rayudu didn’t exactly score those tough runs in Australia, New Zealand and now in India barring one game.If the idea was to give KL Rahul enough chances to settle down, it didn’t happen as the Bengaluru-player got only one chance during the series.The flamboyant Pant was also promoted up the order in the final ODI but he couldn’t seal the spot.Kohli himself came down at No.4 to accommodate Rahul in one game without much success.So, No.4 does remain a concern with Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey not being tried at all during this phase.Kohli didn’t indicate which is the one spot the team is looking at but it could well be a toss up between Pant and the more experienced Dinesh Karthik.It is clear that Hardik Pandya is a far better bowler than Vijay Shankar.Siddharth Kaul was included in the squad for the first two games and not played. Umesh Yadav was dumped after two bad overs.Yuzvendra Chahal, with lesser variation than Kuldeep, was benched often.So, the questions remained and hopefully the picture will be clearer by April 20, by the time India announce their final 15.Also Read | Virat Kohli defends experimentation after India lose 1st ODI series since 2015 at homeAlso Read | We know our playing XI going into 2019 ICC World Cup: Virat KohliAlso Read | Virat Kohli defends experimentation after India lose 1st ODI series since 2015 at homeAlso Read | Australia were braver than us in pressure situations: Virat KohliFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow India vs AustraliaFollow series reviewFollow Virat KohliFollow 2019 ICC World Cuplast_img read more

Sanchez takes No.7 shirt at Inter

first_imgAlexis Sanchez may have flopped in the No.7 jersey at Manchester United, but he has taken on that number again with Inter.The 30-year-old frontman will spend the rest of the 2019-20 campaign at San Siro after sealing a season-long loan switch from Old Trafford.He will be hoping to fare considerably better with the Nerazzurri than he did with the Red Devils. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Sanchez was handed an iconic jersey upon his arrival in Manchester, but never looked like following in the illustrious footsteps of former 7s before him.The likes of George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo have filled that shirt with distinction.Sanchez, however, managed just five goals in 45 appearances before being allowed to head for the exits.He will now aim to rebuilt his reputation at Inter and will take a prominent place in the plans of boss Antonio Conte.The No.7 has been handed to him following the departure of Mauro Icardi, with the Argentine frontman having made his own loan move to French giants Paris Saint-Germain.❔ | NUMERO DI MAGLIA@Alexis_Sanchez⚫️🔵👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/E6qw2Hg2Zv— Inter (@Inter) September 3, 2019Sanchez will be charged with the task of helping to fill the attacking void created by Icardi’s switch at the end of another long-running transfer saga.And the Chilean will have a familiar face alongside him to aid that cause.Romelu Lukaku is another of those to have traded life at United for that at Inter this summer, with the Belgian striker completing a £75 million ($90m) move.The Belgian frontman was happy to head for the exits at Old Trafford, with it suggested that he, Sanchez and Paul Pogba had become scapegoats for the recent struggles endured by the Red Devils.Lukaku told the LightHarted podcast: “It is Pogba, it is me or it is Alexis. It’s the three of us all the time.”They have got to find somebody to blame. I put my hand up, like, this year I don’t think I was the only one playing bad. A lot of people were playing bad but they had to find the culprit.”If they want to put the blame on me, you know what, f*ck it, do what you gotta do.”I think the team has so much potential to do some great stuff. There is a lot of talent. But it is not only talent; you really have to build a team.”Lukaku, who has already made his bow for Inter and spoken out against the racist abuse he has received in Italy, will be hoping to form a more productive partnership with Sanchez in Milan than they managed in Manchester.last_img read more

Jorginho a better player after ‘fantastic’ first season at Chelsea

first_imgJorginho believes he enjoyed a “fantastic first season” at Chelsea and considers life in the Premier League to have made him a better player.The Brazil-born Italy international followed Maurizio Sarri from Napoli to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2018.He initially impressed in a holding role, but saw questions asked of his value across a debut campaign as he filled a position N’Golo Kante had previously starred in. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Jorginho is, however, adamant that he proved his worth, having already refuted any suggestion that he can only thrive as part of a Sarri side.Frank Lampard has continued to find a role for him this term, with the 27-year-old seeing a marked improvement in his overall game.He told reporters while on Euro 2020 qualifying duty: “I think I had a fantastic first season and it was fundamental for my growth process.“I am stronger in defence now, I go into challenges with more determination and control the game. The Premier League has forced me to develop different skills.“[Italy coach] Roberto Mancini is putting his faith in me for the Nazionale and I am trying to prove on the field that I deserve that.“I think more than anything I just have the characteristics to suit his idea of football.“I’d love to score a goal [against Finland on Sunday], but I’d be even happier if we came away with three points.”Teemu Pukki Norwich NewcastleItaly battled their way to a 3-1 win over 10-man Armenia on Thursday are aware that they will need to raise their game against Finland.Norwich striker Teemu Pukki will likely pose the biggest threat to the Azzurri, having already recorded five Premier League goals this season, and Jorginho is fully aware of his qualities.He added: “He is their most important player, but we should keep a close eye on all of them. Finland are not a surprise, as the quality of their players is evident and they work as a team.“Pukki has a bit of everything, which makes him a complete striker. He times his runs well, is very intelligent in his positioning, runs hard, presses opponents and never stops moving.“He protects the ball, can provide assists, he really is dangerous. It’s no coincidence that he’s the current Premier League top scorer.”last_img read more

Fabianski explains reasons for Arsenal exit

first_imgLukasz Fabianski admits that he “needed to leave Arsenal” in order to become the goalkeeper he always believed he could be.The Poland international linked up with the Gunners in 2007 and went on to spend seven years in north London.His final outing for the club saw him lift the FA Cup in 2014, but that was just his 78th appearance. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career A lack of regular game time saw him struggle for consistency when called upon, with the decision ultimately taken to try his luck away from Emirates Stadium.That brave call has paid off, with a man who has gone on to shine for Swansea and West Ham telling Sky Sports of his experiences at Arsenal: “I wanted to prove myself on the pitch, but I didn’t have many chances, so it put a lot more pressure on every single game that I played.”I found myself in situations where I was so keen to show my qualities, but many times it worked against me and I was punished for being too eager.”I think what happens when you don’t play regularly is that all the little things that are very important for our position are a little bit off. Even when I started pre-season this year, I could feel a bit of a difference. Your timing is not there, your feeling of the game, your distances. When I made the decision to leave Arsenal, it was based on that.”Lukasz Fabianski West HamFabianski added on the criticism he faced at times when with the Gunners: “I never spoke about it in a loud way, but inside of me I felt like that was actually one of the things that helped. It was something which drove me to get better.”Over the years I think I have developed a better understanding of being a goalkeeper – and I mean on and off the pitch. I mean how to deal with certain situations, how to prepare myself for games, how to read the game. I think I needed to leave Arsenal to do that. I needed a new challenge in my life and I am very happy with how things have gone from that moment.”Fabianski is now 34 years of age, but believes he still has many good years left in him.He is West Ham’s reigning Player of the Year and intends to maintain the high standards he has set since finding the support he lacked in north London.”I don’t know how much I’ve got left in the tank, but I feel good,” Fabianski added.”I just want to prepare myself well and keep trying to develop, because I think there is always room to develop and get better. I will just keep pushing. My aim is to get as much as I can from whatever I’ve got left.”last_img read more

De Bruyne urged to leave Man City for PSG

first_imgKevin De Bruyne has been told by a former coach that he should consider leaving Manchester City for Paris Saint-Germain.Hein Vanhaezebrouck, who has previously worked with the Belgium international at Genk, believes a switch to France would offer the 28-year-old a better shot at Champions League glory.De Bruyne has already enjoyed considerable success in England, helping City to Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Community Shield honours. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Pep Guardiola’s side are, however, yet to make the expected impact in European competition.Vanhaezebrouck feels De Bruyne could help to force his way into contention for that crown if he opted to link up with the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at Parc des Princes.He told Het Nieuwsblad: “Kevin has won two league titles and various English cups with Manchester City, and he’s been named player of the season in Germany.”But he has never won anything internationally. No Europa League, no Champions League, no World Cup – and these are the things that are always taken into account.”As soon as he wins one of these prizes I have no doubt that he will be in the running for the FIFA player of the year award and the Ballon d’Or trophy.Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City Tottenham“He could yet do it with City – but with the defence they’ve got I am not convinced.”I’m not saying that it would be easier for him to win the Champions League with Barcelona or Real Madrid.”But to my mind it would be if he played for Paris Saint-Germain.”Get De Bruyne to feed Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe with his pinpoint passes, and you have a team that is virtually impossible to play against.”The one problem is that it may not suit him to play in Ligue 1. At PSG he would earn even more money than he does now.”But on so many weekends he’d have matches against the likes of Dijon, Amiens or Strasbourg – and he wouldn’t look forward to them.”De Bruyne committed to a five-year contract with City in January 2018.Guardiola revealed after that extension was agreed that the release clause in the midfielder’s contract now stands at €250 million (£222m/$274m).last_img read more

Battered and ‘Brugged’! Madrid & Hazard escape another humiliation

first_imgOne step forward, two steps back. That’s how it works at Real Madrid these days.Just as it seemed as if Zinedine Zidane’s side had finally plugged their leaky defence – stopping the rot after being humiliated by PSG a fortnight ago – they went and spoiled it all with an embarrassing display at the Santiago Bernabeu against Club Brugge.Madrid were thrashed 3-0 in their Champions League opener by an under-strength PSG team missing Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career However, three consecutive clean sheets in La Liga – a first in either Zidane era – to go with wins over Sevilla, Osasuna and then a draw at Atletico Madrid, took Madrid to the top of the table.Crisis talk abated, rays of light cutting through the gloom, as Zidane and Co looked to get back to business against Club Brugge in what seemed a straightforward game.So much so that the coach left Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez out of his squad entirely – two of the club’s best players so far in this campaign.But Madrid were sliced open repeatedly by the Belgians on the break, stumbling to a 2-2 draw on Tuesday night.Los Blancos were left battered and bruised, the 13-time record winners of the competition dismissed with their tails between their legs once again. Indeed, only a late Casemiro goal prevented the ultimate humiliation.The highs of their three consecutive Champions League titles between 2016 and 2018 now seem like an eternity ago.Just as they were thrashed 4-1 here by Ajax in the last 16 second leg clash last season, Brugge seemed to cut through Madrid at will.Madrid were susceptible to pacy attacks and Brighton loanee Percy Tau got in behind captain Sergio Ramos to set up Emmanuel Dennis for the opening goal.Karim Benzema Real Madrid 2019-20The forward didn’t know much about the finish, stabbing home accidentally as he miscontrolled the ball, leaving goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois all at sea.Dennis’ 11th minute strike was the quickest goal Madrid have conceded at home in the Champions League group phase since Luciano Galletti struck after seven minutes for Olympiacos in 2007.Madrid managed their first effort on target after 27 long minutes, with Raphael Varane’s header well parried by ex-Liverpool man Simon Mignolet.Before that only efforts from midfield duo Toni Kroos and Luka Modric – which both flew wide – did anything to raise the pulses of fans at the Santiago Bernabeu.Hazard had a chance to shoot after half-an-hour but looked to tee up Karim Benzema, with his pass cut out. At Chelsea, he surely would have looked for goal himself.The Belgian remains daunted by his new surroundings, backing up his pre-match claims that he needed to improve greatly to be considered a Galactico.As the minutes ticked by, Hazard failed to improve, even if he was allowed greater liberty to float around the pitch.Thibaut Courtois Real Madrid 2019-20Just before half time Dennis struck again after steaming through Madrid’s non-existent defence, stumbling once more but pulling off a fine lofted finish to beat Courtois.Sergio Ramos’ header pulled a goal back for Madrid and then Casemiro equalised in the 85th minute, after Brugge captain Ruud Vormer was sent off.In between it had been Brugge who came closer to scoring another, with Alphonse Areola making a stunning save to deny Dennis his hat-trick.The French goalkeeper – on loan from PSG – replaced Courtois at half-time, who left to whistles.Neither goal was his fault but the Belgian has now astonishingly conceded 10 goals in his last four Champions League matches.Reports in Madrid suggest Courtois was taken off because of stomach problems. His spell in the capital has left plenty of fans feeling sick.Madrid could not complete their comeback with a late winner and they have now failed to win in three home Champions League matches in a row.The kings of Europe are on their knees.last_img read more

‘Hazard’s trying, but football is about goals’

first_imgEden Hazard is still in the middle of a “period of adaptation” at Real Madrid, according to Casemiro The Belgian winger completed a €100 million (£89m/$109m) switch from Chelsea to Madrid back in June, bringing to an end a successful seven-year spell in the Premier League.The 28-year-old had been tipped to fill the sizeable void left by Cristiano Ronaldo since his departure from Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2018, but he has failed to impress in five appearances at the start of the 2019-20 campaign. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Hazard is still looking for his first goal in Madrid colours after producing another ineffective performance during a 2-2 home draw with Club Brugge in the Champions League on Tuesday night .Casemiro has no doubts over the mercurial winger’s talent, but sought to remind his team-mate that “football is about goals” after another damaging setback.”[Hazard] is trying, but football is [about] goals,” the Brazilian stated, as quoted by Marca.”We know he is among the world’s top five [players] and it is normal to have a period of adaptation.”Madrid staged a spirited second-half fightback to earn a point against an unfancied Brugge side, with Sergio Ramos and Casemiro grabbing the goals for the hosts.The 27-year-old admitted that the Blancos failed to perform in the first period, but he does not believe that the squad’s desire and commitment should be called into question.”In the first half we didn’t do well,” Casemiro said.”I didn’t see the fans leaving [the stadium] angry and in the second half, they supported us a lot.”I haven’t seen them supporting us as much as today.”We have to play like we did the second half, and we should never ask for forgiveness because we always try to do our best.”Zinedine Zidane’s side now face a battle to qualify from Group A , with Paris Saint-Germain commanding a five-point advantage over their rivals at the top of the standings and Brugge occupying second.Despite their European woes, Madrid are leading the way in La Liga after seven matches of the new season, with a crucial clash against second-placed Granada up next on Saturday.last_img read more