Connect with us

Sports

Manchester City vs PSG: Riyad Mahrez Double Takes Manchester City Into First Champions League Final | Football News

Published

on

Manchester City vs PSG: Riyad Mahrez Double Takes Manchester City Into First Champions League Final | Football News





Pep Guardiola said Manchester City’s first ever Champions League final had been five years in the making after Riyad Mahrez’s double saw off Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 on Tuesday to seal a 4-1 semi-final aggregate win. City will look to set the seal on a third Premier League title in the past four seasons in the coming days as they remain on course for a treble, having already lifted the League Cup. But their previous four Champions League campaigns under Guardiola ended in anguish before the semi-final stage. Guardiola has won the competition twice before as a coach during his time at Barcelona.

However, the Catalan has also endured a decade of disappointment in Europe’s premier club competition since.

“It is for all of us and the club. I’m incredibly proud,” said Guardiola. “Getting to the final now makes sense of what we have done in the past four or five years. Every day these guys have been consistent and this is remarkable.”

Mahrez’s goal also decided the first leg and the Algerian, who grew up in the Parisian suburbs, haunted his home town team again with two clinical finishes early in each half.

The final in Istanbul on May 29 against Real Madrid or Chelsea is the culmination of City’s rise since an Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008 transformed the club’s fortunes.

Meanwhile, four years on from making Neymar and Kylian Mbappe the world’s two most expensive players, PSG’s wait for a first Champions League title goes on.

Mbappe could only watch on from the stands due to a calf injury as, just like in last week’s first leg, his side imploded after an excellent first-half performance.

The visitors were left to rue huge missed chances by Marquinhos and Angel Di Maria in between Mahrez’s strikes before Di Maria lashed out at Fernandinho to leave PSG down to 10 men for the final 20 minutes.

“We started really well, creating chances and dominating Manchester City,” said PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino. “That’s not easy. Not many teams can dominate a team like Manchester City.”

However, the Argentine, who had to come onto the pitch to calm his players after Di Maria saw red, admitted his side’s indiscipline had cost them.

Idrissa Gueye was also sent off late in the first leg for a shocking challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

“Over the 180 minutes, for 40 or 45 minutes we played with 10 men,” added Pochettino. “That’s a massive advantage.”

The French champions thought they had an early penalty to get back in the tie when Oleksandr Zinchenko was penalised for handball.

However, Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers rightly reversed his initial decision on seeing a replay of the ball bouncing off the Ukrainian’s shoulder.

Zinchenko was heavily involved again when the opening goal arrived at the other end.

He raced onto City goalkeeper Ederson’s thunderous long pass into the PSG area. Zinchenko’s cut-back found Kevin De Bruyne and after the Belgian’s shot was blocked, Mahrez pounced to slot home on his weaker right foot.

The tie was still far from over as PSG penned City back and should have been at least level on the night before half-time.

Marquinhos has made a habit of scoring big Champions League goals and the Brazilian was inches away from another when his looping header came back off the crossbar.

Ederson then nearly undid his good work as Di Maria intercepted his hurried throw to Bernardo Silva and flashed a shot inches wide with the Brazilian ‘keeper stranded outside his goal.

– Neymar nullified –

Pochettino will wonder what could have been had Mbappe been fit with his replacement Icardi ineffective.

Neymar only ever showed flashes of his brilliance with City’s impressive defence led by Ruben Dias able to focus on stopping the Brazilian without Mbappe to worry about.

Guardiola’s men have always shown enough quality going forward and a clinical counter-attack killed off the tie on 63 minutes.

De Bruyne freed Phil Foden down the left and his inch-perfect cross was blasted high past Keylor Navas by Mahrez.

In a repeat of the first leg, PSG’s discipline went with their hopes of reaching the final.

Promoted

Di Maria needlessly stamped on Fernandinho to be shown a straight red card before Marco Verratti was lucky to escape seeing a second yellow.

“They lost their nerve and started to kick us,” said Mahrez, rubbing salt in PSG wounds. “After the red card it was good for us.”

Topics mentioned in this article



Source link

Sports

Russell Westbrook Sets NBA Triple-Double Record | NBA News

Published

on

Russell Westbrook Sets NBA Triple-Double Record | NBA News





Russell Westbrook wrote his way into NBA history on Monday, bagging the 182nd triple-double of his career to break Oscar Robertson’s 47-year-old record. Washington Wizards star Westbrook, who had equaled Robertson’s record of 181 triples on Saturday, sealed his record-breaking triple with 8min 33sec remaining in Monday’s 125-124 defeat to the Atlanta Hawks. Westbrook’s 36th triple-double of the season included 28 points, 21 assists and 13 rebounds. He is already assured of averaging a triple-double per game this season.

A triple-double occurs when a player makes double-digit tallies in three of the five major statistical categories in a game — points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.

Westbrook has averaged a triple-double per game in four of the last five seasons, an eye-popping statistic that ensured he rapidly caught and overtook Robertson’s historic benchmark, which had stood since 1974 and was once widely regarded as unbeatable.

“Normally I don’t like to pat myself on the back, but tonight I will,” Westbrook said afterwards. “I am just so grateful for those that came before me.”

The 32-year-old Westbrook now has several seasons left in his career to extend his record, with few of his contemporaries anywhere near his total.

Westbrook has nearly twice as many triple-doubles as his nearest rival among currently active players. 

After Westbrook with 182, LeBron James is in second spot with 99 triples, while James Harden is third with 58.

Only two other players after Westbrook and Robertson have scored 100 or more triples on the all-time rankings, with Earvin “Magic” Johnson third with 138 and Jason Kidd fourth with 107.

“It’s just a blessing…You put so much into the game,” Westbrook said. 

“Just to be mentioned with guys like Oscar, Magic, Jason Kidd, those guys. It’s just something I would never have dreamt about.”

Wizards coach Scott Brooks described Westbrook’s achievement as “phenomenal.”

“It’s great for him,” Brooks said. “You can’t take anything away from him. 

“The guy’s a winner. He’s making the basketball and the non-basketball world a better place. Not a lot of guys can do that, not a lot of guys have the impact that he has, on and off the court.”

Johnson, meanwhile, had paid tribute to Westbrook’s record-breaking career prior to Monday’s game, saying the Wizards ace didn’t always get the credit he deserved.

‘Give him his respect’

“When we show highlights, it’s how many points somebody had, how far can they shoot out on the court,” Johnson told The Athletic.

“Russell Westbrook is neither one of those things. He gets all these triple-doubles, but you don’t see him on the highlights.

“The things he’s been able to do, hopefully, we will say, ‘Give him his love, give him his respect.’ This is really big. This is something I couldn’t even do. I know how big it is.”

Westbrook’s critics have accused him of artificially inflating his personal stats to keep his triple-double tally ticking over, noting that a career that has included stints with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets and a 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player award has yet to yield an NBA Championship.

However, Robertson himself is among those who have dismissed the criticism of Westbrook’s failure to land a championship ring. 

Promoted

“I think he’s one of the elite guards in basketball, and I think it’s ridiculous that some sports writers criticize him because he has not won a championship,” Robertson told The New York Times.

“Players don’t win championships by themselves. You’ve got to have good management. You need to get with the right group of players.”

Topics mentioned in this article



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Premier League: Fulham Relegated After 2-0 Loss To Burnley | Football News

Published

on

Premier League: Fulham Relegated After 2-0 Loss To Burnley | Football News





Fulham were relegated from the Premier League with a 2-0 loss at home to Burnley on Tuesday that assured the Clarets of their top-flight status. London club Fulham will now join already-demoted West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United in the second-tier Championship next season. Fulham had to avoid defeat at Craven Cottage on Monday to maintain their slim hopes of beating the drop. But first-half goals from Burnley’s Ashley Westwood and Chris Wood put paid to their chances of staying up.

Fulham’s defeat also meant all three relegation places were decided with at least three games to go, ensuring there would be no last-day drama in the battle to beat the drop. 

“It has been looming but it doesn’t hide the disappointment, hurt and sadness I feel tonight,” Fulham manager Scott Parker told the BBC. 

“It’s inevitable now. I am gutted.

“Tonight is how the season has gone at times. Between the two boxes we did very well. The difference was defensively the two goals we conceded were poor and in the final moment when you need to score and make good decisions we did not have that.”

‘Rollercoaster’

Monday’s reverse meant Fulham went straight back down after a season in the top flight, with Parker adding: “The club needs to make big decisions. 

“We’ve had a relegation, a promotion and a relegation. The rollercoaster of that and the highs and lows is not something you want.”

Burnley were sold in February to a US-based consortium and Clarets manager Sean Dyche was proud of the way the Clarets had coped on and off the field during some uncertain times for the northwest side.

“It is important for the club, it is important for the town,” he said. 

“It’s been a real challenging season with the sale of the club.

“There was not a lot of investment from the outgoing owners and we’ve had a lot of injury problems,” he added.

Burnley were twice denied early by Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, before they went ahead in the 35th minute when Westwood, found at the back post by Matej Vydra, slotted the ball into the net.

The visitors then doubled their lead a minute before the break when Wood let fly with a shot into the top corner.

Areola appeared fortunate to stay on the field in the 67th minute when, after he had raced out his area, the ball appeared to come off the keeper’s arm as Vydra tried to go around him.

But there was no VAR intervention, with officials deciding Areola had escaped a red card because the presence of a covering defender meant there had not been a denial of a goalscoring opportunity.

Promoted

VAR is not empowered to recommend a booking, hence the lack of even a yellow card.

But Fulham’s luck ran out at the other end of the pitch in the 70th minute when Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s shot beat Burnley keeper Nick Pope only to bounce clear off the underside of the bar.

Topics mentioned in this article



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Tokyo Olympics: Naomi Osaka “Not Sure” Games Should Go Ahead | Tennis News

Published

on

Tokyo Olympics: Naomi Osaka “Not Sure” Games Should Go Ahead | Tennis News


Tokyo Olympics: Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka said she is “not really sure” about Tokyo Olympics going ahead as scheduled.© AFP




Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has said she is “not really sure” the delayed Tokyo Olympics should go ahead as the city battles a surge of coronavirus cases less than three months before the start of the Games. A virus state of emergency in the Japanese capital and other parts of the country was extended last week as organisers weigh up whether to press ahead in the face of mounting pressure to cancel the global spectacle.

When asked if it was correct to host the Games in the middle of a global pandemic, the 23-year-old reigning US and Australian women’s champion told the BBC “to be honest, I’m not really sure” if they should be held as planned from July 23.

“I’m an athlete, and of course my immediate thought is that I want to play in the Olympics,” the four-time Grand Slam winner said at the Rome WTA tournament.

“But as a human, I would say we’re in a pandemic, and if people aren’t healthy, and if they’re not feeling safe, then it’s definitely a really big cause for concern.”

More than 10,000 athletes from 200 countries and regions are set to travel to Tokyo for the Games, with a decision expected in June on how many domestic fans, if any at all, can attend.

“I’ve never played an Olympic event, so it’s not like I would have anything to compare it to,” Osaka said of the possibility of no spectators.

Promoted

Despite fewer number of deaths than many countries, Japan’s vaccine rollout is moving slowly and some areas have seen record cases as more infectious variants drive fresh waves of contagion.

More than 300,000 people have signed a online petition launched last week titled “Cancel the Tokyo Olympics to protect our lives” in a bid to sway the government and Olympic officials.

Topics mentioned in this article



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending