Sanchez has super quality – Wenger

first_img A delighted Wenger said: “He took advantage of the mistakes they made, but as well, he has super quality, Sanchez. He has has quick feet and that’s why he wins many balls that normal players don’t win. “In transition from offence to defence, he is very quick and wins the ball back very quickly, and you can take advantage of that.” Sanchez could hardly believe his luck as opened the scoring on the half-hour after Brown scuffed an attempted back-pass into his path, and he was similarly astonished to see Mannone serve up the ball to him six yards out in stoppage time at the end of the game. In between, the Black Cats had produced something of a fightback after spending much of the first half decidedly on the back foot, but Wenger was more than satisfied with the performance and result three days after a hard-fought 2-1 Champions League victory at Anderlecht. He said: “We had a difficult game on Wednesday night and we come to Sunderland, who had a big defeat last week and before the game what we wanted was the three points. We got them. “I believe we were quite in control, but as long as we couldn’t score the second goal, of course you concede a goal and drop points. “We didn’t do it today. We were focused – maybe we missed some opportunities in the final third with the final ball, but overall we are very happy to get the three points. “We won at Anderlecht, we won here today two and a half days later, and that’s never easy in this game.” Press Association The Chile international made the most of horrendous errors by defender Wes Brown and goalkeeper Vito Mannone either side of half-time to secure a 2-0 victory for the Gunners at the Stadium of Light. Sanchez’s goals capped a fine individual display, although he will rarely be presented with two easier opportunities to find the back of the net. For opposite number Gus Poyet, it proved another difficult afternoon a week after his side’s 8-0 hammering at Southampton. Asked about the mood in the dressing room, the Uruguayan said: “It’s a little bit of anger, really, because when you know the team, the group was there and responded and they tried, they really fought hard for the result, and then two actions… “Normally it takes you I don’t know how many games to commit one of those mistakes, and we made two in the same game – and after last weekend – which is something that has put us in the position we are in, really. “It’s clear that we are all getting paid to win games and we have won only one in the league, so it is time to go and win. “It doesn’t matter who we play against – you could see today. Yes, Arsenal were better than us, yes, they had the ball more, but you take the two mistakes away and… “If we were a little more relaxed in the last ball or made better decisions in the last third, or you use (Will) Buckley better, then you are talking about something different. “Now it’s more about character than anything else, to be brave enough to go on to the pitch and believe you can win the game.” Meanwhile, Wenger confirmed England international Theo Walcott’s return to fitness after a nine-month lay-off with a knee injury by naming him among the substitutes, although the Frenchman admitted he remains short of match-fitness. He said: “He is fit, he lacks competition. Physically, he lacks two things: contact in the Premier League, and competition, but fitness-wise, he has no problem at all.” Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger saluted Alexis Sanchez after seeing the summer signing capitalise on Sunderland’s generosity to claim a match-winning double. last_img read more

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Di Maria keen to look to the future

first_imgAngel di Maria is sure he will find contentment at Paris St Germain after a woeful and unsettling year at Manchester United. The 27-year-old completed his £44.3million move to the Ligue 1 champions on Thursday, less than 12 months after joining United from Real Madrid for £59.7million. Di Maria’s United career started well, but dipped incredibly quickly and he only started one of the final 10 games of last term. “They (United) also wanted to sell me. It is a shared decision between the three parties, if we include PSG. “PSG have been following me for several years. I am very proud to now be able to play for this great club, alongside such great players.” Di Maria is the latest in a long line of South American signings made by PSG since their takeover by a group of wealthy Qataris four years ago. The five-time French champions have signed David Luiz, Lucas Moura, Javier Pastore, Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Thiago Silva as they look to make PSG genuine contenders for the Champions League. PSG beat Chelsea to reach the quarter-finals last season, but Di Maria hopes his new team can go all the way this year. “The club has a very important ambition: to win the Champions League and that’s also my ambition,” said Di Maria, who won the trophy with Real Madrid two seasons ago. “I will try to bring that little bit extra to help the team past the quarter-finals of the Champions League. I am delighted to come here to this city, to France and represent such an important shirt.” Di Maria will have to wait up to three weeks to make his debut for the club as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered during the Copa America. The sale of Di Maria, meanwhile, means United’s famous number seven shirt becomes available for the new season. Summer signing Memphis Depay is favourite to take the jersey given that he wore it during his time at PSV Eindhoven. United manager Louis van Gaal will now look to bolster his squad by signing Barcelona forward Pedro. The 28-year-old has enjoyed 11 successful years at Barca, but has become frustrated at a lack of playing time at the Nou Camp recently following the signing of Neymar and Luis Suarez, who have formed a deadly three-pronged attack alongside Lionel Messi. If Barca president Josep Bartomeu gets his way, Pedro will not be leaving the club, however. ”There is nothing on Pedro. There isn’t any official offer (on the table),” Bartomeu was quoted as saying in Marca. ”He is a Barca player and we want him to continue at Barca. To win the six competitions (we are in), we need the best players and Pedro is one of them.” Pedro came off the bench to play the final 29 minutes of Barcelona’s 3-0 friendly win over Roma at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night. The Argentina international was said to have been left unsettled following an attempted burglary at his Cheshire home in February. But he is much happier with life having sealed his move to the French capital. “Things did not turn out well for me at Manchester United for many reasons, but that is the past,” the midfielder told a press conference in Paris on Thursday. “I have been in Paris for two days and I am delighted because I know my wife and my daughter will be happy here.” As recently as June, Di Maria claimed he wanted to stay at United, but, at his unveiling in Paris, he conceded he wanted out of the club. The former Real Madrid player insisted he was not the only man driving the deal through, though. Di Maria claims United were happy to get rid of him too. “This is not only my decision,” the player said. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Josies Orders crosses back over to Cheltenham

first_img Bolger has been the man to follow for so long in races of this nature in England and Ireland, and Josies Orders beat the reopposing Any Currency in a handicap over the unique course last month. “We’re meeting Any Currency on much worse terms, it’s going to be tough at the weights,” said Bolger. “He’s a cross-country horse, though, so he’s going to have to carry it. He had a lot of luck the last day, too but he’s only seven so you’d like to think he’s still improving. “Love Rory is only seven, also, but he’s won two cross-country races at Punchestown so carries the full penalty. I’d be hoping for a good run from him. “Both are capable of running into a place.” Of the 14 declared runners, nine are trained in Ireland. The only ones not travelling from the Emerald Isle are Any Currency, Paul Nicholls’ Sire Collonges, Tom George’s Kilbree Kid, Richard Hobson’s Valadom and Martalin, sent over from France by Patrice Quinton. Enda Bolger thinks Josies Orders and Love Rory could be up against it in Friday’s Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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AAG president expected more from athletes in Rio

first_imgBy Tamica GarnettPRESIDENT of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Aubrey Hudson,is of the firm belief that the Guyanese athletes who participated at the just concluded Rio Olympics Games could have achieved better than what they put forth in their performances.Guyana was represented by four athletes at the Games: Winston George in the men’s 400m, Troy Doris in the men’s triple jump, Brenessa Thompson in the women’s 100m and 200m ,and Aaliyah Abrams in the women’s 400m.Of the four athletes, Doris was the only one to get pass the initial stage and he made it into the next round of the competition.Hudson posited that given the performances that the athletes displayed just prior to departing for the Olympics, he had expected better from them in Rio.He emphasized however, that he was not targeting the athletes themselves, or saying that the lacked the ability to do better, only that he had expected to see better performances from the athletes at such a high profile meet.“My comment continues to be that all of the athletes in Rio underperformed, meaning they all would have had better performances leading up to Rio”.“I have the greatest confidence in these athletes to do well, because they’ve done it before. What I was disappointed in is the performance in Rio, and I want to be very clear on that. I did not wholesale say that any athlete was bad or that athlete was a bad athlete, and shouldn’t be in Rio; I’m talking about their performances.” Hutson said.Hudson had earlier last week come under some harsh comments from stakeholders, following a video interview that he did with News Room, which was circulated on social media. Hutson said the backlash was simply a case of persons trying to “make a storm in a little teapot”.Hudson said his sentiments are supported by the evidence; pointing out that none of the athletes were able to surpass or even equal their season’s best, at a time when it was hoped that the athletes would peak in their performance.“Winston George did 45.25 in Beijing one year ago(and)he received an Olympic Solidarity scholarship; he was training in the US primarily most of the time; he showed up in Rio and ran 45.77, so how could anyone, including Winston George, be satisfied with his performance in Rio? Doris did 17.18 to qualify for Rio; jumped 16.81m in the preliminaries, and 16.90m in the finals. I doubt Troy Doris will be satisfied with that.” Hudson opined, adding that: “I know that these athletes can do it, because they would have done it before to qualify. My concern is what inhibited such a great performance in Rio where, for me, it mattered. “Doris, the best athlete on the team, eventually ended with a creditable overall seventh place finish out of the 39 athletes in his event, after a best jump of 16.90m.That was after his performance was beleaguered with a number of foul jumps that might have otherwise seen him performing better. He entered the event with a SB of 17.18m, which is also Guyana’s national record.Doris was not the only national record holder on the team. George holds Guyana’s men’s 400m record and Thompson has the women’s 100m and 200m records, which she also set earlier this year. Thompson had been enjoying a very good season, breaking the women’s 200m record twice this year, and the first female Guyanese to go below the 23 seconds mark in the women’s 200m, where the record now stands at 22.99 seconds. In the 100m, she was the first Guyanese to set a track record on home soil, when she clocked the record at 11.14 seconds at the AP Invitational, in June.In Rio, 20 -year -old Thompson finished seventh in both her 100m and 200m heats, clocking 11.72 seconds and 23.65 seconds respectively. In the 100m, she ended 53 out of 64 entries, and in the 200m, she ended in 59 out of 72 participants.Nineteen-year-old Abrams clocked 52.79 seconds, finishing fifth in her heats, and 38 out of 57 participants overall.George,who had a SB of 45.76 seconds, and a PB of 45.25 seconds, clocked 45.77 seconds in Rio, to finish fifth in his heats and 26 overall, out of 50 athletes.Hudson noted that he was still to receive a report from the coaches indicating if there were any conditions at the Games that may have impeded on the athletes’ abilities to perform better.He said the AAG is now looking towards forging a better relationship with the coaches to map out the best way forward for the athletes.last_img read more

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Law says Windies relishing NZ conditions as they look to surprise the home side

first_imgCHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (CMC) – Head coach Stuart Law is expecting a tough challenge from the Black Caps in the upcoming two-Test series but believes the conditions here will still favour the West Indies brand of cricket, as they look to spring a surprise on the home side.The Caribbean side are coming off a 1-0 win over minnows Zimbabwe in a similar two-Test series earlier this month in Bulawayo but nevertheless struggled on the low, slow wickets there.With the bouncier pitches in the southwestern Pacific expected to provide better surfaces for stroke-makers and seamers, West Indies are confident of lifting their performances.“The series win against Zimbabwe was in difficult conditions, really slow, low pitches. Didn’t really suit our style of play but we’re looking forward to the wickets we get here in New Zealand,” Law told reporters yesterday.“They’re a very aggressive team, they love playing aggressive cricket. Our boys are really looking forward to that challenge. It’s very similar to what we faced in the UK earlier in the year as well. We didn’t win the series but we won the second Test match and we made great strides, which is what we’re trying to do.”Law said resurgent seam bowler Kemar Roach and speedster Shannon Gabriel had found life difficult on the flat pitches in Zimbabwe, with even leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo struggling with the slowness of the turn.With the two Tests here scheduled for the Basin Reserve in Wellington from December 1 to 5 and at Seddon Park in Hamilton from December 9 to 13, Law said his bowlers were relishing the chance to exploit these surfaces.“They are looking forward to these conditions that will probably suit the way they want to play better,” he pointed.“Normally in New Zealand, they back their quicks and their batters to play on wickets that have a bit in it. It’s a bit more of a contest between bat and ball which not only livens up the game of cricket but also promotes good skill and better learning.“We’re not expecting them (pitches) to be flat roads; we’re expecting wickets that have a little bit of life in them. That’s what we’re looking forward to.”“(The pitches) are going to help our bowlers more than the ones in Zimbabwe did, playing in Bulawayo. Hopefully the ball does bounce above knee height and gets through to the wicketkeeper on the first bounce,” Law laughed sarcastically.“But we’re prepared for any sort of conditions. Traditionally here they do have a little bit more grass on the pitches than most places around the world and we look forward to that.”West Indies touched down here Tuesday following a preparation camp in Australia and underwent their first training session yesterday in cool 20 degrees Celsius conditions.The side are preparing for their only warm-up game of the series, a three-day fixture against New Zealand A in Hamilton starting Saturday, and Law said the Windies were in good spirits.“We’re fully here and appreciative of the opportunity to come here and play New Zealand as well. We’re here fully fit, so looking forward to get cracking.”last_img read more

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BCB benefits from new pitch covers as cricket development continues in the Ancient County

first_imgDESPITE the COVA-19 pandemic affecting global sport, the vibrant Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) is using the off season to strengthen its capacity to further develop cricket and also make a positive in the lives of the less fortunate.With the Berbice Cricket Season closed since late February, the BCB office has also been closed but the staff is still being paid. The BCB is currently hosting a COVA -19 food hamper drive along with ten cricket teams of the RHTYSC, MS to distribute 500-600 hampers to the less fortunate families across Berbice while it is also sharing out face mask as well in its efforts to combat the deadly virus.The BCB is also on the verge of creating a Berbice Cricket flag and emblem as it forges ahead with its vision. The flag will be flown at all BCB cricket finals and events while the emblem would also be placed on all BCB souvenirs including inter county caps, T/Shirts, cups among others.In another major investment, the BCB has received two lengths of pitch covers. The covers have a length of 50 feet each and a width of 20 feet and would be stored at the Albion Cricket Ground on a fulltime basis.The donation was made possible with the assistance of former BCB president Anil Beharry who obtained support under his Friends of Berbice Cricket programme. Those making donations were Noreen Gaskin of Sentinel Security, Tyler and Mia, Kalvin Somrah, Renwick Beharry, Raj Rebhel Mathura, Ian Bhagwandhin and Khemraj Tageram.A delighted BCB president Hilbert Foster stated that the policy of his board is to become self-reliant in an effort to cut operational costs, so that more funds can be pumped into developmental programmes such as coaching with the BCB now having its own cricket covers, the Competitions Committee would now be in a better position to organise semifinals and finals in traditional venues, where there might be no covers.Under Foster’s leadership, the BCB has organised semis and finals at non- traditional venues like Fyrish, No69, Cotton Tree, NO72 Cut and Load, Hampshire in an effort to promote the game at the grassroot level and this would be expanded when the cricket season restarts later in the year.Since Foster’s election to office, the BCB has also undertaken the complete restoration of its New Amsterdam based head office and obtain items for the smooth operation of its business.The BCB hopes in the future to purchase its own vehicle, construct a modern indoor cricket facility and to host a Premier Professional league for its cricketers.Foster expressed gratitude to the contributors from the Friends of Berbice Cricket Fund and reassured them that the covers would be taken care of. The first edition of the fund raised $830,000.00 in 2018 and it was used to purchase cricket balls for clubs across the county.last_img read more

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Home sweet home: Badgers victorious over Jackrabbits

first_imgSenior pitcher Letty Olivarez struck out 10 as Wisconsin defeated South Dakota State at Goodman Diamond.[/media-credit]After managing just eight wins in 28 road games to start the season, Wisconsin finally opened its home slate Thursday, and the game was well worth the wait.Senior pitcher Letty Olivarez struck out 10 and did not allow an earned run as Wisconsin won its home opener 7-1 against South Dakota State on a cold spring afternoon.The win improved Wisconsin’s record to 9-21 while South Dakota fell to 9-21.In addition to a strong pitching performance from Olivarez, the Wisconsin offense looked strong Thursday with each starter other than Olivarez getting a hit.Five different Badgers registered RBIs in a game that remained very close until the fourth inning.“I did really well, but I felt I was struggling at times, which kind of held me back,” Olivarez said. “I was mixing up a lot of my off speed to quicker to off speed so I think that kept them off balance.”Wisconsin struggled through the first few innings, going down in order in both the first and second innings, while South Dakota put on all the pressure. The Badgers gave up an unearned run in the first, as a throwing error allowed SDSU’s Devon Reick to advance to third, who was then brought home by Ashley Durazo.The Badgers finally responded in the third inning when freshman Kendall Grimm beat out an infield single to bring in junior outfielder Ashley Hanewich.UW stayed hot in the next inning, scoring three runs in the fourth when freshman infielder Whitney Massey tripled in freshman Molly Spence to give the Badgers a 2-1 lead. Massey’s three-bagger, her fourth of the season, broke the single-season record for the most triples by a freshman.Spence later scored on a Karla Powell single and added another run in the next inning to take her team-leading run total to 19. Powell capped off the inning, scoring on an infield single by Jennifer Krueger.Kori Siedlitz of South Dakota relieved starter Pam Nicholson in the fourth inning and closed out the frame, but later gave up three runs in the fifth.The Badgers loaded the bases before getting back-to-back outs, but then all runners advanced and Abby Gregory scored on a wild pitch. Katie Soderberg followed with a single, scoring Spence and Massey and pushing the score to 7-1.Olivarez closed the game out in the last few innings, though she struggled in the seventh.It was a cold, windy day for the opening of Goodman Diamond, and the field was still quite soggy from the heavy rain that fell over the last three days. A couple of balls in the outfield lost their momentum in the grass, and it seemed like players’ movements were slowed and a bit off balance on the infield dirt.Schulte said the team is used to these conditions, and weather didn’t have much effect on the game. She was happy with Olivarez’ performance, but she still felt the senior could have improved some things.“She got behind on some batters, we need to finish in the seventh inning with two outs, and she knows that, and at this point I think she’s got to have a little fun,” Schulte said. “She’s really pushing herself very hard because she wants it so badly and her expectations are high, but sometimes you have to back off to just let yourself play.”Offensively, the Badgers put forth a complete team effort, with quality performances by all of their players.With four freshman and one sophomore starting, the team rode its youth as the Badgers have throughout the season, but Schulte was happy to see some of the older players find their form as well.“The freshmen in the starting lineup, for the most part, have been performing very, very well,” Schulte said. “What I liked was Katie Soderberg, our senior, stepped up and had three hits. And Karla Powell had a hit. The seasoned players are starting to pick it up a little bit.”Even though Olivarez wasn’t effective at the plate, she had a great performance on the mound, and the team rallied around her offensively.Full team efforts have been rare for the Badgers throughout the season.They will have to replicate this kind of team play if they want to win games against tougher teams in the rest of the season, but it was all smiles Thursday with the Badgers opening their home stand with a solid win.“I was really happy because we hit really well, and I didn’t go out there and do my job hitting, so it was nice to have my team behind me and picking us up in our outfield and infield,” Olivarez said.last_img read more

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Syracuse hires former Arizona State coach Tony White as defensive coordinator

first_img Published on February 4, 2020 at 8:10 pm Contact Andrew: arcrane@syr.edu | @CraneAndrew Syracuse has hired Arizona State’s defensive coordinator Tony White for the same position, according to a report from Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel. The move comes less than two weeks after recently-hired Zach Arnett vacated SU’s defensive coordinator position by leaving for Mississippi State.White — who was just promoted to ASU defensive coordinator in Dec. 2019 after two seasons as the Sun Devils’ cornerbacks coach and defensive passing game coordinator — deploys the same 3-3-5 scheme that Arnett would’ve brought to the Orange. It’s a switch from the 4-3 scheme that Syracuse head coach Dino Babers has run in his five years at Syracuse. Before White arrived at Arizona State, its defense ranked 99th or lower for three-straight seasons in scoring defense. During those years, White commanded San Diego State’s secondary that ranked 11th and 15th in the country for total defense and passing yards allowed per game in 2017, respectively. In 2019 — White’s second year in Tempe — the Sun Devils’ improved to 39th and only allowed 23.1 points per game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAt Syracuse, White will inherit a secondary that returns defensive backs Andre Cisco, Trill Williams and primary backup safety Eric Coley. The Orange are coming off a 5-7 season where both conference and nonconference opponents carved up SU’s defense, leading to the firing of former defensive coordinator Brian Ward after the Nov. 2 Boston College loss. Arnett was initially hired on Jan. 11 to replace Steve Stanard’s interim role, but then left despite signing an offer sheet, according to Syracuse.com’s Nate Mink.UPDATED: Feb. 7, 2020, at 9:15 a.m.Syracuse Athletics officially announced White’s hiring through a press release Friday morning, more than three days after it was reported. “Tony has coached in some elite defenses during his career and we’re happy that he, Angela, Anthony III and Ava are now part of the Syracuse family,” Babers said in the release. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Djokovic Defends Loss to Denis Istomin

first_imgA deflated Novak Djokovic defended himself against accusations of lacking motivation after his stunning second-round elimination by Uzbek wildcard Denis Istomin.The former world No 1 fell victim to one of the greatest shocks in Grand Slam history as Istomin condemned the Serb to his earliest exit at a major in nearly a decade 7-6 (10-8) 5-7 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena.After winning four slams in a row between 2015 and 2016, Djokovic has now gone three without adding to his 12 major triumphs, raising more questions about his ability to stay at the top after dominating tennis for the last six years. Djokovic denied there was any hangover lingering from his breakthrough French Open victory last June, and the underwhelming second half of last season which ensuedAsked if his long-awaited victory at Roland Garros had taken the edge off his hunger, Djokovic said: “I don’t know. I mean, it’s not a time now to go so deep into it.“I didn’t reflect on that at all at this stage. I started a new season, a new year, as everybody else did. I forgot about it, in a way. It’s not affecting me.”Djokovic, who began the year by beating Andy Murray at the Qatar Open earlier this month, had lost to a player ranked outside the top 100 only once since 2010.Defeat to Istomin, however, ranked 117th in the world, halts his revival and raises questions about his drive to stay at the top.“I started the season very well. Again, it’s a tennis match,” Djokovic said. “On any given day, you can lose. I mean, nothing is impossible.“There is over a hundred players playing in the main draw. I guess the quality of tennis keeps rising each year. Everybody becomes more professional. I guess they improve.“They get better on the court. What can I do? I did try my best till the last shot, but it didn’t work.”As the match slipped beyond Djokovic’s control, he could conjure little emotion to rally in the fifth set but he denied that his ruthless, steely attitude he once depended on were lacking in the stunning upset.“There was intensity, of course,” Djokovic said. “We played four-and-a-half hours.“It’s just one of these days when you don’t feel that great on the court, don’t have much rhythm, and the player you’re playing against is feeling the ball very well. That’s sport.“Of course, I’m not used to losing in the Australian Open second round. I’ve always played so well. Through the last 10 years, I’ve won six titles here.“This court has been so nice to me. I enjoyed it very much. Of course, it’s disappointing. But at the end of the day I have to accept it.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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