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Oleksandr Usyk won his heavyweight debut but can he beat the big boys?

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Oleksandr Usyk, the cruiserweight champion turned heavyweight contender, is guided by two indomitable polar forces that he brings to bear with magnetic energy, a twinkle in the eye and a gap-toothed grin. He is part Conan the Barbarian, part Conan O’Brien. Both apex predator and Animaniac. Killer and comic relief. Usyk is the planet’s warmest, fuzziest bear trap.

He won gold for Ukraine at the London Olympics in 2012, turned pro, then pulverised the 200-pound division into particle dust, becoming the first cruiserweight to hold all four major world titles. Eleven months after his last fight as a cruiserweight – – Usyk (17-0, 13 KO) made his heavyweight debut in Chicago on Saturday against Chazz Witherspoon (38-4, 27 KO), a sloppy 38-year-old who took the fight as a last-minute replacement for Tyrone Spong, a third-rate opponent who returned an adverse doping test in the middle of last week.

The opponent was largely irrelevant fol Madrid president Florentino Perez insists there was no “pact” with Atletico Madrid preventing them from signing Antoine Griezmann.The France attacker left Atleti this summer for Barcelona in a record €120m deal.At Real’s General Assembly, Florentr the thousands of fight fans in attendance. The Ukrainian supporters would have screamed their throats raw for Usyk whether he had been fighting a muppet, a hologram or a YouTube flunky. This was a party.

Previously, Usyk was merely one of the greatest cruiserweight fighters in history and a theoretical pound-for-pound boogeyman. Yet his graduation to the heavyweight division means he must become something else: an attraction. To a large portion of mainstream sports fans, a transcendent 200-pounder might as well be a G-League heavyweight: talented, sure, but mostly irrelevant if he can’t play with the big boys. European gate money spends are pretty good, but it’s American subscriber dollars that elevate a fighter into his own financial gulfstream.

So it has become Usyk’s challenge to not only display his gifts – both pugilistic and charismatic – but to do so against men inches taller and dozens of pounds heavier. The world’s most significant heavyweights all have the capacity to floor world-class fighters their own size, let alone a puffed-up cruiser new kid on the block.

Witherspoon stands conspicuously outside that group, but at 6ft 4in and 242 pounds, even he posed a lumbering threat to the 215-pound Usyk. The Philadelphia-born former not-quite-contender came in having fought just twice in three years, and he signed on as the fill-in just four days before the bout – apparently cornered between buffet runs at the Golden Corral. Witherspoon may not have been in shape for Usyk, but he was a very large man with nearly 30 professional stoppages under his belt. Styles make fights, but size can end them.

Saturday wasn’t for spoilers, though. After taking stock in the opening round, Usyk got to work with the jab. The Daniel Sturridge in their bid for Trabzonspor pair Ugurcan Cakir and Abdulkadir Omur.The Karadeniz Gazette says Sturridge could help Liverpool land Cakir and Omur.The former Reds striker currently plays with the duo at Trabzonspor.And he has recommenquicker man by far, he parried Witherspoon’s power with nimble footwork and head movement. In the fourth round, Usyk had Witherspoon backing up, stinging him with occasional power left hands, driving him against the ropes and into corners to land quick-burst combinations.

Chants of “Ooh-seek, Ooh-seek” arose when the headliner paused the onslaught to size up his work and, by the seventh round, Witherspoon had been sufficiently tenderised. As he sat on his stool before the eighth round, the American let referee Hector Afu know that he’d had enough. Usyk had won his first fight as a heavyweight. Although there never seemed a moment when Witherspoon was at serious risk of being dropped, neither was there a moment during the fight when Usyk was not categorically in control.

The post-fight questions lobbed at Usyk were predictable. Was the impact of heavyweight power what you expected? Will you be able to withstand it against elite competition? How will your own arsenal match up against those of Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury?

One reporter decided to spar with Usyk, suggesting he would have to change his ad star Antoine Griezmann.Robert was still with Barca when the Frenchman infamously turned them down this time last year – via a Gerard Pique produced documentary.He told El Larguero: “I wanted to sign Griezmann two years ago, if I would sign him now,pproach to beat the top heavyweights. Usyk, who speaks through an interpreter except on occasional low-leverage situations when he flashes his lovably broken English, stared a hole through the reporter – who was sitting no more than a lunging jab away from him – before asking: “You serious?” The moment passed, the reporter’s soul was returned to his earthly body and, in an instant, Usyk was giggling and playfully nudging his manager and translator, Egis Klimas.

“Soooo hungry,” said Usyk, as the questions continued to pour in. He was famished. A good sign. Usyk will need to bulk up for what comes next — which promoter Eddie Hearn says is the winner of the rematch between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua. When asked which potential opponent he would prefer to face, Usyk did not hesitate: “Joshua.” He didn’t miss a beat a moment later, either, when he answered the night’s final question in thickly accented but perfectly constructed English – a potential marketing game-changer.

“Wait, why has he been translating for you this whole time?” asked one of the reporters, only half-jokingly. A pause. Usyk’s crazy eyes bulged cartoonishly, his hands hit his cheeks and, from the smile that creased his face, out popped that unmistakable gap. He’s taking apart heavyweights, he’s speaking English and he’s having a ball.

Kyrgios clashes with tennis authorities again in US Open row over shirt message

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Nick Kyrgios courted more controversy at the US Open before his second-round match against Antoine Hoang had begun.

The Australian, already in hot water this week , was told to fold his collar down because the motto written underneath it, “Just Do You”, apparently contravened the rules.

Kyrgios called the match supervisor and asked what the rule was. “I’m not going to play until you show me the rule,” he told the supervisor. “I want to know the rule. I want to see the rule. I’ve seen shirts worse.”

He also had another of his familiar tantrums in the third set after the umpire allowed a Hoang challenge having previously called game.

The 24-year-old demanded the supervisor came back onto the court to explain that rule as well.

“I’d won the game. He called game then my opponent challenged. I thought that wasn’t right,” he said. “[The collar] I think it was a misunderstanding. I think they thought it was a slogan but it wasn’t. I knew the supervisor was wrong, but I just folded my collar down.”

The 24-year-old was later told he could di Cutrone.Nuno was happy with the former AC Milan striker for their Europa League win over Pyunik.He said, “Positive performance, as already with Leicester. “Monday will be tough, Manchester United will put us to the test, I’m happy with the ethics ansplay the logo in future matchesEvening Standard says the 19-year-old, who can operate in midfield or defence, is currently on loan at German side RB Leipzig but he has struggled for action.Ampadu has made just five appearances for them this season and it has alerted other clubs to at Flushing Meadows.

He defeated French wildcard 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, and will next meet Andrey Rublev of Russia. Kyrgios already faces two ATP investigations for his conduct during and after his previous two matches and New York.

On Wednesday he called the ATP was long loan.Sky Sports News says a move back to Bramall Lane has been agreed and will be confirmed this week.The United keeper spent last season on loan with the Blades and helped them earn promotion to the Premier League. Henderson is expected to sig“pretty corrupt” for fining him $117,000 for his outburst in Cincinnati a fortnight ago, then back-tracked in accused the governing body of having “double standards” following his first-round win.

Second seed Rafael Nadal moved into the third round after Thanasi Kokkinakis withdrew ahead of their night session encounter with a shoulder injury.

Alexander Zverev came through yet another gruelling five-setter to reach the third round, coming through against American Frances Tiafoe, just two days after going the distance against Radu Albot.

NFL round-up: Patriots shock Steelers at the death while Eagles keep winning

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Tom Brady fed Rob Gronkowski repeatedly to set up Dion Lewis’ go-ahead eight-yard touchdown with 56 seconds remaining and Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted in the end zone with five seconds left.

The Patriots (11-3) gained the inside track for home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs by ending Pittsburgh’s eight-game winning streak. Brady threw for 298 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Gronkowski, fresh off a one-game suspension, finished with nine receptions for 168 yards, including four on the winning drive.

It briefly looked like it wouldn’t be enough.

The Steelers (11-3), who played most of the game without injured star wide receiver Antonio Brown, appeared to take the lead when Roethlisberger connected with tight end Jesse James for a 10-yard touchdown with 28 seconds to left. The play was overturned on review, with official Tony Corrente saying the ball did not “survive” the completion of the catch.

Roethlisberger hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for a short gain, whp but stayed in bounds. With the clock running and no timeouts, rather than spike it to set up a short kick that would have sent the game to overtime, Roethlisberger tried to win it.

Instead, he lost it. His pass to Eli Rogers was batted into the air, and New England safety Duron Harmon came down with it. One kneel down later, the Patriots had their fifth straight victory over the Steelers.

Brown, the NFL’s leading receiver, went to a hospital having his left calf injury examined.

Jaguars 45, Texans 7

The Jacksonville Jaguars are returning to the playoffs for the first time in a decade thanks to a 45-7 drubbing of rival Houston on Sunday.

Once the NFL’s poster child for futility and a punchline for potential relocation, the Jaguars (10-4) are now one of the league’s top turnaround stories.

Blake Bortles threw three touchdowns passes, including two to a reserve receiver who slept in his car earlier this season. The Jaguars won for the seventh time in eight games to clinch a postseason berth for the first time since 2007.

Bortles finished with a season-high 326 yards and the best QB rating (143.8) of his career, including 186 yards and a touchdown to rookie Keelan Cole. Primary punt returner Jaydon Mickens, who stepped in for injured starter Marqise Lee in the first quarter, caught four passes for 61 yards and two scores against the Texans (4-10).

The Jaguars were an NFL-worst 22-74 over the previous six years, more a laughingstock than a postseason contender.

Rams 42, Seahawks 7

Todd Gurley rushed for 152 yards and scored four total touchdowns in just 2½ quarters, and the Rams moved to the cusp of their first division title since 2003.

The matchup to determine first place in the NFC West was completely one-sided. Los Angeles (10-4) was dominant, embarrassing Seattle into the worst loss during Pete Carroll’s eight seasons in charge.

Taking advantage of field position, the Rams scored on six of seven first-half drives, including a 21-point blitz in the second quarter capped by a 57-yard TD run by Gurley on third-and-20 with less than a minute remaining in the first half to take a 34-0 lead at the break.

Gurley had 144 yards rushing in the first half, twice scoring from the 1. He added a 14-yard TD reception midway through the third quarter for a 40-0 Rams lead and spent the rest of his day watching. The 152 yards rushing were the second best of his career.

The Rams don’t have the division wrapped up, but have a two-game lead with two weeks to play. A win against either Tennessee or San Francisco is enough for their first division title in 14 years.

49ers 25, Titans 23

Jimmy Garoppolo led one final scoring drive in the closing seconds to cap a fantastic first home start and Robbie Gould kicked a winning 45-yard field goal as time expired.

Garoppolo threw for a career-high 381 yards and a touchdown to give the 49ers (4-10) a three-game winning streak in a lost season. nham defender Jan Vertonghen.The 32 year-old former Ajax stopper’s contract with Spurs expires in June.Ten Hag told Ziggo Sport: “Jan is a player with a past at Ajax. He knows the philosophy of the club. Of course we are following his situation empAnd Tom Brady’s former backup showed he could do it at home as well as on the road — and against a playoff contender, no less — outdueling Marcus Mariota down the stretch as the teams traded field goals.

Gould kicked three of his six field goalrested in signing Youri Tielemans.The Red Devils could lose star midfielder Paul Pogba, after the World Cup winner declared his desire to start a “new challenge”.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would need to replace the 26-year-old, should his wish come true.Tis over the final nine minutes: 50, 48 and 45 yards, and has now gone 20 consecutive without a miss.

Gould put the Niners out front on a 48-yarder with 3:08 remaining. Mariota then drove the Titans (8-6) to a lead as Ryan Succop kicked a 50-yard field goal with 1:07 to play, then Garoppolo and the San Francisco offense got one last shot.

Vikings 34, Bengals 7

Eric Kendricks had an interception return for a touchdown, Case Keenum passed for 236 yards and two scores, and the Vikings clinched the NFC North over the depleted and disinterested Bengals.

Running backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon combined for 37 touches and 242 yards from scrimmage for the Vikings (11-3), who were given quite the reprieve on the schedule a week after their eight-game winning streak ended at Carolina in the last of three consecutive road trips. They were never challenged the Bengals (5-9), missing more than half of the starting defense to injuries, and met with a morning report by ESPN that head coach Marvin Lewis will not return next season .

The game went so smoothly that Teddy Bridgewater even made his grand entrance, his first live action in 16 months since a massive knee injury. Bridgewater’s first pass was intercepted, a high throw that bounced off McKinnon’s hands and into the arms of strong safety Shawn Williams deep in Vikings territory. That set up a short touchdown run by Giovani Bernard to keep the Bengals from being shut out for a second time this year.

Keenum completed 20 of 23 passes, including seven easy tosses to McKinnon for 114 yards in the first 100-yard receiving game for a Vikings running back since Onterrio Smith on Sept. 26, 2004, against Chicago.

Lewis who lost to a former assistant (Mike Zimmer) for the first time in eight matchups. Zimmer was the defensive coordinator for the Bengals from 2008-13.

Eagles 34, Giants 29

Nick Foles threw four touchdown passes in his first start replacing the injured Carson Wentz, and the Eagles secured a first-round playoff bye.

Foles hit 24 of 38 passes for 237 yards and no interceptions. The NFC East champion Eagles (12-2) made a late stand on first-and-goal in the final minute in edging the Giants (2-12) for the second time this season, spoiling a three-touchdown, season-high 434-yard passing game by Eli Manning.

Foles hit Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Trey Burton and Nelson Agholor on scoring passes ranging from 3 to 13 yards in filling in for Wentz, who tore an ACL last week and was lost for the season after a brilliant year.

The Eagles also got two field goals from Jake Elliott and three blocked kicks from their special teams, foiling an extra point, a punt and field goal. The block on the punt set up a touchdown.

Manning finished 37 of 57 and hit Tavarres King on two touchdowns and Sterling Shepard on one. It was Manning’s ninth career 400-yard game and his first since last season.

Panthers 31, Packers 24

Cam Newton threw for 242 yards and four touchdowns, and the Panthers spoiled Aaron Rodgers’ return from a broken collarbone.

Damiere Byrd had two touchdown catches, and Christian McCaffrey had 136 yards from scrimmage, including a 7-yard touchdown reception as the Panthers (10-4) won their fourth straight home game.

Greg Olsen had his most productive game since returning from a broken foot, catching nine passes for 116 yards and a TD, and the Panthers kept pace with the first-place New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.

Rodgers, making his first appearance since 15 October, threw for 290 yards with three touchdowns, but was intercepted three times as the Packers’ playoff hopes took a critical blow.

Green Bay (7-7) had a chance to send the game into overtime for a third straight week. But cornerback James Bradberry stripped wide receiver Geronimo Allison of the ball with 1:48 remaining. Mike Adams recovered to finish off the Packers.

Saints 31, Jets 19

Mark Ingram ran for two touchdowns and gained 151 yards from scrimmage, including a late 50-yard TD run, and the Saints overcame three turnovers.

Michael Thomas became the second player with at least 90 receptions in his first two seasons. He caught nine passes for 93 yards, including a pivotal fourth-quarter touchdown on a short slant for New Orleans (10-4), which retained its tenuous hold on first place in the NFC South heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

Alvin Kamara turned a short catch into a 10-yard TD in his return from a concussion that knocked him out of the Saints’ loss at Atlanta a week earlier.

Bryce Petty made his first start at quarterback this season for the Jets (5-9), who were eliminated from playoff contention. Petty completed 19 of 39 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice — once on a tipped pass and once on a long, inconsequential throw as the game ended.

His 2-yard touchdown pass to rookie Elijah McGuire cut New Orleans’ lead to 24-19 with 1:51 left. But the Jets’ onside kick failed and Ingram broke loose for his long score while the Saints were trying to run down the clock.

Drew Brees completed 26 of 36 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns, but also was intercepted deep in his own territory to set up a Jets field goal at the end of the first half.

Ravens 27, Browns 10

Joe Flacco threw a touchdown pass, ran for a score and beat Cleveland again as the Ravens stayed on track for the AFC playoffs.

With victories at home over Indianapolis and Cincinnati in its last two games, the Ravens will return to the postseason after a two-year absence.

The Browns are two losses from becoming the NFL’s second 0-16 team.

Flacco scored on a 2-yard run and threw a 33-yard TD pass to Benjamin Watson as the Ravens (8-6) took control with two touchdowns in the final 3:01 of the first half.

Defensive tackle Brandon Williams recovered a fumble and rolled in for a TD in third quarter to put the Ravens up 24-10.

The Browns (0-14) went 0-8 at home – 0-7 in Cleveland, 0-1 in London – for the second time and must win at either Chicago or Pittsburgh to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions in the notorious 0-16 club. Last season, the Browns avoided infamy by winning their final home game and finishing 1-15.

Cleveland is 1-29 in two seasons under coach Hue Jackson, who is expected to be back despite his .033 winning percentage.

Bills 24, Dolphins 16

LeSean McCoy scored twice and surpassed 10,000 career yards rushing, while helping the Bills stay in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt.

Tyrod Taylor also scored on a 9-yard touchdown run and Shareece Wright and Jordan Poyer intercepted Miami’s Jay Cutler on consecutive drives to start the second half. Buffalo never trailed. Rookie Tre’Davious White sealed the win by intercepting Cutler with 28 seconds remaining — and one play after Miami punter Matt Haack recovered an onside kick at Miami’s 37.

The Bills have won three of four and improved to 8-6 to match the team’s best record through 14 games during Buffalo’s 17-year playoff drought — the longest active streak in North America’s four major professional sports. The Bills were 8-6 in both 2004 and 2014, but missed the playoffs with 9-7 finishes.

Buffalo also finished 6-2 at home to match its best finish at Orchard Park since 1999.

Buffalo must now hit the road to continue its playoff pursuit, closing the season at New England, then at Miami on Dec. 31.

The loss all but mathematically eliminated the Dolphins (6-8) from playoff contention.

Washington 20, Cardinals 15

Anthony Lanier sacked Blaine Gabbert and forced a fumble that Preston Smith recovered and Washington held on to beat the Cardinals in a comedy of errors for each team.

Smith also intercepted Gabbert and Lanier batted down three passes and had two sacks as they gave Washington (6-8) a glimpse of their potential as significant pieces of the defense for years to come.

Gabbert was 16 of 41 for 189 yards with the interception and a fumble he recovered himself in the fourth quarter. Arizona (6-8), which got all its points on field goals by Phil Dawson, went 0 for 6 in the red zone and 4 for 19 on third down as it was eliminated from playoff contention.

Washington’s Kirk Cousins was 18 of 26 for 196 yards with touchdown passes to Jamison Crowder and new running back Kapri Bi winger Yannick Bolasie has made a Christmas plea to Portuguese football authorities after being sent off for Sporting CP last week.Bolasie was sent off in victory over Portimonense, with the resulting suspension to rule him out of the clash with Porbbs. Washington were booed at times in the second half by fans in the announced crowd of 71,026.

USA World Cup winners Rapinoe and Morgan join Mata’s charity wage project

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Two members of the World Cup-winning USA women’s team of 2015 have signed up to for footballers to donate 1% of their wages to charity.

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have joined Manchester United’s Mata and the Bayern Munich defender to Common Goal, which supports global football initiatives for disadvantaged children.

“Myself and Alex felt it was important that women’s football was represented from the outset,” said Rapinoe, a midfielder with Seattle Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League. “We’re really looking forward to building the movement with Juan and Mats from here.”

Rapinoe and Morgan each have more than 120 caps and have played in two World Cup finals, suffering defeat by Japan in 2011 before beating the same opponents four years later. Morgan, a striker with Orlando Pride, was recently .

“As the global profile of women’s football continues to grow, players like myself and Megan will have an increasing number of opportunities to use our status for good,” Morgan said. “I’m thrilled to join Common Goal at this early stage and hope we can inspire many others to become part of the movement.”

Mata is aiming to put together an XI of professional footballers for the project, which is overseen by , a group of more than 120 local charities.

“In Europe, we’ve just experienced a record-breaking transfer window,” Hummels said. “I think some fans are starting to feel alie Ballon d’Or.The Barcelona star was this evening named the Ballon d’Or winner for 2019 – for the sixth time.Yet Bordas feels the gap with Juventus ace Cristiano Ronaldo, who has five, should be far greater.”MessDavid Silva as one of the best players he has seen.The Spaniard managed his 400th game for City, helping them to a 3-1 win at Bournemouth.The fact that Silva has maintained his excellent standards for nearly a decade at City is unbelievable to his mai should have ten Ballon d’Or [prizes]enated from the gameo win the Premier League title with Liverpool.The Swiss proved his worth to the Reds after capitalising on a rare start by scoring in Wednesday’s 5-2 win over Everton.Speaking after the game, Shaqiri said: “Obviously I am really happy. Especially aga in light of these kinds of developments. But as more players join Common Goal, we hope to show the world that football still has its heart in the right place.”

Sergio García shines at Masters to raise hopes of end to major drought

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If the weight of experience lurking with intent did not pose such a threat, this Masters could be characterised as a weekend chase for major number one.

Charley Hoffman, , Thomas Pieters and Rickie Fowler head the event at half way on four under par. At differing ages, positions in world ranking and career victory levels, their combined major haul? Zero. Hoffman is the surprise package, Pieters the surly young pretender, García the routine bridesmaid and Fowler the form horse. Cases can be made for each of them but, crucially, for another 25 competitors, too.

The cavalry in pursuit includes Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Adam Scott. Ths always confident the Barcelona starlet would make it.Fati made his debut at 16 for Sunday’s 5-2 defeat of Real Betis.Luis Pérez Mena, the director of the Seville-based Escuela de FútbolPeloteros, coached Fati as a junior and told Efe: “I’ve been e leaders are not likely to enter relaxation mode.

García’s case, in his 71st consecutive major, is without question the most fascinating. The late, great Seve Ballesteros, who lit up Augusta National when claiming two Green Jackets and triggering a European stampede on the Masters, should be celebrating his 60th birthday on Sunday. If García, forever linked to Ballesteros not only on grounds of Spanish nationality but the level of mesmerising talent as demonstrated from his youth, were to prevail here, one of the great golf storylines of our time would have unfolded. does have a habit of throwing them up.

García returned a terrific run, of 21 opening tournament holes without dropping a shot. On Friday he birdied Augusta’s first three for the first time. At the 12th he conjured up a bunker shot from a plugged lie that he considered “hands down, the best of my career”. So far, so good.

One must, nonetheless, give strong consideration to an alternative outcome, the sort García has become ominously accustomed to. García has never made much secret of his indifference towards Augusta National as a venue despite, it must be stressed, always insisting he tries his best to win here. Essentially García believes the Augusta set-up means even good shots are occasionally not properly rewarded.

Matters seemed to be conspiring against him on Friday as a scoreboard error meant he was awarded a seven rather than the five he did produce at the 10th. “The most important thing is I knew where I stood,” he said. “I knew I wasn’t one under for the tournament, I knew I was three.

“Shane Lowry hit two balls to the left and we were looking for one, we couldn’t find it, we found the second one. We are all dressed light coloured pants and blue sweater, so I can see why they might have made the mistake. But it was fine.”

The number was duly amended, Garcia later signing for 69. It should have been better but for a lame birdie attempt from all of 4ft on the 18th.

Further bad news arrives for García from a key statistic. His third-round scoring average at the Masters is the worst of anyone in three decades, at close to 75. Perhaps if he can get through Saturday, when conditions are predicted to be far more favourable than days one and two, even García himself will take his Augusta challenge seriously. Part of the intrigue around the 37-year-old is that, for one so gifted, he never appears fully confident in his own ability.

“In a lot of these shots there’s such a thin line between a good shot being next to the hole and a good shot being 40 feet away and then having a very difficult two putt,” García explained. “You try to not think about those and try to be as positive as possible.

“Things are happening at the moment. I want to make sure that I keep riding that wave and go out there tomorrow and be positive, be like I’ve been the first two days.”

There is a parallel for García to dratheir clash with Villarreal.The Croatian has started just once this season — at Granada — and has now been replaced by Carles Aleña. “Every week I am asked about those not called up,” the coach said. “If Rakitic is not [in the squad], it’s becausew on. Danny Willett, last year’s Masters champion, had claimed the Dubai Desert Classic two months earlier. It was García who lifted that trophy in the Middle East a matter of weeks ago. García is not carrying the Spanish flag alone. Jon Rahm’s outstanding 2017 shows no sign of slowing down, the rookie signing for a 70 to sit at one under par.

McIlroy was the victim of dreadful misfortune on the closing hole. An apparently perfect approach shot from 140 yards r Milan are ready to slap in a bid for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.Off contract in June, the Dane has refused to consider new terms proposed by Spurs and is ready to leave the Londoners.PSG have been in contact, however Corriere dello Sporhit the pin, causing the ball to bound back down the fairway. McIlroy could understandably barely conceal his rage at making a bogey from there, meaning a 73 and plus one aggregate.

The Northern Irishman has not fully kicked into gear, a fact that should give him confidence given a position within touching distance of the lead with half of the Masters to play.

McIlroy has his mind set on a big Saturday move. “I’m a little disappointed with what happened at the last but these things happen and, if I can get off to a fast start tomorrow, a couple under through three, I’ll be right there,” he said.

“There are still 36 more holes left to go, a long way in this tournament. I know what can happen, good and bad, around this golf course.”

Willett was among those to encounter the negative, with a defence that ended on Friday at plus seven. A quadruple eight on the 1st fatally impacted on his cause.

A year ago Ian Woosnam insisted his Masters playing days were over on what marked the 25th anniversary of his victoryhere.

The Welshman, now 59, duly returned for 36 holes, his Friday 78 meaning a missed cut at 10 over par. “My wife made me come back,” Woosnam said. But will he – or she – do so again? “I haven’t ruled it out.” Wonderfully confusing.

Why the NFL can get away with dumping mediocrity on UK fans

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The National Football League to be played next year in London – more than ever before! – and is planning to keep ticket prices for the games the same as this year: £35 to £149 ($44 to $189) for general seating. And that pretty much ends the good news.

The not-so-good news is that the eight teams that have selected to play in the four 2017 games – two at Wembley, two at Twickenham – include the Cleveland Browns, who still stand a chance to lose all 16 games on their schedule, plus seven other teams who would not qualify for the playoffs if this season ended today.

The matchups, with dates to be finalized in the off-season, look like this:

24 September or 1 October: Baltimore v Jacksonville, Wembley

24 September or 1 October: New Orleans v Miami, Wembley

22 or 29 October: Minnesota v Cleveland, Twickenham

22 or 29 October: Arizona v Los Angeles, Twickenham

One problem: the aggregate record for the eight teams picked to play is now a lackluster 38-65-1. Already eliminated from playoff contention this year, but tapped to play in England next year, are the Browns (0-13), Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) and Los Angeles Rams (4-9). Miami, at 8-5, is the best team, as of right now, to be playing in England.

The Jaguars, who have often been mentioned as a candidate to move permanently to London, perhaps in only a few years, have played in England in each of the last four years. The Ramspool boss Jurgen Klopp wanted more bravado from his players during victory at Sheffield United.Klopp saw the Reds beat Sheffield United 1-0 on Saturday lunchtime to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.The manager said, “You have to respec’ first season back in Los Angeles has been so disappointing that .

players have never hidden the fact that they are less than enthusiastic about playing in England, mostly because of the long flights to and from the United States. When the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants in a regular-season finale last year, the Eagles were delighted that their division rivals would have to play in England in 2016 and not them.

The slate of four games in 2017, an increase from three in each of the last three seasons, will probably still sell, because American football in England (and continental Europe, which draws in many fans for the International Series), by several metrics, has not lost any of its appeal. An appearance by the rotten Browns, who could become only the second team in NFL history to finish 0-16, might not even iktas.Although the Spaniard had one year left on his contract, he decided to depart the Turkish side after a very tough season which was dominated by the club’s financial issues, reports Marca.The former Real Madrid youth coach is now seeking a returtest that.

“The NFL is commendably dedicated to developing football at all levels within the United States and throughout the globe, and we share in that commitment to help make our game as great as possible and the opportunities to bring it to more people, both within our community and in other regions,” Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a release.

Fifteen of the 16 regular-season games played at Wembley , have drawn at least 81,000 spectators. The Giants-Rams game this year was the first to be played at Twickenham, and it drew a healthy crowd of 74,121.

And this is the crux ofted the lid on his controversial departure from Arsenal last summer.The former Gunners captain angered many in London for the way he forced through his transfer.Koscienly admits he regretted signing a new contract with the Gunners and chose to quit f the matter – the NFL may be happy to keep sending mediocre teams over the Atlantic because the crowds still roll in. And in a season when the league has come under criticism for poor quality of play and TV ratings have slumped, it is in its interests to keep its big draws on home soil and in prime time.

Keeping the big teams away from Europe hardly seems to affect TV figures in the UK either. The NFL has said it is on pace to reach a record number of unique television viewers in Britain. The league’s internal research reports a fan base of 13 million fans, close to four million of which are considered to be “avid”. Additionally, the NFL said that participation in amateur football in the UK has grown by approximately 15% per year since 2007. Latest figures from Sport England show that 40,000 people age 14 or older play regularly, the NFL said.

Furthermore, a 61,000-seat stadium being built in north London primarily as the new home of Tottenham Hotspur when it is finished in 2018. It will include an artificial turf surface under a retractable grass soccer pitch for American football games.

But just because the NFL can sell out Wembley (which, given that England’s soccer team can do it, may not be as hard as it sounds), does that justify sending over poorer teams? While, it’s impossible to predict which teams will be great a year out from the schedule, it could be a sign of respect to arrange a game that is likely to contain two contenders – and that’s unlikely to be New Orleans v Miami. Besides the excuse that travel to UK disrupts a season isn’t compelling. Teams that play in England are given the option to have the next weekend off, but the Colts took on Chicago a week after losing to Jacksonville at Wembley this year – and beat the Bears, 29-23. (It also might have been a factor that the Bears, now 3-10, are lousy.) And it’s worth remembering that one of the teams involved in the first ever International Series game at Wembley back in 2007, the New York Giants, went on to win the Super Bowl that season. Maybe it’s time to put your money on the Browns for Super Bowl LII.

Dak Prescott continues strong start to lead Cowboys past Bears

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Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass, and the Cowboys beat the 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without injured quarterback Tony Romo over three seasons before the rookie fourth-round pick showed up.

Prescott’swas a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he’s up to 99 throws without an interception to starenging Arsenal for Sampdoria defender Joachim Anderson.Arsenal have failed with two offers for the stopper and the Denmark international is open to a departure.Gazzetta dello Sport says Juventus, Tottenham, Arsenal and Lyon are all in contact with Sat his career.has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals in NFL history.

Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offense early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox.

Making his 27th career start for his fourth different team, Hoyer was 30 of 49 for 317 yards — a good portion of that with the game out of each late in the fourth quarter — and threw for two scores to Zach Miller.

Rookie fourth overall pick Ezekiel Elliott had his first 100-yard game for Dallasnged the format of the tournament which will now be played once every four years.That means Liverpool – who beat Tottenham 2-0 in Saturday’s Euro showdown- will eventually face world’s best clubs.But not earlier than in 2021 – when the competition is, finishing with 140 yards on 30 carries and awhen he hurdled safety Chris Prosinski.

It didn’t even bother Prescott that Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith missed just the second game of his six-year career after his back tightened up during the week.

Prescott was 19 of 24 for 248 yards in Dallas’ first home win since last year’s opener, which was a Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri – for naming rights to a new ground.The Toffees revealed plans to build a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.The club confirmedAlisher Usmanov’s holding company, USM, will pay the club £30m this year for the option of becomweek before the first of two broken left collarbones that kept Romo out of 12 games last season. Romo is expected to miss about another month after breaking a bone in his back in the preseason.

Prescott hadfor the Cowboys, who have seven this season after getting eight all of last year, when they finished 4-12.

Because the Bears fell behind again, they couldn’t do much with the running game. They had just 15 carries for 73 yards and lost leading rusher Jeremy Langford to an ankle injury in the second half.

NFL weekend preview: Beckham and Giants to push past sinking Eagles

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Some people just never learn. People like me, apparently. Despite being caught out by a tied game in week seven, neither I nor anybody else taking part in our Pick Six contest thought to predict one in week eight. So that’s no perfect scores for anybody. Honestly, what weken aim at Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.Walsh sold Lukaku, now of Inter Milan, to Manchester United and recalled offering former United manager Jose Mourinho a warning about the Belgian.He told The Athletic: “It is not about collecting players, it isre we thinking?

Still, it couldn’t happen three weeks in a row … could it?

This feels like a pivotal moment for both teams in the NFC East. The losers will drop to 4-4, and almost certainly finish the weekend three games back of the Cowboys (currently 6-1, and set to face Cleveland on Sunday). Recent history favours the Eagles, who have won four straight against the Giants and five out of six showdowns at MetLife Stadium since it opened in 2010. But could a bye week tip things in New York’s favour? Odell Beckham Jr claims that his injured hip feels “10 times better” for the rest, and his participation in practice has increased. On the other side of the ball, the Giants are finally seeing signs of life from their pass rush – with five out of nine sacks arriving in the last two games. The Eagles have had a harder time protecting Carson Wentz since right tackle Lane Johnson was suspended.

In what is starting to feel like an annual tradition, the Steelers are sweating on the status of Ben Roethlisberger ahead of a meeting with Baltimore. The quarterback has missed seven games against the Ravens over the course of his career (curiously, he has never missed one against another division rival – Cincinnati) and his team has usually suffered as a result. The Steelers are 11-9 against Baltimore when Roethlisberger plays, and only 1-6 when he does not. So this is a tricky pick to make on a Thursday, with his status still very much up in the air.

But I think I might take the Ravens in any case. There is something about this matchup that brings the best out of John Harbaugh’s teams, and they swept the series last season despite finishing 5-11. Baltimore also recovered two key offensive linemen – left tackle Ronnie Stanley and right guard Marshal Yanda – from injury during the bye week.

Both teams have three wins on the season, after recording back-to-back victories in the past fortnight. Both teams made hard work of beating the Cleveland Browns. But only one team, Miami, has Jay Ajayi. The London-born running back has caused quite the stir by rushing for more than 200 yards in consecutive games, and now has a shot to become the first player ever to do so in three straight. That will be easier said than done against the Jets, who boast the stingiest run defense in the league – giving up just 74 yards per game and 3.3 per attempt. But if the Dolphins can oblige their opponents to stack up all their resources against Ajayi, then Ryan Tannehill is a capable enough quarterback to exploit a sparse secondary. It is no coincidence that his two most efficient performances of this season have arrived in the past fortnight as well.

A long road trip for the Panthers, but at this rate owner Jerry Richardson might want to consider swapping coasts on a more permanent basis. His team is 2-0 this season against opponents from the NFC West, and 0-5 against everyone else. It is hard to know whether last week’s win over the Cardinals marked a return to form, or Carolina simply felt the muscle memory kick in against the team that they crushed in last year’s Conference Championship Game. Having Jonathan Stewart back in the lineup certainly seemed to help, but the greatest gains were made by a defense that almost doubled its sack tally for the season in a single afternoon. If Star Lotulelei and company can repeat that performance, this this one might not be close.

Don’t look now, but the Titans are only one game out of first place in the AFC North. Three wins in four weeks have elevated them to a .500 record at the season’s midway stage. Marcus Mariota has thrown 10 touchdowns against just a single interception in the past month – giving him a quarterback rating (120.7) that is second only to Tom Brady (133.9) over the same stretch. So is it too much to believe that they could beat San Diego on the road? The Chargers, for all their talent, are a banged up 3-5 team, whose top three reception leaders – Travis Benjamin, Tyreose Mourinho says he is willing to wait for the right opportunity despite being “full of fire” ahead of a return to management.The Portuguese has been without a job since December after being sacked by Manchester United.And Mourinho insists he will cll Williams and Hunter Henry – all missed time in practice this week. For a group that already lost Keenan Allen, Stevie Johnson and Danny Woodhead, it feels like a lot to take.

If that old maxim about offenses winning games and defenses winning championships holds true, then this round ought to go to the Raiders. Averaging 26.9 points, and more than 400 yards, they rank among the most explosive teams in the league. Derek Carr is being mooted as a potential league MVP, and Oakland’s offensive line, despite () its ill-discipline, has been dominant. But this is a different order of challenge to what they have faced so far. By Carr’s own estimation, Dare set to hold shock talks with Arsenal over a potential deal for Mesut Ozil.The MLS club will lose Wayne Rooney in January after the former England International agreed a switch to Derby County.The Mirror says DC have identified Ozil as their next enver’s cornerback pairing of might be the best tandem in the NFL. Even if that line does succeed in keeping Von Miller and company off his back, the quarterback may still have a tough time finding guys open downfield.

Thunder play ugly brilliantly as they shock Warriors in conference finals

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This year’s NBA playoffs have found their villain now, thumping into the title holders with frosty glares. The Oklahoma City Thunder became the bad guys of the postseason when what was probably Tim Duncan’s last championship run. And now they ao deciding where to go next.A Arsenal-wanted-Jose-Mourinho-Unai-Emery.html”>reported boardroom split regarding the club’s long-term direction is to blame for the paralysis as their shortlist gets longer, not shorter. It is an apt symbol of the chaos re trying to ruin the Golden State Warriors’ joy.

OKC swaggered onto the Warriors floor Monday night no longer the young, happy team of a few years back but gruff outsiders scarred by disappointments and looking to stomp on sunshine. There’s nothing fun about this Oklahoma City team. Almost an afterthought in Steph Curry’s Western Conference, the Thunder have remade themselves as a rugged spoiler of pretty basketball, ready to shove, elbow or wrestle their way to a victory. This is what makes them the most serious threat to the Warriors’ dance to a second straight title. They lug with them a world of resentment with nothing to lose ­­– a lethal combination in playoff basketball.

“I mean we hear it all the time, defense wins games,” Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant said in a leaden, passionless voice after the Thunder’s 108-102 victory over the Warriors in the first conference final game.

The team that was supposed to be the Warriors’ latest victim on their march to the next title will not go quietly. All those beautiful passes, skipping shots and delicate player movements that dazzled the this season do not impress a core of Oklahoma City players all these years on. The Thunder use words like “resilient” and “focus,” which usually fill the dreary, heavy talk of a team that looks at the playoffs as a long, tedious slog of games to be endured rather than won.

In Game 1 they forced Golden State to rush perfection. Their aggressive lunges at the ball forced the Warriors out of the precise and delicate pace. Passes were thrown a foot too far, shots were an inch too far to the left or right. The Warriors didn’t miss by much. But all the Thunder needed to turn a Golden State party into a seven-game war was nudge Curry (26 points on the night) and Klay Thompson (25) to shoot a couple of seconds too soon and from just the wrong angle. The Golden State machine broke down after that.

They are the antidote to the effortless brilliance that has been Golden State for nearly these last two seasons. If they are going to win they will win ugly and this is something they are more than fine with. That determination was never more obvious than in the fourth quarter as they fought their way to victory – at one point in the game they had been 14 points down to the Warriors. Durant picked up 26 points, including a crucial jumper with 30 seconds left, and Russell Westbrook scored 24 of his 27 in the second half.

“I mean what’s to celebrate?” Durant said of his team’s dour look after what should have been a momentous victory. “We didn’t win the championship.”

He did not smile.

concerned about losing Jurgen Klopp.The Reds manager is being tipped to replace Max Allegri at Juventus this summer.”We don’t really want to discuss his situation publicly, especially so close to the final,” Werner told the Liverpool Echo.”But I thinOnce the Thunder were the Warriors. Once Durant was Curry, a player who played as if he loved every minute he was on the court. to his postgame press conferences and . They were everybody’s darlings, the team the world wanted badly to win back.

Late on Monday night, long after Curry had dressed and left the arena, Durant lingered in the hall outside the Thunder locker room. He had on ripped jeans and a denim jacket. He didn’t wear a backpack. He didn’t look young and happy. He waited impatiently for Westbrooall Lane.The Daily Mail says McCabe has been told he will not be welcome at Bramall Lane if he fights the High Court ruling which awards full control of the club to his co-owner Prince Abdullah.McCabe, who has been on the board for more than 25 yearsk who was several steps behind and looked less like a fashion icon and more like someone out to walk the dog in an oversized orange sweatshirt. The Thunder have grown up into something far less fun but far more dangerous. They are forgotten and experienced and they know just how to make the Splash Brothers struggle to make everything look easy.

Defense wins games.

Who knew years ago this would become the mantra of Westbrook and Durant? But if they are to ever win a title together that is the stand they have to take. They never could win everything by being pretty but they might just take it all by playing ugly.

The new Thunder will never be as loveable as the boundless Warriors who skip passes through games with a splendid ease that can resemble a world-class soccer team.

“They didn’t make many mistakes on the defensive end which forced us into bad shots,” Curry said.

“Offensively we sucked,” Golden State’s Draymond Green said.

This was, of course, but just one game of a long series and the shots Curry took that looked dumb on Monday would have been brilliant had they fallen. He has a way of turning shots that no one should take into works of art. If two of those attempts that clunked of the rim and instead swished through the net we would be talking about another chapter in the never-ending Curry story.

But he didn’t make them and with seven turnovers, many on sloppy pass attempts over the Thunder’s formidable front court he fell into the trap set by the new Thunder, the one that will try to grind their way to a championship. In two weeks they have beaten the Spurs and the Warriors three times on their home courts which is as many times as San Antonio and Golden State lost at home all season.

After years of despair they have learned to deliver despair to others. Suddenly there is a threat to the Warriors. Few saw the Thunder coming.

NFL moves touchbacks to the 25-yard line and passes new ejections rule

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The has moved touchbacks to the 25-yard line and passed a new ejections rule – despite objections from coaches.

NFL owners voted to move the ball spot on touchbacks after kickoffs to the 25-yard line, to try to limit the number of returns after injuries on the play rose in 2015. They also ruled that players will be subject to automatic ejection if they commit two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the same game. Specifically, a “player penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls” will be “disqualified”.

The automatic ejection proposal was suggested by NFL commissioner Roger ribute to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.The United manager signed Agnaldo for Molde, with the Brazilian currnager Edinburgh passed away on Saturday at the age of 49 – the same age Ginola was when he suffered a cardiac arrest back in 2016.In the wake of the tragic news, the Frenchman spoke fondly of his old friend and Tottenham teammate and the impact Ediently on-loan in Finland with RoPo.He told ESPN Brasil: “I could have gone back to other teams in Brazil, but I chose to stay in Europe and a lot of myGoodell just before the Super Bowl.

Both rule changes will be reviewed after the 2016 season before the NFL decides whether to make them permanent.

The owners were concerned about player safety on kickoffs t to Crystal Palace confirmed their relegation.The veteran manager praised the efforts of his troops over the course of the season and spoke passionately about the transformation since he took the reins.”You have heard this lot (Cardiff fans), they h– but the decision to move the touchback up five yards could have the opposite effect.

Some coaches suggested that the number of kickoff returns could actually increase, with kickers using “mortar kicks” that drop close to the goal line and require a return.

, two veteran special teams coordinators told the Chicago Tribune the new rule will lead more teams telling the kickers to get as much hang time as possible while landing the ball near the goal line in an effort to cover a kick and pin the offense inside the 25 or even inside the 20.

Coaches also claimed that opponents will bait players into committing penalties that qualify for the ejection rule, but owners say that won’t happen. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said: “I think it points to our emphasis on good sportsmanship.”

For the thrilling Dallas Stars, it’s all-out offense. But is their strategy doomed?

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Prior to their New York road trip, the were the NHLside club have been monitoring the 17-year-old, per The Sun.While Hope has not played for his club’s senior side, he was on the bench for a recent EFL Cup tie.The young left-back is also a target for Middlesbrough.It remains to be seen whether Everto leaders, a team who had spent the first months of the season overpowering teams with their dominant offense. After three straight losses, adding up to five in their last seven, they are left wondering whether their offense-heavy strategy is the right formula for winning a Stanley Cup.

Head coach Lindy Ruff told the media his team’s performance in the 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers was “embarrassing”, something he’d clearly expressed during the game by benching his top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Patrick Sharp for the last 12 minutes.

Benn, the captain, didn’t exactly mince words either.

“We played stupid hockey and it’s not good enough. It’s pretty plain and simple,” he said.”

The Stars have scored 146 goals this year, 22 more than the Washington Capitals. That’s the same as the difference between the Capitals and the league’s 17th-ranked offense, the Edmonton Oilers. Dallas is on track for over 280 goals this year, which would be the most by an team since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012-13. Benn and Seguin are second and third in the league in points, trailing only Patrick Kane.

But the Stanley Cup playoffs are typically not kind to high-octane offenses. Not since the Pittsburgh Penguins powerhouse of 1991-92 has the No 1 offense won the Stanley Cup. That’s not to say that recent winners didn’t have offensive prowess. Reigning champion Chicago Blackhawks had both Jonathan Toews and the aforementioned Kane, but they also had the No 1 defense in the NHL, which shut down Tampa Bay Lightning in game six. In fact, the past six winners were all in the top five in goals against, with three taking the top spot.

That’s where the Stars have their work cut out. Although they’ve surged to 16th in the league in goals against, a big jump from last year’s 29th, Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers showed what awaits them if their top players go cold and their defense and goaltending can’t stop difference-makers like Rick Nash and Derek Stepan.

After a 6-5 loss to the Islanders on Sunday, Ruff was asked if he was worried if his defense was trending downwards. He sidestepped the question and blamed bad penalties that let the Islanders score two power play goals. After the Rangers game, he singled out his top scorers.

“We need those guys,” Ruff said, referring to Seguin and Benn. “They’re our best players. Most nights they’re the ones who can push you through, and they’re going through a tough spell.”

Last year, Dallas was the only team with a top 10 offense to miss the playoffs. To fix their defensive woes, they brought in Antti Niemi to be their starting goaltender. Although he’s been an improvement over last year’s starter and current back-up Kari Lehtonen, the game against the Rangers dropped Niemi’s save percentage to a pedestrian .913, good for only 25th among all goaltenders.

Still, Ruff didn’t want to put the blame solely on Niemi, who didn’t get much help from his defensemen Tuesday night.

“I thought he made some great saves to let us hang around. We knocked one in, we deflected one in,” he said referring to some of the bizarre goals the team let in. “I think if you look at the breakaway saves and the tough saves he made, he gave us a chance when the game was still 2-1, 3-1.”

The Stars have been a breath of fresh air in a season where NHL administrators have lamented the decrease in scoring, and publicly floated proposals to increase the size of the nets or decrease the size of goaltender equipment. The league average continues to creep towards five goals per game, meanwhile the average Stars’ game has six goals per game. You’re far more likely to see them score six goals, which they’ve done four rs.The locker room were shocked last week over claims the board hired an online PR company to disparage both current and former players critical of the current regime.Mundo Deportivo says Bartomeu met with the squad’s four leaders, Lionel Messi, Sergtimes, than being shut out, which only happened once against St Louis Blues.

But in the playoffs, where series often come down to low-scoring overtime games, opponents will be looking to shut down Dallas’ skilled players. Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers’ goalie who stopped 21 out of 23 shots against the Stars, explained it best.

“I think against a team like Dallas, the best scoring team in the league, you have to be smart with the puck. Your awareness has to be really high especially in your own end,” he said. “I think we played with poise and awareness. They have some really high-skilled players and if you let them play it’s going to be a tough game.”

Following a 3-2 win against the Boston Bruins, the Washington Capitals passed the Stars for the best regular season record in the NHL. Under head coach Barry Trotz, the team has remodeled itself into an excellent defensive team.

A few seasons ago, under Bruce Boudreau, the Capitals were the poster child for trying to win the Cup by playing great offensive hockey. In 2010, they won the President’s Trophy for the best regular season record by scoring an incredible 318 goals, only to be upset in the first round by the Montreal Canadiens and their stellar goaltending. The Capitals let in 233 goals that year. This year, they have conceded the fewest goals, 85, at the midway point of the season.

But the Stars’ style of play has still propelled them to first place in the Central division by eight points, which is a more than welcome change for a team that has only made the playoffs once in seven years. Attendance at the American Airlines Center is up by almost 1,000 and despite the recent struggles, this is still their best start since the Stanley Cup-winning season of 1998-1999.

A Sunday.Sigurdsson, who was one of a number of players to join up with the Everton squad this week, struck the bar and the post after coming on as a half-time substitute at the Stade Saint-Marc in Le Chable.”I think we played alright, a lot of the bofter three road games in four nights, Ruff is hoping the team can regain momentum back in Dallas with a few division games. But he’s worried there’s not enough time to “regroup”, as he put it.

“When you get out of this, you usually need a few days to let your team rest and come out of it, but we don’t have that luxury,” he said.

Longtime nemesis Antonio Cromartie says Tom Brady shouldn’t be suspended

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Tom Brady received support from an unlikely quarter on Thursday when New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie came out in defense of the embattled quarterback during an appearance on ESPN.

“Honestly, I don’t think he should be suspended,” Cromartie , ESPN’s two-hour weekday morning debate program, when asked about the fairness of the NFL’s punishment for Brady’s role in Deflategate. “Nobody is safe no matter who you are. Roger [Goodell] is going to do what he wants to do. It don’t matter what the rules say, he’s gonna make his own rules as he goes, and it shouldn’t be like that.

“But at the end of the day, we as players gave him the freedom to do whatever he wants to do. We signed the [current Collective Bargaining Agreement]. So we had our own fault for doing it. We should have been more detailed. We shouldn’t have rushed into things. We should have pushed it to another month and a half and made the owners lose money, and then you go from there.”

Four years ago, when Cromartie made headlines by calling Brady an “asshole” ahead of a playoff game between the Jets and Patriots, it would have been difficult to imagine support coming from a less likely figure.

“Fuck him,” Cromartie . “I hate [him].”

On Thursday, it was Goodell who bore the brunt of Cromartie’s anger. Perhaps, as they say, the enemy of my enemy really is my friend.

“In the rulebook, ths been left out of the club’s preseason tour.The left back will remain in England, while the rest of his teammates head to Asia for their preseason preparations.Per The Telegraph, Rose is set for a move away from Tottenham in the coming weeks.The 29-ere’s no suspension in the rules,” Cromartie said. “There’s only a $25,000 fine, so I don’t see how you can try to lay the hammer down on someone when the rule states for itself there’s no suspension for it. Are we trying to go back to the Spygate and get more from ity.The Arsenal-next-manager-Mikel-Arteta-Man-City-assistant-Pep-Guardiola-EXCLUSIVE”>Daily ExpressArsenal-next-manager-Mikel-Arteta-Man-City-assistant-Pep-Guardiola-EXCLUSIVE”> says Arteta is in the middle of a tug of war between Manchester City andthat? Or are we just leading back to us, saying ‘Well, I have full control of everything. I made the rules as it goes, rather than follow the rules of what’s already been written.’”

Cromartie is not the first Patriots rival to back Brady. Bernard Pollard and Terrell Suggs have also come out in support of the Neify for the Champions League.“Deciding to leave the Milan bench isn’t easy, but it’s a decision I had to make,” Gattuso told La Repubblica.“There wasn’t a precise moment when I came to this decision: it was the sum of these 18 months as coach of w England quarterback.

transfer interest.Zielinski remains keen on a move

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reliever told reporters Friday that he is dealing with biceps tendinitis in front part of shoulder. Adams is not worried about the injury and believes it .Adams has not pitched since Thursday. He has pitcherevealed a call frool boss Jurgen Klopp wanted to praise all his young players as they emerged with a 1-0 win over Everton at Anfield.The Reds faced a tricky FA Cup clash in the third round against their bitter rivals.Matters were complicated by Klopp resting several om Manchester City.Petar Tomovski says City have made an approach.“He is a player who can play in the Serie A straightaway. Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Monchecandidates about replacing Arsene Wenger as manager.Unai Emery was eventually the man chosen for the Emirates job after it had initially appeared that former Arsenal player Mikel Arteta would spectacularly take over.The names, in alphabetical order, ngladbach called me for him,” Tomovski told Italian d twice since returning from the disabled list with a back injury. The right-hander has a 3.92 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP in 23 appearances.

Paulo Dybala is eager to hear from Manchester Uni

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second baseman homered and drove in two runs Wednesday against the Dodgers. Gyorko has hit safely in 9 of 10 games, batting .293 (12 for 41) with two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and nine runs. 

Since May 14, Gyorko is batting .313 (26 for 83) with a .518 slugging percentage, four home runs, five doubles, 11 RBI and 19 runs in his last 21 games.

More News 03/22/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 02/18/2020 boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he wasn’t playing media games regarding David de Gea’s fitness.De Gea came off with a muscle abductor problem in Spain’s European qualifier in Sweden on Tuesday and Solskjaer indicated on Wednesday he was out of the hibaut Courtois is delighted Eden Hazard is joi Park.After defeat against Wolves last time out, City produced a dominant display to ruthlessly dispatch a Palace side who came into the game in sixth place.Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring at Selhurst Park, netting his 50th goal for the Club with a ning him in Spain.Hazard has followed Courtois from Chelsea to Real this summer.And the Belgium international told Movistar: “I cannot wait for him to be with us. “His arrival is an important qualitative • by RotoWire Staff 01/10/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 11/03/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 08/18/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 08/17/2019 • by RotoWire Staff

star Lionel Messi over a sensational move to join

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reliever injured his right thumb in the fifth inning Tuesday against the Padres after he was struck by a comebacker off the bat of Yasmani Grandal. X-rays were negative on Guerrier’s thumb, according to .com.

“It hurts,” Guerrieemier League title.The former Manchester United striker, who supports Everton, says not finishing the season would create too many problems.Rooney, who now plays for Derby County, wrote in the Sunday Times: “Liverpool will win the Premier League.”Nowr said, pointing to the thumb on his pitching hand. “It hit the nail and pushed it back a little bit. I don’t know how it did, but it hit both of those spots pretty good.”

The Dodgers hope G was 1990 when the Reds were last Champions of England, a streak they could break during the 2019-2020 season.Klopp spoke about last season’s title race, when they took Manchester City to the wire.He recalls the game against Leicester, where City neeuerrier is day to day and avoids a stint on the disabled list.

“He’s going to have some swelling,” manager Don Mattingly said. “His nail got torn up a little bit. We’ll ary Neville says the strength of Liverpool’s front three has given the club a transfer conundrum.With Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane practically cemented in his starting line-up, Manchester United legend Neville believes Jurgen Klopp wsee what goes on with that.”