United primed to end Benfica’s run

first_imgUnited, who famously defeated Benfica at Wembley in 1968 to win their first European crown, head into the tie on the back of five straight victories.Significantly, those five wins have all been matched by five cleansheets, a fact that signals United’s defence is on the mend after being torn apart by Manchester City last month.“Keeping clean sheets has been an integral part of our success and we have been careless with our defending,” United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said after watching his team score a 1-0 victory over Swansea last weekend.Ferguson said the win over Swansea reflected a focus that had been missing from United’s early games this season.“The concentration we showed is exactly the concentration we need back in the team,” he said.While United’s defence is causing him fewer sleepless nights, it remains to be seen how Ferguson will set up his midfield against Benfica.Against Romanian side Otelul Galati earlier this month, Ferguson used Wayne Rooney as a central midfielder to great effect.Yet while Rooney won plaudits for his performance, it merely served to underscore United’s lack of a genuine creative presence capable of running the game from midfield.According to Scottish international Darren Fletcher, United are doomed to failure in their attempts to find a midfielder capable of replacing the now retired Paul Scholes.“We can’t replace Paul Scholes, it is as simple as that,” Fletcher said. “If there was someone I am sure he would be here.“You are talking about one of the best players ever to play for Manchester United.”Ferguson will instead have to perm the core of his midfield from Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick, Park Ji-Sung and Fletcher.Fletcher believes, however, United have enough quality in attack to trouble the best sides.“As midfielders we know what our job is and how we affect games,” he said.“Maybe we are not noticed but we have quality players in advanced positions. Our job is to supply them.”Another possible midfield option for Ferguson is teenage signing Phil Jones, who has impressed since signing from Blackburn for £17 million in the summer.Jones played a defensive midfield role for England in recent friendly victories over Spain and Sweden, and Fletcher is unsurprised by the 19-year-old’s meteoric rise through the ranks.“He has done fantastic and shown what a real quality player he is,” said Fletcher. “He has performed fantastically at full-back and watching the two England games he did really well in them as well.“He has shown real quality and proved why the manager snapped him up.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000MANCHESTER, England, November 21 – Manchester United will attempt to end Benfica’s unbeaten start to the season here Tuesday as the English club bid to book their place in the Champions League knockout phase.The English and Portuguese giants play out the latest instalment of a decades-old rivalry at Old Trafford knowing that a win for either side will almost certainly assure them of topping Group C.United had to come from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw in the two teams’ meeting in Lisbon earlier in the group, and Benfica remain unbeaten in 20 matches across all competitions this year.last_img read more

West Ham starlet hoping to emulate ‘fantastic’ captain Mark Noble

first_img Reece Oxford (left) hopes to one day captain West Ham, like Mark Noble (right) 1 Teen star Reece Oxford has his sights set on one day becoming West Ham United captain.The 18-year-old has been tipped for a big future by Hammers coaches and he recently signed a new four-and-a-half contract with the club.That came in the wake of intense interest from Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United – who have all scouted the midfielder over the past year.But, after penning his new deal at the London Stadium, Oxford revealed he sees his long-term future with the club as he wants to eventuallu wear the armband.“I want to be a part of the squad and help the club challenge for silverware by winning the FA Cup or Europa League – winning a trophy would be great,” Oxford told West Ham’s match day programme.“My long-term ambitions are to be captain of West Ham United one day.“I look up to someone like Mark Noble and he has been fantastic towards me.”last_img read more

Football Talk: Buffon love letter to his goal, De Boer freak injury

first_imgAnd after a boring goalless draw at the weekend, Macclesfield Town didn’t want to pay for highlights so they have come up with a creative way of showing their fans what happened in the game.And for those of you who don’t speak Italian this is what it says…I was 12 when I turned my back on you, denying my past to guarantee you a safe future.I went with my heart. They say football is the beautiful game, some players have even been compared to ballet dancers but never before has poetry grasped a goalkeeper’s imagination quite like Gigi Buffon this week. The Italian has penned his own love letter dedicated to the goal he defends and it’s powerful stuff. Meanwhile in Holland, Frank de Boer snapped his achilles in a game of head tennis at Ajax’s training ground and had to be carried off by the medical team.Closer to home, Andy Halliday has proved he’s not clued up on Rangers’ history as he struggles to answer how many trophies the club won in 2004/05 and a newborn baby has decided she’s also not interested in the Ibrox side – she’s already a Hibee. I went with my instinct.But the day I stopped looking you in the face is also the day that I started to love you.To protect you.To be your first and last line of defence.I promised myself that I would do everything not to see your face again.Or that I would do it as little as possible.It was painful every time I did, turning round and realising I had disappointed you. Again. And again.We have always been opposites yet we are complementary, like the sun and the moon.Forced to live side by side without being able to touch.Team-mates for life, a life in which we are denied all contact.More than 25 years ago I made my vow: I swore to protect you. Look after you. A shield against all your enemies.I’ve always thought about your welfare, putting it first even ahead of my own.I was 12 when I turned my back on my goal. And I will keep doing it as long as my legs, my head and my heart will allow.Could you beat Andy Halliday in the Mastermind chair?Some are accusing Macclesfield Town of making their weekend highlights too exciting.It’s all fun and games until the manager needs stretchered off…St Mirren v Raith Rovers was originally postponed due to snow in January. SNSlast_img read more

Football Talk: Lennon’s hairdryer, De Boer’s next move

first_imgDid you see the derby last night?You did? Then you must have been one of the 20,000 at Easter Road. There was no other way to watch the action unfold thanks to the UEFA blackout so the ONLY way to see it was to be there in person. Modern technology most certainly did not help and tens of thousands did not watch handheld footage. And speaking of technological innovation, its influence was seen on the pitch as Hibs responded to Neil Lennon’s hairdryer with a performance that blew away Hearts. The Hibees boss tore into his players after their draw with Raith on Saturday and they were sufficiently motivated to rip into their Edinburgh rivals and cruise into the Scottish Cup quarter finals with a 3-1 win.At Kilmarnock, Lee McCulloch has pulled the plug on the club’s cryogenic chamber just as temperatures outside drop to the same level the expensive contraption can generate.Frank de Boer has been linked with a move to Rangers but he has now dropped more than just a hint that he sees his future being at a club south of the border. Elsewhere Aberdeen are sweating over the future of four key players as they delay decisions on contracts while Kieran Tierney has been teaching Scott Sinclair and Dedryck Boyata Celtic supporters’ songs. Guess they’ll now be trying to get Depeche Mode tickets just like the rest of Glasgow this morning then.last_img read more

Fianna Fail to insist on Mica Redress scheme in Budget 2019

first_imgThe Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin has confirmed to the Mica Action Group that his party will insist on a redress for affected homeowners to be included as a line item in the upcoming budget. Members of MIG travelled to Leinster house to have a face to face meeting with Micheál Martin, Charlie Mc Conalogue and Darragh O’ Brien to discuss the inclusion of a redress scheme for homeowners affected by defective blocks in the upcoming Budget.The Mica Action Group is a voluntary group formed in early 2014 by individuals whose own homes are cracking due to defective blocks. Hundreds of homes across Donegal are believed to be affected by Mica.Member Michael Doherty said “MAG welcomed the invite from Micheál Martin to meet with him, Charlie and Darragh face to face to discuss the issue of defective blocks in Donegal.“In particular MAG took the opportunity to impress on the delegation the significant influence Fianna Fáil has on the budget outcome and their role in ensuring this issue is allocated a line item in the upcoming budget.“We also asked for the protocol review process to be expedited, finalised and published with immediate effect. “We explained how time is of the essence and that we needed to see action now to address the dire situation homeowners are finding themselves in.“Micheál Martin confirmed a number of times that he will ‘insist’ on the inclusion of redress in the budget. Charlie Mc Conalogue also recognised the importance of concluding the protocol development and review process and assured MAG of is continued support in this regard.”The group said they are encouraged by this outcome and were further heartened to hear how up-to-speed Micheál was in respect of this issue and thanked Charlie for his continued support in bringing this to the attention of the Fianna Fail leadership team.“We also took the opportunity to invite Micheál to Donegal to meet with homeowners and to see for himself, the very difficult circumstances and stress homeowners are facing.“MAG see this as a further step in the fight for redress and look forward to the publication of the budget with anticipation and increased optimism.” The Mica Action Group is a voluntary group formed in early 2014 by individuals whose own homes are cracking due to defective blocks.The objective of the group is to seek redress for homeowners affected by this issue.The group has engaged with government on a local and on a national level to determine the exact scale and the cause of the problem in the county.Fianna Fail to insist on Mica Redress scheme in Budget 2019 was last modified: September 27th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:fianna failMIGredress schemelast_img read more

Photo library: Buildings and structures 7

first_img{loadposition tc}Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download Buildings & Structures contact sheet (1.1MB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) Cape Town, Western Cape province: Inside the Cape Town International Convention Centre, in the city centre. Photo: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: First National Bank offices displaying the 2010 Fifa World Cup logo, indicating that the bank is a national sponsor of the tournament, with Table Mountain behind. Photo: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: Buildings in the commercial district. Photo: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: The Baxter Theatre. Photo: Jeffrey Barbee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com Download hi-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: The historic clock tower at the Victoria and Albert Waterfront, South Africa’s most popular tourist destination. Photo: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: The manor house at Groot Constantia, one of the oldest wine farms in the Cape winelands. Photo: Mary Alexander, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Western Cape province:The bell at Altydgedacht Wine Estate in the Durbanville Valley.Photo: Durbanville Wine Valley » Download high-res image Western Cape province: D’Aria Poplars restaurant in the Durbanville Valley.Photo: Durbanville Wine Valley » Download high-res image Western Cape province: The farmhouse at HillcrestEstate in the DurbanvilleValley.Photo: Durbanville Wine Valley » Download high-res image BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES 7: {loadposition bd}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about the image library? Email Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.last_img read more

New-look Google Reader Is Stunning!

first_imgTags:#RSS Readers#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… richard macmanus Google Reader, Google’s web-based RSS Aggregator, has had a re-design and I amimpressed. It now has a look n’ feel very much like Gmail, which I believe is a pointerto this product being prepped for mainstream promotion – and/or merged with Gmail.Probably a bit of both, as a standalone RSS Reader is always going to be needed. You’llrecall that the new Yahoo Mail Beta has RSS integrated into its email experience –and the reason for that is quite simply to reach the 250 Million odd people that have aYahoo Mail account. What better way to make RSS a mainstream experience than to integrateit into the web email platform. So I expect Google to follow suit.Google Reader List viewYou probably know that I am a huge fan of Gmail, so this new Google Reader interfacewas immediately a pleasure to use. I love that it automatically marks items as ‘read’ asyou scroll. I also like the List view (very much like email), for quick scrolling, andthe ‘Expanded’ view feels much more natural to use now. The ‘sharing’ functionality isexcellent too – a shared clippings blog similar to Bloglines; and ability to share viaemail.The new features:Expanded view and list viewSimplified sharing functionalityImproved read-state managementInfinite scrollingUnread countsMark all as readI remember trying out Google Reader back in the Web 2.0 Conference last year, when itwas launched. I was underwhelmed at thattime, but this new design – with its Gmail-like interface, features, and speed to match – ismuch more impressive. LikeNiall Kennedy, I hope they also integrate blog search into the Reader at some point – as well as tie into other Google services. But otherwise, Google has upped the ante in the online RSS Reader space. And also gone along way towards matching Yahoo’s email/RSS integration.Expanded ViewUpdate: Marshall Kirkpatrick at Techcrunch points out that Google is emphasizing the email tie-in: “Think of Google Reader as your inbox for the web.” Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

India ready with their bag of tricks for Steve Smith’s Australia

first_imgLess than 24 hours remain before the first ball of the four-Test series between India and Australia is bowled at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune and it already seems like the groundsmen have prepared a pitch which will take turn from Day 1. (India keen to take down Australia for perfect end to season)CLICK TO WATCH FULL VIDEOAustralia’s worst fears seem to have come true as images of the pitch were released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Wednesday morning. The Aussies, who in all likelyhood were going to go in with three fast bowlers and lead spinner Nathan Lyon, will now have to rethink their strategy after looking at the newly laid surface in Pune. (Kohli on Test series against Australia: Not bothered about the opposition)Am early morning pitch inspection – Head coach @anilkumble1074 and @ImSanjayBangar at it #TeamIndia #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/8tuU2mkA4P BCCI (@BCCI) February 22, 2017Captain Steve Smith had a look at the pitch in the morning and claimed that he had never seen a wicket quite like this before the start of a Test match and reckons that it will turn from ball one. (Kohli creates a positive environment in the dressing-room: Saha to India Today)”I think it will take spin from ball one,” Smith said. “There are a couple of divots out of the wicket as well. (Virat Kohli won his battles against Joe Root, can he trump Steve Smith?)”I haven’t really seen a wicket like that before a Test match so I think it is going to take a lot of spin and potentially some up and down movement for the fast bowlers as well.” (Five India vs Australia controversies that shook the cricketing world)advertisementAfter dishing out quality wickets against New Zealand and England last year, India seem to have gone back to their strategy of producing raging turners for the No. 2 ranked Australian team just like they had done against South Africa when they came for a tour in 2015. (Kohli refuses to judge himself as captain)Both the Kiwis and Alastair Cook’s side played on pitches which were excellent for batting and only started to take any kind of turn from Day 3 onwards. Especially in the series against England, except for the pitch in Vizag, all the other wickets saw both teams scoring over 400 atleast once in every innings. (Kohli grateful to Anil Kumble for helping him evolve as cricketer)But the BCCI is not going to take any chances against a strong team like Australia which has three to four world class batsmen who are equally brilliant against pace and spin. Batsmen like Steve Smith, David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh can be dangerous even in Indian conditions if they get a good start and get their eye in. (Why Australia should be afraid of Virat Kohli)Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be India’s main weapons along with Jayant Yadav and Amit Mishra, who will surely play a couple of Tests each, and the board is going all out to ensure that they get pitches which will assist the Indian spinners from very early on in the match.The stadium in Pune will host its first Test match and therefore, both teams do not really know what to expect from the surface. In a situation like this it is always better to go for the tried and test formula rather than experimenting with the pitch and ground conditions, especially when the summer season is just around the corner.last_img read more

Sterling: Man City were fortunate in offside controversy

first_imgRaheem Sterling conceded Manchester City got lucky with his controversial first goal in the 3-1 Premier League win over Watford.Sterling went on to complete a quickfire hat-trick to take the game away from Watford and stretch City’s advantage over Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table to four points.But the England winger’s opener provided a major talking point after he was initially flagged offside, only for the officials to award the goal on account of Watford defender Daryl Janmaat playing the ball into Sterling’s shin before it ricocheted into the net. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! “The first half was very difficult. It was hard to break them down,” he told BT Sport.”In the second half thing opened up a bit. We had some luck with the first one and then we had a few more chances that we took really well.”In the first half they were really compact. We knew we only had 45 minutes left and we knew we had to go for it and be more aggressive. That’s what we did.”Asked specifically for his views on the opening goal, Sterling added: “I don’t know exactly what it was, but I was praying and hoping that they’d give it to us.”We got that slight fortune and we deserved [the win].”Sterling moved on to 15 Premier League goals this season, the fruits of hard work on the training ground.He was just too good today!@Sure 3-1  #MCIWAT #mancity pic.twitter.com/OPfUTGFdUn— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 9, 2019″Every year I want to improve. This year’s no different. I’m not just trying to score goals but want to help the team as well,” the 24-year-old said, before refusing to be drawn on the balance of power between his old club and current one in the title race, with Liverpool hosting Burnley on Sunday.”To be honest we just take it a game at a time. We know we’ve got strong contenders. We’ve done our part and we recover and go again.”Today was really difficult and it will be a difficult run in.”Anyone know if that 1st goal was offside?— Ben Foster (@BenFoster) March 9, 2019Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster posted on Twitter to mock the decision to award Sterling’s goal, while his boss Javi Gracia was in tongue-biting mode in his own post-match interview.”I think we played very good in the first half – defensively perfect, collectively doing a very good performance,” said the Spaniard. “I think everybody has seen what happened. I never criticise the referees and I’m not going to do it today. [Sterling’s] position and influence, I think is clear.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

England vs India: Root is the glue of our batting lineup, says Morgan

first_imgJoe Root roared back to form for England in 50-over cricket as the hosts beat India by 86 runs in the 2nd ODI to level the three-match series 1-1 on Saturday.Root, who brought up the 12th century of his career, made 113 runs off 116 balls which included eight boundaries and a six to power England to 322 for 7 after they elected to bat first on a flat pitch at the Lord’s cricket ground.Although a disciplined Indian bowling attack jolted the hosts at regular intervals, the England Test captain kept the team sailing as he was involved in a couple of valuable partnerships with Eoin Morgan and David Willey, both of whom posted half-centuries.England captain Morgan later heaped praise on Root calling him the glue of the batting lineup.GET IN!!! We make it 1-1 and the series will be decided at Headingley on Tuesday!Scorecard/Clips: https://t.co/FQTvupHoGK#ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/1oUn940ZxCEngland Cricket (@englandcricket) July 14, 2018″The way he accumulates an innings and sets up the backbone of our innings. He’s the glue of our batting,” Morgan said at the post-match presentation ceremony where Root was adjudged man-of-the-match.Also read – 2nd ODI: Root, Plunkett script England’s crushing win over India at Lord’sHaving posted a challenging total, England proceeded to dismiss the visitors for 236 runs.The Indian innings never really gathered any sustained momentum as they lost wickets at regular intervals.The incisive England bowling was completed by some poor shot selection by the Indian batsmen which saw the visitors struggling at 60/3 in the 11th over.advertisementThe bit of resistance by the visitors was produced by skipper Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, who came up with a fighting partnership of 80 runs off 97 deliveries.But once Moeen Ali had broken the stand by clinching the prized wicket of Kohli, it was all downhill for the Indians.Also read – MS Dhoni booed at Lord’s, Virat Kohli defends former captainSoon Adil Rashid bowled Raina, who top scored for India with 46 runs.Pacer Liam Plunkett, who was in superb form, was the most successful among the England bowlers with figures of 4/46.”I thought we bounced back really well, similar to the T20I series. Learned from the first game and improved. Challenges against spin on a similar surface, if not a tougher one. Joe was excellent and the boys upfront were good too.Also read – MS Dhoni 4th Indian after Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid to score 10000 ODI runs”The bowlers put on a clinical performance as well. Well, it worked out (the decision to bat). It’s my home ground and it’s good that it paid off,” Morgan added.The third and final match of the series will be played in Leeds on July 17.(With IANS inputs)last_img read more