England ‘more determined than ever’ to take the knee in defiance of boos

Gareth Southgate
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Updated 06 June 2021

England ‘more determined than ever’ to take the knee in defiance of boos

  • All three of England’s group games will be played in front of a 22,000 crowd at Wembley

LONDON: England manager Gareth Southgate confirmed his side will take the knee before kick-off in all of their matches at Euro 2020 despite the gesture being booed by supporters since fans returned to stadiums
in recent weeks.

Sections of the crowd voiced their displeasure at the gesture ahead of England’s 1-0 friendly win over Austria in Middlesbrough on Wednesday, while there were also boos ahead of the FA Cup and Champions League finals last month.

Taking the knee, initially performed by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has become commonplace in top-level football matches over the past year as a sign of protest against racial injustice.

The Three Lions are in action again in Middlesbrough on Sunday against Romania.

All three of England’s group games at the European Championship will be played in front of a 22,000 crowd at Wembley.

“The most important thing for our players is to know we are totally united on it, we are totally committed to supporting each other,” said Southgate during his pre-match press conference.

“We feel, more than ever, determined to to take the knee through this tournament.

“We accept that there might be an adverse reaction, we are just going to ignore that and move forward.

“I think the players are sick of talking about the consequences of should they, shouldn’t they. They’ve had enough really.

“Their voices have been heard loud and clear, they are making their stand but they want to talk about the football.”

Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips said he was “confused and disappointed” to hear the boos ahead of the Austria match.

“I don’t think it’s a great situation, especially for us players,” said Phillips.

“The lads spoke about it afterwards and we came to the conclusion that no matter what happens around it we’re still going to participate in kneeling, and I think that’s a great idea.”

Southgate has delayed the naming of a replacement for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold in his 26-man squad until after Sunday’s game in case of further injuries.

But he is optimistic that Manchester United captain Harry Maguire will recover from ankle ligament damage in time to play a part in the tournament.

Maguire has not featured since suffering the injury against Aston Villa four weeks ago and Southgate admitted he has made plans if the centerback does not recover in time.

“Our medical team are pleased with his progress. All of the guide is he should be available (for the tournament) and it is a case of when he can slot back into training with the group,” added Southgate.

“I’m very realistic about that and we’ve picked a squad on the basis if we didn’t have him, we have players to come in.”


Ten-man Dortmund crash without Haaland on Rose’s Gladbach return

Updated 25 September 2021

Ten-man Dortmund crash without Haaland on Rose’s Gladbach return

  • "We really missed Erling and Marco today, but we needed a bit more toughness and determination," admitted Dortmund defender Mats Hummels
  • Wolfsburg lost 3-1 at Hoffenheim, falling to third and losing second place on goal difference to Bayer Leverkusen

BERLIN: Defending champions Bayern Munich will finish the weekend three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table after close rivals Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg both suffered away defeats on Saturday.
Without injured star striker Erling Braut Haaland and club captain Marco Reus, Dortmund had midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud sent off for two first-half yellow cards as their 1-0 defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach left them fourth in the table.
“Of course, we really missed Erling and Marco today, but we needed a bit more toughness and determination,” admitted Dortmund defender Mats Hummels as the visitors played a man down for 50 minutes.
Earlier, Wolfsburg lost 3-1 at Hoffenheim, falling to third and losing second place on goal difference to Bayer Leverkusen, whose 18-year-old Germany international Florian Wirtz sealed a 1-0 win over Mainz to become the youngest player to reach the milestone of 10 Bundesliga goals.
Having lost both Haaland and Reus to injuries in training on Friday, the visitors struggled in front of goal as Moenchengladbach fans whistled Dortmund coach Marco Rose on his return to Borussia Park, where he was in charge for two years before quitting to join their Bundesliga rivals.
The match was decided shortly before half-time when Swiss midfielder Denis Zakaria beat England midfielder Jude Bellingham to the ball and fired the hosts ahead with the game’s first clear chance.
Emotions were running high and referee Denis Aytekin dished out eight yellow cards, two of which were shown to Dahoud.
He was booked early for fouling Gladbach captain Lars Stindl, and then sent off on 40 minutes for a late tackle on US defender Joe Scally.
Dortmund squandered the chance to grab a late equalizer when Belgium winger Thorgan Hazard headed over in added time.
Haaland and Reus face a race against time to be fit for Tuesday’s Champions League game at home to Sporting Lisbon while Saturday’s win hauled Gladbach up from the relegation places to 11th.
Wolfsburg took the lead in Sinsheim when winger Ridle Baku fired in a stunning long-range shot from the left flank, but Andrej Kramaric, Christoph Baumgartner and Pavel Kaderabek scored three unanswered goals for Hoffenheim.
“It’s a shame we didn’t take the points, but Hoffenheim were very efficient — better than us in that regards,” said Wolfsburg head coach Mark van Bommel after his first league defeat in charge.
RB Leipzig picked up a much-needed confidence boost before Tuesday’s home Champions League game against Brugge with a 6-0 thrashing of Hertha Berlin.
Three defeats in their opening five league games, as well as a 6-3 thrashing at Manchester City in Europe, had piled pressure on Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch.
The American reacted by switching Denmark forward Yussuf Poulsen up front for struggling new striker Andre Silva.
Poulsen linked up with French winger Christopher Nkunku to cause havoc in the Hertha defense.
Nkunku was outstanding with two goals and two assists, while Poulsen, Nordi Mukiele, Emil Forsberg and Amadou Haidara also got on the scoresheet.
Union Berlin are unbeaten in their last 20 home league games after a 1-0 win against Bielefeld in the capital.
Substitute striker Kevin Behrens came off the bench to claim his first Bundesliga goal in only his fourth game for Union.
However, the win was overshadowed by injury to Union defender Timo Baumgartl, who was knocked out during a first-half collision and taken to hospital, where it was confirmed he suffered concussion.
“Timo Baumgartl is doing well. Under the circumstances, that’s the most pleasing news,” said Union coach Urs Fischer.


Salah gets 100th PL goal but Liverpool held 3-3 at Brentford

Updated 25 September 2021

Salah gets 100th PL goal but Liverpool held 3-3 at Brentford

  • Juergen Klopp’s side was unable to reap the maximum profit from slip-ups by Manchester United and Chelsea
  • Instead Liverpool moved just one point clear at the top, while preserving the top flight’s only remaining unbeaten record

LONDON: Mohamed Salah scored his 100th Premier League goal for Liverpool on Saturday but it was not enough to beat Brentford, which twice pegged the Reds back in a breathless 3-3 draw.
Juergen Klopp’s side was unable to reap the maximum profit from slip-ups by Manchester United and Chelsea earlier in the day as it shared the points with Brentford in early-evening entertainment in west London.
Instead Liverpool moved just one point clear at the top, while preserving the top flight’s only remaining unbeaten record.
And Klopp will be relieved at that after Ivan Toney had what would have been a late winner ruled out for offside.
The German coach will also know his side will not face many tougher trips all season, with vibrant Brentford leading through Ethan Pinnock and, following goals from Diogo Jota and Salah, equalizing through Vitaly Janelt.
Then, when Curtis Jones smashed Liverpool ahead again, Bees sub Yoane Wissa came up with another equalizer.
There was a taste of things to come when both teams were denied by goal-line clearances in the opening 10 minutes.
First, Salah missed out on a seventh-minute opener thanks to a spectacular piece of defending from Kristoffer Ajer, who slid in to hook the ball off the line.
Moments later, at the other end, Bryan Mbeumo latched onto Toney’s flick-on and lifted the ball over Alisson, but this time Joel Matip got back to scoop the ball clear from underneath the crossbar.
Brentford was more than holding its own against the 2020 champion and took the lead in the 27th minute. Spanish winger Sergi Canos — who spent three years at Liverpool as a youngster but played only nine minutes for the first team — got down the Reds’ right and drilled in a low cross that Toney helped on for Pinnock to tap in.
The lead lasted barely three minutes, however, before Jordan Henderson swung in a cross from the right and Jota headed home at the far post.
Seven minutes before the interval, Henderson teed up Jones on the edge of the area and his shot was deflected onto a post by Pinnock.
Jota should have been celebrating his second of the afternoon from the rebound but somehow David Raya got his body in the way of the shot and it flew wide.
After the break Salah grabbed his landmark goal. The Egypt striker was initially flagged offside as he tucked away Fabinho’s ball over the top, but a VAR check showed he was in fact onside.
Back came Brentford, though, and when Pontus Jansson slid in to crash Ajer’s cross onto the bar, Janelt popped up at the far post to force the loose ball home.
Jones blasted Liverpool back in front in the 67th with a low drive that took a deflection in a crowded penalty area as it flew past Raya.
Salah should have had goal No. 101 after he was played in by Sadio Mane but he chipped the ball onto the roof of the net.
Moments later Wissa arrived at the far post and produced a composed finish to equalize yet again, before Toney was denied a late winner by the linesman’s flag.


All Blacks clinch Rugby Championship as Wallabies shine

Updated 25 September 2021

All Blacks clinch Rugby Championship as Wallabies shine

  • All Blacks coach Ian Foster recalled big guns Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick for the historic 100th Test against the Springboks

TOWNSVILLE, Australia: A relieved New Zealand clinched the Rugby Championship crown Saturday by downing South Africa in a bruising and intense clash between the world’s top two teams, as a resurgent Australia stretched their win streak to three.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster recalled big guns Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick for the historic 100th Test against the Springboks after an experimental side easily beat Argentina last week.

And they led from the front in the 19-17 victory, rubbing salt into South African wounds after snatching their No. 1 world ranking last week.

But it was a messy affair which ultimately came down to Jordie Barrett’s boot, with the fullback landing a difficult penalty with two minutes left in the first of a double header at Townsville, in northern Queensland. In the later match, the Wallabies ground down Argentina 27-8, consigning the struggling Pumas to a fifth straight defeat as Dave Rennie’s men won three on the trot for the first time since 2017.

“We knew this game was going to come down to the wire and it was tit for tat there, we just stuck at it,” said All Blacks skipper Ardie Savea after their 10th straight victory.

“We backed ourselves and just glad to come away with the win, relieved actually.

“They put us under a lot of pressure with the box kicks and their chase line and we had to adapt,” he added.

“It was a bit messy, but that’s Test match footy.”

New Zealand’s win ensured they once again won the southern hemisphere title, with world champions South Africa having needed a bonus-point victory to keep their slim championship hopes alive. After five games, the All Blacks have an uncatchable 24 points with a game to play.

Australia, who beat South Africa twice before dismantling Argentina, move up to second on 13 points, two clear of the Springboks, with the Pumas flailing at the bottom.

New Zealand and South Africa scored a try apiece within the opening five minutes when Will Jordan then Sbu Nkosi crossed to set the game alight.

But while the All Blacks went to the break 13-11 in front, they lacked their usual composure as the Springboks successfully shut down their fluent style.

Both sides traded penalties through the second half until Barrett kept his cool and landed the decisive blow in the dying stages from 40 meters out.

“We never like to lose because we come from a very proud country that expects results from us as a team,” said South Africa captain Siya Kolisi, whose side have now lost three in a row.

“But I’m glad of the way the boys stood up today. I can’t fault my teammates or coaches and thought we were right in there. Not much went wrong tonight.”

A revitalized Australia came into their clash against Argentina with their confidence high after consecutive wins over the Springboks, and they kept the momentum going.

Reece Hodge opened their account with a try after just four minutes and Samu Kerevi added another in a bone-crunching first half where Argentina were forced to make a gruelling 62 tackles.

The Wallabies wobbled early in the second stanza and Argentina skipper Julian Montoya powered over for a try, before the home team regained focus and finished strongly with Andrew Kellaway getting their third five-pointer.

“We’re obviously happy to win. We worked hard in the first half to put ourselves in a strong position, then there was probably a bit of frustration,” said Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.

“But we worked hard and sustained a lot of pressure for 20 minutes after half-time, so I guess mixed emotions.

“Happy to win, but we need to be better.”

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Man City end Chelsea hex as Man Utd pay penalty

Updated 25 September 2021

Man City end Chelsea hex as Man Utd pay penalty

  • Gabriel Jesus' second-half strike proved decisive for Pep Guardiola's men
  • Bruno Fernandes sent his spot-kick high over the bar, just the 2nd time he has failed to score from a penalty in 23 attempts for United

LONDON: Manchester City ended their Chelsea hoodoo on Saturday, beating the European champions 1-0 while Bruno Fernandes missed a last-gasp penalty in Manchester United’s shock 1-0 defeat by Aston Villa.
Gabriel Jesus’ second-half strike proved decisive for Pep Guardiola’s men, who gained a measure of revenge for three consecutive defeats by Chelsea, including a painful loss in the Champions League final in Porto.
The win lifted the defending champions to 13 points alongside Liverpool, Chelsea and United, who conceded a late goal to Villa defender Kortney Hause before suffering the agony of the missed spot-kick.
Elsewhere, Jamie Vardy netted twice at the right end against Burnley after scoring an early own goal in a 2-2 draw for stuttering Leicester while Norwich slumped to their sixth consecutive league defeat.
Guardiola said this week that his side lacked a “weapon” to match Chelsea’s record signing Romelu Lukaku or United’s Cristiano Ronaldo to decide games inside the box.
But Jesus ultimately made the difference for City, who could have won more convincingly but for a combination of wasteful finishing and some impressive last-ditch defending.
The Brazilian forward got the break City deserved in the 53rd minute as his effort deflected off Jorginho to leave goalkeeper Edouard Mendy flat-footed.
The visitors had chances to double their lead, with Jack Grealish drawing a sharp save before Jesus was denied a second by Thiago Silva’s goal-line clearance while Thomas Tuchel’s team failed to muster a single shot on target.
“Sometimes we believe we need a proper striker to finish, but the important thing is the way we play,” Guardiola told the BBC.
“The most important thing is doing it as a team and as a unit. It’s like last season. Sergio (Aguero, who has left the club) was injured all year and we won the Premier League.”
Villa arrived at Old Trafford with a woeful record of one win in their previous 45 Premier League games against Manchester United, including 33 defeats.
The home side, boasting a star-studded attack including Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood had 28 shots in all but Villa missed some gilt-edged chances of their own.
Just when it appeared the game was drifting toward a draw, Villa’s Hause flicked a near-post header beyond David de Gea from a Douglas Luiz corner in the 88th minute.
Minutes later he went from hero to villain when he handled Fernandes’ cross but the United playmaker sent his spot-kick high over the bar — just the second time he has failed to score from a penalty in 23 attempts for the club.
It was a second home defeat of the week for United and a first in the Premier League this season, while they also lost Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw to injuries in front of watching England boss Gareth Southgate
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side have lost three of their past four matches in all competitions criticized the way Fernandes was surrounded before his penalty.
“First of all the way they get round the penalty spot, get round Bruno and that, that’s not to my liking,” he said. “Bruno is usually very good in those positions and unfortunately he missed this one.
“It doesn’t get in Bruno’s head. He’s strong mentally and he’ll step forward again. The decision (on who takes penalties) is made before the game.”
Everton beat Norwich 2-0 while West Ham overcame struggling Leeds 2-1 with a late Michail Antonio goal. Watford had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Newcastle after having a late goal ruled out for offside.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are in action at Brentford in the late kick-off on Saturday, with a chance to go three points clear at the top of the table.


A 3rd generation of Maldini family scores in Serie A

Updated 25 September 2021

A 3rd generation of Maldini family scores in Serie A

  • There was a third generation of the Maldini family to score in Serie A on Saturday
  • Daniel Maldini scored his first Serie A goal 13 years, 179 days after the last league goal netted by his father Paolo

MILAN: Like grandfather, like father, like son.
There was a third generation of the Maldini family to score in Serie A on Saturday as Daniel Maldini helped AC Milan to a 2-1 win at Spezia.
Daniel Maldini scored his first Serie A goal 13 years, 179 days after the last league goal netted by his father Paolo — against Atalanta in 2008 — and 60 years, 22 days after his grandfather Cesare scored against Catania in 1961.
Paolo Maldini, who is now a technical director at the club where he made more than 900 appearances as a player, jumped out of his seat in celebration at the goal shortly after the restart.
Daniele Verde leveled for Spezia 10 minutes from time but substitute Brahim Díaz restored Milan’s lead six minutes later.
Milan moved top of the league, a point ahead of Napoli, which plays Cagliari on Sunday.
Defending champion Inter Milan is three points behind its city rival and plays Atalanta later Saturday in an eagerly awaited match.
Also later, Genoa hosts Hellas Verona in its first game since being sold to new American owners.
It was Daniel Maldini’s first start for Milan and the 19-year-old broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half as he headed in a cross from Pierre Kalulu and it was too powerful for Spezia goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet to keep out.
Milan almost doubled its lead shortly afterward but Rafael Leão’s curled effort came off the post.
It appeared as if Spezia had snatched a point when Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali deflected in Verde’s effort but once again Rossoneri coach Stefano Pioli’s substitutions paid off as Díaz — who had only been on the field for five minutes — steered in the winner after a great move by Alexis Saelemaekers.