10-man Roma whips Atalanta 3-0

Updated 13 December 2012
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10-man Roma whips Atalanta 3-0

ROME: Roma beat Atalanta 3-0 in the fifth round of the Italian Cup on Tuesday, despite playing most of the second half with 10 men.
The capital side will meet either Udinese or Fiorentina in the next round in January after a fifth consecutive victory in all competitions.
Miralem Pjanic and Pablo Osvaldo put Roma 2-0 up before the break following two howlers from Atalanta goalkeeper Andrea Consigli. Mattia Destro extended Roma’s lead shortly after the interval.
Osvaldo swiftly went from hero to villain as he was shown a straight red card 10 minutes into the second period for an elbow on Atalanta defender Carlos Matheu.
“I’m happy with the result,” Roma coach Zdenek Zeman said. “At the beginning we tried to do what we know how to do. In the second half we gave them too much initiative, but what was important was to go through to the next round.
“On every corner Osvaldo had a player on top of him and he wanted to get free. But you shouldn’t act as if you were playing rugby, and to free yourself you have to be cunning. It’s difficult to decide what to do.”
Roma and Atalanta fielded almost full-strength lineups, although Daniele De Rossi was handed a start for the first time in a month for the capital side.
Destro had penalty appeal waved away in the 20th minute when he appeared to be bundled over by Cristiano Raimondi in the area.
However, Roma was in front seconds later when Pjanic’s shot from the edge of the area — which looked like an easy attempt for the Italy under-21 goalkeeper to punch clear — stung Consigli’s palms on the way in.
Roma doubled its lead 10 minutes later when Consigli mistimed his exit to gather Destro’s through ball and Osvaldo tapped it in.
It extended its lead still further six minutes into the second half after Pjanic threaded through a delightful ball for Destro to sidefoot home.
Atalanta was gifted a chance to get back into the game when Osvaldo was rightly sent off for swinging out an elbow after appearing to be being held by Matheu on a corner.
But Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg pulled off a stunning diving save to keep out Facundo Parra’s header from a meter out and Atalanta had a penalty appeal dismissed seconds later when Ivan Piris appeared to handle following Giuseppe De Luca’s header.


Modi forecasts IPL players will earn ‘$1m a game’

Updated 43 min 21 sec ago
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Modi forecasts IPL players will earn ‘$1m a game’

  • Modi believes that if that $12 million cap is relaxed, leading IPL players could earn as much as English Premier League footballers and even NFL stars
  • London-based Modi forecast the end of country versus country contests, which effectively finance professional cricket structures all round the world and the demise of the International Cricket Council, the sport’s global governing body

LONDON: Indian Premier League founder Lalit Modi believes there will come a time when players will earn $1 million dollars per game while warning that the traditional program of matches between countries “will disappear.”
A Twenty20 domestic franchise competition launched a decade ago, which has spawned a host of imitators worldwide, the IPL is now the most lucrative of all cricket tournaments.
“The IPL is here to stay,” Modi told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper in an interview published Thursday. “It will be the dominant sporting league in the world.”
IPL teams are bankrolled by wealthy businessmen operating in an environment where the passion for cricket in India, the world’s second-most populous nation, makes the game an attractive target for sponsors and broadcasters.
At present there is a team salary cap, with the likes of England all-rounder Ben Stokes earning $1.95 million per season from the Rajasthan Royals.
But Modi believes that if that $12 million cap is relaxed, leading IPL players could earn as much as English Premier League footballers and even NFL stars.
That would have a huge impact on international cricket, with players torn between making an IPL fortune and representing their countries.
“You will see players making $1-$2m a game,” said Modi. “It will happen sooner rather than later.
“In a free market the person with the deepest pockets will win. The players will gravitate toward who pays the biggest salary.”
Meanwhile, in a chilling argument for cricket traditionalists, London-based Modi forecast the end of country versus country contests, which effectively finance professional cricket structures all round the world and the demise of the International Cricket Council, the sport’s global governing body.
“Today international cricket does not matter,” he said. “It is of zero value to the Indian fan.
“Tomorrow you will see bilateral cricket disappear,” Modi added. “Big series will happen once every three or four years like the World Cup.
“The ICC will become an irrelevant body. It will be full of fat lugs who have no power. They can scream and shout now and in the future they will threaten to throw India out if they try to expand the IPL but India has the power to stand on its own feet...They have a domestic league that it is going to be 20-times the size of international cricket.”
Modi said the only way five-day international Test cricket, long regarded as the pinnacle of the sport, could survive was if the ICC introduced a long talked-about championship.
“I think there is a window for Test cricket and a World Test championship will survive if all nations get together and make it a proper tournament,” he explained.
“But it has to be a championship. If the ICC does not do it I see no reason why the IPL would not do it instead as a knockout IPL Test championship.”
Modi left India to live in London and has not returned home since 2009. The Board of Control for Cricket in India found him guilty of eight offenses relating to irregularities in the administration of the IPL.
He has never been charged by the Indian government with a crime and denies all accusations, but Modi has repeatedly insisted he cannot go back to India because of underworld threats to his life.