‘Idiot’ insults back home aimed at Novak Djokovic for supporting Croatia in World Cup semifinal

Serbia's Novak Djokovic has come in for criticism for showing support for Croatia as they prepare for their World Cup semifinal with England in Moscow. (AFP /Oli SCARFF)
Updated 10 July 2018
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‘Idiot’ insults back home aimed at Novak Djokovic for supporting Croatia in World Cup semifinal

BELGRADE: Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has come under fire for voicing support for neighbors Croatia at the World Cup, with one center right lawmaker dubbing his stance “idiotic.”
“Only idiots can support Croatia. Aren’t you ashamed Novak?,” tweeted Vladimir Djukanovic of President Aleksandar Vucic’s ruling Serbian Progressive Party.
“I am backing Croatia... I know who I would like to lift the trophy,” Serbian media quoted Djokovic as saying from Wimbledon.
Several weeks before the World Cup started Djokovic posted pictures of himself with Croatian players including midfield stars Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic to his Instagram account.

When the Croatians faced off against hosts Russia in their quarter-final many Serbs who gathered to watch in cafes in central Belgrade were backing the Russians rather than their neighbors from the former Yugoslavia.
Djukanovic, on holiday in Greece, posted a video to social media in which he indicated that “those who say ‘Nole’ (Djokovic) has called for support for Croatia make me mad” and called the star an “idiot” for his stance.
“I repeat that all those who supported Croatia against Russia are psychopaths and mad, fit for being locked up in an asylum.
“Djokovic is a national hero and I thank him — but support Croatia, how can he not be ashamed? So many Serbs from Krajina (a region in Croatia where Serbs were once the majority) backed him and yet he supports the country who drove them out...” said Djukanovic.

President Vucic meanwhile explained that “I backed Russia as that is my right. Serbia is a democratic society and everyone has the right to support whoever he wants.”
Croatia’s reward for ending Russian hopes is a Wednesday semifinal in Moscow against England.

 

 


Liverpool return to top of the table with 3-1 win over arch-rivals Manchester United

Updated 16 December 2018
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Liverpool return to top of the table with 3-1 win over arch-rivals Manchester United

  • Shaqiri braces gives Reds deserved win over United at Anfield.
  • Mourinho's men well beaten as Liverpool leapfrog Manchester City ti return to top of the table.

LIVERPOOL: Two deflected Xherdan Shaqiri strikes handed Liverpool victory over Manchester United in the Premier League for the first time in nine attempts as Jurgen Klopp’s men moved back to the top of the table with a 3-1 win at Anfield on Sunday.
United manager Jose Mourinho claimed ahead of the game that the league leaders have had luck on their side this season, but while there was fortune in substitute Shaqiri’s two goals in the final 17 minutes, the visitors did not deserve anything more than a fifth defeat of the season.
Liverpool leapfrogged Manchester City to finish the weekend where they started, a point clear at the top, and move a mammoth 19 clear of United, who remain in sixth and are now 11 points off the top four.
The contrasting form showed by both sides this season continued as United strained to keep a rampant Liverpool at bay and were only level for so long thanks to a huge error by home goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Sadio Mane had given Liverpool the lead before Jesse Lingard levelled when Alisson dropped a routine cross at the feet of the England international.
United had the ball in the net first on a rare foray forward but Romelu Lukaku was flagged offside despite not getting a touch to Ashley Young’s free-kick.
But Liverpool then laid siege to the visitors’ goal with David de Gea stretching to keep out a low drive from Roberto Firmino, Young clearing off the line and Fabinho firing wide from the edge of the box.
Only Manchester City have kept Klopp’s side from scoring in the Premier League this season and a United defense that has kept just one clean sheet in the league since September never looked capable of holding out like they had in their two previous visits to Anfield.
Mourinho’s men were finally breached when Mane controlled Fabinho’s chipped ball into the box on his chest and volleyed past the onrushing De Gea.
However, Liverpool’s momentum was punctured by an Alisson gift 12 minutes before the break.
The Brazilian was Liverpool’s hero with an injury-time save to secure the Reds’ place in the last 16 of the Champions League against Napoli on Tuesday.
But he spilled Lukaku’s simple cross into the path of the grateful Lingard to bundle the ball into an unguarded net.
The second half followed a similar pattern with one-way traffic toward the Kop as Liverpool sought the goal to take them back to the top of the table.
De Gea scrambled low to his left to palm Firmino’s prodded effort to safety, while Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk saw efforts deflected behind.
Jurgen Klopp turned to Shaqiri to unlock the United defense 20 minutes from time and the Swiss international needed just three to put Liverpool back in front.
De Gea did well to prevent Ander Herrera turning Mane’s cross into his own net, but the ball fell for Shaqiri and his effort cannoned off Young and in off the underside of the bar.
Seven minutes later, Shaqiri got lucky again when, this time on his favored left foot, his shot flicked off the diving Eric Bailly to leave De Gea helpless.