Leroy Sane shines as slick Manchester City crush West Ham, Liverpool win at Watford

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring their second goal with Leroy Sane (Reuters)
Updated 24 November 2018
0

Leroy Sane shines as slick Manchester City crush West Ham, Liverpool win at Watford

LONDON: Manchester City stormed to their eighth successive victory in all competitions as Leroy Sane’s brace capped a ruthless 4-0 demolition of West Ham on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s side were in clinical form in east London as the champions maintained their unbeaten start after 13 games of the Premier League season.
David Silva and Raheem Sterling struck in the first 19 minutes to put City in complete control.
Germany winger Sane netted before the interval and again in the closing stages to ensure leaders City remain two points clear of second placed Liverpool.
City have scored 19 goals in their last four games in all competitions, with their latest blitz serving as the perfect preparation for next week’s Champions League clash at Lyon.
In this mood, it is hard to imagine who can stop City and their former manager Manuel Pellegrini, now in charge of West Ham, clearly had no answers.
Pellegrini managed City for three seasons between 2013 and 2016, winning the title in 2014, the League Cup twice, and 100 of his 167 games in charge.
The Chilean became the only non-European manager to win the Premier League, and only the second City manager to win two major trophies in one season.
But his City team was nowhere near as potent as the Guardiola model.
And for all West Ham’s shortcomings, City worked as hard as ever to make the most of the openings presented to them.
Sterling, whose previous appearance in a City shirt ended with him being admonished by Guardiola for showboating near the end of the 3-1 victory over Manchester United, was direct and creative, providing the final pass for Silva’s and Sane’s goals.
West Ham had looked tentative and nervy even before City took the lead after 11 minutes, and they were largely spectators as Kyle Walker ran down the right.
He found Sterling, who crossed low for Silva to stroll between the immobile Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena to slip a first-time shot past Lukasz Fabianski from four yards.
West Ham showed little inclination to hit back, and there was so little pressure on the ball that Fabian Delph, although lining up at left back for City, was able to move into the central midfield position and launch a series of attacks.
It was 2-0 to City after 19 minutes as Sane stepped past former City defender Pablo Zabaleta on the left and hit a low pass across goal for Sterling to stroke home.
West Ham briefly spluttered into life when Michail Antonio robbed Aymeric Laporte and set up Marko Arnautovic, but the Austrian’s shot was saved by goalkeeper Ederson.
Then Arnautovic found Antonio cutting in from the right but his well-hit shot rebounded off Ederson’s chest.
But City sealed victory when Fernandinho passed out to Sterling on the right, he volleyed back into the center, and the unmarked Sane controlled the ball, sidestepped Balbuena’s attempt to recover, and rolled in the third.
Fabianski denied both Sterling and Sane in the opening minute of the second half and West Ham’s best chance disappeared when Antonio ran clear of defenders only to hit his shot against the outside of the post.
Sane showed how it was done in stoppage-time, collecting Gabriel Jesus’s cross and shooting across Fabianski, the ball going in off Aaron Cresswell.
Elsewhere, Roberto Firmino ended his English Premier League goal drought and Mohamed Salah also scored as 10-man Liverpool maintained their unbeaten start by winning at Watford 3-0 on Saturday.

Mohamed Salah celebrates his goal against Watford as Liverpool earned another three Premier League points. (AFP)

Firmino headed in a late third for Liverpool at Vicarage Road, for his first top-flight goal since Sept. 15.
Trent Alexander-Arnold's brilliant free kick made it 2-0 after Salah opened the scoring — with his sixth goal in his last seven club games — in the 67th minute from Sadio Mane's cross.
Liverpool will be without Jordan Henderson for next weekend's Merseyside derby with Everton, however, after the midfielder was sent off for two bookings — the second one coming just after he'd been warned by the referee.
Hard-working Watford will feel aggrieved after referee Jon Moss rejected its penalty claims when Andy Robertson appeared to trip Will Hughes in the second half, when the score was 0-0.
It was far from a vintage Liverpool performance but they remained unbeaten in 13 games and two points behind league leaders City.


College golfer in hijab out to blaze trail for Muslim girls

Updated 19 April 2019
0

College golfer in hijab out to blaze trail for Muslim girls

  • One of the top junior golfers in Northern California coming out of high school, Ahmed was a starter in her first year at Nebraska and the No. 2 player most of this spring
  • She is believed to be the only golfer at the college level or higher who competes in a hijab

LINCOLN: Noor Ahmed outwardly lives her Muslim faith, and even growing up in a state as diverse as California she says she encountered hostility on the street, in school and on the golf course.
One of the top junior golfers in Northern California coming out of high school, Ahmed was a starter in her first year at Nebraska and the No. 2 player most of this spring. She is believed to be the only golfer at the college level or higher who competes in a hijab, the headscarf worn in adherence to the Muslim faith.
Arriving in Lincoln two years ago, Ahmed sensed hesitancy from teammates mostly from small Midwestern towns and unaccustomed to seeing a woman in a hijab. She didn’t feel embraced until an unfortunate yet unifying event roiled the campus midway through her freshman year.
A video surfaced of a student claiming to be the “most active white nationalist in the Nebraska area,” disparaging minorities and advocating violence. The student, it turned out, was in the same biology lecture class as Ahmed.
Teammates offered to walk with her across campus, and one who would become her best friend, Kate Smith, invited Ahmed to stay with her. She didn’t accept but was heartened by the gesture.
“That,” Smith said, “was when she realized how much each and every one of us care for her on the team, that it wasn’t just like, ‘Hey you’re our teammate.’ No, it’s ‘We want you to be safe, we want you to feel at home here.’“
Having grown up in the post-9/11 era, Ahmed, like many Muslims in the United States, has been a target for bullying and verbal abuse. She began wearing the hijab in middle school.
On the course, in an airport or even walking across campus she can feel the long stares and notices the glances. She said she has never been physically threatened — “that I know of” — and that most of the face-to-face insults came before she arrived at Nebraska.
Much of the venom spewed at her now comes on social media. She has been the subject of several media profiles, and each sparks another round of hateful messages. She acknowledges she reads but doesn’t respond to messages and that an athletic department sports psychologist has helped her learn how to deal with them.

Hijabi golfer Noor Ahmed. (AP)


“I’ve been called every racial slur in the book,” she said. “I’ve been told explicitly that people who look like me don’t play golf, we don’t have a right to exist in America, you should go home. It would definitely faze me a little bit, but it never deterred me. I’m really stubborn, so I’m going to prove you wrong, just wait. When people think they’re dragging me down, it kind of fuels the fire in me that I’m going to be a better golfer, I’m going to be a better student, I’m going to keep climbing up the ladder.”
The daughter of Egyptian immigrants is from a close-knit family in Folsom, California, and she steeled herself for the cultural adjustment she would have to make at Nebraska.
She dealt with loneliness and anxiety, especially her freshman year. She had difficulty finding a support network. There is a small Muslim community on campus, but she didn’t immerse herself in it. The demands on athletes are great, and they are largely segregated, eating and studying in facilities separate from those used by regular students.
Nebraska coach Robin Krapfl said she was initially concerned about how teammates would react to Ahmed. Krapfl remembered meeting with her golfers and telling them about her.
“I could tell by a couple of the looks and maybe even a comment or two that they weren’t 100 percent comfortable with that,” Krapfl said. “A lot of our girls come from small-town communities that are very limited in their ethnicity. It’s just the fear of the unknown. They had just never been exposed to being around someone from the Muslim faith.”
Krapfl said she saw a golfer or two roll their eyes, another shook her head. “I overheard, ‘Why would Coach bring someone like that on the team?’ “
“Luckily when she got here people could see her for who she was and the quality of person she was,” Krapfl said. “It took a while. It really did. You’ve got to get to know somebody, who they really are and not just what they look like.”
Smith said she sometimes cringes when she and Ahmed are in a group and the conversation turns to politics, immigration or even fashion, like when someone innocently or ignorantly tells Ahmed that she would look good in a short dress or a certain hairstyle.
“She can never wear a short dress, so why would you want to depict her as that?” Smith said. “You have to respect her beliefs and why she’s doing it. Also, I think a lot of things are connected to women’s beauty standards and how people don’t think she can look beautiful when she’s covered. I think she’s a really beautiful girl no matter how much skin she’s showing.”
For all the challenges Ahmed faced, there have been positives. Some people have complimented her for living her faith as she sees fit, a Muslim teen who golfs in a hijab and lives in the United Kingdom wrote to says she draws inspiration from her, and a player for another college team approached her at an event to tell her she recently converted to Islam and just wanted to say hi.

She started playing golf at 8. (AP)


“I remember going and crying and, wow, I’m not alone out here,” she said.
Ahmed said she’s naturally shy and a bit uncomfortable with the attention, but she hopes Muslim girls coming up behind her are watching.
“I grew up never seeing anyone like me,” she said. “Honestly, I didn’t realize how much grief I was carrying, having never seen an image of myself or someone who looked like me in popular American culture. It’s a big deal.
“Why are basketball and football so heavily African American? If I were black and I saw people who looked like me competing in that sport, that’s probably the sport I would choose. I think it’s really important when we’re talking about trying to make golf and other sports and other areas in American culture diverse, how important it is to see someone who looks like you and how it will fuel other people’s interest.”
Ahmed started playing golf at 8, and her parents encouraged her to take the sport to the highest level possible. Wearing the hijab has never interfered with her game and she has never considered not wearing it on the course.
“I think Muslim women who choose to observe it or choose not to observe it have the right to exist in any space they want to be in,” she said, “and I would feel like I would be sending a message that the hijab doesn’t exist in this place or it shouldn’t, and I don’t feel comfortable with that.”