Liverpool manager puzzled by latest block on allowing 5 subs

Liverpool manager puzzled by latest block on allowing 5 subs
Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson leaps over Tottenham’s Serge Aurier during their English Premier League match at Anfield in Liverpool on Wednesday. (AP)
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Updated 19 December 2020

Liverpool manager puzzled by latest block on allowing 5 subs

Liverpool manager puzzled by latest block on allowing 5 subs
  • Jurgen Klopp says using only a maximum of three substitutes is impacting players’ welfare

LIVERPOOL, UK: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was unimpressed by the decision to allow Premier League teams to have nine players on the bench instead of seven, saying Friday it wasn’t a compromise for rival clubs again voting against the use of five substitutes.

England’s top division is the only major league in Europe this season to have not increased the number of substitutes allowed to be made during a match from three to five. Even England’s lower leagues and the FA Cup now allow five subs to be brought on.

Klopp has been a vocal critic, saying using only a maximum of three substitutes is impacting player welfare amid a season when there have been more muscle injuries.

On Friday, a day after Premier League clubs allowed a bench of nine players for games but rejected — for a third time — the chance to make the change from three to five in-game subs, Klopp’s mood was one of puzzlement.

“In Europe, all the leagues have it so there must be a good reason for it — in all these leagues there is competition, no?” he said.

“In all these leagues, every club wants to stay in the league, some clubs want to win the league, but for sure all of them want to stay in the league. Here is the only country, pretty much the only league, where we do it differently.”

Aston Villa, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leicester, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield United, West Ham and Wolverhampton Wanderers were the teams that voted against the change to five in-match subs, having the view that making the switch would benefit the clubs with bigger squads.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has also criticized the rule because of player-welfare reasons, yet opted to make no substitutions in his team’s 2-0 win over Fulham on Dec. 5.

Similarly, Klopp didn’t make a single change during his team’s 2-1 win over Tottenham in a match between the top two in the league on Wednesday. The last time Liverpool made no substitutions in a game was in 2004.

Klopp made that decision despite his team having to play on Saturday lunchtime at Crystal Palace, in the earliest kickoff time in the 14th round of league games.

He has previously complained about having to play Wednesday night in the Champions League and then in the league on Saturday, saying the quick turnaround heightened the chance of injuries being sustained.

However, he was not too concerned this time because Palace also played on Wednesday night.

“When two teams have exactly the same, it doesn’t make the timing better, it’s just a fair competition,” Klopp said. “Yes, we have that much more often than all the other teams but that’s now not the problem.

“We will see who can cope better with that, but it’s the most tricky thing to do as a manager.”

Liverpool, which is in first place by three points, welcomed Thiago Alcantara back to the training ground this week for the first time since he sustained a serious knee injury against Everton on Oct. 17 in his first start since joining from Bayern Munich.


Messi opens account for PSG against City, Real fall to shock Sheriff Tiraspol defeat

Lionel Messi scored his first PSG goal to sink Manchester City, Liverpool hit five past FC Porto and Sheriff Tiraspol pulled off a major shock by beating Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. (Reuters/AFP)
Lionel Messi scored his first PSG goal to sink Manchester City, Liverpool hit five past FC Porto and Sheriff Tiraspol pulled off a major shock by beating Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. (Reuters/AFP)
Updated 59 min 8 sec ago

Messi opens account for PSG against City, Real fall to shock Sheriff Tiraspol defeat

Lionel Messi scored his first PSG goal to sink Manchester City, Liverpool hit five past FC Porto and Sheriff Tiraspol pulled off a major shock by beating Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. (Reuters/AFP)
  • Mohamed Salah was on the scoresheet for a ruthless Liverpool against FC Porto
  • AC Milan go down to a late Atletico Madrid salvo

PARIS: Lionel Messi's superb first goal for Paris Saint-Germain punished former coach Pep Guardiola's team as PSG beat Manchester City 2-0 in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday.
Messi charged toward the penalty area in the 74th minute and received a clever flick from Kylian Mbappe before curling a fine strike into the top right corner.
It was his first goal in four games since a shock summer move from Barcelona, and the kind of goal he scored for fun playing under Guardiola there. The pair won the Champions League in 2009 and 2011, with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner scoring in both finals.
City had not lost their five previous meetings with PSG, winning 2-1 in Paris and 2-0 at home in last season’s semifinals before losing to Chelsea in the final.
PSG started their dream attack of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe, but it was unheralded midfielder Idrissa Gueye who opened the scoring in the eighth minute.
He thumped the ball into the top corner after Neymar’s scuffed shot fell to him just inside the penalty area following Mbappe’s cross from the right.
City should have equalized in the 26th, but instead produced a contender for miss of the season.
Raheem Sterling’s header from Kevin De Bruyne's cross hit the crossbar and the ball fell to winger Bernardo Silva less than two meters out. But Silva somehow scooped the ball onto the bar with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma beaten.
Donnarumma and opposite number Ederson then made a smart save each in an even first half that De Bruyne was perhaps lucky to finish, receiving only a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Gueye's shin.
Sterling dragged a shot wide early in the second half as City caught PSG's defense asleep down the left.
Donnarumma then kicked away De Bruyne's shot in the 54th as City exposed poor defending on the other flank as the Premier League champion took control.
PSG's glittering attack looked flat, as it did in a 1-1 draw against Club Brugge. Neymar shot into the side netting midway through the second half, with Mbappe in a better position.
Then Messi lit up Parc des Princes with a glimpse of things to come, at the stadium where he scored his last Champions League goal for Barcelona last season.
PSG top Group A and are level with Club Brugge with four points, who won 2-1 at last-placed RB Leipzig.

Elsewhere, Sébastien Thill scored a 90th-minute winner as Moldovan club Sheriff stunned Real Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium to continue their surprisingly strong start to their first Champions League campaign.
Thill netted with a powerful shot into the top corner from the edge of the area to give newcomers Sheriff their second consecutive victory. They lead Group D with six points, three more than Madrid and five more than both Shakhtar Donetsk and Inter Milan, which drew 0-0 in Ukraine in the other group match.
Sheriff beat Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 in their opener at home, while Madrid won 1-0 at Inter.
Sheriff are the first club from the Moldovan league to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League, although they are based in the breakaway region of Transnistria, a self-proclaimed independent nation which isn’t recognized by any United Nations member state.
The club is funded by the Sheriff company, which runs large parts of the economy in Transnistria and has strong political ties.

TUESDAY’S RESULTS

Ajax 2 Besiktas 0

Shakhtar Donetsk 0 Internazionale 0

AC Milan 1 Atletico Madrid 2

Borussia Dortmund 1 Sporting 0

FC Porto 1 Liverpool 5

Paris Saint-Germain 2 Manchester City 0

RB Leipzig 1 Club Brugge 2

Real Madrid 1 Sheriff Tiraspol 2


In-form Haller keeps Ajax unbeaten after Besiktas win

In-form Haller keeps Ajax unbeaten after Besiktas win
Updated 28 September 2021

In-form Haller keeps Ajax unbeaten after Besiktas win

In-form Haller keeps Ajax unbeaten after Besiktas win
  • Ivory Coast striker Sebastien Haller, who joined the Dutch league holders from West Ham in January, kneed home his effort just before the break
  • "We should have scored that third goal, it would have been much easier," Ajax captain Dusan Tadic told broadcaster RTL7

PARIS: Ivory Coast striker Sebastien Haller took his tally to 10 goals in as many games this season as Ajax beat Besiktas 2-0 to move top of group C in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Haller, who joined the Dutch league holders from West Ham in January, kneed home his effort just before the break after midfielder Steven Berghuis had opened the scoring at the Johan Cruyff ArenA.
The 27-year-old’s efforts this term have helped Erik ten Hag’s side to the summit of the Eredivisie.
They are also three points clear of Borussia Dortmund in Europe, with the Germans hosting Sporting Lisbon later.
“We should have scored that third goal, it would have been much easier. Unfortunately that didn’t happen,” Ajax captain Dusan Tadic told broadcaster RTL7.
“The good thing was we kept a clean sheet,” he added.
Netherlands playmaker Berghuis opened the scoring, and claimed his second goal of the season, after 17 minutes as he made the most of some questionable Turkish marking in the box before firing home.
Haller’s contribution came two minutes before half-time as with an unorthodox finish from a swinging Berghuis cross.
Elsewhere, Serie A champions Inter Milan remain winless in Europe this season following the 0-0 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.
Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk was a spectator in Kiev days after beating Anthony Joshua on points to become just the third boxer after Evander Holyfield of the United States and Britain’s David Haye to win both the cruiserweight and heavyweight world titles
The home team’s attacker Lassina Traore was stretchered off after 11 minutes following a collision with Netherlands winger Dumfries.
Burkina Faso international’s right leg and ankle were caught under Dumfries’ body before the 20-year-old was helped off the pitch with his hands covering his face. He was replaced by Tete.
The best of the first half chances fell to Nicolo Barella as the Inter midfielder hit the crossbar with a shot after a quarter of an hour.
Inter were inches away from the winner with three minutes left as Shakhtar goalkeeper and captain Andriy Pyatov tipped Joaquin Correa’s curling shot past the post.
“We wanted the three points, we went close to winning, we’re a bit disappointed by the result,” Inter defender Milan Skriniar told Sky Sport.
“It wasn’t easy, I am happy with how my team-mates defended.”
Inter are third, with Shakhtar bottom before leaders Sheriff Tiraspol, making their maiden appearance in the tournament, play at 13-time winners Real Madrid.
The pick of the late ties pits May’s runners up Manchester City against Paris Saint-Germain with Parisians starting at home with an attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in a re-match of last season’s semifinal.


LeBron James confirms receiving COVID-19 vaccine but ‘not my job’ to persuade others

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is photographed during media day at the UCLA Health and Training Center in El Segundo, California. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is photographed during media day at the UCLA Health and Training Center in El Segundo, California. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)
Updated 49 min 28 sec ago

LeBron James confirms receiving COVID-19 vaccine but ‘not my job’ to persuade others

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is photographed during media day at the UCLA Health and Training Center in El Segundo, California. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)
  • Los Angeles Lakers superstar had declined previously to say whether he had been vaccinated, saying it was a "private" matter for him and his family
  • He told reporters on Tuesday he had now been vaccinated, part of a Lakers drive to ensure that 100 percent of the squad and staff had taken the vaccine

LOS ANGELES: LeBron James confirmed he had been vaccinated against Covid-19 on Tuesday but said it was “not my job” to convince other NBA players to follow suit.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar had declined previously to say whether he had been vaccinated, saying it was a “private” matter for him and his family.
However he told reporters on Tuesday he had now been vaccinated, part of a Lakers drive to ensure that 100 percent of the squad and staff had taken the vaccine.
“At the end of the day you’re always trying to figure out ways that you can be available and protect one another and put yourself in the best possible chance where you are available to your team-mates, available to do what we need to do on the floor,” James said.
“The ultimate goal is to win a championship and it starts with being healthy which is the number one thing.
“We’re excited to know that we’ve given ourselves another opportunity to be available to each other, and that’s what it came down to.”
James said he had opted to be vaccinated after deciding it was in the best interests of himself and his family.
“When it comes to me I can speak for myself,” James said.
“I think everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family and things of that nature.
“I know that I was very skeptical about it all but after doing my own research I felt like it was best suited for me and my family and my friends. That’s why I decided to do it.”
Around 90 percent of players in the NBA are believed to have been vaccinated as the new season approaches.
However there remains a significant number who have either said they will not take the vaccine or have refused to confirm their status.
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving on Monday said he was keeping his decision private while Washington Wizards ace Bradley Beal has said he is declining the vaccine for “personal reasons.”
When pressed Tuesday over whether he could play a greater role in persuading individuals over the vaccine, James said it was not his place to do so.
“You’re talking about individual’s bodies,” James said. “You’re not talking about something that’s political, or racism, or police brutality. You’re talking about people’s bodies and well-being.
“I don’t feel like for me personally I should get involved in what people do for their bodies and their livelihoods. It would be like me talking about whether somebody should take this job or not. You have to do what’s best for you and your family.
“I know what I did for me and my family. But as far as speaking for everybody and their individualities and what they want to do... that’s not my job.”

*


Prince Saud bin Mishal in UAE to watch Indian Premier League action

SACF President Prince Saud bin Mishal (center) with board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq and Chairman of Dubai Sports City Khalid Al-Zarooni. (SACF)
SACF President Prince Saud bin Mishal (center) with board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq and Chairman of Dubai Sports City Khalid Al-Zarooni. (SACF)
Updated 28 September 2021

Prince Saud bin Mishal in UAE to watch Indian Premier League action

SACF President Prince Saud bin Mishal (center) with board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq and Chairman of Dubai Sports City Khalid Al-Zarooni. (SACF)
  • President of Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation was accompanied to game by board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq, Dubai Sports City Chairman Khalid Al-Zarooni

DUBAI: President of the Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation Prince Saud bin Mishal and board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq are in the UAE to watch the latest action from the ongoing Indian Premier League.

The representatives of the Saudi federation, which over the last year has transformed the cricket landscape in the Kingdom with a series of game-changing initiatives and competitions, were pictured with the chairman of Dubai Sports City, Khalid Al-Zarooni, at one of the matches currently taking place in the UAE.

The IPL, the world’s richest cricket tournament, resumed in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah on Sept. 19, more than four months after it was suspended due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Chennai Super Kings currently lead the table on 16 points from 10 matches, followed by the Delhi Capitals with 16 points from 11, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore with 12 from 10.


Women’s Cycling Challenge to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra track in October

The second edition of the Women’s Cycling Challenge is set to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra Cycle Track in Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. (Facebook/The Women's Cycling Challenge)
The second edition of the Women’s Cycling Challenge is set to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra Cycle Track in Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. (Facebook/The Women's Cycling Challenge)
Updated 28 September 2021

Women’s Cycling Challenge to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra track in October

The second edition of the Women’s Cycling Challenge is set to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra Cycle Track in Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. (Facebook/The Women's Cycling Challenge)
  • 2nd edition of Dubai Sports Council-organized race will be contested over 40-km, 70-km distances

DUBAI: The second edition of the Women’s Cycling Challenge is set to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra Cycle Track in Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve on Oct. 8, Emirates News Agency WAM has reported.

The event is being presented by logistics firm DP World and held under the umbrella of Dubai Sports Council and Dubai Women’s Sports Committee, in association with the UAE Cycling Federation.

The challenge, over 40-kilometer and 70-kilometer distances, is open to cyclists of all skill levels who can take part as individuals or in teams.

A DSC spokesperson said: “The Women’s Cycling Challenge supports a healthy and active lifestyle for women, providing them with an opportunity to practice sports and physical activity that enables them to compete in an environment that conforms to the customs and traditions of the UAE. It is one of our strategic objectives, and the Women’s Cycling Challenge is an initiative that seeks to further those aims.

“We are pleased that DP World is a partner and supporter of this important sports event for women in the UAE, championing the opportunities and initiatives that women have to participate in sports at every level in the country.”

Nabil Qayed, director of people and general administration for the UAE in DP World’s people department, said: “As a global logistics leader, we not only enable smart trade, but work to create a better future for everyone.

“In alignment with this goal and our sustainability strategy that impacts people, communities, and the environment, we take pride in our association with the Women’s Cycling Challenge that is dedicated to promoting female health and wellness.

“At an organizational level, we have constantly supported women and are committed to increasing female representation in every sphere, thus promoting women’s aspirations in the UAE,” Qayed added.

Riders will race through the Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, which is home to 204 species of native birds, 158 species of migratory birds, many endangered animals, as well as Arabian oryx, Arabian sand gazelles, foxes, and wild cats.

The 3,000-year-old Saruq Al-Hadid archaeological site — one of the oldest in the country dating back to the Iron Age — is also located within the reserve.

Ruth Dickinson, the event’s director, said: “Women cycling for recreation and as a way to keep fit is popular in Dubai and across the UAE. Around the region, it is a fast-growing sport and pastime for women of all levels of fitness and riding capability.

“In Dubai, we have excellent facilities and easy access to cycle tracks around the city and this has encouraged more women to take up cycling competitively and socially.

“We are encouraging women at every level of ability to join the challenge. We would like to see women come and ride to compete, or cycle just for fun and enjoy a great experience,” she added.