Premier League team of the weekend: Tottenham, Liverpool, Man United and West Ham stars feature

first_img Central midfield: Dele Alli (Tottenham) – Click the right arrow to see who else makes our team of the weekend… – Smart, strong, skilful and quick, Alli is establishing himself as a first-team regular at White Hart Lane with ease. A superb display against a Crystal Palace midfield full of experienced and talented players shows he can mix it with the best. He was just as effective defensively as partner Eric Dier and got forward well too. 11 11 Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) – Click the right arrow to see who else makes our team of the weekend… – West Ham’s Adrian and Norwich’s John Ruddy were also contenders but Spurs’ French star produced several top saves, while also confidently repelling numerous Crystal Palace set-pieces. His catches at corners were key, allowing the Lilywhites to relieve the pressure as their opponents tried in vain for an equaliser late on at White Hart Lane. 11 11 Left-back: Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) – Click the right arrow to see who else makes our team of the weekend… – Having seen Joe Gomez selected ahead of him at left-back, so far this season. Moreno put in a promising display as a wing-back in Brendan Rodgers’ 3-4-1-2 formation. He got the assist for Danny Ings’ goal and looked dangerous bombing down the flank. 11 Striker: Anthony Martial (Manchester United) – The £36million man is proving his worth at Old Trafford already with three goals in three games. Martial’s match-winning brace against Southampton was superb and showed he has a poacher’s instinct to go with his pace and power. Attacking midfield: Juan Mata (Manchester United) – Click the right arrow to see who else makes our team of the weekend… – As well as scoring one goal and being heavily involved in another of the Red Devils’ three strikes against Southampton, the spritely Spaniard was accurate with 95.8 per cent of his passes. 11 11 Attacking midfield: Heung-Min Son (Tottenham) – Click the right arrow to see who else makes our team of the weekend… – The South Korean is endearing himself to Spurs fans pretty quickly at White Hart Lane. His strike against Crystal Palace was a match-winner but the attacking midfielder was a whirling dervish on and off the ball, popping up across the pitch putting in tackles and dashing towards goal. Central midfield: Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) – Click the right arrow to see who else makes our team of the weekend… – A lung-busting display from the ex-Everton and Newcastle man helped the Cherries get their first home win in the Premier League. He got the assist for Callum Wilson’s goal and ran 13.8kms during the game, more than any other player this weekend. Centre-back: Winston Reid (West Ham United) – Click the right arrow to see who else makes our team of the weekend… – The New Zealander was a rock at the heart of the Hammers defence as they clung onto a brilliant 2-1 victory over Manchester City at the Eithad. He won four headers, made a staggering 21 clearances, two interceptions, and two blocks. Just when you think you can predict how the Premier League is going to pan out, West Ham go and throw a spanner in the works.Manchester City looked like romping to the title but were humbled at home by the Hammers, while Chelsea ended their poor form with a win over Arsenal.But who were the outstanding players in the Premier League at the weekend? talkSPORT takes a look. 11 11 Attacking midfield: Odion Ighalo (Watford) – Click the right arrow to see who else makes our team of the weekend… – If the Hornets avoid relegation this season, the Nigerian’s goals will be key for them. His double downed Newcastle United on Saturday, handing Quique Sanchez Flores’ men a vital three points and he looks like being a handful for Premier League defences this season. 11 11 Right-back: Daryl Janmaat (Newcastle United) – Click the right arrow to see who else makes our team of the weekend… – It was another whole-hearted showing from the Dutchman against Watford. The Magpies star got their only goal in the 2-1 defeat and nearly grabbed an equaliser to. He will be key to their fight for survival. Centre-back: Ashley Williams (Swansea City) – Click the right arrow to see who else makes our team of the weekend… – Listed by many as one of the most underrated players in the Premier League, almost to the point he could be classed as overrated, William was excellent again for Swansea City as they kept Everton’s bright and bustling attack quiet. last_img read more

Manchester City thrash Sunderland, Aston Villa edge derby rivals Birmingham

first_imgManchester City increased the pressure on Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat by putting the Black Cats to the sword in a 4-1 win at the Stadium of Light in the Capital One Cup third round.All of City’s goals came in a rampant first half display, opening the scoring through Sergio Aguero’s penalty after Jesus Navas was felled.Kevin De Bruyne grabbed his second goal in a week after exchanging passes with Raheem Sterling, before Sterling’s shot was deflected into his own net by stricken Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone to make it 3-0.The England winger added a classy fourth soon after with the outside of his boot as the visitors, despite Ola Toivonen’s late consolation, coasted into the fourth round.Elsewhere, in the first second city derby in nearly five years, a Rudy Gestede goal proved the difference as Aston Villa edged out arch rivals Birmingham 1-0 at Villa Park.Gestede powered home a header from Jordan Amavi’s cross just after half time on a nervy night for the Villans, and they survived despite Jacques Maghoma wasting a gilt-edged opening late on by firing straight at Brad Guzan.While Birmingham were unable to trump their Premier League opponents, Hull claimed the shock of the night with a 1-0 win over a much-changed Swansea outfit.Garry Monk made ten changes to his Swans team from the weekend, and it cost him as David Meyler struck just before half time for a Tigers side boasting Jake Livermore in their starting XI for the first time since his cocaine ban.Both Everton and Stoke survived spirited performances from Championship sides, with the former coming from a goal down to beat Reading 2-1 at the Madjeski Stadium.The Royals went ahead before half time through Nick Blackman’s seventh of the season, but two brilliant goals from Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu ensured the Toffees progressed.Stoke, meanwhile, were thankful to a turn of pace and finish from Peter Crouch as the former England man clinched a 1-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.Middlesbrough ran out comfortable winners in the all-Championship affair with Wolves, as an Albert Adomah brace and Diego Fabbrini sealed Aitor Karanka’s side’s place in the next round.Two ties went to extra time, with Leicester relying on a late Andy King header to edge out West Ham 2-1 at the King Power Stadium.Joe Dodoo had initially given the Foxes a first-half lead with his fourth goal of the competition but the Hammers responded almost immediately through Mauro Zarate, before King struck the telling blow with four minutes of extra time remaining.And Bournemouth needed penalties to beat a resilient Preston side after it finished 2-2 following an additional half an hour.After Jordan Hugill cancelled out Shaun MacDonald’s early goal, a late Daniel Johnson penalty meant more spotkicks after Marc Pugh had restored the Cherries’ lead.And it was the Premier League side who held their nerve from the spot, with Johnson failing to emulate his extra-time effort as he missed the crucial spotkick to see the visitors run out 3-2 winners.Capital One Cup third round results:Aston Villa 1-0 BirminghamFulham 0-1 StokeHull 1-0 SwanseaLeicester 2-1 West Ham (AET)Middlesbrough 3-0 WolvesPreston 2-2 Bournemouth (AET) – Bournemouth won 3-2 on penaltiesSunderland 1-4 Manchester CityReading 1-2 Everton 1 Raheem Sterling last_img read more

Why history shows dropping Wayne Rooney is a bad idea

first_img Wayne Rooney receiving a golden boot after breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s Englan goalscoring record 1 Wayne Rooney has faced questions his whole career.Is he a striker? Can he be the main man for Manchester United? Does he even want to play for the Red Devils?And now he faces another – is he worth a place in Louis van Gaal’s starting XI?In the Cristiano Ronaldo years at Old Trafford, Rooney was always second fiddle to his headline-stealing Portuguese teammate, who led the Red Devils to three consecutive Premier League titles and back-to-back Champions League finals.The England captain only managed 12 goals in Ronaldo’s final season in the north-west and questions were raised whether he could fill the three-time Ballon d’Or winner’s boots.The following season, Rooney scored 26 Premier League goals on the way to winning PFA Player of the Year, Premier League Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Player of the Year. Questions answered.In the build up to the World Cup 2014 in Brazil – despite scoring seven goals in the six qualifying games he played – questions were again raised over whether he should be dropped in Roy Hodgson’s starting XI, this time for Raheem Sterling.As a result, Rooney was played in a marginalised position on the left in the opening game defeat to Italy before being moved back to the No.10 position. He assisted and scored England’s only two goals of the tournament.Even when he had been awarded the captaincy at both Manchester United and England, more questions were asked about his temperament or even his right to be in either team.More questions, and yet more answers (you may notice there is a trend developing). The former Everton man led England to 10 wins from 10 Euro 2016 qualifiers, scored seven goals in eight games and broke his country’s 45-year-old goalscoring record in the process.And yet there are still pundits, journalists and fans alike all saying he should not start in France next summer.Critics will point to his lack of potency for Manchester United this season – just one Premier League goal – but Rooney will point you to five goals in 11 games in all competitions.However, the questions of Rooney are still being asked and he has admitted himself that he needs to be more prolific for United to ease the burden on the 19-year-old shoulders of Anthony Martial.The persistent interrogations of the man 14 goals behind Sir Bobby Charlton’s Manchester United goalscoring record is actually a compliment – that any drop in his impeccably high standards should be cause for concern.So question him, yes, but drop him at your peril, as history shows, Rooney always finds a way to answer his critics, and that is when he is at his best.last_img read more

Watch out! Man City’s £25m battering ram ready to be unleashed

first_img Wilfried Bony 1 take a look at the credentials of Manchester City’s £25m man. For more Man City stats, check out news that Sergio Agüero is sidelined for the next month with a hamstring problem will have understandably come as a blow to Manchester City in their title bid. The City star looked to be returning to his best form following his five-goal haul in the 6-1 thumping of Newcastle at the beginning of the month, only to suffer the injury while on international duty. It’s a huge setback for both player and club.In his absence, the onus is on Wilfried Bony to provide the focal point to the City attack. Following his big money arrival at the Etihad Stadium, the powerhouse Ivorian has struggled for regular action, being forced instead to play second fiddle to Agüero. A lack of action has contributed to a poor goal return, with Bony netting just four goals in his 17 league appearances for the Citizens, though it’s worth noting a majority of those have been mere cameos. However, two of those four goals came in the 5-1 win over Bournemouth at the weekend. The Ivory Coast international gained the man of the match award in the victory with a perfect 10.A thumping win over a side that has now conceded more goals away from home (14) than any other team in the Premier League this season is hardly a telling indicator as to whether Bony is ready to spearhead the City attack in Agüero’s absence, but it certainly provided a glimpse as to what he can offer Manuel Pellegrini’s side. Given his physical stature and striking ability, the 26-year-old could still prove an ideal frontman to spearhead the attack in a 4-2-3-1 formation.His nine aerial duels won against Bournemouth was one of the best returns in a single Premier League match this season, with Bony providing the aerial threat required of a striker deployed as the lone frontman. Of course, with Agüero in attack, City’s approach alters somewhat, with the Argentina international a far better performer with the ball on the deck. However, with Bony a more capable frontman at bringing teammates into play, this benefits those behind him.Raheem Sterling in particular could begin to show his true worth with Bony leading the attack. The latter holding the ball up for the former could see Sterling make runs in behind the defence for Bony to find his English teammate. Then there is David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Jesus Navas, three attackers offering a differing approach in the final third, utilising City’s £25m-man in the process.Injuries have hindered his settling in at City, but Saturday’s showing against Bournemouth suggests Bony is beginning to find his feet at the Etihad Stadium. Pellegrini clearly has faith in the Ivorian having sanctioned the sales of Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic to Roma and Inter, respectively.As City gear up for a crucial month without Agüero, which includes the upcoming Champions League meeting with Sevilla and Sunday’s Manchester Derby, the pressure is on Bony to grasp his chance to prove his worth to the City faithful. If he can replicate Saturday’s performance consistently during Agüero’s spell on the sidelines, Bony will go some way to proving his doubters wrong.For more stats on Wilfried Bony, click here to view his player pagelast_img read more

Celtic snap up former England hitman on free transfer

first_img1 Celtic have signed former Chelsea and West Ham striker Carlton Cole.The 32-year-old was available on a free transfer after leaving Upton Park at the end of last season.He joined the Scottish champions on trial at September but suffered an injury to put a permanent deal on ice.However, Cole has now returned to fitness and has penned a contract until the end of next season with Ronny Deila’s side.Cole, who won seven caps for England during his nine-year spell with West Ham, could make his debut for Celtic in Sunday’s Premiership clash with Dundee United. Carlton Cole last_img

Pressure on Man Utd’s Louis van Gaal is ‘normal’, says Premier League boss

first_img Louis van Gaal Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink on Friday said Louis van Gaal must accept scrutiny as manager of a Manchester United side vying for the Barclays Premier League title.Hiddink was asked about United’s troubles in a campaign which has seen Van Gaal’s position come under sharp focus amid fan frustration over tactics and results, with Jose Mourinho apparently waiting in the wings to succeed him.Van Gaal has bristled at suggestions he could lose his job, with United fifth, 10 points behind leaders Leicester.And a win at Stamford Bridge on Sunday could reignite the Red Devils’ hopes of succeeding Chelsea as Premier League champions.“He has to perform, this is normal, as we have to perform here as well,” Hiddink said.“There is pressure. There was and still is big ambition. They have to cope with that.“The pressure is on. It’s on everyone. But if you have the possibility to go into first position, then pressure is on.”Hiddink replaced Mourinho at Chelsea in December and declined the opportunity to fully appraise United’s season, suggesting the Blues had enough concerns of their own.The London side remain in the bottom half of the table entering this weekend’s fixtures.“I am not going into the ‘problems’ from other clubs as well,” Hiddink added.“We can talk all morning about Manchester United, but I’m wearing a different colour.“Every club during a season has some periods where they might worry a bit.“We had that as well. I don’t like to go in too much in other people’s kitchen.” 1last_img read more

Manchester United to target former Everton defender in summer

first_img1 Manchester United are considering a summer swoop for Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi.The 23-year-old has experience of playing in England before after spending three years with Everton.However, the centre-back failed to make the grade at Goodison Park and left on a free for Sampdoria in January 2012.Since then the Germany international has started to flourish and has been a regular for Valencia this season.United, according to Deportivo Valenciano, are now chasing Mustafi and want to snap him up this summer.They are likely to face strong competition from Bayern Munich and Barcelona, however, as both clubs are interested too. The 23-year-old spend three years at Everton and now plays for Valencia last_img

European cities leading the way in battling climate change

first_imgVAXJO, Sweden – When this quiet city in southern Sweden decided in 1996 to wean itself off fossil fuels, most people doubted the ambitious goal would have any impact beyond the town limits. A few melting glaciers later, Vaxjo is attracting a green pilgrimage of politicians, scientists and business leaders from as far afield as the U.S. and North Korea seeking inspiration from a city program that has allowed it to cut CO2 emissions 30 percent since 1993. Vaxjo is a pioneer in a growing movement in dozens of European cities, large and small, that aren’t waiting for national or international measures to curb global warming. From London’s congestion charge to Paris’ city bike program and Barcelona’s solar power campaign, initiatives taken at the local level are being introduced across the continent – often influencing national policies instead of the other way around. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“People used to ask: Isn’t it better to do this at a national or international level?” said Henrik Johansson, environmental controller in Vaxjo, a city of 78,000 on the shores of Lake Helga, surrounded by thick pine forest in the heart of Smaland province. “We want to show everyone else that you can accomplish a lot at the local level.” The European Union, mindful that many member states are failing to meet mandated emissions cuts under the Kyoto climate treaty, has taken notice of the trend and is encouraging cities to adopt their own emissions targets. The bloc awarded one of its inaugural Sustainable Energy Europe awards this year to Vaxjo, which aims to have cut emissions by 50 percent by 2010 and 70 percent by 2025. “We are convinced that the cities are a key element to change behavior and get results,” said Pedro Ballesteros Torres, manager of the Sustainable Energy Europe campaign. “Climate change is a global problem but the origin of the problem is very local.” So far only a handful of European capitals have set emissions targets, including Stockholm, Copenhagen and London. Torres said he hopes to convince about 30 European cities to commit to targets next year. While such goals are welcome, they may not always be the best way forward, said Simon Reddy, who manages the C40 project, a global network of major cities exchanging ideas on tackling climate change. “At the moment a lot of cities don’t know what they’re emitting so it’s very difficult to set targets,” Reddy said. More important than emissions targets, he said, is that cities draft action plans, outlining specific goals needed to reduce emissions, like switching a certain percentage of the public transit system to alternative fuels. London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s Climate Action Plan calls for cutting the city’s CO2 emissions by 60 percent in 2025, compared to 1990 levels. However, planners acknowledge the cuts are not realistic unless the government introduces a system of carbon pricing. Barcelona, Spain’s second biggest city, has, since 2006, required all new and renovated buildings to install solar panels to supply at least 60 percent of the energy needed to heat water. The project has been emulated by dozens of Spanish cities and inspired national legislation with similar, though less stringent, requirements, said Angels Codina Relat of the Barcelona Energy Agency. It’s not only in Europe that cities are taking action on climate change. Several U.S. cities including Austin, Texas; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle have launched programs to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Bogota, the capital of Colombia, has reduced emissions with the TransMilenio municipal bus system and an extensive network of bicycle paths. In Vaxjo, (pronounced VECK-shur), the vast majority of emissions cuts have been achieved at the heating and power plant, which replaced oil with wood chips from local sawmills as its main source of fuel. Ashes from the furnace are returned to the forest as nutrients. “This is the best fir in Sweden,” said plant manager Ulf Johnsson, scooping up a fistful of wood chips from a giant heap outside the factory. He had just led Michael Wood, the U.S. ambassador to Sweden, on a guided tour of the facility, which is considered state of the art. Not only does it generate electricity, but the water that is warmed up in the process of cooling the plant is used to heat homes and offices in Vaxjo. Every week, foreign visitors arrive to see Vaxjo’s environmental campaign. Last year, even a delegation of 10 energy officials from reclusive North Korea got a tour. A similar but much larger system is in place in Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, where waste heat from incineration and combined heat and power plants is pumped through a purpose-built 800-mile network of pipes to 97 percent of city. Copenhagen is often cited as a climate pioneer among European cities. It cut CO2 emissions by 187,600 tons annually in the late `90s by switching from coal to natural gas and biofuels at its energy plants. Its goal is to reduce emissions by 35 percent by 2010, compared to 1990 levels, even more ambitious than Denmark’s national target of 21 percent cuts under the Kyoto accord. In 1995, the city became one of the first European capitals to introduce a public bicycle service that lets people pick up and return bikes at dozens of stations citywide for a small fee. Similar initiatives have since taken root in Paris and several other European cities. Next, Copenhagen plans to spend about $38 million on various initiatives to get more residents to use bicycles instead of cars. Transport is one of the hardest areas for local leaders to control since traffic is not confined to a single city. Without stronger national policies promoting biofuels over gasoline, Vaxjo, for one, will never reach its long-term target of becoming free of fossil fuels. But it’s doing what it can locally. So-called “green cars” running on biofuels park for free anywhere in the city. About one-fifth of the city’s own fleet runs on biogas produced at the local sewage treatment plant. Using biofuels instead of gasoline in cars is generally considered to cut CO2 emissions, although some scientists say greenhouse gases released during the production of biofuel crops can offset those gains. Vaxjo has also invested in energy efficiency, from the light bulbs used in street lights to a new residential area with Europe’s tallest all-wood apartment buildings. Wood requires less energy to produce than steel or concrete.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Deadly Tropical Storm Noel turns toward Atlantic coast

first_imgPORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – U.N. helicopters were waiting out driving rain that lashed Haiti on Friday before they could assess flood damage from Tropical Storm Noel, which killed at least 48 here and left thousands homeless. The new showers from Noel’s outer bands raised fears of further deaths in a country prone to catastrophic flooding. In the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, the rains largely let up, allowing flights carrying urgently needed relief supplies. Authorities in the Dominican Republic confirmed 79 deaths and said at least 62,000 were left homeless by the storm. The storm grew into Hurricane Noel as it passed Thursday over the Bahamas, where flooding killed one man and forced the evacuation of nearly 400 people. The storm then shifted north, heading parallel to the U.S. Atlantic coast toward Nova Scotia. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.By Friday evening, Noel had sustained winds of 80 mph and was centered about 320 miles southeast of North Carolina. The National Hurricane Center predicted that the storm would produce up to four inches of rains over parts of eastern New England. Noel is the deadliest storm of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, with at least 129 dead. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Torrance, Peninsula in Regionals

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Peninsula twins Jenny and Kristin Coleman shot 75s. Ayane Itamura shot 80, Katia Joo 81 and Maxine Lau shot a season-low 83. Girls tennis The Palos Verdes team of Morgan Thomas and Alex Scotten won the Bay League doubles title with a 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over Peninsula’s Jenna Glimp and Cze-Ja Tam at Ernie Howlett Park. It is the second straight title for Scotten, who won last year with Kathryn Webb. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! From staff reports Torrance and Peninsula advanced to the Southern California Regional finals next week with solid efforts Monday at the CIF Southern Section Team Finals at par-71 Dove Canyon Golf Course in Rancho Santa Margarita. Torrance, Peninsula and Cypress tied for second at 394, but Torrance won the sixth-place tiebreaker on Emily Chong’s 91. Natalie Steiner’s 97 put Peninsula in third. Cerritos won in 391. Torrance’s Jenny Shin (74), Demi Runas (75) and Rochelle Chan (76) were solid. Jane Rah shot 80. last_img read more