Author: AFP

Solskjaer begs for time after Man Utd hit new low

Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pleaded for time to get Manchester United back on track after the beleaguered boss and his under-performing stars were booed off and labelled an “embarrassment” following Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat against Burnley. Solskjaer’s side were rocked by Chris Wood’s first half opener before Jay Rodriguez scored with a superb strike after the break at Old Trafford. It was a woeful display from fifth placed United, who are in such poor form that there will be fresh questions about Solskjaer’s job security in the coming days. Former United defender Rio Ferdinand, a Premier League ... Read more

Mum’s the word as Ronaldo fires Juventus into Italian Cup semi-finals

Turin (Italy) (AFP) – Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri complimented Cristiano Ronaldo’s mother as the Portuguese star extended his scoring streak in a 3-1 win over Roma to advance to the Italian Cup semi-finals on Wednesday. The Portuguese star picked up a Gonzalo Higuain cross after 26 minutes, finishing off from an angle in the Allianz Stadium. It was the 34-year-old’s 12th goal in eight consecutive games in which he has played in all competitions for the Turin giants but his first in the Italian Cup. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has also scored seven goals in four matches played in 2020. ... Read more

‘Embarrassing’ Man Utd suffer fresh woe, Spurs boost top four bid

London (AFP) – Manchester United were labelled an “embarrassment” as pressure mounted on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following Burnley’s shock 2-0 victory, while Tottenham boosted their top four prospects with a 2-1 win over Norwich on Wednesday. Solskjaer’s side suffered a third defeat in their last four Premier League games to put the United boss’s job security back under the microscope. Burnley’s first top-flight win at Old Trafford since 1962, secured by Chris Wood’s 39th minute opener and a Jay Rodriguez thunderbolt after the break, exposed the flaws in a lacklustre United side who have made their worst start to a ... Read more

Barcelona and Madrid made to sweat by Ibiza and Unionistas

Madrid (AFP) – La Liga’s heavyweights were both given a scare by third tier opponents in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday as Barcelona needed two late goals to beat Ibiza and Real Madrid dug deep for victory over Unionistas de Salamanca.  Barca sit 44 places ahead of Ibiza and Madrid 56 above Unionistas but the lowly duo both came close to extraordinary upsets, only for Ibiza to lose 2-1 and Unionistas 3-1 in front of their jubilant home fans.  With Lionel Messi rested and not even on the bench, Antoine Griezmann proved the saviour for Barcelona, scoring twice in ... Read more

Rodgers eases Vardy injury fears

Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Brendan Rodgers hopes Jamie Vardy will not be sidelined for long after Leicester’s leading scorer limped off during Wednesday’s 4-1 win against West Ham. Vardy was hurt while chasing a pass in the first half at the King Power Stadium. He was treated for several minutes before trying to resume playing, a move which lasted just seconds before he again fell to the turf clutching his leg. This time the 33-year-old was forced to come off as Kelechi Iheanacho replaced him in a game where Leicester were leading 2-0 at half-time. Vardy is the Premier ... Read more

Mourinho seeks striker solution as Son ensures Tottenham edge Norwich

London (AFP) – Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho claimed a lack of striking options is taking its toll on his stretched squad despite ending a four-game winless streak in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Norwich on Wednesday. Son Heung-min’s header 11 minutes from time moved Spurs up to sixth and within six points of Chelsea in the battle for a top-four finish. However, another uninspired performance did little to suggest they are capable of chasing down Mourinho’s old club unless more firepower is added before the end of the transfer window this month. Spurs’ struggle for goals of ... Read more

Brezina finds 13 lucky number at Euros

Graz (Austria) (AFP) – Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic marked his 13th European figure skating championship appearance by taking top spot in the short program on Wednesday. The 29-year-old, a bronze medallist in Zagreb in 2013, led Russian duo Dmitri Aliev and Artur Danielian. Skating to “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing” by Chris Isaac, Brezina produced a quadruple Salchow-double toeloop, a triple flip and triple Axel for a score of 89.77 points.  “It’s my 13th Europeans, so it only took 13 years. I practiced well, and I just did what I do at practices for the past one ... Read more

Ronaldo fires Juventus into Italian Cup semi-finals

Turin (Italy) (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo extended his scoring streak as Juventus eased past Roma 3-1 to advance to the Italian Cup semi-finals on Wednesday. The Portuguese star picked up a Gonzalo Higuain cross after 26 minutes in Turin finishing off from an angle. It was the 34-year-old’s 12th goal in eight consecutive games in which he has played in all competitions for the Turin giants but his first in the Italian Cup. Rodrigo Bentancur added a second after 38 minutes with defender Leonardo Bonucci nodding in a third just before the break. Cengiz Under pulled a goal back for ... Read more