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De Leo: ‘Not accurate enough’

first_imgAssistant coach Emilio De Leo is calling for a more “precise” Bologna after slipping up to Cagliari at the Sardegna Arena. Bologna were looking for a second consecutive victory in Sardinia, but couldn’t hold on to an early lead, as Cagliari fought back to win 3-2. “We are to blame for handing Cagliari the match. When they drew level, we got the ball back and we tried again. The second goal came from various mistakes and the wind was blowing in their direction,” said Sinisa Mihajlovic’s understudy after the contest. “We tried to play with a certain courage, but we need to be more precise in how we control the ball. In the second half they continued to push, but we needed to control the game better. We stopped a little bit and against a healthy team that’s not enough.” After 60 minutes De Leo decided to bring off goalscorer Federico Santander, leaving Bologna to sweat over his conditions.  “We brought Santander off because of a physical problem. His physical abilities were very helpful when holding the ball up. We don’t separate the technical and tactical aspect from the physical, but we were lacking intensity. The problem with Santander is still to be assessed,” the 41-year-old added. “This week we hope to have [Gary] Medel and [Mitchell] Dijks back with us. When we want to face a match with courage, we expect the quality to make the difference. “I will extend this message to the rest of the team, that we need to be more consistent and precise. We knew we were facing a difficult task with their quality.” Life won’t get any easier when they host Inter this weekend, as the result at Cagliari leave Bologna 10th in Serie A. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

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CL: Atalanta historic point with Man City

first_imgAtalanta outplayed Manchester City in the second half and snatched their first Champions League point with Mario Pasalic, but didn’t make the most of Claudio Bravo’s dismissal, which left Kyle Walker in goal. Follow all the action as it happens and give your views on the LIVEBLOG. La Dea were joint fourth in Serie A, but still looking for their first Champions League point, despite taking the lead in two of their three defeats, including the 5-1 loss at the Etihad. Duvan Zapata was still injured, so Gian Piero Gasperini again kept Josip Ilicic as a False 9, with Mario Pasalic instead of Ruslan Malinovskyi. Phil Foden was suspended, David Silva, Rodri, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte injured. Atalanta kept the ball for long periods early on and Hans Hateboer volleyed on to the side-netting at the back post, but it was Manchester City who scored with their first foray forward. Marten De Roon gave the ball away cheaply and the Gabriel Jesus back-heel flick sent Raheem Sterling clear on goal to beat Pierluigi Gollini one-on-one. Hateboer was decisive with a sliding block on Sterling, as he went to tap in a Kevin De Bruyne pull-back, while Ederson had to come rushing out to clear from Papu Gomez. Gollini got down well to beat away a low Riyad Mahrez effort, then the referee awarded a penalty on 40 minutes, but VAR showed the Rafael Toloi shirt tug on Sterling was outside the box. However, the Sterling free kick from that incident then hit Ilicic’s hand in the wall and that was a penalty. Gabriel Jesus stepped up only to horribly scuff the spot-kick wide of the target, letting Atalanta off the hook. They seemed to take this as a sign and recovered some confidence, as Ilicic’s strike was deflected just over the far top corner. Ederson went off at half-time with a muscular issue, so Manchester City brought on second choice goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. Ilicic sprung the offside trap on a smart ball over the top, but his second touch let him down and he went too wide to trouble Bravo. It was only a warning, as moments later Atalanta equalised, with Gomez whipping a cross in from the left for Mario Pasalic to complete the run from deep with an undisturbed header. Another great Gomez ball saw Ilicic get away from defenders, as Bravo had to rush out and intercept with a diving header. Gomez’s curler was charged down inside the area by Otamendi, as Atalanta were pinning Manchester City back. Berat Djimsiti’s glancing header from a corner skimmed the far post with Bravo beaten, then the defender only grazed his head to another Ilicic free kick. The Manchester City offside trap was disastrous throughout the second half and the Atalanta tactic paid off when Ilicic was sent clear on goal, Bravo came tearing out and hacked him down. It was an inevitable red card and, as Ederson was off injured, meant there were no more goalkeepers on the bench. Kyle Walker had to come on and take the gloves, but deciding Mahrez would come off to make way took seven minutes of chaotic touchline debate. Walker’s first move was to spill a Ruslan Malinovskyi free kick, but get it under control on the rebound. There were seven minutes of stoppages, but Manchester City expertly wasted time, while Atalanta were too frantic in their attempts to score and wasted opportunities. Shakhtar Donetsk fought back for a 3-3 draw at Dinamo Zagreb, meaning Atalanta are still in with a slim chance of qualification. Atalanta 1-1 Man City Sterling 7 (M), Pasalic 49 (A) Atalanta: Gollini; Toloi, Palomino, Djimisti; Hateboer, Freuler (Malinovskyi 84), De Roon, Castagne (Muriel 92); Pasalic; Ilicic, Gomez Man City: Ederson (Bravo 46); Cancelo, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Mendy; Gundogan, De Bruyne; Mahrez (Walker 88), Bernardo Silva, Sterling; Gabriel Jesus (Aguero 74) Ref: Kulbakov (BLR) Missed penalty: Gabriel Jesus 43 (M) Sent off: Bravo 81 (M) Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

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Kouame: ‘Smile at setbacks’

first_imgGenoa striker Christian Kouame thanked fans for their support after a devastating knee injury. “I face every situation with a smile.” The forward was on international duty with the Ivory Coast Under-23 team against South Africa when he was stretchered off with a knee injury. Tests today confirmed he has torn his anterior cruciate ligament, which means five to six months on the sidelines. “I have always been accustomed to facing every situation with a smile,” wrote Kouame on Instagram. “The good times, those worth remembering, but also the most difficult to deal with, just like this. It’s true, I could’ve done without this happening. “However, that is what I am like, so I respond to this injury with a smile, already starting to count down the days, and with real hunger to get back out there. Stronger than ever! “Thank you for the many messages. Hugs, Christian.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

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India-Pak Test series: Security concerns take backseat over TV revenues

first_imgWAVE OF EMOTION: A match between the two sides arouses passionsIndo-Pak cricket is not only about batting and bowling, but also history, politics and high finance. The last time the Pakistan team toured India at the start of 1999, the Test series had more drama than some nations witness in,WAVE OF EMOTION: A match between the two sides arouses passionsIndo-Pak cricket is not only about batting and bowling, but also history, politics and high finance. The last time the Pakistan team toured India at the start of 1999, the Test series had more drama than some nations witness in decades. With the Indian batting dominating Australia recently and the Pakistani bowlers scoring a historic win in New Zealand, everything appears set up for the needle contest over three Tests and five one-dayers due in March, the first time India will play a Test series in Pakistan after 1989.The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB’s) new chief Shahryar Khan says, “We are ready with the red carpets.” Once Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Islamabad, the PCB was invigorated. Khan, a former diplomat, says, “Vajpayee has, in fact, opened the innings.” But with six weeks to go, it’s not merely ends that need tying up but the entire package that has to be given shape. The tour schedule is yet to be finalised. It is not certain where the Indians will land or where they will play first, though there are moves to have them walk through the Wagah border. Of the eight proposed venues, it is learnt the BCCI is worried about Karachi where both New Zealand and South Africa refused to play last year. The Pakistan Navy assisted by para-military staff will be in charge of security in Karachi. Having been given a list of venues, the Interior Ministry will arrange security for Sourav Ganguly’s men elsewhere. PCB Chief Executive Ramiz Raja is certain the series will be smooth: “After hosting South Africa last year, we are well-rehearsed about security.” Karachi and Peshawar were angry at being deprived of matches against South Africa and the PCB now feels compelled to give both venues a game. SCORES SO FARA report card of Indo-Pak Tests played in Pakistan  Played                             20 Won by Pakistan           5 Won by India                  0 Drawn                             15But what it wants to avoid is an incident like that in 1989 when a fanatic ran onto the field in Karachi and attacked Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the Indian captain. Things were different then and the tour continued. Today even the smallest incident can put the entire series in jeopardy. While Vajpayee’s visit has upped the ante on the series, security experts in India believe there is a big difference between protecting one man for 24 hours inside a room and protecting 20 in open spaces full of tens of thousands of people over four weeks. The cricketers know it. The Indian players currently in Australia are planning to write a letter to the BCCI asking for the details of security arrangements in Pakistan. “We don’t mind going at all but feel everything is being rushed. We get a feeling they are happy to just have the tour and send us off,” one player told INDIA TODAY. Another said, “Is anyone in the BCCI going to do a recce and check out the arrangements for the team? There seems to be more talk of television revenues rather than security which is disturbing.”Television revenues will bring a windfall for the PCB. Raja, locked in meetings all day every day, has hired experts for marketing and sponsorship strategies and often finds himself looking at his watch wondering where he could possibly borrow a few extra hours for his working day from.Earnings for the PCB are expected to exceed $30 million (Rs 135 crore). Already the prospects of massive earnings from television have set the cats among groups of pigeons in the market. The marketing committee of the PCB has been reconstituted under the chairmanship of Riaz Mahmood. Rumours of fresh bids coming in from TWI and Sony TV (who were said to have offered $19.2 million for the series) were met with a dead bat by Khan who clarified that negotiations would be open for ancillary contracts while all existing contracts would be honoured.The five-year contract for $46 million was awarded to TEN Sports in partnership with Pakistan’s ARY Television on the condition of coverage to eight home series along with the big one against India. advertisementLAST ENCOUNTER: India came out on top in the 2003 World Cup matchTEN will be served by a multi-national production team and a commentary team of Raja, Sanjay Manjrekar, Ian Healy, Dean Jones, Tony Greig with offers being considered by Navjot Singh Sidhu and Imran Khan. Guesstimates of advertising rates in India run between $1,000 and $2,000 a second. But Raja, also an MBA, is conflicted, saying, “We would not want the series to be dominated by Indian companies. If most of the hoardings are from India it would look like an India show. But we would like to earn as much as possible because this series can fetch us the highest revenues in our history.” For a cash-strapped board such opportunities don’t come often.Not so long ago the West Indians had refused to tour Pakistan and today title sponsorship of a home series is slated at around $3 million. The likely scenario is that the PCB will opt for neutral title sponsors like Pepsi, LG and Samsung.The first two have put in bids of approximately $1.3 million – nearly five times the biggest Pakistani bid – for co-title sponsorship. Already Raja appears to be losing – or make that winning – the battle.As the excitement builds, Raja calls for calm. “As far as emotions go, we want this to be a low-key series. One bad incident could ruin things. We would like to send the message that the Pakistani public is cricket-loving and wants to watch it with peace.” The month of March will bring not only a test of the Indian and Pakistani teams, but also of the vitality and viability of cricket in Pakistan.With Sharda Ugraadvertisementlast_img read more

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Struggling Team India skips practice session, opts for go-karting

first_imgOne would think that after their humiliating defeat during the second Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Team India would be hard at work practicing their game and preparing for the third Test in order to avoid a humiliating series defeat.But that is not the case. Team India on Monday decided to take the day off from the nets and head out instead for some recreation – Go Karting.On Monday, as many as nine players of the Indian squad headed to the go-karting venue. Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, whose 100th ton seems to be fast becoming a distant dream, was also among the nine who went go-karting.The Australian team, meanwhile, was busy practicing for the third Test match.Just before heading out to the go-karting venue, Ishant Sharma did a Virat Kohli when he showed his middle finger to fans waiting outside the hotel.Virat Kohli had been fined 50 per cent of his match fee for having made the indecent gesture at the audience during the second Test match in Sydney.Team India, despite their bluster, lost the second Test match at Sydney Cricket Ground by an innings and 68 runs.last_img read more

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Time for split captaincy believe former coaches

first_imgIn the aftermath of India’s debacle in Australia, a public outcry and call for heads to roll was only to be expected. And India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was bound to be on top of the list of all those who are desperate for some stringent action after what have been eight deplorable and shameful defeats.It was just a matter of time before Dhoni’s captaincy came under the scanner and sure enough, reports have surfaced that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is contemplating splitting the captaincy between Virender Sehwag – for the Test matches – and Dhoni – for ODIs and T20s.Whether or not such a move is afoot, the basic idea of having two captains, especially after Dhoni made it clear in Australia that he doesn’t see himself lasting in all three formats for long, might not be the worst move, according to former India coaches Anshuman Gaekwad and Madan Lal.”Looking from Dhoni’s point of view, he could be relieved. Handling three formats of the game, on top of wicket-keeping day in and day out, he has done it all. It (being relieved of Test captaincy) could be a blessing in disguise,” Gaekwad told Mail Today on Sunday.”However, to blame him for the debacles in England and Australia would be unfair on Dhoni. After every defeat, we have a tendency to blame the captain and the coach. What were the rest of the players doing? “When Dhoni talked about his future plans on the eve of the Perth Test, he was just speaking out.advertisementPeople accuse him of losing interest, but I think he is simply feeling helpless after such performances.” For Madan, it was high time the heavy workload on Dhoni was reduced.”Dhoni should be relieved of the Test captaincy. He has done so well across all formats and over the years. If you take the burden of Test captaincy away from him, he might get recharged and perform well. However, I would never remove him from the Test arena as I feel he is still a match-winner at No. 7,” he told Mail Today. Interestingly, Madan didn’t feel Sehwag was the best option for Test captaincy. According to the former all-rounder, Sachin Tendulkar should be handed the reins, till the day he decides to hang up his boots, to rebuild the team.”What has Sehwag done as a captain? If you want to make a new captain, don’t just put anyone in that place. Viru has batted very well in Test cricket but that doesn’t mean he is Test captaincy material.I feel Sachin should be given the task of rebuilding the team.Even if he wishes to play for 6-10 months, I would want him to give something back to Indian cricket in the form of 2-3 ready youngsters,” Madan opined.With the transition phase about to set in, Gaekwad said that since India would be playing in the subcontinent for nearly two years, the youngsters could be gradually brought in. However, Madan warned that this transition phase would take a long time. “It will take at least 3-4 years to resurrect the team. This was the best team we have had and they lost so badly. It will take a long time,” he said.last_img read more

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Bhupathi camp adds troubles for AITA selectors ahead of London Games

first_imgA major selection crisis has hit Indian tennis over the team that would represent the nation at the forthcoming London Games even as the players’ demands are threatening to upset the country’s medal quest.The much known Leander Paes-Mahesh Bhupathi divide has left the All India Tennis Association (AITA) selection committee in a major fix as to which pair to send to London.Paes and Bhupathi had parted ways at the end of last season and were unlikely to come together for their fourth Olympic Games together.While the world number seven doubles player, Paes, has earned a direct berth for the Olympics, Headlines Today has learnt that Bhupathi and his current partner Bopanna have expressed their willingness to play in London only if they are selected as a team.Neither of Bhupathi or Bopanna was keen on partnering the higher ranked Paes, threatening to hamper India’s medal quest at London 2012.The divide in the Indian tennis camp has left the selectors in a huge conundrum and adding to their woes are the fitness concerns surrounding Somdev Devvarman, who has been out of action for over four months.While AITA sources have confirmed to Headlines Today that the tennis body was keen to send Paes along with Bopanna as the lead pair, their decision would need to be weighed with the mixed doubles berth as well.After winning the French Open mixed doubles title recently with Bhupathi, Sania Mirza has also expressed her desire to team with her partner in London. However, unless Bhupathi plays men’s doubles, he would not get a spot in the mixed doubles.advertisementWhile the eight-member selection committee has been split down the middle over their preferences for the right pairing, AITA top boss Anil Khanna was expected to take the final call during Friday’s meeting in Bangalore.Importantly though with Bhupathi and Sania spelling their choices on whom they would like to partner in London, it is going to be a tough call for the AITA selectors.last_img read more

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Bulls hope to set return date for LaVine early next week

first_imgMOST READ SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims LaVine averaged 18.9 points in 47 games for Minnesota last season before tearing the ACL in his left knee. The Bulls acquired him along with Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen in the trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves.Hoiberg spoke before Wednesday’s matchup with Toronto. The Bulls’ first home game after the upcoming trip is against Houston on Monday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Zach LaVine #8 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts to the loss to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on December 2, 2016 in New York City.The New York Knicks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 118-114. Elsa/Getty Images/AFPCHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls hope to decide on a return date for guard Zach LaVine early next week.LaVine will travel with the team to games at Dallas and Indiana on Friday and Saturday. Coach Fred Hoiberg says the two-time slam dunk champion will meet with doctors, trainers, management and coaches after the Bulls return home.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Rockets win without Harden, rout Magic Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ View comments Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid LATEST STORIES Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more