Friday, 18 May 2018

Nadal books spot in Italian Open quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal brushed aside the challenge of Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov with a 6-4, 6-1 victory to reach the Italian Open quarterfinals on Thursday.

Scrappy win for Hurricanes against Reds

The Hurricanes struggled to get their high octane attack going but still had just enough to overcome an obdurate Reds side 38-34 on Friday and notch up their 10th straight Super Rugby victory.
Winger Ben Lam nabbed his 13th and 14th tries of the campaign to stand one shy of a Super Rugby record and there were also scores from number eight Blade Thomson, lock Sam Lousi and flyhalf Beauden Barrett, who added 13 points with the boot.
The Reds, humbled 63-28 by the Sunwolves last week, brought a physicality to the contest that would have made coach Brad Thorn proud but were unable to prevent Australia's winless streak against New Zealand opposition from reaching 40 matches.
Tries from winger Filipo Daugunu and hooker Taniela Tupou helped them to a 20-14 lead after 26 minutes with the other winger, Jordan Petaia, and centre Samu Kerevi crossing after the break to keep the visitors in the match for the full 80 minutes.
"There's a reason why they are the best team in the comp at the moment," Reds skipper Scott Higginbotham said in post-match interview. "But it was a huge display of character from our boys after last week's disappointment."
The win put the Hurricanes back on top of the competition standings by three points pending the Canterbury Crusaders' match on Saturday with the two most recent champions scheduled to meet in Christchurch next week.
The 2016 champions might have expected an easier ride from a Reds side that has only won four of their 11 matches this season and it looked to be going to plan when Barrett cantered over the line in the seventh minute.
Lam smashed through a couple of defenders with the ball in one hand to grab the first of his brace seven minutes later and the Reds were only able to stay in touch through two Jono Lance penalties.
Tupou, nicknamed the Tongan Thor, bulldozed his way through three defenders for a try in the 21st minute, however, and when Kerevi cut through the midfield and found Daugunu on his outside five minutes later, the Reds were in front.
Thomson pirouetted over the line to give the Hurricanes back the lead before the break and when Lam made amends for dropping the ball with the line at his mercy with his second try after 49 minutes, the home side were 31-20 to the good.
Another tackler-scattering charge from Tupou after 53 minutes sent debutant teenager Petaia in for a third Reds try and even Lousi's score was not enough to kill off the visitors, with Kerevi's reply making for a tense last six minutes.

AB-led RCB stun table-toppers

AB de Villiers smashed a 39-ball 69 and pulled off a fantastic catch as the Royal Challengers Bangalore kept their slim hopes of qualifying for the Indian Premier League playoffs alive with a nailbiting 14 run-win against the table-topping Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The hosts struck 218 for six, dominated by the South African icon De Villiers’s 39-ball 69, a superb 65 off 34 balls by Moeen Ali and a 17-ball 40 by Colin de Grandhomme.
In pursuit of a win and in the midst of a 135-run partnership off 67 balls, the emerging global T20 colossus Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey needing 20 runs in the final over, came unstuck in that over, bowled by Mohammed Siraj, who emerged as an unlikely hero.
Williamson was caught by De Grandhomme at deep square leg off Siraj for 81 when he attempted to deposit a slow ball for six at the start of the 20th over. He faced 42 balls and struck seven fours and five sixes.
Pandey could not strike sixes in the remainder of the over and Siraj conceded only five runs while taking the wicket of Williamson. The visitors finished on 204 for three. Pandey scored 62 off 38 balls.
Siraj was supported in the death overs by Tim Southee, who, when Williamson and Pandey needed 56 off four overs, bowled wide yorkers. The success thereof proved to be critical in the outcome of the match apart from Siraj’s cool head in the final over.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Guardiola extends Man City contract to 2021

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola signed a contract extension with the Premier League champions on Thursday that will keep him in the job until 2021.
Spaniard Guardiola joined City in 2016 on a three-year contract and led them to the Premier League title this year, 19 points ahead of second-placed Manchester United.
City became the first top-flight club to collect 100 points in a season and broke records for goals scored in a Premier League campaign (106), the most victories and best goal difference.
"We are delighted to announce the extension of Pep's contract through to 2021," club chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in a statement on City's website https://www.mancity.com/news/first-team/first-team-news/2018/may/pep-guardiola-man-city-contract-extension.
"In his two seasons with us, he has fostered an incredible spirit within the squad and significantly contributed to our progress both on and off the field. In doing so he has embodied the passion and commitment we all have for the club."
If Guardiola sees out the deal, it will represent his longest spell in charge of one club. The 47-year-old managed Barcelona from 2008-12 and spent three years in charge of Germany's Bayern Munich before joining City.
"I am so happy and excited. It's a pleasure to be able to work here," said Guardiola, who was named Manager of the Year by League Managers Association on Tuesday. "As a manager, you have to feel good to be with the players - and I feel good.
"I will focus on the desire of my players to become a better team and every day that's what I will try to do – to improve on the pitch and improve our players."
City also won the League Cup this year, giving Guardiola a total of 23 major trophies in nine seasons as a manager, but they were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage by Premier League rivals Liverpool.

Sandpapergate’ gets the SuperSport treatment

The most gripping South African sport story of the summer, and perhaps of the year, will be re-told in dramatic form when “Crossing the Line”, a 60-minute documentary on the SA-Australia cricket series, premieres onSuperSport 2 on Tuesday, 22 May, 7.30pm CAT (SA, GMT+2).
Shot through with controversy, the series is recalled for the ugly spat between David Warner and Quinton de Kock, the altercation between Kagiso Rabada and Steve Smith and, most infamously, the cheating incident that will forever be known as “Sandpapergate”.
Producer Tyrone Bailey and co-producer Werner Bauermeister secured interviews with a range of figures on both sides, among them Shane Warne, Graeme Smith, Allan Border, Michael Holding, Mike Haysman and Shaun Pollock with celebrated broadcaster Mark Nicholas linking it together.
Many of their views are strident and never less than compelling, even weeks after the series concluded.
“It’s a remarkable story to tell,” said Bailey, “and viewers will discover that it’s far less about the cricket than the remarkable controversy that defined the series.”
The documentary will also be available onCatch Up on Friday (May 18, from 1pm) and Showmax, DStv’s online subscription video-on-demand service.
It will also be available on international release, including UK and US regions.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Paris St-Germain: Thomas Tuchel replaces Unai Emery as manager

Paris St-Germain have appointed Thomas Tuchel as their new manager.
Tuchel, who has been out of work sinceleaving Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmundin May 2017, has signed a two-year contract with the French club.
The 44-year-old spent two years in charge at Dortmund after succeeding Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in 2015.
Tuchel replaces Unai Emery, who led PSG to the domestic treble in France this season but did not have his two-year contract extended.

"It is with great joy, pride and ambition that I join this great world football club that is Paris St-Germain," said Tuchel.
"I look forward to working with all these great players, all of whom are among the best on the planet. With my staff, we will do everything to help the team push their limits to the highest international level.
"There is extraordinary potential in Paris and this is the most exciting challenge that has come to me. I am also looking forward to discovering Parc des Princes, a legendary European football stadium with a fantastic atmosphere."
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said: "Thomas is one of the most competitive European coaches to have emerged at the highest level in recent years.
"His ambitious personality, his assertive taste for forward-moving play and his strength of character are part of the style we have always heard at Paris St-Germain."

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

2018 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - SEMI-FINALS - 1ST LEG Bayern Munich 1 Real Madrid 2 Kimmich (28' minutes) FT HT 1-1 Marcelo (44' minutes), Asensio (57' minutes)

Real weren't spectacularly special. Apart from Ronaldo and Marcelo, they just are very good players, playing quite well. That's it. I really can't tell you.
They have rode their luck, Bayern had chances, Muller, Ribery. Lewandowski had a header 99 times out of 100 he scores. You ask the question who will win the competition, no question it is Liverpool watching the teams. But Real Madrid somehow always find a way to win and you don't know how they did it.