Monthly Archives: April 2019

Apr
17
  • Pellegrini blames City stalemate

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    Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester City’s failure to regain first place in the Premier League is hardly surprising after his squad was ravaged by injuries to several key players

    City would have finished the weekend in first place had they beaten Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday, but instead dropped to third after settling for a point from a frustrating 0-0 draw.

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    That meant they failed to overtake Arsenal, who had lost 5-1 at Liverpool earlier in the day, and were passed by new leaders Chelsea, who beat Newcastle 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

    Chelsea had won 1-0 at City on Monday and the Norwich stalemate meant that a side that had rattled in 68 goals in the previous 23 Premier League fixtures had now completed two more without adding any more to the tally.

    It was also the first time City had failed to find the net in successive games in just over two years, but Pellegrini is adamant that was mainly the result of injuries to his prolific strikers.

    Sergio Aguero is sidelined with a hamstring injury and Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo are both playing through the pain barrier.

    “Everybody has been talking about how many goals we score, and how we concede them when we defend, but the most difficult thing is scoring goals,” Pellegrini said.

    “In the last two games, with our strikers not being fit, we couldn’t do it and without a goal you can’t win a game.

    “Dzeko has an ankle in a very bad condition, which is why he played just 30 minutes and Negredo has a problem with a shoulder but they had to play in that condition.

    “I was concerned about this match and it was exactly the same when we played Chelsea because we have a lot of players who are not 100 percent fit.

    “Maybe it was a good opportunity but we are still two points behind the leaders.”

    It was a similar situation in midfield, with Javi Garcia and Fernandinho both sidelined through injury, forcing Yaya Toure to adopt a defensive role.

    The Ivory Coast international had a limited impact but Pellegrini explained: “Yaya had to play today a little bit back because we did not have another man who could play in that position.”

    Pellegrini insisted he had not seen an incident involving Toure in which the City midfielder appeared to kick Norwich substitute Ricky van Wolfswinkel off the ball late in the game.

    Chris Hughton, the Norwich manager, said he had not seen the incident either, but was understandably more interested in praising his players for their efforts in the game, especially as they had been beaten 7-0 by City in Manchester in November.

    “It says a lot about what we have got in the squad,” he said. “It’s a smaller squad than Manchester City’s but it’s a tighter squad.

    “It says a fair bit about the competition that we have got. I thought we did most things right.”

    Norwich remain part of the relegation equation and are only two points ahead of the bottom three clubs.

    Yet they were applauded off the pitch by their supporters, who had been critical after previous games.

    “We have a support here who know the game,” Hughton added. “Going through a game with Man City and not conceding a goal is a big ask.

    “They saw a team trying to win a game in the last 10 minutes and that’s why we got the reception we did.”

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Apr
17
  • Tiger congratulates niece for Aussie win

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    Tiger Woods has congratulated his niece for winning the Australian Ladies Masters.

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    Cheyenne Woods, stepped out of her superstar uncle’s shadow on Sunday by winning the biggest tournament of her career at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast.

    “Way to go Cheyenne Woods!” 14-time major champion Tiger Woods tweeted. “A great win and accomplishment. I’m so proud of you.”

    Aside from the Twitter shout-out from her uncle, the win earned Cheyenne a two-year exemption into Ladies European Tour events.

    Cheyenne, who is the daughter of Tiger’s half-brother Earl Dennison Woods, held off a strong challenge by Australian amateur Minjee Lee (278) to card a final-round four-under-par 69 and complete a 16-under 276 total for victory.

    The American, whose grandfather Earl Woods – Tiger’s father – was her first coach, was rock-solid throughout her final round, firing five birdies and just one bogey, and she choked back tears during her victory speech.

    “This is a huge accomplishment for me,” said the world No.363, adding that she hopes her breakthrough will move the conversation beyond merely her surname.

    “I’ve been pro for two years and, for the majority of it, people just think of me as Tiger Woods’ niece so now I have a game of my own and I have a title now, a win, which is exciting,” she said.

    “It’s nice now to say to people that I can play and I’m not just a name. Growing up with the last name of Woods, there’s a lot of expectations and pressure and spotlight on you but I always knew that I was able to win.

    “I always knew I’d be able to compete with these ladies so now it’s kind of a weight off my shoulders because now everybody knows not just me.”

    A victory in next week’s US LPGA-sanctioned Australian Open would also earn Cheyenne exemption into that tour.

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Apr
17
  • PSG and Monaco go another 1-1 draw

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    A Thiago Silva own goal denied Paris Saint-German victory at their closest Ligue 1 rivals Monaco as the top two clubs in France played out their second 1-1 draw of the season.

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    The result left PSG still firm favourites to win a second consecutive title as they remain five points ahead of Monaco with 14 games to be played.

    Monaco salvaged a point after PSG’s captain Silva stretched and inadvertently turned a Fabinho cross into his goal in the 74th minute.

    The result was probably a fair reflection of the match, but PSG will be the most disappointed as they had held the lead since the eighth minute through a headed goal by Javier Pastore.

    Lurking at the back post, Pastore, who was drafted into the PSG side as replacement for injured striker Edinson Cavani, was able to score from close range after a corner had been flicked-on from defender Alex.

    Monaco’s response to going behind was immediate and they should have been level just six minutes later, but Emmanuel Riviere squandered a great chance pushing a rebound from Sirigu wide with the goal at his mercy.

    PSG should have doubled their lead when Ibrahimovic, of all people, squandered a fine opportunity from just five yards out after good play on the left flank between Pastore and Maxwell.

    The second-half was a more scrappy affair with PSG largely in control.

    PSG came closest to scoring when Ibrahimovic fired in a fierce free-kick from the edge of the area which Monaco’s Croatian keeper Danijel Subasic did well to turn wide in the 55th minute.

    Both sides had a chance to secure victory in the final minutes.

    First Fabinho was denied in the 89th minute from giving Monaco – who brought on former Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov for his debut in the 64th minute – victory after his thunderous shot was well-saved by PSG’s Sirigu.

    Then just moments later, Monaco’s Subasic pulled off a similar save to deny Ligue 1’s top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

    Meanwhile, the chasing pack behind the top two teams mostly had a good weekend.

    Lille, Marseille, Lyon and Reims all won with St Etienne the only side in the top seven not to get three points following a disappointing 0-0 at mid-table Toulouse.

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Apr
17
  • INXS tears apart Schapelle

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    Aussie rock band INXS has made it to the top of the charts again after it smashed the telemovie Schapelle on the first night of official ratings for the year.

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    The first part of the mini-series INXS: Never Tear Us Apart was the number one show on Sunday with 1.947 million viewers.

    Schapelle, which was moved forward from Monday to Sunday and deliberately pitted against INXS: Never Tear Us Apart, was seventh with 1.022 million tuning-in on OzTAM’s overnight ratings.

    The second and final part of INXS: Never Tear Us Apart, will screen next Sunday.

    The Nine Network took a risk in its decision to slot Schapelle, about convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby, against INXS.

    While attracting more than a million viewers is deemed a pass mark on any night of the week, Schapelle’s figures are not that satisfactory.

    Nine brought Schapelle forward to cash in on Corby’s anticipated release from an Indonesian jail on Monday and take some steam out of INXS: Never Tear Us Apart.

    However, the much anticipated show about the convicted drug smuggler would likely have rated much better had it remained in its original Monday time slot.

    And the decision to announce the screening change on Friday was made at the last minute, which meant the switch missed most of the weekend’s printed TV guides.

    Seven claimed not only the number one spot for the start of the official ratings period, but it snared second, third and fourth as well.

    Current affair series Sunday Night, which featured an interview with Rachelle Louise, the girlfriend of Simon Gittany who threw his fiancee to her death over a balcony, was second.

    The gripping interview drew 1.793 million viewers, ratings behemoth My Kitchen Rules (1.640 million) was third and Seven News (1.292 million) was fourth.

    While there was a lot of attention being placed on the Nine and Seven ratings war, the launch of Network Ten’s new dance series So You Think You Can Dance got severely crunched.

    The return of the dance series after several years in hiatus was 18th with just 466,000 viewers.

    The live telecast of the Sochi Games Snowboard Slopestyle Final, featuring Aussie Torah Bright, did much better for Ten.

    It was eighth overall with 996,000 viewers.

    Most watched shows on Monday

    1. INXS: Never Tear Us Apart (Seven) – 1.947 million

    2. Sunday Night (Seven) – 1.793 million

    3. My Kitchen Rules (Seven) – 1.640 million

    4. Seven News (Seven) – 1.292 million

    5. The Block: Fans v Faves (Nine) – 1.274 million

    6. Nine News (Nine) – 1.223 million

    7. Schapelle (Nine) – 1.022 million

    8. Sochi Live: Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle Final (Ten) 996,000

    9. 60 Minutes (Nine) – 866,000

    10. ABC (ABC1) – 790,000

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    18. So You Think You Can Dance Launch (Ten) 466,000

    * Source OzTAM

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Apr
17
  • Maguire happy with Keary-Reynolds combo

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    Michael Maguire has confirmed Luke Keary and Adam Reynolds will almost certainly be South Sydney’s halves pairing for the season opener against the Sydney Roosters on March 6.

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    The duo started against Canterbury in Sunday’s NRL 28-20 trial victory at the Belmore Sports Ground with Keary playing the full 80 minutes of a match that was played in four quarters.

    Keary, 22, made 10 appearances last year, nine of them off the bench, with his one start alongside Reynolds resulting in a 26-8 defeat to Melbourne in round 22.

    However, Maguire believes the two can form a partnership that can prosper in 2014 as the Rabbitohs look to win a first premiership since 1971.

    “I think young Luke and Adam did well together, they had some good combinations and controlled the game well in the first half,” Maguire said.

    “I think the hard work they have put in over pre-season was shown today and hopefully they will become better and better, but I was really pleased with how they went.”

    Maguire believes blooding Keary at the back end of last season will benefit him this year.

    “When Luke played with Reyno last year they did well and I made the decision in pre-season to go with him,” he said.

    “But I will go back and review the game and see where they can improve.”

    Maguire’s decision will force John Sutton to lock, but he denies it is a big risk to make changes given how successful his partnership has been with Reynolds since the halfback made his debut in 2012.

    “Sutto has spent plenty of time in pre-season playing through the middle but we can also move his back to the halves if we need to, with his experience,” he said.

    “But I am looking forward to the different options it gives us.”

    Souths will welcome back the Burgess brothers on Tuesday morning with the siblings returning from the UK on Monday evening following a family bereavement.

    Maguire refused to add to speculation about Sam Burgess making the move to English rugby despite signing a four-year deal with the club last year.

    He also denied the reports have been a distraction to his squad.

    “I don’t have any further to add about it,” he said.

    “All the focus has been about what we do on the field.”

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