3Kyle Whittingham2005Utah Utes 6Pat Fitzgerald2006Northwestern Wildcats 8Troy Calhoun2007Air Force Falcons While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. 8David Bailiff2007Rice Owls 3Mike Gundy2005Oklahoma State Cowboys 8Ken Niumatalolo2007Navy Midshipmen 3Frank Solich2005Ohio Bobcats 6Rick Stockstill2006Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders With the news that Bob Stoops is stepping down from OU this week, Mike Gundy has inched closer to being the longest-tenured college football head coach with the same team in the entire sport.He’s now tied for third on this list.Here are all the coaches who were hired in the year 2007 or earlier. Frank Solich was hired to Ohio in December 2004 but his first season was not until 2005. Same for Kyle Whittingham and Utah. Gundy was hired just after New Year’s 2005. 8Mark Dantonio2007Michigan State Spartans 8Nick Saban2007Alabama Crimson Tide RankCoachYearSchool 2Gary Patterson2000TCU Horned Frogs AdChoices广告It’s insane to me that Gundy, once thought to be a bit of a loose cannon in the sport (see: The Rant), has settled into being one of the most reliable, consistent forces in the coaching world. He has even talked about how he had to learn to not micromanage and become more of a CEO over the last decade plus.Even more impressive for both him and Gary Patterson is that despite the success they’ve had at not-Tier 1 schools, they’ve never left.The Stoops news is stunning, but I think it’s probably a preview of how Gundy is going to eventually exit Stillwater. It won’t be next year or the year after that, but after 15 or more seasons at the same place, you’re ready to do something different.For Stoops that is apparently buy up real estate in Chicago. For Gundy it will probably be as an Animal Planet host or sidekick to Guy Fieri in “Snake Eats 2” or something like that. 1Kirk Ferentz1999Iowa Hawkeyes
The 332 yards Oklahoma State gained on the ground were the 11th most since Mike Gundy has been coach, but that doesn’t begin to explain how majestic Thursday night’s rushing attack actually was.Oklahoma State hasn’t finished a game with 300 yards passing and 300 more on the ground in five years. In fact, it has only happened four times since 2000.The first part of that equation — the passing number — has been touched countless times. The Cowboys hit that mark six times just last season. As for the rushing attack, 300 yards has only been reached once in the past few years, and it was last year against TCU. As for the last time they were in unison, that was Sept. 15, 2012, against Louisiana Lafayette, the game Wes Lunt got hurt.AdChoices广告It has happened just 17 times in the Gundy era.Thursday night’s 59-24 masterclass of Tulsa in the Cowboys’ 2017 season-opener was rhythmic and dynamic. Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich had the offense moving quicker than it has in recent years, especially toward the beginning of the game. In fact, it was moving at almost record pace.There were stretches Justice Hill would take three straight carries and earn positive yardage each time. Yurcich had an excellent feel for the tempo and heat of the offense Thursday, which made the Cowboys — already oozing with talent — that much more dangerous.Mason Rudolph said the running game, led by Justice Hill, was great and that whether it was an up-tempo play or a more deliberate one, everything was in sync.“Blocked it well up front, and (I’m) really pleased,” Rudolph said. “Justice just looks different running. I don’t know if you guys saw, but he put on about 20 pounds, and he’s stronger.“Gosh, it’s pretty cool to watch him run and do his thing out there.”Hill himself said he doesn’t feel any different on the field running with it, no heavier than he was last year.“Just be able to break a little bit more tackles, and pass protection is a lot easier,” he said.The projected All-Big 12 sophomore said he was excited after his exceptional performance, and, yeah, that probably makes sense.This is … unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/ujZKendzvZ— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) August 31, 2017That looks like the trailer for a video game.He raked in 132 yards on just 15 carries. That’s 8.8 yards a pop. He toted in a well-earned touchdown, and made plays all night like the one above.Although when Hill talked with Kyle Boone, he said he was more excited for the guys who came in behind him.“I’m really more excited about J.D. (King) and LD (Brown),” Hill said. “They had some great runs.”Boy, that was a fact, and that is why Thursday evening’s assault on the ground was OSU’s best in recent memory. There was unexpected, completely ridiculous depth at a position that lost four of its top guys after last season.King looked Chris Carson-esque multiple times. He burst through the Tulsa defense at times, including what was for a brief time the longest Cowboy run since 2011 that he high-and-tighted in for a score. King was great. Even better than a lot of us thought he would be.As for King holding the longest run title for a “brief time,” Brown (the No. 3 running back) bested King’s 71 yards with a 73-yarder in the fourth quarter.“I liked what I saw from J.D. (King) from a standpoint of thinking he ran physically and protected the ball really well,” said Gundy. “He showed a little bit more burst in the open field than I thought he had. Then, LD (Brown) made a couple of plays and showed that he has the chance to run the ball a little bit. I thought we got some good play from those guys and blocked them pretty good at times.”Hill broke one for 32, and he said there are five guys who are responsible for the knee-grabbers.“It’s the offensive line,” Hill said. “All credit goes to them.”The offensive line look more like a dealership worth of Ford F-150s than five college kids. Gundy said he liked what he saw for the most part. As for the sack-fumble, Gundy said that wasn’t the hog mollies’ fault.“Mason caused his own sack, and the other time he got hit on the outcut that we scored on probably had a really good chance at being intercepted.”Gundy said a lot of the success in the run game came from the backs themselves though. He said in college football, you have to have skilled running backs who can make people miss. It seems OSU has at least three.“We just all push each other no matter what it is,” Hill said. “If it’s studying and watching extra film, we all gotta try to meet up here and do a little extra. If it’s on the field and one person breaks a long run, then another person wants to break a long run. Then if somebody runs somebody over, somebody else wants to run somebody over.”Hill said that’s just how it is, and it makes for great competition. Make for even better theatre, Justice. The numbers the running backs finished with were absurd.Given that Hill is a sophomore, King is a true freshman and Brown is a redshirt freshman, those numbers are eye-popping. And I understand the whole, “It was Tulsa …” argument, but Tulsa is a far cry from last year’s opening team, Southeastern Louisiana. Oklahoma State averaged 3.8 yards on the ground against that team. It averaged 9.0 on Thursday against a Tulsa team that won 10 games last year.As long as the F-150s hold up like they did Thursday and the bowling balls keep rolling toward the pins, the Cowboys should be in fine shape.“It’s gonna be a good year with all three of us,” Hill said.Yes … yes it is. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Because this is Glenn Spencer, of course, he had to toss in a warning about getting too high on his squad.“We have to get more disciplined in our pass rush lanes, all that’s correctable,” said Spencer. “Nothing schematically really hurt us at all. But it was just the effectiveness of their quarterback running the ball and losing contain a couple of times. (We) had a lot of tremendous stops out there though.”One misconception about Big 12 defense — Oklahoma State’s in particular — is that they have to be great on scoring defense. They don’t. They have to be good at limiting teams in points per drive and creating turnovers. OSU did both on Thursday, and they moved to 72-22 in the Gundy era when creating two or more turnovers on the defensive side.They also held Tulsa to 1.2 points per drive which is a startling number that, if it stays there, will have OSU talking College Football Playoffs deep into this fall. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. There were flaws on Oklahoma State’s defense on Thursday night against Tulsa, for sure. Its pass rush was not as good as you maybe would have hoped, it gave up 16 first downs on Tulsa’s 26 third-down attempts and it didn’t force a turnover in the first half.But defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said after the game that OSU did what it wanted to do against TU, and that was stop the run.TU running back D’Angelo Brewer averaged 5.2 and 5.4 yards per carry respectively over the last two years. He’s a stud, and was part of a 1-2 punch with James Flanders that finished Nos. 1 and 2 in the AAC in rushing yards. Tulsa averaged over five yards a carry in 2016 (No. 34 in the country).AdChoices广告On Thursday, Brewer averaged just 1.5 yards a carry and Tulsa as a team could muster just 4.1 (much of that coming on a fourth-quarter run of 55 yards after the game had long been decided).That’s a credit to Oklahoma State’s deep defensive front and speed at linebacker and in the secondary. Again, Tulsa, but OSU’s team speed seemed a tick or two higher than in years past. They will thrive if they create turnovers, as always, but it appears they’ll also be a little more forceful than normal this time around.“I was pleased at our run defense,” said head coach Mike Gundy after the game. “I thought that was very good and really set the tone for the game.”“We did great stopping the run, did a tremendous job,” added Spencer. “I don’t think they had anything on us. They had a 55-yarder but take that away and pretty good night with a team that fancies itself on running the ball.“That’s what our big concern was because they know how to run the ball effectively … it was impressive how we did against the run game.”
Manchester City Guardiola dismisses Man City contract extension claims Matt Dorman 22:57 9/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Manchester City Premier League Stoke City v Manchester City Stoke City Guardiola Rumours had spread that the Catalan coach was on the verge of signing a new deal, rumours he has flatly denied Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has rubbished speculation suggesting he could sign a contract extension in the coming weeks.Recent reports in Spain claimed Guardiola’s agent, Josep Maria Orobitg, had flown to Manchester to complete the negotiations.But the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss, whose initial three-year contract started in 2016, flatly denied the rumour that a deal new is imminent. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp City would understandably be eager to tie down the 47-year-old as he looks to guide the Premier League leaders to a hat-trick of trophies this season.”Sometimes journalists receive bad information,” Guardiola said on Friday.”My agent is not in town. Was not, is not, will not be in town for the next six weeks.”Guardiola’s side visit struggling Stoke City on Monday as they seek to mount an immediate response to Wednesday’s surprise, albeit inconsequential, Champions League loss to Basel.Raheem Sterling and Fernandinho could both return from hamstring injuries, while Fabian Delph is also in contention to feature at bet365 Stadium.”Some of the players are better. Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling are much better,” Guardiola said.”We have one or two training sessions until the game. We are going to decide on Sunday. Fabian Delph is [uncertain].”The players are off today so I do not know the exact situation.”David Silva is expected to be in the squad after missing the Basel match for personal reasons. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1: Rashford double secures huge victory Tom Webber Last updated 1 year ago 22:24 10/3/2018 Getty Images Manchester United increased their grip on second position in the Premier League by beating Liverpool courtesy of Marcus Rashford’s double. Marcus Rashford emphatically marked his return to Manchester United’s starting XI with a double in a huge 2-1 Premier League victory over rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday.In the line-up for the first time since Boxing Day as Jose Mourinho made three changes with Paul Pogba ruled out through injury, Rashford scored a first-half brace to boost United’s hopes of finishing second to runaway leaders Manchester City.The England international ended a run of 10 Premier League matches without a goal to send United five points clear of third-placed Liverpool in the 200th competitive meeting between the sides, though Tottenham could close to within four by beating Bournemouth on Sunday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Jurgen Klopp made five alterations to the side that secured progression to the Champions League quarter-finals against Porto on Tuesday, with Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold reinforcing the defence, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mohamed Salah returned further up the pitch.But that backline was bullied by Romelu Lukaku, who proved a magnet for the long balls from which he helped create Rashford’s goals – the first of which came after a delightful change of direction in the 14th minute.An own goal from Eric Bailly on his first start since November having been sidelined with a knee injury gave Liverpool hope during an improved second-half display, but the Red Devils held on for a potentially crucial victory.FULL-TIME Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool@MarcusRashford inspires the Red Devils to an excellent victory at Old Trafford #MUNLIV pic.twitter.com/I4wrNBlL7i— Premier League (@premierleague) March 10, 2018Klopp on Friday said the clash was not “an attacking team against a defending team” but that was exactly how the opening stages played out, with United sitting back and Liverpool controlling possession.It was the hosts who took the lead, though. David de Gea’s goal-kick was flicked on to Rashford by Lukaku, and he brilliantly chopped inside of Alexander-Arnold and fired inside the far post.Gooallll @ManUtd— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) March 10, 2018Van Dijk wasted a glorious chance to equalise in the 23rd minute, his shoulder rather than head connecting with a corner from James Milner – wearing the captain’s armband as Jordan Henderson sat out with a dead leg – as he missed the target from inside the six-yard box.United made the most of that reprieve by doubling their advantage just 62 seconds later, again from a long pass from deep.Van Dijk’s challenge on Juan Mata after brilliant work from Lukaku inadvertently sent the ball to Rashford, who guided it beyond an out-of-position Loris Karius with the help of a nick off Alexander-Arnold.It should have been three when Alexis Sanchez picked out the unmarked Mata in the middle of the area before half-time, but the Spain international sent his overhead kick wide.1984 – Manchester United have not lost a league game at Old Trafford that they have been leading at half-time since May 7th 1984 (1-2 vs Ipswich Town). Dominant. #MUNLIV pic.twitter.com/6aniDqx1ne— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 10, 2018Liverpool stepped up a gear after the restart and saw penalty claims for Ashley Young’s foul on Salah and a handball by Antonio Valencia turned down by referee Craig Pawson.They were rewarded in the 66th minute when Sadio Mane beat Scott McTominay for pace down the left and sent in a cross that Bailly approached with the wrong foot and sent into the back of his own net.There were boos when Mourinho replaced Rashford with Marouane Fellaini to add an extra body in midfield with 20 minutes remaining, and the Belgium international was fortunate not to concede a penalty when he sent Mane to ground.Klopp sent on Georginio Wijnaldum and Dominic Solanke as Liverpool fought to restore parity, but Salah sliced a wild volley over in the sixth minute of stoppage time as United held on for a third successive league win.Key Opta Stats:- Manchester United defeated Liverpool for the 68th time in league competition; this is the most defeats that Liverpool have suffered against a single side.- United have won four of their eight games against fellow ‘big six’ sides in the Premier League this season (W4 D1 L3), twice as many as they managed in the whole of last season (W2 D4 L4).- Liverpool have won only one of their seven Premier League games on the weekends immediately following playing a Champions League game this season (W1 D4 L2).- United have won 20 of their 30 Premier League games this season, already surpassing their totals in both 2016-17 (18) and 2015-16 (19) and equalling their number of league wins in 2014-15 (20).- Only United (67) have profited from more own goals in the Premier League than Liverpool (58).- Manchester United had just two shots on target in this match – both of which were scored by Marcus Rashford.- He has scored seven of his 16 Premier League goals against teams in the ‘big six’ (44%).- Romelu Lukaku now has seven Premier League assists this season; more than he has in any previous campaign. read more
Manchester United 1 Sevilla 2 (1-2 agg): Ben Yedder brace dumps Mourinho’s men out Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 05:37 14/3/2018 Getty Images Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League after Sevilla won 2-1 at Old Trafford thanks to Wissam Ben Yedder. Wissam Ben Yedder came off the bench to score the decisive goals as Sevilla moved into the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a stunning 2-1 away win at Manchester United.At a restless Old Trafford, United never got out of first gear and Sevilla, having dominated the opening leg at home without finding a way to beat David de Gea in a goalless draw, deservedly progressed.When Ben Yedder came off the bench with less than 20 minutes to play, the game was finely balanced with both sides aware the first goal would be decisive. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp And it proved to be the case as Ben Yedder made an immediate impact, collecting a pass from Ever Banega to smash in a low finish.With United reeling, Ben Yedder soon added his eighth goal of this season’s Champions League, De Gea unable to claw out the striker’s looping header.Jose Mourinho had already played his trump card, bringing on Paul Pogba, who was only fit enough for the bench, and United stumbled to a shock home defeat despite Romelu Lukaku sparking a grandstand finish.FT: @ManUtd 1-2 #SevillaFCDREAMS COME TRUE IN MANCHESTER!!! AFTER 60 YEARS WE ARE IN THE QUARTER-FINALS OF THE @ChampionsLeague #vamosmisevilla #UCL pic.twitter.com/jdQ1TjCra9— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) March 13, 2018Lukaku blazed wide in the second minute after a smart one-two with Jesse Lingard created an early opportunity for United.Joaquin Correa flashed a near-post header narrowly over the crossbar from Banega’s left-wing corner, with Luis Muriel then wasteful after Eric Bailly’s sloppy pass played Sevilla in.Muriel dragged another decent opening wide of the far post after Pablo Sarabia sent the winger through on goal, with Sevilla dominating the opening half-hour.United finally worked a clear opening in the 38th minute, a powerful drive from Marouane Fellaini beaten away by Sergio Rico after Alexis Sanchez turned a one-two into the path of the Belgium international, who was making his first start of 2018.49 – Ever Banega completed 49 of his 52 passes in the first half, at least 21 more than any Manchester United player. Dreamer. pic.twitter.com/CDViEmCTVl— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 13, 2018Bailly’s superbly-timed challenge denied Correa in the box, then Rico had to make a smart save down to his right to turn a snapshot from Jesse Lingard around the post.With United lacking tempo on the ball and invention in midfield, Mourinho turned to Pogba on the hour-mark, the midfielder replacing Fellaini.United continued to be sloppy on the ball, Pogba curling a 72nd-minute effort narrowly wide, but it was a Sevilla substitute who came up with the opener.Ben Yedder had been on the pitch just 87 seconds when he controlled a smart pass from Banega, took a touch to steady himself and drilled a fine finish inside De Gea’s left-hand post.Before United could respond it was 2-0 and game over, chaotic defending allowing Ben Yedder to divert a goalbound header that a desperate De Gea was unable to stop crossing the line.19 – Wissam Ben Yedder has scored 19 goals in all comps this season, only Fekir & Griezmann (21) have scored more among the French players of the Top 5 European Leagues. Timely.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 13, 2018Lukaku sparked a late fightback by turning in a Marcus Rashford corner but United could not match Sevilla’s clinical edge in front of goal.De Gea denied Ben Yedder his hat-trick in added time, but it mattered little as Vincenzo Montella celebrated having masterminded a famous victory for his side. Key Opta Facts:- Including the 2011 final, Manchester United have only won one of their last nine Champions League knockout games (D3 L5).- After progressing from the last 16 in five successive seasons – United have now been eliminated at this stage in two of their last three Champions League campaigns (2012-13 and 2017-18).- This was the first defeat of a Premier League club by a La Liga club in the Champions League in 2017-18, at the ninth attempt (two wins for PL clubs, six draws).- Sevilla are just the third side to score 2+ goals at Old Trafford against United under Jose Mourinho (Manchester City, twice and Burnley).- Sevilla attempted 21 shots in this match – the most that Manchester United have allowed an opposition side at Old Trafford in a competitive match since Real Madrid attempted 22 in March 2013 (Champions League).- In fact, Manchester City are the only other side to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford in Mourinho’s tenure at the club (1-2 in September 2016 and 1-2 in December 2017).- David de Gea has conceded more goals in this match (2) than in his previous five Champions League games this season (1).- Wissam Ben Yedder’s first goal was the fastest scored by a substitute in the Champions League this season (87 seconds). read more
Primera División Is the BBC dead? Benzema & Bale now mere supporting actors on Real’s Ronaldo show Ben Hayward Last updated 1 year ago 17:15 17/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(8) Getty Primera División Cristiano Ronaldo Gareth Bale Karim Benzema Real Madrid v Girona Real Madrid Girona Opinion Only one member of Los Blancos’ famous forward line is fully firing right now and with changes likely in the summer, the trident could soon be history Zinedine Zidane was crystal clear. When he took over from Rafa Benitez as Real Madrid coach in January 2016, the Frenchman would not reveal his preferred players for the starting line-up, but he was happy to announce one thing. “The idea is to play with the three in attack,” he said.Those three were Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo. Or as they are more commonly referred to by fans, the media and pundits in Spain, the BBC (taking, of course, one letter from each name: Bale, Benzema, Cristiano).These days, however, the trident is not what it was. Injury problems for Bale in particular meant the three rarely featured together last season and in January of this year, they all appeared on the pitch in unison for the first time in 273 days. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp In total, they had not featured in the same side for 43 consecutive games. And even in last season’s Champions League final when Bale came on as subsitute, it was in place of Benzema.The Welsh winger and the French forward have suffered from injuries and a dip in form again in the current campaign and have both been booed by fans at the Santiago Bernabeu. Meanwhile, Spanish sports paper AS has taken to writing bbC (and not BBC), with the initial of only Cristiano considered worthy of a capital letter.The first match they all started together this term was a 4-1 win away to Valencia, a result that brought plenty of optimism. However, they have only started four fixtures since: a 2-2 draw at Levante, a 4-0 win at home to Alaves, a 3-1 success against Getafe and last weekend’s 2-1 victory at Eibar.The Alaves game was the highlight as the three scored, doing so all together in the same match for the first time since April 2016 as Ronaldo handed the ball to Benzema for the Frenchman to convert a last-minute penalty.Earlier, Ronaldo had netted twice and Bale had also hit the target, with Benzema assisting twice before his late strike. It was a reminder of just how effective the three can be when all are on song.However, it is not really a trident any more because Zidane plays 4-4-2 and even against Alaves, Bale was deployed as a left winger in a four-man midfield, with Benzema and Ronaldo up front.And in the two Champions league last-16 clashes against Paris Saint-Germain recently, Bale was left on the bench both times, while Benzema often seems to get the nod because he is the club’s only senior centre-forward.”It’s true that Benzema isn’t scoring a lot, but he gives us other things,” Zidane said last week. “I’m positive and I believe the goals will come. And with Gareth there is nothing – he is a fundamental player for us.”However, Madrid will be targeting a new striker in the summer, with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski one possibility, while Neymar and Eden Hazard are also likely to be transfer targets.None of that is much concern to Ronaldo, who is back to his best with 14 goals already this year. But Benzema and Bale are merely supporting actors for the Portuguese these days – and the BBC could soon be a thing of the past at Real Madrid.
This is hands-down the best viral video I’ve seen for marketing to Moms, courtesy of my friend Katita. It’s enough to make you want to drink a Zima. It is a very clever attempt at rebranding for my demographic.
World Cup Uruguay vs Russia: Live blog, text commentary, line-ups, stream & TV channel Ryan Kelly Last updated 1 year ago 21:15 6/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty World Cup Uruguay v Russia Russia Uruguay Powerade The hosts take on the well drilled South American outfit in a game that will help to decide their fate in the last 16, with Spain or Portugal waiting Uruguay and Russia will now have their eyes firmly set in this evening’s final fixtures in Group B, as they will face off against one of those nations. Portugal and Spain look to be the most likely teams they will face but Iran still have the chance of causing an upset.Uruguay were too good for Russia in the end and a 3-0 victory ensures La Celeste advance to the round of 16 with a 100% record from the group stages. The host nation struggled to deal with Uruguay’s two star strikers and know that this may be just the beginning of their challenges, as fierce competitors await in the knockout stages.FULL-TIME: URUGUAY 3-0 RUSSIA Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar 90+3 mins: Third and final change for Uruguay, as Cavani is replaced by Gomez.90+3 mins: All five of Uruguay’s World Cup goals in 2018 have come via set-pieces.90+1 mins: We are into four minutes of added time.90 mins: GOAL! 3-0 Uruguay! Cavani finally gets his goal! The corner is whipped into a dangerous area and Godin rises highest to head at goal. Akinfeev makes a strong save but Cavani is there to tuck away the rebound.90 mins: SAVE! Rodriguez strikes a dierce shot from outside the box towards the top right corner but Akinfeev dives to superbly tip the ball over the bar.88 mins: Free-kick to Russia in a decent position but Samedov delivery is wasted yet again, firing too hard and straight behind Muslera’s goal.86 mins: OVER! Cavani just cannot get his goal! He weaves his way through the defenders in the box but sees his effort deflected over the bar.85 mins: A huge waste for Russia! Smolov surges down the left side and does brilliantly to make room but his low ball back across the face of goal is pounced on by Muslera.84 mins: WIDE! De Arrascaeta fires a corner towards the edge of the six-yard box, where Caceres misjudges his jump and flicks a header wide of the target.82 mins: SAVE! Rodriguez tries to beat Akinfeev from distance but his swerving effort is kept out.80 mins: WASTED! A huge chance for Cavani to open his account in Russia! The ball is sloppily given away to the Paris Saint-Germain star, who feeds a pass through to Suarez before it is cut back across the face of goal in his direction. However, he fails to get on the end of it.78 mins: Torreira has been fantastic today but requires some treatment after receiving a hit on his leg. Thankfully, he looks to be able to continue and is back on the field.76 mins: Neither Russia, or the fans in the crowd, have let their head drop despite the scoreline. The carnival atmosphere in Samara continues and there is still time for the hosts to grab a goal.74 mins: WASTED! Muslera sloppily concedes possesion and Russia break. Dzyuba cuts back onto his left foot and slices a shot well off target.73 mins: Uruguay make their second change of the game, bringing on Rodriguez for Nandez.71 mins: Dzyuba is down in the box after a coming together with Godin and VAR is on action to ensure there was no infringement. There was contact between the arm of the Atletico Madrid defender and the Russia striker but it was certainly unintentional.69 mins: Cavani, still without a goal at the tournament, drives inside from the left but drags his shot beyond Akinfeev’s right-hand post.68 mins: Uruguay, knowing their work is almost done, have taken their foot off the gas as Godin strikes an ambitious effort well wide of the target. 66 mins: Russia continue to put the Uruguay defence under significant pressure but they are unable to find room for a shot and Muslera remains unthreatened on his 100th cap.64 mins: Cavani picks up Nandez’s pass inside the area and tumbles to ground, appealing for a penalty, but neither the referee or VAR are interested in his appeals.63 mins: Uruguay make their first change of the game, replacing Bentancur with De Arrascaeta.62 mins: Stanislav Cherchesov is on the edge of his technical area urging the fans in Samara to keep making lots of noise, as Russia enjoy a decent period of possession.60 mins: Russia make their third and final change, bringing on Smolov for Miranchuk.58 mins: Russia are showing they have the capacity to cause Uruguay problems when they push forward but the lack of creativity, with Cheryshev substituted off and Golovin on the bench, is limiting their ability in the final third.56 mins: Fernandes is quick to pounce on a loose ball but Miranchuk fails to get on the end of his pace through and a golden opportunity for Russia is wasted.54 mins: Better from Russia down the right side but Kuzyaev is unable to keep the ball in play.52 mins: Russia have not got going in the final third and the departure of Cheryshev in the first half will have certainly affected that. Uruguay, meanwhile, look to be in the mood.50 mins: Russia are playing with a much more contained style in the opening stages of the second period, looking to limit Uruguay’s threat moving forward, but Suarez and Cavani are still finding room to work with.48 mins: Cavani smashes an early free-kick into the wall as Uruguay begin the second period with the same sort of dominance we saw in the opening 45 minutes.46 mins: KICK-OFF! Back underway for the second half in Samara.46 mins: Russia start the second half by making a change, replacing Gazinskiy with Kuzyaev.Uruguay have not created too much but they have taken their chances in the first half. Suarez opened the scoring with a superb free-kick, before was unfortunate to deflect a Laxalt shot into his own net. Things got worst for the hosts when Smolnikov earned his marching orders for a second yellow card, reducing Russia to 10 men.HALF TIME: URUGUAY 2-0 RUSSIA45+1 mins: We have entered two added minutes at the end of the first half.44 mins: Uruguay are taking a breather with the ball to escape the heat and look set to advance through to the round of 16 as group winners. There is still another half to play but Russia have not done enough in the final third.42 mins: Russia’s heads have understandably dropped and Uruguay are knocking the ball around comfortably, benefitting from the extra space.40 mins: Uruguay have not created many clear-cut opportunities but should now be able to with Russia down to 10 men. It was surprising to see Cheryshev taken off though, as he has been the host’s best player throughout the tournament.38 mins: Russia respond by making a substitution, introducing Fernandes in place of Cheryshev.36 mins: RED CARD! The game gets worse for Russia! Smolnikov lunges in on Laxalt and earns a second yellow card.35 mins: Heading into the final ten minutes of the half and Russia look to be increasingly frustrated. The hosts look like they would benefit from a half-time break.33 mins: Russia need to keep strong defensively before the break, as a third goal for Uruguay would put them in firm control.31 mins: Uruguay have scored two goals in the first half of a World Cup game for the first time since 1966 against France.30 mins: Russia increasingly exposed defensively as Suarez breaks through on goal but fantastic recovery from Iganashevich prevents the Barcelona man from trying for a second goal.28 mins: Smolnikov earns the game’s second booking after clattering into Cavani on the halfway line.28 mins: SAVE! The game is now opening up more for Uruguay, who come close to a third. Bentancur tries to tuck the ball through the legs of Akinfeev but the Russia stopper saves it, before the defence clear their lines.25 mins: Uruguay’s second goal may now knock the stuffing out of Russia and the hosts need to ensure they remain in the game edging towards half time. The support from the stands is still as magnificent as ever though.23 mins: GOOOAL! 2-0 Uruguay! The corner is headed away but only as far as Laxalt, who strikes an effort towards Akinfeev’s goal that takes a major deflection off Cheryshev – leaving the Russia goalkeeper with no chance.22 mins: Another set-piee opportunity for Uruguay, this time on the right. Torreira is the man to take, whipping a ball in towards Cavani, but Dzyuba clears the ball away for a corner.20 mins: The atmosphere in Samara sounds absolutely electric. Both sets of supporters have not been put off by the scorching heat.18 mins: Russia have certainly not been put off by conceding the opening goal, they are still playing on the front foot and remain looking confident.16 mins: Torreira, widely reported to be joining Arsenal after the World Cup, has impressed in the opening exchanges by sitting in front of the Uruguay defence and mopping up any danger that comes his way.14 mins: Suarez’s free-kick was the 6th direct free-kick goal at this years World Cup, surpassing the 2014 total of 5.13 mins: SAVE! Dzyuba heads the ball down to Cheryshev, who smashes at goal and forces Muslera into a save.12 mins: Russia have a free-kick in an attacking position on the right, allowing Cheryshev to deliver. He whips it towards the near post and Torreira scrambles the ball away.10 mins: GOOOOAL! Uruguay take the lead! Suarez steps up and drills a fantastic free-kick into the bottom right-hand corner, beyond the reach of Akinfeev. A fantastic finish and a goal that sends Uruguay top of the group as things stand.9 mins: Gazinskiy clatters into Bentancur on the edge of the box after Uruguay hit on the counter, earning the defender a yellow card.8 mins: The World Cup hosts are also attacking very quickly when they pick up the ball, not allowing Uruguay to set themselves defensively.6 mins: Russia have come out of the blocks flying and are showing plenty of willingness to attack, not allowing Uruguay time on the ball to build from the back.4 mins: Cavani is on the receiving end of a clattering but fair tackle and is furious with the challenge, earning a warning from the referee.2 mins: WIDE! Vecino surges forward from midfield and strikes for goal from distance but it bounces wide of the mark.1 min: KICK-OFF! We’re underway in Samara, where Russia get us started.10 mins until KO: Russia have won six of their eight meetings against Uruguay. La Celeste last beat Russia at the 1970 World Cup.Russia make three changes to the side that defeated Egypt, including dropping Golovin to the bench as he is on a yellow card. Smolnikov, Kudryashov and Miranchuk all come in. Cheryshev has been the star of the show for the hosts so far, netting three goals in two matches.15 mins until KO: Uruguay make four changes to the side that defeated Saudi Arabia, with Coates, Nandez, Laxalt and Torreira all starting. Varela, Sanchez and Rodriguez drop out, while Jose Gimenez misses out through injury. Muslera earns his 100th cap for Uruguay between the sticks.Russia subs: Andrey Lunev, Vladimir Gabulov, Daler Kuzyaev, Vladimir Granat, Aleksandr Golovin, Fedor Smolov, Andrey Semenov, Aleksandr Erokhin, Mario Fernandes, Yuri Zhirkov, Anton Miranchuk.Uruguay subs: Martin Campana, Martin Silva, Cristian Rodriguez, Maxi Gomez, Guillermo Varela, Cristhian Stuani, Giorgan de Arrascaeta, Carlos Sanchez, Gaston Silva, Jonathan Urretaviscaya, Maxi Pereira.Russia XI: Igor Akinfeev; Igor Smolnikov, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Fedor Kudryashov; Roman Zobnin, Yuri Gazinskiy; Aleksandr Samedov, Aleksey Miranchuk, Denis Cheryshev; Artem Dzyuba.Uruguay XI: Fernando Muslera; Sebastian Coates, Diego Godin, Martin Caceres; Lucas Torreira; Nahitan Nandez, Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Diego Laxalt; Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani.Uruguay have only managed to score twice so far this tournament, despite their devastating attack, and there is certainly more to come from La Celeste. Luis Suarez has not managed to grab the headlines so far, although with his track record that may be a good thing, but Oscar Tabarez will certainly hope to see more from the Barcelona man.30 mins until KO: The group stages come to a close this week and Russia have certainly been one of the surprise packages so far at the World Cup. Heading into today’s match, the host nation hold a much superior goal difference to Uruguay and know a draw will be enough for them to finish top. If they taste defeat, they will drop to second.45 mins until KO: Hello and welcome to live text commentary of the Group A match between Uruguay and Russia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.Squads & Team News Confirmed Uruguay XI: Muslera; Coates, Godin, Caceres, Laxalt; Nandez, Torreira, Bentancur, Vecino; Suarez, CavaniUruguay subs: Silva, Campana, Varela, Pereira, Silva, Sanchez, Rodriguez, Urretaviscaya, De Arrascaeta, Gomez, StuaniConfirmed Russia XI: Akinfeev; Smolnikov, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Kudryashov; Gazinskiy, Zobnin, Samedov, Miranchuk, Cheryshev; DzyubaRussia subs: Fernandes, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Smolov, Lunev, Granat, An Miranchuk, Golovin, Zhirkov, Gabulov, ErokhinTV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream FOX / Telemundo fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on BBC or streamed live online using the ITV Player. UK TV channel Online stream ITV One ITV Player
World Cup Iceland vs Croatia: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview Goal Last updated 1 year ago 14:00 6/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Getty World Cup Iceland v Croatia Croatia Iceland Powerade Iceland face an uphill battle in beating Croatia in their final group stage game who have already qualified for the last 16 phase Croatia make it three wins out of three and top Group D with nine points, they will now face Denmark in the next round. Argentina sealed the second spot with that late goal against Nigeria. Iceland finish bottom of Group D with just one point, which they picked up in the first game against Argentina.Iceland put in a terrific performance but they came just short, with Croatia showing their quality late on. Badelj put Croatia ahead midway through the first half, a great half volley after missing a good chance just moments earlier. Sigurdsson then leveled the scoreline shortly after with a penalty, following Lovren’s handball in the box. Iceland continued to press for another goal, a late Argentina goal gave them hope of securing qualification with one more goal. However, Croatia nicked all three points late on, after a superb strike by Perisic.FULL-TIME: ICELAND 1-2 CROATIA Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar 90+3 mins: Iceland are still going for it here, they haven’t given up on scoring another goal and are trying everything. However, time is really running out.90+1 mins: There will be a minimum of four minutes added time.90 mins: GOALLL! CROATIA LEAD 2-1! Perisic with a late goal to surely win it for Croatia. They worked it well, with Perisic powering the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle, giving the keeper no chance. Excellent finish.Badelj won the ball back in midfield, looked up and spotted Perisic making a good run behind the Iceland defence and he picked him out perfectly.SUB! Third and final Iceland substitution, with Bjarnason replaced by Traustason.88 mins: Argentina now lead against Nigeria! Iceland just need to find one goal to win this game and they can qualify for the next round.86 mins: Not long left to play now, can Iceland nick a late winner and possibly clinch the runner-ups spot in Group D? They need a goal.85 mins: SUB! Another Iceland substitution, with Alfred Finnbogason replaced up front by Albert Gudmundsson.84 mins: YELLOW! Saevarsson is the latest player to be shown a yellow card, after bringing Perisic down around 30 yards out from goal.83 mins: YELLOW! Tin Jedvaj is shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Gudmundsson. Free-kick to Iceland deep inside the Croatia half, with Sigurdsson standing over it… Well punched away by Kalinic.82 mins: SUB! Final Croatia change, Mateo Kovačić is replaced by Ivan Rakitić.80 mins: Fantastic support in the Rostov Arena by the Iceland supporters, they are really getting behind their side, urging them forward. An Argentina goal in St Petersburg, will put them through, or if they can score two more goals against Croatia, that would also do it.78 mins: SUB! Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson attempted just three shots in his last game against Nigeria, with his first two shots landing on target in the first six minutes, and his other shot missing the target from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute.76 mins: GOALLL! Iceland are level, it’s 1-1! Gylfi Sigurdsson powers the ball straight into the back of the net, giving Kalinic no chance. The Everton man picked up the ball straight away, despite missing a penalty for Iceland in the previous game against Nigeria.74 mins: ICELAND PENALTY! The referee has awarded Iceland a penalty after the ball strikes the hand of a Croatia defender deep in the box.72 mins: What a chance! Iceland with a huge opportunity to get back into this game. Finnbogason breaks down the right, beating the offside trap and sprints towards the penalty area, with plenty of team-mates racing to get up there in support of him. The striker plays a great low ball across the penalty area to Bjarnason at the far post, he has a tap-in if he gets it right. However, it’s a tired effort and he fires it wide.71 mins: Here is the first Iceland change of the evening, with Ragnar Sigurdsson coming off and he has been replaced by Sigurdarson.69 mins: It looks like Iceland are now going to make a change or two of their own. They are still in this game, they look a threat going forward but Croatia are defending well in numbers.SUB! First, we have another Croatia change, with Marko Pjaca coming off and he has been replaced by Liverpool defender, Dejan Lovren.67 mins: Decent effort. Sigurdsson works his way into the area, but is forced slightly wide after getting past Pivaric, he then fires high over the crossbar.65 mins: SUB! Croatia make the first substitution of the game, with Luka Modric coming off the pitch and he has been replaced by Filip Bradaric.64 mins: Finnbogason slides in late on Kalinic, trying to get on the end of a deep pass into the penalty area. However the Croatia keeper got there first and the Iceland striker clattered into him.63 mins: Croatia have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four World Cup games, as many as they had in their previous 12 in the competition.61 mins: It’s now 1-1 in the other game in Group D between Nigeria and Argentina, so as it stands Nigeria will be the other team going through to the knockout stages with Croatia.59 mins: SUB! Hallfredsson is shown a yellow card after a late challenge on Pjaca.56 mins: CROSSBAR! Even closer from Iceland now. It’s Ingason once again, this time it comes from a corner, smacking the ball against the bar this time and over. So close. This is a really positive response from Iceland.55 mins: CLOSE! Almost an immediate response from Iceland. Ingason came up from the back for another long throw-in, he gets his head to the ball and it needs pushing over the bar by Kalinic.53 mins: GOALLL! Croatia lead 1-0! Badelj who went close just moments ago, now gets the ball in the back of the net. Modric moves the ball out to the left, it’s crossed into the middle where Badelj takes it on the bounce and fires it on the half-volley, powering it into the back of the net and leaving Halldorsson with no chance.51 mins: OFF THE CROSSBAR! Great strike by Badelj which takes a slight deflection off Ragnar Sigurdsson as it strikes the crossbar and goes out for a corner. Wonderful strike.50 mins: Croatia have already guaranteed their place in the World Cup knockout stages, just their second appearance. They’ve never finished top in the group stage, finishing in second place when qualifying in 1998.48 mins: Iceland have started the second half well, just as they finished the first half, showing attacking intent. Hallfredsson wins a corner off Jedvaj, but Sigurdsson’s delivery is cleared to safety.46 mins: The second half is underway!Croatia started the game well, dominating possession with Modric constantly on the ball in midfield and dictating play. However, they have faded as they game went on, losing concentration and playing sloppy passes which is certainly giving Iceland confidence, perhaps all those Croatia changes have had a negative effect as they are struggling to get going here. It’s still all to play for in Group D.It’s goalless at the break here, but Iceland have had a couple of chances to break the deadlock, but they are just lacking a clinical finish in the final third. The best opportunities coming towards the end of the half, with Gunnarsson and Finnbogason going close with long range efforts.HALF-TIME: ICELAND 0-0 CROATIA45+2 mins: SAVE! Gunnarsson fires a curling effort towards goal after excellent build-up play by Iceland. Kalinic makes a superb diving save to deny the Iceland skipper, tipping the ball around the post and out for a corner.45 mins: There will be a minimum of two minutes of added time played.42 mins: The Iceland supporters are making plenty of noise in the stadium, they are really getting behind their side and it’s working at the moment. They are well on top, just lacking a clinical final pass.40 mins: GREAT CHANCE! Iceland go close to opening the scoring, as Finnbogason fires an effort towards goal from 30 yards out, which whistles narrowly past the Croatia goal, rippling the side netting. Best opportunity of the game so far.38 mins: Not long left to play in this first half, can either side break the deadlock before the break? Iceland certainly look the more likely of the two sides at the moment.36 mins: Iceland’s only previous victory against Croatia came in the qualifying stages for this tournament, drawing one and losing four otherwise.34 mins: Good effort! A well worked Iceland corner almost leads to a chance at goal. Magnusson peels off at the far post, chests the ball down to Bjarnason who has his shot blocked.33 mins: Croatia have taken their eye off the ball in the past 10 minutes or so, sloppy in possession and Iceland are really taking advantage, they look the stronger team and are seeing plenty of the ball in the Croatia half.31 mins: CHANCE ICELAND! Iceland with a free-kick in a good shooting position, Gylfi Sigurdsson fired it towards goal and it almost sneaked into the bottom corner. However, Kalinic read the effort well and managed to gather the ball.30 mins: We’re midway through the first half now and Iceland are the team on top at the moment. It’s a very good little spell after having to chase the ball for much of the opening 15 minutes of the game. Can they make it count.28 mins: Another chance for Magnusson! Iceland had a corner, it was whipped towards the defender who rose above his marker and powered a header towards goal, but he couldn’t keep it down and it flies over the crossbar.27 mins: Iceland chance! Gunnarsson with a trademark long throw-in, deep inside the Croatia penalty area and it causes a few problems. Magnusson manages to flick the ball on at the near post and two teammates at the far post almost get to it. Luckily for Croatia, the ball drifts out of play.25 mins: The two goalkeepers have barely touched the ball so far tonight, there hasn’t been much quality in the final third by either side.24 mins: Iceland certainly look dangerous on the counter attack, Croatia have played a few sloppy passes in the last few minutes and it’s giving Iceland a real boost.23 mins: Iceland are looking to become the first World Cup debutants to make the knockout stages of a World Cup tournament since Slovakia in 2010.21 mins: In the other game in Group D, Argentina have just taken the lead against Nigeria, with Lionel Messi scoring for his side. As it stands the two-time winners are going through, but an Iceland goal would change all that.19 mins: Perisic gets his first chance to run at Saevarsson down the left wing, the winger drills a low ball into the box which is cut out by Iceland and Croatia have the first corner of the game. However, Iceland defend the set piece well and manage to clear the danger.18 mins: Bjarnason is now back on the pitch for Iceland, he looks to have overcome the knock and he is once again involved in the action.16 mins: No chances for either side yet, we haven’t had any shots at goals. Croatia still look the more likely to score as they are controlling possession, but the pace of the game is slow at the moment.14 mins: YELLOW! The first yellow card of the game is shown to Marko Pjaca, for the aerial clash with Bjarnason. The Iceland midfielder will need further treatment off the pitch to stop the blood pouring from his nose. It doesn’t look good for the Aston Villa man.13 mins: We have a break in play here, as Bjarnason is down receiving medical treatment following a clash with Pjaca.12 mins: Iceland look happy to let Croatia have most of the possession, it’s all in front of them at the moment and in the middle of the pitch so not really troubling the Icelanders. However, as soon as they get near their final third, they are increasing the pressure and once they win the ball back they are trying to break quickly on the counter attack.10 mins: Iceland and Croatia met in World Cup 2018 qualifying – both sides winning their home fixtures (Croatia 2-0 and Iceland 1-0).8 mins: Half-chance for Iceland. They shift the ball out to the right through Hallfredsson over to Sigurdsson, who drifts past Pivaric. The Everton midfielder drills a good low cross into the box which Finnbogason almost gets on the end of, but Corluka manages to deal with it and clear the danger.6 mins: It will be interesting to see how Iceland approach the game tonight, they know they need to beat Croatia tonight but how long will they wait to try and break the deadlock. Any gaps left at the back whilst venturing forward could be punished by this dangerous Croatia side.4 mins: Croatia have settled nicely into the game, they are dominating possession at the moment with Modric seeing plenty of touches on the ball and controlling the midfield.2 mins: The large number of Croatian changes could play into the hands of Iceland tonight, as many of these players haven’t had many minutes in the World Cup so far. However, these players may also be hoping to impress their manager in search of a starting spot in the knockout game.1 min: We’re underway!HERE WE GO…The teams are out on the pitch and the anthems are underway, it’s almost time for the game to start!Croatia will win the group if they pick up at least a point, or if they lose and Nigeria fail to win. Iceland will qualify for the next round if they win and Argentina win, as long as they both win by the same margin. Iceland need to make sure they have scored more group goals then Argentina. They could also qualify if Nigeria and Argentina draw, as long as they beat Croatia and they score two goals tonight. A little complicated.This will be the seventh different meeting between Iceland and Croatia but the first in a major tournament, with all of their previous encounters coming in World Cup qualifiers.Meanwhile Dalic Zlatko has made nine changes to his Croatia side for this final group game, from the team that beat Argentina 3-0 only two players keep their place, they are Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic.Iceland have made three changes as they look to bounce back from their disappointing 2-0 defeat to Nigeria for tonight’s must-win game with Croatia. Johann Gudmundsson is the most notable change, he replaces Rurik Gislason in midfield. Meanwhile Sverrir Ingason and Emil Hallfredsson feature, replacing Kari Arnason, and Jon Bodvarsson.CROATIA SUBS: Ivan Rakitic, Domagoj Vida, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Strinic, marcelo Brozovic, Dejan Lovren, Danijel Subasic, Ante Rebic, Dominik Livakovic, Filip Bradaric, Sime VrasaljkoCROATIA (4-2-3-1): Lovre Kalinic (GK); Tin Jedvaj, Vedran Corluka, Duje Caleta-Car, Josip Pivaric; Luka Modric (C), Milan Badelj; Ivan Perisic, Mateo Kovacic, Marko Pjaca; Andrej Kramaric.ICELAND SUBS: Samuel Kari Fridjonsson, Kari Arnason, Frederik Schram, Ari Freyr Skulason, Bjorn Sigurdarson, Rurik Gislason, Albert Gudmundsson, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Runar Alex Runarsson, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Jon Dadi BodvrssonICELAND (4-2-3-1): Hannes Thor Halldorsson (GK); Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Hordur Bjorgvin Magnusson; Emil Hallfredsson, Aron Gunnarsson (C); Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Birkir Bjarnason; Alfred Finnbogason.Lets start with how the two teams will line-up this evening, starting with Iceland…For Croatia, they will need just a point to top the group, but they will want to make it three wins out of three. However, they may opt to rest several players in order for them to be fresh for their round of 16 game, after already clinching qualification to the next round.The Icelanders must beat Croatia, who are already through to the knockout rounds – in their final group game to give themselves the chance of qualification and currently have a better goal difference than Argentina.30 mins until KO: Hello and welcome to our live commentary of the Group D match between Iceland and Croatia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.Squads & Team News Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has made nine changes to the team that embarrassed Argentina 3-0 last time out with qualifcation already secured. Ivan Rakitic, Ante Rebic, Sime Vrsaljko and Mario Mandzukic one booking each away from a ban, while Danijel Subasic, Ivan Strnic, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida and Marcelo Brozovic are simply rested.Heimir Hallgrimsson makes just three changes to the side that were beaten 2-0 by Nigeria in their last game, but there are some surprising selections nonetheless. Ragnar Sigurdsson starts despite going off injured in the last match, and it’s Kari Arnason who is replaced by Sverrir Ingason. Meanwhile, Johan Berg Gudmundsson is another of the walking wounded who start today, despite supposedly being ruled out with a torn muscle. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson has been dropped for Emil Hallfredsson, shifting from a 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1.Confirmed Iceland XI: Haldorsson; Magnusson, Ingason, R. Sigurdsson, Saevarsson; Gunnarsson, Hallfredsson; Bjarnason, G. Sigurdsson, J. Gudmundsson; FinnbogasonIceland subs: Fridjonsson, Arnason, Schram, A. Skulason, Sigurdarson, Gislason, A. Gudmundsson, Traustason, O. Skulason, Runarsson, Eyjolfsson, BodvarssonConfirmed Croatia XI: Kalinic; Pivaric, Caleta-Car, Corluka, Jedvaj; Badelj, Kovacic; Perisic, Modric, Pjaca; KramaricCroatia subs: Rakitic, Vida, Mandzukic, Strnic, Brozovic, Lovren, Subasic, Rebic, Livakovic, Bradaric, VrsaljkoTV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream FOX / Telemundo fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on BBC or streamed live online using the BBC iPlayer. UK TV channel Online stream BBC Four BBC iPlayer Meanwhile Dalic Zlatko has made nine changes to his Croatia side for this final group game, from the team that beat Argentina 3-0 only two players keep their place, they are Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic. Croatia have settled nicely into the game, they are dominating possession at the moment with Modric seeing plenty of touches on the ball and controlling the midfield.
Mexico Chicharito & Moreno out, Lainez in: How Mexico must rebuild after another World Cup round of 16 exit Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author Mexico Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 00:00 7/4/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) Getty Images Mexico World Cup Brazil v Mexico After yet another empty quest for the quinto partido, what do El Tri need to do to take the next step in four years? The curse continues with Mexico once again failing to get into the round of 16 at a World Cup.El Tri started the tournament well but ran into Brazil’s buzzsaw and are headed home after a 2-0 loss to the South Americans.So much about the national team’s future is now up in the air. Who will coach Mexico in the future? What will the fixtures look like with CONCACAF set to launch the Nations League? Which young players need to be involved with the system going forward? And who from this team will return to represent Mexico in four years? Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Mexico players who should be droppedIt could be the end for a fantastic generation of players. While you’d love to see some of those players stay at a top level, it’s going to be a challenge for many of them to do so. Rafa Marquez and Oribe Peralta already have announced their international retirements. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will be 34, as will center back Hector Moreno. Andres Guardado is going to be 35. Even Carlos Vela and the Dos Santos brothers will be on the wrong side of 30 for the tournament set to take place in Qatar.Some of those guys may give it a go, though, and Mexico would benefit from their veteran leadership. Guardado in particular seems intent on staying in Europe for another two years. He could match Marquez with a fifth World Cup should he see action in 2022. With 150 caps to his name already, El Tri’s all-time cap leader Claudio Suarez’s 177 is well within range should Guardado stay healthy.Still, it’s difficult to see Chicharito and Moreno being in the form needed to be part of the next World Cup squad – and if Guardado is there it will likely be in a substitute role. Miguel Layun is a different case as well. His versatility makes him a great option for national team coaches, though whether he can keep his form up for another four years when he will be 34 is hardly a given.Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos and Vela also seem to be candidates to call time on their international careers, though the fact that they are playing in MLS where they can generally fly direct to match locations rather than having to fly across the Atlantic Ocean and make stopovers means they could stick around longer than expected.Mexico players who should be called upThere were no big omissions from Juan Carlos Osorio when he named his roster. Rodolfo Pizarro was one of the most notable names. He has moved on to Monterrey and should be entering his prime when 2022 rolls around. Expect the former Chivas attacker to figure into the picture in the future. It’s time for the Diego Lainez era to get started, as well. The 18-year-old turned heads in the Toulon Tournament, helping Mexico to a second-place finish in the prestigious youth event. While Club America wants to hold on to the phenom, a European move could be on the horizon. Lainez on the right and Lozano on the left will be a technically sound pairing that terrifies fullbacks for years to come.While Guillermo Ochoa could still be Mexico’s No. 1 in four years, it’s also time to find the next great Mexican goalkeeper. No young player has impressed more than Gibran Lajud. The 24-year-old already is the regular starter for Club Tijuana. He overcame some early growing pains to become a serious prospect and even earned a call-up from Osorio for the January friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina.That friendly marked the Mexico debut of Jonathan Gonzalez, and the young Rayados midfielder is an excellent option in the middle of the field. Omar Govea also shows potential there but needs to sort out his club situation and continue to improve to make the roster. How will Mexico line up in the 2022 World Cup?There are a few issues about this team. For one, it doesn’t have Diego Reyes in it. He and Cesar Montes are the center backs left out, though both should be part of Mexico’s future and will be the right age to shine in 2022. Yet, Nestor Araujo and Carlos Salcedo, if he returns to the national team, could form such an excellent partnership in the middle that it may be worth sacrificing them or, in Reyes’ case, putting him in a different position. The fullbacks remain Jesus Gallardo and Edson Alvarez, who now have the experience of playing the position at the World Cup. It’s possible neither is playing there for their club teams, but the next manager would be wise to continue to give them minutes in those roles.Up top, Hirving Lozano is the first name on the team sheet. He didn’t look at all out of place in his debut World Cup, scoring a goal against Germany, adding an assist against South Korea and troubling the Brazilian defense. Another potential issue is central forward. Raul Jimenez will be 31, though it’s not clear if he’ll still be with Wolves. Young Eduardo Aguirre looks to be an excellent forward, but he’s even shorter than Chicharito. Playing as a center forward may not suit the quick Santos Laguna man, though we’ll see how he develops in the next few years.All in all, it looks like a talented team – but more players will emerge. After Brazil, who could’ve seen Lozano’s breakout seasons or Gallardo’s successful conversion to left back? Also, don’t expect the older generation to go easily. While it may be time for Chicharito, Miguel Layun and Guardado to take on different roles, they wear their love for Mexico on their sleeves and won’t give up their places without a fight.
Timothy Weah’s explosion was one of the stories of pre-season as he proved there is far more to his game than simply being the son of 1995 Ballon d’Or winner George.The teenager burst onto the scene with Thomas Tuchel’s Paris Saint-Germain and appeared set to have a significant role to play at Parc des Princes this season after scoring in the 4-0 Trophee des Champions win over Monaco and then again off the bench versus Caen on the opening weekend of Ligue 1 action.It seemed that he had seized his opportunity, with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, the club’s frontline duo, fatigued having only just returned following World Cup duties with France and Brazil respectively. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Despite scoring a goal for every 72 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season, Weah has subsequently faded from view and since playing one half against Guingamp on August 18 has not even appeared on the teamsheet for Tuchel.The arrival of Eric Choupo-Moting in the closing hours of the summer transfer window has seen him cast to the shade, despite the former Stoke man netting only once in 12 outings for the Parisians.This falls against a backdrop of the German showing his willingness to give academy prospects Stanley N’Soki and Moussa Diaby, whose contribution of three goals and five assists from only 534 minutes has eclipsed that of his fellow youth-team graduate, increased first-team exposure.Indeed, Weah has earned far more game time with the US national team, with whom he has played five games, including four starts, and totalling 359 minutes.Otherwise, he has been restricted to training with PSG’s top team and flirting occasionally with playing in the B team, earning his spurs by scoring two goals in three outings in the French fourth tier, where games are often played on little more than public parks.Nevertheless, he knew there was this possibility when he sat down with his mother – who is the parent who has largely overseen his footballing development, despite his illustrious father – to discuss the best course of action during the summer.“My mom, she thought I am still really young and tender. There’s still some stuff to work on,” he said in September.“She thought if I did go to a lower team in the same league, there would be so many expectations to carry that team or potentially fight for a league winning spot. I don’t feel that I’m ready for that.“I’m always ready for a challenge but right now I feel like training with PSG, training with Neymar, Thiago Silva and getting better each day – I feel like that’s the way to go. That’s the choice we made.”Over the ensuing months, he has not changed his perspective, which is mature for an 18-year-old.“Right now, I’m not playing but I’m always looking for progress, to do more, watching others and learning from them,” he said, speaking in November. “I’m waiting for my chance, but I hope I can go on loan soon.”His chance is liable to arrive in the days ahead, with clubs from around Europe clamouring to play their part in the development of the son of a legend, who is a highly promising talent in his own right.“Tim is in the ‘American mould’, always smiling, with his headphones over his ears, laidback and still needs a good relationship with his coach,” former PSG reserve both Francis Rodrigues told Paris-United. “I think that finding time with a Ligue 1 or even a Ligue 2 side would be good for him. He must now step up a level away from Paris, where the bar is set extremely high.”And of course, there is top-flight interest in France, with Strasbourg leading the way in that regard, though with Amiens hovering, too.RMC, meanwhile, report that there is interest from the Bundesliga, where another former PSG academy product Jean-Kevin Augustin has impressed for RB Leipzig since making the move in 2017. Stuttgart and Leverkusen would offer such options from Germany, while from Serie A, the likes of Sassuolo, Fiorentina and Lazio lurk.But while it seems that in the short term, Weah’s future lies away from the French capital, he has already shown himself sufficiently capable to have earned a longer future at Parc des Princes, where he is under contract until 2020.His exploits last summer were a glimpse of what he is capable of, but after this false start, his real breakout seems destined to follow.
Unai Emery has hailed Mesut Ozil for delivering when Arsenal “needed him to” during a Premier League clash with Burnley.The Gunners headed into a home date with the Clarets looking to offer a positive response to back-to-back defeats in league and cup competition.Ozil’s role in their plans had dominated the pre-match build-up, with the German playmaker having seemingly fallen out of favour to see questions asked of his future. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Emery had, however, stated prior to the game that the World Cup winner still had an important role to play and backed up that statement by handing the 30-year-old a starting berth and the captain’s armband.Ozil rewarded that show of faith with a talismanic performance which saw him play a pivotal role in Arsenal’s first and third goals in a 3-1 victory.Emery told BBC Sport afterwards of an eye-catching showing from a man with a point to prove: “It was a big performance today and afterwards I said congratulations for your work.“Every player showed his quality and their characteristics. We needed him to work to help us today and he did.”Ozil was not the only player to deliver for Arsenal, with the Gunners’ defence standing up well to a physical battle with Burnley’s frontmen.Emery was delighted with the collective showing from his side, as they returned to winning ways courtesy of two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and a late effort from Alex Iwobi.The Spaniard added: “It was a tough match. It was difficult because they pushed a lot with long balls and the second action.“But we played well with our body and our character was good. The victory was deserved and in the table we are closer to Tottenham and Chelsea.“I think we won today not because we played well but because every player had a very big commitment.“We knew Burnley are an organised team and were going to push us but we didn’t lose too many long balls from the goalkeeper.“I think we can controlled the match like we wanted. We had to make an alteration of our game plan but after I think our game plan gave us the victory.“We’re scoring lots of goals but we need more clean sheets and our defeat today was maybe that.”Arsenal remain outside the Premier League’s top four at present, but remain very much within touching distance of the Champions League spots as the games come thick and fast during the festive period. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.