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Rodgers stands by his man

first_imgLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers refused to blame defender Kolo Toure after his horrendous error allowed West Brom to equalise in their 1-1 draw at The Hawthorns. Daniel Sturridge put the Reds ahead in the 24th minute but they could not add to their lead and former Everton striker Victor Anichebe capitalised on Toure’s mistake midway through the second half. “Kolo is devastated. I said to him sometimes it is the price you pay when you try to play football,” said Rodgers, whose side failed to re-establish their four-point lead in fourth place over Everton “He shouldn’t have received the ball in the first place (from goalkeeper) Simon Mignolet, it wasn’t the time to receive it, but that is a part of our learning. “I’ve said to the team we are in the position we are because over the last 18 months we have shown the courage and bravery to play football and part of that is to build the game from behind. “For the first time this season we got punished for that. He is an experienced guy and he knows it was a mistake and he is devastated. “There is no blame. He has misplaced a pass and unfortunately for us it has cost us two points.” The Hawthorns was the venue for Rodgers’ first match in charge last season and on that day Liverpool left 3-0 losers but expectations have risen significantly since then and a draw for his Champions League-chasing side represents two points dropped. Rodgers, however, refused to see it that way, adding: “Of course whenever you have good control of the game at 1-0 there weren’t many chances – but we dominated possession and looked dangerous with the ball and it was just one of those unfortunate things where we made a mistake and got punished. “Hopefully in the future we’ll see it as a point gained but I think it tells you everything about our expectancy. “We came here (and lost) and lost at home last year but we’ve got four points out of six and for us to be disappointed with a point away from home shows the growth of the team. “The pitch is very poor for modern football and the money spent on stadia and pitches. “I’ve been here a number of times before and it is always an outstanding pitch.” West Brom boss Pepe Mel was pleased with the way his side responded in the second half, when they managed to put his game plan into effect much better than they had in the opening 45 minutes. “We forget the way in the first half,” said the Spaniard. “Saido Berahino and Matej Vydra were to press the centre-backs but (Steven) Gerrard being free was a problem for us. “In the second half we had a high press with (Youssouf) Mulumbu and (Claudio) Yacob behind doing good work. “The goal came from a high press and a bad pass. This is the way, a high press together, but it is not possible when only one player does it.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Syracuse women’s basketball cruises past Old Dominion, 92-66

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Twenty-point performances from both Alexis Peterson and Brittney Sykes powered No. 19 Syracuse (9-3) past Old Dominion (5-4), 92-66, Tuesday afternoon in the Florida Sunshine Classic at Warden Arena in Winter Park, Florida. The Orange has won its last five games each by at least 11 points, outscoring opponents by an average of 32.8 points over the streak.Syracuse led 16-15 after one quarter, but outscored ODU 76-51 over the next 30 minutes of play. In the second frame, SU brought up its press from three-quarter court to full court, slowing the Lady Monarchs offense and leading to 41 points off 31 turnovers.“It was about just getting our coverage better,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “We got a little more aggressive, kept our matchups, pressed early and that was the difference in the game.”Peterson, who leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring, topped all players with 27 points. The senior point guard completed her third double-double of the season with 10 assists. She added seven rebounds.Sykes, the ACC’s fourth-leading scorer, posted 20 points on an efficient 8-of-12 from the floor. Peterson and Sykes have scored at least 10 points in each game this season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU freshman guard Gabby Cooper scored a career-high 19 points on 5-of-12 shooting from 3. Before Tuesday, she hit only 25 percent of her 3s and averaged 7.9 points per game. On Tuesday, she found her stroke for her best game yet.“Yeah, it was,” Hillsman said when asked whether Cooper’s outburst was just a matter of time. “She got open looks at the basket, started making shots.”SU held Lady Monarchs redshirt senior guard Jennie Simms, whose 26.4 points per game ranked second in the country, to 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting. She committed eight turnovers.“Getting our pace was really ideal in this game because we had a team that didn’t get up and down the floor really well in many situations,” Hillsman said. “We pressed her (Simms), kept her in front of us … they didn’t play the game with numbers against us very well.”Syracuse, which shot 39 percent from 3-point range and 48 percent overall, returns to the hardwood Wednesday at 3:15 p.m. against Texas A&M. Comments Published on December 20, 2016 at 6:19 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21last_img read more