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Cesc Fabregas hits back at ex-Arsenal teammate Julio Baptista for criticising Manchester United’s tactics against PSG

first_imgCesc Fabregas hits back at ex-Arsenal teammate Julio Baptista for criticising Manchester United’s tactics against PSG Marcus Rashford’s penalty sent PSG crashing out of the Champions League (EPA)‘They had to bring on their academy players in the last 20 minutes because they did not have anything else.‘Have they been lucky? Yes. But they deserve respect for fighting and believing until the end.‘I am a defender of good football but you always have to adapt to what you have.’More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors Advertisement Manchester United are through to the Champions League quarter-finals (Getty Images)More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityBut Fabregas hit back at his former Arsenal teammate by defending Solskjaer’s approach and pointing out that United were hampered by several injuries, as well as Paul Pogba’s suspension.‘Each team plays to their strengths and United had at least eight of their top players out,’ Fabregas said. Commentcenter_img Cesc Fabregas supported Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tactics in Manchester United’s win over PSG (Getty Images)Cesc Fabregas has defended Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after former Arsenal forward Julio Baptista criticised Manchester United’s tactics in their Champions League victory over Paris Saint-Germain.United completed a remarkable turnaround in Paris by sealing a 3-1 victory to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.Solskjaer’s side were forced to defend for the majority of the game but Romelu Lukaku capitalised on two defensive errors to keep United in the tie before Marcus Rashford’s penalty in extra time completed the upset.Baptista, however, was unhappy with United’s approach to the game and claims Solskjaer’s side will not win the competition if they adopt similar tactics in the next roundAdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Manchester United have got to the next round without merit, they just played and defended the whole game, counting on luck to beat PSG,’ the Brazilian posted on Twitter.‘As good as they are, Manchester United cannot afford play like that if they want to win the Champions League.’ Metro Sport ReporterThursday 7 Mar 2019 8:42 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4.4kShares Advertisementlast_img read more

Pardew eyes more goals from Bolasie

first_img The DR Congo international beat Black Cats keeper Costel Pantilimon three times inside 11 second-half minutes to add to Glenn Murray’s opener as Palace roared to a 4-1 victory at the Stadium of Light. They were Bolasie’s first goals since September but Pardew is hopeful they will not be his last of the campaign. Press Association He said: “It was a great performance by Crystal Palace today.” But if Palace can start planning for next season, Sunderland remain very firmly entrenched in another fight for top-flight survival, three points clear of the drop zone but just four off the bottom as a result of Leicester’s 3-2 victory at West Brom. Asked if he was shocked by his side’s tame surrender just six days after the derby victory over Newcastle, head coach Dick Advocaat said: “Yes – you can see what can change in six days’ time and the good performance against Newcastle, and today, we were not in the game. “Even in the first half, Crystal Palace were already a little bit the better side with their pace up front. The individual skills of the players there damaged us a little bit, despite the fact that it was still 0-0. “But we gave it away in seven minutes’, three goals, and then the game was (finished).” However Advocaat, who saw Connor Wickham reduce the deficit a minute from time, refused to lay into his players as he attempts to drag them to safety with just six games left to play. He said: “There is no reason to become angry because if I want to become angry, there must be a need behind that. But they tried to do their best. “We have to improve, we have to improve as a team and it doesn’t help if I start shouting at everybody because some players are playing to their limits, that’s about it. “But again, they showed against Newcastle if everybody knows what to do in the game, then you can get some results, and now we have to do that against Stoke City.” Asked if he was surprised the midfielder does not score more often, the 53-year-old said: “A little bit, yes. I think the last goal he scored was against Everton, and I don’t think he’s scored many goals in the Premier League. “Someone has just said to me he’s the first Crystal Palace player to get a Premier League hat-trick, and that is a surprise when you think of Glenn Murray and the strikers we have had, so he has got a nice little tag to his name now. “Now he needs to build on that. Two of those finishes were top-drawer. He was a problem, I thought, in the first half and it was just getting the moment, seizing it. “The second goal was just power and pace and a clever finish. His second goal was a great goal. He was calm and dictated the moment.” Palace won the game in a chaotic 14-minute blitz at the start of the second half as Sunderland imploded in spectacular style. Murray headed them in front from Bolasie’s 48th-minute cross, but it was then that the DR Congo international took over, plundering a quickfire hat-trick as he tormented central defenders Santiago Vergini and John O’Shea. The Eagles have now claimed 25 of the 36 points they have contested since Pardew took the helm and sit in 11th place on 42, having effectively secured their top-flight status for another season. Pardew, of course, suffered defeat by Sunderland in his last four derbies as Newcastle boss, but when asked if the win was all the sweeter as a result, he refused to be drawn. Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew challenged Yannick Bolasie to get himself among the goals more regularly after seeing him score the club’s first ever Premier League hat-trick at Sunderland.last_img read more

Football News Manchester City win Premier League title, beat Brighton 4-1 in final

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: The Manchester City on Sunday beat Brighton 4-1 to win the Premier League title for the second consecutive time, even as the Liverpool defeated Wolves at Anfield to finish second. Pep Guardiola’s side became the first team to retain the Premier League title since Manchester United 10 years ago.Had they lost the game, Liverpool would have win their first title in 29 years as the latter was too close to them at the points table. However, the win ensured crown for them. The Man City had a perfect season with 14 out of 14 wins to grab the crown with 100 points.City remain on course to complete the first ever domestic treble in English football in the FA Cup final next weekend as goals from Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan saw the visitors recover from Glenn Murray’s shock opener.For 83 seconds Liverpool fans were able to dream, but City showed why they are champions and have racked up a remarkable 98 points, just two shy of their record century of points last season.Liverpool applied as much pressure as they could with their own nine-game winning run to end the season and went in front early against Wolves to raise the tension inside the Amex Stadium.City had not conceded in their previous four games, but Brighton were playing on their nerves as they sought revenge for defeat in their FA Cup semi-final last month.Ali Jahanbakhsh flashed a shot just wide of Ederson’s right-hand post before the moment that was celebrated as wildly 270 miles north at Anfield as it was on the south coast.Pascal Gross’s dangerous in-swinging corner was powered home by veteran striker Murray at the near post on 27 minutes.This was the first time City had failed to score first in a league game since early December and the first time they had trailed at all in the 14-game winning run that has carried them to the title. However, Brighton’s lead and Liverpool’s hope lasted just over a minute.WWWWWWWWWWWWWWinners! 14 wins in a row to wrap up and incredible season! 🔵 #mancity pic.twitter.com/ONrqLSGrOe— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 12, 2019This is a breaking news story. More details will be added soon. Please refresh the page for the updated version. last_img read more

Hodge finds voice as Syracuse’s new starting middle linebacker

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 3, 2014 at 12:15 am Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse Clark Lea knew he’d have to replace middle linebacker Marquis Spruill after the 2013 season. He just wasn’t exactly sure how. “Going into camp we weren’t sure about the middle linebacker position and for a coach, that’s a weird spot to be in,” said Lea, Syracuse’s linebackers coach. “But then Marqez (Hodge) started to develop and there was a point in camp where I thought ‘Yes, this is it.’“From there, I felt a whole lot better about the situation.”Hodge, who made his first start at middle linebacker in the Orange’s 27-26 win over Villanova on Friday, is the first to admit that he’s a shy guy. He inherits the spot from Spruill, a notably vocal leader who was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons.But while Hodge has transitioned into a position that practically demands on-field communication, the sophomore’s shyness has proven more a blessing than a curse.When Hodge talks, his teammates listen. Not only because he’s at the heart of Syracuse’s defense, but because it’s uncommonAdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I don’t talk all the time, but when I do it’s usually serious,” Hodge said. “Not bad serious or anything, just that it’s something that everyone else should know.”From a physical standpoint, shifting from outside to middle linebacker isn’t too hard of a task. Hodge played outside linebacker at Miami Central (Florida) High School and that’s the position he played when he caught SU coaches’ attention against Georgia Tech last season.Syracuse switched to a 3-4 defense in that game — which ended in a 56-0 loss — and Hodge replaced defensive end Robert Welsh in the starting lineup. He recorded a career-best 12 tackles in the game, and his adaptation to middle linebacker has been a natural process ever since. “There aren’t really many differences, maybe a few footwork things and some small stuff in coverage,” senior outside linebacker Cameron Lynch said of the two positions. “If you can play in the outside, you can play in the middle, and vice versa. Marqez is a natural linebacker and he’s been fine crossing over.”Working on his communication, though, was a steep task for Hodge at the start of training camp.When he was still unfamiliar with the position, Hodge said he had no way of breaking out of his shell. But as he learned the language of the defense and got comfortable in between seniors Lynch and Dyshawn Davis, he found himself taking ownership of the role.Against Villanova, Hodge recorded five tackles — tied for fourth most on the team as Lynch led with 15 — and added a sack and two tackles for loss. He also helped the defense adjust to the Wildcats’ attack while clogging the middle of the field.Villanova rushed up the middle 39 times and gained just 76 yards, which comes out to 1.9 yards per carry. “It’s been little by little but I think I have really started to communicate better,” Hodge said. “The spot is all about communication because you are just in the middle of everything and have to control the middle of the field. That’s something I saw from Marquis that I am trying to do, too.”The Orange’s run defense was arguably its strongest suit in 2013. Lynch, with 69, Spruill, with 66, and Davis, with 49, ranked second, third and fourth, respectively, on the team in total tackles. The trio combined for 33.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. SU’s run defense gave up the fourth-fewest rushing yards in the Atlantic Coast Conference.Now Hodge is the new face in an established unit and the change has been relatively seamless. Lea, barring any injuries, won’t have to make any more personnel decisions until the end of the season and he certainly isn’t rushing to.“Spruill went after he finished up and then we’ll have to eventually think about Cam and Dyshawn’s spots. I mean we have a lot of young talent on the outside,” Lea said before pausing and smiling. “Let’s just enjoy having Marqez in the middle now and knowing we have a solid starting core from week to week.” Commentslast_img read more