Home nations exodus in qualifiers

first_imgMike Jensen broke Sligo hearts as Rosenborg hit back to book their place in the third qualifying round of the Europa League. Press Association The visitors cancelled out Shakhtyor’s 1-0 first-leg lead with Michael Duffy’s sixth-minute opener, but the home side were back on terms within three minutes through Sergei Balanovich and further goals from Alexander Guruli, Dmitri Osipenko, Nikolai Yanush and Ilya Galyuza secured a 6-1 aggregate victory. Northern Ireland’s Linfield suffered heartache too as they were unable to cling on to the 1-0 lead with which they headed for AIK Solna. The visitors remained ahead in the tie until the 56th minute, when Kennedy Igboananike levelled to set the stage for Henok Goitom to put the Swedes through 18 minutes from time. There was victory on the night, but a 3-2 defeat on aggregate, for Dundalk in Croatia. Stephen Kenny’s men trailed 3-0 to Hajduk Split on aggregate when Jean Evrard Kouassi fired the home side ahead, but second-half goals from Patrick Hoban and Kurtis Byrne made for a tense conclusion. Crusaders too emerged with a positive result, although they could only draw 1-1 with Swedes IF Brommapojkarna at Seaview after losing the first leg 4-0. Skipper Colin Coates put the home side ahead with 17 minutes gone, but Dardan Rexhepi equalised within 10 minutes to secure a 5-1 aggregate win. Meanwhile, Barclays Premier League Hull will face Trencin in their first ever European tie – although the Slovakians had to survive a concerted fightback by FK Vojvodina, who trailed 4-0 going into the second leg but won 3-0 in Serbia. center_img The Airtricity League side led 3-1 on aggregate at the Showgrounds when Danny North fired them into a 13th-minute lead, but Pal Andre Helland levelled on the night within three minutes before Jensen’s second-half double took the Norwegians through 4-3. Derry City’s hopes of progression were ended in emphatic fashion in Belarus by Shakhtyor Soligorsk. last_img read more

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Rojo hints at Man Utd move

first_imgArgentina defender Marcos Rojo has suggested his move to Manchester United is imminent, describing it as a ‘dream’ to play for the Old Trafford club. Press Association The Sporting Lisbon player has emerged as a key target for United manager Louis van Gaal, with reports suggesting United will pay £16million for Rojo while sending Portuguese winger Nani back to his former club on a one-year loan deal. In an interview with the radio station Continental in his homeland, quoted in several national newspapers, Rojo said: “It’s a dream to play at Manchester United and I am very proud of having the chance of working with [Louis] van Gaal. center_img “I spoke with Juan Sebastian Veron about Manchester United when we were at Estudiantes. I have always liked English football, and I should adapt to this new playing style easily.” United’s move for Rojo has been complicated by a row between Sporting and his a third-party ownership group, while the 24-year-old player upset his employers by initially refusing to train in a bid to push through the deal, although he later apologised and returned to work. “There was a misunderstanding, I never wanted to do something wrong at Sporting as I have always been very thankful to that team that gave me many chances for playing in Europe,” Rojo said. “If I made a mistake, I have already apologised because I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of anyone at the club.” last_img read more

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Van Gaal demands improvement

first_imgLouis van Gaal admitted that a single point from his first two Barclays Premier League games as Manchester United manager is simply not good enough after his side were held at Sunderland. “Normally it is a penalty. There are referees giving those penalties and those who don’t.” Opposite number Gus Poyet had some sympathy for Young and was relieved not to have conceded a spot-kick. He said: “It was tough on Ashley. The only problem with Ashley is his reputation. Before he even went for that ball, everybody was expecting him to jump, but that reputation is unfortunate. “I didn’t think it was a yellow card. I am not sure if it was a penalty. It was one of those that is even difficult for the referee. Either way, some people will be upset, some people will be happy. “It was one of those. It was a difficult 50-50 and the outcome was only because of what has happened in the past and it’s not fair on him. I don’t like it.” Poyet was understandably pleased with his side’s performance on an afternoon when summer signing Will Buckley shone in his first start for the club. The Uruguayan said: “I am so pleased that he had a very good first half because now everybody knows why I was so consistent in asking the club to bring him. “It took us seven and a half months – we got him here and now everybody knows why, because he is electric, because he’s direct, because he brings the stands into a different feeling, the atmosphere. “He is going to do plenty of things. Now, don’t expect it every week – £2.5million. People pay £30million and £40million and £50 million – we paid £2.5million, so let’s be patient. “But he showed why he is here and that makes me very happy.” Meanwhile, Poyet refused to comment on reports that former Chelsea frontman Salomon Kalou is a target during the remaining days of the transfer window. United took the lead at the Stadium of Light, but were pegged back by the Black Cats, who fully deserved a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw. Van Gaal, whose first league game in charge ended in a 2-1 home defeat by Swansea, will now return to the training pitch and hope for progress on the transfer front – he refused to comment on reports that the club has agreed a £63.9million deal with Real Madrid for Angel di Maria – as he attempts to get their season up and running. He said: “You can never say how long it takes because when you win the next match, the confidence comes back. But we have to work a lot. “The players are very disappointed after the game because we thought we would win. “But still we have one point and that is not good enough for Manchester United.” Juan Mata fired the visitors into a 17th-minute lead at a time when Sunderland were threatening on a sustained basis. However, defensive frailty proved their undoing as Jack Rodwell was allowed to head the home side level on the half-hour from a Sebastian Larsson corner. United dominated the latter stages, but could not find a winner, although Van Gaal insisted they might have been awarded a penalty after first Robin van Persie then Ashley Young went down in the box, the latter earning a yellow card for his pains. Asked about Young’s booking, the Dutchman said: “I have said that he has been touched by the opponent in the 16m area and when it is like that there are referees who are whistling because you cannot touch players in that area because it is a risk. “The referee wasn’t whistling and nor was he for the tackle on Van Persie. I have seen the images since and I saw that Van Persie was already falling a little bit, but nevertheless the opponent takes the risk and it was a tackle on his ankle. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Alacaraz out for up to five weeks

first_img Press Association Everton boss Roberto Martinez has revealed Antolin Alcaraz is set to be out for a maximum of five weeks after it was decided the Toffees defender does not require shoulder surgery. Meanwhile, winger Kevin Mirallas is expected to be back in action after his hamstring injury in “two or three weeks”. Martinez said: “The international break is going to be a great period (in terms of recovery) for Kevin. “He is working really well, has stepped up his work and it is probably going to be a case of maybe two or three weeks.” Alcaraz dislocated his shoulder in last Saturday’s 0-0 Barclays Premier League home draw with Swansea. And earlier this week Martinez said, depending on whether or not the 32-year-old Paraguayan underwent an operation, he could be facing between six and 12 weeks on the sidelines. But, providing an update on Friday ahead of Sunday’s league trip to Sunderland, the manager said: “We decided not to go through surgery. “I think the specialist feels that is the best way to approach the injury, which is great news – it reduces the period that Antolin is going to be out for. “We will find out over the next few days how he responds, but probably now we are talking three, four, five weeks maximum, which is fantastic news given what we feared earlier.” Martinez also said Everton full-back Seamus Coleman was a doubt for Sunday’s match after he suffered a cut to his Achilles tendon in the Swansea game that required stitches. Coleman was not part of the squad for Thursday’s 3-0 home Europa League victory over Lille, during which the Toffees suffered another injury setback. Midfielder Gareth Barry came off with an ankle problem and cut shin, and he will also be assessed prior to the Sunderland contest. Martinez said: “This morning Gareth had a really long cut on his shin, but that is nothing to really worry about – the only worry is the ankle. “He took a massive knock and we need to give it probably another 24 hours.” last_img read more

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O’Neill seeks home advantage

first_img On the game, O’Neill added: “The game was on a knife edge and could have gone either way.” Scotland manager Gordon Strachan felt the hard-fought victory was further evidence of his side’s ability to adapt to different challenges. Strachan said: “We have played in football games and believe we can play football, and we played in a more physical duel and we dealt with that as well. “They trust each other. They know fine well if they are not having a great night the guy next to them will help them out.” The physical encounter will ensure Strachan fields a different starting line-up against England on Tuesday night with Steven Fletcher set to miss out after limping off in the 55th minute following an earlier bad foul by Aiden McGeady. When asked if he would need to change the team, Strachan said: “I think so because they put so much into that game. That was like one of those big heavyweight boxing contests.” O’Neill, who admitted they had missed injured midfielders Glenn Whelan and James McCarthy, said: “That’s us and Scotland on seven points each. Our own fate will depend on what happens in the Aviva Stadium. “We have four of the next five games at home. We have come out of a difficult time. We have played three away games and one at home and have seven points on the board. “Poland have come out with a win in Georgia and I still think Germany are the strongest team in the group. “It’s going to be tough but we are still there. Everything is to play for. “We have to get ourselves together and be ready for Poland in March. Where it will always count for us is in the Aviva, where we are always able to win those home games.” O’Neill again brushed off an incident on Wednesday night in Dublin when police were called after an incident involving his assistant Roy Keane. Keane also endured an unhappy return to Celtic Park, being warned by the referee for haranguing the fourth official. O’Neill said: “The Roy Keane incident has genuinely not bothered me. Someone said the other night ‘Was it a distraction?’ and that was all it was.” Press Association O’Neill was undone by a former player as Shaun Maloney scored a brilliantly-worked goal following a short corner at the Celtic Park venue where the pair once worked together. But O’Neill’s men had already claimed four points from away games against Georgia and Germany and the former Celtic boss was in defiant mood after the 1-0 loss, which left them level on points with Scotland and Germany and three behind group leaders Poland, who won 4-0 in Georgia. Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill claimed his side’s Euro 2016 hopes will be determined in Dublin after Scotland inflicted their first defeat of the campaign. last_img read more

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Remy warns against complacency

first_imgFew look capable of preventing Chelsea winning the Premier League title at a canter but Loic Remy knows overconfidence is a “trap” they need to avoid. “For me, it is a real opportunity to win a trophy or something here,” said the France international, who was twice part of a title-winning squad with Lyon. “Every player is conscious that we can really win something this year, but the most important thing is to stay focused about the same thing and don’t think the league is already won. I think it is a trap if we think that. “We just have to try to win game after game and we know there are a lot of games coming so we have to be careful and play the same way we are playing at the minute.” Remy is loving life at Stamford Bridge thanks to Chelsea’s successful start to the campaign and the chance to learn off Diego Costa and fans’ favourite Didier Drogba. The 27-year-old striker can certainly allow himself a wry smile given how things have panned out since Liverpool pulled the plug on a move for him. A failed medical saw Remy return to QPR but a £10.5million move across west London eventually came through. “Everything happens for a reason so I am very happy to be here,” he said. “The past is the past so now I forget it and I am just concentrated on my team and, yes, winning the title with my team. Press Association “For me the past is the past. We are just looking forward.” That focus on the future includes a tilt at Champions League glory, with Chelsea able to secure a place in the last 16 on Tuesday at Schalke. “We have to finish the job because we know the situation,” Remy added. “We can still finish third or second. This game against Schalke is really important. “Now that we have done the job (by beating West Brom 2-0 on Saturday) we are all focused on the game on Tuesday, which is very important. “I think the quality of the squad says enough, though. We have enough quality to win this game. I think it is going to be tough but I think we can win this game.” It may only be November but Jose Mourinho’s side already boast a comfortable lead at the top of the table, performing so impressively that one bookmaker has already paid out on them winning it. The fact the west Londoners’ traditional rivals are faltering has made things even more comfortable, yet summer signing Remy knows they cannot afford to be complacent. last_img read more

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Maguire weighs up Rocker options

first_img Press Association Adrian Maguire is undecided as to whether to let Two Rockers tackle Sunday’s Ladbrokes Ireland Boyne Hurdle at Navan. The eight-year-old achieved a rating in the 140s over hurdles when trained by Alan King, but disappointed in Britain last season and joined Maguire late in 2014. He has made a fine start for his new trainer in the point-to-point sphere, winning three of his four starts, and is as short as 8-1 for the Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. “He’s also won three of his four points and was just touched off in his other,” said Maguire. “He was a good second to Prince De Beauchene in Thurles. There’s nothing wrong with that and Prince De Beauchene doesn’t qualify for Cheltenham. “The third from Thurles (Aurora Bell) won in Down Royal on Wednesday, so the form is good. “He could go to Cheltenham and, if he does, Declan Queally would ride him.” Maguire has warned, however, that his charge is far from certain to head to Prestbury Park next month. “We’re just sitting tight and we’ll see what’s likely to turn up in the Navan race before we make a decision,” Maguire said. “He’s run in four point-to-points for us, he’s won three and was unlucky the last day at the last when it looked like he would have won (unseated rider). “He has an engine, but he’s obviously had a few problems along the way as well. He’s in good heart at the moment, though. “It’s all a bit up in the air at the moment. There are a few options coming up for him and we’ll just wait and see what we do. “I have another horse for the Cheltenham race.” The horse in question is Seventh Sign, who like Two Rockers is owned by Masterson Holdings and was formerly trained by King. He chased home Prince De Beauchene in a hunter chase at Thurles last month and won his third point-to-point last weekend. last_img read more

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A lot of work to do despite derby triumph – Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce

first_imgSunderland boss Sam Allardyce has warned his derby heroes victory over Newcastle is only a start. He said: “We have got a lot of work to do. We have got to be a lot better than we were today. Enjoy the victory, yes lads and well done, but we need to get a lot better than the performance we showed today, for me, if we are going to get out of trouble and get into mid-table. “But for me, I am going to be pushing the lads hard to get better than even this performance today. That might sound a bit harsh, but we need to get better.” Allardyce, who lost midfielder Ola Toivonen and John O’Shea to injury before half-time and then saw O’Shea’s central defensive partner Younes Kaboul limp off the pitch after the final whistle, looked on as his team was completely out-played by Newcastle during the opening 45 minutes. However, the game turned in stoppage time at the end of the half when referee Robert Madley waved away Georginio Wijnaldum’s appeals for a penalty against Lee Cattermole – replays suggested the midfielder could have penalised for either handball or a foul – and allowed the home side to break at pace. The official was not so reticent seconds later when Steven Fletcher went down under Coloccini’s challenge, and the Argentinian’s astonishment was compounded by a red card. Head coach Steve McClaren said: “I have never seen him [Coloccini] so angry. He knows as well – and you do know whether you are in control of a challenge or not in control – and I have never seen him so angry.” Adam Johnson calmly converted the spot-kick and although the 10 men gave a decent account of themselves – Aleksandar Mitrovic should have equalised 10 minutes after the restart – further goals from Billy Jones and the impressive Fletcher wrapped up the points. The 61-year-old admitted that the Black Cats got a break as they made the most of Magpies skipper Fabricio Coloccini’s dismissal to beat their arch-rivals 3-0 and complete a sixth successive win over them, and more importantly a first Barclays Premier League triumph of the campaign. Allardyce’s men levered themselves off the foot of the table as a result, but he has told his players they will have to be a lot better if they want to avoid another survival scrap. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Officials in New York seek to make texting and walking illegal

first_imgLawmakers in New York are considering a bill that would make it a legal offense to text while walking.The bill introduced last year by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn has now gained support by the majority in the Senate.The bill states that “No pedestrian shall cross a roadway at any point while using any portable electronic device,” and would allow authorities to issue penalties between $25 and $50 for first time offenders. The only way to avoid the ticket would be if the person can prove that they were on their phone due to an emergency situation.While it is unclear if the bill will pass, legislators in New York have been aggressive when it comes to bills against users who are distracted by texting. The state has passed a bill that will issue not only a fine but five points of the license of any individual who is caught texting while driving.New York isn’t the only state that is trying cut down on people being distracted by their phones, the mayor of Honolulu passed a similar bill in 2017 which banned texting while walking across the street.last_img read more

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America celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11

first_imgOn July 20th, 1969 Neil Armstrong famed the words “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”The nature of his words were a result of landing on Earth’s moon via the Apollo 11 mission with fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin.With Walter Cronkite on the call that day, and nearly every American watched in awe as we planted the American flag on the soil of the moon.Relive the experience below:last_img

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