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No Harry Kane? No problem as Lucas Moura treble against Huddersfield fires Spurs into third

No Harry Kane? No problem as Lucas Moura treble against Huddersfield fires Spurs into third LONDON: Tottenham proved they can cope without Harry Kane and retook third place in the Premier League as Lucas Moura’s hat-trick inspired a 4-0 demolition of Huddersfield in the Premier League on Saturday.Despite the absence of injured stars Kane and…

No Harry Kane? No problem as Lucas Moura treble against Huddersfield fires Spurs into third

No Harry Kane? No problem as Lucas Moura treble against Huddersfield fires Spurs into third

LONDON: Tottenham proved they can cope without Harry Kane and retook third place in the Premier League as Lucas Moura’s hat-trick inspired a 4-0 demolition of Huddersfield in the Premier League on Saturday.Despite the absence of injured stars Kane and Dele Alli, Mauricio Pochettino’s much-changed side made it three victories from their first three games at the impressive Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.Pochettino’s understudies filled in nicely as Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama rolled in the opener before Brazilian forward Lucas took center-stage with an eye-catching treble.Tottenham have settled well in their new £1 billion north London home and already relegated Huddersfield provided the ideal warm-up for Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg at Manchester City.Bidding to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top-four finish, Tottenham are one point clear of fourth-placed Chelsea, who face leaders Liverpool on Sunday.Bottom of the table Huddersfield have lost 19 of their last 21 league matches as their two-season stay in the top-flight grinds to a dispiriting conclusion.It was a reassuring afternoon for Tottenham, whose 1-0 quarter-final first leg win against City on Tuesday came at a heavy cost.Kane is likely to miss the rest of the season after suffering yet another ankle ligament injury, this time in a tackle on City’s Fabian Delph, while Alli sustained a fractured hand that left him unable to face Huddersfield.Adding to Pochettino’s problems, England midfielder Harry Winks was ruled out of Saturday’s game with a groin injury.But for all the panic about Kane’s injury potentially ruining Tottenham’s hopes of a successful end to the season, they have won all five of their league games without the England striker this season.Much sterner tests than Huddersfield lie ahead, including successive Champions League and Premier League matches at City next week, so Pochettino made seven changes, leaving Son Heung-min, Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier on the bench.It was a gamble to rest South Korea forward Son, who had scored two of Tottenham’s three goals at the new stadium, including the winner against City.All eyes were on Fernando Llorente and Lucas to see if they could fill the gap left by Kane and Son up front.Huddersfield were so limited in all areas, that Tottenham’s make-shift line-up were able to play their way into rhythm.Showing their strength in depth, Tottenham deservedly took the lead thanks to two of their understudies in the 24th minute.Ben Davies passed toward Llorente and the Spaniard used his strength to hold off Jon Gorenc Stankovic, allowing the ball to run to Wanyama,Bursting into the space behind the Huddersfield defense, Wanyama cleverly rounded goalkeeper Ben Hamer before slotting into the empty net for his first goal since February 2018.Three minutes later, Tottenham struck again. Moussa Sissoko dinked a pass into Lucas’s path and the Brazilian took a touch before drilling a fierce shot across Hamer into the far corner.Stankovic should have done better than poke wide from Juninho Bacuna’s corner as the defender wasted a golden opportunity to give Huddersfield hope.The often maligned Llorente has quietly had a hand in 15 goals in 18 starts for Tottenham, scoring 11 and setting up four.He almost got another with a volley that cannoned back off the crossbar.Lucas, a candidate to start against City, stole the show in the second half, controlling Eriksen’s pass to smash home the third goal in the 87th minute.Lucas wasn’t content with that as he ran through to drive another fine finish past Hamer for the first hat-trick at Tottenham’s new stadium.The former Paris Saint Germain star was cheered off as he celebrated his man of the match performance with a kickabout with his 1-year-old son on the pitch after the final whistle.

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Chelsea moves into top 4 after draw with Burnley

JEDDAH: Saudi sides Al-Ahli and Al-Ittihad returned to action on Monday for Matchday Four of group stage play in the AFC Champions League 2019. Ahli defeated Persepolis FC of Iran 2-1 in a Group D match thanks to  Omar Al-Somah who struck twice on minutes 30 and 84 at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai. The…

Chelsea moves into top 4 after draw with Burnley

JEDDAH: Saudi sides Al-Ahli and Al-Ittihad returned to action on Monday for Matchday Four of group stage play in the AFC Champions League 2019.

Ahli defeated Persepolis FC of Iran 2-1 in a Group D match thanks to  Omar Al-Somah who struck twice on minutes 30 and 84 at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.

The Iranians avoided a shutout when Shoja Khalilzadeh scored in the third minute of injury time.

The victory avenged a 2-0 defeat on Matchday Three against Persepolis and gave the Jeddah-based Ahli 6 points in the group with Persopolis on 4 points.

Ittihad, another Jeddah-based club playing away to PFC Lokomotiv in Tashkent, Uzbekhistan, settled for a 1-1 draw  in the Group B match.

Ittihad won their last match against 10-man Lokomotiv on Matchday Three behind a penalty goal in injury time by Fahad Al-Muwallad.

On Monday, winger Al-Muwallad was again in good form, his 10th minute corner kick finding Brazilian forward Romario Ricardo da Silva who  converted for the match icebreaker.

Temurkhodzha Abdulklholiqov tallied the equalizer for the hosts eight minutes before the halftime break. Lokomotiv team captain Islom Tukhtakhodjaev was shown the red card in the 75th minute. The result had Ittihad on seven points in Group B from four matches and Lokomotiv on four points. 

 

 

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Ahli triumph, Ittihad draw in AFC Champions League

ROME :The breakthrough under Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Then the coronation at Real Madrid. And now another title at Juventus. If ever there was a need to emphasize Cristiano Ronaldo’s impact as a footballer, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner did it again this weekend by helping Juventus to the Serie A title in his…

Ahli triumph, Ittihad draw in AFC Champions League

ROME :The breakthrough under Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Then the coronation at Real Madrid. And now another title at Juventus.

If ever there was a need to emphasize Cristiano Ronaldo’s impact as a footballer, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner did it again this weekend by helping Juventus to the Serie A title in his first season in Italy.

In doing so, the 34-year-old Ronaldo became the first player in history to win league titles in the English Premier League (with United), the Spanish league (Madrid) and Serie A (Juventus).

“I’m very happy to have won in England, Spain and now the league title in Italy as well,” Ronaldo said. “It meant a lot to me and it means a lot to us as a team.”

Other players have won titles in three of the five major European leagues (England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France) but nobody had previously put together the combination of England, Spain and Italy.

David Beckham played in four of the top leagues but only won titles at United (six), Madrid (one) and Paris Saint-Germain (one), having failed to lift the Serie A trophy during his two loan spells at AC Milan.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic won four Serie A titles (three with Inter Milan and one with AC Milan), the Spanish league with Barcelona and four French championships with PSG.

Brazil fullback Maxwell was on many of those same teams as Ibrahimovic and also won in Italy, Spain and France.

Then there was Arjen Robben, who won the Premier League twice with Chelsea before adding a Spanish title at Real Madrid and seven Bundesliga trophies at Bayern Munich.

Another Dutchman who achieved the feat was Mark van Bommel, with titles with Barcelona, Bayern Munich (two) and AC Milan.

While Juventus also won the league in the seven seasons before Ronaldo’s arrival, there was no doubting his impact in Turin. With 19 goals and six assists in 27 Italian league matches this season, Ronaldo played a part in nearly 40 percent of Juventus’ goals.

So it came as no surprise when his dangerous cross from a sharp angle was redirected in by a defender as an own-goal for the winner in Juve’s 2-1 win over Fiorentina on Saturday — giving the Bianconeri more than the single point they needed to secure a record-extending eighth straight title with five rounds remaining.

It’s the sixth league title of Ronaldo’s career.

The first came as a 22-year-old at United, ending a four-year drought for Ferguson’s squad as Ronaldo scored 17 goals — three fewer than Didier Drogba’s league-best 20.

That was just a warmup for what came next.

In 2007-08, Ronaldo led the Premier League with 31 goals and helped United to the league title and the Champions League trophy.

Another Premier League title came the following season as Ronaldo finished second in the scoring charts with 18 goals, behind only Nicolas Anelka, who had 19 for Chelsea.

While Ronaldo won only two Spanish league championships in his nine seasons at Madrid, he also helped the team to four Champions League trophies — including three consecutive European titles over the last three seasons.

When Juventus acquired Ronaldo in a €100 million ($112 million) transfer last year, the expectation was that he would help end the club’s long chase for a Champions League trophy.

Ronaldo did his part by scoring a hat trick to overturn a first-leg deficit against Atletico Madrid in the opening knockout round and goals in both legs of the quarterfinals against Ajax but the Bianconeri were still eliminated by the Dutch club.

“Next year is a new page, the fans all want it and so do we,” Ronaldo said. “It is an important trophy, but it’s difficult to (win).”

A Champions League title with Juventus would enable Ronaldo to match another multiple nation and multiple team record — joining Clarence Seedorf as the only players to win the trophy with three different clubs.

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Embiid returns to help 76ers beat Nets for 3-1 lead

Four-star Everton pile on the agony for Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer LIVERPOOL: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s problems since taking over as permanent Manchester United manager intensified with a humiliating 4-0 loss away to Everton on Sunday.Defeat at Goodison Park — United’s sixth in eight games — also dealt a huge blow to the Red…

Embiid returns to help 76ers beat Nets for 3-1 lead

Four-star Everton pile on the agony for Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

LIVERPOOL: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s problems since taking over as permanent Manchester United manager intensified with a humiliating 4-0 loss away to Everton on Sunday.Defeat at Goodison Park — United’s sixth in eight games — also dealt a huge blow to the Red Devils’ hopes of playing in the Champions League next season.Goals from Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott inflicted the largest defeat on United since they lost by the same scoreline at Chelsea three years ago.But, after starting his reign with eight consecutive victories, the best start ever made by a manager at the club, former United striker Solskjaer is now collecting some other, very unwanted, statistics.This latest loss means United have now leaked 48 league goals, the most they’ve conceded in a season, since letting in 63 back in the 42-game 1978/79 campaign.Sunday’s loss also means United have conceded in 12 consecutive games for the first time since December 1998 while, under Solskjaer, the Reds have lost five consecutive away games for the first time in 38 years.United looked second best even before the hosts scored twice inside the opening half-hour, conceding a succession of corners from which Everton threatened.It was another type of set-piece, a long throw-in by Digne, from which Everton took the lead after 12 minutes when the full-back launched the ball deep into the United area.Dominic Calvert-Lewin helped the ball on with the flick of his head and Richarlison sent a spectacular scissor-kick finish flying past David de Gea.After a humbling 3-0 Champions League exit at Barcelona in midweek, it was not the start Solskjaer had been looking for. Everton soon made the situation worse for the visitors.After 27 minutes, Everton cleared a United corner and immediately broke on the counter-attack, with winger Bernard playing a delightful ball inside to Idrissa Gueye.He, in turn, released Sigurdsson who, with Nemanja Matic backing off, unleashed a magnificent 25-yard shot which bounced just in front of the diving de Gea on its way into the bottom corner.Richarlison might have given Everton the lead even earlier. His 10th minute shot drew an amazing reaction save from de Gea. From the rebound the Brazilian hurried his follow-up effort wide.With the recalled Romelu Lukaku booed every time he touched the ball by his former fans at Everton, United had little response to an impressive effort from the home side.In between the goals, United star Paul Pogba’s long diagonal pass freed Marcus Rashford who could only poke his effort over from a tight angle.Everton effectively killed the game in the 56th minute. De Gea punched clear a Sigurdsson corner to the unmarked Digne who sent a superb, first-time volley flying back past the United keeper from 20 yards.Three minutes later, and from the same left wing, another Sigurdsson corner almost crept in at de Gea’s near post before the Spaniard stuck out a boot to clear off his line.Even though Richarlison had limped off through injury, the agony was not over for United with the Brazilian’s replacement Walcott continuing the rout in the 64th minute.Sigurdsson again carved out the opening with a brilliantly-timed through ball which allowed the former England international the space to sprint into the area and beat the advancing de Gea.Not until the 86th minute, and a comfortably saved Anthony Martial strike, did United have a shot on target.Meanwhile Everton, who had not beaten a ‘big six’ rival in 25 attempts before last month, have now won consecutive home matches against Chelsea, Arsenal and United while keeping three clean sheets in the process.

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