India vs England: Dhawan gears up for the next encounter following Manchester success

first_imgBritain Cricket – India v Sri Lanka – 2017 ICC Champions Trophy Group B – The Oval – June 8, 2017 India’s Shikhar Dhawan celebrates reaching his century Action Images via Reuters / Peter Cziborra Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.Advertisement(Image Courtesy: Indian Express)In the summer of 2013 a new look opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan set out to bat for India in the Champions Trophy. 5 years on, the pair has grown immensely in confidence and at the same time contributing to majority of India’s wins.With the start of the England tour, Dhawan and Rohit once again set to open the innings chasing a target of 159 put on by the hosts.Even though they failed to score big yesterday, India cruised to victory following a blistering century from KL Rahul.Dhawan who was pumped up following India’s win took to twitter to post this Image.Great win last nite 👌🏼👌🏼Bus journey starts for Cardiff with team and my beautiful daughters by my side. Cannot ask for anymore, my strength gets double #Aliyah Dhawan #Rhea Dhawan 😍😍😘😘😘. Hello there @ImRo45 😋 pic.twitter.com/OvYht63djN— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) July 4, 2018The post shows Dhawan along with his daughters and opening partner Rohit Sharma travelling to Cardiff as they get ready to face England in the second IT20 which is set to take place on Friday.Also Read:Cricket: A dream come true for the Pandya Brothers! Advertisementlast_img read more

Mason Rudolph Named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week

first_imgIt’s about time!Mason Rudolph snagged his first Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors of the year on Monday after a 20/28 for 395 and three total TDs performance against Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon in Stillwater.Rudolph’s numbers for the season now look like this:65%3,381 yards27 total TDs4 INTJust preposterous statistics for the junior from South Carolina who is now 20-5 as a starting QB for OSU. It is Rudolph’s second Offensive Player of the Week award in the last two years and the second for Oklahoma State as a team. James Washington had one after the Pitt game back in mid-September.I imagine Rudolph going to class like this today.When you get your first Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week award of the season. pic.twitter.com/fGuHVHXr1G— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 14, 2016 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.last_img read more

Daily Mullets: December 6

first_imgSource confirms #okstate defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer is talking with Georgia State, as well as other schools. https://t.co/s33s0ouCwY— Nathan Ruiz (@NathanSRuiz) December 6, 2016Baylor and Oregon fans both thought Gundy was their guy. (PFB)Recruiting newsMonster JUCO defensive end has OSU in top 5. (PFB)QB Jelani Woods senior highlights: Purdy good.Meanwhile, the OSU staff is on the road recruiting during the dead period. (GoPokes)Football newsThis may be a top-5 all-time PFB pod. Listen.Where did OSU lose the game? How about punting on five of the first six possessions? The Bedlam drive charts, ladies and gents: (PFB)Barry J. was named Big 12 special teams player of the week. (PFB).Chalk talk from Thomas Fleming: He came to an astonishing conclusion: Conservative calls lead to OSU’s downfall. (PFB)Who were the winners and losers from Bedlam? Our team weighed in. Coaching rumorsMike Gundy is reportedly speaking with Baylor officials regarding the head coaching position.Then Football Scoop dropped this:Word began to get out today about the possibility of Baylor speaking with Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy. Sources tell FootballScoop this is straight coaching search legend….not based in reality. Not happening.And then this.Sources: Baylor negotiating with Blake Anderson https://t.co/rN4gU6KwV3 pic.twitter.com/5rkUUtCgLi— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) December 6, 2016This was a very interesting nugget on Gundy’s contract situation from the Tulsa World:Regardless of the Baylor report, there is also a question regarding the recent contract extension for Gundy.Gundy and Oklahoma State agreed to a two-year extension this offseason, which would take him through the 2021 season. It was approved by the OSU Board of Regents in June.But that contract has not been signed.And another coach, defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, is apparently getting interest and speaking with Georgia State. (PFB)Among others. 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.last_img read more

Cowboy, Cowgirl Tennis to Host NCAA Tournament Regionals

first_imgWhile 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. Both the men and women’s tennis squads were rewarded with opening round hosting duties in the NCAA Tournament Regionals following tremendous seasons.The men’s team received the 11th overall seed in the tournament and will host Drake, their first opponent, No. 25 Illinois, and UMKC.Unlike baseball, the Regionals are single elimination. The Cowboys will look to advance to the second round from Stillwater for the second consecutive year. Coach Jay Udwadia’s hope is that they can capture a similar magic that the ladies did last year.“We’ve seen over the years that any team can make a run through the tournament,” Udwadia said. “We saw it here at OSU last year with the women’s tennis team, so we’re going to take it one match at a time.Coach Udwadia met with members of the media after today’s selection show. Hear what he had to say below. #okstate #NCAATennis pic.twitter.com/oxCQc2CPfI— OSU Cowboy Tennis (@CowboyTennis) May 3, 2017 “I want to congratulate our guys on being selected to host again this year. We were the No. 16 seed last year and now we’re up to No. 11, but we want to keep going up.We’re not quite done at the Greenwood Tennis Center this season! #okstate draws UMKC in next weekend’s first round. #NCAATennis pic.twitter.com/jCApbBVxkP— OSU Cowboy Tennis (@CowboyTennis) May 2, 2017Men’s tennis play will begin Friday, May 12th at the Greenwood Center.For the third consecutive year, the Cowgirl tennis team will host a Regional in Stillwater. As the 9th overall seed, the Cowgirls will look to make some serious noise in the postseason after capturing a share of the Big 12 regular season title this year.An experienced and senior led group of ladies will host UMKC, Arkansas, and Wichita St with play beginning Sunday, May 14th. Come out and support the ladies protect their undefeated home court record and journey to back to the title game.The Cowgirls are hosting! Find out details about #okstate’s sixth-straight NCAA Tournament selection here: https://t.co/lXgJTbFZPM pic.twitter.com/CJgwWi2I2F— OSU Women’s Tennis (@CowgirlTennis) May 2, 2017Tickets for both the men’s and women’s matches can be purchased by calling the OSU Athletic office or can be purchased at the Greenwood Center.last_img read more

Big 12 Bowl Schedule Set for 2017-18

first_imgShout to Berry Tramel for catching this one, but the Big 12’s 2017-18 bowl schedule is set so we know when OSU could play this postseason. Let’s take a look at the New Year’s Day 6 first.Because the Sugar Bowl is a semifinal game this year, there will not be a Big 12-specific tie in. Last time this happened, TCU went to the Peach Bowl and Baylor went to the Cotton Bowl. The Big 12 is guaranteed at least one NYD6 game.I could envision a scenario in which, say, OU gets into the Sugar as a playoff representative and Oklahoma State goes to the Cotton against a Big 10 team. Maybe Michigan? Rose Bowl (semifinal) — Monday, January 1 at 4 p.m.Sugar Bowl (semifinal) — Monday, January 1 at 7:45 p.m.Peach Bowl — Monday, January 1 at 11:30 a.m.The Fiesta Bowl — Saturday, December 30 at 3 p.m.The Orange Bowl — Saturday, December 30 at 7 p.m.Cotton Bowl — Friday, December 29 at 7:30 p.m.Here are the other Big 12-affiliated bowls.Alamo Bowl — Thursday, December 28 at 8 p.m. (Pac-12)Camping World Bowl — Thursday, December 28 at 4:15 p.m. (ACC)Texas Bowl — Wednesday, December 27 at 8 p.m. (SEC)Liberty Bowl — Saturday, December 30 at 11:30 a.m. (SEC)Cactus Bowl — Tuesday, December 26 (Pac 12)Heart of Dallas Bowl — Tuesday, December 26 (CUSA)Hopefully — hopefully — Oklahoma State isn’t worried about anything less than an Alamo Bowl this season, but there you go. There they all are. The fun part about all of this is that OSU will likely already have most of its 2018 class of recruits locked up (because of the early signing period) so coaches, players and fans can just relax and enjoy the festivities. 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.last_img read more

Defensive Tackle, Cowboy Back Highlight Biggest Needs of the 2018 Recruiting Class

first_imgKanion WilliamsSafetyDallas, TX3 stars Jonathan SheperdWide ReceiverKilgore, TX3 stars Jaelyn NolanCornerbackBrownfield, TX3 stars C.J. MooreWide ReceiverTulsa, OK4 stars Hunter WoodardOffensive TackleTuscola, IL3 stars Jahmyl JeterRunning BackSan Antonio, TX3 stars Gabe LemonsCornerbackCoppell, TX2 stars Jacob FarrellOffensive TackleSulphur, OK3 stars Bryce BrayOffensive GuardBixby, OK3 stars Kolby PeelLinebackerCollege Station, TX3 stars Jarrick BernardSafetyShreveport, LA3 stars Jayveon CardwellCornerbackCibolo, TX3 starscenter_img Tyler LacyDefensive EndSachse, TX3 stars NamePositionHome TownRating (247) 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. Blake BarronLinebackerRockwall, TX3 stars Hunter AnthonyOffensive TackleTuttle, OK3 stars AdChoices广告The coaching staff has done a good job of filling up the crop of defensive backs. There are now six players in the class expected to play either safety or corner. With six senior defensive backs (four safeties, two cornerbacks) on the roster currently, getting talented youth into the program now is vital to the position’s stability.After not bringing in a single high school offensive lineman in last year’s class, new offensive coordinator Josh Henson did some real work, getting verbal commitments from five recruits. This was big, especially considering the Cowboys have five senior linemen on the roster right now and five juniors. That’s half of the linemen on campus.Barring a decommitment, OSU is likely done with quarterback and running back with Spencer Sanders and Jahmyl Jeter in the mix. The roster is loaded with youth at both positions with four freshman/sophomore quarterbacks and five freshman/sophomore running backs.The staff could look to add another wide receiver, but I don’t think it’s a top priority. They have 15 on campus this season. Yes, four are seniors, but with the depth of talent they can sustain only bringing on two this year and focusing on the position more in the 2019 class. It’s not that adding a third receiver to this class would be a bad thing, there are just other areas with more demanding needs.That brings us to which positions OSU will likely focus their efforts with the remaining seven scholarships. I believe there are four positions the Cowboys will be looking to bring in a player.Defensive EndThe Cowboys currently have nine defensive ends on the roster. Two of those are seniors and five are juniors. With only one current DE commit in the 2018 class in Tyler Lacy, I expect OSU to push hard to land at least one more.Cowboy Back/Tight EndThere are nine cowboy back/tight ends on the roster right now. While OSU will only graduate one at the end of the season, five on the roster are juniors this year. I expect they would like to add at least one player to the class who can fit the OSU version of the tight end, especially with the decommitment of Nic McTear.Defensive TackleOSU has seven on the roster, but two are seniors and one is a junior. OSU is going to need to add at least one player in this class. If they can’t nab a high school player they like, look for coaches to target a junior college player or a graduate transfer who can immediately come in and contribute.LinebackerThe Cowboys have 12 on campus, but three are seniors and three more are juniors. As of now, OSU has two linebacker commits in Blake Barron and Kolby Peel. I expect they will want to land another player for this position.There’s no reason to believe OSU won’t try to use all seven remaining scholarships, especially if they get commitments from some quality recruits. However, with OSU’s history of bringing in a graduate transfer or two each year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the coach staff hang on to a couple of scholarships just in case. Jason TaylorSafetyOklahoma City, OK3 stars Thanks to two commitments last week, Oklahoma State now has only has a maximum of seven available scholarships remaining for its 2018 recruiting class. While it’s possible they could use them all, I expect them to focus on filling only four to five of them before National Signing Day.With those scholarships, there are some specific positions Oklahoma State is going to be targeting, based on what they already have in the 2018 class and the number of upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) currently on the roster.First, let’s take a look at OSU’s 2018 class so far. Tyrese WilliamsOffensive CenterHouston, TX3 stars Sanders, SpencerQuarterbackDenton, TX4 starslast_img read more

100 Days of Summer: Get to Know No. 6 Keenen Brown

first_imgWhile 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. At No. 6 on our countdown, let’s look at a fourth-year junior who’s transformed his body and could be a sneaky pick for Most Improved Cowboy in 2017.How he got to OSUBrown took his first step on campus as a 6-3, 205-pound wide receiver specimen. Pretty normal. OSU’s had plenty of those. But it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for Brown.The four-star prospect from Alief Taylor (Houston, Texas) — ranked as the No. 4o wide receiver by 247 Sports — had to turn down scholarships from Oklahoma, Florida, LSU, Oregon and 15 other Division I schools to make a home in Stillwater, America. That’s not easy to do.AdChoices广告What he’s done in StillwaterIt’s also not easy to be sidelined the first two seasons of your career — one  for redshirt purposes and the other due to a foot injury. But after getting healthy and building his body up by 40 pounds, Brown no longer looked like the his receiver counterparts.Prior to 2016 and after weighing in at 250 pounds, Brown was a perfect fit for Oklahoma State’s hybrid tight end/H-back position. In 2016 he saw sparing reps behind the CW poster children Blake Jarwin and Zac Veatch but now they’re both gone.After a year in the Cowboy Back room, Brown looks ready for a featured role but the transition hasn’t been easy. His position coach, Jason McEndoo talked about the physical challenge of moving from wide receiver to Cowboy Back.“People don’t understand [how hard it is],” McEndoo told PFB. “To put this in context, making the transition, what he has done, from Z receiver to tight end, that’s like taking a kid that plays corner and turning him into a defensive end. That’s a different world inside the tackle box. That’s big-boy land. That’s a different lifestyle.”Brown also talked about how much of a challenge it was, but thought the mental part was even more taxing.“It’s a big adjustment mentally because you’ve got to learn the defensive line, the linebackers,” Brown told PFB. “At receiver, all I had to do was learn the coverage and maybe what technique the corner’s playing. At Cowboy Back, I’ve got to know the whole D-Line, the linebackers and I’ve still got to know the coverages. Mentally, you’ve got to be prepared to work out there.”Role in 2017With Blake Jarwin trying to earn a spot in Big D, Brown now has the opening he’s been waiting for. He’s got the size, the athleticism and the ball skills to really shine from that tight end role.“He’s been great,” said McEndoo. “He wants to be good. He works at it. You know his strengths. He’s explosive. He’s fast. He can come across the middle. I mean, he’s not a small dude.”Let’s not forget or play down the reason Brown was recruited to OSU. He’s still one of the highest-rated wide receiver prospects on OSU’s roster. Think about that for a minute. And though the sample size is extremely small, he’s been as effective as possible in passing opportunities. Brown’s been targeted twice in college and he’s turned it into two catches 47 yards.Does that mean he’ll be an all-conference selection? Not necessarily and his reps will be limited to how well he can pass protect and how much OSU uses the role with the plethora of wide receivers needing catches. But he’s got the athleticism and playmaking ability to be an X-factor on an already potent offense.According to the projected depth chart for Week 1, Brown is slated behind Britton Abbott and Sione Finefeuiaki at Cowboy Back.Noteworthy stats and highlightsHere’s a look at that 38-yard catch against UT last year.last_img read more

Report: Zenit 3 Celtic 0 (3-1 agg)

first_imgZenit 3 Celtic 0 (3-1 agg): Ivanovic inspires second-leg turnaround Rob Lancaster Last updated 1 year ago 03:59 23/2/2018 Zenit-Celtic_cropped Mark Runnacles/Getty Images Defender Branislav Ivanovic celebrated his 34th birthday with the opening goal as Zenit knocked Celtic out of Europe. Branislav Ivanovic was the key as Zenit overturned a first-leg deficit against Celtic for a 3-0 victory that sent them into the last 16 of the Europa League.Having missed the 1-0 defeat in Scotland a week ago, birthday boy Ivanovic proved the unlikely inspiration for Zenit’s impressive turnaround at a raucous Krestovsky Stadium.The veteran defender celebrated turning 34 by scoring the opening goal in the seventh minute, powering in a header from a corner to make it 1-1 on aggregate, before setting up Zenit’s third in the second half. 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 A 25-yard shot from Daler Kuzyaev somehow slipped beyond Dorus De Vries to double the Russian side’s lead before the half-hour mark, leaving Brendan Rodgers’ team in need of an away goal to keep their European campaign alive.However, Aleksandr Kokorin bundled in Ivanovic’s low cross just after the hour to make sure Roberto Mancini would triumph in the battle between the two former Premier League managers.12 – Celtic haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 12 away games in the Europa League, with their last one coming back in November 2009 (0-0 at Hamburg). Porous.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 22, 2018Rodgers kept faith with the same XI that started the first leg in Glasgow, hardly a surprise after he branded their performance at Celtic Park as “brilliant” in the immediate aftermath. Yet their narrow advantage – given to them by Callum McGregor’s 78th-minute strike in the first leg – did not last long. After Leandro Paredes’ curling shot was turned around the post by De Vries, Ivanovic lost his marker at the resulting corner to head his side on level terms.While De Vries had little chance with the opener, he would have expected to do better with Kuzyaev’s strike that put Zenit in charge of the tie in the 27th minute.The midfielder’s attempt carried plenty of power but seemed to be heading straight at Celtic’s experienced goalkeeper, who failed to set his feet in time as the ball flashed through his outstretched arms and into the middle of the net.The shot-shy visitors, in contrast, failed to bother Andrey Lunev at the other end of the field, despite dominating possession against opponents happy to work on the counter.Rodgers reacted to such a tepid opening 45 minutes by sending on Tom Rogic in place of Eboue Kouassi. The substitute wasted no time in trying his luck from distance, though his speculative attempt drifted comfortably over the bar as Celtic struggled in attack.The tie was put beyond them when Kokorin’s run caught out Mikael Lustig, allowing the alert forward to convert Ivanovic’s teasing centre from the right at the back post.With a lead to protect and the clock on their side, Zenit comfortably held firm through to the final whistle to secure a place in Friday’s draw for the next round. Celtic, in contrast, will now focus on domestic matters, as they aim to complete the domestic treble for a second successive season.F/T – Zenit 3-0 Celtic. Goals from Ivanovic, Kuzyaev and Kokorin send us through to the last 16 of the @EuropaLeague and the Scots crashing out 3-1 on aggregate. #ZENCEL #UEL pic.twitter.com/yhQl6fAZRa— FC Zenit in English (@fczenit_en) February 22, 2018Key Opta stats:- Zenit advanced from a European tie after losing the first leg for the first time since 2010-11, when they beat Young Boys 4-3 on aggregate in this competition.- This was Celtic’s heaviest defeat in the Europa League/UEFA Cup since October 1991, when they lost 5-1 away at Neuchatel Xamax in the last 32.- Celtic have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 12 away games in the Europa League, with their last one coming back in November 2009 (0-0 at Hamburg).- Branislav Ivanovic has scored three goals in the Europa League this term. No defender has netted more than him in the competition. read morelast_img read more

BBC back on song as Benzema silences boos

first_imgReal Madrid Benzema silences Bernabeu boos as BBC show Madrid what they have been missing Ben Hayward Last updated 1 year ago 01:22 25/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() Benzema Bale Casemiro celebrate against Alaves Getty Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo Gareth Bale Karim Benzema Real Madrid v Deportivo Alavés Deportivo Alavés Primera División Opinion The three forwards all contributed as Los Blancos beat Alaves 4-0 at the Bernabeu in a timely return to form ahead of the trip to PSG in early March The Real Madrid fans were growing impatient. First, Karim Benzema slipped to scuff a shot when it looked easier to score and then, minutes later, the France forward hit the post from two yards out with the goal at his mercy in an action that – mercifully for him at least – was called offside.Benzema is having one of those seasons and, on Saturday, against Alaves, it seemed as if he was going to endure another frustrating afternoon. But in the blazing sun at the Santiago Bernabeu, the 30-year-old kept his head down and this time, things went his way.Jeered by fans after his earlier miss, Benzema laid off the ball for Cristiano Ronaldo to open the scoring a minute before half-time and save the team from further boos at the interval. 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 It was a timely breakthrough and, a minute into the second half, Benzema stole possession and advanced with the ball, feeding Gareth Bale to double the hosts’ advantage. Suddenly, Zinedine Zidane’s side, lacking in rhythm for much of the first period, had settled a potentially tricky fixture either side of the break.Up until then, Lucas Vazquez – in the team for a third consecutive start – had been Real’s standout player, causing problems for Alaves with some superb dribbling and incisive runs.Bale, widely linked with a summer departure by the Madrid media on Friday, had blown hot and cold. The Welsh winger, playing on the left of midfield in a 4-4-2 formation, had come close with one spectacular overhead effort, but also wasted possession on a couple of occasions.However, his goal will do him the world of good as he looks to recover from recent criticism and being benched for three out of the last four matches by Zidane, who summed up the 28-year-old’s poor performance at Betis last weekend by saying: “Gareth… he played his game.”Lucas then teed up Ronaldo for the third and in the closing stages, as Bale was sent tumbling in the box, Cristiano handed the ball to Benzema and the France forward fired home from the spot. It was a nice gesture from the Portuguese and the striker had deserved a goal despite his problems earlier on.RM scoreIn the end, it was straightforward enough against an Alaves side that had taken 22 points from their previous 11 games, making them the third-best team in La Liga in that period (after Barcelona and Atletico). And it was much to do with the BBC, who all netted one goal in the same game for the first time since April 2016.Reunited in attack all together earlier this term for the first time in 273 days, Madrid’s famous forward line has remained under scrutiny with both Bale and Benzema off form in recent weeks.That has coincided with the impressive displays of Marco Asensio and Lucas, who both came on late against Paris Saint-Germain in the teams’ last-16 first leg at the Bernabeu to help win the match for Real.Those two will obviously be in contention to start in the return match at the Parc des Princes on March 6, but Bale, Benzema and Cristiano can be devastating together when all on song and the BBC’s Saturday’s showing will delight Zidane ahead of the big match in Paris. How they have been missed.last_img read more

Smalling: Second is bare minimum for Man Utd

first_imgManchester United Smalling: Second place is bare minimum for Man Utd Chris Burton 15:33 27/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Chris Smalling, Manchester United, 17/18 Getty Images Manchester United Premier League The Red Devils cemented their Premier League standing with victory over Chelsea and securing a runner-up finish is now considered to be a priority Chris Smalling admits wrapping up a second-place finish is the “bare minimum” for a Manchester United side rebuilding in the Premier League.Under the guidance of the iconic Sir Alex Ferguson, the Red Devils swept to 13 titles and never finished lower than third.Since the legendary Scot slipped into retirement back in 2013, United have failed to climb higher than fourth. 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 Failure to sustain a challenge for the crown in 2017-18 has frustrated those at Old Trafford, but a runner-up spot is there to be shot at and Smalling admits that is now a top priority.The England defender said after helping to cement a standing in second with a 2-1 victory over fellow challengers Chelsea: “I think obviously we’ve been second for quite a while and that needs to be our bare minimum.”The fact we get to play Liverpool at home as well I think is a big advantage.”If we can separate ourselves from Chelsea and Liverpool and work our way up then we can do that.”But I think that’s our (goal) first and foremost.”United will welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford on March 10, while they also have meetings with arch-rivals Manchester City and Arsenal to come before the end of the campaign.Positive results in those contests should help to wrap up second place, although there is still little to choose between the many hopefuls – with United two points clear of Liverpool, four ahead of Tottenham and six in front of Chelsea.Manchester United celebrate Chelsea“I think being able to beat a rival, it’s almost like a six-pointer because of how close we are,” Smalling added.”The confidence just breeds [confidence] and we’re ready for the next one.”I think considering sort of how close we are in the table, I think it gives them a massive blow and us a lift.”I think all of us, especially that top five, are probably all going to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.”These are huge games and I think the fact we play a lot of our rivals at home is going to be a big factor because of our home form.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more