Another blow for Man United

first_imgLONDON (AP):After another lacklustre week in the short reign of Louis van Gaal, Manchester United will revisit the scene of one of the team’s greatest embarrassments.In January 1984, Bournemouth then playing in the third tier eliminated defending champions United from the FA Cup in one of the competition’s great upsets. Now, Bournemouth are in the Premier League for the first time and preparing to host United tomorrow.The disparity between United and Bournemouth is vast. United have the league’s biggest stadium (76,000-capacity); Bournemouth’s is the smallest (11,500). United have won a record 20 top-flight titles; Bournemouth have zero.Although United are three points from first place and Bournemouth are barely out of the relegation zone on goal difference, the south-coast club has been buoyed by the greatest result in its history: Winning at Premier League champions Chelsea last weekend.United, though, are making the long trip to the seaside town after failing to qualify for the round of 16 in the Champions League.And United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger starts a three-game ban after accepting a Football Association charge for violent conduct yesterday. The German stuck out his left arm and caught West Ham defender Winston Reid in the throat as both players jostled for position from a free kick during the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford on Saturday.Adding to United’s problems is a lengthy injury list that includes captain Wayne Rooney and defenders Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling.”We have a lot of injuries,” United midfielder Marouane Fellaini said. “There’s nothing we can do about that. We have a lot of players in the squad that the manager has given a chance to and now they can show themselves, but I hope the injured players come back soon.”CHELSEA DANGERRestored to the starting lineup for Chelsea’s Champions League win over FC Porto, striker Diego Costa will now be looking to start scoring on a regular basis.The Spain forward has scored only three league goals so far this season.”He is lacking in confidence, clearly,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said.After winning the league by eight points in May, Chelsea could find themselves in the relegation zone before playing at surprise leaders Leicester on Monday. Leicester are 17 points in front of 14th-place Chelsea.Mourinho’s side is only two points above the relegation zone after losing to Bournemouth, with its hopes of qualifying for the Champions League looking increasingly reliant on winning the competition.Monday’s game is Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri’s first meeting with the club he managed between 2000 and 2004, when Mourinho first took charge.”I’m sure at the end of the season they will be in the top four,” Ranieri said. “I still think they will make the Champions League. For now it is bad luck, but when they start to win, they will arrive.”GARDE REUNIONThere’s another reunion this weekend with former Arsenal player Remi Garde hosting the London club as manager of Aston Villa on Sunday.While Villa are in last place, Arsenal are two points from the top in second and looking forward to the round of 16 in the Champions League after turning around a faltering campaign.Garde won the league with Arsenal in 1998 during his three years with the club at the start of Arsene Wenger’s reign.last_img read more

Injury, illness hit top six before Australian Open

first_imgBRISBANE, Australia (AP):It’s been an injury and illness-filled start to 2016 for the top six women in tennis and just a week from the start of the Australian Open.Defending Sydney International champion Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon winner, pulled out of the Sydney tournament yesterday, the second week in a row she’s had to quit due to a stomach virus. She was joined a few hours later by Agnieszka Radwanska, the No. 2-seeded player in Sydney, who has a left leg injury.Last week, the world’s four top-ranked women retired or withdrew from tournaments due to injuries on the left side of their bodies: No. 1 Serena Williams (Hopman Cup/knee), second-ranked Halep (Brisbane/ankle), No. 3 Garbine Muguruza (Brisbane/foot) and fourth-ranked Maria Sharapova (Brisbane/forearm).Now No. 5 Radwanska and No. 6 Kvitova are on the ever-growing injury list.Kvitova retired during the first round of the Shenzhen Open in China last week. She was scheduled to play her first match in Sydney against Germany’s Sabine Lisicki today.”I’m really disappointed to have to withdraw … but unfortunately I am still not feeling well,” the sixth-ranked Kvitova said in a statement.Former No. 1 and now 16th-ranked Ana Ivanovic is healthy, but her new season is nonetheless off to a poor start. After losing in the first round last week in Auckland, she was granted a Sydney wild card.Ivanovic, who won the French Open in 2008, months after losing the Australian Open final to Sharapova, was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova in a first-round match yesterday.”I was thinking, it’s not really (an) easy draw for first round,” Pliskova said. “I was really expecting a tough match. I’m just happy it went a little bit more my way.”In other first-round matches, another Serbian former No. 1, Jelena Jankovic, beat American CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-4; former French and U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Australian Tammi Patterson 6-2, 6-0; and Caroline Garcia, who represented France at the Hopman Cup last week, beat countrywoman Kristina Mladenovic 7-6 (4), 6-4.Bernard Tomic is the top-seeded man at Sydney, while Halep is the top-seeded woman.Halep, who has a first-round bye, said yesterday she’ll likely carry the injury into the Australian Open, which begins January 18.”It’s difficult to know that you will be injured when you come to Australia. To me it happened this year,” she said. “I was not happy but we have to accept it.”At the Hobart International, another of the Australian Open warm-up tournaments, second-seeded Camila Giorgi of Italy beat Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 and seventh-seeded Alize Cornet of France defeated Denisa Allertova of Czech Republic 6-4, 7-5 yesterday.Sloane Stephens, who won the ASB Classic in Auckland on Saturday, was a late withdrawal from Hobart due to a virus.Former No. 5 Eugenie Bouchard, who is entered at Hobart, says she has “zero expectations” at the Australian Open as she makes her comeback from a concussion she sustained at the US Open when she slipped and fell in the dressing room.last_img read more

RJR Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year 2015 nominees

first_img Alicia Ashley – Boxing For his achievement in taking triple gold at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Beijing, China. Bolt won the 100 metres, 200 metres and anchored the men’s 4×100 metres, making it the third time he had taken triple gold at the Championships. Bolt’s success came despite losing significant training and competition time to injury, and his victories at the scene of his 2008 Olympic triumphs made him the all-time most decorated male athlete of the Championships with 13 medals – 11 gold and two silver. For her achievement in regaining the World Boxing Council (WBC) female world super bantamweight title with a 10-round decision over veteran Irish boxer Christina McMahon. In winning the title, Ashley became the oldest female world champion in boxing history. Ashley was the 2014 recipient of the Chairman’s Award at the RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Gala. Alia Atkinson – Swimmingcenter_img The Hon Usain St Leo Bolt, OJ, CD – Athletics For her achievement in earning a silver medal in the 50 metres breaststroke in a National Record 30.11 seconds and also the bronze medal in the 100 metres breaststroke, both at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, (Long Course). Atkinson also took the bronze medal in the 100 metres breaststroke at the Pan American Games in Toronto and finished the year in fourth place overall in the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup (Short Course). Atkinson is ranked No.3 in the World in the 50 metres breaststroke.last_img read more

Schafer, Simpson for Copa Centenario draw

first_imgJamaica’s senior men’s national football team head coach Winfried Schafer and team manager Roy Simpson will attend the official draw and team workshop for the historic 2016 Copa America Centenario. The official draw will take place at the prestigious Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, USA, tomorrow, beginning at 8 p.m. The tournament, which will be the 45th edition of Copa America, since its inception in 1916, will be held as part of an agreement between CONMEBOL (the South American football confederation) and CONCACAF (the football confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean) as a special edition between the usual four-year cycle and will feature an expanded field of 16 teams (an increase from the usual 12), with 10 teams from CONMEBOL and six teams from CONCACAF. The tournament will be held from June 3-26 in the USA. The participating countries will be (CONMEBOL) Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela and (CONCACAF) Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, and the USA. The event will include coaches, managers, media liaison officers and broadcasters, as well as executives from the two confederations. They will also participate in the team workshop tomorrow and Monday. Jamaica qualified by being crowned the 2014 Caribbean Cup Champions.last_img read more