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Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Is Kyrgios running out of time to mature?

By Andrew Both

(Reuters) - Two weeks after receiving a record six-figure fine for his latest on-court meltdown, Nick Kygrios returns to the U.S. Open with questions swirling over whether the mercurial Australian will ever mature in time to fulfil his vast potential.

Kyrgios, the 28th seed who will play American Steve Johnson in the first round on Tuesday, arrives in New York on the back of a second round loss at the Cincinnati Masters where he again made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

He was fined $113,000 there after verbally abusing chair umpire Fergus Murphy and smashing two rackets.

The antics came just two weeks after he had tamed his wild ways to win the Citi Open in Washington DC, for his sixth career title.

"I've just been working really hard, on and off the court, to try and be better as a person and as a tennis player," he said at the time.

The good behaviour on display that week did not last long, leaving pundits and former players wondering whether the 24-year-old will ever embrace the change necessary to take his game to the next level.

"He has moments where he puts it together but even those moments are fraught with seconds or minutes of something happening that can completely set him off," former world number five Jimmy Arias, the director of tennis at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, told Reuters in an interview.

"I'm not Australian and it drives me crazy because you see how good he is. He would be a guy who could be number one in the world if he had anything upstairs.

"Even if he had half of (Rafa) Nadal's fight he would be top four in the world."

While prone to losing to modest opponents, Kyrgios often produces his best tennis when up against one of the 'Big Three' of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Nadal.

He has a combined 6-9 head-to-head record against them -- 2-0 against Djokovic, 3-4 against Nadal and 1-5 against Federer.

"He can compete hard against (the Big Three) because there's no blow to his ego to lose," said American Arias.

"But if he is playing someone ranked a little lower, and he's obviously trying his hardest and he's losing or he possibly could lose, then he just goes in the tank and he's got that excuse for his ego.

"He's created a defence mechanism in his brain that he has to change and that's going to take work and I'm not too sure he's willing to do that work and I don't know it's that important to him in the end.

"The thing with today's players, he can try hard two for three weeks a year and still make a million dollars a year or something."

TRANSCENDENT STAR?

Former world number one Andy Roddick said he would be happy to have a career mulligan if he could be blessed with Kyrgios's gifts.

"His talent is unbelievable," the 2003 U.S. Open champion told Reuters. "I would go back and play my career with his game in a heartbeat.

"We need there to be kind of a transcendent star. Like him or hate him, you watch him. I think for the good of the game (and) I'd like to see him deliver on his promise.

"I don't want him to be totally different from the way he is because the reason we're talking about him is because you can't take your eyes off him when he's on the court."

Kyrgios has shown little interest in taking advice, let alone the discipline of a coach, but Arias hoped someone could get through to him that a loss to a less talented player is still a loss.

"Someone should just say to him: 'Nick, when you tank, you still lost. It doesn't add any credence to your greatness'."

Original Article

Pole Hurkacz lifts first ATP trophy at Winston-Salem Open

Aug 24 (Reuters) - Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz outdueled top seed Benoit Paire to earn his first ATP title with a 6-3 3-6 6-3win in the Winston-Salem Open final on Saturday.

Hurkacz, 22, steadied himself through a roller coaster affair, which included a brief rain delay after the second set, and came out on top after two hours and nine minutes.

Hurkacz became the first Polish winner of a tour-level event since Wojtek Fibak at WCT Chicago in 1982.

“That is a lot of time (without a Polish champion). I am so glad that I have been able to win an ATP Tour event,” he said.

“I hope many more guys will join me soon and that I will win some more. It means a lot to me and I am glad that I won this tournament here."

Hurkacz's sparkling week included wins against four consecutive seeded opponents. Paire was in search of his third title of the season after wins in Lyon and Marrakech but lost the big points down the stretch.

He was nonetheless satisfied with a solid week ahead of Flushing Meadows.

"For me it was a good week,” said Paire. “Honestly, I could have lost in (my second match) so it was really good to be in the final.”

Original Article

Polish qualifier Linette downs Giorgi for Bronx title

Polish qualifier Linette downs Giorgi for Bronx titlePolish qualifier Linette downs Giorgi for Bronx title

(Reuters) - Polish qualifier Magda Linette rallied to upset Italy's Camila Giorgi 5-7 7-5 6-4 and claim her first career WTA title at the Bronx Open on Saturday.

World number 80 Linette, playing her eighth match at the U.S. Open warmup, enjoyed a huge boost before her first round match against Australia's Astra Sharma at Flushing Meadows next week.

Having been 2-0 down in the final set, 27-year-old Linette saved four break points and reeled off four consecutive games to down the hard-hitting Italian and cap one of the finest weeks of her career.

Original Article

Napoli win seven-goal thriller at Fiorentina amid VAR controversy

FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - Napoli, runners-up in three of the last four seasons, hit back from conceding a contentious early penalty to win 4-3 at new-look Fiorentina in a hugely entertaining start to their Serie A campaign on Saturday.

Napoli were also awarded a controversial penalty, for a foul on Dries Mertens, which left Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella fuming especially after Franck Ribery, making his debut for the hosts, had a penalty appeal turned down late in the game.

Napoli's win set up an intriguing early clash with champions Juventus, who beat Parma 1-0 away, on Aug. 31.

"There really is anger, because a mistake can happen but for me to reason that these are penalties and others aren’t, no. I can’t do it. I’m sorry," said Montella.

Napoli suffered an early setback when the ball rebounded off a Fiorentina player's knee against the arm of Piotr Zielinksi at point-blank range in the middle of a crowded goalmouth.

Even though the Pole knew nothing about it, a penalty was awarded after a long VAR review and Erick Pulgar, recently signed from Bologna, converted on his debut.

Napoli struggled to get going, yet levelled with their first real attack in the 38th minute when Dries Mertens scored with a dipping shot from outside the area which goalkeeper Bartolomej Dragowski got his hands to but failed to stop.

In the next attack, Mertens fell over Gaetano Castrovilli, who was already on the ground, but the referee pointed to the spot, did not review the incident and Insigne levelled.

Nikola Milenkovic headed Fiorentina back on level terms in the 52nd minute, only for Jose Callejon to put Napoli back in front four minutes later with a low angled shot into the far corner.

Substitute and new signing Kevin-Prince Boateng, making his debut for the 11th club of his career, equalised for Fiorentina in the 65th minute.

But two minutes later Mertens found Callejon at the far post and he knocked the ball back for Insigne to head the winner.

Ribery was brought on for his debut and claimed he should have been awarded a penalty when he went down under a challenge from Elseid Hysaj, but the referee ignored his appeals and VAR did not intervene.

"I don't really understand the rule which provoked the first penalty for us, but the rule is there and, although I don't agree with it, it was a penalty," said Montella.

"But explain to me the Mertens penalty. That was simulation by Mertens and nobody said anything. The referee said he saw a foul but VAR is there, so why didn't he use it."

"It's actually easier to accept errors when VAR isn't being used."

Original Article

Athletics: Lyles romps to 200m victory in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - World championship favourite Noah Lyles stormed to the year's second fastest 200 metres, 19.65 seconds, as he returned to competition at the Paris Diamond League meeting on Saturday.

Reigning world champion Ramil Guliyev of Turkey was more than three-tenths of a second adrift in 20.01 and Canadian Aaron Brown finished third in 20.13.

"When I was coming off the turn it felt like such a fast track, the fastest I've ever felt coming off the turn," said 22-year-old American Lyles who was running for the first time since winning the 200 at July's U.S. championships.

"I'm coming off a loaded week in training so that gives me a lot of confidence," Lyles said.

"I blinked and all of a sudden the race was over."

Only Lyles has run faster this year, his time of 19.50 seconds in July making him the fourth fastest man ever at the distance.

Lyles was asked whether he was thinking about Jamaican Usain Bolt's 2009 world record of 19.19 seconds as he heads into next month's world championships.

"It's not about going after Bolt's record or anything like that," Lyles said. "But when we get there, we're willing to go after any record."

The meeting was the last of the Diamond League regular season with only finals in Zurich and Brussels remaining before the world championships

Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson again showed she is the class of the women's 100 metres, breaking away for an easy victory in 10.98 seconds.

Reigning world champions Karsten Warholm, Tom Walsh and Sam Kendricks were also in sparkling form.

Norwegian Warholm won the 400 metres hurdles by more than a second in 47.26 and New Zealand's Walsh claimed the shot put with a throw of 22.44 metres as for the first time ever eight men went over 21 metres.

American Kendricks soared 6.00 metres with French world record holder Renaud Lavillenie sixth at 5.60.

Canadian Alysha Newman surprised a world class field to win the women's pole vault with a lifetime best 4.82 metres.

Olympic and world triple jump champion Christian Taylor was beaten by the silver medallist Will Claye, who bounded 18.06 metres to Taylor's 17.82.

World decathlon record holder Kevin Mayer excited the home crowd by winning a triathlon, setting personal bests of 17.08 metres in the shot put and 13.55 seconds in the 110 metres hurdles.

Original Article

Djokovic says has read Gimelstob victim statements

By Frank Pingue

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic said on Saturday he read the victim statements involving former ATP board member ­Justin Gimelstob, who pleaded no contest to assault in April, and that the American has work in his private life that needs addressing.

Djokovic, who serves as president of the ATP Player Council, promised had said during a heated news conference at Wimbledon he would go through the report and in his pre-U.S. Open meeting with media was asked to comment on the documents.

"He (Gimelstob) has taken the responsibility for his actions and what has happened that night," Djokovic, who will begin his U.S. Open title defence on Monday, told reporters.

"So he went back to deal with this himself. Obviously there is a lot of work in his private life that needs addressing."

Former player Gimelstob, who won the Australian and French Open mixed doubles titles in 1998, was arrested last November for an attack on Oct. 31 in Los Angeles on Randall Kaplan, who is a friend of Gimelstob's ex-wife Cary Sinnott.

Gimelstob pleaded "no contest" to a felony battery charge in April that was reduced to a misdemeanour and was sentenced to three years probation and 60 days of community labour and ordered to complete 52 weeks of anger management instruction.

The American stepped down from his position on the ATP board in May, saying at the time he had become too much of a distraction and a liability.

"He's going to try to handle this matter in best possible way. I really wish him all the best," said Djokovic.

"It's unfortunate that that has happened. Because I think he was a great asset, as I was mentioning in Wimbledon and before, for the players.

"But he has taken the responsibility. I have read what you wanted me to read in Wimbledon, and that's all there is to it. I have no further comments for you."

Original Article

India in command against West Indies after third day

India in command against West Indies after third dayIndia in command against West Indies after third day

(Reuters) - India strengthened their grip on the first test against West Indies with an unbeaten fourth-wicket century partnership between Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane on the third day in Antigua on Saturday.

Kohli (51) and Rahane (53) brought up half centuries as India advanced to 185-3 in their second innings at the close in North Sound, an overall lead of 260 runs over the hosts.

On a day of old fashioned test cricket, the pair painstakingly compiled their runs primarily in singles and twos, combining for just five boundaries.

Rahane enjoyed a touch of luck just before stumps when he was given not out after being rapped on the pad by pace bowler Kemar Roach.

West Indies captain Jason Holder declined to review, which proved to be a mistake as replays showed the ball would have struck middle stump.

Yet India had also made a similar mistake, having decided not to review when opener Mayank Agarwal (16) was adjudged lbw to off-spinner Roston Chase, even though the ball would have missed leg stump.

West Indies resumed in the morning on 189-8 and added 33 runs to their overnight score, with Holder making 39 before being caught-behind off Mohammed Shami.

Number 10 Miguel Cummins (NYSE:CMI) offered dogged resistance, facing 45 balls before being bowled without scoring by Ravindra Jadeja as India wrapped up the innings.

Cummins spent 95 minutes at the crease in the second longest test innings by anyone out for a duck.

Ishant Sharma conceded just one run in four overs but could not add to his five-wicket haul from Friday, finishing with 5-43.

The two-test series is part of the World Test Championship.

Original Article

Djokovic unfazed by foot blisters ahead of U.S. Open

By Frank Pingue

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic interrupted his U.S. Open practice twice on Saturday to have a trainer look at his right foot but the defending champion said the discomfort was due to blisters and is not a concern.

So uncomfortable was Djokovic that he removed his shoe and sock to have his right foot inspected. Later in the practice he stopped mid-sprint, lifted his right leg off the ground and hopped around on his left foot.

"It's just a minor thing with the foot. You know, blisters like anybody has those," top seed Djokovic told reporters. "But it's nothing major that is posing a concern for the event."

Djokovic, who saved two match points last month to beat Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, will hope the blisters do not worsen especially since solid movement on the court is key to his playing style.

"It allows me to actually swing through my shots to get some balls that maybe most of the other players cannot get to," said Djokovic, who will begin his quest for a 17th career Grand Slam on Monday against Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena.

"I slide a lot, whether it's clay, hard court, or grass. I think the flexibility of my ankles has helped with that pretty, so to say, aggressive style of movement."

Since Wimbledon, Djokovic has played one hardcourt event and made a run to the Cincinnati semi-finals where he lost to Russian Daniil Medvedev, who is the Serb's projected quarter-final opponent in New York.

Djokovic, 32, has won four of the last five Grand Slams and is two shy of Rafa Nadal on the all-time list and four away from matching Federer's record tally of 20.

The Serbian has a tough draw in New York but is favourite to inch closer to his rivals over the coming fortnight.

"I still am very motivated to keep going and especially at this stage," said Djokovic.

"It always has been the case but, especially now, more or less everything is about Grand Slams in terms of how I see tennis and how I approach them because they matter the most."

Original Article

Six spectators hurt after lightning strike at Tour Championship

Six spectators hurt after lightning strike at Tour ChampionshipSix spectators hurt after lightning strike at Tour Championship

(Reuters) - Six spectators were injured when lightning struck a tree during the third round at the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Saturday, the PGA Tour said in a statement.

"At 4.45 p.m., there were two lightning strikes at East Lake Golf Club; a tree near the range/15 green/16 tee was hit, and debris from that strike injured four people," the Tour said.

"(Emergency personnel) tended to those fans and two others immediately and transported them from the property via ambulance for further medical attention.

"Our latest report is that their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening."

The strike occurred 28 minutes after the third round had been halted when thunderstorms popped up over the course, said Tour rules official Mark Russell on the NBC broadcast.

"We knew we were going to have possibly some pop-up thunderstorms today," Russell said.

"When one did form right over the top of us we suspended play immediately."

Play was suspended for the day, and will resume at 8 a.m. (1200 GMT) local time on Sunday.

NBC screened footage showing the lightning bolt that apparently caused the injuries.

Professional golf tournaments became far more vigilant about stopping play amid the threat of lightning after two spectators were killed at separate major championships in the United States in 1991.

One man was killed and five others injured while sheltering under a tree at the 1991 U.S. Open at Hazeltine in Minnesota.

Two months later, another spectator died when struck while walking to his vehicle at the PGA Championship at Crooked Stick in Indiana.

However, while players and caddies are loaded into vehicles and taken back to the clubhouse in such situations, fans are left to seek their own shelter, and may lack the time to leave the course safely or choose not to do so.

Saturday's stoppage came after the leaders in the 30-man field had completed only five holes in the season-ending event.

Justin Thomas led fellow American Brooks Koepka and Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy by one stroke, while American Xander Schauffele was two behind.

The winner on Sunday will collect a record first prize of $15 million.

Original Article

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Former finalist Anderson out of U.S. Open with knee injury

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former finalist Kevin Anderson has withdrawn from the U.S. Open due to a knee injury, tournament organizers said on Saturday.

The South African, who reached the 2017 final in New York where he lost to Rafa Nadal, has not competed since he lost in the third round at Wimbledon last month.

Anderson, who was the 16th seed at the year's final Grand Slam, was in the same quarter of the draw as defending champion Novak Djokovic and could have met the top-seeded Serb in the fourth round.

Anderson will be replaced in the draw by lucky loser Paolo Lorenzi of Italy.

Original Article

Injured Messi out of Barca game with Betis

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona are still without all-time top scorer Lionel Messi as the Argentine was left out of the squad for their first home game of the La Liga season on Sunday against Real Betis due to a calf injury.

Messi missed Barca's 1-0 defeat at Athletic Bilbao in their opening game and did not take part in the team's final training session before facing Betis, who were the only team to win at the Camp Nou last campaign.

The captain's continued absence adds to Barca's shortages in attack as Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele are sidelined with muscle problems.

"We can't afford to take a step back with him, and if he is not 100 percent fit then we will not take any risks with him," coach Ernesto Valverde told a news conference.

The loss of Messi piles more responsibility on Barca's 120-million-euro signing Antoine Griezmann, who had an uninspiring competitive debut in Bilbao.

Valverde said his side's marquee signing is improving but challenged him to get more involved in the team's play.

"Every day he is integrating more into the team but we want him to participate more in the team's play, he didn't contribute as much as we wanted him to in Bilbao but if he does he can be decisive," the coach said.

"We need to be more productive when we have possession but he also needs to show more initiative and try to create more chances."

Original Article

Bordeaux claim first win of season

Bordeaux claim first win of seasonBordeaux claim first win of season

PARIS (Reuters) - Girondins de Bordeaux picked up their first win of the Ligue 1 season when they beat struggling Dijon 2-0 away on Saturday with goals in each half from Hwang Ui-Jo and Loris Benito.

The six-times French champions, who changed coach twice last season on their way to finishing a modest 14th, went ahead in the 11th minute when Hwang side-footed the ball in after being set up by Samuel Kalu, the South Korean's first Ligue 1 goal following his move from Gamba Osaka.

Benito volleyed the second two minutes after halftime to hand Dijon their third defeat in as many games this season.

Angers, thumped 6-0 by Olympique Lyonnais in their last match, climbed to fourth with a 3-0 win over Metz as Farid El Melali, Baptiste Santamaria and Rachid Alioui scored.

Nantes needed an 84th-minute goal from Moses Simon to win 2-1 at Amiens who played for nearly an hour with 10 men after Bakaye Dibassy was given a straight red card.

Kalifa Coulibaly headed Nantes in front in the 53rd minute but Bongani Zungu levelled in the 71st.

An 86th-minute goal from Gaetan Charbonnier, last season's top-scorer in Ligue 1, gave promoted Brest a 1-0 win over Reims, their first of the season.

Original Article

Real Madrid held to frustrating draw with Valladolid after late equaliser

© Reuters. La Liga Santander - Real Madrid v Real Valladolid© Reuters. La Liga Santander - Real Madrid v Real Valladolid

MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid's early optimism was punctured by an 88th-minute equaliser from Real Valladolid's Sergi Guardiola as Zinedine Zidane's side stumbled to a 1-1 draw in their first home game of the La Liga season on Saturday.

Karim Benzema looked to have fired Madrid to a second straight win after last week's confidence-boosting 3-1 victory at Celta Vigo when he scored in the 82nd minute with a splendid piece of skill.

The Frenchman, Madrid's top scorer last campaign, controlled a pass with his back to goal and swivelled before striking his finish into the far corner to give the home side a deserved lead.

Serbian striker Luka Jovic had gone close to breaking the deadlock earlier in the game when he headed against the crossbar barely a minute after coming off the bench, while Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez also spurned chances.

Valladolid had offered little in attack but grabbed a shock equaliser with only their second shot on target when Guardiola struck through the legs of Thibaut Courtois to complete a swift counterattack after Toni Kroos had surrendered possession.

The goal plunged a happy Santiago Bernabeu crowd into silence and left Madrid with four points after two games.

"I'm left with a bitter taste because we did the hardest thing, which was to score in a second half where we did not produce our best performance," Madrid coach Zidane told a news conference.

"It's a bad feeling when you concede an equaliser so soon after scoring. We played well in the first half, but we were unable to find the net."

Real were without suspended midfielder Luka Modric but Rodriguez made his first appearance in a Madrid shirt for over two years in a team containing 10 players that were in the squad when Zidane first took charge in January 2016.

After a strong start in the unforgiving summer heat of the Spanish capital, Madrid struggled to maintain their intensity after the interval but found a breakthrough when it looked least likely due to the quick thinking of Benzema.

They were powerless to deal with the speed of Valladolid's counterattack which saw Guardiola level six minutes later, however, although Zidane said the draw was not down to his side's waning energy levels.

"We were less convinced of ourselves in the second half," he added.

"We did not play with fluidity and when we lack that we run into problems. But we cannot blame our result on the heat, our problems today were not physical ones."

Original Article

Cycling: Astana strike first blow in Vuelta, Roglic involved in crash

Cycling: Astana strike first blow in Vuelta, Roglic involved in crashCycling: Astana strike first blow in Vuelta, Roglic involved in crash

TORREVIEJA, SPAIN (Reuters) - Colombian rider Miguel Angel Lopez was wearing the red jersey at the end of the opening stage of the Vuelta a Espana after his Astana team won Saturday's team time trial by a margin of two seconds over Deceuninck-QuickStep.

Jumbo-Visma were the favourites to take the first stage but endured a nightmarish start to the final Grand Tour of the season when their race leader Primoz Roglic and several of his team mates were involved in a mass crash.

The Dutch team finished a disastrous 18th of the 22 competing teams, 40 seconds behind Astana, giving Roglic a daunting deficit behind Lopez which the Slovenian will look to reduce over the next 20 stages.

Team Sunweb finished third, five seconds back, while Britain's Ineos, without their top riders Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal, came 11th, 26 seconds down on Astana.

Sunday's stage two is a 199km ride from Benidorm to Calpe.

Original Article

Athletics: Filing violation reports 'not true', says Coleman

(Reuters) - American sprinter Christian Coleman said on Saturday that reports he has committed doping whereabouts violations were "simply not true" and he expects to compete in next month's world championships.

A British newspaper report this week alleged that Coleman had committed three whereabouts violations in the past 12 months which could jeopardise his participation in the world championships and next year's Olympic Games.

"I'm not a guy who takes any supplements at all, so I'm never concerned about taking drug tests, at any times," Coleman said in a statement.

"What has been widely reported concerning filing violations in simply not true," added the 23-year-old Coleman, the year's fastest man, and world and Olympic 100 metres favourite.

"I am confident the upcoming hearing on September 4 will clear the matter and I will compete at the world championships in Doha this fall.

"Sometime after the hearing, I will be free to answer questions about the matter, but for now I must reserve and respect the process."

Original Article

Liverpool dispatch Arsenal for third straight win

Liverpool dispatch Arsenal for third straight winLiverpool dispatch Arsenal for third straight win

By Simon Evans

LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Liverpool made it three wins out of three as Mohamed Salah scored twice in a convincing 3-1 victory over Arsenal on Saturday to take control at the top of the Premier League.

Salah turned on the style after the break at the expense of Arsenal's close-season signing David Luiz whose decision to pull the shirt of the Egyptian gifted Liverpool a penalty to make it 2-0 and turn the game decisively in favour of the hosts.

It was the 12th consecutive Premier League victory for Juergen Klopp's side -- their best winning streak in the competition and equalling their record run in the league, matching the streak of victories under Kenny Dalglish in 1990.

It was not the mauling Arsenal suffered in their 5-1 loss at Anfield in December but it was certainly an indicator that Unai Emery's side remain in construction mode and are still a good way behind the elite.

Emery's team arrived in positive mood after winning their opening two games and the Gunners' record signing, winger Nicolas Pepe, could have opened the scoring three times as he threatened on the counter-attack.

After Adrian had raced out of his area and failed to clear, Pepe's attempted lob from distance fell just wide and shortly after the former Lille winger's curling shot was not far away.

The Ivory Coast international robbed Jordan Henderson and showed his pace to race goalwards but his shot was well saved by Liverpool's Spanish keeper.

Arsenal also rode their luck with Spanish midfielder Dani Cabellos's awful attempted pass across his penalty area finding Sadio Mane but he failed to capitalise as Bernd Leno smothered his drive.

Liverpool couldn't find the killer pass to open up Arsenal's defence but four minutes before the break, they broke through with a simple set-piece -- defender Joel Matip rising to power home a header from a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner and ease the tension at Anfield.

Still, the game looked well poised at the interval with the threat from Pepe in particular raising the prospect of an intriguing second half.

But four minutes after the re-start and not for the first time in his career, Luiz pressed the self-destruct button, blatantly and needlessly pulling Salah's shirt in the box.

There was little need for VAR to be activated even though the Egyptian didn't go down under the challenge. With little protest Salah got up and hammered home the resulting spot-kick.

Luiz's bad day continued when he was left for dead by Salah on Liverpool's right flank, and he watched the forward burst goalwards and superbly bury the ball in the far bottom corner.

Substitute Lucas Torreira pulled a goal back for Arsenal in the 85th minute, but the damage had been done.

Original Article

Chiellini gives Juventus opening win at Parma

© Reuters. Serie A - Parma v Juventus© Reuters. Serie A - Parma v Juventus

PARMA, Italy (Reuters) - Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini gave the titleholders a 1-0 win at Parma in the opening Serie A match of the new season on Saturday although they were without new coach Maurizio Sarri who is recovering from pneumonia.

Chiellini flicked the ball home in the 21st minute after Parma failed to properly clear a corner to get the Turin side off to a winning start in their bid for a ninth successive title.

Cristiano Ronaldo also had the ball in the net before halftime but his effort was ruled out after VAR showed that his shoulder was offside by a matter of millimetres when he collected Douglas Costa's pass.

Ronaldo squandered other chances and saw two efforts saved by Parma goalkeeper Luigi Sepe on a frustrating afternoon for the five-times World Player of the Year.

Juventus assistant coach Giovanni Martusciello took charge of the team although Italian media said he was in constant contact with Sarri, who was diagnosed with pneumonia on Monday.

The titleholders featured none of their new signings although Gonzalo Higuain was given a surprise start after spending last season on loan at AC Milan and then Chelsea.

Ronaldo should have given Juventus a 12th-minute lead but sent his header over the bar after getting in front of his marker and thumped the ground in frustration.

Juve then had a let-off as goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny made a reflex save from Roberto Inglese's snapshot.

The visitors went ahead when Sepe punched clear a corner, Alex Sandro sent the ball straight back into the area and Chiellini turned it in with the goalkeeper out of his ground.

Juventus then began to produce some of the pinball passing which has become Sarri's trademark and one incisive move ended with Ronaldo shooting wide.

The 34-year-old thought he had scored in the 36th minute but, after Juventus had completed their celebrations, the goal was chalked off for offside.

Sepe denied Ronaldo with a flying save in the second half while Parma went agonisingly close to a stoppage-time equaliser when Hernani's free kick fizzed past Szczesny's post.

Original Article

Van Aanholt gives Palace shock 2-1 win at Man United

© Reuters. Premier League - Manchester United v Crystal Palace© Reuters. Premier League - Manchester United v Crystal Palace

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - A stoppage-time goal by defender Patrick van Aanholt gave Crystal Palace their first Premier League win at Old Trafford as they beat a toothless Manchester United 2-1 on Saturday.

Van Aanholt powered a shot past United keeper David De Gea after new signing Daniel James scored an 89th-minute equaliser to cancel out Jordan Ayew's first-half opener for the visitors.

Marcus Rashford, who put in a forgettable performance like most of his team mates as United lacked creativity in midfield and bite up front, missed a 70th-minute penalty when his spot- kick cannoned off the post.

The result left both sides on four points from three games but while Palace manager Roy Hodgson will have been delighted with his team's smash-and-grab victory, his counterpart Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fuming.

"We just were not clinical enough in front of goal and they scored two very easy goals," Solskjaer told the BBC.

"I thought we got our act together second half, we just couldn’t hit the target. We have dominated the game but we have not controlled it.

"We should have dealt with the last five minutes better. We defended poorly at times today and it cost us. Sometimes you do not find that end product and that happened today. We did not test their keeper enough. It cost us dearly today."

Palace soaked up pressure in the opening stages and Ayew scored in the 32nd minute as Jeffrey Schlupp headed on goalkeeper Vicente Guaita's punt upfield and the Ghanaian striker steered a low shot past De Gea after taking the ball in his stride.

With Pogba missing a penalty in Monday's 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Rashford stepped up after Luka Milivojevic tripped Scott McTominay and failed to score despite sending Guaita the wrong way.

Wales winger James, who scored on his debut in the 4-0 home win over Chelsea, equalised when he curled a delightful shot into the top corner after the home side's solitary flowing move of the afternoon.

With the Stretford End roaring United on, they threw men forward hoping to turn the match on its head but slack defending cost them dear again.

Pogba failed to collect a loose ball after Wilfried Zaha's run and Van Aanholt pounced to beat De Gea with a stinging low shot from 12 metres.

"There is a first time for everything," Van Aanholt said, referring to his team's first win at Old Trafford since 1989.

"I think we played really well. I think we deserved the three points. We dug in and luck was on our side today.

"I was gutted when that Manchester United goal went in. We had worked so hard to get the clean sheet but I am delighted that we could counter and get them back."

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Southampton get off the mark with 2-0 win over 10-man Brighton

© Reuters. Premier League - Brighton & Hove Albion v Southampton© Reuters. Premier League - Brighton & Hove Albion v Southampton

(Reuters) - Southampton collected their first Premier League points of the season with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Brighton & Hove Albion, courtesy of second-half goals from new signing Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Redmond, at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Brighton started on the front foot with forward Neal Maupay creating the early chances but the hosts suffered a blow on the half-hour mark when Florin Andone was shown a straight red card for a horrific tackle on Southampton Yan Valery's knee.

"The red card would make it difficult for the rest of the game," Brighton boss Graham Potter said after the match.

"That's not a tackle we want to see. I don't think he meant to do it but it's one we can't defend."

Reduced to 10 men, Brighton thought they had taken a surprise lead with centre back Lewis Dunk heading home from a corner but the goal was swiftly chalked off for offside after a VAR review.

Southampton were more aggressive after the interval and they were rewarded when Djenepo, signed for a reported 14 million pounds from Standard Liege, curled a rasping shot past Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

It was Djenepo's first involvement after coming off the bench in the 53rd minute and his strike partner Danny Ings was delighted to watch the Malian forward make an instant impact.

"Moussa Djenepo let his feet do the talking, coming inside and put it in the top corner -- it was a huge lift, fresh legs coming on and on a hot day," Ings said.

Potter introduced striker Glenn Murray late in the contest as Brighton tried to avoid their first league defeat of the new season.

Juergen Locadia struck the post for Brighton but it was Southampton midfielder Redmond who slid home Sofiane Boufal's cross from close range to seal the points for the visitors in injury time.

"I should probably get more of those sort of goals in those areas," Redmond said.

"It's getting tough to win games in the Premier League -- teams are playing good football.

"If you don't get points against teams around us then we'll be kicking ourselves later in the campaign."

It was a first league win since April for Southampton, who provisionally moved up to 17th in the league table.

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Barnes strike for Foxes ends Sheffield United's bright start

(Reuters) - Harvey Barnes thrashed home a magnificent strike to earn Leicester City a 2-1 win on the road on Saturday while rudely ending Sheffield United's bright start to their return to the Premier League.

After a Jamie Vardy goal had underlined City's first-half domination, United fought back in stirring fashion on home soil at Bramall Lane to equalise just after the hour through record signing and substitute Ollie McBurnie.

Yet their unbeaten opening to life in the top-flight was then undone by a remarkable goal from Barnes, who powered home a half-volley from outside the box after being found by Christian Fuchs' cross.

United, undefeated after two matches, went into the game with dreams of going, temporarily at least, to the top of the table but Sheffield-born Vardy's clinical 38th minute finish always looked on the cards as Leicester controlled affairs.

The man who supported United's great rivals Sheffield Wednesday as a boy clearly enjoyed his goal, having earlier glanced a header wide from 10 metres as unbeaten Leicester pursued their first league win of the campaign under Brendan Rodgers.

When Chris Wilder gambled by bringing on Billy Sharp and McBurnie, it reshaped the game with George Baldock's 62nd minute cross finding a fine header from the Scotland international McBurnie, his first goal for the club.

Barnes' superb goal, though, ensured Rodgers' men moved, temporarily at least, into third place in the table.

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