Serena Williams chases record 24th Grand Slam at US Open

first_imgTORONTO, ON – AUGUST 11: Serena Williams of the United States hits a shot against Bianca Andreescu of Canada during the final match on Day 9 of the Rogers Cup at Aviva Centre on August 11, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/AFPSerena Williams has the US Open spotlight as she chases tennis history, but a host of Grand Slam winners and high-ranked rivals are also taking aim at the title.The 37-year-old American will be the focus of attention when the Flushing Meadows fortnight begins Monday with her first-round night match against Russian Maria Sharapova the most anticipated of the women’s openers.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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Indian bakers make world’s ‘longest’ cake “She’ll do great, as she always does,” added 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens.Osaka ‘very confident’Osaka won last year’s final after Williams was given a game penalty by umpire Carlos Ramos, who US Open officials have decided will not work on any match with Serena or Venus Williams at this year’s US Open.This time, Osaka has had a better run-up to the Open despite a first-round Wimbledon crash out.“Last year I lost three matches in a row before I came here, so I just wanted to get one match. Then it just kept building on from that,” she said.“This year I went to two quarter-finals back to back and I feel very confident about how I am right now.”While it’s Osaka’s first time defending a Slam, she had her first taste of defending a title this year at Indian Wells.“Going to Indian Wells and learning how defending champion pressure feels, I think it definitely helped me out going into this tournament,” Osaka said. “Because I just feel more loose and comfortable here.“I’m not sure if it’s because the last couple of months have been kind of turbulent but definitely I feel really comfortable and I know that, despite everything, I play well here every year. So I’m not too worried about that.”And she’s much better after pulling out in Cincinnati with a left knee injury.“It’s getting better. I’ve been playing more, longer every day,” she said. “Luckily I’m a fast healer so I think it’s looking good.” Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparc “Of course I’m going to watch it,” said top-seeded defending champion Naomi Osaka, who beat Williams in last year’s US Open final. “I think everyone in New York is going to watch it.“I’m not that surprised that that happened, because at every Grand Slam there’s always some sort of drama. Like a first round. Like, Oh my God. So this match just happens to be that for this tournament.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAllen Durham chews out Meralco: Everybody played like sh*tSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsWilliams will try to capture her 24th Grand Slam singles title to match the all-time record set by Margaret Court.Eighth-seeded Williams, who could meet second-seeded French Open champion Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the quarter-finals, has not won a Slam since the 2017 Australian Open when she was pregnant, losing the US Open final to Osaka last year amid controversy and the past two Wimbledon finals — including last month to Romania’s Simona Halep. Serena-Sharapova and Federer kick off US Open Dutch YouTube star Nikkie de Jager says she is transgender View comments LATEST STORIES MOST READ BREAKING: DOJ indicts ex-PNP chief Albayalde for graft Mandatory evacuation enforced in Lemery Halep’s confidence highHalep, who has crashed out of the US Open in the first round the past two years, enters with confidence after beating Williams at Wimbledon.“It cannot be worse than the last two years, to lose in the first round,” Halep said. “I’m really good. I’m feeling healthy. I’m feeling fresh.“The pressure of doing something special, it’s off. Now what comes, comes as a bonus. I’m still working, I’m still motivated to win titles. I’ve started to feel more and more that I’m capable to do that so my confidence is very high.”Barty says “nothing has really changed for me” since her title at Roland Garros.“I just come here to play and do the best that I can,” Barty said. “I’m focused on my first round on Monday and that’s all I’m worried about for the moment.” Priyanka Chopra Jonas joining Amazon’s spy series ‘Citadel’ ‘Homeland’ star Patinkin lauds intelligence community WATCH: Robredo repacks relief goods with ‘mocha’ behind her Barty, Osaka, Halep and Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova, seeking her first Slam title, are among the foes trying to deny Williams yet again in a quest she insists doesn’t dominate her thoughts.“I think it’s definitely meaningful, but at this point in my career, I just try to think of different things and even bigger goals — so it’s just like 24 is just a thing,” Williams said earlier this month.“There are so much more important things in my life. And obviously tennis is super important to me… but yeah there are always other things in life, I feel, that are really big on my plate too.”Williams has not played since retiring from the WTA Toronto final with back spasms, handing Canada’s Bianca Andreescu the title.“Definitely if she manages physically, then I think she can do really well here,” Andreescu said.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Robredo hits Mocha over false post: Why let gov’t pay a fake news purveyor?last_img read more

Tottenham keep pressure on Chelsea, Manchester clubs in misery

first_imgSecond-half goals by Dele Alli and Harry Kane, from the penalty spot, sealed the three points and ensured that Spurs will finish above their North London rivals Arsenal for the first time in 22 years.But whether Spurs will ever hunt down relentless Chelsea is another matter, with just four games left and Chelsea still four points clear, and with an easier run-in.“I am so pleased. It was a very important game and it was a complete performance,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino told the BBC.“The race for the title is down to four points and we will see what will happen.“To be above Arsenal for the first time in 22 years is fantastic for our fans. it is fantastic for us too, but we want to win the title.”A superb second-half strike by Pedro and late goals from Gary Cahill and Willian ended Everton’s run of eight successive home wins and had piled the pressure on Spurs, who were playing afterwards.Tottenham Hotspur’s midfielder Dele Alli (L) celebrates scoring against Arsenal with Son Heung-Min on April 30, 2017 © AFP / Ben STANSALLChelsea took time to settle but once Pedro scored their opener — his first goal in nine matches — the floodgates opened and they ran out 3-0 winners.“This gives us lots of confidence,” manager Antonio Conte told Sky Sports. “Now it is important to prepare the final rush.“If in the next game against Middlesbrough you don’t win, you lose this victory. We must look step by step.”– ‘Huge result’ –Cahill’s eighth goal of the season and Willian’s beautifully worked third inflicted only Everton’s second home defeat of the season.“It was convincing but we had to work hard for it,” Cahill told Sky Sports, sensing this might be the win that delivers the title in Conte’s first season at Chelsea.“Pedro’s goal was special, at times you need a bit of class to open up a team, that’s what he did today. I’m buzzing with that, it’s a huge result for us.”City had to come from behind twice to draw 2-2 at Middlesbrough and United drew 1-1 at home to Swansea on a bad day for the Manchester giants.City relied on 20-year-old striker Gabriel Jesus to secure them a point in the final five minutes of their game against a Boro side scenting back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time since May 2008.Manchester City’s striker Gabriel Jesus (L) clashes with Middlesbrough’s striker Christian Stuani on April 30, 2017 © AFP / Lindsey PARNABY“We controlled the game and missed so many chances,” Jesus told Premier League Productions.“Today’s result is disappointing but at least we have a point.”Arsenal’s defeat in the last North London derby at White Hart Lane leaves manager Arsene Wenger’s proud record of qualifying for the Champions League in real trouble.They are sixth, five points behind United and six behind City in fourth, although the Londoners have a game in hand on both.Only the top four get into the Champions League.Liverpool, the other team in the mix, travel to Watford on Monday looking to cement third spot.– Wenger unimpressed –Manchester United’s striker Wayne Rooney scores from the penalty spot on April 30, 2017 © AFP / Oli SCARFFWenger — whose future at Arsenal is mired in doubt — gave credit to Spurs for deserving to beat them but was unimpressed by the fact that the Gunners would finish below their rivals for the first time in his long tenure.“Mathematically it has to happen once,” Wenger told Sky Sports.“We are not happy with it but we don’t compare ourselves to Spurs, we compare ourselves to where we want to be.”A sublime free-kick by Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson gained Swansea a deserved point against United at Old Trafford and dented Jose Mourinho’s hopes of breaking into the top four.Sigurdsson’s 10th goal of the season, but first in 11 matches, cancelled out veteran Wayne Rooney’s contentious penalty in time added on in the first half when Marcus Rashford made the most out of minimal contact with Swans goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Chelsea’s defender Gary Cahill celebrates scoring against Everton on April 30, 2017 © AFP / PAUL ELLISLONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 30 – Chelsea took a significant step towards the Premier League title on Sunday with victory at Everton but Tottenham ensured the champagne will stay on ice for a bit longer with an impressive 2-0 win over Arsenal.As well as the engrossing fight for the title the battle for the two remaining Champions League places has become a real dogfight — Arsenal missing a chance to make up ground on the two Manchester clubs, who both stumbled on Sunday against relegation candidates.last_img read more

Eye on the future

first_imgBy the time they graduate, many students are either certified in their chosen field and can be competitive in the workplace, or are set up to continue their education in college. “This isn’t something that is brand-new for us,” said Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson. “At the 10 academies we already have, the students are so enthusiastic about learning and school,” Thorstenson said. “They understand there is an interconnectedness to all of the subjects they’re studying.” Currently, California High has five academies, the most among Whittier Union schools. They cover health, business, auto technology, architecture/engineering and the culinary/hotel management industries. The latter academy at Cal High, dubbed the Hospitality House, has seen its graduates go on to attend the prestigious Culinary Institute and Johnson and Wales University, said Assistant Superintendent Ron Carruth. Other academies in the district cover the business, computer, entrepreneurship, graphic arts and teaching fields. “It’s a fabulous opportunity because at such a young age – as young as sophomores – the students get a clear sense of whether this is the career path for them,” Thorstenson said. “How nice that they’re able to make that decision as a sophomore in high school, rather than as a sophomore in college.” Whittier High Principal Loring Davies said the new sports medicine academy coming to his campus next year is a “very interesting area because so many people are fascinated by sports, athletics and fitness.” “For varying reasons, not everyone can participate at the level they want because they’re gifted athletes,” Davies said. “But with this academy, students will have an opportunity to participate in those events and activities, even if they don’t have great athletic skills.” The district’s plans for new academies don’t stop next year; officials plan to add one more academy to each campus in the 2009-10 school year. “This is something we’ve believed in for a long, long time,” Thorstenson said. “It helps to ensure students are obtaining the skills they need not just to do well on state tests, but in their futures as well.” (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – From sports medicine to public service careers like firefighting and law enforcement, students in the Whittier Union High School District will have more opportunities to combine their high school education and career goals beginning next fall. Officials at the 13,000-student district say they will add five career academies at four schools in the 2008-09 school year, on top of the 10 academies currently in the district’s five regular high schools. They will include a new public service academy at Pioneer High that focuses on fire/ police/paramedic careers; two academies at La Serna High on sports careers and film; a sports medicine academy at Whittier High; and a mechanical/architectural drafting academy at Santa Fe High. The academies combine high-school core classes such as English, math, social studies and science with career training from 10th grade to graduation. last_img read more

Wedge wins AL Manager of the Year award, Melvin honored in NL

first_imgNEW YORK – Eric Wedge and Bob Melvin, former backup catchers who found far more success in the dugout than on the field, were honored Wednesday as managers of the year. Wedge became the first Cleveland manager to win the AL award, picked by a wide margin after the Indians tied Boston for the best record in baseball. Melvin won the NL prize for leading the young Arizona Diamondbacks to the top mark in the league. Wedge received 19 of the 28 first-place ballots and got 116 points, finishing ahead of the Angels’ Mike Scioscia (62 points). Joe Torre, who left the Yankees, was next with 61 and Terry Francona of the World Series champion Red Sox got 13. Melvin was chosen on 19 of the 30 first-place ballots and got 119 points. Philadelphia’s Charlie Manuel (76), Colorado’s Clint Hurdle (58) and the Cubs’ Lou Piniella (25) followed. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Wedge, a no-nonsense guy with a John Wayne calendar in his office, guided the Indians to a 96-66 record. Cleveland made its first playoff appearance since 2001, then lost to the Red Sox in Game 7 of the AL championship series. Melvin, 46, was chosen for his steady hand in leading a team that sometimes started six rookies to a 90-72 mark. Back in the playoffs for the first time since 2002, Arizona swept Chicago in the first round and then got swept by Colorado in the NLCS. Wedge and Melvin are among nearly a dozen former catchers who manage in the majors. Many of them were far from standout players – in fact, Wedge and Melvin each hit .233 in their careers. The 39-year-old Wedge played 39 games for Boston and Colorado in the early 1990s. He’s done a lot better with the Indians since starting out 68-94 in 2003 in his first season as a manager. The Indians stayed near the top of the AL Central all season, and took over first place for good on Aug. 15. They went a major league-best 31-13 to finish the season. C.C. Sabathia, picked as the AL Cy Young Award winner Tuesday, and Fausto Carmona each won 19 games to lead Cleveland. With a mix of veterans and younger players, the Indians were in good hands and the team rewarded Wedge with a three-year contract extension in July. Melvin played 10 years in the majors with seven different teams. He managed Seattle in 2003-04, then took over in Arizona in 2005. A year after Arizona went 76-86 and tied Colorado for last place in the NL West, the Diamondbacks surged to the top. They did it despite getting outscored by 20 runs, becoming the first team in the majors since the 1906 Chicago White Sox to have the league’s best record despite the worst batting average. Melvin’s evenhanded approach meshed well with his young team, which lost stars Randy Johnson and Orlando Hudson to season-ending injuries. After losing eight of 10 going into the All-Star break, Arizona went 43-29 in the second half. Eric Byrnes and rookie Chris Young led the offense, and Melvin could always count on ace Brandon Webb and closer Jose Valverde. Melvin also benefited from the experience of bench coach Kirk Gibson. Seven managers got votes on the NL ballot. Manuel received seven first-place votes after Philadelphia won the NL East, Hurdle got four first-place votes with the NL champion Rockies and Piniella got two first-place tallies after winning the Central in his first season with Chicago. San Diego’s Bud Black, Washington’s Manny Acta and Milwaukee’s Ned Yost also received votes. Scioscia got four-place votes after leading Los Angeles to the AL West title. Torre, since hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers, got the other five first-place votes. The NL Cy Young Award will be announced Thursday. San Diego’s Jake Peavy, who led the league with 19 wins and topped the majors in ERA and strikeouts, is the heavy favorite. Boston’s Dustin Pedroia and Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun were voted the Rookies of the Year on Monday.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Home for a few weeks of peace

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champIn May, Harmon was part of a search mission for three soldiers who went missing when their patrol was ambushed. Eleven days after the attack, the body of Cpl. Joseph Anzack of Torrance was found floating in the Euphrates River. “There’s two sides in Iraq,” Harmon said Sunday, sitting in front of the family Christmas tree. “A place where you can take your shoes off and relax, and a place where, if you don’t have your shoes on, you’re in trouble.” For a few weeks, Harmon can go barefoot if he likes. He has until Jan. 13 to report back to Fort Drum, N.Y., where’s he’s stationed. From there, it’s likely he’ll go back to Iraq. On Sunday, about 20 members of his extended family celebrated his safe return to California with a brunch of homemade tamales, chilaquiles and mimosas. “It’s good to be home,” Harmon said as he gave a cousin a long hug, rocking back and forth in the doorway of his parents’ Phillips Ranch home. POMONA – It’s been more than a year since Patrick Harmon saw the street where he once distributed Halloween candy in the family driveway and played guitar with his ska band. Now, the garage is graced with a “welcome home” banner. Below that hangs the flag of the Army infantry’s 10th Mountain Division, with which the 21-year-old specialist was recently serving in Iraq. In February, a close friend was killed in combat, something Harmon doesn’t like to talk about. He wears an engraved metal bracelet in memory of Pfc. Brian Browning, and he wrote the soldier’s eulogy. Having taken over Browning’s duties in their unit, Harmon hauls the 49-inch light machine gun that his buddy used to carry. Not so long ago, Harmon was ready for escape. After a year of bad grades at Cal Poly Pomona, he enlisted – the only one among his friends to choose a military path. His mother, Jane, was shocked. When his father heard of Harmon’s sudden military ambitions, he thought his son might sail around the world with the Navy. Instead, Harmon chose the infantry. “I really wanted to go,” said Harmon, a graduate of Troy High School, Fullerton’s well-regarded magnet program. “I had a lot of reasons. Now I feel like they might have been a little trite.” Though he said he doesn’t regret his decision to enlist, he’s ready for his service to be over, he said. He knows the exact date his Army contract ends: Sept. 22, 2010. “I learned a really important lesson from the Army, and that’s that I want to get out the Army as soon as possible,” Harmon joked. Despite that, he talked happily with his two grandfathers about his forthcoming promotion to corporal. He was a bit embarrassed when his mother showed off his image in the 2008 calendar from Stars and Stripes, the military’s newspaper. Harmon is “Mr. January,” she said, referring to the black and white picture of him in his fatigues, pensively playing acoustic guitar. “He’s changed a lot,” Scott Harmon said. “He’s more mature, more poised.” Patrick Harmon acknowledged that, saying he’s gained “real-world skills.” Nonetheless, September 2010 seems a long way away. As for the future, he said, “I’m trying not to think about it.” (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2110160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

The mayor who listens to business is the mayor who gets it

first_img Hahn abandoned the practice, something that did not make news at the time. (Former councilwoman and current City Controller Laura Chick did continue meeting with business leaders on a regular basis and she will be there listening with Villaraigosa on Monday.) Now Villaraigosa is back to doing what some other mayors did. Kyser sounded excited about the upcoming session during an interview last week about his economic forecast for this year and next. “This is sort of the intersection of the real world with government and gives them (politicians) some valuable insight,” he said. Kyser, who is blunt in assessing the business missteps made by the electorate, gives Villaraigosa kudos. He notes that when LA Inc. was trying to get the AARP to pick Los Angeles for its 2011 convention, the mayor got on the phone and lobbied the association executives. That convention, and a big economic impact, is coming here. “I think he’s got it,” Kyser said of the mayor’s appreciation for the economy. “He’s willing to go out there and pitch. This is important.” Villaraigosa also said he has helped LA Inc. account for 23,000 room nights and a $12.9 million economic impact in new convention business coming to the city. Kyser’s pitch on Monday will be on behalf of the middle class. He plans on telling His Honor that the city’s base of industrial land is not the best place for retail development. Could be a tough sell because retail contributes to the city’s bottom line through sales tax. Kyser notes that jobs are important, though. And the industrial vacancy rate is so low that what space there is is essentially full. “It has huge job implications,” Kyser said of the low rate. In the past, a high school education could land a good manufacturing job at the General Motors Corp. assembly plant in Van Nuys or the Lockheed Corp. complex in Burbank. “You could become middle class and earn a good wage,” Kyser said. Both are long gone. And so are the jobs. Other manufacturing jobs are being lost on a regular basis, for example aluminum wheel maker Superior Industries International Inc.’s recent announcement it was cutting 375 positions at its Van Nuys plant. Bruce Ackerman, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, believes this kind of talk is good. It’s an indication that the mayor is plugged into the economy. “Having that kind of informed information is just a huge advantage with it comes to running a city the size of Los Angeles,” he said. Gregory J. Wilcox, (818) 713-3743 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Those in the economic development business are often left muttering, “It’s the economy (fill in the blank),” after politicians do something stupid that impacts the bottom line. Some politicos really get the economy’s importance and others just pretend they do. At least Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who’s already developed a national political profile, is willing to listen. And that’s an improvement over the previous administration of Mayor James Hahn. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Villaraigosa is meeting Monday with five experts on the region’s economy, including two that specialize in the hotel and housing industries, both crucial contributors to the city’s revenue stream. “It’s very important, it’s essential for us to get a macro view of the economy,” Villaraigosa said in a phone interview Friday, adding that he plans to hold meeting with experts on the Los Angeles business climate. He said the economy is a high priority for his administration and he will focus on expanding trade, tourism, biotech employment and “smart” development. This usually wouldn’t be news, a mayor talking with the experts, about the economic well being of his or her city. Jack Kyser, chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., attended lots of these kinds of meetings during the administration of former Mayor Richard Riordan, Hahn’s predecessor. And Riordan’s predecessor, Tom Bradley, who died in 1998, did the same thing. last_img read more

Ben Longshore passes this test

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“I tried to make too much happen. But it was fun going up against Clausen. It’s nice to know I can compete with the best in the nation.” Longshore threw for more touchdowns than any other team against Oaks Christian. As a comparison, Oaks blew out Foothill League rivals Valencia (32-6) and Hart (44-12). It’s a necessary step forward for the younger brother of former Canyon and current Cal quarterback Nate Longshore. Given his lineage, Ben was expected to come out and claim the starting job last year as a junior. Instead, he watched from the bench as Austin Civita led the Cowboys to the Southern Section Div. II title and won the division’s co-offensive player of the year award. Canyon quarterback Ben Longshore got a big boost of confidence this weekend at the Saugus passing tournament after exchanging blows with the consensus top prep quarterback in the nation. For the first 38 minutes of the tournament final, Longshore and Notre Dame-bound quarterback Jimmy Clausen from Oaks Christian of Westlake Village went back and forth throwing touchdown passes. Clausen tied the 40-minute game with two minutes to go, then Longshore had his first mistake of the contest when his pass was intercepted in the end zone. Oaks Christian quickly tacked on one final score and won 34-26. “I knew time was running out, and I tried to go for it all at once,” Longshore said. “It was tough,” Longshore said. “I really wanted to get in, but I was happy with the team winning so I couldn’t really complain about anything.” Though it took a little longer than expected, Longshore appears ready to follow in his brother’s footsteps as Canyon’s starting quarterback. He led the team to a 6-1 record in the Saugus tournament, beating Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, Loyola of Los Angeles, Westlake, Village Christian of Sun Valley and Newbury Park twice. “He’s not just matured from one year to another, he’s taken like a quantum leap here,” Canyon coach Harry Welch said. “His arm is stronger, his release is quicker, and maybe the greatest improvement of all is his vision. He sees the field about as well as any quarterback I’ve ever had.” Valencia is another team that has big shoes to fill at quarterback, looking to replace the state’s all-time leading passer in Michael Herrick. The Vikings tried out their two candidates at the Saugus tournament, juniors Jimmy Baughman and Grant Wilbert. Baughman and Wilbert split time equally, just like they did on junior varsity last year. They rotated starts, getting three drives and then switching. Valencia beat Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta, Palmdale and Westlake, and got a forfeit win over Loyola, before losing to Oaks Christian in the semifinals. “Graham’s got a bigger arm but Jimmy is a little more athletic,” Valencia coach Larry Muir said. “For varsity, we’ll eventually want to go with one. It will take the whole summer to see who pushes ahead. They are getting better going through their progressions, but they both need to get quicker in their decision making.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

‘He’s a disgrace!’ – Former midfielder slams ’embarrassment’ Diego Costa

first_imgFormer Everton and Celtic midfielder John Collins has labelled Diego Costa a ‘disgrace’ and an ’embarrassment to his profession’.The 28-year-old Chelsea striker is refusing to return to training with his club after being told by manager Antonio Conte that he could leave earlier in the summer.Costa has decided to remain at his family home in Brazil and said earlier this week that he was being treated like a criminal by the club.LISTEN: ‘He’s embarrassing every footballer’ – Tony Cascarino in furious attack on Chelsea rebel Diego CostaOn Thursday the Spanish international released a statement insisting he wouldn’t be returning to the Blues and wanted to return to Atletico Madrid instead – despite his former club being unable to register new players until January.Speaking to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Collins was unequivocal in his condemnation for Costa’s actions.“He’s just a disgrace,” said the former Scotland international.“He’s an embarrassment to the profession, to be honest, with what he’s doing and I hope he doesn’t come back to Chelsea.“I hope they sell him because it will be a nightmare for the manager if he comes back and is hanging around the dressing room.”Player power has been a recurring theme over the course of this summer and Premier League clubs will soon meet to discuss closing the transfer window before the season’s start in future.Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk are two more high profile individuals looking for moves away and Collins gave his thoughts on whether the window should be closed early.“I think it would make common sense for the window to close when the league starts,” Collins added.“That would make sense but the problem you have got in Europe is the leagues start on different weeks so different countries would have different benefits.“But if you ask a manager what they would want, they would want it closed.“But I don’t know – if you ask the chairmen and the owners of the clubs – if they would all want that because it benefits some clubs.“If your club is in need of cash and you get a big bid then it can save your coffers and your accounts go up.“So I think some owners would like it to stay open.”last_img read more

Newcastle 0-1 Manchester City: Sterling’s strike sends City 15 points clear

first_img Raheem Sterling netted the only goal as wasteful Manchester City defeated Newcastle 1 Raheem Sterling fired Manchester City 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League table as they extended their winning run to 18 games at Newcastle.Sterling’s 31st-minute strike was all the leaders had to show for a dominant display in front of a crowd of 52,311 at St James’ Park as the Magpies’ ultra-conservative approach frustrated them despite their wealth of possession.But ultimately it was enough on a night when Rafael Benitez’s men slipped to a fifth successive home defeat for the first time since 1953, and it might have been worse had referee Andre Marriner taken a dimmer view of Jacob Murphy’s fist-half challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.The Magpies mustered the first shot on target when Jonjo Shelvey, back from suspension, tried his luck straight from the kick-off, but found Ederson alert to the danger.However, the home side’s game-plan was predictably cautious as they got 11 men not only behind the ball, but within 35 yards of their own goal for much of the first half and challenged City to break them down, which they almost did when Sergio Aguero stabbed Fernandinho’s seventh-minute cross against the post.Kevin de Bruyne thumped a left-foot shot over the angle of bar and post as the visitors pressed once again, and an early injury to skipper Vincent Kompany simply prompted Pep Guardiola to replace his central defender with striker Gabriel Jesus.For all City were utterly dominant in possession, they were rarely able to stretch the hosts decisively, although Rob Elliot had claw away Aguero’s 17th-minute header and then come from his line to block Jesus’ effort at point-blank range.The Argentinian sent a dipping effort just wide of Elliot’s far post on the half-hour, but the deadlock was broken seconds later when Sterling ran on to De Bruyne’s return pass and scuffed the ball past the keeper with the studs of his left boot.Newcastle might have been back in it had defender Nicolas Otamendi not cleared Rolando Aaron’s chipped effort off the line 10 minutes before the break, but Paul Dummett had to be equally resilient at the other end five minutes later to keep out Aguero’s effort at the end of a lightning break.There was no change in the pattern of the game after the restart with Sterling shooting across the face of goal after ghosting past DeAndre Yedlin and Murphy, and Elliot parried a Gundogan effort after he had robbed Mohamed Diame.De Bruyne should have done better when he shot harmlessly wide after exchanging passes with Jesus, but the massed ranks of black and white continued to scrap for dear life.Aguero fired home from close range, but from an offside position after De Bruyne had struck a post and defender Jamaal Lascelles headed just wide of his own goal with Elliot stranded as City went for the kill.Sensing the game was not yet beyond them, Newcastle launched a late onslaught and came came close to an equaliser when Dwight Gayle sent a diving header just wide from fellow substitute Christian Atsu’s cross.last_img read more

Valencia volleyballers in peak form

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’But Vikings coach Ray Sanchez never lost confidence in a young team led by senior outside hitters Courtney Alberi (11 kills) and Layne Castro (eight kills), and junior setter Taylor Kasha (30 assists). “It’s only one (league match),” Sanchez said. “This match is not going to make or break us. We have nine more. It’s going to be like this every night this year.” When asked about beating Saugus in the teams’ past three meetings in nine games, Sanchez added: “We’re the league champions until we’re not. It’s going to be a tough battle. I think people are definitely going to take notice of us now.” The Centurions didn’t go unnoticed Wednesday. Saugus lingered in every game. Down two games to none, Saugus seemed to gaining momentum with a 20-16 lead in the third game, but a couple of Vikings 4-0 runs kept the Centurions from forcing a fourth game. SAUGUS – With her left arm in the air, Valencia’s Deanna Daglas was mobbed by her teammates. The Vikings girl’s volleyball team corralled and hugged the junior blocker Wednesday night to celebrate a 25-21, 25-19, 25-21 win against Saugus in both team’s Foothill League opening match in a noisy Saugus High gym. Daglas tapped down the final point of a match eagerly anticipated by both teams and that could perhaps give an indication of which team can take this year’s Foothill League title. Valencia and Saugus come into this season as the favorites to dispute the league title. But after losing seven seniors to graduation and a rough start for the Vikings (4-7, 1-0,) the Centurions (18-3, 0-1)seemed to be the better team. Saugus won 18 matches in a row, including two tournaments. Behind the play of outside hitters Megan Thorpe (nine kills) and Keri Jeffris (seven kills), and setter Stephanie Shardlow (21 assists), Saugus took the lead several times in the first two games but 16 unforced Centurions errors kept the match close. “It’s really an upset to lose like that,” Thorpe said. “Especially to lose in three, that’s not what we expected.” (818) 713-3607160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more