Raheem Sterling struck in the seventh minute of stoppage time to earn Manchester City a 2-1 Premier League victory over Bournemouth on Saturday but was then sent off in a tumultuous finale on the south coast.Seconds after Bournemouth had a chance to snatch victory the ball went back down the other end and Sterling’s deflected shot looped past helpless Bournemouth keeper Asmir Begovic.Sterling ran towards the celebrating City fans, some of whom spilled on to the pitch and, after order was restored by stewards and police, referee Mike Dean showed Sterling a second yellow card having already booked him earlier.It was a crazy end to an absorbing contest which had burst into life when Charlie Daniels lashed home a contender for “goal of the season” to give hosts Bournemouth a 13th-minute lead.Daniels let fly with a left-foot shot from wide on the left and the ball flew past keeper Ederson and in off the crossbar.Bournemouth’s lead lasted only eight minutes though as Gabriel Jesus, preferred by manager Pep Guardiola to Sergio Aguero who was on the bench, stroked home after a lethal pass by City’s midfield wizard David Silva.Both sides struck the woodwork after the interval and Bournemouth looked set for their first point of the season until Sterling’s late stunner broke home hearts.Victory gave City seven points from their opening three games and put them, temporarily at least, on top of the table.City have now had a player sent off in two consecutive games after Kyle Walker saw red in the 1-1 draw with Everton on Monday and Guardiola was frustrated by the decision.“Maybe someone can explain to me because I would like to know,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.“He ran to celebrate. If you can’t celebrate with the fans maybe we should play without fans.”After recovering from a poor opening 13 minutes City dominated possession, although Bournemouth were always a threat with Jermain Defoe, making his first start since joining, and Josh King both lively up front.King curled an effort against the post in the second half while City’s Nicolas Otamendi was also denied by the woodwork.For the most past it was a rearguard action by Bournemouth but they did scent a famous victory deep into stoppage time when King burst clear but saw his low shot saved by Ederson.Seconds later City were awarded a free kick and they quickly moved the ball down field where Danilo combined with Sterling and the former Liverpool player’s shot clipped the heel of Andrew Surman’s foot before looping into the net.It was a bitter blow for Bournemouth who have now endured their worst start since joining the Premier League in 2015 — losing all three games — and things do not get any easier with a trip to Arsenal next up.“We thought we had hung on for a point, we had chances to win it too, I am disappointing for the players and the supporters,” manager Eddie Howe said.“I am enthused by the performance, which was better than our first two.”
World number one Rafa Nadal provided Russian teenager Andrey Rublev with a tennis lesson on Wednesday, racing into the semi-finals of the U.S. Open with a ruthless 6-1 6-2 6-2 win.The 19-year-old, who grew up idolising Nadal and had the Spaniard’s poster pinned up on his bedroom wall was smiling from ear-to-ear as he posed for pre-match photos on Arthur Ashe Stadium court with his hero.That would be the highlight of an eye-opening afternoon for the Russian youngster as Nadal showed no mercy during a one hour, 37 minute thrashing.Once the match started it did not take long for Rublev’s grin to disappear. It was replaced by scowls and frustration as the Russian angrily yelled at himself for missed shots and occasionally slapped at his leg with a clenched fist.Nadal, still stinging from a third-round upset by 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov in Montreal in August and with a spot in the semi-finals and a possible showdown with rival Roger Federer on the line, was fully focused on the task at hand.While fans were still filing into Arthur Ashe, Nadal was wrapping up a clinical first set in 23 minutes.Rublev offered some resistance to start the second but it was brief, Nadal breaking to go up 3-2 and again to close out the set.A relentless Nadal broke to open the third and when Rublev double faulted to hand him yet another break at 4-1, the dejected Russian simply bent over and let his racquet drop.But Rublev was not done scolding himself, dropping into his chair during the changeover then hammering away at his foot with his racquet.Up next for Nadal will be the winner of the quarter-final clash between five-times U.S. Open champion Federer and Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 winner.If Federer can get past the towering Argentine it would set up a landmark meeting between the Swiss and Nadal.One of the great rivalries in all of sport, Federer and Nadal, a twice U.S. Open champion, have clashed 37 times over the years but they have never stood across from each other on Flushing Meadows’ famed hardcourts.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is keen to hold talks with Jack Wilshere over a new contract but said the midfielder’s future at the club could hinge on the financial terms of the deal.Wilshere, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has impressed Wenger with his performances over the last couple of months after breaking into the first team following a season-long loan spell at Bournemouth.When asked about the 25-year-old England international’s future, Wenger said: “We will sit down with him.“I believe if he can meet a point of agreement financially, he will want to stay.”Wenger also said that no clubs have approached to sign forward Alexis Sanchez despite multiple reports in British media linking the Chilean forward with a January transfer move to Premier League leaders Manchester City.Arsenal, sixth in the league, face a must-win encounter at Crystal Palace on Thursday after their rivals Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea registered convincing victories on Boxing Day.Wenger said defender Nacho Monreal will join midfielder Aaron Ramsey and striker Olivier Giroud on the sidelines for the trip to Selhurst Park.Monreal hobbled off during the 3-3 draw against Liverpool last week, with the manager hopeful that the Spanish defender will return next month.Giroud was also ruled out at least until mid-January after suffering a hamstring injury during their League Cup quarter-final win over West Ham United earlier this month.
Round 23 in the Cyprus football championship continues on Wednesday with three more fixtures, with the clash at the Antonis Papadopoulos between third-placed Anorthosis and sixth-placed Omonia taking centre stage.In the other games, second-placed Apollon travel to Nicosia to face Doxa Katokopias at the Makarion stadium while the final game will be played at the Tsirion stadium between AEL and Ermis Aradippou.Both teams will be looking for the three points at the Antonis Papadopoulos though for slightly different reasons.Anorthosis are seven points off the top with a game in hand over leaders Apoel and they need to stay within striking distance of the champions if they are to maintain their championship hopes.On the other hand Omonia, who have dropped just three points since Ivaylo Petev took over, have to climb up to fourth if they are to compete in Europe next year via the championship. Currently they are nine points adrift of Wednesday’s opponents.For the same reason AEL, just a point above Omonia, will be gunning for the win against Ermis Aradippou while Apollon should prove too strong for Doxa, who sit comfortably in a mid-table position 10 points from the danger zone.Tuesday results:Apoel 7-1 Ethnikos AchnasNea Salamina 2-0 OlympiakosAris 0-6 Pafos FCAEK 2-1 Alki
Harry Kane’s 101st Premier League goal was the difference as Tottenham Hotspur earned a 1-0 win over Arsenal, to continue their fine recent form in north London derbies in front of a Premier League record crowd at Wembley on Saturday.Both teams struggled to get going in the first half, but the contest burst into life straight after the interval, with Kane heading in his seventh goal in seven matches against Arsenal to break the deadlock in the 49th minute.Arsenal almost snatched a point at the death, but substitute Alexandre Lacazette fired wide, and in truth, the margin of victory should have been greater, as Spurs wasted several chances to double their advantage in front of a crowd of 83,222.None the less, the hosts hung on for the victory that enables them to leapfrog both Liverpool and Chelsea — who do not play until Sunday and Monday respectively — into third place, seven points clear of sixth-placed Arsenal, who have now beaten Spurs just once in eight league games.“We feel very proud. The performance was fantastic,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “We have to keep going.”Pochettino went with the same side that drew at Liverpool, while counterpart Arsene Wenger left Lacazette on the bench, with new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front.It took until the 27th minute for the game’s first real chance to be created, but Kane could not keep his header down.Arsenal were a threat on the counter, but rarely troubled Hugo Lloris in the home goal during the first half.“The game should have been finished at halftime,” Wenger said. “We missed opportunities on the counter attack because of a poor final ball.”The second period was the antithesis of the first, in terms of action, as Spurs took the game to Arsenal. Kane brilliantly headed Ben Davies’ cross into the net four minutes into the half before then missing an easier header moments later.Arsenal were reeling and had Petr Cech to thank for keeping them in the match after the Arsenal goalkeeper tipped Eriksen’s free kick over.As the visitors pressed for an equaliser, they left gaps at the back, and Dele Alli should have capitalised from such space, but prodded wide.The gilt-edged chances kept coming for Spurs, with Kieran Trippier next to shoot too close to Cech.Lacazette came mightily close to snatching an undeserved point in stoppage time, but he could not find the target, and Arsenal slipped to a third defeat in five league games.
A positive change in mentality can help Everton end their poor away run in the Premier League this season, manager Sam Allardyce said ahead of Saturday’s trip to Stoke City.The Merseyside club are on a five-match losing streak away from Goodison Park and have won just one of their 15 away league games this campaign, the same number as bottom-two sides Stoke and West Bromwich Albion.In contrast, ninth-placed Everton have won nine of their 15 home league matches to help them maintain their position in the top half of the standings.“We’ve tried a number of things. Changing system, changing personnel – but changing mentality is the big one,” Allardyce told reporters on Thursday.“We’ve been using some more work into the mind in the analysis room. Who we are, what we want to achieve, what we can get.“Visualising the performance you give at the top level and thinking of that to put yourself in a positive frame of mind… Tactically the preparation is fine but having a good frame of mind gives a better chance of it being delivered.”Allardyce identified Stoke playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri as their biggest threat, with the 63-year-old boss urging his team to mark the Swiss international carefully and stop him from influencing the game.Everton said on Wednesday that midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson was expected to return from a knee injury in six to eight weeks but Allardyce is hopeful that the Iceland international can get back on the pitch ahead of schedule.“I’ve always felt it’s wrong to tag an injury with time limits,” Allardyce added. “You want to avoid setbacks. If you can get it before then you’ve done well.“We’ll look at it in the next two weeks. There’s a settling down period and then how quickly the player recovers. Gylfi is motivated to return for us and Iceland at the World Cup.”Stoke are 19th in the standings, a point adrift of the safety zone with eight games left to play.
Christian Eriksen maintained his hot goalscoring streak, striking both goals in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 win at struggling Stoke City to extend Spurs’ winning sequence on Saturday.Harry Kane was back to lead Spurs in his first start for nearly a month after recovering from an ankle problem but it was their great Dane Eriksen who struck twice in 11 minutes after halftime to take his tally to five goals in three games.He struck after 52 minutes before a mistake from Hugo Lloris on his 200th Premier League appearance allowed Mame Biram Diouf to equalise within five minutes.Eriksen then curled in a fiendish 63rd-minute freekick to which Kane claimed to have got the faintest finishing touch with his head only for replays to show the Dane had scored the goal that allowed Spurs to join third-placed Liverpool on 67 points with a sixth straight league win.Though Xherdan Shaqiri led a late fightback for the home side, hitting the bar with a freekick, Stoke remain rooted one from bottom.Everton (0) 0Liverpool (0) 0………………………………………………………..AFC Bournemouth (0) 2Scorers: L. Mousset 65, J. King 89Crystal Palace (0) 2Scorers: L. Milivojević 47, W. Zaha 75………………………………………………………..Brighton & Hove Albion (1) 1Scorers: J. Lössl 29ogHuddersfield Town (1) 1Scorers: S. Mounié 32………………………………………………………..Leicester City (0) 1Scorers: J. Vardy 83Newcastle United (1) 2………………………………………………………..Stoke City (0) 1Scorers: M. Diouf 57Tottenham Hotspur (0) 2Scorers: C. Eriksen 52, C. Eriksen 63………………………………………………………..Watford (0) 1Scorers: R. Pereyra 61Burnley (0) 2Scorers: S. Vokes 70, J. Cork 73………………………………………………………..West Bromwich Albion (0) 1Scorers: J. Rodriguez 54Swansea City (0) 1Scorers: T. Abraham 75………………………………………………………..Manchester City (17:30)Manchester United………………………………………………………..Sunday, April 8 fixtures (BST/GMT)Arsenal v Southampton (1415/1315)Chelsea v West Ham United (1630/1530)
The 16th Cyprus Amateur Men’s Open, which is organised by the Cyprus Golf Federation (CGF), is this year to be hosted by Elea Estate Golf Club between Friday, May 18 and Sunday, May 20. This is a World Amateur Golf Ranking event, (WAGR) which is staged on an annual rotational basis between the four grass course clubs in Paphos. The main sponsor is the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO).The event has traditionally attracted international golfers in addition to the best amateur golfers based in Cyprus. The defending champion, JJ Micallef from Malta is returning to defend his title.The championship is staged over three days, with volunteer Marshals and CGF Referees helping the players to negotiate their way round the course. On the last day, Sunday, May 20, there is a €10,000 prize travel voucher for a hole in one, sponsored by the CGF. Players will enjoy buffet lunch at the completion of play on the last day, followed immediately by the presentation of prizes.Details are available on www.cgf.org.cy
The names of World Cup record holders are like a roll-call of footballing greats and every four years players such as Pele, Miroslav Klose, Diego Maradona, and Jose Batista must wonder whether their feats will be surpassed.Hold on. Jose Batista? Who’s Jose Batista?If Batista’s name seems out of place alongside the only player to win three World Cups, the highest goalscorer in the tournament’s history, and the man with most appearances as a team captain, then cast your mind back to Mexico 1986.Less than a minute had gone in Uruguay’s final group game against Scotland when the French referee showed Batista a red card for a challenge on Gordon Strachan. Officially timed at 52 seconds, it remains the fastest sending off in World Cup history.“Some people hadn’t even sat down to watch the game and I was already off,” Batista told Reuters.“I went into the dressing room and the kit man asked me what I was doing. I got sent off, I said. He didn’t believe me. How can you have been sent off when they’re still playing the national anthem? He had to look out the dressing room window to see if I was telling the truth.”The truth has followed Batista around ever since but the 56-year old says it does not define him. He was sent off only “three or four times” during a 22-year professional career that included more than 60 goals, not bad for a defender.Now coaching football and tennis at a club in suburban Buenos Aires, Batista is by now tired of the repeated reminders.Sometimes he denies all knowledge and feigns mistaken identity. Sometimes he laughs. Sometimes he says, why don’t you ask me about the goals I scored?He would love for someone to break his record in Russia and free him from this lifetime of notoriety. He is not hopeful.“I don’t think so,” he answered, when asked if his record would ever fall. “Three or four minutes maybe but 52 seconds, I doubt it. It would be great if someone gets sent off that quick and finally this would all be over for me. But that’s the way it is. I wear this like a shirt.”
A superb second-half strike from Adnan Januzaj gave Belgium a 1-0 win over England on Thursday to see them top World Cup Group G with a perfect record and consign England to second place, with both sides already assured of going through to the last 16.Belgium now face Japan in Rostov-on-Don on Monday while England play Colombia in Moscow on Tuesday in the knockout phase. Victory in the next round would see Belgium play Brazil or Mexico with England up against Sweden or Switzerland.Belgum and England rested several first-choice players on Thursday and, despite half-chances at either end, the fans wondered if their teams were willing to accept second spot for an arguably easier run-in by avoiding the more fancied teams.Yet six minutes into the second half when the 23-year-old Januzaj shimmied on the edge of the box and sent a perfect shot into the far corner of the net past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford there was delight in the Belgian camp.England rued a wasted opportunity by Marcus Rashford after 66 minutes, when he fired wide after finding himself one-on-one with Thibaut Courtois in the Belgian goal. But having rested striker Harry Kane and seven others, they found no reply.Belgium coach Roberto Martinez fielded Thomas Vermaelen at right-back after injury and sent on central defensive talisman Vincent Kompany near the end to complete a clean sweep with all 20 outfield players in the squad having played in Russia.