Category Archives: Sports

Man Utd labelled Premier League title favourites because of three ‘very powerful’ players

On paper, the talented trio cited by Kleberson will be incredibly difficult to stop, although there are still a few creases which need to be ironed out to ensure their on-field success continues.

Fernandes and Ronaldo have not historically worked well together for the Portuguese national team, so they will have to work out how to get the best out of each other at Old Trafford.

Pogba, meanwhile, is set to be out of contract in 2022.

For one, the club will hope his ongoing negotiations are resolved quickly so as to not pose a distraction, but it could also mean they are only blessed with his talent for one more year.

Published at Mon, 20 Sep 2021 11:47:48 +0000

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‘Ted Lasso’ sweeps Emmy Awards as Jason Sudeikis is named best lead comedy actor

Jason Sudeikis was named best lead comedy actor as “Ted Lasso” swept the Emmy Awards on Sunday night.

The 2021 Emmys celebrated another year of excellence in American prime-time television programming, with popular shows “The Queenโ€™s Gambit” and “The Crown” among the big winners.

“Ted Lasso” was also recognized by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, capping a remarkable run for the series about an inexperienced American soccer coach landing a role in English football.

What awards did Lasso win?

Sudekis scooped the best lead comedy accolade for his performance as Lasso, who has been praised for portraying the character with a mix of relentless optimism and sarcasm as he aims to turn around the fortunes of fictional Premiership football side AFC Richmond.

The American also saw his British co-stars Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein win best supporting actress and actor, while the show itself landed the best comedy series award.

What’s been said?

Sudekis expressed his delight after accepting his prize, while also paying tribute to his family and close friends.

“This show is about family, it’s about mentors and teachers, it’s about teammates,” he said. “And I wouldn’t be here without those three things in my life.”

Waddingham, meanwhile, called for more stage actresses to be considered for television roles when picking up her award.

“West End musical performers need to be on screen more,” she said. “Please give us a chance because we won’t let you down.”

Where can you watch ‘Ted Lasso’?

Ted Lasso is available to watch exclusively on Apple TV, who originally launched the show in August 2020.

MORE: ‘Ted Lasso’ viewer’s guide

Customers can enjoy the first two seasons at their leisure already, and a third has been commissioned which will reportedly be released in the summer of 2022.

Further reading

Published at Mon, 20 Sep 2021 09:34:36 +0000

This story originally posted here

FIFA to hold summit to discuss biennial World Cup plans

FIFA has invited football’s major governing bodies to a summit later this month to discuss the international calendar, including its proposal to hold the World Cup every two years.

The FA and SFA have been invited to the online summit on September 30, along with other member associations as well as “representatives of players, clubs, leagues and confederations” – including the European Club Association (ECA) and world players’ union FIFPRO.

The key topic of discussion is set to be the proposal to overhaul the international calendar by holding a biennial World Cup, a plan spearheaded by FIFA’s head of global development – former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

“There is a broad consensus within the game that the international match calendar should be reformed and improved,” read a statement released by FIFA on Monday.

“Following invitations to stakeholders, including all confederations, at the beginning of September, discussions are being organised in the coming weeks.

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UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has criticised FIFA proposals to hold the World Cup every two years rather than four, saying doing that will dilute the tournament’s impact

“On 15 September 2021, FIFA also invited its member associations to a first online summit on 30 September 2021.

“This is one of several opportunities to establish a constructive and open debate, at a global and regional level, over the coming months and FIFA is looking forward to it.

“As this is a football project, in which the global interests of football should come first, this process started with players and coaches from all over the world.

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FIFA head of global development Arsene Wenger says there has been a ‘positive overall response’ to the proposals

“Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs) have been established under the stewardship of Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, and two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis. The debate will also involve fans from around the globe.

“FIFA is committed to being a forum for meaningful debate by engaging with a wide range of stakeholders including fans and looks forward to discussions on the sustainable growth of football in all regions of the world, at all levels.”

The proposed changes to the international calendar would mean a major finals being held every year, alternating between World Cups in even years and the continental finals such as the European Championship and the Copa America in odd years.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he opposes plans to play a World Cup every two years

Within it, FIFA proposes to cut the number of international windows in a season to one or at most two, in October and March, with no national team playing any more than seven matches including playoffs.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has expressed his opposition to the proposal, while South American confederation CONMEBOL has described the plans as “highly unviable”.

However, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have confirmed they are open to the idea of a biennial World Cup.

Published at Mon, 20 Sep 2021 07:41:22 +0000

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Why Hamilton and Verstappen are ‘very likely’ to crash again

“They have to fight, it’s part of the game. Hopefully with the respect they need for their own team and their own results.” Alex Wurz discusses Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen as next battle awaits at Russian GP, all live on Sky Sports F1

Last Updated: 19/09/21 9:17am

Grand Prix Drivers' Association chairman Alex Wurz believes Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are 'very likely' to crash again this season following their collisions at Monza and Silverstone.

Grand Prix Drivers’ Association chairman Alex Wurz believes Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are ‘very likely’ to crash again this season following their collisions at Monza and Silverstone.

Grand Prix Drivers’ Association chairman Alex Wurz believes Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are ‘very likely’ to crash again this season following their collisions at Monza and Silverstone.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are “very likely” to crash again before the end of their 2021 championship battle, believes Alex Wurz.

Wurz, the chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, told Sky Sports News that Hamilton and Verstappen have “great respect for each other” but also “big racing egos” as he predicted a third collision between the pair, who are split by just five points in the title race and whose intense rivalry has escalated through an absorbing season.

“I think [it’s] very likely, to be honest,” said Wurz. “Both have to mark their territory.

“That’s sport, if you watch boxing, football, handball, whatever there is – when two greats are coming together, those things happen.”

F1 2021 continues with this weekend’s Russian GP, live only on Sky Sports F1, where Verstappen will be taking a grid penalty for his role in the dramatic Monza crash – his and Hamilton’s second of the season.

Sky Sports F1’s live Russian GP schedule

Date and show On Air Session start
Practice One 9am 9.30am
Practice Two 12.45pm 1pm
Practice Three 9.45am 10am
Qualifying 12.30pm 1pm
The Russian GP 11.30am 1pm

Wurz stressed his belief that both the British and Italian GPs shunts were “racing incidents”, and his hope that the duels “remained fair”.

“Outside the car I talk to both and they talk to each other, and they have great respect for each other, which is really nice to see,” he stated. “But on the other side, on the track it’s, ‘hey, we are here to fight, we are here to win the Formula 1 world championship’. It’s one of the most prestigious titles you can have in the world of sport.

“They have to fight, it’s part of the game. Hopefully with the respect they need for their own team and their own results, and not only for each other, because to finish first you have to finish, so they can’t afford too many crashes.”

Dramatic new footage has been released of the potentially season-defining moment when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the Italian Grand Prix.

Dramatic new footage has been released of the potentially season-defining moment when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the Italian Grand Prix.

Dramatic new footage has been released of the potentially season-defining moment when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the Italian Grand Prix.

Asked if he would give advice to the drivers he said had “big chests and big racing egos”, Wurz added: “There will be a conversation but you have to separate yourself from being in the car and making such decisions.

“They’re only humans, and they were angry, both of them because of bad pitstops and how the race unfolded, and you know you only have one opportunity.

“In this case maybe to an extent both cracked under this pressure and came together.”

Will Hamilton and Verstappen clashes continue?

F1 drivers’ chief Wurz isn’t the only one to think this could happen again.

“You’ve got two cockerels in the farmyard at the moment and we are seeing the consequence of it,” said Ross Brawn, F1’s managing director of motorsport, in his latest column.

Sky Formula One's Karun Chandhok says it is a huge relief that Lewis Hamilton walked away unscathed from his crash at the Italian GP and thinks it is right that Max Verstappen was given a three-place grid penalty for his part in the incident.

Sky Formula One’s Karun Chandhok says it is a huge relief that Lewis Hamilton walked away unscathed from his crash at the Italian GP and thinks it is right that Max Verstappen was given a three-place grid penalty for his part in the incident.

Sky Formula One’s Karun Chandhok says it is a huge relief that Lewis Hamilton walked away unscathed from his crash at the Italian GP and thinks it is right that Max Verstappen was given a three-place grid penalty for his part in the incident.

“I don’t think either will back off at any moment for the rest of the year but I hope the championship is won on the track not in the barriers or the stewards room.”

Hamilton, who criticised Verstappen’s aggressive approach after their Monza crash and praised the stewards for penalising him, added: “This will continue until we have to learn from our scenarios on track, and I don’t have a history of these incidents.

“Ultimately, when you get away with things like that, then it’s easy just to continue to do it.”

Russian GP Schedule on Sky Sports F1

The 2021 season continues with the Russian GP in Sochi, a Mercedes stronghold in recent years.

Verstappen will take at least a three-place grid penalty for the race, and possibly more if Red Bull decide to double up his penalty with a new engine and back-of-the-grid start.

Hamilton, meanwhile, has a great chance to retake the lead of the championship.

The whole weekend is live only on Sky Sports F1.

4pm: The F1 Show Live (also streamed on Sky Sports F1 YouTube)
5pm: Drivers’ Press Conference

6.55am: F3 Practice Live
8.05am: F2 Practice Live
9am: Russian GP Practice One Live (session starts 9.30am)
10.55am: F3 Qualifying Live
12.45pm: Russian GP Practice Two Live (session starts 1pm)
2.20pm: F2 Qualifying Live

6.30am: F3 Sprint Race 1 Live
8.10am: F2 Sprint Race 1 Live
9.45am: Russian GP Practice Three Live (session starts 10am)
11.35am: F3 Sprint Race 2 Live
12.30pm: Russian GP Qualifying Build-up Live
2.35pm: F2 Sprint Race 2 Live

7.50am: F3 Feature Race Live
9.10am: F2 Feature Race Live
11.30am: Russian GP Grand Prix Sunday Live
3pm: Russian GP Chequered Flag Live
4.30pm: Russian GP Highlights

Published at Mon, 20 Sep 2021 05:40:01 +0000

This story originally posted here

Vikings radio announcer calls missed field goal kick ‘good’ in awkward on-air moment

The Vikings had a chance to beat the Cardinals in the final seconds Sunday with a 37-yard field goal. Minnesota was trailing 34-33 at the time.

After Greg Joseph kicked the ball, Vikings radio play-by-play announcer Paul Allen screamed, “It is . . . good!” 

The issue with Allen’s call is that the kick was not good at all. It was very apparent on television that the kick was wide to the right, but Allen didn’t notice until analyst Pete Bercich said, “It’s no good” a second later. “Are you kidding me?” Allen replied. Awkward silence followed.

MORE: Best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 3

The two announcers remained in shock about the kick and the call. Allen was premature with his call and got it wrong โ€” a broadcaster’s worst nightmare.

MORE: NFL Twitter rejoices over Gus Johnson’s return to play-by-play with Aqib Talib

Fans took to Twitter after a clip of the call circulated online, questioning what fans must have experienced listening to the radio broadcast live: celebrating for a second, only to learn Allen’s call was wrong.

Published at Mon, 20 Sep 2021 03:09:05 +0000

This story originally posted here

Monterrey vs. Tigres: Live score, updates, highlights from Liga MX Apertura Jornada 9

It’s one of the most heated rivalry matches in Mexico and in recent years it regularly pits two of the richest clubs and the most star-studded squads in Liga MX: the Monterrey derby between Rayados and Tigres UANL. It’s so big that they count the number of matchups. Sunday’s will be No. 126.

These two clubs are among the contenders for the league title every season and the 2021 Apertura season is no different. Both sides are in a strong position to make the playoffs at the halfway point of the 17-game campaign. Tigres is fifth (3-1-4, 13pts) and Monterrey is ninth (2-1-5, 11pts), but they’re only separated by two points. With a victory on Sunday, Monterrey can overtake their rivals in the standings.

These two teams are also among the most competitive in the region: Monterrey this week advanced to the CONCACAF Champions League final, where Rayados will face Club America. Tigres recently advanced to the final of the FIFA Club World Cup, losing in the final against German giant Bayern Munich.

MORE: Updated Liga MX match schedule, TV & streaming

The match will see the showdown of two of the most prolific strikers in the league โ€” the Mexican national team’s Argentine-born forward Rogelio Funes Mori and Tigres UANL forward Andre-Pierre Gignac โ€” and two of the most legendary coaches in Miguel Herrera (Tigres UANL) and Javier Aguirre (Monterrey).

Monterrey will have the home-field advantage this season with the match being played at the BBVA Stadium, which was opened in 2015. Not to be outdone, Tigres is also planning a new stadium of their own.

MORE: Liga MX results & standings

Monterrey vs. Tigres live score

  1H 2H Final
Monterrey 1 0 โ€”
Tigres UANL 0 0 โ€”

MON – Arturo “Ponchito” Gonzalez (Maxi Meza) – 14th min.

(All times Eastern)

63rd min.: Head-to-head collision between two Monterrey defenders: Medina and Montes. The ref immediately stopped play.

60th min.: Tigres has to clear the ball twice off the line! Monterrey again with attacking flashes. First it was Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman and then his teammate Chaka Rodriguez to clear the attempt from Funes Mori.

59th min.: SUBS: Tigres take off Salcedo who’s carrying a yellow and Juan Jose Purata comes in for him. Salcedo was not happy because he feels the yellow was not justified. Monterrey bring on Kranevitter for Celso Ortiz, who leaves on the medical cart.

57th min.: The match is following the same script of the first half. Tigres with the more sustained attacking buildups, while Monterrey look to win the ball and go vertical fast. Meanwhile, Tigres right back Chaka Rodriguez fires a shot from distance that’s easily saved by Andrada.

54th min.: Monterrey want a second yellow for Carlos Salcedo after a foul on the attacking right flank. No way and the ref isn’t going for it. The free kick is right at Nahuel Guzman.

53rd min.: We’re only eight minutes into the second half and Monterrey ‘keeper Andrada gets a yellow for time-wasting.

47th min.: First yellow card of the game goes to Carlos Salcedo for a collision with Ponchito Gonzalez. Salcedo jumps high enough that Ponchito slams into his rear end and he gets carded for it. This free kick is in a dangerous spot outside the box and Duvan Vergara nearly picks out the far post. The ball goes just wide.

46th min.: Monterrey kicks off the second half. Tigres make an attack-minded change: No. 11 Nicolas “El Diente” Lopez in for Juan Vigon.

Halftime: Rayados 1, Tigres 0

Halftime: Skirmish erupts between the teams after the halftime whistle. That last disallowed goal seems to have ignited the nerves. We’ll see if there are any cards handed out.

49th min.: Monterrey scores! Maxi Meza strips the ball from Luis Quinones and then launches the counter and serves Funes Mori who scores. But the goal is scratched after the refs judge Meza to have fouled Quinones. It’s the right call by the VAR.

47th min.: Gignac blast from distance and it’s saved off the bar by Monterrey’s Andrada! Then on the following play Thauvin with a flying volley cross, but he fails to connect with a teammate.

45th min.: Four minutes of stoppage time.

44th min.: Javier Aquino fires a right-footed shot from distance that goes over the bar. Good idea from the Tigres left (wing)back.

34th min.: Monterrey wins a ball in the Tigres half and takes it right down their throat. Duvan Vergara fires a shot that deflects off Tigres defender Pizarro and forces a save from Nahuel Guzman. Tigres might be strong in attack, but they’re porous in the back.

32nd min.: Another dangerous cross from Monterrey’s Maxi Meza on the right and Charly Rodriguez can’t direct his header on goal. Monterrey continue to be dangerous in transition and the home team is exposing the holes in the Tigres 5-man back line.

28th min.: Play resumes and Tigres are back at it.

26th min.: Hydration break ordered by the referee.

24th min.: Thauvin hits the right post! But the play is dead after Thauvin was ruled offside. Tigres has been the most dangerous team, but Monterrey has been the most efficient.

23rd min.: Thauvin finds Gignac in the box, but his shot is deflected for a corner and nothing comes of it.

20th min.: Quinones lets fly from outside the box and Monterrey ‘keeper Andrada needs two tries to bring the ball under control.

18th min.: Monterrey chance! Long ball over the top of the Tigres back line and Funes Mori controls, Pizarro blocks his first attempt and then Funes Mori gets another shot off that hits the side netting.

14th min.: Goal Monterrey! Rayados are lethal in transition and proved it there. Cesar Montes fed Maxi Meza down the right flank and he sent a perfectly weighted ball to an onrushing Ponchito Gonzalez, who heads it home.

12th min.: Thauvin tries to surprised Monterrey ‘keeper Esteban Andrada, but he reads it well and snags the ball. Thauvin is eager early.

12th min.: It’s been all Tigres early on. Monterrey finally have its first corner kick, but it’s right at Tigres ‘keeper Nauel Guzman.

8th min.: Tigres forward Luis Quinones is active early on, chasing and challenging for balls. He also gets a talking to from the ref after a clash with Charly Rodriguez.

3rd min.: Tigres score! But Florian Thauvin, who ran onto the pass from the right flank, is offside and the replays prove it.

1st min.: We’re off. Elaborate tifo from the home fans for this one:

7:47 p.m.: Tigres have won the last four matchups and they have a slightly better record, but they’re not the favorites tonight:

Monterrey vs Tigres UANL: Starting lineups

Javier Aguirre will be fielding the same team that starred in midweek against Cruz Azul in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal:

Monterrey starting lineup (4-3-4, left to right): 31-Esteban Andrada-GK โ€” 17-Jesus Gallardo, 20-Sebastian Vegas, 3-Cesar “Cachorro” Montes, 33-Stefan Medina โ€” 21-Arturo “Ponchito” Gonzalez, 16-Celso Ortiz, 29-Carlos “Charly” Rodriguez โ€” 13-Duvan Vergara, 7-Rogelio Funes Mori, 11-Maxi Meza 

Tigres manager Miguel Herrera has his big names in the starting lineup, led by Frenchmen Andre-Pierre Gignac and Florian Thauvin.

Tigres starting lineup (5-2-3, right to left): 1-Nahuel Guzman-GK โ€” 20-Javier Aquino, 3-Carlos Salcedo, 19-Guido Pizarro, 13-Diego Reyes, 28-Luis “Chaka” Rodriguez โ€”  5-Rafael Carioca, 6-Juan Vigon โ€” 23-Luis Quinones, 10-Andre-Pierre Gignac, 26-Florian Thavin 

How to watch Monterrey vs. Tigres

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 19
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FS2
  • Spanish-language TV: Fox Deportes
  • Live stream: fuboTV

The match will be broadcast on FS2 (English) and Fox Deportes (Spanish), both of which can be streamed on fuboTV (free 7-day trial) .

Published at Mon, 20 Sep 2021 01:18:22 +0000

This story originally posted here

Will Deshaun Watson play with Tyrod Taylor injured? Texans coach David Culley doesn’t rule it out

Texans’ fans could see the return of Deshaun Watson as early as Thursday.

Houston quarterback Tyrod Taylor went down with a hamstring injury during Sunday’s 31-21 loss to the Browns, and will not be available for the team’s “Thursday Night Football” clash against the Panthers. Asked after the game about Watson’s availability for Week 3, coach David Culley just said, “We’ll have to see.”

Culley was also asked who would back up rookie Davis Mills at quarterback for the game, to which Culley responded, “We’ll have to wait and see what happens there.”

MORE: These plays defined Justin Fields’ inconsistent first look as Bears QB vs. Bengals

Watson is currently listed by the Texans as the team’s third-string quarterback on the depth chart behind Taylor and Mills. 

Earlier in 2021, Watson said he had played his last snap for the Texans, immediately prompting trade rumors to emerge. A few months later, however, more than 20 civil lawsuits were filed against Watson accusing him of sexual harassment. Watson is currently under investigation by police and the NFL, with the latest report from Front Office Sports’ A.J. Perez saying that it is unlikely the inquiry looking into the claims will be over before the trade deadline.

That has not stopped teams from inquiring on Watson as several, including the Dolphins, have been linked as possibilities for a landing spot.

MORE: Tua Tagovailoa injury update

Before exiting with the hamstring injury, Taylor kept the Texans tied with the Browns. He completed 10-of-11 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown, and rushed once for a 15-yard score. Taylor was coming off a win in Week 1 where he had passed for 291 yards on 21-of-33 passing, including a touchdown. He also took four carries 40 yards.

Mills, drafted in the third round out of Stanford, replaced Taylor in the second half and completed 8-of-18 passes for 102 yards with one touchdown pass and an interception.

MORE: Cam Newton landing spots

Culley said he thought Mills did “very well when he got in the game,” especially since he noted the rookie quarterback has had very few reps with the first team.

“I thought he did well and I expected him to do well. Heโ€™s been that way all through training camp,” Culley said. “Even in preseason games, when heโ€™s been in there, he had the pick early, he came back and did what Davis normally does and just goes to the next play and goes from there.”

In his career with Stanford, Mills completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 3,468 yards with 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Published at Sun, 19 Sep 2021 23:09:06 +0000

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Man Utd star Paul Pogba dragged down tunnel by Michael Carrick after West Ham fan tension

Michael Carrick was forced to drag Paul Pogba down the tunnel at the London Stadium after the Frenchman began mocking some West Ham fans in the crowd. The Manchester United midfielder was keen to provoke the angry Irons fans after the Red Devils’ late triumph in the capital as they showered Pogba with abuse as he left the field.

United made hard work of the three points but the result was all the mattered in the end for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Jesse Lingard struck a late winner for the visitors but the win was not in the bag just yet.

Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot in the dying embers after Luke Shaw stopped a cross with his arm.

Mark Noble was then dramatically summoned from the bench – only to see his spot-kick saved by David de Gea.

That sparked jubilant scenes at full-time as United really felt they had dug out a crucial victory in the face of adversity.

In the stands, West Ham supporters were bitterly disappointed that their side hadn’t managed the draw.

Some sections of the crowd vented their fury as United left the field celebrating and Pogba was one of the players with a beaming smile on his face.

Now footage has emerged on social media that shows United coach Carrick dragging Pogba down the tunnel to avoid confrontation.

The World Cup winner appears to be laughing and mocking supporters as they shower him with abuse as he heads off the field.

Pogba cannot resist engaging with the West Ham fans and he makes a visible effort to wind them up during the clip.

Carrick and another member of the United coaching staff then take physical action to get him down the tunnel and away from the scene.

Published at Sun, 19 Sep 2021 21:21:41 +0000

This story originally posted here

Defiant Koeman doesnโ€™t โ€˜fearโ€™ for his future as Barcelona boss

Embattled Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has defiantly stated โ€œI donโ€™t fear for my futureโ€ amid rampant rumour about his position.

Tuesdayโ€™s 3-0 thrashing by Bayern Munich reportedly led to detailed discussions about the 58-year-oldโ€™s future. This was the main topic of conversation prior to Mondayโ€™s visit of Granada in La Liga.

โ€œThere have been a lot of changes to the team, players are out injured and weโ€™re playing a lot of youngsters,โ€ Koeman stated when asked if he deserved more time.

โ€œPeople who know that would surely say that weโ€™re going through a change and that you need time, but what matters is winning games.

โ€œThere were questions before playing Bayern about renewing my contract. We lose 3-0 and now the questions are if I fear for my future โ€“ I donโ€™t think itโ€™s normal.

โ€œWeโ€™re confident we can win games, thereโ€™s a long way to go. I know that results count.

โ€œI donโ€™t fear for my future. At the end of the day, the club and the president make the decisions.โ€

Spain internationals Pedri and Jordi Alba have joined Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembele, Martin Braithwaite and Sergio Aguero on the sidelines.

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Published at Sun, 19 Sep 2021 19:25:33 +0000

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Watch free WNBA: Minnesota Lynx @ Washington Mystics LIVE!

The Minnesota Lynx are surging into the postseason and head into Sunday’s regular-season finale against the host Washington Mystics aiming to tie up the third seed in the WNBA playoffs.

The Mystics, meanwhile, are locked in a three-way struggle for the eighth and final playoff berth and need a win to edge out both the Los Angeles Sparks and New York Liberty.

We will have the game free to watch on Sky Sports’ YouTube channel from 8pm.

Minnesota (21-10) moved ahead of the reigning league champion Seattle Storm after posting its eighth win in the last nine games, a 92-73 rout of the Indiana Fever on Friday.

Sylvia Fowles led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Lynx.

“Extremely proud of these young women, just putting their bodies out there on the line to just get it get done any way they can,” Fowles said of her team. “Just from the start to now, to see where we’ve come from, I’m very excited. I’m very proud.”

Minnesota opened the season with four straight losses while dealing with a variety of personnel issues, including Napheesa Collier’s quarantine while returning from playing in France. Aerial Powers only recently returned from thumb surgery, but has provided a reliable scoring punch during the Lynx’s late-season charge.

“We wanted to make sure we could control our own destiny,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said in her postgame press conference. “Everything we got, we had to really earn.”

While Minnesota clinched a first-round bye on Friday night, Washington (12-19) failed to lock up a playoff spot despite having the opportunity to do so. The Mystics dropped a 91-80 decision to New York, who must hope both Washington and Los Angeles lose on Sunday to snatch the eighth seed for their own, despite not playing.

The Sparks, on the other hand, must beat the Dallas Wings on the road (who have already secured the seventh seed) and hope Minnesota hold off Washington to claim the final playoff spot for their own.

“We didn’t come in ready to play,” Washington guard Natasha Cloud told the Washington Post. “We didn’t come in ready for the game scheme. And we didn’t buy in completely. That’s frustrating when our season is on the line.”

Tina Charles has had an MVP-calibre season for the Mystics, averaging a league-leading 23.7 points per game in addition to 9.4 rebounds. Washington, however, have struggled to find consistency amid a rash of injuries.

Former league MVP Elena Delle Donne returned from a nearly two-year absence in August before going back to the sideline after just three games and the team are just 2-4 in the last six games, including a 93-75 loss to Minnesota on September 4.

On Sunday at 8pm, however, they will have revenge on their minds and their season on the line.

Published at Sun, 19 Sep 2021 17:26:59 +0000

This story originally posted here