Copa America starts afresh in quarters, says Argentina’s Messi

first_img“They’re quite tough opponents who counter-attack really well and we’ll try to be wise to that,” said Aguero.Coach Lionel Scaloni gave a sober assessment of Argentina’s form after a third straight match in which they struggled for long periods and failed to entirely convince.“We’re satisfied because we’re in the next round … but we have to improve in every aspect,” he said.“Today at times the team played well and rid itself of fear.”And Scaloni hit out at claims back home that the squad was divided.“As long as we’re playing in the Copa, everyone’s pulling for the same side. There must be total unanimity,” he said.“Many players aren’t even 25 yet and it’s a positive thing for them to have played in this match.”However, he was scathing about the state of the Arena do Gremio pitch in Porto Alegre, which will host a both a quarter-final and a semi-final.“You can’t play on this pitch. Even so we tried to play, to press high, we played very well in the second half.”He had kind words for Qatar, who head home after a draw and two defeats from their three group games.“They’re a very worthy team with a great future, with young players,” he said.The Asian champions, who will host the 2022 World Cup, have been invited back to next year’s Copa America, which will be played in Argentina and Colombia.Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: Lionel MessiPorto Alegre, Brazil | AFP | Argentina will start from afresh in the Copa America after averting disaster with Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Qatar that sent them into the knockout stages, star Lionel Messi said.Goals from the Barcelona icon’s forward partners Lautaro Martinez and Sergio Aguero were enough to propel Argentina from bottom of Group B to second and into a quarter-final meeting with Venezuela on Friday at Rio’s Maracana stadium.“The important thing was to win to keep going in the Copa, to get through the group stage,” said Messi, who will turn 32 on Monday.“This will be an important boost for what’s to come … another Copa begins now.“This victory must give us strength and make us grow as a team.”Argentina’s performance was far from pitch-perfect, but they were good enough to beat a limited Qatar side, who gifted them the opening goal after four minutes when Bassam Hicham played a suicidal ball across his own box straight to Martinez.Messi admitted, though, that there were nerves in the Argentina camp.“It’s tough playing this kind of game due to the necessity, the obligation (to win), the fear of missing out.“But beyond that we played well and went through, which is what matters.”Aguero, who was recalled after he was dropped for the 1-1 draw with Paraguay, had a mixed game alongside Messi and Martinez.He worked hard to create chances for himself but lacked sharpness and precision in his finishing, until his brilliant goal where he burst past two defenders before shooting high into the far corner.“Luckily I was picked to start and luckily at times the three of us worked well together and we won,” he said.– Need to improve –Argentina will now play a side who beat them 3-1 in a friendly in Madrid in March.last_img read more

Japan, Kazakhstan take wins in AVC classification

first_imgAlbay to send off disaster response team to Batangas 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Japan technically owns a 3-0 win-loss record but with Australia getting eliminated from the tournament the win over the Aussies won’t be counted in the classification rounds.Chinese-Taipei slipped to 1-1.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The Kazakhs had a slight slip-up in their game against Vietnam but prevailed in four sets, 21-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-20, and improved to a 2-0 record in the classification stage.Vietnam is at 0-2 in the classification stage. Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ PHOTO from asianvolleyball.netBIÑAN, Laguna—Japan and Kazakhstan netted early wins in the classification stages of the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship Sunday, gaining a head start for a better seeding in the quarterfinals.The Japanese swept Chinese-Taipei 25-19, 25-16, 25-20, to improve their record to 2-0 as the “carry-over” effect applies to the tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Resurgent Federer advances to Montreal final 2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings The classification stage will be used to determine the eight teams’ seeding come the quarterfinals.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as her View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Teen gunned down in Masbate MOST READ Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

NFL great Favre reveals addiction, rehab torment

first_imgJiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina MOST READ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Favre, who played 321 straight games during his career — a record for a quarterback — retired in 2010 after nearly 20 years in the NFL.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award FILE – Green Bay Packers players talk to Hall of Famer Brett Favre as he is introduced after the NFL Hall of Fame Game against the Indianapolis Colts was cancelled due to poor field conditions at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 7, 2016 in Canton, Ohio. Joe Robbins/Getty Images/AFPFormer Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre spent three stints in rehab during his career to battle addictions to alcohol and prescription pills, the NFL icon told Sports Illustrated in an interview on Monday.While Favre was known to have spent time in rehab in 1996 to address problems with drink and the painkiller Vicodin, the 48-year-old told Sports Illustrated’s blog he had also undergone two other spells in treatment.ADVERTISEMENT Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Favre said he was first admitted to rehab for 28 days to treat an addition to prescription pills, saying on one occasion he had taken 12 Vicodin tablets at once.“I actually went to rehab three times. I saw the most successful, smart people – doctors, professional people – lose it all, ruin their lives,” said Favre, adding he was persuaded to get treatment by his wife Deanne and his agent.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“I didn’t think I had a problem, but they talked me into it,” Favre said.He was then admitted to a facility in Kansas for alcohol problems. Spurs disbanding cheer squad for ‘family friendly’ act LATEST STORIES Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ “When I drank, I drank to excess. So when I went in the second time, to the place in Kansas, I remember vividly fighting them in there,” Favre said. “They said drinking was the gateway drug for me, and they were right, absolutely right, but I wouldn’t admit it. I will never forget one of the nurses. I fought with this nurse all the time. I would not admit the drinking problem. At the end, she said to me, ‘You’ll be back. I was back.”Favre said his third stint in rehab was to address problems with alcohol.“I was in there 28 days, and it worked,” he said. “When I got out, the toughest thing was the first three months, because I had to change my thought process.“When I played golf before, I realized the only reason I wanted to play was to drink. After a while, instead of thinking, ‘How many beers can we drink in 18 holes?’ I fell into a pattern of what could I do to get good at golf. I realized with each passing day I really didn’t like drinking.”ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Children’s Futures impacted Due to Ebola School Closures

first_imgChildren in Ebola-stricken Liberia are playing, working or begging to fill their time while schools remain closed, according to children’s charity Plan International.The virus has kept schools shut for more than four months, in a country which already suffers from limited learning facilities and trained teachers, as well as a high illiteracy rate.New research from Plan shows that many children and youth will lose half a year or more of education, which is expected to affect their prospects in life, as well as dent their confidence and self esteem.The report, entitled “Young Lives on Lockdown: The impact of Ebola on children and communities in Liberia,” says that while teachers and older children are continuing to teach their children and siblings at home, the majority of parents are themselves uneducated and thus cannot give their children home schooling.“Most parents cannot read or write so they cannot help their children at home.  At the same time, they don’t let other people come to their houses to conduct lessons for them or let their children out for even 30 minutes,” said one community leader interviewed for the research.  Remember, there is the constant fear of Ebola.Once schools do re-open, parents worry they will not have the money to pay their children’s fees as well as fees for other activities.“Schools will soon reopen, but no money to put kids in school on time owning to limited vehicles,” said another community leader, who spoke to researchers.In Joseph Town, Bomi, western Liberia, and any other parts of the country, hundreds of children can be seen playing at street corners or in empty market stalls.The children play aimlessly without any form of learning or care provided.“I miss school so badly,’ says Archie, 13. “I never thought I would be out of school all these months. All I do every day is play football and run around the community with my friends.”Liberian school systems were slowly recovering after the civil war eleven years ago. Now, such progress has taken a step backward.“The Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a serious threat to mankind, and it has affected and hugely impacted negatively every sector of Liberia, particularly education,” said Felecia Sackie Doe-Suma, Liberia’s Assistant Minister of Education for Early Childhood Development.According to the research, the Ebola crisis is having a particular impact on older children’s education – with the risk that they will not return to education particularly at the high level.This is most obviously the case in households who have lost parents or carers, where older children – almost exclusively girls – talk about their need to take over the parenting role.More generally, dwindling (declining) family incomes and a rise in poverty can be expected to increase the pressure on youth to leave education permanently.For these children and youths, the possibilities offered by education are replaced by the prospect of a lifetime of unskilled work or early motherhood.Alphan Kabba, Plan Liberia Programme Manager in Bomi, added: “Children are left to play while some have turned to becoming bread winners in this Ebola period, due to the closure of schools across the country.“This will have far-reaching consequences in the not-too-distant future.”Plan plans to create learning spaces, safe home schools and radio listening clubs in 15 counties across Liberia beginning where Plan has program units.According to Kabba, this will give children access to radio and provide the right atmosphere to listen to the government’s newly introduced radio program entitled Teaching by Radio.Liberia’s Education Ministry launched the Teaching by Radio program in October 2014 on three national radio stations based in Monrovia.The program brings together education specialists, classroom teachers and volunteer educators to teach children and keep them busy whilst schools remain closed.“We teach five subjects – Language Arts,   which include grammar usage; basic and everyday Math, Science for life, including nutrition in the Ebola context, and hygiene,” said Doe-Suma.“We also teach history and social studies,” she added.However, in Bomi, Archie says he has not heard the program, as Bomi County – which has a population of over 150,000 – has only one radio station.“I do not have a radio for myself but I have not heard a program like that on any radio station in Bomi. I know Radio Bomi sometimes relays programs from national radio stations in Monrovia, but this has not been the case,” Archie said.Nigel Chapman, CEO of Plan International, said the closure of schools will have long-term effects on children.“The closure of all schools, colleges and universities means that children and youth are having their long-term futures impacted by the virus.“This will affect their prospects, their confidence and their self esteem. It is very worrying that even when schools re-open, many parents will not be able to afford the fees. Older children will likely remain in work rather than complete their education. We must make getting children back to lessons a priority in our Ebola response work.”NoteIn total, 6388 have died in West Africa of Ebola. As of 10 December, over 3100[1] people have died in Liberia alone as the deadly disease continues to ravage the country with over 7700 reported cases so far, and the numbers still rising.Founded 77 years ago, Plan is one of the oldest and largest child rights organisations in the world that works in 51 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote child rights and lift millions of children out of poverty. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations. www.plan-international.orgPlan started working in Liberia in 1982. The organization works in partnership with the communities and the government to ensure poor children have access to quality education, good health and adequate sanitation, and that they are well protected. The organization has 12,250 sponsored children spread over 176 communities in its programmed areas. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

PPP demands full disclosure of Auditor General’s Report

first_imgWith the Auditor General’s report for 2018 being handed over amid political uncertainty regarding sittings of the National Assembly, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) members are urging that the parliamentary Opposition’s absence not be used as an excuse to duck the report.The report was handed over on Monday by Auditor General Deodat Sharma, to Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Barton Scotland. In handing over the report, Sharma had urged the Speaker to ensure that it was laid in the National Assembly as soon as possible.Afterwards, Member of Parliament (MP) Juan Edghill reiterated that the People’s Progressive Party will not be returning to Parliament. However, he stressed the need to have the report released to MPs and the media, whether the Opposition is in Parliament or not.“In the absence of a sitting of the National Assembly and where we in the parliamentary Opposition do not envisage any sittings that we will participate in, because in our view the Parliament has expired, we would like to ensure that this report is not ducked and hidden for the next five months, where the country will be kept in suspense as to its contents.”“You are aware that over the years, the parliamentary Opposition has been indicating matters of serious concern as it relates to corruption, maladministration, mismanagement and misuse of public funds in a number of sectors,” Edghill said.Here he cited the D’Urban Park Project, for which millions could not be accounted for. Funding for the D’Urban Park Project has always been a contentious issue, with money from the Lotto Fund being used by the APNU/AFC Government for the project.In his 2015 report, the AG had listed some $36.5 million in Lotto Funds being used for rehabilitative works. As a consequence, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman, Irfaan Ali had previously requested that further probing be done by the Auditor General. Ali had stated that these requests were in relation to follow-ups from the findings that had been included in the AG’s 2015 Report.In his 2015 report, the Auditor General had said that following checks on the accounts, it was found that while Government transferred $1 billion of the Lotto money to the Consolidated Fund in 2015, it held onto just over half a billion dollars to remain under the control of the Ministry of the Presidency and it spent $305 million on various activities.But the audit into the D’Urban Park Project has always been hindered by a lack of access to pertinent information, with the Audit Office being forced to write to the Public Infrastructure Ministry requesting documents.Current illegal spendingEdghill’s view was also expressed by fellow Public Accounts Committee member and parliamentarian, Nigel Dharamlall. Additionally, Dharamlall noted that the Auditor General could monitor illegal spending on a current basis.“In terms of 2019, we are in a year of unconstitutional rule, by the Granger Government. And we feel the Audit Office should pay keen attention. We have said that we would not return to Parliament to extend the life of the Government, because that would give life to their illegitimate rule.”“So all of their spending beyond March 21 would be considered illegal. And we expect the audit report would in some way address the concerns of the Opposition and the Public Accounts Committee and the general public at large,” Dharamlall said.President David Granger, during an address to the nation last week, had announced that Parliament would reconvene on October 10. It will be without the Opposition, however, as they have staunchly reflast_img read more

West Brom relegated from Premier League, Southampton win

first_imgAfter more than 70 minutes of frenetic action, substitute Manolo Gabbiadini provided the decisive moment for Southampton when he reacted quickest to Charlie Austin’s parried shot in a crowded goalmouth.Gabbiadini had only been on the pitch for four minutes and it was only his fifth goal of a difficult season for the Italian.The result means Southampton move up to 16th in the table, three points clear of 18th-place Swansea, who are favourites to joint West Brom and Stoke in the Championship.Southampton’s win confirmed West Brom’s return to the English second tier after eight seasons in the top flight, with an eighth-place finish the best the Baggies managed during the 2012/13 season with Steve Clarke in charge.West Brom’s season started well, with six points taken from a possible six after successive 1-0 wins at home to Bournemouth and away to Burnley.However, after picking up just four points from a possible 30, Tony Pulis was sacked two days after losing 4-0 at home to Chelsea and was replaced by Gary Megson, who temporarily took charge of two games.Alan Pardew was then named permanent manager but his arrival failed to deliver the improvement needed to guide the side away from relegation.Pardew, who led the Baggies to an FA Cup fourth-round victory at Liverpool, only had a 2-0 home win against Brighton to show for his efforts in the Premier League.Problems off the pitch added to the disappointment on it when a mid-season trip to Barcelona made the headlines for the wrong reasons.Four senior players, including captain Jonny Evans and England midfielder Jake Livermore, were forced to apologise after a taxi was stolen from outside a fast-food restaurant.On April 2, Pardew’s time was up and he was replaced by Moore until the end of the season, becoming West Brom’s fourth manager of the campaign.Since Moore’s appointment, West Brom have taken 11 points from a possible 15 to keep alive the hope of a great escape.– Hughes impact –Southampton had looked dead and buried when Mark Hughes came in to replace the sacked Mauricio Pellegrino in March.But seven points from three games have given Saints a huge opportunity to escape the drop on the final day this weekend, even if that match is a home date against the champions Manchester City.Southampton now have 36 points — three more than Swansea, who entertain relegated Stoke on Sunday.The Saints’ goal difference is also nine better than Swansea’s, so they will be safe barring a significant turnaround.Huddersfield also remain in the mix given the poor state of their goal difference, although one point from remaining games against Chelsea and Arsenal will ensure they finish above Swansea.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Manolo Gabbiadini scored the only goal as Southampton’s win at Swansea confirmed West Brom’s relegation © AFP / Geoff CADDICKLONDON, United Kingdom, May 8 – West Brom were relegated from the Premier League on Tuesday after Southampton took a huge step towards keeping their place in the English top flight by beating fellow strugglers Swansea.Darren Moore’s West Brom needed a draw between the Saints and Swans in south Wales to take their fight to avoid relegation into the final day of the season on Sunday.last_img read more

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino ‘disappointed’ with draw

first_imgTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was in no doubt his side’s 1-1 draw at Everton represented two points dropped for the London outfit.Spurs bossed the first half at Goodison Park in terms of possession and chances, yet found themselves trailing in the 22nd minute when their former player Aaron Lennon struck for the hosts in emphatic fashion.Tottenham hit the woodwork either side of that, Harry Kane being denied by the post and Ben Davies by the bar, before Dele Alli notched a fine volley in first-half stoppage time to bring things level.The game was more even after the break, with neither team able to seize the victory.And Pochettino, whose men had won their previous three Barclays Premier League matches, said: “We dropped two points.“The first half I think was fantastic, one of our best performances so far. In the second half we managed the game until around 75 minutes, when I think Everton increased their level.“I think we need to feel proud, and our performance was really good – but we are disappointed with the final result.”Tottenham, now six points behind league leaders Arsenal in fourth place, were being talked up as possible title contenders in the build-up to the game.And when asked afterwards how he saw his team’s chances in that respect, Pochettino said: “It is too early to speak about some challenge or achievements at the end of the season.“I think the way we are, all can happen.“We believe in the way we play, we are very ambitious and the players are very disappointed in the changing room.“Always at the end of the game we play some music but today we (did not, because we) are very disappointed, because the feeling is that we dropped two points.“Maybe tomorrow we will analyse the game and say we need to be happy for the point, but today our feeling is we dropped two – and this is a very good sign for the future.“We are the youngest squad in the Premier League but we are showing our winning mentality.”Nineteen-year-old midfielder Alli produced another impressive individual display, providing yet more evidence he really is a major rising star.Pochettino admits the England international, signed from MK Dons last year, needs to be handled with care, but he can see no reason why Alli cannot continue to perform at the highest level for the rest of the campaign as Euro 2016 draws near.“I think the goal was fantastic, a great goal,” Pochettino said.“From the beginning we have had to take care of him. We need to be careful. That is important when they are young, to handle them in a good way.”Then asked if he could see Alli continuing to perform at such a level in the team every week, Pochettino said: “Yes – if he shows that in every training session he deserves to play, why not?” 1 Mauricio Pochettino last_img read more


first_imgHealthcare company, Randox Health, which has a plant in Co Donegal, will become the new Official Partner of the world’s greatest race, the Grand National.The three-day Grand National Festival staged at Aintree Racecourse, in a five-year deal starting from April 2017, Jockey Club Racecourses have announced.Randox Health is a world leader in healthcare diagnostics; today more than 5% of the world’s population – in excess of 370 million people across 145 countries – receives medical diagnosis using Randox products each year. Offering the world’s most advanced preventative health screening in their clinics, currently in London and Belfast, Randox Health plans to roll out clinics nationally and internationally over the next 12 months, including in Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin.Donegal TD, Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher was present at the announcement which was held this morning at their headquarters in Belfast.Gallagher has been an avid support of Randox from the very beginning and said the news is a great boost for Dungloe.Gallagher told Donegal Daily, “It’s a fantastic boost for the area, management have also indicated that the sponsorship deal will create more jobs in the Dungloe facility. Advertisement “I’ve worked alongside Randox since they opened their doors in Dungloe, and their presence in our area has given the town a great boost.“The Grand National is watched by over 600 million people worldwide, so it’s fantastic for the organization to be associated with such a high profile event.”“I was delighted to be present at the announcement earlier this morning, and I look forward to continuing to work with Randox closely over the coming years.”The Randox Health checks aim to prevent illness and enhance wellbeing by running hundreds of tests from one simple patient sample. These unique tests give an extraordinary insight into every aspect of a person’s health.Founded in 1982 in County Antrim by leading medical scientist and keen horseman, Dr. Peter FitzGerald‎ CBE, Randox Health is dedicated to improving health and enhancing lives, worldwide. To achieve their goals the company is committed to an extensive research programme, investing more than £220m since 1992. The company currently employs more than 1,400 people of 44 different nationalities.It now employs hundreds of people at its plant in Dungloe. With around 9 million people tuning in each year in the UK, the £1 million Grand National currently attracts one of the largest live TV audiences in sport and Channel 4’s largest audience of the year.From 2017, the first year with new partner Randox Health, the race will be broadcast on ITV. Worldwide the event attracts an estimated television audience of around 600 million, with more than 150,000 people enjoying the action live from Aintree Racecourse in Merseyside over the course of the three-day racing festival.DONEGAL HEALTHCARE COMPANY TO SPONSOR GRAND NATIONAL was last modified: March 8th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegaldungloeGrand Nationalrandoxlast_img read more


first_imgTwo Donegal students have won top prizes in this year’s 62nd Texaco Children’s Art Competition.Both winners of Special Merit Awards, they are Kellie McClafferty (15), from Royal and Prior Comprehensive School, Raphoe and Ruby O’Reilly Duff (12), from Grumman National School, Ramelton.Prizes will be presented at an awards ceremony in Dublin next month when all of the 126 top prize-winners will be in attendance. DONEGAL STUDENTS WIN TOP PRIZES IN TEXACO ART COMPETITION was last modified: April 21st, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalTEXACO ARTwinnerslast_img read more

Watford 0-1 Liverpool: Emre Can keeps Reds in control of top four destiny

first_img The German midfielder scored a stunning bicycle-kick 1 Liverpool took a significant step to sealing Champions League qualification as Emre Can scored a goal-of-the-season contender to down Watford on Monday night.Jurgen Klopp had seen Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal drop points in the battle for the Premier League top four before his side travelled to Vicarage Road – and they took full advantage.A largely forgettable 90 minutes was settled when Can lit up a cold Hertfordshire evening with a superb volley in first-half stoppage time to clinch a 1-0 win.The victory moved Liverpool four points clear of United in fifth, although they have played a game more than their bitter rivals.Watford, on 40 points and all but safe from the drop, were not at the races as they failed to react to captain Troy Deeney’s criticism following the recent defeat at Hull.The opening quarter of the contest was interrupted by injuries as Liverpool lost Philippe Coutinho with less than 10 minutes gone before Miguel Britos hobbled off for the hosts soon after.Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was forced into action as he pushed a long-range Can effort away from goal.The game stuttered along for the majority of the half with very little incident until Adam Lallana, Coutinho’s replacement, hit the bar with a looping effort.Lucas Leiva was then booked for diving as the half threatened to end with a whimper, only for Can to take centre-stage.The ball was neatly worked in-field from the right and Lucas, the villain of the piece moments earlier, clipped in a cross which Can acrobatically volleyed home to open the scoring on the stroke of half-time.The startlingly goal seemed to inject fresh belief into Klopp’s men and James Milner saw a low free-kick saved soon after the interval – with Gomes also having to turn a Divock Origi strike behind for a corner as Liverpool looked to kill the game off with a second.Origi should have doubled the lead on 57 minutes but shot tamely at Gomes when through on goal, with the Hornets finally working Simon Mignolet courtesy of an Etienne Capoue strike.The Frenchman was booked for his protestations as referee Craig Pawson signalled for a goal-kick, but it at least stirred the home fans.It also lifted the Watford players, although in their attempts to equalise they were almost caught on the counter-attack, with Nordin Amrabat just able to prevent Lallana tucking away a goal on his return.Can could not repeat his earlier heroics as he ballooned a shot wide and Mignolet made a meal out of a late Daryl Janmaat shot.As Watford poured forward, Liverpool’s goal lived a charmed life with Sebastian Prodl smashing the crossbar with a stoppage-time volley.This win may have not been as emphatic as the 6-1 drubbing doled out by Liverpool when the sides met in November at Anfield – where Can also scored as the Reds went top of the table for the first time under Klopp.But, having struggled against sides in the bottom half and with their rivals dropping points, it was just as important for the German and his hopes of a return to Europe’s top table.last_img read more