Fabio Liverani appreciated the Lecce “spirit and refusal to give in” that allowed them to claw back a 2-2 draw against Milan. The Salentini fought back twice at San Siro, culminating in a Marco Calderoni stoppage-time thunderbolt. “This is the spirit we are going to need this season in Serie A, that refusal to give in, holding on to belief in ourselves,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia. “In these first few rounds, we’re up against the top teams from Serie A last season. When we get closer to the midway stage and we’ve taken everyone on, we’ll have a better idea of where we stand and what we can do. “We’re happy with the point, as unlike our last few seasons in Serie C and B, it will be a struggle to the end. What I didn’t like in the first half was the way we kept losing the ball and couldn’t clear our lines, so were under constant pressure. “No team can dominate a match for 90 minutes, so the important thing is to make the most of the ball when you have it.” Liverani was sent off for dissent and Khouma Babacar was off the field with cramp when Milan scored to go 2-1 up. “We have to work on these situations, because we were a man down when we conceded.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Shakhtar Donetsk turned down Milan’s offer for Brazilian winger Taison, confirms his agent, but there has been no further contact. The negotiations continued right to the wire, with the player venting his frustration on social medial. “It’s true, Milan were very interested,” agent Diego Dornelles told Calciomercato.com. “Shakhtar did not accept the offer presented by the Rossoneri. They demanded the full release clause, which is €30m. I am not authorised to say how much they did propose, but it was insufficient. “Taison is very happy at Shakhtar, as he is the captain of the team and having a great season. Clearly, he admires Milan a great deal and would’ve been proud to represent the club, but he respects his current team and their fans.” Could Milan try to sign Taison again during the January transfer window? “We’ve had no contact so far, but it all depends on Shakhtar Donetsk and what they want to do.”
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Marco Verratti has signed a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain, keeping him at Parc des Princes until 2024 on a deal reportedly worth €17m a year. The new lucrative agreement means the Italy international will stay put for a 12-year stint in Paris, as he has been a key member for the Ligue 1 champions since 2012-13. He made the move after rising into the spotlight through his performances at Pescara in Serie B and has been plying his trade in the French capital ever since. This season the midfielder has 13 games across all competitions under the guidance of coach Thomas Tuchel. The Corriere dello Sport claims the deal will be worth €17m a year, which will mean that Veratti will earn around €85m during his next five years playing for the club owned by Sheikh Nasser Al-Khelaifi. PSG lead second placed Nantes by eight points in Ligue 1 after 11 games this season, and they are topping their group in the Champions League, yet to concede a goal after three rounds.
Lecce midfielder Marco Mancosu has confessed that facing hometown club Cagliari this weekend will be “a dream come true”. The 31-year-old was born in the Sardinian capital and started his career with the Rossoblu but never played for them. Instead, he has battled through the lower Leagues and only now has the chance of proving his former paymasters wrong. “Until a few years ago, it was unthinkable for me to play the Sardinians in a League match. Now it’s a dream come true” Mancosu said at a Press conference. However, the former Benevento man admits the timing is not perfect, given he has been struggling with an injury. “I’m not very fit right now, I hope I’ll overcome this muscular strain before Sunday. “This Cagliari are stellar. There are few clubs that can afford a midfield like theirs and they are on a graceful run of form. “I wouldn’t settle for a draw, though. I wouldn’t do that with anyone. The important thing is to take to the pitch with a desire to improve. “Now, we have become a team. Before, we were relying more on special moments. Now, through our performances, the points are coming.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/
BCCI president Shashank Manohar on Saturday launched a scathing attack on Lalit Modi, accusing him of “tarnishing” the image of the board and making misleading allegations that interim IPL chairman Chirayu Amin was part of a failed bid for the Pune franchise.Blasting Modi, Manohar said it was in fact the suspended IPL commissioner who had advised a Pune consortium to rope in Amin as an investor and the interim IPL chief agreed to invest only after the bid succeeded and he had sought the board’s permission.Manohar also claimed that contrary to Modi’s assertions, the IPL Governing Council did not know that City Corporation’s Managing Director Aniruddha Deshpande bid for the Pune team in his “individual capacity”.”The truth is that it was Mr Modi himself who sent a message to the Pune Franchisees through Mr Ajay Shirke, President, MCA (Maharshtra Cricket Association), asking them to contact Mr Amin and ask him to be a part of the consortium,” he revealed.Manohar said when the bidders approached Amin to join their consortium, the interim IPL chief agreed to make an investment of up to 10 per cent only if the bid was won and he got BCCI’s permission.”Mr Amin had then given me a letter with a copy to the Hony Secretary (N. Srinivasan), informing that he has been approached by the Pune franchisee. In his letter he clearly states that should City Corporation Ltd win the bid, he would then formally approach the board for a sanction to invest in the consortium. The letter itself makes it very clear that it was a proposal with a pre-condition attached that Mr Amin would seek a formal sanction only in case the bid succeeds,” Manohar said.advertisementManohar accused Modi of trying to tarnish Amin and the board’s image.”Mr Modi, since yesterday is trying to malign the image of the board and Chirayu Amin by making statements which are far from the truth,” Manohar said.”It is thus clear that the claim of Mr Modi that Mr Amin was a bidder is misleading and is only to malign the image of the board and it members.””I did not react earlier when he made allegations against me and the Hony. Secretary (N. Srinivasan) as I did not wish to dignify his ridiculous allegations with a repartee. Today, I am replying, because he is trying to tarnish the image of the board and its members,” he added.The Pune bid, which was ultimately won by the Sahara group, has snowballed into a major controversy involving former BCCI chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and his parliamentarian daughter Supriya Sule.The Pawar family has 16 per cent equity in City Corporation but they claim that Deshpande bid for the Pune team on his own and the company’s board was against the move even though it allowed him to use the company’s name on bid documents.But Manohar said had the IPL Governing Council known that Deshpande was bidding in his individual capacity, the bid would have been outrightly rejected.”Mr Modi has made a statement that Mr Deshpande had informed him that though the bid was submitted on behalf of City Corporation Ltd, it was in fact a personal bid on behalf of himself.””Mr Modi, who claims to be above board in all matters, did not think this very cogent and important piece of information should be shared with Governing Council Members/Officials,” Manohar said.”His statement becomes even more questionable in the light of the fact that the bid document tendered on behalf of City Corporation Ltd gives information only regarding City Corporation Ltd and does not give any personal information about Mr Deshpande. The bid could have been rejected at the threshold if it had been from Mr Deshpande in his individual capacity as it did not carry the necessary information about the bidder, i.e. Mr Deshpande,” he added.Manohar said it is Modi who has created the crisis in which the board finds itself.”Mr Modi, who is himself in the dock, is trying to tarnish the image of the board by making false and misleading statements time and again when as a fact the board has landed in this embarrassing situation due to his own misdeeds,” he said.”The reason for me releasing this statement is that the BCCI is an institution which is the best run Sports Body in the country and the image of BCCI cannot be allowed to be tarnished by people like Mr Lalit Modi,” Manohar said.advertisement
Skipper Shahid Afridi smashed a blistering 61-ball 124 to guide Pakistan to their highest ODI total of 385 for seven against Bangladesh in an Asia Cup match in Dambulla on Monday.Captain Shahid Afridi smashed a blistering 60-ball 124, his second century in the tournament, to steer Pakistan to a resounding 139?run win over Bangladesh in an inconsequential Asia Cup cricket match in Dambulla on Monday.Powered by Afridi’s blitzkrieg and useful half-centuries from Imran Farhat (66), Shahzaib Hasan (50) and Umar Akmal (50), Pakistan made an intimidating 385 for seven, their highest score in ODIs, after electing to bat.The target being too huge for them, Bangladesh settled for batting practice, making a listless 246 from their 50 overs at the Rangiri International stadium.ASIA CUP: FULL COVERAGEJuanid Siddique, who fell three runs short of his maiden hundred, and Imrul Kayes raised 160 runs for the second wicket, batting as if they were in a Test-match situation.Even the 100-odd spectators who had come to watch the inconsequential tie left the stands when the duo was at the square.The time spent at the wicket would have certainly pumped up their confidence, but their dour display was not a good advertisement for the 50-over format, which has already lost its appeal.Siddique struck six fours and two sixes during his 144-ball essay while Kayes, who took 24 balls to get off the mark, consumed 110 balls for his 66.For Pakistan, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Afridi and Imran Farhat took a wicket each.Both sides have crashed out of the tournament while India and Sri Lanka will play in the final on June 24.advertisementEarlier, Afridi, who was involved in a 137-run association for the fifth wicket with Umar Akmal (50), struck 17 fours and four sixes to help Pakistan raise a record total.Pakistan’s highest total in one-day international cricket was also the highest at this venue, bettering Sri Lanka’s 312 for four against Bangladesh last week.Building on the sizzling 81-run start provided by Shahzaib Hasan (50) and Imran Farhat (66), Afridi initially played himself in before unleashing an array of strokes which drove the Bangladesh attack to despair.He was merciless at the square, driving, cutting and pulling with panache.Left-arm spinner Adbur Razzak was the lone Bangladesh bowler to command respect from the 30-year-old who carted the rest of the attack to all parts of the park during his imperious essay.Afridi cleared the ropes with effortless ease while racing to his sixth ODI hundred in just 54 balls, the sixth fastest in history. He also holds the record for fastest ODI hundred, made in 37 balls against Sri Lanka at Nairobi.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG), alas, cannot be wished away now. Like it or not (ask athletes who would rather peak at the Asian Games), want it or not, (ask Mani Shankar Aiyar), afford it or not (ask the Indian taxpayer), the Games will be here. The best we can,The 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG), alas, cannot be wished away now. Like it or not (ask athletes who would rather peak at the Asian Games), want it or not, (ask Mani Shankar Aiyar), afford it or not (ask the Indian taxpayer), the Games will be here. The best we can do is to realise that this ‘festive fortnight’, at its most useful, is a ‘test’ event for India’s Olympic administrators. Of their motives and ambitions and the direction our Olympic sport needs to take. If we go by what the Games have already shown, our Commonsense Positioning System should now direct India as far away as it can from the multi-discipline, mega-sport event.Delhi 2010 offers us clues from bid to opening ceremony. For starters, why do the guys who talk the Games up not add their numbers correctly? In December 2003, Parliament was told that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) estimates had put the expenditure for the ‘conduct’ of the 2010 CWG at just under Rs 400 crore. Today, the Games budget is above Rs 11,494 crore, excluding civic spend. A Rs 1,800-crore ‘loan’ from the government will be repaid by the Games Organising Committee (featuring IOA stooges in different designations) the day Appu walks on water.Other nations use mega-events to regenerate undeveloped urban land. The IOA & Associates only give central Delhi more attention—and road works—than it deserves. Besides dishing out fat contracts to friends in construction, infrastructure, logistics and hospitality. That is what is called the Olympic ‘family’. When the ‘legacy’ of CWG venues is discussed, the IOA’s lobbyists do not talk about their future sustainability, but use words like ‘national pride’ and ‘heritage’ (what, no ‘autonomy’?). As if Talkatora was the Qutub Minar and would be put on the Delhi darshan bus route.advertisementThe CWG ‘test’ should by now have produced this result: please, God and government, no 2019 Asian Games. It is the next item on the IOA agenda, as they whisper that the Olympic Council of Asia is going to give India’s bid a ‘priority’ for 2019. Of course they would. During an economic downturn, who’s the softest touch but the attention-seeking, nouveau-riche sap?The names of the 2019 bidders have not yet been declared and the IOA smells another opportunity. To hoodwink another government. To convince them, with incorrect estimates (their failed 2014 Asian Games bid had an operational budget of Rs 656 crore) and false promises that the 17 disciplines of 2010 CWG can create infrastructure for the 35 that the Asian Games has. To hand out favours to their ‘family’. If the 2010 CWG can give us but one legacy, let it be this: to have Indian sport finally focus on its champs, not its chumps.
The 2-0 lead in the ongoing five-match series against England has helped India claim the fourth position in the ICC ODI rankings and it can cling to the spot by securing one more win.England had started the series in fourth position on 113 ratings points but has now slipped to 110 whereas India has jumped from 112 to 115 points.India just needs to win one more match to not only secure the series but also the number-four position. If it clinches a 5-0 series win and South Africa loses its opening two matches against Australia, India could even rise to third place in the table, just one rating point behind second-placed Sri Lanka.However, England can still finish in the pre-series fourth position, provided it wins the remaining three matches in the series, the ICC said in a statement.India take on England in the third ODI in Mohali on Thursday.In the rankings for ODI batsmen, Virat Kohli has climbed five places to fourth position after scores of 37 and 112 not out in Hyderabad and New Delhi, respectively.Gautam Gambhir has also improved his ranking and now jointly shares the 11th position with Jacques Kallis after scores of 32 and 84 not out.The batting table is still headed by South Africa captain Hashim Amla while an injured AB de Villiers is second and Australia’s Shane Watson is third.In the Rankings for ODI bowlers, England’s Graeme Swann continues to lead the table with New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori second.Indian off-spinner R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have also gained valuable spots. Ashwin is now in 36th position after rising five places while Jadeja has climbed six places to 38th spot. India’s fast bowler Praveen Kumar has also returned to the top 20 in 20th position.advertisement