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first_imgLiverpool boss Brendan Rodgers admitted his side were well beaten as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Southampton. He went on: “We only started to play when we were 2-0 down. We got it back to 2-1 and we were better in the second half but then conceded another very poor goal. “(It) was a poor day at the office. The problem is we have to live with it for a couple of weeks now.” Rodgers was most aggrieved at the way his side defended. “When you concede the goals we conceded it is always going to be difficult to win games,” Rodgers said. “It’s something I know that we need to improve. We need to develop as a group. We didn’t defend or play as well as we can. I know the areas where we can improve.” Southampton’s win was just their second in the league under manager Mauricio Pochettino, and he said: “I think we set out the game in a very positive way. “Most importantly the players believed in the way we set up. I think we made Liverpool really uncomfortable on the pitch. “We pressed them quite a lot and we put in a really big effort. I think my team played really well.” The Reds arrived at St Mary’s on the back of four successive wins but were second best from start to finish. “We just weren’t very good. It was as simple as that,” Rodgers said. “If you start a game the way we started it then it is very difficult at this level to get back.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

first_imgTony Pulis has hailed the influence of Wales international Joe Ledley on Crystal Palace’s remarkable Barclays Premier League resurgence. Press Association Cardiff, meanwhile, look set for a quickfire return to the Championship, having dropped to 19th place, six points adrift of safety with just five games left. Three of those fixtures are away from home against Southampton, Sunderland and Newcastle, with Stoke and Chelsea their remaining Cardiff City Stadium visitors. “If you produce a miracle – that sometimes happens in football – you are still capable of getting out of this and staying in the Barclays Premier League,” Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said. “I am full of fight. It has been a tough season for everyone involved with the club. In the second half it showed a little bit that it has taken its toll. “There was a lack of belief a little bit towards the end. We ran out of ideas. “Players are desperate to perform. I have seen them all week, and you are so disappointed for them and the fans that we produced a performance like we did.” A frustrating afternoon for Cardiff was underlined through their Manchester United loan signing and former Palace favourite Wilfried Zaha being booed when Solskjaer took him off early in the second-half. “You never want to take players off,” Solskjaer added. “I felt for Wilf, especially first-half, he had some chances and he was really positive. “Wilf is a strong character. It must have been a difficult game for him, of course. It was his old club that he played against, but he was professional, he did his best and I cannot fault him for his effort at all. “I have to say Palace are a fantastically well-organised team and hard to break down, and we just did not have the quality and ideas to break them down. “We’ve got to produce one (a miracle) to stay up. I am full of fight. I have been here three months, I have got more energy and fight in me than ever. “Things like this give me more fight. Things will have to happen, things will have to change. “They are professional footballers, and they have got to realise they have still got something to fight for. If you do produce a miracle against Southampton, suddenly you might be back in with a chance.” Ledley, a January transfer deadline day signing from Celtic, scored Palace’s second goal in a 3-0 victory over his former club Cardiff. The 27-year-old, who was born in Cardiff and made more than 200 appearances for them before heading to Glasgow, played an instrumental role as Palace moved seven points clear of relegation trouble. Ledley also set up the first of Jason Puncheon’s two goals at Cardiff City Stadium, and Palace boss Pulis said: “I thought Ledley was fantastic. “He has brought a little bit of class, he has got a fantastic attitude, his work-rate suits what I want as a manager and his ability is absolutely first-class. “It was great passing. The first pass he passed it through the eye of a needle for ‘Punch’ to get hold of it.” Palace were bottom of the league and red-hot relegation favourites when Welshman Pulis arrived at the club last November, but he has masterminded their climb to 14th place in odds-defying fashion. “Right from the terraces the crowd have picked it up and they’ve been wonderful, especially the home games which we need to win and we need to pick points up,” Pulis added. “The players have responded to it and it is almost like we have started a little fire and it has just got bigger and bigger. “But as I’ve said, I am very, very conscious that we haven’t got to that stage yet where we can say we’ve stayed up. We still have a lot of work to do. “We’ve got six games to go to get the points that we need. We are still not safe, we still need points, so next Saturday’s game against Aston Villa is a massive game for us.” last_img read more

first_imgSpanish soccer club Sevilla says one of its players has tested positive for the coronavirus.The club has not disclosed the name of the player. It says he has not shown symptoms of COVID-19 and is in good health and isolated at home.Sevilla says the positive result was discovered on Monday. It immediately informed sports and health authorities and temporarily suspended the team’s training sessions. It also disinfected the club’s facilities in accordance with the strict protocols in place because of the pandemic.Sevilla is scheduled to face Roma on Aug. 6 in the Europa League.___ July 29, 2020 In a letter to fans posted Wednesday on the Crimson Tide’s website, Byrne says the athletic department placed a freeze on hiring for non-coaching jobs because of potential revenue shortfalls during the COVID-19 pandemic.He says Alabama also is finding ways to save on energy and facility operating costs and is reviewing other steps. The Southeastern Conference hasn’t announced plans for fall sports, including football, which could ultimately mean a limited number of fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium.“Under normal operations, a large percentage of our annual budget comes directly from ticket sales and TIDE PRIDE memberships,” Byrne said, referring to Alabama’s ticket priority program.“In the event we have to adopt a modified seating model at Bryant-Denny Stadium, this number will be impacted significantly. While we don’t yet know the effects on individual ticketholders, we do know that we will need your continued and generous support.”___ Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Big West Conference is postponing all fall sports through the end of the calendar year. FIFA expects to make the funds available by January 2021.___Three riders competing at the Vuelta a Burgos cycling race in Spain have been dropped from the event after being in contact with someone with the coronavirus.UAE Team Emirates says Colombian riders Sebastian Molano, Cristian Munoz and Camilo Ardila will not start the second stage.The team says they were in contact with a person who turned out to be positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. They have been isolated and sent home in accordance with protocols by the team and international cycling body UCI. The team says the three riders returned two negative tests three days before the race.___The first two stops on the 2021 World Sevens Series rugby circuit have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.World Rugby says the joint events in Dubai from Nov. 26-28 and in Cape Town from Dec. 4-6 have been cut because of the “ongoing and dynamic global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.”The 2020 series was curtailed and New Zealand declared champions of the men’s and women’s titles after sports around the world were shuttered in March. The conference’s board of directors said that men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball will be postponed as well as the fall schedules for men’s and women’s golf along with men’s and women’s tennis.The conference will determine later if conducting fall sports in the spring would be feasible. The decision does not impact basketball, which is scheduled to begin on Nov. 10. The Division I conference has 11 members, with all but one based in California.___The University of Texas is now exploring how it can host football games at 25% percent stadium capacity instead of the previously announced 50% as the return to campus and the planned start of the season rapidly approaches. Planning for the remaining qualifiers for the postponed Tokyo Olympics is ongoing. Twenty-one of the 24 places in the Olympic tournaments have been confirmed.A dozen teams are set to play in each of the men’s and women’s tournaments in the first half of next year for the remaining spots in Tokyo.The last five stops in the 2020 series were canceled in June.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sportscenter_img The Big 12 will hold its football media day online Monday with only the conference’s 10 head coaches available.The coronavirus pandemic forced all major college conferences to cancel their traditional in-person football media days and switch to virtual events. The uncertainty of when and if the season will start then prompted the virtual events to be delayed.The Big 12 will be the first Football Bowl Subdivision conference to conduct a media day, with some of the teams in the conference scheduled to begin play on Aug. 29.___Athletic director Greg Byrne says the University of Alabama has taken cost-cutting measures for each department and sport with the coronavirus threatening fall sports. Associated Press The National Women’s Hockey League is pushing back the start of its season from mid-November to January because of the new coronavirus pandemic.The league announced Wednesday it still plans to have teams play a full 20-game season, with the playoffs to conclude by the end of March. Should time permit, the NWHL will schedule holding its traditional midseason all-star game after the playoffs.The NWHL has six teams, with the addition of a Toronto expansion franchise. The league was unable to complete last season, having to cancel the championship game between Boston and Minnesota in mid-March because of COVID-19.The NWHL plans to begin holding optional practices beginning the week of Sept. 21, followed by formal practices a month later. The schedule was determined by the league’s COVID-19 safety committee formed in April.___ Texas officials had told season ticket holders earlier this month they were planning for 50 percent capacity, which would be allowed under statewide orders from Gov. Greg Abbott. That would include nearly 50,000 fans. But Austin’s health authority said Tuesday the 50% plan caught the city off guard and he questioned whether the school should host any fans at games. Texas is scheduled to host South Florida on Sept. 5 and the Big 12 has held out hope it can play a 12-game regular season.In a campus letter Wednesday, Interim President Jay Hartzell said the chairman of the school’s Board of Regents asked the school to plan for a 25% attendance, including students.The state of Texas has seen record numbers of new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the month of July.___ FIFA has ratified a coronavirus relief plan that will make $1.5 billion available to soccer communities and national associations around the world.All of the 211 FIFA member associations will receive a $1 million grant “to protect and restart football” and can access interest-free loans of up to $5 million.Each member association will also receive an additional $500,000 grant for women’s soccer during the plan’s third phase.The massive spending plan aims to help men’s and women’s professional soccer as well as youth and grassroots soccer through a system of grants and loans.Each of the six soccer confederations will also receive a grant of $2 million. The Latest: Big West Conference postpones fall sportslast_img read more

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