Monthly Archives: March 2016

Bayern makes thrilling comeback to beat Juventus

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Bayern makes thrilling comeback to beat Juventus

It was an odd reversal of fortunes for Bayern Munich and Juventus during their last 16 clash at the Allianz Arena, as the German champions made a comeback to defeat their Italian counterparts at 4-2 in extra time (6-4 on aggregate).

Bayern took the lead with two goals in the first leg at Juventus stadium, and Juventus responded by equalizing the game by full-time.

In Germany however, it was the Italian giants that took the lead thanks to two early goals at the first half. Paul Pogba took advantage on a David Alaba mistake to beat Manuel Neuer for their first.

Then, in an odd display of lacking Bayern defense, Juventus defender Alvaro Morata made a 40m past four Bayern players and sets up Juan Cuadrado. The Colombian calmly feinted against Joshua Kimmich and made a close range shot for his team’s second.

Nonetheless, the German club finally showing signs of life as Robert Lewandowski headed in a Douglas Costa cross to the far post at the 73rd minute. Thomas Muller then follow suit at the 90th minute to pull the game into extra time.

Juventus would then rue the chances they did convert their chances in the game, running out of steam at extra time as well as mistakenly loaning out a tool of their own demise.

Thiago Alcantara drilled in Bayern’s third, but it was turncoat hero Kingsley Coman who sealed Juventus’ fate. On loan from Juventus, he curled in Bayern’s fourth over Gianluigi Buffon to hammer the final nail to the coffin.

Defeat meant that Juventus will be only able to chase after domestic titles this season, while Pep Guardiola, on his final season in charge of Bayern is still on course for a trophy treble.

Manchester United owes fans a performance, says van Gaal

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Manchester United owes fans a performance, says van Gaal

Louis van Gaal says that Manchester United owes their fans a performance to oust Liverpool from the Europa League after the Reds defeated them by 2-0 in the first leg at Anfield.

“Yes, but we owe always to the fans a big result because the fans are paying to see that,” he said ahead of the second leg, stressing on United’s need to focus.

“Tomorrow we only have to think we have to beat Liverpool – and beat them 2-0 not 3-0 because we can do it in extra time.”

“We can do it 2-0 and then we have a chance to reach the next round. You know we have scored goals within three or four minutes this season so it is possible.”

That much is true, but should Liverpool scores at Old Trafford United will need more than 3 goals to progress. However, van Gaal has other ideas.

“We don’t think about conceding a goal,” Van Gaal said. “We think about making goals. We have done that against Midtjylland [scoring five], the last opponent before Liverpool.”

“I think the challenge is to beat Liverpool and the challenge that we are two goals down is a big challenge.”

“We have to believe in it – it starts with the players of course but it starts also with the fans.”

On the other hand, Jurgen Klopp is confident about his side’s chances, saying confidently on United that his side “knows how to play them.”

“We made our position a little bit better,” he said. “It is not perfect, it is not 5-0 or 6-0, it is not a holiday tomorrow.”

“It is really hard work and I have no problem with this. I knew it before the draw, after the draw and before the first leg. We want to take this chance for us – that is all.”

UEFA charges Dortmund for injured Tottenham fans

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UEFA charges Dortmund for injured Tottenham fans

UEFA, the governing body for European football and the Europa League has charged Borussia Dortmund after 17 Tottenham fans were injured before last week’s Europa League first leg match.

The German club will be charged with blocking stairways to the ground, which breaches Article 38 of safety and security regulations. The disciplinary proceedings will begin on 19 May.

Spurs fans were hurt as they struggled to enter the Westfalenstadion before the Round game, with entrances temporarily closed. A congestion developed as supporters were redirected shortly before kick-off, and Dortmund police had reportedly used pepper spray to try to control the Spurs fans.

Tottenham officially stated that this created “a potentially dangerous situation” and condemned the use of pepper spray as “unnecessary and unacceptable”.

Martin Cloake, co-chairman of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, said: “It’s one of the worst experiences I’ve had to get into a ground.”

A Tottenham spokesman added that ‘the misdirection’ created a potentially dangerous situation, and that the use of pepper sprays ‘completely unnecessary’ and ‘unacceptable’.

On the other hand, Dortmund police said that it was the late arrival of Spurs fans that created unexpected pressure on the entrances, which had to be temporarily closed.

Their statement read: “In order to prevent an uncontrolled entrance of the followers of Tottenham, pepper spray and baton was used by the police, in which 17 English supporters were slightly injured due to eye irritation.”

“Furthermore, a police officer and five employees of the security service were wounded in the course of these measures.”

Tottenham would face Dortmund once again in their Europa League’s second leg game in White Hart Lane this week.

White Sox designated hitter Adam LaRoche to retire

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White Sox designated hitter Adam LaRoche to retire

Adam LaRoche, 36, stunned everyone as he made an announcement of his retirement from the MLB and the Chicago White Sox, and in the process forfeiting $13 million left on his contract.

LaRoche gave the news much to the surprise and dismay of this Sox coaches and teammates; many of them urged him to reconsider the 12-year veteran.

“I’m confident I am stepping away from baseball,” LaRoche said. “My teammates have asked me for an hour (to reconsider). I’ve tried to convince them I am convinced, but I will do them that, and give it a day or two, and then come back in and finish the story.”

Previously, he signed a two-year contract with the Sox that would end after next season, and said out of respect for his team that he would consider their requests before further discussion of his intention in the next few days.

However, Sox general manager Rick Hahn believes that LaRoche is adamant on his decision to retire. The news surprised him, but he will respect LaRoche’s decision and understands the player’s angle.

All parties did not pry upon the circumstances that made LaRoche’s decision which LaRoche says that he would address with clarity soon.

LaRoche had played in just two spring training games this year before being sidelined with back spasms, but the injury showed signs of recovery. If he should retire, the Sox would be left without a designated hitter, a backup first baseman and a surplus of outfielders.

With a career that spans a little longer than a decade in MLB, the .260 hitter with 255 home runs and 882 RBIs had played with the Braves, Pirates, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, and the Nationals.

Signing on under a free-agent contract with the Sox before the 2015 season, he experienced one of the more frustrating years of his career with the team. He hit .207 with 12 home runs, 44 RBIs and 133 strikeouts.