Daily Archives: April 13, 2016

Wayne Rooney set to make comeback against West Ham

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Wayne Rooney set to make comeback against West Ham

England and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney could make his comeback against West Ham United after months of being sidelined with injury.

Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal had said that Rooney, 30, could play in the FA Cup fixture against the Hammers should he proves his fitness.

Making an appearance in a U-21 game recently, Rooney had a quiet match since missing 12 games due to a knee injury in a Premier League defeat against Sunderland on Feburary.

Manchester United is now fifth in the Premier League, and will travel to Upton Park for a quarter-final replay which has been described by Rooney’s fellow palyer Michael Carrick as “make or break.”

It was, indeed, Manchester United’s last opportunity for silverware this season.

Meanwhile, West Ham boss Slaven Billic who declared that Rooney was “the best England player of his era,” hopes that the Scouse does not make his comeback during the match.

“I would rather him not play, put it that way. 100 percent, 70 percent fit, I would rather him watch the game.”

“Now because they lost 3-0 (to Tottenham last weekend) we really don’t know who’s going to play, is it going to be Rooney from the start, is it going to be (Marouane) Fellaini, is it going to be (Ander) Herrera? Is he going to change a lot or stick to the team?”

“We don’t know. So it makes it harder for us. But we aren’t going to change the team because of them”

West Ham sit just a point and a place behind United in the Premier League table, and still have to face Van Gaal’s side in what is scheduled to be the last-ever competitive fixture at Upton Park when they meet in the league next month.

Andy Murray moves up in Monte Carlo Masters

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Andy Murray moves up in Monte Carlo Masters

Andy Murray struggled to get past his opponent in the Monte Carlo Masters, French doubles specialist Pierre-Hugues Herbert, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 over two hours in the sunken stage of the Monte Carlo Country Club.

The world number two had to fight back as he dropped his first set, and needed to call upon much of his arsenal to survive his opening match. The Scotsman appeared to be in less than brilliant form as he lost serve four times against his opponent.

“I’ve definitely been a little bit flat since the Davis Cup (last November). I don’t know why,” Murray said after progressing through the third round. “In a lot of my matches, it’s been some good stuff mixed in with some pretty bad stuff.”

“The norm is bad just now, so I need to improve on that. I’m not playing my best,” he conceded. “The consistency has not been there, maybe not as sharp as I could be mentally.”

Meanwhile, Roger Federer did not show any signs of slowing down after two and a half months without playing. He had undergone a knee operation on February and delayed his comeback by three weeks due to stomach illness on March before the Miami Open tournament.

Broken while serving for the win leading 5-2 in the second set; Federer got the job done on the second time of asking with a winner. The Swiss maestro overpowered Guillermo Garcia Lopez in straight sets by 6-3, 6-4 at the same stage as Murray, and was confident despite doubts about his repaired knee.

“The knee felt really good, like in practices, it felt like I didn’t have to worry about it,” the 34-year-old said. “I’m at a point now where I’m looking more forward in the sense that whenever I can dig out a good point.”

“It’s only building on my confidence now, which is great.”

Ronaldo hat-trick sinks Wolfsburg hopes

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Ronaldo hat-trick sinks Wolfsburg hopes

With a Champions League semi-final on the line, Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to score a hat-trick for a 3-0 score against VFL Wolfsburg to advance Madrid by 3-2 on aggregate.

Wolfsburg came calling in the Bernabeu with a 2-0 aggregate lead after the first leg, only to have Ronaldo equalize it in the space of 86 seconds in the first half.

The Bundesliga team also had themselves to blame; the first goal they conceded was a show of their poor defensive work. 16 minutes after the starting whistle, Dani Carvajal makes a run and fires a cross that somehow slipped past 3 Wolfsburg defenders to find Ronaldo unmarked right in front of goal.

Ronaldo, whose free kick was deflected by a Wolfsburg wall a minute later, rose up once again for a Carvajal cross from the corner, and heads it in from the far post.

Then, 13 minutes from time where both clubs played in more even odds, Ronaldo fires a free kick that penetrates through a lacking Wolfsburg wall, allowing the Portugese international to claim his hat-trick and Madrid to win the quarter-final game.

Perhaps this was no coincidence; Ronaldo had issued a rallying call to Madrid supporters before the match, urging them to play their part on what could be a “magical, perfect night” at the Bernabeu.

And it was no surprise that Real supporters had seen a number of disappointments and underwhelming performances from their team this season. But as the Los Blancos players left the pitch, everyone stood up in applause.

After eight failed attempts at European comebacks over the past decade, Madrid had finally succeeded, and their rosy reward was a sixth successive Champions league semi-final.