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.

New Zealand upsets hosts India in Super10 Opener

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New Zealand upsets hosts India in Super10 Opener

International Cricket Council World Twenty20 Super10s, Group 2, Nagpur
New Zealand126-7 (20 overs): Anderson 34 (42)
India79 (18.1 overs): Dhoni 30(30), Santner 4-11, Sodhi 3-18
New Zealand wins by 47 runs

New Zealand was the unlikely victor in Nagpur as they earned a shock win over tournament hosts India in their opening Twenty20 Super10 match, winning by 47 runs.

India went into the game as tournament favourites on a slow, low surface in Nagpur and chased for 127 to win. Instead, they only managed to bowl out for a meager 79 in 18.1.

It was all the more surprising a win as New Zealand had chosen to go for it at spin bowling, something that India is particularly famous for. Kiwis captain Kane Williamson gambled, choosing to compromise on speed by picking three specialist spinners.

Nine of India’s wickets fell to spin as Mitchell Santner took 4-11, Indian-born Ish Sodhi 3-18 and Nathan McCullum 2-1. Meanwhile, New Zealand took 126-7, with 34 coming from Corey Anderson who played a calm game.

His innings and its impact on the game would gradually to the dismay Indian team and to the passionate home crowd, as the team tasted defeat for a second time in their past 12 Twenty20 matches.

Home captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni waged a one-man army war with a run-a-ball 30 but this time, the man celebrated as the ‘finisher’ could not bail his team out.

“It was our batting that let us donw,” he said after the match.

“There were quite a few soft dismissals. It was not like the deliveries got a lot of batsmen out. Maybe it was our shot selection… there was no partnership also.”