Jose Mourinho omits Manchester United from his list of Premier League top-four contenders

first_imgJose Mourinho omits Manchester United from his list of Premier League top-four contenders Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United are six points behind fourth place (Getty Images)‘Wolves and Sheffield United are fighting for the top four, [the managers] they can say no, and I understand if they say no but the reality is that they are. Not just because of the position that they are in the table, but because of the power and quality,’ Mourinho told Sky Sports.‘They arrive in this situation where in the eyes of everybody they should be more than happy, they are not more than happy.‘Wolves bought an important player [Daniel Podence for £16.6m] to try to improve their situation.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Sheffield bought an important player [Sander Berge for £22m], they beat their record in the market to try to improve their team.‘So it’s not just about Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton. It’s not just about us.‘It’s also about these two clubs who I have to say [are] fantastic.’More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 11 Feb 2020 8:28 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.8kShares Advertisement Comment Advertisement Jose Mourinho says Wolves and Sheffield United are serious top-four contenders (BPI/REX)Jose Mourinho has left Manchester United off his list of candidates for a top-four place but believes Wolves and Sheffield United are serious contenders to secure a Champions League spot.Chelsea currently occupy fourth position in the Premier League but Sheffield United are only two points behind Frank Lampard’s side in the table.Meanwhile, Tottenham are four points behind Chelsea, while Everton’s drastic improvement under Carlo Ancelotti has put them five points behind fourth place.Manchester United and Wolves are trailing Chelsea by six points, while Arsenal, who have registered just one win in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta, are 10 points off the final Champions League position.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTHowever, when listing the teams he believes are vying for fourth place, Mourinho gave no mention of his former club.last_img read more

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Cook stands firm for England in 100th Oval Test

first_imgLONDON, England (Reuters) – Alastair Cook ensured a quality launch to The Oval’s 100th Test with an innings of familiar patience and defiance that guided England to 171 for four against South Africa on an absorbing but rain-disrupted opening day of the third Test yesterday.Former captain Cook stood firm as the historic occasion was frustratingly interrupted by four stoppages, resisting throughout the day to finish unbeaten on 82 as wickets tumbled around him.The 32-year-old negotiated a demanding examination from a South African pace attack inspired particularly by two-wicket Vernon Philander, who also spent 50 minutes off the field with a stomach upset, to close in on a 31st Test hundred.With the four-Test series locked at 1-1, the visitors made light of losing the toss with Cook, who survived 178 balls, and Philander, who had excellent figures of 2-17 from 12 overs, proving the central figures.Electing to bat, England captain Joe Root gave his predecessor Cook the chance to impress again in the landmark Test at the south London venue which has become one of cricket’s most historic grounds over 137 years.The Oval joined another London venue Lord’s and Australia’s Melbourne and Sydney Cricket Grounds in hosting a century of Tests.In a new-look England side, featuring three new caps, batsmen Tom Westley and Dawid Malan and seamer Toby Roland-Jones, it was old stager Cook who summoned all his skill and resolve to anchor the innings in conditions assisting the Proteas’ pacemen.In an awkward morning session in overcast conditions and with a green tinge to the pitch, South Africa’s attack did not initially pose the menace they had shown in their 340-run victory at Trent Bridge, which levelled the seriesCAPABLE SUPPORTCook was given capable support by Essex county colleague Westley in a half-century stand before lunch but the newcomer departed for 25 straight after the resumption, pushing hard at Chris Morris to edge to second slip.Westley had impressed after Keaton Jennings was again found wanting, prodding tentatively at Philander to be caught at third slip for a duck in the fourth over.Cook, on 28, survived an lbw review, the faintest of inside edges off Morris sparing him, but otherwise looked his usual model of serenity as he made it to an early lunch, after two rain stoppages, on 34, with England 62 for one.The South Africans imposed more pressure on the resumption with Philander dismissing the dangerous-looking Root for 29, thanks to a dazzling, diving one-handed catch from wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.Kagiso Rabada, back in the team after suspension, then sent debutant Malan packing for one with a lovely inswinging yorker.Still, though, Cook ploughed on after another rain break, maintaining his focus to bring up his half-century off 128 balls with a handsome cut for four off Philander.Tea was taken early at 149 for four after another stoppage and though Cook and Ben Stokes repaired some of the damage with an unbroken 51-run partnership for the fifth wicket, a fascinating day’s play ended up being truncated by another downpour.ENGLAND 1st inningsA. Cook not out 82K. Jennings c Elgar b Philander 0T. Westley c du Plessis b Morris 25J. Root c de Kock b Philander 29D. Malan b Rabada 1B. Stokes not out 21Extras: (b-7, lb-3, w-3) 13Total: (for 4 wickets, 59 overs) 171Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-64, 3-113, 4-120.Bowling: M. Morkel 16-4-48-0, V. Philander 12-5-17-2 (w-1), K. Rabada 13-4-32-1, K. Maharaj 7-1-16-0, C. Morris 11-1-48-1 (w-2).last_img read more

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Salah strike beats Brighton to send Liverpool top

first_img0Shares0000Match winner: Mohamed Salah scored the only goal at Anfield© AFP Lindsey PARNABYLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Aug 25 – Mohamed Salah continued his prolific run of Anfield goals as Liverpool narrowly defeated Brighton 1-0 to move top of the Premier League on Saturday.Jurgen Klopp’s side also maintained their impressive defensive start to the campaign, recording a third successive clean sheet to open the new season thanks to £65-million goalkeeper Alisson Becker’s late save from Pascal Gross. And at the other end of the field, Salah showed he is no one-season wonder after a stunning 44-goal campaign last season by producing a sumptuous finish midway through the first half that proved the difference between the sides.It was far from a vintage display from an attack that has become among the most feared in Europe in the past 12 months since the Egyptian was united with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.But, Salah moved Liverpool two points ahead of champions Manchester City by taking his tally to 29 goals in 29 home league and cup games since joining from Roma.The latest came at the end of a superbly-worked team move from Klopp’s men.It started with James Milner robbing possession from Yves Bissouma and moving it on to Sadio Mane who, in turn, fed Roberto Firmino.The Brazilian slipped a well-timed pass outside him to Salah, who had the necessary yard of space to slot a perfect finish past the diving Mat Ryan from 15 yards.The goal capped a predictably dominant start from Klopp’s side, aiming to move to the top of the division for the first time since November 2016.Ryan had saved a point-blank header from Firmino and seen Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick clip his cross-bar even before the opener.After it, there were also chances for Georginio Wijnaldum, whose effort on the turn was well-saved by Ryan who did likewise from Mane’s stooping header.But Brighton, fresh from their morale-boosting victory over Manchester United last weekend, presented the hosts with a scare early in the second half when Glenn Murray forced his way into the area and set up Anthony Knockaert for a shot which he sliced wide from a promising position.There was further concern for the home supporters on 65 minutes when Bissouma, making his first start for Albion since his £15-million summer move from Lille, unleashed a 20-yard free-kick which deflected behind off the Liverpool wall.Liverpool faced some anxious moments in their own goalmouth over the game’s closing minutes, not least in the 88th minute when Alisson saved brilliantly from an eight-yard header from Gross.But, the hosts held on to grind out the sort of win that could be key come May in their bid to end a 29-year wait to be champions of England.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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GH: Not much left in the Premier League – FA Cup and UCL Chelsea’s priority

first_imgGuus Hiddink claims the FA Cup and Champions League is now priority for Chelsea, as there is ‘not much left’ in their Premier League campaign.The Dutchman’s side were 5-1 winners over Manchester City in the FA Cup – and the Blues have now been handed a tough away draw at Everton.Chelsea made it ten goals in their last two outings at Stamford Bridge, as Manuel Pellegrini rested his senior players ahead of their midweek Champions League clash in Ukraine.Just 90 seconds after going behind to Diego Costa’s opener, City equalised through David Faupala – one of the five full debutants – and it was 1-1 at half-time before Chelsea’s second-half blitz.Willian and Gary Cahill scored within eight minutes of the restart and Eden Hazard and substitute Bertrand Traore added goals. Chelsea also had a penalty, but Oscar’s effort was saved by Willy Caballero.With the Blues languishing in 12th place in the Premier League, the Dutchman says the cup competitions are now his primary concern.“There’s not much left in the league for Chelsea, to be honest,” he said.Chelsea appear in good health, with Cesc Fabregas influential and Hazard performing well in a second successive 5-1 home win following the Premier League defeat of Newcastle.Hiddink said: “Of course it’s a boost for the confidence of the players. It’s good to see that.”The FA Cup has come under scrutiny which will only continue after Pellegrini’s selection but the 69-year-old insists the competition must be treasured.“Winning the FA Cup is beautiful. We must be careful not to devalue this.“I had good memories of that time, but that’s the past. Some might be still in that team and they go for their revenge.“They gave us a difficult time here (a 3-3 draw in January). We hope to maintain our FA flow a bit when we play them. Not easy.”last_img read more

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