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Nadal steamrolls to opening Monte Carlo win

Published April 18, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30367875

Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a backhand return Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut. / AFP
Spain’s Rafael Nadal plays a backhand return Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut. / AFP

Nadal steamrolls to opening Monte Carlo win

sports April 18, 2019 06:55

By AFP

Rafael Nadal charged out of the blocks Wednesday to hammer Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-1 in his opening match at the Monte Carlo Masters.

The 11-time champion showed no sign of the knee problems which forced him to quit ahead of an Indian Wells semi-final against Roger Federer a month ago.

The 32-year-old had expressed pre-tournament caution regarding the health of his knee — a worry which appeared to be groundless after a 76-minute masterclass.

“I’m happy for this very positive start. I had good feelings on court,” he said.

Nadal collected the opening five games of the afternoon in 17 minutes as he set the tone for another dominant display in the principality.

He was equally in control during the second set, where he saved three break points in the fourth game and two more in the sixth.

“It was a great start, it’s good to be back here,” the 17-time Grand Slam winner said, keeping talk of his knee to a minimum.

“I can’t pretend to not have pain at all, but professionals normally play with pain,” Nadal said.

“It’s part of the sport at the highest level and it’s no limitations at all. I was able to move well and be confident with the things that I did.”

Bautista Agut has now lost to his Spanish countryman in all three of their meetings, while Nadal improved his incredible record here to 69-4 as he takes aim at a fourth consecutive title at the event.

“This is just the first match and it’s been a very positive start,” Nadal said. “The results say that.”

Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem, who lost to Nadal in Paris last June, beat Slovakia’s Martin Klizan 6-1, 6-4.

Thiem, who won the Indian Wells title over Federer, made a successful switch to his favourite surface as he prepares for the pre-French Open sequence of events.

Fourth seed Thiem won with a break in the final game after Klizan held a 40-0 lead.

 

– Upbeat Zverev –

 

Alexander Zverev rediscovered traces of his best form with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The German, locally based, reached the third round as he tamed the 18-year-old who broke through for a Miami semi-final last month.

The 21-year-old Zverev played the semi-finals in Monte Carlo a year ago but has yet to hit his stride this season.

That may be starting to change.

“This is the first time this season I’ve felt really healthy,” said Zverev, who lost prematurely at both Indian Wells and Miami, as well as in Marrakech last week.

“I’ve been training well but haven’t been able to take that into matches.

“I live just 500 metres from here, I’m comfortable on this court. I’m starting to feel better about my game.

“I’m really ready for the clay season.”

Zverev swept the opening set in 30 minutes but had to get through a series of three straight breaks of serve between him and his opponent before finally advancing in 78 minutes.

The third seed will next face Italy’s Fabio Fognini, who reached the third round when French opponent Gilles Simon withdrew because of back problems.

Greek sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas moved ahead, defeating Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 7-5.

“I need to maintain my focus, my concentration, my aggressive mindset when I’m on the court,” Tsitsipas said.

“If all these are combined, then I have nothing to fear and I have nothing to be afraid of when I’m on the court.

“This is the first big clay court tournament, not everyone is very well prepared for that. It’s been a long hardcourt court season before the clay.”

Britain’s Cameron Norrie defeated Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, while Pierre-Hugues Herbert stunned 2018 finalist and fifth seed Kei Nishikori 7-5, 6-4.

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‘It was madness’: Son joy as Spurs survive City thriller

Published April 18, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30367874

Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min celebrates scoring his team's second goal. / AFP
Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean striker Son Heung-Min celebrates scoring his team’s second goal. / AFP

‘It was madness’: Son joy as Spurs survive City thriller

sports April 18, 2019 06:49

By AFP

Tottenham star Son Heung-min admitted his side’s stunning Champions League quarter-final success against Manchester City was the craziest match he has ever experienced.

In one of the most dramatic matches in Champions League history, Son scored twice in the space of three minutes early in the first half to give Tottenham a 2-1 lead in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

City hit back to take a 4-2 lead that would have sent them through to the semi-finals.

But Fernando Llorente bundled in Tottenham’s decisive late third goal — awarded after a VAR review.

That was enough for Tottenham, whose 4-3 defeat secured an away goals triumph after they won the first leg 1-0.

Tottenham still needed another VAR assist before they could celebrate a first Champions League semi-final berth as Raheem Sterling’s goal in the final seconds was ruled out for offside against Sergio Aguero.

In total there were five goals in the first 21 minutes — the fastest five goals scored in Champions League history.

It was all too much for South Korea forward Son, whose side will face Dutch club Ajax in the last four.

“I have never seen something like this, It was a very tough game, a very crazy game. But we are very proud of our team-mates. It was madness,” Son said.

“Sometimes you are annoyed with VAR but today it is ‘thank you and good decision’.

“We fought together for 90 minutes. We showed unbelievable character and fight.”

Mauricio Pochettino’s men were 12 minutes away from being eliminated in the group stages before a late fightback against PSV Eindhoven.

Now they are in their first European semi-final since the 1984 UEFA Cup.

Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen admitted he was relieved after City’s late goal was ruled out as he had given the ball away in the build-up.

“I think I must be one of the luckiest guys on the planet today. With the last one they scored, I thought it was over. Thank God the ref gave offside,” Eriksen said.

“The whole game was a roller coaster, it was goals, goals, goals, goals and drama everywhere.

“It was a fun game to play but I’m lucky we’re on the good side.”

Injured Tottenham striker Harry Kane, sidelined by ankle ligament damage, joined in the celebrations from home.

The England captain tweeted a video of himself shouting “let’s go, come on” in front of a television showing Tottenham’s celebrations.

He accompanied the video with the caption: “Omggg! I love you boys!!!!”

Guardiola has failed to reach the Champions League semi-finals in any of his three seasons as City manager, extending his long wait to win the tournament for the third time — with his last triumph coming as Barcelona boss in 2011.

Here AFP Sport looks at Guardiola’s frustrating exits from Europe’s elite club competition:

2016-17: Eliminated by Monaco on away goals in last 16, won first leg at home 5-3, lost second leg away 3-1.

Guardiola’s first Champions League campaign with City came to a surprising end against French side Monaco, featuring a young Kylian Mbappe.

Monaco scored three times at the Etihad Stadium in the first leg, but City hit four in the second half to seemingly take control of the tie.

However, in the second leg hapless City couldn’t prevent Tiemoue Bakayoko’s late goal handing Guardiola his first Champions League last 16 exit as a manager.

2017-18: Eliminated by Liverpool 5-1 on aggregate in quarter-finals, lost first leg away 3-0, lost second leg at home 2-1.

Traumatised by the vicious reception from a huge mob of Liverpool fans who attacked the City team bus with missiles outside Anfield, Guardiola’s team crumbled in the first leg.

Goals from Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane put Liverpool three up by the 31st minute.

In the return in Manchester, City scored early on through Gabriel Jesus, but never built up enough momentum for a comeback as Salah and Roberto Firmino struck for the Reds after half-time,

2018-19: Eliminated by Tottenham on away goals in quarter-finals, lost first leg away 1-0, won second leg at home 4-3.

Handed a golden opportunity to take the lead in the first leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when Danny Rose’s handball conceded a first half penalty, City blew it as Sergio Aguero’s spot-kick was saved by Hugo Lloris.

Even an injury to Tottenham striker Harry Kane couldn’t inspire Guardiola’s side, who played a cautious game and were beaten by Son Heung-min’s late goal.

Roaring into a 4-2 lead after trailing 2-1 in the second leg, City were heading for the semi-finals until disaster struck in the 73rd minute when Fernando Llorente bundled home despite a VAR review of a potential handball by the Tottenham striker.

In an incredible finish, Guardiola was punching the air in delight when Raheem Sterling fired what looked to be a last-gasp winner, only for VAR to rule it out for offside.

Klopp can’t wait for Liverpool’s ‘proper football’ showdown with Barcelona

Published April 18, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30367873

Jordan Henderson (L) celebrates with Liverpool's German coach Jurgen Klopp their win.
Jordan Henderson (L) celebrates with Liverpool’s German coach Jurgen Klopp their win.

Klopp can’t wait for Liverpool’s ‘proper football’ showdown with Barcelona

sports April 18, 2019 06:46

By AFP

Jurgen Klopp admitted he cannot wait to lead Liverpool into a Champions League semi-final against Barcelona after watching his side crush Porto 4-1 in Portugal on Wednesday to complete a 6-1 aggregate victory in their last-eight tie.

On a wet night at the Estadio do Dragao, Liverpool weathered an early storm against Porto before scoring from their first attempt just before the half-hour, Sadio Mane prodding home for a goal given after a lengthy VAR review.

Already in control of this tie after a 2-0 win at Anfield in the first leg, Liverpool had effectively killed off Porto there and then, but Mohamed Salah, substitute Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk added further goals after the break.

Eder Militao scored a consolation for the hosts 21 minutes from time, but this was another miserable night for them after they lost 5-0 to the same opponents on this ground a year ago.

Liverpool now march on to a clash with Lionel Messi’s Barca, the first meeting of the clubs since a last-16 encounter in 2006/07 that the Reds won on away goals.

“I’m looking forward to it. The news that there is a proper football game between Barcelona and Liverpool is great,” said Klopp as his side move a step closer to matching their run to the final a year ago.

“To be in the semi-finals for the second year running is a big statement. I am really proud of the boys for what they did.”

On the night Manchester City’s quadruple bid died, the dream of a Champions League and Premier League double remains alive for Liverpool and their supporters, whose spirits were not dampened by the dreary weather by the banks of the River Douro.

This was their 17th game without defeat and their eighth straight victory, although Barcelona will offer a far tougher test than Porto.

The first leg of that tie is in a fortnight, and in the meantime Liverpool will revert their focus to domestic matters, with games against Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town up next.

“Tonight we are in the semi-finals and we play on Sunday against Cardiff. That will be 100 percent on my mind when I wake up tomorrow and not Barcelona,” insisted Klopp.

With the matches coming thick and fast, he made three changes to his team here following Sunday’s 2-0 win over Chelsea. Firmino and Naby Keita, who both scored in the first leg, dropped out along with Jordan Henderson.

They were replaced by Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner and Divock Origi, with the latter making his first Champions League start for the club. However, the Belgian only played the first half before making way for Firmino.

 

– Early onslaught –

 

He had hardly touched the ball during a Porto onslaught in the opening stages, sparked by a Jesus Corona shot just over the bar in the first minute.

They had 13 attempts on goal in the first 25 minutes, but would regret not scoring while on top.

“There was a very good football atmosphere and they used it and it was so powerful the game of Porto and so difficult to deal with,” Klopp said.

“Porto needed an early goal tonight and didn’t score it. I’m completely happy. It’s only important to go through, and we went through.”

Their opening goal came when Salah — his every touch jeered by the Porto support who felt he should have been sent off in the first leg — rolled the ball into the six-yard area for Mane to get his 22nd of the campaign.

The offside flag came up but Dutch referee Danny Makkelie conferred with his video assistants before awarding the goal.

Porto knew their chance was gone, with their fans cursing Mane again — he scored a hat-trick in Liverpool’s win here in the last 16 last season.

Trent Alexander-Arnold released Salah to run through and beat Iker Casillas on 65 minutes to make it 2-0, before Porto got their consolation shortly after when Militao headed in from an Alex Telles corner.

However, Mane missed the target after rounding Casillas, before Henderson set up fellow substitute Firmino to head in Liverpool’s third on 77 minutes and Van Dijk nodded in from a corner to complete the scoring.

“Like at Anfield, it was a harsh result for how we played,” said Porto coach Sergio Conceicao.

“If we had been more clinical, everything would have been different.”

Srisaket hungry to KO Mexican in title defence

Published April 18, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30367850

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai

Srisaket hungry to KO Mexican in title defence

sports April 18, 2019 01:00

By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam

The Nation

WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai has vowed to floor Mexican challenger Juan Francisco Estrada when they clash at the Forum in Inglewood, California on April 26.

The 32-year-old boxer made the pledge as he left Bangkok yesterday to defend his belt against the former unified flyweight champion, whom he outpointed in February last year at the same venue.

Srisaket, who got married last November to Pornpimol Sarnkaew, is on a winning streak of 20 fights since September 2014. He’s now aiming to extend that impressive run inside 12 rounds.

“Estrada better be well prepared or I will knock him down,” said Srisaket before boarding his flight to the US. “This is a very important bout for me. I’m 100 per cent ready and I’m really confident,” added the Thai who won a unanimous decision in their showdown 14 months ago.

Srisaket has fought twice since his title defence against Estrada, beating South Korean Young Gil Bae by TKO in Bangkok last July and outpointing Mexico’s Iran Diaz in a One Super Series event at Muangthong Thani in October.

The southpaw now owns a career record of 47 wins (41 by KO), four draws and one defeat from 52 fights. The Mexican, meanwhile, has 38 wins (26 by KO) and three defeats from 41 fights.

“I have nothing to worry about except performing to my best ability. I will try to bring back the WBC belt back to make Thai fans happy again,” added the Thai champion.

Looking to make amends for his loss against Srisaket, a defiant Estrada said: “He could barely make it in our last fight. I won’t miss my chance this time. I’m ready to take the title.”

Srisaket’s promoter Surachart Phisitwutinan expects a tough challenge from the Mexican.

“I have information that Estrada is really well prepared for this bout and I have yet to see any flaws in him,” Surachart said. “He will be fit for 12 rounds. But Srisaket is really determined to win for the fans. Since getting married, he has been so focused on making a better future for his family.”

Ireland’s Leona Maguire Accepts Special Exemption to KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Published April 18, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30367849

Leona Maguire
Leona Maguire

Ireland’s Leona Maguire Accepts Special Exemption to KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

sports April 17, 2019 18:24

Chaska, Minn. – Leona Maguire of Ireland has accepted a special exemption to compete in the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, June 18 – 23, at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

Maguire turned professional in June of 2018 after playing collegiately at Duke University, where she was a four-time First-Team All-American and two-time ANNIKA National Player of the Year as selected by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

The 2017 Ladies’ British Open Amateur Champion, Maguire competed in the 2016 Olympics, representing her home country, and finished in a tie for 21st place. She is a three-time Curtis Cup participant (representing Great Britain & Ireland) who has twice earned her LPGA card through Q School, only to return to college both times.

“The opportunity to play in the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine is a true honor and I could not be more excited,” said Maguire, who spent more weeks (135) as the world’s top-ranked amateur than any player in the history of women’s golf. “It’s going to be special week competing in this major championship against an elite field on a golf course with so much history.”

A member of the Symetra Tour, Maguire claimed her first professional victory earlier this month in the Windsor Golf Classic. She has posted three top-5 finishes in four appearances this year and is No. 1 on the Symetra Tour Money List

Maguire is currently ranked No. 232 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. She has risen over 150 spots since entering 2019 in the 383rd position.

She’ll join a field of 156 that includes defending champion Sung Hyun Park, World No. 1 Jin Young Ko and Americans Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr and Stacy Lewis.

The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship — a collaboration between the PGA of America, KPMG and the LPGA Tour — continues the rich tradition of the LPGA Championship. Broadcast in partnership with NBC and Golf Channel, the Championship offers a purse among the highest in women’s golf. The event combines an annual major golf championship with the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit and an ongoing charitable initiative (KPMG Future Leaders Program) – all focused on the development, advancement and empowerment of women on and off the golf course.

Golf Channel will televise the first two rounds of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Thursday, June 20 and Friday, June 21, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET. NBC coverage of the final two rounds, Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23, will air from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. ET.

Amir lays down early marker at PGM ADT Penang

Published April 18, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30367848

Amir Nazrin
Amir Nazrin

Amir lays down early marker at PGM ADT Penang

sports April 17, 2019 18:22

By Agencies

Penang – Malaysia’s Amir Nazrin set the early pace by posting a seven-under-par 65 to take the first round lead at the PGM ADT Penang Championship on Wednesday.

Amir, who is chasing his first win on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), enjoyed a bogey-free round by marking his card with seven birdies to take a one-shot advantage over Singapore’s Jesse Yap at the Bukit Jawi Golf Resort.

Thailand’s Nirun Sae-Ueng, together with Trevor Simsby and Jeremy Wendelken of the United States are tied for third after they returned with matching 67s.

Malaysia’s Sukree Othman signed for a 68 to share sixth place with Thailand’s Poom Pattaropong, Pawin Ingkhapradit and Japan’s Nari Gamma at the RM225,000 (approximately US$54,000) ADT event.

Teeing off from the back-nine 10, Amir got his charge underway quickly with three birdies in his first four holes.

The Malaysian, who was denied his ADT breakthrough after losing in a three-way play-off in Indonesia last year, birdied 16 and 18 to reach the turn in 31.

After making five straight pars, Amir made further gains on holes six and nine to end the day with a 65 at the PGM ADT Penang Championship which is the fifth leg on the ADT schedule.

“I stayed patient all day and struck the ball really well. My iron play was good and I was really focused throughout the day.

“It was a bitter pill to swallow when I lost in the play-off last year. So I’m determined to make up with a good showing this week. It’s still early days but at least I’m in a good position and have a chance now,” said Amir.

Like Amir, Sukree is also hoping to secure his first ADT win after opening his campaign encouragingly.

A multiple winner on his home circuit, the 42-year-old believes he can translate his domestic form into wins on the ADT if he continues to play true to form.

“I know I have the game to win on the ADT. I just need to put together four solid rounds and right now, I have a good score already. It’s all about being consistent over the next three days,” said Sukree.

The leading seven players on the final ADT Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

All ADT events offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The winner will receive six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.

For more information, visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com

Leading first round scores:

65-  Amir Nazrin (Mas)

66- Jesse Yap (Sgp)

67 – Nirun Sae-Ueng (Tha), Jeremy Wendelken (Usa), Trevor Simsby (Usa)

68- Sukree Othman (Mas) , Poom Pattaropong (Tha) , Nari Gamma (Jpn), Pawin Ingkhapradit (Tha)

69- Bjorn Hellgren (Swe), Austen Truslow (Usa), Kenneth De Silva (Mas), Fakhrul Akmal (Mas), Jack Murdoch (Aus),

Ajax stun Ronaldo’s Juventus to reach Champions League semis

Published April 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30367810

Ajax's Brazilian forward David Neres (L), Ajax's Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt (C), Ajax's Dutch defender Joel Veltman (R) and teammates celebrate. / AFP
Ajax’s Brazilian forward David Neres (L), Ajax’s Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt (C), Ajax’s Dutch defender Joel Veltman (R) and teammates celebrate. / AFP

Ajax stun Ronaldo’s Juventus to reach Champions League semis

sports April 17, 2019 07:34

By AFP

Ajax stunned Juventus to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 1997 as Matthijs de Ligt’s thumping second-half header secured a 2-1 second-leg victory in the last eight in Turin on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo, bidding for his sixth Champions League title, scored a 28th-minute header to put Juve ahead after a 1-1 first-leg draw, but Donny van de Beek levelled for Ajax before half-time.

Teenage centre-back De Ligt struck midway through the second period, though, to seal a 3-2 aggregate win and set up a last-four clash with either Manchester City or Tottenham.

The young Dutch side had already eliminated three-time defending champions Real Madrid en route to the quarters, overturning a 2-1 home defeat against the Spanish side with a memorable 4-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Juventus had been looking to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the third time in the past five seasons.

But Ronaldo, who scored an away goal last week with a diving header in Amsterdam, was Juve’s only weapon against the impressive Dutch side.

The 34-year-old was signed for 100 million euros ($117 million) last summer from Real Madrid in a bid to win the European trophy for the first time since 1996, when they beat Ajax in the final.

Massimiliano Allegri had been forced to reshuffle his side because of injuries, with Paulo Dybala returning in place of the injured Mario Mandzukic, while captain Giorgio Chiellini was also sidelined.

Ajax’s defence took a hit when Noussair Mazraoui, who had replaced the suspended Nicolas Tagliafico, limped off on 11 minutes with an ankle injury, with Daley Sinkgraven coming on.

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana dived to keep out a scorching Dybala half-volley in the 20th minute.

 

– Ronaldo leaves Onana no chance –

 

But Ronaldo latched onto a Miralem Pjanic corner with a downward header that left Onana without no chance.

It was the Portugal star’s 126th Champions League goal and sixth of this campaign, having now scored in his past six European games against Ajax, netting nine goals in total.

But Van de Beek soon silenced the cheers of the home crowd when he controlled a wayward Hakim Ziyech shot six minutes later, rolling the ball past Szczesny to cancel out Juventus’ away goal and make it 2-2 on aggregate.

Teenage striker Moise Kean replaced Dybala after the break, but it was the Dutch who turned on the style, with only Szczesny’s reflexes keeping Juventus in the tie.

The Polish keeper denied Ziyech from close range with one hand, and minutes later tipped Van de Beek’s curling effort over the bar.

The Juventus back-line struggled with the pace of the Dutch team with Pjanic doing well to deny Ziyech a tap-in.

But Erik ten Hag’s side’s incessant pressure paid off with 19-year-old skipper De Ligt towering above Alex Sandro and Daniele Rugani to head home Lasse Schone’s corner on 67 minutes.

Ziyech looked as if he had fired a third past Szczesny, but his goal was ruled offside after a VAR check.

And the Dutch visitors held on, with Ronaldo unable to make a difference after his incredible hat-trick had pulled Juventus into the quarter-finals in the last-16 win over Atletico Madrid.

Four-time winners Ajax won their third consecutive title in 1973 at the expense of Juventus, and last lifted the trophy in 1995, with their last semi-final appearances ending in defeat by Juve 22 years ago.

Careless United undone by Messi double as Barca cruise into semis

Published April 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30367809

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between Barcelona and Manchester United.
Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between Barcelona and Manchester United.

Careless United undone by Messi double as Barca cruise into semis

sports April 17, 2019 07:30

By AFP

Lionel Messi pounced on two Manchester United mistakes to score twice and end their hopes of another comeback at Camp Nou as Barcelona breezed into the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday.

After an excellent start, United were undone twice in four minutes by Messi, who first nicked the ball off the careless Ashley Young and then watched as a weak shot from distance squirmed underneath David de Gea.

Philippe Coutinho, in perhaps his best performance of the season, added a third with a curling effort into the top corner and by the end, an outclassed United might have been relieved the score was not more traumatic than 3-0, 4-0 on aggregate.

“We had five uncomfortable minutes because they came out strong,” said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde. “But then there were another 85 minutes where we weren’t bad.”

A dizzying opening spell, in which Marcus Rashford had hit the crossbar, was long-forgotten, even if it could offer Barca’s next opponents some encouragement.

Liverpool, who take a 2-0 lead to Porto on Wednesday, are now the most likely obstacle between them and their first Champions League final since they last won this tournament in 2015. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane might feel emboldened.

Instead, United’s pair of early errors made this another night about Messi and ensured any faint hopes of repeating the comeback against Paris Saint-Germain, or even the famous 1999 rescue act against Bayern Munich, on this same pitch, were dashed.

“We said all along this was not going to change overnight,” United’s coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said. “In the next few years it is going to be a massive effort to get to the level of Barcelona and these sorts of teams.”

Messi now has his 109th and 110th Champions League goals and, potentially, three extra matches to reduce the gap on Cristiano Ronaldo’s 126, after Juventus were dumped out by Ajax. Barcelona’s fans celebrated that too.

Solskjaer had urged his strikers to be more lethal here but it felt ominous that even before kick-off, Rashford, Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez had hit 42 goals this season, while Messi on his own had 43.

Around an hour before kick-off, Alex Ferguson was on the side of the pitch, shaking hands with Ryan Giggs and sharing words with Solskjaer, the scorer of the winning goal against Munich here 20 years ago.

They could have hardly have asked for a better start. United were brilliant for eight minutes and could have been ahead within 30 seconds as Rashford raced onto a curving Paul Pogba pass and toed away a shot, which Marc-Andre ter Stegen bravely left to graze his own crossbar.

 

– Magic Messi –

 

Barca were flustered, so much so the crowd even cheered with relief when Arthur Melo played his team’s first convincing pass.

Then, Barcelona had their own eight-minute flurry as United almost conceded a penalty, ruled out after Fred took the ball before bringing down Ivan Rakitic, and then did concede, twice, to Messi.

Both could have been avoided, even if Young’s turn on the edge of his own box was punished in devastating fashion. Young lunged in to atone for his mistake but Messi skipped away from him, poked it through Fred’s legs and then whipped the ball into the corner.

The second was simpler. Fred and Scott McTominay closed in on Coutinho and the ball spilled out to Messi, whose dribbling shot with his right foot should have drawn a routine save. Instead, De Gea let it squirm under his body for 2-0.

Pogba lashed out at the increasingly influential Arthur and Barca could have had a third before half-time, De Gea scrambling across to save on the line when Sergi Roberto should have finished.

Messi could have had his hat-trick too after Luis Suarez found him with a superb cutback and there was an almost comical sequence in the second half when the Argentinian played with his United chasers before finally being bundled over by McTominay.

Rashford might have made it interesting if he had controlled Pogba’s ball over the top but Barcelona were in exhibition mode, helped by a vintage Coutinho curler after he had cut inside from the left.

Messi even attempted a bicycle kick and there were celebrations from the home fans when news went round that Ajax had taken the lead in Turin. They believe this is their year.

Porto hopeful of famous comeback against ‘best in world’ Liverpool

Published April 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30367808

Porto's Portuguese coach Sergio Conceicao / AFP
Porto’s Portuguese coach Sergio Conceicao / AFP

Porto hopeful of famous comeback against ‘best in world’ Liverpool

sports April 17, 2019 07:27

By AFP

FC Porto coach Sergio Conceicao reckons Liverpool are “the best team in the world” on their day as the Portuguese side face up to the daunting prospect of overturning a two-goal deficit in their Champions League quarter-final.

The teams meet at the Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday in the second leg of their last-eight tie, with Porto needing a historic comeback to go through after losing 2-0 at Anfield last week with Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino scoring.

While Porto have won all four home games in the Champions League this season, Liverpool travel to northern Portugal on top of the Premier League and unbeaten in 16 games.

“They are everything I like about football. I like the way they play, the way they are with the ball and without it,” Conceicao said at an eve-of-game press conference on Tuesday.

“In my opinion, a lot of the time just now they are the best team in the world.”

Porto lost 5-0 at home to Liverpool a year ago when the clubs met in the last 16.

Despite that, Conceicao, who also expressed solidarity towards Liverpool fans the day after the 30th anniversary of the “dark moment” of the Hillsborough disaster, was not giving up on turning the tie around.

However, he let slip that retaining the domestic title is Porto’s priority during a lengthy rant at Portuguese authorities over match scheduling.

“We are two goals down against a side who we know are very strong going forward, and so keeping our balance when we are attacking will be fundamental to ensure we don’t concede,” said the coach, whose team are level on points with leaders Benfica at the top of the Portuguese league.

“It is difficult to prepare for this game because, incomprehensibly, we have another game on Saturday against Santa Clara.

“Why they don’t protect teams like us? I have to ask what the main goal is for FC Porto, and it is the league.”

Conceicao has a doubt over the fitness of Mexican wide man Jesus Corona, but veteran defender Pepe and captain Hector Herrera are both able to play after missing the first leg due to suspension.

“I saw that we are capable of damaging Liverpool,” Herrera said of his view from the stand at Anfield.

“Here at home normally we are a very strong team with our fans behind us. I really believe that tomorrow will be no exception and we will be able to go out with that positive energy and hurt Liverpool.”

Djokovic survives Kohlschreiber scare in Monte Carlo

Published April 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30367807

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his tennis match.
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his tennis match.

Djokovic survives Kohlschreiber scare in Monte Carlo

sports April 17, 2019 07:25

By AFP

Novak Djokovic was severely tested before securing a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber to survive his opening match at the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday.

The winner of the last three Grand Slams made eight double faults, dropped serve four times and smashed a racquet after losing the second set to his German opponent in the second-round encounter.

The world number one was relieved to avoid defeat in his first match of the clay season.

“It was a difficult match, there were lots of breaks (a run of eight straight during the second and third sets),” Djokovic said.

“There were lots of ups and downs. It was not the prettiest of matches.

“He played well, but a win is a win. This was a tough first match of the clay season.

“I had to figure out how I needed to move, this kind of match can be expected. It was probably good for me to spend so long on the court.”

Djokovic was able to avoid a second straight loss to Kohlschreiber after the 35-year-old beat him last month in the Indian Wells third  round.

Djokovic, who lives in the Principality, is playing his ‘home’ event for the 13th time in 14 years, winning it in 2013 and 2015 and losing in the final on two other occasions.

Kohlschreiber lost his 12th match from 13 played against top-ranked opponents, but gave as good as he got against an out-of-sorts Djokovic, who needed five match points to go through.

 

– Pella pounds Cilic –

 

Argentine Guido Pella dealt a second-round blow to seventh seed Marin Cilic, beating the Croatian 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.

Defeat in just over two hours left 2014 US Open winner Cilic with just one win from six matches since January’s Australian Open, where he went out in the fourth round.

Pella, who won his first career match at the event in the first round on Sunday, emerged a winner as he played on the idyllic centre court for the first time.

“This is my best surface, I knew I had chances,” the world number 35 said. “But I had to play well.

“I was a bit nervous at the start, it was my first time on this court. But playing here is a dream — it’s unreal.”

Cilic was playing here for the 11th straight year, with quarter-final showings in three of the previous four editions.

Left-hander Pella came to the European clay with a title this season in Sao Paulo. He now stands 13-3 on the surface in 2019.

Pella moved into a winning position as he broke Cilic for the eighth time of the afternoon, winning a six-minute game before serving out the upset, saving a break point in the final game and wrapping up victory as Cilic fired wide.

Elsewhere, 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka collapsed after a strong start to a 0-6, 7-5, 6-3 loss to Italy’s Marco Cecchinato, who reached the French Open semi-finals last year.

In the first round, Briton Cameron Norrie advanced in his debut match at the event, with the 23-year-old defeating Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-3.

The 56th-ranked Norrie was impressed with the dramatic setting of the iconic Monte Carlo Country Club venue which overlooks the Mediterranean from a cliff.

“I like the conditions here. Everything is kind of on top of each other,” he said.

“It’s pretty sick kind of playing tennis on the side of a mountain with a water view.”

Canadian revelation Felix Auger-Aliassime advanced into a second-round contest with third seed Alexander Zverev after beating Argentine qualifier Juan Ignacio Londero 7-5, 7-6 (7/5).

The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime, who reached last month’s Miami semi-finals as a qualifier, now boasts a ranking of 33rd — up from 175th when he played here a year ago.

“I’m very happy to win my first match after Miami, because I didn’t know what to expect,” he said.

Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego beat Russian eighth seed Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.

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