Reigning champions face tough test as Champions League action resumes on DStv

first_imgRelatedPosts Aguero could be out of action until November, Guardiola says Neymar bags two-match ban UCL: Benfica kicked out by player who left club one week earlier + other results SuperSport viewers on DStv can look forward to a breathtaking football treat on the midweek of February 18 and 19, 2020 as the first leg of the UEFA Champions League last 16 games get underway. There will be four fixtures across Europe. The UEFA Champions League action resumes for the first time in 2020 with a potential thriller between Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain at Signal Iduna Park on the evening of Tuesday. This clash could be a goal-laden affair, with two hugely attack-minded teams and a bevvy of stars on display. PSG boast the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi, while Dortmund’s youthful promise is highlighted in the likes of Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi and January signing Erling Haaland. The latter player has made a huge impact at BVB since his move from Salzburg and will be looking to add to the eight goals he has already scored in the competition while on the books of the Austrian side. “It’s absolutely fantastic,” Haaland said in regard to scoring in front of Dortmund’s famous Yellow Wall, the largest standing terrace in Europe. “It’s just a fantastic feeling that I haven’t had before.” Tuesday also sees reigning European and world champions Liverpool return to the scene of their UEFA Champions League final triumph from last season, the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, to face hosts Atletico. While the Reds have been absolutely imperious across all competitions virtually through the whole of the season thus far, this has been a tough campaign for Diego Simeone’s Rojiblancos, who are very much in a transitional phase. Yet if any team can find a way to stymie Liverpool’s awesome attack, then it is surely Atletico. SuperSport viewers will be treated to their next double dose of UEFA Champions League action on the evening of Wednesday, with Atalanta hosting Valencia at the San Siro at the same time that Tottenham Hotspur tackle RB Leipzig in London. La Dea are one of the most free-flowing and attacking teams in Europe and their recovery from a position of virtual elimination in the group stage is one of the best fairytales of this season’s UEFA Champions League, but they may find Albert Celades’ Valencia a tough nut to crack. At the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, former UEFA Champions League winner Jose Mourinho and highly-rated young coach Julian Nagelsmann will have a fascinating battle of tactical wits. While Spurs have become more direct and pragmatic under “the Special One”, Leipzig are a well-drilled attacking team, though their confidence has taken a hit with some poor recent results and it will be interesting to see how Nagelsmann lifts his player for a clash against Spurs. Don’t miss the 2019/2020 football season on DStv. Visit www.dstv.com to subscribe or upgrade and join in on the excitement. And while you’re on the move, you can stream matches on DStv Now.UEFA Champions League fixtures February 18 21:00 WAT: Borussia Dortmund v Paris Saint-Germain – LIVE on SuperSport 3, SuperSport 5 and SuperSport 12 21:00 WAT: Atletico Madrid v Liverpool – LIVE on SuperSport 3 February 19 21:00 WAT: Atalanta v Valencia – LIVE on SuperSport 3 21:00 WAT: Tottenham Hotspur v RB Leipzig – LIVE on SuperSport 3.Tags: Borussia DortmundErling HaalandKylian MbappeNeymarParis Saint-GermainSignal Iduna ParkUEFA Champions Leaguelast_img read more

Buttner wants to stay

first_imgAlexander Buttner insists he does not want to leave Manchester United. The Dutchman’s position at Old Trafford has been under threat ever since new manager David Moyes made his big-money bid for Leighton Baines during the summer, and then switched his attentions to Fabio Coentrao on transfer deadline-day – although neither move came off. As Moyes has since spoken passionately about Patrice Evra’s influence at United, it pointed firmly to Buttner being ushered out of the exit door. The 24-year-old has been linked with moves to both Galatasaray and Tottenham in recent weeks and given the problems Moyes is presently wrestling with at United, Buttner could be forgiven for feeling a move is the best solution to his own lack of opportunities. However, speaking after Sunday’s 2-1 FA Cup defeat by Swansea, when he was handed only his fifth start of the campaign, the former Vitesse Arnhem defender was adamant nothing could be further from the truth. “I know there are some clubs that want me but I’m happy here and want to play for Manchester United,” said Buttner. “I don’t want to leave. I want to fight for my place. “I don’t care if people talk about other players in my position. I just want to play my game and show that I can handle this level. “I know what I can do. I am still young and focussed 100 percent on being here. I just have to wait for my chance and take it.” On another desperate day for United, Buttner was one of the few who emerged with any credit. In the first-half particularly, he exploited the space down United’s left flank, delivered a superb cross for Javier Hernandez’s equaliser and created danger for Swansea on numerous other occasions. “The players know that I will always try to cross the ball, which is why Javier got his goal,” said Buttner. “It was nice to play. I want to play every game. But it is hard because we lost. If we win, the feeling is different.” The left-back area is far from the heart of United’s problems. There is a ready-made excuse for this latest defeat in Fabio’s dismissal just four minutes after his introduction as a second-half substitute. Using it would overlook an obvious lack of confidence which is seeping through a squad that won the Premier League title by 11 points last season but has now lost four of its last six home games and effectively only has the Champions League and Capital One Cup to play for in terms of silverware. Moyes’ frank admission of January not being the best time to bring in new players hardly helps generate a feeling of optimism amongst fans, who remain loyally behind the Scot, no matter what private misgivings they have. The obvious lack of impact made by Marouane Fellaini since his £27.5million move from Everton may make Moyes even more tentative about spending big sums this month, yet, without reinforcements in midfield particularly, it is hard to see the situation improving to any great degree, which will put United’s hopes of a top four place in peril. “Let’s not kid ourselves,” midfielder Darren Fletcher told MUTV. “It is a massive blow, a really bad result. “There are a lot of angry and hurt players in there. We have let the manager, the fans, everyone down. It is not good enough.” The view was endorsed by pundits on the post-match phone-in show. “Even with 10 men, I was still confident,” said former midfielder Quinton Fortune. “I still expect United to have that belief. You have to fight for each other and work harder.” Lou Macari added: “It used to be teams came to Old Trafford and didn’t get a kick. It was one-way traffic for most of the game and they went away losing. “The last three or four games at Old Trafford have not been the case. We have been struggling to get near them.” The one meagre positive is the speed with which some sort of redemption can be achieved in Tuesday’s trip to Sunderland for a semi-final first leg likely to herald the return of Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Nemanja Vidic, and which simply must be won. “We have to believe in ourselves,” said Buttner. “Getting to Wembley would mean everything. It would be good for the club to win this semi-final.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Wisconsin rewrites record books

first_imgUniversity of Wisconsin men’s basketball head coach Bo Ryan entered the post-game press conference with an ice bag in hand following his team’s 92-39 annihilation of Southern (0-2, 0-0 SWAC). The coach then joked about being hurt watching a play by guard Mickey Perry, who performed a dizzying succession of moves, feigning a neck injury. The laugher on the court was punctuated by laughter in the media room.”I actually hurt myself,” Ryan said, punctuating the statement with a several ooh’s and groans. “I have never seen 18 moves on one play in my life.”In what many are hoping will be a memorable season in Wisconsin basketball, the Badgers made a little bit of history early on in the season, as the 53-point margin of victory it was the second largest ever for UW, only trailing a 55-point win over Denver Dec. 14, 1988.The beating was so sound that Southern head coach Rob Spivery questioned how much the Badgers (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) could’ve gotten out of such a win.”It is very disappointing for us to travel the distance we traveled so far and not compete,” Spivery said. “I’m not sure if Bo and his team got anything out of this tonight, because of the competitiveness of our team.”The Badgers took over the game early, jumping out to a 32-8 lead, making 13 of their first 18 shots and burying the Jaguars before they even had chance to refill their Gatorade bottles. UW built a 50-19 halftime lead by spreading the ball around and taking advantage of Southern’s flimsy ballhandling.The Jaguars coughed up the ball 13 times in the first half alone, and Wisconsin capitalized, outscoring Southern 20-0 off turnovers in the first half alone and 37-6 for the game. The Jags ended the game with just three assists and 25 turnovers.”We had too many unforced turnovers,” Spivery said. “For some reason, we did not protect the basketball.””[Southern] was young and some of the decisions they made obviously helped us,” Ryan said, adding that he was pleased that his team managed those turnovers without getting out of their regular defense. “It wasn’t because we were doing things that we don’t normally do defensively.”The Badgers didn’t take their foot off the gas in the second half, adding 22 points onto their lead and making a run for 100 points, before slowing down in the final minutes.Three Wisconsin players — Alando Tucker, Brian Butch and Michael Flowers — scored in double figures with 16, 12 and 11 points respectively, and four more chipped in eight points.The Badger offense was cruelly efficient, shooting 62.3 percent for the game. “A lot of time shooting percentages is what kind of shots you’re settling for,” Ryan said. “I thought we were settling for very good shots. And they were going in.”For their part, the Badgers believed that they gained valuable experience in game.”Some teams, a lot of times when they get up like that they start to lose focus,” senior guard Kammron Taylor said. “Even though we were up a lot, we still tried to work on things that are going to help us down the stretch against tougher competition.””I thought we stayed true to the game,” Ryan said. “When you have a lead like that, a lot of times you get bad habits and you do things that take away from what you’ve been working on.”The win over Southern was the first of four games Wisconsin will play this week as part of the South Padre Island Invitational, which will continue in Madison Tuesday night when UW takes on Delaware State before finishing in South Padre, Texas, over Thanksgiving Break. The busy week is welcomed by players.”I’d rather play games than practice. Our practices are hard,” Tucker said, also appreciating the experience factor that goes into playing in-season tournaments. “When you can play a tournament early on, it prepares you for what can happen in March.”last_img read more