LONDON (United Kingdom): The Reds’ first league title since 1990 was confirmed on Thursday after Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City lost 2-1 to Frank Lampard led Chelsea win at Stamford Bridge
Liverpool have ended their long wait to be crowned Premier League champions after Manchester City’s 2-1 loss at Chelsea left them with an unassailable lead.
With seven games remaining, it is the earliest any side has ever won the Premier League title, with Jurgen Klopp’s men surpassing the achievements of Manchester United in 2000-01 and Manchester City’s ‘centurions’ of 2017-18. Both of those teams clinched the league with five games left.
Christian Pulisic’s goal had given Chelsea to lead before a wonderful Kevin De Bruyne sparked hopes of a comeback, but Fernandinho’s late red card led to a coolly converted penalty to win the game – and gift Liverpool league glory.
Raheem Sterling and Pulisic then went very close at either end, before an intervention from VAR handed us the opportunity to seize control.
While much of the attention will focus on Liverpool’s coronation, this was a mighty impressive Chelsea victory that maintains our five-point advantage over fifth-placed Manchester United. The performance will please Frank Lampard just as much, with his side markedly the better after the two drinks breaks.
The visitors started without a recognised striker, interchanging their forward players throughout, and it was they who settled the quicker, although Kepa was untroubled until kicking a low cross away with nine minutes played.
Chelsea burst into life shortly afterwards with Olivier Giroud and Christian Pulisic cleverly combining in the centre circle to create space. Cesar Azpilicueta freed Willian whose low centre was cleared for a corner that Mason Mount volleyed high into the Shed.
There was a scare for the Blues when a Kepa pass landed short, giving Bernardo Silva a sight of goal, but thankfully he was crowded out. The keeper was quickly back at his best, tipping a Fernandinho header over.
After a drinks break that proved something of a turning point in the first half, Ross Barkley had a fierce strike blocked at the end of a move in which Willian and Marcos Alonso starred.
There was certainly space to be had behind a very high City rearguard, and we nearly capitalised on it on the half-hour. Ross Barkley strode into space and crossed, with Giroud and Pulisic again neatly exchanging passes before the latter’s shot was deflected back into Barkley’s path. His effort was cleared from near the goal-line, and from the resulting corner Christensen’s header was kept out by Ederson, with Azpilicueta slashing the rebound over.
So it wasn’t a great surprise when we took the lead on 36 minutes. Again it was a counter-attack that caused problems. De Bruyne’s free-kick was cleared to halfway and Mendy and Ilkay Gundogan miscommunicated, with Pulisic snaffling up the loose ball.
Ten yards inside his own half, the American still had plenty to do. What followed was pure perfection. He first scurried past Gundogan, and then invited a challenge from Mendy before skipping beyond him and racing clear. With just Ederson to beat now, Pulisic sublimely curled his finish inside the right-hand post.
Liverpool had moved to the brink of the title with a 4-0 battering of Crystal Palace at Anfield on Wednesday, and their lead of 23 points at the top of the table is the largest held by a champion in English top-flight history.
Klopp’s side will now look to write even more history. They need 15 points from their last seven matches to set a new record points total for a top-flight campaign, and can also become the first team to win every single home game in a single season.
They will be given a guard of honour in their next fixture, which coincidentally comes against City at the Etihad Stadium next Thursday. Guardiola’s side, champions in each of the last two seasons, have been unable to match Liverpool’s remarkable, relentless form.
Djokovic Disqualified From US Open After Hitting Ball At Line Umpire
The top seed was defaulted after accidentally hitting a ball at a line judge in a fit of anger.
NEW YORK (United States): Top seed Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open for accidentally hitting a ball at a line judge in his fourth-round match. Djokovic, 33, showed his frustration after losing serve to trail 6-5 against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta. The Serbian world number one took a ball out of his pocket and hit it behind him, striking the female line judge in her throat.
A United States Tennis Association statement said:
“In accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open. Because he was defaulted, Djokovic will lose all ranking points earned at the US Open and will be fined the prize money won at the tournament in addition to any or all fines levied with respect to the offending incident.”
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) September 6, 2020
Post the incident, Djokovic was quick to express remorse via social media:
“This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok. I‘m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I’m not disclosing her name to respect her privacy. As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being. I apologize to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated for my behavior. I’m very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I’m so sorry.”
The Sequence Of Events:
As he walked to the Arthur Ashe Stadium sideline for a changeover, trailing Pablo Carreño Busta 6-5 in the first set, Djokovic — who was seeded and ranked No. 1 and an overwhelming favourite for the championship — angrily smacked a ball behind him. The ball flew right at the line judge, who dropped to her knees at the back of the court and reached for her neck.
During a discussion of about 10 minutes near the net involving tournament referee Soeren Friemel, Grand Slam supervisor Andreas Egli and chair umpire Aurelie Tourte, Djokovic pleaded his case.
“His point was that he didn’t hit the line umpire intentionally. He said, ‘Yes, I was angry. I hit the ball. I hit the line umpire. The facts are very clear. But it wasn’t my intent. I didn’t do it on purpose.’ So he said he shouldn’t be defaulted for it,” said Friemel, who made the decision to end the match. “And we all agree that he didn’t do it on purpose, but the facts are still that he hit the line umpire and the line umpire was clearly hurt.”
Friemel didn’t see what happened, and said he was not allowed to check a video replay, but was given a rundown by Egli and Tourte. Friemel said that even if Djokovic didn’t intend to hurt the line judge, she was hurt, and that was enough to merit the ruling.
Eventually, Djokovic walked over to shake hands with Carreño Busta. Tourte then announced that Djokovic was defaulted, the tennis equivalent of an ejection.
COVID-19: India Hockey Captain Manpreet Singh, Four Others Test Positive
The quarantined athletes have not interacted with other athletes in the camp.
BENGALURU (Karnataka): Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh, defenders Surender Kumar, Jaskaran Singh and drag-flicker Varun Kumar have tested positive for coronavirus, informed the Sports Authority of India (SAI). All the other players camping in SAI Bengaluru campus are in self-quarantine as their test results are awaited. The players had returned to the national hockey camp here following a month-long break.
5 hockey players, including captain @manpreetpawar07 who joined the National Camp in Bengaluru after a home break and were travelling together, have tested Covid positive during SAI’s mandatory test. They are in isolation, and under treatment. I wish them a quick recovery. pic.twitter.com/dZaWSSZgHB
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) August 7, 2020
The hockey camp is being conducted in the National Centre of Excellence in SAI, Bengaluru. 10 athletes who had travelled along with the other members have also undergone an RT-PCR test.
The quarantined athletes have not interacted with other athletes in the camp thereby ensuring that the infection does not spread in the campus.
“Hockey players Manpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Jaskaran Singh, and Varun Kumar, who reported to the National Hockey Camp in Sports Authority of India’s National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Bengaluru along with the team, after a home break, have tested COVID-19 positive,” SAI said in a statement.
As a proactive step, SAI had made it mandatory for all athletes, who reported back to the camp to take a rapid COVID-19 test upon arrival. Since all the athletes who tested positive had travelled together, there is a high likelihood that they contracted the virus while travelling from their hometowns to Bengaluru, it stated.
SAI said that all four players tested negative in the “rapid test” but later, Manpreet and Surender began to display some COVID-19 symptoms.
“All four tested negative in the rapid test. However, since Manpreet and Surender began to display some COVID-19 symptoms later, they along with the other ten athletes who had travelled together were given the Quantitative RT-PCR test on Thursday, and the four have been found to be COVID-19 positive,” the statement read.
Though the test results have still not been handed over to SAI, the state government has informed the test results to the SAI authorities, and few test results are still awaited.
The skipper said he is doing fine and hoping to recover soon:
“I am self quarantined on the SAI campus and I am very happy with the way SAI authorities have handled the situation. I am very happy that they made the testing of athletes mandatory. That proactive step helped in identifying the problem right in time. I am doing fine and hope to recover very soon.”
Football’s Greatest Prize Ballon d’Or 2020 Cancelled For The First Time Ever
Football leagues recently resumed their leagues matches behind closed doors.
PARIS (France): Ballon d’Or will not be awarded this year due to lack of sufficient fair conditions amid COVID-19 pandemic, announced France Football on July 20, 2020.
The prestigious football honour was established in 1956. Since then, without exception, the award has been conferred every year.
France Football released an official statement, which read that the Ballon d’Or France Football will not be awarded in 2020 for the first time in its history due to lack of sufficient fair conditions under exceptional circumstances and exceptional provisions.
Created in 1956 by France Football redaction, the Ballon d’Or has become the most prestigious individual trophy in the world. The greatest football players, such as Johan Cruyff, George Weah, Zinédine Zidane or Cristiano Ronaldo, have won it.
The statement read that from a sports perspective, the two months of January and February, out of the eleven generally required to form an opinion and decide who should lift the trophies represent too little time to gauge and judge. It added saying that we cannot forget that the other games were played or will be played in unordinary conditions such as with five replacements and behind closed doors.
The award organiser felt that the equity that prevails for the honorary title will not be warranted, as all the award seekers will not be in the same boat with some having seen their season cut short. Therefore, there cannot be a fair comparison. Hence, the body chose the least bad option to avoid overly convoluted calculations and projections.
The decision was taken after discussion with all the Group stakeholders. France Football stated that the decision though not delightful seems to be the most responsible one, protecting the credibility and legitimacy of the award.
The statement concluded by saying that Ballon d’Or will gather again the football big family and enthusiasts in 2021, to relive the happiness that surrounds the ceremonies as experienced in recent years.
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