Tag Archives: proportions

Robin Van Persie hails Manchester United"s team of winners

Van Persie hails United's team of winners as they edge closer to title

PUBLISHED:

15:35 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

20:23 GMT, 30 March 2013

Manchester United moved another step closer to the Barclays Premier League title as they won 1-0 at Sunderland, and striker Robin van Persie was quick to praise the attitude of his team-mates.

United are 18 points clear of nearest rivals Manchester City as a result and it would take a collapse of dramatic proportions for them to throw the title away.

Van Persie claimed the only goal today, although replays suggested his shot was not going in until Titus Bramble put it into his own net, but the striker was not too concerned.

Almost there: Robin Van Persie celebrates United's win

Almost there: Robin Van Persie celebrates United's win

Get in there: Robin Van Persie celebrates with team-mates

Get in there: Robin Van Persie celebrates with team-mates

'We got the three points, we knew it would be tough because Sunderland work hard and we had to dig in, but we deserved it,' he told Sky Sports 2.

'It didn't matter who scored today, it was all about the three points.

'This team is full of winners, everyone knows what they have to do and it was never in doubt for me. I was confident we would win.'

A title coronation seems inevitable in
the next couple of weeks and midfielder Michael Carrick is anticipating
winning another medal.

'We played some good football today, even if we didn't get as many goalscoring opportunities as we'd have liked,' he added.

'It was all about coming here and winning. We're getting closer and it's one game less. We have to keep going.'

Keeping an eye on it: Van Persie sees his goal go in off Bramble

Keeping an eye on it: Van Persie sees his goal go in off Bramble

Eyes on the ball: Sunderland captain John O' Shea tackles Manchester United's Van Persie

Eyes on the ball: Sunderland captain John O' Shea tackles Manchester United's Van Persie

United next face Chelsea in the FA Cup replay on Monday and Van Persie has warned fans not to expect a classic.

It is the kind of scheduling that has England's European counterparts scratching their heads in bewilderment.

And Van Persie points out it is difficult for the players to reach a high level of performance twice in such a short period of time.

'It is not ideal,' he told MUTV.

'Normally on the second day your muscles are quite bad but now we have to play at this certain time.

'It is a shame but we can't do anything about it because there are Champions League games in midweek and Chelsea are still in the Europa League.

'We just have to deal with it.

'People have to realise they can't expect a great game of football because it is not possible.

'If it happens I am glad, but don't expect it because these games are just too close to each other.'

Hectic schedule: Jonny Evans admits United are heading into the unknown during their packed Easter period

Hectic schedule: Jonny Evans admits United are heading into the unknown during their packed Easter period

Van Persie was speaking after
United's 1-0 win at Sunderland, which maintains their 15-point advantage
over Manchester City with just eight games remaining.

City will be the opponents for
Monday's victors at Stamford Bridge, with Van Persie eager to get his
hands on a trophy he won with Arsenal but United have not lifted since
2004.

'It has been a while,' he said.

'It has been nine years since we last won it and we want to win the double.

'We made a big step today but we want to go for both. We have a chance to reach the semi-final against City.'

Jonny Evans admitted Manchester
United will head into the unknown as they attempt to book an FA Cup
semi-final place just 48 hours after strengthening their grip on the
Barclays Premier League title.

Evans said: 'I have never really been in that situation before, so it will be new to probably most of us.

'It's
just all about tonight. We will probably go back and get a good
recovery session in and make sure we have done everything we can
physically to make sure we are right for the game on Monday.'

Evans
will make the trip to Stamford Bridge hoping for a start after getting
his chance on Wearside as a first-half substitute when full-back Rafael
da Silva limped off.

Chris
Smalling moved from central defence to right-back to accommodate the
25-year-old as aUnited defence which had been criticised earlier in the
campaign recorded its sixth successive league clean sheet.

Diving in: Alex Buttner slides in on Sunderland's Simon Mignolet

Diving in: Alex Buttner slides in on Sunderland's Simon Mignolet

Asked about the difficulty of
competing with Ferdinand and Vidic for a place in the heart of the back
four, he said: 'You are always competing.

'Even if one of those two isn't fit,
you have got Chris Smalling, who started at centre-back today. I'm sure
he was disappointed to get moved to right-back, it's not his favourite
position, but for the sake of the team, he did that.

'Phil
Jones is another one. The competition is all over the pitch. You look
at the players who didn't start today or have been left behind – it's
some team, really.'

Monday
night's game represents an opportunity to keep hopes of yet another
Double alive with United marching inexorably towards the league title.

Their
recent surge – they have now lost only once in 22 games in all
competitions, and that in controversial circumstances to Real Madrid in
the Champions League – has been based on defensive resilience rather
than attacking flair, and Evans admits it is a pleasant change for the
men at the back to receive the plaudits normally reserved for their
attacking colleagues.

He said with a smile: “You have probably noticed we haven't scored as many goals. It's getting that fine balance.

'We will take it the way we are at the minute. Especially as a defender, it's better to keep clean sheets than having the forwards getting all the glory, I suppose, so we are just happy.

'Clean sheets, that's what we want as defenders, so we are delighted with that.'

Sir Alex Ferguson used the depth of his squad at the Stadium of Light with Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney not even making the 18.

Da Silva must be a doubt after being unable to continue against Sunderland, while Vidic was left clutching his back after a rugged challenge with striker Danny Graham, although he made it through to the final whistle.

Jon Walters own goals against Chelsea – relive some of the best ever

Walters at the double… for Chelsea! After Stoke midfielder's two own goals, relive some of the best (or worst) ever

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

16:31 GMT, 12 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:17 GMT, 12 January 2013

With a surging run ahead of two Chelsea players, Jon Walters flung himself through the air and powered a bullet header in to the back of the net. Sadly for him, it was his own net.

To the dismay of his manager Tony Pulis, he was at it again in the second half, becoming only the fourth player in the Premier League to bag a brace of own goals (following Jamie Carragher, Gary Breen and Michael Proctor).

The cherry on the cake was a late penalty miss for the Irishman, which turned a disastrous afternoon into one that beggars belief.

In honour of Walters' spectacular day, Sportsmail took a look back at some of the classic own goals which have been scored in the past.

Oh no: Jon Walters afternoon got worse the longer it went on

Oh no: Jon Walters afternoon got worse the longer it went on

Lethal: Walters made no mistake as he headed his side behind

Lethal: Walters made no mistake as he headed his side behind

John Arne Riise

Chelsea were the beneficiaries yet again as the flame-haired Norwegian made his mark. With Liverpool on the brink of taking a 1-0 Champions League semi-final lead back to Stamford Bridge, up popped Riise to even the score, beating his own keeper Pepe Reina with a classy header in the 94th minute. It finished 1-1 and Chelsea won the second leg 3-1.

Peter Enckelman

In the first Birmingham derby since the Blues won promotion to the Premier League in 2002, Aston Villa goalkeeper Peter Enckelman carved his name into Brummie folklore with a howler of epic proportions.

With City winning 1-0, captain Olof Mellberg harmlessly chucked Enckelman the ball from a throw-in. The young stopper misjudged the slowly-rolling ball, which ran under his foot and into the net. Birmingham won 3-0.

Lee Dixon

Full-back Lee Dixon made a mockery of Arsenal's famously tight defence in the early 1990s when he lobbed team-mate David Seaman from distance to send opponents Coventry on their way to victory against George Graham's side.

Iain Dowie

Iain Dowie ended a worrying goal drought during his time at West Ham with a perfectly-executed header past Ludek Miklosko which even his own fans must have been tempted to applaud. Dowie's equaliser for Stockport helped them on their way to a 2-1 win in 1996.

Djimi Traore

Rafael Benitez's first FA Cup tie as Liverpool boss ended in humiliating defeat at Burnley in 2005 after French defender Traore performed a perfect pirouette in the six-yard box, comically dragging the ball into his own net with his heel as he twirled to hand victory to the Coca-Cola Championship club.

Jamie Pollock

An own goal that would have been one of the goals of the season had it been scored at the other end. Playing against QPR in 1998, Manchester City defender Pollock flicked the ball over an opponent's head before trying to head the ball back to his goalkeeper, who was in no man's land and could only watch as the ball sailed into the net.

Chris Brass

Probably the funniest own goal ever scored came from Bury's Chris Brass, whose attempted clearance against Darlington in 2006 hit his own face and careered into the net. To add injury to insult, Brass suffered a broken nose in the process. However, Bury did come back to win late on.

P.S.

OFI Kreta's Mirnes Sisic launched the ball miles into the night sky – directly above his head, only for it to fall back down into the net past the flapping keeper. The opponents Panionios scored an own goal to level it out later on, before ANOTHER own goal was scored by Kreta to throw the game away.

Ricky Hatton feels pain of defeat

Tears follow tragic mistake that turned into an ordeal for brave Hatton

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UPDATED:

01:01 GMT, 25 November 2012

Reality dawned deep into the ninth round. A left hook to the body stripped away the layers of self-delusion.

It ended the fight and it ended the unwisely extended career of Ricky Hatton.

He finished on his knees, gulping for breath, betraying the pain.

Sad end: Ricky Hatton after being counted out

Sad end: Ricky Hatton after being counted out

The tears began to flow, and Saturday night Manchester wept with him. His face was swollen, a purple bruise consuming his right eye.

He looked a broken fighter, a brutally broken man.

Vyacheslav Senchenko, at 35 a year older than Hatton, a smooth technician yet not a notoriously heavy puncher.

Body blow: Vyacheslav Senchenko knocks Ricky Hatton out with a body shot

Body blow: Vyacheslav Senchenko knocks Ricky Hatton out with a body shot

He is not a man equipped to take out a former world champion with a single body shot.

Yet you sensed that he had simply inflicted retribution for the life that Hatton had led during his three-and-a-half years of retirement.

Cocaine, depression, alcohol abuse, wanton excess; the list is notoriously long. And they all came rushing to the surface when Senchenko threw that shot.

Hatton had given his all in the only way he knows. His timing was helplessly astray, his ability to sustain pressure was sadly reduced.

But he came forward incessantly, despite being a caricature of the fighter he used to be.

Rough and tumble: The fighters fall to the canvas

Rough and tumble: The fighters fall to the canvas

Fighters are the most self-deluding of sportsmen, yet in the abject moments of defeat, Hatton seemed to glimpse the inevitable.

'I keep picking me a*** up off the floor,' he said. 'I don't know how many times I can do it. I'm not a failure, me. I'm not a failure. I'm so sorry, so sorry.'

But the words were spoken from a face which was taking on gargoyle proportions.

Even a light-punching welterweight can inflict depressing damage, and Senchenko had revealed a craftsman's style.

Bruised and battered: Ricky Hatton after the fight

Bruised and battered: Ricky Hatton after the fight

Hatton had gone through his routine in the manner of an old music-hall artist; knowing the lines, reacting to the cues.

From the grotesque choreography of the ring walk to the all-action, fast-punching, not-a-backward-step style, he had demanded the applause of 20,000 Mancunians, many of them quite sober.

But all the time you remembered that this was the man who had swollen his body to 15 and a half stones, and had then been required to lose half of his body weight to re-enter the ring.

Of course, he had little to offer in terms of endurance and punch tolerance. And yet, the ending still held the power to shock, as his legs betrayed him and his lungs refused to suck in the air.

The end: But will Ricky Hatton consider trying to fight on

The end: But will Ricky Hatton consider trying to fight on

The flatterers were already whispering as he left the ring.

Senchenko was a tough choice for the first fight back. Perhaps an easier opponent next time, working slowly to another title shot

But it was nonsense, dangerous nonsense. The comeback was a tragic mistake, the fight a terrible ordeal.

The career is over. And Ricky Hatton knows it, better than anyone.

Problem of Olympic proportions is tricky for BBC

Problem of Olympic proportions is tricky for BBC after stuttering start to coverage

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UPDATED:

22:19 GMT, 29 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Commentators, Hugh Porter and Chris Boardman, were left floundering, having to guess who was where in the race and the relative distances between the chased and the chasers.

The Olympic men’s road race is an event built around subtle tactics and specialist moves, so it was an inauspicious Olympics opener.

The BBC wasted no time in putting a spoke in the wheel of the Olympic Broadcast Services, who in turn blamed the information providers — or non-providers as it was.

Poor coverage: The BBC have been slammed for their broadcast of the men's road race

Poor coverage: The BBC have been slammed for their broadcast of the men's road race

It would seem that GPS systems struggled to handle some of the external factors thrown up during the race — hills and excessive mobile phone use believed to be among them — and so broadcasters worldwide were left to cope — some better than others, no doubt.

During an Olympic Games there are daily meetings between the likes of Olympic Broadcast Services and the world’s broadcasters — I’ve no idea how long Sunday’s meeting lasted, but I bet it went the full distance.

Thankfully things improved, on and off the road on Sunday, as OBS cameras caught the thrilling end to the women’s road race and a much-deserved silver medal for Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead.

Although the BBC are very much ‘our’ broadcaster of the Olympics, the actual sports themselves are covered by a range of production and technical staff gathered together by a company, Olympics Broadcast Services.

Better: The coverage improved for the women's road race on Sunday

Better: The coverage improved for the women's road race on Sunday

Indeed, it is part of the contract with the host city that OBS originate the core coverage.

OBS, in turn, aim to produce a technically top-class and ‘nation neutral’ service of event coverage.

They pride themselves on assembling some of the world’s leading sports television practitioners, but Saturday’s cycling proved nobody is infallible.

Also their ‘neutral’ coverage of Saturday’s gymnastics left some BBC viewers let down as to the scarce visibility of the British team’s great efforts.

Moving on, my own take on Friday’s Opening Ceremony was…BBC.

I thought it was Brilliant, Bonkers and Captivating.

It was a privilege watching it — at home in front of the television like nearly 27 million others.

Sparkling start: The opening ceremony sent jingles down the spine of the nation

Sparkling start: The opening ceremony sent jingles down the spine of the nation

The BBC themselves are off and running.

They are an experienced bunch — and it shows.

Their 24 channel streaming service is mind-blowing. At the press of a button, I knew it was raining at Wimbledon but a sunny day in Weymouth.

I was also reminded, like I am every four years, that playing in goal in a handball match may just be one of the toughest gigs in sport, that I will be regularly returning to the beach volleyball, and that air pistol shooting will never be a top television draw.

The beauty of the BBC’s comprehensive Olympic coverage, however, is if handball or air pistol shooting are your bag then at the press of a button they are there for you.

Smooth operator: Gary Lineker has looked at home fronting the BBC's Olympic coverage

Smooth operator: Gary Lineker has looked at home fronting the BBC's Olympic coverage

On-screen, Gary Lineker looks and sounds sharp.

Clare Balding is an assured and clued-up presence at the Aquatics Centre and, after something of a nervous start, I sense Mishal Husain will prove a real asset.

Guests will be wheeled in and out of the BBC studio like a revolving door.

But I did feel on Saturday evening, Gabby Logan’s ‘stellar trio’ of John McEnroe, Dame Kelly Holmes and Michael Johnson had been booked on the wrong night given the sports on which they were asked to express an opinion.

Plenty of time to put that right.

London 2012 Olympics: Tyson Gay says 9.8s 100m sprint not enough for gold

Sprinter Gay claims 9.8second 100m sprint will not be enough for gold

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UPDATED:

18:07 GMT, 19 July 2012

The world's second fastest man, Tyson Gay, says someone may break 9.8 seconds for only the second time in an Olympic 100 metres final and still fail to win a medal.

'I really truly believe that,' said the American sprinter on Thursday.

'It will take a 9.7 to even get a medal. It's mind blowing,' he added, and the record books back him up.

Tough: Tyson Gay knows how difficult getting a medal will be

Tough: Tyson Gay knows how difficult getting a medal will be

Only once in an Olympic final has a sprinter run 9.7 or faster, Jamaican Usain Bolt smashing the world record with his 9.69 at the 2008 Olympics.

Second placed Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago clocked in at 9.89.

Now with Bolt, Jamaican world champion Yohan Blake, former world record holder Asafa Powell, American Justin Gatlin and Gay headed for an August showdown, one could foresee a 100 metres of historic proportions even without a world record, Gay said.

'It is mind blowing to think four or five people even have the possibility of doing that (9.7) in one race,' said the often-injured Gay who set a personal best of 9.69 seconds in 2009.

Bolt leads the pack with his 2009 world record of 9.58, Powell clocked 9.72 in 2008 and Blake ran 9.75 this year.

That Gay is even in the London mix is a minor miracle.

Contender: Yohan Blake is going for gold

Contender: Yohan Blake is going for gold

As late as early March he could not even jog because of 2011 hip surgery that kept him off the track for almost a year.

He ran his first race in June but still made the U.S. Olympic team later in the month, finishing second to Gatlin in the American trials.

'I still feel something here and there but there is no looking back now,' Gay said of a sore groin. The hip appears much better.

The biggest concerns are bad habits, particularly in his start, that have crept back into his race from a year's inactivity.

'But I am definitely confident going into the Olympics that I will be fit, ready to go and my start will come at the right time,” said Gay, who would like an early birthday present from the Games (He turns 30 on August 9).

Gay appeared so ready for his first Olympic medal after a super quick but wind-assisted 100 metres at the 2008 American trials. But a hamstring injury in the 200 there left him unable to run at top speed in the Games and he went out in the 100 semi-finals.

Title holder: Usain Bolt (front right) is the man to beat

Title holder: Usain Bolt (front right) is the man to beat

'That (a medal) is the missing piece,' said Gay, the 2007 world double sprint champion who has never won an Olympic medal.

'I ask somebody every day how many days left till we start. I think about it constantly.'

Bolt and Blake may grab the headlines, 'but I have the confidence I can win it,' Gay said.

'I am confident I can run 9.7 or better. I don't think I have a choice but to.'

He will test his fitness on Friday by running the third leg on an American 4×100 metres relay at the Monaco Diamond League meeting.

Young Ryan Bailey will lead off the squad with Gatlin running second and Trell Kimmons the anchor.

Canadian Grand Prix 2012: The stats and facts

Canadian Grand Prix: All you need to know about the race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

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UPDATED:

11:33 GMT, 8 June 2012

Last year's Canadian Grand Prix has since gone down as one of the most dramatic and exciting in Formula One history.

At just over four hours long, due to a
torrential downpour that produced a two-hour delay, the race is also
the longest on record.

To add to the drama, Jenson Button –
last at one stage just after the halfway point and who made six trips to
the pits in total, including a drive-through penalty – emerged
victorious on the final lap courtesy of an error from Sebastian Vettel.

Oh for another race of such epic
proportions this weekend. But, if not, the event at the Circuit Gilles
Villeneuve often conjures up enthralling affairs.

Here, Sportsmail brings you all the necessary stats and facts ahead of the seventh race of the campaign.

Commemorative: Gilles Villeneuve, whom the Montreal track is named after, was tragically killed 30 years ago

Commemorative: Gilles Villeneuve, whom the Montreal track is named after, was tragically killed 30 years ago

Graphic guide

Click HERE for your lowdown on the circuit

Venue: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal

Circuit length: 4.361km/2.709miles

Laps: 70

Race distance: 305.270km/189.685miles

Lap record: 1min 13.622secs (Rubens Barrichello, 2004)

2011 winner: Jenson Button (McLaren)

2011 pole position: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 1min 13.014secs

2011 fastest lap: Jenson Button (McLaren) 1min 16.956secs

Number of corners: 14 (6 left/8 right)

Tyre compounds to be used: soft/supersoft

Phil Duncan F1 blog

Bumpiness: very

Overtaking chance: into turns 10 and 13

Engine severity: medium

Brake wear severity: very high

Average lap speed: 193kph (120mph)

Full throttle per lap: 67 per cent

Gear changes per lap: 52 (race = 3640)

2011 winning strategy: 6 stops (Lap 8, 13 – drivethrough, 19, 35, 37, 51)

Total race pit stops: 72

Total 'normal' overtakes: 62

Total DRS overtakes: 17

No of safety cars deployed since 2002: 14

All smiles: The British star won last year's epic Canadian Grand Prix

All smiles: The British star won last year's epic Canadian Grand Prix

History was made in the last race in
Monaco as this season has now produced six winners from the opening six
grands prix – Button, Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Vettel, Pastor
Maldonado and Mark Webber.

Overall, there have been eight different winners of the last eight, stretching back to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of last year.

This year there have also been five different drivers on pole, whilst six different have set the fastest lap.

Two of the past three races in Montreal have featured at least five different leaders.

The race has been won from pole three times in the past 10 years – compared to eight of the last 10 Monaco GPs.

Michael Schumacher holds the record
for most number of wins in Canada with seven. The 43-year-old, though,
has not even been on the podium now for a run of 46 races.

Five drivers won their first race at
this track: Gilles Villeneuve (Ferrari, 1978); Thierry Boutsen,
(Williams, 1989); Jean Alesi (Ferrari, 1995); Lewis Hamilton (McLaren
2007) and Robert Kubica (BMW, 2008).

The race is renowned as a car-breaker as over the last 12 years there have been 93 retirements.