Wenger hits out at ref’s ‘spirit’

first_img Press Association Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes there were some “deep” problems with the decisions of referee Anthony Taylor as his side crashed to a 3-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa on the opening day of the new Barclays Premier League season. “I would understand if the linesman said it was a penalty, but you have to live with that and just because you get these decisions given against you that doesn’t mean you should go on to lose the game.” The Arsenal manager added: “Not only did we lose the game, we had many kicks, many injuries. We have some problems for some people to recover for Wednesday night.” Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert was understandably impressed with his side’s efforts. “I think everybody up and down the country would have thought it was a home banker really, but I have got lads in there who are really good, top footballers,” said Lambert, whose side travel to Chelsea on Wednesday night. “The no-fear attitude was key. Because we are young, everyone probably thought there would be an adverse reaction to it, but I have got to give them a lot of credit.” Wenger, who has so far failed to land any major summer transfer targets, saw his side racing into an early lead through Olivier Giroud. However, Villa – who spent much of last season battling against relegation – hit back when Christian Benteke equalised from a penalty rebound. In what proved to be the defining moment of the match, the visitors were awarded a controversial penalty on the hour when Laurent Koscielny looked to have won the ball in his challenge with Gabriel Agbonlahor, before Benteke netted from the spot. The France defender, booked for his challenge, was then soon shown a second yellow by Taylor for clattering into Andreas Weimann Arsenal – who face a crucial Champions League play-off first leg away to Fenerbahce on Wednesday – rallied with 10 men, but were not able to break down a determined Villa defence, as goalkeeper Brad Guzan made a couple of smart saves. New signing Antonio Luna added a late third for the visitors – before unhappy chants of ”spend some money” rang out from the home support at full-time. Wenger, though, was left perplexed by the whole series of events in a match which was also notable for featuring the first use of the Premier League’s new goal decision system (GDS) when a 52nd-minute effort from Villa midfielder Fabian Delph struck the inside of the right-hand post and rolled across the line. “I didn’t like his performance, but more than his performance I didn’t like his spirit of how he refereed the game,” Wenger said of Taylor. “I didn’t like the fact the way the game was refereed and this is a deeper question that just one decision. “I don’t like to lie, I didn’t like what he did. “The linesman said he to me he did not give the penalty and he was at the level of the tackle, so why does the referee who did not give the penalty straight away suddenly give the penalty? That is what is amazing to me. last_img read more

Bolt ready for the baton

first_imgHaving placed third in his final individual race, Usain Bolt turns his attention to the 4X100 meters relay on August 12 in London, as the World Championships winds down. The relay takes place one week after he was beaten in the 100 meters by Americans Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman. Jamaica are defending champions in the event, with a world record of 36.84 seconds set at the 2012 Olympics in London. In an interview with Reuters on August 7, Bolt said he had not practiced with team-mates ahead of the final race of his illustrious career. “We haven’t done any baton changes as yet with the guys, but Ifeel we are ready. I have talked to Julian Forte a little bit. I haven’treally talked to the youngsters so we’ll see when it comes to thebaton changes, but I’m always excited to run relays and we seewhat the guys are prepared and ready to do,” he said. Bolt, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater were the other members ofthat all-star London quartet which beat Trinidad and Tobago andFrance into second and third respectively. Forte was a semi-finalist in the 100 meters. Yohan Blake, whomade that final and was part of the record-setting quartet fiveyears ago, is expected to be in the team again. Didn’t practice with teammates last_img read more

Klopp seeks turnaround to 5 forgettable finals

first_img“They don’t hang silver medals at Melwood (Liverpool’s training ground),” Klopp warned amid the euphoria of making it to Kiev this weekend after an enthralling 7-6 aggregate semi-final win over Roma.“There’s still a job to do but that’s how it is. Going to a final is really nice but winning is even nicer.”Those are words of a man who has been there and suffered before. Each of his five final defeats had their own context, but hurt all the same.“If something is really important for you, you have to be ready for suffering. That is how life is,” Klopp said this week.“If you want guarantees then don’t qualify for a final, stay at home or go on holiday.”Klopp’s unfortunate run began in another Champions League final, five years ago at Wembley, as Dortmund lost out to bitter German rivals Bayern Munich 2-1 courtesy of Arjen Robben’s last minute winner.That run to the final proved to be the beginning of the end for Klopp’s great Dortmund side that had won two Bundesliga titles and thrashed Bayern 5-2 in the 2012 German Cup final – the only final success of his career.A year on from Wembley, they lost to Bayern once more in the German Cup final 2-0 after extra-time in a highly contentious game as Mats Hummels — just one of many of Klopp’s Dortmund stars who would move to Bayern — had a goal wrongly not given before the 90 minutes were up when the ball had crossed the line in the days before goal line technology.– “The legs will be fine” –Klopp’s first European final with Liverpool ended in defeat to Sevilla © AFP / PAUL ELLISKlopp’s final season at the German giants was a difficult one. A seventh-placed finish was far more respectable than seemed likely for most of the campaign as they even sat bottom of the Bundesliga in February, and a season to forget was capped with a 3-1 German Cup final defeat to a Kevin de Bruyne-inspired Wolfsburg.Since joining Liverpool in October 2015, progress in the Premier League has been steady if unspectacular with two fourth-placed finishes after ending his first season in eighth. But it is in Cup competitions that Klopp has made his mark on Liverpool.Defeat on penalties to Manchester City in the 2016 League Cup final was followed by his first truly great Anfield night by coming from 3-1 down to beat Dortmund 4-3 in the Europa League quarter-finals.Villarreal were then swept aside, but despite taking a deserved first-half lead against Sevilla in the final in Basel, Liverpool wilted after the break to lose 3-1.Klopp’s demands on his players to play a high-energy pressing game has previously been blamed for his side’s form failing off towards the end of the season.But with two weeks to prepare between Liverpool’s final Premier League game of the season and Saturday’s final, Klopp insists that won’t be the case this time round.“We were unlucky in the (Europa League) final,” he added. “Second-half, it was legs. This time the legs will be fine.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Five to forget: Jurgen Klopp has lost his last five finals as a coach © AFP / ADRIAN DENNISKIEV, Ukraine, May 25 – “We’ve won it five times,” Liverpool supporters sing to celebrate their five European Cup final victories, but Jurgen Klopp, manager of the English giants, is attempting to end a very different run of results in Saturday’s Champions League final.Klopp has lost his last five finals, three with Borussia Dortmund before moving to Anfield in 2015, and two in his debut season with the Reds.last_img read more