Klopp invites Akinfenwa for Reds’ title parade

Liverpool’s future Premier League title parade after Jürgen Klopp fulfilled his request for a congratulatory WhatsApp message.

The Wycombe Wanderers striker – and huge Reds fan – called for contact from Klopp during an emotional post-match interview in the aftermath of his team’s League One play-off final win over Oxford United at Wembley on Monday night.

The boss duly responded and Akinfenwa posted the video message he received from Merseyside on social media.

On Tuesday, Klopp was asked when he’ll meet up with the forward and whether he had received a reply.

When it’s possible, in the future one day,” the manager said. “I don’t know when exactly but he is invited for the parade, 100 per cent!

“I saw, before the video, when he was sitting in the team meeting in a Liverpool kit which I thought was really funny! I watched the game last night [and] yes, he responded – he sent a video back. It’s private (what he said), at least a few things in life should stay private.

“It was nice, he was obviously really happy.”

Klopp went on to state how happy stories such as that of the 38-year-old Akinfenwa – who was without a club four years ago but can now look forward to his first opportunity to play at Championship level – make him.

He added, “It was just nice to see. Yesterday (Monday) before the game I was, to be 100 per cent honest, neither a Wycombe supporter or an Oxford supporter but Ben Woodburn plays for Oxford, so I was slightly more on the side of Oxford.”

“But I watched the game just because I wanted to see it and then when they won it, it’s just nice, you see how much it means to them. When you are involved, I don’t like the play-offs too much. I was (involved) in my life once or twice and the pressure is really incredible, it’s not a lot to do with enjoyment.

Dustin Brown discusses financial impact of exhibition tennis amid coronavirus pandemic

“The bills keep coming so these exhibitions keep popping up all over the place. I already played one in Germany and it’s great for the players to have some sort of income in Germany”

Dustin Brown has highlighted the importance of the financial help provided by safe exhibition tournaments amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Jamaican-German was recently part of Patrick Mouratoglou’s inaugural Ultimate Tennis Showdown, a unique short-format of the game designed to attract new and younger fan bases.

Tournaments have been cropping up around the world since the suspension of the ATP Tour, some evidently fairing better than others in regards to upholding safety measures. Novak Djokovic, in particular, has been subject to backlash after multiple players tested positive for COVID-19 after competing on the World No 1’s Adria Tour.

Prior to UTS Brown headlined the Tennis Point Exhibition Series held behind closed doors without fans, line judges, ballboys or handshakes in Germany at Base Tennis centre near Koblenz.

“I think for everyone it’s good that we can go out, I think certain countries are still under lockdown,” said Brown. “At the end of the day it’s also a job for us so not playing means you are not earning any money.null

“The bills keep coming though so these exhibitions keep popping up all over the place. I already played one in Germany and it’s great for the players to have some sort of income in Germany.

“A lot of players would have played Bundesliga, that got cancelled, that’s a big amount of money especially for guys that are 200th, 300th (in the world) that use this money year-round to plan for these tournaments and to see if they can take a coach to a Slam and all of that. All of that is gone.”

The ATP and WTA announced in May they would be holding talks with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the four Grand Slam tournaments over a Player Relief Programme that would supply financial assistance to lower-ranked players affected by the pandemic.

Wimbledon has meanwhile pledged £10m to a total of 620 players following the tournament’s cancellation for the first time since World War Two.

“It’s essentially like a business,” he added. “A lot of businesses are struggling at this time and this is a great initiative that Patrick has started and all of the players that are here are very happy that they get to play competitively and then at the same time have fun.”

The decision to stage next month’s US Open in New York has drawn widespread criticism in light of the city’s rise in coronavirus cases.

While UTS was able to take place safely, Brown believes the task of hosting the US Open is a completely different challenge.

“It’s a little different from having 10 players to having 300 players so I think that’s the biggest issue,” he said.

“If you have that many people, plus all the guys here are pretty close, for me a flight from Cologne is maybe an hour, getting everyone to a different continent is a different situation

“There it’s not even so much about the site or playing tennis, it’s about getting everyone there and keeping everyone safe. So two different things.”

CDon’t forgot to follow on Twitter @lademark and Facebook @tucsmarcus.

Transfer Centre: Sergio Aguero, Jadon Sancho, Kalidou Koulibaly

The latest transfer news and rumours, including updates on the futures of Sergio Aguero, Jadon Sancho, Kalidou Koulibaly and much more!

10:00

‘HART TO TOP CELTIC’S GOALKEEPER HIT LIST’

Celtic will start signing talks with former England keeper Joe Hart this week, according to the Daily Record.

The Record say Hart will go to the top of Celtic’s goalkeeper wishlist if a second loan for Southampton’s Fraser Forster can’t be agreed.

Craig Gordon this week confirmed he had played his last game for the Scottish champions.09:33

FOWLER LEAVES BRISBANE ROAR

Robbie Fowler has ended his tenure as head coach of the Brisbane Roar in Australia’s A-League.

The former Liverpool and England striker returned home in March along with his assistant Tony Grant when the league was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Roar vice-chairman Chris Fong said on Monday that Fowler, 45, does not want to be separated from his family in England at this time and will not be resuming his coaching duties.09:04

FORSTER, ELYOUNOUSSI TO RE-JOIN CELTIC?

Southampton will consider loaning out Fraser Forster for another season when Celtic make their approach this week, according to the Daily Mail. 

Celtic will also reportedly look to re-sign Saints’ Mohamed Elyounoussi, who has also been on loan at the Scottish club this season, but any deal could see Olivier Ntcham join Saints.08:39

NO INTER DEAL FOR SANCHEZ, MOSES

Inter Milan are yet to agree loan extensions for Alexis Sanchez and Victor Moses.

Sanchez, on loan from Man Utd, and Moses, on loan from Chelsea, will see their contracts run out in the coming days, but cannot play for their parent clubs this season.

Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta told Sky in Italy: “This is a great regulatory anomaly that needs to be resolved because we are still dealing with Chelsea and Manchester United today to try to extend their loans.”08:18

DORTMUND CEO DOUBTS CLUBS CAN AFFORD SANCHO

Borussia Dortmund’s chief executive HansJoachmin Watzke admits the club are willing to discuss selling Jadon Sancho, but doubts anyone could match their asking price.

Sancho, just 20, has registered a combined 17 goals and assists this season, and Dortmund reportedly rate him at £100m, with Manchester United among those thought to be interested.

Watzke said: ““If Jadon approaches us and says he wants to leave no matter what – which has not happened so far – and a club wants to spend what we are asking for, we will discuss it.

“But I don’t think a club will pay the fee we want.”07:46

LOVREN AS MAKEWEIGHT IN KOULIBALY DEAL?

Liverpool are edging rivals Manchester City in the race to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly by offering up Dejan Lovren as part of the deal, according to Tuttosport in Italy.

Napoli are reportedly demanding £90m for Koulibaly, but the newly-crowned Premier League champions are hoping to offer Croatian defender Lovren as a makeweight.

The report says Liverpool are looking to move quick in the transfer market after securing the title. 

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07:24

SKRINIAR/AGUERO SWAP DEAL?

Inter Milan could attempt to lure Sergio Aguero away from Manchester City, according to Calciomercato.

Any deal could involve defender Milan Skriniar, with Manchester City reportedly interested in the Inter.

Aguero, 32, has scored 16 Premier League goals this season, and is out of contract next summer.

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LETS WATCH AND SEE WHAT IT GOING TO BE LIKE IF AGUERO FINALLY LEAVES CITY

Carter finished his 22 years career with the Atlanta Hawks

Carter finished his career with the Atlanta Hawks

Vince Carter
Image:Vince Carter is regarded as one of the greatest dunkers of all time

Vince Carter has announced his retirement from the NBA, bringing an end to a 22-year career, the longest in the league’s history.

He made the announcement on the Winging It podcast, saying: “I’m officially finished playing basketball.”

Carter, 43, was the No 5 overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft and played his first six-plus seasons with the Toronto Raptors, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1999 and the NBA Dunk Contest in 2000. He made eight consecutive All-Star teams from 2000-07.

The Hawks were the final stop of Carter’s NBA journey, as he spent the past two seasons as a veteran presence on a young Atlanta team. He also played with the New Jersey Nets (2004-09), Orlando Magic (2009-10), Phoenix Suns (2010-11), Memphis Grizzlies (2014-17) and Sacramento Kings (2017-18).

Vince Carter talks after possibly playing the last game of his career

Carter: Weird way to potentially end careerFollowing the NBA’s decision to suspend their season, Vince Carter reflected on what could potentially be the end of his 22-year professional career.

“Over the last two years, Vince Carter has been a committed leader, respected mentor and influential example on the court, in the locker room and in the Atlanta community,” the Hawks said in a team statement.

“Throughout his historic 22-year journey covering an unprecedented four different decades, his evolving career arc was perhaps like none other in league history – from Top 5 Draft Pick to Rookie of the Year to Slam Dunk Champion to superstar and eight-time All-Star to Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year and valuable role player.

“It’s an honour to the Hawks organisation that he completed his Hall of Fame career wearing Atlanta across his chest and representing our city.

Vince Carter
Image:Carter represented eight different teams in the NBA

Carter averaged more than 20 points per game in 10 seasons, with a career-high of 27.6 in 2000-01.

He retires with career averages of 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

The North Carolina product played 60 games for the Hawks in the 2019-20 season, averaging 5.0 points in 14.6 minutes per game.

The Hawks are not among the teams who will finish the coronavirus-interrupted season near Orlando, beginning next month.

He scored five points in his final career game, an overtime loss to the New York Knicks on March 11; the day the season was suspended. Carter’s 22nd season surpassed the 21 played by Robert Parish, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Willis and Dirk Nowitzki.

Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh on psychology, injury and Olympic gold

Former Great Britain and England hockey stars are the guests on new episode of the Will Greenwood Podcast

Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh – the first-ever same-sex married couple to win Olympic gold – discuss psychology, the mental side of elite sport, injuries, disappointments and more on the road to Rio 20Hockey players for Great Britain and England, the couple racked up nearly 700 international caps between them from 1999 to 2016, and chatted to Sky Sports Rugby as guests on the latest Will Greenwood Podcast.

Having married in 2013, the Richardson-Walshs welcomed their first child in January, and among more topics, spoke extensively on playing sport at the highest level, the physical toll, coping with injury and failure, as well as the mental side of competing at the very top.

Kate and Helen proudly show their gold medals during the Olympic Parade in Manchester in October 2016

As GB captain between 2003 and 2016, what were some of the coping mechanisms Kate employed in her career?null

“We did a lot of work with our psychologist, particularly the last seven years,” she said. “On that preparation, mental, physical, emotional. It was really transformative actually.null

“I struggled with it for years, trying to get to that sweet spot where you feel everything can just flow and you’re not having to try too hard or force anything.

“I would either be too amped up, too angry, aggro, feisty, or I’d be the other side – really laid back, very casual, and a bit slow and reactive.

“It took me a long time to find my rhythm. We talk with our psychologist about all the things you can do, and some of it is physical in terms of things to prepare, and others mental.

“It didn’t change whether we were playing an Olympic final or against a club first team, the preparation needed to be the same.

“So for me, I would make sure I got my kit out the night before, which sometimes is not possible if you’ve been playing back-to-back games, but I’d get as much as I could ready, all folded and ready to go so I wouldn’t be faffing around the next day trying to scrabble around finding things, because that would make me anxious and nervous.

Kate captained Great Britain between 2003 and 2016

“The night before the game, I’d also do a lot of my thinking in terms of who I’d be playing against.

“The opposition, their tactics, our tactics, what will I see facing me? As a defender, I’ve got the whole game in front of me, how are players going to run at me? What skill-sets have they got? Where are the likely passing channels and gaps? Which players will link up most?

“I just go to sleep thinking and dreaming about those things. The next day when it’s game day, I just feel ready and I can get into the routine of the day, the meetings, set-piece briefings, checking in with players.

“Bill Belichick, the NFL coach, said about taking the temperature in the room, and I loved that. As I progressed in my captaincy, that was something I became able to do, because my own preparation became second nature.

Then with my leadership group, I’d ask ‘how is everybody? Where are we? What do we need to do?’ Or not do to get ourselves in that right space.

“But it took me a long time to really grasp how much players were feeding off me as a captain, and how important it was that I was aware of that, because it was affecting them. To be honest, it was affecting me and my performance as well, so I needed to think about it in both ways.”

Highs and lows

Having represented Britain at the highest level since the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, the 2016 Olympic Games finally allowed the Richardson-Walshs to pick up gold.

What was that moment like?

“I was 18 in Sydney, Kate was 20 – we were really young when we first got into the team and went to an Olympic Games,” Helen says.

“It was a long hard road, with so many downs, challenges. Yes, there were amazing positives and highs along the way, but there were lots of downs.

“In that moment and being able to share it with Kate was incredible, and not something a lot of people get to do. And it has then helped us moving away from the sport, because we just get each other, we understand.

“It’s hard to stop doing the thing you’ve done all your life, and you know, I would carry on playing forever if I could, if my body allowed me too, but it doesn’t, you have to stop.

“So on the occasion where one of us wakes up in the morning and says, ‘I feel rubbish today and I don’t know why’, the other one will just be like, ‘well that’s OK, I get it’, and that’s really nice to be able to have that and not have to explain yourself.

“I think that’s really precious.”

Precious in life, but precious in a sporting context too. The last married couple to achieve Olympic gold medals? Cyril and Dorothy Wright for GB at the 1920 Olympics in sailing.

Over the course of careers which spanned nearly two decades, what were some of those lowest points for the Richardson-Walshs which occurred before the ultimate high of Olympic gold?

“Where do you want us to start?” Kate says. “I think the first one which was pretty formative to me was 2004, when we failed to qualify for the Athens Olympic Games.

“We had an opportunity to qualify and we’d missed that, and then this was our last chance to qualify: There were 12 teams, the top five qualified and we were the top-ranked team at the time, so should have been fine.

“But we weren’t in a good place and that ranking wasn’t really where we were as a group. It slowly went away – we were winning 2-0 in our first game and drew 2-2; each game just got further and further away from us, and it came down to a game against South Korea which we needed to win in order to get an opportunity to play for that fifth spot.

“We lost that game 2-0 and I still get very emotional about it now because I can absolutely put myself in that moment at the final whistle when it went, and being on that field with players 10 years my senior who probably knew at that point it was the last time they were going to pull on that shirt.

“I was a young captain at 23, and to have to help some of those players off the field was so incredibly powerful and it ignited something in me which powered me for the rest of my career. I never, ever wanted to let that happen again.

“The aftermath was almost worse. We lost 70 per cent of our funding as a sport, what little we had anyway.

“It was really hard-going for a few years and that was powerful for me.”

Kate was the Team GB flagbearer for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio Olympics in 2016

Helen adds: “I think my hardest moment was in 2014, not long before Rio really. In 2013, one of the discs in my back ruptured and I needed surgery.

“I had surgery, got back onto the pitch but 11 months later the same thing happened again, so in 2014 I needed more back surgery, which is really a frightening place to be.

“When you’re having surgery on your back, the fear there of what can go wrong is very real.

“That surgery was very close to a World Cup, and I’d tried to get back for it, with the target being selection nine weeks after back surgery – which when I say out loud now is crazy, but I tried to get back for that World Cup.

“I didn’t make it, didn’t get selected and I missed out. I felt like I was in a place where I could have been selected, but I didn’t and so for the first time, I got dropped from a squad I felt I should have been in, and that was really hard because it challenged everything about me.

“My ego was probably the hardest hit in that moment. I also felt like that was the end, because there was a new coach in place, my body was clearly struggling, I didn’t know if I was going to get back from this second surgery, and I thought that was the end of my career.

Helen struggled with serious back injuries in 2013 and 2014

“That was definitely my lowest moment and I really struggled with my mental health, and for both of us, 2014 was a year that was pretty awful.”But we got through and it kept driving us. More learnings took place and helped without doubt to get us to Rio.”

Amron Sands is the heavyweight hope of the Bahamas hired by Deontay Wilder to replicate Tyson Fury

Amron Sands is climbing the rankings in the heavyweight division

Amron Sands is an 11-0 undefeated heavyweight prospect from the Bahamas who Deontay Wilder used as a sparring partner before facing Tyson Fury.

How did sparring go with Wilder?

Amron Sands: In the first round I was nervous to be in the ring with Wilder, a hard hitter. It was overwhelming to be in there with the WBC champion of the world. For me, it was a learning experience.

They wanted me to move. I can move, I am a mover, which is why they brought me in. I have good head movement, good feints. They liked my work with him.

He caught me with his right hand. He is a strong person.

Wilder lost to Fury…

Amron Sands: Everybody knows Wilder has problems with guys who move. He is used to throwing his one punch and knocking guys out.null

But to face Fury, a 6ft 9in guy who can move? That is a problem for him.

Did you sense Wilder’s struggles with ‘guys who move’ in sparring?

Amron Sands: Yes. If they decide to do a trilogy fight and Wilder doesn’t change, Fury will win again. He struggles with movement and that’s what Fury does.

Deontay Wilder was floored twice by Tyson Fury

You have won all 11 fights in a three-year pro career. Describe your style…

Amron Sands: I put my combinations together. I don’t like the one-punch style. What happens if your one punch doesn’t get him? You miss your opportunity.

I am an offensive person. I have no problem going forward. I am a fighter that likes to put my foot on the gas – go, go, go.

My coach is stronger on the defensive side because he used to play professional football. He was in charge of the defensive line. He is better on defence and that was the weakest part of my game.

How did you discover boxing in the Bahamas?

Amron Sands: My mother is an American citizen and she sent me to college in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on a basketball scholarship. It went very well. I was supposed to go to Oklahoma State University on a scholarship but I tore my ACL and MCL.

It turned me away from basketball because my vertical jump wasn’t as high any more. I wasn’t as fast anymore.

Then I went home but had a motorcycle accident.

My basketball coach told me to try boxing. I said: ‘Me? Boxing?’.

I started training just for fitness but learned some stuff, enjoyed it, and liked the rush that it gave me.

I did my first amateur tournament and, by my second, was fighting without headgear in Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela against some top guys. I trained with Cuba’s Olympic team.

I gained a lot of experience in a short amount of time.

You must have known you were a tough guy…

Amron Sands: No! I wasn’t aware!

I didn’t choose boxing. Boxing chose me. I never pictured myself in a boxing ring, never in a million years.

But I tried it and was good. My first amateur fight was at 18. I would study then ask my coach how to do things.

I became light on my feet. I would always practise things over and over and over. That’s what got me ahead.

If you survived sparring with Wilder you must have a strong chin…

Amron Sands: In my fourth fight I fought a guy who was 40lbs heavier. He wasn’t accurate but he connected! I heard the 10-second bell and relaxed but he hit me.

I wobbled but didn’t drop. I smiled and said: ‘You almost got me!’

I’ve had my chin tested in the amateurs and pros. I have a really strong chin.

Dubois would have a problem with my movement because he is flat-footed

Amron Sands

Are you watching the British heavyweight scene?

Amron Sands: The British boys have all the belts, so of course.

I keep an eye on Daniel Dubois, Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua.

I know me and Dubois will fight one day in the future. I heard of him last year – he’s young and explosive.

But he would have a problem with my movement because he is flat-footed.

How Chelsea helped Liverpool become champions

Kepa Arrizabalaga of Chelsea dispossesses Bernardo Silva of Manchester City
Image:Kepa Arrizabalaga dispossesses Bernardo Silva

their first English title in 30 years potentially just 90 minutes away. But City dominated the ball early on and looked likely to make the Reds wait go on when Chelsea stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga nearly handed the visitors a goal, miscuing a pass out and having to stop Bernardo Silva from capitalising.

Kepa impressed moments later though, tipping Fernandinho’s header from a set-piece over the bar and Chelsea began to get a foothold, with Ross Barkley seeing one shot blocked and another cleared two yards out by Fernandinho before Andreas Christensen drew a smart stop from Ederson with a header from the resulting corner.

Those chances had come against the run of play and Chelsea took the lead on 36 minutes with a stunning counter-attack.null

After a cleared Man City free-kick, Mendy and Gundogan’s miscommunication allowed Pulisic to pick up the ball just inside his own half and charge forwards, where, after skipping past Mendy’s recovery challenge, the American expertly slotted in from the edge of the penalty area.

Both Chelsea and Liverpool supporters will have celebrated that one but just 10 minutes after the break De Bruyne hauled City back on level terms with a sensational free-kick, looping his shot into the top corner from 30 yards out.

Ederson
Image:Ederson was beaten by Christian Pulisic’s fine finish

Raheem Sterling then almost completed the turn around when he chipped over Kepa and onto the post from a fast City break before Mason Mount blew a great chance to put Chelsea back in front, skewing wide on 62 minutes.

Sterling again went close, bending a shot just beyond the far post after Antonio Rudiger had survived a VAR check on his painful – but legal – collision with De Bruyne from a clearance.

However, despite City being in full flow, Chelsea remained dangerous on the break and Kyle Walker pulled off an incredible sliding goalline clearance to deny Pulisic a second on 72 minutes when Chelsea and Liverpool supporters were just about to celebrate.

Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City closes down Ross Barkley of Chelsea
Image:Ilkay Gundogan closes down Ross Barkley

That Chelsea threat eventually proved too much when Fernandinho resorted to pushing away a Tammy Abraham shot with his arm on the City goalline, after Ederson had twice denied the England man. After a VAR check, the City defender was shown a red card and Willian blasted emphatically into the top corner.

It was a big moment for the Brazilian, who could leave the Blues this summer, and helped Chelsea boost their Champions League qualifying hopes. But it was a far bigger moment for Liverpool supporters who celebrated outside Anfield.

Liverpool crowned 2019-20 Premier League champions

Jurgen Klopp’s side end three-decade wait for league title after Man City defeat; Reds move one behind Manchester United’s record haul

League title is finally over

Liverpool have finally ended their 30-year wait for a 19th top-flight title after Manchester City’s 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Thursday night.

Jurgen Klopp’s side, who thrashed Crystal Palace 4-0 on Wednesday, have sealed their first Premier League crown with seven games still to play after City dropped points in a dramatic encounter at Stamford Bridge

Liverpool FC (Premier League Champions )@LFC

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WE’RE PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!!

View image on Twitter
Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp and Virgil van Dijk react after victory over Crystal Palace put them on the brink of glory

After hearing the full-time whistle at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool’s players celebrated together as they claimed the club’s first-ever Premier League title

Liverpool have enjoyed a stunning season that has seen them beaten just once in the league so far – a shock 3-0 loss at struggling Watford in February – to open up an unassailable 23-point lead over Pep Guardiola’s side in second.

Their unstoppable march towards the league title was temporarily halted by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic back in March, with the Reds just two wins from glory.

Liverpool player stats – Premier League 2019/20

Most goals Mo Salah 17. Most apps Trent Alexander-Arnold 31 Most assists Trent Alexander-Arnold 12 Most shots Mo Salah 103. Most passesVirgil van Dijk 2,702. Most tackles Jordan Henderson 50

And though Merseyside rivals Everton held them to a goalless draw following the resumption of the Premier League this month, they did not have much longer to wait to rubberstamp their 2019/20 triumph.

Liverpool, who have followed up last season’s Champions League title with Premier League silverware, now stand just one behind Manchester United’s record-breaking haul of 20 top-flight titles.

Klopp’s side still have plenty to play for between now and the end of the campaign as they go in search of a whole host of records to break, including the most ever wins and points in a Premier League season, as well as the record number of points in an English league campaign.

Jordan Henderson has captained Liverpool to the title

David Luiz signs new Arsenal contract, Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares join permanently

Luiz signs one-year contract extension; Mari and Cedric make loan moves permanent; Dani Ceballos extends loan from Real Madrid until end of season

David Luiz has signed a one-year contract extension

David Luiz has signed a new one-year contract at Arsenal, while Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares have made their loan moves permanent from Flamengo and Southampton respectively.

Dani Ceballos has also extended his loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season.

Luiz was due to be out of contract at the end of June and Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta had urged the club to extend his deal.

The Brazilian will remain at the Emirates Stadium for at least another year, with Mari formally completing his move from Flamengo on a “long-term deal” when the transfer window reopens and Soares also making his loan switch from Southampton permanent.

Arsenal technical director Edu said: “I am really happy that we will have these players in our squad for the future. They have been part of the long-term technical plan Mikel and I have developed. They bring the right balance to our squad.

“David is a really important player for us. He has played most of our matches this season and has been important for the team. His passing, his communication with the team on and off the pitch. He helps everyone.

Cedric Soares also makes a permanent switch to Arsenal

“Cedric is also going to be an important player. He has been unlucky with the injuries but he is close to being ready and gives us more strength in the right-back position.

“We’re also pleased Dani will finish the season here. He is making a good contribution and we look forward to him having a strong finish to the season.”

Arsenal sit 10th in the Premier League table after back-to-back defeats following the season’s resumption. They face Southampton on Thursday,

LETS SEE WHAT THE NEW MAN CAN DO FOR THE GUNNERS.

What is SARS and MERS?

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus called SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). SARS was first reported in Asia in February 2003. The illness spread to more than two dozen countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia before the SARS global outbreak of 2003 was contained (4). Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS‐CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012 (5). MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV have been known to frequently cause severe symptoms. MERS symptoms usually include fever, cough, and shortness of breath which often progress to pneumonia. About 3 or 4 out of every 10 patients reported with MERS have died. MERS cases continue to occur, primarily in the Arabian Peninsula. SARS symptoms often included fever, chills, and body aches which usually progressed to pneumonia. No human cases of SARS have been reported anywhere in the world since 2004 (6).

(SARS) Severe acute respiratory syndrome
(MERS) Middle East respiratory syndrome
  • Coronavirus – Background and Symptoms
  • Signs and Symptoms of Coronaviruses – General Overview
  • Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives. These illnesses usually only last for a short amount of time. Symptoms may include:
    • Runny nose
    • Headache 
    • Cough
    • Sore throat 
    • Fever
    • General feeling of being unwell
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • New loss of taste or smell
  • Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older
  • Signs and Symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
  • Source: WHO
  • Based on what was seen with other coronaviruses, it is believed that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure
  • Emergency Warning Signs:
  • According to the CDC, seek medical attention immediately if you have any of these emergency warning signs8  *:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face
  • * This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Keep yourself updated about your surrounding..

Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko’s Olympic ally Oleksandr Gvozdyk retired, so what does their future hold?

what does their future hold?

Ukrainian Olympians have battled side-by-side for a decade but are ‘definitely different personalities’

There have always been signs that Oleksandr Gvozdyk might make a shock decision, in stark contrast to Oleksandr Usyk, according to the promoter who knows both Ukrainians best.

Ukraine’s stunning Olympic 2012 team included Vasiliy Lomachenko, Usyk and Gvozdyk – all three became professional world champions but the latter has called time on his career surprisingly early.

Does that raise new questions about Usyk and Lomachenko, who are the same age and similarly long in the tooth?

Gvozdyk won his first 17 fights in a five-year span

Usyk and Lomachenko emerged from London 2012 with Olympic gold medals, the standout performers of a Ukrainian team coached by ‘Papachenko’, the inspirational father of Lomachenko who remains in his son’s corner today.https://773c98aec6da931069406781e5ac78dc.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

But there were five medallists at that Games – Denys Berinchyk won silver, Gvozdyk and Taras Shelestyuk took bronze. It was then Lomachenko who burst into the pro game at a million miles per hour, becoming the fastest-ever three-weight world champion, inside 12 fights.null

Usyk, just as formidably, became undisputed cruiserweight champion and inaugural World Boxing Super Series winner and is now the WBO mandatory challenger to Anthony Joshua.

But under the radar, Gvozdyk forged a brutal career and became an undefeated light-heavyweight world champion before retiring aged 33 – after his first defeat – earlier this month.

His knockout defeat against Artur Beterbiev in their unification clash was just the second loss in 81 combined fights for Ukraine’s five Olympic medallists from 2012 (Lomachenko lost his second pro bout).

Usyk, Lomachenko and Gvozdyk lost just 46 out of a combined 956 amateur bouts.

They have been a wonderfully successful group that are now splintered by Gvozdyk’s retirement.

“Gvozdyk and Usyk are definitely different personalities,” promoter Alexander Krassyuk told Sky Sports.

“Both are great gentlemen and prominent athletes.

“All people know Gvozdyk as an extremely intelligent man with high-profile analytical skills.

“I had a chance to negotiate the promotional deal with both. Usyk used to make decisions collecting opinions from the advisors around him. Gvozdyk made an impression of a man who takes the final decision himself.

“His manager Egis Klimas told me that Gvozdyk took the decision to switch to commercial activities (private business). I never heard more details.

“Usyk has no plans for retirement at this stage. As long as he stays victorious he will look for higher results.

“Everyone has to finish his career sooner or later. But Usyk wants to make history becoming the only man to be undisputed in two weight divisions

Tyson Fury was first knocked down by Neven Pajkic – this is the untold story

A forgotten chapter of Fury’s career began quietly in Canada with Emanuel Steward in his corner for the only time, and ended back home amid interrogations about his chin

“I know I introduced him to the canvas,” grins the first man to knock Tyson Fury down, the man who started a chorus of questions about whether the future world heavyweight champion could take a smack.

It was a fight that the young and cocksure Fury chose for himself, an opponent that he chased to Canada and back over a barbaric year, a grudge match he did ultimately win but also one which raised troubling concerns.

The big lesson for the first man to knock Tyson Fury down? “He has a will to come back up”. He is no stranger to a mid-fight crisis, Fury, despite his 31 undefeated fights but at the time, with the giant heavyweight on the seat of his pants in his hometown, eyes were rolled.

The big lesson for the first man to knock Tyson Fury down? “He has a will to come back up”. He is no stranger to a mid-fight crisis, Fury, despite his 31 undefeated fights but at the time, with the giant heavyweight on the seat of his pants in his hometown, eyes were rolled.

Pajkic was the first man to knock down Fury
Pajkic landed an overhand right in the second round that hurt Fury

Neven Pajkic was the challenger to Fury’s Commonwealth title in 2011 but, more interestingly, he was an early indicator of the engaging and attractive rivalries that the British heavyweight could drum up.null

“He has an ugly face,” Pajkic said at the press conference.

Fury replied: “I like his hair-cut but when will he get it finished?”

Notably the 22-year-old Fury said: “If Pajkic gives me a hard fight I will retire because if I can’t handle him, I’ll never unify the division.”

In the second round of their fight in Manchester, Fury was floored for the first time as a professional. Pajkic knocked him down with an overhand right and Fury’s hometown crowd gasped. The hellacious round ended with Fury absorbing another massive punch and desperately clinging on.

“I only cracked him with 30 percent,” Pajkic exclusively tells Sky Sports nine years later. “I didn’t expect him to go down. I practised the right hand, left hook. To my surprise, he fell after the first punch.

“I hoped he would be groggy with the right hand then I would finish him off with the left hook. The right hand was supposed to be a set-up. I wish he hadn’t gone down because the left hook was coming and would have put him out.”

Pajkic won just five of his 18 fights by knockout but had seen Fury caught with a hurtful punch in his previous fight, just two months prior.

“Fury fought a guy I had beaten, Nicolai Firtha. A tough guy,” Pajkic said. “That fight told me everything I needed to know. Guys who study their opponents? I get it. But it’s a dog-fight, that’s it. I did what I always did – head down, move forwards, swing.”

Pajkic knew Fury had been hurt before.

“With the same punch that I dropped him with. I knew that. And I practised that punch.”

Tellingly Fury weathered the storm and charged right back into the danger zone – in the very next round he floored Pajkic twice and brought up a 17th undefeated fight.

“I gave myself a scare,” he admitted afterwards.

Fury eventually beat Pajkic in three rounds
Fury defended the Commonwealth title against Pajkic

“He overcame adversity on that night and showed his championship mentality,” Pajkic told Sky Sports.

The same spirit would allow Fury to defy logic by climbing off the canvas against Deontay Wilder in the 12th round of their first WBC title fight eight years later.

Two years after Pajkic, Fury was on the canvas again so a worrying pattern was threatening to emerge. Steve Cunningham, a former cruiserweight and a far smaller man who had knocked out less than half of his opponents, did the damage in 2013.

“Any man can go down,” Pajkic said when asked if he exploited a future weakness in Fury.

Everton 0-0 Liverpool commentary, reaction and highlights

Everton vs Liverpool. Premier League.

7:00pm, Sunday 21st June 2020.

Goodison Park.

0

0

21:44

ANCELOTTI REACTION

“The performance was good; we did well defensively. We didn’t concede opportunities, we were focused. We had a big chance to win but against a strong team we showed good character and personality.”21:41

CAHILL: REDS PLAYED INTO EVERTON HANDS

“If Liverpool were at full strength it would have been different. Today they played into Ancelotti’s hands – everything was in front. Minamino, Mane were coming into the same position. Klopp fixed it in the second half but Coleman’s defending was fantastic.”

21:39

KLOPP ON ‘PHYSICALLY INTENSE’ DERBY 

Here’s the full interview with the Liverpool boss…

21:30

MORE FROM KLOPP

He was pretty satisfied with what he saw – but he’s wary of the threat Crystal Palace up next could pose…

“Of course we want to make more chances; we have to more clear in situations – pass the ball, shoot in the right moment, more crosses.  The second half we started to do that better but Everton defended really well; they tried to take care of Sadio and Trent and we were not smart enough to use the space for somebody else. That’s normal when you begin to play again but a lot of things very good. Physically I liked it.

“You saw the derbies we had here before – they were never really better, I have to say! Each team is fighting like crazy so in the end there is not a lot of football. There is space for improvement for us here at Goodison; I like football when it’s slightly different but that’s how it is; we had a proper fight, it was intense and we were ready for that. 

“Now I know we are ready because you don’t know 100 per cent if we did enough (during the break), but we can involve fresh legs on Wednesday. So far, so good but I saw Crystal Palace yesterday and they looked like a well-oiled machine. It will be tough.”

21:28

CARRA: LIVERPOOL NEED TO STRENGTHEN 

“The front three are as good as anyone in Europe but whenever one of them is out, there is a massive drop off. When Liverpool dropped points at Manchester United, Salah wasn’t playing. That’s why Liverpool need to strengthen the front three. Divock Origi is a legend for Liverpool as he’s scored big goals at big moments but doesn’t have quite the quality. Is Minamino part of the front three? Not for me. The front three are very robust and don’t miss many games but if Liverpool were to lose one of them, especially the two wide players, for a lengthy amount of time they could have a real problem next season.”

21:22

“We had a few chances but it wasn’t our day.”

21:18

KLOPP’S REACTION

“It was a real fight. Both teams showed that they understand it’s a derby – even without a crowd. It was intense, physical, all-in. 

“The players were really in the game, so that’s good. I really liked our defending.; the high press, midfield press, counter-press good. We won a lot of balls. 

“We didn’t have a lot of chances; most of the time we were dominant but they had the biggest chance – that’s how it is. It came out of the blue. We were lucky in that moment but apart from that, we were in control.”

21:11

FREE MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: EVERTON 0-0 LIVERPOOL

MAN OF THE MATCH

Man of the Match, @Everton‘s Seamus Coleman
52 touches
8 x possession won*
4 tackles*
3 clearances
2 interceptions
18 duels
(* = most in match)

US Open wheelchair compeitions : Organisers in talks following criticism

“The USTA expects to gather player feedback on their perspective and work with with the ITF to finalise an approach to the 2020 US Open wheelchair competition”

Gordon Reid was one of the players who shared his disappointment at the inital decision to omit the wheelchair tournament from the 2020 competition

The US Open organisers have promised to look at ways the wheelchair competitions can take place this year, following criticism about how their initial removal from the schedules was handled.

The United States Tennis Association announced on Wednesday that a streamlined version of the US Open would take place behind closed doors from August 31 to September 13, with all wheelchair events omitted from the schedule.

Paralympic champion Gordon Reid, a four-time winner in the men’s doubles at Flushing Meadows and two-time singles semi-finalist, said he was given no forewarning that this would be the case and found out about the news on Twitter.‘US Open discriminating against wheelchair tennis’Australian Paralympic tennis champion Dylan Alcott says the omission of the wheelchair tournament from this year’s US Open is “disgusting discrimination”.

The International Paralympic Committee was also critical of the decision, with president Andrew Parsons saying the USTA should not be using the coronavirus pandemic as “an excuse to discriminate against a group of players”.null

A USTA statement said: “[On Friday] the USTA, in conjunction with ITF wheelchair tennis leadership, conducted a very productive call with the wheelchair athletes who traditionally compete in the US Open wheelchair competition.null

“The USTA acknowledged that the association should have communicated directly and worked in a collaborative manner with the wheelchair athletes when developing the plan for the 2020 US Open, as it had done with both the ATP and WTA.

“The USTA also committed to working with the players and the ITF to explore a number of potential scenarios for the wheelchair competition to determine the best approach moving forward for the athletes and the competition.

“The USTA expects to gather player feedback on their perspective and work with with the ITF to finalise an approach to the 2020 US Open wheelchair competition.”

The new statement from the USTA was received positively by Reid, who said on Friday night: “Positive discussions with @usopen today. They’re looking to make it right with the help of the players.”

Dylan Alcott, who won the 2015 and 2018 wheelchair singles titles at Flushing Meadows and who is the reigning doubles champion, had said that the omission of the wheelchair tournament from the US Open was “disgusting discrimination”.

He also took to social media to welcome the organisers’ move and thanked people for their support.

“Positive start,” Alcott wrote on Twitter.

Tyson Fury contacted by WBC regarding ‘status and plans’ with Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte fights in pipeline

The WBC is in the process of contacting every champion”

Tyson Fury will be contacted by the WBC to discuss his “status” as their heavyweight champion, leaving the door open to becoming ‘franchise’ title holder.

Fury will next meet Deontay Wilder in a third WBC title fight, but is mandated to defend his belt against Dillian Whyte before February 2021, and has also agreed financial terms to face IBF, WBA and WBO champion Anthony Joshua.

Top Rank boss Bob Arum, who is Fury’s US-based promoter, suggested the fighter could be upgraded to ‘franchise’ champion to skip his mandatory obligation to face Whyte and dive straight into an undisputed title clash with Joshua.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, when asked about Fury, told Sky Sports: “We are addressing every weight category separately. The WBC is in the process of contacting every champion to assess their current status and plans.

“The WBC will be looking into each category and will review each case and rule taking into consideration the variables that have to do with each case.

The WBC upgraded Vasiliy Lomachenko and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to ‘franchise’ champions meaning they are not obliged to fight mandatory contenders.

In the case of Lomachenko, he holds the WBA, WBC ‘franchise’ and WBO lightweight titles and will fight IBF champion Teofimo Lopez next. When he was given the ‘franchise’ status, Devin Haney was upgraded from interim champion to full title-holder and Luke Campbell was ordered to fight for the interim belt.

Fury believes Wilder is still the most dangerous fighter in the heavyweight division

Arum previously told Sky Sports that Fury should not be forced into facing Whyte by February 2021: “These organisations will be cognizant that the mandatories must be pushed into the future because fighters, for at least three months, had no ability to fight. Then after those three months, the fights will be without spectators.

“We will be talking to the organisations to eliminate mandatories, or to postpone them all for at least one year.

“I am sick and tired of being forced, with my marquee fighters, to fight meaningless fights against mandatories that mean nothing.”

Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn said: “We’d much rather that this was not for a ‘franchise’ belt, this was for a WBC world title, and we want Dillian Whyte to get his shot at the world title.

Report and highlights as Fernandes penalty makes up for David de Gea’s bad error against Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United. Premier League.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

1

  • S Bergwijn (27′)

1

  • B Fernandes (81′ pen)

Report and highlights as Fernandes penalty makes up for David de Gea’s bad error against Spurs

Paul Pogba stepped off the bench to help derail Jose Mourinho and Tottenham’s hopes of catching Manchester United in the race for the Champions League places, winning a penalty for Bruno Fernandes to cancel out Steven Bergwijn’s opener.

A woeful David de Gea error from Bergwijn’s first-half strike (27) looked like it would end United’s unbeaten streak on their Premier League return, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were hugely improved after the break with the introduction of fit-again Pogba, and Spurs could not withstand the onslaught as it ended 1-1.Sponsored link

After a series of United chances, the Frenchman skipped past Eric Dier and the Spurs defender clumsily brought down his opponent for Fernandes (81) to convert a deserved equaliser from the spot.

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes levels from the penalty spot at Tottenham
Image:Bruno Fernandes levels from the penalty spot at Tottenham

United were awarded a second spot-kick in the 90th minute by referee Jon Moss, but VAR spared Spurs after the collision between Dier and Fernandes was deemed to not be a foul.

A victory for Mourinho’s men – in his first match against his former side – would have closed the gap between Spurs and United to just one point, but the draw leaves the visitors two points ahead of Sheffield United in fifth and two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Meanwhile, Tottenham’s hopes of a spot in Europe’s elite club competition are fading into the distance, following four Premier League games without a win.null

Player ratings

Tottenham: Lloris (8), Aurier (7), Sanchez (6), Dier (6), Davies (6), Winks (6), Sissoko (6), Bergwijn (8), Lamela (7), Son (7), Kane (6).

Subs: Lo Celso (6), Fernandes (6)

Man Utd: De Gea (3), Wan-Bissaka (7), Lindelof (6), Maguire (4), Shaw (6), Fred (6), McTominay (6), Fernandes (8), James (6), Martial (6), Rashford (7).

Subs: Pogba (8), Greenwood (7), Ighalo, Bailly, Matic (n/a)

Man of the Match: Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd)

Kia kia gas CEO wish to have a dinner with his birthday mate Boris Johnson Prime minister of UK

Below is an interview with him and his response

Firstly we congratulate you on your birthday sir, and would like to ask some questions

  1. Please introduce yourself proper to us?
    I am Emmanuel Ifeanyi Uwandu.
  2. Which of the business sectors are you involved in?
    I am involved with the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. My company Kiakiagas is the first online supplier of cooking gas in Nigeria.
  3. Tell us more what June 19 means to you.
    Aside being my birthday, I am reminding it is the day slavery ended in America when Major General Gordon Granger landed at Gavelstone Texas back in 1865.
  4. With the first half of 2020 coming to an end and the crises going on globally what are your plans for the rest of the year?
    We have switched our operations to become a fully remote business where all members of our team is working remotely adjusting to covid19 rules to deliver value to the market.
  5. Lastly if you could only make one wish today, what will it be?
    My wish. That will be my long time dream of having a physical birthday dinner with a man I admire so much and my birthday mate Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK and discuss about the economic emancipation and freedom of oppressed people around the world. If you’ve seen the pictures and videos trending all over the world you will know it no longer news that black lives are not considered priorities and this brings worry to me.

EPL: NOW WHAT ! MAN CITY WINS BUT STILL IN TROUBLE

At the forthnight 3-0 win over Arsenal at the Etihad stadium

A win that was secured with Sterling, Kevin DeBruyne, and second-half substitute Phil Foden goal, giving them a 3 more point lead over arsenal

Sterling’s goal at etihad stadium
Debruyne goal
Folden

But now they have Eric Garcia on to tend out of injury after a collision with the goal keeper, The young defender started the game alongside Aymeric Laporte in the defensive line but was unable to finish the game due to injury as Pep Guardiola’s side finished the game with 10 men.

Man city are yet to tell how severe the injury might be, but we may not see former Barcelona defender for a while, although guardiola is positive and demands we wait for further test results…

Leave a comment to wish Garcia a quick recovery

Positive coronavirus test numbers in Florida soar as Disney prepares for NBA restart

Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James line up at the Fiserv Forum

The rate of positive coronavirus tests in the Orlando area has been soaring in recent days. The NBA hopes that does not matter.

After spending weeks putting together an incredibly elaborate series of health and safety protocols – the word testing appears 282 times in the document – the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) believe they have done what is necessary for the health and safety of the 22 teams and others that will be part of the season restart at the Disney campus near Orlando next month.

Ready or not, basketball is almost back.

NBPA executive director Michele Roberts addresses the media at a 2019 NBA Cares event
NBPA executive director Michele Roberts addresses the media at a 2019 NBA Cares event

“No one is suggesting that this is going to be an infection-free, guaranteed environment,” NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told The Associated Press. “I guess, unless we go to… well, where would we go? What state has the lowest rate? There is just no way of finding a sterile environment probably on this planet, but certainly, not in this country.”

Among the details that were included in the protocols released to teams: players will be invited to wear what the league calls a proximity alarm that will set off an audio alert when the person is within six feet of another person for more than five seconds and therefore not following social distancing guidelines, plus they can choose to wear a ring that will generate a wellness assessment derived from metrics such as body temperature and respiratory and heart rate.

Players and staff also will be given thermometers and a pulse oximeter so they can track their data and record it on the league’s daily health platform.null

Malone issuing instructions to his team
Mike Malone issues instructions to his Nuggets players

Serena Williams says she will play the US Open at Flushing Meadows

Serena Williams: “This announcement has been on my mind all day but ultimately I really cannot wait to return to New York and play the US Open 2020”

Serena Williams says she 'cannot wait' to play at the US Open

Serena Williams has given her backing to the US Open going ahead behind closed doors this year.

A number of prominent tennis players have criticised the decision to go ahead with the Grand Slam tournament at Flushing Meadows from August 31 to September 13

This is crazy, I’m excited

But speaking remotely at a United States Tennis Association news conference, Williams said: “This announcement has been on my mind all day but ultimately I really cannot wait to return to New York and play the US Open 2020.https://e95ba23d24762107989fbedfb5694869.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/

“I feel the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everything is amazing, perfect and everyone is safe. It’s going to be exciting, it’s been over six months since a lot of us have played professional tennis.null

“I’ll certainly miss the fans, don’t get me wrong, just being out there in the New York crowd and hearing everyone cheer, I’ll really miss that and getting me some tough matches. But this is crazy, I’m excited.”

Simona Halep does not plan to play at Flushing Meadows

World No 2 Simona Halep does not currently plan to play in New York with the health protocols put in place by the organisers for the Grand Slam.

“Given the conditions outlined in the U.S. Open announcement this morning, as of today I do not currently plan to play in NYC,” she said.

Halep, however, said she could reconsider her stand if the situation improved by the entry deadline in mid-July and has informed the USTA and the women’s WTA Tour of her decision.