How Arsenal chiefs responded to BATE Borisov defeat as pressure grows on Unai Emery

first_imgHow Arsenal chiefs responded to BATE Borisov defeat as pressure grows on Unai Emery Unai Emery’s side slipped to an embarrassing defeat against BATE Borisov on Thursday (Picture: EPA)Arsenal’s hierarchy were unable to hide their shock in the wake of perhaps the most embarrassing defeat in the club’s European history.Having beaten the Belarusian minnows 10-2 over two games during the Europa League group stages last season, Arsenal were expected to make short work of the same opposition on Thursday, despite the difficult playing conditions and injuries to several key players.Instead, Stanislav Dragun’s first half header secured an unlikely first leg win for a side which cost just £200,000 to assemble and one which hadn’t played a competitive fixture in nearly two months. According to the watching trio of Rahul Sanllehi, Vinai Venkatesham and Huss Fahmy struggled to comprehend what they had witnessed as the final whistle blew with the recently appointed managing director sat slumped in his chair.AdvertisementAdvertisementMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityEmery signed a three-year contract in the summer but one which included a break clause at the two-year mark and with results having taken a significant downturn since Christmas, his position is already under scrutiny.Champions League qualification remains the Spaniard’s primary objective and although Arsenal are currently only one point adrift of fourth placed Manchester United and expected to comfortably overturn the deficit against BATE, performances on the pitch are starting to concern fans. Comment Arsenal were beaten by a team that was assembled for around £200,000 (Picture: Getty) Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 16 Feb 2019 12:28 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link310Sharescenter_img Alexandre Lacazette will miss the second leg through suspension (Picture: Getty)Speaking after the defeat in Borisov, Emery said: ‘I trust in our players and I trust in our stadium and supporters. There are two matches. Tonight’s match is important but we can’t [be knocked out in it], we are going to play a second match next week.‘I trust in our work to prepare for the next match and to have a different result at Emirates Stadium.‘I respect [BATE] and I know about them because we watched matches they played. An organised team, defensively a good team and good at transitions. We worked to stop them in these actions but they scored one goal and in the transitions we worked well to stop another situation defensively for us.’More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors  Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Rodgers: Win puts 6-1 defeat to bed

first_img Coutinho found the net with a brilliant long-range strike in the 86th minute as the Merseysiders snatched a 1-0 win on the Barclays Premier League’s opening weekend. It was a moment of quality barely in keeping with the rest of the game, and earned Liverpool three points they hardly deserved, but for Rodgers the manner of victory mattered little. Stoke boss Mark Hughes felt his side had been worthy of at least a point. Hughes said: “We are not disappointed with the performance, I thought we were very much in the game. I thought we were the better team in the first half, had good chances and should have had a penalty when (Ibrahim) Afellay had a goalbound shot and Clyne basically saved it with both his hands. “There are a lot of positives for a first outing. With 10-15 minutes to go, I thought both teams were happy to let the game peter out but the lad produced a moment of brilliance.” Hughes was surprised by a decision only to book Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren after an apparent elbow on Mame Biram Diouf. He said: “I don’t know, I haven’t seen it again, but if the referee felt it was worthy of a yellow card for an elbow he was fortunate not to get a red under those circumstances.” Rodgers defended his player, who otherwise had a solid game, saying: “As the ball is in flight, Dejan is looking like he is trying to get his ground. Arms are coming up and unfortunately he has hit him in the face. It was certainly not intentional. He is not that type of player.” Hughes also confirmed Stoke were back in the chase for Xherdan Shaqiri after the Inter Milan midfielder was pictured at the ground. Stoke were linked with the Swiss international earlier in the summer but a deal collapsed and Everton were more recently reported to be interested. Hughes said: “We are hopeful we can do something but until we see players standing in front of the training ground with a shirt in their arms then you never know.” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers felt his side had exorcised the horrors of last season’s Stoke drubbing after Philippe Coutinho’s stunning campaign-opening winner at the Britannia Stadium. His side were hammered 6-1 at the same venue just 77 days previously, a result that brought a disappointing season to a humiliating end and prompted a summer of soul-searching at Anfield. Rodgers said: “To get a win and perform from where we were 11 weeks ago – I thought it was an outstanding collective performance. It certainly feels better than 11 weeks ago. “You can never guarantee you are going to win or lose a game but for me it was about ensuring the personality came out in the team. “Eleven weeks ago we were nowhere near that – it was embarrassing on the day. It was a one-off game, a unique game, but it still happened. I think that puts it to bed. “Today you have seen a team with the determination, will, and quality. I am happy to get the points but we have still got work to do.” Coutinho’s moment of brilliance actually came as Rodgers was considering substituting the Brazilian. He said: “I’m glad I kept him on but I can’t profess to be any sort of genius. It was fortunate he got the goal and he stayed on. “It was a great turn and he got away from the midfield player and then a wonderful strike. It was a great strike to win the game.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Dodgers add 3 veteran relievers who could make a meaningful impact

first_img Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers’ bullpen got a bit more crowded Monday.Right-handers John Axford and Yimi Garcia and left-hander Tony Cingrani were activated prior to the Dodgers’ series opener against the Colorado Rockies. All three pitchers returned after brief stints with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.Garcia should be the most major-league ready of the three. He pitched twice for the Dodgers in August after returning from a bout with forearm inflammation, rested for 11 days, then made three scoreless relief appearances for Rancho Cucamonga. In 22 major league games this season, Garcia has a 5.57 earned-run average.Axford and Cingrani could be ticketed for important roles soon. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “I would say there’s some wiggle room,” Roberts said. “Recency, I think deservedly so, should kind of have a little bit more weight than (performance) months prior. But guys … are going to get opportunities if it makes sense. It’s about right now, we’ve got to get results. To see what guys have done recently, that’s at the forefront of my mind.”The Dodgers’ active roster is almost at capacity. Right-handed relievers J.T. Chargois and Daniel Hudson were lost to injuries one day apart in August and haven’t pitched at any level since.Hudson was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Cingrani, officially ending his season. He appeared in 40 games, going 3-2 with a 4.11 ERA, before going to the disabled list with tightness in his forearm. Chargois, who has an irritated nerve in his neck, is the only inactive player on the 40-man roster.PUIG HONOREDYasiel Puig was named the National League Player of the Week. He batted .429 (9 for 21) in seven games against the Reds and Cardinals last week, including a three-homer game Saturday in St. Louis.Puig won the award in June 2013, after the first seven games of his career, but had not won the award since. He ended the week with 21 home runs, 58 RBIs, 15 stolen bases and a .270 batting average for the season.MINOR MATTERSRight-handed pitcher Tony Gonsolin and infielder Gavin Lux were named the Branch Rickey minor league pitcher and player of the year, respectively. The Dodgers issue the award to their top minor league performers every season.Gonsolin, 24, began the season with Rancho Cucamonga and was named a Cal League All-Star before earning a promotion to Double-A Tulsa on July 14. Combined, he went 10-2 with a 2.60 ERA in 26 starts.Lux also began the season in Rancho Cucamonga and ended in Tulsa. The 2016 first-round draft pick batted .324 across the two levels while seeing time at shortstop and second base.Lux was chosen to the first team, and outfielder Alex Verdugo the second team, on Baseball America’s minor league All-Star team Monday.UP NEXTDodgers (LHP Clayton Kershaw, 8-5, 2.51 ERA) vs. Rockies (LHP Kyle Freeland, 15-7, 2.96), Tuesday, 7 p.m. SportsNet LA (where available), MLB Network (out of market only)Related Articles Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Axford appeared in only three games after the Dodgers acquired him in a deadline deal with the Toronto Blue Jays before he broke his right fibula Aug. 12 in Colorado. He described the freak injury as the end result of a chain reaction: a comebacker hit halfway up his thigh, causing the fibula to fracture at its upper tip when it chafed against an adjoining bone in his knee.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.The Dodgers hoped that Axford, a 10-year veteran and former closer, could alleviate pressure on the bullpen in late-inning and high-leverage situations. He allowed six runs in his first game after the trade but hasn’t allowed a run since, including his only inning for Rancho Cucamonga on Friday.Cingrani was on a run of nine consecutive scoreless outings when he was sidelined by shoulder inflammation in June. He also pitched a scoreless inning Friday in the Cal League championship game, his only rehab appearance.Along with left-hander Julio Urías, who made his 2018 debut Saturday in St. Louis, the Dodgers suddenly gained four relief pitchers in three days. None of the four is an ordinary September call-up. All have postseason experience and are joining the Dodgers at a time when Dave Roberts is managing regular-season games with the urgency of the playoffs.There’s enough time left in the season, and enough uncertainty in the bullpen, that Roberts hasn’t etched his bridge to Kenley Jansen in stone. He allowed for the possibility that the new relievers could pitch their way into important set-up roles. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start last_img read more