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<  Echatio  ~  one clean sheet at the Etihad while going 3

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:30 am Reply with quote
Joined: 02 Sep 2017 Posts: 1724
Only those AFL players lucky enough to feature in a grand final are able to properly describe the pressure created by the sports most momentous stage.They see the city of Melbourne come to life with their clubs colours.They hear the noise generated by a crowd larger than the entire population of Ballarat.They know millions around the country will be watching; that they will be responsible for the delight or despair of fans around the world.They sense the expectation, long before the ball is bounced at the MCG or Mike Brady belts out the sports anthem.For those players attempting to break a premiership drought, it is all amplified. Sydney had their turn in 2005 and, on Saturday, it was the Western Bulldogs 62-year wait for a flag that boiled down to four quarters.You could tell. Pundits described it as the loudest grand-final crowd in recent memory. They roared when Easton Wood won the toss, when Zaine Cordy kicked the first goal of the game and every highlight that followed.There were a lot.The Bulldogs could hardly have handled the occasion better, producing a grand final to rival any of the classics.It was a feel-good moment for so many people, including injured skipper Bob Murphy who was called up to the premiership dais and handed a medallion by coach Luke Beveridge.This is yours mate. You deserve it more than anyone, Beveridge said.Beveridge and Swans counterpart John Longmire grinned and joked at Fridays pre-match media conference when asked about the prospect of extra time, introduced in the grand final this year for the first time.It didnt eventuate but looked on the cards midway through the final term. Extra time would have been a fitting finish to a thrilling contest that ebbed and flowed in near-unbelievable fashion.The Bulldogs, so resilient in an injury-riddled season and so undaunted in a history-making finals campaign, were relentless as they completed a fairytale run to the flag from seventh place on the ladder.Excitement machine Jason Johannisen, born in South Africa and more interested in rugby union for much of his childhood, was a popular choice for the Norm Smith medal.Tom Boyd dropped a chest mark in the opening minute but settled to produce the greatest game of his career, clutching six contested marks and kicking the sealer to silence those who slammed his million-dollar salary.At the other end of the ground, it was Joel Hamling, delisted by Geelong but handed a career lifeline by the Dogs, who did an incredibly good job on Lance Franklin.From the moment Franklin trotted to the goal square after the national anthem, Hamling refused to be intimidated.It was a trait that epitomised the Bulldogs approach, especially in the second quarter when the Swans booted four goals on the trot and threatened to seize control of the low-scoring clash.Murphy, who patrolled the sideline pre-match like a Davis Cup captain, cried at the siren. The tears didnt stop for some time.Murphy will spend the rest of his life wishing he did not rupture his anterior cruciate ligament early in the season.But the 34-year-old, like so many current and former teammates to have fallen in love with Whitten Oval, will celebrate like its 1954. Wholesale Shoes . Brett Kulak and Jackson Houck of the Vancouver Giants were each charged with assault causing bodily harm on Aug. 18, according to the B.C. court services. Cheap Shoes China . After a lengthy wait, persistent rain finally forced the postponement of the Nationals game against the Miami Marlins on Saturday night. The teams, and a few thousand fans, waited nearly four hours from the 7:05 scheduled start time before an announcement was made shortly before 11 p. http://www.shoeschinacheap.com/ . Louis Blues absence from top spot in the TSN. Cheap Nike Shoes China . It was the second consecutive win for the Pacers (2-5), who lost their first five preseason games. Jeff Teague led the Hawks (1-5) with 17 points and eight assists and Al Horford had 12 points and seven rebounds. Mike Scott scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half. For all the on-field success Antonio Conte has enjoyed in guiding Chelsea to the top of the Premier League table, even he wont be able to avoid the storm clouds gathering over Stamford Bridge and all of English football.With the club now one of the primary focuses of a sex abuse scandal that appears to be growing daily and roiling the country, the Blues crunch clash versus Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday has been pushed to the backburner as the sordid allegations mount and more former players come forward to level further charges.Earlier this week, The Daily Telegraph reported the London club made a secret payment within the last three years to a former youth player over allegations of sex abuse in the 1970s by the late Eddie Heath, the teams one-time chief scout. Though there was originally a confidentiality agreement between the two sides, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich did not deny a claim they paid Heaths accuser, but The Times of London picked up on the report and claimed in a story Thursday the board knew of the payment.If that were to be proven true, Chelsea could face sanctions from both the FA and the Premier League since both organisations rules state that clubs should notify them of any evidence of abuse towards a child or adult at risk.The club has not addressed the matter beyond a statement released on its website Tuesday saying in part, Chelsea Football Club has retained an external law firm to carry out an investigation concerning an individual employed by the club in the 1970s, who is now deceased.The club has also contacted The FA to ensure that all possible assistance is provided as part of their wider investigation. This will include providing The FA with any relevant information arising out of the clubs investigation.The wider investigation now includes 14 police municipalities across England, which originally began two weeks ago when former Crewe Alexandra defender Any Woodward recounted the repeated sexual abuse he endured by convicted pedophile Barry Bennell in an interview with The Guardian.Bennell, who also was a player on one of Chelseas youth sides that Heath oversaw, also had links to Premier League clubs Manchester City, Stoke City as well as Leeds United. He was originally convicted in the United States on an abuse charge in Florida in 1994 and served four years in prison. Upon his return to England, he was convicted of 23 offenses against six boys and sentenced to nine years in jail.Bennell was paroled this year after serving two years in prison for a 2015 arrest related to an offense that took place in 1980. On Monday, he was found unconscious in a park and was hit with eight new offenses against boys under the age of 14 that are alleged to have taken place between 1981 and 1985.Former Manchester City youth players Jason Dunford and Chris Unsworth have leveled allegations they were abused by Bennell, with Unsworth telling the BBCs Victoria Derbyshire programme he had been abused starting at the age of nine and raped between 50 and 100 times.Manchester City said they will be conducting an internal investigation into what links between Bennell and the club existed amid a report by the Times of London that the club is facing a potential seven-figure compensation claim by a former youth player alleging he suffered sexual abuse by a team scout.The outpouring of abuse allegations and claims by more than 20 ex-players has taken the country by storm following the creation of a help line by the NSPCC for footballers who had suffered sexual abuse. The organisation, which has the backing of the FA, claims it has received 860 calls in the first week of its operation and made 60 referrals to police or social services in the first three days.The FA, however, is also in line to face increased scrutiny after the Victoria Derbyshire programme reported earlier this week it pulled all funding from a review of its child protection policies in 2003, which was only two years into the five-year study it commissioned.With this somber backdrop, Chelsea (10-1-2) are trying to maintain their tenuous hold atop the table, with Manchester City (9-3-1) lurking one point behind in third place, also trailing Liverpool on goal difference.But it has been the Blues who have been the talk of the Premier League, winning seven on the bounce since being overrun 3-0 at Arsenal on Sept. 24 and enjoying their longest single-season winning streak since reeling off nine straight victories in 2006-07.Conte used the second half of that defeat to the Gunners as his testing grounds for the three-man backline that brought him success at Juventus and the Italian national team. With their 3-4-3 formation, Chelsea have outscored opponents by a staggering 19-1 margin during their run to first after rallying to beat Tottenham 2-1 in a London derby last weekend.Its a big test because Man City are a fantastic team, but (last) Saturday wwas a good test for us, Conte told Chelseas official club website.dddddddddddd Now we are a different team to two months ago I love the mentality of my players, I saw a great attitude and great commitment from all of them. I see the will to change something from the past, now its important to continue.That goal was allowed last week to Tottenham Hotspur, ending a 601-minute shutout streak, but no matter -- the Blues won as Pedro scored right before halftime and Victor Moses netted the match-winner shortly after the interval. For the Nigeria international, it appears he has finally settled at Stamford Bridge after predecessor Jose Mourinho loaned him out to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United after signing in 2012.Im pleased to be playing this season. The manager has given me an opportunity to express myself and Im relishing it at the moment, Moses said. I just want to keep playing football and enjoying myself whenever Im out there.Chelsea have received the bulk of their goals during this winning streak from Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Pedro -- the trio have accounted for 13 of the 19 goals. Pedro has notched four assists in this span and Costa, making the same type of incisive and smart runs that helped propel Chelsea to the 2014-15 EPL title, has contributed three assists.But it has been Pedro, who looked out of sorts last season after arriving from Barcelona, who was singled out for praise by teammate and captain Gary Cahill for his goal which pulled Chelsea level versus Spurs.He whipped it into the top corner and that is the sort of player we have got, ones to change games like that, said Cahill of Pedro, who has already exceeded his assist total of all of last season. We have been on the other side of that and it is not nice.Manchester City have not been nice to opponents of late, entering this match unbeaten in their last six matches overall (4-2-0). They finally appear to have got themselves righted in league play, having won back-to-back matches following a 2-1 victory at Burnley -- a win made possible by Sergio Agueros brace from close range on either side of halftime.From the beginning, he was ready, manager Pep Guardiola said of Aguero, who has a staggering 33 goals in his last 34 league matches and 37 overall for club and country in 2016. His body language was really good. Of course, he has the quality to score amazing goals but we need him in the box.The Argentina international has also delighted in tormenting Chelsea, recording nine goals against them in 11 lifetime matches. He posted a hat trick in the most recent meeting, powering City to a 3-0 romp at Stamford Bridge on April 16. Agueros next goal with City will be his 153rd, putting him level with Colin Bell for third on the clubs all-time list.With the exception of talisman and central defender Vincent Kompany, sidelined at least another month due to injury, Guardiola should be able to field a full-strength lineup considering their Champions League match at Celtic on Tuesday is meaningless since theyre already locked into second in Group C behind Barcelona.The surplus is most noticeable in the midfield, where Yaya Toure has made an immediate impact in his two league matches since returning to Guardiolas good graces. The former Ivory Coast international is vying for a spot on Citys Champions League roster come February, but he may be the odd man out if the gaffer restores Ilkay Gundogan to the centre of the midfield.One player Chelsea are wary of is winger Kevin De Bruyne, whose tireless work rate serves as the perfect foil to Aguero as the two wreak havoc on opposing backlines. De Bruyne has only three goals, but all three have been match-winners.He is a top player, Hazard said of his Belgian compatriot to Sky Sports. He didnt get his chance here at Chelsea, but he did very well in Germany and since he went to City hes been on fire. Sometimes you dont get the chance to play, or the system the manager uses isnt right for you, not now hes full of confidence.Manchester City have struggled to assert themselves at home in league play of late, recording three consecutive draws and recording just one clean sheet at the Etihad while going 3-3-0. Thats in stark contrast to their Champions League supremacy there, having beaten Barcelona and Borussia Monchengladbach by a combined 7-1 scoreline.Aguero also had a goal in last seasons corresponding fixture, another 3-0 City victory. The Citizens are 2-2-0 in their last four league matches against Chelsea, though the Blues rolled to a 5-1 victory last season in the League Cup. Not much could be taken from that match, though, since previous manager Manuel Pellegrini opted to field a weakened lineup and sacrifice his teams trophy hunt since they were chasing silverware on three other fronts. ' ' '
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