Christian Benteke strikes as Liverpool defeat high-flying Leicester

first_img Claudio Ranieri’s side, who failed to score for the first time this season, have profited from a killer counter-attacking game but were nullified until the final quarter, by which time the hosts had already edged ahead. The 63rd-minute goal came from two players who were far from their best – Benteke started on the bench and benefited from a first-half injury to Divock Origi while Roberto Firmino looked lost for long periods before providing the chance for Benteke. It should have been the signal for Liverpool to press home their advantage but Anfield regressed to its anxious, nervous disposition as they dropped deeper and lost composure, even when Ranieri replaced leading scorer Jamie Vardy after a quiet afternoon by his standards. Substitute Nathan Dyer’s deflection was clawed away by Mignolet as the Reds continued to invite pressure on themselves, although Coutinho’s effort from distance which skimmed the top of the net or Firmino’s angled shot past the far post would have ended that. The game ended in farcical scenes as Schmeichel came up for a throw-in and Liverpool countered with Can releasing Benteke – in an offside position because of the absent goalkeeper but allowed to continue by a confused linesman – but the striker opted to pass to Alberto Moreno, who was also offside and missed the target anyway. TWEET OF THE MATCH @GaryLineker ” Huge shock on the cards at Anfield as Benteke gives Liverpool the lead against Leicester.” Leicester’s unbeaten run finally came to an end. PLAYER RATINGS LIVERPOOL Simon Mignolet: 6 Nathaniel Clyne: 6 Dejan Lovren: 6 Mamadou Sakho: 5 Alberto Moreno: 5 Emre Can: 5 Jordan Henderson: 7 Adam Lallana: 6 Roberto Firmino: 5 Philippe Coutinho: 6 Divock Origi: 7 Substitutes Christian Benteke 6 Lucas Leiva: 5 Joe Allen: 5 LEICESTER Kasper Schmeichel: 6 Danny Simpson: 6 Wes Morgan: 6 Robert Huth: 6 Christian Fuchs: 6 Riyad Mahrez: 5 Andy King: 5 N’Golo Kante: 7 Marc Albrighton: 6 Shinji Okazaki: 4 Jamie Vardy: 5 Substitutes: Andrej Kramaric: 5 Leonardo Ulloa: 5 Nathan Dyer: 5 STAR MAN Jordan Henderson – Liverpool’s captain was his usual bundle of energy and provided the driving force from a deeper midfield position than usual. MOMENT OF THE MATCH Benteke’s first-time sidefoot shot from 12 yards to break the deadlock having endured a difficult time after coming off the bench in the first half. VIEW FROM THE BENCH Jurgen Klopp was less animated than usual and looked to have made the right call in selecting Divock Origi ahead of Benteke until injury curtailed that plan. Claudio Ranieri, possibly mindful of the impending visit of Manchester City, substituted both in-form players Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez while they were still looking for an equaliser. MOAN OF THE MATCH Linesman Stuart Burt got caught up in the added-time panic created by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel’s decision to go upfield in search of an equaliser and failed to flag for offside when Christian Benteke countered despite there being only one Leicester player in their half. WHO’S UP NEXT? Sunderland v Liverpool (Barclays Premier League, Wednesday December 30) Leicester v Manchester City (Barclays Premier League, Tuesday December 29) Press Association That will not have mattered to Jurgen Klopp after four matches without victory. Whether defeat, their first away from home since March, is the bursting of the Foxes’ bubble remains to be seen but with Manchester City up next at home this, as expected, will be the most testing period of their campaign. In an attempt to give his side a better chance of making – and taking – chances, Klopp left out defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva and paired Jordan Henderson and Emre Can in the centre with the attacking trio of Philippe Coutinho, Firmino and Adam Lallana supporting Origi. Liverpool’s lone striker justified his inclusion for 38 minutes, his movement and willingness to battle for the ball giving Wes Morgan and Robert Huth problems, before he was forced off with a hamstring problem. He drew Kasper Schmeichel into one save down at his near post, having done well to muscle Leicester captain Morgan off the ball. Coutinho was less threatening with three shots in the opening 15 minutes failing to trouble the goalkeeper, and Lallana wasted his one chance by drilling into the side-netting while Can at least made Schmeichel touch his low effort around the post. Liverpool’s dominance of possession saw much of the game played in Leicester’s final third as the Premier League leaders’ tried and trusted counter-attacking tactic limited them to fewer chances than usual, with their best chance coming when the in-form Riyad Mahrez’s dribble and fierce shot forced Simon Mignolet to tip over late in the half. That chance came when Benteke lost possession to the much less physically imposing N’Golo Kante and the dynamic certainly appeared to change when Origi’s replacement came off the bench. Benteke looked short of confidence, heading one inviting Henderson cross over on the hour, but reacted instinctively to sidefoot home Firmino’s cross after the Brazil international had worked himself some space on the left of Leicester’s penalty area having been fed by Can. Liverpool striker Christian Benteke’s first goal since the end of October inflicted Leicester’s first defeat in three months to open up a crack in their armour. last_img read more

Nihad Bašić has achieved a great result at the European Speed-skating Championship

first_imgBiH speed skater in short track category Nihad Bašić is in the 15th place of the European Championship which was held in Malmö, Sweden, which is a great result.What is also interesting is that Bašić apparently won a second invitation to Bosnia and Herzegovina for the next championship, which never happened before.Nihad Bašić, and many other BiH athletes, shows that BiH has all the preconditions to be very successful in the sports world.last_img

Hilton and Baker hold their nerve to win U16 titles

first_img England regional squad players Charlie Hilton and Jess Baker came through nerve-tingling finishes to scoop the honours in the Midland U16 boys’ and girls’ championships at Hawkstone Park, Shropshire. For both players (pictured) it was their first big win – and both demonstrated how well they can cope with pressure. Hilton, from Ifield, Sussex, played the final three holes in one-under to force a play-off against Yorkshire’s Tom Osborne (Lindrick). He won the boys’ title on the first extra hole. Baker, from Gosforth Park Ladies, Northumberland, was one-under for the last nine holes, overtaking the long-time girls’ leader, Mia Eales-Smith (Lindrick), and winning by a single stroke.  Hilton, an England U16 international, was leading by two shots after 36 holes but after three holes of the final round he was three over and he dropped another shot on the seventh. “I just told myself to stay positive and keep going and I held it together well,” said the 16-year-old. He kick-started his round when he holed a confidence-boosting 9ft putt for birdie four on the 8th but, with three holes left, he knew he trailed Osborne by one. The 16th, a short par four, offered Hilton a chance to catch up – and he took it, playing his pitch to about 3ft and holing the birdie putt to draw level. Two pars at 17 and 18 gave him a 54-hole total of level par and took him into the play-off which he won with a par on the first hole. “It was good, I was really happy,” said Hilton, who now faces “revision, revision, revision” before taking his GCSE exams. Baker, meanwhile, trailed the girls’ leader by three with nine holes left to play. But the 14-year-old began her charge with birdies on 10 and 11, followed by a string of pars which took her into the lead and even allowed her the luxury of a last-hole bogey. Baker drew on the experience of last year’s English U14 girls’ championship when she was in contention, only to fall away and finish in a tie for seventh place. “I crumbled a bit under the pressure, but I’ve learned from that and I just went for pars. I didn’t try to do anything extraordinary, I just ground out a round,” she said. Both players have also been helped by their England Golf regional U16 squad training which helps the players deal with pressure situations. Hilton trains with the South East squad while Baker is in the North squad. Third place in the boys’ championship went to Dominic Clemons (Gog Magog, Cambridgeshire). Four players tied fourth: Ben Schmidt (Rotherham, Yorkshire), Remy Miller (Prestbury, Cheshire), Charlie Daughtrey (Rotherham, Yorkshire) and Tom Gregory (Stoke Park, BB&O). In the girls’ championship Mia Eales-Smith (Lindrick, Yorkshire) was runner-up; Harriet Barker (Carus Green, Cumbria) was third and Katie Sibley (Carlisle, Cumbria) was fourth. The team prize was won by Thames Valley regional squad represented by: Dominic Clemons, Conor Gough (Stoke Park, BB&O) Tom Gregory and Ben Pierleoni (Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire). The runners-up were Yorkshire, followed by the South East. Click here for the full results 21 Apr 2017 Hilton and Baker hold their nerve to win U16 titles last_img read more

Southee’s swing: Tim Southee on par with Sachin Tendulkar’s number of sixes in test…

first_imgAdvertisement With a red cherry, swinging the ball in the air is the attribute that one would correlate Tim Southee with rather than a clean swing of a bat to dispatch the ball into the stands. But as per the stats, Southee is also pretty good at the latter skill.Advertisement Coming into bat at No.8 during the second innings of the first Test in Galle, Southee achieved a rare feat with the bat by equalling the tally of the number of sixes hit by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar in the longest format.Advertisement During the pacer’s short-lived innings of 14 off 19 deliveries, he hit a solitary six which was enough to get his tally to 69. He just needs one more to be level with Pakistan’s Younis Khan.Sachin Tendulkar reached 69 sixes in 329 innings while it only took 89 innings for the right-arm seamer. The current record for the maximum sixes in the longest format is held by Southee’s former teammate and captain Brendon McCullum, who has hit a staggering 107 sixes over the course of his career.Advertisement Read Also:Cherry loves Boult: Sri Lankan players puzzled after ball gets stuck into Trent Boult’s helmet\ Advertisementlast_img read more