Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger 1 Danny Murphy insists Champions League progression is not an unrealistic goal for Arsenal despite Wednesday’s defeat to Bayern Munich, with the former Liverpool star confident all four Premier League sides will qualify for the last-16.The Gunners’ hopes of making it out of the group stages were severely dashed as Arsene Wenger’s side suffered a 5-1 drubbing at the Allianz Arena.It leaves the north London side with just one win in four games in Europe this season, yet they can still finish as runners-up in Group F if they win their last two games and results go their way.Arsenal are the only English team in serious trouble, with Manchester City already through after a 3-1 win against Sevilla, Man United beating CSKA Moscow to go top of Group B, while Chelsea gave their campaign – and their season as a whole – a lifeline with a late 2-1 win over Dynamo Kiev to move into second place in Group G.Despite the odds being stacked against Arsenal, however, former midfielder Murphy is confident they, alongside their English neighbours, will progress.Speaking on the Colin Murray show, he said: “Manchester City are already through, and while Manchester United aren’t scoring a lot of goals, they’re such a hard team to beat at the moment. They’re really good defensively, so I think they’re going through as well.“Arsenal need one result to go their way, which is Olympakos at Bayern Munich. That’s a no-brainer for me, the Greeks will have no chance in Munich because Bayern will want to top the group.“Then it’s just in Arsenal’s hands – can they win two games? They’ve got a home tie against Zagreb, and while they lost against them in their first game, it’s at home this time so Arsenal should beat them comfortably. It shouldn’t even be a difficult game.“So it all boils down to Olympakos away – can they win that to go through? Of course they can beat them, but they’ll have to win by two clear goals.“They’ve proven they can do that. If you were to say to me, ‘here’s £100, are you going to put in in the yes camp or the no camp?’ I’d be in the yes camp for sure.“But if Munich do the job, and Arsenal don’t win their last two games they would not deserve to do through.“With Chelsea, I’m not sure the win over Kiev was THE turning point for their season, but it’s certainly a small step in the right direction.“The Champions League is crucial for Chelsea, and crucial for Roman Abramovich, but the key now is taking that confidence in to their next game and start to build momentum. If they do that I can see Chelsea going through as well.”
1 Karim Bellarabi celebrates scoring for Bayer Leverkusen Karim Bellarabi scored a brilliant goal in the Europa League on Thursday night.Picking the ball up 40 yards out from goal, the Bayer Leverkusen winger drove forward before unleashing an unstoppable drive past Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Rui Patricio.The Germany international – who has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester United in the past – had earlier opened the scoring for his side as they booked their spot in the last 16 of the competition with a 4-1 aggregate victory.
1 Manchester United were drawn against Liverpool in the Europa League last 16 on Friday and already fans are getting some early shots in.United progressed after overturning a 2-1 deficit to beat Midtjylland 6-3 on aggregate at Old Trafford on Thursday night while Liverpool beat Augsburg 1-0 at Anfield.Now the two most decorated clubs in British football square off in Europe for the first time and fans could not wait to start the jibes.United did the double over their rivals this season in the Premier League, winning 3-1 at home and 1-0 away so go into the tie in confident mood.EUROPA LEAGUE DRAWThe ties will be played on the 10th and 17th of March, with the first leg being held at Anfield.See below for the best reactions on social media from Manchester United fans. It will be the first time the sides have met in Europe
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityNow Parnevik can down a celebratory mug. He shot a career-best 9-under-par 61 on Thursday to take a four-stroke lead after the first round of the Texas Open in San Antonio. For the 42-year-old Swede, winless since taking the last of his five PGA Tour titles in 2001, the 61 topped his previous PGA Tour best of 62, set last year in a second-place finish in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. It’s the lowest score at the Texas Open since Bart Bryant shot a 60 in the third round when he won in 2004. On the PGA Tour this year, Zach Johnson shot a 60 in the third round of the Tour Championship. Major champions Justin Leonard – the 2000 and 2001 Texas Open winner – and Bob Tway were at 65 along with 2005 champion Robert Gamez, Mathias Gronberg, Matt Hendrix, Neal Lancaster, Shigeki Maruyama, Daniel Chopra, Richard S. Johnson and Dan Forsman. Longs Drugs Challenge From news services Jesper Parnevik spent two months this year trying to play with an injured toe. He broke it while scampering around his boat and jamming his foot into a case of beer. No. Parnevik wasn’t drinking. “That was the problem,” he said. “The case was full.” Pat Hurst sank a 20-foot putt from the fringe for eagle on the final hole, giving her a share of the lead in Danville. The 38-year-old Hurst shot a 5-under 67 to tie for the best first-day score with a woman nearly half her age in Inbee Park of South Korea. World No. 1 Lorena Ochoa was among seven others two strokes back of the leaders after the first 18 holes. ETC.: Hall of Famer Beth Daniel will captain the U.S. Solheim Cup team for the 2009 matches at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois. Daniel, a three-time LPGA Player of the Year and 33-time winner on the tour, assisted Nancy Lopez and Betsy King in the last two matches against Europe. Senior Players Championship Mark Wiebe and four others shot 3-under 67s to share the opening-round lead after fog forced two delays totaling more than two hours at the outset of the tournament in Timonium, Md. R.W. Eaks, Scott Hoch, Loren Roberts and Walter Hall also shot 67. Five players, including Fred Funk, Nick Price and Dana Quigley, were at 68. Dunhill Links Championship Steve Webster shot a 7-under 65 at Carnoustie to take a one-stroke lead. Webster, who has struggled with a back injury this year, birdied the first three holes and then added five others with only one bogey. He leads former champion Paul Lawrie, Soren Hansen, Scott Strange and Hennie Otto by one stroke. The Old Course at St. Andrews and Kingsbarns are the other layouts used for the championship. U.S. Women’s Mid-Am Amateur Meghan Bolger successfully defended her title, parring the 18th hole to beat Kerry Postillion, 1 up, in Carefree, Ariz. The 29-year-old Bolger, from Haddonfield, N.J., joined Sarah LeBrun Ingram (1993-94) and Ellen Port (1996-96) as the only players to win consecutive titles in the 21-year history of the championship.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Although his nomadic career has earned him a reputation as the Larry Brown of football coaches, there is a decent chance this will be Erickson’s final stop on the coaching merry-go-round. At 60, he’s done with the NFL and it’s hard to imagine a better chance for him to have national success than ASU. In a conference that has as many great coaches as any in the nation, the addition of Erickson may swing the pendulum in the Pac-10’s favor. USC’s Pete Carroll, Oregon’s Mike Bellotti and now Erickson give the Pac-10 an unmatched threesome. Erickson did it all in a perfect environment for national success (Miami), but he’s also won big at WSU and Oregon State, and there’s no reason to believe he can’t do it in Tempe, Ariz. “Of all the moves I’ve made, leaving Oregon State (for the 49ers) was the worst,” Erickson said in the spring. “That was stupid. … “I sure hope (this is it). I’m 60 years old and this is a great school, great university, great place to live. … This is really going to be fun because this is a great opportunity to have success.” As critical as Erickson is to Arizona State, it’s just as important that he brought with him, virtually intact, his longtime coaching staff. All but one of Erickson’s nine ASU assistant coaches have been with him before, including offensive and defensive coordinators Rich Olson and Craig Bray. That, as much as anything, explains Erickson’s immediate impact on an ASU team that has talent but hadn’t quite gotten over the hump under Dirk Koetter (7-6, 4-5 in 2006, 40-34 in six seasons). It also helps that the coaching staff inherited a junior quarterback (Rudy Carpenter) who is among the Pac-10’s best and most experienced passers. At this point, however, Erickson has only proven what everybody already knew – that’s he’s a personable and great coach who knows how to win wherever he goes (at the college level). We’ll find out in the next month if this is the year he wins his third Pac-10 and second national coach of the year award. “We know who we play this week. Cal is as good as anybody in the country,” Erickson said Tuesday. “We didn’t know what was going to happen the first seven weeks, but now we play four teams ranked in the top 20. It obviously wakes you up. “It’s an exciting time for us. To have a nationally prominent team coming in, we’re getting more attention than we’ve gotten in a long period of time. “We know how good Cal is. Believe me, Cal has our attention.” Then again, the Sun Devils have the Bears’ attention as well. Don’t be surprised if the Sun Devils hang in there over the next month, perhaps winning three of their next four. Erickson knows how to play a hot hand. Just get it right: Instant replay is a good thing, overall, but tweaks are still necessary. The biggest involves the need to enforce time limits on how long an official can have to overrule a call on the field, but another became obvious over the weekend. Big East Conference leader Mike Tranghese took an extraordinary step when he called Louisville to apologize for a blown call that contributed to the Cardinals’ 21-17 loss at Connecticut. The officials missed an obvious fair-catch signal by Larry Taylor, who took off running and returned a punt 74 yards primarily because a number of Cardinals saw the signal and stopped covering the punt. Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe erupted after the non-call, but under the rules the officials could not use instant replay because fair-catch signals are not reviewable. Tranghese told Louisville the officials “made a horrible mistake,” but “the bad part is I can’t change the call.” Tranghese wants that subjective call to come under instant replay. He’s right. Just as where a receiver’s foot lands after a potential catch is reviewable, a player’s fair-catch signal should be reviewable as well. Some things should not be reviewable. You can’t stop every play to see if someone was holding, as an example, but this is a clear example of something that could be looked at quickly. “We want to get the play right,” Tranghese said. Amen to that. Who’s on first? With the season a little more than half over, it’s amazing how little has been decided from a national perspective. The number of national championship contenders and Heisman Trophy candidates has been whittled to some degree, but it’s truly still wide open heading into the final weekend in October. Although No. 1 Ohio State has a lock on a BCS title-game appearance if it keeps winning in the soft Big Ten, it’s hard to imagine Boston College (7-0) and Arizona State surviving their toughest tests without at least one loss apiece. Assuming Boston College falls tonight to No. 8 Virginia Tech (yes, that’s my prediction), there will be at least a dozen teams that can say they’re still in the national championship hunt. Yes, that list includes BCS No. 12 USC and No. 5 Oregon from the Pac-10, as well as No. 3 LSU, No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 7 West Virginia and No.9 Kansas (7-0). On the Heisman front, Florida’s athletic, left-handed quarterback Tim Tebow is the front-runner and my personal favorite to win it all, but any top-five list is as fragile as a straw house in a hurricane. “My top three seems to change every week,” ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit told The Associated Press this week. “I’ve never seen a race this wide open so late in the year.” In a poll of 23 Heisman voters conducted by AP this week, Tebow received 12 first-place votes and 47 points (based on a 3-2-1 system). Boston College QB Matt Ryan was second (27 points), Kentucky QB Andre Woodson was third (22), Michigan running back Mike Hart was fourth (16) and Oregon QB Dennis Dixon was fifth (14 ). email@example.comWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Erickson’s 18-year college coaching career started in 1982 at Idaho, and included stints at Washington State (1987-88) and Oregon State (1999-2002) sandwiched around national championship seasons at Miami (1989, ’91). After his second unsuccessful foray into the NFL (Seattle and then San Francisco) he returned to Idaho for one season (2006) before unexpectedly taking the Arizona State job. “I was looking at the press guide before I came in,” Erickson said. “I was reading my biography and it started to look like an obituary.” Funny, but not true. Erickson’s coaching career is far from dead. In fact, at this very moment, it’s never been more alive. The previously unheralded Sun Devils are 7-0 and ranked fourth in the BCS, with a real chance to play for a national championship if they can defy the odds and continue to win. That is highly unlikely, of course, given that the heart of the Sun Devils’ schedule still includes AP’s No. 18 Cal, No. 5 Oregon, UCLA (at the Rose Bowl) and No. 9 USC, but Erickson has done all he can do to this point for his third Pac-10 school. Erickson has been Pac-10 Coach of the Year once at each of his previous two schools – both of which are among the toughest places to win in the conference – so why not a third time? The only surprise, really, will be if it comes this year before Erickson’s ability to recruit has even had an impact in the desert. It was d j vu all over again. The occasion was Pac-10 Media Day, and there was Coach Dennis Erickson striding to the podium. Again. There was Dennis Erickson striding to the podium representing a new Pac-10 school. Again. And again. “I already know two (Pac-10) fight songs,” Erickson said with a smile, “and I’m about to learn a third here.”
Reality bit even deeper for homeowners across Donegal when just one property out of 40 sold during a knock-down auction yesterday.The sale of both residential and commercial properties attracted more than 100 potential buyers to Letterkenny’s Mount Errigal Hotel.However when the hammer was brought down on the auction, just one property, a €25,000 modest seaside chalet in Greencastle Cove (similar home pictured right) had been sold. Organiser of the sale, Gerard O’Riain of Easy-Let Donegal, said he had received deposits on three other properties after the sale.Two of these properties were at Loughview Park in Greencastle which had reserve prices of €162,000.Auctioneer Mr O’Riain said he was satisfied at the outcome of the auction.“I am a realist. If somebody had said to me before I came here that I would sell 10% of the properties, then I would have taken that. “This was not a fire-sale by the banks. This was Joe Public trying to get a decent price for their homes.“There are hopefully four more homes sold in Donegal today and I’m glad about that.“All I am is a matchmaker. I bring the bride and groom together and hopefully they can find some common ground to reach a deal on a property,” he said.He said he was not surprised by the lack of house sales across the country.“People are still nervous and annoyed that their homes were valued so highly when realistically they were never worth so much money. “My audience today contained a lot of other auctioneers and builders who are still trying to gauge the market.“I have grabbed the market by the neck and I’m trying to tell sellers they have to be realistic. It’s difficult but it’s a fact of life,” he said.One of the main properties for auction was a 12 acre commercial site in Ballinamore, Co Leitrim.The shopping centre, which already has a Tesco supermarket on site and also has 25 apartments and 14 retails units, had a reserve price of €5 million. A telephone bid of €1.5million was made which was later increased upon but not disclosed after the sale.Other houses which failed to sell included a three bedroom house in Meadowbank in Letterkenny for €69,500 and a large site on Letterkenny’s Main Street for €200,000.Other properties in Trentagh, Gartan, Muff, Milford, Loughanure and Ballybofey also failed to sell.EndsJUST ONE OF 40 PROPERTIES SELLS DURING CUT-PRICE DONEGAL HOUSE AUCTION was last modified: July 29th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:auctiondonegalEasy-Lethouses
13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 Click here to listen to commentary of Borussia Dortmund v Liverpool live on talkSPORTJurgen Klopp is a hero for Borussia Dortmund, and the fans made a big deal when he returned to the Westfalenstadion for the first time since leaving the cub at the end of last season.The current Liverpool head coach took the Reds to Germany for the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final clash against Dortmund, in a match titled ‘El Kloppico’.The build-up to the game was all about the 48-year-old’s return to Dortmund, and whether he would react if his current side scored a goal against BVB.Well, they did. And he did….Click the right arrow, above, to see a collection of the best photos from Klopp’s return to Borussia Dortmund… Jurgen Klopp returns to Borussia Dortmund – Click the right arrow to see more photos of the German’s return to the Westfalenstadion 13
11 11 11 11 4. Kolo Toure (centre-back) 11 Liverpool pulled off a shock to knock Borussia Dortmund out of the Europa League and it looks like the Reds will have to overcome the odds in the semi-final against Villarreal.Having scored three goals in the last half an hour of their second leg against Dortmund to win 5-4 on aggregate, Jurgen Klopp has suffered several selection blows prior to this Thursday’s tie against the fourth-placed team in La Liga.In-form Belgian forward Divock Origi is out injured, after damaging ankle ligaments in the Merseyside derby due to a horror challenge from Everton’s Funes Mori.Mamadou Sakho, meanwhile, is unavailable for selection pending the outcome of an investigation into a failed drug test from an earlier Europa League round against Manchester United.And in midfield Klopp is unable to call upon Emre Can and Jordan Henderson, following season-ending injuries in recent weeks.So who will Jurgen Klopp select for the first-leg trip to Estadio El Madrigal? Click the arrow, above right, to see our predicted XI in squad number order. Who would you start for the first leg? Comment below… 11. Roberto Firmino (attacking midfield) 22. Simon Mignolet (goalkeeper) 7. James Milner (midfield) 6. Dejan Lovren (centre-back) 11 11 11 15. Daniel Sturridge (forward) 21. Lucas Leiva (midfield) 11 11 10. Philippe Coutinho (attacking midfield) 11 18. Alberto Moreno (left-back) 20. Adam Lallana (attacking midfield) 2. Nathaniel Clyne (right-back) – Click the arrow, right, to see the predicted XI in squad number order
Roy Keane Roy Keane says he wanted to ‘kill a few’ Republic of Ireland players after their defeat to Belarus on Tuesday night and has demanded they toughen up.In their final warm-up game before kicking off their Euro 2016 campaign in France, Ireland were deservedly beaten 2-1 by the minnows in Cork.Assistant boss Keane expects the team to be much improved when they face Sweden at the Stade de France in their opening fixture on June 13, but he has warned they must be prepared to put their bodies on the line to achieve success this summer.“I wanted to kill a few of them last night, so I have moved on from that,” he said.“Control the bloody ball, pass it and move to your mates and if you lose it, run back – and run back like you care.“Everyone is entitled to an off night, and that’s what it was. But again, we’ll have – I’m, pretty sure – a different starting XI against Sweden and if we have injuries, we have lads to come in, so that’s the challenge we face.“I’m worried when players aren’t carrying knocks. You’re supposed to carry knocks because you are supposed to tackle people, you’re supposed to hit people at pace and hit them hard. It’s part of the game.“It’s not chess we are playing. Every time you get a knock, you don’t need to go for a scan – you know what I mean? – or take painkillers or have two days’ recovery or match-day minus-two, ‘I need to sit in the pool for an hour-and-a-half’.“It’s a man’s game we are playing, believe it or not.”Manager Martin O’Neill named his 23-man squad immediately after the game, and included skipper Robbie Keane and James McCarthy, despite both being injured.McCarthy, who has a hamstring problem, warmed up with the rest of the squad on Wednesday morning, but then went off to resume work with the physios, but Keane is not expected to train until the middle of next week at the earliest because of a calf injury.Keane said: “I’d say probably the middle or end of next week. There’s no need to rush Robbie. I know it has not been an ideal time for him because he is just back from a previous injury.“But his track record and his recovery rate is pretty good. When Robbie is carrying knocks, he has a positive attitude, which helps with any injury, so I wouldn’t be concerned about Robbie.“It’s not ideal he’s missing training, but do we think will he be available for Sweden? The answer is yes.“Robbie is experienced enough to know when to push himself and I would expect that to be later next week, and you still have a few days to play with.” 1
1 Wayne Rooney believes England are capable of “magical things” at Euro 2016 thanks to a talented squad blessed with more match-winners than he can remember.It has been 50 frustrating years since lifting the World Cup on home soil, but promising times appear on the horizon and there is a belief within the camp that this summer could be memorable.England may have followed Wales home as Group B runners-up, but Roy Hodgson’s unbeaten side have shown exciting flashes, if a worrying inability to turn domination into goals.The overall displays, along with impressive performances against the continent’s best over the past year, has fuelled Rooney’s belief that they can challenge for Euro 2016, as well as making the captain realise he can share the burden of a nation’s expectation.“I have always held a lot of pressure in at previous tournaments, feeling I have to be the one who has to win games and tournaments,” the 30-year-old said.“But we now have a lot of players who can do that and I am happy to sit in the background and allow the players do that.“If I have to be the person to step up and win us games, I will do that. But I am happy with the way it is going and my role in the team.“The pressure is on us all to do well but I have always gone into a tournament thinking, ‘if I don’t play at my best I cannot see us winning it’.“I have come into this tournament and we have players capable of doing magical things.“We are different but we have match-winners. We have five or six match-winners in our team and I cannot say we have always had that.”It is fair to say no team has truly laid down a marker in France so far, with Rooney most impressed by Croatia and stand-out midfielder Luka Modric.England would have been in their half of the draw had Hodgson’s heavily rotated side found a way past Slovakia on Monday, with second place in Group B instead giving them a more treacherous route to the Stade de France finale.A last-16 tie with the lowest-ranked side in the tournament awaits, but following Iceland on Monday could be clash with the hosts then a semi-final against the reigning champions or World Cup winners.“If this was four years ago and you were saying you have to play France, Spain, Germany, you would have been worried,” Rooney said of the countries potentially blocking their route to the final.“I think the gap has changed, and not just with ourselves to then teams but with the likes of Wales. Belgium have become a really good team.“Italy are doing well, as they always do at tournaments. The gap to get to those teams is not as big.”Rooney has long spoken glowingly of this exciting batch of players and believes his sixth major tournament could yet end with silverware.“My time playing for England in tournaments has been disappointing because we haven’t gone further in knockout stages,” the captain said, having experienced just one win beyond the group stage against Ecuador at the World Cup a decade ago.“I feel we have a chance of doing really well in this tournament. It’s going to be tough but we are confident, we have a very good team.“Other teams will be looking at us and saying they are not too pleased we are in their half of the draw, rather than us looking at them.“We want to win it and that’s the aim. I am not going to sit here and say, ‘we are a group of young players, so we’ll be happy to get to the quarter-finals, the future’s bright over the next two to four years’ and all that.“We are here and we want to win it. Whether it happens remains to be seen, but we are not going to say that getting to the quarter-finals will be a sign of progress. I believe we are better than that.” Wayne Rooney applauds the fans following England’s 0-0 draw with Slovakia