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GUNDO-GONE

The Spaniard wants to strengthen in ‘three or four’ positions, but is unsure if he will need to replace Gundogan

Pep Guardiola is looking to strengthen in ‘three or four positions’ this summer once the transfer window opens.

The Manchester City boss has assembled a squad which is still in the hunt for an unprecedented ‘Quadruple’ of trophies this season after winning the Carabao Cup against Chelsea last weekend.

Guardiola has suggested City could sign ‘three or four players’ in the summer

However, the ageing Fernandinho and the injury problems of Benjamin Mendy mean the Spaniard feels it is necessary for the Citizens to delve into the market once again.

He said: “You know we are going to try for a holding midfielder and other positions we are thinking about.”

Guardiola also told reporters on Friday he feels the left side of his defence is somewhere he will be forced to strengthen.

Mendy’s injury-ravaged two seasons at the Etihad have seen midfielders Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabian Delph fill in the role, with Aymeric Laporte also shifting out wide.

Mendy has spent much of his time in Manchester on the treatment table

Since joining in 2017, the France international has started just 16 Premier League games for City and he most recently featured against Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup on January 23.

The 48-year-old said: “If it happens in two seasons, it can happen in three, definitely. Hopefully not, we’ll work with that, but the truth is we could use him for a few games. That is the reality.

HOW MANCHESTER CITY COULD LINE UP WITH THEIR TOP TARGETS NEXT SEASON

“I don’t know what’s going to happen but we are thinking about the chance to find somebody in that position.

“At the end the strongest guys, every day, are there. That is the truth. That’s why we are looking for next season.

World Cup winner Gundogan is not guaranteed a starting role at City

“There are three or four positions I think we have to try to look for, and some ideas we have.”

Guardiola also revealed the club were still working on the future of Ilkay Gundogan, whose current deal expires in 2020.

The 28-year-old has started 14 games in the league this season, but is not an automatic starter with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva regularly getting picked ahead of him.

“If he was 100 per cent then the deal would have been done, so we are still in negotiations,” added the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager.

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“He is an incredibly important player. He knows what we want, he knows what we think about him, but the last decision is not in our hands.

“We try to speak with him, we want him to extend the contract right now. But if he doesn’t want to, we cannot do anything else.”

This story was originally published by talkSPORT

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J1 League Netted the only goal

David Villa celebrating for Vissel Kobe.

Spanish legend David Villa enjoyed a dream debut on Saturday as he grabbed the winning goal for his new side Vissel Kobe in a 1-0 win over Sagan Tosu.

The 37-year-old is a teammate of Andres Iniesta once again, after their time together at Barcelona and with the Spanish national team, while in opposition was Fernando Torres, another familiar face.

Villa‘s goal arrived on 54 minutes and proved to be only one of the contest, following a poor clearance from the home defence.

“I’m very happy because we deserved to win the game,” he told NHK at the end of the game.

“From a personal point of view, it is very important to score and I think we played well and deserved more goals.”

This story was originally published by Marca

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Winx has run at Randwick 23 times out of her 41 career runs

Australian racehorse Winx has won a world record 23rd Group One race to stretch her unbeaten streak to 31.

The horse, rated as the best in the world, was odds-on favourite for the Chipping Norton Stakes at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse.

Although she was pushed by rival Happy Clapper, she accelerated away late on for another victory.

“I had the horse to get me out of trouble, as she has done time and time again.” said jockey Hugh Bowman.

It was her fourth consecutive win in the race and sees her pass the record of the Willie Mullins-trained former Champion Hurdle winner Hurricane Fly who was retired in August 2015.

In August, she beat Black Caviar’s Australian win record with her 26th consecutive win and she last lost a race in April 2015.

But there were some anxious moments this time when Happy Clapper led by seven lengths coming around the final turn.

“I know I probably looked in trouble at the 700m, but I knew she would she would find another gear and she did it with relative ease in the end, as I expected she would,” added Bowman.

The seven-year-old is set to have two more races before she is retired with next month’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick likely to be her final outing.

“I can see the sun going down, hopefully we can get through two more races,” said trainer Chris Waller.

Asked about winning a 23rd Group One race, he replied: “She’s a superstar, very, very special.”

This story was originally published by BBC

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Chicago Bulls point guard Zach LaVine (right) scored a career-high 47 points in win over Atlanta Hawks

The Chicago Bulls beat the Atlanta Hawks 168-161 in the third-highest scoring game in NBA history.

Chicago’s Zach LaVine and Atlanta’s Trae Young scored career-highs of 47 and 49 respectively in the marathon game, which went to a fourth overtime.

Both teams also set club records for points scored in a game.

“I’ve never been part of a game that long,” LaVine said. “I airballed one [missed the backboard completely] because I was so damn tired.”

Power forward Lauri Markkanen made three free throws in fourth overtime to secure the win for the Bulls.

The Finn finished with 31 points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls, who topped their 156-155 quadruple-overtime win at Portland in March 1984.

Despite the victory, Chicago remain 13th in the Eastern Conference with a 18-45 win-loss record, while Atlanta sit one place above on 21-42.

The highest scoring game in NBA history was the Detroit Pistons’ 186-184 win over Denver Nuggets in December 1983.

This story was originally published by BBC

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Image copyright Handout Image caption CCTV footage captured members of the Proud Boys viciously beating protesters

Two members of US far-right group the Proud Boys pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on Friday in connection with a brawl in Manhattan in October 2018.

Jake Freijo and Eryk Kacznyski were sentenced to five days of community service as part of a plea deal.

Six other Proud Boys members charged over the fight have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

The Proud Boys has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors US extremism.

The brawl broke out after a speech by Gavin McInnes, the Proud Boys founder, at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Republican Club.

CCTV footage showed the Proud Boys members charging at a group who had come to protest against Mr McInnes’ appearance and viciously beating them.

Prosecutors recommended the harshest possible sentence – a year in jail – against two of the members. John Kinsman and Maxwell Hare pleaded guilty to attempted assault and second-degree rioting charges.

Prosecutors called Kinsman, seen in the video wearing a red cap, the “single most vicious” member of Proud Boys, the New York Post reported.

Police said initially that the violence started after a protester threw a bottle – which can be seen clearly in the CCTV footage – but a second angle appeared to show that the Proud Boys members were already charging at the protesters when the bottle was thrown.

Skip Twitter post by @NYPDDetectives

Thank you those who’ve submitted info regarding the violent incident which took place on 10-12-18 in the UES. As we further the investigation, we urge additional victims/complainants/witnesses to come forward. If you have info, call CrimeStoppers, 800-577-TIPS pic.twitter.com/amUhGvCJLg

— Chief Dermot F. Shea (@NYPDDetectives) October 15, 2018

End of Twitter post by @NYPDDetectives

Skip Twitter post by @ColinRMoynihan

4/6 The brand new footage shows what followed: two Proud Boys went east on 82nd Street, approaching protesters who were perhaps 100 feet away from Park Avenue. By the time the plastic bottle was thrown, one of those two Proud Boys was within a few feet and charging. pic.twitter.com/oHq2MamC4m

— Colin Moynihan (@ColinRMoynihan) December 23, 2018

End of Twitter post by @ColinRMoynihan

The morning of the speech, the Metropolitan Republican Club was targeted by vandals who spray-painted anti-fascist graffiti on its walls and glued its locks shut, police said.

On the night of the brawl, police arrested three protesters in a separate incident and charged them with assault.

This story was originally published by BBC

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Rivalry

The arch-old rivals go head-to-head at Wembley in the Premier League

North London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal go head-to-head at Wembley this lunch-time to kick off another weekend of Premier League action.

The two sides go into the clash in very different form with Spurs having suffered back-to-back league defeats to Burnley and Chelsea and Arsenal looking for their fourth win on the bounce.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham welcome rivals Arsenal to Wembley today

The Gunners will move to within a point of their neighbours in third if they win at the national stadium.

The big game will be live on talkSPORT and here’s how you can tune in.

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Tottenham vs Arsenal: How to listen

Full commentary from the Premier League showdown will be live on talkSPORT, with our coverage getting underway at 12pm.

Adrian Durham will bring you all the build up with Sam Matterface and Stuart Pearce on commentary duty.

To tune in just click here for the live stream or click the radio player below.

You can also listen through the talkSPORT App, on DAB Digital Radio or on MW 1053 or 1089.

For more information about how to listen LIVE on talkSPORT click here.

Tottenham vs Arsenal: Kick-off time

The Premier League clash will get underway at Wembley at 12:30pm on Saturday, March 2.

Arsenal won the corresponding fixture 4-2 at the Emirates back in December with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring twice and Jan Vertonghen getting sent off.

Unai Emery’s Arsenal face Tottenham tonight

Tottenham vs Arsenal: Team news and line-ups

Tottenham are set to still be without the injured Dele Alli and ill Eric Dier for the north London derby.

Vertonghen didn’t feature in Wednesday’s defeat at Chelsea due to a hip problem but should be fit.

Arsenal are hopeful that Laurent Koscielny will recover in time to face Spurs having suffered a late injury during the win over Bournemouth in midweek.

Stephan Lichtsteiner and Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be involved having overcome a back injury and illness respectively.

This story was originally published by talkSPORT

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Jan Vertonghen missed Tottenham’s defeat at Chelsea and remains a fitness doubt for Saturday

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says if expectations change at the club they may need to find “another magic guy” to deliver regular Premier League and Champions League titles.

Pochettino is aiming for his fourth consecutive top-four finish to meet the club’s specific aim of Champions League football for their new 62,000 capacity stadium.

Third-placed Spurs host North London rivals Arsenal on Saturday [12:30 GMT] on the back of consecutive Premier League defeats to Burnley and Chelsea.

The Argentine has accepted that challenging Liverpool and Manchester City for the title is now “impossible”; while Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have closed the gap as the competition for a top-four spot increases.

“My doubt is not about my future here,” said Pochettino. “After five years, I really believe we do a fantastic job for the club.

“If now the expectation is that it is not enough to play well, be a contender for top four and be in the Champions League for the third year in a row, if now the obligation is that it is compulsory to win a title because we are doing so well, you need to compare with other teams.

“In that comparison, you can be fair or unfair in your opinion. People judge us and put pressure on us if we have not won a trophy. Is that fair or not fair?

“If we compete with the same tools or different tools? If we [are] at the same level or not?

“Because we are not going to change the way we operate.”

Spurs have been playing at Wembley for the past 18 months while they build their new ground. They have not made a signing during the last two transfer windows and operate on a lower wage budget than their top-six rivals.

“The job that the club is doing is fantastic because with Brexit, with the position of the pound with Europe, I think the cost of building the new stadium [has increased] 30-40 per cent,” Pochettino said.

“Arrive to the new stadium in very good condition – I think that is more than winning a title, more than winning a Carabao Cup.

“We are talking about bigger things than winning a trophy. Of course we’d like to win a trophy.

“We like to feel, to lift some trophy – the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup, the Premier League, the Champions League, of course.

“But the responsibility of the club is massive.

“I cannot change opinions and everyone can judge us in a different way. That’s why I told you that, maybe if Daniel [Levy – Spurs chairman] said to me next season, ‘We need to win a title, we need to win the Champions League and we need to win the Premier League’, then maybe you need to find another magic guy who can do this.”

TEAM NEWS

Tottenham pair Jan Vertonghen and Harry Winks are nursing hip injuries and will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s North London derby.

The injured Dele Alli and ill Eric Dier remain unavailable.

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery expects Laurent Koscielny to recover in time from the knee injury he suffered late on against Bournemouth.

Stephan Lichtsteiner returns from a back problem, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles is available after illness.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@SteveBowercomm: When North London meets it doesn’t matter where the two clubs are in the table or in their season, it simply matters.

However, just to further stoke the fire, the sub-plot to this one is that an Arsenal win and derby double this season would remarkably take them within a point of Spurs – an unthinkable scenario only weeks ago.

Mauricio Pochettino has never lost a home derby to the Gunners; he will hope this is the perfect fixture to generate a positive reaction and avoid three straight league defeats for the first time in almost six and a half years.

Arsenal’s five wins in their last six has kept them in the hunt for Champions League football. Unai Emery’s first derby experience was a positive one; if he can witness a repeat performance, the end-of-season script could have further possibilities.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino responds to those questioning his side: “I think the feeling is a little bit weird. It should be that everyone before the start of the season [would] sign to be in the position that we’re in today.

“I think we’re living in different realities because, with all the circumstances, Tottenham deserve big praise to be in the position that we’re in at this moment of the season.

“Of course we’re disappointed in the last two results but we need to keep going and trust in our team.”

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery: “There were 10 points difference between us and Spurs two weeks ago. Now it’s four points. It is a big motivation.

“This is a big opportunity for us to play with confidence in our moment, respecting them because they lost two matches but they are still having a very good season.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

The Gunners come in to this game on the back of a couple of convincing home wins over Southampton and Bournemouth, but they are always pretty strong at Emirates Stadium anyway.

On the road, it is a different story and, taking that and Spurs’ form into consideration, I think a draw is the most likely outcome.

Prediction: 1-1

Lawro’s full predictions v sprinter Dina Asher-Smith

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Spurs are vying to register three consecutive top-flight home wins against Arsenal for the first time since 1961.
  • Arsenal’s only away league victory in this fixture in the past 10 attempts came in March 2014, courtesy of Tomas Rosicky’s early goal (D3, L6).
  • They have met 197 times in all competitions, with Arsenal leading by 82 wins to Tottenham’s 64.

Tottenham Hotspur

  • Spurs are in danger of losing three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since November 2012 – when the third defeat came against Arsenal.
  • They have gone a Premier League record 32 consecutive fixtures without a draw since April. It’s the longest top-flight run since Portsmouth’s 38-game streak in 1928-29.
  • Tottenham have lost five of their seven league matches against other established top-six teams this season.
  • Mauricio Pochettino has never lost a Premier League home game against Arsenal, winning three and drawing two.
  • Harry Kane has scored eight goals in eight Premier League meetings between Spurs and Arsenal, a joint-record in the division along with Emmanuel Adebayor.
  • Son Heung-min has scored in each of Tottenham’s last four home matches in all competitions.
  • Pochettino and Toby Alderweireld both celebrate their birthday on the day of this game.

Arsenal

  • The Gunners have won five of their past six league games, as many as they managed in their previous 13.
  • They earned a first league away victory in seven attempts at the expense of Huddersfield in their most recent game on the road.
  • Arsenal are winless in 21 Premier League away fixtures against other established top six teams since beating Manchester City 2-0 in January 2015 (D7, L14).
  • They are the only club not to have kept a Premier League away clean sheet in 2018-19.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored an unrivalled six league goals in London derbies this season.
  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan has scored four goals and provided three assists in his last four league appearances.

This story was originally published by BBC

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An Israeli comedian who joked that she wants to marry Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has become a sensation on Arab social media, with some news outlets even reporting her tongue-in-cheek proposal as genuine.

Noam Shuster-Eliassi playfully suggested tying the knot with the Saudi royal during an interview with Arabic-language channel i24. After lamenting that “nobody likes a tall and strong girl,” the unmarried 32-year-old entertainer complained that her family was pressuring her to find a husband, who told her that any man would do, even a non-Jew. Shuster-Eliassi, however, said she was hunting for a real Prince Charming.

Also on rt.com Iranian leader worse than Hitler, absolute monarchy is cool – Saudi crown prince

“I don’t want to [marry] just any person. I want to shoot high,” Shuster-Eliassi told the i24 host. “There is the tall [Syrian President] Bashar Assad. But – no, no, no – he won’t work. MBS [Mohammed bin Salman]. MBS is a very tall man and I know that there are now… more relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel,” she quipped.

While the joke went unnoticed in Israel, it spread like wildfire across Arab social media, with several news sites even reporting the suggested match – which sounds like the premise of a poorly-conceived romantic comedy, or a deeply deranged Disney cartoon – as a serious proposal.

One Moroccan news site, for example, reported that Shuster-Eliassi “was courting bin Salman and wishing to tie a knot with him.”

Her comment circulated widely on the internet after Faisal al-Qassem, a well-known media personality in the Arab world, wrote a Facebook post about the unorthodox union. The joke was later picked up by BBC Arabic and Al-Jazeera.

Shuster-Eliassi has expressed surprise over the attention her seemingly innocuous joke has received.

“I did not expect by any means for it to explode in this way,” she told the Times of Israel. “I have never experienced something on this scale.”

She speculated that the faux proposal received so much media attention in the Arab world because it coincided with a US-led conference on the Middle East in Warsaw, which senior officials from Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states attended.

“The joke was that Saudi and Israel are already having secret meetings, so I asked for him to help me with being single and building my party,” she said. “The timing with the Warsaw summit is what made it take off. I think the Arab world used it as ammunition to say something about what is happening and the narrow interests that are leading the region.”

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

This story was originally published by RT

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Image copyright Getty Images

Fears over chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef are “myths”, according to the US ambassador to the UK.

Writing in the Telegraph, Woody Johnson urged the UK to embrace US farming methods after Washington published its objectives for a UK-US trade deal.

EU rules currently limit US exports of certain food products, including chicken and beef – but Mr Johnson wants that to change in the UK after Brexit.

Downing Street has repeatedly denied it will accept lower food standards.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “We have always been very clear that we will not lower our food standards as part of a future trading agreement.”

Mr Johnson, however, described warnings over US farming practices as “inflammatory and misleading” smears from “people with their own protectionist agenda”.

He also said the EU’s “Museum of Agriculture” approach was not sustainable, adding: “American farmers are making a vital contribution to the rest of the world. Their efforts deserve to be recognised.

“Instead, they are being dismissed with misleading scare-stories which only tell you half the story.”

On chlorine-washed chicken, Mr Johnson said the process was the same as that used by EU farmers to treat their fruit and vegetables.

Describing it as a “public safety no-brainer”, he insisted it was the most effective and economical way of dealing with “potentially lethal” bacteria such as salmonella and campylobacter.

The US National Farmers’ Union has always maintained that its chicken and beef, which use processes banned by the EU, are “perfectly safe” and argues there has been a lot of “fear-mongering”.

However, its British counterpart, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), said the UK government should not accept a US deal “which allows food to be imported into this country produced in ways which would be illegal here”.

The UK’s NFU also raised concerns over animal welfare standards when the US negotiating objectives were announced on Friday.

Image copyright EPA Image caption Woody Johnson has been the US ambassador to the UK since 2017

Amy Mount from Greener UK, an environmental lobby group, said: “This wish-list shows that a hard-Brexit pivot away from the EU in favour of the US would mean pressure to scrap important protections for our environment and food quality.

“Any future trade deals should reflect the high standards that the UK public both wants and expects.”

What is chlorine-washed chicken? Image copyright PA

In the US, it is legal to wash chicken carcasses in strongly chlorinated water.

Producers argue that it stops the spread of microbial contamination from the bird’s digestive tract to the meat, a method approved by US regulators.

But the practice has been banned in the EU since 1997, where only washing with cold air or water is allowed.

The EU argues that chlorine washes could increase the risk of bacterial-based diseases such as salmonella on the grounds that dirty abattoirs with sloppy standards would rely on it as a decontaminant rather than making sure their basic hygiene protocols were up to scratch.

There are also concerns that such “washes” would be used by less scrupulous meat processing plants to increase the shelf-life of meat, making it appear fresher than it really is.

This story was originally published by BBC
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Image copyright Met Police Image caption Glendon Spence, 23, was attacked inside a Brixton youth club

Children as young as three who were at a youth club in Brixton where a man was stabbed to death have not had any support, a mother has claimed.

Glendon Spence, 23, was attacked on 21 February at the Marcus Lipton Youth Centre in London and died at the scene.

He was stabbed close to where several children were taking part in a football training session.

Lambeth Council insisted counselling for those affected had “been made available”.

Two 17-year-old boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have been charged with the murder of Mr Spence, from Lewisham.

At the time of the stabbing, the Lambeth Tigers were holding a training session for five to eight-year-olds inside the sports hall.

Two three-year-old boys were watching along with their parents when they heard a loud noise and saw people running.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Two boys have been charges with Glendon Spence’s murder

One mother called Sarah, who chose not to disclose her surname to safeguard her son’s identity, said although the children did not see the stabbing itself they were “absolutely terrified”.

She told BBC News: “We all just grabbed a couple of the children and headed for the corner of the hall.

“I was running back and forth between the halls, just making sure the children are okay and explaining to the parents.”

Image copyright PA Image caption The majority of killings in London so far this year have been as a result of stabbings

Sarah said Mr Spence lay bleeding heavily on the floor in a room 20ft (6m) away from the children.

However, she said they could still see what was happening through glass-panelled doors.

Dulwich and West Norwood Labour MP Helen Hayes visited the scene on the night of the stabbing, but Sarah said there had been a lack of support from others.

“We’ve not had any follow-up, we’ve not had any assistance at all,” she claimed.

“I understand a young man lost his life and it’s horrible, but to me I look at the people that witnessed this and were in that particular building as surviving victims that are alive.”

‘Shocking’

David Marriott, who was running the Lambeth Tigers football session, echoed Sarah’s concerns about the psychological impact on the children.

He said: “We have to think about the effect that it may have on them, and I don’t think it was really thought about.”

Mr Marriott wrote a letter to Lambeth Council leader Jack Hopkins and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan demanding immediate access to counselling and therapy.

In response, Lambeth Council arranged a group meeting with a psychologist and said that counselling had been “made available”.

Image caption David Marriott was running a football session at the club when Glendon Spence was stabbed

Mr Hopkins said: “It is shocking that the attack took place at one of the borough’s youth centres, which should be a safe haven for those attending.

“It is also extremely distressing that this violence was witnessed by young people, alongside the hard-working youth workers at the Marcus Lipton Centre, leaving many of them traumatised.”

This story was originally published by BBC

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