Lione Messi was back to his best as he scored a hat-trick in their UEFA Champions League opener to fire Barcelona to a 4-0 victory over PSV Eindhoven at Camp Nou on Tuesday.Messi netted a record eighth hat-trick in the Champions League.The Spanish champions’ all-time top scorer Messi broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute with an immaculate free kick which he curled over the wall into the top corner against a PSV side who had defended well and looked dangerous on the break.But Barca demonstrated the gulf in class as the second half progressed and doubled their lead in the 75th with a curling strike from French forward Ousmane Dembele, who scored his fifth goal in six games in all competitions this season.When that needle in the haystack is as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel… pic.twitter.com/A3qszCJx1wFC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 18, 2018Messi got his second two minutes later when he turned Ivan Rakitic’s dinked pass into the net with a flick of his boot.The mood was briefly dampened when Barca’s France defender Samuel Umtiti was dismissed in the 79th for a second yellow card before Messi completed his treble three minutes from time.The Argentine received another chipped pass, this time from Luis Suarez, and ruthlessly smashed the ball home.And #Messi said, Let there be a goal: and there was a goal. pic.twitter.com/7ydlC9fSwUFC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 18, 2018The strike completed eight trebles in Europe’s top competition for Messi, one more than rival Cristiano Ronaldo who will make his Juventus Champions League debut on Wednesday.advertisementEXTRAORDINARY MESSI”Messi does extraordinary things and makes them look routine,” Barca coach Ernesto Valverde told reporters.”We have to pinch ourselves to remind us that we are living through a unique era. When he stops playing it will be difficult to find someone like him.”#BarçaPSVPhotos#ForçaBarça pic.twitter.com/Wuz1TDhYudFC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 18, 2018PSV, coached by former Barca and Netherlands midfielder Mark van Bommel, had produced an admirable performance on their first visit to the Nou Camp in 21 years until they tired late on.In the first half they shut down most of Barca’s attacks and plotted several spirited breaks, while after the interval their Mexico international Hirving Lozano fired just over the bar.Van Bommel thought his side were hard done by in conceding the free kick from which Messi opened the scoring but he also paid tribute to the five-times world player of the year.”I don’t think it was a foul but Messi put it in the net. For me he’s the best player in the world and it’s strange to me he doesn’t win the Ballon d’Or every single year. But, overall, I think the scoreline was harsh on us.”Another game ball for the collection. pic.twitter.com/mqtN8O1NQoFC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 18, 2018Barca lead Group B on goal difference after Inter Milan beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at the San Siro. Umtiti’s dismissal rules him out of Barca’s next game at Spurs Hotspur on October 3.(With inputs from Reuters)
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis and David Miller not only steadied the team’s innings against Australia in the third and final ODI but went on to shatter a South African one-day international record on Sunday.Du Plessis walked in with South Africa at 26/2 and Aiden Markram on the pitch. David Miller came out to bat when South Africa were tottering at 55/3 and Markram had just departed at 32.Du Plessis and Miller stitched together a record 252-run stand for the fourth wicket to dig out South Africa from troubled waters. Their partnership was South Africa’s highest-ever in ODIs.In the 252-run stand, du Plessis scored 125 runs while Miller contributed with 129 runs and it was an innings of remarkable hitting and great resilience, given where South Africa stood when the two took the pitch. 129 off 108 deliveries was also Miller’s highest score in ODIs.Faf du Plessis and David Miller put on a clinic in the highest ODI stand against Australia EVER! Some of these shots are just incredible…#AUSvSA @toyota_aus pic.twitter.com/6Q2ct01MGHcricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 11, 2018Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI: Live Cricket ScoreDu Plessis and Miller together scored 130 from the last 10 overs and 75 of them came in the last five overs. It took a diving catch from Shaun Marsh off Stoinis’s bouncing delivery to dismiss du Plessis in the 49th over. Miller departed in the final over while trying to smash a full toss from Finch.The partnership saw South Africa post a solid total of 320/5 for Australia to chase. This was also the highest total posted in this three-match ODI series.advertisementHugs all round What an incredible performance from these two. SA finish off on 320/5 after excellent centuries from Du Plessis(125) and Miller (139) #ProteaFire pic.twitter.com/8pRrs4TzTUCricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) November 11, 2018Australia got off to a good start as Mitchell Starc picked the wicket of Quinton de Kock (4) in just the third over. Eight over later, Reeza Hendricks (8) also departed off Stoinis’s delivery.Aiden Markram with captain du Plessis by his side scored a decent 32 off 42 deliveries before falling to Starc in the 16th over.However, it all got wrong for Australia thereafter with du Plessis and Miller managing to take it away and grasp their opportunity of getting a big score on the board.With the series tied at 1-1, Australia will want to chase the big total for a series victory after a disappointing run since the fateful ball-tampering day that saw Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft banned.
The legendary MC Mary Kom remained on course for an unprecedented sixth gold after beating North Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi to reach the 48kg final in the Women’s World Boxing Championship in New Delhi on Thursday.The 35-year-old five-time world champion beat her North Korean opponent in the semifinals.Mary Kom drew her strength from the vast reservoir of nearly two decades of boxing while the North Korean’s USP was her aggression and quick movement which was witnessed on Tuesday when she pummelled her South Korean opponent Chorong Bak.Also Read – Former world champion boxer Petrova reprimanded for accusing judges of corruptionAlready assured of a record seventh medal, Mary Kom is, without a doubt, one of the most successful woman pugilists in the event’s history.Mary Kom had entered the event with a remarkable tally of five gold medals and a silver to her credit. She last won a world championship medal in 2010 — a 48kg category gold.Also read – Women’s World Championships: Mary Kom and three others enter semis, assure medalsMary Kom’s team of support! @MangteC celebrates her SF win with her team of coaches (L-R: physio, coaches Chotala and Ali Qamar.) Indeed a proud moment for all of them to attain this success! #PunchMeinHainDum #AIBA #boxing pic.twitter.com/8VWHley1lYBoxing Federation (@BFI_official) November 22, 2018Before this World Championships, the Manipuri was tied with Irish legend Katie Taylor (five gold and a bronze) on the number of medals won. Taylor now plies her trade in the professional circuit.advertisementThe ‘Magnificent Mary’ had already beaten Kim in their last meeting at the summit clash of the Asian Championships last year and the Manipuri veteran sounded confident of a win again.Meanwhile, there was disappointment in store for another Indian pugilist as Lovlina Borgohain settled for the bronze medal after losing her semi-final bout against Chen Nien-Chin of Taiwan in the 69gk category.Two other Indians in fray, Sonia (57kg) and Simranjit Kaur (64kg) will turn out in their semifinals on Friday, and both were prepared for their respective bouts.(With IANS inputs)Also Watch – India start tour of Australia with four-wicket loss in first T20I
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s recent form with the bat has divided the Indian cricketing fraternity, but his coach in the Indian Premier League side Chennai Super Kings, Stephen Fleming has come out in support for the former Indian captain.From 20 matches this year, Dhoni has scored only 275 runs at an average of 25 – his lowest returns in a year he has played more than three ODIs (In 2004, he played only three ODIs and averaged 9.50).MS Dhoni’s recent omission from the T20I squad also raised further doubts about hi participation in the 50-over World Cup, but Fleming backs the former India captain to come good for the team.”I think India have enough options within their squad to include Dhoni because his strength is immeasurable. Watching him in the last IPL, his batting was as good as it has been,” Fleming told Gulf news.”He needs to have the confidence to go and play like that in the One Day Internationals and I think the big stage is something he is looking forward to,” he added.Dhoni plays only limited-overs cricket but with his axe from T20s, he now has only 9 ODIs and maybe three T20s, if picked in the side, in New Zealand next year to prove his doubters wrong.Dhoni, who has scored 10173 runs from 331 ODIs at an average of 50.11, stepped down as India’s limited-overs captain in January 2017.For a while after relinquishing captaincy, Dhoni looked like he could return to his old ways with the bat. He finished 2017 with 788 runs from 29 matches at an average of 60.61.advertisementIn July, Dhoni was booed at Lord’s when he failed to accelerate during a steep chase for India. In the Asia Cup, he did not fare any better, managing a best of 36. In the ODI series against the Windies, Dhoni has scores of 20, 7 and 23 and 0.He will next be seen in action for India in the ODIs against Australia.Also Read | VVS Laxman hopes MS Dhoni emulates IPL 2018 form in 2019 World CupAlso Read | Playing 2019 World Cup as a mentor long cherished dream of MS Dhoni, reveals managerAlso Read | MS Dhoni faces the biggest test of his career as World Cup looms closerAlso Read | MS Dhoni not dropped: Virat Kohli backs ex captain after T20I snubAlso watch –
First, meet Rajinikanth the movie star. The superhero with lush hair and Elvis Presley sideburns, sporting a Batman-like costume in his latest release 2.0. He is a one-man army out to save the world with a robot clone of him equipped with multiple guns that can fire bullets in a,First, meet Rajinikanth the movie star. The superhero with lush hair and Elvis Presley sideburns, sporting a Batman-like costume in his latest release 2.0. He is a one-man army out to save the world with a robot clone of him equipped with multiple guns that can fire bullets in a 360-degree arc. He is invincible.Then meet Rajinikanth the person. Unlike most film stars, he unabashedly exposes his balding pate with frazzled shrubs of hair on the sides. He doesn’t hide the wrinkles and freckles on his face with make-up. He wears a spartan white kurta and pyjama and prefers to travel the streets of Chennai in an innocuous Innova. Unlike his I-dare-you on-screen characters, he is self-effacing and remains circumspect about his political plans even a year after proclaiming his intent to join the fray.The day of reckoning, though, is nigh for Rajinikanth, and he should, as one of the memes puts it, Mind It! Costing Rs 540 crore, Shanmugam Shankar’s 2.0, the sci-fi sequel to his 2010 film Enthiran (Robot), is the costliest film ever made in the history of Indian cinema. As 2.0 hit 10,000-odd screens in 14 languages around the world on November 29, there was a lot more riding on the film than just recovering the loads of money invested in it. For Rajinikanth, it will either magnify his superstar status and boost his electoral appeal or puncture his stardom and, with it, his ambitions of becoming a stellar actor on the Tamil Nadu political stage. Fans cheer as Rajinikanth arrives at a Chennai college in April 2018It is truly boom or bust time for the ageing film star. But Rajinikanth remains unworried and, in a rare interview with india today at his Poes Garden residence in the heart of Chennai, insists he would never bank on films to promote his political agenda unlike Tamil Nadu leaders, such as M.G. Ramachandran and M. Karunanidhi. Reason: “My films are different and my life is entirely different. Why should I merge the two? I am paid as an actor for films, whether I like the role or not. If I enter politics, I will be myself. I want to introduce a new and different kind of politics. I am 67 years of age, my health too is in a check-up stage. It is not easy to enter politics at this age, it is not a path of flowers. But still you have to change things, change that will make a difference in politics.” (See accompanying interview.)advertisementYet those who interpret Rajinikanth’s prudence in politics as timidity or a lack of clarity may rue such hasty conclusions. Rajinikanth has seen hard times-he began his working life as a bus conductor-and has slogged to attain the pinnacle he currently occupies. As one of the highest-paid film stars in Asia, with over 150 films, many of them blockbusters, in his bag, Rajinikanth has demonstrated that he has the talent, the temperament and the toughness to endure any test. Asked why, unlike his films where he moves at superfast speed, his political thrust has been at a snail’s pace, he said, “Politics is a very big game and very dangerous too. So I have to play it cautiously. And timing is very important.”Timing has always been key to Rajinikanth’s success, whether knowing when to flip a cigarette to his lips with panache or when to announce his intentions to join politics. In his superhit film Muthu, his best-known dialogue is “Naan eppo varuven, epdi varuvennu yarkum theriyathu. Aana vara vendiya nerathile vandidven (Nobody knows when or how I will come, but I will come when the time is right).” Rajinikanth had nurtured political ambitions for a long time, but it was only after the death of chief minister J. Jayalalithaa in December 2016 that he sensed an opportunity to fill the leadership vacuum. M. Karunanidhi, the DMK stalwart and Jayalalithaa’s rival, was also seriously ill then. (He passed away in August this year.) Rajinikanth created a wave of excitement by announcing his intention to join politics. Tamil Nadu politics has been dominated since 1967 by two Dravidian parties-the AIADMK, or the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and the DMK, or the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Both parties have enduring cadres and since 1984 alternated as the ruling party in Tamil Nadu till Jayalalithaa broke the rule by winning consecutive assembly elections in 2011 and 2016. In the 2011 and 2016 polls, the AIADMK and allies polled 51.93 per cent and 41 per cent of the votes, respectively, while the DMK and partners polled 39.53 and 40 per cent. In the 2016 election, the AIADMK and its allies won 134 of Tamil Nadu’s 234 assembly seats while the DMK combine won 98. In between, in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, the AIADMK and allies logged 43.3 per cent of the votes while the DMK along with its partners notched up a 26.8 per cent vote share.advertisementSignificantly, over the past decade, alliances without either the AIADMK or the DMK leading them have vanished, exposing their non-existing voter base. To emerge as a force, Rajinikanth will have to capture a substantial amount of the vote share both parties enjoy. With Karunanidhi anointing his son Stalin as the leader of the DMK before his death, that void is slowly being filled. Though the AIADMK continues to be in government following Jayalalithaa’s death, it has lost cohesion and the ferment among those jockeying for power continues. The party has no clear leader with the kind of charisma and stature that Jayalalithaa enjoyed.Some analysts argue that Rajinikanth is targeting the AIADMK’s vote bank because the party is without a leader and he is a leader without a party. In his interview with india today, Rajinikanth made it a point to praise MGR and even Jayalalithaa despite their differences and the fact that he had campaigned against her in 1996. He had nice things to say about Narendra Modi too. Though the BJP drew only two per cent of the votes in the state, Rajinikanth doesn’t want to antagonise the prime minister. But it is the AIADMK cadres that Rajinikanth is targeting to win the election. With the various factions hanging on together to prevent a collapse of government before the end of its term in 2021, Rajinikanth calculates that he still has time on his hands. He seems to be waiting for people’s disillusionment with the AIADMK government to peak before stepping in.The star, meanwhile, has focused on quietly revitalising the Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM)-his statewide network of fans-and building a cadre of political workers and leaders at the grassroots level. The RMM is so far the bulwark of his political foray. Some of these diehard supporters had joined him in his campaigning to encourage blood and cornea donations since the 1980s, organising camps on the occasion of his birthday, December 12, every year. They can be leveraged to help him take the plunge at an appropriate time. Rajinikanth does not want to lose any steam with an early build-up. He is conscious of the fact that regaling cine-goers and rallying voters are two distinct talents.RMM members scrupulously observe the 36-page blue book released by Rajinikanth that outlines how they should conduct themselves in politics. The book, which has on its cover a reflective Rajinikanth and the symbol of a hand, popularised by his film Baba, spells out ideals and values for RMM activists. Rajinikanth has directed the RMM to go all-out to draw the younger generation and first-time voters by engaging them on social media. His website, rajinimandram.org, got a million hits and 300,000 registrations in the first 24 hours. He wants his fans to be part of his campaign for a ‘total revolution’ along with RMM members who hail from all age groups. Yet, so far, analysts estimate, this will account for only around 15 per cent of the electorate. It is a good beginning, but he needs at least 35 per cent of the vote share to rule the state should there be a three-way split among parties. Therefore, he needs to win over not only those drifting away from the AIADMK but also to capture the imagination of a large percentage of the DMK supporters as well as the uncommitted voters.When Rajinikanth announced his decision to enter politics on December 31 last year, he defined his vision of “spiritual politics” as one without shades of caste or religion. Hard work, transparency, public service, honesty and casteless politics would be the cornerstone of his party, he said. His optimistic supporters reckon that the charisma of Rajinikanth and the determination of RMM cadres together will free Tamil Nadu from the stranglehold of Dravidian rule. Chennai-based RSS ideologue S. Gurumurthy has welcomed the entry of Rajinikanth and endorsed the superstar’s brand of ‘spiritual politics’ as a potential game-changer, liberating the state ‘from the anti-god politics, concealing within it the Dravidian anti-Hindu sentiments, which has become outdated and counterproductive in Tamil Nadu’s increasingly pervasive religiosity’.advertisement Rajinikanth, though, is careful not to be branded as being backed by the BJP and risk losing the minority vote. Barely a month after announcing his political entry, he modified the original RMM logo to exclude the lotus and the snake to doubly ensure that his brand of spirituality does not alienate non-Hindus from his politics. Both the Ramakrishna Mission and Swami Vivekananda have been influences in his early life and contributed to those elements in the RMM logo. “He is simple, honest and straight-forward,” gushes Raju Mahalingam, one of those who bankrolled 2.0 before he quit Lyca Productions to be the first to join Rajinikanth’s political campaign. “He is the need of the hour for Tamil Nadu.”In his interview to india today, Rajinikanth did elaborate on what he thought were the key issues facing Tamil Nadu. He believes there is a leadership vacuum in the state that is preventing the people from realising their full potential. He is clear that the “first priority should be to eradicate poverty, create employment, take care of youth and ensure economic growth for the upliftment of the state. Everyone is suffering…farmers, youngsters…we should resolve all these things”. Rajinikanth seemed to indicate that he was staying away from Dravidian politics and focusing instead on presenting himself as the messiah of the poor and needy on the lines of AIADMK founder MGR, a strategy that proved highly successful with the electorate.Experts are sceptical about Rajinikanth’s gameplan to inherit MGR’s political legacy. “In election campaigns, he can try to create the MGR aura, and also come up with a poll manifesto of the MGR ‘populist’ kind. But the gap between the two is huge. What’s more, MGR was known and seen as doing in real life what he promised on reel life long before he became chief minister. Rajinikanth slips badly on that score,” says political analyst N. Sathiya Moorthy. The star gained much of his early popularity playing the roles of villain’s characters who smoked and drank, paying no heed to building any future political image.Other analysts point out that there was a contextual evolution of MGR the actor as a politician. “Who does not want to be an MGR in Tamil Nadu cinema and politics? Only a few can understand that MGR’s image, including myths and realities, evolved with the DMK’s rise and the Dravidian movement between 1955 and 1967. Rajinikanth is far removed from the masses and cannot even be a copy of MGR in his outreach and the ideological force of Dravidian identity and power politics,” says Professor Ramu Manivannan, head of the department of political science and public administration at the University of Madras. “In cinema,” he goes on to add, “he entered as a villain (anti-hero) and emerged as a hero. But, in politics, he is an unknown hero who will be dismissed as a villain.”Yet, Rajinikanth is in demand. Much of what the RMM is doing in organisation-building, particularly forming polling booth committees, has a ring of what the BJP has done successfully in recent years in capturing power in several states. Rajinikanth’s political strategy team seems to be working on several imponderables, starting with the purported uncertainties in the AIADMK ranks, the perceived dwindling of the DMK cadre strength and possible churn in the equally strong ranks of non-committed voters, who play a decisive factor in Tamil Nadu elections. Whether they will vote for him because of that is another question.Rajinikanth will also face other challenges, both before and after contesting his first election. Apart from policy predicaments, he cannot induct corrupt and self-defeating politicians from other parties and go and tell voters that he is here to cleanse the system. Rajinikanth holds the promise of a bold experiment of bringing a new kind of politics and politicians-a Tamil Nadu 2.0. But right now he is a one-man army and it will be a tall order for Rajinikanth to emerge as a superhero in real life for the people of Tamil Nadu.
Fitbit has been actively coming up with new options in its smart wearables segment since the last year. To keep up with market interests, the company has launched the Charge 3 fitness tracker in India. As with all previous Fitbit trackers, the Charge 3 commands a premium, asking a starting price of Rs 13,990. Fitbit will also launch the special edition of the Charge 3 at Rs 15,999.The Charge 3 is one of Fitbit’s focused fitness trackers for this year. The tracker carries on the design ethos of previous Fitbit fitness trackers, but with an improved overall design. It sports a small touchscreen display that adjusts to the ambient brightness on its own. The Charge 3 relies on a 24/7 heart rate monitor to track calorie burn, optimises workouts and uncover trends that give the user guide to act on health and fitness goals. Additionally, Charge 3 can also track sleep, letting the user see time spent in light, deep and REM sleep stages. Users will also get personalised insights to improve the sleep if it’s below the desired level.The Charge 3 also comes with more than 15 exercise modes such as running, biking, swimming, yoga, circuit training and more. It can also do female health tracking. This feature lets female users track their periods, record symptoms and predict ovulation period for a month. Additionally, the fitness tracker also detects workouts on its own and tracks activity like steps, distance, floors climbed, active minutes and calories burned. The Fitbit Charge 3 also ties with your phone’s GPS to track pace and distance on screen during outdoor runs and rides, and use your stats to make it better for you next time. The special edition also comes with NFC built-in to take advantage of the Fitbit Pay feature.advertisementThe Charge 3 can pair up with more 200 Android and iOS devices. Fitbit claims that on a single charge, the fitness tracker can last up to 7 days at a stretch before requiring another refill. The Charge 3 will also show expanded notifications from your smartphone and will also be able to make quick replies with an upcoming update. The tracker also has its own set of fitness apps to keep the user informed of his/her day on the move.The Fitbit Charge 3 will also be sold in India along with a host of accessories, all ranging between Rs 2,990 to Rs 4,490. The Charge 3 is available in black with a graphite aluminium case or blue gray with rose gold aluminium case. The tracker will be available for purchase via major online and offline retail channels.ALSO READ | Huawei launches affordable Y7 Pro (2019) with waterdrop notch, AI based dual rear cameras and moreALSO READ | Your Debit card may not work in ATMs or malls from tomorrow, online banking on your account will continueALSO READ | Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite case render shows Infinity-O display, wireless charging support
Highly-rated Australia batsman Will Pucovski, who will turn 21 on Saturday, has been released from the Test squad playing Sri Lanka due to mental health concerns, the country’s cricket board said on Friday.Pucovski played just eight first-class matches but scored 243 for Victoria earlier this season before he opted to take a break from the game to receive treatment for a mental health-related illness.”Will Pucovski has been released from the men’s Test squad and will return home to Melbourne to continue managing his wellbeing,” Cricket Australia Doctor Richard Saw said in a statement from the board.”He reported some challenges over the past few days, and the decision has been made that the best thing for Will’s welfare is for him to return home to Melbourne.”Will has been proactive in this process and while he has made significant progress, he feels this is the best course of action to get ready to play cricket for Victoria.”Pucovski consulted his family and Cricket Victoria before arriving at the decision, the board said.”Will’s decision to speak up and continue to ask for assistance in managing his ongoing mental health is extremely positive,” Saw added.”Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria will continue to support Will, and we kindly ask that Will’s privacy is respected so he can continue working towards a return to Premier Cricket and the next round of First Class cricket.”Pucovski did not make the team for Australia’s first-Test victory in Brisbane and was also overlooked for the ongoing second and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Manuka Oval.advertisementAlso Watch:
Harbhajan Singh was of the opinion that India need not field all their World Cup players in the upcoming one-day internationals (ODIs) and twenty20 internationals (T20Is) against Australia at home. India are set to play two T20Is and five ODIs against Australia starting February 24 in Bengaluru.Harbhajan Singh felt India gained a lot of confidence from the tour Down Under, where they beat Australia in their backyard and dominated the Kiwis in New Zealand in the ODIs. He added that had India’s premier choice of Jasprit Bumrah together with Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal had played, New Zealand would not have scored those many runs.”This thing is definite. Jasprit Bumrah not playing and Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal not playing together is the reason that India conceded over 200 runs in two T20Is. Because if these three play together and plus Bhuvneshwar, I don’t think they will let past 200 runs””Confidence has been a major plus from the series in Australia and New Zealand. When you go overseas and win in such a manner against big teams, the morale of the team gets high. Every player did well there, not even one would be thinking I did not do well in these series, it has been a great tour for India, for their confidence. For the time ahead, this tour Down Under will help them a lot,” Harbhajan said on Sports Tak.Harbhajan said while hosting Australia, India can afford to rest of their senior players after a very long tour of Australia and New Zealand and instead look to expand the pool.advertisement”I don’t think you need to put the best 11-13 players in play because they had a very long tour of Australia and New Zealand. If they are asked to play in India, it might be too much for their body and then there is IPL also. So it will be good if the senior players can be rested as much as possible.”This can be taken a chance for players like Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal and similarly you can see Siddarth Kaul and Mayank Markande, these young players can be given a chance and the pool should be expanded. If the pool is large, more and more players will come.”Don’t think only about the World Cup but there has to be cricket after that too and a look should be given to people who will play after that and those should be looked at. Some senior players should be rested and some young players should get the opportunity in the India vs Australia series and it should be a mix-and-match,” Harbhajan further said.Harbhajan predicted that India captain Virat Kohli will score a lot of runs in the World Cup if he stays fit through the hectic IPL schedule and the summer is good in England.”Virat, as a captain, has to see how to manage players and who to rest and who not to rest, it’s an important factor. He also has to keep his fitness in check. There are back-to-back matches in the IPL and there’s a lot of travelling so he has to make sure that he doesn’t get too tired or get a niggle. If he remains fit, he is going to make runs in England because if the summer is good there then it’s going to be an Indian summer.”Here is Harbhajan’s 15-man squad for the 2019 ICC World Cup: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Dinesh Karthik, Umesh Yadav and Vijay Shankar. Probable: Ravindra JadejaAlso Read | Matthew Hayden reacts to Sehwag’s babysitting ad: Never take the Aussies for a jokeAlso Read | Dinesh Karthik denies Krunal Pandya single in final over: Harbhajan reacts to controversyAlso Read | This is the MS Dhoni we know: MSK Prasad after Australia, New Zealand toursAlso Read | Ajinkya Rahane, Vijay Shankar in World Cup plans, says chief selector MSK Prasad
Yuzvendra Chahal has forged a formidable wrist-spin partnership for India with Kuldeep Yadav and the leg-spinner believes their success, to a large extent, is due to their freedom to attack relentlessly even when bleeding runs.The duo have emerged as India’s frontline spinners who hunt in tandem as was displayed in India’s 4-1 one-day series victory in New Zealand where they shared 17 wickets even though Yadav was rested in the final match.Known for his guile and control, Chahal said he and Yadav enjoyed freedom from the team management to keep attacking at every stage of a game.”Both Kuldeep and I are wicket-taking bowlers,” the 28 year-old Chahal, who along with left-arm unorthodox spinner Yadav is set to spearhead India’s spin challenge in World Cup, told the Hindustan Times daily.”We possess a lot of variations between us. Even when we are going for runs, the mandate is that we have to go for wickets as that can dent the opposition.”We have the freedom to go for wickets and always go for them. In the middle overs, if you keep chipping in with wickets you can cover even if you have gone for runs early on.”The wrist-spinners appear to have addressed India’s slow bowling worries in recent times but Chahal said spin all-rounder Kedar Jadhav could also play an important role.”… someone like Kedar is important. He can give you the sixth bowler’s option, can fill in overs if someone is going for runs and can also be given full quota if need arises,” Chahal said.advertisement”He has a different action and has a lot of variations. His deliveries stay low and are difficult to score of as the batsmen can’t get underneath them.”Also Read | Hardik Pandya ruled out of Australia series due to back injuryAlso Read | Let India beat Pakistan and ensure they don’t advance in World Cup: Sunil GavaskarAlso Read | India’s strength at the World Cup lies in their fast bowling unit: Zaheer KhanAlso Read | Keep Pakistan out of Cricket World Cup, BCCI to tell ICC in wake of Pulwama terror attack
Asian champion shot putter Manpreet Kaur has been banned for four years by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for flunking four dope tests in 2017.The period of suspension would begin from July 20, 2017, the date of her provisional suspension, according to an order of the anti-doping disciplinary panel (ADDP) of the NADA dated March 29.”Yes, Manpreet Kaur has been suspended for four years,” NADA Director General Navin Agarwal told PTI.She has the option of filing an appeal before the Anti-Doping Appeal Panel.Also Read | Manpreet Kaur suspended by Athletics Federation, to lose Asian Championships gold if found guiltyManpreet is set to lose the gold she won in the 2017 Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar as well as her national record as the panel ruled that all her competitive results from the date of sample collection would be disqualified.Manpreet tested positive four times in 2017. The first was at the Asian Grand Prix at Jinhua, China on April 24, followed by Federation Cup in Patiala (June 1), Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar (July 6) and the Inter-State Championships in Guntur (July 16). She won gold in all these meets.She had set the national record of 18.86m at Jinhua.She tested positive for steroid metenolone at the Jinhua Asian GP meet. In the other three meets in India, she tested positive for the stimulant dimethylbutylamine, a substance that has an almost similar structure as the more famous methylhexaneamine (MHA).Also Read | Asian champion shot-putter Manpreet Kaur fails dope testAlso Watch | IPL 2019: Virat Kohli struggles to solve RCB’s loss puzzleadvertisement
It was touted as a blockbuster clash between the top-two teams in the Indian Premier League this season but in the end the match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders turned out to be a one-sided encounter as the home team won by 7 wickets to go back to the top of the points table on Tuesday.The Super Kings first restricted the Knight Riders to 108 for 9 and then chased down the target with 16 deliveries to spare at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai.The win was mainly set up by the bowlers – Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir – as the young pacer combined with the spinners to run through the KKR batting lineup.While Chahar collected the man-of-the-match award for picking up 3 wickets, both Harbhajan and Tahir finished with 2 wickets each and captain MS Dhoni reserved special praise for CSK’s veteran spin-twins.”The age is on their side. They are like wine, the way they are maturing. Bhajji has done well in whatever games he has played. I have fallen back on Tahir and he has done the job. They’ve come up every time but once we go out to flatter wickets, we’ll have to see what combinations we’ve to play.”Imran Tahir has confidence in me. He has got a very good flipper. He is someone who if you tell that this is the right pace to bowl on, he does it most of the times,” MS Dhoni said at the post-match presentation..@ChennaiIPL overtake #KKR to go top of the table with 10 points #CSKvKKR pic.twitter.com/xWUFRroDcwadvertisementIndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 9, 2019Dhoni though, wasn’t too happy with the slow nature of the pitch and once again criticised the 22-yard strip prepared by the Chepauk curator.”It became like the first game. Again we were cribbing about the track but we won. We’ve lost Bravo and it looks like this pitch suits us now but I don’t think we want to play on wickets like these because it becomes too low-scoring for the batsmen,” Dhoni said.As comprehensive as it can get for @ChennaiIPL at the Chepauk.CSK beat KKR by 7 wickets and 16 balls to spare #CSKvKKR #VIVOIPL pic.twitter.com/xDVTYMw6XjIndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 9, 2019CSK, the defending champions, started their campaign with a victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL 2019 opener at the Chepauk on March 23. They then defeated Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, lost to Mumbai Indians before bouncing back against Rajasthan Royals.On Tuesday, CSK destroyed Kolkata Knight Riders at home to move back to the top of the points table after their 5th win of this season. The Super Kings, who have played 6 matches so far this season, have lost only to Mumbai Indians when they failed to chase down 171 at the Wankhede Stadium.More significantly, CSK have won all their 4 matches at home so far this season.MS Dhoni, like last year, has led Chennai Super Kings from the front this year as well. He has scored 156 runs from 6 matches with a best of 75 not out. He is in fact the leading run-scorer for his team in the 2019 IPL and the only CSK batsman in the top 20 of the leading run-scorers this year.But 3 of the top 10 wicket-takers are from Chennai Super Kings. Imran Tahir (9) is 2nd in the list behind Delhi Capitals’ Kagiso Rabada (11) while Harbhajan Singh is 7th with 7 wickets from 4 matches.Dwayne Bravo also has 7 wickets from 4 matches and is No.10 in the wicket-takers’ list this year. However, he has been ruled out for the next few matches with hamstring injury.”Losing Bravo, it is slightly difficult for us to get the combination as we are missing the all-rounder. David (Willey) is not here as well. So, it can’t be a straight swap,” Dhoni said.Also Read | CSK vs KKR Highlights, IPL 2019: Chahar, du Plessis script Chennai’s 7-wicket win
MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have been patchy after a strong start to the IPL 2019 and finished their league engagements with a six-wicket defeat to Kings XI Punjab at Mohali on Sunday. But CSK will be happy to return to their den to take on table-toppers Mumbai Indians (MI), probably their biggest IPL rival, to decide which team seals the first spot in the May 12 final.CSK boast of a tremendous record at home this season, winning 6 of their 7 games at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai and tonight, it will act as a big advantage for the hosts. Billed as the ‘El Clasico’ of the IPL, we are certain to witness another blockbuster clash tonight at the Chepauk.Here are a few stats that matter as the teams head for the all important Qualifier 1 in Chennai:- Saying that the Chepauk is CSK’s fortress isn’t an overstatement. In their last 23 matches at home, CSK have won 19!- But CSK will be vary of MI as they are the only team to have a positive head-to-head record against CSK in the history of IPL – 15:11- 3 of CSK’s last 4 defeats at the MA Chidambaram Stadium have come against Rohit Sharma’s side. In fact, Chennai haven’t beaten Mumbai Indians at home since 2010!- But CSK can take solace from the fact that they have performed better in the playoffs. Of the 7 times these two teams have met in a playoffs, CSK have won 4 to Mumbai’s 3- If CSK win tonight’s high-octane clash, it will be their 100th win in the IPL. Also, it will be Ravindra Jadeja’s 100th IPL match for Chennai Super Kingsadvertisement- CSK have a 3-1 win-loss record in the 1st Qualifiers while MI trail behind with a poor 1-2- Karn Sharma, who has played just one match for CSK this year, has a curious record to his name, which if taken seriously might prompt the side to slot him into the playing XI. Not only has he been part of an IPL winning team for the past 3 seasons now (Sunrisers Hyderabad 2016, Kolkata Knight Riders 2017, CSK 2018), but his record in 5 playoff matches speaks for itself as he has picked up 7 wickets at an excellent economy rate of 6.6(With PTI inputs)Also Read | IPL 2019 Qualifier 1, MI vs CSK: Mumbai eye ticket to final at happy hunting groundAlso Read | Ashwin’s Mankading to Dhoni’s rage: Controversies that headlined IPL 2019
All-rounders will play a key role at the upcoming 50-overs World Cup in England and Wales and India could have one of the best in Hardik Pandya, 2011 player-of-the-tournament Yuvraj Singh has told Reuters.Yuvraj scored 362 runs and 15 wickets as India won the World Cup for the second time in 2011 and the 37-year-old believes the rules of this year’s edition will make those players who can contribute with both bat and ball even more valuable.A maximum of four fielders will be allowed outside the 30-yard circle between overs 10 to 40, making it difficult for captains to stack their teams with frontline batsmen and rely on part-timers to pitch in with the bowling.”It’s a five-fielder rule and part-timers don’t get away with that kind of bowling, it’s going to be tough to bowl the sixth bowler,” Yuvraj told Reuters in an interview.”But if you go with five (frontline) bowlers, then you know somebody has to bowl four to five overs maximum. If somebody is not bowling well, then someone has to chip in.”Yuvraj was confident seam-bowling all-rounder Pandya can execute the role he played eight years ago to perfection when the 12th World Cup kicks off on May 30.”I was actually having this conversation with him,” the left-handed batsman said of his Mumbai Indians team mate Pandya.”I told him that ‘you have a great chance of performing really well with the ball and bat’, the kind of form he is in at the moment. Definitely, the way he is batting at the moment, it is phenomenal and I hope he carries that form.advertisement”He has been bowling well in patches but as I said it is all about how you handle the pressure… I just hope that Hardik has an awesome tournament.”After going through the most difficult period of his fledging career in the past few months, during which he had to deal with injury problems and controversy off the field, Pandya has been back to his best in the Indian Premier League.BROAD BLUDGEONEDThe 25-year-old has been a vital cog in Mumbai’s march to the final of the Twenty20 tournament, scoring runs at a breathtaking strike rate of almost 200 and also picking up 14 wickets with his medium pace bowling.In his heyday, Yuvraj was one of the cleanest strikers of the ball in the game – as England’s Stuart Broad found out when he was bludgeoned for six sixes in one over during the 2007 World Twenty20.A veteran of three World Cups, Yuvraj is certain the wickets in England and Wales will allow a continuation of the trend towards high scoring at World Cups.India’s wristspin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have had lot of success in the recent past and Yuvraj implored the Virat Kohli-led side to include two spinners in their side during the quadrennial tournament.”I feel we need to go with our strength,” Yuvraj added at an event to launch MoneyGram’s microsite through which fans would be able to send wishes to their teams for the World Cup.”Our strength is that our spinners have been successful against South Africa, Australia and England and we should go with that. I would say go with our four best bowlers and fifth is Hardik.”The format for the May 30-July 14 tournament has also seen a change from the previous years with all 10 teams playing each other before the top four advance to the semi-finals.Recalling India’s exit from the 2007 World Cup in West Indies when the side departed at the group stage having lost two out of three matches, Yuvraj felt the new format would allow teams a shot at redemption.”Playing everybody and nine games will definitely be tougher (but) it’s actually going to work in both ways,” he said.”It’s tougher, yes, but you also have an opportunity to bounce back. We lost the 2007 World Cup and suddenly we felt that we needed more games. Those times there was no opportunity to bounce back.”Also Read | Mumbai Indians’ enviable record in IPL finals: 3 wins, 1 loss out of 4 finalsAlso Read | MI played a nice brand of cricket in our conditions: CSK coach Stephen FlemingAlso See
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says he will seek a 10th term next year.The 73-year-old Miller, a Democrat, was initially elected to the statewide office in 1978.Except for a four-year stretch in the early 1990s after he made an unsuccessful run for governor, Miller has been the state’s top prosecutor since, making him the longest serving state attorney general in the country.Miller is a Dubuque native and Harvard Law School graduate.He says he wants to keep serving because “there is a lot of unfinished business for us to work on: opioids, for-profit colleges, and other areas.”
Somebody put the OSU intro video on YouTube, the quality is fairly poor, but no poorer than the video itself.There are six highlights from last year. Total. And yes, this was the entire video.OSU in general does a great job creating quality media but this was not one of those instance. To be fair they might have outsourced it to another company. Though I hope they didn’t pay more than $200 or $300.Wherever it was created, somebody mailed it in pretty hard. Like “this could have been created on iMovie on a Mac in about half a day” mailed it in. If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Photo Attribution: Icon SMIAh, it’s an easy narrative for all 870 Heisman voters plus the 54 former winners who have a vote (or 53, that Reggie Bush ballot probably gets a little awkward this time of year).That narrative is: uber-talented dual-threat QB rises from the ashes in Waco, Texas to drag one of the country’s worst football programs back to prominence.In fact, it’s almost too easy. But is it really that simple?The nation is drooling over #10 right now and what he’s done for what used to be a horrendous football program, but does he deserve the Heisman? Let’s take a closer look.Nolan sent me this email the other day:QB #1: 273/404 (67.6%) for 3,105 YDS, 33 TDs, 9 wins (6-2 in conference)QB #2: 245/336 (72.9%) for 3,572 YDS, 33 TDs, 7 wins (4-3 in conference)QB #3: 241/343 (70.3%) for 2,937 YDS, 31 TDs, 10 wins (8-1 in conference)QB #4: 355/486 (73.0%) for 4,111 YDS, 34 TDs, 10 wins (7-1 in conference)Those quarterbacks in order are: Matt Barkley, Robert Griffin, Andrew Luck, and Brandon Weeden. And somehow, inexplicably, the one with the worst stats and worst record is being lauded as the country’s best.To be fair, Griffin has 550 yards rushing and 5 TD and has a pair of Heisman moments. I’m not saying he’s not good (because he is), but how quickly we forget about who the frontrunner was just five days ago purchasing his plane ticket to JFK International (and such is the epic trolling of bloggers and sites everywhere).A few points to accentuate why Weeden shouldn’t be forgotten.1. If you’re a national pundit and you say OSU’s defense has sucked all year (and if you’re a national pundit, you have said this all year), then you also have to have a reason for their 10-1 record. What is it?2. Weeden has had two Heisman second halves that have been overshadowed by other stories. He put up a school record in passing yards with 2 TDs and 3 breathtaking drives in College Station which all got overshadowed by the fact that A&M fell apart. He also buried Kansas State repeatedly with an absurd 16-19 for 252 and 2 line in the second half, but 90% of the country was watching a punt, pass, and kick contest down in Tuscaloosa.3. If Griffin and Weeden switched teams, what would their respective records be? Serious question there.4. How about the fact that Weeden has more passing yards, more passing TD, a higher completion percentage, more wins, and embarrassed Griffin when they went head-to-head? Oh, but that was luck, right? And I’m not talking about Andrew…Granted, we’re still two weeks out and nobody knows what’s going to happen. But if OSU beats OU and Weeden has a great game, there’s nothing you can do to convince me that Griffin deserves to go to NYC over him. Nothing.And while we’re here – how about nobody really mentioning how much the plane crash played into OSU falling on Friday night? It’s not an excuse (and shouldn’t be used as one), but it seems like everybody just glazed over the fact that four people (two of which everybody on the football team probably knew) died the morning of what, to that point, was the biggest game of the year.Obviously death, and this situation, shouldn’t be used as a crutch (and should never be put on the same plane as winning a stupid bronze trophy), but I also don’t understand why people seem to separate those two events, as if they aren’t inextricably intertwined.I know the Heisman is very much a visceral award, often given to the nation’s most exciting player and that Weeden is not as exciting as Griffin. But he’s taken shot after shot this season and answered the bell every week until that perfect storm in Ames last Friday. He might not elicit the hyperbole in the blogosphere and Twittersphere that Griffin does, but he’s definitely every bit as worthy of the Heisman trophy.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Photo Attribution: USATSIAfter way too much lead-in time the season is finally here.These are my picks for how the year will play out (and yes, they’ve changed since we first did our over/unders).Big 121. Texas2. Oklahoma State3. Baylor4. TCU5. OU6. Texas Tech7. Kansas St.8. West Virginia9. Iowa St.10. KansasOSU RecordOverall: 10-2Conference: 7-2OSU BowlCotton vs. South CarolinaOffensive POYJeremy SmithDefensive POYShaun LewisBreakout playerLyndell Johnson (or “LDJ” as I call him)BCS BowlsSugar: Bama over LouisvilleOrange: Florida St. over Boise St.Fiesta: Oregon over TexasRose: Stanford over MichiganTitle gameGeorgia over tOSUIf you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Real Madrid v Levante Benzema injured and replaced by Bale for Madrid against Levante Last updated 2 years ago 19:37 9/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images Real Madrid v Levante Karim Benzema Real Madrid Levante Primera División The French striker went down with a non-contact injury in the first half of his side’s league match against Levante. Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema was replaced in Saturday’s La Liga match against Levante in the first half with an injury.The French striker appeared to pull his hamstring under no pressure just 27 minutes into the match. 14/1 for Real Madrid and APOEL draw Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Benzema immediately went off down the tunnel, and was replaced by Gareth Bale. The 29-year-old had scored once in two La Liga appearances in 2017-18 before Saturday’s match at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Manchester United 4 Crystal Palace 0: Fellaini hits double as Mourinho’s men cruise Chris Myson Last updated 2 years ago 23:49 30/9/2017 Getty Images Manchester United won their seventh straight match in all competitions by easing past Crystal Palace at Old Trafford. Marouane Fellaini scored twice as Manchester United cruised to a 4-0 victory over rock-bottom Crystal Palace in the Premier League at Old Trafford.Juan Mata, one of Jose Mourinho’s five changes from Wednesday’s win over CSKA Moscow, struck early on, netting his first Premier League goal since February on his 200th appearance in the competition.And two close-range finishes from the in-form Fellaini either side of half-time took his season tally to four before Romelu Lukaku sealed a comprehensive victory late on as United continued to impress even without the injured Paul Pogba. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. United’s win, which saw Marcus Rashford also shine with two assists, moved them top of the Premier League, a position they will keep unless Manchester City can defeat fellow title rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge later on Saturday.2 – This is the first time that Marcus Rashford has assisted two goals in a single game for @ManUtd. Creator. pic.twitter.com/iCCTxmDVcM— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 30, 2017Mourinho’s side have won seven consecutive matches in all competitions, while Palace are pointless and still without a goal from as many top-flight games as their abysmal start to the campaign goes on.Palace’s confidence was already shot coming into the game and United took advantage to move ahead inside three minutes.Rashford – another of the stars brought in by Mourinho – was the creator, easily cruising past Joel Ward down the left and cutting back to Mata, who finished simply with his left foot from 12 yards.That didn’t take long! #MUFC #MUNCRY pic.twitter.com/msqxddtBpO— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 30, 2017A quiet spell followed the early drama, with the next shot on target for either side not coming until after the half-hour mark when David de Gea beat away an effort from Bakary Sako, who was starting in an unfamiliar striking role with Christian Benteke out injured.United had not tested Wayne Hennessey since their opener, but ruthlessly doubled their lead in the 35th minute. Ashley Young delivered a magnificent in-swinging cross from the left which left Fellaini with an easy task to volley in at the far post.That buoyed United, with Chris Smalling heading inches wide and Hennessey making a good save from Rashford at his near post as a demoralised Palace side went into the break two behind.Having struck early in the first half, United repeated the trick within four minutes of the restart. After Young was fouled by Luka Milivojevic, Rashford earned his second assist by whipping in an excellent free-kick from the left and Fellaini made no mistake, heading in from two yards.He’s done it again! #MUFC #MUNCRY pic.twitter.com/U991surOSG— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 30, 2017Jeffrey Schlupp was angry to have a penalty claim down after a challenge from Smalling at the other end, while Young drew a save from Hennessey as United searched for a fourth.Lukaku had a quiet outing, but should have scored when he took advantage of an advantage from referee Mike Dean to run into the area and send a left-footed strike inches wide when he appeared destined to find the far corner.Palace’s wait for a goal went on, with Andros Townsend’s free-kick flying just wide in their only opportunity in the closing stages, before Anthony Martial was impressively denied by Hennessey after being played in by fellow substitute Ander Herrera.But United were not to be denied a fourth goal, Lukaku getting his seventh in as many league games by tapping in from six yards after Herrera and Martial had again combined in impressively creating the opportunity.7 – No player has scored more goals in their first 7 @premierleague apps for @ManUtd than Romelu Lukaku (7, level with Andrew Cole). Heaven. pic.twitter.com/fcsfhDfbdw— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 30, 2017Key Opta stats:- Only Halifax Town in 1990-91 (730 minutes) have gone on a longer run from the start of a season in English league history (top four tiers) without a goal than Crystal Palace this season (630 mins). Palace overtook Burnley in 1997-98 (552 mins) in this defeat to United.- Crystal Palace have lost eight consecutive league games without scoring, the joint-longest run in English league history alongside Hartlepool (two occasions, 1970 and 1993) and Sunderland (1977).- The Eagles remain the only team in Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues yet to score a goal in league competition this season.- Manchester United have never lost a Premier League game against Crystal Palace in 17 previous meetings (W14 D3 L0). The Red Devils have set a Premier League record for most games without ever losing to a single opponent.- Crystal Palace are only the second team to lose their opening seven games in a Premier League season, after Portsmouth in 2009-10.- No player has scored more goals in their first seven Premier League appearances for Man Utd than Romelu Lukaku (seven – level with Andrew Cole).- Marouane Fellaini has scored three goals from four shots in the Premier League so far in 2017-18 – more than he netted in the previous two seasons combined, two goals from 46 shots. – Juan Mata, who made his 200th Premier League appearance (the seventh Spanish player to reach this feat), ended a run of 809 minutes without a PL goal. read more