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Frank Lampard makes no excuses after Bournemouth condemn Chelsea to fourth league defeat in five

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rank Lampard was not in the mood for excuses after watching hiss, which is quickly eating away at what had been a healthy top-four cushion.

Lampard could easily have joined the group of managers who have pointed at the Video Assistant Referee following defeats. He could have questioned the atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge that often seems flat on a Saturday afternoon. He might also have blamed physical and mental fatigue his young players might be suffering.

But Lampard was having none of it. He sympathised with the supporters who had been waiting for a moment of magic that never came and he told his players that they need to show some “balls” when teams like West Ham United, Everton and now Bournemouth set up to make life difficult for them.

All three clubs had been struggling for form and confidence before facing Chelsea and yet all three beat Lampard’s team. and an injury list that grew to 10 players, when Joshua King was forced off.

King had three times threatened to go through on Chelsea’s goal before being replaced, but Dan Gosling managed to find an unlikely late winner for the visitors that was awarded by VAR following a lengthy check.

here was no booing at the final whistle, just as there had been very little in the way of energy from the stands at the start, but Lampard said: “I don’t blame the fans. I’m a Chelsea man and I will be the first one to say the fans were flat today and we needed them. But today I’m never going to say that because if I’m a fan sitting there today, I’d also say ‘pfft, too slow. Centre back to centre back, full back with the manner of victory over Norwich City on the weekend.The Blades are back at Bramall Lane this weekend for the visit of Aston Villa, who joined United and Norwich in the Premier League this term after winning last season’s Championship play-ofto full back, back to centre back, back to full back and I don’t want to come and see that’.

“So I won’t blame the fans, they come here to support the team, they will come to Tottenham next week, they will go to Southampton on Boxing Day ahampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.Before defeat to Everton on Saturday, the fullback declared he would be leaving at the end of the season when his contract expires.Speaking on BBC 5 Live Sport, Sutton said: “You’ve got to question some of the playend some responsibility is on the players to excite them, to have the personality and the balls to take the ball in an area and beat someone or play forwards. That’s up to the players as well, it’s a joint thing.”

t must be a worry for Lampard that Chelsea have not. And the Blues have not led at home in the Premier League since the draw with Sheffield United at the end of August.

Lampard said: “I don’t know about fear, but in front of our own fans it’s clear now we aren’t playing well enough and getting enough results. Today wasn’t a ‘we’re creating loads of chances day’, we created two or three great chances and we need to take them if we want to improve.

“But today we just didn’t get the fans excited enough. The fans shouldn’t be excited if we’re going to play 10 balls across our back four. They shouldn’t be. I think that’s not the team I want to manage.”

ournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale had to make a brilliant point-blank save from Emerson Palmieri, but, other than that, he enjoyed a relatively quiet afternoon.

Abraham twice missed the target, sweeping a Cesar Azpilicueta cross wide and heading over the crossbar, but he was often isolated as Wilian, Christian Pulisic and substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi failed to make an impact.

Other than struggling in attack, Chelsea are panicky at the back as proven by the fact they have kept one clean sheet in their last 12 games. On Saturday, the defence were caught out by a Jefferson Lerma header over the top.

Chelsea defenders, plus the assisponed their upcoming Under-23s game against Swansea City.The Red Devils’ youngsters were set to play against the Swans in Premier League 2 on Friday.But the game is now postponed for a later date.The issue is due to the visitors Swansea having an illtant referee on the far side who raised his flag, thought Gosling was offside but the midfielder brilliantly hooked the ball back over himself and Kepa Arrizabalaga to find the net. Following a long VAR check, the goal was given to the delight of Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.

“We needed it,” said Howe. “Certainly for a while, today has been the best we have fought, the best we’ve competed, the most desire I have seen from the group. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel there has been a lack of effort, but when things have gone against us, there has been a feeling of everything is conspiring to try to break us. Today we never had those moments and were able to build the other way.”

ottenham can now cut the gap between themselves and Chelsea to just three points, ahead of next week’s clash between the two clubs, by beating Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday. But, of course, Jose Mourinho is already well aware of that.

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West Ham fan clashes: Sir Trevor Brooking confirms David Sullivan was hit by a coin and questions stewarding

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data-js=”article-body” data-insert-mhis competitive debut for the club following his £13million summer arrival from Bristol City after suffering ankle ligament damage during a pre-season training session. He told the Daily Echo: “Obviously playing left-back for the majority of the seaobile-adslot>

Brooking was taken aback by Saturday’s events, which are being investigated by the Football Association and the Premier League, and believes the stewards were not equipped to deal with the situation. "The actual level of aggression was something I couldn’t believecelona.Setien was appointed as Ernesto Valverde’s successor on Monday, but the Barcelona head coach is still amazed the week he has had.Since leaving Real Betis last summer, Setien had been without a club, but the style of play he has wanted his team West Ham fans would get involved with," he said.

"A lot of the stewards who are on duty on mae scoring more goals.The towering centre-back found the back of the net during the Saints’ 1-1 draw with Manchester United at the weekend.But he admits that he should be helping out his side on the attacking front more often.Speaking to the Daily Echtchdays are not West Ham people – they’re actually stadium people and sometimes until they get a job there haven’t had any experience dealing with football crowds.

"They were quite young and couldn’t deal with the aggression they were faced with."

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West Ham interested in signing Steven N’Zonzi, confirms David Moyes

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data-js=”article-bodd midfielder Paul Pogba.Despite the market now shut, AS says Zidane will have Real maintain contact with Pogba’s minders about a move to Madrid.Indeed, a January push for the World Cup winner is on the agenda and it’s significant the deadline fell wiy” data-insert-mobile-adslot>

Asked whether or not he and the West Ham owners have discussed January deals, Moyes replied: “I speak to them quite regularly. We’d like to add to the squad if we can and in the position in the table that we are we’ll need to.

“But finding the right players and looking for them is a bit different. Sometimes the ones you might want are not available at this time. When I say we know who the targets are, I think the club knows who we want to go for and positionally what we’d like to do.

“I think what changes is if you go for your target and you can’t get him, what do you do? You’ll have to look for another target. Hopefully we’ll have two or three in consideration.”

Despite having gone three games unbeaten, means West Ham are only a point above third-from-bottom Bournemouth ahead of their Boxing Day clash at the Vitality Stadium.

Both Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez were used as substitutes against Newcastle, and Moyes has not ruleas spoken about the promotion of Oskar Buur into the first team squad.As Wolves prepare for their Europa League round of 16 clash against Espanyol, Nuno has given a chance to another youngster.It is not the first time the Portuguese manager has trustd out one of the strikers starting at Bournemouth.

“Up until Newcastle, the players have been playing well and showing what they can do. When that happens you reward them and keep playing them and I don’t think anybody can question that.

“But I do know what Andy Carroll and Chicharito’s qualities are. I think the way the team has been set up has nsists his commitment is total.Asked if he has had offers to leave during his time as manager, Pochettino said: “Yes, plenty. From everywhere. Daniel [Levy] knows.”He added: “Daniel knows very well our commitment to the club is massive. It is more thbeen better suited to the quicker boys playing up front. There will be other occasions when have to change the team and the set-up will suit Andy or Chicharito at different times.”

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Rafa Benitez dismisses criticism of Newcastle tactics – ‘I will not waste time on that’

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“The difference with the other leagues, you go to Germany or Spain, is that here you have five or six teams that can compete financially. They have the resources to compete. This is totllian has rejected Chelsea’s new attempt to secure him to a fresh terms.UOL says Willian, 31, has been offered a two-year deal by Frank Lampard after taking over from Eden Hazard as Chelsea’s main playmaker.But it’s reckoned Willian wants a three-yeaally different to other leagues.

"Leicester won the league, and nobody was expeJurgen Klopp has declared Divock Origi as a “Liverpool legend” ahead of their clash with his former club Genk on Tuesday.The Belgian scored the decisive goal in last season’s Champions League epic semi-final win over Barcelona, following it up with acting in 100 years that that could happen. Why? Because the other teams were in transition and made some mistakes.

"At this moment, it’s very difficult for them [City] to lose the title. In the future? You never know. With the money that everyone can spend, anything can happen. The teams with the most money win the league.”

Asked about Neville’s own managerial career – he lasted just four months at Valencia before he was s7 shots on goal in the first half without a goal in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Brighton.”We needed it,” the Brazilian told the club’s website. “We have been working hard every day, every game and this time we finally got the result, got the three pointsacked – Benitez’s response can best be described as barbed diplomacy.

“I don’t want to go down this route,” he said. “Valencia is Valencia. I won two titles with Valencia and the Uefa Cup. They are [sic] at the top of the table. Why? Because Valencia is a massive club and a massive city, but I don’t want to go this way…

“I will not waste too much time on that [criticism from pundits]. I had the same in Spain and Italy. They have to say something because they need the audience, and then you have to understand they are doing a job that is totally different. They don’t take any responsibility and they can make mistakes and the day after, it doesn’t matter.

“You are a manager, you have a group of players, you have fans, the city, responsibility and then you make the decisions you have to make to win games and that’s it.”

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Pegula moved by ownership, fans & legacy he follows

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Bills CEO and owner Terry Pegula knows himself too well. It didn’t take long for him to get emotional as he addressed a throng of local dignitaries, media and fans watching in their homes across Western New York announcing he and his wife Kim as the new owners of the Buffalo Bills franchise. Less than 100 words into his speech Pegula paused and broke down saying, ‘I knew this was going to happen again.’ But what he said in his next breath spoke to his ability to relate to the everyday fan.

“We all just bought a team,” he said. “Our team: the Buffalo Bills.”

Pegula called himself a private man, but on Friday he was sharing his ownership with a fan base that worried for decades about the club’s long term future. In the end founder and owner Ralph Wilson made every arrangement to secure the team’s rightful place in Buffalo, rial with Watford Under-23s has been rewarded with a permanent deal.The 21-year-old former Arsenal striker has signed a one-year deal with the option of a further 12 months. Hinds left the Emirates Stadium club in July 2017 to link up again with formbut it wasn’t until the Pegulas’ were declared as the winning bid that the Western New York community collectively exhaled.

The Bills’ new owner was aware of the concern. It was a concern that he and his wife Kim shared, but he didn’t fully grasp the depth of it until he was driving back to Buffalo from a Sabres’ prospects tournament in Michigan. Just hours after he and his wife Kim were announced as the winning bidders for the club, Pegula listened intand Anthony Martial as a front pairing this season.Solskjaer will be hoping Rashford can follow his two-goal showing against Chelsea with another net-busting display against Wolves tomorrow night.A source told The Sun on Sunday: “Part of the reasonently to the outpouring of emotion from fans calling in to WGR radio relieved that the future of the franchise in Buffalo had been secured.

“I could not believe what I heard from fans,” he said. “It was an open forum of relief that, ‘Hey, we don’t have to worry about this anymore.'”      

The second owner of the Bills wasth Alisson facing two months out with a calf injury, the Spaniard is now Liverpool’s outright No1.Speaking to the club’s official website, Klopp said: “I’m not worried at all about how he will do it in the long term, but in the short term the problem also moved by the legacy he follows.

“The big thing is Ralph (Wilson) was a large personality. He started this franchise and look where it is now,” Pegula said. “That’s a pretty overwhelming legacy, fifty-four years, and a year from now I’m going to be on one (year). That’s a credit to Ralph (Wilson) and his legacy.”

Though Pegula never met Ralph Wilson, he made a point to trace a connection between himself and the Hall of Fame founder of the franchise. Pegula went all the way back to his early youth when Wilson was a minority owner of the Detroit Lions, and he was a Lions fan at eight-years old.

“I liked lions and tigers when I was a kid, so I saw a football card with a lion on it and a baseball card with a tiger on it and I became Lions and Tigers fans,” Pegula told Buffalobills.com. “But to root for the team that he was a part owner of and then to buy the team that he started and the thing with him beating the Lions (last Sunday), and it was him even though he passed away, his last game as owner, you can’t make this stuff up. I feel like he’s personally handed it over to me.”

Pegula shared how he watched AFL games as a kid, and being drawn to the high scoring games and downfield passing.

“I watched, with curiosity, Buffalo Bills games back in the early ’60s, mostly because there was snow on the field for most of them,” he said. “It was a fun league to watch. I remember back in those days we’d watch NFL games where it was 10-6. You’d watch an AFL game and it was 45-41. You never knew when the game was over.”

Pegula holds a great deal of reverence for the man he succeeds and what the team means to the city of Buffalo. That’s why it was evident he was proud to be the person to step in and silence doubt about the club’s future, while also maintaining, and soon building on its tradition.

“The name of our team will not change. It will stay the Buffalo Bills,” he said. “Owning any professional team is about winning and the primary goal of our ownership will be to win the Super Bowl and bring championships to the City of Buffalo and myself and my family will dedicate ourselves to that. We want to bring a Super Bowl to the Niagara region courtesy of your, our, my Buffalo Bills.”

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Bills trying to finish on winning note

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The 2012 season has fallen considerably short of expectations, but Bills players are determined to push their disappointment aside in preparation for Sunday’s season finale against the Jets. Going out on a winning note is one of the things the players in Buffalo’s locker room are emphasizing.

“To put everything in perspective we obviously haven’t accomplished the goaexander-Arnold insists Liverpool can handle whatever people throw at them.The Reds scored yet another late goal to seal victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.He said: “We had a setback with their goal and we bounced back pretty much straight away. ls we set out to for our team this season,” said George Wilson. “We’re not going to make any excuses for it. We have to take ownership of it. We’ve got to finish it out on a strong note this week. There’s nothing we can do right now to change what has happened up until this point. We can only focus on the Jets this week.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has expressed his disappointment in his personal game this season, aood for their FA Cup win at Tranmere Rovers.Solskjaer admits he wanted to see how Greenwood, who scored from the spot, handled the rough conditions and physical approach of Rovers on Sunday.The manager said, “The first 15-20 minutes might have been admitted it’s not easy to think what might have been.

“With all the disappointment that’s happened this year, with all the injuries, the criticism, all the different things, I think towards the end of the year, when there’s no playoffs, when there’s not a whole lot to play for in terms of this win catapulting us to somewhere else, it’s tough,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick. “You always at the end of the season kind of evaluate what went wrong, but this is a game where they’re not really playing for a whole lot in terms of playoff implications. But it’s a pride game, and it’s a game to go out there, and as Chan put it, who hates to lose?  You go out there, and we hate losing and I’m sure they do too, so we’ve got to go out there and prove we’re the team that hates to lose more.”

It’s a division game and that adds some measure of incentive, especially knowing that the Jets have won eight of the last nine against the Bills.

“It’s very important, not just for myself, but the people in this locker room, the people upstairs,” said Mario Williams. “For the fans, for the way the season is going. Obviously, it’s not going the way any of us wanted it. But we got to come out and we got to win, some way somehow. No matter what it is, no matter what we’re doing schematically. We got to come out and put points on the board and don’t let them put points on the board.”   

“It’s the last week. We’ve got to give it our all,” said Stevie Johnson. “Obviously there are no playoffs, but w after a series of crunch meetings with owner Peter Lim.A statement released by the club affirmed that the sporting structure will remain as it had been in previous seasons under Lim’s ownership and Alemany’s guidance.”In a meeting held on Friday in e’re going against the New York Jets. They don’t like us, we don’t like them and basically it’s going to be a physical battle and whoever hates to lose is going to be the team that wins this game. Right now we’re feeling like we’ve got to take this.”

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Middlesbrough 1 Brighton 1: Boro return to Premier League as draw secures promotion

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In Steve Gibson, Middlesbrough have a chairman who is one of the great philanthropists of English football. An owner who  – like every supporter – always tends to let his heart rule his head.

They have a bright young manager in Aitor Karanka, a protégé of Jose Mourinho, who despite a mid-season meltdown, in which he threatened to quit after a row with senior players, has transformed a team that was worrying about relegation when he arrived in November 2013.

But it is what promotion means to this proud, but deprived region, that makes it special. Mocked in television documentaries about the unemployed, hammered by government cuts and cruelly ignored when the Redcar Steel plant closed last year, with the loss of thousands of precious jobs, this is a timely lift for Teesside.

Forget the boost to the local economy – which will be significant – this is about restoring pride and prestige for a town and area that has always been obsessed with football, even when gates fell below 20,000 during the harshest months of the recession.

“I have always had incredible support from the fans,” said Karanka. “They have always been one of the main motivations for me. They have always backed me, even when we lost in the play-off final at Wembley last year.

“People maybe laughed when I said Middlesbrough should be in the Premier League, but I always believed. Now we have done it, a year after losing in the play-offs, when people said it would be hard to go again,

“For the steelworkers, who have had so much hardship, hopefully their lives feel a little brighter after this.

“I’m so pleased for the owner, the players, but most of all the supporters. This area deserves a Premier League football club. There are 20 privileged people who manage in the Premier League and I’m going to be one of them.”

Boro just about deserved this, although they made harder work of it than they should. Karanka’s side dominated the first half and should have had more to show for it than just one goal, scored by Cristhian Stuani, after David Nugent had guided a brilliant free-kick from Gaston Ramirez back across goal.

Stuani had another volley, which had beaten goalkeeper David Stockdale, diverted over the bar by the knee of Connor Goldson.

There were a series of other openings, some gilt-edged, that were wasted with a poor final ball, while a chip from Ramirez landed on the roof of the net with Stockdale in no-man’s land.

, something Hughton will have stressed in his half-time teamtalk. Score first and Boro’s nerves would hopefully do the rest.

His players responded, cranking up the pressure, winning a series of free kicks in promising positions. Eventually they got one right, Anthony Knockaert picking out the run of Dale Stephens, who did brilliantly to send a looping header into the far corner.

Brighton began to believe, but they self-harmed. Moments after he had been warned by referee Mike Dean for shoving Ramirez, the Brighton goalscorer, Stephens, went in studs up on the Spaniard, who crashed to the ground with a deep gash in his shin.

Referee Mike Dean initiaace earned Arsenal the three points in a thrillingly chaotic contest at the Emirates on Sunday that, as expected, was defined by Arsenal’s skilful young attackers, Everton’s sharp counter-attacks, and two error-prone defences.Everton dominated the filly appeared set to boalkeeper Adrian is pushing to make their clash with Southampton.Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was angry when his club endured a third pitch invasion in three European finals, this time resulting in an ankle injury to the Spaniard, when a fan barrellok the Brighton player, but a glance at the extent of the wound, prompted him to show a straight red. Stephens looked bemused as he left the pitch, followed by Ramirez on a stretcher. Down to ten men, Brighton simply could not build up enough pressure to take advantage of their host’s nerves, despite eight-minutes of stoppage time.

“I’m extremely disappointed a red card was shown,” said Hughton, who will have to lift his players quickly ahead of their clash with Sheffield Wednesday on Friday. “I had a goothroughout the second half of the season.Toon’s home numbers returned to full strength for Saturday’s loss to Everton, which included the club’s new half season ticket holders.And Bruce hopes the attendance numbers continue ahead of Wednesday’s clashd view of it and we all know he was going to show a yellow card at first.

“We’ll appeal. That decision cost us the chance to really push for another goal. It is a distraught dressing room, they are devastated, but these are the highs and lows of football and we’ll lift them for Friday. It won’t be easy, but we’ll be ready. We’re still in good form.”

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Bills CB McKelvin willing to forgive vandals

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -Still a little upset ovego Simeone insists that Diego Costa is happy for his strike Ajax are weighing up a swoop for Brighton midfielder Davy Propper.The Argus claims Ajax chiefs have been discussions over whether they want to pursue a deal for the Netherlands international.The Amsterdam giants will lose midfielder Frenkie De Jong to Barcelona this summer.And Propper is just the sort of veteran presence they want in the squad.partner Alvaro Morata.The former missed out on a place in the starting XI against Athletic Club on Saturday, whereas Morata scored their second in a 2-0 win.”Diego’s happy,” Simeone said aher having his lawn vandalized, Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin is willing to forgive and forget.

Referring to Bills fans as being great, McKelvin said Wednesday he doesn’t want anyone arrested for painting an obscenity and the game’s score on the front lawn of his home shortly after a 25-24 season-opening loss at New England on Monday.

It’s just one little incident. I hope it doesn’t happen any more,” McKelvin said following practice.I was mad, I was kind of like angry in a way, but I was laughing a little bit for what they put on there.”

McKelvin is being partlyder Rodrigo.City boss Pep Guardiola sees the Spain international as a natural successor for Fernandinho and has urged management to move for the player. Indeed, City have shown a willingness to pay Rodrigo’s €70m buyout clause to bring him to Engla blamed for the loss after his fumble set up the Patriots winning drive. He discovered the vandalism shortly after returning home from the game.

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What makes going to a Texas college football game in Austin a unique game-day experience

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If there is one thing Texans are known to be passionate about it’s college football. They say everything is bigger in  and that includes the football fandom and the love for the the Longhorns. Going to a UT game means being witness to some of the most enthusiastic fans in . 

Decked out in burnt orange, the fans flood into 100,119-seat Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, to cheer on their Longhorns. One major element that separates attending a game over watching it on television is being able to participate in singing the “The Eyes of Texas”, the school’s spirit song. 

The fans also participate in a call and response that rumbles through the stadium where one side of the crowd chants “Texas” and the other yells back “fight.” Cowboy hats and the iconic “Hook Em” hand symbol are seen everywhere in the crowd of excited game-goers. 

In true Texas fashion, Bevo, a real life Texas longhorn steer, makes his way onto the field in front of the electhrough at Barcelona.The winger has been a big revelation this season and admits he had lucrative offers to leave Barca at 16.Perez told Radio Catalunya: “There are people who are guided more by money, I respect all decisions, but I always say that Itric crowd each game. The profile of the animal’s head is where the hand symbol and “Hook ’em Horns” saying comes from.

When their live mascot is absent their other mascot “Hook ‘Em” named very appropriately for the team, can be found around the stadium encouraging fans to show off their Texas pride.  

Austin is a city rich with music, good food and of course, footbalardi is successfully rebuilding his relationship with the Inter Milan locker room, it has been revealed.The striker angered many senior teammates over the way he refused to take part in training for over a month after being sacked as captain in Februl. Most people who visit the city find themselves heading to Sixth Street, the pedestrian friendly hub of the city that features many restaurants and bars with live music. . 

From the momentseille midfielder Maxime López has revealed an approach from Barcelona.Lopez admits Barca were in contact two years ago.”In the summer of 2017, the sports director of Barça ( Robert Fernández) spoke with my agent, who said there was interest in th you arrive in Austin to the end of the game, the entire experience is filled with traditions and entertainment. 

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WATCH: Bo Scarbrough’s touchdown run is even more terrifying at field level

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running back evened the score in the Playoff semifinal at the Peach Bowl against by rumbling in for an 18-yard touchdown. It was an impressive run with plenty of broken tackles, but it looks even more terrifying at field level.

Here’s another look…

Scarbrough had 33 yaridfielder Youri Tielemans is enjoying his football under manager Brendan Rodgers.Tielemans signed permanently in the summer from AS Monaco.He said, “When Brendan took the team over, from the first day he was amazing with us. “He understood the club lds oier League should persist with VAR.Wenger has recently taken up a role with FIFA as chief of global football development, and gave his thoughts on the video technology being used to help match officials.And he pinpointed the lack of referral by refern just three carries on the nine-play touchdown drive. The sophomore is listed on Alabama’s website as 6-foot-2 and 228 pounds. Typically, listed measurements add on an inch or two anHarry Kane will be ­questioning his future at Spurs.Kane has cut an increasingly ­frustrated figure of late – remarking that the club never seems to learn ­lessons and move forward.Berbatov, speaking in his role as a Betfair ambassador, told thed about 10 pounds, but somehow that still feels small for Scarbrough.

And to think Washington gets three more quarters of that.

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College football winners and losers in Week 12: Believe it, Colorado is for real

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Don’t look now, but the Big Ten isn’t the only Power Five conference that promises to have a fantastic finish. The Pac-12 would like to have a word.

The Apple Cup between and still has huge implications while — yes, Colorado — can wrap up the Pac-12 South with a win over in Week 13. Little was decided in the playoff race this week except for a few teams — and chief among them — gracefully removing themselves from the conversation.

Oh, yeah, and . Oh no, Texas.

With so much action going on around the country, we here at CBS Sports want to get you caught up on all the noteworthy things that went down — both the good and not so good. What were the highlights from Week 12? What were the moments some programs want to forget? We hash out the best and worst below.

Colorado’s sudden rise back to the top of has been one of the feel-good stories of the season. A doormat for the past decade, the once-proud program finally turned a corner under coach Mike MacIntyre. At first, the Buffs made good on that turnaround by achieving bowl eligibility. But then they kept winning, and a 38-24 victory over red-hot Washington State — by far the game of the day — completely changed the narrative. This is no longer just a nice story; Colorado is a legitimate team with a real chance to win the Pac-12 South, maybe more.

Full disclosure: I like Strong and I haven’t met a reporter or fan who doesn’t. I also think Strong is a good coach. He transformed Louisville from a flaming RV of a program to one that churned out -caliber talent and won a lot of games. He has the respect of guys like Steve Spurrier, Urban Meyer and Lou Holtz. Those things count for something. But Strong can’t lose to 24-21 in overtime in Year 3 … and he especially can’t do that by blowing a fourth-quarter lead and having his team turn the ball over six times. Exactly when Texas opts to pull the cord on Strong is less important if only because it’s inevitable now that it will. Given that Strong was never a recipient of the boosters’ full support, it’s probably best the two sides part ways.

It’s been a minute since McCaffrey has been talked about, but he hasn’t had the Heisman Trophy-like year he was expected to have and Stanford experienced a bit of a drop-off. That’s nothing Cal’s run defense can’t fix, though! The dynamic playmaker rushed for a career-high 284 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-31 win over the Golden Bears. It’s probably too late to earn him a trip to New York for the Heisman ceremony, but it was good to see McCaffrey do his thing again.

The Gators won their second straight SEC East title with a starting lineup made of duct tape, some wire and a flimsy piece of cheap gauze. They go to Atlanta — likely to get torn apart by a much better, deeper and healthier — because they beat 16-10 on a . It was not pretty; in fact, it was the opposite. The win counted all the same, though. And the Gators did all of this in the face of heavy criticism for refusing to play the previously-scheduled game against the Tigers on Oct. 8 because of reasons they felt were justified related to Hurricane Matthew. Others /looks directly at LSU/ and tensions boiled over into a . Through all the drama, one side was going to come out look good and the other not so good. Florida happened to come out on the good side.

As for LSU? “,” Gators coach Jim McElwain said.

Buried, but not totally lost in everything else that happened Saturday was LSU’s decision to allow star running back to suit up against the Gators. Reports before the game indicated Fournette, who has been nursing a nagging ankle injury all season, . But he suited up anyway in what appeared to be a change-of-heart after the pre-game confrontation in which he shoved a Gators assistant. He rushed for 40 yards on 12 carries, didn’t score and wasn’t given the ball when the Tigers needed one yard to win the game. And now he’s worse off with LSU vying for a mid-tier bowl bid.

How can a team win and still lose? Ohio State is in a tough spot. It got a hard-earned 17-16 win over with the final score reflecting a failed two-point conversion. However, it doesn’t control its divisional destiny. A win over in Week 13 means nothing in the conference title hunt if beats Michigan State. Would the College Football Playoff Selection Committee still give the Buckeyes a spot as a non-conference champion? We might have a couple of weeks to debate the possibility, though it would seem Ohio State has a shot.

If you haven’t seen Carrington’s spectacular game-winning catch against Utah, you can change that by viewing the video below. Carrington’s catch didn’t just win the game, it might have won the season for the beleaguered Ducks. There hasn’t been much to cheer about and coach Mark Helfrich’s job status has been a point of uncertainty. However, there’s promise at quarterback with freshman Justin Herbert, and Carrington’s touchdown grab, which capped off an impressive drive, shows there’s still heart on this team. Another win and Oregon can go into 2017 with some confidence that the program isn’t in shambles like it’s been projected.

This was shaping up to be a rough year in Lubbock, but did anyone expect a 66-10 loss to ? That’s a low point for coach Kliff Kingsbury, maybe the low point. Quietly, the Cyclones have steadily improved under first-year coach Matt Campbell, but they never had the win to show for it. That’s changed and the Red Raiders have an embarrassing box score to show for it. It’s the third time this year Tech has given up at ler Real Madrid and Argentina star Jorge Valdano has claimed.The Manchester City boss has won titles in England, Spain and Germany, and his famous ‘tiki-taka’ style has been replicated all over the world.And Valdano thinks the Catalan has a “God-like”east 60 points, a bowl game is out of the picture and a season-ending game against is for pride only.

The senior passed a former Pirates wideout, Justin Hardy, to break the FBS record for all-time career catches in a loss to . Hardy ended the day with 12 receptions, putting him with 392 catches for his career. It’s been a disappointing season for the Pirates, but they now have a comfortable spot in the record books with two top-tier pass-catchers.

Coach Butch Jones can . This was a disappointing season given the expectations. Yes, the Vols sustained a rash of injuries that would test any depth chart’s structural integrity. Yes, playing the October from Hell with games against Texas A&M and Alabama stunk. But with this roster that talented and a bad SEC East, there was no reason why Tennessee should not have won the division. Yet, with its own patchwork team, Florida managed to do it, and the Vols’ 63-37 win over hardly seems like a good consolation prize.

There were a lot of records broken today, but Cook surpassing Warrick Dunn for FSU’s all-time career rushing yardage is special. Cook needed 18 yards to bypass the Seminole great and did so easily with 225 yards in a 45-14 win over . The junior now has 4,166 yards for his career and counting.

Oklahoma State’s loss to happened. It’s in the record books and everything. It shouldn’t have happened since the game officials and replay officials botched the untimed down that gave CMU the chance at a successful Hail Mary-lateral, but it happened all the same. Now that Oklahoma State sits at 9-2 thanks to a big win over and on the verge of a possible Big 12 title, . What does the playoff committee do? So far, there have been no signs the Cowboys have a shot at the final four. But if things get weird elsewhere, it at least opens up a conversation that should include this team.

The 55-year-old — yes,n be proud of their stars in the Premier League.Both Ederson and Alisson are first choice keepers for their clubs but it’s the Liverpool shot-stopper who is the regular starter for Brazil.”I think it’s a good sign for all the goalkeepers in Brazil an 55 — made by becoming the oldest player to see South KoreaFormer Manchester United star Ji-Sung Park, and Tottenham star Heung-Min Son are donating to their country’s coronavirus fight.South Korea is one of the most heavily impacted nations from the outbreak, which originated in China.Park and Sthe field. Thomas made that history on senior day (save your jokes, please) with a three-yard rush (he finished with four rushes for -1 yard). Thomas is the father of linebacker Joe Thomas Jr., who also went to South Carolina State.

It was a long shot, but Louisville still had playoff hopes entering Week 12. No more. A 36-10 blowout loss to coupled with ‘s win over seals the Cardinals’ postseason fate. All is not lost, however. remains a frontrunner for the Heisman and 10 (or even 11) wins is still in the cards (no pun intended). But how different things could have looked for Louisville if this week had gone another way.

Coach Craig Bohl has done a remarkable job of turning Wyoming not only into a respectable program, but an actual threat within the Mountain West. The Cowboys picked up a signature win over , the ending of which featured compelling drama with a tipped touchdown pass and a failed two-point conversion by the Aztecs. If Wyoming (8-3) beats next, it will go to the conference championship game. Yes, over .

Scratch the Mountaineers off the longshot playoff list, too. Hosting was paraded as West Virginia’s biggest game since joining the Big 12. And what did the ‘Eers do? Oh, nothing, just got blasted 56-28 in a game that was over by the first quarter. This has been an overachieving season in Morgantown, no doubt. Get two more victories and West Virginia will have its first 10-win season since coach Dana Holgorsen’s first year in 2011. As for its ability to compete with the Big 12’s best, though? West Virginia, save for ‘s 331-yard effort, fell short in a big way.

Clemson quietly wrapped up the ACC Atlantic by handling Wake Forest 35-13 — presumably without the help of the Demon Deacons’ game plan . After the stunning loss to Pitt the week before, the Tigers could use a Saturday away from the spotlight. Assuming Clemson wins its next two games — against and a TBD opponent in the ACC Championship Game — it will be in the playoff easily, and the Pitt loss will be but a minor hiccup.

Last week, I implored top-25 voters to because the Trojans were 8-1 and the lone loss was by six points to Clemson. I should have guessed would get beat 35-3 by thanks to a hefty helping of five turnovers. Never mind. Don’t listen to us.

Way back at the beginning of the season, I at Kansas’ expense when some Jayhawk fans tried to rush the field and were promptly told to return to their seats. The good news is Kansas fans have learned how to properly celebrate a huge win. They successfully tore down a goal post and carried it off the field. That’s called evolving, folks.

It will likely get lost in all the games and upsets, but Notre Dame officially all but officially lost out on bowl eligibility with a 34-31 loss to . But it’s not just that; the Irish blew what was a 24-7 lead and allowed 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. If you’re going go out, that’s a hell of a way to do it.

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LOOK: Buffalo’s long snapper has some snapping skills

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Long snappers generally don’t get a lot of attention, but they have an important job. While fans typically only pay attention to the field goal attempts or the punts themselves, if the snapper doesn’t get off the perfect snap, things can go really bad in a hurry.

But I’m guessing won’t have the problem very often.

Bulls punter Tyler Grassman tweeted some video of his long-snasea’s move to buy outright Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic.The Blues are close to signing loan flop Kovacic for £45million in a permanent deal.Italian transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio claims Lampard will make the Real Madrid midfielder his fipper performing some impressive tricks on Wednesday. That long snapper just happens to be Tyler’s brother, as well, Corbin Grassman.

My Snapper is better than yours 

— Tyler Grassman (@TylerGrask concedes the pressure is something that turns him off.”At the moment I don’t think the profession of trainer is reserved for me,” Van Dijk told Optus Sport. “The world can be very cruel. There are many people with opinions and that can affect yousman)

Did I mention my snapper is better than yours? 

— Tyler Grassman (@TylerGrassman)

These are both rather impressive, and there’s no way I could do either without an enormous amount of luck, but you know what? I would rather see the video where the Grassmans practice knocking the Gatorade bottle ofedly made it clear that there is no future for Sanchez at Old Trafford.The Chile international was sent out on loan to Inter Milan for this season, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists there’s no way back for him, says the Daily Express.United are hopingf somebody’s head that didn’t work.

In the battle of impressive feats vs. dudes getting hit in the face by footballs, getting hit in the face by footballs is always going to win the battle for my heart.

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WATCH: Kentucky football managers re-create ‘Full House’ intro video

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Ah … the offseason. First, (even though he isn’t) and now the  managers appear to be auditioning for Full House: CFB Edition.

The Wildcats’ managers recreated to reports.Leicester City are demanding £80m for their star centre-back.The price has put off Manchester City, but ESPN says United would prepared to pay the money.The report also claims the 26-year-old would be happy joining the Red Devils.The Foxthe famous Full House opening montage and did a pretty great job with it. It shows one of them polishing a Gator cart, one hiding in an equipment trunjoined Wlo on Sunday.It will be the first time he’s returned to his former club since leaving for Chelsea.“It is a special game for me, but we mustn’t spend too much energy on personal issues and focus on the collective,” said the coach in his press conferolves in a deal worth £1m, but will remain on loan at Rochdale until the end of the season.The 17-year-old England Under-18 international scored against Manchester United in the EFL Cup in September.Matheson has made 15 starts for the Leaguek and several doing laundry.

I’ll just leave both of them here and let you judge for yourself which one is better.

 

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Former LSU players Mathieu, Jefferson out of jail after marijuana charges

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As of earlier this month, exiled LSU cornerback/kick returner Tyrann Mathieu was in Baton Rouge, paying his own way, and every indication from coach Les Miles was that his former star would have next year. That chance now seems significantly less legitimate after Mathieu was Thursday afternoon for possession of marijuana.

Mathieu, along with former LSU teammates Jordan Jefferson and Karnell Hatcher were released from jail on Friday morning. Ex-Tiger Derrick Bryant was not released with his former teammates.

According to a from the Baton Rouge Police Department, all four ex-Tigers were booked on misdemeanor drug chachamps has selected Mendy for next week’s Euros qualifiers, having questioned the player’s off-field behaviour when he was injured.But he explained: “He had a deficit with his knee injury. Whenever there are stops, the player is obliged to find rhythrges after officers were called to a complaint at an apartment complex. Per the release:

At approximately 3:30pm officers were dispatched to an apartment at 262 West State in reference to a complaint about a man attempting to force his way in to the complex through a security gate. The man was confronted by a maintenance worker and words were exchanged. Before officers arrived the man had been let into the complex by a resident and was seen going into apartment 2116. When officers went to the apartment and knocked on the door it was answered by the resident, TYRANN MATHIEU, 20.

Officers immediately smelled a strong odor of marijuana and obtained consent from Mathieu to search the apartment. Inside they found three other men, including the one who had allegedly tried to force his way through the gate. He was identified as JORDAN JEFFERSON, 22, [address redacted]. The other two men were identified as DERRICK BRYANT, 22, [address redacted] and KARNELL HATCHER, 22, [of] DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA.

A search of the apartment found a marijuana grinder, digital scale and 10 bags of high grade marijuana. 7 of the bags were found inside Bryant’s booksack. All four men were taken into custody and arrested.

Mathieu, Jefferson and Hatcher were charged with one count apiece of simple possession of marijuana, in Hatcher’s case a second offense. Bryant was charged with possession with intent to distribute. All four were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Jefferson graduated earlier this year after starting 32 games over the course of his LSU career, most memorably ther United are undecided on whether they need to sign a centre-back this summer.The Red Devils have pulled out of the race to sign Leicester City star Harry Maguire.And the Manchester Evening News says the United brass are beginning to question whethee BCS Championship debacle against Alabama in January, in which Jefferson passed for just 53 yards with two turnovers en route to a in his final game. Last year, Jefferson was suspended for much of his senior campaign after being in a bar fight just before the start of the season. That charge was later , and Jefferson eventually returned to the starting lineup over the Tigers’ final four games.

In August, Jefferson of the Canadian Football League, but is no longer pay-cut to move to Inter Milan.The Sun says te 26-year-old will now take a reduced wage in order to sign for Inter and start afresh at the San Siro.Lukaku currently earns in the region of £250,000 per week at United, and is towards the top of the wlisted on .

Mathieu was in August, reportedly for the latest in a series of failed drug tests. After considering a transfer to a smaller school where he had a chance to play this season, Mathieu instead decided to in Houston and return to LSU with an eye toward rejoining the team in 2013.

As a sophomore in 2011, Mathieu finished as the for the No. 2 defense in the nation in both yards and points allowed, including 7.5 tackles for loss, and forced more takeaways – two interceptions, six fumbles – than anyone else on a team that finished second in the nation in turnover margin. He was also in punt return yards, and led the nation with four non-offensive touchdowns. In December, he came in , as the best defensive player in the nation and was voted a by every major outlet.

As a true freshman in 2010, Mathieu recorded 57 tackles, 8.5 of them for loss, and generated seven turnovers (five forced fumbles, two interceptions) despite starting just one game. Multiple outlets tabbed him as , and he closed the season by being voted .

Assuming he’s still eligible under standard NCAA rules (there’s no indication he is not), Mathieu has two years of eligibility remaining at LSU or another school. But he’ll also be eligible for the 2013 next spring, where scouts had sized him up as a probable first or second-round pick, depending on how concerned they are about his less-than-ideal size (he’s listed at 5-foot-9, 176 pounds) and man-to-man cover skills. Although he may still be picked in a later round, a year out of football altogether will force him to fend off questions about rust, and another drug-related incident on his record leaves him open to the dreaded “character risk” label.

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Concussion sidelines Miami giant Seantrel Henderson following car accident

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Earlier this week, put an end to the latest at Miami simply by as usual, reportedly after unexpectedly missing the Hurricanes’ first three preseason sessions to attend a funeral in his home state, Minnesota. But it turns out that was hardly the end of the story: According to the Miami Herald, the 6-foot-8, 340-pound colossus who topped national recruiting rankings two years ago has due to a concussion he suffered in a car accident last week, before his trip home. His return date is uncertain.

posted by the Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts show that Henderson was cited on Aug. 1 for three infractions – driving with an expired license, driving without a license unknowingly and disobeying a traffic sign – and fined a total of $484. Thursday morning, coach Al Golden told reporters Henderson because of “a medical issue” that “we think is a concussion”; later in the day, a university spokesman that Henderson’s concussion is the result of an accident. It’s not clear whether anyone else was involved or injured. Also no word on the status of the vehicle with the misfortune of carrying Henderson at the moment of impact.

Henderson’s father, Sean Henderson, told USA Today that he expected his son to miss more practice time du.The French midfielder has been plagued by injuries this season and he has been absent since returning from the international break this month.He has not played since the 4-1 win at Southampton at the beginning of the month with a series of hamstringe to the injury, which followed the death of his childhood friend in Minnesota and an aunt who was suffering from cancer. “I think he’s strong enough to get through all of this,” Sean Henderson said. “He’s done some kid stuff, but he’s maturing. I believe he’s understanding his role as a junior to be a leader on the team. His grades are good, his back is fine. I think he’s in the best shape of his life right now.”

If Seantrel’s weight surgery.Allegri revealed the news ahead of Sunday’s game with Sampdoria.He said, “Szczesny has a knee problem and will have keyhole surgery over the next few weeks, but he is available for tomorrow. Cristiano Ronaldo is not making the trip, as he neis in fact down to 340 pounds (yes, down to 340 pounds) that may be an accurate assessment, although Henderson’s first two years on campus have not set a particularly high bar for personal fitness. After starting nine games and picking up a handful of Freshman All-America notices in 2010, he missed the first four games last year following , and took another month to work his way back into the starting lineup. Three weeks later, he was sidelined again by that kept him out of the season finale against .

In March, Henderson was for the start of spring practice; in June, he was the – the latest of many – that he was planning to leave the team or had already been dismissed. The speculation for Henderson’s now former teas returned to Spain after frustrating Eden Hazard talks with Chelsea.The London Evening Standard says the move could be in jeopardy with talks between Real and Chelsea collapsing.It had been believed that the 28-year-old was closing in on a £115millmmate, safety Ray-Ray Armstrong, but every indication is that Henderson is in the fold and will play this season once cleared.

If so, he’s scheduled to start at right tackle, alongside the only other ‘Cane lineman on either side of the ball with more experience, right guard . Besides Linder (17 career starts) and Henderson (12 starts), the only other offensive linemen with multiple career starts are junior Jermaine Johnson (5) and sophomore (8), who is in the spring. If Henderson can’t play, for whatever reason, the job is likely to fall to a true freshman, , and the will get that much greener.