2 Man United beat Brugge 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League play-off, with Memphis Depay taking the plaudits.Depay scored twice and created the other, however, a delightful back heel from Wayne Rooney to his Dutch team-mate saw Antoine Griezmann reach for his phone and tweet his amazement (below). 2 Antoine Griezmann enjoyed Wayne Rooney’s back heel Griezmann, who has been linked with Chelsea, has a £56m release clause at Atletico after scoring 22 goals in La Liga last season.Despite the great play, though, Depay was unable to score.VAN GAAL HAPPY WITH DEPAY BUT WARNS IT WILL DIFFICULT TO KEEP FORM UPHave a look at the goals here:
West Brom v Chelsea is live on talkSPORT on Sunday 23 August at 1.30pm.Chelsea responded to last weekend’s hammering at the hands of Manchester City by dipping into the transfer market with two eye-catching signings.Ghanaian left-back Abdul-Rahman, effectively a replacement for Filipe Luis, cost £17million and will be expecting to do more than just warm the bench after such a substantial fee.The acquisition of Pedro, though, has really captured the imagination after a rather subdued few months in the transfer market. While the Blues’ title rivals were strengthening considerably, their was a real feeling at Stamford Bridge that, up until the Spanish forward signed for £21.4m, their recruits were contingency plans for when injuries occurred.PEDRO: MOURINHO SAID ‘HE NEEDED ME’ AT CHELSEAPedro is a proven match winner and one of the best professionals in the game. While La Liga imports haven’t always adapted instantly to the demands of the Premier League, you can expect him to apply himself and put his body on the line for the cause.So how will the Blues line up against West Brom this weekend? talkSPORT takes a look…Possible Chelsea XI: Pedro and Baba Abdul-Rahman 1 Goalkeeper and DefenceAfter a pretty shambolic start to the new season, Chelsea’s defence has come under scrutiny after shipping five goals in two games.Thibaut Courtois’s dismissal against Swansea on the opening weekend will see Asmir Begovic retain his place in goal, and he may have pushed the Belgian for a regular spot after a string of impressive saves against City.The Blues’ back line needs rejuvenating, so Mourinho could look to hand Abdul-Rahman his debut at left-back and switch Cesar Azpilicueta to the opposite flank. The performances of Branislav Ivanovic – usually so reliable – have been below par after getting the run around by Jefferson Montero and Raheem Sterling respectively, so a spell out of the side may benefit the Serbian.John Terry was hooked at half-time during the City defeat after a personal pasting from Sergio Aguero, but he should retain his place in the starting XI at the Hawthorns alongside Gary Cahill.MidfieldPedro’s arrival could see a reshuffle in midfield, although former Barcelona team-mate Cesc Fabregas’s position is causing Mourinho a headache at the moment. Fabregas is one of the Blues’ most crucial creative assets, but he has been criticised for neglecting his defensive duties from a central midfield role. However, because West Brom are not a top eight side, expect him to pair up with Nemanja Matic in a midfield two.Chelsea’s attacking three behind a sole striker has been the cornerstone to their success in recent years, and Pedro on the right of that triumvirate should enhance the Blues’ fluidity. With Eden Hazard a shoe-in on the left, that leaves Willian and Oscar fighting it out for the number 10 spot behind Diego Costa. While neither have hit the ground running so far this season, the former is most likely to get the nod due to his work-rate.AttackThe most undisputable position in the Chelsea side. It’s simple – if Costa is fit, he starts.How do you think Chelsea will line up with their possible new side? Tell us by commenting below…You can listen to West Brom v Chelsea live on talkSPORT on Sunday from 1.30pm.
Alvaro Negredo scored a great goal against Monaco Spain will have five clubs in the Champions League group stage after Valencia saw off Monaco in the play-off round.They join Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Europa League winners Sevilla, who qualify as a result of their victory last season.Valencia lost 2-1 on the night, but go through with a 4-3 aggregate win where former Man City striker Alvaro Negredo – aka the Beast – scored a vital away goal.During his short stay at City, who he joined from Sevilla in 2013, he was popular among fans, but after injury interrupted his debut season, things didn’t go to plan and he claims Manuel Pellegrini decided he was not part of his plans.The striker left for Valencia on loan in 2014 and moved to the Spanish club permanently the following summer.His goal comes in the same week another former Etihad striker, Stevan Jovetic, scored a fantastic goal to help Inter win their first Serie A game of the season. 1
John Barnes has offered his backing to Brendan Rodgers, insisting he can lead Liverpool back into the Champions League.The Reds boss is coming under increasing pressure after a run of four Premier League games without a win and, with Jurgen Klopp reported to be keen on the job, there is a strong appetite for change among the Anfield faithful.But Barnes believes it would be a bad move ditching Rodgers right now, and wants supporters to rally behind the Northern Irishman.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former England star said: “I’m hoping Liverpool fans will stick with Brendan, stick with the team, and support them.“We haven’t got an alternative because changing Brendan at this time or even before Christmas I don’t believe is a sensible option or will achieve anything – so let’s support him.”Rodgers led Liverpool back into the Champions League following a five-year hiatus in 2013/14, when the club came so close to winning the Premier League.They finished outside of the top four last season and have started this term in disappointing fashion, but Barnes insists Rodgers can turn things around if given the chance.“I believe Liverpool will get it right to challenge for fourth,” he said.“I understand the expectations and, as to whether they can come back and win the league or finish second, probably not, but I still believe if people stick with the club then can we challenge for fourth.“Brendan is the right man for this team, this squad, as it stands. If you are talking about bringing someone in in January or the end of the season and spending lots of money and changing the whole situation around from a playing perspective, maybe then you can start talking about changing the manager. But I don’t believe another manager can come in and work with this squad of players that they have.“I really believe we haven’t got the quality that we had. We have lost Suarez, Gerrard, Sterling and Sturridge. We are relying on Coutinho for our creativity. Apart from that we have got good, honest, hard-working players, great harmony, great togetherness, as we showed in our performance against Arsenal, and I think we can get back to that.“I don’t think we can will ever get back to the football we played two years ago because we have not got the players for that but I think if we support them we can turn it around.”
Reports have claimed that Lionel Messi is open to a move to the Premier League having grown frustrated with his tax case in Spain. And while a large number of supporters claim the propsect of the Argentine magician heading to England wouldn’t happen in a million years, others have reacted with a tad more excitement.Of course, there’s the possibility that, as has been seen in many other cases, Messi could simply be vying for a new contract or may even encouraging offers so as to discover his transfer value.But, what’s the harm in a little dreaming?One Arsenal fan comically hinted that the Gunners’ lack of spending could all be a part of Arsene Wenger’s hidden plan to lure Barcelona’s No.10 to the Emirates Stadium.While another imagined Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho using Messi as a scapegoat for not tracking back during a Blues defeat…Read these and more of the best responses to the Messi rumour below. 1 Reports have claimed that Lionel Messi is open to a move to the Premier League having grown frustrated with his tax case in Spain
Mark Schwarzer has dampened talk of a top four finish for Leicester, insisting their focus remains on reaching the 40-point mark.The Foxes’ remarkable run of form continued on Saturday as they beat Swansea to move top of the Premier League table.Claudio Ranieri’s side, among the relegation favourites at the start of the season, have lost just one of their 15 games and supporters are starting to believe Champions League qualification – or even the title – is a real possibility.But Schwarzer, an unused substitute in the 3-0 win over the Swans, told talkSPORT on Monday that the Leicester squad are refusing to get carried away by their stunning early success.Asked if they are talking about a Champions League place in the dressing room, the Australian responded: “No, not at all.“It is quite bizarre at the moment. Everyone is just enjoying the journey we are having.“Being at the top of the table is something that nobody expected. I don’t think there is any single person around who would say they tipped us to be where we are.“It is just an unbelievable journey at the moment. The guys are playing to the best of their ability and we are trying to make the most of the situation we are in.“The goal has always been to get to 40 points as quickly as possible. At this rate it will be very, very soon and we have just got to continue the momentum.“We have got some really tough games coming up over the next four weeks and it is going to be a very telling period of how the season will pan out in the end.”
Two people who returned to school after dropping out were featured speakers during today’s launch of LAUSD’s “My Future, My Decision” program, which targets the district’s high dropout rate. Appearing with Los Angeles Unified School District Board President Monica Garcia and Superintendent David L. Brewer III, Jordan High School students Miguel Garcia and Araceli Vasquez urged their classmates to stay in school. “The reason I kept going is I wanted to go to college and be a medical assistant,” said Vasquez, who told her story to reporters in English and Spanish. Now in her fifth year at Jordan High, Vasquez drew a cheer when she answered Monica Garcia’s question about her anticipated graduation date. “In February,” the beaming Vasquez said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityThe soft-spoken Miguel Garcia told the gathering he also is in his fifth year at the school. He said that this time, he won’t stop step off campus for good without having that piece of paper in hand. “I always knew that having a diploma is important,” he said. “I don’t want to have a bad job and be stuck in the streets all my life.” Miguel Garcia and Vasquez wore T-shirts touting the “My Future, My Decision” program, the details of which are available at www.myfuturemydecision.com. Monica Garcia said the LAUSD’s goal is to have every student who comes through the classroom doors as a ninth grader reach their senior year and get a diploma. She said that with “My Future, My Decision,” the district is reaching out to its students in danger of dropping out, or who have already quit school. “You are not alone,” she said. “We know you can succeed when we connect you to our services.” Brewer echoed Monica Garcia’s plea to those students who gave up on getting a diploma. “Come back, come back to school, we have resources for you,” Brewer said. “Do not stay out there and become a statistic in our society.” Those who finish high school on average make $300,000 over the course of their careers than those who do not, Brewer said. Board member Richard Vladovic said the LAUSD is no place for losers. “A winner gets off the ground and overcomes those obstacles,” Vladovic said. “It’s a new day, we’re going to help you be successful.” Marshall E. Drummond, Los Angeles Community College District Chancellor, said his schools are the key to achieving more dreams for those who drop back in and want additional further success. He said money is not an obstacle to college. “We have more financial aid than we can give away,” Drummond said. Debra Duardo, director of the LAUSD’s Dropout Prevention and Recovery Program, said she left school in the ninth grade and had a baby at age 16. But she said she persevered, obtained her first degree from the LACCD and later bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCLA. “We understand things happen in life,” Duardo said while urging students to not let those setbacks be permanent roadblocks to getting finishing school. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Lisa Leslie, 34, who sat out the 2007 season to give birth, is entering the twilight of her WNBA career. Now, the pick allows the Sparks to select an impact player who they can build around for the next decade. Senior Sylvia Fowels of LSU, an athletic 6-foot-6 post player, and 6-5 Candace Parker of Tennessee – if she elects to make herself available – are thought to be the cream of the crop. Parker, who sat out a year because of an injury, is eligible to come out with her senior class. Forward Tasha Humphrey of Georgia (6-3) and guard Candice Wiggins of Stanford (5-11 ) are others who are expected to be top candidates. “Does it make the Sparks future look bright? Yes,” Toler said. “It’s not about the dynasty because you’ve still got to play. … We are going to wait to see who is available and draft accordingly.” The Sparks, who tied with Minnesota for the worst record in the league at 10-24 last season, selected Sidney Spencer of Tennessee 25th in the 2007 draft. She finished second in the vote for WNBA Rookie of the Year. Earlier this month, Cooper predicted the Sparks would land the No. 1 pick, get some top free agents to go along with Leslie and Spencer and bring a WNBA title back to Los Angeles. Arguably the Sparks’ biggest need is in the backcourt, where they struggled last season when Temeka Johnson missed all but 11 games. The sharpshooting Spencer, along with Spanish guard Marta Fernandez, should continue to see much of the ball in 2008. After coming over from the Liberty during the season, Sherill Baker averaged 8.5 points in just over 20 minutes a game and should continue to develop. Mwadi Mabika started 23 games and averaged 8.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Still, a floor leader might be an early second-round option, especially with Johnson’s health in question. Atlanta, an expansion team added to the Eastern Conference last week, was automatically awarded the No. 4 pick. The date of the draft, traditionally held after the NCAA Women’s Final Four, has not been determined. The remaining draft order, based on team record, is the New York Liberty with the seventh pick, followed by the Seattle Storm, Connecticut Sun and Sacramento Monarchs rounding out the top 10. The Detroit Shock, Indiana Fever, defending champion Phoenix Mercury and Liberty wrap up the first round. Last year, Phoenix became the first team to win the No. 1 pick despite having the longest odds – 2.5 percent. The Mercury selected Lindsey Harding and minutes later traded her to the Lynx for veteran forward Tangela Smith. The lottery was conducted by league officials and representatives from the accounting firm of Ernst & Young at the WNBA office in New York. News services contributed to this story.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.But on Tuesday, when the WNBA held its draft lottery in New York to determine the selection order for six teams, everything in the cosmos fell right in place for Coach Michael Cooper and the Sparks to win the lottery and receive the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 WNBA draft in April. The Sparks had 341 chances out of 1,000 (34.1 percent) to win the top spot. “I feel great right now,” Sparks general manager Penny Toler said. “It’s about the universe lining up. It’s a great day for the Sparks. It’s a great day for L.A. When something like this happens. You have to enjoy the moment.” The Chicago Sky will draft second followed by the Minnesota Lynx, the new Atlanta franchise, the Houston Comets and the Washington Mystics. Toler agreed that this is one of the most pivotal moments in franchise history. The ball club is entering a transition period. WNBA: The foundation for the club’s next generation could be determined. By Earl Williams STAFF WRITER Last season, the moon, stars and planets didn’t line up perfectly for the Sparks to make the playoffs.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Bush also singled out state officials for praise, even though there has been sniping about bureaucracy and state rules preventing the deployment of sufficient aerial support in the blazes’ first hours. “State and local authorities in California were well prepared for this crisis, and they responded quickly and effectively,” Bush said. The president had said a main aim of his trip was to inspire weary firefighters and others pitching into help. “Many of these brave men and women have battled the blaze in triple-digit heat. Some have worked around the clock. And more than once, firefighting teams were forced to take emergency shelter in their fire tents when threatened by approaching walls of flame,” he said in the address. “I was grateful for the opportunity to meet them, and I thank them for their courage.” WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush touted his administration’s response to the California wildfires Saturday. “I made a pledge to the people of California on behalf of all Americans: We will help you put out the fires, get through the crisis and rebuild your lives,” he said in his weekly radio address. Bush visited California on Thursday to see for himself the damage from fires that have burned in seven counties since Sunday. In the radio address, with many of the fires still threatening and unpredictable, the president said the federal government has responded to state pleas for help. Among Washington’s contributions that he ticked off were the contribution of federal firefighters and aircraft and swift emergency declarations to help speed federal aid. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Sara Ramirez didn’t join the cast of “Grey’s Anatomy” until its second season. But her character of Dr. Callie Torres – recently promoted to chief resident – is in the thick of things. Callie’s love life has been getting most of the attention lately, focusing on her messy split from George O’Malley (T.R. Knight). “Like all the other characters on the show, I think Callie has her flaws, her issues, her hang-ups. We don’t know all the ins-and-outs of why she truly was with George. I think there was a pure love there but I’m sure Callie has other issues behind clinging onto something that just isn’t right,” Ramirez said. While the role on “Grey’s” has made Sara (pronounced Sa-Da) known to television audiences, the New York theater scene has been aware of her for some time now. She won the 2005 Tony Award for her performance as The Lady of the Lake in “Monty Python’s Spamalot.” Sara is certain she will return to the stage at some point: “I consider New York and theater my home, my home base where I sort of grew up. I miss it and I hope they’ll have me back whether it’s a musical – it doesn’t have to be on Broadway – or a play. I’m up for that. I miss the theater, I miss the whole symbiotic relationship between actor and audience and being on stage. The live factor.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!