Crystal Palace defender Kelly happy for Gauita after winning debutby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCrystal Palace defender Martin Kelly was delighted to be part of victory over Leicester City.The Scouser was impressive for the 1-0 win.Kelly said, “I felt we did really well as a team,” he said. “We showed again how dangerous we are at home, especially with how loud the fans are. We had a really strong performance and every one of us fought for those three points today.”Every game now feels massive, it always does in the Premier League. There are no games that you take for granted but we know going into home games we’ve got a real chance of getting a result because of how good our fans are. They put us on the front foot.”On debutant Vicente Guaita’s clean sheet, Kelly added: “Vicente has been working his socks off in training, waiting for his chance, and he saved us today with that stop. He was brilliant.”He’s quite a character if you get to know him. He doesn’t know much English but he knows the basics, he knows enough to communicate with you on the pitch and that’s what you want when the big man’s behind you. You need him to be talking, he can see the whole pitch. He’s settled in and I’m sure he’ll be made up that he’s had his chance and he’s done well.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Bret Bielema Mother’s Day CardsRecruiting college football players doesn’t just mean recruiting the actual athletes – coaches often have to convince a player’s family that their school is the right place for their loved one. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema gave us a reminder of that Friday morning.Bielema, who took a flight to the NFL Draft to support his players, posted photos of Mother’s Day cards he’s sending to recruits’ mothers. He also mentioned that he’s willing to write to girlfriends of recruits – if need be.Productive flight to draft. Mother’s Day cards for prospects #WoooPig … Can write girlfriends if needed! pic.twitter.com/c5HCWkjFGo— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) May 1, 2015This isn’t anything new – but usually, we see the finished product from recruits, not coaches. The Razorbacks have done a nice job on the recruiting trail the past few years – we’ll see if it continues.
The IBI Summer of Service (SOS) application period is open from April 2 to 30, 2019. Students matriculating to colleges and/or universities are invited to submit their application to execute service and be rewarded with full-time and/or pat-time scholarships and other support towards their educational development.The Summer of Service (SOS) is a competition conceptualized, developed and executed by the I Believe Initiative (IBI), an arm of the Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence (GGPE). It is a programme which will be executed over a four (4) month period April – August 2019.Participants are required to seek permission from the authority of an established organization (governmental, non-governmental, religious and service clubs etc.) to provide their voluntary service. Once approved students are asked to complete the requisite documents posted on www.ggpe.org.jm and submit a scanned copy of the registration form to [email protected] by the required time.The shortlisted candidates will be notified to commence executing their service. At the end of the voluntary service period of 8 weeks (96hrs in total) depending on performance, the students will be rewarded with full-time and/or part-time scholarships, grants, book vouchers and or other educational support to further their programme of study.The Summer of Service (SOS) Programme aims to increase volunteerism among the Jamaican youth. Since its inception in 2013, beneficiaries of this competition have commented that as a result of the SOS they have continued to volunteer and learnt positive values such as determination and persistence.TARGET AUDIENCE: The Summer of Service Competition is highly dependent on partnerships for its execution and the achieving of its objectives. This year we are seeking to partner with NGOs, Service Clubs, Religious and Community organizations. The participants will volunteer with these organizations as part of the competition.As in the past five (5) years we are also seeking sponsorship from Corporate Jamaica. Once a corporate entity partners with the IBI the positive message is sent in all promotional efforts that they are collaborating with the Governor-General in reaching out to youth to help direct them to a brighter future.
This makes some sense from both sides if you think about it.natesilver: :inhales from vape:kyle: The Cavs add rebounding and passing in the frontcourt and youth in the backcourt.natesilver: :inhales deeply:chris.herring: Wow, Kyle.neil: LOL. I think we’re done here. kyle: This is a real thing, though: Building in a small market is HARD. This is why teams like the Pistons take such big risks just to get a guy like Blake Griffin or why Memphis paid Mike Conley and Marc Gasol knowing the clock was up on that core. Things worked out, eventually, for the Philly teardown, but even those guys, good as they look, are playing .500 ball in the East at the stage Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal were making the finals.If the Cavs parachute out of the LeBron era, they have to be VERY certain that there’s no chance whatsoever this season and that LeBron is very, very likely to leave.chris.herring: I honestly think he’d have to straight-up tell them he’s gone. Anything short of that, and fans will never forgive you. We’re a site that deals in probabilities, but no fan would give a damn about that.natesilver: I mean, I feel like we’re going in circles here. Let’s say the Cavs have a (i) 5 percent to 10 percent chance to win the title this year; (ii) 70 percent chance that LeBron leaves this summer; (iii) a further 70 percent chance that LeBron leaves next summer, even if he’s still here this summer. And let’s say you can get a potential franchise talent — not a Ben Simmons level talent, but say Donovan Mitchell or Ingram — in return.chris.herring: All it would take is LeBron saying 20 years from now that he never wanted to leave, and Dan Gilbert would get threatening letters in droves for a decision that actually seemed wise at the time.neil: That’s the thing with LeBron — he loves to keep his options open.kyle: neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): We are all gathered here because FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver had a very hot NBA trade deadline take that he needed to get out into the world. Nate, what is your idea?natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): I think the Cavaliers should trade LeBron James.🔥neil: Go on …natesilver: I think the Cavaliers are a dumpster fire right now, and their trade options aren’t very attractive because their second- and third-best players are at the bottom of their market value (because of an injury in Kevin Love’s case). And I think it’s too risky to trade Brooklyn’s No. 1 pick when there’s a good chance that LeBron leaves anyway this summer. So it’s maybe their least-worst option.kyle (Kyle Wagner, senior editor): Disagree, vehemently, but also I have a muscle emoji trade proposal for if they do, so willing to hear this out.natesilver: I’m assuming they can get something pretty good, though.chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior sportswriter): Funny thing is, I think Love’s value would have been pretty decent now had it not been for his injury.neil: So this notion implicitly assumes that the Cavs have no chance this year and should just wave the white flag on the season. Is that fair for a LeBron-led team that has won the East three years running, even given how bad they look right now?chris.herring: But this dumpster fire does feel fundamentally different from the past midseason lulls.natesilver: Just to set a fairly low bar here … what if the Cavs could get Brandon Ingram + Lonzo Ball + an unprotected No. 1 from the Lakers. (Plus a bunch of crap to make the salaries work.) They’d definitely be smart to do that, right? (Assuming that LeBron telegraphs that he’ll sign in LA long term, which is part of the Lakers’ calculus.)chris.herring: I guess it comes down to this: Yes, it would be devastating and perhaps crippling to lose the guy for nothing. At the same time, don’t you have to be 100 percent sure that he wouldn’t come back before you deal him?(It’s also worth mentioning here that he has a no-trade clause. So they couldn’t just deal him away without talking with him first.)natesilver: kyle: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOneil: LOLchris.herring: 😒 😒😒😒😒😒😒natesilver: It’s basically the Arizona Wranglers-Chicago Blitz franchise swap option.chris.herring: I will say this: We don’t exactly know how Gordon Hayward comes back. And he hasn’t shown to be someone you can run your offense through. It grinded my gears last year that Iso Joe Johnson was Utah’s end-of-game shot taker.neil: I just wanna see the look on Kyrie Irving’s face when that is announced.chris.herring: Exactly! Kyrie would throw a hissy fit if that happened. He just ran away from that situation. So you can’t deal for a guy that would put him in that scenario all over again.natesilver: You can also include a Al Horford-for-Love swap if you want as part of it — the salaries work out.neil: Even better!But, seriously, I’m curious — does the destination in-season have to be the team LeBron would be interested in re-signing with? How would the return package change between a team that thinks it can hang onto LeBron past 2018 and a team for whom he’s just a five-month rental?natesilver: I guess I’m thinking back to the Carmelo Anthony precedent — where a team would pay a lot to “lock him in.” Maybe a big premium over fair market price.chris.herring: Kind of like the Rockets just did with Chris Paul, before he hit free agency?kyle: OK, here’s an actual (and still idiotic) idea: If Cleveland is going to trade for a Boston guard, it should target Marcus Smart. Cleveland’s defense is awful. Marcus is a one-man defense. Boston very likely can’t pay Marcus this summer. Given Cleveland’s needs, Smart makes as much sense as a microwave scoring option to replace Kyrie one-to-one. It’s just much harder to justify spending assets on him to your fans and owner.natesilver: But Cleveland doesn’t really have needs anymore if they trade LeBron, right?Or at least, not short-term needs?kyle: If Cleveland trades LeBron, its short-term needs include riot gear and tarps for the 300-level.chris.herring: LOLneil: What’s incredible is that even after all of their struggles, the Cavs are still quite likely to make the playoffs. So basically this would have them limp into the postseason as a hollowed-out zombie version of a team, while some other team actually trying will miss the playoffs.natesilver: natesilver: Wait, what is happening? I can’t even process it with all those colors.kyle: The Lakers would win 25 games. That’s … not terrible, right?kyle: I don’t think the Bucks make sense at all, tbh. There’s a ton of duplication of skills with Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Giannis isn’t developed the way Dwyane Wade was in 2010 to play next to LeBron as a non-shooter.natesilver: But they’re getting 2018 Wade in the deal! Return to Milwaukee!I agree that they have overlapping-ish skill sets (which is a very, very nice thing to say about Giannis). But if the Bucks already had LeBron and you could clone him — well, you’d give up Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton and Thon Maker and Matthew Dellavedova for that, wouldn’t you?kyle: That’s the same reason the 76ers don’t really work. Joel Embiid is an amazing fit, but Ben Simmons not being able to shoot past the length of his arm is a tough, tough sell. Look at the players who have thrived next to LeBron — aside from Wade, who turned into a killer off-ball cutter and could always get to the rack, there isn’t really another guy who thrived with James without an outside shot. LeBron teams just run the LeBron offense, and a star like Giannis or Simmons doesn’t really fit that mold.In a way, the Bucks would be better off keeping Jabari and Middleton in that deal and finding another way to get value for Giannis.natesilver: Are you ready to get trolled? Here’s my next idea.chris.herring: LOL. Nate’s next idea must be a doozynatesilver: According to our projections, the Cavs have a 16 percent chance of reaching the finals again and a 5 percent chance of winning the title. And that’s with giving them a huge post-season bonus that assumes they’ll be a much better team in April than they are now.kyle: The reason the Cavs shouldn’t trade LeBron is pretty simple to me: certainty. They are trash right now, but we do expect at least some elevation come playoff time, just given recent history. But if you can make two assumptions, it’s crazy to trade him:Assumption 1: The Cavs are still a lock or a heavy favorite to advance out of the East. This is not a certainty! But I’m still having a very, very hard time taking Boston and Toronto at face value.Assumption 2: If a star Warrior is injured, the Cavs, as currently constructed, can beat that team, or at least be competitive.Assumption 1 gives you certainty: For the same reason that teams’ championship odds go WAY up once they advance a round and the other teams in the pool are still locking up their series, being chalk for the finals gives the Cavs a huge edge — if we think that’s still true.Assumption 2 is more important, though: If we think it’s true, it means their win-condition has not meaningfully changed. The Cavs were never going to compete with a full-strength Warriors team. They may have thought they were, but given the state of their roster and the state of Golden State’s, it was not going to happen. They always needed something to go sideways. In other words, this is still the best chance the Cavs will have at a title, and those chances maybe aren’t as diminished from earlier this season, or last season, as it seems.natesilver: (If you use a system like Basketball Power Index that doesn’t include a playoff boost, the Cavs’ odds of winning the title are … 0.2%).kyle: That said, they should definitely try to trade LeBron for Kawhi Leonard and see what happens.neil: Yes!natesilver: But what are the chances that Isaiah Thomas isn’t still complete trash by the playoffs?Or maybe that’s setting a low bar — but that he’s an above-average point guard (meaning very good offensively given his defensive liabilities).kyle: Low! But that doesn’t change the premise here. The question isn’t how much better the Cavs can get here; it’s whether improving this last-gasp roster with LeBron, who may leave this summer, is the best shot Cleveland has at a title. The alternative is tearing it all down and playing the lottery game, but that isn’t anything close to a guarantee at a roster that can mount even an empty challenge for the title.We’ve seen what rebuilding without LeBron looks like in Cleveland.natesilver: I guess I’m just assuming that he’s more likely than not to leave and that if he stays, he might only stay for a year.neil: What do you think those odds are, Nate, if you had to put a number on it?natesilver: I think there’s a … 70 percent chance that he leaves? I dunno. I’m not Woj. I just think there are other places where he’d be more likely to win a title and that he doesn’t have a lot to prove in Cleveland.kyle: I get that, but my argument here is that one playoff run with LeBron is worth several years of potential value, because certainty is very hard to come by and LeBron is as close to a sure thing as we’ve had. So if you can flip the Nets pick and Isaiah for, say, Kemba Walker, you should max out in your window. The bill will come due, but I think it’s reasonable to max out when you think you’ve got a shot, even a faint one.(FWIW, Woj-types believe Cleveland won’t trade the pick before the deadline.)neil: Yeah, a lot of it depends on what we think the Cavs’ odds of winning this season are as currently constructed in addition to the odds that LeBron would return to Cleveland (which could happen!), versus the chance that they’d be able to build a team as close to contending as this one using the Brooklyn pick plus whatever assets they get in a LeBron trade.Which I think is what you’re getting at, Kyle.natesilver: I think our odds showing them with only a 16 percent chance of winning the East are too low. But they’re really dysfunctional right now, they have a lot of work to do just get functional, they’re probably going to have to win a couple of road series just to make the finals … and then they’re going to have to beat the Warriors, or maybe the Rockets.kyle: Anyway, back to my Kawhi trade. LeBron and Pop! LeBron could make a pairing with LaMarcus Aldridge work! Remember that no-look Hammer pass that LeBron claimed he was the the only person in the world capable of throwing but actually Boris Diaw threw for the Spurs for years and years? Run that back!!!Also not for nothing, but Boris was a useful player in the league very recently, and he was essentially Washed-Up LeBron. I’m pretty sure LeBron could be 2015 Boris at age 60.natesilver: Why would San Antonio do that, though?chris.herring: There’s a part of me that wants Bron to play out the rest of the season as a Cav and then just maneuver a way to San Antonio or Houston.kyle: So LeBron’s no-trade clause makes all of this very academic. But in the timeline in which this happens, it would be backchanneled that he’d stick around a while. And IF the rift between Kawhi and the front office is real and IF Kawhi’s mysterious leg injury persists … Pop still tells Cavs owner Dan Gilbert to eat dirt, but it would be fun.And in theory, it would get him down there under the cap.chris.herring: I don’t think he would truly elevate anyone to championship level this year, aside from maybe Boston. The gap is too wide between the Warriors, the Rockets and everyone else.neil: And that factor is a big part of any LeBron trade — since he has the no-trade clause, as you mentioned, Chris, he basically gets to choose what situation would be best for winning over the rest of this season.natesilver: Here’s another idea that I stole from some Bucks blog I was reading: (Edit: Actually, here.)natesilver: This is the kind of thing that all parties might be able to get behind IF they all admit this season is a wash.natesilver: Yeah, if LeBron went to the Lakers this year, part of the idea might be that he’d get to take the playoffs off or maybe even end his regular season early (unless they won like six in a row or something).kyle: It clears the decks for LeBron in LA salary-wise, moves one but not all of the young talent, and slots in LeBron with Lonzo, Kyle Kuzma, a possible Julius Randle re-signing (haven’t done that exact math) and another free agent.tchow (Tony Chow, video producer): Jumping in late here, but if we’re doing Lakers trades, I’m just going to leave this here. TEAM BANANA BOAT!tchow: The NBA trade deadline is Thursday afternoon, so we assembled FiveThirtyEight’s resident basketball writers — plus editor-in-chief/trade machine troll Nate Silver — to bandy about some, um, creative trade ideas for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sure, James says he won’t waive his no-trade clause. (He says a lot of things.) But if LeBron somehow does assent to a deal, should the Cavs think about trading him? The transcript below has been lightly edited.
OSU freshman linebacker Baron Browning addresses the media on National Singing day at the Woody Hayes Athletic Complex on Feb. 1, 2017. Credit: Nicholas McWilliams | Sports EditorBaron Browning just might be the perfect replacement for Raekwon McMillan.On Wednesday, Browning and his fellow early enrollees from the 2017 Ohio State football recruiting class addressed the media at the Woody Hayes Athletic Complex. A native of Texas, Browning fielded questions about Whataburger and the new pipeline of players from the state bolting to Ohio and other places, but one of the most intriguing queries was about playing cornerback at times.An athletic freak, the incoming freshman has been known to have crazy versatility. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds by the Buckeyes, he is only about 10 pounds lighter than outgoing Raekwon McMillan, but the fact he is trusted to take on the responsibility of a wide receiver speaks volumes about his ability.“Usually I only did it, though, when there’s a receiver they needed me to take out (of) the equation,” Browning said on Wednesday. “As far as what that says to me, I just say that for my size I’m very versatile. Just because I weigh as much as I do, that doesn’t limit me I guess.”McMillan is not necessarily known for his coverage ability, and it showed at times last season. Browning brings in the potential to cover passes effectively, but only time will tell if Urban Meyer and his coaching staff decide to use his apparent coverage ability in game.A linebacker who isn’t limited by his size is a scary proposition for opposing teams, and Browning fits the bill of a dominant force on the inside of the defense. That is, if he ends up playing in the middle, since new linebackers coach Bill Davis has apparently been teaching the linebackers how to play all over the unit.Browning himself doesn’t know where he’s playing yet.“I really can’t tell you,” he said. “I know, just talking to coach Davis, he plans on teaching us all three linebacker positions, so it’s his call.”Browning, like most of the incoming freshman, is doing his best to adjust to the new level of competition. He spoke about how, initially, he thought the warm-up to one of OSU’s early drills was the actual workout. “Once I found out that was a warmup, I knew I couldn’t get my hopes up,” he said. “I just had to try to make it through. Ice tub became my best friend after that.”Even though he’s been tested so far, Browning has an apparent solid relationship with OSU coach Urban Meyer. Browning shared a story about when he pulled a prank on Meyer, and called to tell him he was deciding on Alabama instead of the Buckeyes.Meyer did not react well.“I threw my phone against the damn wall,” he said.However, after the smoke had cleared and Meyer discovered he would still be getting the top-ranked outside linebacker in 2017, he devised his own plan to get back at Browning, even recruiting the help of his mother. Meyer told Browning over the phone he would be taking the job as the Los Angeles Rams new head coach.This, of course, was a lie, but Browning took it to heart before Meyer came forward with the truth.“He got me back,” Browning said. “I see how he felt. I was really more so mad because my mom was in on it too. They planned it together. I guess I had that coming.”In the upcoming season, Browning’s play will be a testament to just how good the five-star recruit can be. As for now, he will continue to try and develop as a player, and live up to the precedent set by so many historically stellar linebackers who have come through Columbus.After all, he did say the reason players like him travel such a long way for college is to grow.“I would say probably the reason everyone is leaving Texas is because everybody wanna be great, so they’re going to where they feel like they can grow the most.”
The cross country Big Ten Championships meet is more than two weeks away, but the Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country teams will get a chance to run against championship-level competition Friday. The Buckeyes will run at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational Oct. 14 in Madison, Wis. The meet will feature a number of ranked teams. Nineteen men’s teams are ranked in the top 30 in the country with the women’s field including 18 of the top 30 teams. OSU men’s head coach Robert Gary said having such a high number of good teams at one meet outside of the NCAA National Championship is a rarity. “This is an unprecedented number of great teams, usually you don’t get this many good teams at one meet until the national meet,” he said. Coaches from both OSU’s men’s and women’s teams said they are excited their runners are getting a chance to compete at a high level before championship season. “I think one of the good things about this meet is you have such good competition,” OSU women’s assistant coach Chris Neal said. “I think it’s a good chance for some of our girls to get out and run fast.” Another aspect of the meet that intrigues both coaches is the amount of Big Ten teams that will be in Madison: nine for the men and 10 for the women. A number of teams that the Buckeyes will run against at the Great Lakes regional meet are also a part of the field. Gary said he is looking forward to seeing how his team measures up with the rest of the conference and teams from OSU’s region. Viewing the meet as a “trial run” for the Big Ten championship is something the women are doing according to Neal. “This (meet) will allow us to see where we line up and what moves we need to make over the next couple weeks,” he said. The men will be without one of their top runners, redshirt senior Jake Edwards, who injured his hamstring at the Notre Dame Invitational Sept. 30. Even though Edwards isn’t running, the men think a top-10 finish is possible. “That’d be great,” junior Donny Roys said. “Getting in the top 10 will show that we’re meant to be at the national meet.” The women have aspirations of a high team finish as well, redshirt senior Jordan Jennewine said. “I think as a team we’d really love to be around top 20,” she said. In order for both teams to reach their place goals, running as a pack will be key. “I think we just need to get out and stay together,” Roys said. “We need to work on the last couple miles and staying together from the beginning.” Jennewine said having a small split between the first and fifth runner is important for the women to run well. “We already talked about keeping the spread small, and we’ll really keep our point total down,” she said. “When you have a lot of good teams, that’s basically the key to winning.” Coach Neal agreed. “When you’re talking about a field of this size, 15 seconds can be 40 points,” he said. “So, we really have to get our fifth and sixth runners to be up where our two through four runners are.” After running on Friday, the women will have a week off before the Big Ten Championship meet Oct. 30. The men will run at the Eastern Michigan Fall Classic Oct. 21.
Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann claps after a Buckeye defensive stop in the first half in the game against Radford on Nov. 12. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State will dance again.For the first time since the 2014-15 season, the Buckeyes will play in the NCAA Tournament. They are the No. 5 seed in the west regional, hosted by No. 4-overall seed Xavier. Ohio State will face No. 12 South Dakota St. in the first round of the tournament in Boise, Idaho. The remaining top four seeds in the west regional are No. 2 North Carolina, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Gonzaga. Should the Buckeyes advance past South Dakota St., they will face the winner of the Gonzaga-UNC Greensboro matchup in the Round of 32.Ohio State is joined throughout the bracket by Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan. Purdue is the No. 2 seed in the east regional and Michigan State represents the No. 3 seed in the midwest regional.The appearance in the March Madness tournament represents a major turnaround for a program that failed to reach the NIT a season ago. In the first year of the Chris Holtmann-era, the head coach led the Buckeyes to their best regular-season finish at 24-7 since Ohio State went 25-6 in the 2011-12 season. Though the season was a major turnaround, Penn State was able to get the better of the Buckeyes in all three meetings, including the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament. The Nittany Lions seemed to have the answer for the Buckeyes every time, relying on guards Tony Carr and Shep Garner for point production.Given the struggles of Ohio State to defend against guards with a size advantage, the Buckeyes will hope to avoid playing any teams that lean heavily on guard play for scoring.
Manchester City’s Nicolas Otamendi has rated Romelu Lukaku has on of his two most difficult opponents he has ever had to faceThe Argentina international has been a prominent member of Pep Guardiola’s side this season with City currently looking set to seal the Premier League title next month and have already won silverware this season due to their victory in the Carabao Cup final over Arsenal last month.But Otamendi has suffered a number of high-profile mistakes in his first two seasons at the Etihad Stadium, but appears to have sorted out his issues under Guardiola this season.The defender rates Manchester United’s Lukaku as one of the most difficult players he has ever had to face with Barcelona forward Luis Suarez being the other.Report: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…“There are many,” Otamendi told Marca when asked his most difficult opponent.“Luis Suarez is a striker who is constantly moving, making diagonal runs, creating space, then you always have to be prepared to run.“Then Lukaku is another very strong player, technically good, quick… It’s between those two.”
The superstars cancelled each other, as Ronaldo and Griezmann scored one each in the 1-1 draw between the city rivals.Zinedine Zidane decided to make a few changes from the team that beat Juventus in the Champions League. Casemiro, Modric, Isco and Benzema were on the bench to start the match. Lucas Vasquez, Mateo Kovacic and Marco Asensio joined Toni Kroos in the midfield, while Gareth Bale was Ronaldo’s partner in attack. Diego Simeone also made a couple of tweaks to the lineups that defeated Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League. Thomas Partey started in place of Gabi and Jesus Vitolo took Angel Correa’s place. With Filipe Luis injured, Lucas Hernandez was the left back. Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa were leading the attack.In the 9th minute, we had the first opportunity. Kroos delivered a good corner kick that bounced off a Real Madrid player’s head and right onto Ronaldo’s knee. Fortunately for Atletico, the Portuguese didn’t have enough time to react and the ball was struck right into Oblak’s hands. Toni Kroos received the first yellow card of the match for a sliding challenge on Antoine Griezmann. Minutes later, Vitolo earned Atletico Madrid’s first booking of the match. We had another interesting situation when one of Atletico’s players ran into Kroos inside the box. The game wasn’t stopped and Asensio clipped the woodwork on the ensuing shot. The replay showed that the referee could’ve shown on the spot.In the 20th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo fired a long-range shot with his left foot, but Oblak was ready and deflected the attempt over the bar. Varane also had a chance after a corner kick that was also saved by Oblak. As expected, Real Madrid was the dominant side, while Simeone applied his typical tactic of shutting the door and waiting for a chance to counter-attack. Atletico had its first attempt on goal in the 30th minute and it was a serious one. Koke sent a perfect pass to Diego Costa, who avoided the offside trap and was running at Navas from the right side. He fired a shot in the closer corner and Navas made the save.Rumour: Juventus enter the race for Neymar George Patchias – August 20, 2019 A dark horse has emerged in the race for Neymar’s signature, Juventus have thrown their name in the hat.According to sources close to Spanish…In the 41st minute, Marcelo curled the ball from the edge of the box and hit the cross bar. Jan Oblak saved Dani Carvajal’s ensuing volley attempt. If it wasn’t for him, Los Blancos would’ve had the lead. Before that, the assistant referee raised the offside flag, even though he shouldn’t have and prevented Vitolo from running away into open field. Despite a frenetic and vibrant opening period, we went into half-time goalless.In the 53rd minute, Mister Cristiano Ronaldo struck again. Gareth Bale, who was playing on the left side today, sent a wonderful cross that came to Ronaldo’s feet and it was all over. Zidane’s men got the goal they deserved and it was up to the visitors to respond. And respond they did. Four minutes after Real’s opener, Griezmann pounced on a loose ball and just like that it was 1-1. It appeared as if Real Madrid’s players relaxed too much after the first goal. Moments later, Navas made a spectacular save on Koke’s strike from inside the penalty area to prevent a complete turnaround.Simeone made the first switch in the contest, replacing Vitolo with Correa. After that, we saw something that happens once in a blue moon. Zidane took off Cristiano Ronaldo and sent Benzema onto the pitch. I failed to see the logic behind the decision, but Zidane must’ve had his reasons. Ronaldo wasn’t upset either, reacting as if he had expected it. Later on, Gabi replaced Diego Costa and Isco and Modric substituted Asensio and Kovacic. The changes meant that Simeone was going to try to protect the point, while Zidane was going to go for the win. It was a risky move by the Argentinian coach with 15 minutes left to play.His team couldn’t get the ball out of its own half. Real was increasing the pressure and Simeone must’ve felt the danger, because in the 83rd minute he pulled out a tired Thomas Partey and replaced him with Kevin Gameiro. In the 90th minute, Stefan Savic committed a stupid foul on the edge of the box. Sergio Ramos took the free kick and would’ve scored on 90% of goalkeepers. However, Oblak is an elite keeper and he showed it by making a wonderful fingertip save. That was the last significant moment of the match. The final score was 1-1. Atletico Madrid used its five minutes to snatch a point away from Santiago Bernabeu.