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  • Despite Ebola, CBL Projects Agric Sector to ‘Slightly Grow’

    first_imgIn its Financial and Economic Bulletin, Volume 15 Number 3 for the period — July to September 2014 — the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has projected that the agriculture sector will “slightly grow.”The CBL, however, gives a gloomy picture of all other sectors that are projected to decline.According to the CBL, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which was earlier projected at 5.9 percent for 2014, has been revised to 1.0 percent, from 8.7 percent at end-2013.“The 7.7 percentage points decline in growth was driven by weaker than anticipated fall in economic activities as a result of the Ebola epidemic,” the Bank said in its Financial and Economic Bulletin.Except agriculture which, the CBL stated, is expected to slightly grow, all other sectors are projected to decline, including forestry to 0.0 percent, down from 0.5 percent; mining and panning, to negative 5.9 percent, down from 49.6 percent; manufacturing to 4.2 percent, down from 9.2 percent and services to 2.9 percent, down from 7.2 percent at end—2013, respectively.The CBL, in its quarterly publication, states that the growth outlook for the Liberian economy in 2015 is projected at 0.0 percent due largely to the intensity of the virus, which is expected to subside by late 2015.Sectorial Review: Agriculture and Forestry The performance of the agricultural sector was mixed during the quarter, the CBL said. Except for coffee, which was not produced and sawn timber which declined, rubber, cocoa and round logs experienced quarterly growth, respectively.RubberRubber production for the quarter ended September, 2014, was 17,112.0 metric tons, up from 11,106.0 metric tons produced during the preceding quarter, representing an increase of 6,006.0 metric tons. The growth in rubber output was largely driven by increased production by one of the main rubber producing concessionaries. Year-on-year comparison showed that rubber production expanded by 131.4 percent.Cocoa and CoffeeCocoa production at end-September 2014, stood at 1,430.0 metric tons, up from 818.0metric tons produced during the previous quarter. The growth in cocoa production was in response to rise in the global market price of the commodity. When matched against the corresponding quarter of 2013, cocoa output contracted by 29.0 percent. Quarterly and yearly analyses on coffee production could not be done due to unavailability of data for the current and previous quarters of 2014.Sawn TimberSawn Timber output during the review quarter declined by 74.6 percent to 69, 441.0 pieces, down from 273, 1150.0 pieces produced in the preceding quarter. The fall in sawn timber production was mainly explained by the current restrictions imposed by policymakers to contain the spread of the EVD. On a year-on-year basis, sawn timber production fell by 35,827.0 pieces (34.5 percent).Round LogsRound Logs produced during the quarter totaled 43,168 cubic meters, 17.1 percent lower than the quantity produced during the preceding quarter. The fall in production was also due to the restrictions imposed by the Government to contain the further spread of the Ebola virus.Year-on-year comparison showed that production in the review quarter increased by 20,338.0 cubic meters compared with the same period a year ago.The CBL Financial and Economic Bulletin further  reports that the performance of the mining sector was mixed during the quarter. While diamond slightly expanded in production, gold and iron ore outputs experienced declines.GoldThe production of gold for the quarter ended September, 2014 stood at 4,044.0 ounces. This level of production was down by 2,593 ounces when compared the preceding quarter of 2014. Similarly, yearly comparison revealed that gold output declined by 2,593.0 ounces from the level recorded at end-September, 2013.DiamondDiamond output during the review quarter stood at 20,626.0 carats, up from 19,555.0 carats produced during the previous quarter of 2014.Iron OreIron ore output at end-September 2014 fell by 0.3 percent to 1,109,246 metric tons, down from 1, 357,825.0 metric tons. Year-on-year analysis showed that production in the quarter expanded by 2.9 percent compared with third quarter of 2013.ManufacturingOutput in the manufacturing sector was mixed. Of the twenty-one commodities regularly assessed, sixteen commodities (76.2) recorded declines at end-September, 2014 due mainly to the intensity of the EVD that hit the country while the balance five commodities (23.8 percent experienced growth.CementThe production of cement at end-September, 2014, stood 49,285.0 metric tons, 44,011.0 metric tons lower than that of the previous quarter. The decline in cement production was restrained coupled with the intensity of the EVD. When assessed against the corresponding period of 2013, production declined by 8.2 percent or 4,389.0 metric tons.BeveragesTotal production of beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) during the quarter was 3.5 million litres, 3.1 million litres lower than the previous quarter’s production.The fall in beverages output was on account of lower demand for the commodities as a result of the national health crisis. When matched against the same period a year earlier, output contracted by 2.6 million litres or 42.2 percent. Of the quarter’s total production, alcoholic beverages (spirits, beer and stout) accounted for 58.7 percent, while the share of non-alcoholic beverages (Malta and Soft drinks) constituted 41.3 percent.SoapSoap output during the review quarter increased by 19.4 percent or 12,095.0 kilograms, to 74,560.0 kilograms, up from 62, 465.0 kilograms produced in the preceding quarter. The growth in soap output was on account of surging demand against the fight of the Ebola virus. When compared with the corresponding period in 2014, soap production increased by 16.8 percent or 10, 701.0 kilograms.ChloroxProduction of chlorox during the quarter stood at 416, 395.0 litres, up by 78.2 percent or 182, 683.0 litres compared to the previous quarter. The surge in output was influenced by increased demand for the production as an antidote to the spread of the EVD as compared in 2013 which production expanded to 208, 913.0 litres.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

  • ‘Liberians, Will Be Pleased With Their Security’

    first_imgDefense Minister Brownie J. Samukai Jr. has assured Liberians that they will be pleased about the performance and the level of protection the country’s security personnel will provide following the departure of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) by the end of this month.“If we look at today’s environment as compared to 2003, situation has completely changed for the better,” he told the Daily Observer in a brief interview. “Today, we have institutions that perform, including the judiciary that functions, civil society also functioning, free media environment, our democracy that led to two elections, which tells you that Liberians themselves are their own security.” Samukai said Liberians are already engaged into providing an enabling environment to do all the positive things, adding that UNMIL presence has helped Liberians to reach this level. He also said there is collaboration between the private security and the national security as UNMIL drawdown, but the government or national security will not provide arms for the private security.“UNMIL believes that Liberians are in the position to manage their own security and we have developed such capacity over the years to enable us manage such affairs. I don’t think that having all the huge security presence is needed now,” he said.He said the military as well as any other security apparatuses are ready to take over responsibility for the nation’s security after UNMIL mandate ends this month. Samukai said the numerical strength of the army is sufficient to handle security matters in the wake of UNMIL departure, because the military has been undergoing training in preparation for the drawdown exercise.To some Liberians, the coming of June 30, was a myth, but the reality is that 13 days from the today will signify the end of the UN’s military presence in Liberia since the end of the country’s civil crisis in 2003. During the 12 years of providing security to the country, the UN has been gradually drawing down its military presence, while working with local law enforcement agencies to handle the job. By Thursday, June 30, UNMIL will finally turn over its security operations to the Liberian security.Amidst skepticism from the public, the government continues to assure its citizens of its preparedness to not just handle the herculean task of national security maintaining law and order, but with ease because, according to Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, Liberians themselves are prepared to be a part of the process. Samukai reiterated government’s preparedness in a brief interview with the Daily Observer yesterday.UNMIL was established by Security Council resolution 1509 in September 2003 to support the implementation of the ceasefire agreement and the peace process; protect United Nations staff, facilities and civilians; support humanitarian and human rights activities; as well as assist in national security reform, including national police training and formation of a new, restructured military.“I think the government is ready in spite of the challenges, because whenever you have challenges, it creates an opportunity. In spite of those challenges, we are in the position to manage our own security as a people and country,” Minister Samukai declared.According to him, there is a need to also look where the national government can invest more resources to beef up the existing strength and manpower, including managing transport capability, providing for personnel and making sure that these tasks are performed to the needs of the people.“From our side, we believe that the roles and responsibilities that we have are easily executable because we have been doing the preparedness for a period of time. We are to the point where all of our security forces, I mean the police, our immigration personnel, have been going through different kinds of training, different kinds of operations, different kinds of scenarios exercises, including our participation in the UN Mission. So, we are very confident in the capability of the security sector,” he assured.Update on Current RecruitmentSamukai said the military had graduated about 154 additional personnel after they completed their advanced individual training (AIT) to prepare the army for the different roles and responsibilities it will play as a result of the drawdown of UNMIL.“We also completed the training of 154 recruits and we are now vetting about 400 persons to identify those that would be selected for the new round of recruitment process. Initially 4,000 persons applicants took the aptitude test and were screened,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

  • The Unintended Benefit Of An Improved Run Game For Oklahoma State

    first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Mike Gundy talked recently about the benefit of having a good run game. It is straightforward and probably obvious.“Our ability to run the ball a little more effective this year has given us other options when last year it was just protect and keep chunkin’ it down the field, which I’ve never been comfortable with,” said Gundy.“More effective” is a relative term, I suppose because Oklahoma State is only averaging 3.59 yards per carry this vs. 3.58 yards per carry last year. But I don’t think there is any question the run game has improved. Just watching this team move the ball is wildly different, and more of its rushing yards are coming via running backs instead of The General falling forward for a couple of yards. Plus, OSU has allowed more sacks per game this year which brings the average down.There is another unintended benefit linebacker Jordan Burton touched on recently.“It also helps the defense because then we’re not on the field as much,” Burton told the O’Colly about a more established run game. “I think recently we’ve only been on the field 60 to 70 plays. Whereas last year, it was up to 118, 125 plays a game. Guys like that help the entire team. Not just the offense.”The real numbers are 75 plays this year against 77 last year, but a couple of plays a game is a big deal. It adds up. So it’s small, but one of the best things about having a more stable ground attack is that your defense is not playing as many plays overall and it doesn’t feel like it is going right back out there after three incompletions and 10 seconds of actual game time run off the clock.last_img read more

  • Joe Mixon: ‘It Felt Like a Dude Hit Me’

    first_imgThe Oklahoman got a copy of the police report from the Joe Mixon-Mia Molitor fight from 2014, and I’m not real sure I believe what Joe Mixon had to say here.“And after that, like, I was so shocked, because she hit me so hard,” said Mixon. “It felt like a dude hit me. And after that, like, my face went boom, my reaction was just right there.”So yeah. I just don’t see how this feels like a dude hit you. I know you’re sort of caught up in the moment or whatever, and I am one of those people who loathes getting touched in the face/neck.But the self-defense card Mixon and his lawyers have been playing for the past two years got burned up when the video came out. They act like he was getting cornered by someone who looked like Shawn Willis and not open-hand slapped by a petite college student.Mixon also noted that he was called a racial slur by the woman’s gay friend even though later he noted that the slur was not said to him but about him. The whole thing is a complete mess, and I hate that it ever happened.Here is Joe Mixon punching a woman. Hope it was worth the Ws, OU. https://t.co/snveBtubg1 pic.twitter.com/Sarv9FKdnQ— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 16, 2016There are 2017 implications, too. I think Mixon is more likely to return to Norman now that this is out. I think he needs as much space from the video as possible before the NFL Draft.Here’s draft expert Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst.Since the release of the video, general managers around the league have told those close to Mixon he won’t get drafted, there’s a possibility he won’t be signed as a free agent and he may not even receive an invitation to the combine should he declare for the draft.That’s a stunner. So not only do we have to live with the fact that Mike Gundy did the right thing (with Tyreek) and Bob Stoops did not, but now we might have to live with another year of Mixon’s Bedlam destruction. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

  • Oklahoma State Linemen Enjoying Presence of New OL Coach Henson

    first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Kyle Cox wrote a good piece recently about the importance of Josh Henson sliding into the role of offensive line coach at Oklahoma State this season. He has a ton of experience, and maybe more importantly, he’s an awesome recruiter. It’s a position OSU has not recruited to all that well of late.The early returns from his player indicate that they’re enjoying his replacement of former OL coach Greg Adkins as well. Of course all players are going to talk up a new coach, but if you read between the lines, the fit seems like a great one.“He’s a really good coach,” said senior-to-be Larry Williams. “He’s more of a technician and he comes in here with a good attitude and enthusiasm. He makes sure we come in here and bring our best every single day. So I think he’s a really good coach that came in here and really tried to change things around.”“It’s pretty different, but I still feel like we definitely are all bonding together and with him, his style of coaching and his approach to the game,” added WIlliams. I really feel like it’s really beneficial for us because he brings a different attitude to it than we’ve had before.”Hidden in these quotes by Williams is a lot of language that makes you wonder about the experience some of these linemen have had. If you’re a redshirt senior — let’s take Zach Crabtree, for example — you’ve had a quartet of OL coaches that includes Joe Wickline, Bob Connelly, Adkins and now Henson.I have no idea if Henson will stay longer than his most recent predecessors Connelly and Adkins (combined two years), but it seems like he’s in it for more of a long haul.“I think we feel like we’re getting more aggressive because that’s something Coach Henson harps about to us all the time,” said Williams. “He wants us to be physical and bring our A-game. Getting better with our technique is also helping us to be more physical, because as long as you’re good with your technique, you can then go and be more physical. That’s one that we focus on a lot.”Mason Rudolph thanks you.last_img read more

  • Mason Rudolph and James Washington Projected as 2018 1st Round Picks

    first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. While most NFL teams were still sorting out travel plans for their 2017 draftees, some people were already looking ahead to next year’s draft. With four months before the first college football kicks off, a lot can change before teams start to compile the “Big Boards,” but that doesn’t stop the talking heads from, well, talking.Mason Rudolph and James Washington decided to return for their senior seasons, much to the delight of OSU coaches and fans alike. But there will be plenty of NFL scouts tuned in and watching as the duo tries to get over that Sooner-sized Big 12 championship hurdle.Let’s see where some of the way-too-early 2018 mock drafts have each going.Mason RudolphCBS Sports – No. 16  to Washington RedskinsFox Sports – No. 49 (2nd  round) San Diego Chargers247Sports – No. 18 (Big board – no team)Draftwire – No. 11 to Washington RedskinsSB Nation – No. 8 to Washington RedskinsSporting News – No. 11 to Washington RedskinsThere seems to be a trend here. A lot of the Washington buzz which is probably due to an awkward if not contentious contract situation the team will be navigating with quarterback Kirk Cousins.We’ve seen a trend teams reaching for their next possible franchise QB in recent years and if Rudolph puts up the big numbers we expect and the Cowboys succeed, don’t be surprised if his draft stock rises even higher.James WashingtonCBS Sports – No. 24 (Carolina Panthers)Fox Sports – No. 34 (2nd round) to Cleveland Browns Yikes!247Sports – No. 22 (Big board – no team)Walter Football – No. 16 to Arizona CardinalsSporting News – No. 27 to Oakland RaidersWashington probably should be getting more buzz than he does. His versatility lends to an almost complacent view of the record-setting pass catcher — even among OSU fans. He is the complete package and even with a deep receiving corps and possibly less reps, expect Washington to earn the desire of plenty of NFL teams this fall.last_img read more

  • Guardiola: Man City have to lift titles

    first_imgManchester City ‘Man City have to lift titles’ – Guardiola needs silverware to define success Dom Farrell 16:43 24/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Manchester City Guardiola Arsenal v Manchester City Arsenal League Cup The Premier League leaders have delighted with their spectacular football this season, but the man at the helm knows it is time to add a trophy Pep Guardiola knows his Manchester City revolution will be judged by the weight of silverware they win ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Arsenal.Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola has overhauled City’s playing style and his swashbuckling side are odds-on to claim the Premier League title as they sit 16 points ahead of rivals Manchester United.But his debut season in Manchester saw Guardiola failed to collect a major honour in a campaign for the first time in his coaching career, with memories of Arsenal ending their bid for FA Cup glory in a Wembley semi-final set to loom over Sunday’s return to the scene of the crime. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp City’s FA Cup ambitions this time around were sensationally slashed on the less illustrious stage of Wigan Athletic’s DW Stadium on Monday.Talk of securing an unprecedented quadruple spoke volumes regarding City’s form at home and abroad this term but, with that now consigned to the usual fate of pipe dreams, Guardiola is determined to improve upon a personal club finals record that reads played 10, won nine.”We have to lift titles to give more value to what we have done,” he told a pre-match news conference.”In August we said the same, we’ll be judged for how many titles we win, for the big clubs it is always the same. In these eight months together and we’ve lived what we lived – it belongs to us.”Of course we’ll be judged on it, this is a club that needs to grow up every year and win titles, now we have [the chance to win] the first one.”Quadruple questions have generally prompted a furrowed brow from Guardiola and, although he said he would sooner have lost Premier League matches than be humbled by Will Grigg, he conveyed a sense of relief over the prospect of chasing a tangible title against Arsenal rather than a more fantastical ambition.”When people asked about winning four titles, I said of course we’ll try but the big teams have not been able to do that, so why should I think we can do it?” he said.”We have a final and we will try to do what we have done [in other games], be who we are.”Then in the Premier League we have [to win] six games to be champions, the most prestigious competition, then we’ll see next year. Then at the end of our time together we will see what we have done.”An old-hand on such occasions as both a player and coach – famously at Wembley in both capacities with Barca – Guardiola is still attuned to the sense of wonder and magic around the showpiece fixtures.”Finals are special,” he explained. “They belong especially to the players – how brave you are, with what courage do you play these kind of games.”I’d like to see my team play like we were most of the season. The final does not have to be something different. It’s in front of 90,000 people in a magnificent stadium in London – this is an argument to be who were are, or at least to try it.”Don’t have regrets after the game, like we didn’t after the Wigan game. If you have to lose, improve.”last_img read more

  • Coutinho & Dembele beginning to fit in at Barca

    first_imgBarcelona Coutinho & Dembele start to show they belong alongside Messi & Suarez Ben Hayward Last updated 1 year ago 06:06 25/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(13) Philippe Coutinho Lionel Messi Luis Suarez Barcelona Girona La Liga Soccrates Images Barcelona Lionel Messi Luis Suárez Philippe Coutinho Ousmane Dembélé Barcelona v Girona Girona Primera División Opinion The two forwards signed to replace Neymar both played their part in the 6-1 win over Girona on Sunday amid another masterclass from their team-mates A night of celebration for Barcelona at Camp Nou. The Blaugrana went behind somewhat carelessly in the first few minutes, but proceeded to lay on an exhibition in attacking football after that. And it was not only Lionel Messi this time, either.The Argentine was at the forefront of all of Barca’s best play, threading inconceivable passes through to his team-mates from seemingly impossible angles, one after the other.Thanks to the five-time Ballon d’Or winner and his partner in crime Luis Suarez, Ernesto Valverde’s side were back in it almost as soon as they had gone behind, the Argentine setting up the Uruguayan for a well-worked leveller. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Messi then added two incredible goals of his own, dancing around the area until he found an opportunity to shoot for the first and slotting a low free-kick under the wall for his second of the evening to make it 3-1.This was mesmeric Messi at his brilliant best and the Camp Nou crowd roared in appreciation. However, things were proving a little more difficult for the club’s two expensive new forwards – Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho.That would soon change, however, as the former Liverpool connection of Coutinho and Suarez combined to make it 4-1 before the interval, the Brazilian claiming his very first assist for the Catalan club since moving from Anfield last month.Dembele was there amid the celebrations, yet there was a look on his face that seemed to say, “We’ve scored four and I haven’t done much…” In truth, he had not, but he did improve in the second half and ended up bagging an assist himself with a fine run and cross as Suarez completed his hat-trick.Before that, Coutinho had gone one better by blasting home a long-range effort to claim Barcelona’s fifth of an extraordinary evening.By the end, it was three for Suarez, two for Messi, one for Coutinho – and six of the best for Barca.Barca Girona scoreThe football, at times, was extraordinary and Dembele grew into the game as well. Having been left on the bench for the full 90 minutes in the Champions League against Chelsea on Tuesday, he had a point to prove and showed signs here that he can become the great player that Barcelona believe they bought.The France forward is still only 20 and has time on his side, although with Coutinho cup-tied in the Champions League, his adaptation this season after two injuries and a tough time so far could be the key to Barca’s hopes in the continental competition.On this evidence, that process has started already and, with Messi and Suarez in this mood, Barca’s breathtaking football made a mockery of suggestions after the game at Stamford Bridge that this team is tired and predictable.Valverde’s side are surely anything but that, and with Coutinho and Dembele starting to show that they belong alongside Messi and Suarez, these are exciting times again at Camp Nou.last_img read more

  • Pogba refuses to address Man Utd problems

    first_imgPaul Pogba Pogba refuses to address issue of Man Utd problems Chris Burton 04:36 3/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Paul Pogba Jose Mourinho Manchester United Getty Images Paul Pogba Manchester United Premier League The Frenchman has become an unwanted centre of attention at Old Trafford, but he is reluctant to be drawn into the debate regarding his situation Paul Pogba has refused to address the issues facing him at Manchester United, with unwelcome questions shrugged off.The France international has become the centre of attention at Old Trafford through no fault of his own, with events conspiring against him.An untimely dip in form has seen his value debated at length, with Jose Mourinho among those to have been left unconvinced and forced to bench an £89 million asset. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp It has been suggested that Pogba could be moved on in the summer, with United ready to explore different options, but the 24-year-old is reluctant to be drawn on his current situation.Quizzed by Expressen during a trip to Sweden with United team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic to open a Padel centre, Pogba said:”I’m only here to support Zlatan and talk about Padel.”While his own standing at Old Trafford remains out of bounds, the all-action midfielder is prepared to discuss the struggles of others.Victor Lindelof is yet to justify a £30.75m transfer fee following a summer switch in 2017, but Pogba believes the Sweden international defender has fared admirably after showing signs of encouragement in recent weeks.He added on the 23-year-old centre-half: “His season has been very good.”He shows the quality on the pitch, he has shown to the world and for all supporters what he can do.”He is a very good player and we need him. He is a nice person off the pitch too, you must not forget that it is his first season. It’s never easy for the first year in England.“He is a player who adapts very well. He is a quality player. He has been doing well.”He has won big titles and played with big players already in Benfica, so he is not new to the football world.”last_img read more

  • Report: Man City 1 Chelsea 0

    first_imgManchester City 1 Chelsea 0: Bernardo Silva clinches one-sided triumph Tom Webber Last updated 1 year ago 01:52 5/3/2018 BernardoSilva - cropped Getty Images Chelsea were completely overrun by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, with Pep Guardiola’s side taking a huge step towards the title. Manchester City moved just four wins away from claiming the Premier League title as Bernardo Silva clinched a one-sided 1-0 victory over defending champions Chelsea.In a thoroughly commanding performance from a City team closing in on their first league triumph since 2013-14, Bernardo Silva’s strike enabled them to open up an 18-point lead at the summit, though Manchester United can close the gap to 16 by winning at Crystal Palace on Monday.Antonio Conte dropped Alvaro Morata to the bench as he opted against fielding a recognised striker and false nine Eden Hazard was starved of service as they failed to register a shot on target in the match, the imperious City completely overrunning them. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Chelsea made it to the break without conceding, but an error from Andreas Christensen was seized upon by Sergio Aguero – whose wait for his 200th City goal continues – and David Silva crossed for Bernardo Silva to open the scoring 33 seconds after half-time.It was enough to inflict a third successive Premier League away loss on the Blues for the first time since March 2013, damaging their Champions League hopes by leaving them five points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham.For City, who rested captain Vincent Kompany, it capped a phenomenal eight days in which they recorded back-to-back 3-0 victories over Arsenal, the first coming in the EFL Cup final at Wembley to give Pep Guardiola his first piece of silverware in English football.Unshakeable spirit! pic.twitter.com/9WnO6KBdK4— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 4, 2018That trophy was paraded in front of the fans prior to kick-off and City looked set to produce a similarly dominant performance as they controlled possession and pressed Chelsea high from the off.An important block by Antonio Rudiger stopped Leroy Sane guiding David Silva’s cross home, before Aguero was unable to get a shot away after a loose pass in the box from Cesc Fabregas, selected in place of the ill N’Golo Kante, gifted the hosts the ball in a dangerous area.Chelsea could barely get out of their own half and a piercing Sane run into the area was eventually halted, though the ball ran on to Bernardo Silva, who curled a sweet left-footed effort onto the roof of the net in the 20th minute.Sane produced a magnificent touch to bring down Kevin De Bruyne’s delivery at the back post, but his thumping shot across goal was blocked on the line by Cesar Azpilicueta and Thibaut Courtois dived on the loose ball.Chelsea managed to keep City out for the remainder of the first half but their clean sheet was gone within a minute of the restart. Christensen’s failure to clear a long pass from Ilkay Gundogan enabled David Silva to cross for Bernardo Silva to stab past Courtois at the back post.2 – Bernardo Silva has scored in back-to-back league appearances for the first time since May 2017 at Monaco. Shine.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 4, 2018Victor Moses sliced a rare opportunity wildly off target after Chelsea’s best move of the match in the 54th minute, but Courtois had to be alert to bat away a driven attempt from David Silva moments later.Conte introduced Olivier Giroud in place of Willian in the 78th minute, but they did not threaten until Marcos Alonso volleyed wide in stoppage time as City provided another example of why they are the Premier League’s leading side. Key Opta stats:- Manchester City will end the day 18 points clear at the top of the Premier League, the biggest lead ahead of second place since March 2006, when Chelsea were 18 points ahead of Manchester United.- Chelsea have lost four consecutive away matches in all competitions for the first time since January 2003, when they lost to Man Utd (twice), Leeds and Arsenal.- Pep Guardiola is only the second manager to complete a league double over Antonio Conte, after Delio Rossi (for Sampdoria in 2012-13).- The Blues had just seven shots against Man City in their two Premier League meetings this season, while facing 30 themselves. read morelast_img read more