By Jamie Strickland BBC Sport 11 Dec From the sectionFootball 101 Share this page Dimitri Payet scored direct from a free-kick in the Premier League for the third time Dimitri Payet scored direct from a free-kick in the Premier League for the third time Goals by Dimitri Payet and Michail Antonio exposed Liverpool’s defensive frailties again as West Ham climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with a hard-fought draw at Anfield. After conceding four in last weekend’s loss at Bournemouth, Liverpool shipped two avoidable first-half goals on their way to ceding more ground to Chelsea and Arsenal in the title race. Adam Lallana’s smart low finish had put Liverpool ahead inside five minutes but the visitors were level before the half-hour when goalkeeper Loris Karius – at fault for Bournemouth’s winner a week ago – failed to deal with Payet’s saveable 25-yard free-kick. ADVERTISEMENT Karius was less culpable for West Ham’s second scored by Antonio, but it was a scruffy goal that did not reflect well on a Liverpool backline that has now conceded 20 goals in 15 league games – the worst record among the teams in the top six. But errors were not the sole preserve of the Liverpool defence, and a big mistake by West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph, dropping a cross into the path of Divock Origi, gifted Liverpool the equaliser. Randolph made amends with a quite stunning late save to keep out Jordan Henderson’s equally sublime strike as West Ham held on for a point that sees them climb to 17th. Reaction to all of Sunday’s Premier League matches Karius under scrutiny again Until recently Liverpool’s new goalkeeper had largely gone under the radar since joining from manager Jurgen Klopp’s former club Mainz in the summer. ‘Keep your mouth shut’, Phil Neville tells Liverpool’s Loris Karius After missing the start of the season with a broken hand, Karius was installed as Klopp’s number one at the end of September, replacing Simon Mignolet. The German had a relatively untroubled time of it in his first nine games, although small mistakes were in evidence – but nothing as high-profile as the injury-time spill that allowed Nathan Ake to score Bournemouth’s winner last time out. And the pressure is sure to intensify on the 23-year-old after his part in West Ham’s opener, with Payet’s free-kick nicely struck but much too central to be considered unstoppable. West Ham’s second goal was also avoidable from Liverpool’s perspective. Havard Nordtveit’s hopeful drilled pass from his own half struck the head of the retreating Henderson, deflecting the ball high into the air and wrong-footing Reds centre-back Joel Matip, allowing Antonio in. The West Ham man might not have had the chance to score had Karius been further advanced in his area, but nothing should be taken away from the finish, a cute poke with the outside of his boot that just had enough force to cross the line. Liverpool lack killer instinct Liverpool v West Ham touch map Liverpool recorded 59 touches in the opposition box, their most in a Premier League game this season (left graphic). West Ham (right) had just five touches in the Liverpool area Liverpool are the top scorers in the Premier League with 37 goals in 15 games, so it is perhaps uncharitable to point the finger at their forward line after this blip. Yet for all their possession – 68% – they managed just three shots on target in the whole match, with two of those coming from West Ham errors. The visitors were guilty of snoozing for Liverpool’s opener as Sadio Mane picked up the ball in the middle of the park and made unchecked progress to the left wing. His cross arrived at the feet of Lallana, who had time to control and finish under zero pressure from a static West Ham defence. Their second was also a gift, Mane’s cross inexplicably squirming out of Randolph’s gloves and landing perfectly for Origi to score for a fourth successive game in all competitions – the first Liverpool player to do so since Daniel Sturridge in February 2014. Mane was at the heart of everything good Liverpool did in attack, playing a part in an intricate passing move that ended with a blocked Henderson shot, and then twisting and turning on the edge of the area to create an opening for Georginio Wijnaldum that flew wide. Wijnaldum also failed to get enough curl on his shot when advancing on goal down the left channel, while Roberto Firmino was guilty of missing the target after good approach play. Indeed Liverpool’s only other shot on target was Henderson’s superb long-distance strike, which was reminiscent of his stunning winner against Chelsea in September but met on this occasion by the right hand of the flying Randolph. Man of the match – Sadio Mane (Liverpool) Sadio Mane Liverpool will be frustrated at failing to pick up all three points but that was in no way down to a lack of effort on the part of Sadio Mane, who provided the assist for both goals and could have had a hand in more had his team-mates been more clinical Antonio finds his feet – match stats Watford are the only side in the top half of the table to have conceded more goals (26) than Liverpool (20). West Ham have scored five goals in their past two league games at Anfield – as many as they did in their previous 20. Michail Antonio scored his seventh Premier League goal of the season, but his first that wasn’t a header. His last non-headed goal was at Stoke on the last day of last season. The Hammers have now lost a league-high 12 points from leading positions in the Premier League this season. ‘The goals could have been avoided’ – reaction Lack of ‘offensive options’ frustrates Klopp Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: “We tried everything. One West Ham goal was a free-kick and one was lucky. They were 2-1 up and we had some great offensive situations and should have had more. We tried everything. We were often in the box, a lot of situations. “It felt like the whole time we were were in their box. We needed a bit of luck. A draw doesn’t feel too good, doesn’t feel too bad. “The goals could have been avoided. For the first goal – don’t make the foul, don’t lose the ball. The second goal was unlucky. Joel Matip had a fantastic game and in this moment he couldn’t clear the ball. Loris Karius was surprised and it was too late. “Should Karius have saved the free-kick? For this I have to see it again – I only saw it in the match.” West Ham boss Slaven Bilic: “We showed a great reaction after they were one up. In the first half we were very good. “I wasn’t happy with the second half because I expected us to be better on the ball. In the end, well done for the players.” On Darren Randolph’s mistake: “It’s the nature of their job – when they make a mistake it is obvious. He made a mistake but after and before he showed real quality and he was crucial for us in moments when they had a chance or two.” Bilic happy with ‘great point’ for Hammers What’s next? It’s a quick turnaround for these clubs with a round of midweek Premier League fixtures to come. Both teams are in back action at 19:45 GMT on Wednesday as Liverpool travel to Middlesbrough and West Ham host Burnley. Line-ups Match Stats Live Text Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamWest Ham Possession Home68%Away32% Shots Home18Away7.

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Europa League draw: Man Utd face Saint-Etienne, Spurs meet Gent

_92934797_mourinhoManchester United will face French side Saint-Etienne in the Europa League last 32, while Tottenham Hotspur meet Belgian team Gent.

United midfielder Paul Pogba is set to face older brother Florentin, who plays for the eighth-placed Ligue 1 side.

Spurs have never met Gent, who finished third in the Belgian top-flight last season, in a competitive fixture.

United’s first leg will be played on Wednesday, 15 February, while Spurs play the following day.

The Red Devils will play on Wednesday because Saint-Etienne’s neighbours Lyon are also playing at home in the Europe League that week.

Both return legs will be played on Thursday, 23 February.

The two Premier League clubs could not be drawn together as teams from the same nation are kept apart.

Tottenham, along with the other seeded teams, will be at home in the second leg.

Spurs were seeded after dropping down from the Champions League, while United were unseeded after finishing second in Group A.

But Jose Mourinho’s side are still favourites to win the competition with most bookmakers.

The Europa League final will be held at Stockholm’s Friends Arena on 24 May.

Pogba versus Pogba

_92937927_pogba
Saint-Etienne defender Florentin Pogba posted this split picture of himself and his brother Paul, along with the caption: Pogba (v) Pogba

Manchester United’s tie with Saint-Etienne will see Paul Pogba face his older brother Florentin, 26.

“It’s nice, it’s a nice thing,” said Mourinho. “Paul will be laughing, and for sure his brother will also be laughing.

“I think it’s nice, it’s happened in the history of football a few times and it’s nice.”

After a group stage that involved a 3,000 mile round trip to Odessa in Ukraine, Mourinho also welcomed a tie that is much closer to home.

“The good thing is the travel,” he added. “We were very unlucky in the group stage, now we go to France.”

Full draw

Athletic Bilbao (Spain) v Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus)

Legia Warsaw (Poland) v Ajax (Netherlands)

Anderlecht (Belgium) v Zenit St Petersburg (Russia)

Astra Giurgiu (Romania) v Genk (Belgium)

Manchester United (England) v Saint-Etienne (France)

Villarreal (Spain) v Roma (Italy)

Ludogorets (Bulgaria) v FC Copenhagen (Denmark)

Celta Vigo (Spain) v Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine)

Olympiakos (Greece) v Osmanlispor (Turkey)

Gent (Belgium) v Tottenham Hotspur (England)

Rostov (Russia) v Sparta Prague (Czech Republic)

Krasnodar (Russia) v Fenerbahce (Turkey)

Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany) v Fiorentina (Italy)

AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands) v Lyon (France)

Hapoel Beer Sheva (Israel) v Besiktas (Turkey)

PAOK (Greece) v Schalke (Germany)

Man Utd have hosted Saint-Etienne before – in Plymouth…

Don’t worry, you have read that headline correctly.

Manchester United have only met Saint-Etienne twice before – in a two-legged European Cup Winners’ Cup tie in 1977-78.

And the Red Devils were ordered to play the second leg in Plymouth after the first leg in France was marred by violence involving United supporters.

The English side were kicked out of the competition by Uefa but were reinstated on appeal and told to play their home game outside Manchester.

Bizarrely they chose the Devon city, winning 2-0 to go through 3-1 on aggregate.

United fancy playing the French

  • Manchester United have lost just one of their last 16 matches against French opposition, winning nine and drawing six
  • United’s former Paris St-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 14 goals in 13 games against St Etienne – his favourite opponent in all competitions
  • Tottenham have played Belgian opponents eight times in Europe – remaining unbeaten at home (W3 D1) but winless away (D2 L2)
  • A new Europa League winner will be crowned for the first time since 2013 after Sevilla, triumphant in each of the past three seasons, progressed to the Champions League last 16
  • French side Lyon are unbeaten in their last six European meetings with Dutch teams, winning two and drawing four
  • German team Schalke have won five out of six European games against Greek sides, drawing the other
  • In their previous seven meetings with Italian sides, German team Borussia Monchengladbach have drawn five (winning one and losing one)

http://global.nba.com/news/rose-porzingis-combine-for-51-points-to-lead-knicks-by-lakers/

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kristaps Porzingis had 26 points and 12 rebounds, Derrick Rose scored 25 in his return from injury and the New York Knicks held off the Los Angeles Lakers 118-112 Sunday night for their sixth win in seven games.
Brandon Jennings scored 15 of his season high-tying 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Knicks moved a season-best four games over .500 (14-10) with a dynamic effort in the final minutes, capped by Rose’s jumper with 19.4 seconds left.
Lou Williams scored 24 points in his latest big game off the bench for the sliding Lakers, who lost their sixth straight despite the return of D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young.
Luol Deng set season highs with five 3-pointers and 22 points, but Los Angeles (10-16) hasn’t won in December.
Rose went 12 for 16 after missing two games with a back injury, capping the effort with a cool 10-footer after the Lakers got within four.
Porzingis also has been feeling discomfort in his right knee, but the Latvian big man shook it off for another impressive effort that included seven blocked shots, tying his career high.
Carmelo Anthony had 13 points on 4-of-16 shooting for the Knicks, hitting a key baseline jumper in isolation with 2:15 to play.
The flagship teams from the nation’s two largest cities had another lively meeting in their rivalry series. Knicks President Phil Jackson, the longtime Lakers coach, watched the game by New York’s bench instead of sitting with his fianc�, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.
The Lakers had a narrow lead in the fourth quarter before Jennings went off, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers and threading a slick pass to Courtney Lee for a three-point play to put the Knicks up 97-89 with 6:46 left.
THEY’RE BACK
Russell and Young returned in a limited capacity for the Lakers, who had been without their usual starting backcourt since late November. Russell had missed 12 of the Lakers’ last 13 games with soreness in his left knee, while Young missed seven of the last nine with a strained calf.
Russell had three points on 1-of-8 shooting in 18 minutes, with Lakers coach Luke Walton strictly limiting his playing time. Young was right back to his usual swaggering self, scoring 12 points in the first half and finishing with 15 in 20 minutes.
TIP-INS
Knicks: They made their second stop on a five-game road trip that began with a narrow win at Sacramento.
Lakers: They are still without injured reserves Tarik Black and Jose Calderon. … Los Angeles played its 14th game in 24 days, part of a stretch with 18 games in 30 days and no back-to-back days off before next weekend. The Lakers spend the next two weeks on the road before Christmas.
UP NEXT
Knicks: At the Suns on Tuesday.
Lakers: At the Kings on Monday to open a seven-game road trip.

Increidable quote from muhamad ali!

Imposible is just a big word thrown around by smal men who find it easier to live in the world they’we been given than to explore the power they to change it imposible is not a fact its an opinion imposible inst a declaration its a dare imposible is potential impossible is temporary.       
Impossible is nothing.  
Muhamad ali