Seville, Spain | AFP | David de Gea deflected the attention away from Paul Pogba with another spectacular display of goalkeeping as Manchester United came away from their Champions League last 16, first leg against Sevilla in Spain with a 0-0 draw on Wednesday.De Gea made two breathtaking saves to deny Steven N’Zonzi and Luis Muriel at the end of the first half at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, denying Sevilla a lead to take to England for next month’s return.Sevilla were the more likely side, with United offering little going forward despite the presence of Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata in their attack.Lukaku had a late goal disallowed, but United’s was the kind of cautious approach seen time and again in such games by Mourinho’s teams down the years.Their inability, unwillingness even, to get an away goal leaves the tie wide open ahead of the second leg, with United looking to reach the quarter-finals in their first appearance in the knockout stage of the Champions League since 2014.“The only moment where we felt relieved was in the last couple of moments of the first half when from a couple of our mistakes in possession they had a couple of good situations and De Gea made good saves,” said Mourinho.His team managed just one attempt on target to Sevilla’s eight, but Mourinho added: “Apart from that the game was even, but the statistics are what they are.“I really feel the result reflected what the game was — you ask me was it a good result, and I say it was not good and not bad.”Mourinho decided to leave Pogba out of his starting line-up, despite the Frenchman being back in the squad after illness had kept him out of United’s FA Cup win at Huddersfield Town.Fuelling the speculation of an uneasy relationship between Mourinho and the France midfielder, the United manager chose to select 21-year-old Scott McTominay ahead of Pogba in a midfield three. – Pogba thrown on –However, an untimely injury to Ander Herrera meant Pogba was thrown on after just 17 minutes of a first half dominated by the Spanish side.Sevilla, looking to make it past the last 16 of the Champions League after falling in their three previous appearances at this stage over the last decade, could and should have had a goal to show for their performance.De Gea made one good early save low down to deny Colombian Muriel, while Jesus Navas, impressive at right-back, fired just wide after latching onto Ever Banega’s cross-field pass.Stepping up the pressure just before half-time, Joaquin Correa’s shot from a good position was too easy for De Gea, but the Spain ‘keeper displayed all his class as he kept out headed attempts from N’Zonzi and Muriel from point-blank range, both saves requiring breathtaking reactions.The importance to United of not letting in a goal was clear — they had kept eight clean sheets in their 10 matches before heading to Andalusia, with their only defeats in that time coming in the two games in which they had conceded.And they were content to leave Spain with a 0-0 draw, continuing to soak up pressure in the second half and relying on Sevilla’s indecision in the final third.They were also aided by Pablo Sarabia’s inability to find the target from an inviting Muriel cross in the 73rd minute, before Lukaku’s goal was ruled out by French referee Clement Turpin for a handball as he controlled before shooting.“I am very happy with the character shown by the team,” Sevilla’s Italian coach Vincenzo Montella told Spanish television. “We have to be pleased with the performance. The 0-0 leaves everything open.”Whether Mourinho’s team should have been more adventurous will only become clear after the return in Manchester in three weeks.Share on: WhatsApp
Moenchengladbach’s French forward Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoringBerlin, Germany | AFP | French star Marcus Thuram and England international Jadon Sancho joined the protests over racism and police brutality in the United States on Sunday after scoring in the Bundesliga.Thuram took a knee after scoring for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the game against Union Berlin.Sancho marked his goal for Borussia Dortmund against Paderborn by lifting his jersey to reveal a T-shirt bearing the words “Justice for George Floyd”.On Saturday, Schalke’s US midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband against Werder Bremen bearing the words “Justice for George”.Thuram’s gesture echoed past protests by National Football League players in the US in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.The issue has surged back into the headlines following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd during a police arrest in Minneapolis.Sancho revealed his protest after scoring in the 57th minute – and was promptly yellow-carded for his troubles.Thuram, a 22-year-old French striker, continued his recent hot form with two goals as Borussia Moenchengladbach beat visiting Union Berlin 4-1.Because of social distancing rules, goal celebrations were muted but after Thuram headed his team’s second goal just before half-time he took the opportunity to make a solitary statement, kneeling and bowing his head.At half-time, his club tweeted a photo with the caption: “No explanation needed.”After the game, Gladbach coach Marco Rose said Thuram had his backing.“Marcus has made the point. He has set an example against racism that we all support,” Rose said.Thuram, whose father, French World Cup winner Lilian runs the Education against Racism foundation in Paris, was the latest show of solidarity with the current protests sweeping the United States.On Saturday, McKennie said it had been crucial to make a stand. “To be able to use my platform to bring attention to a problem that has been going on too long feels good!!!” he tweeted.Meanwhile, in the United States, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said there “remains an urgent need for action” as violent protests rocked the country.“The protesters’ reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel,” Goodell said. “As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league.”Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown returned to his native Georgia to lead a peaceful protest march in Atlanta.“I drove 15 hours to get to Georgia, my community,” Brown said. “Being a celebrity, being an NBA player, don’t exclude me from no conversations at all. First and foremost, I’m a black man and I’m a member of this community.”-‘Am I next?’ –NBA star LeBron James was among those who contrasted pictures of police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck with the kneeling protests of former NFL star Colin Kaepernick in 2016.Kaepernick, who was ostracised by the NFL for kneeling during the national anthem in protest against racial injustice, has launched a fund to pay for legal representation for protesters who need it.Serena Williams tweeted a video by Nike, which also sponsors Kaepernick, picking out the line: “Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America.”Two-time Grand Slam tennis champion Naomi Osaka posted pictures of protests from Minneapolis on her Instagram account.“Just because it isn’t happening to you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening at all,” wrote Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and whose father is Haitian.Rising US tennis star Coco Gauff, a 16-year-old African American, showed on Instagram the faces of black Americans who died in recent years at the hands of authorities or white fellow citizens.“Am I next?” Gauff asked.Share on: WhatsApp
Montrose native Luke Bertolucci have come a long way since putting on the skates in Rossland/Trail Minor Hockey Association.The former Kootenay Ice star of the BC Major Midget Hockey League helped the Edmonton Oil Kings win the first MasterCard Memorial Cup title with a 6-3 victory over the Guelph Storm Sunday at the Tier I Junior Hockey Championship in London, Ont.This was the first Memorial Cup in the current franchise’s short seven-year history. Bertolucci, in his second season with the Oil Kings, helped guide Edmonton to the Western Hockey League title before shocking the critics at the Memorial Cup.After falling behind 2-1 in the first period, the Oil Kings scored five times in the final two periods to secure the win.A previous version of the Edmonton Oil Kings won Memorial Cups in 1966 and 1963 before relocating to Portland.The WHL ended a three-year run of Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams winning the Cup. The Oil Kings were also the first WHL team to claim it since the Spokane Chiefs in 2008.WHL teams have won the most Cups since the tournament went to a round-robin format in 1972 with 19. The OHL has won 14 and the QMJHL 10.The Memorial Cup has been given to Canada’s junior hockey champions since 1919 in memory of those who died in the First World War.Sixty teams in the Western, Ontario and Quebec major junior leagues begin play every September. The three league champions join a host team in the annual tournament to determine the Canadian Hockey League champions.The 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup will be held in Quebec City.