Messi scores hat-trick as Barca thrash PSV

first_img0Shares0000Lionel Messi underlined his and Barcelona’s Champions League credentials with a hat-trick in their group stage opener against PSV© AFP LLUIS GENEBARCELONA, Spain, Sep 18 – Lionel Messi pictures the Champions League ending with him hoisting the trophy and it began with him scoring a hat-trick on Tuesday as Barcelona put four goals past PSV Eindhoven.An early kick-off at Camp Nou meant that before most of the tournament’s teams had even named their line-ups, Messi was up and running, his sumptuous free-kick from the edge of the area nestling in the top corner, exactly where it was intended. Messi would have his second and third before the end, but the game was up by then thanks to a superb strike from the excellent Ousmane Dembele.Only when Barca were three ahead was Samuel Umtiti sent off for a second yellow card, and with 10 men, Messi completed his hat-trick for a 4-0 win.Dembele’s goal was worthy of deciding any match but this was Messi’s night. After a miserable World Cup trying to retrieve the irretrievable Argentina, Barcelona’s now-captain proved his quality again to any doubters that are left.Four goals already in La Liga, seven overall, neither age nor Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Spain appear to have taken the edge off.But even if Messi remains as good as ever, his team will need others to step up. Philippe Coutinho was impressive here and, after a difficult debut campaign, Dembele is finding his rhythm.The 21-year-old’s driving run earned Messi his free-kick while a sizzling shot brought the goal his bustling display deserved.Perhaps more importantly, this victory was a clean slate for Barcelona.It was exactly 23 weeks ago that Roma pulled off one of the greatest comebacks ever seen in this competition and sent the club into a depth of disappointment that, in truth, not even winning the double could alleviate.Instead, Madrid rubbed salt into the wound by making it look easy and winning their third in a row. “It is a thorn in our side,” Luis Suarez said. “It’s time to win the Champions League,” said Messi.– Magical Messi –PSV’s coach Mark van Bommel knows what it feels like to walk out at the Camp Nou – he had a successful, albeit short, spell playing for Barca – but few of his players did.Nick Viergever was one of them, for Ajax in 2014, but it was his rash challenge on Dembele in the 31st minute that conceded the free-kick a yard outside the penalty area.Messi sized it up and sent it spinning away from the hand of Jeroen Zoet and into the top corner.PSV could have been ahead. Twice they had raced away on the break but Gaston Pereiro blasted over and Steven Bergwijn’s curling effort whistled wide of the post.It was an open game, with Coutinho missing a header and then teeing up Messi to sidefoot high. The Argentinian soon made amends, his eighth free-kick scored in 2018. He has never scored more in a year.The contest bristled at the start of the second half. Suarez earned Messi a second free-kick within range but this one floated over. Suarez’s delightful chip beat Zoet but not the crossbar.PSV were still in it and could have equalised when Hirving Lozano’s finish was blocked, crucially, by Gerard Pique.Then three goals arrived in 15 minutes. First Dembele, after leaving two PSV midfielders for dead with a dragback, unleashed into the bottom corner. Messi then latched onto a lob from Ivan Rakitic to slot home before Umtiti was sent off for a cynical block on Lozano.It made no difference. Suarez set up Messi’s third, a brilliant flick allowing his captain the last word, after he had also had the first.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Predicted Liverpool team to face Red Star: Klopp with fewer midfield options

first_img REVEALED Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions ADVICE Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move 3 Latest Football News 3 So who will start for Liverpool against Red Star in the Champions League? Find out talkSPORT.com’s prediction below. no dice Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade RANKED Liverpool vs Red Star match previewThey will be wary of their opponents, who are top of their domestic league but this is a game where Liverpool are expected to take all three points comfortably.Klopp, though, will have to do without midfielders Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita, who both have hamstring injuries.However, Sadio Mane is available for selection after missing the Reds’ win at Huddersfield in the Premier League on Saturday. Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card The Reds were so close to claiming a creditable draw in Naples BEST OF Keita picked up an injury against Napoli before getting another one while on international duty Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury huge blow REVEALED 3 MONEY Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Liverpool will be looking to tighten their grip on their prospects of reaching the last 16 of the Champions League when they face Red Star Belgrade at Anfield on Wednesday night at 8pm.Jurgen Klopp’s side are currently second in Group C with three points after a 3-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain and a last-gasp defeat to Napoli on matchday two.last_img read more

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 11 Comments   Share   Now, the Cardinals’ depth at cornerback remains thin with only third-year pro Brandon Williams having a start under his belt.Related LinksFree agent CB Robert McClain visiting Cardinals on Thursday, per reportIn addition to Tramon Williams, Arizona could also lose backup cornerback Justin Bethel in free agency. He began 2017 as the Cardinals’ starter before Williams was inserted into his spot in the middle of the year.Arizona reportedly was meeting Thursday with free agent corner Robert McClain, a 29-year-old who spent last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 29-year-old appeared in 14 games for Tampa Bay in 2017, finishing the year with 50 tackles and a career-high three picks.After Williams’ tenure with Green Bay, he played for the Cleveland Browns in 2015-16 and then signed with the Cardinals on July 30. Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tramon Williams, left, runs past safety Budda Baker (36) after making an interception against the Tennessee Titans during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) The Arizona Cardinals are expected to lose starting cornerback Tramon Williams in free agency to the Green Bay Packers, reports former Green Bay receiver and current NFL Network analyst James Jones.Williams spent the first eight years of his NFL career with the Packers (2007-2014).The 35-year-old played in 13 games for Arizona last season, recording 41 tackles, two interceptions and 12 passes defensed on the opposite side of the field from Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

Ahead Of Hearing On Transgender Troops Report Offers Details On Pentagon Spending

first_imgAhead Of Hearing On Transgender Troops, Report Offers Details On Pentagon Spending For Service Members Who Have Gender Dysphoria Through Feb. 1, the cost of treating troops with the diagnosis of gender dysphoria included 22,992 psychotherapy visits, 9,321 prescriptions for hormones and 161 surgical procedures. Surgeries performed included 103 breast reductions or mastectomies, 37 hysterectomies, 17 “male reproductive” procedures and four breast augmentations. Psychotherapy sessions cost nearly $5.8 million and surgery cost more than $2 million, according to the data. The Associated Press: Decorated Transgender Troops To Testify Before Congress USA Today: Exclusive: Report Shows $8M Spent On More Than 1,500 Transgender Troops Lindsey Muller served in the Army as a man for nearly a decade before telling her commanders in 2014 that she identified as a woman and would resign because military policy barred transgender personnel. Her superiors, citing her outstanding performance, urged the decorated attack helicopter pilot to stay so she did. After then-President Barack Obama changed the policy, she started dressing in uniform as a woman. Muller went on to be recommended for a promotion as the surgery to complete her gender transition was scheduled, but the operation was postponed in 2017 when President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he was reinstituting the ban. (2/27) center_img The Pentagon has spent nearly $8 million to treat more than 1,500 transgender troops since 2016, including 161 surgical procedures, according to data obtained by USA TODAY. As of Feb. 1, 1,071 service members have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Public Health Service on active duty and in the reserve force. Most of them are senior enlisted personnel, but there are 20 senior officers – majors and lieutenant commanders and higher – as well. (Brook, 2/27) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more