Championship: Rooney To Debut In Derby Clash Against Barnsley

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United speaks at the 2011 MLS All-Star Game press conference at All-Star HUB in New York City.  AFP

 

England’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney will make his debut for second-tier Derby against Barnsley on Thursday, the club’s manager Phillip Cocu confirmed.

Rooney, 34, joined Derby as a player-coach from MLS side DC United but has been ineligible to play for his new side until January.

“If a player with the qualities, career and the experience of Rooney (is available) you have to be very happy and glad he is here,” said Cocu after Monday’s 2-1 home win over Charlton in the Championship.

“He’s fit, he can start but he will need a few games. Expectation will be high when he starts playing but we have to give him a few games to build up his minutes and get in the team.

“So maybe not perfect from the start but it’s important he will get in the team as soon as possible so we get a certain shape in our team.”

Rooney’s debut can’t come soon enough for Derby.

Their win on Monday moved them into 17th place in English football’s second-tier.

However, they are still nine points shy of the play-off spots and 21 behind the two automatic promotion places.

On Monday, teenage midfielder Jason Knight scored his first goals in professional football to give Derby the three points, ending a run of seven games without a win.

Victory came despite the Rams playing most of the match a man down after Krystian Bielik was sent off for a crude challenge on Conor Gallagher.

Knight put Derby ahead in the 10th minute at Pride Park when he forced the ball in at the back post only for Bielik to see red soon afterwards.

But 10-man Derby still doubled their lead 13 minutes from time when Knight scored his second following a cross from Max Bird.

Charlton ensured a nervous finish for the home side when the south London club pulled a goal back seven minutes from time thanks to Lyle Taylor’s successful penalty, awarded after Curtis Davies brought down Gallagher in the box.

AFP

Brighton Edge Into FA Cup Quarter-Final

Brighton’s English goalkeeper David Button (R) reacts after fumbling a save during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Derby County at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on February 16, 2019.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Brighton moved into the FA Cup quarter-finals for the second successive season as goals from Anthony Knockaert and Jurgen Locadia clinched a 2-1 win over Derby on Saturday.

Chris Hughton’s side have been sucked into relegation danger in the Premier League after six games without a win.

But the Seagulls made the most of a welcome break from the grind of the relegation battle as they saw off Frank Lampard’s Championship side at the Amex Stadium.

Derby had claimed the scalps of Manchester United and Southampton in domestic cup competitions this season.

But the fifth round tie was tipped in Brighton’s favour by a dominant first-half display.

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Brighton opened the scoring after 33 minutes when Knockaert bent his first-time shot into the bottom corner of Kelle Roos’ net after connecting with Yves Bissouma’s cross.

Hughton’s team doubled their advantage when Locadia fired home from close-range in first-half stoppage time after Bissouma’s effort hit the post.

Former Chelsea and Arsenal star Ashley Cole set up a tense finish when the Derby defender headed in after 81 minutes.

It was the 38-year-old’s first goal in England since 2012 and his first ever in the FA Cup and the landmark strike came in his second game since joining Derby until the end of the season following his release by LA Galaxy.

But, despite Derby’s barrage of pressure, Cole’s goal wasn’t enough to spark a late escape for the Rams.

AFP

Friendship With Emery Will Survive Derby Outcome, Says Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur’s Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino                          Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is not going to let the north London derby clash on Sunday affect his friendship with Arsenal boss Unai Emery.

The two old friends will meet for the first time in the Premier League with third-placed Spurs three points better off than the Gunners.

Pochettino is especially touched by the memory of Emery, who at 47 is a year older then the Tottenham boss, recommending he replace him at Valencia when the latter left for Spartak Moscow in 2012.

Pochettino declined the offer, preferring to remain at the less prestigious La Liga outfit Espanyol, and insists that their roles at the head of such big rivals will not affect their friendship.

“The opposite I think,” said Pochettino “Of course we are in different clubs and it is a derby we are going to play.

“In the moment we are going to compete, we are going to try to find the way to beat each other but before and after the game (we are) always very good friends.”

Pochettino, who has garnered much praise for the style his young team play although they are yet to win any silverware in his four years in charge, says he is still moved by Emery’s generous gesture.

“I called Unai who was in Spartak Moscow and said, ‘Thank you very much for recommending me’. I chose to stay at Espanyol at the time,” said the Argentinian. “I am loyal.”

“You need to ask him (why he recommended me), I didn’t ask why. You need to say thank you and be grateful when a colleague — and after someone who became a very good friend (does that).

“It’s not usual that a manager recommends another manager when he leaves the club.”

Pocchetino will have his work cut out on Sunday. Tottenham have not won away at Arsenal since 2010 and that 3-2 win remains Spurs’ only win at the Gunners in their last 25 meetings.

AFP

Man City Beat United To Go Top Of Premier League

Manchester City’s German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan (L) shoots and scores their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on November 11, 2018.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Manchester City opened up a 12-point gap on Manchester United just 12 games into the Premier League season and returned to the top of the table with a convincing 3-1 win in Sunday’s derby at the Etihad.

Early goals in each half from David Silva and Sergio Aguero put City in command and Ilkay Gundogan condemned United to a fourth league defeat of the season after Anthony Martial’s penalty had given the visitors hope.

Bosz To Remain Dortmund Boss Despite Derby Debacle

Borussia Dortmund’s CEO says Peter Bosz remains head coach – for now – although the squad were booed at the club’s annual general meeting on Sunday after surrendering a four-goal lead against Schalke.

Bosz has been given a reprieve despite Saturday’s 4-4 draw at home to Schalke in the Ruhr derby when Dortmund’s second-half collapse saw them surrender a four-goal half-time lead to their German league rivals.

Dutchman Bosz and the team, who have won just one of their last 10 games, were jeered by Dortmund’s members as they entered Sunday’s meeting.

“I feel just as shitty as you all,” Borussia’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told the 1200 club members from the stage amidst the boos.

“I have never experienced anything like that, but the problem is there is no magic solution.”

Dortmund last won a league game in September and are fifth in the table, but Watzke laid down the minimum standard Bosz must achieve – a top four finish to qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

“I have a clear expectation of you, Peter, that you put everything to the test this week, turn every stone,” added Watzke.

“We have to get back on track quickly.

“The Champions League qualification is the main thing.”

Bosz is under intense pressure to turn Dortmund’s fortunes around at the end of a bad week as Tuesday’s 2-1 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur ended the thin hopes of reaching the last 16 of the Champions League.

However, Saturday’s derby draw is a bitter pill for Dortmund to swallow after they had been on course for a convincing win at home to Schalke when they were 4-0 up after just 25 minutes.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mario Geotze and Raphael Guerreiro all netted, while Schalke midfielder Benjamin Stambouli volleyed an own goal.

But the second half was a totally different story.

Guido Burgstaller and Amine Harit clawed goals back for Schalke before Aubameyang, who had earlier squandered an open goal, was sent off in the 72nd minute for a second yellow card.

Borussia’s collapse was completed as Daniel Caligiuri blasted home to make it 4-3 late on before Naldo’s 94th-minute header delighted travelling fans and stunned the hosts as Schalke came back from the dead.

Arsenal Seize Derby Spoils To Leave Spurs Fuming

England’s midfielder Dele Alli (R) vies with Arsenal’s Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey during the English Premier League. IAN KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP

Controversial goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez gave Arsenal their first Premier League success against Tottenham for over three years as the Gunners won 2-0 in a heated north London derby on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger’s side ended a six-match winless run against their hated rivals thanks to a pair of fiercely debated first-half goals at the Emirates Stadium.

Tottenham were furious that referee Mike Dean awarded a free-kick for Davinson Sanchez’s challenge on Alexis Sanchez and their indignation grew louder when, from the resulting set-piece, Mustafi headed Arsenal’s opener from what the visitors claimed was an offside position.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men felt hard done by again when Sanchez doubled Arsenal’s lead by converting a pass from Alexandre Lacazette, who looked offside in the build-up to the goal.

Arsenal’s first league win over Tottenham since March 2014 was a welcome tonic after their chastening loss at leaders Manchester City before the international break.

Arsenal move within one point of Tottenham and, even if City remain a distant speck on the horizon, proving the balance of power in north London hasn’t completely shifted to their neighbours was cause enough for jubilation among Gunners fans.

Having finished above Arsenal for the first time in 22 years last season, Tottenham missed a chance to underline their ascendency and remain without a win at the Emirates since 2010.

It was a major blow to their title hopes and Pochettino must be concerned that Harry Kane and Dele Alli looked rusty after missing England’s friendlies due to injury.

When Kane wasted his only decent chance in the opening moments — firing too close to Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech — it was a sign of the angst to come for Tottenham.

Despite a largely frustrating time in 2017, Arsenal remain a potent force on home turf, where they have now won their last 11 league games.

– Effervescent –
Driven on by the effervescent Sanchez, they had no trouble turning the screw on Tottenham and almost took the lead when Aaron Ramsey’s exquisite pass caught Tottenham left-back Ben Davies out of position.

Gunners defender Hector Bellerin met Ramsey’s ball and whipped over a cross that narrowly eluded the lunging Lacazette in the six-yard box.

Lacking the hunger that inspired their famous win over European champions Real Madrid, Tottenham had reverted to the diffident mood that has often marred their trips to top-six rivals since Pochettino took charge.

Against the run of play, Christian Eriksen could have put Tottenham ahead when his low shot clipped the outside of a post.

But the momentum remained with Arsenal and the dam broke at last as they opened the scoring in the 36th minute.

When Sanchez was harshly penalised by Dean for a challenge on his Arsenal namesake, Mesut Ozil lofted a free-kick towards Mustafi, who got in front of Jan Vertonghen to loop a header past Hugo Lloris into the far corner.

If Tottenham felt injustice over that one, there was worse to come five minutes later.

Bellerin’s pass found Lacazette playing on the shoulder of the Spurs defence and, when the offside flagged stayed down again, he raced away and picked out Sanchez.

The Chile forward took a touch before smashing his shot into the roof of the net from close range for only his third Arsenal goal this season.

Pochettino’s assistant Jesus Perez was furious with Dean as he stormed down the tunnel at half-time, but in truth Tottenham had only themselves to blame for allowing Arsenal to seize the initiative.

Although Tottenham played with more purpose after the interval, their luck was out as Kane’s goal-bound effort was blocked by Mustafi.

Sanchez almost made it three when his strike was repelled by Lloris and Cech’s fine save from Eric Dier’s header ensured there would be no late Tottenham revival.

AFP