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Toure: Gerrard a man for great days

first_imgLiverpool defender Kolo Toure believes their forthcoming must-win Champions League encounter against Basle is made for Steven Gerrard to create “magic” again. And, in light of Rodgers’ judicious use of his 34-year-old captain this season, the Ivorian insists the midfielder’s class is such that he does not need a full match to impact games. “He is a man for great days. He makes the magic when no-one can make it. That is why he is one of the best players in the world,” he said. “His age is nothing. People just keep talking, but if you have a player like that in your dressing room it is very important with his experience. “Players like that don’t need 90 minutes to make the difference – only 20 or 30 minutes – and I am really happy to have him as a captain first and as a man because he is a great player.” Having been frustrated by Sunderland, Toure expects Basle to be more aggressive – even though they need only a draw to progress at Liverpool’s expense. And he admits the Reds will have to be more adventurous than their recent performances – which have all been about regaining some defensive stability. “The team has had to settle defensively first and, because we have been conceding some goals, it was important to get back to basics,” he added. “It has been working well for us but not against Sunderland, but we will take risks against Basle because we have to put them under pressure and win the game. “It is a must-win game – it is like a final. We will take some risks to win the game. “I think tactically they will be better than Sunderland, and going forward they are going to be dangerous as they have quick and intelligent players.” The Reds captain will return to the starting line-up on Tuesday having been rested in Saturday’s goalless draw at home to Sunderland. Brendan Rodgers’ side have to beat the Swiss to progress to the knockout stage, and Toure reckons Gerrard is the man who can really make a difference. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

NBA suspends season after Jazz player tests positive for coronavirus

first_img(REUTERS) – The National Basketball Association (NBA) said on Wednesday it was suspending the season until further notice after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus.The test result was reported shortly before the Jazz were due to play the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The game was then scrapped.The league said the affected player, reportedly Jazz centre Rudy Gobert, was not in the arena.“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the league said.“The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”Players from teams that Jazz have played in the past 10 days were told to self-quarantine, ESPN reported, citing sources.Those teams are Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors, the ESPN report added.More than 126 000 people have been infected globally by the flu-like virus and more than 4 600 have died, according to a Reuters tally based on official announcements. In the United States, about 1 280 people have been infected with 38 deaths. The pandemic rocked the North American sports calendar on Wednesday, leading to the cancellation of the figure-skating world championships and the announcement that college basketball’s annual ‘March Madness’ tournament would take place without fans in attendance. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James tweeted bit.ly/2IF2noL: “Man, we cancelling sporting events, school, office work, etc etc. “What we really need to cancel is 2020! Damn it’s been a rough 3 months. God bless and stay safe,” he wrote, likely alluding to the death of NBA great Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash in January.Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said his team were “stunned”.“This is a very serious time right now. I think the league moved appropriately and prudently,” he said.Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said the situation was “crazy”.“This can’t be true,” he told ESPN as his team played the Denver Nuggets.“This is not in the realm of possibilities. This seems more like out of a movie than reality.”A game between New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings was also called off at the last minute, leading to tears from at least one young fan in attendance.The NBA playoffs were scheduled to tip off on April 18 with the finals set to begin on June 4.Following the NBA’s announcement, the National Hockey League said it was consulting with medical experts and would have had a further update yesterday. Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles, Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien and Rama Venkalast_img read more

Offensive lineman Ryan Alexander leaves Syracuse midseason

first_imgGraduate transfer offensive tackle Ryan Alexander left the Syracuse football team this week, according to a report by Stephen Bailey of Syracuse.com.A Syracuse Athletics spokesperson confirmed Alexander left the program and did not travel to Tallahassee, Florida.Alexander reportedly departs Syracuse amid a two-game skid in which SU now has allowed the most sacks in the country (35) and led head coach Dino Babers to say “everybody’s job is in jeopardy” after the Orange surrendered nine sacks to Pittsburgh.Redshirt freshman Carlos Vettorello originally beat Alexander for the starting right tackle spot out of fall camp. But when Sam Heckel got injured against Liberty, Vettorello filled in for Airon Servais — who moved to center — at left tackle and Alexander plugged in at right tackle. He’s started every game since.Freshman tackle Matthew Bergeron, SU’s top reserve lineman, is in line to start in Alexander’s stead, according to the report. The Orange face Florida State at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Tallahassee.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThis story will be updated with additional reporting. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 25, 2019 at 5:00 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Grahamlast_img read more