Image:Lukas Julis came into the game as Sparta’s dangerman and so it proved Celtic, who reached the round of 32 last season, lacked confidence and desire as Nir Bitton’s poor clearance led to David Moberg Karlsson crashing his shot against the woodwork. It was their first shot across the bows of their opponents, but Celtic failed to heed the warning.Sparta continued to pour forward with Scott Bain producing a fine one-handed save to tip over Julis’ shot. But from the resulting corner, the Celtic defence was statuesque as the striker was on hand to lash his shot high into the net after Bain had initially tipped David Hancko’s header onto the post. Having failed to register a chance of note, Mohamed Elyounoussi was denied a fifth goal in as many games as he stretched to meet Ryan Christie’s cross but his effort grazed the crossbar. Lennon prepared his rousing half-time speech, but his side fell further behind.Karlsson was the architect as the former Kilmarnock winger did brilliantly to keep the ball alive down the right and after his cross was collected by Adam Karabec, Callum McGregor sold himself too easily for Julis to cut inside and curl his shot beyond Bain. Subs: Griffiths (6), Ajeti (n/a), Ntcham (n/a), Elhamed (5).Sparta Prague: Nita (7), Vindheim (6), Pavelka (7), Plechaty (6), Hancko (7), Sacek (7), Krejci (7), Polidar (7), Karabec (7), Moberg-Karlsson (8), Julis (9). Subs: Krejci (6), Dockal (6), Lischka (6), Plavsic (n/a), Travnik (6).- Advertisement – Celtic are on the brink of Europa League elimination after crumbling to a 4-1 home defeat to Sparta Prague.Neil Lennon’s side have just one point from their opening three group games leaving their hopes of reaching the round of 32 in tatters at the halfway stage. Lukas Julis’ hat-trick (26, 45, 76) did most of the damage at an empty Celtic Park.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Celtic fall short in Europe againThis was Celtic’s first meeting with their Czech opponents in European competition, and Neil Lennon’s side were bidding to avoid a third straight Europa League defeat at home for the first time. Sparta’s squad headed to Glasgow decimated by health issues and injuries, with first-choice goalkeeper Milan Heca and Slovakian stopper Dominik Holec both out.Lennon spoke prior to kick-off of the need for his side to “earn the right” to take maximum points from this double-header in their bid to catch up with Group H pace-setters AC Milan and second placed Lille. But they were second best during a very flat opening half as Sparta deservedly led 2-0 at the break. Image:Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths celebrates reducing the deficit in the second half Image:Sparta Prague’s Julis celebrates his second strike against Celtic Celtic travel to face Motherwell on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Football. Coverage starts at 11am with kick-off at 12pm. Neil Lennon’s side return to Europa League action on Thursday November 26 away to Sparta Prague at 5.55pm. Image:Sparta Prague players celebrate a night to remember in Glasgow Left with a mountain to climb, Julis was gifted the chance to complete his hat-trick within a minute of the restart after Bain’s sloppy pass presented the ball straight to him, but his left-foot effort was wayward.Lennon had to show his cards, with a change of shape or personnel, and both Hatem Abd Elhamed and Leigh Griffiths were summoned on the hour-mark – just after Jeremie Frimpong’s fierce low shot flashed past the far post.But Celtic continued to look devoid of ideas as Michal Sacek drove forward unopposed only to see his shot cannon off the post. A minute later, Celtic had a lifeline as Tom Rogic’s cute turn and shot forced Florian Nita to palm the ball straight into the path of Griffiths for a simple finish. Sunday 8th November 11:00am Sparta understandably tired having just played the two other Europa League group stage games since the start of last month with no domestic fixtures, but Celtic were undone once more by their lack of defensive organisation in the absence of Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer.Karlsson tormented Shane Duffy on the counter and his low cross was gleefully tapped home by Julis for his third and the 13th goal conceded by Celtic in their last six games.There was still time for that to become 14 to rub salt into the wounds as Krejci was afforded the freedom of Celtic Park to meet Borek Dockal’s cross to head beyond Bain with ease.What the manager saidCeltic boss Neil Lennon: “It was poor. We started the game ok and then got really ragged with the ball. Our passing, technique. I keep saying if we don’t defend set pieces properly we’ll get punished.“There was a lack of hunger tonight and I don’t know where it’s come from because we’ve put in a really good performance on Sunday. I’ve defended the players up until now but that was unacceptable tonight.”Opta statsCeltic have lost their last three home UEFA Europa League matches, conceding at least three goals in every defeat.After a winless run of five UEFA Europa League games (D1 L4), Sparta Prague registered their first win in the competition since a 1-0 win over Southampton in November 2016.Excluding qualifiers, this was only the third time Celtic have shipped four goals in a home European match, also doing so in September 1989 (5-4 win over FK Partizan, Cup Winners’ Cup) and September 2017 (0-5 defeat to PSG, Champions League).What’s next? Substitute Leigh Griffiths reduced the arrears (65), but after Julis completed his treble, Ladislav Krejc compounded the home side’s misery with a fourth in the final minute of normal time.The result leaves Celtic facing a mountain to climb in Group H – bottom on one point – with Sparta leapfrogging them up to third on three points. Lille usurped AC Milan at the summit following a fine 3-0 win at the San Siro. Man of the match: Lukas Julis. Kick off 12:00pm Team newsCeltic went with the same starting line-up that beat Aberdeen at Hampden Park last Sunday to secure their place in the Scottish FA Cup Final. Lennon stuck to a 4-2-3-1 formation with Christie, Rogic and Elyounoussi behind Edouard.The visitors made six changes from the team that lost against AC Milan. Heca, Celustka, Lishcka, Hanousek, Travnik and captain Dockal were all absent. Hancko passed a fitness test, however, and started at left-back while Krejci returned from suspension. Player ratingsCeltic: Bain (5), Frimpong (5), Duffy (3), Bitton (4), Laxalt (6), Brown (5), McGregor (5), Christie (5), Rogic (5), Elyounoussi (4), Edouard (5). – Advertisement –
America’s iconic Rhythms and Blues singer Aretha Franklin dubbed the Queen of Soul because of her soulful ballads died last week at her home in Detroit, Michigan after a long illness at age 76.Since her death tributes have been coming in from all over the globe. In South Florida there was a very interesting show on a local radio as the DJ hostess invited callers to give their tribute to Aretha and to state their what was their favorite Aretha single. So many are Aretha’s hit that there was hardly consensus, but the most popular turned out to be :Ain’t No Way,” “Natural Woman” and “Rock Steady.”Performance in Jamaica It may be little known that Aretha performed “Rock Steady” at what may have been her only Jamaican performance at the newly created Bob Marley Performing Arts Center at the World Music Festival in 1982.“I have fond remembrance of her performance said “George Brandt” a Kendall, Florida mechanic. “she was outstanding, and the song became a forever hit with me. I recall her also singing a soulful rendition of “Day Dreaming” at that show.”Greatness loss on the youthUnfortunately, some of South Florida’s younger generation is not as familiar with Aretha’s music as her fans mostly over fifty. When we asked a group 20-year-old somethings what was their favorite Aretha hit they noticeable was at a lost. Only one young lady mumbled “Respect.” Another young man, Bradley Coombs, said he recalls hearing Aretha sounds, as his mother “constantly plays her songs on their CD player. I love to hear Aretha singing “Ain’t No way” and “Got to find me an Angel.”Phenomenal Apollo performanceWe were fortunate to see Aretha perform when she was still quite young, only 29, at the Apollo Theater in New York City in 1971. It took some three hours for the long line that wrapped around the theater to get in, but Aretha made the wait worthwhile, as she belt out hit after hit like “One step Ahead”, “Never Loved a Man” and a phenomenal version of “Spirit in the Dark” which had the entire theater on its feet, stomping and screaming “Aretha, Aretha.” We have never forgotten that performance, even although it was 47 years ago.Tribute from Judy MowattIn an interview with the Jamaican Observer, Jamaican singer Judy Mowatt, a former member f the I-Threes said Aretha Franklin as one of her favorite acts.“In the 1970s Aretha’s music related to the human situation, especially for us as women. When you think of a song like “Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You”, this and other songs truly related to me back then. I would later learn that these were based on her own life experiences. I would later realize that when you are committed to a song, it really reaches people in a sincere way,” Mowatt explained. “I saw this when I performed my own songs like Black Woman. Our generation and those who grew up in the 70s and 80s have truly been influenced by Aretha.”Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee but grew up in Detroit. Her father was civil rights leader Rev C L Franklin. She is survived by four sons.Events to celebrate Aretha’s lifeMultiple events are planned for the celebration of Aretha’s life next week in Detroit. These events are expected to draw dignitaries, musicians and other high-profile figures from around the world.That includes a funeral service Friday, August 31st. A pair of public visitations will take place earlier in the week. The Free Press will provide live coverage of all events, memorials and celebrations throughout the week.Aretha Franklin public visitationWhen: Tuesday, Aug. 28th and Wednesday, Aug. 29th.Where: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave. in Detroit. The viewing is in the museum’s spacious rotunda.Times: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. each day.The viewing is open to the public but expect long lines. Aretha Franklin’s funeralWhen: 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 31.Where: Greater Grace Temple, 23500 W. Seven Mile Road in Detroit, on the city’s west side. The service is limited to family members, friends and selected guests. Public seating may ultimately become available.Franklin will be buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, 19975 Woodward Ave. in Detroit, alongside late family members including her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin; her brother, Cecil Franklin; her sisters, Carolyn Franklin and Erma Franklin, and nephew Thomas Garrett.
“I think a loud, energizing environment gets the best out of you,” Utley said, belying all the emotion of a baked potato. “It’s fun. We had a lot of games in Philadelphia in the playoffs. The crowd was into it. It makes you dig down deeper.”The crowd was into it, all right. The Mets’ official Twitter account posted an emoji depicting an unhappy face after Utley’s second home run. The first reply read simply, “KILL HIM.” The second reply, posted seconds later, read “slit his throat asap.”Ever since Utley’s controversial slide in the 2015 National League Division Series broke the leg of then-Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada, the veteran has been the focus of possible retaliation on the Mets’ part. Until Saturday, nothing happened. Utley batted once against the Mets in Game 5 of the Division Series — five days after his slide — and 20 more times this season without incident. But Hamari’s quick trigger Saturday suggested a warning was still in place more than seven months after the original incident. The warning wasn’t an official one, crew chief Tom Hallion told a pool reporter. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said there was no warning at all when the teams met in Los Angeles in April.“Chase was and has been tremendous,” Roberts said. “Not only what he does in the clubhouse, but under these circumstances for him to answer the bell and to perform and put us on his shoulders, not only speaks to him as a baseball player but his character. For me, there’s no one better.”Utley has been booed throughout the three-game series — during pregame introductions, when he bats, and whenever he touches the ball on defense. That won’t change today, a national telecast on ESPN2, and there’s no telling whether Syndergaard’s “purpose pitch” was the last one of the series.Roberts, who was appointed the Dodgers’ manager after last season, was surprised by Saturday’s turn of events. The two managers met with the umpire crew prior to the series to clear the air.“We all agreed that it was behind us,” Roberts said.The Dodgers did little wrong Saturday. Starting pitcher Kenta Maeda was struck on the top of his right hand with a line drive in the first inning. Diminished but not debilitated, Maeda retired 13 of 14 batters without allowing a run after the injury. He allowed only two hits in five shutout innings.After the game, Maeda’s hand was swollen but an x-ray revealed no broken bones. The pitcher said (through an interpreter) that he had a harder time throwing changeups, one of four pitches in his crafty arsenal.“What I didn’t want to do was come out of the game because of a freak accident like that,” Maeda said. “I was able to grit out five extra innings. I was able to contribute to a win today. I’m happy in that aspect.”Corey Seager, Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez also hit home runs for the Dodgers. Only a solo home run by pinch hitter Juan Lagares off J.P. Howell in the eighth inning prevented a shutout.The other fly in the blue ointment: Right fielder Trayce Thompson was removed with lower back soreness, a nagging injury that he aggravated on a swing in the fourth inning. Yasiel Puig took over in right field for Thompson, who insisted the injury is not serious.Don Mattingly chose not to play Utley in the Dodgers’ two playoff games Citi Field after the Game 2 controversy in Los Angeles. The severity of the threats hurled at Utley might have tipped the decision in that direction.Now, Roberts might have no choice but to leave Utley in the lineup. He’s 3 for 7 with nine RBIs in the first two games of the series.“I just think Chase enjoys playing,” Roberts said. “That’s the great thing about Chase, and as a professional: whether there’s 6,000 people or 46,000 people, he plays every single pitch. He’s unfazed and he gave us a huge lift.” NEW YORK >> Chase Utley was nowhere to be found.A 98-mph fastball from Noah Syndergaard had just whizzed behind his back to begin the third inning. Home plate umpire Adam Hamari ejected the New York Mets’ pitcher, then ejected an irate Terry Collins. As the Mets’ manager raged and 42,227 umpires at Citi Field voiced their displeasure, Utley calmly sat out the storm under shelter of the Dodgers’ dugout ceiling.In that moment it seemed as if knocking out Syndergaard would be Utley’s greatest contribution to the Dodgers’ effort Saturday. Maybe it was. Utley hit a solo home run in the sixth inning off Logan Verrett and a grand slam in the seventh inning off Hansel Robles. He finished 2 for 5 with five RBIs in the Dodgers’ 9-1 win, quieting every boo and every death threat on social media without saying a word. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Clippers hiring Tyronn Lue as Doc Rivers’ top assistant coach, report says This year’s United States FIBA World Cup team is not the most exciting group ever, with many fans questioning whether it can get the job done.Members of Team USA are speaking up about America’s lack of faith and are confident they can bring the U.S. its sixth straight gold medal in Olympic and World Cup competitions. “It’s like they picked us up off the street,” Celtics forward Jayson Tatum told The Undefeated at camp when addressing speculation the U.S. might not win it all. “We’re NBA players. We’re pretty good at what we do. It’s added a chip on our shoulder, and we’re going to take it with us.”NBA stars such as James Harden, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis elected early on not to participate in the 2019 tournament, set to begin Aug. 31 in China. This certainly made a team usually stacked with All-NBA talent look less appealing on paper, and players continued to drop like flies as the final roster was being determined. Related News Rockets forward P.J. Tucker left camp with an ankle injury last week while Kings guard De’Aaron Fox decided he’d rather focus on the upcoming NBA season following Team USA’s 90-81 exhibition win over Spain, the second-ranked team in this year’s World Cup.The team’s only All-NBA performer, Kemba Walker, says the squad is “hungry” to be successful though, despite the doubts.Kings forward Harrison Barnes is the lone survivor from the U.S.’s 2016 gold-medal squad and claims Team USA isn’t listening to what skeptics have to say.“We hear the noise,” Barnes said. “It’s about just us, getting better, continuing to grow closer on and off the floor, and we’ll go from there.“We’re motivated more than anything to keep the gold standard going, by the teams that went before us that went and won the World Cup, that went and won the Olympics multiple times. That’s what we’re chasing right now.”The U.S. will face Australia Thursday in its second international exhibition game of the summer.