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Please Read Before Posting / Jürgen Klopp will delve into archive to
« on: April 15, 2018, 07:31:51 PM »
Comparisons with Liverpool’s illustrious past have often irked Jürgen Klopp as he endeavours to illuminate the future and demands that his players write their own history.

He will make an exception for a showpiece European occasion with Roma at the Stadio Olimpico. Tommy Smith’s bullet-header, Bruce Grobbelaar’s spaghetti legs and Alan Kennedy’s penalty will all form part of the Liverpool manager’s revision for what he hopes will be a Champions League semi-final shaped by destiny.

Liverpool’s visit to the Italian capital for the semi-final second leg on 2 May will be Klopp’s first appearance at Stadio Olimpico. His club and their supporters will require no introduction. Two of Liverpool’s five European Cup triumphs were secured in Rome, against Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1977 and Roma in 1984, and Klopp will revisit both finals before meeting Eusebio Di Francesco’s team. The football fan in the German came to the fore as, for once, he looked back.
“I will watch the two finals for sure because it is destiny or whatever,” Klopp said. “If any German goes to Bern in Switzerland he cannot avoid thinking about 1954 [the World Cup final comeback against Hungary]. There are not a lot of people around on the planet from that time now but it is just a special place. You think: ‘OK, it happened here, well done, all these guys.’ That is how it is, but it was too long ago. If I find something that helped make this place even more remarkable or special for Liverpool then I will use it. Thank God Rome is still Rome. It is the place, it is not who did what, it’s the place.”
Klopp is not averse to Liverpool history lessons; it is the weight he feels it places on the club’s current players that he does not like. Having defeated Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals he senses that weight may be lifting.
“I love our history but it is not allowed to compare us constantly,” he says. “You can do whatever you want Max Unger Authentic Jersey but it is not allowed for us. Those teams were great but they became great in these situations and now people say, ‘They did it like this.’
“I had a very famous German national player who was the coach of a second division team when I was in the second division. He did a shooting session and the boys were kind of my level so not too good. This guy took the ball and scored five times and said: ‘Look it is not that difficult.’ The boys were standing around and thinking now we know you can do it but we still have no clue. It is good to have role models but in the end you have to do it your own way.”
Liverpool are gathering momentum as the season enters its defining period. Klopp, who insists victory over Bournemouth on Saturday should be the club’s sole focus when seeking a top-four finish, claims belief Ichiro Suzuki Jersey is Kawhi Leonard Jersey also soaring among players, fans and Anfield legends, having reached the last four of the Champions League.
He added: “It’s nice being in the semi-finals. Like I said before Manchester City, write our own history. You only judge history when you watch it back and I am really happy we are in a situation where we are focused on this group. The legends we all love are around and they are clapping because they like this. Kenny Dalglish is over the moon and completely on fire. Steven Gerrard and all the other guys in between, you can feel it and see it. That’s cool.
It’s normal when you go to a semi-final, especially after a long time and you hear the numbers – Bayern six times in a row, semi-final; Madrid eight. Then Roma and us. That’s nice but in the end it’s a nice sign Barry Bonds Authentic Jersey that we are so far so good.

Please Read Before Posting / Football changes
« on: April 13, 2018, 08:59:15 PM »
My heart rate went up a bit but I tried to calm myself down, because I knew it would be decisive,” Cristiano Ronaldo said. All that and it came down to this: 180 minutes reduced to a single moment. A 3-0 victory for Real Madrid in Turin, 3-0 to Juventus Authentic Andre Dawson Jersey in Madrid and then, in the 93rd and final minute, with 39 remaining seconds that would soon be considerably more, Lucas Vázquez went down, nudged by Medhi Benatia. So here they were, a semi-final waiting, everyone watching two men standing 12 yards apart at the north end of the Santiago Bernabéu. Well eventually. One shot but a long time to take it. Juventus surrounded the referee and Gigi Buffon was sent off.

“The referee had a rubbish bin where his heart should be,” Buffon said, while Vázquez insisted: “It’s a penalty, the centre-back arrives and bundles me over. But in a situation like that the protests are normal, it’s the last minute after a great game.” Ronaldo thought differently. “I don’t know why they were protesting but football’s like that,” he said. As he left the stadium, he and Buffon embraced. They had not seen each other when the moment came. Buffon walked, Wojciech Szczesny came on to replace him. All the while, Ronaldo waited.
Szczesny had no time to warm up or touch the ball. Ronaldo, who admitted “the minutes before taking the penalty felt eternal”, had it. Szczesny headed on to his line, where he jumped up and down pushing the bar, making it wobble. Ronaldo, still standing there, took a deep breath and then another, as if trying to force both lungs out with the air that had filled them. He was not the only one. Eventually he began his run, Dani Carvajal way behind him, on his knees and unable to look. The clock had said 92min 21sec when Vázquez went down; by the time Ronaldo struck the penalty it was 96.55.
The nerves he admitted to having were not visible, the ball flying into the top corner – his 15th goal in the competition this season, at least one in every match – and the stadium erupting. “Where does the fear go when it escapes your body?” Jorge Bustos asked in El Mundo. There was a lot of it rushing out. It had been there – “somewhere between your intestines and your throat”, Bustos reckoned – from the start to the end.
Comebacks form part of Madrid’s legend, encapsulated in the phrase uttered by the forward Juanito in 1986. Madrid had been beaten 3-1 by Internazionale in the first leg of a Uefa Cup tie but Juanito warned that the second leg would be different, saying in cod Italian: “Noventa minuti en el Bernabéu son molto longo.” Ninety minutes in the Bernabéu are very long. It was supposed to apply to opponents, not Madrid, but here it was reversed. These 90 minutes were molto, molto longo indeed.
When Juventus scored their first, one minute 16 seconds Christian Okoye Womens Jersey had gone and it was 8.47pm; when Madrid scored their first, finally ending it, it was 10.40pm. An hour and 53 minutes of suffering and then an explosion. Somehow they had found a way through. On the front of the sports daily AS, the headline said: “From panic to the semi-final.” Madrid had escaped thanks to a “miracle”. In El Mundo, Orfeo Suárez saw Madrid still “on course for their Holy Grail, like Christ resurrected. Cristiano, taking his place standing there in the form of a cross, was Authentic J.J. Wilcox Jersey as implacable in applying punishment as he was suffering in martyrdom”. Suffering was the word. “Journalists are supposed to say things like: ‘How lovely football is,’” Bustos wrote. “Lovely? Bollocks.” wholesale nfl jerseys from china wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys china cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys free shipping

Please Read Before Posting / Wolves get ready to celebrate promotion
« on: April 13, 2018, 12:36:38 AM »
If this is the game that moves Wolves to within touching distance of the Championship title, then it will also be remembered as the night Rúben Neves scored a goal worthy of any champions.

The Portugal playmaker volleyed his latest majestic strike into the top corner from 30 yards as Nuno Espírito Santo’s team moved to within one result of a return to the Premier League.
Wolves will seal promotion if they beat Birmingham at home on Sunday lunchtime, or the evening before should Fulham falter against Brentford. Moving on to 92 Authentic Phil Dawson Jersey points, they have already gained their record haul at this level and, 11 points clear, could also be anointed champions on Sunday.
Derby’s promotion plans have for some time been restricted to holding on to their play-off berth and, even after successive victories before Wednesday night, they are not bankers in fifth place.
Neves converted a brilliant free-kick to secure victory at Cardiff last Friday and has scored six long-range goals this season. Signed for £15.6m from Porto last summer, the 21-year-old midfielder has lived up to his billing and Gary Rowett believes he belongs not only in the Premier League but at the top end of it.
“That’s almost the first time I’ve applauded an opposition goal,” the Derby manager said. “It’s Champions League stuff, not just Championship. He’s a Champions League player. That’s what you get when you spend nearly £16m. At 21, when you play with that much control … For me, he should be playing for one of the top-four clubs in the country. They’re like a Premier League side but our season’s not going to be defined by games against Wolves.”
Wolves’ home form has been almost serenely consistent all season. They have lost once in 21 league matches at Molineux and will be relishing Sunday’s derby.
“We are close,” Nuno said. “We have to play on Sunday. Nothing changes, nothing changes. We have to prepare well. The game on Sunday means a lot to our fans, to us. We have to be very cautious.
“I was very pleased. We are fortunate to have this talent [Neves]. We still have a long way to go and Rúben knows he has a lot to work on and improve. Now I’m boring because I’ll go home and you know what I’m going to do? Watch the game again.”
Wolves set about Derby with panache and were Authentic Phil McConkey Jersey ahead within six minutes. Diogo Jota timed his run perfectly to latch on to Willy Boly’s angled lofted pass and get beyond the backline. Even then he had his back to goal but the Portuguese winger took the ball down with one touch, turned and calmly lifted it over Scott Carson.
Neves dispatched two wonderful strikes that Carson could only parry during the first half but there was no stopping the goal that arrived on Bryce Harper Authentic Jersey the day Wolves closed the voting for their goal of the season competition.
When Barry Douglas’s corner was cleared by Chris Baird, Neves appeared to miscontrol the ball for a moment. But perhaps he was just teeing himself up. For his next touch was a right-foot volley from 30 yards that flew into the top corner. It was a remarkable goal from a remarkable player.

Please Read Before Posting / Jordan’s female footballers take on
« on: April 12, 2018, 07:08:18 PM »
It started as a joke. After a five-hour climb and 90 minutes of football in thin air, the players from Equal Playing Field sat back. At 5,714m above sea level, in the crater at the top of Kilimanjaro, Mark Ingram Authentic Jersey they had secured the world record for the highest-altitude football match. Why? To highlight gender inequality. To show that women are strong, ambitious and deserving of equal opportunities. Elated after their epic journey, they jested about the next stage of their campaign. The highest altitude? Let’s do the lowest, they mused.

Except with two Jordanian women in their ranks, and their home country hosting the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, the joking turned to planning. Because the Dead Sea shore, at about 420m below sea level, is the lowest-altitude land on earth.
So one year on, in collaboration with Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan – the Fifa vice-president and former challenger to Sepp Blatter for the presidency – the Jordan Quest saw the Equal Playing Field teams hiking across the country. From rural communities and cities to awesome Petra, they ran football camps before playing for their second world record last week on a purpose built pitch in impoverished Ghor al-Safi.
For Haneen Khateeb and Yasmeen Shabsough, the two Jordanians who made the trip to Tanzania nine months ago, this endeavour Joaquin Benoit Authentic Jersey has been about transforming attitudes and tearing down barriers that have blocked them as players.
“I started playing football from a very young age. I’m the only girl in the whole family,” says Shabsough. “I have only one brother and three male cousins. So every time we gathered we would go out and play football. That’s how I started.” While Khateeb began aged 11: “I started to play in the street, the only girl who played there, and they I got the chance to go into a grassroots centre at the age of 11.”
After that, their paths converged, with Khateeb joining an Amman club, where Shabsough was playing. They both worked their way through the national underage teams and now play for the senior side. Except their journey has been tough, but the hosting of the Under-17 Women’s World Cup in 2016, which saw over 14,000 attend the opening match and which the pair were involved in organising, felt like a turning point.
“When I started playing football it was so hard for girls to play,” says Shabsough. “We have had a lot of challenges but over years and years we have shown everyone that girls can play football. We’re proving to the world and Walt Weiss Authentic Jersey to Jordan that we are really good and we deserve to be respected and supported.”
Ranked 51st in the world, Jordan are hoping they can qualify for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. “We worked really hard, we’ve trained really hard and we have a good chance,” Shabsough says. “If we qualify it will be the first time in history for Jordan to qualify for the World Cup. We will do our best but we really hope we can make it.”
However their chances may have been dented by a surprise opening Asia Cup loss to the Philippines, ranked 21 places behind them, in front of just shy of 10,000 fans.
For Shabsough and Khateeb – and Equal Playing Field, which is essentially a collective of like-minded women players trying to improve things – the Jordan Quest is more than a publicity stunt or fly-by-night visit. They will be continuing to build on the hype created by the quest long after most of the EPF players fly out, and the pitch built for the record-breaker, the only pitch in southern Ghor, has given kids used to playing in the streets and on rocks somewhere to go. wholesale nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys

Please Read Before Posting / Kostas Manolas seals historic Roma
« on: April 11, 2018, 08:58:34 PM »
The celebrations went on so long that for a while it seemed Roma’s incredulous supporters would never go home. The sea of red, white and yellow flags in the Curva Sud were lifted with pride, strangers were hugging each other and the anthems floating around the Roman air were still being belted out a good 20 minutes after the Calle Jarnkrok Authentic Jersey conclusion of one of the most remarkable comebacks in the history of the Champions League.

It had been an extraordinary occasion, with one glance off the head of Kostas Manolas in the 82nd minute sparking scenes of pure elation among the locals, and nobody should criticise Roma for reacting as if they had just become the champions of Europe. They achieved something extraordinary, defying the odds on a wild night at the Stadio Olimpico by overhauling a 4-1 deficit to Barcelona from the first leg, and how the underdogs cherished reaching the semi-finals for the first time since 1984.

Barcelona had nowhere to hide. Last year they stunned Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16, advancing despite being thrashed 4-0 in the first leg, but the shoe was on their leaden foot this time. They were reduced to such a state of disarray that even Lionel Messi was booked for cynically hacking at Aleksandar Kolarov and Ernesto Nikita Zadorov Womens Jersey Valverde’s sluggish team could have no complaints about their third consecutive quarter-final exit, even though Roma tortured their fans by leaving it late and almost blew it when a defensive mix-up presented Ousmane Dembélé with an opportunity to rescue La Liga’s champions-elect.
His chip drifted over Alisson Becker’s unguarded goal, however, and the truth is that Barcelona, so insipid until they were behind, deserved to go out. They will be no great loss on this evidence, even if neutrals will mourn Messi’s absence from the last four, and no condescension should be aimed at Roma given that Eusebio Di Francesco’s fearless team finished top of a group that contained Atlético Madrid and Chelsea and beat Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ra'Shede Hageman Womens Jersey last 16. Nothing summed up their defiance more than the players who got their second and third goals. Daniele De Rossi and Manolas both scored at the wrong end in the first leg, leaving Roma with an enormous challenge, but they chose the perfect way to respond, standing tall while their opponents cowered.
Roma, fourth in Serie A, had leaders all over the pitch. “Mission Impossible” was the headline on the front of Gazzetta dello Sport and even the most devoted follower of I Giallorossi could have been forgiven for thinking Barcelona’s advantage was too imposing. Only 11 sides had recovered after losing the first leg by three goals or more in this Womens Jacob Larsson Jersey competition’s 63-year history and Roma faced opponents who had the safety net of Messi’s genius.
But with red smoke billowing out of the brilliantly boisterous Curva Sud and the noise deafening, the hosts wasted no time exposing the frailties in Barcelona’s defence. Alessandro Florenzi’s long pass in the sixth minute was perfectly flighted and the outstanding Edin Dzeko, who had kept the tie alive with his artful poaching in the first leg, bustled Jordi Alba and Samuel Utiti aside before rolling the ball past Marc-André ter Stegen.
Valverde will be criticised for his defensive focus. He opted for pragmatism, starting Sergi Roberto and waiting until the 85th minute to introduce Dembélé and Paulinho, and still Barcelona were overwhelmed in midfield, where De Rossi, Radja Nainggolan and Kevin Strootman were powerful, creative and dominant. Luis Suárez’s only noteworthy contribution was picking up a booking for timewasting and it was strange to think that Barcelona remain unbeaten in the league given how reliant they have become on Messi.
Alisson was protected by his back three and the damage for Barcelona would have been more severe at half-time if Patrik Schick had shown greater precision with two free headers or Dzeko had snuck another effort past Ter Stegen. cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys

Please Read Before Posting / It’s not like I wanted to miss
« on: April 10, 2018, 11:50:41 PM »
Danny Welbeck has learned to deflect criticism and is no longer overly influenced by those who wonder whether he really belongs at the highest level of club and international football.

The Arsenal and England forward confounded the doubters by scoring twice in his club’s 3-2 home win against Southampton on Sunday but somehow spurned a three-yard sitter that looked a strong candidate for “miss of the season”.

“In professional football, there are always going to be critics,” said Welbeck, who also created Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener. “You see people are criticising Cristiano Ronaldo and he’s at the pinnacle. Every day in every single walk of life, you can do something good and people will have something bad to say about you. You just get on with it and do your job as best you can.”
As Meat Loaf’s song said, “Two out of three ain’t bad” – and Welbeck duly made no apology for Authentic Denver Broncos Jersey refusing to beat himself up over his failure to make the most of an opening conjured by Alex Iwobi and Jack Wilshere. “It isn’t like I wanted to miss,” Welbeck said. “I just couldn’t stretch enough to get there – but that’s football.
“In your mindset you just have to know there’s going to be another opportunity and you have to keep focused. I’ve been through much tougher stuff than that. So it’s nothing. You just have to keep your mindset strong.”
After missing more games than he cares to remember in the wake of serious injuries to both knees sustained between May 2015 and January 2017, Welbeck has scored nine goals this season, his Authentic Russell Wilson Jersey best return since the 2013-14 campaign.
“Danny is getting sharper and has slowly come back to his best,” Arsène Wenger, Arsenal’s manager, said. “He had every reason to feel sorry for himself and think that this mountain was too big for him to climb but he worked Authentic Paul Hornung Jersey hard with people questioning him. It’s the most difficult test for a sports person. What he has done is exemplary.”
With a knee injury prompting Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s absence from Wenger’s side for the Europa League quarter-final second leg at CSKA Moscow on Thursday night, Welbeck is likely to start in Russia as Arsenal aim Authentic Steve Mason Jersey to extend their 4-1 first-leg lead.
“As you’ve seen I can play with Pierre [Aubameyang] and Lac [Alexandre Lacazette],” he said. “It’s nice. The competition for places gives you that added motivation to improve and better yourself. I’ve had it my whole career. It’s healthy but I know I can link up with plenty of players in this team.”
Like Wenger he will always have his critics but, right now, Welbeck feels the north London horizon is bright enough to quite possibly help him ensure a successful return to Russia in England colours this June. “I’ve been through seasons where I’ve not played a lot of games and its been difficult due to injuries and stuff like that,” he said. “But that’s past, that’s gone.

Please Read Before Posting / Numbers game fails to add up
« on: April 10, 2018, 05:59:17 PM »
Long before he forged a reputation as a one‑man insurance policy against relegation, Sam Allardyce was known for his fondness for facts and figures. He played the percentages in an essentially risk-averse brand of football. He has sought solace in the statistics. He still presents himself as a blend of old and new, traditional judgment and Moneyball-style metrics. “That’s the beauty of our matrix of statistics today, which backs up your eye,” he said.

His notion is the numbers support his case. His programme notes for last month’s defeat by Manchester City amounted to a blizzard of self-justifying statistics. It seemed a selective interpretation John Collins Youth jersey of the data available because after Saturday’s Merseyside derby stalemate made him only the third manager to register 50 goalless draws in the Premier League – and at times Liverpool Claude Giroux Jersey threatened to render him only the second to suffer 200 defeats – other numbers were more unflattering.

Everton had four touches of the ball in the Liverpool box in the opening hour. They have mustered a solitary first-half goal since January. Under Allardyce, they have hosted Chelsea, both Manchester clubs and Liverpool. Over 360 minutes, they have recorded only three shots on target and one goal.
All of which suggests either a lack of quality, a surfeit of timidity or both. A £200m outlay in the past 12 months ought to have injected ability, even if three-quarters of the spending preceded Allardyce’s appointment. Yet the fearful football that an often outspoken character has overseen may highlight his innate caution.
“It could have been that in the first seconds and boosh. The crowd get up,” Jürgen Klopp said, trying to mimic the blood and thunder of a stereotypical derby; this rather placid affair had insufficient thud, even if there were a Anthony Zettel Jersey few blunders as Everton mislaid a third of their passes and Curtis Lazar Youth jersey misdirected a couple of late attempts to break the deadlock.
“Let’s face it, they have got a terrific team, haven’t they?” Allardyce asked and when Liverpool are at full strength, the answer would be in the affirmative. Yet their front three included Danny Ings, whose last goal came more than 900 days ago, and Dominic Solanke, whose 23 Liverpool appearances have yet to produce any. Their full-backs were Nathaniel Clyne, making his first appearance of the season, and the out-of-position central defender Ragnar Klavan, who Klopp thought had never even played on the flank in his four-year Bundesliga career, let alone for Liverpool.
His immediate opponent was Theo Walcott who, for 80 minutes, did his best work as a supplementary right-back before belatedly running at Klavan. A Liverpool team who had never played together before – and probably never will again – showed more cohesion and perhaps the most meaningful game of Everton’s campaign served as a microcosm for much of it: slow starters lost their way in the middle before seeking an uplifting ending. It eluded them.
A complication, on the day and over the campaign, has been the presence of Wayne Rooney. The Evertonian is nonetheless the top scorer and struck away from home against Liverpool and Manchester City. However, he is yet to find the net in 2018 and completed a different double, substituted in the 57th minute on successive Saturdays. Rooney’s reinvention as a midfielder has been a mixed affair, and he laboured again while Everton looked underpowered and poor in possession. Allardyce was asked if it is a concern the 32-year-old now struggles against the best opposition. “I can agree with you to a certain degree,” he replied.
It poses a question if Rooney’s appearances are rationed, if Everton’s biggest name is brought out only for the smaller games. They only gained a foothold in midfield when the more energetic Idrissa Gueye replaced him, a solid platform enabling them to spring Leighton Baines and Séamus Coleman forward on the flanks. Briefly, Everton resembled the side who had taken many a major scalp at Goodison Park before their 15-month drought.

Please Read Before Posting / Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck atones for
« on: April 09, 2018, 07:53:45 PM »
It was a game of great saves and awful defending, of fine attacking play and gripping twists in the narrative, and there was a redemptive ending for the enduring frustration that is Danny Welbeck. The drama was relentless and for neutrals there was the bonus of seeing the contest descend into chaos after Jack Wilshere’s clash with Jack Stephens in added time.

Yet Southampton departed with an empty feeling. They had teased their supporters with the rarity of a Shane Long goal and their pursuit of an equaliser during the second half had yielded a reward when Charlie Austin, who had entered the fray moments earlier, cancelled out Arsenal’s lead with his first touch in the 73rd minute.
A precious point was there to be snaffled and, having ruined their first league game under Mark Hughes with a wretched collapse against West Ham last Saturday, that unfamiliar sensation Southampton were experiencing was a surge of optimism.
Yet the speed with which it was replaced by despair encapsulates why their hold on their Premier League status remains so uncertain. They had been level for eight minutes when Dusan Tadic allowed Alex Iwobi to cross for Welbeck, who had just produced a contender for miss of the season, to rise above Cédric Soares and head home Arsenal’s winner. “At that point you need to have clarity of thought to make sure you take something out of the game,” Hughes said.
There are six games left for Southampton, who are three points below 17th-placed Crystal Palace, and Welbeck’s second goal was the cue for a loss of composure from Stephens, who accepted the bait when he felt Wilshere nibbling at him. Wilshere was in full wind-up-merchant mode as Southampton attacked and the frustration was too much for Stephens to bear.
It was a naive reaction and the way the centre-back lashed out left Andre Marriner with no option but to send him off. Mohamed Elneny would follow him down the tunnel – Arsène Wenger suggested Arsenal could appeal against the Egyptian midfielder’s dismissal for pushing Soares – but the damage was already done.
“Wilshere should have been sent off,” Hughes said. “Jack Stephens has reacted to being pulled back for about 20 yards. It’s not correct but it’s understandable. But if you’re going to send Jack off, you have to send Wilshere off for bouncing up. I thought I saw a definite movement with his knee towards Jack.”
Wilshere escaped with a booking and Hughes was left to reflect on Southampton’s failure to take advantage of opponents whose minds were elsewhere for long spells. The visitors began with a cautious 5-4-1 system, with the return of Oriol Romeu giving the midfield a steelier look and Long foraging on his own up front. Yet they had players who could trouble for Arsenal on the break and James Ward-Prowse Youth jersey had an early effort hacked off the line by Héctor Bellerín.
The opening stemmed from an error from Shkodran Mustafi, who was an accident waiting to happen in the heart of Arsenal’s defence, and Southampton’s reward arrived in the 17th minute. Sead Kolasinac allowed Soares to squeeze in a cross from the byline and Long nipped in front of the motionless Mustafi to prod Johnny Gaudreau Jersey his second goal in 46 appearances beyond the exasperated Petr Cech.
Wenger’s decision to rest seven players before his side’s trip to CSKA Moscow for the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday demonstrated where Arsenal’s priorities lie. Their challenge for a place in the top four is all but over.

Please Read Before Posting / pooper rains on Guardiola’s
« on: April 08, 2018, 11:43:52 PM »
The ice melts sadly around the unopened champagne. The fireworks remain unfired, the streamers tightly furled. José Mourinho, perhaps the greatest wet blanket in football history, had done it again.

Manchester City’s celebrations will come but they are deferred, and that was Mourinho’s primary Kony Ealy Youth jersey objective. But he has offered further evidence of this City side’s curious vulnerability, inflicted a trauma that might yet resurface to significant effect in the future and, more even than that, shown that, however much Pep Guardiola wants to make football a game of three-dimensional chess, he can drag him into a bar fight, play the game on his terms.
In January 2014 Mourinho’s Real Madrid went to the Camp Nou to face Barcelona in the second leg of a Copa del Rey tie. They trailed 2-1 from the first leg and fell 4-1 behind. With nothing left to lose, they attacked, came back and drew 2-2 on the night. It made no immediate difference and Barça Charlie McAvoy Jersey went on to win the Cup but it blew away the sense of invulnerability Guardiola’s side had previously projected. Their aura gone, Barça dwindled to the end of the season, losing to Chelsea in the Champions League and surrendering their league title to Madrid.
It is far too early to suggest this game will similarly send the pendulum swinging back the other way. The teams are at different stages of their cycles and Guardiola does not seem as frazzled now as he did then. United, in truth, were extremely fortunate to win given the chances City missed and the penalty they were denied. But it is something and, in a season in which they have struggled to emerge from City’s shadow, they will take that.
Football has known few party poopers like Mourinho. He may not literally have broken up a party at one of his young player’s homes, wearing evening dress and calling them by their numbers rather than their names, as Sir Alex Ferguson famously did at a gathering at Lee Sharpe’s house, but he loves nothing more than stopping other people having fun.
He has the vague awareness of work in the morning, the barman who insists you have three minutes to drink the pint you bought two minutes ago even though you are pretty sure you are legally entitled to 20 minutes’ drinking-up time, the sour and neurotic former girlfriend who turns up and sits in passive aggressive disapproval until all hilarity has been sapped from the room.
Mourinho always seems at his most buoyant after puncturing somebody else’s balloon. He has rarely seemed more chipper than he did when dousing the boisterousness of a pre-Christmas crowd with a Chelsea performance of heroic lack of ambition in a 0-0 draw at Arsenal in 2013-14, unless it was later on that season when his side, with nothing to play for, went to Anfield, spoiled and wasted time and inflicted a 2-0 defeat that in effect cost Liverpool the title.
This was a different type of spoiling, although surely not by design. United were genuinely awful in the first half. Be more like Jürgen Klopp, they had said. Take a lesson from how Liverpool beat City on Wednesday. But the only aspect of Liverpool’s campaign United replicated, in both games against City, was the inability Klopp’s side showed earlier in the season to defend set plays. This City, as Liverpool demonstrated, are vulnerable. Their defence can be got at.
Attack them with pace and verve and they will struggle. United did not attack them before half-time and the result was that City, comfortable in possession, cut through them again and again.
Pogba, who at least got in the mood by dying his hair blue and white for the occasion, was, as so often, the barometer, terrible before half-time, inspirational after it. In the first half, his touch was poor, his use of the ball worse. Two goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half and suddenly he was winning every tackle, so dominant that Guardiola made a point of congratulating him at the final whistle. wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys from china

Please Read Before Posting / Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder still
« on: April 08, 2018, 05:38:51 PM »
It was not quite the instant impact Wissam Ben Yedder once produced in a national team shirt but it nonetheless marked the fulfilment of a dream. His first senior appearance for France, replacing Olivier Giroud for the last 17 minutes of last month’s friendly against Colombia, passed with relatively little fanfare and its place in the wider narrative was diminished by Les Bleus contriving to turn a 2-0 lead into defeat. Whether it progressed Ben Yedder’s claim to a World Cup place remains to be seen but the Sevilla striker, whose club side play Bayern Munich in a Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday, has battled greater odds.

Eight and a half years ago Ben Yedder made his bow on a different stage and the outcome felt more satisfactory. The venue was an indoor hall in Santiago, Chile; the sport was futsal and the result was 7-0 to France, whose debutant was among the scorers. Ben Yedder’s presence had been touch and go: when the team assembled at Charles de Gaulle airport he discovered his Tunisian passport – which he owed to his parents’ country of birth – did not permit him to make the journey. This reduced the then 19-year-old to tears but the situation was resolved with a new French document that allowed him to fly the day after his peers. The game represented the first of six caps and, in total, three goals; a decent return but, in a parallel universe to the 11-a-side game, hardly a feat that would propel him into the global spotlight.
These days Ben Yedder is the embodiment of two worlds successfully meeting. The first of his two goals at Old Trafford on 14 March, which knocked Manchester United out at the last-16 stage, was the kind he honed in his days working in tight spaces for Garges Djibson, a successful futsal club from the northern suburbs of Paris. A cushioned first touch, a shuffle of the feet to create space and a whipped finish with minimal backlift – Mike Napoli Jersey his early career was full of such moments but by the time of that match against Chile his experience at 11-a-side level had only reached the modest heights of the French fourth-tier club UJA Alfortville.
He had been accustomed to juggling his football and futsal commitments, a situation that remained broadly unchanged until, Zach Brown Womens Jersey eight months after the trip to Santiago and only a few weeks after his final futsal appearance for France – against Slovakia – Toulouse deemed him worthy of a gamble.
Ben Yedder’s trajectory has rarely stalled since. “I often tell him that he looks like Romário,” said his former clubmate Jonathan Zebina in 2012 during the first of four Ligue 1 seasons in which he hit double figures, although he went on to lament that Ben Yedder did not know who the former Jaleel Johnson Womens Jersey Brazil striker was. His coach at the time, Alain Casanova, went further in likening him to Lionel Messi and, although both comparisons are slightly fanciful, it does not take a huge leap to link them to the flair for improvisation he picked up from his former vocation.
In Seville they particularly note the similarity to Romário, appreciating a player who comes alive in the penalty area but can be selective with his movement elsewhere. He was among the last recruits of the feted talent-spotter, Monchi, now director of football at Roma, who had been scouting Ben Yedder for several years.
At what now looks a barely believable €9m he fitted the Monchi mould perfectly. He has scored 35 goals since signing in July 2016 and although Sevilla are the most surprising of this week’s Champions League quarter-finalists they possess a spearhead who, while unconventional in style and development curve, is capable of carrying them even further.
That applies whether or not he starts at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. Ben Yedder said those goals at Old Trafford, which were his seventh and eighth in this season’s Champions League, were “a child’s dream”; they came shortly after he emerged from the bench and ended a run that brought one goal in 10 games. wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys china cheap jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys from china cheap nfl jerseys

Please Read Before Posting / battle in front of Anfield wall
« on: April 07, 2018, 07:41:18 PM »
Before the cameras started rolling, Jürgen Klopp could be found in a quieter moment, leaning against the wall inside Womens Shane Vereen Jersey the tunnel, with the backdrop proclaiming Liverpool’s crowd as the “12th man” and several verses of prose depicting what the players of Manchester City can expect tonight. “Anfield is unique. It lives, it breathes. It gives us strength,” one verse of this wall mural reads. It is one of the last things the players see before going on the pitch and it is intended for the away players, as well as the home ones. “On match day it transforms. It comes alive to connect with its heroes. Through thick and thin, the ebb and flow. The decibels rise as its heartbeat sounds. Every ball is kicked. Every save is made. Every goal is celebrated.”

And the thinking goes that when the din is at its loudest, as it always tends Deshaun Watson Jersey to be in European ties, opposition teams have a tendency to wilt under the sign for “This is Anfield”. Malcolm Macdonald once tried to make a joke of it when Newcastle were in town, announcing: “I told you we had found the right place.” Bill Shankly was talking to the Newcastle manager, Joe Harvey, at the time. “Aye,” he shot back. “Wait till you get out there, son, and you’ll know you’re at Anfield. You can run but you canna hide.”

There are a thousand of these stories about the mystique and atmosphere of the place Liverpool Dante Fowler Jr Jersey call home – a ground where Manchester City have managed only three wins in 62 years – and, sure enough, it was not long before Klopp and Pep Guardiola were being asked in their press conferences whether Anfield had the power to intimidate opposition players. Shankly was also asked that question once and, more than 40 years on, his answer remains the Womens Ron Santo Jersey best one. “Only the bad ones,” he said.
That, in essence, is the problem for Liverpool in the first leg of this Champions League quarter-final: City do not have bad ones, or even average ones. David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sané and so on – players of this nature do not tend to be subdued by the noise of a crowd, the history of a stadium or whatever kind of welcome Liverpool’s fans intend to put on for them outside.
Klopp described Liverpool’s opponents as “one of the best teams in Europe, if not the best team in Europe”. They are definitely the best in England judging by the Premier League table and, if they can be beaten, it would be a considerable surprise if it is because they freeze on the night. Guardiola, who has been involved in a few big games before, seemed suitably bemused by the suggestion.
Far more likely the sides will continue where they left off in January when Liverpool won 4-3 in a bona fide seven-goal thriller with both teams going at one another at full pelt. Guardiola says there is no reason to change City’s approach just because this is a Champions League tie and Klopp, once again, has promised to attack. “Don’t sit back,” the Liverpool manager said. “Sitting back is not a solution against City.”
Not every manager will share that view – not least the one who will take Manchester United to the Etihad on Saturday – but Klopp speaks from a position of knowledge bearing in mind there is nobody else in the business with a better success rate against Guardiola’s teams. Klopp has won six out of their 12 encounters in England and Germany and drawn one of the others, though he interrupted one question on this theme to point out it was only last September that he also discovered what it was like to lose 5-0 in a dugout opposite the Catalan.
Nonetheless, the modern City do not regard Anfield as a happy hunting ground and have never actually won there during almost a decade of Abu Dhabi ownership. The last occasion was a 2-1 victory in 2003 when Kevin Keegan was manager and Nicolas Anelka scored the winner in the third minute of stoppage time.
Before that, it was Boxing Day 1981, when a 3-1 defeat for Liverpool persuaded Bob Paisley to remove the captaincy from Phil Thompson, and then it is necessary to go all the way back to an FA Cup tie in February 1956. City’s 2-1 win on that occasion was hardly a surprise bearing in mind Anfield was home to a second division team at the time.,138.0.html

Please Read Before Posting / Tottenham dictate the terms
« on: April 03, 2018, 10:53:56 PM »
Progress is never an easy thing to chart in football. To speak of points or goals or positions or even trophies can seem a little reductive, too contingent on circumstance or opponents to offer an entirely accurate reflection. It’s unlikely Tottenham will finish second this season as they did last, and they may not even finish third as they did in 2016. Even if they win all seven remaining games, they will not achieve the 86 points they racked up last season. And yet the sense is of progress. Another means of measurement, then, is required. Tottenham’s development can be measured out in Chelsea games.

Five times now Mauricio Pochettino has faced Antonio Conte. All five have been tight, intriguing games, but the balance has shifted. In November 2016, Tottenham went to Stamford Bridge Jake Elliott Womens Jersey and set up in a 4-2-3-1 against Chelsea’s 3-4-2-1. Then too Christian Eriksen scored with a ferocious shot from outside the box, but Pedro equalised before Diego Costa laid on a winner for Victor Moses.

In January last year, at White Hart Lane, Pochettino changed. He matched Chelsea shape-for-shape, 3-4-2-1 for 3-4-2-1 and saw his side overpower Chelsea, winning 2-0 as Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembélé had the better of a tumultuous midfield battle with N’Golo Kanté and Nemanja Matic. The FA Cup semi-final three months later brought a similar match-up of formations but Womens Devonta Freeman Jersey Son Heung-min never looked comfortable as a left wing-back, conceding a penalty with a clumsy foul on Moses as Chelsea won 4-2 despite Tottenham having had the bulk of the play.
That was enough to force Conte to change for the league meeting at Wembley at the beginning of the season as he withdrew one of his inside-forwards into a deeper role, using David Luiz in midfield in a 3-5-1-1 that seemed designed to deny space to Eriksen and Dele Alli. It was a grim, functional Chelsea, one heavily reliant on Willian for creativity but it withstood pressure from a Spurs side struggling a little for rhythm and won thanks to a Marcos Alonso free-kick and then a late winner from the same player.
The shape, though, has not brought Conte much joy since, the focus on Eden Hazard making Chelsea a little predictable, and so the 3-4-2-1 has returned as the default since January. What was significant on Sunday was that Pochettino felt no need to alter his approach to face it, using a Authentic Jacoby Brissett Jersey 4-2-3-1, just as he had in the first of the five meetings.
Chelsea’s wing-backs remained an issue; Totenham never seem quite to have got to grips with them. Alonso’s late runs were a persistent problem, most notably leading to the first-half effort he had ruled out for offside when he seemed not to have been picked up. It was Moses, though, who had the greater impact, finding an alarming amount of space, which led to the Chelsea goal.
That seemed a consequence of the way Eriksen drifted inside, which perhaps was a risk worth taking, both because it meant the Dane got into more dangerous positions and because it meant Tottenham often outnumbered Chelsea three-on-two in central areas. As the game wore on, Eric Dier increasingly dropped deeper, becoming almost a third central defender which in turn allowed the full-backs to push higher, engaging Moses and Alonso higher up the pitch.
But the game, really, was won less through positional tweaks than through the energy and snap of Tottenham’s counter-pressing. It brought the first goal but more importantly it stifled Chelsea. Conte’s sides had won the last two meetings because of the pace and effectiveness of their transitions; here they were notable by their absence. Pochettino was able to revert to the shape he had deployed early last season and, this time, his side Markus Naslund Womens Jersey had the aggression and organisation to impose themselves. Chelsea, it’s true, are not the side they were then, but it’s a mark of Spurs’ progress that they could dictate the terms. wholesale jerseys from china cheap jerseys cheap jerseys free shipping cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys

Please Read Before Posting / Dele Alli’s incision
« on: April 03, 2018, 12:22:46 AM »
There was a fascinating moment towards the end of a slightly dull opening half-hour at Stamford Beige. Dele Alli had been on the fringe of things in a game that had barely clanked up out of second gear. There were a few loose touches, some misplaced passes. Even then Alli had been his unignorable self, an oddly captivating figure even in those moments where he seems to be playing through a mild fog, circuits jammed, flicks and feints a little out of whack.

That sense of power in reserve was there again as Andreas Christensen and Victor Moses closed on a loose ball, only to find themselves nudged aside by that slender figure in the blue boots, wriggling in between with a thrust of the hips then accelerating away with startling ease, drawing the first real gurgle of excitement from the travelling fans.
For all the noise around elite sport, the talk of systems and structures, not to mention the great British obsession with hoodoos and jinxes, there is still nothing quite like talent.
Dele Alli is having a slow season. Dele Alli faces a battle for his World Cup spot. Dele Alli has now scored or made 60 goals in 100 Premier League games. He might flicker at times, or have a little raggedness about him. But he remains a ludicrously gifted 21-year-old, able to produce moments of exhilarating incision, and to play with a degree of imagination beyond those who might show a little more discipline in other areas.
That cutting edge was there again just after the hour, as Alli produced the touch that killed the game. Someone may at some stage this season produce a better cushioned, full-speed, tip-of-the-toenail touch rushing in on goal with half an eye on the goalkeeper and the great barrelling rush of expectation behind them, a season there to be seized in that moment. But none spring to mind right now.
Veering on to a pass over the top from Eric Dier, Alli conjured up a beautiful miniature, a first touch so good it took him just wide enough to give an angle to his Authentic Mike Green Jersey second, which saw him flick the ball past Willy Caballero with a wonderful, galloping impudence. Spurs were 2-1 up at that stage. The third goal, and Alli’s second, came a few minutes later, made by a pass from Christian Eriksen and some fine ferreting work from Son Heung-min. Chelsea’s defenders flailed as the ball trickled across the six-yard box. Alli’s finish again had something of the playground genius about it, the ball switched from right to left foot, then rolled into the space past Caballero, a moment of clarity in the middle Latavius Murray Authentic Jersey of all that fury.
And so Tottenham added another line to the gathering sense of purpose around this team. They will now surely finish as the top club in London for the first time since Blackburn Rovers were champions. Even better, this was an occasion where Spurs might have been thrown by Álvaro Morata’s opening goal just after that first rousing moment of skill from Alli.
Instead they snatched their way back into this game Authentic Ryan Jensen Jersey against the head. It is a constant criticism of Spurs that they only win well; that they fall short when there is need simply to spoil and grab. The Spursiness of Spurs, that essence of almost-there: change the head and the handle however many times you like, that broom still doesn’t quite get into the corners, still tends to snag a little at the vital moments.
Not so here. Spurs were fading a little at the end of the first half but they were dragged level by another moment of pure talent, this time from Eriksen. Alli chased a long drifting pass to the touchline and back-heeled it infield towards Moses, who then gave it straight to Ben Davies. Davies fed a pass infield to Eriksen, who took the most grudging of backlifts and shot with a startling ferocity past Caballero, the ball swirling and dipping with all sorts of malevolent energy.,107827

Please Read Before Posting / When extra time had no end
« on: April 02, 2018, 06:23:35 PM »
During the second world war competitive football continued in an irregular, Kirk Mclean Youth jersey somewhat confused manner, organisation being considerably more difficult when every able-bodied man of fighting – and therefore playing – age was in the armed forces or, at the very least, full-time employment. All unnecessary complications were avoided; tournaments were played regionally and quickly.

In 1940 West Ham won the Football League War Cup, a tournament of some 137 games played in the space of only nine weeks. But replays, officials decided, had complicated matters unnecessarily. The following year drawn ties were awarded Babe Ruth Authentic Jersey to the team with the superior league record, but this too caused unhappiness.
Meanwhile the Lancashire Cup experimented with a new method of settling contests: simply not stopping them until somebody scored. The first time this Authentic Kevin Huber Jersey was tried Burnley beat Everton without an enormous amount of additional time or effort, and the experiment was considered a success. In 1942 the Play to a Finish rule was adopted by the War Cup, and over the following few years it was also taken up – though not often actually used – by a variety of knockout competitions in England and Scotland. Occasionally, wacky variations were proposed: in the 1942-43 League South Cup, after 20 minutes’ extra time the match would be won by the first team to either score a goal or win a corner.
There was, however, a problem inherent in the system. “There was always a danger,” the Liverpool Echo reported in April 1944, “that two sides some time would find that the finish wouldn’t come, not even by the time the cows came home.”
Another Lancashire Cup match, between Liverpool and Everton this time, had gone to not-so-sudden death. “The longer it went on the less likely did a decision appear to be,” the Echo wrote. “After 130 minutes we had the remarkable sight of directors and managers of both sides confabbing with the players and referee on the sideline in search of a solution. Liverpool suggested tossing, but the Everton players, who seemed slightly less exhausted by the ordeal, voted for carrying on. To keep things within reasonable bounds, however, Mr Walter Cartwright representing the Lancashire FA instructed the referee to abandon the game if there was no further score in the next five minutes. There wasn’t, and the players trooped wearily off.”
This was complete lawlessness, a game played to a soundtrack of discussions on the sidelines between people attempting to improvise a way of finishing it and which ended only when a local FA official took it upon himself to change the rules of the competition to make them less inconvenient.
“We’ve got to remember that all the players are either in the forces or working. There’s no ‘laying in’ until midday. Lots of the civilian players put in a good morning’s work before the match, while service men frequently have to do morning duty before leaving camp,” the Echo complained. “I know many instances where service players have done heavy cross-country exercises with full pack on Saturday mornings, stood up most of the way by train or bus to the match, often with nothing to eat, and have then been criticised by those who didn’t know for being ‘out of condition’. They’re not out of condition. On the contrary, they must be in tip-top trim to stand what they do, but there are limits to everything.”
Players continued to strain them. In the following season’s War Cup, a match between Cardiff City and Bristol City continued for – excluding intervals – three hours and 20 minutes before Bill Rees capitalised on a goalkeeping error to head in a winner. “Pandemonium broke out,” reported the Western Mail. “The big crowd of more than 20,000, the excitement and tension over, invaded the field and carried shoulder-high those young City players eager hands could grasp. cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys

Please Read Before Posting / From Ederson to Firmino
« on: April 01, 2018, 10:36:06 PM »
Hard to believe but the Premier League season is almost over. Where has the time gone? Feels like only yesterday José Mourinho was happy.

Anyway, with the home stretch in sight, I’ve picked a Premier League XI of the season so far. My choices are sure to cause shock, horror and outrage but before the frothing commences let me make something clear: the team below are not made up of the 11 best players in their respective positions. Some are but others are players who have performed notably above expectation – individually or within a partnership/unit – and therefore are worthy of recognition. This also means there is a whacking great omission, one bordering on a national scandal, but I don’t care – I stand by my choices.

David de Gea has kept the most clean sheets. David de Gea has made the most eye-catching saves. David de Gea is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, if not the world. But David de Gea doesn’t make this team because, across town, a 24-year-old Brazilian has made an incredible impact. Not much was known about Ederson when he arrived at Manchester City in June Blake Martinez Jersey but he has gone on to impress with his shot stopping, decision making and unreal distribution. And anyone who says it is easy being City’s goalkeeper, I have two words for you: Claudio Bravo.
There’s no escaping it: £53m is a jaw-dropping amount to pay for a full-back. Equally, there’s no doubt Walker has proven to be a worthwhile acquisition for City, providing the width and penetration Pep Guardiola demands from his wide defenders, as well as being better defensively than his critics suggest. He is England’s best right-back and probably the Premier League’s too.
Patience is a virtue and, in some cases, the way you break into the England squad a few months before the World Cup. This time last year no one would have predicted Tarkowski would be in Gareth Southgate’s plans this close to the finals but that is where the 25-year-old finds himself having bided his time at Burnley and, following Michael Keane’s move to Everton, taken his chance, impressing with his Cam Fowler Jersey distribution and defensive capabilities. Yes, Tarkowski performed nervously for England in midweek, and gave away the penalty that led to Italy’s equaliser, but it was his debut and at club level he has been consistently excellent. His inclusion in this team should also be viewed within the context of the person he is deployed alongside …
Only three players have made more clearances this Randy Johnson Jersey season than Mee and, at Burnley, only one player has completed more minutes. The 28-year-old has been a model of consistent excellence and, alongside Tarkowski, the bedrock of a side who have conceded a measly 26 goals in 30 games. As a centre-back partnership, Tarkowski and Mee are hard to beat and the latter’s presence also provides the giggling joy of hearing commentators say things like: “Great header by Mee.”
Any Liverpool supporter who says they weren’t underwhelmed by the club’s £8m purchase of Robertson from Hull City in July is a liar. Fast forward eight months and most of them are singing his praises as well as his name. Robertson has been a revelation since stepping in for the injured Alberto Moreno in December, catching the eye with his crossing ability as well as with his work rate and defensive skills. The 24-year-old has been one of the bargains of the season and ended Liverpool’s decades-long problems at left-back.
If you haven’t seen Doucouré play in the flesh, you should. He’s excellent. A marauding, hard-working and clever presence in central midfield who is the main reason Watford have avoided sliding into relegation trouble. Oh, and he is also their top scorer with seven goals. The Frenchman is the full package and, aged 25, young enough to get even better. Watford supporters won’t want to San Jose Sharks Jersey hear it but Doucouré is unlikely to remain at Vicarage Road for much longer; sooner rather than later the big boys will come calling.
No player has provided more assists this season and when City wrap up the title it will be De Bruyne who, Guardiola aside, receives the most individual recognition for the success. Quite rightly too: the Belgian has been supreme, featuring in every one of City’s 30 fixtures so far and, in practically every one, bamboozling the opposition with skill, strength and imagination. The 26-year-old is a Ballon d’Or winner in the making.

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