Dortmund boss Rose hails 'extraordinary' Bellingham

By Sports Desk September 15, 2021

Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose heaped praise on "extraordinary" teenage sensation Jude Bellingham following the team's 2-1 Champions League victory at Besiktas.

Bellingham opened the scoring against Turkish champions Besiktas in the 20th minute on Wednesday, before setting up Erling Haaland just prior to half-time as Dortmund kicked off their Group C campaign with three points.

England international Bellingham (18 years, 78 days) became the youngest ever player to score in consecutive Champions League games, surpassing Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe (18 years, 85 days in March 2017).

The 18-year-old Bellingham also became the youngest Englishman to score away from home in the Champions League.

"Jude is just a great guy. In every single way," Rose said during his post-match news conference.

"His mentality, the willingness to work for the team, the intensity with which he plays football, the will to win and of course the solutions he finds on the football pitch.

"The way he assists the second goal and scores the first himself is extraordinary. That's why we're glad to have such a boy with us."

Dortmund have maintained their 100 percent winning record against Turkish opposition in the Champions League, winning all five matches by an aggregate scoreline of 15-3 – their best 100 per cent record against teams from a specific nation in the competition.

Since making his Champions League debut in September 2019, no player has scored more non-penalty goals in the competition than Haaland (18 – level with Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski).

Following his goal midweek, Haaland has now scored against nine of the 10 opponents he has faced in the Champions League, only failing to find the back of the net against Manchester City.

"It was a very difficult game for us," Rose added. "The atmosphere was great here. Besiktas are a very good team. The first 20 minutes they played with more intensity than we did. This caused us problems. We changed the system and the goal helped us to control the game a bit better.

"After that we scored the second goal just before the break and then we played well in the second half. We couldn’t manage to score the third goal and Besiktas put a lot of pressure on us in the end. A great performance. A great team. So that’s why we are very happy that we won here."

Related items

  • Fernandes quells Ronaldo exit rumours but hopes for Sporting return Fernandes quells Ronaldo exit rumours but hopes for Sporting return

    Bruno Fernandes has addressed speculation Cristiano Ronaldo is seeking to leave Manchester United, saying he "doesn't believe" such a move will materialise.

    Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford from Juventus last year and finished as United's highest scorer in the Premier League with 18 goals – only behind Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah in the division (both 23).

    However, it was a disappointing season for United as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lost his job and Ralf Rangnick failed to steady the ship, with the club missing out on a top-four finish and Champions League football.

    Recent speculation has suggested Ronaldo is unhappy with United's direction and is seeking a move, and Chelsea have reportedly shown an interest.

    Fernandes does not believe a departure will follow, however, and expects to see his compatriot in United training when the pair return from holiday next week.

    "From what I've talked to him – we're both on vacation still, and no-one bothers friends on holiday – I hope in four days to find him to train there. I'm not expecting more than that," he told reporters on Thursday.

    "As far as I know, there's nothing more to it than that, but everyone takes care of their future. I do not believe that the club is willing to lose an asset like Cristiano."

    Fernandes was then asked about the possibility of Ronaldo returning to Sporting CP, where his career began, and acknowledged he was hopeful such a move would happy in the future.

    "It would be a great moment for Sporting, almost everyone expects this; I'd like that to happen," Fernandes, also a former Sporting man, added.

    "He has the ambition to continue playing for many years. We will see what he will decide, I hope, when the contract with United is over, but the ambition and dream of the fans would be to see Ronaldo playing with the Sporting jersey."

  • Eddie Jones has respect of England players but must start delivering results, says Gregan Eddie Jones has respect of England players but must start delivering results, says Gregan

    Eddie Jones has the respect of England's players but must deliver results if he is to lift pressure from his shoulders ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup, according to former Australia captain George Gregan.

    Experienced coach Jones had his future called into question on the back of another poor Six Nations campaign for England, who finished a distant third behind Ireland and champions France with two wins from five matches.

    Jones is under contract until after the 2023 World Cup and has been given the support of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), although performance director Conor O'Shea confirmed in March the search is under way for the 62-year-old's long-term successor.

    Former Australia boss Jones has repeatedly stated that peaking in time for next year's showpiece in France is his big aim, with his side's three-Test series Down Under – their first summer tour in four years – providing an opportunity to further experiment.

    While Gregan can understand the questions being asked of Jones, the retired scrum-half – who played under Jones for Australia and the Brumbies – understands supporters want to see signs of progress now.

    "I think pressure is always there with a head coach," said Gregan, ahead of Saturday's first Test in Perth. "I'm not going to speak on his behalf, but he knows that as a head coach it's all results driven in professional sport.

    "If you're not getting the results, and particularly if you're not getting consistent Ws [wins], then it does come around: 'Why is the team not performing?' That was definitely the case with Six Nations where there's patches of really good performances.

    "But then obviously some things also which can get taken out of your hands, which is decision-making, you lose plays in the bin, all that kind of stuff. But that's rugby. And so how do you adapt? And how do you adjust? But they're all good experiences and learning experiences.

    "I know there was no Jonny May, there was no Owen Farrell, there's a lot of players missing in that Six Nations campaign, they'll probably take part in this coming tour. And then he's built a nice squad."

    Gregan is supporting The Open Championship Claret Jug Tour, partnered with HSBC UK, and he added: "I think you've always got your eyes a little bit ahead for the World Cup. And that's definitely the case for someone like Eddie and all coaches, but it's also the here and now, and they'll be looking to really improve and try not to drop out of games. I think every good team wants to do that."

     

    England may have struggled for consistent form, but they have won their last eight Tests against Australia since October 2015, conceding an average of just 14 points per game across the last four of those matches.

    Jones is undefeated against his country of birth during his near-seven-year England tenure, meanwhile, and famously oversaw a series whitewash in 2016.

    Gregan believes the England boss will have the full backing of his dressing room.

    "Eddie is a real players' coach. He's really driven to create the best environment for his players to perform," Gregan said. "He's the hardest marker on the team's performance on himself. I think you see that a lot.

    "He'll deflect to the team when it's doing well, and he’ll take ownership when it's not doing well. That's a classic head coach, and he's never wavered from that. And I think that's why the players really respect him.

    "He's hard, he's very consistent in terms of his messaging. He's very clear on what he wants the team to do. But he also empowers the playing group to try and do that. And that's the coach's coach.

    "And ultimately, I think from my experiences with Eddie, he really wants the players to be sort of taking the reins on the field and making sure they're really comfortable making decisions to provide support.

    "But as you know, coaches are sort of in the grandstand, there's only a limited amount that they can do once the players are on the pitch. I think that's what he tries to do, and all good head coaches try to encourage those leaders and the players on the field to make good decisions, which hopefully put you on the right side of the ledger."

    Australia have lost three straight Tests heading into their first fixture with England this weekend, two of those by a margin of no more than two points – the last time they lost more successive games was a four-game stretch from June to August in 2018.

    However, the Wallabies have won their last four matches on home turf, and four of their past seven when hosting European opposition, which Gregan believes will make for an entertaining series.

    "England playing Australia in any sport is always exciting – particularly rugby," Gregan said. "Obviously there's that little touch with Eddie being a former Wallabies coach and obviously Australian. And he's had a great record against the Wallabies since he's taken over the helm in English rugby.

    "It's gonna be a fantastic series, Dave Rennie, the Wallaby coaching staff and the playing group will be really targeting the series as something, which is another step in the right direction for being consistent and beating some of the top international teams.

    "Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, on the bounce. So, three big Test matches over three consecutive weeks. And I think both teams, stating the obvious, will want to get off to a pretty hot start in Perth, because it's always good to be one up in those types of series."


    :: The Open Championship Claret Jug Tour will visit schools, golf clubs, city centres and HSBC branches.

  • Wimbledon: Brilliant Boulter breaks new ground with Pliskova upset Wimbledon: Brilliant Boulter breaks new ground with Pliskova upset

    Katie Boulter upset last year's runner-up Karolina Pliskova to reach the third round of a grand slam for the first time at Wimbledon on Thursday.

    Boulter has been blighted by injuries but broke new ground in her home major with a 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 defeat of the sixth seed on Centre Court.

    The 25-year-old beat Pliskova on the grass at Eastbourne last week and got the better of the Czech once again, hitting 25 winners and breaking the former world number one four times.

    Boulter, ranked 118th in the world, dedicated a huge victory to her grandmother, who passed away on Tuesday.

    She will face Frenchwoman Harmony Tan, conqueror of Serena Williams, for a place in round four at the All England Club.

    Boulter became only the sixth female British wildcard to progress beyond the second round of the grass-court major at SW19.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.