Dominica's 1-1 draw with Jamaica not surprising - Lance Whittaker

By Sports Desk July 18, 2019

Jamaica drew with Dominica and Lance Whittaker believes the home team are in trouble with talented 'smaller' nations.

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  • Pioli keen to honour Milan's 120th anniversary celebrations with a win Pioli keen to honour Milan's 120th anniversary celebrations with a win

    Stefano Pioli has urged his Milan players to mark the club's 120th anniversary celebrations with a victory against Sassuolo on Sunday.

    Previous Rossoneri stars will be in attendance at San Siro as Milan, who have won Serie A 18 times and the Champions League or European Cup on seven occasions, remember their fine history.

    The glory days appear an awfully long time ago given Milan started this round of fixtures 10th in the table with a return of 20 points from 15 games.

    Pioli's side have recorded back-to-back victories, though, and the head coach wants to make that three in a row on a special day for Milan.

    "Tomorrow's celebrations are just a reminder to the players that this is not just any club," Pioli told a news conference.

    "Tomorrow's game is very, very important; we get to honour a great history of this club, we have the chance to honour it if we play well and we win.

    "I'm not interested in anything after tomorrow at the moment; I'm solely focused on the game tomorrow. We'll be facing a team that play very good football, they have very gifted players especially up front, and so we need to be at our best."

    Pioli became Milan's third manager of 2019 when he was hired in October.

    The club have not qualified for the Champions League since finishing third in 2012-13 and Pioli knows he faces a challenge to restore Milan to the previous heights.

    "Milan – for Italian football, European football and world football – has been a top club," he added.

    "For a very long time it was one of the best clubs in the world with a winning spirit and incredible play. A very well-organised club, Milan was an example to follow for everyone.

    "Tomorrow's game will be very important on an important day, a lot of football coaches and players will be present.

    "I hope to do well, but I don't know what I will be remembered for in the future. There are things I'd like to be remembered for, but this is not the right moment."

    Mattia Caldara, who is yet to feature for Milan in Serie A since joining in 2018 due to a knee injury, has been named in the squad for Sunday's game.

  • Real Sociedad 2-2 Barcelona: Catalans slip up ahead of Clasico Real Sociedad 2-2 Barcelona: Catalans slip up ahead of Clasico

    Barcelona suffered a potentially costly slip-up ahead of Wednesday's Clasico as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad.

    Luis Suarez scored one goal and made another as Ernesto Valverde's men, who had won their previous six games in all competitions, came from behind to lead at Anoeta.

    However, Alexander Isak's 62nd-minute strike earned fourth-placed Sociedad a deserved share of the spoils, meaning Real Madrid now have the chance to move two points clear at the top of LaLiga with victory at Valencia on Sunday.

    Barca could have few complaints about their failure to win, having been outplayed for large parts of an entertaining contest, and Ernesto Valverde's men will know they must deliver an improved display against Madrid in their next match.

    Sociedad moved ahead after 12 minutes when Sergio Busquets was penalised for tugging Diego Llorente's shirt at a corner and Mikel Oyarzabal calmly sent Marc-Andre ter Stegen the wrong way from 12 yards.

    The hosts remained in the ascendancy for much of the first half, but Barca pulled level in the 38th minute courtesy of a devastating break. Sociedad were left short of bodies at the back after Llorente was caught under the ball near the halfway line and Suarez drove forward before slipping in Antoine Griezmann, who clipped a deft finish into the bottom-right corner in front of his former home fans.

    Imanol Alguacil's men were again guilty of slack defending as Barca took the lead four minutes into the second half. A glorious lofted pass from the previously unimpressive Busquets put Lionel Messi clear and he selflessly squared the ball to leave Suarez with the simple task of finding an open goal.

    Griezmann and Gerard Pique came close to adding a third for Barca, but Sociedad soon hit back, Isak converting a simple rebound after Ter Stegen had needlessly parried a Nacho Monreal cross into the striker's path.

    Monreal required treatment and a new shirt after comically injuring himself celebrating the goal. He and Oyarzabal attempted to bump chests but instead collided face to face.

    Neither side could find a winner thereafter, home substitute Willian Jose coming closest when he fired a close-range shot into Ter Stegen's legs with the keeper grounded, while Barca saw an injury-time penalty appeal waved away when Pique and Llorente tumbled to the floor together contesting a Suarez cross.

     

  • Bayern Munich 6-1 Werder Bremen: Hat-trick hero Coutinho gets champions back on track Bayern Munich 6-1 Werder Bremen: Hat-trick hero Coutinho gets champions back on track

    Philippe Coutinho turned in a dazzling display as Bayern Munich came from behind to beat Werder Bremen 6-1 in the Bundesliga.

    On-loan Barcelona playmaker Coutinho scored a hat-trick and laid on another for Robert Lewandowski, who continued his prolific campaign with a brace.

    Bayern headed into the match on the back of consecutive league losses to Bayern Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach and Bremen deservedly led at the Allianz Arena through a fabulous Milot Rashica strike.

    But those struggles felt a lifetime ago by the time Coutinho set up substitute Thomas Muller for the fifth, while the former completed the rout with a brilliant finish from the edge of the area.

    Rashica spurned his first opening of the contest, streaking clear of the Bayern defence only to lose his footing in the penalty area, but he atoned in the 24th minute - spinning into space on halfway and driving at Jerome Boateng to lash in a stunning long-range strike.

    Bremen goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka sharply denied Lewandowski and Coutinho, but the two attackers would decisively turn the game on the stroke of half-time.

    Coutinho tapped in at the far post from Serge Gnabry's low cross after Josh Kimmich's chipped pass opened Bremen up.

    Theodor Gebre Selassie was substituted after injuring his knee in the process of trying to stop the equaliser and the right-hand side of the visitors' defence was exposed as Coutinho played in Lewandowski to equalise in stoppage time.

    Bremen retained their threat on the break, with the livewire Rashica slicing wide after tearing at the Bayern defence, yet Coutinho put daylight between the teams after the hour, lobbing a bouncing ball from David Alaba over the helpless Pavlenka.

    Muller came on for Leon Goretzka with 20 minutes to play and his old alliance with Lewandowski yielded number four, the Poland star darting on to a chipped return pass for his 18th Bundesliga goal of the season.

    Muller then got in on the act himself with a close-range finish – Coutinho the provider before claiming the matchball with a trademark curling effort that arced beyond the diving Pavlenka to find the net via the upright.

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