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Brentford play-off hero Ollie Watkins admits first leg red card inspired win over Swansea

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brentford play off hero ollie watkins admits first leg red card inspired win over swansea

Ollie Watkins admitted Brentford were fired up from the start after turning over a first-leg deficit to defeat Swansea City and reach the Championship play-off final.

Trailing 1-0 following defeat at the Liberty Stadium, Watkins and Emiliano Marcondes struck in just 15 minutes to turn the tie around in the final match to ever be played at Griffin Park.

Bryan Mbeumo’s sweet volley after half-time gave them a healthy cushion, before Swansea set-up a nervy final 12 minutes after Rhian Brewster’s chip made it 3-2 on aggregate, with the Bees hanging on to cap off a happy ending to 116 years at the ground.

Ollie Watkins helped fire Brentford into the Championship play-off final after beating Swansea

Ollie Watkins helped fire Brentford into the Championship play-off final after beating Swansea

Ollie Watkins helped fire Brentford into the Championship play-off final after beating Swansea

Watkins admitted after the game that a controversial red card for team-mate Rico Henry in the first leg, later overturned, sparked the team’s lightning quick start. 

‘I think we came off the pitch angry and ready to go again,’ Watkins told Sky Sports.

‘I don’t think it was a red card from Rico. We started the game well tonight and I think we deserved it. We could have punished them a bit more. We could have been three or four up at half-time.

‘I’m over the moon, we had a tough last few games of the season and it hurts a little bit, but we bounced back tonight and I’m over the moon that we won and are going to the final.’

It was Pontus Jansson’s poor defensive error in trying to clear with a back heel which allowed Brewster to give the Swans late hope with a deft chip, but Bees boss Thomas Frank shrugged off the defensive lapse and praised his team’s display.

Thomas Frank's team came from a goal down in the first leg to win 3-2 on aggregate

Thomas Frank's team came from a goal down in the first leg to win 3-2 on aggregate

Thomas Frank’s team came from a goal down in the first leg to win 3-2 on aggregate

He said: ‘I am (delighted) because, first I was really proud of the players after the first leg against Swansea.

‘Because we had these two minor setbacks where everyone was talking about ‘can they handle it’, but you know we put too many things on a specific game and then put too much into a context.

‘One thing is we learn from the Stoke game, we were better against Barnsley, and we learn from the Barnsley game and we were better against Swansea, and we learn from the first leg and we was even better today.

The match was the last at Brentford's home of Griffin Park where they played for 116 years

The match was the last at Brentford's home of Griffin Park where they played for 116 years

The match was the last at Brentford’s home of Griffin Park where they played for 116 years

‘I can only speak for myself, but I know that my adrenaline has been going from the end of that game, and you probably saw on the last Sky interview, until now.

‘Because we were just on it. The way we played tonight, I honestly think we could have jumped on three, four nil and then of course we made mistakes – this is football this is why we love it. But we were just good today. 

Rico Henry added that it was ’emotional’ saying farewell to Griffin Park, but insisted the club were ready for the play-off final against Fulham or Cardiff.

He said: ‘Yeah for sure, last game at Griffin Park, it was an emotional one. But we’re looking forward to the new stadium and it’s good to win the last game of the season.

‘We’ll go there (Wembley) with full confidence whoever it is and we’ll be looking to win.’

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Donny van de Beek celebrates Man Utd transfer by forking out on £150,000 luxury Range Rover SVAutobiography

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donny van de beek celebrates man utd transfer by forking out on 150000 luxury range rover svautobiography

DONNY VAN DE BEEK has splashed out £150,000 on a swanky new Range Rover.

Manchester United’s new star wasted no time in investing in the luxury set of wheels after his £39million transfer from Ajax went through earlier this month.

Donny van de Beek has splashed out on a £150k Range Rover

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Donny van de Beek has splashed out on a £150k Range Rover
The Dutchman wasted no time before investing in a swanky set of new wheels

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The Dutchman wasted no time before investing in a swanky set of new wheels
The Range Rover SVAutobiography can cost up to £177k

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The Range Rover SVAutobiography can cost up to £177k

Pictures from the Guy Salmon dealership in Knutsford, Cheshire show a black Range Rover SVAutobiography sitting on the forecourt with Van de Beek’s name on it.

A green “SOLD” sticker was attached to the windscreen with the Dutchman’s name spelled incorrectly.

It read: “MUFC – Van der Beek. Sales executive name: Chris Aven.”



The flash motors are available from £140k for the basic model up to an eye-watering £177k for personalised packages.

SunSport understands Van de Beek paid £150k for his.

United fans across the world are excited to see Van de Beek play for the first time against Crystal Palace tomorrow.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to start the 23-year-old alongside Bruno Fernandes for the Old Trafford clash.

Elsewhere, former United No1 and Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar can see similarities between Van de Beek and Old Trafford legend Paul Scholes.

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Asked what United can expect from Van de Beek, the ex-keeper told MUTV Group Chat: “He can play in different positions in midfield.

“He can be a six or an eight or a ten, he has a great eye for goal. His technique is brilliant, he can go box to box.

“I’d compare him a little bit to Scholesy, although Scholesy had a cracker of a shot from 30-40 yards out and that’s not Donny’s strength, but he likes to come into the box and chip in with goals.

“Maybe it’s unfair to compare him to Scholesy actually, but he’s a good lad and I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to the team that Ole is creating for United.

“I presume he’s had a talk with Ole and they’ve talked about different positions [he can play].

“He’s multi-functional, he can play a little bit deeper which I think is his preferred role.”

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Ray Parlour says the Mason Greenwood mistake has been dealt with at Man Utd

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A Premier League stadium is safer than your living room right now so it’s hard to understand delay in allowing fans

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IT IS becoming increasingly difficult to see what the delay in bringing back spectators to football is all about — except optics.

At a time when the Government is promoting the “Rule of Six” and the country is subject to various local lockdowns, people will be scratching their heads, asking: “How can I not be allowed to meet with more than five other people I know but can go to a football match with thousands of people I don’t know?”

Karren Brady believes a Premier League football stadium is one of the safest places you can be

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Karren Brady believes a Premier League football stadium is one of the safest places you can be

I can see what a difficult and conflicting message that might send out, which the Government might like to avoid.

Except that a Premier League football stadium is the safest place you can be. Safer than your own living room.

Our highly supervised environment means supporters are safer in there than if they were mixing informally in their own homes.

Yes, of course there are sound reasons why numbers have to be phased in, like the access to public transport (despite the fact that millions of people are being urged to go back to work).

Then there is the congregation of supporters before and after the games.

But we are not talking about late-night ravers here, we are talking about sensible football supporters who can to go to an activity in a safe way.

My plea for the return of sizeable crowds is by no means all about the loss of revenue although the sums are eye-wateringly large.

Lost match revenue for the Premier League stands all in at about £80million a MONTH.

KH GRAPHIC STADIUMS FANS RESTRICTIONS

It also rests on the loss of watching the best of football from where millions of people derive the greatest pleasure — right there in the stadium.

Reacting to the good and even the not-so-good.

Your team belongs to you and you to the team. Is there anything more stirring?

The history of Covid-19 and spectator sport began in March when the number of cases arising from the last Cheltenham Festival was never published.

But crowds of 60,000 or so a day over five days must have accelerated the rate the disease spread.

That, the Twickenham rugby international the previous Saturday and a serious infection striking Prime Minister Boris Johnson are seen as key events in transmission that led to lockdown.

Once so permissive, it is hardly surprising the Government is now very cautious.

Fans watch a match while social distancing

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Fans watch a match while social distancing

Several times it has tentatively agreed to allow small attendances at snooker, rugby, cricket and football only for it to pull out the day before on several occasions.

This week it put its foot in the water again, giving permission to some English League clubs to open the gates to 1,000 fans each.

So, while it is possible that from October 3 small crowds are to be allowed at some or all matches — after all, it is working in Germany as their clubs’ stadiums can now operate at 20 per cent capacity — it seems unlikely.

Even with an agreed Premier League common standards approach to getting the supporters in, which includes those attending wearing face coverings, screening measures (health questionnaires and temperature checks), contactless tickets and payments, agreed transport strategies, test-and-trace arrangements and sanction regimes for individual fans and clubs who don’t follow the rules.

The bottom line is the clubs of the Premier League and EFL are run by responsible people.

We know how easily the virus can be passed from person to person and we are well aware of ways to prevent this happening.

A Premier League football stadium is the safest place you can be. Safer than your own living room. Our highly supervised environment means supporters are safer in there than if they were mixing informally in their own homes.

Karren Brady

The precautions taken against players catching it have been exhaustive and highly successful.

Staff have become expert testers and players, with very few exceptions, have not strayed.

The Government trusted us to restart last season and we should by now have earned its support in staging matches in front of crowds.

Frankly, 1,000 spectators in, say, West Ham’s London Stadium — which has 66,000 seats — is so wide of that objective it rivals me in high heels shooting for goal from 25 yards. It is both laughable and irrelevant.

We could raise that number by 20 times and deal with the problem of social distancing both inside and outside the stadium.

It could, of course, all happen a lot quicker if we had even a dependable testing system, never mind world-beating.

Over to you, Boris.

Marcelo Bielsa defends making Kiko Casilla captain after Leeds fans hit out at decision over racism shame

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Floyd Mayweather once KO’d heavyweight with brutal body shot during a sparring session as training secrets are revealed

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floyd mayweather once kod heavyweight with brutal body shot during a sparring session as training secrets are revealed scaled

FLOYD MAYWEATHER once dropped a heavyweight in sparring after just 30 seconds with a body shot, it has been revealed.

The 43-year-old unbeaten ring legend was renowned for his intense training sessions that lasted hours and would even take place in the early hours of the morning.

 Floyd Mayweather is said to have once dropped a heavyweight in sparring

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Floyd Mayweather is said to have once dropped a heavyweight in sparring

Mayweather was a pioneer for HBO’s ’24/7′ and Showtime’s ‘All Access’ pre-fight shows that would follow fighters with unprecedented access to their preparation.

But the American would have one restriction – there could be no filming of his sparring sessions.

Former Mayweather training partner Dmitriy Salita, now a promoter, has lifted the lid on what went on during these secret spars, as he revealed the five-division champion once floored a cocksure heavyweight with ease.

Salita told EsNews: “We were at the gym just hanging out, it was after one of Floyd’s fights.

“This guy comes into the gym, a heavyweight and said, ‘I wanna get some boxing’ and he was just talking a lot of smack.

GL COMEBACK KING v6

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“There was no-one big enough to spar so Floyd was like, ‘Leonard [Ellerbe], get my stuff from the car’.

“Floyd got in the ring with him for 30 seconds and does his shoulder roll and block and just hits the guy with a body shot, and drops him, a heavyweight.”

Former sparring partner Salita revealed Mayweather would spar four-minute rounds, with just 15 SECONDS breaks in between.

Mayweather retired officially in 2017 after beating UFC star and ring debutant Conor McGregor, but did return for an exhibition bout against Japanese kickboxer Tension Nasukawa a year later.

Despite leaving the sport on a perfect 50-0 record, the former pay-per-view king announced last November that he was “coming out of retirement in 2020” to work with UFC boss Dana White.

Mayweather said he would “absolutely” be interested in rematching McGregor or fighting UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, but insisted he would not face a recognised boxer.

Despite the comeback talks and clips of him returning to training, the 43-year-old was hit with double tragedy as his former partner and mother to three of his kids Josie Harris died a week before his uncle and ex-trainer Roger passed away.

Mayweather then announced online his attention had switched to becoming a trainer, having been inspired by Roger, as he took his son Kouran and nephew Chris on the pads.

Floyd Mayweather turns trainer after being inspired by uncle Roger following his death and takes nephew, 14, under wing

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