Connect with us

Sports

Dean Smith thinks Aston Villa’s last-gasp survival last season was divine intervention

Published

on

dean smith thinks aston villas last gasp survival last season was divine intervention

Dean Smith believes divine intervention may have kept Aston Villa in the Premier League as he reflected on the lucky escape they had against Monday night’s opponents Sheffield United.

When the sides met at Villa Park in June, the Blades were denied a goal because Hawk-Eye failed to spot that Oliver Norwood’s free-kick had been carried over the goal-line by Orjan Nyland. 

As a result, referee Michael Oliver received no alert to his watch or earpiece. The game ended 0-0 and Villa eventually stayed up by a point.

Dean Smith led Aston Villa to narrow Premier League survival last season on the final day

Dean Smith led Aston Villa to narrow Premier League survival last season on the final day

Dean Smith led Aston Villa to narrow Premier League survival last season on the final day

Villa face Sheffield United on Monday, bringing back memories of their June clash last term

Villa face Sheffield United on Monday, bringing back memories of their June clash last term

Villa face Sheffield United on Monday, bringing back memories of their June clash last term 

VAR failed to spot that Orjan Nyland had carried the ball over the line, costing the Blades a win

VAR failed to spot that Orjan Nyland had carried the ball over the line, costing the Blades a win

VAR failed to spot that Orjan Nyland had carried the ball over the line, costing the Blades a win

Smith’s father Ron, a lifelong fan who worked as a steward at Villa Park, died in May aged 79 after contracting Covid-19, and the Villa boss revealed: ‘I am not really one for religion or anything like that but my dad had just passed away. 

‘His old steward’s jacket was in the Holte End and he had a thing about watches. So maybe he just wanted to play a bit of a trick that day.

‘It is one of those one in a million things. It had never failed before. People can say what they want about the goal but we stayed up on merit and there were many goals chalked off which shouldn’t have been. 

‘VAR was certainly contentious for Villa last season.’

Smith's father had just passed from COVID-19 and the Villa boss believes he helped them out

Smith's father had just passed from COVID-19 and the Villa boss believes he helped them out

Smith’s father had just passed from COVID-19 and the Villa boss believes he helped them out 

Since avoiding relegation, Villa have brought in four players and tied captain Jack Grealish to a new five-year contract.

One of the arrivals, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, is expected to make his debut on Monday night after joining the club from Arsenal for an initial £16million.  

‘He’s a player who finished the season really well with Arsenal,’ Smith said. 

‘He wanted a fresh challenge and we’ve got a situation where Tom Heaton isn’t fit for the start of the season.’

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Dias showed what he is about by bouncing back from error to shine for Manchester City against Porto

Published

on

By

dias showed what he is about by bouncing back from error to shine for manchester city against porto

Manchester City‘s detractors might say that Ruben Dias has settled in already. He strode out from the back, purposefully attempted to pass through the lines, gave away possession and the opposition scored on the break.

A fair few central defenders have done that in this stadium over the years and it was not the £64million signing’s finest moment in what has been an encouraging start to his City career.

But he has bashfully rejected comparisons with Vincent Kompany, and severe criticism would be premature. If nothing else, City at least appear more stable for the inclusion of Dias, which is a significant step forward.

Pep Guardiola will take heart from how Ruben Dias recovered after his early mistake

Pep Guardiola will take heart from how Ruben Dias recovered after his early mistake

Pep Guardiola will take heart from how Ruben Dias recovered after his early mistake

Pep Guardiola’s hunt for someone to slot alongside Aymeric Laporte has been a long one, taking in at least five targets over the last 18 months.

City settled on Dias and have already benefited from his rugged defensive ability — a bit of grit in a unit that has been far too porous.

In that sense, the 23-year-old has borrowed a fair amount from his mentor Pepe, described by those around the Portugal squad as something of a father figure. 

Pepe — who captained Porto on Wednesday night — has been one of the best, an unashamed master of the old art for well over a decade. City need that. 

The 23-year-old defender has injected a bit of grit and leadership into City's backline

The 23-year-old defender has injected a bit of grit and leadership into City's backline

The 23-year-old defender has injected a bit of grit and leadership into City’s backline

There will be time to finesse Dias’s distribution when they finally get the chance to take training sessions that are not focused on recovery from the last match or preparation for the next.

What they do not need to hone is his leadership. Although young, Dias has that in abundance, with a ‘mentality of a champion’, according to those who know him. 

His English is flawless and Guardiola will take heart from how he approached this game after his early mistake — notably when he jockeyed Luis Diaz for 20 yards and held him up as Porto threatened to nudge ahead for a second time.

Many who went before him wilted in adversity. There was some evidence here that Dias is made of stronger stuff.

Dias speaks to Eric Garcia during Wednesday's Champions League victory over Porto

Dias speaks to Eric Garcia during Wednesday's Champions League victory over Porto

Dias speaks to Eric Garcia during Wednesday’s Champions League victory over Porto

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Sports

Klopp praises Gomez and Fabinho but warns his players ‘there is a lot to improve’ after Ajax win

Published

on

By

klopp praises gomez and fabinho but warns his players there is a lot to improve after ajax win

Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool‘s battling qualities that enabled them to emerge from a ‘pressure situation’ in Amsterdam with a confidence restoring victory.

Liverpool beat Ajax 1-0 thanks to an own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico but their performance in their opening Group D fixture was characterised by the way midfielder Fabinho moved back into central defence and never put a foot wrong.

The highlight of his display came just before half-time, when he acrobatically scooped Dusan Tadic’s lob off the line. Ajax were a nuisance throughout and they came close to grabbing an equaliser when Davy Klaassen hit a post early in the second period.

Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax

Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax

Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax

An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game

An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game

An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game

Klopp conceded there is still significant room for improvement in Liverpool’s form but, after a turbulent week that began with Virgil van Dijk being ruled out for the majority of the season, the manager was delighted with his team’s determination.

‘Was there pressure in the situation? Yes,’ said Klopp. ‘It (a clean sheet) is huge but we are not dumb enough to think we didn’t need a bit of luck as Fabinho needed to make a proper stretch to get that ball from the line and they hit the post.

‘The clean sheet is one information but we could have done better. I don’t care in the moment. We wanted to win the game and we have done that but now we don’t hang the clean sheet too high because there were two situations where we were not far away from perfect.

Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez's performance

Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez's performance

Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez’s performance

Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half

Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half

Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half

‘But the result is absolutely OK. Now on Saturday night a completely different challenge. Sheffield United have had their legs on the sofa and we need to recover quickly. It was a good performance but there is a lot to improve – and that is good.’

All eyes were on Fabinho and Joe Gomez, given the injuries to Van Dijk and Joel Matip, but Klopp did not have any doubts about whether the Brazilian would be able to cope with the different demands that were asked of him.

‘For the two at the back, it was their first game together,’ said Klopp. ‘They need to get used to each other, they need to get used to the verbal demands. Fabinho can play the position, he likes playing it actually. If I asked him to play right back I don’t think he would enjoy it as much.

‘In our situation we have to keep those boys fit. I’m not surprised Fabinho plays in the position, otherwise I would have thought about a different solution. That would have been tricky but I’m really pleased.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Sports

‘We are struggling at the moment’: Ilkay Gundogan admits Manchester City are not their usual best

Published

on

By

we are struggling at the moment ilkay gundogan admits manchester city are not their usual best

Ilkay Gundogan has said that Manchester City still haven’t found top gear this season despite a strong second-half display against Porto.

Gundogan scored a sublime free-kick in City’s 3-1 Group C victory in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

City did, however, go behind through Luis Diaz’s goal in the first half which exposed frailties in Pep Guardiola‘s defence.

Ilkay Gundogan scored Manchester City's second goal in the 3-1 win over Porto at the Etihad

Ilkay Gundogan scored Manchester City's second goal in the 3-1 win over Porto at the Etihad

Ilkay Gundogan scored Manchester City’s second goal in the 3-1 win over Porto at the Etihad

And while City have won two of their opening four Premier League games, Gundogan believes they are still some way off their best.

He said: ‘If I’m being honest we are struggling at the moment.’

City were dealt a further fitness blow late on in Wednesday’s win when Fernandinho, who came on as a substitute in the 85th minute, left the pitch nine minutes later with an injury. The Brazilian midfielder could be out for four to six weeks.

There was bad news for City when Fernandinho went off injured nine minutes after coming on

There was bad news for City when Fernandinho went off injured nine minutes after coming on

There was bad news for City when Fernandinho went off injured nine minutes after coming on

Nathan Ake wasn’t included in City’s squad against Porto, raising doubts over his fitness and whether he will play against West Ham on Saturday.

Gundogan, who admits he still isn’t fully fit having tested positive for coronavirus last month, added it would be easy for Guardiola to rotate because of City’s fitness problems.

He said: ‘Fernandinho went off at the end, we have players playing in different positions. I am not 100 per cent there because I had Covid, we are not all at the same moment.

Pep Guardiola could be without his Brazilian defensive midfielder for four to six weeks

Pep Guardiola could be without his Brazilian defensive midfielder for four to six weeks

Pep Guardiola could be without his Brazilian defensive midfielder for four to six weeks

‘That is the challenge for this season, it’s not going to end for a while. It’s not going to be difficult for Pep to pick an XI because players are going to be tired.’

Guardiola said after the game that he was ready to take Gundogan off seconds before he scored in the 65th minute – the 29-year-old came off three minutes later. 

Guardiola added: ‘We decided before the goal he [Gundo] would go off but he made an incredible goal.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DiazHub.