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Everton 2-2 Liverpool PLAYER RATINGS: Thiago Alcantara passed the Toffees to death

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everton 2 2 liverpool player ratings thiago alcantara passed the toffees to death

Everton and Liverpool played out a controversial 2-2 draw at Goodison Park in a game with endless talking points.

Thiago Alcantara made his first start for Jurgen Klopp‘s side and showed the kind of passing repertoire which made him a household name in European football, meanwhile across the midfield Andre Gomes struggled to find his feet in the game.

Jordan Pickford was lucky to stay on the pitch, while Liverpool are still shaking their heads now at the omission of a late winner courtesy of VAR. Sportsmail takes a look at the player ratings from a busy afternoon on Merseyside… 

Everton (4-3-3)

Jordan Pickford – 5

Lucky to escape red for his early bad foul on van Dijk and even luckier when Henderson’s “winner” was ruled out.

Seamus Coleman – 5

Struggled against Robertson and, clearly unfit, limped off with hamstring injury after the half hour.

Yerry Mina – 6

His half clearance fell for Salah for Liverpool’s second and constantly tested by the buzzing play of the Liverpool frontline.

Yerry Mina was fortunate to see Everton draw after his clearance set up Liverpool's second

Yerry Mina was fortunate to see Everton draw after his clearance set up Liverpool’s second

Michael Keane – 8

Brilliant header for the equaliser and coped well with Liverpool’s on-song front three.

Lucas Digne – 5

Rarely able to venture into opposition territory, constantly put under pressure by whichever Liverpool forward was on his wing.

Abdoulaye Doucoure – 6

Grew into the game, and his midfield strength became a factor, but a bit of a passenger before the break.

Allan – 7

Over-worked in midfield but put in a solid shift and one of the few Everton players able to pass around Liverpool’s press.

Andre Gomes – 5

Simply off the pace in midfield, swamped by his Liverpool counterparts, but improved slightly after the break.

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James Rodriguez – 7

Sweet delivery for the first equaliser and a couple of outstanding passes, one of which Richarlison should have converted.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 8

In-form England man a constant threat and, having missed a great close-range chance earlier, scored a much tougher opportunity.

The in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin was a constant threat and deserving of his goal

The in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin was a constant threat and deserving of his goal

Richarlison – 5

Hit the post with a diving header, which he should have converted, and correctly sent off late.

Subs

Ben Godfrey (for Coleman, 31) – 7

Gylfi Sigurdsson (for Gomes, 72) – 5

Alex Iwobi (for Doucoure, 78) – 5

Subs not used: Delph, Bernard, Davies, Olsen.

Liverpool (4-3-3)

Adrian – 5

Weak in conceding the corner that led to the equaliser and equally weak trying to stop Keane’s header.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7

Good delivery as usual and close to hitting the net with a superb first half free-kick.

Joel Matip – 6

Exposed without van Dijk alongside him but tried to shepherd youngster Gomez through a tough test.

Virgil van Dijk – 6

Off after 10 minutes, the victim of a poor challenge by Pickford, and badly missed.

Virgil van Dijk was hugely missed by the Reds following his injury early in the match

Virgil van Dijk was hugely missed by the Reds following his injury early in the match

Andy Robertson – 6

Great work for the opening goal but brushed aside by Calvert-Lewin for Everton’s second.

Jordan Henderson – 7

A typically industrious and intelligent outing with his cross leading to the second and desperately unlucky to have his “winner” ruled out.

Fabinho – 6

Commanding in the middle, good on the ball but out jumped by Keane for his goal.

Thiago Alcantara – 9

Everton made the mistake of allowing him too much space and he showed his abilities with a range of stunning passes.

On his first start for Liverpool Thiago Alcantara cut through Everton with his passes

On his first start for Liverpool Thiago Alcantara cut through Everton with his passes

Mohamed Salah – 8

Stunning finish for Liverpool’s second and might have grabbed a third soon after with his instinctive poaching skills.

Roberto Firmino – 7

Tireless, with the ball and without it, but without managing to find a clear-cut chance.

Sadio Mane – 7

The front three looked back to close to their best and his opening goal – which featured all three – proved it.

Mo Salah had quiet spells in the game but his finishes and touches were instinctive

Mo Salah had quiet spells in the game but his finishes and touches were instinctive

Subs

Joe Gomez (for van Dijk, 11) – 5

Diogo Jota (for Firmino, 78) – 6

Georginio Wijnaldum (for Fabinho, 92) – 5

Subs not used: Milner, Jones, Minamino, Kelleher.

Referee: Michael Oliver 6

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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UK Athletics approve Mo Farah appearing on this year’s ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!’ series

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uk athletics approve mo farah appearing on this years im a celebrity get me out of here series

Mo Farah‘s spot on this year’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! series has been approved by UK’s Athletics chiefs – providing it does not affect his Olympic preparations.

The four-time Olympic champion will take place in the popular ITV celebrity challenge show next month, which will be taking place in North Wales this year as opposed to Australia due to coronavirus health risks. 

Farah is aiming to compete in the rearranged Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next summer, but the ‘Bushtucker Trials’ involve demanding physical tasks and a lack of regular food is a particular challenge for certain contestants. 

Mo Farah is allowed to go on I'm A Celebrity this year providing it doesn't affect his fitness

Mo Farah is allowed to go on I'm A Celebrity this year providing it doesn't affect his fitness

Mo Farah is allowed to go on I’m A Celebrity this year providing it doesn’t affect his fitness

The 2020 series will be held in Gwrych Castle in North Wales, not in Australia, due to Covid-19

The 2020 series will be held in Gwrych Castle in North Wales, not in Australia, due to Covid-19

The 2020 series will be held in Gwrych Castle in North Wales, not in Australia, due to Covid-19

But UK Athletics chief executive Jo Coates was quoted by The Sun saying: ‘As a marketer, to have athletes in mainstream TV shows is just perfection.

‘However – and a big however – you would never want to do that to the detriment of performance. I’d imagine there have been lengthy conversations. If he is there, there will have been lengthy conversations about whether this would affect performance.

‘The fact that it’s in Wales and not as long a time is very different from many weeks in Australia. Part of our communications strategy is about reaching a new audience. That’s what we have to do. 

35023420 0 image a 61 1604016978281

35023420 0 image a 61 1604016978281

Farah can compete in the show providing it doesn’t impact his Tokyo 2020 preparations 

Farah will be hoping to defend his 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic titles that he won in Rio 2016

Farah will be hoping to defend his 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic titles that he won in Rio 2016

Farah will be hoping to defend his 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic titles that he won in Rio 2016

‘Shows like that take our athletes to a completely different audience. But I would never condone it to the detriment of performance because ultimately that’s what they do.’ 

Farah will be hoping to defend his 10,000m world Olympic title, which he won at both London 2012 and Rio 2016. 

The Briton is also currently  a double-Olympic champion in the men’s 5,000m race, but quit track events to focus on the marathon.

But it was revealed in late last year that Farah will be returning to regain his title in both events in the Japanese capital next year. 

Farah (right) is Team GB's most successful track athlete having won two golds at London 2012

Farah (right) is Team GB's most successful track athlete having won two golds at London 2012

Farah (right) is Team GB’s most successful track athlete having won two golds at London 2012

He told his YouTube channel last year: ‘I’m going to be back on the track and I’m going to give it a go in the 10,000m. 

‘Hopefully I haven’t lost my speed but I will train hard for it and see what I can do. I’m really excited.’ 

This year’s edition of I’m a Celebrity will take place in Gwrych Castle in northern Wales which is known by locals as a haunted castle, with the new series airing in November. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Russian doping chief launches furious attack on British stars Farah, Wiggins and Froome

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russian doping chief launches furious attack on british stars farah wiggins and froome

The disgraced Russian Anti-Doping Agency have launched an astonishing attack on some of Britain’s sporting greats — just days before they attempt to overturn their country’s four-year ban from major events.

In an exclusive interview with Sportsmail, RUSADA’s interim boss Mikhail Bukhanov accused Team Sky of ‘organised doping’ and questioned why the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Sir Mo Farah are still seen as ‘heroes’ when all Russians are ‘painted as cheats’.

‘Other countries have big problems with organised doping — Team Sky, Kenyan track and field, the Nike Oregon Project — but they don’t get the same treatment,’ claimed Bukhanov, ahead of next week’s hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 

RUSADA’s interim boss Mikhail Bukhanov has hit out at sporting greats like Sir Bradley Wiggins

RUSADA’s interim boss Mikhail Bukhanov has hit out at sporting greats like Sir Bradley Wiggins

RUSADA’s interim boss Mikhail Bukhanov has hit out at sporting greats like Sir Bradley Wiggins

‘Now we hear that Team Sky’s doctor lost one laptop, destroyed another and “can’t access” the hard drive on the third. Is that right? 

‘Russian sportspeople are to be painted as cheats, but Farah, Wiggins and (Chris) Froome are still heroes?’

Bukhanov is referring to the laptops of former Team Sky doctor, Richard Freeman, who is facing a fitness to practise hearing in Manchester and is accused of ordering testosterone to British Cycling’s headquarters in 2011 ‘knowing or believing’ it was to boost an athlete’s performance, which he denies. 

Bukhanov made a reference to ex-Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman, who is facing a fitness to practise hearing in Manchester

Bukhanov made a reference to ex-Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman, who is facing a fitness to practise hearing in Manchester

Bukhanov made a reference to ex-Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman, who is facing a fitness to practise hearing in Manchester

In 2018, a DCMS report said Wiggins and Team Sky ‘crossed an ethical line’ by using drugs allowed under anti-doping rules for medical purposes to enhance performance. Wiggins, Froome and Sky have always denied any wrongdoing. 

Nike’s Oregon Project closed down last year after Alberto Salazar, its founder and Farah’s coach, was banned for four years for doping offences.

‘Today we test Russian sportspeople more than almost any other country does,’ Bukhanov added. ‘Many other countries have had substantial doping problems but no blanket ban was imposed. It has been a big mistake. We are confident the tribunal will agree.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Europa League round-up: AC Milan cruise past Sparta Prague despite a missed penalty

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europa league round up ac milan cruise past sparta prague despite a missed penalty

AC Milan cruised past Sparta Prague 3-0 for their second straight win in the Europa League on Thursday.

Milan easily overcame a missed penalty by Zlatan Ibrahimovic to remain unbeaten in 23 games in all competitions, dating back to last season.

Ibrahimovic didn’t score but made his presence felt in the first 45 minutes of the game in Group H. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a penalty for AC Milan, hitting the crossbar in the 36th minute

Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a penalty for AC Milan, hitting the crossbar in the 36th minute

Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a penalty for AC Milan, hitting the crossbar in the 36th minute

The 39-year-old veteran crossed for Brahim Diaz from the right to net the opening goal with a shot between the legs of Sparta goalkeeper Milan Heca in the 24th minute.

Ibrahimovic, who contracted the coronavirus last month but has scored four goals in three matches since his return, wasted a golden opportunity to add another later in the first half.

After he was fouled in the area, Ibrahimovic hit the crossbar from the penalty spot in the 36th minute.

He was replaced by Rafael Leao for the second half, and the substitute made it 2-0 from close range after he was set up by a precise cross from Diogo Dalot.

But they still cruised past Sparta Prague 3-0 in their second straight win in the Europa League

But they still cruised past Sparta Prague 3-0 in their second straight win in the Europa League

But they still cruised past Sparta Prague 3-0 in their second straight win in the Europa League

Dalot added the third and final goal for Milan after completing a solo run in the 67th minute.

After AZ Alkmaar overcame a slew of coronavirus cases to upset Napoli 1-0 last week, the Dutch side earned a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Rijeka in Group F on Thursday.

Albert Gudmundsson scored two goals for Alkmaar – finding the net in each half of the game.

AZ Alkmaar earned a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Rijeka in Group F in the Europa League

AZ Alkmaar earned a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Rijeka in Group F in the Europa League

AZ Alkmaar earned a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Rijeka in Group F in the Europa League

Napoli recovered from their home loss with a 1-0 away win at Real Sociedad on Thursday

Napoli recovered from their home loss with a 1-0 away win at Real Sociedad on Thursday

Napoli recovered from their home loss with a 1-0 away win at Real Sociedad on Thursday

Napoli recovered from their home loss with a 1-0 away win at Real Sociedad, ending a four-game winning streak for the hosts.

Piotr Zielinski and Elif Elmas were back in the Napoli squad for the first time in almost a month after the midfielders tested positive for the coronavirus.

A minute of silence was held ahead of the game between Nice and Hapoel Beer Sheva to honour the three victims of a knife attack in the French city earlier Thursday. The players from both teams wore black armbands during the game, which the hosts won 1-0.

Meanwhile, Benfica claimed their second straight victory by beating Standard Liege 3-0

Meanwhile, Benfica claimed their second straight victory by beating Standard Liege 3-0

Meanwhile, Benfica claimed their second straight victory by beating Standard Liege 3-0 

Benfica earned their second straight victory by beating Standard Liege 3-0, with Luca Waldschmidt converting a penalty in the second half. 

Hoffenheim overcame several coronavirus cases to beat Gent 4-1 away in Group L.

Red Star Belgrade outplayed Czech club Liberec 5-1, and Wolfsberg dominated Feyenoord 4-1 – with Michael Liendl scoring a hat trick. His first two goals came from penalties.     

Also in Group J, LASK defeated Ludogorets 4-3 in a competitive game that saw Lukas Grgic sent off in the 73rd minute.

Meanwhile in Group I, Villarreal went a goal down at Qarabag in the 78th minute before coming back for a 3-1 victory. 

Hoffenheim and Wolfsberg also cruised to big away wins in their Europa League matches

Hoffenheim and Wolfsberg also cruised to big away wins in their Europa League matches

Hoffenheim and Wolfsberg also cruised to big away wins in their Europa League matches

Group I also saw Maccabi Tel-Aviv win 2-1 away at Sivasspor.  

Group K provided a closely contested match between CSKA Moscow and Dinamo Zagreb – ending 0-0.  

AS Roma were another team that finished the night with a draw as they were held to a 0-0 result by CSKA Sofia in Group A. Cluj also drew 1-1 with Young Boys Bern. 

PSV won 2-1 at Omonoia after Donyell Malen scored his second goal in injury time in Group E, where Granada was held 0-0 by PAOK.

Rangers defeated Lech 1-0, joining Benfica at the top of Group D. 

While Steven Gerrard's Rangers side Rangers defeated Lech 1-0, joining Benfica atop Group D

While Steven Gerrard's Rangers side Rangers defeated Lech 1-0, joining Benfica atop Group D

While Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side Rangers defeated Lech 1-0, joining Benfica atop Group D

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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