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Former-Wigan midfielder Jordi Gomez scores goal to rival Keemar Roofe and break Europa League record

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former wigan midfielder jordi gomez scores goal to rival keemar roofe and break europa league record

It’s just a week on from his European wonder strike but Keemar Roofe has already been rivaled by none other than former Wigan man Jordi Gomez.

Roofe set the Europa League alight after hitting a scorching effort from his own half in stoppage time to confirm a crucial 2-0 victory for Rangers in Belgium, and it seems the competition is now producing world-beating goals on a weekly basis.

As Cypriot side Omonia faced PSV Eindhoven on Thursday evening, Gomez sensed his opportunity in the 29th minute after a team-mate was fouled inside the centre circle and the referee immediately awarded a free-kick.

A foul in the centre circle saw ex-Wigan man Jordi Gomez try to audaciously go for goal

A foul in the centre circle saw ex-Wigan man Jordi Gomez try to audaciously go for goal

A foul in the centre circle saw ex-Wigan man Jordi Gomez try to audaciously go for goal

Gomez can be seen just behind the referee, between two PSV defenders, heading to the ball

Gomez can be seen just behind the referee, between two PSV defenders, heading to the ball

Gomez can be seen just behind the referee, between two PSV defenders, heading to the ball

The ball was rolling as Gomez rushed in to hit

The ball was rolling as Gomez rushed in to hit

Without a second thought the ball was soon soaring

Without a second thought the ball was soon soaring

The fouled player was still on the floor as the ball started rolling towards the path of Gomez

Using his experience, ex-Wigan star Gomez didn’t think twice before stepping up briskly to the ball and hammering it from his own half straight up and over the head of an out-of-place goalkeeper.

Measurements have shown the midfielder was some 54 metres out when taking on the effort, which showed no signs of slowing down as it plunged into the back of the net. 

Yet huge question marks hang over whether the goal should have even stood, after the referee dictated the free-kick had been taken quickly and was therefore valid.

Replays shows the ball still slowly rolling following the free-kick incident, meaning Gomez was able to quickly step up and use the momentum to generate an extra burst of power.

The goalkeeper was left flinging himself back through the air but could not save the effort

The goalkeeper was left flinging himself back through the air but could not save the effort

The goalkeeper was left flinging himself back through the air but could not save the effort

Despite protestations from the Dutch side, the goal stood and PSV trailed until the 40th minute, when Donyell Malen found the back of the net to equalise.

It was Malen’s goal in the second minute of injury time at the end of the match that would break Omonia hearts and secure a 2-1 comeback victory for PSV. 

Comparisons are now being drawn between Gomez’s effort and the piece of magic pulled off by Roofe a week ago.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has already made the bold claim that the strike was the best he has ever witnessed in a live game

Speaking to Sportsmail about his goal, the 27-year-old Roofe said: ‘I came on with about 15 minute to go, just to help protect a 1-0 lead really. My main focus was to be a release for the defence.

The strike comes a week after Kemar Roofe's wonder goal sealed victory over Standard Liege

The strike comes a week after Kemar Roofe's wonder goal sealed victory over Standard Liege

The strike comes a week after Kemar Roofe’s wonder goal sealed victory over Standard Liege

The 27-year-old collected the ball and lobbed the Standard Liege keeper from 55 yards

The 27-year-old collected the ball and lobbed the Standard Liege keeper from 55 yards

The 27-year-old collected the ball and lobbed the Standard Liege keeper from 55 yards

Roofe executed his effort on a pitch submerged in water in Belgium last Thursday evening

Roofe executed his effort on a pitch submerged in water in Belgium last Thursday evening

 Roofe executed his effort on a pitch submerged in water in Belgium last Thursday evening

‘So I was dropping back, trying to be an extra body. The ball fell and I managed to get around it. All I’m thinking is, “Win the tackle, if I don’t, they’re in a good position”. I won the ball but it wriggled out. I ran through a second tackle. You don’t want to let the boys down.

‘But then another defender comes towards me. Okay, I’ll just nick it around him. In my mind I’m like, “Keep the ball. Keep the ball”. My plan was to run as far as I could with it.’

The congestion of defenders coupled with the rain-soaked pitch meant Roofe quickly made the snap decision to attempt to pick out the back of the net from an astonishingly long way out.

The rest, as they say, is history. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Sergio Aguero tweets tribute to Diego Maradona, who was his son’s grandfather

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sergio aguero tweets tribute to diego maradona who was his sons grandfather

Sergio Aguero has paid tribute to his former father-in-law and Argentine icon Diego Maradona following his tragic death at the age of 60 on Wednesday.

Football was left in a state of shock after Maradona passed away following a cardiac arrest, which came just a fortnight after he had surgery on his brain, and tributes immediately poured in throughout the world.

And Manchester City striker Aguero, after his involvement against Olympiacos in the Champions League on Wednesday, penned a poignant message on social media in honour of Maradona.

Sergio Aguero paid tribute to his former father-in-law Diego Maradona following his death

Sergio Aguero paid tribute to his former father-in-law Diego Maradona following his death

Sergio Aguero paid tribute to his former father-in-law Diego Maradona following his death

Aguero wrote on Twitter: 'We are never going to forget you. You will always be with us.'

Aguero wrote on Twitter: 'We are never going to forget you. You will always be with us.'

Aguero wrote on Twitter: ‘We are never going to forget you. You will always be with us.’

Legendary footballer Maradona (above) passed away at the age of 60 after a cardiac arrest

Legendary footballer Maradona (above) passed away at the age of 60 after a cardiac arrest

Legendary footballer Maradona (above) passed away at the age of 60 after a cardiac arrest

Alongside a picture of the pair embracing and Maradona winning the World Cup in 1986, Aguero captioned his Twitter post: ‘We are never going to forget you. You will always be with us. #GraciasDiego RIP.’

Earlier in the evening, Pep Guardiola described the late Maradona as one of the ‘few incredible players’ in football history. 

The Manchester City manager joined the world of football in paying tribute to Maradona after his side beat Olympiacos on Wednesday night, while Guardiola also gave his public support to striker Aguero, who is the Argentinian’s former son-in-law.

Pep Guardiola also paid tribute to Maradona after the Argentine's death on Wednesday

Pep Guardiola also paid tribute to Maradona after the Argentine's death on Wednesday

Pep Guardiola also paid tribute to Maradona after the Argentine’s death on Wednesday

Aguero was married to Gianinna Maradona, the youngest daughter of the former Argentine footballer who was there at the birth of the couple’s son Benjamin in 2009. 

The couple separated in 2012 with Aguero and Maradona reportedly falling out, but Guardiola still sent his thoughts and prayers to the Manchester City striker’s family.

The Spaniard told BT Sport on Wednesday night: ‘First (I think about) Sergio. His son, Diego was his grandfather. 

‘There was a banner in Argentina which says, “It doesn’t matter what you have done in your life, it matters what you have done in our lives.” Imagine what Maradona would have done in our generation (of football). 

‘There are few incredible players in our history, he’s one of them. He was someone who made this sport better. On behalf on Manchester City a big hug for all his family.’

Guardiola gave his support to City striker Aguero (pictured here with his son Benjamin)

Guardiola gave his support to City striker Aguero (pictured here with his son Benjamin)

Guardiola gave his support to City striker Aguero (pictured here with his son Benjamin)

Maradona was best known for his stunning attacking displays for Argentina, playing an integral role in the country’s 1986 World Cup triumph in Mexico, including two goals against England in the quarter-finals. 

The Argentine is also a cult-hero at Napoli and Boca Juniors, winning two Serie A titles with the former in 1987 and 1990 along with the 1989 UEFA Cup. 

Before joining the Italian side, Maradona spent two seasons at Barcelona and scored 38 goals in 58 games whilst playing for the Catalans.

Maradona is known for his time at Napoli - but also spent two seasons at Barcelona (above)

Maradona is known for his time at Napoli - but also spent two seasons at Barcelona (above)

Maradona is known for his time at Napoli – but also spent two seasons at Barcelona (above)

Guardiola (above) came through the Barcelona ranks just after Maradona left Barcelona

Guardiola (above) came through the Barcelona ranks just after Maradona left Barcelona

Guardiola (above) came through the Barcelona ranks just after Maradona left Barcelona

While former Barcelona midfielder Guardiola admitted he never played with Maradona, the Spanish manager understands the impact the legendary forward had on the game.  

Guardiola added: ‘When I arrived at the Barcelona academy, he left for Napoli and he was there before. 

‘It was a short time but the impact was not like what it was like in Argentina, in Boca or in Napoli but what he has done in the world of football is incredible.

‘In Argentina, people know (what he’s done). But he was one of the best for many people. There have been others (such as) Pele but he’s one of them. 

Maradona was an inspirational figure in Argentina, helping them win the 1986 World Cup

Maradona was an inspirational figure in Argentina, helping them win the 1986 World Cup

Maradona was an inspirational figure in Argentina, helping them win the 1986 World Cup

‘His influence in football and how he lived his professional, it’s difficult to find a personal player who loves the game more. It’s a sad day for football.’

The Argentinian Government have announced three days of mourning following Maradona’s death, while the residents of Napoli are flooding the streets of their city to pay tribute to their former forward.

Meanwhile, Guardiola’s City beat Olympiacos 1-0 on Wednesday evening thanks to a first-half goal form Phil Foden. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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‘It’s a crime’: Jurgen Klopp takes a swipe at BT Sport for scheduling early kick-off for Liverpool

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its a crime jurgen klopp takes a swipe at bt sport for scheduling early kick off for liverpool

Jurgen Klopp hit out at the Premier League schedule once again but refused to blame the fixture list for Liverpool‘s shock 2-0 defeat by Atalanta on Wednesday.

The Reds blew the chance to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages with two games to spare as goals from Josip Ilicic and Robin Gosens gave the Italian side a 2-0 win at Anfield

It was Liverpool’s first home loss in a 90 minute match since September 2018, with the Premier League champions failing to register a shot on target.

Jurgen Klopp hit out at at the fixture list once again after Liverpool lost 2-0 to Atalanta

Jurgen Klopp hit out at at the fixture list once again after Liverpool lost 2-0 to Atalanta

Jurgen Klopp hit out at at the fixture list once again after Liverpool lost 2-0 to Atalanta

Two second-half goals consigned a much-changed Liverpool side to a rare defeat at Anfield

Two second-half goals consigned a much-changed Liverpool side to a rare defeat at Anfield

Two second-half goals consigned a much-changed Liverpool side to a rare defeat at Anfield

Klopp, whose Liverpool side travel to Brighton for the 12.30pm kick-off on Saturday, claimed his side lacked intensity as they negotiate a packed fixture list between now and Christmas.

He told BT Sport after the Atalanta game: ‘I’m afraid to say but I think it (running out of steam) could happen not only to us but to other teams as well.

‘You (BT Sport) my special friends ask us to go on Saturday at 12.30pm which is nearly a crime to be honest. It has nothing to do with the game tonight but congratulations for that.

‘My only interest in the moment is that I get a thumbs up, nobody injured, let’s recover immediately. We take it.

Klopp's side now need to recover quickly to take on Brighton in the Saturday 12.30pm kick-off

Klopp's side now need to recover quickly to take on Brighton in the Saturday 12.30pm kick-off

Klopp’s side now need to recover quickly to take on Brighton in the Saturday 12.30pm kick-off

The German manager described this week's schedule for the Brighton game as a 'crime'

The German manager described this week's schedule for the Brighton game as a 'crime'

The German manager described this week’s schedule for the Brighton game as a ‘crime’

‘The boys are completely disappointed, frustrated, really, but we don’t have time for it to be honest. It’s just get fresh legs as quick as possible and go again, that’s it.’

Klopp – along with his rivals Pep Guardiola and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – has been critical of the Premier League schedule in recent weeks, with all three managers taking aim at broadcasters over kick-off times following Champions League action.

After Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Leicester last weekend, Klopp hit out at Sky Sports and BT in an angry rant, saying: ‘It was never about us when I spoke about it. It’s about all the players, England players, players who play next summer in the European Championships. 

‘But if you (Sky) don’t start talking to BT then we’re all done. Sky and BT have to talk because if we keep playing on Wednesday and then Saturday (at) 12:30, I’m not sure if we will finish the season with 11 players – all the top seven.

‘But I know you (the broadcasters) don’t care and that’s the problem.

Klopp demanded BT and Sky Sports talk to find a solution over kick-off times last weekend

Klopp demanded BT and Sky Sports talk to find a solution over kick-off times last weekend

Klopp demanded BT and Sky Sports talk to find a solution over kick-off times last weekend

‘No it’s not wrong to say it because we’ve discussed it for a long time already and nothing’s happened.

‘Everyone tells me it’s really difficult but it’s really difficult for the players, the rest is just a decision on a desk in an office.

‘I’m happy about the game but we lost another midfielder (Keita). Also on the bench we don’t have a lot but that’s the situation.

‘But it’s not about us I don’t talk about Liverpool, I talk about all the football players out there. Yesterday, (Gerard) Pique massive knee injury. (Bukayo) Saka, maybe, I’m not sure, looked like a knee injury – he played all three games for England during the international break.

‘Now people tell us to rotate players but who? We have some offensive players but the rest are kids.

‘It’s a massive problem. Wednesday and Saturday 12:30 is a broadcaster problem and nothing else. We play against Atalanta on Wednesday and then 12:30 (Saturday) against Brighton. It’s an early Christmas present. We will show up there shaking. I think about sending the points. That’s how it is.

‘Gentlemen, start talking and start making decisions. I know it’s not you. I like the relationship with you.

‘If someone tells me again about contracts I’ll go really nuts. Because these contracts aren’t made for a Covid season.

‘We all have to adapt. You stand here with a face mask, a year ago did you think you would have to go somewhere with a face mask and interview like this?

‘That’s the situation so everything’s changed but the contract with the broadcasters is still: ‘We have this, so we keep this’. What? Everything changed, the whole world changed!’

Despite the short amount of time between matches this season, Liverpool have begun the season well and are level on points with Premier League leaders Tottenham – but a lengthy injury list has threatened to damage their campaign. 

With the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Thiago Alcantara out with long-term issues, Klopp rested the likes of Roberto Firmino, Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota from the starting line-up against Atalanta.

But Klopp claimed that the Champions League tie on Wednesday was so intense that his back-up players struggled to keep up with proceedings at Anfield. 

Klopp claimed his back-up players struggled to keep up with Atalanta on Wednesday night

Klopp claimed his back-up players struggled to keep up with Atalanta on Wednesday night

Klopp claimed his back-up players struggled to keep up with Atalanta on Wednesday night

The German added: ‘Usually when the first half is done you’re settled a bit more but for some players who didn’t play for a while you could see it was very intense for them so we didn’t really find a way in the game to create. 

‘We didn’t have enough bodies between the lines, not enough bodies in behind and all these kind of things.

‘I’m not surprised. It’s difficult to win a game (when you don’t have a shot on target.’

BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand did not have much sympathy for Klopp after he ranted about the fixture list once again.

BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand (above) had little sympathy for Klopp after the final whistle

BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand (above) had little sympathy for Klopp after the final whistle

BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand (above) had little sympathy for Klopp after the final whistle

The former Manchester Untied defender argued: ‘Everyone’s in the same boat. It doesn’t make it right but when you look at the depth of his squad, they’re sitting in a better position than most. 

‘With the schedule they’ve had of late and they’ve had a few injuries as well, it’s a challenge and you can understand the frustrations. He’s the loudest-speaking at the moment.’ 

Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch added: ‘The clubs agreed to it (the fixture list) at the start of the season and we are in unprecedented circumstances. 

‘Managers have complained about lots of games since the beginning of time. I remember Sir Alex Ferguson used to go on about international games a lot. It will always continue.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Dallas Cowboys coach Markus Paul dies at 54 after being rushed from practice to hospital over ‘medical emergency’

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dallas cowboys coach markus paul dies at 54 after being rushed from practice to hospital over medical emergency

DALLAS Cowboys strength and condition coach Markus Paul died Wednesday at the age of 54 – just a day after he was rushed to the hospital from team practice.

Paul was taken to the Plano Presbyterian Hospital on Tuesday morning after experiencing a “medical emergency”, a team statement said.

Strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul died Wednesday after being rushed to the hospital Tuesday morning

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Strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul died Wednesday after being rushed to the hospital Tuesday morning

Paul died surrounded by his family Wednesday evening.

A cause of death has not been announced.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones paid tribute to Paul and his work on the NFL team.

“The loss of a family member is a tragedy, and Markus Paul was a loved and valued member of our family,” Jones said in a statement.

“He was a pleasant and calming influence in our strength room and throughout The Star.”

“His passion for his work and his enthusiasm for life earned him great respect and admiration from all our players and the entire organization,” Jones said.

“We offer our love and support to his family in this very difficult time.”

Paul started as an assistant coach in 2018 before becoming strength and conditioning coach in 2020

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Paul started as an assistant coach in 2018 before becoming strength and conditioning coach in 2020

“Our hearts are broken for his family and all of the individuals whose lives he touched and made better,” he ended.

The Cowboys will honor Paul at AT&T Stadium before their annual Thanksgiving Day game against the Washington Football Team.

The Cowboys coach – who has three Super Bowl rings through his past work with the Patriots and Giants – was treated by team medical personnel before being transported to a local hospital just before 7:30AM Central Time Tuesday.

Head coach Mike McCarthy cancelled practice on Tuesday, before resuming practice Wednesday for 75 minutes – which is considered normal under the circumstances.

Paul joined the Cowboys in 2018 as an assistant to then strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik before taking the job in 2020 when McCarthy became head coach.

McCarthy offered kind words to Paul and his family.

A Dallas Cowboys tweet expressed condolences for Paul and his family

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A Dallas Cowboys tweet expressed condolences for Paul and his familyCredit: Twitter

“We extend our love, strength and support to Markus’ family during this most challenging of times and ask that their privacy be respected moving forward,” McCarthy said in a statement.

“Markus Paul was a leader in this building,” McCarthy continued. “He earned the players’ respect and attention because he cared so much and was a naturally gifted communicator – both on the personal and professional levels.”

“He handled every situation, sometimes with a smile and a pat on the back, and sometimes with tough love,” said McCarthy.

“He had innate toughness in a job that requires that quality, and he was admired throughout the NFL by his peers and the players he coached.”

“It was a privilege to work with him as a coach and laugh with him as a friend,” McCarthy ended. “Markus did everything the right way.”

Paul played as a defensive back for both the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1989 to 1993. He was a two-time All-American after playing four seasons at Syracuse.

He first began coaching in 1998 with the New Orleans Saints, before spending five years working under Woicik with the New England Patriots from 2000 to 2004.

Paul spent 11 years with the New York Giants as an assistant strength coach before joining the Cowboys

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Paul spent 11 years with the New York Giants as an assistant strength coach before joining the CowboysCredit: AP:Associated Press

He then became director of physical development and head strength and conditioning coach for the New York Jets from 2005 to 2006.

Before joining the Cowboys, he spent 11 years with the New York Giants as an assistant strength coach.

His teams took to Twitter to also share their condolences.

The Cowboys tweeted a photo of Paul smiling with the caption “Sending our deepest sympathies to the family & friends of Markus Paul. The Dallas Cowboys strength & conditioning coach passed away Wednesday at the age of 54.”

The Jets also tweeted, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of Markus Paul, who spent two years with us in 2005-06. He was a kind man who made a lasting impact on those fortunate to have crossed his path.”

The Giants echoed similar thoughts, calling Paul “a beloved member of our organization for several years,” and adding: “Our prayers of comfort and peace are with his family, the Dallas Cowboys and his many friends across the NFL and beyond. He will be greatly missed.”

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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