Connect with us

Sports

The Majesty of Paul Pogba is a warning to France’s rivals at Euro 2020 | Euro 2020

Published

on

F.ew would be offended by Didier Deschamps’ claim that while other teams may have made a better impression at Euro 2020, France will now really take off when the knockout phase comes. But Paul Pogba could.

In the heat of an unsteady, dramatic night in Budapest, the French midfielder put in a majestic performance against Portugal that confirmed that his tournament had really begun. It’s up to the others in the ranks of the world champions to catch up. Ominous for France’s rivals and encouraging for Deschamps’ claim that collective improvement was imminent, Karim Benzema took on that responsibility with two goals at the Puskas Arena and an effort to silence the debate about his worth to the team. Uefa named Real Madrid striker of the game in recognition of a smart contribution perfected by his first goals for France since the end of his international exile. A sensible choice if Pogba hadn’t put every white shirt player in the shade.

With a defensive pass that gave Kylian Mbappé their first look at Rui Patrício’s goal, the Manchester United midfielder warned Portugal as the European champions took control in the first half on Wednesday. It set the tone for some stylish, incisive night work from Pogba, and in a midfield match against the formidable Renato Sanches, Danilo and João Moutinho, France had to work tirelessly for any place or advantage they could find.

A perfectly flown chip back to Mbappé followed, which caused the Paris Saint-Germain striker to collapse theatrically and win France’s equalizer on penalties. Two minutes after the break, Pogba played a magnificent pass from his own half around Rúben Dias and Benzema was through for a clinical second. Another highlight was that substitute João Palhinha was only destined for Patrício with an outstanding save on the post after a 25-meter shot that was supposed to restore France’s lead.

Pogba attempted 95 passes against Portugal – 12 more than the second highest French player, defender Raphaël Varane – and finished 93 with a hit rate of 98%. For comparison: His midfield colleagues tried 64 (N’Golo Kanté), 42 (Corentin Tolisso), 72 (Sanches), 48 (Moutinho) and 23 (Danilo). Nine of Pogba’s 10 long passes found their destination.

“He makes a great impression,” said Sevilla defender Jules Koundé on Thursday. “He was once again amazing with a great, decisive pass on Karim to his goal. We know the quality he has as a player and it’s great to see him that way. He is very important to us. “

Pogba also shone in France’s opening game against Germany, before a below-average performance against Hungary brought well-known criticism of his lack of consistency. “He was running out of breath,” said his manager. The honest Antoine Griezmann admitted: “Each of us was like that. It was really hot and difficult to play. ”Against Germany he was right in midfield of Deschamps three. Against Portugal he started in the center. His creativity shone in both positions.

Inevitably, and as seems to be the case with any international tournament, the Pogba that thrives for France makes a con man of the Old Trafford version. Theories for opposition are extensively researched every two or, in this case, three years, with superior and firm management, tactics, personal motivation, or the simple fact that he has Kanté by his side with valid arguments for the international model. Whatever the statement, Deschamps does not broadcast it publicly.

“For me, only the French Pogba counts,” said the manager with undisguised resignation when the question came up again this week. “I don’t like to talk about what’s going on in club football, be it [Ole Gunnar] Solskjær or another trainer. Players are different, coaches are different. The only thing that matters to me is what he does for the French team and how important he is on the pitch. He is a born leader and a very influential player. “

Pogba’s achievements and the top position in the toughest group without being in top form will inspire Deschamps. However, the manager has concerns before his squad leaves Budapest for Bucharest and the aptly named Arc de Triomphe stadium on Friday, which will be their training base ahead of Monday’s round of 16 game against Switzerland. The death group may not have claimed high profile casualties, but there could be a delayed response that has been so severely punished by everyone involved.

Portugal, who again played in extreme temperatures in Budapest on Wednesday, have 48 hours less time to rest for Sunday’s tie in Seville than Belgium. France lost two left-backs in the 2-2 draw due to injury and Lucas Hernandez’s half-time replacement Lucas Digne may be retired due to a hamstring problem that he suffered five minutes after arriving. “He left something behind,” said Deschamps. “That’s not a good sign.” Ousmane Dembélé left the squad with a knee problem and Marcus Thuram and Thomas Lemar will be examined for injuries in training on Thursday.

Hernandez, who has a knee injury, is one of five French players who would miss a possible quarter-final against Spain or Croatia if they received another warning against Switzerland. Griezmann, Presnel Kimpembe, Benjamin Pavard and Hugo Lloris are the others. But with Pogba in its glory and Benzema regaining its reach, France will travel to Romania with the belief of world champions. “Now a new competition is starting,” said Deschamps. It was a warning to others.

Continue Reading

Sports

MLB trade deadline superlatives: Best Hitter (Bryant), Best Pitcher (Scherzer), Best Blockbuster Option (Gallo)

Published

on

MLB trade deadline superlatives: Best Hitter (Bryant), Best Pitcher (Scherzer), Best Blockbuster Option (Gallo)

The 2021 MLB trading deadline ends Friday, July 30th at 4:00 p.m. ET. We have already seen a handful of deals that will shape the development of the playoff image over the next few months.

The Rays traded for Nelson Cruz and traded Rich Hill. The Padres acted for the Pirates’ second baseman, Adam Frazier. The Braves acted for Joc Pederson. On Tuesday afternoon, the Pirates and Phillies sent Tyler Anderson from one end of Pennsylvania to the other.

MORE: Why Max Scherzer’s contract makes him an attractive trading destination

Instead of just evaluating each player who could potentially be dealt in the next few days, let’s look at a few specific categories and see which players best fit those categories. Think of them as superlatives before close of trading.

Best Bat: Kris Bryant, Cubs. You are not surprised I know. We have written about Bryant many times over the past few weeks when the Cubs broke out and it became clear that the club was going to be a seller before the deadline. And yes, Bryant has had a stretch of several weeks not producing like a bat, but his OPS for July is up to 0.900 and that’s pretty solid. He can play five of the eight defensive positions full-time (at least until the end of the season), and of course he can also do DH. Each contender has an obvious place for Bryant in their lineup.

(Getty Images / TSN Graphics)

Best Realistic Infield Bat: Trevor Story, Rockies. Well, the non-Kris Bryant option. It’s possible that Story won’t be postponed despite being a post-season free agent and with no intentions of staying with the Rockies. The club should receive more potential return than it sees as the value of the draft pick it would receive if (if) Story declines a qualifying offer. He wasn’t quite the same hitter this year; he had an OPS + of 123 from 2018 to 2020, but that dropped to 89 this year, and his on-base percentage dropped from 0.355 in that period to 0.312 in 2021. He has a massive advantage in getting back into shape with a new club, but will any team meet Colorado’s requirements?

Best Blockbuster Infield Racket: Trea Turner, Nationals. All the headlines around the Nationals revolved around the availability of Max Scherzer, but if Club Turner changes it could have a longer impact on the team taking over. He is under the control of the club until 2022, in his season at the age of 28 and having the best year of his career: .320 avg, 4.0 bWAR, 18 homers, 21 stolen bases, 146 OPS + on leadoff and playing standout Shortstop. It would be worth the massive offer it would take to land it.

Best realistic field bat: Starling Marte, Marlins. Again, the non-Bryant option, although a trade for Marte could almost have an impact on Bryant level. You might not have noticed because he’s playing for Miami (and before that Pittsburgh), but Marte is a damn good player who’s having a damn good season for the Marlins: .303 average, .408 on-base percentage, 135 OPS + , 21 stolen bases, seven homers, 2.8 bwar in 62 games. Like Bryant, he’s a post-season free agent. He is a two-time gold glove winner (he played mostly left field in 2015-16) and has been mostly midfielder since 2018.

Best Blockbuster Campaigner: Joey Gallo, Rangers. Gallo isn’t going cheap, mainly because he won’t be eligible for a freelance agency until after the 2022 season. But he has the kind of power teams crave; Gallo has had two 40-homer seasons, and he has 24 homers this season with a 4.0 bWAR, .380 on-base percentage, and 137 OPS + in 94 games. The team that closes a deal for him needs a deep farm system.

Best player under the radar: Josh Harrison, Nationals. He’s 34 and not at the top of a trading list, but teams could do far worse than a versatile veteran averaging 0.282, 2.0 bWAR, and 115 OPS +. Harrison can play the third or second and any corner outfield spot. He could probably also step in on shortstop or in an emergency.

Best starter mug: Max Scherzer, Nationals. Do you know how many front office people got excited when they saw the recent mini-collapse of the Nationals, which left the club nearly 10 games under .500? Anyone who works for a competitor. I’ve written everything about him and his possible goals here.

Best option in the middle of the rotation: Jon Gray, Rockies. I originally painted Tyler Anderson on this spot, but now he’s off the board, traded from the Pirates to the Phillies. Gray isn’t exactly the type of guy who would start Game 1 of a playoff series, but he could help a team make it to the postseason. He’s a post-season free agent and has spent some time in the IL but has been stellar since his return: 2.57 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 35 innings with six starts. He has completed five full innings in each start, with a pitch count exceeding 97 only once.

Best back-of-the-rotation option: Merrill Kelly, Diamondbacks. Kelly is a unique story. He made his MLB debut at the age of 30; after struggles in youth, he found his way as a reliable starter in Korea. The Diamondbacks signed him to a three-year contract ahead of the 2019 season with an option for 2023 ($ 5.25 million). He had a few rocky stretches in 2021 but he is an efficient thrower who has taken the NL lead with 21 starts and has an ERA of 2.62 in his last seven appearances.

Best rotation option when rolling the dice: Danny Duffy, Royals. He’s been really good this season when he’s healthy – 2.51 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 61 innings – but he’s on the IL with a flexion load and isn’t expected until September. What does a potential trader cost for a guy like that? Difficult to tell. But if he comes back healthy, he’ll be a starting option for a team with big October dreams in September.

Best Contributor: Craig Kimbrel, Cubs. We wrote about him too! Shocking. That was a couple of weeks ago so the numbers have changed, but the basic truths are still true: Kimbrel puts up numbers that rival the best in his career, which really says something. There is also a club option for 2022; It’s not cheap ($ 16 million), but if he’s playing like this and the team has the World Series aspirations, he’s worth it.

Best setup guy option: Ian Kennedy, Rangers. The Rangers gave the veteran a chance after his terrible 2020 season and he was all they could hope for. He is 15-on-16 on defense options, with a 2.59 ERA and right with one strikeout per inning. It is doubtful that he will be asked to close games for every team that acts for him (other than an injury to a closer one, of course), but who wouldn’t want a seasoned arm with closing experience in their bullpen in October?

Google News Source * www.sportingnews.com – * Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Athletics at the Tokyo Olympics, favorites thing you should know

Published

on

Athletics at the Tokyo Olympics, favorites thing you should know

Mondo Duplantis, Sweden: No athlete in the world is further away from his colleagues than pole vaulter Duplantis, a 21-year-old who is leaving for his first Olympic Games. In February 2020, Duplantis broke Sergey Bubka’s world record by jumping 6.18 meters (20 feet 3¼ inches). Since the beginning of 2019, no less than the American Sam Kendricks, the reigning world champion, has jumped higher than 6.06 meters. Duplantis was born and raised in Lafayette, LA, to an American father of Cajun descent and a Swedish mother, but Sweden provided a safer route to the Olympics and greater financial incentives.

Google News Source * www.washingtonpost.com – * Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Bandits don’t run enough, losing 1st place on the home court while the Stingers improve to 9-1

Published

on

Bandits don't run enough, losing 1st place on the home court while the Stingers improve to 9-1

Jordan Baker scored 20 points and added 11 assists to help the Edmonton Stingers beat the Fraser Valley Bandits 87-79 in CEBL action on Sunday.

Marlon Johnson added 18 points for Edmonton, who had two-time MVP Xavier Moon, who played just under 30 minutes and scored 12 points. Shaquille Keith, Kenny Manigault and Brandon Gilbeck all had 15 points ahead of Fraser Valley.

The Bandits reduced a Stingers lead in the middle of the third quarter from 21 to just three points at 80-77, already deep into the Elam end.

But Edmonton held on to victory when Johnson converted two free throws to hit the 87-point target.

Calm. Cool. Collected. Coupling.

Despite being at the opposing end of a late game run down the street in a sold out @AbbyCenter, Marlon Johnson finished it without hesitation on the line 💪#Our game pic.twitter.com/sIpX8oJSZk

– @ CEBLeague

The league leaders improved to 9-1 and brought Fraser Valley their first home defeat of the current season.

Fraser Valley, which has fallen to 5-4, will be welcomed again at the Abbotsford Center on Tuesday.

Google News Source * www.cbc.ca – * Source link

Continue Reading

Trending