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Wickham brace lifts Black Cats

first_img Fabio Borini made no mistake from the spot and, when substitute Emanuele Giaccherini added a third 14 minutes from time, the game was won, to the delight of the bulk of a crowd of 45,859. It was just Sunderland’s second league victory at the Stadium of Light in 11 attempts and the first time they had put together back-to-back wins in almost three months. But more importantly, it lifted them from the foot of the table and out of the bottom three, albeit only on goal difference, as they leapfrogged Cardiff, Fulham and Norwich. Their ability to stay there will be severely tested at Manchester United next weekend, but with West Brom and Swansea to come on Wearside in the final two fixtures of an eventful campaign, their fate is at least in their own hands. Cardiff will return to the north-east on Saturday to face Newcastle before a final-day clash with Chelsea in South Wales knowing they will almost certainly need to win at least one of those games to survive. Both sides ran out knowing victory would take the winners out of the drop zone, but it was Sunderland who took the game by the scruff of the neck as they refused to let the momentum gained from last weekend’s heroics at Stamford Bridge slip away. Typified by pugnacious midfielder Lee Cattermole, they met the Bluebirds head-on from the first whistle in front of a bumper crowd which turned up knowing exactly what was at stake and determined to play its part. Full-back Marcos Alonso saw a third-minute snapshot blocked at source and Wickham tested keeper David Marshall at his near-post seconds later with a drive from an unlikely angle. But Cardiff managed to weather the early storm and responded by winning a series of corners of their own and from one of them, midfielder Mats Daehli screwed a shot high and wide to remind the Black Cats that they would not have things all their own way. However, the tide changed once again after 26 minutes when Wickham was left unaccompanied beyond the far post to meet Sebastian Larsson’s corner and head it back across goal and inside the upright to open the scoring. There was a tangible sense of relief on Wearside, albeit one tinged with the knowledge that there was a long way to go both on the afternoon and in the race for survival. Jordon Mutch, Santiago Vergini and Gary Medel all went into referee Phil Dowd’s notebook as tempers frayed, but it was Cala who was to incur the official’s wrath as the half drew to a close. The defender’s poor touch allowed Wickham to steal in and he instinctively dragged the striker back, initially outside the box. Wickham stayed on his feet and Dowd played an advantage, but when the attack came to nothing, he pointed to the spot and produced a red card, much to Cala’s horror. Borini nervelessly converted from 12 yards to double Sunderland’s lead and give them real hope of escaping the drop. Bluebirds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Don Cowie with Wilfried Zaha at the break and asked midfielder Medel to slot in alongside skipper Steven Caulker at the heart of his back four, and they found themselves under concerted pressure once again as the home side went for the kill. Borini curled a 50th-minute effort wide of the far post and full-back Kevin Theophile-Catherine survived penalty appeals for a challenge on Adam Johnson seconds later. But Cardiff refused to lie down and die and, despite their numerical disadvantage, launched a fightback which saw Mutch head across the face of goal from a 57th-minute corner. Goalkeeper Vito Mannone was called upon for the first time to keep out Peter Whittingham’s deflected free-kick seven minutes later, but Borini might have wrapped up the win 18 minutes from time had Marshall not pulled off a fine instinctive save to keep out his shot from Jack Colback’s cross. Giaccherini’s smart 76th-minute finish put the result beyond doubt and Wickham applied the icing to the cake with four minutes remaining when he headed home the Italy international’s corner. Connor Wickham made it five goals in three games as Sunderland eased themselves out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone with victory over 10-man Cardiff. Press Association The 21-year-old, who has spent much of the season on loan in the Sky Bet Championship, headed the Black Cats into a 26th-minute lead to add to the double he scored at Manchester City and his strike in last weekend’s 2-1 win at Chelsea, and then sealed the win with a late header. He played a key role in the second goal, too, as he forced defender Juan Cala into the ill-judged challenge which cost him a red card and his side a penalty. last_img read more

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AP Sportlight

first_img2012 — Brittney Griner scores 26 points and grabs 13 rebounds to help Baylor finish off an undefeated season with an 80-61 win over Notre Dame in the women’s national championship game. Baylor becomes the first team in NCAA history to win 40 games.April 41937 — Byron Nelson shoots a 283 to win the Masters by two strokes over Ralph Guldahl.1938 — Henry Picard beats Ralph Guldahl and Harry Cooper by two strokes to capture the Masters.1983 — Lorenzo Charles scores on a dunk after Derek Whittenburg’s 35-foot desperation shot falls short to give North Carolina State a 54-52 triumph over Houston in the NCAA championship. 2005 — Roger Powell Jr. and Luther Head score 20 points apiece leading Illinois to a 72-57 win over Louisville in semifinals of the Final Four. With the win, the Illini (37-1) ties the single-season NCAA record for victories.2007 — The Florida Gators keep their stranglehold on the college basketball world with an 84-75 victory over Ohio State for their second straight national championship.2012 — Doron Lamb scores 22 points as Kentucky wins its eighth men’s national championship, holding off Kansas for a 67-59 victory.2014 — The Sacramento Kings beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-102 to give the Lakers their 50th loss of the season. The last time the Lakers had 50 or more losses was 1974-75 (30-52).2016 — Villanova advances to the national championship game with the biggest margin of victory in Final Four history, overwhelming Oklahoma 95-51. The margin topped 34-point Final Four wins by Cincinnati over Oregon State in 1962 and Michigan State over Penn in 1979. April 51915 — Jess Willard beats Jack Johnson in the 26th round to win the world heavyweight boxing title in Havana, Cuba.1927 — Johnny Weissmuller breaks his own 200-meter freestyle record by seven seconds in 2:08. He also lowers his own record in the 100-yard freestyle to 51 seconds, a record that stood for 17 years.1959 — Art Wall birdies five of the last six holes to cap a final-round 66 and edge Fred Hawkins by one stroke to win the Masters.1967 — Wilt Chamberlain sets an NBA record with 41 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 115-104 victory over the Boston Celtics and a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Division playoffs. 1977 — Jean Ratelle of the Boston Bruins scores his 1,000th point with an assist in a 7-4 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs.1982 — Buffalo’s Gil Perrault scores his 1,000th point with an assist in a 5-4 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.1988 — Louisiana Tech wins the NCAA women’s basketball championship with a 56-54 come-from-behind victory over Auburn.1988 — Amy Alcott shoots a 1-under 71 to win the Dinah Shore by two shots over Colleen Walker.1989 — Michigan beats Seton Hall 80-79 in overtime to win the NCAA basketball championship. Rumeal Robinson hits two free throws with 3 seconds left for the Wolverines. 1994 — Arkansas wins its first men’s national championship with a 76-72 victory over Duke, depriving the Blue Devils of a third title in four years.1998 — Mark McGwire ties Willie Mays’ National League record by hitting a home run in each of his first four games. McGwire launches a towering three-run shot in the sixth inning of an 8-6 victory over the San Diego2001 — Hideo Nomo becomes the fourth pitcher in major league history to throw a no-hitter in both leagues in Boston’s 3-0 victory over Baltimore. The others are Cy Young, Jim Bunning and Nolan Ryan.2003 — Toronto’s Lenny Wilkens sets the NBA record for most career losses when the Raptors lose to the Spurs 124-98. Wilkens, in his 30th year as an NBA coach, was already the winningest coach in league history with 1,292 victories.2003 — Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs becomes the 18th player to hit 500 career homers, connecting for a solo shot in a 10-9 loss to Cincinnati. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditApril 21939 — Ralph Guldahl beats Sam Snead by one stroke to capture the Masters.1983 — New York Islander Mike Bossy becomes the first player to score 60 or more goals in three cosecutive seasons. 2004 — Led by 24 points from Emeka Okafor and 21 from Ben Gordon, the Connecticut Huskies outclass Georgia Tech 82-73 to win the men’s national championship.2008 — The Boston Celtics sets an NBA record for biggest single-season turnaround with a 101-78 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. The Celtics improve to 61-15, 37 more wins than last season.2009 — Brittany Lincicome sinks a 6-foot eagle putt on No. 18 to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship, capturing her first victory in a major.2010 — Duke wins its fourth national men’s basketball championship holding off Butler 61-59 and surviving Gordon Hayward’s last second desperation shot that clangs off the rim.2011 — Danielle Adams scores 22 of her 30 points in a dominating second half to help Texas A&M win its first NCAA women’s basketball championship with a thrilling 76-70 victory over Notre Dame. 2017 — So Yeon Ryu wins the ANA Inspiration in a one-hole playoff with Lexi Thompson, who was given a four-stroke penalty late in the final round for an incorrect ball placement a day earlier. Ryu birdies the 18th hole in the playoff to win her second major title.2017 — A’ja Wilson scores 23 points to help coach Dawn Staley and South Carolina win their first women’s national championship with a 67-55 victory over Mississippi State. Staley made the Final Four three times as a player at Virginia but never won. She also led the Gamecocks to the national semifinals two years ago before losing to Notre Dame.April 31930 — The Montreal Canadiens win the NHL Stanley Cup with a two-game sweep of the Boston Bruins.1933 — Ken Doraty’s overtime goal gives the Toronto Maple Leafs and 1-0 victory over the Boston Bruins in semifinals of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The goal comes at one hour, 44 minutes and 46 second of the overtime beyond the one-hour regulation game. 1993 — For the first time in its 157-year history, the Grand National steeplechase is declared void because of a false start. Esha Ness crosses the line first, but most of the jockeys are unaware a false start is called and the majority of the 39-horse field continue the 4½-mile race around the Aintree course even though nine stay behind at the start line.1993 — Jim Montgomery’s three goals in the third period carry Maine to a 5-4 comeback win over Lake Superior State for the NCAA hockey title.1994 — Charlotte Smith’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gives North Carolina a 60-59 victory over Louisiana Tech in the NCAA women’s basketball championship game.1994 — The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 in Major League Baseball’s first Sunday night opener, sending baseball into a new era with three divisions and a new playoff format.1995 — UCLA wins its first national basketball championship in 20 years and record 11th NCAA title, keeping Arkansas from repeating with an 89-78 victory. 2002 — Utah sets an NBA record by clinching its 17th straight winning season after defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 99-87.2004 — St. Louis clinches its 25th consecutive NHL playoff berth, the longest in major league sports, with a 4-1 win over Nashville.2006 — Joakim Noah dominates UCLA with 16 points, nine rebounds and a record seven blocks to key a 73-57 blowout for Florida’s first national title in men’s basketball.2007 — After a nine-year title drought, Tennessee and coach Pat Summitt are NCAA champions. The Lady Vols capture an elusive seventh national title, beating Rutgers 59-46.2008 — Jamar Butler scores 19 points and hands out eight assists in his final college game, leading Ohio State to a 92-85 win over Massachusetts for the National Invitation Tournament title. March 24, 2020 1986 — Edmonton’s Wayne Gretzky breaks his NHL season points record with three assists to increase his total to 214. He scored 212 points in 1981-82.1987 — New York’s Denis Potvin, the highest-scoring defenseman in NHL history, scores his 1,000th point.1988 — Danny Manning scores 31 points and grabs 18 rebounds as Kansas wins its second NCAA championship with an 83-79 victory over Oklahoma.1993 — Sheryl Swoopes shatters the women’s championship game record by scoring 47 points to lead Texas Tech to an 84-82 victory over Ohio State.1993 — Mario Andretti, at 53, wins the Valvoline 200 in Phoenix to become the oldest driver to win an Indy car race and the first driver to win a race in four different decades. 2008 — Alex Ovechkin breaks Luc Robitaille’s single-season NHL record for most goals by a left wing with his 64th and 65th scores to lead Washington to a 4-1 victory over Tampa Bay.2010 — David Haye mounts a successful first defense of his WBA heavyweight title after punishing John Ruiz for nine rounds in Manchester, England.2010 — Bernard Hopkins wins a brutal unanimous decision over Roy Jones Jr. in their long-delayed rematch, emphatically avenging his loss in the famed champions’ first fight nearly 17 years earlier.2011 — Stacy Lewis holds off defending champion Yani Tseng to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship by three strokes, earning her first LPGA Tour title in the year’s first major. Lewis shoots a 3-under 69 to finish at 13-under 275.2011 — Texas A&M upsets its second straight top-seeded team in the NCAA women’s tournament to advance to its first national championship game. Tyra White drives the length of the court to give Texas A&M the go-ahead layup and a 63-62 victory over Stanford. Skylar Diggins scores 28 points and Notre Dame upsets Connecticut 72-63, ending the brilliant career of Maya Moore and the Huskies’ quest for a third straight national championship. 1984 — Georgetown, led by junior center Patrick Ewing and freshman forward Reggie Williams, beats Houston 84-75 to win the NCAA championship in Seattle.1986 — The 3-point field goal, at 19 feet, 9 inches, is adopted by the NCAA.1990 — UNLV pounds Duke 103-73 to win its first NCAA championship and extend the Blue Devils’ streak to eight Final Four appearances without a title. The Runnin’ Rebels become the first team to score more than 100 points in a championship game and the 30-point margin is the largest ever.1995 — Connecticut caps an unbeaten season by defeating Tennessee 70-64 for the NCAA women’s championship. The Huskies, 35-0, become the winningest basketball team for one season in Division I.2000 — Connecticut wins its second women’s national championship with a 71-52 victory over Tennessee. The top-ranked Huskies beat No. 2 Tennessee for the second time in three meetings this season. 2005 — Dmitri Young becomes the third player to hit three homers on opening day to lead Detroit over the Kansas City Royals 11-2.2005 — North Carolina defeats Illinois to win the NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship. Sean May has 26 points and the Tar Heels don’t allow a basket over the final 2 1/2 minutes to defeat Illinois 75-70.2010 — Yani Tseng shoots a 4-under 68 to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship for her second major title. Tseng, of Taiwan, finishes at 13-under 275 at Mission Hills to hold off Suzann Pettersen by one stroke.2011 — Kemba Walker scores 16 points and Alex Oriakhi has 11 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks to lead Connecticut to a 53-41 win over Butler in the NCAA championship game. UConn coach Jim Calhoun wins his third national championship, something only four other coaches have done.2013 — Pierre Jackson has his fourth straight double-double with 17 points and 10 assists to lead Baylor to its first NIT title with a 74-54 win over Iowa. 1970 — New York beat Detroit 9-5 to take fourth place and the final playoff berth in the NHL’s East Division. The Rangers, with 246 goals, become the first team in NHL history to advance to the playoffs on the basis of goals scored when they finish in a tie with Montreal at 92 points and 38 wins. The Canadiens, who lose to Chicago 10-2 in a night game, finishes with 244 goals.1972 — For the first time in history, major league baseball fails to open because of a general player strike, which started April 1 and would be settled April 13.1984 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar hits a sky hook with 8:53 left to play in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 129-115 victory over the Utah Jazz to become the NBA’s top career scorer. Wilt Chamberlain, with 31,419 points, held the record since his retirement in 1973.1993 — Donald Williams scores 25 points to lead North Carolina to a 77-71 win over Michigan in the NCAA championship.1997 — Bruce Baumgartner wins a record eighth World Cup wrestling gold medal, beating David Musolbes 2-1 in overtime at 275 1/2 pounds as the United States routs Russia 25-7. Associated Press AP Sportlight 2016 — UConn wins an unprecedented fourth straight women’s national championship, capping another perfect season by routing Syracuse 82-51. Geno Auriemma passes UCLA’s John Wooden with his 11th national title and a sixth undefeated season.2017 — Golden State holds off Phoenix 120-111 for their season-high 13th straight win, clinching the best record in the NBA for the third straight season. The Warriors are the first team have the NBA’s best record for three consecutive seasons since the Boston Celtics did it in 1983-84, ’84-’85 and ’85-’86. The Warriors also are the first team to win at least 65 games in three straight seasons.END ADV,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

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Real hold off Atletico in tight derby to grab top spot in Spain

first_imgReal MadridMadrid, Spain | AFP | Real Madrid regained top spot in La Liga on Saturday after a goalless derby with Atletico that saw them move above surprise package Granada and maintain their small lead over a crowded chasing pack.Real will stay top by a point over promoted Granada and Atletico Madrid after Diego Simeone’s side failed to break down their well-drilled local rivals, whose disciplined performance at the Wanda Metropolitano was deserving of at least the point they gained.They are a further point ahead of fourth-placed Barcelona, who won a hard-fought clash at Getafe 2-0 thanks to goals from Luis Suarez and Junior, and Real Sociedad who travel to a Sevilla side down in eight but just five points behind Zidane’s leaders.On a night of few clear-cut chances Atletico probably had the best opportunities but failed to test Thibaut Courtois in the Real goal, while the away side drew a couple of fine saves from Jan Oblak on their forays forward.The best came 15 minutes from the end, when the Slovenian stopper got down brilliantly to his left to palm away Karim Benzema’s powerful header from a Nacho cross.Just seconds before Atletico had come to within inches of opening the scoring when Saul Niguez met a corner with a header that flashed just past the upright.Granada had moved temporarily top of La Liga before the derby after Antonio Puertas’ first-half strike saw them squeeze past rock-bottom Leganes.Puertas crashed his long-range winner into an empty net after Juan Soriano had come charging out of his goal to close down Roberto Soldado just before the half-hour mark.– Ter Stegen brilliance –A remarkable counter-attack goal launched by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and finished off by Luis Suarez put Barcelona on their way four minutes before the break at Getafe, and Junior’s tap-in shortly after the restart made sure of Barca’s first away win since April. “This match was crucial for us to rid ourselves of the sensation of never being able to win away,” said Valverde.“We didn’t play well in the first half but once we took the lead they basically didn’t have any chances.”Ter Stegen is embroiled in a row with Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer over the Barca stopper’s lack of opportunities with the Germany team.However he showed his class when he raced out of his goal to stop a Getafe attack before launching a pin-point pass over the home side’s dozing defence to Suarez, who calmly lobbed the opener over David Soria.“Sometimes when passes come off like this the goalkeeper is just clearing the ball. I don’t know if that is the case here, but regardless he brings us a lot,” added Valverde.The win was Barca’s second in a week as they attempt to recover from an miserable start that led to questions surrounding Valverde’s future.Athletic Bilbao lost for the first time this season at home to crisis club Valencia, who bagged their second win of the season thanks to Denis Cheryshev’s 27th minute strike.‘Los Che’ had been sent into turmoil when owner Peter Lim sacked Marcelino Garcia Toral earlier in the month.But despite player and fan anger at Lim’s decision, two draws and now a win after their shock victory at Chelsea in the Champions League have them in ninth on nine points.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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Mike Pelaia says: This past Steeler season was a roller coaster (Jan. 9)

first_imgLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier MIKE PELAIAThere’s a new roller coaster going into Kennywood Park in 2019 called the Steel Curtain. Perhaps they should name the coaster “Steelers 2018 Season” instead because that’s exactly what this past year was, a roller coaster.From the season-opening tie to the Browns, to the six-game winning streak, to the finish to the season that saw them fall from a 7-2-1 record…a near lock to win the division, to out of the playoffs, the Steelers season couldn’t have been a crazier ride.It’s a season that started with incredible expectations of winning the Super Bowl. The thing is, those expectations were not unrealistic. As this team sits at home this offseason, they have to look at what could have been. They are easily as talented as any other team that made the playoffs.Yet, the Black and Gold sit at home, on their couches, pondering what went wrong and hopefully, what they need to do to get better in 2019 while this Super Bowl window may still be slightly ajar.This season they had their issues in many facets of the game. Offensively, they turned the ball over quite a bit, especially in the oppositions end of the field. Ben Roethlisberger was responsible for 20 turnovers this season, 16 of those interceptions, a few of which were in the opposition’s red zone, most notably in Denver, when going in for a TD at the final seconds.A quarterback of Ben’s caliber should not be turning the ball over 20 times in a season. I understand he’s one of the best in the league and he passed for over 5,000 yards to win the passing title—I don’t think there is any other quarterback worthy of taking his place but I do think his turnovers cost them a game or two and had they won that game, or two, they’d have made the playoffs.Yet, it can’t be all on Ben. It starts with Randy Fichtner. The new offensive coordinator did a good job but down the stretch, he seemed to abandon the run in favor of the pass. Quite frankly, it’s unacceptable that this was allowed to continue over the last month of the year when it was very evident that the rushing attack was more than capable of handling its own. James Conner and Jaylen Samuels more than filled in for the missing Le’Veon Bell this season, proving the Steelers didn’t need Bell. Fichtner did not appropriately use his running backs and because of that, the Steelers sit at home.Special teams didn’t do their job, either. Chris Boswell was the worst kicker in football. He shouldn’t have been allowed to kick for as many games as he did but his salary and the fact that he was a Pro Bowl player last year got in the way of just releasing him. Because of that, the Steelers missed the playoffs, and Boswell is a huge reason why.Special teams came in ranked 29th out of 32 teams this year as well. Danny Smith has to be fired for that, doesn’t he? I say bring in somebody new, they can’t possibly do much worse!But missing the playoffs isn’t just on the offense or special teams; it is also heavily on the defense led by Keith Butler. Butler’s defense ranked sixth overall in total yards allowed but that in no way truly depicts the story of their season. They flat out stunk. They had no ability to create turnovers, at all. They did nothing on third downs but give up big plays.So the Steelers and Mike Tomlin decided to let Joey Porter go after the season ended. OK, that’s fine, I think the linebackers could have done more, I’ll buy that but if they don’t fire Butler, they are making Porter the scapegoat. Butler should have been fired last offseason. The fact that we are still talking about him having to be let go is mind-boggling. His defenses are bad. He can’t scheme. He can’t motivate, he get’s outcoached consistently and he’s in over his head.Butler. Must. Go.There are some players that need to go as well, namely Bud Dupree, especially on a $9.2 million salary. If they can renegotiate a deal and cut that in half, then I’ll listen. If not, he has to follow former teammate Jarvis Jones out of town.Artie Burns should just flat out be cut. He’s a bust. Can’t play. It’s best for all parties if he’s let go, he can blow coverages for another team.They should extend Roethlisberger another three years, build around Conner and young and budding superstar JuJu Smith-Schuster. Conner and Smith-Schuster are team-first guys and guys you can win with, they are the new core of this team.And you can bet they will have a strong opinion on the most polarizing decision the team has to make this offseason, that of what to do with Antonio Brown. Brown quit on his team, there’s no arguing that. I don’t care to get into the he said she said reasons as to why he didn’t play, he just didn’t and that’s a problem.If it were up to me, I’d shop him and I’d trade him, if—and this is a big if—I got a lot in return, and that would require a top-tier cornerback or inside linebacker and a first-round pick. If they can’t get that, then Tomlin and the team must find a way to work things out with Brown and move forward. If he plays like he’s capable of, he’s a weapon who can’t be covered.last_img read more