Liverpool too strong for Tottenham

first_imgLiverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (C) raises the trophy after winning the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on June 1, 2019.  AFP PHOTOMadrid, Spain | AFP | Mohamed Salah scored one of the fastest ever goals in a Champions League final and Divock Origi struck late as Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in Madrid on Saturday and won the trophy for the sixth time.Less than two minutes had been played when Salah smashed in his spot-kick after Moussa Sissoko had been penalised for handball in the area.A disappointing final never truly got going after that, but Liverpool will not care, as they saw Alisson Becker make several confident saves in the latter stages before substitute Origi drilled in the killer second in the 87th minute.That led to an explosion of joy from their supporters inside the Metropolitano Stadium as Jurgen Klopp’s side made up for their defeat in last year’s final against Real Madrid and the deflation of missing out on the Premier League title to Manchester City.Salah has his redemption after injury ruined his night against Real in Kiev, and the revered Klopp has his first trophy as Liverpool manager, three and a half years on from his arrival at the club. The German ends a run of six straight defeats in finals.More importantly, Liverpool have their sixth European Cup, further cementing their status as one of football’s most storied clubs.They now have more than Barcelona or Bayern Munich, and twice as many as their great rivals Manchester United.Perhaps the occasion was just too much for Tottenham in their first ever appearance in the Champions League final. Beating Liverpool was always going to be a big ask, and they have now lost all three meetings with these opponents this season, winning just one of their last 15 encounters.Mauricio Pochettino’s decision to start Harry Kane after nearly two months out did not pay off, and he is still looking for his first trophy after five years in charge.Nevertheless, if they can keep him, and with the impetus from the move to their new stadium, maybe they will be back on such a stage before long.That they were here at all was remarkable, Lucas Moura’s sensational hat-trick that dumped out Ajax in the semi-finals capping a memorable Champions League season all round.The stage was set for this match, only the second all-English final, but after all the hype and the stories of fans paying thousands for tickets for a game they simply could not miss, this was a strangely subdued affair between the two goals. – Kane gamble backfires –Perhaps the stakes were simply too high, or perhaps the three-week break since the end of the Premier League season was to blame.Most likely the suffocating Madrid heat impacted on the players and prevented this from being like a typical Premier League clash.However, it might also have been a result of the opening goal coming so early, badly affecting Tottenham’s confidence.Pochettino had opted to start Kane after an ankle injury, meaning Lucas was on the bench. Kane hardly touched the ball.Eight members of Liverpool’s team also started last season’s final, when Salah went off injured and in tears in the first half.This time Liverpool were the ones celebrating after a whirlwind start, Slovenian referee Damir Skomina pointing to the spot inside 25 seconds when Sissoko blocked Sadio Mane’s cross with his arm.Salah confidently blasted home the penalty for the second-fastest goal ever scored in the final of the modern Champions League.The only faster effort was Paolo Maldini’s effort for AC Milan against Liverpool in Istanbul in 2005, when the Anfield side famously won on penalties.Spurs just did not get going, and there was none of the frenzied pressing and attacking associated with Klopp’s side, although Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson both came close in the first half.Pochettino’s team did improve after the break, but Virgil van Dijk was immense for Liverpool and there was no way past Alisson, with the Brazilian saving well from Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen late on.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Massive increase in numbers getting into golf

first_img Over 110,000 people got into golf with the national network of County Golf Partnerships (CGPs) in the year to the end of March 2014. That’s more than double the figure for the previous 12 months.The figure, for people aged over 14, is highlighted in the latest Impact Report prepared by England Golf’s Club Services and Development department. It’s up by a massive 120 per cent on the previous year.The report also shows that the numbers going on to take part in structured coaching sessions and playing regularly are also growing rapidly and beating targets set by the England Golf Partnership (EGP).Over 30,000 took structured coaching courses (target 25,000), while more than 17,000 became regular golfers, playing once a week (target 10,000).Almost 5000 people took out new club memberships in the year, reported the CGPs. While these may include juniors, the memberships could be worth £3.6million in subscriptions over the last 12 months.The CGPs are also involving more disabled people in golf and again beating their targets for the year. Thirty partnerships ran specific disability projects and involved almost 3500 people, with 135 joining clubs. Seven CGPs received additional funding to establish disability centres for golf and this project is continuing in 2014/15.“These figures are very encouraging and show what can be achieved when CGPs and clubs work closely together,” said Richard Flint, the England Golf Club Services & Development Director.“Our challenge now is to increase the scale of what we do so that we have an impact on the Active People Survey, which Sport England uses to measure participation in sport.”Last December’s Active People Survey showed a drop in regular participation in the 26-plus age group and as a result Sport England reduced its funding for the England Golf Partnership’s (EGP) Whole Sport Plan by £496,000 over the next three years.The EGP has responded by changing the focus of the network of County Golf Partnerships to concentrate on delivering structured and regular playing opportunities, rather than one-off taster sessions.This approach is reflected by the new England Golf Strategic Plan for 2014-17 which sets out to inspire people of all ages to make golf a part of their life and aims to reverse the trend of declining club membership.As a result, CGPs are increasing the number of clubs offering ‘Play more golf’ activities, including refresher and improver courses, specific coaching programmes and playing and membership offers.All CGP activities to encourage people to Get into golf and to Play more golf are These initiatives are supported by the national Get into golf marketing campaign www.getintogolf.org 15 Jul 2014 Massive increase in numbers getting into golf last_img read more