More people are reading A series of supportive phone conversations with Ruby Walsh was one of the things that helped Paul Townend shake off a calamitous error on Tuesday and ride three winners from four mounts here on Wednesday, a turnaround in his fortunes that he described as “unreal”. Working for Willie Mullins is a big help to anyone; the trainer bagged a scarcely credible six winners out of seven races and is now ahead of Gordon Elliott in prize money won for the season, making him long odds-on to keep his title as Ireland’s champion. “It’s like fantasy racing,” said Mullins, who could not remember [url=][/url] having had six winners on a single card anywhere, never mind the day of the Punchestown Gold Cup, which he won with Bellshill. “We came here under a bit of a cloud but what a reply from Paul, and from all the jockeys. It’s been tremendous.” Townend apologised for his inexplicable blunder on Tuesday, when he steered a likely winner around the final fence. “I thought I heard a shout and that the last fence was being bypassed,” he said in a statement and refused several requests to elaborate. Racing is never short of conspiracy theories and at times they are bang on the money but Townend’s mishap on Al Boum Photo looks bizarre rather than suspicious, on the [url=]Jahlil Okafor Jersey[/url] available evidence. The Irish Turf Club said it had seen nothing in the pattern of betting that would prompt further inquiry. The Tizzard clan, trainers of Finian’s Oscar, have as much reason as anyone to be sore about what happened, as Al Boum Photo carried their horse out of the race. But Joe Tizzard met Townend at Mullins’s yard on Thursday morning and was reconciled with him. “It was human error,” Tizzard said. “The first thing he did, when he saw us in the yard, he got off his horse and walked over to shake my hand and apologise. Really nice. We’re not the sort of people that are ever going to bear a grudge or anything daft like that.” Asked about what, in his view, [url=]Andre Dawson Jersey[/url] had caused Townend’s mistake, Tizzard, a former jockey, said: “I don’t think he really knows himself. There was something triggered him into thinking he had to go round the fence and there’s not a lot of time in those circumstances. You could tell it was affecting him. I felt for him.” Townend could also [url=][/url] take comfort from Walsh’s words of support, uttered over the phone and at some length on Tuesday night. The message conveyed, apparently, was: “If this was an ordinary day in Ireland, you might be waiting a week for a chance to go out there and put it behind you. But the good news is, it’s the Punchestown Festival and you’ve got good rides in Grade Ones.” And Townend made the most of the opportunity. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. [url=]wholesale jerseys[/url] [url=]wholesale nfl jerseys[/url] [url=]wholesale nfl jerseys[/url] [url=]wholesale jerseys[/url]  
Two problems dominate all others before Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final at Anfield – at least in determining how the game will be won. Can Roma stop Mohamed Salah and can Liverpool defend set plays? A key factor in Roma’s success against Barcelona was Eusebio Di Francesco’s switch to a 3-5-2, having fielded a 4-3-3 in every other game bar one this season. It not only wrong-footed Barcelona but meant Roma had three against two at the back and in midfield, something that was possible because the two wing-backs, Alessandro Florenzi and Aleksandar Kolarov, had the energy to drive back Barça’s wide men, Sergi Roberto and Andrés Iniesta. It forced them to defend rather than tucking in to offer support to the two central midfielders, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic. That had two principal benefits. First it meant Juan Jesus could step with confidence from the backline to deal with Lionel Messi, knowing he always had two players behind him who had just one central forward, Luis Suárez, to contain. It also meant that at the back of midfield Daniele De Rossi, protected by Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan, had time and space to make the play. And that is why this match will be so different from Roma’s task against Barça. Quite apart from anything else there is no chance that De Rossi will have as much time on the ball as he had then. The sight of him measuring his pass over the defence for Edin Dzeko in the second minute as no one closed him down should shame Barça. Whether that was a facet of their attitude or a conscious decision to release Suárez and Messi from defensive responsibility, it allowed Roma’s creative fulcrum to go about his business unchallenged. Roberto Firmino will not allow it. Liverpool will be aggressive, fearsomely so, in their press and how Roma handle that will go a long way to determining whether they have a chance in the game. The worry for Di Francesco must be the way Tottenham – after their dozy 10 minutes in Turin and before their dozy 10 minutes at Wembley – were able almost to bully Juventus in their last-16 meeting, something that St. Louis Blues Jersey confirmed the impression the Premier League is a George Gervin Womens Jersey different level from Serie A in terms of pace and power. Even more concerning must be the fact that, aggressively as Spurs press, Liverpool are far more ferocious. As well as everything else this will be a serious physical examination. As for shape, there would seem little obvious benefit for Di Francesco in opting for a back three again. It might conceivably offer greater defensive cover and, appealing as the thought of having Juan Jesus on the left of three central defenders to block Salah’s incursions from the Liverpool right may be, it causes far more problems elsewhere. Firmino’s habit of dropping deep means that having two players to pick him up is probably one and a half too many, while Sadio Mané’s pace makes him ideally suited to exploiting the space behind a wing-back. To play a back three would be to risk the wing-backs being driven back and it becoming a back Authentic Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Jersey five, which in turn would essentially surrender the flanks to Liverpool’s attack-minded full-backs, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson. And that would make certain a disparity that already seems likely in midfield, where Roma’s obvious quality risks being overrun by the greater pace and energy of whichever trio Jürgen Klopp selects. Di Francesco is more likely to opt for his familiar 4-3-3, sitting the back seven relatively deep to frustrate Liverpool. Dzeko, who has been in fine form, is the outlet, operating in a role in which he thrives as the roving lone front man, although Liverpool have been less vulnerable in the air since the arrival of Virgil van Dijk. Saturday’s draw against West Brom, albeit with a much-changed backline, demonstrated that foible has not entirely gone away. With Dzeko and Kostas Manolas on hand Roma have the aerial power to trouble Liverpool from set plays. cheap jerseyswholesale nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys free shipping wholesale jerseys
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.Post in Deciding if Salah deserved PFA
When it to choosing between Mohamed Salah Chandler Jones Jersey and Kevin De Bruyne, perhaps it was the element of surprise that convinced the Egyptian’s fellow professionals to vote for him. Even though his potential shone brightly during his early years with Basel, particularly when he ripped Chelsea and Tottenham to shreds in Europe, few people could have anticipated Salah hitting these extraordinary heights when he joined Liverpool last summer. For all his speed and skill, the former Roma winger had a reputation for being a little rash and selfish in the final third when he arrived in England. He had struggled during his brief spell with Chelsea – not that he was given much of a chance to impress by José Mourinho – and in the era of mega fees at the highest level, it was a reflection of Salah’s rough edges that Liverpool got him for £36.9m. Alexandre Lacazette, for instance, joined Arsenal for £52.7m. Neymar went to Paris Saint-Germain for €222m, Ousmane Dembélé to Barcelona for £97m, Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United for £75m and Álvaro Morata to Chelsea for £60m. Salah cost less than Gylfi Sigurdsson, a £45m signing for Everton from Swansea. True, some of those figures sum up how the transfer market has spiralled out of control. Yet Salah’s fee also hinted at the slight air of uncertainty that hung over him when he returned to England. He had not won anything since helping Basel to secure the Swiss title in 2013 and there were some who feared that he would blow hot and cold for Liverpool, for whom the past 20 years is littered with expensive signings who did not possess the elite talent to bring the glory days back to Anfield. In that context Salah probably would have been seen as a hit if he had enjoyed a promising debut season, scoring 15 goals, say, or simply helping Liverpool challenge for the top four. Instead, he has surpassed even the most optimistic predictions. He has been the talismanic figure in Jürgen Klopp’s freewheeling side, earning comparisons to Lionel Messi because of the way he cuts in from the right flank to use his left foot to devastating effect and ensuring that Liverpool have not suffered because of Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona in January. Salah has 31 goals in the Premier League – equalling the record Jaelen Strong Jerseyset by Cristiano Ronaldo, Alan Shearer and Luis Suárez – and 41 overall. His finishing has been imaginative, ruthless and varied, he has scored home and away against Liverpool’s rivals and he produced when Klopp needed him most in the Champions League quarter-final victory against City. He is a deserving recipient of the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year award. But as is the way with these individual prizes, not everyone is in agreement. For while giving the gong to Salah is not quite as controversial as the time Tottenham’s David Ginola picked up more votes than any of Manchester United’s treble winners in 1999, there are many who believe that De Bruyne has been unfairly overlooked. The Belgian, after all, has been the finest player in the league’s best team. Would City have won the title without De Bruyne? Probably. But would they have won it by such a huge margin and with such an attractive style of football? Would the new champions be on course to break the points record set by Chelsea in 2005? Probably not. Nobody has been as beautiful to watch as De Bruyne, who looked like he had a point to prove during City’s 5-0 win against Swansea on Sunday, and it is worth remembering that the 26-year-old has regularly stepped up in the big matches, scoring the winner at Stamford Bridge, playing a key role in the 5-0 victory against Liverpool in September, dominating at Old Trafford in December and starring in the League Cup final. He has produced an array of sublime assists, none better than the eerily good no-look pass in the 7-2 win against Stoke, and his ability to run games from central midfield has drawn comparisons to Andrés Iniesta and Paul Scholes.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest There were two minutes to go in the final, his final, when Andrés Iniesta began the long walk goodbye.Slowly, swallowing hard, eyes red, he made his way across the pitch, team-mates coming to embrace him as he went, and all around the Metropolitano supporters got to their feet, applauding. They stood in the Barcelona end and they stood in the Sevilla end too. Iniesta’s name rolled around, accompanying him until he ducked out of sight, taking a seat on the bench. He sat there for a little while, tears forcing their way through, and then he got up again and went to collect the Copa del Rey, alone. It was the 34th title of his career and a 35th will follow, but it was this one that felt like it marked the end: the last waltz. As he climbed up to collect the trophy, down on the grass Barcelona’s players waited for him, [url=]Cody Zeller Jersey[/url] much as they had waited for him when, 51 minutes into his 670th game for Barcelona, he scored the fourth goal, ensuring that this would always be his night: the Iniesta Final. Collecting Lionel Messi’s pass, with a gentle shift of the hips, just a hint of a pause, he stepped past David Soria and rolled the ball in. He jumped into the air and at some point in that leap, sadness crept into the celebration, nostalgia flooding the stadium. They knew what this meant. Any doubt disappeared when they saw the Barcelona’s players’ reaction, more eloquent than anything they could have said. “There were a lot of emotions in that goal,” Iniesta [url=][/url] admitted afterwards. “Lots of emotions, lots of feelings, lots of years. I really wanted this final to go well and I’m happy.” The normal huddle broke up and then, almost one by one, they waited for Iniesta, a moment each. Eyes closed, Messi held him in an embrace that may become the image of the final, maybe even a generation; he held on just that little bit longer, like [url=][/url] he didn’t want to let go. There was something in that. In good times and bad Messi looks for Iniesta, and in bad times above all. It is in those moments when he seeks security, assurance, that he most wants the Spaniard at his side. “I know how difficult it [url=][/url] is to do what he does,” Messi says in Iniesta’s book, The Artist. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Andrés Iniesta celebrates after scoring for Barcelona in the Copa Del rey final. Photograph: Juan Carlos Hidalgo/EPA It is a simple solution, successful for well over a decade and expressed on Saturday night, like a portrait of their era, Barcelona producing a performance that may have been as good as any since Wembley 2011. And yet time waits for no man, not even the man who sometimes seemed able to control it. You can slow the clock, but not stop it and when Messi looks for Iniesta next season, he will no longer be there; he’ll be 5,000 miles away. 22 years after arriving, 18 after meeting Messi, 16 since his debut, Iniesta is leaving Barcelona; he’s leaving Spain too, for China. [url=]Richard Panik Youth jersey[/url] An announcement is expected this week. At 33, a starter in 24 [url=]D.J. Humphries Youth jersey[/url] of 33 league games and eight of 10 in the Champions League, on course to win a league and cup double, it may have come too soon. That, certainly, was the conclusion drawn after Saturday night. China looks incongruous. The headline on the front of AS on Sunday morning said it all: “Iniesta, don’t go!” But the appeals for him to stay, while they express that hope that he might yet change his mind, will also reinforce his belief that this is the right time to go. The right way, too: remember me like this. [url=]cheap jerseys[/url] [url=]wholesale nfl jerseys from china[/url] [url=]cheap jerseys[/url] [url=]cheap jerseys from china[/url]