Lambert happy to stop the rot

first_imgPaul Lambert hailed a huge point against Southampton as Aston Villa stopped the “bleeding”. Villa went into the game on the back of four successive Barclays Premier League defeats and at the end of a week that saw Lambert’s assistants Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa suspended by the club. No explanation for the suspension has yet been given, with youth coach Gordon Cowans and out-of-favour goalkeeper Shay Given stepping up to help Lambert. The contest against Saints, who had lost three of their previous four games, was not pretty but the 0-0 draw moved Villa five points clear of the relegation zone. Lambert said: ” It was a really tough game. Sometimes in football matches you get big points and you get huge points – that was a huge point for us considering what’s been going on. It’s been a hard week. “I thought second half we were excellent, we gave as good as we got against a really good side. “I didn’t think there was much in it. They started better than us and 15 minutes into the game we started to get a foothold. In the second half I thought (Marc) Albrighton and (Gabriel) Agbonlahor were excellent for us. “When you look at the way the lads played and the determination there, they stepped up to the plate when questions were asked. I said to them that I’m proud of them for what they did today. “We had to stop the bleeding and get something.” Lambert praised the impact made by Cowans and Given, whose last game for Villa came in January 2013. “The two lads have been great,” said Lambert. “Gordon, who I know really well, his status at the football club is huge. “Shay, contrary to what people think because I never played him, I’ve never had one cross word with him. I respect him as a goalkeeper and as a guy, and he and Gordon accepted within seconds. I’m really appreciative of the help.” Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino felt his side deserved more from the game and was particularly unhappy they were not awarded a late penalty. Nathaniel Clyne’s cross clearly hit the hand of Ryan Bertrand in the box but referee Lee Mason decided it was accidental and waved away the vociferous appeals. Pochettino said: “I think we deserved to win. We did everything right except actually score. “I’m very happy with the team’s performance but I’m a little bit sad because we had many chances, and I think we were a little wasteful as well with the chances we created. “It was a clear penalty. And the linesman was quite close. It’s unexplainable to me why that penalty was not given. “We feel hard done by because in the last few games we had decisions that haven’t gone our way and probably, if those decisions had gone our way as they should have, then we would have more points right now. The players did not deserve those calls.” Speaking about the incident, Lambert said: ” I’ve haven’t seen it yet. But if ever a team deserved a little bit of luck, it would be ourselves.” Pochettino, meanwhile, welcomed the PFA award nominations for Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw. Lallana was named alongside Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge, Eden Hazard and Yaya Toure on the shortlist for player of the year while Shaw has been nominated for the young player award. Pochettino said: “It’s something that’s great for the club and for the team and it’s only going to improve the two players’ performances.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Messi, Suarez lead Barca romp, Real crush Deportivo

first_imgMADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona rode further away from their crumbling title rivals on Sunday as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored twice each in a 5-0 thrashing of Real Betis which opened up an 11-point gap at the top of the La Liga standings.A strike from Ivan Rakitic broke the home side’s resistance in the 58th minute and top scorer Messi and the in-form Suarez took turns in adding to the scoring to cap a sixth successive league win for Ernesto Valverde’s imperious team.Barca, the only unbeaten side in Europe’s top five leagues, lead the way in La Liga with 54 points after capitalising on second-placed Atletico Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Girona on Saturday and third-placed Valencia’s 2-1 defeat at Las Palmas.Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice before leaving the pitch with his face covered in blood as Real Madrid eased their domestic crisis by hammering struggling Deportivo La Coruna 7-1 on Sunday to reclaim fourth spot.Betis went into the game having scored eight goals in their last two league matches but had few opportunities against Barca, who turned on the style in the second half as they have done so often in this dominant campaign.It took a clever rolled pass from Suarez to release Rakitic for the opening goal, which the Croatian dispatched confidently while Messi took full advantage of a slack Betis offside trap to slot the second.The Argentine’s second strike moved him on to 19 league goals while Suarez’s brace took him to 15, 10 coming in his last seven La Liga games.The convincing display was also the perfect response after Barca had surrendered their 29-game unbeaten run in all competitions in losing to Espanyol in the King’s Cup on Wednesday.“My team are completely committed to everything we do and we stick together in the good times and the bad,” Barca coach Valverde told reporters.“We take our steps forward and our steps back together and that’s a great virtue.”Real had lost two of their last three league matches and got off on the wrong foot against relegation-threatened Deportivo when former Atletico Madrid forward Adrian Lopez put the visiting side ahead against the run of play in the 23rd minute.The stumbling La Liga champions responded in emphatic fashion, however, and went on to record their biggest win of the season in all competitions with two goals apiece from Gareth Bale, Nacho Fernandez and Ronaldo as well as a long-range strike from Luka Modric.Ronaldo was unable to continue playing after he was left with a bloodied face by the boot of Deportivo defender Fabian Schar as he struck his second goal, which took him level with Bale as Real’s top scorer in the league with six strikes.Real climbed above Villarreal into fourth place on 35 points but are still 19 behind Barcelona.“The players needed a game like this,” Real coach Zinedine Zidane said.“I don’t know if much changed apart from the scoreline and that’s the biggest difference. We played well against Villarreal (in our last match despite losing 1-0) and we were doing well when we were losing 1-0 today but we got the equaliser and I‘m delighted with what we did in the rest of the game.”last_img read more

Steven Plowman receives Alpena’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, Mich. — The Alpena Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual dinner Thursday evening. A number of businesses were recognized and the 2019 Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award was presented.This year’s theme was “Rockin’ and Rollin’ into the Future.” Former president of the Alpena Chamber of Commerce, Jackie Krawczak, who had just recently decided to leave the position, said that this dinner is meant to recognize those who always put their best foot forward and those who show excitement and pride in the community. “This event kind of captures where we are with that now, and it’s just the community’s way of everybody getting together, being super proud of each other, really energetic, excited about what’s going to happen,” she said. “We’re really happy about who we are and who we’re becoming and this is a celebration of it.”The 2019 Outstanding Citizen Award was given to Steven Plowman for his efforts to improve the community. Alpena High School Principal, Thomas Berriman was there to present and he also shared some of what qualifies Plowman for this award, including his work as founder of the South Bay Alpena group, his contribution to beautifying the South Corridor, and helping develop Frog Park on Partridge Point road.Berriman added that plowman does a lot of this work without expecting any form of recognition. “I do it in the shadows because I’m not here to blow my own horn,” said Plowman. “I do it because I enjoy doing it. I work with some great people in the South Corridor groups, some guys who have a great vision for Alpena. Special people all dedicated to Alpena and making Alpena a better place to live.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: alpena chamber of commerce, South CorridorContinue ReadingPrevious Experts urge fire safety for all Michiganders, especially the elderlyNext Atlanta schools closed due to sicknesslast_img read more