Paul 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 Association
RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin says the country’s Paralympics ban is “outside the bounds of law, morality and humanity”.The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) suspended Russia from the Rio Games starting on September 7 because of state-sponsored doping.Putin said the ruling was “cynical” and “humiliates those who take such decisions”.Only Russian track and field athletes were banned from the Olympics.Putin, speaking at an award ceremony for Russian Olympians at the Kremlin, said the country would hold special competitions for banned Paralympic athletes, with the winners awarded the same prizes as in Rio.Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Russian Paralympians had taken “collective responsibility for an unproven crime”. (BBC Sport)
…Guyana to host India/WI T20 and ODI matches on August 6 and 8 WEST Indies will begin their bid to become World Test champions during the India Tour of the Caribbean, which starts in August and will be sponsored by MyTeam11 and co-powered by Skoda and Kamla Pasand.The West Indies and India will play two Tests – from August 22 to 26 at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua and from August 30 to September 3 at Sabina Park in Jamaica – during the five-week Tour, which also includes three Twenty20 and three One-day Internationals.Guyana will host the final Twenty20 on August 6 and the first ODI on August 8 at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence. These matches will see the India cricket team return to Guyana for the first time since 2002.The two Tests open the new ICC World Test Championship, which will be played over the next two years and has been introduced to give greater context and competition in the “Ultimate Test” of the game, combining strategy, skill and endurance.“The West Indies and India have a long and colourful rivalry, and the MyTeam11 Series will bring more thrilling competition across every format of the game,” said Cricket West Indies Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave.“We’ll be seeing some of the World’s best players go head-to-head in T20Is, ODIs and then in the new World Test Championship. West Indies fans, young and old, will have the opportunity to see some incredible cricket.”The MyTeam11 Series starts with three T20Is. The first two matches will be contested back-to-back on the weekend of August 3 and 4 at the Broward County Stadium in the city of Lauderhill in the American state of Florida.Only one of the two T20Is produced a result when the two sides played at this venue three years ago before sell-out crowds, with the second match ending in a no-result, due to a rain and technical delay.In the first match of the series, India’s K.L. Rahul scored the second-fastest T20I century off only 46 balls, eventually finishing on 110 not out for the highest international score in the venue’s history.The two teams also posted the highest international innings totals in the venue’s history for a World record of 489 runs, with the West Indies winning by one run, thanks to an even hundred off 49 balls from left-handed opener Evin Lewis.“We’re excited to bring two more T20Is to Florida, giving the West Indies diaspora in North America the opportunity to watch the team play ‘live’ and in person,” said CWI Commercial, Marketing and Communications Director, Dominic Warne.“This continues our plans of growing our audience and the game’s appeal in North America to increase participation and investment back into the West Indies. The MyTeam11 Series will provide a chance for a growing audience in the United States, who follow the West Indies, to experience the fast-paced action of the T20 format.”The last of the three T20Is in the MyTeam11 Series will be played on August 6 at the Guyana National Stadium, where the series also transitions to the 50 overs-a-side format. The first ODI takes place on August 8, the first time in three decades the two sides will contest an ODI in the South American nation.The MyTeam11 ODI series concludes with matches on August 11 and 14 at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.Tour itinerary West India vs India ST JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC) – Following is the itinerary for India’s tour of West Indies announced Wednesday by Cricket West Indies(CWI):Itinerary:Sat, Aug 3: 1st Twenty20 International – Central Broward Regional Park, United States (10:30 am start)Sun, Aug 4: 2nd Twenty20 International – Central Broward Regional Park (10:30 am)Tue, Aug 6: 3rd Twenty20 International – Guyana National Stadium, Guyana (10:30 am)Thu, Aug 8: 1st One-day International – Guyana National Stadium (9:30 am)Sun, Aug 11: 2nd One-day International – Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad (9:30 am)Wed, Aug 14: 3rd One-day International – Queen’s Park Oval (9:30 am)Sat, Aug 17-19: Tour Match – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua (9:30 am daily)Thu, Aug 22-26: 1st Test – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua (9:30 am daily)Fri, Aug 30 – Tue, Sep 3: 2nd Test – Sabina Park, Jamaica (9:30 am daily)
But Thompson suggested Cleveland’s gloating backfired.”Oh, yeah. Ha!” Thompson said. “That was funny. Look how that turned out. Psssh. Bums. That was crazy. I forgot about that. Well, look at what pettiness gets you. Gets you 1-8 in the Finals. Idiots.” Klay Thompson is a firm believer in karma.Ahead of Wednesday’s matchup in Cleveland, the Warriors star was reminded by Anthony Slater of The Athletic of the jabs he and his teammates endured after falling to the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. The Warriors became the first team in NBA history to lose the Finals after holding a 3-1 series lead, and LeBron James trolled Golden State later that year at a Halloween party with tombstones cookies that read, “Stephen Curry 2015-2016,” and “Klay Thompson 2015-2016.”However, Thompson and the Warriors got the last laugh by winning back-to-back titles in 2017 and ’18.The Cavs (5-18) are slated to host the Warriors (16-9) at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday.