Brendan Rodgers spoke of rebuilding job prior to Liverpool sacking

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first_imgBrendan Rodgers may not have known his tenure as Liverpool manager was only a couple of hours away from ending but his tone in the wake of the 1-1 Merseyside derby draw hinted he had his suspicions. “That will take time, whether that is me or someone else. While it is me, I will continue to devote every ounce to the club. “I have never felt anything other than secure. That is not being complacent. I was brought here to do a job, I signed a new deal (in May 2014) and the owners know it takes time.” That time ran out very quickly as his services were soon dispensed with via a trans-Atlantic phone call from FSG’s management executive. Back on match issues Everton manager Roberto Martinez was disappointed not to end a winless run in the derby which stretches back to 2010. Despite dominating the second half they could not find the crucial second goal, although that may have been different had Reds midfielder Lucas Leiva been shown a second yellow card for a foul on Ross Barkley instead of being let off by a lenient Martin Atkinson. “It is one of those games we are not going to agree with the result,” Martinez said. “Our performance was good enough to get the three points but you need to earn them and I don’t think we had that bit of luck you need in front of goal. “Simon Mignolet was outstanding and we are disappointed with the goal we conceded but the reaction was pleasing. Having watched his side concede yet another lead as Romelu Lukaku cancelled out Danny Ings’ header, the Northern Irishman’s words carry more weight with the benefit of hindsight. Asked whether he thought his attempts to regain the form which saw them very nearly win the title two seasons ago might be halted by owners Fenway Sports Group, he replied: “If we are to replicate what we did we will have to build something. “In the second half we carried real danger and that little bit of composure would have given us three points.” Martinez questioned Atkinson’s reasoning for deciding not to caution Lucas which would have meant he had to send off the midfielder. “I don’t understand that decision. Lucas was very clever. His technical fouls were very clever but the second one was from behind and should have been given a yellow card. “Martin has a clear view. We should have played against 10 men in the last 15 minutes.” One of the major positives for Everton was the display from Lukaku, especially once he scored his goal as he gave Liverpool’s defenders a torrid time. “The hold-up play from Rom was the strongest we have had in an Everton shirt,” he added. “He locked three centre-halves and we played around him.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Russia’s fairytale World Cup run ends in tears

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first_imgIt was that close — and it all ended just as the nation was starting to believe.“We leave the tournament with tears in our eyes but our heads held high,” the team tweeted as the stadium emptied of the 45,000 or so who had lost their voices cheering them on.They had reason to be proud.Russia were the lowest-ranked team entering the tournament and many in the sceptical media thought they would be lucky to win a game.They trudged off the pitch after making it to the quarter-final for the first time in 48 years.A semi-final was within grasp and the loss stung.But the Russian team showed heart and won what seemed like the entire nation’s gratitude.“The champions of our hearts,” the popular Sport Express daily said in a headline.Then it paid them the highest compliment possible by declaring: “Russia knows how to play football.” Moscow, Russia | AFP | The impassioned shouts of “Ros-si-ya” died away on the streets and tears filled the stadium as Russia bowed out of their home World Cup in the cruellest fashion: on penalties.The men in red exceeded the wildest expectations by coming within a penalty kick and a save against Croatia of making it into the semi-finals for the first time since 1966.They lost the quarter-final shootout 4-3 after extra-time ended with the sides deadlocked at 2-2 in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. – Empty feeling –Fans who had been dancing in the streets after a heart-pounding shootout win over 2010 champions Spain in the last 16 last Sunday were gloomy but grateful.The nation was mourning on Saturday — but also paying its respects.Chants of “Mo-lod-tsy” — an almost untranslatable word of praise and thanks that roughly means “Good job, guys” — echoed across the dark streets of Moscow and other cities.“What can I say? It’s a pity we are out of this tournament but I am very proud of my team,” said Muscovite Alexander Khramoichenkov.“I’m very proud of Russia,” the 34-year-old said.Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called the team’s performance “magnificent” after the watching the game from a VIP box with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.He came down into the players’ locker room and suggested that Russian football would never be its disappointing old self again.“We will simply have a different type of football after this,” he said. “I am absolutely certain of this.”But coach Stanislav Cherchesov — his moustache becoming the unofficial symbol of Russia’s Cinderella waltz through the tournament — seemed visibly distraught.“I am still not myself yet,” he admitted after listening to a press conference question and then being unable to say a word.Midfielder Roman Zobnin sounded very similar moments after he walked off the pitch.“I have no emotions left. I left them all out there,” he said with difficulty.“I feel empty inside.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more