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13.06.2014 08:59
they were Premier League champions antworten

LOS ANGELES -- Although his San Antonio Spurs have the NBAs best record and the longest active winning streak after four weeks of unbeaten basketball, coach Gregg Popovich can always find areas of imperfection. Colin Kaepernick Authentic Jersey . The Spurs defensive performance against the woeful Los Angeles Lakers made it easy this time. Tony Parker scored 25 points, Kawhi Leonard added 22 points and 10 rebounds, and the Spurs beat the Lakers 125-109 Wednesday night for their 11th consecutive victory. Danny Green scored 16 points and Tim Duncan had 12 points and 16 rebounds for the NBA-leading Spurs, who havent lost since Feb. 21 while winning 14 of 15. San Antonio managed to hold off a decent challenge from the Lakers with strong shooting down the stretch and 14 second-half points from Leonard, but Popovich wasnt overly impressed. "Probably the only thing I liked is that they hung in there," Popovich said. "I thought we played really porous defence. I thought a lot of that was because L.A. was very aggressive. They were in attack mode, and I dont think we adjusted to it until maybe the end of the third quarter. From that point, I thought our defence was very good." Green and Manu Ginobili hit three 3-pointers apiece for the Spurs, who opened a three-game California road trip by calmly matching their longest winning streak of the season. Parker took charge after halftime, scoring eight points in the third quarter and catalyzing San Antonios offence in the fourth. "We have to give a lot of credit to the Lakers," Parker said. "It took a lot of energy for us to win. We have to play better." With their seventh straight victory over the Lakers dating to last seasons playoffs, the Spurs opened a 1 1/2-game lead over Indiana for the leagues best record. San Antonio leads Oklahoma City by two games atop the Western Conference. "The Spurs are a fine-tuned machine," said Lakers centre Robert Sacre, who had a career-high 11 rebounds. "They have all the pieces to make it work, and if one guy goes down, they have someone to fill that spot." Xavier Henry scored 24 points and Pau Gasol had 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the Lakers sixth loss in seven games. A few hours after longtime Lakers coach Phil Jackson got a standing ovation across the continent at his first game at the New York Knicks top basketball boss, his fiancee, Lakers executive Jeanie Buss, watched Los Angeles stumble to its 20th loss in 26 games. "It was a tough way to go out, but we fought," Henry said. "You could tell from the jump that we really wanted it. About six minutes in, the guys really pushed the tempo and really gave them a run." Kent Bazemore scored 13 points and hit three 3-pointers for the Lakers, who hadnt played since their 34-point loss at San Antonio five days earlier. That win was the biggest in this long-standing rivalry for the Spurs, who have followed up last springs four-game playoff sweep of Los Angeles with three straight wins this season. "In the last game, the effort wasnt there and the toughness wasnt there, and we got beat by a lot," Lakers forward Ryan Kelly said. "We realized we cant play that way, and tonight was different. We have to build off this and play like this all the time so that we put ourselves in a position to win some games." Green hit five of the Spurs 13 3-pointers in last weeks blowout, but the Lakers largely kept up with powerful San Antonio in the rematch. Los Angeles led for stretches of the third quarter before San Antonio scored 18 points in roughly 3 1/2 minutes with big baskets from Parker and Leonard. The Lakers yielded 100 points for the 12th consecutive game and gave up 110 for the seventh straight game. Los Angeles is the Western Conferences worst defensive team. NOTES: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Baron Davis and new Oakland Raiders left tackle Donald Penn attended the game. ... The Lakers will be without G Jordan Farmar for at least two weeks while he recovers from a moderate groin strain. Los Angeles still is without G Nick Young (sore left knee), F Jordan Hill (sore right knee) and G Steve Nash. ... The Spurs, who have no currently injured players, have missed 83 games due to injury this season. The Lakers have missed 260. ... San Antonio will attempt to sweep the clubs season series when they meet in Texas on April 16 in both teams regular-season finale. Kaepernick Jersey . The Phillies got him seven. Lee sparkled in eight strong innings, striking out seven, and Chase Utley knocked in four runs to lead Philadelphia to a 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. Patrick Willis Authentic Jersey . But even as Arizona was making its run to last years Alamo Bowl, there were signs that the program had taken a step back. Combined with a lacklustre start to this season, athletic director Greg Byrne had seen enough.It hit me this week. There it was staring at me in the form of a magazine advert for posters. Placed together as portraits were drawings of four high-profile football managers but one made me do a double take. It wasnt long ago that the face of David Moyes, placed next to Jose Mourinho, Manuel Pellegrini and Arsene Wenger, would not have made me think twice. I have always hoped he would succeed, back to the days when I covered him as a manager of Preston North End. Yet, heading into Wednesdays crucial game against Olympiakos, it was easy to look at him differently after what has taken place under his watch at Manchester United this season. I am not a United fan but when I visited Old Trafford for their clash with Chelsea in August I was pleased that he had been given a chance. "The Chosen One" sign hung proudly in the famous Stretford End and the United fans sung songs with his name in them and mocked the manager in the opposing dugout. "You wanted the job...you wanted the job...Jose Mourinho...you wanted the job!" Seven months on and the joke has turned on them. Oh how they must wish for Mourinho to be in charge of Manchester United today. The same amount of home league wins as Crystal Palace. Fewer home league goals than Stoke, Swansea and West Ham. More than twice as many league losses than Chelsea. "This has been a difficult season," admitted Moyes in his programme notes for Wednesdays home match against Olympiakos in the second leg of their last 16 encounter in the crown jewel of club football, the Champions League. The official matchday programme had a message for fans before they even opened it saying, on the front cover, the Reds are determined to give everything. Inside the desperation reached new heights with a message from Moyes telling the fans to "make time wasting noticeable to the officials." It all felt a little forced. Defensive, in fact. From a team full of stars who have underperformed this season, the one message they wanted to make sure they got across was that they would give it everything. Manchester United expect more than effort but on a day when it felt like their managers job was seriously on the line, this was the message they were given. It was a night when more than a managers job seemed in jeopardy. A club who this season have badly lost their identity, were in danger of losing their place amongst the sports elite. On Wednesday night they claimed back a little bit of both. Before Robin van Persie scored a terrific hat-trick, United were in danger of falling from the balcony hosting the greatest clubs in the world and hanging on by their finger nails. Their position, outside the room, is not exclusively David Moyes fault but an elimination on Wednesday would have certainly played a massive part in the eventual sacking of the manager, whether that would have been this week or in the summer. The truth is United dont think they should be on the balcony, instead they think they should be inside hosting the party, but a home win against Olympiakos wont get them back in. What it does give them is two more games to show if they can once again be back where they belong as well as a victory that this club badly needed, not just for Moyes, but for themselves. To understand Uniteds demise at the elite level it is important to look at their performances in the true big games. No United team should be judged on past victories over any team out of the top 7 of the Premier League. For the purpose of this study, I looked at all of Manchester Uniteds matches in the last six seasons against Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham and their games in EEurope, whether it be in the Champions League, Europa League or the European Super Cup. Patrick Willis Womens Jersey. Over the last three seasons (2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14) United have now played 66 of these big game matches. They have won 28, drew 15 and lost 23 for a very disappointing win percentage of 42 per cent. They have been knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage and the last 16 in the last two seasons. In the three seasons prior to this stretch (2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11), United played 70 big game matches. They won 45, drew 18 and lost 17 for a very impressive win percentage of 64 per cent. During this time they went to the Champions League final TWICE and lost in the quarter-finals on away goals to a team called Bayern Munich. The alarm bells should have been sounded during Sir Alex Fergusons penultimate year in charge when United were well and truly outplayed at Old Trafford in Europe by Benfica, Basel, Ajax and Atletico Bilbao. Likely, this was when Ferguson knew his time to retire was coming soon. He no longer belonged in the room at the top table with the sports best clubs. A collapse in April in two more big game matches, 4-4 at home to Everton and 1-0 at Manchester City, gave away the title and Ferguson returned for one more year but the big game cracks continued to show. The four previous seasons United had lost 24 big game matches combined – an average of 6 losses per season. Despite cruising to the Premier League title last season, United lost nine big game matches in 2012/13. Yes, they were Premier League champions but against the best sides they looked desperately short of genuine world class players. Alarmingly, in the last 14 months, heading into Wednesdays match, they had played 27 of these matches and won just seven of them. This is where the intense pressure fell on Moyes. This season, before Wednesday, in 18 of these games, his United team have scored more than one goal in a game only three times. No wins in four games against Chelsea and Tottenham. One goal, from a set piece, in two matches against Arsenal. A loss at home to Everton and away at Manchester City and, above everything else, two losses to rivals Liverpool who absolutely demolished United at Old Trafford on Sunday. All of these results, and specifically the performances, stayed with Moyes like bruises on the face of a prize fighter and with every new failure in a big game his loyal supporters started to doubt him more. Moyes wasnt just on the ropes on Wednesday night. He was on the floor facing a count to 10. Thats what makes the victory over Olympiakos so enormous. It is arguably the biggest victory in the career of Moyes. A victory that proves to himself, his bosses and his players that he can take charge of a significant victory in a big game. A loss would have capped off a nightmare season for United and the only way the club could have hung on to that balcony will have been to fire Moyes and blame him for their season. Players care about three things. Money, trophies, and playing at the highest level. It is essential that Manchester United are always able to offer that. If they had been knocked out on Wednesday they will have only had money in their hands to offer players who will have been worried to play for Moyes. Yes, the 3-0 victory saved Moyes but it also saved United who have been treading water in big games for far too long. It is clear star players need to come in to improve their record in those games but, perhaps, a star manager does not. Wednesdays win is only one game but for Moyes it can help change perceptions that, perhaps, he belongs amongst the games best managers without anyone looking at him twice. ' ' '

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