first_imgIn contrast to Ferrari, where team orders have been used frequently this season, Mercedes have handed responsibility to the drivers and not felt any need to ask them to hold positions.“We let them race,” said Wolff. “They are experienced. They know that the racing must be clean. Lap one was very clean –- and this is a track where we mustn’t take crazy risks because you could lose both cars.“When we talk to them, it’s always open and everyone can hear them, but then, obviously, you have the intercom too which is only an internal line.“But I was not talking to the drivers. If I push the driver button, I know it myself –- so I am not giving myself permission to talk to them because I get emotional and then, sometimes, regret what I say.”Instead, said Wolff, his pit-wall team hold a discussion about their strategy and how the race is unfolding.“We acknowledged that it could get a little bit racy at the end, but we didn’t talk to them.”– Amazing –Mercedes’ success on the streets of Baku made them the first team in modern times to reel off four season-opening one-twos.Ferrari had six consecutive one-twos in 1952 when the world championship included, officially, the Indianapolis 500, which they did not enter as it was run under different regulations.The American event was the second race of the calendar and predictably was dominated by American teams and drivers who took no part in the rest of the series.The modern Mercedes team enjoyed 12 one-twos overall in 2015, but were beaten by Sebastian Vettel in a Ferrari at the second race held in Malaysia.“It’s amazing that we can break a record now in our sixth year, trying to push the boundaries, but also trying to keep both feet on the ground and not to be too self-confident,” said Wolff. “It’s fantastic.”After four races this season, Bottas and Hamilton have two wins apiece with the Finn ahead by one point courtesy of the fastest lap he clocked at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.Hamilton admitted he faced a much stronger team-mate this year than last after Sunday’s race.“Valtteri has really stepped up this year,” he said. “He is happy in the car and he is driving fantastically well. It is going to take a really great performance to out-perform him.”His words echoed the feelings of Ferrari team chief Mattia Binotto.After seeing Vettel finish third behind the Mercedes men, he conceded: “Four races into the season, obviously they are very strong – no wins for Ferrari and four for Mercedes…“But I think that the gap is not as big as the points suggest. Certainly, they have a slightly better car, but the positions don’t really show our true potential.”0Shares0000(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton are released from team rules and free to race as they wish, says Mercedes boss Totto Wolff © AFP / Alexander NEMENOVBAKU, Azerbaijan, Apr 29 – Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff has confirmed that the victorious Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton are free to fight for success without the restraints of team orders, as they showed in their scrap to win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.The pair battled wheel to wheel on the opening lap on Sunday and were fighting hard again in the closing stages when defending champion Hamilton put Bottas under pressure as they closed out an unprecedented fourth consecutive season-opening one-two triumph.last_img read more

first_imgSharesROME, Italy, September 11 – Juventus delivered new coach Antonio Conte a flying start to the season in their new stadium with a 4-1 thrashing of Parma on Sunday.Stephan Lichsteiner and Arturo Vidal on their debuts alongside Simone Pepe and Claudio Marchisio scored the goals to hand the Old Lady of Turin the ideal start. Former Juve forward Sebastian Giovinco scored an injury-time consolation from the spot after Paolo De Ceglie had been sent off for bringing him down in the box.Having spent heavily in the summer on a number of recruits, Juve handed debuts to Andrea Pirlo, Lichsteiner and Emanuele Giaccherini whilst Mirko Vucinic and Vidal both came off the bench to also make their first appearances in the black and white shirt.Despite the convincing victory, Conte was not an entirely satisfied man.“In the first half there was a valid goal ruled out and we were denied a stonewall penalty,” complained Conte, who enjoyed a highly successful playing career with Juventus.“At half-time I told the lads that 1-0 wasn’t a fair reflection of the game, which was partly our fault and partly due to other factors.“Otherwise it was a good debut. Having said that I don’t want to con anyone, we weren’t perfect and there’s still a lot of work to do.“You can’t concede a penalty and a red card at 4-0. We also have to work on this even if the attack, and especially the defence, did really well.”Even though Juve’s new 41,000 capacity stadium wasn’t quite full, there was a scorching atmosphere inside the ground for its first official match.And the hosts didn’t disappoint, coming out of the traps with energy and desire.They were ahead on 16 minutes after a moment of genius from Pirlo, who scooped the ball over a static backline for right-back Lichsteiner to run onto and take around Antonio Mirante before slotting into the empty net.Moments later Mirante had to be alert to block a shot from Alessandro Matri with his feet.On 39 minutes Juve had the ball in the net again as Matri headed in from barely a yard out, but it was ruled out for offside.Although Matri may well have been onside when Andrea Barzagli headed the ball back across goal, two other Juve players in close attention weren’t.Parma showed nothing going forward in the first period with Giovinco particularly frustrating as he repeatedly tried to do too much on his own, losing the ball every time.The second half followed a similar pattern to the first as Alessandro Del Piero released Matri into a gaping hole in the middle of the Parma defence but the forward’s shot struck the upright before rolling agonisingly across the line and away to safety.The killer second came only four minutes later as Del Piero fed the ball wide to Pepe who thrashed a shot across Mirante and inside the far post from 12 yards.Chile midfielder Vidal then came on to score the third with an acrobatic volley from just outside the area.The fourth was simply sublime as Pirlo played another sumptuous chipped pass over the top and Marchisio ran past ball-watching defenders to brilliantly flick the ball over Mirante on the stretch.Parma did get on the scoresheet in injury time as De Ceglie brought down Giovinco, who picked himself up to score the spot-kick.Napoli started their campaign with a 3-1 victory at 10-man Cesena on Saturday.Ezequiel Lavezzi gave them an early lead before Roberto Guana equalised in the first half.Cesena had Yohan Benalouane sent off soon after the restart, after which goals from Hugo Campagnaro and Marek Hamsik sealed victory.On Friday, in the Serie A kick-off, champions AC Milan were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Lazio.New signings Miroslav Klose and Djibril Cisse got the visitors off to a flying start before goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Cassano restored parity.Shares(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

first_img Andy Johnson 1 Andy Johnson’s Crystal Palace future will be decided in the next two weeks, according to Eagles boss Neil Warnock.The Selhurst Park cult hero signed a short-term deal to return to the club where he made his name in September, but has featured only once this season, making a cameo appearance from the bench in the Capital One Cup defeat against Newcastle.The 33-year-old’s Palace contract expires on January 1 and Warnock has confirmed the club will meet with the former Birmingham and Everton striker to make a decision over his future.“I’ll be talking to Andy,” Warnock revealed ahead of his team’s home clash with Southampton on Boxing Day. “I’ve already spoken to him on a number of occasions. He is a good club man, and I think people like him are few and far between. I’ll discuss it with Andy.”Johnson, who scored 85 goals in 160 games during his first spell at Palace between 2002 and 2006, has struggled with various injuries and match fitness this term.last_img read more

first_imgGreg Jolstad, 45, was one of 18 construction workers on the bridge working for Progressive Contractors Inc. The other 17 survived the collapse. Seven suffered injuries, but none critical. Also Monday, Gov. Tim Pawlenty asked President Bush to declare the collapse a major disaster, which would make the state eligible for more federal money. The governor said the emergency response costs alone would be more than $8 million. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Gregory Jolstad, nicknamed “Jolly,” was on the construction crew that was resurfacing the bridge when it fell Aug. 1 during the evening rush hour. Jolstad, 45, was driving a skid loader, commonly known by the brand name Bobcat. Divers had gone back in the water early Monday, and Jolstad’s wife, Lisa Jolstad, had said officials vowed to continue until they found her husband. The recovery, announced by the Hennepin County medical examiner, ends the search for bodies and allows construction crews to proceed with removing the collapsed pieces of the bridge. “There aren’t a lot of smiles here tonight,” said Sheriff Rich Stanek, who was overseeing the search. “We all have very heavy hearts. It weighed on a lot of people, both personally and professionally.” Stanek said that he spoke with Lisa Jolstad about the recovery and that “she appreciated very much both the dignity and respect we afforded those families.” MINNEAPOLIS: Now crews can proceed with cleaning up after the collapse, which killed 13. By Patrick Condon THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MINNEAPOLIS – The remains of the last person missing after a bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River nearly three weeks ago have been found, authorities said Monday, bringing the official death toll to 13 and relief to the only family still awaiting word on a missing loved one. last_img read more

first_imgIs this the best one-two ever?Former Manchester United forward Shinji Kagawa and fellow Japan international Hiroshi Kiyotake linked up spectacularly to beat a whole field full of kids and score past a line of would-be goalkeepers.Check out the insane footage above!last_img

first_img Shane Ferguson 1 Millwall have signed loanee Shane Ferguson on a permanent deal from Newcastle for an undisclosed fee.The 24-year-old midfielder, who is set to feature for Northern Ireland at Euro 2016, has signed a contract until summer 2017 after scoring two goals in 28 appearances for the Sky Bet League One club this season.“Shane has displayed his ability in two different positions for us since he joined on loan, so naturally I’m delighted that he is now with us on a permanent basis,” Lions boss Neil Harris told the club’s official website, millwallfc.co.uk.“He has shown a real desire to stay here and is of an age where he needs to be playing football regularly for the sake of his own development, and we have given him that opportunity.“I believe that it is a fantastic piece of business and I would like to thank the board for giving me the opportunity to buy a player of Shane’s quality and age.”Ferguson played 32 times for Newcastle and has also enjoyed loan spells with Birmingham and Rangers.“It’s a relief to get the deal done,” he said.“I’ve been keen to get everything sorted and I’m now really looking forward to my future with Millwall.“I’ve loved every second of my time here so it was a no-brainer to sign on a permanent basis.“My task now is to help Millwall get back to where we belong, which hopefully can be done this season.”last_img read more

first_imgJurgen Klopp has revealed his criticism of football pundits Gary and Phil Neville was not serious, as he only wanted to show them how it felt to be spoken about in a negative light.A feud between the German manager and the former Manchester United duo hit the headlines earlier this week, with Klopp hitting back at them after criticism of goalkeeper Loris Karius.The keeper, who made a series of fatal errors against Bournemouth and West Ham, was sure to come under criticism given his performances, but Klopp questioned Gary Neville’s comments, as ‘he showed he struggled with the job to judge players when he was manager so why do we let him talk about players on television?’But he has now insisted those comments were taken out of context, as he was simply joking with his criticism.Klopp said: “Maybe I can say it clearly: my criticism of pundits was not for one second serious.“I only wanted to show how it feels to get criticised without having anything wrong, only with doing or saying for one second the wrong thing.“The pundits need to know how it feels, so that is why I said it.”Klopp was speaking after Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Middlesbrough, in which Adam Lallana’s brace and a Divock Origi strike secured three points to send the Reds second in the Premier League.The Merseyside outfit dominated the match from first to last, and Klopp had nothing but praise for the performance.The German continued: “It was really difficult against us tonight; it was clear we played cool, calm and quick.“As a full package, it was a wonderful performance.”last_img read more

first_imgTurkish Super League giants Fenerbahce are unlikely to offer on-loan Tottenham forward Vincent Janssen a permanent deal, due to his extensive injury problems.The 23-year-old could miss the rest of the season in Turkey because of a toe problem, and Spurs are said to be monitoring the situation closely.Fenerbahce have the option to buy Janssen outright in the summer, but his fitness woes have all but ended the chance of a permanent deal.And according to Milliyet, the Turkish giants are unlikely to pursue a permanent transfer for Janssen once his loan deal expires at the end of the season.The Netherlands international has netted twice in just 12 appearances for Fenerbahce this term and he has not featured for two months due to his latest injury problem. Vincent Janssen has struggled with injury since his arrival at Fenerbahce 1last_img read more

first_img REVEALED 2 Alisson’s stats this season are superb Alisson Becker has been nothing short of spectacular since his summer move to Liverpool.After months of negotiations and genuine interest from Chelsea, the Brazil international departed Roma for a whopping £67million. MONEY 2 Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Jurgen Klopp will be depending on his goalkeeper to boost their title charge, having already kept 12 clean sheets in the league this season.Perhaps his greatest achievement thus far is the incredible save he pulled off against Napoli to guarantee qualification from a notoriously difficult Champions League group also containing Paris Saint-Germain.And while it is early days still, his decision to snub Chelsea looks better every single day. BEST OF How the Brazilian compares to his rivals in the division Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions REVEALED Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? shining ADVICE Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury While it is certainly impressive for the Brazilian’s debut season, his performances when compared to the best in Europe are sensational.Quite incredibly Alisson has the highest save success rate of any goalkeeper in Europe’s top five leagues. Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade no dice huge blow RANKED Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card REPLY Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Latest Football News While Kopites have been insisting the shot-stopper is the best thing since sliced bread, football fans were convinced it was merely bias.However, after watching Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius between the sticks for so long, it was presumed Reds fans were watching the 26-year-old through rose-tinted spectacles.However, the latest statistics at this point in the prove that not only is Alisson the best goalkeeper in the Premier League right now, but also in Europe.According to WhoScored.com, the goalkeeper has a rating of 6.91 – significantly better than his rivals.last_img read more

first_imgPartick Thistle boss Alan Archibald was delighted by his side’s spirited second-half showing as they clung on for a point against Rangers.The Jags fought back in the second half to overturn Alfredo Morelos’ early strike for Rangers, with Blair Spittal and Chris Erskine hitting the back of the net.Erskine saw red soon after to hand Rangers back the initiative and midfielder Graham Dorrans equalised for Pedro Caixinha’s men. The visitors pressed in search of a winner but ten-man Thistle produced a backs-to-the-wall defensive showing to keep the visitors at bay. Archibald insists such a tenacious display can breathe new life into his team, having watched his side pick up just one point from a possible 15 before Friday’s fixture . He told BT Sport: “When you get a man sent off against a team like Rangers and they are pushing I’m delighted with a point, mentally it’s good for us to hang on.“I think he (Erskine) realises he threw himself into a tackle he shouldn’t. We were really careless in possession in the first half but got a reaction in the second half.“We had a bit of luck with the goal but good confidence to come back and take the lead.” Partick Thistle host Rangers once again at Firhill on Tuesday in the League Cup quarter final.last_img read more