30 WORLD SPORT Gulf Daily News Tuesday, 21st October 2014 Email: [email protected] Pellegrini wary of empty stadium in CSKA clash MOSCOW: Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has said playing in an empty stadium won’t help his side when they travel to Russia for their potentially decisive Champions League match against CSKA Moscow today. European football governing body Uefa have ordered CSKA to play the game behind closed doors because of racist behaviour by their fans – something City have direct experience of after Yaya Toure was on the receiving end of verbal abuse when the clubs met last season. But Pellegrini does not believe this will give the reigning Premier League champions, still struggling to make their mark on Europe’s elite club competition, an advantage in the Russian capital. “I think that affects football. I don’t think it is the best way to play, not only for our team but for the Russian team,” Pellegrini said. “I think football is about the fans. It is the most important thing because they give an atmosphere at the stadium which is different to an empty stadium. It will be a different experience but that cannot affect our performance,” Victories City badly need victories in both their matches with CSKA, having been beaten by Bayern Munich and drawn at home to Roma in their opening Group E fixtures. “We have two games against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League that we need to win both of them,” said Pellegrini. “The best way is to treat every game as a final, try to win it and then win the next final,” added Pellegrini, whose side will travel to Russia on the back of a 4-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur where striker Sergio Aguero scored all of their goals. Defender Eliaquim Mangala was expected to travel despite a thigh injury but midfielder Samir Nasri was due to stay behind while recovering from groin surgery. CSKA enjoyed an even more emphatic victory last weekend, routing Kuban Krasnodar 6-0 to narrow the gap to Russian league leaders Zenit St Petersburg to just two points. Barca face ‘real risk’ against Ajax BARCELONA: Barcelona need to avoid getting sucked into the Spanish obsession with El Clasico when they face Ajax Amsterdam in the Champions League today. All eyes in Spain are on leaders Barca’s visit to Real Madrid next Saturday which could see the possible debut of Uruguay forward Luis Suarez after his four-month ban for biting Italian Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup. With so much interest, there is a real risk that the visit of fourtimes European champions Ajax could take a back seat and be treated as a mere warm-up. However, defeat in their previous outing against Paris St Germain means that Barca cannot afford to be complacent, even if Ajax are nowadays a provider of young talent for other European clubs rather than a force in their own right. Paris St Germain lead Group F with four points followed by Barca on three points and Ajax on two. “The most important game TODAY’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE for us now is against Ajax and GROUP E we want to play well in that CSKA v Man City so that we are in good condi(Starting at 7pm, Bahrain time) tion for the El Clasico,” Javier AS Roma v Bayern Mascherano told reporters after (Starting at 9.45pm, Bahrain time) Saturday’s 3-0 win over Eibar. GROUP F “You cannot live in the past APOEL v PSG or for games that are going to (Starting at 9.45pm, Bahrain time) Barcelona v Ajax take place in the future,” he (Starting at 9.45pm, Bahrain time) added. “The match against Ajax is GROUP G Chelsea v Maribor important for us and we need to (Starting at 9.45pm, Bahrain time) be fully focused on that. If we Schalke v Sporting don’t play well on Tuesday then (Starting at 9.45pm, Bahrain time) that can also change the mood GROUP H and we want to play well and be BATE v Shakhtar Donetsk ready for the El Clasico. (Starting at 9.45pm, Bahrain time) “We need to continue imPorto v Athletic Bilbao proving aspects despite the (Starting at 9.45pm, Bahrain time) win,” he added. “Even when we weren’t able to score we did both started against Eibar denot panic and kept on trying. spite long trips for recent inter“There is also a physical el- national matches and between ement as well because in the them they have scored 17 of second half our rivals have Barca’s 25 goals so far. problems against us. Playing Barca coach Luis Enrique with intensity and forcing the admitted that Messi’s value to opposition back into their own the team made it difficult to area means that they tire.” leave him out. Lionel Messi and Neymar “I look at who to give a break AMERICAN FOOTBALL National Football League on Sunday (home team in CAPS): BALTIMORE 29 Atlanta BUFFALO 17 Minnesota Miami 27 CHICAGO DETROIT 24 New Orleans GREEN BAY 38 Carolina INDIANAPOLIS 27 Cincinnati JACKSONVILLE 24 Cleveland ST. LOUIS 28 Seattle WASHINGTON 19 Tennessee Kansas City 23 SAN DIEGO DALLAS 31 NY Giants Arizona 24 OAKLAND DENVER 42 n Suarez, right, vies with Barcelona team mates during a training session on the eve of their match against Ajax Liverpool battle MADRID: Real Madrid look set to be without Gareth Bale for their Champions League trip to Liverpool tomorrow after a scan revealed the Welshman has an abdominal injury. “After the tests carried out on Gareth Bale by the Real Madrid medical team, a muscular injury has been diagnosed in his right pyramidalis muscle,” the club said in a statement yesterday without stating how long they expect Bale to be sidelined. The pyramidalis is a small muscle of the anterior abdominal wall. The 25-year-old was an unused substitute in Madrid’s 5-0 thrashing of Levante on Saturday. And Real boss Carlo Ancelotti insisted after that game he wouldn’t take any risks with Bale’s fitness given his side face an even more demanding task when Barcelona visit the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. However, Madrid sports daily AS reported yesterday that Bale will also miss the first El Clasico of the season. n Chelsea rule out Costa LONDON: Chelsea will be without striker Diego Costa for their Champions League clash at home to Maribor today. “He hasn’t trained because he’s not in condition to do so,” manager Jose Mourinho told a news conference yesterday. “It’s the same problem that he is having, it’s simple. Let’s see what happens for the next weekend.” Costa, who has made a stunning start to his Chelsea career with nine Premier League goals since joining from Atletico Madrid, has been struggling with a hamstring injury and did not play in the 2-1 defeat of Crystal Palace on Saturday. Chelsea are well-placed in Group G with four points from their opening two fixtures but have several players unavailable for the visit of the Slovenian outsiders to Stamford Bridge. Midfielders John Obi Mikel, Andre Schurrle and Ramires will all play no part while striker Didier Drogba is not fit enough to play for 90 minutes, according to Mourinho. n Fatal goal celebration to including Messi but later I think to myself if you don’t play him you will miss out on the goals he scores,” he said. “I think over what they say and how the players are feeling. During the season he will have San Francisco 17 GOLF 7 16 14 23 17 0 6 26 17 20 21 13 n Bale doubtful for Final round of the US PGA Tour Shriners Hospitals Open in Las Vegas on Sunday (USA unless noted, par-71): 264 - Ben Martin 68-66-62-68; 266 - Kevin Streelman 71-67-63-65; 268 - Russell Knox (SCO) 65-67-66-70; 269 - Webb Simpson 69-65-67-68, Brooks Koepka 69-68-64-68, Jimmy Walker 69-69-62-69; 270 - Tony Finau 68-65-70-67, David Hearn (CAN) 70-66-6668, Scott Piercy 67-67-67-69; 271 - Adam Hadwin (CAN) 67-72-69-63, Scott Brown 70-67-68-66, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 66- a break but I think it is a special moment for the team and him at the moment. “Sometimes I sit there on the bench and think to myself how lucky I am to have Messi. It is not just what he can do but also 71-68-66, Robert Streb 71-67-67-66, Spencer Levin 71-63-68-69, Brandt Snedeker 67-68-67-69; 272 - Nick Watney 68-69-6966, Harris English 71-68-66-67; 273 - Carlos Ortiz (MEX) 69-70-69-65, Charles Howell 7069-67-67, John Senden (AUS) 70-68-68-67, Colt Knost 68-72-65-68, Hudson Swafford 69-67-68-69, Jim Herman 68-72-62-71, Martin Laird (SCO) 64-70-68-71, Jason Bohn 68-68-66-71, Alex Cejka (GER) 69-68-65-71, Andrew Svoboda 66-67-67-73. ICE HOCKEY National Hockey League on Sunday: Winnipeg 1 Calgary 4 Anaheim NY Rangers Los Angeles the stimulus he provides for the others.” Ajax are second in the Eredivisie and came from behind to draw 1-1 against Twente on Saturday with Kolbeinn Sigthorsson scoring in the second half. 3 4 2 St Louis San Jose Minnesota 0 0 1 TENNIS Valencia Open 500 at L’Agora (seedings in parentheses): Men’s Singles First Round Pablo Carreno Busta, Spain, bt Marcel Granollers, Spain, 6-2, 3-1, retired. Martin Klizan, Slovakia, bt Stefan Kozlov, United States, 6-3, 6-3. Lu Yen-Hsun, Taiwan, bt Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Spain, 6-2, 6-3. Men’s Doubles: NEW DELHI: A 23-year-old Indian footballer has died from severe spinal cord damage after attempting to celebrate a goal with a somersault, an official said yesterday. Bethlehem Vengthlang FC midfielder Peter Biaksangzuala died on Sunday at a hospital in the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram after the incident in Tuesday’s match in the third tier Mizoram Premier League (MPL). “We are shocked by the case. We at the Mizoram Football Association did all we could but could not save him,” MFA secretary Lalnghinglova Hmar said. After scoring the equaliser against Chanmari West FC, a flipping Biaksangzuala landed awkwardly and was lying unconscious as his team mates surrounded him and gestured for help. “The association president also being the state health minister, he did all that was possible even though he was out of station.” Leonardo Mayer, Argentina, and Joao Sousa, Portugal, bt Alexander Peya, Austria, and Bruno Soares (1), Brazil, 3-6, 6-1, 10-7. David Marrero, Spain, and Fernando Verdasco (3), Spain, bt Pablo Andujar, Spain, and Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Spain, 6-4, 6-4. Kevin Anderson, South Africa, and Jeremy Chardy, France, bt Feliciano Lopez, Spain, and Max Mirnyi, Belarus, 6-4, 7-6 (2). Swiss Indoors Basel at St. Jakobshalle (seedings in parentheses): Men’s Singles First Round Rafael Nadal (2), Spain, bt Simone Bolelli, Italy, 6-2, 6-2; Donald Young, United States, def. Carlos Berlocq, Argentina, 7-6 (5), 6-4.
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