Roving Sport Gists

Roving Sport Gists

EUROPA LEAGUE

Jose Mourinho apologised to the Tottenham fans and said his players failed “at the basics of life” after they threw away a 2-0 lead to be knocked out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb.

A second-leg display described as “diabolical” and “a disaster” by their ex-player and manager Glenn Hoddle saw Spurs eliminated in the last 16 in Croatia after extra time.

A hat-trick from Mislav Orsic did the damage, reversing the comfortable lead Mourinho’s side had built in last week’s first leg, prompting Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to call the performance a “disgrace”.

“They [Dinamo] left sweat, energy, blood. In the end they left even tears of happiness,” Mourinho said. “They were very humble and committed. I have to praise them.

“On the other side, my team – I repeat, my team – didn’t look like it was playing an important match. If for any one of them it is not important, for me it is.

“I am disappointed for a difference of attitude of one team to another. I feel sorry that my team is the team that didn’t bring to the game not just the basics of football but the basics of life, which is to respect our jobs and to give everything.

“I can only apologise to the Tottenham supporters. I hope they feel the same way I feel. Today is live or die – and in this moment, we die.”

***Paul Pogba returned from injury to send Manchester United into the Europa League quarter-finals and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the midfielder will continue to make a big impact in the final stages of the season.

The Frenchman scored the winner against AC Milan at the San Siro three minutes after being introduced as a half-time substitute in the second leg of an evenly poised last-16 tie.

“The boys have done remarkably without Paul but we know his qualities,” Solskjaer said.

“He makes a very, very big difference to us. Paul has been working really hard, but you could see he couldn’t play more than 45 minutes.”

The 28-year-old was making his first appearance in the competition this season, after coming back from a thigh injury which has kept him out since 6 February.

Until his intervention, Solskjaer’s side had rarely looked like breaking the deadlock against a well-organised Milan team who also appeared capable of adding to the late away goal that had swung the tie in their favour at Old Trafford.

WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS 

England manager Gareth Southgate says footballers should be offered the coronavirus vaccine soon because of the risks of playing during the pandemic.

In the UK more than 25 million people have been given a vaccine dose – almost half the adult population.

Footballers have not been been offered a jab but many have travelled across Europe and internationally for matches.

Southgate said football had a “responsibility” to players who “we are asking to keep playing”.

“We are moving to the stage where we are asking athletes to put themselves in situations where they are more likely to catch the virus than others and I think we have a bit of a responsibility to them as well,” Southgate said.

In the UK, health and social care workers were among the first to receive a jab but vaccines have largely been offered by age or to those with existing medical conditions, rather than profession.


GISTS

Manchester City are emerging as favourites to sign Aston Villa and England midfielder Jack Grealish this summer.

Solicitors acting for Football Index ‘traders’, who have lost money on the beleaguered gambling site, have been inundated with requests for help from 5,700 users in just two days.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed he did not expect to be handed the Manchester United reins full time.

Michael Keane’s agent described Gareth Southgate’s decision to leave the Everton defender out of his latest England squad as ‘crazy’.

Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin will spend the final countdown to their heavyweight rematch in the cosy confines of a stunning five-star super yacht.

Crewe Alexandra sparked fury from child sexual abuse survivors on Thursday night after issuing a “mealy-mouthed” apology for their part in football’s worst scandal.

England’s Elliot Daly is to start at centre against Ireland – and his future could be in midfield.

A support group representing the survivors of sexual abuse in football has written to the Cabinet Office demanding that Dario Gradi have his MBE taken away.

Inter Milan have been forced into lockdown after a coronavirus outbreak at the club.

Chelsea have ‘promised’ to break the bank for £130m man Erling Haaland if Thomas Tuchel qualifies for the Champions League, reports say.

Chelsea and Manchester United are both battling for Ilaix Moriba after missing out on the Barcelona wonderkid in 2019, reports say.

Jurgen Klopp has reiterated that he plans to take a one year break when he eventually leaves Liverpool.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang insists he has nothing left to resolve with Mikel Arteta and he is keen to draw a line under his recent rap on the knuckles.

Marcelo Bielsa claims he is happy with his strikeforce and has played down Leeds’ need to buy a forward this summer.

Boca Juniors are laying the groundwork to facilitate their summer swoop for Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani, according to reports in Argentina.

Formula 1

Mercedes say they expect to start the new Formula 1 season next weekend with a slower car than Red Bull.

In pre-season testing last weekend, Mercedes struggled, with their new car apparently lacking pace and stability.

“There are a lot of unknowns,” Mercedes strategy director James Vowles said. “No-one up and down the paddock can pinpoint exactly where they are.

“But there are a few trends that have come out. I’d say Red Bull are ahead on performance. They are the class act.”

Mercedes have won the past seven consecutive world championship doubles and this year Lewis Hamilton is bidding for a record eighth drivers’ title.

But Hamilton admitted after the test that the car was “just not quick enough”, adding that the team had “lots of work to do – it’s going to be tough”.

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