London: Andrew Robertson praised Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah for “shutting up” the Chelsea fans who racially abused him with a superb long-range strike at Anfield.
The Reds secured a vital 2-0 Premier League win over the Blues at the weekend, which saw them return to the top of the table by two points ahead of Manchester City.
A Sadio Mane header opened the scoring early in the second half before Salah doubled Liverpool’s lead two minutes later with a stunning strike from 25-yards out which flew into the top corner of the net.
The brilliant goal came just three days after a group of Chelsea fans were filmed singing “Salah is a bomber” in a local bar before the club faced Slavia Prague in the Europa League.
The Egyptian is a Muslim and there has been a public outcry of sympathy in reaction to the video, with Chelsea set to issue significant bans to the supporters responsible.
Robertson backed his Liverpool colleague in the aftermath of their latest victory, insisting that his goal was the best possible response to the mindless hate he has received.
“There was a bit of stuff that had gone on in the week and that’s the way to shut them up,” he told the Evening Standard.
“The club released a statement on the day and Mo was fine about it. It’s not nice but he dealt with it. It didn’t affect him at all – it didn’t look like it, did it?
“Sadly people are getting used to things like this now because it is happening far too often. Raheem Sterling said the other day that the only way to shut people like this up is to score goals and to beat them (their team). I know it is only a minority of Chelsea fans but Mo certainly quietened them down.”
Salah’s thunderous strike was his 19th Premier League goal of the 2018-19 campaign, taking him level with City’s Sergio Aguero in the race for the Golden Boot.
The 26-year-old has faced plenty of criticism since the turn of the year, having suffered an uncharacteristic goal drought, but his latest effort was a stark reminder of his unique quality.
Robertson hopes Salah’s confidence will now be renewed heading into the final weeks of the season, as he added: “It was a fantastic goal. He cut inside and clearly fancied his chances.
“As soon as he hit it, everyone knew that it was in. The place went wild and fair play to him.
“He has come under a bit of criticism (for his performances) this season, unfairly in my opinion. But that will silence them too and hopefully, that will give him a lot of confidence going into the final games.”
Next up for Jurgen Klopp’s men is a huge trip to Portugal in the Champions League quarter-finals to face Porto on Wednesday, where they will defend a 2-0 first leg lead.
The Reds will then turn their attention to Cardiff City on Sunday, as the crucial fixtures begin to pile up in their hunt for silverware.
Dhoni ‘unavailable’ for West Indies tour, takes two-month break to serve his regiment
New Delhi: The mystery surrounding Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his future has been solved for now. The former India skipper has decided to take a two-month break and serve his army regiment after a gruelling India Premier League season and the 2019 World Cup.
It is no secret that Dhoni had already made himself unavailable for the tour of West Indies, but he has now informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that he is joining the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army.
Speaking to IANS, sources in the know of developments said that the former India skipper has informed the BCCI of his plans and that this was in no way to be considered a move towards retirement.
“He has had a long season where he played the IPL with a sore back and then also played in the World Cup with an injury and he felt that it was important to take a break and come back fresh. With the selectors set to meet in Mumbai on Sunday to pick the squad for the Windies series, he has informed the board that he will be serving his army regiment for the next two months. This has nothing to do with retirement,” the source said.
Dhoni is an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army. Earlier skipper Virat Kohli had made it clear that the team management hadn`t heard anything from Dhoni on his future. But the former skipper has now sent across the message to all concerned.
In fact, while rumours were doing the rounds that Dhoni would have called it quits after the World Cup, those close to him had made it clear that it was unlikely. With Dhoni now informing the board of the sabbatical, there is clearly more to come when it comes to Dhoni serving the national team.
ICC’s suspension of Zimbabwe Board is a wake-up call for PCB
Islamabad: THE suspension of the Zimbabwe Cricket Board by the ICC due to government’s interference is a wake-up call for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) who need to exclude several clauses from its constitution which allow the federal government and the prime minister as its patron to intervene in the PCB affairs.
The PCB’s constitution was approved in 2014 during ex-chairman Najam Sethi’s tenure while earlier some amendments were also made by another former PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf. Though the media at the time had raised concern over those clauses which allowed government’s interference in the PCB affairs, Zaka had dispelled such concerns and had claimed that the ICC had approved the constitution.
However, the recent decision of the ICC to suspend the Zimbabwe Cricket Board after the Zimbabwe government had dissolved their board should be an eye opener for the PCB as well as other boards who encourage such interference from the government.
In the PCB’s constitution, one of the major clauses (number 45) says: “The Federal Government may, if it deemed necessary and expedient, make amendment in this constitution by way of repeal, substitution, omission, modification or addition of any provision thereof.”
In yet another clause (3), the patron may, from time to time, give to the Board general policy directions and the Board shall implement the same.”Moreover, the patron, who has not been elected by any forum of the PCB but automatically gets this position for being the prime minister of the country, also has the power to remove the PCB chairman and also to dissolve the most supreme body of the PCB — the Board of Governors — under special circumstances mentioned in the PCB constitution.
Furthermore, two members of the Board of Governors are to be nominated by the patron, too, and traditionally, one of them is elected as the PCB chairman.
t may be mentioned here that the ICC in the past has suspended the memberships of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Nepal, prior to the Zimbabwe suspension for the same reasons of government’s interferences. However, the ICC chose to look the other way when the Indian Supreme Court formed the famous Lodha Commission to look into the BCCI affairs and to investigate the charges of corruptions in the IPL edition held in 2013.Though then BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke had verbally asked then ICC chief executive Dav Richardson to write a letter to BCCI, showing concern over government’s interference after the formation of the Lodha Commission, Richardson refrained from it and insisted that BCCI should first write a letter to the world cricket governing body apprising it of the situation and asking for action.
Shirke had alleged that ICC chairman Shashank Manohar, who was also president of BCCI in 2013, had submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court, highlighting the threat of the ICC suspension. However, he is reluctant to take any action as ICC chairman at the moment.
The PCB, which is pondering further amendments in the existing constitution to incorporate some clauses to change the currentt domestic cricket set up, will be well advised to revisit the clauses that allow govt interference in order to avoid any threat of the ICC’s action in the future.
Morgan troubled by WC win, says not ‘fair to have result like that’
London: England captain Eoin Morgan admitted that he is troubled with the way the 2019 World Cup ended. England and New Zealand played out a match that was tied twice — first in regular play and then in the Super Over — and Morgan`s side won the title on the basis of their superior tally of boundaries in the match.
t think its fair to have a result like that when there
s very little between the sides," Morgan told The Times. "I dont think there was one moment that you could say:
That actually cost the game there. It was quite balanced.”
In what has since been described as the greatest World Cup final ever and even the greatest ODI match ever played, the method of finding the winner has come under almost universal criticism and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was hailed for the way he handled the defeat. Morgan is normally known for his clear-headed approach and has been credited with leading a sea change in England`s attitude towards the white ball cricket but even he admitted that he is struggling to make sense of what happened in the final.
m black and white. Im normally going:
I know. I was there, that happened. (But) I can
t stick my finger on where the game was won and lost. Im not sure winning it makes it any easier. It would be more difficult to lose, of course,” he said.
s no defining moment that youd say:
Yes, we thoroughly deserved it. It`s just been crazy.”
The match ebbed and flowed and there were times when one side looked as likely to win the game as the other. Morgan said that he has been speaking to Williamson, with whom he has played on a number of occasions in the Indian Premier League, about the game.
“I spoke to Kane over the last couple of days on numerous occasions and none of us has come up with a rational explanation as to the various times we gave them the game and they gave it back to us. Like me, he can`t get his head around everything,” he said.
The 32-year-old, however, agreed that the final was probably the greatest ever cricket match. “By a long way. I can
t think of a game thats come close. Madness. I should be cheery about it, shouldn`t I?” he said.