'What we do isn't rocket science': how FC Midtjylland started football's data revolution

Since 2014, the Danish champions have been the poster child for using metrics to gain an advantage on the competition Think of it as the Moneyball derby. Not so long ago, the idea a club could gain a vital edge using mathematical models – let alone employ a theoretical physicist or track key performance indicators (KPI) – would have left real football men choking on their meat pies and Bovril. But when Liverpool host Midtjylland in the Champions League on Tuesday, it will not only be a meeting between the champions of England and Denmark, but one between the twin vanguards of the sport’s analytics revolution.Midtjylland became the movement’s poster child in 2014 when they started using deeper metrics – such as expected goals and pre-assists to an assist – to better evaluate player performances, find undervalued bargains and to shatter myths and easy narratives. Continue reading...
Guardian - 25.10.2020 09:00

Adam Lallana: 'I won't be fighting to prove myself after all the setbacks at Liverpool'

After a stop-start final few seasons at Anfield, the midfielder has played in every Premier League game for Brighton this campaignWhen it came to leaving Liverpool, a heart-to-heart with Jürgen Klopp made everything that bit easier for Adam Lallana. After six seasons, four trophies, three runners-up medals – and a couple of years as Klopp’s next-door neighbour – it was time for Lallana, consistently heralded by the Liverpool manager as one of the most important players of his reign, to move on.“After I had those couple of days where I realised it was going to be my last season at Liverpool, I made sure I treated every day, every training session like it was my last,” he says. “I enjoyed the last six, seven, eight months as much as I did any year while I was at the club.” Continue reading...
Guardian - 24.10.2020 23:30

Blackburn score Barcelona-esque goal with the help of Liverpool loanee Harvey Elliott, who also nets first senior goal in 4-0 win over Coventry

Blackburn turned into Barcelona as they scored a stunning tiki-taka goal against Coventry, with a little help from Liverpool teenager Harvey Elliott. The 17-year-old only arrived from Anfield on a season-long loan last week, and he has quickly proved why he’s so highly valued by the Reds. Elliott was one of the stars of the […]
TalkSport - 24.10.2020 21:02

Ajax set new Eredivisie scoring record with 13-0 trouncing of hapless Venlo

Lassina Traoré scores five goals and makes three assistsPrevious record was Ajax’s 12-1 win over Vitesse in 1972Ajax set an Eredivisie record when they scored 13 goals past 10-man VVV-Venlo to move to the top of the league on Saturday, with seven different players on the score sheet. The previous record for an Eredivisie game was also held by Ajax after they beat Vitesse 12-1 in 1972. Related: European roundup: Lewandowski hits hat-trick as Bayern thrash Eintracht Continue reading...
Guardian - 24.10.2020 19:29

Chelsea denied clear penalty at Manchester United as Harry Maguire channels his inner Khabib Nurmagomedov with no VAR check

Chelsea appeared very unfortunate not to be given a penalty when Harry Maguire hauled down Cesar Azpilicueta in the first half at Old Trafford on Saturday. With the game level at 0-0, Manchester United’s defender emulated the wrestling skills of Khabib Nurmagomedov to prevent Azpilicueta from getting to the ball at a corner. No goals […]
TalkSport - 24.10.2020 19:25

Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric seal Real Madrid victory over Barcelona

By the end of what may well be his last clásico at the Camp Nou, Lionel Messi wore a look that has become all too familiar. Luka Modric had just stepped away from Neto to score a third Real Madrid goal and secure victory, the ball hitting the net and shouts cutting through the silence and heard above the helicopter that whirred overhead.Barcelona had much of the ball and may have felt that they were the better side but they could not find a way through when they sought the lead or a way back when they trailed, and ultimately were beaten again, goals from Fede Valverde, Sergio Ramos and Modric taking their rivals to a 3-1 victory. Continue reading...
Guardian - 24.10.2020 18:26

Sergio Aguero set for another spell on sidelines as Pep Guardiola confirms Man City star suffered hamstring injury in West Ham draw

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed Sergio Aguero is injured AGAIN after lasting just 45 minutes against West Ham. The striker was substituted at half-time and replaced by Phil Foden, who then scored within just five minutes to cancel out Michail Antonio’s stunning opener, with the match ending 1-1. It was unclear whether Aguero […]
TalkSport - 24.10.2020 16:27

Why Edinson Cavani gives Manchester United ‘perfect combination’ ahead of debut against Chelsea

Former Manchester United assistant Steve McClaren is excited to see Edinson Cavani finally take to the field a Red Devils shirt, saying he gives the team a ‘perfect combination’ up front. The Uruguayan is expected to make his first appearance for the club against Chelsea on Saturday, as United aim to complete a brilliant week […]
TalkSport - 24.10.2020 14:45

Marcus Rashford's free school meals campaign 'incredible', says Jürgen Klopp

Liverpool ‘show solidarity’ with Manchester United player‘It is a bit of a shame he has to do it but it is wonderful as well’Jürgen Klopp has praised Marcus Rashford for showing the kind of leadership the UK government is failing to provide with his “absolutely incredible” campaign for free school meals. The Liverpool manager joked it was “tricky” to speak so highly of the 22-year-old England striker because he plays for arch-rivals Manchester United.Rashford has been waging a high-profile campaign to ensure the poorest children in the country do not go hungry outside of term time, being awarded an MBE earlier this month for his work. Continue reading...
Guardian - 24.10.2020 00:37

People expect Aubameyang to score every game at Arsenal, says Arteta

Striker has had only six shots in league this season‘He needs to get the ball more around the box’Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal must find ways to involve Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang closer to goal if the striker is to replicate his prolific return of previous seasons.Aubameyang scored a poacher’s effort to defeat Rapid Vienna on Thursday within 13 minutes of coming on. It was his first goal since the opening game, against Fulham, since when his pickings in Premier League fixtures have been slim. He has managed six shots in the top flight all season and, from a starting position on the left of the attack that has borne fruit in previous campaigns, has struggled to pose his usual level of threat. Continue reading...
Guardian - 23.10.2020 23:30

Aston Villa v Leeds United: Premier League – live!

Premier League updates from the 8pm BST kick-off Ten things to look for in the Premier League this weekendAnd feel free to email your thoughts to Scott here 7.07pm BST Aston Villa: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Trezeguet, Barkley, Grealish, Watkins.Subs: Steer, Hourihane, Traore, Nakamba, Engels, Elmohamady, Davis.Leeds United: Meslier, Dallas, Ayling, Koch, Alioski, Struijk, Helder Costa, Klich, Rodrigo, Harrison, Bamford.Subs: Poveda, Roberts, Casilla, Raphinha, Hernandez, Davis, Shackleton. 4.48pm BST Saturday 20 August 2011. Goals from Gabriel Agbonlahor, Emile Heskey and Darren Bent give Alex McLeish’s Aston Villa a tidy 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers, and after two matches they find themselves top of the Premier League table. But the very next day, Manchester City win 3-2 at Bolton Wanderers, leapfrogging to the summit, and Villa have never been back there since.They could end that long wait this evening. A draw tonight, at home to Leeds United, woul...
Guardian - 23.10.2020 20:07


Evans Saves M.P. To Eliminate Khachanov In Antwerp

Daniel Evans produced an impressive comeback to earn his spot in the European Open semi-finals on Friday. The British No. 1 saved match point to beat third seed Karen Khachanov 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-4 in Antwerp. Evans served with power and precision in the second-set tie-break to escape danger at 5/6 and force a third set, before capitalising on a series of errors to establish an early lead in the decider. Evans dropped just two points behind his first serve in the final set (14/16) and moved up the court well to finish the match in two hours and 40 minutes. Evans improves to 2-0 in his ATP Head2Head series against Khachanov. Earlier this year, the 30-year-old claimed another three-set comeback win against the Russian at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. [WATCH LIVE 1] The Brit has performed well against the biggest stars on the ATP Tour this year, compiling a 7-6 record against Top 20 opposition in 2020. Alongside two wins against Khachanov, Evans has also claimed two victo...
ATP - 23.10.2020 19:07

Raonic Books Dimitrov Clash In Antwerp

Milos Raonic produced a fine serving display to reach his fifth quarter-final of the year on Thursday, beating Cameron Norrie 7-5, 7-6(4) at the European Open in Antwerp. The fifth seed landed 19 aces and dropped just four points behind his first serve (34/38) to overcome the Brit in one hour and 49 minutes. Raonic is through to his second straight quarter-final on indoor hard courts, having reached the semi-finals at last week’s St. Petersburg Open (l. to Coric). [WATCH LIVE 1] Raonic improves to 19-8 this season and will face Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals. Dimitrov will enter his sixth ATP Head2Head encounter against the Canadian with a 3-2 record, but Raonic won the pair’s most recent clash at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open. Raonic is attempting to capture his first ATP Tour title since beating Roger Federer to win his eighth tour-level trophy at 2016 Brisbane. The World No. 19 has reached seven finals since that triumph, including this year’s Western & Southern Open championshi...
ATP - 22.10.2020 15:05