Van Gaal said “too many” of his players underperformed, but refused to point any fingers. “I think that not only the goals are telling something about Robin Van Persie, I think also his performance: he was one of only three players on the pitch of Manchester United who were good, or maybe very good,” said Van Gaal. “He had a great influence on the result. Until now that is his best performance. “Too many players were not good. “There was a range of course between good and bad, but they were not good. “Normally you have six, seven, eight who are good and three in that other range. “But today there were too many players in that range who were not good, I believe.” Saints levelled through Graziano Pelle, but slipped to their third consecutive defeat, leaving manager Koeman furious “the better team” lost. Van Gaal offered a thinly-veiled barb at his long-term adversary, taking first blood in the Premier League battle against his former friend. Van Gaal once mentored Koeman into coaching at Barcelona, but the pair’s feud has now lasted 10 years. “Of course if you are the better team you deserve more, but believe me it is always the goals that are counting,” said Van Gaal. “When we played the first six or seven matches, we never won and we were always the better team. “In that time I didn’t say anything about that. You have to learn that also.” Koeman was left to rue another defeat against high-profile opponents, after the 3-0 home loss to Manchester City and 1-0 reverse at Arsenal. The former Holland full-back refused to address Van Gaal or United directly, but admitted “everything is s*** because we lost”. “We did everything, we created chances, but we made mistakes as well,” said Koeman. “Maybe they made more mistakes than us, but they have players who handle those kinds of mistakes, and that was the difference. “Because on football and chances, I think we deserved more. “It’s easy in my opinion, we did not lose against Man United tonight, we lost by ourselves. “Of course it’s always difficult, because you’re the better team, and again you have to fight against 1-2 down. “After that moment I think we didn’t play well, but that’s the difference. “At this level, detail makes the difference in football. “The score is 1-2 and you can talk much longer about who played football, which team pressed, but everything is s*** because we lost.” The Old Trafford boss questioned former United defender Neville’s credentials in claiming the Red Devils “got away with murder” with a scrappy victory at St Mary’s. Robin van Persie’s double edged United home, with Van Gaal only satisfied with three of his stars’ performances. Neville condemned United’s patchy performance on social media and on Sky Sports, claiming Sunday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool could be “like The Dog and Duck versus The Red Lion”. “The former player of United?” asked Van Gaal when quizzed on England coach Neville’s comments. “That’s an English expression? Hmm: maybe (United got away with murder). “He can say everything because he is an ex-legend, but as an ex-legend, or a legend, you have to know what you are saying. “You can interpret: make an interpretation of that. “It’s not so difficult to make an interpretation, when I say he has to pay attention to his words.” Van Gaal claimed Van Persie’s “best performance” in his short managerial stint at United sealed a victory his side barely deserved. The former Barcelona boss hauled off youngster Paddy McNair in the 39th minute and was forced to rearrange his side with Saints pressing continuously. Press Association Louis van Gaal launched a three-pronged attack on Gary Neville, his own players and long-term foe Ronald Koeman after Manchester United’s 2-1 win at Southampton.
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It has been a great season for Liverpool’s stars.Chelsea 2 Man City 1London, UK | THE INDEPENDENT | Liverpool have won their first Premier League title, after Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Manchester City on Thursday guaranteed them the Trophy.The Reds’s 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Wednesday night extended their lead in the table to 23 points, forcing their nearest pursuers Manchester City to have to win at Stamford Bridge to keep the title race alive.The 2-1 defeat for City at Stamford Bridge ensures Jürgen Klopp’s side cannot mathematically be caught in the table.It means Liverpool have secured the club’s 19th league title, ending a 30-year wait following their previous success in 1990.In an unprecedented campaign, the club have claimed the championship earlier than any other side in Premier League history, doing so with seven games still to be contested.The Reds equalled a top-flight record of 18 successive victories – and also set a new landmark for number of consecutive league home triumphs, with the win against Palace their 23rd in a row.Their record for the season so far stands at 86 points accumulated after 31 matches played, with 28 wins, two draws and one defeat. Liverpool have now been crowned champions of England in eight different decades (the 1900s, 1920s, 1940s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and the 2020s); this is more than any other club.Which records have they set? Best start everWhen Liverpool reached 61 points from their opening 21 matches, it was the most a team had ever accumulated at that stage in any of Europe’s top five leagues.They went on to extend their record, winning their following six fixtures to rack up 79 points from their first 27 matches before losing at Watford.Most points won over 38 matchesWith their 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur on 11 January, Liverpool set a record of 104 points from 38 Premier League matches, beating the 102 achieved by Manchester City and Chelsea, ending in 2018 and 2005 respectively.Biggest lead at the topLiverpool have had a 25-point lead this season, the biggest ever in English top-flight history.Most home wins in a rowLiverpool’s 3-2 victory over West Ham United on 24 February was their 21st consecutive Premier League home win, beating Man City’s record of 20, achieved between 2011 and 2012.They extended this record to 22 with the win over AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on 7 March.Share on: WhatsApp
The teams the Steelers are battling with are the Broncos (8-6), Ravens (8-6), Jaguars (7-7), Dolphins (7-7), Jets (7-7), Texans (7-7) and Titans (7-7).The Ravens looked impressive as they easily defeated the Bears 31-7 to stay ahead of the Steelers and make this weekend’s showdown at Heinz Field enormous for both teams. This has become one of the biggest rivalries in the NFL and no game has been bigger for these two teams than this weekend, which will just about eliminate the loser. Who knows, maybe all the other contenders will lose, again.The Dolphins have been one of the hottest teams in the league of late but they ran into an even hotter team in the Titans and went down to a 27-24 overtime loss. The Titans after starting 0-6 with Vince Young on the bench having gone 7-1 since the owner forced the coach to start him. This is a team no one wants to see in the playoffs.The Steelers almost had their typical fourth quarter meltdown as the Packers came roaring back to take a 36-30 lead with only minutes left, after outscoring the Steelers 22-6 in the fourth quarter to that point. The offense put together one of its most impressive drives of the season, a 12- play, 86-yard drive, ending with the sensational 19-yard touchdown reception by Mike Wallace from Roethlisberger that looked a lot like the play in which Santonio Holmes helped win the Super Bowl. The Steelers ended the game much like they began, with a touchdown pass to Wallace. They opened the game with a 60-yard strike to Wallace who outran his defender, but still had to come back for the under thrown ball for the touchdown. He only had two catches in the game, both for scores.“He made plays when given the opportunity, not that he’s had a bunch of opportunities and sometimes, it’s like that,” said coach Mike Tomlin. “It’s about what you do with them when you get them. He played big. He played older than a rookie for us today which was needed.”It took the best game of the season from Roethlisberger for the Steelers to pull it off. The defense faltered, and Tomlin decided to try an on-side kick, that failed, deep in Packer territory, which led to a Green Bay score that most thought was the game.The 503 yards racked up by Roethlisberger was a Pittsburgh record. He was 29 of 46 with three touchdown passes. The running game was all but abandoned with Rashard Mendenhall picking up 38 yards on just 11 carries and Willie Parker 22 yards on just six carries. However, Mendenhall was very active in the passing game as he had six receptions for 73 yards. Of the six players grabbing those 503 yards, Hines Ward led the way with seven catches for 126 yards, which put him over 1,000 for the year for the sixth time in his career; Heath Miller had seven catches for 118 yards, a personal best, and he also broke the record for tight end receptions for a single season. Holmes had three catches for 77 yards.Aaron Rodgers, who’s rapidly becoming one of the brightest young quarterbacks in the league, picked the Steelers defense apart for 383 yards on 26 of 48 passing and three touchdowns. Young Greg Jennings had eight catches for 118 yards, including an 83 yard touchdown catch that erased the 60-yarder by Wallace, pulling the Packers even, and tight end Jermichael Finley had nine catches for 74 yards. The defense held running back Ryan Grant to just 37 yards on eight carries.Once again the defense looked weak, primarily the secondary with rookie Joe Burnett playing in place of William Gay. It would be hard to play any worse than Gay has in the past eight games.The win ended the Steelers five-game losing streak Right now the Indianapolis Colts (14-0), San Diego Chargers (11-3), Cincinnati Bengals (9-5), and New England Patriots (9-5) pretty much have the divisions sewn up. Only the Bengals could possible fall, if they lose both of their remaining games and the Ravens win both of theirs. Stranger things have happened, especially when dealing with the Bengals. The Steelers were able to avoid a fourth quarter collapse to keep their slight glimmer of a playoff birth alive with a last second touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace giving them a thrilling 37-36 victory over the 9-5 Green Bay Packers. Now they must prepare for conference rival Baltimore (8-6).With the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos all losing, the Steelers stayed alive, but they will have to win out against the Ravens and the Dolphins, and hope the teams ahead of them for the wild card berth continue to lose. PLAY OF THE GAME— Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Mike Wallace catches a touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in front of Green Bay Packers’ Josh Bell (26) with time running out in the fourth quarter Dec. 20, in Pittsburgh. The Steelers won 37-36.