This is a nice upgrade for the Wild

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This is a nice upgrade for the Wild

Повідомлення xusuwen96 » 13 січня 2018 06:41

BARCELONA, Spain -- Lionel Messi ended Barcelonas run of three straight losses and kept it in the Spanish league title chase by scoring a late free kick to complete its 2-1 comeback win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. Messis 75th-minute goal answered some of the criticism the clubs all-time leading scorer had received for his lacklustre performances in the teams recent losses in the league, Champions League and Copa del Rey final. Barcelona was on its way to another defeat when Aritz Aduriz scored in the 50th, provoking a smattering of white handkerchiefs in the Camp Nou stands, but Pedro Rodriguez equalized when he slotted in Alexis Sanchezs scuffed strike in the 72nd. Barcelona still needed defender Javier Mascherano to block Mikel Ricos point-blank try in injury time to protect the three points after Cristian Tello had wasted one of numerous opportunities to put the result beyond doubt. "After the first half I thought that this wasnt to be our day after missing so many chances," said Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino, whose job probably depends on Barcelona catching Atletico to defend its title. "But we kept fighting. We played with a lot of heart to overcome a difficult week and a game that had turned against us. Messi defends himself on the pitch and I am happy for him." Barcelona moved provisionally into second place, four points behind leader Atletico Madrid. Madrid is two points behind Barcelona but with a game to play. Messi set up his winner after earning a foul on the edge of the area, and the Argentina forward used his left foot to finally beat Gorka Iraizoz after the goalkeeper had denied him twice. While not exactly his electrifying old self, Messi was active creating scoring chances from the start, but Alexis Sanchez sent Pedros pass off the bar from close range in the 38th. Barcelonas attack was working. Its defence, however, showed the same frailties that have plagued it in the second half of the season. Adurizs beautiful bicycle kick crashed into the post before goalkeeper Jose Pinto palmed away Markel Susaetas follow-up at the half-hour mark. The patience of Barcelonas fans began to fray when Bartra lost the ball near his area and Aduriz expertly drove the ball into the corner of the net. And when Messi sent the ball wide one-on-one against Iraizoz a collective groan filled the stadium. But Pedro was finally able to steer the ball in when Dani Alves began a move from the right flank to start Barcelona on its way to a much-needed victory. "We knew that after all the opinions and criticism that we have received that we had to do our job and be professionals," Mascherano said. "We have to hold on to that small hope that if we win our games we can then see what happens. We cant just let (Atletico and Madrid) slip up and not be there." Bilbaos loss put its hold on fourth place and the last Champions League in danger after Sevilla closed the gap to three points by thrashing Granada 4-0, with the Basques hosting the Andalusian side next round. Sevilla, which opens its Europa League semifinal against Valencia on Thursday, eased past Granada thanks to Diego Mainzs own goal and goals by Kevin Gameiro, Stephane Mbia and Victor Machin. Celta Vigo outclassed Almeria with a 4-2 away win as forward Manuel "Nolito" Agudo netted a double, and Paulao scored one goal and set up another, but both for the wrong team, as bottom-side Real Betis slumped to a demoralizing 3-1 defeat at Rayo Vallecano. Celta kept Almeria in the relegation zone thanks to Nolitos brace and goals by fellow forwards Charles and Fabian Orellana, while Rafina set up two scores. Paulaos nightmare began in the 14th when he left his back pass woefully short of reaching goalkeeper Adan Garrido, and Rochina Raixes poached the ball to roll it in. The Brazilian defender followed that mistake by clearing a cross into his own net in the 27th. Paulao asked to be substituted and was replaced five minutes later, with the Rayo fans in Vallecas Stadium politely applauding him to show their support. Betis was left on the brink of relegation, 10 points from safety with four games to go. Terry Mills Jersey . 5 Trade Deadline is drawing closer and teams will be deciding on whether to buy or sell. Grant Long Jersey . For the first time all night, as the Raptors were on the clock to make the 20th overall selection, no one had the slightest idea what was about to happen. No leaks, no whispers, nothing. http://www.basketballpistonsauthority.c ... rsey-c-13/. Darren Collison and Blake Griffin scored 23 points apiece and the Clippers beat the Suns 112-108 Wednesday night, their fourth win in a row and 17th in the last 19 games. Custom Detroit Pistons Jerseys . Make the extra pass, take care of the ball, play defence and get more out of his bench. Detroit Pistons Jerseys . -- LaMarcus Aldridge returned to the Trail Blazers lineup, happy to know that things didnt go awry without him.There were rumours throughout the NHL season that the Minnesota Wild would be a free agent destination for a particular top goal-scoring winger and, when free agency opened, they got their man. Numbers Game looks at the Wild signing Thomas Vanek. The Wild Get: LW Thomas Vanek. Vanek, 30, has been one of the most prolific goal-scorers in the game. Since 2006-2007, his 252 goals ranks fourth, behind Alex Ovechkin, Jarome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk. Vanek is a four-time 30-goal scorer who has scored at least 20 goals in each of the last nine seasons. Only Ovechkin and Rick Nash have managed that same feat. So, with that goal-scoring resume, Vanek should have been incredibly appealing as a free agent, but there was the small matter of his slump in the playoffs that left a sour taste for some. Vanek had eight points in 10 games, through Game Six of the Boston series, but fell flat after that, managing two assists and a total of eight shots on goal in the next seven games. He played under 15 minutes in each of his last eight playoff games. For a season in which he played a career-high 19:21 per game, with the Sabres, Islanders and Canadiens, that role reduction made it clear that Vanek would be moving on from Montreal. This following a season during which he scored 15 points in 18 games with the Habs, giving him 68 points in 78 games while moving around the Eastern Conference. Which brings us to Minnesota, which had been linked to Vanek pretty much from the get-go of his contract year. Vanek played college hockey at the University of Minnesota. His wife is from Minnesota. The Wild would have Dany Heatleys $7.5-million cap hit coming off the books. Former Sabres teammate Jason Pominville was playing well for Minnesota. It was all lining up for Vanek with the Wild. Ultimately, nothing really changed that. Maybe a great playoff would have given Vanekk more leverage on the open market, but he didnt sign a break-the-bank deal, inking for $19.dddddddddddd5-million over three years. The $6.5-million annual cap hit is actually less than Vaneks previous contract, but when a player has a preferred destination, and particularly when he has earned a boatload of money in his career already (more than $57-million in his career, according to Cap Geek), there is an opportunity for a team to get him for less than the top price on the market. That Vanek was willing to accept a three-year term is a clear indication that Minnesota was his preferred location. When it comes to his game, Vanek doesnt use his size (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) very effectively, aside from when hes in front of the net, where he positions well for tip-ins, deflections, screens, etc. Throughout his career, Vanek hasnt been much of a puck possession player, varying up and down a little bit in relative terms from year to year, but Vanek has always been a high-percentage finisher in his own right and consistently had high on-ice shooting percentages (which includes others on the ice with him in 5-oin-5 play), so hes going to bring offence to Minnesota. Depending on how the Wild want their lines to shake out, Vanek should have either Mikael Granlund or Mikko Koivu -- two pass-first playmaking centres -- setting the table for him and if Vanek is getting opportunties -- he had a career-high 3.18 shots on goal per game last season -- take 25 goals to the bank, with 30 or 35 possible at the top end. This is a nice upgrade for the Wild, who made some noise in the playoffs and have added a premier goal-scorer to their mix and have done so without spending too much in order to get him. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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