“But you have to give them credit because on his day Benteke is as good as any striker, and on their day Villa can counter attack as well as anybody. “We have to make sure come Thursday morning when we have everybody together again (after international duty) we put ourselves in the best possible position to win a home game next Saturday. “We’ve a side that has generally been able to pick itself up after a difficult period or result and to churn out a better result. “Now it’s how we respond, and we’ve a group of lads that generally responds very well.” With 10 matches of the campaign still to run, City remain four points above the bottom three and in the thick of the dogfight for survival. Hughton does not see that scenario changing, adding: “It’s still competitive. “If we win our home game on Saturday and other results go our way then it changes things again. It is very much like that. “It is very competitive, probably as competitive as I have seen the bottom half of the division, and I would imagine it will continue to be that way.” The surprise result had come off the back of a fine 1-0 home victory over Tottenham the previous weekend, and it is at Carrow Road where City will have to find comfort again. After a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal earlier this season, Norwich at least kept a clean sheet in their next game as they drew 0-0 with Cardiff on home soil. Following respective 4-0 and 7-0 hammerings at Manchester United and Manchester City over a five-day period, Hughton’s side responded with a 3-1 win over West Ham in front of their own fans. A 5-1 humbling at Liverpool preceded a 2-0 victory over West Brom, that one on the road, while an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at Fulham was followed by a 1-0 success over Hull at Carrow Road. So Hughton knows his players are capable of picking themselves up, dusting themselves down and bouncing back yet again, with Stoke the visitors on Saturday. “This result is a concern because our form has been good,” said Hughton. “Certainly on the back of some defensive displays where we have been better than we were earlier in the season, and after our performance against Tottenham. “So it’s a real body blow for us because that is not how we have been in recent weeks. After taking an early lead in their Barclays Premier League match at Aston Villa on Sunday, the Canaries were blitzed by a four-goal salvo from the home side over a 16-minute period in the first half, sparked by two goals in three minutes from Christian Benteke. As Hughton conceded after the game it was “a hammer blow” he “didn’t see coming”, and one that left him feeling particularly “sore”. Norwich boss Chris Hughton is fully expecting City’s latest thrashing to have another galvanising effect on his shell-shocked players. Press Association
Syracuse (4-3, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) completed a seismic upset, 27-24, against the nation’s second-best team, Clemson (6-1, 4-1) on Friday night in the Carrier Dome. The Tigers had skated by other top division foes Louisville, Virginia Tech and others, but fell to the Orange’s defensive pressure after SU knocked Clemson’s starting quarterback, Kelly Bryant, out of the game with what CU head coach Dabo Swinney called a concussion. The Orange’s win puts Syracuse on the cusp of a bowl bid. Published on October 14, 2017 at 2:43 am Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Coaches from Bolivia, Albania, Equatorial Guinea, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Kuwait and Vanuatu have alleged that the 2013 Ballon d’Or votes were rigged, according to Catalan outlet La Xarxa and and Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo. Via Danish paper BT and Norway’s Dagbladet (h/t 101 Great Goals), the aforementioned coaches all suggest their original votes were recorded and published differently from what they had initially submitted. Jorvan Vieira, who coaches the Kuwait national team, reportedly told La Xarxa (via BT), “I think there has been any fraud here. I voted for (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic.” That despite FIFA’s official record of the submissions showing that he voted for Lionel Messi as the winner, followed by Neymar and the eventual winner, Cristiano Ronaldo. The same applies to the coach of the Fijian national team, Juan Carlos Buzzetti. FIFA recorded his vote with Ronaldo in first position ahead of Franck Ribery and Robert Lewandowski. He also insists his votes have been amended, claiming, “I voted for Cristiano, Messi and Ribery. I have in no way voted Lewandowski. He is not on par with the other three.” But the harshest, most colourful of all the criticism came from Albania’s coach, Gianni De Biasi. He didn’t hold back in a statement (NSFW), telling Mundo Deportivo what he thought of the scenario after his first-place vote for Ronaldo apparently changed to one for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. “I gave five points to Ronaldo, three to Messi and one to Ibrahimovic. I did not give five to Ibrahimovic,” De Biasi said. “This is bullshit and lies.” These allegations are the second within a week which refer to the Ballon d’Or votes being doctored, as Qatar national coach Fahad Al Zarraa previously claimed his president forced him to vote for Ronaldo, as per sportsfan.com. The showpiece event saw Ronaldo pick up the gong for the second time in his career, staving off competition from Messi and Ribery, who accompanied him on the three-man shortlist. Whilst it would be difficult to deny that Ronaldo deserved the award, these emerging allegations will cast doubts over the validity of the vote, especially after FIFA extended the voting deadline until after Ronaldo’s one-man show in the World Cup playoffs, according to Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail. The extension only served to raise suspicions that FIFA were pushing for a Ronaldo win after Sepp Blatter’s unsavoury remarks about the Portuguese winger. The FIFA president claimed back in November that Ronaldo has “more expenses at the hairdresser” than his great rival Messi, per The Guardian. Ronaldo scored a sensational 66 goals in 56 games in 2013, per BBC Sport. He’s started 2014 in excellent fashion too, scoring four times in Real Madrid’s first five games of 2014, per WhoScored.