New Swansea head coach Francesco Guidolin believes six points in the first week of his arrival has given him plenty of hope they can escape relegation this season. “The first half and second half performance were very contrasting. “We created enough chances to win the game. The fearful aspect of our performance was a real shame.” The Toffees now have the worst home defensive record in the Premier League. “We haven’t found the right way of playing at home. That is the truth,” added Martinez. “The stats reflect a really poor defensive record at home. “We want to impress our fans, play attacking football and become a winning team but we are finding it tough to free ourselves.” England centre-back John Stones was at fault for Swansea’s first goal, leaving a backpass short, and had a poor game generally but Martinez defended the 21-year-old. “John is a young man who has a lot of pride in what he does,” he said. “What has happened with John and a few of our youngsters is they have been in the limelight and we forget they are young and need to be given space and time.” “Six points in two matches is very important for us because the table was not good,” he said. “Now it is not very good. I hope to have the possibility to go up in the table. “In this moment I am very happy. This is the first match in Premier League for me. “I dreamed of working in Premier League but I didn’t dream of winning the first match. “I must understand what happens in this day because I am surprised. It is new for me.” Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty was cancelled out by Jack Cork’s own goal after he diverted in Gareth Barry’s backheel before Andre Ayew’s deflected shot restored a lead the Swans comfortably held onto. Everton manager Roberto Martinez was critical of his players for the way they handed the initiative to their opponents, although the loss to injury of Muhamed Besic and Kevin Mirallas – ruling both out of Wednesday’s crucial Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Manchester City – inside the first half-hour disrupted their plans. “We were very slow in our performance – pedestrian – but two aspects affected our momentum which was the two injuries,” he said. The Italian was in the stands for Monday’s victory over Watford but played his part to the full on the touchline in the 2-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park, registering the club’s first back-to-back wins of the season. Swansea are now four points clear of the bottom three and Guidolin is looking upwards. Press Association
Mo Salah The Egyptian was thrown under the bus by critics for a solid but unspectacular start to the 2018/19 season.However, things have been looking up for him since the middle of October. The winger has scored eight goals and provided two assists for club and country and also managed to become the fastest player to ever reach the 50-goal mark for Liverpool.Additionally, Salah has been shortlisted for the prestigious BBC African Footballer of the Year award which he is widely expected to win for a second successive time.Salah’s combination of strong performances and his humble, down-to-earth demeanour have earned him praise from his fellow professionals. Brighton & Hove Albion’s Cameroonian defender Gaetan Bong believes even if Salah is not scoring, his attacking contribution is always a positive one.“He has everything, he’s top scorer,” Bong told BBC Sports. “He is a good player and good on the ball, strong and always working hard. You might not see it sometimes but when you are on the pitch, he is making a lot of runs, a lot of strong runs.”Veteran Ivorian attacker Gervinho (who was a candidate for this Player of the Month after becoming the top-scoring African in the Serie A this season) was a teammate of Salah’s at Italian giants Roma and believes the hard work the Egyptian puts in at the gym underscores his on-pitch brilliance.“Salah is a tough guy,” the Parma attacker told the Guardian. “Always calm and strong, with the mentality of a hard worker.“I’ll never forget his training sessions: very high rhythm, pushed like a madman, you watched him in amazement. He had a sort of positive effect – you saw Salah and wanted to work harder. Talent and sacrifice.”As does October’s Player of the Month, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose goal helped Arsenal beat Bournemouth this past weekend brought him level with Man City’s Sergio Aguero at the top of the Premier League scoring chart, while Riyad Mahrez (Man City), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli) and Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid) have also impressed.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Leading sports TV network, SuperSport’s pick for the November 2018 Player of the Month is Liverpool and Egyptian star, Mohamed Salah.Salah who has shrugged off his sluggish start this season is back to his signature show-stopping play manship.Salah helped Liverpool secure a 3-0 away win over Watford, which kept them in touch with Premier League pacesetters Manchester City. The 26-year-old opened the scoring at Vicarage Road to pave the way for an emphatic Reds victory, which also featured goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW: Cast of unknowns from Colorado face off with more familiar names in Boston. By Ronald Blum THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BOSTON – Jeff Francis looked at Fenway Park and sounded like the wide-eyed World Series rookie he is. “We will not apologize for winning quickly,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said to a roomful of laughter. Last year, of course, the Tigers fumbled and flopped after a six-day layoff and lost to the St.Louis Cardinals in five games – with a Detroit pitcher making an error every night. Teams took notice – a day ahead of today’s opener, Red Sox manager Terry Francona was at the cage running pitchers’ fielding practice. In some ways, the Red Sox have become the Yankees, an October fixture attracting national attention. Manny and his do-rag, Big Papi and Dice-K are TV staples. The Rockies? They haven’t been on a FOX Saturday broadcast since July 2004 and haven’t appeared on an ESPN Sunday night telecast since June 2002. “We’ve been called favorites since Day 1, and look at us,” David Ortiz said, “here we are dancing and just taking it easy. We just have the edge, the attitude to become champions.” Boston overcame a 3-1 deficit in the AL Championship Series to beat Cleveland. That was nothing compared to what the Red Sox did in 2004, when they became the first baseball team to bounce back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-7 postseason series, upending the Yankees. Then they swept the Cardinals for their first World Series title in 86 years, setting off a year of celebrations throughout New England. Now that the curse has lifted, there might be less pressure. But that’s not the Red Sox notion. “1918, I wasn’t even thinking about coming to life. I never paid attention to any of that,” Ortiz said with a smile. Boston took over the AL East lead for good on April 18 and ended New York’s run of nine straight division titles. The Rockies were fourth in the NL West at just 76-72 when their spurt began Sept.18. If not for two blown saves by San Diego’s Trevor Hoffman, they wouldn’t even have won the wild card and made their first postseason appearance since 1995. “We feel anonymous everywhere,” third baseman Garrett Atkins said. “They’re household names over there, and we’re just not.” Rockies names might not be known in most homes, but they are scrawled inside The Wall. Colorado came to Fenway in June, winning two of three and outscoring the Red Sox, 20-5, and some Rockies players partook in the ritual of affixing their names on the inside of baseball’s most famous fence. Boston was 51-30 at home during the regular season and 5-1 during the playoffs, benefiting from its accumulated knowledge of Fenway’s idiosyncrasies and ricochet patterns. “A lot of special things happen here,” Francis said. “It’s a special baseball place: the fans, the players, the team and the city.” Since its last win on Oct. 15, Colorado had workouts and simulated games. That only went so far. “The postseason, the World Series, you can’t simulate that,” right fielder Brad Hawpe said. “There’s nothing like that.” So enough of the talking. Time to play. Colorado already has been thinking ahead, perhaps obsessing. “There’s no getting away from it,” Hawpe said. “This is what you think about when you wake up in the morning; it’s the last thing you think about before you go to bed.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“I’m sure the Red Sox are used to this every day,” he said Tuesday, with more than a bit of awe, “but we’ve never seen anything like this, the bus pulling up into the parking lot, and the trailers and the satellite dishes.” Welcome to the show, Colorado Rockies, a black-and-purple clad club of Tulowitzkis and Torrealbas unknown to many fans even now, after their amazing run of 21 wins in 22 games. A team that didn’t even exist until 1993 navigated through the cracked corridors and cramped clubhouse of Fenway, then played catch in front of the 37-foot-high Green Monster in left and Pesky’s Pole in right. Infielder Clint Barmes plopped into a red seat in row CC to take it all in. Josh Beckett was set to start tonight’s opener for Boston, and Francis was slated to pitch for the Rockies. Much has been made of possible snow when the Series moves to Coors Field this weekend, but there was a 30 percent chance of rain for Game 1. With Colorado coming off a record eight-day layoff since sweeping Arizona in the NL Championship Series, there’s been a lot of debate about rust vs. rest – and what better place to discuss rust than quirky old Fenway Park, which opened in 1912 and is filled with nearly a century of baseball sounds and smells.