Ten-man Newcastle registered their first point of the new Barclays Premier League season after fighting out a disappointing 0-0 draw with Aston Villa. The game at Villa Park was one of few real chances, particularly in the first half, with Magpies midfielder Remy Cabella sending one wide when he might have done better. The visitors had further opportunities just after the break, with Daryl Janmaat having a header pushed over by Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan and firing a shot just off target. Magpies substitute and debutant Siem de Jong was then denied by a decent Guzan save towards the end, before Mike Williamson was sent off in the dying seconds having collected two yellow cards in quick succession. While Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will take some comfort from the performance and outcome – which halted the Tyneside outfit’s five-game away losing streak from the end of last season – there was little to cheer Villa manager Paul Lambert as his side rarely threatened. Watched from the stands by England boss Roy Hodgson, it was Villa who actually appeared likelier to score early on, with Gabriel Agbonlahor having a shot blocked by Williamson in the fifth minute. Williamson nodded tamely wide at the other end, then diverted a Villa cross to the Newcastle back post, where Charles N’Zobgia could only head it onto the roof of the net. Yoan Gouffran suffered an embarrassing moment soon after as he completely mis-kicked while trying to convert a flicked-on Magpies corner. Former Newcastle man N’Zogbia looked more potent in the 17th minute as he curled a free-kick narrowly wide. The visitors then saw a free-kick of their own sent high over the bar by Jack Colback, before Cabella passed up a good opportunity in the 25th minute, shooting wide while off-balance after the ball deflected his way in the Villa box from a cross. It proved to be the clearest-cut chance of a half which saw the Villa fans raising their voices to chant Roy Keane’s name every now and again, particularly when the assistant manager made his feelings about the on-field proceedings known in animated fashion. Press Association Andreas Weimann showed some intent for the hosts, seeing a shot blocked and a cross into the danger zone go unconverted, and team-mate Fabian Delph then lofted an effort over from the edge of the D. For Newcastle, Emmanuel Riviere failed to make the most of a through-ball by Cabella as his weak shot was gathered by Guzan. The deadlock was closer to being broken shortly after the interval when Williamson nodded back across the area to the diving Janmaat, whose header was parried over by Guzan. Janmaat then arrowed a strike just the wrong side of the top corner with Guzan at full stretch, and the away team’s pressure continued as a delivery dropped nicely for Williamson in front of goal, only for the the defender to become the latest player to completely fluff an attempted finish. Both sides subsequently brought summer signings on for their debuts, Carlos Sanchez replacing N’Zogbia and De Jong being introduced for Vurnon Anita, before Philippe Senderos headed a free-kick harmlessly off-target for the hosts. Lambert then threw on Darren Bent for Kieran Richardson. The former Sunderland striker was making his first competitive Villa appearance since returning from a season-long loan spell with Fulham, and he was soon trying to make his mark, directing a header onto the top of the net. Another Newcastle substitute, Ayoze Perez, scuffed over in the 84th minute and De Jong then almost snatched three points in the 88th when Villa failed to deal with a bouncing ball. It came to the Holland international, who lashed a shot at goal, but Guzan was alert to parry before diving on the ball. The visitors were reduced to 10 men in stoppage time when Williamson picked up his second booking in the space of just a few minutes following a challenge on Delph.
Gilbreath nominated for CLASS AwardUSC All-American senior guard Briana Gilbreath has already received plenty of accolades for the work she does on the court. Now she’s being recognized for what she does in the classroom and community, too.Gilbreath has been nominated as one of 30 candidates for Lowe’s Senior Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School Award.The award honors a senior with notable achievements in four areas of excellence — community, classroom, character and competition, according to the award’s websiteGilbreath boasts a 3.11 GPA and was selected to the Pac-10 All-Academic second team for the 2010-2011 season, according to a press release.The Texas native has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Dribble for a Cure, Relay for Life and many other community organizations in her time at USC.Gilbreath also serves as vice president of Fresh Faith, a Christian student organization she helped found that provides outreach, fellowship and events on campus.Last season the senior captain became the first member of the women’s basketball team to be named an Associated Press All-American since 1997. Gilbreath was selected as an honorable mention.The two-time All-Pac-10 selection became the 22nd player in program history to eclipse 1,000 career points while leading USC in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks as a junior.In January, a national media committee will select 10 finalists from the list of 30 candidates.Those 10 players will be voted on by fans, coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award, which will be announced at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in April.—Will LawsBarkley nominated for Wuerffel awardJust one day after being named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week — the third such honor this year and fourth of his career — junior quarterback Matt Barkley was named a finalist for the 2011 Wuerffel Award, given to the player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding athletic and academic achievement.The award, presented by the All Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was first awarded in 2005 and is named after Danny Wuerffel, a former Heisman Trophy winner who led Florida to the 1996 national championship.After a six-year NFL career, Wuerffel was praised for his community service and humanitarianism across the country.Wuerffel expressed his satisfaction with the list of finalists.“Once again, I’m amazed at the quality of character and accomplishments we have in our finalists,” Wuerffel said in a statement. “These young men have succeeded both on and off the field in extraordinary ways. It’s going to be a tough process for the selection committee to pick a winner.”For Barkley, the announcement serves as just another in a list of awards he is included on. The junior signal-caller has lead USC into a three-way tie atop the Pac-12 South standings and has enjoyed his finest season since arriving on campus in 2009.This season Barkley has put up career highs across the board. His 28 touchdown passes through nine games already rank as 17th on the Pac-12 single-season list, and last Friday he broke his own USC record with six touchdown passes against Colorado.These stellar numbers and inspiring leadership have earned him the honor of being one of the semifinalists for both the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s best player, and the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the nation’s best quarterback.A starter since his freshman year, he currently ranks fourth on USC’s career completions list and total offense list.In 33 starts, he has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 29 games and has thrown for at least 200 yards in 22 career games. —Nick Selbe
2 The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 Rashford scored twice for England over the international break, against Spain and Switzerland gameday cracker Most read in Premier League whoops Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update After he found the back of the net against the Swiss, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher, working in his role as pundit for Sky Sports, suggested Rashford should leave Man United for the sake of his career.He later joined talkSPORT to explain his view, suggesting Rashford does not deserve to play at centre-forward for the Old Trafford club as he is not as good as Romelu Lukaku. However, the question raised was whether Rashford would ever be able to prove he is better than Lukaku unless he leaves United and joins a club such as Everton where he will be guaranteed minutes as their first-choice striker.Mourinho used his press conference ahead of the Red Devils’ Premier League clash against Watford to defend his use of Rashford, who he calls ‘an incredible player with an incredible number of appearances and an incredible number of minutes played at the highest level’.You can read the full rant below…“For the Manchester United supporters, I think it’s important that they have the right idea of how things are in reality. The most important thing of all is the kid [Marcus Rashford] is a good kid, the kid is a good player and knows what Manchester United did for him, starting in the Academy and then with Mr [Louis] Van Gaal’s support and my support and the club’s support and the new contract and the new [no.10] shirt and being selected for every single match.“Since I’ve been here, Marcus Rashford has been selected for every single match – he was never, not even for one day, out of selection because of my decision or because he was injured or, like in this case, because he is suspended. He was never, never out of selection, so he knows and that’s the most important thing. But again, media is very important and I think it’s important the Manchester United supporters know the truth. That’s why I’m going so specific about these numbers. revealed changes tense predicted silverware Jose Mourinho launched an impassioned defence of Marcus Rashford in his pre-Watford press conference.Rashford, the forward, has been the subject of a big discussion this week having scored in both of England’s recent international fixtures. He started and finished the loss to Spain and the defeat of Switzerland, meaning he has played more minutes of international football (180) than club football (121) this season. 2 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT SORRY REVEALED “Some of the people, everybody knows that they have double salaries, they also work for other clubs and when they also work for the clubs, of course they are not independent and of course they conduct things in the direction they want to conduct things. That’s obvious and that’s human, and that’s natural. It’s not tactical but I accept clearly. The ones that wake up in the morning and the first thing that comes into their minds is Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, I feel sorry for them because there are much more interesting things to wake up and be happy about in the morning than to speak immediately about us and about football.“In 2017/18, he played 35 matches in the Premier League, eight in the Champions League, five in the FA Cup including the final, three League Cup matches and the UEFA Super Cup. He played a total of 52 matches with 2,676 minutes. If you divide that into 90 minutes, it gives 29.7 matches. So, with me in two seasons, he had 105 appearances, 5,744 minutes, 63.7 matches of 90 minutes, including five finals. So, the people that are speaking and speaking about these minutes, I think they are a bit confused. Marcus Rashford is not Dominic Solanke, he’s not Ruben Loftus-Cheek, he’s not Dominic Calvert-Lewin – he is Marcus Rashford, a Manchester United player with an incredible number of appearances and an incredible number of minutes played at the highest level in the best possible competitions. So, Manchester United supporters, [it is] for you and just for you to know what we’re doing with Marcus Rashford, with Luke Shaw, with Jesse Lingard, with Scott McTominay. Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? Rashford has started only one Premier League game this season, the opening day defeat of Leicester Guardiola-inspired tactics: Is this how Arsenal will line up under Arteta? How Everton could look in January under Ancelotti with new signings Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? “If you don’t mind to lose a couple of minutes with me, I’m going to do something, not for you but for the United fans, because I think I owe myself to the United fans to share two minutes with you. In the 2016/17 season, Marcus Rashford played 32 Premier League matches, 11 Europa League matches, including the final, three FA Cup matches, six League Cup matches including the final and the Community Shield. He had 53 appearances, but if you want to take minutes played, he played 3,068 minutes and, if you want to divide that into 90 minutes of matches, he played 34.2 matches of 90 minutes in 2016/17.“Speaking about Marcus, I think I can expect that on Sunday I’m going to be highly criticised for not playing him because some of the boys are really obsessed with me and, I think, have a problem with some compulsive lies. So I can expect on Sunday, some of them will wake up in the morning and always the first thing that comes to their mind is Jose Mourinho.“So I can imagine I’m going to be criticised for not playing Marcus, but it’s not my fault. He is suspended, so probably we should remind them that he’s suspended and cannot play. Performances with England, of course I am happy. He played well, he competed well, he scored and especially in a period where he comes with some sadness after his suspension. It was very good that he did that.”Watford vs Manchester United is LIVE on talkSPORT.Click here to listen to full commentary of the Premier League clash, kick-off 17:30 latest