The Evening Standard
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith fumes at ‘farcical’ Man City goal as Tyrone Mings laments ‘nonsense’ offside law

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith fumes at ‘farcical’ Man City goal as Tyrone Mings laments ‘nonsense’ offside law

January 21, 2021

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith was furious with the officials after his side’s defeat at Manchester City on Wednesday night.
With their first team playing their first game since New Year’s Day after a Covid-19 outbreak, Villa competed well at the Etihad Stadium before eventually succumbing to a 2-0 loss courtesy of Bernardo Silva and an Ilkay Gundogan penalty.
However, the opening City goal that broke that stubborn resistance from the visitors was hugely controversial, with Rodri coming from an offside position as he stole possession from Tyrone Mings before teeing up Bernardo 11 minutes from time.
The goal sparked furious debate and was lamented as the incorrect decision by pundits and even initially BT Sport’s referee analyst Peter Walton, though refereeing body PGMOL later explained why it was the right call to allow the goal to stand, with Mings said to have deliberately played the ball when he controlled it on his chest, and Rodri therefore not deemed to be gaining an advantage.
Smith was sent off for his protestations and slammed the decision in his post-match press conference.
He said of City’s opener: “It was a farcical decision. I’ve not seen a goal like that given. It needs to be looked at. I don’t think anyone in this stadium thought it was a goal.”

Roberto Bautista Agut apologises after likening Australian Open quarantine to prison with wifi

Roberto Bautista Agut apologises after likening Australian Open quarantine to prison with wifi

January 21, 2021

Former Wimbledon semi-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut has been forced to apologise after likening quarantine conditions before the Australian Open to prison “but with wifi”. 
The world no13, also a previous quarter-finalist in Melbourne, voiced his frustration after 72 players were confined to a hard quarantine in their hotel rooms for two weeks after arriving in Australia. 
The Spaniard drew comparisons with being behind bars in a television interview. He said: “It’s the same but with wifi. These people have no idea about tennis and about practice courts, and it’s a complete disaster. The control of everything isn’t Tennis Australia, it’s with the government. 
“You can work in the room but it’s not the same. I feel very, very tight and I cannot imagine staying two weeks like this. It’s really, really tough. I will have to work a lot mentally.” 
Players have been vilified for their criticisms of the situation, including world no1 Novak Djokovic after requesting players in hard quarantine be moved into private houses with tennis courts and have their 14-day isolation period reduced.

Novak Djokovic hits back after criticism over Australian Open quarantine demands

Novak Djokovic hits back after criticism over Australian Open quarantine demands

January 21, 2021

Novak Djokovic has issued a detailed and staunch defence of his requests to Australian Open organisers after being heavily criticised for his attempts to ease hard quarantine restrictions for players.
Earlier this week, the men’s world no1 was labelled a “tool” by Australia’s Nick Kyrgios after reports that he had contacted tournament director Craig Tiley with a list of “demands” including reducing the period of quarantine and moving as many players as possible to private houses with tennis courts to enable them to train as well as permission for coaches and trainers to visit their players, and be housed on the same floor of their hotel.
Premier of Victoria Dan Andrews subsequently made it publicly clear that there would be no changes or special treatment for the more than 70 tennis players in the midst of a 14-day lockdown ahead of the Australian Open that followed positive Covid-19 tests being recorded on their respective flights into Melbourne.
Djokovic took to social media on Wednesday to lament that his “good intentions” for his fellow players had been “misconstrued as being selfish, difficult, and ungrateful”.

Harlequins and head of rugby Paul Gustard agree to part ways after poor start to season

Harlequins and head of rugby Paul Gustard agree to part ways after poor start to season

January 21, 2021

Harlequins have parted company with head of rugby Paul Gustard.
The decision has come with Harlequins sitting seventh in the Premiership table after six rounds of matches.
That is where the club finished last season too, while they suffered defeat in the Premiership Cup Final to Sale Sharks.
Gustard, who joined Harlequins in 2018 after previously working under Eddie Jones with England, has now left The Stoop during his third season in charge and Quins says he has left with immediate effect to “enable him to pursue other opportunities”.
For the remainder of the current season, Billy Millard, general manager of rugby, will oversee the existing experienced coaching team of Jerry Flannery, Nick Evans and Adam Jones.  
Millard has overseen management of the coaching team and all of rugby operations since joining Harlequins in 2018.

Premier League table: Latest standings today for 2020/21 EPL season

Premier League table: Latest standings today for 2020/21 EPL season

January 21, 2021

Manchester United returned to the top of the Premier League table with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Fulham on Wednesday night.
Leicester City provisionally went top on Tuesday by beating Chelsea 2-0 to pile the pressure on Frank Lampard.
Tuesday’s other game saw West Ham beat West Brom 2-1 to leapfrog Frank Lampard’s Blues on another day of top-flght drama.
Wednesday’s first game saw Man City take top spot off Leicester with a controversial 2-0 win over Aston Villa, though United fought back from a goal down to beat Fulham at Craven Cottage and reclaim first place.
Liverpool are in action on Thursday night in what could be a tricky Anfield test against Burnley given the champions’ recent struggles in front of goal.

Antibody drug ‘can prevent Covid-19 illness in nursing homes’

Antibody drug ‘can prevent Covid-19 illness in nursing homes’

January 21, 2021

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has said its Covid-19 antibody drug can prevent illness in residents and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care locations.

It is the first major study to show such a treatment may prevent disease.

Residents and staff who got the drug had up to a 57% lower risk of getting Covid-19 compared with others at the same facility who got a placebo, the company said.

Among nursing home residents only, the risk was reduced by up to 80%.

Five killed in blaze at Indian producer of Covid-19 vaccine

Five killed in blaze at Indian producer of Covid-19 vaccine

January 21, 2021

At least five people have died in a fire that broke out at a building under construction at the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, officials said.

The company said the blaze would not affect production of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Mayor of Pune city, Murlidhar Mohol said five bodies were found in the rubble after the flames were extinguished by firefighters.

Mr Mohol said the victims were likely construction workers.

He said the cause of the fire had not been determined and the extent of damage was not immediately clear.

Amazon offers to assist with US Covid-19 vaccine distribution

Amazon offers to assist with US Covid-19 vaccine distribution

January 21, 2021

Amazon is offering its colossal operations network and advanced technologies to assist President Joe Biden in his vow to get 100 million Covid-19 vaccinations to Americans in his first 100 days in office.

In a letter to Mr Biden, chief executive Dave Clark wrote: “We are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts.”

Amazon said it has already arranged a licensed third-party occupational healthcare provider to give vaccines on-site at its facilities for its employees when they become available.

Scott Parker proud of Fulham - but rues ‘big moments’ going for Manchester United

Scott Parker proud of Fulham - but rues ‘big moments’ going for Manchester United

January 21, 2021

Scott Parker believes Fulham have what it takes to secure Premier League survival after a tight defeat against Manchester United, but was left to rue “big moments” going against his side.
Fulham have faced a tough run in their last three games, taking on Tottenham, Chelsea and United. Parker’s men secured a fine 1-1 draw at Spurs, and impressed against both Chelsea and the Red Devils before falling to narrow one-goal defeats at Craven Cottage.
The Cottagers went ahead through a fine Ademola Lookman goal early on against United on Wednesday night, but Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba struck to send Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team back to the top of the table.
The 2-1 loss to United leaves Fulham four points adrift of safety having played a game more than 17th-placed Burnley, but Parker feels there is plenty of optimism to take from their recent performances.
“I’m really pleased but I’m disappointing at the same time, which shows how far we’ve come,” Parker told BBC’s Match of the Day. “We’ve held our own against the top teams in the last few games.”

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes football’s all-time top goalscorer

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes football’s all-time top goalscorer

January 21, 2021

Cristiano Ronaldo has officially become football’s all-time leading goalscorer after firing Juventus to Italian Super Cup glory against Napoli.
Portugal international Ronaldo registered the 760th strike of a remarkable career in the 64th minute to help reigning Serie A champions Juve claim the trophy with a 2-0 win.
The 35-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward moved one goal ahead of Czech player Josef Bican, who officially managed 759 strikes between 1931 and 1955.

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