Ibrahimovic earns Man Utd late draw against Liverpool

first_imgZLATAN Ibrahimovic’s late equaliser earned Manchester United a point they fully deserved after a typically thunderous encounter with Liverpool at Old Trafford.Liverpool led through James Milner’s 27th-minute penalty, awarded after Paul Pogba inexplicably handled a corner as he went up to challenge Dejan Lovren.Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was Liverpool’s hero with superb first-half saves from Ibrahimovic’s free-kick and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, as Jurgen Klopp’s side put up stern resistance and threatened on the break.It looked like the visitors were going to hold on and move back to second in the Premier League, but United finally forced the goal they merited when Antonio Valencia reacted first when substitute Marouane Fellaini’s header came back off the post, crossing for Ibrahimovic to head home off the bar.Liverpool are now in third place, seven points adrift of top-flight leaders Chelsea, while United – whose nine-match winning run in all competitions came to an end – are now 12 points off the top.Reds boss Klopp had no hesitation in restoring Mignolet in goal, despite the midweek heroics of Loris Karius in defeat in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg at Southampton.Klopp has decided, for now at least, that the Belgium international is his first choice – and Mignolet demonstrated exactly why on Sunday.Mignolet’s decision-making has often been questioned, but he has always been capable of making outstanding saves. And so it proved in this draw.He rescued Liverpool twice in the first half with a brilliant reflex save from Ibrahimovic’s fierce free-kick and a decisive advance from goal to make a one-handed block from Mkhitaryan.Klopp has had to make big decisions with his keepers this season – and this one was fully justified by Mignolet.(BBC Sport).last_img read more

Former England captains criticise Rabada ban

first_img(REUTERS)-Three former England captains united on Saturday to condemn the one-match ban given to South African paceman Kagiso Rabada.He will miss the second Test starting on Friday after receiving a fourth demerit point in 24 months for what the International Cricket Council called “inappropriate language” towards batsman Ben Stokes in the first test at Lord’s on Friday.The three previous points were all for “deliberate physical contact” against Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella in February.“It seems a nonsense to me that those two things combined have resulted in a test match ban,” Michael Atherton told Sky Sports viewers after watching film of both incidents.“Three demerit points for that slight bit of contact with Dickwella and then yesterday when it’s hardly directed at Ben Stokes.”“For me it’s ridiculous,” said one of Atherton’s predecessors Ian Botham.“It’s a physical game and you’re talking about heat-of-the-moment exchanges. That’s just a nudge.”A third former captain, David Gower, agreed.“It’s highlighted by the fact that those points from a previous offence mean he’s not going to be playing in the next test match of the series. It is a very, very harsh punishment.”South Africa are already missing paceman Dale Steyn for the whole series with a shoulder injury and on Saturday fellow seamer Vernon Philander was taken to hospital for an x-ray after being hit on the hand during his innings of 52. The x-ray showed no bones were broken.He was last man out as South Africa were dismissed for 361, 97 behind on first innings.last_img read more