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Dutch captain Wijnaldum happy to score in any position

CHORZOW, Poland (Reuters) – New Netherlands captain Georginio Wijnaldum said on Tuesday he was not particularly bothered about what position he played in the team despite returning to a role behind the strikers that produced two goals for him at the weekend.

Wijnaldum was used in the traditional No. 10 role for the Nations League game against Bosnia in Amsterdam on Sunday when he took his tally of international goals to 20 to move behind Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart on the list of all-time scoring midfielders for the Netherlands.

He played a deeper more controlling role in last Wednesday's 1-1 friendly draw with Spain but was pushed up for the Bosnia match were he scored twice inside 13 minutes to set the Dutch on the way to a first win under new coach Frank de Boer.

"Of course everyone has their favorite position, but I’m not that concerned with it,” he told a news conference on Tuesday.

“I think that is more something for the media. I was happy that I was able to score again and that we as a team were able to win the match."

The 30-year-old Wijnaldum’s 20 goals come after 69 caps in a much more fruitful return than Sneijder with 31 goals in 134 caps and Van der Vaart who netted 25 goals in 109 appearances.

"I'm not really a natural finisher," Wijnaldum added.

He will lead the Netherlands again on Wednesday in the Nations League clash away to Poland.

“It will be an open game. Both teams still have a chance, added the Liverpool midfielder.”

However, Italy lead Group A1 by one point from the Dutch and are a further point above third-placed Poland, with Wijnaldum acknowledging the Italians were favourites to come top as they meet bottom side Bosnia away at the same time on Wednesday.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as the United States, China, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Germany. Love to Travel and report daily on destinations reopening with a focus on Domestic travel within Europe, North America and the Caribbean. A great fan of Bali, Rhodes & Corfu. Love to follow the English Premier League , the German Bundesliga and the Spanish La Liga.

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Football

Schalke gloom deepens with 4-1 loss at Gladbach

MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany (Reuters) – Borussia Moenchengladbach scored twice in each half to crush visitors Schalke 04 4-1 on Saturday and pile more misery on the Royal Blues as their winless run in the league stretched to 25 successive matches.

Schalke, looking for their first victory since beating Gladbach 2-0 in January, kept their cool after Florian Neuhaus had put the hosts ahead, threading a shot through three defenders and keeper Frederik Ronnow in the 15th minute.

Benito Raman drew them level five minutes later, volleying in a Mark Uth cross as Manuel Baum’s team initially showed more spark than in recent matches.

But in-form Gladbach, who host inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday, struck again before the break with Oscar Wendt finding far too much space on the left to beat Ronnow.

Marcus Thuram fired in on the rebound in the 52nd minute to make it 3-1 and kill off any Schalke resistance.

Hannes Wolf drilled in the fourth goal in the 80th after the Foals had missed a bagful of chances to add to their tally.

Gladbach moved up to 15 points in seventh place. Champions Bayern Munich lead the title race on 22 following their 3-1 victory over VfB Stuttgart. Schalke are bottom of the standings on three.

Standings

#
Club
M
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pt
1
w w w d w
>
9
7
1
1
31
13
18
22
2
w l w d w
>
9
6
2
1
18
6
12
20
3
w w w w w
>
8
5
3
0
16
9
7
18
4
w w l w l
>
9
6
0
3
21
9
12
18
5
w d w w w
>
9
4
5
0
14
8
6
17
6
d w w w d
>
9
4
4
1
21
11
10
16
7
w w l d w
>
9
4
3
2
17
14
3
15
8
l d d d d
>
9
2
6
1
14
16
-2
12
9
l w l d d
>
9
3
3
3
11
12
-1
12
10
d d d d l
>
9
2
5
2
13
15
-2
11
11
d d d d l
>
9
2
5
2
17
15
2
11
12
l d l l d
>
8
2
2
4
14
15
-1
8
13
l l d w l
>
8
2
1
5
15
18
-3
7
14
d l l l d
>
9
1
4
4
10
20
-10
7
15
d l d l w
>
9
1
3
5
10
15
-5
6
16
l l l d w
>
8
1
1
6
10
21
-11
4
17
l l l l l
>
9
1
1
7
6
19
-13
4
18
l d d l l
>
9
0
3
6
6
28
-22
3

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)

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Football

Liverpool held, City on fire and Everton lose again

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at Brighton after conceding a VAR-inspired stoppage-time penalty while Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick in Manchester City's 5-0 crushing of Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti's Everton suffered their fourth defeat in five games after a Raphinha goal gave Leeds United a 1-0 win at Goodison Park.

West Bromwich Albion celebrated their first win of the season as they beat bottom team Sheffield United 1-0 to move out of the bottom three after Conor Gallagher scored his maiden Premier League goal.

Liverpool moved top of the table, for a day at least, opening up a one-point lead over Tottenham Hotspur who are at Chelsea on Sunday.

But Juergen Klopp's team, beaten by Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday, were left raging against VAR after they had two goals ruled out by reviews and saw two points slip away when referee Stuart Attwell awarded a penalty near the end after going to the pitchside monitor.

Brighton & Hove Albion's Pascal Gross slotted home his spot- kick after Attwell decided to punish Andy Robertson for kicking the foot of Danny Welbeck while clearing.

Liverpool had taken the lead through a well-taken strike from in-form Diogo Jota, the Portuguese forward's ninth goal in all competitions since joining the champions from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Mohamed Salah had a goal chalked off for offside by VAR and substitute Sadio Mane had a fine header disallowed after a review spotted he had been offside.

While Klopp accepted the VAR decisions — choosing instead to vent his frustration on the television broadcasters' decision to make his team play in the early Saturday game — skipper Jordan Henderson said he would like to see the technology removed.

"I don’t want to speak for anybody else but in my opinion I would (scrap VAR)" Henderson said. "I just want to play football as normal," said the England midfielder.

Manchester City also had a goal ruled out by VAR but will have barely cared given they had already taken a 5-0 lead by the time Gabriel Jesus's effort was overturned.

It was the fourth straight 5-0 win for City against Burnley at the Etihad and Sean Dyche's side were fortunate to leave with that scoreline.

SLACK DEFENDING

Slack defending from the Clarets allowed Mahrez to score twice early in the game — both times with his trademark move in from the flank followed by a left-foot shot into the far corner.

Benjamin Mendy headed in the third goal before the break and Ferran Torres added the fourth before Mahrez completed his hat-trick with a rare header.

City had managed just 10 goals in eight games before Saturday's rout and manager Pep Guardiola was relieved.

"We have to score, that’s why they are here and play up front. The most important thing now is we have almost 21 players fit," he said.

Brazilian winger Raphinha scored his first goal for Leeds United in another game which saw goals disallowed.

Everton's James Rodriguez and Richarlison had the ball in the net but both efforts were ruled out for offside, and Leeds striker Patrick Bamford suffered a similar fate.

Raphinha appeared to be looking for a pass but he checked back, driving the ball between the legs of defender Ben Godfrey and in at the foot of the far post in the 79th minute.

The two teams managed 38 goal attempts in an incident-packed match and the win moved Leeds to 11th place in the table on 14 points. Everton are in sixth place on 16 points.

"This is a more difficult period," said Ancelotti, "In a difficult period you can see how your players react — see their personality and character. I still have confidence. We need more consistency."

In the late game, Gallagher netted an opportunist 13th-minute winner for West Brom as Sheffield United missed a string of chances in an action-packed match.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Clare Fallon and Ed Osmond)

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Football

Everton must do better, says captain Holgate

LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) – Everton captain Mason Holgate said his side must do better following a run of poor performances culminating in a 1-0 home defeat by Leeds United on Saturday.

Everton had two goals ruled out for offside before Raphinha struck the winner for Leeds in the 79th minute as the Toffees slumped to their fourth defeat in five Premier League games.

"We can't go the entire season winning every single game. We've been beaten in a few games now, which we're not happy with. We know we have to do better than we're doing and the inconsistency needs to be dropped," Holgate, leading Everton for the first time, told Sky Sports.

Both sides threw caution to the wind in an end-to-end match that featured 38 attempts on goal, with Holgate and his Everton colleagues the busier of the two defences as Leeds created 23 of them.

"We know what kind of game they like to play – man to man, intensive, back and forth. I think we got dragged into a sling-off, it’s not a game we wanted to get dragged in to," Holgate said.

"It comes down to who's going to nick one at the end, (and)unfortunately they've nicked one. We played into their hands, which was disappointing," he added.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti must pick his sixth-placed side up before next Saturday's visit to struggling Burnley.

"We've had more problems in recent games, we have to be focused in every game. We are in a good position in the table still, but we have to have more consistency at the back," Ancelotti told Sky Sports.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor, editing by Ed Osmond)

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Football

Pirlo wants Juventus to be less dependent on Ronaldo

BENEVENTO, Italy (Reuters) – Juventus need to be less dependent on Cristiano Ronaldo, coach Andrea Pirlo said on Saturday after they again failed to win a league game without their talismanic 35-year-old.

"It does not seem to me that the other teams where Ronaldo played were not also dependent on him," said Pirlo following the 1-1 draw away to Benevento.

"He is a catalyst of attacking moves, of goals and it is natural that when a player is as strong as he is, the team's development is based on him.

"But sometimes, it happens that he is not there and we have to improve in these matches."

Ronaldo, who was rested for Saturday's match, has missed two other Serie A games this season and they also ended 1-1, away to Crotone — another promoted side — and Verona.

Pirlo was frustrated that his team conceded an equaliser in first-half stoppage time, and that they allowed Benevento to knock them out of their stride in the second half.

"This is not the first goal we have conceded at the end of a half," he said. "We have to improve and understand that the games are not all the same and that the moments are not all the same, and have to be dealt with differently.

"When games get chaotic and messy, we have to play clean, good football and take control of the match. Otherwise we struggle, as we did today."

Benevento coach Filippo Inzaghi, on the other hand, was delighted as his team picked up a first-ever Serie A point against Juventus at the third attempt.

"If we had made better use of a few counter-attacks, we could even have won it," he said. "To get a result with Juve, everything has to go well for you, but the team did really well."

(Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Clare Fallon)

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Thai League 1

# Club M W D L Pt
1
Bangkok Glass
13 11 2 0 35
2
Port FC
12 9 2 1 29
3
Chiangrai United
14 8 2 4 26
4
Ratchaburi
13 8 2 3 26
5
Sukhothai FC
14 6 2 6 20
6
True Bangkok United
12 6 1 5 19
7
Chonburi FC
13 6 1 6 19
8
Buriram United
12 5 2 5 17
9
Muangthong United
12 5 2 5 17
10
Suphanburi
13 5 2 6 17
11
Pattaya United
12 3 4 5 13
12
Police Tero
12 3 4 5 13
13
Prachuap
13 3 4 6 13
14
Nakhon Ratchasima FC
13 2 4 7 10
15
Rayong FC
13 2 1 10 7
16
Trat FC
13 2 1 10 7

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Nong Bua Pitchaya
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Ranong United
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Navy FC
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Chainat
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Customs United
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Kasetsart FC
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