Mee heads Burnley up to eighth with win at Palace | SPORTS
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Burnley moved up to eighth in the Premier League after a header from captain Ben Mee earned them a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Monday.

Sean Dyche’s side move above Arsenal and Sheffield United and on to 45 points, level on points with Tottenham Hotspur, who have played a game less.

Despite being depleted by injuries and with another incomplete and inexperienced substitute bench, Burnley were well on top in the first half with Dwight McNeil influential in a central role.

Palace were stronger after the break but fell behind shortly after the hour mark when Mee launched himself at an Ashley Westwood free-kick and Palace keeper Vicente Guaita could only push the ball in off the post.

Roy Hodgson’s team piled on the pressure in the final minutes but Burnley, who have lost just once in the last ten games, hung on to secure the three points which will give them hope of a push towards possible Europa League qualification.

“There’s a long way to go because of how thin our squad is. There are no excuses though and the mentality is good, the physicality has to remain strong,” said Dyche.

The win was particularly impressive for Burnley who had one fit striker in Matej Vydra and had to bring on reserve centre half Kevin Long when midfielder Jack Cork went down injured.

Dyche has been critical of the club’s chairman Mike Garlick after three players left the club last week when their contracts ran out but he brushed off a question about his future.

“Everyone keeps talking about my future apart from me. I’m getting on with my job as I always do – I’m still here,” he said.

“We have a group that give everything and we saw that again tonight. When you think before lockdown, in the 100 days, the fabric of the club has changed somewhat. We have a group here who will never go under and we have some youngsters here who can see that.”

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Taye Taiwo Moves To Cyprus

Shechin Dashe

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Cypriot First Division outfit Doxa Katokopias have announced the signing of former AC Milan and Marseille defender Taye Taiwo on a one-year contract.

Supper eagles defender recently played in the Finnish top-flight with RoPS during the 2019 season where he scored a goal in 27 league matches.

The renowned left-back, who started his professional career at Nigeria Professional Football League side Lobi Stars. Enjoyed a nomadic career across Europe, playing in England, Italy, France, Turkey, Switzerland and Finland.

Doxa ended the 2019-20 Cypriot First Division season at the base of the table after the league was abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic in May.

Taiwo’s signing comes as a defensive reinforcement for Costas Sakkas’s side after their disappointing campaign where they lost 15 of their 23 league games.

“The Association, Doxa Katokopia announce the start of co-operation with the Nigerian football player Taye Taiwo,” the club announced.

Read Also ; Leicester need to ‘reset mentally’ to reach Champions League

“He chose to fight with the number 33. We welcome Taye Taiwo to the Doxa family and wish him every success.”

Started his European career with Marseille at the age of 20 in 2005. There he won the Ligue 1 title and the French League Cup during his six years at the club.

Moved to AC Milan in May 2011. Though he was unable to secure regular first-team action at the club. That which forced him to switch to QPR on a short-term loan in January 2012.

The 35-year-old continued his loan sojourn at Dynamo Kyiv for the 2012-13 season before he left Milan for Bursaspor. The move was on a three-year contract in the summer of 2013.

Two years in the Turkish Super Lig club before teaming up with Finnish outfit HJK . That was in 2015 where he spent a year.

He had brief stints at Swiss club Lausanne-Sport and Swedish outfit AFC Eskilstuna. Before returning to Finland to join RoPS in 2018.

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Leicester need to ‘reset mentally’ to reach Champions League

Shechin Dashe

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Brendan Rodgers says Leicester need to “reset mentally” to stay in charge of their Champions League destiny after their slump continued with a 2-1 loss at Everton.

The Foxes remain third in the Premier League but are fading, claiming just two points from their three games since the Premier League resumed.

They were fortunate fourth-placed Chelsea failed to take advantage, also losing on Wednesday, but in-form Manchester United and Wolves are just three points behind with six games to play.

“I know we have a very young group, a young squad that is developing, but if you want to consistently compete at the very top end of this table it is a mindset,” said Leicester boss Rodgers.

“I think we have shown over the course of the season we have got the talent but there is no doubt that we have to have a reset mentally if we are going to go and achieve what we want to achieve.”

Rodgers said his team were still in a “fantastic” position.

“We have been terrific for a lot of the season,” he said. “Our level has been high and somehow we need to work our way back to that.”

Everton took an early two-goal lead at Goodison Park through Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson, who scored from the penalty spot.

Kelechi Iheanacho pulled one back for Leicester after the break but the visitors could not find an equaliser despite applying plenty of pressure.

For Everton it was a result that maintained their late charge for a Europa League spot. With seven points from their past three games, Carlo Ancelotti’s side have seventh place in their sights.

Everton defender Michael Keane felt beating Leicester was a declaration of intent.

“We want to get into Europe and this was a must-win,” said Keane.

“I don’t think we showed our full quality on the ball,” he added. “But the game was all about the result and we’ll take that all day.”

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Manchester City thrash champions Liverpool

Shechin Dashe

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Jurgen Klopp admitted Manchester City are the one side capable of “smashing” his newly-crowned Premier League winners after Liverpool’s first match since becoming English champions ended in a 4-0 thrashing at the Etihad.

City sent a warning shot of their intentions to take the title back next season as Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden all struck before halftime to inflict just Liverpool’s third league defeat in 71 games.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s own goal rounded off a miserable night for Klopp’s men, who could have conceded many more in the second half.

The gap at the top of the table between the two remains 20 points, but Liverpool’s charge to better a series of records set by City two seasons ago was stalled on a chastening night for the champions.

“I wanted to see a brilliant attitude and I saw that, the boys were really fighting. Nobody was like ‘hey I am coming here, we don’t care’. We care a lot. That is how it feels, it feels not good and it should not feel like it is,” said Klopp.

“If there is a team in the world that can smash us like this it is probably City but we will come again.”

City began the evening by giving a guard of honour to their opponents, but showed little respect once the action got underway.

“I saw them in the guard of honour and they were so focused, they didn’t even say ‘thank you’. That is why they are champions of Europe and the Premier League,” said City boss Pep Guardiola.

“They drank a lot of beers in the past week but they arrive here without beers in the blood to compete against us.”

The early signs suggested Liverpool would be able to pick off a leaky City defence that has cost them their title.

Mohamed Salah struck the post and Sadio Mane headed wastefully wide as chances came and went for the visitors.

“We had our moments where we were really close to make something,” added Klopp. “They used our mistakes, we didn’t use their mistakes.”

Liverpool’s first big error came when Joe Gomez pulled Sterling to the ground inside the area and De Bruyne converted the resulting penalty.

Sterling was suspended by England manager Gareth Southgate after he squared up to Gomez in the canteen on international duty the day after Liverpool’s 3-1 win over City at Anfield earlier in the season.

‘NEXT SEASON STARTED TODAY’

The City forward wisely did his talking on the pitch this time as he scored for the first time in a competitive match against his old side by turning inside Gomez and sending a shot through the defender’s legs as Liverpool were caught on the counter-attack.

“We had a test against the current champions to make a point and we did brilliant,” said Sterling. “Next season started today and we did well.”

Foden has been hugely impressive since the Premier League’s restart from a three-month layoff and the 20-year-old combined with De Bruyne for a brilliant one-two to leave Andy Robertson floundering before lifting the ball over the advancing Alisson Becker to make it 3-0.

But for the Brazilian goalkeeper and some wayward finishing, Liverpool could have been on the end of an embarrassing scoreline early in the second half as Gabriel Jesus fired straight at his international teammate, Sterling saw a shot deflected just wide and Virgil van Dijk cleared off the line from Foden.

There was a touch of fortune when City’s fourth did arrive as Sterling’s shot was heading wide before being turned into his own net by Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Riyad Mahrez had a fifth goal in stoppage time ruled out by a VAR review for handball as City just failed to match the 5-0 scoreline they inflicted on Liverpool at the Etihad in 2017.

But City more than laid down a marker and also showed why they are among the favourites to win the Champions League for the first time when European football returns in August.

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