Pochettino refuses to shut down Man Utd rumours after PSG lose to Man City

By Sports Desk November 24, 2021

Mauricio Pochettino refused to shut down rumours he could become the next Manchester United manager after Paris Saint-Germain lost to Manchester City.

The Ligue 1 leaders took the lead at the Etihad Stadium but goals from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus secured a 2-1 victory for City and top spot in Champions League Group A.

The match has been overshadowed by speculation over Pochettino's future, with the former Tottenham boss said to be one of United's top targets to succeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager.

Despite insisting before the game that he was committed to PSG, talk has persisted that the Argentine is keen to return to his family in England and would relish the chance to take over at Old Trafford.

Speaking after his side's defeat in Manchester, Pochettino declined to rule out the prospect of leaving for United.

"The players are well aware of the situation," he said, as per L'Equipe.

"There are rumours in this environment, some positive, some negative. Now is not the time to talk about it.

"We have to improve in all aspects, all areas. We are improving. I'm happy with the process. There are things that are better now than a month ago. Little by little, the team will improve."

City looked the stronger side for much of the contest, finishing with 2.09 expected goals to the visitors' 1.04.

They had 16 shots to PSG's seven and 37 touches in their opponents' box while conceding only 10 as they largely limited the impact of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Pochettino accepted his side were second-best in the first half but felt the game was under their control when they held the lead.

"There were two halves," he said. "They started better. They were very aggressive in pressing. There were some good things but others that need to be improved.

"At 0-0 at half-time, we were able to solve some problems. We had the game under control at 1-0. I'm disappointed with the result. You have to progress every day."

Related items

  • Afridi and Root take ICC Cricketer of the Year titles Afridi and Root take ICC Cricketer of the Year titles

    Shaheen Afridi and Joe Root have been named the ICC men's Player of the Year and Test Cricketer of the Year for 2021.

    Pakistan fast bowler Afridi took 78 wickets in 36 internationals at an average of 22.20, including a career-best of 6-51 against West Indies in August.

    It was during Pakistan's run to the semi-finals of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup that the 21-year-old particularly impressed, taking seven wickets in six matches.

    Mohammad Rizwan, England captain Root and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson were also nominated for the prestigious award.

    While Root missed out on that accolade, he was voted the top Test cricketer for 2021.

    Root scored 1,708 runs in 15 matches, including two double centuries and a further four tons, in what was otherwise a disappointing year for England.

    Only Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006) and West Indies legend Viv Richards (1,710 in 1976) have scored more in a single calendar year.

    The 31-year-old saw off competition from New Zealand bowler Kyle Jamieson, Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne and India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

    "I am incredibly proud to receive this award," Root said. 

    "I am very humbled to be in the same breath as a number of wonderful players around the world and it means a huge amount to have got this award."

    Root scored more than three times as many runs as any of his team-mates last year, with Rory Burns (530) and Jonny Bairstow (391) next on the list.

    He is only the second Englishman to claim the accolade after Alastair Cook in 2011. 

    The award had been won by an Australian player on five of the last seven occasions it has been handed out, with Pat Cummins the most recent winner in 2019.

    Elsewhere, Afridi's team-mate Babar Azam was named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year on Monday after scoring 405 runs in six games at an average of 67.50.

    And fellow Pakistan star Rizwan was crowned men's T20I Cricketer of the Year on Sunday, with England's Tammy Beaumont claiming the women's equivalent.

    Rizwan, Babar and Afridi were also included in the ICC T20I Team of 2021, alongside the likes of Jos Butler, Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood.

    ICC Teams of the Year

    Men's T20I Team of 2021: Jos Butler (ENG), Mohammad Rizwan (PAK, WK), Babar Azam (PAK, C), Aiden Markram (SA), Mitchell Marsh (AUS), David Miller (SA), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL), Tabraiz Shamsi (SA), Josh Hazlewood (AUS), Mustafizur Rahman (BANG), Shaheen Afridi (PAK). 

    Men's ODI Team of 2021: Paul Stirling (IRE), Janneman Malan (SA), Babar Azam (PAK, C), Fakhar Zaman (PAK), Rassie van der Dussen (SA), Shakib Al-Hasan (BANG), Mushfiqur Rahim (BANG, WK), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL), Mustafizur Rahman (BANG), Simi Singh (IRE), Dushmantha Chameera (SL)

    Men's Test Team of 2021: Dimuth Karunaratne (SL), Rohit Sharma (India), Marnus Labuschagne (AUS), Joe Root (ENG), Kane Williamson (NZ), Fawad Alam (PAK), Rishabh Pant (IND, WK), Ravichandran Ashwin (IND), Kyle Jamison (NZ), Hasan Ali (PAK), Shaheen Afridi (PAK). 

  • Australian Open: Wound-up Medvedev through after 'crazy' fourth set Australian Open: Wound-up Medvedev through after 'crazy' fourth set

    Daniil Medvedev's temper threatened to boil over during his match against Maxime Cressy, as the world number two reflected on a "crazy" final set.

    Medvedev beat Cressy 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 on Monday to ensure his place in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

    The second seed is the fifth Russian man in the Open Era to reach the quarter-finals in Melbourne on multiple occasions, joining Yevgeny Kafelnikov (five), Nikolay Davydenko (four), Aleksandar Metreveli and Marat Safin (both three).

    Medvedev had it far from easy against the world number 70, who reached the final of the Melbourne Summer Set earlier this month, losing to Rafael Nadal, and the match lasted three hours and 30 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.

    Indeed, Medvedev was extremely tense in the fourth and what proved to be final set, as he squandered eight chances to break before finally doing so to nudge himself into a 6-5 lead. 

    His temper frayed at 2-2, however, with Medvedev shouting: "It's simply unbelievable how lucky he is. I've never seen anything like this in my life."

    Medvedev eventually served out the win, taking the first match point on offer, but the US Open champion knew he had been in a battle.

    "He really did [serve and volley] well," Medvedev said. "First set I had control, but the second set I didn't manage to break him but won the tie-break and just wanted to continue this way.

    "When I lost the third [set] and when I had eight break points in the fourth set, I was like, come on. Some of them I could have won, but he played well, but on the last one I played well.

    "It was not easy. If I didn't win the fourth [set] I'd have probably been in a difficult mental shape because I had so many breakpoints. Hell of a match. The fourth set was crazy."

    Overall it was a deserved win for Medvedev, who made only 11 unforced errors in contrast to Cressy's 49, and even if he only took three out of 12 break points, the 25-year-old offered up just one to his opponent, which the French-born American failed to capitalise on.

    Another annoyance for Medvedev was that he was again scheduled to play on Margaret Court Arena, rather than the crown jewel at Melbourne Park, Rod Laver Arena.

    "I really don't know what I should do to play on centre court here," he told reporters.

    Next up for Medvedev is a quarter-final tie against ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

    Medvedev has defeated the 21-year-old Canadian in all three of their previous meetings on the ATP Tour, including in his successful run to US Open glory last year, and in the ATP Cup earlier this month.

  • LeBron James 'in one of the best zones' of his career despite latest Lakers loss LeBron James 'in one of the best zones' of his career despite latest Lakers loss

    LeBron James does not plan on halting his scoring run after he finished with 25 points or more for a 17th straight game.

    James had a double-double but it was not enough for the fast-finishing Los Angeles Lakers to overcome his former side the Miami Heat on Sunday.

    Miami turned up the heat on Lakers coach Frank Vogel, with Los Angeles having now lost five of their last seven games after the 113-107 reverse.

    There was at least one bright note for the Lakers, who charged home with 37-24 points down the stretch to reduce the deficit.

    James finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. The veteran is averaging 29.0 points per game this season for the Lakers, who sit eighth in the Western Conference with a 23-24 record. That ranks him second in the NBA, behind Kevin Durant (29.3).

    A knee injury for Anthony Davis earlier in the season meant James has had to deliver, and he has certainly held up his end of the bargain. Indeed, across the last 17 games, only Joel Embiid (33.9) has averaged more than the 37-year-old's 32.5 points.

    "I don't need to score 30 a night, but I'm in one of the best zones offensively I've been in, in my career," James told reporters. 

    "And I don't plan on stopping. That's just how I feel. I feel fantastic. Shooting the ball extremely well. I didn't shoot the three-ball well tonight, but all eight of them felt great.

    "I'm shooting efficiently from the free-throw line, shooting efficiently from the field. I was very efficient at the rim. So I don't go into the game saying you got to score 30 or you guys don't have a chance to win the game. I just play the game. The scoring has been happening organically."

    Russell Westbrook provided able support on Sunday with 24 points and nine rebounds, but Vogel is looking forward to welcoming Davis back from injury, having said before the game that it will help share the workload.

    For his part, however, James has his eye on another milestone. The big one, in fact – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time points record of 38,387.

    "As I've continued to climb the ranks, it's natural, human to look at it and see where you are and see if it's even possible. See if you're capable," added James, who is 2,006 points behind the record.

    "Obviously health plays the most important part and then just continuing to give your everything to the game. I've never cheated the game. I've never wanted to feel like I was content.

    "I wanted to continue to get better and like you said, I will be within 2,000 points, when did you say? Soon? Well, listen, we'll see what happens. I've never chased a record in my life."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.