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Man United set to sack Mourinho and pay £20m compensation

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Jose Mourinho: his time may be over in Manchester United

Jose Mourinho: his time may be over in Manchester United

Jose Mourinho has lost the confidence of the Manchester United board and is set to be sacked this weekend no matter the result of the match against Newcastle United today.

Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is the favourite to succeed Mourinho, who is set to receive compensation of around £20million. Michael Carrick could be put in temporary charge.

However, Mourinho insisted he is the man to turn Manchester United’s ailing season around, disputing the impending sack report by Daily Mirror.

United are struggling in 10th place in the Premier League, without a home win in any competition since the opening weekend of the season.

According to the Mirror, Mourinho has lost the confidence of the board with “senior United sources” telling the paper that the Portuguese coach’s nearly two-and-a-half-years in charge will end whatever the outcome of the league game against the Magpies.

Tuesday’s goalless draw against Valencia in the Champions League — a match where United struggled to live up to their fans’ expectation of attacking football — also meant former Chelsea boss Mourinho had gone four home matches without a win for the first time in his managerial career.

He has repeatedly and publicly berated United’s players this season, suggesting in Tuesday’s programme notes they had lost their “dignity” in a 3-1 league loss at West Ham last Saturday.

Mourinho has in turn come for stinging criticism from ex-players, with former United midfielder Paul Scholes accusing him of “embarrassing” the club.

The manager has responded by claiming United overachieved last season in finishing second, 19 points behind champions Manchester City, adding he always expected this campaign to be more difficult.

Asked at his pre-match press conference on Friday if he felt he had taken United as far as he could last season, Mourinho said: “No. This team can do much better than what it is doing. The team will do much better than what it is doing.

“If you want me to repeat (what I said earlier this week), I repeat. I said last season was a fantastic season for us.

“And if you want something more, in pre-season I also said that this season was going to be very difficult.”

The 55-year-old Mourinho defended himself in the press conference, called for the earlier-than-usual time of 8:00 am which lasted for eight minutes and 29 seconds, and consisted of just 649 words

He gave short answers to most of the questions put to him, including when asked why it was so difficult to get players working together with team spirit. “Because sometimes things are not just in the manager’s hands,” he replied.

Mourinho rejected suggestions his squad were struggling for confidence.

“No, I think we have enough potential to do better than what we are doing in the Premier League,” he said.

“We are better than this and because we are better than this, our situation is going to improve. I have no doubts about that.”

Asked who was to blame for United’s predicament, Mourinho responded: “The same people that were to blame for the fantastic season of last season.”

The manager added United enjoyed a successful campaign by finishing second in May, ahead of “opponents with more potential than us”.

“Success has a direct relation with your own potential and a direct relation with the potential of your opponents,” he explained.

“The last season was phenomenal exactly because of these two factors — our potential and the potential of our opponents.

“I think opponents with much more potential than us finished behind us. That is the reason why it was a phenomenal season.

“With all the respect — and I hope they don’t interpret me in a negative way — if we are playing in a league like the Swiss league and we don’t win that league, that would be an awful season.

“Last season, to finish second was fantastic for us.”

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Wolves see off Leicester in Seven Goal Thriller

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Wolves’ Diogo Jota breaks the heart of Leicester in thriller at Molineux Stadium

Wolves’ Diogo Jota breaks the heart of Leicester in thriller at Molineux Stadium

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Diogo Jota had the last word in the pulsating seven goal thriller against Leicester City at Molineux Stadium on Saturday afternoon, slotting in the winning goal in stoppage-time.

His last gasp goal completed a hat trick and enabled Wolves to steal a decisive victory over never-say-die Leicester.

Jota netted the opener from Joao Moutinho’s cross after four minutes, and eight minutes later it was 2-0 when Ryan Bennett headed in after out-jumping Harry Maguire.

Two minutes after half-time Gray raced clear to tuck a fine finish beyond Patricio, and Harvey Barnes’s shot, on his first Premier League start, was deflected in by Conor Coady on 51 minutes.

Neves set Jota free to make it 3-2, before a towering header by Morgan levelled the match with three minutes left. But in stoppage time, Jota netted the winner, breaking the hearts of the visitors.

“I think this is Premier League. Every team believes until the end. In a game like this when you win, it feels like the greatest win in the world,”Jota said after the match.

Wolves’ only previous home Premier League encounter against Leicester also finished 4-3, in October 2003.

Wolves climb to eighth on 32 points, a point and a place above Claude Puel’s side.

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EPL: Sarri reveals player he’ll avoid resting till end of season

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Chelsea manager, Maurizio Sarri has said he will avoid resting a tiring Jorginho because he believes the club is not ready for the tactical change the midfielder’s absence would force on the team.

Italy international, Jorginho has started all but one of the club’s Premier League fixtures to date and has featured 25 times in all competitions.

Cesc Fabregas’ departure for Monaco has left Chelsea with no natural alternative at the base of midfield and Sarri admitted a heavy workload is beginning to affect his deep-lying playmaker.

The Blues are chasing Leandro Paredes to provide Jorginho with relief but, for now, the 27-year-old will be asked to continue, with Sarri opposing a switch that might accommodate two holding midfielders.

Goal.com quoted him as saying to reporters in England, “We are not ready to change at the moment.

“Jorginho has played with me for four seasons. It’s very difficult for him to improve more. He played very well for 20 matches (this season), I think.

“Now, maybe, in the last two matches he was a little bit tired. He moved the ball a little bit slowly than before. But I think that it’s normal.

“You cannot stay at the top for 60 matches, so it’s normal to have a different period, a period when you are not so lucid as usual. But it’s not a big problem. Of course, it’s the reason I said we needed a replacement for Cesc.”

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Serena to tearful opponent: ”You’re gonna make it, don’t cry”

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Serena Williams to her Ukrainian opponent Dayana Yastremska: You will make it, don’t cry

Serena Williams to her Ukrainian opponent Dayana Yastremska: You will make it, don’t cry

Serena Williams crushed Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday before consoling her at the net as she burst into tears.

“You did amazing, you’re gonna make it, don’t cry”, Serena told her.

It was Day 6 at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

“I just play each match at a time, play as hard as I can and do the best I can. That really is all you can do,” Serena said as she zeroes in on an eighth Australian title.

The 37-year-old, seeded 16, has dropped just nine games in her three matches so far and will now face Simona Halep, the world number one for a berth in the quarter-finals. Halep beat Venus Williams in two straight sets 6-2 6-3.

The Romanian finally hit form to pull off her best win of the year and cruise past the veteran American.

“I was super-motivated today,” she said after being taken to three sets in both her opening two matches as she bounces back from a herniated disc that ended her 2018 season early.

“I have nothing to lose,” she added, looking ahead to Monday’s clash against 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena. “I playing against a great champion. Its’s going to a bigger challenge but I’m ready to face it.”

Fourth seed Naomi Osaka looked down and out against Taiwanese veteran Hsieh Su-wei before battling back to win 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 and set up meeting with Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova.

Osaka’s win equals the 21-year-old’s best performance at the Australian Open, where she reached the last 16 in 2018 but lost to Halep.

But she looked headed for the exit when she conceded the first set and was down 4-1 in the second, before winning five straight games to force a decider.

“I just didn’t want to give up,” said the Japanese, who received a code violation after throwing her racquet.

Sixth seed Elina Svitolina struggled with a painful shoulder complaint that required treatment at every changeover, and medical timeouts, before she somehow beat China’s Zhang Shuai 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 as the temperature rose in the centre court sunshine.

“I just told myself ‘you’re going to die or win’,” said Svitolina, who scored her biggest career win by clinching the WTA Finals in Singapore last October.

She will next meet 17th-seeded American Madison Keys.

In the men’s event, World number one Novak Djokovic continued his relentless drive towards more Australian Open glory as he cranked up another gear Saturday with third round drubbing of his Canadian opponent, Denis Shapovalov.

The Serb dropped a set for the first time this year against the fast-rising Shapovalov, before demolishing him in the fourth stanza to win 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.

Djokovic, with 14 Grand Slams to his credit is gunning for a record seventh Australian title.

“I just tried to be in the moment and weather the storm,” said the Serb, who was unsettled when the lights were switched on in Rod Laver Arena for television reasons, despite it still being daylight.

“Completely unnecessary to turn on the lights,” he said in roasting the organisers.

Djokovic’s victory means he is guaranteed to stay world number one when the new rankings are released after the tournament.

He next plays another up-and-coming star, Russia’s 15th seed Daniil Medvedev, who eased past David Goffin and has yet to drop a set.

Another young gun Alexander Zverev made the last 16 for the first time when he swatted aside Australian Alex Bolt in three sets and will play former world number three Milos Raonic for a place in the quarter-finals.

Eighth seed Kei Nishikori made it back-to-back victories for Japan, following Osaka on court by beating Portugal’s 44th-ranked Joao Sousa in three sets.

The 29-year-old has won all three of his first week matches on Margaret Court Arena to reach the last 16 for the seventh time in nine appearances.

“I love to play this court,” said the 2014 US Open finalist after delighting a large contingent of Japanese fans.

He next plays Spain’s 23rd seed Pablo Carreno Busta.

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