Hull City 0-0 Manchester United: Tigers go down after squandering chances

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Hull City were relegated to English soccer’s second-tier on Sunday, as the Tigers drew 0-0 with 10-man Manchester United at the KC Stadium.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Steve Bruce’s side threw everything at United but after scoring just 33 times all season, it was clear that Hull’s lack of composure in front of goal is the main reason they will be playing in the Championship next season.

“It is one of those awful experience,” Bruce said. “This is a particularly low time. We are not in the big league.”

The Tigers had two goals disallowed in the first half, squandered some glorious chances and tested a shaky Victor Valdes in goal for United.

“Too many times I have come out and said we have not done bad but we have not scored,” Bruce said. “That is 17 or 18 times we have not scored.”

 

Hull’s failure to win meant they were relegated, as Newcastle’s win against West Ham hammered the final nail in their coffin. The Tigers finished the season on 35 points in 18th and United finished in fourth on 70 points.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Predictably, Hull came flying out of the traps early on as Dame N’Doye headed an effort towards goal but then Wayne Rooney clipped the bar at the other end shortly after.

Angel Di Maria and Ahmed Elmohamady collided which saw the later come off injured in the first half despite getting his first start since March. Hull continued to push for the opener and Chris Smalling cleared at the back post with Nikica Jelavic crashing in. Then Hull thought they went ahead in the 19th minute as Victor Valdes fumbled the ball under pressure from David Meyler and Paul McShane tapped home but he was offside. No goal.

Moments later Hull again had an effort ruled out for offside as Valdes first made a wonderful save from Elmohamady and then Stephen Quinn’s shot was deflected in by N’Doye but the Hull striker was in an offside position.

In the second half Meyler somehow put the ball over the bar from eight yards out after a wonderful knockdown from Jelavic in what was a huge chance for the Tigers to take the lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Hull continued to press and Valdes completely missed a cross and then Daley Blind hacked off the line as United survived. After that both McShane and N’Doye went close as the Tigers didn’t give up but were running out of time.

Sone Aluko’s shot was then flicked towards goal by Jelavic but Valdes made a wonderful reaction stop as Hull just couldn’t go ahead. N’Doye somehow stayed on the pitch after appearing to punch Phil Jones in the stomach, and then all hell broke loose in Yorkshire.

[ MORE: ‘Exhausted’ Bruce says future not in his hands ]

Substitute Fellaini was sent off for a terrible challenge on McShane as United played the final 15 minutes with 10-men at the KC. Valdes then parried down another ball and Hernandez somehow missed the ball completely  as another big chance went begging for Hull.

The game finished 0-0, as Hull’s stay in the PL ended after being promoted in 2013.

LINEUPS

Hull City: Harper, Dawson, Chester (Hernandez, 70′), McShane, Elmohamady, Brady, Huddlestone, Meyler (Robertson, 86′), Quinn, N’Doye (Aluko, 71′), Jelavic.

Manchester United: Valdes, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Blind, Herrera, Di Maria (Januzaj, 23′), Mata (Wilson, 73′), Young (Fellaini, 59′), Rooney

Red card: Fellaini (77′)

Belarusian Premier League roundup: BATE Borisov pick up win, end early-season drought

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The Belarusian Premier League – the only active European top-flight league at the moment – continued on Saturday despite the coronavirus pandemic.

FC Rukh 0-1 BATE Borisov

With an early goal from midfielder Stanislav Dragun, BATE Borisov, Belarus’ most successful team (15 league titles) and a regular face in European competition, earned their first win of the season. Kirill Alshevsky, who took over at the helm prior to the season, had started his spell on a two-game losing streak.

BATE, despite not winning the possession battle decisively, generated twice as many shots on target as the visitors, registering a total of 11 shots throughout 90 minutes at Borisov Arena.

A winner of 13 straight Belarusian Premier League titles – spanning from 2006 to 2018 – pressure began looming over BATE after starting the 2020 campaign with back-to-back lackluster results. BATE, who lost to Arsenal in Europa League’s Round of 32 in April 2019, were outscored 5-2 in the first, two games of the league.

Dinamo Minsk, the second most successful Belarusian side, also picked up their first three points on Friday, following a slower-than-usual start to the season. Meanwhile, defending champion Dinamo Brest fell 2-1 to Slavia-Mozyr, dropping to eighth on the table.

Elsewhere in Belarusian Premier League 

Shakhtyor 0-0 Nerman

Dinamo Brest 1-2 Slavia-Mozyr

NWSL extends league-wide training moratorium through May

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The NWSL is extending its league-wide training moratorium another month amid the coronavirus pandemic, the league announced on Saturday.

All NWSL teams will be unable to partake in team trainings until at least May 5, extending its previous training moratorium that was set to expire on Sunday, April 5. The 2020 season – which was set to start on April 18 – is expected to start by the end of June, according to NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird.

“We’ve been just communicating with our players and we’re targeting for the end of June for our season to start,” Baird told The Equalizer. “I say that with conviction and hope, but … we’re gonna adhere to the public health guidelines that are in place at the time and I don’t think that we can predict what they are. But our strategy is in place.”

Earlier this week, Major League Soccer and United Soccer League extended their training moratorium through April 24 and April 19, respectively.

Report: England manager Gareth Southgate agrees to 30 percent pay cut

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England manager Gareth Southgate has agreed to a 30 percent pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic, our partners at Sky Sports reported on Saturday.

[ MORE: What PL clubs are doing to help during coronavirus ] 

Southgate’s move, which is reportedly expected to be confirmed by the Football Association (FA) next week, comes hours after the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) released a statement on behalf of the Premier League players responding to proposed pay cuts.

A FA spokesperson told Sky Sports the following: “The financial implications of the coronavirus are not yet known however, as a not-for-profit organization, we want to ensure that we take the appropriate course of action to support the wider organization and our employees.

“We will make a further announcement on our next steps in due course.”

On Friday, Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe – and a handful of technical staff personnel – became the first Premier League manager to take a voluntary pay cut. Howe’s “significant, voluntary” pay cuts were done in light of the club furloughing non-playing employees throughout the organization, joining Tottenham, Norwich, Newcastle and Liverpool.

Spanish league and players still far apart on salary cuts

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MADRID (AP) The Spanish league and players are still far apart on the size of the salary cuts they need to take to help reduce the financial impact caused by the coronavirus outbreak, with the footballers saying the organization wants them to carry nearly half the total losses.

The league and the players’ association have been in talks to try to find ways to mitigate losses that could reach nearly 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion) if the season cannot be restarted because of the pandemic.

The players have said they are willing to reduce their salaries, but not as much as the league or the clubs want.

“After analyzing the current circumstances of the sector and given the distance in conversations with the players’ association, it is necessary to adopt measures in view of the serious economic crisis that COVID-19 is causing in the Spanish soccer industry,” the league said in a statement.

It also added that government furloughs are “an exceptional mechanism to avoid and mitigate the negative impact that COVID-19 is having on the sector, and thus guarantee its subsequent recovery.”

According to media reports, the league expects losses of 957 million euros ($1.03 billion) if the season is canceled, with 303 million euros ($327 million) lost if it resumes with games in empty stadiums and 156 million euros ($168 million) of deficits if it continues with fans.

The players said the total cuts in salaries requested by the league would account for 451 million euros ($487 million) if the top flight cannot restart.

The reduction in salaries being discussed reportedly varies depending on the clubs, and also on whether they are playing in the Champions League or the Europa League.

Team captains met with the players’ association late Friday to discuss their options after the league earlier in the day called for all clubs to put the footballers on government furloughs to reduce labor costs while the stoppage of play continued. The furloughs help the clubs and guarantee players their jobs once the crisis is over.

The league said it is responsible for preserving an industry that represents 1.37 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product and employs about 185,000 people.

Atlético Madrid and Barcelona were among the clubs to resort to the furloughs in recent days. Both reached an agreement with players to reduce their salaries by 70 percent, and guaranteed the wages of other employees were unaffected.

There are nearly 125,000 cases of the new coronavirus in Spain, which on Saturday surpassed Italy as the country with the second-most infections behind the United States. The death toll in the nation stands at 11,744.

The government is expected to extend lockdown measures until April 26, likely keeping the Spanish league suspended until then.

The league has said the season won’t resume until authorities deem it safe for everyone’s health. It said it will recommend a “minimum of 15 days” of practice before the games can restart, though it suggested recently the training period may begin with restrictions before the lockdown is removed.

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