RelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace Man U vs Norwich City Venue: Old Trafford Kick off: 4PMManchester United will be looking to return to winning ways when they welcome struggling Norwich City to Old Trafford in the Premier League this afternoon. The Red Devils are without a victory in their last three matches in all competitions but are still fifth in the Premier League table and will fancy their chances of overcoming the Canaries this weekend. It has been a case of one step forward, two steps back for United this season, and it is difficult to imagine that pattern of results and performances changing between now and the summer. Back-to-back victories over Newcastle United and Burnley in their final two Premier League matches of 2019 would have seen the 20-time English champions arrive at Arsenal on New Year’s Day full of confidence. The performance at the Emirates Stadium was disappointing, though, as they suffered a 2-0 loss. Since then, they have drawn 0-0 with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup in addition to suffering a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final. The Red Devils were well beaten by Pep Guardiola’s side at Old Trafford and face a huge task to turn the tie around on January 29. When considering that United have only won eight of their 21 Premier League matches this season, it is a surprise that they are in a top-four race. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are fifth in the table as things stand, though, just five points off fourth-placed Chelsea, who have suffered seven league defeats this term. United are only four points above 10th-placed Arsenal, though, and could easily slide down the table with a couple of poor results. It would be a huge surprise if they fail to return to winning ways this weekend but breaking down sides that they are expected to beat has been a real issue. The Red Devils have only suffered one Premier League defeat at Old Trafford this season, though, and that came back in August against Crystal Palace. That said, Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Everton have all left the Theatre of Dreams with something to show for their efforts this term. At the time of writing, no new players have arrived at the club this month despite their injury problems. The absence of Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba have hurt them badly, while key centre-back Harry Maguire is set for a spell on the sidelines with a hip problem, leaving the team short in defence. There have been plenty of positives this season, though, with Marcus Rashford enjoying the finest campaign of his career. The England international has 17 goals in 29 appearances at club level this term and will surely be considered by Norwich to be the home side’s biggest threat this afternoon. Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial have also been impressive in the final third, but the lack of a provider from the number 10 spot has been a problem, with Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira all failing to convince in that area of the field during the 2019-20 campaign. It does appear that Solskjaer will be given time to make his mark regardless of what happens this season but anything other than a victory this weekend would lead to more discontent among the supporters. Norwich have lost their last two Premier League games against United, including a 3-1 defeat in the reverse match at Carrow Road earlier this season. That said, the Canaries famously recorded a 2-1 victory when they travelled to Old Trafford during the 2015-16 campaign. Cameron Jerome and Alexander Tettey scored the goals on that occasion, and it would be some story if the visitors could find a way of picking up all three points this afternoon. Daniel Farke’s side have only won three Premier League matches all season, though, collecting just 14 points in total to leave themselves bottom of the table heading into the next set of fixtures. Worryingly, they are now five points off 19th-placed Watford and sit seven points from Aston Villa in 17th. As it stands, last season’s Championship winners are the favourite to finish bottom of the pile, particularly when considering that they have not been victorious in the league since beating Everton on November 23. Norwich have overcome Manchester City this season, though, in addition to holding both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. All three of those results came at Carrow Road, however, and their away form has been disappointing. The Canaries will enter this match off the back of successive league draws with Tottenham and Crystal Palace, though, while they also recorded an impressive 4-2 victory over Preston North End in the FA Cup last Saturday. Farke’s side will not be the favourites to triumph this weekend, but they have a huge game at home to fellow strugglers Bournemouth on January 18 and sooner or later wins will have to arrive. The basement side is sweating on leading scorer Teemu Pukki’s fitness ahead of the clash at Old Trafford, meanwhile, and whether the in-form striker is available is likely to have a huge impact on the team’s confidence. Man U possible XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Jones, Williams, Matic, Fred, James, Pereira, Rashford, Martial. Norwich City possible XI: Krul, Aarons, Zimmermann, Hanley, Byram, Vrancic, Tettey, Buendia, McLean, Cantwell, Idah.Tags: Daniel FarkeEPLManchester UnitedNorwich CityOle Gunnar Solskjaer
In its first true test of the early 2018 season, the USC women’s water polo squad took down each of its four opponents in the UCSD Triton Invitational in La Jolla over the weekend.Photo by Emily Smith | Daily TrojanWhile the Women of Troy had already racked up three impressive wins — the team outscored opponents 59-3, including two shutout wins — on the season heading into this tournament, they knew that this performance would truly set the tone for their 2018 campaign.“What is the most impressive about this team so far is their unity,” head coach Jovan Vavic said. “Leadership is the key and our captains are leading in and out of the water.”Through the first day of group play, it was business as usual for USC. Taking down Sonoma State and No. 18 San Diego State 13-1 and 14-2 respectively, the Trojans remained a dominant force just as they had been through three games. In both games, the USC defense was absolutely spectacular, holding both teams scoreless until late in the fourth period. Thanks to an impressive combined effort from goaltenders senior Victória Chamorro and junior Amanda Longan, who both notched double digit save outings, the Trojans allowed only 3 goals on the day. Offensively, freshman driver Paige Hauschild led the way for the squad, picking up 4 goals in both games including a first half hat trick against Sonoma State.“She’s one of the best young players, not only in the country, but in the entire world,” Vavic said. “For [Hauschild], the sky is the limit”.While USC found smooth sailing through its first two matches, they were tested greatly in Sunday’s elimination round matches against No. 7 UC Irvine and No. 4 UCLA.With Chamorro back in net for the Trojans, the team fought an up and down battle against the Anteaters. Fighting on with only a slight lead throughout the match, Chamorro helped close the door with 13 saves. Building off her first two games, Hauschild again led the squad with two goals while captain Brianna Daboub picked up her 100th career goal on a critical first-half strike. Senior utility player Annika Jensen notched the seventh and final goal for USC, clinching a 7-5 victory and a date with crosstown rival UCLA in the finals.In the championship match late Sunday, USC never once fell behind the Bruins. Putting the cherry on top of an incredible tournament, Hauschild again led the Trojans with two more goals while Daboub had a couple key scores of her own. The turning points of the game came on penalty tries both teams earned in the second and third periods respectively. While Longan came up huge in stopping UCLA’s attempts late in the first half, USC’s sophomore driver Denise Mammolito was successful in her attempts in the third. This 2-goal swing gave the Trojans all the momentum they needed to finish off the Bruins and take home their fifth-straight Triton Invitational Championship.
“We try to emphasize playing harder than most teams,” Wilson said. “We’ve still got guys out and other guys still have to step up. Lately, we’ve been using that as our talent just to out-play people defensively and turn that into easy offense for us.”If there was any rust after two days of rest, recovery and holiday celebrations, it wasn’t evident in the Clippers’ game during the second quarter. They recovered smartly from a lackluster finish to the first, when they led by as many as nine points before the Kings tied it at 30-all.Unlike their loss to the Grizzlies, when Rivers and Williams carried them, the Clippers had no shortage of contributors Tuesday. Wilson got them started by topping his previous career high of 13 points with 14 in the first quarter. Dekker, Teodosic and Williams really got them rolling in the second.The Clippers extended their lead to 95-73 entering the fourth quarter and five players had scored 10 points or more. Saturday, Rivers and Williams were the only Clippers to score in double figures. Rivers had 38 and Williams scored 36, but no one else was in double figures.It seemed effortless Tuesday against Sacramento (11-22).Griffin and Gallinari watched intently from the sideline. They weren’t needed, but they were missed. Griffin (sprained knee) could be back in the starting lineup Friday against the Lakers, with Gallinari (torn glute muscle) expected to be back a little while later.“They’re going to come in and play hard, their going to move the ball,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of the second unit. “They have kind of figured that part out and scoring just happens. It’s strange with that group. I can’t tell you who’s going to score, but it just happens.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error PreviousLA Clippers guard Sindarius Thornwell, left, pulls a rebound away from Sacramento Kings forward Justin Jackson during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)Sacramento Kings guard Frank Mason III #10 lost the ball against LA Clippers forward Sam Dekker #7 in the first half. The Los Angeles Clippers played the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA 12/26/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)LA Clippers forward Jamil Wilson #13 blocks a shot by Sacramento Kings guard Garrett Temple #17 in the first half. The Los Angeles Clippers played the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA 12/26/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsSacramento Kings guard Frank Mason III #10 runs into LA Clippers guard Sindarius Thornwell #0 and LA Clippers forward Sam Dekker #7 on his way to the hoop in the first half. The Los Angeles Clippers played the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA 12/26/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)LA Clippers guard Austin Rivers #25 gets past Sacramento Kings guard Garrett Temple #17 for 2 points in the first half. The Los Angeles Clippers played the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA 12/26/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Sacramento Kings guard George Hill #3 goes to the hoop against LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan #6 in the first half. The Los Angeles Clippers played the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA 12/26/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein #00 lost the ball against LA Clippers forward Jamil Wilson #13 in the first half. The Los Angeles Clippers played the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA 12/26/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)LA Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell #5 blocks a shot by Sacramento Kings center Kosta Koufos #41 in the first half. The Los Angeles Clippers played the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA 12/26/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, shoots past Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)LA Clippers forward Sam Dekker, right, shoots over Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)LA Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell, right, shoots around Sacramento Kings guard Malachi Richardson during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan dunks over Sacramento Kings forward Justin Jackson during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)LA Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell, left, dunks over Sacramento Kings center Kosta Koufos during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan shoots past Sacramento Kings guard Frank Mason III during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)LA Clippers guard Sindarius Thornwell, left, pulls a rebound away from Sacramento Kings forward Justin Jackson during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)Sacramento Kings guard Frank Mason III #10 lost the ball against LA Clippers forward Sam Dekker #7 in the first half. The Los Angeles Clippers played the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA 12/26/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 14Sacramento Kings guard Frank Mason III #10 lost the ball against LA Clippers forward Sam Dekker #7 in the first half. The Los Angeles Clippers played the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA 12/26/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)ExpandLOS ANGELES — Jamil Wilson scored a career-high 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting in the first quarter. Milos Teodosic tied his personal best with eight assists by halftime. Sam Dekker scored 10 points, making all three of his shots and going 4 for 4 at the free-throw line in the first half.Meet the new Clippers, not the same as the old Clippers.Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari sat on the Clippers’ bench, wearing sharp suits and wide smiles on their faces as their teammates rolled past the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday at Staples Center, taking a 122-95 victory over their Pacific Division rivals.The names were different, for sure, but the results were the same. The Clippers’ victory over the Kings was their 17th in their last 21 meetings, and it was sparked in the first half by supporting players whose roles have increased while Griffin, Gallinari and Patrick Beverley have been sidelined by injuries. Austin Rivers, who scored a career-high 38 points in the Clippers’ loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, didn’t get his first basket until sinking a 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 23 seconds left in the first half Tuesday. He didn’t need to score. His teammates had his back.“Total team effort,” he said. “It seemed like every role player was a star in their role.”The Clippers broke open the game by outscoring the Kings by 37-14 to end the half with a 71-53 lead. They seemed to be scoring at will while reaching a season high for points in a half, shooting 61 percent (25 of 41), including 50 percent on 3-pointers (10 of 20).By game’s end, Wilson scored 17 points on 5-for-7 shooting, Teodosic had 10 assists to go with eight points and Dekker scored 10 points as the Clippers won for the third time in four games. Montrezl Harrell scored a game-high 22 points for the Clippers (with seven rebounds) in 22 minutes, and Lou Williams added 21 points.Willie Cauley-Smith led the Kings with 17 points.
By Troy Anderson STAFF WRITER Los Angeles County’s legal costs jumped 17percent from $86 million in 2005-06 to $101million last fiscal year, just shy of the record high, officials said Friday. The $51 million in settlements and judgments was 20 percent higher than the average paid in the past five years and 32 percent higher than the previous year. Agoura Hills attorney Robert Nagle, who helped cut the county’s litigation costs from a high of $109 million in 2002-03 to $75 million in 2004-05, alleged in a letter to the supervisors last year that County Counsel Ray Fortner’s office hid information about rising costs. “(We) are very concerned that there is a backsliding into a lack of oversight in the monitoring of legal costs,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “There needs to be an independent investigation as to why this guy was terminated. The decreased costs during his tenure suggest he was doing precisely what he was hired to do.” Litigation cost manager Steven H. Estabrook, who replaced Nagle, said the County Counsel’s Office is working to bring the costs down. “They are making sure the fees we are paying are appropriate to outside counsel,” Estabrook said. “Efforts are also being undertaken to make sure the cases are being properly managed, the proper amounts are spent on settlements and the right cases are going to trial.” In the report, Estabrook said supervisors approved 238 lawsuit settlements last fiscal year totaling $36million. Ten of the cases involved amounts of more than $1 million and contributed to more than half the total value of all settlements. Settlements included $2.8 million for former jail inmate Jose Beas, who was severely beaten by other inmates, and $1 million for the family of Chadwick Shane Cochran, a mentally ill inmate who was beaten to death after he was left unsupervised. The supervisors also approved $1.8 million in a case involving a sexual assault by a sheriff’s deputy and a $1.8 million medical malpractice suit in which a baby died. The total amount paid in settlements for the year includes $11.7 million for settlements made in prior years, including $2.5 million paid to attorneys overseeing a consent decree. The number of cases the county took to trial dropped from 38 to 24 last fiscal year. The county prevailed in 15 of those cases. The amount of money spent on legal fees and outside law firms totaled $50 million last fiscal year, 6 percent more than the prior year. Estabrook said the County Counsel’s Office fees and costs have increased as in-house services have replaced some of those previously provided by outside law firms. “The increase in in-house fees is also attributable to upward adjustments of in-house billing rates brought about by annual increases in salaries and employee benefits,” Estabrook wrote. [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The disclosure is expected to be presented to the Board of Supervisors this month, but some have already expressed concern. “Supervisor Gloria Molina is very concerned that these costs went up for another year in a row,” said Roxane Marquez, Molina’s spokeswoman. “It’s a troubling trend in large part because the supervisors have taken strong steps to decrease legal costs. The fundamental reason we insisted that the county counsel hire a litigation cost manager was to get a handle on our legal fees. “County counsel said they heard our message loud and clear, but these numbers indicate the opposite,” Marquez said. The findings come shortly after the supervisors approved a $450,000 wrongful-termination settlement for the county’s former litigation cost manager.