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Marcelo Bielsa: Don’t agree with Pep Guardiola about me being the best: Marcelo Bielsa | Football News

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Having returned to the Premier League after 16 years, Leeds United have made an impressive start to their campaign. With Marcelo Bielsa at the helm, Leeds have been bold and brilliant. In an exclusive email interview with TOI, Bielsa speaks about his goals with Leeds.
Excerpts…
Are you surprised that it took Leeds United 16 years to return to the Premier League?
Yes, I think Leeds shouldn’t have been out for so many years.
Now that Leeds are back in the Premier League, is it just about survival or punching above your weight?
In relation to what position Leeds should pursue in the Premier League, the ambition in that respect will be marked by the succession of matches, which will determine what the real possibilities are.
In this day and age when spending plays a huge factor in progress, is it possible for the club to secure European qualification?
To think that Leeds can qualify for a European tournament in the first year of competition in the Premier League after 16 years of absence sounds like an exaggerated goal.

How would you define success – a competitive squad that plays beautiful football or a team that wins trophies?
Well-played football allows you to think about winning, and successive victories allow you to think about fighting for the most significant positions in a competition.
Do you believe you can do with Leeds United in England what you did with Athletic Bilbao in Spain?
It is too early to think that Leeds can achieve the successes that Athletic achieved. Many things have to happen that Leeds has not yet gone through in order to know the extent of their possibilities to evolve for the rest of the competition.

Pep Guardiola has always said you are the best coach in the world and that you have had the biggest influence on his coaching. How was it to face Manchester City?
Playing against the big teams in the English league is always exciting. Of course, playing against Manchester City was a very attractive match for me, but in no way do I agree with what Guardiola said about me. I want to make that very clear.

(Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, left, with Marcelo Bielsa – AP Photo)
Was it difficult to impose your philosophy on a team in England?
It was not difficult for me to convey my philosophy to the Leeds players. They were receptive and willing to incorporate the aspects that I wanted to convey to them.
What is be your most satisfying project – Argentina, Athletic Bilbao, Chile or maybe Leeds United?
The most satisfactory project for me was the one I developed in 1990, 1991 and 1992 at Newell’s Old Boys in Rosario, which is the club I belong to in Argentina.


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IPL 2020, KKR vs DC: Chakravarthy’s five-for makes Delhi Capitals fumble | Cricket News

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A clinical performance was required to keep their play-off hopes alive and Nitish Rana, Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy rose to the occasion as KKR beat Delhi Capitals by 59 runs in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
While Rana (81) and Narine (64) helped KKR post a winning total of 194 in 20 overs, mystery spinner Chakravarthy bagged 5/20 to choke the Capitals middle order.
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Rana revelled in his role as an opener and hit 13 fours and a six in an aggressive knock. The left-hander, who didn’t have a good start to the season, scored his second half-century, his first having come against the same opponent in their away tie in Sharjah.
However, the Knights were off to a wobbly start, losing their first three wickets in 8 overs with just 44 on the board. Having crumbled for 84 in their last match against RCB, KKR were once again staring down the barrel.

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IPL 2020, Match 42: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Capitals

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<p>Spinner Varun Chakravarthy claimed this Indian Premier League season’s first five-wicket haul as Kolkata Knight Riders gave their play-off hopes a boost with a 59-run win over Delhi Capitals in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. (BCCI/IPL/ANI Photo)</p>

But Rana came to the rescue, taking the attack to the experienced R Ashwin, whose three overs yielded 45 runs. Walking in at No.5, Narine too joined the party, hitting Ashwin for towering sixes in the back-end of the innings during a 115-run partnership.

IPL 2020: Chakravarthy five-for against Delhi keeps Kolkata in play-off race

IPL 2020: Chakravarthy five-for against Delhi keeps Kolkata in play-off race

In reply, the Capitals put up a shoddy batting display, managing only 135/9 in 20 overs.
The Knights still have to win their next three matches to secure a place in the top four. If they lose one of the remaining matches and finish on 16 points, things could get tricky.


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RCB vs CSK: CSK look to salvage reputation in a game against RCB | Cricket News

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In a year where uncertainty has been the only constant, it is hardly surprising that the mood of the times is being mirrored by the Indian Premier League. Given the pattern of the past several years, only the most diehard Royal Challengers Bangalore fans would have fancied their team sitting pretty near the top towards the business end of the league phase. More pertinently, how many would have imagined Chennai Super Kings all but shutting themselves out of the reckoning with three matches to go? Then again, this is 2020, the year as fickle as the format itself.
To say that the two teams have enjoyed contrasting fortunes in the UAE is stating the obvious. Champions thrice in the past, MS Dhoni and his men have been a pale shadow of themselves. RCB, on the other hand, have bucked the losing trend, plugged the holes in their game and shown reasonable consistency across departments. For years, given their track record of 15 wins from 25 face-offs, CSK were perennial on-paper favourites. But that won’t be the case on Sunday afternoon. Virat Kohli & Co are already 1-up following a 37-run win in their first meeting of the season, earlier this month.
When the teams meet again in Dubai, it is inevitable that some of the usual spice will be missing from the otherwise southern sizzler. That said, there is the promise of a contest worthy of the teams’ reputations. While CSK will look to salvage its reputation, RCB will be keen to flex their beefed-up muscles. RCB are the form team, but they will be wary of the perils of running into a wounded lion. CSK are coming off a soul-crushing 10-wicket loss to Mumbai Indians on Friday night; less than 48 hours later, the wounds are bound to be raw.
In the run-up to the playoffs, a win will ensure a cushion of performance and consistency for the Bengaluru team, while a loss will push CSK into further gloom.
RCB, who will carry forward their Go Green initiative by sporting green jerseys, will not take their foot off the pedal, pace mainstay Chris Morris is insistent. Ahead of the clash of the neighbours, the South African pointed out, “It is the southern Derby. There is never a team in the IPL which is a cakewalk. They all have very good players and world-class finishers. CSK are a very successful team with quite a few IPL trophies. There is a reason for that. We have to be at our best to beat them.”


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IPL 2020, RR vs MI: In a mismatch, beleaguered Rajasthan Royals face giants Mumbai Indians | Cricket News

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JAIPUR: Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but not when the situation demands thinking on one’s feet.
“Knowing the result I would go the other way and back Jofra (Archer)…,” Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith looked back on the 19th over that changed the course of the game after they lost against Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets.
After an eight-wicket loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad Smith remarked, “I consulted a few other boys, it was talked about giving Archer another over up front but opted against it and in hindsight, after what happened, probably would’ve given him one more over. It was on my mind.”
With seven losses in 11 games, making it to the knockout stage seems to be more or less a lost cause for the Royals.
Even an unlikely turnaround in the remaining three matches would require the lady luck to be on their side, for the team’s fate now also depends on how the other laggards navigate on the points table.
In a mismatch on Sunday, table-toppers Mumbai Indians will take on seventh-placed Royals at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. For the pink outfit it is a do-or-die clash and the giants in blue will be licking their lips at the prospect of pouncing on the beleaguered opponents with eyes on fetching another two points and virtually seal a playoff berth.
Even in the absence of their captain Rohit Sharma, who is nursing a hamstring strain in his left leg, MI was as intimidating as ever when they drubbed Chennai Super Kings by 10 wickets in their previous encounter. Clearly, the difference between the two sides is the stability factor.
While Mumbai have largely kept their playing XI the same, Rajasthan have weakened themselves with constant chopping and changing to an extent that they are still on the lookout for a winning combination.
There is still no clarity whether Rohit will be available for the tie on Sunday.
In a format that heavily favours the batsmen, none of the Royals’ players has notched up runs consistently to feature even in the top 15 scorers this season.
The unsavoury piece of stats is a testimony to the team’s batting woes. Can Smith, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes rework their approach and challenge the likes of Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah? The last time both the teams met, Royals looked clueless, but if their coach Andrew McDonald is to be believed, ‘the teams that have nothing to lose are dangerous’ and Royals ‘will be looking to be one of those.’


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