Loading… read also:‘Why Inter have Messi ‘advantage’ over Man City’ Additionally, United have reportedly made contact with Messi’s representatives, including his father and agent Jorge, as have Serie A side Inter Milan. Manchester City are also in contact as Messi’s lawyers push for a release from his Barca contract. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Manchester United have acted quickly to news of Lionel Messi demanding a transfer from Barcelona. According to Sport, Manchester United and PSG have already pushed to look to sign the 33-year-old. The report details that Messi would be keen to join former team-mate Neymar, as well as Kylian Mbappe, at the Ligue 1 champions, who lost in the Champions League final on Sunday to Bayern Munich. The arrival of Messi would form a sensational front three duo at the Parc des Princes, as they look to go a step further in Europe next season.Advertisement
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Younis Khan, the veteran Pakistan batsman, proved his recent bout of dengue fever was no hindrance, as he hit a classy century against West Indies on the opening day of the second Test at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.The 38-year-old showed no signs of lethargy or sluggishness as he crafted his 33rd Test century – 127 quality runs as the home side ended the day on 304 for four.The other senior statesman in the team – Misbah ul-Haq closed the day unbeaten on 90, as Pakistan thrived on two dropped chances by the West Indies.A half-century from Asad Shafiq also added to the punishment as the West Indies continued their struggle for success in this series. Shannon Gabriel bowled his heart out to finish with two for 43.Earlier, Misbah who was captaining Pakistan for a record 48th time in Tests – to equal Imran Khan’s record – won the toss and predictably took first strike.Preferring not to bat last on this pitch and with the average first-innings score here on this piece of mud being 394, Misbah was smiling from ear to ear. However, that soon turned to sadness, as his triple centurion in the first Test in Dubai, Azhar Ali, was bowled by Gabriel with only six runs on the board.The right-hander got one that cut back into him, taking an inside edge and crashing into his sticks for a duck.Within the first hour skipper Jason Holder decided to play his trump card and went to leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo. He struck almost immediately bowling Sami Aslam with a big leg-spinner for six.Younis returning from a bout of dengue fever was next in and he looked like he never left. Within minutes his bat started to broaden and the runs began to flow. Shafiq, who was timing the ball beautifully from ball one, continued his good work and reached his half-century of 68 balls with six fours.When lunch was taken, the score on the dusty scoreboard out in the middle of the desert read 95 for two, with Shafiq on 54 and Khan 29. The session was two and a half hours long to facilitate Friday pray Jumma Salah. They were then given an hour-long break to allow the Muslim players to pray and then have lunch.After the resumption, Younis continued to look good but soon lost Shafiq, who was bowled of an inside edge by Gabriel, playing away from his body.He faced 121 balls and struck seven fours. Misbah joined in and gave the crowd on hand lots to cheer about. He looked in supreme form and, with Misbah batting so beautifully at the other end, the West Indies looked incapable of getting the breakthrough.A chance came with Khan on 84 but Kraigg Brathwaite was unable to hang on to a caught- and-bowled chance. Misbah brought up his half-century off 93 balls with two fours and two sixes and soon after he was dropped by stand-in wicketkeeper Shai Hope off the unlucky Gabriel.The burly pacer got one to square up to Misbah on 54, which found the outside edge but the Barbadian failed to hold on to the one-handed effort. Hope replaced fellow Barbadian Shane Dowrich who broke down before the start of play with a ligament strain on his right shoulder.After the let off both men continued to plunder runs and targeted leg-spinner Bishoo who claimed a Test-best eight for 49 in the last game, bowling them out for just 123.Time and time again they employed the slug-sweep against him and this killed his effectiveness, as he had to adjust to a more defensive approach.Khan brought up his century off 169 balls with eight fours and a six. The Pakistan 300 was also raised and the two looked inseparable.However, just before the end of play which was called six overs early, due to fading light, Khan fell, again playing the slug sweep, but this time against part-time off-spinner Brathwaite. His final stats read 127 runs, 205 balls, 10 fours and one six. PAKISTAN 1st inningsSami Aslam b Bishoo 6Azhar Ali b Gabriel 0Asad Shafiq b Gabriel 68Younis Khan c Chase b Brathwaite 127Misbah-ul-Haq not out 90Extras: (lb-6, nb-7) 13Total: (4 wkts, 84 overs) 304Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-42, 3-129, 4-304.Bowling: Gabriel 14-1-43-2 (nb-7), Cummins 15-1-43-0, Holder 14-4-31-0, Bishoo 20-0-92-1, Chase 12-0-53-0, Brathwaite 9-0-36-1.
Junior wide receiver Michael Pittman runs down the field during spring practice. (Josh Dunst/Daily Trojan) There are a handful of players who seem to have made strides from where they were last year and look poised to step up for the Trojans. Freshman defensive back Britton Allen has shown promise, offering impressive tenacity in the secondary with a penchant for stripping out the ball. Sophomore Devon Williams has been putting together his unique combination of top-end speed and incredible length at 6-foot-4 to become a dangerous receiving weapon. Besides tangible changes to the team’s offensive strategy, there’s been a concerted effort to change elements of the team philosophy as a whole with toughness and discipline at its core. The team as realized it needs to work on accountability after a 2018 season that saw them average almost 14 penalties per game, and the coaching staff is determined not to let that happen again. Former offensive coordinator Tee Martin has been replaced by former University of North Texas head coach Graham Harrell. Harrell brings with him the dynamic air-raid offense; a system that’s spread quickly across the college football landscape in recent years, yet has never appearing at USC until now. The Trojans have long maintained a traditional pro-style offense, built on deep drops from under center, long developing routes and multi-level reads. The air-raid, on the other hand, emphasizes stretching the field both horizontally and vertically, generally putting the quarterback in a shotgun alignment and allowing him to make quick and often simple reads. There are now live referees throwing flags on any penalties at every practice. It’s already seemed to have paid rapid dividends, as there’s been a noticeable drop in violations since the first day of practice. Whether or not it carries over to real games will remain to be seen, but it’s a promising start. Two weeks into Spring Football, it’s already clear that the Trojans will be doing things very differently this year. Looking to bounce back from their worst season in 19 years, head coach Clay Helton and his staff have are shaking things up across the board. The system encourages simplicity from players across the formation, allowing them to focus more directly on executing individual tasks without needing to process the entirety of the play. Multiple players have mentioned that the simplicity of the air raid allows them to “play fast,” relieving them of the weight of processing too many moving parts during each play. That difference has shown on the field, with the offense running a surprisingly high number of offensive plays in practice for this early in the offseason. Although a two-week sample size isn’t much to work with, a number of players already seem to be ready to serve as key contributors for the upcoming season. Some are unsurprising — veteran receivers Tyler Vaughns and Michael Pittman, linebacker John Houston and defensive tackle Jay Tufele have all shown up to work, picking up from where they left off. The shift to the air raid has been evident in almost every aspect of practice so far. There’s been an emphasis on letting the offense just run, even this early into training without the absorption of an entire pro-style playbook. Redshirt junior receiver Tyler Vaughns, now one of the team’s upperclassmen, commented on the benefits of that fact. Some of last year’s impact freshman also seem to be in their stride — linebacker Palaie Gaoteote has remained a standout and receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has been as consistent as ever. Talanoa Hufanga had been looking even better at safety than he did last year, though an injury in Saturday’s practice makes his future status unclear. Hufanga had a fantastic freshman season until a collarbone injury took him out for the year. The same injury that seems to have been re-aggravated despite his non-contact designation in practice. “We’re getting more live reps which I like,” Vaughns said. “We’re getting more team reps and everything like that, so it’s really helping us as an offense.” Two sophomores who played a very limited role last year have stepped up in these two weeks. Running back Markese Stepp, buried on the depth chart for most of last year, has been a force on the practice field. Stepp is a runaway freight train at 235 pounds, bulldozing defenders with regularity. With the sidelining of Stephen Carr and Vavae Malepeai to the flu, Stepp has received many first team reps and shown showing ability to catch the ball out of the backfield along with being a punishing runner. On the other side of the ball, sophomore cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart missed most of last season due to injury after playing mostly special teams early in the year, never receiving an opportunity to play real game snaps on defense. Taylor-Stuart is tremendously gifted as an athlete, with blazing speed to go with his impressive frame of 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, but his lack of refined technique held him back in the early stages of his freshman year. However, he’s become one of the first-string corners and his continued improvement could be one of the most important factors in the success of the Trojan defense come fall.