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Soccer-Solskjaer likens Ronaldo to Bulls great Jordan after Atalanta draw

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Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Cristiano Ronaldo gave Manchester United the same kind of edge NBA great Michael Jordan gave the Chicago Bulls after the Portugal forward’s double earned them a 2-2 draw at Atalanta in the Champions League.

Ronaldo’s first brought United level on the stroke of half-time on Tuesday before he fired a stoppage-time equaliser to send United joint top of Group F with Villarreal.

The 36-year-old also scored in comeback victories at home against Villarreal and Atalanta, prompting Solskjaer to compare his impact to that of six-time NBA champion Jordan.

“We all have our roles and responsibilities,” Solskjaer told reporters. “Of course Cristiano is a leader in the group but that’s what he does, he scores goals.

“We’re not happy conceding two goals … But he (Ronaldo) does provide those moments and I’m sure the Chicago Bulls didn’t mind having Michael Jordan either.

“Sometimes teams have the players they have and that’s why they are Man United, that’s why they are champions at the Chicago Bulls. You just come up with those moments.”

Ronaldo, who returned to the club in the summer, has scored nine goals in all competitions this season, five of those in the Champions League.

“For me, Cristiano is getting better and better for us. He’s feeling better,” Solskjaer added.

“You know he’s not had a proper pre-season, now he is getting better and better and he’s feeling up to speed now.”

 

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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Jets’ Pionk suspended two games for kneeing Maple Leafs’ Sandin – Sportsnet.ca

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Winnipeg Jets defenceman Neal Pionk has been suspended two games for kneeing Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Rasmus Sandin.

The NHL’s department of player safety made the announcement after having a hearing with Pionk on Monday.

The incident occurred with 14:15 remaining in the third period Sunday when Winnipeg hosted Toronto. As Sandin received a pass in the Jets’ zone and proceeded to take a shot on net, Pionk attempted to line up a body check, but misjudged Sandin’s position, causing him to extend his leg and create knee-on-knee contact with the Maple Leafs defenceman.

“We acknowledge Pionk’s argument that this is an attempted full-body check, but this play cannot be classified as merely a collision between two players, where one or both move reflexively or defensively at the last moment to avoid contact,” said the department of player safety in a video explaining the punishment.

“If he wants to deliver this hit, the onus is on Pionk to take an angle of approach that ensures he’s in good position to make a legal, full-body check. Instead, having taken an angle which has him lined up outside of Sandin’s path, Pionk turns his right leg and extends his knee, jutting it forward to avoid missing the check entirely. This results in forceful, dangerous and direct knee-on-knee contact.”

Watch the full video breakdown here:

Sandin was helped off the ice and appeared as though he could not put weight on his right leg after the play. Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said he had no update on Sandin’s condition on Sunday night.

Pionk, who has never been suspended or fined before this event, will forfeit $58,750 in salary.

Just two minutes after the incident, Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza retaliated with a knee of his own — targetting Pionk and catching him near the head as he slid on the ice to make a play.

Spezza is at risk of also receiving a suspension and will have a hearing with the department of player safety via Zoom on Tuesday afternoon.

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Derby winner Medina Spirit collapses, dies in California – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit collapsed and died after a workout Monday at Santa Anita.

The 3-year-old colt trained by Bob Baffert had just completed five furlongs in his second workout since finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic a month ago at Del Mar, according to Craig Robertson, Baffert’s attorney.

Santa Anita spokesman Mike Willman also confirmed the colt’s death.

The colt will undergo a full necropsy, which is required by the California Horse Racing Board.

Medina Spirit tested positive after the May 1 Derby for betamethasone, a legal medication that is not allowed on race day. It was Baffert’s record seventh win in the Derby.

Last Friday, Robertson released a statement saying that tests done by a New York lab have “definitely confirmed” Medina Spirit tested positive for the steroid — not through an injection but due to an ointment used to treat a skin rash.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has been investigating the case, and has yet to hold a hearing that could possibly disqualify Medina Spirit.

In the $6 million BC Classic, Medina Spirit couldn’t muster the necessary late kick to threaten winner Knicks Go.

“I’m very proud of him. He ran a great race,” Baffert said last month. “To me, he’s the best 3-year-old. He showed it today. That’s what racing is all about, proving it on the racetrack. And he proved it today that he’s the real deal.”

Baffert was allowed to enter horses in the season-ending world championships, but the event’s money-leading trainer had to meet certain conditions, including stricter out-of-competition testing of his horses and greater security at his barn. He agreed to the extra scrutiny and was required to pay for it out of his own pocket.

Medina Spirit had five wins in 10 career starts and earnings of $3,545,200, according to Equibase. The colt was owned by Amr Zedan, who competes as Zedan Racing Stables.

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CFL reviewing altercation between Toronto Argonauts players and Hamilton Tiger-Cats fans – CBC.ca

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The CFL says it is reviewing what led to an altercation between Toronto Argonauts players and Hamilton Tiger-Cats fans after Sunday’s east division final. 

”We are aware of the situation and we are reviewing it. We won’t comment further at this time,” a CFL spokesperson said in an email to CBC News.

The Argonauts also confirmed by email that the team is investigating the incident.

“The Toronto Argonauts, in conjunction with MLSE security, the CFL league office and local police, are investigating a post-game incident involving team personnel and visiting fans,” the team wrote to CBC News. “The club will issue a statement once the investigation is complete and any outcomes are determined.”

Video of the incident has been widely circulated on social media. Warning: these clips contain strong language.

Argonauts General Manager Michael “Pinball” Clemons briefly addressed the incident at a Monday afternoon press conference.

“When you look at the passion that’s involved and the energy that was in the stadium, many times these things happen out of passion … passion for your team, supporting your team,” Clemens said. “I think it’s best for, you know, the professionals that are involved in this to give us some more concrete answers.”

In a statement from Toronto police, investigators said two fans allegedly jumped barricades after the game and attempted to fight with players. 

“Officers and security quickly intervened and both men are alleged to have been assaultive with staff and police,” the TPS email stated. “As a result, both were trespassed from BMO Field and Exhibition Place.”

The incident is believed to have occurred right after the Argos’ loss to the Ticats. Hamilton advanced to next weekend’s Grey Cup final with the 27-19 win.

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