April 21, 2018
Once again Manchester United have the chance to end an unconvincing season with a flash of the finest silver. Winners of this competition under Louis van Gaal in 2016, and of the Europa League and League Cup under Jose Mourinho last year, they secured a place in another final after condemning Tottenham and their manager, Mauricio Pochettino, to yet another campaign without a crowning achievement.
Manchester United’s Ander Herrera sinks Tottenham in semi-final
Given their history in this competition and others Tottenham came into the game with not so much a monkey on their back as an entire posse of primates. Their run of FA Cup semi-final failures has now been extended to eight, no significant trophies for a decade and just the two League Cups since they last snuck into the final and won this title, against Nottingham Forest in 1991. It represents a lengthy period if not quite in the wilderness then at least in a chilly hinterland.
But in a heated atmosphere it was Spurs who warmed up most swiftly, Harry Kane having their first shot within 30 seconds and Son Heung-min’s clever turn putting the United defence in real trouble for the first time in the second minute. From the start United struggled to cope with the pace and intensity of their game, and when they found a path back into the contest it was only after Tottenham had themselves pointed the way. Mousa Dembélé, one of several key players who ultimately disappointed for Spurs, gave the ball away deep inside his own half, Paul Pogba and Alexis Sánchez combined to impose brutal, beautiful punishment and from there the pattern of the game changed.
That was after Spurs, having dominated the early exchanges, had taken the lead with a goal of humiliating simplicity. Ashley Young committed himself to pressing the ball deep inside the Tottenham half and Davinson Sánchez hit it long into the space the United left-back should have been covering. It was space that Christian Eriksen had all to himself and with Pogba trailing behind him he had time to measure his cross, which Dele Alli turned in.
There could, in the minutes that followed, have been more. Son’s looping cross was just too long for Kane, and his low cross seemed destined to be converted by Alli until Phil Jones hooked it clear. Kane set up Eriksen for a shot that bounced across goal and wide and Son’s effort hit Antonio Valencia.
Michel Vorm, who has kept goal for Spurs throughout their cup run, had been woefully underemployed until Kieran Trippier, with the ball on the right flank, turned down the chance to clear and instead passed to Mousa Dembélé, who might have turned the ball into touch but tried to jink past Pogba and failed. From there the Frenchman spun and delivered a delicious centre that dipped on to Sánchez’s head for the equaliser.
That moment gave United the encouragement to match their rivals’ intensity and the remainder of the first half was considerably more even, ending with fine long-range shots from both sides. Pogba’s curler in the final minute was tipped past the post and Eric Dier’s drive in stoppage time deflected off Chris Smalling and thumped the base of David de Gea’s right-hand post.
Smalling also got himself in the way of Tottenham’s first notable shot of the second half, deflecting Kane’s effort wide. That this took place nearly 14 minutes after the interval reflects a period of diminished pace and precision. But now it was United who were more often winning second balls and coming first in marginal races, Spurs being pressured into errors. Ander Herrera epitomised their improved work ethic in scoring their second goal, sprinting the length of the field and arriving on the edge of Tottenham’s penalty area with perfect timing. Sánchez’s pass from the left flicked off Romelu Lukaku’s studs, was left by Jesse Lingard and the Spaniard’s low drive flashed past Vorm.
Having survived their poor start, United flourished to eventually give a display of authority. Pogba impressed again, claiming an assist and hitting a couple of delicious long passes to Lukaku. Sánchez displayed the effervescence that marked his finer performances for Arsenal. Spurs, increasingly frustrated, played at times as if their primary target was not United’s goal but Lingard’s ankles. With Kane peripheral for long periods there was only one significant chance as they chased the game, when Victor Wanyama headed Érik Lamela’s free-kick harmlessly high in the 89th minute.
Instead United, having taken a comical amount of time over a couple of substitutions, might have extended their advantage in the resulting stoppage time. First Lukaku released Marcus Rashford only for Dier to dispossess him inside the penalty area, and then Vorm raced out of his area to block a pass to Lukaku – with his back rather than, as many United fans suspected, his hands. But if this victory was never destined to be comfortable, it was in the end convincing.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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