Barcelona’s unbeaten season ended by five-star Levante

first_img0Shares0000Barcelona’s Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho scores hat-trick but to no avail as Barelona’s unbeaten record comes unstuck © AFP / JOSE JORDANMADRID, Spain, May 13 – Philippe Coutinho hit a hat-trick but could not save Barcelona’s unbeaten season as the Catalans were left stunned by an extraordinary 5-4 defeat to Levante on Sunday.Ernesto Valverde rested Lionel Messi for his team’s penultimate match of the campaign but it was a defensive horror-show that allowed Emmanuel Boateng to score three times and Enis Bardhi twice at the City of Valencia Stadium. The La Liga and Copa del Rey champions trailed 5-1 after an hour and still came within a whisker of a sensational comeback as Coutinho’s second and third goals, and a Luis Suarez penalty, set up a grandstand finish.But Levante held on for a thrilling victory, which ends their opponents’ hopes of becoming the first ever club to finish a 38-game La Liga season as invincibles.After drawing at home to Real Madrid last weekend, despite playing the second half with 10 men, and thrashing Villarreal, Barcelona sat just two games away from the historical feat.It was 1932 when the last side, Real Madrid, went unbeaten in the top-flight but even that was across only 18 matches, in a 10-team division.This was Barcelona’s first league loss since slipping up against Malaga on April 8 last year and while it has minimal impact on the table, Valverde will have questions to answer, not least with regards to leaving out Messi.“We are angry not to have come through this game and not to have the opportunity to finish unbeaten,” Valverde said.“But in a season some matches go your way and some don’t. I think this result was harsh in all respects but at other times this season, like in Seville, we could also have lost.”This defensive collapse was reminiscent of their Champions League meltdown against Roma, which has soured an otherwise successful campaign. The unbeaten record was supposed to help atone for the European failure.“Obviously we wanted to finish the league undefeated,” Sergio Busquets told beIN Sport.“But this does not take away everything we have done otherwise this season – everything we have achieved in league, the run we managed across two seasons – but, it is a shame.”For Levante, this is their eighth win in 10 matches under new coach Paco Lopez, who took charge with the club in danger of relegation but has overseen a remarkable transformation. They move up to 15th.Paco’s players exploded out of the blocks and pulled ahead in the ninth minute when Boateng nipped in at the near post after Jose Luis Morales’ weaving run down the left.Bardhi hit the woodwork with a lifted finish over Marc-Andre ter Stegen but Barca failed to heed the warnings and Boateng made it two after half an hour, latching on to Sasa Lukic’s threaded ball through.Coutinho pulled one back with a rasping shot before half-time but three Levante goals in 10 minutes after the interval sent the home fans into delirium.Bardhi’s blistering shot restored the two-goal advantage before Boateng completed his hat-trick as Barca’s defence was ripped apart again on the break.Another counter just before the hour ended with another crisp Bardhi finish, as Barca were now staring at a four-goal deficit.The game looked dead but Coutinho scored twice in six minutes, the first a close-range finish after Ousmane Dembele’s shot spilled loose, the second an instinctive shot from the edge of the area.When Boateng brought down Busquets in the area and Suarez drove the penalty down the middle with 20 minutes left, it felt inevitable Barca would find a fifth.But without Messi even to bring on, Levante withstood the late onslaught and should even have scored a sixth only for Ruben Rochina to prode wide after a dreadful backpass by Busquets. It was the final mistake of an error-strewn display.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

How Well Do We Know What Stuff Is Made Of?

first_imgWhen we think of the “hard sciences,” physics usually tops the list.  A closer look at what physicists think the universe is made of, though, hardly makes the science look hard.  Look at this headline on PhysOrg, for instance: “Study finds there may be multiple ‘God particles’”.  The title refers, of course, to the famed Higgs Boson, not to some supernatural entity.  The Large Hadron Collider was hoping to find evidence of this particle that Nobel laureate Leon Lederman called the “God particle” because, he said, its discovery could help unify our understanding of the universe and “know the mind of God.”  But now, according to Fermilab scientists, there might be five versions of the Higgs boson (which hasn’t been discovered yet).    Frank Close wrote a book review in Nature this week on this subject.1  The book is Massive: The Hunt for the God Particle by Ian Sample.  He points out that particle physicists hate the label “god particle” that the media continue to give it, and notes that “many argue that it should not be called the Higgs boson because the concept has a longer history.”  It turns out there is as much sociology, theory and nomenclature at work as physics in the conception of what lies at the foundations of matter.  A sample:Whereas the W and Z bosons that carry the weak force make use of this mechanism, the photon that carries the electromagnetic force does not; it remains massless.  Why this happens remains unanswered….    Behind all this theory lies the work of another British physicist, Jeffrey Goldstone.  In his investigation of spontaneous symmetry breaking in 1961, Goldstone identified two bosons that played a part: one was massive, the other massless.  Both differed from the photon or W boson in that they lacked the intrinsic quantum property of spin.  Empirical evidence indicated that the massless Goldstone boson does not exist, flagging up a theoretical quandary that received much attention at the time from those who hoped to use the theory as a basis for uniting the weak and electromagnetic interactions.  The mechanism discovered by the three groups of physicists in 1964 explained how Goldstone’s massless boson could disappear, in the process giving a mass to the W boson that transmits the weak force.  It thus solved two problems for the price of one, and paved the way for the modern theory of the ‘electroweak’ force.    Sample recognizes this work but overlooks its massive counterpart, which is where the excitement lies today.  The irony is that it also went largely ignored in 1964.  Brout and Englert made no mention of it in their paper, although they were aware of its manifestation in condensed-matter physics.  Guralnik, Hagen and Kibble suppressed it in their analysis, which was simplified to focus on the removal of its massless companion.  Higgs alone pursued it.  What is being called Higgs’s boson is, in effect, Goldstone’s massive boson.  Although at least six physicists can lay claim to this particular mechanism for generating mass, only Higgs realized the importance of the massive boson in testing the theory.An understanding of the terms is not as important as a perception that various competing teams appeared to be playing with shadows in the dark, and making up concepts as they went along.  Can a particle really be a carrier of a force?  Can mechanisms generate mass just because a theory needs it?  Where is the mass coming from?  As useful as the terms and nomenclature become to theory, does nature owe any obligation to conform to human conceptions?  Did nature suddenly change properties this year when one Higgs boson became five?    The intuitive answer to such questions is that of course nature didn’t change: we did.  Our scientific understanding of nature changed.  But then can we assume it is improving?  Is it evolving?  Is our understanding continuously changing, and if so, is there any point at which we can say we understand something with a sufficient degree of certainty?  At what point do we jettison things textbooks have been teaching for decades?  Can we assume we have the story right now?  What unforeseen discoveries in the next few years will have us regretting that what we are learning in 2010 is all wrong?    These are serious questions, underscored by another example in New Scientist this week, “Anti-neutrino’s odd behaviour points to new physics,” as if all we need right now is a new physics (the hard science).  Reporter Anil Ananthaswamy wrote, “The astounding ability of these subatomic particles to morph from one type to another may have created another crack in our understanding of nature.”  This crack, he said, “cannot be explained by standard model physics.”  Granted, neutrino physics experiments are difficult, but a Fermilab test of theory produced unexpected results.  Jenny Thomas of University College London put a happy face on it: “If the effect is real, then there is some physics that is not expected.  Then there is something new that we don’t understand, and that’s fantastic.”1.  Frank Close, “How the boson got Higgs’s name,” Nature 465, pp. 873�874, 17 June 2010, doi:10.1038/465873a.Rejoicing in one’s ignorance may be an exuberant form of humility, but it is not the kind of progress one expects from multi-million-dollar investments in science.  Remember this next time you watch some TV program boasting about how scientists are on the verge of coming up with a “theory of everything.”  For an excellent background on the Standard Model and what it does and does not explain, read David Berlinski’s penetrating essay, “The State of the Matter” (The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays, Discovery Institute, 2009.)  Also recommended are the lectures on scientific reduction (23-24) in Jeffrey Kasser’s Teaching Company series on Philosophy of Science, which ask what value is being added to explanation when things get reduced to fundamental physics.  In another Teaching Company series, Steven L. Goldman (Lehigh U) in Science in the 20th Century –: A Social-Intellectual Survey provides a colorful look at the personalities and milestones involved in quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics and quantum chromodynamics and how our views of “reality” changed dramatically over the last 100 years.  In another Teaching Company series, Science Wars, he asked what we mean by ‘reality,” whether science can approach it, and what confidence we can have that our concepts of reality will remain intact a century from now given that they have changed drastically and repeatedly over the past few centuries.    The reader should note that whether theories work is a separate question from whether they are true.  The Egyptians built the pyramids with remarkable precision while believing astrology.  We build cell phones and use GPS and lasers and a host of wondrous devices using quantum theory without a clue why nature behaves in the bizarre ways described by quantum mechanics.  How can something be a wave and a particle?  How can a photon pass through two slits at once?  How can two particles seem to interact instantaneously at a distance?  How can an observer play a role in the outcome of a quantum event?  We have no idea.  One mark of a good scientist is humility.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Grace: third European title of the season

first_imgHe’s up to fourth in the Race to Dubai standings, trailing only Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen and Justin Rose. Charl Schwartzel is in tenth place and Jbe Kruger 12th position, and Retief Goosen 16th spot. LEADERBOARD Branden Grace (-21) 67, 67, 64, 69, 267 Nicolas Colsaerts (-18) 68, 67, 66, 69, 270Richard Finch (-17) 67, 73, 65, 66, 271George Coetzee (-16) 72, 67, 64, 69, 272Victor Dubuisson (-16) 69, 68, 68 67, 272Marcus Fraser (-15) 67, 69, 67, 70, 273Ricardo Gonzalez (-15) 68, 73, 65, 67, 273Francesco Molinari (-15) 72, 65, 67, 69, 273Alexander Noren (-15) 68, 72, 63, 70, 273Fabrizio Zanotti (-15) 70, 68, 64, 71, 273 Lower down the leaderboardEnglishman Richard Finch claimed third, four shots behind Grace on 17-under 271. South African George Coetzee and Victor Dubiosson of France shared fourth on 16-under-par 272. Only two players – Seve Ballesteros (1977) and Sandy Lyle (1979) – have won three European Tour titles in a single season at a younger age than the 23-year-old. Swede Johan Edfors is the only other player to have won three titles in his first year on the tour after graduating from Qualifying School. Grace has achieved the feat after only 15 events of the season. South African golfer Branden Grace recorded his third European Tour win of the season in the Volvo China Open on Sunday – only the second player ever to achieve the feat in his debut season on the tour. Jbe Kruger tied for 18th on 12-under-par 276 after rounds of 66, 72, 69, and 69. Keith Horne shared 44th spot on seven-under-par 281, with rounds of 72, 68, 72, and 69. Interviewed immediately after he secured victory, he said: “I stayed really calm today. I kept hitting the ball well. I missed a couple of shots the first couple of holes, but regrouped well and made the birdies where it counts on the par fives, and just stayed with it from there.” Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materialcenter_img Final roundGrace led by three shots heading into the final round and finished three shots ahead of defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts after both posted three-under-par 69s over the last 18 holes. That left Grace on 21-under-par 267 after previous rounds of 67, 67, and 64. South African golfers have now won six of the 15 European Tour events played this season. Louis Oosthuizen took victory in the Africa Open and Maybank Malaysian Open, Jbe Kruger won the Avantha Masters, and Grace claimed the Joburg Open and Volvo Golf Champions. LucrativeGrace’s third win was also his most lucrative yet, worth €398 595 (approximately R4.11-million), or to put it another way, worth more than R1-million per round. Commenting on a spectacular breakthrough season, he added: “I thought my first win was around the corner. To have three before May is literally unbelievable, but I’ve been playing well, so I’ve been feeling like I can win and I’ve been giving myself opportunities.” Coetzee matched Grace from the second round onwards, firing 67, 64, and 69. The difference, though, was Grace’s 67 in the first round; Coetzee opened with a level-par 72. Grace’s earlier wins came in South Africa, so Sunday’s win was his first European Tour victory outside of his home country. 23 April 2012 Two other South Africans have previously won three European Tour events in a season: Ernie Els (2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005) and Retief Goosen (2001).last_img read more

Former SL cricketer Aravinda de Silva emphasizes on making Sehwag bowl more

first_imgEvery cricket fan remembers Aravinda de Silva for being arguably the greatest batsman Sri Lanka ever produced.He didn’t have the leadership qualities of Arjuna Ranatunga, the fear factor of Sanath Jayasuriya, the mental fortitude of Kumar Sangakkara or the natural class of Mahela Jayawardene, but his tenacity and allround strokeplay was pivotal in the development of the country’s cricket.The less memorable aspect of de Silva’s career was his handy part-time off-spin, with which he claimed 135 international victims- 29 in 93 Tests and 106 in 308 One Day Internationals.And the 46-year-old legend has a word of advice for India- start using Virender Sehwag’s off-breaks more often. “I don’t know the reason I don’t see him bowling his off-breaks more often. Sehwag is more than a handy off-spinner.The advantage to have a bowler like Sehwag is that he does not think like a part-timer. He is someone who thinks like a specialist off-spinner,  which is very important,” de Silva said when asked about Sehwag’s utility to the Indian team, amidst the debate over his batting form.Asked why India should use Sehwag, de Silva, a great player of spin bowling, bluntly replied, “I have not seen the Indian spinners try out different things. I felt that they were pretty flat and against sides which have good players of spin, this will be a problem.The Indian bowling attack does not have much variation in either spin or pace. On Sri Lankan pitches which are slow and offer some turn, one needs to mix it up. Whatever I have seen so far in this tournament, the Indian bowling attack seems to be weak.”advertisementSo which team is he backing to lift the World Twenty20 trophy? “Sri Lanka are one of the top contenders,” said de Silva, who was man of the match  for his century when Sri Lanka beat Australia in the 1996 ODI World Cup final in Lahore.The key for the hosts, according to de Silva, will be Ajantha Mendis. “Ajantha is fresh in his mind after his comeback (from injury), and that is the reason for his success. If one analyses Ajantha’s international track record, only the Indians have been able to read him well.Any batsman who plays Ajantha for the first time will find him difficult to negotiate,” he said. De Silva left the game after the 2003 World Cup.He believes in the case of players like his contemporary Sachin Tendulkar, it is the state of the body not the age that should determine the time of retirement. “Retirement is an individual decision and Sachin has the right to decide about his future.The decision does not depend on age but more on how your body responds to rigours of international cricket at that point of time,” de Silva said.last_img read more

10 months agoMan City boss Guardiola: De Bruyne was incredible

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man City boss Guardiola: De Bruyne was incredibleby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City fired home seven goals to thrash FA Cup opponents Rotherham United 7-0.Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and a Semi Ajayi own goal put a strong City side into a comfortable half-time lead.Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane completed the rout as the Millers were outclassed after the break.City boss Pep Guardiola was delighted with Kevin de Bruyne’s performance on the day.“We spoke with him yesterday to play 65/70 minutes for his rhythm and his injury,” said Guardiola.“He played incredible, created a good amount of chances and has a vision that others aren’t able to see.“Last season he played incredible minutes but hopefully in the second leg of the season he will help us because we need him. “I said many times. Without him last season maybe it wouldn’t have been possible. “We try to be a team and so far we have done incredible with results.“We have to carry on, now he is back and he is now fresh in mind and legs. Today he was our captain and he showed why.” last_img read more

Kahnawake to vote on new casino development April 28th

first_imgAPTN National NewsPotential casino developments in the Mohawk community of Kahnawake have been voted down twice in the past. But some say that the community is finally ready for a casino, and they’re pushing for residents to vote ‘Yes’ at the end of this month.Ryan Rice has been managing the latest version of the development, and he believes that after consultations with more than 30 Aboriginal community-owned casinos, the third time will be the charm.APTN National News reporter Ossie Michelin spoke with Rice and with community members ahead of the April 28th vote about the casino development and the potential influx of income.last_img

Rangers boss reacts to Lee Wallace first appearance

first_imgRangers boss Steven Gerrard was asked if he regretted throwing on Lee Wallace for his first appearance of the season just immediately before Hartley equalised, and he said according to Daily Mail:‘Because they had four or five big units on there and I have a defender sitting behind me who is 6ft 3 and will all due respect to Ovie – and he was good today – Lee Wallace is a lot better at defending set-pieces and that was the thinking behind it.‘If I’ve got it wrong, I’ll take the blame, no problem.’Steven Gerrard, Michael OwenOwen reveals why Liverpool didn’t offer Gerrard a new contract Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Owen, the Reds wanted to sell Gerrard two years before he left the club and that’s why they didn’t offer him a contract renewal.Gerrard shot down reports in the Portuguese media linking him with a move for Sporting Lisbon’s Ryan Gauld.‘Nothing’, he straight-batted. I’ve been asked about Nathan Dyer (of Swansea) and there’s nothing in that, either.On possible incomings this week, he said: ‘Hopefully we can get a centre-back in. Not sure if it’s loan or permanent – could be either.’last_img read more

Report Barcelona agree loan deal for KevinPrince Boateng

first_imgSassuolo forward Kevin-Prince Boateng is reportedly set to complete a six-month loan move to Barcelona after an agreement was reachedThe Catalan giants are currently short of centre-forward options following Paco Alcacer and Munir El Haddadi’s departures.This has left Luis Suarez, who will turn 32 this month, to bear most of the workload despite the need to be managed more carefully at this stage of his career.Therefore, Barcelona have gone out in a desperate search for a backup option with Goal reporting they have an agreement with Sassuolo for Boateng in a six-month loan deal with the option of making it permanent this summer for €8m.The report adds that Boateng bid his Sassuolo teammates goodbye today and has now set out to Catalunya to undergo a medical examination.Since arriving at Sassuolo last summer, Boateng has managed four goals and an assist in 13 Serie A appearances after spending last season at Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga.FC Barcelona, Valencia CFMatch Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).The 31-year-old has previously played for Hertha BSC, Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund, Portsmouth, AC Milan, Schalke 04 and UD Las Palmas.At the Canary Islands, Boateng scored 10 goals in 28 La Liga appearances during his sole campaign at the club in the 2016/17 season.Meanwhile, Barcelona had previously been linked with moves for Girona’s star striker Cristhian Stuani and Chelsea’s unsettled player Alvaro Morata.But a move for either player failed to materialise with Boateng becoming Barcelona’s second arrival of this month’s transfer window.Ernesto Valverde’s side have signed Jeison Murillo from Valencia in another loan deal until the end of the season, while Toulouse centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo will join them this summer.Should the deal go ahead, then Boateng could be in contention to make his Barcelona debut in Sunday’s Catalan derby against Girona in La Liga, where they hope to maintain their four-point advantage over Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.last_img read more