Dortmund overcome Haaland absence to draw with Lazio and reach last 16
Posté le 3/12/2020 à 13:28 - 0 Commentaires - poster un commentaire - LienDORTMUND, Germany (Reuters) -
Borussia Dortmund overcame the absence of injured top scorer Erling Haaland to draw 1-1 with Lazio in Champions League Group F on Wednesday and advance to the knockout stages with a game to spare.
The Germans secured a top-two finish ahead of their final game at Zenit St Petersburg, but Lazio need at least a draw against Club Brugge next week to advance.
The 20-year-old Haaland, who has scored 16 goals in 12 Champions League appearances, was surprisingly not in Dortmund's starting lineup and his coach Lucien Favre said a muscle injury would sideline the Norwegian until January.
It was Lazio who had the better chances in the first half but the hosts, See: Topdon Car Battery Tester. who clearly missed Haaland's scoring instinct, struck against the run of play a minute before the break.
"We lost 3-1 in Rome, we improved tonight and could have won it with our chances," Favre said. "In the end it was not our best performance, but we have qualified. That is what was important tonight. Nothing else matters."
The Germans scored with their first real chance, Raphael Guerreiro prodding in after a quick passing move split open the Italian defence.
Lazio captain Ciro Immobile, playing against his former club, levelled with a 67th-minute penalty and the Italians then forced Dortmund keeper Roman Buerki to make two outstanding saves to send his team through.
Buerki palmed Immobile's powerful low drive wide in the 87th and he pushed Andreas Pereira's free kick deep in stoppage time over the bar.
"We did well to react, did well to not lose and we had a great final 20 minutes in which we did all we could do win it and get the three points," Immobile said.
"We wouldn't have deserved to lose, for what we showed in the second half. We showed great character and winning mentality."
There was more bad news for Dortmund, already the missing injured Emre Can and Thomas Meunier, with centre back Mats Hummels helped off the pitch late in the game due to an ankle injury.
Dortmund are on 10 points with second-placed Lazio on nine. Club Brugge are third on seven after beating last-placed Zenit.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)
Michigan basketball's rotation strategy going according to plan
Posté le 2/12/2020 à 15:48 - 0 Commentaires - poster un commentaire - LienJuwan Howard says it would take an hour to explain Michigan basketball's rotation, and he just didn't have enough time to do that during his video conference call with reporters on Tuesday night.
He did, at least, attempt to summarize his approach.
"I would just leave you with a few words: All hands on deck," Howard said.
Howard has certainly adhered to that mantra.
In looking back through the box scores of Michigan's games against Bowling Green and Oakland, Howard used 26 different lineups. Ten of the team's 12 scholarship players have seen action thus far.
"We're gonna need each and every guy on our roster this season," Howard said. "It's great to see all our guys, especially our freshman, getting a chance to play early."
Howard didn't get into specifics on how how he is sorting through Michigan's rotation, but it's clear he is still sorting through things.
The Wolverines (2-0) have opened each game with the same starting lineup of Mike Smith, Eli Brooks, Franz Wagner, Isaiah Livers and Austin Davis. In both games, the first players off the bench were Chaundee Brown and Hunter Dickinson, replacing Smith and Davis.
After that is where things diverge.
Michigan played 15 lineup combinations in the first game against Bowling Green. Twelve of those lineups featured Livers, the senior do-it-all forward, and nine featured Wagner, expected to be the team's most complete player as a sophomore.
In the first half of Michigan's second game, against Oakland, Smith and Livers picked up two first-half fouls. Howard tendency is to replace starters (or significant contributors) who pick up two of the five allotted fouls in the first half and sit them until after halftime. Thus, while you would expect a significant decrease in the number of unique lineups used in the second game, Michigan ended up using seven in the first half alone, with extended run given to freshman point guard Zeb Jackson and freshman forward Terrance Williams.
Howard and Michigan again ran into challenging circumstances in the second half against Oakland, with the Wolverines trailing against the Grizzlies - a 31-point underdog - and in need of a spark. With 11:23 remaining in regulation and Michigan down by four points, Howard inserted a 24th different lineup this season which featured Smith, Brooks, Brown, Williams and Dickinson.
Williams and Dickinson, two freshmen known as the "DMV boys" because they played on the same AAU team in the Washington, D.C., metro area, were the key components of that group.
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"I think we just have chemistry doing this for a long time," Williams said Sunday night after Michigan's 81-71 overtime win over Oakland. "Coach Howard said that in the locker room, ‘You guys have been doing it since Team Takeover days and elementary school,' and that's why he put us both in at the same time, get the good high-low in, make the right play, make the right pass."
Still, despite all the variation, Howard already has a couple preferred lineups.
He has used the same starting lineup for both games, and that group has opened up each second half. The lineup featuring Brooks, Brown, Wagner, Livers and Dickinson has been a favorite of Howard's, as he used it to close regulation in the back-and-forth Oakland game, then stuck it for the first four minutes of overtime, as Michigan opened up a commanding lead.
General rules of permutation tell us there are 6,188 different lineups that Howard can choose from, based on the
17-man roster. If you consider just the 12 scholarship players, there are still 792 different lineups.
So while 26 lineups through two games may seem like a lot of variation, Howard has really only used a small fraction of the combinations at his disposal.
And with the uncertainty of playing during the COVID-19 pandemic - "This is COVID rules, fellas," Howard said Tuesday - he doesn't seem inclined to trim his rotation. <...