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What went wrong for Liverpool this year?



Liverpool won the Champions League in 2019, Premier League in 2020, but failed to make it big this year.

The Reds are languishing on the sixth spot in the Premier League after being knocked out of the 2021 Champions League in the quarter-final by Real Madrid.

Their form slump has gone from bad to worse this season, not being able to live up to the expectations across all competitions.

But this has got to do with the absence of Liverpool’s key players more than the management’s tactical errors.

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez missed out on the season due to injuries.

Joel Matip’s fitness issues also added to the issue in the middle of the season, which was too much to handle for the depleted Liverpool team.

The club tried to end their injury woes by bringing on fresh legs at Anfield, but that did not bear fruit either.

Their defence lacked depth, hence, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp signed Schalke’s Ozan Kabak and Preston’s Ben Davies to solve the problem.

Both defenders signed their contracts just a day before the transfer window closed.

However, their inclusion did not change the outcome much.

Klopp erupts after Everton game

Jurgen Klopp did not shy away from admitting that his side turned up with poor performances throughout the season.

While the Reds showed moments of brilliance too, their sub-standard performances in the Premier League on consecutive occasions negated the sublime moments.

After losing to Everton 0-2 on February 20, Klopp affirmed that his side did not observe the basics of the game, something that they had missed out on the whole year.

This was Liverpool’s fourth defeat in a row at home, a record that was last registered by the Reds in 1923.

The Liverpool manager said: “There are two big parts, you have to defend and you have to score. In the decisive moments we make either a mistake, or something strange happens.”

He added that the only way Liverpool can bounce back into the competition was by capitalizing on “decisive moments”, but unfortunately it is yet to occur with only four games left in the league.

How can Liverpool redeem themselves?

In the last two seasons, Liverpool have displayed a common goal-scoring method which goes like this: Van Dijk or Trent Alexander-Arnold volleys the ball to either Sadio Mane or Mohammad Salah and close passing helps the other forward find the back of the net.

This year, the opposition seemed to have deciphered their plan.

They did not let the Liverpool forwards get enough space to perform intricate passing.

The teams closed down the distance by letting their defenders hurry onto them one on one.

One way to fix this is to introduce a slight change in tactics.

The Liverpool management should place every player a tad deeper than their current positions.

This will help the defending Premier League champions by creating some space up front where they could complete final touches with ease because the other team will not be able to close them down in a jiffy.

The opposition would be drawn up and Liverpool could exploit the space from where where they created havoc in the last two years. 

The only drawback of this tactic is that it will be not very pleasing to the eye. 

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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman hails rise of good performance amongst sports during 2024 Budget speech




India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman lauded the rise of sports in India during her Union Budget speech. The Indian contingent finished with its highest-ever medal tally during the Asian Games last year.

Even the Asian Para Games contingent did well and won many medals. Chess has also produced some amazing Indian talents. 18-year-old Praggnanandhaa came in for special attention from the Finance Minister.

The youngster reached the finals of the Chess World Cup before losing to Magnus Carlsen. This achievement was lauded by Nirmala Sitharaman during her speech in the floor of the house.

Finance minister lauds Indian growth in sports 

India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman was presenting the interim budget ahead of the 2024 Elections. During her chat listing all the achievements the country has made, her comments on sports took the limelight.

Sitharaman said “The country is proud of our youth scaling new heights in sports. The highest-ever medal tally in Asian Games and Asian Para Games in 2023 reflects a high confidence level. Chess prodigy and our number-one ranked player Praggnanandhaa put up a stiff fight against the reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsson in 2023. Today, India has over 80 chess grandmasters compared to little over 20 in 2010,”

Last year during the Asian Games, India finished 4th in the medals tally. The final tally read, 28 gold medals, 38 silver medals, and 41 bronze medals. Men’s and Women’s cricket won gold medals for the first time. The Indian Kabaddi Team did well to beat Iran in the final of a pulsating contest.

Despite their bad performance in the AFC Asian Cup 2024, even Indian football has started to perform well. Indian Cricket Team reached the finals of the ODI World Cup and the World Test Championships in 2023. 2024 is set to be yet another huge year for Indian sports. The focus will be on the huge Olympics set to be held in Paris this year. The likes of Neeraj Chopra will be looking to bring even more glory to the nation with their performances.

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CSK Skipper MS Dhoni files lawsuit against Business partner, accuses cheating and financial loss



MS Dhoni

In surprising news, cricketing legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni has taken legal action against his former business associates, Mihir Diwakar and Soumya Vishwash of Aarka Sports and Management Limited. The former India captain accuses them of tricking him in a deal related to cricket academies, resulting in a huge financial loss of over Rs 15 crore. Dhoni filed a criminal case in October 2023, accusing them of cheating.

The legal battle unfolded as Dhoni and Diwakar agreed in 2017 to open a cricket academy. However, Diwakar allegedly failed to stick to the specified conditions, causing substantial financial harm to MSD.

Today, the court witnessed the proceedings in the case, highlighting the intricacies of the alleged breach of agreement. The cricketing maestro and Mihir Diwakar’s agreement in 2017 outlined the opening of a cricket academy. However, Diwakar is accused of failing to adhere to the predetermined terms, causing a significant loss estimated at Rs 17 crore for Dhoni.

MS Dhoni is set to make a comeback in IPL 2024

The accusations of deception and breach of agreement have added a new layer to the ongoing legal saga. Dayanand Singh, representing MS Dhoni through Vidhi Associates, emphasised the alleged failure of Mihir Diwakar to fulfil the agreed-upon conditions, leading to substantial financial losses for the cricket icon.

The legal battle takes a more dramatic turn as Dhoni’s friend, Simant Lohani (Chittu), also files a complaint. Lohani alleges that he faced threats and abuse from Mihir Diwakar after legal action was initiated against Aarka Sports.

Despite the legal complexities, MS Dhoni remains resolute in his return to competitive cricket. Recently returning from Dubai after celebrating the New Year, Dhoni is gearing up for IPL 2024, which is anticipated to be his farewell season in the league. The legal tussle with former business partners adds an unexpected twist to Dhoni’s journey, underscoring the challenges even cricketing legends face beyond the boundary.

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South Africa’s paralympian Oscar Pistorius released on parole



Former South Africa Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been released on strict parole conditions. Back in 2013, he mistakenly murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He claimed to have mistaken her for a burglar and shot her from inside his bathroom. In the same year, he was jailed for 16 years. However, after completing his 11 years of sentence, he has been released on bail on some conditions.

Pistorius’ sentence will conclude in 2029. As per the law of the South African land, offenders are allowed to be considered for parole after serving half of their total sentence, and in Pistorius’s case, this moment has arrived. His parole conditions include strict monitoring and participation in programs addressing anger management and gender-based violence.

Reeva Steenkamp’s mother, June Steenkamp, expressed her acceptance of the legal process, stating as per BBC, “The conditions imposed by the parole board, which includes anger management courses and programs on gender-based violence, send out a clear message that gender-based violence is taken seriously.” She acknowledged the limitations of justice, emphasizing the irreparable loss suffered by her family.

Oscar Pistorius’ journey in a nutshell

The 37-year-old’s career took off when he secured four gold medals in the Paralympics. During the 2012 London Olympics, he competed against non-disabled athletes. However, due to the unfortunate event mentioned above, his much-celebrated career came to an end.

The Department of Correctional Services in South Africa asserted that Pistorius, despite his celebrity status, would be treated like any other parolee. The conditions entail home confinement during specific hours, a ban on alcohol consumption, and restrictions on media interaction.

June Steenkamp reflected on the complexity of justice in the face of an irreparable loss, stating, “There can never be justice if your loved one is never coming back, and no amount of time served will bring Reeva back.” She expressed her hope to focus on the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation, dedicated to continuing her daughter’s legacy.

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