Xhaka captained Switzerland in Copenhagen (Picture: Getty)Xhaka, who wore the captain’s armband in Copenhagen, was one of Switzerland’s better players – but the midfielder was universally trolled for a moment in the second half which also involved ex-Arsenal team-mate Lichsteiner.AdvertisementAdvertisementHoping Xhaka brings this thing of beauty to the Premier League…@akhifc pic.twitter.com/wkYK4yaCh7— follow akhifc (@wasakhifc) October 13, 2019 Comment And another completely necessary angle of the routine…It’s a real shame we didn’t get more Swiss genius like this at Arsenal with Xhaka and Lichtsteiner. pic.twitter.com/yUA6IMmuEa— Dylan Walsh (@dylanwalsh_) October 13, 2019 Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka and Stephan Lichtsteiner ridiculed over comedy free-kick routine Metro Sport ReporterSunday 13 Oct 2019 7:13 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.2kShares Advertisement Kasper Schmeichel produced a string of fine saves before Denmark’s late winner and Vladimir Petkovic reserved special praise for the Leicester goalkeeper after the final whistle.‘If it wasn’t for their goalkeeper, we would have scored three goals,’ the Switzerland manager said.‘It was still a good performance.‘We can take that into Tuesday’s game against Ireland.’MORE: Harry Redknapp backs Tottenham to finish third in the Premier League after shaky start Granit Xhaka and Stephan Lichtsteiner invented a brilliant free-kick routine during Switzerland’s defeatArsenal players past and present Stephan Lichtsteiner and Granit Xhaka produced the most bizarre free-kick routine of the season during Switzerland’s 1-0 defeat to Denmark.Yussuf Poulsen struck late on in Saturday evening’s Euro 2020 qualifying match to put Denmark level on points with the Republic of Ireland (12) at the top of Group D.Christian Eriksen produced another below-par display after a disappointing start to the season with Tottenham, but popped up when it mattered to assist Poulsen at the death.Third-placed Switzerland now face an uphill battle in qualifying for next summer’s tournament ahead of their clash with Mick McCarthy’s side in Geneva on Tuesday evening.ADVERTISEMENT Advertisement
PreviousLos Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, right, puts up the ball with Philadelphia 76ers’ Shake Milton, left, defending during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. LeBron James passes Kobe Bryant for third on the NBA all-time scoring. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, right, shoots with Philadelphia 76ers’ Al Horford, left, defending during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons dunks during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, right, puts up the ball with Philadelphia 76ers’ Shake Milton, left, defending during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. LeBron James passes Kobe Bryant for third on the NBA all-time scoring. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, right, shoots as he is hit by Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, center, with Lakers’ Anthony Davis, looking on during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)Philadelphia 76ers’ Al Horford, right, shoots with Los Angeles Lakers’ Danny Green, left, defending during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)Philadelphia 76ers’ Tobias Harris, left, looks to pass with Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, right, defending during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) reacts after moving to No. 3 on the NBA’s career scoring list during the second half of a basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James goes up for the shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center right, goes up for the shot with Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris, right, and Shake Milton, center left, defending during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, left, passes the ball with Philadelphia 76ers’ Matisse Thybulle, right, defending during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, right, puts up the ball with Philadelphia 76ers’ Shake Milton, left, defending during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. LeBron James passes Kobe Bryant for third on the NBA all-time scoring. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, right, shoots with Philadelphia 76ers’ Al Horford, left, defending during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)NextShow Caption1 of 12Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, right, shoots with Philadelphia 76ers’ Al Horford, left, defending during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)ExpandPHILADELPHIA — For the week leading up to a Saturday night tilt, the Lakers felt the growing tension of a scoring milestone for LeBron James.James got history. The 76ers got the win.In a 108-91 loss to Philadelphia, it was Ben Simmons — who has been compared to James since he was in high school — who stole the show with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. Alongside wingman Tobias Harris (29 points), the Lakers (36-10) were overwhelmed by the aggressive scoring wings of their Eastern Conference foes (30-17).It ended a five-game roadtrip on a humbling note, as the Lakers went 3-2, but lost to the two best teams they faced. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe Lakers were injured by their own miscues. While James finished with 29 points and 8 assists, and Anthony Davis had a game-high 31 points, as a whole, the team was mistake-prone. The Lakers had 23 turnovers that led to 34 points. Once in transition, Simmons and company were unstoppable, even without All-Star Joel Embiid.Even on his own big night when he passed Kobe Bryant in career scoring, James had 8 of the turnovers on his own. The Sixers had strong defensive games from Simmons and Matisse Thybulle, who combined for nine steals.Outside shooting made it harder to come back. The Lakers were just 6 for 30 on threes.The biggest Sixers lead came in the third quarter, as James was straining to hit the basket he needed to pass Bryant. They led by as much as 22 points, but the Lakers were able to claw it back within five in the fourth quarter — thanks much in part to active bench stints led by Alex Caruso (6 steals) capped with a 3-pointer from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.Even as the Lakers shot poorly and turned the ball over, Frank Vogel said he felt the Lakers still gave good energy, diving on the floor for loose balls and fighting the Sixers despite getting down. “I thought we withstood the first punch, were able to continued to fight throughout the game,” he said. “I thought we didn’t play well, but we played hard as hell.”McGee misses second straight startThe Lakers were again without starting center JaVale McGee in Philadelphia, where he was dealing with flu-like symptoms.McGee missed an extended stint last season with pneumonia and was briefly hospitalized. But Frank Vogel said this bout with illness is not nearly as serious as the last one that had a severe impact on his season.“He probably could’ve played tonight,” Vogel said. “He’s feeling better. Hasn’t eaten in two days. He’s depleted. He had something that lingered last year and we’re just trying to be smart.”McGee has been isolated from the team as to not spread his illness. Vogel said McGee traveled from New York to Philadelphia on his own, and the Lakers did consider sending him back to Los Angeles ahead of the rest of the group.McGee is averaging 7.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for the Lakers in just 17 minutes per night. Dwight Howard started in his place, while the Lakers rotated lineups with Anthony Davis and Jared Dudley playing center.Vogel reunites with former player Roy HibbertAs a South Jersey native, Frank Vogel has a lot of family and friends living near Philly. But he made sure to carve out time in his schedule for dinner with an old friend: Roy Hibbert.The 7-foot-2 center was a stalwart pillar for Vogel’s best defenses in Indiana. The two dined at a steakhouse in Philadelphia, where Hibbert is now an assistant for Brett Brown. Hibbert averaged 10 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in his nine-year NBA career, which included a one-year stint with the Lakers.Vogel and Hibbert made back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference finals together, where they battled LeBron James’ Miami Heat in tough series. The bonds from that experience seem to lie deeper than the court.“He’s a very, very close friend,” Vogel said. “His family is very close to my family, our wives, our kids, those types of things. We’ll always have a special bond. … Happy to see him get into coaching. He’s going to be a great coach, he’s got a great career ahead of him.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
CC: Yeah. This fight is very personal to me. This guy has my full attention. He besmirched Dan Lambert, and Dan Lambert is like a second father to me. He’s the godfather of MMA. The guy has done so much for me and the gym. To slap him in the face like that and besmirch him. Robbie Lawler has to pay. Now I have to bring that scalp back to Dan Lambert, and that’s got to be had. There’s nothing else that can be said.SN: When you envision the fight in the head, how does it play out?CC: I envision myself knocking out out Robbie Lawler in the first round. “Chaos” made his debut in February 2012 and hasn’t looked back. He won his first five fights on the regional circuit before getting the call for his first UFC bout in August 2014. Using his dominant wrestling and his gift of gab, Covington quickly climbed the ladder with an 8-1 record. The pinnacle of his career to this point has been challenging Rafael dos Anjos for the interim welterweight title at UFC 225 in June 2018.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThe 31-year-old Covington controlled the majority of the fight and won by unanimous decision to claim UFC gold for the first time. His reign didn’t last long, however; the UFC removed the interim tag when he couldn’t face then-champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 228 in September because of sinus surgery. Days before his return at UFC Newark, Covington talked with Sporting News about getting stripped of the interim title, how frustrated he was about the move, why taking on Lawler is so personal and how expects to beat Lawler.(Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for clarity.)SPORTING NEWS: Do we still call you the interim welterweight champion?COLBY COVINGTON: Of course, you can call me that. You can call me “America’s Champion,” “The People’s Champion,” but you can’t say “former champion” by my name because to be a former champion, you have to be beaten inside the Octagon, and no one has beaten me inside the Octagon. I still claim my title. Possession is nine-tenths of the law. No one is taking that title anytime soon because there’s not a man alive on this earth that can beat me.SN: There’s been a lot of rumor and innuendo on what happened with the UFC and why they stripped you of the interim tag. Can you set the record straight on what happened with you and the UFC?CC: They (the UFC) wanted me to do an unrealistic turnaround. I just fought Rafael dos Nachos (Anjos) and won the interim world title. They wanted me to fight a healthy Woodley on four weeks’ notice, and I already had a nose surgery scheduled with the UFC doctors. Their doctors told me this was one of the worst deviated septums and sinusitis we’ve ever seen and you need to get the surgery because you can’t breathe, mucus drains going down to your lungs, and it’s not safe to fight right now. I have to use my lungs to fight so that I can breathe. I needed just a little bit of time, and they wanted to move on. The people know I’m still the champion. I’ve never been beaten. We’re on better terms now, and things got smoothed over. Now, I’m ready to put on a show and defend my title against Robbie Lawler this weekend.SN: How frustrating was that time for you because you knew you couldn’t fight, doctors said you couldn’t compete, and everything still went the way it did?CC: When they (UFC) did the Woodley vs. Till fight, I wasn’t frustrated because it was unrealistic. But it was very frustrating when they did the Fake Marty (Kamaru) Usman vs. Tyron Woodley fight (at UFC 235) in March because they (UFC) offered me the Woodley fight four times. They told me we’d fight in September, then it was November at Madison Square Garden, and I agreed. Woodley declined. Then they said I’d fight him in December at the year-end show. I accepted, and he declined. Then they said I was going to save the Anaheim card and we’d headline that. But then Woodley had to pull out of that, so they canceled the Anaheim card altogether. They said to me that Woodley is going to fight in March, but you aren’t going to fight him unless you fight Usman at the end of January and turn around five weeks later and fight Woodley in the undisputed fight. I was like, “What?” Obviously, I’m not going to take that fight when I was guaranteed the Woodley fight. It was very frustrating to lock down Woodley because he wouldn’t fight me for literally two years. He was getting offered that fight since he fought Demian Maia. He turned it down every single time.Now Usman is Woodley 2.0 and faking all these injuries, going under the knife. You see after he fought Woodley that he was in a wheelchair to the press conference, but then the next day he’s jumping barricades at Palms Hotel buffet line. He’s running a fake narrative about being injured and use up every cent he can with that No. 1 contender fake power ranger belt. It sucks because these guys don’t want to fight me and I want to prove that I’m the best in the world.SN: For a time, you and Lawler were at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla. You’re still there, and he’s not. Did you ever think when you guys were at the gym together that this fight would eventually happen?CC: That’s so funny, you say that. One hundred percent (saw it happening). I’ve seen these fights happen before my eyes. I thought Lawler. I thought Woodley, too. I trained with those guys a long time ago. I knew these fights were destined to happen. When Robbie Lawler brought me in to prepare for Johny Hendricks, he needed a southpaw wrestler. I knew when we were training in those days, weeks and years that our paths would eventually cross because I’m the young, up-and-coming stud and I’m beating the world champion, and nobody knew who I was at the time. It was a matter of time before I got my moment, and I got my opportunities to be in the spotlight that I’m in today. Now here we are, teammates turned into rivals.SN: What was the relationship like between you two?CC: It was a good relationship. We went and ate food a couple of times and hung out with him. I never went to his house. It wasn’t that type of friendship. He’s very into his family anyways, so he didn’t have a lot of time outside of fighting. We trained, grab lunch, hang out at the gym, and always talk. I have his number still. He would try and hook me up with sponsors, and I would try to hook him up with stuff. We had a very good relationship. It wasn’t just training partners. There was more of a dynamic of friendship to it as well.SN: The build-up has been why he left the gym. He hasn’t discussed what happened. You’ve talked about how personal him leaving was to you. What exactly happened with him leaving ATT?CC: The reason Robbie Lawler left the gym and turned his back on all his teammates and coaches is because of a picture they put up when he lost to Woodley, and a picture was put up at the gym. Lawler came into the gym, saw the picture, and said he’s leaving the gym. He went to Dan Lambert, who is my agent and manager and the owner of American Top Team, and said, “Hey, Dan, that’s bulls—. You shouldn’t have put up that picture. I’m leaving. F— you.”That was uncalled for, especially for how much Dan did for him. Robbie Lawler has had it better than anybody has had it in the history of American Top Team. The guy was silver spoon-fed. He had everything taken care for him like expenses and training partners. Dan Lambert paid for everything. He had it better than anyone. A private jet was waiting for him pretty much every day. He could go anywhere he wanted. It’s just sad that we built him up at American Top Team and as soon as he loses one fight, he turns his back on us and runs away from the people who built him up into what he is today. Now, it’s personal. As team captain of American Top Team, I need to go out and put on a show and I need to beat the s— out of Robbie Lawler for what he did and put our team through.SN: I’ve never heard you this fired up. Is this fight more personal than anything that has happened with Tyron Woodley? Colby Covington will return from a 15-month absence Saturday when he takes on former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler in the main event of UFC Newark from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. After graduating from Oregon State University, where he was a two-time All American and Pac-10 Conference champion in wrestling, Covington was recruited by the owner of American Top Team, Dan Lambert, to join his gym and get into MMA.