HONG KONG -- New Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas can look forward to the new Premier League season with confidence after his side won the Barclays Asia Trophy with a a 2-0 win over Aston Villa in the final on Saturday at Hong Kong Stadium. Whitey Herzog Authentic Jersey
. Blackburn Rovers beat Hong Kong champions Kitcheee 3-0 earlier to claim third place in the four-team tournament. The capacity crowd of almost 39,000 most of them Chelsea fans - had to wait just 45 seconds for last seasons Premier League runners-up, fielding a largely experimental side, to light up the scoreboard. Joshua McEachran fired home a loose ball after a goalmouth scramble that saw both Nicolas Anelka and John Obi Mikel have their efforts saved. Fernando Torres, who joined Chelsea in January from Liverpool but found the net only once at Stamford Bridge, doubled the advantage for the Blues when he diverted Florent Maloudas shot past new Villa goalkeeper Shay Given just seconds after coming on as a substitute in the 58th minute. Indeed, had it not been for some fine goalkeeping by Given, who made a number of important saves, Chelsea would have won by a far bigger margin. Villa, who drew both their games with Chelsea in the Premier League last season (0-0 and 3-3), created few chances and even when they did, could not find a way past Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech. Villas-Boas paid tribute to his players "super human effort" after a pre-season tour that took in six games, but warned "we have to keep winning when the competitive league starts." Chelsea have not conceded a single goal in the pre-season and Villas-Boas said defence was a key focus for the team. "Our defensive work is our offensive weapon," he said. We are playing a lot more attacking football and creating a lot of chances. We certainly did that today." Villa manager Alex McLeish admitted his players looked tired. "Weve only played three games in the pre-season and it (the lack of match fitness) showed," he said. "It was a horrible start for us with that early goal," McLeish added. "You cant give a team like Chelsea a start like that and hope to win the game." McLeish, though, was pleased with the form of summer signing Given, saying he hoped the goalkeeper would put in the same kind of performances "week in and week out in the Premier League." Mazuro Formica got Blackburn rolling with a close-range header in the 35th minute before David Dunn doubled the lead with a curling free kick in the 70th. Nick Blackman completed the scoring with a penalty in the 86th minute after he was brought down in the area. It was a far-from-convincing performance by Blackburn and it might have turned out differently had Kitchee captain Ubay Luzardo Santana converted a penalty 10 minutes before Formica opened the scoring. Blackburn manager Steve Kean was still pleased with his sides performance. "We were better in the second half after a tough first half," he said. "We are happy with our pre-season tour." " Goalscorer Dunn said he was glad to get on the score sheet but was more excited by the performances of young guns and fellow scorers Formica and Blackman, saying it bode well for the upcoming Premier League season. "We cam aim for a top 10 finish," he said. "Wed be happy with that." RESULTS Final: Chelsea 2 (Joshua McEachran 1, Fernando Torres 59), Aston Villa 0. Third place play-off: Blackburn Rovers 3 (Mauro Formica 35, David Dunn 70, Nick Blackman 86 penalty), Kitchee 0. Oscar Taveras Jersey
. Hes willing to leave Miami, if thats what it will take to win more championships. And what happens next will likely be up to not just the Heat, but Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as well. Adam Wainwright Cardinals Jersey
. The Winnipeg Jets head coach, whose parents are French-Canadian, lost much of his mother tongue the result of playing and coaching hockey in the U.S. but still speaks enough to get by.Bruins forward Shawn Thornton will be appealing his 15-game suspension handed down by the National Hockey League. The NHL suspended Thornton for his attack on Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik. After the whistle, Thornton skated the length of the ice, pulled Orpik to the ice from behind and punched him in the face several times. Orpik suffered a concussion and was taken to hospital. The Appeal Process As a first step, Thornton will appeal the suspension to Commissioner Gary Bettman. He hears all appeals on league discipline. Since the suspension exceeds five games, Bettman is required to have an in-person hearing for Thornton. Since Thornton was at the NHL office last week for his disciplinary hearing, he should know his way around by now. The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) provides that "the Commissioner shall endeavor to hear all appeals on an expedited basis and will determine whether the decision" is supported by clear and convincing evidence. So Bettman will get this done quickly and will assess whether the suspension makes sense based on the circumstances. Thornton should expect to fail on appeal to Bettman. The suspension was handed down by the Director of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan. However, given the complex legal implications of this case, particularly in light of the concussion lawsuits, the suspension was very likely a group effort. So the suspension wasnt a Shanahan decision as much as it was a league decision issued through Shanahan. As a result, its unlikely Bettman will reduce the suspension. Frankly, reductions by Bettman are unlikely in most circumstances. He runs the league so he wont contradict himself. Indeed, the NHLPA has probably told Thornton the prospects of success are bleak. And this brings us to the next stage in the appeal process. Appeal Number 2 It doesnt end with Bettman. Since the suspension exceeds five games, the CBA gives Thornton the right to appeal Bettmans decision to an independent arbitrator. This wasnt around in the old CBA and is brand new, thanks to the NHLPAs negotiations during the lockout. Thornton will have seven days to appeal Bettmans decision to the arbitrator (who is described as a "Neutral Discipline Arbitrator" in the CBA). There will once again be an in-person hearing, and while the CBA doesnt say when it must occur, the arbitrator needss to hear it on an "expedited basis". Vince Coleman Cardinals Jersey
. . So again, relatively quickly. The arbitrator will consider the length of the suspension and whether its appropriate. That determination will be made by examining things like the incident, the leagues past practice, the evidence and the surrounding circumstances. The arbitrator has broad powers. The CBA gives the arbitrator "full remedial authority", which means he can reduce the suspension, leave it as is, or even increase it. Its unlikely, though, the suspension would ever be increased. If Thornton is unhappy with the decision of the arbitrator, his only recourse would be to challenge the ruling in court. However, a judge will not interfere with the arbitrators decision unless its completely outrageous. Effectively, then, you should consider the arbitrators decision final. To be clear, Thornton doesnt have to appeal Bettmans ruling to the arbitrator. If he wants, after the Commissioner rules on his case, he can decide to stop the appeal process and serve out what is left of his suspension. As I wrote here, Thorntons prospects of success on appeal are low, given the NHLs past practice when it comes to these types of incidents. As well, the NHL may be able to make a compelling case that this type of suspension represents an important deterrent for on-ice behaviour that puts players at risk for concussions and the irreversible brain damage that may flow from head shots. However, merits aside, I also noted that we could still see an appeal. Since independent arbitrators are new, the NHLPA may want to start building precedents to help guide them in future cases. As well, the NHLPA needs to show that it wont roll over when it comes to defending its players and that it is prepared to dig in and fight. So while this case does not present a high likelihood of success for Thornton, the NHLPA sees value in taking a stand. And as it should. As for Brooks Orpik, he may not be too happy with the NHLPA defending his attacker. Still, the NHLPA may draw the fine distinction that the appeal is not adverse to Orpik, but rather adverse to the NHL and its decision. So the Union isnt technically acting against one of its own, but instead acting on behalf of one of its own. That is a distinction that may not sit well with Orpik. However, thats the nature of the NHLPA beast. wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys from china
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