City’s defence has been one of their weaknesses all season and they looked particularly vulnerable when Kompany endured an injury-hit first three months of the campaign. But Pellegrini said of the Belgian: “He is the captain of the team, he is a very important player but we have had so many injuries during the whole year from different players and always we have managed to play well. “I am sure the players who will play instead of Vincent will play well.” Pellegrini also admits to having fitness concerns about Nastasic, who has missed the last eight games in all competitions with a knee injury and has been out much longer than initially anticipated. The Chilean said: “He continues with some pain in his knee. He has at least a couple more weeks to recover. “Of course we are concerned because the doctor doesn’t know what happened with him. He made all the exams that he needs but we don’t know what happened with him. “We are taking other opinions. The doctor is in charge of that. “The player feels a pain inside the knee but nobody knows what the pain is.” City have a tough week ahead, with the Fulham clash followed by the derby at champions Manchester United next Tuesday and then a trip to title rivals Arsenal. Pellegrini’s men also have a trip to Liverpool, another side in the title race, to come. Yet for now his only focus is bottom side Fulham and what he believes could be a tricky contest. He said: “I think it is just a very tough game. All the teams in the last position – not only in the relegation positions but in the last position in the table in the second round (of fixtures) – try to add points everywhere. “A team like Fulham are used to defending and with Felix Magath – he always plays his teams with a lot of intensity – I am sure we need to work very hard during the 95 minutes if we want to win. “That is why we start a very important week, but the most important game in this week is Fulham. “I am talking to the players, trying to convince all of them it is always a difficult game. “Maybe for important games, with the most important teams, the motivation is alone – you don’t need to talk too much. “But in these kind of games, it is very important to play from the beginning as a final.” Fulham winger Ashkan Dejagah has been ruled out with a muscle problem. Striker Kostas Mitroglou is missing with a knee problem sustained last week but is expected to return against Everton on March 30. Midfielder Scott Parker remains in the treatment room with his knee injury, while winger Damien Duff is out for the rest of the season, also because of a knee issue. Fulham are four points adrift of safety with eight matches remaining, their victory over Newcastle a first Premier League win since January 14 against Norwich. Magath insists the Cottagers can return from Manchester with some reward, but refuses to set a points target for survival. “I don’t count points because I have no influence on what the other teams will do. I don’t care, I only look at the next game,” he said. “I’m looking to take a point at Man City, so we’ll see. We want to win our home games and we did well against Newcastle. “We’re developing step by step and I was very satisfied with the game against Newcastle over 90 minutes because we didn’t concede. “There is always a chance, even in difficult games like Manchester City. Now we know that we must not concede. We can defend very well. “If we make it difficult for Man City to score, we’ll have a chance to score for ourselves. I hope we’ll create more chances.” City’s influential captain is suspended for the visit of struggling Fulham in the Barclays Premier League after his sending off at Hull last Saturday. With Matija Nastasic nursing a knee injury, that could mean the much-maligned Martin Demichelis and Joleon Lescott, who endured a torrid time at Barcelona last week, are again partnered at the back. Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident his defence will stand up to the test in the absence of captain Vincent Kompany this weekend. Press Association
USC students reflect on Kobe Bryant’s life and legacy. He was an 18-time All-Star and the 2008 league MVP, bringing the Lakers to five NBA championships. (Photo via Los Angeles Lakers/Twitter) Bryant was always one of the most respected players in the league during his career and a staple of Los Angeles inside and outside of sports. The news of his passing impacted USC students — Lakers fans or not — who grew up watching and idolizing the “Black Mamba.” Bryant moved to Italy when he was 6 as his father had retired from the NBA to play internationally. Overseas, Bryant not only learned how to speak fluent Italian and play soccer but he started to seriously learn how to play basketball. Almost four years after the final game of Bryant’s career — a 60-point performance against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center in April 2016 — his impact is still felt in the NBA. Now, after Bryant’s passing, his legacy in the sport and in the lives of fans around the world is sure to live on. “Kobe’s legacy isn’t even basketball, it’s work ethic and dedication,” said Jayden Smith, a sophomore majoring in political science. “The way Kobe trained, he did that in every aspect of his life. Everything he does he obsesses over it, over the minute details, and does everything he can to be better than the person that he’s competing against.” Bryant’s legacy is a somewhat complicated one. In 2003, Bryant was arrested and charged for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel employee in Colorado. The accuser later dropped the charges after refusing to testify but later filed a separate civil suit against Bryant. Bryant did not directly admit guilt but publicly apologized for the circumstances between himself and the employee. After the news of Bryant’s death was first reported by TMZ Sports and followed by confirmation by multiple outlets, numerous celebrities, sports figures and fans were quick to share their grief on social media. Memorials were quickly set up near the crash site and outside Staples Center, the Lakers’ home arena and site of the 2020 Grammy Awards show that began just hours later, bringing a mix of attendees and mourners to L.A. Live. Bryant had three straight championship-winning seasons with teammate Shaquille O’Neal and head coach Phil Jackson from 2000-02 before O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004. That trade, however, cemented Bryant’s role as the Lakers’ franchise leader. He would go on to win two more championships with Jackson and teammate Pau Gasol in 2009 and 2010 before tearing an Achilles tendon in 2013 at age 34. “It’s more than just basketball really with Kobe, he kind of just encompassed everything L.A.,” said Diego Briones, a junior majoring in political science. “Especially because it’s such an artsy town, he was such a sophisticated, intellectual person … He really viewed the sport like an art and I think that really resonates with a lot of Los Angeles citizens.” “He’s an international icon,” Briones said. “He helped take basketball international … I think he’s pivotal in that regard.” Bryant has become a household name for many across the globe, including those outside of the basketball community and fanbase. His legacy and approach towards his goals even impacted people off the court that did not tune in to witness his impressive on-court performances. Bryant and Gianna are survived by Kobe’s wife Vanessa and three daughters — Natalia Diamante (17), Bianka Bella (3) and Capri Kobe (7 months). Tributes to Kobe Bryant hang on the windows of Cale & Irani Residential College at USC Village. (Photo courtesy of Jayden Smith) Bryant’s tenacious work ethic, highlighted in his book “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play,” has served as a model for young athletes and others inside and outside the realm of sports. He was known for his unwavering, constant willingness to improve. Former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were killed Sunday morning after a helicopter crashed in Calabasas just before 10 a.m. Bryant and Gianna were on their way to Thousand Oaks for her basketball practice. He was 41. Bryant grew up as a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and played with them for all of his 20-year career. Considered by many as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Bryant was an 18-time All-Star and the 2008 league MVP, leading the Lakers to five NBA championships. Bryant — especially after his retirement — was also an outspoken advocate for growing women’s basketball, frequently attending college and WNBA games, coaching Gianna’s teams and using social media to praise women’s basketball players. For many, that drive and determination extends past basketball. “I think his passing is definitely a part of the city is passing, too,” Ghajar said. “And any sport you can apply his mindset, the Mamba Mentality to it. You can apply the Mamba Mentality to anything in life, really. [He] will be missed everywhere.” “Kobe has been my role model my whole life, sort of my idol,” said Tyler Ghajar, a freshman majoring in art. “I got inspiration from his work ethic and determination … to sort of apply that to my life. He was more than an athlete in terms of what he meant for this city and just for people in general.” “Kobe Bryant really was a huge influence even on those of us who never really were big on basketball,” freshman Economics major Freya Haksar said. “He was the kind of icon that gave you a vision of success…He was always kind of a figure for us to keep pushing forward, to turn our challenges and pressures into lessons, and a drive to always keep our heads up and better ourselves and spread that energy to the people around us.” Bryant was also a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Beijing and London and served as a key figure in helping expand the NBA’s international reach, attracting and inspiring young fans from all across the world. “I hope people — regardless of their affiliation to teams, whether they’re a Laker fan or whether they’re a Celtic fan, whether they’re even a basketball fan or even a sports fan — just recognize what he meant to the city,” Smith said. “He was able to get a whole city to get behind him and embrace him … Kobe is L.A. basketball.” Bryant’s death comes just one day after he was passed by current Lakers superstar LeBron James for third all-time on the NBA’s career scoring leaderboard. James was seen in tears after the Lakers landed in Los Angeles after flying in from Philadelphia, Bryant’s hometown.
Go back to the enewsletterLuxury cruise line Cunard‘s flagship liner Queen Mary 2 had a rare meeting with sister ship Queen Elizabeth on 26 July 2019 in Halifax, Canada – the birthplace of the company’s founder Sir Samuel Cunard.The encounter was arranged in celebration of Zita Cobb and Sandra Greer, this year’s recipients of the Samuel Cunard Prize for Vision, Courage and Creativity and The Innovative Spirit Award, respectively.The Samuel Cunard Award for Vision, Courage and Creativity was inaugurated in 2015 to celebrate the company’s 175th anniversary in the ancestral home of its founder Sir Samuel Cunard. Created in partnership with the Canadian Maritime Heritage Foundation, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and Cunard, the award acknowledges an extraordinary individual who demonstrates the qualities exemplified by Samuel Cunard throughout his life. The Innovative Spirit Award was created to honour an individual who stands out as having a pioneering spirit similar to Sir Samuel Cunard.From Halifax, Queen Mary 2 sails to New York and then on to England with Cunard historian John G. Langley, Q.C., director and chairman of the Cunard Steamship Society aboard. Langley will be donating a significant portion of his Cunard collection to the Cunard archives at the University of Liverpool after his voyage. Guests onboard Queen Mary 2‘s transatlantic crossing will have the opportunity to see select pieces from the collection and attend talks given by Langley.Go back to the enewsletter