Resurgent Rashford maintains Man Utd's momentum with Ronaldo-esque free-kick

The striker produced a stunning, 30-yard effort to send Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side through to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals at Stamford Bridge

It was the battle of the academy products at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night as Frank Lampard’s youth revolution took on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tribute act to Sir Alex Ferguson.

And it was Manchester United who came out on top, primarily thanks to Marcus Rashford.

The England international has faced some criticism this season. However, he now looks back to something like his best, with Rashford netting both goals as United beat in-form Chelsea 2-1 to progress to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

The Blues had come into the game having won their seven previous matches in all competitions, but while Lampard named a much-changed line-up, Solskjaer put out a strong team to try to maintain the momentum his side have started to build up since drawing with Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Rashford proved the key selection on the Norwegian’s part. It was he who held his nerve to put United ahead from the spot in the 20th minute, after Daniel James was bundled over in the area by a clumsy challenge from Marcos Alonso.

United had missed four of their previous six penalties, with Rashford even squandering one in Sunday’s win at Norwich. However, he did not hesitate when presented with another in west London, and converted with aplomb.

Michy Batshuayi levelled matters in sensational fashion, winning a duel on the halfway line with Harry Maguire, running 20 yards before firing home from the edge of the area.

It was a fine strike from a player trying desperately to prove himself at Chelsea, but it was completely overshadowed by the winning goal, with Rashford employing a Cristiano Ronaldo-esque technique to bamboozle Willy Caballero with a sublime free-kick from 30 yards out with just 17 minutes of normal time remaining.

The 21-year-old has been outshone by Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham in the Premier League this season, but this was yet another performance that made a mockery of the criticism he had been receiving in recent weeks.

Chelsea certainly did not need any reminding of Rashford’s talent. He has scored more goals against the Blues (five) than any other side.

What is more, he now has seven goals this season, which is a decent return at this stage of the campaign for a player who plays across the forward line for a team that has proven maddeningly inconsistent to date.

Now, though, both Rashford and United seem have rediscovered their confidence.

As for Chelsea, this simply looked like a game too far for a young squad that has been doing a fine job of balancing their top-four push in the Premier League with their attempts to reach the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Lampard rung the changes, bringing in the likes of Marc Guehi and Billy Gilmour, but they still looked a little jaded.

Indeed, Chelsea were bossed in midfield by a dogged United side keen to improve the negative narrative around their club. Scott McTominay was particularly impressive, dominating the engine room in a manner that evoked memories of Paul Pogba’s commanding performance when the two sides met in the FA Cup last season.

Of course, Chelsea will still be happier overall with how their season is going and while they will be disappointed with the defeat, the last-16 clash allowed Lampard to blood more youngsters, with a total of four academy products starting in west London, with a further two on the bench.

United had their own young guns on show, of course, and there are obvious parallels between two clubs hoping to use youngsters to help them rebuild and close the gap in the league to Liverpool and Manchester City.

Solskjaer lauded Chelsea’s academy ahead of kick-off but, on the night, Rashford reminded everyone that United are still producing quality players themselves.

He has revived their season and restored hope among the fans.

“We’ve been in a tough place,” the striker admitted afterwards. “We’re still getting through that phase.”

As he showed against Chelsea, Rashford will be key to United’s hopes of coming out the other side.

Canada’s Plain Cigarette Packaging Praised As ‘Best In The World’

Smokers will soon see their cigarette packs stripped of logos and distinctive designs as federal rules make drab brown the default colour for tobacco brands next week.

Plain-packaged cigarettes have started to pop up on shelves as the tobacco industry prepares for Health Canada’s regulations to take effect on Nov. 9, after which retailers will have a 90-day window to offload their remaining inventory.

All packaging will feature the same brown base colour, basic grey text and minimalist layout under the new requirements. The measures will also standardize the size and appearance of cigarettes, cigars and other products inside the packages.

Health experts and advocates say the policy positions Canada at the forefront of a global push to curb the appeal of cigarette brands, particularly among youth, and eliminate packages as pocket-sized promotions for Big Tobacco.

Rob Cunningham, a senior policy analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society, lauded Canada’s plain-packaging regulations as “the best in the world,” having learned from the examples of at least 13 other countries that have adopted similar measures.

Cunningham adds that Canada is leading the charge in eliminating extra-long and “slim” cigarettes, which tend to be marketed to women.

In 2021, slide-and-shell packages will become mandatory in Canada, providing a wider surface area that will display the largest health warnings in the world, he said.

“This measure is going to have an important difference, especially over time,” said Cunningham. “We will have kids who will grow up not exposed to branded packages.”

As regulators have cracked down on many forms of tobacco advertising, packages have become powerful branding tools to appeal to consumers, said University of Waterloo psychology professor Geoffrey Fong.

“The package designs (are) really amazingly glitzy and very attractive, especially to kids,” said Fong, the founder and chief principal investigator of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project.

“What we’ve found is that plain packaging has tremendous effects on reducing the appeal of these deadly products.”

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Fong said cigarette packages are designed to deceive consumers into thinking some brands are less harmful than others. For example, he said, studies indicate that cigarette packages with light colours and white space are perceived to have lower health risks than dark-toned products.

Fong said there’s evidence suggesting that plain packaging reduces these misconceptions, while making health warnings more salient by eliminating eye-catching distractions.

In his own research, Fong found that less than 29 per cent of Canadian smokers were in favour of plain packaging — a lower level of support than any other “endgame” tobacco measure tested in the 2016 survey.

He interprets this result not as opposition to the policy, but uncertainty about what it will entail, projecting that approval will rise as smokers acclimate to the new norm.

Tobacco manufacturers expect there will be a learning curve as consumers adjust to the new look, and in some cases, new names of their preferred brands.

For example, Belmont Silver will be known as Belmont Select under the new rules for brand names prohibiting references to colours or filter characteristics.

Jeff Gaulin, director of external affairs at Rothmans, Benson & Hedges, said the company has been working to ensure that retailers are aware of the changes by updating the names in its ordering system months in advance, as well as setting up a website for consumers to find out what products will be affected.

“I think things will go pretty smoothly,” said Gaulin. “That said, there will still be some hiccups… There may be shortages, but if there are, I think they’ll be very, very minimal.”

While he said Rothmans, Benson & Hedges doesn’t oppose plain packaging for conventional cigarettes, Imperial Tobacco Canada objects to the policy on several fronts, said head of regulatory affairs Eric Gagnon.

“You’re changing the entire supply chain,” said Gagnon. “It’s not like you just turn a key on and off. You need to change all your artwork, all your equipment, retool all your machines, so obviously, it’s very costly and a very complex operation.”

Gagnon contends that plain packaging doesn’t work and boosts the illicit sale of tobacco products.

25 years in the making

Other industry members have mounted similar criticisms, which the World Health Organization has described as “baseless” and “not supported by the evidence.”

Gagnon declined to comment on whether Imperial Tobacco is considering challenging the regulations in court, but Cunningham of the Canadian Cancer Society notes that tobacco companies have been fighting plain packaging in Canada since public-health officials first put forward proposals in 1994.

In the 25 years since, Cunningham said efforts have been bolstered by a growing body of evidence suggesting these policies have had an impact in other countries, and Canada may be next.

“All of these countries wouldn’t be doing this in the face of strong opposition from the tobacco industry if it wouldn’t work,” he said. “It’s a highly effective measure, and that’s why they’ve opposed it for so long, and that’s why we place great emphasis on it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2019.

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Quebec Raises Legal Cannabis Age To 21, Bans Public Smoking

QUEBEC — The Quebec government has passed the most restrictive cannabis law in the country, voting to ban the consumption of marijuana in most public areas and to raise the legal age from 18 to 21 years.

Beginning Saturday, Quebecers will be prohibited from consuming marijuana in public.

But the law permits cities to adopt their own bylaws allowing people to smoke cannabis in specific public areas where no children are present.


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As of Jan. 1, 2020, Quebecers under 21 years old will no longer be allowed to legally consume marijuana.

The previous Liberal government had set the legal age at 18.

A Quebec group representing cannabis growers, the Association quebecoise de l’industrie du cannabis, said the law pushes the most vulnerable consumers to the black market.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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Lloris: World Cup successes can boost 'hungry' Tottenham

The France skipper believes that those who missed out on lifting the biggest trophy of them all in Russia will be key to Spurs’ fortunes this term

World Cup winning goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is looking to bring “positive energy” to Tottenham this season and believes that his English and Belgian team-mates will be even hungrier for success following their near misses in Russia. 

While Lloris was key for the France in their run to the World Cup title, keeping a clean sheet against Belgium in the semi-final before coming up with a number of top saves as his side ran out 4-2 winners over Croatia in the final, several of his team-mates came up just short of the main goal in Russia. 

Spurs stars Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele all played a part for the Belgium side France topped in the last four, while club mate Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Harry Kane were beaten semi-finalists for England. 

And Lloris believes that having so many players who narrowly missed out on the top prize in the game will bring a new hunger to Tottenham. 

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“I’m really pleased to be part of the winning team at the World Cup,” he said when asked how the experience of winning the title could be of benefit to Spurs.

“But you could say the England and Belgium players have got back with more hunger because they were so close to the final and the most important trophy of their careers. 

“All together, we must put the right mentality, the experience that we shared in the last few seasons.”

And despite hoisting the World Cup this summer Lloris, having been hailed as a “changed man” by manager Mauricio Pochettino,  is hoping to bring the right right mentality back to Spurs as he looks to add more trophies to his cabinet.  

“I just try to be as good as I can,” he said. “It’s true winning the World Cup brought a lot of positive energy and a lot of energy for the future to keep the same mentality, keep working hard, keep leading the team and I was really happy to be back with the team.

“It’s a good feeling, especially after the win.”

Tottenham opened the season with a 2-1 win over Newcastle and are back in action next Saturday against newly promoted Fulham. 

Thirty three and counting – Messi sets new Barcelona trophy record with Supercopa win

The Argentine wizard now has more crowns than any other Blaugrana player in history, as he marked his first game as official captain with a win

Lionel Messi became the most successful player in Barcelona in history on Sunday as he helped the Catalans to a thrilling Supercopa victory over Sevilla. 

The Argentine took the field for the first time since the World Cup to lead Barcelona in the traditional curtain-raiser, played overseas for the first time in Tangier, Tunisia . 

And that lack of playing time seemed to take its toll on Messi and his team-mates early on, when Pablo Sarabia converted to give Sevilla the lead. 

Barca hit back, however, with Leo in the thick of the action as usual. 

The captain’s free-kick rebounded via the woodwork into the path of Gerard Pique, who turned in to level the scores at the end of the first half. 

Ousmane Dembele later made it 2-1 with a thumping long-range finish, while Sevilla squandered a golden chance to equalise when Wissam Ben Yedder saw his penalty saved in the final seconds. 

As Andres Iniesta’s successor as Blaugrana captain, it fell on Messi to lift the Supercopa trophy, a landmark achievement for the amazing Argentine. 

That win means Messi has now lifted 33 titles during his Barcelona career, more than any other player in the club’s history. 

That haul includes four Champions League wins, nine La Liga crowns and six Copas del Rey, as well as a record five Ballons d’Or. 

And while Messi may need a few more matches to drop back into his scintillating regular form, it would take a brave man to bet against the 31-year-old star adding to that collection by the end of the current season.

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Mourinho rails against negative Manchester United media coverage

On the eve of the new season, the Red Devils boss once again griped about the supposed fatalistic media commentary on his tenure at Old Trafford.

Jose Mourinho has hit out at the perceived negative coverage of his tenure at the helm of Manchester United, stating that he believes finishing runners-up in the Premier League last season is one of the best achievements of his career.

The Red Devils finished a distant second in England’s top flight as rivals Manchester City stormed to the title with a record 100-point haul.

A dispiriting Champions League exit against Sevilla in the last 16 also did little to engender a feelgood factor around Old Trafford, much like Mourinho’s regular gripes concerning player availability and post-World Cup scheduling since his squad began preparations for the 2018-19 campaign.

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United start the Premier League season at home to Leicester City on Friday and Mourinho took the opportunity at his pre-match news conference to take a swipe at what he views as fatalistic commentary on his reign from the media, in contrast with praise awarded to unnamed counterparts who fail to lift major honours.

“My view is that it is difficult for me to believe that we finished second,” he said.

“When I listen, when I read – not much but sometimes I do – it is difficult to believe that we finished second because you [the media] are capable of making people who finished second look like they were relegated and capable of making people who win nothing and finish below us look like serial winners.

“It is difficult to believe that we finished second. I won eight championships and three Premier Leagues but I keep saying and thinking and feeling that second position last season was one of my biggest achievements in the game.”

Mourinho heads into the Leicester match with a hefty injury list, including key midfielders Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera, while a host of other stars of only recently returned from their break after World Cup duty.

As such, he is standing by the complaints that soundtracked United’s pre-season fixtures.

“In pre-season it looked like I was saying something absolutely out of order, it looked like I was saying something crazy,” he added.

“I repeat, pre-season is difficult when you don’t have your players to work with.”

'The Premier League is like playing in the Champions League every week' – Wolves move excites Dendoncker

The Belgium international has joined several of his compatriots in England after impressing for Anderlecht in recent seasons

Leander Dendoncker is relishing the chance to test himself in the Premier League after completing his move to Wolves from Anderlecht.

The 23-year-old was the only member of Roberto Martinez’s Belgium World Cup squad to play football in his homeland at club level, but he has now joined several of his compatriots in the Premier League.

Dendoncker has moved to Molineux on an initial season-long loan, with the deal expected to be made permanent next summer for £12m ($15m).

Having spent the last five years of his career with Anderlecht, where he has picked up two league titles, a move to one of Europe’s biggest leagues has beckoned for some time, and he is looking forward to playing for Wolves.

Last season’s Championship winners have had an extremely busy summer in the transfer market, bringing in a host of new faces for their return to the top tier of English football, including Joao Moutinho, Adama Traore and Diogo Jota.

Speaking to Wolves’ official website following his move, Dendoncker said: “I’m very happy to be here and I hope I can help the team as fast as possible.

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“I’m very excited to start. I followed Wolves a little bit last year and saw they did really good, they took 99 points and won a lot of games with attractive football.

“I think it’s an ambitious club and that’s what attracts me the most. I’m ready to give everything.”

Dendoncker has been given advice on the English game by his fellow Belgium internationals and is hoping the transfer will help him to improve.

He added: “I’m excited by the challenge. They say the Premier League is like playing in the Champions League every week and I don’t think that’s a lie, I think the best players are in the Premier League.

“I’ll do everything to give my best.

“They say it’s the biggest league in the world, that it’s really nice to play every week in the Premier League,

“They told me to come here, that I would become a better play. We will see.”


Agent claims Malcom joined Barcelona instead of Roma for 'revenge'

The Brazilian’s representative has revealed the Serie A side were snubbed after acting inappropriately during a previous deal for Daniel Fuzato

Roma were snubbed during discussions for Malcom out of “revenge”, claims the Brazilian’s agent, with a €41 million (£36.5m/$48m) deal eventually done with Barcelona.

The 21-year-old appeared destined to be heading for Italy when Bordeaux announced that a transfer agreement had been reached with the Serie A side.

A remarkable saga took a stunning twist, though, as Barca moved to hijack that deal and land the South American for themselves.

Malcom’s representative claims he was more than happy to walk out on talks with Roma, with those in the Italian capital considered to have acted inappropriately during a previous move for Daniel Fuzato.

Leonardo Cornacini told Tuttomercatoweb: “The truth is that we decided not to go to Roma because they behaved badly with us.

“I was working on a deal for Fuzato, who is another of my clients, but Roma closed it with another agent, although it’s worth mentioning that I have nothing against him. In short, it was revenge.

“I’m sorry to say it, but that’s what it was. Roma behaved badly with us, 10 days before with the Fuzato deal, so we acted the same way towards them.

“Given the attitude shown towards us, I decided, together with Malcom, that the best destination wasn’t the Giallorossi one.

“And then again, in the same deal for Malcom, Monchi had involved other intermediaries. Today, however, Malcom is happy to be a new signing for Barcelona.”

Roma were left incensed after failing to land one of their top targets, with legal proceedings having been threatened at one stage.

They have, however, had to make peace with the fact that Malcom has headed elsewhere, with their attention having shifted to other targets.

Barca, meanwhile, are looking for the Brazilian to hit the ground running in La Liga and complement the considerable attacking threats they already possess.

Malcom will be hoping to see regular game with the Camp Nou giants this season alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho.

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Lovren: Liverpool aren't happy with bizarre World Cup injury

The Croatian defender pushed himself to breaking point while chasing down international glory, but is closing on fitness and never considered a move

Dejan Lovren admits Liverpool are “not happy” to have seen him return from World Cup duty with Croatia nursing a bizarre stomach complaint.

The 29-year-old starred at Russia 2018 as he helped his nation to a first final appearance, before coming unstuck against France.

Those efforts saw the centre-half push himself to breaking point, with his domestic employers unable to welcome him back into training ahead of the new Premier League season.

Lovren concedes that has been a source of frustration for all concerned, with there no way he can play through the pain barrier for club and country.

He told Sportske novosti on his fitness issues: “I cannot train at all because of stomach muscle issues. I am suffering a lot of pain and will see a specialist doctor in the Netherlands.

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“When did I start to feel it? I felt it during the World Cup. I played with pain and those three games killed me. But who wouldn’t play for Croatia at such a big tournament!

“After the World Cup finished, the pain increased. I can’t even sit in my car without feeling it and to get out of the car hurts like hell!

“I’d always grit my teeth and play for Croatia, but now I am paying the price. But no price is too high for what we achieved in Russia.”

Lovren added when quizzed on Liverpool’s reaction to him returning short of fitness: “Of course, they are not happy.

“I haven’t trained since I returned from holiday. I can’t.

“I’ll reassess things after seeing the doctor in Netherlands. I have to deal with that for now and believe it will be OK.

“I hoped it would pass during my holiday, but it didn’t. As I went for a swim, it hurt. I couldn’t even rest normally.”

While unable to aid the Liverpool cause at present, a man who has spent an eventful four seasons on Merseyside insists he has never considered leaving Anfield.

Lovren has faced criticism at times following a £20 million ($26m) move from Southampton, but he is happy in his current surroundings and looking forward to challenging for major honours in 2018-19.

He said on the exit talk: “Where would I go from Liverpool? It is one of the biggest clubs in the world and I am too happy here to move.

“We have the team to challenge for the title. We have experience from last season, no key players left and we can be better than last season.

“In the Champions League final we lacked experience and it was the only reason Real Madrid won. Plus, of course, the luck they had, which is part of football – first with [Mohamed] Salah’s injury and then with the goals they scored.

“In the Premier League? Last season Man City made the difference at the start of the campaign and we must avoid losing points at an early stage this time.”

Sevilla threaten action over Supercopa selection rules for Barcelona

The Royal Spanish Football Federation’s decision over selection eligibility would allow more of Barca’s non-EU players to feature

Sevilla have threatened to file a complaint should Barcelona attempt to pick more than three players from outside the European Union in Sunday’s Supercopa de Espana.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced ahead of the match that the two teams faced no nationality restrictions in compiling their squads, leaving Barca free to pick from their clutch of new South American recruits, Brazilian pair Arthur and Malcom and Chile’s Arturo Vidal having arrived at Camp Nou in the off-season.

Sevilla had already been antagonised by the RFEF’s decision to stage the Supercopa, traditionally a two-legged, home-and-away tie, as a one-off match in Tangier. 

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And the Andalusian club posted a message on Twitter on Saturday raising their concerns about Barca’s potential line-up.

“Sevilla FC is surprised by the RFEF’s statement 24 hours before the Super Cup,” the tweet read.

“It has stated that as many non-EU players as desired can be registered, despite the fact that in their last notice for the 18/19 season, only three were due to be permitted, without exception.

“The club’s legal department is studying the matter and should FC Barcelona submit a team with more than three non-EU players, it would present possible ground for the filing of a complaint on account of an improper line-up.”

Sevilla’s objections may prove unfounded, though. Widespread reports in the Spanish media claim Brazilian Philippe Coutinho has gained a Portuguese passport through his wife, easing Ernesto Valverde’s selection constraints.

This will be the 32nd edition of the Supercopa, with the previous season’s winners of La Liga facing off against the Copa del Rey champions.